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match it. Acquire his character, and fear not the recurrence of a crisis to show forth its glory. Look at the elements of commotion that are already at work in this vast republic, and threatening us with a moral earthquake that will convulse it to its foundation. Look at the political degeneracy which pervades the country, and which has already borne us so far away from the golden age of the revolution; look at all “the signs of the times," and you will see but little cause to indulge the hope that no crisis is likely to recur to give full scope for the exertion of the most heroic virtues. Hence it is, that I so anxiously hold up to you the model of Washington. Form yourselves on that noble model. Strive to acquire his modesty, his disinterestedness, his singleness of heart, his determined devotion to his country, his candor in deliberation, his accuracy of judgment, his invincible firmness of resolve, and then may you hope to be in your own age, what he was in his,—“ first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of your countrymen." Commencing your career with this high strain of char. acter, your course will be as steady as the needle to the pole. Your end will be always virtuous, your means always noble. You will adorn as well as bless your country. You will exalt and illustrate the age in which you live. Your example will shake, like a tempest, that pestilential pool, in which the virtues of our people are already beginning to stagnate, and restore the waters and the atmosphere to their revolutionary purity.
The Bible is the only book, which God has ever sent, the only one he ever will send, into this world. All other books are frail and transient as time, since they are only the registers of time; but the Bible is durable as eternity, for its pages contain the records of eternity. All other books are weak and imperfect, like their author, man; but the Bible is a transcript of infinite power and perfection. Every other volume is limited in its usefulness and influence; but the Bible came forth conquering and to conquer : rejoicing as a giant to run his course, and like the sun, “ there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." The Bible only, of all the myriads of books the world has seen, is equally important and interesting to all mankind. Its tidings, whether of peace or of wo, are the same to the poor, the ignorant, and the weak, as to the rich, the wise, and the powerful. Among the most remarkable of its attributes, is justice ; for it looks with impartial eyes on kings and on slaves, on the hero and the soldier, on philosophers and peasants, on the eloquent and the dumb. From all, it exacts the same obedience to its commandments, and promises to the good, the fruits of his labors; to the evil, the reward of his hands. Nor are the purity and holiness, the wisdom, benevolence and truth of the Scriptures, less conspicuous, than their justice. In sublimity and beauty, in the descriptive and pathetic, in dignity and simplicity of narrative, in power and comprehensiveness, depth and variety of thought, in purity and elevation of sentiment, the most enthusiastic admirers of the heathen classics have conceded their inferiority to the Scriptures. The Bible, indeed, is the only universal classic, the classic of all mankind, of every age and country, of time and eternity, more humble and simple than the primer of the child, more grand and magnificent than the epic and the oration, the ode and the drama, when genius, with his chariot of fire, and his horses of fire, ascends in whirlwind, into the heaven of his own invention. It is the best classic the world has ever seen, the noblest that has ever honored and dignified the language of mortals !
If boast that the Aristotles and the Platos, and the Tullies, of the classic ages, " dipped their pens in intellect,” the sacred authors dipped theirs in inspiration. If those were the “secretaries of nature,” these were the secretaries of the very Author of nature. If Greece and Rome have gathered into their cabinet of curiosities, the pearls of heathen poetry and eloquence, the diamonds of Pagan history and philosophy, God himself has treasured up in the Scriptures, the poetry and eloquence, the philosophy and history of sacred lawgivers, of prophets and apostles, of saints, evangelists and martyrs. In vain may you seek for the pure and simple light of universal truth in the Augustan ages of antiquity. In the Bible only is the poet's wish fulfilled,
“ And like the sun, be all one boundless eye.”
3. CHANGE IS NOT REFORM.--Randolph. Sır,--I see no wisdom in making this provision for future changes. You must give governments time to operate on the people, and give the people time to become gradually assimilated to their institutions. Almost any thing is better than this state of perpetual uncertainty. A people may have the best
is a very
form of government that the wit of man ever devised ; and yet, from its uncertainty alone, may, in effect, live under the worst government in the world. Sir, how often must I repeat, that change is not reform. I am willing that this new constitution shall stand as long as it is possible for it to stand, and that, believe me,
short time. Sir, it is in vain to deny it.They may say what they please about the old constitution—the defect is not there. It is not in the form of the old edifice, neither in the design nor the elevation : it is in the materialit is in the people of Virginia. To my knowledge that people are changed from what they have been. The four hundred men who went out to David were in debt. The partisans of Cæsar were in debt. The fellow-laborers of Catiline were in debt. And I defy you to show me a desperately indebted people, any where, who can bear a regular sober government. I throw the challenge to all who hear me. I
that the character of the good old Virginia planter—the man who owned from five to twenty slaves, or less, who lived by hard work, and who paid his debts, is passed away. A new order of things is come. The period has arrived of living by one's wits—of living by contracting debts that one cannot pay—and above all, of living by office-hunting
Sir, what do we see ? Bankrupts-branded bankrupts-giving great dinners-sending their children to the most expensive schools-giving grand parties—and just as well received as any body in society. I say, that in such a state of things, the old constitution was too good for them; they could not bear it. No, sir—they could not bear a freehold suffrage and a property representation.
I have always endeavored to do the people justice—but I will not flatter them— I will not pander to their appetite for change. I will do nothing to provide for change. I will not agree to any rule of future apportionment, or to any provision for future changes, called amendments to the constitution. They who love change—who delight in public confusion—who wish to feed the caldron, and make it bubble—may vote, if they please, for future changes. But by what spell—by what formula are you going to bind the people to all future time? You may make what entries upon parchment you please. Give me a constitution that will last for half a century—that is all I wish for. No constitution that you can make will last the one half of half a century.
Sir, I will stake any thing short of my salvation, that those who are malcontent now, will be more malcontent three years hence than they are at this day. I have no favor for this con
stitution. I shall vote against its adoption, and I shall advise all the people of my district to set their faces—aye—and their shoulders against it. But if we are to have it—let us not have it with its death-warrant in its very face ; with the sardonic grin of death upon its countenance.
NOT STRENGTH ENOUGH IN THE BOW.-Webster.
Mr. President,—When this debate, sir, was to be resumed, on Thursday morning, it so happened that it would have been convenient for me to be elsewhere. The honorable member, however, did not incline to put off the discussion to another day. He had a shot, he said, to return, and he wished to discharge it. That shot, sir, which it was kind thus to inform us was coming, that we might stand out of the way, or prepare ourselves to fall before it and die with decency, has now been received. Under all advantages, and with expectation awakened, by the tone which preceded, it has been discharged, and has spent its force. It may become me to say no more of its effect, than, that if nobody is found, after all, either killed or wounded by it, it is not the first time, in the history of human affairs, that the vigor and success of the war have not quite come up to the lofty and sounding phrase of the manifesto.
The gentleman, sir, in declining to postpone the debate, told the senate, with the emphasis of his hand upon his heart, that there was something rankling here, which he wished to relieve. But the gentleman disclaims having used the word rankling. It would not, Mr. President, be safe for the honorable member to appeal to those around him, upon the question, whether he did, in fact, make use of that word. But he
have been unconscious of it. At any rate it is enough that he disclaims it. But still, with or without the use of that particular word, he had yet something here, he said, of which he wished to rid himself by an immediate reply. In this respect, sir, I have a great advantage over the honorable gentleman. There is nothing here, sir, which gives me the slightest uneasiness ; neither fear, nor anger, nor that—which is sometimes more troublesome than either—the consciousness of having been in the wrong. There is nothing, either originating here, or now received here, by the gentleman's shot. Nothing original, for I have not the slightest feeling of disrespect or unkindness towards the honorable member. Some passages, it is true, had occurred since our acquaintance in this body, which I could
have wished might have been otherwise ; but I had used philosophy and forgotten them. When the honorable member cose, in his first speech, I paid him the respect of attentive histening; and when he sat down, though surprised, and I must say, even astonished, at some of his opinions, nothing was farther from my intentions than to commence any personal warfare; and through the whole of the few remarks I made in answer, I avoided studiously and carefully, every thing 'which I thought possible to be construed into disrespect. And, sir, while there is thus nothing originating here, which I wished at any time, or now wish to discharge, I must repeat, also, that nothing has been received here, which rankles, or in any way gives me annoyance. I will not accuse the honorable member of violating the rules of civilized war—I will not say that he poisoned his arrows. But whether his shafts were, or were not dipped in that which would have caused rankling, if they had reached, there was not, as it happened, quite strength enough in the bow to bring them to their mark. If he wishes now to find those shafts, he must look for them elsewhere ; they will not be found fixed and quivering in the object at which they were aimed.
Far be it from me to cherish, in any shape, a spirit of national prejudice, or to excite in others a disgusting national vanity. But when I reflect upon the part which this country is probably to act in the renovation of the world, I rejoice that I am a citizen of this great republic. This western continent has, at different periods, been the subject of every species of transatlantic abuse. In former days, some of the naturalists of Europe told us, that every thing here was constructed upon a small scale. The frowns of nature were represented as investing the whole hemisphere we inhabit. It has been asserted, that the eternal storms, which are said to beat upon the brows of our mountains, and to roll the tide of desolation at their bases—the hurricanes which sweep our vales, and the volcanic fires which issue from a thousand flaming craters—the thunderbolts which perpetually descend from heaven, and the earthquakes, whose trepidations are felt to the very centre of our globe, have superinduced a degeneracy through all the productions of nature. Men have been frightened into intellectual dwarfs, and the heasts of the forest have not attained more than half their ordinary growth —While some of the lines and