« PreviousContinue »
gent; the view of future melioration rouses his energy, sloth is shaken off, self-denial practised, and active enterprises undertaken, which ultimately lead to exertions and privations for the good of others. Naturally, man is ambitious and despotic; how seldom is the person seen, who does not love to rule ; but civilization again has induced a general respect for equal rights, and the thrones of despotism are fast sinking before the rising claims of universal freedom.
Now, enlightened interest, justice and humanity, all plead strongly for the abolition of war. They call on man to modify his nature for peace, as he has done for other blessings. Christianity enforces this demand with higher authority, and still more imposing motives; and, if his animal nature has given way before weaker impulses for other objects, there can be no reason to despair of a conquest over it in this case, when all the lights of reason, humanity and religion are made to bear upon it, and in full view, all the horrors, depravities and sufferings of war, and the rich blessings of unbroken peace, are duly presented and appreciated.
If it is still objected that these reasonings are merely theoretical, and ought to be sustained by facts, the reply is, that ultimate facts are, from the nature of the case, future; but the progress already made in this cause is a full warrant of its practicability. This progress is seen in the collected testimonies of the most eminent statesm in in Europe and America to their desire and expectation of ur .versal peace. It is seen in the altered tone of the literary and political press, now ever deprecating war; in the evident reluctance of civilized governments to this cruel resort, so that irritating collisions, which formerly would have kindled immediate hostility, are now (1845) settled by compromise, and in the consequent prevalence of peace for the lasť thirty years; but above all in the fact that proposals made for arbitration or a permanent Congress to settle international disputes, are every where received with favor, both by rulers and people, and believed by many to be safe and adequate substitutes for the dreadful appeal to the sword. And these circumstances may be all traced to the action of the associated friends of peace.
These replies are offered to the consideration of intelligent men, who entertain the objections stated. To the confiding Christian who relies on the revealed will of God, a decisive answer can be made to every discouraging argument. God has, by his prophets, declared there shall be a reign of universal peace, when men shall beat their swords into plough-shares, their spears into pruninghooks, and shall learn war no more. Christ has enjoined, with peculiar emphasis and repetition, thạt forbearing love from which peace must necessarily result. These predictions and injunctions are the warrant of the peace-makers. Fortified with these, they are assured they shall not labor in vain; they see in them certain pledges of divine assistance, and ultimate success.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
SUBSTITUTES FOR WAR.
War is now tolerated only as a necessary evil; but there is in truth no more necessity for it than there is for duelling, the slave-trade, or any other species of folly or crime. comes solely from the wrong choice of men; that choice may be changed; and whenever it shall be, nations, like individuals, will find other methods for the settlement of their disputes, far better than the sword for all purposes of protection and redress.
I. The first substitute, then, would be NEGOTIATION. So long as nations keep cool and kind enough to adjust their own difficulties, this method is decidedly the best of all. If the code of national honor did not goad them at once into blood; if they made the sword really their last resort, instead of their first; if popular sentiment should always hold them back from conflict till mutual forbearance, explanation and concession nad exhausted their utmost power, this expedient alone would, in nine
cases out of ten, prevent an appeal to arms. II. Should this expedient fail, our next resort would be to ARBITRATION; a substitute adopted when the parties are unable to adjust their own difficulties, or prefer the decision of an umpire mutually chosen. Better for the parties to agree among themselves, if they can; but, if they cannot, we wish nations in every case to settle their disputes as individuals do theirs, by some mode of reference.
We urge this as an established, permanent principle. Nations should, in accordance with the recommendation of the First General Peace Convention in London, 1843, incorporate in every treaty a clause binding the parties to adjust whatever differences may arise between them, not by the sword, but by reference to umpires mutually chosen, and agree to abide by their decision, and to claim, if dissatisfied, only the privilege of renewing or changing the reference.
To such a substitute, what objection can be urged? It relinquishes no right; it sacrifices no interest; it would startle few, if any prejudices; it can offend neither the strong nor the moderate peace-man, neither the Quaker nor the warrior ; it is adapted to the present state of the world, and consistent alike with the precepts of Christianity, and the dictates of sound policy; a measure level to the comprehension of all, and commending itself to their common sense as simple,
SUBSTITUTES 70 WAR.
Surely not the sword; but some one of the sustitutes ve have proposed. War settle disputes! Never. The parties invariably sacath the sword before they iream of a settie ment, und nen despatca, zot men of biood to igot, jut men of peace, pienipotentiaries, to negouate. And why not io this bejne igating, and nus poviate ail necessity of var? We had a controversy with England about our north-eastern boundary; and, lrad we zone to war, wouid that lave settled the dispute : No; it would only have aggravated its diriculties. There is no logic in bullets and bomo-sheils; the buteuery of Düllices on the disputed territory coud mot lave thrown i single ray of new igat on the points in controversy; and, after wasting myriads of Teasure, and spending oceans of blood, we suculd have been onged to empioy for the inal acjustment ine very saine pacific means that munt lave been used even more successtully before the war than aiter it.
* True, I the parties were wiwing: but can you make them willing before they have fougat awule?-Yes, we couid, if we would; but how little effort is made for peace in comparison with vhat must be for war? Voiwo nations couid vegin a war in earnest without sacrificing, in one way and another, scores of mons; but a tenth or even lunareath part as much, if wiseiy spent in the use of moral means for the purpuse, would form such a puòlic sentiment, chat no power on earth could goau ne parties into consiict.-Unwilling for a peacefui adjustment.-who is unwilling? Am I? Are you? We resent the c!iarge; and, shouid you go through both countries, you would ini scarce a man that would not prosess to be equally anxious for a bloouless issue of the dispute.
• Perilaps the propie are wuiing; but the ruers are not. – Ruiers not wiling:-why not? Because the people do not Cail loud enough for a peacefut settlement. Rulers will generally go either for peace or for war, just as the people go; they can, if they wil, settie their disputes without war, quite as well as individuais can theirs without dueis; they will do so, whenever the people snali come every where to demand it aright; the people will thus demanı it, whenever they shail be daiy enlightened on the subject; and hence do we urge the pulpit and the press, every sect in reilgion, and every party in politics, ail Christians, philanthropists and patriots, to unite in siling every community with such an abhorrence of war, and such strong desires ior peace, as shail hereafter constrain rulers to employ pacific expedients alone for the settlement of all national disputes.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS
AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR WAR.
ADDRESSED ESPECIALLY TO RULERS.
The evils of war are coming to be more generally known, and more deeply felt than in ages past. Its suspension or derangement of business ;—its havoc of life and property ;—its crippling of agriculture, manufactures, and the various arts that minister to individual and national prosperity ;—the obstructions it opposes to commerce, to travel, and every kind of useful intercourse between nations ;—its baneful influence on morality and religion, on the cause of liberty and popular improvement, on the various enterprises now in progress for the welfare and redemption of our whole race, on the dearest interests of mankind for time and eternity ; all these and many other results of this custom are rapidly conspiring more and more to make every good man deplore it as a terrible scourge, and earnestly desire its speedy, universal abolition.
Such views are no longer confined to peace societies ; but the mass of the people, wherever enlightened on the subject, and free to utter their sentiments, are beginning to call for peace. It is fast becoming the popular demand of the
age, the cry of millions sighing for relief. They begin to discover in war the source of their worst evils. It is the origin and support of the tyranny that rules them with a rod of iron; its'enormous burdens have long been grinding them into the dust all over the old world; the war-debts of Europe alone, secured by niortgage upon their bones and sinews, exceed by far the entire amount of specie now on the globe; more than four-fifths of all their taxes go to pay the interest on these debts, and to maintain even in peace some three millions of standing warriors as moths on the community; and, when they remember how many centuries this monster has revelled in their blood, and how often it has plundered and burnt their cities, and laid waste their villages, and trampled down their harvests, and desolated their peaceful homes, and butchered their sons upon the battle-field, and subjected their wives and daughters to a fate still more deplorable, can we wonder, that the people, always the chief sufferers from war, are at length demanding of their rulers to obviate its alleged necessity by the adoption of other means than the sword for the settlement of national disputes ?
ARBITRATION, AS A
It is a
Nor is this demand unreasonable. Rulers could, if they would, adjust their difficulties, and regulate the entire intercourse of nations, without war. There is no real need of this custom; and, were they so disposed, they could supersede it at once and forever by substitutes far better than lead and steel. They compel the people to settle their quarrels without bloodshed; and we see not with what sort of consistency they can require or permit the wholesale butchery of their subjects in war for the adjustment of differences in which the combatants themselves have no personal concern. cruel outrage upon the people, as well as a bitter mockery of common sense; and it is quite time this foul stain were wiped from the escutcheon of Christendom forever.
And can it not be done? Yes, with ease and safety. Do you ask how? We might suggest a variety of feasible and efficient methods; but we now restrict ourselves to one which relinquishes no right, and sacrifices no interest, contravenes no important principle, and startles few, if any prejudices; a measure adapted to the present state of the world, and consistent with the precepts of Christianity, and the dictates of sound policy; a measure level to the comprehension of all, and commending itself to their common sense ; simple, practicable, and likely to prove successful. It is ARBITRATJON AS a recognized substitute for war. Better to agree among themselves, if they can, without the intervention of a third party ; but, if they cannot, we wish nations in every case to settle their difficulties, as individuals in society do theirs, by some form of reference. The method we propose has been occasionally employed; but we urge its adoption as an established, permanent principle. We would have nations incorporate in every treaty a clause binding the parties, as their last resort, to adjust whatever differences may arise between them, not by an appeal to arms, but by reference to umpires mutually chosen. The arrangements for this purpose might safely be left in every case to the contracting parties; but they should invariably bind themselves in good faith to abide by the decision of their referees, and claim, if dissatisfied, only the privilege of renewing or changing the reference.
Here is the outline of our plan. It speaks for itself, and may seem too clear to require either argument or illustration. Common sense decides, that no man should be allowed to judge in his own case; and this principle is quite as applicable to communities as to individuals. The former, equally liable to all the influences that bias the judgment, and lead to wrong conclusions, should never be permitted, any more than individuals, to act as witness, jury and judge in their own