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The fifth article only prescribes a given case, when proposed amendments must be submitted to vote in a particular way, but by no means excludes other methods at need. (p. 143.)
The chapter upon Union is especially interesting from the detailed examination which is made into the principles and workings of the British union, — that of which the American colonies made a part, and which furnished the fundamental idea, and even in some sense the model of ours, representing as it does the genuine Saxon love of local liberty combined with central authority. The national power which was competent to form the Union is competent also to modify or dissolve it, — to permit and regulate secession, to exclude any State or section ; in short, “the government must have unlimited power, or give place to another which has.” On its present scale, the Union cannot continue always; there are limits of geographical dimension, of numbers in population, of complexity in interests, especially of diversities in race, which forbid any such expectation. Separation of the South might have been granted; but the South 6 abandoned the right of secession” when it took up arms and substituted war for law. The inevitable “ Africa in the South” can never be on permanent terms of political union and equality with the Saxon North.
In the chapter on Executive Power, the constitution of the British executive — “ that wonderful product of time, ..... product of the whole past of the nation, its labors, struggles, and dangers, aspirations and achievements, through the centuries ” — is vigorously sketched, and a comparison is carefully drawn between the singular felicities of that, and the perilous difficulties of our own. One point of the comparison is especially valuable, – that in which President Lincoln's appeal to Congress to sustain him in the suspension of the privilege of the Habeas Corpus is shown to be nearly identical with the appeal made to Parliament by William III. The tardy action of Congress in responding to this appeal is shown to have threatened one of the most serious dangers resulting from the present trial of the Constitution.
The two remaining topics, Slavery and Democracy, hardly gave the opportunity for equal novelty of statement, — especially the latter, which had already been elaborately treated by the author of this work in his remarkable pamphlet on “ The Laws of Race as connected with Slavery,” noticed by us two years ago. Still, as among the ablest and most thorough discussions of these topics, within their limits, they make a fit completion to his argument. His style in dealing with them, though grave and somewhat stern, nay, sombre, in its coloring, and tinged by no illusions of false hope, or softening of mere sentiment, is noble in its ethical tone, and clear in its recognition of the religious basis of all national life. The writer's anticipations of our political future are hardly as sanguine and buoyant as those we have been apt to indulge ; and to some there will appear a hardness, almost sadness, in the prospect he holds out, particularly as to the destiny and conflict of the races upon this continent. We copy, in conclusion, a few words from the chapter on Democracy, treating of reconstruction:
" Is union possible, with a people thus alienated and hostile ? ..... Is it possible immediately to abolish slavery consistently with justice and humanity, or at all ? Is it possible to retain it, and at the same time satisfy Southern demands and Northern opinion ? These and other problems the swift hours are bringing to test our firmness and wisdom. They are more difficult to dispose of than the war. They imply another question, graver than any, has the power to cope with such difficulties been provided in the Constitution ? can they be dealt with by universal suffrage, nominating conventions, and quadrennial Presidents? These have guided us into our troubles ; will they guide us out of them ?”
The scheme of representative reform proposed in an able pamphlet by Mr. J. F. Fisher* is substantially the same as that put forth in England by Mr. Thomas Hare in 1859, and so strenuously advocated in Mr. Mill's “ Representative Government.” This system, as has been recently explained in our pages, proposes that men of the same way of thinking shall unite their votes to elect a candidate without regard either to his place of residence or their own, thus securing a fair representation of every element of society, and bringing the choice of his candidate, as well as of his party, within the control of every elector. But Mr. Fisher's scheme has many peculiarities of detail, and he claims for it an independent origin as early as 1857. In reviewing the general considerations in its favor, he repeats or anticipates the arguments of his English coadjutors; but in tracing its effect upon the political problems which are peculiar to this country, he enters a field hitherto untrodden, and which he does not himself completely explore. The most conspicuous of these is that relating to the district system, the notorious evils of which must perish at the root when districts are no more. Party management must then be very much confined to its legitimate work of influencing the minds of voters, not of controlling their conduct. The hopeless problem of nomination will be splendidly solved, and the enginery of caucuses, conventions, and state committees will no longer be perverted to betray a helpless people.
NOTE TO ARTICLE I. SINCE the article on Spinoza was in print (April 27), we have seen a translation of the “ Tractatus Theologico-Politicus," printed in London in 1689, without the name of either author or translator. The closing words of the Preface are worth copying:
6 Nothing more needs be said to any Reader, than to desire he will deliberately read the Book twice over before he condemns or commends it: when that is done, whether he like or dislike the Treatise itself or the Translator of it, shall be all one to him, who never valued himself upon other people's opinions, nor did ever think any part of his Reputation depended upon the judgment of Fools or Knaves.”
* The Degradation of our Representative System, and its Reform. By J. FRANcis FISHER Philadelphia : J. Sherman Son & Co.
NEW PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.
The Gentle Sceptic; or, Essays and Conversations of a Country Justice on the Authenticity and Truthfulness of the Old Testament Records. Edited by the Rev. C. Walworth. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 368. (Treating questions of criticism in an amiable but not forcible manner, and compassionating Colenso in sentimental dialogue.)
The New Testament, with brief Explanatory Notes, or Scholia. By Howard Crosby. New York: Charles Scribner. 12mo. pp. 543.
The Last Times and the Great Consummation; an earnest Discussion of Momentous Themes. By Joseph C. Seiss. Philadelphia : Smith, English, & Co. 12mo. pp. 438. (Sincere in tone, and only moderately apocalyptic.)
Jubilee Essays; a Plea for the Unselfish Life. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 12mo. pp. 243. (Illustrative; contrasting worldly and religious expenditures in the interest especially of missions.)
Bible Illustrations; a Storehouse of Similes, Allegories, and Anecdotes. (Selected.) Philadelphia : Smith, English, & Co.
On Liberty. By John Stuart Mill. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 18mo. pp. 223. (A beautiful reprint of a most valuable book.)
The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with Remarks on Theories of the Origin and Species by Variation. By Sir Charles Lyell. Philadelphia: G. W. Childs. 8vo. pp. 518. (Received too late for notice in the present number.)
The Works of Thomas Hood. Edited by Epes Sargent. New York: G. P. Putnam. 6 vols. Small 8vo. (In paper, type, and illustrations, these volumes are all that could be wished; skilfully and faithfully edited. This “ Aldine edition" of the kindly English humorist may be commended for its completeness as well as for its beauty.)
A Text-Book of Penmanship, for Teachers and Pupils. By H. W. Ellsworth. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 232. (A very complete class-book of the art, with excellent hints and illustrations.)
Tenth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture, with Reports, and Appendix. Boston: Wright & Potter. 8vo. pp. 260. (Including a valuable treatise on useful insects, and interesting notes of a European journey.)
The New American Cyclopædia; a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge. Edited by George Ripley and Charles A. Dana. Vol. XVI. V-Z, with Supplement. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. pp. 850. (The successful completion of a work which does the highest honor to the publishers. The present volume is especially valuable from its Supplement, containing, in addition to others, some two hundred brief articles of special interest in the recent history of our country.)
Annual of Scientific Discovery; a Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art, for 1863. Edited by David A. Wells. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 12mo. pp. 343. (Will be noticed.)
CHRISTIAN EX A MINER,
NEW SERIES, VOL. XII.
JANUARY TO MAY, 1863.
Abolitionists and public opinion, 18.
tyranny of majority, 280 – judiciary, 284
temper of the people, 293.
De Quincey, 77 – 95 - opium-eating, 79,
stitution of 1849, 357 — character of Em- tales, 89.
- Concordat, 367 – Italian provinces, before parliamentary committee, 171–
tion, 375 — assembly of Reichsrath, 377 tithes, 179.
- Hungary, 378 – close of session, 382. Eddy, Walter's Tour in the East, 310.
the true peace-policy, 131 - Cochin on,
- 76 — topics of history, 63 — nature and 138.
Golden Treasury, 311.
Guard, Story of, (Mrs. Fremont,) 155.
Hare, on representation, 29.
Herzegovina and Omer Pasha, 145.
Hind, on the Red River of the North, 308.
man's Translation of Iliad, 342 — Ar-
nold's Lectures, 348 - hexameters in
Huxley on Origin of Species, 447.
Immortality, Arguments for (as to brutes),
Ireland, Catholic and Protestant, 173 —
tithe controversy, 179.
Japanese Martyrs, Canonization of, 246 –
democracy, 264 — rich and poor, 265 – Junkin, Political Fallacies, 456.
Lincoln, President, 432.
erty, 3 — his distrust of the future, 15 —
a thinker, 385.
gle, 120 — translation of Iliad, 342.
doctrine, 47 — Masdeism, 50 — Platonism,
mitic race, 58.
leaders, 117 -- the President's emancipa-
of peace, 130.
Procter, Adelaide, Poems, 311.
113 - Balmez, 95 — Jesuits, 99 — Mis-
sions and Charities, 100.
from synagogue, 318 — writings, 320 —
trine of God. 328 - man and God, 334.