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influences of war. In 1841 I visited a retired town in Massach 1setts, and examined the records of its only church for more than a century previous. No battle had been fought there; no army, scarce a recruiting officer had prowled over or near it; nor had the ordinary means of grace been interrupted more than is common even in a time of peace. Yet mark the result. From 1729 to 1744, fourteen years of peace, 149 were added to the church; an average of nearly eleven a year. From the beginning of the old French war to the close of our Revolution in 1783, some forty years of military excitement, there were only 77 additions ; less than two a year, or a diminution of more than five hundred per cent. from the previous period of peace. From 1810 to 1815, the time of our last war with two years of antecedent exasperation, only three persons were received into the church; one in a little less than two years! From 1830 to 1839 there were 183 additions; about nineteen a year, or an increase upon the last case of nearly four thousand per cent.! Thus we find the mere excitements of war diminishing the efficacy of essentially the same means, first more than 500 per cent., next some 2000 per cent., and finally almost 4000 per cent.; nor is it any exaggeration to say that war probably neutralizes four-fifths, if not nine-tenths of the saving power of the gospel !
How fearfully then must war tend to prevent the indispensable influences of God's Spirit. Vain without his blessing would be the labors of Paul or Gabriel; but will he succeed the instrumentality of those who breathe a war-spirit? Should all the churches in our land catch such a spirit, and cherish hatred instead of love, revenge in place of forgiveness, the entire cluster of war-passions, could they expect seasons of refreshing from the “ presence of the Lord ? ” Let the war-mania pervade this whole nation ; let the fierce, reckless strife of war-parties exasperate and convulse our entire population; let every city, every considerable village become a recruiting rendezvous with its riot, and revelry, and lust; let soldiers be quartered all over the country to trample on the Sabbath, indulge in drunkenness, debauchery, and every species of vice and villany; let our hills and valleys resound with the uproar of battle after battle, and twenty millions of people be lashed, like the chafed and wounded tiger, into rage and desperation; let ministers in the sanctuary, and pious women in their closets, while husbands and sons, fathers and brothers are far away on the battle-field hewing down the victims of their vengeance, beseech the Father of all to nerve the warrior's death-dealing arm, and give the weapons of blood their fullest effect in the slaughter of thousands upon thousands; and then, as reports of victory come, let shouts, and bonfires, and merry bells, and solemn processions, and fulsome eulogies, and songs of praise to the God of Peace, proclaim the wild outburst of joy from a whole people at a result so full of lamentation and wo for two worlds! Would the Spirit of God come to dwell amid such scenes ?
But I cannot linger on a point so revolting ; nor will I attempt to tell how this custom fosters ignorance, vice and crime ;-how it debases the understanding, and brutalizes more or less the whole inner man;-how it blinds or steels the mind to the truth of God ;how it sears or benumbs the conscience ;-how it turns the heart into adamant;-how it makes the soul proof against the best means of grace ;-how it gives rise or support to despotism, and slavery, and the slave-trade, and piracy, and robbery, and theft, and intemperance, and brutal licentiousness, and almost every form of sin you can well conceive.
How fast, then, must war ripen souls for perdition. It is a hotbed of wickedness, a vast, prolific nursery of hell. It is Satan's master-device for the ruin of immortal souls. It sweeps them into the bottomless pit by wholesale, by thousands and millions! It has, at one time or another, made the whole earth one vast slaughter-yard of souls!
On this point I wish there were more room for doubt; but if our Savior meant what he said in telling us we must repent or perish, must be born again, or never see the kingdom of God; if Paul was right in his solemn assurance, that “neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetoús, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” how impossible to suppose that any considerable number of warriors, the great mass of whom answer so notoriously to the characters here given, can ever enter the world of glory!
How vast, then, the immediate ruin of souls by war! Shall I remind you of 200,000 lives lost by England alone in our Revolutionary war; of 70,000 at Waterloo and Quatre Bras; of 80,000 at Borodino; of 300,000 at Arbela; of 400,000 by Julius Cæsar in a single engagement; of no less than 15,000,000 Goths destroyed by Justinian in twenty years; of 32,000,000 slain by Jenghiz-khan alone in forty-one years; in the wars of the Turks, 60,000,000; in those of the Tartars, 80,000,000! God only knows—I dare not conjecture-how many souls this custom may, in all past time, have sent into eternity, reeking with unforgiven guilt; for the estimate of Dr. Dick, the lowest I have ever seen, puts the sum total of its victims at 14,000,000,000, eighteen times as many as all the present population of our globe!
Disciples of the Prince of Peace, has this cause no special claims on you? If peace is as truly a part of your religion as repentance or faith; if it must prevail over the whole earth before the millennium can ever come ; if it is so essential to the success of the gospel in Christian lands, and to its spread and triumph through the world; if the salvation of souls is an object for which God gave up his own Son to the manger and the cross, provided all the means of grace, and required his people to pray, and toil, and be willing even to suffer and die ; if war has ever been such a wholesale destroyer of souls, and done so much to prevent their conversion both at home and abroad; will the sons and daughters of the God of Peace, can you refuse to such a cause as this your cheerful, zealous, efficient support?
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
WAR AND THE HEARTH,
THE INFLUENCE OF WAR ON DOMESTIC HAPPINESS.
The custom of war, hostile to all the interests of mankind, is peculiarly fatal to domestic happiness. It forbids marriage to its agents, and thus prevents the rise of families among them, as incompatible with their vagrant trade of blood. It disregards and rudely sunders the bonds of home. To raise its armies, and man its fleets, it takes the brother from his sisters, and the son from his parents, the husband from his wife, and the father from his children; nor can its operations be carried on without a wide and fearful amount of misery not only to families residing in the midst of its ravages, but to a still greater number connected with its victims by ties of kindred or affection. The single battle of Waterloo called forth wailings of domestic grief from a whole continent; nor can the slightest victory be won without sending a thrill of anguish unknown through the heart of two nations.
Just imagine the process of manning a fleet or an army. It is indispensable to the war-system, that rulers should have authority to force into their service as many of their subjects as they please, by any process which they may deem necessary or expedient. In some countries, they call first for volunteers; yet most of these are obtained by false representations, or the use of intoxicating drinks. The beardless boy, the thriftless husband, the reckless, desperate adventurer, bereft of reason by the maddening bowl, are coaxed to the fatal pledge, and then hurried away from home and friends to the camp or the war-ship, and forced into the work of human butchery as the business of their life. Most commonly, however, the ranks of war are filled by some species of compulsion. In England press-gangs, in a time of war, prowl around every seaport, to seize on any seaman, if not upon any landsman, they may chance to find, and drag him, hand-cuffed and manacled, on board some war-ship. Not a poor man in the British empire is safe from this species of outrageous oppression; and yet has the practice been continued for so many ages as now to form a part of the common law of the land, and to be justified not only by popular leaders in Parliament, but by grave, upright judges, the brightest luminaries of English law, as indispensable to her war-system!
Nor is the process of procuring recruits on the continent of Europe less fatal to the peace and happiness of families. Its vast armies are raised mainly by conscription; a species of compulsion the practical workings of which are truly and touchingly sketched
P. T. NO. LII
by an Eng a son in the loving tale of a French prisone sbo
The main pens ; bot be bede grisei;
ITVA casi sis metai's grave, a les
For fitung and ime, that I may see,
And stretch myses, and die spon the grave." Of the heart-rending miseries incident to families from the progreas of war, I hardly know where to begin, or where to end the Illustrations furnished in all ages. Think of a siege or a battle, of a party of lawles, ruthless marauders, or the march of a brutal, exasperated array through a hostile or even a friendly country. • It is difficult, says an eye-witness, "for the inhabitants of a peaceful territory to conceive the miseries incident to the theatre of such a sanguinary contest as that between the French and the allied forces. While Napoleon, hemmed in on all sides, now menaced one of his foes, and now sprang furiously upon another, the scene of this desultory warfare was laid waste in the most mercilesy manner. The soldiers on both parts, driven to desperation, became reckless and pitiless; and, straggling from their columns in all directions, they committed every species of excess upon the people. The peasants, with their wives and children, fled to caves, quarries and woods, where the latter were starved to death, and the former, collecting into small bodies, increased the terrory of war by pillaging the convoys of both armies, attacking small parties of all nations, and cutting off the sick, the wounded, and the stragglers. The repeated advance and retreat of the contending armies exasperated these evils; for every fresh band of plunderers that arrived, was savagely eager after spoil in proportion as the gleaning became scarce. In the words of Scripture,
what the locust left, was devoured by the palmer-worm; what escaped the Baskirs, and Kirgas, and Croats of the Wolga, the Caspian, and Turkish frontier, was seized by the half-starved conscripts of Napoleon, whom want, hardship, and an embittered
spirit rendered as careless of the ties of country as the others were indifferent to the general claims of humanity. The towns and villages that were the scenes of actual conflict, were frequently burnt to the ground; and thus was the distress of the people vastly increased by extending the terrors of battle, with its accompaniments of slaughter, fire and famine, into the most remote and sequestered districts. Even the woods afforded no concealment, the churches no sanctuary ; nor did the grave itself protect the relics of mortality. The villages were every where burnt, the farms wasted and pillaged, the abodes of man, and all that belongs to peaceful industry and domestic comfort, desolated and destroyed to such a degree, that wolves and other savage animals increased fearfully in the districts thus laid waste by human hands, ferocious as their own.
Let me quote a few facts from the late wars of Europe. Every reader of history is familiar with the terrible assault of the republican forces upon Toulon. From the heights of Pharan they at length poured down such vollies of musketry and grape-shot, that the English and Spaniards who had come to the relief of the place, were compelled to retreat, and seek refuge in their ships. And now ensued a scene of overwhelming confusion and distress. The wretched inhabitants followed them in crowds to the beach, and implored their protection. Great efforts were made to convey as many as possible on board the ships ; numbers of miserable wretches vainly plunged for this purpose into the sea ; and others still left behind, shot themselves to avoid a more terrible death from their enraged assailants. Thus were the ships loaded with a heterogeneous mixture of different nations, with men, women and infants, with the sick of the hospitals, and mangled soldiers from their posts with their wounds undressed; while the whole harbor resounded with the cries of distraction and agony for husbands, wives and children left on shore. The scene was horrible beyond description, and rendered still more so by the flames of the city rapidly spreading in every direction, and blazing ships threatening every moment to explode, and blow all around into the air.
Glance at a specimen or two of the miseries inflicted by a retreating army. Murder and devastation,' says an eye-witness, marked the footsteps of the French in their retreat from Portugal; every house was a sepulohre, a cabin of horrors! In one small village, I counted seventeen dead bodies of men, women and children; and most of the houses were burnt to the ground. In a small town called Safrea, I saw twelve dead bodies lying in one house upon the floor; and every house contained traces of their wanton barbarity.' - Often were the ditches,' says another, Jiterally filled with clotted, coagulated blood, as with mire; the bodies of peasants, put to death like dogs, were lying there horribly mangled; little naked infants, only a year old or less, were found besmeared in the mud of the road, transfixed with bayonet wounds; and in one instance I myself saw a babe, not more than a month old, with the bayonet left still sticking in its neck!'
Let us listen to the tale of an English officer on the same ill