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to the voice, which petulantly tells you, that the form of government recommended for your adoption, is a novelty in the political world ; that it never yet has had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish. No, my countrymen; shut your ears against this unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys: the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. And if novelties are to be shunned, believe me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most wild of all projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of rending us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties and promote our hap-, piness. But why is the experiment of an extended republic to be rejected, merely because it may comprise what is new? Is it not the glory of the people of America, that whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lesson of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness. Had no important step been taken by the leaders of the revolution, for which a precedent could not be discovered, no government established, of which an exact model did not present itself, the people of the United States might, at this moment, have been numbered among the melancholy victims of misguided councils ; must, at best, have been laboring under the weight of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest of mankind. Happily for America, happily we trust for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble

They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabric of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at the fewness of them. If they erred most in the structure of the union, this was the most difficult to be executed ; this is the work which has been new-modeled by the act of your convention, and it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide.





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We know that the record of illustrious actions is most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know, that if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surface could still contain but part of that, which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which history charges herself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription, on intablatures less broad than the earth itself, can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone ; and that no structure which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial. But our object is, by this edifice, to show our deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a similar regard, to the principles of the revolution. Human beings are composed not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied, which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.

Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate na. tional hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit

. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon

it for ever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of the unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our land, and of the happy influences, which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind. We come, as Americans, to mark a spot, which must be for ever dear to us, and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eyes hither, may behold that the place is not undistinguished where the first great battle of the revolution was fought. We wish, that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish, that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which it suggests. We wish, that labor may look up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish, that, in those days of disaster, which, as they come upon all nations, must be expected to come on us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hither, and be assured that the foundations of our national power still stand strong. We wish, that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may.contribute also to produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object on the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden him who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and glory of his country. Let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of morning gild it, and parting day linger and play upon its summit.




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Let your ambition, gentlemen, be to enroll your names among those over whose histories our hearts swell, and our eyes overflow with admiration, delight and sympathy, from infancy to old age; and the story of whose virtues, exploits, and sufferings, will continue to produce the same effect, throughout the world, at whatever distance of time they may be read. It is needless, and it were endless to name them. On the darker firmament of history, ancient and modern, they form a galaxy resplendent with their lustre. To go no farther back, look for your

model to the signers of our declaration of independence. You see revived in those men, the spirit of ancient Rome in Rome's best day; for they were willing, with Curtius, to leap into the flaming gulf, which the oracle of their own wisdom had assured them could be closed in no other way. There was one, however, whose name is not among those signers, but who must not, nay, cannot be forgotten; for, when a great and decided patriot is the theme, his name is not far off. Gentlemen, you need not go to past ages, nor to distant countries. You need not turn your eyes to ancient Greece, or Rome, or to modern Europe. You have in your own Washington, a recent model, whom you have only to imitate to become immortal.

Tor, must you suppose that he owed his greatness to the peculiar crisis which called out his virtues ; and despair of such another crisis for the display of your own.

His more than Roman virtues, his consummate prudence, his powerful intellect, and his dauntless decision and dignity of character, would have made him illustrious in any age. The crisis would have done nothing for him, had not his character stood ready to


match it. Acquire his character, and fear not the recurrence of a crisis to show forth its glory. Look at the elements of commotion that are already at work in this vast republic, and threatening us with a moral earthquake that will convulse it to its foundation. Look at the political degeneracy which pervades the country, and which has already borne us so far away from the golden age of the revolution; look at all “ the signs of the times,” and you will see but little cause to indulge the hope that no crisis is likely to recur to give full scope for the exertion of the most heroic virtues. Hence it is, that I so anxiously hold up to you the model of Washington. Form yourselves on that noble model. Strive to acquire his modesty, his disinterestedness, his singleness of heart, his determined devotion to his country, his candor in deliberation, his accuracy of judgment, his invincible firmness of resolve, and then may you hope to be in your own age, what he was in his,"first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of your countrymen.” Commencing your career with this high strain of char. acter, your course will be as steady as the needle to the pole. Your end will be always virtuous, your means always noble. You will adorn as well as bless your country. You will exalt and illustrate the

in which you

live. Your example will shake, like a tempest, that pestilential pool, in which the virtues of our people are already beginning to stagnate, and restore the waters and the atmosphere to their revolutionary purity.

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The Bible is the only book, which God has ever sent, the only one he ever will send, into this world. All other books are frail and transient as time, since they are only the registers of time ; but the Bible is durable as eternity, for its pages contain the records of eternity. All other books are weak and imperfect, like their author, man; but the Bible is a transcript of infinite power and perfection. Every other volume is limited in its usefulness and influence; but the Bible came forth conquering and to conquer : rejoicing as a giant to run his course, and like the sun,

“ there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." The Bible only, of all the myriads of books the world has seen, is equally important and interesting to all mankind. Its tidings, whether of peace or of wo, are the same to the poor, the ignorant, and the weak, as to the rich, the wise, and the powerful. Among the most remarkable of its attributes, is justịce; for it

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looks with impartial eyes on kings and on slaves, on the hero and the soldier, on philosophers and peasants, on the eloquent and the dumb. From all, it exacts the same obedience to its commandments, and promises to the good, the fruits of his labors; to the evil, the reward of his hands. Nor are the purity and holiness, the wisdom, benevolence and truth of the Scriptures, less conspicuous, than their justice. In sublimity and beauty, in the descriptive and pathetic, in dignity and simplicity of narrative, in power and comprehensiveness, depth and variety of thought, in purity and elevation of sentiment, the most enthusiastic admirers of the heathen classics have conceded their inferiority to the Scriptures. The Bible, indeed, is the only universal classic, the classic of all mankind, of every age and country, of time and eternity, more humble and simple than the primer of the child, more grand and magnificent than the epic and the oration, the ode and the drama, when genius, with his chariot of fire, and his horses of fire, ascends in whirlwind, into the heaven of his own invention. It is the best classic the world has ever seen, the noblest that has ever honored and dignified the language of mortals !

If boast that the Aristotles and the Platos, and the Tullies, of the classic ages, " dipped their pens in intellect,” the sacred authors dipped theirs in inspiration. If those were the “secretaries of nature," these were the secretaries of the very Author of nature. If Greece and Rome have gathered into their cabinet of curiosities, the pearls of heathen poetry and eloquence, the diamonds of Pagan history and philosophy, God himself has treasured up in the Scriptures, the poetry

and eloquence, the philosophy and history of sacred lawgivers, of prophets and apostles, of saints, evangelists and martyrs. In vain may you seek for the pure and simple light of universal truth in the Augustan ages of antiquity. In the Bible only is the poet's wish fulfilled,


“ And like the sun, be all one boundless eye.”



Sır,—I see no wisdom in making this provision for future changes. You must give governments time to operate on the people, and give the people time to become gradually assimilated to their institutions. Almost any thing is better than this state of perpetual uncertainty. A people may have the best

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