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and Government against all foes at home and abroad.
To what cause may we trace our present sad and deplorable condition?  A man of flighty brain and flippant tongue will tell you that the cause of all our national troubles lies solely in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the Republic.  To the superficial this is final.  Before Lincoln, there was peace; after Lincoln there was rebellion.  It stands to reason that Lincoln and rebellion are related as cause and effect.  Such is their argument; such is their explanation.  I hardly need waste your time in showing the folly and falsehood of either.  Beyond all question, the facts show that this rebellion was planned and prepared long before the name of Abraham Lincoln was mentioned in connection with the office he now holds, and that though the catastrophe might have been postponed, it could not have been prevented, nor long delayed.  The worst of our condition is not to be sought in our disasters on flood or field.——It is to be found rather in the character which contact with slavery has developed in every part of the country, so that at last there seems to be no truth, no candor left within us.  We have faithfully copied all the cunning of the serpent, without any of the harmlessness of the dove, or the boldness of the lion.

In dealing with the causes of our present troubles, we find in quarters, high and low, the most painful evidences of dishonesty.  It would seem, in the language of Isaiah, that the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint, that there is no soundness in it.——After-coming generations will remark with astonishment this feature in this dark chapter in our national history.  They will find in no public document emanating from the loyal Government, anything like a frank and fall statement of the real causes which have plunged us in the whirlpool of civil war.  On the other hand, they will find the most studied and absurd attempts at concealment.  Jefferson Davis is reticent.  He seems ashamed to tell the world just what he is fighting for.  Abraham Lincoln seems equally so, and is ashamed to tell the world what he is fighting against.

If we turn from the heads of Government to the heads of several Departments, we are equally befogged.  The attempt is made to conceal the real facts of the case.——Our astute Secretary of State is careful to enjoin it upon our foreign ministers to remain dumb in respect to the real causes of the rebellion.  They are to say nothing of the moral differences existing between the two sections of the country.  There must be no calling things by their right names——no going straight to any point which can be reached by a crooked path.  When slaves are referred to, they must be called persons held to service or labor.  When in the hands of the Federal Government, they are called contrabands——a name that will apply better to a pistol, than to a person.  The preservation of slavery is called the preservation of the rights of the South under the Constitution.  This concealment is one of the most contemptible features of the crisis.  Every cause for the rebellion but the right one is pointed out and dwelt upon.  Some make it geographical; others make it ethnographical.

"Lands intersected by a narrow frith abhor each other;
Mountains interposed make enemies of nations,
Which else like kindred drops had mingled into one."
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But even this cause does not hold here.——There is no geographical reason for national division.  Every stream is bridged, and every mountain is tunnelled.  All our rivers and mountains point to union, not division——to oneness, not to warfare.  There is no earthly reason why the corn fields of Pennsylvania should quarrel with the cotton fields of South Carolina.  The physical and climatic differences bind them together, instead of putting them asunder.

A very large class of persons charge all our national calamities upon the busy tongues and pens of the Abolitionists.  Thus we accord to a handful of men and women, everywhere despised, a power superior to all other classes in the country.  Absurd and ridiculous as this is, its adherents are hoary-headed and bearded men. 

Others still explain the whole matter, by telling us that it is the work of defeated and disappointed politiciaas [sic] at the South.  I shall waste no time upon either.  The cause of this rebellion is deeper down than either Southern politicians or Northern Abolitionists.  They are but the hands of the clock.  The machinery moves not because of the hands, but the hands because of the machinery.  The ship may be great, but the ocean that bears it is greater.  The Southern politicians and the Northern Abolitionists are the fruits, not the trees.  They indicate, but are not original causes.  The trouble is deeper down, and is fundamental; there is nothing strange about it.  The conflict is in every way natural.——"How can two walk together except they be agreed?"  "No man can serve two masters."  "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  It is something of a feat to ride two horses going the same way, and at the same pace, but a still greater feat when going in opposite directions. 

Just here lies a true explanation of our troubles.  We have made the mistake——the great and deplorable mistake of supposing that we could sow to the wind without reaping the whirlwind.  We have attempted to maintain our Union in utter defiance of the moral chemistry of the universe.  We have endeavored to join together things which in their nature stand eternally asunder.  We have sought to bind the chains of slavery on the limbs of the black man, without thinking that at last we should find the other end of that hateful chain about our own necks.

A glance at the history of the settlement of the two sections of this country will show that the causes which produced the present rebellion, reach back to the dawn of civilization on this continent.  In the same year that the Mayflower landed her liberty-seeking passengers on the bleak New England shore, a Dutch galliot landed a company of African slaves on the banks of James river, Virginia.  The Mayflower planted liberty at the North, and the Dutch galliot slavery at the South.——There is the fire, and there is the gnnpowder.  Contact has produced the explosion.  What has followed might have been easily predicted  Great men saw it from the beginning, but no great men were found great enough to prevent it.

The statesmanship of the last half century has been mainly taxed to perpetuate the American Union.  A system of compromise and concessions has been adopted.  A double-dealing policy——a facing-both-ways statesmanship,
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naturally sprung up, and became fashionable——so that political success was often made to depend upon political cheating.  One section or the other must be deceived.  Before railroads and electronic wires were spread over the country, this trickery and fraud had a chance of success.  The lightning made deception more difficult, and the Union by compromise impossible.  Our Union is killed by lightning. 

In order to have union, either in the family, in the church, or in the State, there must be unity of idea and sentiment in all essential interests.  Find a man's treasure, and you have found his heart.  Now, in the North, freedom is the grand and all-comprehensive condition of comfort, prosperity and happiness.  All our ideas and sentiments grow out of this free element.  Free speech, free soil, free men, free schools, free inquiry, free suffrage, equality before the law, are the natural outgrowths of freedom.  Freedom is the centre of our Northern social system.  It warms into life every other interest, and makes it beautiful in our eyes.  Liberty is our treasure, and our hearts dwell with it, and receives its actuating motives from it.

What freedom is to the North as a generator of sentiment and ideas that slavery is to the South.  It is the treasure to which the Southern heart is fastened.  It fashions all their ideas, and moulds all their sentiments.——Politics, education, literature, morals and religion in the South, all bear the bloody image and superscription of slavery.  Here, then, are two direct, point-blank and irreconcilable antagonisms under the same form of government.  The marvel is not that civil war has come, but that it did not come sooner.  But the evil is now upon us, and the question as to the causes which produced it, is of less consequence than the question as to how it ought to be, and can be thrown off.  How shall the civil war be ended?

It can be ended for a time in one of two ways.  One by recognizing the complete independence of the Southern Confederacy, and indemnifying the traitors and rebels for all the expense to which they have been put, in carrying out this tremendous slaveholding rebellion; and the second is by receiving the slaveholding States back into the Union with such guarantees for slavery as they may demand for the better security and preservation of slavery.  In either of these two ways it may be put down for a time; but God forbid that any such methods of obtaining a peace shall be adopted; for neither the one nor the other could bring any permanent peace.

I take it that these United States are to remain united.  National honor requires national unity.  To abandon that idea would be a disgraceful, scandalous and cowardly surrender of the majority to a rebellious minority——the capitulation of twenty million loyal men to six million rebels——and would draw after it a train of disasters such as would heap curses on the very graves of the present generation.  As to giving the slave States new guarantees for the safety of slavery, that I take to be entirely out of the question.  The South does not want them, and the North could not give them if the South could accept them.  To concede anything to these slaveholding traitors and rebels in arms, after all their atrocious crimes against justice, humanity, and every sentiment of loyalty, would be
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