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The Pacificator. (Augusta, Ga.) 1864-1865, October 08, 1864, Image 1

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% lounuil prbotcii to f|c fitievests of tljc Catholic Chun!) tit the Coiifcircrato .States. \ M ITT F * Ct L Ar> IU M TIT IT M I N VAGT NA M E T ID EIT S pAO 1 8 Elt 1 T TE<P M. l ’ YOL. I. A JOURNAL DEVOTED TO THE INTERESTS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN' THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. And containing, in addition to Catholic intelligence from all parts of the world, Tales, Poetry, (general News, and Miscel laneous Articles. Published every Saturday Morning • ft AT THE ‘FOLLOWING BATES t Ono Copy One Year ... sls 00 One Copy Six Months - - - 800 Duo Copy Three Months - - 5 00 Single Copies - - - - - 0 50 . I liberal discount made to the Trade. & taj.oaiE, Editors and Publishers. ADVERTISING RATES. Transient Advertisements, Five Dollars per Square of Ten Lines. A liberal deduction trill he made to those who advertise by the month. An Address to the People of the United States in Behalf of Peace. BY A CATHOLIC DIVINE. Fdloto Christians and Friends : hi times of extraordinary peril, it is the duty of all, even of the humblest individual, to attempt everything that might possibly remove or alleviate ex isting evils, and be conducive to gen eral peace and prosperity. The cruel war that has changed America, for merly so prosperous, into a bloody field and a heap of smoking ruins, is a misfortune of so great magnitude that I would not let the opportunity of a new Catholic paper issued to the world pass away without giving expression to some views suggested by theology, upon the justice of the war, in the hope of doing some good. I wish to submit to the reflection and meditation of thinking people both North and South some plain and, in my opinion, irresistible arguments, showing that the war, and particularly the. contin uation of the war, against the Southern States, is unjust, unbecoming and ruin ous. I claim no other authority than that of reason and sound argument; and I may add that, being a French man by birth. I am more apt to be unprejudiced by party spirit. I. have, I hope, no other party than that of truth, no other motive than the love of justice, and no other ambition than that of doing good to all, and of pro moting peace, harmony and love among all men. I have spent more than a quarter of a century in the North and a few years in the South, and 1 think I have had a good oppor tunity of becoming tolerably well ac quainted with persons and things oh both sides of flic lines. The questions which I intend to present to your consideration in this address are included in this short theme of the ancients, which every titan of sense ought to premise to arty important undertaking: An liceatJ n.n. decent ? an expediat ? Is it lawful ? is it becoming? is it expedient? Is the course, we pursue sanctioned by justice, decency and utility? Let us apply this to the war, and particular ly the continuation of it until the sub jugation and extermination of the AiutlT. Let us begin with the first point, the most important, its justice. War is unquestionably lawful on some occasions, as all divines and writers on international law admit, against some sectarians and false philanthro pists, defenders of an U topia, at variance with the present state of mankind. War ntay, therefore, be lawful: but. all admit that it requires a just cause. A war without a just cause ac cumulation of the greatest crimes that can be conceived; it is a wholesale butchery, robbery and a concentration of every species of injustice impossible to enumerate. Is the war now raging between the two sections of the country just, and on which side is justice found ? !»ivines remark that, on some occa sions, a war may be just on both sides. This must happen in cases where a reasonable doubt exists concerning a right of great importance. Minds will embrace different opinions, and if there he no tribunal to decide, as is the case with regard to nations, recourse to arms is almost inevitable, as each j side will defend its right, which it j construes as favorable to itself. This | is precisely tin- case with regard to 1 North arid South. The Constitution of j the States .originally united has a radi j cal defect and vice, which has been ! the first cause and the remote source ! ot the torrent of blood which deluges { the land. The Constitution does not | say, or at least does not say clearly, l where the supreme authority resides, | whether in the separate States that j have formed the Union, or in the Gov ernment resulting front that Union; and, lienee, there have been two opin ions coeval with the Constitution itself concerning this supreme and., para mount sovereignty. We will content ourselves with quoting the nature of this difficulty and doubt, from the The ology of Doctor Kenrick, late Arch bishop of Baltimore. Archbishop Ken rick was a man of eminent learning, a profound theologian, a keen observer, j and he was well acquainted with au thors who have treated of these mat ters of international law and the laws of war. He had read Grotius, Puffert dorf, Barbeyrae and Vattel. The ex tract given here was written before the present war (in T 841), consequently, his mind could not have been biased by the present bloody struggle. These are his words, translated fiom the Latin original: “Whether the individual United States are absolutely bound by the laws of Congress, is. vehemently controverted. Some there are who hold that it is the business of the sep arate States to judge whether Con gress, in passing them, has not ex ceeded the bounds of the power en trusted to it, and has not neglected the interests of some States, and in that case to declare such laws null and void of all effect within their territory ; others, on the contrary, affirm that till the States, n« well as the single citizen, are hound by those laws, since the power from which they emanate flows from the people. If there be a doubt whether Congress has abused its power, there is a remedy left; the controversy must be brought before the Supreme Court, which they main tain to be the interpreter of the Con stitution and laws, with supreme au thority, by whose decision they say all are bound, the States as well as the citizens. But if some State finds it self injured thereby, it cannot violate the Constitution by resisting it or the law: but the amendment of the Con stitution will have to be awaited for which requires the consent of three fourths of all the States. In this Very grave controversy which lately has not been without the danger of a civil war, each citizen may follow the opinion that seems to him more correct, or if the doubt remains, each one is at liberty to obey the power placed over him, for he would not be.| bound til his own great danger andj risk, tottoosist authority in this dubious! ‘case.”— Theol. J [oral., Vol. 1, pp\ It is, therefore, dubious and con troverted where the supreme au thority lies, and afiter all the arguing and wrangling and dis] uting about this matter, upon which for so many years so much has been said, it (remains doubtful. The North has (decided one way and the South another way. There the matter stands. All the Hash of artillery has not thrown a particle of light upon the question, and the roar of the cannon has added no strength to the arguments on either side. From this We conclude that if the South had acted merely on the abstract right of secession and in close adhe sion to the doctrine of the original sovereignty of the States, there would have been justice, or a shadow of jus tice, on both sides, in the inauguration of the war. But the case is not this; and wc find that the North had actually ■dissolved the Union by the Acts of their Legislatures. It is undeniable [that some years ago a law called the Fugitive Slave Law was passed by Congress, authorizing any master to recover his slave in any place and State to which he might have fled. This was called the Clay Compromise, and it quieted the nation for a while after it had been fermenting from the everlasting cause of agitation—slavery. That law was enforced soon after, in Boston, upon a fugitive slave, and although the fanaticism of many was robsed to the highest pitch, still the AUGUSTA, GA., OCTOBER 8, 1864. law was executed by the proper j authorities. It is another fact, equally ( incontestible that soon after Northern j Legislatures passed so-called Personal | [Liberty bills, setting at defiance the Itiuthority of Congress, arid imposing a jifine and imprisonment on the master who would attempt to recover his fugitive slave. This legislation, wh’ch was adopted by a great many North ern States, was an actual and evident rebellion against the laws of Congress; I and it was an act severing the original compact of the States, and releasing j the other members of the Union from any obligation to the refractory por tions of it. This rebellion of the Northern Legislatures cannot lie de nied. Hence, Buchanan, in his last message, admitted the fact—declared these laws of the Legislatures uncon stitutional, and asked for their repeal, though lie contented himself with saying that they were null and void, as being against the laws of Congress. All this siiows that the Union was virtually dissolved. The Northern .Legislatures passed laws contrary to (lie laws of the Union, and against all ho interests of the South. The Gene ral Government was hound to resist ; and it was against these revolutionary attempts of the North that blockades ought to have been ordered, and armies levied, to maintain the suprema cy of the laws. This was not done, • and therefore the South was released j from all obligations to the North, which had become tin unjust aggressor of the common laws. The compact uniting the States together was, tbereK j fore, virtually dissolved, and when thej | South proclaimed publicly that sepa-ii ration, it did but exercise a plain right,\j in self defence, against unjust aggres-l sors. Tell rue, my friends, what j would be your decision in the follow ing case submitted to your arbitration ? Five merchants enter into an associa tion for mercantile purposes, and draw up by-laws to direct the com pany. Three of these merchants vio late these by-laws and agreements, and wish to govern the company without any reference to those by-laws. Are the other two merchants bound to remain in the firm, although they are i only two against three? You will say, I no; unless you wish to repudiate lea- j son and justice. You would, then, authorize the two merchants to with draw their capital and all their interests from the concern : and if the ! others, because they are three against two, would keep them forcibly in it, I and attempt, besides, to consummate j the entire ruin of the two, you would j declare that conduct au inexcusable j robbery and unjustifiable violence. \ Apply the example and the conclusion j to yourselves in your present struggle I with the South. i You will tell me, perhaps, that slavery j is against the law of God, and must be j put down. I answer, therefore, you ought not to have associated your- I selves with slaveholders; and it ! Vis a double wrong in you to have ! ►formed the association, and then to have broken it, and now that it. is broken to shed torrents of blood in order to form it again upon principles of your own coining. If you find that slaveholding is against the" law of God, quit the society of slaveholders—let them alone—and let all manage their own concerns \n peace. But it is false, supremely false, that slavery, properly understood and properly conducted, is against the law of God. This, how ever, is not the argument under con sideration now, although it will be presented to your consideration on , some other occasion. The reasons given above show that, j if the South had separated itself I from the Union on the abstract right of secession, founded on the sover eignty of the individual States, and merely for the sake of pro moting her own political and com mercial interests, her step could be defended as not conflicting with jus tice, and the most that could be alleged would be that her right was doubtful, as would he the right of the North to urge a continuation of the Union ; but, j under the actual circumstances in which the country was placed, the North had been the aggressor, and had broken the Union by enacting laws in their Legislatures directly and openly at variance with the fundamental com pact of the Union. / But there is another consideration ! on this matter of great importance, j and of great weight on the question of the justice of the war, and chiefly | the continuation of the war at this (stage of events. Writers on the Taws I of nations, and Catholic Divines, make a vast distinction between a defen sive war and an offensive and ag ! gressive war. The case speaks fc itself. A defensive was may become j very#easily just, or rather, it is just of j itself. A man is attacked; he may ! defend himself; it his right, his in alienable right. But an offensive war I is not so easily just, and wo to those who engage in it without strong and adequate motives ; they become guilty of awful crimes, not, perhaps, in the eyes of men, who look little into them' matters, but in the eyes of justice and of religion, or rather of God, the author and avenger of justice and re ligion. Success in such a war, and brilliant victories may, perhaps, elicit the. applause of the world, but cannot alter the nature of the 'case. Such a war remains an injustice, an atrocity, and a frightful accumulation of mur ders, awaiting retributive justice in the next world, in spite'of all the military ■ laurels that may have been won. An offensive war requires a cause not only probably or dubiously just, but a cause that is certainly and evi dently just. A defensive war with a dubious cause is just. I am in my house; you pretend to have a right to it. It may require all the sagacity of a .learned judge, all the wisdom of a Solomon, to decide the dubious case. j If you come to dislodge me from mv I house I have the right to defend niv ! self; you are .certainly wrong in as j saulting me; you are guilty of injus tice; you give me just cause to repel Lyour attack at all hazards; and you also incur the strict obligation of re pairing all the damages that will be the result of your rash attack. This, my friends, becomes a pow erful reason for you to pause and ! examine whether your right is certain, I indubitable and evident. In ease of j dotjbt you are bound to desist from a I war which, on your part, is eminently ! aggressive and offensive, chiefly now ! that your armies have invaded a great i part of Southern territory, and when j they seem to fie bent on its subjuga tion, and even the extermination of its ! people. On the part of the South’ the war is a defensive one. The first bat tle was fought on the soil of Virginia, and was nothing more than repelling an invasion : and for this reason (name ly, that the war on the part of the South is only a defensive one, no doubt) it was that the President of the Con federacy would not allow the army to march then on Washington, which might have been easily taken and destroyed. Although I am no judge ;of military operations, as I was in Washington soon after, from what I saw and heard there, I think I do not make in this a rash statement, I want to quote to on ' the justice of a war. JYie following is taken from, a ..fext/Viook on Theology; and is from a titan who is now dead and could not h/ve been biased on the present questi/i. It is Bishop Bou-! vier, and his*remarks ’only embody j what other wrßcrs have said, and what j must he couriered as an axiom or j self-evident j/uth. lie speaks of an offensive w# in case of dubious right, and he deciles that the assailed party may defenl itself' on this principle : “ in dllbio iielior ext conditio possiden tis.” “In fa.se of doubt, the possessor has the benefit of the doubt.” And then lie jidds : “ If, however, even with the presumption expressed by the aforesaid ixiom, there remains a doubt which cannot, be cleared, the two parties should convene together in sincerity! and good faith: but if one would reject all settlement, the other would be justifiable in vindicating its right by force of arms.” The book is written in Latin.— Bolivia's Instil. Theol., vol. 5, p. 40. Archbishop Kenrick, on the same question, speaks thus : “.An offensive war, besides a just cause, requires public authority. A just cause is always required, which many Divines teach must be absolutely certain; for indeed on account only of seemingly true reasons it is not lawful to disturb the tranquility of nations and bring on the calamities of war.”— Vul. 1. v. 240. Here is, then, the plain duty of the j belligerents : They must resort to con j ferenoe and negotiations, but if one J refuses that expedient he forfeits all ; his right, and gives a just cause of j war to the other party, on account of ; its stubbornness and unwillingness to i listen to an accommodation and to !,i ustice. Apply this to the present war. I Commissioners were sent by she South, I and they would not even’be listened | to. Furthermore, and this has stamped the Federal cause with the broad seal of injustice, France has offered her mediation, and it was rejected by the Cabinet of Washington, as if they did not doubt that, might was right. ’ The war then becomes clearly and evidently unjust on the part of the North, and till the frightful consequences of an unjust war weigh on the guilty heads of the authors, abettors, and promot ers of it. But you tell me the Union must be maintained at all hazards; we fight for the Union. It is in this your error lies, my friends. The Union must not be maintained at all hazards. It must not be maintained against justice—-justice passes before every thing else—//u? justitia mat endian. It is doubtful in itoelf whether those who formed the Union originally cannot use this right of sovereignty and dis solve that Union. •> The* original pact is silent about this. It has r becn inter preted both ways by great minds. But the Union is broken, and you, my friends of the North, have broken it. If you wanted to maintain Union at all hazards you ought to have oppo sed the Legislatures that annulled the Fugitive Slave law; opposed John Brown’s raid; opposed Abolitionism. The General Government ought to have sent armies and fleets against the States that denied its sovereignty and assailed its laws. Your action on this occasion has exhibited the real secret that moved you ; though, after all, this exuberant zeal for the Union is mere ■ superstition and fanaticism, because the Union is for men, and not men for the Union. The Union was a yohm tary association of States, and mot a leonina societas —an association with r. lion—in.which the stronger party will claim the' first, the second, the third, and the last portion of the spoils. There is a Union tlfat God himself has .sanctioned and of which He has said: “ hat God lias joined together let no man put asunder.” It is the union of man and wife by matrimony; you break that union by granting divorce, even often upon trifling causes; and you will now contend that a voluntary union of States which has npt tested iet a cen tury, which has been hitherto held by all as an experiment*only, Cannot ad mit of divorce. “*A wejpjit and a weight is an abtimination ; tfi the Lord.” Urov. 20, 23. You must, indeed be blindfolded if you.do no s see that you use here a double weight, and this hallucination is somutdi the more in conceivable as you aijlmit the right, of isr Union was founded, and assuredly that rSgelit would he it hitter mockery, if the ojipsagsor wfe left the juflge of the justice of ttiU claim in the oppress ed to vindicate tlhoir rights. But again, you will tell me the in terests of the North require that it should lie united with the South, and the welfare country requires there should lx/but one flag over the whole of it. \ But, my frjenw, do you not see the fallacy of this argument? You as sume that your interest constitutes justice. This is luSachiavelism, not. Christianity. The South tells you, also, that her interest required that she should be separated from the NcVth. If interest constituted justice, the riqh man might, appropriate to himself t\e yard and house of his poor neighbor);as it is his interest to enlarge his preihises. Do you say also that might is riVht? The unity of the flag over very Extensive countries becomes an impossily lit}', but at any rate it issubservient ancksecond ary to justice. Would it nob’be a ridiculous theory that there must be but one flag over the whole of North America? Why do you not try this theory first on Canada ? It is a chimera, as well as the notion of natural boundaries to States. I have now another important con sideration on the justice of the war. A war which would otherwise be just may become unjust by the way in which it is carried on, and become NO. 1.