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and coincidence of interests, the various nations composing the civilized quarters of the globe, have mutually elevated and instructed, and are every day mutually elevating and instructing one another. Thought and invention, in any one nation, exist for the common benefit of all.
It is impossible not to perceive, that the extension of these influences among the mass of mankind must, even in Europe, tend to diminish the recurrence of war, not only from the reasons and consequences already urged, but also from the actual state of European soldiery; the necessary result of their education, their habits, and their relations to society. We can scarcely form an idea of the degraded moral and intellectual condition of the mere soldiery of Europe. Their own statesmen and historians seem at a loss to express their abhorrence of the whole class. makes thieves,” says Machiavel, who was himself no enemy to the profession, “and peace hangs them. For those who know not how to get their bread in any other way; when they are disbanded and out of employ, disdaining poverty and obscurity, are forced to have recourse to such ways of supporting themselves, as generally bring them to the gallows." The experience of our own day is not very different. And what better can be expected from men sold like slaves from one despot to another, contracting to do the work of murder for hire, careless for whom, indifferent against whom, or for what?
It is impossible, without recurrence to feelings and sentiments of a higher and purer nature than those induced by common life, to do justice to the deep moral depravity, and the cruel, bloodstained scenes of ordinary warfare. Alas! how must they be viewed by higher intelligences! Imagine one of these celestial spirits bent on this great purpose, descending upon our globe, and led by chance to an European plain at the point of some great battle. On a sudden, the field of combat opens on his astonished vision. It is a field which men call glorious A hundred thousand warriors stand in opposing ranks. Light gleams on their burnished steels. Their plumes and banners wave. Hill echoes to hill the noise of moving rank and squadron, the neigh and tramp of steeps, the trumpet, drum and bugle-call.
There is a momentary pause, a silence like that which precedes the fall of the thunderbolt, like that awful stillness which is precursor to the desolating rage of the whirlwind. In an instant, flash succeeding flash pours columns of smoke along the plain. The iron tempest sweeps, heaping man, horse and car in undistinguished ruin. In shouts of rushing hosts, in shock of breasting steeds, in peals of musketry, in the roar of artillery, in the clash of sabres, in thick and gathering clouds of smoke and dust, all numan eye, and ear, and sense are lost. Man sees not, but the sign of onset. Man hears not, but the cry of onward !
Not so the celestial stranger. His spiritual eye unobscured by artificial night, his spiritual ear unaffected by mechanic noise, witness the real scene, naked in all its cruel horrors. He sees lopped and bleeding limbs scattered; gashed, dismembered trunks outspread; gore-clotted, lifeless brains bursting from crushed skulls; blood gushing from sabred necks; severed heads whose mouths mutter rage amidst the palsying of the last agony. He hears the mingled cry of anguish and despair issuing from a thousand bosoms in which a thousand bayonets turn, the convulsive scream of anguish from heaps of mangled, half-expiring victims over whom the heavy artillery wheels lumber and crush into one mass, bone, and muscle, and sinew, while the fetlock of the warhorse drips with blood starting from the last palpitation of the burst heart on which his hoof pivots. “This is not earth,” would not such a celestial stranger exclaim? “this is not earth, this is hell! This is not man, but demon tormenting demon!”
Surely it needs no aid from prophecy, none from revelation, to foretel that such a custom, the greatest yet remaining curse and shame of our race, shall retire to be remembered only with a mingled sentiment of disgust and wonder, like the war-feast of the savage, like the perpetual slavery of captives, like the pledge of revenge in the skull-bowl of Odin, like the murder of helots in Greece, and of gladiators in Rome, like the witch-burnings, the Smithfield-fires, and St. Bartholomew-massacres of modern times.
If these anticipations have any color of hope amid the antique customs and thronged population of Europe, how just and how bright are they in this favored country, where God and nature combine to invite man to lay the foundations of a new and happy era for our race! How does the moral, intellectual and local condition of the United States combine to repress all the three causes “which prepare and dispose states for war,” first, by elevating and improving the condition of the people; 'secondly, by restraining the ambition of rulers; and thirdly, by rendering it easy, if we will, to expunge the entire class of “soldiers professed."
The reasons of this belief, take with you into life. Carry them into the haunts of men, and press them upon all who guide and influence society. Make, if possible, a recognition of them a condition of political power. Above all, satisfy the people of their true interests. Show your fellow-citizens of this country, and the men of every other, that war is a game ever played for the aggrandizement of the few, and for the impoverishment of the many; that those who play it voluntarily, do it always for selfish, never for public puposes; that war-establishments are every where scions of despotism; that, when engrafted on republics, they always begin by determining the best sap to their own branch, and never fail to finish by withering every branch except their own. Be not discouraged. Set before your eyes the glorious nature of the object at which you aim. Absolute failure is impossible, because your purposes concur with all the suggestions of reason, with all the indications of nature, with all the testimony of history, and all the promises of religion.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
The Bible, as the record of God's will, is the Christian's rule of duty. By this standard have a multitude of practices once current in Christendom, been already tried, and condemned as unchristian; every other usage of society, however hallowed by time, must eventually be brought to the same test; and we propose now to look at war in the light of revelation, and inquire whether the GOSPEL allows it in any case.
Let us first clear our way to this point. Many of the old arguments for war are too absurd or too cold-blooded to deserve a moment's consideration. It used to be gravely asserted, that war is a healthful stimulus to the body politic; that it tends, if it be not indispensable, to preserve nations from degeneracy; that it is the natural state of mankind, the general law of their being, and peace the exception; that it acts as a sewer to drain off the dregs of ignorance, vice and crime; that it is even necessary, like occasional depletion in the human frame, to prevent a superabundance of population and wealth. Such assumptions, however strange and savage, have been seriously maintained by eminent statesmen, philosophers and theologians; but, true or false, what have they to do with the question, whether the gospel sanctions war? Dramshops, gaming-houses and brothels serve in like manner to drain off the refuse of society; but can such a fact prove that the Bible allows all the abominations practised in those purlieus of hell ?
We are told, however, that war furnishes employment and a livelihood for vast multitudes.—So does idolatry ; so does the slave-trade ; so do counterfeiters, robbers and pirates live by their villanies; but does this prove such practices to be consistent with the gospel ?
We are often reminded, that war developes some of the noblest traits of character, such as spirit, courage, talent, ingenuity, skill, indomitable perseverance.-Be it so; but every species of highhanded wickedness calls forth the same qualities. It requires the union of them all to make a consummate villain, a man that can rob, or forge, or counterfeit with success on a large scale ; and in our state-prisons you will find some of the strongest, shrewdest, boldest minds, the very metal that makes heroes. Will this prove that the Bible tolerates such crimes? If war occasionally produces instances of self-sacrificing patriotism, we reply that such patriotism is not the fruit of war; and, even if it were, you may often find essentially the same in a crew of pirates, every one of whom is just as selfish in fighting for the whole gang, as he would be in fighting for himself alone.
agree in recommending a reference to a third power of all such controversies as can safely be confided to any tribunal unknown to the constitution of our country; and that such a practice will be followed by other powers, and will soon grow up into the customary law of civilized nations."
Such a response might well encourage the friends of peace to continue their petitions. It is still before Congress; and, in 1844, the Legislature of Massachusetts, in reply to a single petitioner, took the noblest stand ever yet taken in favor of this scheme. After representing war as “among the chief destroyers of human happiness, and saying that, “if any method can be devised for the settlement of national controversies without the evils of war, the adoption of that method is 'a consummation devoutly to be wished,'” they state, that “the peace societies formed in this country and in Europe. within the last twenty-eight years, and enrolling some of the purest and most gifted minds in either hemisphere, have poured the light of reason and revelation upon the practice of war, until multitudes have come to the conclusion, that a custom so fraught with evil, and so hostile to the first principles of religion, cannot be necessary. It begins to be extensively acknowledged, that individuals and communities are subject to the same divine authority, and are bound to conduct their affairs, and regulate their mutual intercourse on the same principles; and therefore, that legal adjudication should take the place of physical force, for the maintenance of national rights and interests, as it has already with regard to those of a personal and domestic nature.”
In the spirit of these suggestions, the Legislature, with great unanimity, passed the following resolves :
1. That we regard arbitration as a practical and desirable substitute for war, in the adjustment of international differences.
2. That a system of adjudication, founded on a well-digested code of international laws, and administered by a standing court or board of mutual reference, is preferable to the occasional choice of umpires, who act without the aid or restriction of established principles and rules. :
3. That it is our earnest desire that the government of the United States would, at the earliest opportunity, take measures for obtaining the consent of the powers of Christendom to the establishment of a General Convention or Congress of Nations, for the purpose of settling the principles of international law, and of organizing a bigh court of nations, to adjudge all cases of difficulty which may be brought before them by the mutual consent of two or more nations.
4. That His Excellency the Governor be requested to transmit a copy of these resolves, with the accompanying report, to the Senators and Representatives of Massachusetts in the Congress of the United States, with instructions to use their influence, as they may find occasion, in furtherance of this important object.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
EXTINCTION OF WAR.*
BY HON. JOSIAH QUINCY, L.L. D.
“ In all experience and stories,” says the great Bacon, "you shall find but three things that prepare and dispose an estate for war—the ambition of the governors, a state of soldiery professed, and the hard means to live among many subjects, whereof the last is the most forcible and the most constant."
In reference to these causes of war, it may be asserted that three facts exist in the nature of man, and the condition of society, which give rational ground for the opinion, that they will be gradually limited in their influence, and may be made ultimately to cease altogether. The first fact is, that man is a being capable of intellectual and moral improvement; the second, that the intellectual and moral improvement of our species has already advanced in this very direction and on this very subject, wars being in fact far less bloody than in former periods of society ; and the third, that the intellectual and moral influences which have arisen, and are extending themselves in the world, necessarily lead to a favorable change in all the enumerated causes on which the existence of war depends, repressing the ambition of rulers, diminishing the influence of the soldiery, and ameliorating the condition of the multitude.
At what previous time did the world exhibit the scenes we at this day witness ? When did science ever, until this period, present itself to the entire mass of the community as their inheritance and right? No more immured in cells, no more strutting with pedant air and forbidding looks, in secluded halls, it adapts itself to real life, to use, and to man. It is seen in the field, leaning on the plough ; at the work-bench, directing the plane and the saw; in the high places of the city, converting by their wealth and their liberality, merchants into princes; in the retirement of domestic life, refining the virtues of a sex in whose purity and elevation man attains at once the noblest earthly reward, and the highest earthly standard of his moral and intellectual nature. And can knowledge advance, and virtue be retrograde?
If such be the fact, why should not the species continue to advance? Is nature exhausted ? On the contrary, what half century can pretend to vie with the last in improvement in the arts, in advancement in the sciences, in the zeal and success of intellectual labors ? Time would fail to enumerate all; let one suffice. Scarcely ten years have elapsed, since the projects of Fulton were the common sneer of multitudes. He indeed has already joined the great congregation of departed men of genius; but where are his
* From Pres. Quincy's Address before the Mass. Peace Society in 1820.