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Origin and Constitution of Government

Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1844

ART. IV. — The Democratic Review. New-York: J. & H. G. Langley. No. LXVL Art. XV. December, 1843.

THE Article we here refer to, in the Democratic Review, was called forth by some Essays, which we had previously contributed to that Journal, on the " Origin and Ground of Government." It is written with considerable smartness, and contains one or two very clever hits ; but is, in our judgment, somewhat too light and sketchy for the very great gravity and interest of the questions involved. Its tone and general style of argument are not quite compatible with the dignity of philosophical discussion, nor exactly what we had a right to expect from a professed personal and political friend.    But, happily, the question at issue is not of a personal nature, and there is no necessity of inquiring, whether we or the editor of the Democratic Review is the better man, the warmer friend of liberty, the more consistent republican, the more skilful dialectician, or the better able to turn aside the point of an argument by vehement declamation, a vulgar appeal, a biting sarcasm, or a witty retort. Matters of this kind, however decided, could not tend much to the public edification, nor to the general advancement of political science. The real question at issue is one of grave and abiding interest; it concerns the truth or falsity of a great and influential political doctrine, and can be worthily discussed only when we bring to its discussion our purest affections, our honestest motives, and our best reason.

The question, to which we at present confine our remarks, concerns the truth or falsity of the democratic theory as expounded by the Democratic Review. We enter now into no defence of our own doctrine, for, as yet, the reviewer has offered nothing against it. The objections he has urged, we had ourselves suggested, and answered ; and, till the answers we gave are invalidated, nothing more needs to be said. The reviewer has done nothing but to show, that our theory of government contradicts his ; and his, therefore, is the theory to be examined. Is the reviewer's own doctrine worthy to be adopted ?    This is the question.

Before proceeding to the direct consideration of this question, we must pray our readers to understand distinctly our position. We may he easily misinterpreted, and misrepresented ; and, by a little play on the ambiguity of terms, be made appear to oppose what we do not oppose, and to advocate what we do not advocate. We say distinctly, that in questioning, as we shall soon proceed to do, the truth and sufficiency of democracy, as expounded by the Democratic Review, we are not questioning the doctrine and measures of the republican party; we do ?^ deny the right, or the capacity, of the people to arlmmister the government under and through constitutional and legal forms; we do not oppose" the actually existing political order of this country; but, simply, a new and dangerous interpretation of our institutions, which, if once fully adopted, and acted upon, cannot fail to prove their destruction. We will regard as unwarrantable misrepresentation, and slander even, any repetition of the charge, which has been recently so often made against us, that we intentionally, or by implication, advocate the necessity, or the right, of kings, of nobilities, or of any man, or any set of men, by whatever name called, to rule over the people. We plant ourselves on the institutions of our country ; we accept them as they are ; we bring in no new doctrine ; but we resist with all our energy a mischievous innovation, which is attempted to be brought in by others. This is our position; and we have a right to demand that it be regarded.

What is this innovation, the democracy, for which the Democratic Review contends, and which we oppose ? This is not easily answered, for the reviewer does not abound in clear, distinct, and compact statements. Nevertheless, aided by his Notes, appended to some previous article of ours, we can answer with tolerable certainty. In his Review for December last, page 660, he says ; " The people are the rightful human source and foundation of governmental authority." The little word human, was probably thrown in to round the period, for the reviewer's purpose, since he was opposing us, was to assert the absolutely human origin and foundation of governmental authority. If he had meant merely to say, that the people are the rightful human source and foundation of governmental authority, that is, that all legitimate power in the State, is, under God, derived from the people, he would only have asserted our own doctrine, for which he was holding us up to public indignation, and murdering us with his terrible reduciio ad absurdum. He must, therefore, have meant to assert, in plain language, the simple, absolute sovereignity of the people.

This is evident from what he had previously said, in a note appended to an Article of ours, on Popular Government, in his Review for May last, page 390.

" Away with such cobweb subtleties and sophistications. The people — the actual numerical people—including, on terms of equal rights, all persons of reasonable maturity in years and the ordinary degree and completeness of mental competency to thinlc and act for their own self-government, — the people themselves, in their own native might and right, are the primary and fundamental sovereignty."
And again, on the same page :

" Our theory is very simple and plain ; and safe enough, too, if Mr. Brownson would be a little less afraid of the people — and if he would consent to pardon their ' moment dc vertige' in 1840 — it is, that the sovereignty resides in the people [the numerical people] —that sovereignty which made the Constitution, and may unmake. If that people choose to come together, in their own way, whether inside or outside the existing forms of law, and to alter the Constitution, it is to their will and their act that my loyalty is morally due, provided I am bonajide satisfied of the fact of the majority."

These quotations prove, that democracy, according to the Democratic Review, asserts government to be of purely human origin and foundation, and that the people themselves are, in their own native might and right, the primary and fundamental sovereignty. Now we assert, in opposition, 1. That democracy, so defined) is tantamount to no government; 2. That if it be a government, it is a government that has no right to govern ; and, 3. That, even waiving the question of its right to govern, it cannot answer the practical ends of wise and just government.

1. Government, of some sort, we assume to be neces
sary.    The question is not, government or no govern
ment ; but, the sort of government that is to be instituted, or sustained.
2. Government, to  be  government, must govern ;
and, therefore, a government which does not govern, is
no government.
3. The government must not only govern, but have the right to govern ; not only be government, but legitimate government.

4, The government, if it have the right to govern, necessarily carries along with it the duty of the subject to obey.

These postulates all parties must accept, and democracy must fulfil all the conditions here implied, or be abandoned as indefensible. We proceed now to the question.

I. DEMOCRACY IS TANTAMOUNT TO NO GOVERNMENT. Let no one, we say again, misinterpret us, and accuse us of opposing, under the name of democracy, what we do not oppose. The word, democracy; is used in more senses than one. Let us begin, then, by recognizing and defining these several senses, and determining the exact sense in which we oppose it.
1. Democracy is the sovereignty of the people ; this
is the sense in which we suppose the Democratic Re
view understands it.
2. The word, democracy, is sometimes used, especial
ly by those of our scholars who have  been educated
abroad, to designate the mass of the people, the great
unprivileged many, as distinguished from the privileged
few; as when we say, the administration of the gov
ernment should be in the hands of the democracy.
3. It is  used  indifferently to designate either the
doctrines and measures of the Democratic party, or the
members of the party themselves.
4. It is used to designate the doctrine which teaches
that all governments rightfully exist, and are to be ad
ministered, only for the common good of the whole
people, especially for the protection and elevation of
the poorer and more numerous classes.    In this sense,
it   designates  the end of government, rather than its
form; this  is the sense, in which we have  uniform
ly used it,  when we have called ourselves a demo
crat ; and in this sense, — the only sense in which we
have ever professed dempcracy, — we are as democratic
as ever we were.    It was in this  sense we used the
word, when we defined democracy to be the " Suprema
cy of man over his accidents," and when we wrote and
lectured on " The Democracy of Christianity," endeavouring to show that democracy, rightly understood, is nothing but the application to our social and political relations of the great principles of the Gospel.
The reviewer sneers at us for making nice distinctions ; and yet, just and accurate distinctions, not of words, merely, but of things, are indispensable, if we would speak or write intelligibly, and not make confusion worse confounded. These distinctions in regard to the word, democracy, and the several senses in which it is used, are very necessary to be observed ; for a man may be a democrat in one of these senses, and not in the others, and much may be true of one, which could not be legitimately affirmed of another of them. In this discussion, as in all our recent writings, we use the word, democracy, in the first sense named, and mean by it, that political order which is founded on the principle of the sovereignty of the people, regarded not merely as the administrators, but as the source and ground, of government.
But here, at the risk of another of our friend's withering sneers, we must make a still further distinction. The sovereignty of the people may be taken, 1. NEGATIVELY, as the denial of the king, the nobility, or the right of any one man, or any set of men, caste, or class, to rule over the people ; or, 2. POSITIVELY, as the assertion of the absolute right of the people to govern, of their native, inherent, underived sovereignty. The first is the sense in which the people of this country generally understand popular sovereignty, as is evinced by the fact, that they take our denial of popular sovereignty to be the assertion of the right, or necessity, of some one man, or a certain set of men, class, or caste, to rule over the people. But, in this negative sense, which denies all human authority above the people, we accept popular sovereignty with all our heart. We deny popular sovereignty only in the second, the positive sense. This distinction is important, as we showed at large in an Essay on Democracy, published in the Boston Quarterly Review, for January, 1838. We pray our readers to remember it, and not to accuse us of asserting the necessity of some human power to rule over the people.

Let us, then, be distinctly understood. Our controversy with democracy is not when it denies the right of the one or the few to rule over the people, but simply, when it founds the State on population alone, and makes the people the primary and fundamental sovereignty, the soiwce and foundation of all legitimate authority. This is the democracy of the Democratic Review, and which we maintain to be tantamount to no government at all.

We begin by demanding of the reviewer a definition of what he means by " the people." He answers, in his Review, " the numerical people, including, on terms of equal rights, all persons of reasonable maturity in years and the ordinary degree and completeness of mental competency to think and act for their own individual self-government." But this is not enough. Does he mean to embrace all the inhabitants of the globe, and to assert that it is only to the decision of the majority of the whole his loyalty is morally due? Of course not. His numerical people are not all the inhabitants of the globe. Then they must be the inhabitants of a certain portion of the globe, that is, of a given territory. But here is a difficulty. What marks and defines the territory, the majority of whose inhabitants " are, in their own native might and right, the primary and fundamental sovereignty " ? Is the territory undefinable ? If so, how will he be able to tell how many are necessary to constitute a majority ? Nor is this all. Before the people have acted, and established the rule by which it may be determined who have the proper maturity in years, and the requisite degree of mental competency, how will it be possible to tell who are the political people, and who not ? We hope the reviewer will not, with, proud disdain, exclaim, in view of these questions, " Away with such cobweb subtleties and sophistications," for they are to us serious questions, and we are very anxious to have them answered.

But our difficulties increase.    If he says the numerical people are not all the inhabitants of the globe, but of a certain definite territory, he abandons his doctrine of popular sovereignty, by transferring the sovereignty from the people to the territory, and making the people sovereign, not because they .are people, but because they are inhabitants of a sovereign territory.

Nor will he, in this case, be obliged merely to abandon popular sovereignty for territorial sovereignty, but he must abandon even this last for an authority more ultimate than territory. The territory can be a sovereign territory, only by virtue of a competent authority which marks and defines it. This authority cannot be the people, for till it has acted, and, through territory, marked and defined them, the people do not exist. It must be, then, an authority independent of both people and territory. Be it what it may, without it there can be no sovereign people, and with it none, because then, not they, but it is the sovereign,—at least, the source and foundation of the sovereignty.
Who, then, are the people, of the majority of whom the reviewer predicates his native, underived sovereignty ? There are many distinct peoples on the globe, as the American, the English, French, German, Italian, &c. Now, when he predicates sovereignty of the people, is it of the people in the sense of one of these distinct, so to speak, individual, peoples ? But this people exists already as a unity, as a one people, as an individuality. He has, then, no right to take the people in this sense ; for the people so existing are not in the state of a primary sovereignty. There must have been something, by virtue of which they were made a one people ; and that, the moment it is assumed, becomes the origin and ground of their sovereignty, and they can, at best, possess only a derived sovereignty, not a primary and fundamental sovereignty. The answer, then, that the sovereign people are one of these peoples, would not suffice for the reviewer's doctrine.
To meet the demands of his own doctrine, the reviewer has no resort but that of predicating sovereignty of the people, regarded merely as population, or more strictly, as persons, and of holding persons to be sovereign by right of their own manhood. Will he take this ground? We presume he will, and very cheerfully. But persons carry their personality, their manhood, with them, always and everywhere. Then he must assume them to be sovereign, in their own native might and right, irrespective of time and place. In this case, the sovereignty is not a national right, but a personal right, and to be predicated of no definite number of persons. The State, then, must be composed of any number of individuals who choose to come together; and the majority of these, — be the number larger or smaller, — will have, according to the reviewer's theory, the right to make such laws as they please. What, then, but their own voluntary act, binds any portion of these persons to the State ? Nothing, of course. The right of expatriation must, therefore, be regarded as perfect, unlimited; and as the country is not the territory, but the association of persons, expatriation can only mean withdrawing from the association. Then, what is to prevent any number of individuals from seceding from the State, and. forming themselves into a new State, whenever they choose ? Admit this, and there is an end of government. The State is resolved into a mere voluntary association of individuals, who of course are, and can be, bound to continue associates no longer than suits their interest, convenience, or caprice. The members who should incur the penalty of the laws of the association would, doubtless, find it for their interest to escape the penalty; and all they would need to do, would be to secede from the State, resolve themselves into a new sovereign State, and thus place themselves beyond the reach of* the laws they had violated.

" But not if they continued to reside on the same territory." But this answer is precluded; for the moment we begin to talk of territory, we are out of democracy, and are predicating sovereignty of the territory, not of the persons. We are now reasoning on the hypothesis that sovereignty inheres in the people as persons, irrespective of time and place. We predicate it, then, of the people as an indefinite number of persons, not of the inhabitants of a sovereign territory ; nor of the people organized, or constituted, into one people, a nation. Consequently, any number of persons, large enough to admit of the distinction of majority and minority, that is to say, any three persons, may, at any time, and in any place, where they chance to be, form themselves into a voluntary association, and claim and exercise all the attributes of sovereignty. Any three persons may, then, at any time, and in any place, secede from the association, and declare themselves a new sovereign State, and thus set the laws they may have broken at defiance. Can any thing worthy of the name of government coexist with the practical assertion of such a doctrine as this?
But our difliculties do not end even here. The reviewer, if he assumes the State to be merely a voluntary association of persons, must abandon even his doctrine of popular sovereignty. The State, if a voluntary association, can have no rights, and, therefore, no sovereignty, but the sum of the rights ceded to it by the individual members. It has, then, and can have, no inherent sovereignty, no native, underived right to command. The people, politically considered, are not, then, the primary and fundamental sovereignty; for their authority is not inherent in them, but derived from the individuals composing the association. There could be, in this case, no sovereign people, but merely sovereign persons.

According to the Democratic Review, all men, touching their rights, are equal one to another. All, then, are equally sovereigns. One, then, can have no inherent right to govern another. Their relations to one another are those of sovereign States, — each is independent of the other. The whole cannot transcend the sum of the parts ; and since there is in the parts no authority to govern one another, it follows, necessarily, that there can be no authority in the whole to govern the parts, or the individual members.    Consequently, there is, if we assume the State to be a voluntary association of persons, equal one to the other, no rightful authority in the community to govern at all.
The exigencies of the reviewer's theory compel him to define the State to be a voluntary association of individuals. All his arguments against us rest for their validity on the hypothesis, that the State is a voluntary association. If he docs not adopt this hypothesis, why does he contend, in opposition to our doctrine, that suffrage and eligibility are not matters of municipal regulation, but natural rights, — rights which we hold by virtue of our manhood ? Does he not himself define liberty to be the admission and guaranty in the case of every man, if he be a man, of his native, inherent right to be an equal member of the State ? Can he conceive it possible for liberty to coexist with the absence of universal suffrage and eligibility, and not because they are its indispensable conditions, but because they are it ? What means all this, if not that the State should be, and that every free State is, the free, voluntary association of individuals ? Does he not hold, that the assent of the governed, or of a major part of them, is the origin and foundation of the legitimacy of government ? Does he not also hold, that this assent should be free, voluntary ; for a forced assent is no assent at all ? Most certainly ; for this, if we understand it, is his very theory of government. The authority of the people does not vest in them as a political unity, but in the people as individuals, as persons, and the political unity or state is the free, voluntary creation of the people as persons, coming together in their own way, and in such time and place as they please. Do we not state his doctrine correctly ? If so, the State is, and can be, nothing but a voluntary association of individuals. Where, then, is the sovereign people ?    Where is the authority to govern?

Will the reviewer say, that it is the assent of the individuals composing the association ? This is the only answer he can give ; but this answer virtually denies all government.    Government that does not govern is not government. Government is, and must be, authority exercised over subjects. It is either this or nothing. So far as the individual has a right to resist its action, or so far as it must depend on the will of the individual for its authority, it is a perversion of language, as well as of common sense, to call it, in relation to that individual, government. When the State may exercise no authority over individuals, but by their assent, the authority exercised is not the authority of the State, but of the individuals whose assent is necessary. But the individual over whom no authority may be exercised but his own, is not under government, and can, in no sense, be said to be governed at all. What other definition could be given of no government ? How would you describe a man not subject to any government at all, but by saying, he is one who is subject to no authority but that of his own will ?

Here, then, is the conclusion to which we must come. If we deny the existence of an authority outside of the voluntary association, to mark and define the people as a political individual, we must assume the State to be a voluntary association of persons ; if we define it to be a voluntary association of persons, we allow it no authority to govern but what is derived from the voluntary assent of the individual members ; and individuals who can be subjected to no authority but their own will, are free of all government. Are we not right, then, in declaring the reviewer's doctrine to be tantamount to no government ?

II. We proceed now to consider our second proposition, namely : But democracy, admitting it to be a government, is NOT A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS THE RIGHT
TO GOVERN. We have already virtually established this proposition ; but it may be well to consider it yet further. The question concerns not the mode or medium adopted for the administration of government, nor the agents selected by authority for administering its practical affairs, whether in the legislative, judicial, or executive department thereof, but the government itself, the authority which governs ; that is to say, the SOVEHEIGN. Find the sovereign, and you find what we mean, in this discussion, by government.' The right of democratic government depends on the fact, whether the people are or are not the sovereign. Establish the sovereignty of the people, in the positive sense, and you have established the legitimacy of democratic government. Are the people sovereign ? This is the point to be considered.

Sovereignty is that which is highest, that which not only governs, but which has the right to govern. The sovereign has the inherent right to command ; therefore, whatever he commands is right. The sovereign can do no wrong. His will is, necessarily, the origin and ground of right. The only possible definition of right is, that which the sovereign wills, or commands. Right and Law are, in this sense, coincident. What is law ? That which the sovereign ordains. What is not ordained by the sovereign is not law.

Now, if the people are, in their own native might and right, the primary and fundamental sovereignty, then, they have the inherent right to command, and, whatever they command, is law ; therefore, right; and, therefore, binding in foro conscientim. Will the reviewer assert this ? Is he prepared to take the ground, that the people can do no wrong, and that whatever they do is right, and right, simply, because they do it? No, for he himself says, in his Review for April, 1843, page 390, " Collectively, as individually, the people both can do, and often have done, and will often continue to do, very wrong — very foolishly, ay, very wickedly wrong." If he is right in this assertion, as he unquestionably is, he denies the will of the people to be the source and foundation of right; and even more than this, he denies that it is the exact and infallible expression of right. Then he himself denies, in as plain terms as can be used, his own assertion, that " the people are the primary and fundamental sovereignty."

But the reviewer will probably say, that he never intended to assert the moral sovereignty of the people, that what they will must necessarily be binding in morals.' All he meant to assert was, the political sovereignty of the people. Very well; can that which is morally wrong be politically right? To maintain the affirmative is to divorce politics from ethics, and to contend that the politician is free from all moral obligation. This, though asserted, practically, by most politicians, the reviewer will hardly maintain in principle. But if not, if he so far conforms to the sublime teachings of tlie Gospel as to admit that " we should hearken unto God, rather than unto men," he abandons popular sovereignty in the sense he contends for it, brings the people themselves under law, and makes them collectively, as well as individually, amenable to a sovereignty above their own. The will of the people, then, is not sovereign in its own right, and has the right to prevail only so far as it conforms to the law to which the people themselves are subject. Where, now, is the doctrine, that the people, in their own native might and right, are themselves the primary and fundamental sovereignty ? Is there no necessity of going behind the people to find that, by virtue of which, their will may become law, their rule legitimate ?(footnote: We may press this point farther. One of our postulates is, that the right to command carries along with it the duly of the subject to obey. According to the reviewer's own admission, the right to command is limited, for the people may, and do, do wrong. Jiut they have no right to command that which is wrong, unless he is prepared to swallow the absurdity, to call it by no worse a name, that it may sometimes be right to do wrong. Now, when the people command, or will, that which is wrong, what is the duty of the subject? Am I then bound to obey? If so, 1 may be bound in morals to do what is wrong in morals! Surely, the reviewer should be chary of the reduclio ad absurdum. Has he settled his doctrine of ethics? Will he tell us what is the foundation of right? Also, what is, for States and for individuals, the criterion of right ? What are his solutions of these ethical problems? Does he hold himself able, before solving the ethical problems, to solve the political problems? Which are highest? Does he found his politics on his ethics? Or, with Mobiles, his ethics on bis politics? Will he pardon us, if we suggest to him, that these are grave questions, and may, possibly, deserve more serious, as well as more patient and profound moditation, than he nppears to have bestowed upon them ? May not his deference to the "common mind," his horror of scholastic subtlety and scholastic distinctions, and his wish not to exceed, in what he advances, the reach of the "common intelligence," have kept even himself a little too near the surface of things ? It may be democratic, but not always wise, to resolve never to think more clearly, more deeply, or more justly, than the multitude.
The reviewer says, " Give us self-reliauce, self-development, — freedom — yes, freedom to make mistakes, if you please, but then also to mend them ; to reach the < kingdom of heaven ' in our own way." Here is the quintessence of modern infidelity. The reviewer, no doubt, felt, that, in writing this sentence, he was uttering a noble sentiment, and the lessons of prolbundest wisdom. To a man who has really come to believe in religion, it is painful to see how completely infidel has become modern politics,as well as modern philosophy. The highest agency recognized is man, and all is looked for from man, from man's own inherent nobleness and divinity. The reliance is on self. Self-reliance! heaven itself to be gained in our own way, by our own self-development! How completely does this set ut naught the whole teachings of the Word of God! In that, we are taught, that our reliance should be on God, not on an arm of flesh, and that it is through Providence and grace, not through the arachnvism, if we may coin a word, of sd/'-development, that we attain to the stature of perfect men in Christ Jesus. Then, again, as to reaching heaven in our own way, — how completely does this set aside Jesus, who declares himself to be the ivay, the truth, and the life! He is the Door; whoever enters in by any other way is a thief and a robber. Alas! it is this very disposition to go our own way, instead of God's way, that causes all the moral, and no small portion of the physical, evils of this world. How are we deceived ! " Ye shall not surely die, but ye shall be as gods." So the age seems to believe in very sooth; and so sets aside the law of God, follows its own instincts, relies on itself, scorns the tree of life, and, with a bold and confident hand, reaches forth and plucks the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All society feels the wound, and groans in the agony of death. Moral disease and social dissolution threaten us on either hand, and still we exclaim, " Give us self-reliance, self-development, and freedom to go to heaven in our own way." Alas! my friend, our own way, man's own way, never yet led to the kingdom of heaven. If you would serve the people, and ransom them from sin and slavery, you must begin by serving your Maker, and making Him, not human self, that on which you rely.--end of footnote)

The reviewer made himself quite merry with us, and was quite witty about the elephant and tortoise. He says, that we rest the world on the State\ that is the elephant; the State on the Church, that is, the tortoise.    But on what does the Church rest ?    Will he forgive us if we retort his merriment ? He rests the world on the State, that is the elephant ; the State on the will' of the people, that is the tortoise. But on what does the will of the people rest; that is, what is the foundation of the right of the popular will to govern ? The reductio ad absurdmn is, no doubt, an effective weapon, but the reviewer should not forget, that, in unskilful hands, it is apt to raise the laugh — in the wrong direction. It did not occur to our friend, in his merriment, and amid the ludicrous images with which his exuberant fancy teemed, that, to his question, on what does the Church rest, we might, possibly, give a very satisfactory answer, namely; THE CHURCH RKSTS ON GOD, — the Rock of Ages. It was founded by God's own Son, who is its Support, its Head, its Life, its informing Spirit, making it, by his presence, itself " the ground and pillar of truth." Is not this a sufficient support; Alas ! they are poor triumphs, which are gained by sneers at the Church of God !

But on what does the reviewer's own tortoise stand ? Where is, on his theory, the " Jupiter's hand," by which to hang the chain that sustains the world ? The people are not supreme ; their will, therefore, cannot be ultimate ; then, their sovereignty is not native, unde-rived ; then, we must go beyond them, in order to find that on which their sovereignty is founded, and which gives to their acts the character of Law. You deny that this which legitimates their acts, is the will of God ; you sneer at us and talk of the reductio ad ah-surdwn, when we say, that no government has, or can have, the right to govern, save as that right is communicated to it by the Supreme Being, the rightful Governor of the Universe, King of kings, and Lord of lords, to whom kings, potentates, peoples, and individuals alike owe allegiance ; and yet, you dare not boldly avow the inevitable consequences of your own doctrine, and you yourself really deny the sovereignty of the people, by admitting they both can do, and actually do, do wrong. Do, then, tell us, on what rests the right of their will to govern ?

The reviewer's doctrine, the moment it is so construed as to admit of government at all, denies all individual freedom, and reasserts the worst features of ancient democracy. The grand defect of ancient democracy was, its assertion of the absolute supremacy of the State, and its denial of all personal freedom. Under that democracy, the City was supreme, and man had no rights, political, civil, or personal, till conferred by the City. Even the right to reside and transact business within its limits, was a grant, a privilege, that might be conferred or withheld at the pleasure of the City. The inherent duty of government to maintain the freedom of all the inhabitants of the territory under its jurisdiction, and to labor for the promotion of the well-being of all, was nowhere recognized. The man existed for the City, not the City for the man. The reviewer's doctrine, if understood to assert the native, underived sovereignty of the people as a political individuality, goes the whole length of this. It makes the State supreme, and its will, in all cases, the ground and measure of right. The individual man has no right but the duty of obedience. If the State reduces the great mass to absolute servitude, it does only what it has the right to do. If it can only get a law enacted, it has the right to enact it, and, therefore, to enforce it, let it strike individual or personal freedom as it may.

The absolute duty of man to obey the sovereign authority, we, of course, assert; that man, before the Supreme, has no rights but submission, we of course contend ; but solely because absolute submission to the supreme will, or the sovereign authority, is freedom, and the only intelligible definition of freedom that it is possible to give. But the moment this submission is demanded by an authority not sovereign in its own right, beyond the limits prescribed by the higher sovereignty from which ij is derived, — the moment this obedience is enjoined by an authority which may err, and which often does err, it becomes not freedom but slavery. Now, as the authority of the people is not the  highest, as the State may and  often does enjoin what is wrong, to assert the native, underived sovereignty of the people, as the government, is to deny to the individual all right to protection against wrong, and, therefore, is to assert slavery, not freedom.
We object to the reviewer's doctrine, not only in
the name of ethics, and in that of personal freedom,
but also in the sacred name of religion.   To assert that
the people, " in their own native might and right, are
the primary and fundamental sovereignty," is to trans
fer to them all the attributes of the Divine Sovereignty
itself.    Either the people are supreme, or they are not.
If they are the fundamental sovereignty, they are su
preme.    If they are supreme, if it is not lawful to seek
out of them, and above them, that which is the source
and foundation of their authority, then is the suprema
cy denied to God; and, instead of the people's owing
allegiance to God, he, in strictness, owes allegiance to
them, or, rather, they are themselves God.    This is to
put the creature in the place of the Creator, which is
the essence of idolatry.    There can be but one Su
preme.    To that one Supreme, the real Sovereign, all
allegiance is due, and to that only.    Is this Supreme
the people ?    Or is it the people's Maker ?    Is the re
viewer  aware  of what  he is  doing ?    If God is, as
none of us dare deny,   the Supreme, then he is the
only Sovereign ; then the people can have no right, no
authority, to govern, not derived from Him.   To assert,
then, that the people, in their own native might and
right, are the primary and fundamental sovereignty, is,
if there be meaning in language, high treason against
God!    We pray the reviewer, unless he would prove
that democracy is, as its enemies have always alleged,
absolute infidelity, and that it is his own wish to be
classed among infidels, not again to undertake to hold
us up to the indignation  of his readers, for asserting
that the people, both individually and collectively, are
under law, owe allegiance to a Higher than themselves,
and, therefore, no government, not founded in the will
of God, is, or can be, legitimate.    It is unpleasant, no
doubt, to be denounced in the name of the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE ; but to a religious mind, to a real believer in the Gospel of our Lord, it is something far more unpleasant, to hear a mightier than a human voice denouncing us in the name of the SOVEREIGN GOD, before whom " every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess." May we ask the reviewer to reexamine his doctrine of popular sovereignty, and see if, in his zeal for the people, he has not forgotten his God ?

III. But we must hasten to our third and last proposition, namely : waiving the question of abstract right, DEMOCRACY CANNOT ANSWER THE PRACTICAL ENDS OF WISE AND JUST GOVERNMENT.

We repeat, that we do not, under the name of democracy, object to that form of government which places, under constitutional and legal forms, the administration of the government in the hands of the people themselves. In this sense, we are ourselves the strenuous advocates for popular government. In the great movement, which has been going on for these five hundred years in favor of popular power, as opposed to that of Icings, nobles, classes, or castes, we are on the side of the people, where, we trust, all true American citizens are to be found. We go still further, and declare, as our settled conviction, that the popular will is the only will, under God, which should prevail in the State. It is only by intrusting the administration of the government, in all its departments, to the people themselves, and to such agents as themselves choose to select or appoint, that we can infuse into its action the necessary energy and mobility. In a world like ours, where all changes under the very eye of the spectator, mobility in legislation is not less essential than stability. The law of all government, like that of man himself, like that of the universe of which man is a part, is STABILITY IN PROGRESS,. The practical realization of this law is the political problem ; and, however diverse may be its solutions in different countries, the least inadequate solution will be found to be that which draws the  most liberally on the popular element, and organizes the government so that it may, at all times, feel and respond to the wants and wisdom of the great mass of the people.

But, while contending for all this, we deny that placing the administration of the government in the hands of the people, can, of itself, secure the practical ends of government. Government does not exist for its own sake, but as the means of securing a given end. This end, in general terms, is the good of the governed. The chief element of this good is freedom ; for, though freedom may not, of itself, embrace every good, it is that, without which, no good is possible, or conceivable. The chief end of government, that for which alone it exists, and has the right to be at all, so far as we have occasion now to consider it, is the maintenance of freedom.

By freedom, regarded as the end of government, Ave understand the ability of every man to discharge, without other let or hindrance than his own moral delinquency, his special functions as a human being. All men have the equal right to be men, and each man has the equal right to be the man his Maker designed him to be. The maintenance of this equal right, is what we understand by the maintenance of freedom. But this must be maintained in fact, not in name only. We are out of the age of shams, make-believes, con-ceptualisms, and nominalisms, on our return to realism. The practical maintenance of this freedom, is the maintenance to each of equal ability to attain to his true end as a man ; for I am free to do only that which I have the ability to do. I am free no further than I am able, and I am able so far as I am free. But by equal ability, we mean equal only in relation to the special functions of each. I do not ask to be made the equal of my brother, but to have maintained to me in relation to the special functions assigned me by my Maker, ability equal to that which is maintained to him in relation to his special functions. I have the same right to be what God designed me to be, that another has to be what God designed him to be, — the same right to be myself, that he has to be himself. I do not ask to be another, nor that another should be what I am. God made men with diverse and unequal functions, so that each should be the exponent of a special phase of humanity ; and each one has the right to be this exponent ; and it is the duty of the government to maintain to each one the ability to be it.

Now, the simple question before us is, Does or can democracy maintain to each and every man this ability ? Democracy has for its expression UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY, or, in other words, it asserts the right of every man, who is a man, to vote, and to be voted for. This is only asserting, in other words still, the equal right of each and every man to take part in the administration of government, which, in the last analysis, is simply the equal right of each and every man to govern. Now, assume that democracy secures to each and every man this right, does it follow, that it secures freedom in the sense we have defined it ? This right or liberty to govern, is not the freedom to perform one's special functions as a man, unless we assume that the end of man is to govern ; which, in principle, would imply that government exists for its own sake, and not for the good of the governed. Freedom to govern is not the end, and is and can be valuable only so far as it is a means to an end. Here is the mistake of the reviewer. He confounds freedom to govern, with freedom to fulfil one's destiny as a man ; whereas, the most he can say is, that the former is the necessary condition of the latter.

Democracy secures, at best, only equal ability to govern. But, the equal ability of each and every man to govern, is the equivalent of the equal ability of each and every man not to be governed. The utmost of the freedom the reviewer contends for, then, is simply the freedom of each and every man not to be governed by others ; or, in other words, freedom to defend himself against the freedom of others. This is something, though by no means all, that we demand of government ; but this, which, if men were just, would be. in the strictest sense of the word, no government at all, is more than democracy does, or can, secure. In order to secure it, democracy demands that man, always and everywhere, and in all respects, internally and externally, be the exact counterpoise of man. For democracy adds nothing to any one's natural ability. It admits all into the State, and merely maintains to each one all his natural ability to protect himself. Now if men should chance to be unequal in their weight, and some should overbalance others, the equilibrium would be destroyed, and nothing would remain to prevent the stronger from oppressing the weaker, the cunning from circumventing the simple. But men are by no means equal, and man is never the exact measure of man. This fact alone refutes the pretensions of democracy. The chief necessity, under the point of view of maintaining freedom, of government at all, grows out of this very fact of the original and invincible inequality of men, in their moral, intellectual, and physical powers ; and the duty of government is, not merely to maintain to each man the full measure of his natural ability, but to be itself wisdom to the simple, and strength to the weak, so that, by its providential intervention, it may establish and maintain the equilibrium which nature does not establish, but tends unceasingly to destroy.

Here is the condemnation of the absurd theory of Free Trade, advocated by the late lamented William Leggett. We admired the bold, earnest, energetic Essays of Mr. Leggett, but we opposed his visionary theories at the time they were published ; and, while we applauded his attacks on monopolies, the restrictive policy, and exclusive legislation in general, we recoiled with horror from his fundamental doctrine, which went the full length of denying the legitimacy of all government, and could have ended only in reducing every man to his native strength, or weakness, and there leaving him. Few men have done more than he to pervert the good sense of the Republican party, and to sap the foundations of all salutary government. He started with the assumption, that every man is competent to protect himself, and wants nothing of government but to be let alone. Poor man ! like our reviewer, he forgot the original inequality of men, and that the weak and simple need a Providence in the shape of government, to  protect them against the strong and cunning.

Nor are men only naturally unequal; they are artificially unequal, and their extrinsic means of influence are very different. Their possessions, the world over, are exceedingly unequal, and it is a well settled fact, that a man's power is always to be measured by what he has, rather than by what he is. Power always inclines to the side on which is the balance of property. That portion of the community which possesses or controls the balance of the property, is, as Harrington in his " Oceana " has well established, the ruling portion. He who has the mess of pottage, can command his brother's birthright, and compel the elder to serve the younger. The relation between the owners or holders of the property, and the owners of simple labor, is always and everywhere, by Avhatever name it goes, the relation of masters and servants. They who have not, always serve them who have ; or, if they will not, are exterminated, as Cain exterminated his brother Abel. Here is the great and stubborn fact, which knocks in the head all your fine spun democratic theorizing.

This fact is well established. In no country, in the ordinary course of things, have numbers without property ever availed against the few who possess property. Twenty or thirty thousand free Athenian citizens hold in servitude some four hundred thousand slaves. There have been numerous struggles between the rich and the poor, but there is no instance recorded, in which the poor ever came off victorious. The plebeians maintained for a time a doubtful contest with the patricians of ancient ..Rome ; but then the plebeians, taken as a body, were hardly inferior in wealth to the patricians themselves, and some of them were superior in the nobility of their families. But as soon as the Senate opened itself and the equestrian order, to some four hundred of the wealthy and noble plebeians, and by doing so, secured the permanent balance of property to its side, the contest became strictly one between the rich and the poor, in which the poor never gained a single advantage. The subsequent triumph of the plebeians, under Julius Coesar and the Empire, was not in their quality of the poor, but as commoners, recruited and enriched by the wealthy and influential provincials.

The partial success in the last century of the French Bourgeoisie, and which has become complete since July, 1830, is owing to the fact, that the old Court and Noblesse had ceased to command the balance of property. The republic for which Robespierre so pertinaciously contended, after the Girondists had dethroned and decapitated the King, was sustained for a moment, only by the audacity of a feeble minority, and failed, because, in the general distribution of the property of France, the balance was never on its side. The English Commonwealth failed, and gave way to the restoration of the Stuarts for the same reason, as soon as it lost the support of the military genjus of Cromwell, and the religious enthusiasm of the Independents which had established it. In neither country would universal suffrage have availed any thing. Some one advised Cromwell to introduce it. " Introduce universal suffrage," said he, " and in twenty-four hours you will have the Stuarts back upon you." There probably never was, during the French Republic, a moment, when the majority of the nation would not have voted for the Bourbons, and to-day, if the vote was put, five to one, we presume, would vote for the young Duke of Bordeaux. It was not Cromwell, who, by his Protectorate, overthrew the English Commonwealth; nor General Monk, that restored the Stuarts; but England herself. It was not Napoleon that overthrew the French Republic, but France who had never fairly accepted it.

Some there are, among ourselves, and also among Englishmen, who are predicting the speedy overthrow of the English Peerage ; but that peerage was never in less danger, and at no moment, since the stout old Earl of Warwick, the " King-maker," has the English nobility held its power with a firmer grasp. If the House of Lords were a close corporation, incapable of being recruited from the wealthy Commoners, in a commercial nation like England, whose merchants are princes, the Peerage might, indeed, be in some danger; but so long as every wealthy commoner may hope one day either to become a peer himself, or to make his eldest son a peer, however small the chance, it may count on having always the balance of wealth on its side.

It is now admitted by both Whigs and Tories, that the Reform bill has, contrary to the expectations of both friends and enemies, tended to extend and consolidate the power of the landholders. We venture to tell the Complete Suffrage Union, and the Chartists, that the success of their schemes will tend to the same result. The poor Chartists are seeking in a cold winter's night to warm themselves with moonshine. The secret ballot, for which English Radicals are contending, will, if obtained, operate against them ; for the tenantry have more fear of the radical leaders in their own ranks, than they have of the landlords, and are more disposed, if they can conceal it from their leaders, to vote for their landlords than they are to vote against them. It is worthy of remark, that the only member, the Complete Suffrage Union has as yet been able to return to Parliament, when a question came up in Parliament affecting the principles of the Union, was either absent or silent. We have similar facts in regard to radical members, returned to some of our own legislatures. The weight, and, above all, the confidence of a member depend less on what he is in himself, than on the relative wealth and importance of his constituency. The member returned by the poor and feeble will rarely be able to hold-up his head before the members returned by the wealthy and powerful.
Universal suffrage does not, then, in giving to every man an equal vote in the State, give to every man equal ability to protect his own rights and interests.    The master can always command the vote of his servant; or, if he cannot, he can always contrive some way to escape its effects, and, indeed, to turn it against his servant. We see this in the history of our own country. Free suffrage has done very little with us to protect labor against the usurpations of capital; in most of the States, it has done nothing. In the Federal legislature, through the influence of that portion of the representatives of wealth, who own labor, and, therefore, have an interest identical with that of our Northern laborer, a severe contest between the two elements has thus far been maintained. But these are now a feeble minority, and the contest is no longer doubtful, as the reviewer may read in the fact, that the confidential friends of his favorite candidate for the Presidency seek to win the support of Northern Manufacturers, rather than that of the Southern Planters, and are restrictionists, and abolitionists, rather than constitutionalists.

The great danger of modern times is this growing Industrial Feudalism, which is springing up in all the more advanced nations of Christendom, and taking the place of the old Feudalism, founded on conquest and territory. It is, in many respects, worse than the Feudalism of the Middle Ages, and, so far as we can see, better in none. The old Feudalism was territorial, and the serf lived on, and drew his support from, the land he tilled, and his means of living were in proportion to the productiveness of his labor. He might, indeed, sometimes want, but only in seasons of general scarcity. This new Feudalism is founded on trade, much more fluctuating than agriculture, and the operative's means, instead of being in proportion to the productiveness of his labor, are in proportion to the demand in the market. As his products, owing to the vast increase of the productive power of all industrial nations, run always ahead of the demand, he suffers most, experiences his greatest want, when warehouses and granaries are the fullest.
Now, we ask the reviewer, what universal suffrage has done, in this country, to check the growth of this system. So far as at present informed, we believe this system has received more direct encouragement with us, than in any other country. By means of corporations, joint-stock companies, for vast industrial enterprises, the whole industry of the country, and the whole legislation which concerns industry, have fallen under the control of, probably, less than two hundred individuals ; and there was a moment when it threatened to fall, and had we, instead of Great Britain, been the leading commercial nation, would actually have fallen, under the control of one man alone, the first President of the United States Bank of Pennsylvania. They were not the votes of the Democracy, that prostrated Mr. Biddle. All the voting in the world was impotent before him. We owe our deliverance from him to some few blunders of his own, but mainly to the fact that English cotton spinners could live longer on their old stock of cotton, than he could afford to keep his new stock in warehouses, waiting for higher prices. The commercial superiority of England, not universal suffrage, saved us.

In all our contests with the money power, we have seen the impotence of the reviewer's democracy, and the truth of Harrington's assertion, that power goes always with the balance of property. How did General Jackson sustain himself in his war against the Bank? ' Was it universal suffrage that sustained him? Or did he sustain himself by separating the interests of the State Banks from those of the National Bank, and thus gaining to his side the balance of property ? Deprived of the aid of the State Banks, especially the banks of the State of New York, which wanted the government deposites, then embracing a large surplus, and to get rid of a competitor who paid no taxes, and loaned money at six per cent., instead of seven, would he, with all his overwhelming energy of character and unbounded personal popularity, have been able to sustain himself? He himself thought otherwise, and this was his reason for adopting the " Pet Bank " policy, to which, in his own private opinion, we are assured on good authority, he was opposed.
How was it under Mr. Van Buren ?    The policy of divorcing the government from all banks, both State and National, necessarily united them all against the government.    The Banks represented the great mass of the   active capital of the  country.    On one  side we had the government, on the other the money power; and what was the result ?    The government nominally carried out its policy, but only to be itself instantly overthrown.    Mr. Van Buren at the head of the government, the moment the business men of the country united against him, was as the leaf torn from its stem in the autumnal blast.    The overwhelming defeat of the government party, in 1840, proves, incontestably, that men, before property, are as the chaff of the summer threshing-floor before the wind.

Nothing in our legislation has done more to favor the march of modern Feudalism, than the restrictive policy of Mr. Clay and his friends.   The reviewer agrees with us in utterly condemning it, and in contending that the best interests of the country, especially of the laboring classes, demand freedom of commercial intercourse, that our people be free to buy where they can cheapest, and to sell where they can dearest.    Yet has his party ever been able  to defeat, or even to restrain, this policy ? Did not his favorite candidate for the Presidency vote for the tariff of 1828 ?    Have not his intimate friends, by their votes, even while making speeches against it, ^ fastened the  present tariff on the country ?    Dare the friends  of this same candidate  make up, before the country, a direct issue on this question ?    Does not he himself, when questioned as to his views of the policy, answer, after much circumlocution, YES, and NO, and finally, neither YES nor NO ?    And why does he so answer ?   Simply, because he knows that population is not the element that decides the question, who shall or shall not be President.    He knows that there  are  certain money or property interests to be consulted and combined.  He  knows  that no one of these interests can now make a President against the union of the others.    He must, then, be for free trade, just so far as to make the planting interest of the South regard him as a lesser evil than Henry Clay, and just enough of a re-strictionist to divide the manufacturing interest with Mr. Clay in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Why all this, if popiilation, irrespective of property, is the controlling influence in the State ?

Now, the point we maintain is, that, in a country where there is inequality of property, and where the minority of the population, as with us even, holds or controls, through corporations, banks, and the various contrivances invented for creating artificial credit, the majority of the property of the country, the government is, effectively, in the hands of that minority. We go further, and say, that our whole experience as a nation proves it. We demand of the reviewer what it is that he and his party have always complained of. Has not his party, from the very first, complained that this minority controlled the legislation, and, by so doing, secured privileges to itself, unjust and oppressive to the great mass of the people ? Was not this the gravamen of its charge against the financial policy of Hamilton, and their more recent charges against Mr. Clay and his friends ? And what from the first has his party been avowedly struggling for, and which forms the grounds of his and our attachment to it ? Has it not been to restrain the undue influence of the moneyed minority ? Has not Mr. Benton himself declared the struggle to be, " MAN against MONEY " ? Well; has the party ever succeeded ? Is it any nearer success than it was fifty years ago ? We challenge the reviewer to produce a single instance, in which it has ever gained even the slightest advantage. It has had its triumphs, we own ; it has succeeded in electing its men, and securing its full share of the spoils of office ; but we fearlessly assert, that he cannot point to a single legislative act that has, in the least imaginable degree, weakened the power of its opponent, or strengthened its own. Will he point to the election of Jefferson ? That election changed nothing in the financial policy of the government, or the industrial  system of the country.    Will he point to the war with Great Britain ? The money power of the country forced the Republican party to make peace at the expense of every object for which it professedly took up arms. Will he refer to the Compromise Act ? That, we own, was a temporary victory ; but it was gained, not by the votes of the people, but by the interposition of the State veto, and is due to constitutionalism, and not to democracy ; for it was gained right in the face and eyes of both General Jackson and his party. Will he refer to the prostration of the United States Bank ? That, indeed, was prostrated, or its recharter defeated; but only at the expense of building up a vastly more dangerous and mischievous power in the State Banks. Will he adduce the defeat of the wild scheme of Internal Improvements to be carried on through the Federal Government, by General Jackson's veto on the Maysville Road Bill ? In revenge, we refer him to the wilder schemes attempted by the States, to the incalculable evils of gambling in State stocks, the two hundred millions of dollars or more of State indebtedness, resulting from transferring the work of Internal Improvement from the Federal government to the State governments, and the disastrous effects of which, in aiding the growth of modern Feudalism, will be felt as long as this Republic holds a place in the list of nations. We repeat it, nothing has been gained ; for we do not count the few organic changes which have been effected, enlarging the basis of popular representation, and making our institutions conform more nearly to the democratic standard ; for we cannot count as gain, that which does not actually enlarge or consolidate the power of the many to resist unjust and oppressive legislation on the part of the wealthy and influential few; and the effective power of the masses is enlarged or diminished, not by organic changes, but by laws affecting, as Mr. Webster has well remarked, " the distribution and transmission of property." The reviewer knows perfectly well that property is more unequal with us than it was fifty years ago, and that it is altogether more difficult for a young man without capital to place himself in an independent position. He knows perfectly well that the money power has been strengthened and consolidated, and that his party, even if it come into place^ can come into potoer only by yielding to its demands. Thus has it been with us for fifty years, and what better can we hope from the continuance of the old struggle, on the same battle-ground, for fifty years to come ? We are tired of these contests in which nothing is gained, — nothing gained for my poor sister who works sixteen hours a day, for her fifteen cents ; for these poor children of my brother, growing up in ignorance, in vice, to breed a moral pestilence through the land. Give us the substance ; mock us not with the shadow.
Now, if there be any truth in what we have said, there is in the community a minority of the population controlling the balance of the property, and this minority is always, directly or indirectly, the governing power. The need is of a somewhat in the State to act as a counterpoise to this governing influence. Without something of this kind, the many are at the mercy of the few, and the Haves may carry it at will over the Have-nots. It was supposed universal suffrage, by admitting the many into the State, would secure a sufficient counterpoise to the wealthy and influential few ; but we now see that it does not. We must, then, seek it elsewhere.

This granted, it follows irresistibly, the practical ends of government being what we have defined them to be, that democracy, which founds the government on population alone, will not, does not, and cannot, answer the practical ends of wise and just government. We must, if we will have wise and equitable government, a government competent to protect the weak against the strong, and the Have-nots against the invasions of the Haves, so constitute the State that it shall rest on some element in addition to population. Man does not suffice always for the defence of man, and can never suffice for the defence of man against man and property combined.    This fact demonstrates the utter insufficiency of democracy, even to maintain the lowest form of freedom, — freedom not to be governed, or the protection of man against man.

If there is another element than population necessary to the well ordering of the Commonwealth, then have we established our third proposition, and done all that we promised. But the reviewer may think that we have the restraining power in the Constitution, which he admits, for he, too, is a constitutionalist, after a sort; but we have not, if we adopt his theory of the Constitution. He sees the great fact, as well as we, which we have set forth ; and he, no more than we, is willing to trust the ruling majority for the time, to legislate without restraint. This fact alone ought to show him the absurdity of his democracy ; for, the moment you demand a Constitution to strengthen or restrain population, you declare the insufficiency of population alone, and therefore of democracy. If the State be founded on population alone, a constitution is a nullity, even an absurdity. Population is always equal to itself, and is the same with or without a constitution. Hence, the constitution is a nullity. If population be the government, and the sufficient government, a constitution to restrain its power, resting itself for its own support on that power, is an absurdity.

The reviewer seeks to save his democracy, even while admitting the necessity of constitutional checks and balances, by founding the Constitution itself on population, and declaring population, through a bona fide majority, to be competent at any time to alter it, without even the necessity of the formality of being legally convened. But this saves democracy at the expense of the Constitution, and declares the Constitution, a constitution only in name. Does the reviewer mean by the Constitution, a mere voluntary restraint, — if he will pardon the Hibernianism of a voluntary restraint,— which population imposes upon itself, and which can be only a declaration, that, during its pleasure, it will make laws only according to certain rules ? Is this his constitutionalism ?    If it is his, we must tell him, that it is not ours. The Constitution is, as we understand it, the constitution of distinct powers in the State, which powers are always to be represented in the administration of the several departments of government, and to serve as counterpoises one to another, whenever either seeks an undue preponderance. No constitution, in any intelligible sense, is possible where the State is founded on population alone : for, where population is the only element that enters into the calculation, no constitution of distinct powers is possible. Either, then, constitutionalism, and not democracy, or democracy, and not constitutionalism. You cannot, in the nature of things, have both together. For either population can override the Constitution, and then it is no Constitution ; or, the Constitution can override population and restrain it, and then it is no democracy.

Now, the Constitution, if it mean any thing, and is to answer any purpose, must be such a constitution of the State, of governing powers in the State, whose concurrence is essential to the action of the government, as will effectually prevent any one from going beyond certain bounds, that will be of itself competent to say to the Money power, " Thus far, but no farther ; " and by so doing, be always a shield interposed between the poorer and more numerous classes, and the wealthy, influential, and all-grasping minority. These constituted powers, unquestionably, are to be exercised by persons; but they do not represent persons alone, but possessions and pursuits. The people distributed, constituted according to their property, or their calling, or whatever you make, in addition to population, the foundation of your State, is the legal, the political people. This people, which has no existence outside of the Constitution, and, therefore, can act only through the forms of the Constitution, is the people that governs, that makes and administers the laws, and that may, when it pleases, alter or amend the Constitution.

The reviewer, founding the State, as all Democrats must do, on population alone, comprehends no distinction between the legal, political people, representing not numbers only, but something in addition thereto, and population itself; and, therefore, he contends, that population is competent to make or unmake the Constitution. In this case, his Constitution rests for its support on the will of the very population it is to govern, and would resemble locking up the culprit in prison and intrusting him with the keys. Yet the reviewer talks pleasantly about the reductio ad absurdmn. If numbers, as we have seen, are not sufficient, in practical legislation, to restrain within due bounds the minority that control the balance of property, how can they prevent that same minority from securing undue advantages in the Convention that makes the Constitution? Are the mass of the people necessarily stronger in the Convention, than in the Legislature ? Did it never occur to our friend, that government and law are needed especially, not for the rich and powerful, but for the poor and defenceless ?

The reviewer's doctrine as to the power to alter the Constitution is very easily comprehended. As one of the legal people, I have no existence out of the town of Chelsea, and my vote, in determining the majority to be represented in the Convention, can be counted nowhere else; but as one of the population, my vote may be counted anywhere. In selecting delegates for the Convention, then, the excess of numbers in one electoral district may be used to make up the deficiency in another. Might not, in this way, the composition of the Convention be somewhat different from what it would be if legally convened, and representing only the political people ? The absurdity of" the reviewer's doctrine may be seen at once, by applying it to the Constitution of the United States. According to his doctrine, seven of the large States would be competent at any time, and in any way, to alter the Federal Constitution, for they have the majority of the population. According to our doctrine, which makes it alterable only by the legal people, acting as the legal people, no alteration could be obtained so long as even the seven smallest States refused their assent. But we must bring our remarks to a close. What should be the real foundation of the State, or Avhat should be the basis of representation, we reserve for a future discussion. We will only add now, in justice to ourselves, that no Constitution, however admirably devised and wisely adapted to the genius and pursuits of a given people, will be alone sufficient. Its success will always demand the presence of a higher than human authority to fasten it on the minds, the hearts, and the consciences, of the people, and those they intrust with the management of their affairs. We can, in nothing, dispense with superhuman aid; and no constitution will work well, or accomplish its end, that has not its foundation and support in God.

In conclusion ; we have aimed to treat the question calmly, fairly, and honestly. We have spoken freely of the reviewer, but, intentionally, with no disrespect. We sought no controversy with him ; and it was far from our original wish to interfere at all with his discussion of his own notions in his own way. But he himself went out of his way, not merely to disclaim all responsibility for our doctrines, but to denounce us in his own Review, to which we were a regular and independent contributor at his own solicitation ; and his first denunciation was of views which we thought we had some reason for believing he himself was "becoming more and more inclined to adopt." If aught unpleasant has entered into the tone of any of our remarks, it is owing to the fact, that we have not been able wholly to escape the echo of his own. Yet, we owe him no ill will; we esteem him for many noble and generous qualities, and take a deeper personal interest in his welfare than either he or the public will give us credit for. We believe him wrong on a great and vital question, and wrong because he has adopted his opinions without mature investigation. A fuller investigation, we are confident, will convince him that the great cause of individual and social well-being is not to be promoted by a further extension of the Democratic principle.