Channing's Sermon on War, 1816

Sermon on war

William Ellery Channing, minister of the Federal Street Church in Boston, formed the Peace Society of Massachusetts on December 28th, 1815. The foundation of this organization emanated from Channing's earlier work with a group of Congregational ministers to better inform public perception of the brutality of war.

Channing often used his sermons to express his opposition to the War of 1812. Here, he details typical horrors and miseries of war and notes a contradiction between public damnation of isolated violence and public acceptance of the "idea of human beings employing every power and faculty in the work of mutual destruction."