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[246] its nature, and was subordinate to this one. Let us repeat an illustration: in strict observance of their inalienable rights, in abundant caution reserved, when they formed the compact or Constitution—whichever the reader pleases to call it—of the United States, the Confederate States sought to withdraw from the Union they had assisted to create, and to form a new and independent one among themselves. Then the government of the United States broke through all the limits fixed for the exercise of the powers with which it had been endowed, and, to accomplish its own will, assumed, under the plea of necessity, powers unwritten and unknown in the Constitution, that it might thereby proceed to the extremity of subjugation. Thus it will be perceived that the question still lives. Although the Confederate armies may have left the field, although the citizen soldiers may have retired to the pursuits of peaceful life, although the Confederate States may have renounced their new Union, they have proved their indestructibility by resuming their former places in the old one, where, by the organic law, they could only be admitted as republican, equal, and sovereign states of the Union. And, although the Confederacy as an organization may have ceased to exist as unquestionably as though it had never been formed, the fundamental principles, the eternal truths, uttered when our colonies in 1776 declared their independence, on which the Confederation of 1781 and the Union of 1788 were formed, and which animated and guided in the organization of the Confederacy of 1861, yet live, and will survive, however crushed they may be by despotic force, however deep they may be buried under the debris of crumbling states, however they may be disavowed by the time-serving and the faint-hearted; yet I believe they have the eternity of truth, and that in God's appointed time and place they will prevail.

The contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only entered on a new and enlarged arena. The champions of constitutional liberty must spring to the struggle, like the armed men from the seminated dragon's teeth, until the government of the United States is brought back to its constitutional limits, and the tyrant's plea of ‘necessity’ is bound in chains strong as adamant:

For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won.

When the war closed, who were the victors? Perhaps it is too soon to answer that question. Nevertheless, every day, as time rolls on, we look with increasing pride upon the struggle our people made for

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