An Address, Delivered at Dedham, on the Fifty-Eighth Anniversary of American Independence July 4, 1834 (1834)

JULY 4, 1834.




  We must have cold hearts, if they do not beat with warm emotions on the return of this day; we must have dull spirits, if they be not stirred by the proud recollections of the anniversary we have met to celebrate.

  No party victory, no triumph of ephemeral interests, calls us together on this day. We have met to commemorate an event dear to humanity,—an event in which man throughout the world has a deep and lasting interest, in which he may find matter for sympathy, gratulation and hope. We have come together to celebrate Freedom’s Birth-day. Not the Birth-day of Freedom, merely, for this country, but for the world, for man universally.

  There was a deeper meaning in that Declaration of the Congress of ‘76, to which we have just listened, than that of the political independence of this country. That independence was indeed, declared, that independence has indeed been, won and defended by deeds of heroism and self-sacrifice, unsurpassed in the world’s history, but it enters for only a small affair into what should occupy our thoughts on this day. The struggle between the then feeble colonies and the mother country, deserves all the eulogiums it has received, but we are not here merely to recall it. A higher and a holier triumph than that of arms, or even that of the political independence of any country, excites the warm emotions of our hearts and calls forth our sympathy. We celebrate the triumph of humanity. No limited horizon confines us to-day. A boundless heaven spreads out over us and the whole human race comes within the scope of our vision.

  I pray you, Fellow Citizens, not to take a narrow view of the American Revolution. There was more in that Revolution than the American and British armies. The past and the future were there. The spirit of immobility and the spirit of progress met there in terrible conflict; humanity all entire, was there, and ours was hut the battle ground where it conquered the power to take another step forward in its eternal career of improvement. In that Revolution there were debated not merely the interests of a few colonists and their descendants, but man’s whole future was debated and decided. We should then look beyond the battle ground, beyond the contending armies, to the cause then in question, to the principle which came out from the battle triumphant. To that cause, to that principle, sacred be this day, Sacred be this day, not merely to military triumph, not merely to deeds of heroism, nor of patriotism, but to the progress of the human race, to the political redemption and social installation of humanity.

  The cause in question fifty-eight years ago this day, was that of the human race, the principle then declared was the equality of mankind. “All men are created equal,” is the noble sentence that embodies the doctrine contended for by the Congress of ‘76, maintained and triumphantly established by the revolutionary army. I will not say that at that epoch, the assertion “all men are created equal,” was suspected of the deep and full meaning we now assign it. I am not certain that the signers of the Declaration of Independence intended to assert by it any thing more than the political equality of different communities, and the right of each community to choose its own form of government. But Providence makes men the unwitting instruments of advancing his designs, and often puts into their mouths, words big with a meaning they little suspect, and sometimes with a meaning they are little able to appreciate. The time had come for the great principle of equality for which Christianity during so many ages had been paving the way, to be ushered in and set to work in the affairs of the world; and Providence so overruled it, that our fathers in asserting the rights of communities, asserted those of individuals, and in declaring one community’s rights equal to those of another, uttered that soul-kindling truth, man equals man, man measures man, the world over.

  I know of no topic more appropriate to this day than this great truth of man’s equality to man. I therefore ask your indulgence to some desultory, perhaps common place, comments upon it, which I am desirous to bring before you, and which I should be glad to bring before the whole American people.

  In speaking of equality, I pray you not to misinterpret me. There is a sense in which it is not true that “all are created equal.” It is not true that all men are born with the same capacities. There are original differences, intellectual, moral and physical, which no education that ever has been and which I venture to predict, none that ever will be devised can overcome. One child is born weak and sickly, another strong and healthy; one is quick and another is slow to learn; one can take in only isolated facts, dwell only on the minuteness of detail, another rises to causes and delights to trace first principles; one has no perception of the beautiful; sees nothing in nature to admire, and never rises to contemplate any thing higher than food, clothing and shelter; another seizes upon the ideal of the beautiful, detaches it, re-embodies it, in forms before which all real beauty grows pale; one from the earliest moment is sweet tempered, another is sour tempered; one from a very early period is deeply affected by religious considerations, draws all his delight from meditating on God, the human soul, heaven and eternity, another cannot be made to think seriously of any thing which goes above or beyond this present life. In these and a thousand other instances men are not, and we do not believe they ever will be, equal. We infer this from all experience, and from all acquaintance with human organization, and with the reciprocal action of mind and matter. And I by no means mean to assert that in these respects and in others of a like kind, “all men are created equal.”

  When I contend for equality, that all men are created equal, I mean that all have a common nature, are brothers of the same family, heirs of the same inheritance, having the same general faculties, the same general wants, and the same general elements of knowledge and vi1tue. I mean that all have equal rights, that in all our social intercourse and relations, in all our governmental and educational provisions, man should be considered as measuring man. In a word, I mean that. One man has no rights over another which that other has not over him, and that no one should have the power to derive any benefit from another without giving to that other a full, an exact equivalent.

  I here mean something more than that specious kind of equality which English and French statesmen and some even in our own country, would give us, that is, simply equality before the laws. There are too many at home and abroad who have no higher notions of equality, or at least who contend that no other equality is practicable or consistent with social order. I am not able to express the abhorrence I feel for this doctrine. It is plausible, but it has no soundness. Its terms are popular, but its spirit is consistent with a very gross system of privilege. It is by doctrines like this that the enemies of the people contrive to mislead and enslave them.

  There may be a great and most mischievous inequality, even in those countries where no man is above the laws. Laws may be framed so as to be very unequal in their influence upon different classes of society, and that too, without bearing on their face the marks of the least inequality. One class of community may have no temptations to steal, but very great temptations to defraud, to overreach, to oppress the poor; another class may be strongly and almost exclusively, tempted to steal; a law then punishing fraud, overreaching, or oppression, with a simple fine, while it punished stealing with death or imprisonment, would be any thing but equal in its practical effect. And in fact, even in those countries where equality before the laws is recognized, the laws are generally framed so as to fall with the most tremendous weight upon offences to which the poor are almost exclusively exposed.

  Imprisonment for debt is a case in point. The rich, the poor, the honest and the dishonest are before this law, so far as its face is concerned, equal. But the rich man cannot be imprisoned for debt unless it be his choice; the dishonest have generally address enough to escape, and consequently to all practical purposes, it is a law exclusively against the honest poor man. Is there not here, and in cases like these, a distinction, and a most odious distinction tolerated by government? Yet in these and a thousand other cases that might be mentioned, all are equal before the laws. He who transgresses the law incurs its penalty. And what boots it that it is so, if the laws are made so as to strike only one part of community, and that too, the part it ought especially to protect?

  I mean then by equality, if not that all men have equal capacities, at least something more than equality before the laws. I not only ask for equality before the laws, but for equal laws—for laws which shall not only speak the same language to all, but which shall have the same meaning for all, the same practical effect upon all. All have the same rights, and I ask that these rights be in no instance invaded, that all be in a sitt1ation to demand them, to defend them if attacked, and to enjoy them freely and fully.

  Those of our orators who have no higher ambition than to flatter the people, inflate national vanity, and show themselves off in rounded periods, tell us that equality, even in this broad sense, is already gained in this country. But no such thing we have equality in scarcely any sense worth naming. Will you pretend that we are equal as long as a large portion of our community lies at the mercy of any political demagogue who knows how to veil his liberticide designs under a pretended love of the dear people? Will you say that we are equal while all our higher seminaries of learning are virtually closed to all except the rich? Equal while we have those who are born with the right to live in luxury and idleness, while there are others who are born with only the right to starve if they do not work? Equal, while one part of community can and do lay under contribution the labor of the other, make it the means of their wealth and power, and the means too of riveting the firmer the chains of those who perform it? I allude not here to negro slavery. I allude to that marked distinction which exists all over the world and which is every day becoming more glaring in our own country, between the working men and the idlers, between those who produce and are poor and those who produce not and are rich; between those who perform all the productive labor and those who are crafty enough, enterprising enough, to obtain all its fruits. I allude here to what may seem to you no evil, but to me it is an evil, an evil of immense magnitude, one which lies at the bottom of nearly all the social evils which exist amongst us. And as long as this evil exists we are not free. There is a worm gnawing into the very heart of that tree of liberty which our fathers have planted.

  Is my language severe? Be it so. I am not here to flatter. I stand not here to boast what a free, enlightened and virtuous people we are. I would not utter a note of discord to mar the harmony which the recollections of this day should always produce; but I cannot avoid saying that we are not that free, enlightened and virtuous people our fourth of July orators and our political demagogues have made us believe we are. We have boasted too much. We must become more modest. Our freedom is written on paper, our equality is registered in our Constitutions, but of what avail is that, if it be not written in our hearts and registered in our souls?

  We have a constantly besetting sin. We compare ourselves not with our own future, but with the people and institutions of the old world. Because in some respects we are really less wicked than they, we infer that we are as good as we can or ought to be; because our institutions are really better than theirs we conclude they are the best we ought to desire. We flatter ourselves that because we have taken one step, that we have run the whole career of improvement; that because we have begun well, that we have nothing further to do but to applaud ourselves for what we have done. Here is our besetting sin. Here is the rock on which we are liable to split. We look backward, not forward; to what we have done rather than to what we should do, and compare ourselves with what others are instead of comparing ourselves with what we may and ought to be.

  God, in his providence, has assigned to the American people an important mission. He has given it us in charge to prove what man is, to develope his whole nature, and show of what he is capable. As the first step towards the completion of this mission, we are to bring out and carry into practice that grand, comprehensive principle, “All men are created equal.” This we have not yet done. Our mission is only begun. We have only started in the race, and let us not sit down and fold our hands as if we had reached the goal and won the race. But let us be aware that we have done nothing, if we stop where we are. Our motto must be,—“Onward, onward, till the work be done.”

  And do not, I entreat you hastily conclude, that all is done that can be done. Beware how you infer, because there never has been a greater degree of equality in any country than already exists in ours, that none greater is desirable or attainable. Beware, how you set bounds to human improvement. Providence, nature, nor grace has ever yet said to man in his progressive career, hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” We are in but the infancy of the world, in but the first, faint, dawnings of civilization. Time and the progress of events have it in charge to unfold and nourish in that creature man, now so weak, so contemned, a moral and social growth not yet dreamed of by the firmest of the believers in his indefinite perfectibility. There are wrapped up in the bottom of his soul, the germs of lofty and deathless energies, which go beyond, immeasurably beyond and above the strongest, the, he has as yet been able to exhibit. Far, far is he from having attained his full height. Let thought stretch its pinions and soar to the highest point it can reach and man in his upward flight shall yet rise above it.

  Let not this be doubted. There is in the belief of this a kindling power, a something which gives us a lofty enthusiasm and creates within us the energy to realize it. Let no one forget that one law of our nature, one which distinguishes us from the brute, is IMPROVEMENT. The beaver of to-day builds not his house with more skill, makes it not more convenient than did the heaver of four thousand years ago. He has not surpassed the first of his race. He knows no progress. But man has outstripped his ancestors. Generation improves upon generation, and the school boy of to-day is above the wisest of the Greeks. Let us not overlook nor underrate man’s power of progress. Let us not, when a noble object is proposed, one for which all the better part of our nature cries out, let us not be deterred from pursuing it by the objection, “It never has been, therefore it cannot be.” This is the cowardly sluggard’s objection. What! has there been no progress? Has there never been gained at one epoch nothing which did not exist before that epoch? What! have I only dreamed of the creations of science, of Industry, mid Genius? Is it a dream, that mariner’s compass which opens a pathway in the deep and brings together the most distant corners of the earth? Is it a dream, that ART OF PAINTING, an art that electrifies the mass of mind, creates a universe of thought and opens a medium of intercourse between all nations and all ages? Is it a dream, that bold navigator who discovered this new world, and led the way to this mighty republic and to all the civilized life on this western hemisphere? Is it a dream, those proud triumphs of science which have subdued nature, disclosed to us new worlds embedded in what were once counted simple elements, which have snatched the lightning from the clouds and guided the harmless fire? Is it a dream, the discovery and application of the wonders of Steam which makes the ships walk the sea regardless of wind or tide? Is it a dream, this free government, this splendid creation of human wisdom, which we so loudly and so justly boast, whose origin we this day commemorate? And yet all these are modern things. None of the ancients knew them. They have come out from christianity, and some of them have come up into life within our own memories. Either these are dreams, the flitting visions of a distempe1ed fancy, or things may take place at one epoch, which had no existence before it. In other words, there has been, there is, there may be, a progress. Man even in his infancy has done wonders, what will he not do in his manhood?

  Let us then bid adieu to the arguments of those who have eyes only for the past, and who exert themselves only to keep the human race from marching to its end. Let us bid adieu to the spirit of immobility and imbibe the spirit of movement, the spirit whose look is upward and whose motion is onward. The equality I have designated is not impracticable. It is a truth which we must bring out of the abstract and clothe with life and activity. God never made one portion of mankind to live in idleness, in uselessness, and in luxury, and another part to live in toil and want; he never made some to be masters and some to be slaves, some to live and grow rich by skilfully, not to say dishonestly, availing themselves of the labors of others—the many to be “hewers of wood and drawers of water” to the few. God has never done this. He created all men with equal rights, and made one capable of measuring another. He created all of “one blood,” made them to be brothers, fellow beings, to aid, not to worry and devour each other. This is a truth taught us from Heaven. It is a distinguishing doctrine, as it is one of the brightest signatures of the divine origin of Christianity. Christianity teaches it by declaring him alone the greatest who best deserves the human race. “He who would be greatest among you, let him become your servant.” And dare we say that here is a truth taught us, a duty enjoined upon us by religion itself, that is impracticable? And what is it that makes it impracticable, if it be so? It is nothing but our conviction that it is impracticable, nothing but the continual cry that it is impossible. It is this that unmans us and keeps us back in a condition we should have long since outgrown. To him that believeth all things are possible. If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might remove mountains. It is the want of faith, the want of full conviction in its practicability that renders it impracticable. Take hold of the work with both hands, let your minds, your hearts, your very souls be in it, and no matter how difficult it is, you will accomplish it; mountains will give way before you, and your path will become smooth and easy. Men can,—ay, men must, men will realize the equality for which I am contending. I see them pursuing it, I hear them crying out for it, and heaven and earth shall pass away sooner than they shall not obtain it.

  But they will gain it not by a miracle. It must, as must all improvements in man’s moral and social condition, be obtained by natural means, by the exertion of those powers which God has given us. Our present work is to realize this equality. How shall it he done? Important question have I asked—one on the right answer to which much depends for our country’s future and for the future of humanity. How shall we realize, not in our professions and in our paper constitutions, but in our social condition, intercourse and relations, that equality is recognized,—I will say taught, enjoined, in christianity, and adopted as the basis of our political institutions? We have not yet done it. There is a striking discrepancy between our practice and the theory we avow. We have borne witness to a degree of equality which we have not yet created. How shall we do it?

  Not by government alone. We cannot legislate our citizens into the equality we desire. Government, in fact, is much more limited in the sphere of its operations, than is commonly imagined. In its best state, its mission is mostly negative. It is charged merely to prevent one man from invading the rights of another; to maintain an “open field and fair play” to individual genius and enterprise. In countries overrun with despotism, a free government may seem to be the greatest good to be desired, the greatest that God can bestow; but our own experience may teach us that it does not embosom and necessarily bring along with it, every good. We have a free government. Here all offices are open to merit alone, and the whole body of the people are free to elect whom they will to be their servants or the agents of their power. But look at the men who sometimes fill high stations. Can you believe they are, one half of them, the choice of the people? I know the people may be deceived, but never so as to prefer some men who have filled some of the highest offices in their gift. We all know that party management, the intrigues of party leaders render the right of suffrage in, perhaps in a majority of cases where it is worth having, a nullity. A few individuals of one party got together and make a nomination, a few individuals of another party make another nomination, and my boasted right of suffrage is dwindled down to a choice between these two nominations. I may dislike them both, but unless I choose not to vote at all or throw my vote away, I must vote for one or the other.

  But pass over this, let all party management and party sins sleep in forgetfulness, suppose the people select the men they really prefer, always elect the very best men in the state or nation, and very little is gained. No matter how good laws are, they will remain on your statute books a dead letter unless demanded by the public; and the public if ignorant or immoral, or but feebly moral, will not be very likely to demand any very good laws. A community in which privilege obtains, in which inequality prevails, will not often be very unanimous, in demanding or in obeying laws which have an equalizing tendency, which seek the good of the poorest and most numerous class instead of that of the richest, smallest and most highly favored class.

  I value a free government, a popular government, ay, if you will, a democratic government, for I have not a feeling about me that is not democratic. But a free government is powerless without a free people. No matter how much freedom you incorporate into your paper constitutions, you can never have any more practiced than is written in the hearts and on the characters of the people. Is therefore expect little from government, I ask little, but to be let alone. Its nature is never to lead, but to follow. The people must precede it, opinion must go before it. If the people go right government cannot go wrong. If the people love right character, liberty and equality will be maintained, let what will be the character of the government, and whoever may be the men entrusted with its management. We sometimes express fears for our government, we sometimes fear that our free institutions may become a prey to some aspiring demagogue who will succeed in erecting a throne of despotism on the ruins of our temple of liberty. It may be so. But it will not be so because that demagogue is wicked, is talented and powerful; but because the people will have become corrupt, because liberty will no longer be written in their hearts, and because they will have ceased to have any freedom in their souls. It is, then, of comparatively little consequence, that fierce contention we witness among politicians. I view with almost perfect indifference the contests between the great leading parties which now distract our country. They are only struggles between those who have and those who want office. The country, humanity, moral and social progress are not in those struggles. We must leave them, and, to a certain degree, legislative enactments, take our stand upon higher and holier ground, and speak directly to the people as moral, intelligent, religious and social beings. We must dare look on truth and dare hold it up, that by its light there may be formed just such characters as we need to support our free institutions.

  I know of but one means of introducing the equality and of effecting that mora1 and social reform in our country and throughout the world, which every good man sighs and ‘yearns for, and that means is education. I do not mean ability to read and write, and cypher, with a smattering of geography and grammar, and the catechism in addition. I mean EDUCATION, the formation of character, the moral, religious, intellectual, and physical training, disciplining, of our whole community. Our common schools do not do this. They are better than nothing, but they do not educate us. Our higher seminaries may do something towards educating us, but little towards fitting us for our mission. They educate us to be fond of distinctions, to be fond of popularity, and to look with contempt on the people. And glad am I that no more of our community are able to give their children such an education.

  We want a republican education, an education which shall accustom the child from the first to see things valued according to their worth,—not in the market—but in themselves; an education which shall raise our children above the factitious distinctions ot society, which now pervert our judgments, and which shall teach them to value every man according to his intrinsic worth, without any regard to his position in society, and even without any reference to the length of his purse or to the fineness of his coat. In a word we want an education that shall breathe into the child that very spirit which dictated the assertion, “God has created all men equal;” that very spirit which filled the hearts, nerved the souls of our fathers and made them stake life, property and honor, in defiance of a transatlantic tyrant, and in defence of the rights of man—which shall breathe into the child the very spirit of that gospel which is glad tidings to the poor, which declares, “blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” that we all have one Father, and that we all are members of the same vast brotherhood of humanity-an education which shall make us feel that man wherever seen is our brother, woman wherever found is our sister, and he who injures a human being commits an offence against us, he who wrongs a man wrongs us, the arrow that wounds another’s heart has sped deep into our own—an education that shall make us good christians, give us firm and manly characters, consistent with truth and full of love to mankind.

  We have now no such education. We have indeed little support for liberty or morality. We have established a free government, but we have done comparatively nothing to preserve it. We have declared ourselves in favor of Freedom and left that Freedom to take care of itself. There is no such thing amongst us as educating our children in reference to their moral and social destination, in reference to those duties which devolve upon them as citizens of this republic—of this republic which God in his providence has appointed to be the school whence are to go out the doctrines and the men destined to regenerate the world.

  The education we now patronise, teaches us no doctrines of equality, none of philanthropy. Our first lesson is to make a good bargain, our second to get rich, our third to look out for ourselves, and our fourth and last is that if some are unhappy, if our wealth has been the occasion of others’ poverty, if unholy distinctions prevail, we must thank God we are not among the wretched, and the wretched must believe for their consolation, that the distinctions in society of which they complain, are, as a writer in a popular periodical has it, “the express appointment of God.”

  Long as such an education is the best we have, we cannot accomplish our mission, we cannot perform that grand and beneficent work which Deity has assigned us. The fact is, we forget the millions; we fix our eyes and the eyes of our children on the few. We covet and teach them to covet their wealth and their distinctions. We legislate for the few, not for the many. Our legislators seem not aware that there are such creatures as workingmen in existence, except in the penal part of their legislation. They legislate for capitalists, landholders, stockholders, corporations, master mechanics, and those generally who make use of the labors of others, but cry seldom for the journeyman mechanic, the laborers in your factories, and those generally who perform the physical labor of community, unless indeed they have some law with a severe penalty to enact; then, indeed, the workingman is by no means neglected. But in this I blame not our legislators. They seldom know any better. They do not know that such a thing as the people exists, or if they do, they know that they were raised to their dignity of legislators by deserting the people and that they must continue to desert or neglect them or lose it. This is an evil, and one that cannot be removed unless our children are taught that the people are the human race, and that he alone has any moral worth who devotes himself without resolve to their greatest good; unless we give to our children that republican education I have pointed out, and form them, not to despise the people, not to be masters of the people, but servants of the people, to raise themselves and to carry the people up with them.

  And not only a few children must be educated in this way, but all the children of our whole community. All need it, all have a right to it, all may demand it. Society is bound to give it, and if it does not it forfeits its right to punish the offender. And not one sex alone must be educated, but the children of both sexes. Woman’s is the more important sex, and if but one half of our race can be educated, let it be woman, instead of man. Woman forms our character. She is with us through life. She nurses us in infancy, she watches by us in sickness, soothes in distress, supports us in adversity and cheers us in the melancholy of old age. The rank determines that of the race. If she be high minded and virtuous with a soul thirsting for that which is lofty, true and disinterested, so is it with the race. If she be light and vain, with her heart set only on trifles, fond alone of pleasure—alas! for the community where she is so, it is ruined! Let all then, all the children of both sexes, have this republican education for which I contend. And all the coming generations may have it. We have only to will it. There is nothing we cannot do if we but will to do it. We talk much about education. We speak of its vast importance, of its absolute necessity, but seem to imagine that talking is enough. But we must will it. We must act. We must take hold of the work, take hold of it in earnest, put forth all our energies, and rest not till it be done.

  Let there be once established a system of equal, republican education, of an education for all the children of our land, whether rich or poor, male or female, an education which shall be such as our position in the moral, political, religious and philosophical world demands, and the equality on which I have dwelt will be obtained, our government will be firmly established, our free institutions will begin to unfold their beauty, man will prove that he is capable of self-government, humanity will disclose its mighty power of progress, and we shall have accomplished our mission. The light of our example will then reach the darkest corners of the earth, all nations will then turn towards us with admiration and for guidance. Freedom will be vindicated, liberty will become universal, all the world will be free, all will be peace, love, and progress towards perfection. Noble result! By the eye of faith I see the auspicious day when it shall be so, dawn on the world. I see the moment draw near, when man shall no longer see an enemy in man, when wars shall end, tyrannies be abolished, and oppression cease, and “every man sit under his own vine and fig tree with none to molest or make afraid.”

  Young men! ye who are full of the future, whose souls are full of energy, and whose hearts burn to do grand and glorious deeds, ‘tis yours to hasten that day. Your fathers have done nobly. They have begun a magnificent work, but it is yours to finish it. The mission of your fathers is ended. They have departed. Gone are they who so nobly dared, so bravely struggled, to gain you a country and liberty for the world! Gone are they who signed that immortal paper which has this day been read in our hearing. Gone are they who stood firm, in those days which “tried men’s souls.” I see but here and there one, lingering behind as if unwilling to quit the scene till they can bear some good tidings from you, their children, to those who have preceded them. And gone too is HE whose soul was full of chivalry, whose heart was full of the love of humanity, Liberty’s Representative and champion in two worlds! He is gone! and you are left alone. Alone, young men, to your own energies and philanthropy. A grand and comprehensive work is bequeathed you. The men of the revolution have given it you in charge to 1egenerate the world.—Prove yourselves equal to your mission. And ere long free principles and just practice will become universal; man will prove himself equal to his destiny, act worthy of his lofty nature and heavenly origin. Imbibe the spirit which animated the hearts and nerved the souls of your fathers fifty-eight years ago, and you will extend your influence from circle to circle till it spread over the whole of human society—and the song of freedom, of peace and love resound from every corner of the earth and rise in swellings trains to mingle with the full chorus of angels and the blest above.

  Young men! look forward with full faith to such a glorious consummation; fix your eyes upon it; march towards it, as steadily and as firmly as your fathers did to win the political liberty we now boast. Contemplate the inspiring vision; let it fill your souls with a noble enthusiasm, and believe nothing gained till you have realized it. Feel that you live only for man, and that your mission is to set him forward with more rapid strides towards that perfection after which his soul hungers and thirsts. Make this the end of all your exertions, and never tire in this work of philanthropy. Do this, and you will preserve your country free; do this and you will regenerate the world. Do this, and all posterity shall bless your memories, and God himself approve your conduct and welcome you to heaven.