When Vain & Aspiring Men Possess the Highest Seats in Government by Samuel Adams

Samuel-AdamsSamuel Adams Letter to James Warren Philadelphia Oct 24 1780

MY DEAR SIR

I have not yet laid aside your Letter of the 17th of Septr which is the last I have been favord with from you. It ill becomes you, my Friend, to think of retiring into private Life, who can lay your hand on your heart, and say that in your publick Conduct your have in no Instance deviated from virtuous Principles. If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experiencd Patriots to prevent its Ruin. There may be more Danger of this, than some, even of our well disposd Citizens may imagine. If the People should grant their Suffrages to Men, only because they conceive them to have been Friends to the Country, without Regard to the necessary Qualifications for the Places they are to fill, the Administration of Government will become a mere Farce, and our pub-lick Affairs will never be put on the Footing of solid Security. We should inquire into the Tempers of Men, in order to form a Judgment in what Manner the publick Trusts to be reposed in them will be executed. You remember the Character of Pisistratus. He was a Citizen of Athens, supposd to have many excellent Qualities, but he had an insatiable Lust of Pre-eminence. Solon could discover his Vanity, but the People were blinded by a false Glare of Virtues and he was their Idol. Under Pretence of his having escaped imminent Danger from a violent Faction, and the further Insecurity of his Person he artfully obtaind a Guard of Soldiers, by which Means he possessd himself of the Citadel & usurpd the Government. But though he made himself Sovereign, & thus far overthrew the popular Election, the Historian tells us, “that he made no Change in the Magistracy or the Laws.—He was content that others should hold their Places according to the establishd Rules of the Constitution, so that he might continue Archon, independent of the Suffrages of the People. This he effected; for though several Attempts were made, to deprive him of the Sovereignty which he had so violently obtaind, he held it till his Death & left it to his Children.” Such was the Ambition of this Man, who indeed assumd the Government, and such were the Effects of it. Power is intoxicating; and Men legally vested with it, too often discover a Disposition to make an ill Use of it & an Unwillingness to part with it. HOW different was Pisistratus from that Roman Hero and Patriot Lucius Quinctius Cincinatus who, tho vested with the Authority of Dictator, was so moderate in his Desires of a Continuance of Power, that, having in six Weeks fulfilld the Purposes of his Appointment, he resignd the dangerous office, which he might have held till the Expiration of six Months.—When we formerly had weak and wicked Governors & Magistrates, it was our Misfortune; but for the future, while we enjoy and exercise the inestimable Right of chusing them ourselves, it will be our Disgrace. I hope our Countrymen will always keep a watchful Eye over the publick Conduct of those whom they exalt to Power, making at the same time every just Allowance for the Imperfections of human Nature; and I pray God we may never see Men filling the sacred Seats of Government, who are either wanting in adequate Abilities, or influencd by any Views Motives or Feelings seperate from the publick Welfare. [public Welfare = Public Good, i.e. Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness]

Adieu.

Warren’s September 17 letter to Adams is in Warren-Adams Letters, 2:138-39

Bi-Partisanship It’s becoming more and more obvious that it is the government (both parties) against We The People.

Excerpt from letter by Samuel Adams to Eldridge Gerry Nov 27, 1780
“More in my Opinion, is necessary to be done, than conquering our British Enemies in order to establish the Liberties of our Country on a solid Basis. Human Nature, I am affraid, is too much debas’d to relish those Republican Principles, in which the new Government of the Common Wealth of Massachusetts appears to be founded. And may it not be added, that the former Government, I mean the last Charter, being calculated rather to make servile Men than free Citizens, the Minds of many of our Countrymen have been inurd to a cringing Obsequiousness [Full of or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning], too deeply wrought into Habit to be easily eradicated? Mankind is prone enough to political Idolatry. Such a temper is widely different from that reverence which every virtuous Citizen will show to the upright Magistrate. If my Fears on this Head are ill grounded, I hope I shall be excusd. They proceed from a cordial Affection for that Country to the Service of which I have devoted the greatest Part of my Life—May Heaven inspire the present Rulers with Wisdom & sound Understanding. In all Probability they will stamp the Character of the People. It is natural for sensible Observers to form an Estimate of the People from the Opinion they have of those whom they set up for their Legislators & Magistrates. And besides, if we look into the History of Governors, we shall find that their Principles & Manners have always had a mighty Influence on the People. Should Levity & Foppery(fn1) ever be the ruling Taste of the Great, the Body of the People would be in Danger of catching the Distemper, and the ridiculous Maxims of the one would become fashionable among the other. I pray God we may never be addicted to Vanity & the Folly of Parade! Pomp & Show serve very well to promote the Purposes of European & Asiatick grandeur, in Countries where the Mystery of Iniquity is carried to the highest Pitch, & Millions are tame enough to believe that they are born for no other Purpose than to be subservient to the capricious Will of a single Great Man or a few! It requires Council & sound Judgment to render our Country secure in a flourishing Condition.—If Men of Wisdom & Knowledge, of Moderation & Temperance, of Patience Fortitude & Perseverance, of Sobriety & true Republican Simplicity of Manners, of Zeal for the Honor of the Supreme Being & the Welfare of the Common Wealth—If Men possessd of these & other excellent Qualities are chosen to fill the Seats of Government we may expect that our Affairs will rest on a solid & permanent Foundation.”

(fn1)
Levity: means humor or frivolity, esp. the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.
Foppery: is a pejorative term describing a foolish man overly concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th century England. Some of the very many similar alternative terms are: “coxcomb”, fribble, “popinjay” (meaning “parrot”), fashion-monger, and “ninny”. “Macaroni” was another term, of the 18th century, more specifically concerned with fashion. A modern-day fop may also be a reference to a foolish person who is overly concerned about his clothing and incapable of engaging in intellectual conversations, activities or thoughts.

See also:
Patrick Henry may well be proved a Prophet as well as a Statesman
The Importance of Free Speech and The Free Press in America
RIGHTS OF AMERICAN CITIZENS: Powers delegated to the State GovernmentsThe Doctrine of Fascism, Fascism Defined by Benito Mussolini

A PRAYER FOR THE NATION by Rev. William Bacon Stevens July 4, 1876

William Bacon StevensPRAYER, by the Rev. William Bacon Stevens, D.D., L.L.D., (July 13, 1815 – June 11, 1887) Fourth Episcopal Bishop Of Pennsylvania.

Used at the Grand Centennial Celebration In Philadelphia, July 4, 1876.

O Almighty and Eternal God, we come before Thee to praise Thy glorious name, and to give Thee most humble and hearty thanks, for the inestimable blessings which as a Nation we this day enjoy.

We devoutly recognize Thy Fatherly hand in the planting and nurturing of these colonies, in carrying them through the perils and trials of war; in establishing them in peace; and permitting us to celebrate this hundredth birthday of our Independence. We thank Thee, O God, that Thou didst inspire the hearts of Thy servants to lay here the foundations of peace and liberty; to proclaim here those principles which have wrought out for us such civil and religious blessings; and to set up here a Government which Thou hast crowned by Thy blessing, and guarded by Thy hand to this day.

The whole praise and glory of these great mercies we ascribe, 0 God, to Thee! “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name be all the glory, “for by Thee only, have we been led to take our present position among the nations of the earth. As Thou wast our Father’s God, in times past, we beseech Thee to be our God, in all time to come. Thou hast safely brought us to the beginning of another century of national life, defend and bless us in the same, O God, with Thy mighty power. Give peace and prosperity in all our borders, unity and charity among all classes, and a true and hearty love of country to all our people. Keep far from us all things hurtful to the welfare of the nation, and give to us all things necessary for our true growth and progress.

Bless O Thou Mighty Ruler of the Universe Thy servants to whom are committed the Executive, the Legislative and Judicial government of this land; that Thou wouldst be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations to the advancement of Thy glory, the good of Thy Church, the safety, honor and welfare of Thy people; that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavors, upon the best and surest foundations, that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and true liberty may be established among us for all generations. Make us to know, therefore, that on this day of our Nation’s festivity, and to consider it in our hearts, that Thou art God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, and that there is no God else beside Thee.

Enable us to keep Thy statutes and Thy judgments which Thou hast commanded, that it may go well with us and with our children; that we and they may fear Thy name and obey Thy law, and that Thou mayest prolong the days of this nation through all coming time.

Establish Thy kingdom in the midst of this land. Make it “Emmanuel’s land,” a “mountain of holiness and a dwelling place of righteousness.”

Inspire Thy Church with the spirit of truth, unity and concord, and grant that every member of the same in his vocation and ministry may serve Thee faithfully. Bless the rulers of this city and commonwealth, and grant that they may truly and impartially administer justice to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of Thy true religion and virtue.

Pour out Thy Fatherly blessing upon our whole country, upon all our lawful pursuits and industries, upon all our households and institutions of learning and benevolence, that rejoicing in Thy smile, and strengthened by Thy might, this nation may go on through all the years of this new century a praise and a joy of the whole earth, so that all who look upon it may be able to say, “Truly God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.” These things and whatsoever else we need for our national preservation and perpetuity, we humbly ask, in the name and through the mediation of Thy dear Son, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all might, majesty, dominion and power, world without end.
Amen.

See also: Advice to Young People from Noah Webster Father of American Education

The Wisdom and Love of God as Shown by His Creation by Noah Webster
Founders on the 2nd Amendment
PATRIOT SONS OF PATRIOT SIRES by Rev. Samuel Francis Smith 1808-1895
Joseph Baldwin: Address 1892, to National Teachers Association in New York
Constitution of the United States and it’s Governmental Operations (In Plain English) ,
POLITICAL CONSTITUTIONS by Johannes Von Muller (1832),
Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God
Why our Forefathers firmly believed that Freedom and Liberty came from God
 

True American Patriotism Defined by Hon. Curtis Guild and H. F. Kinnerney 1876

American Patriotism is defined by adhering to the ideals, principles and beliefs of the Founder’s of these United States of America.

US flag and bible cross

 
See also:
PATRIOT SONS OF PATRIOT SIRES by Rev. Samuel Francis Smith 1808-1895
THE GENIUS OF AMERICA by Hon. Dr. Felix R. Brunot July 4, 1876
COURAGE! A Poem by Bryan Waller Procter 1787-1874
AIM HIGH! An Address by President Benjamin Harrison 1893
Joseph Baldwin: Address 1892, to National Teachers Association in New York
Constitution of the United States and it’s Governmental Operations (In Plain English)

An address before The Patria Club of Pawtucket, R. I. on Forefather’s Day 1876, was made by Mr. Guild and was devoted to a definition of “True Patriotism,” which was briefly described as “the passion which aims to serve and advance our country and maintain its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.” While according due value to the study and commemoration of brilliant examples of patriotism in past history, including the much abused Fourth-of-July celebrations, Mr. Guild said: “Anything great, noble, truly valuable, requires persistent effort, labor, and often self-sacrifice to obtain. Honest government, the right men in the right place, the proper and just administration of government, cannot be obtained by mere talk; it requires personal effort, combined effort, example, the practice of the precepts we recommend and adherence to the principles of truth and honesty which we commend to others in our own actions.” Governor Brown highly commended the organization because of the high service which it was rendering to the community, and Father Kinnerney, in the course of an eloquent address, said for a plain Irishman to attempt to tell New Englanders what patriotism is seemed to be something of a burlesque, but he would try and give his own impressions of the matter. After pronouncing a brief but impressive eulogy upon ex-Governor Littlefield, one of the founders of the club, he said:

“Patriotism is loyalty to country, and loyalty to country is loyalty io God. God first, and patriotism afterwards. God blesses and consecrates patriotism.

This is the anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. It is a strange thing for a Catholic to stand up here and laud the Pilgrim Fathers. But I do laud them. You, their children, cannot forget them. You must honor them. They were true patriots. The voyage of the Mayflower was in the providence of God, as well as the voyage of the Santa Maria bearing Christopher Columbus to the New World. What were the Pilgrim Fathers? God-fearing rnen they were. We must admire their sincerity, their fidelity to conscience, their trust in an overruling Providence. Do we blame them because they were not of our way of thinking? Oh, no ! they were the men for their times, and they laid the keel of the American ship of state. They taught manhood first, then the home, then the government of the town, then the state, then the Union. This generation ought to look back with pride to their history. They fulfilled all the duties of true patriotism.

There are no people who are more grateful for American citizenship than those who come from the country where I was born. They know what tyranny is, and they come here willing to take the oath of allegiance and proud to become American citizens. I believe this talk about religion interfering with a man’s citizenship is the merest sham. Religion does not unmake a citizen. If it is any form of Christianity it will make him a better citizen.

The Democratic party doesn’t own the Irish-American citizen and the Republican party ought not to—his conscience owns him, and his consolence should be in the direction of the public good. I was at the convention at Baltimore and heard nothing said about demanding public money for the parochial schools. We were told, not ordered, to open parochial schools if we thought best, and the people demanded them. So we did open them. It is the people who rule the priest, not the priest the people. We are not opposed to the public schools, but we want our own schools because we want more religious instruction. We may be wrong, but if we are we pay the bills ourselves.”

GodBlessAmerica (190x143)

THE FLOWER OF LIBERTY by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1841-1935

patriotism

What flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming brand
It kindles all the sunset land.
Oh, tell us what its name may be!
Is this the Flower of Liberty?

It is the Banner of the Free,
The starry flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature’s fair abode,
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood;
Till lo! earth’s tyrants shook to see

The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
Then hail the Banner of the Free,

The starry Flower of Liberty!
Behold Its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light:
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,
And, spangled o’er its azure, see,
The sister stars of Liberty.

Then hail the Banner of the Free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round;
Where’er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land, as ocean, free;
And plants an empire on the sea!

Then hail the Banner of the Free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom’s flower,
Shall ever float on dome arid tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost, or crimson dew;
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!

Then hail the Banner of the Free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!