The Spirit of Function.
We can assure such members of the Confederate Congress as feel disposed at this decisive crisis in the national affairs to give undue prominence to querulous complaints and denunciations against the Government
that they do not represent the public sentiment of the country — nay, so far from that, they are arousing in the minds of a people whose salvation depends upon the harmony and co-operation of all the public servants deep and stern dissatisfaction.
At this solemn moment, when every patriot should be willing to postpone all minor points of difference to a period when the enemy shall not be thundering at the gates, the country has a right to demand that the voice of faction shall be hushed, and that every man shall smother his private griefs, and give his heart and hand to the common salvation.
We are all embarked in the same vessel, we are all tossing upon the same stormy sea, and, in the event of shipwreck, none has as much to lose as the officers of the ship, and especially the man whom we have ourselves called to the quarter deck, and who has every conceivable motive to do the utmost for our preservation that human wisdom and energy can accomplish.
Would to Heaven that, for a time at least, till this hour of imminent peril be passed, the voice of dissension and discord could be hushed and the counsels of patriotism and prudence govern the pulsations of every heart and the utterances of every lip. We can assure Congress that nothing so disheartens the true friends of the country as the fault finding and abuse heaped upon the public servants at a time when we should all be engaged in beating back the public enemies.
It would be mournful enough that our cause should be borne down by our vile and dastardly foes, but a far deeper humiliation, an unspeakable disgrace, that it should perish by our own hands.
But the people will not let it perish either by the hands of indiscreet friends or open foes, and we warn them both to stand clear of an avalanche which will inevitably fall upon their own heads.