Forward, my hearers, with our shields locked and our trust in God, is our only movement now. It is too late even to go backward. We might have gone backward a year ago, when our armies were victoriously thundering at the gates of Washington, and were keeping at successful bay the Hessians of the West, had we been content to bear humiliation for ourselves and degradation for our children. But even that is no longer left us. It is now victory or unconditional submission; submission, not to the conservative and Christian people of the North, but to a party of infidel fanatics, with an army of needy and greedy soldiers at their backs. Who shall be able to restrain them in their hour of victory? When that moment approaches, when the danger shall seem to be over and the spoils are ready to be divided, every outlaw will rush to fill their ranks, every adventurer will rush to swell their legions, and they will sweep down upon the South as the hosts of Attila did upon the fertile fields of Italy. And shall you find in defeat that mercy which you did not find in victory? You may slumber now, but you will awake to a fearful reality. You may lie upon your beds of ease, and dream that, when it is all over, you will be welcomed back to all the privileges and immunities of greasy citizens, but how terrible will be your disappointment I You will have an ignoble home, overrun by hordes of insolent slaves and rapacious soldiers. You will wear the badge of a conquered race. Pariahs among your fellow-creatures, yourselves degraded, your delicate wives and gentle children thrust down to menial service, insulted, perhaps dishonored. Think you that these victorious hordes, made up in the large part of the sweepings of Europe, will leave you any thing? As well might the lamb expect mercy from the wolf. Power which is checked and fettered by a double contest, is very different from power victorious, triumphant, and irresponsible. The friends whom you  have known and loved in the North; who have sympathized with you in your trials, and to whom you might have looked for comfort and protection, will have enough to do then to take care of themselves. The surges that sweep over us will carry them away in its refluent tide. Oh! for the tongue of a prophet, to paint for you what is before you, unless you repent and turn to the Lord, and realize that “His hand is upon all them for good that seek him.” The language of Scripture is alone adequate to describe it: “The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness. They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.--They ravished the women of Zion and the maids in the cities of Judah. They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe unto us that have sinned.”--Richmond Enquirer, November 21.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.