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in issuing it from the press, - there could be little scope for originality in a work of which the essential value must depend on the fidelity with which the provisions of the Constitution, the legislative enactments for giving it effect, and the judicial construction which both have received, are stated and explained.” The same remark may be repeated in reference to the present publication, and a similar disclaimer made as to its pretensions to originality. On the
present occasion the author has again “implicitly followed those guides, whose decisions are obligatory and conclusive, upon such points as have been definitively settled” by judgments of the Supreme Courts of the United States; while "upon questions which have arisen in public discussion, but have neither been presented for judicial determination, nor received an approved practical construction from the other branches of the government, he has had recourse to those' elementary writers whose opinions are acknowledged to possess the greatest weight, either from their intrinsic value, or their conformity with the general doctrines of the authoritative expounders of the Constitution ; and in the absence of both authority and disquisition, he has ventured to rely on his own reasonings, and has advanced his own opinions so far only as he conceives them to be confirmed by undeniable principles, or established by analogous cases."
The remaining sources drawn from on that occa. sion, have been resorted to again ; and he now re
peats the acknowledgment of his obligations, not only to the illustrious triumvirate whose combined labours were bestowed on the “ FEDERALIST,” to Chief-justice Marshall, and to Chancellor Kent, but also to Mr. Rawle's “ View of the Constitution," and to the elaborate and voluminous 6 Commentaries” of the learned, ingenious, and indefatigable Mr. Justice Story. The same observation may be repeated as to the different views taken in this work, as well as in its precursor, from those exhibited in the elementary treatises of the two former ; with regard, in the one case, to the supremacy, and, in the other, to the
perpetual obligation of the Federal Constitution. On both these important points the author still adheres to principles more favourable, as he believes, to the powers and stability of the National Government, He did not, however, at that time, nor does he now, venture to differ from such eminent jurists, without being supported by the opinions of some of the most distinguished statesmen of the day of different parties-by the author of the celebrated Proclamation of President Jackson against the anti-federal proceedings in South Carolina, and the speeches of Mr. Webster in vindication of its doctrines; nor without being sanctioned by the judicial authority of the late chief-justice-expressly upon one of the points in question, and virtually upon the other, by his affirmance of principles which it involves, and by which its decision must eventually be governed.
In again referring to the venerated name of Chiefjustice MARSHALL, the author can but reiterate his former wish to be “understood, on this and all other occasions, as adopting his individual opinions, not less from deference to their official authority, than from the conviction wrought by the luminous and profound reasonings by which they are elucidated and supported. As this eminent and revered judge has himself declared it auspicious to the Constitution and to the country that the new government found such able advocates and interpreters as the authors of · THE FEDERALIST, so it may be regarded as one of the most signal advantages attending its career, that its principles should have been developed and reduced to practice under a judicial administration so admirably qualified, in every respect, to expound them truly, and firmly to sustain them.” Since this feeble tribute to his wisdom and virtues, this great judicial magistrate has been summoned to the bar of a higher than any earthly tribunal, there to receive, we may be certain, that justice, tempered with
mercy, which was the exemplar of his own administration ; and to obtain, as we may hope, from the favour of his God, the reward due to his public services and private worth. There needs no monument to perpetuate the memory of his virtues but the record of his services. These, too, may serve as the fairest monument of the great political party of which he was the ornament and the boast. But if to designate the spot of earth consecrated to his remains a tablet be required, let it be as simple and massive as was his mind, and let it be inscribed, “HERE LIES THE LAST OF THE FEDERALISTS.
Since the period referred to, the statesman to whom the work was dedicated--the last surviving member of that august assembly that formed the Constitution, and sole remaining luminary of that bright constellation of genius and talent, which, in vindicating that instrument from the objections of its first assailants, succeeded in recommending it to the adoption of the people; he who, in discharging the highest duties of its administration, proved the stability and excellence of the Constitution in war as well as in peace, and determined the experiment in favour of Republican institutions and the right of selfgovernment; and, in his retirement, raised a warning voice against heresies in the construction of the national compact, which, for a moment, threatened to overthrow it-has also disappeared from among us, full of years and honours. The enumeration of such services recalls the name of Madison ; and great as were those services, honoured as was that name, the brightest glory that attends them both springs from the association of his genius, his learning, and his labours, with those of his once kindred spirits, HamILTON and Jay. “Vita enim mortuorum, vi unita fortior, in memoria vivorum est posita."
Morristown, N.J. Ist May, 1843.