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[p. 98] the slowness with which matters are carried on will be rather an advantage than a disservice. It seems to me that a great, decided victory on our side at the outset would have renewed those loathsome compromises which have been the curse of the country. It is very hard to wait, but we have all been so deeply complicated in the sins which have brought these judgments on us that nothing is left for us but that each one, as though the guilt were his own, should strive to retrieve the past by the solemn dedication of his time, fortune, and even life itself, to the country's need.

Letter April 6, 1862.

Who can say that the martyr age is over? For though reason, or the doctrine of chances, or religious faith may forbid despair, it seems to me that only the true martyr spirit of self-immolation can sustain the fond parents who are now called on every hand to bid farewell to their blooming sons bound for this sacred conflict. The clouds gather and the plot thickens on every side. Quick-coming decided victory seems even more perilous than defeat, so far are we still as a nation from being completely purified by the purgatory fires through which we are passing. And yet I fully appreciate the grandeur and glory of living in these times. No choice is left one, but the end of one act of disinterestedness becomes perforce the beginning of another. Frivolity will surely in a good degree be banished from the rising generation of young women. The mother of one of our pretty girls told me the other day that her daughter had brought to her some spending money which had been bestowed on her for the purchase of jewelry, and begged with tears in her eyes that she might be allowed to buy with it things for the Sanitary Commission. I love to retire to rest every night weary with sewing for the sick soldiers. In our Unitarian society alone we have made and bestowed this winter nearly a thousand garments which have been sent chiefly to Louisville and St. Louis. Indeed, we ought to regard all that we can do as but the humblest of thankofferings for our exemption from the actual horrors of the war. Day by day I am more profoundly impressed with the providential results of the conflict, how it brings together those who were far off, and if slowly yet surely opens the eyes of people to the barbarism of slavery. The when and the how of the closing of our difficulties remain wrapped in darkness, but I repose with a gladness and a trust never reached before upon the comforting assurance that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

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