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with which they commenced, and retain them up to this moment. We have never undergone a revolution in any sense like the European revolutions which have followed since the war of our independence. Slight alterations have from time to time been, wisely or unwisely, effected in the state constitutions, but none which have struck at essential principles.

Nor was the formation of our federal constitution any thing like what the French national assembly are attempting It was similar in its character to what the German diet at Frankfort have just done, or are still engaged in doing. It was not making and giving a constitution to a people who had just overthrown an old government, destroyed the old constitution, and resolved the state into its original elements, but was the act of free, sovereign states, already constituted, and exercising all the faculties of sovereign states. Here are vast differences, which are too often overlooked, and which should prevent our conduct in throwing off the crown of Great Britain and forming the federal Union from being regarded as a precedent for those who would destroy an existing constitution for the purpose of reorganizing the state. We never did any thing of the sort, and from the fact that the result of what we did do has been great national prosperity it cannot be inferred that such will be the result of revolutions in the European states. Revolutionists both at home and abroad, especially abroad, do not sufficiently consider the wide difference between colonies already existing as bodies politic, exercising nearly all the functions of government, separating themselves politically, under the authority of their local governments, from the mother country, and setting up for themselves, and the insurrection of the mob against the existing constitution, destroying it, and attempting to replace it by one of their own making. We were children come to our majority, leaving our father's house to become heads of establishinents of our own; the revolutionists are parricides, who knock their aged parent in the head or cut his throat in order to possess themselves of the homestead.

But however this may be, it is clear that the doctrine we put forth is not favorable to despotism; for despotisin is as destructive of the legitimate constitution as revolutionism in favor of what is called liberalisın. Radicalism and despotism are only two phases of one and the same thing. Despotism is radicalism in place ; radicalisin is despotism ont of place. Both are unconstitutional, and to preserve the constitution requires us to oppose the one as much as the other. Liberty demands the supremacy of the law, and law is will regulated by reason, restrained by justice ; and to preserve law in this sense, we must resist every attempt, come it from what quarter it may, to substitute for it the governinent of arbitrary will.

Nobody denies the right to correct abuses. The doctrine we set forth not only concedes our right to correct abuses, but makes it, as we have seen, our duty to correct them. All that it forbids is our right to correct them by illegal, and therefore unjustifiable means. We must obey the law in correcting the abuses of the law, the constitution in repelling its enemies. This restriction is just, and good ends are never attainable by unjust means. Needs it be said again and again, that iniquity can never lead to justice, tyranny to liberty? But observing this restriction, you may go as far as you please. The doctrine we contend for does not, indeed, allow you to change a legal monarchy into a democracy, nor a democracy, where it is the legal order, as with us, into a monarchy; but it does allow yon to change the individuals intrusted with the administration of the government. Kings, as long as they reign justly, reign by divine right; and in this sense, and in no other, we accept the doctrine of the divine right of kings; but when they cease to reign justly, become tyrannical and oppressive, they forfeit their rights, and the authority reverts to the nation, to be exercised, however, in accordance with its fundamental constitution. The nation may depose the tyrant, even dispossess, for sufficient reasons, the reigning family, and call a new dynasty to the throne ; for no nation can be rightfully the property of a prince, or of a family, or bound to submit to eternal slavery. Thus far we go : for we hold with the great Catholic authorities, that the king is not in reigning, but in reigning justly.

But we have said enough to vindicate our doctrine froin the charge of being hostile to liberty and favorable to despotisın. We yield to no man in our love of liberty, but we have always felt that just ends are more easily gained by just than by unjust means, and that the truth is much more effectually defended by arguments drawn from sound than from unsound principles. It is not that we are indifferent to liberty, but that we reject the grounds on which modern politicians defend it, and disapprove of the means

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by which they seek to secure it. We have shown that those grounds are untenable, and that those means are fitted only to defeat the end for which they are adopted. He who wants more than justice will give him, wants what he cannot have without injustice to others. Our doctrine will satisfy no such man, and we should be satisfied with no doctrine that would. He who wishes for liberty without obedience to law wishes for what never has been and never can be. An authority which does not restrain, which is only an instrument to be used when it serves our purpose, and to be cast off the moment it can no longer serve it, is no legitimate authority, is not a government at all. If we have government, it must govern, and we must obey it, even when to obey it may be a restraint on our private feelings and passions, for it is only at this price that we can purchase immunity from the private feelings and passions of others. Nothing is, then, in reality more unwise than to cherish an impatience of restraint and a spirit of insubordination. The sooner we learn the difficult lesson of obedience, the better will it be for us. We cannot, if we wonld, have every thing our own way; and perhaps it would not be to our advantage, if we could.' Life has, and as long as the world stands will have, its trials, and, however impatient we may be, there is and will be much which we can conquer only by learning to bear it. It is easy to stir up a revolution, to subvert a throne or a dynasty ; but to reëstablish order, to readjust the relations of man with man, of prince with subject and subject with prince, so as to remove all evils and satisfy every wish,--this is labor, this is work, which no mortalinan has ever yet been equal to. A man could lose paradise, bring sin, death, and all our 'woe into the world; only a God could repair the damage, and restore us to the heaven we had forfeited.

Our doctrine, just at this moment, may be unpopular, and we know it will put no money into our pocket, and bring us no applause; but this is not our fault, nor a reason why we should withhold it. Having never yet pandered to popular prejudices, or sought to derive profit from popular passions and fallacies, we shall not atteinpt to do it now.

We love our country, perlaps, as much as some others who make much more parade of their patriotism; and we love liberty, it may be, as well, and are likely to serve it as effectually, as onr young revolutionists in whom reason “sleeps and declamation roars.” We have, indeed, a tolerable pair of lungs, and if not a musical, at least a strong voice; we know and could use all the commonplaces of our young patriots, and reformers,-nay, we think we could, if we were to try, beat them at their own trade, grave and staid as we have become; but we have no disposition to enter the lists with them. We have never seen any good come from the declamatory speeches and fiery patriotism of boys just escaped the ferule of the pedagogue, and who can give utterance to nothing but puerile rant about liberty and patriotism. We have never seen good come to a country whose counsellors were young men with downy chins, and we set it down as a rule, that the country in which they can take the lead, whatever else it is fitted for, is not fitted for the liberty which comes throngh popular institutions.

We can weep as well as our juniors over a nation robbed of its rights, on whose palpitating heart is planted the iron heel of the conqneror, and have the will, if not the power, to strike, if we can but see a vulnerable spot, or a chance that the blow will tell upon the tyrant. But, as a general thing, we have a great distaste for the valor that evaporates in words, though they be great and high-sounding words, well chosen, skilfully arranged, and admirably pronounced; and an equal distaste even for deeds which recoil

upon the actor, and aggravate his sufferings, already too afflicting to behold. We believe it wise to bide one's time, and to take counsel of prudence. In most cases, the sufferings of a people spring froin moral causes beyond the reach of civil government, and they are rarely the best patriots who paint thein in the most vivid colors, and rouse up popular indignation against the civil authorities. Much more effectual service could be rendered in a more quiet and peaceful way, by each one seeking, in his own immediate sphere, to remove the moral causes of the evils endured. St. Vincent of Paul was a far wiser and more successful patriot than the greatest of your popular orators, declaimers, and songsters. He, humble-minded priest, had no ambition to shine, no splendid scheme of world or state reform. He thought only of saving his own soul, by doing the work that lay next hiin; and he became the benefactor of his age and his country, and in his noble institutions of charity he still lives, and each year extends his influence and adds to the millions who are recipients of his bounty. O ye who would serve your country, relieve the suffering, solace the afflicted, and right the wronged, go innitate St. Vincent of Paul, and Heaven will own you and posterity revere you.

VOL. XVI-6

THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES.*

(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for April, 1849.)

As an electioneering document, this flimsy production with a pompous title might be suffered to pass without animadversion; but regarded as a grave work, intended to instruct the American people in their political rights and duties, or to defend the late war with Mexico and the general policy of the Democratic party, the only merit we can award it, if indeed so much, is that which the author says is the only merit he claims,--namely, the purity of its motives. The author is neither a scholar nor a statesman. His philosophizing on history and the formation and growth of nations is borrowed from a bad school; his statements are entitled to no credit; his principles are unsound and pernicious; and his reasoning is seldom logical or conclusive. The sum and substance of his work is: This is a great country; we are a great people; and the greatness of the country and of the people is all due to the expansive democracy.

We yield to no man in the interest we take in the real progress and welfare of the American people; but we are thoroughly disgusted with the ignorance and inflated vanity of our pretended patriots. We have no sympathy with those who are continually saying, Isn't this a great country? Are not we a great people? Territorially considered, we are a great country; and in our ceaseless activity and industrial enterprise, we are a great people; but that we are great in any other sense does not yet appear.

We have shown ourselves great neither in art nor science, neither in religion nor morals, neither in statesmanship nor general or special intelligence. We have, in fact, nothing whereof to boast; and a rigid self-examination would convince us that we have made, instead of the most, the least of the advantages with which Providence has favored us.

* The Republic of the United States of America: its Duties to itself and its Responsible Relations to other countries. Embracing also a Review of the Late War betroeen the United States and Mexico; its Causes and its Results; and of those Measures of Government which have characterized the Democracy of the Union. New York: 1848.

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