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mutual accusations well founded! If so, what are the perpetrators but robbers?"-When a merchant has his property taken by a privateer, or a public ship of war, is not the injustice or injury the same to him, as if it had been taken by unlicensed pirates? Does he not justly fix the charge of" robbery" on the merciless crew who despoiled him of his goods? and also on the government that licensed the depredation? We believe that these questions cannot be answered in the negative by any candid mind.
Let us again look back to former ages. Many of the successful Chiefs among pirates and robbers became Kings, and thus many petty sovereignties were formed. These Kings made war on each other; the weaker were subdued, and the stronger extended their dominions. Thus large empires originated. Powerful governments having been thus established by rapine and violence, laws were enacted by which these governments appropriated to themselves the exclusive privilege of depredation. No one was now allowed to practise robbery without an order or license from those in power. The very practice by which these Kings, or their predecessors, obtained their dominions, was declared to be deserving of death, except when authorized by them selves. Had they renounced the practice on the part of governments, and given an example of reformation, their laws against piracy might have been both commendable and useful. But what shall be thought of men who, by severe laws, appropriate to themselves the exclusive privilege of rapine and manslaughter!
Since Kings thus appropriated the right of depredation, other governments have followed the example. The several Christian governments, like piratical Chiefs, have made wars on each other, and practised depredation on a much larger scale than it has ever been done by unlicensed pirates. In these horrid wars, they
have employed vast multitudes of subjects and trained them up to mischief. Then, at the close of a war, thousands of these ruined men are dismissed and let loose upon the world to provide by rapine for their own subsistence. Hence the swarms of thieves, robbers and pirates in time of peace. These, being adepts in the arts of mischief and murder, lead others into the snare, and increase the number of candidates for state prisons and the gallows.
We may mention another prolific source of the evil so much to be deprecated. Governments have been long addicted to war; and this savage business has been so expensive, that their revenues have been exhausted in works of violence, and in preparations for war, instead of being employed for rendering their subjects wise, virtuous, peaceable and happy. Many of the lower classes of people have been educated for the business of violence and depredation; and others have been suffered to grow up in ignorance, idleness and vice. Had rulers been uniformly wise and benevolent-had they devoted their revenues to humane and virtuous purposes, instead of ambition, avarice and revenge-they might long ago have banished piracy, in all its forms, from the civilized world. Civilized world. Alas! can any world, or any part of a world, be called civilized, while licensed robbery and murder are celebrated as deeds of glory!
If the preceding observations on the nature, causes and extent of piracy are well founded, the principal means for its abolition are very obvious.
First. Let governments openly renounce those forms of robbery, which have been licensed, authorized and practised by themselves. Three forms of sea-robbery have been practised by governments in time of war:Licensed privateering-depredations by public ships of war on vessels belonging to an enemy's countryand depredations on neutral commerce. The two first are uniformly
practised in every war between maritime nations-the third was extensively practised both by France and Great Britain, on the commerce of our country, [America] during the late war between those powers.
Each of these forms of depredation is as perfectly unjust as the reprobated conduct of unlicensed pirates, and more extensive in its mischiefs. If, then, governments will abolish state piracy, and adopt for themselves the principles of justice and mercy, they will at once put an end to much the greater part of the robberies which have afflicted the world. Not only so, they will abolish the principal source of unlicensed piracy, by abolishing the public schools in which pirates have had their education. But should governments still persist in their own forms of depredation, and continue their schools of depravity,in vain will it be for them to think of abolishing unlicensed piracy-and cruel it will be to fit men for destruction, and then destroy them without mercy! How many men have already perished by the halter, who might have lived and died as virtuous, respectable and useful members of society, had they not been ruined in government-schools of vice! At whose hands will their blood be required!
Second. Instead of employing their revenues to render war popular, and to train up men in the arts of robbery and manslaughter, let governments direct their attention and employ their resources for blessing their subjects with virtuous education and useful employment. This course would soon diminish the evils of piracy, as it would prevent the rising generation from forming those dispositions and habits which lead to crime and ignominious death.
Third. Compassion is due to men who have been exposed to vice and misery by the baneful policy and neglects of governments. Perhaps there are many who have not yet resorted to a course of unlicensed
robbery, whose education and habits have prepared them for such ruinous enterprises. These should be snatched as 'brands from the burning'-placed in situations to obtain virtuous instruction, and to acquire a comfortable subsistence by honest means. This step would probably prevent accessions to the number of pirates, and save many souls from perdition. Such a method for preventing crime would probably do more good than all the terrors of the most sanguinary laws.
Many of those who have already commenced the practice of piracy, might doubtless be recovered by the power of kindness and persuasion. They are perhaps not more deluded, nor more depraved, than the greater part of those who have for many years been employed in similar acts of violence and depredation, under license or by order of governments. Some of the pirates may have advanced beyond the reach of human means for their recovery. The number of these will be annually decreasing by death; but all that can be done should be done to recover the wicked from the error of their ways. By due exertions to reclaim, and proper efforts to prevent recruits, the piratical bands may soon be so diminished, that the remainder would be easily dispersed or subdued. The actual injuries which these depraved men have sustained by the ruinous policy and neglects of governments, should not be forgotten in the attempts to recover or subdue them. If their piratical wars were directed only against the persons who have injured them, they would have better ground to call them defensive wars than governments have generally had in their wars with each other. But if those in power would give these ruined men a fair example of genuine repentance and reformation, by openly renouncing their own forms of depredation, it might have a more salutary influence than any step which has yet been taken for the suppression of piracy. When rulers are prepared
to give such an example, we have no doubt that they will effect a speedy and extensive diminution of the "practice of robbing on the sea." It can hardly be too often repeated, that rulers should be as fathers, and govern with the kindness and solicitude of wise and benevolent parents. We then ask, Does it become a father a Christian father, to educate his children in the practice of rapine and violence? And must it not be an extreme case which will justify him in taking the lives of his children for imitating his own example-and especially, to do this prior to exhibiting any evidence of reformation in himself?
Since the commencement of 1819, no less than seven pirates have been hanged in Boston; and, from the narratives given of them, it appears that all these deluded and hardened men had been previously employed in some form of government-depredation! We forbear a full expression of what we think and feel in view of these deplorable facts, and leave the subject to the serious reflection of a
Christian community. We may, how ever, observe, that the following question will one day have an inpartial hearing :-Which deserves the greater reproach and the heavier doom, the parent who causes his children to form habits of depredation and violence; or the children, thus ruined, who, when turned out to act for themselves, follow their trade to provide the means of subsistence ?
How forcible and pertinent was the language of Wellington's soldier, when about to be hanged for shooting and robbing the French peasant:"Bad luck to the Duke of Wellington! He is no Irishman's friend any way. I have killed many a score of Frenchmen by his orders, and when I just took it in my head to kill one on my own account, by the powers, he has tucked me up for it! So many the pirates may perhaps justly say--We have robbed many vessels by order of government, and were ap plauded for our deeds; but when we "took it in our heads" to rob on our own account," we were doomed to the gallows!
The Contributors of the Paper entitled "Christianity versus War” have a claim to our best thanks for their Communication, which, from a persuasion of its general correctness, is given unaltered, and entire, that it might not suffer deterioration of effect either by compression or division:- -We doubt not but our Readers will agree with us in thinking the subject not alone ingeniously, but very ably and happily handled.... “Durham ”—“ B. W.”—and numerous other Correspondents,
shall have our earliest attention.
HERALD OF PEACE.
TO THE FRIENDS OF PEACE.
BY the merciful and wise regulations of Divine Providence, true felicity can be enjoyed only in the paths of virtuous activity. A compliance with the claims which tender relatives, affectionate friends, and mankind at large, possess upon our time and regard, will best prove the sincerity and force of our love for that Being, whose we are, and whom we ought to serve. And all the joys of self-indulgence, were they perpetual instead of transitory, shrink into perfect insignificance before the exalted and ever-enduring bliss of the disinterested and philanthropic Christian.
During many periods in the history of the Christian Church, opportunities for advancing the intellectual improvement and the permanent felicity of the human mind, were few in number, contracted in their nature, and opposed by insurmountable obstacles. But in the present day, a wide and an effectual door has been graciously opened for the emancipation of Man from ignorance, superstition, and vice, with all their attendant sorrows; and no one will be able to shut it. The progress
of knowledge and virtue cannot be interrupted. The glorious Sun of Eternal Truth has arisen upon the World, and will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
Who is there, bearing the name of Christian, that does not rejoice at his lot being cast in an age so interesting and important?-Who is there that, while he muses upon these things, can avoid feeling the fire of zeal burn in his bosom,-and is not impelled eagerly to inquire how his time,-his talents,-his property, can be rendered actively subservient to the great work of regenerating the world?
The principles from which these emotions emanate are truly God-like! Though infinitely inferior in degree, yet they resemble in their nature the benignant regards of our Heavenly Father, whose tender mercies are over all his works. How delightful is it to recollect, that there are so many excellent persons in different religious Societies, who are animated by views and desires thus noble, and who, being purified from the dross of party and prejudice, have directed all their thoughts and 2 C
affections to the welfare and happiness of their fellow men.
Among the various subjects which occupy the attention of the warmhearted Christian, there are not many of greater consequence, and not one of a more amiable character, than that for which the PEACE SOCIETY has been instituted; and to the promotion of which our pages have ever been devoted.
Stimulated by no party feeling, and desiring to breathe only the benign spirit of the Saviour, the friends of Peace do not entertain any doubt as to the ultimate success of the cause in which they are embarked, But in the strong conviction of its loveliness, authority, and value, they cannot but feel a generous impatience for its more extensive diffusion.They cannot but wonder that all the disciples of Christ are not anxious to press forward, and to enrol themselves among the advocates for permanent and universal Peace!
As it is possible these lines may meet the eye of some one among many pious and devoted Christians, who have not yet given to this subject the attention which it deserves, we feel desirous at the present time of bringing to his recollection the great importance given in the Scriptures to the spirit of Union, which ought to prevail in the professed disciples of Jesus.
In that affectionate and last address, which the blessed Redeemer delivered to his disciples previous to his apprehension, one of the most striking points is the earnest desire he felt for their perfect union. "This is my commandment," said he, as if he would give it all possible force," that ye love one another, as I have loved you." And lest it should escape
their recollection, or not produce suf-
If then it be the imperious duty of all the followers of Jesus Christ to be one with each other, even as their great Master was one with his Father; if this perfect spirit of love and union be essential to their discipleship, how is it possible that nations, calling themselves Christians, can ever engage in mortal strife with each other? and, as the love which animates them is to be the witness of their belonging to him, so the converse of the proposition is awfully true, "By this shall all men know that ye are not my disciples, if ye have not love towards one another!" It cannot be necessary to prove that the nations of Christendom have not been under the influence