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Rights and Duties

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1852

Art. IV.--La Civilta Cattolica, Publicazione periodica per tutta l Italia il 1 e 3 Sabbato di ciascun Mese.  Roma.  Vol. IX.  3 Sabbato di Maggio.  1852

We find in this excellent periodical, for the 15th of last May, a characteristic Letter to the Heraldo of Madrid by Donoso-Cortez, Marquis de Valdegamas, lately, and we believe still, Spanish Ambassador at the Court of France. As every thing from the pen of this eminent statesman and sincere Catholic possesses a high interest, and as the Letter discusses, though briefly, very freely, topics on which American statesmen are suffered to think and speak as freemen, we think we shall gratify our readers by laying it before them. The Letter was written in Spanish; but as we have not seen it in the original, we translate it from the Italian.

 Paris, April 15, 1852.

 The Heraldo of the 8th instant contains an article in defense of Rationalism, Liberalism, and Parliamentarianism, in which you review and eulogize the many advantages of discussion, and seek to strengthen your positions by recalling some words spoken by me in the Athenaeum of Madrid in 1836, against the divine right of kings,- words which you qualify as eloquent, although they were, at best, only bombast.

 I think it my duty to remind you that I have not for a long time deserved such eulogiums, or been able to expect from you any but abuse or forgetfulness. Between your doctrines, which I maintained in my youth, and those which I now hold, there is a radical contradiction, an insuperable repugnance. You hold that Rationalism is the road to the reasonable; that Liberalism in theory is the way of arriving at liberty in practice; that Parliamentarianism is the necessary constitution of good government; that discussion is to truth as the means to the end; and finally, that the king is only the representative of human right. At present I hold the contrary of all this. I acknowledge no human right, and hold that, strictly speaking, there is no right but divine right. In God is right and the concentration of all rights; in man is duty and the concentration of all duties. Man calls the utility which he derives from the fulfillment by others of their duties to his advantage his right, but the word right on man’s lips is a vicious expression, and when he goes farther and erects this vicious expression into a theory, the tempest is let loose upon the world.

 Discussion, as you understand it, is the source of all possible errors, and the origin of all imaginable extravagances. As to Parliamentarianism, Liberalism, and Rationalism, I hold the first to be the negation of government, the second, the negation of liberty, and the third, the affirmation of madness.

 Perchance you will ask me, What, then, are you? If you reject discussion as understood by the modern world, of you are neither a liberal, nor a rationalist, nor a parliamentarian, what are you? An Absolutist? I reply, that I should be an absolutist, if absolutism were the contradictory of these systems. But history shows me rationalistic absolutisms, to a certain extent; also, liberal absolutisms, cherishing discussion, and even absolutist parliaments. Absolutism at most is the contradiction of the form, not the essence, of these doctrines, now become famous by the grandeur of their ruins. Absolutism is not their contradictory; for there is no contradiction between things of the same nature. It is a form, and nothing else; and is it not absurd to seek in a mere form the radical contradiction of a doctrine, or in a doctrine the radical contradiction of a mere form?
 Catholicity is the sole contradictory of the doctrines I oppose, and give to Catholic doctrine what form you please, you will see it instantly transform every thing, and renew the face of the earth. With Catholicity there is no thing or phenomenon which is not arranged respectively in the hierarchical order of things and phenomena. Reason ceases to be rationalism, that is to say, it ceases to be a pharos, which, that it may arrogate to itself the privilege of shining without any borrowed light, claims to be uncreated, and becomes a marvelous light which concentrates in itself and sends forth from itself the most splendid light of Christian doctrine,- the most pure reflection of the uncreated and eternal light of God.

 As to liberty, it is in the Catholic mind neither a right in its essence, nor a covenant in its form; it is not preserved by war, does not originate in contract, and is not won by conquest. It is not a drunken bacchanalian, like our demagogical liberty; it does not walk among the nations with a queenly train, like parliamentary liberty; it has not tribunes and courtiers for its servants, is not lulled asleep by the buzzing of the crowd, has no standing army of the National Guard, and finds not its pleasure in being borne at its ease on the triumphal car of revolution.

 The commandments of God are the bread of life. Under the empire of Catholicity, God distributes it to governors and governed, reserving to himself the inalienable right of exacting the obedience of both. Under the auspices and in the presence of God, the sovereign and subject are united in a species of wedlock, whose sanctity makes it more like a sacrament than a contract. The two parties find themselves implicitly bound by the commandments of God. The subject contracts the obligation of obeying with love the sovereign placed over him by God, and the sovereign that of ruling with love and moderation the subjects whom God has placed in his hands. When the subjects fail in their obedience, God permits tyrannies; when the sovereign fails in moderation, God permits revolutions. By the first, subjects are reduced to their obedience; by the second, rulers are brought back to moderation, and thus, while man draws evil from the good works of God, God draws good from the evil doings of man. History is the record of the different phases of this gigantic struggle between good and evil, between the Divine and the human will, between a most merciful God and rebellious man.

 When the commandments of God are faithfully observed, that is to say, when princes are moderate and the people obedient (I mean with a moderation and obedience inspired by love), from this simultaneous submission to the Divine commands there flows a certain social order, a certain condition and well-being both individual and common, which I call the state of liberty. And it is truly such, since then justice rules, and it is justice which makes men free. See then wherein consists the liberty of the sons of God, that is, Catholic liberty. It is not something definite, particular, and concrete; it is not a part of the political organization, nor a social institution different from others. Catholic liberty is not this, and yet it is more than this; it is the general result of the good disposition of all the organs, of the harmony and agreement of all the institutions. It is as the soundness of man’s physical organization, which is not an organ, and yet is worth more than a sound organ; as the general life of the social and political body, which is more precious than the floridness of any particular institution. Catholic liberty consists precisely in these two things (health and life), more excellent than all else, which, as they are for the whole, cannot be in any particular institution. This liberty is so holy that the least injustice offends it; at once so strong and so weak that every thing vivifies it and the least disorder suffices to change it; so tender that its love seizes all men; so sweet that it sheds peace into all hearts; so modest and retiring that, although it came from heaven for the consolation of all men, it is known only to a very few, and perhaps applauded by none. Indeed, it scarcely knows its own name, or if it knows it, it imparts it to none, and the world is ignorant of it.

 As to discussion, there is more resemblance between Catholic and philosophical discussion than there is between Catholic and political liberty. In this matter, here is the Catholic method. It receives from on high a ray of light which it imparts to man, that he may fecundate it with his reason; and, thanks to the intellectual fecundation, this small ray of light is converted into a torrent of splendor that fills all space as far as the eye can reach. Philosophism, on the contrary, astutely throws a thick veil upon the light of truth we have received from heaven, and proposes to our reason and insolvable problem, of which the formula might be: To draw truth and light from doubt and obscurity, which are the only things assigned to the intellectual activities. And thus Philosophism asks of man a solution which he is unable to give without first inverting the immutable and eternal laws. According to one of these laws, fecundation is nothing but the development of the germ according to the conditions of its own nature; and thus the obscure proceeds from the obscure, the luminous from the luminous, like from like,- Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine. In obedience to this law, human reason in fecundating doubt has reached denial, and in fecundating obscurity has arrived at palpable darkness; and all this by means of logical and progressive transformations, founded in the very nature of things.
 It is no wonder that Catholicity and Philosophism, starting from such different points and proceeding by such different routes, should come to such different results. For eighteen centuries Catholicity has followed her own method of discussion, and it is precisely this method that has always obtained for her the victory. Every thing passes before her, things in time and time herself; she passes not; she remains where God has placed her, immovable in the midst of the tempest of universal agitation. Death has no power to approach her, even in those deep and dark regions subject to its empire. For a trial of her forces Catholicity once said, ‘I will choose a barbarous age and fill it with my wonders’; and, having chosen the thirteen century, crowned it with the four most magnificent monuments which human genius has ever raised,- the Summa of St. Thomas, Las Partidas of Alphonso the Wise, the Divina Commedia, and the Cathedral of Cologne.
 For four thousand years Rationalism has followed its own method of discussion, and has left to perpetuate its memory two immortal monuments,- the pantheon where all philosophies lie prostrate in the dust, and the pantheon where the ruins of all constitutions lie gathered together.
 Nothing occurs to me to be said of Parliamentarianism. O, what would it become with a truly Catholic people, a people in whose bosom man will learn from his very infancy that he must render an account to God of even his idle words!
     Juan Donoso-Cortez.”

 The editor of the Civilta Cattolica regards the epithet vicious (viziosa), which the writer applies to the expression human right, as hyperbolical or exaggerated, and in his translation softens it to imperfetta, imperfect, and subjoins a note in justification, on which we must be permitted to make a few observations. We insert a translation:-

 Instead of imperfect, the text has vicious[viziosa]. If our translation should fall under the eye of the writer, we hope he will pardon us for softening his expression. We perfectly agree with him that right in man is very different from right in God, and that it originates essentially in the order which the Creator has established in the universe, and the obligation man is under of conforming thereto. We have explained this at length elsewhere (Idea del Dritto,” Civilta Cattolica, Vol. 2. p. 267). Nevertheless, we do not believe the word right is vicious when applied to man, any more than are the other terms which human language adopts analogically, as say the theologians, in speaking both of infinite and finite Being; for no expression in man can be vicious, we had almost said imperfect, when he speaks according to his nature. Now man’s nature is such that he can know things above him only through the medium of the sensible world,- invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur. Hence, though God alone is beauty, greatness, wisdom, power, etc., it is not vicious to say that a man is beautiful, great, wise, powerful, etc., when he participates of these divine attributes. To deny this participation is to fall into Hindu pantheism, which regards every participated being as a Maia, or pure illusion; or into the system of occasional causes, according to which creatures have no proper causality, and God alone acts in the universe,- a system refuted by the Angelic Doctor, in the first part of his admirable Summa. Man is, in the hands of God, an instrument, like the saw in the hands of the carpenter, and as it is not vicious to ascribe action to the saw, although it cannot act without the carpenter, so it cannot be vicious to ascribe to man a right, or a force to bend the will of another, any more than it is to ascribe to him any other force whatever, although this force depends essentially on God as its first cause.”

 We are very far from regarding the word right in every sense as a vicious expression when adopted by man, but our contemporary’s note fails to convince us that it is not vicious in the sense intended by the author of the Letter, or that in changing viziosa into imperfetta he has merely softened the expression of the text, without changing the system of the author. The Italian critic and the Spanish statesman do not, as it strikes us, adopt the same ethical philosophy, and explain the ground of rights and duties by the same method. The critic says he agrees perfectly with the author, that right in man is very different from right in God, and that it originates essentially in the order which the Creator has established in the universe, and the obligation man is under of conforming thereto.” But we see not how this can be, for, if we understand him, the Marquis denies all human right, and his precise doctrine is, that man has no rights at all, that all rights are God’s rights, and that man has only duties, and of course duties, strictly speaking, only to God. There can, then, be no agreement or disagreement between him and his critic as to the origin of human right, or as to the difference or the sameness of right in man and right in God. The Marquis denies, strictly speaking, all human right; his critic asserts human right, though he concedes that it is only an imperfect right, as all the forces of second causes are imperfect, inasmuch as they all depend on God as their first cause. The difference is not one of exaggeration, but one of system, and the question is, Which system ought to be adopted?
 Our contemporary holds that there is human right, and that this right has its immediate order in the order of nature as second cause, and its remote origin in God as first cause,- which assumes that nature is, in an imperfect sense at least, legislative, and can found rights and impose duties. The question here is not whether we are bound to conform to the order of nature, to keep what is called the natural law, for on this point there is no dispute; it is not any more whether it is necessary to keep the natural law in order to secure happiness and fulfill the end for which we were created, or the design of God in creation, for here, again, there is no dispute. The question relates to the reason or ground of our obligation to conform to the order of nature. Here, again, all agree, that is, all Christians agree, that the ultimate reason or ground is God, and the precise question is narrowed down to this: Is God the immediate reason or ground, or is he it only mediately, inasmuch as he is the author and end of the order of nature? Donoso-Cortez appears to us to adopt the former, his critic adopts the latter view.

 We have examined carefully the article on the Idea of Right, Idea del Dritto, to which we are referred in the note. It is elaborate, written with rare ability, by a disciplined mind, but it hardly touches the real question at issue, and in no instance, as far as we have discovered, even recognizes obligation at all in the sense we have been accustomed to understand, or to imagine we understand, it. Why am I bound to conform to the order of nature? We find several assumptions which we certainly do not dispute, but no distinct answer to this question. We are told that we cannot attain happiness if we do not; but this is no answer, because we may ask, Why are we bound to seek happiness, whether our own or another’s? Are we answered that every man is impelled by the very constitution of his nature to seek happiness? This alleges a fact, but does not assign a reason; it tells us what the order of nature in this respect is, but not why we are bound to conform to it. Moreover, if we assume that we are bound because impelled by nature, we fall into modern Transcendentalism, whose maxim is, Follow thy instincts, Act out thyself. We are told that we must conform to the order of nature because God is its author and end, and if we do not conform to it, we oppose his design, and labor to defeat his purposed in creation. Nothing in the world more true, but it only brings us back to the point from which we started. Why I am bound even to seek God, to conform to his purposes, and to conspire to the end he has proposed? This question, as far as we can discover, our contemporary has not even raised; and yet it seems to us to be very essential in the discussion of the Idea of Right, that is, of law, of duty. Right in one is duty in another, and law is simply the obligatory phase of right. My right is your law, for what is my right you are bound to perform, and what is against my right you are forbidden to do. In a scientific discussion of the Idea of Right, then, there should be, first of all, a discussion of the ground of obligation, or of law in general.
 We have discussed this subject at length in our Review for April, 1848, in our Admonitions to Protestants, and we can offer here only some brief remarks. We regret to find ourselves on any point not in exact agreement with the Civilta Cattolica. We regard this periodical with great deference, and are bound so to regard it, published as it is at Rome, and conducted by distinguished members of the learned Society of Jesus; but we hope, as the question is not one of dogma, it is not temerity in us to say that we are as yet reluctant to abandon the views of the subject before us which we have been accustomed to hold, and which seem to us to be unimpeachable. We are not able to recognize in nature, as created nature, any proper legislative character, or to found rights or duties on instinct or necessity, or in any sense on second causes, for law is always the expression of free will, and second causes are never for themselves. Undoubtedly, we may consult instinct, the necessity of nature, second causes, the whole natural order, when the question is as to what is law, or what does the law command; but not, it strikes us, when the question is as to the ground of right or the obligation of duty. Government is a social necessity, and society could not exist a moment, nor the individual be born, be nurtured, or be buried, without some sort of government. This is a good reason for the existence of government, and for my de facto submission to it; but the right of the government, or my moral obligation or duty to obey it, cannot be deduced from this social necessity. Moreover, to found the right of government, or the duty of the subject, on this social necessity, is to authorize that divorce of politics from religion, that political atheism, which is the characteristic error of our age. If we found rights or duties immediately on second causes, and only mediately on God as first cause, we encourage, in these times, men to stop short with second causes, and to look no farther for their origin or end.

 Our contemporary, of course, is as strongly and as ardently opposed to every form of rationalistic or atheistical politics as we can be, and it is only simple justice to him to say that he maintains in his article, Idea del Dritto, that there is no conception of right – he says no reverence- without some apprehension of God. But he apparently says this only on the ground that nature proceeds from and tends to God, and such is its scope, design, or end, that we cannot conform to it without apprehending it, and we cannot apprehend it without some apprehension of God. Since God was infinitely perfect and supremely happy, he could create only for the purpose of manifesting his own glory in the happiness of his intelligent creatures. We were created to find our happiness in admiring and loving him as our Creator. This is our end, and to this end all nature is ordered. To conform to nature is to conform to this order and to conspire to this end. But as this end is our happiness in loving and admiring God as the author of the admirable order established, we cannot of course aspire to it without apprehending him as admirable and worthy of all love. Right is conformity to this order which God has established; and non-conformity is wrong, because contrary to truth, because it denies that God is admirable and worthy of love, and excludes man from all good. Hence no real morality without a recognition of God, and consequently no atheistical politics or morals are admissible.

 This is all very true, and, though much, is not all that is needed to meet fully the errors of our unbelieving age. It states the fact, but does not declare the law. It tells why it is fit, proper, convenient, or useful to conform to the order established by the Creator in the universe, but it does not tell us why we are bound, much less why I have the right to require my neighbor, to conform to it. The age has gone farther in its doubts and denials, we apprehend, than most of those who have had the happiness of escaping its contaminations are prepared to believe. Even St. Thomas, Bellarmine, and Suarez, were they living and writing now, would, we think, find it necessary, not indeed to change their doctrine, but in some respects their form of expression, and to bring out in new and greater prominence certain aspects of the truth which they held than was required in order to oppose the dominant errors of their times. They all had to meet the immediate divine right of government as set up in favor of the temporal prince against the Sovereign Pontiff, on the one hand, and the liberty of the subject, or the common good of the community, on the other. The questions of their day did not demand a special vindication of the authority of government in face of the subject, nor the special vindication of the duty of the people to obey legal authority, because neither was then specially denied. The rights of man” had not yet become the watchword of the enemies of God and society, and they had no occasion to insist on the Divine dominion against democratic despotism, or as the ground of allegiance to legally constituted government. Human right, or the right of man to establish law, found right, or impose duty, if asserted, was not then asserted as the denial of the rights of God, and in favor of the absolute independence and self-sufficingness of second causes; and, if denied, it was not denied, as we deny it, for the purpose of vindicating the rights of God and maintaining political authority and liberty, but for the purpose of throwing off all government and giving loose reigns to licentious will and passion. The error of all ages is virtually the same error, but it is always changing its form, and we must, in order to meet it, in some respects change with it the expression of the truth we oppose to it. While, therefore, we should feel sure of being wrong, if we found ourselves in opposition to the teaching of these great Catholic doctors, we still think we may, if necessary, so modify its outer form as to adapt it to the present aspects assumed by prevailing errors. Development of doctrine in this sense- and this is all the development that Dr. Newman needed- is lawful and necessary, if the truth is to be preserved in a practical and living form. It seems to us that our contemporary, in his anxiety to adhere to the letter of the great doctors, sometimes misses their real sense, and fails to go far enough back to meet the errors we have now to combat. This is less the case with him than with most writers we meet, and far less than with the excellent Balmez. Prove that this or that is demanded by the order of nature, and the age has so little sense of religion that it will answer, Concede it, what then? Why are we bound to observe the order of nature, or to do what it demands? Because God has established it, and by his eternal law has commanded us to preserve it, and forbidden us to violate it. But wherefore are we bound to obey God? Because he is admirable and altogether lovely, infinitely good and holy. But why are we bound to admire and love the admirable and lovely, the good and the holy, or to do what they require? Because we cannot otherwise be happy. But why are we bound to be happy? Why am I bound to promote the happiness of my neighbor; or whence my right to force him to consult my happiness? We are so constituted, that we are impelled by the very force of our nature to seek our own happiness. Very true, but this only states a fact; it does not declare a law; and I repeat, Why am I bound to seek my happiness? God commands you to do so. That is a good answer if he has a right to command me, and I am bound to obey him. Clearly, then, the first point to be established is, even with those who do not deny the existence of God, that we are bound to obey God, and till we have proved this, and determined the reason or ground of our obligation to obey God, we are not prepared to answer the questions of our day, and determine to its mind either right or duty.

 No doubt a correct answer may be found to the question, Why am I bound to obey God? in the current teachings of the schools; but we have not met one in so clear, precise, and definite a form that we can easily use it in our controversies with our modern deniers of the obligation to worship God, and of moral accountability. We think, however, that a very simple answer may be given, to chargeable with novelty, or of being original with us,- though seldom stated in the precise shape in which we present it,- and which will meet our wants. I am bound to obey God, whatever he commands, because I am his, and not my own. I am his because he has made me out of nothing, and the maker has the sovereign right of property in the thing made,- the creator in the thing created. God as my creator is my sovereign proprietor, and as the sovereign proprietor is the sovereign lord of his property, God is my sovereign Lord and Master, and has the right to command me; and if he has the right to command me, I am bound to obey him. I am his, soul and body, reason and will, and therefore I am accountable to him for myself and all my thoughts, words, and deeds. My duty to obey God is the correlative of his right to command me, and his right to command me is in his dominion over me, and his dominion over me is in his right of property in me, and his right of property in me is in his having created me. All dominion rests on ownership, and all real ownership on creation. We found, then, God’s sovereignty of the universe on his creative act, by which he has produced it from nothing.
 The question of human right, properly so called, is now easily disposed of. The Civilta Cattolica may, perhaps, say here, that man, though not the first cause, is yet a cause, and in the sense of second cause he can produce, create, and therefore have right; not indeed a perfect, but an imperfect right, a right corresponding to the sense in which a second cause is said to cause, is said to act or produce. But the absolute lord or owner owns not only the property, but all its faculties, and consequently all that it is by the exercise of those faculties can in a secondary sense produce or acquire; otherwise I should not be accountable to God for my doings, or the exercise of my faculties. This seems to us a complete answer to all those who contend that rights may be founded or duties imposed by second causes. If I belong entirely to God, as assuredly I do, and am is, all I am, all I have, all I can do, then I can owe only him, and can be in debt to no other. There is , then, for me no duty but my duty to God, and therefore no man in his own name, or by the simple virtue of his humanity, can have any right against me. But my neighbor, as myself, owes all to God, for God is his creator as well as mine, and therefore can owe nothing to me. Then I can have no right, in my own name, against him. Then, strictly speaking, man has no rights,- he has only duties, and all his duties are duties to God, and to God only.
 But not by this do we deny that what men, when rightly instructed, call their rights are equal rights, or that what in the schools are called duties to ourselves and duties to our neighbor are real duties, which no one is at liberty to neglect. God, in regard to these rights, which are his, out of his own goodness transfers them to us, or makes a certain part of our duties to him payable to ourselves and to our neighbor. It is to God,” says Father Avila, as cited by Father Roderiguez in his Practice of Christian and Religious Perfection, that we owe all things; but since he stands in need of nothing, he transfers all the right he has to our brethren, and grants us a full discharge thereof, provided we serve them in all things possible for us to do.” This, indeed, expresses the case a little too strongly, for God does not transfer all his right or make our whole debt to him payable to our neighbor, because a certain portion of it he requires to be paid immediately to himself, and to himself alone. Nevertheless, it asserts that we owe all to God, and owe our neighbor only because we owe him, and pay duties to our neighbor only by his order. What I call my rights are real rights, and good against my neighbor; but they are mine only as transferred to me, or as I by the will of God, whose they are, am appointed to receive the duties they imply. What are called my duties to my neighbor are real duties, and good against me, but they are due, not to my neighbor in his own right, but to God, who makes them payable to him, so that in paying them to him I pay them to God.

 Certainly, I am bound to love my neighbor, though a bitter enemy, as myself; but to whom am I bound? Not formally to my neighbor, but to God. This love of my neighbor is a debt which I owe to God, and if I do not pay it to my neighbor, I do not pay it to God. As long as ye did it not to these least ones, ye did it not unto me.” We are not bound, strictly speaking, to our neighbor, because, since he owes all to God, he has nothing he can call his own with which to bind me; but we are bound to God to love him as ourselves, because he like ourselves belongs to God, is the property of our master, and we owe the same respect to the property of our master in another that we do to his property in ourselves. We are bound also to respect and not to injure ourselves,- not bound to ourselves, because no being can be bound to himself, but to God, because we are his, and we have no right to injure or not to take care of the property of our master, whether in ourselves or in others. Here is the ground of our obligation to seek our own good or happiness and that of our neighbor. We are bound to seek it, not because it is his or ours, but because it is the right of God, and a duty we owe to him. I am bound in God, for God’s sake, to seek my own and my neighbor’s good, but out of him I am not and cannot be so bound. I am not bound to seek my good for my own sake, nor my neighbor’s for his sake.
 Our contemporary, it seems to us, cannot, even with his own definition of right, maintain his doctrine of proper, though imperfect, human right. Right, according to him, as we collect from his article, Idea del Dritto, is a moral force which one has to subject another to his will, and which, though it may be violated by material force, whether our own or that of another, is always subsisting, living, and speaking. This force is based on a practical truth, for you cannot say, I have a right, unless you feel in yourself a force capable of obtaining from another compliance with your desires; and therefore you must have as the basis of right a practical truth to which every man is forced in reason to submit and which no one can resist without doing violence to his own conscience, and denying his own reason. But it is evident that this force, which is to subdue the will of another to my own, and which is termed my right, is not the force of my will, but the force of the practical truth which I am able to present. Now this truth, whatever it be, is independent of me, is objective to me, and no more mine than it is my neighbor’s. How, then, can I call this force mine, or my right? My right, if mine, is my right to have my will prevail. If you deny it to be this, you use a vicious expression, when you call it mine. But if the force be simply the force of truth, since truth is neither mine nor myself, what you call my right is only the right of the truth or of the law to prevail, and therefore is not my right. If the right were mine, it would need nothing beyond my will to establish it. Sic volo, So I will, would be all the reason that could be demanded to bind in obedience. Our contemporary, therefore, having based right on truth, not on will, does not appear to us to be able to assert proper human right at all.

 But although this definition of right seems to us to make against the Civilta Cattolica, we are not prepared to accept it. In our judgment, it leaves out the essential element of right. My right, as we have said, binds you, is your law, prescribes your duty to me; for law is only the obligatory phase of right. Now, in this definition of right we find it to be a force which subdues, indeed, but not that it is a force that ought, or that has the right, to subdue, the will of another to me. To say of a force that it subdues, is one thing; that it ought or has the right to subdue, is quite another thing. The former merely tells the truth, the latter declares the law. Truth convinces the understanding; law commands the will. Here is the defect of the definition. It makes law a simple fact, or a simple truth, and thus places the seat of law in reason instead of will. Law is not actus rationis, but actus imperii, therefore an act of will, for will, not reason, is the imperative faculty. Reason enlightens the will, but will commands reason. Reason is declarative, does not found the law, but declares what the law is. It tells us what is good, what is bad, what is desirable, what is undesirable, but does not bind us to seek the one or avoid the other. Law is the voice of authority, and derives its binding force as law from him who commands, not from what is commanded. To know whether it is law or not, we ask not What is said? but, Who speaks? God speaks,- is the ultimate reason of all obedience; for who may say unto him, What doest thou? or, Why commandest thou thus? Law undoubtedly is reasonable, but it is law not because it is reasonable, but because it is the expressed will of the sovereign, of him who has the right to impose his own will as law.
 The term law, we are well aware, is frequently used in a wider sense than that in which we here use it. It is frequently applied to inanimate and irrational nature. Thus men speak of the laws of matter, of motion, of plants, of animals; they speak also of intrinsic laws, and laws of instinct; but in all these instances the word is used in an analogical or metaphysical, not in its true and proper sense. It is never intrinsic, or instinctive, but always objective, independent of the subject, imposed on him, not operating from within him. Lex necessario requirit aliquem, cui possit imponi, says Suarez, law, by necessity, requires a certain person, upon whom it is able to be imposed,” and therefore not only some one on whom it may be imposed, but some one, distinct from the subject, to impose it. Lex est actus imperii, as the same Suarez says again. Law is an act of authority over free will, and as such can be imposed only by the Sovereign Lord on persons, or creatures endowed with intellect and free will. Such is the constitution of the will, philosophers tell us, that it always seeks good, but its innate appetency for good is not a law commanding us to seek good; and to seek good through the simple force of this appetency, or as impelled by the natural constitution of the will, is not to seek good in obedience to law, and in so seeking it we are, if innocent, no more moral than the flower in blossoming, or the bee in constructing her cell. To render it an act of obedience to law, we must seek it, not because impelled by nature, but by an act of free volition, because our sovereign wills it.
 No doubt many have a repugnance to placing law primarily in will and only secondarily in reason. Desirous of sitting in judgment on the law, and to be at liberty to grant or withhold obedience according to the decisions of their own minds on the intrinsic character of what is commanded, many contend for a more ultimate ground of law than the will of the sovereign,- something which shall bind that will as well as their own. Hence some place the ground of right or law in that it is conducive to happiness or to utility, some in the reason or fitness of things, which means we know not what, some in truth, and others in the reason or wisdom of God. That all human and natural laws must seek their binding force as laws in something that transcends both human will and nature we concede, and most earnestly contend, because, as we hold, neither nature nor human will has any real dominion, or proper legislative character. So-called natural laws and human laws derive all their legality immediately from the law of God, or what is termed the eternal law; but the law of God, the law of all human and natural laws, derives its legality from nothing more ultimate than the will of God; because the will of God is free from all law, and because to place the ground of its legality anywhere else would divest law of its imperative character, and reduce it to a mere measure, rule, or truth of reason. St. Anselm says: Deum esse omnino liberum a lege, et ideo quod vult, justum, et conveniens esse; id autem quod est injustum, et indecens non cadere in ejus voluntatem, non propter legem, sed  quia non pertinet ad ejus libertatem. God’s commands bind, not because of what they command, but because they are his commands; yet what he commands is always reasonable and good, not because he is restrained by law, but by his own nature, from commanding the contrary; so that his law always expresses his eternal reason, love, and goodness, as well as his authority or dominion. Undoubtedly, the doctors speak of the eternal law, from which natural and human laws derive their legality, but the eternal law is the law of God and is eternal in the sense that creation is eternal, that is, in the eternal will or decree of God to create. In no other sense could it be eternal, because prior to creation there was no one capable of law,- capax legis.

 St. Augustine, indeed, defines the eternal law to the reason or will of God commanding the order of nature to be preserved and forbidding it to be violated,- Lex aeterna est, ratio divina vel voluntas Dei, ordinem naturalem conservari jubens, perturbari vetans. But this makes nothing against the view we have taken. Law may be considered either as it is law, or in respect to its contents and the end to which it tends. Considered simply as law, as a binding force, it has its seat in the will of God; considered in relation to what it commands, and to the end to which it tends, it is Divine reason, or has its seat in the eternal reason of God. In this last sense the law is the subject of profound and pious meditation, and is dwelt upon by all devout minds as a revelation of the wisdom and goodness, the sanctity and love of God, offering us motives sweet as heaven, strong as love, and terrible as hell to keep his commandments. For the law is wise and just, good and holy, even the law of nature, regarded as God’s law, and tends to manifest his glory in the happiness of his creatures. Here is a light in which we should be sorry not to consider the law, for God is beautiful and altogether lovely in all his works, in his in his works of nature as well as in his works of grace. But when we seek the ground of law, its binding force as law, or consider it in relation to right or duty, we refer it solely to the will of God. But in doing this we do not refer it to will in the abstract, or to will in general; we refer it to the will of God, and to no other will, and to his will as it is, not as it is not and as it cannot be,- therefore to his will inseparable from his reason, his love, and his goodness, for the divine attributes are indistinguishable, save in our inadequate mode of conceiving them.

 It must be clear enough to the reader, that we do not deny our obligation to conform to the order of nature; on the contrary, we establish that obligation be establishing the obligation to obey God. We are not bound to obey the order of nature precisely because it is the order of nature; we are bound to obey it because it is created and established by God our sovereign, and because he by his law commands us to obey it. The eternal law, as St. Augustine says, commands the natural order to be preserved, and forbids it to be violated,- ordinem naturalem conservari jubens, perturbari vetans. Whatever is necessary to the preservation of this order is of course authorized, and when we have ascertained that this or that is necessary to its preservation, we may know without further inquiry that God commands it. All we contend for is that the reason of the obligation is not the necessity, but the Divine will. The practical duties or offices of life as set forth in the current teaching of the schools are all affirmed, and declared obligatory, only they are referred immediately, not mediately, to the law of God for their obligatory character. Rights and duties remain, only they are held to be rights of God and duties to God; and what are called duties to ourselves and duties to our neighbor remain real duties, only they derive their character of duties from the command of God, and are strictly duties to him, merely payable by his order respectively to ourselves and to our neighbor.

 Undoubtedly, the denial of proper human right denies the proper right of human government, and converts what it usually claims as a right into a trust. But this is only an evidence of its truth. It destroys, in principle, the very basis of despotism, and offers a solid foundation both of liberty and authority. The basis of all despotism is the assumption of human right, or of the power to govern as a right inherent in the human ruler, instead of recognizing it and holding it as a trust from God. Of Oriental despotism the basis is the assumption of the inherent right of one man to govern; of democratic despotism, the right of every man, expressed in universal suffrage as a natural right; of aristocratic despotism, the right of the nobility; of parliamentary despotism, the right of the parliamentary body for the time. No matter in which of these you vest the power, you have a despotism in principle, if you assert the power to govern as a human right. But when you deny it as a human right, in whose hands soever lodged, and assert it as a trust only, you destroy at once the principle of every species of despotism. We do not deny or weaken the authority of human governments; we only deny that their authority is, strictly speaking, their own, or that of human right. The human government may rightfully govern, but by the authority of God, not by its own; as the minister of God, not as an independent sovereign, whether independent in a higher or lower, a broader or a narrower sphere. The government as a fact may sometimes originate in popular convention, but it derives its authority to govern, not from the convention, but immediately from God, and its right to govern is God’s right, and not its own, or that of the people. It receives its power from God as a trust, and is of course bound to exercise it in the name of God, and according to the conditions he has annexed. These conditions, since annexed by God, are wise, just, and good, as is his own law, and tend directly to the good of the community. So long as the government conforms to these conditions, it is legal government, governs rightfully, and is salutary in its action; but then it neglects them, violates them, and abuses its powers, it forfeits the trust, and the subject is absolved from his allegiance; because his duty is duty to God, and to the government only as the minister of God, and necessarily ceases to be due to the latter, the moment it has forfeited its trust and ceased to be God’s minister. We are bound to obey government only inasmuch as God authorizes it, and of course no longer than he authorizes it. This cuts off all despotism and asserts a solid basis for true liberty, and at the same time provides, in principle, for the stability of government and the good order of society, for it adds to all the motives usually drawn from social necessities and advantages, the obligations of religion. We are bound to obey the state as the minister of God, because bound to obey God, and we come short in our duty to God if we do not.

 The great practical objection, in these times, to the doctrine which asserts proper human right, or that derives right from nature as second cause and from God only as first cause, is that it affords a basis to modern rationalism and social despotism. If you assert human right strictly so called, you must assert the independence of the human will, and its right to refuse assent unless human reason is convinced, and therefore the right of private judgment, which is pure rationalism, that is, human independence, or despotism in the intellectual order. Our contemporary is constantly and earnestly fighting modern rationalism, but has he reflected that, in conceding proper human right, he concedes to his opponents in the outset the very principle of which rationalism is only a logical development? The error of the rationalists is not so much an error in drawing conclusions, as an error in the premises. Grant them their premises, and you will hardly dispute their conclusions with success, theoretical or practical.
 If we allow man or nature, that is, second causes, a proper legislative character, as we must if we assert proper human right, we cannot, in our times, successfully resist despotism, either of the state or of the individual. If the state is permitted, in any other sense than as the minister or trustee of God, to say my right, it will invariably include under the denomination of its right all the power it can get. We then necessarily give it an independency, not only in face of its subjects, or which we do not complain, but in face of the spiritual power, and therefore of God himself. Right, if right, is good against every one, and may be defended from every attack, let the attack come from what quarter it may. The state may assert its right, if right it have, in face of the Church of God as well as in face of its subjects; nay, pro tanto at least, the Church, and therefore God himself, is the subject of the state. Assume this, and how shall we be able to resist the encroachments on the spiritual power by the present Sardinian government? The state alleges that it is simply exercising its rights as the temporal authority, and defending them against the usurpations of the Church. This in every contest of the sort is what the state always says. What else said Frederic the Second, Henry the Fourth, or Joseph the Second of Germany? What else said Henry Plantagenet, Henry Tudor, or his daughter Elizabeth, of England? What else said Louis the Fourteenth, the Regency, the Constituent Assembly, or the Convention, of France? It is always on the part of the state, if we may believe it, nothing but the assertion and vindication of its rights. What, on the principles we oppose, has the church to reply for herself? That the state encroaches, and that she in resisting it is only asserting and vindicating her own rights? But both assert the same principle, each claims the right, and which has the right to prevail? On your principles, both and neither, and you must tolerate usurpation on one side or other in the name of right, without any principle by which the controversy can be terminated. The possession of a right necessarily carries with it the right to define it, or to judge of its limits and its extent, and therefore of its infraction; for if you give to another the right to define your right, you surrender it. I am the judge of my own right, and if you make it necessary to submit its determination to another, you deny it to be my right, and declare it a trust, which I hold subject to the will or the judgment of another. Either, then, you must deny the state all inherent and underived right, or else you must allow it to be the judge both of the limits and extent of its right, and, then, of the time and mode of exercising it. In other words, right, if right in the proper sense of the word, is absolute, supreme, and universal; and there is no way of terminating a controversy between parties each acknowledged to have rights, for each is independent. The only way of terminating the controversy between the spiritual and the temporal is to regard the rights of the state as trusts from God, and the duties of subjects or citizens to it as duties solely to God. This makes both the rights and the duties religious rights and duties, and brings them within the jurisdiction of the spiritual order, and therefore of the Church as the representative of that order on earth. The state then has no authority, no right in the face of the Church, and consequently cannot, under the pretext of asserting and vindicating the temporal authority, oppress religion and enslave conscience. St. Gregory the Seventh, Innocent the Third, Boniface the Eighth, and St. Pius the Fifth all understood very well that the independence of the spiritual order in face of the temporal can be asserted only by asserting the dependence of the state and the supremacy of the Church, and that it is only by subjecting the temporal to the spiritual that civil despotism can be effectually denied, or the freedom of religion and of the people as individuals be maintained. They designated to Caesar his place, and bid him keep it, and smote him with the sword of Peter and Paul when he left it.

 On the other hand, if we allow the individual to say my right, and babble of the rights of man, not to say, rights of woman, we must expect every man to understand by his rights the right of his own will to prevail in all things. We cannot, at least in these times, assert right for an individual without conceding the unrestricted right of private judgment, and then not without asserting pure individualism, or the absolute supremacy of the individual. Of you assert the rights of man, human right, in favor of the community, you authorize social despotism, or the despotism of society over its members, as is the tendency of all your modern socialisms, communisms, red-republicanisms, whether as advocated by a Mazzini, a Kossuth, a Ledru-Rollin, a Saint-Simon, a Robert Owen, a Pierre Leroux, a Fourier, a Cabet, or a Proudhon. If you assert the rights of man in favor of the individual, you assert the despotism of the individual, which is anarchy, or the struggle of independent wills each for the mastery, of which every democracy, when not a social despotism, offers an example, and to which our country is undeniably tending, as well as to social despotism. The assertion of the rights of man” is the denial of all legal authority, and if we make it, we must abandon all hope of government and of society, we must expect demagoguism, revolutionism, anarchy, and military despotism to be the rule of the day. All the terrible political and social convulsions of our times originate in the pride of man which terms his duties his rights. In all these convulsions, which have made of all Europe a camp, if not a battle-field, the sole pretence has been the assertion and vindication of the rights of nature and of man. The soldiers in these new wars do not go forth to battle with prayers and hymns to God, in the name of God of battles, shouting, like the old crusaders, Deus vult; no, they go forth in the name of man, as soldiers of humanity, and their prayers and hymns are songs in praise of man and nature, and execrations on the anointed priests of God, and their shout is, Populus vult, the mob wills. In vain you tell them that they exaggerate their rights and forget their duties, in vain you exhort them to take more moderate and less unreasonable views. When was it that you could concede men rights, and have them remember their duties? Since when has it been true that you could give them an inch and they not take an ell? It is not moderate men, reasonable men, you have to deal with; it is unreasonable men, madmen rather. They are madmen indeed, but even madmen reason correctly enough from their premises, and their insanity is in their always reasoning from false premises. Grant them their premises, as you do when you concede them human right, and it is folly to hope to resist their conclusions. If we would resist their rationalism, their atheism, their destructive doctrines, tendencies, and deeds, we must strike their ground from under them, and leave them nothing to stand on. We must refuse them their starting-point, and prove to them that what they arrogate to themselves as their rights are the rights of God, not theirs, to be exercised only in his name, and only by those whom he authorizes to exercise them, and that they have for themselves duties, and duties only to God.
 Indeed, if our duties are not all duties to God, and to others only for his sake, why are we required in order to discharge our duty to God to refer all our actions to him? If I owe a duty to my neighbor in his own right, my neighbor is the ultimate end of that duty. They, then, am I bound to refer it to God, and discharge it for his sake? What claim has God to it? Does the universe, or any part of the universe, exist for itself? Has not God created all things for himself alone? How then can there be duty except to him? Second causes have no creative power, and therefore all their activity is confined to the second cosmic cycle, the return of creation to God as its final cause. This return is not a right, it is in all rational creation a duty. It is our duty to return by an act of free volition to God who has made us, in the way and manner he prescribes, and this is our whole duty. It is not our duty because we cannot otherwise secure happiness. That we cannot otherwise secure happiness is certainly true, and is a good reason why we should return, but is not the reason or ground of our obligation to return; for to seek our happiness in any other way is not merely a mistake, but also a sin. If all our activity is confined to this return, and if this return be our duty and our whole duty, as it assuredly is, how can we pretend that we owe any duties but duties to God? If all our duties are duties to God, then all rights are his, and right on human lips, as Donoso-Cortez says, is a vicious expression, and our contemporary’s criticism was uncalled for, and is unauthorized.

 We find nothing in this doctrine to favor the system of occasional causes, for it does not deny the proper activity of second causes, or assert God as sole actor in the operations of nature. We assert the activity of second causes; we deny only their creative activity; and we had supposed it lawful to maintain that creatures cannot create, and that to create is the incommunicable prerogative of God alone. It is because creatures cannot create, that we deny them in their own right all dominion, deny that they have, properly speaking, any right or power to bind others to themselves, and maintain that they have only duties, and duties only to God their creator. My right is my own; and if I have right, I have something I can call my own, something the absolute ownership of which is vested in me. But how can this be when I have not even the ownership of myself? We do not deny the proper activity of nature as second cause; we only deny its legislative character, because to found law pertains to him who has the sovereign dominion, and dominion depends on ownership, and ownership on creation. But as nature is created, not creative, it has no ownership; then no dominion; then no power to found laws. We do not deny the obligation of the law of nature, but we do not call it law precisely because without fulfilling it we cannot fulfill the purpose of our existence, nor the law of nature precisely because it is impressed upon nature, innate, intrinsic, and operative in all natural actions, but because it is the law of God, the will of our Sovereign commanding us to observe the order of nature, and forbidding us to depart from it. It is law only because the will of God, and therefore it is that there is no atheistical morality, and the denial of God is the denial of all law.

 We do not perceive that we are in any danger here of falling into Hindu pantheism. The essence of pantheism is in denying the proper activity of second causes, and therefore second causes themselves, and is really only occasionalism rendered consistent with itself. In denying human right we do not deny the reality of nature nor the proper activity of second causes. The activity of second causes is none the less activity because confined to the second cycle, or return to God as the end for which they were made. Undoubtedly, all activity is, in a certain sense, productive, otherwise it would not be activity; but the activity of second causes produces only in the order of the end, and in man is termed virtue, which is the product of duty discharged, and therefore is included in the return to God. This return to God is in man more than an instinctive, more even than an intelligent return; it is a free, voluntary return, in which the end is not only apprehended, but freely willed. There is no higher conceivable activity of second causes than this, none which approaches nearer the similitude of the Divine activity. Man is never more truly or distinctively man, and never performs an act more properly his own, than when performing an act of obedience, or discharging a duty.

 It strikes us that there is less danger of pantheism or occasionalism in this doctrine, than in that suggested by our Italian contemporary in his note. Undoubtedly, we must admit participated beings, and most assuredly we may apply to them analogically the terms which language adopts in speaking both of finite and infinite Being. It is not improper to call a man beautiful, great, wise, powerful, although only God is beauty, greatness, wisdom, and power, if he participates of these Divine attributes. The expression is imperfect, that is, expresses what is imperfect, but it is not vicious. But we cannot say therefore it is not vicious to apply the word right to man, because it does not appear that tight is participable in the sense in which these attributes are. Right is the Divine sovereignty, and, to participate of it is to participate of the Divine dominion, since the Divine dominion, like the creative act on which it is founded, is incommunicable, is, if any thing, to be identically God. To assert such participation would place us in the order of the first cause, give us at least a share in the work of creation, and thus assert, if not pantheism, polytheism. The illustration selected by the Civilta Cattolica is not applicable, because right is not, like beauty, greatness, wisdom, power etc, a participable attribute. The example of the saw in the hands of the carpenter is not, it seems to us, happily chosen. The saw is a mere passive instrument in the hands of a carpenter, and can only in a loose and improper sense be said to act at all. To represent man as such passive instrument in the hands of God, would be to deny his proper activity, all proper human acts, and, if pressed hard, would go far towards representing God as the only operator in nature,- would go far towards the denial of the activity of second causes and the assertion of occasionalism. Pantheism or occasionalism would be more likely, then, to be deduced from our contemporary’s doctrine than from the one we oppose to it. Pantheism is the reigning philosophical heresy of our times, but amongst us it has grown out of the habit of regarding the forces of nature, especially of human nature, as Divine laws, because nature is the work of God, and then assuming them to be divine forces. If Divine forces, they are God, and then God and nature are identical, and God is the only operator, which is occasionalism; and if second causes have no operative virtue, they are Maia, pure illusions, which is pantheism. This is best guarded against by denying man all activity in the first or creative cycle, in confining his activity to the second cycle, and therefore denying him in the proper sense of the term all right, and recognizing in him only duties. The clear and distinct recognition of duty is the practical, as well as speculative, denial of both pantheism and occasionalism.

 Nevertheless, we do not object, with proper explanations, to the application ordinarily made of the terms right and natural law. In the sense in which Donoso-Cortez condemns, and his critic defends them, we cannot accept them, till otherwise instructed than at present; yet we may call right our right in the sense that it is a real right against our neighbor, and is made payable by the Divine order to us. Strictly speaking, the right is God’s right, not ours, and is our only as we are its trustees, or his ministers; yet if we bear in mind that we hold it only from God, and mean by calling it ours only that it is a real right, and good in our favor, against our neighbor, it is lawful as well as convenient for us to speak of our rights. So of the law of nature. We may speak of the law of nature, and insist on it as law, if we only bear in mind that it is law not by simple force of nature, regarded as natura naturata, but by the will of God our sovereign. It is also necessary to use the term when we wish to distinguish between nature and grace, or between the law by conformity to which we fulfill the purposes of our natural creation, and the law by which we attain to the end of our supernatural creation. With these qualifications and explanations well understood, the terms can do no harm, are convenient, and sanctioned by a usage upon which we have as little right as disposition to innovate. All we insist on is, that we shall always, when strictness of language is necessary, assert all right as belonging to God, and for man only duties, and in this, after all, we doubt not, our highly esteemed contemporary will fully agree with us.

 As to the Letter itself of the noble Spaniard, we have not many comments to offer. We commend it to the attention of our readers as a specimen of free, bold, manly thought and expression, in a Catholic and a monarchist. They will be struck with the freedom, independence, and manliness of its tone, so superior to the tameness and civility of thought and utterance of our American statesmen on similar topics. There is no country in the world where the people or the public counts for so much, or is so free and independent as with us, and none where man individually is so little, so servile, so far removed from a real freeman. American Democracy is the most intolerant despot in the world, and will tolerate not the least approach to freedom of thought and utterance on the origin and constitution of government. It strikes with its anathema every public man who refuses to offer it incense. We speak not of laws on the statute-book; so far as formal legislative enactments on the subject are concerned, we are free enough; but the force of public opinion, the clamor of the mob, renders this statute freedom of no avail to any one who would stand well with his countrymen. We ourselves, personally, speak with freedom and independence, for it is in us to do so, and we would do so if the dungeon, the rack, the scaffold, gibbet, or stake, awaited us, for we do not hold our life worth saving at the expense of liberty or duty; but we are happy to do so not without paying the penalty. Happily, we do not happen to desire the votes of our countrymen; but if we did, we should find our views of government, to say nothing of our views of religion, rendering us more effectually ineligible than it could be done by any constitutional provision or legislative enactment. Why, we could not get elected to the humblest popular office in our own town. We care not for this in our own case, for we have deliberately chosen our own course with a full view of the penalty annexed; but the fact operates most injuriously to our own country. No discussion on the origins and constitution of power have been entered into by any of our public men since 1794, when John Adams published his very able work in defense of the American Constitutions against M. Turgot, who complained of them for not instituting centralized democracy, of which the world saw so brilliant a specimen in the Reign of Terror in France. No public man among us, however eminent, however patriotic or loyal, could obtain for any office the suffrages of his fellow-citizens, were he to utter the least word in disparagement of the democracy. More freedom of thought and expression on political principles, on forms of government, or the methods of constituting power, are tolerated under the most arbitrary monarchical governments of the world, than under our liberalism. Our journals mourn over the restraints placed on the French press by the Prince President, and tell us that in la belle France” thought is tongue-tied. Yet the French press is free to defend and praise the governing powers, and our press dares do no more. The only difference is, a public law restrains the press in France, and servility to the mob controls it in the United States. The consequence is that manly utterance is foreclosed, manly thought expires, and the whole of our political science consists in fulsome panegyrics on the Revolution, more fulsome eulogiums on the integrity, wisdom, and independence of the people, and inane declamations in favor of what is called popular liberty, which means the right of the people to go where they please, and my right or power to ride them thither. The instruction needed by the new generations as they come up, the free and manly thought that is to kindle in them a sense of their manhood, render them free and royal in their souls, must be sought from abroad, from writers born and bred in despotic Spain, priest-ridden Italy, or absolutist Austria. Hence we think it well to lay such Letters as this of Donoso-Cortez before our readers, although we may not personally adopt every sentiment they may contain.

 We do not quite agree with Donoso-Cortez in condemning parliamentary government, though in its modern degeneracy it is little better than a public nuisance, and our Congress has been called a bear-garden. Let your parliament be a parliament of estates under a strong executive, and let it sit with closed doors, with all publicity to the speeches of its members denied, so as to prevent the members becoming in their legislative character mere demagogues, making, as we say in this country, speeches for Buncombe, and parliamentary government would, wherever in accordance with the habits of the people, be worthy of the praises it has received. We find, or imagine we find, the Marquis leaning to the exclusive legality of the monarchical regime. We cannot agree with him in this. Monarchy is the legal order in Spain, republicanism in the United States. Governments are purely national matters. Let each have its own, and abide by it. For ourselves, we can no more admit the exclusive legality of monarchy than of democracy.