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still so perfectly preserved, it becomes obvious that there have been successive creations. Most, per haps all of the earliest inhabitants of our earth have perished, and new races have been called into existence to replace their loss, or, probably, to meet the varying temperature and the revolutions of the globe itself. The earth at different periods must have been accommodated to different inhabitants. The earliest races whose vestiges remain were all aquatic, living in an ocean which appears to have covered for ages the loftiest mountains of our globe-or we must suppose that the islands and continents of the present day were once located beneath the waves of the ocean, and have been raised by some deep-seated convulsion to their present elevation. The days of creation were of long and indefinite duration. If the present tribes of the animal kingdom had been formed contemporaneously with the earliest dwellers on the earth, some of their remains would even now be discovered in the more ancient strata, intermingled with the myriads of animals whose exuviæ are there embodied, and would not be confined to the more recent of the tertiary and alluvial soils.
May not the structure of animals in the course of ages have been greatly changed? We reply that the same arguments which oppose the doctrines of spontaneous generation or progressive organization apply with full force against any important variations in structure. Observation, experience, philosophy, all lead us to conclude that the forms now presented to our view, are the authentic forms of creation. They may be modified in that slight degree in which each species is accustomed, and almost constantly observed to vary. Generic forms have, perhaps, at first been created, specific differences and varieties have in the lapse of ages been produced by modifications of the same given organs, not by the formation of new ones. We are permitted to examine now the same forms which were declared to be good so many ages ago. We may proceed to study the great living book of nature, under a strong persuasion that we are studying the permanent and enduring forms of creation, not the varying, the inconsequential results of chance and accident.
It is in this vast domain of life, that the order established by divine wisdom, is so singularly conspicuous. We perceive beings almost innumerable, forms endless in their variety, creatures infinitely diversified in their habits and their pursuits, all submitting to the guidance and governance of a few simple universal laws. All, however varied may be their operations, instinctively labour for the preservation of their own lives and
the protection of their future progeny. The butterfly, which sports in the air, and flies from plant to plant on wings as light and brilliant as the tower over which it hovers; wherever she herself may feed, yet deposits her eggs only on those plants which are the appropriate food of her infant caterpillar; the bee and the wasp consume their lives in building cells, and in depositing in those cells honey or insects, or some other food adapted to the support of that offspring they will never know; fish leave the ocean, struggle against the currents, ascend the rapids, leap up the falls of long rivers to deposit their eggs in places which the parent cannot inhabit, but where their young may find security and food-all bend to some paramount impression—all yield an umqualified obedience to the laws of their instinctive lives. These laws operate with unceasing forcethey are permanent and unchangeable. They have governed the living tribes of nature since their existence began ; they will control them while their races exist. Chance can have no agency in principles so stable and so uniform.
One being alone has been liberated in part from this blind and uncontrollable instinct, has been permitted to compare causes and effects, to know good from evil. To one has been given the awful responsibility of free-will--and instead of the mysterious and unerring impulses of instinct, he has been endowed with that reason which must be his pride or his reproach. Man himself, is, perhaps, the most wonderful anomaly in the system of life; and while he avails himself of his privilege to examine all that surrounds him, all that now exists, and all that has been created, it should be a part of the same study cautiously to investigate his own position, to ascertain his connexion with the past, with the present, and with the future.
Availing ourselves of the researches of our predecessors and our contemporaries, we have presented in the narrow limits which the nature of our publication prescribes, some of those general and important views of nature which genius and science have unfolded to man. But we hai e. not entered into the history of individuals, nor alluded to the systems which have been proposed for the arrangement of the organic and inorganic substances which are scattered over the globe; because, of these and of the systems which may hereafter, from time to time, be promulgated, we shall, in the course of our labours, be frequently compelled to speak.
Art. V.—Journal, Acts and Proceedings of the Convention, as
sembled at Philadelphia, on Monday, the 14th of May, and dissolved on Monday, the 17th of September, 1787, which formed the Constitution of the United States. Published under the direction of the President of the United States, conformably to a Resolution of Congress of March 27, 1818. 1 Vol. 8vo. Boston. 1819.
The nature of the association between the states of this union, has given rise to much discussion of late years, and must be offered as a sufficient excuse for putting at the head of this article, a work which has been, for such a length of time, before the public. Our Constitution was certainly formed by compromise, not only between parties, having, in many respects, very different interests, but by statesmen having widely different views of the principles on which a federal government ought to be constructed. It was not until after much discussion, in a session of some months, that the present Constitution was agreed to. That there were many views of this instrument which shid not, at that time, develope themselves, we think probable, if not evident. Neither can this create surprise. In a compact of such magnitude, comprehending such vast powers, and various and complicated objects and operations, formed too by the demands and concessions of various interests, it is impossible to suppose that any individual could see all the bearings which the Constitution would have when carried into effect, or correctly anticipate all the constructions that should or might be put upon it, when brought into contact with subordinate powers, or the diversity of subjects upon which it was to operate. Hence, the various and discordant predictions which were made as to its operations and results, and the hesitation which appeared in many states to adopt it, even after the contemporaneous commentary, and the positive declarations of many of its most efficient advocates and authors, seemed to have left no doubt as to the intention of the parties, and the limits which they supposed to have been conclusively established by the charter itself.
It has been the frequent boast of our country that by the invention of written constitutions in this age of civil liberty, in which the fundamental principles of government are embodied and recorded in known and familiar language ; and by the organization of the representative system, and the fair extension of the elective franchise, we had discovered the best possible
mode of securing the enjoyment of free institutions, and of perpetuating their blessings to an indefinite posterity; we had unfolded the mystery hitherto hidden from the world, by which the rights of man could be effectually secured, and a system of rational governinent established and maintained. It is conceded even by the most sceptical, that if these two objects can be practically secured, our American experiment will have been successful and satisfactory. Independently, however, of those causes froin which a failure has confidently been predicted by our enemies, such as the extent of our territory, the separate interests and distinct views which may arise on the exterior regions of our confederacy, and the danger that ambitious men may avail themselves of these views and interests to create and perpetuate, unfriendly, if not hostile feelings between different portions of the confederacy-a new difficulty which was scarcely anticipated, has arisen that threatens to bring to an early developement, the principles of discord which may have been secretly lurking in our system.
We have already had occasion to remark how much the people of this country were becoming accustomed to rely on forms, and confide in the virtue of written Constitutions. In the simplicity of their faith, they seemed to suppose that such a charter had not only a “charmed life," but the inherent power of preserving and protecting its owo principles. They little expected that construction might not only give a new direction to its action, but leaving its outward and visible form unchanged, might derange its vital functions, and give it a morbid energy, an irregular, diseased and pernicious operation ; that a Constitution, settled upon fair and mutual and liberal compromise and concession, might become unfit for the very purposes for which it was organized, might break down every barrier which had been created to restrain it, might assume those very powers which were intended to be withheld, and which, if they had been granted, would have assured its rejection, and this, by the technical construction of some doubtful expressions. Such is the vanity of human expectations, and such the feeble bulwark, which, without incessant vigilance on the part of the people, a written Constitution can oppose to the operation of interest and ambition. Could any other result, however, be rationally expected! If the holy volume of inspiration can, by construction, by interpretation, by force of subtle exegesis, be made to speak in senses so various and so opposite, what may not be expected of a human production, though penned by the ablest men, and apparently, with the greatest anxiety to speak with simplicity and precision. VOL. II.-NO. 4.
For a long series of years, while carrying into effect the undisputed powers of our government, the integrity of our councils, the march of our prosperity, and the success of our political institutions, while they justified the boldness of our experiment, had nearly exterminated all the doubts of our friends, and baffled the predictions of our enemies. It was, indeed, to be expected, that, in the first stages of a new government, somewhat original in its plan, and therefore aided by no exact precedents, complex in its structure, and diffusive in detail, difficulties would arise, and practical questions spring up, that would exercise the judgment and divide the opinions of men. Such was the question on the treaty-making power, whether treaties made, although the supreme law of the land, were also a supreme law to the popular branch of the Legislature, which was bound for their execution, without a right in that branch to discuss and rejudge their merits. Such also was the agitated question, whether the power in the President to nominate and appoint to office, implied, in all cases, where the Constitution was silent as to the tenure, the correlative power of removal. These and some other topics were discussed both in and out of Congress, with great ability—but with these discussions were intermingled no sinister views, no sectional interests, no distempered feelings springing out of geographical divisions. However the matter might terminate, nothing was likely to be violated but the pride of opinion, no permanent dissatisfaction was likely to be generated in any quarter of the Union. Thus for a series of years was our Constitution in a state of hopeful and promising experiment. Whatever our parties were, they were found in every portion of the country, and asperity of feeling was every where tempered by daily intercourse in the city, the village, or the neighbourhood.
But times are changing-political parties no longer pervade the whole mass of the people in every department of society, but are becoming geographically distinct, are assuming a sectional character which may leave to the minority no alternative but absolute ruin or open resistance. From the choice between such evils we would be spared. It is, therefore, that we exhort those, who are recklessly pressing on the doctrines of unlimited construction to pause and look forward to the ultimate results of the measures they are so eagerly pursuing. The Convention wisely, and as they supposed, effectually reserved to the respective States the entire control of their domesticarrangements, and transferred to the general Government only those powers which the States separately were not competent to administer. But if bounties, under the disguise of duties, can be granted to certain favoured and privileged occupations—if, under