« PreviousContinue »
before, I knew not—possibly love strong as death ; love, guilty, abandoned, linked by vice unto misery, but still love that perished only with the last throb, and yearned in its last convulsion towards some one of these grim dead bodies.
* Near this corpse lay that of a perfect boy not more than seventeen years of age. Round his neck was suspended, by a chain of hair, a little copper figure of the Virgin Mary, and in his hand was a letter in French. I glanced at it, and read enough to know it was from a mother-My dear Son, &c. It was a terrible place to think of mother-of home-of any social, any human ties. What! have these ghastly things parents, brothers, sisters, lovers ? Were they once all happy in peaceful homes? Did these convulsed, bloody, mangled bodies ever lie in undisturbed beds? Did these clutched hands once press in infancy a mother's breast ? Now, alas, how loathsome, terrible, ghostlikė! Will such creatures, thought I, ever live again? Robbers, ravishers, incendiaries, murderers, suicides—a dragoon there had obviously blown out his own brains-here is a very pandemonium of guilt and horror!'
Such are the illustrations of war in the heart of Christendom itself at the dawn of the nineteenth century! Are they like the gospel-like its spirit, its principles, its promised results ? Are such woes, such atrocities and horrors necessary, inevitable ? Must they continue even in Christendom forever? Need they ever be repeated again under the blessed light of revelation ? Is there not power in the gospel, God's own panacea for all human ills, to prevent it? Most certainly; and all we need is a right application of its pacific principles. Here is a sovereign remedy for war; but, like every other remedy, it must be applied before it can cure, and it is the business of Christians to apply it wherever the evil is found. Who else will make the application ? Has not the Prince of Peace devolved this duty upon them as peculiarly, emphatically their own ? Will they not then array themselves as one man against a sin so foul, a scourge so terrible? Are you willing that such evils should ever befall your country, and your own father or brothers, your own husband or sors, should be doomed to similar cruelties and sufferings? If not, gird yourself in earnest for the work of putting an end to war first in Christendom, and finally through the world. Means are just as indispensable in this cause as in any other; but, if used aright, the God of Peace is pledged to crown them in due time with complete success.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
SAFETY OF PACIFIC PRINCIPLES.
THERE are two ways to keep men from injuring us—by compulsion, or persuasion ; by brute force, or kind moral influence; by appeals to their fears alone, or addresses to their conscience and better feelings. We may resort to the law of violence, or the law of love; we may rely on the principle of war, or the principle of peace. One threatens, the other persuades; one hates and curses, the other loves and blesses ; the former gives back insult and injury with interest, while the latter meekly turns the other cheek to the suniter, forgives even its bitterest enemies, and strives to overcome evil only with good.
No man, at all acquainted with the gospel, needs to be told which of these methods is most accordant with its principles. The bare statement must suffice for any one who has read either the New Testament or the Old; who has traced the example of Christ and his Apostles, or caught from their lips such instructions as these,—lay aside all malice ; do good unto all men ; love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and do good to them that despitefully use you ; resist not evil, but whoso smiteth you on one cheek, turn to him the other also ; recompense to no man evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.
Here is the Christian mode of preventing or curing evils; but most persons deem it unsafe, and resort to some form of violence. They have little confidence in the power of reason or truth, of justice or kindness, to hold in check the bad passions of mankind; but employ for this purpose threats of evil, and engines of vengeance and death. Fear they seem to regard as the only effectual restraint upon mischief or guilt; and hence they arm themselves with pistols and daggers against their personal foes, and think it madness for nations to rely for protection, one against another, on any thing but fleets and armies, a soldiery well trained, and fortifications well manned. Milder means, appeals to the better feelings of our nature, they would not entirely discard; but the former they make their last resort, their sole reliance, and honestly believe that war is the only sure way to peace; that there is no real security but in bloodshed; that we must either fight, or become the pre of malice or ambition, of rapacity or revenge. Nor can we deny that the history of our world, written mainly in blood, and detailing a series of almost incessant jealousies and conflicts between nations, would seem to justify such an opinion; and yet we verily believe that pacific principles are the surest safeguard, and would, if rightly used, suffice, far better than any war-methods, to avert or mitigate the evils incident from bad vassions to individual or national intercourse.
******in the greixo quant in dispute. The question
ryn oppåtats 14.10 any measures of forbear
"Toimenim will, in very ruse, avert all evil. tromberg torpeszbe the one It is moraily im
*747 ore *13**** hit the prey of man, or the wis
Post Postkontr *************4 in speuring such a result *oplo Heega tempo IV****** Aries the earth for nearly SIX
1.4t bogen t keripan from preving imon nis.
********* nation: las i terenieri ***********************, pression, despois.. the
menih tidan naririhe sun, that I +**** Wirts he hai. "SIS I
ܕ ܐܟ ܕܬܟܐ
policy unusually pacific. They have professedly acted only on the defensive; they have betrayed few, if any wishes for aggression or conquest; they have kept up no fleets or armies sufficient to intimidate or provoke their neighbors; they have been respectful, courteous and conciliatory in their intercourse with other nations, and relied mainly on their own character, and the force of reason and justice, the vindication their rights, and the redress of their wrongs. What is the result? No nations on earth have ever been so exempt from aggression, injury and insult; and, if the partial adoption of our principles has been so successful, would not their full application be still more so ?
Let us dwell a little on cases like these. Rome, while under her warlike kings, kept a great part of Italy in arms against her ; but Numa, changing this policy, turned his people from the pursuits of war to the arts of peace, quelled the dissensions among themselves, and cultivated a friendly intercourse with the nations around them. Their neighbors, astonished at the change, threw aside their arms, hailed the Romans as friends, and lived in peace with them so long as they continued this new policy.—So of the Chinese. Disinclined to war, and nearly destitute of military resources, still what nation has suffered fewer invasions of its soil or its rights ?-Look at Switzerland. For more than five centuries has she, with very few and brief exceptions, been at peace with her neighbors. While the flames of war have raged all around her, she has remained quiet upon her mountains, tilled her rugged soil
, and reaped the fruits of her industry and pacific policy in the enjoyment of health, competence and domestic happi
Nor is this owing to her Alpine position, to the bravery of her sons, or the peculiar form of her government; for there is nothing in all these to shield her against the assaults of any power disposed to invade her territory. It would have been very easy for neighboring states to conquer Switzerland; and yet she remains unmolested, a republic free and flourishing in the midst of surrounding despotisms. Why? Not because she has any formidable power, but because she pursues a pacific policy. She betrays no ambition to enlarge her territory, seeks only security within her own limits, and is scrupulously upright, honorable and conciliatory in her intercourse with other nations. She aims to give no just ground for offence; and, when complaints arise, she holds herself
ready to meet every fair and equitable claim for redress. Her policy and her character are the bulwarks of her defence, almost the only pledges of her safety.--Here, too, is the secret of our own security. More than sixty years have elapsed since our independence was acknowledged by Great Britain; and during all this time no invader, except when provoked by the hostilities we had ourselves begun, has set foot upon our soil; nor has there been any real need of drawing the sword to secure from other nations a proper respect for our rights, or an equitable redress for our wrongs. Yet has our policy ever been essentially and eminently pacific. We have had the merest handful of men
for a standing army ; our navy too, though in high repute for its skill and bravery, has always been comparatively small; and in all our intercourse with other nations, we have relied almost entirely on the excellence of our principles, and the justice of our cause. We have doubtless experienced occasional injury, and some delays of justice; but we have suffered as little as any other people in the saine ume, and far less than we should from an opposite policy.
An example still more striking is found in the commonwealth of San Marino. This little republic in Italy, the smallest independent state in Europe, covers, on a single mountain and two adjoining hills, some thirty square miles, and contains in its capital, and four villages, only 7000 inhabitants. Yet has this petty republic existed, very much in its present form, more than thirteen centuries. The thunderbolts of war have fallen thick but harmless around it; other republics, proud of their military strength, have been swept from the earth; Italy has repeatedly been covered with armies, and drenched in blood; thrones have crumbled, and dynasties perished, and all Europe been shaken to its centre by political convulsions; yet San Marino, strong in its very weakness, and safe mainly by its reliance on a pacific policy, has remained without harm or assault. It claims the right of violent defence, but provides few means for the purpose, and none sufficient to deter or provoke its neighbors. How shall we account for its long and perfect safety? No state is too poor for the clutches of avarice, none too small for the grasp of ambition; and but for its pacific policy, and the indelible disgrace of assailing a community so defenceless, San Marino would long since have been merged in some neighboring nation.
Such are the results of peace principles partially applied ; and would not their full application be still more successful ? Such a conclusion, indeed, might well seem almost self-evident; but let us proceed to prove it, first from the promised protection of heaven, next from the natural tendency of such principles, and finally from the history of their actual influence.
God, then, has promised protection to those who act on the pacific principles of his gospel. Here is security enough. It is always safe to do right; and no man, or body of men, ever did their duty, and trusted God in vain. It may have seemed otherwise for a time; but it was not in vain, nor ever can be. History is full of proofs on this point; and if God has made it the duty of nations in their intercourse to put in practice the principles of peace, then may they do so
full confidence of his protection. His promises insure their safety. “ If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good ? When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." Both the New Testament and the Old are replete with promises of divine protection to those who obey and trust God; and ever will the