« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
There— not where War's loud trumpet peals its fierce inspiring
breath, The heroes fight, where fight is worse than front to front with
With garments thin, and black hearthstone, and the humble cup
board hare, What wonder if, 'mid frost and snow, the stoutest might despair ! But still they grandly rule their souls; no murmurings are found; I bless my God for England—the great heart of England's sound.
If the great heart of the nations were sound, and not blind to their interests, why was door left open for the wolf of famine to come in and prey upon themselves, but more especially upon England; for such were the scenes of distress created by the illegal blockade of the southern ports, that even the late Richard Cobden, M.P., in his speech at Midhurst, said, “We were suffering more than they were in America ; for except the actual strife in the battle-field, there were no towns in America suffering like Blackburn, Preston, Rochdale, and other towns in Lancashire? It was contrary to natural justice that two commercial communities should fight in such a way, that in the process of fighting they inflicted greater injuries on communities at peace than upon each other." Another effect of this policy pursued by the nations was to tie up one arm of the South ; so that, being subject to an unequal combat, she has bravely struggled at fearful odds against superior numbers recruited from almost every nation, and possessing
superior resources, with free access to all the world to replenish their stores.
There was yet another difficulty to be overcome by the administrators at Washington before the course could be considered clear to wage war with the South, in order to put down what the "war Christians” called “rebellion.” This was the fear of a Northern insurrection. Lincoln had been elected by a minority of the people in consequence of a division amongst the democrats. The latter, however, had a majority of members in both houses of Congress, and were unitedly in favour of the Union “as it was." To introduce emancipation would dislocate the wheels of Congress, and smash up the whole concern. Lincoln, therefore, stoops to rise. He reads himself into the Presidency, and takes the oaths of office, swearing to maintain the constitution as a slave document. The late Judge Douglas, then, the leader of the Northern Democrats, gave a significant nod of assent. Liberty was to be crucified, and, like Pontius Pilate and Herod, the Republicans and Democrats joined hands together. Douglas was to be rewarded by a majorgeneralship in the army, but died. Lincoln, however, lived ; and for a season faithfully carried out his part of the bargain. Seward was so full of joy that he telegraphed to the Chamber of Commerce, Milwaukie, as follows :-"I tell you, my friends, slavery is not to be taken into account. to save the Union first, and then save everything
else that is worth saving." Amalgamating and consolidating the great political parties of the North on the above basis, the Union became the harp of a thousand strings to thrill their emotions, and awake their enthusiasm. But what of the religious principles and habits of the people flowing out of our extraordinary revivals of religion? Surely these will create insurmountable obstacles and make war a myth, a phantom of the imagination, a creation of the fancy, a mere figment of the brain in a land described to be so “ dear to the lovers of freedom throughout the world;" and which, according to Bishop Simpson's theory, "the Almighty could not do without.”
If we are to believe such men as Caughey, the American revivalist, who deserved the doom of Jonah when he left his country to perish, and came over the Atlantic, abandoning the stern post of duty that he might enjoy the gourd of a temporal prosperity and popularity, Caughey in his “Letters” said, “Our extraordinary revivals of religion will be a preservative against war;" and the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher in his sermon called “ Summer in the Soul," declared " war to be impossible in America;" so that wbere there was no summer in the soul,” there was to be the constant summer of peace around the persons of those who reposed under their vines and fig-trees in our so-called
lappy Land." How harsh and dissonant the sounds of the war-whoop must be amidst such a
poetic scene! And yet our American summer of peace ” has received into its bosom a war which is on so gigantic a scale that no intellect however colossal can grasp it, whilst those who have been the most active in our revivals of religion are urging war to the knife, and the knife to the handle," with a brutality and ferocity that would have made the old Turks and Saracens blush for shame.
ON THE WAR.
The course being clear, Lincoln and his cabinet resolved on war; and being sanguine in their expectations of speedy success, were quite eager for the bloody strife. Estimating their numerical strength, vast resources of wealth, power to blockade the Southern ports, freedom of access to all nations to obtain hirelings to fight their battles, some of the Northern soldiers provided themselves with halters to hang up Jeff. Davis, the Southern president, and his administrators, whilst Seward announced that it would only be a “ninety days' wonder,” but the opening campaign was against them at Fort Sumter, and also at the battle of Bull Run, when the grand army of the North was seized with a panic, rushed headlong from the field of battle, one disorganised mass, throwing away their halters and swords in a tremendous race towards Canada for their own dear lives, fearful lest they
ON THE WAR.
should fall a prey to the men whom they intended so ignominiously to destroy. Fort Sumter, however, was to be revenged, not one stone was to be left piled on another to mark the spot where the city of Charleston stood, and after its foundations were ploughed up, it was to be sown with salt for four successive years. However, it has been defended by a brave and chivalrous people, and to all human probability would never have yielded to the enemy, had not Gen. Sherman threatened them in the rear, which caused its brave defenders to abandon their fortifications and leave Charleston to its fate.
Richmond also was to be made an example of, and Gen. Lee and his brave army were to be annihilated, but Northern generals and soldiers have bitherto been unable to accomplish this mighty and formidable task. Under M Clellan, Burnside, Hooker, Meade, and Grant, bloody battles have been fought, rivers of blood shed, an army of cripples created, the valley of the Shenandoah turned into the shadow of death, and the pathway to Richmond marked by the graves of soldiers who have fallen in battle ; but Gen. Lee, notwithstanding his tremendous losses in men, and his great loss of the brave Stonewall Jackson, still makes the doomed city with his heroic soldiers a place of refuge and a tower of strength whence he hurls destruction on his foes. Vast armies, however, are gathering around Richmond on all sides to make its hills and valleys one vast camp, and cover its rivers with an