The troubles of our country are every day becoming more and more difficult of settlement. We are beginning to realize that civil war is upon us. The armies on either side are assuming gigantic proportions, and every day are drawing nearer and nearer to each other. In every breeze that comes from the South we are listening to hear the clash of resounding arms. Soon, it would seem, our fields are to be red with the blood of citizens shed by each others’ hands. Is there no way to stop this strife?

Foreign nations are looking on with wonder and astonishment. This great people, a few months ago, a unit, the admiration of the world, are now dissevered, and about to tear each other in pieces. Our Union gone! The Government established by our fathers defied! Our flag, the pride, for almost a century, of every American, in every land, trampled in the dust, ignominiously and mockingly committed to the grave by our own people! The friends of freedom are weeping tears of sorrow the world over. The friends of tyranny are rejoicing in the depth of their hearts at the prospective failure of this last, great experiment of the people to govern themselves. Can no peaceful means be yet resorted to to save this Union, this Government, this “asylum of the oppressed from all lands,” from utter and irretrievable ruin?

We have no hope in party organizations or party platforms; we have no hope in the efforts of politicians; we have little, if any, hope from battles fought and the outpouring of rivers of blood. But there is a tribunal able to do, and, if called, we believe, effectual to act. That tribunal is THE PEOPLE ASSEMBLED IN NATIONAL CONVENTION.

Congress is soon to meet. On the Fourth of July next, our Nation’s birthday, they are to assemble to stay up the hands of the Government. In the mean time the Government, backed by its Army, its Navy, and its abundant Treasury, can retain its present possessions, retake perhaps some of the property of which it has been despoiled, and give protection to Union men in the Border States. When Congress meets let it not spend all its time in providing instruments of death and hands to wield them; but let it nourish sentiments of peace, and strive to lead the people to adopt the last great peaceful, constitutional resort for saving the country from devastation and bloodshed, and perhaps the Government from ruin. Let it recommend; let the President heartily join in, a recommendation to all the States to authorize and solicit Congress to call a National Convention. Let them not propose any measures for the adoption of such a convention, but let them declare that such measures as shall be adopted, they will carry out in good faith.

Such a recommendation on the part of Congress and the Administration, and such a declaration, exhibiting a willingness by those in power to trust the people and abide their behest, would beget confidence and sympathy in return on the part of the people, and strengthen the Government beyond measure both at home and abroad.

Should the Legislatures of the seceded States refuse to send delegates to such a convention, or submit to its decisions, then, every peaceful means having been exhausted, a resort to the strong arm of military power will meet with the approval of an unprejudiced world.

Let it not be objected that the course here recommended would delay the settlement of our difficulties. Our feet should not be “swift to shed blood.” But it is not certain it would result in delay. It might hasten a settlement. And even if it did delay a few weeks or months, and result finally in a peaceful settlement, who, in years to come, when again living in harmony with his brethren of the South, would regret that he had not dipped his hands in the blood of his countrymen, perhaps of his kindred? Let us remember there are no laurels to be gathered in a civil war—there are no jewels to bedeck the crown of the victor. The only diamonds that can sparkle on his brow will be the gathered tears of the widow and the fatherless. If, without the trial of every peaceful means being first had to settle our difficulties, war be made and continued till the subjugation of the South by the slaughter of thousands and tens of thousands of our people, or till our country, exhausted in all its parts of money and of men, is compelled to a final separation, the curses of the people in each section will follow their leaders and their rulers, and crushed ambition and remorse will be their final doom.