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fume of antiquity, a sound philosophy, a knowledge of the world, completely foreign to the theologians “ of the old leaven," as Cochlæus himself terms them. Accordingly, when those youthful defenders of the Reformation met the Romish doctors in any assembly, they attacked them with such ease and confidence, that these ignorant men hesitated, became embarrassed, and fell into a contempt merited in the
eyes of all.
The ancient edifice was crumbling under the load of superstition and ignorance; the new one was rising on the foundations of faith and learning. New elements entered deep into the lives of the people. Torpor and dulness were in all parts succeeded by a spirit of inquiry and a thirst for instruction. An active, enlightened, and living faith took the place of superstitious devotion and ascetic meditations. Works of piety succeeded bigoted observances and penances.
The pulpit prevailed over the ceremonies of the altar; and the ancient and sovereign authority of God's Word was at length restored in the Church.
The printing-press, that powerful machine discovered in the fifteenth century, came to the support of all these exertions, and its terrible missiles were continually battering the walls of the enemy.
The impulse which the Reformation gave to public literature in Germany was immense. Whilst, in the year 1513, only thirty-five publications had appeared, and thirty-seven in 1517, the number of books increased with astonishing rapidity after the appearance of Luther's Thesis. In 1518, we find seventy-one different works ; in 1519, one hundred and eleven; in 1520, two hundred and eight; in 1521, two hundred and eleven; in 1522, three hundred and fortyseven; and in 1523, four hundred and ninety-eight And where were all these published ? For the most part at Wittemberg. And who were their authors ? Generally Luther and his friends. In 1522, one hundred and thirty of the Reformer's writings were published; and, in the year following, one hundred and eighty-three. In this same year only twenty Roman Catholic publications appeared. The literature of Germany thus saw the light in the midst of struggles, contemporaneously with her religion. Already it appeared, as later times have seen it, learned, profound, full of boldness and activity. The national spirit showed itself for the first time without alloy, and, at
the very moment of its birth, received the baptism of fire, from Christian enthusiasm.
What Luther and his friends composed, others circulated. Monks, convinced of the unlawfulness of monastic obligations, and desirous of exchanging a long life of slothfulness for one of active exertion, but too ignorant to proclaim the Word of God, travelled through the provinces, visiting hamlets and cottages, where they sold the books of Luther and his friends. Germany soon swarmed with these bold colporteurs. Printers and booksellers eagerly welcomed every writing in defence of the Reformation, but they rejected the books of the opposite party, as generally full of ignorance and barbarism. If any one of them ventured to sell a book in favour of the papacy, and offered it for sale in the fairs at Frankfort or elsewhere, merchants, purchasers, and men of letters overwhelmed him with ridicule and sarcasm. It was in vain that the emperor and princes had published severe edicts against the writings of the Reformers. As soon as an inquisitorial visit was to be paid, the dealers, who had received secret intimation, concealed the books that it was intended to proscribe; and the multitude, ever eager for what is prohibited, immediately bought them up, and read them with the greatest avidity. It was not only in Germany that such scenes were passing; Luther's writings were translated into French, Spanish, English, and Italian, and circulated amongst these nations.
260.-Reflections on war.
ROBERT HALL. War may be considered in two views, as it affects the happiness, and as it affects the virtue of mankind; as a source of misery, and as a source of crimes.
Though we must all die, as the woman of Tekoa said, and are as water spilt upon the ground which cannot be gathered up, yet it is impossible for a humane mind to contemplate the rapid extinction of innumerable lives without concern. To perish in a moment, to be hurried instantaneously, without preparation and without warning, into the presence of the Supreme Judge, has something in it inexpressibly awful and affecting. Since the commencement of these hostilities which are now so happily closed, it may be reasonably conjectured that not less than half a million of our fellow creatures have fallen a sacrifice. Half a million of beings, sharers of the same nature, warmed with the same hopes, and as fondly attached to life as ourselves, have been prematurely swept into the grave; each of whose deaths has pierced the heart of a wife, a parent, a brother, or a sister. How many of these scenes of complicated distress have occurred since the commencement of hostilities is known only to Omniscience: that they are innumerable cannot admit of a doubt. In some parts of Europe, perhaps, there is scarcely a family exempt.
Though the whole race of man is doomed to dissolution, and we are all hastening to our long home; yet, at each successive moment, life and death seem to divide betwixt them the dominion of mankind, and life to have the largest share. It is otherwise in war: death reigns there without a rival, and without control. War is the work, the element, or rather the sport and triumph, of death, who glories, not only in the extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other forms which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the best can live but a short time, are usually the victims; here it is the vigorous and the strong. It is remarked by an ancient historian, that in peace children bury their parents, in war parents bury their children: nor is the difference small. Children lament their parents, sincerely indeed, but with that moderate and tranquil sorrow, which it is natural for those to feel who are conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating prospects. Parents mourn for their children with the bitterness of despair; the aged parent, the widowed mother, loses, when she is deprived of her children, every thing but the capacity of suffering; her heart, withered and desolate, admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
But to confine our attention to the number of the slain would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may be considered, apart from religious prospects, as comparatively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger or an enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment: every other emotion gives way to pity and terror. In these last extremities, we remember nothing but the respect and tenderness due to our common nature. What a scene, then, must a field of battle present, where thousands are left without assistance, and without pity, with their wounds exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, amidst the trampling of horses, and the insults of an enraged foe! If they are spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the field, it is but a prolongation of torment. Conveyed in uneasy vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads almost impassable, they are lodged in ill-prepared receptacles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of distress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders it impossible to give to each tủe attention he demands. Far from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister, is near to soothe their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their eyes in death. Unhappy man! and must you be swept into the grave unnoticed and unnumbered, and no friendly tear be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust?
We must remember, however, that as a very small proportion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is a very small part of its miseries which must be ascribed to this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity than by the edge of the sword; confined to a scanty or unwholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with tiresome marches and perpetual alarms, their life is a continual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow familiar with hunger, cold, and watchfulness. Crowded into hospitals and prisons, contagion spreads among their ranks, till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy.
We have hitherto only adverted to the sufferings of those who are engaged in the profession of arms, without taking into our account the situation of the countries which are the scene of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every thing at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a boon dependent on the sword. How boundless the fears which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life and
death are determined by no known laws, principles, or customs, and no conception can be formed of our destiny except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the caprices of power.
Conceive, but for a moment, the consternation which the approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful villages in this neighbourhood. When you have placed yourself for an instant in that situation, you will learn to sympathize with those unbappy countries which have sustained the ravages of arms. But how is it possible to give you an idea of these horrors ? bebold rich harvests, the bounty of heaven and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the cottages of peasants given up to the flames, mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants; the inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, miserable fugitives on their native soil. In another part, you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, the chastity of virgins and of matrons violated, and every age, sex, and rank, mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin.
If we consider the maxims of war which prevailed in the ancient world, and which still prevail in many barbarous nations, we perceive that those who survived the fury of battle and the insolence of victory, were only reserved for more durable calamities; swept into hopeless captivity, exposed in markets, or plunged in mines, with the melancholy distinction bestowed on princes and warriors, after appearing in the triumphal procession of the conqueror, of being conducted to instant death. The contemplation of such scenes as these forces on us this awful reflection, that neither the fury of wild beasts, the concussions of the earth, nor the violence of tempests, are to be compared to the ravages of arms; and that nature in her utmost extent, or, more properly, divine justice in its utmost severity, has supplied no enemy to man so terrible as man.
Still, however, it would be happy for mankind if the effects of national hostility terminated here; but the fact is, that they who are farthest removed from its immediate desolations share largely in the