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This defeated minority, accustomed at home to irresponsible power, began this fratricidal war. At their door lies the guilt of having unsheathed this sword, upon them is the blood of the thousands that have fallen in this conflict between freedom and slavery, between good government and anarchy. I have no alternative, therefore, in the presence of these indisputable facts, but to designate this war, so begun, and continued, as the most causeless, and therefore as the most wicked, the world has ever seen. Can I do otherwise, then, than regard the defence of that Government on the part of the loyal States as the most necessary and righteous any people could be engaged in. If a government violates not the constitution it has sworn to maintain, then all loyal citizens are bound to defend it, even with their largest treasure and their most priceless blood. The loyal States regard their Government and Constitution as the noblest the world has ever seen, or any nation ever enjoyed. I offer no opinion on this; but it is due to this conviction, that they defend both, if needful, even to the sacrifice of their life.
Do not suppose, brethren, I am, in my sympathy with the cause of good government in America, forgetful of the curse and miseries entailed by war. have no words to express my abhorrence of its unreasonableness and wickedness, but I am far less able to express my abhorrence of the unmitigated wickedness of slavery. It is a choice of the two greatest evils that any nation could be cursed with, and had the Northern States and the Government
chosen slavery rather than war, the toleration of anarchy, rather than the defence of constitutional government, instead of deserving the sympathy and prayers of all Christian people, they would have deserved the contempt of mankind, and they would have had it, not only in this generation, but also in generations yet unborn.
Thirdly. I would bespeak your prayerful sympathy in behalf of a people suffering the chastisement of Heaven for conniving at, and abetting, the greatest crime against humanity, and the greatest sin against God. It is admitted by most American Christians, that this war is a retributive judgment on account of their national ingratitude, haughtiness, and wickedness in the sight of God, and above all, for their grievous sins against God and humanity, not only by their complicity with slavery, but also in numerous ways besides. I am concerned now only with the part they have taken in regard to slavery. The American Government is based upon the manhood of its subjects. Their equality before the law, and their inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as set forth by their fathers in the declaration of independence. Slavery was an entail of this country to America at that time, when, of the thirteen States that composed the Union, there was but one really free from slavery, (Massachusetts.) It was then a tolerated thing, to be removed in time. A cancer to be rooted out. An excrescence upon the fair form of the Constitution to be cut off, Instead of that being done, through
cupidity and lust of irresponsible power, from regarding it as a tolerated evil, which the fathers did, the sons became, first its timid defenders, on the ground of insufficient labour, then on the ground of inferiority of race, and then on the profitableness of their toil, and then on the blasphemous pretence of having biblical authority for this accursed thing. Having reached this summit, they demand for it prior influence in all national legislation, and the whole people, North and South, allowed this monstrous evil, "the sum of all the villanies," as Wesley termed it, to grow in insolence, in barbarity, in despotic usurpation of free speech, within the Slave States, and in brutal violence when that freedom of speech was directed against it, even in the free States, and in the halls of legislation, until the crown of its wickedness was reared in a "Fugitive Slave Law," and the free States became the "man traps and spring guns" of the South. In this way a practical lie has been more and more given to the fundamental article of their Constitution. But the cross of Christ confirms the fundamental law of the Constitution, by acknowledging the equality of human souls before God. That nation is professedly Christian. Its slavery has given a practical lie to its religion as well as to its Constitution.
Can we wonder that God is angry? That a nation so exact in material, intellectual, and religious blessings, should be severely chastised by Almighty God for its practical infidelity? And whence comes the chastisement? By the very
hands that have been foremost in piling up this huge sin in the face of heaven. The Slaveocracy are the sword by which God is chastising these free States and free Churches for their complicity with "the sum of all the villanies." You see that God is contending with them in even the reverses that have attended their efforts to subdue this most formidable rebellion. It must then be admitted that this people are suffering the just displeasure of Almighty God. But on that very ground, I plead their claims to our prayers and sympathy. The whole nation is under the hand of God. That hand is heavy upon them. Will you cast stones at them now? Is this the time to turn our backs upon them? Shall we do nothing but rake up and cast in their teeth all their past offences? Is this English, manly, brotherly, christian? Shame on those who can do nothing but take pleasure in the misfortune, the judgments, that have befallen a nation so near to us, a nation that, but as yesterday, "went forth from our loins.".
I will not dishonor our common Christianity by asking if you can give one pulsation of sympathy to these revolted States-States whose guilty Confederation proclaimed slavery for its corner-stone, and blasphemously applies to it words made sacred to every christian heart by their reference to the Redeemer of men. Vice-President Stephens says of it, "Its foundations are laid, the corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery is subordination to the
superior race,-is his natural and normal condition,—the stone which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice.”
I cannot but think our prayerful sympathy should flow all the more readily, from the fact that we too are suffering along with them, that we are not wholly free from the guilty thing that has precipitated this conflict; we have restricted ourselves to the produce of slave toil; though warned, we have gone blindly on, and now their chastisements extend to us. Shall I plead in vain for a nation under the hand of God, when I plead with those who are passing through the furnace too, though, in mercy to us, not heated as for them? If you sympathize not in their defence of established government, surely you will not withhold either sympathy or prayer for them as smitten by the hand of God. "If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it."
Fourthly. I would bespeak your prayerful sympathy for a people and Government treading in the path of truth and justice. Let me impress. on your minds that the present Government was called to power for the express purpose of putting a stop to the extension of slavery. Mr. Lincoln was nominated for the Presidential chair, and elected on this avowed principle, viz., "That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom-and we deny the authority of Congress, or a Territorial Legislation, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any Territory of