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New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia. By the recommendation of this body, a Convention was appointed to be held, in the succeeding May, in Philadelphia, for the purpose of forming a constitution. This august body met May 9, 1787. Mr. Madison was one of its members, and contributed largely to the successful execution of its great trust. The constitution met with strenuous opposition. To explain and defend it, the essays, since collected in the volume called The Federalist, were written by Messrs. Madison, Hamilton and Jay. These masterly papers had great influence on the public mind. They now form a standard commentary on the constitution.
In Virginia, the adoption of the new constitution was opposed, with great ability and zeal, by several eminent men, and particularly by the eloquent Patrick Henry. But Mr. Madison, aided by John Marshall, Edmund Pendleton and others, triumphed over all opposition, and the constitution was adopted by a majority of only eight votes. Virginia was the ninth State which ratified the constitution, and the new government, according to a provision of the instrument itself, immediately went into operation.
Mr. Madison was elected a member of the House of Representatives, in the first Congress, under the constitution. He had a large share in the important measures which were adopted at the commencement of the government. He became attached to the party which was early formed by Mr. Jefferson. At the close of Washington's administration, Mr. Madison retired from Congress, and was again elected a member of the Legislature of Virginia. Here he distinguished himself, by the resolutions which he introduced, in opposition to the alien and sedition laws, and which have been often referred to by politicians, as teaching the doctrine, since become so famous under the name of nullification. Mr. Adams shows, that Mr. Jefferson was the secret mover in all these measures; and he intimates, that Mr. Jefferson's situation, as an aspirant to the Presidency, induced bim to foment opposition to the then existing administration.
When Mr. Jefferson became President, in 1801, Mr. Madison was Secretary of State, and was the chosen, zealous coadjutor of the President, in all the great measures of his administration. On the retirement of Mr. Jefferson, in 1809, Mr. Madison became his successor, and for eight years he
of his age.
administered the government. During his administration, the war with Great Britain occurred. Mr. Adams enters at some length into an exposition of the causes of this war. presses no opinion respecting the policy or necessity of the contest; though it is evident, that he approves it as inevitable, while he intimates, that the principle for which the war was declared, the protection of our maritime rights, was left undetermined by the peace, and may again be the occasion of war.
In 1817, Mr. Madison retired to private life, and remained till bis death, at his seat at Montpelier, Virginia, the object of increasing respect by his countrymen. In 1829, he was a member of a Convention for revising the constitution of Virginia, in which he took an active part, and made an able speech. He succeeded Mr. Jefferson as rector of the University of Virginia. He was also the president of an Agricultural Society in the county where he resided, and delivered an address, which, says Mr. Adams, “the practical farmer and the classical scholar may read with equal profit and delight.”
On the 21st of June, 1836, Mr. Madison died, in the eightysixth year
“ His earthly part,” says Mr. Adams, “supk, without a struggle, in the grave, and a spirit, bright as the sera phim that surround the throne of omnipotence, ascended to the bosom of his God.” This is one of those cases, in which Mr. Adams' fondness for a rhetorical flourish outruns his sober judgment. We wish to intimate no opinion respecting Mr. Madison's spiritual state, but we object to the use of such language, in reference to any human being.
Mr. Adams closes with some eloquent remarks on the value of the constitution, and a fervid exhortation to his countrymen to love and preserve it.
An excellent though brief sketch of the character and services of Mr. Madison was given by Mr. Adams himself, in the House of Representatives, when the death of Mr. M. was announced to that body:
“ It is not without some hesitation and diffidence, that I have risen, in my own behalf, and in that of my colleagues upon this foor, and of our common constituents, to join our voice, at once of mourning and of exultation, at the event announced to both Houses of Congress by the message from the President of the United States,-of mourning at the bereavement which has befallen our common country by the decease of one of her most illustrious sons,—of exultation at the spectacle afforded to the observation of the civilized world, and for the emulation of after times, by the close of a life of usefulness and of glory, after forty years of service in trusts of the highest dignity and splendor that a confiding country could bestow, succeeded by twenty years of retirement and private life, not inferior, in the estimation of the virtuous and the wise, to the honors of the highest station that ambition can ever attain.
“Of the public life of James Madison, what could I say, that is not deeply impressed upon the memory and upon the heart of every one within the sound of my voice? Of his private life, what but must meet an echoing shout of applause from every voice within this ball? Is it not, in a preëminent degree, by emanations from bis mind, that we are assembled bere as the representatives of the people and States of this Union ? Is it pot transcendently by his exertions, that we all address each other here by the endearing appellation of countrymen and fellow-citizens? Of that band of benefactors of the human race,-the founders of the constitution of the United States, James Madison is the last who has gone to his reward. Their glorious work bas survived them all. They have transmitted the precious bond of union to us, now entirely a succeeding generation to them. May it never cease to be a voice of admonition to us, of our duty to transmit the inheritance unimpaired to our children of the rising age.”
It is said, that “ Mr. Madison lest ready for the press, to which it will forthwith be given, a report of the proceedings of the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution, taken at the time, with notes, &c., together with a compendious history of the events connected with that most important era of our national history. The work, it is said, will make two large octavo volumes, and will be published simultaneously in this country and in England.* of the importance of such a work, it were superfluous to speak. No work ever went from the press, that will possess so high a political interest,—no one which will be so essential to the library of every American politician. The correspondence and other writings of the American sage will be given to the public, from time to time, and will be sought for, we venture to say, with an interest and an avidity beyond any political publication that has ever yet been presented to the country.”
Since this article was prepared, this work has been offered to Congress, by whom it will probably be purchased.
DEWEY'S TRAVELS IN EUROPE.
The Old World and the New; or a Journal of Reflections
and Observations made on a Tour in Europe. By the Rev. Orville Dewey. In two volumes. pp. 262 and 330. New-York. 1836.
This book has a somewhat too comprehensive title ; for the Old World, here alluded to, refers to Europe only. But the work itself is interesting. It does not profess to impart much statistical information concerning the countries visited, nor does it venture to pronounce sentence decisively on character and manners. A traveller, who passes hastily through several countries, cannot be qualified to describe them. He can do little more, towards forming a judgment of national character, than to observe facts, make careful inquiries, and faithfully record the results, with a very limited indulgence of the propensity to draw inferences and state broad generalizations.
Mr. Dewey visited England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France. He gives a lively narrative of his journey, without much minute detail; but his book is mainly occupied by reflections, suggested by the objects which he saw, as con). pared or contrasted with the state of things in our own country. These reflections are generally judicious and instructive. The spirit of the book is kind, and the style is pleasant, with occasional passages of much beauty. A little revision would inprove the diction. On one page (181, vol. I.), the word very occurs eight times.
We will now reser to a few of the points, on which Mr. Dewey utters opinions. Our notices must be brief and cursory.
Mr. Dewey devotes a number of pages to remarks respecting the Established Church in England and the Dissenters. He speaks, in a proper tone, of the scorn and injustice with which the Dissenters are treated, and of the proud, cold, indolent and mercenary spirit which the Establishment has tended to engender among her clergy. He thinks, that the Dissenters will succeed in their resolute endeavors to be relieved from their
burdens. He would not abolish the tithes, but would distribute them equally among all the religious sects in the country, in proportion to their numbers. This would be a just measure, viewing it in the abstract, because the tithes and other church revenues were originally intended as a fund for the support of religion, and, as must be presumed, were meant for the benefit of the whole community. A large part of the fund belonged, at first, to the Catholics; and the Established Church can have no claim to it, except that which is derived from the law. The same power, which has deprived the Catholics of ecclesiastical revenues, and given them to the Episcopal Church, can allot a portion of them to the Dissenters. ' As the Established Church contains a minority of all the inhabitants of the British islands, including the Catholics, it is a flagrant injustice, that she should enjoy the exclusive benefit of the ecclesiastical revenues, and that all the other members of the community should be taxed for her support. There is, however, no probability, that such a distribution will be made; and we hope that it will not,—for it would be an injury to the dissenting churches. There is more reason to expect, that the payment of tithes will become so odious, that they cannot be collected. This has, for some time, been the case in some parts of Ireland. The wisest plan, if it were practicable, might be, to allow the proprietors of tithable property to purchase the tithes at a fair value. This measure, which has been adopted, to some extent, in Ireland, would at once put an end to tithes ; and the funds thus obtained might be appropriated to the benefit of the Episcopal Church. We suppose, that the Dissenters would not object to this arrangement, provided that all their other grievances were removed. The question is involved in much difficulty; and it will not be as easy to manage it as we in this country may suppose. We hope to receive, from some of our correspondents in England, precise information on the subject.
Mr. Dewey speaks of the observance of the Sabbath on the continent of Europe. His remarks are, we believe, too favorable, though they may be true of those parts of Germany and Switzerland, which he had seen when he wrote the following paragraph :
“ The Sabbath, all over the continent of Europe, it is well known, is partly a holyday. I confess, that I was extremely desirous of observing what was the character and effect of this holyday-what VOL. II.-NO. V.