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"Who could wish his country's existence otherwise commenced ?"
Another element of stability is found in the wisdom of the American Government. True wisdom consists in the choice of the best ends, and the best means of obtaining them; and we know of no better definition of the American Union. It has long since become a universal axiom, both in natural and moral science, that the highest property of wisdom consists in obtaining the most desirable end; or in securing the greatest amount of good, by the fewest possible means, or by the simplest machinery. This principle, when applied to nature or art, is highly appreciated for its excellence, and its useful results. It never fails to command our veneration, when traced in the law of gravitation; where we see this wonderful power,--the embodiment of wisdom in the planetary world,-standing in the center, not only of this globe, but of all the countless bodies and worlds of unlimited space; controlling billions of phenomena for the general and individual good of millions of beings. The same general law of simplicity and utility displays the greatest wisdom, when applied to machinery; where some great end is brought about by instrumentality less complex, or cumbersome, and at much less expense,as is often done in the simplification of machines; when, by the fortunate dis covery of some ingenious ligament or wheel, the whole apparatus is made much more effective; while at the same time, it remains less unwieldy, or less intricate; and far less liable to derange ment and decay; and worked with much less expense.
they were too expensive, complicated, ineffective, and too oppressive, for the real wants, and best interests of the people; and, on these fatal rocks, all the nations, which have fallen, were wrecked and dashed in pieces. But it was reserved for the American Union, in its wisdom, to steer clear of these dangers, by so simplifying their government, that the greatest possible good is secured equally to all, at the least expense; founded on the wisest and clearest principles, which every citizen can readily understand and appreciate. Our American Fathers early discovered the folly of aristocratic governments; and at once rejected all the idle, expensive, oppressive, and useless machinery of kings, nobles, and the vain pomp of aristocracy; and wisely dispensed with lords and ladies, princes and princesses, as worse than useless; and introduced the plain, practical, useful system of American government; so replete with wisdom, and sound common sense. Its chief excellence consists in governing just enough,-neither too much nor too little. A few elementary principles are placed under the control of legal coercion,-designed for the government of the rebellious and disobedient few; while the enlightened masses, by the general diffusion of useful knowledge, are governed by moral suasion; founded on the learning and religion of the country; which forms the controlling law of a sound public opinion.
The same principles of wisdom, simplicity, and utility, are equally applicable to civil government. It has always been a standing charge against all governments, in all ages and nations, that
Philosophy is reasonable truth. True philosophy therefore must be truth, and capable of reasonable demonstration. The great object of all philosophy, both natural and moral is, to ascertain and develop those simple and ultimate principles, into which, all the phenomena of nature or morals, may, by analysis be resolved. And, it is the peculiar province of the philosophy of civil government, to ascer
tain and reveal those laws, which control all the phenomena of civil society, in such a manner as to meet equally the wants of all; and produce the greatest good to the greatest number. The government in all its departments, including the constitution, the laws, and the institutions, is most wisely constructed on the soundest principles of philosophy. It neither governs too much nor too little; and requires nothing more of any citizen, than to pursue his best interest, in harmony with the general good, by uniting both interest and duty.
The debates of the framers of the Federal Constitution; as well as the results of their deliberations, prove them sound philosophers, wise statesmen, and devout Christians. The American Constitution is not only profound and wise within itself; but it is wisely and usefully adapted to the wants, capacities, and rights of all classes and individuals, who are subjected to its control. It is worthy of notice, that the great law of stability, wherever we find it,-whether in the mineral, vegetable, animal, or moral kingdom, mainly depends on the wise relations and adaptations of things. Modern science has discovered that the perpetuity of the Egyptian pyramids, which have stood more than thirty centuries, not only unimpaired, but constantly improving in durability, depends mainly on the wisdom of the architect, in selecting materials for their structure,- -so well adapted to the climate of Egypt, that the longer they are exposed to the atmosphere, the more durable they become. And had they been erected in any other climate, they would, probably, long since have crumbled to dust. Comparative botany and anatomy reveal the same general law of adaptation in their respective provinces; and a similar rule prevails in
moral science, as well as in every department of learning.
One of the most remarkable features in the American government, is its analogy to a pure system of selfgovernment. Nations, as well as individuals, are governed by substantially the same moral principles of virtue or will, good or evil, right or wrong, justice or injustice; according to the moral excellence of the rule which they adopt as their standard. The truly wise man controls himself by right principles, right feelings, and right actions,-in accordance with the moral constitution, which the Creator has so kindly and bountifully bestowed upon him. The good man, who cultivates the salutary principles of self-government, first subjects all his powers, intellectual, moral, and physical, to the control of an enlightened and righteous conscience, under the guidance of the Divine Will. Around this standard of moral excellence are rallied the intel-' lectual powers, the moral feelings, the volitions, and the physical powers,-including the senses, the instincts, the appetites, and passions,―all marshaled in due subordination to each other; each occupying its legitimate sphere of usefulness; and discharging its own peculiar duties, for the promotion of the general good of all the associate powers; forming one beautiful, sublime, and pure embodiment of moral excellence, as found in the self-government of a wise, just and good man.
Guided by the light of history through all antiquity, we find that civil government has ever been found good, prosperous, and happy, in proportion as it has approximated to this standard of self-government. And, here is seen the vast superiority of the American economy, over all other governments; which is the great secret of its unparalleled success; and the main-spring
of American progression. It would seem that Heaven had reserved for American genius, the discovery and development of the great and sublime principle, that self-government must be made the basis of civil government, and national prosperity. Our fathers having discovered this important principle; and, conscious of its great excellence, and utility, they framed the Constitution in accordance with its spirit; which, in fact, is nothing more than a political chart; applying the principles of self-government to the government of the nation. In this new economy, these immortal patriots placed at the head of the government the constitution, the laws, and the judiciary; which control and supervise all the legal affairs of the nation; answering substantially the same purposes in civil government; as the conscience of the good man does in the great work of self-government. The object of American jurisprudence is justice and welldoing; and the office of an enlightened, righteous conscience is the same.
Next in subordination to this first and controlling law of national justice, is the legislative power; whose legitimate business consists in cultivating and aiding the national conscience in the administration of justice, by modifying, adapting, and improving the national jurisprudence, so as to meet the increasing and varying interests of a growing Republic. The analogy between the operations of the intellectual powers, aiding, enlightening, and improving the salutary government of conscience, in the wise and good man; and the official duties of legislation, in sustaining and promoting the national judiciary, is too clear and striking, to be overlooked by the most superficial observer; nor does the comparison end here. Not only does a well-regulated conscience, in self-gov
ernment, answer to a sound and wise jurisprudence in the national government; while the intellectual powers and State legislation are harmonious in their personal and social labors; but we may trace a similar analogy between the will, which executes the mandates of conscience and the intellect,-upon the same principles as the American President,-in the just and rightful discharge of his duties,—executes the laws of the Union, in obedience to his official oath; which requires him to administer the laws, without negligence, violation, or perversion.
While the moral affections in man, in their legitimate sphere, under the control of the conscience, the intelectual powers, and the will, occupy by far the most extensive control in the jurisdiction of self-government; so, in the affairs of state, the great majority of the American people are governed more by the power of moral suasion, as expressed by public opinion,founded on their evangelical religion, and the diffusion of useful knowledge, -than by the power of legal coercion. As the physical powers of man harmoniously aid and sustain the intellectual powers, the conscience, the will, and the affections of the well-disciplined man; so the physical resources of the country and the ligaments of commerce, nourish and bind together the body-politic with as much stability, success, and harmony, as self-government promotes the highest and best individual interests. On these principles is founded the American government; which has clearly revealed to the world the Republican principle, that a free, educated, and religious, people can govern themselves without the aid of kings or queens; and in the absence of royal aristocrats, or the pomp of nobility.
Unity of diversity has long been regarded as an elementary principle of social law. Those three significant Latin words,-"E PLURIBUS UNUM,"which so gracefully adorn the American flag, are full of meaning; and contain volumes of sound philosophy, as well as a fundamental principle of national stability. The literal translation of this national motto, is well understood by every schoolboy, to mean,— "ONE FROM MANY:" or 66 one nation formed from many nations,”—but the more general meaning is truly a sublime thought. The American Union, both in fact and philosophy, is one nation; formed from all the civilized and Christian nations of the earth. It is the embodiment of all that is great and good,—excellent and useful,—wise and durable,-which has ever appeared in other nations;-together with all the improvements, which American morals, wisdom, and liberty could add. Here are found the republican principles, the moral excellence, the Bible religion, the pure jurisprudence, the elements of government, and the useful institutions, all nations, which are worthy of being preserved.
The American people have emigrated only from civilized and Christian nations; and are composed only of such as are lovers of freedom. No tyrant, savage, or pagan, has ever been found among American emigrants. They are one in race, one in language, one in civilization, one in commerce, one in literature, one in morals, one in religion, one in interest, one in duty, and one in destiny. Unity of diversity is a rare excellence; but wherever it exists, it combines vastly more strength and durability,-than when there are no conflicting interests to be reconciled, or antagonistical elements to be combined, or discords to be resolved and harmonized; and although the unity of
races has a few exceptions in the African and Indian population,—yet this diversity is so symmetrically harmonized in unity of principle, unity of interest, unity of duty, unity of feeling, and national unity,-that it is difficult to conceive of more permanent principles of national durability. This unity is the perfection of art, the ornament of literature, a fundamental law of civil society, and the great desideratum in international law.
Notwithstanding the unlimited freedom of the press, and liberty of speech; where every citizen can freely write, publish, and discuss all the measures of government; and criticise public men, and their measures; where a wider range of debate, and a much greater diversity of interests and principles exist, than in any other government; where all have equal rights and privileges; yet, after a full and fair examination of all these numerous topics, conclusions are reached, and decisions are made by the people and their public officers; in which, all finally acquiesce, and harmonize, except the rebellious few. And, after a full review of all the great questions of state, which have agitated the nation, for more than half a century, they are found to be merely questions of policy, as to the best method of administering the laws and government; where statesmen have entertained an honest difference of opinion as to the constitutionality, the legality, or expediency of political measures. No question has ever been seriously entertained as to the clear and fundamental principles of the government expressed in the constitution,-no voice has ever been heard in favor of abolishing the government, or for destroying a single principle of the fundamental law, except a few Southern rebels.
The public debates of the American
Congress, ever since the adoption of the Constitution, contain a greater range of thought,- -more extensive research and force of logic, in relation to all the affairs of state, than can be found in the records and history of any other nation, -England not excepted. When any great question of national policy is raised, it undergoes a full and searching examination of both Houses of Congress, -aided by thousands of the ablest pens, -expressing public sentiment through the voice of the press, in every part of the country; while every citizen in the nation has access to the public prints, by the daily mail, which passes every man's door. After this discussion has been carried on, sometimes for years, by these hosts of eloquent debates and powerful reasons, both in Congress and out; and, after all the people have read both sides of the question, and all the truth has been elicited,the question is finally decided, according to the weight of evidence, and in harmony with law, to the satisfaction of all.
-every, and any question is finally settled to the satisfaction of all. Now, the principle, which controls all these political phenomena, is this;-there exists amid all this diversity, a unity of principle, of feeling, of interest, and of action, which so thoroughly pervades every bosom on all matters of importance; that, only give the people a full and fair opportunity to investigate, reflect, and act,--and they all remain the
ame,- "E PLURIBUS UNUM, "-forming a beautiful and sublime embodiment of unity of variety.
American unity is so diffusive in its nature, that it is both individual and social.—national as well as local. It pervades the principles, the thoughts, the feelings, the volitions, the actions, the language, religion, literature, dress, manners, customs, and interests of all classes; extending through all the ramifications of society; and harmonizing all the laws into one grand system of jurisprudence. The American people. have only one country, one government, one nation, and one common destiny.
By means of the liberty of speech, and the freedom of the press, America has clearly demonstrated the safety and utility of that elementary principle of a true republican government,--that truth never suffers by free and unlimited investigation. Here then, we find a great nation of thirty millions of people, scattered over a territory of more than three millions of square miles; all freely debating the affairs of state, from the Capitol of the country to every mansion, villa, cottage, hamlet, and logcabin in the Republic,—where all are equally interested; a state of things every way calculated to produce division, discord, faction, and anarchy, according to the logic of Eastern governments; yet, in the American Union, where all talk and investigate, and where all directly or indirectly legislate,
Unlike all other nations, and as a safeguard against dissolution, the American Government is founded on the philosophical principles of the division of labor. Every citizen, within the national domain, has his peculiar work to perform, in conducting or sustaining the affairs of state. All national power originally belongs to the people,—all govern all, and each governs, or is governed in his own individual and social sphere. Government power is philosophically divided into five general branches; the power conferred upon the towns, the power of the county, the power of the State,-the power of the Republic,—and the popular power. The minutiae of government, embracing the common affairs of individual and social life, are placed