from the state of subjection into that of independent
republics, the great events which were rapidly advancig, elevated him above the weaknesses of human passions and filled his mind with awe. Many of those who were to take part in framing constitutions for future millions, turned to him for advice.
He recalled the first principles of political morals, the lessons inculcated by American experience, and the example of England
Familiar with the wise and eloquent writings of those of her sons who had treated of liberty, and combining with them the results of his own reflections, he did not shrink from offering his advice.
He found the only moral foundation of government in the consent of the people; yet he counselled respect for existing rules, and to avoid opening a fruitful source of controversy, he refused to promote for the present any alteration, at least in Massachusetts
, in the qualifications of voters.
‘There is no good government,’ he said, ‘but what is republican; for a republic is an empire of laws and not of men;’ and to constitute the best of republics, he enforced the necessity of separating the executive, legislative, and judicial powers.
The ill use which the royal governors had made of the veto power did not confuse his judgment; he upheld the principle that the chief executive magistrate ought to be invested with a negative upon the legislature.
To the judges he wished to assign commissions during good behavior; and to establish their salaries by law; but to make them liable to impeachment and removal by the grand inquest of the colony.
The republics of the ancient world had grown out of cities, so that their governments were originally