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THE AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY
MAY 26TH, 1851.
RUFUS W. CLARK,
Pastor of the North Church, Portsmouth, N. II.
J. P. JEWETT & CO., 17 & 19 CORNHILL.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, 21 CORNHILL.
EXTRACT FROM THE SOCIETY'S RECORDS.
Boston, May 26, 1851. At the close of the public exercises, it was, on motion of the Rev. Charles Brooks, unanimously
Voted, That the thanks of this Society be given to the Rev. Rufus W. Clark, for his appropriate and eloquent Address, and a copy solicited for publication.
A. Forbes, Printer,
Mr. PresiDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PEACE SOCIETY :
In listening to the Report which has been presented, of the operations of the American Peace Society, we are struck with the inadequacy of the means in use for the accomplishment of the ends for which the Society was established. An evil that from the earliest ages has overshadowed all other evils; that is interwoven with the governments, and social institutions of the world ; that pervades the literature of even Christian nations, and is sustained by vast appropriations from the revenues of all countries, is not to be destroyed by the occasional holding of meetings, and the annual expenditure of a few thousand dollars.
What is War, about which some men talk so coolly and flippantly? I have been endeavoring recently to measure its power ; to explore its dark empire; to fathom the depth of its horrors; to paint upon my own imagination, its scenes of wild desolation and dreadful misery. But the attempt has taught me, that the evil can be neither realized nor described. The most potent words, vivid descriptions, accurate compilation of statistics, fail to answer the question. What is War?' As we run our eye along the history of mankind, this huge monster stares us in the face, bidding defiance to all our efforts to portray its hideous features. To approximate towards a definition, War is the concentration of all crimes. It is injustice, revenge, lust, cruelty and murder in uniform. It is liell organized, rendered effective by discipline. It is the combination of the millions in a nation, to execute deeds of wickedness by national power, that are beyond the reach of individual power. It is the strength, resources and skill of one nation,