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down to the humblest caterer for war and glory, has concurred. It is, indeed, a decision which in its application to others, will be over-ruled, whenever “policy" or passion may require its abrogation ; but it is nevertheless of vast importance. It has reversed many corrupt judgments previously given; it will cheer and encourage many weakhearted patriots, and it may hint to some politicians, that it is possible to acquire popularity by adhering to duty, as well as by listening to the suggestions of “policy."
We have seen Mr. Adams, although constantly occupied in public life, bursting at pleasure the bonds of party, outraging public opinion, and apparently courting defeat and odium
Among innumerable false, unmoved
Surely there must have been some potent principle of action which impelled him to pursue a path so divergent from those usually selected by political aspirants, one to all appearance leading him far from popular applause, and yet in the end conducting him to the very pinnacle of fame. There was such a principle, and it is shadowed forth in the moral with which Mr. M‘Dowell " adorned his tale.” " His life," said the Virginia eulogist, “ has been a continuous and beautiful illustration of the great truth, that while the fear of man is the consummation of all folly, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Unhappy is it for our country, that the reverse of this truth forms the maxim, by which so many of our public men apparently govern their conduct. But what was the secret of the great strength of this moral Sampson ? Since his death, certain letters to his son have been given to the press, and in these we find an answer to the inquiry. It appears, that while at the court of St. Petersburg, in 1811, he commenced a series of letters to his absent child, on the study of the Bible“the Divine revelation,” as he called it. In these he remarks, “I have myself, for many years, made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. I have always endeavored to read it with the same spirit and temper of mind which I now recommend to you; that is, with the intention and desire that it may contribute to my advancement in wisdom and virtue. My custom is, to rcad four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about half an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day.” The following advice to his son seems both indicative of his own future course, and prophetic of its glorious termination :—“Never give way to the pushes of impudence, wrong-headiness, or intractability, which would lead or draw you aside from the dictates of your own conscience and your own sense of right. Till you die, let not your integrity depart from you. Build your house upon the rock, and then let the rains descend, and the flood come, and the winds blow, and beat upon
that house, it shall not fall. So promises your blessed Lord and Master.” In a most wonderful manner was this promise fulfilled in his own case, even in the present world. But there is a day approaching, when the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open, and when every man shall come to judgment. Then will those who have in this life pursued expediency in preference to duty, learn, when too late, that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."
WAR, AND THE MEANS OF PREVENTION.
We have endeavored to give the reader some idea of the vast amount of crime and misery resulting from our hostilities with Mexico; yet those hostilities present but a faint image of WAR. All the American troops sent into Mexico, will not number as many as have often been killed and wounded in a single engagement. Had all the battles of the late war occurred at the same time, and on the same field, they would scarcely have equalled a skirmish between the outposts of two European armies. The total number of our troops officially reported to have been killed in battle, is less than two thousand! If we would know the horrors of war, not as waged in ancient times, when whole nations contended in arms, with heathen barbarity, but as waged within our own recollection, and by enlightened, civilized, and christian people, let us contemplate the details of only three of a multitude of modern battles.*
JENA-engaged, 200,000 men; killed and wounded, 34,000 EYLAU 160,000
50,000 BORODINO" 265,000; 1,230 cannon in the field,
25,000 killed, 68,000 wounded—93,000 Napoleon invaded Russia with 450,000 troops, of which number about 400,000 are supposed to have perished, only about 50,000 having returned to their native land. We shudder to reflect on the awful accumulated misery and crime necessarily resulting from such vast slaughter.
* See Alison.
Let it be also recollected that the horrors of the battle field, form but one item, and that comparatively a small one, in the long catalogue of woes, inflicted by war upon the human race. The limits of the present chapter forbid us to dwell on the anguish experienced by the friends and relatives of the killed and wounded-on the vast amount extorted from the avails of labor to defray the expense of war—on the ruin and desolation which mark the track of hostile armies, and the depravation of morals engendered by the license and temptations connected with the military profession. Nor have we space to exhibit the innefficiency and uncertainty of war, as a means of defence against injury, or as an instrument for enforcing justice. But we ask the attention of the reader to a topic seldom investigated, and yet possessing momentous interest—the folly and the cost of military preparation.
Of all the false and hoary maxims by which mankind have been deluded, perhaps none has ever exerted such baneful influence on human happiness as that scrap of counterfeit wisdom,“ IN PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR." The proposed object of the counsel, is to preserve peace by being prepared to repel, and thereby to prevent aggression. The reasoning is contradicted by the testimony of history and by the character of human nature. No nation was ever better prepared for war than France under Napoleon, and no nation was ever more fiercely and violently attacked ; and seldom has any nation been more humbled, compelled not only to receive a sovereign from the hands of her enemies, but to pay the expenses of a foreign army to whose custody she was consigned. Great military strength has no tendency to foster pacific dispositions in its possessor.
While the character of man remains unchanged, his cupidity, oppression, and injustice will ordinarily be proportioned to his means of indulging
them. Hence, in all ages those nations which have been the best prepared for war, have drank most deeply of its bloody cup. If we examine the history of Europe from 1700, to the general peace in 1815, we shall find that during the 115 years,
Great Britain was engaged in war
28 Pride, arrogance, and the lust of conquest, are the natural and bitter fruits of military preparation-fruits fatal to national peace and happiness.
Strange as may seem the assertion, it is, we believe, nevertheless true, that both Europe and America have expended more money in preparing for war, than in actual hostilities.
In the old world, every important city was anciently walled and fortified, and even in our own days, we have seen the French people already burthened with debt, lavishing millions in erecting a wall thirty miles in circumference around their Capital.*
When we examine the expenditures made in time of peace for military preparation, we are astounded by the stupendous results, and can scarcely credit the testimony of official statements.
* This work of prodigal folly has been falsely ascribed to the late King; it was demanded by the liberal or popular party, under the leadership of Mr. Thiers. The Republic, instead of lessening the burdens of the people, have actually, although unmenaced by a single State in Europe, increased their military preparations. On the 1st December, 1848, the effective force of the French army amounted to 502,196 men, and 100,432 horses ; and to this was added a large navy, with between twenty and thirty thousand seamen.