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beheld a figure creep painfully, which one could scarcely believe to be a human being, so wild and distorted were the features; the lips were rotled away, and the teeth stood exposed; he pulled the cloth from before his mouth, and grinned upon us like a death's head."
“ The battle of Eylau was fought in the depth of winter, amidst ice and snow, under circumstances of unexampled horror. The loss on both sides was immense ; and never in modern times had a field of battle been strewn with such a multitude of slain. On the side of the Russians 25,000 had fallen, of whom above 7000 were already no more ; on that of the French, upwards of 30,000 were killed or wounded, and nearly 10,000 had left their colors, under pretence of attending to the wounded. Never was a spectacle so dreadful as the field presented on the following morning. Above 50,000 men lay in the space of two leagues, weltering in blood. The wounds were, for the most part, of the severest kind, from the extraordinary quantity of cannon balls which had been discharged during the action, and the close proximity of the contending masses to the deadly batteries which spread their grape at half-musket shot through their ranks. Though stretched on the cold snow, and exposed to the severity of an arctic winter, they were burning with thirst, and piteous cries were heard on all sides for water, or assistance to extricate the wounded from the heaps of slain, or the load of horses by which they were crushed. Six thousand of these noble animals encumbered the field, or, maddened with pain, were shrieking aloud amid the stifled groans of the wounded.”
Thus far we have sketched almost exclusively the losses of the French and their allies; nor did the Russian army fare much better. During their retreat, a ducat, then worth five dollars, was thankfully given for a single horse-shoe ; and so fatal were the combined effects of hardship, disease and battle, that the Russians lost in some cases three-fourths, and in others nearly nine-tenths of their troops! Some entire battalions did not retain fifty men, and many companies were left without a single one! A mere fraction of the victims perished by the sword; and, as the final result to the Russians, their army, amounting at the commencement of the campaign to hundreds of thousands, could muster at the close only eighteen thousand !!
All this besides the unreckoned and well-nigh countless victims among the people. The number of these, it would be vain to conjecture; but from the nature of the case, as well as from what we have already quoted, it must have been immense. The statements of Labaume are terrible; and their truth is fully confirmed by such writers as Sir Robert Wilson, who says, “in the roads, men were collected round the burning ruins of their cottages, which a mad spirit of destruction had fired, picking and eating the burnt bodies of fellow men, while thousands of horses were moaning in agony, with their flesh mangled and hacked to satisfy the cravings of a hunger that knew no pity. In many of the sheds, men scarcely alive, had heaped on their frozen bodies human carcasses which, festering by the communication of animal heat, had mingled the dying and the dead in one mass of putrefaction.”
Such is war;-war not by pagans or savages, but by men calling themselves Christians; war not in the dark ages, but in the nineteenth century; war in the perfection of its skill, and the zenith of its glory ;-a campaign of one hundred and seventy-three days in the heart of Christendom! What is the result? Of five hundred thousand men who started under Napoleon, scarcely twenty thousand returned, so that the French alone must have lost, in soldiers and attendants, full half a million; and, should we reckon the loss of the Russian army but half as great, and suppose only an equal number of incidental victims among the people, both of which estimates are probably much below the truth, we reach the astounding result of more than a MILLION LIVES sacrificed in less than six months of a single campaign!! But the Russian campaign was
only one of the many wars consequent on the French Revolution. During those wars, the levies of soldiers in France exceeded four millions, and not less than three millions of these, on the lowest calculation, perished in the field, the hospital or the bivouac. If to these we add, as we unquestionably must, at least an equal number out of the ranks of their antagonists, it is clear that not less than six millions of human beings perished by war in the course of twenty years, in the very heart of civilized Europe, at the commencement of the nineteenth century of the Christian era! But even these stupendous numbers give us no adequate idea of the destruction of human life directly consequent on the wars of the revolution and the empire. We must add the thousands who perished from want, outrage and exposure, and the hundreds of thousands who were subsequently swept away by the ravages of that pestilence which took its rise amid the retreat from Russia, and the crowded garrisons of the campaign of 1813, and for several years afterwards desolated in succession every country of Europe. And even when we have summed up and laid before us, in all the magnitude of figures, the appalling destruction of life here exhibited, we can still gather only a faint conception of the sufferings and the evils inflicted by this awful scourge,
Patriots, philanthropists, Christians, must such a custom still continue? Is there no remedy? Yes, a sovereign one that needs only a right application. The gospel, rightly applied, would put an end to the atrocities and horrors of war forever. Will you not then aid in making such an application without delay ? In this work are Peace Societies engaged; and will you not give them all the countenance and support in your power?
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
UNION IN PEACE,
THE BASIS OF CO-OPERATION IN THE CAUSE OF PEACE.
UNION is indispensable to every cause, but to none more so than to that of peace. Aiming at the entire abolition of war, a custom wrought from time immemorial into the texture of every society and government on earth, it obviously requires the co-operation of all that desire, for any reason, to see an end put to a scourge so terrible. The difficulty of securing such co-operation, arises mostly from the diversity of views among its friends. Some of them are extremely radical, avowing the unlawfulness of all physical force, and denying the right of one man to punish, coerce, or even rule another ;-positions to which no peace society has ever been committed, and which our own has always regarded as foreign to its object. Others, assuming the strict inviolability of human life, oppose war mainly as a wholesale violation of this simple, comprehensive principle ;-a principle adopted by a portion of the friends of peace, but never recognized by the leading peace societies as the basis of our cause. A third class, outnumbering both the former, discard this principle, yet deem all war contrary to the gospel ;—the ground taken by those societies which are esteemed the most radical. There is still a fourth class, probably more numerous than all the foregoing, who think it right for nations to draw the sword in strict self-defence, that is, when their only alternative is to kill or be killed, yet hold the custom itself in deep abhorrence, and sincerely desire its abolition.
Here, then, are four classes of peace-men; and we need the co-operation of them all; but how can we secure it? By constructing a platform on which they can all consistently work together for the accomplishment of their common purpose—the abolition of war. On this point alone, they perfectly agree; and, since their object is the same, we propose to let them all labor for it, each in his own way, without making one responsible for the views of another.
Let us learn wisdom from enterprises of a kindred nature. The friends of humanity, when united for the suppression of the slavetrade, labored for that as their only object; and all the doctrines they taught, as well as their efforts of every kind, were so many means to that end. Their aim was not to propagate a sentiment, but to produce a result; and, in reaching that result, they wielded as instruments a great variety of principles. So the friends of temperance aim only at a result. True, we hear much about the doctrine of temperance; but what does it mean? Solely abstinence from intoxicating drinks ;-not strictly a doctrine, but a deed; not theory, but practice, or theory carried into practice. It is not the
object of temperance to teach a principle or doctrine, but to produce a specified result, the entire disuse of whatever can intoxicate; and all its doctrines and facts, all its arguments and appeals, are only so many means to this end. Just so in the cause of peace. Our sole aim is the abolition of
We seek not, as our object, to establish a doctrine or principle, but to obtain a given result. e use a variety of means ; but none of them constitute our object. We urge a multitude of principles; yet none of these, nor all of them together, can be said to be the end at which we aim. That end is a result, --something to be done, the entire extinction of war from the world; and all our doctrines, and arguments, and facts, and appeals, and efforts of every kind, are only so many auxiliaries to that sole, ultimate purpose of our enterprise.
Let us now see on what terins tho friends of other causes have united. They have required, not perfect uniformity of views, but only cordial, active co-operation for the attainment of their common object. If a man would from any motives unite with them in putting an end to the slave-trade or intemperance, he was welcomed as a coadjutor, and left to take such views, and urge such arguments, as he himself felt most, and therefore thought likely to make the best impression upon others. Every cast of mind was to be met; and hence all were not only permitted, but desired to press each his own favorite arguments upon men of kindred stamp.
Ilere is sound good sense; nor do we see why it should not be applied to peace, and all its professed friends be allowed to retain their present views, and still co-operate for their common object. There are points of coincidence between them sufficient for this purpose. They are one in their desires for the abolition of war; they agree in most of their views touching peace, and differ only on one or two points; they would, in laboring for their common cause, use essentially the same means; and the diversity in their inodes of exhibiting the subject, is in fact necessary to reach with the best effect all the variety of minds that we wish to enlist.
Let us illustrate this last thought. One man, deeply impressed with the superiority of moral over physical power, and conceiving Christianity to be a system of moral influences for the good of mankind, regards all use of brute force by one man towards another as unchristian, and chooses to oppose war from this simple, fundamental, far-reaching principle. It is indeed a broad sweep of generalization ; but such a mode of reasoning suits his mind, and will perhaps suit some others equally well. Our society does not adopt this principle; but, if we have no responsibility for it, and it proves more successful than any other in arraying certain minds against war, we cannot object to their using it for such a purpose.
Now, take the other extreme. Here is a Christian or philanthropist who has been trained to look upon defensive war as right; nor is he likely soon, if ever, to renounce that belief; yet he holds the custom in deep, unfeigned abhorrence, and ardently longs to see an end put to this crying sin, and curse, and shame of Christendom. To this conclusion he comes from such views as he deems consistent with the right of drawing the sword in selfdefence. He knows the guilt and evils of war. He deplores its waste of property, and its havoc of human life; its sack of cities, its plunder of provinces, and its devastation of empires; its baleful influence on art, and science, and general improvement, on freedom, morality and religion, on all the great interests of mankind for two worlds ; its pride and lust, its rapacity and revenge, its wholesale robberies and murders, its vast and fearful complication of vices and crimes. Such aspects of war rouse him against the custom. Still he does not regard all war as unchristian; and shall we, for such a reason, thrust him from the ranks of peace? Shall we make our views a test for him, and insist that none shall labor for peace except in our way?
Let us now glance at the two intermediate classes of peace-men. Both believe that the gospel condemns all war, but reach this conclusion from different premises. One argues from the strict inviolability of human life; a principle which sweeps away not only war, but capital punishment, and the right of government to take life even for its own support; while the other reasons from principles of the gospel which do not in his view forbid the taking of life in such cases. Now, which of these two classes shall set up their modes of reasoning as a standard for all the friends of peace? Our society prefers the latter mode; but, because we dislike his mode, shall we spurn from our cause one who loves peace, and hates war as much as we do? Shall we let none oppose war except in our way? Is it wise for Saul to force his own armor upon David, or for the stripling shepherd to insist, because he had slain Goliath with his simple sling and stone, on arming all the hosts of Israel with that weapon alone?
The cause of peace, then, ought to be prosecuted with the same liberality as other enterprises, and all its friends be permitted, without rebuke or suspicion, to promote it in such ways as they respectively prefer. The test should be, not the belief of this or that dogma, but a willingness to co-operate for the entire abolition of war; and all that will do this, and just as far as they do it, should be regarded as friends of peace. If any doctrine be required as a test, let it be the broad principle on which the first General Peace Convention in London (1843) was constituted, viz., that war is inconsistent with Christianity, and the true interests of mankind. We grant that this language is indefinite, allowing a pretty free play of the pendulum; but this is just what we want in order to meet the diversity of opinion among the friends of peace. We can make it express the belief of all war unchristian; but it pledges us only to a condemnation of the custom. To this principle there can be no objection from any one willing to labor for the abolition of war; and hence the test of principle would in fact be the very test of action on which alone we insist. We ask men to abolish war; and, if they gird themselves in earnest for this work, we would let them do it in their own way, nor quarrel with them about their motives.