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It was not the instant feeling and pressure of the arm of despotism that roused them to resist, but the principle on which that arm was extended. They could have paid the stamp-tax, and the tea-tax, and other impositions of the British government, had they been increased a thousand fold. But payment acknowledged the right; and they spurned the consequences of that acknowledgement. In spite of those acts, they could have lived, and happily; and bought, and sold, and got gain, and been at ease. But they would have held those blessings, on the tenure of dependence on a foreign and distant power; at the mercy of a king, or his minions; or of councils, in which they had no voice, and where their interests could not be represented, and were little likely to be heard. They saw that their prosperity in such case would be precarious, their possessions uncertain, their ease inglorious.
But, above all, they realized that those burdens, though light to them, would, to the coming age, to us, their posterity, be heavy, and probably insupportable. Reasoning on the inevitable increase of interested imposition, upon those who are without power and have none to help, they foresaw that, sooner or later, desperate struggles must come. They preferred to meet the trial in their own times, and to make the sacrifices in their own persons. They were willing themselves to endure the toil, and to incur the hazard, that we and our descendants, their posterity, might reap the harvest and enjoy the increase.
Generous men! exalted patriots! immortal statesmen! For this deep moral and social affection, for this elevated self-devotion, this noble purpose, this bold daring, the multiplying myriads of your posterity, as they thicken along the Atlantic coast, from the St. Croix to the Mississippi, as they spread backwards to the lakes, and from the lakes to the mountains, and from the mountains to the western waters, shall, on this day, * annually, in all future time, as We, at this hour, come up to the temple of the Most High, with song, and anthem, and thanksgiving, and choral symphony, and hallelujah; to repeat your names; to look steadfastly on the brightness of your glory; to trace its spreading tays to the points from which they emanate; and to seek, in your character and conduct, a practical illustration of public duty, in every occurring social exigence.
THE PRACTICE OF RELIGION AN UNFAILING SOURCE OF
Whatever difficulties may have attended your entrance upon the path of the just, they will vanish by degrees: the steepness of the mountain will lessen as you ascend: the path, in which you have been accustomed to walk, will grow more and more beautiful; and the celestial mansions, to which you tend, will brighten with new splendour, the nearer you approach them. In other affairs, continued exertion may occasion lassitude and fatigue. Labour may be carried to such an excess as to debilitate the body. The pursuits of knowledge may be carried so far as to impair the mind: but neither the organs of the body, nor the faculties of the soul, can be endangered by the practice of religion. On the contrary, this practice strengthens the powers of action. Adding virtue to virtue, is adding strength to strength; and the greater acquisition we make, we are enabled to make still greater.
How pleasant will it be, to mark the soul, thus moving forward in the brightness of its course! In the spring, who does not love to mark the progress of nature: the flower unfolding into beauty, the fruit coming forward to maturity, the fields advancing to the pride of harvest, and the months revolving into the perfect year? Who does not love, in the human species, to observe the progress to maturity: the infant by degrees growing up to man; the young idea beginning to shoot, and the embryo character beginning to unfold?
But if these things affect us with delight; if the prospect of external nature in its progress, if the flower unfolding into beauty, if the fruit coming forward to maturity, if the infant by degrees growing up to man, and the embryo character beginning to unfold, affect us with pleasurable sensations, how much greater delight will it afford, to observe the progress of this new creation, the growth of the soul in the graces of the divine life, good resolutions ripening into good actions, good actions leading to confirmed habits of virtue, and the new nature advancing from the first lineaments of virtue, to the full beauty of holiness!
These are pleasures that time will not take away. While animal spirits fail, and joys, which depend upon the liveliness of the passion, decline with years, the solid comforts of a holy life, the delights of virtue and a good conscience, will be a new source of happiness in old age, and have a charm for the end of life.
As the stream flows pleasantest when it approaches thn ocean; as the flowers send up their sweetest odours at the close of the day; as the sun appears with greatest beauty in his going down; so at the end of his career, the virtues and graces of a good man's life, come before him with the most blessed remembrance, and impart a joy which he never felt before. Over all the moments of life, religion scatters her favours, but reserves her best, her choicest, her divinest blessings for the last hour.
Conclusion of a Sermon by the Rev. R. Hall, delivered before the Volunteers
of Bristol, in prospect of Invasion from France. The inundation of lawless power, after covering the rest of Europe, threatens England; and we are most exactly, most critically placed in the only aperture, where it can be successfully repelled, in the Thermopylæ of the universe.
As far as the interests of freedom are concerned, the most important by far of sublunary interests, you, my countrymen, stand in the capacity of the federal representatives of the human race; for with you it is to determine, (under God) in what condition the latest posterity shall be born; their fortunes are entrusted to your care, and on your conduct, at this moment, depends the colour and complexion of their destiny. If liberty, after being extinguished on the continent, is suffered to expire here, where is it ever to emerge, in the midst of that thick night that will invest it.
It remains with you then to decide, whether that freedom, at whose voice the kingdoms of Europe awoke from the sleep of ages, to run a career of virtuous emulation in everything great and good; the freedom which dispelled the mists of superstition, and invited the nations to behold their God; whose magic touch kindled the rays of genius,
the enthusiasm of poetry, and the name of eloquence: the freedom which poured into our lap opulence and arts, and embellished life with innumerable institutions, till it became a theatre of wonders; it is for you to decide, whether this freedom shall yet survive, or perish forever.
But you have decided. With such a trust, every thought of what is afflicting in warfare, every apprehension of danger must vanish, and you are impatient to mingle in the battle of the civilized world.
Go then, ye defenders of your country, accompanied with every auspicious omen; advance with alacrity into the field, where God himself musters the hosts of war. Religion is too much interested in your success, not to lend you her aid; she will shed over your enterprise her selectest influence.
While you are engaged in the field, many will repair to the closet, many to the sanctuary; the faithful of every name will employ that prayer which has power with God; the feeble hands, which are unequal to any other weapon, will grasp the sword of the Spirit: and from myriads of humble, contrite hearts, the voice of intercession, supplication, and weeping, will mingle in its ascent to heaven with the shouts of battle, and the shock of arms..
My brethren, I cannot but imagine the virtuous heroes, legislators and patriots, of every age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, incapable, till it be brought to a favourable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose.
Enjoy that repose, illustrious immortals; your mantle fell when you ascended; and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and impatient to tread in your steps, are ready to swear by Him that sitteth on the throne, and liveth forever and ever, that they will protect freedom in her last asylum, and never desert her cause, which you sustained by your labours, and cemented with your blood.
BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.-Wolfe.
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the ramparts we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,
O’er the grave where our Hero was buried.
We buried him darkly; at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him; But he lay-like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him!
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow; But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow
We thought--as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow-That the foe would be rioting over his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they 'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him; But nothing he 'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock tolled the hour for retiring, And we heard, by the distant random gun,
That the foe was suddenly firing
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory; We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
But we left him-alone with his glory.