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Subject further examined-Case allowed that, if a
Cabinet of good men had to negotiate with a Calinet of good men, there might be no wars.
-but what would be the issue, if good had to deal with bad-Case of American settlers, who adopted the policy of the world, and were always at war--and of other American settlers, who adopted the policy of the Gospel, and were always at peace—no case stronger than where civilized men had to deal with savage American tribes.
I BELIEVE it will be allowed, that the Quaker-instances mentioned in the last section are in point. I am aware, however, it will be said, that though different Cabinets all having the same Christian disposition would settle their disputes in a friendly manner, how would a Cabinet consisting of spiritually-minded men settle with a Cabinet of other men, who had not brought their passions under due regulation, and who, besides, had no notion of the unlawfulness of war?
I apprehend it will not be denied, that men as ferocious as any recorded in history were those, who were found in America when that continent was discovered. We hear nothing of Africans, or of Asiatics, which would induce us to suppose that they were more wild and barbarous than these
; and nothing is more true of these, than that they were frequently concerned in wars. I shall therefore take these for an example ; and I shall show by the opposite conduct of two different communities towards them, that it rests with men to live peaceably or not, as they cultivate the disposition to do it, or as they follow the policy of the Gospel in preference of the policy of the world,
When the English, Dutch, and others, began to people America, they purchased land of the natives. But when they went to that continent, notwithstanding there were amiable persons among them, and friends to civil and religious liberty, they went with the notions of worldly policy, and they did not take with them the Christian wisdom of the unlawfulness of war. They acted on the system of preparation, because there might be danger.
They never settled without palisados and a fort. They kept their nightly watches, though unmolested.
They were, in short, in the midst of war, though no injury had been offered them by the natives, and though professedly in a state
In the peopling of Connecticut, for I must begin with some one State, it was ordered at an English Court “holden at Dorchester on the seventh day of June 1636, that every town should keep a watch, and be well
supplied with ammunition. The constables were directed to warn the watches in their turns, and to make it their care that they should be kept according to the direction of the court. They were required also to take care that the inhabitants were well furnished with arms and ammunition, and kept in a constant state of defence*. As these infant settlements, the author observes, « were filled and surrounded with numerous savages, the people conceived themselves in danger when they lay down, and when they rose up, when they went out, and when they came in. Their circumstances were such, that it was judged necessary for every man to be a soldier.” I find from this author, looking further * Trumbull's History of Connecticut, p. 56.
into his History, that previously to the order of the Court of Dorchester, which did nothing more than enjoin a more strict execution of the original plan, which was that of military preparation and defence, some of the settlers had been killed by the natives. The provocation, which the natives received, is not mentioned. But it was probably provocation enough to savage Indians to see people settle in their country with all the signs and symptoms of war.
Was such a system likely to have any other effect than that of exciting their jealousy? They could see that these settlers had at least no objection to the use of arms. They could see that these arms could never be intended but against other persons, and there were no other persons there but themselves. Judging, therefore, by outward circumstances, they could draw no inference of a peaceable disposition in their new neighbours. War soon followed. The Pequots were attacked. Prisoners were made on both sides. The Pequots treated those settlers barbarously, who fell into their hands, for they did not see on the capture of their own countrymen
any better usage on the part of the settlers themselves; for these settlers, again, had not the wisdom to use the policy of the Gospel, but preferred the policy of the world. “ Though the first planters of New England and Connecticut,” says the same author, were men of eminent piety and strict morals, yet, like other good men, they were subject to misconception and the influ. ence of passion. Their beheading Sachems, whom they took in war, killing the male captives, and cnslaving the women and children, was treating them with a severity, which on the benevolent principles of Christianity it will be difficult to justify*.
After this treatment war followed war. And as other settlements were made in other States on the same principles, war fell to their portion likewise. And the whole history of the settlement of America, where these principles were followed, or where the policy of the world was adopted, is full of the wars between the settlers and the Indians, which have continued more or less, pearly up to the present day. * Trumbull's History of Connecticut, p. 112,