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one another mischief. You are near neighbors, and each have very respectable qualities. Learn to be quiet and respect each other's rights. You are all Christians. One is the Most Christian King, the other is Defender of the Faith. Manifest the propriety of these titles by your future conduct. By this,' says Christ, shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. Seek peace and ensue it."
They who would further ascertain Franklin's opinions on the subject are referred to his correspondence on the subject of privateering ; to his apologue of the angels beholding a naval engagement, in a letter to Dr. Priestley ; to his peace suggestions in his correspondence with B. Vaughan, Esq. Beside these, Franklin made many proposals for the improvement of the law of nations, having for their object the overcoming of the war spirit. In this work he found able coadjutors among the fathers of our republic. They were just !rom the battle, and the poverty and moral degradation of the people, the fiscal embarrassments, the wrong tone of public opinion, impressed them with the necessity of doing what they could to avert other conflicts. “ The journals of the Congress of the Confederation,” says a sound writer, "are full of such programmes as now emanate only from the bureaux of our Peace Societies.” How striking the contrast in the feelings of these patriotic men, with the war mania of many of our present legislators. It would seem that a war in the back-ground, and one in our onward path, present very different aspects. How readily in the midst of God's blessings do men forget the consequences of his frown!
So it ever has been. Peace soon called the public attention from the contemplation of the sufferings of war; and as our country increased in population, and gathered in of the world's riches, the horrors of the battle were forgotten — the pain and weakness of disease fading away from the mind with returning health and strength. It was not until another war with Great Britain that the present permanent Peace Movement commenced. The foundation of the Massachusetts Peace Society was laid in the year
1815. Similar institutions were established in various other parts of the country, and in Europe, and an active correspondence commenced, and has been kept up between these distant associations. The formation of the first Peace Society in England was not, however, in consequence of, but simultaneous with, that in the United States. Dr. Noah Worcester was the founder of the first society in this country ; William Pitt Scarlet first excited the attention of Englishmen to this subject. The ground first taken by the Massachusetts Peace Society was in
opposition to war not strictly defensive; but soon this ground was found to be unfit for the purpose ; it was not firm enough to bear the intrenchment of peace. Public opinion drove the friends of peace to a higher stand. Every nation had its favorite war to be justified on the plea of national safety. Even Bonaparte fought only on the defensive — as he said. The excused, justifiable fight was always the fight then to be fought — the popular war, the war in which the country was then engaged. Each nation for itself separated its own battles from the mass of crime in which they were mingled, and rejoiced in them, - thus incasing pollution in fine gold, and holding it up for the admiration of the world. The Massachusetts Peace Society was therefore superseded by the American Peace Society, organized in the year 1828, of which William LADD was the first President, continuing in office till his death. The constitution of this Society declares that all war is opposed to the spirit of Christ. Besides the efforts of Worcester, Scarlett, and Ladd, there has sprung up a host of others all over this country, who are continuing the impulse given to the cause. In France the Society for the spread of Christian Morals have devoted a part of their efforts to this branch of reform. Count de Sellon of Geneva also founded a peace society there, and with untiring benevolence devoted himself to this and kindred works. In England the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace continue their exertions resolutely and efficiently, and the labors of the British philanthropists are felt throughout every part of that nation. This is an auspicious beginning of the movement. There is now scarce a town, district, or neighborhood, where the question of the unjustifiable character of war is not discussed. By the pens of Worcester, and Ladd, and Channing, and many others in this country -- of Scarlett, Thrush, Clarkson, Dymond, and their coad
jutors in England - of great and good men all over the world — the · peace doctrines are becoming gradually infused into the public
mind. The peace literature is now no small addition to our libraries; the periodical press has teemed with a constant flow of articles on the subject; tracts have been scattered to the four quarters of the globe, and lectures and lyceum discussions have driven the subject home to the fireside of almost every man. А movement so general is not without a strong claim on the attention of the politician. A reasonable success is abundantly proved by the zeal with which these reformers work, for had they found the shield against their attack impenetrable, they would before this have given up their warfare. So far from being discouraged, they never were more confident of success than at present; for
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though one of their leaders has been taken from them, his spirit remains to incite them continually to new efforts in behalf of the cause he has bequeathed to them.
But what has been done ? we hear asked. What has been effect. ed by all this machinery? You cannot point to the disarming of the nations; not one has adopted in practice the principles of peace; the flow of human blood has not been stopped; the preparation for shedding blood has not been stayed. This is true. But remember, a great change is to be effected inwardly before it manifests itself in the outward conduct. From the position of a nation glorying in war, regarding it as the instrument of her prosperity, the cherished employment for the energies of her most distinguished sons, to the full stature of a Christian people seeking others' good rather than their own, the distance is mighty indeed. It is not to be traversed in one age. The onward path is indeed a long one.
It reaches from the battle-field to a far-off Eden, to a paradise upon earth now but dimly seen with the strongest eye of faith. Happy if men have entered this path—nay, happy if they linger at the opening, and then point out to each other the angel forms and spirits of the just made perfect," who now, with the grossness of the flesh thrown off, are still inviting them to enter the path they loved while on earth.
Light has been scattered on this subject. There has been, we believe, a great change in public opinion. Though the fire has not been quenched, it has been kept in subjection; though the war trumpet is still continually sounding upon the ear, its notes have become harsh and grating to millions. Though the war spirit is not openly rebuked by the people, in every circle it is lamented. The war speeches are heard in silence, or, if applauded by the unreflecting, no echo of admiration comes back to reward the efforts of the "provokers of strife.” Though our newspaper press is often full of fight, it has but taken its cue from the noisy patriot who raises the war-cry as of old, forgetting that it has lost its charm among the people. “Maine," said William Ladd, " is my home; I know the people well. I have seen the tears on the cheek of men when they were speaking of the rash resolutions of their legislature-laboring men too, the bone and muscle. I know the feeling of this State ; they have not the war-fever. It is the contest of the leaders of the two parties to outdo each other in this noisy patriotism. It is the office-holders and the office-seekers, who raise the war-cry. They are indeed noisy, for one idle grasshopper will make a whole field vocal with his shrill note, while thousands of industrious ants are silently at work.”
We would not overrate the results of the Peace Movement, for
that which men acknowledge has been done, is enough to make it cherished, and to encourage its friends in their future labors. The cause is onward. The signs of the times are not to be mistaken. In the court of royalty, at the cabinet meeting, its influence is felt. Collisions of interest, which a quarter of a century ago would have plunged nations into war, are now amicably settled. The custom of arbitration and of mediatorship is almost incorporated into the law of nations. The favorable ear which has been lent to the proposal of the establishment of a Congress of Nations, for the settlement of international disputes, demonstrates that the determination of the wise and good, to lessen the occasions of hostility, is felt by every statesman. There is, indeed, a tempering down of the war tone, a growing spirit of mutual concession among the principal nations, and an increasing repugnance to war among every enlightened people.
We do not claim for the Peace Movement proper the whole merit of this change. Other causes are in constant action. These are the extension of commerce and the frequency of intercommunication—the kindly affections flowing from heart to heart, silently, noiselessly ; for every keel that cuts the wave forms a pathway for love to travel in. There is, too, the spread of democratic principles, which go side by side with the principles of peace. Sound democracy ever contends against restrictive systems, national barriers, the setting up of men's lives and means of happiness against the lives and happiness of other men, for the gain of the few. Its charm is that it proclaims good-will to men. Thousands flock to its standard because it is set up on the broad platform of universal brotherhood, while the banner of aristocracy floats over the war-castle, the lord of which but feeds his vassals that they may have strength to fight for him. In Europe the governments of some of the most belligerent nations are not sufficiently strong in the affections of the people for them to encoun. ter safely the shock of war. The governed have not sufficient confidence in the rulers to make it expedient for the nation to measure its strength with its adversaries. Add to this the national debts-the bondage of the many to the capitalist--the price which the people pay for national glory. The over-loaded beast of burden already staggers under the weight; increase it, and he will be broken down altogether. Again; in olden times there were but two classes of men, the nobles and the people ; now a third estate has raised itself up—the merchants—strong in wealth, in intelligence, keenly alive to their own interest. They have no war spirit, for the battle is death to them; and their influence is strengthening all over the world. The capitalists, they who hold
the kcy of the world's treasures, have a growing dislike to national debts. The Jew does not now crouch at the foot of the throne, as he once did; royalty itself, ere it can prepare for war, must go “ on 'change.”
But it is in this country that the martial spirit has received its greatest check ; it is here that the pacific principles will first be adopted. Our political institutions direct the energies of every mind to questions of reform. While we love and reverence our fathers, we are not disposed to think that they attained to all truth. Their path was onward, and we best manifest our duty to them by pressing forward ourselves. They cut down the forest, and planted the grain, but there is no reason that we should suffer the unsightly stumps to remain in the field, because they had not the strength to eradicate them ; — they will yield to us, for time has weakened the roots which fastened them to the soil. Our people are not deterred from the discussion of new opinions merely because they are new. The
of Radicalism does not close the ear to truth. The people will inquire for themselves of this matter; they will not wear any chain because their fathers were thus in bondage. They begin to suspect that the poor man, the strong-sinewed working-man, the labor-blackened artisan, has equal rights to life and to the means of happiness with the rich and educated. They begin to ask some radical questions on this subject. Are we, say they, to be cut off from our usual employments by a declaration of war, and thus driven by a fear of starvation into the ranks of the army, to be changed from freemen into the veriest slaves, whose every motion is controlled by others? Are we to fill the ditch with our bodies that our masters may pass over dry-shod? Nay, say they, it is unequal, unfair that we should be shot at for a shilling a day, while others, whose lives are no dearer than ours, whose wives and children love them no better than do ours, after being educated as officers at the public expense, receive ample pay, and all the glory of the victory. And this too while the owners of the country's wealth, for which we fight, tread on Brussels carpets, and, lolling on soft sofas, are out of harm's way, rejoicing perhaps that a victory has been won, the price of which has been the destruction of ten thousand of us. If a war be needed for the good of our common country, let its dangers and privations be common too. These questions are already asked in whispers all over the land. They will be shouted in the ears of our politicians ere long. We have known a large audience to draw the deep breath of indignation when was read before them the cool calculation of a minister of war, deducting from his efficient force one-third of a large army,