us let all things go, and cleave to the right. Prepared to confront the crisis like men, let us with all possible calmness endeavor to take the measure of the calamity that we dread. God knows I have no desire to make light of it. But I affirm, that never since the world began, was there a grander cause for which to speak, to suffer and to die, than the cause of these free States, as against that of the States now rushing upon Secession. The great grievance of which they complain, is nothing more nor less than this: that we endanger the right they claim to treat human beings as beasts of burden. And they maintain this monstrous claim by measures inhuman and barbarous, listening not to the voice of reason or humanity, but treating every man who goes amongst them, suspected of not favoring their cause, or of the remotest connection with others who do not favor it, with a most savage and fiendish cruelty. It is the conflict between barbarism and civilization, between liberty and the most horrible despotism that ever cursed this earth, in which we are called to take part.
And all that is great and noble in the past, all the patriots and martyrs that have suffered in man’s behalf, all the sacred instincts and hopes of the human soul are on our side, and the welfare of untold generations of men. Oh, if God, in his infinite bounty, grants us the grace to appreciate the transcendent worth of the cause which is now at stake, there is no trouble that can befall us, no, not the loss of property, of idolized parents or children, or life itself, that we shall not count a blessed privilege. To serve this dear cause of peace and liberty and love, we have no need to grasp the sword or any instrument of violence and death. But we must be ready without flinching, to confront the utmost that men can do, and amidst all the uproar and violence of human passions, still calmly to assert and to exercise our sacred and inalienable liberties, let who will frown and forbid, assured that no just and law-of-God-abiding people, will ever do otherwise than give us their sympathy and their aid.
Death is the worst that can befall us, if so be that we are faithful to the right. It is a solemn and a fearful thing to die, and mortality shrinks from facing that last great mystery. But we must all die, my friends, and the dying hour is not far distant from the youngest of us. To most of us it is very near. To many, only a few brief years remain. And for the sake of these few and uncertain years, shall we push off this present trouble upon our children, who have to stay here a little longer? There is nothing that can so sweeten the bitter cup of mortality when we shall be called to drink it, nothing that can so cheer us in the prospect of parting from all we love, nothing that can send such a blessed light on before us into the dark valley which we must enter, as the consciousness of fidelity to man and to God. And now in these times of