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war, rather with an eye to its effects than its
The idea of doing away war by general principles of arbitration, in which the parties should agree to preserve peace by the edge of the sword, is not a new one. It originated with Henry the fourth of France, who proposed that Europe should be termed a 6 christian republic;" and should enter into articles of confederation, by which perpetual peace was to be maintained among christian nations. They were settled and agreed to with James of England; and they had added to them this important part of a christian league-that perpetual war should be carried on against the infidels. The hand of Ravaillac, in putting an end to the life of Henry, ended also this chimerical scheme.*-It was, however, revived again by William Penn, in his « Essay towards the peace of Europe ;" in which he enters into the detail of the planproposes how many representatives each state should have, in a general Congress; that to prevent any occasion of disagreement among
* Wraxall's Age of Henry IV.
themselves, they should meet in a round room, to which there should be many doors : that each state should preside by turns : that their records should be preserved in a chest, that should have many locks; a key to be kept by each state-each to have a clerk, and each clerk a pew or desk : thus there was to be no occasion of exceptions. That part of the plan which relates to fighting the infidels, was left out by William Penn; yet he enumerates among the advantages, “the great security it will be to christians against the inroads of the Turks ;" as the grand Signior will find himself obliged to concur, for the security of his own dominions; as with all his strength he would find himself over-matched."*
The same thing is again renewed in the present day; if not in its detail, in its principles; and to experience the same result: to pass into oblivion and be forgotten. To endeavour to show some of the roots and grounds of war, is the intention of this essay. It will be considered as an universal princi
* Second Vol. of William Penn's folio Works.
ple, existing always where man depends upon himself.—And although it may sometimes in itself be an evil, yet it is rather to be viewed as an effect of evil, than as an evil in itself; and it is not too much to say, that while the causes of it exist, it is not in the power of princes or rulers to prevent it. It is by no means an abridgment of the moral liberty of man, to believe in the scripture declaration, that “ the soul that sinneth it shall die;" the punishment of death is the necessary and absolute effect of the siu : nei . ther does it lessen this liberty to believe, that while the causes of war exist, the effect will as certanly follow.
Every thing on which man can bestow a serious thought, seems calculated to awaken him from that state of sin, wbich eventuates in spiritual death; each pleasure has its attendant pain; and the more freely we give ourselves up to the enjoyments of life, the more certainly we form for ourselves a bed of thorns : our most pleasing pictures become tarnished, or fade before us as airy dreams; and each one of us, finds moments when he is ready to exclaim with the preacher, 66 all
is vanity and vexation of spirit.” These things, which come in to dispute every happiness, are often the effects of sin; and they are to be viewed in some degree as monitors, which point the way to heaven. The re. flective mind, will easily trace the connexion between the disappointments and crosses of life, and deviations from the paths of recti. tude ; and will readily believe what the apostle James says, that " wars and fightings come from our lusts, which war in our members.”* And yet it would perhaps seem an anomally to suppose, that even when the seeds of war exist, the result of it can ever be good. I am not about to say that this is true, but shall state such things as occur upon the subject, leaving it to others to fill up the outline. First, I shall show some of its remote causes, and in the sequel trace some of their effects.
The occasion of war exists in which is not free from sin: every improper desire or lust which exists in the mind, is a root of war: “the lusts of the flesh, the lusts
* James, iy. 1.
of the eye, and the pride of life;"* every desire after the honour, riches, or praise of the world; every thought that has for its aim the gratification of self—is a lust; which, according to its degree or measure of iniquity, is performing its part in the production of war. Every desire is selfish, which is not dictated by the spirit of truth, and has not for its end the glory of God.-" The spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit:”f these are the two natures; and peace or war springs from them as a necessary ef. fect, just in proportion as either of them pre. vail. “ War as defined, is, first, the profession of arms; secondly, hostility; thirdly, opposition; fourthly, state of opposition.”I It is not confined to open violence, or the use of the sword lawfully borne ; this though an important, and perhaps the most apparent kind of it, is yet, probably, the least extensive in its influence.-Every connivance at dishonesty, is countenancing war; as is also the partaking of the fruits of fraud or oppression. The enslaving of man by his fellow
* John, ii. 16.
+ Gal. v. 17.