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day ?" The answer was in a very ludicrous style and manner to this effect :,- See ! why I saw half an acre of galls, (girls.) Neighbor B. did pretty well, I guess: he got nine dollars before eleven o'clock, beside a watch, pawned for two dollars; all for rum." Now I appeal to the moralist, the christian, the statesman, and in fact, to every man of common sense, to say, if there is any good in the militia system, which will counterbalance abominations like this.
SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
The evil tendency and utter inutility of the Militia System being pretty generally acs knowledged by those who think at all on the subject, the only question to be agitated a mong the friends of good order, is, How may it most readily be disposed of!
Some, for whose judgment I have a great respekt, think it best to press the matter in
the Legislature. I must confess, that I am not of that opinion. Many, if not most, of the members of the Legislature hold a military commission, and they, at least, think it adds much to their rank and standing in society; and it is not to be expected, that, though servants of the people, they will obey the voice of their constituents, against their own inclinations, and contrary to what they think to be their own rank and dignity, until it is expressed in a more decided manner, than it has ever yet been. Such a sacrifice of personal importance and selfish ambition, to the public good, is not to be expected from the generality of mankind. I have no doubt, that a majority of the people are now opposed to the militia system, as at present practised; but the misfortune is, that the supporters of the system have their own personal ends to answer, while their opponents have no other motive than the public good ; and how weak the latter is, when opposed to the other, every one may know, by consulting his own heart.
The proper course, therefore, appears to be that of calling on those who are already
convinced on this subject, to be more ready, than they have been, to give their testimony against the practice, if it is necessary, even at the polls, and to vote for those men, of whatever party, who are in favor of abolishing a useless, oppressive, and demoralizing system. Especially is it incumbent on min-. isters of the gospel to lift up their voices against every thing, which encourages intemperance and profligacy. I must acknowl.' edge, that those, who are ehaplains of regiments, have a difficult part to act ; but their influence increases with their responsibility : and they ought to obey God rather than man. They ought to insist on it, that intemperance should be banished from the field, or banish themselves. But while they ride round, and witness the dealing out of the intoxicating draught, freely, to all the privates, and the public sale of spirituous liquors, by unlicensed venders, in the very face and eyes of the laws, and of the very legislators who enact those laws, their attendance not only sanctions the sins committed when present, but also those which succeed in their absence.
Wherever a chaplain turns his eyes, on the
field of a military review, he sees nothing analogous to his sacred functions ;-but every thing of a contrary tendency. He may notice, on the cap of some of our companies, the inscription, “ Victory or death," intimating, like the death's head and cross bones, on the pirate's black flag, that quarter is not to be asked nor granted. Merciful Savior, who didst shed thy blood for thine enemies, what a motto for one of thy disciples to wear!
I suspect, that the attendance of the clergy on these scenes of dissipation, has been owing to the prejudices of education and the want of reflection. But the world is growing wiser, and I hope soon to see the militia system, and all its abominations, abandoned by the clergy, and it cannot continue long after.
At present, there is no other remedy for the evil, than holding up its naked deformity to the public view, and inducing the friends of sobriety and good order, to be constant and strenuous in their opposition, and in enlightening others who are blinded by early prejudices ; and soon the voice of the people will be heard in such a way, as to be no longer disregarded by their servants.
But after all, every thing relating to war is directly hostile to the spirit and precepts of the gospel of peace. A pious man makes but a poor soldier ; and those who are farthest removed from piety, make the best. That was the opinion of Napoleon Bonaparte, who must be allowed to have been a good judge in such matters. He saw the absolute inconsistency of war with the Christian religion. He says of his army, “I would not suffer priests there, for I do not like a religious soldier.” Bonaparte's soldiers were the most victorious of any in the world, and certainly they were the most wicked. He agrees with the opinion I expressed in my first series ; viz. the greater the cut throat, the better the soldier. He says of his generals, “ Massena, Angereau, Bruce, and many others, were merely intrepid desperadoes ;” and he boasted, that with such soldiers, had God permitted, he would have conquered the world.
These things being so, it grieves me to the heart, to see ministers of the gospel of peace giving their countenance and support to cuse toms and systems, which are directly. contrary to the principles they profess and preacb.