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resistance to tyranny, which mingled itself with the very life-blood of the body politic. It would have been to no purpose that this spirit had pervaded the hall of legislation, provided it had
gone forth into the dwellings of the land ; but it did go forth with a lightning-like energy ; causing the youth to forget his pleasures, the man of middle life, his cares, and the veteran of four score, his infirmities. I might tell
what many of you know better than I do, having seen and felt it-how this spirit operated to induce the peasant cheerfully to exchange the implements of husbandry for the implements of war; how it brought the man of strong domestic attachments to turn his back, without a sigh, upon the blandishments of home, and march for the field of battle. I might tell you how, in those days, female character seemed to assume an unaccustomed strength; how cheerfully the mother would part with her son, or the wife with her husband, to go and fight in his country's cause ; and how both mother and wife, who had been educated to habits of most delicate refinement, could even become the tillers of the ground. I might tell you how this spirit lived,
and waxed more and more vigorous, while our cities were on fire, and the blood of our kindred was flowing, and every wind that swept over our country seemed a presage of the storm of battle. In short, my friends, there was heroism enough in this community, to carry into effect the greatest measures of the greatest minds ; and this, combined with the intellectual energy of which I have spoken, may be regarded as the very corner stone in the temple of our nationał freedom.
Now, I ask whether there be nothing in all this which gives propriety to the observance of this day ? Is it any thing more than a just tribute to the memory of the illustrious dead, that we should commemorate an event which was connected with so much wisdom and valor, so much peril and blood ? Is it not due to ourselves, that we endeavor to become more deeply imbued with the spirit of patriotism, by accustoming ourselves to contemplate the bright example they have left of it? Is it not due to our young men, that, on the annual return of this day, we should endeavor to hold up beforo them the illustrious models of the past, and to
impress them with the privilege and the responsibility of being citizens of such a country? And is it not due to all future generations, that we cherish the recollections which this celebration is fitted to awaken ; and send them down as an accompaniment of the rich inheritance which we hope to transmit? Whether, then, we regard the dead, or the living, or those who are hereafter to live, it seems a dictate of reason, that we should celebrate the birth day of our country's liberty,
But let me not be misunderstood. Let no one suppose that it has been the design of the preceding remarks, to confound intellectual greatness, or heroism, or love of country, with religion. You surely need not be told that a man may be a very giant in intellect, and so devoted to his country as to be willing to face the cannon's mouth in her defence, who yet may even be a reviler of the cross. It is only when the character comes under the presiding influence of religion, that any trait can be considered a chris. tian virtue ; yet we do not exalt the qualities of which I have spoken, too highly, when we say that they are praiseworthy and of good report :
and though they will never furnish any one a passport to heaven, yet they may have a useful operation in the present life, and may be made, in the providence of God, to minister even to the cause of religion,
2. Let the anniversary of our country's independence be celebrated, because it commemorates an event, which is a signal monument of divine interposition.
I know that a spirit of atheism lurks in the human heart; and though God is speaking to us by a thousand voices every moment, yet, because he holds back the face of his throne, and is seen and heard only in the regular march of his administration, we overlook, in a great measure, his agency, and limit our views to second causes. But the history of our revolution furnishes a rebuke to this spirit. In every part of it, we behold the footsteps of an All wise and Almighty God. It may emphatically be said of us, as of Israel, if it had not been the Lord who was on our side when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us.
For a people situated as we were, to cast of the yoke of political thraldoin, was a mighty event. The very announcement of the purpose drew the eyes of the world upon us; and every one, both at home and abroad, felt that it was an enterprise of appalling magnitude. Between the conception of the purpose and its accomplishment, there were mountains of difficulty ; but before the hand of Omnipotence, they were destined to become a plain. There were indeed, as we have seen, much human wisdom and human valor enlisted in this enterprise ; but if He who sitteth in the heavens had not put forth a directing and controlling agency, the counsels of the wise would have come to nought, and the earth would have drank the blood of the brave to no purpose. It was Jehovah, the King of nations, who arranged the whole system of measures, that produced this stupendous result:
Do you inquire for particulars, in respect to which the special providence of God was manifest, in procuring our independence? It was manifest in all that previous train of events, which awakened in our countrymen the purpose