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250

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.

The executive power is vested in a President, who is chos sen every fourth year by electors appointed in the methods prescribed by the constitutions or legislatures of the separate states. If no person have a majority of the votes of the electors, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for, the house of representatives shall choose the president by ballot. But in choosing the president, the votes must be taken by states, the representatives from each state having one vote. If no person have a majority of the votes of the whole number of electors for vice-president, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the senate shall choose the vice-president.

The president must be thirty-five years of age, and he may be re-elected as often as the people please. He is liable to be impeached and removed from office for misbehaviour. He is the commander in chief of the army and navy : and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, makes treaties, appoints judges, foreign ministers, and other officers. If the president disapprove of any bill presented to him, after having had the concurrence of both houses, he must give his objections to it; and if two thirds of each house still abide by their first vote, the bill passes into a law, notwithstanding his rejection of it.

Besides the general government, whose power for many purposes extends over the whole union, each state has a separate local government, whose jurisdiction is confined to the regulation of its own concerns. These separate governments are all republican, and consist generally of a governor, and two legislative branches, though the powers of the different departments are variously modelled in the several states.

Questions.--1. When did the people of the United States first form a government ? 2. What served to render this government deficient? 3. When did a convention meet to form our present consti. tution? 4. Under what advantages did the members deliberate? 5. How do the people of the United States exercise their power ? 6. What power has the legislative branch of government ? 7. Of what does this consist in the United States ? 8 Describe the senate. 9. House of representatives. 10. Where is the judicial power vested ? 11. The executive? 12. Describe the manner of choosing the president and vice-president. 13. What are some of the powers which the onstitution gives the president ? 14. What is said of the governments of the separate states? (Note. The principal subordinate officers in the executive department, are the secretaries of state, of the freasury, of war, and of the navy.]

EXCELLENCE OF OUR REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. 251

LESSON 113.

Excellence of our Republican Government

It is the just pride of the people of the United States, that they have attempted a mode of government which divests itself of all the support which is derived from the honest weaknesses and attachments of the human mind; which, disclaiming all alliance with reverence of ancient authority, or the deep-rooted habits of unthinking obedience, trusts itself, with no other attractions than its own moral worth and dignity, to the custody of our virtues. By subjecting legislative bodies to rule, and holding them under the restraints of those fundamental principles and enactments, which we call the constitution, we have given a new dignity and a higher duty to law, and realized the noble idea of a moral supremacy, clothed with power, to hold not only subjects of the government to a just performance of their various individual duties, but also the government itself, in all its depart ments, in its proper place and sphere.

In the brighter moments of our hopes for the future fortunes of our country, we may exclaim with Sir William Jones

What constitutes a state?
Not high raised battlement or laboured mound,

Thick wall or moated gate ;.
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned ,

Not bays and broad armed ports,
Where laughing at the storm rich navies ride;

Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.

No ! Men, high minded men,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued,

In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude;

Men,'who their duties know,
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain,

Prevent the long aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain :

These constitute a state;

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INTELLIGENCE OF THE PEOPLE.

And sovereign law, that state's collected will,

O'er thrones and globes elate, Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill. We may be told that this is a vision of a perfect common. wealth; and so it is :-still the hopes of patriots and sages, amid discouragement and defeat, gather about and rest upon it, with something of that gladness of heart, which the tired traveller feels, when he first descries the sun light upon the distant towers of the happy valley,

Although the dangers of American liberty may arise and press upon us from every side, to chastise our hopes and our confidence, the duty of its friends is not doubtful. They must labour to augment that moral force, to which its very existence is committed.

N. AM. Review,

LESSON 114.

Intelligence of the People a means of safety to the Govern

ment.

In a government like ours, where the supreme control depends on the opinion of the people, it is important certainly that this opinion should be enlightened. " There is no power on earth which sets up its throne in the spirit and souls of men, and in their hearts and imaginations, their assent also and belief, equal to learning and knowledge; and there is scarce one instance brought of a disastrous government, where learned men have been seated at the helm.” Now the most certain mode of making learned rulers, is to extend as far as possible the influence of learning to the people from whom the rulers are taken. But intelligence not only makes good rulers, it makes peaceable citizens. It causes men to have just views of the nature, value, and relations of things, the purposes of life, the tendency of actions, to be guided by purer motives, to forin nobler resolutions, and press forward to more desirable attainments. Laws will be obeyed, because they are understood and rightly estimated. Men will submit cheerfully to good government, and consult the peace of society, in proportion as they learn to

INTELLIGENCE OF THE PEOPLE:

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respect themselves, and value their own character. These things are the fruit of knowledge. But ignorance is a soil which gives exuberant growth to discords, delusions, and the dark treacheries of faction. While the people are ignorant, they are perpetually subject to false alarms, and violent pres judices, ready to give a loose rein to the wild storms of their passions, and prepared to yield themselves willing victims to the seductions of every ambitious, turbulent, treacherous, and faithless spirit, who may choose to enlist them in his cause. Knowledge will work upon this charm with a potent efficacy, lay the hideous spectres which it calls up, and preserve the soundness and growing strength of the social and political fabric. It should be considered the glory, and the duty of the

government, to aid in establishing morals and religion. The first step in accomplishing this purpose is to fix the principles of virtue, and impress the importance of religious practice, by enlarging the sphere of mental light, touching the springs of curiosity, opening the channels of inquiry, and pouring into the mind new materials of thought and reflection, All branches of intellectual improvement will lead to moral goodness. The mind, which is taught to expatiate throughout the works of God, to ascend to the heavenly worlds and find him there, to go into the deep secrets of nature and find him there, to examine the wonders of its own structure, and look abroad into the moral constitution of things, and perceive the hand of an invisible, Almighty Being, giving laws to the whole, will be impressed with a sense of its own dependence, and feel something of the kindling flame of devotion. It is not in human nature to resist it. And so the man who begins to study the organization of society, the mutual relations and dependencies of its parts, its objects, and the duties it imposes on those who enjoy its in nefits, will soon be made to respect its institutions, value its privileges, and practise the moral virtues, in which its very existence consists. The more extensively these inquiries are encouraged, and these principles inculcated, in the elements of education, the greater will be the certainty of moral elevation of character, and the brighter the prospects of a virtuous community. In regard to religion, ignorance is its deadliest bane. It gathers the clouds of prejudice from all the dark corners of the mind, and causes them to brood

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THE GOVERNMENT OF ENGLAND.

over the understanding, and too often the heart, with a dismal, chilling influence. It gives perpetuity to errer, defies the weapons of argument and reason,

and is impassive even to the keen sword of eternal truth. To bring into salutary action these two great instruments of human happiness, morals and religion, nothing is of so much importance, as to multiply the facilities of education, and quicken the spirit of enlightened inquiry.

Through the medium of education the government may give a stronger impulse to the arts, and help to build up the empire of the sciences. Before men can invent, or make profound discoveries, they must be taught to think. Savages never advance a step farther in inventions and discoveries, than they are compelled by their wants. The external comforts of civilized life depend on the useful arts, which an improved state of the intellect has brought to light. In the sciences, and in literature, we have a vast uncultivated field before us. In the arts of traffic, and the mysteries of gain, we may perhaps be contented with the skill we possess. But to be contented with our progress in the sciences and literature, and all those attainments, which chiefly dignify and adorn human nature, would argue an obtuseness and apathy altogether unworthy of a people, who are blessed with so many political, civil, and local advantages of various kinds, as the inhabitants of the United States.

NORTH AMERICAN Review. Questions.-1. What are some of the advantages of knowledge with regard to rulers and the people? 2. What are some of the effects of ignorance ? 3. How may government aid in establishing morals and religion? 4. How does intellectual improvement promote devotional feelings? 5. What will be the effect of studying the organization of society ? 6. What is the effect of ignorance in regard to religion ?

LESSON 115.

The Government of England. The government of England, which has sometimes been called a mixed government, sometimes a limited monarchy, is formed by a combination of the three regular species of

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