Appendix 3: Discourse, circa 4 July 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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In celebrating this, the anniversary of our independence, all party distinctions should be forgotten, all religious differences should be laid aside. We are members of one common republic, equally dependent on a faithful execution of its laws for our protection, in the enjoyment of our civil, political, and religious privileges. All have a common interest in the preservation of the Union, and in the defence and support of the constitution. Northern, southern, and western interests, ought to be forgotten, or lost for the time being, in the more noble desire to preserve the nation, as one whole; for on this depends the security of all local and sectional interest; for if we cannot preserve them by supporting the Union, we cannot by rending it in pieces. In the former there is hope, in the latter fear. In one peace, in the other war.
In times of peace, it ought to be our aim and our object, to strengthen the bonds of the Union by cultivating peace and good will among ourselves. And in times of war, to meet our foes sword in hand, and defend our rights, at the expense of life. For what is life when freedom has fled? It is a name, a bubble; better far sleep with the dead, than be oppressed among the living.
All attempts, on the part of religious aspirants, to unite church and state, ought to be repeled with indignation, and every religious society supported in its rights, and in the exercise of its conscientious devotions. The Mohameden, the Pagan, and the Idolitor, not excepted, and be partakers equally, in the benefits of the government. For if the Union is preserved, it will be by endearing the people to it; and this can only be done by securing to all their most sacred rights. The least deviation, from the strictest rule of right, on the part of any portion of the people, or their public servants, will create dissatisfaction, that dissatisfaction will end in strife, strife in war, and war, in the dissolution of the Union.
It is on the virtue of the people, that depends the existence of the government, and not on the wisdom of legislators. Wherefore serveth laws, (it matters not how righteous in themselves,) when the people in violation of them, tear those rights from one another, which they -[the laws]- were designed to protect? If we preserve the nation from ruin, and the people from war, it will be by securing to others, what we claim to ourselves, and being as zealous to defend another’s rights, as to secure our own. If on this day, the fathers of our nation, pledged their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honors, to one another, and to the colonies which they represented, to be free, or to loose all earthly inheritance, not life, and honor excepted. So ought we to follow their example, and pledge our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honors, as their children and successors, in maintaining inviolable, what they obtained by their treasure, and their blood.
With holy feelings, sacred desires, and grateful hearts to our Divine Benefactor, ought we to perform the duties of this day, and [p. 5]
In celebrating this, the anniversary of our independence, all party distinctions should be forgotten, all religious differences should be laid aside. We are members of one common republic, equally dependent on a faithful execution of its laws for our protection, in the enjoyment of our civil, political, and religious privileges. All have a common interest in the preservation of the Union, and in the defence and support of the constitution. Northern, southern, and western interests, ought to be forgotten, or lost for the time being, in the more noble desire to preserve the nation, as one whole; for on this depends the security of all local and sectional interest; for if we cannot preserve them by supporting the Union, we cannot by rending it in pieces. In the former there is hope, in the latter fear. In one peace, in the other war.
In times of peace, it ought to be our aim and our object, to strengthen the bonds of the Union by cultivating peace and good will among ourselves. And in times of war, to meet our foes sword in hand, and defend our rights, at the expense of life. For what is life when freedom has fled? It is a name, a bubble; better far sleep with the dead, than be oppressed among the living.
All attempts, on the part of religious aspirants, to unite church and state, ought to be repeled with indignation, and every religious society supported in its rights, and in the exercise of its conscientious devotions. The Mohameden, the Pagan, and the Idolitor, not excepted, and be partakers equally, in the benefits of the government. For if the Union is preserved, it will be by endearing the people to it; and this can only be done by securing to all their most sacred rights. The least deviation, from the strictest rule of right, on the part of any portion of the people, or their public servants, will create dissatisfaction, that dissatisfaction will end in strife, strife in war, and war, in the dissolution of the Union.
It is on the virtue of the people, that depends the existence of the government, and not on the wisdom of legislators. Wherefore serveth laws, (it matters not how righteous in themselves,) when the people in violation of them, tear those rights from one another, which they -[the laws]- were designed to protect? If we preserve the nation from ruin, and the people from war, it will be by securing to others, what we claim to ourselves, and being as zealous to defend another’s rights, as to secure our own. If on this day, the fathers of our nation, pledged their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honors, to one another, and to the colonies which they represented, to be free, or to loose all earthly inheritance, not life, and honor excepted. So ought we to follow their example, and pledge our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honors, as their children and successors, in maintaining inviolable, what they obtained by their treasure, and their blood.
With holy feelings, sacred desires, and grateful hearts to our Divine Benefactor, ought we to perform the duties of this day, and [p. 5]
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