David J. (David Josiah) Brewer.

Crowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) online

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man, which regardeth not what he suffers, but how well he doth
suffer.* Sedulius defineth death to be the gate, by which lieth
the straight way unto our reign and kingdom. Basilius, who as
in name, so both in virtue and learning, was great, thus he exhort-
eth us : " O man, saith he, shrink not to withstand your adver-
saries, to suffer labors; abhor not death, for it destroys not, nor
makes an end of you, but it is the beginning and occasion of
life. Nor death is the destruction of all things, but a departing,
and a translation unto honors.* And St. Hierom, the strong and
stout champion of Almighty God, saith, declaring this saying of
holy Job, "the day of death is better than the day of birth,* that
is, saith he, because either that by death it is declared what we
are, or else because our birth doth bind our liberty of the soul
with the body, and death do loose it.*
4 — 15


(From a Sermon Preserved in Strype's < Memorials >)

THESE two may stand both well together; that we as private
persons may forgive all such as have trespassed against us
with all our hearty and yet that the public ministers of God
may see a redress of the same trespasses that we have forgiven.
For my forgiveness concerns only mine own person, but I cannot
forgive the punishment and correction that by God's ordinance
is to be ministered by the superior power. For in so much as
the same trespass, which I do forgive, may be the maintenance
of vice, not only of the offender, but also of others taking evil
example thereby, it lies not in me to forgive the same. For so
should I enterprise in the office of another, which by the ordi-
nance of God be deputed to the same. Yea, and that such jus-
tice may be ministered to the abolishment of vice and sin, I
may, yea and rather as the cause shall require I am bound to
make the relation to the superior powers, of the enormities and
trespasses done to me and others; and being sorry that I should
have cause so to do, seek the reformation of such evil doers, not
as desirous of vengeance, but of their amendment of their lives.
And yet I may not the more cruelly persecute the matter, be-
cause the offense is peradventure done towards me; but I am to
handle it as if it were done to any other, only for the use of
the extirpation of sin, the maintenance of justice and quietness;
which may right well stand with the ferventness of charity, as
the Scripture testifieth. Non oderis fratrem tuum in corde tuo,
sed publice argue eiint, lie habeas super illo peccatuni. Lev. xix.
So that this may stand with charity, and also the forgiveness
that Christ requireth of every one of us.

And yet in this doing, I must forgive him with all my heart,
as much as lies in me; I must be sorry, that sin should have so
much rule in him. I must pray to God to give him repentance
for his misdeeds; I must desire God, that for Christ's sake he will
not impute the sin unto him, being truly repentant, and so to
strengthen him in grace, that he fall not again so dangerously.
I think I were no true Christian man, if I should not thus do.
And what other thing is this, that as much as lieth in me, with
all my heart to remit the trespass ? But I may by the laws


require all that is due unto me of right. And as for the pun-
ishment and correction, it is not in my power to enterprise
therein; but that only belongeth to the superior powers, to
whom, if the grievousness of the cause shall require by the com-
mandment, which willeth us to take away the evil from among
us, we ought to show the offense and complain thereof. For he
would not that we should take away the evil, but after a just
and lawful means, which is only, by the ordinance of God, to
show the same to the superior powers, that they may take an
order in it, according to God's judgment and justice.



(iLi,iAM H. Crawford was one of the candidates for President of
the United States in a contest which resulted in a reconstruc-
tion of parties and the evolution of an ultimately disastrous
sectionalism. He had been chosen to fill an unexpired term in the
United States Senate in 1807; had been re-elected in 181 1; had been
sent as Minister to France in 1813, and in 1816 had succeeded Alex-
ander James Dallas as Secretary of the Treasury, a post he filled
throughout the eight years of Monroe's two administrations, ending
March 4th, 1825. During his service in the Senate he had taken a lead-
ing part, and had been in two duels, in one of which his opponent had
fallen, while in the other he had himself been wounded. During the
"era of good feeling" under Monroe, when old party lines had been
practically effaced, there had been growing up a feeling that the Presi-
dency should go to some State other than Virginia, which had been hon-
ored with it during thirty-two years out of thirty-six. Crawford, of
Georgia, being a native of Virginia and a member of Monroe's cabinet,
was the favorite of the Virginia party and became the nominee of the
congressional caucus. But Jackson, of Tennessee ; Clay, of Kentucky,
and John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, all remained in the field as
Republican candidates in spite of the caucus. Crawford received the
electoral votes of Virginia and Georgia, and enough "scattering"
to make 41, while Jackson received 99, Adams 84, and Clay 37.
This threw the election into the House where the election of Adams,
by the vote of Clay in the Kentucky delegation, brought about
the new division of parties into Whigs and Democrats. After this
contest Mr. Crawford retired from national politics, being in very
poor he^th ; he served, however, as Criminal Judge in Georgia from
1828 to 1 83 1. He was born in Amherst County, Virginia, February
24th, 1772, and died in Elbert County, Georgia, September 15th, 1834.





(From a Speech in the United States Senate, February, nth, 181 2, on the Bank

of the United States)

WHEN I had the honor of addressing the Senate before I
questioned the authority of the State governments to cre-
ate banks, I then stated, and I again explicitly state, that
it is with reluctance that I have felt it my duty to make any
inquiry into the constitutional right of the State governments to
incorporate banks. The State legislatures ought to have recol-
lected the Spanish proverb, which says that those who live in
glass houses ought not to throw stones. Before they undertook
to question the constitutional authority of Congress, they ought
to have thoroughly examined the foundation upon which their
own right rested. The honorable gentleman from Virginia [Mr.
Giles] says that the construction which I have given to that part
of the Constitution which prohibits the States from emitting bills
of credit would apply equally to promissory notes given by one
individual to another under the laws of a State, as to a bank bill.
Permit me to inquire of that gentleman whether he ever saw a
law authorizing one man to give another his promissory note ?
He may search the pandects of Justinian; he may turn over the
leaves of the musty volumes written upon the common law, from
the days of Bracton and Fleta down to the present day, and his
search will be in vain. For the right to make contracts, the
right to give promissory notes, is antecedent to, and independent
of all municipal law. The gentleman will find laws and deci-
sions in abundance, regulating the effect of indorsements and
other collateral circumstances, and prescribing the manner of en-
forcing the payment of promissory notes, but he will never find
a law giving the right to execute the promissory note. But it is
said that the bills of credit, which the States are prohibited from
emittine, must be bills of credit emitted on the credit of the
State. If this distinction should be well founded, many of the
State banks are still subject to the charge of unconstitutionality,
because in many of them the States are directly interested, and
wherever that is the case, their bank bills are bills of credit
emitted on the credit of the State. But the correctness of this
distinction may well be denied, because the restriction is as gen-


eral as it could possibly be made. But it is said that this re-
striction applies only to bills of credit which are made a legal
tender in the payment of debts; that bills of credit, designated
in the Constitution, are ex vi termini a legal tender. For the
correctness of this exposition, an appeal is made to the restric-
tion which immediately follows it, which restrains the right of
the States to make anything but gold and silver a legal tender
in the payment of debts. It appears to me that the latter re-
striction excludes most emphatically the construction contended
for. If the States be prohibited from emitting bills of credit, it
would have been, to say the least of it, wholly nugatory to say
they should not make them a legal tender. If the bills be not
emitted, it is impossible that they can be made a legal tender.
To suppose that the restriction upon the right of the States to
make anything but gold and silver legal tender has any connec-
tion with or influence upon the restriction to emit bills of credit
is as absurd as to suppose that the Decalogue, after having de-
clared that ^Hhou shalt do no murder,* should have added, but,
if you will murder, you shall not rob and strike the dead. The
construction of the restraint upon the right to make anything
but gold or silver a tender is that they shall not make specific
articles, as tobacco or cotton, a tender, as was the case in some
of the States.

But it is said that the history of the States will show that the
bills of credit specified in the Constitution were those only which
were a legal tender in the payment of debts. Let us examine
this point, according to the rule of construction applied to another
clause in the Constitution by a large majority of both houses of
Congress during the present session. Another clause in the Con-
stitution gives Congress the power to admit new States into the
Union under two limitations: ist. That no new State shall be
formed within the limits of any State without the consent of the
State; and, 2d. That no new State should be formed by the
junction of two or more States without the consent of such
States, and also of Congress. These limitations prove that the
formation of new States, within the limits of the United States,
was in view of the convention at the time that this clause was
adopted; and the subsequent clause, which gives Congress the
power to make rules for the government of its Territories, proves
that these Territories were at that moment under consideration.
In addition to these reasons for believing that the framers of the


Constitution had no idea of forming new States, beyond the
limits of the United States, those who were opposed to the ad-
mission of Orleans as a State contended that the history of the
United States proves that the power to erect new States and
admit them into the Union was intended to be confined to new
States within the limits of the United States at the formation of
the Constitution, and that a different construction would dispar-
age the rights of the original States, and, of course, be a viola-
tion of the Constitution. What reply did the majority of Congress
give to this train of reasoning ? They said that the right to ad-
mit new States cannot be subject to any other limitations or re-
strictions than those which are contained in the clause which
gives the right, and as there is no restriction upon the right to
erect new States without the then limits of the United States,
Congress has an unlimited right to erect and admit them into
the Union. Let us apply the same rule of construction to the
restriction of the right of the States to emit bills of credit. The
restriction is a general one; it has no exceptions, and every
attempt to make exceptions ought to be repelled by the answer
which was given to those who opposed the right of Congress to
admit the Territory of Orleans into the Union as a State. The
construction I have contended for gains additional weight when
we consider the restriction which immediately precedes that un-
der consideration : " No State shall coin money, emit bills of
credit, etc.'* Bills of credit are but the representatives of money.
The Constitution gives Congress the right to coin money, and to
regulate its value. It takes from the States the right to coin
money and to emit bills of credit. Why give to Congress the
right to coin money and regulate its value ? Because the inter-
est of the Nation requires that the current coin of the Nation
should be uniform both as to its species and v^lue. If this be
the true reason why the right of coining money and fixing its
value was given to Congress, does not the right to issue that
which is to be the representative of this coin; which, in fact, is
to usurp its place; which is to be the real currency of the
Nation, necessarily belong to Congress ? Does not *;he right to
create a bank, which shall issue this representative <)f money,
cot-e within the same reason ? I think it does.

To the fervid imagination of my friend from Kentucky [Mr.
Clay], this power to create a bank appears to be more terrific
than was the lever of Archimedes to the frightened imagination


of the Romans, when they beheld their galleys suddenly lifted
up and whirled about in the air, and in a moment plunged into
the bosom of the ocean. Are these apprehensions founded in rea-
son, or are they the chimeras of a fervid and perturbed imagina-
tion ? What limitation does the Constitution contain upon the
power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, duties, and excises ? None
but that they shall be uniform, which is no limitation of the amount
which they can lay and collect. What limitation does it contain upon
the power to raise and support armies ? None other than that ap-
propriations shall not be made for a longer term than two years.
What restriction is to be found in it upon the right to provide
and maintain a navy ? None. What upon the right to declare
war and make peace ? None, none. Thus the Constitution gives
to the Government of the United States unlimited power over
your purses — unlimited power to raise armies and provide navies
— unlimited power to make war and peace, and you are alarmed;
you are terrified at the power to create a bank to aid it in the
management of its fiscal operations. Sir, nothing short of my
most profound respect for honorable gentlemen, who have fright-
ened themselves with this bugbear, could induce me to treat the
subject seriously. Gentlemen have said that they are alarmed at
the exercise of this power, and I am bound to believe them. Sir,
after giving Congress the right to make war and peace; the
right to impose taxes, imposts, duties, and excises, ad libitum;
the right to raise and support armies without restriction as to
number or term of service; the right to provide and maintain a
navy without a limitation, I cannot bring myself to tremble at
the exercise of a power incidental to only one of these tremen-
dous grants of power.



>RANCESCo Crispi was born at Ribera, in Sicily, October 4th,
1819. He began his public career as a major under Gari-
baldi, with whom he served at Calatafimi in i860, and a year
later he was elected from Palermo to the first Italian Parliament. In
1876 he became President of the Chamber of Deputies, and in 1877
Minister of the Interior, an office he held for a single year. He be-
came Prime Minister of Italy in 1887, holding the position until 1891,
and again from 1893 to 1896. The Italy of his later public life was so
heavily taxed and the restrictions on the industrial and intellectual ac-
tivities of its people w =^re so great, as a result of the attempt to keep up
a display of militancy and give it a place with the "great powers," that
the people showed, from time to time, in the usual blind way in which
ignorance asserts itself, their sense of the injustice they could not define
and the limitations they could not understand. The result was radical
movements, which found in Crispi a strong Conservative opponent.
More or less closely associated with the great financial and commercial
interests which have succeeded the feudal nobility as the power behind
the throne of European monarchy, his undoubted talents and his power
as an orator, if they did not make him a heroic figure, rendered great
service to the Conservative interests, with the growing power of which,
as shown through increased militancy and the substitution of the stand-
ing army for the justice-declaring spirit of civil law, he now seems
most likely to be identified in Italian history on the record made com-
plete by his death at Naples, August nth, 1901.

His early sympathies with Garibaldi and his prominence in the
Italian government made him the orator of the day when the Garibaldi
monument was unveiled during the great fetes of 1895. He was never
a thorough sympathizer, however, either with Garibaldi or with Mazzini,
and it is said that his dissent from Mazzini did much to perpetuate mon-
archy in Italy, preventing the establishment of the republic so many of
Mazzini's followers had ardently hoped for.


(Delivered at Rome, September 20th, 1895)

THE twentieth of September, 1870, could not be better com*
memorated than by the inauguration in Rome of a monu-
ment to Garibaldi, the faithful and devoted friend of Victor
Emmanuel, who in i860 accepted the plMscite in favor of the
liberation of Rome. The citizens of Rome could not be the
helots of unity, the slaves of cosmopoHtan patriotism. Their serv-
itude meant the restriction of the national sovereignty, which
was Italy's due in mere virtue of her existence.

The day and the place remind us of the struggle against tyr-
anny, so laborious, yet so fruitful of liberty. The years which
elapsed between July 4th, 1849, and September 20th, 1870, were
the last years of trial for the civil power. The Church, having
shown that she was powerless to live by her own resources, had
to rely upon foreign bayonets, of which she in her turn became
completely the slave. It was here that on April 30th, after a
bloody battle, Garibaldi repulsed the invader who, without provo-
cation, had undertaken the barbarous mission of restoring tyr-
anny. When hostilities were resumed, the defenders, although
with right on their side, had to yield to force and await patiently
the day of resurrection, the twentieth of September, 1870. , . .

The enemies of Italian unity have endeavored to prove that
the present celebration is an insult to the head of the Catholic
Church. Their object is to excite conscientious scruples against
our country. But the common sense of the people is proof
against such tricks, because we all know that Christianity is a
Divine institution, which is not dependent upon earthly weapons
for its existence. The religion of Christ preached by Paul and
Chrysostom was able to subdue the world without the aid of
temporal arms, and we cannot conceive that the Vatican should
persist in wishing for temporal sovereignty to exercise its spirit-
ual mission. The Gospel, as we all believe, is truth. If it has
been disseminated by Apostolic teachings, such teachings are suf-
ficient for its existence.

It is not really for the protection and prestige of religion that
our adversaries demand the restoration of the temporal power of
the Holy See, but for worldly reasons, from lust of power, and
from earthly covetousness. They do not consider that temporal
sovereignty cannot be saintly and above sin, that it cannot aspire



to celestial perfection in this world. Material weapons and legal
violence, justified by reasons of State, should not belong to the
Vicar of Christ on earth, who is to preach peace, to pray, and to
pardon. Religion is not and it cannot be an affair of State. Its
mission is to console believers with the hope of everlasting life,
and to uphold the spirit of faith.

The Catholic Church has never enjoyed in any country so
much freedom and respect as in Italy. We alone of all nations
have renounced every claim to jurisdiction in ecclesiastical mat-
ters. It is a maxim of modern law that the State should have
no influence in spiritual things which cannot be interfered with
by the civil power without having recourse to violence. The
spiritual autonomy which we protect and guarantee should be
the stronghold of the Supreme Pontiff. In that «^tronghold he
could not be assailed. Worldly matters elude his grasp, and it
would be a virtue in him not to think of them. Souls are his
kingdom, and he governs them so absolutely as to elicit the
envy of otuer rulers of men. Protestant sovereigns and even
princes who do not believe in Christ bow before him and rever-
ently accept his judgments.

The Italians, by promulgating the law of May 1871, have
solved a problem which seemed incapable of solution. In this
country, where freedom of thought and of conscience is acknowl-
edged, unlimited liberty has been granted to the head of the
Church with reference to his sacred office and his irresponsibility
and inviolability. In regard to his acts, the Pope is subject only
to God, and no human potentate can reach him. He exercises a
sovereign authority over all those who believe in him, and they
are many millions, while he is surrounded by all the honors and
privileges of royalty without the drawbacks of civil power,
without the hatred, the resentment, and the penalties inseparable
from such power. No earthly prince is in a similar position or
on the same level. His position is unique. He has no territory
to govern. Indeed, any extent of territory would be inadequate
for his position, and yet all the world is subject to his spiritual
empire. Were he a temporal prince his authority would be
diminished, because it would be equal to that of other rulers,
and he would cease to be pre-eminent. He would be exposed to
continual struggles, as he has struggled for centuries to the de-
triment of the faith and of his spiritual authority. We have
made him an independent sovereign, and as such he is superior


to all other princes. In this Ues his power. He exercises his
office by virtue of his authority; he corresponds with all the
world; he prays; he protects, without needing protection, because
the Italian kingdom is his shield. Consequently, no earthly
weapon can reach him, and the outrages inflicted upon Boniface
VIII. cannot be repeated.

Catholics should be grateful to Italy for the services which
we have rendered to the Roman Pontiff. Before September
2oth, 1870, he was obliged to bow before the princes of the
earth, and concordats were concessions of divine rights made to
the prejudice of the Church. It was only when relieved of his
temporal dominion that Pius IX. could cope with Bismarck and
make that man of iron feel the power of spiritual arms. All
this is our handiwork, the work of our Parliament and our
King, and we are proud of the achievement. I will say more;,
it was the will of God, because the Almighty willed that Italy
should gather her provinces together and become an equal of
other nations.

We regret to say that those who oppose this evident will of
the Creator call themselves his ministers on earth, but they will
not prevail, because Italy is strong and self-reliant and will crush
any effort at revolution. These men will not prevail, and per-
haps they may grow wiser. They are aware that so long as
they keep within lawful bounds and do not infringe the law,
they are inviolable. But they ought to remember that if they
rebel, if they revile their country and attack our national insti-
tutions, they will lose all the benefits which they have secured
by our law of guarantees, which was granted to religion and
for religion, and not for the personal advantage of any man.
They know, or ought to know, that by inciting others to break
the law they would help Anarchism, which denies both God and
King, and they would not escape punishment, .- , .

(From a Speech Occasioned by the Revolutionary Outbreaks in Sicily)

WE HAVE before us a great social problem and one that must
be solved. Not the problem which agitators love to pour

Online LibraryDavid J. (David Josiah) BrewerCrowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) → online text (page 22 of 39)