Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Study 14 - The Federalist Papers No. 14

Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory
From the New York Packet.
Friday, November 30, 1787.

To the People of the State of New York:

WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against
foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the
guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only
substitute for those military establishments which have subverted
the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the
diseases of faction, which have proved fatal to other popular
governments, and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by
our own.
All that remains, within this branch of our inquiries, is
to take notice of an objection that may be drawn from the great
extent of country which the Union embraces. A few observations on
this subject will be the more proper, as it is perceived that the
adversaries of the new Constitution are availing themselves of the
prevailing prejudice with regard to the practicable sphere of
republican administration, in order to supply, by imaginary
difficulties, the want of those solid objections which they endeavor
in vain to find.
The error which limits republican government to a narrow
district has been unfolded and refuted in preceding papers. I
remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence
chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy, applying
to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter. The
true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a
former occasion. It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and
exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and
administer it by their representatives and agents
. A democracy,
consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be
extended over a large region.

To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice
of some celebrated authors, whose writings have had a great share in
forming the modern standard of political opinions. Being subjects
either of an absolute or limited monarchy, they have endeavored to
heighten the advantages, or palliate the evils of those forms, by
placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican, and
by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of
ancient Greece and modern Italy. Under the confusion of names, it
has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations
applicable to a democracy only; and among others, the observation
that it can never be established but among a small number of people,
living within a small compass of territory.

Such a fallacy may have been the less perceived, as most of the
popular governments of antiquity were of the democratic species;
and even in modern Europe, to which we owe the great principle of
representation, no example is seen of a government wholly popular,
and founded, at the same time, wholly on that principle. If Europe
has the merit of discovering this great mechanical power in
government, by the simple agency of which the will of the largest
political body may be concentred, and its force directed to any
object which the public good requires, America can claim the merit
of making the discovery the basis of unmixed and extensive republics.
It is only to be lamented that any of her citizens should wish to
deprive her of the additional merit of displaying its full efficacy
in the establishment of the comprehensive system now under her
As the natural limit of a democracy is that distance from the
central point which will just permit the most remote citizens to
assemble as often as their public functions demand, and will include
no greater number than can join in those functions; so the natural
limit of a republic is that distance from the centre which will
barely allow the representatives to meet as often as may be
necessary for the administration of public affairs. Can it be said
that the limits of the United States exceed this distance? It will
not be said by those who recollect that the Atlantic coast is the
longest side of the Union, that during the term of thirteen years,
the representatives of the States have been almost continually
assembled, and that the members from the most distant States are not
chargeable with greater intermissions of attendance than those from
the States in the neighborhood of Congress.
That we may form a juster estimate with regard to this
interesting subject, let us resort to the actual dimensions of the
Union. The limits, as fixed by the treaty of peace, are: on the
east the Atlantic, on the south the latitude of thirty-one degrees,
on the west the Mississippi, and on the north an irregular line
running in some instances beyond the forty-fifth degree, in others
falling as low as the forty-second. The southern shore of Lake Erie
lies below that latitude. Computing the distance between the
thirty-first and forty-fifth degrees, it amounts to nine hundred and
seventy-three common miles; computing it from thirty-one to
forty-two degrees, to seven hundred and sixty-four miles and a half.
Taking the mean for the distance, the amount will be eight hundred
and sixty-eight miles and three-fourths. The mean distance from the
Atlantic to the Mississippi does not probably exceed seven hundred
and fifty miles. On a comparison of this extent with that of
several countries in Europe, the practicability of rendering our
system commensurate to it appears to be demonstrable. It is not a
great deal larger than Germany, where a diet representing the whole
empire is continually assembled; or than Poland before the late
dismemberment, where another national diet was the depositary of the
supreme power. Passing by France and Spain, we find that in Great
Britain, inferior as it may be in size, the representatives of the
northern extremity of the island have as far to travel to the
national council as will be required of those of the most remote
parts of the Union.
Favorable as this view of the subject may be, some observations
remain which will place it in a light still more satisfactory.
In the first place it is to be remembered that the general
government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and
administering laws.
Its jurisdiction is limited to certain
enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic,
but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.

The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all
those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will
retain their due authority and activity.
Were it proposed by the
plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular
States, its adversaries would have some ground for their objection;
though it would not be difficult to show that if they were
abolished the general government would be compelled, by the
principle of self-preservation, to reinstate them in their proper
A second observation to be made is that the immediate object of
the federal Constitution is to secure the union of the thirteen
primitive States, which we know to be practicable; and to add to
them such other States as may arise in their own bosoms, or in their
which we cannot doubt to be equally practicable. The
arrangements that may be necessary for those angles and fractions of
our territory which lie on our northwestern frontier, must be left
to those whom further discoveries and experience will render more
equal to the task.

Let it be remarked, in the third place, that the intercourse
throughout the Union will be facilitated by new improvements.
will everywhere be shortened, and kept in better order;
accommodations for travelers will be multiplied and meliorated; an
interior navigation on our eastern side will be opened throughout,
or nearly throughout, the whole extent of the thirteen States. The
communication between the Western and Atlantic districts, and
between different parts of each, will be rendered more and more easy
by those numerous canals with which the beneficence of nature has
intersected our country, and which art finds it so little difficult
to connect and complete.
A fourth and still more important consideration is, that as
almost every State will, on one side or other, be a frontier, and
will thus find, in regard to its safety, an inducement to make some
sacrifices for the sake of the general protection; so the States
which lie at the greatest distance from the heart of the Union, and
which, of course, may partake least of the ordinary circulation of
its benefits, will be at the same time immediately contiguous to
foreign nations, and will consequently stand, on particular

occasions, in greatest need of its strength and resources. It may
be inconvenient for Georgia, or the States forming our western or
northeastern borders, to send their representatives to the seat of
government; but they would find it more so to struggle alone
against an invading enemy, or even to support alone the whole
expense of those precautions which may be dictated by the
neighborhood of continual danger. If they should derive less
benefit, therefore, from the Union in some respects than the less
distant States, they will derive greater benefit from it in other
and thus the proper equilibrium will be maintained
I submit to you, my fellow-citizens, these considerations, in
full confidence that the good sense which has so often marked your
decisions will allow them their due weight and effect; and that you
will never suffer difficulties, however formidable in appearance, or
however fashionable the error on which they may be founded, to drive
you into the gloomy and perilous scene into which the advocates for
disunion would conduct you. Hearken not to the unnatural voice
which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they
are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as
members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual
guardians of their mutual happiness; can no longer be
fellowcitizens of one great, respectable, and flourishing empire.

Hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form
of government recommended for your adoption is a novelty in the
political world; that it has never yet had a place in the theories
of the wildest projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is
impossible to accomplish
. No, my countrymen, shut your ears against
this unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison which
it conveys; the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American
citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their
sacred rights, consecrate their Union, and excite horror at the idea
of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. And if novelties are to
be shunned, believe me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most
wild of all projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of
rendering us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties and
promote our happiness
. But why is the experiment of an extended
republic to be rejected, merely because it may comprise what is new?
Is it not the glory of the people of America, that, whilst they
have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other
nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity,
for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own
good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of
their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be
indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the
numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of
private rights and public happiness.
Had no important step been
taken by the leaders of the Revolution for which a precedent could
not be discovered, no government established of which an exact model
did not present itself, the people of the United States might, at
this moment have been numbered among the melancholy victims of
misguided councils, must at best have been laboring under the weight
of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest
of mankind. Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole
human race, they pursued a new and more noble course.
accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of
human society. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no
model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great
Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve
and perpetuate. If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at
the fewness of them.
If they erred most in the structure of the
Union, this was the work most difficult to be executed; this is the
work which has been new modelled by the act of your convention, and
it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide.


The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 28:4-5, 9


4 They that forsake the Law, praise the wicked: but
they that keep the Law, set themselves against them.
5 Wicked men understand not judgment: but
they that seek the Lord, understand all things.
9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the
Law, even his prayer shall be abominable.

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

1 Kings 18:18
Psalm 49:18
Psalm 66:18
Psalm 92:6
Psalm 119:100
Proverbs 2:9
Proverbs 15:8
Isaiah 6:9
Isaiah 44:18
Nehemiah 13:11, 15
Matthew 3:7
Matthew 14:4
John 17:17
Romans 1:32
1 Corinthians 2:15
1 John 2:20, 27

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Study 13 - The Federalist Papers No. 13

Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government

For the Independent Journal.


To the People of the State of New York:

As CONNECTED with the subject of revenue, we may with propriety
consider that of economy. The money saved from one object may be
usefully applied to another, and there will be so much the less to
be drawn from the pockets of the people.
If the States are united
under one government, there will be but one national civil list to
support; if they are divided into several confederacies, there will
be as many different national civil lists to be provided for--and
each of them, as to the principal departments, coextensive with that
which would be necessary for a government of the whole. The entire
separation of the States into thirteen unconnected sovereignties is
a project too extravagant and too replete with danger to have many
The ideas of men who speculate upon the dismemberment of
the empire seem generally turned toward three confederacies--one
consisting of the four Northern, another of the four Middle, and a
third of the five Southern States. There is little probability that
there would be a greater number. According to this distribution,
each confederacy would comprise an extent of territory larger than
that of the kingdom of Great Britain. No well-informed man will
suppose that the affairs of such a confederacy can be properly
regulated by a government less comprehensive in its organs or
institutions than that which has been proposed by the convention.
When the dimensions of a State attain to a certain magnitude, it
requires the same energy of government and the same forms of
administration which are requisite in one of much greater extent.
This idea admits not of precise demonstration, because there is no
rule by which we can measure the momentum of civil power necessary
to the government of any given number of individuals; but when we
consider that the island of Britain, nearly commensurate with each
of the supposed confederacies, contains about eight millions of
people, and when we reflect upon the degree of authority required to
direct the passions of so large a society to the public good, we
shall see no reason to doubt that the like portion of power would be
sufficient to perform the same task in a society far more numerous.
Civil power, properly organized and exerted, is capable of
diffusing its force to a very great extent; and can, in a manner,
reproduce itself in every part of a great empire by a judicious
arrangement of subordinate institutions.

The supposition that each confederacy into which the States
would be likely to be divided would require a government not less
comprehensive than the one proposed, will be strengthened by another
supposition, more probable than that which presents us with three
confederacies as the alternative to a general Union. If we attend
carefully to geographical and commercial considerations, in
conjunction with the habits and prejudices of the different States,
we shall be led to conclude that in case of disunion they will most
naturally league themselves under two governments. The four Eastern
States, from all the causes that form the links of national sympathy
and connection, may with certainty be expected to unite. New York,
situated as she is, would never be unwise enough to oppose a feeble
and unsupported flank to the weight of that confederacy. There are
other obvious reasons that would facilitate her accession to it.
New Jersey is too small a State to think of being a frontier, in
opposition to this still more powerful combination; nor do there
appear to be any obstacles to her admission into it. Even
Pennsylvania would have strong inducements to join the Northern
league. An active foreign commerce, on the basis of her own
navigation, is her true policy, and coincides with the opinions and
dispositions of her citizens. The more Southern States, from
various circumstances, may not think themselves much interested in
the encouragement of navigation. They may prefer a system which
would give unlimited scope to all nations to be the carriers as well
as the purchasers of their commodities. Pennsylvania may not choose
to confound her interests in a connection so adverse to her policy.
As she must at all events be a frontier, she may deem it most
consistent with her safety to have her exposed side turned towards
the weaker power of the Southern, rather than towards the stronger
power of the Northern, Confederacy. This would give her the fairest
chance to avoid being the Flanders of America. Whatever may be the
determination of Pennsylvania, if the Northern Confederacy includes
New Jersey, there is no likelihood of more than one confederacy to
the south of that State.
Nothing can be more evident than that the thirteen States will
be able to support a national government better than one half, or
one third, or any number less than the whole.
This reflection must
have great weight in obviating that objection to the proposed plan,
which is founded on the principle of expense; an objection,
however, which, when we come to take a nearer view of it, will
appear in every light to stand on mistaken ground.
If, in addition to the consideration of a plurality of civil
lists, we take into view the number of persons who must necessarily
be employed to guard the inland communication between the different
confederacies against illicit trade, and who in time will infallibly
spring up out of the necessities of revenue; and if we also take
into view the military establishments which it has been shown would
unavoidably result from the jealousies and conflicts of the several
nations into which the States would be divided, we shall clearly
discover that a separation would be not less injurious to the
economy, than to the tranquillity, commerce, revenue, and liberty of
every part.


The Daily Meditition - Proverbs 28:2


For the transgression of the land there are many
princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and
knowledge a realm likewise endureth long.

For additional related scriptures click or copy/paste on the provided link

Psalm 107:40, 42
Ecclesiastes 10:17
Isaiah 1:23
Zephaniah 1:8
Zephaniah 3:3
Romans 8:37
Ephesians 6:12
1 Corinthians 2:6-8

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Sermon

Stop and Rest, Wait Patiently, Fear Not

Wait patiently upon the Lord, and hope in
him: fret not thyself for him which prospereth in
his way, nor for the man that bringeth his enterprises
to pass. - Psalm 37:7

One must begin this work by first defining, and also translating the words “rest”, “wait” and “fear”

Rest when defined is to be in; a state of quiet or repose; a cessation from motion or labor; tranquility; as, rest from mental exertion; rest of body or mind or to put it simply to be still. Hence, freedom from everything which wearies or disturbs; peace; security. When used as a transitive verb it comes to mean for one to rely upon something, or someone. For example the expression “rest assured”

The second word that we need to define, that is to say the word “wait” can and is defined thusly; To watch; to observe; to take notice. To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart. To put this in a more contemporary expression or, slang if you will, it means to “chill out”#

Finally we come the last word “fear”. Normally one can easily relate to the meaning from one’s own life experiences. As in I fear for my life. Which of course means to say that I am more than just greatly concerned. Again however allow this writer to go into a wider definition.

1. A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread. &hand; The degrees of this passion, beginning with the most moderate, may be thus expressed, -- apprehension, fear, dread, fright, terror. Or as John Locke summed up so very well;

“Fear is an uneasiness of the mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.”

2. Fear in relation to Biblical Scripture
(a) Apprehension of incurring, or solicitude to avoid, God's wrath; the trembling and awful reverence felt toward the Supreme Being.
(b) Respectful reverence for men of authority or worth.

It is which much interest that one finds the second description of the word and how it applies not only in Scripture itself, but also in the daily affairs of men and women in this temporal world.

So we now have defined three words those being rest, wait, and fear, in today’s modern English. However, if one wants to find a really deeper meaning, one should seek out a more ancient language The first copies of what later was to become the New Testament, were transcribed in Greek, and so there is where this writer will go for some translations of the aforementioned words. We shall look to Strong’s Concordance as our source.

Rest - 1. epikeimai to rest upon
2. anesis relaxation or relief:--eased, liberty, rest.
3. anapano to repose by implication, to refresh take ease, refresh, (give, take) rest.
Wait - 1. prosdokao to watch to anticipate, in thought, hope or fear; by implication, to await: to be in expectation or looking for; tarry, wait for.
2. proskartereo to be earnest towards, to persevere, be constantly diligent, or to attend assiduously all the exercises, or, to adhere closely to as a servitor:--attend (give self) continually upon, wait on continually.
Fear - 1. tremo to "dread", "terrify" to "tremble" or fear:--be afraid, trembling.
2. phobeo to frighten, to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere:--be sore afraid, reverence.

So we have now defined the three main words of this particular verse in both English and ancient Greek. This begs the next question how does all of this relate? What is God saying to us? Let us look at the scripture again.

Wait patiently upon the Lord - Well if one looks at the above meanings, one finds that we are to watch in anticipation to with the knowledge of expectation of something that is to occur. How often do we, in this current world of instant gratification, want something done yesterday? To often would be my own thought, and yet here we see God saying to us, wait on me, I will not tarry, nor will I be late for when the time is right you will see my hand move mightily. This by extension, brings me to the concept of rest in his word. While it is not in the verse itself we find that it is implied that one while waiting should rest upon, as if leaning upon something strong. That would should cease from anxiety and worry, from mental exertions. This does not imply that one should live with his head in the sand or as the old saying goes “whistle while walking past the graveyard”. Certainly one should attend to one’s affairs in life. However excessively fretting over them does little if any good. Better that one should bring it to God, and allow Him to work upon them for you. Having the knowledge that God is control, frees one from the feeling of abject hopelessness. That there is an answer and He has it, and will deliver it in His time.

Fret not thyself. We should not fear (or to be irritable or worry) about things over which we have no control.# Nor should we give “reverence” to those that attain things in life, or are in of the themselves have little value in the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, does this mean that one should take one’s self and/or family and go live in a cave, or in object poverty? Certainly not! But it does mean to seek out God daily, as His blessings are much better than all of those that come out of this earth or are given and valued by mankind.

When reading this scripture this writer is reminded of the passages in Mark and Luke, wherein Jesus calms the raging storm. (Mark 4:39, Matthew 8:25-26), by saying “Peace and Be Still” What better or more apt words could one use to describe what God wants us to do? Jesus was saying to the raging winds , to cease, to stop. To the storm easing making it of little consequence. And to the waters he calmed them, as if addressing the fright of His disciples making their way smooth as to believe in Him. Jesus showed that their trust, was to be in His Word, and that it is put forth to accomplish anything to which he sets it out to do and will not return empty-handed. ( Isaiah 55:11)

When God asks us to trust in Him, He is asking us to, at times, to wait patiently without fear, but with calm endurance,# for Him to answer prayer. This trust can also be attributed to faith. To believe in the things that are not seen by the worldly eye (John 20:29, Romans 8:24, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 4:18, Hebrews 11:1,3). As Christians our trust must rely on faith and patience. As an old pastor of mine used to say, “sometimes it can be a long time between the amen and thank you” In Lamentations 3:25-26, the prophet Jeremiah speaks on waiting quietly for the Lord. Also in Exodus 14:13 we read that Moses commands the Children of Israel to : stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”

In conclusion and summation, let us focus our concerns on His Word and what it says and how it addresses our daily lives. Yes would should be diligent and not forsake our worldly affairs and obligations to our families, friends, work, and as well as ourselves, for God has given us a free hand in which it is necessary to do so. However, by placing Him first, by stopping and resting, waiting patiently, and fearing not, we can live our lives more peaceably not only with ourselves but with each other. Trust not in the world, but in God, and you can’t go wrong. (Proverbs 23:17, Matthew 10:28)

Editor’s note - I have taken the liberty of providing a link for all the quoted scripture

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:20


The grave and destruction can never be full, so
the eyes of man can never be satisfied.

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Psalm 10:3
Psalm 40:4
Proverbs 1:19
Proverbs 30:15-16
Ecclesiastes 1:8
Ecclesiastes 4:8
Isaiah 56:11
Jeremiah 6:13
Habakkuk 2:5
1 Timothy 3:3

Oremus Bible Browser

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:21

As is the fining pot for silver, and the furnace
for gold, so is every man according to his dignity.

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Psalm 51:6
Proverbs 8:11
Proverbs 17:3
Jeremiah 9:23
Luke 2:52
Romans 2:29
1 Corinthians 4:5


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Study 12 - The Federalist Papers Number 12

The Utility of the Union In Respect to Revenue
From the New York Packet.
Tuesday, November 27, 1787.


To the People of the State of New York:

THE effects of Union upon the commercial prosperity of the
States have been sufficiently delineated. Its tendency to promote
the interests of revenue will be the subject of our present inquiry.
The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by
all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most
productive source of national wealth,
and has accordingly become a
primary object of their political cares. By multiplying the means of
gratification, by promoting the introduction and circulation of the
precious metals, those darling objects of human avarice and
enterprise, it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of
industry, and to make them flow with greater activity and
copiousness. The assiduous merchant, the laborious husbandman, the
active mechanic, and the industrious manufacturer,--all orders of
men, look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to
this pleasing reward of their toils.
The often-agitated question
between agriculture and commerce has, from indubitable experience,
received a decision which has silenced the rivalship that once
subsisted between them, and has proved, to the satisfaction of their
friends, that their interests are intimately blended and interwoven.
It has been found in various countries that, in proportion as
commerce has flourished, land has risen in value. And how could it
have happened otherwise? Could that which procures a freer vent for
the products of the earth, which furnishes new incitements to the
cultivation of land, which is the most powerful instrument in
increasing the quantity of money in a state--could that, in fine,
which is the faithful handmaid of labor and industry, in every
shape, fail to augment that article, which is the prolific parent of
far the greatest part of the objects upon which they are exerted?
It is astonishing that so simple a truth should ever have had an
adversary; and it is one, among a multitude of proofs, how apt a
spirit of ill-informed jealousy, or of too great abstraction and
refinement, is to lead men astray from the plainest truths of reason
and conviction.
The ability of a country to pay taxes must always be
proportioned, in a great degree, to the quantity of money in
circulation, and to the celerity with which it circulates.
Commerce, contributing to both these objects, must of necessity
render the payment of taxes easier, and facilitate the requisite
supplies to the treasury.
The hereditary dominions of the Emperor
of Germany contain a great extent of fertile, cultivated, and
populous territory, a large proportion of which is situated in mild
and luxuriant climates. In some parts of this territory are to be
found the best gold and silver mines in Europe. And yet, from the
want of the fostering influence of commerce, that monarch can boast
but slender revenues. He has several times been compelled to owe
obligations to the pecuniary succors of other nations for the
preservation of his essential interests, and is unable, upon the
strength of his own resources, to sustain a long or continued war.
But it is not in this aspect of the subject alone that Union
will be seen to conduce to the purpose of revenue.
There are other
points of view, in which its influence will appear more immediate
and decisive. It is evident from the state of the country, from the
habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point
itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums
by direct taxation. Tax laws have in vain been multiplied; new
methods to enforce the collection have in vain been tried; the
public expectation has been uniformly disappointed, and the
treasuries of the States have remained empty. The popular system of
administration inherent in the nature of popular government,
coinciding with the real scarcity of money incident to a languid and
mutilated state of trade, has hitherto defeated every experiment for
extensive collections, and has at length taught the different
legislatures the folly of attempting them.

No person acquainted with what happens in other countries will
be surprised at this circumstance. In so opulent a nation as that
of Britain, where direct taxes from superior wealth must be much
more tolerable, and, from the vigor of the government, much more
practicable, than in America, far the greatest part of the national
revenue is derived from taxes of the indirect kind, from imposts,
and from excises. Duties on imported articles form a large branch
of this latter description.
In America, it is evident that we must a long time depend for
the means of revenue chiefly on such duties. In most parts of it,
excises must be confined within a narrow compass. The genius of the
people will ill brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of
excise laws. The pockets of the farmers, on the other hand, will
reluctantly yield but scanty supplies, in the unwelcome shape of
impositions on their houses and lands; and personal property is too
precarious and invisible a fund to be laid hold of in any other way
than by
the imperceptible agency of taxes on consumption.
If these remarks have any foundation, that state of things which
will best enable us to improve and extend so valuable a resource
must be best adapted to our political welfare. And it cannot admit
of a serious doubt, that this state of things must rest on the basis
of a general Union. As far as this would be conducive to the
interests of commerce, so far it must tend to the extension of the
revenue to be drawn from that source.
As far as it would contribute
to rendering regulations for the collection of the duties more
simple and efficacious, so far it must serve to answer the purposes
of making the same rate of duties more productive, and of putting it
into the power of the government to increase the rate without
prejudice to trade.
The relative situation of these States; the number of rivers
with which they are intersected, and of bays that wash there shores;
the facility of communication in every direction; the affinity of
language and manners; the familiar habits of intercourse; --all
these are circumstances that would conspire to render an illicit
trade between them a matter of little difficulty, and would insure
frequent evasions of the commercial regulations of each other. The
separate States or confederacies would be necessitated by mutual
jealousy to avoid the temptations to that kind of trade by the
lowness of their duties. The temper of our governments, for a long
time to come, would not permit those rigorous precautions by which
the European nations guard the avenues into their respective
countries, as well by land as by water; and which, even there, are
found insufficient obstacles to the adventurous stratagems of
In France, there is an army of patrols (as they are called)
constantly employed to secure their fiscal regulations against the
inroads of the dealers in contraband trade. Mr. Neckar computes the
number of these patrols at upwards of twenty thousand. This shows
the immense difficulty in preventing that species of traffic, where
there is an inland communication, and places in a strong light the
disadvantages with which the collection of duties in this country
would be encumbered, if by disunion the States should be placed in a
situation, with respect to each other, resembling that of France
with respect to her neighbors. The arbitrary and vexatious powers
with which the patrols are necessarily armed, would be intolerable
in a free country.
If, on the contrary, there be but one government pervading all
the States, there will be, as to the principal part of our commerce,
but ONE SIDE to guard--the ATLANTIC COAST. Vessels arriving directly
from foreign countries, laden with valuable cargoes, would rarely
choose to hazard themselves to the complicated and critical perils
which would attend attempts to unlade prior to their coming into
port. They would have to dread both the dangers of the coast, and
of detection, as well after as before their arrival at the places of
their final destination. An ordinary degree of vigilance would be
competent to the prevention of any material infractions upon the
rights of the revenue. A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed
at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made
useful sentinels of the laws. And the government having the same
interest to provide against violations everywhere, the co-operation
of its measures in each State would have a powerful tendency to
render them effectual. Here also we should preserve by Union, an
advantage which nature holds out to us, and which would be
relinquished by separation. The United States lie at a great
distance from Europe, and at a considerable distance from all other
places with which they would have extensive connections of foreign
trade. The passage from them to us, in a few hours, or in a single
night, as between the coasts of France and Britain, and of other
neighboring nations, would be impracticable. This is a prodigious
security against a direct contraband with foreign countries; but a
circuitous contraband to one State, through the medium of another,
would be both easy and safe. The difference between a direct
importation from abroad, and an indirect importation through the
channel of a neighboring State, in small parcels, according to time
and opportunity, with the additional facilities of inland
communication, must be palpable to every man of discernment.
It is therefore evident, that one national government would be
able, at much less expense, to extend the duties on imports, beyond
comparison, further than would be practicable to the States
separately, or to any partial confederacies. Hitherto, I believe,
it may safely be asserted, that these duties have not upon an
average exceeded in any State three per cent. In France they are
estimated to be about fifteen per cent., and in Britain they exceed
this proportion.1
There seems to be nothing to hinder their
being increased in this country to at least treble their present
amount. The single article of ardent spirits, under federal
regulation, might be made to furnish a considerable revenue. Upon a
ratio to the importation into this State, the whole quantity
imported into the United States may be estimated at four millions of
gallons; which, at a shilling per gallon, would produce two hundred
thousand pounds.2 That article would well bear this rate of duty;
and if it should tend to diminish the consumption of it, such an
effect would be equally favorable to the agriculture, to the
economy, to the morals, and to the health of the society. There is,
perhaps, nothing so much a subject of national extravagance as these
What will be the consequence, if we are not able to avail
ourselves of the resource in question in its full extent? A nation
cannot long exist without revenues. Destitute of this essential
support, it must resign its independence, and sink into the degraded
condition of a province. This is an extremity to which no
government will of choice accede. Revenue, therefore, must be had
at all events. In this country, if the principal part be not drawn
from commerce, it must fall with oppressive weight upon land. It
has been already intimated that excises, in their true
signification, are too little in unison with the feelings of the
people, to admit of great use being made of that mode of taxation;

nor, indeed, in the States where almost the sole employment is
agriculture, are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous
to permit very ample collections in that way. Personal estate (as
has been before remarked), from the difficulty in tracing it, cannot
be subjected to large contributions, by any other means than by
taxes on consumption. In populous cities, it may be enough the
subject of conjecture, to occasion the oppression of individuals,
without much aggregate benefit to the State; but beyond these
circles, it must, in a great measure, escape the eye and the hand of
the tax-gatherer. As the necessities of the State, nevertheless,
must be satisfied in some mode or other, the defect of other
resources must throw the principal weight of public burdens on the
possessors of land. And as, on the other hand, the wants of the
government can never obtain an adequate supply, unless all the
sources of revenue are open to its demands, the finances of the
community, under such embarrassments, cannot be put into a situation
consistent with its respectability or its security. Thus we shall
not even have the consolations of a full treasury, to atone for the
oppression of that valuable class of the citizens who are employed
in the cultivation of the soil. But public and private distress
will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert; and unite in
deploring the infatuation of those counsels which led to disunion.

1 If my memory be right they amount to twenty per cent.

2. Based on the current rate of exchange as of today (1 GBP=1.55563 USD), and without factoring in inflation and the distance in years between then and now, however thinking that rate has changed very little since such time, that 200 million pounds would translate into over 310 million USDs.  That would have been on just one such item "spirits" (alcohol).  

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:10

Thine own friend and thy father’s friend forsake
thou not: neither enter into thy brother’s house in
the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbor that
is near, than a brother far off.

For additional related scripture, click or copy/paste on the provided link

Job 6:14
Psalm 35:14
Proverb 17:17
Proverb 27:9
Proverb 18:24
Luke 10:30-37
Luke 11:5-8

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:5-6

5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
6 The wounds of a lover are faithful, and the
kisses of an enemy are pleasant. (a)

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2 Samuel 20:9
Proverbs 22:6, 15
Proverbs 28:23
Ecclesiastes 4:13
Matthew 26:49
Acts 10:34-35
Galatians 1:6-11
Galatians 2:14
1 Timothy 5:20

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(a) Editor’s note and thought - In the KJV the word “pleasant” is replaced by the word “deceitful“. This in it’s way would make more sense. However, I hold that the concept of an enemy kissing one, in as a “false” kiss, is more of an indication that only God can be of trust-worthiness. As such, His rebukes are more loving, than any kiss from any “friend”.

Upon looking up the word “pleasant” in Strong’s Concordance, one finds that there is no equivalent of that word in the Greek. (I use the Greek translations from time to time because it was written in Greek, before Latin, as the first Hebrew translations were in Greek). I then tried the word “pleasing” and found the below translation and definition;

authades ow-thad'-ace; self-pleasing, i.e. arrogant:--self-willed.

This seems to re-enforce the meaning of “pleasant” being used in a manner that infers a false pleasure and by extension a false friend.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:2

Let another man praise thee, and not thine
own mouth: a stranger, and not thine own lips.

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Proverbs 6:3
Proverbs 25:6,-7, 27
Matthew 23:12
Luke 14:7-11
2 Corinthians 10:12, 18
2 Corinthians 12:11
James 4:10
1 Peter 5:6

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Study 11 - The Federalist Papers Number 11

The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy

For the Independent Journal.

To the People of the State of New York:
THE importance of the Union, in a commercial light, is one of
those points about which there is least room to entertain a
difference of opinion, and which has, in fact, commanded the most
general assent of men who have any acquaintance with the subject.
This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries as
with each other.
There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the
adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of
America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the
maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too
great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of
their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength. Those
of them which have colonies in America look forward to what this
country is capable of becoming, with painful solicitude. They
foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from
the neighborhood of States, which have all the dispositions, and
would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful
Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy
of fostering divisions among us, and of depriving us, as far as
possible, of an ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. This would
answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their
navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of
clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness.
Did not prudence forbid the detail, it would not be difficult to
trace, by facts, the workings of this policy to the cabinets of
If we continue united, we may counteract a policy so unfriendly
to our prosperity in a variety of ways. By prohibitory regulations,
extending, at the same time, throughout the States, we may oblige
foreign countries to bid against each other, for the privileges of
our markets.
This assertion will not appear chimerical to those who
are able to appreciate the importance of the markets of three
millions of people--increasing in rapid progression, for the most
part exclusively addicted to agriculture, and likely from local
circumstances to remain so--to any manufacturing nation; and the
immense difference there would be to the trade and navigation of
such a nation, between a direct communication in its own ships, and
an indirect conveyance of its products and returns, to and from
America, in the ships of another country. Suppose, for instance, we
had a government in America, capable of excluding Great Britain
(with whom we have at present no treaty of commerce) from all our
ports; what would be the probable operation of this step upon her
politics? Would it not enable us to negotiate, with the fairest
prospect of success, for commercial privileges of the most valuable
and extensive kind, in the dominions of that kingdom? When these
questions have been asked, upon other occasions, they have received
a plausible, but not a solid or satisfactory answer. It has been
said that prohibitions on our part would produce no change in the
system of Britain, because she could prosecute her trade with us
through the medium of the Dutch, who would be her immediate
customers and paymasters for those articles which were wanted for
the supply of our markets. But would not her navigation be
materially injured by the loss of the important advantage of being
her own carrier in that trade? Would not the principal part of its
profits be intercepted by the Dutch, as a compensation for their
agency and risk? Would not the mere circumstance of freight
occasion a considerable deduction? Would not so circuitous an
intercourse facilitate the competitions of other nations, by
enhancing the price of British commodities in our markets, and by
transferring to other hands the management of this interesting
branch of the British commerce?
A mature consideration of the objects suggested by these
questions will justify a belief that the real disadvantages to
Britain from such a state of things, conspiring with the
pre-possessions of a great part of the nation in favor of the
American trade, and with the importunities of the West India
islands, would produce a relaxation in her present system, and would
let us into the enjoyment of privileges in the markets of those
islands elsewhere, from which our trade would derive the most
substantial benefits. Such a point gained from the British
government, and which could not be expected without an equivalent in
exemptions and immunities in our markets, would be likely to have a
correspondent effect on the conduct of other nations, who would not
be inclined to see themselves altogether supplanted in our trade.
A further resource for influencing the conduct of European
nations toward us, in this respect, would arise from the
establishment of a federal navy. There can be no doubt that the
continuance of the Union under an efficient government would put it
in our power, at a period not very distant, to create a navy which,
if it could not vie with those of the great maritime powers, would
at least be of respectable weight if thrown into the scale of either
of two contending parties.
This would be more peculiarly the case
in relation to operations in the West Indies. A few ships of the
line, sent opportunely to the reinforcement of either side, would
often be sufficient to decide the fate of a campaign, on the event
of which interests of the greatest magnitude were suspended. Our
position is, in this respect, a most commanding one. And if to this
consideration we add that of the usefulness of supplies from this
country, in the prosecution of military operations in the West
Indies, it will readily be perceived that a situation so favorable
would enable us to bargain with great advantage for commercial
privileges. A price would be set not only upon our friendship, but
upon our neutrality.
By a steady adherence to the Union we may
hope, erelong, to become the arbiter of Europe in America, and to be
able to incline the balance of European competitions in this part of
the world as our interest may dictate.

But in the reverse of this eligible situation, we shall discover
that the rivalships of the parts would make them checks upon each
other, and would frustrate all the tempting advantages which nature
has kindly placed within our reach. In a state so insignificant our
commerce would be a prey to the wanton intermeddlings of all nations
at war with each other; who, having nothing to fear from us, would
with little scruple or remorse, supply their wants by depredations
on our property as often as it fell in their way. The rights of
neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an
adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even
the privilege of being neutral.

Under a vigorous national government, the natural strength and
resources of the country, directed to a common interest, would
baffle all the combinations of European jealousy to restrain our
growth. This situation would even take away the motive to such
combinations, by inducing an impracticability of success. An active
commerce, an extensive navigation, and a flourishing marine would
then be the offspring of moral and physical necessity. We might
defy the little arts of the little politicians to control or vary
the irresistible and unchangeable course of nature.
But in a state of disunion, these combinations might exist and
might operate with success. It would be in the power of the
maritime nations, availing themselves of our universal impotence, to
prescribe the conditions of our political existence; and as they
have a common interest in being our carriers, and still more in
preventing our becoming theirs, they would in all probability
combine to embarrass our navigation in such a manner as would in
effect destroy it, and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE.
We should
then be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our
commodities, and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us to
enrich our enemies and persecutors. That unequaled spirit of
enterprise, which signalizes the genius of the American merchants
and navigators, and which is in itself an inexhaustible mine of
national wealth, would be stifled and lost, and poverty and disgrace
would overspread a country which, with wisdom, might make herself
the admiration and envy of the world.

There are rights of great moment to the trade of America which
are rights of the Union--I allude to the fisheries, to the navigation
of the Western lakes, and to that of the Mississippi. The
dissolution of the Confederacy would give room for delicate
questions concerning the future existence of these rights; which
the interest of more powerful partners would hardly fail to solve to
our disadvantage. The disposition of Spain with regard to the
Mississippi needs no comment. France and Britain are concerned with
us in the fisheries, and view them as of the utmost moment to their
navigation. They, of course, would hardly remain long indifferent
to that decided mastery, of which experience has shown us to be
possessed in this valuable branch of traffic, and by which we are
able to undersell those nations in their own markets. What more
natural than that they should be disposed to exclude from the lists
such dangerous competitors?
This branch of trade ought not to be considered as a partial
benefit. All the navigating States may, in different degrees,
advantageously participate in it, and under circumstances of a
greater extension of mercantile capital, would not be unlikely to do
it. As a nursery of seamen, it now is, or when time shall have more
nearly assimilated the principles of navigation in the several
States, will become, a universal resource. To the establishment of
a navy, it must be indispensable.
To this great national object, a NAVY, union will contribute in
various ways. Every institution will grow and flourish in
proportion to the quantity and extent of the means concentred
towards its formation and support. A navy of the United States, as
it would embrace the resources of all, is an object far less remote
than a navy of any single State or partial confederacy, which would
only embrace the resources of a single part
. It happens, indeed,
that different portions of confederated America possess each some
peculiar advantage for this essential establishment. The more
southern States furnish in greater abundance certain kinds of naval
stores--tar, pitch, and turpentine. Their wood for the construction
of ships is also of a more solid and lasting texture. The
difference in the duration of the ships of which the navy might be
composed, if chiefly constructed of Southern wood, would be of
signal importance, either in the view of naval strength or of
national economy. Some of the Southern and of the Middle States
yield a greater plenty of iron, and of better quality. Seamen must
chiefly be drawn from the Northern hive. The necessity of naval
protection to external or maritime commerce does not require a
particular elucidation, no more than the conduciveness of that
species of commerce to the prosperity of a navy.
An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will
advance the trade of each by an interchange of their respective
productions, not only for the supply of reciprocal wants at home,
but for exportation to foreign markets.
The veins of commerce in
every part will be replenished, and will acquire additional motion
and vigor from a free circulation of the commodities of every part.
Commercial enterprise will have much greater scope, from the
diversity in the productions of different States.
When the staple
of one fails from a bad harvest or unproductive crop, it can call to
its aid the staple of another. The variety, not less than the
value, of products for exportation contributes to the activity of
foreign commerce. It can be conducted upon much better terms with a
large number of materials of a given value than with a small number
of materials of the same value; arising from the competitions of
trade and from the fluctations of markets.
Particular articles may
be in great demand at certain periods, and unsalable at others; but
if there be a variety of articles, it can scarcely happen that they
should all be at one time in the latter predicament, and on this
account the operations of the merchant would be less liable to any
considerable obstruction or stagnation. The speculative trader will
at once perceive the force of these observations, and will
acknowledge that the aggregate balance of the commerce of the United
States would bid fair to be much more favorable than that of the
thirteen States without union or with partial unions.

It may perhaps be replied to this, that whether the States are
united or disunited, there would still be an intimate intercourse
between them which would answer the same ends; this intercourse
would be fettered, interrupted, and narrowed by a multiplicity of
causes, which in the course of these papers have been amply detailed.
A unity of commercial, as well as political, interests, can only
result from a unity of government.

There are other points of view in which this subject might be
placed, of a striking and animating kind. But they would lead us
too far into the regions of futurity, and would involve topics not
proper for a newspaper discussion. I shall briefly observe, that
our situation invites and our interests prompt us to aim at an
ascendant in the system of American affairs. The world may
politically, as well as geographically, be divided into four parts,
each having a distinct set of interests. Unhappily for the other
three, Europe, by her arms and by her negotiations, by force and by
fraud, has, in different degrees, extended her dominion over them
all. Africa, Asia, and America, have successively felt her
domination. The superiority she has long maintained has tempted her
to plume herself as the Mistress of the World, and to consider the
rest of mankind as created for her benefit. Men admired as profound
philosophers have, in direct terms, attributed to her inhabitants a
physical superiority, and have gravely asserted that all animals,
and with them the human species, degenerate in America--that even
dogs cease to bark after having breathed awhile in our
atmosphere. Facts have too long supported these arrogant
pretensions of the Europeans. It belongs to us to vindicate the
honor of the human race, and to teach that assuming brother,
moderation. Union will enable us to do it. Disunion will will add
another victim to his triumphs. Let Americans disdain to be the
instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States, bound
together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one
great American system, superior to the control of all transatlantic
force or influence, and able to dictate the terms of the connection
between the old and the new world!
``Recherches philosophiques sur les Americains.'' (Philosophical Research on the Americans.'')

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 27:1

Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for
thou knowest not what a day may bring

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Job 27:8
Psalm 37:2
Psalm 39:6
Psalm 52:7
Ecclesiastes 2:14-19
Isaiah 22:13
Isaiah 56:11-12
Matthew 6:34
Luke 12:19-21
James 4:13-16

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Study 10 - The Federalist Papers No. 10

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed
Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its
tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend
of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their
character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this
dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on
any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is
attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability,
injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have,
in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments
have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and
fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their
most specious declamations.
The valuable improvements made by the
American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and
modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an
unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually
obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected.
Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and
virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith,
and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too
unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of
rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not
according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party,
but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no
foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny
that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a
candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under
which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our
governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other
causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes;
and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of
public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed
from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly,
if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which
a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether
amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united
and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest,
adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and
aggregate interests of the community.
There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the
one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction:
the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its
existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions,
the same passions, and the same interests.
It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that
it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to
fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could
not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to
political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to
wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life,
because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be
unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is
at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As
long as the connection subsists between his reason and his
self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal
influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which
the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties
of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an
insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection
of these faculties is the first object of government. From the
protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property,
the possession of different degrees and kinds of property
immediately results; and from the influence of these on the
sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a
division of the society into different interests and parties.
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man;
and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of
activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society.
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning
government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of
practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending
for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions
whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in
turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual
animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress
each other than to co-operate for their common good.
So strong is
this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that
where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous
and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their
unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But
the most common and durable source of factions has been the various
and unequal distribution of property
. Those who hold and those who
are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society.
Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a
like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a
mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests,
grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into
different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The
regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the
principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of
party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the
No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his
interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably,
corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body
of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time;
yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so
many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of
single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of
citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but
advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law
proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the
creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other.
Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet the parties
are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous
party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction must be
expected to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and
in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? are
questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the
manufacturing classes, and probably by neither with a sole regard to
justice and the public good. The apportionment of taxes on the
various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require
the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative
act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a
predominant party to trample on the rules of justice
. Every
shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a
shilling saved to their own pockets.
It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to
adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to
the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the
helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all
without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which
will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may
find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.
The inference to which we are brought is, that the CAUSES of
faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in
the means of controlling its EFFECTS.

If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is
supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to
defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the
administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable
to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.

When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular
government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling
passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other
citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the
danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the
spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object
to which our inquiries are directed.
Let me add that it is the
great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued
from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be
recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.
By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of
two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a
majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having
such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their
number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect
schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be
suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious
motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found
to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose
their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that
is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.
From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure
democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of
citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can
admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction
. A common passion or
interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the
whole; a communication and concert result from the form of
government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to
sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is
that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and
contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal
security or the rights of property; and have in general been as
short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of
government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a
perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same
time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions,
their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of
representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises
the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in
which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both
the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from
the Union.
The two great points of difference between a democracy and a
republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the
latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest;
secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of
country, over which the latter may be extended.

The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to
refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the
medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern
the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of
justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial
Under such a regulation, it may well happen that
the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people,
will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the
people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the
effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local
prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption,
or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the
interests, of the people.
The question resulting is, whether small
or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper
guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of
the latter by two obvious considerations:
In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the
republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain
number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that,
however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number,
in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the
number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion
to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in
the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit
characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the
former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater
probability of a fit choice.
In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a
greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic,
it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with
success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried;
and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more
likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and
the most diffusive and established characters.
It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there
is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to
lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the
representatives too little acquainted with all their local
circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you
render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to
comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal
Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great
and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local
and particular to the State legislatures.

The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens
and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of
republican than of democratic government; and it is this
circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to
be dreaded in the former than in the latter. The smaller the
society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and
interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and
interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same
party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a
majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed,
the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of
oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of
parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of
the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other
citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more
difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to
act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be
remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or
dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust
in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.
Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a
republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of
faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,--is enjoyed by
the Union over the States composing it.
Does the advantage consist
in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and
virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and
schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation
of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite
endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a
greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being
able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the
increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase
this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles
opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an
unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the
Union gives it the most palpable advantage.
The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within
their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general
conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may
degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy;
but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must
secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A
rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal
division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project,
will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a
particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is
more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire
In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we
behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to
republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and
pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in
cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 26:11

As a dog turneth again to his own vomit, so a
fool turneth to his foolishness.

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Exodus 8:15
1 Samuel 25:25
Psalm 85:8
Jeremiah 23:13
John 8:34
Romans 6:20-23
2 Peter 2:18-22

Oremus Bible Browser

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Proverbs 26:23-28

23 As silver dross overlaid upon a potsherd, so are
burning lips, and an evil heart.
24 He that hateth, will counterfeit with his lips,
but in his heart he layeth up deceit.
25 Though he speak favorably, believe him not:
for there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Hatred may be covered by deceit: but the malice
thereof shall be discovered in the congregation.
27 He that diggeth a pit shall fall therein, and he
that rolleth a stone, it shall return unto him.
28 A false tongue hateth the afflicted, and a flattering
mouth causeth ruin..

For additional related scripture click or copy/paste on the provided link

Esther 7:10
Psalm 7:15
Psalm 28:3
Psalm 109:2
Psalm 120:3, 7
Proverbs 28:10
Ecclesiastes 10:8
Jeremiah 9:8
Matthew 12:34
Luke 6:45

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Further Examination on the Path of Succession

About a week ago I had posted in this blog, the cautioning to those that propose succession as the solution to our current political crisis. One would like to expound on some of the things that should need be thought through before embarking on such a course of action.

Part One - States Rights

The US Constitution (10th amendment) provides for the individual members of the Federal Union, aka the states, to maintain sovereignty and the right to do what it is thought best for the citizens that reside within it’s borders. That is to say, the voice of it’s people via their elected representatives to speak for them in both that state’s and the Federal legislature. The original intent of the US constitution had those states selecting the Senators who would thereby have the interests of said state first and foremost in mind. This is as it should still be, but as we know, isn’t how things are today.

So first the question is that lies in the way is that if succession were the route to be taken, (and possibly agreed upon by proponents of both ideologies) would the new constitution, be more like the Articles of Confederation or more resemble the intent of the original constitution?

Many of the Anti-Federalists (Patrick Henry I think was one of the more vocal ones), suggested that individual rights, and by extension states rights trumped any need for any form or creation of a Federal Union. Yet as we have seen so far in the readings of Hamilton et al, the very passions used in this argument were the very passions that the Federalist authors pointed out as being dangerous. By this it is meant that the human flaws and failings that are within each of us, would come out to fruition, aka, “me first and everyone else second”. Such a way of thinking would not be conducive to the effectual, governance of a unified body of states, but would, in all eventuality, degenerate into the norm, wherein even within the states the could be calls for succession by various counties, cites etc. if certain things did not go the way one group had hoped, thereby splitting the Confederacy of States into even smaller and smaller states. One need only look at the former republic of Yugoslavia, (the Balkans area) to get an idea of what could possibly happen under such a system of government. To further illustrate this point the examples of the Greek city/states as put forth by the Federalist authors should serve well the dangers of such a course of action.

Without the commitment on the part of the individual members, the states, to the obligations of a Federal Union, we will indeed descend into an “every man for himself” republic. This is not without a good Biblical warning as put forth in both Judges 17:6 and Proverbs 21:2

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes”
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.”

But for a moment let us say that such a course of action is indeed taken and states rights trump any form federal unity. Would each state be free to make trade, and treaty agreements? Could each state provide for the defense of her citizens? Could each state protect and/or guarantee the protection of the individual rights of its electorate? What would be the national norm for trade agreements between states? These are indeed heavy questions upon which to ponder.

I would only add here that I am a major supporter of states rights as put forth in the US Constitution and additionally, for states to take matters into their own hands when and ONLY when, the Federal government fails in its obligations. Hence, for example, my support for the Arizona Immigration Bill, which btw, mirrors the Federal Regulations almost to a “t”. Since the Feds have basically abandoned any hope or pretense thereof in the enforcement of law, thereby failing to do it’s prime duty, that of protecting it’s citizens, then it is indeed up to the state or states and their DUTY, to do what the Federal authority cannot or will not do.

Study 9 - The Federalist Papers No. 9

A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and
liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and
insurrection. It is impossible to read the history of the petty
republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror
and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually
agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they
were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of
tyranny and anarchy
. If they exhibit occasional calms, these only
serve as short-lived contrast to the furious storms that are to
succeed. If now and then intervals of felicity open to view, we
behold them with a mixture of regret, arising from the reflection
that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the
tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. If momentary rays of
glory break forth from the gloom, while they dazzle us with a
transient and fleeting brilliancy, they at the same time admonish us
to lament that the vices of government should pervert the direction
and tarnish the lustre of those bright talents and exalted
endowments for which the favored soils that produced them have been
so justly celebrated.
From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics
the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against
the forms of republican government, but against the very principles
of civil liberty
. They have decried all free government as
inconsistent with the order of society
, and have indulged themselves
in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans. Happily for
mankind, stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty, which
have flourished for ages, have, in a few glorious instances, refuted
their gloomy sophisms. And, I trust, America will be the broad and
solid foundation of other edifices,
not less magnificent, which will
be equally permanent monuments of their errors.

But it is not to be denied that the portraits they have sketched
of republican government were too just copies of the originals from
which they were taken. If it had been found impracticable to have
devised models of a more perfect structure, the enlightened friends
to liberty would have been obliged to abandon the cause of that
species of government as indefensible. The science of politics,
however, like most other sciences, has received great improvement.

The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which
were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients.
The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the
introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of
courts composed of judges holding their offices during good
behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by
deputies of their own election: these are wholly new discoveries
or have made their principal progress towards perfection in modern
times. They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences
of republican government may be retained and its imperfections
lessened or avoided. To this catalogue of circumstances that tend
to the amelioration of popular systems of civil government, I shall
venture, however novel it may appear to some, to add one more, on a
principle which has been made the foundation of an objection to the
new Constitution; I mean the ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which
such systems are to revolve, either in respect to the dimensions of
a single State or to the consolidation of several smaller States
into one great Confederacy. The latter is that which immediately
concerns the object under consideration. It will, however, be of
use to examine the principle in its application to a single State,
which shall be attended to in another place.
The utility of a Confederacy, as well to suppress faction and to
guard the internal tranquillity of States, as to increase their
external force and security, is in reality not a new idea. It has
been practiced upon in different countries and ages, and has
received the sanction of the most approved writers on the subject of
politics. The opponents of the plan proposed have, with great
assiduity, cited and circulated the observations of Montesquieu on
the necessity of a contracted territory for a republican government.
But they seem not to have been apprised of the sentiments of that
great man expressed in another part of his work, nor to have
adverted to the consequences of the principle to which they
subscribe with such ready acquiescence.
When Montesquieu recommends a small extent for republics, the
standards he had in view were of dimensions far short of the limits
of almost every one of these States. Neither Virginia,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, nor Georgia
can by any means be compared with the models from which he reasoned
and to which the terms of his description apply. If we therefore
take his ideas on this point as the criterion of truth, we shall be
driven to the alternative either of taking refuge at once in the
arms of monarchy, or of splitting ourselves into an infinity of
little, jealous, clashing, tumultuous commonwealths, the wretched
nurseries of unceasing discord, and the miserable objects of
universal pity or contempt.
Some of the writers who have come
forward on the other side of the question seem to have been aware of
the dilemma; and have even been bold enough to hint at the division
of the larger States as a desirable thing. Such an infatuated
policy, such a desperate expedient, might, by the multiplication of
petty offices, answer the views of men who possess not
qualifications to extend their influence beyond the narrow circles
of personal intrigue, but it could never promote the greatness or
happiness of the people of America.
Referring the examination of the principle itself to another
place, as has been already mentioned, it will be sufficient to
remark here that, in the sense of the author who has been most
emphatically quoted upon the occasion, it would only dictate a
reduction of the SIZE of the more considerable MEMBERS of the Union,
but would not militate against their being all comprehended in one
confederate government. And this is the true question, in the
discussion of which we are at present interested.
So far are the suggestions of Montesquieu from standing in
opposition to a general Union of the States, that he explicitly
treats of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC as the expedient for extending the
sphere of popular government, and reconciling the advantages of
monarchy with those of republicanism.

``It is very probable,'' (says he) ``that mankind would
have been obliged at length to live constantly under the government
of a single person, had they not contrived a kind of constitution
that has all the internal advantages of a republican, together with
the external force of a monarchical government. I mean a
``This form of government is a convention by which several
smaller STATES agree to become members of a larger ONE, which they
intend to form. It is a kind of assemblage of societies that
constitute a new one, capable of increasing, by means of new
associations, till they arrive to such a degree of power as to be
able to provide for the security of the united body.
``A republic of this kind, able to withstand an external force,
may support itself without any internal corruptions. The form of
this society prevents all manner of inconveniences.
``If a single member should attempt to usurp the supreme
authority, he could not be supposed to have an equal authority and
credit in all the confederate states. Were he to have too great
influence over one, this would alarm the rest. Were he to subdue a
part, that which would still remain free might oppose him with
forces independent of those which he had usurped and overpower him
before he could be settled in his usurpation.
``Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate
states the others are able to quell it. Should abuses creep into
one part, they are reformed by those that remain sound. The state
may be destroyed on one side, and not on the other; the confederacy
may be dissolved, and the confederates preserve their sovereignty.
``As this government is composed of small republics, it enjoys
the internal happiness of each; and with respect to its external
situation, it is possessed, by means of the association, of all the
advantages of large monarchies.''
I have thought it proper to quote at length these interesting
passages, because they contain a luminous abridgment of the
principal arguments in favor of the Union, and must effectually
remove the false impressions which a misapplication of other parts
of the work was calculated to make. They have, at the same time, an
intimate connection with the more immediate design of this paper;
which is, to illustrate the tendency of the Union to repress
domestic faction and insurrection.
A distinction, more subtle than accurate, has been raised
between a CONFEDERACY and a CONSOLIDATION of the States. The
essential characteristic of the first is said to be, the restriction
of its authority to the members in their collective capacities,
without reaching to the individuals of whom they are composed. It
is contended that the national council ought to have no concern with
any object of internal administration. An exact equality of
suffrage between the members has also been insisted upon as a
leading feature of a confederate government. These positions are,
in the main, arbitrary; they are supported neither by principle nor
precedent. It has indeed happened, that governments of this kind
have generally operated in the manner which the distinction taken
notice of, supposes to be inherent in their nature; but there have
been in most of them extensive exceptions to the practice, which
serve to prove, as far as example will go, that there is no absolute
rule on the subject. And it will be clearly shown in the course of
this investigation that as far as the principle contended for has
prevailed, it has been the cause of incurable disorder and
imbecility in the government.
The definition of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC seems simply to be ``an
assemblage of societies,'' or an association of two or more states
into one state. The extent, modifications, and objects of the
federal authority are mere matters of discretion. So long as the
separate organization of the members be not abolished; so long as
it exists, by a constitutional necessity, for local purposes;
though it should be in perfect subordination to the general
authority of the union, it would still be, in fact and in theory, an
association of states, or a confederacy. The proposed Constitution,
so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes
them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them
a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their
possession certain exclusive and very important portions of
sovereign power.
This fully corresponds, in every rational import
of the terms, with the idea of a federal government.
In the Lycian confederacy, which consisted of twenty-three
CITIES or republics, the largest were entitled to THREE votes in the
COMMON COUNCIL, those of the middle class to TWO, and the smallest
to ONE. The COMMON COUNCIL had the appointment of all the judges
and magistrates of the respective CITIES. This was certainly the
most, delicate species of interference in their internal
administration; for if there be any thing that seems exclusively
appropriated to the local jurisdictions, it is the appointment of
their own officers. Yet Montesquieu, speaking of this association,
says: ``Were I to give a model of an excellent Confederate
Republic, it would be that of Lycia.'' Thus we perceive that the
distinctions insisted upon were not within the contemplation of this
enlightened civilian; and we shall be led to conclude, that they
are the novel refinements of an erroneous theory.