ePub 版
[ocr errors]

most direct, plainest, easiest, and least from the present government, did not the
liable to exception.” Again, in a letter same Providence, which has been visible
to Sir Edward Newenham, Oct. 20, 1792: in every stage of our progress to this in-
“Of all the animosities which have ex- teresting crisis, from a combination of

circumstances, give us cause to hope for
the accomplishment of all our reasonable

Thus partaking with you in the pleas-
ing anticipation of the blessings of a wise
and efficient government, I flatter myself
that opportunities will not be wanting for

me to show my disposition to encourage

the domestic and public virtues of indus-
try, economy, patriotism, philanthropy,
and that righteousness which exalteth a

I rejoice in having so suitable an oc-
casion to testify the reciprocity of my
esteem for the numerous people whoin
you represent. From the excellent char-
acter for diligence, sobriety, and virtue,

which the Germans in general, who are PRIVATE SEAL, 1783.

settled in America, have ever maintained,

I cannot forbear felicitating myself on isted among mankind, those which are receiving from so respectable a number of caused by difference of sentiments in re- them such strong assurances of their afligion appear to be the most inveterate fection for my person, confidence in my and distressing, and ought most to be integrity, and zeal deprecated. I was in hopes that the en- to support me in lightened and liberal policy which has my endeavours for marked the present age would at least promoting the welhave reconciled Christians of every de- fare of our nomination so far that we should never mon country. again see their religious disputes carried So long as my to such a pitch as to endanger the peace conduct shall of society.”

merit the appro

bation of the wise To the Jinisters, Church-uardens, and


the good I. Vestry-men of the German Lutheran hope to hold the Congregation, in and near the City of

same place in your Philadelphia.

affections, which April 20th, 1789.

your friendly decWhile I request you to accept my larations induce thanks for your kind address, I must pro- me to believe I fess myself highly gratified by the senti- possess at present; and, amidst all the ments of esteem and consideration con- vicissitudes, that may await me in this tained in it. The approbation my past mutable existence, I shall earnestly desire conduct has received from so worthy a the continuation of an interest in your body of citizens as that, whose joy for intercession at the throne of grace. my appointment you announce, is a proof of the indulgence with which my future to the General Assembly of the Presbytransactions will be judged by them.

terian Church in the United States. I could not, however, avoid appre

May, 1789. hending, that the partiality of my coun- I receive with great sensibility the tes. trymen in favour of the measures now pur- timonial given by the general assembly of sued, had led them to expect too much the Presbyterian Church in the United




[ocr errors]



States of America, of the lively and un- in the United States, my thanks for the feigned pleasure experienced by them on demonstrations of affection and the exmy appointment to the first office in the pressions of joy, offered in their behalf, nation.

on my late appointment. It shall still be Although it will be my endeavour to my endeavour to manifest, by overt acts, avoid being elated by the too favourable the purity of my inclinations for promotopinion, which your kindness for me may ing the happiness of mankind, as well as. have induced you to express of the im- the sincerity of my desires to contribute portance of my former conduct and the whatever may be in my power towards the effect of my future services, yet, con- preservation of the civil and religious, scious of the disinterestedness of my liberties of the American people. In purmotives, it is not necessary for me to con- suing this line of conduct, I hope, by the ceal the satisfaction I have felt upon find- assistance of Divine Providence, not aling that my compliance with the call of together to disappoint the confidence my country, and my dependence on the as- which you have been pleased to repose in sistance of Heaven to support me in my me. arduous undertakings, have, so far as I It always affords me satisfaction, when can learn, met the universal approbation I find a concurrence in sentiment and of my countrymen.

practice between all conscientious men in While I reiterate the professions of my acknowledgments of homage to the great dependence upon Heaven, as the source of Governor of the Universe, and in profesall public and private blessings, I will ob- sions of support to a just civil governserve, that the general prevalence of piety, ment. After mentioning that I trust the philanthropy, honesty, industry, and people of every denomination, who demean economy seems, in the ordinary course themselves as good citizens, will have ocof human affairs, particularly necessary casion to be convinced that I shall alfor advancing and confirming the hap- ways strive to prove a faithful and impiness of our country. While all men partial patron of genuine, vital ‘religion, within our territories are protected in I must assure you in particular that I worshipping the Deity according to the take in the kindest part the promise you dictates of their consciences, it is rational- make of presenting your prayers at the ly to be expected from them in return, throne of grace for me, and that I likethat they will all be emulous of evincing wise implore the divine benediction on the sanctity of their professions by the yourselves and your religious community. innocence of their lives and the beneficence of their actions; for no man, who is profligate in his morals, or a bad mem- To the General Committee, Representing her of the civil community, can possibly

the United Baptist Churches in Virbe a true Christian, or a credit

his own

ginia. religious society.

May, 1789. I desire you to accept my acknowledg. I request that you will accept my best ments for your laudable endeavours to acknowledgments for your congratulation render men sober, honest, and good citizens, on my appointment to the first office in and the obedient subjects of a lawful gov- the nation. The kind manner in which ernment, as well as for your prayers to you mention my past conduct equally Almighty God for his blessing on our com- claims the expression of my gratitude. mon country, and the humble instrument,

After we had, by the smiles of Heaven which he has been pleased to make use of on our exertions, obtained the object for in the administration of its government. which we contended, I retired, at the con

clusion of the war, with an idea that my To the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal country could have no further occasion for Church in the United States.

my services, and with the intention of

never entering again into public life; but, May, 1789.

when the exigencies of my country seemed I return to you individually, and, to require me once more to engage in pul). through you, to your society collectivelylic affairs, an honest conviction of duty superseded my former resolution, and be- At the same time, I return you my came my apology for deviating from the thanks for the manifestation of your firm happy plan which I had adopted.

purpose to support in your persons a govIf I could have entertained the slightest ernment founded in justice and equity, apprehension that the constitution framed and for the promise, that it will be your in the convention, where I had the honour constant study to impress the minds of the to preside, might possibly endanger the people intrusted to your care with a due religious rights of any ecclesiastical so- sense of the necessity of uniting reverence ciety, certainly I would never have placed to such a government, and obedience to its my signature to it; and, if I could now laws, with the duties and exercises of reconceive that the general government ligion. might ever be so administered as to ren- Be assured, gentlemen, it is by such der the liberty of conscience insecure, I conduct very much in the power of the beg you will be persuaded, that no one virtuous members of the community to would be more zealous than myself to alleviate the burden of the important establish effectual barriers against the office which I have accepted, and to give horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every me occasion to rejoice, in this world, for species of religious persecution. For you having followed therein the dictates of my doubtless remember, that I have often conscience. expressed my sentiments, that every man, Be pleased, also, to accept my acknowlconducting himself as a good citizen, and edgments for the interest you so kindly being accountable to God alone for his re. take in the prosperity of my person, ligious opinions, ought to be protected in family, and administration.

May your worshipping the Deity according to the devotions before the throne of grace be dictates of his own conscience.

prevalent in calling down the blessings of While I recollect with satisfaction, that Heaven upon yourselves and your country. the religious society of which you are members have been, throughout America, uniformly and almost unanimously the To the Directors of the Society of the firm friends to civil liberty, and the per

United Brethren for Propagating the severing promoters of our glorious revo- Gospel Among the Heathen. lution, I cannot hesitate to believe, that

July, 1789. they will be the faithful supporters of a I receive with satisfaction the congratufree, yet efficient general government. L'n- lations of your society, and of the Brethder this pleasing expectation I rejoice to ren’s congregations in the United States assure them, that they may rely on my of America. For you may be persuaded, best wishes and endeavours to advance that the approbation and good wishes of their prosperity.

such a peaceable and virtuous community In the mean time be assured, gentle. cannot be indifferent to me. men, that I entertain a proper sense of You will also be pleased to accept my your fervent supplications to God for my thanks for the treatise* you presented, temporal and eternal happiness.

and be assured of my patronage in your

laudable undertakings. To the Jlinisters and Elders of the Ger- In proportion as the general govern

man Reformed Congregations in the ment of the United States shall acquire I’nited States.

strength by duration, it is probable they

June, 1789. may have it in their power to extend a I am happy in concurring with you in salutary influence to the aborigines in the the sentiments of gratitude and piety extremities of their territory. In the towards Almighty God, which

mean time, it will be desirable thing, pressed with such fervency of devotion in for the protection of the Union, to coyour address; and in believing that I operate, as far as the circumstances may shall always find in you, and the German

*" An account of the manner in which Reformed Congregations in the United

the Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, States, a conduct correspondent to such or United Brethren, preach the Gospel and worthy and pious expressions.

carry on their mission among the heathen."



conveniently admit, with the disinterested tions will tend to remove every remaining endeavours of your society to civilize and apprehension of those, with whose opinchristianize the savages of the wilderness. ions it may not entirely coincide, as well

Under these impressions, I pray Al- as to confirm the hopes of its numerous mighty God to have you always in his friends; and because the moderation, holy keeping

patriotism, and wisdom of the present

federal legislature seem to promise the To the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the restoration of order and our ancient vir

Protestant Episcopal Church in the tues, the extension of genuine religion, and States of New York, New Jersey, the consequent advancement of our respect: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Tir

ability abroad, and of our substantial ginia, and North Carolina, in General happiness at home. Convention Assembled.

I request, most reverend and respected Aug. 19, 1789.

gentlemen, that you will accept my corI sincerely thank you for your affec- dial thanks for your devout supplications tionate congratulations on my election to to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe in the chief magistracy of the United States. behalf of me. May you, and the people

After having received from my fellow- whom you represent, be the happy subcitizens in general the most liberal treat- jects of the divine benedictions both here ment, after having found them disposed and hereafter. to contemplate, in the most flattering point of view, the performance of my To the Synod of the Reformed Dutch military services, and the manner of my

Church in North America. retirement at the close of the war, I feel

October, 1789. that I have a right to console myself in I receive with a grateful heart your my present arduous undertakings with a pious and affectionate address, and with hope that they will still be inclined to put truth declare to you that no circumstance the most favourable construction on the of my life has affected me more sensibly, motives, which may influence me in my or produced more pleasing emotions, than future public transactions.

the friendly congratulations, and strong The satisfaction arising from the in- assurances of support, which I have redulgent opinion entertained by the Ameri- ceived from my fellow-citizens of all decan people of my conduct will, I trust, scriptions upon my election to the Presibe some security for preventing me from dency of these United States. doing any thing, which might justly in- I fear, gentlemen, your goodness has cur the forfeiture of that. opinion. And led you to form too exalted an opinion of the consideration, that human happiness my virtues and merits.

If such talents and moral duty are inseparably connected, as I possess have been called into action will always continue to prompt me to pro- by great events, and those events have mote the progress of the former by incul. terminated happily for our country, the cating the practice of the latter.

glory should be ascribed to the manifest On this occasion, it would ill become me interposition of an overruling Providence. to conceal the joy I have felt in perceiving My military services have been abundantthe fraternal affection, which appears to ly recompensed by the flattering approincrease every day among the friends of bation of a grateful people, and if a faithgenuine religion. It affords edifying pros- ful discharge of my civil duties can insure pects, indeed, to see Christians of different a like reward, I shall feel myself richly denominations dwell together in more compensated for any personal sacrifice charity, and conduct themselves in re. I may have made by engaging again in spect to each other with a more Christian- public life. like spirit, than ever they have done in The citizens of the United States of any former age, or in any other nation. America have given as signal a proof of

I receive with the greater satisfaction their wisdom and virtue, in framing and your congratulations on the establishment adopting a constitution of government of the new constitution of government, be without bloodshed or the intervention of cause I believe its mild yet efficient opera- force, as they, upon a former occasion,



exhibited to the world, of their valour, for- propriety demand or expect; and remain titude, and perseverance; and it must be a responsible only to their Maker for the pleasing circumstance to every friend of religion, or modes of faith, which they good order and social happiness to find may prefer or profess. that

government is gaining Your principles and conduct are well strength and respectability among the cit- known to me; and it is doing the people izens of this country, in proportion as its called Quakers no more than justice to operations are known and its effects felt. say, that (except their declining to share

You, gentlemen, act the part of pious with others the burthen of the common deChristians and good citizens by your pray- fence) there is no denomination among us ers and exertions to preserve that har- who are more exemplary and useful citmony and good will towards men, which izens. must be the basis of every political es- I assure you very explicitly that in my tablishment; and I readily join with you, opinion the conscientious scruples of all that, “while just government protects all men should be treated with great delicacy in their religious rights, true religion af- and tenderness; and it is my wish and defords to government its surest support.” sire that the laws may always be as ex

I am deeply impressed with your good tensively accommodated to them as a due wishes for my present and future hap- regard to the protection and essential inpiness, and I beseech the Almighty to take terests of the nation may justify and you and yours under his special care. permit.


To the Roman Catholics in the United To the Religious Society called Quakers,

States. at their learly Meeting for Pennsyl.

December, 1789. vania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the

While I now receive with much satisWestern Part of Maryland and Virginia.

faction your congratulations on my being October, 1789.

called by a unanimous vote to the first I receive with pleasure your affectionate station in my country, I cannot but duly address, and thank you for the friendly notice your politeness in offering an sentiments and good wishes, which you apology for the unavoidable delay. express for the success of my administra- that delay has given you an opportunity of tion and for my personal happiness. realizing, instead of anticipating, the bene

We have reason to rejoice in the pros- fits of the general government, you will pect that the present national government do me the justice to believe that your teswhich, by the favour of Divine Providence, timony to the increase of the public proswas formed by the common counsels and perity enhances the pleasure which I peaceably established with the common should otherwise have experienced from consent of the people, will prove a bless your affectionate address. ing to every denomination of them. To

I feel that my conduct in war and in render it such, my best endeavours shall peace has met with more general appro. not be wanting.

bation, than could reasonably have been Government being, among other pur- expected; and I find myself disposed to poses, instituted to protect the persons consider that fortunate circumstance, in and consciences of men from oppression, it a great degree, resulting from the able certainly is the duty of rulers, not only support and extraordinary candour of my to abstain from it themselves, but, accord- fellow-citizens of all denominations. ing to their stations, to prevent it in The prospect of national prosperity others.

now before us is truly animating, and The liberty enjoyed by the people of ought to excite the exertions of all pod these States, of worshipping Almighty men to establish and secure the happiness God agreeably to their consciences, is not of their country, in the permanent duraonly among the choicest of their blessings, tion of its freedom and independence. but also of their rights. While men per- America, under the smiles of Divine form their social duties faithfully, they Providence, the protection of a good govdo all that society or the state can with ernment, the cultivation of manners,

« 上一頁繼續 »