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But among all these essays, we have never seen any work in which is embodied a connected series of the effects
from the earliest ages to the present time; together with proofs of the practical results of pacific principles, drawn from historical facts. By the former, a fair view might be taken of the baleful influences and destructive consequences of war, in all ages, clearly proving from undeniable authority, that, in the issue, it has generally failed of its professed object; and by the latter, it might be seen that the principles of peace have always been productive of the best good to man ;
and have ever been far more efficacious than war, in securing the defence of nations and people, and obtaining the blessing and protection of Divine Providence.
We do not flatter ourselves that this small essay is fully entitled to the claim of such a work, as above described ; but merely a humble effort towards it. Such as it is, we present it to the public, with a hope that it may be productive of some good to our fellow men, in turning their attention to the consideration of the important cause of “ Peace on earth, and good will towards men;" confidently believing that a general diffusion of the knowledge and benign influence of these principles, will be productive of greater happiness and prosperity to the human family, than all other efforts of philanthropy that have ever been made by man. We have taken
considerable pains to ascertain the general correctness of the historical events which we have produced. The well known discrepancies between the accounts of different historians, render it difficult to ascertain, with precision, the accuracy of some particular incidents which are mentioned; but the general substance so far as relates to the great object in view, we think cannot be disputed, being too well authenticated by the concurring testimony of general history.
The field of labor is boundless; and the powerful predilection which prevails in favor of the war system, and its álmost universal popularity, seem loudly to demand the combined and ceaseless efforts of every friend of man, to counteract its baneful influence, by disseminating the principles, and advancing the work of peace. And tho we feel impressed with a desire to contribute our mite in support of the glorious cause; yet we confidently hope, ere long, to witness the united efforts of more able philanthropists, who are better qualified to do justice to this important subject,
BRIEF ILLUSTRATION, &c. .
Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the
way of peace have they not known. Rom. II. 15.
Ever since the first murderer imbrued his hands in the blood of his brother, the principles and practice of war, in their increasing prevalence through the world, have had a most powerful and delusive influence upon the human race. A passion for military fame, like an inveterate disease, has long pervaded the nations of the earth, and inflamed mankind with an ardent zeal for warlike achievements. Scarcely a country can be found which has not been more or less infected with the war mania, and whose inhabitants have not, at some period or other, experienced its destructive and horrid effects. And yet it appears, that even the most en
lightened and influential part of mankind, have been so deeply blinded to their own happiness, and the happiness and preservation of their respective countries, that they have never discovered the real nature and tendency of that spirit by which wars are produced; and therefore the real source from whence they originate, has been but little considered, and still less understood.
Kings, princes and rulers—those who hold the reins of government, and preside over the destinies of nations, all seem to have been astonishingly blind and ignorant with regard to the necessity or policy of war. Hence it is, that the spirit and principles of war are still so much encouraged and promoted in the world ; and hence so few attempts have been made to banish the fatal illusion—to put an end to the destructive
promote and maintain the principles of peace and harmony.
The advocates of war strenuously urge that its principles are inherent in the nature and constitution of man, and absolutely necessary for his preservation and defence; that wars always have existed, and therefore always must exist; that they are as unavoidable as raging storms and sweeping tornadoes; and that any attempts to abolish the practice of war, would be as unavailing as an attempt to oppose
the shocks of an earthquake, or prevent the eruptions of a volHence they consider war as an unavoidable and ne
Cessary evil, which must have its course. Therefore, instead of trying to subdue the evil by diffusing and maintaining the principles of righteousness, justice and peace, they must encourage and maintain the destructive and contaminating principles of war. To effect this object, its popularity must be promoted and encouraged by the government; the art of war must be made a necessary branch of science, and the youth of nations professing the harmless religion of the Prince of Peace, must be instructed in it, in order to enable them to practice this necessary evil against their fellow men, with the greatest advantage, under the vain pretence of defending their country and protecting its rights.
This erroneous policy, the effect of popular delusion, has long been considered as the best policy of nations, and the most essential part of a national education. Not only the maxims of government, but even the sacred principles of religion, have been made to bend to this fatal policy. And so long as this policy prevails, and is encouraged and supported by the rulers and leading characters of nations, its popularity will be maintained, and wars will continue.Could nations be brought to see the delusive nature and tendency of war, and be convinced of is mistaken policy, as well as of its horrid injustice and inhumanity, even in a political point of view, would they be willing any longer to hazard their national happiness and prosperity to the delusive and uncertain game of war, at such incalculable expense?
And could they believe (what calm and unbiassed reason must acknowledge) that the best policy of a nation is to cultivate, maintain and diffuse the principles of peace and good will towards all men, would they not readily exert all their energies, and improve every means to effect an object so desirable, so truly wise and beneficent?
Can we reasonably suppose that honest, benevolent and humane rulers of any nation, after a candid and impartial investigation of the history, nature, character and consequences of war, in all ages, would not be convinced that wars and war-like principles and preparations, so far from ensuring protection and defence, or even producing any substantial benefit to a warring nation, have, in the final issue, invariably operated to the contrary, and proved the cause of destruction and ruin, especially to those nations who have carried the profession of arms and war to any great extent? And would it be possible, after such investigation,
for any but demoniacs or madmen, to wish to maintain such horrid and destructive principles and practices ?
But the generality of mankind, blinded by popular opinion and long established custom, are led to suppose that wars are necessary and unavoidable, without bestowing a single reflection
upon their erroneous policy, and their inhuman and unchristian character. But let a general and impartial examination of the subject take place ; let its real nature, character and tendency be fully displayed in their true colors; and let the erroneous and blind policy be clearly seen; and its popularity would soon be lost, and all its dazzling splendors would be viewed in their naked and odious deformity, by every truly benevolent and rational mind.
It must be admitted that wars have existed ever since pride, lust and ambition have been the ruling passions in man; nor can it be disputed that all wars proceed from the indulgence of these passions. But shall we infer from thence that wars are necessary, and must always exist ?We might with equal propriety suppose that the passions of pride, lust and ambition, were originally created of God, and by him designed forever to be the ruling principles of the world: for nothing short of this supposition, can afford any argument to prove, that because wars have always existed, they must always be continued. And if these passions were created of God, for this express purpose, why have they, in all ages, been so pointedly reproved by the revelation of God, and the testimony of divine truth.
* Soe James iv. 1, 2 and 3.
MILITARY PRINCIPLES AND OPERATIONS OF ANCIENT
NATIONS THE CAUSE OF THEIR RUIN.
WARS BEFORE THE FLOOD.
Before the flood of Noah, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that the earth was filled avith violence through them.' This was the great cause of the flood. Commencing with unbridled lust, giants in wickedness, if not in stature, were produced, who through pride and ambition, soon filled the earth with violence: for these “became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Proud of their power and strength, and glorying in their skill and dexterity in handling the weapons of destruction, and ambitious to become men of renown, they exerted their power and talents over their fellow men, and became famous and mighty in human butchery. And even to this day, all those mighty men of renown, who glory in military fame, have, in like manner, continued to fill the earth with violence.
These antediluvian warriors, to accomplish their ambitious views, and become men of renown, evidently gave full scope
to their unbridled passions : “for all flesh,” according to the sacred record, "had corrupted his way upon the earth—and the earth was filled with violence through them."
It is unreasonable to suppose the earth could be filled with violence without war and contention, in some shape or other; and it is evident that these things were the cause of the flood. It must certainly argue the height of blindness and folly, in any rational man, to believe that a just and righteous Being would create those passions in man, which have a natural tendency to produce war and violence, for the express purpose of filling the earth with these evils; and then to destroy the human race because, in obedience to these passions, they had done what the Creator really intended they should do. Such injustice never came from Heaven.
The account we have of the wars before the flood, tho' very short, is certainly very comprehensive and instructive. The first, and the very beginning of wars, was that bloody and successful war which the valiant Cain waged upon his brother Abel, to revenge the great affront he had received, in consequence of God's having respect to Abel's offering