After a series of bold and insulting robberies of the forts and other property of the United States, Jefferson Davis has at length consummated his audacious treason by an attack upon Fort Sumpter, one of the few strongholds which the United States have been in a condition to defend. The government has hitherto been very tender, some think to a fault, of the crime of disloyalty to the authority of the United States, which has done nothing illegal or unconstitutional, but has scrupulously performed its duty toward all the members of the confederacy doing impartial justice to every member.

Never before, we sincerely believe, has it been attempted to array a rebellion against a government, which has done its citizens no wrong whatever. The States composing this Union may be confidently challenged to state one legal and sound reason for invading and putting to the sword our fellow-citizens of the United States peaceably residing in one of its own possessions, erected by it for the defence of South Carolina, and never used for the injury of that State, but always and ever intended for her protection.

Why is this attack? Was there ever in the records of the past so perfectly unjustifiable a commencement of a fratricidal war—how, where, and when ended, God only knows. That Omnipotent Being perhaps has never been invoked by any party to a war with a profounder consciousness of entire innocence of wrong, and a deeper desire to shun, if possible, the present conflict, and to stop the effusion of blood, and do justice, and more than justice to those now leagued against it, apparently thirsting for the blood of its loyal citizens, than by this long forbearing, patient government of the United States. It has sustained in silence the numerous outrages committed upon it, it has borne the biting taunts and insolence of its enemies, yet it has not replied. In truth, its tenderness to the inhabitants of the confederate States has been displayed to such an extent as well nigh to incur the charge of pusillanimity from its obedient citizens, and forfeit their respect. Nothing could have been done to satisfy reasonable complaints, that has not been done, without surrendering the majority into the hands of an ambitious and destructive minority, and bringing the government into universal derision and contempt.

We ask again, what has the government of the Union done to justify this murderous attack upon its citizens in fort Sumpter; what has it not done or offered to do to turn aside civil- war, which was begun by Jefferson Davis on Thursday? The impartial American people and all nations must perceive this invasion of the United States to be a most wanton act of cowardice as well as cruelty. Ten thousand troops, completely armed with diabolical enginery, deliberately and in cold blood prepared for months past, with all the skill that could be commanded, confronting about three score half starved but brave soldiers under the heroic Anderson. What remarkable chivalry is here!

And does the conceited Davis imagine for a moment, that this great drama, which has its opening in the port of Charleston is to have its consummation and end there also? Never, never. The gallant little garrison may be starved out, they may see the walls of Sumpter reduced to dust by the iron balls and shells of infernal machines, and be obliged to surrender to a beleagu[e]ring foe comprised of the better part of the population of Carolina; but this will be but the first scene of the first act of a drama, which bids fair to become immortal. The Union and Constitution, which were the work of Washington and Jefferson, of Adams and Hamilton, shall never be crushed like the ramparts of Sumpter.

Before the work of these apostles of liberty and constitutional government shall be reduced to ruin, thousands of the stalwart forms of the freemen of the North will be laid low. And then the republic of the North will not be overthrown. If the fathers shall perish, their sons will fly with alacrity to the field of fight, where liberty and law are the prizes, and the American republic shall continue to flourish in amaranthine strength and beauty.

The time has now come when all are called upon to abandon partizan prejudice and take their stand either for the government or against it; and certainly no patriot can hesitate a moment in deciding the question for himself. It is not now a matter of past issues, but of present safety. If the Government is destroyed we must submit to the dreadful effects of anarchy, robbery and ruin; the only power that can protect the lives and property of the people will be gone, the random passions of infernal spirits will revel in the general ruin, and the brightest hopes of the Christian patriot will be crushed, perhaps, forever.

If on the other hand the Government is maintained we shall soon have the peace and prosperity which formerly prevailed restored to us, with all their unparalleled blessings—which were never properly appreciated, and possibly will not be till they are lost. But as “blessings brighten as they take their flight,” the people are beginning to realize their interest, and whatever may be the result of the first engagement, no sensible man doubts for a moment that the Government will be able to fully maintain the majesty and power of the Constitution and the laws as they came to us from our sainted ancestry.

We then renew our former oaths of allegiance to our noble country, we pledge our lives and efforts to preserve and make it a blessing to posterity; and we will swear, that what our illustrious fathers left us shall be transmitted, if willing hands and unterrified hearts can do it, to our posterity.