It is an interesting study to look over the various journals that have come to our table since the delivery of President Lincoln’s Inaugural Address, and notice the different manner in which they speak of it. The Chicago Times regards it as “a loose, rambling, and disjointed affair,” thinks it is clear that “Mr. Lincoln is emphatically a federalist,” and that he “has resolved to force his doctrines upon the country at the point of the bayonet.”

The Chicago Post says that the inaugural, “with the exception of a few inelegancies of expression, is a highly respectable paper. In it he says all that he should have said.”

The Democrat (Long John’s paper,) expresses “unqualified admiration of the document so far as it goes.” The Journal of the same city thinks it will “give pretty general satisfaction to republicans and lovers of the union.”

The Davenport Democrat says, “As a literary production it is a wishy-washy, unscholarly affair—unworthy of an undergraduate, to say nothing of a statesman.”

The Transcript says, “We can endorse all of it—every paragraph—every sentence. In point of ability, it has not been equaled within a quarter of a century; in point of honesty never excelled. We can point out ten lines which contain more truth and good sense than all the Messages and Addresses of Pierce and Buchanan put together.”

All of these criticisms of the Address cannot be correct, for they clash materially; and that fact demonstrates very plainly that some of them were either the offspring of prejudice, or were written by men incapable of judging of the merits of this first state paper of President Lincoln.

For our own part, we wish to deal fairly with the new administration, and neither to condemn unnecessarily or praise fulsomely the state papers or measures which emanate from it. We have never expected to find in Abraham Lincoln the statesmanship of a Jefferson, or Madison, or Jackson, or that, as a writer of state papers, he would display the scholarship which has distinguished most of his predecessors. Mr. Lincoln is a plain man, without much education, and nobody but an incorrigible dunce, or a dishonest person who wishes to deceive others, would pretend to compare his literary efforts with those of Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan. Never having enjoyed the educational training of either of these gentlemen, it is no fault of his that his compositions lack the smoothness and perspicuity which distinguish theirs.

We do not think the Address merits the severe criticism bestowed upon it by the Chicago Times and Davenport Democrat. We agree more nearly with the Chicago Post. Barring a few inelegancies of expression, it is a highly respectable paper. It is not the rash and fiery outpouring of a man determined to enforce his own dogmas regardless of consequences. There is nothing of that iron firmness, or heroic daring which the hotspurs of the republican party told us to expect from their chief, but every sentence is imbued with a deep spirit of fraternal kindness. For this we thank the President. Better to us is it than would be the elegant phraseology of a Davis or a Yancey, with the warlike and uncompromising attitude which they assume towards the country.

In point of ability, this Address is nothing to boast of, and the Transcript either betrays egregious ignorance in saying that it has not been equaled in this respect within a quarter of a century, or is guilty of a gross and shallow attempt to mislead its readers. Nevertheless, as a calm, earnest, and friendly appeal to the seceding states to return to their allegiance we like it. The President does not acknowledge their right to dissolve their relations with the government at pleasure, nor was it supposed that he would do so. The constitution confers no power upon the President to give discontented states a ticket of dismissal at their option or his own. It prescribes certain duties for him to perform, and from these, whether agreeable or otherwise, he has no right to flinch. His office is executive, and not legislative. He is bound to enforce the laws, not to make or unmake them. These are truths which have been universally maintained heretofore; and if the present opposition to the government were confined to a few individuals, instead of embracing whole states, there could be no question what course ought to be pursued in the premises. The prompt action of President Jackson towards South Carolina in 1832, then nipped secession in the bud, and prevented the destruction of a single life. But a more serious state of things now embarrass[es] the action of President Lincoln, and demands that he should deliberate calmly before proceeding to extremities.

The President assumes that it is his duty to collect the revenues, maintain the possession of the public property, and recover it where it has been wrested from the federal authorities. He believes that this can be done without bloodshed, and announces it as his determination to avoid by every possible means, any action by which the seceding states will be exasperated.—He desires to win them back to their allegiance by kindness, if possible. All the constitutional rights of the slave states are promised to be maintained with unswerving fidelity, and if it be deemed necessary to amend the constitution, in order to render these rights more secure, President Lincoln will offer no opposition to a Convention of the people for that purpose. The closing words of the address are impressive and eloquent. They touch a chord in the American heart which will vibrate wherever patriotism enjoys a vigorous and healthy existence. We expect to differ often and radically with the President upon those minor questions of public policy which have always separated the democratic party from its opponents of every shade; but while he endeavors in the spirit of fraternity and kindness to uphold the American union, we bid him God speed, and promise our sympathy and aid to the extent we are able to give them in this holy work.