Thursday, June 06, 2013
"Nothing will remain to the people but the dreadful appeal to arms"
"7. Because we have been taught to believe, that many free constitutions have been destroyed for want of the means of reducing them at fixed periods to their first principles. This has been constant[l]y recommended by the greatest and best political writers, is fully in the 14th section of our bill of rights, and has been wisely provided for by the 47th section of our frame of government. This salutary provision, among others is now attempted to be destroyed, so that guard may remain against innovations, no check may be left against the encroachments of power. Hereafter, if the present attempt succeed, no constitutional mode can be appealed to, upon the most attrocious and alarming abuses of government. Nothing will remain to the people but the dreadful appeal to arms, to which so many before us have been reduced to the necessity of applying: An appeal frequently unsuccessful, and always dangerous; dangerous even in case of victory, because the conquerors, even under the standard of liberty have so often proved tyrants. A legal mode is infinitely to be preferred, and we think ought always to be preserved."--Dissentient Report, Council of Censors, Jan. 21, 1784. [The Proceedings Relative To Calling The Conventions of 1776 and 1790. The Minutes Of The Convention That Formed The Present Constitution Of Pennsylvania, Together With Charter To William Penn, The Constitutions of 1776 and 1790, And A View Of The Proceedings Of The Convention Of 1776, And The Council Of Censors. Harrisburg: Printed By John S. Wiestling, Market Street. 1825. Pg. 79-80]