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lent principles of that Gospel, which requires us to do good to our enemies, to pray for them that despitefully use us, not to resist evil, and not to avenge ourselves, we leave to the reader to determine.
Third, His presence gives a countenance to all the evils, which are attendant upon war; the profaneness, the intoxication, the sabbath-breaking, the dissoluteness, that always gather in its train. These dreadful evils, as well as cruelty and bloodshed, are universally regarded as necessarily incidental to a state of war; no wars in times past have ever existed without them, nor have we any reason to expect it will be otherwise in future. It is not to be presumed, whatever may be the unfavorable tendencies of the human passions, that society would continue to tolerate the congregation of evils, direct and indirect, that are found in war, were it not for some fallacy in fact and reasoning. Men have been taught to believe, that wars are in some cases necessary, and that even the Gospel justifies them; and the presence of the chaplain in an army, praying for its success, and throwing the ennobling sanctions of religion around the field of military preparation and battle, tends to encourage and strengthen this great error. Wars, they say, must sometimes be right, otherwise the minister of the Gospel, who certainly ought to understand the principles of the religion he teaches, would not be in the midst of them, and would not sanction them by his presence. This is the effect upon men generally, upon the mass of the community.–Furthermore, we assert it with entire confidence, that, were it not for the countenance, which they receive from professed Christians in the ranks of the army and particularly from the chaplain, the soldiers themselves, hardened as they are by the tendencies of their occupation, would experience more misgivings, more doubt, more compunction of heart
in their work of destruction and blood, than they are now generally found to do. They conclude, and very naturally too, if a preacher of the Gospel, a commissioned minister of the Most High, with all his capabilities for forming a moral and religious judgment of things, approves their employment and prays for its success, it would be an excess of scrupulosity in them to entertain a doubt.
And the undoubted encouragement, which they receive from this source, extends itself, in a greater or less degree, not only to the direct evils, but also to the indirect evils of war. If the chaplain approves of war, it cannot be supposed, all things considered, that he has any very serious and fundamental objection to those incidental evils of sabbath-breaking, profaneness, and the like, without which wars never have been, and never will be carried on. Especially if it should be the case, (as under the existing circumstances we imagine it will be likely to be so, that he seldom takes an opportunity pointedly to preach against and reprove them. -We are under the necessity, therefore, of coming to the conclusion, that ministers of the Gospel cannot innoy and lawfully exercise the office of military chap
And if they should act generally in accordance this view, we have no doubt, it would tend greatly neck the spirit of war.
OF WAR IN CONNECTION WITH EDUCATION.
We have endeavored to show in a former chapter, that the great work of restoring the world to permanent and universal peace depends, in the first instance, mainly on Christians. All, who profess to be governed by the principles of the Gospel, are called upon to act decidedly in their Christian character ; in other words, to consider abstinence from war in all cases, as an essential and indispensable requisite of that character. The world will never be permanently at peace, until this doctrine takes effect. But at the same time we are not at liberty to neglect any rightful means whatever, which can be made subservient to this most desirable result. These means are various ; but one of the most important is the gentle, but efficacious influence of education. The application of this means of promoting peace may be stated in some particulars.
1,--In the first place, something is to be done by heads of families, particularly Mothers. It is from them that the infant mind receives, in a great degree, not only its earliest, but its most decisive direction. And it is lamentably true, that the direction, which they have been instrumental in giving, has been too often in favor of a warlike spirit. They have probably not been aware of the unpropitious tendency of the course they have often pursued ; but the evil has not, on that account, been
the less real and great. They have planted the seeds and promoted the incipient growth of a military spirit by permitting the childish exultation of their little ones, on witnessing a military parade and review, to go unchecked. They have fostered this unholy spirit by allowing their children the soldierlike gratification of paper military caps, guns, feathers, swords, sashes, and all the miniature paraphernalia of war. They have put into their hands the accounts of Indian and border wars, the lives of military chieftains, military and patriotic ballads and songs, which come recommended to their youthful imaginations with the emblazonment of plates and cuts. These practices, for which mothers stand in a very high degree, if not exclusively accountable, have been almost universal ; their influence is felt by almost every man of the community ; and it requires no small degree both of philosophy and religion to throw it off entirely, even in the soberness of manhood and old age.
"The two first books I ever read in private, (says Robert Burns,) and which gave me more pleasure than any two books I ever read since, were the life of Hannibal and the History of Sir William Wallace. Hannibal gave my young ideas such a turn, that I used to strut in raptures up and down after the recruiting drum and bagpipe, and wish myself tall enough to be a soldier; while the story of Wallace poured a Scottish prejudice into my veins, which will boil along there, till the floodgates of life shut in eternal rest.” The unfortunate Theobald Wolf Tone, speaking of his practice in early life of attending the military reviews of the garrison at Dublin, says expressly, “ I place to the splendid appearance of the troops, and the pomp and parade of military show, the untameable desire, which I have ever since had, to become a soldier.” Let parents examine this matter; and considering
wherein they have been in error, pursue a different course ; endeavouring to impress the susceptible minds of their children with the evils of bitterness and strife; checking all those childish practices, which, adopted under the impulse of the principle of imitation, breathe a military spirit; and substituting for the sanguinary narratives of human warfare the far more interesting records of kindness, of forgiveness, and of early piety. *
II, In the SECOND place, a decidedly beneficial influence in regard to this matter can be exerted by SAB
There are said to be at the present time not less than an hundred thousand instructers, and a million of sabbath school pupils in the United States. It is the duty of these instructers not only
- Do you
* "I lately visited, (says Mr. Ladd in one of his numerous peace publications,) a distinguished instructer of youth, who has recently been converted to the peace principles ; and being of a strong and discriminating mind, he did not stop half way, but came, at once, to the conclusion, that all war is contrary to the spirit of the gospel, and has not been afraid to publish his opinion to the world. He told me, that his boys were so taken up with military notions, that he could not reason with them, and he asked me to talk to them. I took the eldest boy, aged about seven years, between my knees, and something like the following conversation ensued. love to see the soldiers ?” “O, yes, I love to see the rub-a-dubs.” “Would you like to be one yourself ?”
Well, but do you know what these soldiers are for ?" "No." “Why, they are learning to kill people. Those bright guns are made to kill people with, and those bright bayonets to stab them with.” The boy turned pale, such a thought never before entered his head. “Do you know who killed the little babes in Bethlehem, because a wicked man told them to ?”
• They were soldiers. Do you know who crucified our Lord, and drove spikes through his hands and feet?” The boy was silent. • They were soldiers, and soldiers would burn your house and cut down your fruit trees and kill your pa, if they were told to.” Both the boys were astonished, as tears stood in their eyes. “ Do you want to be a soldier ?» « No." “ Do you want to see the rub-a-dubs ?»