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venient in every ecclesiastical confederation, and is quite indispensable under the Presbyterian. We, ourselves, have often found the original Assembly's Digest in the edition of 1820, a convenient book of reference. Since the division and duplication of the General Assembly in 1837-8, there has been need not only of a new Digest brought down to later times, but of two different Digests adapted to the differing wants of two similar yet dissimilar bodies, each claiming to be the original and veritable Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and each ignoring, as far as possible, the existence of the other. The Old School body published its own distinctive Digest nearly ten years ago; and now we have the "New Digest" of the New School Assemblya massive volume which is in almost every respect a great advance upon the original "Assembly's Digest" of forty years ago. It contains in the form of authentic records, arranged under thirteen distinct heads, a most instructive compilation, illustrating the genius and working of the Presbyterian system as modified by American influences. The chapters on "Moral Questions," (Chap. viii), on "Modes of Evangelization," (Chap. ix), on "the Permanent Committees," (Chap. x), on "Correspondence with other Churches," (Chap. xi), and on "the Plan of Union and the Division," (Chap. xii), are particularly valuable to Congregationalists desirous of understanding the history and the tendencies of New School Presbyterianism.
THE DISUNION CONSPIRACY.
WORKS OF JOHN C. CALHOUN.*
TUCKER'S PARTISAN LEADER; a Tale of the Future.t
LIFE OF GENERAL JOHN A. QUITMAN, Governor of Mississippi. In judging of the present contest at arms between the government of the United States and those who rebel against its authority, it is of the highest importance to bear in mind the origin of
*The Works of John C. Calhoun, New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1854-5. 6 vols. 8vo.
The Partisan Leader; a Tale of the Future. By EDWARD WILLIAM SIDNEY. [Originally issued in 1836.] Reprinted by Rudd & Carleton. New York: 1861. 2 vols. 12mo.
Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman, Major General U. S. A., and Governor of the State of Mississippi. By J. F. H. CLAIBORNE. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1860. 2 vols. 12mo.
the difficulty and the real question at issue. Any one who is acquainted with the laws of human nature, certainly any one familiar with history, must know that the rebellion which is now in progress is not the work of a day. The triumph of the Republican party, in the election of Mr. Lincoln, is not the cause of this great uprising; at most, that event is only an occasion, artfully chosen, as a signal for concerted action. We must go much farther back to find the key to a conspiracy which, in magnitude and corruption, holds a foremost place among all rebellious plots against an established government. We shall look in vain for a complete revelation of the scheme by which the Constitution was to be overthrown, until all who are engaged in the execution of the plan are removed from the stage of action, and their private papers, now guarded with scrupulous care, have descended to the hands of those who have no occasion to conceal the truth. But yet, sometimes the masks will fall from the faces of the conspirators, and the world will now and then obtain glimpses within the lurking-places of treason. Already some of the materials for this thorough understanding of the great secession movement are in our hands, and a careful study of their contents seems incumbent upon all who would know what it is that we are fighting for, and who care to form a just opinion of the terms upon which a settlement is possible. It has been very common since the hostilities broke out to hear the remark that there should be no peace till the cause of the war was removed,-but we are sorry to believe that there are many persons among us who suppose that the threatened attack upon Washington was the cause of our springing to arms at the North, and who would now be ready to sign a treaty of peace with the self-styled "Confederate States," provided they will lay down their arms and disperse." We expect to hear in the approaching extra session of Congress a new proposal of Compromise, and we fear that strong efforts will be used to make the North believe that some fresh concessions to the Southern States will heal the breach and make us once more a united nation. It is these considerations which have led us to examine with some care the writings of distinguished and influential Southerners, that we may look at the present agitations from their point of view.
As might naturally be expected, we begin with the writings.
of John C. Calhoun. With his position as a stateman of acknowledged power, but, for the most of his career, of sectional and not national aims, every one is familiar. The older generation are also well acquainted with the specious arguments by which he maintained a pernicious and exaggerated doctrine of State Rights, and achieved for himself an unenviable distinction as the "Great Nullifier." But younger men, who wish to understand how the dogma of secession, so false and so revolutionary as it seems to us, can be upheld under the guise of loyalty, and how nullification can be advocated in specific terms as "the Cause of the Constitution," will do well to examine the writings of Mr. Calhoun. They will find them to contain the seed which, under the favoring climate of South Carolina, has produced two rare harvests within a single generation, nullification and secession. They will discover that abstract theorems propounded by Mr. Calhoun, were adopted from him by men far inferior in logical powers. Driven, perhaps, to accept his conclusions because incompetent to detect the fallacy on which they were based, such men have since worked out in practical results his metaphysical statements and have arrayed the South in arms against the government of the nation. We particularly recommend the perusal of the "South Carolina Exposi tion" of 1828, as it is printed from the manuscript of Mr. Calhoun, in the last volume of his works,-together with his Addresses to the People of South Carolina, prepared in 1831, and to the People of the United States, prepared in 1832, both of which are contained in the same volume. It is well known that the occasion of difference between the North and the South, at that time, was the Tariff. In these discussions Slavery was alluded to only in an incidental manner. Aggressions on slavery, abolitionism, interference in any way "with the peculiar institution," were then unknown. No charges on this score are lisped against the North. A mere question of finance was the occasion of nullification. On that issue alone was set forth the doctrine that our country is not a nation but a league, that the Constitution is not a union but a compact, and that any state has the exclusive right to judge for itself whether or not the compact is violated, and if so to take such means of redress as seems to her good. How such views were met by the argument of Mr. Webster in his golden days, and by the not less cogent arguments of General Jackson, everybody knows. By an examination of this passage in the
history of the government, it will be seen that the position then taken by Mr. Calhoun, years before the anti-slavery agitation, is precisely that which the disunionists have since maintained, and which is now held by those in the southern states who care to have a show of right and reason to justify rebellion.
There is reason to believe that the ambition of Mr. Calhoun to become President of the United States, exerted a strong influence, perhaps more than he himself was aware, on these opinions of his, respecting the relations between the North and the South, and that this in itself is enough to account for the change in his views respecting the constitutionality of a protective tariff. It is certain that he was disappointed not to receive the nomination of his friends for President in the election of 1825, and his disappointment was aggravated by the ultimate election of a Massachusetts man, not indeed by the people, but by the House of Representatives. The executive chair, which, except for a single term, had been occupied by Virginians from the foundation of the government, was then transferred to a Northerner. Mr. Calhoun was well aware of the growing prosperity of the North. He saw how it was thriving under free and intelligent labor. He recognized in the election of John Quincy Adams, a sign that its growth would henceforward be more and more manifest in the councils at Washington. Having up to that time been a national man, he became in the highest degree sectional. Having previously voted in favor of a protective tariff, he now became a free-trader. Opposed in his views and frustrated in his purposes, it was now that he announced the doctrine, till then unheard of, that no allegiance is due to the Government of the United States, but only by every citizen to the government of his state. Between such a doctrine of State Sovereignty, and that which was held by the framers of the Constitution, the distance is immeasurable. We will not consider it in this place.
Though first to advocate, Calhoun did not first avow the doctrine of State Sovereignty. This credit, we are told on good authority, belongs to the well-known Dr. Cooper, President of Columbia College, South Carolina, a man of talent and of erudition, a radical in politics, a materialist in philosophy, and a free thinker in religion. In 1828, at the close of an after-dinner speech in which he had referred to the injustice which had been rendered to the South, he exclaimed, "The time has now come for South
Carolina to calculate the value of the Union."
His words fell like
a thunder-bolt on the assembly. All were amazed, almost all were indignant. But the edge of the wedge had been entered, and successive blows were soon to drive it deeper. Cautiously, but surely, secretly, but with assiduity, Calhoun and Cooper, and those who were associated with them, from that day forward, began to plot for the severance of the North and South, and the phrase "calculation of the value of the Union," then first introduced, became so popular that even its origin was soon forgotten.
It was not our purpose to analyze or review the writings of Mr. Calhoun. We have referred to them in order to remind our readers that the political heresy, which we are now in arms to subdue, was advocated and promulgated by that distinguished representative of the South, long before the later agitation of the subject of slavery had disturbed the councils of the nation.
Shortly after "Nullification" was put down by the strong hand of Gen. Jackson, a very remarkable book was printed in Washington, entitled "The Partisan Leader." The author was so well aware of the treasonable character of the work, that he not only concealed his own name, but that of his publisher, and without naming on the title page the true year of publication he affixed to it a date twenty years in advance. Instead of reading "Printed by Duff Green, 1836," (as was the fact), we accordingly read, "Printed by James Caxton, 1856." A reprint of this work has recently been made by a firm in New York; but the copy which we have read is one of the original issue, bought soon after its publication and duly enrolled on the printed catalogue for the year 1838, of the public library to which it belongs, "the Brothers in Unity" of Yale College. We are thus precise in our statement, because the contents of the book are of such a character that many persons have questioned whether the story is not a recent fabrication, and its reputed publication, in 1836, an advertiser's card.
The author of this prophetic novel, for such is the character of the work, was Beverley Tucker, Professor in William and Mary College, Virginia, a political writer of acknowledged ability, and the staunch friend of Mr. Calhoun. He was a man of influence and reputation, and unquestionably did much to infect the present generation in Virginia with the corruption of secession.
In this curious book we find foreshadowed events which have