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self to the charge of presumption. Without undertaking to do in form what I think you ought to have done, I will venture to make a suggestion or two leading in that direction. Evidently you were displeased that I, not being a lawyer, and being a clergyman, have professed to think for myself on a certain question of constitutional interpretation, and have published an opinion confessedly differing from that of "some lawyers," among whom (though I had no thought of you, and almost no knowledge of you, at the time) you happen to be included. Allow me to say that you might have saved yourself some trouble if you had more carefully considered the ground of your displeasure before you began to write. Aside from the alleged erroneousness of my opinion, and of the considerations which I offered in support of it; what is the principle which I violated, and which you are called to vindicate? Is it that your profession has exclusive rights which I have invaded by thinking for myself, and saying what I think? Or is it that my profession divests me of rights which are common to all other citizens? Let me suggest, respectfully, that in taking occasion from the paragraph above cited, to raise an issue between "the gentlemen of the Bar" and "the clergy," you ought to have taken your position frankly upon one or the other of these two principles, or upon both. Do you hold that when all citizens are enquiring what the President may do, and what he may not do to save the Union and the nation from being destroyed by this rebellion, no man who is not a lawyer has any right to differ in opinion from any man who is a lawyer? Or, do you hold that though other citizens not of your profession have a right of private judgment on such questions, the fact of my being a clergyman divests me of that right?

The paragraph, which I have quoted, is all that I said about the constitutional right of the President to issue his great proclamation. It is the only paragraph in which I made any allusion to lawyers; for the other aspects and bearings of the proclamation involve no legal question. The question, for example, whether the President from the beginning of the war, has always intended to adopt this extreme measure if he should

find it impossible otherwise to suppress the rebellion, is no more a question of jurisprudence than it is a question of medicine or theology. The question whether the President was right or wrong in thinking that the time had come for this extreme measure, and that the attempt to restore the Constitution and the Union without recognizing the manhood of the enslaved population held in subjection by the enemies of the United States had been kept up till its futility was sufficiently demonstrated, is not a question on which the opinion of a lawyer is to be taken as the opinion of an expert. Nor is the question whether the proclamation marks a definite stage of progress in the prosecution of the war, (if there be any doubt on the point), a law question. You seem to have an inkling of a distinction between the question whether the proclamation is expedient and necessary as a measure of hostility against the belligerent enemies of the United States, and the question whether (its expediency and necessity being admitted) it transcends the constitutional powers of the President, and violates his inaugural oath; and yet you apply, as a personal reproach to yourself, not only what I said about "some lawyers" who hold that the President has no power to proclaim the emancipation of persons held in slavery by the belligerent enemies of the United States, but also what I said about a certain class of politicians and demagogues, who pretend that peace can be obtained, and the Union restored by our continuing to make war against the rebels with only one hand, and at the same time helping them with the other hand in their unceasing war with their millions of slaves. A few words of explanation on this point are due to your feelings.

I offer then, for your relief, this explanation.

First. In all that I wrote, I had no thought of you either as a politician or as a lawyer. Much as it may be to my disadvantage, I must confess that I had no knowledge of your antipathies and sympathies, or your views concerning the procla mation; and that if I had been asked, Who is the colleague of Prof. Parsons in the Law School at Cambridge, my memory might not have enabled me to answer. Secondly. When you say that I brand "all lawyers, and all others who do not concur


with [me] in having no doubt concerning the RIGHT to issue the proclamation," and that I charge them "with disloyalty,' 'debasing homage to slavery,' and with an intent to divide the Union or subvert the Constitution,' you are entirely mistaken. Thirdly. My opinion of the political leaders and partisans whom I had in view, and whom I denounced as "in fact disloyal to the Constitution," remains unchanged. A moment's thought will tell you who they are. You know who the men are "who have so long paid a debasing homage to slavery for the sake of 'saving the Union' that they are now willing to sacrifice the Union for the sake of saving slavery." They are the men who at this moment are talking in New York and New Jersey, in Illinois and Indiana, in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, about a reconstruction of the Union with New England left out. They are the men who at this moment are plotting and moving for a compromise with the perjured and bloody traitors that rule the rebellion. It was to that sort of men that I had reference when I expressed my conviction that they "expect nothing else and intend nothing else than some concession to the rebels, which shall either divide the Union or subvert the Constitution." I may have occasion to say more about them in the progress of this letter. At present it is enough to admit, frankly, that if there are men endowed with an ordinary share of common sense, who deny the necessity of the military policy inaugurated by the proclamation, and "talk abont bringing the war to an end in some other way," and who at the same time do not expect either a recognized division of the Union or the restoration of it by the concession of new guarantees to slavery against freedom,-I was mistaken.

You seem to be sensitive about my saying that "I have a great respect for lawyers in their place" but must nevertheless

"be permitted to remember that lawyership is not the same thing with statesmanship, and to insist that the Constitution of the United States, like the Bible, is to be interpreted. by the common sense of the people." What is the place of lawyer? He may be a judge, and then his place is on the bench, applying the law to the individual cases, civil and criminal, which come into his court for trial and decision. He may

be a professor of law, and then his place is in the chair of instruction, giving lectures, hearing recitations, initiating his pupils into the science of law, and training them for the profession. If he is neither judge nor professor, his place is in his office, giving advice to clients and drawing law papers, or at the bar conducting and arguing the causes which are entrusted to him. That is what I mean when I say that I have a great respect for lawyers in their place. I honor the profession. I have no sympathy with any vulgar prejudice against it. I recognize it as indispensable to the administration of justice in society, and inseparable from the working of a government in which the rights of property and person are protected by law. I honor the illustrious names of the great lawyers who have adorned the profession by their abilities and their virtues. At the same time my personal acquaintance with lawyers, eminent on the bench or at the bar, assures me that to an ingenuous mind such studies and pursuits as theirs are an invaluable discipline, morally as well as intellectually. So much for the respect that is due to lawyers in their place.

A lawyer, then, is in his place when he is attending to his professional business in the courts or in his office; just as a clerygymen or a physician is in his place when performing the duties of his profession. But when a lawyer meddles with public affairs, with questions of political economy or of national policy that is, with questions of statesmanship, he is not less out of his place as a lawyer, than a physician who meddles with the same questions is out of his place as a physician. Statesmanship, whether as a science or as an art, instead of being exclusively within the domain of your profession, is wholly outside of it-just as it is wholly outside of the medical profession. Of course, I do not mean that when a man becomes a lawyer, he loses his right to think and to say what he thinks on questions of public interest. What I mean is, that his right to think and speak on public affairs belongs to him not as a lawyer but as a citizen; and that, therefore, the physician, the civil engineer, the schoolmaster, or college professor, the merchant, the manufacturer, the farmer, and even the clergyman, being citizens as well as he, have precisely the same right.

Lawyers are an intelligent class; their professional knowledge, and the discipline of their professional studies and pursuits, qualify them to bear an important part in the discussion of public questions; but other men are also intelligent, and may contribute something, each from his own stand-point, to a wise and safe decision of questions in which all are interested. Even if I should concede that in this democratic country lawyers as a class are more likely than any other class to have the special knowledge and training which qualify a man for statesmanship, I cannot forget that some disadvantages, as well as many advantages in respect to the higher walks of political science, are incident to that profession. Your profession, as well as mine, has its infirmities, its technical ways of thinking, its narrow traditions, its superstitious deference to formulas; and these must be thrown off before the mere lawyer can become a true statesman. You have not forgotten what Burke said. of Grenville:

"He was bred in a profession. He was bred to the law, which is, in my opinion, one of the first and noblest of human sciences, a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding, than all the other kinds of learning put together, but it is not apt, except in persons very happily born, to open and liberalize the mind exactly in the same proportion

Nor can you have failed to note what he said of lawyers on another occasion:

"Lawyers, I know, cannot make the distinction for which I contend, because they have their strict rule to go by. But legislators ought to do what lawyers cannot, for they have no other rules to bind them but the great principles of reason and equity and the general sense of mankind. These they are bound to obey and follow; and rather to enlarge and enlighten law by the liberality of legislative reason, than to fetter and bind their higher capacity by the narrow constructions of subordinate artificial justice."t

So much for the difference between lawyership and statesmanship.

You admit "that among the lawyers themselves there is a difference of opinion upon various questions of constitutional law." Indeed the fact was too notorious to be overlooked, that, on this very question concerning the constitutional power + Ibid. II, 95.

*Burke. Works, I, 451. Boston: 1839.

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