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XLVIII. — DUTY OF A CHIEF MAGISTRATE. GENTLEYEN, we live under a constitution. It has made us what we are. What has carried the American flag all over the world ? What has constituted that unit of commerce that, wherever the stripes and stars are seen, they signify that it is America, and united America ? What is it now that represents us so respectably all over Europe, in London at this moment, and all over the world ? What is it but the result of those commercial regulations which bound us all together, and made our commerce the same commerce; which made all the States, — New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, — in the aspect of our foreign relations, the same country, without division, distraction, or separation ? Now, gentlemen, this was the original design of the constitution. We, in our day, must see that this spirit is made to pervade the whole administration of the government.

The constitution of the United States, to keep us united, to keep flowing in our hearts a fraternal feeling, must be administered in the spirit of it.

And if I wish to have the spirit of the constitution, in its living, speaking, animated form, I would refer always, always, to the administration of the first president — George Washington; and if I were now, fellow-citizens, to form the ideal of a patriot President, I would draw his master strokes, and copy his design. I would present this picture before me as a constant study for life. I would present his policy, alike liberal, just, narrowed down to no sectional interests, bound down to no personal objects, held to no locality, but broad, and generous, and open; as expensive as the air which is wafted by the winds of heaven from one part of the country to another. I would draw a picture of his foreign policy - just, steady, stately, but, withal, proud, and loveiv, and glorious. No man could say, in his day, that the broad escutcheon of the honor of the Union could receive either injury or damage, or even contumely or disrespect. His own character

gavo character to the foreign relations of the country. He upheld every interest of his country, in even the proudest nations of Europe ; and, while resolutely just, he was reso lutely determined that no plume of her renown should ever be defaced.

Gentlemen, a wise and prudent shipmaster makes it his first duty to preserve the vessel that carries him and his merchandise

to keep her afloat, to conduct her to her destined port with entire security of property and life. That is his first object; and that should be the object, and is, of every chief magistrate of the United States who has a proper appreciation of his duty. It is to preserve the constitution which bears him, which sustains the government, without which every thing goes to the bottom; – to preserve that, and keep it, to the utmost of his ability, off the rocks and shoals, and away from the quicksands ; – to preserve that, he exercises the caution of the experienced shipmaster; he suffers nothing to betray his watchfulness — to draw him aside from the joint interests committed to his care, and the great object in view.

• Though pleased to see the dolphins play,
He minds his compass and his way ;
And oft he throws the wary lead,
To see what dangers may be hid.
At helm he makes his reason sit ;
His crew of passions all submit:
Thus safe he steers his barge, and sails

On upright keel, and meets the gales.” Now, gentlemen, with this steadiness of purpose, this entire and devoted patriotism of motive, Washington reached that which those who wish to reach, must emulate him and his example to find all their efforts crowned with success.

He lived to see his country great, prosperous, and happy. He reaped a rich reward in the thanks of his countrymen; and we are enabled to read his history in a nation's pride.


XLIX. - IN PROSPECT OF WAR. A company of volunteers were present at the delivery of this discourse (in Bristol, England, Oct. 19, 1803), at the time of the threatened invasion by Napoleon.

Go forth, defenders of your country, accompanied with every auspicious omen; advance with alacrity into the field, where God himself musters the hosts to war. Religion is too much interested in your success not to lend you her aid. She will shed over your enterprise her selectest influence. While you are engaged in the field, many will repair to the closet, many to the sanctuary; the faithful of every name will employ that prayer

which has power with God; the feeble hands which are unequal to any other weapon, will grasp the sword of the Spirit; and, from myriads of humble, con'trite hearts, the voice of intercession, supplication, and weeping, will mingle, in its ascent to heaven, with the shouts of battle and the shock of arms.

While you have every thing to fear from the success of the enemy, you have every means of preventing that success; so that



it is next to impossible for victory not to crown your exertions. The extent of your resources, under God, is equal to the justice of your cause.

But, should Providence determine otherwise, should

you fall in this struggle, should the nation fall, — you will have the satisfaction (the purest allotted to man) of having performed your part; your names will be enrolled with the most illustrious dead, while posterity, to the end of time, as often as they revolve the events of this period (and they will incessantly revolve them), will turn to you a reverential eye, while they mourn over the freedom which is entombed in your sepulcher.

I can not but imagine the virtuous heroes, legislators, and patriots, of every age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, as if they were incapable, till it be brought to a favorable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose. Enjoy that repose, illustrious immortals! Your mantle fell when you ascended; and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and impatient to tread in your steps, are ready to swear, that sitieth on the throne, and liveth for ever and ever, that they will protect freedom in her last asylum, and never desert her cause, which

you sustained by your labors, and cemented with your blood!


by Him


Do not, gentlemen, listen to those who tell you the cause of freedom is desperate — they are the enemies of the cause and of you; but listen to me, for you know me, and I am one who has never yet deceived you. I say, then, that it will be desperate if you make no exertions to retrieve it. I tell you that your languor alone can betray it; that it can only be made desperate through your despair. I am not a man to be cast down by temporary reverses, let them come upon me as thick, and as swift, and as sudden, as they may. I am not he who is daunted by majorities in the outset of a struggle for worthy objects; else I should not now stand here before you to boast of triumphs won in your cause.

If your champions had yielded to the force of numbers, of gold. of power, — if defeat could have dismayed them, — then would the African slave-trade never have been abolished; then would the cause of reform, which now bids fair to prevail over its enemies, have been long ago sunk amidst the desertions of its friends; then would those prospects of peace have been utterly benighted which I still devoutly cherish, and which even now brighten in ing

your eyes; then would the orders in council, which I overthrew by your support, have remained a disgrace to the British name, and an eternal obstacle to our best interests. I no more despond now than I have in the course of those sacred and glorious contentions; but it is for you to say whether to-morrow shall not make it my duty to despair. To-morrow is your last day; your last efforts must then be made. If you put forth your strength, the day is our own; if you desert me, it is lost. To win it, I shall be the first to lead you on, and the last to forsake you.

Gentlemen, I stand up in this contest against the friends and followers of Mr. Pitt; or, as they partially designate him, the “ immortal” statesman, now no more. Immortal in the miseries of his devoted country! Immortal in the wounds of her bleedliberties! Immortal in the cruel wars which sprang

from his cold, miscalculating ambition! Immortal in the intolerable taxes, the countless loads of debt, which these wars have flung upon us, which the youngest man amongst us will not live to see the end of! Immortal in the triumphs of our enemies, and the ruin of our allies, the costly purchase of so much blood and treasure! Immortal in the afflictions of England, and the humiliation of her friends, through the whole results of his twenty years' reign, from the first rays of favor with which a delighted court gilded his early apostasy, to the deadly glare which is at this instant cast upon his name by the burning metropolis of our last al-ly'!* But may no such immortality ever fall to my lot! Let me rather live innocent and inglorious; and when, at last, I cease to serve you, and to feel for your wrongs, may I have an humble monument in some nameless stone, to tell that beneath it there rests from his labors in your service “ an enemy of the immortal statesman, a friend of peace and of the people!”


LI. - MORAL EFFECTS OF INTEMPERANCE. The sufferings of an animal nature, occasioned by intemperance, my friends, are not to be compared with the moral agonies which convulse the soul. It is an immortal being who and suffers; and as his earthly house dissolves, he is approaching the judgment-seat in anticipation of a miserable eternity. He feels his captivity, and in anguish of spirit clanks his chains and cries for help

Conscience thunders, remorse goads; and as the gulf

* The news of the burning of Moscow had arrived by that day's mail, Oct. 8th, 1812.



comes on.

opens before him, he recoils, and trembles, and weeps, and prays, and resolves, and promises, and reforms, and seeks it yet again,” — again resolves, and weeps, and prays, and “seeks it yet again!” Wretched man, he has placed himself in the hands of a giant, who never pities, and never relaxes his iron gripe. He may struggle; but he is in chains. He may cry for release; but it comes not, and lost! Jost! may be inscribed upon the doorposts of his dwelling.

In the mean time these paroxysms of his dying moral nature decline, and a fearful apathy, the harbinger of spiritual death,

His resolution fails, his mental energy, and his vigorous enterprise, — and nervous irritation and depression ensue. The social affections lose their fullness and tenderness, and conscience loses its power, and the heart its sensibility, until all that was once lovely and of good report retires, and leaves the wretch abandoned to the appetites of a ruined animal. In this deplorable condition, reputation expires, business falters and becomes perplexed, and temptations to drink multiply as inclination to do so increases and the power of resistance declines. And now the vortex roars, and the struggling victim buffets the fiery wave with feebler stroke and waning supplication, until despair flashes upon his soul, and, with an outcry that pierces the heavens, he ceases to strive, and disappears!




The miseries of war are miseries inflicted by man on man. They bear the impress of cruelty, of hardness of heart. The distorted features, writhing frames, and shrieks of the wounded and dying, — these are not the chief horrors of war; they sink into unimportance compared with the infernal passions which work this woe. Death is a light evil, when not joined with crime. That man, born of woman, bound by ties of brotherhood to man, and commanded, by an inward law and the voice of God, to love and do good, should, through selfishness, pride, or revenge, inflict these agonies, and shed these torrents of human blood, here is an evil which combines with exquisite suffering fiendish guilt. All other evils fade before it.

The idea of honor is associated with war. But to whom does the honor belong? If to any, certainly not to the mass of the people, but to those who are particularly engaged in it. The mass of a people, who stay at home and hire others to fight; who sleep in their warm beds and hire others to sleep on the cold

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