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mony to America, and secure honor and wealth to Great Britain, even against the inclinations of her ministers, whose duty it is to study herwelfare. ...
Surely you never will tamely suffer this country to be a den of thieves. Remember, my friends, from whom you sprang.-Let not a meanness of spirit, unknown to those whom you boast of as your Fathers, excite a thought to the dishonor of your mothers. I conjure you, by all that is dear, by all that is honourable, by all that! is sacred, not only that ye pray, but that ye act; that, if necessary, ye fight, and even die, for the prosperity of our Jerusalem. Break in sunder, with noble disdain, the bonds with which the Philistines have bound you. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed by the soft arts of luxury and effeminacy, into the pit digged for your destruction. Despise the glare of wealth. ...
But I thank God, that America abounds in men who are superior to all temptation, whom nothing can divert from a steady pursuit of the interest of their country; who are at once it's ornament and safeguard. And sure I am, I should not incur your displeasure, if I paid a respect, so justly due to their much honored characters, in this public place.... Your grateful hearts will point you to the men; and their revered names, in all succeeding times, shall grace the annals of America. From them let us, my friends, take example; from them let us catch
the divine enthusiasm; and feel, each for himself, the God-like pleasure of diffusing happiness on all around us; of delivering the oppressed from the iron grasp of tyranny; of changing the hoarse complaints and bitter moans of wretched slaves intu those cheerful songs, which freedom and contentment must inspire. There is a heartfelt satisfaction in reflecting on our exertions for the public weal, which all the sufferings an enraged tyrant can inflict, will never take away; which the ingratitude and reproaches of those whom we have saved from ruin, cannot rob us of. The virtuous asserter of the rights of mankind merits a reward, which even a want of success in his endeavours to save his country, the heaviest misfortune which can befall a genuine Patriot, cannot entirely prevent him from receiving.
I have the most animating confidence that the present noble struggle for liberty will terminate gloriously for America. And let us play the man for our God, and for the cities of our God; while we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe, who loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity. And having secured the approbation of our hearts, by a faithful and unwearied discharge of our duty to our country, let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of HIM who raiseth up and pulleth down the empires and kingdoms of the world as He pleases ;
and with cheerful submission to His sovereign will, devoutly say, "Although the Fig-Tree shall not Blossom, neither shall Fruit be in the Vines; the Labour of the Olive shall fail, and the Fields shall yield no Meat; the Flock shall be cut off from the Fold, and there shall be no Herd in the Stalls: Yet we will rejoice in the LORD, we will joy in the God of our Salvation.”
Thi is not ireli ienets ment
John Hancock, Oration to Inhabitants of Boston, March 5, 1774 (Boston, 1774), 14-20 passim.
5. Address to the People of Great
(Written by Delegate John Jay)
KNOW THEN, That we consider ourselves, and do insist that we are and ought to be, as free as our fellow-subjects in Britain, and that no power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.
That we claim all the benefits secured to the subject by the English constitution, and particularly that inestimable one of trial by jury.
That we hold it essential to English liberty, that no man be condemned unheard, or punished
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for supposed offences without having an opportunity of making his defence.
That we think the Legislature of Great Britain is not authorized by the constitution to establish a religion fraught with sanguinary and impious tenets, or to erect an arbitrary form of government in any quarter of the globe. These rights we, as well as you, deem sacred. And yet, sacred as they are, they have, with many others, been repeatedly and flagrantly violated.
Are not the proprietors of the soil of Great Britain lords of their own property? Can it be
? taken from them without their consent? Will they yield it to the arbitrary disposal of any man, or number of men whatever? You know they will not.
Why then are the proprietors of the soil of America less lords of their property than you are of yours? or why should they submit it to the disposal of your parliament, or any other parliament or council in the world, not of their election? Can the intervention of the sea that divides us cause disparity in rights? or can any reason be given why English subjects, who live three thousand miles from the royal palace, should enjoy less liberty than those who are three hundred miles distant from it?
We call upon you yourselves to witness our loyalty and attachment to the common interest of the whole empire: Did we not, in the last war, add all the strength of this vast continent to the force which repelled our common enemy? Did we not leave our native shores, and meet disease and death, to promote the success of British arms in foreign climates? Did you not thank us for our zeal, and even reimburse us large sums of money, which, you confessed, we had advanced beyond our proportion, and far beyond our abilities? You did.
To what causes, then, are we to attribute the sudden changes of treatment, and that system of slavery which was prepared for us at the restoration of peace? ..
We believe there is yet much virtue, much justice, and much public spirit in the English nation. To that justice we now appeal. You have been told that we are seditious, impatient of government, and desirous of independence. Be assured that these are not facts, but calumnies. Permit us to be as free as yourselves, and we shall ever esteem a union with you to be our greatest glory, and our greatest happiness; we shall ever be ready to contribute all in our power to the welfare of the empire; we shall consider your enemies as our enemies, and your interest
as our own.
But if you are determined that your ministers shall wantonly sport with the rights of mankind: if neither the voice of justice, the dictates of the law, the principles of the constitution, or the