History of Jerusalem from 142 BC to 70 AD with the Closing Scene of the Fall of Jerusalem

Ancient Jerusalem source:OpenBible.org

Ancient Jerusalem source:OpenBible.org

NOTE: Who can deny the truth of the Bible, history is replete with the fulfillment of the prophecies contained therein, prophecies that are still being fulfilled today. I see many parallels with the United States in this day and time, it would be wise to be aware, and beware of the times that are upon us.

History of Jerusalem from 142 BC to 70 AD the Abomination of Desolation: With the Closing Scene of The Fall of Jerusalem; by Salathiel

 Political Independence Gained and Lost (142-63 B. C.)

Glance over 1 Macc. 9—16; Josephus’ Antiquities, XIII.

1. When Judas [Maccabeus] died, the Maccabean struggle for political independence was continued by Jonathan, his younger brother. Jonathan was a diplomat. He set up a rival government at Michmash, and was the first Maccabee to be made high priest (153 B. C). He thus became “the real founder of the Maccabean state.” His end was tragic.

2. Simon, the last surviving member of Mattathias’ family, succeeded Jonathan. “It was given to Simon to put the copestone on the work which had been begun and developed by the other members of his house” (Fairweather). His crowning task was the capture of Akra, the citadel of Jerusalem. This victory gave the Jews independent nationality (142 B. a). Peace and prosperity followed. Simon was “the David of his age.” But Simon, like all his brothers, met a violent death.

3. His son, John, surnamed Hyrcanus, succeeded him, and for thirty years (135-105 B. c) reigned over a kingdom almost as extensive as Solomon’s. But by his indifference to the priesthood he completely alienated the Chasidim, who were now known as Pharisees. From his time onward the Maccabean dynasty rapidly degenerated.

4. Aristobulus was John’s son and successor. He is celebrated because he was the first to call himself “king of the Jews.” During the one brief year of his reign Galilee was added to the Jewish state. His brother and successor, Alexander Jannaeus, was, perhaps, the most profligate king and high priest in all Jewish history. He ruled for twenty-six years (104-78 B. C). From him the Pharisees turned away in utter disgust, and longed for deliverance from self-government.

5. Very soon, however, the reins of government fell into the Pharisees’ hands and they rejoiced. Alexander’s widow, Alexandra-Salome, ruled in strict accordance with their principles for nine years after his death. These years are frequently spoken of as “a truly golden age.” Upon her death, bitter strife ensued, and the Maceabean, or Hasmonean, dynasty hastened to its end. The Romans were invited to act as arbiters. Pompey responded, but at the cost of Jewish independence. Many thousands of Jews were either massacred or deported to Rome. “Thus the independence of the Jewish nation, which had lasted for nearly eighty years, was brought to an end” (Ottley).

 The Roman Period till Christ (63-4 B. C)

Consult Josephus’ Antiquities, XIV-XVII.

1. The destinies of Rome, henceforth, determined the fate of the Jews. Julius Caesar generously allowed them to restore the walls of Jerusalem, which Pompey had thrown down. From 40 to 37 B. C. a certain Antigonus, the last representative of the Maceabean family, nominally ruled over Judea as king and priest. But while he was still in authority, the Roman senate appointed the Idumean Herod as king over Judea, and bade him conquer it. Herod did so, “sparing neither age nor sex.” He ruled from 37 to 4 B. C.

2. Herod was politic and born to rule. He was careful to keep the friendship of the Romans at any cost. The Jews, accordingly, doubted his motives. Even his splendid restoration of the Temple was not appreciated by them, because they dared not trust him. Yet some did, and formed a party known as the Herodians. See Mark 12:13.

3. Commerce flourished during Herod’s reign, but his government was thoroughly bad. His own heart was black with crime. It was he who slaughtered the children of Bethlehem, in order to put the infant Jesus to death. See Matt. 2:1-16. His reign is “perhaps the most convincing evidence that there are powers which are stronger than crown or sword, and that violence avails nothing against the spirit” (Cornill).

4. “But the importance of Herod’s life does not end with his personal history. He created, in great part, that Palestine which served as the platform on which the closing scenes of the Jewish and the opening scenes of the Christian church were to be enacted” (Stanley).

According to John 2:20, 46 years were spent in building the Temple of Christ’s day.

  The Times of Jesus (4 B. C—30 A. D.)

Consult Josephus’ Antiquities, XVIII; Wars of the Jews, II, 1-9.

1. Herod the Great bequeathed his kingdom to his sons as follows: to Archelaus, Judea, Samaria and Idumea; to Herod Antipas, Galilee and Perea; to Philip, the district of the northeast. Philip was kind to his subjects and ruled as tetarch thirty-seven years. Herod Antipas founded Tiberias, but is specially remembered because he beheaded John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3). Christ once spoke of him as “that fox” (Luke 13:32). He ruled as tetrarch forty-three years. Archelaus was a miserable tyrant, who, after a cruel reign of nine years as ethnarch, was banished.

2. Thereafter, Judea was governed by a Roman procurator who was directly subject to the imperial legate of Syria. The Jews had long desired this form of government, but they soon discovered that the Roman yoke was heavier than they anticipated. For the next sixty years these Roman representatives took a fiendish delight in showing their contempt for the Jews.

3. In due time a new party sprang into existence, known as the Zealots, who resisted vigorously Roman tyranny. More and more the Jews became divided into various rival factions. The strict Pharisees and their ascetic allies, the Essenes, were pitted against the Sadducees and Herodians, who were liberal in both law and religion. Their hatred for one another grew more and more intense to the very end of the drama.

4. One of these Roman procurators was Pontius Pilate, who is especially famous for having tormented the Jews from 26 to 36 A. D. The Jews, in return, hated him most cordially; and that, too, in spite of his having yielded to their desire to have Jesus condemned to death. See John 19:15, 16. He was insulting, abusive and barbarously cruel. For example, in suppressing a certain insurrection that had broken out in the Temple, he mingled the blood of the offending Galileans with their sacrifices. See Luke 13:1. His treatment of the Samaritans was so outrageous that they finally accused him to the emperor, who suspended him from office.

There were many illegalities in Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus. See Matt. 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 18:28— 19:16. Despite his wicked character, the Abyssinian Church, on the basis of Matt. 27:24, has canonized Pilate as a “Saint.”

  The Birth of Jesus Christ (4 B. C.)

Read Matt, 2; Luke 2. 1. “The appearance of Christ amongst men was the greatest event in human history; the relations of God to man and of man to God and of man to man underwent a change” (Vallings). His advent had long before been foretold. The “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15), the “sceptre” of Judah (Gen. 49:10), the “prophet” like unto Moses (Deut. 18:18), the “priest” after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4), the “prince of peace” (Isa. 8:6), the suffering “servant” (Isa. 53), the “branch of righteousness” (Jer. 33:15), the “shepherd” gathering his scattered sheep (Ezek. 34:12), the “stone” cut out of the mountains without hands (Dan. 2:45), the “king” riding into Jerusalem upon an ass (Zech. 9:9), and the “fountain” opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness (Zech. 13:1), are all adumbrations of the True Light which was one day to break upon the world. And this Messianic hope of Israel kept growing stronger and stronger until His actual advent. But, unfortunately, the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would wield a sword like Gideon, break the dominion of Rome, and reestablish the kingdom of Israel.

2. Concerning the details of His early life, we know comparatively little. This is doubtless providential, to teach us to avoid the mistake of supposing “that we know Him in knowing the date of His birth and of His death and the outward circumstances of His life: He is to stand before us simply in his work” (Cornill).

3. He was the “Son of man” as well as the “Son of God.” He occupies a conspicuous place in the history of the Hebrews, because He is their culmination and consummate flower. Though He failed to influence, to any large extent, His own nation, yet, as Jean Paul has eloquently said, “With His pierced hand He has lifted empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” Most men are the product of their nationality, but Jesus “was not the outgrowth of His times, but their antithesis” (Lorimer). He even antagonized the dominating spirit of His times. His first recorded words are an index to His whole life and character. Look up Luke 2:49.

Whence the origin of the expression “Son of Man”? See Ezek. 2:1; Dan. 7:13.

Jesus, the Greatest of Israel’s Leaders.
Read Matt. 5—7.

1. “Never man spake like this man” was the verdict of the “officers” concerning Jesus. See John 7:46. “He taught them as one having authority and not as their scribes,” was likewise the testimony of the multitudes who had listened to that marvelous discourse known as. “the Sermon on the Mount.”

2. In that famous discourse we have the essence of His teaching. He begins with an octave of “Blesseds” upon those who would live the ideal life. Blessed are those who are without worldly ambition, who mourn on account of their sins, who bear injuries without resentment, who intensely long for character, who are forgiving and sympathetic, who are deeply sincere and are not satisfied with outward correctness, who promote peace, and who patiently endure reproach (Matt. 5:3-10). All such are to be congratulated, because they live the ideal life.

3. He then goes on to show the relation of the new Gospel form to the old Jewish standards. Jesus came not to destroy, but to unify and complete. The Gospel does not supersede the Law. The Old Testament is not to be abrogated by the New. Rather, as Augustine has suggested,

“The New is in the Old con-tained,
The Old is in the New re-tained,
The New is in the Old con-cealed,
The Old is in the New re-vealed,
The New is in the Old en-folded,
The Old is in the New un-folded.”

4. The glory of the Gospel is that it “magnified the Law and made it honorable” in the eyes of the Gentiles. See Isa. 42:21. Christ recognized that the new wine was bursting the old bottles when the Greeks came requesting to “see Jesus.” Look up John 12:21. The logical development of Christianity out of Judaism was, later, set forth more fully by the Apostle Paul, especially in his simile of the wild olive branch (the Gentiles) which has been grafted, contrary to nature, into the good olive tree (the Jews). See Rom. 11:24.

“In the days of faithful Abraham,
Who from Ur was led to flee,
God selected from the nations
One peculiar family-tree.

“This tree He grafted as an olive,
With His own almighty hand,
Causing it to grow and flourish
In fair Canaan’s fruitful land.

“But, alas! the branches withered
In the blight of unbelief;
From the stock they then were severed,
Not in anger, but in grief.

“Then our God, in His great mercy,
Grafted in the Gentile shoot;
Now the olives, wild by nature,
Draw their life from Hebrew root.”

—Isaac Alcuzer.

From Jesus’ Crucifixion to the Siege of Jerusalem (30-66 A. D.)

Glance at Josephus’ Wars of the Jews, II, 11-16.

1. With the death of the Emperor Tiberias, Judea’s peace was practically at an end. Caligula indeed made Agrippa, a grandson of Herod the Great, “king” of his uncle Philip’s territory, and Claudius gave him the remainder of Palestine, so that in the year 41 A. D. there was once more a Jewish kingdom under a native ruler. But “the three years of his dominion are the last bright spot in the history of the people of Israel” (Cornill). Even Agrippa, in order to please the Jews, persecuted the rising Christian Church, and had the apostle James beheaded. See Acts 12:2.

2. Agrippa died suddenly at Caesarea (cf. Acts 12:23) and Judea passed again under the rule of Roman procurators, of whom several in succession vied with each other, as it were, in heaping insult upon their Jewish subjects (44-66 A. D.). Their terrible outrages drove the Jews to despair. Even Felix resorted to the most extreme forms of brutal violence, attacking the Zealots and sending their leader to Rome in chains. Another new party arose, called the Sicarii, who carried concealed daggers and assassinated all who sympathized with Rome. No wonder that Felix, who was largely responsible for such conditions, trembled when the great apostle reasoned before him at Caesarea “of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come.” See Acts 24:25.

3. Porcius Festus, who ruled about 60 A. D., was nobler; but his successors were little less than villains. Florus, especially, scourged and crucified the Jews without mercy. In a single day thirty-six hundred were condemned at his command. Bernice, King Agrippa’s sister, went barefoot to him, to implore mercy for her people, but she was rudely insulted and turned away. The Jews could bear such atrocities no longer. They ordered the daily sacrifices in the Temple for the emperor to cease, which was equivalent to a declaration of war (66 A. D.).

This is the time of Nero, who is said to have fiddled during the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Siege and Fall of Jerusalem (66-70 A. D.)

Consult Josephus’ Wars of the Jews, III-VI.

1. We now come to the final act of the terrible drama. The saddest feature of Jerusalem’s great catastrophe is the fact that the Jews turned upon one another, and butchered more of themselves than did the Romans. The ruin was complete.

2. The war party had their quarters in the Temple, while the peace party occupied the citadel of Akra. Blood flowed daily, and civil war raged in the streets of the besieged city. The Jews had made elaborate preparations, impressing even the historian Josephus into service, to drill the soldiers. But they were destined to be completely outmatched by Vespasian, a veteran warrior of the Romans, who was placed in command of sixty thousand of Rome’s best troops.

3. Hostilities began in the year 67 A. D., and by the end of that year all Galilee was in the hands of the Romans. In 68 A. D. the entire region east of the Jordan, except Machaerus, was conquered. Then Nero died and war was suspended for a year (69 A. D.). Vespasian was made emperor, and Titus, his son, was given command of the imperial forces in Palestine. He marched upon Jerusalem in the spring of 70 A. D., shortly before the Passover festival. The city was filled with Jewish pilgrims. Titus encamped on the Mount of Olives and began a systematic siege, blockading the city, throwing up defences and thundering with the battering ram, until, after many futile attempts, a breach was made in the outer wall, May 7th, and then in the second wall, May 16th. Famine began to be felt within the city. To escape death, many deserted to Titus, but were rewarded with tortures indescribable. “Crosses could not be found for all, and so Titus cut off their hands and drove them back into the city” (Josephus). Hundreds of thousands died of famine alone.

4. On July 2d the inner wall fell, and on July 5th still another new wall, which had been constructed during the siege. Only the Temple hill and the citadel remained to be taken. At last, on July 17th, the morning and evening sacrifices in the Temple, which had been kept up in spite of the famine throughout the siege, were suspended— never to be resumed. A soldier hurled a fagot through one of the open windows of the sacred edifice, and the sanctuary went up in flames. Titus barely rescued the holy vessels. Finally, on September 7th the walls of the citadel were scaled, and the destruction of Jerusalem was complete (70 A. D.) Of the one million one hundred thousand Jews who were imprisoned in Jerusalem during the siege, only seven hundred of the strongest were spared to grace the triumphal procession of Titus in Rome.

5. Thus the Jews lost forever their nationality. But they fell like heroes, and, even in their fall, they triumphed over their victors. “While Rome has long since passed away, and only ruins tell of its glory, Israel is still, after two thousand years, what it was. Rome, in a sense, has been conquered by Israel. For even Rome now confesses the supremacy of Jerusalem” (Cornill).

The Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written about 70 A. D. to encourage the Jewish Christians not to give up Christianity; the author’s thesis being that Christianity is greater than Judaism, and that it is the complete, and final, and eternal religion; Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, to-day, and forever (Hebrews 13:3).

 The following extract from Salathiel describes the horrors which prevailed in the doomed city the last night of the siege.

“The fall of our illustrious and unhappy city was supernatural. The destruction of the conquered was against the first principles of the Roman policy, and to the last hour of our national existence, Rome held out offers of peace, and lamented our frantic determination to be undone. But the decree was gone forth from a mightier throne. During the latter days of the siege, a hostility, to which that of man was as the grain of sand to the tempest that it drives on, overpowered our strength and senses. Fearful shapes and voices in the air—visions startling us from our short and troubled sleep—lunacy, in its most hideous forms sudden death, in the midst of vigour—the fury of the elements let loose upon our unsheltered heads—we had every terror and evil that could beset human nature, but pestilence; the most probable of all in a city crowded with the famishing, the deceased, the wounded, and the dead. Yet, though the streets were covered with the unburied—though every well and trench was teeming—though six hundred thousand corpses lay flung over the ramparts, and naked to the sun—pestilence came not; if it had come, the enemy would have been scared away. But the “abomination of desolation,” the pagan standard, was fixed, where it was to remain until the plough passed over the ruins of Jerusalem.

On this night, this fatal night, no man laid his head on the pillow. Heaven and earth were in conflict—meteors burned above us; the ground shook under our feet; the volcano blazed; the wind burst forth in irresistible blasts, and swept the living and the dead, in whirlwinds, far into the desert. We heard the bellowing of the distant Mediterranean, as if its waters were at our sides, swelled by a new deluge. The lakes and rivers roared and inundated the land. The fiery sword shot tenfold fire. Showers of blood fell. Thunder pealed from every quarter of the heavens. Lightnings, immense sheets, of an intensity of duration that turned the darkness into noon day, withered eye and soul, burned from the zenith to the ground, and marked its track by the forests on flame and the shattered summits of the hills.

Defence was unthought of, for the mortal enemy had passed from the mind. Our hearts quaked for fear; but it was to see the “powers of heaven shaken.” All cast away the shield and spear, and crouched before the descending judgment. We were conscience smitten. Our cries of remorse, anguish, and horror, were heard through the roar of the storm. We howled to the earth to hide us; we plunged into the sepulchres to escape the wrath that consumed the living—we would have buried ourselves under the mountains.

I knew the cause, the unspeakable cause, and knew that the last hour of crime was at hand. A few fugitives, astonished to see one man among them not sunk in the lowest feebleness of fear, came around me, and besought me to lead them to some place of safety, if such were now to be found on earth. I told them openly that they were to die, and counselled them to die on the hallowed ground of the temple. They followed, and I led them through the streets encumbered with every shape of human suffering to the foot of Mount Moriah. But beyond that, we found advance impossible. Piles of cloud, whose darkness was palpable even in the midnight in which we stood, covered the Holy Hill. Impatient, and not to be daunted by anything that man could overcome, I cheered my disheartened band, and attempted to lead the way up the ascent. But I had scarcely entered the cloud, when I was swept downward by a gust that tore the rocks in flinty showers around me. Now came the last and most wondrous sign that marked the fate of rejected Israel.

While I lay helpless, I heard the whirlwind roar through the cloudy hill, and the vapours began to revolve. A pale light, that of the rising moon, quivered on their edges, and the clouds rose, and rapidly shaped themselves into forms, and battlements, and towers. The sound of voices was heard within, low and distant, yet strangely sweet. Still the lustre brightened, and the airy buildings rose, tower on tower and battlement on battlement. In awe, that held us mute, we knelt and gazed on this more than mortal architecture, that continued rising and spreading, and glowing with a serener light, still soft and silvery, yet to which the broadest moonbeam was dim. At last it stood forth to earth and heaven, the colossal image of the first temple, of the buildings raised by the wisest of men, and consecrated by the visible glory. All Jerusalem saw the image; and the shout, that in the midst of their despair, ascended from its thousands and tens of thousands, told what proud remembrances were there. But a hymn was heard, that might have hushed the world beside. Never fell on my ear, never on human sense, a sound so majestic, yet so subduing; so full of melancholy, yet of grandeur and command. The vast portal opened, and from it marched a host, such as man shall never see but once again—the guardian angels of the city of David! They came forth glorious, but with woe in all their steps; the stars upon their helmets dim; their robes stained; tears flowing down their celestial beauty—”Let us go hence,” was their song of sorrow. “Let us go hence,” was answered by the sad echoes of the mountains “Let us go hence” swelled upon the night to the farthest limits of the land. The procession lingered on the summit of the hill. The thunder pealed, and rose over the expanse of heaven. Their chorus was heard still, magnificent and melancholy, when their splendour was diminished to the brightness of a star. Then the thunder roared again— the cloudy temple was scattered on the wind and darkness, the omen of her grave, settled upon Jerusalem.â€?

Excerpts from:
Leaders of Israel: A Brief History of the Hebrews from the Earliest Times to the Downfall of Jerusalem A.D. 70. By George Livingston Robinson: and
The Scrap-book: Consisting of Tales and Anecdotes, Biographical, Historical, Patriotic, Moral, Religious, and Sentimental Pieces. In Prose and Poetry. Compiled by William Fields

SIGNS OF THE TIMES by Jedidiah Morse: Pastor of the Congregational Church

“SIGNS OF THE TIMES” A Sermon by Jedidiah Morse: Pastor of the Congregational Church in Charlestown.

DANIEL xii. 4, 10.

BUT THOU, OH DANIEL, SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE
BOOK, EVEN TO THE TIME OF THE END; MANY SHALL RUN
TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED.

MANY SHALL BE PURIFIED AND MADE WHITE, AND TRIED;
BUT THE WICKED SHALL DO WICKEDLY; AND NONE OF THE
WICKED SHALL UNDERSTAND; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.

Jedidiah Morse 1761-1826

Jedidiah Morse 1761-1826

OUR blessed Lord once addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees, in a way of keen reproof for their criminal inattention to events which were manifestly fulfilling most important prophecies, in the following language; “When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day; for the sky is red and lowering. Oh ye hypocrites, ye can – discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Daniel’s seventy weeks;[Dan.ix.24] were then nearly completed. The sceptre was departing from Judah; Elias had already come in the person of John Baptist, as the forerunner of the Messiah; the numerous prophecies relating to his character, doctrine, and miracles, were visibly fulfilling, and a general expectation of his coming prevailed over the world. Had these Pharisees and Sadducees taken due pains to acquaint themselves with these prophecies, and with the singular events, which were accomplishing them; had they been as attentive to these “signs of the times,” as to the signs of the weather, they might easily have perceived that these were the times of their expected Messiah, and that their nation was shortly to be given up to awful punishments for rejecting him.

“That, which hath been, is now; and that, which is to be, hath already been.”[Eccles. iii:15] “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”[Ch.i:10] Are there not many of the present generation of men, who resemble these ancient Pharisees and Sadducees? They can “discern the face of the sky;” they are wise to prognosticate the course of events with respect to political and commercial affairs; but they ”discern not the signs of the times;” they are criminally ignorant of the Scripture prophecies, which relate to the present period, and inattentive to events, which are remarkably fulfilling them. But this, however, should not surprise us; since the prophet has given us warning, that at this period “the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.”

The verses of the text may with propriety be read in connection. The intervening passage is a digression, and may be included in a parenthesis. The import of the verses thus connected, is this; that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased;” and that the effect of this increase of knowledge, in conjunction with other causes, will be, that “many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.”

The person, who addressed Daniel in this prophecy, and directed him to “shut up the words, and seal the book to the time of the end,” was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. In the tenth chapter of this prophecy, [v. 5-6] a more particular account of this personage is given. “Then I lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Any one, who will take the pains to compare this description with that, which St. John, in the Revelation i:13-20, gives of Jesus Christ, must be convinced, that the personage here described, who is the same, that addresses the prophet in the text, can be no other, than the Son of God. This might be farther confirmed by a comparison of Daniel xii. 5, 6, 7. with Rev. x. 2. 6. in both which places the personage, alluded to and described in the text, is ” represented, as setting his right foot on the sea, and his left upon the land, as Sovereign Lord of both elements.”

The prophecy under consideration, which was dictated by “him that is true,”[Rev. iii.7] describes events, which were to happen in the last times, or “in the time of the end,” and must of course remain obscure, till the events predicted shall be about to happen, or be actually passing in view of the then existing generation.

The prophecy in the text is then yet to be fulfilled; or, perhaps to speak more correctly, is fulfilling by the events of the present times. This appears from the prophecies connected with the text. The victories of Mahomet, or the rise and establishment of his dominion, and also the destruction of his power, seem plainly foretold and described in the five last verses of the chapter preceding the text.[Dan.xi.40-end “And at the time of the end,” i.e. of the prosperity of the Roman empire, “the king of the south,” meaning Mahomet, “shall push at him: and the king of the north,” the Turks from Scythia, “shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hands, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” It is remarkable, that while the Turks from the north overran Syria, Palestine, and the other neighboring countries, Edom, Moab, and Ammon escaped, and have never been conquered by any nation; and their inhabitants, the Arabs, to this day, receive an annual tribute from the Ottoman emperors, for the safe passage of their pilgrims and caravans to Mecca. “He,” meaning the Turkish emperors, continues the prophet, “shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” These prophecies have all been literally fulfilled. Egypt, with her immense treasures, Lybia and Ethiopia, embracing the northern parts of Africa, fell under the dominion of the Turks, and so remain to this day.

Events, which are yet future, are foretold in the two following verses; “But tidings out of the east, and out of the north, shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to take away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;[Temple Mount] yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Mr. Mede supposes, that these “tidings from the east, and the north, which shall trouble the Turkish emperor, may be the return of Judah and Israel from the countries east and north of the holy land, as in these countries the greater numbers were dispersed, and remain to this day.” The return of the Jews to their own land, is expressly predicted by the prophet Ezekiel; [Chap, xxxix. 5 last verses] and to this event, and to the assistance, which shall be given them by the Christian nations east and north of the holy land, this prophecy may refer. Tidings of such assistance from these nations would doubtless trouble the Turkish government, who are in possession of the country, which is to be restored to the Jews.

But other writers on prophecy give the passage a different interpretation. Persia lies to the east, and Russia to the north, of the Turkish dominions. For centuries past, it is well known, that the Turkish emperors have been apprehensive of a junction of these two formidable powers, and have exerted all their policy to prevent it. It is known also, that there is a tradition current among the common people in Turkey, that their empire will one day be overthrown by the Russians; also that a mutual affection and confidence subsist between the Christians of the Greek church, vast numbers of whom are inhabitants of the Turkish empire, and the same denomination in Russia, where this is the established religion; and that the former consider the latter, as those “whom ancient prophecies mention, as designed by God for their avengers and deliverers in after ages.” [See Sir Paul Rycaut’s Account of the Greek Church, c, iii. p. 83. Published 1678] So the Greek church interprets the prophecy under consideration.

On the whole, it appears most probable from the language of this prophecy, that the Persians on the east and the Russians on the north will, at a period not far distant, unite in one grand effort against the Turkish empire to overthrow it; that the Turks will establish their camp and collect all their strength “between the seas of the glorious holy mountain,” i.e. in the land of Canaan, between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, whence they will go forth with great fury against their combined foes, “to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” “Yet he,” i.e. the Turkish power, “shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” This will complete the ruin of the Mahometan power, or the eastern antichrist. The overthrow of the western antichrist, which is also predicted in this chapter, will happen about the same time.

“And at that time,” says the prophet in the chapter, which contains our text; that is, at the time when the great events of which we have spoken, shall be passing; when the antichrists of the east and the west shall be falling (for they are to fall, agreeably to the prophecy, nearly at the same time) by the means, which God hath ordained for that purpose; “at that time, shall Michael stand up, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time.” “And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book;” that is, Israel, God’s chosen heritage, who shall have been preserved till this time a distinct people in all the nations, among which they are dispersed, as entirely so, as if their names were registered in a book, shall now be delivered, collected and established in great peace and prosperity in the holy land. The prophets, and after them our Lord, and his apostle John in the Revelation, all represent the time of the conversion of the Jews, and their return to the holy land, as a time of great trouble.

After these and the contemporary events, which we are led from the prophecies to expect, shall have happened, then will follow, how soon after we know not, the general resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment, to which the following verses undoubtedly refer; “And many of them, that sleep in the dust of the earth (many being here put for all [Rom. v. 15]) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, by his Spirit, having dictated to his holy and beloved prophet the whole series of grand events, which were to happen from the time these prophecies were penned, to the complete establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth, and even to the end of time, directs Daniel to close his sacred records, which would remain obscure, and but partially understood, “till the time of the end,” till the events predicted should be actually happening in view of the world. Then many will be running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge will be increased. And as these times will be full of trouble, such as the world at no former period ever witnessed; and also times of increased light and knowledge; both will conspire to purify the souls of good men, who shall have understanding in the times. “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, and the wise shall understand; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and shall not understand;” they shall be given up to blindness and obstinacy of heart, because they will persist in their wickedness, against all the light and evidence, which shall surround them, and they shall have nothing to support them, under the trials, which shall befall them in that awful period. .

Such I conceive to be the meaning of the text. In fixing it, I have consulted the best helps within my reach. I have been thus particular in bringing into view and explaining the prophecies, immediately connected with the text, for the purpose of ascertaining, as far as practicable, the time, when we are to expect the events, which it predicts. If our interpretation be correct, the events, which are to fulfill this prophecy, are near at hand, or they may be even now passing in view of the present generation. In the sequel of this discourse therefore I propose,

I. To exhibit evidence to shew, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its ultimate and highest accomplishment, but is probably fulfilling by the events of the present time.

II. To show what effects we are to expect will follow these events.

III. To apply the subject.

I. I am to exhibit evidence to show, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its ultimate and highest accomplishment, but is probably fulfilling by the events of the present time.

Some prophecies, says Lord Bacon, “are not fulfilled punctually, at once, but have a springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages, though the height, or fullness of them, may refer to someone age.”[Advancement of Learning. Book ii. in English] Precisely of this character, I conceive, is the prophecy now under consideration. To the period, when the Christian religion was first introduced and propagated in the world, the words of this prophecy may be literally applied, “Many ran to and fro through the earth, and knowledge was increased.” And “many were purified and made white, and tried,” by cruel persecutions. “The wicked” then “did wickedly, and none of the wicked understood” the signs of the times; “but the wise did understand.”

Wonderful was the revolution effected in the world by the introduction of the Christian religion. The preparations made for this event, by the providence of God, corresponded with its magnitude. The Roman Empire embraced almost the whole world, and its inhabitants universally spoke the Greek or Roman language. These were the languages of their courts, of their laws, of their priests and learned men, of their worship, and of their books generally. These circumstances, it is easy to conceive, were adapted wonderfully to facilitate the spread of the Gospel. The Jews, in consequence of their frequent captivities, were dispersed extensively among the surrounding nations; and, having carried with them a knowledge of the true God, prepared the way for the conversion of those nations. The Hebrew Scriptures had been translated into the Greek language, and were thus prepared to be dispersed and read in due time among that extensive portion of the heathen nations, to which this language was vernacular.* See Note A.

About this time also the proselytes of the gate, as they were called, were greatly multiplied. These were persons from various parts of the world, who had renounced heathenism, acknowledged and worshipped the true God, but had not fully embraced Judaism;[See Jennings’ Jewish Antiquities, vol. i. p. 131] and thus, freed from the prejudices of both, were prepared to receive the new religion, which Christ came to establish. The first Gentile converts to Christianity were chiefly of this class of people. We may add, as another remarkable event preparatory to the spread of the Gospel, that previously to the advent of our Savior, philosophy and the arts were cultivated to a great extent, and advanced to a high degree of perfection. Thus the minds of men were refined and prepared to examine the evidence on which Christianity claimed to be believed; and, through the power of the Holy Ghost, to embrace, defend, and propagate its sublime and heavenly doctrines. The heathen nations moreover had become tired of their religion, and of their idol gods; they had ceased to consult their oracles, and to respect their priests, and sighed for a change.[Millar’s Hist, of Christianity, vol. i. p. 255]

These preparations being made by the providence of God, the expected Messiah made his appearance, and set up his kingdom in the world. His disciples, at first few in number and of no reputation or influence among men, soon increased to a multitude. Within less than forty years after the death of Christ, his gospel was preached, and by great numbers embraced, in all the celebrated cities and countries, and even in the remote provinces and villages, of Asia, Europe, and Africa, comprising the whole of the then known world. The Sun of Righteousness darted his genial beams in every direction over the earth. The heralds of the Savior, sent forth, “their sound into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world.”[Rom.x.18] Before the generation, who were contemporary with our Lord, had “passed away,[Matt.xxiv.14,34] the Gospel was preached throughout the world, (i. e. through all the Roman empire, among gentiles as well as Jews,) for a witness unto all nations.”

Clement, a fellow laborer with the apostles, asserts, that “St. Paul taught the whole world righteousness, having preached both in the east and in the west, and traveled to the utmost bounds of the west.” It is believed by many, that he preached the gospel even in Britain. According to Justin Martyr, “there was no nation, no sort of men, whether Greeks or barbarians, no country, however rude or unpolished, where prayers and thanksgivings were not presented to the Father and Creator of all things, through the name of the crucified Jesus.” Lanctantius says, if “the Christian law is entertained from the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, where every sex, age, nation, and country, does with one heart and soul worship God.” Irenaeus and Tertullian bear full testimony to the same facts. The latter,* after enumerating the principal portions of the world, where the gospel had been preached, concludes thus, “In all these places the name of Christ reigns, because he has now come, before whom the gates of all cities are set open, and none shut; before whom doors of brass fly open, and bars of iron are snapt asunder; that is, those hearts, once possessed by the devil, by faith in Christ are set open.”

The opening of the Christian era, and the first spread of the Gospel over the world, we may therefore consider as commencing the fulfillment of the prophecy under consideration. At this period “many ran to and fro through the earth, and knowledge was increased. Many were purified, and made white, and tried.”

It has received a “germinant accomplishment,” to use the words of Lord Bacon, in succeeding ages of the church; particularly during the three first centuries, and when Constantine ordered all the heathen temples to be destroyed, and established Christianity, as the religion of his empire, about the year 331. Also, and especially at the period of the Reformation, and the consequent revival and spread of the true religion, as well as of learning, philosophy, and the useful arts.

But considerations brought into view in the beginning of this discourse, and others of great weight, lead us to conclude that the highest and complete fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future; or perhaps we have entered on the period, in which it is to receive its full and ultimate accomplishment. Judging * from the course of events for the last half century, particularly of the last twenty years, we are constrained to believe that God in his providence has been, and is preparing the world for some grand revolution, some wonderful display of his sovereign and almighty power. Such a revolution is plainly foretold by the prophets; and from the language, which they use in describing it, as well as from the preparations, which are making to introduce it, we are left to infer that, though in many points it will resemble, yet it will on the whole far surpass, in magnitude and effect, that which took place at the opening of the Christian era.

Whether the world is again to be reduced to two languages and one grand empire, so far, as shall be necessary to free intercourse and the diffusion of useful knowledge among the various nations of the globe, cannot be foreseen. What God in his providence has once done for the accomplishment of one grand Revolution, he can and may do again, if necessary, to effect another of a similar kind and of greater magnitude. By a more extensive commercial intercourse among the nations; by wars, conquests, and revolutions; by raising up a modem Alexander, to subjugate a large portion of the world; by an increase and diffusion of knowledge, derived from travellers, and enterprises for discovery; especially by means of Missionaries, who are already scattered in every part of the world, and every day are increasing in number, and exploring some new region; not only learning the languages of the nations, but communicating the knowledge of their own; by all these and other means, which Divine providence may ordain, may not the English and French languages become to the world, what the Latin and Greek languages were before the Christian era? And may not the vast domains of some modern Alexander, become united with the dominions of some other great power, corresponding to the Roman Republic in the days of Alexander, and so the mass of mankind, be once more combined in one grand and universal empire.

As, by their peculiar situation, the Jews were formerly made subservient to the conversion of the Gentiles; so this remarkable people are to be used, according to prophecy, for the same end, at some future period. The conversion of the Jews, and their to return the Holy Land, will accomplish so many prophecies, in so public and signal a manner, as to confute and silence infidelity in every form. The attention of the whole world will be excited to this wonderful display of the mighty power of God, in fulfilling his word; and the effectual influence of his Holy Spirit, converting the nations, and bringing in “the fullness of the Gentiles,”[Rom.xi.25] will render genuine Christianity universally triumphant, [Note B.]

But it is time to direct your attention to events of the present day, which remarkably correspond with the prophecy under consideration, and appear to be fulfilling it in its highest ultimate intention. All, who have taken pains to acquaint themselves to any considerable extent with what has been passing in the world, particularly since the commencement of the American Revolution, and who duly consider the existing state of things, and the prospects of still greater changes, than any which have yet taken place, must be constrained to acknowledge, that it is now true, in a degree more remarkable than at any former period of the world, that many are “running to and fro in the earth, and that knowledge is increasing.” We now enter an immense field, over which we have time only to cast a rapid glance.

Men of enterprise and intelligence, moving in all directions, by land and sea, prompted by motives of gain, of literary curiosity, of fame; or by the refined and exalted motive of benevolence to the souls of men; are running to and fro, exploring every inhabited spot on the globe; publishing and circulating, in various languages and forms, accounts of their discoveries, and thus adding immensely to the stock of useful knowledge in all its branches. The details, which would abundantly illustrate and confirm the truth of what we have now asserted, would fill volumes, and will not be expected in a single discourse. We can only point your attention to a few prominent facts out of the multitudes, that crowd upon the mind.

First, as to the American Continent, “many are running to and fro” through this portion of the globe, “and knowledge is increased.” The northwestern and northeastern coasts of this extensive Continent, the only parts of the seacoast, before unknown, have been minutely surveyed, by skilful navigators, and an acquaintance formed, and commercial intercourse opened with the native tribes bordering upon them. These things have prepared the way for planting a number of English, Russian, and Danish colonies in regions, which, till within a few years, were classed under the head of “Unknown Lands.” These colonies, formed by Christian and civilized nations, (for different purposes indeed,) are doubtless designed by Providence, as so many stands, whence, in due time, will be diffused over those dark regions the light of science and religion. In aid of this desirable event, the interior of North America has been lately explored by enterprising travelers in different directions, from the waters of the Atlantic to the coasts of the Pacific Ocean; so that few portions of it, of any great extent, now remain unknown. [Note C.]

In like manner, the interior of South America has been extensively traversed by men of science, and a knowledge of the inhabitants, and of the situation and resources of the several countries, acquired. These discoveries, together with the revolutions and changes in government and property, which have happened, and which are still taking place in rapid progression, have already prepared the way, and are opening it still further and wider, for the heralds of the Savior to go forth into every corner of the Continent, where inhabitants are to be found, to proclaim the glad tidings of his Gospel. Multitudes of these heralds, taking up their cross, and putting their lives in their hands, have already spread themselves, in different stations, either among the heathen tribes, or in the frontier and destitute Christian settlements, over a great part of the Continent, from Greenland on the north, to Patagonia on the south.[Note.D] And multitudes more, we may reasonably hope, will shortly be added to them, when it is considered, that Missionary and Bible Societies are increasing beyond all former example, which of course must increase the means of supporting Missionaries and diffusing religious knowledge; and that the Lord, in a wonderful manner, is inclining the hearts of suitable men to engage in this self-denying service, and providing means for educating them for this purpose.[Note.E]

From the Western we direct your attention to the Eastern Continent. There too, in a still more remarkable manner, “Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increased.” We behold scenes of amazing interest on that vast theater; scenes which are rapidly fulfilling this, as well as other prophecies of Scripture.

It is remarkable, that the doctrine of Mahomet was forged at Mecca, and the supremacy of the Pope established by a grant from Phocas, [Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. He usurped the throne from the Emperor Maurice, and was himself overthrown by Heraclius after losing a civil war] in the very same year, that is, Anno Dom. 606. Hence it is inferred, that, as the eastern and western antichrists began their reign together, their expected overthrow will happen about the same time; and that time, according to the best interpretation of prophecy, is probably near at hand, even at the door. The overthrow of these gigantic powers, which will shake all nations by their fall, is to be speedily followed, according to prophecy, by the return of the Jews to the Holy Land; and this signal event by the conversion of the Gentiles; and thus “the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.”[Rev. xi. 15.]

Preparatory to these tremendous and delightful events, and during their progress, as a part of the appropriate means of their accomplishment, “Many will be running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge will be increased.” Several of the prophecies, by different events, will be fulfilling at the same time. Accordingly we find that, while the Papal and Mahometan powers, assailed by wars, which are deluging in blood and desolating one country after another, are tottering to their final fall; and while the instruments, raised up and fitted by Divine providence to destroy these powers, are executing their bloody work, “Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increased.” Voyages and enterprises for discovery by sea and land have been planned and executed to an uncommon extent, and with great success. The islands in every ocean have been visited; the coasts and harbors of every country on the globe have been surveyed. The vast interior regions of Africa, which a few years since were unknown to the civilized and Christian world, have been penetrated, in various directions, by adventurous and intelligent travellers, and are likely soon to be as well known, as other portions of the globe; and establishments are already formed, with prospects of extensive good effects, for diffusing among them a knowledge of the sciences, and of the arts of civilized life.[ Note F.]

In Asia, in ways still more remarkable, “many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increasing.” The Asiatic Society [Founded in 1784, by Sir William Jones, who was its brightest ornament] has effected wonders in the acquisition and diffusion of useful knowledge in that populous portion of the world. Travelers of great name and authority have visited some of the principal nations of Asia, and have added largely to the general stock of knowledge.

These discoveries, and the information, which in consequence of them has been acquired, relative to the character, languages, manners, customs, religion, government, and history, of the nations visited, have prepared the way for Missionaries of the cross. These self-denying friends of the Redeemer and of the souls of the heathen, filled with Christian zeal, are flocking in great numbers to this vast field of Missionary labor, which has long been whitening for harvest. From Great Britain, and her colonies, whose Missionary and Bible Societies, literary establishments, and other benevolent, richly endowed, and well directed Associations, have done more for the diffusion of Christian and other useful knowledge, than all the world beside; from Germany, Denmark, Holland, and we are happy now to add, from New England, have gone, and are going forth, a succession of Missionaries, who are spreading themselves in Europe and its islands, in North and South America, in the West Indies, in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, in Africa and its islands, in New Holland, in the thickly peopled islands in the Indian Ocean, in China, in Tartary, in Hindoostan, and in many other parts of Asia.* Many of these Missionaries, with almost incredible industry, perseverance, and success, are engaged in translating the Holy Scriptures, into the languages of the most numerous Pagan nations. Thousands, probably millions, of copies of the sacred volume, in these different languages, have already been printed and circulated among people, ignorant of the Gospel. Many have been the converts of these holy men of God, and among them not a few of the learned and influential men of these heathen nations, who, full of love to the Savior, and zeal for his cause, of thankfulness for the blessings they have received, and concern for the souls of their countrymen, have themselves become successful preachers and Missionaries of the cross, [See “The Star in the East,” a Discourse by Rev. Dr. Buchanan, reprinted in Philadelphia by Bradford; and in Boston by Monroe & Francis; a discourse, which should be read by every Christian.] And what is worthy of particular notice, a seed sown by one of the Apostles of our Lord in the heart of Asia, which has ever since been germinating, secluded from the eye of the Christian world, has been lately visited, and under the nurturing care of wise and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, is likely to prove an eminently fruitful branch of the Christian church, in a region desolate and barren in the fruits of righteousness. I allude to the Christians of St. Thomas, or as they are now called, the Syrian Christians, in Malayala, a sequestered region of Hindoostan. These Christians, More than 200,000 in number having 55 churches whose faith and worship resemble those of the Church of England, and who have among them ancient and authentic copies of the holy Scriptures, profess to have descended in regular succession from converts to the Christian faith, made by St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of our Lord, who it is said here preached the Gospel, and suffered martyrdom.[Note H.] These Malayalan churches are connected with 215 other Christian churches in Mesopotamia and Syria, which are oppressed with difficulties and struggling for existence, [Panoplist vol. iii. P. 527] Measures have probably been adopted effectually to relieve these churches, to strengthen the things which remain and are ready to die, and to render them, as from their local and relative situation they may be rendered, subservient to the extensive propagation of the Gospel in the regions around them.

* A full account of these Missionaries, of their labors, sufferings, and success, is given in the reports of the London, Baptist, Edinburgh, United Brethren’s, and other Missionary Societies in Great Britain; compendious extracts of which may be found in the Panoplist and Missionary Magazine, and other works of the kind in the United States.

But I must forbear. The subject is vast and inexhaustible. The events of the present day seem to be adapted and designed, by the Providence of God, to prepare the world to receive the Gospel; and at the same time the appropriate means are preparing and in operation to an extent altogether unparalleled for diffusing the knowledge of its blessed truths to every creature under heaven. Thus we see that at the present period, “Many are running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge is increased.”

I have time only to glance very briefly over the second branch of discourse, which was,

II. TO show, what effects we are to expect from the events, which have been briefly described. “Many, (says the Prophet,) shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Such are the events we are to look for, whenever the prophecy we have been considering shall be fulfilling. If we look back to the opening of the Christian era, to the time when the Apostles of our Lord first preached the Gospel in the world, we shall perceive with delight its astonishing effects upon the characters and conduct of men. In all, who enjoyed its benign influence, and embraced its divine truths, it produced amiable, holy, and heavenly dispositions. In the humble disciples of Jesus, every quality, which could adorn the human character, was to be found; and great, in the first ages of Christianity, was the multitude, of these children of God, scattered in different parts of the world. Still there were multitudes more, who persisted in doing wickedly, and did not understand the things, which belonged to their peace. .

Effects like these, but in magnitude and extent still greater, we are to look for, agreeably to prophecy, at the period of the other grand Revolution in the Christian church, of which we have spoken, and which is yet to come. If such effects begin to exist, at the present day, to a remarkable extent, they furnish evidence, that this prophecy is now fulfilling before our eyes.

The terms, “purified, made white, and tried,” when used by the Prophet to express these effects, plainly indicate that the period, when “many shall run to and fro through the earth, and knowledge shall be increased,” will be a period of great sufferings. And such a period we are forewarned by the Prophet to expect; “And there shall be a time,” (and this time is that, in which the prophecy under consideration will be accomplishing,) “and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.”[Dan. xii. 1.] How many years this period of trouble will continue we know not. Judging from the present state of the world, we have probably entered upon it. Its darkest part is doubtless yet to come. For we are taught in the prophecies to expect that the world, which now lieth in wickedness, is one day to be punished with most awful judgments of Heaven. “Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners out of it. For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine; and I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah xiii. 9, 10, 11.) Also, Isa. xxvi. two last verses. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For behold, the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”

While the Lord shall be thus executing his strange work, in punishing the nations for their wickedness, he will, at the same time, by new and uncommon means, be spreading his word, and the light of his Gospel, and increasing every species of useful knowledge; and will, by the instrumentality of this knowledge and these judgments, purify multitudes of people, who will hereafter be numbered among those, who will be arrayed in white, and will have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.[Rev. vii. 13, 14.]

Are not effects of the mixed nature, we have now described, every day produced, and coming to our knowledge from every part of the world? While the judgments of God are in the earth, are not some of the inhabitants in every part of the world learning righteousness?[Isaiah xxvi. 9.] Look at the tragedy, which is now acting on the theater of Europe, at which the world is gazing with astonishment; what are its effects? Are not multitudes purified by it, and made white, and tried? Is not God, in this manner, removing those obstacles to the progress of useful knowledge and the pure Gospel of Christ, which for ages have been accumulating in that region, where ignorance and superstition have prevailed to so great an extent among the people, and preparing the way for better times, and a better order of things? Amid these scenes we behold the Christian church remarkably preserved, awake to her true interests, and zealous to advance them; tried by various opposition, yet purified and made white by her sufferings; rising in glory, increasing daily in numbers, and extending her influence rapidly over the world. Thus the wrath of man is made to praise God, good is educed out of evil, order out of confusion. The church, during this dismal period, will resemble Israel in the land of Goshen, at the time when the darkness, which was felt, brooded over the Egyptians; her members will have light in all their dwellings, be shielded from the destroying angel under the wing of the Almighty. While the wicked, who will obstinately persist in doing wickedly, and who will not understand the prophecies, nor observe the signs of the times, nor regard the judgments of Heaven, will resemble the Egyptians, when under judicial darkness; the things, which belong to their peace, will be hidden from their eyes; they will be left to fill up the measure of their sins, and to ripen for some signal overthrow. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root, nor branch. But unto you, that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.[ Malachi iv. 1, 2.]

Such, as we have now exhibited, is the evidence, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its highest and ultimate accomplishment, but is now receiving it in the events of the present time; and such are some of the effects, which we may expect to follow these events. The application of the subject remains.

The period of the world, in which we have our probationary existence, is an eventful period. The aspect of the times is portentous in an uncommon degree. Changes and revolutions, which affect not only the peace and prosperity, but the existence of nations, are continually announced to the public. Indeed we may now say, what was said more than twelve years ago, and with still more evidence to support its truth, than then existed, that, “Wonder has succeeded wonder for so long a period, and in such regular succession, that wonders have now become the ordinary course of events, “[*Dr. Dwight’s Sermon on 4th of July, 1798]

*On July 4th, 1798, Dwight delivered an address entitled, “The Duty of Americans, at the Present Crisis,� which analyzed the downside of the French Revolution and offered a lesson to America. Dwight declared:

“Where religion prevails…a nation cannot be made slaves, nor villains, nor atheists, nor beasts. To destroy us therefore, in this dreadful sense, our enemies must first destroy our Sabbath and seduce us from the house of God. Religion and liberty are the two great objects of defensive war. Conjoined, they united all the feelings and call forth all the energies of man….

Religion and liberty are the meat and the drink of the body politic. Withdraw one of them and it languishes, consumes, and dies. If indifference to either, at any time, becomes the prevailing character of a people, one half of their motives to vigorous defense is lost, and the hopes of their enemies are proportionally increased. Here, eminently, they are inseparable.

Without religion we may possibly retain the freedom of savages, bears, and wolves, but not the freedom of New England. If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it; and nothing would be left, which would be worth defending.�

My design in selecting the text, and my single object in the preceding discourse, has been to awaken the attention of my audience in general, and particularly that of the religious Society now assembled, to the “signs of the times.” If this object have been in any degree attained, by the facts and observations now presented before you, we shall the more readily perceive, what are our appropriate duties, and be more easily persuaded to discharge them.

If there be any reasonable foundation to believe, that the representation, we have given of the present state of the world is correct, it is surely high time for us to awake out of sleep, to fix our eyes on the great events, which are passing before us; to compare them attentively with the predictions of the inspired prophets, and then to act wisely for ourselves, for our families, for the church of God, for our country, and for our fellow men in general. The course, which wisdom dictates to us with reference to these several objects, is obvious. Our first care should be for ourselves, that our own peace be made with God; knowing that there is no safety in perilous, nor indeed in any times, but in his friendship and protection. Our next care should be for our families, which are a part of ourselves, that they be diligently and faithfully instructed and governed, and so far, as depends on us, prepared to meet and endure the trials, which await them. No pious parent, who loves his offspring, and discerns the aspect of the times, will be satisfied without doing all he can, to secure their salvation. After that we should be concerned for the church, the ark of God, in which all its true members will be safe, during this stormy period of the world. Her interests should be dear to us. For her prosperity we should continually pray. “For Zion’s sake, we should not hold our peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake, we should not rest, till the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth.” While we perceive a deluge of troubles about to overwhelm the world, we should lift up our warning voice, and do what we can to persuade all, over whom we have influence, to enter into the ark, that they may be safe. Love to that country also, which our offspring after us are, to inhabit, with such scenes of trouble in prospect, should excite in us deep solicitude, and prompt our fervent prayers for its reformation, its safety, and prosperity. We should feel a tender sympathy for a suffering world, and pray that the righteous God would in mercy cut short these days of his vengeance, and hasten the period of the Redeemer’s universal reign, when his will shall be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.

These duties wisdom prescribes to us all; and the peculiar aspect of the times, and the prospect before us, imperiously demand our attentive performance of them. The friends of the Redeemer, we have reason to expect, will discern these prophetic signs of the times, and be prompted by them to vigorous exertions in his cause; but the eyes of his enemies will be closed. “The wicked shall do wickedly, and shall not understand.” Infidels, and those, who harmonize with infidels in sentiment and practice, will not perceive what God is doing in the earth. While he is using them, as instruments in his hand, to accomplish his prophecies; intent on their own purposes, they will think they are prospered. “Whom God wills to destroy, he first permits to be infatuated.” The Apostle has given us warning that there will come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue, as they were from the beginning of the creation.”[2 Peter iii. 3,4] If such characters should appear, and such language be heard, in these times, which bear so many marks of the “last days,” we shall not be surprised.

To the Christian Society now assembled, to pay their annual and united homage to God in his sanctuary, I now turn my address.

Fathers and Brethren. “The Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America,” is the first Institution of the kind established in America, and yet it is but of recent origin. It has been in operation but twenty three years. During this period, we have the satisfaction to believe that its exertions have been extensively useful, not only to the few remains of Indian tribes, still among us, but more especially to the destitute inhabitants of the eastern division of this Commonwealth, to which its attention has been hitherto principally directed. [For a particular historical account of the origin, proceedings, and present state, of this Society, see Appendix]

The grand design of this Society is sufficiently expressed by its name. This design, its members’ have endeavored, according to their means, to accomplish, by supporting Missionaries, aiding the settlement of Ministers, patronizing Schools, and distributing the holy Scriptures, and useful books of various kinds, in places where such aid seemed peculiarly important.” The funds of the Society, aided by liberal grants from the Legislature, for a course of years, and other donations of large amount, which delicacy forbids me more particularly to specify, have enabled the Society to do much in these ways, for the religious improvement of a large and very useful body of our necessitous fellow citizens. For a few of the last years, the Society has directed its attention, and a portion of its funds, to the destitute in several of the neighboring states.[To Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and Canada] The field of usefulness is every day extending; and, were the funds of the Society much larger than they are, they could be employed to great advantage in meliorating the condition, and promoting the salvation, of the ignorant and suffering part of our fellow men.

Since the establishment of this Society, many others have been instituted for like purposes, in this, and in most of the other states; and yet there is ample scope for all their exertions, and for the employment of all their means. The increase of these Institutions, the liberality with which they are supported, and the zeal with which their pious and benevolent objects are pursued, and the success with which their labors are rewarded, augur well to our country, and to the cause of our Redeemer. Let the members of this parent Society, which has led the way in these benevolent and most useful establishments, be animated with increasing zeal in their labors of love to the souls of their fellow men, and still maintain the rank they sustain, and be an example in Christian zeal and fidelity, to other similar Institutions. Let love to God, and love to men, prompt and govern all our measures and exertions; so shall we manifest that we are among the “wise, who understand,” secure the liberal patronage of the friends of the Redeemer, and best accomplish the grand object of our Institution.

Particularly let the peculiar and serious aspect of the times, and the wonderful means, which are in operation in all parts of the world, to effect the same glorious object, which we have in view, inspire us with corresponding ardor to be co-workers with our fellow Christians, and with God, in alleviating the miseries, which have already come, and are fast thickening, upon our guilty world, and which are preparing the way for the millennial peace.

To our efforts let us join our prayers and say, “Arise, Oh Lord, let thy work appear before thy servants, and let the whole earth be filled with thy glory.” Let the united prayers of the multitudes of thy saints on earth come up before, thee, as incense, that the great voices may soon be heard in heaven, saying, “Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever, Amen.”

NOTES

Note A.

ABOUT two hundred and seventy years before the birth of Christ, the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into the Greek language, and deposited in the famous Alexandrian Library, by Ptolemy Philadelphus, one of the kings of Egypt.* Here they remained neglected, till the time of our Savior. At this period this version was rescued from obscurity, and brought into use among all who spoke the Greek language, heathens as well as Jews. Our Savior and his Apostles all quoted this version, as did the primitive fathers. All the Greek churches used it, and the bible of the Latin churches, was a translation of it. The converted nations had the Scriptures translated into their language ‘ from this version, as the Illyrian, the Gothic, the Arabic, the Ethiopic, the Armenian, and the Syriac.

It is remarkable, that at the time when the Septuagint translation of the Scriptures was made, God had brought under the dominion of the Greeks, by the instrumentality of Alexander the Great, all the eastern nations of the world; and that they continued members of the Grecian Empire, at the time of our Savior, and during the period of the first propagation of the Gospel. “In this manner did God remarkably prepare the way for the preaching of the Gospel, which was then approaching, and facilitate the union of so many nations of different languages and manners into one society, and the same worship and doctrines, by the instrumentality of the purest, most copious, and correct language in the world, and which became common to all the countries, which were conquered by Alexander.”[ Rollin’s Ancient History, vol. vi.p. 79. Etheridge’s edition]

* Various fabulous and contradictory accounts of this translation have been given by Aristeat, and other authors. Those who wish to see a full and satisfactory view of this whole subject, may consult Pridcaux’s Connections of the Old and New Testament, part ii. chap. i. p. 28—64.

Note B.

The late movements among the Jews, particularly the convocation of the Grand Sanhedrim at Paris by Bonaparte, This Assembly consisted of 111 members. (July 15th, 1806,) may be considered as distant indications that the period of their dispersion is drawing to a close, and that a way. preparing for their return to the holy land. In remarking on this extraordinary assembly and its designs, it has been said, “The Deputies from the Dutch Jews and those from Frankfort on the Main, have been admitted into the Sanhedrim of France and Italy, and have declared their determination to adhere to its decisions. It will doubtless be the policy of Bonaparte, to attach to his person and government, the whole body of this dispersed, and enterprising people, and to avail himself of their services in promoting his ambitious views. The ready entrance, which they obtain into every country of Europe, makes them peculiarly fit instruments for his purposes.”[Christian Observer, vol vi. p. 405.] What effects are to follow from this meeting of the Grand Sanhedrim, and in what ways it may tend to effect the return of this scattered people to the country of their ancestors, cannot be foreseen.

This extraordinary people, by a standing miracle, have been preserved for nearly 1800 years, distinct from all the nations among which they have been dispersed. By means of their holy scriptures they have maintained a general uniformity in their religious faith, and a knowledge of their original language, in which they can readily converse, and maintain intercourse with each other. The meeting and transactions of this Grand Assembly may therefore be intended by Divine Providence, (though the Emperor of France, who convoked it, doubtless had quite different objects in view,) to give rise to a more intimate and extensive connection and correspondence between the scattered remains of the tribes of Israel, wherever they are found, and to lay plans for combining their pecuniary means, and their influence in effecting, in due time, not merely the ambitious views of an earthly monarch, but the purposes of Heaven, and the object of the desire and expectation of this people, viz. a return to the holy land. The following extracts from the work alluded to, give countenance to these conjectures

The learned and eloquent President [Abraham Furtado, of Bourdeaux] of this Sanhedrim, in an address to the Commissioners of the Emperor, has the following sentence. “Methinks I see the muse holding her immortal burin, and tracing on her adamant table, amidst so many deeds, which make this reign so conspicuous, that which the hero of the age has done to destroy utterly the barrier raised between nations, and the scattered remains of the most ancient people.” This expression marks the extent of the views of this Assembly.

In a communication of the Emperor to the Sanhedrim arc the following passages, from which some of his views may be collected, that have a bearing on the subject in question.

“In return for his gracious protection, His Majesty requires a religious pledge for the strict adherence to the principles contained in your answers. This assembly, constituted as it is now, could not of itself give such a security. Its answers, converted into decisions by another assembly, of a nature still more dignified and more religious, must find a place near the Talmud, and thus acquire, in the eyes of the Jews of all countries and of all ages, the greatest possible authority. It is also the only means left to you to meet the grand and generous views of His Majesty, and to impart, to all of your persuasion, the blessings of this new era.

“The purity of your law has, no doubt, been altered by the crowd of commentators, and the diversity of their opinions must have thrown doubts in the minds of those who read them. It will be then a most important service, conferred on the whole Jewish-community, to fix their belief on those points which have been submitted to you. To find, in the history of Israel, an assembly capable of attaining the object now in view, we must go back to the Great Sanhedrim, and it is the Great Sanhedrim, which His Majesty this day intends to convene. This senate, destroyed together with the temple, will rise again to enlighten the people it formerly governed: although dispersed throughout the whole world, it will bring back the Jews to the true meaning of the law, by giving interpretations, which shall set aside the corrupted glosses of commentators; it will teach them to love and to defend the country they inhabit; it will convince them that the land, where, for the first time since their dispersion, they have been able to raise their voice, is entitled to all those sentiments, which rendered their ancient country so dear to them.

“Lastly, the Great Sanhedrim, according to ancient custom, will be composed of seventy members, exclusive of the President. The duties of the Great Sanhedrim shall be to convert into religious doctrines the answers already given by this assembly, and likewise, those which may result from the continuance of your sittings.

“For you will observe, Gentlemen, your mission is not fulfilled; it will last as long as that of the Great Sanhedrim, which will only ratify your answers and give them a greater weight; His Majesty is, besides, too well satisfied with your zeal and with the purity of your intentions, to dissolve this assembly before the accomplishment of the great work in which you are called to assist.

“In the first instance it is fit that you should name by ballot a committee of nine members to prepare, with us, the groundwork of our future discussions, and of the decisions of the Sanhedrim. You will observe that the Portuguese, German, and Italian Jews, are equally represented in this committee. We also invite you to acquaint the several Synagogues of Europe of the meeting of the Great Sanhedrim without delay, that they may send deputies able to give to government additional information, and worthy of communicating with you.”

The Sanhedrim, in reply to the Emperor’s communication, say, that “his Majesty the Emperor, in allowing the formation of a Great Sanhedrim, has anticipated the wishes and the wants of all those, who profess the religion of Moses, in Europe, &c.” They direct “That a proclamation shall be addressed by this Assembly to all the Synagogues of the French Empire, of Italy, and of Europe, to acquaint them, that” on the 20th of October next, (1806,) the Great Sanhedrim will open in Paris, under the protection, and by the special permission of his Majesty.”

In the address of the Israelites of Frankfort on the Main, to the Grand Sanhedrim, are the following expressions indicative of their views.

“May the glorious example of France extend beyond the limits of its Empire.’ May the humanity of its sovereign gain ground over the whole earth, and produce a noble sentiment of emulation, by which we shall be admitted to share the happiness of our brethren, instead of a barren sentiment of admiration! May the Rulers of mankind lend an attentive ear to the mournful voice of an insulted nation! O Divine Goodness! deign to cast a look of mercy on a people formerly the object of thy complacency? Inspire the masters of the world! Move their hearts in favor Israel!”

The President, in his reply, echoes these sentiments in the following language.

“The impulse given by France, the influence of its opinions on the European continent, indulge a hope that many states will be proud to follow its example.

“The time will come when people shall no longer give vent to those odious and ridiculous passions which were gratified by our humiliation.

“The career of esteem and of consideration is open for us let us enter it with a bold step; let us divest ourselves of the rust of prejudices. Thus shall we conquer the prejudices of others.”

In 1809, a society was formed in London for the express purpose of promoting the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. They commenced their active labors in March, of this year. From their report in November following, it appears that their benevolent efforts are likely to be extensively useful. A chapel has been opened for Rev. Mr. Frey, who preaches Sabbath evenings, to a crowded audience, many of them Jews. Their free school, not confined however to Jews, contains upwards of 300 children. One of the principal Jews in the kingdom, has lately been baptized, and made vice president of the society. A learned Rabbi lately from Palestine, has embraced the Christian faith, and is placed under able instruction, in hope that he may become a minister of the gospel, in due time among his brethren in his native country.[Christian Observer, vol. viii. p. 739.]

From the foregoing, the reader will perceive, that the first steps, in Divine Providence, toward a return of the Jews to the Holy Land, are probably already taken, in the events now brought into view. The Grand Sanhedrin, of Europe,* composed of representatives from every community in this quarter of the world, under the protection and direction of the Emperor of France, may, it is conceived, at no great distance of time, attach to itself, and bring under its influence and control, all the scattered remains of this people throughout the globe. Such a course of events, with the concurring efforts to convert them to the faith of the Gospel, it is easy to perceive, prepares the way, and very naturally leads on to their return agreeably to prophecy, to the land of their fathers.

* Europe contains probably one half the whole number of Jews on the globe; and these embrace almost the whole of the learning and talents of the nation. More than 13,000 Jews inhabit the single city of Prague.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name. After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them from out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them anymore there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”[ Ezekiel xxxix. 25, to the end.]

Note C.

The Russians were the first to survey the North West coast of America. After them, Cook, Meares, Dixon, Vancouver, La Perouse, and many other able navigators, American as well as European, have almost perfected our knowledge of this coast. Mr. Hearne, in 1769, to 1772, and Mr. Mackenzie, in 1789, proceeding from the English settlements on Hudson’s Bay in different courses to the N. W. visited the Frozen Ocean. In 1792, 1798, the latter gentleman had the honor of being the first European, who visited the Pacific Ocean, by an inland journey from the English settlements above named. Captains Clarke and Lewis, under the auspices of our own government, have since visited this Ocean in another direction. And I am informed, that a little colony is already on the way, partly by land across the continent, but principally by water, with a view to plant themselves on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of Columbia river. The Russians have a settlement on this coast further North, which, according to Hassel, consists of about 800 souls.[Hassel’s Tables, 1809] In Greenland, the Danish government have a colony of 6,100 souls. The British colonies are spreading their settlements around Hudson Bay, on the Labrador coast, (of which country Mr. Cartwright has published an interesting description,) and in Upper Canada. The enterprising inhabitants of the United States are already in companies passing the Mississippi, and planting themselves in the newly acquired territory of Louisiana. Journeys from the Atlantic states, to the Pacific Ocean, will probably soon become as common, and excite as little public attention, as a voyage round the world.

Note D.

In Greenland the United Brethren, or Moravians, and the Danes, support missionaries, at Lichtenau, Newherrnhut, and Lichtenfels; the former place is surrounded by heathen inhabitants, among whom the missionaries arc laboring with zeal and success. But the inhabitants around the other two settlements, consist chiefly of persons baptized by the Brethren, and educated in Christian principles. Those, who do not belong to the Brethren’s church, have all been baptized by the Danish missionaries, so that No Trace Of Paganism Is Now Left In That Neighborhood. [See the 38th No. of the periodical accounts of the Brethren. 1804.]

In Labrador the Moravians have missionaries stationed at Okkak, Nain, and Hopedale. In this cold and dreary region, among the poor Esquimaux,[Eskimo] these intrepid soldiers of Jesus Christ, are pursuing their labors with increasing “joy and thankfulness.” One of their reports[See No. 39.] States, that the poor Indians, “were remarkably diligent in their attendance upon Divine worship; and seemed to take great delight in every opportunity afforded them to hear the gospel.” These missionaries had established schools for the instruction of young men, which are represented as in a flourishing state.

This exemplary sect of Christians, the United Brethren, have missionaries established also at Fairfield, in Upper Canada; among the Chippeway Indians, on the Tonquakamick; at Petquotting, on the river of the Hurons; at Goshen, and among the Delaware Indians, on the Wabash;* in Surinam, South America, at Paramaribo, Bombey, and Hoop, on the Corentyn; also, in the Danish West India Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Jan. In these islands they have five settlements, in which the number of Negroes in their congregations amounted, in 1807, to 10,557. In 1805, 207 adult negroes were added to these churches by baptism.[See No. 46, of their Periodical Accounts.] To Demerara, Monte Video, Buenos Ayres, and other stations in South America, and in several of the West India Islands, missionaries have been sent from England; and a number also into Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the other British colonies north of the United States. Add to these, the various religious associations in the United States support missionaries among the Cherokee Indians in Tennessee; the Wyandots, at Sandusky, on Lake Erie; the Oneidas, and the remains of the Stockbridge tribe in New York; the Marshpee and Vineyard Indians in Massachusetts, and the Narragansetts, at Charlestown, Rhode Island. And beside these are supported a great number of temporary and stationary missionaries, along the extensive frontier of the United States, and in the destitute parts of their interior settlements.

* This tribe, within a few years, has been visited by a Delegation from the Stockbridge Indians, (who are under the care of Rev. Mr. Sergeant) at the head of which is Captain Hendrick, with a view to introduce among them the Christian religion, and the useful arts. This mission has been patronized, and, in part supported, by The Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians, &c. A school was to be established here, and a master of the Stockbridge tribe was engaged, and went on with the Delegation, to keep it. See Appendix.

Note E.

Without pretending to a precise knowledge on the subject, we reckon within the limits of the United States, at least thirty Missionary Societies of different descriptions and denominations of Christians; and fifteen Bible Societies; the latter, all instituted within the last three years, and three fourths of them within the last year.

Theological Institutions have been established at New York, (1805,) by the Associate Reformed Church; the stated number of students from about 10 to 15. Also at Andover, in Massachusetts, (1808,) the whole number of students since admitted, between sixty and seventy.* And at New Brunswick, New Jersey,(l 810,) by the Dutch Reformed Church, which is just commencing its operations. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church,

* Four of these, viz. Messrs. Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, and Samuel J. Mills, have already devoted themselves to missionary labors in foreign countries, and two others are destined to a mission in the interior of Georgia, and arc on their way thither; at their meeting’ in May last, resolved on founding a similar institution somewhere within their bounds, and are collecting the necessary funds for the purpose. Besides these, there are funds to a considerable amount attached to the Colleges at Cambridge and Princeton, and to the Academies at Exeter,(N.H.) and Andover, (Mass.) for the support of theological students.

Institutions of this kind, and particularly for the purpose of educating missionaries, are established at Gosport in England, where in 1807, there were thirteen students; also at Hoxton, England, and at Berlin, in Prussia, wherein 1805, were five students.

Note F.

Among other establishments alluded to, which have in view the benefit of the inhabitants of this benighted quarter of the world, I have pleasure in mentioning, particularly, “the African Institution,” to which the abolition of the slave trade gave rise, and which was formed in London in April, 1807. Its members in point of rank, talents, wealth, and good influence, are among the first characters in England.

The objects of this noble institution, and the means of effecting them, will be best learned, by the following extracts from their Rules and Regulations.

Resolved, 1. That this Meeting is deeply impressed with a sense of the enormous wrongs which the natives of Africa have suffered in their intercourse with Europe; and from a desire to repair those wrongs, as well as from general feelings of benevolence, is anxious to adopt such measures as are best calculated to promote their civilization and happiness.

2. “That the approaching cessation of the Slave Trade hitherto carried on by Great Britain, America, and Denmark, will, in a considerable degree, remove the barrier which has so long obstructed the natural course of social improvement in Africa; and that the way will be thereby opened for introducing the comforts and arts of a more civilized state of society.

3. “That the happiest effects may be reasonably anticipated from diffusing useful knowledge, and exciting industry among the inhabitants of Africa, and from obtaining and circulating throughout this country more ample and authentic information concerning the agricultural and commercial faculties of that vast continent.

4. “That the present period is eminently fitted for prosecuting these benevolent designs; since the suspension, during the. war, of that large share of the Slave Trade, which has commonly been carried on by France, Spain, and Holland, will, when combined with the effect of the Abolition Laws of Great Britain, America, and Denmark, produce nearly the entire cessation of that traffic along a line of coast extending between two and three thousand miles in length, and thereby afford a peculiarly favorable opportunity for giving a new direction to the industry and commerce of Africa.

“To prevent misconception concerning the views and measures of the African Institution, it may be proper in the first instance to declare, that it is the Society’s fixed determination not to undertake any religious mission, and not to engage in commercial speculations. The Society is aware that there already exist several most respectable Institutions formed for the diffusion of Christianity, and means not to encroach on their province. It may also be proper to premise, that it will naturally become the duty and care of the Society, to watch over the execution of the laws, recently enacted in this and other countries, for abolishing the African Slave Trade; to endeavor to prevent the infraction of those laws; and from time to time to suggest any means by which they may be rendered more effectual to their objects; and likewise to endeavor, by communicating information, and by other appropriate methods, to promote the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by Foreign powers.

“The means which it is proposed to employ for the purpose of promoting civilization and improvement in Africa are of the following kind.

1. “To collect and diffuse, throughout this country, accurate information respecting the natural productions of Africa, and, in general, respecting the agricultural and commercial capacities of the African Continent, and the intellectual, moral, and political condition of its inhabitants.

2. “To promote the instruction of the Africans in letters and in useful knowledge, and to cultivate a friendly connection with the natives of that Continent.

3. “To endeavor to enlighten the minds of the Africans with respect to their true interests; and to diffuse information amongst them respecting the means whereby they may improve the present opportunity of substituting a beneficial commerce in place of the Slave Trade.

4. “To introduce amongst them such of the improvements and useful arts of Europe as are suited to their condition.

5. “To promote the cultivation of the African soil, not only by exciting and directing the industry of the natives, but by furnishing, where it may appear advantageous to do so, useful seeds and plants, and implements of husbandry.

6. “To introduce amongst the inhabitants beneficial medical discoveries.

7. “To obtain a knowledge of the principal languages of Africa, and, as has already been found to be practicable, to reduce them to writing, with a view to facilitate the diffusion of information among the natives of that country.

8. “To employ suitable agents and to establish correspondences as shall appear advisable, and to encourage and reward individual enterprise and exertion in promoting any of the purposes of the institution.”

The subscriptions to this institution have been very liberal,”‘ and the prospect of success encouraging. The aid of the United States, through the Secretary of the Association has been solicited in a correspondence with the President of the Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery in the United States, and with other American gentlemen of respectability. In one of his letters he states the strong reasons, which exist, to induce the American government and the American public, actively to co-operate in accomplishing the plans of this Institution.

“The success,” he says, “of any endeavors for the civilization of Africa, must depend on the degree in which the continuance of the Slave Trade on that coast can be prevented. Much has been done by the legislative enactments of Great Britain and America. Your Congress however, do not seem to have been aware of the subtle evasions, which men, practiced in this trade of blood, would have recourse to, in the prosecution of their nefarious practices. Accordingly, it appears, that American ships, using the Swedish, Spanish, and Portuguese flags, and some even sailing under their own, have appeared in the African seas, for the purpose of procuring slaves, to carry to the colonies of Spain, Portugal, Sec. What is wanted in order to destroy this system is, in the first place, an act of Congress, rendering it highly penal in any American citizen, to be engaged in this trade, either as a capitalist, or as an agent, under any flag, or under any circumstances. But above all, a contract or agreement between Great Britain and America, that the cruisers of both nations shall be empowered indiscriminately, and mutually to enforce their Abolition laws. At present, the American laws prohibiting the foreign Slave Trade, are a dead letter, because they have no cruisers on the coast of Africa, or in the tropical latitudes, to carry them into effect. If once, however, it were understood, that these piratical violators of the laws of their own country, as well as of the dearest rights of humanity, were obnoxious to seizure by British cruisers, and to subsequent condemnation, much more would be done in a few months to remove the grand obstacle, to the improvement of Africa, than could otherwise be effected in a series of years. On this subject the gentlemen above mentioned have been strongly solicited to use their influence to produce a willingness, on the part of the government of the United States, to accede to such an agreement, to which I am persuaded there would be no objection on this side of the water; and from which many happy effects, not only to Africa, but to ourselves also, might be anticipated. The cooperation of the two countries, in one common purpose of benevolence would serve, it might be hoped, to draw more closely the bond of union between them, and would unquestionably strengthen in the minds of all benevolent men, the existing motives for desiring a perfect amity to be perpetuated between them.”

It is hoped that the American government and people are not wanting in a disposition to lend their legislative aid and private influence, to the accomplishment of an object, which, when understood in all its contemplated consequences, cannot fail to excite the warmest approbation, and even admiration, of every humane, upright, and liberal mind.

AMERICA AND JUDAISM by Rabbi N. I. Benson, Mississippi, 1876

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AMERICA AND JUDAISM An Address By Rabbi N. I. Benson, D. D. Delivered At The Jewish Temple, Jackson, Mississippi, July 4, 1876.

When the hoary hand of time passed the hour of midnight in the preceding day, America had passed a century, and entered upon a new one; and in consequence the same enthusiastic millions of people inhabiting its free soil and enjoying the liberty and energy’s reward sent forth to the King of all kings, Ruler of all nations, a thanksgiving which was appropriate for past dispensations, and an earnest solicitation for future grace. The enthusiasm manifested to-day by America’s children is one of no idle clamor or noisy shouting—it is the voice of the people, acknowledging the gifts of their divine Ruler. If anything in the wide world should call forth a national, and in fact, a universal enthusiasm, it is the celebration of this anniversary, in which a grateful people can behold the realization of what were but hopes, one hundred years ago. The grievances stated by a suffering people in the Declaration of Independence, one of which alone were sufficient to impede the progress and cultivation of any class of people, when the freedom of speech was not tolerated, when the chains of despotism were around their necks, when the yoke of oppression by the tyrannical laws of an unscrupulous tyrant, as the then King of Great Britain was, where the germs of greatness could not be developed, —then I say it was a time to revolt-and throw off the yoke of oppression, and to endeavor to show to that tyrannical monarch, that man has no master, save one, their Creator. And they rallied! they harmonized! and with one unanimous voice the representatives of 40,000,000 people proclaimed themselves free and independent. With one unanimous struggle they threw off the yoke of despotism, and laid before the world their pent-up grievances which gave cause to their revolt. And they succeeded! and what, my friends, think you was the cause of their success? – Perhaps you may think it was physical strength which produced these wonders! Oh no! for we are well aware that the English army outnumbered the Americans vastly in equipments, in regularity, in military tactics and maneuvers. What then was the secret spring of success? Ah, my friends, it was right against might! Yes, my friends, America had a most noble ally right in its ranks; that ally was right arrayed against might; and thank God, in this instance, right won the day. Behold, was it not Providential during the war, where a handful of ragged men drives out from its soil a well-regulated army! Yes, my friends, it was the hand of God. and America is much likened to my beloved creed Judaism. For behold, were we not slaves in Egypt under a tyrannical Pharaoh, and by the goodness of the Almighty God, He sent unto us Moses, who carried out the word of God according to revelation. Even so was America in bondage to Britain’s despotic monarch, and God hearing the voice of the oppressed, sent unto you George Washington, America’s Moses, who, inspired by God, led the ragged and suffering men entrusted to him by Congress, to the field of glory and triumph; and as the children of Israel went out of the land of Egypt unto perpetual liberty, and finally entered into the promised land in glory and triumph, even so did Washington by his patriotism finally and eventually conquer his opponents, and America became the beacon of perpetual liberty, the wonder of the world, a land which we may indeed call the land of milk and honey.

In no country is labor so highly respected, and so well remunerated as in the United States; and in none therefore are the laboring class so happy, and we may add enlightened. No restrictions are laid on industry; political privileges are extended to all. and the humblest citizen may raise himself to the proudest position in the Republic.

Our mechanics have brought a high degree of ingenuity as well as skill to their work; and through their means America has become justly famous for her inventions and improvements. Among a host of things that might be mentioned, it is undeniable that the best locks, life-boats, printing presses and agricultural implements, come from America.

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The labor of building up the resources of a new country has as yet left the people of the United States little time and opportunity for cultivating literature and the arts. Yet we point with pride to our meta-physician Edwards; our lexicographer, Noah Webster; our mathematicians, Bodwitch and Rittenhouse; our naturalists, the Audubon’s; our novelists, Irving and Cooper; our poets, Bryant and Longfellow; our sculptors, Powers and Greenough; our painters, Copely, Stuart, Trumbull, Vanderlyn, Allston, Peale and Sully. If there is one thing on which, more than all others, America may pride herself, and found high hopes of stability for her glorious institutions, it is her system of common schools ; she offers the advantage of education to the young without money and without price, convinced that their enlightenment is her best safeguard. Now, having thus enumerated the results of a hundred years’ growth, let us see what could be the cause of this prosperity. In reviewing back the history of other nations, we cannot behold the same results. Instead of progress and amelioration, decay and strife hath proved its career. The secret upon which these noble results are based, is framed in a very few words in the Constitution, wherein is quoted the following words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Ah, noble words! upon these rests the progress of the nation. To how many countries has the non-observance of these words proved a downfall and ruin? How many millions of people have been put to death in the universe on account of the non-adoption of this noble principle; but America, prosperous and fortunate country, thou hast taken unto thee a precept which will eventually develop itself; and the world will look upon thee with admiration and respect. Never will there be in this soil a governor as Appeles, in the days of the Maccabees, who endeavored to enforce conformity in the religious observances and to abolish the laws of Moses; nor will there nestle in thy bosom tyrants like Syro Grecians, [Syrian-Greek mix] who having discovered the fact that the Jews would not use any arms on the Sabbath, even in self-defense, and taking advantage of this scrupulous observance of the holy day of the Lord, attacked a cave near Jerusalem wherein secreted themselves a thousand pious worshippers of God, and slaughtered them without mercy ; nor will there ever be on this soil a madman like Antiochus, who, because they would not renounce their ancestral faith caused, a mother and her seven sons to be put to a death the most ignominious by tortures the most revolting.

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The spirit of liberty—liberty of conscience, liberty of thought and speech, the inalienable right of man, has made rapid progress upon the free soil of this vast and blessed Republic, which has been inhabited by human beings hailing hither from all parts of the globe; and Israelites too have sought and found shelter and protection under the banner of the stars and stripes, and settled themselves also in the State of Mississippi. Pursuing the annals of this State we discover traces of Jewish steps in your midst as far back as at least a half a century ago. Most of the early Jewish inhabitants of this State have already long since departed from this world of sorrow and woe for the unknown regions of eternity. But some of them by their constant adherence to the laws of equity and justice, of loyalty and benevolence, left behind them imprints more lasting than monuments of cold marble, and which will never be erased from the memory of Jew or Gentile.

Judaism teaches the equality of person and universal salvation. And it is but just to acknowledge that you, my Christian friends, have tacitly expressed your acknowledgment that the Jew is as good as any other man, that we all have but one Father; one God created us all; and by that acknowledgment, which to us speaks louder than words, you have expressed your belief that in the kingdom of Heaven, there is no distinction made between the Jew and Gentile.

1Then indeed, may I uplift my hands to Providence and thank Him, upon this anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, that He, in his benign grace, caused the day to dawn at last, when Jew and Gentile shall walk hand in hand in life, to see at last, that they are indispensable to each other, and I trust that the Creator of the Universe shall strengthen and cement these filial bonds of brotherhood, that when our children shall celebrate one hundred years hence, that this bond of brotherhood shall have become so strong and mutual, that no false doctrines, nor sectarian dogmas, shall be able to sever not even the smallest link.

See also: The Wisdom and Love of God as Shown by His Creation by Noah Webster
Constitution of the United States and it’s Governmental Operations (In Plain English)
Christianity and the Founding of the United States the Simple Truth
Advice to Young People from Noah Webster Father of American Education
THE DUTY AND VALUE OF PATRIOTISM by John Ireland 1894
PATRIOT SONS OF PATRIOT SIRES by Rev. Samuel Francis Smith 1808-1895

OUR REPUBLIC! By Jeremiah Taylor at Providence, R. I., July 4th 1876

Power of History2OUR REPUBLIC! An Oration By Rev. Jeremiah Taylor, D. D., Delivered At Providence, Rhode Island, July 4th, 1876, At The Planting Of A Centennial Tree In Roger William’s Park.

Mr. President, Ladies, Gentlemen, Youth And Children: A German schoolmaster once said, “Whenever I enter my schoolroom, I remove my hat and bow with reverence, for there I meet the future dignitaries of my country.” Standing as we do this hour upon the high places of national prosperity and joining with the forty millions of people, the inhabitants of our proud and grateful country in this centennial celebration, the future outlook is awe-inspiring. To us as to him of old, who beheld the bush burning, yet not consumed, there comes the admonition, that we are standing in the presence of the high and the holy. In the order of the exercises which the committee have arranged for this day’s work among us, I am impressed that each department illustrates well some grand historic fact, or enunciates some underlying principle which has built and which must conserve this Republic.

You will have observed that the celebration began by a military and civic procession which, after winding through some of the principal streets of the city, brought up at the venerable “meeting house,” which is older than the nation, and has stood all these years blessing the people, and there combined with the services of religion and the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the address of eloquence.

WeThePeopleWhat better picture of the state of tilings one hundred years ago, when stirred with eloquence as the fire of patriotism burned bright and all consuming, men rushed to their altars for divine guidance, and then to their implements of war, to conquer or die. “A civic and military procession!” just that was the army of the Revolution springing up from field and workshop and all trades and professions wherever a hero might be found and the sacred cause moved him. Next in order to-day came the grand Trades Procession; symbolizing the prosperity of the country during a century of life and industry, and what nation under the whole heaven, can exhibit such a growth in a century as we do to-day, in all these things which constitute the strength and glory of a free people?

The third act in the scene of this pageantry is the one passing here, in which the children and the youth are so largely represented; from whose ranks are to arise the men and the women of the future. Yes, here we stand in the presence of the nation that is to be. There is a meaning, too, in the regatta appointed for the silent hours of incoming evening upon the quiet waters of the Seekonk That old stream that has played so important a part in ages gone as well as now; that yielded her bosom just as readily when furrowed by the canoe of the red man before civilized life began, as now it endures all the wantoness and sport of the trained sons of Brown. For shall we not see in the struggles of the boat race the intensified energy and stimulated purpose exemplified which must constitute the warp and woof in the great business life of the future?

That nation only has a future among the centuries that shall be worthy of record, which employs all her skill and well-directed enterprise to keep fully abreast of all the questions that bear upon human weal, and, when rightly solved, bless mankind to the last degree. We want the bone, the muscle, the sinew capable of hardly endurance, not less than the well-trained thought and sterling virtue for future use. The old Republic, weakened by effeminacy, perished. May God save us from such an unhonored grave!

Portrait_of_George_WashingtonIt will be seen then from this run along the line of the procession that the morning service had a more special reference to the past; was largely puritanic while this of the afternoon and evening contemplate the future, and are mainly prophetic. Let us catch the inspiration that ought to move us even here and now. I have said this service is future in its bearings. But lest the muse of history should turn away in sorrow, stop a moment before we proceed with that idea. Let us not forget this place is hallowed ground. Go up into the old house which has crowned the brow of the hill for the century past, and which has just been “fixed up” for the century to come. Then walk down to the well of whose pure waters, the Williams family drank from generation to generation, and which when mixed with tea gave such zest to the evening hours in the life of Betsey, to whose noble benefaction it is due we are here in such joyous mood, feeling that we are part owners of these twenty acres, if we hold not a foot of soil outside the Park. Then pass down into the sacred enclosure where the “forefathers of the hamlet sleep,” and read the quaintly lettered story of their life and death. We are sorry that you cannot look upon the face of old Roger himself, the patron saint of all these domains, and whose statue with a face as he ought to have looked when living, will one day appear ready to defy the storms of the open heavens as they may here sweep over the plain. But in the absence of that costly embellishment, walk across yon rustic bridge where you will find the apple tree and Roger Williams in it. But to our theme,—With these children from our public schools, and you, Mr. President representing the Board of Education, before me, how natural to say a few things in regard to education and government. And thus we shall see what the children must be and do to render the future grand—enduring. I have just read the story of the “Blue-eyed Boy,” who peered through the keyhole into the Hall of Independence, saw the venerable men sign the Declaration of Independence, then of his own accord shouted to the bellman to ring forth the joyful tidings, then leaping upon the back of his pony, self-appointed, rode night and day to the camp of General Washington, located in New York, and communicated to him what had been done in Congress, and this two days before the commander-in-chief received his dispatches from the proper authorities. Like that patriotic, heroic boy, we want the children of to-day to herald down the coming ages the great facts and principles of our nation’s life and glory. How can they do it?

We have planted our centennial tree; whether it survives and flourishes, or dies after a few months, depends upon certain established laws in nature. Soil, climate, sunshine and storm are to tell in the one direction or the other. The Republic of of the United States, which to-day wears a matronly brow and bears the wreath of a century, is to abide in honor and flourish in prosperity, or to perish from being a nation under the operation of laws no less fixed and obvious.

betsy_ross_flag1We are probably now passing through the test period of our existence. We have seen the sword cannot devour. The world knows, we know, that our arm of power is strong in defence and protection. The adverse elements which, during the century gone, have at times appeared so fierce and destructive, have only reduced elements of strength. Prosperity is often more dangerous than adversity. When Moab could not conquer ancient Israel on the field of battle, she did so spread her net of enticement as to decoy and imperil her. If we have come through the scourge of the sword strong, who can say that corruption and loss of public virtue shall not mark our ruin? We must educate the young aright, if we are to conserve what we have received and now hold. It has been said, “the chief concern of a State is the education of her children.” As a prime element in this education, we have need to inculcate American ideas of government. This may be quite easy to do with that portion of the young that are born here, and whose blood is Anglo Saxon; without other ingredients, the blood and the birth place both have an important bearing. The Englishman, reared on the other side of the Atlantic, does not easily comprehend the genius of our free institutions, and there noticeably are duller scholars still. The government here is through the people, and of course belongs to the people. I am a part of the nation, and am to my measure of ability responsible for what the national life is. This idea of being a factor in the Republic becomes one of the most potent influences for good; one of the most powerful educators in the land. It was this idea that brought to the field of battle such vast armies to save the government in its last scene of danger, and rendered them so tractable, wise, enduring, brave, where no standing armies existed before. Now whether a man came from China or Ireland, Japan or Germany, the north pole or the south pole, let him understand at the earliest possible period, that he is one of us and owes allegiance to no government but what he helps to constitute. It has been said many a time, that the English debt makes the English government strong—because so many of the people are creditors. Our own government in the late war made the people largely its creditors for a like reason. But the bond of our union is deeper, broader than this, more binding, more sure. It is this, that not only the money is ours, but the honor and prosperity, and the very being of the nation belongs to the people. And allow me to say that our system of popular education is one of the best agencies that can be employed to inculcate, foster and strengthen this idea. Every school in our land made up of a distinct nationality, on a fundamental principle of religion or politics, is fostering a spirit anti-Republican, and fraught with evil to our free institutions.

If any people are so purblind as not to see that we offer to them through our public institutions better educational opportunities than they can transplant here from the Old World, then we beg they will abide under their own vine and fig tree and leave to us and ours, what we so highly prize, and propose to perpetuate. We shall not submit to any foreign domination, whether it be political or ecclesiastical.

There will naturally be connected with this American idea of government, as a second educational element, patriotic fervor. One of the weakest things in the old Ottoman power so shaken just now that indicates its near ruin is a lack of patriotism. Such an emotion as love of country is not found there. The Turk may fight because he is forced to, not because his home, family and native land are dearer to him than life.

The Storming of Stony Point by Alonzo Chappell

The Storming of Stony Point by Alonzo Chappell

It was this patriotic fervor that brought our nation into being, and this must be an important instrumentality in its continuance. Read the closing sentence in that immortal document which one hundred years ago this very day so fired and nerved the people in their great struggle for liberty: “And for the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Those words were no mere rhetorical flourish, when published. They included all the language could express, and infinitely more than such a declaration ever contained before.

It may be quite easy to frame resolutions and give pledges in times of peace; but the hour when the framers of the Declaration of Independence spoke so boldly and meaningly was when war was at the door and the hand of a most powerful nation was upon the throat of her feebler Colonies.

To pledge life, property, sacred honor then was to have them put in immediate requisition for the imperiled cause.

It meant, as Benjamin Franklin said to John Hancock, as he wrote his bold name and remarked, (1)”We must all hang together. Yes, we must indeed hang together, or else, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” That high-toned sentiment, fearlessly uttered was sustained by sacrifice and intense endurance. Republics are made of youth and let there arise generation after generation of youth, so infused, men of such devotion to the good of the country, and we are safe for the century to come, for all future years while the world standeth; for:

Our country first, their glory and their pride,
Land of their hopes, land where their fathers died,
When in the right they’ll keep her honor bright,
Wherein the wrong they’ll die to set it right.

It was a painful feature of our American life made prominent before the late rebellion, that so many eminent in positions at home, or traveling abroad, affected to despise their birth-right, were ashamed of their country. They claimed to be English rather than Americans, when in foreign lands. And when here on our soil, fostered, honored, had nothing of the national life and spirit about them.

In such an ignoble spirit the rebellion was matured. They were ever decrying their home blessings, and extolling the beauty and bounty of institutions far away. We are thankful that spirit, so vain and silly, so unnatural and obsequious, has been so thoroughly flogged out of the nation. I do not think so big a fool can be found in the entire land, in this day of grace, July 4, 1876, as a man who chanced to be born in our famed country, wishing the lines of life in the beginning had fallen to him in some other place. American citizenship has passed the period of reproach. It challenges the homage of the world. It is set in gems of beauty. It is royal diadem.

In studying the character of the men who became the founders and framers of this Republic, we find they were distinguished for sterling integrity, and so we must see to it that the young, rising up around us, are possessed of the same element of character, if our institutions are to be perpetuated. What we want to-day in our country is men who can be trusted. They are here, no doubt, and will appear and take their place when called for. Gold is good, and we want that, but men more. We have had a decade of sordid sentiment and base practice.

Such a state of things is not unusual after a season of war. Competition was widespread after the Revolution.

hero_of_vincennes1The vile mercenary spirit has invaded all departments of life and influences. The greed of gain, inflamed by a desire for personal gratification, has been too strong for the ordinary barriers of virtue and fair dealing, and what wrecks of character, fortune and life even have appeared as a consequence upon the surface of society. Men who have become insane through lust and gain scruple not at the use of any means which may accomplish their purpose. And so we distrust one another, and wonder if we shall find at the Centennial Exhibition even that noblest work of God, “an honest man.” It is thought by many that the evil is self-corrective, that the appalling depths of iniquity which have been revealed will frighten and compel a hasty retreat on the part of those who have ventured on the perilous extreme. That is not the ordinary law of reform. Reeking corruption does not of itself become a scene of sweetness and beauty. Let us trust in no such vain hope. Rather let the education of the young be the source of cheerful expectation. Train up the children in the ways of integrity. Let it be engraven upon their hearts in the deep-bedded lines of ineffaceable conviction, that righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways though he be rich.

“Ill fares the land to hast’ning; ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.”

Another important lesson to bo taught our youth is that wealth is not the end, but the means, and so our life ought to be one of well-appointed industry and careful husbandry, whether we be rich or poor.

Harriet Martineau, who has just died at her home in England, after traveling through this country and observing the working of our free institutions, recorded as her deliberate opinion that no calamity could befall an American youth more serious in results than to inherit a large patrimony.

The idea has been so wide spread, that if a man has riches he has attained already the chief end of his being, that an overindulged, useless life, is almost a sure concomitant of inherited wealth; more diligence, less extravagance, should be the watchwords with which to start on the new century. With the very fair show which the benevolent department of the country may make as to-day she unrolls her record of church work at home and abroad, her educational work, with endowed colleges and public libraries, her charities to the poor and the unfortunate, it must yet be apparent that as a people we have not learned how to use wealth aright.

The great industries of the land are depressed. The hands of the laborer are seeking in vain for something to do, and the rich are becoming poor, as a consequence of the recklessness of habits in the modes of earning and spending in the past. The same is true of a liberal education, as of wealth. The youth who, blessed with opportunities for a higher education, must be made to feel that they are carried through the schools, not to be drones in society, fancy men, but that they may contribute to the wisdom, integrity and every virtue in the high places of state and nation.

It is sometimes said that higher education unfits some for business. Send a boy to college and he is good for nothing except in the learned professions. “If this be so, then our educational system needs reorganizing.” The old maxim that knowledge is power, is true, and broad as true. A man will be better fitted to fill any occupation in life for a higher education, if he has been educated aright. Out upon any other theory. Let the people everywhere be made to feel this, as the graduates do honor to their privileges, by meeting the just claim that society has upon them and the questions about graded schools and free colleges will fail to be discussed for want of an opponent.

Our country offers the highest prize for every virtue, all trained talent. It is base, it is mean, it is contemptible, not to be true, noble and good when the way to ascend is so easy; where the people are so ready to crown, and honor him who deserves to wear a crown, and when our free institutions are so deserving of all the support and praise we can bring them.

One word more. This has been a Christian nation during the century past. The great principles of divine truth have been wrought into the foundations and abide in the structure. The Word of God has been our sheet anchor in the past; it must be so in the future. Someone has said “Republicanism and freedom are but mere names for beautiful but impossible abstractions, except in the case of a Christainly, educated people.” Keep this thought in the minds of the young, in all their course of education, and they will rise up to bless the land, and possess her fair and large domain. It was [Alexis] De Tocqueville who said, “He who survives the freedom and dignity of his country, has already lived too long.

May none before us, or in the generations following, live thus long. Our Republic to the end of time.

See also: THE POWER OF HISTORY by Horatio Seymour (1810–1886)
RISE OF CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY by Dr. Richard Salter Storrs July 4 1876
SCORN TO BE SLAVES by Dr. Joseph Warren 1741-1775
THE MARCH OF FREEDOM by Theodore Parker 1810-1860
THE GENIUS OF AMERICA by Hon. Dr. Felix R. Brunot July 4, 1876
Wide Spread And Growing Corruption In The Public Service Of The States And Nation
THE HAND OF GOD IN AMERICAN HISTORY by Rev Morgan Dix July 4th 1876 NYC
A REPUBLIC! A LIVING BREATHING CONSTITUTION DEFINED! by Alphonse De Lamartine 1790-1869
BENEFITS OF THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT IN AMERICA by Thomas G. Alvord 1810- 1897
US flag and bible cross

RISE OF CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY by Dr. Richard Salter Storrs July 4 1876

RS StorrRise Of Constitutional Liberty An Oration Delivered By The Rev. Dr. R. S. Storrs, At The Academy Of Music, New York, July 4, 1876.

Mr. President—Fellow-citizen : The long-expected day has come, and passing peacefully the impalpable line which separates ages, the Republic completes its hundredth year. The predictions in which affectionate hope gave inspiration to political prudence are fulfilled. The fears of the timid, and the hopes of those to whom our national existence is a menace, are alike disappointed. The fable of the physical world becomes the fact of the political; and after alternate sunshine and storm, after heavings of the earth which only deepened its roots, and ineffectual blasts of lightning whose lurid threat died in the air, under a sky now raining on it benignant influence, the century-plant of American Independence and popular government bursts into this magnificent blossom of a joyful celebration illuminating the land!

With what desiring though doubtful expectation those whose action we commemorate looked for the possible coming of this day, we know from the records which they have left. With what anxious solicitude the statesmen and the soldiers of the following generation anticipated the changes which might take place before this Centennial year should be reached, we have heard ourselves, in their great and fervent admonitory words. How dim and drear the prospect seemed to our own hearts fifteen years since, when, on the fourth of July 1861, the XXXVIIth Congress met at Washington with no representative in either House from any State south of Tennessee and Western Virginia, and when a determined and numerous army, under skillful commanders, approached and menaced the capital and the government—this we surely have not forgotten; nor how, in the terrible years which followed, the blood and fire, and vapor of smoke, seemed oftentimes to swim as a sea, or to rise as a wall, between our eyes and this anniversary.

“It cannot outlast the second generation from those who founded it,” was the exulting conviction of the many who loved the traditions and state of monarchy, and who felt them insecure before the widening fame in the world of our prosperous Republic. “It may not reach its hundredth year,” was the deep and sometimes the sharp apprehension of those who felt, as all of us felt, that their own liberty, welfare, hope, with the brightest political promise of the world, were bound up with the unity and the life of our nation. Never was solicitude more intense, never was prayer to Almighty God more fervent and constant— not in the earliest beginnings of our history, when Indian ferocity threatened that history with a swift termination, not in the days of supremest trial amid the Revolution—than in those years when the nation seemed suddenly split asunder, and forces which had been combined for its creation were clenched and rocking back and forth in bloody grapple on the question of its maintenance.

The prayer was heard. The effort and the sacrifice have come to their fruitage; and to-day the nation—still one, as at the start, though now expanded over such immense spaces, absorbing such incessant and diverse elements from other lands, developing within it opinions so conflicting, interests so various, and forms of occupation so novel and manifold—to-day the nation, emerging from the toil and the turbulent strife, with the earlier and the later clouds alike swept out of its resplendent stellar arch, pauses from its work to remember and rejoice; with exhilarated spirit to anticipate its future; with reverent heart to offer to God its great Te Deum.(1)

Not here alone, in this great city, whose lines have gone out into all the earth, and whose superb progress in wealth, in culture, and in civic renown, is itself the most illustrious token of the power and beneficence of that frame of government under which it has been realized; not alone in yonder, I had almost said adjoining, city, whence issued the paper that first announced our national existence, and where now rises the magnificent Exposition, testifying for all progressive States to their respect and kindness toward us, the radiant clasp of diamond and opal on the girdle of the sympathies which interweave their peoples with ours; not alone in Boston, the historic town, first in resistance to British aggression, and foremost in plans for the new and popular organization, one of whose citizens wrote his name, as if cutting it with a plowshare, at the head of all on our great charter, another of whose citizens was its intrepid and powerful champion, aiding its passage through the Congress; not there alone, nor yet in other great cities of the land, but in smaller towns, in villages and hamlets, this day will be kept, a secular Sabbath, sacred alike to memory and to hope.

Not only, indeed, where men are assembled, as we are here, will it be honored. The lonely and remote will have their part in this commemoration. Where the boatman follows the winding stream, or the woodman explores the forest shades; where the miner lays down his eager drill beside rocks which guard the precious veins; or where the herdsman, along the sierras, looks forth on the seas which now reflect the rising day, which at our midnight shall be gleaming like gold in the setting sun —there also will the day be regarded, as— a day of memorial. The sailor on the sea will note it, and dress his ship in its brightest array of flags and bunting. Americans dwelling in foreign lands will note and keep it.

London itself will today be more festive because of the event which a century ago shadowed its streets, incensed its Parliament, and tore from the crown of its obstinate King the chiefest jewel. On the boulevards of Paris, in the streets of Berlin, and along the leveled bastions of Vienna, at Marseilles and at Florence, upon the silent liquid ways of stately Venice, in the passes of the Alps, under the shadow of church and obelisk, palace and ruin, which still prolong the majesty of Rome; yea, further East, on the Bosphorus, and in Syria; in Egypt, which writes on the front of its compartment in the great Exhibition, “The oldest people of the world sends its morning-greeting to the youngest nation;” along the heights behind Bombay, in the foreign hongs of Canton,(2) in the “Islands of the Morning,” which found the dawn of their new age in the startling sight of an American squadron entering their bays—everywhere will be those who have thought of this day, and who join with us to greet its coming.

No other such anniversary, probably has attracted hitherto such general notice. You have seen Rome, perhaps, on one of those shining April days when the traditional anniversary of the founding of the city fills its streets with civic processions, with military display, and the most elaborate fire-works in Europe; you may have seen Holland, in 1782, when the whole country bloomed with orange on the three-hundredth anniversary of the capture by the sea-beggars of the city of Briel, and of the revolt against Spanish domination which thereupon flashed on different sides into sudden explosion. But these celebrations, and others like them, have been chiefly local. The world outside has taken no wide impression from them. This of ours is the first of which many lands, in different tongues, will have had report. Partly because the world is narrowed in our time, and its distant peoples are made neighbors, by the fleeter machineries now in use; partly because we have drawn so many to our population from foreign lands, while the restless and acquisitive spirit of our people has made them at home on every shore; but partly, also, and essentially, because of the nature and the relations of that event which we commemorate, and of the influence exerted by it on subsequent history, the attention of men is more or less challenged, in every centre of commerce and of thought, by this anniversary. Indeed it is not unnatural to feel—certainly it is not irreverent to feel—that they who by wisdom, by valor, and by sacrifice, have contributed to perfect and maintain the institutions which we possess, and have added by death as well as by life to the luster of our history, must also have an interest in this day; that in their timeless habitations they remember us beneath the lower circle of the heavens, are glad in our joy and share and lead our grateful praise. To a spirit alive with the memories of the time, and rejoicing in its presage of nobler futures, recalling the great, the beloved, the heroic, who have labored and joyfully died for its coming, it will not seem too fond an enthusiasm to feel that the air is quick with shapes we cannot see, and glows with faces whose light serene we may not catch! They who counseled in the Cabinet, they who defined and settled the law in decisions of the Bench, they who pleaded with mighty eloquence in the Senate, they who poured out their souls in triumphant effusion for the liberty which they loved in forum or pulpit, they who gave their young and glorious life as an offering on the field, that government for the people, and by the people, might not perish from the earth—it cannot be but that they too have part and place in this Jubilee of our history! God make our doings not unworthy of such spectators! and make our spirit sympathetic with theirs from whom all selfish passion and pride have now forever passed away!

The interest which is felt so distinctly and widely in this anniversary reflects a light on the greatness of the action which it commemorates. It shows that we do not unduly exaggerate the significance or the importance of that; that it had really large, even world-wide relations, and contributed an effective and a valuable force to the furtherance of the cause of freedom, education, humane institutions, and popular advancement, wherever its influence has been felt.

Yet when we consider the action itself, it may easily seem but slight in its nature, as it was certainly commonplace in its circumstances. There was nothing even picturesque in its surroundings, to enlist for it the pencil of the painter, or help to fix any luminous image of that which was done on the popular memory.

In this respect it is singularly contrasted with other great and kindred events in general history; with those heroic and fruitful actions in English history which had especially prepared the way for it, and with which the thoughtful student of the past will always set it in intimate relations. Its utter simplicity, as compared with their splendor, becomes impressive.

When, five centuries and a half before, on the fifteenth of June, and the following days, in the year of our Lord 1215, the English barons met King John in the long meadow of Runnemede, and forced from him the Magna Charta—the strong foundation and steadfast bulwark of English liberty, concerning which Mr. Hallam has said in our time that “all which has been since obtained is little more than as confirmation or commentary,”—no circumstance was wanting, of outward pageantry, to give dignity, brilliance, impressiveness, to the scene. On tho one side was the King, with the Bishops and nobles who attended him, with the Master of the Templars, and the Papal legate before whom he had lately rendered his homage.(3) On the other side was the great and determined majority of the barons of England, with multitudes of knights, armed vassals, and retainers, (4) With them in purpose, and in resolute zeal, were most of those who attended the King. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the English clergy, was with them; the Bishops of London, Winchester, Lincoln, Rochester, and of other great sees. The Earl of Pembroke, dauntless and wise, of vast and increasing power in the realm, and not long after to be its Protector, was really at their head. Robert Fitz-Walter, whose fair daughter Matilda the profligate king had forcibly abducted, was Marshal of the army—the “Army of God, and the Holy Church.” William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, half-brother of the King, was on the field; the Earls of Albemarle, Arundel, Gloucester, Hereford, Norfolk. Oxford, the great Earl Warenne, who claimed the same right of the sword in his barony which William the Conqueror had had in the kingdom, the Constable of Scotland, Hubert de Burgh, seneschal of Poictou, and many other powerful nobles—descendants of the daring soldiers whose martial valor had mastered England, Crusaders who had followed Richard at Ascalon and at Jaffa, whose own liberties had since been in mortal peril. Some burgesses of London were present, as well; troubadours, minstrels, and heralds were not wanting; and doubtless there mingled with the throng those skillful clerks whose pens had drawn the great instrument of freedom, and whose training in language had given a remarkable precision to its exact clauses and cogent terms.

Pennons and banners streamed at large, and spearheads gleamed, above the host. The June sunshine flashed reflected from inland shield and muscled armor. The terrible quivers of English yeomen hung on their shoulders. The voice of trumpets, and clamoring bugles, was in the air. The whole scene was vast as a battle, though bright as a tournament; splendid, but threatening, like burnished clouds, in which lightnings sleep. The king, one of the handsomest men of the time, though cruelty, perfidy, and every foul passion must have left their traces on his face, was especially fond of magnificence in dress; wearing we are told, on one Christmas occasion, a rich mantle of red satin, embroidered with sapphires and pearls, a tunic of white damask, a girdle lustrous with precious stones, and a baldric from his shoulder, crossing his breast, set with diamonds and emeralds, while even his gloves, as indeed is still indicated on his fine effigy in Worcester cathedral, bore similar ornaments, the one a ruby, the other a sapphire.

Whatever was superb, therefore, in that consummate age of royal and baronial state, whatever was splendid in the glittering and grand apparatus of chivalry, whatever was impressive in the almost more than princely pomp of prelates of the Church,—

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth can give,—

all this was marshaled on that historic plain in Surrey, where John and the barons faced each other, where Saxon king and Saxon earl had met in council before the Norman had footing in England; and all combined to give a fit magnificence of setting to the great charter there granted and sealed.

The tower of Windsor—not of the present castle and palace, but of the earlier detached fortress which already crowned the cliff, and from which John had come to the field—looked down on the scene. On the one side, low hills enclosed the meadow; on the other, the Thames flowed brightly by, seeking the capital and the sea. Every feature of the scene was English save one; but over all loomed, in a portentous and haughty stillness, in the ominous presence of the envoy from Rome, that ubiquitous power surpassing all others, which already had once laid the kingdom under interdict, and had exiled John from church and throne, but to which later he had been reconciled, and on which he secretly relied to annul the charter which he was granting.

The brilliant panorama illuminates the page which bears its story. It rises still as a vision before one, as he looks on the venerable parchment originals, preserved to our day in the British Museum. If it be true, as Hallam has said, that from that era a new soul was infused into the people of England, it must be confessed that the place, the day, and all the circumstances of that new birth were fitting to the great and the vital event.

That age passed away, and its peculiar splendor of aspect was not thereafter to be repeated. Yet when, four hundred years later, on the seventh of June,(5) 1628, the Petition of Right, the second great charter of the liberties of England, was presented by Parliament to Charles the First, the scene and its accessories were hardly less impressive.

Into that law—called a Petition, as if to mask the deadly energy of its blow upon tyranny—had been collected by the skill of its framers all the heads of the despotic prerogative which Charles had exercised, that they might all be smitten together, with one tremendous destroying stroke. The king, enthroned in his chair of state, looked forth on those who waited for his word, as still he looks, with his fore-casting and melancholy face, from the canvas of Van Dyck. Before him were assembled the nobles of England, in peaceful array, and not in armor, but with a civil power in their hands which the older gauntlets could not have held, and with the memories of a long renown almost as visible to themselves and to the king as were the tapestries suspended on the walls.

Crowding the bar, behind these descendants of the earlier barons, were the members of the House of Commons, with whom the law now presented to the king had had its origin, and whose boldness and tenacity had constrained the peers, after vain endeavor to modify its provisions, to accept them as they stood. They were the most powerful body of representatives of the kingdom that had yet been convened; possessing a private wealth it was estimated, surpassing three-fold that of the Peers, and representing not less than they the best life, and the oldest lineage, of the kingdom which they loved.

Their dexterous, dauntless, and far-sighted sagacity is yet more evident as we look back than their wealth or their breeding; and among them were men whose names will be familiar while England continues. Wentworth was there, soon to be the most dangerous of traitors of the cause of which he was then the champion, but who then appeared as resolute as ever to vindicate the ancient, lawful, and vital liberties of the kingdom; and Pym was there, the unsurpassed statesman, who, not long afterward was to warn the dark and haughty apostate that he never again would leave pursuit of him so long as his head stood on his shoulders.(6) Hampden was there, considerate and serene, but inflexible as an oak ; once imprisoned already for his resistance to an unjust taxation, and ready again to suffer and to conquer in the same supreme cause. Sir John Eliot was there, eloquent and devoted, who had tasted also the bitterness of imprisonment, and who after years of its subsequent experience, was to die a martyr in the Tower. Coke was there, seventy-seven years of age, but full of fire as full of fame, whose vehement and unswerving hand had had chief part in framing the Petition. Selden was there, the repute of whose learning was already continental. Sir Francis Seymour, Sir Robert Phillips, Strode, Hobart, Denzil Holies, and Valentine—such were the commoners; and there, at the outset of a career not imagined by either, faced the king a silent young member who had come now to his first Parliament at the age of twenty-nine, from the borough of Huntingdon, Oliver Cromwell.

In a plain cloth suit he probably stood among his colleagues. But they were often splendid, and even sumptuous, in dress; with slashed doublets, and cloaks of velvet, with flowing collars of rich lace, the swords by their sides, in embroidered belts, with flashing hilts, their very hats jeweled and plumed, the abundant dressed and perfumed hair falling in curls upon their shoulders. Here and there may have been those who still more distinctly symbolized their spirit, with steel corslets, overlaid with lace and rich embroidery.

So stood they in the presence, representing to the full the wealth, and genius, and stately civic pomp of England, until the king had pronounced his assent, in the express customary form, to the law which confirmed the popular liberties; and when, on hearing his unequivocal final assent, they burst into loud, even passionate acclamations of victorious joy, there had been from the first no scene more impressive in that venerable Hall, whose history went back to Edward the Confessor.

In what sharp contrast with the rich ceremonial and the splendid accessories of these preceding kindred events, appears that modest scene at Philadelphia, from which we gratefully date to-day a hundred years of constant and prosperous national life!

In a plain room, of an unpretending and recent building—the lower east room of what then was a State-house, what since has been known as the “Independence Hall”—in the midst of a city of perhaps thirty thousand inhabitants—a city which preserved its rural aspect, and the quaint simplicity of whose plan and structures had always been marked among American towns —were assembled probably less than fifty persons to consider a paper prepared by a young Virginia lawyer, giving reasons for a Resolve which the assembly had adopted two days before. They were farmers, planters, lawyers, physicians, surveyors of land, with one eminent Presbyterian clergyman. A majority of them had been educated at such schools, or primitive colleges, as then existed on this continent, while a few had enjoyed the rare advantage of training abroad, and foreign travel; but a considerable number, and among them some of the most influential, had had no other education than that which they had gained by diligent reading while at their trades or on their farms.

The figure to which our thoughts turn first is that of the author of the careful paper on the details of which the discussion turned. It has no special majesty or charm, the slight tall frame, the sun-burned face, the gray eyes spotted with hazel, the red hair which crowns the head; but already, at the age of thirty-three, the man has impressed himself on his associates as a master of principles, and of the language in which those principles find expression, so that his colleagues have left to him, almost wholly, the work of preparing the important Declaration. He wants readiness in debate, and so is now silent; but he listens eagerly to the vigorous argument and the forcible appeals of one of his fellows on the committee, Mr. John Adams, and now and then speaks with another of the committee, much older than himself—a stout man, with a friendly face, in a plain dress, whom the world had already heard something of as Benjamin Franklin. These three are perhaps most prominently before us as we recall the vanished scene, though others were there of fine presence and cultivated manners, and though all impress us as substantial and respectable representative men, however harsh the features of some, however brawny their hands with labor. But certainly nothing could be more unpretending, more destitute of pictorial charm than that small assembly of persons for the most part quite unknown to previous fame, and half of whose names it is not probable that half of us in this assembly could now repeat.

After a discussion somewhat prolonged as it seemed at the time, especially as it had been continued from previous days, and after some minor amendments of the paper, toward evening it was adopted, and ordered to be sent to the several States, signed by the president and the secretary; and the simple transaction was complete. Whatever there may have been of proclamation and bell-ringing appears to have come on subsequent days. It was almost a full month before the paper was engrossed, and signed by the members. It must have been nearly or quite the same time before the news of its adoption had reached the remoter parts of the land .

If pomp of circumstances were necessary to make an event like this great and memorable, there would have beeu others in our own history more worthy far of our commemoration. As matched against multitudes in general history, it would sink into instant and complete insignificance. Yet here, to-day, a hundred years from the adoption of that paper, in a city which counts its languages by scores, and beats with the thread of a million feet, in a country whose enterprise flies abroad over sea and land on the rush of engines not then imagined, in a time so full of exciting hopes that it hardly has leisure to contemplate the past, we pause from all our toil and traffic, our eager plans and impetuous debate, to commemorate the event. The whole land pauses, as I have said; and some distinct impression of it will follow the sun, wherever he climbs the steep of Heaven, until in all countries it has more or less touched the thoughts of men.

Why is this? is a question, the answer to which should interpret and vindicate our assemblage.

It is not simply because a century happens to have passed since the event thus remembered occurred. A hundred years are always closing from some event, and have been since Adam was in his prime. There was, of course, some special importance in the action then accomplished—in the nature of that action, since not in its circumstances—to justify such long record of it; and that importance it is ours to define. In the perspective of distance the small things disappear, while the great and eminent keep their place. As Carlyle has said: “A king in the midst of his body-guards, with his trumpets, warhorses, and gilt standard-bearers, will look great though he be little; only some Roman Carus can give audience to satrap ambassadors, while seated on the ground, with a woolen cap, and supping on boiled peas, like a common soldier.”(7)

What was, then, the great reality of power in what was done a hundred years since, which gives it its masterful place in history—makes it Roman and regal amid all its simplicity?

Of course, as the prime element of its power, it was the action of a People, and not merely of persons; and such action of a People, has always a momentum, a public force, a historic significance, which can pertain to no individual arguments and appeals. There are times, indeed, when it has the energy and authority in it of a secular inspiration; when the supreme soul which rules the world comes through it to utterance, and a thought surpassing man’s wisest plan, a will transcending his strongest purpose, is heard in its commanding voice.

It does not seem extravagant to say that the time to which our thoughts are turned was one of these.

For a century and a half the emigrants from Europe had brought hither, not the letters alone, the arts and industries, or the religious convictions, but the hardy moral and political life, which had there been developed in ages of strenuous struggle and work. France and Germany, Holland and Sweden, as well as England, Scotland, and Ireland, had contributed to this. The Austrian Tyrol, the Bavarian highlands, the Bohemian plain, Denmark, even Portugal, had their part in this colonization. The ample domain which hero received the earnest immigrants bad imparted to them of its own oneness; and diversities of language race, and custom, had fast disappeared in the governing unity of a common aspiration, and a common purpose to work out through freedom a nobler well-being.

The general moral life of this people, so various in origin, so accordant in spirit, had only risen to grander force through the toil and strife, the austere training, the long patience of endurance, to which it here had been subjected. The exposures to heat, and cold, and famine, to unaccustomed labors, to alternations of climate unknown in the old world, to malarial forces brooding above the mellow and drainless recent lands—these had fatally stricken many; but those who survived were tough and robust, the more so, perhaps, because of the perils which they had surmounted Education was not easy, books were not many, and the daily newspaper was unknown; but political discussion had been always going on, and men’s minds had gathered unconscious force as they strove with each other, in eager debate, on questions concerning the common welfare. They had had much experience in subordinate legislation, on the local matters belonging to their care; had acquired dexterity in performing public business, and had often had to resist or amend the suggestions or dictates of Royal governors. For a recent people, dwelling apart from older and conflicting States, they had had a large experience in war, the crack of the rifle being never unfamiliar along the near frontier, where disciplined skill was often combined with savage fury to sweep with sword or scar with fire their scattered settlements.

By every species, therefore, of common work, of discussion endurance, and martial struggle, the descendants of the colonists scattered along the American coast had been allied to each other. They were more closely allied than they knew. It needed only some signal occasion, some summons to a sudden heroic decision, to bring them into instant general combination; and Huguenot and Hollander, Swede, German, and Protestant Portuguese, as well as Englishman, Scotchman, Irishman, would then forget that their ancestors had been different, in the supreme consciousness that now they had a common country, and before all else were all of them Americans.

That time had come. That consciousness had for fifteen years been quickening in the people, since the “Writs of Assistance ” had been applied for and granted, in 1761, when Otis, resigning his honorable position under the crown, had flung himself against the alarming innovation with an eloquence as blasting as the stroke of the lightning which in the end destroyed his life. With every fresh invasion by England of their popular liberties, with every act which threatened such invasion by providing opportunity and the instruments for it, the sense of a common privilege and right, of a common inheritance in the country they were fashioning out of the forest, of a common place in the history of the world, had been increased among the colonists. They were plain people, with no strong tendencies to the ideal. They wanted only a chance for free growth; but they must have that, and have it together, though the continent cracked. The diamond is formed, it has sometimes been supposed, under a swift enormous pressure, of masses meeting, and forcing the carbon into a crystal. The ultimate spirit of the American colonists was formed in like manner; the weight of a rocky continent beneath, the weight of au oppression only intolerable because undefined pressing on it from above. But now that spirit, of inestimable price, reflecting light from every angle, and harder to be broken than anything material, was suddenly shown in acts and declarations of conventions and assemblies from the Penobscot to the St. Mary’s.

Any commanding public temper, once established in a people grows bolder, of course, more inquisitive and incentive, more sensible of its rights, more determined on its future, as it comes more frequently into exercise. This in the colonies lately had had been the most significant of all its expressions, up to that point, in the resolves of a popular ass3mblies that the time had come for a final separation from the kingdom of Great Britain. The eminent Congress of two years before had given it powerful reinforcement . Now, at last, it entered the representative American assembly, and claimed from that the ultimate word. It found what it sought. The Declaration was only the voice of that supreme, impersonal force, that will of communities, that universal soul of the State.

The vote of the colony then thinly covering a part of the spaces not yet wholly occupied by this great State, was not, indeed, at once formally given for such an instrument. It was wisely dejayed, under the judicious counsel of Jay, till a provincial Congress could assemble, specially called, and formally authorized, to pronounce the deliberate resolve of the colony; and so it happened that only twelve colonies voted at first for the great Declaration, and that New York was not joined to the number till five days later. But Jay knew, and all knew, that numerous, wealthy, eminent in character, high in position as were those here and elsewhere in the country—in Massachusetts, in Virginia, and in the Carolinas—who were by no means yet prepared to sever their connection with Great Britain, the general and governing mind of the people was fixed upon this, with a decision which nothing could change, with a tenacity which nothing could break. The forces tending to that result had wrought to their development with a steadiness and strength which the stubbornest resistance had hardly delayed. The spirit which now shook light and impulse over the land was recent in its precise demand, but as old in its birth as the first Christian settlements; and it was that spirit—not of one, nor of fifty, not of all the individuals in all the conventions, but the vaster spirit which lay behind—which put itself on sudden record through the prompt and accurate pen of Jefferson.

He was himself in full sympathy with it, and only by reason of that sympathy could give it such consummate expression Not out of books, legal researches, historical inquiry, the careful and various studies of language, came that document; but out of repeated public debate, out of manifold personal and private discussion, out of his clear sympathetic observation of the changing feeling and thought of men, out of that exquisite personal sensibility to vague and impalpable popular impulses which was in him innately combined with artistic taste, an idea nature, and rare power of philosophical thought. The voice of the cottage as well as the college, of the church as well as the legislative assembly, was in the paper. It echoed the talk of the farmer in home-spun, as well as the classic eloquence of Lee, or the terrible tones of Patrick Henry. It gushed at last from the pen of its writer, like the fountain from the roots of Lebanon, a brimming river when it issues from the rock ; but it was because its sources had been supplied, its fullness filled, by unseen springs; by the rivulets winding far up among the cedars, and percolating through hidden crevices in the stone; by melting snows, whose white sparkle seemed still on the stream; by fierce rains, with which the basins above were drenched ; by even the dews, silent and wide, which had lain in stillness all night upon the hill.

The Platonic idea of the development of the State was thus realized here; first Ethics, then Politics. A public opinion, energetic and dominant took its place from the start as the chief instrument of the new civilization. No dashing maneuver of skillful commanders, no sudden burst of popular passion, was in the Declaration; but the vast mystery of a supreme and imperative public life, at once diffused and intense—behind all persons, before all plans, beneath which individual wills are exalted, at whose touch the personal mind is inspired, and under whose transcendent impulse the smallest instrument becomes of a terrific force. That made the Declaration; and that makes it now, in its modest brevity, take its place with Magna Charta and the Petition of Right, as full as they of vital force, and destined to a parallel permanence.

Because this intense common life of a determined and manifold People was not behind them, other documents, in form similar to this, and in polish and cadence of balanced phrase perhaps its superiors, have had no hold like that which it keeps on the memory of men. What papers have challenged the attention of mankind within the century, in the stately Spanish tongue, in Mexico, New Granada, Venezuela, Bolivia, or the Argentine Republic, which the world at large has now quite forgotten! How the resonant proclamations of German or of French Republicans, of Hungarian or Spanish revolutionists and patriots, have vanished as sound absorbed in the air! Eloquent, persuasive, just, as they were, with a vigor of thought, a fervor of passion, a fine completeness and symmetry of expression, in which they could hardly be surpassed, they have now only a literary value. They never became great general forces. They were weak, because they were personal; and history is too crowded, civilization is too vast, to take much impression from occasional documents. Only then is a paper of secular force, or long remembered, when behind it is the ubiquitous energy of the popular will, rolling through its words in vast diapason, and charging its clauses with tones of thunder.

Because such an energy was behind it, our Declaration had its majestic place and meaning; and they who adopted it saw nowhere else

So rich advantage of a promised glory,
An smiled upon the forehead of their action.

Because of that, we read it still, and look to have it as audible as now, among the dissonant voices of the world, when other generations, in long succession, have come and gone!

But further, too, it must be observed that this paper, adopted a hundred years since, was not merely the declaration of a People, as distinguished from eminent and cultured individuals—a confession before the world of the public State-faith, rather than a political thesis—but it was also the declaration of a People which claimed for its own a great inheritance of equitable laws, and of practical liberty, and which now was intent to enlarge and enrich that. It had roots in the past, and a long genealogy; and so it had a vitality inherent, and an immense energy.

They who framed it went back, indeed, to first principles. There was something philosophic and ideal in their scheme, as always there is when the general mind is deeply stirred. It was not superficial. Yet they were not undertaking to establish new theories, or to build their state upon artificial plans and abstract speculations. They were simply evolving out of the past what therein bad been latent; were liberating into free exhibition and unceasing activity, a vital force older than the history of their colonization, and wide as the lands from which they came. They had the sweep of vast impulses behind them. The slow tendencies of centuries came to sudden consummation in their Declaration; and the force of its impact upon the affairs and the mind of the world was not to be measured by its contents alone, but by the relation in which these stood to all the vehement discussion and struggle of which it was the latest outcome.

This ought to be, always, distinctly observed.

The tendency is strong, and has been general, among those who have introduced great changes in the government of states, to follow some plan of political, perhaps of social innovation, which enlists their judgment, excites their fancy, and to make a comely theoretic habitation for the national household, rather than to build on the old foundations—expanding the walls, lif ting the height, enlarging the doorways, enlightening with new windows the halls, but still keeping the strength and renewing the age of an old familiar and venerated structure. You remember how in France, in 1789, and the following years, the schemes of those whom Napoleon called the “ideologists” succeeded each other, no one of them gaining a permanent supremacy, though each included important elements, till the armed consulate of 1799 swept them all into the air, and put in place of them one masterful genius and ambitious will. You remember how in Spain, in 1812, the new Constitution proclaimed by the Cortes was thought to inaugurate with beneficent provisions a wholly new era of development and progress; yet how the history of the splendid peninsula, from that day to this, has been but the record of a struggle to the death between the Old and the New, the contest as desperate, it would seem, in our time as it was at the first.

It must be so, always, when a preceding state of society and government, which has got itself established through many generations, is suddenly superseded by a different fabric, however more evidently conformed to right reason. The principle is not so strong as the prejudice. Habit masters invention. The new and theoretic shivers its force on the obstinate coherence of the old and the established. The modern structure fails and is replaced, while the grim feudal keep, though scarred and weather-worn, the very cement seeming gone from its walls, still scowls defiance at the red right-hand of the lightning itself.

It was no such rash speculative change which here was attempted. The People whose deputies framed our Declaration were largely themselves descendants of Englishmen; and those who were not, had lived long enough under English institutions to be impressed with their tendency and spirit. It was therefore only natural that even when adopting that ultimate measure which severed them from the British crown, they should retain all that had been gained in the mother-land through centuries of endurance and strife. They left nothing that was good; they abolished the bad, added the needful, and developed into a rule for the continent the splendid precedents of great former occasions. They shared still the boast of Englishmen that their constitution “has no single date from which its duration is to be reckoned,” and that “the origin of the English law is as undiscoverable as that of the Nile.” They went back themselves, for the origin of their liberties, to the most ancient muniments of English freedom. Jefferson had affirmed, in 1774, that a primitive charter of American Independence lay in the fact that as the Saxons had left their native wilds in the North of Europe, and had occupied Britain—the country which they left asserting over them no further control, nor any dependence of them upon it—so the Englishmen coming hither had formed, by that act, another state, over which Parliament had no rights, in which its laws were void till accepted.(8)

But while seeking for their liberties so archaic a basis, neither he nor his colleagues were in the least careless of what subsequent times had done to complete them. There was not one element of popular right, which had been wrested from crown and noble in any age, which they did not keep; not an equitable rule, for the transfer or the division of property, for the protection of personal rights, or for the detection and punishment of crime, which was not precious in their eyes. Even Chancery jurisdiction they widely retained, with the distinct tribunals, derived from the ecclesiastical courts, for probate of wills; and English technicalities were maintained in their courts, almost as if they were sacred things. Especially that equality of civil rights among all commoners, which II all am declares the most prominent characteristic of the English Constitution— the source of its permanence, its improvement, and its vigor— they perfectly preserved; they only more sharply affirmatively declared it. Indeed, in renouncing their allegiance to the king, and putting the United Colonies in his place, they felt themselves acting in intimate harmony with the spirit and drift of the ancient constitution. The Executive here was.to be elective, not hereditary, to be limited and not permanent in the term of his functions; and no established peerage should exist. But each State retained its governor, its legislature, generally in two houses, its ancient statute and common law; and if they had been challenged for English authority for their attitude toward ;the crown, they might have replied in the words of Bracton, the Lord Chief-Justice five hundred years before, under the reign of Henry the Third, that ” the law makes the king;” “there is no king, where will, and not law, bears rule;” “if the king were without a bridle, that is the law, they ought to put a bridle upon him.”(9) They might have replied in the words of Fox, speaking in Parliament, in daring defiance of the temper of the House, but with many supporting him, when he said that in declaring Independence, they “had done no more than the English had done against James the Second.”(10)

They had done no more; though they had not elected another king in place of him whom they renounced. They had taken no step so far in advance of the then existing English Constitution as those which the Parliament of 1640 took in advance of the previous Parliaments which Charles had dissolved. If there was a right more rooted than another in that Constitution, it was the right of the people which was taxed to have its vote in the taxing legislature. If there was anything more accordant than another with its historic temper and tenor, it was that the authority of the king was determined when his rule became tyrannous. Jefferson had but perfectly expressed the doctrine of the lovers of freedom in England for many generations, when he said in his Summary view of the Rights of America, in 1774, that “the monarch is no more than the chief officer of the people, appointed by the laws, and circumscribed with definite powers, to assist in working the great machine of government, erected for their use, and consequently subject to their superintendence;” that “kings are the servants, not the proprietors of the people;” and that a nation claims its rights, “as derived from the laws of nature not as the gift of their chief magistrate.” (11)

That had been the spirit, if not as yet the formulated doctrine, of Raleigh, Hampden, Russell, Sydney—of all the great leaders of liberty in England. Milton had declared it, in a prose as majestic as any passage of the Paradise Lost. The Commonwealth had been built on it; and the whole Revolution of 1688. And they who now framed it into their permanent organic law, and made it supreme in the country they were shaping, were in harmony with the noblest inspirations of the past. They were not innovating with a rash recklessness. They were simply accepting and re-affirming what they had learned from luminous events and illustrious men. So their work had a dignity, a strength, and a permanence which can never belong to mere fresh speculation. It interlocked with that of multitudes going before. It derived a virtue from every field of struggle in England; from every scaffold, hallowed by free and consecrated blood; from every hour of great debate. It was only the complete development into law, for a separated people, of that august ancestral liberty, the germs of which had preceded the Heptarchy, the gradual definition and establishment of which had been the glory of English history. A thousand years brooded over the room where they asserted hereditary rights. Its walls showed neither portraits nor mottoes; but the Kaiser-saal at Frankfort was not hung around with such recollections. No titles were worn by those plain men; but there had not been one knightly soldier, or one patriotic and prescient statesman, standing for liberty in the splendid centuries of its English growth, who did not touch them with unseen accolade, and bid them be faithful. The paper which they adopted, fresh from the pen of its young author, and written on his hired pine table, was already in essential life, of a venerable age; and it took immense impulse, it derived an instant and vast authority, from its relation to that undying past in which they too had grand inheritance, and from which their public life had come.

Englishmen themselves now recognize this, and often are proud of it. The distinguished representative of Great Britain at Washington may think his government, as no doubt he does, superior to ours; but his clear eye cannot fail to see that English liberty was the parent of ours, and that the new and broader continent here opened before it, suggested that expansion of it which we celebrate to-day. His ancestors, like ours, helped to build the Republic; and its faithfulness to the past, amid all reformations, was one great secret of its earliest triumph, has been one source, from that day to this, of its enduring and prosperous strength.

The Congress, and the People behind it, asserted for themselves hereditary liberties, and hazarded everything in the purpose to complete them. But they also affirmed, with emphasis and effect, another right, more general than this, which made their action significant and important to other peoples, which made it, indeed, a signal to the nations of the right of each to assert for itself the just prerogative of forming its government, electing its rulers, ordaining its laws, as might to it seem most expedient. Hear again the immortal words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; * * that to secure these [unalienable] rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to altar or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations in such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

This is what the party of Bentham called “the assumption of natural rights, claimed without the slightest evidence of their existence, and supported by vague and declamatory generalities.” This is what we receive as the decisive and noble declaration, spoken with the simplicity of a perfect conviction, of a natural right as patent as the continent; a declaration which challenged at once the attention of mankind, and which is now practically assumed as a premise in international relations and public law.

Of course it was not a new discovery. It was old as the earliest of political philosophers; as old, indeed, as the earliest communities, which, becoming established in particular locations, had there developed their own institutions, and repelled with vehemence the assaults that would change them. But in the growth of political societies, and the vast expansion of imperial states, by the conquest of those adjacent and weaker, this right, so easily recognized at the outset, so germane to the instincts, so level with the reason, of every community, had widely passed out of men’s thoughts; and the power of a conquering state to change the institutions and laws of a people, or impose on it new ones,—the power of a parent state to shape the forms and prescribe the rules of the colonies which went from it,—had been so long and abundantly exercised, that the very right of the people, thus conquered or colonial, to consult its own interests in the frame of its government, had been almost forgotten.

It might be a high speculation of scholars, or a charming dream of political enthusiasts. But it was not a maxim for the practical statesman; and whatever its correctness as an ideal principle, it was vain to expect to see it established in a world full of kings who claimed, each for himself, an authority from God, and full of states intent on grasping and governing by their law adjacent domains. The revolt of the Netherlands against Spanish domination had been the one instance in modern history in which the inherent right of a People to suit itself in the frame of its government had been proclaimed, and then maintained; and that had been at the outset a paroxysmal revolt, against tyranny so crushing, and cruelties so savage, that they took it out of the line of examples. The Dutch Republic was almost as exceptional, through the fierce wickedness which had crowded it into being, as was Switzerland itself, on the Alpine heights. For an ordinary state to claim self-regulation, and found its government on a Plebiscit, was to contradict precedent, and to set at defiance European tradition.

Our fathers, however, in a somewhat vague way, had held from the start that they had right to an autonomy; and that act of Parliament, if not appointments of the crown, took proper effect upon these shores only by reason of their assent. Their characters were held to confirm this doctrine. The conviction, it first practical and instinctive, rather than theoretic, had grown with their growth, and had been intensified into positive affirmation and public exhibition as the British rule impinged more sharply on their interests and their hopes. It had finally become the general and decisive conviction of the colonies. It had spoken already in armed resistance to the troops of the King. It had been articulated, with gathering emphasis, in many resolves,of assemblies and conventions. It was now, finally, most energetically, set forth to the world in the great Declaration; and in that utterance, made general, not particular, and founding the rights of the people in this country on principles as wide as humanity itself, there lay an appeal to every nation:—an appeal whose words took unparalleled force, were illuminated and made rubrical, in the fire and blood of the following war.

When the Emperor Ferdinand visited Innsbruck, that beautiful town of the Austrian Tyrol, in 1838, it is said that the inhabitants wrote his name in immense bonfires, along the sides of the precipitous hills which shelter the town Over a space of four or five miles extended that colossal illumination, till the heavens seemed on fire in the far-reflected upstreaming glow. The right of a people, separated from others, to its own institutions—our fathers wrote this in lines so vivid and so large that the whole world could see them ; and they followed that writing with the consenting thunders of so many cannon that even the lands across the Atlantic were shaken and filled with the long reverberation.

The doctrine had, of course, in every nation, its two-fold internal application, as well as its front against external powers. On the one hand it swept with destroying force against the nation, so long maintained, of the right of certain families in the world, called Hapsburg, Bourbon, Stuart, or whatever, to govern the rest; and wherever it was received it made the imagined divine right of kings an obsolete and contemptible fiction. On the other hand, it smote with equal energy against the pretensions of any minority within the state—whether banded together by the ties of descent, or of neighborhood in location, or of common opinion, or supposed common interest —to govern the rest; or even to impair the established and paramount government of the rest by separating themselves organically from it.

It was never the doctrine of the fathers that the people of Kent, Cornwall, or Lincoln, might sever themselves from the rest of England, and, while they had their voice and vote in the public councils, might assert the right to govern the whole, under threat of withdrawal if their minor vote were not suffered to control . They were not seeking to initiate anarchy, and to make it thenceforth respectable in the world by support of their suffrages. They recognized the fact that the state exists to meet permanent needs, is the ordinance of God as well as the family; and that He has determined the bounds of men’s habitation, by rivers, seas, and mountain chains, shaping countries as well as continents into physical coherence, while giving one man his birth on the north of the Pyrenees, another on the south, one on the terraced banks of the Rhine, another in English meadow or upland. They saw that a common and fixed habitation, in a country thus physically defined, especially when combined with community of descent, of permanent public interest, and of the language on which thought is interchanged— that these make a People; and such a People, as a true and abiding body-politic, they affirmed had right to shape its government, forbidding others to inter-meddle.

But it must be the general mind of the People which determined the questions thus involved; not a dictating class within the state, whether known as peers or associated commoners, whether scattered widely, as one among several political parties, or grouped together in some one section, and having a special interest to encourage. The decision of the general public mind, as deliberately reached, and authentically declared, that must be the end of debate; and the right of resistance, or the right of division, after that, if such right exist, it is not to be vindicated from their Declaration. Any one who thought such government by the whole intolerable to him was always at liberty to expatriate himself, and find elsewhere such other institutions as he might prefer. But he could not tarry, and still not submit. He was not a monarch, without the crown, before whose contrary judgment and will the public councils must be dumb. While dwelling in the land, and having the same opportunity with others to seek the amendment of what he disapproved, the will of the whole was binding upon him and that obligation he could not vacate by refusing to accept it. If one could not, neither could ten, nor a hundred, nor a million, who still remained a minority of the whole.

To allow such a right would have been to make government transparently impossible. Not separate sections only, but counties, townships, school districts, neighborhoods, must have the same right; and each individual, with his own will for his final law, must be the complete ultimate State.

It was no such disastrous folly which the fathers of our Republic affirmed. They ruled out kings, princes, peers, from any control over the People; and they did not give to a transient minority, wherever it might appear, on whatever question, a greater privilege, because less defined, than that which they jealously withheld from these classes. Such a tyranny of irresponsible occasional minorities would have seemed to them only more intolerable than that of classes, organized, permanent, and limited by law. And when it was affirmed by some, and silently feared by many others, that in our late immense civil war the multitudes who adhered to the old Constitution had forgotten or discarded the principles of the earlier Declaration, those assertions and fears were alike without reason. The People which adopted that Declaration, when distributed into colonies, was the People which afterward, when compacted into states, established the Confederation of 1781—imperfect enough, but whose abiding renown it is that under it the war w as ended It was the same People which subsequently framed the supreme Constitution. “We, the people of the United States,” do ordain and establish the following Constitution,—so runs the majestic and vital instrument. It contains provisions for its own emendation. When the people will, they may set it aside, and put in place of it one wholly different; and no other nation can intervene. But while it continues, it, and the laws made normally under it, are not subject to resistance by a portion of the people, conspiring to direct or limit the rest. And whensoever any pretension like this shall appear, if ever again it does appear, it will undoubtedly as instantly appear that, even as in the past so in the future, the people whose our government is, and whose complete and magnificent domain God has marked out for it, will subdue resistance, compel submission, forbid secession, though it cost again, as it cost before, four years of war, with treasure uncounted and inestimable life.

The right of a People upon its own territory, as equally against any classes within it or any external powers,this is the doctrine of our Declaration. We know how it here has been applied, and how settled it is upon these shores for the time to come We know, too, something of what impression it instantly made upon the minds of other peoples, and how they sprang to greet and accept it. In the fine image of Bancroft, “the astonished nations, as they read that all men are created equal, started out of their lethargy, like those who have been exiles from childhood, when they suddenly hear the dimly-remembered accents of their mother-tongue.”(12)

The theory of scholars had now become the maxim of a State. The diffused intellectual nebulous light had got itself concentrated into an orb; and the radiance of it, penetrating and hot, shone afar. You know how France responded to it; with passionate speed seeking to be rid of the terrific establishments in church and state which had nearly crushed the life of the people, and with a beautiful though credulous unreason trying to lift, by the grasp of the law, into intelligence and political capacity the masses whose training for thirteen centuries had been despotic. No operation of natural law was any more certain than the failure of that too daring experiment. But the very failure involved progress from it; involved, undoubtedly, that ultimate success which it was vain to try to extemporize. Certainly the other European powers will not again intervene, as they did, to restore a despotism which France has abjured, and with foreign bayonets to uphold institutions which it does not desire. Italy, Spain, Germany, England—they are not Republican in the form of their government, nor as yet democratic in the distribution of power. But each of them is as full of this organific, self-demonstrating doctrine, as is our own land; and England would send no troops to Canada to compel its submission if it should decide to set up for itself. Neither Italy nor Spain would maintain a monarchy a moment longer than the general mind of the country preferred it. Germany would be fused in the fire of one passion if any foreign nation whatever should assume to dictate the smallest change in one of its laws. The doctrine of the proper prerogative of kings, derived from God, which in the last century was more common in Europe than the doctrine of the centrality of the sun in our planetary system, is now as obsolete among the intelligent as are the epicycles of Ptolemy. Every government expects to stand henceforth by assent of the governed, and by no other claim of right. It is strong by beneficence, not by tradition; and at the height of its military successes it circulates appeals, and canvasses for ballots. Revolution is carefully sought to be averted, by timely and tender amelioration of the laws. The most progressive and liberal states are most evidently secure; while those which stand, like old olive-trees at Tivoli, with feeble arms supported on pillars, and hollow trunks filled up with stone, are palpably only tempting the blast. An alliance of sovereigns, like that called the Holy, for reconstructing the map of Europe, and parceling out the passive peoples among separate governments, would to-day be no more impossible than would Charlemagne’s plan for reconstructing the empire of the West. Even Murad, Sultan of Turkey, now takes the place of Abdul the deposed, “by the grace of God, and the will of the people;” and that accomplished and illustrious Prince, whose empire under the Southern Cross rivals our own in its extent, and most nearly approaches it on this hemisphere in stability of institutions and in practical freedom, has his surest title to the throne which he honors, in his wise liberality, and his faithful endeavor for the good of his people. As long as in this he continues, as now, a recognized leader among the monarchs—ready to take and seek suggestions from even a democratic Republic—bis throne will be steadfast as the water-sheds of Brazil; and while his successors maintain his spirit, no domestic insurrection will test the question whether they retain that celerity in movement with which Dom Pedro has astonished Americans.

It is no more possible to reverse this tendency toward popular sovereignty, and to substitute for it the right of families, classes, minorities, or of intervening foreign states, than it is to arrest the motion of the earth, and make it swing the other way in its annual orbit. In this, at least, our fathers’ Declaration has made its impression on the history of mankind.

It was the act of a People, and not of persons, except as these represented and led that. It was the act of a People, not starting out on new theories of government, so much as developing into forms of law and practical force a great and gradual inheritance of freedom. It was the act of a People, declaring for others, as for itself, the right of each to its own form of government without interference from other nations, without restraint by privileged classes.

It only remains, then, to ask the question how far it has contributed to the peace, the advancement, and the permanent, welfare, of the People by which it was set forth; of other nations which it has affected . And to ask this question is almost to answer it. The answer is as evident as the sun in the heavens.

It certainly cannot be affirmed that we in America, any more than persons or peoples elsewhere, have reached as yet the ideal state, of private liberty combined with a perfect public order, or of culture complete, and a supreme character. The political world, as well as the religious, since Christ was on earth, looks forward, not backward, for its millennium. That Golden Age is still to come which is to shine in the perfect splendor reflected from Him who is ascended; and no prophecy tells us how long before the advancing race shall reach and cross its glowing marge, or what long effort, or what tumults of battle are still to precede.

In this country, too, there have been immense special impediments to hinder wide popular progress in things which are highest. Our people have had a continent to subdue. They have been, from the start, in constant migration. Westward, from the counties of the Hudson and the Mohawk, around the lakes, over the prairies, across the great river—westward still, over alkali plains, across terrible canons, up gorges of the mountains where hardly the wild goat could find footing— westward always, till the Golden Gate opened out on the sea which has been made ten thousand miles wide, as if nothing less could stop the march—this has been the popular movement, from almost the day of the great Declaration. To-morrow’s tents have been pitched in new fields; and last year’s houses await new possessors.

With such constant change, such wide dislocation of the mass of the people from early and settled home-associations, and with the incessant occupation of the thoughts by the great physical problems presented—not so much by any struggle for existence, as by harvests for which the prairies waited, by mills for which the rivers clamored, by the coal and the gold which offered themselves to the grasp of the miner—it would not have been strange if a great and dangerous decadence had occurred in that domestic and private virtue of which Home is the nursery, in that generous and reverent public spirit which is but the effluence of its combined rays. It would have been wholly too much to expect that under such influences the highest progress should have been realized, in speculative thought, in artistic culture, or in the researches of pure science.

Accordingly, we find that in these departments not enough has been accomplished to make our progress signal in them, though here and there the eminent souls “that are like stars and dwell apart” have illumined themes highest with their high interpretation. But History has been cultivated among us, with an enthusiasm, to .in extent, hardly, I think, to have been anticipated among a people so recent and expectant; and Prescott, Motley, Irving, Ticknor, with him upon whose splendid page all American history has been amply illustrated, are known as familiarly and honored as highly in Europe as here. We have had as well distinguished poets, and have them now ; to whom the nation has been responsive ; who have not only sung themselves, but through whom the noblest poems of the Old World have come into the English tongue, rendered in fit and perfect music, and some of whose minds, blossoming long ago in the solemn or beautiful fancies of youth, with perennial energy still ripen to new fruit as they near or cross their four-score years. In Medicine, and Law, as well as in Theology, in Fiction, Biography, and the vivid Narrative of exploration and discovery, the people whose birth-day we commemorate has added something to the possession of men. Its sculptors and painters have won high places in the brilliant realm of modern art. Publicists like Wheaton, jurists like Kent, have gained a celebrity reflecting honor on the land; and if no orator, so vast in knowledge, so profound and discursive in philosophical thought, so affluent in imagery, and so glorious in diction, as Edmund Burke, has yet appeared, we must remember that centuries were needed to produce him elsewhere, and that any of the great Parliamentary debaters, aside from him, have been matched or surpassed in the hearing of those who have hung with rapt sympathetic attention on the lips of Clay, or of Rufus Choate, or have felt themselves listening to the mightiest mind which ever touched theirs when they stood beneath the imperial voice fn which Webster spoke.

In applied science there has been much done in the country, for which the world admits itself our grateful debtor. I need not multiply illustrations of this, from locomotives, printing presses, sewing machines, revolvers, steam-reapers, bank-locks. One instance suffices, most signal of all.

When Morse, from Washington, thirty-two years ago, sent over the wires his word to Baltimore, “What hath God wrought,” he had given to all the nations of mankind an instrument the most sensitive, expansive, quickening, which the world yet possesses. He had bound the earth in electric network.

England touches India to-day, and France Algeria, while we are in contact with all the continents, upon those scarcely perceptible nerves. The great strategist, like Von Moltke, with these in his hands, from the silence of his office directs campaigns, dictates marches, wins victories; the statesman in the cabinet inspires and regulates the distant diplomacies ; while the traveler in any port or mart is by the same marvel of mechanism in instant communication with all centres of commerce. It is certainly not too much to say that no other invention of the world in this century has so richly deserved the medals, crosses, and diamond decorations, the applause of senates, the gifts of kings, which were showered upon its author, as did this invention, which finally taught and utilized the lightnings whose nature a signer of the great Declaration had made apparent.

But after all it is not so much in special inventions, or in eminent attainments made by individuals, that we are to find the answer to the question, “What did that day a hundred years since accomplish for us?” Still less is it found in the progress we have made in outward wealth and material success. This might have been made, approximately at least, if the British supremacy had here continued. The prairies would have been as productive as now, the mines of copper and silver and gold as rich and extensive, the coal-beds as vast, and the cotton-fields as fertile, if we had been born the subjects of the Georges, or of Victoria. Steam would have kept its propulsive force, and sea and land have been theatres of its triumph. The river would have been as smooth a highway for the commerce which seeks it; and the leap of every mountain stream would have given as swift and constant a push to the wheels that set spindles and saws in motion. Electricity itself would have lost no property, and might have become as completely as now the fire-winged messenger of the thought of mankind .

But what we have now, and should not have had except for that paper which the Congress adopted, is the general and increasing popular advancement in knowledge, vigor, as I believe in moral culture, of which our country has been the arena, and m which lies its hope for the future. The independence of the nation has reacted, with sympathetic force, on the personal life which the nation includes. It has made men more resolute, aspiring, confident, and more susceptible to whatever exalts. The doctrine that all by creation are equal,—not in respect of physical force or of mental endowment, of means for culture or inherited privilege, but in respect of immortal faculty, of duty to each other, of right to protection and to personal development, —this has given manliness to the poor, enterprise to the weak, a kindling hope to the most obscure. It has made the individuals of whom the nation is composed more alive to the forces which educate and exalt.

There has been incessant motive, too, for the wide and constant employment of these forces. It has been felt that, as the People is sovereign here, that People must be trained in mind and spirit for its august and sovereign function. The establishment of common-schools, for a needful primary secular training, has been an instinct of Society, only recognized and repeated in provisions of statutes. The establishment of higher schools, classical and general, of colleges, scientific and professional seminaries, has been as well the impulse of the nation, and the furtherance of them a care of governments. The immense expansion of the press in this country has been based fundamentally upon the same impulse, and has wrought with beneficent general force in the same direction. Religious instruction has gone as widely as this distribution of secular knowledge.

It used to be thought that a Church dissevered from the State must be feeble. Wanting wealth of endowments and dignity of titles—its clergy entitled to no place among the peers, its revenues assured by no legal enactments—-it must remain obscure and poor; while the absence of any external limitations, of parliamentary statutes and a legal creed, must leave it liable to endless division, and tend to its speedy disintegration into sects and schisms. It seemed as hopeless to look for strength, wealth, beneficence, for extensive educational and missionary work, to such churches as these, as to look for aggressive military organization to a convention of farmers, or for the volume and thunder of Niagara to a thousand sinking and separate rills.

But the work which was given to be done in this country was so great and momentous; and has been so constant, that matching itself against that work, the Church, under whatever name, has realized a strength, and developed an activity, wholly fresh in the world in modern times. It has not been antagonized by that instinct of liberty which always awakens against its work where religion is required by law. It has seized the opportunity. Its ministers and members have had their own standards, leaders, laws, and sometimes have quarreled, fiercely enough, as to which were the better. But in the work which was set them to do, to give to the sovereign American people the knowledge of God in the Gospel of His Son, their only strife has been one of emulation—to go the furthest, to give the most, and to bless most largely the land and its future.

The spiritual incentive has of course been supreme; but patriotism has added its impulse to the work. It has been felt that Christianity is the basis of Republican empire, its bond of cohesion, its life-giving law; that the manuscript copies of the Gospels, sent by Gregory to Augustine at Canterbury, and still preserved on sixth century parchments at Oxford and Cambridge—more than Magna Charta itself, these are the roots of English liberty; that Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, with our completing Declaration, were possible only because these had been before them. And so on in the work of keeping Christianity prevalent in the land, all earnest churches have eagerly striven. Their preachers have been heard where the pioneer’s fire scarcely was kindled. Their schools have been gathered in the temporary camp, not less than in the hamlet or town. They have sent their books with lavish distribution, they have scattered their Bibles like leaves of autumn, where settlements hardly were more than prophesied. In all languages of the land they have told the old story of the Law and the Cross, a present Redemption, and a coming Tribunal The highest truths, most solemn and inspiring, have been the truths most constantly in hand. It has been felt that, in the highest sense, a muscular Christianity was indispensable where men lifted up axes upon the thick trees . The delicate speculations of the closet and the schools were too dainty for the work; and the old confessions of Councils and Reformers, whose undecaying and sovereign energy no use exhausts, have been those always most familiar, where the trapper on his stream, or the miner in his gulch has found priest or minister on his track.

Of course not all the work has been fruitful. Not all God’s acorns come to oaks, but here and there one. Not all the seeds of flowers germinate, but enough to make some radiant gardens. And out of all this work and gift, has come a mental and moral training, to the nation at large, such as it certainly would not have had except for this effort, the effort for which would not have been made, on a scale so immense, except for this incessant aim to fit the nation for its great experiment of self-regulation. The Declaration of Independence has been the great charter of Public Education; has given impulse and scope to this prodigious Missionary work.

The result of the whole is evident enough. I am not here as the eulogist of our People, beyond what facts justify. I admit, with regret, that American manners sometimes are coarse, and American culture often very imperfect; that the noblest examples of consummate training imply a leisure which we have not had, and are perhaps most easily produced where social advantages are more permanent than here, and the law heredity has a wider recognition. We all know, too well, how much of even vice and shame there has been, and is, in our national life; how sluggish the public conscience has been before sharpest appeals; how corruption has entered high places in the government, and the blister of its touch has been upon laws, as well as on the acts of prominent officials. And we know the reckless greed and ambition, the fierce party spirit, the personal wrangles and jealous animosities, with which our Congress has been often dishonored, at which the nation— sadder still—has sometimes laughed, in idiotic unreason.

But knowing all this, and with the impression of it full on our thoughts, we may exult in the real, steady, and prophesying growth of a better spirit, toward dominance in the land. I scout the thought that we as a people are worse than our fathers! John Adams, at the head of the War Department, in 1776, wrote bitter laments of the corruption which existed in even that infant age of the Republic, and of the spirit of venality, rapacious and insatiable, which was then the most alarming enemy of America. He declared himself ashamed of the age which he lived in! In Jefferson’s day, all Federalists expected the universal dominion of French infidelity. In Jackson’s day, all Whigs thought the country gone to ruin already, as if Mr. Biddle had had the entire public hope locked up in the vaults of his terminated bank. In Polk’s day, the excitements of the Mexican War gave life and germination to many seeds of rascality. There has never been a time—not here alone, in any country—when the fierce light of incessant inquiry blazing on men in public life, would not have revealed forces of evil like those we have seen, or when the condemnation which followed the discovery would have been sharper. And it is among my deepest convictions that, with all which has happened to debase and debauch it, the nation at large was never before more mentally vigorous or morally sound.

Gentlemen: The demonstration is around us!

This city, if anyplace on the continent, should have been the one where a reckless wickedness should have had sure prevalence, and reforming virtue the least chance of success. Starting in 1790 with a white population of less than thirty thousand —growing steadily for forty years, till that population had multiplied six-fold—taking into itself, from that time on, such multitudes of emigrants from all parts of the earth that the dictionaries of the languages spoken in its streets would make a library—all forms of luxury coming with wealth, and all means and facilities for every vice—the primary elections being the seed-bed out of which springs its choice of rulers, with the influence which it sends to the public councils—its citizens so absorbed in their pursuits that oftentimes, for years together, large numbers of them have left its affairs in hands the most of all unsuited to so supreme and delicate a trust—it might well have been expected that while its docks were echoing with a commerce which encompassed the globe, while its streets were thronged with the eminent and the gay from all parts of the land, while its homes had in them uncounted thousands of noble men and cultured women, while its stately squares swept out year by year across new spaces, while it founded great institutions of beneficence, and shot new spires upward toward heaven, and turned the rocky waste to a pleasure ground famous in the earth, its government would decay, and its recklessness of moral ideas, if not as well of political principles would become apparent .

Men have prophesied this, from the outset till now. The fear of it began with the first great advance of the wealth, population, and fame of the city; and there have not been wanting facts in its history which served to renew, if not to justify the fear.

But when the war of 1861 broke on the land, and shadowed every home within it, this city,—which had voted by immense majorities against the existing administration, and which was linked by unnumbered ties with the vast communities then rushing to assail it,—flung out its banners from window and spire, from City Hall and newspaper office, and poured its wealth and life into the service of sustaining the Government, with a swiftness and vehement energy that were never surpassed. When, afterward, greedy and treacherous men, capable and shrewd, deceiving the unwary, hiring the skillful, and moulding the very law to their uses, had concentrated in their hands the government of the city, and had bound it in seemingly invincible chains, while they plundered its treasury,—it rose upon them, when advised of the facts, as Samson rose upon the Philistines; and the two new cords that were upon his hands no more suddenly became as flax that was burnt than did those manacles imposed upon the city by the craft of the Ring.

Its leaders of opinion to-day are the men—like him who presides in our assembly—whom virtue exalts, and character crowns. It rejoices in a Chief Magistrate as upright and intrepid in a virtuous cause, as any of those whom he succeeds. It is part of a State whose present position, in laws, and officers, and the spirit of its people, does no discredit to the noblest of its memories. And from these heights between the rivers, looking over the land, looking out on the earth to which its daily embassies go, it sees nowhere beneath the sun a city more ample in its moral securities, a city more dear to those who possess it, a city more splendid in promise and in hope.

What is true of the city is true, in effect, of all the land. Two things, at least, have been established by our national history, the impression of which the world will not lose. The one is, that institutions like ours, when sustained by a prevalent moral life throughout the nation, are naturally permanent . The other is, that they tend to peaceful relations with other states. They do this in fulfillment of an organic tendency, and not through any accident of location. The same tendency will inhere in them, wheresoever established.

In this age of the world, and in all the states which Christianity quickens, the allowance of free movement to the popular mind is essential to the stability of public institutions. There may be restraint enough to guide, and keep such movement from premature exhibition. But there cannot be force enough used to resist it, and to reverse its gathering current. If there is, the government is swiftly overthrown, as in France so often, or is left on one side, as Austria has been by the advancing German people; like the Castle of Heidelberg, at once palace and fortress, high-placed and superb but only the stateliest ruin in Europe, while the rail-train thunders through the tunnel beneath it, and the Neckar sings along its near channel as if tower and tournament never had been. Revolution, transformation, organic change, have thus all the time for this hundred years been proceeding in Europe; sometimes silent, but oftener amid thunders of stricken fields; sometimes pacific, but oftener with garments rolled in blood.

In England the progress has been peaceful, the popular demands being ratified as law whenever the need became apparent. It has been vast, as well as peaceful; in the extension of suffrage, in the ever-increasing power of the Commons, in popular education. Chatham himself would hardly know his own England if he should return to it. The Throne continues, illustrated by the virtues of her who fills it; and the ancient forms still obtain in Parliament. But it could not have occurred to him, or to Burke, that a century after the ministry of Grenville the embarkation of the Pilgrims would be one of the prominent historical pictures on the panels of the lobby of the House of Lords, or that the name of Oliver Cromwell, and of Bradshaw, President of the High Court of Justice, would be cut in the stone in Westminster Abbey, over the places in which they were buried, and whence their decaying bodies were dragged to the gibbet and the ditch. England is now, as has been well said, “an aristocratic Republic, with a permanent Executive.” Its only perils lie in the fact of that aristocracy, which, however, is flexible enough to endure, of that permanence in the Executive, which would hardly outlive one vicious Prince.

What changes have taken place in France, I need not remind you, nor how uncertain is still its future. You know how the swift untiring wheels, of advance or reaction, have rolled this way and that, in Italy, and in Spain; how Germany has had to be reconstructed; how Hungary has had to fight and suffer for that just place in the Austrian councils which only imperial defeat surrendered. You know how precarious the equilibrium now is, in many states, between popular rights and princely prerogative ; what armies are maintained, to fortify governments; what fear of sudden and violent change, like an avalanche tumbling at the touch of a foot, perplexes nations. The records of change make the history of Europe. The expectation of change is almost as wide as the continent itself.

Meanwhile, how permanent has been this Republic, which seemed at the outset to foreign spectators a mere sudden insurrection, a mere organized riot! Its organic law, adopted after exciting debate, but arousing no battle and enforced by no army, has been interpreted, and peacefully administered, with one great exception, from the beginning. It has once been assailed, with passion and skill, with splendid daring and unbounded self-sacrifice, by those who sought a sectional advantage through its destruction. No monarchy of the world could have withstood that assault. It seemed as if the last fatal Apocalypse had come, to drench the land with plague and blood, and wrap it in a fiery gloom. The Republic,

“pouring like the tide into a breach.
With ample and brim fulness of its force.”

subdued the rebellion, emancipated the race which had been in subjection, restored the dominion of the old Constitution, amended its provisions in the contrary direction from that which had been so fiercely sought, gave it guaranties of endurance while the continent lasts, and made its ensigns more eminent than ever in the regions from which they had been expelled. The very portions of the people which then sought its overthrow are now again its applauding adherents—the great and constant reconciling force, the tranquillizing Irenarch, being the freedom which it leaves in their hands.

It has kept its place, this Republic of ours, in spite of the rapid expansion of the nation over territory so wide that the scanty strip of the original states is only as a fringe on its immense mantle. It has kept its place, while vehement debates, involving the profound^st ethical principles, have stirred to its depths the whole public mind. It has kept its place, while the tribes of mankind have been pouring upon it, seeking the shelter and freedom which it gave. It saw an illustrious President murdered, by the bullet of an assassin. It saw his place occupied as quietly by another as if nothing unforeseen or alarming had occurred. It saw prodigious armies assembled, for its defence. It saw those armies, at the end of the war, marching in swift and long procession up the streets of the Capital, and then dispersing into their former peaceful citizenship, as if they had had no arms in their hands. The General before whose skill and will those armies had been shot upon the forces which opposed them, and whose word had been their military law, remained for three years an appointed officer of that government he had saved. Elected then to be the head of that government, and again re-elected by the ballots of his countrymen, in a few months more he will have retired, to be thenceforth a citizen like the rest, eligible to office, and entitled to vote, but with no thought of any prerogative descending to him, or to his children, from his great service and military fame. The Republic, whose triumphing armies he led, will remember his name, and be grateful for his work; but neither to him, nor to any one else, will it ever give sovereignty over itself.

From the Lakes to the Gulf, its will is the law, its dominion complete. Its centripetal and centrifugal forces are balanced, almost as in the astronomy of the heavens. Decentralizing authority, it puts his own part of it into the hand of every citizen. Giving free scope to private enterprise, allowing not only, but accepting and encouraging, each movement of the public reason which is its only terrestrial rule, there is no threat, in all its sky, of division or downfall. It cannot be successfully assailed from within. It never will be assailed from without, with a blow at its life, while other nations continue sane.

It has been sometimes compared to a pyramid, broad-based and secure, not liable to overthrow as is obelisk or column, by storm or age. The comparison is just, but it is not sufficient. It should rather be compared to one of the permanent features of nature, and not to any artificial construction:—to the river, which flows, like our own Hudson, along the courses that nature opens, forever in motion, but forever the same; to the lake, which lies on common days level and bright in placid stillness, while it gathers its fullness from many lands, and lifts its waves in stormy strength when winds assail it; to the mountain, which is shaped by no formula of art, and which only rarely, in some supreme sun-burst, flushes with color, but whose roots the very earthquake cannot shake, and on whose brow the storms fall hurtless, while under its shelter the cottage nestles, and up its sides the gardens climb.

So stands the Republic:

Whole as the marble, founded as the rook,
As broad and general as the casing air.

Our government has been permanent, as established upon the old Declaration, and steadily sustained by the undecaying and molding life in the soul of the nation. It has been peaceful, also, for the most part, in scheme and in spirit; and has shown at no time such an appetite for war as has been familiar, within the century, in many lands.

This may be denied, by foreign critics; or at any rate be explained, if the fact be admitted, by our isolation from other states, by our occupation in peaceful labors, which have left no room for martial enterprise, perhaps by an alleged want in us of that chivalric and high-pitched spirit, which is gladdened by danger and which welcomes the fray. I do not think the explanation sufficient, the analysis just .

This people was trained to military effort, from its beginning. It had in it the blood of Saxon and Norman, neither of whom was afraid of war; the very same blood which a few years after was poured out like water at Marston Moor, and Naseby, and Dunbar. Ardor and fortitude were added to its spirit by those whose fathers had followed Coligni, by the children of those whom Alva and Parma could not conquer, or whom Gustavus had inspired with his intense paramount will. With savages in the woods, and the gray wolf prowling around its cabins, the hand of this people was from the first as familiar with the gunstock as with mattock or plough; and it spent more time, in proportion to its leisure, it spent more life, in proportion to its numbers, from 1607 to 1776, in protecting itself against violent assault than was spent by France, the most martial of kingdoms, on all the bloody fields of Europe.

Then came the Revolution, with its years of war, and its crowning success, to intensify, and almost to consecrate this spirit, and to give it distribution; while, from that time, the nation has been taken into its substance abounding elements from all the fighting peoples of the earth. The Irishman, who is never so entirely himself as when the battle-storm hurtles around him; the Frenchman, who says “After you Gentlemen,” before the infernal fire of Fontenoy ; the German, whose irresistible tread the world lately heard at Sadowa and Sedan —these have been entering representatives of two of them entering by millions, into the Republic. If any nation, therefore, should have a fierce and martial temper, this is the one. If any people should keep its peaceful neighbors in fear, lest its aggression should smite their homes, it is a people born, and trained, and replenished like this, admitting no rule but its own will, and conscious of a strength whose annual increase makes arithmetic pant.

What has been the fact? Lay out of sight that late civil war which could not be averted, when once it had been threatened, except by the sacrifice of the government itself, and a wholly unparalleled public suicide, and how much of war with foreign powers has the century seen? There has been a frequent crackle of musketry along the frontiers, as Indian tribes, which refused to be civilized, have slowly and fiercely retreated toward the West. There was one war declared against Tripoli, in 1801, when the Republic took by the throat the African pirates to whom Europe paid tribute, and when the gallantry of the Preble and Decatur gave early distinction to our navy. There was a war declared against England, in 1812, when our seamen had been taken from under our flag, from the decks of our national ships, and our commerce had been practically swept from the seas. There was a war affirmed already to exist in Mexico, in 1846, entered into by surprise, never formally declared, against which the moral sentiment of the nation rose widely in revolt, but which in its result added largely to our territory, opened to us California treasures, and wrote the names of Buena Vista and Monterey on our short annals.

That has been our military history; and if a People, as powerful and as proud, has anywhere been more peaceable also, in the last hundred years, the strictest research fails to find it. Smarting with the injury done us by England during the crisis of our national peril, in spite of the remonstrances presented through that distinguished citizen who should have been your orator to-day—while hostile taunts had incensed our people, while burning ships had exasperated commerce, and while what looked like artful evasions had made statesmen indignant —with a half-million men who had hardly yet laid down their arms, with a navy never before so vast, or so fitted for service— when a war with England would have had the force of passion behind it, and would at any rate have shown to the world that the nation respects its starry flag, and means to have it secure on the seas—we referred all differences to arbitration, appointed commissioners, tried the cause at Geneva, with advocates, not with armies, and got a prompt and ample verdict . If Canada now lay next to Yorkshire it would not be safer from armed incursion than it is when divided by only a custom-house from all the strength of this Republic

The fact is apparent, and the reason not less so. A monarchy, just as it is despotic, finds incitement to war; for preoccupation of the popular mind; to gratify nobles, officers, the army; for historic renown. An intelligent Republic hates war, and shuns it. It counts standing armies a curse only second to an annual pestilence. It wants no glory but from growth. It delights itself in arts of peace, seeks social enjoyment and increase of possessions, and feels instinctively that, like Israel of old, “its strength is to sit still.” It cannot bear to miss the husbandman from the fields, the citizen from the town, the house-father from the home, the worshipper from the church. To change or shape other people’s institutions is no part of its business. To force them to accept its scheme of government would simply contradict and nullify its charter. Except, then, when it is startled into passion by the cry of a suffering under oppression which stirs its pulses into tumult, or when it is assailed in its own rights, citizens, property, it will not go to war; nor even then, if diplomacy can find a remedy for the wrong. “Millions for defence,” said (Jotesworth Pinckney to the French Directory, when Talleyrand in their name had threatened him with war, “but not a cent for tribute.” He might have added, “and not a dollar for aggressive strife.”

It will never be safe to insult such a nation, or to outrage its citizens; for the reddest blood is in its veins, and some Captain Ingraham may always appear, to lay his little sloop of war along-side the offending frigate, with shotted guns, and a peremptory summons. There is a way to make powder inexplosive; but, treat it chemically how you will, the dynamite will not stand many blows of the hammer. The detonating tendency is too permanent in it. But if left to itself, such a People will be peaceful, as ours has been. It will foster peace among the nations. It will tend to dissolve great permanent armaments, as the light conquers ice, and summer sunshine breaks the glacier which a hundred trip-hammers could only scar. The longer it continues, the more widely and effectively its influence spreads, the more will its benign example hasten the day, so long foretold, so surely coming, when

The war-drum throbs no longer, and the battle-flags are furled.
In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World.

Mr. President: Fellow-Citizens:—To an extent too great for your patience, but with a rapid incompleteness that is only too evident as we match it with the theme, I have outlined before you some of the reasons why we have right to commemorate the day whose hundredth anniversary has brought us together, and why the paper then adopted has interest and importance not only for us, but for all the advancing sons of men. Thank God that he who framed the Declaration, and he who was its foremost champion, both lived to see the nation they had shaped growing to greatness, and to die together, in that marvelous coincidence, on its semi-centennial! The fifty years which have passed since then have only still further honored their work. Mr. Adams was mistaken in the day which he named as the one to be most fondly remembered. It was not that on which Independence of the empire of Great Britain was formally resolved. It was that on which the reasons were given which justified the act, and the principles were announced which made it of secular significance to mankind. But he would have been absolutely right in saying of the fourth day what he did say of the second: it “will be the most remarkable epoch in the history of America; to be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival, commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God, from one end of the continent to the other.”

It will not be forgotten, in the land or in the earth, until the stars have fallen from their poise; or until our vivid morningstar of Republican liberty, not losing its luster, has seen its special brightness fade in the ampler effulgence of a freedom universal!

But while we rejoice in that which is past, and gladly recognize the vast organific mystery of life -which was in the Declaration, the plans of Providence which slowly and silently, but with ceaseless progression, had led the way to it, the immense and enduring results of good which from it have flowed, let us not forget the duty which always equals privilege, and that of peoples,, as well as of persons, to whomsoever much is given, shall only therefore the more be required. Let us consecrate our selves, each one of us, here, to the further duties which wait to be fulfilled, to the work which shall consummate the great work of the Fathers!

From scanty soils come richest grapes, and on severe and rocky slopes the trees are often of toughest fibre The wines of Rudesheim and Johannesburg cannot be grown in the fatness of gardens, and the cedars of Lebanon disdain the levels of marsh and meadow. So a heroism is sometimes native to penury which luxury enervates, and the great resolution which sprang up in the blast, and blossomed under inclement skies, may lose its shapely and steadfast strength when the air is all of summer softness. In exuberant resources is to be the coming American peril; in a swiftly increasing luxury of life. The old humility, hardihood, patience, are too likely too be lost when material success again opens, as it will, all avenues to wealth, and when its brilliant prizes solicit, as again they will, the national spirit.

Be it ours to endeavor that that temper of the Fathers which was nobler than their work shall live in the children, and exalt to its tone their coming career; that political intelligence, patriotic devotion, a reverent spirit toward Him who is above, an exulting expectation of the future of the “World, and a sense of our relation to it, shall bs, as of old, essential forces in our public life; that education and religion keep step all the time with the Nation’s advance, and the School and the Church be always at home wherever its flag shakes out its folds. In a spirit worthy the memories of the Past let us set ourselves to accomplish the tasks which, in the sphere of national politics, still await completion. “We burn the sunshine of other years, when we ignite the wood or coal upon our hearths. “We enter a privilege which ages have secured, in our daily enjoyment of political freedom. While the kindling glow irradiates our homes, let it shed its luster on our spirit, and quicken it for its further work.

Let us fight against the tendency of educated men to reserve themselves from politics, remembering that no other form of human activity is so grand or effective as that which affects, first the character, and then the revelation of character in the government, of a great and free People. Let us make religious dissension here, as a force in politics, as absurd as witchcraft.(13) Let party names be nothing to us, in comparison with that costly and proud inheritance of liberty and of law, which parties exist to conserve and enlarge, which any party will have here to maintain if it would not be buried, at the next cross-roads, with a stake through its breast. Let us seek the unity of all sections of the Republic, through the prevalence in all of mutual respect, through the assurance in all of local freedom, through the mastery in all of that supreme spirit which flashed from the lips of Patrick Henry, when he said, in the first Continental Congress, “I am not a Virginian, but an American.” Let us take care that labor maintains its ancient place of privilege and honor, and that industry has no fetters imposed, of legal restraint or of social discredit, to hinder its work or to lessen its wage. Let us turn, and overturn, in public discussion, in political change, till we secure a Civil Service, honorable, intelligent, and worthy of the land, in which capable integrity, not partisan zeal, shall be the condition of each public trust; and let us resolve that whatever it may cost, of labor and of patience, of sharper economy and of general sacrifice, it shall come to pass that wherever American labor toils, wherever American enterprise plans, wherever American commerce reaches, thither again shall go as of old the country’s coin—the American Eagle, with the encircling stars and golden plumes! In a word, Fellow-Citizens, the moral life of the nation being ever renewed, all advancement and timely reform will come as comes the burgeoning of the tree from the secret force which fills its veins. Let us each of us live, then, in the blessing and the duty of our great citizenship, as those who are conscious of unreckoned indebtedness to a heroic and prescient Past:—the grand and solemn lineage of whose freedom runs back beyond Bunker Hill or the Mayflower, runs back beyond muniments and memories of men, and has the majesty of far centuries on it! Let us live as those for whom God hid a continent from the world, till He could open all its scope to the freedom and faith of gathered peoples, from many lands, to be a nation to His honor and praise! Let us live as those to whom He commits the magnificent trust of blessing peoples many and far, by the truths which He has made our life, and by the history which He helps us to accomplish.

Such relation to a Past ennobles this transient and vanishing life. Such a power of influence on the distant and the Future, is the supremest terrestrial privilege. It is ours if we will, in the mystery of that spirit, which has an immortal and a ubiquitous life. “With the swifter instruments now in our hands, with the land compacted into one immense embracing home, with the world opened to the interchange of thought, and thrilling with the hopes that now animate its life, each American citizen has superb opportunity to make his influence felt afar, and felt for long!

Let us not be unmindful of this ultimate and inspiring lesson of the hour! By all the memories of the Past, by all the impulse of the Present, by the noblest instincts of our own souls, by the touch of His sovereign spirit upon us, God make us faithful to the work, and to Him! that so not only this city may abide, in long and bright tranquility of peace, when our eyes have shut forever on street, and spire, and populous square; that so the land, in all its future, may reflect an influence from this anniversary; and that, when another century has passed, the sun which then ascends the heavens may look on a world advanced and illumined beyond our thought, and here may behold the same great Nation, born of struggle, baptized into liberty, and in its second terrific trial purchased by blood, then expanded and multiplied till all the land blooms at its touch, and still one in its life, because still pacific, Christian, free!

Footnotes:
(1) Te Deum also known as Ambrosian Hymn or A Song of the Church is an early Christian hymn of praise, joy and thanksgiving.
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin’s womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
Govern them, and raise them up forever.
Every day we thank Thee.
And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.
O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

(2) The Hongs were major business houses in Canton, China and later Hong Kong with significant influence on patterns of consumerism, trade, manufacturing and other key areas of the economy. They were originally led by Howqua as head of the cohong

(3) May 15, A.D. 1213.
(4)  “Quant a ceux qui se tronvaient du cOte des barons, il n’est ni nccessaire ni possible de les enumerer, puisque toute la noblesse d’Angletree r6unie en un seul corps, ne pouvait tomber sous le ealcul. Lorsque les pretentions des revoltes eurent ete debattues, le roi Jean, comprenunt son inf6riorite vis-a-vis des forces de ses barons, accorda sans resistance les lois et libertes qn’on lui demandait, et les conflrma par la cbarte.”
Chronique de Matt. Paris, trad, par A. Huillard Breholles. Tome Troisieme, pp. C, 7.
(5) Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, Charles L, 1628-9.
Rushworth’s Hist. Coll. Charles I., 625.
It is rather remarkable that neither Hume, Clarendon, Hallam, De Lolme, nor Macaulay, mentions this date, though nil recognize the capital importance of the event. It does not appear in even Knight’s Popular History of England. Miss Aikin, in her Memoirs of the Court of Charles I., gives it as June 8, [Vol. I, 216 ]; and Chambers’ Encyclopaedia, which ought to be careful and accurate in regard to the dates of events in English history, says, under the title “Petition of Rights:’ “At length, on both Houses of Parliament insisting on a fuller answer, he pronounced an unqualified assent in the usual form of words, – Soi’ fait comme il est d6sirj,’ on the 26th of June, 1628.”‘ The same statement is repeated in the latest Revised Edition of that Encyclopaedia. Lingard gives the date correctly.
(6) Welwood’s Memorials, quoted in Forster’s Life of Pym, p. 62.
(7) Essay on Schiller. Essays: Vol. II, p. 301.
(8) Works, Vol I p. 125.
(9)  Ipse autem rex, non debet esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et sub Lege, quia Lex facit regent. Attribuat igitur rex Legi quod Lex attribuit ei, videlicet dominationem et potestatem, non est enim rex ubi domiuatur voluntas et non Lex De Leg, et Cons. Angliae; Lib. I., chap 8, P. 5.
Rex autem habet superiorem, Deum. Item, Legem, per quam factus est rex. Item, curiam suam, videlicet comites, Barones, quia, comites dicuntur quasi socii regis, et qui habet socium habet magiatrum; et ideo si rex fuerit sine fraeno, i. e sine Lege, debent ei fraenum ponere; etc. Lib. II., chap. 16, P. 3.
The following is still more explicit: “As the head of a body natural cannot change its nerves and sinews, cannot deny to the several parts their proper energy, their due proportion and ailment of blood; neither can a King, who is the head of a body politic, change the laws thereof, nor take from the people what is theirs by right, against their consent. For he is appointed to protect his subjects in their lives, properties, and laws; for this very end and purpose he has the delegation of power from the people, and he has no just claim to any other power but this.” Sir John Fortescue’s Treatise, De Laudibus Legum Angliae, c. 9, (about A. D. 1470,) quoted by Hallam, Mid. Ages, chap. VIII., part III
(10) Speech of October 31, 1776: “The House divided on the Amendment. Yeas, 87; nays, 242.”
(11)  Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, trustees, for the people, and if the cause, the interest and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have deputed, and to constitute abler and better agents, attorneys, and trustees. —John Adams. Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law; 1766. Works : Vol. III, pp. 456-7.
(12) Vol. VIII., p. 473
(13) Cromwell in sometimes considered a bigot. His rule on this subject is therefore the more worthy of record: “Sir, the State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions; if they be willing faithfully to serve it, that satisfies. Take heed of being sharp, or too easily sharpened by others, against those to whom you can object little, but that they square not with you in every opinion concerning matters of religion. If there be any other offence to be charged upon him, that must, in a judicial way, receive determination.”—Letter to Major-General Crawford, 10th March, 1643.
Earls of Albemarle, Arundel, Gloucester, Hereford, Norfolk
See also:Christianity and the Founding of the United States the Simple Truth
The Consequence of Bad Legal Precedent in American Legislation
Wide Spread And Growing Corruption In The Public Service Of The States And Nation
THE FIRST CENTURY OF THE REPUBLIC by Judge Isaac W Smith 1876
THE PERPETUITY OF THE REPUBLIC by Joseph Kidder July 4th 1876
Open Letter to ALL Politicians and Bureaucrats, we’re coming for you
Constitution of the United States and it’s Governmental Operations (In Plain English so even Politicians, Lawyers and Bureaucrats can understand)
THE SOURCE AND SECURITY OF AMERICAN FREEDOM AND PROGRESS by Courtlandt Parker 1876 
THE DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC by Lewis W. Clark 1876 New Hampshire
THE COST OF POPULAR LIBERTY by Brooks Adams July 4th 1876
The Practical Advance Of Human Freedom Under The Trumpet Call Made In 1776 by Charles F Adams
THE GRAND MISSION OF AMERICA by Joseph H. Twitchell, July 4, 1876