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dot say they are not necessary, because the friends of peace in this country, do not meddle with the question of defensive war; and if we must have a militia, it were perhaps hetter that they should be officered by the cadets than as they are now. But, I do say, without fear of contradiction, that they foster a military spirit that delights in war, and is opposed to peace. We are raising up a militar ry order, among the sons of the first and most influential characters in the country. They learn to fight, if they learn nothing else, and if they never do fight, the expense of their education is lost, and without war all their hopes of advancement wither. Rather than this should be, they and their friends will be likely, to throw the weight of their character into the scale of war. It was a whimsical objection which I heard, a few days ago, against the peace societies—that they were calculated to introduce Lordships into the country. Every body knows, that the military orders introduced Lordships into Europe, and that they are yet recruited out of the same ranks; but there is no danger of introducing Lordships into this country,
not at least until we have a military president. It is really surprising, to observe, with what carelessness as to public good or private character, people choose a profession for their children. Not long ago, a friend of mine applied to me for advice, respecting the education of his son. He had thoughts of sending him to West Point, to make a soldier of him, or to Andover, to make him a minister : and was uncertain which to choose. He certainly could not have hit on extremes further apart than the military and the clerical characters, though, I allow, that they have been united in one person,-strange inconsistency.
The last obstacle to the adoption of pacific sentiments, which I shall now mention, is the manner in which we celebrate our inde- , pendence. We commence with vibrations of air, made by every possible means, by cannon, small arms, bells, trumpet, fifes, and drums, as though we would frighten away the evil genius of slavery from our shores, in the same manner as the natives of NootkaSound frighten away the evil spirit who they think is eating up the moon, at the time of
an eclipse. Our 4th of July orations are generally frothy encomiums on our prowess and valor, and proud boastings of our being the most enlightened, free and brave nation in the world, and by way of contrast, we represent the land of our forefathers as a land of slaves, and George the 3d as a tyrant, whom we conquered. If this puerile extravagance were not mischievous, as well as ridiculous, it would not be worth notice, bụt it injures in two ways. It gives us so high an opinion of our valor, and such a contempt for other nations, and it promises such certain victory, that the people are easily cajoled into a war, and, as far as it is known abroad, it excites revenge, envy, and contempt, and helps to keep up a rancorous, inamicable spirit between two nations that ought, of all others, to be the most friendly.
None of these obstacles ought to discourage us, nor all of them put together; for they all depend on human volition, and of course may be removed by human exertion. To forward this great object is the end and aim of peace societies, and every friend of peace, every philanthropist, and every christian,
ought to lend a helping hand, and they ought, not only to endeavour, both by precept and example, to remove these obstacles, but to “ seek the things that make for peace.”
While some are industriously gathering all that they can allege against foreign nations, the friends of peace ought to be as industrious in collecting traits of their virtues. To speak well of an enemy, when we have an opportunity, is generous
magnanimous, but to refuse him our approbation, when he merits it, is mean and contemptible. The friends of peace ought to discountenance all memorials of past grievances and past hostilities. Forgiveness of injuries is as much the duty of nations as of individuals, and tends as much to national as it does to individual happiness. I know that this doctrine is not popular, but a man who courts popularity will not join the peace society—at least for the present.
It is much to be desired, that our country would follow the example of France and Spain, and would send back to England and France, all the flags and trophies of war they have taken from them. This could not
but be reciprocated by those powers, and the example might extend to others. If all the military trophies in the world were heaped together, in one vast pile, and consumed, what a glorious bonfire they would make.
I should like to touch on a few more topics in this connection, but, I find my papers are getting to be too lengthly of late. Finally, by leaving undone many things that we do, and doing some things which we leave undone, the time might be brought near, when all the powers of christendom would consent to a system of inter-national law, which would forever abolish the custom of war, & bury the hatchet so deep 'that it would never again be found the time " when nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation nor learn war any more,
a time which will surely come, " for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” What immortal glory will crown that nation that shall lead the way to the joyful consummation !