Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Deceit From Chris Rodda and Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Chris Rodda is at it again! She re-hashes the same "lies" about David Barton, oblivious to the fact, she is guilty of spreading the same junk. Here is a post she did June 7, 2010.  In this diatribe on Barton and the Christian Nationalists, she misses the trees for the forest. As I will show, Congress supported "a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools."

On January 21, 1781, Robert Aitken presented a "memorial" [petition] to Congress offering to print "a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools."

Here is what Rodda writes:
There are many versions of this story floating around, all worded to mislead that Congress either requested the printing of the Bibles, granted Aitken permission to print them, contracted him to print them, paid for the printing, or had Bibles printed for the use of schools. Congress did none of these things. All they did was grant one of several requests made by Aitken by having their chaplains examine his work, and allowing him to publish their resolution stating that, based on the chaplains' report, they were satisfied that his edition was accurate.
On the contrary, Congress recommended Aitken's Bible to ALL the people, thus, the Congress is not promoting any religion, but specifically Christianity, as well as indirectly promoting the Bible's use in schools.

Here, is what the Congress wrote:

Honble James Duane, Esq. Chairman, and the other Honble Gentlemen of the Committee of Congress on
Mr. Aitken's Memorial."

Whereupon,

RESOLVED,

THAT the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion, as well as an instance of the progress of arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this Recommendation in the manner he shall think proper. [italics mine]

CHA. THOMSON, Sec'ry.

Yet, Evangelical Christians buy-in to Rodda's revisionism. Could you imagine today's Congress forming a committee to check spelling for a Bible translation? That is what Bible Societies do! Remember, unless specifically enumerated, religion always refers to Christianity. Was Congress referring to Buddhism to Christians?

Also, besides at home, "progression of the arts" was done at Schools. Reading, writing, literature, architecture, painting, music, etc. Bible reading was not taken out of schools until 1963. Can the Congress not approve the Bible for schools, when the Arts are practiced at schools? Maybe someone could give their idea of "progress of arts?"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Glenn Becks Claims The God Of The Declaration Is Not Jesus Christ

Glenn Beck, who, quite often has Evangelical David Barton on his program, most likely believes Mormonism is Christianity. Despite how blasphemous that association is, Beck obviously rejects Jesus Christ as the God of the Declaration of Independence. Here, Beck promotes the same distortion regarding our Founding as anyone on the secular left:
"It's not religion..to make sure it wasn't the Christian God, or Jesus, or Moses, or anybody else. It was nature's god and nature's law..to make it as broad as you could..it has nothing to do with faith, God, or anything else." 
Beck is just as deceived as the other elites. The God of the DOI is not the universal god of George Bush (There is one mediator between God and men; the man Christ Jesus. I Tim 2:5). Then he makes the arrogant statement, "Look all of this up..please I beg you..know it to be true" It is you, Glenn Beck, who need to look this up. History, and the framers' writings refute what you and secularism believe:
From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration..They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights..[T]he same Congress which issued the Declaration..recommended to the several states to form civil governments for themselves..The states organized their governments, all in republican forms, all on the principles of the Declaration. The confederation was unanimously accepted by the thirteen states: and treaties of commerce were concluded with France and the Netherlands, in which, for the first time, the same just and magnanimous principles, consigned in the Declaration of Independence, were, so far as they could be applicable to the intercourse between nation and nation, solemnly recognized..In the progress of forty years since the acknowledgment of our Independence, we have gone through many modifications of internal government, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war, with other mighty nations. But never, never for a moment have the great principles, consecrated by the Declaration of this day, been renounced or abandoned.
-John Q. Adams, 6th President of the United States, The Hellhound of Slavery, Founder of our Foreign Policy, Our Greatest Diplomat. An address, delivered at the request of the committee of arrangements for celebrating the anniversary of Independence, at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 upon the occasion of reading The Declaration of Independence.
 
The God (Supreme Being) of the Christians, the Continental Congress declared, was the Redeemer; Jesus Christ, in a clear Calvinist context, with Christ in complete sovereignty of earth history. The Congress clearly proclaim unalienable rights are granted by the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Congress agreed to the following Proclamation:
The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his mercy favor and implore his protection.When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade the rights, or endeavor to wrench wrest from a people their sacred and unalienable invaluable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war; then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection..that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas .
-Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 1782

Our unalienable rights, as mentioned above, is strictly from the Bible:
II. The Rights of the Colonists as Christians..
These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament
-Samuel Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting. November 20, 1772.

It is the Christian religion only, that secures unalienable rights; not Deism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mohammedism, et al:
[T]he Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
-Noah Webster, REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER; JUDGE; LEGISLATOR; EDUCATOR; “SCHOOLMASTER TO AMERICA” A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects (New York: Webster and Clark, 1843), p. 291, from his “Reply to a Letter of David McClure on the Subject of the Proper Course of Study in the Girard College, Philadelphia. New Haven, October 25, 1836.”

Beck believes as George Bush mistakenly does; that God is the same god in all religions, and not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. This makes sense, given that Beck is not a Christian, but a Mormon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Civil Religion" by Robert N. Bellah

Mr.Bellah is one of the most famous expositors of the Founding and Religion. He invented the term "Civil Religion." However, he is not without his errors with respect to the Founding. Here is one of many:
And yet at the beginning of our history we were that mutually exclusive thing, a Christian Republic. (Samuel Adams even called us a Christian Sparta.) Or were we? Christianity was never our state religion, nor did we have in Rousseau’s strict sense a civil religion, a simple set of religious dogmas to which every citizen must subscribe on pain of exile.
Did not the State Constitutions proclaim Christianity? Was not the penalty for violating the Ten Commandments prison time, and a fine? Bellah claims the Christian Constitutions evaporated by the early 18th century. What kind of revisionism is this? The State Constitutions were Christian the entire 18th century, and into the 19th and 20th centuries:
Even more to the point, the New England colonies in the seventeenth century were Christian republics in a comparable sense. In Massachusetts, for example, only Christians could be citizens, though the church did not control the state and both church and state were governed by their members. Even though the reality of this experiment had evaporated by the early eighteenth century, the memory was still strong in the minds of the founders of the republic.
In spite of his errors above, he does understand James Madison was a Calvinist. Below, Bellah highlights Madison's duty to the sovereignty of God before he can be a member of civil society, illustrating his Calvinism:
In the early republic religion had two vital locations: in the superstructure and in the infrastructure of the new political regime. It is to the superstructural location of religion that the Declaration of Independence points. By superstructural I mean a locus of sovereignty taken to be above the sovereignty of the state. Perhaps the most striking recognition of this superordinate sovereignty comes from the hand of Madison in 1785 during the debate on the bill establishing religious freedom in Virginia: "It such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the general authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign."
Below, Bellah explains who is the God of the Declaration of Independence, and debunking the Deists:
The Declaration of Independence points to the sovereignty of God over the collective political society itself when it refers in its opening lines to "the laws of nature and of nature’s God" that stand above and judge the laws of men. It is often asserted that the God of nature is specifically not the God of the Bible. That raises problems of the relation of natural religion to biblical religion in eighteenth-century thought that I do not want to get into here, but Jefferson goes on to say, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these 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 alter or abolish it." We have here a distinctly biblical God who is much more than a first principle of nature, who creates individual human beings and endows them with equality and fundamental rights.
It was Christianity, through Calvin's Republicanism, from the Reformation, that most clearly spurred the American Revolution; by rejecting Divine Right of Kings, etc. yet Bellah appears to ignore or divorce the principles of the Declaration with those of the Constitution, giving the latter a liberal foundation, as though the colonists set aside Divine Law for the French Revolution's Enlightenment rationalism; something he coined "liberal constitutional regime." His theory divorcing the principles of the DOI with the Constitution has been debunked by many, including John Q. Adams:
From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration..They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights..[T]he same Congress which issued the Declaration..recommended to the several states to form civil governments for themselves; with guarded and cautious deliberation they matured a confederation for the whole Union; and they prepared treaties of commerce, to be offered to the principal maritime nations of the world. All these objects were in a great degree accomplished amid the din of arms, and while every quarter of our country was ransacked by the fury of invasion. The states organized their governments, all in republican forms, all on the principles of the Declaration. The confederation was unanimously accepted by the thirteen states: and treaties of commerce were concluded with France and the Netherlands, in which, for the first time, the same just and magnanimous principles, consigned in the Declaration of Independence, were, so far as they could be applicable to the intercourse between nation and nation, solemnly recognized..In the progress of forty years since the acknowledgment of our Independence, we have gone through many modifications of internal government, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war, with other mighty nations. But never, never for a moment have the great principles, consecrated by the Declaration of this day, been renounced or abandoned.
-Adams, An address, delivered at the request of the committee of arrangements for celebrating the anniversary of Independence, at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 upon the occasion of reading The Declaration of Independence. [bold face mine]

Yet, Bellah says our civil religion is founded on the religion of the Revolution, that wasn't Christianity. Ultimately, Bellah claims our "Civil Religion" was unitarianism:
The God of the civil religion is not only rather "unitarian," he is also on the austere side, much more related to order, law, and right than to salvation and love. Even though he is somewhat deist in cast, he is by no means simply a watchmaker God. He is actively interested and involved in history, with a special concern for America. Here the analogy has much less to do with natural law than with ancient Israel; the equation of America with Israel in the idea of the "American Israel" is not infrequent.
Bellah considers the civil religion a combination of theories:
The remarkable coherence of the American revolutionary movement and its successful conclusion in the constitution of a new civil order are due in considerable part to the convergence of the Puritan covenant pattern and the Montesquieuan republican pattern. The former was represented above all by New England, the latter by Virginia, but both were widely diffused in the consciousness of the colonial population. Both patterns saw society resting on the deep inner commitment of its members, the former through conversion, the latter through republican virtue..When Jefferson evoked at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence the "laws of nature and of nature’s God" he was able to fuse the ultimate legitimating principles of both traditions. And when in concluding it he wrote, "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor," he was not only invoking a republican formula for the establishment of a civil compact but echoing the formula of the Puritan covenant. Only the confluence of these two patterns can help us understand the fusion of passion and reason that, with such consistency, seems to have motivated the major actors in the revolutionary drama.
This blog has clearly refuted unitarianism as the civil religion of the Revolution. A cursory examination of fast and prayer proclamations show the colonists were clearly Trinitarian Christians. What a contradiction to claim the DOI founded on Puritan Covenant Theology, and the same time, claim He is a unitarian God. The Puritans were Trinitarian. Should not these principles be consistent with one another? How could the Puritans claim their God was unitarian?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Did The Founding Fathers Execute Homosexuals?

What a paradox it would be if the framers executed homosexuals, given that today, the people want to legalize it. I have no doubt our people would persecute Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and the other framers for their views on homosexual sin. The answer is yes, the framers did execute at least one person for homosexuality. It was done in Pennsylvania, December, 1785. Guess who was President of Pennsylvania? Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin wasn't present that day, his VP, Charles Biddell and Founding Father Peter Muhlenburg were there, and offered no pardon.

This narrative must start at the definition of terms; buggery, sodomy, and rape. All three terms were used in 18th century America. All three are defined by Webster's 1828, yet, buggery and sodomy were interchangable terms, and buggery included bestiality. Yet Sodomy and Buggery clearly referred to man on man, while rape referred to a woman.

Regarding this subject, expert John Murrin indicates Bestiality was basically non-existent due to the horror of the crime. Bestiality was synonimous to witchcraft, especially among women. Prior to the Revolution, no one was executed for bestiality in New England, mainly from lack of evidence. Bestiality is clearly from the 17th century, and not part of the founding milieu.

The Founding Fathers did execute one man for bestiality; Connecticut hanged Gideon Washburn the third friday, in January, 1800.

As to States, the Framers in Virginia, kept the Death Penalty for Buggery:
That if any do commit the detestable and abominable vice of Buggery, with man or beast, he or she so offending, shall be adjudged a felon, and shall suffer death, in the case of felony, without the benefit of Clergy.
-A Collection of All Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia 1802, (Richmond:Pleasance and Price, 1803), page 179, ch. C [50], enacted Dec. 10, 1792.

The other states emphasized the Biblical laws contained in the Common Law of England:
The first reported sodomy case in Maryland also was the first known reported case in the United States. In 1810, the Court of Appeals decided Davis v. State. By a vote of 4-1, the Court upheld an indictment that charged that Davis, "not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil, on &c. with forms and arms at, &c. in and upon one W C, a youth of the age of 19 years, in the peace of God, and the state of Maryland, then and there being, did make an assault, and him the said W C, then and there did beat, would, and ill-treat, with an intent that most horrid and detestable crime (among christians not to be named,) called Sodomy, with him the said W C, and against the order of nature, then and there feloniously, wickedly and devilishly, to commit and do, to the great displeasure of Almighty God, contrary to the act of assembly in such case made and provided, and against the peace, government, and dignity of the state." [Emphasis the Court’s].
The word Buggery was eventually forgotten, "sodomy" took its place, evidence that the issue of buggery in the 18th century, unless specifically enumerated, was homosexuality. Furthermore, besides Gideon Washburn, there were no bestiality crimes in the founding generation, thus the execution of Joseph Ross of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, had to be for homosexuality, approved by Benamin Franklin. The history of buggery sentences show the other partner was also punished; usually whipped.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cracking the American Civil Religion

I did it in a comment at FirstThings.com here. I wrote:

"Joseph,

Our civil religion may be watered-down Christianity, but it wasn’t in 1790. Liberal elite Robert N. Bellah of Berkeley, claims Puritanism is our “Civil Religion” which is Trinitarianism.

The vast majority of Founding Fathers, including James Madison, were Trinitarian, who made it clear Christianity was the only true religion for salvation:

"Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation..Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them."

-Memorial and Remonstrance, June 20, 1785.

Madison made it very clear to succeeding generations, salvation was only in faith in Christ. He believed other religions had some validity for other aspects of life, as he implied in 1833, but not for salvation. JM affirmed the Trinity.

The Congress used Trinitarian language:

"The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his mercy favor and implore his protection.When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade the rights, or endeavor to wrench wrest from a people their sacred and unalienable invaluable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war; then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection..that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas."

-Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 1782

Friday, December 3, 2010

Is Jesus Christ In the Declaration of Independence?

Liberal secularists, and nearly every historian alive, would never, for a minute, claim Jesus Christ is in the Declaration of Independence. The vast majority of Founding Fathers, and citizens of the new nation, would disagree with that assertion. I came across a quote from John Quincy Adams explaining who our God is. It is not how secularists would like it, but, written in a way citizens of the 18th century understood; in classical terms. The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, written in the Declaration of Independence, is the contraction for, The Laws of Nature and The Law's of Nature's God. Adams, who, was one of the most important Founding Fathers, whom, George Washington called, "our best diplomat" clarify's who this God is, previously enumerated by the framers. However, in this quote, Speaking of the DOI, Adams shortens the exact phrase. LONANG is not a repetition of the same thing:
That committee reported on the twelfth of July, eight days after the Declaration of Independence had been issued..There was thus no congeniality of principle between the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. The foundation of the former was a superintending Providence-the rights of man, and the constituent revolutionary power of the people. That of the latter was the sovereignty of organized power, and the independence of the separate or dis-united States. The fabric of the Declaration and that of the Confederation were each consistent with its own foundation, but they could not form one consistent, symmetrical edifice. They were the productions of different minds and of adverse passions; one, ascending for the foundation of human government to the laws of nature and of God...
-The Jubilee of the Constitution, delivered at New York, April 30, 1839, before the New York Historical Society. [bold face mine]

Adams differentiates LONANG; one is Natural Law, God's Law in the heart of man, then God Himself. Who did the vast majority of Colonists believe was God? Jesus Christ:
Contrary to publicized orthodox opinion, the great majority of Jeffersonians were in fact Trinitarian Protestants.
-Stephen E. Berk, Calvinism Versus Democracy. Anchron Books, 1974, p.150

Unitarians were limited to the Boston area:
Unitarians, who are principally confined to Boston and its vicinity.
-Boston Patriot, May 13, 1815. [A Jeffersonian publication in a Federalist Stronghold, predisposed against the politics of Unitarians]

Pelagianism was grounded by Timothy Dwight and the New Divinity Calvinists:
By the 1830's, evangelicals had successfully contained Unitarianism within the Boston area and the West had become the new battleground for Orthodoxy.
-Stephen E. Berk, Calvinism Versus Democracy. Anchron Books, 1974, p. 199.

Adams goes so far as to affirm what the other Founding Fathers understood and David Barton promotes; that the principles in the Declaration are carried out in the Constitution, and were to be carried out in the Articles of Confederation, but failed. The DOI is Organic Law of this Republic, and legal foundation for any Constitution:
Its incurable disease [Articles of Confederation] was an apostasy from the principles of the Declaration of Independence..The Constitution [Articles] of the United States was the work of this Convention. But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign States to the constituent sovereignty of the people; from power to right--from the irresponsible despotism of State sovereignty to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence..The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government.
-The Jubilee of the Constitution

Adams was a staunch conservative among conservatives, who did not flinch to confront the "so called" philosophers of the day. Now he speaks to secularists of today. "There are yet, even at this day, many speculative objections to this theory. Even in our own country there are still philosophers who deny the principles asserted in the Declaration, as self-evident truths."

He was excellent at distinguishing "State sovereignty against the constituent sovereignty of the people." He made other statements affirming we were founded a Christian Nation, that Puritanism interspersed throughout the Colonies, and the Declaration founded on the Gospel, and the Laws of Nature's God. Adams also reiterates that of his cousin Samuel Adams; that the Articles of Confederation ratified the Declaration of Independence:
From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration..They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights..[T]he same Congress which issued the Declaration..recommended to the several states to form civil governments for themselves; with guarded and cautious deliberation they matured a confederation for the whole Union; and they prepared treaties of commerce, to be offered to the principal maritime nations of the world. All these objects were in a great degree accomplished amid the din of arms, and while every quarter of our country was ransacked by the fury of invasion. The states organized their governments, all in republican forms, all on the principles of the Declaration. The confederation was unanimously accepted by the thirteen states: and treaties of commerce were concluded with France and the Netherlands, in which, for the first time, the same just and magnanimous principles, consigned in the Declaration of Independence, were, so far as they could be applicable to the intercourse between nation and nation, solemnly recognized..In the progress of forty years since the acknowledgment of our Independence, we have gone through many modifications of internal government, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war, with other mighty nations. But never, never for a moment have the great principles, consecrated by the Declaration of this day, been renounced or abandoned.
-Adams, An address, delivered at the request of the committee of arrangements for celebrating the anniversary of Independence, at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 upon the occasion of reading The Declaration of Independence. [bold face mine]



Thursday, December 2, 2010

App Store Pulls Manhattan Declaration

Apple's iTunes App Store has removed a program for the Manhattan Declaration after critics decried the declaration as "anti-gay" and "anti-woman."
Observers have long puzzled over Apple's criteria for accepting and rejecting apps; in fact many people accused Apple of a double standard when they rejected a number of apps designed specifically for the gay community. The company said they rejected the apps for objectionable content, though many say that the cited content was no worse than that available in apps the company has accepted (like the one promoting the recent movie Bruno).
Many Christians are decrying the union of Roman Catholics and Evangelicals for the Manhattan Declaration. Despite the difference in theology, I believe there is strength in numbers, as this is an evangelical document.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Greatest Influence to Thomas Jefferson

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson claimed Francis Bacon was the greatest man that ever lived. It is ironic TJ put Bacon at the top of a circled Trinity with Locke and Newton beneath him, in view of the fact TJ was a unitarian and Bacon a Trinitarian. Bacon was a devout Anglican, who, it would appear, believed in all the fundamentals of Christianity. His rejection of Aristotle's philosophy for empiricism, and Locke's blank slate theory, for the more correct Original Sin doctrine, by man's erroneous understanding of initial information is refreshing, given Bacon had such an effect on the primary draughtsman of the Declaration of Independence.

The most influential man the world has ever known according to the rationalist Thomas Jefferson, was an Orthodox Christian. How poetic.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Is The Foundation Of The Declaration of Independence And Constitution? Part Deux

The Westminster Assembly
I find myself agreeing more and more with Catholic theologians when referring to many aspects of the origins of our Republic. That Puritan Covenant Theology is our "Civil Religion" and foundation of the Declaration of Independence is understood by author Donald J. D'Elia, Professor of History at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Don D'Elia is also Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and a member of the Advisory Board of the Catholic Educator's Resource Center.

D'Elia and myself, appear in agreement with the false exhaltation of Enlightenment philosophy into our founding:
It is anachronistic to think.. that the founding generation did not believe that government must submit to divine positive law. Here the author confuses the Enlightenment minimalistic natural law views of Thomas Jefferson and a relatively small group of Founders with the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the American people in 1776 and 1789 that the state indeed has an obligation to worship God or perish. The Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution, as well as the state constitutions, however they may be celebrated and interpreted in liberal historiography today, were seen at the time as having meaning only within the much larger “oral constitution” of what was a Christian culture-not an Enlightenment culture.
Signer of the DOI, Benjamin Rush, is another man who rejected the notion of Lockean Enlightenment Philosophy into the document adhered to by Thomas Jefferson and his miniscule minority:
Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) of Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence, but his understanding of its meaning as an evangelical Protestant was very different from that of his secular minded friend, Thomas Jefferson. The “unalienable Rights” of the Declaration, Rush believed with many, many other Americans, were bestowed on man not immediately by some abstraction called nature in the Jeffersonian and Lockean sense, but directly and immediately by the living God. This was no dogmatic individualism! “Self-existence” he protested against the eighteenth century spirit of presumption that would culminate in the French Revolution, “belongs only to God.” The 'language” of American independence, Rush wrote in 1783 to his English Quaker friend, Granville Sharp,has for many years appeared to me to be the same as that of the heavenly host that announced the birth of the Saviour of mankind. It proclaims “glory to God in the highest — on earth peace — good will to man..How foolish it was, how presumptuous it was, to think that some autonomous Jeffersonian man had brought this about, relying only on natural reason! Fulton J. Sheen was much closer to the truth about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence to the American people at the nation's Founding. While no friend of Catholicism, such as he understood it, Dr. Rush would have agreed with the Bishop's characterization of the Declaration of Independence as also a Declaration of Dependence. “The Declaration of Independence” Sheen had the historical insight to realize, “asserts a double dependence: dependence on God, and dependence on law as derived from God... .”
Dependence on God is implicit in the DOI, making God the foundation of the covenant as D'Elia notes:
Read the Declaration of Independence and there find the answer: [I might add to the nature of the “American idea”] “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Notice these words: The Creator has endowed men with rights and liberties; men got them from God! In other words, we are dependent on God, and that initial dependence is the foundation of our independence.
The Constitution was founded on the principles of the DOI, not the personal viewpoints of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine:
Everyone in the country in 1776, except for a decided minority of men like Jefferson and Thomas Paine who mocked revealed religion, understood the Declaration and the constitution of the United States, including the Federal charter, in this way. Rush believed that the hand of God was to be seen in the Federal Constitution, as much as it had been in His dividing the Red Sea to give a passage to the children of Israel. [1] The divine character of the new government of the United States was professed from a thousand pulpits, and one did not have to look far to see this confirmed in newspapers and magazines.
All the State Constitutions, Fast Day Proclamations by the Congress, were part of Puritan Covenant Theology that imbedded the entire nation:
What John Henry Newman called the “goodly framework of society which is the creating of Christianity” was still in place in the period of the nation's Founding. [2] Religion was the “bond of society,” and real law of the land, not, what was often ridiculed as `parchment” constitutionalism. Tocqueville was right to say, and many years had passed from the creating of the Republic when he said it, that the Christian religion was “the foremost of the political institutions of the United States (my italics)..In 1776, though, Dr. Benjamin Rush was representative of the great majority of Americans in giving explicit Christian and biblical meaning to the Declaration of Independence and all the other national and state charters that were to follow. They were covenants, having a solemn religious character as among the ancient Hebrews, no mere secular contracts or Lockean compacts. Their model, whether consciously realized or not, was that of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 applying ideas of church government to civil government. Only the Anglicans to some extent, were exempted from what Perry Miller has called the “Federal or Covenant Theology,” the American people's intense awareness of their being “a chosen race, entered into specific covenant with God, by the terms of which they would be proportionately punished for their sins.” [3]
The over-exaggeration of John Locke's influence, by missing the forest for the trees, is a smoke-screen for modern liberal secularists, to twist the Declaration and Constitution into whatever they will:
The symbols of the covenant an jeremiad,” that popular recital of the Chosen People's sins, were what mattered. Even “British liberties” and the social and political philosophy of John Locke made sense only within this Gestalt [4].
The Covenant structure was always in Orthodox Trinitarian language, not of the unitarian minority within the Boston area, or the infidel musings of TJ and Thomas Paine. Notice, Congress AGREED to this distinctly PURITAN proclamation:

On a report of a committee, consisting of Mr. [Joseph] Montgomery, Mr. [Oliver] Wolcott, and Mr. [John Morin] Scott, appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states, to set apart a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer Congress agreed to the following Proclamation:
The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his mercy favor and implore his protection.When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade the rights, or endeavor to wrench wrest from a people their sacred and unalienable invaluable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war; then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection, who hears the eries of the distressed, and will not turn a deaf ear to the supplication of the oppressed. Great Britain, hitherto left to infatuated councils, and to pursue measures repugnant to their her own interest, and distressing to this country, still persists in the chimerical idea design of subjugating these United States; which will compel us into another active and perhaps bloody campaign.The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his past acts of kindness and goodness exercised towards us, which we would ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the different several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the Universe, beseeching Him that he would to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens; and make us a holy, that so we may be an happy people; that it would please Him to impart wisdom, integrity and unanimity to our counsellors; to bless and prosper the reign of our illustrious ally, and give success to his arms employed in the defence of the rights of human nature; that He would smile upon our military arrangements by land and sea; administer comfort and consolation to our prisoners in a cruel captivity; that he would protect the health and life of our Commander in Chief; give grant us victory over our enemies; establish peace in all our borders, and give happiness to all our inhabitants; that he would prosper the labor of the husbandman, making the earth yield its increase in abundance, and give a proper season for the in gathering of the fruits thereof; that He would grant success to all engaged in lawful trade and commerce, and take under his guardianship all schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of virtue and piety; that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
 -Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 1782.




Notes


1.  Quoted in D.J. D'Elia, Benjamin Rush: Philosopher of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, 1974), p.56. On Jefferson, see idem., The Spirits of `76: A Catholic Inquiry (Front Royal, Va., 1983), ch. 1, pp. 9-23; idem., “The Real Bicentennial: the Continual Quest for a Therapy of Order,” Faith and Reason 13, No. 4 (1986), pp. 353-362.
2.  Quoted in Christopher Dawson, “The Trend to Secularism,” in James Oliver and Christina Scott, eds., Religion and World History: A Selection from the Works of Christopher Dawson (Garden City, N.Y., 1975), p.290.
3.  “From the Covenant to the Revival,” in James Ward Smith and A. Leland Jamison, eds., The Shaping of American Religion , vol. I of Religion in American Life (4 vols.: Princeton, New Jersey, 1961), pp.325, 339.
4.  Ibid., 328, “Our mental image of the religious patriot,” Perry Miller observed of the orations of the day, “is distorted because modern accounts do treat the political paragraphs as a series of theoretical expositions of Locke, separated from what precedes and follows. When these orations are read as wholes, they immediately reveal that the sociological sections are structural parts of a rhetorical pattern. Embedded in their contexts, these are not abstractions but inherent parts of a theology. It was for this reason that they had so energizing an effect upon their religious auditors,” ibid., p. 342.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Is The Foundation Of The Declaration of Independence And Constitution?

According to many historians, including Daniel Judah Elazar (1934–1999), past professor of political science at Bar Ilan University (Israel), Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the founder and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Federalism is a Puritan invention. Fernando Rey Martinez, Professor of Constitutional Law at Valladolid Law School, in Valladolid, Spain, quotes Elazar that, "American Federalism rests on the reading the Puritans gave to federal theology in the covenant of the Old Testament"1. The word "Federalism" was not yet created when Federal Systems of government were formed in New England, however, the concept of federal liberty was 2. Martinez writes, "The word "federal" comes from "foedus," the latin word for "covenant." "Federal liberty" was a comprehensive relationship, not a contract based on written duties, but similiar to a marriage found in Judeo-Christian tradition 3. Even Lincoln described the DOI as "a regular marriage" 4, and to Puritans it was a "Federal" relationship with God that carried over into the civil arena 5.

In our founding documents, no other foundation but Covenantal Puritanism was the predominant theory. Here, the noted former Emeritus Professor at Columbia:
From the Bay Colony came the great intellectual leaders, the theologians who became the leaders … in the establishment of New England colonies… Nor was its influence restricted to New England, for its ideals and aspirations… became the dominant influence in the development of the United States.
 -Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization, vol. 1, ch.3

Prominent 19th Century historian Alex d'Tocqueville did not give Enlightenment Rationalism the influence modern historians do, but understood Puritan Covenant Theology the main impetus for social theology that spread throughout the new nation:  
In was in the English colonies… better known as the states of New England, that the two or three main principles now forming the basic social theory of the United States were combined. New England principles spread first to the neighboring states and then…to those more distant, finally penetrating everywhere… Their influence now extends beyond its limits over the whole American world…”
-Alex d’Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Book I, ch. 2.

Is it no less a surprise that the political leader of the Revolution was a Puritan; speaking for the new nation? The Declaration of Independence is a Puritan compact:
The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature.
-Samuel Adams, An ORATION Delivered at the State-House, In PHILADELPHIA, To A Very Numerous AUDIENCE; On THURSDAY the 1st of AUGUST 1776.

As Robert N. Bellah notes, Puritanism was the foundation for our constitutionalism, what he coined, our "civil religion" 7. Thus, our civil religion is a form of Puritan Christianity, established on biblical promises. True, Puritan Congregationalism may not be the only factor of our Constitutional Compact, but, it is the context from which the other aspects flow.

Included in Puritan Theology was Millenialism; the idea that human history is divinely ordained and will lead to a period of heavenly perfection on earth. Puritan Whigs that were to make up the future Hamiltonian Federalist Party in 1790, believed in this "Covenant Theology." Some may have discarded theological points within Calvinism, but milennialism was not one of them. These men believed in a "New Jerusalem" and that place was America. Just as God had led the Israelites out of Egypt into Canaan, God had sovereignly delivered the Colonists from England, to bring in a righteous kingdom, led by righteous rulers, ultimately to establish Christ's millenial reign. As long as there were "righteous rulers" God's Blessings endured.

Important to note, this belief was not limited to New England Puritans, but was taught in Reformed Churches throughout the colonies, evidenced by beliefs from middle states Founding Fathers: John Witherspoon, Thomas McKean, George Clymer, Benjamin Rush, and Southern Congregationalists: Button Gwinnett, and Lyman Hall. Other millenialist Whigs included: Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, Richard Stockton, Josiah Bartlett, Oliver Ellsworth, John Hancock, Oliver Wolcott, Alexander Hamilton, and yes, John Adams. Whatever Adams may have wrote after he retired; in 1776, he believed as the others: 
But We should always remember, that a free Constitution of civil Government cannot be purchased at too dear a Rate; as there is nothing on this Side of the new Jesusalem, [Jerusalem] of equal Importance to Mankind.
-John Adams to Archibald Bulloch July 1, 1776

The idea to separate the fundamental beliefs of Whigs (Colonists that rejected Monarchial rule, and the Divine Right of Kings), with Puritan Covenant ideology is revisionism. Whigs and Puritans agreed that God was on our side, to help us in our cause:
To be sure, the wide support of Whig thought may have had something to do with America's religious heritage, for a number of Real Whig themes resembled cherished Puritan themes, at least in form. First, Puritans and Whigs shared a pessimistic view of human nature. Puritans believed that natural depravity predisposed individuals to sin; Whigs held that political power brought out the worst in leaders. Both emphasized that freedom meant liberation from something. For Puritans it was freedom from sin; for Whigs it was freedom from political oppression. Both also linked freedom and virtue. Puritans held that sinful behavior led to spiritual and other forms of tyranny; Whigs felt that tyrannical behavior grew from corruption and, in turn, nourished it. Finally, Puritans and Whigs both regarded history in similar terms. It was the struggle of evil against good, dark against light, whether for the Puritan (Antichrist versus Christ) or the Whig (tyranny versus freedom). This similarity in form between Whig political ideas and the traditional theology of some Americans made it easier for many to blur the distinction between a political struggle for rights and a spiritual conflict for the kingdom.
 (Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, George M. Marsden, David F. Wells, and John D. Woodbridge, editors, Eerdmans' Handbook to Christianity in America [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983], pp. 134-135).

This point reinforces the idea John Locke, or enlightenment philosophy, had any fundamental position in the DOI. The Scriptures (1 Cor 11:14, "Doth not even nature itself teach you" and Rom 2:14-15), espoused by English Divine Richard Hooker, John Calvin, and Reformed ideology, had years earlier, enumerated Natural Law subservient to Revelation. Natural Law, advocated by Thomas Aquinas, preceded the Scottish Enlightenment by almost four-hundred years. What did the Enlightenment teach? Reject the supernatural, and question the Bible. Did the Colonists adhere to those tenants? No. Why then do historians: Donald S. Lutz, B. Bailyn, G. Wills, Gordon Wood et al. promote this false idea? It is historical revisionism to ignore the concepts laid down from the Protestant Reformation and Francisco Suarez and The School of Salamanca, to say nothing of Christendom from the Church Fathers to the Renaissance.

It has been noted by many historians, that Locke's influence has been exaggerated prior to 1776. Professor and British historian Jack Richon Pole:
It isn't surprising to claim the idea of popular sovereignty and representative government by the Colonists of the 1760's was not influenced, as is generally believed, by the political theology of John Locke..Very little evidence exists to suggest that Locke exerted any effective influence on the political thought of the Colonists until Thomas Jefferson came to draft the Declaration of Independence.
-Political representation in England and the origins of the American Republic (Macmillan 1966). H. Trevor Colborum, Thomas Jefferson's Use of the Past, "William and Mary Quarterly" Jan. 1958, 56-70.

If the Enlightenment was to touch on morality, economics, jurisprudence, consent of the governed, life, liberty, property, etc. they were way late to the game, which says volumes about the historians who promote it. Or if the Founding Fathers had questioned the Scriptures in favor of reason, it would be fair to include Enlightenment thought in the DOI, however, the personal preferences of: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine, do not represent the Southern, Middle, or New England Colonies.


Notes
1) See generally DANIEL J. ELAZAR, EXPLORING FEDERALISM 127 (1987). The concept of federalism appeared in almost all versions of Calvinism. In the Dutch version, it partially inspired the federation of the United Provinces at the end of the 16th century (keeping this federal style until Napoleon's invasion). Calvinist federalism also showed up in the Helvetica and German Confederations. Even the French term for its Protestants was "Hugerenot." meaning "oath-based" association or "federation."
2) Martinez, The Religious Character of the American Constitution: Puritanism and Constitutionalism in the United States. p.477. "This expression comes from John Winthrop and Elazar, describing 'namely the liberty of the partners to act in accordance with the moral principals embodied in God's covenant with humanity (as in biblical Israel and colonial New England)." See CORWIN ON THE CONSTITUTION 79 (Richard Loss ed., 1981).
3)Id at 478
4)Id 478
5) Id 478
6)Id 480. See also Robert N. Bellah Civil Religion in America, Daedalus 96 (1967). See also John T. Watts, Robert N. Bellah's Theory of America's Eschatological Hope. 22 J. OF CHURCH AND STATE 5, (1980).
7)Spencer Welles McBrideThe Courtship of Providence and Patriotism p. 7. See Ruth H. Bloch, Visionary Republic: Millenial Themes in American Thought, 1756-1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985), xi.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

15 Out of 20 So-Called Pro-Life Representatives Fired, Including Bart Supak

The Pro-life movement in America is strong. Bart Stupak of Michigan lost his seat on Tuesday. He claimed to be pro-life, yet signed Obama's Health Bill. Marilyn Musgrave, Director of Votes Have Consequences, showed her clout as a leader in the Pro-Life Movement; gives an interview about the election, and Stupak's defeat. Sad to note, the people of Colorado hammered their pro-life bill.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News Real Blog Has It Correct About "Psycho Talk" Commentator Ed Shultz

Here is Ed Shultz:
[M]ost of these Founding Fathers that you think so highly of were actually slave owners themselves, and the ones that didn’t own slaves weren’t exactly abolitionists…[C]omparing progressives to slave owners while idolizing actual slave owners — that’s “Psycho Talk.
He attacked Samuel Adams, and also derided the Framers for the 3/5 provision in the Declaration of Independence, revealing his familiarity with the Federalist Papers. As author Ben Johnson notes:
There are three problems for Big Ed: He’s wrong about Sam Adams; he’s wrong about the Founding Fathers; and he’s wrong about the three-fifths compromise.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do The Founders Agree On Natural Rights?

You bet. There had to be consensus on this fundamental issue. Unalienable Rights are one of the building blocks of our country. The author of this post on American Creation raises an important point not to be ignored.  All the framers agreed that Natural Law was to be identical to Divine Law, but, if the former diverted in the only possible way it could; by a written law, the Scriptures were to be, in the words of Founding Father James Wilson; Superauthentick. Also, by using standard logic, evidenced by the fact the men quoted in the Constitutional Convention: Sir William Blackstone, Baron Montesquieu, Puffendorf, Richard Hooker, John Locke, and the below quoted Hugo Grotius, believed as they did:
The very meaning of the words divine voluntary right, shows that it springs from the divine will, by which it is distinguished from natural law, which, it has already been observed, is called divine also. … Now this law was given either to mankind in general, or to one particular people. We find three periods, at which it was given by God to the human race, the first of which was immediately after the creation of man, the second upon the restoration of mankind after the flood, and the third upon that more glorious restoration through Jesus Christ. These three laws undoubtedly bind all men, as soon, as they come to a sufficient knowledge of them.
Above, Grotius is affirming the Scriptures superior to Nature. Furthermore, "All Human Laws are null and void if contrary to the Divine Law" was adhered to by all. Natural Law can only be relevant if made into Human Law. In lock-step with the Unitarians of the day, John Adams understood Natural Law was subserviant to Revelation:
 I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.
-A dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

That Orthodox Christians: George Mason, Samuel Adams, and Alexander Hamilton, spoke largely of unalienable rights in terms of Natural Law, reinforces the fact they viewed the Scriptures superior. What then of this comment?

"If this is true, neither man's covenants nor God's can change this fact."

However, the Founding Fathers believed God's Word was superior. Is this a contradiction? God's promises are not inferior to man's ideas. Parts of the Bible not repeated in the New Testament; many I might add, are for a different dispensation; for instance, dietary laws. This is the key concept in this narrative, one brought to light by Montesquieu's fundamental "principles that do not change." Early American Law Books taught that government was free to set its own policy only if God had not ruled in an area. For example, Blackstone's Commentaries:
To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the Divine...If any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law...But, with regard to matters that are...not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the...legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose.
In summation, the Founding Fathers appealed to Heaven as their authority, not Natural Law.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Father of the Revolution, Samuel Adams Oration on The Declaration of Independence




Samuel Adams
   Here, the political leader of the our new nation gives the understanding for the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is a covenant with God, founded on consent by the people, in what Adams called a Social Compact. The DOI is not inspired writing, rather, this covenant is established by our people, founded in promises from the Revealed Word of God, and the Dictates of Reason. Adams speaks for the people, using  the words of a commoner, and those of a philosopher; revealing the proper balance the Colonists had for religion and Natural Law:

In 1776 a pamphlet appeared in London of an oration said to have been delivered by Samuel Adams on August 1, 1776, at the State House in Philadelphia . Said also to have been reprinted from Philadelphia, no American copy has been found.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!..Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature.

An

ORATION

Delivered at the State-House,

In

PHILADELPHIA,

To

A Very Numerous AUDIENCE;

On THURSDAY the 1st of AUGUST 1776.

—————

COUNTRYMEN AND BRETHREN:—

I WOULD gladly have declined an honor to which I find myself unequal. I have not the calmness and impartiality which the infinite importance of this occasion demands. I will not deny the charge of my enemies, that resentment for the accumulated injuries of our country, and an ardor for her glory, rising to enthusiasm, may deprive me of that accuracy of judgment and expression which men of cooler passions may possess. Let me beseech you, then, to hear me with caution, to examine your prejudice, and to correct the mistakes into which I may be hurried by my zeal.

Truth loves an appeal to the common-sense of mankind. Your unperverted understandings can best determine on subjects of a practical nature. The positions and plans which are said to be above the comprehension of the multitude may be always suspected to be visionary and fruitless. He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all.

Our forefathers threw off the yoke of Popery in religion; for you is reserved the honor of levelling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all, and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion. Are we sufficient for the comprehension of the sublimest spiritual truths, and unequal to material and temporal ones?

Heaven hath trusted us with the management of things for eternity, and man denies us ability to judge of the present, or to know from our feelings the experience that will make us happy. “You can discern,” they say, “objects distant and remote, but cannot perceive those within your grasp. Let us have the distribution of present goods, and cut out and manage as you please the interests of futurity.” This day, I trust, the reign of political protestantism will commence. We have explored the temple of royalty, and found that the idol we have bowed down to has eyes which see not, ears that hear not our prayers, and a heart like the nether millstone. We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven, and with a propitious eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought and dignity of self-direction which he bestowed on them. From the rising to the setting sun, may his kingdom come!

Having been a slave to the influence of opinion early acquired, and distinctions generally received, I am ever inclined not to despise but pity those who are yet in darkness. But to the eye of reason what can be more clear than that all men have an equal right to happiness? Nature made no other distinction than that of higher and lower degrees of power of mind and body. But what mysterious distribution of character has the craft of statesmen, more fatal than priestcraft, introduced?

According to their doctrine, the offspring of perhaps the lewd embraces of a successful invader shall, from generation to generation, arrogate the right of lavishing on their pleasures a proportion of the fruits of the earth, more than sufficient to supply the wants of thousands of their fellow-creatures; claim authority to manage them like beasts of burden, and, with superior industry, capacity, or virtue, nay, though disgraceful to humanity, by their ignorance, intemperance, and brutality, shall be deemed best calculated to frame laws and to consult for the welfare of society.

Were the talents and virtues which Heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? Away, then, with those absurd systems which to gratify the pride of a few debase the greater part of our species below the order of men. What an affront to the King of the universe, to maintain that the happiness of a monster, sunk in debauchery and spreading desolation and murder among men, of a Caligula, a Nero, or a Charles, is more precious in his sight than that of millions of his suppliant creatures, who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God! Mo, in the judgment of Heaven there is no other superiority among men than a superiority in wisdom and virtue. And can we have a safer model in forming ours? The Deity, then, has not given any order or family of men authority over others; and if any men have given it, they only could give it for themselves. Our forefathers, ‘tis said, consented to be subject to the laws of Great Britain. I will not, at present, dispute it, nor mark out the limits and conditions of their submission; but will it be denied that they contracted to pay obedience and to be under the control of Great Britain because it appeared to them most beneficial in their then present circumstances and situations? We, my countrymen, have the same right to consult and provide for our happiness which they had to promote theirs. If they had a view to posterity in their contracts, it must have been to advance the felicity of their descendants. If they erred in their expectations and prospects, we can never be condemned for a conduct which they would have recommended had they foreseen our present condition.

Ye darkeners of counsel, who would make the property, lives, and religion of millions depend on the evasive interpretations of musty parchments; who would send us to antiquated charters of uncertain and contradictory meaning, to prove that the present generation are not bound to be victims to cruel and unforgiving despotism, tell us whether our pious and generous ancestors bequeathed to us the miserable privilege of having the rewards of our honesty, industry, the fruits of those fields which they purchased and bled for, wrested from us at the will of men over whom we have no check. Did they contract for us that, with folded arms, we should expect that justice and mercy from brutal and inflamed invaders which have been denied to our supplications at the foot of the throne? Were we to hear our character as a people ridiculed with indifference? Did they promise for us that our meekness and patience should be insulted; our coasts harassed, our towns demolished and plundered, and our wives and offspring exposed to nakedness, hunger, and death, without our feeling the resentment of men, and exerting those powers of self-preservation which God has given us? No man had once a greater veneration for Englishmen than I entertained. They were dear to me as branches of the same parental trunk, and partakers of the same religion and laws; I still view with respect the remains of the Constitution as I would a lifeless body which had once been animated by a great and heroic soul. But when I am aroused by the din of arms; when I behold legions of foreign assassins, paid by Englishmen to imbrue their hands in our blood; when I tread over the uncoffined bodies of my countrymen, neighbors, and friends; when I see the locks of a venerable father torn by savage hands, and a feeble mother, clasping her infants to her bosom, and on her knees imploring their lives from her own slaves, whom Englishmen have allured to treachery and murder; when I behold my country, once the seat of industry, peace, and plenty, changed by Englishmen to a theatre of blood and misery,—Heaven forgive me if I cannot root out those passions which it has implanted in my bosom, and detest submission to a people who have either ceased to be human, or have not virtue enough to feel their own wretchedness and servitude!

Men who content themselves with the semblance of truth, and a display of words, talk much of our obligations to Great Britain for protection! Had she a single eye to our advantage? A nation of shopkeepers are very seldom so disinterested. Let us not be so amused with words; the extension of her commerce was her object. When she defended our coasts, she fought for her customers, and convoyed our ships loaded with wealth, which we had acquired for her by our industry. She has treated us as beasts of burden, whom the lordly masters cherish that they may carry a greater load. Let us inquire also against whom she has protected us? Against her own enemies with whom we had no quarrel, or only on her account, and against whom we always readily exerted our wealth and strength when they were required. Were these colonies backward in giving assistance to Great Britain, when they were called upon in 1739 to aid the expedition against Carthagena? They at that time sent three thousand men to join the British army, although the war commenced without their consent. But the last war, ‘tis said, was purely American. This is a vulgar error, which, like many others, has gained credit by being confidently repeated. The dispute between the courts of Great Britain and France related to the limits of Canada and Nova Scotia. The controverted territory was not claimed by any in the colonies, but by the crown of Great Britain. It was therefore their own quarrel. The infringement of a right which England had, by the treaty of Utrecht, of trading in the Indian country of Ohio, was another cause of the war. The French seized large quantities of British manufactures and took possession of a fort which a company of British merchants and factors had erected for the security of their commerce. The war was therefore waged in defence of lands claimed by the crown, and for the protection of British property. The French at that time had no quarrel with America, and, as appears by letters sent from their commander-in chief to some of the colonies, wished to remain in peace with us. The part, therefore, which we then took, and the miseries to which we exposed ourselves, ought to be charged to our affection to Britain. These colonies granted more than their proportion to the support of the war. They raised, clothed, and maintained nearly twenty-five thousand men, and so sensible were the people of England of our great exertions, that a message was annually sent to the House of Commons purporting, “that his Majesty, being highly satisfied with the zeal and vigor with which his faithful subjects in North America had exerted themselves in defence of his Majesty’s just rights and possessions, recommends it to the House to take the same into consideration, and enable him to give them a proper compensation.”

But what purpose can arguments of this kind answer? Did the protection we received annul our rights as men, and lay us under an obligation of being miserable?

Who among you, my countrymen, that is a father, would claim authority to make your child a slave because you had nourished him in infancy?

‘Tis a strange species of generosity which requires a return infinitely more valuable than anything it could have bestowed; that demands as a reward for a defence of our property a surrender of those inestimable privileges, to the arbitrary will of vindictive tyrants, which alone give value to that very property.

Political right and public happiness are different words for the same idea. They who wander into metaphysical labyrinths, or have recourse to original contracts, to determine the rights of men, either impose on themselves or mean to delude others. Public utility is the only certain criterion. It is a test which brings disputes to a speedy decision, and makes its appeal to the feelings of mankind. The force of truth has obliged men to use arguments drawn from this principle who were combating it, in practice and speculation. The advocates for a despotic government and nonresistance to the magistrate employ reasons in favor of their systems drawn from a consideration of their tendency to promote public happiness.

The Author of Nature directs all his operations to the production of the greatest good, and has made human virtue to consist in a disposition and conduct which tends to the common felicity of his creatures. An abridgment of the natural freedom of men, by the institutions of political societies, is vindicable only on this foot. How absurd, then, is it to draw arguments from the nature of civil society for the annihilation of those very ends which society was intended to procure! Men associate for their mutual advantage. Hence, the good and happiness of the members—that is, the majority of the members—of any State, is the great standard by which everything relating to that State must finally be determined; and though it may be supposed that a body of people may be bound by a voluntary resignation (which they have been so infatuated as to make) of all their interests to a single person, or to a few, it can never be conceived that the resignation is obligatory to their posterity; because it is manifestly contrary to the good of the whole that it should be so.

These are the sentiments of the wisest and most virtuous champions of freedom. Attend to a portion on this subject from a book in our own defence, written, I had almost said, by the pen of inspiration. “I lay no stress,” says he, “on charters; they derive their rights from a higher source. It is inconsistent with common-sense to imagine that any people would ever think of settling in a distant country on any such condition, or that the people from whom they withdrew should forever be masters of their property, and have power to subject them to any modes of government they pleased. And had there been expressed stipulations to this purpose in all the charters of the colonies, they would, in my opinion, be no more bound by them, than if it had been stipulated with them that they should go naked, or expose themselves to the incursions of wolves and tigers.”

Such are the opinions of every virtuous and enlightened patriot in Great Britain. Their petition to Heaven is, “That there may be one free country left upon earth, to which they may fly, when venality, luxury, and vice shall have completed the ruin of liberty there.”

Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty. Dismissing, therefore, the justice of our cause, as incontestable, the only question is, What is best for us to pursue in our present circumstances?

The doctrine of dependence on Great Britain is, I believe, generally exploded; but as I would attend to the honest weakness of the simplest of men, you will pardon me if I offer a few words on that subject.

We are now on this continent, to the astonishment of the world, three millions of souls united in one cause. We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations, and foreign nations are waiting to crown our success by their alliances. There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing Providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.

The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great Providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back, lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity and a better preparation for defence, more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence and support us in the dignity of free, imperial States. We cannot suppose that our opposition has made a corrupt and dissipated nation more friendly to America, or created in them a greater respect for the rights of mankind. We can therefore expect a restoration and establishment of our privileges, and a compensation for the injuries we have received from their want of power, from their fears, and not from their virtues. The unanimity and valor which will effect an honorable peace can render a future contest for our liberties unnecessary. He who has strength to chain down the wolf is a madman if he let him loose without drawing his teeth and paring his nails.

From the day on which an accommodation takes place between England and America, on any other terms than as independent States, I shall date the ruin of this country. A politic minister will study to lull us into security, by granting us the full extent of our petitions. The warm sunshine of influence would melt down the virtue, which the violence of the storm rendered more firm and unyielding. In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. Every art of corruption would be employed to loosen the bond of union which renders our resistance formidable. When the spirit of liberty which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin and render us easier victims to tyranny. Ye abandoned minions of an infatuated Ministry,—if peradventure any should yet remain among us,—remember that a Warren and Montgomery are numbered among the dead. Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plow, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!

To unite the supremacy of Great Britain and the liberty of America is utterly impossible. So vast a continent, and of such a distance from the seat of empire, will every day grow more unmanageable. The motion of so unwieldy a body cannot be directed with any despatch and uniformity without committing to the Parliament of Great Britain powers inconsistent with our freedom. The authority and force which would be absolutely necessary for the preservation of the peace and good order of this continent would put all our valuable rights within the reach of that nation.

As the administration of government requires firmer and more numerous supports in proportion to its extent, the burdens imposed on us would be excessive, and we should have the melancholy prospect of their increasing on our posterity. The scale of officers, from the rapacious and needy commissioner to the haughty governor, and from the governor, with his hungry train, to perhaps a licentious and prodigal viceroy, must be upheld by you and your children. The fleets and armies which will be employed to silence your murmurs and complaints must be supported by the fruits of your industry.

And yet with all this enlargement of the expense and powers of government, the administration of it at such a distance, and over Bo extensive a territory, mast necessarily fail of putting the laws into vigorous execution, removing private oppressions, and forming plans for the advancement of agriculture and commerce, and preserving the vast empire in any tolerable peace and security. If our posterity retain any spark of patriotism, they can never tamely submit to such burdens. This country will be made the field of bloody contention till it gain that independence for which nature formed it. It is, therefore, injustice and cruelty to our offspring, and would stamp us with the character of baseness and cowardice, to leave the salvation of this country to be worked out by them with accumulated difficulty and danger.

Prejudice, I confess, may warp our judgments. Let us hear the decision of Englishmen on this subject, who cannot be suspected of partiality. “The Americans,” they say, “are but little short of half our number. To this number they have grown from a small body of original settlers by a very rapid increase. The probability is that they will go on to increase, and that in fifty or sixty years they will be double our number, and form a mighty empire, consisting of a variety of States, all equal or superior to ourselves in all the arts and accomplishments which give dignity and happiness to human life. In that period will they be still bound to acknowledge that supremacy over them which we now claim? Can there be any person who will assert this, or whose mind does not revolt at the idea of a vast continent holding all that is valuable to it at the discretion of a handful of people on the other side of the Atlantic? But if at that period this would be unreasonable, what makes it otherwise now? Draw the line if you can. But there is still a greater difficulty.”

“Britain is now, I will suppose, the seat of liberty and virtue, and its legislature consists of a body of able and independent men, who govern with wisdom and justice. The time may come when all will be reversed; when its excellent constitution of government will be subverted; when, pressed by debts and taxes, it will be greedy to draw to itself an increase of revenue from every distant province, in order to ease its own burdens; when the influence of the crown, strengthened by luxury and a universal profligacy of manners, will have tainted every heart, broken down every fence of liberty, and rendered us a nation of tame and contented vassals; when a general election will be nothing but a general auction of boroughs, and when the Parliament—the grand council of the nation, and once the faithful guardian of the State, and a terror to evil ministers—will be degenerated into a body of sycophants, dependent and venal, always ready to confirm any measures, and little more than a public court for registering royal edicts. Such, it is possible, may, some time or other, be the state of Great Britain. What will, at that period, be the duty of the colonies? Will they be still bound to unconditional submission? Must they always continue an appendage to our government and follow it implicitly through every change that can happen to it? Wretched condition, indeed, of millions of freemen as good as ourselves! Will you say that we now govern equitably, and that there is no danger of such revolution? Would to God that this were true! But you will not always say the same. Who shall judge whether we govern equitably or not? Can you give the colonies any security that such a period will never come?” No. THE PERIOD, COUNTRYMEN, IS ALREADY COME. The calamities were at our door. The rod of oppression was raised over us. We were roused from our slumbers, and may we never sink into repose until we can convey a clear and undisputed inheritance to our posterity! This day we are called upon to give a glorious example of what the wisest and best of men were rejoiced to view, only in speculation. This day presents the world with the most august spectacle that its annals ever unfolded—millions of freemen, deliberately and voluntarily forming themselves into a society for their common defence and common happiness. Immortal spirits of Hampden, Locke, and Sidney,—will it not add to your benevolent joys to behold your posterity rising to the dignity of men, and evincing to the world the reality and expediency of your systems, and in the actual enjoyment of that equal liberty, which you were happy, when on earth, in delineating and recommending to mankind!

Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature. Leave the bird of night to the obscurity for which nature intended him, and expect only from the eagle to brush the clouds with his wings and look boldly in the face of the sun.

Some who would persuade us that they have tender feelings for future generations, while they are insensible to the happiness of the present, are perpetually foreboding a train of dissensions under our popular system. Such men’s reasoning amounts to this: Give up all that is valuable to Great Britain and then you will have no inducements to quarrel among yourselves—or, suffer yourselves to be chained down by your enemies that you may not be able to fight with your friends.

This is an insult on your virtue as well as your commonsense. Your unanimity this day and through the course of the war is a decisive refutation of such invidious predictions. Our enemies have already had evidence that our present Constitution contains in it the justice and ardor of freedom and the wisdom and vigor of the most absolute system. When the law is the will of the people, it will be uniform and coherent; but fluctuation, contradiction, and inconsistency of councils must be expected under those governments where every revolution in the ministry of a court produces one in the State—such being the folly and pride of all ministers, that they ever pursue measures directly opposite to those of their predecessors.

We shall neither be exposed to the necessary convulsions of elective monarchies, nor to the want of wisdom, fortitude, and virtue, to which hereditary succession is liable. In your hands it will be to perpetuate a prudent, active, and just legislature, and which will never expire until you yourselves lose the virtues which give it existence. And, brethren and fellow-countrymen, if it was ever granted to mortals to trace the designs of Providence, and interpret its manifestations in favor of their cause, we may, with humility of soul, cry out, “Not unto us, not unto us, but to thy Name be the praise!” The confusion of the devices among our enemies, and the rage of the elements against them, have done almost as much toward our success as either our councils or our arms.

The time at which this attempt on our liberty was made, when we were ripened into maturity, had acquired a knowledge of war, and were free from the incursions of enemies in this country; the gradual advances of our oppressors enabling us to prepare for our defence; the unusual fertility of our lands and clemency of the seasons; the success which at first attended our feeble arms, producing unanimity among our friends and reducing our internal foes to acquiescence—these are all strong and palpable marks and assurances that Providence is yet gracious unto Zion, that it will turn away the captivity of Jacob.

Our glorious reformers when they broke through the fetters of superstition effected more than could be expected from an age so darkened. But they left much to be done by their posterity. They lopped off, indeed, some of the branches of Popery, but they left the root and stock when they left us under the domination of human systems and decisions, usurping the infallibility which can be attributed to revelation alone. They dethroned one usurper only to raise up another; they refused allegiance to the Pope only to place the civil magistrate in the throne of Christ, vested with authority to enact laws and inflict penalties in his kingdom. And if we now cast our eyes over the nations of the earth, we shall find that, instead of possessing the pure religion of the Gospel, they may be divided either into infidels, who deny the truth; or politicians who make religion a stalking horse for their ambition; or professors, who walk in the trammels of orthodoxy, and are more attentive to traditions and ordinances of men than to the oracles of truth.

The civil magistrate has everywhere contaminated religion by making it an engine of policy; and freedom of thought and the right of private judgment, in matters of conscience, driven from every other corner of the earth) direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. Let us cherish the noble guests, and shelter them under the wings of a universal toleration. Be this the seat of unbounded religious freedom. She will bring with her in her train, industry, wisdom, and commerce. She thrives most when left to shoot forth in her natural luxuriance, and asks for human policy only not to be checked in her growth by artificial encouragements.

Thus, by the beneficence of Providence, we shall behold our empire arising, founded on justice and the voluntary consent of the people, and giving full scope to the exercise of those faculties and rights which most ennoble our species. Besides the advantages of liberty and the most equal- Constitution, Heaven has given us a country with every variety of climate and soil, pouring forth in abundance whatever is necessary for the support, comfort, and strength of a nation. Within our own borders we possess all the means of sustenance, defence, and commerce; at the same time, these advantages are so distributed among the different States of this continent, as if nature had in view to proclaim to us: Be united among yourselves and you will want nothing from the rest of the world.

The more northern States most amply supply us with every necessary, and many of the luxuries of life—with iron, timber, and masts for ships of commerce or of war, with flax for the manufacture of linen, and seed either for oil or exportation.

So abundant are our harvests, that almost every part raises more than double the quantity of grain requisite for the support of the inhabitants. From Georgia and the Carolinas we have, as well for our own wants as for the purpose of supplying the wants of other powers, indigo, rice, hemp, naval stores, and lumber.

Virginia and Maryland teem with wheat, Indian corn, and tobacco. Every nation whose harvest is precarious, or whose lands yield not those commodities which we cultivate, will gladly exchange their superfluities and manufactures for ours.

We have already received many and large cargoes of clothing, military stores, etc., from our commerce with foreign powers, and, in spite of the efforts of the boasted navy of England, we shall continue to profit by this connection.

The want of our naval stores has already increased the price of these articles to a great height, especially in Britain. Without our lumber, it will be impossible for those haughty islanders to convey the products of the West Indies to their own ports; for a while they may with difficulty effect it, but, without our assistance, their resources soon must fail. Indeed, the West India islands appear as the necessary appendages to this our empire. They must owe their support to it, and erelong, I doubt not, some of them will, from necessity, wish to enjoy the benefit of our protection.

These natural advantages will enable us to remain independent of the world, or make it the interest of European powers to court our alliance, and aid in protecting us against the invasion of others. What argument, therefore, do we want to show the equity of our conduct; or motive of interest to recommend it to our prudence? Nature points out the path, and our enemies have obliged us to pursue it.

If there is any man so base, or so weak as to prefer a dependence on Great Britain to the dignity and happiness of living a member of a free and independent nation, let me tell him that necessity now demands what the generous principle of patriotism should have dictated.

We have no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains; desolation and death mark their bloody career; while the mangled corpses of our countrymen seem to cry out to us as a voice from heaven, “Will you permit our posterity to groan under the galling chains of our murderers? Has our blood been expended in vain? Is the only benefit which our constancy till death has obtained for our country, that it should be sunk into a deeper and more ignominious vassalage? Recollect who are the men that demand your submission, to whose decrees you are invited to pay obedience. Men who, unmindful of their relation to you as brethren; of your long implicit submission to their laws; of the sacrifice which you and your forefathers made of your natural advantages for commerce to their avarice; formed a deliberate plan to wrest from you the small pittance of property which they had permitted you to acquire. Remember that the men who wish to rule over you are they who, in pursuit of this plan of despotism, annulled the sacred contracts which they had made with your ancestors; conveyed into your cities a mercenary soldiery to compel you to submission by insult and murder; who called your patience cowardice, your piety hypocrisy.”

Countrymen! the men who now invite you to surrender your rights into their hands are the men who have let loose the merciless savages to riot in the blood of their brethren; who have dared to establish Popery triumphant in our land; who have taught treachery to your slaves, and courted them to assassinate your wives and children.

These are the men to whom we are exhorted to sacrifice the blessings which Providence holds out to us; the happiness, the dignity, of uncontrolled freedom and independence.

Let not your generous indignation be directed against any among us who may advise so absurd and maddening a measure. Their number is but few, and daily decreases; and the spirit which can render them patient of slavery will render them contemptible enemies.

Our Union is now complete; our Constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties. We may justly address you, as the decemviri did the Romans, and say, “Nothing that we propose can pass into a law without your consent. Be yourselves, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends.”

You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and Montgomery, it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent!

FINIS.