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“Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness-these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."
For some time past, the publisher of this work has entertained the idea of presenting to the citizens of the Union, a volume devoted to national interests. Maturing his plans, he laid them before a number of friends-gentlemen distinguished alike for their patriotism, social standing, and wide-spread reputation—and they were cordially endorsed as the promise, if carried out, of supplying a book really needed at this present crisis.
The gentlemen selected to write the various chapters, were chosen with reference to their ability to treat upon the subjects committed to their especial charge; and the publisher indulges the belief that their labor, careful research and investigation, joined with their conscientious desire to accomplish a work of so momentous interest, will be appreciated by every patriotic and reflective mind.
The subjects treated of concern not only the statesman and politician, but every American citizen, however humble or exalted—whether native or naturalized. They extend over a vast range of valuable facts and historical illustrations pertaining to the rights and immunities of citizens under a republican government. The present anomalous state of political parties throughout the country suggests a reason for the appearance of the work; and in the endeavor to meet this exigency it has been carefully prepared.
As a nation, we are essentially eclectic in character, receiving constant accession to our numbers from all parts of the civilized globe. It is, therefore, of the first importance to the integrity and security of our free institutions, that the balance of power in the republic should be sedulously guarded; that a spirit of nationality should rule in the councils of our government; and that the element of foreign political faith, as well as foreign manners and customs, be carefully precluded from vitiating our national morals,—the proud distinction of a free people consisting in its public virtue, which is the animating and sustaining principle of true democracy. It is not enough that we glory in our boasted liberties,—we must be jealous of their integrity-must learn wherein consists their security, their defences, and their danger.
It was a maxim of one of the early heroes of liberty," that “none could love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom but license, which never hath more indulgence than under tyrants.” This fact is amply sustained by the testimony of all history. The knowledge which we acquire at our own expense is undoubtedly the
most efficacious, but that which we learn from the misfortunes of others is the safest, inasmuch as we receive instruction without pain or danger to ourselves.
The “ Voice to America” is not the product of any clique; it enforces the opinions of no one party; it has not been prepared under the auspices, nor has it received the sanction, of any set of men organized for political purposes ; but the publisher has been cheered on in his purpose, in the confident assurance that, notwithstanding sectiona Ifeeling, and the specious pretences of fanaticism and political partisanship, there is yet a sufficient number of true-hearted Americans, pledged for the defence and preservation of the inestimable privileges conferred upon our common country, under the ægis of a glorious constitution. The book, therefore, goes forth to the world, claiming only the deference due to honestly-expressed opinions. It relies alone, for success, on the truth of its arguments, and the sacredness of its mission.
NEW YORK, August, 1855.