Page images

In January, 1862, they characterize the proposal of President Lincoln to employ negro labor, as a "step in measured though intelligible language towards raising a servile war." In April, they call the war "a suicidal conflict," and in May they said "the war is carried on with increased bitterness, rapine, and slaughter." In June "the negro population do not hail the Federalists as their deliverers;" and all the victories for the North are put down as "miserable fighting." Again, in July, in speaking of "the deplorable war in America," the burden of their comments is, "the most malignant passions of our nature are more fully developed; mad shouts for victory, conquest, subjugation, and blood," drown every feeble cry for peace. Again in August they thus herald rebel victories, "In Tennessee the Confederates are overpowering their opponents, and threaten Nashville, where the Protestant clergy were lately sent to jail because they refused to take the new oath of allegiance to the North" (!) In September this strange statement is made, "So far as America is concerned, there are hardly two men who can agree upon the questions the North and South are fighting about." In October it comes to the placid conclusion, "As matters stand at present, it seems more likely that slavery will be spread over the North than exterminated at the South." This, even this, does not draw out a hope that the North may succeed and prevent this wide spread of slavery. In closing up the year the cold December number leaves the North in "a stormwhirl of passion."

It is no wonder, such being the temper and the tendencies of the Alliance, that after being invited last autumn by the French Branch to express their sympathy with their American brethren, we received from them only that chilling and "carefully prepared" Resolution. It is no wonder that in this last letter from the Foreign Secretary to Rev. Dr. Patton, we find nowhere even an approach to the faintest expression of a desire that the UNION may be preserved and our nationality perpetuated unbroken. This silence is the more remarkable when we bear in mind how generous and outspoken and extended is the. sympathy expressed by the non-aristocratic masses in London, and many parts of Great Britain, in favor of the President's

Proclamation of Liberty and the perpetuity of our Union. The letter of the Secretary says, that "they gave to the Paris Committee of the Evangelical Alliance, the assurance that they participated in their deep sympathy with their common brethren in America." This must be so or the Committee would not have put it on record. But it is one thing to give this assurance to the Paris Committee, and quite another thing to unite with that Committee in sending over to the United States an expression of sympathy with President Lincoln. We quote from a letter of A. F. Stoddard, Esq., of Thornhill House, published in the Glasgow Herald, January 21st, 1863: "I remember that not many years ago the members of the Evangelical Alliance would not admit their American Christian brethren to their meetings in Exeter Mall, because they refused to subscribe a document stating that they were Abolitionists;' but only the other day that pious body refused to join their brethren in France in an address of thanks and cheer to Mr. Lincoln for his efforts to abolish slavery in America." Are both these actual history? Now the statements of the Foreign Secretary of the various things which the Alliance had done since the 27th of December, 1862, is no reply to the grave complaint in Dr. Patton's letter that during the preceding eighteen months and more, in which the most unprecedented progress had been made by the American government in restricting and destroying the slave power, no expression of sympathy had been heard from the Alliance. The "request" that American Christians might be "remembered" in the "week of special prayer' was evidently an afterthought. We think it possible it may be one of the fruits of Dr. Patton's letter. At all events, it was thought of so late as to preclude anything being known of it in the United States till after the week of prayer had passed. In fact it only serves to make more prominent this very significant circumstance, that in the original call for those days of prayer in January, among the very numerous subjects for supplication at the throne of God which are specified with great minuteness for each day, from January 4th to January 11th, there is not the slightest reference to the Uni

ted States, or to the slave, unless it is to be found in the fol lowing very comprehensive language: "for all who are suffering from war, or scarcity, or any other affliction; for all sorts and conditions of men." And that this did not mean America, and the slave, is clear from the fact that the "Appendix" became necessary.

No! the fact is that the Committee of the Alliance have been under the influence of that class of men in England who think that it is for British interests that the United States should be separated into two nations. They are mistaken; yet such is our confidence in these brethren, that we believe they, also, will before long rejoice to give us fully their sympathy and prayers that this Union may be maintained one and inseparable. They will see that even if there should be a compromise, or a peace, with a nominal separation for a time into two nations, this would be only war under another name, and no final settlement. As long as such a condition of things endured, the hands of Christians in the United States would be tied. The power of Christians here would be gone to assist in the conversion of the world or any other good work. Any such peace would only be a temporary one, in which both parties would be seeking to gain breath that they might commence a new war on a more terrible scale. Let no English Christian believe that there ever can be, for any length of time, two nations here. Vastly more easy would it be to divide England into two different nations on the 53° or 52° parallels of latitude.

There are only two issues of this war. If this Government triumphs, the Union will be preserved and slavery will soon be exterminated. If this Government fails, whatever temporary division there may be, a new Union will soon. brace all these states, without one foot of soil withdrawn from its sway, and the corner stone of that Union will be SLAVERY; and the silence of the most despotic Government on earth will cover this whole continent. We repeat it, then; The simple issue is FREEDOM OF SLAVERY.

We say to English Christians, again, it is not a question whether there shall be two nations within the territory of the

United States; one free and the other slave. The question is, Shall this Union, shall this nation, shall this continent, stand shoulder to shoulder with England in advancing the work of freedom and religon all over the world, or shall it be arrayed in opposition to England, and lead the van among the despotic nations of the world, in reducing everywhere the laborer, white as well as black, to the condition of a slave?

English Christians may not now like us, they may have their prejudices against us, but they must get over them, and we must get over the new prejudices which we had begun to have against the good faith of England. Strange that British Christians should have been at fault in this matter! Strange that Northern Christians should ever have been constrained to feel anything but love and sympathy for their brethren in the home of their fathers' fathers! We are happy to find that the confidence which Dr. Patton expressed in his letter when he said, "I believe that sooner or later Christian and libertyloving England will wheel into line and stand with us shoulder to shoulder," is so soon become a matter of history. The swelling tide of generous, outspoken sympathy which is now so resistlessly sweeping over Great Britain, will certainly sweep before it all opposition, and will either compel the aristocratic element to hold back their sympathies with despotism and rebellion, or that aristocratic spirit will find work enough at home to repress and keep within controllable bounds the rising spirit of liberty. All who pay taxes, as well as the many thousands who have volunteered and who are drilled to expose their lives for the defense of the country, will feel that they are a power in the land, and will demand as their right. to have a voice in the making of the laws, and in the apportioning of the taxes. The present moment among the masses will not only curb the future of the privileged orders, but will become an inseparable bond of union between England and America, holding these two great nations, having a common. origin and language, and blessed with the purest forms of Christianity, in happy harmony, whilst together they move forward in their victorious mission of love until a redeemed world is placed at the foot of the Throne upon which sitteth the Mediatorial King.


The Governmental History of the United States of America; from the Earliest Settlement to the Adoption of the present Federal Constitution. In Four Parts. By HENRY SHERMAN, Counselor at Law; Author of Sherman's Marine Insurance; Slavery in the United States, its national recognition and relations, etc. "Felix qui potius rerum cognoscere causas." Virgil. Hartford: MDCCCLX.

The Sectional Controversy; Including the Causes of the War between the Sections. By WILLIAM CHAUNCEY FOWLER, LL. D. New York: Charles Scribner, 124 Grand street. 1862.

THE first of the above writers treats of the formation of our Government. The second of some peculiarities of its operation, since it was formed. It would be difficult to find two writers, treating to some extent of the same subject, so totally unlike, both in manner and spirit. Mr. Sherman gives us a full, plain statement of all the facts which preceded and led to the adoption of the Constitution. His work abounds with documents and statistics. He makes no effort to produce in the minds of his readers an impression favorable or unfavorable to the great instrument, the adoption of which is the result of what he has undertaken to give an account. He rarely intrudes his own personal views. In one instance, however, when speaking of the Convention, he very justly and patriotically remarks:

"The peculiar condition of the Nation had impressed upon the minds of all serious and reflecting men in the land, the necessity of more efficient powers in the General Government, in order to perfect and perpetuate the National Union. The alternative presented was neither an ordinary or an indifferent one. It was a choice between political existence and political death.”

Although this history would not be attractive to a general reader, it embraces a systematic collection of facts with which

« PreviousContinue »