PREACHED AT CONCORD,
BEFORE HIS EXCELLENCY
WILLIAM PLUMER, GOVERNOR
THE HONORABLE COUNCIL,
TWO HOUSES COMPOSING THE LEGISLATURE
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
JUNE 4, 1818
By WILLIAM ALLEN, A.M.
PRESIDENT OF DARTMOUTH UNIVERSITY
PRINTED BY ISAAC HILL
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
In the House of Representatives, June 4, 1818
VOTED, that Messrs. Osborne, Dyer, and Boody, with such as the Senate may join, be a committee to wait on President ALLEN and present him with the thanks of the Legislature for his ingenious, learned and patriotic discourse this day delivered before his Excellency the Governor, the Hon. Council and both Houses of the Legislature, and request of him a copy for the press.
Sent up for concurrence.
MATTHEW HARVEY, Speaker
Read and concurred.
Mr. Young joined.
ICHABOD BARTLETT, Clerk.
Editors note: This work by William Allen, which is all the more important due to his position as president of Dartmouth University, forcefully presents the founding and maintenance of the United States as a function of the Reformations rule that the Bible only is the is only infallible rule of life ( politics included).
The quotes below are an overview of the potent teaching included in his sermon ( printed here as an official Government document !).
"The bible, studied by each man for himself,---the bible, by the acknowledgement of all or almost all denominations of christians, is the only true standard of faith and the only infallible rule of conduct."
"No wars would originate from a high and keen sense of honor, which like the detonating powder of the chemists is ready to take fire at the slightest touch,---nor from a desire to subdue what is thought to be heresy and to propagate the true faith,--nor from a spirit of commercial avarice, which sickens at the growing prosperity of a rival nation,---nor from hostility to free government, lest its principles should undermine the fabric of despotic power."
"The unchangeable Sovereign of heaven and earth addresses the same command and the same promise to all princes, and captains, and rulers, whose eyes have ever glanced upon his word."
"On this occasion, therefore, in the audience of the honored
Fathers of this commonwealth, the text will lead me to assert, that the Bible is the law of rulers, to point out some of its truths and precepts relating to men in authority, and to survey some of the motives to obedience."
"Were the God of uprightness imitated and obeyed by those, who may be called his vice-regents on the earth, no iniquitous laws, unequal in their operation, and sacrificing the rights of the people to the pride or the covetousness of the legislator, would be enacted; and in the administration of the laws no unreasonable partialities or deep rooted and inverterate predjudices, no fears of reproach, or inducements of interest, or biases of party would corrupt the fountains of justice, bringing upon jurors and judges the guilt of perjury. Protected in the enjoyment of the rights of person, liberty, and property, the people would have the opportunity, while the end of government was thus accomplished, "to lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty." [ Italics added, Ed. ] The solemn instructions of the bible are worthy of consideration by all, to whom is entrusted the charge of expounding or applying the laws of the state and of doing justice between man and man"
"The intelligent and wise rulers of a free republic, who would be "the servants of God for good" to their people, cannot overlook the duty and necessity of diffusing among the people the advantages of education. "It is not good, that the soul be without knowledge." Ignorance may accord well with the nature of a despotic government, the policy of which is to keep men blind in order to keep them slaves; but knowledge is a principal pillar of every republican system.[ Italics added, Ed ] In a free government, like our own, in which all power originates with the people and in which the depositaries of power are ultimately responsible to the people, a general destitution of knowledge and degradation of intellect must be fatal to liberty."
The text of this and other superb works are available on-line from:
The Willison Politics and Philosophy Resource Center
Joshua, I : 8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all, that is written therein; for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
THUS did the almighty Sovereign of the universe speak to Joshua, the captain of Israel. This eminent servant of God, this heroic and renowned soldier, this wise and upright magistrate having been inducted into the office of ruler as successor to Moses, was directed to lead the chosen tribes into the land of promise. The enterprise before him was most daring and difficult. He was at the head of a people, whose guilty murmurs against heaven had often drawn down upon them sharp chastisements. He was about to encounter numerous and powerful armies. Yet a voice, which he could not resist, said to him, "arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land, which I do give to them." At this moment, what was the instruction of the Most High to his chosen servant, this illustrious leader of Israel? It was not such, as "the wise man glorying in his wisdom, or the mighty man glorying in his might," would have dictated. It was such, as many an eagle-eyed statesman and warrior would, at a similar crisis, be ashamed to hear. The instruction has been repeated to you. God required Joshua to meditate day and night in the book of the law and to obey its statues, promising him at the same time, as the reward of obedience, prosperity and success. The unchangeable Sovereign of heaven and earth addresses the same command and the same promise to all princes, and captains, and rulers, whose eyes have ever glanced upon his word.
On this occasion, therefore, in the audience of the honored
Fathers of this commonwealth, the text will lead me to assert, that the Bible is the law of rulers, to point out some of its truths and precepts relating to men in authority, and to survey some of the motives to obedience.
The divine word, which Joshua was required to obey, consisted
only of the five books of Moses, in which were many precepts applicable only to the children of Israel, and not designed to be of perpetual obligation. We have the canon of scripture, or the book of the law, complete; but if many of its statues are abrogated, how, it may be asked, shall we determine which are retained and which are repealed? It is the remark of Grotius in relation to this point, "that whatsoever was enjoined by the law of Moses respecting those virtues, which Christ requires of his disciples, ought now as such, if not more, to be observed by Christians."
( Rights of war and peace, B. II. C. v.).
Although the value of the Old Testament does not depend on the perpetuity of their political laws of Moses, adapted to the circumstances of one people, yet those laws, emanating from the Father of lights, from Him, who is infinite in wisdom, may be studied with advantage by all, who are devoted to the science of legislation. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law and the prophets, and to prescribe rules, not for one people, but for all mankind.---The moral instruction, which distilled from his lips, together with ancient precepts, statutes, and judgements in accordance with it, will direct us safely into every path of duty.
To assert then, in a Christian country, that the Christian system of morals admits of no exemptions, but is binding no less on princes and magistrates, than on humble individuals, may seem the needless assertion of what is undeniably true.----The denial of this position may not be open and explicit; but is seen in forgetfulness and neglect; crooked maxims of national policy, in the false principles of national law. The history of Christian nations shews how little regard they have paid to the precepts of that religion, in which they have gloried, and by the distinctive name of which they have chosen to be denominated.
The subject of morals has awakened much learned inquiry; but there is an obvious defect in all those ingenious disquisitions and theories, which would determine the nature of virtue by any other rule, or would rest the obligations of virtue upon any other basis, than the word of God. The thick darkness, which has overspread the heathen nations, even those, which were the most polished and learned, may teach us the necessity and value of light from above. Were we uninstructed by the divine word, the suggestions of conscience or the impressions of the moral sense might be erroneous and consequently unsafe guides in the way of duty, a supposed instinct or native benevolence might fail to prompt us to deeds of kindness, and our unaided reason, ( "Reason is such a box of quicksilver, that it abides no where; it dwells in no settled mansion; it is like a dives neck, or a changeable taffata; it looks to me otherwise than to you, who do not stand in the same light, that I do: and if we inquire after the law of nature by the rules of our reason, we shall be uncertain as the discourses of the people, or the dreams of disturbed fancies." Jer. Tailor.) through its own feebleness or the darkening power of the passions, might fail to apprize us of the relations of things and of the claims of fitness and truth, or would leave us blind to what is prudent and useful. It is the Bible only, which teaches infallibly the right way.
Without the sanctions also of the divine law, what motive is there to enforce obedience to our moral impressions? The immoral may be told of the beauty and glory of virtue, of the joys of a self-approving mind, of the stings of conscience, of the turpitude, of the infamy and other present evil consequences of vice. But of what avail will be all these representations against the force of passion and the opportunity of indulgence? It is useless to raise a slender barrier against the impetuous torrent, which rushes down from the high mountain. There must be strong motives to oppose the headlong propensities of our depraved nature. If there are no punishments and rewards in the hands of the Almighty, to be rendered in the future world; the interests of morality are hopeless. The experience of ages has proved, that it is only the wrath of God, not as pictured by a bold poetic fancy, but as certainly denounced in the Bible, which can at all times overawe the mind, and which is able to stop the sinner as he is borne along by strong passions in his downward course of iniquity. It is, also, only the promise of an everlasting reward through the mediation of the Son of God, which can fortify and gladden the heart of the good man amid the trials and the sufferings of his present pilgrimage, as is implied in the assertion of the great apostle of the Gentiles---"if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." The Bible is therefore in the system of morals what the sun, the fountain of light and heat and the centre of attraction, is in the system of nature,---it illuminates and restrains as well as warms into life. It Preserves the system from a state of chaotic confusion, darkness, and desolation.
If, then, the word of God is the only sufficient rule of duty, and if only upon the authority of God effectually binds duty upon the conscience; by what argument will it be attempted to prove, that rulers are exempted from the moral obligations imposed by the scriptures? Is there any clause in the divine law, which gives them the privilege of transgression with impunity? On the contrary, it is plain, that their responsibility is made the more solemn and fearful by their very dignity and influence, that their vices must assume a darker hue than the vices of others, and that in proportion to the height of their elevation will be the depth of misery, into which their disregard of the book of the moral law must plunge them.
Will it be said, that their very office must liberate them from certain moral rules, which are binding upon men in private life; and that the unqualified observance of the precepts of the gospel, enjoining forbearance, forgiveness, and mercy, would break the point of that sword, which they bear, and with which they ought "to execute wrath upon him, that doeth evil?" Let us not be deluded by sophistry. While the grand principles of our conduct are immutable, our duties are necessarily modified by circumstances, and must vary according to the situations, in which we are placed. The same law ever governs the moon in its course, although her aspect changes with her position, and at one time, shorn of her beams, she frowns upon us, and at another time gives us her full-orbed brightness. While rulers are required to possess a spirit of benevolence, who does not perceive, that the punishment of evil doers is perfectly consistent with all the charity and tenderness, enjoined in the gospel ? Rulers are the fathers of the people; and when a father chastises a disobedient son, does this salutary discipline imply or require the existence of hatred or want of mercy ? Who does not understand, that the ruler is invested with power, not that he may indulge his own angry or revengeful feelings, but solely that he may support the dignity of the laws and promote the common welfare ? And who does not feel it to be honorable to the ruler, that, while his hand signs the order for the punishment of the offender, his eye at the same time should glisten with the tear of pity ? As an individual, he is bound to forgive any personal injuries,---that is, not to retaliate, never to act from a spirit of wounded pride or of gloomy revenge; as a magistrate, he is bound to punish the offences, which disturb the public peace;---and these duties, enjoined by the same authority, cannot be discordant with each other. Even God himself, who punishes the guilty, is love, and to resemble him in his moral character is the perfection of virtue in man.
The society of nations is like that of families. The rulers of each nation are the fathers of the family; and when we come to search for the moral principles, which should regulate their intercourse with each other, we shall be able to find no rules but the same divine laws, which are given to individuals. In whatever point of view, therefore, we consider rulers, whether as men, or in reference to their own subjects, or in relation to other rulers; the b]ible, if they are favored with it, comes upon their consciences with the force of law.
II. It was proposed, next, to survey some of the truths and precepts of the bible relating to men in authority.
principle of great importance in the character of a good ruler, for a spirit of enlightened piety is the root of all the moral virtues. Hence we read in the book of the law, that he, who ruleth, should "rule in the fear of God." Uninfluenced by this fear, an earthly sovereign, who by his office is lifted above the fear of man, must be left in a great measure to the unrestrained indulgence of his evil passions. If in the view of the civil law he "can do no wrong," it is the more necessary that he should refer his actions to the unchangeable law of Jehovah, and have respect to that impartial tribunal, before which he must stand with the meanest [lowest, Ed.] of his subjects. Destitute of religious belief, men in subordinate authority are also liberated from the most powerful motive, which can urge them to the faithful performance of the duties of their station. We can, therefore, have no assurance of the fidelity of the man, whose views are not elevated to the throne of God. Nor can we listen with much credulity to the claim of public spirit from lips, which dare to utter the language of profanity and make a jest of things sacred, or which spread abroad sentiments tending to corrupt the fountains of the public weal.
As the religion of the gospel is designed to influence our daily conduct in all the relations of life, so that "whatsoever we may do, we may do all to the glory of God," it is peculiarly important to men, who possess a wide influence and sustain a high responsibility;---it is important, in order that they may be faithful, that they may inherit the honors of heaven. To rulers, as to other men, religion is without a doubt a personal concern; but whether the care of its interests in the state is among their public duties has sometimes been questioned even by those, who would gladly see the triumphs of the cross extended through all nations. While they are bound to secure from flagrant violation the rest of the Lords day, the public and various advantages of which cannot now be described,---while it is their duty to oppose their authority to the profanation of the name of God, and the diffusions of impious, blasphemous sentiments,---while they may authorize or require parishes to employ and support teachers of religion and morality [teaching Biblical religion as per the Reformation, Ed.] while they may exert their power to spread abroad widely the means of religious instruction and improvement; it must be confessed, that the history of past ages gives little encouragement to the interference of the civil power in what relates more particularly to the kingdom of God. The rulers of the earth have not been wanting in professions of regard to the Christian religion, nor in exertions to give it "the authority, splendor, majesty, and uniformity," which, it was thought, would render it respectable among the people. But while they have paid to the humbling religion of the gospel the honor, which it did not need, they have overlooked the truths and disobeyed the precepts, which constitute its glory. They have fashioned and decorated the outer man, but suffered the living, immortal principle to be uncultivated. It has certainly been the defect of religious establishments, [ This refers to a State sanctioned and supported body, such as the Church of England, Ed.] that the multiplicity of ceremonies has prevented the growth of christian virtues. The numerous unprofitable suckers have cheated the tree of its nourishment and rendered the fruit dwarfish. It does not appear, that the alliance of church and state, however advantageous to the civil power, is beneficial to religion. When all the learning and prejudice of the world were arrayed against the gospel; the gospel yet triumphed. It made all the idols of the Roman empire totter on their pedestals. But when this true religion became a creature and engine of state, it was corrupted, and its dignity and energy were lost. Soon the prostrated system of idolatry was refashioned and fitted up even in the temple of God.
When the support of ministers of religion is taken from the hands of the people and assumed by the magistrate, the natural effect is to weaken the relation between the minister and people, to destroy in the minister that salutary sense of dependence, which urges to faithfulness, and in the people, the gratifying consciousness of rewarding a benefactor, or of paying a debt justly due. It has been said indeed, that a minister should be appointed and supported independently of his people, in order that he might not be restrained by fear from the honest, faithful discharge of the duties of his office. But the theory is not borne out by facts. In England the experiment has been made under circumstances perhaps more favorable than in any other country; and what is the result ? Ten years ago there were in England upwards of eleven thousand ecclesiastical livings. About two thirds of these parishes yielded an annual income of above six hundred and sixty-six dollars each. Yet of the incumbents or ministers holding these livings, only about five thousand resided in their parishes, while there were more than six thousand non-residents; so that less than one half of all the clergy of the church of England resided on their livings,---that is, more than one half of the English pastors took the wool of flocks, which they did not themselves feed. And in regard to the residing incumbents, a valuable Magazine (Footnote: The Christian Observer, June, 1811.) of that very establishment remarks---" We will not venture to say because we have no means of ascertaining what proportion of the five thousand incumbents delight more in leaping a gate than mounting a pulpit---nor what proportion are careless and indifferent, slothful and lukewarm in the performance of their pastoral duties." The ecclesiastical affairs of America have a different aspect not of splendor and worldly pride, an aspect of poverty indeed but of humility and comparative purity. We have to deplore in many places the destitution of religious ordinances and christian teachers; but the evil is less incurable, than that of having established pastors, who are unworthy of their office.
There are yet other strong objections to establishments of religion: the state is apt to tread under foot the sacred rights of conscience and impiously to touch the ark of God. Even in the land of our fathers, where there is so much of integrity and honor and true religion the sacred ordinance of the Lords supper is by law most impiously converted into a political test, ----it is prostituted as an initiatory rite of political office. By the existing laws every one sustaining any civil office is obliged to conform to the established to the established religion and partake of the Lords supper in some church. If these laws in consequence of the rapid increase of dissenters have of late fallen into desuetude, yet they are unrepealed and their baneful activity may at any time be revisited.
It has been contended, that an establishment is honorable to religion and beneficial to rulers, and particularly that ecclesiastical dignity is necessary in order that the great men of the earth may be instructed with effect. "We have not," says the eloquent Burke, "relegated religion (like something we were ashamed to shew) to obscure municipalities or rustic villages. No ! we will have her to exalt her mitred front in courts and parliaments. We will have her mixed throughout the whole mass of life and blended with all the classes of society. The people of England will shew to the haughty potentates of the world, and to their talking sophisters, that a free, a generous, an informed nation honors the high magistrates of the church; that it will not suffer the insolence of wealth and titles, or any other species of proud pretentions to look down with scorn upon what they look up to with reverence.---They can see, without pain or grudging an archbishop precede a duke. They can see a bishop of Durham or a bishop of Winchester in possession of ten thousand pounds a year," &c.(Footnote: Reflect. On the Revolution inn France.)
All this is splendid declamation. It is proud praise of what does not belong to the religion of Christ,---of that dignity and wealth, which can hardly be possessed without giddiness, and which, if history speaks truly, have ever tended to corrupt the servants of Him, "who had not where to lay his head." It is not by this method, that the insolence of wealth and titles is to be repressed. The ministers of Jesus have not acquired boldness and christian heroism in proportion to the worldly dignities, to which they have been exalted; and it is only by the honest and zealous declaration of the truth that religion can be promoted. In proportion to their dignities they have not thundered in the ears of rulers the appalling terrors of the Lord, nor enforced upon their consciences the unchangeable laws of heaven. Where shall we look for the men in high ecclesiastical stations with the spirit of Paul the prisoner, who in the presence of Felix, a rapacious and profligate ruler, "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and a judgement to come ?" We do not find this spirit in Bancroft, bishop of London, who, when king James I of doubtful morals, had declaimed against the puritans, fell down before him on his knees and said, "my heart melteth for joy, that Almighty God,of his singular mercy, hath given us such a king, as since Christs time has not been." We do not find it in a man of still higher dignity,---in Whitgift, arch bishop of Canterbury, who at the same time cried out, "undoubtedly your majesty speaks by the special assistance of the spirit of God." Nor do we find this heroic christian spirit accompanying the lofty genius of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, when he exalts to the skies the piety of the profligate Louis, especially his cruel piety in the revocation of the Edict of Nantz, and when with amazing flattery he prays "the King of heaven" to preserve "the king of the earth!" (Footnote: Oraison sunebre de M. Le Tellier.)
In this commonwealth, the rulers, were they even inclined to rear up an ecclesiastical establishment, would find themselves restrained by the fundamental laws. The oath, which they take, to support the constitution would palsy their hands. As they can only "authorize the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies, within this State, to make adequate provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality," there is no reason to fear, that they will ever infringe the rights of concience. Their power might even, without danger, be increased so as not only to authorise but to require the support of teachers of the gospel. God has enriched with religious liberty, among the advantages of which is its tendency to destroy a spirit of bigotry and intolerance, and to give triumph to truth, which prevails by argument and not by force. Intolerance and bigotry, which are the enemies of truth and peace, would treat man, as the Philistines treated Smpson, first put out his eyes and then compel him to grind at their mill. But as the arm of power in this country cannot lend its aid in binding the conscience [ This is a direct reference to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. XX, Ed.] and subjugating reason, if christians become enslaved, their slavery will be voluntary. It is a subject of gratitude to heaven, that the same irrepressible spirit of liberty, which will not submit to tyranny in the state, rejects also every lordly pretension in the church. The bible, studied by each man for himself,---the bible, by the acknowledgement of all or almost all denominations of christians, is the only true standard of faith and the only infallible rule of conduct. While we refuse to bow our understandings to human authority, let us say with Chillingsworth---"Propose me any thing out of this book, and require whether I believe it or no, and seem it never so incomprehensible to human reason, I will subscribe it with hand and heart, as knowing no demonstration can be stronger, than this, God hath said so, therefore it is true." [ Italics added, Ed. ].
2. Next to the possession of piety a sacred and
inviolable regard to justice may be mentioned as the duty of all, who are clothed with authority. They will read in the book of the law, "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that ruleth over men must be just." As the design of government is to secure to every man the undisturbed enjoyment of his unalienable rights,---whenever these rights are infringed by the civil ruler, the very purpose, for which authority was given him, is counteracted. The antidote in this case becomes the poison.
The grand springs of injustice in rulers are covetousness and ambition; these passions therefore should be subdued or subjected to the book of the law. Were the God of uprightness imitated and obeyed by those, who may be called his vice-regents on the earth, no iniquitous laws, unequal in their operation, and sacrificing the rights of the people to the pride or the covetousness of the legislator, would be enacted; and in the administration of the laws no unreasonable partialities or deep rooted and inverterate predjudices, no fears of reproach, or inducements of interest, or biases of party would corrupt the fountains of justice, bringing upon jurors and judges the guilt of perjury. Protected in the enjoyment of the rights of person, liberty, and property, the people would have the opportunity, while the end of government was thus accomplished, "to lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty." [ Italics added, Ed. ] The solemn instructions of the bible are worthy of consideration by all, to whom is entrusted the charge of expounding or applying the laws of the state and of doing justice between man and man:---"Thou shalt not wrest judgement; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.---Take heed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgement. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts." Were these precepts regarded, instead of bearing the reproach of the prophet, "ye have turned judgement into gall and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock," we might say---"judgement runs down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream." Happy would it be for a people, when all concerned in the administration of the laws can adopt truly the language of Job, that ancient prophet and judge---"I put on righteousness and it clothed me; my judgement was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor; and the cause, which I knew not, I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth."
It may surely be questioned, whether it be consistent with the obligations of justice for rulers to create Lotteries and thus to authorise a species of gambling. If it would be unjust in a ruler, as an individual, to sit down at the gambling table and by chance or skill wrest from his neighbor his possessions; by what plea can he be justified, when in the capacity of legislator he enacts laws, which encourage in the people the hope of gain without labor ? Does it make any difference, that the loss is divided among many ? There is reason to fear, that of all the pests to mankind in the shape of laws, the creation of lotteries is one of the most pernicious. Did the rich only purchase tickets, their losses or gains would be considerations of no consequence; the evils to them would be confined to their characters. But it is well known, that the chief purchasers of tickets are the poor. Many a wretched family has been rendered more wretched by the sums withheld from hunger and nakedness and expended in lotteries; many a poor man has lost his habits of industry through the excitement and perverting influence of a lottery. (Footnote: "See report of the New-York Society for the prevention of pauperism."). It is vain to urge, that a prudent legislature may take advantage of the vicious propensities of mankind in order to promote objects of public importance. Who would not be revolted by a law constituting a perpetual series of lotteries, the avails of which shall be appropriated to the building of churches and the promotion of good morals ? Yet does the application of the money raised by lotteries alter their nature ? (Footnote: In the State of New-York the sum of $80,000 has been raised by lotteries for a particular college, and the enormous sum of $400,000 for the several literary institutions in that state is still to be raised in the same way. Even a zealous friend of literature might doubt, whether the mass of moral evil in prospect will not counterbalance all the benefits of literature thus acquired. It is worthy the consideration of a rich and generous commonwealth whether the aforesaid sum cannot be procured by any other means.)
In surveying the state of our country, the wretched conditions of the original lords of the soil, [ Indians, Ed .] whom we have dispossessed and are driving before us towards the western ocean, demands commiseration. But whether or not their rights have been violated there is seen a large class of men, [ Slaves, Ed. ] who are the victims of injustice,---who have been torn from their homes and all the charities of life, and in a land, boasting of its freedom have been doomed to bondage. It is honorable to our government, that by a national law, which has been ten years in force, the further importation of slaves is prohibited forever. This is one step in the march of justice. The entire emancipation of the slaves is a subject, which begins to claim the attention of our eminent statesmen, who love their country and fear God. It must be a work of time and wisdom. The project, which it is thought, may ultimately lead to this result, is that of planting in some fertile region of Africa a colony of free people of color from this country. (Footnote: See the first annual Report of the American Colonization Society, 1818.) [ This occurred with the formation of Liberia, and its capitol of Monrovia, named after the U. S. President Monroe, Ed. ] When such an establishment shall be made, there are many humane and generous individuals, who will manumit their slaves---who will "undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free," who will send home in liberty those, who came over in chains. In the mean while every consideration of justice, of humanity, of Christian charity, and of patriotism requires, that the miserable beings, whom we hold in slavery, be instructed in that holy religion, which will teach them to submit to the divine will, and which will alleviate their cares and their sorrows, and which will brighten their wretchedness with the hope of deliverance from cheerless toil and abhorred servitude and of final admission into the land of rest and of glorious liberty, where the weary are refreshed and the slave is set free from his master.
[ In this section, President Allen provides the only solution to the peaceful co-existence of nations, a subject of truly frightful contemplation considering the means of mass destruction is now in the hands of many national leaders. In this century, we have seen any type of military power used by those who wish to rule the world in the most ruthless fashion, and we can expect further wars producing torrents of blood, such as WW1, and WW2, UNLESS THOSE WHO HOLD SUCH POWER ARE PERSONALLY GOVERNED AS THE FOLLOWING WORDS OF Rev. Allen INSTRUCTS THEM., Ed. ]
In the intercourse of the rulers of different nations, with each other an unvarying regard to justice would extinguish in a great measure the spirit of war. No lofty minded man would then lay waste nations merely, that he might extend his fame as a warrior; no prince, greedy of provinces, would be deaf to the plaints of poverty, to the cries of the widow and orphan, and to the groans of the dying, nor in the thirst for power exhibit all the characteristic features of the tiger of the wilderness. It would be felt by rulers, that to be actuated by a spirit of national pride, to wish to see their own country exalted on the ruins of other countries, and merely to increase its wealth or power to engage in desolating wars, is to depart from the whole tenor of the gospel and to contemn the immutable laws of justice. It would be seen by rulers, that to commence war merely to preserve what is called "the balance of power," merely to prevent a rival nation from being overgrown and acquiring a preponderance of strength, would be no more consistent with the principles of justice, than it would be in a state of natural society to cripple a lusty child lest he should grow up into a giant and domineer over the weak.
No wars would originate from a high and keen sense of honor, which like the detonating powder of the chemists is ready to take fire at the slightest touch,---nor from a desire to subdue what is thought to be heresy and to propagate the true faith,--nor from a spirit of commercial avarice, which sickens at the growing prosperity of a rival nation,---nor from hostility to free government, lest its principles should undermine the fabric of despotic power.
3. In the next place, the virtues of temperance and purity are binding upon men in authority no less, than upon undistinguished individuals. "It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgement of any of the afflicted." It was from a drunken feast, that Alexander rushed out as a maniac with a torch to set fire to the royal palace of Persepolis. It was at a drunken feast, he slew his old friend Clitus. In consequence of a drunken feast this conqueror of Asia died infamously at Babylon.
It is the character and example of a ruler, that the virtue or profligacy of a nation has often depended. The pages of history are filled with the evils, which have resulted from the sensuality and degrading vices of the rulers of the earth. During the reign, which succeeded the stern morality of the commonwealth of England, the profligate example of Charles corrupted the whole kingdom, so that revelry, and drunkenness, and debauchery were considered as almost essential to a gentlemanly character. With still greater effrontery and shamelessness did a gross sensuality display itself in the court of France in the reign of Louis XV. It is not improbable, that the example of the court, promoting a general disruption of every moral tie, prepared the way for the subsequent political revolution, while at the same time it rendered the nation unfit to be benefited by the change. When the pillars of the royal palace had become corrupted and worm eaten, it is no wonder that the building should fall.
A ruler incurs guilt both by neglecting to enact laws for the suppression of intemperance and sensuality, and by enacting laws, which encourage or promote those vices. Faithful legislators will as far as possible prevent the needless multiplication of licenses to houses for the retail of spirituous liquors,---for the diffusion of a fatal poison in the community. It is also unspeakably important to the happiness of society, that the matrimonial tie should not be dissolved for slight reasons. If Jesus Christ, the sovereign ruler, allows a man to put away his wife only for one cause,( Footnote: Matt. xix. 39. ) it is worthy of inquiry whether a law allowing divorces for other causes, can be vindicated by those, who believe the truth and the obligation of the Christian religion+. (Footnote: By the existing laws of New Hampshire there are five or six causes of divorce. For instance, if a woman does not for three years hear of her husband, she may be divorced; yet if her husband should be doomed for great crimes, to ten years imprisonment, she is still bound to him. In the statue book there is a wholesome law for the punishment of adultery. Perhaps other offences against the marriage covenant, such as neglect or cruelty, should rather be punished, than be allowed as causes of divorce. It is to be deplored, that the legislature of New-York, at the last session, divorced a woman from her husband merely because he had joined the society of Shakers. The council of revision, consisting of the governor, chancellor, and judges of the supreme court, in their strong objections to this act, express their conviction, "that the sum of individual happiness, as well as the peace and order of society, requires that the nuptial tie should be indissoluble, except for the cause of adultery." If a residence for a short time with the Shakers would authorise a divorce, a dissolution of the marriage covenant would be easily effected.)----Much of the sanctity of marriage and consequentially much of the happiness of domestic life are to be attributed to the influence of the gospel. Among the Romans, in their meridian splendor of arts and learning, it was not considered a violation of the laws of nature to dissolve at pleasure the connubial band. Even Cato relinquished his companion to the orator Hortensius. Let the rulers of the earth, if they would promote the public welfare, hearken rather to the instructions of Jesus Christ, than to any consideration of expediency or supposed necessity.
4. The divine law requires of rulers humility. Who can doubt whether it is incumbent upon them as well as upon their subjects "to walk humbly with their God ?" If their elevation, the homage which is paid them, the sweet flatteries poured into their ears tend to nourish proud and haughty sentiments, it is the more necessary, that they should habitually bring their characters and conduct to the test of the divine law, and in the view of their sin, "for there is not one upon the earth a just man, who doeth good and sinneth not," and of the amazing humiliation of the Son of God, who died for sinners, should prostrate themselves in the dust for Him, in whose eye the glitter of earthly dignity is but a vain show.
The want of humility, a proud sense of personal honor, or a frantic regard to what is called the dignity of the government has been the occasion of wars, which has wasted nations. In the declaration of war against Holland by Charles II, some abusive pictures were represented as a just ground of quarrel. It appeared to be a mere dispute respecting the precedence of commissioners met at Boulogne, which caused a prolongation of the war between Elisabeth of England and Philip of Spain. Elisabeth said, she was "resolved as soon to keep her sword drawn for the maintenance of her honor, as for possessions."---When will the great men of the earth, imbibing the humble principles of the gospel, cease to seek the honor, which cometh from man, and learn to place their dignity in that honor, which cometh from God, and which results from justice and diffusive benevolence ? Possessing the humility of the gospel, rulers will avoid the frivolous pomp and parade, by which their vanity is gratified and their pride nourished, and thus prevent the necessity of drawing the means of their wasteful expenditures from the hard earnings of the poor.
5. The intelligent and wise rulers of a free republic, who would be "the servants of God for good" to their people, cannot overlook the duty and necessity of diffusing among the people the advantages of education. "It is not good, that the soul be without knowledge." Ignorance may accord well with the nature of a despotic government, the policy of which is to keep men blind in order to keep them slaves; but knowledge is a principal pillar of every republican system.[ Italics added, Ed. ] In a free government, like our own, in which all power originates with the people and in which the depositaries of power are ultimately responsible to the people, a general destitution of knowledge and degradation of intellect must be fatal to liberty.
The delusive sounds of national dignity, national power, and national glory might draw the people into the approbation of measures, destructive to the national welfare. They would not have learned from the pages of history, that what is called the glory of the ruler is often associated with plundered cities and ravaged provinces, with the execrations of the pillaged, and the groans of the wounded and dying. They would not perceive, that the glory of a ruler is often like the red lightning, as it bursts from the dark cloud, bright indeed and dazzling to the eye, but terrifying, blasting, and consuming. They might be led to suppose, that the alleged mysteries of government were beyond their comprehension, and that the public affairs might be well managed, although the sources of the of the countrys prosperity were dried up. Knowledge is political power. It was Plato, who had instructed Dion at the court of a tyrant, "when I explained the principles of philosophy and humanity to Dion, I little thought, that I was insensibly opening a way for the subversion of Tyranny !"---Let the legislators of a republic therefore encourage the diffusion of knowledge as a most important means of perpetuating their countrys liberty.
book of the law.
If their zeal to promote the public welfare be enlightened, they will be urged to consult the instructions of the divine word from the vast benefit, which has resulted to mankind from those instructions. We owe more of our public prosperity and happiness, than is apt to be imagined, to the influence of the gospel. The power of Christian principles has done more, than is generally supposed, towards meliorating the condition of mankind. It would not be difficult to prove, that we are indebted to the gospel for the mitigation of the horrors of war. Once, where the religion of Christ was not known, it was customary to destroy prisoners in cold blood or to make them and their descendants slaves. Now they are spared and soon restored to liberty. Once wars of extermination were waged; but now only wars of conquest. Once Europe was filled with private wars and every noblemans house was a castle; but now there are known only wars of nations, excepting that a few unchristian men think it a point of honor to terminate their quarrel by private combat. Once the heroic darings of the pirate were honorable; but now he is treated as a robber. It is owing to the gospel, that in some countries slavery has been abolished and liberty is made the attribute of every inhabitant. Once it was thought, according to the doctrine of Aristotle, that strangers were slaves by nature and might be hunted down as wild beasts. But now there is a growing disposition to treat all men as brethren. The christian religion has abolished polygamy and given a sanctity to marriage. It has made the distinction in morals, which is found between the nations, who embrace it, and the heathen nations of the earth, who are detestable by their abominations. If rulers therefore would promote the happiness of their country, they will respect that religion, which is thus beneficial in its influence. It is a remark of Montesquieu, which is worthy the attention of statesmen, that ""he principles of christianity, deeply engraved in the heart, would be infinitely more powerful, than the false honor of monarchies, the humane virtues of republics, or the slavish fear of despotic states.
By studying and obeying the christian system of ethicks, rulers have in the text the promise, that "they shall make their way prosperous, and shall have good success," or, as the last clause literally means, "will do wisely". "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."---We know, that there is a connection between the character of a ruler and that of the nation subject to him*(Footnote: "Princes cannot with reason complain of the vices and crimes of their subjects, because it is necessarily their own negligence or ill example that corrupts them; and if the people of our times are infamous for thefts and robberies and plundering and the like enormities, it proceeds from the extortion and rapacity of their rulers." Machiavellis Disc. B. III. Ch. 29.) and we know, also, especially from the Jewish history, the sure connection between national virtue or vice and national happiness or misery. In consequence of the sin of the chosen people after they were established in a "land flowing with milk and honey," they were continually vexed by their enemies and frequently carried into captivity. In consequence of their sin in despising the excellent form of government, which resulted directly from the divine will, God "gave them a king in his wrath." (Footnote:Free commonwealths have ever been counted fittest and properest for civil, virtuous, and industrious nations, abounding with prudent men, worthy to govern: Monarchy fittest to curb degenerate, corrupt, idle, proud, luxurious people." Milton). In consequence of their great sin, their city was destroyed and they were driven into a wide dispersion, from which they have not even to this day been collected into the land of their former abode. Judging from the scriptural history, we have reason to believe, that a general destitution of piety, benevolence, and temperance, especially a general and open prevalence of the opposite vices will subject us as a people to the displeasure of God. A nation is a collective body of men, whose will is expressed by their laws and their rulers. There is, then, a kind of moral agency, a degree of responsibility in nations, as well as in individuals, though it is an accountableness peculiar in this respect, that it is confined to this world. The curse of heaven is upon a people guilty and rebellious. Were our vision purified, we should regard all the desolations of the earth as proofs of Gods displeasure against sin. Should our wandering feet bring us to the ruins of some once mighty city, we should not, like the curious antiquary, content ourselves with calculating the height of some broken pillar, or measuring the area of some desolated temple; we should not content ourselves with digging up the rubbish, that we might find some rare specimen of ancient sculpture. No ! Every fragment, which lay before us, would speak, and tell us, that there is a God, who is the judge among the nations, who punishes the guilty, and who will bring to the ground the mighty monuments of idolatry and pride. We should hearken to the voice, which issues from the ruins of nations, and speaks from the remnants of ancient magnificence and beauty. Where now is idolatrous Babylon, by the rivers of which the captives of Judah sat down and wept ? It is spoiled. The desolate houses of wicked men and the temples of idols are the "habitation of dragons and a court for owls." Where now, it may be asked, is the Roman empire, the seat of idolatry and profligacy ? It has fallen. Northern barbarians rioted in the streets of "the eternal city." And recently upon the nations of Europe, in which the gospel was corrupted and fashioned into an absurd idolatry, the heavy judgements of heaven have descended. They have had blood to drink, because they shed the blood of the saints. If rulers, therefore, who should be "the shields of the earth," would protect their people from the divine judgements, let them keep the statutes of the book of the law and endeavor , by their example and influence, to diffuse as widely as possible the christian virtues.
Rulers, in all their elevation and power, are but men, frail men, the creatures and subjects of the supreme Ruler. Although they may wear a crown, the proud and lofty head, which it adorns, will soon be laid low. Although they may sway the scepter of a vast empire; their hand will soon loose its grasp and be cold in the grave. The splendid illusions, attendant upon greatness, we know, will soon be dissolved, and when the earthworm riots in the mouldering loathsomeness of the great mans body, will the spirit, do we think, be privileged, or can it elude a solemn responsibility to its Almighty Creator ? Even the proudest monarchs, who are worshipped as gods on earth, must appear as individuals at the bar of the King of kings, with whom is no respect[er] of persons, and who will regard them with the greater displeasure in proportion to the dignity and power and influence which they abuse.
Such are some of the considerations, which should persuade the men of authority to obey the instructions of the word of God. Could the voice of a christian preacher be heard by the princes, the rulers of the earth, he might say to them:---Let the christian law be written in your hearts,---let its sublime doctrines enlighten your understandings,---let its holy precepts govern your conduct,---let its tremendous threatenings strike you with awe,---let its rich promises attract you to obedience. Will you not aspire to the glory of imitating the diffusive goodness of the Almighty Sovereign, who has ordained you to be his ministers for good to your fellow men ? Will not humility and beneficence more adorn you, than the brightest gem in your crown ? If through your care and labors your people are preserved in peace, are enlightened and induced to cultivate the christian virtues; will it not be more grateful to your feelings, than if you had carried the terror of your arms into neighboring states, sending before you into the world of spirits thousands of wretched beings to witness against your ambition and your madness, calling for vengeance upon the man of blood ? Would you strengthen your throne ? It is not by proud bulwarks and mighty armies, that your power can be maintained, for at the will of the Lord of Hosts still prouder bulwarks have fallen and more numerous and better appointed armies have been scattered. The battle is not to the strong. The throne is established by righteousness. The favor of God is your security. Be wise now, therfore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
The subject upon which we have been dwelling, is designed to arrest the attention of our civil fathers, here assembled in the temple of the Supreme Ruler, who inspired the Bible, and who requires them "to do according to all, that is written therein." On this occasion I cannot neglect to congratulate his Excellency, the governor,---again on account of his public services, re-elected to the first office in the gift of the people,---the members of the Council, the Senators and Representatives of this common wealth, honored with the confidence of their fellow-citizens,---on our distinguished public blessings, nor should I neglect to suggest, that those blessings strengthen their obligation to keep the precepts of the divine law. The Lord our God has given us "a good land; a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of vallies and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and honey; a land, whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills we may dig brass." This day reminds us, that our rulers proceed from among ourselves. In other parts of the world we see hereditary rulers; we see men, who are born to govern, and who grow up in the persuasion, that they are a different order of being from the rest of mankind;---we see men elevated to the highest dignities without any of the qualifications of rulers, without talents, destitute of the principles of virtue, and exempt from all earthly responsibility. Sometimes all the power of a state is wielded by one man, thus unfit to govern, who holds a despotic sway over millions of his fellow creatures, ruling them with a rod of iron, seizing their property, enslaving their persons, or cutting off their heads at his pleasure. While many other nations are involved in gross ignorance, it has pleased God to favor us as a people, with the means of acquiring knowledge.
The system of education in this state and in other states has a most favorable aspect on the perpetuity of our political establishments. As by an existing law, the inhabitants of every town are assessed in proportion to their property for the support of a competent number of elementary schools, the blessings of instruction to a certain extent are enjoyed by the sons and daughters of the poor people. Nor have the rich any reason to complain, that they are thus made to contribute to the benefit of the poor, for they are amply remunerated by the increased intelligence, industry, and virtue of the community. What they expend operates as a preventive to vices, which would cost them much dearer.
The higher schools and academies, founded by private liberality or by the aid of the government, carry forward a portion of the youth in the path of learning, and are preparative to a still higher course of instruction. The principal Seminary of New-Hampshire, originally established in a wilderness but soon attaining a flourishing condition,---the University of Dartmouth,---is the completion of the system, and may be considered as the key stone of the arch. Although there are instances of men of great learning, who have never entered the walls of a college, yet without such a seminary the numerous schools and academies would be unprovided with able instructors, [ This is a rather blatant exception to the so-called "Separation of Church and State doctrine, perhaps we understand Jefferson in a radically wrong way !, Ed. ] the churches would be desolate of well educated and pious teachers of religion, which are the glory of a country, the administration of the laws might fall into incompetent hands, and the general state of public prosperity would be essentially impaired. The excellent constitution of this commonwealth declares that, "it shall be the duty of the Legislature and the Magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools." In obedience to this injunction and with liberal views to the public welfare, it is therefore to be presumed that an enlightened and faithful legislature will aim to perfect the general system of education, and especially will foster the principal and most important seminary of the state. By concentrating public and private munificence in one Institution, we may hope to see enkindled a glorious brightness, which shall shed a lustre upon the whole commonwealth.
(Footnote: In New-York, funds to the amount of $750,000 have been granted to the three colleges, and about $100,000 to the thirty-eight incorporated academies. The common school fund in N. Y. amounts to about $1,160,000.
In Virginia, the literary fund is supposed to amount to a million and a half dollars. Of the income of this fund $45.000 have been appropriated annually for the education of poor children, and &15,000 annually for endowing "the University of Virginia." The law declares that "the said University shall in all things, at all times, be subject to the control of the legislature." It was proposed in a bill, which the legislature did not adopt, that no professorship of theology should be established in the University; in order probably that there might be no preference of any religious sect. It is not to be imagined, that an enlightened state will ever show, in this way, its impartiality towards the different religious sects. A gentleman must not go in rags, lest he should give a preference to gray, brown or black. If the Bible is not a fable, the teachers of its religion are more important in our principle literary institutions, than the teachers of any other science or art.
In Massachusetts, the legislature in 1814, granted for ten years the three colleges in that state the tax on the Massachusetts bank, amounting to $16,000 per annum, or in the whole to $160,000.
In Connecticut, the school fund is large.
By a late law for admitting Illinois as an independent state into the union, Congress has appropriated as a fund for education one million acres of land and three per cent, on the net proceeds of about twenty seven millions of acres. Of the land forty-six thousand acres and one sixth of the money are devoted to a college.)
Venerated Fathers of our Republic ! ye have solemnly pledged yourselves to support the constitution, which recognizes "morality and piety, rightly grounded on evangelical principles, as giving the best and greatest security to government." This morality and piety I have endeavored to recommend, not on the authority of the constitution, by which the people will not fail to judge your public conduct, but on the authority of that book of the law, by which God will weigh your actions in the great day of accounts. Permit me respectfully to remind you, that the day is coming, when the pageantry of office will cease, when the distinctions of this world will be levelled, when the conflicts of party will be forgotten, when wicked rulers shall be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord," and when the faithful shall inherity the unwithering honors of the kingdom of heaven.
After surveying the history of nations; after contemplating the general abuse of authority, the bloated pride of the princes of the earth, their profligate maxims of policy, their corrupting debaucheries, their cruel extortions and wasteful expenditures, their violations of good faith and contempt of justice, their all-grasping covetousness, their blood-thirsty ambition;---can we fail to be impressed with the value of those divine precepts, which, if obeyed, would correct all theses evils ? Can we fail to desire, that the predicted time might come, "when all kings shall fall down before" Jesus Christ, :and all nations shall serve him?" This time will come. It is worthy of remark, that of late, three of the powerful sovereigns of Europe have entered into a solemn covenant, that they will take for their guide the precepts of the gospel, namely, "the precepts of justice, christian charity, and peace." Let them honestly redeem the pledge, which they have thus given, and let all other rulers,---emperors and kings, presidents and governors, legislators and judges,--obey the christian law; and this desolate earth, which echoes the groans of its miserable, oppressed inhabitants, and which is wet with the blood of men slain in war, will become as the paradise of God. Then, in this wide world, there will not be seen a tyrants palace, surrounded, like the den of a wild beast, with dismal proofs of rapacity and cruelty;---then will no ferocious bigot dip his hands in the blood of an orthodox or heretical brother;---then will be seen no glorious warrior, mounting oer slaughtered millions to the proud battlement, waving his plume with acclamation on the dizzy height, whence he will be precipitated into everlasting shame and contempt;---then will no profligate and shameless prince give courage to shrinking vice, and spread through the land the contagion of his example, more virulent and fatal, than the pestilence;---then will no corrupt judge, overawed by authority, or swayed by passion, or influenced by interest, "turn judgement into wormwood," causing it to be said, "justice standeth afar off, truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter;"---but, on the contrary, then shall the ruler be as the light of the morning, when the sun ariseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
A list of those who have preached on this anniversary.
A.D By Whom .. Of what place .. Text.
1784 .Samuel MClintock, A.M .. Greenland . Jer. xviii. 7---10.
85 . Jeremy Belnap, Dover ... Ps. cxliv. 11---15.
86 . Samuel Haven, D.D . Portsmouth Mat. xxiv. 45---47.
87 . Joseph Buckminster, A.M . Portsmouth James i. 5.
88 . Samuel Langdon, D.D Hampton Falls .Deut. lv. 5---8.
89 . Oliver Noble, Newcastle
1790 .John C. Ogden, A.M Portsmouth Neh. v. 19.
91 . Israel Evans, A. M .Concord ..Gal. v. 1.
92 . William Morrison, .Londonderry .Rom. xiii. 3
93 .No sermon preached
94 .Amos Wood, A. B . Weare Isaiah. ix 7.
95 .John Smith.* ..Hanover ..Isaiah. xivii. 8.
96 .Wm. F. Rowland, A. M .Exeter .. II Sam. xxiii. 3.
97 .Stephen Peabody, A. M .Atkinson Ex. xviii 21.
98 .Robert Gray, A. B .Dover Gen. xii. 2.
99 .Seth Payson, A. M . Rindge .Eccl. ix. 18.
1800 .Noah Worchester, A.M . Thornton Judges iii. 11.
01 . Jacob Burnap, A. M .. Merrimack . Ps. lxxxvii. 4---6.
02 . Joseph Woodman, A. M .. Sandbornton Hos. vii. 9.
03 . Aaron Hall . Keene II Chr. xix. 6.
04 . Nathaniel Porter, A. M .. Conway I Chr. xii. 32.
05 . Reed Paige, A. M .. Hancock ..Rom. xiii. 4.
06 . James Miltimore, A M .. Stratham . Job. xxix. 14.
07 . Nathan Bradstreet, A. M . Chester Luke vii. 4---5.
08 . Asa MFarland, A. M Concord . II Pet. i. 19.
09 . Wm. F. Rowland Exeter .. Gal. v. 14.
1810 .Roswell Shurtleff+ . Hanover ..Rom. xiii. 1---3.
11 . Thomas Beede, A. M .. Wilton . John. vii. 48.
12 . Moses Bradford, A.M Francestown .I Tim. i. 15.
13 . John Church . Pelham .Chron. xv. 2.
14 . Peter Holt, A. M .. Epping . Dan. ii. 44.
15 . David Sutherland Bath .. Rev. i. 7.
16 . Pliny Dickinson Walpole .. II Chron. xxiv. 2.
17 . Daniel Merrill, A. M Nottingham Wt Matt. vi. 10.
18 . William Allen, A. M . Hanover ..Joshua, i. 8.
* Professor of divinity in Dartmouth College. His sermon was not printed, as he did not comply with the request of a copy.
+ Professor of divinity in Dartmouth College.
Editors note: Our 1809 David Osgood transcript also features an appendix for Massachusetts Election sermons starting in 1631, and listing through 1809. It should be noted, that Election Sermons in that state by leading Ivy League Alumni continued until after the Civil War, ( 1870s) therefore establishing an accepted practice of teaching the Bible as the foundation of U.S. government for a continuous period of about 250 years.
Needless to say, if an accepted practice is in force for such a long period, any change has to regarded as a deviation from the founding principles. Just as our esteemed writers projected, to desert the Bible as the rule for society and government in particular, would have disastrous consequences. This is tragically attested to by the torrents of blood beginning to flow in our schools, with Columbine, Co, and Ft. Worth Tx. just the last examples of what is to come if we do not return to the Founders principles.