Imagens das páginas


was shoved with great effort, by men who waded deep into the the elements of nature; and made manifest, likewise, the value of semi-fluid mass for the purpose. But scarcely had she reached the that kindness of man to man, which leads him to watch and labour, outer edge of the surf, when a refluent sea conquered and filled her. and expose even his life, for the shipwrecked stranger: to minister Fortunately, she had not gone so far, but that a long and slender to his wants, and nurse his weakness, and safely restore him to his warp, cast from the shore, reached one of the men. He caught it family and friends. A child of their own could not håve been more and attached it to the boat, which was drawn back to land by their kindly or carefully attended than he was, nor more liberally pro, friends, and no lives were lost.

vided for, by the humane people among whom he was cast. I They on the wreck had gazed with soul-absorbing interest on doubt not there is a recompense for them, with Him who hath said, this attempt at their rescue. They witnessed its failure, and their inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my hearts died within them. One of them was soon after seen to go brethren, ye have done it unto me.' forward and sit down on the windlass. “Rise, rise, and stir your. Reader, I know not what interest you may take in my simple self,' exclaimed many voices at once. They had not read the narrative, but I have given you a true account of the soIPmaxim of Dr. Solander, concerning people exposed to severe cold : • He that sits down will sleep, and he that sleeps will wake no more.' They knew this truth by the sterner teachings of the experience of associates of their own, and by the sayings of their fathers,

MRS. ELIZABETH HAMILTON. whose wisdom they revered. Hence their exclamation to him who had taken his seat. It was Smith. He rose not, however, at their

Mrs. ELIZABETH HAMILTON, one of the most amiable and call, and they said mournfully, one to another, he will never rise

useful writers of her time, was born at Belfast, in Ireland, on the again.' He did not. In truth, in a little while he was so encrusted 25th of July, 1758. She lost her father the year after her birth, with ice, that they could not distinguish the human form from other but, by the care of a worthy and affectionate mother, her infant equally disguised objects that lay around it; and when afterwards years, and those of her brother and sister, were watched over they got on board the body was gone. It had been washed away,

with great solicitude, and, in lack of fortune, she brought them no one knew when, nor has it ever been known that the sea has up in the opinion that a good education is the best patrimony. given up this dead.

When Elizabeth was but six years of age, circumstances arose

which led to a dismemberment of the family, and she was put The father and son now stood alone. The only shelter they under the care of an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, at could obtain from the icy wind and drenching sea, was by occasions

a retired estate near Stirling, in Scotland. Mr. Marshall is ally screening themselves on the lee side of the low binnacle. But described by Mrs. Hamilton as a man to whom might well be there they experienced so soon the commencement of the deadly applied what Burns said of an Ayrshire friend, that he held his torpor, that they ceased making use of this refuge, and only sought patent of nobility direct from Almighty God,

-one whose senti. to keep themselves in motion. But resolution, struggling against ments would have done honour to the most exalted station. a disposition of nature, fails at last. The father was seen to go with these excellent people Elizabeth spent two years in Stirforward and seat himself as Smith had done before. Again the lingshire, where she acquired habits of hardihood and enterprise, warning cry was raised, and again it was disregarded. We will readily joining in fording the burns in summer, and sliding over save him yet, it was exclaimed by the sympathising spectators. them in winter; her preceptress, Mrs. Marshall, following the The boat was again manned, and again launched, and reached opinion of Dugald Stewart, that, "when nature is allowed free beyond the surf in safety. But to get on board the wreck was utterly impossible. They came so near that they could speak to object and to every external occurrence.

scope, the curiosity during early youth is alive to every external

Whenever a child con. the younger Ellis, and hear his voice in reply. But such was the

tracts a dislike for those amusements suited to its age, the best violence of winds and waves dashing on the rocks and over the of all education is lost, which nature has prepared amidst the wreck, that they could approach no nearer. They were compelled active sports and hazardous adventures of childhood. It is from to turn about, leaving the father to sleep the sleep of death, with these alone that we can acquire, not only that force of character scarce a hope that the son could be saved. But they encouraged which is suited to the more arduous situations of life, but that him to persevere in his efforts to keep from falling asleep: They complete and prompt command of attention to things external, told him that the rising tide would probably lift the vessel from her without which the highest endowments of the understanding, present position and bring her where they could come on board! however they may fit a man for the solitary speculations of the that they would keep a constant watch, and embrace the first prac- closet, are but of little use in the practice of affairs, or for enticable means for his deliverance. He heard them, saw them abling him to profit by his personal experience:"—a passage depart, and with a sad heart took his station on the cabin stairs, which Mrs. Hamilton often quoted in reference to her own happy where, standing knee-deep in the half frozen water that filled the childhood. cabin, he could in some measure screen his thin-clad form from the cold wind. But here he twice detected himself in falling asleep, books she soon discovered a substitute even for a playmate : her

Under Mrs. Marshall she became an adept in reading. * "In and left the dangerous post; preferring to expose himself to the bleak wind on the quarter rather than sit down beneath a shelter first hero was Wallace, with whom she became enamoured, by

Two or three of and die. There he made it his object to keep himself in motion, learning to recite Blind Harry's lays. and the people, when they saw him in danger of relinquishing this Shakspeare's plays came in her way; the History of England only means of preservation, shouted, and moved and stirred him

followed. She happened to meet with Ogilvie's translation of to new effort.

Homer's Iliad, and soon learned to idolise Achilles, and almost

to dream of Hector.” At eight she was put to a school in the It took place as the seamen had predicted. The rising tide lifted the vessel from her dangerous position, and brought her on

town of Stirling, where she learnt writing, geography, and the to a sand, where the people with much effort got on board, about Manson,) who, in a poem written forty years after, reverted with

use of the globes. Her assiduity delighted her master, (Mr. four o'clock in the afternoon. They found young Ellis on the pride to the period when Elizabeth Hamilton had been his pupil

. quarter-deck holding on to the tiller ropes. He had become too | In her ninth year she lost her mother, and in after-life she thus much exhausted to continue his life-preserving movements, and the writes of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall:-"By this worthy couple I was stillness of an apparently last sleep had been for some time stealing adopted, and educated with a care and tenderness that has been over him. His hands were frozen to the ropes which they grasped, seldom 'equalled. No child ever spent so happy a life ; nor, inhis feet and ankles were encrusted with ice, and he was so far gone deed, have I ever met with anything at all resembling the way in that he was scarce conscious of the presence of his deliverers.

which we lived, except the description given by Rousseau of Their moving him roused him a little. Yet he said nothing, till, Wolmar's farm and vintage.” as they bore him by his father's body, he muttered, “There lies my In her thirteenth year she left school, and returned to her poor father, and relapsed into a stupor, from which he only aunt's. At this time an intimate of the family had taken some awaked after he had been conveyed on shore, and customary means pains to shake her religious principles. The sceptical arguments were employed for his restoration. Through the humane aitention

were new to her and attractive; but she found it difficult to beof the inhabitants, he was restored, but with the ultimate loss of lieve that her aunt had been the dupe of error.

To solve the the extremities of his hands, and his feet. He still survives, a doubt, she determined to study the Bible by stealth, and decide useful citizen, notwithstanding these mutilations. But the memory of that fearful night and day is fresh in his mind. It taught him,

* Miss Benger's Memoirs; from which, and an article in the Monthly in truth, the inefficiency of human strengtlı, when matched against Magazine for 1916, the substance of this is principally taken.


the question by her own unbiassed judgment. The result was a essay was "The Modern Philosopher," which she wrote while conviction that the moral precepts and doctrines of Christianity on a visit in Gloucestershire. This rural residence she thus de. were too pure to have been promulgated by an impostor. To the scribes :-“ Mrs. Radcliffe would here find enough of scenery example still more than the precepts of her excellent friends without the moon. I have never seen any place that united more she always referred the formation of her moral and religious sen

beauties. Inclosed in a woody dingle, it appears from the hills timents.

above to be secluded from the world; but it nevertheless com. Miss Hamilton was now allowed to spend some months in mands a view of the rich vale of Evesham below, of the Malvern Glasgow and Edinburgh, and she had an introduction to Dr. hills and distant Welsh mountains, and of the Severn till it is Mayne, who was then giving lectures on experimental philoso

united with the ocean. All this we enjoy in peace; for we have phy; and a correspondence was commenced, in which the lecturer no carriage-road within a mile of the house, and I have hitherto undertook to direct the studies of his youthful pupil. Of this seen but one visitor.' “ The Modern Philosopher” was very period of her life she often regretted that she had not devoted to popular. It is an exposure of those whose theory and practice classical or scientific pursuits the time unprofitably wasted in differ, and points out the difficulty of applying high-flown prin. music.

ciples to the ordinary but necessary concerns of life. It passed After a visit from her brother, who was five years older, a through two editions in 1800. To give effect to the humour of mutual correspondence was established, which she acknowledged the work, it was of importance that it should be published anosoon became to her a second education : her opportunities, she nymously; but the author observes, with that ingenuousness allowed, were superior to what is usually allotted to her sex and which was native to her mind, “I would not on any account station, since she had learned to think.

publish anonymously anything which I should either be ashamed Like many solitary thinkers, Miss Hamilton was irresistibly of or afraid to own. Its success led to her acknowledgment of impelled to become a writer. She had recourse to her pen by it; the credit of which had been gratuitously conferred on two or stealth, but accident divulged her secret. On an excursion to

three celebrated writers : it was a passport to fame and distinc. the Highlands, she had kept a journal for her aunt's amusement,

tion. In the “Modern Philosopher" the alliance of morals and and the MS. coming into the hands of one of the party, in the politics was carefully disclaimed, and consequently aristocrats warmth of his admiration he sent it to a provincial Magazine. and democrats agreed to laugh. Of the positive good resulting At this early stage of her life she had also tried, what most young

from her work the author received a most pleasing testimony, in thinkers try, especially if their natures are sensitive, to make

a letter from a young woman, evidently of superior talents, who poetry.

confessed that she had detected herself in Bridgetina, and inIn 1780 she lost her aunt, to which she always adverted as the stantly abjured the follies and absurdities which created the re

semblance. first sorrow of her life. She continued, however, with her uncle, and fulfilled the domestic superintendence of his house ; and for

Miss Hamilton's next work was “ Letters on Education," the six years she scarcely ever ventured from the solitude of their first volume of which appeared in 1801, and procured for the country residence.

author the acquaintance and correspondence of many celebrated

From the In 1785 Miss Hamilton's first voluntary contribution to the individuals, and among others of Dugald Stewart. press was the Paper No. 46 of the “ Lounger ;" and of the same spring of 1802 till the autumn of 1803, Miss Hamilton, and her

sister Mrs. Blake, made a tour of Wales, the Lakes of Westmoredate is a sportive poem called "Anticipation.” In 1788 she first visited London, with her brother.

land, and Scotland. From Llangollen she proceeded to Liverpool,

In this metropolis she soon discovered all the charms of novelty and congeniality; and where she participated in the hospitality of Dr. Currie, whom she it was here, perhaps, that she first became conscious of her own

ever after spoke of with enthusiasm. Whilst at the Lakes, Bishop mental strength.

Watson became her intimate acquaintance ; and of this distin, In the summer of the same year her uncle guished prelate she thus writos to Mrs. Gregory : “We are more died. Two years afterwards she had the happiness of procuring and more delighted with the Bishop's conversation, which is the friendship of the celebrated Dr. Gregory, who became her always a first-rate feast; the sentiments are always so just, and adviser in literary pursuits and chosen friend for thirty years.

expressed with so much energy, yet without the least degree of It was a remarkable characteristic of Miss Hamilton, that, dogmatism : he is always cheerful, even sometimes playful, but whatever place or family she visited, she always acquired in it a never without dignity; in short, he is a man of a million, whom I new friend.

“ She gave her suffrage to merit; her sympathy shall ever consider it a happiness to have known.” While amongst was yielded to misfortune; and, whilst she admitted to her con

the Lakes, she prepared the materials for the Memoirs of Agrip. fidence the worthy, or selected for intimacy the cultivated, she pina, (which exhibits in a small compass a correct epitome of delighted to foster unprotected talent, to animate the lambent Roman laws, customs, and manners,) and is considered a valuable Aame of hope, and to refresh the neglected germs that were wi- addition to English school classics. thering in dreary desolation.”

The sisters proceeded to Edinburgh, where they acquired the In 1792 Miss Hamilton lost her brother, a promising young friendship of Miss Edgeworth ; which was afterwards maintained officer attached to the East-India Company's service, and the with mutual cordiality, attachment, and affection. translator of the “Hedaya. This for some time produced great dejection ; and, in the retirement of Sunning, in Berkshire, in acknowledgment of her exertions in the cause of religion and

Soon after the publication of "Agrippina," in 1804, George III, she composed ber first work, the “ Hindoo Rajah ;? in compos. ing which she not only recalled the ideas she had acquired from virtue, conferred on her a pension; the prime minister paying a her brother's conversation, but portrayed his character, and spontaneous tribute to her talents, which enhanced the value of the commemorated his talents and virtues. She submitted it to gift. On her return to England, she became the neighbour of her Mrs. Gregory, with this note :-"I am afraid,” she observes, friends, Dr. and Mrs. Gregory, at West Ham, in Essex ; and "to inquire what you will say to my black baby: I had no sooner

composed a volume of " Letters to the Daughter of a Nobleman," given it out of my hands than I passed sentence of condemnation Hamilton had lately resided for six months in the family of this

published in 1806, which had a most favourable reception. Miss on it myself, and was almost ashamed at having exposed it even to your eye; but there is one thing of which I must beg leave to nobleman, and directed the education of his children, who had

been deprived of their mother. From this time she chose to be assure you, and that is, I have so little of authorship about me, that there is no occasion for the smallest degree of delicacy in designated Mrs. Hamilton. pointing out its desects, or indeed in condemning in toto any

Her return to Edinburgh was cordially greeted by her friends, child of my brain, towards whom I am so unnatural a parent and in the society of the partners of her youth she was again at that I have hitherto seen them smothered without remorse. home. On this occasion she composed the pleasing song of " My That which has been done by my own diffidence will be still ain Fireside;" the second stanza of which most happily describes more easily accomplished when aided by the judgment of a

her feelings : friend :-on you, then, my dear madam, it will depend whether “ Ance mair (Gude be praised) round my ain heartsome ingle, my poor Rajah shall sleep in peace on his native mountains, or

Wi' the friends o' my youth I may cordially mingle; expose himself to the dangers of criticism by a trip to England.

Nae forms to conipel me to seem wae or glad, If you think him too weak to stand the dangers of the voyage,

I may laugh when I'm merry, or sigh when I'm sad ; he shall never move a step farther.” It was published in 1796,

Nae falsehood to dread, and nae malice to fear,

But truth to delight me, and kindness to cheer: and she reluctantly put her name to the work.

Oh! the best road to happiness ever I tried,
Under the encouraging approbation of Dr. Gregory, her next Was the road brought me home to my ain fireside.'


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


[merged small][ocr errors]

At this period Mrs. Hamilton, in conjunction with several

WAR AND PEACE.* ladies, established a Female House of Industry in Edinburgh, and composed a little work, “ Exercises on Religious Knowledge, War is a parricide, having madman and murderer written in. on a plan which obliges the pupil to prove, by answers to be given delibly on his forehead. Such is the faith of that great number in her own words, her attention and her conception of the instruc- / who believe in the progressive advancement of man. Therefore do tion given by the teacher. This book, which had the approbation of Bishop Sandford and the Rev. Mr. Alison, was first published they rejoice in whatever, in the present day, makes for Peace. in 1809.

The steam-boat, ploughing the Atlantic, is an apostle of peace ; The most popular of Mrs. Hamilton's works was that on which the rail-road, with its flying train, cries out for peace ; the printing she bestowed least consideration. This was the “ Cottagers of machine utters many sounds, but it joins in a peaceful chorus. A Glenburnie ;” and it was not without some diffidence on the part deep persuasion is sinking into all men's hearts that peace is the of the publisher that it went to press. Its success was universal : it was a favourite in all the three kingdoms. A cheap edition was

world's chief good, the great medium through which other good also printed for circulation among the peasantry of Ireland and in must be transmitted. The merchant at his desk, and the mecha. the Highlands of Scotland; and even the wild genius of the mountains confessed the influence of good sense and the importance of and sword into each other's dominions; and from a high place has

nic at his toil, are asking why men should any longer carry fire domestic economy. “I canna be fash'd,” became a popular phrase, and the name of Mrs. M'Clarty resounded in the polished circles of it recently been uttered, that “a quarrel based on the mere fashion and of elegance. Glenburnie" might be called a tale in ground of national animosity appears so revolting to the notions of the manner of Wilkie: it is a faithful representation of human good sense and charity prevalent in the civilised world, that the nature in general, as well as local manners and customs. The maxims of economy and industry,—the principles of truth, justice, parties who feel such a passion the most strongly, and indulge it family affection, and religion, which it inculcates by striking ex- the most openly, are at great pains to class themselves under any amples, and by exquisite strokes of pathos mixed with humour, denomination but those which would correctly designate their are independent of a!l local peculiarity of manner or language, and objects and feelings.t' operate upon the feelings of every class of readers.

So far so well: but let us not, in common phrase, “halloo be. With simple and uniform habits, Mrs. Hamilton had never to complain of a dull or monotonous existence. Such was the relish

fore we are out of the wood.” A time is doubtless coming when for her society, that her private levee was attended by the most there shall be "abundance of peace so long as the moon endur. brilliant persons in Edinburgh. Of anecdote she was inexhaust- eth ;” and this hope warms the heart of the Christian and the ible, and in narrative she dramatised with such effect that she philanthropist. But, though neither prophets nor prophets' sons, almost personated those whom she described. Her “ Cottagers of Glenburnie" is a lasting monument of the interest she took in the

we may safely affirm that war has not yet finished its work on the bettering the condition of the poor. Perhaps few books have been earth. Christianity is yet far too unequally diffused ; nations are more extensively useful.

far too unequally civilized, to forbid the fear that tremendous war In 1812, her health being impaired, she removed to Bath, where, may not again rage over the world. We may yet have to pass becoming convalescent, she had printed Popular Essays on the through a flood of war to a higher state of civilization ; the eleElementary Principles of the Human Mind." Although Mrs. Hamilton never lost her relish for works of humour and imagina. ments of society may yet have to be purified by a hurricane. In tion, she had, during the last six years of her life, a decided pre- such a state of things, is it the duty of Britain to spike her guns ference for works of a higher order. Dugald Stewart, Paley, and and dismantle her ships, and to preach the great doctrine of an Alison, had been the companions of her private hours. In 1815 she

entire forbearance? Is it her duty to trust her interests and her published her last work, a small volume, intitled “ Hints ad. dressed to the Patrons and Directors of Public Schools," recom

wealth, and whatever civilization she may have gathered together, mending a partial adoption of the plan introduced into Switzerland to the hope that her quiescence will teach other nations the grand by Pestalozzi.

lesson of Christian charity; and that, as she looks around with Her delicate health, and several bereavements in her family, folded arms on the world at large, all nations will be so struck induced her to remove from Edinburgh (where she had lived for with the moral spectacle, as to see in her attitude a noble exemsome time) to England, and she had travelled as far as Harrogate, when her last illness overtook her; and at this watering-place she plification of the song which was sung, “ Peace on earth and good expired July 23, 1816, in the sixtieth year of her age.

will towards men !" Mrs. Hamilton kept a private journal for twenty-seven years, In truth, War has such a villanous aspect, that even the good which consisted of a series of papers composed with a view to assist which he has done is beginning to be denied to him. But let us the writer in the exercise of self-examination, which she considered as the basis of moral and religious improvement. It is dated from not be ungrateful. Cain was made a wanderer and a vagabond on 1788, and concluded 1815. This journal, with her correspondence, the earth : nevertheless, a mark was set on his forehead, lest any is published along with Miss Benger's Memoirs of her, in two.vols., finding him should kill him. War is Cain's eldest child, and is Longman and Co. 1818.

marked with his father's brand; but, though we should drive him Her early friend, Hector M'Neil, Esq., the poet of Stirling, out, and make him a fugitive on the earth, we must not forget who had watched over her childhood, pays the following tribute to that he has built for us a synagogue. We cannot tell why War has her memory, which he himself did not survive to see printed :

been suffered to exist among men, and to be their chief pastime for “ In all my intercourse with the world, I never knew one with a

six thousand years, any more than we can tell why evil came to finer mind, a warmer heart, a clearer head, or a sounder understand have its origin. But, seeing that War has existed, and probably will ing; and, perhaps, were we to particularise the most prominent continue to exist for some time yet to come, we can at least extract feature in Mrs. Hamilton's intellectual character, we might select the two last mentioned as the most remarkable. Such was the good out of its mischief, and point out the benefits as well as the clearness of her conceptions, and such the quickness of her discri- miseries that have resulted. Comparatively small as is man's ad. mination, that she seldom or never hesitated a moment to give her vancement, but for War he would probably be far behind what he opinion decidedly on any subject introduced ; and, what is equally is now. The noblest geniuses, whose productions have in all ages remarkable, seldom or never were her opinions erroneous. Such tended to the advancement of the race, have expended their powers is the result of my observations on one I knew above forty years,

Some of the loftiest minds that the world ever saw have during which she continued to rise in my estimation. In her death I have sustained a loss which I have reason to think I never can • Travels through the United Kingdom, for promoting the Cause of repair ; but, while my heart bleeds at the thought, it ceases not to Peace on Earth and Good Will towards Men. By George Pilkington, late

Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers. London, 1839. glow at the remembrance of her virtues."

+ Lord Durham's Report on Canada.

on war.

had their energies roused and developed by war. War, in the pro- to hardship and fatigue. Yet it was hard to sustain this spirit ; duction of shields, spears, armour of all sorts, projectile engines, for every now and again would the old Egyptian bondage re-appear : building of castles, towers, and walls, has sharpened all the in- the terror-stricken spies told their countrymen how they were but ventive faculties of men. What a glorious thing is an English as grasshoppers in the sight of the gigantic Canaanites; and the ship of war, built by mathematics, navigated by the stars, defended cowardly congregation said one to another, “Let us make a capby valour, and managed by skill! War has organised kingdoms, tain, and return to Egypt." Yet the Canaanites, devoted to diffused science and the arts, extended commerce, and enlarged judicial punishment for their abominable vices, shrank before the the mind of man; has broken the bonds of bigotry, has set the Israelites; and we are told that whole nations emigrated, and that oppressed free, and developed new forms of government, to carry in Numidia pillars might be seen, bearing the inscription. “We on the grand experiment of the gradual progress of the race. are the Canaanites who fled before the robber Joshua." " Happy the nation whose annals are tiresome !" is a well-known We might pursue this through all the great periods of history, quotation, and in some respects a true one : but blot out from the from the supposed siege of Troy down to the battle of Waterloo. scroll of history—that is, history as it has been written,-all that Nebuchadnezzar overthrowing Jerusalem ; Cyrus taking Babylon; relates to war, and we should have no annals at all! All might be Cambyses destroying the monuments of Egypt; Xerxes lashing summed up in a few sentences, as brief as those which occur in the and chaining the waters, that his vast host might see the madness Book of Judges, between the record of the actions of such cham- of their master ; the great scenes of Grecian story,—Marathon, pions as Samson and Barak, and Gideon and Jephthah, when we Thermopylæ, and Salamis ; the tremendous struggles between are quietly told—" And the land had rest fourscore years,"—"And Carthage and Rome; Alexander the Great, foretold by the symbol the country was in quietness forty years."

of “ the he-goat, who moved over the face of the whole earth, and We can easily conceive that a generous mind, glancing over the touched not the ground," and who died at the early age of thirtypast history of the race, and looking only at the evils of war, might two, having been permitted for twelve years to thin the numbers of be led to consider man as a sort of wild beast, whose ferocity might the human race; the wars of Julius Cæsar; the awful fall of be checked, but could not be tamed. But such a way of reading Jerusalem ; Attila, Flagellum Dei, “the scourge of God," making history is very unprofitable. Let us for a moment make the expe- proud Rome to dread his wrath, and proclaiming that “the grass riment. Was there war in the “World before the Flood ?" We never grew on the spot where his horse had trod;" the disastrous are not expressly told that there was ; but, being told that “the scenes of our own early history, and the destructive descents of earth was full of violence,” we may conclude so : and accordingly the “sea-kings ;" the Saracenic conquests, and the Norman James Montgomery, in his poem, assumes that such was the fact, conquest; the wars of the Roses, and the wars of the Mongols ; and describes to us

Ghengis Khan laying waste in four years what five centuries have “The hordes of Cain by giant chieftains led,"

not repaired, and boasting that the exact account of the slain in

his various expeditions was four millions, three hundred and fortywho carry war to the gates of Paradise, and

seven thousand persons ; Timur sacrificing, in like manner, mil“ Fall, in the spirit of their father, came

lions, and sacking cities, under the character of a reformer, and To waste their brethren's land with sword and flame." for the establishment of peace and order; the tremendous sacrifice When did war commence after the Deluge? We do not know: of life in the Crusades, and in our own wars between France and perhaps soon after the confusion of tongues ;" for the first re- England ; and, last, the meteoric career of Napoleon, expiring in corded act of warfare—that which ensued in the captivity of Lot, the blaze of Moscow and the smoke of Waterloo. What would and his subsequent rescue by Abraham,-is introduced as a com

the consideration of all these scenes teach us, if we looked upon This was a mere predatory act of warfare, such them solely with a view to the horrors of war? We should turn as is carried on at the present day by the Toorkomans, when they away with a sickening feeling: man would appear to us one of the attack a caravan or a village, and return encumbered with captives most pitiable of God's creatures, and history a roll written within and spoil. Of the same character were the assaults by which Job and without, and full of mourning, and lamentation, and woe. lost his camels, his oxen, and his asses, and had his servants slain But it is extremely short-sighted to look upon war in such a by " the edge of the sword.”

light. He who framed us what we are, has overruled war, and But change the scene! Mark this tumultuary host, coming made it like the schoolmaster's rod, the means of punishment and forth from the bosom of the old world of civilization, pursued by improvement. Like the dead carcass of Samson's lion, “out of a regularly organised military force—" six hundred chosen cha- the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetriots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of ness." Why do our hearts throb as we read the war-song, or them." The terrified fugitives, whose spirit had been broken by hear the war-trumpet ? Why do we follow with breathless intetheir abject slavery, and encumbered by their baggage, and their rest that bold imagination which carries war into heaven itself, wives and their little ones, cry out in despair ; the waters permit and arms the celestial host ? And why does Christianity borrow them to pass over on dry land. Now they can hearken more metaphors and similes from war, and exhort the Christian to take calmly to the roll of the chariot wheels, and to the tramp of the the shield of faith, and to clothe himself with the whole armour of advancing footmen : the disciplined body also ventures between the God? The reason is plain. War is assumed to be a struggle beFatery walls, and a shout of triumph is heard from the shore- tween right and wrong—a contention between evil and good—the " Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea : his encroaching spirit of destruction met and resisted by the preserv. chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.”

ing and progressive spirit of improvement. All war whatever, the The same people who had fled in terror from Egypt, now make meanest, the cruellest, the most wanton, that ever outraged terror to precede them as they advance upon Canaan. During human nature, shelters itself under some plea of this nature their wanderings in the wilderness, something of a warlike spirit some plea of punishment for injury, some plea' of deliverance had been infused into them : they encamped in regular order, they from actual or protection from threatened suffering, or some marched as an army, in battalions, with their banners; they were delusive pretence of extending the power and glory, and conseanimated by the sound of the trumpet ; and they were accustomed quently the supposed happiness, of individuals or nations. When

mon occurrence.

war is not coloured by some such pretence, it ceases to be war, sion took place, which lasted about an hour.Afterwards, a and becomes simple robbery or piracy.

Birmingham, “I met the Roman Catholic priest of Tamworth is What, then, some reader may exclaim, you justify war! No, the street. He had attended my lecture in that town, and entere by no means. But you contend that it is a necessary evil? It is an earnestly into the spirit of it; but having left the upper end of the evil, unquestionably; whether it has been necessary or not (taking Hall before the close of the discussion, he had not since had an opit as a whole, instead of looking at isolated instances,) is beyond portunity of seeing me. He now seemed rejoiced, and in the fulour ken. War has existed through all the past history of our race, ness of his heart, he with a genuine full-toned Irish brogue, said, and all tliat we can say of it is what Arrian said of Alexander the «« 'Tis I that am glad to see you-how do you find yoursel Great_“ It is my opinion that such a man, who was like no other after your labour ?' mortal, would never have been born without a special Providence." " • Very well ; I have been lecturing every day since I saw you. War would never, we are assured, have been permitted to exist if “Am I not ashamed of my Tamworth townsmen for behaving its objects had been wholly destructive or wholly useless; and though so uncourteously to a stranger! I was anxious to have congratuwar, like slavery, is opposed to the genius and spirit of Christianity, lated you on your success in the discussion ; but I went to the end there seems to be no reason why one nation, willing to act on Christian of the room where your noisy opponents stood, in order to remonprinciples, should abandon itself to the mercies of another which strate with them ; and when the argument closed, I was obliged refuses to recognise the influence of the same pacific principles. to move with the crowd, so that I lost sight of you. But what a In no case does Christianity call upon us to abandon our natural noble pair of lungs you must have ! Was I not astonished, when, and social positions, or to give up our rights as men, because of our after having spoken for two hours, you continued the discussion privileges as Christians; and he who, in his individual capacity, for another hour, as fresh as a daisy? Will you come and take a may so exemplify the spirit of meekness as, when smitten on the glass of wine with me?' right cheek, to turn to the smiter the other also, may yet, as a "No, I thank you, I drink nothing but water. member of the state, be found on the field of battle or on the "Oh! then, do you belong to the Temperance Society ? quarter-deck, and bravely, if need be, lay his body in the path of

««Yes.' an advancing enemy.

“ • But sure they only prohibit you from taking whiskey.' These remarks are the result of reading “ Travels through the "" " True, but I always like to be on the advance guard--for the United Kingdoin, in promoting the Cause of Peace on Earth and human family must be led both by precept and example.' Good Will towards Men," by George Pilkington, formerly a cap- “That is very well ; but with all your exertion a little wine or tain in the corps of Royal Engineers. The author is, we are per- porter would do you good.' suaded, a good and honest-minded man; and his enthusiasm in his «•If I had any ailment which required such a remedy, I would cause is very strong. Now, we honour enthusiasm in a good man: not hesitate to take a dose of wine or porter : but I am thankful when combined with sound judgment, it is a most inspiring and to say that I am in very good health.' wonder-working thing. But though Mr. Pilkington is apparently “ “But sure the Scriptures say that you must not be always an enthusiastic and a single-minded man, he supplies abundant drinking water!' proof that his enthusiasm and his honest intentions are but little 1, of course, did not subscribe to his good-natured commentempered by sound judgment; and, as he is tolerably well known, tary; and finding that he could not persuade me to take some wine by means of his lectures, in various towns of the United Kingdom, at his expense, he reverted to the subject of my lecture, and seemed we have taken up his book, as being within the scope of the earnestly to desire, that all Christians should adopt the principles “ LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," and not without interest to its it held forth." readers.

On another occasion, Mr. Pilkington was engaged in debate, on Be it known, then, to such as are not acquainted with the au- the top of a coach, with a passenger, whom he terms “a fighting thor, that Mr. Pilkington is an Irishman, and was formerly in the Christian ; that is, one who follows Christ in peace, so long as military service, having attained the rank of captain in the Royal nobody quarrels with him.” “My opponent,” he says, Engineers. He brought charges of peculation against a general perceived that in all cases man was strictly prohibited from enofficer : a court-martial was held, by which the general was or- gaging in killing his fellow-man by his own will; nevertheless, undered to refund the money, and to be reprimanded; but Captain willing to yield to the principle that we should die rather than kill, Pilkington was dismissed the service, for having brought a number he had recourse to practice, and accordingly asked, "What would of charges against a superior officer, of which only one was borne you do with the Irish ?' out by evidence. Afterwards he received the appointment of civil “ « As with all other, men-apply the remedy, overcome evil engineer to the colony of Sierra Leone, which ill health compelled with good.' him to resign. He then went on a trading voyage, suffered ship- Ab, sir, the more good you do for them, the more you may wreck, came through a variety of adventures, mixed with hardship; | do; those fellows would never be satisfied.' acted as lecturer to the Anti-Slavery Society; and ultimately «« « That, at least, would keep our hands in ; and we are required began, on his own responsibility, and depending on the contribu- to obey without regard to results.' tions of the charitable, to lecture on War, contending, wherever he

" . But, if we dealt thus with them, they would take possession went, that defensive war is unchristian, and therefore morally of our country, and force their religion upon us.' forbidden.

* His direction, overcome evil with good, must be sufficient for Far mightier causes than Mr. Pilkington's lectures must be at all emergencies; and He would not have given the command withwork to stop the breakings out of war. He has, however, excited out the power to execute.' a good deal of interest, of which the following is a pleasing and " Ah, sir, I am persuaded they are such a race of savages, that characteristic specimen. At Tamworth, he says, “where I occu- nothing but powder and ball will keep them in order.' pied the Town Hall, I was most vehemently opposed by three “ You are not aware that it is an Irishman that speaks to respectable individuals, a lawyer, a wholesale tea-dealer, and a you.' classical tutor. At the close of my lecture, a more formal discus- ' He blushed, and seemed very much confused, whilst saying,

16 now

« AnteriorContinuar »