The antagonism of political parties was never more complete than in the impending contest for the Presidential succession. Never in the history of the government has there been a more irreconcilable difference than that which now divides the political organizations of the country, and there is no common ground upon which there can be a fraternization of the conflicting forces. There is no way by which a man can be half Jew and half Ashdod. He must be either an Israelite or an Egyptian—he must be either for or against the “peculiar institution.”—Slavery and Freedom are the contending forces. There is no use in trying to dodge the issue—it is too palpable to be unseen. All the true manhood of the country see the vital question and come boldly up to meet it; only those who, “having eyes will not see, and having ears will not hear,” and who make broad their phylacteries, and cry Moses and the prophets, are the moral cowards of the country and slink away from the front of the battle and hide themselves under cover of non-intervention, and gabble in senseless twaddle about the Constitution and the Union, as if the Union can stand when wrong and oppression prevail; when freedom is stricken down; and when slavery becomes national and permanent.

What miserable things are that class of men who stand off and look indifferently on when the battle rages between Freedom and Slavery, who care not whether wrong is voted up or voted down. Such men and such parties can never succeed. They lack manliness, lack pluck, lack principle. They have no positive qualities to recommend them to the great, earnest, progressive force of the age.—They don’t know whether “to or not,” and don’t much care whether they “do or not.” Of such “dry bones” and spinal weakness is the Bell and Everett movement; and of such moral insensibility, perverse principle, and wicked indifference is the Douglas movement. Both of these neutralized parties are between the upper and nether millstones, and, like all worthless and wicked things, will be ground into powder. It is the positive qualities that succeed in the affairs of the world; it may be in moderated forms; but good or evil triumphs—good always in the end. Negative good, or negative evil, are not forces; and always fail. So these political tricksters who are now turning their windmills with a crank, will find after the season is over, that the breeze has been blowing in another direction, and that their machines are dried up for want of air.

The vital contest is between Lincoln and Breckenridge; here the antagonism is complete, the issue is fairly made up. The exact point in controversy is ascertained. A victory on either side will determine a principle. Lincoln’s election would affirm and decide that Freedom is the rule and Slavery the exception—Breckenridge’s triumph the reverse of that proposition, and that slavery is a divine institution which, by right, ought to exist, and by force of law must be carried into and fastened upon the virgin soil of every foot of the public domain.

Lincoln’s position advances Liberty and checks Slavery. Breckenridge’s position advances Slavery and checks Liberty. There is no intermediate principle, no intervening power that can harmonize the two. Both are necessarily aggressive; both are essentially, radically and permanently at war with each other. One or the other must control the government. This is the great, immediate, pressing question that must be settled. What folly to postpone an important question that can and ought to be settled.

What an hallucination that they who profess to sympathize with freedom, should remain and cooperate with those who will do nothing for liberty, and whose forces can have no other effect than to distract and retard the principle which their followers profess to revere. There is but one practical and sensible course for sincere and patriotic Free State men to pursue, and that is to array themselves, immediately and definitely, on the side of that party which is certainly, and securely on the side of freedom.