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(whatever my querulous weakness might suggest) a far better. The storm has gone over me; and I lie like one of those old oaks which the late hurricane has scattered about me. I am stripped of all my honours ; I am torn up by the roots, and lie prostrate on the earth! There, and prostrate there, I most unfeignedly recognize the divine justice, and in some degree submit to it. But while I humble myself before God, I do not know that it is forbidden to repel the attacks of unjust and inconsiderate men. The patience of Job is proverbial. After some of the convulsive struggles of our irritable nature, he submitted himself, and repented in dust and ashes. But even so, I do not find him blamed for reprehending, and with a considerable degree of verbal asperity, those ill-natured neighbours of his, who visited his dunghill to read moral, political, and economical lectures on his misery. I am alone, I have none to meet my enemies in the gate. Indeed, my lord, I greatly deceive myself, if in this hard season I would give a peck of refuse wheat for all that is called fame and honour in this world. This is the appetite but of a few. It is a luxury; it is a privilege; it is an indulgence for those who are at their ease. But we are all of us made to shun disgrace, as we are made to shrink from pain, and poverty, and disease. It is an instinct; and under the direction of reason, instinct is always in the right. I lived in an inverted order. They who ought to have succeeded me are gone before me. They who should have been to me as posterity, are in the place of ancestors. I owe to the dearest relation (which ever must subsist in memory) that act of piety which he would have performed to me; I owe it to him to shew that he was not descended, as the Duke of Bedford would have it, from an unworthy parent.
THE IMPORTANCE AND BLESSINGS
It has often given me pleasure to observe, that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country, was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters form a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy commuication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.
With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice,. that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs; and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side, throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.
This country and this people seem to have been made for each other; and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties. Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed amongall orders and denominations of men among us. To all general purposes, we have uniformly been one peo
ple. Each individual citizen every where enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a nation, we have made peace and war: as a nation, we have vanquished our common enemies: as a nation, we have formed alliances, and made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states.
Queen Ann, in her letter of the 1st July, 1706, to the Scotch Parliament, makes some observations on the importance of the Union then forming between England and Scotland, which merit our attention.
I shall present the public with one extract from it. "An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: it will secure your religion, liberty, and property; remove the animosities amongst yourselves, and the jealousies and difference betwixt our two kingdoms. It must increase your strength, riches, and trade; and by this union the whole island being joined in affection, and free from all apprehensions of different interests, will be enabled to resist all its enemies. We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion, being the only effectual way to secure our present and future happiness; and dissappoint the designs of our and your enemies, who will, doubtless, on this occasion, use their utmost endeavours to prevent or delay this union."
A strong sense of the value and blessings of Union induced the people, at a very early period, to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence; nay, at a time, when their habitations were in flames, when many of them were bleeding in the field.
It is worthy of remark, that not only the first, but every succeeding Congress, as well as the Convention, invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended on its Union. To preserve and perpetuate it, was the great object of the
people in forming the Convention; and it is also the great object of the plan which the Convention has advised them to adopt. With what propriety, therefore, or for what good purposes, are attempts at this particular period made, by some men, to deprecate the importance of the Union? or why is it suggested that three or four confederacies would be better than one ? I am persuaded in my own mind, that the people have always thought right on this subject, and that their universal and uniform attachments to the cause of the Union, rests on great and weighty reasons.
They who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct confederacies in the room of the plan of the Convention, seem clearly to foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the Union in the utmost jeopardy: that certainly would be the case; and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good citizen, that whenever the dissolution of the Union arrives, America will have reason to exclaim, in the words of the Poet, "FAREWELL! A LONG FAREWELL, TO ALL MY GREATNESS!"
ON THE DANGER OF WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.
If these states should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, a man must be far gone in Utopian speculations, who can seriously doubt that the subdivisions into which they might be thrown, would have frequent and violent contests with each other. To presume a want of motives for such contests, as an argument against their existence, would be to forget that men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent uncon
nected sovereignties, situated in the same neighbourhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages.
The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society. Of this discription are the love of power, or the desire of pre-eminence and dominion-the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. There are others which have a more circumscribed, though an equally operative influence, within their spheres: such are the rivalships and competitions of commerce between commercial nations. And there are others, not less numerous than either of the former, which take their origin entirely in private passions; in the attachments, enmities, interests, hopes, and fears, of leading individuals in the communities of which they are members. Men of this class, whether the favourites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquility to personal advantage, or personal gratification.
To multiply examples of the agency of personal considerations, in the production of great national events, either foreign or domestic, according to their direction, would be an unnecessary waste of time. Those who have but a superficial acquaintance with the sources from which they are to be drawn, will themselves recollect a variety of instances; and those who have a tolerable knowledge of human_nature, will not stand in need of such lights, to form their opinion either of the reality or extent of that
From what has taken place in other countries, whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own, what reason can we have to confide in those reviews, which would seduce us into the ex