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his tabernacle, and the finger of Providence again pointed out the way of safety. The patriots of our country once more assembled, when, guided in their counsels by wisdom from above, they, originated and matured the American Constitution, that magnum opus, which hath proved a rock of safety. On which as yet unshaken stands the temple of our liberties.
The framing and adoption of the constitution were events, than which nothing could be more happy in its consequences to us—to man; nor any thing more expressive of the benevolence of Heaven and the superintending Providence of God. This was the consummation of our wishes ; this the answer of our prayers ; this put us in a situation to maintain our independence and defend our liberties.
Thus have we been borne as on eagles' wings and sheltered as in the hollow of the Almighty's hand.
From this land of bondage, from which you have escaped ; this sea of affliction, through which
you have waded ; this gloomy desart, where once you wandered, and where many of your fathers and brethren perished turn your eyes to fields of plenty and a land of peace.
For the Lord came down and delivered us up to a good land, and a large ; a land similar to that which he gave to his people of old.
The Canaan which the Israelites inherited was distinguished for the healthfulness of its climate, the pleasantness of its situation and the fertility of
its soil. It was a goodly land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Such also is the land which God hath given to our fathers and unto us. It partakes of whatever is excellent, both with respect to soil and climate. Its surface, like Judea, is beautifully variegated with hills and vallies, watered with numerous rivers fertilizing as Jordan, and in point of luxuriance and capability of culture it is not inferior to the so much celebrated Canaan of the east.
All the vegetable productions of Europe flourish in some parts of the United States. Here the labours of the husbandman are richly rewarded. The fields now bend beneath their annual tribute. The very cottage overflows with plenty, and the peasant's board is covered with variety.
From our grannaries the islands of the sea are supplied ; by our harvests the hungry of many nations are fed.
The land which the Israelites inherited was not only good, but large, including the places of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Periz. zites, the Hevites, and the Jebusites. So is united America large, extending from the Atlantic to the Missisippi ; from the Irroquois to the St. Mary's. A territory greater in extent than Britain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, European Turkey, Hungary, Bohemia, Switzerland and Lithuania. Thousands of townships have been peopled, and millions of acres cleared, since the revolution. Multitudes are still penetrating the
regions of the west, and converting the forest into the fruitful field, and yet there is room-room for our own increasing population, and also for the numerous emigrants flocking hither from distant nations.
Was the land of Judea divided amongst its inhabi. . tants? So in this favored country—the cultivator is the proprietor of the soil. “ No usurping despot here fixes his standard and awes Americans into a state of vassalage. No haughty nobility engrosses the soil, and reduces the people to the necessity of starving or submitting to the drudgery of slaves.” No; " each man is his own master, walks on his own ground,"* tills his own field, 'eats the fruit of his own labour, and rests beneath the shade of his own fig-tree.
Did the Israelites enjoy, in the land whither they were brought, the inestimable privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of their consciences and the precepts of his word ? So do Ameri
In defence of religious liberty many of our ancestors suffered martyrdom. In pursuit of this they left their native country, and fled to the wilderness, where after many struggles they obtained it.
In these United States no civil code binds the conscience; no assuming pontiff dictates to us our faith. Happy, thrice happy land, where religion
stands upon its own basis, where truth is vindicated by its own weapons, and conquers by its own evidence. Here light without a veil emanates from the sun of righteousness, and salvation, without a mix. ture, flows pure and unrestrained from its sacred source-the gospel.
Such is our situation, and such our privilege. « This is indeed the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
Is our present situation marvellous ? It will appear more so, if we consider the meuns by which we have been exalted to it.
The manner in which these colonies have been preserved from savage barbarity, from French usurpation, and finally delivered from British tyranny, is little less than miraculous.
While it was in the power of the natives to have swallowed us up, they were mercifully restrained : afterwards, when they attempted it, they were delivered into our hand.
Against the French, God fought for America. In this warfare he enlisted the elements, marshalled the thunder, and commissioned the pestilence.
The fleet which was fitted out in 1746, at vast expence, for the sanguinary purpose of conquering Nova Scotia, destroying Boston, and ravaging the whole extent of our defenceless coasts, was providentially defeated in its object. After this mighty armament was ready to put to sea, it was shut up for weeks
in the ports of France, by an embargo from heaven. When crossing the Atlantic, its ships were so tossed by the waves and shattered by the tempests, that like the chariots of Pharaoh, when the Lord looked upon them through the pillar of fire, they moved heavi. ly. A part only of this fleet ever reached our shores. The admiral, to whom this work of death was committed, disheartened by those disasters, fell into an apoplexy, or drank poison and died. The second in command, struck with sudden terror from the Almighty, put an end to his own life. The third accomplished a landing at Chebucto. But no sooner had he pitched his camp than the Angel of the Lord smote it with pestilence, and it became, like the camp of Assyria, full of dead men.
Thus the Almighty laid his veto upon their arms, and compelled them to return by the way they came, without so much as lifting a spear or shooting an arrow against the cities they were destined to destroy. Our fathers stood still und saw the salvation of God. *
The same providential care was extended to these colonies during the revolutionary war.
An event so great as the dismemberment of this country from Britain, was not to be accomplished without struggles and contests. The issue was awfully dubious. Human probability declared against the attempt. The decree, however, was passed in
For a more particular account of these disasters, see Trumbull's history of the last century: