« 上一頁繼續 »
men, we entreat your Excellency not to |. the prayers and efforts of the church, by sending back those whom the church has sent forth, in the name of the Lord, to preach his Gospel among the heathen ; and we earnestly beseech Almighty God to prevent such an act, and now and ever to guide your Excellency in that way which shall be most pleasing in his sight. “But should your Excellency finally disregard the considerations we have presented; should we be compelled to leave this land, we can only say, adieu, till we meet you, face to face, at God's tribunal.” This is Bible ground. It was worthy men of God and ministers of Christ. It did its work. By steps consequent upon and connected with it, India was opened to the Gospel. It is the only true and effective ground of preaching and effort any where, at home or abroad—in Greece, Constantinople and Singapore, no less than in India. And, cavil who will at the rashness of it, and rage as persecution might in consequence of it, let American churches, ministers and missionaries, to say nothing of others, assume and act upon this ground, in good faith, the world over, and righteousmesses shall again be wrought, promises realized, successes achieved, of which our faith has scarcely yet any practical apprehension. True, it may wake up the great conflict in new and fearful forms, but it will be none the less the sign and pledge of victory. Earth shall shake beneath the tread of such a faith, and apocalyptic visions hasten to their realization. Just in the distance, beyond the smoke of her burning and above the wail of her desolation (Rev. xviii and xix,) a voice shall come, saying, “Rejoice over her, heaven and holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her;” and following that, shall come the responsive shouts of heaven's and earth's rejoicings. One voice shall be heard from heaven, as of much people, saying, “ Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God: true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath
judged the great whore;” and again they shall shout “Alleluia!” and then shall go up from the earth, in quick reply, the voice of the four and twenty elders and beasts, falling down and worshiping and saying, “Amen, Alleluia!” And then another voice shall come “from out of the throne,” saying, “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, small and great;” and to that shall respond the acclaim of the broad earth, and it shall go up as the voice of a great multitude, and as the roar of many waters, and as the roll of mighty thunderings, say. ing, “Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come; and his wife hath made herself ready!” O! what a marriage song shall that bel Blessed are they that shall take part in it. But earth shall hear it, and help to sing it. “These are the true sayings of God.” And then shall he, who is “faithful and true,” and is “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood,” and whose name is “the Word of God,” go forth in regal state to meet his church, having on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” And they shall go up together to the nuptial feast, and the angelic voice shall cry, to all that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come, gather your. selves together unto the supper of the Great God.” Thus shall the Conflict of the Ages have an end, and earth's great sabbath come– to be followed only by one short conflict more, and the great Judg: ment, and the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, with the adornments and the joys that are to be hers for the eternal ages. God hasten it in its time; and to this end, give all his people to maintain and defend, here and every where, their blood-bought, God-given freedom.
ANY contest is a serious one that puts in hazard the supremacy of Law over individual will and unreasoning force. Such a hazard has given dignity to many struggles of inferior note ; and such a one now invests with their highest interest even the gravely important issues involved in the controversy between Massachusetts and South Carolina. “Is there Law in the land P’ is a question which, seriously raised, wakens the anxiety of thousands, who might care little to know which of two parties was at the outset right or which wrong. There can be no society, of nations or of individuals, recognizing absolutely no law above them. And especially, a Union such as ours, subsisting by force of a constituted and paramount law, becomes impossible, the moment it is settled that a question of conflicting rights, arising under that supreme constitution, is to be permanently decided, not by its law, but by the mere will of one of two contending states. Nor upon such conditions is it any more desirable than possible. Any measure, therefore, tending even remotely to bring a contest between sovereign states to such an issue, threatens at once the usefulness and the existence of the Union. In the present controversy, South Carolina, refusing the arbitrament of that tribunal which the supreme law of the land has provided, has chosen to assume the attitude of a combatant in a personal encounter, in preserence to that of defendant in an amicable suit at law. If her example is to be followed, this contest, and others like it, can have but one result. Carried on, as it must be, by a course of hostile legislation, incompatible with any thing like authority in the Union, or friendship and peace among its members, it must end, sooner or later, in the utter subversion of both.
But we dismiss such considerations. Important as they are in the present unpromising posture of the case, we cherish the hope and belief that the controversy will yet be decided upon its original and intrinsic merits. A fair discussion, before the tribunal of public opinion, of the questions these involve, can not hinder and may promote such a result; the solemn appeal of Massachusetts to her sister states has brought them distinctly before the people, and the response to that appeal may require of our citizens an intelligent decision of them as a matter of individual duty. These questions are substantially the following: Do the laws of South Carolina designed to prevent the entrance into that state of free persons of color, violate the rights of Massachusetts or her citizens 2 If so, do they justify the measures taken by Massachusetts to obtain redress, as being necessary and proper? Is the subsequent action of South Carolina consistent with her obligations as a member of the Union ? The law of South Carolina out of which the controversy has arisen, is an act passed in December, 1835, embodying the substance of similar enactments made at different periods from 1820 till that time. The second section of that act provides, “That it shall not be lawful for any free negro or person of color to come into this state, on board any vessel, as a cook, steward, or mariner, or in any other employment on board such vessel; and in case any vessel shall arrive in any port or harbor of this state, from any other state or foreign port, having on board any free negro or person of color, employed on board such vessel as a cook, steward, mariner, or in any other employment, it shall be the duty of the sheriff of the district in which such port or harbor is situated, immediately on the arrival of such vessel, to apprehend such free negro or person of color, so arriving contrary to this act, and to confine him or her closely in jail, until such vessel shall be hauled off from the wharf and ready to proceed to sea. And that when such vessel is ready to sail, the captain of the said vessel shall be bound to carry away the said free negro or person of color, and to pay the expenses of his or her detention.” The captain is further required to give security that he will comply with these requisitions, and failing to do so, is to be compelled to haul off his vessel one hundred yards from the wharf into the stream, and there to remain until he shall proceed to sea, under penalty of fine and imprisonment. By the third section of the same act, it is enacted :—That any free person of color, imprisoned by virtue of the preceding section, shall have warning never again to enter the state; and every such person who shall not depart from the state, or having departed shall ever again enter into the limits of the state, shall, by the first section of the act, be liable to seizure by any white person, and to subsequent summary proceedings, terminating in an order to leave the state, and upon failure to comply with the order, in corporal punishment, at the discretion of the court; and if such person shall still remain in the state, or having left it shall afterwards return, “he or she shall be sold at public auction as a slave.” With respect to these laws, Massachusetts, in her declaration and protest, charges that they assume the following principles. “First. That the state has a right to send officers on board of the ships of other states touching at her ports, with the design of distinguishing between the persons who constitute the crew, and of seizing, at her sole
discretion, and casting into prison such as she may specify, without the necessity of alleging against them the commission of any crime. “Second. That the state has a right to inflict corporal punishment, by the application of the lash, to any extent, upon the persons of citizens of Massachusetts, solely because they may be found a second time in the ships of their own state touching at her port. “Third. That the state has a right to sell into absolute slavery for life, human beings, unoffending persons, freemen of Massachusetts, entitled by her constitution and laws to the fullest security of life, liberty and property, as well when follow. ing a lawful calling on board her ships as when at home.” And Gov. Briggs, in his message of January 6th, 1845, says: “The Legislature and people of Massachusetts believe that law to be in direct and palpable violation of that clause of the Constitution of the United States which declares that ‘the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states,’ and also of that part of the Constitution which confers upon Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.’” South Carolina, on the other hand, Dec. 6th, 1844, “Resolved, That free negroes and persons of color are not citizens of the United States within the mean: ing of the Constitution, which confers upon the citizens of one state the privileges and immunities of cil: izens in the several states.” And also, “That the right to exclude from their territories seditious persons, or others whose presence may be dan: gerous to their peace, is essential to every independent state.” Such are the laws of South Carolina, and such the positions assumed by the two states in respect to them. The inquiry we have proposed, leads us to examine the issue thus formed. The question is purely a legal one ; but under the peculiar circumstances of this controversy, we offer no apology for presenting in the pages of the New Englander a discussion which would otherwise be addressed more appropriately, if to any, exclusively to professional readers. We have then to consider: Whether free persons of color in Massachusetts are citizens of Massachusetts within the meaning of the Federal Constitution, Art. IV, Sec. 2; and if they are, Whether the law of South Carolina violates in respect to them the guaranty of that article; and further, Whether that law assumes on the part of South Carolina a power inconsistent with the exclusive power of Congress to regulate commerce. The first question requires us to determine the legal meaning and application of the term citizen. Citizenship of a state, manifestly implies a relation of some sort, subsisting between the state and the citizen as parties, and defined by a designation of the persons who stand in that relation, and by a statement of the rights and duties which it essentially involves. As used by writers on natural law, the term designates the status of an individual considered as a member of the state. It imports, on the part of the citizen, the duty of allegiance and obedience; and on the part of the state, the correlative duty of protecting its members, by its force and its laws, in the enjoyment of essential fundamental rights. And all free persons, born within the limits of a state, or who, not being native born, have been duly admitted to equality of condition with those who are, are held to be members and citizens of that state, unless expressly excluded by its municipal laws.
In the intercourse of nations, and in the public law which regulates it, the term “citizen' is used with respect to our own and other republican governments wherever ‘subject’ is used with respect to monarchies, and includes all persons under the protection of such government, as owing allegiance to it. For example, the eighth article of the treaty of 1783 stipulates that “the navigation of the river Mississippi shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States.” Under such a usage, in the numerous cases of prize and capture with which, up to the close of the last war, the Federal Courts were crowded, the rights of parties in suit, under the law of nations, depended on their citizenship, and that on their allegiance.
In this manner this term is used in the Constitution of the United States; in every instance, it is believed, unless the one in dispute furnishes an exception. Thus the article defining the judicial power, declares that it shall extend “to controversies between a state, or citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.” In all cases arising under this clause, the character of an individual, as citizen or subject, is determined by a single test, which is his allegiance; if due to a foreign state, it constitutes him a citizen or subject of that state ; if due to the United States, it constitutes a citizen of the United States, and of his particular state. And so, too, in other clauses of the same article ; it has been settled by repeated decisions that the term “citizen of a state” includes all persons “resident or domiciled in a particular state, being at the same time citizens of the United States;” which latter qualification again, as already stated, depends on allegiance to the United States, by birth or naturalization. The expression ‘ citizen of the United States' occurs in the clauses prescribing qualifications for Representatives, for Senators, and for President. In the latter, the term “matural born citizen' is used, and excludes all persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states; in the other cases, the word ‘citizen” is used without the adjective, and excludes persons owing allegiance to foreign states, unless naturalized under our laws. The discussions in the convention furnish no indication that there was any other distinction present in the minds of its members. The word citizen, therefore, distinguishes those who are under the allegiance of one government, from those who are under the allegiance of another. As between distinct states, it is coèxtensive with subject; but unlike that term, it imports something more than simple subjection. Wherever used, it implies that the individual is not merely under, but of the state, and in that relation is entitled, as against the state, to the possession of certain rights. And the question which we have now to answer, in order to complete our definition of American citizenship, is, ‘what, under our institutions, are the rights essential to that relation?" For, though deducible, so far as they are essential, from the principles of natural reason, as belonging of right to all men under whatever government, they can exist as legal rights, distinctive of citizens, in any particular state, only so far as they are recognized as such by its internal or municipal laws. In arbitrary governments, the rights of the state as against the individual, are not only the principal but the only objects of legal contemplation; and in most of the European states, even the best governed of them, the correlative rights of the individual find their recognition, not in laws or constitutions, but at best
* Judge Washington. See 4 Wash. Circuit &al Reports, 516.
in theories of political philosophy, which may or may not have an influence in producing a just administration. We are fortunate in living under a system of laws whose history for ages has been marked by a series of successful struggles to establish, on the basis of law, the rights of the individual as against the state. That important part of our legislation is of older date than our independence; it has descended to us as the richest inheritance which, with the common law, we have received from our father-land. The rights it protects were not first acquired, but successfully vindicated, by our Revolution. We claimed them, under the provision of Magna Charta, of the Petition of Right, of the Habeas Corpus act, of the Revolutionary Bill of Rights, and ofthe Act of Settlement, and under the guaranties of our Colonial charters, as the rights of free-born British subjects ; the very same provisions, transferred to our constitutions and bills of rights, and enlarged to comprehend the great principles of religious as well as civil liberty, now assert and establish the essential rights of American citizens. They declare that the very end and purpose for which the state exists, is to protect the citizens, by its force, its laws, and its tribunals, in those essential rights, in the exercise of which he manifests his individual existence; in his rights of conscience, his rights of person, and his rights of property. The rights thus asserted, we have said, are distinctive of citizens. The simple fact that the law which declares them is expressly intended to define the rights of individuals considered as members of the state, is in itself decisive on this capital point. For the very term ‘citizen' has no synonym more exact than the expres: sion, ' member of a state.” “The citizens,” says Vattel, “are the mem: bers of the state.” The words ‘civis’ and ‘civitas,” correlative in form,