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racy, and what is worse, legitimately too, if it be once laid down in principle that the majority has the absolute right to govern.

The majority will always have the physical power to coerce the minority into submission; but this is a matter of no moment in comparison with the doctrine which gives them the right to do it. We have very little fear of the physical force of numbers, when we can oppose it to the moral force of right. The doctrine in question deprives us of this moral force. By giving absolute sovereignty to the majority, it declares whatever the majority does is right, that the majority can do no wrong. It legitimates every possible act, for which the sanction of a majority of voices can be obtained. Whatever the majority may exact, it is just to give. Truth, justice, wisdom, virtue can erect no barrier to stay its progress; for these are the creations of its will, and may be made or unmade by its breath. Justice is obedience to its decrees, and injustice is resistance to its commands. Resistance is not crime before the civil tribunal only, but also in foro conscientiæ. Now this is what we protest against. It is not the physical force of the majority that we dread, but the doctrine that legitimates each and every act the majority may choose to perform; and therefore teaches it to look for no standard of right and wrong beyond its own will.

We do not believe majorities are exceedingly prone to encroach on the rights of minorities; but we would always erect a bulwark of justice around those rights, and always have a moral power which we may oppose to every possible encroachment. The majority, we believe, always leave the minority in possession of their rights, not however as rights, but as favors. It is to this we object. We cannot, and will not, consent to receive as a boon, what we may demand as a right. Our liberties belong to us as men ; and we would always feel that we hold them as our personal property, of which he who despoils us is a thief and a robber.

The effects of this doctrine, so far as believed and acted on, cannot be too earnestly deprecated. It creates a multitude of demagogues, pretending a world of love for the dear people, lauding the people's virtues, magnifying their sovereignty, and with mock humility professing their readiness ever to how to the will of the majority. It tends to make public men lax in their morals, hypocritical in their conduct; and it paves the way for gross bribery and corruption. It generates a habit of appealing, on nearly all occasions, from truth and justice, wisdom and virtue, to the force of numbers, and virtually

sinks the man in the brute. It destroys manliness of character, independence of thought and action, and makes one weak, vacillating—a time-server and a coward. It perverts inquiry from its legitimate objects, and asks, when it concerns a candidate for office, not, who is the most honest, the most capable? but, who will command the most votes? and when it concerns a measure of policy, not, what is just ? what is for the public good? but, what can the majority be induced to support?

Now as men, as friends to good morals, we cannot assent to a doctrine which not only has this tendency, but which declares this tendency legitimate. That it does have this tendency needs not to be proved. Every body knows it, and not a few lament it. Not long since it was gravely argued by a leading politician, in a Fourth of July Oration, that Massachusetts ought to give Mr. Van Buren her votes for the presidency, because, if she did not, she would array herself against her sister states, and be compelled to stand alone, as the orator said with a sneer, “in solitary grandeur.” In the access of his party fever, it did not occur to him that Massachusetts was in duty bound, whether her sister states were with her or against her, to oppose Mr. Van Buren, if she disliked him as a man, or distrusted his principles as a politician or a statesman. Many good reasons, doubtless, might have been alleged why Massachusetts ought to have voted for Mr. Van Buren, but the orator would have been puzzled to select one less conclusive, or more directly in the face and eyes of all sound morals, than the one he adduced. The man who deserves to be called a statesman never appeals to low or demoralizing motives, and he scorns to carry even a good measure by unworthy means. There is within every man, who can lay any claim to correct moral feeling, that which looks with contempt on the puny creature who makes the opinions of the majority his rule of action. He who wants the moral courage to stand up “in solitary grandeur,” like Socrates in face of the Thirty Tyrants, and demand that right be respected, that justice be done, is unfit to be called a statesman, or even a man.

A man has no business with what the majority think, will, say, do, or will approve; if he will be a man, and maintain the rights and dignity of manhood, his sole business is to inquire what truth and justice, wisdom and virtue demand at his hands, and to do it, whether the world be with him or against him—to do it, whether he stand alone "in solitary grandeur," or be huzzaed by the crowd, loaded with honors, held up as one whom the young must aspire to imitate, or be sneered at as singular, branded as a "seditious fellow,” or crucified, as

was Jesus, between two thieves. Away then with your demoralizing and debasing notion of appealing to a majority of voices! Dare be a man, dare be yourself, to speak and act according to your own solemn convictions, and in obedience to the voice of God calling out to you from the depths of your own being. Professions of freedom, of love of liberty, of devotion to her cause, are mere wind when there wants the power to live, and to die, in defence of what one's own heart tells him is just and true. A free government is a mockery, a solemn farce, where every man feels himself bound to consult and to conform to the opinions and will of an irresponsible majority. Free minds, free hearts, free souls are the materials, and the only materials, out of which free governments are constructed. And is he free in mind, heart, soul, body, or limb, who feels himself bound to the triumphal car of the majority, to be dragged whither its drivers please? Is he the man to speak out the lessons of truth and wisdom when most they are needed, to stand by the right when all are gone out of the way, to plead for the wronged and down-trodden when all are dumb, he who owns the absolute right of the majority to govern?

Sovereignty is not in the will of the people, nor in the will of the majority. Every man feels that the people are not ultimate, are not the highest, that they do not make the right or the wrong, and that the people as a state, as well as the people as individuals, are under law, accountable to a higher authority than theirs. What is this Higher than the people ? The king? Not he whom men dignify with the royal title. Every man, by the fact that he is a man, is an accountable being. Every man feels that he owes allegiance to some authority above him. The man whom men call a king, is a man, and inasmuch as he is a man, he must be an accountable being, must himself be under law, and therefore, cannot be the highest, the ultimate, and of course not the true sovereign. His will is not in itself law. Then he is not in himself a sovereign. Whatever authority he may possess is derived, and that from which he derives his authority, and not he, in the last analysis, is the true sovereign. If he derive it from the people, then the people, not he, is the sovereign ; if from God, then God, not he, is the sovereign. Are the aristocracy the sovereign? If so, annihilate the aristocracy, and men will be loosed from all restraint, released from all obligation, and there will be for them neither right nor wrong. Nobody can admit that right and wrong owe their existence to the aristocracy. Moreover, the aristocracy are men, and as men, they

are in the same predicament with all other men. They are themselves under law, accountable, and therefore not sovereign in their own right. If we say they are above the people, they are placed there by some power which is also above them, and that, not they, is the sovereign.

But if neither people, nor kings, nor aristocracy are sovereign, who or whai is? What is the answer which every man, when he reflects as a moralist, gives to the question, Why ought I to do this or that particular thing? Does he say because the king commands it? the aristocracy enjoin it? the people ordain it? the majority wills it? No. He says, if he be true to his higher convictions, because it is right, because it is just. Every man feels that he has a right to do whatever is just, and that it is his duty to do it. Whatever he feels to be just, he feels to be legitimate, to be law, to be morally obligatory. Whatever is unjust, he feels to be illegitimate, to be without obligation, and to be that which it is not disloyalty to resist. The absolutist, he who contends for unqualified submission on the part of the people to the monarch, thunders, therefore, in the ears of the absolute monarch himself, that he is bound to be just; and the aristocrat assures his order that its highest nobility is derived from its obedience to justice ; and does not the democrat too, even while he proclaims the sovereignty of the people, tell this same sovereign people to be just? In all this, witness is borne to an authority above the individual, above kings, nobilities, and the people, and to the fact too, that the absolute sovereign is justice. Justice is then the sovereign, the sovereign of sovereigns, the king of kings, lord of lords, the supreme law of the people, and of the individual.

This doctrine teaches that the people, as a state, are as much bound to be just, as is the individual. By bounding the state by justice, we declare it limited; we deny its absolute sovereignty; and therefore, save the individual from absolute slavery. The individual may on this ground arrest the action of the state, by alleging that it is proceeding unjustly; and the minority has a moral force with which to oppose the physical force of the majority. By this there is laid in the state the foundation of liberty ; liberty is acknowledged as a right, whether it be possessed as a fact or not.

WHAT DAY IS IT?

SELECTED.

[ The following interesting article from the Christian Teacher's

Manual, we suppose will be new and acceptable to most of our readers.]

It is so still, that although it is mid-day one can hear the sound of the soft spring shower as it falls on the young and tender leaves.

The crowing of the cock pierces the ear with its shrill note as it does in the silent watches of the night; the song of the wren is so undisturbed, it is so full, and is heard so distinctly, that it only reminds one with its sweet music, how unusual is the silence ; it does indeed seem but the “echo of tranquility.”

There are many people in the streets, but they have a different appearance from usual; they are all dressed in their holiday garments; they look happy, but they are very calm and serious, the gentle shower does not seem to disturb them; it only affords an opportunity for reciprocal kindness.

I see a venerable looking old lady who from infirmity is obliged to walk very slowly; she is supported by a bright rosy cheeked girl, who holds up the umbrella and keeps back her light and joyous step to the slow time of her aged companion.

An elegant looking woman is leading with great care and tenderness a little girl through the mud ; she puts her umbrella so low that the rain is kept from the child, but it falls upon her own gay clothes; it must be her own little daughter; but see she stops at the door of yonder miserable looking house ; she cannot live there surely; she gives the child a little book, and the little girl enters alone. I see her now; it is the daughter of the poor sick woman who lives there.

There is a trembling old man tottering along; he looks a little like tipsy David, as the boys call him; but he has on a clean and respectable suit of black, and a weed in his hat; he is quite sober; but it is him ; and one of the very boys that have laughed at, and abused him when he was intoxicated, respectfully offers him an umbrella.

A fashionable young man is gallanting a lady with the greatest care and most delicate respect; she st be his sister or

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