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Glory to God in the highest-on carth Peace-Good will
Song of ANGELS.
“ Shall the sword devour forever?”
WE regard with horror the custom of the ancient heathens in offering their children in sacrifice to idols. We are shocked with the customs of the Hindoos, in progtrating themselves before the car of an idol to be crushed to death; in burning women alive on the funeral piles of their husbands ; in offering a monthly sacrifice, by casting living children into the Ganges to be drowned. We read with astonishment of the sacrifices made in the papal crusades, and in the Mahometan and Hindoo pilgrimages. We wonder at the blindness of christian nations, who have esteemed it right and honorable to buy and sell Africans as property, and reduce them to bond. age for life. But that which is fashionable and popular in a country is esteemed right and honorable, whatever may be its nature in the views of men better informed.
But while we look back with a mixture of wonder, indignation and pity, on many of the customs of former ages, are we careful to inquire, whether some customs, which we deem honorable, are not the effect of popular delusion? and whether they will not be so regarded by future generations ? Is it not a fact, that one of the most horrid customs of savage men, is now popular in every nation in Cbristendom? What custom of the most barbarous na. tions is more repugnant to the feelings of piety, bumani. ty and justice, than that of deciding controversies between nations by the edge of the sword, by powder and ball, or the point of the bayonet ? What other savage custom has occasioned half the desolation and misery to the buman race? And what but the grossest infatuation, could render such a custom popular among rational beings?