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ought to thank God for the wisdom and virtue of living under a good government; for a good government is the first of national duties. It is indeed a happiness, and one which demands our most grateful thanks, to be born under one which spares us the trouble and hazard of changing it: but a people born under a good government will probably not die under one, if they conceive of it as of an indolent and passive happiness, to be left for its preservation to fortunate conjunctures, and the floating and variable chances of incalculable events : our second duty is to keep it good.

Amongst our national faults, have we any instances of cruelty or oppression to repent of? Can we look round from sea to sea, and from east to west, and say that our brother hath not aught against us? If such instances do not exist under our immediate eye, do they exist anywhere under our influence and jurisdiction? There are some, whose nerves, rather than whose principles, cannot bear cruelty; like other nuisances, they would not choose it in sight, but they can be well content to know it exists, and that they are indebted for it to the increase of their income, and the luxuries of their table. Are there not some darker-colored children of the same family, over whom we assume a hard and unjust control? And have not these our brethren aught against us? If we suspect they have, would it not become us anxiously to inquire into the truth, that we may deliver our souls? But if we know it, and cannot help knowing it, if such enormities have been pressed and forced upon our notice, till they are become flat and stale in the public ear, from fulness and repetition, and satiety of proof; and if they are still sanctioned by our legislature, defended by our princes-deep indeed is the color of our guilt! And do we appoint fasts, and make pretences to religion? Do we pretend to be shocked at the principles or the practices of neighboring nations, and start with affected horror at the name of Atheist? Are our consciences so tender, and our hearts so hard? Is it possible we should meet as a nation, and knowing ourselves to be guilty of these things, have the confidence to implore the blessing of God upon our commerce and our colonies, preface with prayer our legislative meetings, and then deliberate how long we shall continue human sacrifices? Rather let us

Never pray more, abandon all remorse. Let us lay aside the grimace of hypocrisy, stand up for what we are, and boldly profess, like the emperor of old, that everything is sweet from which money is extracted, and that we know better than to deprive ourselves of a gain for the sake of a fellowcreature.

A Discourse for the Fast, April 19, 1793.


We should do well to translate this word WAR into language more intelligible to us. When we pay our army and our navy estimates, let us set down-so much for killing, so much for maiming, so much for making widows and orphans, so much for bringing famine upon a district, so much for corrupting citizens and subjects into spies and traitors, so much for ruining industrious tradesmen and making bankrupts, so much for letting loose the demons of fury, rapine, and lust within the fold of cultivated society, and giving to the brutal ferocity of the most ferocious its full scope

range of invention.

We shall by this means know what we have paid our money for, whether we have made a good bargain, and whether the account is likely to pass—elsewhere. We must take in, too, all those concomitant circumstances which make war, considered as battle, the least part of itself. We must fix our eyes, not on the hero returning with conquest, nor yet on the gallant officer dying in the bed of honor(?)—the subject of picture and of song—but on the private soldier, forced into the service, exhausted by camp-sickness and fatigue; pale, emaciated, crawling to an hospital with the prospect of life, perhaps a long life, blasted, useless, and suffering. We must think of the uncounted tears of her who weeps alone, because the only being who shared her sentiments is taken from her: no martial music sounds in unison with her feelings; the long day passes, and he returns not. She does not shed her sorrows over his grave, for she has never learnt whether he ever had one. If he had returned, his exertions would not have been remembered individually, for he only made a small imperceptible part of a human machine, called a regiment. We must take in the long sickness, which no glory soothes, occasioned by distress of mind, anxiety, and ruined fortunes. These are not fancy-pictures; and if you please to heighten them, you can every

you do it for yourselves. We must take in the consequences, felt perhaps for ages, before a country, which has been completely desolated, lifts its head again: like å torrent of lava, its worst mischief is not the first overwhelming ruin of towns and palaces, but the long sterility to which it condemns the tract it has covered with its stream. Add the danger to regular governments, which are changed by war, sometimes

to anarchy, and sometimes to despotism. Add all these, and then let us think when a general, performing these exploits, is saluted with “Well done,


one of

good and faithful servant,” whether the plaudit is likely to be echoed in another place.

In this guilty business there is a circumstance which greatly aggravates its guilt, and that is the impiety of calling upon the Divine Being to assist us in it. Almost all nations have been in the habit of mixing with their bad passions a show of religion, and of prefacing these their murders with prayers and the solemnities of worship. When they send out their armies to desolate a country and destroy the fair face of nature, they have the presumption to hope that the Sovereign of the Universe will condescend to be their auxiliary, and to enter into their petty and despicable contests. Their prayer, if put into plain language, would run thus: “God of love, father of all the families of the earth, we are going to tear in pieces our brethren of mankind, but our strength is not equal to our fury; we beseech thee to assist us in the work of slaughter. Go out, we pray thee, with our fleets and armies; we call them Christian, and we have interwoven in our banners and the decorations of our arms, the symbols of a suffering religion, that we may fight under the cross upon which our Saviour died. Whatever mischief we do, we shall do it in thy name; we hope, therefore, thou wilt protect us in it. Thou, who hast made of one blood all the dwellers upon the earth, we trust thou wilt view us alone with partial favor, and enable us to bring misery upon every other quarter of the globe.” Now if we really expect such prayers to be answered, we are the weakest, if not, we are the most hypocritical, of beings.

The same Discourse.


O hear a pensive prisoner's prayer,

For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut

Against the wretch's cries!
For here forlorn and sad I sit,

Within the wiry grate;
And tremble at the approaching morn,
Which brings im

ng fate.
If e'er thy breast with freedom glowed,

And spurned a tyrant's chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force

A free-born mouse detain!


· Found in the trap where he had been confined all night by Dr. Priestley, for the sake of making experiments with different kinds of air.

O do not stain with guiltless blood

Thy hospitable hearth!
Nor triumph that thy wiles betrayed

A prize so little worth.
The scattered gleanings of a feast

My frugal meals supply ;
But if thine unrelenting heart

That slender boon deny
The cheerful light, the vital air,

Are blessings widely given;
Let Nature's commoners enjoy

The common gifts of Heaven.
The well-taught, philosophic mind

To all compassion gives;
Casts round the world an equal eye,

And feels for all that lives.
If mind-as ancient sages taught

A never-dying flame,
Still shifts through matter's varying forms,

In every form the same;
Beware, lest in the worm you crush,

A brother's soul you find;
And tremble lest thy luckless hand

Dislodge a kindred mind.
Or, if this transient gleam of day

Be all of life we share,
Let pity plead within thy breast

That little all to spare.
So may thy hospitable board

With health and peace be crowned;
And every charm of heartfelt ease

Beneath thy roof be found.
So when destruction lurks unseen,

Which men, like mice, may share,
May some kind angel clear thy path,

And break the bidden snare!


O born to soothe distress and lighten care,
Lively as soft, and innocent as fair!
Blest with that sweet simplicity of thought
So rarely found, and never to be taught;
Of winning speech, endearing, artless, kind,
The loveliest pattern of a female mind;
Like some fair spirit from the realms of rest,
With all her native heaven within her breast;
So pure, so good, she scarce can guess at sin,
But thinks the world without like that within;
Such melting tenderness, so fond to bless,
Her charity almost becomes excess.
Wealth may be courted, Wisdom be revered,
And Beauty praised, and brutal strength be feared;
But Goodness only can affection move,
And love must owe its origin to love.


O thou, the Nymph with placid eye!
O seldom found, yet ever nigh!

Receive my temperate vow:
Not all the storms that shake the pole
Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul,

And smooth unaltered brow.
O come, in simple vest arrayed,
With all thy sober cheer displayed,

To bless my longing sight;
Tby mien composed, thy even pace,
Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,

And chaste subdued delight.
No more by varying passions beat,
O gently guide my pilgrim feet

To find thy hermit cell;
Where in some pure and equal sky,
Beneath thy soft indulgent eye,

The modest virtues dwell-
Simplicity in Attic vest,
And Innocence with candid breast,

And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to distant years,
Fair opening through this vale of tears

A vista to the sky.
There Health, through whose calm bosom glide
The temperate joys in even tide,

That rarely ebb or flow;
And Patience there, thy sister meek,
Presents her mild unvarying cheek

To meet the offered blow.
Her influence taught the Phrygian sage
A tyrant master's wanton rage

With settled smiles to meet:
Inured to toil and bitter bread,
He bowed his meek submitted head,

And kissed thy sainted seet.

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