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both parties are implicated, but perhaps the Whig party to the greatest extent. Properly speaking, this sort of legislation is neither Whig nor Democratic, but Puritanic. It is only a revival of old Massachusetts colonial legislation, and part and parcel of that policy which was adopted, and 80 rigorously enforced in Geneva, by John Calvin. The system aims to effect by legislation what can be effected only by moral suasion and the influence of religion on the heart and conscience. It strikes at the first principles of individual freedom, and establishes a most odious social despotism. It is in perfect accordance with the political principles of the.Democratic party, but, as parties are rare. ly consistent throughout, probably, so far as it is concerned, it makes not much difference which party is in power. In . both parties are men who oppose it; in both are men who will support it from conviction, and a still larger number, who, while despising it, will support it because they believe it popular, or fear that it would be unpopular to oppose it.
With regard to law reform and the judiciary the Whigs are generally less unsound and more conservative than the Democrats. In this state the Whig party on these questions takes the right side; the Democrats generally are as wrong as men well can be. These questions are especially important to us as Catholics, for we are in the minority, and our religion is odious to the majority. We could have no safety under the Democratic doctrine of law, and the power of the legislature over vested rights. The security of our interests, our rights of property, our churches, and our buryinggrounds, depends only on the common law and the independence and purity of the judiciary, both of which it is a part of the Democratic policy to sweep away, and which it is as yet a part of the Whig policy to preserve. We must be utterly blind to our own interests as Catholics, as well as to the interests of the commonwealth, if we yield our support to the Democratic party in this state as a state party. As matters now stand, the Whigs, as a state party, seem to us to deserve the preference. Of the party in other states, as a state party, we are not qnalified to speak.
As to the questions raised about Protestant test laws, Native Americanism, &c., we have little to say. Catholics as such have nothing to lope from either Scott or Pierce, and no more to fear from the one than from the other. Neither is a Catholic, and neither is a bigot. Pierce is from a state which retains for certain offices a Protestant test, which practically amounts to nothing; but he is well known to have exerted himself to abolish it, though without success. As Catholics, we owe no gratitude to those zealous demagogues who, in order to induce Catholics to vote for Scott against him, make him responsible for it. We think just as much of them as we do of those other demagogues who labor to enlist Protestant prejudice against Scott, because one of his daughters, and we know not but two, has received the grace to become Catholic. We regret to see such things brought into our political contests, and we despise the demagogues who introduce them; but, alas! the fools are not all dead yet, and a new brood is hatched every year. Scott has been accused of native Americanism, and on this ground it has been attempted to prejudice our citizens of foreign birth against him, and to secure their votes for his competitor; but we have no reason to believe him unduly American. We are not at all disturbed by the pettish letter he is said to have written some years ago, but which he has sufficiently retracted. This question of native Americanism is one that requires to be treated with great delicacy, and our friends of foreign birth must be careful how they touch it, lest they bring about the very evil they seek to guard against. We, as our readers well know, have not the least conceivable sympathy with political native Americanism; but, nevertheless, we are American, American born and reared, as our ancestors for a hundred and fifty years before us. We share largely in the American nationality, and we are very much disposed to believe that American interests should 'dictate and control American politics. Now, there are two classes of foreigners who leave their own country to settle here, towards which we have very different feelings. The peaceful, industrious, and laborious foreigners, like the great mass of the Irish and German emigrants, who come here to seek a home for themselves and their children, and who quietly study to learn and discharge their duties as American citizens, we greet with a hearty welcome, and would admit them at an early moment to all the rights and immunities of native-born citizens. But there is another class of emigrants, demagogues, revolutionists, desperadoes, who, after having failed to revolutionize their own countries, fly hither either to save their necks from the merited halter, or to abuse the liberty granted them by our government and laws, to renew their anti-social and liberticide projects, and to carry away our government and people in a vain and mischievous attempt to realize their mad schemes, either here or in the countries they have left behind. These unprincipled and crazy spirits congregate in our cities, form secret societies all through our land, affiliated to like societies all over Europe, gather around our journalists, get the control of newspapers, corrupt the public inind, and through their own countrymen of the other class, naturalized here, attempt to control cor politics and shape the whole policy of the government, foreign and domestic. They uniformly attach themselves to the extreme radical party of the country, and hurry it on in the inost dangerous direction. Foreigners of this description have been the curse of this country, from the miserable Callender, the foul-monthed libeller of the government under the elder Adams, to the Hungarian speech-maker, Kossuth, and the radical writers for the Democratic Review. Now we grant our American spirit burns, and our American blood boils, to be made in our country, on our own native soil, the slaves or the tools of these foreign desperadoes and cutthroats, who are controlled by the greater criminals they have left in the Old World. If General Scott's native Americanism strikes only at these, and is intended merely to reduce this political rabble to silence and insignificance, we share it with him, and instead of looking upon it as an objection, we assure his opponents that we regard it as a recommendation. In promoting such native Americanism, we go with him with all our heart, and so must every loyal American citizen, whether native or foreign born. "But if he goes against the other class of our foreign-born population, we go not with him, and very few of the American people will. It is only in case they suffer themselves to be formed into a foreign party, under the lead of these political cutthroats, for foreign purposes, that the American people will ever listen to political native Americanism; then they may do it, and, of course, appland the guilty party, and punish the innocent. But we have no reason to suppose that General Scott is at all opposed to the former class we have described, and his dry nurse, Seward, is the bosom friend of the latter.
We sum up then. Of the old Federalist and Republican parties, the Federalists were the party most favorable to personal liberty and social order; of the modern Whigs and Deinocrats, the Whigs are preferable on the question of foreign revolutionism and its accessories, and on the
questions of law reform, the common law, and the judiciary; the Democrats are preferable on the questions of abolitionism, and, so far as there is any difference, of the internal policy of the federal government; while in all other respects the two parties are about eqnal. Which upon the whole is preferable, and should be supported in the coming election, it is hard to say, and we leave our readers to judge each for himself. How we shall ourselves vote, we have not, at the time of writing, made up our own mind. We do not think much is to be hoped for the country from either party. If there were a party organized on really constitutional and conservative principles, resolved to bring the government back to the principles and policy of Washington and Adams, –a party for the Union without centralization, for state rights without dissolution, for republicanism without social despotism, for personal freedom without disorder or anarchical tendency, for a government of law, not for a government of arbitrary will, whether your will or mine,—there would be a party with which we could unite, and which we could conscientiously urge our friends to support. But such a party does not at present exist.
In conclusion, we would say to our Catholic friends, vote for the party you conscientiously believe to be the least likely to injure the country, but do not wed yourselves for life to any party. The salvation of the country and the preservation of its republican institutions, under the providence of God, depend in no small degree on you. Be on your guard against the seductions of political revolutionists, rebels, and radicals who have fled hither from the Old World. You have nothing in common with them. Trust them not till they have proved by their works that they have ceased to be the enemies of your faith and the advocates of social despotism. Be on your guard also against native-born demagogues. Turn a deaf ear to every one who addresses yon as Germans or as Irishmen, or in any sense as a foreign party distinguishable in your feelings or interests from the political American people. Hold yourselves at all times free to support the party which, here and now, appears to you, after the best examination you are able to make, to be the most deserving or the least undeserving of your support as simply loyal American citizens. In time you will acquire an influence which you will be able to exert for good, and have a decisive voice in determining the policy of parties, instead of being the mere tools of party leaders and managers. In all cases, however, remember that the destiny of nations as of individuals is in the hands of Providence, and that we can hope for a good issue for our political no more than for any other efforts save as we look to God, and invoke and receive his grace to assist and prosper us.
WORKS OF FISHER AMES.*
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for October, 1854 )
FISHER AMEs, sprung from one of the oldest families in Massachusetts, was born April 9, 1758, in the old parish of Dedham, a pleasant country town about nine miles south of Boston, and the shire town of Norfolk County. He died July 4, 1808, in the prime of life, but he had lived long enough to gain a distinguished rank ainong the patriots and statesmen of his native country.
He was a man of fine natural ability, a good scholar, a fresh and vigorous writer, and a chaste and eloquent speaker. He was bred to the bar, at which he does not appear to have attained to much eininence. His tastes and his studies litted him to be a statesman rather than a lawyer, and had his health been good, and had he lived to a good old age, we cannot doubt that he would have stood in the front rank, if not at the head, of the eminent men of his generation.
Fisher Ames was a Federalist, and strongly opposed, as were his party generally, to French Jacobinism, the red-republicanism of his day, and has shared the opprobrium cast upon his party by their successful rivals who came into power with Mr. Jefferson in 1801; but nobody can read these volumes edited by his son, without feeling that he was a true American in his feelings and convictions, a thoroughgoing republican, and ardently attached to liberty. He was a member of congress from the organization of the government under the federal constitution, in 1789, to the close of Washington's second presidential term, in 1797. His increasing ill-health required him then to retire írom
* Works of Fisher Ames. With a Selection from his Speeches anu Cor. respondence. Edited by his Son, Seth AMES. Boston: 1854.