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old as the creation of man, and will survive, even though the crimes of selfish men should drive all the institutions of government to destruction. It will, no doubt, be an easy thing to abuse these doctrines of our fathers—for abuse is as “easy as lying ”— but who will attempt to refute them 7 Who will dare to quarrel with the words of the revolutionary patriots? Who will venture to deny that the only hope of saving our country is in a return to these paths of our fathers? Ignorance, passion, or blind party zeal may plead that necessity calls upon us to trample our Constitution and laws under our feet. Delusion and folly! It is as much as to say that necessity calls upon us all to turn - traitors to our Government and laws. It is hoped that the reader will find nothing in these pages that does not inspire his heart with fresh love for the glorious institutions of freedom which we have inherited from our forefathers, and for the UNION, which is the ark of safety to our people. The extracts found in these lectures are from the following authorities: CHIEF JUSTICE YATEs’ MINUTEs of THE SECRET DEBATES IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. ELLIOT's REPORTs of THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATEs. LUTHER MARTIN's REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION. THE MADISON PAPERs. ARTICLES of HAMILTON AND MADISON IN “THE FEDERALIST.” THE WoRKs of JEFFERSON. Bott A’s History of THE WAR of INDEPENDENCE. THE AMERICAN UNION, BY REED. OBSERVATIONS ON STATE SovEREIGNTY, BY TRUMBULL.
L E C T U R E I. THE SAXON AND THE NORMAN PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT.
It was Seneca’s counsel to his friend Lucilius that when he went before the public he should imagine Cato or Scipio to be present. I approach this subject with as cautious a respect for the truth of history as though the spirits of the wise and heroic founders of this Government were present in this audience to listen to all I say. My subject does not discuss the events of the present unhappy hour. It does not look to the future. It turns our faces backwards to the past. It carries us to the places where our fathers stood. Above the graves of those who founded the republic let us seek to discover the vital, animating principle of government which guided them through the fierce and bloody period of the Revolution, and through the civil conflicts that followed, until their noble work was done, and they rejoiced in the conviction that they had reared a temple of liberty which the hand of time should not destroy. There is something inexpressibly solemn, in this investigation which we commence to-night. To sit face to face with the venerable dead—to listen again to the voices of their wisdom out of the imperishable words they have left behind—this is a thought that holds our hearts still, and almost stops our breath. Is this a place for politicians to wrangle over ? Will you bring here your loads of hate—of partisan lust and