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of becoming a free people. It was manifest in bringing a set of men upon the stage, at that very time, who were eminently qualified to conduct such an enterprise ;-one man in particular, who, like Moses, was emphatically the leader of his people. It was manifest in the general harmony that pervaded our counsels ; in the union of feeling and purpose which existed among our citizens; in the high beating of the public pulse towards a state of political freedom. It was manifest in bringing us foreign aid, when our condition was most necessitous; especially, in sending to these shores a brave young man, with a rich offering both of treasure and of service, to the cause of freedom; a man who became a powerful coadjutor with the Father of his country, and who, in these latter days, has returned to survey the inheritance which his very blood helped to purchase. And we might descend to many events still more minute ; and show you how the providence of God was manifest in exposing and defeating the designs of our enemies ; in deciding the fate of battles ; in removing obstacles, by an agency which seemed almost miraculous, when our path was hedged
up. Yes, I repeat, though in all this there was the stirring of a brave and patriotic spirit ;-though wisdom, and courage, and burning zeal, were exhibited in almost every movement, yet a higher than human agency was here : it was the agency of Him, who orders all things according to the counsel of his own will.
Here, again, my friends, I ask you whether you do not find an argument for the celebration of this anniversary? If it is right that the day should be observed, because it is commemorative of that noble human agency, by which our country's cause was sustained, in the days of her peril, much more should it be observed, as a memorial of God's power and goodness in our behalf. Let the celebration of this day, then, be perpetuated; and when our children's children, or those of more remote posterity, shall inquire,
what mean ye by this service ?' let them be told that it commemorates the deliverance of their fathers from bondage, by the strong hand and the outstretched arm of Jehovah.
3. Let the anniversary of our independence be celebrated, because it has been followed by consequences of most deep, extensive, and
nent interest. This is true both in respect to our own country, and the world.
respect to our own country—this event has led to the establishment of a government, which is already beginning to be regarded by the civilized world, as an improvement upon the best models, whether of ancient or modern times ;-a government, which, while it knows nothing of hereditary thrones and privileged orders, on the one hand, is yet equally remote from the strife and tumult of a pure democracy, on the other. It would seem, indeed, as if those who framed our national constitution, had incorporated into it whatever was great and noble in all previous political systems; while they left out all those materials which, in other governments, have constituted the elements of disorder and decay. But, without attempting what would better become other hands to analyze our political system, and thus show its tendency to promote public happiness, I will only refer you to the fact, that our government actually has exerted a more benign influence on all the great interests of our country, than was ever exerted by any other government, of human
origin, on any country below the sun. Compare the progress of the American people, during the last half century, in numbers, in wealth, in learning, in political importance, with their progress, during any preceding period, and after you have given due weight to the operation of other causes, you will find that there is a vast amount of improvement that remains to be set down to the account of our government. Or you may arrive at the same result, by comparing the condition of our country during the same period, with that of any of the present tributaries of Great Britain. Or you may even search through the annals of nations; and, if I mistake not, the result will be a full conviction that our country, during the period to which I have referred, stands completely unrivalled in the march of improvement. It is fair then to conclude—for it is in view of actual experimentthat our government is pre-eminently adapted to foster the highest interests of our country.
But, the event which we commemorate, was too great to be confined in its effects to a single people: its influence has extended over the uorld, To say nothing of the direct influence which
was exerted upon other nations by our revolution, it admits of no question, that the influence of our government is felt, at this hour, in a greater or less degree, by every civilized people. It is a little leaven gradually pervading the whole lump. Time was, when it was laughed at abroad as a visionary experiment; even now, there are those who will have it, that it contains within itself, the principle of its destruction : but every thing indicates the contrary; nay, every thing seems to say that it is probably destined, in its general features, to be the model of the best governments, in the best days of the world.
I have spoken chiefly of what has been ; but I must not forget to add, that this great event is probably yet to exert its greatest influence. We know-for God has told us that there is a period of universal moral renovation approaching; and there is much in the aspect of Providence, which seems to indicate that our country is to have a prominent-may I not say—a principal instrumentality in the introduction of that period. And this instrumentality is no doubt to be exerted, in a great degree, through those institutions which are more or less nearly con