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My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all.They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth.
I frankly acknowledge to you my convictions, and I will freely lay before you the reasons on which they are founded.
The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity.
The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.
It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.
And yet, however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion.
A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose.
This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy.
And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists.
For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword.
Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.