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fully given; and the Indians shaking hands with Penn, went away smiling. After they were gone, the governor, looking round on his friends, exclaimed, “Oh, how sweet a thing is charity ! Some of you just now spoke of compelling these poor creatures to stick to their bargain, that is, in plain English, to fight and kill them, and all about a little piece of land!'
Such was the policy of Penn. He resolved to treat the Indians as the gospel requires, and then rely for safety on the better principles of their nature, and the promises of God. He brought no cannon; le built no forts; nor was there at his command a single musket or sword to assail or repulse an enemy. He treated none as enemies, but all as friends, and threw himself, with open-hearted confidence, upon the red man's generosity and justice. He met the rude sons of the forest as brethren; his kindness disarmed their enmity, and lulled their suspicions and fears asleep; he won their perfect confidence in his friendship; and, sitting down with them on the banks of the Delaware, they smoked together the calumet of peace and love.
Such was the course of William Penn; and what was the result? In the midst of the most warlike tribes on this continent, the Quakers lived in safety, while all the other colonies, acting on the war-policy of armed defence, were involved almost incessantly in bloody conflicts with the Indians. Shall we ascribe this to the personal tact of William Penn? Shrewd he doubtless was; but the success of his policy was owing mainly, if not entirely, to its pacific character. Penn was only an embodiment of his principles, and the efficacy of these is strikingly exhibited in the fact that Pennsylvania, during all the seventy years of her peace policy, remained without harm from the Indians, but suffered, as soon as she changed that policy, the same calamities with the other colonies.
Such, then, is the efficacy of pacific principles. Not that they, or any thing else, can prevent all evil in a world like ours; but, when rightly applied, they are a far surer protection than the sword. We doubt whether they have ever been put to a fair test without proving successful; and any people who shall dare to trust these principles, will find them safe. Who seemed less likely than American Indians to feel their power? Yet how readily did they lay their tomahawks and scalping-knives at the feet of Penn, and humbly apologize for killing the only Quakers they ever attacked. "The men carried arms, said they; we supposed them to be fighters, and thought they pretended to be Quakers, merely because they were cowards. So said the murderers of Lyman and Munson. They came with arms in their hands, and we took them for enemies. Had we known they were men of God, come to do us good, we would have done them no harın.' There is no policy so safe as that of peace. Let any people abjure all war, and proclaim to the world that they will never fight under any provocation, but will be ready to settle all difficulties with other nations by umpires mutually chosen; and would any nation attack such a people? No sooner than a duellist will now fight a woman or a child. Would not any nation be ashamed of an act so mean, and the whole world cry shame upon them, and brand them as the basest of poltroons and assassins ?
But experience pleads for the war-principle; all nations have hitherto acted upon it; and does not this prove its necessity ?'No more than the extent and long continuance of paganism prove that to be necessary. Men have tried war more than five thousand years; and what is the result? A world covered with crime, and drenched in blood and tears. Could any policy of peace have led to worse results ?
But would you have no means of defence?'-Yes, the best in the world ; such as God himself has prescribed ; such as Penn used with perfect, glorious success; such as every fair trial has shown to be far more effectual than any weapons of war. We plead for the strictest principles of peace, not only because they are true, but also because they are the best security both for individuals and for nations.
• But what security do these principles afford for our liberties and rights ?'—The best possible; incomparably better than the sword can give. Search all history, and you will find war to have been the deadliest foe to popular freedom and rights. True, it has been alleged to have secured them both ; but far more truly has it ever trampled them under its iron hoof. Peace is the best, if not the only soil for the sure and steady growth of free institutions; and one century of universal, unbroken peace, would accomplish wonders for the liberty and rights of mankind.
• But will nations ever act on the strict principles of peace ??Individuals have, and nations may; but whether they will or not, time alone can determine. We believe they one day will, for God has promised they shall; but until they do, surely these principles cannot be held responsible for their safety, any more than a medicine can cure those who do not take it. If all nations would adopt them, there would of course be an end to war, and the fear of its evils. We cannot flatter ourselves that the great national brotherhood of Christendom, or any of its members, will soon come fully into these views, discarding the sword as the arbiter of international disputes, and ceasing from all war, and all preparations for war; but already the whole civilized world are gradually approaching this policy; and, just as fast as they do, will their safety, as well as their general prosperity and happiness, be correspondingly increased. No fair-minded man will now deny that a pacific policy is in every respect the best; and, if we cannot bring all nations, or any one of them, up to the high standard of the gospel, we would fain bring them as near to it as we can. Our utmost efforts will doubtless leave them much below that standard; but every approximation to it will strongly tend to insure their peace, and to promote their general and permanent welfare.
It is not more strange than true, that war has been treated very much as a religious affair. It has claimed the special favor of heaven; and even Christians, scarcely less than ancient pagans, modern savages, or the terrible war-men of the North, the blood thirsty devotees of Thor and Odin, have engaged in it as a sacred work. They still accompany it with forms of devotion. It is preceded by a season of general fasting and prayer; chaplains are sent to its camps and its battle-fields, with forms of supplication to the God of Peace; the whole Christian community are expected continually to remember before his throne its tented or embattled hosts; and after every important victory, they have been wont to return thanks to the Father of all for success in the butchery of his children.
Such is the practice; but is it right? We put it to the test of no extreme or radical views; but is it consistent with the lowest principles of peace, with any possible construction of the gospel ? Every body now condemns war as wrong, as coming only from lusts, or sinful passions; and will such admissions allow us still to sanction the whole custom by imploring the smiles of heaven on its deeds of vengeance, and returning solemn thanks for such atrocities and horrors as are crowded into every considerable victory?
Let us see how it strikes most men. When the influence of Napoleon led to a proclamation of war between Sweden and England, an additional prayer was introduced, as usual, into the churchservice of Sweden, to call down wrath and ruin on her enemies ; but some Christians in Dalecarlin, on finding this war-prayer thrust into their devotions, very naturally asked, “Who are our enemies ? Against whom are we thus to pray ? " • The English. “ The English!” exclaimed those simple-hearted people; "the English! Impossible! They sent us Bibles ; it cannot be that they have become our enemies; we cannot pray against them.” Nor did they, but successfully petitioned the government to discontinue the warprayer in their section of Sweden.
Nor have these inconsistencies escaped the notice even of aliens or enemies to Christianity. Voltaire ridicules and denounces them with the bitterest sarcasm; Napoleon, who used in his fits of momentary candor to call war "the trade of barbarians,” and to say that soldiers, if not already vicious, should be made so in order to qualify them fully for their work, sternly excluded chaplains and public prayers from his armies ; Wellington himself once said, that men of nice scruples about religion, have no business in the army or navy; and statesmen of our own, though at the hazard of being branded as infidels, have objected to the employment of
chaplains among our soldiers, on the ground that the religion they teach is incompatible with the duties of war. • Ought the Christian religion, they ask, “to be encouraged in our army or navy ? Does it afford incentives to vigilance and energy in the discharge of their engagements to the government?' If we were living under the Jewish dispensation, where the law was “ an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” with some propriety might we employ Jewish priests ; ay, if we were followers of the later Prophet who enforced his religion by fire and sword, we might very properly have chaplains of that persuasion. But what does the Christian religion teach? Humble, entire submission to every species of indignity and wrong. What does its very Founder say ? “Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Such is the gospel ; but the doctrine is incompatible with a military establishment. What is the duty of a chaplain? To imbue the soldiers and sailors with the spirit of the Christian religion. What would be the result? Instead of firing them with zeal, with energy, with revenge, it is to tell them, humbly submit; receive whatever indignity may be offered, and, though tripled upon you, make no resistance.
War-prayers, they mean any thing, must certainly give to war our sanction and support; but can we consistently do this? Is the war-system compatible with the gospel ? If not, is it right for Christians to countenance and uphold it by their prayers in its favor ? If war, as Edmund Burke says, suspends the rules of moral obligation;" if, as Robert Hall declares, “it includes every vice, and excludes almost every virtue ;' if, according to Dr. Scott, “it is in every case the triumph of the first great murderer, the devil;" if it is, according to Jeremy Taylor, as contrary to the Christian religion as cruelty is to mercy, tyranny to charity ;' can it be right for disciples of the Prince of Peace to lend such a custom their sanction ?
Let us examine this subject for ourselves. What does the gospel require of us? To lay aside all anger, malice and revenge ; to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us ; to do good unto all men, and love even our enemies; to feed them when hungry, and give them drink when thirsty ; to turn the other cheek to the smiter, and overcome evil only with good.' Thus the gospel þids us do; but every one of these principles war contradicts both in theory and practice. Can we consistently pray for such a custom? Our prayers, if made in accordance with the pacific principles of the gospel
, would oppose war, and be discarded by all war-makers as hostile to their designs.
Let us imagine a chaplain, just before a battle, weaving this part of the gospel into his prayer. O Lord, whose tender mercies are over all they creatures, teach us now to imitate thine own example, who givest thy sunshine and showers alike to the evil and the good. Restrain us from anger, from malice, from the slightest degree of ill-will towards any of our fellow-men; but may we love them all as we do ourselves, and do unto our worst enemies all the good in our power. If hungry, may we feed them; if thirsty, may we give them drink; may we ever do unto others what we would fain have them do to us ; nor ever may we forget thy commands to follow peace with all men, not to kill, to forgive as we would wish ourselves to be forgiven, to recompense to no man evil for evil, but overcome evil with good. Are such the prayers that war-makers want of their chaplains ? Would not the spirit of such a prayer, if breathed into a whole army before battle, keep every sword in its scabbard, and unnerve every arm for the work of blood ?
Conceive a prayer in the spirit of war. "Push hard with the bayonet !” says the Soldier's Catechism. “Stab once; and off with your foe from the bayonet! Stab the second! Stab the third !" Lord Nelson bade his midshipmen, as the climax of his instructions, obey promptly all orders from their superiors without inquiring whether they were right or wrong, and hate a Frenchman as they would the devil!' An American general once said, “a battle is the veriest hell upon earth ;' and there will you find the worst passions in fiercest rage, thousands hating, cursing and butchering one another, and then proceeding to plunder, and burn, and commit every species of violence and outrage. For all this, if for any thing, must the chaplain pray on the eve of battle :- O Lord of hosts, smile upon thy servants now marshalled before thee for the work of death. Breathe into thein, O God of war, the spirit of their profession. Let them for the time forget thy prohibition of old, thou shalt not kill, and also those commands of thy gospel which bid them do good unto all men, to love even their enemies, and turn the other cheek to the smiter. Thou knowest, Omniscient Father of all, this is no time for the application of such principles ; and we pray thee to animate them with sentiments more appropriate to the awful duties of this hour, and thus prepare them for a signal and glorious triumph over their enemies. Fill them with the spirit of war, and enable them, in humble reliance on thee, to shoot, and stab, and trample down their foes. Nerve every arm; direct every blow; guide every sword, every bayonet, every bullet to the seat of life, that we may soon reap a glorious harvest of death. Thou knowest, O God most holy, that our enemies, murderers in heart, if not in deed, all deserve the damnation of hell; and we beseech thee to aid us in sending as many of them as possible to the place “ where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Fight thou for us, and give thy servants a great victory, for which all the people shall praise thee.'
Do you say, that such prayers are found in the Old Testament? If so, still it would not follow that they are right for Christians. Jewish wars were expressly enjoined or permitted by Jehovah; the enemies of the state were regarded as the enemies of God, the real King of the Jews ; those who uttered the war-prayers recorded in the Bible, were inspired men, and lived under a dispensation which allowed many things now forbidden in the gospel. Our case is in all these respects different from theirs; and this difference entirely neutralizes the argument.