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hew down, and perforate with bullets, and trample with horses' hoofs the bodies of our fellow men; it does more than burn, and pillage, and destroy some of the quietest and some of the fairest portions of the earth; it does more than break ten thousand widowed hearts, and blast the hopes of aged and anxious parents; it does more than lock the wheels of commerce, and fix a deadly incubus on society, in the shape of disproportionate taxation; it corrupts the heart, it palsies the morals of the people and the soldiery. This, of the two evils, is most to be dreaded. There is a wide and an important difference beween a fractured limb and a corrupt soul. The one may be fit for the company of angels, the other is fitting himself for the companionship of fiends. The one may possess within itself the elements of every excellence, the other a heap of moral ruin, possessing within himself all the essentials of self-abandonment and all the elements of social disorganization.
There is something awfully corrupting in the practice which will lead a person in his cool moments to destroy an unoffending brother. That at which he would shudder in his private or individual capacity, he now perpetrates without one relenting feeling. His heart is so far hardened, and his moral feelings so far blunted, that he now feels a pleasure, and is not ashamed to tell it, in firing the cannon and witnessing its desolating course through the ranks of the enemy. Before his moral nature became vitiated by the corrupt influences of military life and the associations of the battle-field, he probably possessed a nature capable of the purest sympathy, and would not have inflicted unnecessary pain on a worm; but he can now, without a ruffled feeling, level his musket at a man, or stab with his bayonet, or fell with his sword an innocent brother. There is a cool barbarity, a horrid brutishness in such deeds, which nothing could hide but the cruel customs of war, which nothing could extenuate but the obtuse feelings of a society long habituated to them, and which nothing could excuse but the deadness of perfect indifference. The worst passions of human nature are awakened and fostered. The man renounces all the ties and sympathies of brotherhood. He feels prepared at any moment to take away the life of his fellow creatures-an awful crime, and one that can only be committed in presence of great moral defection. The evils of physical suffering are light compared with the infernal passions which war calls forth. Death is a trifle compared with the guilt of
The moral evils resulting from war are numerous, and of themselves sufficient to call forth the detestation of the nations of the earth. The poverty of which it is the occasion produces want; and many, rather than submit to the pangs of starvation, adopt the fearful alternative of resorting to criminal modes of gratifying the cravings of appetite. This works again like a pestiferous leaven in the heart of society. When one dishonest mode of gratifying the desires is adopted and the conscience quieted, the man is prepared for still darker deeds, and he becomes, not merely a useless, but a mischievous member of the community. Numbers of the uneducated-under circumstances favourable to non detection, uninfluenced by Christian principle, and famishing for bread, would prove not impregnable to temptation. The wreck of charac ter under these circumstances is soon effected, and often never retrieved; while under other circumstances it might have passed through life
unstained by the guilt of crime. There is something, too, morally defective in the pleasure frequently experienced by many, on being informed of some splendid victory gained by their native soldiery. Instead of being struck with horror at the thought of thousands perishing by the sword, there is a flush of pleasure lighting up the countenance, and finding vent in loud and impassionate expressions of admiration and approval. The thoughts, unhappily, all turn upon our brave generals, our unequalled navy, and our invincible troops. Besides this, there are feelings of envy and hatred called forth towards other nations, which are not a little prejudicial to the morals of society. The recent war between Hungary and Russia has doubtless created many a feeling of bitter hatred against the last-named country. By many, through that war, the very name of the northern Autocrat is considered as synonymous with despotism and cruelty, and even with his subjects they invariably associate ideas of absolute barbarism. It will be remembered with what delight the news was received in this country that the Russian troops were dying in great numbers from cholera. It must be remembered that we yield to none in our sense of the injustice of Austrian and Russian interference with the rights and liberties of Hungary. We are not extenuating the guilt of Nicholas. We have a perfect hatred of despotism in all its forms, and especially of that great despotism which broods over a greater part of Europe. What we wish to show is, that war is destructive of the finer feelings of our nature, and that in our admiration of the military prowess of our own country, we are blinded to the horribleness of the practice, and insensible to the importance and value of human life. It is a melancholy circumstance in the history of nations, that the lives of thousands have often been set at a lower price than a few roods of territory.
Another consideration in connection with this subject is, that war has no self-curing tendency. It has rather a self-perpetuating tendency. It is in no sense fitted to call forth any pacific influence. It satisfies no
one. It conciliates no one. It allays no bad passion. All it can effect are, exasperation, and blows, and bloodshed, and death. The history of every nation shows that defeat only excites to renewed effort. The conquered troops return home, collect and arm the best portion of the population, and rush again with melancholy haste to the scene of conflict; while the victorious general, instead of being content with his success, marches forward to subdue other portions of the earth. It was quite in keeping with the spirit of war, when Alexander wept because he could not find another world to conquer. The death of war would be the death of an incalculable amount of misery, immorality, and crime.
In a subsequent paper, we purpose to set forth the folly of war. We shall attempt to show that it is an unreasonable mode of settling national disputes; and then we shall examine the excuses, or rather subterfuges, of those who pretend to defend the practice.
"I never complained of my con
shoes; but then I met a man withcondition," said the Persian poet out feet, and I became contented with
Sadi, "but once, when my feet were bare and I had no money to buy
THE PAPAL AGGRESSION, AND THE DUTIES OF PROTESTANTS AT THIS CRISIS.
No event in modern times has produced so great a degree of excitement as the insolent aggression which the Pope has recently made upon the faith and protestant feeling of the British nation. That an Italian priest, not many days since a despised and helpless fugitive, and still hated by his subjects, and kept on his tottering throne by foreign bayonets, should presume to invade the prerogatives of the mightiest monarch on earth, set at nought her authority, trample upon her institutions, insult the faith of her people, obtrude even within the shadow of her palace a prince of alien allegiance and anti-English aims, and parcel out the very seat of her dominions into so many spiritual territories, to be occupied by his obsequious servants to effect his jesuitical purposes, betrays an amount of arrogance and daring which almost startles politicians out of their propriety, and to which none can pretend but a pope-the usurper of all honours, and the impious invader of all rights and prerogatives, human and divine.
We must confess that the event has not taken us by much surprise. Coming events had cast their portentous shadow before them, and prepared observant minds for some bold mauifestation of papal pretensions. The doings of our countrymen, indeed, for many years have been favouring the ambitious projects of Rome, and accelerating the crisis which has arrived. The liberal press unwittingly has done its share of mischief here. Had it been in the pay of the Italian priest it could not more effectually have subserved his purpose. Sympathy, defence, apology, and laudation, each in its turn has been so frequently and lavishly volunteered for Rome, that the malignant and atrocious character of the Man of Sin has been forgotten, and the pious indignation and detestation which burned in the bosoms of martyrs and our puritanic ancestors, have been exchanged for sympathy and favour. We have caressed the sleek monster we ought to have abhorred. Our rulers, too, have adopted the policy of patronage and flattery. Maynooth grants, colonial largesses, and numerous donations have been profusely dealt out from the national exchequer to bribe and soothe the irritable temper of the Scarlet Lady, until her noisy demagogues now despise the "insidious gifts." We have been pampering the monster while his nails have been growing.
The Church Establishment, too, has nurtured in her own bosom a brood of treacherous men. Not a few, while luxuriating in her glebes and fattening on her revenues, have turned recreant to her principles, and first covertly, and then openly, have assailed her doctrines and perverted her people. They have so far adopted the mummeries and defended the authority of Rome, that had they been Jesuits in disguise they could not have played their part more dexterously and successfully. These things have proceeded until secession was the order of the daythe hearts of many failed, Rome became exultant, the speedy conversion of this country to Popery was expected, and in anticipation of so glorious an event, the episcopal hierarchy has been appointed.
* John O'Connell's address to Lord John Russell.
Various and conflicting are the sentiments expressed at this juncture. Some affect comparative indifference to the present aggression of Rome, as a thing of little importance, and confidently rely on what they designate the "omnipotence of truth." We confess we are not of that number. The history of the human mind clearly shows that, when human depravity and secular interests are in alliance with error, truth mere truth, without Divine agency-maintains too often an unsuccessful contest. Has not this indolent reliance on truth alone been a bane to the cause of truth in the present age? Was there ever an age when the truth was so clearly known, and so extensively dif fused as in the present day; was there ever an age in which men, by means of general education, and a teeming press, had such free access to the truth? And yet we see the most baleful, noxious, and puerile errors prevailing, and growing up with unwonted rankness and vigour. Nay, do we not often find that the most educated minds are among the first to be perverted? These facts sufficiently admonish us against a supine and too confident reliance on truth alone: indeed, it is not properly a reliance on truth, but an unwarranted reliance on man, whose history shows that he loves darkness rather than light.
Nor can we accord with those who apologize for Rome's insolent aggression, by a comparison thereof with the errors and assumptions of the National Establishment, and who on that account would dissuade us from action at the present crisis. Dissenters though we be on principle, we cannot forget that we are protestant dissenters. Our dissent from the National Establishment gives consistency and strength to our protest against Rome. Our consistency, we think, requires that protest to be made at the present juncture with more strenuous and determined effort The spirit that denounces errors in one church, cannot consistently be silent against the greater errors of another; and the principles which urge us to employ lawful means to free ourselves from the domination of the one, should impel us with accelerated force to resist the attempted domination of the other.
Though the cry of "No Popery" may be used as the shibboleth of party, yet would it be a melancholy day for England, if its population, and especially if its ministers, the official and appointed guardians of religious truth, were indifferent to the aggressions of the apostate Church of Rome; or if dissenters, from their hostility to an establishment, should indiscriminately confound the incongruities of the latter with the enormous errors of the former, and regard each with equal aversion. Grave evils there are, and we deeply deplore them, in the state church; yet let us be just to ourselves and the cause of truth. What are those evils compared with the monstrous delusions, the idolatries, the blasphemies, and the atrocities, unblushingly avowed by the Church of Rome? The idolatry of the mass, the glaring absurdity of transubstantiation, the worship of the virgin, the invocation of saints and angels, the doctrine of purgatory, the power to grant indulgences, the figment of infallibility, the fierce and fiendish anathemas denounced against heretics, the horrid cruelties of the inquisition, the power to absolve subjects from allegiance to their sovereign, and dispense with the obligations of oaths-these and a hundred other dogmas, repugnant to reason, to civil liberty, and fraught with absurdity and cruelty, are still maintained in the Church of Rome, while they are renounced and
repudiated by the Church of England. The great doctrines of the right of private judgment, and the sufficiency of Holy Scripture, are cardinal points in the Church of England; and these alone, admitted and maintained, are the grand elementary principles capable of working out for any church all the truth, the purity, and the freedom of genuine Christianity; but the repudiation of these principles by the Church of Rome, not only confirms all her existing errors and shuts out all reformation, but opens the way for yet denser darkness and corruptions more foul and abominable. That many unfaithful and treacherous men in the Establishment are propagating doctrines and pursuing a course which leads to Rome, is to be lamented, but their doctrines and their practices, too, for the most part, are condemned by the acknowledged principles of the Church itself. It is true, the Church of England recognizes a secular head in the person of the British sovereign. To this we conscientiously object, as an infringement of the authority of Christ: yet justice compels us to acknowledge that this evil bears no proportion to the arrogant and impious assumption of the Pope of Rome. The ecclesiastical authority of our sovereign is neither absolute nor fortified by the assumption of infallibility; but limited and constitutional. She cannot act according to her will, but only in conformity with existing laws, and through a responsible agency, subject in no small degree to popular control: while the Pope arrogateth to himself divine honours, opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; he changeth times and laws, and assumes to do according to his will and pleasure. With these facts before us, let us not confound things which essentially differ. If, as dissenters, we deplore the errors of the Establishment, and constitutionally seek the abrogation of all assumptions which trench upon our liberties, surely as protestant dissenters we are bound by our own principles to make Popery the object of our unmitigated abhorrence, and to resist by every constitutional measure its insolent encroachments upon our faith and our freedom.
While our puritan ancestors sacrificed their honours and emoluments on the principle of dissent from the evils they saw in the Establishment, they allied to their pious magnanimity an intense hatred to Popery. They had no soft words, no soothing epithets for the Man of Sin. Their masculine writings breathe instinctive abhorrence to the mystic Babylon; their allegiance to Christ admitted no complacent apologies for Rome. Their energetic piety nurtured uncompromising resistance to the spiritual monster, and nerved their athletic arm to deal deadly blows against the common foe. Should it not be even so with us, who inherit their triumphs without sharing their sufferings? Is not opposition to Popery the genuine offspring of enlightened and carnest piety? Has it not the solemn sanction of our holy religion? Benevolent as is the genius of the Christian system, it thunders against Popery its most terrible anathemas. It distinctly notes her position on the Seven Hills; it portrays in graphic lines her abominable character, as the common foe to truth, to man, and to God, polluted by her adulteries and stained with the blood of saints; it predicts her certain and total overthrow; and the crash of her destruction is the note that calls upon prophets and righteous men to exult in her doom; and the triumphant shouts of the Church on earth are echoed by the loftier