The fearful commotion that is now shaking the country to its foundation, is incomprehensible to human understanding, except as interpreted in the light of Divine Providence. God uses man to carry out his mysterious purposes. In this instance, the believer in an overruling Providence can readily comprehend that God has some great end to accomplish, and makes use of the differences of this people, on the slavery question, to bring it about. Men on either side are carried in one direction or the other against their will, and forced to take sides, however much they may resist. A couple of weeks ago, or less, the people were divided into parties. Each man had his place, and each side opposed violently the opposing parties. Now, looking at the North, we find men almost unanimous for the Government. Party lines are obliterated, and whatever a man may have formerly been, almost all now are determined to stand by the lawful authorities and establish the fact that we have a government competent to perpetuate its own unequaled privileges and to punish traitors. This is the common feeling which actuates the people of the North, and, to their honor be it said, a host of gallant Union men in the South. We have in mind scores and scores of Democrats and Bell men in this State and elsewhere who have opposed the Republican party violently, but who now lose sight o£ party considerations and stand by the constituted authorities for the preservation of law, order, and liberty. …

Surely when we see such a great change in the public mind in so short a time, we can but think that the hand of Providence has specially brought it about for a great purpose. What that purpose is, we can only imagine. Perhaps Providence wishes to punish the people of this country for their pride, arrogance, and corruption. Perhaps we do not appreciate the unnumbered blessings that he has literally showered down on us. Perhaps we do not sufficiently prize the glorious boon of freedom and good government that he has vouchsafed us. And—not to multiply the surmises that crowd on us—perhaps God has instituted the present troubles to rid the country of the predominance of slavery in its public affairs. The whole country, North as well as South, has been instrumental in the endeavor to spread it over the continent, and to force it on unwilling people. While the South has been actively propagating and perpetuating the institution, the North has winked at the wrongful business and encouraged it.—Therefore, in the coming troubles, the North must not expect to escape the penalty of her lack of principle. She must suffer, like the South.

It may even be possible that Providence designs by means of these troubles to put a summary end to slavery. The institution has gone on to spread until it interferes materially with the progress of the Nation. Our country can never reach its full stature and importance so long as this baleful influence extends over it. It is a paradoxical state of things to see a country, which boasts of its freedom, nursing and sustaining the most odious system of slavery known on earth. This is against nature, and our country cannot long endure it, as a permanent arrangement. There is truly an “irrepressible conflict” between free and slave labor, and eventually the country must be all slave or all free, or the two parts must separate; which, we shall soon know. The only question is, when this will come to pass, and whether the time has now come for the final issue. A few weeks will decide this point. The events transpiring throughout the country indicate that the end is not far off.

This quarrel has been brought about against the earnest efforts of the North, and forced on her after the most surprising forbearance. “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” is an old adage. So it seems in the case of the Southern madcaps who have forced the country into this deplorable war for their own villainous purposes. If slavery is crushed out between the “upper and nether mill-stones” of the opposing forces, those who brought this difficulty on the country can console themselves with the reflection that they themselves were the cause of its death.

The people of the North as a body have been willing to let slavery alone—to have nothing to do with it one way or the other. They have no other desire now. But if the war goes on, God only knows what will come to pass. This much is certain—the institution of slavery must be affected for better or worse. The principle of eternal right forbids that it should in this Nineteenth century be benefited by such a movement. We must conclude, then—and we have asserted the same thing before—that the contest sound[s] the death-knell of slavery. Thomas Jefferson said, that, in such a contest as the present, God has no attribute that could cause him to take sides with the slave-owners.—No person can doubt the issue of the conflict between Freedom and Slavery—Order and Disorder—Law and Anarchy, which has commenced. It must result in favor of the right. To believe otherwise, we must believe history to be a lie, and that Satan rules on earth, instead of a benignant and just Providence. And, if the peculiar institution is doomed to come to an end by the acts of its friends, who will mourn its loss? It has kept the country in a ferment since its organization and hindered its progress and it would be truly a God’s blessing to be rid of it. So every patriot feels in his heart of hearts.