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MILITARY PREPARATIONS.

In civilized society all benevolent men profess to deprecate war, yet it is viewed by most as a necessary evil, an event which must inevitably occur, and therefore they deem it not only the part of wisdom, but an imperative duty, to be ready to repel it by military preparations, and hence all classes join to arm their governments, and surrender their persons and fortunes to them, as instruments of war.

It is the object of this paper to show that this is a fallacy. It is not intended to take up the question of the right a Christian people have to defend themselves by military resistance, when actually invaded, without cause. Admit that every nation has such right, and that in such case it is a duty to exercise it, still, the case put is a chimerical one, and will afford no vindication of military preventions of such dangers as are ever likely to occur. The abstract right of martial resistance may be conceded, and yet protest made against military preparations, on the ground of inexpediency.

In doing this, five propositions will be advanced. 1. There is no Teal necessity for war, and no civilized nation has reason to expect it, which deals justly and kindly with other nations. The idea, that powerful sovereigns are ever watchful to find a community defenceless, to invade its territory, without provocation, for conquest or rapine, is one derived from barbarous ages, when nations were indeed little else than bands of robbers, and the precautions deemed necessary then are unadapted to modern civilization Nations may make aggressive war on others from false views of national honor, or to redress some imagined wrong, or secure some alleged rights; but all disclaim the desire of so doing without any other reason than the mere purpose of conquest or injury, and it is an insulting calumny to insist that all such disclaimers are insincere. What patriot of any country will admit this criminal motive for himself or his countrymen, towards foreign nations ? Ask the citizens of any land, and each will deny it, to a man. How illiberal then to impute it to all other people as well disposed as his own.

It must be admitted that most unjustifiable invasions—even of recent date-have been made by powerful nations on those who were unable to resist them; but in these cases justice has always been professed, and wrongs always alleged ; and however inconsistent these professions may appear to us, they may, under the blinding influence of interest or passion, have been quite sincere with them. These invasions, too, have always been met with a show of resistance, which has provoked the pride of the aggressors. Has any authorized attack' been made on any people resigning all their claims in non-resisting friendship? Not one.

Ascribe such a P. T.

NO. XII.

conduct to any government, and the charge will be met with indignant denial.

2. The evils arising from military preparations are greater in the whole than those that would be incurred by submission to any probable foreign demand they are designed to resist. Let us appreciate fully the enormous evils of such preparations.

First, in regard to the expense of them. In the United States, for instance, where they are small, compared with those of other nations, the military expenses are five-sixths of all the expenditures of government, in time of peace, and in fifteen or twenty years, amount to more than the most grasping nation would desire or be able to obtain from these States by force, if unresisted, and if disposed for such robbery. A single fact will exemplify this expense :-It has been proved by the calculations of an intelligent merchant, that the annual cost of the comparatively small navy of the United States is greater than the whole annual amount of the freights of their mercantile marine for the same years.

This instance is given merely as a small sample. The military and naval expenses of Great Britain are nine-tenths of all the expenditures of that profuse government; and other European nations are burdened in a proportionate amount. Calculations have been made which demonstrate, that if the appropriations for military purposes in civilized countries were withheld from thein, and applied to benevolent objects, the Christian religion might be preached in every land, and"the blessings of education extended to every family on the globe; science might be advanced, justice dispensed, slavery and pauperism nearly obliterated, and peace publications so thoroughly diffused as to render war forever impossible, and military preparations consequently unnecessary. And enough would be left to sustain a Congress and Courts of Nations, by which their interests might be regulated as justly and peaceably as now in the most enlightened province of the world.

A heavier charge of evil against military establishments is their corrupting influence. Every such establishinent by the testimony of military men themselves,—is a school of vice. The places most fruitful of intemperance, licentiousness, profanity and infidelity, are camps, fortresses, and ships of war. Can honesty and respect for right be expected in institutions whose avowed purpose is to execute robbery for the public, and to overwhelm all rational adjudication by physical power; or even safety for life be found among those who are pledged to murder by wholesale at the bidding of their commander ?

Another evil in military establishments is their despotism. The myriads of men employed in these establishments are the most abject slaves, exposed to hardships and cruelties as great as those of the African slave on the plantation; their health, comfort and morals, less regarded, and the exposure to violent death, and compulsion to crime superadded; and this military tyranny is not confined to the soldiers and sailors of standing armies and navies, but is diffused, especially by the militia system, through the whole

community. Every citizen is taught by it the necessity of arbitrary discipline for defensive energy, and is compelled to yield his money, his person and his conscience, whenever his government shall demand them, even for public crime.

Perhaps the greatest evil in military establishments is that for which they are most commended,--the encouragement of a martial spirit. It is impossible to receive the doctrines of the gospel faithfully, and admit for a moment the innocency of the martial spirit. A nation imbued with this spirit can never become truly Christian, or fully civilized; practical infidelity and proud barbarism are its essential characters. With those who concur in this view, the question of the expediency of martial preparations is at once decided; for if the interests of the spirit and of eternity are higher than those of the body and of time, it would be better, God permitting, that a nation should be trodden down, every right overthrown, all property and even life or liberty destroyed, thian, with the highest prosperity, every soul in it should be immersed in a sentiment allying it to the dark passions of an infernal world.

3. The third proposition is, that a kind, forbearing policy secures rights more constantly and fully than the menacing aspect of armed preparation for defence. That this is true in private life, will probably be admitted by every observer of human society. But if human nature is the same in the mass as in detail, is not the good policy of this defenceless, confiding position as applicable to nations as to individuals? Innumerable cases are cited by the friends of peace to show that this policy, tried on a limited scale, has ever been successful; the only instance where it has been tried by a whole nation or province, is that of Pennsylvania, under the government of the Friends, which, maintained for more than seventy years without arms, was never invaded, or even insulted by its barbarous and warlike neighbors.

But the authority of the gospel bears on the policy as well as the innocency of defensive armaments. Christ has enjoined forbearance and forgiveness on his followers, without any qualification as to their numbers, condition or political connections. Is it to be believed he would have done so, if such a course would have exposed all the rights and property of society to destruction ? Suppose that a true insight into human character and the voice of history did not teach that forbearance is more conquering than defiance, will we not trust the unerring judgment of the Omniscient more than the short-sighted maxims of human experience ?

4. War is more frequently caused by military preparations than it is supposed to be averted by them, both by encouraging in any nation supporting them, an arrogant bearing towards foreign nations, and by provoking the pride of those nations, by their defying appearance. In a report of a careful research into the causes of wars among Christian nations, by order of the Massachusetts Peace Society, twenty-three were enumerated which arose entirely from the pride provoked, or alarm excited by the increasing armaments of their neighbors, and from no other cause. Here, then, conduct to any government, and the charge will be met with indignant denial.

2. The evils arising from military preparations are greater in the whole than those that would be incurred by submission to any probable foreign demand they are designed to resist. Let us appreciate fully the enormous evils of such preparations.

First, in regard to the expense of them. In the United States, for instance, where they are small, compared with those of other nations, the military expenses are five-sixths of all the expenditures of government, in time of peace, and in fifteen or twenty years, amount to more than the most grasping nation would desire or be able to obtain from these States by force, if unresisted, and if disposed for such robbery. A single fact will exemplify this expense :-It has been proved by the calculations of an intelligent merchant, that the annual cost of the comparatively small navy of the United States is greater than the whole annual amount of the freights of their mercantile marine for the same years.

This instance is given merely as a small sample. The military and naval expenses of Great Britain are nine-tenths of all the expenditures of that profuse government; and other European nations are burdened in a proportionate amount. Calculations have been made which demonstrate, that if the appropriations for military purposes in civilized countries were withheld from thein, and applied to benevolent objects, the Christian religion might be preached in every land, and the blessings of education extended to every family on the globe; science might be advanced, justice dispensed, slavery and pauperism nearly obliterated, and peace publications so thoroughly diffused as to render war forever impossible, and military preparations consequently unnecessary. And enough would be left to sustain a Congress and Courts of Nations, by which their interests might be regulated as justly and peaceably as now in the most enlightened province of the world.

A heavier charge of evil against military establishments is their corrupting influence. Every such establishinent,—by the testimony of military men themselves,—is a school of vice. The places most fruitful of intemperance, licentiousness, profanity and infidelity, are camps, fortresses, and ships of war. Can honesty and respect for right be expected in institutions whose avowed purpose is to execute robbery for the public, and to overwhelm all rational adjudication by physical power; or even safety for life be found among those who are pledged to murder by wholesale at the bidding of their commander ?

Another evil in military establishments is their despotism. The myriads of men employed in these establishments are the most abject slaves, exposed to hardships' and cruelties as great as those of the African slave on the plantation; their health, comfort and morals, less regarded, and the exposure to violent death, and compulsion to crime superadded; and this military tyranny is not confined to the soldiers and sailors of standing armies and navies, but is diffused, especially by the militia system, through the whole community. Every citizen is taught by it the necessity of arbitrary discipline for defensive energy, and is compelled to yield his money, his person and his conscience, whenever his government shall demand them, even for public crime.

Perhaps the greatest evil in military establishments is that for which they are most commended,--the encouragement of a martial spirit. It is impossible to receive the doctrines of the gospel faithfully, and admit for a moment the innocency of the martial spirit. A nation imbued with this spirit can never become truly Christian, or fully civilized; practical infidelity and proud barbarism are its essential characters. With those who concur in this view, the question of the expediency of martial preparations is at once decided; for if the interests of the spirit and of eternity are higher than those of the body and of time, it would be better, God permitting, that a nation should be trodden down, every right overthrown, all property and even life or liberty destroyed, than, with the highest prosperity, every soul in it should be immersed in a sentiment allying it to the dark passions of an infernal world.

3. The third proposition is, that a kind, forbearing policy secures rights more constantly and fully than the menacing aspect of armed preparation for defence. That this is true in private life, will probably be admitted by every observer of human society. But if human nature is the same in the mass as in detail, is not the good policy of this defenceless, confiding position as applicable to nations as to individuals ? Innumerable cases are cited by the friends of peace to show that this policy, tried on a limited scale, has ever been successful; the only instance where it has been tried by a whole nation or province, is that of Pennsylvania, under the government of the Friends, which, maintained for more than seventy years without arms, was never invaded, or even insulted by its barbarous and warlike neighbors.

But the authority of the gospel bears on the policy as well as the innocency of defensive armaments. Christ has enjoined forbearance and forgiveness on his followers, without any qualification as to their numbers, condition or political connections. Is it to be believed he would have done so, if such a course would have exposed all the rights and property of society to destruction? Suppose that a true insight into human character and the voice of history did not teach that forbearance is more conquering than defiance, will we not trust the unerring judgment of the Omniscient more than the short-sighted maxims of human experience ?

4. War is more frequently caused by military preparations than it is supposed to be averted by them, both by encouraging in any nation supporting them, an arrogant bearing towards foreign nations, and by provoking the pride of those nations, by their defying appearance. In a report of a careful research into the causes of wars among Christian nations, by order of the Massachusetts Peace Society, twenty-three were enumerated which arose entirely from the pride provoked, or alarm excited by the increasing armaments of their neighbors, and from no other cause. Here, then,

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