pleasure, and by its own act, secede, to be consistent, should hold that a nation may at pleasure withdraw from its treaty obligations without previous provision or consent of the other side; that one who has conveyed an estate and received the consideration, may resume it when it suits his necessity or convenience, that the husband or wife may repudiate the marriage obligation without detriment, or a disregard of marital faith, and in short, that a covenant made by two parties, and in which both are interested, may be cancelled by one.
The right thus to secede must rest upon a political free love, where States unequally united may, on discovering their true affinities, dissolve the first condition and become sealed in confederate wedlock to their chosen companions during pleasure, and the authors of the discovery should go down to posterity as the Brigham Youngs
of modern confederacies.
Most events of modern times find their parallel in early history, and this attempt to extemporize a government upon the elements of political disquietude, so that, like sets of dollar jewelry, every person can have one of his own, does not form an exceptional case.
When David swayed the sceptre of Judea, the comely Absalom
, a bright star of the morning, whose moral was obscured by his intellectual light, finding such amusements as the slaying of his brother and burning the barley fields of Joab, too tame for his ambition, conceived the patriotic idea of driving his father from the throne, of usurping the regal authority and relieving the people unasked from the oppressions under which he had discovered they were groaning.
Like modern demagogues he commenced with disaffection, advised all who came with complaints that, from royal inattention, no one was deputed to hear them, and in greeting those who passed the King
's gate with a kiss, that he might steal away their hearts, he lamented that he was not a judge in the land, so that any one who had a cause or suit, might come to him, and he would do him justice.
Under pretence of going to Hebron
, the royal residence in the early reign of David, to pay his vows, for he was conscientious in the matter of vows as Herod
, he raised a rebellious army, and sent spies through the laud to proclaim him king and reigning in Hebron
, when the trumpet should sound upon the air. The conspiracy, says sacred history, was strong, and the rebellion was so artfully contrived, so stealthily inaugurated, that it gave high promise of success.
The king, although in obedience to the stern dictates of duty, he sent forth his armies by hundreds and by thousands to assert and maintain his prerogative, exhibited the heart of a good prince and an affectionate father, in beseeching them for his sake, to deal gently with the young man, even Absalom; and when the conflict was over, the first inquiry with anxious solicitude was, “Is the young man safe?”
And yet this ambitious rebel, in raising a numerous and powerful army, and endeavoring to wrest the Government
from the rightful monarch, would doubtless have claimed, according to modern acceptation, that he was acting from high convictions of duty, from a powerful necessity, and fighting purely in self-defence.
And when the great battle was set in array in the wood of Ephraim, where 20,000 were slaughtered, and the wood devoured that day more than the sword devoured, there was evidently nothing that he so much desired, when he saw exposure and overthrow inevitable, as to be let alone
. But that short struggle subdued the aspirations, and closed forever the ignoble career of this ambitious leader in Israel
— a warning to those who would become judges before their time, or be made kings upon the sound of a trumpet, blown by their own directions.
Let all such remember the wood of Ephraim, the wide-spreading branches of the oak, the painful suspense
which came over the author of the rebellion, the darts of Joab, and the dark pit into which this prince of the royal household was cast for his folly, his madness, and treachery.
And when those charged with the administration of our Government send forth its armies by hundreds and by thousands to main-tain and vindicate the Constitution and Union of our fathers, may they imitate the example of the wise king of Judea, and beseech the captains of the hosts to deal gently with the young Absaloms
of Secession, and by all means inquire for their safety, when their armies have been completely routed, and the rebellion put down forever.
Secession, either peaceable or violent, if crowned with complete success, can furnish no remedy for sectional grievances, real or imaginary.
It would be as destructive of Southern as of Northern interests, for both are alike concerned in the maintenance and prosperity of the Union
It would increase every evil, aggravate every cause of disturbance, and render every acute complaint hopelessly chronic.
Look at miserable, misguided, misgoverned Mexico
, and receive a lesson of instruction.
She has been seceding, and dividing, and pronouncing, and fighting for her rights, and in the self-defence of aggressive leaders, from the day of her nominal independence, and she has reaped an abundant harvest of degradation and shame.
of the Republic
has ever served the full term for which he was elected, and generally, had his successor had more fitness than himself, it would have occasioned no detriment.
When the population of the United States
was three millions that of Mexico
was five; and when that of the United States
is thirty, the population of Mexico
is only eight; and while the United States
has gained the highest rank among the nations of the earth, by common consent, Mexico
has descended to the lowest.
Her people have been the dupes, and slaves, and footballs of aspiring leaders, mad with a reckless and mean ambition, inflated with self-importance and conceit, and