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The subjoined letters, whilst they show the authority by which this compilation is offered to the army indicate the plan on which it was originally designed 10 be executed- It was soon perceived however, from the mingled character of the legislation, that the arrangement suggested could not be adhered to—a single act often embracing provisions under each of the several heads of division. This indeed, the compiler, from an acquaintance with the few acts which had previously come under his observation, was already aware of and ought to have borne in mind; but at the moment of the suggestion, he was rather looking to what should be, than to what was, the actual state of things.
It was not without reluctance that he undertook the task, of pronouncing upon the repeal of the several laws: First, from a doubt of his ability—amidst a press of current duties which more than shared his attention, to decide accurately upon so many nice and difficult points; and secondly, from a conviction, that the question of repeal is purely a judicial one, belonging to the competent tribunals to determine. It is, indeed, a right which they cannot surrender; one which no other power can legally exercise. With these impressions, the notes of the compiler have been made, and though they may be found expressed in terms somewhat positive, they should only be regarded as references, or passing admonitions, emanating from authority too humble to be taken as conclusive.