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the nature of the authority may be gathered from the language of the proposition; and in the latter, the premises from which a corollary or an analogy is deduced, are distinctly designated.
In arranging the materials thus collected and derived, the form of consecutive and dependent propositions has been preferred, as recommended by Professor Dugald Stewart in reference to Moral Science. This method had in substance been adopted by Sir W. Blackstone in the outlines of his original Lectures on the English Law, and -has since been pursued by Mr. Justice Story in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. It is, indeed, peculiarly appropriate to a work intended both as a text to be enlarged on, explained and illustrated by a Lecturer, and as a class book to be used by Teachers who must necessarily exercise a discretion in selecting such parts for recitation as may be best adapted to the age and capacities of their pupils; whilst with the aid of a proper index, it will be found equally convenient for the purposes of immediate and general reference. As to the order and distribution of the matter, the Author has again to acknowledge his obligations to "The Federalist;" whose plan in this respect he has followed with very little other alteration than that of transposing the two branches into which the subject is naturally divided.
One word more remains to be added in regard to the relation which the work may be supposed to bear to the politics of the day. That it may derive an additional interest, and, it is to be hoped, an additional value from its reference to topics which have of late so much occupied the public mind, and so much excited the passions of at least a portion of the community, will not be denied. But this arises unavoidably from the nature of the subject. It will be recollected that the adoption of the Constitution of the United States gave birth to the two great parties-into which the country was divided for many years after it went into operation; and, .that to this day, the different opinions prevailing in regard to its construction, as well as to. the principles of interpretation applicable to it, are influenced, if not governed, by the different views originally taken of the nature of the compact. By those whose intention it had been to establish a Supreme National Government, operating upon the citizens of the several States as individuals receiving protection and owing allegiance to the Union, it was liberally and beneficially expounded in order to effect their end. By those who, in opposition to that design, had been anxious to maintain the full sovereignty of the States, and to render the new Constitution a mere league or treaty between them, similar in its character to the former Confederation, a strict interpretation was contended for. It is therefore impossible to adopt a particular construction of the Constitution upon any point involving these original principles of opposition, without conflicting with the opinions, awakening the jealousies, or offending the prejudices, of one or the other of these parties; pr, what is more to be deprecated, without appearing to enter the lists in defence of party doctriues', or being considered as enrolled under the banners of party leaders, and hazarding the hostility of those zealots upon whom the mantles of the old parties are now claimed to have descended.
To which of these parties the Author was attached; what principles he originally professed, and has ever adhered to, he is far, very far from wishing, were it even possible, to conceal. But it must be remembered that the original distinctions between those parties had for a long time disappeared, and although the collisions and hostility- between them were occasionally continued and revived, yet these contests were maintained on new and independent grounds; and the ancient tests were so far omitted or forgotten with respect to individuals, that their original creed as to the Constitution, was either }ost sight of, or deemed obsolete and unimportant. It is true, indeed, that in some parts of the Union these original distinctions were to a certain degree preserved, and that of late years they have been more extensively revived •, but in the contentions which have thencearisen the Author has had no personal concern or sympathy as a partizan. k is long since he withdrew from political life; and in the Judicial office which he held for some years previous to being called to his present station, he endeavoured to cultivate those qualities which the faithful performance of judicial duties imperiously demands. He trusts, therefore, that as he approached the present subject with no views, or feeling of party interest, he has been actnated, in treating it, neither by the spirit of a mere politician, the partiality of an advocate, nor the
zeal of a polemic; but that he has proceeded under the influence of sentiments and habita more recently and sedulously cherished, and been enabled, as if bound by the solemn sanction of an inquest of life,. "to present all things truly, to the best of his ability, without fear, favour, affection, or hope of reward,"
Columbia College, JV. F. 1