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had not the means of following him ; but he vowed, if ever he set foot on this continent again, he would be the death of the goldlaced villain. He never came; but the influence of that regiment on the morals of Albany has not to this day been entirely effaced.'
Nor have such outrages ceased. In 1843, a shore-bout,' says a New York paper of the day, 'brought a young female along side the U. S. ship Independence, who desired to know if midshipman
was on board, and insisted on seeing him; but the officer of the deck told her it was inconsistent with his orders. She urged, implored, entreated ; but the officer adhered to his original resolution; and, finding him inexorable, the girl, without a moment's thought, leaped from the boat, and sank. A seaman, who had been listening to her conversation, instantly sprang overboard after her, and succeeded in holding her up till the shore-boat came to their relief. The officer of the deck, surmising that something extraordinary must have occurred, had her brought on board; and the midshipman who had first seduced, and then deserted her, being called on deck, and confronted with his victim, was at once recognized. What steps were taken with the seducer, we know not; but the girl was sent ashore with the assurance that ample justice should be done. Justice! what reparation can be made for such villany? Alas! we hear of none having been attempted in this case; it was probably the last she ever heard of redress.
Nor do we quote these as cases of very unusual depravity. War swarms with them as its own offspring. It must, from its nature, reek with licentiousness. Marriage is forbidden in fact, if not in form, to nearly all its agents; and wherever troops are quartered, or a war-ship moored, or even single officers found for any length of time, there is woman too surely tempted to her ruin. Alas! how often does she, already ruined herself, lure the other sex into guilt!
On a ship coming into port,” says an English naval officer, “ large numbers of prostitutes are frequently allowed to come and live on board, or come off in the evening, and are sent ashore in the morning.” No less than six hundred of such wretches were said to have sunk in the Royal George at Spithead, Eng.; and a naval officer of our own says of his ship while in Port Mahon, “I have seen five hundred of these lost, degraded creatures on board at a time; all the decks full of them ; between the guns, and in every direction, were they to be seen with the seamen."
Let me, then, call upon my sex to array themselves against a custom which makes such monsters of men, and such victims of women. By the hearth and the altar it desecrates, by every principle of our holy religion, by every dictate of humanity, by your regard for the welfare of society, for your own honor, rights and interests, I conjure you to unite with the noble band of philanthropists who are toiling to remove this sin, and scourge, and shame from every Christian land, and eventually from the face of the whole earth.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
TO ALL CHRISTIANS IN FAVOR OF PEACE.
BY WILLIAM LADD.
The apathy of professed Christians respecting the moral evils of war seems truly surprising ; but, when we consider how they have been educated, our wonder ceases. The toys of children, the sports of youth, the gorgeous habiliments of war, songs, poems, and sober history itself, but particularly the heathen literature which even pious youth study to fit themselves to be ministers of the Prince of Peace, all conspire to make mankind look with complacency on a custom which, if we include all the time from the murder of Abel to the slaughter of Waterloo, has brought more sin and misery into the world than any other.
I shall not attempt to describe scenes of carnage, the sufferings of the battle-field, the hospital or the prison, nor will I dwell on the protracted miseries of the widow and orphan. Unbaptized philanthropy may weep over the miseries of war, but will do little to avert them. Nor shall I now show how war impoverishes a nation, and loads its starving poor with taxes; how nations, in enslaving others, have lost their own liberty; how a Cæsar, a Cromwell, or a Bonaparte, have usurped arbitrary power by means of armies raised to conquer foreign countries, or to contend with an opposing faction at home. Mankind love glory so much more than they love liberty, that the cause of peace has little to hope from mere patriotism, which is often nothing more than the desire of elevating one's own country on the ruins of another, regardless of the liberty of both.
Such motives, however good in their place, are utterly inadequate ; and my appeal is now to the Church of Christ, to all such persons as are influenced by Christian principles. I wish to set forth the moral evils and the sin of war, and show Christians their duty to labor for its immediate abolition. The demon of war is of that kind which cometh not forth but by prayer and fasting. He laughs at the common modes of exorcism ; but the church has a weapon by which she can lay him low. By the sword of the Spirit, she can with prayer achieve the victory. The Prince of Peace will honor his church by making it the instrument of thiş great moral revolution which will usher in the millennium; and I long to see her secure this honor to herself by doing the work.
There are, even among good men, mistaken views on this subject. The opposers of war have so often contented themselves with exhibiting only the temporal calamities of war, that many clergymen have acquired the habit of considering war as only a temporal evil; and, when a friend of peace requests the use of
their pulpit on the Sabbath, he is put off with the admonition that temporal evils, however great, should not be discussed on a day devoted to the salvation of souls. Now, if war were only a temporal evil, there would be better reason for such a refusal ; but, when we consider that it plunges millions of souls into endless perdition, and is a greater obstacle to the conversion of sinners, and the spread of the gospel, than almost any other sinful custom, it would appear that the followers of the Prince of Peace ought to be earnestly engaged in its abolition, and that a minister, while engaged in this work, is in fact promoting the salvation of souls more than at any other time. He operates on a larger scale, and surely is not the less doing the work of Him who said, “Blessed are the peace-makers.”
Unreflecting minds may object to agitating this subject while Christendom enjoys a more profound peace than ever before. True, Christian nations are less inclined to war than formerly, and events which, half a century ago, would have set all Europe in a blaze, now scarcely disturb the serenity of the prospect; but the principles of war have not been eradicated. Its causes still operate; the occasions only are wanting. I do not say, that the same spark which would formerly have lighted up a war, would do it now; but the materials, though less inflammable, are still combustible. What mean the great armaments of Europe even in peace ? Russia has nearly a million of men under arms, Austria some half a million, France almost as many, Great Britain nearly half as many as France, and in Christian Europe there are some four millions of men daily losing their moral sense of right and wrong, and fitting themselves for deeds of blood, eager for pay, panting for glory, as they call a love of slaughter, like fierce bull dogs kept in check only by the want of occasion.
True, our own country has less of the military spirit than almost any other ; but even we still think it necessary to be prepared for war, and spend more money in building fortifications, and equipping a navy, than would be required to evangelize the world. It is evident that we do not think the principles of war are eradicated; for, although it might require a small military power to keep down the poor slaves, and to kill them if they attempted to obtain their liberty by force, a navy and a northern militia would be of but little use in such a service. Are we then preparing for civil war? I must confess when I see a militia muster, I think I see my fellow citizens sharpening their bayonets for the hearts of their brethren, since I see no other use for them. No, the principles of war are not yet eradicated, but ready to spring up again whenever occasion shall call for them, unless the present opportunity be seized of smothering them forever.
If we wished to reclaim a drunkard, should we preach to him while under the influence of liquor ? No, we wait until he is sober, until the fumes of intoxication have evaporated, and the man is restored to his right mind. But, if we let him alone to fill up his jugs and decanters, and prepare for another debauch, with. out a word of caution and exhortation, are we doing our duty to him? Can we excuse ourselves by saying he is now sober, and there is no need of our admonition? We may “ lay this flattering unction to our souls;" but God will require his life and his soul at our hands. So, when the nations have recovered from a fit of martial intoxication, is the right time to disseminate correct principles, and root out erroneous ones.
I shall not agitate the question of the lawfulness of defensive war, but consider war only as a moral evil, destructive to the souls no less than the bodies of men, and show that the Church of Christ is able, with God's help, to banish war forever from Christendom, and that the blood of souls now stains the skirts of her garments by reason of her neglect of duty. I wish merely to show why CHRISTIANS SHOULD LABOR FOR THE ABOLITION OF WAR.
I. INFLUENCE OF WAR ON MORALS AND PIETY.—The celebrated Robert Hall observes, “ war reverses, with respect to its objects, all the rules of morality. It is nothing less than a temporary repeal of all the principles of virtue, and is a system from which almost all the virtues are excluded, and into which nearly all the vices are incorporated.”
National rejoicings at the misery of others cannot fail to brutalize the feelings of a people, especially when that misery is inflicted by their own hands. It is a shocking spectacle to see a large city illuminated at the news of a victory. We have sent ten thousand of our fellow-creatures into endless misery, and we rejoice! We have made thousands of widows and orphans, and we rejoice! We have taken away the stay and staff of the aged, and we rejoice! At the moment of the illumination, perhaps thousands of wounded men are yet stretched on the field of slaughter, expiring in agony, and still we rejoice! Thousands have been carted to hospitals and prisons, where their life slowly ebbs away in protracted torments, and still we rejoice! Had all this been done by the judgment of God, without our instrumentality, we should not dare to rejoice. Had fire and brimstone rained from heaven, had the cholera swept over the land of our adversaries, we should not dare to rejoice. We rejoice because we did it. If an angel should visit this earth for the first tíme, knowing nothing of its inhabitants, and approach a large city in the midst of a rejoicing for victory, and hear the report of cannon, and the ringing of church-bells, and see the illuminations, the feasting, revelry, dancing, gluttony and drunkenness, and then should learn that all this was because they had sent ten thousand of their fellow-creatures to perdition, could he possibly be persuaded, that these were the subjects of the Prince of Peace? Would he not think, as Franklin fabled, that he had made a mistake, and had arrived at the abode of devils ?
Monuments and trophies of victory also harden the heart of nations. Christian people contribute their money to erect huge piles of ever-during granite, to perpetuate the reniembrance of a fatal strife, where the professed disciples of the Savior fell by each other's hands. Is it any wonder that the sight of these monuments of wrath should render the heart as hard as the granite of which they are built, and excite the ire and revenge of the nation whose defeat they commemorate ?
In Europe, temples devoted to the meek and benevolent Jesus, are profaned by being made the receptacles of the trophies of war, and the spoils of victory. Drums, trumpets, spears, bloody standards rent with bullets, and all the horrid array of Moloch, are exhibited to feed a nation's vanity, and love of conquest. What inconsistency! what insanity and sacrilege! Are these fit objects to inspire our hearts with the spirit of Christ ?
Lately Christians have very generally agreed in reprobating wars of conquest; and therefore Christian rulers, when they cast a longing eye on the territory of some other nation, must feign some excuse for engaging in war. And what is the pretext generally set forth by Christian rulers ? Why nothing less than retaliation and revenge. They say, "a nation has injured us, and therefore we will injure them. We will rob and sink their ships, destroy their commerce, ravage their fields, burn their cities, kill their men, make their women widows, their children orphans, and reduce them all to poverty and distress. Yes, retaliation is the avowed reason with nations professing to believe in a religion which strictly forbids all retaliation, and teaches us to recompense to no man evil for evil, to love our enemies, and to render good for evil; and yet nations strangely persist in calling such wars of retaliation, wars of self-defence. It is a principle of human nature that, when determined to persevere, in a line of conduct forbidden by any doctrine of the gospel, we are imperceptibly led to deny the truth of that doctrine, and study to explain away all the precepts which enforce it; and then God gives a man or a nation over to blindness of mind, and hardness of heart.
The frequency of any evil reconciles us to it. It has been reckoned that the numbers who have perished in war, are equal to seventy times the present number of inhabitants on the globe; but seventy or seven times strike our imagination alike, for they are equally inconceivable; and, when we hear of the slaughter of thousands, the story is so old as to be disregarded. Had we never been used to such things, we could pot believe they would ever happen, and the first sight of a battle-field would astonish us as much as the corpse of murdered Abel astonished Adam and Eve.
In war, a nation becomes accustomed to robbery and murder. The sight of rich prizes, brought in by privateers, excites a covetous desire, and a spirit of piracy pervades the whole nation. Men who, at the commencement of a war, shuddered at the bare idea of privateering, seeing others growing rich by it, throw off their scruples, and readily engage in it. Thus the nation insensibly sinks into a band of pirates, restrained indeed by certain limits ; but its heart becomes the heart of a robber.
War is declared to revenge an insult. An armed ship ap