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General and Simultaneous Disarmament.
cellent essay on the subject, by the Rev. Dr. Godwin, was read to the meeting; the Rev. John Burnet of London, MM. de Gueroult, Hippolyte Peut, the Rev. Asa Mahan of the Oberlin Institute, Ohio, and Mr. Henry Vincent of London, addressed the Congress in powerful and energetic speeches.
The subject of a general and simultaneous disarmament, which was the topic for the second sitting, was advocated in an eloquent speech by the Rev. Athanase Coquerel, by one less stirring from the Vice-President, M. W. H. Suringar of Amsterdam, and in a noble address by M. Francisque Bouvet of the French National Assembly, and Vice-President of the Brussels Congress. In answer to the presumptuous declaration that Peace is impossible, M. Coquerel asserted that nothing is impossible but that which is false, which is wicked, which is antihuman, and antichristian. But everything that is true and good, everything that is Christian and divine, is possible: if it were not so, we could do nothing but despair; the way of progress would be closed for ever to man; and to sum up all in one word, man would be no longer man, and God no longer God. M. Bouvet, after declaring the last councils of the Catholic Church, which prohibited liberty of discussion, to have been the cause of modern wars and revolutions, he concludes with the following peculiar observation :
“ We have seen them issue from the obscurity of the middle ages by the light of the stakes erected for the punishment of heresy in the 16th century. Since that period the spirit of life has been separated from the spirit of order. The one giving rise to revolutions always incomplete, and often deceptive in their results; the other remaining isolated in its own see of Rome, sustained by the pagan arm of political monarchies, growing feebler every day, like a tree without sap, whose foliage has dropped off through old age, and whose trunk may indeed still offer some resistance to the storm, but can no longer yield a tutelary shelter to society. The question being thus stated, the solution of the problem is clearly indicated. We must restore with the elements of modern civilisation, those grand deliberative and judicial assemblies which formerly existed in Christendom, and thither we shall see returning from all sides, like bees laden with booty to the common hive, the different elements of social order, religious, scientific, and economic, to form, in a holy association, the positive religion of nations. Then will a universal disarmament take place —then will be established permanent peace among all nations."
The discussion was continued by Mr. H. Vincent, M. Jules Avigdor of Nice, and M. Emile de Girardin, in a singularly powerful speech, at the close of which the whole assembly rose and greeted him with enthusiastic cheers. Mr. Ewart then ascended the tribune, and was followed by M. Frederic Bastiat of the National Assembly, and by Mr. Cobden, whose admirable speech terminated the sitting.
VOL. XVI. NO, XXXI.
The third sitting of the Congress was opened by the reading of a letter from the illustrious poet Béranger, who had been prevented from attending by an attack of illness. He expressed his earnest desire for the success of this generous assemblage of distinguished men, and gave his hearty approbation to the initiative, which they had had the courage to take at a time apparently so little disposed for peace. It was now intimated to the meeting, that M. Lacrosse, who had previously opened all the national palaces and public establishments to the foreign members of Congress, had also ordered the great waterworks of Versailles to play on the following Monday, in place of Sunday, in order to suit the religious scruples of the English and American members; and after voting thanks to the Minister, the business commenced with a long and excellent essay “ On a Congress of Nations," by Mr. Elihu Burritt. The Abbé Deguerry and Mr. Amasa Walker of Massachusetts continued the discussion in well considered speeches, and they were followed by Dr. Bodenstedt of Berlin, Mr. Hindley, M.P., Mr. Edward Miall, and Mr. Cobden. Mr. William Brown, an escaped slave from the United States, made a short speech, and the Rev. Mr. Pennington of New York, once a slave, but now a Presbyterian minister, spoke in a special manner of the condition of the negro population, which he estimated at twelve millions, one half of whom were then in servitude to the whites. After a vote of thanks was passed to the French Government for their liberal countenance and splendid hospitalities, and another to the President, M. Victor Hugo returned thanks, and closed the Congress in an eloquent speech, with the following interesting statement:
“ This morning, at the opening of this session, at the moment when a Christian priest was enchanting you all by the spell of his sublime and soul-penetrating eloquence, at that moment, some one, a member of this assembly, of whose name I am ignorant, reminded him that the present day, the 24th of August, is the anniversary of the massacre of Saint Bartholomew. The Catholic priest turned aside his venerable head, unwilling to think upon this lamentable occurrence. Well! for my part, I accept the omen, I adopt the recollection. Yes, two hundred and seventy-seven years ago from this very day, Paris -the Paris in which we are now assembled-awoke in terror; in the midst of the night, a bell, which was called the silver bell, tolled at the Palace of Justice- the Catholics ran to arms, the Protestants were surprised in their sleep, and a wholesale murder, a massacre, a crime in which commingled hatreds of all kinds, both religious, civil, and political, a crime of the deepest and blackest dye, was committed. Well! to-day, on the same day, in the same town, God summons all these hatreds before him, and commands them to be changed into love! God takes away from this fatal anniversary its sinister signification; where there had been a spot of blood, He puts a ray of
Reception of the Congress by the French Government.
light; in the place of an idea of vengeance, of fanaticism, and of war, He substitutes an idea of reconciliation, of tolerance and of peace; and, thanks to Him, by his will, thanks to the progress which He effects and ordains in the world, precisely on this fatal day of the 24th August, and, so to speak, almost under the shadow of that tower which gave the signal for the massacre, not only English and French, Italians and Germans, Europeans and Americans, but also those who were called Papists, and those who were called Huguenots, recognise each other as brethren; and unite in a close and henceforth indissoluble embrace! Dare now to deny progress! But, know this well, the man who denies progress is a monster of impiety, the man who denies progress denies providence, for providence and progress are one and the same thing, and progress is only one of the human names of the eternal God! Brethren, I accept your acclamations, and I offer them to future generations. Yes! may this day be a memorable day, may it mark the end of the effusion of human blood; may it mark the end of massacres and wars; may it inaugurate the commencement of the reign of peace and concord upon earth, and may it be said—The 24th of August, 1572, is effaced and disappears before the 24th of August, 1849!”
On the 25th of August, the members and visitors of the Congress spent the day in viewing the various public edifices and exhibitions which had been thrown open for their inspection ; and in the evening they attended a grand soirée, given in honour of the Congress by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his lady, Madame de Tocqueville. The magnificent suite of reception rooms at the Hotel des Affaires Etrangeres was thrown open for their reception. A band of music was in attendance, and the garden was brilliantly illuminated for the occasion. Several members of the diplomatic body and of the National Assembly, and many of the public functionaries, enjoyed the hospitality of their distinguished host, and like him conversed freely with the leading orators of the Congress.
On Monday the 27th August, the Peace Delegates visited Versailles, where they were received at the gates of the palace by officers waiting their arrival. The great fountains threw their jets to the skies, amid the joyous sounds of English cheers, and to the delight of between thirty and forty thousand spectators. The palace of St. Cloud was likewise opened for the reception of the Congress, and the great cascade was illuminated in their honour. Nothing was omitted by the authorities in Paris to shew their respect for the missionaries of peace. The liberality of the Government, and the hospitality of its most distinguished members, will never be effaced from the memory of those who enjoyed it; and we feel that, in future times, the feelings which were inspired, and the truths which were taught from the Tribune of Peace, will yet exercise a beneficial influence in proinot
ing the highest interests of France, and the continued tranquillity of Europe.
The Third Peace Congress was held at Frankfort on the 22d, 23d, and 24th August 1850, under the presidency of M. Jaup, lately Prime Minister of Hesse-Darmstadt. Through the kindness of the Consistory of the Lutheran Church, the meetings were held in St. Paul's Church, a magnificent circular edifice, capable of holding between two and three thousand persons. Among the many interesting letters of sympathy and adhesion which were received at this meeting, we must specially distinguish those of two of the greatest men on whose brow science has already planted her wreath of immortality—Baron Von Humboldt and Baron Liebig. In his great work, entitled Cosmos, the illustrious patriarch of science had long ago given his opinion on the subject of universal peace.
“ The one idea,” he says, “which history exhibits as ever more developing itself into greater distinctness, is the idea of humanity,—the noble endeavour to throw down all the barriers erected between men by prejudice and one-sided views, and by setting aside the distinction of religion, country, and colour, to treat the whole human race as one brotherhood, having one great object-the free development of our spiritual nature."
In his letter of apology, on account of his inability to attend the meeting at Frankfort, addressed to the president and members, this fine idea is more fully developed.
“ The general peace which our Continent has now so long enjoyed, and the praiseworthy efforts of many governments to avert the oftthreatening dangers of a general European war, prove that the ideas which so prominently occupy your minds are in accordance with the sentiments called forth and diffused by the increased culture of humanity. It is a useful enterprise to inspire such sentiments in the commonwealth by public conferences, and, at the same time, to point out the way through which wise and sincere governments may, by fostering the progressive and legitimate development and perfectibility of free institutions, weaken the long-accumulated elements of animosity.
“ How much mildness of manners, and an improved order in the organization of states, have confined within narrower limits the wild outbursts of physical violence, may be seen by comparing the first middle ages with modern times. The whole history of the past shews, that, under the protection of a superior power, a long-nourished yearning after a noble aim, in the life of nations, will at length find its consummation. Has not a disgraceful legislation, conniving at, yea, even encouraging, the infamous system of slavery and the traffic in human beings, at least on our Continent, and in the independent States of former Spanish America, yielded to the united efforts of the better part of mankind ?
Baron Humboldt-General Haynau.
“We must not, then, relinquish the hope that a path will open, by which all hostile divisions and contracting jealousies will gradually disappear. The whole history of the world teaches, to use the expression of a statesman long departed, that the idea of humanity becomes, in the course of centuries, ever more visible, in a more enlarged acceptation, and proclaims its animating power.'”.
After the president had delivered a brief introductory address, the usual topics of discourse were taken up by the Rev. John Burnet, the Rev. M. Bonnet of the Reformed Church at Frankfort, and by M. De Cormenin, formerly member of the French Constituent Assembly, and Councillor of State. Emile de Girardin and M. Visschers followed with able speeches. A long address from the friends of peace at Philadelphia was then read; and after an effective speech from Mr. Cobden, the resolution in favour of arbitration was carried by acclamation, and the sitting adjourned.
It is a remarkable circumstance that General Haynau was present at this sitting, and his presence thus alluded to by Mr. Cobden :
"Among the visitors to-day is a stranger whom I little expected to meet at a Peace Congress. The last great meeting I attended in England I found myself side by side with General Klapka, and now I find myself almost shoulder to shoulder with General Haynau. Now, when we see the two leading generals who were recently opposed to each other coming to Peace meetings and Peace Congresses, I begin to entertain no doubt that the world is opening its eyes to the justice of our principle. These generals themselves seem not to be perfectly satisfied, whether they are victors or whether they belong to the vanquished; they seem not to be quite satisfied in their own minds of the righteousness of their tribunal, when they attend the Congresses of the friends of Peace. Now, it is not likely that any of our peace friends will pay a visit to General Haynau in his camp. I wish to say nothing which would deter the leaders of our opponents from the progress of opinion ; but I must say that General Haynau was about the last man I thought we should have converted. I take this as a sign of progress which is safe and sure when founded upon those principles which have been laid down at the meeting to-day, founded upon the common interests and the common humanity of all living men.”
At the second sessional meeting the subject of standing armaments was ably discussed by Mr. Hindley, M.P., and Rabbi Stein of Frankfort, who concluded with these words :
“Yes, gentlemen, whenever I behold a locomotive engine rushing along with the speed of the wind, with its column of cloud and fire, I am reminded of that miraculous column of cloud by day and fire by night, which went before the people of Israel into the land of