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use of physical means to compass physical ends. Generalship is, therefore, to a great extent, a coarse question of matter. There is nothing in it which authorizes either those who sustain the character, with the highest celebrity, or their worshippers, to claim for them kindred with such men as Bacon and Newton, Burke and Smith, Shakspeare and Milton, and the loftier spirits of our race. What is it but an affair of rivers and ramparts—hedges and ditches—horses and human beingsbows and battle-axes—musketry and cannon? But putting the matter at the highest point, what is a genius for war but a genius for shedding blood ? The curse of this genius has been mercifully bestowed upon only a limited portion of mankind. Ancient tactics were very simple. The club and the stone, the bow and the sling, the balista and the catapulta, the spear and the pike, the sword and the lance, were the prime instruments of destruction before the invention of gunpowder, and their use did not require science so much as brute force. Still, however, it admitted somewhat of a scientific exhibition. But the inventors were few in number. If we name Xenophon, Epaminondas, Alexander, and Cæsar, the catalogue is ended; for we can hardly include Hannibal. The invention of gunpowder altered the entire nature of warfare in what is, erroneously, called the civilized world. The tactics of destruction then required to be studied anew. In modern times, the number of inventors has not been greater than among the ancients. Of these, the chief were Maurice, prince of Orange, Gustavus of Sweden, Frederick II. of Prussia, and to them, in our own day, we must add Napoleon. Such have been the chief inventors of methods of destruction. Unhappy men! The inventors of the Steam
Engine, and of the Spinning Jenny, merit a thousand times more gratitude and glory from mankind than they all, were they as numerous as the millions whom they have butchered! Yes! the names of Watt, with his engine, and Arkwright, with his jenny, will extend through all lands, and live through all time, diffusing a multitude of comforts among the human family. I really see nothing to admire in the genius of war. I am, indeed, unable to distinguish between the science of war and the practice of it. All science is valuable only as it is useful. Can beauty, then, attend a science, the practice of which is hateful to every good man, and hurtful to all ? Most of those whom I have mentioned, you are aware, were pre-eminent for genius in other things besides war; and upon the latter, not the former, their true glory rests.
But, Sir, the genius of war is a very small thing compared with its principles—a consideration which enters vitally into the claims of the martial character. I have reached the conclusion that war, in all its forms, is at variance with the principles of Christianity, the triumphs of which, we are assured by the Scriptures of truth, will be attended with its utter extinction throughout the whole earth. Military greatness is, therefore, at best a perishing object. It is doomed to certain banishment from our world. When the earth shall have been filled with the knowledge of the Lord, the order of heroes will expire, and the vulgar myriads of mercenary mortals, their instruments, whose calling is slaughter, will perish along with it. The gospel of Christ smites the soul of war, in the love of power and the lust of false glory, which are the fruitful source of fighting am
The Redeemer of mankind, while resident
in our world, arrayed the whole force of his authority against this strong and general passion. He not only denounced war, but laid it down as a law of his kingdom, that he who would be greatest, should be, not the ruler, but the servant, of his brethren; and Christian principle abundantly provides for cordial obedience to Christian precept. When the throne of Christ shall have been fully established in the hearts of the majority of the human race,
will cease to the ends of the earth.” Its guilty splendours will captivate no more, nor spread the blaze of a spurious heroism and a deceitful glory over the wholesale butchery of our species ! It will then be seen and felt, that the pure, pacific, benevolent, and righteous morality of the gospel is just as binding on nations as on individuals, and that, to whatever extent individuals may be formed into societies, and expanded into empires, the same laws that govern the units must rule the millions. It will also appear, that, in the sight of Heaven, national war is just as culpable, as sternly condemned and interdicted, as single combat. What is the principle of duelling but the principle of war operating on the smallest scale, and displayed in its naked deformity, without those meretricious trappings and deceptive accompaniments by which the horrors of war are in part concealed, and its heinous guilt apparently lessened, if not altogether cancelled? In the eye of reason as well as of Scripture, they are only distinct exhibitions of the same principle, equally reprehensible, and exposed to the same condemnation. If, therefore, the truth may be told in the ear of pride, the vulgar prize-fighter, the brutal boxer, the
* See Chalmers' Sermon on Universal Peace, p 23.
hot-blooded, high-bred duellist, military officers of every rank, from the humble corporal to the generalissimo of the united armies of many nations, are all but members of the same profession, brothers of the same family: the difference is only accidental and circumstantial; they are all essentially men of the same order; and the Christian moralist feels constrained to class them all in the same category.
Sir! Are these things really so? What then is to be thought of “the profession of arms”-a trade which consists in shedding blood and slaying brethren? Does it merit to be extolled as the highest of all human pursuits? Does the battle field, as it drinks the blood of the slain, and groans beneath the load of murderea myriads, deserve the lofty designation of the “bed of honour,” and “the field of glory?” Is human butchery a vocation for which the flower of a kingdom should contend? Is the command of homicidal legions a function deserving the fierce competition of the sons of the aristocracy, of the highest nobles, and even of the sovereigns of England ? Does it become a generous, high-born, and accomplished man, to sigh for so dreadful an occupation? Is it honour, or is it infamy? Does it merit a sounding celebrity, or an eternal execration ? Oh! Sir, who can endure to think of all the great onef of the earth prosecuting a science, the chief problem of which is, “In what manner the greatest number of men can be slain in the least possible time.”* They who can, must surely envy the glory of the monster Tamerlane, as, dyed in blood, he reared his pyramid of seventy thousand human heads! They who can, must
* Filangieri, Science of Legislation, Introduction, p. 16.
surely envy the felicity of the Greek auxiliaries in the pay of the king of Egypt, who, in the war against Cambyses, seized the innocent children of their recreant general, cut their throats, and drank their blood, in the sight of both armies !
Sir, the claims of the military character will be still better understood by looking at war in its consequences. Nothing further should be necessary to quicken that obtuseness of moral feeling, which has too long and too generally obtained respecting the legalized and wholesale murder of mankind. We have had, it is true, many avowed advocates of peace, both on philanthropic and on Christian principles ; but with the noble exception of Channing, the writers of the “Prize Essays on a Congress of Nations," and the members of the London Peace Society, the voice of their reprobation has too frequently been wanting in truth, emphasis, and earnest
It has generally, indeed, been liable to the charge of feeble cant, and simpering sentimentalism. The bulk even of true Christians are not duly awake to the enorinities of war. The fires of philanthropic and devout indignation have seldom been thoroughly kindled in the bosoms of the faithful. Their language has not been the vehicle of an intense, a burning, an overwhelming conviction, that war is a first fruit of the worst element of our fallen nature, a high crime against Heaven, the parent of most other crimes, the source of nameless and numberless calamities, the chief scourge and the greatest curse of a corrupt, convulsed, and miserable world. This dreadful subject, as seen by the enlightened eye of the Christian philanthropist, in all its magnitude, and in its relations both to time and to eternity, is a theme too big for utterance; and he who