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now an object of envy to sur- diffusing the principles and spirit rounding nations.
of peace, we should probably If the people of our country never be again subjected to the wish to maintain a rivalry with curse of war. But so long as Great Britain, let it be in an ef- we cherish the principles and fort to see which can do the spirit of war, we may expect to most good, and not which can do bear the burden of a heavy bloodthe most mischief. If one tenth tax, and that the number of our of the amount we now have to paupers will be continually aug. pay as “ the price of blood,” menting, could be annually expended in
Report of a Committee appointed by the Massachusetts Convention, of
Congregational Ministers, on the subject of War. The Committee appointed the
vicinities. Your Committee also last year, “to consider whether it beg leave to submit to the Convenbe expedient for this Convention to tion an Address to the community adopt any measures, and if any, at large, on the subject of war, what, to correct the publick mind which they have seen fit to prepare on the subject of war," have at- for consideration. tended that service, and beg leave By order of the Committee, to report,
S. WORCESTER, Chairman, That, as war is one of the great- Boston, May 29, 1816. est of human evils, and the popular opinions respecting it are among The Address reported by the above the most pernicious of human er- named Committee, and accepted rouss, it highly becomes the minis- by the Convention. ters of the Prince of Peace, and The Convention of Congregational the religious instructors of man- Ministers in Massachusetts, impel. kind, to employ their united influ- led by a sense of duty, and solicience and endeavours for its preven- tous to revive and disseminate the tion and abolition. Your Committee genuine spirit of the gospel, take have great pleasure in stating, that, the liberty of addressing their felsince the last meeting of the Con- low christians of all denominations, vention, an Association has been and their fellow-citizens of every formed, which takes the name of description, on the subject of pubthe Massachusetts Peace Society, lick war. In their estimation, no and which is already very respecta- other subject has been more extenble in oumbers and in weight of sively or more radically misapprecharacter. They would, therefore, hended. respectfully recommend, that the The history of past ages commembers of this Convention should bines with the language and practice become members of that society; of modern times, to prove that and that they severally use their publick war has too commonly been influence to induce others to be viewed much in the same light, as come members, and to promote the
the unavoidable convulsions of the formation of Auxiliary Peace Soci- natural world, and resorted to with etjes, in their respective towns or ļittle more conviction of responsi
bility for its tremendous ravages, it shall be exalted above the hills ; than if they were occasioned by and all people shall flow unto it. hurricanes, earthquakes, and volca- And many nations shall come and
Is there not, however, an say, Come, and let us go up to the immense difference in the two mountain of the Lord, and to the cases ? Are not the convulsions of house of the God of Jacob; and he the natural world beyond the con- will teach us of his ways, and we trol of mortal power ? And is not will walk in his paths : for the law war, with all its horrours, the proper shall go forth of Zion, and the word fruit of human choice and agency? of the Lord from Jerusalem. And This difference shows the absolute be shall judge among many people, futility of what is often alleged in and rebuke strong nations afar off ; vindication of the sanguinary cus- and they shall beat their swords tom,— That, while it sweeps the into ploughshares, and their spears worthless and vile from the stage of into pruning-hooks; nation shall life, it calls dormant genius and not lift up sword against nation, enterprise into action, upites divid neither shall they learn war any ed kingdoms and states, and ends, more." like the tempest, in a calm, ren- Such is the style in which “ holy dered more grateful and salutary by men of old, who spake as they were the general agitation. What right moved by the Holy Ghost,” prehas man, a moral being, amenable dicted the nature, tendency, and at the tribunal of heaven for the operation of Messiah's reign. Of rectitude of his intentions and pur- the like import was the celestial suits, to " do evil, that good may anthem, at the annunciation of his come ?" To hurry thousands of birth : “Glory to God in the highhis fellow-creatures into untimely est, and on earth peace, good will graves, and send them, unprepared, toward men.” Of the same spirit to their last account, under pre
his personal instructions. tence of benefiting survivors ? Vain “Ye have heard that it hath been pretence : for the sword devour. said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, eth one as well as another;" and the and hate thine enemy : But I say experience of ages testifies, that unto you, Love your enemies, bless the tendency of war is, not to di- them that curse you, do good to minish, but to increase the aggre- them that hate you, and pray for gate amount, both of vice and misery. them that despitefully use you and
But were it otherwise ; were war persecute you : that ye may be the productive of all the advantages, children of your Father who is in which its advocates allege, the heaven: for he maketh his sun to question, whether it be compatible rise on the evil and on the good, with the requisitions of Christianity and sendeth rain on the just and on would still remain to be solved, be- the unjust." His instructions were fore we could have recourse to it, illustrated and enforced by his exwithout a crime. And “what saith ample. “ When he was reviled, be the scripture" to this question ? reviled not again, when he suffered, How do the sacred writers of the Old he threatened not, but committed and New Testaments represent the himself to him that judgeth rightobligations and the effects of our eously.” With his dying breath he boly religion, in relation to war? in:erceded for the most impious Let them speak for themselves : and cruel of murderers : murder"In the last days it shall come to ers, whose hands were imbrued in pass, that the mountain of the his own blood : “ Father, forgive Lord's house shall be established them, for they know not what they upon the top of the mountains, and
In exact accordance with these Have not the people, in every sentiments, iustructions and exam- realm of christendom, seen and felt ples, were the lessons inculcated by enough to know, that they are sure his inspired apostles: " Dearly be- always to lose by this desperate loved, avenge not yourselves, but game? The immediate privations rather give place unto wrath: for and sufferings of war, numerous and it is written, Vengeance, is mine, deplorable as they confessedly are, and I will repay, saith the Lord. compose but a part of the evils with Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, which it is fraught. Its pernicious! feed him, if he thirst, give him consequences are durable. Men, drink. Be not overcome of evil, familiarized with the weapons of but overcome evil with good.” destruction, and accustomed to as" If ye have bitter envying and sail the persons and possessions of strife in your hearts, glory not, and others, do not readily relinquish the lie not against the truth. This impressions and habits of such a wisdom descendeth not from above, career. Cherishing the notions of but is earthly, sensual, devilish. honour, and the principles of retaFor where envying and strife is, liation, by which they have long there is confusion, and every evil been governed, they necessarily work. But the wisdom that is from bring many vices of the camp into above is first pure, then peaceable, the ordinary walks of society. gentle, and easy to be entreated, Hence the frequency of duels, full of mercy and good fruits, with- with other disgraceful collisions, out partiality, and without hypo- which commonly succeed, as well crisy. And the fruit of righteousness as accompany publick hostilities; is sown in peace of them that make and hence, too, the civil commopeace.' If a man say I love tions and fatal revolutions which God, and hateth his brother, he is sometimes ensue. There is reason a 'liar : for he that loveth not his to think that the harshness of behabrother whom he hath seen, how viour, defect of sympathy and procan he love God whom he hath not pensity to give and to take offence, seen ? And this commandment have which often mark the intercourse, we from him, that he who loveth and impair the satisfaction and be God, love his brother also.”
nefit of private and domestick life, “Froin whence then come wars are promoted by the spirit and temand fightings among you ? Come per generated by wars. they not hence, even of your lusts Could all the attendant and consethat war in your members ?" Pause, quent mischiefs of any one of the brethren, and decide. Is not the countless wars, which blacken the true source of war here disclos- page of history, be concentred to a ed? Does not war always spring point, were it possible, at the same from the worst passions of our na- moment, to behold, not only the ture ? And in its whole progress is mangled dead and the writhing torit not unfriendly to the meekness, tures of the dying; but to witness benevolence, and charity, which the bitter weeping and lamentation characterize the heirs of eternal of the thousands bereaved of huslite, and perilous to the souls of bands, fathers, brothers, and friends; men? Surely then, you will not and to survey the wretched multideny your obligations to make tudes crippled by the loss of limbs, every effort in your power, to pre- tormented by incurable wounds and vent its recurrence, and to perpe. diseases, reduced to abject poverty, tuate the repose and harmony of subjected to uninterrupted discord, your country, and of the world.
plunged into vice, and exposed to
endless perdition ;-instead of con- atory disposition which tends, above templating the event with compla- all things else, to put an end to cency, or its authors with admira- "the confused noise of battles," tion, you would turn from the one and to the agonizing spectacle of with horrour, and from the other garments rolled in blood :” a diswith heartfelt grief. Penetrated position, which, spreading in every with a lively sense of the guilt and direction, may, at length, reach and misery of war, you would inces- meliorate the policy and condition santly strive for deliverance from of all mankind. Yes, brethren ; the desolating scourge, under which your exertions, however unpromis" the whole creation has groaned ing at their commencement, may and travailed in pain together until eventually extend their benign innow.' Unquestionably there is a fluence to“ principalities and powwide difference between offensive ers," and induce stipulations among and defensive war. But every war them, which shall bring all their is offensive, at least on one part; differences to an amicable adjustand if offensive war can be pre- ment, without resorting to arms and vented, defensive war will of course bloodshed. It is possible that “this be superseded.
generation may not pass away, till • But what,’ you exclaim, 'can we all these things shall be fulfilled :" do, in aid of an achievement so ar- till a new law of nations shall give duous ? You can reprobate and dis- an opening to better times. Somecourage that rancorous animosity, thing analagous to such a law of naprejudice and jealousy, which are tions, is found in the treaty, which the fuel of war; and without which has recently restored tranquillity its destructive flames never were, to our country. In case of disagreeand never will be enkindled. You ment between the parties, the can accustom yourselves, and incite boundary line is to be determined others to view the whole human by referring the merits of the cause race as brethren, bound to the con- to an impartial umpire; and his destant exercise of mutual kindness, cision is to be final. Now if
quesforbearance, and love. You can tions about territory ; questions, perceive and expose the wicked- which as frequently and as justly ness imputable to the children of generate war, as any other, may be the same divine and beneficent pa- honcurably settled in this way, rent, when they envy, provoke, and where is the impracticability of condestroy one another. You can ap- stituting, by general consent, a preciate and portray the many and Grand Tribunal of Umpires, to pass great advantages, which would flow sentence upon all matters in dispute from the universal observance of between particular governments. that golden rule. "All things what- Another signal event of this aus. soever ye would that men should do picious era, adapted to arouse atunto you, do ye even so unto them.” tention, and stimulate activity, is In a word, you can “study the the unexampled compact lately things which make for peace, and formed between three of the greatthings wherewith one may edify est monarchs of Europe, the Rusanother;''-and these are the most sian, Austrian, and Prussian : a natural and efficient means of ac- compact, which they solemnly decomplishing the design proposed. clare has no other object, than" to By these means, you will contri- show, in the face of the universe, bute to diffuse through your respec- their unwavering determination to tive circles of intercourse, whether adopt for the only rule of their coninore or less extended, that concili- duct, both in the adıninistration of
their respective states, and in their shall be poured out, and the wilderpolitical relations with every other ness shall become a fruitful field, government, the precepts of the and the fruitful field be esteemed a christian religion, the precepts of forest; and judgment shall dwell in justice, of charity, and of peace; the wilderness, and in the fruitful which, far from being applicable field shall reside righteousness; and solely to private life, ought, on the the work of righteousness shall be contrary, to influence the resolu
peace, and the effect of righteoustions of princes, and to guide all ness, perpetual quiet and security." their undertakings, as being the The felicities of such a period will best means of giving stability to be realized; for the word of Jehohuman institutions, and of remedy- vah is sure. But before they can ing their imperfections.” Mean- be realized, the long nurtured erwhile, they invite “all powers, who rours in regard to war, must be corshall wish to profess the sacred rected, the passions and the spirit principles" which dictated the mea- of war must be counteracted and sure, " and to acknowledge how suppressed; and the principles and important it is to the happiness of the spirit of peace must be imbibed nations, too long disturbed, that and diffused. It is hoped, and with these truths should henceforth ex- good reason, that, by the blessing of ercise upon human destinies all the Heaven, the societies instituted in influence which belongs to them," this, and other countries, for the to join in " this holy alliance." purpose, will gradually diffuse the Thus, in the face of the universe, purifying light of revelation throughhave these three mighty potentates out the earth: And is there less erected the standard of peace, and ground to hope, that universal and invited all nations and all people to perpetual peace might be the ultirally round it, and combine their mate effect of similar Associations influence for the permanent tran- for the abolition of war? Blessed be quillity and happiness of the world. God, similar Associations for the abOnly let the principles here solemn- olition of war are already in existly proclaimed be universally adopt- ence and operation. Beside other ed, and carried into effect; and movements of the kind in America wars will cease unto the end of the
and Europe, a “Peace Society," to earth, the spear will be cut in sun- which, among many others, a conder, and the chariot will be burned siderable number of our most enin the fire.
lightened and virtuous civilians be The late tremendous series of long, has been organized in this conflicts and calamities which have Commonwealth ; and impressive. desolated Europe, and terrified the publications, tending to illustrate world, seem to have produced an and enforce the subject now submitextensive conviction, not only of the ted to your deliberation, have sidireful effects and consequences of multaneously issued from numerous war, but also of the unsoundness
pens, on both sides the Atlantick; and iniquity of its principles and a subject, to which interest, as well maxims. "The signs of the times, as duty, humanity, as well as reliindeed, seem clearly to indicate the gion, urges your most serious attenapproach of the long looked for pe- tion. Consider of it, take advice, riod, foretold by prophets and sung and speak your minds." by poets, when “the wolf'shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and there In Convention of Ministers, 29th shall be none to hurt or destroy." May, 1816, Dr. Worcester, from the When “the spirit from on high, Committee, appointed last year, to