965. Boston Gazette, 15 December 17881

“ ’Tis from EXPERIENCE that we reason best.” The glorious system of Federal Government, which the wisdom of these rising States has led them to adopt, has grown out of that EXPERIENCE which we have had of the weakness and inefficiency of the old Confederation; and shall we now marr the work of our own hands, by pretended amendments and alterations, without bringing it to the touch-stone of EXPERIENCE? The great Mr. Adams has very judiciously observed, to this effect, “That the wisdom and magnanimity which led this great people, to devise, and frame, in a peaceable manner, a form of government, calculated to embrace so many apparently discordant interests, will doubtless lead them to make such alterations and amendments as EXPERIENCE shall dictate to be necessary”—and before we have had this EXPERIENCE, to set the whole business afloat, under the idea of making the Constitution more perfect, is quitting the SHEET ANCHOR of our hope as a people, and trusting to the most uncertain of all contingencies, the caprice and local prejudices of interested individuals, whether this country shall ever be blessed with any settled form of Government, or not. It is therefore, devoutly to be wished, that the FEDERALISTS, which doubtless for the honour of Massachusetts, compose a decided majority, would hold fast their integrity, and steer clear of all anti-federal amendments and suspicious characters, at the ensuing election.

1. Reprinted: New York Daily Advertiser, 25 December; Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 31 December.