A Discourse on the Love of Our Country

Samuel WIlliams

1774

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

PSALM cxxxvii. 5, 6.

THE wise and benevolent Author of nature has made the human race capable of continual advances towards a state of perfection and happiness. All those religious institution which God has appointed among mankind, are evidently designed and adapted to promote this end. And this is what human wisdom has been aiming at by the various methods of education, instruction, laws, and government. To a virtuous mind, nothing can yield a more rational or benevolent pleasure, than to see this great design taking place, in the increase and progress of human happiness: To all the friends of mankind, such views and prospects cannot but prove one of their chief joys. And the same benevolence that leads us to rejoice in human happiness, will make us feel for mankind on the approach of their adversities and sufferings: Feelings which become strong and painful, in proportion to the degree and extent of the miseries and calamities of our fellow men.

IN what manner they will operate on such occasions, you have a natural and beautiful description in that passage of holy scripture which has now been read. It is designed to represent the language and the affections of the children of Israel, when they were carried from their native country. Infinite wisdom had seen fit to put that people under a more excellent constitution of government, than any other nation has ever had. God himself was their King. And they might have been long happy under a government, in which, the Ruler of the world condescended himself to execute the office of Chief-Magistrate. But such was their impiety and folly, that in many instances they greatly abused and perverted the privileges they were favoured with. As the just punishment of their sin and folly, God gave them up to the power of their enemies. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon prevailed over them in battle. Being brought under his power, they soon found what the insolence of victory, and what the fate of a conquered people generally is. From liberty, peace, and plenty, in their own land, they were carried away to endure all the miseries of subjection and slavery, in a kingdom where no other law or liberty was known to them, but the arbitrary will of a proud cruel, despotic monarch.

ON such an occasion and in such a state, Nature felt her aversion to slavery, and her love of freedom. As the unhappy people “sat down by the rivers of Babylon they wept when they remembered” their native country “Zion.” In vain did their new masters call them to be pleased with the condition they had assigned to them; or to put forth songs of joy under their new constitution. Nature felt for, and she acted like herself, in this unhappy people. The idea of their former happy days, was constantly returning to their minds. But amidst all their gloomy prospects, the interest and welfare of their country lay nearest to their hearts. With a beauty, force, and energy, that nothing but this noble patriotic passion could inspire, the author in the psalm, in the language of his own feelings, thus expresseth the love, regard, and attachment, they all bore to her,- If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy, q. d. “Wheresoever I am carried, or whatever I endure, I shall never forget my native country. The right hand might as well forget her motions; the tongue might as well lie dumb, as that I should cease to remember and love her. For in her welfare and prosperity, my chief joy and pleasure lies.

SUCH was the regard God’s people of old, bore to their native country. And verily, my Brethren, if we except the Love of God, a nobler principle never entered the heart of man. To love our friends, to love our neighbours, is the character of a benevolent mind: But how much more extensive and worthy of praise, is that benevolence that reaching out to all mankind, takes in and embraces her country, in the most strong and affectionate manner?…

AND here it is to be observed, that Love to our country supposes that there is a proper community, or public society formed. Were there no other associations among mankind, but those lawless, desperate, and designing men, joined together for the purposes of fraud, rapine, and oppression; such an assembly would not be a society, which, as such, would deserve our regard: But ought rather to be esteemed a body injurious to the interests of mankind; and which, as the friends of human happiness, we must wish to see dissolved, and broken in pieces. The same may be said of uncivilized tribes; of all combinations among tyrants and robbers; and of all the unnatural associations that have, or may take place, among the enemies of mankind. In such cases there is no Public, there is no State, or Country, which as a society or body politic, ought to be esteemed or regarded. We must therefore first of all suppose, a real and proper community, or state of civil society, to have taken place.

As our Maker designed us for such a state, he has given us nature adapted to, and tending towards it. The disadvantages of a solitary state are so many and obvious, that they must have been early, and unavoidably felt. To avoid these, and with a view to enjoy the many advantages no otherwise to be had, mankind naturally fell into the practice of resolving themselves into a social state: Combining together in some form of society, for the purposes of mutual benefit protection, and defence. And as they early found the necessity of forming themselves into a social state, they must also have soon found the necessity of some general rules and measures to regulate and govern their conduct towards each other. This unavoidably lead them to form laws and rules of action; and of consequence to appoint some to see that these laws and rules were duly observed. And hence government and order arose. Time and necessity ripened the first, rude, unfinished plan. And in the revolutions of time, wisdom gathered from their own errors, wants, necessities and experience, and from the conduct and measures of others; rendered that tolerably well adjusted, and proportioned, which at first was in a very indigested imperfect state. In a way somewhat similar to this, we may suppose mankind were lead into those social combinations, which in a long series of ages, under gradual improvements, grew up to the form of large, powerful, well-regulated states.

SUCH a state of society constituted by common reason, and formed on the plan of a common interest, is one of the most necessary and useful regulations that ever took place among mankind. We have many affections which a solitary life would give us little room to exercise or cultivate. We have many wants and necessities belonging to our condition, which nothing can tolerably well supply, but an extensive intercourse between man and man. There are many dangers to which we are exposed, against which no defence can be made, without more power and strength than our own. And there are many difficulties against which we cannot guard, without the council, wisdom, and help of others. We cannot therefore either improve or enjoy ourselves as God designed, but in a state of society. And a state of society will necessarily bring in some constitution and form of government, some general plan and system of laws; which on the one hand, will point out the office and power of rulers; and on the other, the privileges and duty of subjects. Every such society will also have some general dominions to be defended; wants, to be provided for; interests, to be promoted; and dangers, to be guarded against. And that which can alone constitute the security, defence, and protection of every part; is the common wisdom, strength, and safety of the whole.

AND from this, we may collect what is the nature and ground of Love to our country. The great community of which we are a part, is such a body politic, or well-regulated society. And to this society we are joined, by many and strong connections. We live in her dominions; we believe in her religion; we think her laws and government are best suited to our state, disposition, temper, and climate; and we partake in all her calamities and prosperity.- Joined to our country by such numerous, extensive, and lasting ties, she becomes the object of our attention, veneration, reverence, and regard. And that regard or affection which is our duty to her, extends to all her interests and connections: It takes in her dominions, her religious interests, her constitution, her laws, her liberties, her people, and her happiness. In a word, it takes in her general and particular interests, welfare, and good. By the Love of our country then, we are to understand a regard and affection to the common good; to the interest and welfare of that community, or body politic, of which we are a part…

As society is combined together for the purposes of mutual benefit and advantage, the comoon good of the whole, greatly depends on individuals being subject to the laws of their country, and faithfully performing the business and duties of their station. This only makes them good members of society. One great point therefore, which all wise rulers must ever have in view, is to effect this: To find out such principles, and to make use of such arts, as tend to bind together the various parts of which the body politic consists; and to give such a direction to the views and conduct of individuals, as shall make them subject and useful to the state. As different governments are founded on different principles, and moved by different springs, the ways and methods by which rulers aim to effect this, are very different. In a despotic government, the only principle by which the Tyrant who is to move the whole machine, means to regulate and manage the people, is Fear; by a servile dread of his power. But a free government, which of all others is far the most preferable, cannot be supported without Virtue. This virtue is the Love of our country. And after all the devices that sound policy or the most refined corruption have, or can suggest; this is the most efficacious principle to hold the different parts of an empire together, and to make men good members of the society to which they belong. Other principles of political obedience if they are unconnected with this, will in a course of time interfere, clash, oppose, and destroy each other’s influence: Or else, and which is more likely and infinitely worse, they will jointly operate to destroy virtue, and to produce universal vice and oppression. But Virtue, like gravitation, will ever draw towards the common centre. And so long as this can be kept up, the rulers and the people, by its influence, will be kept in that place, and move in that course, which the laws of their country have assigned to them. And this is the only way to have the state prosperous, and the members good subjects of it.

THERE are no people but what seem to be in some degree attached to their native country. But there are none among mankind, that have more just and weighty reasons for it, than we.    Thus,

I. THE Religion of our country may be named as a primary and important consideration, which cannot but greatly endear our country to us. Religion is one of those concerns, that will always be of great importance to the state. The operations of this principle, though often silent, are generally of the most extensive and powerful kind. When it inspires men with reverence to the Deity, and with benevolence to each other, it proves one of the main pillars and springs of a free and equal government. But when it degenerates into enthusiasm, fanaticism, and extravagance, it produces a spirit of levelism and fierceness; which, with a blind fiery zeal, pulls down government, rulers, church, state, science, and morals, into one general and common ruin. It is therefore of the greatest importance to societies, that their religion be such, that while it leads men to be looking for perfect felicity in another life, it should promote their peace, order, comfort, and happiness, in this.- And such is the religion that we profess. What Christianity aims to form us to, is the love of God, and man. Towards the Deity, it enjoins love, reverence, and veneration: Towards men, it teaches righteousness, justice, benevolence, and every social virtue. Towards rulers, it requires respect, submission, and obedience, so long as they continue the ministers of God for the public good. Nothing can be better adapted than such a religion to give life, energy, and force, to all useful civil institutions and regulations.- Among the various forms and constitutions in which it is established, we think nothing is more agreeable to its nature, or less liable to inconveniences, than that every one should be left to his own freedom and choice. It was the happiness of our fathers to be descended from ancestors who lived in the most enlightned part of the old world; and at a time when the human understanding began to exert itself. Their situation enabled them to profit by the errors and mistakes, as well as from the wisdom and knowledge of the mother-country. Time and sufferings fully taught them what must be the effect of endeavoring to inforce uniformity, in doctrine or discipline. This, with the gradual improvement of the human mind that has since taken place, has been leading these colonies into that truly righteous and catholic principle, Universal Toleration, and Liberty of Conscience; which, if not already perfect, we are in the sure path to. We have indeed the various names of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Friends, &c. The fierce and bigoted of each party, may be inflamed with a desire of establishing themselves, upon the destruction of the rest. But whatever temporary enthusiasm this may occasion in the minds of a few, it can never succeed. The different parties among us will subsist, and grow up into more large and respectable bodies. And the mutual interests and wisdom of all, cannot fail to perfect that universal toleration and liberty of conscience, which is so generally and well begun. …If we are to judge of the spirit and forms of a religion by the effect they have on the moralsof a people, though we have reason for deep humiliation before God on account of our sins, yet modesty will allow us to say, among all the relations we can find of the present state of mankind, we can find none in which the state of their morals is represented as being better than it is with us. The poor instead of being sunk into that general licentiousness, profligacy and dissoluteness of manners, of which there is so much complaint in the ancient countries; are, for the most part, industrious, frugal, and honest. We have few so corrupted with riches, as to be above all other pursuits but those of luxury, indolence, amusement, and pleasure. Chastity is yet the common virtue, boast, and glory of the one sex: Industry, sobriety, and hospitality, make part of the general character of the other…

II. NEXT to religion, the most important concern to mankind, is to have a wise and good civil Government established among them: And this is another of those reasons and motives, that may well attach us to our native country. Much has been said by political writers to point out the advantages and disadvantages, that arise from, or are connected with, the several forms of government. That government must upon the whole be esteemed best for a people, which is best suited to their temper and genius; to the nature of their soil, and climate; to their situation, extent, connections, dangers, and wants; the ways of subsistence, the occupations, and employments, that nature has assigned to them.- On such, and on all accounts, a free and equal government is best suited to our infant and rising state. And such was the system of civil government that took place in these colonies, with a few exceptions, till the close of the last war. If in some parts of it, and in some of the colonies, it was less perfect than it might have been, and than time and increasing knowledge and experience would have made it; taken together, it was such as we were content with, and happy under.- If we compare this system of government with the situation, state and wants of the colonies, it will appear to have been wisely adapted to promote their interest. It gave to the people here a share in their own government; and put us in the happy situation of being ruled by laws, to which we had consented, by representatives chosen from among ourselves. It secured us from oppression and plunder, by preserving to us the right of giving and granting our own money, for the support of government, and defence of the state; of both which the inhabitants of a country, must be the best judges. It provided for the administration of justice by means of that wisest and best of all civil regulations, a trial by jury.It made provision for improvements in knowledge, arts, and science, (which infant colonies greatly need) by the freedom of the press. But without entering into every particular, “this government carried prosperity along with it.” We found its happy effects, in a rapid increase of our numbers; in a universal spirit of industry; in a gradual increase of wealth; and in a settled peace, quietness, and good order, among ourselves…SUCH has been the spirit and tendency of our civil government. We cannot but be attached to it, because we found ourselves prosperous and happy under it. We cannot but value it, because it attached and connected us so long and so firmly with Britain, the country of our friends and ancestors. And while we still look with veneration and reverence to that country, we cannot but bear the most affectionate regard to this; for we have found ourselves satisfied and happy, under the influence of her laws an government.

III. To these great blessings of religion and government we may add that of Freedom or Liberty, as another that must also lead us to love this our native country. In a state of nature all men are equal and free. By entering into society they give up many of their natural rights, in order to obtain those civil privileges without which they could not well subsist. “In every human society, there is an effort continually tending to confer on one part, the height of power and happiness; and to reduce the other, to the extreme of weakness and misery.” And hence, many governments by force and fraud, have gradually extended their influence and power; till they have brought the people into such a total subjection to their rulers, as to leave them wholly at their mercy for whatever they enjoy. This is the case with far the greatest part of the human race. All Asia is over-run with this plague. Her amazing numbers, fertility, and wealth, are not allowed to minister to the ease and comfortof her inhabitants; but only to the will and pleasure of her imperial tyrants, and European plunderers and oppressors.- To such a degree of abasement and degradation are her wretched inhabitants reduced, that the very idea of Liberty is unknown among them. In Africa, scarce any human beings are to be found but barbarians, tyrants, and slaves: All equally remote from the true dignity of human nature, and from a well-regulated state of society. Nor is Europe free from the curse. Most of her nations are forced to drink deep of the bitter cup. And in those in which freedom seem to have been established, the vital flame is going out. Two kingdoms those of Sweden and Poland, have been betrayed and enslaved in the course of one year. The free towns of Germany can remain free, no longer than their potent neighbours shall please to let them. Holland has got the forms, if she has lost the spirit of a free country: Switzerland alone is in the full and safe possession of her freedom. In Britain, next to that of self-preservation, political liberty is the main aim and end of her constitution. And yet her senators and historians are repeatedly predicting, that the time will come, when continued corruption and standing armies will prove mortal distempers in her constitution.To our own country then we must look for the biggest part of that liberty and freedom, that yet remains, or is to be expected, among mankind. And such has been our constitution and form of government, that till of late, she seemed to be deeply rooted, and firmly fixed here. The foundation was laid for it, by preserving to the colonies that first and fundamental right, a share in their own legislative council. It was preserved for a long time, by having the business of Taxation lodged wholly in our own hands. It was confirmed by that wisest and best principle of British jurisprudence, which appoints that trials for life, liberty, or property, shall be by a jury of our peers. It was made sure by the tenure on which we held our hands. And it was designed to be guarded and strengthened, by the liberty of the press.- On such firm and solid foundation, Freedom has been established in North-America. And this is one of those reasons that may well lead us to value and love this country. For while the greatest part of the nations of the earth, are held together under the yoke of universal slavery, the North-American provinces yet remain the country of free men: The asylum,and the last, to which such may flee from the common deluge.

IV. As what should further confirm our attachment to our native country, it bids the fairest of any to promote the perfection and happiness of mankind. We have but few principles from which we can argue with certainty, what will be the state of mankind in future ages. But if we may judge of the designs of providence, by the number and power of the causes that are already at work, we shall be lead to think that the perfection and happiness of mankind is to be carried further in America, than it has ever yet been in any place.- From the weak beginnings of private adventurers, so amazingly rapid has been our growth and progress, that in a century and an half, we are become more than three millions of inhabitants. The period of doubling in these colonies, is not more than 25 years. And to accelerate our increase, Britain and other parts of Europe are every year pouring large numbers of their inhabitants into these provinces. Tired out with the miseries they are doomed to at home, they croud to us as the only country in which they can find food, raiment, and rest.- In that vast extent of country which reaches from Labrador to Florida, there is a climate adapted to health, vigour, industry, liberty, genius, and happiness. Our soil is adapted to the most useful kinds of produce; and our situation is not unfriendly to commerce. That vigour and industry which is the natural growth of our own climate, applied to the soil, never fails to give the labourer what neither Europe nor Asia will afford him, a comfortable support for the wages of his work.- The fatal arts of luxury and corruption are but comparatively beginning among us. Security and wealth had indeed began in our larger towns to enervate and introduce luxury, vanity, and various kinds of unnecessary expence; which were gradually diffusing the poison all around. But the late measures have effectually cured us for the present, of this kind of folly. Nor is corruption yet established as the common principle in public affairs. Our representatives are not chosen by bribing, corrupting, or buying the votes of the electors. Nor does take one half of the revenue of a province, to manage her house of commons. Public integrity was sufficient to secure a large majority, during all our happy days of peace and concord.- We have been free also from the burthen and danger of standing armies. The powers of Europe are undoing themselves, and one another, with the exorbitant number of their forces. With all the wealth and power of the world at their command, they are multiplying their taxes and debts, and thus ruining their kingdoms, that they may increase their standing armies. The nature, and tendency of this evil, till within a few years have been unknown among us. Our defence has been our Militia. With this we have all along repelled our numerous savage enemies, aided by France. With this we subdued Nova-Scotia in 1690. And with this we conquered Cape-Breton in 1745; by which conquest, Britain was enabled to make the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. But instead of keeping up our armies, when war has ceased, our officers and soldiers like the old Romans have laid down their arms, and returned to their fields and farms, to cultivate the more useful arts of peace.- Nor have the arts and sciences been unattended to. In infant states it is not to be expected that much should be done this way. They cannot have the numbers, wealth, or literary establishments of ancient states; to form, ripen, and expand the genius of their country. And yet no country with so few advantages, and such small revenues, has done so much for the cause of science. Almost every province has its public Academy; some of which are nearly as ancient as the state, and grown up to the form of the ancient universities. Physical and philosophical foundations are taking place. And there are two capital discoveriesof which America can already boast. From such promising beginnings, the fairest hopes and prospects arise. The forms of our government will naturally lead us to cultivate the arts of eloquence and speaking. The controversies with our mother-country, though full of mischief in other respects, will be attended with this advantage, they will turn our attention to matters of history, jurisprudence, and policy. The natural productions of this vast continent, are a treasure yet untouched; which in time cannot fail to afford ample matter for improvements in commerce, philosophy, and the medicinal art. It seems as if necessity must force us find out some better methods of preserving a proper regard to public worship, morals, rulers, laws, liberty, public revenues and economy, than the ancient countries have done. And why may we not imagine that some of those great Geniuses which occasionally rise up to enlighten mankind, may be born here? One such we have already had: And what is there that forbids us to hope for more? But however this may be, the situation in which we are placed, the time when our political state began, the improvements we are receiving from the ancient countries, with the general operation of things among ourselves, indicate strong tendencies towards a state of greater perfection and happiness than mankind has yet seen.THUS many and powerful causes are already at work, which if we may judge from the common methods of province, are leading the way to a more perfect and happy state. The prospect and probability is, that things will operate this way in America, for many centuries yet to come. Our present difficulties may retard the event; but they cannot finally defeat the tendencies and preparations of nature and province: Tendencies and preparations which will naturally operate to increase the perfection and happiness of mankind; and of consequence to attach us to that country, in which alone we can look for such a state.WHAT has been said on the Love of our country, will naturally turn our thoughts to the present unhappy and critical state of the North-American colonies. Amidst all the pleasure a benevolent mind must receive from the growth, progress, and general tendency of the colonies; the unhappy disputes we are engaged in with our mother-country, seem to cast a shade over all other prospects. Both countries were long happily united in mutual affection, friendship, and confidence. We looked upon her as a wise and tender parent: And she regarded us as her friends and children. And this mutual affection was the honor, comfort, strength, and safety of both. But instead of our former peace and friendship, what fears, murmurs, and unusual commotions now prevail from one end of the American continent to the other? From what Innovations these disputes and difficulties began, or to what a dangerous height late measures have carried them, no one need to be informed. We seem to be on the eve of some great and unusual events: Events, which it is not improbable, may form a new era, and give a new turn to human affairs. The state of both countries is critical and dangerous to the last degree. A few more alarming measures on either side, and all public confidence will cease. While both countries are preparing to proceed, may Heaven interpose, and prevent the sword from engaging in that which ignorance and folly first began!- The cause of America seems indeed to be much the better cause. It is not the cause of a mob, of a party, or a faction that America means to plead. May these things to which some have been unhappily driven, but which are unnatural productions in this country, cease forever from among us. Nor is it the cause of independency that we have in view. It is the cause of Self-Defence, of Public Faith, and of the Liberties of Mankind,that America is engaged in. And we have every thing that is dear, valuable, and precious to attach us to it. “In our destruction, Liberty itself expires; and human nature will despair of evermore regaining its first and original dignity.”- To oppose Britain by force and violence, is an extreme to which all wise and good men among us, most ardently pray we may never be forced. But to give up to her the management of taxes, is to give up all that we have. Dreadful extremes! May the wise and good on both sides, instead of increasing the difficulty, join to find out some happy expedient for restoring such mutual justice, friendship and union, as shall leave this country free, and set that at the head of human affairs for many ages ye to come.THE subject we have been considering, should lead us to shew our love to our country, in every way in which we can promote its good. It is not the business of the pulpit to determine measures of state, or to invade the office or power of civil rulers; but to inculcate that public and private virtue which is agreeable to the laws of God, and adapted to promote the interest and welfare of mankind.- The surest way we can take to promote the good of our country, is to attend to this. It should lead us to repent of all the vice, wickedness, and moral evils that are among us. It is our interest to renounce whatever is contrary to the rules of religion, to purity of morals, and the prosperity of the state. It is our duty to reform every kind of extravagance, superfluity, and unnecessary expence. It would be our wisdom to put on the most strict frugality, economy, and self-denial, in all unnecessary articles of food, raiment, convenience and pleasure.- Such virtue will naturally tend to promote the good of our country. And this is what the united councils and voice of America now call us to. If therefore, my brethren, you have any value for your own interest, any feeling for the love of your country, or any regard for the generations that are to come; if you are Americans any more than by name, if you have the spirit, or desire to have the privileges of Free-men, you must now vigorously exert yourselves in this way, for the interest and welfare of your country.

IN the present singular situation of this province, it may not be unseasonable to caution you against loosing your regard to good laws and government. It is an unhappy necessity which forces our attention so much to matters of state. But while we see every thing in a state of disorder and confusion around us, it is of the last importance that we keep up a steady regard to the rules of righteousness, of personal and social virtue. Now is the time, my brethren, when our enemies expect that we shall run wild and mad, for want of something to guide us. The extremes of power, and the wanton abuse of liberty, you may assure yourselves will always end alike, in absolute tyranny at last.- God give you firmness to adhere to your liberties, with prudence and discretion at the same time, to maintain quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty. Government is a wise, a necessary, and a sacred thing. And while you see it abused by men of high, and of low degree; instead of wishing to be free from its necessary restraints, let us be looking to the Ruler of all nations to put us again upon a good foundation, that duty and interest may both lead us to be subject to the ordinances of man.- From the collected wisdom of your country, you will judge what measures are proper for you to take, in the present exigency of public affairs. The business of the pulpit is to enjoin whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, shew to the nations of the earth (what will indeed be a most singular phenomenon) amidst all the jarring interests, subtlety, and rage of politics- you had virtue enough to think of, and to practice these things.

AND while we are thus anxious for the welfare of our country, let us praise God’s holy name for the blessings we yet enjoy in it. These, amidst all our gloomy prospects, are neither few nor small things. We yet enjoy the means of grace, and the rights of conscience. We are blessed with general health, food, raiment, and all the necessaries of life. We have been favoured in the seasons of the year, and in the produce of the earth. Such a spirit of benevolence has been shewn towards that part of this province which is suffering the vengeance of power, as was not to be expected among mankind. And what must be ascribed to the influence of heaven, the very measures that were designed to divide, have proved the means of establishing a firm and solid union among the colonies. To all these mercies we may add, the life of our sovereign Lord the King has been preserved: To his family and throne, it is our duty and interest to bear a steady allegiance; and in whose royal favour and protection, we hope this country will find peace, safety, and happiness, for many ages yet to come. For these and all other mercies, let us return sincere thanks to almighty God; whose providence has always appeared for our help and protection, in all the difficulties we have passed through.- One way, my brethren, in which we should express our gratitude to God for his mercies, should be by unfeigned repentance for all our past sins: And this, with prayer and supplication, is the proper way to seek his favour for the time to come. Let us return then to the Almighty, that he may build us up. Let us return to that sober sense of piety and religion, which animated and encouraged our Fathers in that noblest enterprise of public virtue, laying the foundation of these colonies. Then shall we have reason to expect that heaven and earth will once more join to remove our difficulties and fears, and to make us a free, a grateful, and a happy people. TO this then, repentance and reformation, we are now called by all that is holy in religion, by all that is important to our country, and by all that is valuable to mankind. And may God arise and have mercy upon Zion: May the time to favour her, yea, may the set time now come.

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