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the purposes of God in regard to United States shall be resisted beman-a necessary part of that sys cause they are not in harmony with tem which he has evidently design- the private views of individual ex. ed for man, and therefore is a clear pediency. During the last session and forcible manifestation of the of Congress, a bill passed the senate highest utility.
which was opposed by one half of It is on this ground that we rest our the talent and learning and elodoctrine of civil government; it is quence of that body, as an infracan institution of God, whose design tion of the Constitution and a violais the highest welfare of man. He tion of the national faith. In differhas committed it, as a means of their ent sections of the country we hear greatest happiness, to men, and de- of outrageous violence
the mands of them that they secure by persons and property of the citizens, it the great ends of human society. and an open defiance of the laws It is a fearful and an important trust, of the state. These things, trifling by reason of those momentous in- as they may appear individually, terests and destinies that center in indicate a sad tone of public sentiit. Rightly understood and regard- ment and point forward to thicked it will confer untold benefits upon coming dangers. They tell us, if the nations. It will lift itself above we will regard the voice, that as the raging multitude and hush to re citizens of this country, which has pose the angry passions of men; but just commenced an illustrious it will go down to the lowly home existence, in whose behalf the symof the humblest citizen and whisper pathies and prayers of so many are in his ear of peace; it will stand enlisted, we have a fearful trust comas the palladium of society, whither mitted to us, and one which demands men shall ever look for the preserva- of us an argus-eyed watchfulness. tion of their inalienable rights. Our judiciary is viewed with a jealThus shall it be proved, in the lan ous eye, and contempt is cast on guage of Locke, that the end of our system of jurisprudence. But government is the good of mankind. these are our safeguards——the last
If the things which have now been fortresses in which retiring liberty advanced are true, it requires no will make a stand against the indeep reflection to perceive the duties roads of a wild and fearful anarchy. of citizenship. It is an obligation In those days of the Athenian degenthat rests upon every citizen to pro- eracy which marked the decline of mote the public good, and secure that people's greatness and glory, the manifold and momentous inter when the violence of men desolated ests of society. Of the many par. all that was fair and conservative in ticular methods by which these their institutions, no voice was heard things may be attained, it will be to defame the venerable tribunal of sufficient to glance at a few. the Areopagus. And it will be a 1. The support of Law.
mournful day for us, when the deThere is a tendency in these cisions of the Supreme Bench and times to break down the barriers of the investigations of the bar shall be the law, or at least to trespass as far mocked and disregarded. The law as may be without danger within its will then be no more " the mother boundaries. The memory does not of our peace and joy,” but discord go far back to recall the convulsions and terror shall reign and riot in the of one of our states, when an armed chambers of justice. force was required to sustain the How far the state of things to law. We have heard it declared in which we allude may be owing to large assemblies of the people, that false views of government, it may the execution of certain laws of the be difficult exactly to determine ;
but that right views would result in be false in doctrine and fatal in a better tone of public sentiment, we practice. If by this rule it results are warranted to decide. Govern- that the rights of individuals are not ment must be considered as an insti. respected; that crimes go unpuntution of divine appointment, de ished and the guilty are free; that manding a faithful and cheerful obe- evils prevail of which the laws take dience, while of law we must learn no cognizance,-then private interto think that “ her seat is the bosom ests must suffer, and the guilty es. of God, her voice the harmony of cape merited penalty, and evils be the world.” Men must be taught to patiently endured, until a lawful and regard the law as supreme, and a a peaceful remedy can be applied. violation of it as not only treason On this ground we take our stand, against the state, but an act of wan and maintain that here, and here ton violence on the rights of every alone, is safety and truth. Grant. individual.
ing that in a certain case summary It is indeed true that there re justice might be enforced by the cases where revolution is justifiable, despotic will of one man, or the no
—where it is not only a right but a less despotic will of a mob of men; duty for the citizen to resist "the yet what does all that avail, when powers that be,” and destroy their by this very act the confidence of authority. For whenever govern. the community is shattered, the reign ment passes beyond its rightful lim- of violence introduced, the law de. its and subverts the ends for which throned, and all its pure and rightit was designed, then it degenerates eous sanctions cast out and forgotten? into a lawless assumption of power,
What avails it that one man has exand is a rank usurpation. But the perienced the full and just penalty evils must be immense to justify a for his crime ; that one community resort to arms. The unavoidable has sated its burning thirst for the calamities of civil feuds and a pro- blood of the guilty victim, if all other tracted struggle, with the loss of val men throughout the land must feel uable lives and the corruption of the that the majesty of the law has been public morals, and all the tide of insulted, -that the arm of justice is wasteful and saddening maladies thereby palsied, and if in all their which would inevitably flow over the habitations terror must sit down by nation, are sufficient to show that their sides, and voices of fear forsubmission must be a duty except ever whisper of danger?
Thus under rare circumstances. The would the ordinance of God be with natural rights of the citizen must be effect resisted, and they who bear so infringed that submission is past the sword would no more be a terror endurance; all peaceful means of to evil works, but to the good. redress must have been resorted to It is also evident that government in vain ; the prospect of a success must be regarded as something more ful issue must be manifest and mor than the instrument of man's caprice ally certain :-there must be this or power; it must have the lofty unusual combination of events before character which belongs to it as an the last appeal can be made. Then institution designed by God; subit may be made ; then resistance is sisting in all the conditions in which high heroism. From this it is evi. man exists; possessing an origin as dent that a justifiable revolution is noble as his origin, and a continue an exception to a general law. For ance as lasting as his being. Then as a general principle, it is only by will the support of law be regarded the support of the existing laws that in its true light, as a duty which the greatest public good can be se. man owes to himself and 10 his felcured. Any other principle would low man, and to God. In obedience
to it consists his true interests and the peculiar position of affairs in this glory; for it is this which elevates country at the present time. The him above a state of barbarism, and full discussion of it would open too secures him from the wild misrule wide a field for this place: a few of passion and prejudice ; which en- points only, which are most natuables him to attain the true end of rally suggested by what has already his being, and accomplish the wise been said, will be noticed. Upon designs of God for his welfare. proper views of this right and cor
It is on this ground that the Scrip. responding action, next to the blesstures place it. Submission is en- ing of God, depends the fate of the joined, because in the wise adminis- nation. trations of his providence God has It was an era pregnant with desordained government as an institu- tiny, when, in the cabin of the Maytion tending to promote the highest flower, moored on the rock-bound good of man. Jesus, our Redeemer, coast of New England, those Pilknew no disloyalty. He, though grims from a far land formed that the King of kings, was prompt to compact which was to be their guide perform the exactions of the gov. during days of fierce and terrible ernment,—nay, he was ready to do trial, and the germ of those institumore than could be justly required. tions which not only grace and bless “ Render to Cæsar the things that this western republic, but have atare Cæsar's,” he said to the Hero. tracted the notice and deep interest dians who tempted him. “ Notwith- of the potentates of the eastern standing, lest we should offend them, world and their groaning subjects. give them the tribute," he said to In the blessings of which those iimes Peter, as he sent him to the sea for were the morning and those men the piece of money,
the heralds, it is our privilege to par. The apostle of the Gentiles was ticipate. By the good hand of their like his master. He was ready to God upon them, they committed to lay down his life if he had done their descendants the prerogative of ought worthy of death. “I appeal self-government, so that in the hands to Cæsar,” he boldly said to his bit of the citizens of this country is center persecutors. “ The dark, unre- tered the moral power and efficacy lenting Tiberius, the profligate and of the government. What shall be cruel Nero, the timid, inhuman the nature of the laws, the tone of Domitian,” may bear the sword, public sentiment, the character of submission is still a duty. Better is the rulers, the influence of the nait to suffer under the sway of a base, tion,-it is for them to decide by and profligate, and tyrannical ad- their individual suffrages. Hence it ministration,-better endure perse. becomes a matter of no small mo. cution, and sorrow, and evil, -than ment and importance how they can to undermine the fabric of civil soci. best fulfill their trust. From what ety, and introduce disorder, and an- has already been advanced, a genarchy, and lawless violence, and the eral answer is apparent,—they must wild play of passion, and every evil vote so as to promote the greatest work, and gloomy forebodings, and public good. In the selection of the dark uncertainty of a favorable candidates for the high offices of issue.
trust and duty, care should be taken II. Another method of attaining to choose those who will aim to ad. and perfecting the ends of govern- minister government according to its ment, is a proper use of the right of great design ; to promote the true suffrage.
prosperity and wellbeing of society, This is a subject interesting from and disseminate among the people its intrinsic importance, and from the principles of virtue. History
tells us how dangerous it is to trust their intelligence could devise; while the administration of the state to the at the same time he wrote it as a hands of the licentious and unprin- fundamental law for their observ. cipled. The record that has come ance, that in its formation and exedown to us from other nations, writ- cution it should tend to and perfect ten with their own blood, should be the exalted design of man's highest a warning to the free citizens of this good. Hence, it is plain that when republic to guard, with a jealous the administration of the governeye, the chair of office and trust. ment is dependent on the suffrages Virtue and principle in the rulers of the people, those suffrages should will lead to virtue and welfare among be given in the manner that will the people. There is a growing best secure the great ends of society, neglect on this subject in some of the —the highest welfare of the subjects. commonwealths, which forebodes Principles, not spoils, should be the disaster and public evil. In the zeal price of votes. The ballots of the and strife for success, when parti- citizens should be the instruments of sans of lofty talents are borne on exalting the nation's character; of by the tide of feeling, and the great infusing the elements of virtue into assemblies of the people are excited all the departments of the state ; of by the voice of eloquence, there is imparting vigor and life to its moral danger that the vital principles of actions ; of sending abroad to other government will be sacrificed to the nations the influence and the light rancor and prejudice of party. of an exalted patriotism and a disin
It must be engrafted into the terested philanthropy. minds of the nation that government There are many other subjects of is a divine institution, whose ultimate a practical nature to which this disend is the good of mankind. God cussion naturally leads, and which, intended that by it the best interests by reason of the importance thrown of society should be promoted,—that around them at the present time, it it should send forth from its foun- would be interesting to examine. tains streams of life and happiness But the principles which have been through all the domain over which laid down, if true, are sufficient to its influence should extend. He en- direct aright in all those particular joined its constitution by no express questions which may be brought becommand, but by the universal na fore the citizen. It becomes him, ture and necessities of the creatures above all other things on this subwhom he made. He committed to ject, to remember that government men the privilege of forming such a is a divine institution, whose end is framework of government as their the good of mankind, and to act for peculiar condition demanded, or the promotion of that end.
THE NEW POST-OFFICE LAW.
In the first number of the New question of reform had already be. Englander, the writer of this article gun to attract attention in this coun. presented to the public some remarks try; and it was our wish to do some. on the Post Office system as an ele. thing in the way of giving impulse ment of modern civilization, and in and direction to public opinion. connection with that general view, To resume the subject at this time some account of the new system of may seem to some of our readers postage in Great Britain. The quite unnecessary.
thought that the subject, which office deparlment, from the Postwhen we first treated it was com Master General downward, resisted paratively new, has now become to the last the whole system of pen. trite and is well enough understood ny postage, with a resoluteness and in all quarters. Nay, have we not al- stiffness which even our own meready carried our point, to the extent morable Mr. Wickliffe was not able of obtaining a satisfactory reform? to surpass. They were perfectly Such a feeling, we are aware, is ex sure that the proposed reduction of tensively prevalent; but it is not our postage would annihilate the revefeeling, and we are unwilling that it nues of the department. Their should be the feeling of any whom partial acquaintance with the subwe can influence. We rejoice in- ject made them know infallibly, as deed in the change which has been they thought, that the entire scheme effected, and we accept it as an which Rowland Hill had inventomen of ultimate and entire success. ed, would prove to be chimerical. But such a law as that which went But the people of Great Britain did into operation on the first of July not wait for the Post-Master General last, ought not to be regarded for a and his subordinates to be convinced moment as having the character of of the necessity or the practicability “ finality.” It should be considered of the proposed new system. They in no other light than as the com took the matter into their own hands. mencement of a reform which can Arrangements were made by volunnever be truly successful till it has tary combination, in every part of become radical and complete. the United Kingdom, and especially
The continued discussion of this at all the great centers of business, subject in every form, and in every to promote the object by the invesplace, in which it can be advanta- tigation of facts, and by diffusing the geously exhibited to the public knowledge which was necessary to mind, is the only way to secure the make all classes understand the mul. necessary measure of reform. No tiplied absurdities and wrongs of the matter what party may hold the old system. The result was, in a reins of government, no matter who few months, such a demand on the may be President, or who may be part of the public for the penny Post-Master General, a thorough postage, that the party which was reform will never proceed from the then in power was constrained to administration, or from Congress as comply with that demand, though in influenced by the motives which or so doing the administration expected dinarily govern public men-cer. to be under the odious necessity of tainly not till such time as the peo- imposing new taxes in order to make ple shall decree it, in all its particu. up that deficiency in the revenue lars, with a distinctness which shall which the abolition of an enormous preclude the possibility of misun tax on letters was likely to occasion. derstanding or evasion on the part A similar system of combined in. of their servants. We have no rea- quiry and general agitation here, if son to doubt that the stern politician kept clear of all connection with now at the head of the department party politics, would soon intends to give the new system a complish the same result. It is in fair trial; but we have not one par- the hope of contributing something ticle of confidence in his disposition to this great public interest, that we to carry the reform a step farther. again introduce the subject into our The dead weight of every adminis. pages. It is not our design to extration will be opposed to a thorough amine the provisions of the new reform. It was so in England. law in detail, but rather to propose There all the officials of the post- and illustrate certain leading prinVol. III.