REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING.
but it will not be deemed amiss if, in the following
discourse, I take a somewhat wider range. My wish is
to set before honest and thoughtful minds such reasons
for gratitude as are suggested by the whole subject of
the war. It is my design, in pursuing this course, to do
what in me lies to decide the doubtful, encourage the
timid, and lead all to see that we do well to-day to
enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving, and his
courts with praise.
1. The Cause in which we are embarked, we have
good reason to be assured, is a just and righteous one.
It was not to oppress our southern neighbors, or wrest
from them a single privilege guaranteed by the Consti¬
tution, that the sword was drawn in the first instance.
Never was there a clearer case of simple resistance to
aggression. We stand, in this respect, on a noble pre¬
eminence, and may challenge the world to prove that we
are wrong. Were it otherwise, had we conspired against
what are called the Confederate States, to arrest their
course in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness, or had we neglected to fulfil towards them
all the obligations imposed upon us by our National
Compact, it would be but solemn mockery to raise a
voice in thanksgiving to-day, no matter how great our
successes. Examine the Journals of Congress from the
beginning, including the whole history of Executive acts,
and see if they do not furnish a perfectly clear record.
Much, I know, is said by the South itself, and by south¬
ern sympathizers, of the oppression of the North, and we