Page images

NO. 38.


I have now come to the end of


second series of numbers on Peace and War. When I first began to write on this subject,--to which I was induced by reading the “Friend of Peace,” and the request of the first editor of the Mirror, I thought my essays would extend to about a dozen numbers, and that, by that time, I should work myself out of stock, and my

readers out of patience. But both have held out beyond my expectation. I have been like the child who pursues the setting sun, and thinks that when he arrives at the summit of the next hill, he shall be able to grasp it ; but when arrived there, he finds a boundless prospect before him. - Hills over hills, and Alps on Alps arise.” So boundless is the subject of permanent and universal peace-nor is there danger of its being exhausted until ministers shall have preached out the Bible.

My chief aim, in this series, was to shew that the primitive christians looked on war

with abhorrence, and that many suffered death rather than take up arms,-that pious and good men in all ages have deprecated war,—that many of the wisest of the philanthropists, sages, and philosophers, both christian and heathen, ancient and modern, haye given their testimony against war. But it must be confessed that the number of heathen writers in favor of peace,-though as great as could have been expected, considering the nature of their religion,-was not so great as was to be desired, and that, during the dark ages, it seems as though the world was almost universally given over to the rule of Satan,-tô havoc, murder, and desolation, at once the cause and the consequence of its ignorance. This was the general plan which I had laid out at the commencement of the series, but I have also taken up such subjects as had become topics of conversation for the day, the most interesting of which was the Congress of Panama, which originated since its, commencement. I have also taken some little notice of the Militia System, but of late have refrained, because I thought further remarks

unnecessary. It appears that my opinions on this subject were not singular, and that the system is beheld with pretty general disgust, bordering on contempt. It has rapidly declined, and seems now near its end, and the only inquiry among its friends is, how to give it a decent burial, which is certainly inore for their honor and interest than to let it rot above ground.

It has been very gratifying to me to observe, that, during the course of this series there has been an evident change in public opinion in places where it could have had no influence, and ihat sentiments similar to mine have been advanced, by leading char-acters in France, in Great Britain, and other parts of Europe, and we now scarcely read a speech, a sermon, or even a novel, that does not breathe pacific sentiments. A new era has certainly commenced, and the next generation will be different from any preceding, right will take the place of might, reason of force, and moral power will be superior to physical.

When I commenced this series, I was in hopes of assistance from my friends, but on

ly two communications have reached me. One is an extract from a much valued friend, which a press of other matter, and the plan which I adopted, made it difficult to introduce ; though it was not forgotten and is still on file. The other is a letter from a General of the militia, accompanying the discharge of an officer, and contains many pertinent and just observations on the Militia System, of which I should have been very glad to have availed myself, had I received the letter earlier.

But though I have received no other voluntary assistance, I have not scrupled to help myself to any thing which came in my way, suitable for my purpose, and am much indebted to the Herald of Peace, and the Friend of Peace, the principal peace publications in Great Britain and America ; and many of the ideas and almost all the erudition which is to be found in this series belongs to them. Whenever I have found an idea which I liked, like Frederic the Great, with his recruits, I have pressed it into my service, belong to whom it may, dressed it in my own language; have not been very seru

pulous about documents or marks of quotation, and I claim no credit but for my diligence in marshalling out the thoughts of others, and putting them in a way to do execution. But unlike the aforesaid King of Prussia, in this, I have done violence to no man,” for there is a sort of community of goods among the friends of peace, as there was among the pacific primitive christians ; and, to follow up my first figure, we are glad to see our own soldiers in foreign regiments, and provided the victory be obtained over the powers of darkness, we care not who reap the laurels. Notwithstanding, I cannot conceal the pleasure it has given me to see my lucrubations on the subject of peace so much approved, and so often reprinted both in this country and in Europe, and am gratified by the information that the second edition of my first series has been stereotyped. I hope that this pleasure arises from a sincere desire of doing good, and I fear the prevalence of worse motives.

I have reason to believe that my labors have not been in vain, and that these essays have had some effect, at least in this State,

« PreviousContinue »