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towards those whom they have elevated to power. But it has been fully proved, that whenever the people see cause to believe that an administration or a party is corruptly employing the patronage of the government to buy up political support, the public indignation is sure to visit such party. John Quincy Adams used to say that the patronage of the government was the heaviest load an administration had to carry. The people of the United States have too much independence and selfrespect to acquiesce in any policy through which they are to be bought and sold with their own money.
Neither can any clique or interest, of any kind, maintain a permanent control of our government over the heads of the people. The rule of democracy is, that the majority shall govern; but if those who are chosen by the majority corruptly disregard the rights of the minority, so widely does the sense of right prevail, hat a change is sure to follow at no distant day. The greatest danger is, that by political management and contrivance, the power of controlling the government may be dikept out of reach of the people. The very last political movement in the country, the elections of 1854 and 1855, teach us abundantly, that the sure and safe remedy for abuses is a direct appeal to the people, and nothing more. It is better to wait for reforms, until the people are prepared to adopt them, than, to think of obviating political evils by withdrawing the government from the control of the people. And we see that, when the people were made to see the evidence of a design on the part of a foreign priesthood to exert an undue control over the measures of government, party adhesions that have lasted for a whole generation were forgotten, and a general rally of the people warns the foreign party to keep their places. What has been done now, can be done again, and will be sure to be done again, whenever the occasion shall become palpable, if the responsibility is left upon the people alone. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and the people will watch against wrong, if they are made to feel that they themselves are to keep watch, and no others are to watch for them. But it will be a sad day for democracy, if bigoted alarmists are allowed to seize upon the opportunity, and trample down the great democratic principle, that the government of a state belongs to the people of the state, as a whole, and not to a favored class, by whatever mark or accident distinguished.
It used to be the burden of the old Federalists, that our government would not last, because it had so little influence with the people. The only point of direct contact it had with the people was through the post office, and the postmasters were
then only two or three thousand, scattered all over the country. We have lived to see, once and again, that the government has quite power enough; that the greatest danger is of too great centralization, leading to the certain abuse of power; until now there is a wide-spread conviction that the influence of the federal government has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished. The true method of checking the evil is by increasing the rigor and directness of the control of the people. All other remedies savor of quackery, and are unsuited to the genius of our institutions.
The wide extent of our confederacy, and the diversity and even antagonism of the various sections and interests, have been relied on as a guaranty against the undue centralization of power to the destruction of liberty. And this is just, to a certain extent. But it is evident that time is constantly producing a greater assimilation of character, and rendering us more and more national in our feelings. Increase of intercourse and trade is also continually advancing a unity of interest among all sections, each sharing in the benefits of all, as in a village. The state sovereignties are the proper stronghold of democracy. In these and in the local municipalities the people are trained and exercised in self-government. The power of self-preservation for democracy lies here, and can only be kept up by constant exercise. It is the business of the general government to keep its place, and not encroach. It is the business of the people and the states to take care that it keeps its place, and to resist its encroachments—even to revolution. And the states are already in danger of being overborne by the national government. The mere fact that there are states, and that these are united under a certain form or constitutional compact, will not secure our liberties. There must be a constant and intelligent surveillance maintained by the people against encroachments. The life of democracy is a perpetual antagonism against the elements of despotism, as the life of man is a perpetual antagonism against the elements of death. He is the true patriot, who fosters jealousy, not he who hushes our fears, by cries of All's well. There is no greater danger than in fulsome laudations of our frame of government, as though any paper constitution could do the work which belongs to a living and thinking and self-reliant democracy. The continued exercise of the power of self-government is indeed the life of democracy, which decays and dies as it rests upon anything out of itself for its preservation.
That we have in the United States a people truly capable of such a democracy, is to be ascribed primarily to the wide diffusion of political intelligence. The member of Congress who boasted that there was no newspaper published in his district, and that he needed no documents to circulate among his constituents, could be no democrat, whatever were his pretensions, for he had no reliance on the intelligent self-will of the people to control public affairs. The general prevalence of that elevated morality which establishes mutual confidence among men is equally essential to democracy. He who maintains that all men are alike false and untrustful, may be a good witness to prove that the one he best knows is such; but he can never be a good democrat, because he neither inspires nor exercises confidence. He who reposes a blind trust in a class, while filled with fear and distrust towards the whole people, is equally unqualified to be a democrat. Men who are honest and sincere can always find others who are so; and they had rather be deceived in a few, than to put confidence in none.
But the grand distinguishing peculiarity of American Democracy, which inspires the highest hopes for its success and perpetuity, is in the homage which it pays to man as an individual, and the limited importance which it attaches to government as the sonrce of his personal well-being. This feature of our institutions was stamped upon the colonies in their earliest days, and has thus far proved indelible. Government can, indeed, do many things, for good or evil, bearing upon the general prosperity and the welfare of individuals. But the general conviction is that every man should rely mainly on his own resources for the support of his life and the security of his happiness. When democracy won its transient triumph in France, its first demand was for the establishment of public workshops at the expense of the state, in which able-bodied citizens could earn their bread. Thus the people were taxed exorbitantly to maintain a costly and cumbersome and corrupting system of public employments, instead of cutting down the expenses of the government and lightening the burden of taxation. Had Lamartine and his fellow-patriots at once thrown off the unjust public debt, reduced the taxes to the lowest point, given the utmost freedom to all trade and industry, and then taught the people to rely on themselves for support, their democracy might have been perpetual.
The American doctrine has always been, that it is the part of every man to contrive for himself, as well as to work for his bread. One man has no more right to be supported by the rest, than another has to govern the rest. The doctrine of equal rights cuts both ways. He who is poor through inertia of mind, has himself to blame for his lot, as much as he who is
poor through indolence of body. Man should think as well as work. Democracy is for those who govern themselves as individuals, and who are therefore qualified to bear their part in the government of the whole. It has no place and it makes no provision for those who will not breast themselves to their proper responsibilities as men, in order to perform their duties as citizens. Those who by neglect or a bad education are unfit to take care of themselves, are left either to the care of private benevolence, or to complete their education in the hard school of stern necessity. Public charity provides for the helpless poor, but in a way that is not intended to encourage idleness or unthrift.
The maintenance of this spirit is to preserve our free institutions. It is only self-governed men that can make a selfgoverned state. It is true, the growth of large cities and the influx of a laboring population from other countries, who were not trained under such influences, may render some measures of imperative necessity, which are in conflict with the genius of our institutions. But such things should be regarded as exceptional, and always kept within the narrowest limits. Better do too little than too much, governmentally, in superseding the necessity of individual self-reliance. And for the rest, the most effective training for the safe enjoyment of liberty is the exercise of liberty. Indeed, men learn to be freemen, as boys learn to swim, by doing the thing they would learn. And the best Americanization of a foreigner is teaching him to take care of himself without wronging his neighbor. To form such a people, in such a land as God has given to us, is the task and the destiny of American Democracy.
The newspapers inform us that the indefatigable author of the work under review, undaunted by the loss of his manuscripts and materials in the burning of his house, is hastening to the completion of his second volume, which, if we review it, will carry us over the ground of more recent political phenomena, and lead us into some further details of criticism on particular measures and results.
ART. IV.-SAUL AND THE WOMAN AT ENDOR.*
The affair of Saul in consulting with the sorceress at Endor, has given rise to many singular speculations and conjectures; and in these days, when familiar spirits are so common and audacious, it is well to understand the matter, if we can.
The practice of divination in its several branches, including this of necromancy among the rest, has been the occasion of great marvel in the world, especially among pagan and idolatrous nations. Some have bronght it into a kind of system, and made it a part of their religion; and scarcely any unevangelized people have been found who did not resort to it more or less, in some form or other. It is a pity that it should not be confined to the heathen, to whom it appropriately belongs, and who might be expected to do such things.
But whatever else may be said on the subject, some things are very plain in regard to it. No good is ever ascribed to it in the sacred Scriptures, nor is it ever spoken of in terms of approbation or allowance. The inspired writers uniformly brand it with expressions of disrespect, and not unfrequently with sarcastic contempt. Nor does it appear to have been of any benefit to mankind that should entitle it to respect. There is no evidence that any community or individual, either in an. cient or modern times, was ever made a whit the wiser or better for resorting to it in any shape or form. Thousands have been duped by it, and fleeced, and bereft of their wits, and led into shameful follies and vices; but we are not aware that it has ever been the means of improving a person's understanding, or moral character, or happiness, or usefulness. It certainly afforded no benefit to Saul, either in mind or body. It only added to his guilt and wretchedness, and put the finishing stroke to his condemnation; for the record is, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one which had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it, and inquired not of the Lord; therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David, the son of Jesse."
Neither do we in any instance find it spoken of as worthy of the least confidence. It is characterized as “vanity," "lying vanities,” “ vain vision," "lying divination,,' flattering
* 1 Sam. xxviii.