The Duty of the Hour.
Thousands of loyal men will greet each other in the Capital of Illinois to-day. It is no ordinary occasion that calls them together. There is no election in immediate prospect — the interests of no particular candidate are to be urged or advanced. The object of the meeting is not to advance the interests of any party. It is one in which comes directly home to every citizen, regardless of his political position or predilections. It is to sustain the Government in the hour of its trial. Every man who desires to see the Union perpetuated, liberty maintained and the supremacy of the Constitution re-established over every State of this Union, is interested and invited.
The men who assemble to-day recognize the fact that the country is at war — that traitors are striving to overthrow the Government. — The practical issue is, how shall this treasonable scheme be defeated? All minor issues should be forgotten. The rescue of the country from its present misfortunes, and the re-establishment of peace on a sure and lasting basis should be the object of all desires. No man who is influenced by any other motive than this will be in place among the assemblage of citizens to-day.
The meeting to-day will give encouragement to our loyal Union soldiers in the field, and will, in the same ratio, strike terror to the hearts of our enemies. In this respect its influence will be directly the opposite of that of the meeting of the 17th of June. That gave encouragement to traitors and pained the hearts of loyal men — none more than the brave and true men who have gone forth to battle in defence of the country. The hands of these men will be strengthened anew by the result of to-day's proceedings. They will be assured that they are to be sustained at home, and that will encourage them to go forward to the achievement of new victories.
The clouds which lowered in the sky of our future have been partially dispelled. Victory has perched upon the banners of our glorious Union, gained in the "offensive prosecution of the war;" and rebels and rebel sympathizers are alike in despair lest the rebellion should be suppressed. But the future is full of promise. Let the loyal men who assemble to-day assure our armies in the field that they are sustained at home; let them resolve to stand firmly by each other and by the Government against all enemies, both at home and abroad, and we may not only look for continued peace in our own State, but for the restoration of peace throughout the whole country.