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sucked out, to nourish it into strength and fury. But in the efforts of th people struggling for their rights, moving not in organized thisciplined masses, but in their spontaneous action, man for man, and heart for heart,—though I like not war nor any of its works,- there is something glorious. They can then move forward without orders, act, together without combination, and brave the flaming lines of battle, without entrenchments to cover, or walls to shield them. No dissolute camp has worn off from the feelings of the youthful soldier the freshness of that home, where his mother and his sisters sit waiting, with tearful eyes and teaching hearts, to hear good news from the wars; no long service in the ranks of a conqueror has turned the veteran's heartinto marble; their valor spring's not from recklessness, from habit, from indifference to the preservation of a life, knit by no pledges to the life of others. But in the strength and spirit of the cause alone they act, they contend, they bleed. In this, they conquer. The people always conquer. They always must conquer. Armies may be defeated; kings may be overthrown, and new dynasties imposed by foreign arms on an ignorant and slavish race, that care not in what language the covenant of their subjection rups, nor in whose name the deed of their barter and sale is made out. But the people never invade; and when they rise against the invader, are never subdued. If they are driven from the plains, they fly to the mountains. Steep rocks and everlasting hills are their castles; the - tangled, pathless thicket their palisado, and nature --God, is their ally. Now he overwhelms the hosts of their enemies beneath his drifting mountains of sand; now he buries them beneath' a falling atmosphere of polar snows; he lets loose his tempests on their fleets: he puts a folly into their counsels, a madness into the hearts of their leaders; and never gave and never will give a full and final triumph over a virtuous, gallant people, resolved to be free.
There is another reflection, which deserves to be made, while we dwell on the events of the nineteenth of April. It was the work of the country. The cities of America, particularly the metropolis of our own state, bore their part nobly in the revolutionary contest. It is not unjust to say, that much of the spirit which animated America, particularly before the great appeal to arms, grew out of the comparison of opinions and concert of feeling, which might not have existed, without the convenience of assembling which our large towns afford. But if we must look to the city for a part of the impulse, we must look to the country at large, for the heart to be moved,--for the strength and vigor to persevere in the motion. It was the great happiness of America, that her cities were no larger, no more numerous, no nearer to each other; that the strength, the intelligence, the spirit of the people were diffused over plains, and encamped on the hills.
In most of the old and powerful states of Europe, the na
tion is identified with the capital, and the capital with the court. France must fall with the citizens of Paris, and the mizens of Paris with a few courtiers, cabinet ministers, and pritices. No doubt the English ministry thought that by holding Boston, they held New England; that the country was conquered in advance, by the military ocenpation of the great towus. They did not know that every town and village in America had discussed the great questions at issue for itself; and in its town-meetings, and committees of correspondence and safety, bad come to the resolution, that America must not be taxed by England. "The English government did not understand, -We hardly understood, ourselves, till we saw it in action,-the operation of a state of society, where every man is or may be a freeholder, a voter for every elective office, a candidate for every one; where the means of a good education are universally accessible; where the artificial distinctions of society are known but in a slight degree; where glaring contrasts of condition are rarely met with; where few are raised by the extreme of wealth above their fellow-men, and fewer sunk by the extreme of poverty beneath it. The English ministry had not reasoned upon the natural growth of such a soil; that it could not permanently bear either a colonial, or a monarchical government; that the only true and native growth of such a soil was a perfect independence and an intelligent republicanism. Independence, because such a country must disdain to go over the water to find another to protect it; Republicanism, because the people of such a country must disdain to look up for protection to any one class among themselves. The entire action of these principles was unfolded to the world on the nineteenth of April, 1775. Without waiting to take an impulse from any thing but their own breasts, and in defiance of the whole exerted powers of the British empire, the yeomanry of the country rose as a man, and set their lives on this dear stake of liberty.
When we look back on the condition in which America stood on the 19th of April, 1775; and compare it with that in which it stands' this day, we can find no language of gratitude with which to do justice to those, who took the lead in the rev utionary cause. The best gratitude, the best thanks, will be an imitation of their example. It would be an exceedingly narrow view of the part assigned to this country on the stage of the nations, to consider the erection of an independant and representative government as the only political object at which the revolution aimed, and the only political improvement which our duty requires. These are two all-important steps, indeed, in the work of meliorating the state of society. The first gives the people of America the sovereign power of carrying its will into execution; the second furnishes an equitable and convenient mode of ascertaining what the will of the people is. But shall we stop here? shall we make no use of these two egines, by whose combined action every individual enjoys a share in the sovereign power of this
great nation? Most of the civil and social institutions which still exist in the country, were brought by our fathers from the old world, and are strongly impressed with the character of the state of society which there prevails. Under the influence of necessity, these institutions have been partially reformed, and rendered, to a certain degree, harmonious with the nature of a popular government. But much remains to be done, to make the work of revoIntion complete. The whole business of public instruction, of the administration of justice, of military defence in time of peace, needs to be revolutionized: that is, to be revised and made entirely confor table to the interests and wishes of the great mass. It is time in short, to act upon the maxim in which the wisdom of all ages is wrapped up, The voice OF THE PEOPLE IS THE VOICE OF God. Apart from inspired revelation, there is no way, in which the will of heaven is made known, but by the sound, collective sense of the majority of men. It is given to no privileged family, to no hereditary ruler : it is given to no commanding genius; it is given to no learned sage; it is given to no circle of men to pronounce this sacred voice. It must be uttered by the people, in their own capacity; and whensoever it is uttered, I say
not it ought to be, but that it will be obeyed.
But it is time to relieve your patience. I need not labor to impress you with a sense of ile duty, which devolves on those, whose sires achieved the ever memorable exploits of this day. The lesson, I know, has not been lost upon you. Nowhere have the spirit and principles of the revolution preserved themselves in greater purity; nowhere have the institutions, to which the revolution led, been more firmly cherished. The toils and sufferings of that day were shared by a glorious band of patriots, whose name was your boast while living; whose memory you will never cease to cherish. The day we commemorate called the noble farmer of Middlesex --the heroic Prescott--to the field, and impelled him not to accept, but to solicit the post of honor and danger, on the 17th of June :--noble I call him, for when did coronet or diadem ever confer distinction, like the glory which rests on that man's name. In the perils of this day, the venerable Gerry bore his part. This was the day, which called the lamented Brooks and Eustis to their country's service; which enlisted them, blooming in the freshness and beauty of youth, in that sacred cause, to which the strength of their manhood and the grey hairs of their age were devoted. The soil which holds their honored dust shall never be unworthy of them.
What pride did you not justly feel in that soil, when you lately welcomed the nation's guest—the venerable champion of America--to the spot, where the first note of struggling freedom was uttered, which sounded across the Atlantic, and drew him from all the delights of life, to enlist in our cause. Here, you could tell him, our fathers fought and fell, before they knew whether
another arm would be raised to second them.-No Washington had appeared to lead, no Lafayette had hastened to assist, no charter of independence had yet breathed the breath of life into the cause, when the 19th of April called our fathers to the field.
What remains, then but to guard the precious birthright of our liberties; to draw from the soil which we inhabit, a consistency in the principles so'nobly vindicated, so sacredly sealed thereon. It shall never be said, while distant regions, wheresoever the temples of freedom are reareil, are sending back their hearts to the plains of Lexington and Concord, for their brighest and purest examples of patriotic daring, that we whose lives are cast on these favoured spots can become indifferent to the exhortation, which breathes to us from every sod of the valley. Those principles, which others may adopt on the colder ground of their reason and their truth, we are bound to support by the dearest and deepest feelings. Wheresoever the torch of liberty shall expire, wheresoever the manly simplicity of our land shall perish beneath the poison of luxury, wheresoever the cause which called our fathers this day to arms, and the principles which sustained their hearts in that stern encounter, may be deserted or betrayed,-it shall not, fellow citizens it shall not be, on the soil which was moistened with their blood. The names of Marathon and Thermopalæ, after ages of subjection, still nerve the arm of the Grecian patriot ; and should the foot of a tyrant, or of a slave, approach these venerated spots, the noble hearts that bled at Lexington and Concord, “all dust as they are *,” would beat beneath the sod with indignation.
Honor, this day, to the venerable survivors of that momentous day, which tried men's souls. Great is the happiness they are permitted to enjoy, ip uniting, within the compass of their own experience, the doubtful struggles and the full blown prosperity of our happy land. May they share the welfare they witness around them; it is the work of their hands, the fruit of their toils, the price of their lives freely hazarded that their children might live free. Bravely they dared; patiently, aye more than patiently,-heroically, piously, they suffered ; largely, richly, may they enjoy. Most of their companions are already departed; let us renew our tribute of respect this day to their honored memory. Numbers present will recollect the affecting solemnities, with which you accompanied to his last home, the brave, the lamented Buttrick. With trailing banners, and mournful music, and all the touching eusigns of military sorrow, you followed the bier of the fallen soldier, over the ground were he led the determined band of patriots on the morn of the revolution.
* Bossuet; Orasion funèbre de la Reine d'Angleterre.
But chiefly to those who fell; to those who stood in the breach, at the breaking of that day of blood at Lexington; to those who joined in battle and died honorably, facing the foe at Concord ; to those who fell in the gallant pursuit of the flying enemy :- let us this day pay a tribute of grateful admiration. The old and the young; the grey-haired veleran, the stripling in the flower of youth ; husbands, fathers, brethren, sons; they stood side by side, and fell together, like the beauty of Israel on their high places.
We have founded this day, a monument to their memory. When the hands that rear it are motionless, when the feeble voice is silent, which speaks our father's praise, the engraven stone shall bear witness to other ages, of our gratitude and their worth. And ages still farther on, wben the monument itself, like those who build it, shall have crumbled to dust, the happy aspect of the land which our fathers redeemed, the liberty they achieved, the institutions they founded shall remaiu one common, eternal monument to their precious memory.
20. That the lanterns were observed in Charlestown, we are informed by Colonel revere, in the interesting communication in the Collection of the Historical Society, from which this part of the narrative is chiefly taken. A tradition by private channels has descended, that these lanterns in the North Church were quickly noticed by the officers of the British army, on duty on the evening of the 18th. To prevent the alarm being communicated by these signals into the country, the British officers, who had noticed them, hastened to the church to extinguish them. Their steps were heard on the stairs in the tower of the church, by the sexton, who had lighted the lanterns. To escape discovery he himself extinguished the lanterns, and passing by the officers on the stairs, concealed himself in the vaults of the church. He was, a day or two after, arrested, while discharging the duties of his office at a funeral, tried, and condemned to death; but respited on a threat of retaliation from Gen. Washington, and finally exchanged. This anecdote was related to me, with many eircumstances of particularity, by one who had often heard from the sexton himself,
21. The manner in which Colonel Revere was received at Lexing