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We are happily able to vouch a witness above all exception. We call up, with equal pride and gratitude, to the support of our opinions and of what we conceive to be the interests of the Southern States, that great man whose genius has formed an era in the literary history of his country, and whose virtues are admitted, even by his adversaries, to be quite equal to his genius. Our readers have anticipated us in naming Dr. Channing. In an admirable article* published some time ago in a contemporary journal, that excellent person has gone so fully into this subject, that he has left very little to be added to his masterly view of it. He has "calculated the value of the Union"-but he has done so, at once, with the wisdom of a sage and the holy, filial solicitude and sensibility of a true patriot. He thinks and justly thinks, that the preservation of that magnificent scheme of liberty and peace, ought to be the capital object of our national policy, to which all other objects, however important in themselves, should be made to yield without reserve. He teaches and wisely teaches, that the influence of government upon society, is never so salutary as when it is almost exclusively negativethat it should protect mankind against force and fraud, and enable them to pursue their own happiness and improvement, under the shelter of equal laws and a vigilant police, without presuming to dictate to self-interest in the choice either of its objects or its means—and that in such a country as this, especially, so vast, so diversified in its moral as well as natural features, the administration of affairs ought to be distinguished by the most guarded moderation and a religious respect for the interests, the opinions, and even the very prejudices of every considerable part of it. These are fundamental and precious truths unhappily little attended to in theory, and still less respected in practice by the rulers of mankind. But applicable as they are to all forms of polity and all conditions of society, they are, as the most thoughtless must perceive, entitled to the especial consideration of our statesmen. Nobody pretends to deny, that except for a few designated purposes, the Federal Constitution is a bond of Union for distinct and independent commonwealths. Those purposes, we admit, are of paramount importance, and we are by no means inclined to stint the government in the means of accomplishing them. We fearlessly appeal to the history of the past, to shew that the South has never hesitated when efforts were to be made, never murmured when sacrifices were to be submitted to, for the common glory and well-being.

*

Why was this work of wisdom and peace omitted in the collection of Dr. C.'s Writings?

All that we have ever required of the Government is, that it should administer the affairs of the confederacy in good faith and with a truly paternal impartiality, within its ascertained constitutional sphere. We remember with a melancholy pleasure, what a romantic enthusiasm, what a generous and confiding spirit of hope and brotherly love, once warmed the bosom of this whole State in relation to our glorious republic. It is but a very few years since the word "sectional" was even heard among us. Would to God that our lips had never been forced to pronounce the barbarous and ill-omened sound!

It results, we contend, from the very nature of all confederacies, however intimate and permanent, that their common concerns should be administered with exceeding moderation. Whoever looks into the theory of such political associations will be satisfied of this. The great difference between a Consolidated and a Federal Government is, that in the former, the body politic is supposed to constitute one integral, indivisible whole, in which all the separate parts are completely merged and melted away; while, in the latter, they are allowed for all purposes but those falling within the casus fœderis, to retain their individuality and independence. In the one case, the interests of the whole and the interests of every single part are in theory so completely identified, as to be incapable of being separated, even in imagination. In the other, they are so far from being identified, that it is the very object of the fundamental compact (whatever it may be) to keep them carefully distinguished. It is the law of all simple corporate bodies, that ubi est major pars ibi est tota, as the books express it, and it follows, in the absence of any express regulation, that in a consolidated government, the majority represents the whole, to all intents and purposes whatsoever-feels, thinks, speaks, acts for the whole without reserve-and sacrifices, without scruple, to the conceived interests of the whole, those of any individual part. So say all publicists. In a Federal Union, however, be it never so intimate, this unbounded control over the interests and resources of the society, is inconsistent with the separate existence, the individuality of the parts. As to all purposes, not designated in the compact, it is supposed, by the very theory of the government, that there is no community of interests among them. Each has its own peculiar policy to pursue, its individual prosperity to take care of. The meaning of this is, that a citizen of Virginia, for instance, is supposed by the very frame of the Constitution, to be more concerned in the well-being of Virginia, than in that, of New-York or PennVOL. VI. NO. 1.

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sylvania. If, therefore, the well-being of Virginia be sacrificed to that of New-York or Pennsylvania, although the nation, considered as a whole, may be a gainer by it, the citizens of the former are not considered as compensated in this result. It is true the citizens of one State are entitled to all the privileges enjoyed by those of another. But, besides, that it is for the States to define who their citizens are, and great impediments may thus be thrown in the way of a perfect intercommunity of privileges; this does not essentially alter the character of the federal union, though it makes that union more intimate than it otherwise would be. That this is the true theory of the Con-. stitution, is admitted by the writers of the "Federalist." "If the government be national," says Mr. Madison, "with regard to the operation of its powers, it changes its aspect again when we contemplate it in relation to the extent of its powers. The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation, this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes, it is vested partly in the general, and partly in the municipal legislatures. In the former case, all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme; and may be controlled, directed or abolished by it at its pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal authorities, form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one," &c. We go a step farther than the text just cited. We conceive that not only is the government of the United States, limited in its powers to those granted in the Federal Constitution, but that even in the exercise of these, it is bound by the spirit and scheme of a confederacy, as such, to pay greater respect to the separate interests of the parties, than could be required of the rulers of a consolidated empire. Not only ought it religiously to abstain from all usurpation of authority, but to look upon an abuse of power for partial purposes, as, in sound theory, not at all less dangerous or criminal than downright usurpation. But if this is a rational inference from the theory of the Constitution itself, it is abundantly confirmed by the salutary effects which the exercise of such moderation would produce in practice. Indeed, the very existence of the government depends upon it. Mutual confidence and respect is its only sure support-and we venture to

say that whatever reliance some of our politicians may feel in the strength of our Federal System, the day is coming when its great original sin-its centrifugal tendencies-will be acknowledged on all hands, to be its daily besetting danger. Let our rulers reflect how easy it is to destroy-what a small stock of talent may raise a man to a conspicuous place among the most mischievous revolutionists-and that a single State might, with the aid of a fortuitous, but not impossible combination of circumstances, succeed in pulling down this mighty fabric, though she should be herself buried beneath its ruins! Let them beware of giving any good ground for local jealousies-let them stand in awe of a high-spirited people-let them feel it as a dreadful responsibility, to sting any considerable portion of such a people almost to madness with a sense of wrong, only to give a fair trial, as it is called, to a most hazardous and questionable scheme of merely possible, ideal good.

But if this moderation would seem to be called for by the theory of our government, it is still more strongly recommended to us by the circumstances and extent of the country. An empire as vast as that of Trajan and the Antonines, and including as great a variety of soil, climate and pursuits, cannot be governed by a representative assembly, gathered from every part of it, changed in its composition every two years, without information, withqut experience, unless the objects of the social union be as few and simple, as its structure is vast and multifarious. The very excellence of the representative form, on a small scale the sympathy and connexion between the deputy and constituent is its great evil in such an extension, or rather misapplication of it. The delegates from remote parts do not, and cannot represent those with whom they have not a common interest. Whether reasonably or not, they will naturally and inevitably look at home in estimating the probable effects of any measure. If they be faithful to their trust-if they be true to those who depute them, they will do so. Even, therefore, in the most conscientious performance of their duty, there is so far from being any security to the interests of those whom they do not represent, that the very reverse is the fact. The danger of error and injustice is great, in proportion to this zeal in the performance of duty, unless it be accompanied with a degree of knowledge quite extraordinary, and therefore not to be looked for in the great majority of public men. When to this natural tendency of the system, are added all the sinister influences which deceive and mislead mankind, mistaken ideas of local interest, the intrigues of demagogues, corrupt political arrangements, &c. it appears very romantic to look for a comprehen

sive national policy from such an assembly, if it be invested with powers, capable of being easily abused for partial ends.

This subject is placed in a very striking light by Mr. M'Duffie, in his able speech upon the tariff, at the last session of Congress. We differ with him, to a certain extent, in applying his conclusions, to the existing state of things. We are very loth to believe that there is any ascertained, unchangeable and infamous majority in this country. We are willing to concede, because we have no reason to deny, that those who support the American System, act upon mistaken views both of its policy and its constitutionality. Yet it must be admitted that so long as their opinions prevail, the minority can, for the reason given, have no guaranty against unequal and oppressive legislation-not so much as is afforded to the unrepresented cities of England, by the members of neighbouring close boroughs.

The truth is, the founders of the government, as we shall hereafter shew, never expected it to deviate from its original simplicity. They gave it no important power, that had not been trusted to the old confederation, with the single exception of the power to regulate commerce. Their great end was to preserve the peace, order, morality and liberty of the country. They embodied these sublime principles in the covenant which they established. They were careful to prevent mischief-to restrain power-to throw obstacles in the way of legislation and to give scope, as it were, to a young and flourishing people, to grow up to prosperity and greatness under equal laws, by the spontaneous resources of the country, and the vigour, activity and intelligence of untrammelled enterprize. Liberty, justice, peace-these we repeat, were the great cardinal objects of the men of '89. These they saw could not be maintained without a more perfect union, and they met together to make their union more perfect, with a view to these. They strengthened the hands of the government-they gave it more effectual power, of enforcing its edicts-they substituted laws for requisitionsbut they added to the extent of its powers, they changed its essential character, only by vesting in it the right to regulate commerce with foreign nations and between the States. The powers vested in the new confederacy, like those ascribed to the old; were such as Congress might exercise with advantage to all, because in their very nature they comprehend the interests of all. Thus, such an assembly was very fit to be trusted with the power of coining money, and fixing the standard of weights and measures-far more fit than the many local assemblies of the country. So the discretion of making war might safely be confided to it-because, except to ambitious

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