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PEACE SOCIETY.

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PEACE SOCIETY. The thirty-third anniversary of this society was held at Fins- bury Chapel, on Tuesday evening, the 22nd ultimo, and, as on former occasions, was extremely well attended a large portion of the audience consisting of members of the Society of Friends. It is much to be regretted, that there is not more attention paid to the arrangement of the platform than is usually done at this chapel, where so many annual meetings are held. Charles HINDLEY, Esq., M.P., took the chair. The Rev. H. RICHARDS read the report, which commenced by alluding to the continental convulsions of the past year, but stated, that during no period had the principles of peace made greater pi-ogress. Attempts had been made in four great National Assem- blies to introduce measures for, settling disputes by other means han war, namely: in Germany, France, America, and England. Her Majesty's Government had been memorialised on the subject of arming the police. It was unknown whether that memorial had produced any effect, but it was a fact that very shortly afterwards the police were disarmed. Mr. Stokes had visited various parts of the country to advocate the principles of the society, and had been well received. Lectures had been delivered on the sinfulness of war in London and its neighbourhood, and were well attended. Reference was then made to the Congress held at Brussels, and the hospitality with which the delegates were received. The spirit displayed was worthy of the cause and the occasion. With a view to promote international treaties of arbitration public meetings had been held in many of the principal towns of England, and Scotland, and North Wales. Between 80J and 903 petitions had been presented in its favour to Parliament. Preliminary measures had been adopted for holding a Peace Congress at Paris, in August next. M. La- martine had given his unqualified adhesion to it. The society, during the past year, had been deprived, by death, of two of its warmest friends—Dr. Hancock and Mr. David Anderson, of Driffield. In reference to recent events in India, the report stated, that the whole character of our policy in that country, founded on the horrors of the sword, and aiming at boundless territorial aggran- disement, was such as must inevitably lead to the periodical and perpetual occurrence of such events,—events which could not cease till the public voice of this country compelled its rulers, in the exercise of their authority in India, to assume an attitude more befittin»' a Christian nation. After stating that many valuable auxiliaries had been formed, the report concluded by alleging, that no circumstances could arise to alter the force of the unchange- able truth, that it was the duty of Christians, at all times, to resist and condemn war in ail its forms. From the treasurer's accounts it appeared that the total receipts of the society during the past year had been £1,442 6s. 9d. the expenditure, as we (i:i(terstood, -PI,261 14s. llid.; leaving a valance in hand of ZSO lis, Ð;j-d. The meeting was addressed by the Rev. Mr. STOTI-IART, a cler- gyman of the Church of England, and by Giacomo MANZONI, an Italian. Geo. THOMPSON", Esq., M P., rose amidst loud applause to move the second resolution. Amongst other means adopted to check war throughout the world, so far as England participated in it, they must do what they could to create a representative assembly, in which the war spirit did not predominate to the extent which it did in the present llou-e oi Commons. I he resolution directed atten- tion to India, and to a campaign brought to an end, he trusted, which had recently been undertaken there. He did not hesitate to say, that it was as causeless as any into which England had ever entered. Little more than ten years ago Cndia was universally tranquil. She had then a wise and beneficent Governor-General, who desired rather to promote the arts of civilisation, and the cause of social improvement, than to lead armies to the battle- field, and add fresh territory to our overgrown dominion in that part'of the world. On retiring from the government he left an overflowing treasury and a constantly increasing revenue. Since that time, however, there had been slain in the field by armies, mustered by the British on the one hand, and by natives on the other, 120,000 human beings; there had been spent from fifty to fifty-five millions sterling, while the Exchequer was bankrupt, the excess of the expenditure over the income derived from all sources being S,2,500,000 per annum. All public works had been stopped, all improvements were stagnant, and all educational schemes, save those which derived their vitality and supplies from this country, neglected. Scarcely anything had been heard of during the last ten years, except war, and the wholesale destruction of the children of the soil. But the resolution referred particularly to the campaign in the Punjaub, and to acts which had tarnished the victories gained in that part of the world. He would endear our to convey some idea of the origin of that campaign. Had war come within the last lifty years to their own altars and their own hearths, they would have abhorred and execrated it, both in the miseries brought upon themselves and felt by others at the ends of the world. He had asked hundreds of persons, within the last few manths, if they knew why England was at war with the Sikhs in the Punjaub, but none were able to state the origin of it. Yet they had passed a vote of thanks to the army decorations had been bestowed, and peerages and pensions would follow. Men would shortly be on their w. v fume who would be caressed on their arrival,—be regarded as heroes,—and theta was scarcely a domestic circle in the land that would not be open to them yet if a North American Indian were to present himself at the door with an eagle's feather above his head, and the scalps of half-a-dozen men, whom he had slain in the field, at his girdle, they would re- gard him with horror. The same might be said of the savage of Borneo, or the untutored African. But where was the difference ? Did a fashionably-cut coat, a star glittering on the breast, a plumy helmet on the head, or two letters taken from the alphabet added t,) a man's patronymic, make a difference between an English and a North American Indian warrior? The wars of 1845 and 18,16 made England paramount in the Punjaub, the most distant part of India. Having taken all that belonged to the Sikhs on the left bank of the Sutlej, and extracted from them £ 2,500,000 sterling, as an indemnity for the war, an agent was left, in the person of Sir E. Lawrence, to manage the affairs on behalf of an infant Rajah. The Governor of Mooltan, Moolraj, was a man singular for his at- tachment to the British, and Sir E. Lawrence had great confidence in him. Sir Ed-.vard was obliged to leave in consequence of ill- health, and he was succeeded by a civilian from Bengal, Sir F. Currey. He had scarcely arrived, when Moolraj tendered his re- signation, wh:ch Sir F. Currey was obliged to accept. He deputed two voung men to go from Lahore to Moultan to succeed him, and they: were accompanied by 500 men. The young men were l'e- cco, ceived with the utmost respect by the IVinces they were assigned a small fort outside the town as their residence, and were told, that, on the following day, the Government would be transferred to them according to the usual ceremonies. A fray then took place be- tween the troops of Moottan and the sir.ail body that attended those young men. The first thing they did was to disband 1,500 cavalry who had been in the service of Moolraj. That order was likely to be attended with very serious consequences, and the men were incensed at it. On the next day, one of the you ig men was attacked by two of the exasperated Sikhs, and was conveyed to the fort almost lifeless. The 5 J ) men pUt the fort into a state of defence, expecting to be attacked expresses were sent for assist- ance, but, before it arrived, the fort had been attacked, and the un- fortunate Enghshmen slaughtered. It was nolV universally con- fessed, that Moolraj was innocent of any participation in their deaths. The moment he heard that the English had been slain, He demanded their b uhes, covered them with siik cloth, and gave them interment according to the forms of their own religion. He then sent an ambassador to Lahore lamenting the catastrophe which had taken place; but the ambassador was imprisoned, and the letter of Moo'lraj returned to him unopened. It was deter- mined t.) defer operations at Mo'il an until the cold season arrived, but on til(I Iof Ju te a glorious battle, as it was called, was fotuht by Lieutenant Edwardes. Moolraj sent his own brother-in-law to Lieutenant Edwardes offering to give up the citv on th; condition that his life should be spared. The am- bassador was assaulted before he came into the presence of Lieut. Edwardes he was kept until his wounds were healed, and then he was handed like a felon. The honourable member then read a letter from Moolraj to General WhUh, dated the 18th November, IS48, which was written, he said, before a drop of blood was shed, and in wltic.[¡ a. strong desire was expressed by Moolraj to be upon friendly tenin with the English. That letter did not suit the ob- ject of those engaged in the war; they demanded unconditional surrender..Moolraj retired mto the chadel, but when he found his men were frilling he surrendered unconditionally, with a view f)f saving their live?.. The Yrttivl of I/uli i, a paper edited by ll., Marshal i i, son of the late Dr. Marslitn-in, stated that Mooliaj of- fered to surrender five or six times, 01 condition that he should not be hung like a dog. He ( Nlr. Thompson) would leave the meensg to determine whether the conduce, displayed by the Bri- tish was in accordance with those Christian principles which had been so ably defended on that platform. Had the offer of Moolraj been accepted, there wouid have been no necessity for tiie siegeta.»ing place. Afrk Thompson then read a harrowing statement of the taking of the citadel of Mooltan, from the pen of Mr..Marshmnr, and w.ertt on to.observe, that it was very difficult to obtain .correct ncenunts-fromdhe scenes of conflict. The tale of the Sikhs, the Aff-dians, the Aifteers of Seinde, the people of Mahratta, and the Ohfnese, had nerer been told in this country. There was not on the Held of battle one disinterested witness. They were nil Com- pany's servants, and were naturally anxious to magnify the intre- pidity of the enemy in order to exalt their own superior prowess. Now and then, however, a subaltern wrote a letter to a friend, in which the facts of the case were stated. Mr. Thompson then read a letter of that character from the Times, which described, with the utmost levity, the cruelties inflicted by the British upon the Sikhs. The former entered a village in which there were 3,000 of the latter, who immediately endeavoured to escape, but from the narrowness of the streets were unable to effect it, and the writer stated that the English had nothing to do but to shoot them like dogs. Every wounded Sikh that was taken was either shot or C, pierced with a bayonet. Mr. Elihu BURRITT said he would glance at some of the objec- tions advanced, not only against the objects of this Society, but its very existence. If there were one sentiment more than ano- ther common to Christians of all denominations and all countries, it was the sentiment inspired by the conviction, that the principles of Christianity alone could exterminate from the earth war, slavery, personal violence, and wrong. There were millions of truly pious devoted persons, who believed that the simple preaching of the Gospel must and would do that great work, and thousands felt that it was almost irreverent to associate with the principles of the Christian religion any considerations founded upon mere hu- manity, economy, or commercial expediency. They sometimes asked why Christians associated in Peace, Anti-Slavery, and Tem- perance Societies P Had not the nrst and foremost, the indefati- gable and unwavering advocates of those enterprises of philan- thropy been members of a Christian Church —praying, godly men and women? Certainly. Why should they come out of her, to a certain extent, to concentrate their activities in Associations into which unbelievers were admitted ? Those Societies gave Chris- tianity7 a finger, and pointed the everlasting prohibitions of the Gospel straight into the face and eyes of systems that had defiled Christianity and trampled humanity in the dust. They gave it such a finger as John the Baptist pointed at Herod and his sin, when he said, in the midst of his parasites, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. He had braved the violated commandment, but he quailed before its pungent application. Had John contented himself with the mere abstraction of the law, Herod might have parried it off, and John might have re- tained his head until he died a natural death. But John gave the Commandment a linger, which nailed the culprit to the crime. The Peace Society was only the finger of Christianity pointed against a monstrous iniquity that out-lleroded all human crime- a linger which aimed at the conscience of every human being the piercing point of the commandment, it is not lawful for thee to kill thy brolher on the battle-field. It is not lawful for thee to shorten the probation of the human soul, and to peril all the pre- cious possibilities of its immortality for any evanescent considera- tions of time and sense." The Anti-Slavery Society was only another finger of Christianity, pointing the Gospel of Jesus Christ against the slaveholder of every country and every clime. To him it said, with all the emphasis of John's declaration," It is not lawful for thee to have and to hold thy brother in bondage." But were lho,e and similar lingers of Christianity superfluous and unnecessary for the welfare of mankind and the honour and vita- lity of the Christian religion? He wouU ask that religious as- sembly if Christian men and women had not waited long enough to see whether the preaching of the Gospel alone would abolish systems of sin which it never mentioned by name? Had not the most godly divines preached the Gospel prior to the battle of Waterloo? African shivery had gone on for a century, accumu- lating new horrors and atrocities in the face of hearing what was called the simple preaching of the Gospel. Was it, then, too early for members of the Christian Church to associate themselves in Anti-Slavery Societies, in order to raise an antagonism against a system which had proved itself the sum of all vileness P If there were a town in the United Siates which might be regarded as the capital and citadel of American slavery, it was Charlestown and yet, perhaps, in no town in the Southern States was there a greater provision for the simple preaching of the Gospel than in that me- tropolis. There the doctrines of the Gospel had been generalised, from century to century, without touching the conscience of the slaveholder. What did the administration of the Gospel need to help it to break every yoke? It wanted the finger of unsparing honesty to point the lightning of Sinai at the slaveholder, and tell him that he should gladly let the people go free. The time had come when philanthropists should not be pressed for apologies for associating themselves with Peace, Anti-Slavery, and Temperance Societies. The remaining speakers were L. IIEYWORTII, M.P., J. S. BUCKINGHAM, and Dr. BURNS. After a vote of thanks to the chairman, the meeting separated.

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