— We publish elsewhere in to-day's paper the late proclamation of Mr. Lincoln extending freedom to the slaves in all States in insurrection after the first of January next. — This we regard as the most unfortunate step of the President since the beginning of the war. No one desires more earnestly than ourselves the restoration of the Union to its former grandeur; no one would be willing to greater sacrifices to secure that restoration. We have ever believed that the existence of slavery was the cause of the war just as the possession of money is the cause of robberies. No more. We do not believe that the attempted abolition of slavery will have the effect to bring the South to terms any quicker, and we are sure it will not nerve our soldiers to deeds of greater valor. The abolition element of the army is very small, and we may safely say that the Democratic masses, who compose the rank and file of the army, are unalterably opposed to the policy proposed by the President. We hope for the best, but with a policy calculated to dampen the ardor of our troops, one which they have steadily protested against, and which it has been repeatedly promised should not be forced upon them — and one which will add incalculably to the desperation of our enemies, we see but little to cheer the heart of the well-wisher of the Union.