But a few years ago a proposition even looking towards disunion was regarded as treasonable, and a petition presented to Congress asking the consideration of the question met with the prompt and indignant rebuke of the whole country. How great the change. The value of the Union and the voluntary secession of States are now calmly and almost indifferently considered by the Nation generally. What was deemed at one time the greatest of evils which could possibly occur, an event which would probably unfavorably solve the problem of the capacity of the people for self-government, no longer intimidates the public mind. It is painfully evident that the people of the several States have ceased to feel that they are or should be united in a common sympathy and a common destiny. That fraternal feeling which heretofore has been a strong bond of union, is rapidly weakening, if it has not ceased to exist. We are a divided people with diverse interests. In politics the two sections of the country are in direct antagonism; most of the leading Christian sects have divided upon a geographical line; the social relations, North and South, are fast becoming dissevered, and even the ties and interests of commerce, the most selfish of all, are rapidly weakening.

The dissolution of the Union and the reorganization of its parts into separate confederacies, are fruitful themes of speculation in every portion of the country. The cotton States dream of a powerful Southern Republic, with Cuba, Mexico and Central America annexed. Oregon, Washington Territory, California and Utah, with the contiguous Territories, are to become the Republic of the Pacific. And the States Northwest of the river Ohio are set off as the Republic of the North-west. Rich in agricultural resources, this portion of the Union will become the granary of the other American States. With no need of a navy, a standing army or restrictions upon trade, she would be blessed with a cheap government, and, therefore, would rapidly increase in wealth, population and power. New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the great Middle States, would probably combine. And the Yankee States proper, which have been fattening off the balance since the formation of the Union, are to be left out in the cold. No matter into how many separate confederacies the other States of the Union may divide, not one would have any desire to unite its destiny with New England.

It seems a dream, a fatal delusion, that even one person can be found who can forget what our Constitution and the Union has cost, the glories it has achieved and the proud destiny which awaits us if we remain an united Nation. We can not yet believe it possible that loyalty to the Union has ceased, that the spirit of nationality has become extinct and that the people of this great Republic no longer glory in the proud title of American citizen. Yet day by day we read that such is the fact. In one portion of the Union arrangements are being made, calmly and deliberately, for a separate confederacy, and in the other the people are awaiting the result with apparent indifference, and express their willingness to consent to a peaceful secession. The Government is thus crumbling to pieces and no hand is raised to save the beautiful edifice which is the wonder and admiration of the world.

Have we become degenerate? Has the spirit of patriotism which animated the Fathers of the Republic become extinct? Is no effort to be made to stay the fell spirit of disunion which pervades the land? Is there no pilot who can safely guide the ship of State through the dangers which surround her, and land her in a secure haven?