Page images
[ocr errors]

time of War. It will be difficult to tianity, with the truth of the divine overcome this desire of wealth, and prophecy which predicts the final to divert it into any other channel.... extermination of War by the introYour accompanying circular asks duction of universal Peace, that I for co-operation, but it does not cannot doubt, an explanation of the explain in what sense, other than means adopted by the Peace Society subscription for tracts ;-now, these towards accomplishing, by the divine may

be very convincing to a re- blessing, this noble and truly Chrisflecting mind, still it is, by our laws, tian object, will make you as much vested in the Government to make a convert to the means pursued by War- the people pay War-taxes, them, as you already are to the ultiand troops are levied from amongst mate triumph of the principle they them, by the ruling authorities; inculcate. but they are not the parties whom it

You think that the Peace Society is necessary, in the first instance, to should, in the first instance, enconvince of the preference of peace. deavour to convince of the improIn what mode, therefore, does this priety and evil of War, “the ruling Society propose to effect their object? authorities," or government in I am anxious to obtain your instruc- whom it is vested by the laws to tion on this question

because if make war.” If the Society were only the Society should not be within watching over the exclusive welfare s the plan of my intended work, I of Great Britain, if they were only

may be led to devote some help endeavouring to prevent any specific towards it in other respects. — Be war that was in contemplation besides, there is every reason to under- tween England and France, or any stand that the great events which other power, reason would dictate are to be effected in the present period that application should be made to before the time of universal Peace the government in whom the law shall arrive, will be effected by vests the power of making war, to War, the chief instruments by which, prevent it by negociation. But the &c. &c.

Peace Society embrace the whole of If any thing has been done to re- mankind, " their labours are not move these obstacles, you will greatly limited to any nation or clime,” they oblige me by the communication are co-extensive with Christianity until when, I do not well know what itself. You must see how vain the basis for real and permanent utility above application would be on any and effect this Society may have; other principle than political expebut 'you may be well assured, that diency, for you seem aware that the it has my best wishes-for indeed it error with respect to war lies rather may excite the disposition so de- in the heart, than in the understandsirable, and so much wanted amongst ing of those who profit by war ; with us all.-Waiting favour of your an

such, therefore, Christian motives swer, I remain,

would have little influence. Upon Sir,

Christian motives only the Peace Your obed. Servant, Society profess to act; these motives

* they cannot contaminate with poli

tical views. Such is the hopeless 3, Great Knight Rider Street,

prospect of any beneficial result from 4 Sept. 1821.

the application to the ruling authoriSIR,— It is with pleasure I comply ties, suggested by you. Shall then with

your request, through our As- the friends of Peace and of virtue, sistant Secretary Mr. Bevans : You shall the disciples of the Prince of seem so justly impressed with the Peace, sit down with their arms evil of War, its contrariety to Chris- folded, and see with listless indifa

[ocr errors]

ference the demoralizing maxims of policy or impolicy, in the usual acWar propagated and acted upon, ceptation of the terms, of the bloody and every Christian virtue trampled contests they have with each other under foot, without lifting up their to obtain redress for imaginary or voice, and denouncing, with Christian real grievances. No, they

condemn zeal, such abominations? You, and the whole system as antichristian. every man who has any love for his And even admitting the possibility Divine Master, any respect for his of instilling pacific principles into commands, any desire that his king the present rulers of the world, it dom should come, that his will would be only like lopping off some should be done on earth as it is done of the branches of the tree of discord, in heaven, must answer, No. But since their successors might again then the question may be asked, adopt the War policy. No, this baneHow are we to act so as availingly ful tree must be torn up by the roots, to check the gigantic strides, the ambition must be dethroned from blood-stained progress of the demon the heart of man; and this can of War? I shall answer this ques- only be done by the subjection of tion, by referring you to the most the mind to the all-powerful inancient and most authentic accounts fluences of the Gospel. To attain of the first promulgation of the Gos- this important object, by which the pel of Peace and Salvation. It was spring of action will be corrected, preached to every creature; to the are the efforts of the Friends of Peace poor it was preached, not to the ex therefore directed : “for though they clusion of the rich, of the learned, have full confidence in the accomof the mighty of this world: but you plishment of the divine predictions, will find that the leaven of the they do not look for their accomGospel began to work in the poor plishment but through the gradual of this world, among the governed, process of human agency, the usual before it leavened into its spirit the means by which the Great Supreme governors.

effects his purposes of good to man. The principle of Peace is a branch, It is only as by these means the heart an important branch, of the spirit, of man is changed, the world evanof the inoral of the Gospel, and must gelized, and the grand moral prinbe disseminated in the same Chris- ciples of the Gospel substituted for tian spirit, by convincing the under- the cold-hearted, selfish policy of standing, and reforming the heart of the world, that the Peace Society man; for, till man is influenced by look for the consunimation of their Christian motives, he will never hopes." learn that it is “ his best interest to To expect the present system of practise War no more.” The march national policy to be overthrown by of intellect may effect something, means short of these, is, they conbut we must look to the march of sider, to calculate upon an effect Christian principle effectually to stay being produced without an adequate this desolating scourge, and sub cause; to substitute what is wild and stitute the arts of peace for those visionary, for sober and rational exof war, when ' every man shall sit ertions to produce peace and concord under his own vine, and under his


men." own fig-tree, and none shall make The Press, that great, that powerful them afraid.'

engine of good to man, is the medium You thus see that the Peace So- chosen by the Peace Society to disciety, no more than the Primitive seminate their principles ; and to give Christians, interfere with the political to this its fuil energies, Societies institutions of the kingdoms of this have been formed in different quarworld ; they interfere not with the ters of the globe, who keep up a


correspondence with each other, and caution to steer clear of this very narwatch every opportunity of extend rowbarrier-one offensive pamphlet, ing the kingdom of the Redeemer. or even expression, to those whom Hoping that this development of you would convert, would frustrate the principles, of the views, and the abstracted motives of your Soof the conduct of the Peace Society, ciety, especially when you shall ever may prove a satisfactory answer to be drawn to shew, that any future your inquiries, I am,

War were not either just or necesSir

sary.-- On this ground it may be Your obedient Servant, hoped your grand efforts will be exThos. Bell, Secretary. erted during the Peace, when no

such obstacle of offence is probable. 7 Sept. 1821.

Time therefore is now more than S1R, I beg to acknowledge, with doubly valuable. I remain, much thankfulness, your favour of the 5th inst. which has afforded me

Your obed. Servant, some useful reflections. If any thing should occur to you further, it will be aiding the spirit of peace, to send

3, Great Knight Rider Street, me any communications previous to

28 Sept. 1821. my publication, for in all its parts I am DEAR SIR,—I have received with frequently adding annotations. The much pleasure your last letter, in immense field you embrace, of striving which, though you approve of the to pacifythe natural turbulence of man, principle by which the Peace Society and to restrain the temper which has are influenced in their conduct, and manifested itself more or less from consequently of their avoidance of the time of Cain, is indeed worthy political disquisitions, you still doubt of the present century, which is to the practicability of efforts that do close with its accomplishment! Will not extend to some modification of half a century effect such a glorious the “ political institutions” of the work! Yes, with the divine bless- country, by which provision is made ing !--The work, as you say, must not only for those who are employed begin in the heart of man; but ages in the civil departments of the State, have elapsed, without our finding but also for their numerous depenseed for the harvest ! Give me rules dents, “ sons, nephews, cousins," for individual practice Sons, ne who look up to them for support. phews, cousins, live by the fleets As this interference with private inand armies_Commerce cannot re terests, connected with“ political ceive them-Professions overflow- institutions,” is incompatible with and almost every thing on which we the line of conduct adopted by the subsist, raises à revenue for their Peace Society, a line of conduct

apsupport: Your efforts must be proved by yourself; I hesitated at practical, or your theory will be first whether it demanded any pardeemed visionary, especially by those ticular remark; but the friendly and who know and care little about pro- candid manner in which you have phecy. I fear these things will never noticed my letter, encourages me to be willingly relinquished, and there- make another attempt to remove fore that the close of them must be your doubts on this subject. terrible, before Christian peace shall I am, equally with you, convinced become triumphant.

that the page of divine prophecy will I entirely approve your measure, of meet with its accomplishment, that not embracing political parties, or

the time will come when the

peaceinterfering with political institutions; able kingdom of the Redeemer will but it will require all your pre

extend over the whole earth ; but,

[ocr errors]

with respect to the period of its ac of the bereaved widow and of the complishment, I am not prepared to orphan will again ascend to heaven, come to a decision, but leave it with calling for retribution on the authors Him who worketh all things after of their woes; there will yet be furthe counsel of his own will.

ther changes and revolutions among If we turn over the page of his- the kingdoms of the earth. Whatever tory, and look back at the events of may be said in extenuation of the conformer periods, we shall find that duct of the authors of these miseries the Most High accomplished his and calamities, on account of the prepurposes by two sorts of instru- judices of education, of custom, and ments ; by those who may be called of associations; without any tincture the unwilling instruments, by others of uncharitableness it may be affirmed, who may be called the willing instru- that their conduct betrays an ignoments in the divine hand. One in rance of the spirit of Christianity, stance will suffice to illustrate the and of its moral precepts. Neverdistinction here made. The coming theless, I have no doubt that the of the Messiah, his offering himself events produced by such antichrisup as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin, tian conduct, will hasten that happy his subsequent resurrection, and the period, when the kingdoms of this spread of the Gospel, are events pre- world shall become the kingdoms of dicted by the prophets. No one will the Lord, and of his Christ, but the suspect the chief priests and rulers authors, the actors, must rank with of the Jews, of the most remote the chief priests and rulers of the design to bow to the divine authority Jews, as the unwitting instruments of Jesus, to admit his claims as the towards accomplishing the purposes Messiah, or to promote the ends of of the Most High. his divine mission; no, their malice These events therefore, which may was directed to crush him, and prove be compared to the wind, the earthhim an impostor; but the means they quake and the fire, terrible in their adopted to effect their object, were, effects, will not disturb the equathrough an overruling Providence, nimity of the follower of the meek made subservient to the fulfilment and lowly Saviour of men ; he will of the prophecies respecting hin. neither mix nor meddle with them, So far therefore as they promoted he will rather withdraw himself from the designs of Christ's mission, they them, but when he is called to exwere unwilling instruments. On the ertion by the still small voice of God other hand, the apostles and disci- in the conscience, he will come forth, ples of Jesus were commissioned by and not only attend to its dictates him to preach his Gospel to every himself, but direct the attention of creature under heaven. Now you will mankind to it, as that which only not associate the chief priests of the can tranquillize the passions, speak Jews, the traitor Judas, with these peace to the soul, and introduce it men who had imbibed the spirit of into the gentleness and meekness their Divine Master, with which they of Christ : and the consequence of were filled on the day of Pentecost this attention to the dictates of heaven with these cheerful willing instru- will be the establishment of permaments in spreading the Gospel of peace nent and universal Peace on the earth. and salvation, as engaged in the same You thus see that the friend of holy cause, because the former also Peace is prepared for every event, assisted to fulfil the divine predictions whether terrible or pacific; for he respecting Christ.

knows the wrath of man will be To apply this instance to the case restrained, that it cannot pass

the before us, the sound of War will pro- bounds set it by Omnipotence. May bably again be heard, and the cries these observations convince you, that


" the

“ the immense field we embrace, is” efforts are practical, and must aid its not only “worthy of the present accomplishment. century,” but that as it is co-extensive The design of Peace Associations with the magnitude of the object, is to give vigour to individual efforts so it is the only practical means, to disseminate their principles. These with the divine blessing, of accom- principles, to adopt the words of a plishing it. Whatever means short of pious Divine, * must be dissemiproducing a change in the heart of nated by those in whose hearts they

are resorted to, we consider reign. Few they may be at first; “ wild and visionary.” In this you but the number will continually inagree with us, when you say crease. Let every one consider what work must begin in the heart of he can do to promote the grand man.” And why must it begin there ? work, and let him do it without debecause in the heart of man, not of lay. He that has nothing else, has this king, or of that emperor, or a tongue to plead the cause of peace minister of state, but of man in in his domestic circle, and infuse his the aggregate, lies the root, the sentiments into the minds of his origin of War. It is only as Chris- neighbours too, and his acquainttian principle in active operation ances, and those he meets with in supplants pride, ambition, malice, the way. Another can write clearly envy and hatred, that we can look for and forcibly : let his letters to his the consummation of our hopes.- friends bear testimony to his zeal, This principle has already made con and let him compose tracts, to ensiderable progress in the human lighten society on the subject. A mind. It has stripped war of much third has a talent for poetry: let of that false glory by which its true him in tuneful numbers touch the features were disguised from the reader's heart, with a delineation of mass of mankind; and it is not the the miseries of war and the blessings least important of the results of the of peace. A fourth possesses wealth, late war, that its effects, which are and he can purchase these publicayet felt by most of the nations of tions, and spread them far and wide. Europe and North America, have A fifth is a man of genius, and could produced reflection, the handmaid of in a fuller and more elaborate treatise religion and virtue. For the fruits give an extensive as well as an imof this reflection, I refer you to the pressive view of the doctrine : let Peace Society established in London, him consecrate his powers tu this with its numerous Auxiliary Societies service, in honour of the Prince of and correspondents in the most re Peace. A sixth has the eloquence mote parts of the British empire—to of Apollos ; and he can stand up in the twenty Peace Societies established a public assembly, and arrest the in America—to the Society just esta- attention and move the heart of every blished at Parismall which have been hearer : let him cry aloud and spare formed since the conclusion of the not, and merit the title of the orator late war.

The very existence of so of peace. The ministers of Christ many societies, composed of Chris- from the pulpit (and it is no imtians of every denomination, and proper theme for that hallowed place) which have sprung up within so can lead their audience to a sight of short a period, is an indubitable proof the sources of wars, those lusts that the Christian principle of Peace which war in the members, and unis spreading among mankind. You veil their deformity; and can display know, and admit, that our theory is with success the charming beauties not visionary, but the voice of prophecy, , and these facts, prove that our

* Dr. Bogue.

« PreviousContinue »