Page images
PDF
EPUB

laws inflict? To solve this, we might could be followed up, I mean genelook to the nature of the human mind, rally and conscientiously, sources of and then to examples from history. great misery might be done away. In taking a survey of the former, it For if the great bulk of mankind were would be obvious, that the oppressor so enlightened, either by scriptural for religion (and indeed every other instruction, or divine agency, as to oppressor) would become irritated, feel alike on the subject of any evil, and rendered still more vindictive, by and to feel conscientiously at the same opposition; while, on the other hand, time the absolute necessity of adhering his mind might be softened by the to this principle as its cure, no such sight of heroic suffering. To re- evil could be perpetrated by any sistance he would attach nothing but Government. Thus, for example, if a common, or perhaps an ignominious War were even to be generally and character; whereas he might give conscientiously viewed in this light, something more than a common re- how could it ever be carried on for putation, nay, even nobility, to pa- ambitious or other wicked purposes, tience and resignation under supposed if men could be forced neither by injury. In punishing the man who threats, imprisonment, corporal sufopposed him, he would lose all pity; fering, nor the example of capital but his feelings might be called forth, punishments, to fight ? 'I do not mean when he saw all selfish notions done here, if a common combination were away, and the persecuted dying with to take place for such a purpose, that satisfaction for a public good. Add such an effect would be produced. to which, that he could not but think A combination, the result of mere something of the cause for which men policy, could never have in it sufficient thus thought it worth their while to virtue, to stand the ordeal to which perish. In looking at historical ex- it might be exposed on such occasion. ample, that of the apostles would first It must be a general harmony of acstrike us.

Had they resisted the Go- tion, arising out of a vivid sense of vernment, or stirred up the multitudes, the evil in question, and out of a firm which attended them, to do it, they conviction at the same time that this had lost their dignity and their use- was the remedy actually required as fulness. Their resistance had been a Christian duty, and that no other a bar to the

progress

of their religion, was allowed. In this point of view whereas their suffering is universally Christianity contains within itself the confessed to have promoted it. The power of removing the great evils of same may be said of those martyrs, wicked governments, without interafter whom followed the Established rupting those other parts of their sysChurch : nay, of the very persons now

tem which are of essential use to the in question, for to the knowledge good order, peace, and happiness of which succeeding Governments had, mankind. that it was the custom of the Quakers Indeed nothing can be more true, never to submit to the national au- than that the pacific spirit of Christhority in matters of conscience, and tianity, which is gradually diffusing yet never to resist this authority by itself in the present day among men, force, it is to be ascribed, that they at is so far from being of an injurious this moment enjoy so many privileges. tendency to a state, that in its uniform They are allowed to solemnize their operation it would render any

virtuous own marriages—Their affirmation government more secure and permareceived legally as their oath-Ex- ment. As we proceed in our extracts ceptions are always made in their from the Life of this great and good favour in all Acts of Parliament which man, I apprehend the truth of this relate to military service. And this position will be still more apparent, reminds me, that if this principle and a complete answer will be given

[ocr errors]

to those objectors who contend that liam Penn addressed to the Indians, the prevalence of the principles of previous to his departure for Amepeace would prove subvertive of so- rica, and sent to them by commiscial order and good government. sioners, whose object was to confer

Among the judicious regulations with the Indians, respecting their which he drew up for those who were lands, and to make with them a league about to become adventurers and of eternal peace. purchasers, he makes the following " There is a great God and Power humane and just provision for the which hath made the world and all poor Natives, which was admirably things therein, to whom you, and I, calculated to avert the horrors of war, and all people, owe their being and and to preserve inviolate the peace well-being, and to whom you and I and happiness of his little colony, far must one day give an account for all more than the most abundant assem- that we have done in the world. blage of the instruments of offence “ This great God has written his and defence, or the erection of strong law in our hearts, by which we are fortresses.

taught and commanded to love, and " In behalf of the Indians it was to help, and to do good to one another. stipulated, That as it had been usual Now this great God hath been pleased with planters to overreach them in to make me concerned in your part various ways, whatever was sold to of the world; and the king of the them in consideration of their furs, country where I live hath given me should be sold in the public market- a great province therein ; but I desire place, and there'suffer the test whether to enjoy it with your love and consent, good or bad: if good, to pass ; if not that we may always live together as good, not to be sold for good. That the neighbours and friends; else what said natives should not be abused nor would the great God do to us, who provoked ; that no man should by any hath made us (not to devour and deways or means, in word or deed, af- stroy one another, but) to live soberly front or wrong any Indian, but he and kindly together in the world? should incur the same penalty of the Now, I would have you observe, that law as if he had committed it against I am very sensible of the unkindness his fellow-planter. And if any Indian and injustice which have been too should abuse, in word or deed, any much exercised towards you by the planter of the province, that the said people of these parts of the world, planter should not be his own judge who have sought themselves to make upon the said Indian, but that he great advantages by you, rather than should make his complaint to the go- to be examples of goodness and pavernor of the province, or his deputy, tience unto you. This, I hear, hath or some inferior magistrate near him, been a matter of trouble to you, and who should to the utmost of his power caused great grudging and animotake care with the king of the said In- sities, sometimes to the shedding of dians, that all reasonable satisfaction blood, which hath made the Great should be made to the said injured God angry; but I am not such a man, planter; and that all differences be- as is well known in my country. I tween planters and Indians should have great love and regard toward be ended by twelve men, that is, by six you, and desire to win and gain your planters and six Indians, that so they love and friendship by a kind, just, might live friendly together, as much and peaceable life; and the people I as in them lay, preventing all occa- send are of the same mind, and shall sions of heart-burnings and mischief.” in all things behave themselves ac

cordingly; and if in any thing any I shall conclude these extracts for shall offend you or your people, you the present with the letter which Wil- shall have a full and speedy satis

faction for the same, by an equal num- scene, which is for the most part ber of just men on both sides, that by carefully kept out of sight.-By picno means you may have just occasion turing to our imaginations the horrible of being offended against them. carnage of that day-by endeavouring

“ I shall shortly come to see you to realize the expiring agonies of myself, at which time we may more thousands of wretched victims, strewed largely and freely confer and discourse over the plain, whose very soil was of these matters. In the mean time I crimsoned and saturated with human have sent my commissioners, to treat gore - by contemplating the rapid with

you about land, and a firm league stream of the Danube almost choked of

peace. Let me desire you to be up, and impeded in its course, by kind to them and the people, and re

the multitude of warriors precipitated ceive the presents and tokens which from its banks, floating on its surface, I have sent you, as a testimony of my or buried beneath its ensanguined good will to you, and of iny

resolution wave-Such an appalling view of to live justly, peaceably, and friendly the subject would at least tend to with you. I am your loving friend, correct the false estimates which are William Penn.” not unfrequently made, and scatter

the delusions which are commonly Reflections upon the splendid Victo- fot of the lowliest peasant, who spends

practised, by convincing us, ries obtained by the Duke of Marl- his days in industry and peace, is borough, in the reign of Queen Ann. far more enviable than that of the [From Morell's Studies in History.]

laurelled conqueror in his stateliest -- But while it becomes us to recog- palace.” Vol. ii. p. 276. nise with holy awe that Divine agency, by which the affairs of empires are

In reference to the disgraceful poliarranged, and the issue of battles tical intrigues which prevailed towards determined--while the meed of honour the close of Queen Ann's reign, Mr. may be awarded by grateful nations Morell remarksto those who have successfully de- “How humiliating is the scene which fended their social rights-let it never the preceding pages exhibit! Men of be forgotten, that War, whether pros- illustrious birth, of elevated rank, of perously or inauspiciously conducted, pre-eminent talents, degrading themis one of the most tremendous scourges selves and betraying the interests with which a people can be visited, of their country by petty jealousies and ought, therefore, to be most and contentions ; aiming at no higher earnestly deprecated. Let us take object than the personal gratification beed, that while contemplating the arising from some paltry triumph obachievements of our martial heroes, tained over their political rivals; and we do not allow ourselves to be so sacrificing both their own peace of inflated with national vanity, or mind and tranquillity of the empire, dazzled with the glare of what is to party cabals and selfish projects ! termed military glory, as to lose How far removed was this from the sight of the horrors with which they spirit of genuine patriotism ! which have been accompanied, and the tre will even prompt to the most painful mendous price of blood at which they personal sacrifices for the public good.

purchased. If, at any time, in How unlike were the statesmen of this dwelling on the historic page that corrupt and venal age, to those parecords, or the heroic strains that triots, whose names are inscribed in celebrate, victories like those of Blen- the records of Grecian and Roman beim and Ramillies, our bosoms heave fame, and will be transmitted with with exultation and delight, it were honour to distant ages-who devoted well to check their antichristian emo- themselves to exile and to death for tions, by surveying the reverse of the the good of the commonwealth—who

[ocr errors]

were

were willing to be accounted as no- not have incurred the lasting displeasure thing, so that their beloved country of the wise and the good ; nor would liis might be preserved-and who cheer. latter moments have been embittered by fully sacrificed their private ambition, those agonizing reflections which hartheir desire of revenge, and even their rowed up his soul when reluctantly on love of glory, predominant as these the wing for eternity.) sentiments were among heathen na- “ Famine, the plague, and war, are tions, to the welfare of the republiç the three most famous ingredients in over which they presided. But how this lower world. Under famine may much farther removed is this un- be classed all the noxious foods which hallowed ambition, this lust of power, want obliges us to have recourse to; this contention " which shall be the thus shortening our life, whilst we greatest," from the spirit of Chris. hope to support it. In the plague tianity and the example of its Divine are included all contagious distemFounder! He whom the Scriptures pers; and these are not less than two of Truth declare to be · God over all, or three thousand. These two gifts blessed for ever,' divested himself of we hold from Providence; but War, his essential glories, and made him- in which all those gifts are concenself of no reputation,' that by this his tered, we owe to the fancy of three voluntary abasement he might raise or four hundred

persons

scattered over apostate man to glory, honour, and the surface of this globe, under the immortality! Happy would it be for name of princes and ministers. The the nations of the earth, if the rulers most hardened flatterer will allow, of this world were formed after the that war is ever attended with plague model of the meek and self-denying and famine, especially if he has seen Redeemer:—if the same mind were in the military hospitals in Germany, or them, which influenced all his con- passed through some villages where duct while he condescended to inhabit some notable feat of arms has been our world—if they were willing to performed. • learn of Him, who was meek and It is unquestionably a very notable lowly in heart!' Then, instead of the art to ravage countries, destroy dwelrestlessness of ambition—the " envy. lings, and, communibus annis, out of a ings and strifes, and debates,' which hundred thousand men to cut off forty have agitated the breasts and dis- thousand. This invention was oritracted the counsels of rival states- ginally cultivated by nations assemmen—each would esteem others better bled for their common good. For than himself; in honour they would instance, the diet of the Greeks sent prefer one another; and all would word to the diet of Phrygia and its maintain the unity of the Spirit in the neighbours, that they were putting to bonds of peace. Vol. ii. p. 287. sea in a thousand fishing-boats, in

order to do their best to cut them off

root and branch. The Roman peoVoltaire on War.

ple, in a general assembly, resolved [From the Bath and Cheltenham Gazette.] that it was their interest to go

and [We cɔnfess that the Frenchman whose fight the Vejentes, or the Volscians,

before harvest; and some years after, name is prefixed to this article is not a favourite author with us; but, on the all the Romans, being angry with principle, fas est ab hoste doceri, we quote all the Carthaginians, fought a long his sentiments on the subject of War.

time both by sea and land. It is Although imbued with the author's pe

otherwise in our time. culiarly satirical and piquant style, they A genealogist sets forth to a prince, are nevertheless just. Had Voltaire that he is descended in a direct line expressed equally correet opinions upon from a count, whose kindred, three or other matters connected with the well-four hundred years ago, had made a being of his fellow-creatures, he would family compact with a house, the very

memory of which is extinguished. mander does not think it worth thankThat house had some distant claim ing God for; but if

, besides killing to a province, the last proprietor of 10 or 12,000 men, he has been so far which died of an apoplexy. The favoured by heaven as totally to deprince and his council instantly re- stroy some remarkable place; then solve, that this province belongs to a verbose hymn is sung in four parts, him by divine right. The province, composed in a language unknown to which is some hundred leagues from all the combatants, and besides stuffed him, protests that it does not so much with barbarisms. The same song does as know him; that it is not disposed for marriages and births as for masto be governed by him; that before sacres; which is scarce pardonable, prescribing laws to them, their con- especially in a nation of all others the sent, at least, was necessary: these most noted for new songs. All counallegations do not so much as reach tries pay a certain number of orators the prince's ears; it is insisted on that to celebrate these sanguinary actions: his right is incontestible. He in- some in a long black coat, and over it a stantly picks up a multitude of men short docked cloak ; others in a gown, who have nothing to do nor nothing to with a kind of shirt over it; some lose; clothes them with coarse blue again over their shirts have two pieces cloth, one sous to the ell; puts them of a motley-coloured stuff hanging on hats bound with coarse white down. They are all very long-winded worsted; makes them turn to the in their harangues ; and to illustrate: right and left; and thus marches a battle fought in Weteravia, bring away with them to glory! Other up what passed thousands of years princes, on this armament, take part ago in Palestine.

But in not one in it to the best of their ability, and of all these discourses has the orator soon cover a small extent of country the spirit to animadvert on War, that with more hireling murderers than scourge and crime which i, ludes all Gengis-Kan, Tamerlane, and Baja- others. Put together all the vices zet, had at their heels. People, at of all ages and places, and never will no small distance, on hearing that they come up to the mischiefs and fighting is going forward, and that if enormities of only one campaign. they would make one there are five Ye bungling soul-physicians, to or six sous aday for them, imme- bellow for an hour and more against diately divide into two bands, like a few flea-bites, and not say a word reapers,

and
go

and sell their ser- about that horrid distemper, which vices to the first bidder. These mul- tears us to pieces ! Burn your books, titudes furiously butcher one another, ye moralizing philosophers! Whilst not only without having any concern

the humour of a few shall make it an in the quarrel, but without so much act of loyalty to butcher thousands as knowing what it is about. Some- of our fellow-creatures, the part of times five or six powers are engaged, mankind dedicated to heroism will three against three, two against four, be the most execrable and destructive sometimes even one against five, all monsters in all nature. Of what avail equally detesting one another; and is humanity, benevolence, modesty, friends and foes, by turns, agreeing temperance, mildness, discretion, and only in one thing, to do all the mis- piety! when half a pound of lead, chief possible.

discharged at the distance of six hunAnodd circumstance in this infernal dred paces, shatters my body; when enterprise is, that every chief of these I expire at the age of twenty, under ruffians has his colours consecrated; pains unspeakable, and amidst thouand solemnly prays to God before he sands in the same miserable condition; goes to destroy his neighbour. If the when my eyes at their last opening slain in a battle do not exceed two see my native town all in a blaze; and or three thousand, the fortunate come the last sounds I hear are the shrieks

« PreviousContinue »