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aside from a career of Asiatic conquest, that he would rather save the life of a single citizen than win to his power all the dominions of Mithridates.1

A war with Mexico would be mean and cowardly; with England it would be bold at least, though parricidal. The heart sickens at the murderous attack upon an enemy distracted by civil feud, weak at home, impotent abroad; but it recoils in horror from the deadly shock between children of a common ancestry, speaking the same language, soothed in infancy by the same words of love and tenderness, and hardened into vigorous manhood under the bracing influence of institutions instinct with the same vital breath of freedom. The Roman historian has aptly pictured this unnatural combat. Rarely do words of the past so justly describe the present. Curam acuebat, quod adversus Latinos bellandum erat, lingua, moribus, armorum genere, institutis ante omnia militaribus congruentes: milites militibus, centurionibus centuriones, tribuni tribunis compares collegæque, iisdem præsidiis, sæpe iisdem manipulis permixti fue


Can there be in our age any peace that is not honorable, any war that is not dishonorable? The true honor of a nation is conspicuous only in deeds of justice and beneficence, securing and advancing human happiness. In the clear eye of that Christian judgment which must yet prevail, vain are the victories of War, infamous its spoils. He is the benefactor, and worthy of honor, who carries comfort to wretchedness, dries the tear of sorrow, relieves the unfortunate, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, does justice, enlightens the ignorant, unfastens the fetters of 2 Livy, Hist., Lib. VIII. c. 6.

1 Plutarch, Lucullus, Cap. VIII.

the slave, and finally, by virtuous genius, in art, literature, science, enlivens and exalts the hours of life, or, by generous example, inspires a love for God and man. This is the Christian hero; this is the man of honor in a Christian land. He is no benefactor, nor worthy of honor, whatever his worldly renown, whose life is absorbed in feats of brute force, who renounces the great law of Christian brotherhood, whose vocation is blood. Well may old Sir Thomas Browne exclaim, "The world does not know its greatest men!" — for thus far it has chiefly honored the violent brood of Battle, armed men springing up from the dragon's teeth sown by Hate, and cared little for the truly good men, children of Love, guiltless of their country's blood, whose steps on earth are noiseless as an angel's wing.

It will not be disguised that this standard differs from that of the world even in our day. The voice of man is yet given to martial praise, and the honors of victory are chanted even by the lips of woman. The mother, rocking the infant on her knee, stamps the images of War upon his tender mind, at that age more impressible than wax; she nurses his slumber with its music, pleases his waking hours with its stories, and selects for his playthings the plume and the sword. From the child is formed the man; and who can weigh the influence of a mother's spirit on the opinions of his life? The mind which trains the child is like a hand at the end of a long lever; a gentle effort suffices to heave the enormous weight of succeeding years. As the boy advances to youth, he is fed like Achilles, not on honey and milk only, but on bears' marrow and lions' hearts. He draws the nutriment of his soul from a literature whose beautiful fields are moistened by human

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blood. Fain would I offer my tribute to the Father of Poetry, standing with harp of immortal melody on the misty mountain-top of distant Antiquity, to those stories of courage and sacrifice which emblazon the annals of Greece and Rome, - to the fulminations of Demosthenes and the splendors of Tully, to the sweet verse of Virgil and the poetic prose of Livy; fain would I offer my tribute to the new literature, which shot up in modern times as a vigorous forest from the burnt site of ancient woods, to the passionate song of the Troubadour in France and the Minnesinger in Germany, to the thrilling ballad of Spain and the delicate music of the Italian lyre: but from all these has breathed the breath of War, that has swept the heart-strings of men in all the thronging generations.

And when the youth becomes a man, his country invites his service in war, and holds before his bewildered imagination the prizes of worldly honor. For him the pen of the historian and the verse of the poet. His soul is taught to swell at the thought that he, too, is a soldier, that his name shall be entered on the list of those who have borne arms for their country; and perhaps he dreams that he, too, may sleep, like the Great Captain of Spain, with a hundred trophies over his grave. The law of the land throws its sanction over this frenzy. The contagion spreads beyond those subject to positive obligation. Peaceful citizens volunteer to appear as soldiers, and affect, in dress, arms, and deportment, what is called the "pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war." The ear-piercing fife has today filled our streets, and we have come to this church, on this National Sabbath, by the thump of drum and with the parade of bristling bayonets.

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It is not strange, then, that the Spirit of War still finds a home among us, nor that its honors continue to be regarded. All this may seem to illustrate the bitter philosophy of Hobbes, declaring that the natural state of mankind is War, and to sustain the exulting language of the soldier in our own day, when he wrote, "War is the condition of this world. From man to the smallest insect, all are at strife; and the glory of arms, which cannot be obtained without the exercise of honor, fortitude, courage, obedience, modesty, and temperance, excites the brave man's patriotism, and is a chastening corrective for the rich man's pride." This is broad and bold. In madder mood, another British general is reported as saying, "Why, man, do you know that a grenadier is the greatest character in this world," and after a moment's pause, with the added emphasis of an oath, "and, I believe, in the next, too."2 All these spoke in harmony. If one is true, all are true. A French voice has struck another note, chanting nothing less than the divinity of war, hailing it as "divine" in itself," divine" in its consequences,-"divine" in mysterious glory and seductive attraction, "divine" in the manner of its declaration,-"divine" in the results obtained, "divine" in the undefinable force by which its triumph is determined; and the whole earth, continually imbibing blood, is nothing but an immense altar, where life is immolated without end, without measure, without respite. But this oracle is not saved from rejection even by the magistral style in which it is delivered.

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1 Napier, Peninsular War, Book XXIV. ch. 6, Vol. VI. p. 688.

2 Southey, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, Coll. VIII., Vol. I. p. 211.

8 Joseph de Maistre, Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg, Tom. II. pp. 27, 32 – 35.

Alas! in the existing attitude of nations, the infidel philosopher and the rhetorical soldier, to say nothing of the giddy general and the French priest of Mars, find too much support for a theory which degrades human nature and insults the goodness of God. It is true that in us are impulses unhappily tending to strife. Propensities possessed in common with the beast, if not subordinated to what in man is human, almost divine, will break forth in outrage. This is the predominance of the animal. Hence wars and fightings, with the false glory which crowns such barbarism. But the true civilization of nations, as of individuals, is determined by the extent to which these evil dispositions are restrained. Nor does the teacher ever more truly perform his high office than when, recognizing the supremacy of the moral and intellectual, he calls upon nations, as upon individuals, to declare independence of the bestial, to abandon practices founded on this part of our nature, and in every way to beat down that brutal spirit which is the Genius of War. In making this appeal, he will be startled as he learns, that, while the municipal law of each Christian nation, discarding the Arbitrament of Force, provides a judicial tribunal for the determination of controversies between individuals, International Law expressly establishes the Arbitrament of War for the determination of controversies between nations.

Here, then, in unfolding the True Grandeur of Nations, we encounter a practice, or custom, sanctioned by the Law of Nations, and constituting a part of that law, which exists in defiance of principles such as no individuals can disown. If it is wrong and inglorious when individuals consent and agree to determine their petty

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