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thought and of action embraces—and that the greatest of the evils and failures which have resulted, in past times, from the attempts of men to effect great alterations in their political condition, have had their source in this most mistaken direction, which has been sought to be given to the otherwise good and useful exertions of the mass of the community. We consider it, in short, to be an error in judgment as well as in practice-and to result from a vague apprehension, that because there are great and good qualities belonging to the people—and because the object of all just government should be to promote their interests, therefore, the people themselves may safely be taken out of their appropriate sphere, and invested with rights and privileges, for the possession of which nature never intended them--and in the use of which they have never wrought any thing but misery to themselves, and disorder to all the other interests of the community.

We are firmly persuaded, that, in all quiet times—that is to say, times when the judgment of the people is under no undue bias or excitementand when they have, consequently, the clearest and soundest apprehension of their own place and interests—the statement we have now made would be hailed by them, not as an insult to their capa

city or rights—but as a plain, and unquestionably, and altogether philosophically, and practically just exposition of what is really best and most honourable for themselves ;--and, although there are, no doubt, at all times, persons to be found in every society, who entertain undue sentiments of their own capacity for legislation—and who presumptuously obtrude themselves into the management of all affairs, yet such persons, we venture to believe, are not the true representatives of the great body of the people—and are rather mischievous and troublesome characters to be guarded against and repressed, than models from whom the sentiments and modes of thought of the entire mass of the community may be estimated.

But is all this, it may be said, justified by fact and experience—or has the actual interference of the people in the management of affairs--either directly or indirectly—been really productive of the mischievous consequences which the preceding statement would dispose us to anticipate ? We took occasion, in the preceding section of this treatise, to point out at some length, the error in which the common supposition respecting the good effects that may be expected from popular interference, is founded--and the mode in which such interference never fails to frustrate the very wishes of

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those who have promoted it and we now proceed to point out the actual results of such interference on all the most momentous interests of society-its politics—its religion-its philosophy—its literature --its social enjoyments—and its moral condition.

In the first place, then, and so far as politics are concerned, the effect of such extensive influencedirect or indirect on the part of the people, always has been, to fill the legislative assemblies of the country--either with men who had no qualifications, except a superficial and showy eloquence, to recommend them-or with men whose notions of business had been formed amidst the details of familiar life, and who were altogether unqualified for the management of great, and extensive, and widely influential interests. The consequence, accordingly, always has been, that in the first instance, the exhibitions of such assemblies have been a mere display of declamation, tending to no purpose, and solely intended to show off the superficial powers of the declaimers—and next, in so far as business is concerned, the production of measures that are either low in their character or vacillating-inconsistent--and ruinous in their consequences.-Hence, the legislature has soon lost all respectability in the eyes of the community--and, feeling its own degradation-and its utter incapacity for

the functions entrusted to it, it becomes, eventually, the theatre of exhibitions which, from their vulgarity and disgusting nature, would have been considered unsuitable and disgraceful to the lowest assemblages of the most unprincipled and abandoned. Such a state of things requires no prophetic spirit to point out the issue of misery, and degradation, and national ruin, in which it is soon destined to terminate.

Then, as to religion—that high and holy influence, which at all times is so difficult to be maintained in its own pure--and elevated and delicate character--that source of all just sentiments

of all noble aspirations—and of all pure endeavours after a perfect model of excellence, in thought and in conduct—what can be expected from bringing it under the dominion of popular opinion-or what, in fact has, in all cases, been the result, but the production of a style of exposition and of thought on such high topics, suited to the low tastes and fancies of the multitude and which, while it covers for a time the whole face of society with extravagance or gloom—has only aided in preparing the public mind for the wildest excesses of political disorder-and for the eventual disruption of all the kindliest and holiest affections of the human heart. This also, however, is one of those violent states of the human mind which na

ture has destined for no long endurance—and which, while it lasts, gives no unequivocal omen of the contempt which is about to be poured, by the returning reason of men, on all the forms of opinion or of worship by which such extravagancies had been sanctioned and upheld.

In such a state of things, philosophy finds no encouragement for her high labours—for the mind of the community is occupied with interests of a very different kind—and her pure and noble researches are accordingly either altogether abandoned by the leading intellects of the age, or cultivated in quiet by but a few devoted spirits, who gladly seek in such studies for a solace amidst the agitations of their cotemporaries--and who retire from all the turmoil of life to busy themselves with pursuits, the fruits of which they probably never expect to see matured, because these can only be reaped after long years, when the public atmosphere shall, after a series of awful convulsions, have finally attained to a more settled and genial condition.

In the mean time, literature may be expected to ply her humbler task--because the agitated state of the public mind at once requires such stimulants--and provides abundant sources for their production. But then, how unlike is the literature of such times, to the calm, and chaste, and polished

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