Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/431

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287
The Fœderalist.

tution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the Convention is a copy from the Articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in Article third, are, "their common defence, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare." The terms of Article eighth are still more identical: "All charges of war, and all other expenses, that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury," &c. A similar language again occurs in Article ninth. Construe either of these Articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defence and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress, as they now make use of against the Convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!

PUBLIUS.