If we had no other evidence, the inaugural address of the new President of the “Confederate States” is proof of the unusual wisdom with which the secessionists acted when they elected Jefferson Davis to that office. Few positions could be more difficult than that which Mr. Davis has assumed, but he has undertaken his ill-omened task with the assistance of as marked a combination of the qualities most needed for his work, as any revolutionary leader ever exhibited. He has such firmness and tenacity of purpose as have enabled him to hold fast to his cherished ideas through twelve years of bitter struggle, opened by defeat even in his own State. He cherishes his favorite scheme of a southern confederacy with an intensity of devotion, which shows itself in every word that he utters, and has quenched the last spark of patriotism in a heart, where we believe it once shone as brightly as in any. He knows how to give the appearance of dignity to a cause which stands before the world in an attitude which is neither imposing nor respectable. He has the art of veiling the true issues of the moment, and of representing a movement inspired by an imperious resolution to rule, as an escape from intolerable tyranny. He can make the most solemn appeal to the sympathy and the justice of mankind and to the final judgment of Providence, in favor of a cause which is condemned by the sentiment and the enlightened conscience of the world. We shall not inquire as to the sincerity with which Mr. Davis can do all this. It is enough that as the chosen leader he presents the cause of secession with dignity, with seeming candor, with apparent reliance on its justice, with full determination to uphold it at all hazards, and with the aid of intellectual resources of a very high order.

As the leader of the cotton States in their movement against the general government, whether the controversy is to be carried on by civil measures only, or by sterner methods, to which he professes himself prepared though unwilling to resort, this government could have no more dangerous enemy than Mr. Davis, and this fact, we believe, needs to be more widely recognized than it is among our people. Because Mr. Davis has led the extreme South, many have come to regard him as possessing the personal qualities and weaknesses of the “fire-eaters.” But Mr. Davis is on the contrary cool-headed, far-sighted and not hasty. What he says or does, is not the result of crazy impulse but of cool determination, and is supported not by the temporary strength of frenzy, but by real intellectual and moral power. In short, he is an antagonist who challenges respect as well as the utmost vigor and caution in opposition, and one whom any statesman might rejoice to encounter in a high national contest, were he of any country save our own, and were the matter in debate anything except the Union.

As we have before hinted, there is another view in which the election of Mr. Davis is a cause for satisfaction with the friends of the Constitution. If peace is to be preserved, the reins of the government which the cotton States seek to establish should fall into no weak or incompetent hands. The seceding States have to reap the whirlwind, and it is well for others as well as themselves that they should be under the strongest and wisest guidance which they can command. It is also fortunate that their people should be led,—if indeed they are led at all and do not drive,—by some one who does not show the fanatical hatred for the North which leading secessionists have shown. It is well that no Rhett or Toombs is to shape the policy of the revolutionists. Mr. Davis we believe to be sincerely anxious for peace, and while he will probably abate nothing of his resolute courage, he will use his influence and his best powers in the effort to secure for his favorite scheme a peaceful Success.

It is worth while to notice that Mr. Davis, in accepting the position to which he has long aspired, studiously excludes the idea of a return to their proper allegiance on the part of the cotton States. The doctrine of “the irrepressible conflict” he announces in terms more distinct and significant than were dreamed of by those to whom it has been falsely ascribed. He felicitates himself with the belief, that all the slave States will enter the projected confederacy where they will be “freed from sectional conflicts.” But for the growth, development and happiness of the confederacy he declares that “it is requisite that there should be so much of homogeneousness that the welfare of every portion would be the aim of the whole. Where this does not exist, antagonisms are engendered which must and should result in separation.” The plain meaning of this carefully phrased passage unquestionably is, that the slaveholding States can have no permanent union with free States. In this Mr. Davis is at variance with Mr. Stephens, his Vice-President,—who is also a statesman whom the whole country has in other days learned to admire and respect. But the declaration of Mr. Davis must be taken as the true indication of the policy of the new confederacy. As such, it commends itself to the careful attention of the border States, before they seek to make themselves the frontier of the projected slaveholding republic; for if the effect of that movement upon slave property in those States should be such as is anticipated, and such as they themselves confess, it may be wise for them to consider, what will then be their position in a confederacy which recognizes political separation as the only result of such a separation of interest.