« السابقةمتابعة »
of no avail against a custom so established and so f cumstance ;" soldiers have passed us at every step, supported— I do not know: yet the fact is remark- and battles and victories have been the topic of every able, that scarcely a defender is to be found. It one around us. It therefore becomes familiarized cannot be doubted that the question is one of the to all our thoughts and interwoven with all our asutmost interest and importance to man. Whether sociations. We have never enquired whether these the custom be defensible or not, every man should things should be: the question does not even sugenquire into its consistency with the Moral Law. If gest itself. We acquiesce in it, as we acquiesce in it is defensible he may, by enquiry, dismiss the scru- the rising of the sun, without any other idea than ples which it is certain subsist in the minds of mul. that it is a part of the ordinary processes of the titudes, and thus exempt himself from the offence of world. And how are we to feel disapprobation of participating in that which, though pure, he “ a system that we do not examine, and of the nature teemeth to be unclean.” If it is not defensible, the of which we do not think? Want of enquiry has propriety of investigation is increased in a tenfold been the means by which long-continued practices, degree.
whatever has been their enormity, have obtained the It may be a subject therefore of reasonable regret i general concurrence of the world, and by which they to the friends and the lovers of truth, that the ques- have continued to pollute or degrade it, long after tion of the Moral Lawfulness of War is not brought the few who enquire into their nature have discoverfairly before the public. I say fairly: because ed them to be bad. It was by these means that the though many of the publications which impugn its Slave Trade was so long tolerated by this land of lawfulness advert to the ordinary arguments in its humanity. Men did not think of its iniquity. We favour, yet it is not to be assumed that they give to were induced to think, and we soon abhorred, and those arguments all that vigour and force which then abolished it. Of the effects of this want of would be imparted by a stated and an able advocate. enquiry we have indeed frequent examples upon the Few books, it is probable, would tend more power. | subject before us. Many who have all their lives fully to promote the discovery and dissemination of concluded that war is lawful and right, have found, truth, than one which should frankly and fully and when they began to examine the question, that their ably advocate, upon sound moral principles, the prac- conclusions were founded upon no evidence ;-that tice of war. The public would then see the whole they had believed in its rectitude not because they of vabat can be urged in its favour without being ob- had possessed themselves of proof, but because they liged to seek for arguments, as they now must, in had never enquired whether it was capable of proof incidental or imperfect or scattered disquisitions : or not. In the present moral state of the world, and possessing in a distinct form the evidence of one of the first concerns of him who would discover both parties, they would be enabled to judge justly pure morality should be, to question the purity of between them. Perhaps if, invited as the public are that which now obtains. to the discussion, no man is hereafter willing to ad. Another cause of our complacency with war, and venture in the cause, the conclusion will not be un- therefore another cause of war itself, consists in that reasonable, that no man is destitute of a conscious- callousness to human misery which the custom inness that the cause is not a good one.
duces. They who are shocked at a single murder on Meantime it is the business of him whose enquiries the highway, hear with indifference of the slaughter have conducted him to the conclusion that the cause of a thousand on the field. They whom the idea of is not good, to exhibit the evidence upon which the a single corpse would thrill with terror, contemplate conclusion is founded. It happens upon the subject that of heaps of human carcasses mangled by human of war, more than upon almost any other subject of | hands, with frigid indifference. If a murder is comhuman enquiry, that the individual finds it difficult mitted, the narrative is given in the public news, to contemplate its merits with an uninfluenced mind. paper, with many adjectives of horror--with many He finds it difficult to examine it as it would be exa- expressions of commiseration, and many bopes that mined by a philosopher to whom the subject was the perpetrator will be detected. In the next paranew. He is familiar with its details; he is habituated graph, the editor, perhaps, tells us that he has hurried to the idea of its miseries ; he has perhaps never a second edition to the press, in order that he may be doubted, because he has never questioned, its recti- the first to glad the public with the intelligence, that tude; nay, he has associated with it ideas not of in an engagement which has just taken place, eight splendour only but of honour and of merit. That hundred and fifty of the enemy were killed. Now, is such an enquirer will not, without some effort of ab- not this latter intelligence eight hundred and fifty straction, examine the question with impartiality and times as deplorable as the first? Yet the first is the justice, is plain ; and therefore the first business of subject of our sorrow, and this of our joy! The him who would satisfy his mind respecting the law-inconsistency and disproportionateness which has fulness of war, is to divest himself of all those habits been occasioned in our sentiments of benevolence, of thought and feeling which have been the result offers a curious moral phenomenon. * not of reflection and judgment, but of the ordinary associations of life. And perhaps he may derive • Part of the Declaration and Oath prescribed to be taken by some assistance in this necessary but not easy dis- Catholics is this : " I do solemnly declare before God, that i missal of previous opinions, by referring first to some
believe that no act in itself unjust, immoral, or wicked, can
ever be justified or excused by or under retence or colour that of the ordinary Causes and Consequences of War. it was done either for the good of the church or in obedience to The reference will enable us also more satisfactorily any ecclesiastical power whatsoever." This declaration is to estimate the moral character of the practice it.
required as a solemn act, and is supposed, of course, to involve
a great and sacred principle of rectitude. We propose the same self; for it is po unimportant auxiliary in forming declaration to be taken by military men, with the alteration of such an estimate of human actions or opinions, to two words. “I do solemnly declare before God, that I beliere
that no act in itself unjust, imnioral, or wicked, can ever be know how they have been produced and what are
justified or excused by or under pretence or colour that it was their effects.
done either for the good of the state or in obedience to any military power whatsoever." How would this declaration assort with the customary practice of the soldier? Put state for church, and military for ecclesiastical, and then the world
thinks that arts in themselves most unjust, immoral, and of these Causes one undoubtedly consists in the wicked, are not only justified and excused, but very merito. want of enquiry. We have been accustomed from
rious : for in the whole system of warfare, justice and morality
are utterly disregarded. Are those who approve of this Catholio earliest life to a familiarity with its “ pomp and cir. declaration conscious of the grossness of their own inconsis
CAUSES OF WAR.
The immolations of the Ilindoos fill us with com- levying men, and building ships, and founding canpassion or horror, and we are zealously labouring non, without providing men, and ships, and cannon to prevent them. The sacrifices of life by our own themselves; and when both are thus threatening criminal executions, are the subject of orir anxious and defying, what is the hope that there will not be commiseration, and we are strenuously endeavouring a war? to diminish their number. We feel that the life of If nations fought only when they could not be at a Hindoo or a malefactor is a serious thing, and
peace, there would be very little fighting in the that nothing but imperious necessity should induce world. The wars that are waged for “ insults to us to destroy the one, or to permit the destruction | flags,” and an endless train of similar motives, are of the other. Yet what are these sacrifices of life perhaps generally attributable to the irritability of in comparison with the sacrifices of war? In the our pride. We are at no pains to appear pacific late campaign in Russia, there fell, during one hun towards the offender: our remonstrance is a threat; dred and seventy-three days in succession, an ave. and the nation, which would give satisfaction to an rage of two thousand nine hundred men per day : enquiry, will give no other answer to a menace than more than five hundred thousand human beings in a menace in return. At length we begin to fight, not less than six months! And most of these victims because we are aggrieved, but because we are angry. expired with peculiar intensity of suffering. We One example may be offered : “ In 1789, a small are carrying our benevolence to the Indies, but Spanish vessel committed some violence in Nootka what becomes of it in Russia, or at Leipsic!. We Sound, under the pretence that the country belonged are labouring to save a few lives from the gallows, to Spain. This appears to have been the principal but where is our solicitude to save them on the field ?
ground of offence; and with this both the governLife is life wheresoever it be sacrificed, and has ment and the people of England were very angry. every where equal claims to our regard. I am not The irritability and haughtiness which they mani. now saying that war is wrong, but that we regard fested were unaccountable to the Spaniards, and the its miseries with an indifference with which we re
peremptory tone was imputed by Spain, not to the gard no others: that if our sympathy were reason feelings of offended dignity and violated justice, but ably excited respecting them, we should be power- to some lurking enmity, and some secret desigas fully prompted to avoid war; and that the want of which we did not choose to avow.”* If the tone this reasonable and virtuous sympathy, is one cause had been less peremptory and more rational, no such of its prevalence in the world.
suspicion would have been excited, and the bostility And another consists in national irritability. It which was consequent upon the suspicion would, of is assumed (not indeed upon the most rational course, have been avcided. Happily the English ground-) that the best way of supporting the dig- were not so passionate, but that before they pronity, and maintaining the security of a nation is, ceeded to fight they negotiated, and settled the when occasions of disagreement arise, to assume a affair amicably. The preparations for this foolish high attitude and a fearless tone. We keep our- war cost, however, three millions one hundred and selves in a state of irritability which is continually thirty-three thousand pounds! alive to occasions of offence; and he that is prepared So well indeed is national irritability known to be to be offended readily finds offences. A jealous an efficient cause of war, that they who from any sensibility sees insults and injuries where sober eyes motive wish to promote it, endeavour to rouse the see nothing; and nations thus surround themselves
temper of a people by stimulating their passionswith a sort of artificial tentacula, which they throw just as the boys in our streets stimulate two dogs to wide in quest of irritation, and by which they are fight. These persons talk of the insults, or the enstimulated to revenge by every touch of accident or croachments, or the contempts of the destined enemy, inadvertency. They who are easily offended will
with every artifice of aggravation; they tell us of also easily offend. What is the experience of pri- foreigners who want to trample upon our rights. of vate life. The man who is always on the alert to rivals who ridicule our power, of foes who will crush, discover trespasses on his honour or his rights, never and of tyrants who will enslave us. They pursue fails to quarrel with his neighbours. Such a person their object, certainly, by efficacious means: they may be dreaded as a torpedo. We may fear, but
desire a war, and therefore irritate our passions ; we shall not love him; and fear, without love, easily and when men are angry they are easily persuaded lapses into enmity. There are, therefore, many to fight. feuds and litigations in the life of such a man, that That this cause of War is morally bad--that pewould never have disturbed its quiet if he had not tulance and irritability are wholly incompatible with captiously snarled at the trespasses of accident, and Christianity, these pages have repeatedly shown. savagely retaliated insignificant injuries. The viper
Wars are often promoted from considerations of that we chance to molest, we suffer to live if he con- interest, as well as from passion. The love of gain tinue to be quiet; but if he raise himself in menaces adds its influence to our other motives to support of destruction we knock him on the head.
them; and without other motives, we know that this It is with nations as with men. If on every of
love is sufficient to give great obliquity to the moral fence we fly to arms, we shall of necessity provoke judgment, and to tempt us to many crimes. During exasperation; and if we exasperate a people as pe- a war of ten years there will always be many whose tulant as ourselves, we may probably continue to income depends on its continuance; and a countless butcher one another, until we cease only from empti- host of commissaries, and purveyors, and agents, ness of exchequers or weariness of slaughter. To and mechanics, commend a war because it fills their threaten war, is therefore often equivalent to be
pockets. And unhappily, if money is in prospect, the ginning it. In the present state of men's principles,
desolation of a kingdom is often of little concern : it is not probable that one nation will observe another
destruction and slaughter are not to be put in cou
petition with a hundred a-year. In truth, it seems tency? Or will they tell us that the interests of the state are
sometimes to be the system of the conductors of 80 paramount to those of the church, that what would be
a war, to give to the sources of gain endless ramifi. wickedness in the service of one, is virtue in the service of the other? The truth we suppose to be, that so intense is the cations. The more there are who profit by it the power of public opinion, that of the thousands who approve
more numerous are its supporters; and thus the the Catholic declarations and the practices of war, there are scarcely tens who even perceive their own inconsistency.Mem, in the MS.
• Smollett's England.
projects of a cabinet become identified with the its promoters are loudly talking of the honour or the avishes of the people, and both are gratified in the safety of the country. prosecution of war.
But perhaps the most operative cause of the poA support more systematic and powerful is how- pularity of war, and of the facility with which we ever given to war, because it offers to the higher engage in it, consists in this; that an idea of glory ranks of society a profession which unites gentility is attached to military exploits, and of honour to the with profit, and which, without the vulgarity of trade, military profession. The glories of battle, and of maintains or enriches them. It is of little conse- those who perish in it, or who return in triumph to quence to enquire whether the distinction of vulgar- | their country, are favourite topics of declamation ity between the toils of war and the toils of com- with the historian, the biographer, and the poet. merce be fictitious. In the abstract, it is fictitious; They have told us a thousand times of dying heroes, but of this species of reputation public opinion holds who “resign their lives amidst the joys of conquest, the arbitrium et jus et rorma ; and public opinion is and, filled with their country's glory, smile in death;" in favour of war.
and thus every excitement that eloquence and geThe army and the navy, therefore, afford to the nius can command, is employed to arouse that ambimiddle and higher classes a most acceptable profes- tion of fame which can be gratified only at the exsion. The profession of arms is like the profession
pense of blood. of law or physic—a regular source of employment Into the nature and principles of this fame and and profit. Boys are educated for the army as they glory we have already enquired; and in the view are educated for the bar; and parents appear to have alike of virtue and of intellect, they are low and no other idea than that war is part of the business bad.* “ Glory is the most selfish of all passions exof tbe world. Of younger sons, whose fathers, in cept love." 7-“I cannot tell how or why the love pursuance of the unhappy system of primogeniture, of glory is a less selfish principle than the love of do not choose to support them at the expense of riches." I Philosophy and intellect may there. the heir, the army and the navy are the common re- fore well despise it, and Christianity silently, yet source. They would not know what to do with emphatically, condemns it. " Christianity," says out them. To many of these the news of a peace Bishop Watson, " quite annihilates the disposition for is a calamity; and though they may not lift their martial glory.” Another testimony, and from an voices in favour of new hostilities for the sake of gain, advocate of war, goes further-No part of the heroic it is unhappily certain that they often secretly de- character is the subject of the “commendation, or sire it.
precepts, or example of Christ;" but the character It is in this manner that much of the rank, the the most opposite to the heroic is the subject of intuence, and the wealth of a country become in- them all. S zerested in the promotion of wars; and when a Such is the foundation of the glory which has for custom is promoted by wealth, and influence, and so many ages deceived and deluded multitudes of rank, what is the wonder that it should be conti- | mankind ! Upon this foundation a structure has nued ? It is said, (if my memory serves me, by Sir been raised so vast, so brilliant, so attractive, that Walter Raleigh,) " he that taketh up his rest to the greater portion of mankind are content to gaze live by this profession shall hardly be an honest in admiration, without any enquiry into its basis or man.”
any solicitude for its durability. If, however, it By depending upon war for a subsistence, a power- should be, that the gorgeous temple will be able to ful inducement is given to desire it; and when the stand only till Christian truth and light become prequestion of war is to be decided, it is to be feared dominant, it surely will be wise of those who seek a that the whispers of interest will prevail, and that niche in its apartments as their paramount and final humanity, and religion, and conscience will be sacri- good, to pause ere they proceed. If they desire a ficed to promote it.
reputation that shall outlive guilt and fiction, let Of those causes of war which consist in the am- them look to the basis of military fame. If this bition of princes or statesmen or commanders, it is fame should one day sink into oblivion and contempt, not necessary to speak, because no one to whom the it will not be the first instance in which wide-spread world will listen is willing to defend them.
glory has been found to be a glittering bubble, that Statesmen however have, besides ambition, many has burst, and been forgotten. Look at the days of purposes of nice policy which make wars convenient; chivalry. Of the ten thousand Quixotes of the and when they have such purposes, they are some- middle ages, where is now the honour or the name ? times cool speculators in the lives of men. They who yet poets once sang their praises, and the chronicler have much patronage have many dependents, and of their achievements believed he was recording an they who have many dependents have much power. everlasting fame. Where are now the glories of the By a war, thousands become dependent on a mini- tournament ! glories ster; and if he be disposed, he can often pursue
“Of which all Europe rang from side to side." schemes of guilt, and intrench himself in unpunished wickedness, because the war enables him to silence Where is the champion whom princesses caressed the clamour of opposition by an office, and to secure and nobles envied ? Where are now the triumphs the suffrages of venality by a bribe. He has there- of Duns Scotus, and where are the folios that perfore many motives to war—in ambition, that does petuated his fame? The glories of war have indeed not refer to conquest ; or in fear, that extends only outlived these : human passions are less mutable than to his office or his pocket: and fear or ambition, are human follies; but I am willing to avow my convicsometimes more interesting considerations than the tion, that these glories are alike destined to sink into happiness and the lives of men. Cabinets have, in forgetfulness; and that the time is approaching when truth, many secret motives to wars of which the the applauses of heroism, and the splendours of conpeople know little. They talk in public of invasions quest, will be remembered only as follies and iniof right, or breaches of treaty, of the support of quities that are past. Let him who seeks for famo, honour, of the necessity of retaliation, when these other than that which an era of Christian purity will motives have no influence on their determinatious. Some untold purpose of expediency, or the private
• See Essay 2, c. 10.
+ West. Rev. No. 1, for 1827. quarrel of a prince, or the piqne or anger of a mini
Mem. and Rem. of the late Jane Taylor. ster, are often the real motives to a contest, whilst ŠPaley : Evidences of Christianity, p. 2, c. 2.
allow, make haste; for every hour that he delays its : retire, in silence, to hopeless poverty, for whom it acquisition will shorten its duration. This is certain, does not care. To these, the conquest of a kingdom if there be certainty in the promises of heaven. is ot' little importance. The loss of a protector or
of this factitious glory as a cause of War, Gibbon a friend is ill repaid by empty glory. An addition speaks in the Decline and Fall.
“ As long as man- of territory may add titles to a king, but the bril. kind,” says he, “shall continue to bestow more liancy of a crown throws little light upon domestic liberal applause on their destroyers than on their gloom. It is not my intention to insist upon these benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever calamities, intense, and irreparable, and unnumbered be the vice of the most exalted characters." "Tis as they are; but those who begin a war without taking strange to imagine,” says the Earl of Shaftesbury, | them into their estimates of its consequences, must that war, which of all things appears the most savage, be regarded as, at most, half-seeing politicians. The should be the passion of the most heroic spirits."- legitimate object of political measures is the good But he gives us the reason.- -“By a small mis- of the people ;-and a great sum of good a war guidance of the affection, a lover of mankind becomes must produce, if it outbalances even this portion of il ravager; a hero and deliverer becomes an op- its mischiefs. pressor and destroyer.
Nor should we be forgetful of that dreadful part These are amongst the great perpetual causes of of all warfare, the destruction of mankind. The war. And what are they? First, that we do not frequency with which this destruction is represented enquire whether War is right or wrong. Secondly, to our minds, has almost extinguished our percepThat we are habitually haughty and irritable in our tion of its awfulness and horror. Between the years intercourse with other nations. Thirdly, That War 1141 and 1815, an interval of six hundred and seis a source of profit to individuals, and establishes venty years, our country has been at war, with professions which are very convenient to the middle France alone, two hundred and sixty-six years. If and higher ranks of life. Fourthly, That it gratifies to this we add our wars with other countries, probthe ambition of public men, and serves the purposes ably we shall find that one-half of the last six or of state policy. Fifthly, That notions of glory are seven centuries has been spent by this country in attached to Warlike affairs; which glory is factitious war! A dreadful picture of human violence! How and impure.
many of our fellow-men, of our fellow-Christians, In the view of reason, and especially in the view have these centuries of slaughter cut off! What is of religion, what is the character of these Causes? the sum total of the misery of their deaths ? * Are they pure ? Are they honourable ? Are they, When political writers expatiate upon the extent when connected with their effects, compatible with and the evils of taxation, they do not sufficiently bear the Moral Law ?- Lastly, and especially, Is it pro- | in mind the reflection, that almost all our taxation is bable that a system of which these are the great the effect of war. A man declaims upon national ever-during Causes, can itself be good or right? debts. He ought to declaim upon the parent of
those debts. Do we reflect that if heavy taxation
entails evils and misery upon the community, that CONSEQUENCES OF WAR.
misery and those evils are inflicted upon us by war! To expatiate upon the miseries which War brings The amount of supplies in Queen Anne's reigu upon mankind, appears a trite and a needless em. was about seventy millions; † and of tbis about sixty. ployment. We all know that its evils are great and six millions $ was expended in war. Where is our dreadful. Yet the very circumstance that the equivalent good ? knowledge is familiar, may make it unoperative upon Such considerations onght, undoubtedly, to influour sentiments and our conduct. It is not the in.
ence the conduct of public men in their disagreetensity of misery, it is not the extent of evil alone, ments with other states, even if higher considerawhich is necessary to animate us to that exertion tions do not influence it. They ought to form part which evil and misery should excite: if it were, of the calculations of the evil of hostility. I believe surely we should be much more averse than we now that a greater mass of human suffering and loss of are to contribute, in word or in action, to the pro- human enjoyment are occasioned by the pecuniary motion of War.
distresses of a war, than any ordinary advantages of But there are mischiefs attendant upon the system a war compensate. But this consideration seems too which are not to every man thus familiar, and on remote to obtain our cotice. Anger at offence or which, for that reason, it is expedient to remark. hope of triumph, overpowers the sober calculations In referring especially to some of those Moral con
of reason, and outbalances the weight of after and sequences of war which commonly obtain little of | long-continued calamities. The only question apour attention, it may be observed, that social and pears to be, whether taxes enough for a war can be political considerations are necessarily involved in raised, and whether a people will be willing to pay the moral tendency : for the happiness of society is them. But the great question ought to be, (setting always diminished by the diminution of morality; questions of Christianity aside,) whether the nation and enlightened policy knows that the greatest sup- will gain as much by the war as they will lose by port of a state is the virtue of the people.
taxation and its other calamities. And yet the reader should bear in mind—what If the happiness of the people were, what it ought nothing but the frequency of the calamity can make to be, the primary and the ultimate object of national him forget-the intense sufferings and irreparable measures, I think that the policy which pursued this deprivations which one battle inevitably entails upon object, would often find that even the pecuniary disprivate life. These are calamities of which the tresses resulting from a war make a greater deduc. world thinks little, and which, if it thought of them, tion from the quantum of felicity, than those evils it could not remove. A father or a husband can which the war may have been desigced to avoid. seldom be replaced ; a void is created in the domestic felicity which there is little hope that the future • “Since the peace of Amiens more than four millions of will fil. By the slaughter of a war, there are thou.
human beings have been sacrificed to the personal ambition of
Napoleon Buonaparte."--Quarterly Review, 25 Art. 1, 1825. sands who weep in unpiried and unnoticed secrecy, + The sum was £69,815,457. · whom the world does not see; and thousands who The sum was £65,853,799. “ The nine years' war of 1739,
cost this nation upwarde of sixty-four inillions without gain
ing any woject."-(halmer's Estimate of thc Strength of Great • Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Ilumour.
“But war does more harm to the morals of men , sion is required of every gradation of rank to that than even to their property and persons. Il, | above it. “I swear to obey the orders of the indeed, it depraves our morals more than it injures officers who are set over me: so help me, God." our persons and deducts from our property, how This system may be necessary to hostile operations, enormous must its mischiefs be!
but I think it is unquestionably adverse to intelI do not know whether the greater sum of moral | lectual and moral excellence. evil resulting from war, is suffered by those who The very nature of unconditional obedience im. are immediately engaged in it, or by the public. plies the relinquishment of the use of the reasoning The mischief is most extensive upon the community, powers. Little more is required of the soldier than but upon the profession it is most intense.
that he be obedient and brave. His obedience is “Rara fides pietasque viris qui castra sequuntur." that of an animal, which is moved by a goad or a
bit, without judgment of his own; and his bravery No one pretends to applaud the morals of an army, is that of a mastiff that tights whatever mastiff others and for its religion, few think of it at all. The fact put before him. *
It is obvious that in such agency is too notorious to be insisted upon, that thousands the intellect and the understanding have little part. who had filled their stations in life with propriety, Now I think that this is important. He who, with and been virtuous from principle, have lost, by a whatever motive, resigns the direction of his conmilitary life, both the practice and the regard of duct implicitly to another, surely cannot retain that morality; and when they have become habituated erectness and independence of mind, that manly to the vices of war, have laughed at their honest consciousness of mental freedom, which is one of the and plodding brethren, who are still spiritless enough highest privileges of our nature. A British Captain for virtue or stupid enough for piety.
declares that “the tendency of strict discipline, such Does any man ask, What occasions depravity in as prevails on board ships of war, where almost military life? I answer in the words of Robert every act of a man's life is regulated by the orders Hall,t " War reverses, with respect to its objects, of his superiors, is to weaken the faculty of indeall the rules of morality. It is nothing less than a pendent thought." + Thus the Rational Being betemporary repeal of all the principles of virtue. It comes reduced in the intellectual scale : an encroachiis a system out of which almost all the virtues are ment is made upon the integrity of its independence. excluded, and in which nearly all the vices are in- God has given us, individually, capacities for the corporated.” And it requires no sagacity to dis- regulation of our individual conduct. To resign its cover, that those who are engaged in a practice direction, therefore, to the absolute disposal of which reverses all the rules of morality--which re- another, appears to be an uomanly and unjustifiable peals all the principles of virtue, and in which nearly relinquishment of the privileges which he has granted all the vices are incorporated, cannot, without the
And the effect is obviously bad; for although intervention of a miracle, retain their minds and no character will apply universally to any large class morals undepraved.
of men, and although the intellectual character of Look for illustration to the familiarity with the the military profession does not result only from this plunder of property and the slaughter of mankind unhappy subjection; yet it will not be disputed, that which war induces. He who plunders the citizen of the honourable exercise of intellect amongst that another nation without remorse or reflection, and profession is not relatively great. It is not from bears away the spoil with triumph, will inevitably them that we expect, because it is not from them lose something of his principles of probity. He that we generally find, those vigorous exertions of who is familiar with slaughter, who has himself often intellect which dignify our nature and which extend perpetrated it, and who exults in the perpetration, the boundaries of human knowedge. will not retain undepraved the principles of virtue. But the intellectual effects of military subjection His moral feelings are blunted; his moral vision is form but a small portion of its evils. obscured; his principles are shaken ; an inroad is mischief is, that it requires the relinquisl:ment of our made upon their integrity, and it is an inroad that moral agency ; that it requires us to do what is makes after inroads the more easy. Mankind do opposed to our consciences, and what we know to be not generally resist the influence of habit. If we wrong. A soldier must obey, how criminal soever rob and shoot those who are “enemies” to-day, we the command, and how criminal soever he knows it are in some degree prepared to shoot and rob those to be. It is certain, that of those who compose who are not enemies to-morrow. Law may indeed armies, many commit actions which they believe to still restrain us from violence; but the power and be wicked, and which they would not commit but efficiency of Principle is diminished : and this alien- for the obligations of a military life. Although a ation of the mind from the practice, the love, and the soldier determinately believes that the war is unjust, perception of Christian purity, therefore, of ne. although he is convinced that his particular part of cessity extends its influence to the other circum- the service is atrociously criminal, still he must prostances of life. The whole evil is imputable to war; ceed- he must prosecute the purposes of injustice and we say that this evil forms a powerful evidence or robbery, he must participate in the guilt, and be against it, whether we direct that evidence to the himself a robber. abstract question of its lawfulness, or to the practi. To what a situation is a rational and responsible cal question of its expediency. That can scarcely being reduced, who commits actions, good or bad, at be lawful which necessarily occasions such wide. the word of another ! I can conceive no greater spread immorality. That can scarcely be ex- degradation. It is the lowest, the final abjectness pedient, which is so pernicious to virtue, and there- of the moral nature. It is this if we abate the fore to the state.
glitter of war, and if we add this glitter it is nothing The economy of war requires of every soldier an implicit submission to his superior; and this submis- Such a resignation of our moral agency is not
contended for, or tolerated in any one other cir• Erasmus. + Sermon, 1822.
• By one article of the Constitutional Code even of reSee Smollett's England, vol. 4, p. 376. « This terrible publican France, “the army were expressly probibited from truth, which I cannot help repeating, must be arknowledged: deliberating on any subject whatever." -indifference and selfishness are the predominant feelings in + Captain Basil Hall: Voyage to Loo Choo, c. 2. We make an army." Miot's Mémoires de l'Expédition en Egypte, &c. no distinction between the military and naral professions, and Mem. in the MS.
employ one word to indicate both.