The Republican party at the North have found the long-sought opportunity of waging a war upon the South and its institutions. Filled with the idea that the Federal Government is a consolidated Republic, that the States are mere geographical divisions—counties on a large scale—this Northern geographical party is about to send down its hordes of armed men upon the seceding States of the South. South Carolina, by its attack upon Fort Sumter, has given the Republicans the war cry of treason and rebellion, and now they expect the Northern people as a unit to band against the South, and by overwhelming force to crush out the liberties of the seceding States. They must be forced by an army of seventy-five thousand to submit to the laws of the General Government, when they have, through their legally constituted Governments, thrown off its bonds, and have sought to enter into peaceable alliance with it. While the people have been seeking a peaceable settlement of the difficulties which attended their affairs, the Republican Administration, with words of peace on its tongue, but with the sword of hatred in its heart, lulling suspicions but biding its time, has made its preparations to cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war—and behold the proclamation of the President who permits lies to be twisted from him, as it is charged by his own supporters and admitted by himself to the man he had deceived.

But this truthful President is not content with levying war upon the seceded States. He issues a proclamation, and assumes an authority to levy war without the assent of Congress. Without the authority of any law he summons 75,000 troops to repossess the forts, places and property which have been seized from the Union. And pray! do the seceded States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, seven States, constitute no part of this Union? Has it come to this that the Union is an entity, distinct from the States which compose it? Is it a bundle without sticks, all binding and nothing to bind? Is the Federal Government a power as distinct from the States as was the British Government distinct from the colonies when they declared their independence? We protest against such horrid doctrines. Once admitted, and American freedom will soon stand trembling before the Presidential throne. The States are the true guardians of our freedom and our rights, and when their power is gone, the master at the Federal capital is the ruler over subject millions—an emperor, elected or self-appointed, as the times determine.

But the President’s proclamation is a despotic usurpation of authority not granted in the Constitution, not authorized by the law of the land. True, the President pretends to quote authority for his act—and so any usurper can quote some law that he thinks may be twisted to his purpose, and the devil can quote scripture, also, or did so on one occasion—but the law quoted gives no authority for the acts done. The people of the United States should, through their Representatives, at once impeach ABRAHAM LINCOLN of high crimes and misdemeanors, and put him on trial before his judges. The President quotes the language of the 2d section of act of Congress of February 28, 1795, as his authority for this levying war. He is commander-in-chief, his orders must be obeyed without question! That section provides, “that whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed in any State, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the powers vested by the marshals by this act, (the proclamation cites it, “or by the powers vested in the marshals by law,” as if there were some special or general law upon the subject,) it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia of such State, or of any other State or States, as may be necessary to suppress such combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed; the use of militia so to be called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of Congress.”

The power given to the Marshals by this act, is found in section 9, “That the Marshals of the several districts, and their deputies, shall have the same powers in executing the laws of the United States, as Sheriffs and their deputies in the several States have by law in executing the laws of the respective States.”

In those two sections is found all the authority conferred upon the President to make this war upon the Southern seceding States. The Constitution, a document little regarded now-a-days by North or South, says Congress shall have power to declare war, and to raise and support armies; but Mr. LINCOLN does it now; he needs no Congress; he is preparing his coup d’etat, and, like the French President, he calls upon the people to support him, and the frantic North rushes forth to hail the man who has the backbone, and who is ready to prove by hard knocks “that we have a Government.” The next thing is to declare martial law at Washington, although the Constitution says the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. And the law can only be suspended by act of Congress, and yet suspension is spoken of, and so far is the Government suspected, that men are actually afraid of martial law.

The first section of the act gives the President authority, whenever the country is invaded, or is in imminent danger of invasion, to call forth such number of militia as he may judge necessary to repel the invasion, and to issue his order for that purpose. In the case of insurrection against a State, he can, upon application of the Legislature, or Executive of that State, call upon the militia of any other States.

Under the first section it has been decided that the danger of invasion must be determined by the President, and that the other departments of the Government must submit to that decision, as the discretion is left with him. But how different the language of the second section, under which he purports to act. When the execution of the laws of the United States are obstructed by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshal by this act. What judicial proceeding has been resisted? What Marshal’s writ has been taken from him? What judgment or decree fails of its due execution? What posse comitatus is found unable to assist the Marshal in procuring obedience to the mandate of his writ? What Judge has certified to the President that the Marshal cannot execute the laws? What Collector of a port finds himself unable to collect the duties imposed by law, and finds his authority set at naught? Not one. None of these things have been done; but the judges have resigned; there are no Marshals; there are no Collectors, and thus the army is called upon to execute the laws. No writ is required, no judicial process asked, but the mailed hand is stretched forth, and, avoiding conciliation, the maxim is, all means to crush.

Alas! it is becoming not a question of secession and treason, but a question of our own and our children’s freedom—a question whether our liberties are secured by laws or whether they are subject to the will, the mere will of despotism.