« AnteriorContinuar »
which says "The more of these employed by us, the sooner shall we come to the close of this horrible strife." But should these non-resistants disavow a reliance on such a manifestation of Christian principles and dispositions as the above, how are we to account for their appreciation of the American war-the co-operation and sympathy given by them to some of its principal instigators and promoters—and the feeling of satisfaction which they connect with it? The best illustration of the character and conduct of these men is given us by the Editor of the journal referred to above, in a review of a book written by Whittier, the Quaker poet, called "In War Time." Take the following extract as a specimen:-"In War Time,'" says the Advocate and Journal, “is a strange book for a Quaker. It shows how one whose heart is a gospel creed to his divine duties. separation in some admirable lines, opening winter of the rebellion. But he erred, not knowing the mind of God. Those lines have a selfish ring about them as if glad to be free of the accursed thing
large, easily fits Whittier advised written in the
Draw we not even now a freer breath,
As from our shoulders falls the load of death.
He forgot the slave at that moment. God had not. He knew His only chance for liberty was in filling us with a fury for the Union, and the Divine madness rushed upon us. Whittier sympathises with it, and sees its efficacy, sees that is the sole remedy; yet still clings to his creed, saying
"The levelled gun, the battle brand,
What a mockery for such men to point us to the oldfashioned doctrines of Christianity, as taught by our blessed Lord and Saviour and glorious apostles and illustrated in the noble examples of the martyrs, who repudiated rapine and revenge, violence and murder, that they might bear a faithful witness to the truth and make a good confession before many witnesses ? And if the Quakers of America to whom the avowed friends of the slave in Liverpool are entrusting their subscriptions, cherish the same spirit as Whittier, or as Alice Hambleton, Dinah Mendenhall, and Eliza Agnew-the Quakeresses who waited upon President Lincoln a short time ago to urge upon him not to give up the struggle, although it has been fierce and terribly bloody-if such persons as the above are to have the control over or management of your funds, why not send them direct to Parson Brownlow, Henry Ward Beecher, or Miss Dickenson, who unblushingly and openly make their teachings harmonise with their instincts, wishes, and desires in the sanction and encouragement which they give to the present horrible and ferocious war in America.
Not wishing to dwell upon the new revelation or prediction of the Committee concerning the prevalence of Christian principles and dispositions, which they say are to come "gradually and by very small degrees," let us turn to one more paragraph, which
reads as follows:- -"Not even the abolition of slavery can justify the violation of human life, much less the maintenance of the political union. And yet, so long as slavery exists, there can be little hope of permanent pacification. The agents and advocates of the Confederacy in England now constantly profess an anti-slavery policy, but no evidence appears of progress in this direction in the Confederacy itself." If the Southerns had adopted an anti-slavery policy, the world would have been delirious with joy; but seeing that by their own unaided efforts they could not retain slavery in their embrace, much less extend it, why should we trouble ourselves about any abortive attempts which they might make to strengthen, consolidate, or preserve such a nefarious system, when it was utterly beyond their power without the help of our Northern people to do such a wicked thing? In such a case a separation between the North and South would have brought deliverance to the slave without calamity and bloodshed, and there would have been a greater probability of a reunion afterwards on a more secure and permanent basis; but now, alas, we have got to sing the "Song of Greenbacks," which ends with the "Union is gone to smash!" How foolish and unwise, therefore, are those who advocate the Northern war of invasion in the South, or extenuate the guilt or cover up the horrors of it, from the plea that the independence of the South would or could have secured the continued existence of slavery, or that there would have been "little hope of permanent
pacification" in such a case! Alas for "peacemen," so called, to be mixed up with the above class of men, and to take sides with them, avowing that "not even the abolition of slavery can justify the violation of human life, much less the maintenance of the political union!" What a mockery, delusion and snare!— Yours for truth as well as liberty,
JOSHUA RHODES BALME,
92, Hughes-street, West Derby-road.
An American Clergyman.
To the Editor of the Gazette.
SIR-In the Herald of Peace for June 1st, 1864, there is a remarkable paragraph, which points the finger with unerring precision to some backsliding sinners who have lost their first love to peace principles. It reads as follows:-Surely, the present condition of things in America, and still more the dreadful prospect which the future presents, for there is no rational probability of the war coming to a speedy end by the military predominance of either side, ought to awaken reflection in the minds of those good people in this country, who, misled by sympathies that were true and generous, have been tempted to encourage one of the parties in this conflict, because they hoped that out of the evil good might come. Surely, they also must begin to suspect that rapine and slaughter and devastation cannot be the right means, or the means which God will bless, for promoting the ends of Christian philanthropy.
In America we can point to many of these men. There are a few of them amongst the evangelicals who pledged themselves to make the word of God their charter for freedom and armoury against slavery.