BY THOMAS WORCESTER, Minister of the Gospel in SALISBURY.






IT is but a short time since the respectful invitation was given me to address you on this Anniversary of our Independence; and no request could have been more un­expected. Several other circumstances might be mentioned to urge you to be moderate in your expectations; but I con­fide in your candor.

Days of Commemoration have been ob­served from ancient times; and this prac­tice is not without propriety and use.— Every nation has its important events, af­fecting to the public mind, and productive of emotions not to be concealed. These, in measure, naturally return from year to year, with the day which first gave them birth. This is the origin of celebrating certain days with social entertainments: and such celebration, under regular and virtuous management, serves to awaken grateful remembrance, and to stir up lan­dable ambition to perform worthy deeds.

[Page 6]The History of our Nation renders no day more signal, and worthy of festival celebration, than the fourth of July; for this is the birth day of our independent na­tional existence. On this day, of the year 1776, was a nation born; or then the manly declaration of our Independence was made. Not because mere dependance on our mother country was a burden; not from any aversion to firm, energetic, equal­ly subordinating government; not from any wish to be without "form, and void" of social subjecting ties; but from opposi­tion to abuse of power, the COLONIAL CON­GRESS DECLARED THESE INDEPENDENT STATES. Not subject to the Crown of England, nor to be under the protection or direction of any foreign power.

Redress of grievances had been sought, by respectful remonstrances and earnest petitions. These however availed noth­ing, unless it were to make the yoke more grievous. Under a dread of the growing wealth and strength of her Amer­ican colonies, the British government were determined to persevere in oppressive, weakening measures, to prevent a success­ful revolt. But their own cruel measures [Page 7] soon brought upon them what they feared at a distance, viz. the revolt of the American Colonies. These roused by oppression, resolved to try their strength to break those galling chains imposed upon them.

Independence was declared with confi­dence, under GOD, in the military genius and spirit of the people. Encouraged by some experiments, it was believed the sons of Columbia could do exploits in opposition to the overgrown power of England. With increased spirit, TO ARMS! TO ARMS! was sounded through the Union. To arms against Oppression. To arms for establish­ed Independence, for the rights of man, and national dignity. Like electric fire, a martial spirit diffused from soul to soul, through the several ranks of citizens, from hoary heads to beardless boys. Heaven had prepared the man. Heaven had directed the choice. WASHINGTON was already in the field at the head of our armies. The unnatural mother country poured forth by thousands, her legitimate sons. Hastening across the Atlantic, they threatened destruc­tion against our loyal subjects—driven to revolt by injustice and cruelty. On our part, the bloody contest was attended with [Page 8] almost every possible embarrassment.— Except in sentiment and spirit, the union of the States was then merely nominal. A Continental Congress there was; but there was no regular energetic system of confed­eracy and subordination, and no chosen head of executive administration over the whole body. There was no national rev­enue to defray the expenses of war.— Military acquirements, and regular subor­dination, were much wanting among those who were called into active service. Many of the officers wanted experience; the soldiers were not trained to the exercises, movements and hardships of war; and distressingly far were they from being well supplied with arms and ammunition.— Under these, and such like embarrassments, without any alliance with foreign power, without having our Independence acknow­ledged by a single nation, our forces ven­tured to combat with the numerous, well disciplined, and well supplied armies of Greatbritain. With now and then a check, to remind us of our dependance upon the God of Battles; under his guardian smiles, we gained ground by degrees, until the spared of our enemies, with a hook in their nose, returned home.

[Page 9]Thus was our Independence established. Thus rose the United States of America to a distinguished rank, among the nations of the world. Hence the fame of WASH­INGTON, and the fame of that spirit and enterprize of Columbia's sons, which carried his generalship into effect, have gone forth into all lands.

Now where is the mean soul! where is the unworthy American, who can bear foreign insults without a glow of military ardour? Are we to be dictated by foreign policy? Are we to be divided by foreign influence? Are our necks to be brought under any foreign yoke? Shall any nation under heaven lord over us, before we have tried our increased strength?

We have now a CONSTITUTION, the re­sult of combined wisdom, accepted by the several States, uniting them all in one bo­dy, under one chosen legislation, and ex­ecutive administration. The experience of more than nine years, has demonstrated the excellency of our System of Federal Government. By the constituted authori­ties, many judicious well-timed acts have been passed, which are yet in force, for the regulation of our national concerns.— Eight years successively, the executive power, by the free suffrages of the people, was committed to the Illustrious WASH­INGTON, [Page 10] under whose administration, in our Judah, things went well. And happy for us, our country has produced more than one great man, more than one en­dowed with qualifications to preside over us.

WASHINGTON is succeeded by ADAMS, the long tried friend, and able politician of his country. In firm and patriotic measures, he happily coincides with his predecessor: and perseverance will secure to him a bless­ed memory, while the names of his calum­niators shall rot. Thus blessed in the man­agers of our National Affairs, European ef­forts to involve us in their bloody quarrel, have been warded off, from time to time; giving us, in our neutral situation, oppor­tunity to increase in numbers and in wealth, with unexampled rapidity, under the pro­pitious smiles of Jehovah.

Now we are numerous and wealthy, comparing this with the day when our In­dependence was declared. Now we have regular establishments, civil and military. Now we have not a few whose hands have been taught to war and their fingers to fight Now we have a national revenue. Now we have existing Treaties, which have opened free commerce with the most res­pectable nations. Now we have the mean [Page 11] Is all this, that we may appear the more contemptible in yielding to foreign impo­sitions? Or shall the spirit of '75 rouse to vigorous exertions, corresponding with our greater advantages, against every outrage­ous indignity?

Must we stupidly endure the most dar­ing insults from a foreign nation, because she was once esteemed our friend and ally? Shall that nation without resistance, dictate our government, seize, and confiscate our property, treat our Envoys with sovereign contempt, and seek to exhaust all our trea­sures, because she once assisted us in time of need? Was this the meaning of declar­ed and acknowledged Independence?— Truly the French did assist us in our strug­gle against Greatbritain: We owed them for their services, and have paid every farthing. They now owe us as much gratitude for employing them, as we owe them for their help—yea more; for we have paid much gratitude besides all their due, in other things; and in return we have received nothing but insults.

With grateful hearts, our nation held out the fraternal hand, and owned the Re­public of France, in generous and bold dis­tinction from every nation on earth.— For a considerable time Americans in gen­eral, "from Georgia's banks to Hampshire's [Page 12] bounds," felt deeply interested in the French revolution. Like grateful souls we rejoic­ed in hopes of their obtaining like liberties and privileges with ourselves. More than was strictly consistent with our neutrality, we rejoicingly celebrated their successes.— We wished they might go on and prosper. We excused their follies. We palliated their frenziful barbarities. Conscious of friendship to them, we would not believe they were seriously aiming any thing a­gainst our interests, 'till such appearances were glaringly multiplied. Thus have we paid the sum total of gratitude, if any was their due. Gratitude did not require us to engage with them in their war. They had their own policy in assisting us in our's.— They wished to maim the power of their rival. Their own interest required that the United States should be forever sever­ed from the British Crown. This they well knew; and this was the main spring of all their boasted generosity.

After we had struggled into a prospect of victory, then for their own interest they lent us a helping hand. There was nothing like what induced them, to induce us to en­gage in their war. In every view it was inconsistent with our interest. We had a right, as an independent people to take that neutral situation which our interest re­quired. [Page 13] This was done without violating any Treaty, or any obligation whatever. But after the proclamation of neutrality was made, they underhandedly exerted themselves in direct opposition to the au­thority of our government. They have been assiduously, and insidiously trying to bring us into the war. They have done all in their power to sow discord among us, and lessen the confidence of the people in our government, because they know they cannot conquer without dividing us.

As an independent nation, we have a right to make Treaties, when, and with whom we please, without asking French leave. Yet their tone has been insultingly dictatorial respecting our Treaty with England. They have violated their treaty with us under the mean pretext of treating us as we suffer ourselves to be treated by others. On this, and no better ground, they have robbed our commercial fellow citizens of many millions.

Such injuries were borne till they could be borne no longer without seeking redress. This however was not sought in retaliation. MONROE (of whom I have nothing more honorable to say) was called home, and General PINCKNEY was sent to Paris; but as it were with the olive branch in his hand—with full powers to negotiate to re­move every existing cause of uneasiness. But with unheard-of indignity, he was refused. Still dis­posed for peace, our Government sent two more, each with ample powers, hoping that all, or at least some one of the three would be received.— [Page 14] But to the astonishment of the world, they all re­mained a number of months at Paris, doing well, doing every thing in their power, and yet doing nothing directly with the French government, because nothing but money, nothing but "a great deal of money," will open a reception for them. After all we have suffered, we must pave the way with "a great deal of money," before they will officially so much as speak with our Envoys.

It is openly avowed among the French, that they regard not the justice of our claims, but we "must pay money," we must "pay about as much money as we can, or the fate of Venice may be ours ere long. That is, like Venice, we may have our government new modelled, accord­ing to French policy—have our wealth drained, by the point of the sword, into their coffers, and then be bartered away in compact with some des­pot, to be subject to his control.

This, fellow-citizens, is the fate our "generous allies" would have us expect from them, if we will not comply with their money demands.

Every citizen of these States, ought to join in sentiment and spirit with our Envoys, and say, "we will make at least one manly struggle," be­fore we submit to all this.—Torn from the history of the world, be the pages where past American valor is recorded, if we do not unite in vigorous efforts against that baneful policy which now threatens our ruin.—Never more let the fourth of July be celebrated; never more let the Independ­ence of the United States be named, if under all our present advantages, we resist not unto blood, rather than pay one Cent to buy a peace of the plundering scourge of the times. Yes, never more let these States be called UNITED, if we unite not against such degrading insults as the [Page 15] French have offered.—Let the man who can ex­cuse all these, claim in vain, if he claims the char­acter of an honest friend to his country.

Loud are the calls to spirited exertions for our defence. Without going into "Egypt for help," without trusting in any arm of flesh, may we trust in that power which is above, which has wrought such wonders in our behalf; and may the same spirit which burst forth in a declaration of Independence, reanimate every class of our citizens, till again every outrage shall disappear.

Gentlemen, Military Officers,

ALWAYS, but more especially in times like the present, your offices, well filled, are honorable. The public welfare of every community, requires men in your stations.—In these you may do eminent service for your country. Your time and expense, which are appropriated to military im­provements, are not lost. You have done well in coming together under respectable appearances to celebrate the day from which our Independence is dated. By this, Gentle­men, you mean it shall be understood that you are firmly attached to our National Independence, Government, and honor; that you hold yourselves in readiness to comply with every constitutional requisition for their support— Yea, that you hold yourselves in readiness to go forward, facing the dangers of war, whenever this shall be required by our constituted authorities. Such valor is laudable— and here is room for virtuous ambition to excel.

You, Gentlemen, are entrusted with the military educa­tion of youth. And in doing every thing in your power to make them active in the arts and movements of war, and to inspire them with manly resolution and public spirit— In doing this, you will do important service to your coun­try, and lasting honor to yourselves.

Fellow Citizens, Soldiers,

YOUR station is respectable. You are among those, who under GOD, are the strength and defence of the communi­ty, against invasions of our rights. On your class the eyes of our Fathers were fixed when they declared these INDE­PENDENT STATES. Confiding under GOD, in you and your fellows, the civil departments this day hold up their [...] [Page 16] would stop, and our Independence would be given up. Count it then an honor to be valiant soldiers. Be teacha­ble in military operations. Begrudge not your time for this purpose. Be ambitious to know and perform your duty, and to be well equipt for valiant service. Remember the great deeds of your Fathers. Shew yourselves worthy of that country which gave birth to WASHINGTON, and to those armies under him who acquired such laurels, and are famed throughout the world.—Be ready if called for, to go bravely into the field of battle, committing your fate to GOD. It is better to die gloriously, than to live meanly.

"Life for my country, and the cause of freedom,
Is but a trifle for a worm to part with.
And if preserved in so great a contest—
Life is redoubled."

With such motto as this, let all your actions correspond.

Ye Sons of Freedom, who have shared largely in the blessings of liberty and good government. You who have been growing rich under the privileges of this land, count not your hard earned property too dear to be sacrificed in de­fence of your rights. Hold yourselves in readiness to pay, as for value received, every sum required by the government of your choice, for national purposes. Our harbors cannot be fortified—Frigates cannot be built and furnished to pro­tect our commerce; and our troops cannot be equipt as the times now require, without cost. For such purposes, fel­low-citizens, count it your indispensable duty to expend freely. Let fortifications be made. Let the implements of war be prepared. Let the instruments of death be made plenty and glittering, whatever may be the cost.—The bet­ter our preparations, with humble confidence in GOD, the less have we to fear. Away with every feminine sensation. Away with every fanatic scruple about the lawfulness of using the defensive sword. The Prince of Peace hath said, "he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword."— This fully implies that against violent offenders the sword may, and must be drawn.—Gratitude to the author of our privileges, requires our best exertions to defend them.— This should be a main-spring in every defensive movement. —Actuated by this, and the like noble principles, in our several stations, let us act well our parts, without malice or envy. Then shall we share in the tranquility and glory of THAT DAY, when those lusts of men, from whence come wars and fightings, shall be subdued;—AND THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXTEND HIS HEALING WINGS OVER THIS NOW BLEEDING WORLD.

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