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CHAPTER FOURTEENTH.

POPULAR OBJECTIONS.

WHEN the doctrine of entire abstinence from war both Offensive and Defensive is asserted and maintained, it is so far in advance both of public sentiment and publíc practice, that we are at once met with a host of objections. Some good men, who in the main are averse to violent and sanguinary measures, are greatly alarmed at its announcement, on the ground, that, if it should prevail, there would be no personal or political safety. Some of the objections, which are made, may appear to be trivial ; undoubtedly they are so ; but if they are frequently made and have influence with the popular mind, they seem to require a word of notice. This is to be said, however, that these objections multiply themselves so rapidly and assume so many shapes, that we can afford to give only a few specimens, leaving the rest to be supplied by the reader's imagination.

I,-One man says, for instance, if a person or a number of persons should commence a violent attack upon you, to the hazard even of your life, what would you do? This is my answer. I would do as the Savior did on a certain occasion, Luke 4: 28-30. "And all they in the Synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath; And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill,

whereon the city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way."- -In other words, (by what means we cannot tell,) HE MADE HIS ESCAPE.

Or I would do as the Apostle Paul did, when the Jews of Damascus took counsel to kill him, Acts 9: 23-25. "But their laying await was known of Saul; and they watched 'the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket."

Or if I could not escape, I would strive by superior skill or physical power to disarm the man, as an act of benevolence to him as well as of duty to myself, and yet without endangering his life, or injury to his person. In other words I would do, as David did on a certain occasion. I would take away the spear of the assailant, but with a sacred care, not to use it against him. I certainly should not feel at liberty, under any provocation whatever or any pressure of danger, to forget the sublime and instructive declaration of the Savior already repeatedly referred to. "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered unto the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence." Every thing should be done in love; and without any possible injury to the assailant. And there can be but little doubt, that this course of kindness, patience, and forbearance, especially if it were combined with affectionate entreaty and remonstrance, would prove a successful one. But if it should prove otherwise, if it should clearly appear that all this would not avail, and that certain destruction stared me in the face, if I acted as a Christian, I should most seriously endeavour to imitate the example of the Savior, when he died in agony on the cross, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

II, It is inquired again, how will it be possible to administer the laws on the system of the inviolability of human life? How will it be in the power of the magistrates, on the principles of the pacific creed, to seize delinquents and to bring them to justice ?On this topic we answer concisely, that, if the laws of the community are such as they should be, framed with suitable wisdom and sustained by public sentiment, but little danger is to be apprehended on this score. There are elements in human nature, which will infallibly secure the existence and advancement of society, if there is a suitable share of benevolence and justice in the administration of its concerns. The power of public opinion is immense; it is based upon an ultimate principle of our mental constitution, the desire of esteem; and this power can always, with suitable precautions, be arrayed on the side of order and the laws. There is power in justice; there is power in benevolence; and those, who are conscious of having right and kindness on their side, will not fail of exhibiting a due degree of energy and fortitude. It will be found, on the other hand, that men, who are so degraded as to assail society by the commission of crimes, will in general discover but little moral, intellectual, or physical courage. The elements of a formidable contest are not in them. It is virtue, which gives strength; and being destitute of the elements of a virtuous character, they are, in a great degree, destitute of decision and energy. This is a great law of nature. It is essentially true of such persons, in the language of Scripture, that "the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall, when none pursueth." Too ignorant of the provision, which a kind Providence has made in our mental constitution and in the relations we sustain for the support of society, we are apt to exaggerate the

dangers, which are to be apprehended from such men. The warrant of the justice and the staff of the constable, supported by wise laws and a correct public sentiment, will assuredly answer the purposes of public justice.

We have had ample experience on this subject in this country. Whenever a riot takes place in some large town or city, there are always some persons, (whether they act from reflection or from the suggestions of a mere nervous excitement, it would not be easy to say,) who are in favor of resorting to force, of calling out the military, of inflicting summary vengeance. But such measures are found to do no good; they only serve to inflame and aggravate the public maladies; while on the other hand the prompt and judicious interference of the civil authority, especially when it is sustained by kindness, never fails. We have no hesitancy in saying, that it will prove a sad and dark day indeed for this happy Republic, whenever it shall be thought necessary to apply any other than the pacific doctrines in the administration of justice. On this topic something further will be said in one of the chapters on Capital punishments, showing that in pursuing a criminal we are bound to respect his life; that his right to escape is a natural one, which cannot be taken from him; and that the mere fact of his making the attempt is not of itself a sufficient reason for summary punishment and bloodshed.

III, We have sometimes heard the question put, as if it were almost decisive of the right to use force and to destroy life, whether it would not be right to attack a slave-ship, loaded with slaves from Africa? In answer to an inquiry of this kind, we would ask, in the first place, whether the plan of attempting to put an end to the slave-trade by force, which has been in progress some fifteen or twenty years, has done any good? And we hesitate nothing is saying, that in the minds of many

judicious people it is very questionable, whether it has not in fact increased the evils, which it was intended to diminish. Certain it is, that the slave trade, up to the present moment, has not been essentially diminished; and whatever diminution has taken place is probably owing to other causes. We are indeed compelled to admit, that the slave-traders take more precautions, than they used to do; their vessels are modelled, much more than they were formerly, with a view to fast sailing; but this only increases the wretchedness of the poor slaves. And if at any time, the vessels of the slave-traders are likely to be overtaken by hostile ships of war, they do not hesitate, shocking as the very thought is, to throw the miserable Africans overboard. If, then, we shall do no good by resorting to force, and shall probably do evil, it would not be an easy matter to show that we are under obligations to make that resort.

But while we throw out this view of the subject as worthy of some consideration, we would take the liberty to say further, that there is a much easier way of putting a stop to the slave trade, which ought at least to be tried, before we resort to the awful remedy of shedding human blood. The slave trade can be stopped at once by destroying the market at home; or in other words, by the suppression of slavery. Here is a christian remedy. Let us try this first, before we resort to another, which is obviously of doubtful utility, besides being opposed to the Gospel. It is we, who make slave-traders by keeping open the slave market; we have done wrong in the first instance by purchasing the slaves, and by thus encouraging the cupidity of these traders; we are not at liberty on any sound principles to take advantage of our own wrong and to make it an excuse for wrong in another shape. If, when we do right ourselves, by breaking the yoke of bondage and treating the millions

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