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A DISCOURSE DELIVERED IN COLEBROOK, ON THE [...] OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE July 4th, 1800.

BY CHANNING LEE, A.M., PASTOR OF A CHURCH IN COLEBROOK.

If thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! JESUS CHRIST.

BENNINGTON: Printed by T. Collier, and Company. 1800.

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A Discourse, &c.

GENESIS iii. 2, 3.And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the gar­den, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
DEUTERONOMY xxxii. 17.They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods, that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

THIS day, fellow-citizens, completes twenty-four years since our country emerged from a state of dependence upon a foreign power, and assumed a rank among the nations of the earth, as a free and independent republic. The heroic declaration, by which it was proclaimed to the world, detailing the many cogent reasons of ne­cessity and national justice upon which it was founded; together with the sacred pledge plighted for its suprort; and the solemn appeal made to heaven for the vindication of our injured rights, has now again been publickly exhibited to you, and received, I doubt not, with mingled emo­tions of wonder, gratitude and joy.

[Page 4] Supported by the arm of the Lord Jehovah, our venerable fathers in council, at a time when our country was in the lowest state of depression and impotence—when ruin was near, and help afar off, or at best but awfully doubtful—as with ropes about their necks, and for themselves no other alternative, but the gibbet, or a triumphal arch; blew the trumpet of American Jubilee, and in the face of incensed despotism declared, that we were, and of right ought to be, free, sovereign, and independent states.

The same spirit inspired our citizens, in the cabinet and in the field. With the same firmness with which the declaration was made, it was sup­ported by the sword; and an eight years bloody war in the purchase of independence esteemed but a cheap price.

To account in historical detail, the awful and animating vicissitudes of this arduous conflict—the causes which induced—the means which sup­ported, and the effects which have flowed from the declaration of American Independence, is foreign from my present purpose. These have long since furnished the most engaging themes of the statesman, the orator, and the poet.—In this field all the flowers of rhetoric have a ready bloomed and fruits of genius been ripened and plucked. Happy were it for us, had the forbidden fruit remained untouched—had not the seeds of that noxious foreign plant, the Tree of Liberty and Equality, been sown and cultur'd in the midst of our political Eden, and had no tempter emerged from Gallic Pandemonium to seduce the virtue of our countrymen, by the poisonous fruit of that Bohon Upas of human happiness, that tree of know­ledge of political good and evil (of good lost and evil gained) which corrupts the fountain of na­tional felicity, diffuses its poison through all the streams of social life and threatens the forfeiture and loss of all the blessings of Independence.

[Page 5] Yet such, alas! seems the unvaried lot of mise­rable man. Such the shades which have ever dark­ened and whelmed the brightest scenes of human prosperity. Discontentment with every allotment of Providence— [...] and complaints in the very surfeit of divine bounty and aspiring to be Gods knowing good and evil, fill up the pages of the history of Man. Restless ambition, indul­gence unrestrained, insatiable desire, and repining jealousy, have marked the footsteps of human folly, and led our untoward species blindfold to destruction. "God made man upright, but they have sought out many invention." In the garden of God, they invented a sepulchre. In the fruit­ful field of America, the death of Religion and Government is projected, and the grave of inde­pendence already dug. In the midst of every Eden stands the tree of knowledge, and rears its tow­ering branches, heavy laden with its deadly fruit; and even the walls of Paradise itself were insuffi­cient to exclude the artful wiles of the hellish tempter. From the seed of the first wicked in­vention, a ten thousand fold cr [...]p has ensued, and spread itself co-extensive with the population of man. The soil of human depravity has been most industriously tilled. The field of human misery is nearly ripe. Yea, lift up your eyes and behold it already black for the harvest, and calling aloud for the sickle.

But why, some perhaps may say, why this sin­gular and in suspicious text? why these severe and uncharitable remarks? what motives can actuate the speaker, in his very exordium, to mingle gall with the sweets of conviviality, and by drawing such a dark cloud over our political horizon, at­tempt to damp the lustre of social delights and shroud the day, devoted to festivity and joy, in the gloomy sadness of melancholy and remorse? Pa­tience, fellow-citizens. In this severe exercise of self-denial, be kind enough, for a little while to [Page 6] help me bear the cross; and if the subject do not sufficiently explain itself, let deserved censure upon it.—For this you are referred to the sequel of my discourse, with only this general observation at present—that, if we are, what we profess to be, a Christian peopl, we shall not disrelish bible-instruction as ill timed or unprofitable upon any occa­sion; and while we read this in our bibles, "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling," we must believe solemnity to be essential to true joy, and godly sorrow compatible with the pleasures of festivity.—If we are truly disposed to rejoice in the past signal mercies of God, towards us, as a peo­ple; we shall be equally prompt, to consider the operation of his hands, and mark the aspect of di­vine providence in relation to the present situation, and present prospects of our country. If animated with the love of virtue, we admire and celebrate the worthy deeds and noble achievements of our venerable fathers, now sleeping in the dust; will it not be natural and pertinent to inquire, how far the character and conduct of their sons, are formed and directed by the force of parental example? And who, or what are those new gods, that have newly come up, whom our fathers feared not? And in a word, if in the spirit of patriotism, our sensibilities are feelingly excited, by a review of the past dan­gers and perils of our country—if we exult in the original attainment of our national independence, and celebrate the means which conducted us to it; surely we shall not feel indifferent to the present dan­gers, by which it is threatened, nor inattentive to the only means by which this national blessing, the purchase of our father's blood, may be preserved and transmitted to their children's children.

For these reasons, and impressed with these views, while from the very occasion of the day your minds are readily employed in retrospect of the past, I beg leave to call your serious attention to the present state of things. I feel this my duty, both as a fel­low-citizens, [Page 7] inviolably attached to the interests of our common country; and as a spiritual watchman, solemuly bound to faithfulness in my sacred trust. Disclaiming the talents of the statesman, the ora­tor, or the historian, mine only be the humble part of a gospel minister, to hold up to your view, the dangers which threaten our country, from present existing evils, and point to the means of deliv­erance and safety. In doing this, the censure of po­litical preaching, will ever be as unheeded, as in the present instance, it is unexpected.

In recurring to the sacred oracles, I have selec­ted, as sources of instruction, pertinent to the pres­ent anniversary, the two distinct passages recited. They are considered, in effect, as parallel texts, tho' the one hath respect to man in his primitive, and the other to man in his fallen state. For this reason they are chosen, and designed to be impro­ved in concert, to impress with their united strength, this great and important truth respecting mankind in every character and state. That,

A restless, factious spirit constantly impelling to inno­vation and change, is both unreasonable in its nature, and fatally pernicious in its effects. Or in other wods,

That, when mankind, either as individuals or na­tions, abandon those principles, and depart from that line of conduct, which God hath prescribed, and by his word or providence, clearly pointed out, as the path of duty and happiness—they do it at their utmost peril—evil inevitably ensues, and certain destruction is the end.

These doctrines, it is believed, equally flow from each of the forementioned passages of Scrip­ture respectively, considering them in their rela­tions, connections and consequences.

The better to receive their united weight of in­struction, let us now bestow a few thoughts in a particular and separate examination of each.

The text of Genesis, refers to the original con­stitution under which man was placed, and points [Page 8] directly to the fruitful source [...] all the evils and miseries which have ever embittered and poisoned the cup of humanity. Our first parents then com­posed the whole family of man. They were in­dividuals—they were a family—they were a na­tion, and they were a world. As such they were considered and treated by their benevolent Cre­ator, in his covenant transaction with them. As such by nature, and divine constitution they stood—as such they acted—as such they sinned and fell, and as such they suffered and died. God their Creator, was their Governor and King. He had made the most ample provision for the supply of all their wants, and the gratification of every reas­onable desire. They were under a most free and happy government. They were blessed with an excellent constitution, by which all their rights and privileges were secured; and subjected to no other restrictions, but those of the most equal, wholesome and salutary laws. And their govern­ment was calculated to have transmitted these in­estimable blessings, inviolate to all the unborn millions of their posterity, thro' the whole pro­gression of the human race: For as a nation and a world they stood, and in their conduct, all their posterity were implicated and concerned.

And why citizens, should this be thought strange? Our posterity are as really implicated, concerned, and interested in our present national conduct, and will as certainly enjoy, or suffer the effects of it.

Our first parents were mankind, and their na­tional happiness, like that of all other nations, was suspended upon their obedience to the divine law—their continued conformity to the rules of righteousness and justice—abstaining from the taste or touch of the forbidden fruit, and chearfully ac­cording in that wise and beautiful order, which the God of nature had established in the system of his intelligent creatures. These were all made known to them. Their path of national duty [Page 9] was clearly pointed out, and they were comman­ded to walk in it, and be happy.

How unaccountable is it then, how passing strange, that, under these happy circumstances, they should apostatize, and sacrifice their national honor, independence and happiness! That the bright lus [...]e of the worlds fair morning, should so soon be overshadowed and darkened by the clouds of atheism, insurrection and anarchy! Can any subsequent event of the like nature be brought as a parallel? Truly, I know of none, unless it be the present, prevailing unreasonable dissatisfaction and implacable opposition of Americans towards the administration of constituted authority, and the operation of the government of their choice:—one of all human governments the most mild, benign and equal, upon which the sun ever shone; and the repeated insurrections which have actually arisen against it in the very bosom of our country. Surely a more unreasonable and wicked opposition against civil government never blackened the pages of history.

Let us further inquire, what were the immediate cause, or causes, which actually led to this first grand apostacy of mankind, and effected this awful revolution in the nation of Eden. This is an in­quiry of moment, and productive of the most pointed, practical, and important instruction. It will afford the most sure ground of argument, in reasoning by analogy, and applying the substantial evidence of past events, and their consequences, in illustration of the nature of present facts and present prospects—bottomed upon these sure data, that, like causes under like circumstances, ever pro­duce like effects. What then were the cause, or causes, the subject of inquiry? The answer is as obvious, as the question is interesting. It state us in the face at the first glance. The moment we look at it, we see that the effectual, immediately influen­tial, [Page 10] and proximate cause, which led to the very first act of national degradation and misery, and revolutionized the garden of God, was—INFIDEL­ITY—Ye shall not surely die. This was the new god which then newly came up, which impelled and supported the hand of mother Eve, while she plucked the fruit of that forbidden tree, "whose mortal taste, brought death into the world, and all our woe." In this she literally sacrificed unto devils, and not to God—to gods whom she knew not.

To this awful catastrophe, other circumstances conspired, in predisposing, preparing, ripening, and effecting the plan of the tempter. It seems that a restless spirit of innovation, discontentment with present situation and an aspiring ambition to be more wise and happy was then, either for the first excited, or had previously taken root in the minds of the young nation. But all this, for aught that appears, might have been dispelled by the strong light of rea­son and conscience, and entirely subdued by the force of innate virtue, never have led to the fatal issue; had it not been for the officious aid of for­eign influence. A wicked, artful alien, a banished emigrant from the regions of bliss, foiled in a late attempt to subvert the government of Heaven, now wings his way to this new world, still bent on mis­chief, and finds means to introduce himself into the garden of innocence and peace. The young na­tion, unsuspicious of danger, and not dreaming of an enemy, were unprovided for a sudden attack, and indeed lay open to his wiles. The better to in­sure the success of his wicked enterprize, the villain chose not to appear in his true character, but assu­med the form of a serpent, and taking advantage of the weaker part of the community, the woman, who, by analogy, may be called the populace,—in this concealed and insidious manner, with all the fawning arts of deceitful intrigue, commences his attack. With much shew of disinterested friend­ship and generosity mixt with an air of wonder [Page 11] and surprize, he asks, "Yea hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Is it pos­sible that you should be thus unreasonably restric­ted? thus deprived of the essential rights of men and citizens? Eve answers in an honest statement of facts, as expressed in the text—"We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Her mind was not yet prepared for a compliance with the purpose of the tempter, until fired by the ideas of Liberty and Equality—He then throws off the mask, &. comes out open and bold in the principles of infidelity, and his blasphemous assertions of the divine tyran­ny, "And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be open­ed (or illuminated) and ye shall be as gods know­ing good and evil."

Here is the origin, and the very quintessence of Jacobinism. Never was a truer copy of an original drawn, than that which is marked out by the tongues, the pens, and the swords of the modern illuminators of mankind—the champions of Liberty and Equality, Health and Fraternity. Their whole system is a perfect paraphrase upon this text: They have even refined upon the cunning of Satan, and outdone him in his own arts. He contented him­self with denying GOD'S truth, and calling in ques­tion his goodness—while his followers have the su­perior effrontery of coming to the same thing in a shorter way—by denying his existence

With respect to our first parents, as the Most High, was both their GOD, and their King or civil Ruler, it is evident, the object of Satan in tempt­ing them to disobedience and rebellion, was noth­ing more nor less, than the absolute destruction of all religion, and of all civil government▪ And this too is the real object, the fervent wish, and [Page 12] grand design of that restless, indefatigable, disor­ganizing faction that have for years infested our country, and now begin their songs of triumph, in the fascinating prospect of successful views. But let them remember, (and blush, for their own, since they connot for their country's shame) that they have not the honor of originality, but are only copiers, plagiaries and servile imitator. This new god of their's which has newly come up, made his appearance in our world almost six thousand years ago; and though he had never before ap­peared in the same form, yet it is the same being, who in the shape of a serpent, then drove Adam out of Paradise.—Let them, therefore reflect, whether, it is not to him, rather than to GOD that they are sacrificing. The very system and creed of Jacobinism, was preached and enforced upon man­kind, by the grand adversary of GOD and man, in the infancy of the world.

For the conviction of every one, we will recur a moment to the sermon of this hellish preacher, and by expressing it a little more at large, and in modern language, endeavor more thoroughly to investigate its latent principles. Then let candor say, whether the paraphrase be not just.

TextTranslation
"And the ser­pent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die."The Bible is a forgery. The pretended prohibitions, warn­ings and threatenings of Heav­en, are the mere whimsies of imagination—idle bug-bears imposed upon the superstious credulity of mankind, the bet­ter to awe them into subjection to their masters. The natural right of man is to enjoy liberty uncontrolled—to eat of every tree in the garden without ex­ception, and indulge his appe­tites and passions, with unlim­ited [Page 13] freedom. And as to the ghostly distinction of virtue & vice, saints and sinners, re­wards and punishments, it is equally arbitrary—wholly un­founded in reason or nature. It is all a farce. Too long al­ready have you been gulled of your rightful liberty, by the pompous rant of Heaven and Hell. Death is an eternal sleep, where hope and fear are buried together, and neither sorrow, nor joy exist beyond it. The Sun of Liberty now shines. Awake from your long delu­sion and be free.
"For GOD doth know that in the day ye eat there­of, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil."You are held in ignorance of your rights by men in pow­er, whose interest it is to keep you in ignorance, the better to support their own pre-eminent and domination, and insure your subjection and servitude. For they know that in the very day these shackles are taken off, the blinding films of prejudice, fear, and superstition removed, and the arts of priestcraft and aristocracy cease to operate, your eyes will be opened to the knowl­edge of your just rights, the rights of Liberty and Equality—You will know that you are gods as well as they, as great, as wise and as good—that all men are equal—equally deserv­ing to rule—that all subordina­tion is tyranny, and all author­ity, [Page 14] however vested, exercised by one man over another is un­sufferable oppression; and that therefore their usurped domin­ion, must immediately tumble.—Would you then deserve well of your country, Eden must be revolutionized—no longer be a monarchy, but a republic, one and indivissble.—Assert your rights.—Expunge the tyranny of subordination. Rise superior to the restraints of law. Eat freely of the tree of knowledge in the midst of the garden. Say what you will, Do what you will. Write. print and publish what you will, true or false, provided your end be the destruction of all constituted authority. Shake off these imposing shackles of religion and government, by which the human mind is en­slaved, genius crampt, the freedom of inquiry fettered, the liberty of the press restrain­ed, and the source of human enjoyment and perfectibility, muddied and choaked up. Do this and receive the fraternal embrace.

The other passage of sacred writ comes next un­der consideration. In it we find the same sentiment expressed equally clear & pointed; and the theory of the tempter actually carried into practice. "They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came new­ly up, whom your fathers feared not." This is a [Page 15] part of that memorable song, which the great lead­er of God's ancient people, wrote and left on re­cord for the instruction and warning of his people: particularly to guard them against all future inno­vations upon their religion and government. It is to be viewed as the dying advice, and farewel ad­dress of that Israelitish Washington, of similar im­port and instruction with that of our American Moses.

In the passage we find the guilt of political apos­tacy, and the danger of an unreasonable spirit of inovation upon the ancient and approved usages, and institutions, religion and government of their fathers, painted in the most glaring colours; espe­cially when taken in connexion with the preceding and following context.

Originalcomment
Verse 15. But Jeshu­run waxed fat and kick­ed: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness: then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation.Here is described the insolent pride and arro­gance of prosperity—luxury and dissipation—immorality & profane­ness, ingratitude and contempt of God.
16. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.Profanation of divine institutions—subversion of the true religion—ut­ter corruption of mor­ality.
17. They sacrificed unto devils not to God, to gods whom they knew not, to new gods, that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.Jacobinism complete.
18. Of the rock that begat thee thou art un­mindful and hast forgot­ten [Page 16] God that formed thee.Pride and Ingratitude.
19. And when the Lord saw it he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons and daughters.The divine example held up for our imita­tion.
20. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be—Accordingly it is fully proved by experiment; we all see what their end is—Confusion and anar­chy, revolution and up­roar, rapine and murder.
—for they are a froward generation, children in whom is no faith.Disciples of Voltair; obstinate, incoraigible infidels.
21. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to an ger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people: I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.America, rejoicing in their successes—imbi­bing their principles—following their foot­stepts—resigning her national Independence, & hastening to the same fate.—This fate is point­ed out in what follows—
23 and 25. I will heap mischiefs upon them, I will spend mine arrows upon them. The sword without, & terror with­in shall destroy both the young man and the vir­gin, the suckling also with the man of grey hairs.Foreign and civil wars—the rage of faction—private and public assas­sinations. The system of terrorism—the indis­criminate slaughter of the guillotine, and all the horrors of the reign of Robespierre.

Such, citizens, is the cloud which now broods over our political horizon. These are the horrible prospects of democratic revolution. Here we be­hold [Page 17] in clear light, those new gods that have newly come up, whom our fathers feared not, and the sacrifices they require of their votaries. Here is the Tree of Gallic Liberty, and the fruit which it bears—that tree of knowledge of political good and evil, planted in the midst of our garden, around which so many of our infatuated countrymen are rallying, eager to comply with the advice of the tempter—hungering for the taste of its deadly fruit.

Let us now combine the instruction of both texts, under the following twofold arrangement.

1. As they primarily respect, the one our first pa­rents in the garden, and the other, the Israelites in the land of promise; so in applying them to our own country, we may consider America as the Canaan of the nations, and the Eden of the world.

2. in the midst of our national garden stands the tree of knowledge of political good and evil. Un­der this head I shall endeavour more particularly to expose the nature and properties of this tree, by pointing out, without tasting or touching a varie­ty of its fruits, and the national consequences of eating them.

As each of these divisions contains sufficient sub­ject for a volume, no more can be attempted in the limits of the present discourse, than the compila­tion of a kind of index to the system, hinting here and there at some of the more prominent parts▪ referring the rest to the information and good sense of my audience; and committing the improvement wholly to your patronage and care.

The knowledge, fellow-citizens, you all possess of the history and geography of our country—of its fertility and extent—its first settlement, rise and progress—its rapid population and improvement in all the beneficial arts of civilized life—its ad­vantages, wealth and resources natural and acqui­red—its dangers and deliverances—its privileges, immunities and blessings civil and religious, and [Page 18] in a word, its copious fund of all the means of hu­man enjoyment, and of every thing tending to make a nation great, powerful and independent, respected abroad, and happy at home; joined with a predilection for our native soil, the country which gave us birth, the religion of our fathers, and the government of our choice, under whose benign influence and protection, we have so long feasted on all the delights of social life, and the in­finitely variegated blessings of freedom, as men, as citizens, and as Christians; this knowledge, I say, which enlightens your minds, and this patri­otism which glows in your breasts, must supersede the necessity of any arguments or proofs upon the first head, simply for the purpose of information; a more sensible and thorough conviction only is wanting. Of the rich and distinguishing blessings which the great and beneficent Parent hath poured with such profusion into the lap of our country, none of us can be ignorant; and yet perhaps but few sufficiently prize them. My only object and wish, therefore, with respect to the blessings we hold under the Author of nature purchased by the blood and treasure of our country, is to inspire you with the strength of esteem and attachment for them, which the dangerous exigency of present circumstances require—sufficient to unite and im­pel our exertions to snatch them from the yawning vortex of atheism and anarchy.

We live in a land that may jnstly be styled the Eden of the world; and of all the trees of the gar­den we may freely and safely eat—one only excpt­ed, the tree of licentiousness and sedition, which alas is growing in the midst of the garden.

We live in a land flowing with milk and honey. And what articles of ejoyment is contraband? Noth­ing but wormwood and gall. We are forbiden on­ly to mingle bitter with our sweets. Our means of every national and political blessing are abundantly liberal, and nothing forbidden, but the mad priv­ilege of self destruction, for which however, many [Page 19] are contending, with a zeal equalled only by their malice and intrigue.

In the blessings of religion and government and all their happy fruits, our country appears to sym­bolize with the nation of Eden, and with the cho­sen defendants of Abraham, the fovoured inhabi­tants of the promised land. But like the former we are fast yielding to the artful suggestions of the tempter, aspiring to be gods knowing good and evil, and reaching forth after the forbidden fruit. Like Jeshurun too, we have waxen fat and kicked; lightly esteemed the rock of our salvation, and are sacrificing to new gods, that have come newly up, whom our fathers feared not.

Would time permit, it would be easy, and might be instructive and profitable, to sketch out a paral­lel, between ancient and American Israel. This general reflection, however, must not escape us, that, like them distinguished by the mercies of Heaven, and like them too apastatizing from the GOD of our fathers, we have reason to fear the like awful severity of divine judgments. For,

2. In the midst of our national garden, stands the tree of knowledge of political good and evil, This we are now more particularly to examine by the fruits it bears, and the effects of those fruits.

This tree, to the disgrace of our country, is in the midst of our political garden. It grows and flourishes only in the soil of human depravity. Its trunk is Infidelity. As it extends upward, it soon divides into two large main branches, and these are Atheism and Anarchy. These branches, however, the worshippers of the tree distinguish by different, and more specious names—the former they call the Age of Reason, and the latter, the Rights of Man; while with a very imposing air, they fondly call the body of the tree Liberty and Equality.

From these main branches aforementioned shoot out innumerable other smaller limbs and twigs. A few of which are such as the following—

[Page 20] Political regenerationpopular insurrectionspri­vate assassinationsPublic massacresRevolutionsRevolutionary tribunalsJacobin clubsNational ConventionsDirectoriesConsulsHealth and fra­ternityBulletins and GuillotinesRequisitionsDouceursForced loansForeign robberyEgyp­tian crusadesSelf adjurationPublic debaucheryPrivate and national perfidyTerrorismPatriot­ism (Parisian civism Republican Sabbath (a drunken decade)—Republican feasts (Sans Cullotides)—Republican baptism (water-murder) Goddess of Reason (a naked strumpet—Republican Psalms (Marsellois▪ Carmagnole, Ca Ira) Law of nations (the art of plunder)—National faith (diplomatic skill)—National honor (Revenge) National friend­ship (L'argent)—Morality (contempt of shame)—P ublic virtue (civic oaths)—private virtue (a child's rattle—Death, an eternal sleepReligion (priestcraft)—Government (tyranny)—Destruction to the enemies of Liberty and Equality—Universal domination.

It will be ojected, perhaps, that this rold' equi­page is the description of a foreign tree. True. But let us not flatter ourselves too far with the good­ness of our own soil. The nature and properties of this tree are not altered or improved by soil or climate. If this evil actually exist in our country, similar causes will produce similar effects. If it be the same species of tree that is now growing in our political garden, we may fairly conclude, that its branches and fruit will be, for substance, the same in both hemispheres.

Before we particularize these fruits, I cannot but [...] a striking similarity between their effects [...] votaries, and the effects of the fruit of the original tree of knowledge upon the inhabitants of Eden. When our first parents had yielded to the arts of the tempter, impelled by conscious guilt, "they hid themselves among the trees of the gar­den." Just so the disciples of Jacobinism, as soon as they have eaten of the forbidden fruit, immedi­ately [Page 21] skulk, and mingle themselves with the mass of good citizens, endeavor to hide themselves, and carry on all their nefarious operations in the dark­ness and secrecy of intrigue.

Nearly allied to this is another circumstance. "Adam and Eve knew that they were naked and sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." And what are the aprons of Jacobins by which they strive to conceal the nakedness and de­formity of their real views and intentions? The figleaf professions of pure republicanism—flimsy, but specious pretexts of zeal for the public good—high sounding attachment to the principles of the con­stitution—a patriotic concern for the liberties of their country, and ranting declamation against un­constitutional measures.

One circumstance further, in which the copy symbolizes with the original, and the character is complete. An inflexible obstinacy in wrong. Like the ruins of the original apostacy, all human means appear ineffectual to reclaim them. They are wil­fully blind to all the true beauties of government—dead in every principle and practice of political er­ror and mischief. The means of persuasion ad­dressed to them are thrown away. The most pow­erful arguments are vain; and the knowledge of facts before their eyes makes not the least impres­sion. I much doubt, whether among all that class of citizens, a single instance of political conversion can be produced.

A few of the principal fruits of the Jacobinic tree, I shall now briefly mention; for endless would be the task to recount them all.

1. One of the practical principles which appears as a fruit upon this tree, in tendency destructive of the social compact, is, that the restraints of gov­ernment, however constitutional, are infringements upon the natural rights of man. Hence, no dis­tinction between liberty and licentiousness—be­tween the rights of the governing and the govern­ed: hence, the ground of subordination is explo­ded, [Page 22] and liberty and government set at irrecon­cileable variance: and hence too, originates that mistaken maxim or motto, Liberty and Equality, taken in the most unlimited sense; from which, as the first principle and foundation stone of the whole system, flow all its absurd and disorganizing prin­ciples and practices, in the most abundant profu­sion. The

2d Fruit, growing upon the same cluster, is an ungenerous, unreasonable distrust of constituted authority, a total want of confidence in civil rulers. The functionaries of civil government, must have no power to do good, so certain it is, they will a­buse it and do mischief. A man chosen to civil office, however fair and unimpeachable his charac­ter for moral and political integrity, before his election, yet commences the downright villain, and the faithless tyrant as soon as ever he begins to act in his public character: And though he legis­lates for himself, as well as his constituents, and lays no burden upon them, but what he equally lays upon himself, his measures are all aristocratic and oppressive. And hence the Idea adopted as a practical, if not an avowed principle, that the con­stituted authorities are not the organs of the public will; and that the acts of government are not, in the first instance, of any binding force, but only as the people at large are pleased to approve of them and submit to them.

Upon this very ground, pretending themselves to be the people, sprang up the Democratic Societies for a check upon government—or in other words, as a third house of legislation, paramount to both houses of Congress—assuming the right of canvas­sing and censuring all their proceedings, and neg­ativing a bill that has passed both houses, and re­ceived the executive sanction and signature.

3d Fruit. That religion and government have no connection. Government is not to be influenced or guided by the principles of religion; nor is re­ligion, [Page 23] nor religious institutions intitled to the fos­tering care of government. Hence, to be divested of all religious sentiment is an excellent qualifica­tion in a civil ruler. No matter what his creed—if he be an infidel or Atheist, so much the better, provided he be thoroughly imbued with the prin­ciples of Jacobinism, and supremely devoted to the cause of France. And hence too, the cry of priest­craft is already set up. Ministers of the gospel, cannot teach their people how to conduct them­selves as peaceable good subjects of a free and hap­py government, and warn them to shun the rocks which threaten the destruction of their country, but lo! they are the hirelings of men in place—preaching politics instead of religion, and grasping, for sooth, after authority and power. The

4th Fruit of this tree, is a blind, stupid, sottish admiration of the government of France, in all its vertiginous motions, windings revolutions, and abominations. A spirit of championism to justify, or to the utmost to palliate all their follies and ex­cesses, and their acts of national injustice and vil­lainy; particularly towards our own country.

5th Fruit. The absurd acknowledgement of an infinite debt of gratitude to France—under the mask of whichch they would fain involve us in all the horrors of the Europen war; by precipitating our country to take arms in the cause of France; and by yielding to all the solicitations and intrigues of the tempter, to surrender our national peace, freedom, wealth and independence, after the ex­ample of Holland, as the smallest token of obli­gation.

6th Fruit. An inveterate hatered against constitu­ted authorities, and all the principal and most wor­thy officers in administration of the federal govern­ment. In the prosecution of this, all the arts of insinuation, secret intrigue, personal invective, and the shameless abuse of open lying defamation, through the medium of tongues, pens books and newspapers are the worthiest means employed.

[Page 24] 7th Fruit. A constant opposition, and noisy se­ditious clamour against all the measures of govern­ment without distinction;—imputing them to the worst of motives, and as designed to effect the worst of ends—to British influence—to oppressive views, and ultimate aims to subvert the liberties of our country. Their opposition seems more particularly levelled against those measures of government which are specially calculated to secure our peace abroad, and tranquility at home—to guard against foreign aggression, and internal sedition and re­bellion. Witness the mad uproars of democratic fury against the British treaty—the clamors against the alien and sedition laws; and the means of pro­viding for the national defence by equipping a na­val force, and raising a land army.

But strange and unaccountable as it is, this Jac­obinic faction is now prevailing in our country, and even assuming the air of triumph. Both in con­versation and newspapers, marks of exultation are discoverable; and the certainty of a Jacobinic ad­ministration, as the fruit of the next election, is avowed by every mouth, and scattered through ev­ery state.—What the consequence of such an event will be, does not require the spirit of prophecy to foretel, but the extent of the evil baffles the powers of human numbers to calculate. In the train may be counted the destruction of the government, un­der which we are now free, prosperous and happy—the desolation and pillage of our couutry, and our very soil soaked with the blood of its inhabitants.

I cannot do better justice to the subject, nor to my own feelings, than by reciting a pretty lengthy extract from that excellent public address lately made by a very respectable character, high in the councils of America; whose means of information none can doubt, and whose tried integrity, and long and faithful public services, justly entitle him to the esteem and confidence of his country: I mean the honorable Speaker of the House of Rep­resentatives.

[Page 25]

It is now eleven years since the present gov­ernment has commenced its operations. During this time, I will not say that all its measures have been perfect, for it has been conducted by human agents. I will however declare it has not erred from intention—it has committed no acts from in justice and oppression—it has never wantonly im­posed any public burden. On the contrary in the imposition of those it deemed indispensible, it has sought every alleviation, in its power. It re­ceived the charge of our public affairs at a time when by the imbecility of our former system, the reputation which our nation had acquired by its glorious and successful struggle for freedom and independence was almost annihilated; when con­fidence, public and private was almost destroyed, when states had become the rivals of each other; and legislative hostility was not only declared, but vigorously prosecuted by them; when our fede­rative importance was derided and insulted, and we were fast becoming, not indeed in name, but in fact, the colonies of the maritime nations of Europe; and when loaded, as the people, were, with taxes, and universally complaining of their weight and burden, instead of a diminution of the debt, the interest accumulated, and unpaid, was nearly the amount of one half the principal.

Receiving the charge of our national interests, under these circumstances—having a new and un­tried system to put into motion—having provision to make for a large debt, the price of our free­dom and independence; for which the former government had been found inadequate—and having by its own wisdom, without the aid of pre­cedent by which to regulate its course, to devise the means of executing a constitution, which was intended to form a more perfect union, establish ins­tice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the com­mon desence, promote the general welfare, and se­cure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity; [Page 26] surely the men on whom this mighty task was devolved, had a right to expect from a generous people, a candid construction of their honest in­tentions. A just review of the effects which have been produced by the progress of their labors, will determine, how far they are intitled to in­dulgence or approbation.

The govornment has had to contend with dif­ficulties which were neither foreseen nor expected; for who could have believed that in less than ten years, we should have to defray the expence of suppressing two insurrections, raised by the artful misrepresentations of wicked men? Yet this, to the disgrace of our country has been the case. We have been obliged to sacrifice treasure to purchase peace with the powers of Barbary, and to redeem our citizens there from slavery. We have been at great charge in sustaining a long and expensive Indian war, and in the protection of our frontiers—we have suffered immensely by the plunder of our commerce; we have fortified our ports and harbors; we have replenished our magazines, and we have created a very considerable navy. Cred­it, public and private is restored. Our naviga­tion is infinitely extended; our tonnage now ex­ceeding that of Great Britain, at the commence­ment of the present reign. Yet our debt at the beginning of the present year, was four millions less, than at that of 1791, when we first began the payment of the interest. But what is infinitely more dear to humanity, under circumstances of extreme irritation, such has been the temper, the moderation, and magnanimity of the government that peace has been preserved, and we have kept ourselves seperated from the scenes of horror which are desolating Europe. It is too soothing to the honest pride of an American, that all men, our own degenerate citizens, and jacobin renega­does from other countries among us, excepted, speak in terms of respect and honor of the con­duct [Page 27] of our government. Is not this, my fellow-citizens, when it can with truth be added, that it all has been effected without one act of tyranny or oppression, a glorious reverse of our situation in 1789? Yet have not all these things secured to the government the affections of the people, or itself against the malignant enterprises of its en­emies. I speake not now of New-England; that is, I trust, essentially sound. But at this moment it is a doubt, whether, throughout the nation, the friends or the enemies of the government are the most numerous. How has this been effec­ted? To give a full answer to this question, would require a history in detail of the opposition with all its windings and turnings, from the meeting of the federal Convention, to the present day. Suffice it to say, that the party, unsteady in all things else, in their attention to two objects, have been undeviatingly pertinacious—in their malig­nant slander of the character of those, whom they believe possessed the public confidence, and in their misrepresentation of the measures of gov­ernment. As an instance of the first, we cannot but remember, the great the good, the glorious Washington, the pride of our country, the orna­ment of human nature. Him they represented as ambitious, altho he never sought, but always shunned public office—as the tool of Great Britain, altho he had severed America from her empire—as a man of no religion, although no one was more respectfully observant of religious duties. In short for his most eminent virtues, they charged against him the opposite vices. At the same time they have directed the most gross and slanderous abuse against all his friends, and those whom they deemed the most influential support­ers of his administration.

With regard to the measures of government, if its enemies may be credited, it has performed no one meritorious act, but its whole conduct [Page 28] has been mischievous. Endless would be the task, to expose and correct all the vile slanders which have been wantonly lavished upon it; nor is the attemp necessary—instances enough will occur to the recollection of every man who feels for the honor of his country, or perceives his own interest to be connected with the preservation of the constitution. It will be sufficient to say that the government has been charged with con­duct, faithless as it respected our foreign connex­ions—insidious and traiterous as it related to the domestic administration. By these means, alarms and suspicions have been created, a government, I will not say perfect, but honest and patriotic, has been slandered, and the effects (for why should not the truth be declared?) have become­extensive and alarming. Your danger which is great, though not desperate, I have thought it my duty, among the last acts of my public life, to proclaim to you. GOD grant, that I may be mistaken in the magnitude of this danger; but I do most solemnly declare that my conviction is perfect, that it cannot be averted, but by being more extensively, than at present known, in this part of the United States.

Such, fellow-citizens, are the nature, proper­ties and fruits of the tree of Jacobinism. Such the fatal consequences of sheltering under its branches, and of listerling to the syren voice of the tempter in plucking, and tasting its deadly fruit! These are the new gods, that have come newly up, which our fathers feared not, and to which they were perfect strangers. They, tho' the tempest of the revolutionary war, under a national government, which, in itself, was little more than an advisory council of safety, united by their common inter­est, and their common danger, stood firm and im­moveable. The voice of Congress was heard with affection and reverence. Their recommendations had all the force of law. While wisdom and dig­nity [Page 29] attended their steps, public confidence gave energy to all their measures.—And why, in the name of wonder, why, under a government which unites energy with freedom, built upon a Constitu­tion, designed among other important ends "to form a more perfect union, and insure domestic tranquility." when threatened with the most tre­mendous mischiefs of the opposite evils, why does not the common danger again unite us in the com­mon cause, and inspire us with the same resolu­tions, as with one heart, and one soul, to maintain our excellent government, preserve our national happiness, and pour confusion upon its foes? For believe me Citizens, our dangers are not visionary and trifling, but real and formidable. Never was a period in the whole course of the revolutionary war, in which our danger was more imminent and awful; and in which the happiness and the very ex­istence of our country was in a more alarming and critical situation. It is high time therefore, for us to awake from our lethargy, and attend to the means of our safety—lest, while we are dreaming of our nation's glory, celebrating her independence, and affecting to dispise the intriguing vigilance of our internal enemies, sudden destruction fall upon us, and that without remedy. It becomes us not to sink down into the torpor of inaction and supine­ness, and despair of the Commonwealth, because evils are at the door, and dangers stare us in the face. Such was not the conduct of our fathers, whose virtues we admire and celebrate—this was not the way in which they fought the battles of freedom, and secured and transmitted to their chil­dren, the glorious legacy of independence. No. Their zeal increased as dangers and difficulties in­creased; and their fortitude rose paramount to ev­ery discouragement.

Our government, citizen, is peculiarly found­ed on public virtue. It lives, it exists in the public sentiment, and public integrity.—The world is now [Page 30] looking on, and the dubious experiment is now trying, whether there be virtue enough in human nature to support a free Republican government. The [...] of our government will forever decide the question. And evident it is, if we do not secure the foundation; if we tamely suffer that to be sapped and undermined, the fair superstructure, must and will tumble, and all the hopes of our country, and of mankind, be buried in its ruins!—The con­sequences too, as to ourselves, are equally obvi­ous—if we cannot live under a free government, we must, and shall have a despotic government.

Let it ever be remembered, citizens, as a princi­ple of the first magnitude and importance; let it be engraved on your hearts, as with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond, that, ALL OUR DANGER ORIGINATES FROM OURSELVES. Not all the foreign powers on earth combined against us, can effect our ruin, without our own aid. If Ame­rica fall, and add another example to the long melancholy list of departed Republics, she will owe her destruction to her own hands.

The present day, therefore, is a day for action and alarm, and not for security and sloth. It is a day which tries men's souls. It is a cause in which there are not, there cannot be any neuters. "He that is not with us, is against us, and he that gath­ereth not with us, scattereth abroad." Mark the temporizing, lukewarm patriot for a decided foe. His professions of patriotism, are as hollow and as blasting as the east wind. To temporize with the enemies of government by any conciliatory mid­way concessions is dastardly—it is to kick about in sport our father's ashes. To discover a luke. warm stoical apathy when the happiness of our country, and every thing dear and valuable on this side Heaven is at stake, is worse than treason.—If we would shew ourselves worthy of our ances­ters—if we would escape the execrations and curses of posterity, we must attend to the means of our [Page 31] political salvation, and be up and doing without delay. We must cleave to the GOD of our fath­ers, and not sacrifice to those new gods, that have come newly up, whom our fathers feared not. We must venerate the institutions and usages of our ancestors, both religious and civil. We must faithfully instruct our children in the principles of true religion, and true liberty. We must observe GOD'S Sabbaths, and reverence his sanctuary, We must preserve the fountains of public honors and offices, pure and unsullied, and with consci­entious patriotism exercise the high privilege of freemen, in the choice of our civil rulers. We must rally around the standard of our government, pledging in its support, after the example of our revolutionary fathers, "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." And to every insinuation of the tempter, let us make this determined reply "we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the gar­den; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, GOD hath said, ye shall not eat of it, ueither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

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