« PreviousContinue »
to have been lost. Even the French admit, that the wars of Napoleon alone must have sacrificed six millions; and, if we reckon all the victims, both among the soldiers and the people, of the wars consequent on the French Revolution, the sum total cannot be less than nine or ten millions. The Spaniards are said to have destroyed in forty-two years more than twelve millions of American Indians. The wars in the time of Sesostris cost 15,000,000 lives; those of Semiramis, Cyrus and Alexander, 10.000.000 each; those of Alexander's successors, 20,000,000. Grecian wars sacrificed 15,000,000 ; Jewish wars, 25,000,000; the wars of the twelve Cæsars, 30,000,000 in all: the wars of the Ro mans before Julius Cæsar, 60,000,000 : the wars of the Roman Empire, of the Saracens and the Turks, 60,000,000 each; the wars of the Reformation, 39,000,000; those of the Middle Ages, and the nine Crusades in two centuries, 40,000,000 each: those of the Tartars, 80,000,000; those of Africa, 100,000,000!
Such estimates may well seem incredible ; but we have taken them all from sources entitled to credit. On such a subject, perfect accuracy is impossible; you might as well think of counting the spires of grass on the whole globe, or the drops of rain that fell in Noah's flood; but, if the foregoing statements make any approximation to the truth, the entire havoc of human lite by war must defy our utrnost powers of conception. “If we take into consideration," says the learned Dr. Dick, “ the number not only of those who have fallen in battle, but of those who have perished through the natural consequences of war, it will not perhaps be overrating the destruction of human life, if we afirm, that one-tenth of the human race has been destrored by the ravages of war; and, according to this estimate, more than fourteen thousand millions of human beings have been slaughtered in war since the beginning of the world." Edmund Burke went still further, and reckoned the sum total of its ravages from the first at no less than THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND MILLIONS !
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
WITNESSES FOR PEACE.
“ AMERICA," says the Rev. Mr. JEFFRIES, a distinguished Eng lish Episcopal Missionary, and one of the Chaplains of the East India Company, “ America has the honor of inventing two of the most valuable institutions that ever blessed mankind, -the Peace Society, and the Temperance Society; and, if every American viewed them as I do, he would join them immediately." The cause of peace is common to all Christians; and from men of eminence in different denominations, we will quote a few specimens of their views on this subject.
Wycliffe, the Reformer, deserves to stand at the head of them all. “What honor falls to' a knight that kills many men ? The hangman killeth many more, and with a better title. "Better were it for men to be butchers of beasts than butchers of their brethren! As, according to common law, no man will make battle, except he have leave from the prince of the people; so no man should take vengeance, unless God move him, and warn him as his instrument, saying how he will have vengeance.
METHODISTS.-Let us hear the father of Methodism, John WESLEY. “You may pour out your soul, and bemoan the loss of true, genuine love in the earth. Lost indeed! you may well say, but not in the ancient sense. See how these CHRISTIANS love one another! These Christian kingdoms that are tearing out each other's bowels, desolating one another with fire and sword! These Christian armies that are sending each other by thousands, by tens of thousands, quick to hell! These Christian nations that are all on fire with intestine broils, party against party, faction against faction! Yea, what is most dreadful of all, these Christian churches, (tell it not in Gath; but, alas! how can we hide it from Jews, Turks or Pagans ?) that bear the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, yet wage continual war with each other! O God! how long will thy promise fail?
EPISCOPALIANS.-Soame Jenyns. If Christian nations were nations of Christians, all war would be impossible and unknown
Thomas Scott. War in every case must be deemed the triumph or the harvest of the first great murderer, the devil.
Bishop Watson. Christianity looks upon all the human race as children of the same father; and in ordering us to do good, to love as brethren, to forgive injuries, and to study peace, it quite annihilates the disposition for martial glory, and utterly debases the pomp of war.
Dr. Jortin. The consequences of war are too well known. They are the desolation of populous and flourishing regions, the
P. T. NO. XXI.
loss of trade, the increase of taxes and debts, poverty doth public and private, the destruction of thousands, and the ruin of almost as many families, besides the sicknesses, the famines, the iniquities and cruelties which always accompany a state of hostility.The wars continually waged by Christian nations, are most notorious offences against the sixth commandment, against the law of nature, against the laws of God given by Moses, against the Christian religion. In all wars, one side is in fault, sometimes both; and in this case war is no better than robbery and murder, the guilt of which lies, I do not say, upon the soldiers, but upon those in whose hands is lodged the power of declaring war.
BAPTISTS.—Ward, the veteran and venerable missionary, says, “the glory of our Christian profession lies in our business on earth resembling the work which the Father gave to Christ to do; but how unfavorable to this is the profession of arms! Rather, how totally incompatible with it! Christianity says, love your enemies ; the maxims of statesmen say, kill them off. Christ says, resist not evil; the statesman says, fight, and leave the reasons to me.—What a shocking sight to tie a handkerchief over a man's eyes, and tell him to shoot in the crowd at persons whom he never saw, a company of fathers, sons, brothers; but, more than this, a company of men who have to live forever in happiness or misery, and every bullet perhaps sends a man to hell. Either our religion is a fable, or there are unanswerable arguments, (urged, it is true, till they are stale enough,) against war, and the profession of arms. Thor shalt do no murder. One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero.' Where? At the bar of God? I trow not. Satan was a murderer from the beginning, a kind of hero reigning in hell.
Judson, the Apostle of Burmah, says, “I hail the establishment of peace societies as one of the most auspicious signs of the present eventful era, and regard them as combining with Bible and missionary societies to form that three-fold cord which will ultimately bind all the families of man in universal peace and love. Since war has been universally advocated and applauded, it appears to me that it is not optional with any to remain neutral or silent on this great question ; since, thus remaining, they must be considered as belonging of course to the war party. Notwithstanding, therefore, I am a missionary, I have for some time determined to make whatever efforts were necessary to comply with the dictates of conscience, and wash my hands of the blood that is shed in war. I regret that I have so long delayed to enter my protest against this practice by some overt act; a measure which appears, in the present state of things, the indispensable duty of every Christian.
PRESBYTERIANS.-Dr. Macleod. War is a school of vice, a nursery of debauchery. By it cities are sacked, and countries laid waste. The dearest ties of kindred are unloosed; fathers made childless, children fatherless, and wives converted into widows. What more cruel, and less congenial with the spirit of the gospel?
Dr. Beman. The character of war is not less incompatible with the genius of the gospel, and an advanced stage of intellectual refinement, than that of despotism or slavery. It is a relict of barbarism which would long since have disappeared from human society, had the laws of nations kept pace with the positive statutes which govern the political and social compact. With two guardian angels, Christianity on my right hand, and Science on my left,—methinks I am conducted to an eminence from which I survey y the surrounding and subjected world. The freshness of Eden covers the scene, and the smile of heaven gilds the prospect. The trumpet of carnage is blown no more; nor does the crimson flag ever again unfurl itself to the breeze. The demon of vengeance, ever hungry for human flesh, is chained, and commissioned no more to imprint his bloody footsteps upon the earth; nor do the sighing zephyrs ever again waft the death-groans of murdered victims. The ensanguined field is no more covered with the mangled bodies of the slain; nor do the broad streams of blood ever again pursue their dark, and deep, and melancholy course amidst the shouts of victory, and the agonies of despair. The wife is no more hastened into widowhood, nor her babes consigned to orphanage. The bow of victory is broken, the spear of death is cut asunder, and the chariot of conquest is burned in the fire. This is a consummation devoutly to be sought; an enterprise which may well command our most vigorous efforts while we live, and the successful termination of which will deserve to be perpetuated by a monument as high as heaven.
CONGREGATIONALISTS.-Dr. Dwight. War has prevailed in every age, and through every country; and in all it has waded through human blood, trampled on human corpses, and laid waste the fields and dwellings, the happiness and the hopes of mankind. It has been employed to empty earth, and people hell, to make angels weep, and fiends triumph over the deplorable guilt and debasement of the human character. We slaughter thousands and millions in war, and then plant laurels amid the bones, and nourish them with the blood of those whom we have destroyed. Yet, to men of such characters, statues are erected, nay, temples have been built, and altars have smoked with victims. To them the page of the historian, and the harp of the poet are consecrated. To their praise the sculptor bids the marble breathe, and the painter teaches the canvass to glow. They live in palaces, and are entombed in mausoleums.
Dr. Appleton. If the sufferings of the soldier are great in the camp, they are terrible in the field. I can hardly imagine a scene more dreadful than that which is subsequent to the hour of battle. Suppose yourself in a hospital crowded with the wounded and the dying. Here one limb ha been shattered, another severed from the body. Here some part of the body itself has been pierced through, or still retains the weapon which inflicted the wound. In that corner you behold a wretch with his head lacerated, his jaws fractured, or an eye dislocated. In another you see those whom want of reason renders unconscious of their state, or those who are frantic, and perhaps blaspheming under the intolerable severity of their anguish. Here is one impatient for the knife and the tourniquet, from ă conviction that his present pains cannot be augmented. There is one shrieking under operations more painful than the malady they are designed to assuage.
Look now at the condition of the common inhabitants in a counby where contending armnes are stationed. The regular pursuits of life must be interrupted or abandoned. Honor, property and life itself are at the mercy of those whom no earthly power is able to control, and who perhaps will acknowledge no law but their own wants and passions. Children and females, the aged and the feeble, find themselves surrounded by every terror, and exposed to every indignity. Ferocious troops are quartered in houses which had been the abodes of wealth, taste and domestic enjoyment. The owners, if not arrested, are constrained to witness these ravages without complaint, and compelled to become the slaves of those by whom they are impoverished. Churches and public edifices are converted into barracks; rich gardens are plundered and laid waste; and harvests are consumed in a day to give fora ge to à devouring cavalry. All enclosures are made common; flocks and herds are slaughtered and consumed; wardrobes are despciled, and store-houses exhausted. Do not Christian nations, then, worship an idol more savage and hideous than the Moloch of the Hindoos?
Dr. Payson. War is surrounded by a deceitful lustre. The monster, unveiled in all his deformity, is seen steeped from head to foot in human gore, gorging his insatiable maw with the yet quivering limbs of mangled victims, and feasting his ears with the wailings of disconsolate widows and helpless orphans; while the flash of cannon, the glare of bombs, and the red blaze of cities wrapt in conflagration, furnish the only light which illuminates his horrid banquet. Such is the idol whom the votaries of war adore; such the Moloch on whose altars men have exultingly sacrificed, not hecatombs of beasts, but millions of their fellow creatures; on whose blood-thirsty worshippers beauty has lavished her smiles, and genius its eulogies; whose horrid triumphs, fit only to be celebrated in the infernal world, painters and sculptors, poets and historians, have combined to surround with a blaze of immortal glory.
But let the monster's hideous form be exposed in its true colors; and it will be an honor to Christianity, a powerful argument in her favor, to be known as his most decided and successful foe. To accomplish this work, to place before men in naked deformity the idol they have so long ignorantly worshipped in disguise, and thus turn against him the powerful current of public opinion, is the great object of the associated friends of peace. Nor is it easy to conceive how any one who believes the Scriptures, and professes to be a disciple of the Prince of Peace, or a friend to the human race, can justify himself in withholding his aid from a cause so evidently the cause of God. Who would not wish to share this honor ? After the glorious victory shall have been won, after wars shall have been made to cease under the whole heaven, who will not then wish to have been among the few that first unfurled the consecrated banner of peace?
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.