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Doc. 128.--the religious press on the war.-[Prom the Baltimore true Union.]

A heavy pall of sickening sadness shrouds our hearts as we rise from a glance over our “religious” exchanges. If there was anywhere to be expected a spirit of peace and conciliation in this awful hour, it certainly ought to have been looked for in the conductors of the Christian press. But alas! with few exceptions on both sides, they “breathe out threatenings and slaughter,” and goad on the people to a furious, suicidal war.

The Christian Secretary, of Connecticut, says:

If we have a civil war and fight for five, ten, or twenty years, and drench our soil in fraternal blood, until, exhausted and worn out, both sides cry for peace, the same questions will come up for settlement that we first split on, and they will be just as difficult to arrange then as now. It has appeared to us that it would be better to settle these difficulties before fighting than afterwards, for we could see nothing that could be gained by the fight, but much that would be lost. Had the Government given up these forts, convened Congress and urged upon that body the imperative necessity of calling a National Convention for the purpose of a peaceable settlement of our difficulties, we believe the whole thing might have been settled without a resort to arms.

Our prayer is that peace between the sections may be speedily restored. If the South won't live with us as a united people, then by all means let us live in harmony as two separate nations.

The Witness, of Indiana, says:--“After months of indignities borne by our Government from some of the Southern States--after she had endured dishonor and afflictions which need not be repeated, for they are fresh in every mind, she is now hunted by armed troops, the men of her own raising, and arms of her own making, and with them she is fiercely threatened to be stabbed, nay, perhaps is stabbed at this very writing to her heart! But, thank Heaven, she is not dead, nor is she mortally wounded! The United States of America is yet a Government endowed with all the capabilities of life and self-defence which have so long made her ‘stars and stripes’ the glory of her name, and the banner of her citizens among all the nations of the earth. If she should be wounded by her own children which she has nourished and brought up, her wounds will speedily heal, for she is instinct with life.--The [182] North do not war on the South, but they defend their country's flag to the man and to the death. There is no disunion here; together we stand in the name of our country and of our God.”

The Christian Chronicle, of Philadelphia, publishes a letter from a Massachusetts correspondent, containing the following statement:

The peace men have all been transformed into men of war. Even the ministers of the Gospel deem it proper on the Sabbath to stimulate the patriotism of their people and even bid them to imitate their own examples in volunteering to take the sword; and the consciousness of the righteousness of their cause and the undoubted favor of the God of Battles makes all hearts strong and even joyful.

There is one prayer often to be heard on the lips of Christian men--“ Pray God it may be a death-blow to slavery!” I doubt not that in those who have never felt any thing of the kind before, there will be generated an hostility to slavery of the most uncompromising nature. Nothing is more common than to hear the determination expressed — to oppose the recognition of slavery on the part of the General Government in future — to follow the counsel of our English friends, and “ pluck from the flag those blood-rotted strands,” and to make “freedom national,” and “ slavery sectional,” to the fullest extent.

The Watchman and Reflector has an article on “The doom of slavery,” in which it predicts that “if the conflict is protracted a single year, Virginia will be lost to slavery.” “Virginia too must become the seat of war, and with fifty or a hundred thousand free-men encamped on her soil, and every part of the State convulsed with agitation and turmoil, slavery cannot maintain its existence.”

It alludes to the collision between the mob and the soldiers in Baltimore, and adds: “But the mobocracy may as well be quiet. Baltimore is now at the mercy of our guns, and Maryland is one of the most vulnerable States in the Union.”

The Mississippi Baptist, after describing the war policy of President Lincoln with reference to the Confederate States, adds:

If he carries out this policy fully, we see no alternative but a general war, a war both by sea and land; a war which will carry desolation, carnage, and blooodshed wherever the contending forces meet in battle array.--President Davis has a policy as well as President Lincoln, a policy which he will as assuredly carry out,--a policy which he indicated in his speeches before his inauguration, and in his inaugural address; a policy, in which he will be supported by the Congress of the Confederate States, and by thousands of the brave hearts and stout hands of the people of those States.

And not only the Confederate States will sustain him, but thousands of the citizen soldiery of the border slave States will rush to his aid. And what will be the alternate result of the deadly conflict that must ensue no mortal can conjecture. One thing is certain, revolutions never move backwards. Once the tide begins to move it will rush on with increased impetuosity, breaking over every barrier in the way of its onward progress. Once relieve passion from the restraints of reason and conscience, and arouse the feelings of bitter resentment which a long series of oppression has excited, and there will be no bounds to the excesses that will be the unavoidable result.

But, it may be asked, may not all this be avoided

Which question is answered as follows:

Now, we say, let the Congress and the Executive of the United States cease offensive operations against the Confederate States, and evacuate the forts within their borders, and then enter into a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, with the Government, and the dreadful alternative of a sanguinary, desolating conflict will be avoided, otherwise, we fear the war has but just begun.

The Biblical Recorder, of North Carolina, shows the unanimity of purpose existing on both sides, and says:

What then? Will Mr. Lincoln and his cabinet pursue to the bitter, bloody end their fiendish purpose? Can the madness of fanaticism go so far? We hope not. Surely reason will return in time to avert so direful a catastrophe. But if war must come, and we can have a united South, we entertain no fears as to the result. The conflict may be long and bloody; many evils and much suffering may be inflicted; commerce may be crippled, and many brave men lie down in death on the battle-field, but victory and peace will at last be ours. Men conscious of right, and fighting for their liberties, their honor, their homes, and all that they hold dear, cannot be subdued. When the North shall have learned this by sad experience, we shall have peace, and, freed from the shackles which have hitherto held us, we shall enter upon a career as glorious as can be found in the annals of the world.

The South has been slow to assume her present position. It was only after she had patiently submitted for long years to aggression and insult, repeated and aggravated, that she consented to break up the old nationality. Now confiding in the justice of her cause, and looking to the Ruler of the Universe, she can calmly and hopefully await the result.

The Tennessee Baptist is strongly in favor of “secession.” Rev. J. R. Graves, its principal editor, just returned from a journey through the South, says:--I learned something more about the politics of the masses of Mississippi and Louisiana. I had read in certain newspapers that the people in Louisiana are sound Union men at heart, and that secession is the work of politicians. So far as I travelled in Mississippi and Louisiana I found the people thoroughly secessionists — those who voted the “cooperative ticket” are now firmly fixed in sentiment. [183]

You may write it down as a settled fact to be reckoned from, that these States will never form an alliance again with the Abolition States of the North--never while the world stands. An army of a million soldiers could not force them back. They will die to a man first, save, perhaps, here and there one who has neither “cotton nor negroes to fight for,” and who would be glad to see no one better off than himself. Party lines are now annihilated. There is no longer any Whig or Democrat, Southern man and Yankee, but “Southern Confederacy men.”

Tennesseeans are now called upon to decide whether they will fight the South or the North.

We rejoice to see the change the political mind of Tennessee is undergoing--Nashville is overwhelmingly for secession to-day. All the men I left Union men, I find now thinking with me, save one--i. e., all I have yet conversed with. I learn that a similar change of opinion is universal, except in the mountainous districts of Tennessee. I regard that the fate of Tennessee is determined by the next vote that is cast for Governor. Whoever the man may be, let him be for a United South.

Union men of Tennessee, with few exceptions, are among the very foremost in the call for arming the State, and resisting the machinations of the Black Republican tyrant and his conclave at Washington.

The Christian Index, of Georgia, throws the whole blame of the war “upon Lincoln and his advisers ;” says that upon the part of the South it is a war to maintain the right “of sovereignty pertaining to each State of the old Union and of the new Confederacy,” in which “we are but defending our firesides, our families, our honor, and our independence.” After speaking of the apparent policy of the United States Government, the editor adds:

The tendency of these movements will be to bring Virginia and Maryland into the Southern Confederacy, and also Kentucky and Tennessee, and perhaps Arkansas; and if Lincoln persists in his coercive policy, President Davis will have no other alternative but to conquer a peace by attacking Washington city, and, on the tented field proving the superiority of Southern to Northern prowess.

Thus will we force the ill-advisers of Mr. Lincoln to acknowledge and recognize our secession; we will compel an equitable division of the national property; and while the North will sink at once to the position of a third-rate power of the earth, we, from our Capitol at Washington city, will cause ourselves to be regarded as the valiant American Government that, by martial supremacy, asserted its right to a place among the first nations of the earth, and which, by its liberal policy towards other nations, and its possession of King Cotton, will but bind to itself in friendship all other countries, :and which, by the enlightenment, religion, urbanity, and high-toned principles of its people, will claim and receive the respect, admiration, and esteem of the world.

The South Western Baptist, of Alabama, says:

Well, the war is upon us! We have exhausted every effort for peace which duty and honor demand. Our peace offerings are spurned, our commissioners sent home from Washington with the insulting declaration that they cannot be received, and now the roar of artillery on our Southern borders announces the purblind policy of an abolitionized government, bent on the ruin of the country as well as its own! Let it come! “In the name of our God, we will set up our banners;” and by the blessing of Him who ruleth in the armies of heaven, the sword will never be sheathed until the last invader shall be driven from our shores. The battle of New Orleans, fought by Southern soldiers, commanded by Southern officers, may suggest to these hirelings of Mr. Lincoln what Southern men can and will do when their wives and children are behind them and an invading foe is before them. Let no man's heart fail him for fear. The spirit of our people is aroused, and hundreds of thousands stand ready to fly to the standard of our Southern Confederacy to maintain its integrity or perish in the attempt. “Let us play the man for our people, and for the cities of our God, and the Lord do what seemeth him good.” Let prayer be made without ceasing unto God, and the result is not doubtful.

The Methodist Protestant, of Baltimore, says:

We make no pretensions to statesmanship, we are no cabinet officer, we know little of state-diplomacy, but we think we know enough of Christ and his religion to be certain that war, and especially civil war, is a most cruel and wicked thing. It is anti-Christian, and a nation like ours ought not engage in it. Moral force at an era of civilization like that in which we live, ought to be able to settle State difficulties. The points of national honor upon which men dwell so eloquently, are as likely to be overrated as the points of personal honor in the ordinary duel. And what is this war likely to be? A gigantic duel between the two sections, North and South. A duel between brothers. Both are to be injured, cruelly. Sorrow unspeakable is to be carried into the bosoms of innocent connections — and then, when mutual satisfaction in blood shall have been rendered, amicable relations will be established, and history will find material for another story of wrong and outrage, or the recital of successive battles, of victories and defeats, leaving the quarrel at the end, just where it was at the beginning — a thing to be settled by peaceful diplomacy.

The Examiner, of New York, says:

War is an evil from which peace-loving patriots have prayed God to save their beloved country. But there are worse evils than war, and one of them would be a subversion of the ancestral freedom of a great people, by the [184] slavery-propagandist Confederacy which has made Montgomery the seat of its malign power. War, to prevent such a catastrophe, rises to the dignity of virtue acceptable to God.

Again, after denouncing the capture of Fort Sumter as “an uncalled — for attack,” “an aggressive war on the Government and people of the United States,” it continues:

In maintaining itself against this aggressive war, and in punishing its authors, the National Government will receive the hearty and united support of all loyal and right-minded men. We abhor war in all its forms — but if it must come, it could never be met by the American people with a more determined resolution, or with a deeper consciousness of right, than when it comes in the hateful guise of secession, and slavery extension. Long has the Government forborne to act, lest it might provoke some hostile measure. Its endurance has been beyond all the precedents of history. It must now arouse in its hitherto slumbering might, and assert its determination to rule the country. Already are thousands flocking to its standard from every constitutional State. Its cause is as righteous as ever summoned a people to arms. On it, we need not say, depends the life of the country. It appeals with the fullest power to the deepest sentiments of every patriotic heart — to the proud recollections of our national past — to the priceless interests that lie enwrapped in our hitherto happy Republic — to the undying loyalty that clings to our glorious, but insulted flag — to the sympathies we cherish for oppressed and outraged humanity — to the pride we have taken in American civilization, and the faith we have kept in the capacities and destinies of American freedom.

The New York Chronicle says:

A single blow has cut the Gordian knot which the North has been so anxious to untie peacefully. The question is now as simple as it before was complicated. The life or death of the Government established by our fathers, is the mighty stake for which the game of war is henceforth to be played.

We want peace, we all want peace. We are willing to make many sacrifices — to forbear much, and suffer much, to obtain it, but there are some things we may not endure, and some sacrifices we may not make. Great principles have sometimes to pass through the fiery furnace, and we have only to accept whatever sacrifices that ordeal may bring; not vindictively, not in the spirit of revenge for real or fancied wrongs, but simply as a stern duty which, as loyal men, without being recreant to every sentiment of justice and Christian principle, we cannot ignore or evade.

There is but one feeling now through the North. It is for vigorous, energetic and decisive measures, not for aggressive warfare, for no one here contemplates or desires it, but because the best peace measure now is the exhibition of such strength on the part of the Government as will prevent further aggressive measures on the part of the South.

The Watchman and Reflector, of Boston, Mass., says:

We bitterly deplore the necessity of war. As Christian journalists we have counselled forbearance till it has ceased to be a virtue. We have hoped that our brethren of the South, while renouncing allegiance to the national Government, would refrain from any attack on its armed troops. But delay has only aggravated treason, forbearance has emboldened their movements, and civil war is now inevitable. There can be no doubt of the ultimate result. The North has ample resources of men and money. It has the undivided command of the sea for transportation of troops, and a network of railroads for conveyance of armies and provisions by land. If it were needful, a million of men could be mustered in the field in three months. The South is full of enthusiasm, and its people are chivalric and impetuous, but with few monetary resources, and no credit, and no navy, it must yield at length to superior force.

The North, too, we must believe, is in the right. It Will have on its side the sympathy of the civilized world, and. we may hope, also, the favor and protection of Almighty God. On Him we must wait in humble prayer and strong faith, and to him must we look for guidance and deliverance.

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