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a just punishment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interest of mankind."
Much more night be quoted from the writings of Franklin, to the same purpose, but I close this number, by his well known fable of the young angel, omitting some expressions, which indicate a levity, unbecoming the subject and the character of the actors in the fable.
“ A young angel of distinction, being sent down to this world on some business for the first time, had an old courier spirit assigned him as a guide; they arrived over the sea of Martinico, in the middle of a long day of an obstinate fight between the fleets of Rodney and De Grasse. When through the clouds of smoke he saw the fire of the guns, the deck covered with mangled limbs, or bodies Head or dying; the ship sinking, burning, or blown into the air; and the quantity of pain, misery and destruction, the crews who were yet alive were rith so much eagerness
dealing round to one another; he turned angrily
to his guide, and said, You undertook to conduct me to the earth, and you
have brought me into hell! No, Sir, said the guide, I have made no mistake, this is really the earth, and these are men; devils never treat one another in this cruel manner, they have more sense, and more of what men (vainly) call humanity.”
Had Franklin lived at this day I have no doubt that, notwithstanding his scepticism, he would have been one of the most active and efficient advocates for the principles of "Peace on Earth, and good will to man."
WASHINGTON'S OPINION ON WAR.
The rising generation, when they read, on the page of history, the achievements of their fathers, are fired with a spirit of heroism; and it is not uncommon, to hear them wish, that they had been born before the American revolution, or that such times would again return, that they might have an opportunity fa signalize their valour. But I can tell them
that this is any thing else than patriotism,it is downright vain glory and selfishness; as any one may see, who will take the trouble to discriminate between cause and effect. That the independence of the United States is highly to be appreciated, is not to be doubted for a moment, and that this great event was preceded by war, calamity and suffering, is known to all. Many, therefore, look on war as the cause of independence, and be. come its advocates, and there is perhaps no ubstacle so great in the way of the friends of peace, in this country, as the glory and success of the revolutionary war, and the gratitude which we owe to all the disinterested actors of that scene. But if we judge of the goodness of a thing barely by its consequences, and call war good, because it was followed by independence, then we should call the stamp act and other oppressive measures of the British Government good, because they were the cause of the war, and in fact, may with more propriety be called the cause of independence, thau war itself, which was only a means. Now the cause of the acts of the British government, to tax America, may
be found in the "old French War,” which ended so gloriously for the British empire, of which we then formed a part, and which was so disastrous in its consequences. Because God can bring good out of evil, is that any reason why we should love the evil ? Yet it is common for young men to wish, that the horrors of the revolutionary war were renewed, that they might share in its honors, and I have heard the same wish, or something ve. ry much like'it, even from the pulpit.
But there is no necessary connection between war and independence. We might have had war without independence, like Scotland, and we might possibly—I do not say probably have had independence without war,as Maine obtained her independence from Massachusetts, barely by the force of argument, and an appeal to common sense. Or we might have remained united to the British empire, for all purposes of peace, commerce and a mutual interchange of good offices, and independent, as far as it respects all matters of Government, and internal regulations, in the same manner that Maine is still anited to Massachusetts, in the great confeet
eration of the union ; and avoiding all the evils of hereditary government, to which we have a hereditary abhorrence, and in the same manner that all the nations of Christendom might be united in one grand league and covenant, which would put an end to all wars, and would forever blast the hopes of those, who wish to reign over men by the power of the sword and would sink military glory in eternal obscurity.
Sully, in his memoirs remarks : “ It may be laid down as a principle, that there are no means, but what are preferable to war; if the same end may be obtained by it." Franklin has observed that “there never was a good war nor a bad peace.” Washington entertained similar sentiments. Many, who view this great man, look on him only as a general, a warrior, a mere fighter; and some, even of my own countrymen, place Napoleon far above him, in the scale of excellence. Not that they would have been so mad, as to wish to see Bonaparte in this country-10,--they admire the glossy skin of the striped tiger, while safe from the élutch of his paw, or the spiry folds of the