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vine blessing. Those loathsome and ruinous vices, which have since come in like a flood' upon the land, were hardly known among them for two or three generations.
And now, in finishing this hasty sketch of the New England worthies, in her first and golden age, I must not fail to mention, that they were the steady friends, the active promoters, and the fearless champions of civil liberty While they acknowledged the supremacy of the crown, they guarded the inalienable rights of the colonies, with consummate wisdom and prudence ; plead their cause from time to time, with distinguished ability; and resisted every arbitrary encroachment upon their chartered privileges, with a firmness which has never been surpassed, and can never be too much admired. In truth, the patriots and heroes of later times, the Adamses, the Warrens, the Trumbulls and their associates, who achieved the independence of New England, only finished what their equally gallant grandsires had more than begun. While, therefore, we annually commemorate the heroism and perils of the men of '76, let us not forget, that we are even more indebted to the fathers, who counselled and prayed and acted for us, century before Washington and Adams were born. In the management of public affairs, our ancestors remembered that they were acting for posterity; and it is very observable that in appointments to office, they not only, in general, gave their votes for the best men, but very rarely changed their candidates ; so that if a governor or an assistant, was found competent to the duties of his station, and continued to discharge them with fidelity, he was almost sure of being reelected for many years in succession. This policy is still pursued, to a great extent, by our southern brethren, especially in their elec
tions to Congress; and we little consider, what an advantage this gives them over our rotation policy.
Upon the whole, my brethren, our forefathers were men of no ordinary stamp.
Some of them were endowed with great natural abilities, and had received their education in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge ; and the greater part of them were men of good sense and ardent piety. If we are now the freest and happiest people in the world, we owe this enviable distinction, more to the laws which they enacted, to the institutions which they bequeathed, and to the prayers which they offered up, than to all other human means put together. The three grand pillars on which our free and excellent government rests, are religion, education, and public morals; and these pillars were set up, like those on the banks of Jordan, as soon as the pilgrims had passed over the great waters. Yes, my brethren, we build upon the foundations which our fathers laid. They are not the work of our puny hands. Those laws, which, under God, are the glory and bulwarks of our land, are little more than transcripts from the statute books of the seventeenth century. And if we had not lost the high tone of moral and religious principle, which gave them birth, many more would have been transferred to our modern codes, which are now generally regarded as monuments of folly, or intolerance.
The fabric which was reared by puritan hands, may be likened to some venerable Gothic pile, which the skill and caprice of later ages have been employed to adorn ; but which is indebted to them, for none of its noble pillars, mighty arches, and massy strength. It still reposes upon its own deep foundations, and has lost at least as much in simplicity and majesty by our attempts to improve it, as
it has gained in taste and elegance. We inherit the lands which our fathers cleared, send our sons to the colleges which they founded, live under the laws which they enacted, and enjoy the liberties which they achieved. Let us this day take an inventory of our paternal inheritance, and think what God has done for this people, in two centuries. Let us look round upon the schools and churches, the cities and villages, the mountains and vales of our beloved New England. Let us contemplate the happy condition of a million and a half of freemen, within her borders, and as many more, sprung from the same stock, who have gone to people the regions of the west. Let us praise God, when we think what New England is permitted to do for the conversion of the world; when we count up her missionary and bible societies; her sons training up for usefulness, in our numerous flourishing seminaries, and her sons and daughters, going forth to bless the heathen on the Missouri and the Arkansas, on the farther distant shores of Asia, and in the islands of the sea.
Let us stir up one another to holy thanksgiving for the copious effusions of divine grace upon this our goodly heritage ; and let us pray for the spiritual exultation of the Psalmist, while we lift up our voices to heaven in his own inimitable language. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.'- Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For lo! the kings were assembled, they passed
by together. We have thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.'—Walk about Zion, and go round about her, tell the towers thereof. Mark well her bulwarks, and tell it to the generations following. For this God is our God forever ; he will be our guide until death.?
My brethren, all earthly things are changing. One generation passeth away to make room for another. The fathers, where are they?' We shall soon follow them, and our children will come and lie down quietly by our side. When a hundred years more have passed away, not one who hears me will be alive, to commemorate the landing of the pilgrims. But the same sun will shine, the same vallies will smile and sing, the same church will live, and the same God and Saviour will reign. May we not hope, also, that a glorious destiny awaits unborn generations, who will look back to the exiled Puritans as their fathers? In less than thirty years, according to the ordinary rate of population in this country, there will be more than six millions of freemen of New England origin; and when the next centennial celebration shall arrive, there may be forty, or fifty millions. Another hundred years from that time, will doubtless usher in the full-orbed glories of the millenium ; and then who can tell, with what holy rapture, the descendants of the pilgrims on the shores of two oceans, and throughout all the vast intervening regions, will unite in one grand chorus, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!'
THE WAY TO BLESS AND SAVE OUR
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will
not depart from it.'- Prov. xxii. 6.
Hardly anything, I believe, is more difficult, than to incorporate the conviction with our settled habits of thinking and acting, that the most common and familiar truths are often the most important. They are like household faces and voices, which strike us the less, for having been with us from our childhood. It costs us an effort to enter into the spirit of trite proverbs and every-day quotations from any writer, however fraught with wisdom either human or divine. To say, for the thousandth time
"Tis education forms the common mind,
is to compress volumes into a single couplet; and is no less true than it was when the felicitous comparison first occurred to the poet's mind; and yet, how threadbare and · uninteresting has it become. How few, of all the thousands who receive its indelible stamp in the nursery, ever stop to think of its mighty practical irnport.
Thus it is, I apprehend, with that divine aphorism which
* Preached in Philadelphia, at the request of the American Sunday School Union, May 3, 183L.