No President’s message was ever so anxiously waited for as that of Mr. Buchanan, just promulgated; none more curiously and attentively read, and none cast aside with such unqualified disappointment, after a vain search for something satisfactory and conclusive upon the most important topic which an American President ever had to treat.

The document is carefully written and will take a respectable rank among literary compositions, and that is about all the commendation it will ever receive. Though not deficient in professions of patriotism and wise suggestions in natural political economy, Mr. Buchanan in no place rises above the Democratic politician, and in no degree improves his position or mends the poor fame he has thoroughly earned, as the mere attorney of a party, and a party which is only a semi-faction at that.. He has shewn himself utterly incapable of rising to the altitude of an impartial nationality, and has apparently been careful that no one should for a moment be justified in mistaking him for a great man and an efficient magistrate, capable of comprehending a grave crisis and fully competent to meet and manage it.

On the grand question of the right of secession he might as well have been silent as to utter the neutralising and inefficient doctrine he has propounded. The purport of what he says is simply that secession is revolution; that revolution is wrong; that the constitutional union is at the same time theoretically indestructible and practically transient, being designed and constructed for perpetuity but containing no provisions for its own continuance beyond the limit which any individual state may dictate at its own caprice; that the North are the sole aggressors in the quarrel between the sections which has brought about the present crisis, but the South are solely to blame for proposing to remedy their alleged wrongs by revolution; that disunion is inevitable and may yet be averted by timely concessions which, however, come too late; that having argued the whole matter, he has no suggestion to make, and that Congress must do the best they can under the circumstances and he will assist them to the best of his ability, albeit he is quite helpless and powerless. As a cotemporary pertinently says, he lets “I dare not wait upon I will,” and also upon “I ought”—his views are satisfactory to his reason and conscience, but too strong for his stomach. He stands by them theoretically, but runs away from them practically. All that he builds up as right he pulls down as impracticable.

He pleads that he cannot execute certain laws in South Carolina because certain officers have resigned, at the same time assuring the country in respect to other laws which he specifies that he is still able to enforce them and will continue to be, even if the office[r] appointed to execute them should resign, as he can at once appoint a successor: thus a judge or a Marshal may resign and the vacancy paralyses the Federal government, while if a Customs Collector throws up his appointment another can be forthwith put in his place who will not refuse to act.

To remedy this complex and embarrassing state of things Mr. Buchanan thinks Congress ought to make laws conferring new powers on the President, and immediately after enters into an argument to prove that Congress has no constitutional right to do so, quoting Madison, the “father of the Constitution” to shew that to attempt to coerce a refractory state would be for the Federal Government to make war upon one of its own members, which is not an allowable idea, albeit there is nothing whatever in the way of a state being practically at war with the general government, as Mr. Buchanan thinks.

This sophistication and inconsistency is palpably nothing better than a mere cover of retreat from the sacred responsibilities of his position; an elaborately contrived excuse for pusillanimity; an evasion of confessed obligation, by the plea of official infirmity; an attempt to shift the responsibility of the Executive back upon the inefficiency of the organic law.

In all Mr. Buchanan’s argumentation, there is no word or hint that peradventure the Slavery interest may be a trifle too exacting, or in any degree unreasonable. There are suggestions of constitutional amendments which shall secure every thing to the South, and deny every thing to the North, East, and West, which the sections respectively claim; there is complaint of Northern personal liberty laws, and a demand for their repeal, but never a word of Southern violences upon Northerners by banishment and imprisonment, and the kidnapping of free men by Southern ruffians; there is a demand that the Dred Scott opinion shall be incorporated into the Constitution, and that Carolinians and Georgians may be authorised to carry their local slave laws with them into free territories; with much more to the same purport. But there is nothing of liberty—not a word for the rights of man—not an allusion to the final prevalence of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence—no breathings of the aspirations which came from Washington, from Jefferson, and the other fathers, that slavery might finally cease from the land —no admission that the country were better off without it—but the whole document is black—black—with the hue of oppression, and bristling with the spirit of a rabid slaveocracy.

Not to extend our comments on this most deplorable effusion of a most deplorable Executive, let us suggest a thought in connection with this Message which must excite the unhesitating gratification of every reader. It is this: that in all human probability, it is James Buchanan’s LAST.