« PreviousContinue »
the people to know their interest, and to vote for such men as will promote it.' A different administration, though it could not defeat the scheme, may delay it for some years.
If all the good which is contemplated, should not be effected by such a coalition, yet much might be done to secure the peace and happiness of the human race. For the benefits resulting from such a coalition, I refer the reader to my paper on the Panama Mission, in which I promised to take up the subject again, but have not had leisure untit the present time. In that number, I called the attention of the reader ti some features of the Congress of the Peninsula, which would be favorable to the cause of peace; and these points could be still better settled by a Congress of all christian nations, or a majority of them. In such a Congress, privateering and the slave trade could be abolished by mutual consent, so far as the parties represented at the Congress should be concerned. Here might be established the great pacific principle, that free ships should make free goods, and the neutral flag protect all that sail under it, except contraband of war, and
this principle might, perhaps, be made to extend to all merchant and fishing vessels engaged in lawful business. The articles which are, for the future, to be considered as contraband of war, could be distinctly defined, and the present number considerably lessened. The right of search and of blockade might be defined, and the latter restricted to ports in a state of actual blockade, both by sea and land. The right of impressment from neutral vessels might be abandoned, or so modified, by mutual concessions, as to cease to be a cause of war. We should hope, the Congress would go farther, and establish a system, by which disputes arising from any of the above named topics--or, indeed, any other-should be settled. But if it went no further, and regulated only these subjects, great good would result to the human race, wars would be less frequent, less ferocious, and of shorter duration. As many points as should be settled by such a Congress, so many heads of the Hydra, war, would be crushed, and, to use the language of President Adams, " the fountain of many a future war would be drained."
I was in hopes to have finished the subjeet in one number, but it has already extended to two, and will intrude on a third, in which I purpose to consider some of the obstacles, which lay in the way of adopting a modification of the great scheme of Henry IV., to which the age is now favourable, and a commencement of which has already been made by the Congress of Panama.
OBSTACLES TO THE ADOPTION OF THE
That there are obstacles to the adoption of the pacific and philosophic scheme, which we have been considering, cannot be denied: for otherwise a project so benevolent and so abundant in happiness both temporal and eternal, would have been adopted long before the reign of Henry IV.-especially as trials of nearly the same principles, on a small scale, had been so successful.
The greatest obstacle is the love of military glory ; for peace is the grave of such glory. Without war, the world would never have seen an Alexander, a Cæsar, an Attila, a Tamerlane, a Gengis Khan, a Charles 12th, or a Napoleon,-no rivers of blood, no pyramids of human skulls, no heaps of the dying and the dead, which grace the field of glory-no, nor triumphal arch, nor sculptured arms, nor proud monuments, nor minstrel's song,—no more celebrations of battles, nor military parade, all, all would" ish like the baseless fabric of a vision," together with all the tears and sighs and groans, and misery and slavery, and vice which have accompanied them, and leave behind only peace and happiness, and plenty, and liberty, and science, and virtue. But will the world always be dazzled by this ignis fatuus--military glory? No, it will grow wiser by dear experience, and as the Christian religion shall be better understood and inore widely diffused, the empire of peace will be extended.
The maintenance of great navaland military establishments is another obstacle to
the pacific scheme. So many of the most active and influential characters derive their support from war, and so many look to it as their only chance for promotion and honor, that an inclination is given by them to public opinion contrary to the public good.Not only those who are actively engaged in war will be in favor of it, but also the commissary, the contractor, the manufacturer of arms and ammunition, all look to war for their support, without reflecting, or without caring that their support is wrung from the hard hand of labor, and taken from the mouth of poverty. How many by means of war are compelled to labor to support the luxury of one! What but war could have converted Alderman Curtis from a biscuit-baker to a baronet ? Without contracts for the army
he would bave found biscuit-baking but a dry business, and instead of ransacking creation for dainties-for calipee and calipash-must have been contented with roast beef and plumb pudding. Those, who have the management of war grow immensely rich. The widow of the late Lord Castlereagh wore on her dress the amount