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own houses. In civil wars, it is well known that violence, as in the contentions of kindred, rages with unnatural fury; for men will bear oppression from strangers better than from their own countrymen ; so that he who professes to be neutral, instead of being regarded as a friend, is commonly looked upon as an enemy by both parties.

And when the peace of a family circle is invaded, and instant destruction seems to be impending over our dearest connexions, all that is human within us is roused by the argument in question, to justify the immediate attempt to destroy the guilty for the purpose of defending the innocent.

Abstractedly viewing the two cases, there could scarcely be a difference of opinion respecting the course a man of common worldly prudence would adopt.

In the one case he would connect himself with one side or the other, as well to secure his safety as to fulfil what he might consider a point of duty. In the other he would obey the impulse of his sensitive nature, and would pursue the first bent of his mind, not only in resisting the meditated wrong, but in taking away the life of his opponent. With those to whom this world is every thing, and father, mother, wife, children, friends, riches, possessions, privileges, and life, are dearer than the cross of Christ, with the promises of a blessed immortality annexed, it is perfectly clear that it would be nugatory to argue in this matter. But with any who place their hopes in heaven, and their reliance upon Providence, and who would rather surrender the object most dear to them than violate the least of the commands of the Prince of Peace, a momentary inquiry at least might be admitted :

Will heaven, indeed, permit the arm of violence to rob me, when obeying the commands of Christ, of my friends or property, and perhaps my life? And shall I obey his commands by pursuing my enemy even to death ? by hurrying an assassin to the grave in the midst of his crime, who may possibly become my friend, and sincerely repent of his wicked design ? Shall I resist the violent on his own ground, with his own weapons, and on his own principles—those of violence ? If I do, how then is the standard of peace to be supported in the world? How is the example of Christ himself imitated and recommended to others by such conduct ? If the first impulse is right and must be obeyed, these questions

are not appropriate; but if these questions strike the sincere Chris. tian with any weight, and cannot be answered without serious misgivings, it is most probable that the first impulse is wrong, or, at least, that it is to be restrained by a higher principle.

After all, therefore, that can be said on either side, we must at last come to this question, whether the Lord's devoted followers, the peacemakers on whom Christ pronounced his blessing(not Christians by name and tradition only, not those who would cement the interests of two worlds together which are incompatible) are to rely upon Divine Providence in their extremity, or on the use of means which seem directly to involve a breach of the laws of Christ, and to foster the indulgence of propensities entirely opposed to the enlargement of his peaceful kingdom. It is impossible to argue the case upon Christian principles, without distinct reference to the immediate care of providence : for unless this be taken for granted, all human reasoning is against the principles we defend. If this be admitted, with those proper limitations which man's free agency requires, the cause of truth and innocence and justice must be the cause of God himself, and defensible only by moral weapons. He that proceeds to violence in the support of moral order, usurps the sceptre of the Sovereign Ruler, and employs the thunder, and the earthquake, and the flood, and the lightning, against his fellowcreature. But there is this essential difference : in the hands of the Almighty the elemental conflict is succeeded by a state of calm, and it contributes to some good natural design, bringing. things into harmony; whereas, in the hands of man, when he attempts to wield the instruments of vengeance, in other words, of physical power, against his enemy, whatever calm may ensue, it is not the quiet of harmony, but of smothered hate, ready, on the first slight occasion, to burst into fury. In the one case there is only a deformity of the natural world, which is slight and transient and salutary in its effects; in the other a state of moral disorder, which the conflict does not terminate, but aggravates by producing heart-burnings and misery, and various forms of moral evil. For it must be confessed, that war puts in operation a more demoralizing, inhuman, and unchristian machinery, than was ever devised by the perverted ingenuity of man. Its causes and its effects go hand in hand, and like the tree and its fruits, betray their near affinity. On

has any

one side we may see the lust of dominion and of military fame, with its aspiring notions : on the other, fear and revenge, with its low degrading passions, all alike antichristian, entering into the motives.

As to the effects, we shall scarcely err in affirming that few conquerors ever yet returned from battle, without some secret stings of conscience, nor armies, without more or less moral corruption ; nor

nation ever withdrawn itself from a contest without paying a severe and bloody price for all its victories. Cicero would not have declared that he preferred the most unjust and disadvantageous peace to the justest war—“Inquissimam pacem justissimo bello antefero" — if his experience had not proved this to be the case. It cannot be doubted that he deduced this conclusion from facts more than from theory. And Tacitus, another enlightened Roman, takes it for granted as a thing in itself obvious,—that it was infinitely better for a nation to cultivate peace than to perplex itself with warm" Quis ignorat satius ac melius esse pace frui quam bello vexari ?" It is not to be supposed that heathen statesmen would have established prin. ciples like these in direct opposition to fact and expediency. How strong, then, must be the ground taken by the Christian statesman in advocating peace, when he finds that the principles of that religion which was sent to lead human nature to its highest perfection, confirm the practical conclusions of the wise heathen! No man can be so bold as to argue that any one of the precepts of Christ, or any part of his conduct, can be construed into a direct or indirect vindi. cation of war. On the other hand, the positive injunctions to maintain peace, and to subdue the elements of war, are numerous and unequivocal. And the same thing may be said of the Apostles, with the casual exception of Peter, who met with a signal reproof at the time, strong enough to establish the law of

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for ever :

• Put up thy sword into the sheath : for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

It has therefore been discovered by experience, (and experience is in unison with the pure doctrines of Christianity,) that there are principles of human conduct-principles opposed to brute violence in all its forms—whose operation is so powerful, that while they prove a support to the innocent, by turning them to an Almighty Protector, they soften the fury of their oppressors, and frequently change it into admiration : so that these oppressors cannot but observe the

contrast between the self-protecting armour of piety, and the desolating instruments of cruelty.

It is a fact of not unfrequent occurrence, that, when things nave been brought to the most critical juncture, and, according to human apprehension, death or bondage has been inevitable, those, who have been enabled to trust with meekness in Divine help, have experienced wonderful preservation. And, on the contrary, how many examples are there of those, who have resisted violence by violence, falling victims! So that, active resistance, it would appear, often defeats its end : while non-resistance, accompanied with suitable dispositions, has the immediate effect of disarming ferocity, and suspending the meditated blow. It is not necessary to look far into human nature to explain the theory of these moral phenomena. But it is time that Christian statesmen should know, and that they should act upon the conviction, that the system of Christianity contains the profoundest principles of philosophy as well as of Divine truth ; and that so far from being visionary in their application, these principles are of the highest practical utility, at all times and under all circumstances : and happy are they who have faith to put them in practice, whether as individuals or as nations.

The preceding observations are made with a view to prepare the reader's mind for the following narrative, and to illustrate the nature and operation of the principles of Peace; and the events are recorded for the purpose of showing, by well-authenticated facts, how a Chritian Society, professing and acting upon these principles, conducted itself in the afflicting crisis of civil warfare ; when many individuals and families of this Society, from time to time, found themselves at the mercy, and, at least outwardly, in the power, of some of the most undisciplined of their fellow-creatures.

It is supposed that facts will have greater influence in convincing the judgment, than reasonings however clear, or precepts however highly sanctioned.

The first class of incidents about to be recorded, relates to the peculiar trials experienced by some members of the Society, in the county of Wexford, the principal theatre of contention in the South, in consequence of their determination to take no part in war, as

well as to the manner in which they were preserved. The next relates to the threats and dangers to which they were subjected, for the firmness and faithfulness with which they endeavoured to discharge the important duty of religious worship, and to the way in which these threats were defeated. A third class, to which the reader's attention will be directed, refers to the trials, connected in some degree with the last, arising from the refusal of many individuals to conform to the ceremonies of the Romish church, which exposed them, in the circle of their families, as well as abroad, to the danger of instant death. And the fourth class will embrace a more comprehensive range of incident relating to the Society, in other parts of the country which were the scenes of commotion.

In every place, it will appear, that the same principles of conduct produced effects of a similar description.

CHAP. II.

State of the Society of Friends, previous to, and during the Rebellion.

It is generally known that an objection to take part in War, in any shape, forms one of the tenets of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers. This objection is purely religious, and is founded upon what they conceive to be the spirit of the Gospel dispensation, as it is illustrated in the precepts of Christ and his Apostles, and exemplified in their practice. They consider that it must follow as a necessary consequence, that a religion breathing peace and good-will to men, cannot, in any case, be supported by the spirit of War. They believe that, on the contrary, the practice of this evil, among the professors of Christianity, has tended, more than any other circumstance, to prevent its propagation in the world, to tarnish its excellency in the eyes of Jews and Pagans, and to confirm their speculative and practical errors. As it was not by the secular arm, but, in direct opposition to the sword, that it insinuated itself into the minds of men, and was first promulgated ; so they believe, that its final establishment in the nations of the earth will be effected through the medium of the softening influence of its pacific spirit, and by the glorious example of peace and concord among its followers.

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