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for example, of the character and death of Vara and of Me? I invite you to examine the subject. You shall not be limited in the field of your inquiry. Go forth ; ascend the historic pathway, and walk at large through all countries and all times,Rassemble the sages of every cline, and of every tongue,—inarshal the hosts of philosophers, philanthropists, legislators, and rulers,-unite their deeds of benevolence, and tell us whether you deem it safe to challenge for them all a comparison with the preceding solitary specimen of the deeds of the martyr of Erromanga ? Is such a comparison for a moment admissible ? Are not all their moral achievements as nothing, if placed side by side with those of the Christian missionary? Approach the deathbeds of Vara and of Me, and behold them die ! Give me your estimate of what Christianity has done for these once blood-stained savages! Could any thing less than Christianity have met their case, and made them happy ? Has Christianity left them with a single want ? Has it not brought immortality to light, and prepared them for its enjoyment ? Do not all discoveries, and all bounties, which stop short of this, leave man ignorant, poor, and wretched ? Seeing that he is immortal, are not all systems of instruction, reformation, and rule, which do not assume this fact as their basis, insufficient and delusive ? All efforts of philanthropy which exclude God and his grace, Christ and his gospel, are but false lights which lure to destruction ! Men and brethren! awake from your dream!
Search and look, and tell us what your philosophy has ever done for barbarous tribes and perishing nations ? Nay, more ; what has it done for its own most renowned and illustrious professors ? Reader! what has it done for thee ? Be assured that its boasted provisions and proud pretensions will disappear amid the darkness of a dying chamber! The cross alone can there maintain its ground !
To the Committees and Members of the London and
American Peace Societies.
FRIENDS of your countries and of the whole human race! the formation of your benevolent confederacies will constitute an era in the future history of our world. Excepting societies for preaching the gospel, mankind never associated for any object of equal importance with that which has brought you together. Your object is to stay the effusion of human blood, to promote permanent and universal peace upon the earth, and good-will among men. A more magnificent idea never entered the human breast. Its benevolence is equalled only by its greatness. The true character and design of your societies are still but imperfectly known, especially in England ; for it is pleasing to reflect, that, in America, the cause of peace has taken a deeper and a more general hold upon the public mind. A mighty gain has been realized by the publication of the “Prize Essays on a Congress of Nations, for the adjustment of international disputes, and for the promotion of universal peace, without resort to arms.” In common with those in England who sympathize with the aim of both the societies, I hailed the appearance of that im
portant volume with great satisfaction, and I have read it with no ordinary interest.
I consider that the gentlemen whose zeal and liberality called this book into existence, have established a claim to the thanks of the whole civilized world. Observant men will allow that a great step towards commanding the attention of mankind was gained when such characters as the Hon. Joseph Story, W. Wirt, John M'Lean, the Hon. John Q. Adams, Chancellor Kent, T. S. Grimkè, and the Hon. Daniel Webster, consented to become the adjudicators. Names so distinguished amongst legislators and literary men, both in Europe and in America, serve to dignify the subject, and to rebuke the ignorant flippancy of those who deride the idea that the nations of the earth can dispense with human slaughter. Great good must result from the publication, both in America and in England. It was a wise resolve in the American Peace Society, to present copies of it to the President of the United States, to the heads of departments, to the governors of every State in the Union, to every foreign minister at Washington, to the executive of every republic in America, and to every crowned head in Europe. The London Peace Society judiciously followed the example, in taking a very large portion of the edition, and in transmitting a copy to each of the reign ambassadors in Eur ean courts. The possible results of this exalted movement no man can foresee. As a means, it seems admirably adapted to bring the momentous subject before the ruling minds and monarchs of the civilized world. The Six Essays are certain to obtain a careful perusal, and that they can be perused without effect is utterly impossible. May the Prince of Peace, in whose hand are the hearts of men, give the volume favour in the sight of all the high and mighty whose eyes may light upon its invaluable pages!
I have been not a little gratified by the evangelical
turn which the subject has taken in the hands of all the writers of these essays. While the subject is discussed in a manner suited to the taste and habits of educated men, it is in every case pervaded by a vein of pure and scriptural religion which will serve greatly to commend the work to the whole churches of Christ. There is not in the entire volume one expression which can give just offence, either to the scholar, or to the Christian. Our cause
-for I have the honour to be a meinber of the London Society-has received very important assistance from the labours of the South Sea mission, which presents a rich variety of most affecting, most convincing illustration. I now proceed to analyse the
Missionary Enterprises” of Mr. Williams, with a view to exhibit the facts which they disclose, in such a manner as to carry to the heart of every reader the conviction that war is utterly incompatible with true Christianity, and that the uniform tendency of successful missions, is to extinguish the flames of martial conflict, and restore " the waste places of many generations."
The labours of the missionary are not simply an affair of eternity. The changes which he effects on earth are a meet prelude to the felicities of heaven. One of the first and greatest of these changes relates to war and peace. The invariable tendency of his labours is to extinguish the former, and to establish the latter. In speaking of the happy results of his toil, I give precedence to war as at once the greatest curse and the greatest crime. You may learn from history, that, in all countries, through all time, the path of destruction has been deemed by the million the path of glory ; and the most extended havoc has been always identified with the most exalted greatness. The amount of plunder and the extent of slaughter have been generally taken as the standard by which to mea
sure desert, to bestow rewards, and to regulate renown. The splendours of martial triumph have so dazzled the eyes of mankind, that they have become intoxicated with a delirious admiration of each successive Apollyon who has arisen to desolate the earth, and to devour his species. It has mattered little whether he has led on his legions to fight the battles of liberty, or to subvert her throne, and trample in the dust the dearest rights of her children ;—it has mattered little whether he has conducted wars of defence or of aggression ; these points, I say, have mattered little, if his victories have been but rapid and brilliant,-if he has but ravaged the world, and drenched its bosom with the blood of its occupants, his votaries have been counted by millions, and his praises have resounded through
This spirit, which is inherent in human nature, has been cultivated and sustained by a multiplicity of processes, and with uniforın success. Historians, orators, poets, sculptors, painters, and musicians have all exerted their separate and combined influence to nurture the savage spirit of human slaughter in the breasts of the more enlightened and refined classes of mankind ; while the vulgar herd of ordinary artists have, each in his own way, with corresponding effect, promoted the same object among the millionmultitude. All, all have united to celebrate the delights of conflict, the glories of victory, and the greatness of conquering heroes. The fife and drum of the infant boy, the mimic troop, the school battle, the nursery rhyme, the kitchen ditty, the street ballad, the publican's sign-board, the drunkard's toast, and the tavern song, all have respectively and incalculably contributed to foster the taste for shedding blood ! So powerful is the hold which this diabolical passion has taken upon the spirit of man, that, even in Europe, during a space of nearly two thousand years, Christianity has but partially succeeded in abating its force.