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CUSTOM OF WAR;
TRAT WAR IS THE EFFECT OF POPULAR DELUSION,
PROPOSING A REMEDY.
BY PHILO PACIFICUS.
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Shall the sword devour forever 2” We regard with horror the custom of the ancient hea. thens in offering their children in sacrifice to idols. We are shocked with the customs of the Hindoos, in prostrating themselves before the car of an idol to be crushed to death ; in burning women alive on the funeral piles of their husbands; in offering a monthly sacrifice, by casting living children into the Ganges to be drowned. We read with astonishment of the sacrifices made in the papal crusades, and in the Mahometan and Hindoo pilgrimages. We wonder at the blindness of christian nations, who have esteemed it right and honorable to buy and sell Africans as property, and reduce them to bondage for life. But that which is fashionable and popular in a country is esteemed right and honorable, whatever may be its nature in the views of men better informed.
But while we look back with a mixture of wonder, indignation and pity, on many of the customs of former ages, are we careful to inquire, whether some customs, which we deem honorable, are not the effect of popular delusion ? and whether they will not be so regarded by future generations ? Is it not a fact, that one of the most horrid customs of savage men, is now popular in every nation in Christendom? What custom of the most barbarous nations is more repugnant to the feelings of piety, humanity and justice, than that of deciding controversies between nations by the edge of the sword, by powder and ball, or the point of the bayonet ? What other savage custom hos occasioned half the desolation and misery