N. B. The Scarcity of Paper has prevented the printing this Sermon till this time: But 'tis thought it may not yet be un­seasonable.


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'TIS the duty of every one to do what he can, in a rational friendly manner, to promote the public good and prevent public calamity. For a man to withhold what he thinks would be of public utility, is either not to be friendly or not to be faithful. Where there are vices or prejudices and prepossession, 'tis not likely that every truth can be properly exhibited, and urged, without offending some.

My aim in the following discourse has been to speak plainly, without fear, with­out partiality, without ill-will to any; with hearty benevolence to the public, not as pleasing man, but God who tries the heart. If some things in the sermon should offend a number, I shall not be disappointed, and if the publication shall be useful to any, may God have the glory.

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WE are called upon by our civil rulers to set apart this day for fasting and prayer. We are called upon by those who have the management or lead in our public affairs—who best know, and have the most comprehensive view of, things in these United States. We have reason to bless God that those who go foremost in affairs of state will call upon us to apply to God, yea will lead us to the throne of grace for divine aid. The proclamation points out various particulars that we ought to bear in mind this day. I might take the several things in the proclamation as subjects of discourse; and I shall pay a due regard to what is there said: but I shall mention several passages of scripture, which I think we may properly have in view this day, and which if you please you may consider as my text.

Jer. xxx. 11. Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Isai. lviii. 6. Is not this the fast that I have cho­sen; to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Rom. ii. 1, 3. Thou art inexcusable, O man, who­soever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest [Page 4] dost the same thing.—And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them that do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Deut. xxx. 9 The Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers, if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and statutes, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.

The great and glorious God, who made and governs the world, has an intuitive view of all things in Heaven, earth and hell. He has seen from the first how our American troubles came on, and how they have proceeded. He permits the British court to oppress us, and has excited our re­sentment; excites us to stand for our liberties civil and religious. We have a great and wise, an holy and just, yet merciful God to apply to. When we consider our sinfulness we see our need of his infi­nite mercy, and implore it. When we view our contest with Britain we appeal to the justice of God with courage and confidence. By Britain we are abused, oppressed, most cruelly treated: We have been forced into this war. Liberty and other com­mon rights of mankind we desired. These were denied. The most abject submission to unreasonable terms has been urged upon us. We cannot so meanly, so basely submit. We are contending for liberty. Our cause is just—is glorious; more glo­rious than to contend for a kingdom. A cause on which we may hope for a divine blessing. Though our contention with Great-Britain is so glorious, yet have we reason to be humbled and abased before [Page 5] God. We have reason to be humble and mourn for the many sins, the many vices that prevail among us. God has a controversy with us: How very different from that of Great-Britain! God most righteously contends and corrects us for our sins: in this case we have reason to submit, repent, and reform. Britain contends and threatens ruin; in this case we justly vindicate ourselves, and ought most vigorously to exert ourselves in a proper de­fence. I have always had the firmest belief that we should prevail in our contest with Britain. But I have always thought, and often told you, that God would scourge us for our sins. What son is there whom the father chastens not? 'Tis common for God to correct his people when working deliver­ance for them. Thus he often treated Israel in the days of the judges. God often makes use of the worst of instruments to correct his own people, while he calls upon them to repent and reform. God corrects us by Britain, and loudly calls upon us to repent; while the cruelty of our enemies, and the justice of our cause, is not forgot before him. While I am obliged to point out many crying sins among us, I cannot help animating you from the consideration that we are engaged in a glorious cause: We are nobly contending for the good of millions yet unborn. In this cause I would have you encouraged and emboldened, though I must lead your thoughts to some disagreeable subjects. There are sins, great and aggravated sins among us. God is angry and contending with us. We are this day called upon by our rulers to fast and pray—to confess and forsake our sins. 'Tis my [Page 6] duty to point out the sins that abound, that are most provoking to God, for which he maintains a con­troversy with us, and which we should sincerely bewail and speedily forsake. I should be unworthy to occupy the place of a gospel minister, if through fear, sloth, or any thing else I should neglect to do this. And if while thus endeavouring to keep a good conscience, I should be obliged to point out some deficiency in our rulers themselves, I should act in character as a minister of Jesus Christ, and a friend to my country. The sins or vices which in my view are most prevalent among us, and which 'tis proper I should this day point out, and which call for reformation, are such as these:

Infidelity, profane cursing and swearing, neglect and contempt of religion; selfishness, avarice, and extortion; supporting and encouraging slavery; criminal languor and negligence in defence of our civil and sacred rights.

I. Infidelity, profane cursing and swearing, neglect and contempt of religion.—I put all these together because they are breaches of the first table of the law. They are more immediately against God himself. Sins against God are in their own nature the greatest sins. The greatest command, as our saviour shews us, is to love or show a proper regard to God. The breach of the greatest command must be the greatest sin, for sin is the transgression of the law. In the Jewish state sins against God immediately were ordered to be punished with death; and most reasonably, because that state was a theocracy; God was their king: And sin against him was high [Page 7] treason, was despising and opposing the chief ma­gistrate. And though God does not now require us to punish those sins in the same manner; yet he, the moral governor of the world, is highly of­fended, and will sooner or later enter into judgment for such iniquity, and will punish those states where such sins abound. The sin of infidelity, is great and most ungrateful. To deny and reject the holy scriptures, which is the voice of God speaking from heaven to us; to treat it as a forgery and imposture; to renounce and blaspheme the Saviour who has died for our good, must be very wicked and pro­voking, when 'tis considered with what clear light and evidence the scripture is conveyed to us; by its own internal excellency, most agreeable to the divine perfections; by the wonderful and exact ful­filment of ancient and undeniable prophecy and predictions; and by a multitude of the most won­derful and incontestable miracles. The sin of in­fidelity must appear dreadful when we consider the worth of immortal souls; an eternity of happiness or misery before us; when we consider how much Jesus Christ has done and suffered for us; when we consider how God has distinguished us from the heathen, and given us a happy opportunity to se­cure our eternal felicity. This dreadful sin does awfully abound in our land; but, blessed be God, I trust I may say not among our rulers: Therefore it does not so much expose us to national or public judgments as if the leaders of the people counte­nanced it.

Profane cursing and swearing.—What shall I say? I need not inform any that it exceedingly [Page 8] abounds. Shall I say this is less criminal than in­fidelity? probably in some inadvertent instances it may be. Infidelity is the more deliberate sin: But to affront God to his face by profaning his sacred name is shocking. To defy, and at the same time imprecate the vengeance of the omnipotent, is most wicked and absurd. To dare the power and justice of God, and call for damnation on themselves and others, is folly and wickedness beyond what I am able to express. God himself has declared that he will not hold them guiltless who take his name in vain. No sin has less temptation; no sin is less excusable; scarce any sin shews a more hardened and impeni­tent heart. What an amazing increase of this sin in our land in a few years! What an increase of it in our army since it was first constituted! Then profane cursing and swearing was forbid under proper penalties: See the rules and articles of the Congress for regulating the army. Not only was that vice forbid, but for a time some considerable regard was shown to those articles. But, alas! how little thought of and regarded now, not only by the common soldiers, but by some, may I not say many, of the officers themselves. Not only in our army, but through our land, God is daily af­fronted and provoked by many thousands who in that impious manner set their mouths against the Heavens.

Neglect and contempt of religion, or things sacred. —The day that God requires us to set apart to himself is disregarded and profaned. He that has a right to dispose of all our time, allows us six days in seven for our own employments and re­creations, [Page 9] and requires us to devote one to himself. How ungrateful and wicked to rob him of this! and yet how common. Not only the sabbath, but religious people and religious exercises are treated with contempt. The house of God, and the wor­ship of God are despised. The man that conscien­tiously scruples to comply with fashionable vices is shunned, is treated with a sneer if not hooted at. Oh! how valuable, rather invaluable are the means of grace. If we have immortal souls, if God has opened a way for our salvation by Christ, what an unspeakable privilege is it to have a day and season of grace; and what a provocation to have all that God has done for us neglected and despised. By the work of redemption God designed chiefly to display and illustrate his perfections in our world; and by our compliance with the methods of his grace, and a cordial obedience to his law, we glo­rify him. How provoking then to disregard all that God has done for us, and treat religion with contempt. God has distinguished us from the heathen, and may we not fear that by despising our privilege God may say of us as of Israel of old. Amos iii. 2. You only have I known of all the family of the earth, therefore will I punish you for all your iniquity.

II. Selfishness, avarice, and extortion abound, and cry to Heaven against us.—The selfishness I mean is that which is opposite to public spiritedness and general benevolence. This is really the root of all the vices in the world; more immediately of those which hurt our fellow creatures. A selfish person will promote his own private interest at the expence [Page 10] of the public. He will injure and oppress others to advance himself, if he thinks he can do it with impunity. This narrow sordid disposition has abundantly appeared of late, at a time when we have all had the loudest calls to deny self, and ex­ert ourselves for the common good. But instead of a public spirit which should have been the mov­ing principle in us all, there has in many appeared the most insatiable avarice, and a greedy grasping at every thing within their reach; endeavouring, at the expence of the public, to draw every thing possible into the narrow circle of self. Hence the most shameless barefaced extortion; taking ad­vantage of others necessity; demanding a most exorbitant price for the commodities of life, espe­cially the most scarce and necessary articles. If we do not endeavour in some good measure to do as we would be done by, and consider our neighbours with whom we deal, as being a part of the same body with ourselves, and to be advantaged as well as ourselves, we are not fit to be members of civil society. God with indignation beholds our selfish, avaricious, oppressive practice: And we may well suppose that for this, among other evils, he corrects us by continuing the war upon us. What says the scripture, 1 Thes. iv. 6. That no man go beyond or defraud his brother in any matter, because that the Lord is the avenger of all such. Our continuing in this selfish, unfriendly, cruel practice, under the rod of God, while his judgments are abroad in the land, is an aggravation of our sin; and shews a perverse, incorrigible disposition, and is an im­plicit justification of ourselves in our evil ways. [Page 11] 'Tis an aggravation of the sin of oppression, and extortion at this time, that 'tis practising the same thing that we so loudly complain of in the conduct of Great-Britain toward us. Britain would have been at peace with us could they have extorted from us every thing which they thought proper. And those among us who act upon the principle of getting what they can from others by taking ad­vantage of their wants and weakness, are practising the same thing which we are now opposing in Great-Britain, and which is the ground of that cruel war which this country is now, and has so long a time been bleeding under. These extorti­oners and oppressors among ourselves, would, if cir­cumstances concurred and favoured, act as cruelly as the British ministry has done. God sees and weighs the conduct of our British oppressors, and the conduct of extortioners among ourselves. His judgments will sooner or later, in this world or the next, most dreadfully overtake the guilty. Let us, let the inhabitants of the land fear and take warn­ing; repent and reform that we may not continue under the divine displeasure, and fall under still heavier judgments. The selfish sordid disposition that I have mentioned has no doubt produced that criminal languor and negligence in the defence of our civil and sacred rights which the proclamation mentions. Are we not too remiss in carrying on the war? Does it not proceed from a selfish con­tracted principle? Are we not too fearful of ex­pending our property in the public cause? Is there not a too general disposition to shrink away from the employment or expence of the war, hoping it [Page 12] will succeed well, and end well, without our most vigorous exertion? But surely we are every way called upon to exert ourselves in the present contest. The importance of the cause calls upon us; the danger arising from remissness calls upon us; our fellow creatures suffering in prisons and other con­finements calls upon us; our religion and civil li­berty are at stake; yea, our all is at stake: If we do not succeed we are undone. And shall we at such a time as this, by a mean felfishness, avarice, and extortion, not only shrink back from so good and great a cause, but even suck the blood, and tear out the bowels of our country. Our extortion really tends to this.

III. Supporting and encouraging slavery, is one of the great and crying evils among us.—Can it be believed that a people contending for liberty should, at the same time, be promoting and supporting slavery? What foreign nation can believe that we who so loudly complain of Britain's attempts to oppress and enslave us, are, at the same time, vo­luntarily holding multitudes of fellow creatures in abject slavery; and that while we are abundantly declaring that we esteem liberty the greatest of all earthly blessings? I cannot but think, and must declare my sentiments, that the encouraging and supporting negro slavery is a crying sin in our land. In our contest with Britain how much has been said and published in favour of liberty? In what horrid colours has oppression and slavery been painted by us? And is it not as great a sin for us to practise it as for Britain? Thou that sayest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Is not the hard yoke of slavery [Page 13] felt by negroes as well as by white people? Are they not fond of liberty as well as others of the human race? Is not freedom the natural unaliena­ble right of all? What say the Congress in their declaration of independency? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: that to secure these rights governments are instituted."— Thus the Congress. If liberty is one of the na­tural and unalienable rights of all men, as doubt­less it is; if 'tis self-evident, i. e. so clear that it needs not proof, how unjust, how inhuman, for Britons, or Americans, not only to attempt, but actually to violate this right? Britain is attempting to violate it; we in America have a long time been in the actual violation of it. I have observed that sins against God directly, are, in their own nature, the greatest sins; yet there may be some particular sins against fellow creatures (which are also sins against God) especially cruelty, so circumstanced, and so aggravated, as to be the most crying sins of a particular people. Thus the transgressions of Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Moab, and Am­mon, for which God entered into judgment, and would not turn away their punishment, were cru­elty to fellow creatures; because they threshed Gilead with instruments of iron, carried away the whole captivity to deliver them to their enemies, pur­sued with the sword, cast off pity, ript up the women with child, and burnt the bones of kings into lime. Amos first and second chapters. And I cannot but [Page 14] think our practising and patronizing negro slavery, is the most crying sin in our land. And that on this account, more than any one particular thing, God maintains his controversy with us. The rea­sons why I think so are two: First, because 'tis a most cruel, inhuman, unnatural sin, most directly contrary to the whole law of God comprehended in love, to love our neighbour as ourself, and do as we would be done by. The slaves have never for­feited their right to freedom; 'tis as the Congress say, a natural right, and an unalienable one. And if 'tis taken away, 'tis violently taken. The Apostle Paul ranks men stealers (which is the sin we are guilty of by the negro slavery) with murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, whore-mongers, defilers of themselves with mankind, liars, perjured persons, &c. 1 Tim. i. 9. Secondly, because 'tis openly and avowedly doing that which we are con­tending against with our British enemies, and look upon so unjust and cruel in them. The whole of the present war, and all our struggles under it, and our sufferings and hardships by it, are to oppose and shun that from others, which we are tolerating and practising ourselves, and that in a greater de­gree than our enemies are attempting. If we were not blinded by sinful self-interest, and criminal partiality, we could not but see and feel the force of the Apostles reasoning in Rom. 2. Thou art in­excusable, O man; for wherein thou judgest another thou condemnest thy self; for thou that judgest dost the same thing. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God. Thou [Page 15] that preachest a man, should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man, should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that ab­horrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? These words shew that we cannot expect to escape the judgments of heaven unless we reform and are more consistent. We are condemned out of our own mouth, and by our own practice. How often has it been said in our day that liberty is the greatest human blessing; and that 'tis oppressive and cruel to deprive us of it? How oft has it been said that slavery is more to be dreaded than death? On how many liberty poles; on how many garments and ornaments worn pub­licly, have been inscribed these emphatical words, Liberty or Death! How must these words sound in the ears of those that are held in slavery by us? How must they sound in the ears of all impartial persons? Especially how must they appear to the great governor of the world, who is no respecter of persons, but will judge all persons by the law of liberty and equity? I am persuaded these united American States must, and will groan under the afflicting hand of God, till we reform in this mat­ter. And our case looks the darker in this respect, that 'tis an evil which the legislature might remove. Sins and vices, that creep in among people, while laws and magistrates are generally against them, are not so threatning to a state; but if the political head is sick, and the heart faint, the danger is greater. How justly might God say to us this day, as to Israel of old, Is this the feast that I have cho­sen? [Page 16] To what purpose is the multitudes of your sup­plications? When you spread forth your hands I will hide my eyes from you; your hands are full of op­pression and slavery. Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed slave. Is not this the feast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free: The op­pressed slaves: And that ye break every yoke. I doubt not but we may succeed against our British oppressors even if we should not free ourselves from the guilt of enslaving others. The cause of Britain is most unjust, and our contest with them is most righteous. But however we may be free from Bri­tish oppression, I venture to say, we shall have inward convulsions, contentions, oppressions, and various calamities, so that our liberty will be un­comfortable, till we wash our hands from the guilt of negro slavery. And our neglecting to reform in this matter may protract the war to a distressing length, though we shall succeed in the end. And now how righteous is it in God to permit oppression and extortion to prevail. Is it not a punishment for our much worse oppression of the slaves.

Though the emancipation of the slaves ought to be managed by the legislatures, yet the masters of slaves need not wait for that. If those masters had a true spirit of freedom; if they abhored the very nature of slavery, they would soon free them­selves from such a blot in the character of freemen▪ I know there are many in our land, who are sensible of this evil, and wish it remedied; but they are generally persons not so immediately guilty, not [Page 17] being possessed of slaves, and they are ready to say, what can we do? Let me observe, that there ought to be petitions from the friends of liberty in every county to the legislatures of the several states, hum­bly requesting them to take this matter under con­sideration. If the legislatures would come into proper measures to free the slaves in some suitable time, it would free our country from a load of guilt: I say in some suitable time, for I suppose it should not be done at once, but gradually.

I know 'tis objected, that this is not a proper time, that this cannot be entered upon in this state of war and confusion. But let me observe, that if this is one cause of God's controversy with us, and of his continuing to frown upon us, the pre­sent is the most proper time to consider and rectify this matter, that it may be a means of freeing us from our calamities. We might as well say that we cannot, in this difficult time, raise men for our army, because we are so straightened for help, and need our men at home; whereas this is the time in which it must be done. To say this is not the proper time for our legislature to consider the eman­cipation of our slaves, is, in my view, as absurd as for a sick man to say his stomach is so out of order that he cannot now take a disagreeable medicine, but will wait till he is better, and can take it with­out such difficulty. I know there are many imagi­nary difficulties, and many objections raised, but 'tis easy to get over them all except such as arise from self-interest, and those will not easily be got over* [Page 18] If we had a clear, rational view, of the worth, nature, and importance of freedom; if we had a proper view of the criminal nature of enslaving others; if we had a proper view of that tribunal, where judgment will pass without any respect to persons, by the law of loving others as our selves, we should easily get over all the difficulties that are in the case.

I would think as favourably as I can, concerning the guilty state of my country, which I most hear­tily wish to prosper and enjoy the divine smiles. I would excuse and extenuate, as far as possible, the unnatural sin of holding fellow creatures in per­petual bondage. I suppose the sin is less aggra­vated, because 'tis by many not thought to be a sin, and because 'tis so common. 'Tis like the polygamy of the ancient patriarchs. That was a common evil, and not duly considered. To marry several wives, and have a concubine or mistress beside, was an unnatural evil, as God has created an equal number of each sex. And for a person of a reli­gious character to live in that practice now, would be scandalous, and thought to be impious; and very justly. Yet this sin in itself is by no means so great, so unnatural, so cruel, and so provoking to God, as it is to keep in perpetual bondage those who have a natural right to freedom, and have not forfeited it. Polygamy of old was a common sin and not duly considered: And slavery being so common now, and not duly weighed, may exte­nuate, but will not free from guilt. I have reason to hope this matter will be considered and reme­died, and that God will turn to us in mercy and [Page 19] prosper us. We should not be discouraged, but repent and exert ourselves in the cause of liberty, both against Britain and among ourselves. I know some serious people, hearty friends to our country, are disposed to sink into discouragements when they view the many vices among us, the frowns of God upon us, and how few there are that pay any regard to the tokens of his displeasure. The abounding of vice, and insensibility under the rod of God, is certainly the darkest aspect in our public affairs. But still we may encourage ourselves in the goodness of God, and every one, as far as his influence extends, attempt a reformation, beginning with self. God is yet waiting to be gracious; he deals with us as with a people whom he designs to save and not destroy. Though he corrects, yet he shews us many favours. He remarkably appears for us, and prevents our ruin; yea, gives us advan­tages against our enemies. We should consider that correction is no sign of rejection. Things are yet in our favour. Though the war is protracted, and we are so long held under the rod, yet all things shall be for the best in the end. Nothing less than what we have suffered would have done for us. Nothing less would have made sufficiently deep im­pression on us and on posterity. Nothing less would have given us and posterity a view of the worth of the privileges we contend for. How often is it re­corded by Englishmen that their ancestors have waded through rivers of blood to enjoy the privi­leges of freemen. Our present difficulties will be recollected with advantage to the end of time. If God is contending with us, yet he deals with us as [Page 20] children for whom he designs mercy: We have many tokens for good. 'Tis encouraging that our rulers regard religion, acknowlege the providence of God, and call upon us to seek him, to repent and reform. And if they are deficient in some things, yet they uprightly mean to discourage evil, and promote virtue; and whereunto they have not attained, desire that even this may be shewn unto them. I cannot but hope this day may be in some measure such a fast as God has chosen.

Some people are apt to think we have no reason to expect, and can scarce pray for an outward blessing, while so many vices abound among us. Indeed we have reason to be humbled and mourn, reason to repent and reform; but that we may not sink into discouragements consider, that God who is infinite in goodness, waits long to be gracious, and may yet try us with mercy as a means to lead us to repentance. We may well pray for his mer­ciful interposition, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we may serve him in righte­ousness and holiness all the days of our life. Will some ask, what if we should not return to God by repentance and reformation, but that we should continue in sin, and vice continue to abound, as it has done two or three years past? I answer, that would be truly lamentable, and a very dark sign, that would much damp our hopes. God forbid it should be so. But in that case, I should expect that God would yet try us with a mixture of mer­cies and corrections. That we should be delivered from British tyranny, and have plenty in our land, with internal commotions, divisions, convulsions, [Page 21] oppressions, and other difficulties, while God gave us a space to repent and reform, which, if after all we should refuse to do, we should be ripening for heavy judgments in some future time. And how long an infinitely merciful and long suffering God may deter those judgments, we know not. I cannot but hope, yea believe, that after the war is over we shall set ourselves to reform many things that are amiss among us, slavery not excepted. I must believe this great event, this important strug­gle for liberty, will, in the end, be a means of put­ting an end to negro slavery in this land, and to many other oppressions and impositions, which a state of liberty is adapted to throw off and resist.

Our struggle for liberty is attended to through the world. All eyes are upon us; and all that are not self-interested, or grievously imposed on by misrepresentations, think our cause is just, and wish us success. Should we obtain our end, this land of liberty could not be so inconsistent, could not with any face continue and support slavery, and other oppressions contrary to a state of freedom. On the whole, my friends, we have the greatest reason to reform our lives, trust in God, and exert ourselves in our country's cause with full confidence of success.

My dear friends, I cannot leave you without a repeated earnest exhortation to repentance and re­formation. Infidelity, profaneness, contempt of divine things, avarice, oppression and extortion, are provoking to God. And if God be against us, who can eventually be for us? All our exertions will be to no purpose if God does not favour us. [Page 22] How easily can he disappoint all our schemes and attempts? How easily can he send a sickness that will sweep away our army? How easily can he de­prive us of the fruits of the earth, and cause a fa­mine? How easily can he give some unexpected success to our enimies? How righteously might he leave us to such contentions and animosities among ourselves as would divide and destroy us? In all these ways, and many others, he has in times past disappointed the hopes of those he has chastised or destroyed. Let us then be deeply sensible how ne­cessary 'tis that God be for us. That we be such a people as he will delight in and bless: That we be reformed, humble, and benevolent. If God be for us, we need not fear any that are, or can be against us. What a happy land will this be, if 'tis a land of true religion! It will then be a land of liberty, of peace, and plenty. We shall then live in love and peace among ourselves: And many from other nations will flock to us as the most happy people on the face of the earth. Were ever people more loudly, more kindly, and compassi­onately called upon to repent and turn to God!

[Page 23]

P. S. Plan or Scheme for emancipating Slaves.

MANY plans or schemes might be mentioned, but the following is proposed as most fa­vourable to the owners of slaves, and as freeing them gradually, year after year, which in many respects might be best for them, and for the coun­try, viz. All that shall hereafter be born, and all that are now under five years old, should be free, the males at twenty-one years old, and the females at eighteen. All above five years, and under ten years of age, to be free, the males at twenty-three years, and the females at twenty years of age. All above ten, and under 15 years old, male and female, to be free at twenty-five years old. All between fifteen and twenty years old, to be free in eight years from this time. All between twenty and twenty-five, to be free in seven years from this time. All between twenty-five and thirty, to be free in six years. All between thirty and thirty-five, to be free in five years. All between thirty-five and forty, to be free in four years. All between forty and forty five, to be free in three years. All be­tween forty-five and fifty, to be free in two years. All between fifty and sixty, to be free in one year. And all above sixty to serve during life, in order to be taken care of and provided for by their owners.

In ths plan some would become free in one year, others in two, others in three, and so on.

The owners might from principles of equity and benevolence, free many of them in a much shorter tme than is here mentioned, and no doubt many would.

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