« 上一頁繼續 »
archy. Is there one intelligent man in America, who seriously believes, that it is easier to turn our government into a monarchy than into a democracy? Actions speak louder than words. And the actions of our enemies declare, that they really believe it is much easier to introduce democracy than monarchy into these United States. We may all now know, which is the weakest side of our government; and which we ought to take the most care to guard against its enemies.
5. If the subverters of government have been justly described, then we have reason to conclude that we are now exposed to the arts and intrigues of such dangerous men. It is certain, that some among ourselves have employed their tongues and their pens to alienate the affections of the people from the government. But whether we are more in danger from men of our own, than from men of a foreign nation, may admit of a doubt. We know that the French republic has long been hostile to our civil constitution, which has been such a happy source of our national peace and prosperity. Their politicians have condemned its first principles, and represented it as calculated to destroy all civil liberty, and to introduce absolute despotism. Their ambassadors, consuls, and other emissaries, have industriously endeavored to sow the seeds of sedition among the people, and to alienate their affections from their able and faithful rulers. They have either written, or caused to be written and circulated through licentious presses, the most false and inflammatory pieces, to reproach those in administration, and render them universally odious and contemptible. They have originated self-created secret societies, in order to embarrass and stop the wheels of government. They have treated our envoys-extraordinary with intolerable neglect, and exhausted all their art and intrigue to betray them into measures at once destructive of our national honor, interest, and independence. And after they have done all this, they not only boast of detaching our affections from our government, but threaten us with the weight of their vengeance if we presume to support it. Surely these facts are suflicient to convince every candid, impartial man in America, that the French nation and all who approve of their measures are really aiming to subvert our government, and involve us in national ruin. It is time, therefore, for all classes of people to open their eyes, and attend to the present alarming situation of public affairs.
6. This discourse naturally suggests various measures which are proper to be used in support of our excellent constitution against the arts and intrigues of foreign and domestic enemies. Since these artful and designing men pretend that our govern
ment is bad, it is certainly proper in the first place to examine it for ourselves. The federal constitution will bear examination. It was framed by men of great abilities and political knowledge. It was, at first, submitted to the free and full discussion of the people. It is now in their hands, and they may examine it as deliberately and critically as they please. The best means of information upon the subject are within their reach. They may consult either men, or books, or both. But until they have properly informed themselves, it is extremely absurd to hearken to any complaints, which are so freely thrown out against the national government, by its foreign and domestic enemies. If people in general would only examine the first principles and constituent parts of the federal government with care and candor, we presume they would be fully convinced that no material or essential alteration could be made in it, without destroying its natural tendency to promote our national freedom and happiness. Could we, as a people, only be understandingly and heartily united in our attachment to our own government, it would strike a fatal stroke to the hopes and exertions of foreign and domestic disorganizers. Let us, therefore, use every proper method to receive and diffuse just ideas of governinent, and, if possible, effect a general harmony in political sentiments. If the friends of our constitution would labor as much to unite the people, as some do to disunite them, we might expect to see, very soon, one political opinion running through all the United States, and bidding defiance to those who wish to divide and destroy them.
It is farther necessary, in order to support our government, to place a proper confidence in those who administer it. They are the men in whom the majority of the nation is united, and in whom the wisdom of the nation is concentred. national wisdom is collected in our national council. The wisdom of individuals cannot operate to any advantage, only as it is conveyed to the head of the body politic. To the head of our nation we ought to look up, with confidence, for wisdom and direction. If our supreme rulers have not wisdom enough to manage the national concerns, the nation must perish for lack of knowledge. As individuals, we have no wisdom nor power to govern or defend ourselves. This our enemies know, and therefore they use so much art and sophistry to divide our councils, and lead us to withdraw our confidence from those, who alone can devise and carry into effect the means of our safety and happiness. It is of peculiar importance, at this day, to turn a deaf ear to the false and flattering language of the Absaloms, who are endeavoring to
steal away our affections; and to place a just confidence in the wisdom and integrity of those whom we have freely chosen to govern us. We have men of tried wisdom and integrity at the helm of government, in whom we have abundant reason to confide. There is not perhaps a man in the world who is superior to the President of these United States, in political wisdom, integrity and experience. If we cannot confide in him in the discharge of constitutional duties, in whom can we confide? And if we presume to act in concert with his secret and avowed enemies, what can we expect, but to fall into their power, and to experience their tender mercy, which has proved to be the extreme of cruelty, to millions of their deluded votaries?
But since all second causes are under the control of the supreme First Cause, it is our indispensable duty to place our supreme and ultimate dependence upon him. For after all our endeavors to disconcert the counsels of our enemies, it is in the power of the Supreme Disposer of all events to succeed or blast our united efforts. We ought therefore most sincerely and perseveringly to implore the blessing of God upon all our public and private exertions, to preserve our national freedom and happiness. He can either dispose our enemies to change their ambitious, sanguinary counsels, or turn them into foolishness.
There are weighty considerations which urge us to pursue these measures with vigor and perseverance. Let us consider that if we once lose our present constitution by the secret arts or open violence of our enemies, they will never suffer us to choose another. I know they promise to give us a better; and, like Absalom, flatter us with the phantom of liberty and equality. But let us beware of their arts, which have proved so fatal to others. How have they treated those nations, whom they have decoyed and conquered ? Have they given them liberty and equality ? No; they have given them nothing but equality in poverty, misery, and slavery. The French are ignorant of good government. They never enjoyed this invaluable blessing. They have experienced only tyranny, democracy, and anarchy. They are, notwithstanding their boasted refinement, mere novices in politics. They could not, if they would, give themselves, or any other nation, a free and efficient government. It is the height of folly in Americans, who have always enjoyed the largest portion of civil liberty, to rely upon any European nation, and especially upon the French, to teach them how to govern themselves. They have yet to learn of us, that “liberty with order," is the perfection of civil policy:
In this connection let us also reflect upon the peace and
prosperity which we have enjoyed under our present form and administration of government. Our national happiness has exceeded our most sanguine hopes and expectations. This all parties have been constrained to acknowledge. And while the friends of government have employed this as an argument in its favor, its enemies have been reduced to the wretched necessity of employing it as an objection against it. They tell us we are too prosperous. We are growing rich and great too fast. We are in danger of being ruined by our prosperity. This is undoubtedly true. But who can imagine that this is an argument against the excellency of our government? It was designed to raise our national prosperity as high as possible. And since it confessedly answers this noble and important purpose, we are under peculiar obligations to support it, and if possible, transmit it to the latest posterity. We shall be guilty of the basest ingratitude to God, and to those whom he raised up to give us our admirable constitution, if we entertain a thought of bartering it away for the Utopian scheme of liberty and equality. This is not a harmless but a fatal delusion. The bare experiment of it has cost the liberty and lives of millions. If we have the least spark of national wisdom or gratitude, we shall unite our efforts to preserve the grand palladium of our national happiness. And if we only do this, we have great reason to hope for success.
For we ought to consider, in the last place, that this is Emmanuel's land, in which he has planted his church, and maintained his cause by a series of signal interpositions. If we act up to our profession and obligation as a religious people, we may humbly hope that the God whom we worship will defeat the impious and cruel designs of our infidel enemies, who have denied his existence and providence, and trampled upon his word and all his sacred institutions. It is a token for good, that our first magistrate has called upon us, this day, to humble ourselves before God, and unitedly implore his mercy. If we rend our hearts and not our garments; if we sincerely repent and reform; we may safely confide in God for pardon and deliverance, according to the established rule of his conduct towards a penitent and reformed people. “ At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to pull down and to destroy it: If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” Amen.
GENERAL ELECTION, MAY 30, 1798.
So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the
Persian. - DANIEL, vi. 28.
The prosperity of this noble ruler clearly appears from the whole history of his life. Though in his youth he was carried away captive from Judea to Babylon, yet that dark and distressing scene soon opened the way to a brighter prospect. His high descent, his graceful appearance, and his shining talents, secured the royal favor, and the peculiar privilege of a public education. Having finished his academical course, he was presented in usual form before the reigning monarch; who, strictly inquiring into his proficiency in learning, found him not only superior to all his companions, but ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in all his realm. Pleased with this promising youth, he took him into his own presence, and employed him in his own service. This was only a short and easy step to higher preferment. Being called to tell and to interpret the king's dream, which no other man was able to do, he was immediately advanced above all the governors in the province of Babylon. Though he had now scarcely reached the years of manhood, yet he faithfully and honorably discharged the duties of his office, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, during the reign of Evil-Merodach, and until the close of the reign of Belshazzar. At that portentous period he was sent for, to read and to explain the hand-writing on the wall, which contained the awful doom of that vile and impious prince; for which he was raised to higher dignity, and