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hzaard, nor to assert any thing, which is not abundantly warranted by the facts of history. In the wars of Vespasian, “a common soldier, says Tacitus, belonging to the cavalry, averred, that, in the late engagement, he killed his brother, and for that deed of horror he had the hardiness to demand a recompense.” In the same civil wars, Julius Mansuetus, a member of the legion RAPAX, (a significant and appropriate name for a Roman legion,) was slain in battle by his own son. The son, who was yet young and in whom the process of moral hardening had not reached the highest point, was sensibly affected on the discovery of what he had done. He opened a grave, and with filial affection raising the body in his arms, buried it. But what is the commentary of Tacitus on this event ? “This pathetic scene did not escape observation. A few drew near, others were attracted, and in a short time the fatal deed was known throughout the army. The soldiers heaved a sigh, and with curses execrated the frantic rage of civil discord. And yet with those sentiments, they went the next moment to plunder their slaughtered friends, their relations, and brothers. They called it a crime, and yet repeated what their hearts condemned.” Time will not permit us to multiply instances ; but we appeal to those, to whom the history of wars, particularly of civil wars, is familiar, and we assert without the fear of contradiction, that the military life is not capable of being sustained, on the part of the great body of soldiers, without a prostration, to a very considerable extent, of the great elements of our moral nature. And under these circumstances it would certainly be in vain to expect from them any marked regard for religion.
In addition to all that has been said, we proceed to remark further, that soldiers are left destitute, in a great degree, of that moral and religious instruction, which is so necessary to the full developement of man's moral and
religious character. It is true, that chaplains are sometimes provided for regiments and garrisons; but this is done only to a small extent. Of the chaplains actually employed, whether more or less in number, is it uncharitable to assert, that there is a large proportion, who are not imbued with that decisive and deep religious feeling, which is requisite to the successful discharge of the duties of that office? The fact is, that men deeply imbued with the spirit of religion and filled with earnest desire to win souls to the Savior, are exceedingly unwilling to place themselves in a situation, where there is so little prospect of doing good. They know that the influences of military life are in themselves positively and powerfully adverse to impressions and influences of a moral and religious kind. Even admitting the lawfulness of their calling, which is very questionable as we shall hereafter have occasion to see, still they find their minds burdened and almost entirely prostrated, as to all effective effort, by the oppressive conviction, that they are casting pearls before swine; that their admonitions are like water spilt upon the ground, that will never be gathered up.
What, then, viewing the subject in all its bearings, must be the moral and religious prospects of a man, who enters upon a course of military life?—Can any situation, in a Christian land, be more unfavorable to the existence and growth of those moral and religious principles and habits, which are requisite to the perfection of our nature in this life, as well as to the happiness of the life to come ? Is it not almost certain, that, under the constant and deplorable pressure of such a multitude of adverse circumstances, the great body of the soldiery in every country will become vicious in principle and practice ; and that, even after their return from the military ranks, they will be utterly lost to their friends and society, as well as to themselves ? And are we permitted,
as men and as Christians, wholly to disregard this melancholy state of things ? While we are doing something for the slave and the prisoner and the benighted heathen, shall we turn no eye of sympathy towards the moral condition of the soldier ?
But it will be said perhaps, that the evil now complained of is and must be small, inasmuch as soldiers make but a small portion of the whole community? This suggestion, if properly followed out, will show the magnitude, rather than the smallness of the evil. Even at this moment of comparative peace and quietude in the civilized world, what immense armies are kept on foot! The standing army of Russia may, without any exaggeration, be estimated at 700, 000 men, and it has sometimes been placed as high as a million. The standing army of France may be estimated at a number, varying from 350 to 400,000. The number of the effective men of the standing army of Spain is given by Malte Brun at 50000; but he adds, if the invalids, pensioners, and men on the sick list be included, the whole number may amount to 120,000. The army of Great Britain is 100, 000 in time of peace ; increased to 300, 000 in time of war. According to Weimar's Statistical Almanack for 1830, the standing armies of all the European States in war, (and it is to be recollected that either actual war, or a careful and ample preparation for it, is the ordinary condition of the European States,) is 4,578,430.—And will any one say that the moral and religious interests of so vast a body of men is a concern too small to occupy the notice and to elicit the benevolence of the philanthropist ? Let us remember, that the soldier, corrupted as he is by immoralities, and stained by crime, is still a human being, that he has an immortal soul, that he has vast interests at stake, that he is subject, in common with others, to the great destinies of our race.
not turn from him with unmixed scorn and reproach, and haughtily leave him to his fate ; but let us feel for him, and act for him, and pray for him, as for a brother.
We are aware that this view of the subject may not be so attractive as that which deals more in the horrible. It is certainly less exciting to the imagination ; but we may well doubt, whether it is less important. rate it is a view which, in making an estimate of the great mass of evils attendant upon war, ought not to be overlooked, as has too often been the case.
INFLUENCE OF WAR ON NATIONAL PROSPERITY.
In endeavoring to give some idea of the evils of war, we do not feel at liberty to let pass unnoticed its injurious effects on the national wealth and prosperity.Wars tend not only to deprave the national morals, but to diminish the national resources. The supplies in the hands of the sovereign are at such times rapidly consumed ; and hence it is necessary that constant drafts should be made upon the people ; and those, who would otherwise possess a competency, are often reduced to great want and suffering.
It is probably true, and we would not be understood to deny it, that some men are made rich by war. And this in a great degree accounts for it, that in seasons of war there are always some persons and classes of persons, from whom larger and more generous views would be naturally expected, who are opposers to the return of peace. Mr. Jay, who was sent as Envoy to England in
1794, states in his Miscellaneous Correspondence, that he was invited to partake of a public dinner, in company with about two hundred British merchants, who were concerned in the American trade. Towards the conclusion of the feast, being asked for a toast, he proposed what he considered a neutral one, as follows ; A safe and honourable peace to all the belligerent powers ; referring probably in particular to the war then raging between France and England. “You cannot conceive, he remarks to his correspondent, how coldly it was received, and though civility induced them to give it three cheers, yet they were so faint and single, as most decidedly to show that peace was not the thing they wished. They were merchants." There are always such men to be found in time of war, some classes of merchants, some manufacturers, some speculators in the public funds, some agents engaged in furnishing the military supplies, with whom the war may be supposed to be popular, because, such is their peculiar situation they happen to be made rich by it; men, who, in he language of Johnson, “rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh from their desks at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, cypher to cypher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament and computing the profits of a siege or tempest.” But these persons are so few in number, scarcely one in a thousand of the whole population, that they are hardly to be thought of. We must look at the majority of the people, at the great mass; and not at a few grasping individuals, whose interests happen to lay in a different direction from that of the great body. And accordingly we may assert with entire confidence, with the unimportant exception just referred to, that war cannot exist for any length of time, without certainly and rapidly bringing upon the nation engaged in it the deepest poverty and suffering