Page images
PDF
EPUB

* * * * * * * When she is tired with this prospect, then shew her the blessed Jesus, humble and meek, doing good to all the sons of men, patiently instructing both the ignorant and the perverse,- let her see him injured but not provoked ; let her attend him to the tribunal, and consider the patience with which he endured the scoffs and reproaches of his enemies; lead her to his cross and let her view him in the agonies of death, and hear his last prayer for his persecutors—. Father forgive them for they know not what they do!""

Now if we carefully examine both pictures, and compare them with the conduct of professing Christians, it will surely appear, that nations which are called Christians are disciples of the false prophet, and not of the true Messiah.

NO. 19.
SENTIMENTS OF DR. JOHNSON ON WAR, EX-

EMPLIFIED IN NAPOLEON'S RUSSIAN EXPE-
DITION.
It is gratifying, when one takes a cursory

view of modern literature, to find testimonies of the greatest and best men in favour of peace, which here and there strike our view, like roses in the desert : and it is pleasing to observe, that these evidences, of an increasing pacific spirit, in the world, thicken as the age advances ; and we hope they will ere long, unite and convert a desert into a paradise.

The celebrated Dr. Johnson, in his description of the Faulkiand Islands, has these remarks:

“The life of a modern soldier is ill represented by heroic fiction. War has means of destruction more formidable than the cannon and the sword. Of the thousands and ten thousands, that perished in our late contests with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an enemy—the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and putrefaction ; pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless; gasping and groaning, unpitied among men, made obdurate by long continuance of hopeless misery, and were at last whelmed in pits, or heaved into the ocean, without notice and without remem

brance. By incommodious encampments and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless and enterprise impracticable, fleets are silently dispeopled and armies sluggishly melted away.

“ Thus is a people gradually exhausted, for the most part, with little effect. The wars of civilized nations make very slow changes in the system of empire. The public perceive scarce any alteration but an increase of debt; and the few individuals, who are benefitted, are not supposed to have the clearest right to their advantages. If he that shared the danger enjoyed the profit ; and, after bleeding in the battle, grew rich by the victory, he might shew his gains without envy. But at the conclusion of a ten years' war, how are we recompensed for the death of multitudes, and the expense of millions, but by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters and agents, contractors and commissaries, whose equipages shine like meteors; and whose palaces rise like exhalations !"

“ These are the men, who, without virtue, labour or hazard, are growing rich as their

country is impoverished: they are rejoiced, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh from their desks at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure and cypher to cypher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or a tempest.”

One can hardly help being struck with the similitude of this picture, and some circumstances attending our late war. We lost more by sickness than we did by the sword, and our army contractors made their tens and hundreds of thousands, while the people lost by millions. Property changed hands -many rich were made poor, and some poor were made rich: and we have been paying from that time to this, for the fortunes which were accumulated in the war; and have not yet done paying.

The loss of property, however, is trivial in comparison with the loss of lives. Doctor Johnson has set this in a very just light; and his observations have been exemplified in every war, even the most successful. Even victorious armies are sometimes conquered

by the diseases of the camp, and by hardships which a soldier is exposed to, in a conquered country. To show this in a strong point of view, I subjoin some extracts from Segur's account of Napoleon's victorious march to Moscow.

No sooner had he entered Russia, by passing the Niemen, with the grand army of 375,000 men, and 200,000 horses, than he was overwhelmed by a terrible thunder storm. “ Ten thousand horses perished on the march, and more especially in the bivoacs, which followed. A large quantity of equipages remained abandoned, on the sands, and great numbers of men subsequently gave way. Their carcases were lying encumbering the road: they sent forth a mephitic smell, impossible to breathe: it was a new scourge, which some compared to famine, but much more terrible. Several. soldiers of the young guard, (Bonaparte's body guard and the elite of the army) had already perished of hunger."

The grand army committed great and wanton depredations, so that it wasted the provisions it met with, and the van guard

« PreviousContinue »