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10. Trois Congrès des Amis de la Paix, à Londres, Birmingham,
et Manchester, les 30 et 31 Octobre, et 1re Novembre, 1849.
Paris, 1850. 8vo, pp. 16. 11. Report of the Proceedings of the Third General Peuce Congress,
held in Frankfort on the 22d, 23d, and 24th August 1850; compiled from authentic documents, under the superintendence of the
Peace Congress Committee. London, 1851. 8vo. pp. 77. 12. Gedanken über die Bildung von Friedens-Vereinen in Deutsch
land dem am 22 Juli in London zu eröffnen der vierten Friedenscongresse gewidmet. Von Dr. G. A. SPIESS, praktischen
Arzte in Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt, 1851. 8vo, pp. 32. 13. Olive Leaves for the People, in 12 Numbers. By ELIHU
BURRITT. Birmingham, 1851. 14. An Earnest Plea for the Reign of Temperance and Peace as
conducive to the Prosperity of Nations, submitted to the Visitors of the Great Exhibition. By JAMES SILK BUCKINGHAM.
London, 1851. 12mo, pp. 144. 15. Britain's Mission. By the Rev. T. PYNE, A.M. London,
1851. Pp. 8. 16. An Address on International Peace, as connected with the
Meeting of Nations in 1851. By a BARRISTER. London, 1851. Pp. 8.
In ancient times the heathens of Greece and of Rome erected statues, and altars, and temples, to the Goddess of Peace. The Pagan throng worshipped at the holy shrine, and the rich and the wise deposited their most valued properties within the precincts of the temple, and under the safeguard of its sacred name. We, too, in a better age, and with a higher purpose, have reared our temples of peace, consecrated in thousands to its God, and devoted exclusively to His service. Rising majestically to the skies, their lofty turrets and gilded domes challenge the admiration and solicit the entrance of the Christian worshipper. Within the sacred fane is taught the religion of “ peace on earth and good will to man.” The priest, on his bended knees, asks the Father of all “ to give peace in his time," while the thousands around respond with fervent utterance to the holy aspiration ; and thus has the prayer of peace ascended heaven-ward during every day of that long cycle of Christian rule which began when Peter was commanded to sheath his weapon, and which is to terminate in the metamorphosis of the sword and the spear. But frequent as that prayer has been, and fervent as it has seemed, no answer has been vouchsafed to it, because it was “ asked amiss.” The incense of faith never ascended from the nation's heart, and the dove with the olive branch has never been permitted to settle on our shores. The priest and the parent retired War Incompatible with Christianity.
from the altar to seek a home for their sons in the barrack and in the camp—the child of toil to find excitement and occupation in the ensanguined field—the statesman to compass new achievements of war, or perchance to stay amid the distraction of battle, and stifle amid the noise of its thunders the indignant remonstrances of a people against his corruptions and his crimes. Were the hierarchy of the state-the servants of him who is the fountain of life-the spiritual peers who adorn our senate, to raise their voice of peace in its cause, to protest against the first murmur of war, and to prostrate themselves at the feet of the deluded sovereign that may be induced to proclaim it, the temporal peers might resile from their decision, and the statesman might pause in his frantic career. And should the bloody declaration still issue from the throne, (never again we trust with a female will,) then let the holy men, like the archiepiscopal martyr of a neighbouring land, throw themselves between the armed bands of husbands, and fathers, and brothers, or take their station in the rear, to administer the last Christian rites to the dying hero, and staunch with their lawn sleeves the red stream of life that is ebbing from his heart.
The continuance of war under the Christian dispensation, and its co-existence with a high civilisation, and with the institutions of education and philanthropy, is a fact in the history of man which defies the analysis of the metaphysician and the moralist. Religion, "pure and undefiled,” pleads in vain the sacredness of life, and the value of the soul. Humanity utters unheard her most affectionate appeals; and even the strong instinct of self-preservation, and the inborn horror of death, have failed to subdue our animal ferocity; and while man, as an individual, dare not touch the life of him who maligns or robs him, social man, combining his individual conscience with that of millions, and transferring to them all but an infinitesimal of his own responsibility, consigns without remorse to a bloody grave, thousands of his fellow-creatures who have neither wronged nor insulted him. Thus falsely placed and criminally secure, we are horror-struck with the individual Shylock—the Jew—who demanded flesh and blood in payment of his bond-while we honour the social Shylock-the Christian—who takes more than the pound of flesh from imaginary foes, that may have knelt with him at the same altar, and drunk with him the same cup of kindness. Hence it is, that in this the latest century of civilisation, the fields of Christendom have been more copiously drenched with human blood than during any similar period of Roman or Macedonian domination; and judging from the general recklessness of human life, we might imagine that the Christian stripling who pants for battle, and the Christian maiden who would follow him to the field, had been nursed by
the milk of the Red Indian, and tatooed from their infancy with the syınbols and implements of war.
This strange condition of humanity—this utter antagonism between principle and conduct—this triumph of ambition and cupidity, and revenge over the holiest of man's affections, and the sternest of his obligations, admits but of one explanation. Faith bas no national existence. The sovereign who, to acquire territory, or avenge wrongs, lights up an offensive war—the minister that counsels it—the legislature that furnishes its sinews—and the constituency that adds their sanction, renounce by their very acts every title to the name of Christian, disclaim all faith in the immortality of their souls, and abandon every hope of a blessed resurrection. The citizen, too, who lives and dies with the guilt of blood upon his conscience, the genuine descendant of bloody Cain, differs but intellectually from the brutes that perish, and can have no other hope but that of perishing like them. If there be one crime in the catalogue of guilt which is really national, that crime is the crime of war; and the nation that wages it is truly infidel. It may have a church, and bishops, and members: It may have a confession, a liturgy, and a rubric: It may have a creed from which it has struck “ THOU SHALT NOT KILL;" but it has no faith but what is dead ;-its religion is hypocrisy; and its holiest rites are but the tricks of conjurors to stifle the consciences of the living, and smooth the deathbeds of the dying.
If the religious principle, then, has had no power to overrule those interests and soften those passions which have their issue in war, the philanthropist must search for some more deeply seated agencies in the human heart that may exercise over it a benign influence, that may take root in the tender consciences of the young, and dispel from the general mind those illusory visions of national glory which have so fatally interfered with the happiness and progress of our species. In every age of the world, and in every land, whether barbarous or civilized, individuals have been commissioned to proclaim in burning eloquence the guilt of war and the blessedness of peace; and in more modern times, whole communities of Christians—the Moravians and the Society of Friends-have čarried their principles into actual life, and made the doctrine of universal peace the basis and the badge of their communion. But it was reserved to the philanthropists of the present age to organize associations for the extinction of offensive war, and to assemble the heralds of peace in the most influential cities of Europe, to proclaim to kings and to statesmen those eternal truths which the ignorance, the cupidity, and the impiety of nations had so long kept in abeyance.
Interesting as the details might be, it is only a cursory view that our limits will permit us to take of the opinions of indiviOpinions of Statesmen and Poets against War.
duals, and of the labours of associations in favour of universal peace. Speaking of course of the mercenary soldier, Sir Walter Raleigh declares, “ that he that taketh up his rest to live by that profession, shall hardly be an honest man ;” and Lord Clarendon asserts, “that when there is no obligation to obey, it is a wonderful and an unnatural appetite that disposes men to be soldiers that they may know how to live.” Alluding to the honours awarded to the soldier, Gibbon truly remarks, that “as long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters;" and the Earl of Shaftesbury regards it was strange to imagine that war, which of all things appears the most savage, should be the passion of the most heroic spirits," a passion which he ascribes to “a moral misguidance of the affections, by which a lover of mankind becomes a ravager, and a hero and deliverer an oppressor and destroyer." Erasmus declares that “they who defend war, must defend the dispositions which lead to wardispositions absolutely forbidden by the Gospel ;” and, looking at war in its results, he says, “I know not whether any war ever succeeded so fortunately in all its events, but that the conqueror if he had a heart to feel, or an understanding to judge, as he ought to do, repented that he ever engaged in it at all.” In estimating the numbers which have been slain in war since the beginning of the world,” Burke speaks “of those torrents of silent and inglorious blood, which have glutted the thirsty sands of Africa, or discoloured the polar snow, or fed the savage forests of America for so many ages of continual war." He asks also, if he shall inflame the account by those grand massacres which “ have devoured whole cities and nations, those wasting pestilences, those consuming famines, and all those furies that follow in the train of war;" and he adds, “ that he charges the whole of these effects on political society.”
If it is the warrior minstrels of former times that humanity must blame for creating a social interest in the feats of war, and nursing the passion for military glory, it is to the poets of a better age that we owe the most harrowing descriptions of its cruelties, and the most powerful denunciations of its crimes. Byron has struck his lyre in condemnation of
- those blocdhounds from whose wild Instinct of gore and glory, earth has known
Those sufferings Dante saw in Hell alone.” He thus contrasts with the bright fiat of the Almighty the red handiwork of man:
“Let there be light, says God, and there was light ;
Let there be blood, says man, and there's a sea."
And in estimating the glory of virtuous deeds, he places the humblest act of the sister of charity above the highest of the warrior, when he declares that
“ The drying up a single tear has more
Of honest fame than shedding seas of gore." Feeble, however, as has been the influence of orators and poets in impressing upon the public mind the impolicy, the injustice, and the impiety of war, they have yet contributed their personal aid to its extinction; and some of the most distinguished of our living bards, Béranger, Lamartine, and Victor Hugo, have taken a prominent part in our associations for peace.
As in small communities and independent kingdoms, the frequency and intensity of particular crimes have often led to their suppression, so in the strife of nations may we expect that after a war the most frivolous in its origin—the most ruinous in its expenditure—the most ferocious in its acts—the most sanguinary in its results, and the most extensive in its conflagrations-a spirit of re-action may be evoked which shall rouse the indignation of universal humanity, and strangle the cannibal in his den. It was, indeed, after the downfal of Napoleon, when Europe was mourning for the noblest of her children, and when nature and art had been blighted and defaced by war, that the idea of a Peace Society first found favour with the public. Towards the end of 1814, Dr. Noah Webster launched the Ark of Peace on the American waters, and the dove with its olive branch speedily alighted on its unruffled flag. He made an affectionate appeal to the world in his Solemn Review of the Customs of War; and in 1815 the first Peace Society was established in the city of New York. In a few months a similar institution sprung up in Massachusetts, and another in Ohio; and on the 11th June 1816, the Peace Society of London was founded by Thomas Clarkson, William Allan, Joseph John Gurney, and others, on whose immortal brow posterity will plant the wreath of HUMANITY DISARMED, as the world has already done that of SLAVERY UNSHACKLED. The American Peace Society was founded on the 8th May 1828, and similar institutions have been established in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and other parts of Europe, The Count de Sellon founded a Peace Society at Geneva; and in bis beautiful gardens on the banks of the Lake, he erected an obelisk to commemorate the event. On the 24th March 1841, the Society of Christian Morality which existed in Paris formed a Peace Committee, and some time afterwards there was established in the same capital the Peace Society of Paris.
The men who organized these institutions were not those who are contented with the ephemeral honour of expressing an affectionate sympathy or performing a holy deed, or vainly embalming