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tion on account of any force, which may
be used against him; because no one, according to its precepts, is to do evil, not even that good may come. But, if he be persecuted, he is to adhere to that which is right, and to expect his reward in the other state. The impossibility, therefore, of breaking or dissolving individual responsibility, in the case of immoral action, is an argument to many of the unlawfulness of these wars. And they, who reason in this manner, think they have reasoned right, when they consider, besides, that if any of the beings in question were to kill one of his usually reputed enemies in the time of peace, he would suffer death for it, and be considered as accountable also for his crime in a future state. They cannot see, therefore, how any constituted authorities among them can alter the nature of things, or how these beings can kill others in time of war without the imputation of a crime, whom they could not kill without such an imputation in time of peace. They see in the Book of the Great Spirit no dispensation given to societies to alter the nature of actions which it has
pronounced to be crimes.
But the Superior Being would say, Is it really defined, and is it defined clearly in the Great Book of the Spirit, that if one of them should kill another he is guilty of a crime? It would be replied not only of a crime, but of the greatest of all crimes; and that no dispensation is given to any of them to commit it in any case.
And it would be observed, further, that there are other crimes, which these fightings generally include, which are equally specified and forbidden in the Great Book, but which they think it proper to sanction in the present
Thus all kinds of treachery and deceit are considered to be allowable ; for a very antient philosopher among them has left a maxim upon record, and it has not yet been beaten out of their heads, notwithstanding the precepts of the Great Book, in nearly the following words : “ Who thinks of requiring open courage of an enemy, or that treachery is not equally allowable in war* ?"
Strange! the Superior Being would reply. They seem to me to be reversing the order of their nature, and the end of their exist
* Dolus an virtus quis in hoste requirat?
But how do they justify themselves on these occasions? It would be answered, --they not only justify themselves, but they even go so far as to call these fightings honourable. The greater the treachery, if it succeed, and the greater the number of these beings killed, the more glorious is the action esteemed.
Still more strange! the Superior Being would reply. And is it possible, he would add, that they enter into this profession with a belief that they are entering into an honourable employ? Some of them, it would be replied, consider it as a genteel employ; and hence they engage in it. Others, of a lazy disposition, prefer it to any
other. Others are decoyed into it by treachery in various ways. There are also strong drinks which they are fond of; and if they are prevailed upon to take these to excess they lose their reason, and then they are obliged to submit to the engagements, which they had made in a state of intoxication. It must be owned, too, that when these wars begin, the trades of many of these little beings are stopped; so that, to get a temporary livelihood, they go out and fight. Nor must it
be concealed, that many are forced to go both against their judgment and against their will.
The Superior Being, hurt at these various accounts, would probably ask, And what then does the community get by these wars, as a counterbalance for the loss of so much happiness, and the production of so much evil? It would be replied, nothing. The community is generally worse off at the end of these wars than when it began to contend. But here the Superior Being would wish to hear no more of the system. He would suddenly turn away his face, and retire into one of the deep valleys of his planet, either with exclamations against the folly, or with emotions of pity for the situation, or with expressions of disgust at the wickede ness, for these little creatures.
“O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Subject further examined—Sad conceptions of those,
relative to the Divine Being and the nature of the Gospel, who plead for the necessity of warwar necessary, where statesmen pursue the policy of the world—nature and tendency of this policy zbut not necessary, where they pursue the policy of the Gospel-nature and tendency of this policy—this tendency further confirmed by a supposed case of a few Quakers becoming the governors of the world.
It is now an old maxim, and time with all its improvements, has not worn it away, that wars are necessary in the present constitution of the world. It has not even been obliterated, that they are necessary in order to sweep off mankind on account of the narrow boundaries of the earth. But they,