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nationality. There was a fresh emotion of love of country, and that country America. It was inspiration; it was power. Their words were: “ May America rise triumphant, blossom as the rose, and swell with increasing splendor, like the growing beauties of the spring, bearing in her right hand the great charter of salvation, the Gospel of the heavenly Jesus, and in the left, the unfolding volumes of Peace, Liberty, and Truth.” They were confident that their cause would raise up defenders; and though the cloud of war made their horizon as the night, yet a living faith in the providence of God looked up in trust, and in the darkened sky saw golden hues that gave the promise of the morning. Every newspaper of this period that I have seen

contains the following lines: —

“From NoFTH though stormy winds may blow,
To blast fair Freedom, fragrant flower,
And urge the seas to overflow
The banks, that shield it from their power;
Yet, planted here by God's own hand, .
Be not, dear fugitive, dismayed;
The winds shall cease at His command,

The sea's proud waves shall soon be stayed.”

In this devoted spirit there was great political action. The whole land was alive with meetings, called to take into consideration the subject of inde

pendence. The people met in the towns, as in Massachusetts; in the counties, as in Virginia; Or they sent delegates to act for them in conventions, or in general assemblies; and resolutions were adopted to stand by Congress, in case Congress made a Declaration of Independence. Such was the action of Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, and Boston. The noble town which the British army had just left put forth a plea for independence, that is a fit crowning of their revolutionary action. It might have been read by every member of Congress during the first debate on independence, for it was printed in the Philadelphia papers of that date. After such action, the Congress, sitting in Independence Hall, matured the Declaration. This was printed at once in the newspapers.

The press pronounced it the greatest event that ever happened to the American colonies. It predicted that it would be celebrated through a long succession of future ages by anniversary commemorations, and be considered a grand era in the history of the American States. The people of the Old Thirteen colonies, in every form of rejoicing, received the Declaration with exultation. There were sponta- neous meetings in hundreds of villages, towns, cities and counties. Communities rested from their daily toil as on gala days. There were processions; the Declaration was read amidst the acclamations of the

people, mingled with roll of drums and the roar of

artillery. Then followed feasts and toasts. In the evening there were bonfires on the hills and illuminations in the towns. Such were the scenes along the line of the colonies from New Hampshire to Georgia. There was also official action by the assemblies as they convened. They gave pledges to stand by the Declaration. The Assembly of Massachusetts expressed their entire satisfaction with it, and with the general approbation it elicited. They pledged their fortunes, lives and sacred honor to support it. The ratification was hearty and unanimous. The Declaration was ordered to be published in form in every locality, - by the selectmen of the towns, or by the sheriffs in the counties, or by the clergy from the pulpit. | Such was the spectacle which the people of the United States presented, of joy and of sorrow, of suffering and of heroism, as they entered into the solemn covenant of country. It requires imagination to give actions past a life-like image as though they Were present. How vividly has the poet embodied in immortal song the feelings of that generation as they launched the ship United States! —

“Sail on, O Ship of State
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
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We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope
Fear not each sudden sound and shock, -
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee, –
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee, – are all with thee!”

It is simple justice to the illustrious builders of this ship to say, that they did not launch her until they had devised means to meet the storms she might be destined to encounter. The band who had entrusted in her their all of life and fortune had covenanted with each other to make her safety their paramount object. They had provided a Council to guide her, and they had pledged themselves to abide by its decrees. They had chosen as their commander WASHINGTON, - the dear and venerated name, which the American mother will never cease to pronounce to her children with every tender expression of love and of gratitude—whose star will forever be a light and guide to the sons of liberty over the civilized world. They had fixed at her mast-head The Union Flag. Having done all that their wisdom could suggest, they had invoked Almighty God to smile upon their efforts, and guide her into a haven of safety. This Council was the Continental Congress. It met in 1774. The present year is the centenary of memorable political action. I do not purpose to review the proceedings of that remarkable body, but only to emphasize some of the things that make that year an epoch in our history. The method adopted by the popular party, to obtain a repeal of the Townshend revenue acts, was by entering into an agreement not to buy merchandise imported from England until the obnoxious law was repealed. Fidelity to the non-importation covenant was a test of patriotism. The result was a repeal of all but the duty on tea. Then the merchants of New York, in a circular letter, proposed to reopen trade with England in everything except in the single article of tea. A venerable matron has just celebrated her one hundred and fifth birthday. She was born in 1769. She was living when this proposition from New York was submitted to the colonies. What was the Union, what this country, then? A few items of intelligence, in that mirror of the

passing time, the newspaper, will supply the outline,

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