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ion, like Hercules,-not armed only with “the sword of the Spirit,”—will soon demolish the others, and leave the monster a lifeless carcass, for the wonder and aston ishment of future generations.
Finally, I hail the Congress of Panama as one leading event of a new era. I believe it will be the prelude to a system of international law, which will abolish the custom of war, among great and independent nations, in the same manner as domestic war was abolished by the union of the European feudal domains into consolidated governments. Not that I would wish to see all the nations of this hemisphere, much less all the nations of Christendom, united in one empire; but I should like to see them allied for certain purposes equally beneficial to all.
I will only add, that this grand union of Christian nations, in the bonds of peace and good will, has been the great and ultimate object of the peace societies: and I firmly believe that they have been eminently serviceable in the cause, and that they have done much-I wish I could say all in their power,--to forward it. I gladly ackpowl
edge that there have been many concurrent circumstances, favorable to the cause of peace : but I aver, that it was one and the same spirit, that dictated the simultaneous formation of peace societies, on both sides of the Atlantic, and tha proposed Congress of Panama, and the favorable reception of the proposition by our government; and that spirit is now working and will work, until the barbarous custom of war shall be banished from Christendom: and there is no person, male or female, who cannot forward the glorious consummation.
AS THEY RELATED TO WAR.
Those, who first attacked the the “man of sin,” were too busily employed in reforming the doctrines of religion, which, together with the practice, had fallen into the greatest corruptions; and they were toe
much engaged in opposing the peculiar abominations of the Church of Rome, to think much of those vices, which had been common to the whole world. Hence it was not until the reformation had obtained “a form and pressure”-until reformers began to preach about general duties and the precepts of the gospel, that they began to turn their attention to the custom of war; certainly as contrary to the spirit of the gospel as any of the customs of the Church of Rome.
I do not know, whether the opinions of Luther and Calvin, on this subject, were ever left on record. But Erasmus, their cotemporary, as early as A. D. 1536, observes : “War is every where, rashly and on the slightest pretext, undertaken; cruelly and severely conducted, not only by unbelievers, but by Christians; not only by laymen, but by priests and bishops ; not only by the young and inexperienced, but even by men far advanced in life, who must have seen and felt its dreadful consequences; not only by the lower order of people, fickle in their nature, but above all by princes, whose duty it is to compose the rash passions of the one
thinking multitude, by superior wisdom and the force of reason. Nor are there even wanting men learned in the law and even divines, who are ready to furnish firebrands for the nefarious work, and to fan the latent spark into a flame.”
He next gives a very animated description of the horrors of a battle, and then proceeds thus : “ It sometimes happens, that a broth
er falls by the hands of a brother, a kinsman 'on his nearest kindred, a friend upon his friend, who, while each is actuated by this fit of insanity, plunges the sword into the heart of one by whom he never was offended, not even by the word of his mouth! So deep is the tragedy, that the bosom shudders even at the feeble description of it, and the hand of humanity drops the pencil, while it paints the scene."
" In the mean time, I pass over the cornfields trodden down, peaceful cottages and rural mansions burnt to the ground, villages and towns reduced to ashes, the cattle driven from their pasture, innocent women violated, old men dragged into captivity, churches defaced and demolished, every
thing laid waste, a prey to robbery, plunder, and violence.”
"Not to mention the consequences, which ensue to a people after a war, even the most fortunate in its event, and the justest in its principles; the poor, the unoffending common people robbed of their little hard earned property, the great laden with taxes” (and he proceeds to particularize the evil consequences of war, and then observes)
why need I dwell on the evils which morals sustain by war, when every one knows, that from war proceeds at once every kind of evil, which disturbs and destroys the happiness of human life ?” And much more is said, by the same author, on the same subject, in a work of his, entitled, Anti-Pole
It seems, however, that the first reformers were generally very much in the dark, respecting war, slavery, and some other antichristian practices. Indeed, it was not to be expected, that mankind would be all at once enlightened. The degeneracy of the Church, from the purity of the apostles and primitive christians, who held war to be un