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bowed before them. At this moment the larger portion of mankind are Heathen ; but Heathenism is not true. It was once the practice of nations to slaughter prisoners of war; but even the spirit of war recoils now from this bloody sacrifice. In Sparta, theft, instead of being execrated as a crime, was dignified into an art and an accomplishment, and as such admitted into the system of youthful education; and even this debasing practice, established by local feeling, is enlightened, like war, by an instance of unconquerable firmness, which is a barbaric counterfeit of virtue. The Spartan youth, who allowed the fox concealed under his robe to eat into his heart, is an example of mistaken fortitude, not unlike that which we are asked to admire in the soldier.
But it is often said, “let us not be wiser than our fathers.” Rather let us try to excel our fathers in wisdom. Let us imitate what in then was good; but let us not bind ourselves, as in the chains of Fate, by their imperfect example. Examples are to be folkowed only when they accord with the suggestions of duty. We have lived to little purpose, if we are not wiser than the generations that have gone before us. It is the grand distinction of man that ke is a progressive being ; that his reason at the present day is not merely the reason of a single human being, but that of the whole human race, in all ages from which knowledge has descended, in all lands from which it has been borne away. We are the heirs to an inheritance of knowledge, which has been accumulating from generation to generation. The child is now taught at his mother's knee what was far beyond the ken of the most learned of other days. Antiquity is the real infancy of man; we are the true Ancients. The single lock on the battered forehead of Old Time, is thinner now than when our fathers attempted to grasp it; the hourglass has been turned often since. Let us cease, then, to look for a lamp to our feet, in the feeble tapers that glimmer in the sepulchres of the Past. Rather let us hail those ever-burning lights above, in whose beams is the brightness of noon-day!
3. I allude with diffidence, but in the spirit of frankness, to the influence which war has derived from the Christian Churche When Constantine on one of his marches, at the head of his army, bebeld the luminous trophy of the cross in the sky right above the meridian sun, inscribed with these words, By this conquer, had his soul been penetrated by the true spirit of Him whose precious symbol it was, he would have found in it no inspiration to the spear and the sword. He would have received the lesson of selfsacrifice, as from the lips of the Savior, and would have learned that it was not by earthly weapons that any true victory was to be won. By this conquer ; that is, by patience, suffering, forgiveness of evil, by all those virtues of which the cross is the affecting token, conquer ; and the victory shall be greater than any in the annals of Roman conquest.
The Christian Church, after the first centuries of its existence, failed to discern the peculiar spiritual beauty of the faith which it professed. Like Constantine, it found new incentives to war in the religion of Peace; and such to a great extent has been its
Tiure i tuon flotting in this barbes a shop of the line of our emitery. Many of you buye, wrazin, pruumide its deck, and ob**rved woh nduwtum the couplerents which prezana ja all its Inte, ta litho matx, and custom wt-work of ropeis; its thick werwens wnily, within which are urme than two, w piezwen of Cymus; na strong defew.st, and its mornua dread and nude-ih-s-d ongines of war. These auch by shoboth, amulet this arimanent of blood, while the wave cones y«tly plantiag against the frowsing sides, from a pulpit supported by a canon, or by the side of a casinon, in repime now, but ready to awake na derinant throuler, charged with death, a Christian preacher address the officers and crew! Muy lue in tractions carry strength and succor to buir souls ! But he cannot pronunce in such a place, theme highest words of the Momor ho professen, " Blousod are the Peace-makers ; Love your Enemies; Render not evil for evil.” Like Blachouli's Amer, they must stick in his thront. This strange and publessed conJunction of the cloruy with war, hans had no little influence in blinding the world to the truth now beginning to be reconized, that Chrimtianity forbida war in all cuses.
One of the bonutiful pictures, adorning the dome of a Church in Rome, by that master of urt, whore immortal colors breathe as with the voice of a Poot, tho Divine Raffaelle, represents Mars, in the attitude of war, with u. drawn sword uplified, and ready to strike, whilo an unarmed Angel from behind, with gentle but irrosistiblo forco, arrosts and holds the descending arm. Such is the true image of Christian duty; nor can I readily perceive the difference in principle between those ministers of the Gospel, who themselves gird on the sword, as in the olden time, and those others who, unarmed, and in customary suit of solemn black, lend the sanction of their presence to the martial array, or to any form of preparation for war. The drummer who pleaded that he did not fight, was held more responsible for the battle than the mere soldier; for it was the sound of his drum that inflamed the flagging courage of the troops.
4. From the prejudices engendered by the Church, I pass to the prejudices engendered by the army itself. I allude directly to what is called the point of honor, early child of chivalry, the living representative in our day of an age of barbarisrn. It is difficult to define what is so evanescent, so impalpable, so chimerical, so unreal; and yet which exercises such power over many men, and controls the relations of states. As a little water which has fallen into the crevice of a rock, under the congelation of winter swells till it bursts the thick and stony fibres; so a word, or a slender act, dropping into the heart of man, under the hardening influence of this pernicious sentiment, dilates till it rends in pieces the sacred depository of human affections, while Hate and the demon Strife, no longer restrained, are let loose abroad. The musing Hamlet saw the strange and unnatural power of this sentiment, when his soul pictured to his contemplations
the army of such mass and charge,
Even for an egg-shell; and when he says, with a point which has given to this sentiment its strongest and most popular expression,
-Rightly to be great
When honor's at the stake. And when is honor at stake ? Only where justice and happiness are at stake ; it can never depend on an egg-shell
, or a straw; it can never depend on an impotent word of anger or folly, not even if that word be followed by a blow. In fine, true honor is to be found in the highest moral and intellectual excellence, in the dignity of the human soul, in its nearest approach to those qualities which we reverence as the attributes of God. Our community frowns with indignation upon the profaneness of the duel which has its rise in this irrational point of honor; but are they aware that they themselves indulge the sentiment on a gigantic scale, when they recognize what is called the honor of the country, as a proper ground for war? We have already seen that justice is in no respect promoted by war; is true honor promoted where justice is not?
But the very word honor, as used by the world, does not express any elevated sentiment. How infinitely below the sentiment of duty!
It is a word of easy virtue, that has been prostituted to the most opposite characters and transactions. From the field of Pavia, where France suffered one of the greatest reverses in her annals, Francis writes to his mother, “all is lost except honor." At a later day, the renowned cook, the grand Vatel, in a paroxysm of grief and mortification at the failure of two dishes expected on the table, exclaimed, “ I have lost my honor.” Montesquieu places it in direct contrast with virtue. He represents what he calls the prejudice of honor as the animating principle of monarchy, while virtue is that of a republic, saying that in well governed monarchies almost every body will be a good citizen, but it will be rare to meet with a really good man. By an instinct that points to the truth, we do not apply this term to the high columnar virtues which sustain and decorate life, to parental affection, to justice, to the attributes of God. We do not speak of an honorable father, an honorable mother, an honorable judge, an honorable angel, an honorable God. In such sacred connections we feel, beyond the force of any argument, the vulgar and debasing character of the sentiment to which it refers.
The degrading rule of honor is founded in the supposed necessity of resenting by force a supposed injury, whether by word
But suppose such an injury is received, sullying, as is falsely imagined, the character; is it wiped away by descending to the brutal level of its author ? “ Could I wipe your blood from my conscience as easily as I can this insult from my face," said a Marshal of France, greater on this occasion than on any field of fame, “I would have laid you dead at my feet.” It is Plato, reporting the angelic wisdom of Socrates, who declares in one of those beautiful dialogues, which shine with stellar light across the ages, that it is more shameful to do a wrong than to receive a wrong. And this benign sentiment commends itself alike to the Christian who is told to render good for evil, and to the universal heart of man. But who that confesses its truth, can vindicate a resort to force for the sake of honor ? Better far to receive the blow that a false morality has thought degrading, than that it should be revenged by force. ' Better that a nation should submit to what is wrong, rather than vainly seek to maintain its honor by the great crime of war.
The modern point of honor does not find a place in warlike antiquity. Themistocles at Salamis did not send a cartel to the Spartan commander, when threatened by a blow. “Strike, but hear," was the response of that firm nature which felt that true honor was to be gained only in the performance of duty. It was in the depths of modern barbarism, in the age of chivalry, that this sentiment shot up in the wildest and most exuberant fancies ; not a step was taken without reference to it; no act was done which had not some point tending to “the bewitching duel," and every stage in the combat, from the ceremonies of its beginning to its deadly close, were measured by this fantastic law. The Chevalier Bayard, the cynosure of chivalry, the knight without fear, and without reproach, in a contest with the Spaniard Don Alonzo de Soto
Mayor, by a feint struck him such a blow in the throat, that despite the gorget, the weapon penetrated four fingers deep. The wounded Spaniard grasped his adversary, and, struggling with him, they both roiled on the ground, when Bayard, drawing his dagger, and thrusting its point in the nostrils of the Spaniard, exclaimed, “ Senor Alonzo, surrender, or you are a dead man!” A speech which appeared superfluous, as Don Diego de Guignones, his second, exclaimed, " Senor Bayard, he is dead; you have conquered.” Bayard, says the chronicler, would have given one hundred thousand crowns to spare his life; but, he now fell upon his knees, kissed the ground three times, and then dragged his dead enemy out of the camp, saying to the second of his fallen foe, “Senor Don Diego, have I done enough ?” To which the other piteously replied, "too much, Senor, for the honor of Spain!” when Bayard very generously presented him with the corpse, although it was his right, by the laws of honor, to do whatever he thought proper with it; an act which is highly commended by Brantome, who thinks it difficult to say which did him most honor—not having ignominiously dragged the body like the carcass of a dog by a leg out of the field, or having condescended to fight while laboring under an ague!
Let us not draw a great rule of conduct from such a period. Let the point of honor stay with the daggers, the swords and the weapons of combat, by which it was guarded ; let it appear only with its inseparable companions, the bowie-knife and the pistol ! Be ours a standard of conduct having its sources in the loftiest attributes of man, in truth, in justice, in duty; and may this standard, which governs our relations to each other, be recognized among the nations! When shall we behold the dawning of that happy day, harbinger of infinite happiness beyond, in which nations shall feel that it is better to receive a wrong than to do a wrong ?
5. There is still another influence which stimulates war, and interferes with the natural attractions of Peace; I refer to a selfish and exaggerated love of country. Our minds, nursed by the literature of antiquity, have imbibed the narrow sentiment of heathen patriotism. Exclusive love for the land of birth was a part of the religion of Greece and Rome. It is an indication of the lowness of their moral natures, that this sentiment was so exclusive. The beautiful genius of Cicero, at times instinct with truth almost divine, did not ascend to that highest heaven where is taught, that all mankind are neighbors and kindred, and that the relations of fellow-countryman are less holy than those of fellow-man. To the love of universal man may be applied those words by which the great Roman elevated his selfish patriotism to a virtue, when he said, that country alone embraced all the charities of all. Attach this admired phrase for a moment to the single idea of country; and you will see how contracted are its charities compared with the world-wide circle of Christian love whose neighbor is the suffering man, though at the farthest pole. Such a sentiment would dry up those fountains of benevolence which now diffuse themselves in precious waters in distant unenlightened lands, bearing the bless