« PreviousContinue »
feeling, honorable to both parties, was entertained. But is it not both absurd and ridiculous to transfer this respect and esteem to those who make a trade of warfare, and who barter for blood ? Who are as indifferent as the sword they draw, to the purposes for which it is drawn, who put on the badge of a master, wear his livery, and receive his pay. Where all is mercenary, nothing can be magnanimous ; and it is impossible to have the slightest respect for an animated mass of machinery, that moves alike at the voice of a drum, or a despot ; a trumpet or a tyrant ; a fife, or a fool.”
Opinions of this kind prevail, not only in England, but begin to prevail in France, as will be seen by the following extract from a pamphlet by the Abbe de Pradt, on the Congress of Panama, to which, I am happy to see, he attributes the greatest consequences.““ On datera long-temps de lui,” says the Abbethey will date from it for a long time to come.
“In our times, every thing tends toward founding the empire of right, and to free the world from the empire of force. * * * * Republican government, founded in all A
merica, is opposed to great standing armies, and the United States have wisely avoided them. Rome perished by her armies; they gave her Marius and the twelve Cæsars. *** In republics, every thing ought to be civic. The military spirit is anti-civic; it creates in the mind of the soldier, a disposition to despise the unarmed citizen. * * * * The multiplying of military power is a very active cause of war. * * * * Where there are soldiers, there is war, on the same principle that, where there is war, there are soldiers ; they are to this scourge, both the cause and effect, as they are the cause of taxes. It is the multiplication of the military which has put all the finances in Europe in the state where they now are, and, while growing proud of a military power, numerous, brave, and adrðit, one has been carrying on a war for fifty years; one has consumed, ten times over, all the property of the state, one dies breathing out, from his dying mouth, these repentant words : “ J'ai trop aime la guerre,” I have loved war too much—a fine consola. tion for the millions of victims to this martial madness, and of the bankruptcies which have
followed. Since the time of Marius and Sylla, one has been accustomed to see military chiefs appropriate to themselves the power acquired by their arms, and enslave their country, after having bravely defended her.”
May my countrymen take advice from the wise men of such warlike nations as England and France, who know, because they have felt, the effects of war; lest our republic may have occasion to say with its expiring breath, J'ai trop aime la guerre, I have too much loved war.
SPONTANEOUS PUBLIC OPINION A PEMEDY
I am now drawing near the conclusion of my second series of essays on Peace and
It will perhaps be allowed by some, that I have clearly shown the diabolical origin, evil tendency and baleful effects of war --that I have shewn that good and great
men, in all ages,—but especially, that Christians, in the purer ages of the church, have been nniversally opposed to the custom of war; and that it is wicked and absurd to attempt to settle questions of equity and moral right by physical force. But it is said, that as war always has been, so it will always continue it is an evil for which there is no remedy, and therefore, it is useless to contend against it--and the same has been said of many other barbarous customs which have already passed away.
Now, for my own part, I think much has been done toward a cure of the evil, if mankind are only brought generally to acknowledge war to be an evil, a scourge, a curse. It is a trite adage, that, when a man knows his disease, he is half cured. And this in a sense is true, for no man will seek'a remedy, until he is sensible of his sickness. War was formerly esteemed the only path to fame, and the only dignified occupation of the human species, and our Scandinavian ancestors thought it so disgraceful to die in peace, that, rather than expire on their beds, they leaped from precipices and dashed thom
selves in pieces, when old age or sickness warned them of the near approach of death; they thought, that even the joys of Paradise consisted in fighting; and it is not long since nations made war only for glory without even
etext.—The scale has now turned mankind have become more enlightened, and, though there are yet a few who consider the glory obtained in war a sufficient recompense for the expense, the misery, the vice, the cffusion of blood and tears, that it causes, the number is but small, and is daily diminishing. Mankind, at length, begin to be willing to inquire after a remedy, and to "seek the things that make for peace.”
The remedy is obvious and certain,-it lies entirely in public opinion. As certainly as that a spark will inflame gunpowder, so certain it is that public opinion has created war by giving its highest meed to warriors and exalting military prowess over virtue, science,and utility; and it is as certain as that water will extinguish fire, that when public opiniou shall change, and the leader of a great gang of robbers shall meet with the same execration as the leader of a small