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Fletcher Webster on War and Loyalty

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1846
ART. IV. — An Oration delivered before the Authorities of the City of Boston in the Tremont Temple, July 4, 1846. By FLETCHER WEBSTER. Boston : Eastburn. 1846. 8vo.    pp. 33.

OUR orators have invested the Fourth of July with so many disturbing associations, that our citizens are gradually becoming less and less disposed to greet its annual return with those festivities which it was the hope of our fathers would continue to mark it through all generations to come. Still, it is a day sacred in the affections of every American citizen, and it cannot come round without exciting lively emotions of gratitude and joy in every American heart. The birth of a nation is an event to be remembered, and the day on which it takes its rank in the family of independent nations, is well deserving to be set apart by some service, at once joyous and solemn, recounting the glory which has been won, the blessings which have been received, and pointing to the high destiny and grave responsibilities to which the new people are called.

The orations ordinarily given on our national anniversary are of that peculiar sort which it is said neither gods nor men can tolerate. They are tawdry and turgid, full of stale declamation about liberty, fulsome and disgusting glorification of ourselves as a people, or uncalled-for denunciations of those states and empires that have not seen proper to adopt political institutions similar to our own. Yet we may, perhaps, be too fastidious in our taste, and too sweeping in our censures, Boys will be boys, and dulness will be dulness, and when either is installed " orator of the day," the performance must needs be boyish or dull. But when the number of orations annually called forth by our national jubilee, from all sorts of persons,  throughout the  length  and  breadth  of the land, is considered, we may rather wonder that so many are produced which do credit to their authors, and fall not far below the occasion, than that there are so few. All are not mere schoolboy productions ; all are not patriotism on tiptoe, nor eloquence on stilts. Every year sends out not a few, which, for their sound sense, deep thought, subdued passion, earnest spirit, manly tone, and chaste expression, deserve an honorable place in our national literature. There are—and perhaps as large a proportion as we ought to expect—Fourth of July orators, who, while they indulge in not unseemly exultations, forget to disgust us with untimely rant about self-government, the marvellous virtue and intelligence of the masses, and the industrial miracles they are daily performing ; who show by their reserve, rather than by their noisy declamation, that they have American hearts, and confidence in American patriotism and American institutions. A people not factitiously great has no occasion to speak of its greatness ; and true patriotism expresses itself in deeds, not words. The real American patriots are not those shallow brains and gizzard hearts which are always prating of the American spirit, American genius, American interests, American greatness, and calling for an American party ; but those calm, quiet, self-possessed spirits who rarely think of asking themselves whether they are Americans or not, and who are too sincere and ardent in their patriotism to imagine it can be necessary to parade its titles. Their patriotism has no suspicions, no jealousies, no fears, no self-consciousness. It is too deep for words. It is silent, majestic. It is where the country is, does what she bids, and, though sacrificing all upon her altars, never dreams that it is doing any thing extraordinary. There is, perhaps, more of this genuine patriotism in the American people than strangers, or even we ourselves, commonly suppose. The foam floats on the surface, and is whirled hither and thither by each shifting breeze ; but below are the sweet, silent, and deep waters.

Among the orations delivered on our great national festival, which we would not willingly forget, the one before us by Mr. Fletcher Webster, eldest son of the Hon. Daniel Webster, deserves a high rank. It is free from the principal faults to which we have alluded, simple and chaste in its style and language, bold and manly in its tone and spirit, and, in the main, sound and just in doctrine and sentiment. It frequently reminds us of the qualities which mark the productions of the author's distinguished father, and which have placed him at the head of American orators ; and it bears ample evidence, that, with time, experience, and effort, the son need not be found unworthy of such a father.

Certainly, we do not subscribe to every sentiment, view, or argument of this eloquent oration ; but we like its frank and manly tone, its independent and earnest spirit, and we accept without reserve the leading doctrine it was designed to set forth. We are also grateful to Mr. Webster for having had the moral courage to assert great truths in a community where they can win little applause, and to administer a well merited rebuke to certain dangerous ultraisms when and where it was not uncalled for. He has proved that he is not unworthy to be reckoned a freeman and a patriot, and he deserves and will receive the approbation of all who can distinguish between words and things, and prefer sound sense and solid wisdom to mad fanaticism and hollow cant. It is cheering to find our young men rising above the tendencies of the age and country, and manifesting some respect for the wisdom and virtue of their ancestors, and indicating that they have some suspicion that all that is wise and just was not born with the new generation and possibly may not die with it. It permits us to hope things may not have gone quite so badly with us as we had feared ; that the people are less unsound at the core than we had dared believe ; that, after all, there is a redeeming spirit at work among them ; and that our noble experiment in behalf of popular institutions may not be destined to a speedy failure.

Our great danger lies in the radical tendency which has become so wide, deep, and active in the American people. We have, to a great extent, ceased to regard any thing as sacred or venerable ; we spurn what is old ; war against what is fixed ; and labor to set all religious, domestic, and social institutions afloat on the wild and tumultuous sea of speculation and experiment. Nothing has hitherto gone right ; nothing has been achieved that is worth retaining ; and man and Providence have thus far done nothing but commit one continued series of blunders. All things are to be reconstructed ; the world is to be recast, and by our own wisdom and strength. We must borrow no light from the past, adopt none of its maxims, and take no data from its experience. Even language itself, which only embodies the thoughts, convictions, sentiments, hopes, affections, and aspirations of the race, cannot serve as a medium of intercourse between man and man. It is not safe to affirm that black is black, for the word black only names an idea which the past entertained, and most likely a false idea. With such a tendency, wide and deep, strong and active, we cannot but apprehend the most serious dangers. With it, there can be no permanent institutions, no government, no society, no virtue, no well-being.

There is much to strengthen this radical tendency. It is natural to the inexperienced, the conceited, and the vain ; and it can hardly fail to be powerful in a community where these have facilities for occupying prominent and commanding positions. Young enthusiasts, taught to " remember, when they are old, not to forget the dreams of their youth," that is, not to profit by experience, and not doubting that what they were ignorant of yesterday was known by no one, and that they must needs be as far in advance of all the world as they are of their own infancy, bring benevolent affection, disinterested zeal, and conscientiousness to its aid ; political aspirants, reckless of principle and greedy of place, appeal to it as their most facile means of success ; and the mass of the people, finding their passions flattered and their prejudices undisturbed, are thrown off their guard, presume all is right, and cherish unconsciously the enemy that is to destroy them. A factitious public opinion grows up, becomes supreme, to which whoever wishes for some consideration in the community in which he lives must offer incense, and which he must presume on no occasion to contradict. The majority of the people, indeed, may not be represented by this opinion, — may, it is true, not approve it; but they are isolated one from another, minding each their own affairs, and ignorant of their numbers and strength ; while the few, by their union, mutual acquaintance, concert, and clamor, are able to silence any single voice not raised in adulation of their idol. Political parties conspire to the same end. One party to-day, ambitious of success, courts this factitious public opinion as a useful auxiliary, and succeeds ; the other must do so to-morrow, or abandon all hopes of succeeding. Then follows a strife of parties, which shall bid highest, and outradical the other. The radical tendency is thus daily exaggerated by those who in reality disapprove it, and in their feelings have no sympathy with it. Hence, the evil goes ever from bad to worse. Unhappily, this is no fancy sketch. We have seen it, and we see it daily pass under our own eyes, and not, we confess, without lively alarm for our beloved country and her popular institutions.

It is, therefore, with more than ordinary pleasure that we see among our young men, in whose hands are the destinies of our country, whose views and passions and interests must be consulted by any party aspiring to power and place, some symptoms of an opposing tendency. Right glad are we that the young " sovereigns " show some signs of beginning to take sounder and more practical views, and to cherish a reaction against the ultraisms of the day. This oration, and some other indications, which have not escaped our notice, prove to us that there is a returning respect for the wisdom of experience, and that the reign of the Garrisons, the Parkers, the Sumners, the O'Sullivans, the Channings, the Abby Folsoms, et id omne genus, approaches its termination, and that henceforth practical sense and wise experience will at least dispute the throne with fanatic zeal, blind enthusiasm, and bloated conceit.

In preparing this oration, Mr. Webster must have been conscious that he was running athwart the views of many whom most of us have been accustomed to hold in high esteem, and that, in venturing to assert the lawfulness of war and the obligation of the citizen to obey the government, he would be attacking every class of fanatics in the land, and could not fail to incur the unmitigated wrath and hostility of the whole modern " Peace " party. Yet his courage did not fail him. He does not appear to have had any misgivings before even the awful shade of the late Noah Worcester, founder of the American Peace Society, and he has dared consult his relations as a man and a citizen, and to lay it down as his rule of action, that he is responsible, not to the self-created associations of the day, to the reigning cant of the time and place, but solely to his God and his country. For this, however much he may be condemned by fanatical reformers, we honor him, and for this every right-minded man will honor him ; for in this he has asserted his independence, and set an example worthy of imitation.
The main topic of this oration is the lawfulness of war, and the duty of the citizen to obey the government, — a topic at all times interesting and important, and especially so at this time, when we are actually engaged in a war with a neighbouring republic, the necessity of which is questioned by many of our citizens ; and when there is widely prevalent a notion that the citizen is under no moral obligation to obey the law, if it does not chance to coincide with his own private convictions of justice and expediency. We agree in the main with the view of this topic which the author takes, and gladly avail ourselves of the occasion to make some additional remarks of our own, which may tend to illustrate and confirm it, though the readers of the oration may, perhaps, consider them quite superfluous.

The war of 1812, declared by this country against Great Britain, as is well known, was exceedingly unpopular in the New England States, — not, indeed, in consequence of any especial partiality for Great Britain herself, nor because they were less patriotic than the other members of the confederacy, but because the chief" burdens of the war fell upon them, in the ruin it brought to their commerce and its dependent interests, then their principal interests. It is not for us to pronounce any opinion on the justice or expediency of that war ; but we cannot censure with extreme severity the New England people for being strongly opposed to it. Yet there can be no question, that, in the madness of the moment, the opposition was carried to wholly unjustifiable lengths, and, though we willingly acquit it of all treasonable intentions, it in reality stopped only this side of treason. Some weak-minded but well disposed New England ministers, incapable of taking comprehensive views and of seeking to remedy an evil by attacking it in its principle, seeing the danger to the union, to the stability of our institutions, occasioned by the opposition to the war, which they never thought of censuring or attempting to moderate, lamenting the very serious evils suffered by their friends and neighbours, and taking it for granted that the war was wholly unnecessary and unjust, made the grand discovery in moral theology that war is malum in se, is always unnecessary, and can never be lawful. They without much delay proceeded, more suo, to form an association against war, and to preach, lecture, and issue tracts in favor of universal peace. They appealed to the prejudices against the actual war, and to general philanthropy. New Englanders, especially Bostonians, are rarely insensible to the appeal to philanthropy. Since the softening down of some of the asperities of their primitive Puritanism, which took place in the latter half of the last century, they have been justly remarkable for their philanthropy, — no people in the world more so. Industrious, frugal, economical, they certainly are ; but mean, sordid, miserly, they are not, and are incapable of being. They are, in truth, open, frank, generous, and liberal, with a sort of passion for world reform, which is one of their foibles.    The unpopularity of the war of 1812, and the popularity of the appeal to philanthropy, gave to the peace movement a speedy and strong support, till peace became a sort of cant among us, and it was hazardous to one's reputation to intimate that war, terrible as may be its evils, is nevertheless sometimes just and necessary.

But the genuine Yankee is never satisfied with doing only one thing at a time.    He is really in his glory only when he has some dozen or more irons all in the fire at once.    The simple question of peace could by no means absorb 'his superabundant zeal and philanthropy, so he invented and set on foot antislavery and various other movements, all of which adopted the " peace principle " ; for the chief actors in one were, for the most part, prominent actors in all.    By means of agitation, froth and foam, declamation and rant, of conventions; agents, tracts, lectures, sermons, periodicals, a new code of morals has been gradually framed among us ; all that was once regarded as settled is now called in question ; what was approved by the generations which preceded us is now pronounced low, earthly, sensual, devilish ;   the fairest reputations are blackened ; our own patriots and heroes are calumniated, and even Washington himself has been publicly branded as an " inhuman butcher."    We are cast completely adrift.    There was no true morality in the world before these modern societies sprung from the womb of night, and we are required to look to a few canting ministers, strolling spinsters, and  beardless youths, as the sole authoritative expounders of the precepts of the divine law.     We are unable to determine what it is safe to eat or to drink, when to rise up or sit down, unless some of these self-constituted guides condescend to inform us.    Sin and death hover everywhere ; poison lurks in every thing, even in the bread made from the finest wheat, and the purest water from the fountain ; and there seems to be no possible means of living but to go naked and cease to eat or drink.    It is a wonder how the world has contrived, for six thousand years, to get on, how men and women have contrived to be born, to live, to grow, and to persuade themselves that they enjoy a tolerable share of health and vigor, both of mind and body.
The joke, in fact, becomes serious. Many of the rising generation are beginning to take it, not as a dull jest, but as downright earnest. It interferes quite too much with the social and domestic business of life, and, if continued much longer, will reduce the great mass of us to mere automata. It is, therefore, high time for what sober sense, for what decency,
there may have been left in the community to speak out, send these fanatics back to their native inanity, and let it be known, that, though for a time we have suffered ourselves to be made fools of, after all, we are not quite so stupid, so vain or conceited, as to imagine that nobody understood or practised the moral virtues till our modern associations burst from darkness to teach them ; that we really have not sunk so low as to lose all respect for our ancestors, all reverence for the awful past, over which has flowed the tide of human joy and human sorrow, and to be wholly unable to serve our own generation without: calumniating those which have placed us in the world and made us what, we are. He is a foolish as well as a wicked son who curses the mother that bore him. There has been, from the first, a Providence that has watched over and ruled in the affairs of men ; our distant forefathers had eyes, cars, hands, intellects, hearts, as well as we, and knew how to use them, and did use them, not always ineffectually. How, indeed, would the hoary Past, were it not that experience has made it wise and taught it to make allowances for the follies and pranks of youth, laugh at our solemn airs and grave decisions ! How should we hang our heads and blush, even to the tips of our ears, could we but for one moment see ourselves as it sees us ! u The son," says the proverb, " thinks his father a fool ; the father knoios his son to be one." The more we study what has been, the less disposed shall we be to exult in what is. Happily, we begin to discover some symptoms that there are those among us, who have, now and then, at least, a suspicion that change is not always progress, and that it is more creditable to be able to revere wisdom than to contemn it.

War, against which nearly all our modern fanatics declaim so much, and which in the new moral code is utterly prohibited, is, of course, not a thing to be sought for its own sake. Its necessity must always be lamented, as we must always lament that there are crimes to be redressed, or criminals to be punished, or diseases to be cured. But because we must always lament that there are offenders to be punished, it does not follow that to punish them is never necessary, or that their punishment is an evil, and morally wrong ; or because it is to be regretted that there are diseases, that we must treat the physician and his drugs as a nuisance. The father weeps that he has occasion to chastise his child, but knows that " to spare the rod is to spoil the child " ; nor does it necessarily follow, because war involves terrible evils, and is to be avoided whenever it can be without sacrificing the public weal, that it is in itself wrong, and may never be resorted to without violating the law of God. Its necessity is an evil, but, as a remedy, it may be just and beneficial. Disease is an evil, but not, therefore, the medicine that restores to health. War is a violent remedy for a violent disease, and as such may, when all other remedies prove or must prove ineffectual, be resorted to without sin. We, therefore, venture to maintain, in the very face of our modern fanatics, that war declare4 by the sovereign authority of the state, for a just cause, and prosecuted with right intentions, is not morally wrong, and may be engaged in with a safe conscience.

That war is not morally wrong, in itself, is evident from the fact, that Almighty God has himself, on several occasions, as in the case of the ancient Israelites, actually commanded or approved it. But God cannot command or approve what is morally wrong, without doing wrong himself; which is absurd and impious to suppose, it cannot be in itself morally wrong, unless prohibited by some law ; but there is no law which prohibits it. It is not prohibited by the law of nature. By the law of nature, the individual has the right to defend and avenge himself. .Justice not only forbids wrong to be done, but requires that the wrong done be avenged. In a slate of nature, where there is no established government, but each individual is left to his own sovereignty, each one has the right of defending and avenging himself in his own hands. If this be true of a private person, it must also be true of the state or nation ; for nations have precisely the same rights in relation to one another that individuals have. They, then, who admit no law but the law of nature, must concede that war is not prohibited.
Nor is war prohibited by the divine law. This all will readily grant to be true, so far as concerns the old law, which nowhere condemns war, and not unfrequently presents us God himself as commanding or approving it. It is also true, so far as concerns the new law, or Christian law. " If Christian discipline," says St. Augustine, " condemned all wars, the Gospel would have given this counsel of salvation to the soldiers who asked what they should do, that they should throw away their arms and withdraw themselves from the military service altogether. But it says to them, ' Do violence to no man, calumniate no one, and be content with your wages.' St. Luke  iii. 14.     Surely  it  does  not  prohibit  the  military
service to those whom it commands to be contented with its wages." *(footnote: * " Nam si Christiana disciplina omnia bella culparet, hoc potius militi-bus consilium salutis petcntibus in Evangelio diceretur, ut abjicerent arma, seque omnino inilitioe subtraherent. Dictum est autem eis, Ncmi-iicm coiicusscrilis, nulli calumniam f^ccritis ; sufficiat vobis stipendium ves-trum. Quibus proprium stipend'1'ti sufllcere debero prcocepit, militare utique non prohibuit."    Epist. A'., Ad Marcdlinum, c. 2.)

Our Lord, St. Matt. viii. 10, commends the faith of a centurion who had soldiers under his command, says he had not found so great faith in Israel, and yet does not order him to throw away his arms, or abandon the military service. Cornelius, Acts x. 2, "a centurion of the band which is called Italian," is commended as " a religious man, fearing God " ; and the blessed Apostle Paul, Heb. xi. 32-34, praises Ged-eon, Barac, Samson, and others, " who through faith subdued kingdoms, became valiant in war, put to flight the armies of foreigners." These considerations show that war is not prohibited by the Christian law. Then it is prohibited by no law, and therefore is not necessarily sinful, but may be just and expedient.
But it is objected, that there are certain passages in the New Testament which, if not expressly, yet by implication, evidently deny the lawfulness of war. 1. " All that take the sword shall perish by the sword." St. Matt. xxvi. 52. But to take the sword is to use the sword without the order or consent of the proper authority. He who only uses the sword by order or consent of the proper authority, that is, of the political sovereign, if he be a private person, or of God, if he be a public person or sovereign prince, does not take the sword, but simply uses the sword committed to him. Nor are we to understand that all who take the sword on incompetent authority will be literally slain, but that they will perish by their own sword, that is, be punished eternally for their sin, if they do not repent, (footnote: See St. Augustine, Contra Faxistum, lib. 22, c. 70, and St. Thomas, Summa, 2. 2, Q. 40, a. 1.)

2. " I say unto you, not to resist evil ; but if any man strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." St. Matt. v. 39. War is resistance of evil ; but this text forbids the resistance of evil ; therefore it forbids war. But the precept refers to the interior disposition, and commands that preparation of the heart which does not resist evil by rendering evil for evil, but endures patiently whatever wrongs or injuries are necessary for the honor of God and the salvation of men. Tt is not to be understood to the letter, for our Lord, who fulfilled it, when struck in his face, did not turn the other cheek, but defended himself by reasoning. It commands patience under wrongs and insults, and forbids us to seek to avenge ourselves on our own authority ; but it does not prohibit the redress of wrongs by the proper authorities ; because we know from the testimony of St. Paul that the magistrate is " the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Rom. xiii. 4. Wrongs, when redressed by the proper authority, may be redressed without any malignant feelings, and, indeed, with the most benevolent intentions towards the wrong-doer. Wrongs are not, in all cases, to go unavenged, otherwise God would not have appointed a ministry to avenge them, it is often the greatest of evils to suffer offences to go unpunished, and one of the most certain methods of preventing them is for the magistrate to let it be known and understood that they cannot be committed with impunity.*(footnote: * " Sunt ergo ista praeepta patientiie semper in cordis prasparationc reti-ncncla, ipsaquc benevolcntia, ne reddatur maluYri pro malo, semper in vo-luntatc complcnda est. Agenda sunt autem imilta, etiam cum invitis benigna quadam asperilato plectendis, quorum potius utilitati consulenda est quam voluntati Nam in oorripiendo tilio quamlibet aspere, nunquarn amor paternus amittitur. Fit tamen quod nolit et doleat, qui etiani vidotur dolore sanandus. Ac per hoc si terrena ista respublica praBcepta Christiana custodiat, et ipsa bella sine benevolentia non geren-tur, ul ad pietatis justiticeque pacatam societatem victis facilius consula-tur. Nam cui licentia iniquitaiis eripitur, utilitcr vincitur ; quoniam nihil est infelicius felicitate peccantium, qua pcrnalis nulritur impunitas, et mala voluntas volut liostis interior roboratur." S. Aug. ubi sup. et l)e Sena. Domini, lib. 1, c. 1'J, and also St. Thomas, ubi sup.)

3. " Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place to wrath ; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord." Rom. xii. 19. This, though relied on by the peace party, is not to the purpose, for it speaks of private revenge, which every body admits is condemned by the Christian law. It is of the same import with the text we have just dismissed. Ft simply commands patience under injuries, forbearance towards those who do us wrong, and forbids to seek redress of wrongs done us in a resentful spirit, or by our own hands or authority. But it does not necessarily imply that the public authority, which is the minister of God, may not redress them, or that the commonwealth may not repel or vindicate attacks upon  itself, whether they come from within or from without. To avenge wrongs is not in itself wrong, because it is said the Lord " will repay " ; nor is it wrong for the magistrate to avenge them, for " he is the minister of God, an avenger," as we have seen, " to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil " ; and it is wrong for the individual to do it only because in civil society his natural right to do so is taken away, and because it is made his duty to leave it to God or the minister he in his providence appoints.

4. " For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but powerful through God." 2 Cor. x. 4. But St. Paul is speaking, not of the sword which the magistrate bears, nor of that which the sovereign state, as the minister of God to execute wrath, may put into the hands of its servants, but of the weapons to be used in the conversion of infidels and sinners. These, indeed, are not carnal, but spiritual, and powerful through the virtue God confers on them. Carnal weapons are unlawful in the work of conversion, for conversion is not conversion unless voluntary. God says to the sinner, " Give me thy heart," that is, thy will ; and this carnal weapons can force no man to give. It can be subdued only by spiritual arms, rendered effectual through divine grace. But this says nothing against the lawfulness of repelling or avenging injustice, whether from subjects or foreigners, by the proper authorities. These several texts, then, make nothing against our general conclusion, that war is not, in all cases, prohibited by the Christian law.

But we are told, still further, that war is opposed to peace ; yet the Gospel is a Gospel of peace, commands peace, and pronounces a blessing on peacemakers. " Beati pacijici, quo-niam filii JJci vocabuntur." St. Matt. v. 9. War, undertaken for its own sake, looking to itself as the end, is opposed to peace, and unlawful, we grant ; but war, undertaken for the sake of obtaining a just and lasting peace, is not opposed to peace, but may be the only means possible of restoring and securing it. Peace is then willed, the intentions are peaceful, and war, as a necessity, becomes itself a peacemaker, and as such is lawful, and its prosecutors are not necessarily deprived of the blessing pronounced on peacemakers. Hence, St. Augustine says, — " Pacem habere debet voluntas, bellum neces~ situs, ut liberet Deus a necessitate, et conservet in pace. Non enim pax quwitur ut bellum excitetur, sed bellum geritur ut pax acquiratur.    Esto ergo etiam bellando pacificus, ut eos quos
expugnas, ad pads utilitatem vincendo perducas." *(footnote:  * Epist. 205, Ad Bonifucium Comitem )The peace is broken, not by the just war, but by the previous injustice which has rendered the war necessary. The war itself is, necessarily, no more repugnant to the virtue of peace than medicine is to health. The mission of our Saviour is not opposed to peace, because followed by certain evils of which he speaks, St. Matt. x. 34-36, and which were not the end for which he came into the world. The preaching of the Gospel is not inconsistent with the virtue of peace, because, through the depravity and wickedness of men, it often occasions discord, divisions, and even wars ; nor do they who faithfully preach it any the less " follow after the things which make for peace."

In asserting that war is not necessarily unlawful, we are far from pretending that all wars are just, or that war may ever be waged for slight and trivial offences. The nation is bound studiously to avoid it, to forbear till forbearance ceases to be a virtue, and appeal to arms only as the last resort, after all other appeals have failed, or it is morally certain that they must fail. But when its rights are seriously invaded, when the offender will not listen to reason, and continues his injustice, the nation may appeal to arms, and commit its cause to the God of battles. The responsibility of the appeal rests on the offender whose injustice has provoked it.

It may be said that war is unjustifiable, because, if all would practise justice, there could be no war. Undoubtedly, if all men and nations were wise and just, wars would cease. We might then, in very deed, " beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning-hooks," and learn war no more. We should, not in vision only, but in reality, possess universal peace. So, if all individuals understood and practised the moral and Christian virtues in their perfection, there would be no occasion for penal codes, and a police to enforce them. If no wrongs or outrages were committed, there would be none to be repressed or punished. If there were no diseases, there would be none to cure. If the world were quite another world than it is, it — would be. But so long as the world is what it is, so long as man fails to respect the rights of man, the penal code and police will be necessary ; so long as diseases obtain, the physician and his drugs, nauseous as they are, will be indispensable ; and so long as nation continues to encroach on nation, the aggrieved party will have the right and be compelled to defend and avenge itself by an appeal to arms, terrible os that appeal may be, and deplorable as may be the necessity which demands it.

The evils of war are great, but not the greatest. It is a greater evil to lose national freedom, to become the tributaries or the slaves of the foreigner, to see the sanctity of our homes invaded, our altars desecrated, and our wives and children made the prey of the ruthless oppressor. These are evils which do not die with us, but may descend upon our posterity through all coming generations. The man who will look tamely on and see altars and home defiled, all that is sacred and dear wrested from him, and his country stricken from the roll of nations, has as little reason to applaud himself for his morals as for his manhood. No doubt, philanthropy may weep over the wounded and the dying ; but it is no great evil to die. It is appointed unto all men to die, and, so far as the death itself is concerned, it matters not whether it comes a few months earlier or a few months later, on the battle-field or in our own bedchambers. The evil is not in dying, but in dying unprepared. If prepared, — and the soldier, fighting by command of his country in her cause, may be prepared, — it is of little consequence whether the death come in the shape of sabre-cut or leaden bullet, or in that of disease or old age. The tears of the sentimentalist are lost upon him who is conscious of his responsibilities, that he is commanded to place duty before death, and to weigh no danger against fidelity to his God and his country. Physical pain is not worth counting. Accumulate all that you can imagine, the Christian greets it with joy when it lies in the pathway of his duty. He who cannot take his life in his hand, and, pausing not for an instant before the accumulated tortures of years, rush in, at the call of duty, where " blows fall thickest, and blows fall heaviest," deserves rebuke for his moral weakness, rather than commendation for his "peaceable dispositions."

Wars, we have, been told, cost money; and we have among us men piquing themselves on their lofty spiritual views, accusing the age of being low and utilitarian, and setting themselves up as moral and religious reformers, who can sit calmly down and cast up in dollars and cents the expenses of war, and point to the amount as an unanswerable argument against its lawfulness. War unquestionably costs money, and so do food and clothing.     But the sums expended in war would, if applied to that purpose, found so many schools and universities, and educate so many children ! The amount expended for food and clothing would found a larger number of schools and universities, and educate a larger number of children. You should ask, not, Will it cost money ? but, Is it necessary, is it just ? Would you weigh gold in the balance with duty, justice, patriotism, heroism ? If so, slink back to your tribe, and never aspire to the dignity of being contemptible.

But having established that war may be necessary and just, the question comes up, What is the duty of the citizen or subject, when his government is actually engaged in war ? This is a question of some moment, especially at the present time, when there are so many among us who entertain very loose notions of allegiance, and hardly admit that loyalty is or can be a virtue. We may answer, in general terms, that, when a nation declares war, the war is a law of the land, and binds the subject to the same extent and for the same reason as any other law of the land. The whole question is simply a question of the obligation of the citizen to obey the law. So far as the subject is bound to obey the law, so far he is bound to render all the aid in prosecuting the war the government commands him to render, and in the form in which it commands it.
If the government leaves it optional with the citizen whether to take an active part in the war or not. he is unquestionably bound to remain passive, if he believes the war to be unjust. Consequently, no foreigner, owing no allegiance to the sovereign making the war, can volunteer his services, if he entertains any scruples about its justice. But the subject, though entertaining doubts about the justice of a given war in its incipient stages, believing his government too hasty in its proceedings, and not so forbearing as it might and should have been, yet after the war has been declared, after his country is involved in it, can retreat only by suffering grievous wrongs, and seeks now to advance only" for the purpose of securing a just and lasting peace, may, no doubt, even volunteer his active services, if he honestly believes them to be necessary ; for the war now has changed its original character, has ceased to be aggressive, and become defensive and just. In such a case, love of country, and the general duty of each citizen to defend his country, to preserve its freedom and independence, override the scruples he felt with regard to the war in its incipient stages,  and enable him  to take part in it with  a safe conscience. But, however this may be, it is clear, that, when the government has actually declared war, and actually commands the services of the subject, he is bound in conscience, whatever may be his private convictions of the justice of the war, to render them, on the ground that he is bound in conscience to obey the law. If he takes part in obedience to the command of the government, he takes part, even though his private conviction is against the war, with a good conscience ; because the motive from which he acts is not to prosecute a war he does not regard as just, but to obey his sovereign, which he is not at liberty not to do, and which he must do for conscience' sake.

The law binds in conscience, because all legitimate government exists by divine appointment, and has a divine right to make laws. For the same reason, then, that we are bound in conscience to obey God, we are bound in conscience to obey the law. The sovereignty resides in the nation, but is derived from God. Per me reges regnant, et legum conditores jusla decernunt. " By me kings reign and lawgivers decree just things." Prov. viii. 15. " Let every soul be subject to the higher powers ; for there is no power but from God ; and the powers that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisted] the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist purchase damnation to themselves." Rom. xiii. 1, 2. Since, then, the nation is sovereign by divine appointment, it follows necessarily, that, when the sovereign authority of the nation declares war, and commands the services of the subject, he is held, on his allegiance to God, who is the King of kings and Sovereign of sovereigns, to render them, and cannot refuse without purchasing damnation to himself.

The nation is not constituted sovereign by the assent of the individuals of which it is composed, for it must be a sovereign nation before individuals have or can have the right of assenting or dissenting. The error of Rousseau and of some of our own politicians is in assuming that the sovereignty, the authority to institute government, to make and execute laws, inheres primarily in the people distributively, as equal, independent individuals, and is subsequently possessed by the people collectively, as a political organism or person, by virtue of the assent of the people taken distributively. The motive for advocating this view is twofold : the first is, to make the basis of sovereignty purely human ; and the second, to take from actually existing governments all claims to inviolability, and thus establish a sort of legal right on the part of subjects to rebel against the constituted authorities, whenever they judge it to be expedient. The doctrine is the offspring of an age disposed to revolt from both God and the state, and can be regarded only with horror by the Christian and the patriot. The true doctrine is, that every nation, that is, every people taken collectively, as a moral unity, as a collective individual, is, by the fact that it is a nation, sovereign, and sovereign by the ordinance of God. Being thus invested by the divine will with (he political sovereignty, the nation acting in its sovereign capacity has, saving the divine law, the right to institute such forms of government, or to adopt such methods for the expression of its sovereign will, as it in its prudence judges best. It may institute a monarchy, an aristocracy, or a pure democracy ; it may combine these three forms, or any two of them, in any proportion and degree, and establish such mixed governments as it pleases ; or it may reject all these forms, and, as with us, establish representative government, to be carried on through the medium of popular election. Which is wisest and best is for each nation to decide for itself. In point of fact, we suppose all are best where they fit, and worst where they do not fit. But however individuals may speculate, and whatever preferences as simple individuals they may have, the nation acting in its sovereign capacity is the sovereign arbiter, and alone decides which shall be adopted, and having once decided, that form which it adopts is legitimate, exists by divine right, and its legitimate acts are laws, and bind in the interior as Avell as in the exterior court.

This is as true of the actual American governments as of any others. The American people were created by their colonial governments, established by legitimate authority, bodies corporate and politic subject to the crown of Great Britain. But the charters granted by the crown, creating the colonial governments, and reserving the allegiance of the colonies, expressed or necessarily implied reciprocal obligations. There was an express or implied contract between the crown and the colonies. When the crown, on its part, broke the contract, as we alleged it did, it forfeited its rights, and the colonies were ipso facto absolved from their allegiance, and necessarily became ipso facto free and independent states or nations, as Great Britain herself subsequently acknowledged them to be. As independent nations, they possessed by the ordinance of God, who makes every nation, in that it is a nation, sovereign, the right of self-government, and were free to devise and adopt such forms of government, not repugnant to the divine law, as they in the exercise of their sovereign wisdom judged to be most expedient. They, in the exercise of the right given them by Almighty God, established the representative form of government, under a federal head. This form of government, therefore, exists with us by divine right, is an ordinance of God. As such it is sovereign and inviolable ; as such it has from God authority to enact laws for the common good. Then, since we are all bound in conscience to obey God, we are bound to obey the government, and when it enacts war, just the same as when it enacts any thing else.

Ignorant, conceited, and unbelieving politicians, who would be free to rule, but not bound to obey, may affect to be startled, whenever there is speech of the divine right of government; but we really say nothing that militates in the least conceivable degree against popular sovereignty. Our real offence consists, not in denying the popular sovereignty, but in asserting for it a divine sanction. What, indeed, is it we say ? Simply, that the nation, that is, the people as a moral unity, or collective individual, as distinguished from the people taken distributive-ly, is sovereign by the ordinance of God ; from which it follows, that the people taken distributively owe allegiance to the nation, and are bound to obey all the sovereign enactments of the government, not merely because it is human government, but because it is human government governing by divine right. This abridges no right of the sovereign people, but confirms its rights by the highest of all possible sanctions. It leaves the nation free to adopt, if it chooses, a pure democracy, and commands us, even though individually disapproving that form of government, to obey it for conscience' sake. In a word, the doctrine we lay clown makes the nation — that is, the whole people taken collectively — sovereign and inviolable, and the form of government it adopts, legitimate and sacred, as the ordinance of God. It no doubt, therefore, stamps with the divine as well as, the national displeasure what by a strange perversion is termed sometimes " the sacred right of insurrection," and utterly condemns all attempts at rebellion or resistance to established government, in the legitimate exercise of its legitimate functions, as so many attacks on the inviolability of the nation, and therefore on the inviolability of God himself, who ordains that every nation, in that it is a nation, shall be sovereign and inviolable.    It can tolerate no efforts of any portion of the people to change by violence  any established form of government for the sake of establishing another form which  they may believe to be more for the common good. But it leaves individuals  perfectly free to labor through legal forms, in an orderly manner, for the amelioration of the laws and institutions of the country, and the nation itself, when acting in its sovereign  capacity, as we did at the epoch of what we call our Revolution, or as we do through the legal conventions of the people, to  change even the form of the government, and to  ordain such new methods for the expression of its sovereign will as it may believe to be most for the common good.*(footnote:   * See St. Th., Summa, 1. 2, Q. 97, a. 1, and St. Aug., De Libero Arbitrio, I., c. 6.)

  It leaves  the  people as the commonwealth and the people  as  individuals all   the   freedom  there  is  this   side of license, and  forbids nothing  that is compatible with national sovereignty and inviolability.    It can be objected to, then, by none who  are  not  prepared   to object to all government, all law, and all order.

The duty of obedience to law is precisely the same under a republican government as under any other form of government. For though the people make the law, yet it is not in the same sense as that in which they are held to obey it. They make the law in their collective sense, as a moral unity, or public person ; they are held to obey in their distributive capacity, as simple individuals, hi their quality of electors, acting through legal forms prescribed by sovereign authority, the people with us make the law, but it is only when so acting that they make it, have any voice in making it, or incur any responsibility, be the law what it may. As individuals acting in any other capacity, they are subjects, and in the same sense and to the same extent as they would be in case they enjoyed no elective franchise at all. The law is as imperative with us as it is under any other form of government, and can no more be resisted with a safe conscience than elsewhere.
This assumed, the individual in his quality of subject stands here in relation to the law precisely as he does in those countries where there is no elective franchise. He incurs, indeed, as elector, a responsibility for the law, and cannot be exempted from blame, if he have not clone all in his power to make the law just and useful; but when the proper authorities have enacted and promulgated the law, he in his quality of subject incurs no responsibility by obeying it, in consequence of his responsibility as an elector in making it. The act of making the law was not his individual act, and he is responsible for it, providing he acted with proper motives, only so far as he went to make up the collective unity that enacted it. But the act of obedience or of disobedience is purely his individual act, and is unaffected, as obedience or disobedience, by any act of his performed in another capacity, in which he acts not as an individual, but as a part of a whole. Suppose, then, I look upon the war declared by my government as unjust or uncalled for. This may be a good reason why I should exert myself in my quality of elector to get the law declaring it repealed, but it leaves me in my quality of subject precisely where I should be in case I had no elective franchise. I am just as much bound to obey the law declaring the war, and incur no more blame for aiding in prosecuting it. The citizen, when he believes a law unjust, is doubtless bound as an elector to seek its repeal ; but till repealed, he is as much bound to obey as he would be if he were no elector, and only a simple subject; and being so bound, incurs no blame in obeying it, that he would not then also incur.

But is there no limit to this obedience to law ? Have I not the right to judge the acts of authority, and decide for myself whether they are such as I ought or ought not to obey ? That is, Does or does not the law depend on the assent of the governed for its validity ? It is a sort of maxim with us Americans, that no man can be justly held to obey a law to which he has not assented. This, taken absolutely, is not admissible. The sovereign authority resides in the people as a whole, taken collectively, not in the people distributively, and is derived not from the people as individuals, as Rousseau dreamed, but from God, as we have before proved from the Holy Scriptures. Moreover, to make the law depend on the assent of the governed, that is, on the assent of the subject, is to deny that the law is law, that the subject is a subject, and to assert that one is bound by no law, but free to do as he pleases. There can be no legitimate government unless it have the right to govern, and there can be no right to govern where there is not a correlative obligation to obey. If the law cannot bind the subject till he gives his assent, and he is free to give or withhold his assent, he is, and can be, under no obligation to obey unless he chooses, and then there is no right on the part of the government to enforce obedience ; then no right to govern ; and then no government. To make the law depend for its validity on the assent of the governed is, then, the denial of all government. But government exists by divine right. It has from God the right to command. Then it is not under the necessity of entreating or requesting the subject to be so complacent as to obey. The law, then, is complete, the moment it is enacted and promulgated by the proper authority. If the law is then complete, the subject has no assent to give or withhold, no judgment to form, no decision to take, but that to obey.

Nevertheless, there is a sense, in this country, and perhaps in all countries, in which it is true that the assent of the governed is essential to the validity of the law ; but this is the assent they give in their quality of electors, through the medium of their representatives in enacting the law, not an assent which they give as subjects to the law after it is enacted and promulgated. The distinction is obvious and important. It is only in our quality of electors, through the medium of our representatives, that we have any legislative authority, any assent, to give or to withhold. But in this quality we have already assented to the law, otherwise it could not have been enacted, since there is no power with us but the people in this quality and through this medium that does or can make the law. Having thus assented, nay, enacted the law, we have no more assent to give, and it would be absurd to seek, after this, the assent of the people in their capacity of simple individuals, in which they are simply subjects, and have no legislative voice whatever. Having spoken once in our legislative capacity, as electors, through our representatives, we must obey, till, by speaking again in the same capacity and through the same medium, we repeal the law. That is, when the people have made the law, they must obey it, till they, through the forms through which they made it, repeal it.

But laws may undoubtedly be unjust. Am I bound to obey unjust laws ? We will let St. Thomas answer this question for us. " Laws imposed by human authority may be either just or unjust. If they are indeed just, they bind in conscience, by the eternal law from which they are derived, according to Prov. viii. 15, — ' Per me reges regnant, et legum condi-tores justa deccrnunt.' They are just when they ordain what is for the common good, when enacted by an authority which does not exceed its powers, and when they distribute in equal proportions the burdens they impose upon the subjects for the common good. For, since each man is a part of the multitude, every man belongs to the multitude in that which he is and in that which he has, in like manner as the part belongs in what it is to the whole, and hence nature allows a certain detriment to the part that the whole may be saved. Consequently, laws of this kind, which proportion equally the burdens imposed, are just, bind in conscience, and are legal laws. But laws may be unjust in two senses. 1. By contrariety to human good, in the respects just mentioned. They are unjust, when a prince imposes burdens on his subjects, not for the common good, but rather for his own glory or cupidity, when they exceed the commission or the authority which ordains them, and when the burdens they impose, even though for the common good, are not equally proportioned. Such acts are violences rather than laws, as St. Augustine says, De Lib. Jlrb.^ I., c. 5, —' Lex esse non videtur, qua justa non fuerit.' Laws of this kind tlo not bind in conscience, unless, perchance, for the avoiding of scandal or disorder, for which a man must forego his own rights, according to St. Matt. v. 40, 41, — ' Qui angariaverit te mille passus, vade cum eo alia duo ; et qui ab-stulerit tibi tunicam, da ei et pallium.' 2. Laws may be unjust by contrariety to divine good, as the edicts of tyrants commanding idolatry or other things forbidden by the divine law. Such laws are to be observed in no sense whatever, since, Acts iv., it is necessary to obey God rather than men." *(footnote: Summa, 1. 2, Que8. 06, a. 4.)

The principle is, that all just laws bind in conscience ; but, with regard to unjust laws, we must distinguish between those which are unjust because they ordain what is repugnant to human good, and those which are unjust because they ordain what is repugnant to the divine law. The latter do not bind, but we aro bound in conscience to refuse to obey them at all hazards ; the former, when they only require us to suffer wrong, — and if they go farther and command us to do wrong, they are identical with the latter, — we may obey, and are bound to obey, when our disobedience would cause scandal or breed disturbance in the state.

But who is to determine whether the laws are just or unjust ? Not absolutely in all cases the state, for that would make the distinction between just and unjust laws nugatory, since the state, in enacting a law, decides that it is just ; not the individual, for that would make the law depend on the assent of the subject for its legality, which we have seen is not the fact, and cannot be the fact, if we are to have government at all. There is here, to many minds, no doubt, a serious difficulty ; but, without considering it in a light which would involve a controversy foreign to our present purpose, we may answer the question by laying down the principle, that authority is always presumptively in the right, and the law primo. facie evidence of justice. The onus prohandi rests on the shoulders of the subject, who must prove the law to be unjust, before he can have the right to refuse it obedience. For this his own private judgment or conviction can never suffice. If he can allege nothing against the law but his own individual persuasion of its injustice, he is bound, by his general obligation to obey the laws, to obey it. No one, then, can ever be justified in disobeying on his own private authority. He must sustain his refusal to obey by an authority higher than his own, higher than that of the state, or else he will be guilty of resisting the ordinance of God, and, therefore, purchase damnation to himself. Hence, where there is no infallible authority to decide, the subject must always presume the law to be just, unless it manifestly and undeniably ordains what is wrong in itself, and prohibited by the law of God.

This rule may strike some as too stringent, but, if examined closely, it will be found to allow all the liberty to the subject compatible with the existence of government. If, for instance, the government should command me to lie, to steal, to rob, to bear false witness, or any thing else manifestly against the law of nature or the law of God, I should hold myself bound to disobey, and to take the consequences of my disobedience. So, also, if my government should declare war against an unoffending state, for the purpose of stripping it of its territory, destroying its independence, and reducing its people to slavery, or for the purpose of overthrowing the Christian religion and substituting a false religion, and should command me to aid it in its nefarious designs, I should hold myself bound in .conscience to refuse at all hazards ; for such a war would be manifestly and palpably unjust, not in my judgment only, but in that of all sound-minded men. Such a case would be clear, and duty would be so plain that no question could arise. But in a case less clear and manifest, in a case where there was room for doubt, for an honest difference of opinion, I should hold myself bound to obey the orders of the government, for conscience' sake, leaving the responsibility with it, sure of incurring no blame myself.

In conclusion, we say, that, though we have defended the lawfulness of war, when declared by the sovereign authority, for «i just cause, and prosecuted with right intentions, we have no sympathy with that restless and ambitious spirit that craves war for the sake of excitement or glory. Only a stern necessity can ever justify the resort to arms, and that necessity does not in reality often exist. In most cases, the war, with a little prudence, a little forbearance, a little use of reason, might be avoided ; and a terrible responsibility rests upon rulers when they unnecessarily plunge two nations in the horrors of war. Yet it belongs to the sovereign authority to judge of the necessity of the war, no less than to declare it ; and when not manifestly and undeniably for that which is wrong in itself, the subject is bound to obey, and give his life, if need be, for his country. But the subject can, with a good conscience, fight only under the national banner. He can never justly fight under the blood-red flag of the factionist or of the revolutionist. The loyal subject hears no call to the battle-field but that of his sovereign. This sovereign he hears, by him he stands, for him he is ready to fight against any enemies, from within or from without. But there he stops. He can join with no faction, with no party, against the legitimate authorities of his country. No dreams of free institutions, of popular government, of an earthly paradise, can make him raise the parricidal hand, and seek by violence to overthrow legitimate government, and introduce a new political order. No, dearly as we love liberal institutions, and as ready as we are to spill our heart's blood in their defence where they are the legal order, we would rush to the side of authority, and spill the same blood against them, if there were an attempt by violence to introduce them. True freedom is only where the law is supreme, and the law is supreme only where the people reverence it, and feel themselves bound by their duty to God to obey it.

We are not unaware that we have, in the latter part of this article, given utterance to views not precisely in harmony with those commonly set forth by the American newspaper press ; yet we are sure that we have only uttered the sentiments of the sound portion of the American people. At bottom the American people are loyal, and, though of late perverted and carried away by a senseless clamor about liberty, and democracy, and the rights of the individual, they have naturally a deep reverence for law, and the disposition to obey it when it is against them as well as when it is in their favor.    The cloud which
has been gathering and rolling its dark and massy folds over us, we trust, will yet break and disperse, and permit us to joy as we behold once more the clear blue sky. The strong current of good sense which belongs to our national character will succeed, we trust, in carrying away the froth and foam which have collected on its surface, here and there in the eddies, and leave the waters clear and limpid as our fathers wished them. For the last twenty years we have been indulging in speculations foreign to our national character, and have lost sight of the real nature of our institutions. The fathers, one after one, disappeared, and left us to a new generation, ardent, ignorant, conceited, and headstrong, full of sound and fury, who hurried us on nearly to the edge of the precipice. But this, new generation is now older than it was, has profited somewhat by. experience, and what remains of it becomes more sober, and seeks to repair the mischief it has done ; and, after a few more rash experiments and failures, we trust, under a favoring Providence, we shall be able to exhibit an example of a loyal people, free because loyal, and prosperous because free. If we have spoken severely, it has not been in bitterness nor in despair.

Of the actual war in which we are engaged with Mexico we have purposely refrained from expressing any opinion. We will now only add, that, whatever may be our own private convictions of the justice or expediency of that war, or of the wisdom or energy displayed by the War Department in its prosecution, it does not come within the category of those wars which are manifestly repugnant to the law of God. Ostensibly, at least, it is undertaken for a justifiable cause, and prosecuted only for the sake of a just and lasting peace. We may wish for the speedy return of peace, but we are bound to render the government, in carrying on the war, all the services it commands ; and no citizen can refuse to do so, without failing in his obedience to law, and his duty to his country. Yet we may be permitted to express the hope, that our government, in adjusting the terms of peace, will remember the distracted state and weakness of Mexico, and show its moderation. It may, undoubtedly, demand indemnification for wrongs received and for expenses incurred, but let it be generous, forbearing. We have territory enough, and it is more for our interest as a nation to sustain Mexico in her independence and nationality than to absorb her, if we could, in the Union.

However this may be, let us never forget that there is a Sovereign Arbiter of nations, as of individuals, and that wars are never accidents, never take place but by divine permission, and unless He who rules over all has some purpose of mercy or of vengeance to accomplish by them. Nations are but his instruments, and he uses them as he pleases. Nations may sin, as well as individuals ; and when they do, he punishes them here, for they have no hereafter. Mexico has offended God. She rebelled against her king, and, without any cause of complaint, from a mere love of change and novelty, threw off her legitimate sovereign. She has oppressed the pastors whom the Holy Ghost had placed over her to rule her, and to feed her with the bread of life ; she has forgotten her ancient faith, neglected her religion, and sought greatness and glory in infidelity and licentiousness, and Almighty God is angry with her, and uses us as his instruments for her chastisement, that he may one day remember her in mercy. Let us beware. Let us not boast, and say, u Mine own arm has gotten me the victory." He knows well how to humble us, and when he has accomplished his purpose with us, when the cup of our iniquity is full, he will visit us with a sevenfold vengeance. It is no proof that he is satisfied with us, that he has thus far given success to our arms. In the hour of success is the time to humble ourselves, to remember non nobis, and to pray that we may have the grace to return to God, and to avert his displeasure. Alas ! we, too, have forgotten God, and put our trust in ourselves, in our own stout hearts and strong right arms. We have prospered beyond all example, and we have ascribed our prosperity to ourselves, and forgotten to remember whose it is to give or withhold. For this wonderful prosperity of ours, we shall one clay, as a nation, be called to render a strict account. May that be a day, not of vengeance, but of approbation and reward !