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some fine landscape of nature, and summon rustic worshippers to the house of prayer-nothing is heard but the deathful vollies of the battle, and the maddening outcry of infuriated men--how, as the fruit of victory, an unprincipled licentiousness, which no discipline can restrain, is suffered to walk at large among the people-and all that is pure, and reverend, and holy, in the virtue of families, is cruelly trampled on, and held in the bitterest. derision.
Oh! my brethren, were we to pursue those details, which no pen ever attempts, and no chronicle perpetuates, we should be tempted to ask, what that is which civilization has done for the character of the species? It has thrown a few paltry embellishments over the surface of human affairs, and for the order of society, it has reared the defences of law around the rights and the property of the individuals who compose it. But let war, legalized as you may, and ushered into the field with all the parade of forms and manifestos-let this war only have its season, and be suffered to overleap these artificial defences, and you will soon see how much of the security of the commonwealth is due to positive restrictions, and how little of it is due to a natural sense of justice among men. I know well, that the plausibilities of human character which abound in every modern and enlightened society, have been mustered up to oppose the doctrine of the Bible, on the woful depravity of our race. But out of the history of war, I can gather for this doctrine the evidence of experiment. It tells me, that man when left to himself and let loose among his fellows, to walk after the counsel of his own heart, and in the sight of his own eyes, will soon discover how thin that tinsel is, which the boasted hand of civilization has thrown over him. And we have only to blow the trumpet of war, and proclaim to man the hour of his opportunity, that his character may show itself in its essential elements -and that we may see how many, in this our moral and en. lightened day, would spring forward, as to a jubilee of delight, and prowl like the wild men of the woods, amidst scenes of rapacity, and cruelty, and violence.
II. But let me hasten away from this part of the subject, and in the second place, direct your attention to those obstacles
which stand in the way of the extinction of war, and which threaten to retard, for a time, the accomplishment of the prophecy I have now selected for your consideration.
Is this the time, it may be asked, to complain of obstacles to the extinction of war, when peace has been given to the nations, and we are assembled to celebrate its triumphs? Is this day of high and solemn gratulation, to be turned to such forebodings as these? The whole of Europe is now at rest from the tempest which convulsed it--and a solemn treaty with all its adjustments, and all its guarantees, promises a firm perpe tuity to the repose of the world. We have long fought for a happier order of things, and at length we have established itand the hard-earned bequest, we hand down to posterity as a rich inheritance, won by the labours and the sufferings of the present generation. That gigantic ambition which stalked in triumph over the firmest and the oldest of our monarchies, is now laid-and can never again burst forth from the confinement of its prison-hold to waken a new uproar, and to send forth new troubles over the face of a desolated world.
Now, in reply to this, let it be observed, that every interval of repose is precious; every breathing time from the work of violence is to be rejoiced in by the friends of humanity; every agreement among the powers of the earth, by which a temporary respite can be gotten from the calamities of war, is so much reclaimed from the amount of those miseries that afflict the world, and of those crimes, the cry of which ascendeth unto heaven, and bringeth down the judgments of God on this dark and rebellious province of his creation. I trust, that on this day, gratitude to Him who alone can still the tumults of the people, will be the sentiment of every heart; and I trust that none who now hear me, will refuse to evince his gratitude to the Author of the New Testament, by their obedience to one of the most distinct and undoubted of its lessons; I mean the lesson of a reverential and submissive loyalty. I cannot pass an impartial eye over this record of God's will, without perceiving the utter repugnance that there is between the spirit of Christianity, and the factious, turbulent, unquenchable, and evermeddling spirit of political disaffection. I will not compromise
by the surrender of a single jot or tittle the integrity of that preceptive code which my Saviour hath left behind him for the obedience of his disciples. I will not detach the very minutest of its features, from the fine picture of morality that Christ hath bequeathed, both by commandment and example, to adorn the nature he condescended to wear-and sure I am that the man who has drunk in the entire spirit of the gospel-who, reposing himself on the faith of its promised immortality, can maintain an elevated calm amid all the fluctuations of this world's interest-whose exclusive ambition it is to be the unexcepted pupil of pure, and spiritual and self-denying Christianity-sure I am that such a man will honour the king and all who are in authority--and be subject unto them for the sake of conscience-and render unto them all their dues--and not withhold a single fraction of the tribute they impose upon him—and be the best of subjects, just because he is the best of Christians--resisting none of the ordinances of God, and living a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
But it gives me pleasure to advance a further testimony in behalf of that government with which it has pleased God, who appointeth to all men the bounds of their habitation, to bless that portion of the globe that we occupy. I count it such a government that I not only owe it the loyalty of my principles-but I also owe it the loyalty of my affections. I could not lightly part with my devotion to that government which the other year opened the door to the Christianization of India-I shall never withhold the tribute of my reverence from that government which put an end to the atrocities of the Slave Trade-I shall never forget the triumph, which, in that proudest day of Britian's glory, the cause of humanity gained within the walls of our en lightened Parliament. Let my right hand forget her cunning, ere I forget that country of my birth, where, in defiance to all the clamours of mercantile alarm, every calculation of interest was given to the wind, and braving every hazard, she nobly resolved to shake off the whole burden of infamy, which lay upon her. I shall never forget, that how to complete the object in behalf of which she has so honourably led the way, she has walked the whole round of civilized society, and knocked at the door of
every government in Europe, and lifted her imploring voice for injured Africa, and plead with the mightiest monarchs of the world, the cause of her outraged shores, and her distracted families. I can neither shut my heart nor my eyes to the fact, that at this moment she is stretching forth the protection of her naval arm, and shielding, to the uttermost of her vigour, that coast where an inhuman avarice is still plying its guilty devices, and aiming to perpetuate among an unoffending people, à trade of cruelty, with all the horrid train of its terrors and abominations. Were such a government as this to be swept from its base, either by the violence of foreign hostility, or by the hands of her own misled and infatuated children-I should never cease to deplore it as the deadliest interruption, which ever had been given to the interests of human virtue, and to the march of human improvement. O! how it should swell every heart, not with pride, but with gratitude, to think that the land of our fathers, with all the iniquities which abound in it, with all the profligacy, which spreads along our streets, and all the profaneness that is heard among our companies to think that this our land, overspread as it is with the appalling characters of guilt, is still the securest asylum of worth and liberty—that this is the land, from which the most copious emanations of Christianity are going forth to all the quarters of the world-that this is the land, which teems from one end to the other of it with the most splendid designs and enterprises for the good of the species-that this is the land, where public principle is most felt, and public objects are most prosecuted, and the fine impulse of a public spirit is most ready to carry its generous people beyond the limits of a selfish and contracted patriotism. Yes, and when the heart of the philanthropist is sinking within him at the gloomy spectacle of those crimes and atrocities, which still deform the history of man, I know not a single earthly expedient more fitted to brighten and sustain him, than to turn his eye to the country in which he lives-and there see the most enlightened government in the world acting as the organ of its most moral and intelligent population.
It is not against the government of my country, therefore, that I direct my observations-but against that nature of man in
the infirmities of which we all share, and the evil of which no government can extinguish. We have carried a new political arrangement, and we experience the result of it, a temporary calm-but we have not yet carried our way to the citadel of human passions. The elements of war are hushed for a season— but these elements are not destroyed. They still rankle in many an unsubdued heart-and I am too well taught by the history of the past, and the experience of its restless variations, not to believe that they will burst forth again in thunder over the face of society. No, my brethren, it will only be when diffused and vital Christianity comes upon the earth, that an enduring peace will come along with it. The prophecy of my text will obtain its fulfilment-but not till the fulfilment of the verses which go before it ;-not till the influence of the gospel has found its way to the human bosom, and plucked out of it the elementary principles of war ;-not till the law of love shall spread its melting and all-subduing efficacy, among the children of one common nature :-not till ambition be dethroned from its mastery over the affections of the inner man ;-not till the guilty splendours of war shall cease to captivate its admirers, and spread the blaze of a deceitful heroism over the wholesale butchery of the species;-not till national pride be humbled, and man shall learn, that if it be individually the duty of each of us in honour to prefer one another; then let these individuals combine as they may, and form societies as numerous and extensive as they may, and each of these be swelled out to the dimensions of an empire, still, that mutual condescension and forbearance remain the unalterable christian duties of these empires to each other;-not till man learn to revere his brother as man, whatever portion of the globe he occupies, and all the jealousies and preferences of a contracted patriotism be given to the wind;-not till war shall cease to be prosecuted as a trade, and the charm of all that interest which is linked with its continuance, shall cease to beguile men in the peaceful walks of merchandise, into a barbarous longing after war; not in one word till pride, and jealousy, and interest, and all that is opposite to the law of God and the charity of the gospel, shall be forever eradicated from the character of those who possess an