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After these dreadful convulsions were brought to a consummation, men began to pause and reflect. They witnessed around them a perpetual desolation; the noble and the mighty fallen from their high places; the poor made poorer and ground into dust by taxation; families of all ranks, mourning the loss of husbands, brothers, sons; the culture of the earth interrupted, and the once happy cottage and its vineyards all laid waste. And they very naturally asked, why is all this? Why have we been destroying each other, and making ourselves miserable? Their eyes were opened, in some degree, to their own dreadful infatuation; they saw and they lamented their exceeding folly and crime. We may now assert with confidence, although there is an infatuated party in Europe in particular, who are doing all in their power to urge nations once more into the dreadful career of violence and bloodshed, that the great mass of reflecting and judicious men are in favor of peace; they shudder at the thought of a renewal of the horrors of war; they behold, in such renewal, unsearchable misery to the great multitude of mankind without the compensation of a single benefit to any one, excepting a few ambitious chieftains, who are heartless enough to place the paltry glitter of their epaulets in the balance against the sighs and groans, and tears, and blood of agonizing millions.

Since the beginning of the world, there has never been so favorable an opportunity for a great movement for the promotion of universal peace. There is a general pause among the nations, an awakened expectation, an earnest hope of some permanent good, at the same time a doubt and hesitation whither to turn their course, a fearful looking for of the return of past evils with a desire to avoid them; and if we can rightly read the signs of the times, like men in great perplexity, who

know not where to place the basis of their hopes, they would hail the proposition of an international Congress as a solace for the past, and a joyful harbinger for the future.

CHAPTER EIGHTH.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

WE now leave the subject to the serious and judicious examination of all classes of persons. If they will but recollect the relation they sustain to their Creator and the human race, and are inspired with the sentiments suitable to such a consideration, we shall not fear the results of their examination. We are not ignorant that the heart has something to do with this subject, as well as the intellect; that it is not a mere mathematical problem, which is to be solved solely by the plus and minus of the head, but appeals, in part at least, to the instinctive intuition of the powerful logic of the affections. We do not presume to ascertain the duties of men, as we would investigate the properties of a circle, by a process of pure abstraction, without an infusion of our own feelings, or without a consideration of the nice and variously operating sensibilities appropriate to human nature. If a man asks for bread, will you give him a stone? If he asks a fish, will you give him a serpent? And why not? Is it the result of a cold and accurate calculation, or simply because you are yourself a man, and feel as a man? This is the inspiration of sentiment, the deduction of the heart; and we do not hesitate to say, that on this whole

subject, (not only that of a Congress of nations, but on war and peace in general,) we are bound to recognize, and cherish, and appeal to the prompt and unerring intimations from that source.

In quitting this subject, however, we cannot withhold the expression of the hopes, which its consideration tends to cherish. There are no doubt obstacles, which force themselves on the attention, but there are encouragements still more obvious and decisive. The necessities and sufferings of mankind, the inefficiency of existing means of redress, the experience of past ages, the deductions of reasoning, the prophetic anticipations of benevolence, the opinions of wise and learned men, the advancements in civilization and freedom, all seem to point in one direction; all seem to be verging to a common centre. Some of the grounds of encouragement have already been made the topics of remark; and we do not feel at liberty to suppress the hopes they inspire. Even if it were a delusion, we should be almost inclined to indulge it for the happiness it imparts; but it is not. And we have the more reason to think it is not so, when, in connection with the considerations already presented, we take into view the encouragements from another and far higher source. We cannot easily rid ourselves of the impression, that the religion of the Bible, so pure and beneficent in its spirit, imperiously requires some further movements and developements in the societies of men, which can be realized only in an established Congress of nations. We trust, that no philanthropist, however he may have been cheered by the progress of society for some ages past, will permit himself to indulge the belief, that it has reached the consummation of its improvement. It is certain, that the Bible holds out far more cheering prospects than we have yet been permitted to witness; the more general diffusion of knowledge, the

universal restoration of peace, the enlargement of a benevolent spirit, the liberation of the prisoner, the increase of purity and faith throughout the world. "And how are these cheering results to be secured? Not only by prayer, reflection, and action; but by concert of prayer, communication of thought, and unity and concentration of action; by inducing men to feel, to reason, and to strive together. Is not, then, a Congress of nations, one of the means, which Providence and the Word of God clearly points out?

In our estimation, such an assembly would be the most pleasing and decisive commentary on the purifying influences of the Gospel, from which influences alone, as felt in the conduct of Christians, in conversation, and in the well wrought issues of the press, it would result. It would present itself as an object, fitted to enlist the regards of all men. The philosopher would mark it, and pronounce it good. The Christian in all countries, from his home on Alpine heights and from his dwelling-place in humble vallies, in the secret chambers of religious meditation, and in the companies of the noisy and restless world, would turn his eye to this grand assembly, and feel that Prophecy is fulfilled.

Let us indulge the inspiration of so great a theme. Let us place before us this Universal Parliament, which contains in itself the extract and the essence of the wisdom of all climes. And how gloriously it strikes upon the sense, and amplifies and fills the imagination! When the rude Gauls entered the city of Rome, and saw the venerable Senators seated in silence to receive them, they were filled with admiration at the dignity of their appearance. They read, in their staid countenances and motionless lips and marble brows, a stern integrity, and apatriotic devotedness to their fallen country; and the hearts of the barbarians were strongly moved.

But the Congress of nations is not a silent assembly; it speaks to the sight, but it speaks to the ear also. And in what a voice! With what depths of research and learning! With what profound and harmonious eloquence! England sends her Fox and Pitt, her Cannings and Broughams; France, her Foys and Manuels and Constants; Prussia, her Hardenberg; regenerated Spain, her Arguelles; and our own beloved America, her Franklins and Jeffersons, her Madisons and Marshalls. Would not such an assembly command the attention of the world; that broad, deeply interested world, which they would have for their audience! Would not the voice of war, always ready to break out in threatenings and blood, grow silent at their frown! Would not wisdom emanate from their lips, which would enlighten the obscurities of public law, and spread an effulgence over the too long perplexed and darkened pathway of nations! As in ancient times, distinct and powerful communities resorted to the Senate of Rome for the settlement of their difficulties, we should now see nations, powerful in arts and in arms, resorting to them for their advice; but they would come to a purer and more exalted tribunal. Their jarring differences are settled; their drawn swords are returned to the scabbard; and they go back to their hills and vallies, their vines and their fig trees; and beside the cool fountain and the overarching shade, and around the domestic hearth, no longer visited by sudden and cruel alarms, they celebrate the dominion of peace, and the triumph of universal justice.

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