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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Chapter 28: the city Oration,—the true grandeur of nations.—an argument against war.—July 4, 1845.—Age 34. (search)
hat any thing of mine has occupied agreeably a moment of your time. I value your kindness more than I can tell. The subject you open is vast,—beyond me. I have only sported on its brink. It seems to me that it is most successfully treated by Dymond, whose view of the duties of Christians is admirable for its clearness and benevolence. I distinguish between war and any force in the course of justice in this way: War is a trial by battle; it is monstrous and impious, as the latter was calledr other crime puts in jeopardy men, wives, children, society, and awakens the right of self-defence. I am not entirely satisfied that this distinction accords with the true spirit of the Gospel; it does not seem to be in harmony with the views of Dymond. Still, it seems to me sufficiently clear; and I am for the present contented, if it will allow me to brand war as barbarous and unchristian. It seems to me that there is a cause which will commend itself to you: I mean the effort to induce our