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The laws of war.

We, as American citizens, have been accustomed all our lives to the largest liberty-- particularly of thought and expression. It was a maxim of Jefferson, that error would be harmless while truth was left free to combat it. This broad freedom, in times of peace and safety, may be all right. Experience has shown, however, that the advocates of error and raise hood have been, in our country, much more active, besides their shameless audacity, than have been the more modest advocates of righteousness and truth in combatting them. For a generation past, the literature, so-called, of the North has been tainted with falsehood and corruption, to an extent which the friends of truth and purity have not even attempted to expose. This flood of contaminated Northern literature, with which the country has been deluged, has been, we have no doubt, one of the sources of the troubles in which our country is now involved.

We rejoices that the war has dried up this poisonous fountain, or, at least, stopped its streams from flowing into our section.

But if we allow the unrestrained publicity of opinions, however false and licentious in times of peace, when war exists the aspect of the matter is greatly changed. We have allowed people to live among us here in the South. We have even given them lucrative employment and patronage, who were known to entertain sentiments adverse to our institutions, and whose sympathies were manifestly with our Northern revilers. In our magnanimity we permitted these domestic aliens to stay among us — we honored and we enriched them by our favor and our patronage. If this was wise, or even just, in times of peace, it is manifestly dangerous and suicidal in times of war, especially such a war as is now waged against us.

It is not wise either to overrate our power or to underrate that of our deadly foes in this war. Those who wage war against us are more than we are in number, and are better provided with the munitions of war. And their malice is as hot and deep as the fires of perdition. If they could conquer us, or once get us in their power, they would gloat with fiendish joy over our destruction. Their revenge upon us would be as remorseless as hell itself.

This being so, it is dangerous to tolerate the presence of men among us who are known to sympathize with our malignant foes. Should lincoln establish his power over Alabama, who among us would rejoice — who would be his friends, and prove that they had been always ‘"loyal citizens!"’ Such men can easily be spotted. Because we believe that if these men had a good opportunity — if they had the power over us which we now have over them — they would delight themselves in arresting and killing us, as the minions of Lincoln are doing, wherever they have the power, and are not restrained by their cowardly dread of retaliating vengeance, we think that every consideration of safety to ourselves demands that those men among us who sympathize with Lincoln and are opposed to our institutions and our cause, ought to be dealt with according as they would deal with us, and as their allies are dealing with our friends who have unfortunately fallen into their power.

The North and the South are now not only two separate and distinct Governments, but they are also two people. It is absurd for any man to expect to belong, in all his sympathies and wishes, to the former, and yet while war rages remain in the latter, and claim or expect any other privileges than those of an allen.

Montgomery Mail.

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