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V. WAR A HOTBED OF LICENTIOUSNESS.-Efforts to prevent breaches of the seventh commandment, and produce a greater degree of purity among our youth, must meet the approbation of all good men. Whatever may be our opinion of the means used, every one must applaud the end. But though licentiousness may lurk in our great cities, and spread contamination into the country, as yet lasciviousness does not openly stalk abroad at noon day, as it does in those countries which have been exposed to the blighting influence of great military and naval establishments ; nor does the general immorality of our country bear a greater proportion to the vices of Europe, than our puny warlike preparations do to their stupendous and overwhelming establishments.
Such a state of things is to be expected in Europe. When we see an army of one hundred thousınd men, we should reflect that nearly an equal nu:nber of the other sex are deprived of their natural support, and exposed to all the temptations of vice, increased by poverty, and the absence of their natural protectors. This is what would be the case in time of peace; but in war the average life of a soldier does not exceed three years, that is, an army of one hundred thousand men would require one hundred thousand recruits in the course of three years to keep its ranks full. The mortality in the French army during the late wars in Europe, at times, exceeded that proportion. Of the five hundred and sixty thousand men with which Napoleon entered Russia, not twenty thousand re-crossed the Rhine. I believe the number of men in our army and navy during the last war, did not average over forty thousand. The war did not continue three years; yet it is calculated, that we lost over forty thousand men• though we had little fighting. Dissipation, and the diseases of the camp were, as usual, more fatal than the sword. If this calculation of the mortality in armies in general is correct, then a nation that maintains an army of one hundred thousand men, must, in three years of war, have an increase of one hundred thousand women unprovided for. And then, when we consider, that the greater part of the army are men of dissolute habits, and constantly moving about from place to place, it would be strange, indeed, if a vast number of women did not become the victims of seduction. Such is the fact. I have seen in Europe vast numbers of women following the camp; and in some instances, especially in the French armies, they were even known to put on male attire, and follow their paramours into the deadly conflict. A considerable number of women were killed at the battle of Waterloo. That some of these women were wives, is admitted; but a far greater part of them, nearly all, had no claim to this character. But if they had been married, what, after their husbands were killed, would prevent them from falling a prey to the many temptations which surrounded them? These women become practised in every evil, and their hearts are hardened to every crime. Some of them are beautiful; lured from scenes of elegance and refinement, they sink into incarnate fiends, and are turned on society to take a horrible vengeance on our guilty sex.
Hence in the great cities of Europe, there are scenes of vice,
of which happily, in this country, we are as yet ignorant. Here vice shuns the day; but there she walks forth without a blush. There abandoned women are seen at the corners of the streets, tolure the simple ones. At night the streets of London are thronged with them; and a young man is repeatedly assaulted by these harpies, and many a one lured to his ruin. At the theatres they abound, and form a great part of the audience in some of them, where intemperance and lasciviousness go hand in hand, and the play-house becomes indeed the gate to hell. But the picture has already become too disgusting, though only an outline; and it cannot be filled up without shocking decency too much.
But, if these faint sketches are too disgusting for detail, I can assure my readers, that they are but rose-leaves to what takes place in naval and military depots. My heart sickens at the remembrance; and my pen refuses to develope the truth of those things which my own eyes have seen. If sin makes hell, then a British man-of-war is indeed " a floating hell.” When the Royal George sunk at Spithead, six hundred lewd women went down in her; and yet, in ships anchored near the wreck, the same scenes are acted over, and allowed by the Government, as necessary to the navy!
Do you suppose such things would not be permitted in this country? If we had as large a navy as Great Britain, we should, like her, resort to impressment to keep it manned; and the sailors, not being permitted to go on shore for fear of desertion, would be allowed the same vicious indulgences to keep them content on board. Our females are by nature no better than theirs; and their religious privileges are fully equal to ours. The same causes would produce the same result in this country. In France, from what I have heard, I believe, the state of morals is still worse than in England—in full proportion to her more warlike spirit. In this country, the corruption has begun; and it will increase with our army and navy. Will not Christians labor to dry up this prolific source of pollution, profligacy and vice?
VI. WAR A School OF PROFANENESS.-There are vices which, if they do not originally grow out of war, are much promoted by it; and among these may be reckoned the heaven-daring sin of profanity. Perhaps the soldier may have some peculiar temptation to this sin. Courage is the only mental quality, except implicit obedience, which is required of a soldier. If he has these two, he may be destitute of every other, and be a firstrate soldier; and, if to the fierceness of a tiger, he add the cunning of a fox, he may become a hero. He who braves the Almighty, may think himself a greater hero than he who braves only his equals. Hence a man often swears to show his courage; and, as courage is more esteemed in fleets and armies than any where else, it is there most practised. To swear like a man-of-wars-man, is a common expression when one would speak of great profaneness. Whoever has been on board a man-of-war, can scarcely help noticing the horrid oaths which interlard the usual orders given to
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VIL W: The Orgy AJD STREET OF DTELLING.-It is true, ani straz.de 22 3 Teie partice of ce ng tock its oos jos al carbut i se dark ages. It 25 TDIES to the mienta, and its present practice is contided to Christendon it being boxer heard of among 9252768 or beatnets, horgnated in the anard ognya, tata tral o vala ani sa was an appel to Hasen." A true Christians Do# see the f..., as well as the impisty, of such an awesi, so far as intiridunts are concerned; but many are yet utifriy binded when they apply the same principics to nations. What is war but a nacional doel? What war. rannt is there in the grejel for one more than the other? Toey originate in the same causes, a love of revenge. oz a fear of being thesigint weak or pigillanimus; and these tives are almost the only ons by which any man openly defende war. Our wars are for revenge, or to preserve our honor; for a nation seidon thinks of noticing the ostensible anume of war in a treaty of peace. We have fought; we have gained glory; we have had our revenge, and have preserved our honor. Just so with the duellist.
Duelling, however, has long since been excluded from the church, and is now confined to that class of men who fear man more than God. Indeed, were it not for this slavish fear, duelling would cease entirely; for it has never been found necessary to the preservation of order in ciril society, though many have supposed that the army and navy could not get along without it; that, were it not for fear of consequences, the gentlemen of war, particularly in their cups, would abuse one another. The reason why duelling is kept up is, that men esteer physical courage more than they do moral courage, or any other virtue. Especially in the army and navy, physical courage is indispensable; and the man who is wanting in it, whatever else he may possess, is not fit for a soldier. To doubt a soldier's courage, is to wound his honor in its nicest point. You may doubt every thing else, and he cares not; nay, he often boasts of his vices; but, if he suffers his courage to be called in question, he must quit the service. Therefore, so long as the custom of war is kept up, so long will that of duelling prevail.
The army and navy have the same influence on society, in respect to duelling, which they have as it respects profanity. They set the fashion which will always be followed with those who love the honor that cometh from man, more than they do the approba-tion of God, so long as our youth are educated in the belief that courage is more estimable than virtue. So long as Christian nations uphold the custom of war, so long will the custom of duelling continue. Courts of honor may be erected to abolish the custom; but they will be altogether in vain so long as war continues; for men now fight duels solely because the parties have more physical than moral courage, and fear being called cowards, which fear courts of honor never can prevent or allay.
VIII. WAR AN OBSTACLE TO THE REVIVAL OF RELIGION. Man is placed here in a state of trial to prepare him for another world; and every thing favorable to that preparation, should be sedulously cherished, and every thing unfavorable carefully avoided. Now, nothing can be more unfavorable to self-examination, the study of the holy scriptures, and prayer, than a state of war. Allowing the war to be ever so justifiable, the very excitement, the all-absorbing interest, which engrosses the whole soul in a time of war, and chains it down to things of time and sense, militates strongly against revivals. Suppose that, by a miracle of divine grace, a soldier should be converted. He loves God, and all God's creatures. How can he, in such a state of feeling, plunge his bayonet into the heart of a sinner, and send him to everlasting perdition? However others may conceive the abstract idea of loving an enemy, and then sending his soul to hell, to my mind it is perfectly inconceivable. The very object of war is to distress the enemy, to cut off his supplies, and starve him into submission. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink," are commands which the soldier must violate. To obey them, would be to subject himself to the charge of treason, and the punishment of death. If he then lives in the habitual violation of Christ's commands how can he grow in grace? A young convert loves the sanctuary and the Sabbath ; but he is commanded to fight, kill and destroy on that holy day. How can he be in the spirit on the Lord's day? Can we suppose that a general would ever pray for a revival in his army? What would he do with a revival on the eve of a battle? It would destroy all his hopes of victory. Accordingly we find, that the most able generals have deprecated religion. Bonaparte, the greatest general the world ever saw, allowed no priests in his army. He said he did not like a religious soldier; the worse the man, the better the soldier; and, if soldiers were not corrupt, they should be made so.
And his grea success showed he understood human nature too well. • But further proof is superfluous. There can be no hope of a revival in time of war; and though, in times of peace when the common practices of war are suspended, there may be some show of religion in a barrack, I fear there is little of the reality. We heard, some years ago, of a revival of religion at West Point Academy. My curiosity was much excited by such an anomaly; and I took some pains to inquire of the chaplain concerning it. He informed me, that there was some seriousness; but, in almost, if not quite every instance, when the subject of it did not leave the institution, his religion left him, and the chaplain himself left also. This was in peace, and under the most favorable circumstances. The young men there had not yet become contaminated with scenes of bloodshed; yet religion could not live there. But who ever heard of a revival in a camp or barrack in a time of war?
Not only has war this deplorable effect on those immediately engaged in it, but its very nature is calculated to destroy all religious feeling in the nation that wages it. In the excitement of war caused by military display, the noise of cannon, drums and fifes, the clangor of trumpets, and the din of arms, what time is there for religious meditation? All the conversation turns on the news of the war. The stillness of the Sabbath is disturbed by the march of armies, the arrival of prizes, the rejoicing for victories, the rage of defeat, and the confusion occasioned by preparation against attack. A revival of religion cannot be expected at such a time; and facts, I believe, will warrant me in saying that they seldom, or never, occur. A great revival of religion commenced in New England about 1740, which continued at intervals down to the French war and the revolution. There were a few partial revivals at the commencement of the latter; but the war extinguished them all, and a general dissoluteness of manners prevailed. This, I believe, is undeniable. There may have been some revivals of religion during the last war; but I do not recollect that I ever heard of any. Indeed, my proposition is almost self-evident; and I appeal to my readers, whether war does not in fact put an end to revivals of religion.
IX. WAR AN OBSTACLE TO THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL.I have already noticed some particular modes in which war promotes sin, and opposes piety and virtue ; but I have not named all the vices and sins which follow in its train. Besides murder, robbery, theft, falsehood, intemperance, lasciviousness, Sabbath breaking and duelling, I might mention other sinful practices which follow in the wake of war; for there is, perhaps, not a single yice which war does not draw after it.
If the moral evils of war, by which it sinks millions of souls into perdition, were confined to the Christian nations that carry it on, there would surely be sufficient cause for the most active opposition to it, and for humble and fervent prayer to God for its cessation; but the exceeding sinfulness of war does not end here. It is “evil, only evil, and that continually.” It sheds its blighting influence on heathen nations, and is the greatest of all obstacles to their conversion, Christians not only have destroyed one