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by order of the Triumvirate, evince the small effect upon Rome of the moral precepts of the philosophers. In the time of Cicero, also occurred the murder of Cæsar, in full Senate. These events show us, that Cicero found, and left Rome steeped in injustice, cruelty, and blood. This great man's doctrines were in advance of his age on many subjects; but his belief in the immortality of the soul, seems not to have led him to any general and comprehensive view of ethics and morals. His discoveries were partial, and had no practical effect, except to bring down upon his memory, at a remote period, the hatred of the Emperors Diocletian and Galerius, and their pagan followers.
Such are the lessons taught us by antiquity. We behold man's unassisted wisdom of no avail, and injustice and violence filling the earth with desolation and misery. We desire a higher-a nobler principle of human action; we look to heaven for the source and the sanction of morality. We shall seek for the law of God, as illustrated by the history of nations since the time of Abraham. In tracing the progress of man, from the dawn of society, we shall discover that God's moral laws are as unchangeable, as the physical laws of planetary motion; and that it is impossi-, ble for a nation to contravene the moral principles
of its being with impunity. A comet might as easily escape from its orbit, as a nation from the moral obligations and penalties of God's supreme law. In endeavoring to unfold the elements essential to national prosperity and existence, and the celestial doctrines of peace, equity, and mercy, as national duties, we are aware, that our work will be novel, and our efforts to overturn war and its atrocities, may be vain. Confident that truth and justice will prevail, and believing, that the perfect civilization of the Gospel, must be brought about by the discovery and application of the moral laws impressed upon man's nature, we proceed with our adventurous task. Knowing our own inability, we look for inspiring aid to the great Fountain of Light. Humbly invoking celestial aid, in the language of Milton we would say:
“And chiefly Thou, O, Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples, th' upright heart and pure,
for Thou know'st: Thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread, Dove-like, sat'st brooding on the vast abyss, And mad'st it pregnant : what in me is dark, Illumine; what is low raise and support; That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal providence, And justify, the ways of God to men.”
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF HISTORY, FROM THE TIME OF ABRAHAM, SHOWING A MORAL LAW OF NATIONS ENJOINING PEACE, EQUITY, AND MERCY, AND PUNISHING BY NECESSITY THE VIOLATION OF IT.
We intend, in this chapter, to unfold the law of nature, as the providence of God has impressed it upon the history of nations, commanding right, and with severe penalties prohibiting wrong.
By the light of reason, Confucius, Socrates, and Cicero, among the ancients, discovered that men were bound to one another by the obligations of justice and benevolence. Confucius declared it a duty to love all mankind—to promote peace, courtesy, and kindness; and that men ought to do to others, as they would that they should do unto them. This he called right reason, and the sove. reign good; and he addressed this doctrine to princes and people. Socrates deduced from the soul's immortality and emanation from God, the same social duties; and he held, that the actions of men should conform to God's nature in justice and benevolence. Cicero, in his ethical writings, says, that mankind form one community, by the inherent relations of equity and kindness; and that reason and social communion create a common tie of humanity. The law of nature, he says, confers on all a right to share in the natural productions of the earth, which are provided for the common benefit of all. He condemns the Greek proverb, “ All things in common among friends;"> and he enforces hospitality and kindness. These doctrines acknowledge a universal moral obligation to do as we would be done unto-to deal justly, and to love mercy. Though these philosophers had no distinct idea of a law of nations, they discovered a natural law, which binds man to equity and mercy in every relation.
President Washington, in his Farewell Address to the people of the United States, guided by Revelation, developed and applied these principles to international transactions. He says, “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all; religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that in the course of time and things, the fruit of such a plan would richly repay any temporary ad. vantage which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?” The distinguished, noble, and excellent John Jay, formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in his published works, affirms the same doctrine in these words: “ The moral or natural law was given by the Sovereign of the universe to all mankind; with them it was coeval, and with them it will be coexistent. Being founded by infinite wisdom and goodness on essential right, which never varies, it can require no amendment or alteration."
In our review of the history of the world, we aim to show, that national felicity and virtue are inseperably connected, and that every national violation of the moral law, produces in the course of centuries its own punishment. To ascertain the truth, we will call before us departed States and long buried Empires, and listen to the voice ascending from the tombs of the mighty dead. We will summon the Pharaohs, the kings of the Chaldeans and of the Persians, Rome, Carthage, and Syracuse, from the sleep of ages-from the pyramids, and from amid the mouldering monuments of departed greatness, to testify to the laws