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[383] established; to have declared it perpetual, however, would have been to deny the right of a people to alter or abolish their government when it should cease to answer the ends for which it was instituted.

The objects which its creation was designed to secure to the states and their people were of a truly peaceful nature, and commended themselves to the approbation of men. They were stated by its authors in a form called the ‘preamble’ of their work, which is in these words:

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States.

Mankind must contemplate with horror the fact that an organization established for such peaceful and benign ends did, within the first century of its existence, lead the assault in a civil war that brought nearly four millions of soldiers into the field, destroyed thousands and thousands of millions of treasure, trampled the unalienable rights of the people under foot, subverted and subjugated the governments of the states, and ended by establishing itself as supreme and sovereign over all. Some Christian writer has suggested the thought that there may not be a spot of the earth's surface in the Old World but has witnessed the commission of some human crime or been wet with human gore. How nearly true this may be of the New World's once vaunted asylum for the victims of despotism, misrule, and oppression, these pages can bear some testimony. After all, it is the civil disorders, the violations of rights, and the perversions of wise and useful institutions, that are the most disastrous in their consequences. They last for ages; often, too often, the lapse of time brings no remedy to the suffering people. In their despair, they say the past is gone forever—a new era has opened; what horrors may be developed, however, in its revolving years no mortal can foresee, so they hug the chains they feel powerless to break.

How distinct in its nature and objects was the government of the United States from the governments of the states, may be seen from that which has already been said. The former was established by common consent to look after the common interests. It was to make peace or war with foreign nations, protect the frontiers, extend the boundaries, decide disputes between citizens of different states, and administer general affairs in a manner to promote the peace, the order, and the happiness of all. But to the fostering care of the state government the man, the citizen, the head of the family, the parent, the child, the woman, the scholar, and the Christian all looked with full confidence as to their natural and divinely sanctioned protector against all foes within or

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