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cannot but raise our arm to ward off the upon them—“Do violence to no man, neither expected blow. By the law of creation, the accuse any falsely, and be content with your consciousness of danger is indissolubly con- wages.” Did the disciples renounce selfnected with the instinct of defence. What, defence? No; we find them worshipping in then, says Reason ? Does it forbid these an upper room " for fear of the Jews;" instincts, and tell us that life is unworthy Peter, released from prison by an angel, of our care? No! it at once sharpens and finds the door of the house where the disstrengthens the natural tendency to self- ciples meet barred against him.
The “laydefence: “the prudent man foreseeth the ing await” of the Jews was known of danger and hideth himself.” Reason has Saul,” and forthwith “the disciples tookt taught man to raise self-preservation from an him by night, and let him down by the wall instinct to an art; not only to use, but to in a basket." Cornelius, a soldier, is pecustore up for use all possible means of defence. liarly favoured and honoured of Heaven; yet Reason guides us to seek resistance to phy- we find him not relinquishing his profession sical evils, the prolongation of life, and the as a consequence of his conversion. Paul is security of our possessions, by the arts of rescued from the populace by the Roman medicine, agriculture, and commerce, by soldiers, but he neither rebukes their captain, sanitary and other sciences, and by ever refuses their protection, nor gives himself up inventing and improving the securities of to his enemies; nay, more, he becomes parperson and property. Reason therefore aids ticeps criminis, and openly approves of the and not forbids the instinct of defence; it conduct of Lysias. All these acts are insuggests no solid grounds for refusing to defensible, according to the doctrines of the employ the powers entrusted to us in ward- Peace Society. ing off evil; it refuses to credit the deaden- There is yet another view of the subject, ing dictum of the necessarian; it knows not equally proving our position. In the garden fatalism, either individual or political. of Eden, God proclaimed the fact that man
Turn we then to scripture. Does it forbid the is made for society—that “it is not good exercise of those instincts and powers which that man should be alone.” Now, the sublead all men to defend their lives, their sequent fall of man has rendered society families, and their just possessions? In the impossible, unless cemented by force. Equal, first few pages, we read that “when Abra- independent, free, and frequently unable or ham heard that his brother was taken cap- unwilling to view things in the same light tive, he armed his servants,” pursued the and to pursue a common course of conduct, enemy, smote them,” and brought back men must be compelled, in order to carry “his brother Lot, and his goods, and the out the schemes of social polity, and render women also, and the people.” Was he then society possible. Society cannot exist withreproved by God? “After his return from out laws, and laws cannot exist unless there the slaughter of Chedor-laomer and the be a coercive power to enforce them; is it kings,” he was met by Melchisedek, “ the not, then, absurd for a civilized man to propriest of the most high God. And he blessed claim his antipathy to physical force? What! him, and said, Blessed be Abram, and are we to arm our policemen with the trunblessed be the most high God, which hath cheon, and bid them arrest and imprison the delivered thine enemies into thine hand.” domestic felon, and yet neither stir hand or Here, then, we have a direct sanction, not foot against a foreign foe? Is the civil only for individual, but also for mutual sword allowable, and the military sword defensive war. Do we worship the God of forbidden? May we bar our doors, and set Abraham,“ who changeth not," and who is a watch against the midnight burglar, but " the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,” not resist the trained legions of an invading or have we another God? But we turn to despot? Is it lawful to defend our personal the pages of the New Testament. The fore- property, our trinkets and furniture, but runner of the Messiah was asked by the wrong to defend our national possessions, soldiers, What shall we do?” And he and that dearest treasure of humanity, a replied, not by bidding them to cast off their people's freedom? Force, physical force, is allegiance and service, but by urging mode- the condition of society, whether municipal ration, truth, and contented subordination or national. Renounce the employment of
civil force, and society must dissolve in the premise is true, but the logic false, anarchy and barbarism; abjure military Should we allow the right of any foreign force, and nations will sink beneath the rod catholic power to interfere in behalf of the of despotism, or dwindle into petty tribes. Irish Catholics—numerically, a large maLet England throw aside all her national jority of the population of Ireland ? Could defences, and she will become the prey of such interferences consist with national freethe mightiest among her neighbours, unless, dom, if submitted to, or with peace, if in contending for so rich a prize, the despots resisted ? Few, we imagine, will be inof the earth, and the peoples over whom clined to answer in the affirmative; and for they rule, enact the tragedy of the Kilkenny ourselves, we most emphatically deny the cats, who fought till nothing but their tails right of any state to interfere, on sectarian were left.
"Peace at any price” simply grounds, with the internal affairs and admimeans that we are prepared to sacrifice life, nistration of another state. But even if liberty, civilization, and society-to sink this point were conceded in favour of Russia, into brute beasts.
her conduct is in no ways justified. The We have thus briefly noticed the abstract existing privileges of the Greek Christians, question of the lawfulness of any war because as citizens of Turkey, had never been it lies at the bottom of most of the objections attacked; as a body, they had suffered no raised against the present war. To say injuries, and had raised no complaints; the that the whole course of negotiations showed only pretended excuse for Russian interferno flaw, and admitted of no adverse criti- ence was a matter connected with the holy cism, would be to preach up the infallibility shrines at Jerusalem. If the Sultan had and perfection of statesmen. There is, and infringed upon liberties guaranteed by prethere can be, no human transaction without vious treaty, it would have been right to " touch of weakness or of ill;" hence to prove demand that he should recall those infringean objection is ro ground for condemnation ments, and abide by his engagements; but -a verdict should be founded, not on any beyond this there could be no just claim but on sufficient evidence. Thus arises the whatever. The statistics of religion, theredanger of erroneous views on abstract gene- fore, have no connection with the character ralities; they become the medium through of the Russian demands, the original cause which we view particulars, and consequently of vexation being one in which the mass of they affect our vision; à gnat wears the Greek Christians could have no interest aspect of a camel, and anon we strain our beyond a sentimental feeling: a member of throats; a camel appears but as a gnat, and the Greek church might desire precedency we swallow it forthwith. The lover can see and power for the pilgrims of his own sect, no faults in his mistress, though every one but unless he visited the shrines himself, he else declare her a termagant; and, on the could have no personal interest in the matter. other hand, hatred and prejudice are ever Had Nicholas claimed in behalf of himself exclaiming, in bitter scorn, “ Can any good and all Greek Christians, of whatever nation, thing come out of Nazareth ?” Having dis- a protectorate over the holy sepulchre and posed, therefore, of this preliminary topic, its resident monks, there would have been a let us now, in a spirit of candonr, examine plausibility in the claim, even if there had the origin of the present war, with reference not been fifty Greek Christians in the whole especially to the objections most commonly Turkish empire; but when he claimed a urged against its “justice.”
protectorate over the Greek subjects of the The first point we shall notice, is the Sultan, the numbers of those subjects, inalleged justice of the Russian cause, on stead of justifying the claim, become damnaccount of the preponderance of Greek Chris- ing evidence of his ambitious designs, and tians in Turkey; this appears to be Mr. prove them to have been utterly incomCobden's grand cheval de bataille, just as patible with the sovereignty and indepenthe Czar's acceptance of the original Vienna dence of the Porte. Note of 1853 is Mr. Bright's peculiar hobby. The second point to which we shall Now, we readily grant the statistics so often address ourselves, is the endeavour (so freadduced on this subject, but we deny the quently made) to justify Russia, and to put conclusion drawn from them-non sequitur; | England in the wrong, by the argument that our ally, France, first raised the dispute, and new arrangements in regard to the holy was the real cause of the war. Now, we places in favour of Latin monks and pilshould think that it would strike everyone grims. There could be no harm in this, and that there must be some strange misappre- had the claims simply been urged by arguhension here. Did Turkey refuse what ment, there could have been no blame attachFrance originally demanded ? No; we are ing to France. These claims were, however, told she was terrified into submission. How pressed with great importunity by M. Lavacomes it, then, that she was not terrified by lette, who succeeded General Aupick in the threats of Russia ? The reply is evident. 1851; but even here France was not withTurkey yielded the demands of France, out some excuse; her claims were not mere because they touched not the sovereignty of arbitrary demands, but were based upon the the Porte; she refused those of Russia, provisions of an old treaty (A.D. 1740) because they were subversive of her existence between these two states. M. Lavalette as an independent state. France sought eventually threatened the presence of the privileges for Latin monks and pilgrims at French fleet, if his claims were not granted; the shrines of Jerusalem, while Russia Nicholas afterwards threatened force if they demanded to be constituted protector of all were. Both France and Russia were here Greek Christians living in Turkey, with equally to blame in menacing an independent power to receive their complaints, and to state. What, then, was the conduct of interfere in their behalf—in other words, Turkey and of England at this time? The demanded the rights of sovereignty over a Sultan wavered and vacillated; he of course majority of the Sultan's subjects. Our felt no interest in the matter; a Mahomopponents will probably appeal to the "blue edan himself, he cared not whether the books;" we will abide by the same autho- keys of the holy sepulchre dangled from the rity. The first notice of the Eastern ques- waist of a Latin monk or of a Greek patriarch; tion appears in a despatch from Constanti- and consequently he endeavoured, if possible, nople, dated May 20, 1850, in which Lord to satisfy both parties. Turkey, therefore, Stratford writes, that “ a question, likely to was blameless. The English ambassador, be attended with much discussion and es- too, acting under precise instructions from citement, is on the point of being raised the British government, simply sought to between the conflicting interests of the Greek allay the irritation of the contending parties
, and Latin churches." Mark the words: it and to induce them to compromise their was not a question between the Christian differences. and Mahomedan population of Turkey, nor But while comparatively silent at Conbetween a few millions of Latin Christians stantinople, England (as the dispute waxed and a many millions of Greek Christians; warmer and threats arose) expressed her but between the rival churches. It was not views at Paris in language worthy of heran international quarrel between the “
Lord John Russell (then Foreign flicting interests” of the Sultan and some Secretary), writing, January 28th, 1853, to foreign potentate, nor a civil question our ambassador in Paris, says, with a chrisbetween the Porte and certain of its sub- tian feeling and manly candour, which in jects; but an ecclesiastical dispute between ages to come will be recognized as indicative Greek and Latin Christendom, about pri- of the true character of this patriotic and vileges which the Sultan was willing to con- distinguished statesman,cede to EITHER party. The question was “To a government taking an impartial solely in respect of the holy places; which view of these affairs, an attitude so threatenchurch should be the titular owners of ing on both sides appears very lamentable. shrines, to which both had access; which we should deeply regret any dispute that church should hold this or that key; which might lead to conflict between two of the sect should enter by this gate, and which by great powers of Europe; but when we reflect
which should possess the right side of that the quarrel is for exclusive privileges the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and which in a spot in which the heavenly host prothe left side. We admit the French raised claimed peace on earth and goodwill towards this dispute. In 1850, General Aupick, on men—when we see rival churches contending behalf of the French government, claimed | for mastery in the very place where Christ
died for mankind—the thought of such a ing “a guarantee” for the future), the real spectacle is melancholy indeed.
object of the Czar was not suspected. “ Your excellency will understand, there- The mission of Prince Menschikoff soon fore, 1st, that into the merits of this dispute appeared at Constantinople. We then began Her Majesty's government will not enter; to hear, not simply of a return to the status 2ndly, that Her Majesty's government dis quo, but also of “ reparation,” and that, forapprove of every threat, and still more of sooth, not due to Greek monks and pilgrims, the actual employment of force; 3rdly, that but to Nicholas, Czar of all the Russias! both parties should be told, that if they are As early as the 8th March, the Grand sincere in their professions of a desire to Vizier of Turkey told Colonel Rose (the maintain the independence of the Porte, they acting secretary of the British embassy ought to abstain from the employment of during the absence of Lord Stratford) that any means calculated to display the weak- " the Russian government evidently intended ness of the Ottoman empire. Above all, to win some important right from Turkey, they ought to refrain from putting armies which would DESTROY and fleets in motion for the purpose of DENCE," and asked him to request the making the tomb of Christ a cause of quarrel British admiral to bring up his squadron. among Christians.”
Colonel Rose did so; but Admiral Dundas Such was England's noble testimony in refused to comply without the sanction of behalf of peace and justice. Such was the the home government. Did England rush wise reprvof she uttered, not in St. Peters- into war-did sbe meet force with force" burg, but in Paris. France, to ber honour --did she even wound the pride of Russia and moral glory be it said, from this time by so simple an act as concentrating her gradually drew back; ber demands were fleet in the neighbourhood of Constantinople? withdrawn, the concessions she had obtained No; she commended the caution of her were given up, and the arrangement as to admiral, and sent not her fleet but her the holy places returned to the status quo ambassador—a message of peace instead of of 1850. On the 4th of May, 1853, the an armament of war. Before Lord Stratford Sultan issued two firmáns, regulating the could reach Constantinople, the designs of privileges of the Greek and Latin churches Russia had become more evident. On the at Jerusalem, in accordance with the views 24th of March, Colonel Rose was informed of Russia.
that Menschikoff required a treaty, the object We now turn to consider the contrast of which “would be the exclusive protecafforded by the course of conduct pursued torate by Russia of the Greeks and Armeby Russia. France, it will be observed, nians throughout the Sultan's dominions!” never made any hostile demonstrations in The astounding impudence of this demand, acts
, but had confined herself to verbal we should think, is unparalleled in the threats; Russia, on the other hand, collected history of civilized humanity. Well might troops on the frontiers of the principalities, the Grand Vizier (as he communicated the and prepared her fleet at Sebastopol before fact to Colonel Rose) add, “ that as long as the end of 1852. On the 7th of January, he was at the head of the ministry, no such 1853, Sir H. Seymour, our ambassador at treaty should be signed, as he considered it St. Petersburg, notified to our government ruinous to the country." On the 1st of that the fifth army corps of Russia had been April, however, the duplicity and audacity ordered to the banks of the Pruth. On the of the Czar were still further unveiled by 9th, Count Nesselrode informed Sir H. Sey- the following declaration :mour, and Baron Brunnow (the Russian “ Prince Menschikoff had verbally exambassador) announced to Lord Clarendon, pressed the Emperor's wish to enter into a that the movement of the Russian armies secret treaty with Turkey, putting a fleet was for the purpose of meeting "force by and 400,000 men at her disposal, if she ever force," and of producing a strong “moral needed aid against any Western power effect” on the Sultan; all intentions beyond whatever. That Russia further secretly the restoration of the status quo, however, demanded an addition to the treaty of Kainwere solemnly denied, and, consequently ardji, whereby the Greek church should be
an expression as to requir- placed entirely under Russian protection,
without REFERENCE TO TURKEY, which demand is thus worded in a despatch to was to be the equivalent for the proffered Lord Clarendon:aid above mentioned. Prince Menschikoff * It involves the establishmert of a prehad stated the greatest secresy must be dominant influence over the counsels of the maintained relative to this proposition, and Porte, tending, in the interest of absolute that should Turkey allow it to be made power, to exclude all other influences, and known to ENGLAND, he and his mission to secure the means, if not of hastening the would instantly quit Constantinople.” downfall of this empire, at least of obstruct
England! my country! free, great, glorious, ing its improvement, and settling its future and moral! how grand a testimony to thy destinies to the profit of Russia, whenever a unsullied honour, thy high-souled scorn of propitious juncture shall arrive.” baseness! A Bright, à Cobden, and a The supreme council of Turkey, by a Thompson may condemn thee, but the con- majority of forty-two out of forty-five
, science-stricken Czar, for whom they plead, refused to comply with the demand of Prince dared not confess his schemes, and shrank Menschikoff, and every ambassador in Confrom thy open eye.
stantinople concurred in Lord Stratford's Lord Stratford, on his arrival, laboured view of its dangerous and unwarrantable hard to settle the original dispute concerning character. Would such a concurrence of the shrines, and also to induce the Porte to opinion have been possible, not to say promaintain its independence: in both endea- bable, if the demands had had one atom of vours he was eminently successful. The justice in them? On the 21st of May, French government, as we have said, receded Menschikoff quitted Constantinople, and ten from its former demands; the question was days later, our own government (seeing that entirely settled, and Lord Stratford received a rupture had taken place, that the Russian the thanks of Prince Menschikof" for his armies were on the Pruth, and that a Russian effective mediation. The original quarrel fleet was ready to weigh anchor from Sebaswas at an end; the English fleet was at topol, and pounce upon Constantinople) Malta; Turkey was quiet; Russia had not placed our feet at the service of the Sultan, occupied the principalities ;—the origin of but with orders not to pass the Dardanelles the war, therefore, is to be sought in another without his express demand. We have direction. Hence it is wholly beside the already replied to the advocates of passive mark to drag in the French demands, and resistance; and to those who admit the duty the dispute concerning the shrines of Jeru- of self-defence it will at once appear evident salem, as the causes of the war: they were that, having honestly advised, we were bound links in the chain of events which preceded generously to assist the injured Turk. On the war, but were no more its actual cause the same day, May 31, Count Nesselrode than the death of Christ itself, which, by demanded that the Menschikoff note should investing certain spots with sanctity, has be signed within one week, and forwarded led to, but not caused, the contentions of to the Prince at Odessa, or the principalities monks and pilgrims. Connection and causa- would be occupied. On the 17th of June, tion are not the same; and the confusion the Porte replied by refusing the demand, of the two in the mind of such a man as at the same time offering to send an ambasMr. Bright is a striking illustration of the sador to St. Petersburgh: the answer to this power of prejudice.
was an act of war—the seizure of the prinThe original dispute was settled on the cipalities. 4th of May, 1853. On May 5th, Menschi- We need not detail the subsequent events; koff sent in a demand for a treaty, note, or we have tracked the origin of the war from convention, giving to the Emperor of Russia its first cause to its first act. France is pledges, equivocal to acknowledging him as blameless, England is blameless, Turkey is protector of all Greek subjects of the Porte; injured and innocent. The whole and sole to this was added a requirement for an cause of the war was a determined attempt answer within five days, under pain of the by Russia to subvert the Turkish empire. departure of the Russian embassy. Lord Invaded, insulted, and attacked, Turkey Stratford reasoned with the haughty Russ, declared' war against the aggressor in the but in vain. His honest view of the Russian autumn of 1853. England interposed her