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reason and equity, a blockade of any port ought not to affect neutral trade thereto, except as to strict contraband of war; that private property is justly entitled by sea to the same immunity that it enjoys by land, and ought not to be subject to belligerent capture; that defensive wars alone are justifiable, and that in their prosecution no more injury must be done to the offending state than is necessary to self-protection and indemnity; that peace, good faith, justice, kindness and hospitality are international duties; that free trade is the interest and duty of all nations; that it is not only the duty of all commercial states, but their interest to extend Christianity and civilization to all pagan nations as the means of increasing production and extending commerce.
These are some of the leading principles which we suppose we have proved to rest upon the precepts of the Gospel, the teaching of history and the fixed moral laws of our nature. Our doctrines are placed upon the strong foundations of human
interest, as well as upon that higher, more worthy and more holy one, the law of the King of kings. An obvious result of these principles, if fairly enforced, would be the disuse of wars by making peace the interest of all nations. What a happy coincidence of duty and interest in international transactions is illustrated by them How cheer
ing the thought that the Christian communities of Europe and America may soon perceive that their interest, as well as their duty to God, demands of states and empires the observance of the golden rule of the Gospel.
When right reason and Christianity shall so far have enlightened Christian nations, as to bring into international practice the principles of the moral law of nations, as we have shown them to have been enacted by the Supreme Law Giver, war with its savage atrocities and its wide-spread devastations must cease, and the olive branch will displace the sword streaming with human blood.
We have shown the application of our code to the leading rights and duties of nations. In all other particulars and unexplained cases we refer to the great dial in the heavens to which the finger of God points us, do as you would be done unto. This is the law of universal application, which must decide in all cases the right and duty of nations. It is an infalible guide like the north star, and is ever radiant with light and glory.
We have endeavored to unfold the general elementary code of the moral law of nations as God has enacted it, and as it is recognized in the declaration of Alexander of Russia and his royal associates of the 26th day of September, 1815, and in the Farewell Address of Washington. Our high authority is that of the Almighty Ruler of the universe, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and who ruleth over the hosts of heaven as well as the inhabitants of the earth. May the na
THAT we may repose our principles of American polity upon the highest authority, we annex extracts from the Farewell Address of President Washington, which embodies the principles of our republic as sustained by every succeeding administration to the present day; and the fundamental constitution of the Holy Alliance. This latter document written, as it is said, by the Emperor Alexander, declared the firm determination of the three subscribing sovereigns to administer their respective governments and to regulate their international relations with all states by “the doctrines of the Gospel, the precepts of justice, of charity and of peace, which, far from being applicable only to private life, ought, on the contrary, to influence directly the resolutions of princes, and guide all their steps, as being the only means of giving solidity to human institutions and of remedying their imperfections.” This Holy Alliance, “Sainte Alliance,” in the “name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity,” proclaimed to the Universe the same doctrines of peace, justice and benevolence, which the father of our republic so solemnly put forth in his Farewell Address. It is worthy of remark that both declarations assert that nations, as well as individuals, are bound to observe the precepts of the Gospel as a duty to God and the only means of national felicity. The people of the United States, and all their Presidents have sanctioned the noble principles of Washington, and the Christian sovereigns of Europe, by uniting in a kingly league, on the basis of the Holy Alliance of the Emperors of Russia and Austria and the king of Prussia, have given their adhesion to the holy and heavenly doctrines of that celebrated royal compact. Europe and America thus stand committed to the principles of peace, equity and mercy as enjoined by the Gospel. Upon the precepts of our holy religion, identical, as we have shown, with natural law, reposes our moral law of nations. We copy the celebrated documents, one partially and the other fully, in order that it may appear that we have the highest human authority in favor of our code of international law. The authority on which we rely is the law of God interwoven in the nature of man, recorded on the pages of history and in Divine revelation. We cite these great and excellent documents, as solemn American and European national admissions