It is with profound sorrow that we report the commencement of hostilities between our government and that of the Confederated States of the South. Although anticipated and rendered probable by the current of events more recently developed at Washington, we still entertained the hope that, as such a catastrophe would far exceed in its evil consequences any good to be derived from it, it would have been avoided. However, it has pleased the rulers of the two governments to offset all the calamities and horrors of an internecine war by the single consideration of what they believed due to the maintenance of abstract and disputed rights of property and jurisdiction. The possession of Fort Sumter by either party, with the force which it recently contained, could do no positive good nor harm to either party, and the status quo might well have been maintained if there had existed any urgent desire for peace on either side. But it seems that our government considers it due to its own dignity and honor to maintain possession of the public property of the United States, whilst, on the other hand, the government of the Confederated States considers it due to its dignity and honor to possess all the property within the boundaries of the Confederation. Such are unfortunately too frequently the motives for collision between nations and governments, and more blood has been shed, and more cruelties inflicted upon mankind in the defence of abstract rights of government than from any other cause.

In the days of the American Revolution, Great Britain held to the right of taxation over her colonies, whilst the colonies contended for the principle of “no taxation without representation,” and the consequence was a seven years’ cruel and bloody war which cost more in life and treasure than the taxation of more than one thousand years perhaps would have amounted to.

Such is, alas, the unreasonableness of human action, and as we cannot expect exemption from the follies of the race, notwithstanding our claims to superior intelligence and virtue over those who have gone before us, we are forced to accept the existing condition of affairs with the philosophic idea that “what cannot be cured must be endured.” A state of war, and war of a most dangerous character, is upon us. It is in some sense what is termed a civil war, but so long as the people of the several States will be obedient to law, and respect the rights of each other, within their respective boundaries, it is not such in the full acceptation of the words. But such as it is, and bad as it is, the question arises where is it to end?

The events of the last few days have cast a ray of light upon the future which exposes one certain and inevitable result, and that is, a final and irrevocable separation of the slave holding from the non-slaveholding States. The last ray of hope in favor of a different result is entirely dissipated, and the friends who have been so long hoping, as it were, against hope, must be content to see the noble fabric which they have so long and so earnestly sought to preserve, rent in twain by the folly and fanaticism of those to whom, in an evil hour, has been committed the government of this once happy and powerful Republic. But is this to be the end? We fear not. A continuance of the policy which has brought the country to this deplorable point, will inevitably lead to results still more fearful and disastrous. If the policy of coercion is persisted in, if the force of arms is to be still substituted for the force of reason, in less than sixty days the entire continent will be in a blaze of battle, the horrors of war will extend from the Lakes to the Gulf, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and every city, village and hamlet will witness scenes the contemplation of which curdles the blood, and stills the heart of every patriot. But if to the contrary the voice of the multitudes crying aloud for Peace shall be heard and heeded, then, though the Union shall be divided, its several parts may each continue to bestow the blessings of good government upon those within their respective borders, and may mutually institute new and more durable conditions of future connection with each other. Such we would fain hope may be the end of the fearful conflict now raging, but its consummation rests upon the conduct of the Federal Administration whose recent vaccillation, and subservience to party dictation, leaves but a slender “margin” for confidence in that direction. Another week or two will determine it.