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questions, which had long slept, were revived, and have divided the nation during the last ten years of arduous and bitter struggle; and the party which put down the Bank, and which occa. sioned all the disorders in our currency and finances, has itself been signally put down by one of those great moral and political revolutions which a free, a patriotic people can but seldom arouse itself to make. Human infallibility has not been granted by God; and the chances of error are much greater on the side of one man, than on that of the majority of a whole people and their succes. sive legislatures during a long period of time. I yield to the irresistible force of authority. I will not put myself in opposition to a measure so imperatively demanded by the public voice, and so essential to elevate my depressed and suffering countrymen.”
The conclusion of Mr. Clay's reply to Mr. Rives rightfully claims a place here:
“I rose not to say one word which should wound the feelings of President Tyler. The Senator says, that, if placed in like cir. cunstances, I would have been the last man to avoid putting a direct Veto upon the Bill, had it met my disapprobation; and he does me the honour to attribute to me high qualities of stern and unbending intrepidity. I hope, that in all that relates to personal firmness, all that concerns a just appreciation of the insignificance of human life-whatever may be attempted to threaten or alarm a soul not easily swayed by opposition, or awed or intimidated by menace—a stout heart and a steady eye, that can survey, unmoved and undaunted, any mere personal perils that assail this poor, transient, perishing frame, I may, without disparagement, compare with other men. But there is a sort of courage, which, I frankly confess it, I do not possess, a boldness to which I dare not aspire, a valour which I cannot covet. I cannot lay myself down in the way of the welfare and happiness of my country. That I cannot, I have not the courage to do. cannot interpose the power with which I may be invested—a power conferred, not for my personal benefit, nor for my aggrandizement, but for my country's good—to check her onward march to greatness and glory. I have not courage enough, I am too cowardly for that. I would not, I dare not, in the exercise of such a trust, lie down, and place my body across the path that leads my country to prosperity and happiness. This is a sort of courage widely different from that which a man may display in his private conduct and personal relations. Personal or private courage is totally distinct from that higher and nobler courage which prompts the patriot to offer himself a voluntary sacrifice to his country's good.
“Nor did I say, as the Senator represents, that the President should have resigned. I intimated no personal wish or desire that he should resign. I referred to the fact of a memorable re. signation in his public life. And what I did say was, that there were other alternatives before him besides Vetoing the Bill; and that it was worthy of his consideration whether consistency did not require that the example which he had set when he had a constituency of one State, should not be followed when he had a constituency commensurate with the whole Union. Another alternative was, 10 suffer the Bill, without his signature, to pass into a law under the provisions of the Constitution. And I must confess, I see, in this, no such escaping by the back door, no such jumping out of the window, as the Senator talks about. Apprehensions of the imputation of the want of firmness sometimes impel us to perform rash and inconsiderate acts. It is the greatest courage to be able to bear the imputation of the want of courage. But pride, vanity, egotism, so unamiable and offensive in private life, are vices which partake of the character of crimes in the conduct of public affairs. The unfortunate victim of these passions cannot see beyond the little, petty, contemptible circle of his own personal interests. All his thoughts are withdrawn from his country, and concentrated on his consistency, his firmness, himself.
The high, the exalted, the sublime emotions of a patriotism, which, soaring toward heaven, rises far above all mean, low, or selfish things, and is absorbed by one soul-transporting thought of the good and the glory of one's country, are never felt in his impenetrable bosom. That patriotism which, catching its inspirations from the immortal God, and leaving at an immeasurable distance below all lesser, grovelling, personal interests and feelings, animates and prompts to deeds of selfsacrifice, of valour, of devotion, and of death itself-that is public virtue ; that is the noblest, the sublimest of all public virtues !
“I said nothing of any obligation on the part of the President to conform his judgment to the opinions of the Senate and House of Representatives, although the Senator argued as if I had, and persevered in so arguing, after repeated corrections. I said no such thing. I know and respect the perfect independence of each department, acting within its proper sphere, of other departments. But I referred to the majorities in the two Houses of Congress as further and strong evidence of the opinion of the people of the United States in favour of the establishment of a Bank of the United States. And I contended that, according to the doctrine of instructions which prevailed in Virginina, and of which the
President is a disciple, and, in pursuance of the example already cited, he ought not to have rejected the Bill.
“ I have heard that, on his arrival at the seat of the General Go. vernment, to enter upon the duties of the office of Vice President, in March last, when interrogated how far he meant to conform, in his new station, to certain peculiar opinions which were held in Vir. ginia, he made this patriotic and noble reply :- I am Vice Presi. dent of the United States, and not of the State of Virginia ; and I shall be governed by the wishes and opinions of my Constituents.' When I heard of this encouraging and satisfactory reply, believing, as I most religiously do, that a large majority of the people of the United States are in favour of a National Bank, (and gentlemen may shut their eyes to the fact, deny, or dispute, or reason it away as they please, but it is my conscientious conviction that twothirds, if not more, of the people of the United States, desire such an institution), I thought I beheld a sure and certain guarantee for the fulfilment of the wishes of the people of the United States. I thought it impossible, that the wants and wishes of a great people, who had bestowed such unbounded and generous confidence, and conferred on him such exalted honours, should be disregarded and disappointed. It did not enter into my ima. gination to conceive, that one, who had shown so much deference and respect to the presumed sentiments of a single State, should display less toward the sentiments of the whole nation.
“I hope, Mr. President, that, in performing the painful duty which had devolved on me, I have not transcended the limits of legitimate debate. I repeat, in all truth and sincerity, the assu. rance to the Senate and the country, that nothing but a stern, reluctant, and indispensable sense of honour and of duty could have forced from me the response which I have made to the President's objections. But, instead of yielding without restraint to the feelings of disappointment and mortification excited by the perusal of his message, I have anxiously endeavoured to temper the notice of it, which I have been compelled to take, by the respect due to the office of Chief Magistrate, and by the personal regard and esteem which I have ever entertained for its present incumbent."
THE RIGHT REV. JOHN HUGHES, D.D.
CATHOLIC BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW YORK.
“ Be just, and fear not ;
Thy God's, and Truth's.” The Bishop is the historical man of his day. He assumes his position among the Statesmen of America, not as an active politician, but as the Representative, Priest, Controller and Guardian of a powerful body now incorporated in the Democracy of the Republic; I allude to the Roman Catholics, both native and foreign. It is a high and responsible capacity. His power over his people is without limit; and they revere alike his person and his office; they behold him Supreme in wisdom and in virtue ; his wisdom devoted incessantly to their earthly and their heavenly weal; while in the exercises of his Virtue are displayed, for their instruction, the exalted Faith, and holy Hope, and Christian Charity becoming him who is at once the example of their lives, and the Pastor of their souls.
The Bishop is the greatest temporal Prince in America, and he is the greatest spiritual Prince in the world. And his reign is more immutable than that of Kings and Presidents, because it is not merely an earthly, but a heavenly bond that unites him to his flock ;-Kings rule by inheritance, and Presidents by election; but this man rules alone through the mighty influences of Religion. And marvellous are its effects, not only upon the people committed to his charge, but on those also whose religious and political prejudices have been and are arrayed against them.
The discipline of the Catholic Church, fortified by experience, sanctioned by time, justified by its results, does even now exert its guardian influences upon the moral character of the American people. As education proceeds in its glorious mission, this longpersecuted, much-enduring faith, is gradually restored to its honours and to its privileges of usefulness.
The dearest and warmest friends of the Republic look with fear
and trembling on her sectional divisions, her party jealousies ; upon the various and conflicting interests which are enclosed within her bosom ; upon the strange and anomalous divisions, sub-divisions, and minor sub-divisions of her interminable and contending religious denominations; and with greater apprehension still upon the varieties of national character and feeling which are daily becoming more strongly marked in feature, and which require more urgently every hour some amalgamating in. fluence of higher origin, of more harmonizing tendency than the civil or the legal code. The equality enjoyed, and the freedom exercised by every individual of the United States in the choice of their religion, moral views, commercial enterprises, habits, manners, and society, is their birthright ;-and were men angels, or still lived in the blessed ignorance of evil that was the lot of our first parents in Paradise ;-then, then indeed this freedom would be as heavenly in its effects as in its origin. But Man, alas! is still apparelled in his coil of clay ;-he is born in sin, and a child of wrath, and his very virtues themselves are imbued with a taint of the earth from which his mortal body was compounded; his ardour becomes ambition, his hope grows into confidence, his repentance sinks into despair, his wisdom is folly, his liberty licentiousness; and since the commission of that pristine sin which “first brought death into the world, and all our wo,” he who was created in the similitude of God, pursues his weary footsteps begirt with wo, deformed with vice, a frail and darkened image.
The Gospel of Christ indeed sheds on us all its hallowed rays; —but the experience of all ages has shown that even the Gospel, the inspired word of God himself, must be moulded into a tangible form to be available in its effects on our degraded nature; that believers must practise certain preconcerted external modes of worship extracted from its promulgations, and must unite in one universally acknowledged Confession of Faith ; in order to establish and perpetuate religious observances among men. The primitive Christians, guided by that light from Heaven, which like the Star in the East upon the path of the expectant Shepherds, shone upon their fond inquiries, elicited from the New TESTAMENT, the precious Legacy which they had received from Christ and his Apostles, those forms and habitudes of prayer which in after and happier years were ratified by the Fathers, and confirmed by the Councils of the Church.
THESE ARE THE FORMS AND HABITUDES WHICH CONSTITUTE THE CREED AND WORSHIP; OR, IN OTHER WORDS, THE RITUAL OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION.