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defire the profperity of their country; but as fo many have written fo ably on these subjects, it feems the lefs neceflary for me to detain the reader for the investigation of them. But there are two or three things, which, though they may not fo generally ftrike the attention, at leaft not fo as to produce any confiderable apprehenfion of danger, yet, if it be clear that they are connected with this war, there is fo much moral turpitude in them, that, to those who believe in the all-fuperintending providence of the Creator, and the Divine infpiration of the Scriptures, they muft appear of a magnitude fufficient to excite the extremeft folicitude, and the most fincere concern.
It is impoffible for any observing man, who is at all converfant with what paffes about him, not to notice the unusual animofity which has manifested itself in this conteft, both against the French and against all those who differ from the fashionable opinion. So high has it raged amongst a certain clafs of people, that no words are equal to the defcription." But this is a war of religion. The French are a nation of infidels-the enemies of all religion; and therefore deferve to be extirpated from the earth."--------Admirable imitators of Him who came not to deftroy men's lives, but to fave them!A war of religion! O ye pious crufaders! Ye never need to fheath your fwords. There are wicked nations enow to gratify your holy zeal with everlasting bloodshed. But fhew us your commiffion. Is it a forgery, or is it derived from Him "who maketh his fun to rife on the evil and on the good, and who fendeth rain on the juft and on the unjuft; and delireth not the death of a finner ?"—But it is poffible that the accufation against our enemies may not be exactly juft. Much as we execrate wickednefs, yet let us be impartial. Perhaps it fhould rather be," They are infidels-the partizans of no fect." Nobody fufpects them to have much piety, yet, bad as they are, the freedom of every defcription of worship is protected by all the force of the nation; but as it is likely the majority of the reprefentatives of the people have no religion themselves, they have eftablished none, but have left religion to take care of itself, and work its
own way by the native power of truth, just as it was forced to do for the first three hundred years after Chrift, without either emoluments or penal ftatutes in its favor; but with this difference, that no man fhall perfecute it, nor any one fect perfecute another, but if Christianity be from God, that it fhall have free liberty to make its conquests. Be our opinion what it may of the, utility
or mitchief of religious eftablishments among Proteftants, yet, is not this preferable to the superstitions and horrors of Popery ? And if God in his providence fees fit, by these methods, to overthrow the abominations of Rome, and thus to clear the way for undefiled religion, fhall we be angry with his difpenfations, or difpute his wifdom? + We are not difpofed to palliate crimes, but let us diftinguish between the crimes of men and the juftice of Him who makes the madness of nations the inftrument of effecting both his avenging and benevolent purposes. We are impofed upon by names, and founds, and misrepresentations, and then, infpired with zeal without knowledge, fet ourselves up for the avengers of the caufe of Heaven. But let us be difpaffionate ;-→→ let us examine ourselves as under the eye of God. If neceffitý oblige us to maintain war, yet, let us beware of harboring in our bofoms the murderous and unchriftian paffions of rancor and malevolence. If we are attacked we have a right to defend our felves; but benevolence is to be exercifed even towards enemies; and if they hunger, what are we to do? We know what the malignant fpirit of party and worldly policy will fay" Starve them."
But Chrift fays, "Feed them." If we muft'maintain war, and justice fanctify it, yet let it be on thofe principles of benevolence and magnanimity worthy of a great and enlightened nation, and then there might be some plausible ground to hope for the favor of Providence. But, malevolence would stamp the justest war with guilt. And if this malevolence should be fuffered to take fuch poffeffion of us as to infpire our devotions, the guilt would be encreafed.‡
+ See Sir I. Newton's idea of the fall of the antichriftian tyranny by the prevalence of Infidelity, as quoted in Part the First, p. 14, third edit.
1 What an elegant writer (the author of Reasons for National Penitence,') » on 'lus fubjeft, deferves attention. Among other remarks on the appoint.
But that we may be enabled to form a rational judgment of the profpect before us, as to fuccefs or ruin, let us confider the connec tion in which we ftand, and the motives by which we are actuated, whether they be fuch as are worthy of a free and enlightened people.
With refpect to the continental powers, with fome of them at leaft, the origin of the prefent war was indifputably unjuft. Is it not unjust for any one nation to interfere with the internal regulations of another independent nation? An independent nation (whether right or wrong, as to what concerns themselves, does not affect the question) had long groaned under the real or fuppofed oppreffions of arbitrary princes, infolent nobles, and intolerant, debauched, atheistical, and perfecuting prielts. They feel their wrongs, they perceive their rights, and are determined to redrefs
ment of a general fast, he observes, (p. 2.) * If we imagine that we ought to * enter our churches, to pour out our fpleen and exprefs our malice to our enemies, and to mingle execrations against them with our prayers for ourselves, we have grofsly misunderstood its purpofe and its principles.”—(p. 3.) “ When we approach the altar of peace with our arms streaming with blood, and our hearts fwelling with meditations of ftill more complete and bloody vengeance, we are only displaying to the world-a disgusting alliance of the fiercest barbarity with the most abject superstition."- Let me conjure you to lay afide that ferocious and unrelenting malice, which is more calculated for the fynagogues of fatan than the temples of the Almighty."
f. I believe that their grievances were real, and that their oppreffions were the most enormous that ever a great and enlightened nation, for fo long a period, fubmitted to. Some of these have been enumerated in the First Part of the Signs of the Times.
God forbid that, we should withhold our pity either from the unfortunate or the guilty! But let us be juft to the caufe of general humanity. Let us take heed that, while we condemn the irregular and wicked proceedings of men, we do not alfo cenfure the ways of Providence, and flander and betray the precious rights of mankind. That illustrious houfe of twenty-feven generations, over the fall of which Dr. Horfley laments fo pathetically, was principally illuftrious for oppreffion and bloodshed, for contempt of the poor and abuse of power ; and, in its fudden and awful fall, we ought to adore the avenging juftice of God: for whether his threatened judgments fall on the fecond generation, as in the cafe of the house of Ahab, (a Kings xxi. 29. 2 Kings ix. 7. x. i.) or on the twentyfeventh, his hand is ftill confpicuous, nor is his vengeance the less just;
the one, and vindicate the other. They bring to justice their oppreffors; they difarm them of their power, ftrip them of their disguise, overturn their old oppreffive fyftems, and form fuch new ones as they think moft likely to infure fecurity and happiness. In effecting all this mighty work, folly is mixed with wifdom, and outrage mingles with juftice. They folemnly declare, as a nation, that they will respect the rights and independence of all other nations, but will vindicate their own.- -In such a struggle for the general good, fome muft be fuppofed to fuffer either real or ima ginary wrongs. These plot against the nation; they affemble in neighboring ftates; are encouraged; prepare for war, and invoke foreign aid.
On August 25, 1790, the neighbouring princes and potentates hold a meeting at Pilnitz; a concert of crowned heads is formed, and it is agreed to invite the other fovereigns of Europe to join the league, and make the caufe of the king, and of the other privileged orders of France, a common one. It is determined in the mean while to increase their armies, and prepare for the invafion of France the firft favorable opportunity, that by the overthrow of the new conftitution, and the re-establishment of the old defpotifm, and the former state of things in the church, innovation may be smitten in the root, and all future ones, in other countries, be prevented. Thus did foreign courts affume to themfelves dictatorial power over an independent people, and formed a concert, not only for the purpose of overturning the liberties of France, but, as if the world were made for princes, nobles, and priefts only, to intimidate all other nations from daring, in future, to attempt to meliorate their condition.t-They have fent forth the most defpotie and bloody manifeftos that ever difgraced Europe. That of the duke of Brunfwic is expreffed in a style of fuch undifguifed barbarity, that even Attila, who boafted of himfelf as the fcourge of God, and the terror of men, would have blushed to have been the author of it. They have invaded France; and the French in return have invaded them. Enormous crimes
+ Let us look at Poland, and in their history study the justice and benevolence of courts, and learn the benefit to be derived from a concert of princes! Eng ifhmen have much to unlearn before they can fubfcribe to that reviving doctrine, Millions were made for one.""
have been committed on both fides; but we have not yet feen the end.
"But the concerns of the French are fo interwoven with the concerns and intereft of other nations; that these have felt themfelves injured, and their language has been fuch as to alarm and provoke their neighbors; and we also have been offended." This may be true. But have we acted according to thofe excellent principles laid down by Jefus Chrift, Matth. xviii. and Luke xvii. for the putting an end to ftrife, and for the prevention of bloodfhed? Have we temonftrated and done all that negociation could do to prevent the horrors of war; or, has the flaming fword of deftruction preceded the olive branch of peace, and vengeance gone before remonftrance? Have we acted from fober judgment and urgent neceffity, or from the dictates of ambition, and the workings of paffion? Our innocence or guilt, refpecting the blood which is fhed, and the forrow which is occafioned, will depend much on the answer which facts give to these inquiries. If this war on the people of France be for the purpose of dictating to them a form of government, on the hypothesis that fuch an extenfive republic in the heart of Europe would operate as a dangerous example, it is unjuft. If it be on account of fome of their foolish or unjust decrees, yet, if we have not endeavored, by negocia tion, to prevent the fpilling of human blood, and the accumulation of taxes, it is unjust; and if, instead of this, we have spurned at conceffion, as though refolved on war at any rate, the injuftice is increafed. If alfo it be a war to avenge the execution of the king,' or for their humbling the nobility or defpoiling the priesthood, it is unjuft for who appointed us the univerfal judges and arbiters of nations?
"But it was neceffary to the prevention of a revolution, and of anarchy in this country." So fay a certain defcription of men. But this is not proved, nor does it appear that it can be. Perhaps it would be more conformable to their true fentiments to fay, "We thought it neceflary for the prevention of reformation."
vaning in venalak miat
Let us then examine with difpaffionate ferioufnefs the principles of the war in which we are engaged, that, if it be unjuft, we may