It is with pleasure that I have learned your design to write upon the American Revolution; because your other writings, which are much admired by Americans, contain principles of legislation, policy, and negotiation, which are perfectly analogous to their own; so that you cannot write upon this subject, without producing a work instructive to the public, and especially to my fellow-citizens.
But I hope, sir, you will not accuse me of presumption, of affectation, or of singularity, if I venture to express my opinion, that it is yet too soon to undertake a complete history of that great event; and that there is no man, either in America or Europe, at this day, capable of performing it, or who is in possession of the materials requisite and necessary for that purpose.
To engage in such a work, the writer ought to divide the history of America into several periods.
1. From the first establishment of the Colonies, in 1600, to the commencement of their disputes with Great Britain, in 1761.
2. From the commencement of those disputes in 1761, occasioned by an order of the board of trade and plantations in Great Britain, sent to the officers of the customs in America, to carry into execution in the strictest manner the acts of trade, and to apply to the courts of judicature for writs of assistance for that purpose, to the commencement of hostilities on the nineteenth of April, 1775. During this period of fourteen years, there was little more than a war of the quill.
3. From the battle of Lexington to the signature of the treaty with France, on the sixth of February, 1778. During this period of three years, the war was exclusively between Great Britain and the United States.
4. From the treaty with France to the commencement of hostilities between Great Britain and France, in the first place; afterwards, with Spain; then to the gradual progress of the armed neutrality, and the war of England against Holland. Finally, all these scenes have their catastrophe in the negotiations of the peace.
Without a distinct knowledge of the history of the colonies in the first period, a writer will find himself embarrassed, from the beginning to the end of his book, to account for events and characters which will present themselves in every step of his path, as he advances to the second, third, and fourth periods. To acquire a sufficient knowledge of the first period, it will be necessary to read all the charters granted to the colonies, and the commissions and instructions given to governors, all the codes of laws of the different colonies, (and thirteen volumes in folio, of dry, disgusting statutes, cannot be read with pleasure, or in a short time,) all the records of the legislatures of the several colonies, (which cannot be found but in manuscript, and by travelling in person from New Hampshire to Georgia); the records of the board of trade and plantations in Great Britain, from its institution to its dissolution; as also the files in the offices of some of the Secretaries of State.
During the second period, the writings are more numerous, and more difficult to be procured. There were then given to the public, works of great importance. In the controversies between those who were actors in this scene, as writers, there are some who ought to be distinguished. Among them are the Governors under the king, Pownall, Bernard, and Hutchinson, Lieutenant-Governor Oliver, Mr. Sewall, the Judge of Admiralty for Halifax, Jonathan Mayhew, D. D., James Otis, Oxenbridge Thacher, Samuel Adams, Josiah Quincy, Joseph Warren; and perhaps the following have not been less important than the foregoing, namely,--the writings of Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Wilson, and Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia; of Mr. Livingston, and Mr. McDougall, of New York; of Colonel Bland and Arthur Lee, of Virginia, and of many others. The records of the town of Boston, and especially of the Committee of Correspondence, the records of the Board of Commissioners of the Customs in Boston, the journals of the House of Representatives, and of the Council of Massachusetts Bay. Moreover, the gazettes of the town of Boston, not forgetting those of New York and Philadelphia, ought to be collected and examined from the year 1760. All this is necessary in order to write with precision, and in detail, the history of the discussions, before hostilities commenced, during the period from the year 1761, to the nineteenth of April, 1775. ...
Adams, John, 1735-1826. The 'American Revolution', Letter to Hezekiah Niles, first editor of the National Register. Quincy, February 13, 1818. First published in Niles' Weekly Register, v. 2, n. 14, March 7, 1818.
Later published as Revolutionary Reminiscences in Niles' National Register, containing political, historical, geographical, scientifical, statistical, economical, and biographical documents, essays and facts : together with notices of the arts and manufactures, and a record of the events of the times, August 6, 1842. Online as Niles' Weekly Register, Volume 62. Also here.
It was not until after the annihilation of the French dominion in America that any British ministry had dared to gratify their own wishes, and the desire of the nation, by projecting a formal plan for raising a national revenue from America by parliamentary taxation. The first great manifestation of this design was by the order to carry into strict execution those acts of Parliament which were well-known by the appellation of the Acts of Trade, which had lain a dead letter, unexecuted for half a century, and some of them, I believe, for nearly a whole one.
This produced, in 1760 and 1761, an awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings, with an enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open violence, hostility, and fury.
The characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent and influential in this revival, from 1760 to 1766, were first and foremost, before all and above all, James Otis; next to him was Oxenbridge Thatcher; next to him Samuel Adams; next to him John Hancock; then Dr. Mayhew; then Dr. Cooper and his brother. Of Mr. Hancock's life, character, generous nature, great and disinterested sacrifices, and important services, if I had forces, I should be glad to write a volume. But this I hope will be done by some younger and abler hand.
Backus, Isaac, 1724-1806. A Church history of New-England, with particular reference to the denomination of Christians called Baptists. Containing the first principles and settlements of the country; the rise and increase of the Baptist churches therein; the intrusion of arbitrary power under the cloak of religion; the Christian testimonies of the Baptists and others against the same, with their sufferings under it, from the begining [sic] to the present time. Collected from most authentic records and writings, both ancient and modern. By Isaac Backus, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Middleborough. [Four lines of quotations]. Vol. 2 of 3. Extending from 1690, to 1784. Boston, 1777[-1796]. 447 pp.
Bancroft, George, 1800-1891. History of the United States : from the discovery of the American continent. Boston, 1864-1875. Contents: v. 1-3. History of the colonization of the United States.--v. 4-10. The American revolution.
Volume 1 of 10. 511 pp. Also here. Volume 2 of 10. 484 pp. Also here. Volume 3 of 10. 486 pp. Also here. Volume 4 of 10. 478 pp. Also here. Volume 5 of 10. 467 pp. Also here. Volume 6 of 10. 546 pp. Also here.
"The Constitution establishes nothing that interferes with equality and individuality. It knows nothing of differences by descent, or opinions, of favored classes, or legalized religion, or the political power of property. It leaves the individual alongside of the individual. No nationality of character could take form, except on the principle of individuality, so that the mind might be free, and every faculty have the unlimited opportunity for its development and culture. . . .
"The rule of individuality was extended as never before. Religion was become avowedly the attribute of man and not of a corporation. In the earliest states known to history, government and religion were one and indivisible. Each state had its special deity, and of these protectors one after another might be overthrown in battle, never to rise again. The Peloponnesian war grew out of a strife about an oracle. Rome, as it adopted into citizenship those whom it vanquished, sometimes introduced, and with good logic for that day, the worship of their gods. No one thought of vindicating liberty of religion for the conscience of the individual till a voice in Judea, breaking day for the greatest epoch in the life of humanity by establishing for all mankind a pure, spiritual, and universal religion, enjoined to render to Caesar only that which is Caesar's. The rule was upheld during the infancy of this gospel for all men. No sooner was the religion of freedom adopted by the chief of the Roman empire, than it was shorn of its character of universality and enthralled by an unholy connection with the unholy state; and so it continued till the new nation - the least defiled with the barren scoffings of the eighteenth century, the most sincere believer in Christianity of any people of that age, the chief heir of the Reformation in its purest form - when it came to establish a government for the United States, refused to treat faith as a matter to be regulated by a corporate body, or having a headship in a monarch or a state.
"Vindicating the right of individuality even in religion, and in religion above all, the new nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relations to God the principle first divinely ordained in Judea. It left the management of temporal things to the temporal power; but the American Constitution, in harmony with the people of the several States, withheld from the federal government the power to invade the home of reason, the citadel of conscience, the sanctuary of the soul; and not from indifference, but that the infinite spirit of eternal truth might move in its freedom and purity and power."--pp. 144-145, 1886 edition. Volume 7 of 10. 442 pp. Also here. Volume 8 of 10. 477 pp. Also here. Volume 9 of 10. 509 pp. Also here. Volume 10 of 10. 738 pp. Also here. History of the United States: from the discovery of the American continent, Index. Boston, 1864-1875. 738 pp.
Barton, David, 1954-present. The American Revolution: Was it an Act of Biblical Rebellion? Posted May 2009. "The topic of civil disobedience and resistance to governing authorities had been a subject of serious theological inquiries for centuries before the Enlightenment. This was especially true during the Reformation, when the subject was directly addressed by theologians such as Frenchman John Calvin, German Martin Luther, Swiss Reformation leader Huldreich Zwingli, and numerous others."
... "The second Scriptural viewpoint overwhelmingly embraced by most Americans during the Revolutionary Era was that God would not honor an offensive war, but that He did permit civil self-defense (e.g., Nehemiah 4:13-14 & 20-21, Zechariah 9:8, 2 Samuel 10:12, etc.). The fact that the American Revolution was an act of self-defense and was not an offensive war undertaken by the Americans remained a point of frequent spiritual appeal for the Founding Fathers."
Butler, Frederick, 1766-1843. History of the United States: from the discovery of the American continent. Hartford [Conn.] : Printed for the author, (Roberts and Burr), 1821. Volume 1 of 3. Also here. Engr. front. in v. 1 includes portraits of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe Volume 2 of 3. Also here. Errors in paging: v. 2, p. 142, 205, 253, 398 misnumbered 122, 105, 353, 396. Volume 3 of 3. Also here.
Curtis, George Ticknor, 1812-1894. History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Constitution of the United States: with notices of its principal framers. New York: Harper and Bros., 1854-1858. Volume 1 of 2. 546 pp. Volume 2 of 2. 674 pp.
"In all their previous state papers[, t]he men who formed the Constitution had declared Christianity to be 'fundamental to the well-being of society and government, and in every form of official authority had stated this fact. ... The various States who had sent these good and great men to the convention to form a Constitution had, in all their civil charters, expressed, as States and as a people, their faith in God and the Christian religion."
Oliver, Peter, 1713-1791. Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Colony in the early 1770s and British Loyalist. Origin & progress of the American Rebellion: A Tory view. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1961. xx, 175 pp.: ports.; 24 cm. Also here. Oliver mentions "The Black Regiment," the clergymen who encouraged the rebellion.
"Mr. Otis, ye. Son, understanding the Foibles of human Nature,
although he did not always practise upon that Theory, advanced one shrewd Position, which seldom fails to promote popular Commotions, vizt. that it was necessary to secure the black Regiment, these were his Words, & his Meaning was to engage ye. dissenting Clergy on his Side. He had laid it down as a Maxim, in nomine Domini incipit omne malum; & where better could he fly for aid than to the Horns of the Altar? & this Order of Men might, in a literal Sense, be stiled such, for like their Predecessors of 1641 they have been unceasingly sounding the Yell of Rebellion in the Ears of an ignorant & deluded People."
... "It may not be amiss, now, to reconnoitre Mr. Otis's black Regiment, the dissenting Clergy, who took so active a Part in the Rebellion. 24
"The congregational perswasion of Religion might be properly termed the established Religion of the Massachusetts, as well as of some other of the New England Colonies; as the Laws were peculiarly adapted to secure ye Rights of this Sect; although all other Religions were tolerated, except the Romish. This Sect inherited from their Ancestors an Aversion to Episcopacy; & I much question, had it not been for the Supremacy of the British Government over them, which they dared not openly deny, whether Episcopacy itself would have been tolerated; at least it would have been more discountenanced than it was & here I can not but remark a great Mistake of the Governors of the Church of England, in proposing to the Colonies to have their consent to a Bishops residing among them for the purpose of Ordination."
... "The Town of Boston being the Metropolis, it was also the Metropolis of Sedition; and hence it was that their Clergy being dependent on the People for their daily Bread; by having frequent Intercourse with the People, imbibed their Principles. 25
25"Freeman" in the Censor for Jan. 4, 1772, p. 25, observed that the Boston clergy 'have temporised, against their own judgments, in compliance with the prejudices of their people!'
"In this Town was an annual Convention of the Clergy of the Province, the Day after the Election of his Majestys Charter Council; and at those Meetings were settled the religious Affairs of the Province; & as the Boston Clergy were esteemed by the others as an Order of Deities, so they were greatly influenced by them. There was also another annual Meeting of the Clergy at Cambridge, on the Commencement for graduating the Scholars of Harvard College, at these two Conventions, if much Good was effectuated, so there was much Evil. And some of the Boston Clergy, as they were capable of the Latter, so they missed no Opportunities of accomplishing their Purposes. Among those who were most distinguished of the Boston Clergy were Dr. Charles Chauncy, Dr. Jonathan Mayhew & Dr. Samuel Cooper. 26 & they distinguished theirselves in encouraging Seditions & Riots, untill those lesser Offences were absorbed in Rebellion. 27
26 Other members of the "black regiment" were Jonas Clark, of Lexington, whose wife was Hancock's cousin; Andrew Eliot, who was a correspondent of Thomas Hollis; John Lathrop, of Old North Church; and Samuel Cooke, of Arlington, who was a good friend of Jonas Clark and John Cleaveland.
27 Samuel Cooper and his successor were accused of "sowing sedition and conspiracy among parishioners" a practice that had gone on ever since the cornerstone of the church was laid. See Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (Durham, N.C., 1928), p. 94, n. 34.
Palfrey, John Gorham, 1796-1881. A History of New England, from the discovery by Europeans to the revolution of the seventeenth century: being an abridgment of his "History of New England during the Stuart dynasty." New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1866.
Volume 1 of 2.
In all Christian countries it was understood to belong to
the rightful province of law to control the individual, not only for his neighbor's protection, but for
his own well-being and improvement. But if the
New England founders had not received that theory,
probably they would have originated it. The people of that region in modern times have supposed it to be no invasion of the citizen's liberty to require him to submit his children to instruction in reading, writing, and accounts, to the end that they may not grow up to be incapable and shiftless,
troublesome and chargeable. On similar grounds
the fathers considered it to be alike conducive to
the public good and unobjectionable to the individual, that he should be saved from the misery to himself and the mischievousness to his neighbors of ignorance respecting morals and religion. Their political foresight enforced such a policy. For a godless population is a population ungovernable
except by a despotism. To be capable of lasting liberty, a people must be religious. It is vital to free government, that they who are to sustain and enjoy it should have a sense of the government of God. If neither devout worshippers nor virtuous
citizens can be made by law, it by no means follows that the law can do nothing, or can do nothing without countervailing disadvantages, towards bringing the citizen within the reach of influences helpful to his becoming devout and virtuous. Volume 2 of 2.
Pennell, Arthur J., Fl. early 20th century. American Foundations. Homiletic review, volume 82, New Haven, Conn. 1921.
Pitkin, Timothy, 1766-1847. A Political and Civil History of the United States of America: from the year 1763 to the close of the administration of President Washington, in March, 1797: including a summary view of the political and civil state of the North American colonies, prior to that period. H. Howe and Durrie & Peck, 1828. Volume 1 of 2. Volume 2 of 2.
Prince, Thomas, 1687-1758. The Christian History: containing accounts of the revival and propagation of religion in Great-Britain & America. Boston, N.E., 1743-1745. Volume 1 of 2. 423 pp.
Volume 2 of 2. 422 pp.
Thornton, J. W. Historical introduction.--Discourses:
I. Mayhew, J. Sermon of Jan. 30, 1750.
II. Chauncy, C. Thanksgiving sermon on the repeal of the Stamp act, 1766.
III. Cooke S. Election sermon, 1770.
IV. Gordon, W. Thanksgiving sermon, 1774.
V. Langdon, S. Election sermon at Watertown, 1775.
VI. West, S. Election sermon, 1776.
VII. Payson, P. Election sermon, 1778.
VIII. Howard, S. Election sermon, 1780.
IX. Stiles, E. Election sermon, 1783.
Trumbull, Benjamin, 1735-1820. A General History of the United States of America from the discovery in 1492, to 1792, or, Sketches of the divine agency, in their settlement, growth, and protection; and especially in the late memorable revolution. In three volumes. Volume I. Exhibiting a general view of the principal events, from the discovery of North America, to the year 1765. / by Benjamin Trumbull. Boston: Farrand, Mallory, and co., 1810 ([Boston]: Samuel T. Armstrong) 467 pp.; 23 cm. Note: No more published./ "This first volume ... was published nine months since, during the absence of the friend, to whom the author entrusted his manuscripts. By an unfortunate mistake, it was published without the preface and the concluding chapter. In this imperfect state a number of copies have been sold ... The only method of correcting this regretted mistake is adopted, and the concluding chapter, with the preface are published, and will be added to all the copies, which remain unsold ..."--Note, p. xii. The manuscript collections from which this history is compiled are in the Yale library.
Morse, New Haven, August 9, 1809: "I have undertaken, should I have leisure to continue, A General History of the United States (particularly in reference to remarkable interpositions of Divine Providence in favor of this country, from its settlement to this day), begun by Revd. Dr. Trumbull, and which he has brought down to the year 1766, in MSS. ready for the press. With events in our country since that period, you, Sir, are more intimately acquainted than most other men. I have a great desire to avail myself of such information as to events and facts most prominent and interesting, as you possess, and shall be willing to communicate. In a personal interview I could more fully disclose my wishes and plan."
Jay: "A proper history of the United States I would have much to recommend it: in some respects it would be singular, or unlike all others; it would develop the great plan of Providence, for causing this extensive part of our world to be discovered, and these 'uttermost parts of the earth' to be gradually filled with civilized and Christian people and nations. The means or second causes by which this great plan has long been and still is accomplishing, are materials for history, of which the writer ought well to know the use and bearings and proper places. In my opinion, the historian, in the course of the work, is never to lose sight of that great plan.
"Remarkable interpositions of Divine Providence are fine subjects, but the exhibition cannot have a full effect, unless accompanied with a distinct view of the objects and state of things to which they relate; it is by discerning how admirably they are accommodated and fitted to answer their intended purposes, that the reader is made to reflect and feel properly.
"Few among us have time and talent for such a
work. I am pleased with the prospect of your undertaking
it; and I do believe that, with a due allowance
of time, that is, of several years, you would execute it
Trumbull, Benjamin, 1735-1820. A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical, from the Emigration of its first planters, from England, in the Year 1630, to the Year 1764; and to the close of the Indian Wars. Volume 1 of 2. New Haven: Maltby, Goldsmith and Co. and Samuel Wadsworth, 1818. 1898 edition in HTML.
Trumbull, Benjamin, 1735-1820. A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical, from the Emigration of its first planters, from England, in the Year 1630, to the Year 1764; and to the close of the Indian Wars. Volume 2 of 2. New Haven: Maltby, Goldsmith and Co. and Samuel Wadsworth, 1818.
Tyler, Moses Coit, 1835-1900. The Literary History of the American Revolution, 1763-1783. G. P. Putnam's sons, 1897. Volume 1 of 2. Volume 2 of 2. Volumes 1-2.
The plan of the author has been to let both parties in the controversy--the Whigs and the Tories, the Revolutionists and "the Loyalists--tell their own story freely in their own way, and without either of them being liable, at our hands, to posthumous outrage in the shape of partisan imputations on their sincerity, their magnanimity, their patriotism, or their courage. Moreover, for the purpose of historic interpretation, the author has recognized the value of the lighter, as well as of the graver, forms of literature, and consequently has here given full room to the lyrical, the humorous, and the satirical aspects of our Revolutionary record--its songs, ballads, sarcasms, its literary facetiae. The entire body of American writings, from 1763 to 1783, whether serious or mirthful, in prose or in verse, is here delineated in its most characteristic examples, for the purpose of exhibiting the several stages of thought and emotion through which the American people passed during the two decades of the struggle which resulted in our national Independence.
By comparison, then, with the usual way of dealing with the subject, this study of the American Revolution brings about a somewhat different adjustment of its causal forces, of its instruments, its sequences, its acts, and its actors. The proceedings of legislative bodies, the doings of cabinet ministers and of colonial politicians, the movements of armies, are not here altogether disregarded, but they are here subordinated: they are mentioned, when mentioned at all, as mere external incidents in connection with the ideas and the emotions which lay back of them or in front of them, which caused them or were caused by them. One result of this method, also, is an entirely new distribution of the tokens of historic prominence--of what is called fame--among the various participants in that very considerable business. Instead of fixing our eyes almost exclusively, as is commonly done, upon statesmen and generals, upon party leaders, upon armies and navies, upon Congress, upon parliament, upon the ministerial agents of a brain-sick king, or even upon that brain-sick king himself, and instead of viewing all these people as the sole or the principal movers and doers of the things that made the American Revolution, we here for the most part turn our eyes away toward certain persons hitherto much neglected, in many cases wholly forgotten--toward persons who, as mere writers, and whether otherwise prominent or not, nourished the springs of great historic events by creating and shaping and directing public opinion during all that robust time; who, so far as we here regard them, wielded only spiritual weapons; who still illustrate, for us and for all who choose to see, the majestic operation of ideas, the creative and decisive play of spiritual forces, in the development of history, in the rise and fall of nations, in the aggregation and the division of races. Accordingly, in this particular history of the American Revolution, our heroes are such, not because they were mighty ministers of state, or mighty politicians and law-makers, or mighty generals; our heroes are such, chiefly, because they were mere penmen--only essayists, pamphleteers, sermon writers, song writers, tale tellers, or satirists, the study of whose work, it is believed, may open to us a view of the more delicate and elusive, but not less profound or less real, forces which made that period so great, and still so worthy of being truly understood by us. Finally, as we have here to do, not so much with the old, official, and conspicuous actors in the Revolution as, in many cases, with its unseen, its unofficial, and its almost unremembered ones,--as we here concern ourselves less frequently with the political and military chiefs of that stormy transaction, and more frequently with its literary chiefs,--so, also, are we here brought into a rather direct and familiar acquaintance with the American people themselves, on both sides of the dispute, as, sitting at their firesides or walking in their streets, they were actually stirred to thought and passion by the arrival of the daily budget of news touching an affair of incomparable moment to themselves. Just what this book aims to be, then, is a presentation of the soul, rather than of the body, of the American Revolution; a careful, independent, and, if possible, an unbiased register of the very brain and heart of the sorely divided people of the land, as these wrought, and rejoiced, and suffered, in the progress of those tremendous political and military events which constitute the exterior and visible framework of our heroic age. ...
This gazette [Boston Gazette] was much celebrated for the freedom of its disquisitions in favor of civil liberty. It has been observed that it will be a treasury of political intelligence for the historians of this country. Otis, Thacher, Dexter, Adams, Warren and Quincy, Doctors Samuel Cooper and Mayhew, stars of the first magnitude in our northern hemisphere, whose glory and brightness distant ages will admire; these gentlemen of character and influence offered their first essays to the public through the medium of the Boston Gazette, on which account the paper became odious to the friends of prerogative, but not more disgusting to the tories and high church than it was pleasing to the whigs. See collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society. ["Continuation of the Narrative of Newspapers Published in New-England, from the Year 1704 to the Revolution." MHS, Collections, first series, VI (1799): 70.]
Wolford, Thorp L., 1918-2012. The Laws and Liberties of 1648; The First Code of Laws Enacted and Printed in English America. Boston University Law Review, 1948, pp. 427-463.
The Seeds of Liberty
Adams, John Quincy
Sixth President of the United States.
Read more about John Quincy Adams here, here and here.
Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings. Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850. 128 pp.
"There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy."
... "But, it is the God of the Hebrews alone, who is announced to us as the Creator of the world. The ideas of God entertained by all the most illustrious and most ingenious nations of antiquity were weak and absurd. The Persians worshipped the sun; the Egyptians believed in an innumerable multitude of gods, and worshipped not only oxen, crocodiles, dogs, and cats, but even garlics and onions. The Greeks invented a poetical religion, and adored men and women, virtues and vices, air, water, and fire, and everything that a vivid imagination could personify. Almost all the Greek philosophers reasoned and meditated upon the nature of the gods; but scarcely any of them reflected enough even to imagine that there was but one God, and not one of them ever conceived of him as the Creator of the world. Cicero has collected together all their opinions upon the nature of the gods, and pronounced them more like the dreams of madmen than the sober judgment of wise men. In the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, there is an account of the change of chaos in the world. Before the sea, and the earth, and the sky that surrounds all things (says Ovid), there was a thing called chaos, and some of the gods (he does not know which), separated from each other the elements of this chaos, and turned them into the world; thus far and no farther could human reason extend. But the first words of the Bible are, 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' The blessed and sublime idea of God, as the creator of the universe, the source of all human happiness for which all the sages and philosophers of Greece and Rome groped in darkness and never found, is recalled in the first verse of the book of Genesis. I call it the source of all human virtue and happiness; because when we have attained the conception of a Being, who by the mere act of his will, created the world, it would follow as an irresistible consequence--even if we were not told that the same Being must also be the governor of his own creation--that man, with all other things, was also created by him, and must hold his felicity and virtue on the condition of obedience to his will."
..."The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes adapted to that time only, and to the particular circumstances of the nation to whom it was given; they could of course be binding upon them, and only upon them, until abrogated by the same authority which enacted them, as they afterward were by the Christian dispensation: but many others were of universal application -- laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws."
... "But if you would remark the distinguishing characteristics between true and false religion, compare the manner in which the ten commandments were proclaimed by the voice of the Almighty God, from Mount Sinai, with thunder, and lightning, and earthquake, by the sound of the trumpet, and in the hearing of six thousand souls, with the studied secrecy, and mystery, and mummery, with which the Delphic and other oracles of the Grecian gods were delivered. The miraculous interpositions of Divine power recorded in every part of the Bible, are invariably marked with grandeur and sublimity worthy of the Creator of the world, and before which the gods of Homer, not excepting his Jupiter, dwindle into the most contemptible pigmies; but on no occasion was the manifestation of the Deity so solemn, so awful, so calculated to make indelible impressions upon the imaginations and souls of the mortals to whom he revealed himself, as when he appeared in the character of their Lawgiver. The law thus dispensed was, however, imperfect; it was destined to be partly suspended and improved into absolute perfection many ages afterward by the appearance of Jesus Christ upon earth. But to judge of its excellence as a system of laws, it must be compared with human codes which existed or were promulgated at nearly the same age of the world in other nations. Remember, that the law was given 1,490 years before Christ was born, at the time the Assyrian and Egyptian monarchies existed: but of their government and laws we know scarcely anything save what is collected from the Bible. Of the Phrygian, Lydian, and Trojan states, at the same period, little more is known. The president Gorget, in a very elaborate and ingenious work on the origin of letters, arts, and sciences, among the ancient nations, says, that 'the maxims, the civil and political laws of these people, are absolutely unknown; that not even an idea of them can be formed, with the single exception of the Lyclians, of whom Herodotus asserts, that their laws were the same as the Greeks.' -- The same author contrasts the total darkness and oblivion into which all the institutions of these mighty empires have fallen, with the fulness and clearness and admirable composition of the Hebrew code, which has not only descended to us entire, but still continues the national code of the Jews (scattered as they are over the whole face of the earth), and enters so largely into the legislation of almost every civilized nation upon the globe. He observes that 'these laws have been prescribed by God himself: the merely human laws of other contemporary nations can not bear any comparison with them.'"
... "But my motive in forming the comparison, is to present to your reflections as a proof--and to my mind a very strong proof-- of the reality of their divine origin: for how is it that the whole system of government, and administration, the municipal, political, ecclesiastical, military, and moral laws and institutions, which bound in society the numberless myriads of human beings who formed for many successive ages the stupendous monarchies of Africa and Asia, should have perished entirely and been obliterated from the memory of mankind, while the laws of a paltry tribe of shepherds, characterized by Tacitus, and the sneering infidelity of Gibbon, as 'the most despised portion of their slaves,' should not only have survived the wreck of those empires, but remain to this day rules of faith and practice to every enlightened nation of the world, and perishable only with it? The reason is obvious: it is their intrinsic excellence which has preserved them from the destruction which befalls all the works of mortal man. The precepts of the decalogue alone (says Gorget), disclose more sublime truths, more maxims essentially suited to the happiness of man, than all the writings of profane antiquity put together can furnish. The more you meditate on the laws of Moses, the more striking and brighter does their wisdom appear."
An Oration, delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1802: at the anniversary commemoration of the first landing of our ancestors, at that place. Boston, 1802. 29 pp.
"Another incident from which we may derive occasion for important reflections, was the attempt of these original settlers to establish among them that community of goods and of labor which fanciful politicians, from the days of Plato to those of Rousseau, have recommended as the fundamental law of a perfect republic. This theory results, it must be acknowledged, from principles of reasoning most flattering to the human character. If industry, frugality and disinterested integrity, were alike the virtues of all, there would apparently be more of the social spirit, in making all property a common stock, and giving to each individual a proportional title to the wealth of the whole. Such is the basis upon which Plato forbids in his republic the division of property. Such is the system upon which Rousseau pronounces the first man who enclosed a field with a fence and said this is mine, a traitor to the human species. A wiser and more useful philosophy however directs us to consider man, according to the nature in which he was formed; subject to infirmities, which no wisdom can remedy; to weaknesses which no institution can strengthen; to vices which no legislation can correct. Hence it becomes obvious, that separate property is the natural and indisputable right of separate exertion--that community of goods without community of toil is oppressive and unjust; that it counteracts the laws of nature, which prescribe, that he only who sows the seed shall reap the harvest: that it discourages all energy by destroying its rewards; and makes the most virtuous and active members of society, the slaves and drudges of the worst. Such was the issue of this experiment among our forefathers, and the same event demonstrated the error of the system in the elder settlement of Virginia."
An Address delivered at the request of a committee of the citizens of Washington: on the occasion of reading the Declaration of Independence, on the Fourth of July, 1821. Washington, 1821. 30 pp. Also here.
"From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration. They were bound by all those tender and endearing sympathies, the absence of which, in the British government and nation, towards them, was the primary cause of the distressing conflict in which they had been precipitated by the headlong rashness and unfeeling insolence of their oppressors. They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights. They were bound by habits of hardy industry, by frugal and hospitable manners, by the general sentiments of social equality, by pure and virtuous morals; and lastly they were bound by the grappling-hooks of common suffering under the scourge of oppression."
"Inaugural Address" (March 4, 1825). In compliance with an usage coeval with the existence of our Federal Constitution, and sanctioned by the example of my predecessors in the career upon which I am about to enter, I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence and in that of Heaven to bind myself by the solemnities of religious obligation to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me in the station to which I have been called.
Fellow-citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent election, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfillment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence in advance than any of my predecessors, I am deeply conscious of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions upright and pure, a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of all the faculties allotted to me to her service are all the pledges that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils, to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments, to the friendly cooperation of the respective State governments, to the candid and liberal support of the people so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service; and knowing that "except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain," with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of my country.
"First Annual Message to Congress" (December 6, 1825).
Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
In taking a general survey of the concerns of our beloved country, with reference to subjects interesting to the common welfare, the first sentiment which impresses itself upon the mind is of gratitude to the Omnipotent Disposer of All Good for the continuance of the signal blessings of His providence, and especially for that health which to an unusual extent has prevailed within our borders, and for that abundance which in the vicissitudes of the seasons has been scattered with profusion over our land. Nor ought we less to ascribe to Him the glory that we are permitted to enjoy the bounties of His hand in peace and tranquillity -- in peace with all the other nations of the earth, in tranquillity among our selves. There has, indeed, rarely been a period in the history of civilized man in which the general condition of the Christian nations has been marked so extensively by peace and prosperity.
...The spirit of improvement is abroad upon the earth. It stimulates the hearts and sharpens the faculties not of our fellow citizens alone, but of the nations of Europe and of their rulers. While dwelling with pleasing satisfaction upon the superior excellence of our political institutions, let us not be unmindful that liberty is power; that the nation blessed with the largest portion of liberty must in proportion to its numbers be the most powerful nation upon earth, and that the tenure of power by man is, in the moral purposes of his Creator, upon condition that it shall be exercised to ends of beneficence, to improve the condition of himself and his fellow men.
While foreign nations less blessed with that freedom which is power than ourselves are advancing with gigantic strides in the career of public improvement, were we to slumber in indolence or fold up our arms and proclaim to the world that we are palsied by the will of our constituents, would it not be to cast away the bounties of Providence and doom ourselves to perpetual inferiority? In the course of the year now drawing to its close we have beheld, under the auspices and at the expense of one State of this Union, a new university unfolding its portals to the sons of science and holding up the torch of human improvement to eyes that seek the light. We have seen under the persevering and enlightened enterprise of another State the waters of our Western lakes mingle with those of the ocean. If undertakings like these have been accomplished in the compass of a few years by the authority of single members of our Confederation, can we, the representative authorities of the whole Union, fall behind our fellow servants in the exercise of the trust committed to us for the benefit of our common sovereign by the accomplishment of works important to the whole and to which neither the authority nor the resources of any one State can be adequate?
Finally, fellow citizens, I shall await with cheering hope and faithful cooperation the result of your deliberations, assured that, without encroaching upon the powers reserved to the authorities of the respective States or to the people, you will, with a due sense of your obligations to your country and of the high responsibilities weighing upon yourselves, give efficacy to the means committed to you for the common good. And may He who searches the hearts of the children of men prosper your exertions to secure the blessings of peace and promote the highest welfare of your country.
An Oration Addressed to the citizens of the town of Quincy, on the Fourth of July, 1831, the fifty-fifth anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. Boston, 1831. 39 pp. Also here and here.
"The Declaration of Independence was a manifesto issued to the world, by the delegates of thirteen distinct, but united colonies of Great Britain, in the name and behalf of their people. It was a united declaration. Their union preceded their independence; nor was their independence, nor has it ever since, been separable from their union. Their language is, 'We the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, do, in the name and by the authority of the good PEOPLE of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies, are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.' It was the act of one people. The Colonies are not named; their number is not designated; nor in the original Declaration, does it appear from which of the Colonies any one of the fifty-six Delegates by whom it was signed, had been deputed. They announced their constituents to the world as one people, and unitedly declared the Colonies to which they respectively belonged, united, free and independent states. The Declaration of Independence, therefore, was a proclamation to the world, not merely that the United Colonies had ceased to be dependencies of Great Britain, but that their people had bound themselves, before God, to a primitive social compact of union, freedom and independence.
... "In the history of the world, this was the first example of a self-constituted nation proclaiming to the rest of mankind the principles upon which it was associated, and deriving those principles from the laws of nature. It has sometimes been objected to the paper, that it deals too much in abstractions. But this was its characteristic excellence; for upon those abstractions hinged the justice of the cause. Without them, our revolution would have been but successful rebellion. Right, truth, justice, are all abstractions. The Divinity that stirs within the soul of man is abstraction. The Creator of the universe is a spirit, and all spiritual nature is abstraction. Happy would it be, could we answer with equal confidence another objection, not to the Declaration, but to the consistency of the people by whom it was proclaimed! Thrice happy, could the appeal to the Supreme Judge of the World for rectitude of intention, and with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence for support, have been accompanied with an appeal equally bold to our own social institutions to illustrate the self-evident truths which we declared!"
... "The Declaration of Independence was not a declaration of liberty newly acquired, nor was it a form of government. The people of the Colonies were already free, and their forms of government were various. They were all Colonies of a monarchy. The king of Great Britain was their common sovereign. Their internal administrations presented great varieties of form. The proprietary governments were hereditary monarchies in miniature. New York and Virginia were feudal aristocracies. Massachusetts Bay was an approximation to the complex government of the parent state. Connecticut and Rhode Island were little remote from democracies. But as in the course of our recent war with Great Britain, her gallant naval warriors made the discovery that the frigates of the United States were line of battle ships in disguise, so the ministers of George III, when they brought their king and country into collision with these transatlantic dependencies, soon found to their astonishment, that the United American Colonies were republics in disguise. The spirit of the people, throughout the Union, was republican; and the absurdity of a foreign and a royal head to societies of men thus constituted, had remained unperceived, only because until then that head had been seldom brought into action.
"The Declaration of Independence announced the severance of the thirteen United Colonies from the rest of the British Empire, and the existence of their people from that day forth as an independent nation. The people of all the Colonies, speaking by their representatives, constituted themselves one moral person before the face of their fellow men.
"The Declaration of Independence was the crown with which the people of United America, rising in gigantic stature as one man, encircled their brows, and there it remains; there, so long as this globe shall be inhabited by human beings, may it remain, a crown of imperishable glory!
"The Declaration of Independence asserted the rights, and acknowledged the obligations of an independent nation. It recognised the laws of nations, as they were observed and practised among Christian communities."
The Jubilee of the Constitution: a discourse delivered at the request of the New York historical society. New York, 1839. 135 pp.
The motive for the Declaration of Independence was on its face avowed to be "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Its purpose to declare the causes which impelled the people of the English colonies on the continent of North America, to separate themselves from the political community of the British-nation. They declare only the causes of their separation, but they announce at the same time their assumption of the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, among the powers of the earth.
Thus their first movement is to recognise and appeal to the laws of nature and to nature's God, for their right to assume the attributes of sovereign power as an independent nation.
The causes of their necessary separation, for they begin and end by declaring it necessary, alleged in the Declaration, are all founded on the same laws of nature and of nature's God -- and hence as preliminary to the enumeration of the causes of separation, they set forth as self-evident truths, the rights of individual man, by the laws of nature and of nature's God, to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness. That all men are created equal. That to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. All this, is by the laws of nature and of nature's God, and of course presupposes the existence of a God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and of government. It avers, also, that governments are instituted to secure these rights of nature and of nature's God, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of THE PEOPLE to alter, or to abolish it, and to institute a new government -- to throw off a government degenerating into despotism, and to provide new guards for their future security. They proceed then to say that such was then the situation of the Colonies, and such the necessity which constrained them to alter their former systems of government.
Then follows the enumeration of the acts of tyranny by which the king, parliament, and people of Great Britain, had perverted the powers to the destruction of the ends of government, over the Colonies, and the consequent necessity constraining the Colonies to the separation.
Tn conclusion, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies, are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown; and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain, is, and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. The appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world, and the rule of right and wrong as paramount events to the power of independent States, are here again repeated in the very act of constituting a new sovereign community."
... "Now the virtue which had been infused into the Constitution of the United States, and was to give to its vital existence the stability and duration to which it was destined, was no other than the concretion of those abstract principles which had been first proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence -- namely, the self-evident truths of the natural and unalienable rights of man, of the indefeasible constituent and dissolvent sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to a rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that sovereign, constituent, and dissolvent power.
"This was the platform upon which the Constitution of the United States had been erected. Its VIRTUES, its republican character, consisted in its conformity to the principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and as its administration must necessarily be always pliable to the fluctuating varieties of public opinion; its stability and duration by a like overruling and irresistible necessity, was to depend upon the stability and duration in the hearts and minds of the people of that virtue, or in other words, of those principles, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and embodied in the Constitution of the United States."
The New England confederacy of MDCXLIII: a discourse delivered before the society, on the twenty-ninth of May, 1843: in celebration of the Second Centennial Anniversary of that Event. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1843. 48 pp.
"The primary cause then of the various settlements of
New England was religion. It was not the search for gold -- It was not the pursuit of wealth-- It was not the
spirit of adventure -- It was not the martial spirit of conquest,
which animated our English forefathers to plant
themselves here in a desert and barren wilderness, to lay
the foundations of the mightiest empire that the world
ever saw. It was religion. It was the Christian religion,
purified and refined from its corruptions, by the
fires of persecution. The first colonists were indeed of
that class of emigrants from their native land, driven
away by oppression; but in the settlements of Plymouth
and of Massachusetts, the stern and severe impulses of
religion were tempered by the tenderest and most attractive
sympathies of English patriotism. The Plymouth
colonists had been fugitives from the north of England,
who from time to time had escaped by crossing the North
Sea to Holland, in numbers sufficient to form an English
church at Leyden. They had fled from tbeir country
for the enjoyment of religious liberty in peace. But
with that religion was inseparably connected the code of
Christian morals in its simplicity and in its purity -- a
code above all others resting upon the fundamental principle
of the natural equality of mankind."
Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.
All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as long as they please; and in case of intolerable oppression, civil or religious, to leave the society they belong to, and enter into another.
When men enter into society, it is by voluntary consent; and they have a right to demand and insist upon the performance of such conditions and previous limitations as form an equitable original compact.
Every natural right not expressly given up, or, from the nature of a social compact, necessarily ceded, remains.
All positive and civil laws should conform, as far as possible, to the law of natural reason and equity.
As neither reason requires nor religion permits the contrary, every man living in or out of a state of civil society has a right peaceably and quietly to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.
"Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty," in matters spiritual and temporal, is a thing that all men are clearly entitled to by the eternal and immutable laws of God and nature, [Page 418] as well as by the law of nations and all well-grounded municipal laws, which must have their foundation in the former.
In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practised, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind. And it is now generally agreed among Christians that this spirit of toleration, in the fullest extent consistent with the being of civil society, is the chief characteristical mark of the Church. (* See Locke's Letters on Toleration.) Insomuch that Mr. Locke has asserted and proved, beyond the possibility of contradiction on any solid ground, that such toleration ought to be extended to all whose doctrines are not subversive of society. The only sects which he thinks ought to be, and which by all wise laws are excluded from such toleration, are those who teach doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live. The Roman Catholics or Papists are excluded by reason of such doctrines as these, that princes excommunicated may be deposed, and those that they call heretics may be destroyed without mercy; besides their recognizing the Pope in so absolute a manner, in subversion of government, by introducing, as far as possible into the states under whose protection they enjoy life, liberty, and property, that solecism in politics, imperium in imperio, leading directly to the worst anarchy and confusion, civil discord, war, and bloodshed. (* Political disabilities were not removed from the Catholics in England until 1820--Editor)
The natural liberty of man, by entering into society, is abridged or restrained, so far only as is necessary for the great end of society, the best good of the whole.
In the state of nature every man is, under God, judge and sole judge of his own rights and of the injuries done him. By entering into society he agrees to an arbiter or indifferent judge between him and his neighbors; but he no more renounces his original right than by taking a cause out of the ordinary course of law, and leaving the decision to referees or indifferent arbitrators.
In the last case, he must pay the referees for time and trouble. He should also be willing to pay his just quota for the support of government, the law, and the constitution; the end of which is to furnish indifferent and impartial judges in all cases that may happen, whether civil, ecclesiastical, marine, or military.
[Page 419] The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. (* Locke on Government)
In the state of nature men may, as the patriarchs did, employ hired servants for the defence of their lives, liberties, and property; and they should pay them reasonable wages. Government was instituted for the purposes of common defence, and those who hold the reins of government have an equitable, natural right to an honorable support from the same principle that "the laborer is worthy of his hire." But then the same community which they serve ought to be the assessors of their pay. Governors have no right to seek and take what they please; by this, instead of being content with the station assigned them, that of honorable servants of the society, they would soon become absolute masters, despots, and tyrants. Hence, as a private man has a right to say what wages he will give in his private affairs, so has a community to determine what they will give and grant of their substance for the administration of public affairs. And, in both cases, more are ready to offer their service at the proposed and stipulated price than are able and willing to perform their duty.
In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
II. The Rights of the Colonists as Christians.
These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.
[Page 420] By the act of the British Parliament, commonly called the Toleration Act, every subject in England, except Papists, &c., was restored to, and re-established in, his natural right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. And, by the charter of this Province, it is granted, ordained, and established (that is, declared as an original right) that there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God to all Christians, except Papists, inhabiting, or which shall inhabit or be resident within, such Province or Territory. (* See 1 Wm. and Mary, St. 2, C. 18, and Massachusetts Charter.) Magna Charta itself is in substance but a constrained declaration or proclamation and promulgation in the name of the King, Lords, and Commons, of the sense the latter had of their original, inherent, indefeasible natural rights, (*Lord Coke's Inst. Blackstone's Commentaries VI., p. 122. The Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement) as also those of free citizens equally perdurable with the other. That great author, that great jurist, and even that court writer, Mr. Justice Blackstone, holds that this recognition was justly obtained of King John, sword in hand. And peradventure it must be one day, sword in hand, again rescued and preserved from total destruction and oblivion. ...
William Vincent Wells, 1826-1876. The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams: being a narrative of his acts and opinions, and of his agency in producing and forwarding the American Revolution. With extracts from his correspondence, state papers, and political essays. Little, Brown, and Company, 1865. Volume 1 of 3. Volume 2 of 3. Volume 3 of 3. Applewood Books, 2009 edition. 548 pp. Text searchable.
Here is embodied the whole philosophy of human rights, condensed from the doctrines of all time, and applied to the immediate circumstances of America. Upon this paper was based all that was written or spoken on human liberty in the Congress which declared independence; and the immortal instrument itself is, in many features, but a repetition of the principles here enunciated, and of Joseph Warren's list of grievances, which followed the Rights of the Colonists in the report. If we look back to the first efforts of Samuel Adams, when, as a young essayist in the obscure little weekly paper of his native town, twenty-five years before, he boldly advocated the liberties of the people against oppressive rulers, we shall find that his ideas on these subjects were as firmly fixed as now, when he gave them not to a circle of provincial readers alone, but to the world. The sentiments are the same, and the man who adopted them must have been by nature an assertor of popular rights. There can be no better proof of the admirable consistency of his character than a patient examination of his works throughout his long life. At the age of fifty he found no reason to retract a word, or retrace a step; and the principles with which he had commenced life accompanied him to the close. When another century had dawned upon him, and he was fast sinking into the grave, his sincere admirer, Thomas Jefferson, then just elected President of the United States, wrote to his "ever respected and venerable friend": "Your principles have been tested in the crucible of time, and have come out pure. You have proved that it was monarchy, and not merely British monarchy, you opposed. A government by representatives, elected by the people at short periods, was our object, and our maxim at that day was,'Where annual election ends, tyranny begins.'" (* Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, Feb. 26, 1801.)
Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor. The Writings of Samuel Adams. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Volume III, p. 236-237, to James Warren on November 4, 1775. "Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men."
Samuel Adams to Elizabeth Adams on December 26, 1776. From Letters of Delegates to Congress: August 16, 1776-December 31, 1776. "I pray God to continue your Health and protect you in these perilous times from every kind of Evil. The Name of the Lord, says the Scripture, is a strong Tower, thither the Righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure his Favor, and he will lead us through the Journey of this Life and at length receive us to a better."
Samuel Adams to Elizabeth Adams, Jany 29th. 1777. Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 6 January 1, 1777 - April 30, 1777. "I thank you, my dear, most cordially for the Warmth of Affection which you express on this Occasion, for your Anxiety for my Safety and your Prayers to God for my Protection. The Man who is conscientiously doing his Duty will ever be protected by that Righteous and all powerful Being, and when he has finishd his Work he will receive an ample Reward. I am not more convincd of any thing than that it is my Duty to oppose to the utmost of my Ability the Designs of those who would enslave my Country; and with Gods Assistance I am resolvd to oppose them till their Designs are defeated or I am called to quit the Stage of Life."
"I heartily congratulate you on the entire Victory obtained by General Gates over Burgoin. This is a Striking Instance of the Truth of the Observation in Holy Writ "Pride goeth before a Fall." Our sincere Acknowledgments of Gratitude are due to the supreme Disposer of all Events. I suppose Congress will recommend that a Day be set apart through out the United States for solemn Thanksgiving.
"I rejoyce that my Friend General Gates, after what had happend, is honord by Providence as the Instrument in this great Affair."
Samuel Adams to James Warren:
"I hope our Countrymen will render the just Tribute of Praise to the Supreme Ruler for these signal Instances of his Interposition in favor of a People struggling for their Liberties. Congress will, I suppose recommend the setting apart one Day of publick Thanksgiving to be observd throughout the united States."
"I believe my Country will fix their Eyes and their Choice on a Man of Religion and Piety; who will understand human Nature and the Nature and End of political Society-who will not by Corruption or Flattery be seducd to the betraying, even without being sensible of it himself, the sacred Rights of his Country.
"The Success of the present Campain hitherto has been great beyond our most sanguine Expectation. Let us ascribe Glory to God who has graciously vouchsafd to favor the Cause of America and of Mankind."
Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor. The Writings of Samuel Adams. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Volume IV, p. 256, in the Boston Gazette on April 16, 1781. "Before this will reach you, your Countrymen will have finished the important business of electing their Legislators, Magistrates and Governors for the ensuing year. I hope they have made a wise choice. At least, from the opinion I entertain of their virtue, I am persuaded they have acted with all that deliberation and caution which the solemnity of the transaction required. They may then reflect, each one on his own integrity, and appeal to the Monitor within his breast, that he has not trifled with the sacred trust reposed in him by GOD and his country 'that he has not prostituted his honor and conscience to please a friend or a patron' that he has not been influenced with the view of private emolument to himself and his family, but has faithfully given his vote for the candidate whom he thought most worthy the choice of free and virtuous citizens."
Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor. The Writings of Samuel Adams. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1908), Vol. IV, p. 361,Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, February 19, 1794.
... "we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid ... [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory."
Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 15, 1796.
... "And I do exhort the People of all Religious Denominations, to assemble in their respective Congregations on that Day, and with true contrition of Heart, to confess their Sins to God, and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Saviour ..."
William V. Wells, editor. The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, being a narrative of his acts and opinions, and of his agency in producing and forwarding the American Revolution. With extracts from his correspondence, state papers, and political essays. Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1865.
Samuel Adams. From A Biography of the signers of the Declaration of independence:
and of Washington and Patrick Henry. With an appendix, containing the Constitution of the United States and other documents, Volume 2 of 2. J. Dobson, and Thomas, Cowperthwait & co., 1839.
Pastor. First cousin of John Adams, the second president of the United States.
Baptist preacher. Delegate to the First Continental Congress. Founded Rhode Island College, later Brown University. Learn about Backus here.
A Fish caught in his own net. An examination of nine sermons, from Matt. 16. 18. published last year, by Mr Joseph Fish of Stonington; wherein he labours to prove, that those called standing churches in New-England, are built upon the rock, and upon the same principles with the first fathers of this country: and that Separates and Baptists are joining with the gates of hell against them. In answer to which; many of his mistakes are corrected; the constitution of those churches opened; the testimonies of prophets and apostles, and also of many of those fathers are produced, which as plainly condemn his plan, as any Separate or Baptist can do. By Isaac Backus. Pastor of a church of Christ in Middleborough. [Six lines of quotations]. Boston, MDCCLXVIII. .
An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty Against the Oppressions of the Present Day.
The true liberty of man is, to know, obey and enjoy his Creator, and to do all the good unto, and enjoy all the happiness with and in his fellow-creatures that he is capable of; in order to which the law of love was written in his heart, which carries in it's nature union and benevolence to being in general, and to each being in particular, according to it's nature and excellency, and to it's relation and connexion to and with the supreme Being, and ourselves. Each rational soul, as he is a part of the whole system of rational beings, so it was and is, both his duty and his liberty to regard the good of the whole in all his actions. To love ourselves, and truly to seek our own welfare, is both our liberty and our indispensible duty; but the conceit that man could advance either his honor or happiness, by disobedience instead of obedience, was first injected by the father of lies, and all such conceits ever since are as false as he is.
Published in Belfast, Northern Ireland: James Henderson.
Emerson. Belfast Reform Dinner. The Belfast News-Letter (Belfast, Ireland), Tuesday, January 4, 1831; Issue 9762, p. 1. Speech prefaced with praise for George Washington and his accomplishments.
... It is folly, for instance, to suppose that the American revolution was the result of a stamp act, or a paltry duty upon teas; could causes so trifling and so local as these unite, in one short month, a whole Continent in arms? The idea is absurd--the American revolution was the result of a century of progressive intelligence--of long years of impatient suffering, and feverish remonstrance. So early as 1688, the inhabitants of New York agitated the important question--whether the right of representation existed in the people, or was a privilege to be conferred by the Crown; and whether the Colonies ought not to have a share in the framing of those laws by which they were to be governed, and in the imposition of those taxes which they were to pay. For a century from this period the Colonies availed themselves of every opportunity to urge the frequency of elections for their local assemblies, and to demand that a fixed revenue should be imposed on every State, according to its ability, instead of an arbitrary and variable taxation. They were these remonstrances that in 1743 obtained the American Septennial Act, which was then considered a favour and a concession, but whose repeal was one of the preliminaries of peace proposed by the revolted Colonies of 1775. On all other constitutional points the progress of opinion in America was equally steady and determined; the right of England to tax the Colonies, the enforcement of which finally led to their disruption from the mother country, was denied by the Assembly of Plymouth County, in 1636; this denial was repeated by Maryland in 1650--by Rhode Island in 1663--by Massachusets in 1692; and remonstrances of a similar nature continued to be reiterated down to the bursting of the fatal insurrection. That revolution was, in fact, no hasty event--no immatured, uncalculated project of impassioned agitators--it was the cool, deliberate act of convinced, enlightened, and determined men--and this its glorious and triumphant issue has sufficiently attested.--(loud cheers)
Blackstone, Sir William
English Jurist. Knighted in 1770. Read more about Blackstone here and here and here.
"Divine Providence, which, in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reason, hath been pleased, in sundry times and diverse manners, to discover and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures"
Commentaries on the laws of England: in four books. From the last London edition, with the last corrections of the author. / by Edward Christian. Volume 1 of 4. New-York, 1822. Extract: The Rights of Persons: Of the Clergy.
Edward S. Corwin, "The Higher Law Background of American Constitution Law," Harvard Law Review, v. 42, 1928: The phrase "pursuit of happiness" was probably suggested by Blackstone's statement that the law of nature boils down to "one paternal precept, that man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness."
Rule of Law in Colonial Massachusetts. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 108, Issue 7 (May 1960), pp. 1001-1036.
Commentaries on the laws of England: in four books. From the last London edition, with the last corrections of the author. / by Edward Christian. Volume 4 of 4. New-York, 1822. Extracts: Contents, "Of the Benefit of Clergy".
Christian, Edward. Preface and "Life of the Author," from Blackstone, William, Commentaries on the laws of England: in four books: with an analysis of the work.. From the 19th London edition. / with a life of the author and notes by Edward Christian, plus Chitty, Lee, Hovenden, and Ryland, and also references to American cases by a member of the New-York Bar."/ Includes bibliographical references and index. New York: W.E. Dean, 1853. Vol. 1 of 2. Analysis of Blackstone's work here.
"The Commentaries of Blackstone continue to be the text book of the student and of the man of genereal reading, notwithstanding the alterations in the law since the time of their author. The great principles which they unfold remain the same, and are explained in so simple and clear a style, that, however much the details of the law may be changed, they will always be read with interest. It is no small commendation of Blackstone, that many of the modern improvements adopted in England and in the United States were suggested by him: and that the arrangement which he used in treating the different subjects, has been followed in a great degree by the Revisers of the Statutes of New-York.
William Carey Jones, editor. Commentaries on the Laws of England. San Francisco, Bancroft-Whitney, 1915-1916. Volume 1 of 2. 1598 pp. Volume 2 of 2. 1354 pp.
Samuel F. Mordecai. Law lectures; a treatise, from a North Carolina standpoint, on those portions of the first and second books of the Commentaries of Sir William Blackstone which have not become obsolete in the United States. Volume 1 of 2. 774 pp. Volume 2 of 2. 760 pp.
The Palladium of Conscience; or, The Foundation of religious liberty displayed, asserted, and established, agreeable to its true and genuine principles, above the reach of all petty tyrants, who atempt to lord it over the human mind. Containing Furneaux's Letters to Blackstone. Priestley's Remarks on Blackstone. Blackstone's Reply to Priestley. And Blackstone's Case of the Middlesex-elections; with some other tracts, worthy of high rank in every gentleman's literary repository, being a necessary companion for every lover of religious liberty. And an interesting appendix to Blackstone's Commentaries on the laws of England. 1773. pp. , iv, , 6-119, , xii, 155,  p. 23 cm. (8vo and 4to)
Pastor of the First Church of Boston. A precursor to the Unitarians. Great-grandson of Charles Chauncy (1592-1672), President of Harvard College. Read about both here.
The accursed thing must be taken away from among a people, if they would reasonably hope to stand before their enemies: A sermon preached at the Thursday-lecture in Boston, September 3, 1778. And printed at the desire of the hearers. / By Charles Chauncy, D.D. Senior Pastor of the First Church in Boston. Boston, New-England: Printed by Thomas & John Fleet, 1778. 27,  pp.; 20 cm. (4to)
"I shall add here, it ought to be deeply impressed on the hearts of our civil rulers, thar they are accountable to that God whose throne is in the heavens,in common with other men; and his eyes behold their conduct in their public capacity, and he sees and observes it, not meerly as a spectator, but an almighty righteous judge, one who enters all upon record, in order to a reckoning another day. And
the day is coming, when they shall all stand on a level with the lowest of the people, before the tremendous bar of rhe righteous Judge of all the earth,
and be called upon ro render an account, not only of their private life, but of their whole management as entrusted with the concerns of the public."
Day Otis Kellogg, William Robertson Smith, authors. Thomas Spencer Baynes, editor. CLARK, JONAS, an American patriot clergyman; born in Newton, Mass., Dec. 25, 1730; died in Lexington, Mass., Nov. 15, 1805. After graduating at Harvard, in 1752, he became pastor of a church in Lexington, where he spent his life. Edward Everett said of Mr. Clark that he "rendered services second to no other in enlightening and animating the popular mind on the great question at issue in Revolutionary times." John Hancock and Samuel Adams were at Clark's house on the night of April 8,1775, when Paul Revere took his famous ride and warned them, among others, of the danger at hand. These two men asked Mr. Clark if his people would fight. "I have trained them for this very hour; they would fight, and if need be die too, under the shadow of the house of God," he replied. The first blood of the Revolution was shed near his house, April 19, 1775, and when he saw the dead heroes he exclaimed, "From this day will be dated the liberty of the world!" Werner Company, 1903, p. 185. 1893 edition,
Day Otis Kellogg. CLARK, JONAS. New American Supplement to the Latest Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, volume 2. Werner Company, 1898. p. 818.
Christ's mission of the seventy, illustrated and improved : in a sermon preached at the ordination of the Reverend Mr. Josiah Bridge, to the pastoral care of the First Church of Christ in Sudbury, Nov. 4, 1761. By Jonas Clarke, A.M. Pastor of the church in Lexington.
41,  p. 20 cm. (8vo). 1761.
Use and excellency of vocal music, in public worship: A sermon preached at an occasional lecture, in Lexington. Appointed to promote and encourage the divine use of vocal music, more especially in public worship, on Wednesday April 25. 1770. By Jonas Clark A.M. Pastor of the church in Lexington. [Eight lines of Scripture texts] 38,  p. 18 cm. (8vo). 1770.
The Importance of military skill, measures for defence and a martial spirit, in a time of peace: A Sermon preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company in Boston, New-England, June 6. 1768. Being the anniversary of their election of officers. / By Jonas Clarke, A.M. Pastor of the church in Lexington. Boston; New-England: Printed by Kneeland and Adams, and sold by Nicholas Bowes, opposite to the Brick Meeting-House in Corn-Hill, MDCCLXVIII. . 27 ,  pp.; 19 cm. (8vo)
The Fate of blood-thirsty oppressors, and God's tender care of his distressed people. A Sermon, preached at Lexington, April 19, 1776. To commemorate the murder, blood-shed and commencement of hostilities, between Great-Britain and America, in that town, by a brigade of troops of George III, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, on the nineteenth of April, 1775. To which is added, a brief narrative of the principal transactions of that day. By Jonas Clark, A.M. Pastor of the church in Lexington. [Seven lines of quotations] Massachusetts-State: Boston: Printed by Powars and Willis, M,DCC,LXXVI.  36 pp.
Also here and here.
This sermon memorializes the occasion of "the shot heard round the world."
The Fate of blood-thirsty oppressors, and God's tender care of his distressed people: A sermon, preached at Lexington, April 19, 1776 to commemorate the murder, bloodshed, and commencement of hostilities between Great Britain and America, in that town, by a brigade of troops of George III, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, on the nineteenth of April, 1775. To which is added a brief narrative of the principal transactions of that day./
Library of Congress. Jonas Clark papers, 1780-1802. Reproduction: In part, negative photocopies reproduced from originals in the hands of Joseph Dane./ Washington, D.C. :/ Library of Congress Photoduplication Service,/ 1938./ Bio/History: Clergyman. Open to research./ Forms part of: Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection./ Occupation: Clergy. OCLC: 79453517.
A Reply to Dr. Mayhew's Letter of reproof to Mr. John Cleaveland of Ispwich: containing some observations on said Letter, and a particular consideration of the proof or evidence exhibited by the doctor, for the support of his high charges. / By John Cleaveland, A.M. Pastor of a Church of Christ in Ipswich; [Eight lines in Latin from Menochio]
Boston, N.E.: Printed by W. M?Alpine & J. Fleming, in Marlborough Street, M,DCC,LXV. 
, 96 p. ; 22 cm. (8vo)
Pastor of the Second Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
" From this [2 Sam. 23:3, 4] and many other passages in the sacred oracles, it is evident that the Supreme Ruler, though he has directed to no particular mode of civil government, yet allows and approves of the establishment of it among men.
"The ends of civil government, in divine revelation, are clearly pointed out, the character of rulers described, and the duty of subjects asserted and explained; and in this view civil government may be considered as an ordinance of God, and, when justly exercised, greatly subservient to the glorious purposes of divine providence and grace: but the particular form is left to the choice and determination of mankind."
The True Principles of Civil Government. Abstract: "It should be noted that Thomas Hutchinson, the Lieutenant Governor before whom this sermon was preached (who became a famous Loyalist, following what has been described as his "ordeal" at the hands of the American Revolutionaries), was a political adherent of the local superimperialistic British (William Shirley) faction whose Hobbesian policies (originally designed by the British Board of Trade in England) brought on the American Revolution--beginning in the 1740's-1750's."
The Violent Destroyed: and Oppressed Delivered: A Sermon, Preached at Lexington, April 19, 1777. For a memorial of the bloody tragedy, barbarously acted, by a party of British troops, in that town and the adjacent, April 19, 1775. / By Samuel Cooke, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Cambridge; [Five lines of Scripture quotations] Boston: Printed by Draper and Phillips, for Thomas Leverett and Nicholas Bowes, in Cornhill, M,DCC,LXXVII. . 31,  pp.; 22 cm. (8vo). Also here.
30th President of the United States. Read more about Coolidge here and here.
Inaugural Address of President Coolidge March 4, 1925. "America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God."
Presidential speech in Philadelphia commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 5, 1926. Also here (scroll half-way down the page). Also published in San Antonio Express, July 6, 1926 and Indiana Evening Gazette, July 8, 1926.
"We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that it has been an infinite repetition reaching back beyond our vision, that only makes it the more wonderful. But how our interest and wonder increase when we behold the miracle of the birth of a new nation. It is to pay our tribute of reverence and respect to those who participated in such a mighty event that we annually observe the fourth day of July. Whatever may have been the impression created by the news which went out from this city on that summer day in 1776, there can be no doubt as to the estimate which is now placed upon it. At the end of 150 years the four corners of the earth unite in coming to Philadelphia as to a holy shrine in grateful acknowledgement of a service so great, which a few inspired men here rendered to humanity, that it is still the preeminent support of free government throughout the world.
... "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
"In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guaranties, which even the Government itself is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self-government--the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that 'Democracy is Christ's government.' The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty."
Address at the Unveiling of the Equestrian Statue of Bishop Francis Asbury, Washington, DC, October 15th, 1924. "Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness, the other rests on force. One appeals to reason, the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in a republic, the other is represented by a despotism. The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely a history of the rule of force held in the hands of a few. Under our constitution, America committed itself to the practical application of the rule of reason, with the power held in the hands of the people."
Pastor of Brattle Street Church in Boston. Read about Cooper here
A sermon preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company: in Boston, New-England, June 3. 1751. Being the anniversary of their election of officers. / By Samuel Cooper, A.M. Pastor of a church in Boston. Boston: Printed by J. Draper, for J. Edwards in Cornhill, and D. Gookin in Marlborough-Street, M,DCC,LI.  40 pp.; 21 cm. (8vo)
The Crisis: [One line of Latin quotation] [Boston ? : s.n.], Printed in June 1754. 15,  pp.; 19 cm. (8vo)
The Crisis: Or, a full defence of the colonies. In which it is incontestibly proved that the British constitution has been flagrantly violated in the late Stamp Act, and rendered indisputably evident, that the mother country cannot lay any arbitrary tax upon the Americans, without destroying the essence of her own liberties.
London: printed for W. Griffin, 1766. , 30 pp.; 8^(0)
William Allen. Biographies of William Cooper and His Son Samuel Cooper (includes William Cooper's Preface to Jonathan Edwards' Work The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God which describes the Great Awakening). From American Biographical and Historical Dictionary [...] and a Summary of the History of the Several Colonies and the United States (William Hilliard, 1809), pp. 223-226 (slightly edited and abridged).
English puritan clergyman and co-founder of the American colony of New Haven. Read about Davenport here.
Gods call to his people to turn unto him: together with his promise to turn unto them, opened and applied in II sermons at two publick fasting-dayes appointed by authority / by John Davenport. Cambridge [Mass.] : Printed by S.G. and M.J. for John Usher, 1669. 27 pp.
1. It is from the Light and Law of Nature, and the Law of Nature is God's Law.
2. The orderly ruling of men over men, in general, is from God, in its root, though voluntary in the manner of coalescing: It being supposed that men be combined in Family-Society, it is necessary that they be joyned in a Civil-Society; that union being made, the power of Civil-Government, and of making Laws, followeth naturally, though the manner of union, in a Political Body, is voluntary. That we defend our selves from violence and wrong, is a consequent of pure Nature: but that we do it by devolving our Power into the hands of Civil Rulers, this seems to be rather positively moral, than natural.
3. Because this special Form of Civil Government of Commonweales,
by men orderly chosen, the Scripture ascribes unto God; and also Civil Government, administred by Judges and Magistrates, as Christ spake concerning Pilate, Joh. 19. 11. Jesus answered, Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: and they are said to judge not for man, but for the Lord, 2 Chron. 19. 6. hence they are called Gods, Psal. 82. 6,7. as appointed by him, according to Christ's exposition of those words, Joh. 10. 35. If he calleth them Gods, unto whom the Word of God was given. See what the Wisdom of God, which is Jesus Christ, saith in Prov. 8. 15,16. By me Kings reign, and Princes decree justice.
Franklin B. Dexter. Sketch of the Life and Writings of John Davenport. Read before the Society February 1, 1875. Published in PAPERS OF THE NEW HAVEN COLONY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, vol. II (1877), pp. 205-238. Depositor's note: This is still the most complete published biography of John Davenport (1597-1670); it runs 29 pages, plus a bibliography of his works.
Mr. Dickenson, author of the much admired Farmer's Letters, the first copy of which he inclosed to his friend, Mr. Otis, and observed to him, that "the examples of public spirit in the cold regions of the north, had roused the languid latitudes of the south, to a proper vindication of their rights." See Appendix, Note, No. V. [John Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1768). The Letters are available in Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Political Writings of John Dickinson (Philadelphia, 1895).]
The Works of that learned and judicious divine Mr. Richard Hooker, containing eight books of The laws of ecclesiastical polity, and several other treatises. To which is prefixed the life of the author, by Isaac Walton. To this edition is subjoined a new index to the whole. Oxford, MDCCXCIII. . Volume 1 of 3. 507 pp. Volume 2 of 3. Volume 3 of 3.
The Laws of Ecclesiastical polity. G. Routledge, 1888. 288 pp.
Laws for the Church are not made as they should be unless the makers follow such direction as they ought to be guided by. Wherein that Scripture standeth not the Church of God in any stead, or serveth nothing at all to direct, but may be let pass as needless to be consulted with, we judge it profane, impious, and irreligious to think. For although it were in vain to make laws which the Scripture hath already made, because what we are already there commanded to do on our parts there resteth nothing but only that it be executed; yet because both in that which we are commanded, it concerneth the duty of the Church by law to provide that the looseness and slackness of men may not cause the commandments of God to be unexecuted, and a number of things there are for which the Scripture hath not provided by any law, but left them unto the careful discretion of the Church; we are to search how the Church in these cases may be well directed to make that provision by laws which' is most convenient and fit. And what is so in these cases, partly Scripture and partly reason must teach to discern. Scripture comprehending examples and laws, laws some natural and some positive, examples neither are there for all cases which require laws to be made, and when they are they can but direct as precedents only. Natural laws direct in such sort that in all things we must for ever do according unto them; positive, so that against them in no case we may do anything, as long as the will of God is that they should remain in force. Howbeit, when Scripture doth yield us precedents, how far forth they are to be followed; when it giveth natural laws, what particular order is thereunto most agreeable; when positive, which way to make laws unrepugnant unto them; yea, though all these should want yet what kind of ordinances would be most for that good of the Church which is aimed at, all this must be by reason found out. And, therefore, "To refuse the conduct of the light of Nature," saith St. Augustine, "is not folly alone, but accompanied with impiety." The greatest amongst the school divines, studying how to set down by exact definition the nature of a human law (of which nature all the Church's constitutions are), found not which way better to do it than in these words, " Out of the precepts of the law of Nature, as out of certain common and undemonstrable principles, man's reason doth necessarily proceed unto certain more particular determinations, which particular determinations being found out according unto the reason of man, they have the names of human laws, so that such other conditions be therein kept as the making of laws doth require," that is, if they whose authority is thereunto required do establish and publish them as laws. And the truth is that all our controversy in this cause concerning the orders of the Church is, what particulars the Church may appoint. That which doth find them out is the force of man's reason. That which doth guide and direct his reason is, first, the general law of Nature, which law of Nature and the moral law of Scripture are in the substance of law all one. But because there are also in Scripture a number of laws particular and positive, which being in force may not by any law of man be violated, we are in making laws to have thereunto an especial eye. As for example, it might perhaps seem reasonable unto the Church of God, following the general laws concerning the nature of marriage, to ordain in particular that cousins-german shall not marry. Which law notwithstanding ought not to be received in the Church if there should be in the Scripture a law particular to the contrary, forbidding utterly the bonds of marriage to be so far forth abridged. The same Thomas, therefore, whose definition of human laws we mentioned before, doth add thereunto this caution concerning the rule and canon whereby to make them: "Human laws are measures in respect of men whose actions they must direct, howbeit such measures they are, as have also their higher rules to be measured by, which rules are two, the law of God and the law of Nature. So that laws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction unto any positive law in Scripture, otherwise they are ill made. Unto laws thus made and received by a whole Church, they which live within the bosom of that Church must not think it a matter indifferent either to yield or not to yield obedience, Is it a small offence to despise the Church of God? "My son, keep thy father's commandment," saith Solomon, "and forget not thy mother's instruction, bind them both always about thine heart." It doth not stand with the duty which we owe to our heavenly Father, that to the ordinances of our Mother the Church we should show ourselves disobedient. Let us not say we keep the commandments of the one, when we break the law of the other, for unless we observe both we obey neither. And what doth let, but that we may observe both, when they are not the one to the other in any sort repugnant? For of such laws only we speak, as being made in form and manner already declared, can have in them no contradiction unto the laws of Almighty God. Yea, that which is more, the laws thus made God himself doth in such sort authorize, that to despise them is to despise in them Him. It is a loose and licentious opinion which the Anabaptists have embraced, holding that a Christian man's liberty is lost, and the soul which Christ hath redeemed unto Himself injuriously drawn into servitude under the yoke of human power, if any law be now imposed besides the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in obedience whereunto the Spirit of God, and not the constraint of men, is to lead us, according to that of the blessed Apostle, "Such as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God," and not such as live in thraldom unto men.
Their judgment is, therefore, that the Church of Christ should admit no law-makers but the Evangelists. The author of that which causeth another thing to be, is author of that thing also which thereby is caused. The light of natural understanding, wit, and reason, is from God; He it is which thereby doth illuminate every man entering into the world. If there proceed from us anything afterwards corrupt and naught, the mother thereof is our own darkness, neither doth it proceed from any such cause whereof God is the author. He is the author all that we think or do by virtue of that light which Himself hath given. And therefore the laws which the very heathens did gather to direct their actions by, so far forth as they proceeded from the light of Nature, God himself doth acknowledge to have proceeded even from Himself, and that He was the writer of them in the tables of their hearts. How much more, then, is He the author of those laws which have been made by His saints, endued further with the heavenly grace of His Spirit, and directed as much as might be with such instructions as His sacred word doth yield? Surely if we have unto those laws that dutiful regard which their dignity doth require, it will not greatly need that we should be exhorted to live in obedience unto them. If they have God himself for their author, contempt which is offered unto them cannot choose but redound unto Him.
The Works of that learned and judicious divine Mr. Richard Hooker, containing eight books of The laws of ecclesiastical polity, and several other ... Oxford, MDCCXCIII. . 507 pp. vol. Volume 1 of 3. Extract:
The Scripture is fraught even with Laws of Nature, insomuch that Gratian defining natural Right (whereby is meant the right, which exacteth those general Duties that concern Man naturally even as they are Men) termeth natural Right, that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain. Neither is it vain that the Scripture aboundeth with so great store of Laws in this kind: for they are either such as we of ourselves could not easily have found out, and then the benefit is not small to have them readily set down to our hands; or if they be so clear and manifest that no Man endued with Reason can lightly be ignorant of them, yet the Spirit, as it were, borrowing them from the School of Nature, as serving to prove things less manifest, and to induce a persuasion of somewhat which were in itself more hard and dark, unless it should in such sort be cleared, the very applying of them unto cases particular is not without most singular use and profit many ways for Men's instruction.--pp. 264-265.
Of Law there can be no less acknowledged, than that her
Seat is the Bosom of God, her Voice the Harmony of the World: All things in Heaven and Earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted froom her Power--p. 289.
Puritan clergyman in the American colonies, chief founder of Hartford, Conn. Author of the world's first written constitution. Read about Hooker here.
The People's Privilege of Election. Before the general court at Harteford, May 31, 1638. Correspondence of Connecticut with the British government. Connecticut Historical Society, 1860. 255 pp.
Doctrine. I. That the choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God's own allowance.
II. The privilege of election, which belongs to the people, therefore must not be exercised according to their humours, but according to the blessed will and law of God.
III. They who have the power to appoint officers and magistrates, it is in their power also to set the bounds and limitations of power and place unto which they call them.
Reasons. 1. Because the foundation of authority is laid, firstly, in the free consent of the people.
Peck, Epaphroditus, 1860-1938. Thomas Hooker and His Relation to American Constitutional History; an address delivered ... November 16, 1904. New London, Conn. 1904 (n.p., 1904). Delivered by Epaphroditus Peck before the State Conference of Congregational Churches at New London, Connecticut, November 16, 1904. 12 pp.; 24 cm.
How wisely they used their freedom, how nobly they built, all later American history testifies. That the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were the first written constitution of government, that the Connecticut constitutional system furnished the model on which the Federal Constitution was built, that the Connecticut delegates furnished the solution of the apparently insoluble deadlock in the Federal Convention, are commonplaces of American history.--p. 6.
"Founding Father John Jay was appointed by President George
Washington as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Jay had a very distinguished history of public service. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1774-76, 1778-79) and served as President of Congress (1778-79); he helped write the New York State constitution (1777); he authored the first manual on military discipline (1777); he served as Chief-Justice of New York Supreme Court (1777-78); he was appointed minister to Spain (1779); he signed the final peace treaty with Great Britain (1783); and he was elected as Governor of New York (1795-1801). Jay is also famous as one of the three coauthors, along with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in securing the ratification of the federal Constitution. John Jay was a strong Christian, serving both as vice-president of the American Bible Society (1816-21) and its president (1821-27), and he was a member of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions."--David Barton. Read about Jay here.
Henry P. Johnston, editor. The Correspondence and public papers of John Jay. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1890, Volume 4 (1794-1826) of 4. 554 pp.
On War and the Gospel. Extracts, Contents, pp. 391-393, 403-419, letters to John Murray, October 12, 1816 and April 15, 1818. "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
"German legal historian and theorist who wrote on human and civil rights, electoral law, and the rights of minorities in the late 19th century. His history of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen shows the influence of the declarations of the individual colonies, such as Virginia, had on its formulation."-Online Library of Liberty. Read about Jellinek in The New International Encyclopædia, Volume 12
A Discourse, preached on March the fifth, 1778. By John Lathrop, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Boston; Published at the request of the hearers. Together with some marginal notes. Boston: Printed by Draper and Folsom, at their printing-office, near the Lamb Tavern, Newbury-Street, M,DCC,LXXVIII.  22 pp. ; 20 cm. (8vo)
Innocent blood crying to God from the streets of Boston : A sermon occasioned by the horrid murder of Messieurs Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, and Crispus Attucks, with Patrick Carr, since dead, and Christopher Monk, judged irrecoverable, and several others badly wounded, by a party of troops under the command of Captain Preston: on the fifth of March, 1770. And preached the Lord's-Day following: / by John Lathrop, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Boston. [Three lines of Scripture texts] [Boston] London, printed. Boston: re-printed and sold by Edes and Gill, opposite the new court-house in Queen-Street, M,DCC,LXXI. . iv, 5-21,  p. ; 21 cm. (8vo). Also here.
A Discourse, Delivered in Boston, April 13, 1815, The Day of Thanksgiving Appointed by the President of the United States in Consequence of the Peace. Boston, Mass., J. W. Burditt, 1815. 27 pp. Text: 1 Chronicles 16:8-9. Also here.
The Happiness of a free government, and the means of preserving it: illustrated in a sermon, delivered in West-Springfield, on July 4, 1794, in commemoration of American independence! Springfield, Mass., James R. Hutchins, 1794. 21 pp.
We are informed of only one government, which was framed under the immediate direction of heaven; and this was a republick. Monarchy was permitted, but never was instituted, by divine authority. The Jews had it, because they would have it. God prescribed for them a better government. The form which he prescribed was well adapted to their genius and circumstances; and, in its fundamental principles, was equally suitable for any other people. Among the privileges secured to them by their constitution, there was one, which might be considered as the foundation of all the rest; and is, indeed, the basis of all free government -- That their Rulers should be chosen by, and from among themselves.
... A PEOPLE under a free government will be happy, as long as they are virtuous and wise. They may become vicious and corrupt. They are then liable to be influenced by private connections, party spirit, bribery or flattery, promises or rewards, or the artifice and intrigue of crafty and designing men.
When this is the case, they give up their security, lose their liberty, and sink into slavery.
To frame and reform their own government, and to choose and change their own governors, is the natural right of mankind; but a right which few nations have the happiness to enjoy, or the boldness to claim. These American states are now in the full possession and free exercise of this right; and may they ever have the wisdom to retain it.
The third edition. 1743. 77,  p. 18 cm. (12mo)
Since you are pleased to enquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely, that I esteem that toleration, or liberty to think and act for themselves in matters of religion, to be the chief characteristical mark of the true church. For whatsoever some people boast of the antiquity of places and names, or of the pomp of their outward worship; others, of the reformation of their discipline; all, of the orthodoxy of their faith: these things, and all others of this nature, are much rather marks of men striving for power and empire over one another, than of the Church of Christ. Let any one have never to true a claim to all these things, yet if he be destitute of charity, meekness, and goodwill in general towards all mankind, even to those that are not Christians, he is certainly yet short of being a true Christian himself. Luke 22:25."
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. London, Printed for T. Longman, B. Law and Son, J. Johnson, C. Dilly, G.G. and J. Robinson, T. Cadell, J. Sewell, W. Otridge, W. Richardson, F. and C. Rivington, W. Goldsmith, T. Payne, Leigh and Sotheby, S. Hayes, R. Faulder, B. and J. White, W. Lowndes, G. and T. Wilkie, and J. Walker, 1794. 9 volumes, front. (port.) 23 cm. Volume 1 of 9. 590 pp. Volume 1. Preface to the works. Life of the author. An analysis of Mr. Locke's doctrine of ideas. An essay concerning human understanding, to the end of Book III, Chap. VI.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 2 of 9. 492 pp. Volume 2. An essay concerning human understanding concluded. Defence of Mr. Locke's opinion concerning personal identity. Of the conduct of the understanding. Some thoughts concerning reading and study for a gentleman. Elements of natural philosophy. A new method of a common-place-book.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 3 of 9. 498 pp. Volume 3. A letter to the Right Rev. Edward Lord Bishop of Worcester, concerning Mr. Locke's Essay of human understanding. Mr. Locke's reply. An answer to Remarks upon an Essay concerning human understanding. Mr. Locke's reply to the Bishop of Worcester's answer to his second Letter.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 4 of 9. 495 pp. Volume 4. Some considerations of the consequences of lowering the interest, and raising the value of money. Short observations on a printed paper, entitled, 'for encouraging the coining silver money in England, and after, for keeping it here'. Further considerations concerning raising the value of money. Two treatises of government.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 5 of 9. 585 pp. Volume 5. A letter concerning toleration, being a translation of the Epistola de tolerantia. A second letter concerning toleration. A third letter for toleration. A fourth letter for toleration.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 6 of 9. 429 pp. Volume 6. The Reasonableness of Christianity. A vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity, from Mr. Edward's Reflectons. A second vindication.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 7 of 9. 447 pp. Volume 7. A paraphrase and notes on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Galatians, I and II Corinthians, Romans, and Ephesians; to which is prefixed an Essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles, by consulting St. Paul himself.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 8 of 9. 479 pp. Volume 8. Some thoughts concerning education. An examination of P. Malebranche's opinion of seeing all things in God. A discourse of miracles. Memoirs relating to the life of Anthony, first Earl of Shaftsbury. Some familiar letters between Mr. Locke, and several of his friends.
Thomas Cooke, editor. The Works of John Locke. Ninth edition. Volume 9 of 9. 577 pp. Volume 9. Continuation of familiar letters between Mr. Locke, and several of his friends. [Miscellaneous letters and pieces]
Works. Text-searchable, from The Online Library of Liberty.
The Reasonableness of Christianity, as deliver'd in the scriptures. To which is added, a first and second vindication of the same; from some Exceptions and Reflections in a Treatise by the Rev. Mr. Edwards, Intitled, Some Thoughts Concerning the Several Causes and Occasions of Atheism, especially in the present Age. The sixth edition. London: Printed for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, in Petermoster-Row; J. Pemberton, against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street; and E. Symon, in Cornhill, 1736. 296 pp. Extracts here.
242. Though yet, if any one should think, that out of the saying of the wise heathens, before Our Saviour's time, there might be a collection made of all these rules of morality, which are to be found in the Christian religion; yet this would not at all hinder, but that the world, nevertheless, stood as much in need of Our Savior, and the morality delivered by him. Let it be granted (though not true) that all the moral precepts of the gospel were known by some body or other, amongst mankind, before. But where, or how, or of what use, is not considered.
... But such a body of Ethics, proved to be the law of nature, from principles of reason, and reaching all the duties of life, I think nobody will say the world had before Our Saviour's time. 'Tis not enough, that there were up and down scattered sayings of wise men, conformable to right reason. The law of nature, was the law of convenience too; and 'tis no wonder that those men of parts, and studious virtue (who had occasion to think on any particular part of it), should by meditation light on the right, even from the observable convenience and beauty of it, without making out its obligation from the true principles of the law of nature, and foundations of morality. But these incoherent apophthegms of philosophers, and wise men, however excellent in themselves, and well intended by them, could never make a morality, whereof the world could be convinced; could never rise to the force of a law that mankind could with certainty depend on. Whatsoever should thus be universally useful, as a standard to which men should conform their manners, must have its authority either from reason or revelation. 'Tis not every writer of morals, or compiler of it from others, that can thereby be erected into a law-giver to mankind; and a dictator of rules, which are therefore valid, because they are to be found in his books, under the authority of this or that philosopher. He that any one will pretend to set up in this kind, and have his rules pass for authentic directions, must shew, that either he builds his doctrine upon principles of reason, self-evident in themselves, and that he deduces all the parts of it from thence, by clear and evident demonstration; or, must shew his commission from heaven, that he comes with authority from God, to deliver his will and commands to the world. In the former way, nobody that I know, before Our Saviour's time, ever did, or went about to give us a morality. Tis true, there is a law of nature: but who is there that ever did, or undertook to give it us all entire, as a law; no more nor no less, than what was contained in, and had the obligation of that law? Who, ever made out all the parts of it, put them together, and shewed the world their obligation? Where was there any such code, that mankind might have recourse to, as their unerring rule, before Our Saviour's time? If there was not, 'tis plain, there was need of one to give us such a morality; such a law, which might be the sure guide of those who had a desire to go right: and, if they had a mind, need not mistake their duty; but might be certain when they had performed, when failed in it. Such a law of morality, Jesus Christ hath given us in the New Testament; but by the latter of these ways, by revelation. We have from him a full and sufficient rule for our direction, and conformable to that of reason. But the truth and obligation of its precepts, have their force, and are put past doubt to us, by the evidence of his mission. He was sent by God: His miracles shew it; and the authority of God in his precepts cannot be questioned. Here morality has a sure standard, that revelation vouches, and reason cannot gainsay, nor question; but both together witness to come from God the great law-maker. And such an one as this out of the New Testament, I think the world never had, nor can any one say is any where else to be found. Let me ask any one, who is forward to think that the doctrine of morality was full and clear in the world, at Our Saviour's birth; whether would he have directed Brutus and Cassius (both men of parts and virtue, the one whereof believed, and the other disbelieved a future being), to be satisfied in the rules and obligations of all the parts of their duties; if they should have asked him where they might find the law, they were to live by, and by which they should be charged or acquitted, as guilty or innocent? If to the sayings of the wise, and the declarations of philosophers, he sends them into a wild wood of uncertainty, to an endless maze, from which they should never get out: if to the religions of the world, yet worse: and if to their own reason, he refers them to that which had some light and certainty; but yet had hitherto failed all mankind in a perfect rule; and we see, resolved not the doubts that had risen amongst the studious and thinking philosophers; nor had yet been able to convince the civilized parts of the world, that they had not given, nor could, without a crime, take away, the lives of their children, by exposing them....
Editor, Works of John Locke, Ninth edition, 1793: "From one who knew so well how to direct the researches of the human mind, it was natural to expect that Christianity and the Scriptures would not be neglected, but rather hold the chief place in his inquiries. These were accordingly the object of his more mature meditations; which were no less successfully employed upon them, as may be seen in part above. His Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scriptures, is a work that will richly repay the labour of being thoroughly studied, together with both its Vindications, by all those who desire to entertain proper notions concerning the pure, primitive plan of Christ's religion, as laid down by himself: where they will also meet with many just observations on our Saviour's admirable method of conducting it. Of this book, among other commendations, Limborch says, 'Plus verae 'Theologiae ex ill quam ex operotis multorum Systematibus haufiffe me ingenue fateor.' Lee. March 23, 1697."
A Second Vindication of the reasonableness of Christianity, as deliver'd in the scriptures. By John Locke, Esq. The fifth edition. London: Printed for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, in Pater-noster Row; J. Pemberton, against St. Dunstand's Church in Fleet-street; and E. Symon, in Cornhill, 1736. 407 pp. Also issued as part of The Reasonableness of Christianity, sixth edition, 1748.
Paraphrase and Notes upon the Epistles of St. Paul to the Galatians, I & II Corinthians, Romans, and Ephesians. To which is prefix'd, an essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles, by consulting St. Paul Himself. By John Locke, Esq. The Fourth edition. London: Printed for A. Ward, S. Birt, T. Osborn, C. Hitch, J. Oswald, A. Millar, J. Hodges, J. Pemberton, F. Gosling, and T. Cooper. 1742. 423 pp.
Editor, Works of John Locke, Ninth edition, 1793: "In his Paraphrase and Notes upon the epistles of St. Paul, how fully does our author obviate the erroneous doctrines (that of absolute reprobation in particular), which had been falsely charged upon the apostle! And to Mr. Locke's honour it should be remembered, that he was the first of our commentators who showed what it was to comment upon the apostolic writings; by taking the whole of an epistle together, and striking off every signification of every term foreign to the main scope of it; by keeping this point constantly in view, and carefully observing each return to it after any digression; by tracing out a strict though sometimes less visible, connexion in that very consistent writer, St. Paul; touching the propriety and pertinence of whose writings to their several subjects and occasions, he appears to have formed the most just conception, and thereby confessedly led the way to some of our best modern interpreters. Vide Pierce, pref. to Coloff. And Taylor on Rom. No. 60."
History of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ; containing, in order of time, all the events and discourses recorded in the four evangelists, &c. With some short notes for the help of ordinary readers. London: Printed for W. Mears and F. Clay without Temple-Bar, and J. Hooke and T. Woodward in Fleetstreet, 1721. 325 pp.
[Epistola de Tolerantia. English.] A Letter concerning toleration. By John Locke, Esq. A new edition. London: Printed by J. Crowder, Warwick-Square, for J. Johnson, in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1800. 142 pp. British Library.
Some thoughts concerning education. By John Locke, Esq. The fourteenth edition. London: Printed for J. Whiston, W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivington, B. White, L. Davis, Hawes, Clarke and Collins, W. Johnston, W. Owen, T. Caslon, S. Crowder, T. Longman, B. Law, C. Rivington, E. Dilly, J. Wilkie, T. Cadell, S. Baker, T. Payne, T. Davies, G. Robinson, T. Becket, and J. Robson, 1772. 336 pp. Contents, Dedication, and instruction on educating children to read the Bible, pp. 231-233.
Extracts. Contents, Dedication by John Wynne, Introduction by Locke, Chapter X: Of our Knowledge of the Existence of a God; Chapter XVIII: Of Faith and Reason, and their distrinct Provinces; Chapter XIX: Of Enthusiasm.
Volume 2. Cummings & Hilliard and J. T. Buckingham, 1813. Extract: "The study of morality, I have above mentioned as that that becomes a gentleman; not barely as a man, but in order to his business as a gentleman. Of this there are books enough writ both by ancient and modern philosophers; but the morality of the gospel doth so exceed them all, that, to give a man a full knowledge of true morality, I shall send him to no other book, but the New Testament."
"Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions, must, as well as their own and other men's actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it."
Book II, p. 285, Chapter XI, §135.
"Human laws are measures in respect of men whose actions they must direct, howbeit such measures they are as have also their higher rules to be measured by, which rules are two, the law of God, and the law of nature; so that laws human must be made according to the general laws of nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of scripture, otherwise they are ill made."
Book II, p. 285, Chapter XI, §135. Citing Richard Hooker, from Eccl. Pol. 1. iii, sect. 9 (1888 edition):
"The same Thomas, therefore, whose definition of human laws we mentioned before, doth add thereunto this caution concerning the rule and canon whereby to make them: 'Human laws are measures in respect of men whose actions they must direct, howbeit such measures they are, as have also their higher rules to be measured by, which rules are two, the law of God and the law of Nature. So that laws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction unto any positive law in Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.'
James Peirce. A Paraphrase and notes on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Colossians, Philippians, and Hebrews: after the manner of Mr. Locke. To which are annexed several critical dissertations on particular texts of scripture. The second edition. By James Peirce, With a paraphrase and notes on the three last chapters of the Hebrews left unfinish'd by Mr. Peirce; and an essay to discover the Author of the Epistle and Language in which it was originally written, by Joseph Hallett, jun. London, 1733 . 604 pp. Contents: A paraphrase and notes on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, with an appendice upon Ephes. IV. 8. / [J. Peirce] London: J. Noon, 1725 -- A paraphrase and notes on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians, to which are added two dissertations. One on Gal. IV. 21--v. 1. The other on Matth. II. l3, l4, l5./ James Peirce. London: J. Noon and S. Chandler, 1725 -- A paraphrase and notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews / J. Peirce. London: J. Noon and J. Chandler, 1734 -- A paraphrase and notes on the three last chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews / Joseph Hallett. London: J. Purser, 1733 -- A paraphrase and critical commentary on the prophecy of Joel / Samuel Chandler. London: J. Noon, 1735.
James Wilson. The Works of James Wilson, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: being his public discourses upon jurisprudence and the political science, including lectures as professor of law, 1790-2 / edited by James De Witt Andrews. Volume 1 of 2. Chicago, 1896. Chapter 2. "Of the General Principle of Law and Obligation", pp. 49-94.
"I am equally far from believing that Mr. Locke was a friend to infidelity. But yet it is unquestionable, that the writings of Mr. Locke have facilitated the progress, and have given strength to the effects of skepticism. The high reputation which he deservedly acquired for his enlightened attachment to the mild and tolerating doctrines of Christianity secured to him the esteem and confidence of those who were its friends. The same high and deserved reputation inspired others of very different views and characters, with a design to avail themselves of its splendor, and, by that means, to diffuse a fascinating kind of lustre over their own tenets of a dark and sable hue. The consequence has been that the writings of Mr. Locke, one of the most able, most sincere, and most amiable assertors of Christianity and true philosophy, have been perverted to purposes which he would have deprecated and prevented had he discovered or foreseen them." - pp. 60-61.
"When the Reverend Jeremy Belknap, a Boston minister, brought together nine acquaintances in a friend's parlor on January 24, 1791, his goal was to find a way to gather and protect the basic sources of American history. As he envisioned it, the historical society would become a repository and a publisher collecting, preserving, and disseminating resources for the study of American history. Through their pledges of family papers, books, and artifacts the founding members made the Society the nation's most important historical repository by the end of their initial meeting. With the appearance of their first title at the start of 1792, they also made the MHS the nation's first institution of any description to publish in its field."
Read about the Massachusetts Historial Society here.
With Sherman, John,1613-1685. Nehemiah on the wall in troublesom [sic] times; or, A serious and seasonable improvement of that great example of magistratical piety and prudence, self-denial and tenderness, fearlessness and fidelity, unto instruction and encouragement of present and succeeding rulers in our Israel.
As it was delivered in a sermon preached at Boston in N.E. May 15. 1667. being the day of election there. Cambridge [Mass.] : Printed by S.G. [Samuel Green] and M.J. [Marmaduke Johnson], 1671. (, 34,  pp.)
Text-searchable. University of Michigan.
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, Baron de
French writer, philosopher and publicist. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: "His magnum opus, the enormous The Spirit of the Laws (1750), contained an original classification of governments by their manner of conducting policy, an argument for the separation of the legislative, judicial, and executive powers, and a celebrated but less influential theory of the political influence of climate. The work profoundly influenced European and American political thought and was relied on by the framers of the U.S. Constitution." Read more about Baron Montesquieu here, and here.
The Spirit of Laws. In two volumes. Translated from the French of M. De Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. Tenth edition. Volume 1 of 2, 407 pp. Volume 2 of 2 . London, M.DCC.LXXIII. . 443 pp.
The Spirit of Laws. In two volumes. Translated from the French of M. De Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. Volume 1 of 2, 368 pp. Volume 2 of 2. Edition: 1st American from the 5th London ed. Worcester [Mass.]: Printed by Isaiah Thomas, jun. Sold by him, and by Matthew Carey, Philadelphia; also by the various booksellers throughout the United States, 1802. 392 pp.
As amidst several degrees of darkness we may form a judgment of those which are the least thick, and among precipices, which are the least deep; so we may search among false religions, for those that are most conformable to the welfare of society; for those which, though they have not the effect of leading men to the felicity of another life, may contribute most to their happiness in this.
I shall examine, therefore, the several religions of the world, in relation only to the good they produce in civil society ; whether I speak of that which has its root in heaven, or of those which spring from the earth.
As in this work, I am not a divine, but a political writer, I may here advance things which are no otherwise true, than as they correspond with a worldly manner of thinking, not as considered in their relation to truths of a more sublime nature.
With regard to the true religion, a person of the least degree of impartiality, must see that I have never pretended to make its interests submit to those of a political nature, but rather to unite them: now, in order to unite, it is necessary that we should know them.
The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would, without doubt, have every nation blest with the best civil, the best political laws; because these, next to this religion, are the greatest good that men can give and receive. --Vol. II, Book XXIV, 1802 edition. "Of Laws as relative to Religion, considered in itself, and in its Doctrines," pp. 125-126. 1758 edition, pp. 144-145. 1793 edition, p. 129. 1873 edition, p. 119.
CHAP. III.- That a moderate Government is most agreeable to the Christian Religion, and a despotic Government to the Mahometan.
The Christian religion is a stranger to mere despotic power. The mildness so frequently recommended in the Gospel, is incompatible with the despotic rage with which a prince punishes his subjects, and exercises himself in cruelty.
As this religion forbids the plurality of wives, its princes are less confined, less concealed from their subjects, and consequently have more humanity: they are more disposed to be directed by laws, and more capable of perceiving, that they cannot do whatever they please.
While the Mahometan princes incessantly give or receive death, the religion of the Christians renders their princes less timid, and consequently less cruel. The prince confides in his subjects, and the subjects in the prince. How admirable the religion, which, while it only seems to have in view the felicity of the other life, continues the happiness of this!
It is the Christian religion, that, in spite of the extent of the empire and the influence of the climate, has hindered despotic power from being established in Ethiopia, and has carried into the heart of Africa, the manners and laws of Europe.
The heir to the Empire of Ethiopia (*" Description of Ethiopia." by M. Ponce, Physician. "Collection of Edifying Letters.") enjoys a principality and gives to other subjects an example of love and obedience. Not far thence may we see the Mahommedan shutting up the children of the King of Sennar, at whose death the Council sends to murder them, in favor of the prince who mounts the throne.
Let us set before our eyes, on the one hand, the continual massacres of the kings and generals of the Greeks and Romans, and, on the other, the destruction of people and cities by those famous conquerors Timur Beg and Jenghiz Khan, who ravaged Asia, and we shall see that we owe to Christianity, in government, a certain political law; and in war, a certain law of nations--benefits which human nature can never sufficiently acknowledge.
It is owing to this law of nations that among us victory leaves these great advantages to the conquered, life, liberty, laws, wealth, and always religion, when the conqueror is not blind to his own interest.
--"Chap. III.--That a moderate Government is most agreeable to the Christian Religion, and a despotic Government to the Mahometan." 1873 edition, pp. 121-122.
Men are governed by several kinds of laws: by the law of nature; by the divine law, which is that of religion; by ecclesiastical, otherwise called canon law, which is that of religious polity; by the law of nations, which may be considered as the civil law of the whole globe, in which sense every nation is a citizen; by the general political law, which relates to that human wisdom from whence all societies derive their origin; by the particular political law, the object of which is each society; by the law of conquest founded on this, that one nation has been willing and able, or has had a right to offer violence to another; by the civil law of every society, by which a citizen may defend his possessions and his life, against the attacks of any other citizen; in fine, by domestic law which proceeds from a society's being divided into several families, all which have need of a particular government.
There are therefore different orders of laws, and the sublimity of human reason consists in perfectly knowing to which of these orders the things that are to be determined ought to have a principal relation, and not to throw into confusion those principles which should govern mankind." --Book XXVI. "Of Laws As Relative To The Order Of Things On Which They Determine.
Chapter I.--Idea of this Book." 1873 edition, p. 156.
There are kingdoms, in which the laws are of no value, as they depend only on the capricious and fickle humour of the sovereign. If in these kingdoms the laws of religion were of the same nature as the human institutions, the laws of religion too would be of no value. It is, however, necessary to the society that it should have something fixed; and it is religion that has this stability. 1873 edition, p. 157.
American minister at Old West Church, Boston, Massachusetts, the first Unitarian Congregational Church in New England. He is erroneously credited with coining the phrase "no taxation without representation." See John Joachim Zubly. Read more about Mayhew here.
A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers: with some reflections on the resistance made to King Charles I. and on the anniversary of his death: in which the mysterious doctrine of that prince's saintship and martyrdom is unriddled: the substance of which was delivered in a sermon preached in the West Meeting-House in Boston the Lord's-Day after the 30th of January, 1749/50.: Published at the request of the hearers. / By Jonathan Mayhew, A.M. Pastor of the West Church in Boston; [Eight lines of quotations]
Boston: printed and sold by D. Fowle in Queen-Street; and by D. Gookin over-against the South-Meeting-House, 1750.
62 pp.; 22 cm. (4to)
Adams, John, 1735-1826. To William Tudor, April 5, 1818, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a life of the author, notes and illustrations. Boston, 1856. 659 pp. Volume 10 of 10. pp. 301-302.
Mr. Otis made a speech, the outlines of which he has recorded in the pamphlet, urging a compliance with the governor's recommendation and General Amherst's requisition; and concluding with a motion for a committee to consider of both. A committee was appointed, of whom Mr. Otis was one, and reported, not only a continuance of the troops already in service, but an addition of nine hundred men with an augmented bounty to encourage their enlistment. If the orators, on the 4th of July, really wish to investigate the principles and feelings which produced the revolution, they ought to study this pamphlet and Dr. Mayhew's sermon on passive obedience and non-resistance, and all the documents of those days. They have departed from the object of their institution as much as the society for propagation of the gospel in foreign parts have from their charter. The institution had better be wholly abolished, than continued an engine of the politics and feelings of the day, instead of a memorial of the principles and feelings of the revolution half a century ago--I might have said for two centuries before. April 5, 1818.
A Sermon preach'd in the audience of His Excellency William Shirley, Esq: Captain General, Governour and Commander In Chief, the Honourable His Majesty's Council, and the Honourable House of Representatives, of the province of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England. May 29th 1754. Being the anniversary for the election of His Majesty's council for the province: N.B. The parts of some paragraphs, passed over in the preaching of this discourse, are now inserted in the publication. / By Jonathan Mayhew, D.D. Pastor of the West Church in Boston
Boston: N.E.: Printed by Samuel Kneeland, printer to the Honourable House of Representatives, 1754.
, 52 pp.; 21 cm. (8vo)
God's Hand and Providence to be religiously acknowledged in public calamities: A Sermon occasioned by the great fire in Boston, New-England, Thursday March 20. 1760. And preached on the Lord's-Day following. / By Jonathan Mayhew, D.D. Pastor of the West-Church in Boston.
Boston: Printed by Richard Draper, in Newbury-Street, Edes and Gill, in Queen-Street, and by Thomas and John Fleet, in Cornhill, 1760.
38,  pp.; 21 cm. (8vo)
Popish idolatry: A Discourse delivered in the chapel of Harvard-College in Cambridge, New-England, May 8, 1765, at the lecture founded by the Honorable Paul Dudley, Esquire / by Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., Pastor of the West Church in Boston.
Boston: Printed by R. & S. Draper, Edes & Gill, and T. & J. Fleet, 1765.
52 pp.; 21 cm. (8vo)
Winthrop, John, 1714-1779. From the public news-papers. Boston, July 14. & 17. 1766. Last Wednesday morning died here greatly and sincerely lamented, by all who knew him, the Reverend Jonathan Mayhew, D.D. AE. 46, a friend to liberty and learning, a lover of mankind, and a uniform disciple of Jesus Christ. ...
3,  pp.
Jonathan Mayhew. "The Snare Broken," a Thanksgiving Discourse, preached at the desire of the West Church in Boston, May 23, 1766. Occasioned by the Repeal of the Stamp-Act.
Samuel Langdon. "Government Corrupted by Vice," a sermon preached before the Honorable Congress of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, on the 31st of May, 1775.
Jacob Duche. "The Duty of Standing Fast in Our Spiritual and Temporal Liberties," a sermon preached in Christ Church, July 7th, 1775, before the first battalion of the city and liberties of Philadelphia.
William Smith. "A Sermon on the Present Situation of American Affairs," preached in Christ Church, Philadelphia, June 23rd, 1775.
John Joachim Zubly. "The Law of Liberty," a sermon on American Affairs, preached at the opening of the Provincial Congress of Georgia, 1775.
John Hurt. "The Love of Country," a sermon preached before the Virginia Troops in New Jersey. 1777.
William Gordon. "The Separation of the Jewish Tribes, after the death of Solomon, accounted for, and applied to the present day, in a sermon, delivered on July 4, 1777.
Nathaniel Whitaker. "An Antidote against Toryism, or the Curse of Meroz.
Oliver Hart. "Dancing Exploded, a sermon showing the unlawfulness, sinfulness, and bad consequences of Balls, Assemblies, and Dances in general;" delivered in Charleston, SC, 1778.
Samuel Stillman. "A Sermon preached before the Honorable Council, and Honorable House of Representatives of the State of Massachusetts Bay, May 26th, 1779."
David Tappan. "A Discourse delivered in the Third Parish in Newbury, Massachusetts, on the 1st of May, 1783, occasioned by the Ratification of the Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and the United States of America."
John Rodgers. "The Divine Goodness Displayed in the American Revolution," a sermon preached in New York, December 11th, 1783.
George Duffield. "A Sermon preached in the Third Presbyterian Church in the City of Philadelphia, on December 11, 1783, on the Restoration of Peace."
President John Adams: "I wish I could transcribe the whole of this pamphlet, because it is a document of importance in the early history of the Revolution, which ought never to be forgotten. It shows, in a strong light, the heaves and throes of the burning mountain, three years, at least, before the explosion of the volcano in Massachusetts or Virginia."
"... If the orators on the 4th of July really wish to investigate the principles and feelings which produced the Revolution, they ought to study this pamphlet, and Dr. Mayhew's sermon on passive obedience and non-resistance, and all the documents of those days." From The Works of John Adams, second president of the United States: with a life of the author, notes and illustrations. Volume 10. Boston, 1850-1856, p. 300.
"Has it [government] any solid foundation? any chief cornerstone, but what accident, chance or confution may lay one moment and destroy the next? I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the Author of Nature whose laws never vary. The same omniscient, omnipotent, infinitely good and gracious Creator of the universe, who has been pleased to make it necessary that what we call matter should gravitate, for the celestial bodies to roll around their axis, dance their orbits, and perform their various revolutions in that beautiful order and concert, which we all admire, has made it equally necessary that from Adam and Eve to these degenerate days, the different sexes should sweetly attract each other, from societies of single families, of which larger bodies and communities are as naturally, mechanically, and necessarily combined, as the dew of Heaven and the soft distilling rain is collected by the all-enlivening heat of the sun. Government is therefore most evidently founded on the necessities of our nature. It is by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence.
". . . The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In the order of nature immediately under Him comes the power of a simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the whole.
". . . But let the origin of government be placed where it may, the end of it is manifestly the good of the whole. Salus populi suprema lex efto, is the law of nature, and part of that grand charter given the human race (though too many of them are afraid to assert it) by the only monarch in the universe who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power; because He is the only ONE who is omniscient as well as omnipotent.
"The sum of my argument is, That civil government is of God: that the administrators of it were originally the whole people ... "
Appleton, John. Oration delivered before the Democratic Republicans of Portland and vicinity, July 4, 1838. Portland [Me.], 1838. 16 pp.
"In 1761, James Otis asserted the inalienable rights of man as fully and decisively as they were afterwards asserted by Thomas Jefferson. It was in his celebrated argument against writs of assistance, which President Adams characterized as breathing the breath of life into the nation. 'Otis,' says he, 'was a flame of fire. Every man, of an immense, crowded audience, appeared to go away, as I did, ready to take arms against Writs of Assistance. Then, and there, was the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. then, and there, the child, Independence, was born. In fifteen years he grew up to manhood, and declared himself free.'"
Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Rochester, and Protestant religious leader. Read about Ponet in Biographia evangelica by Erasmus Middleton.
A short treatise of politique povver; and of the true obedience which subjects owe to Kings, and other civill governours: Being an answer to seven questions: viz. 1. Whereof politique power groweth, wherefore it was ordained, and the right use and duty of the same? Chap. I. 2. Whether kings, princes, and other governours, have an absolute power and authority over their subjects? Chap. II. 3. Whether kings, princes, and other politique governours, be subject to Gods lawes, and the positive lawes of their countries? Chap. III. 4. In what things, and how farre subjects are bound to obey their princes and governours? Chap. IV. 5. Whether all the subjects goods be the emperours or kings owne, and that they may lawfully take them as their owne? Chap. V. 6. Whether it be lawfull to depose an evill governour and kill a tyrant? Chap. VI. 7. What confidence is to be given to princes and potentates? Chap. VII. Psalm 118:9. It is better to trust in the Lord, than to trust in Princes. Edited for the Modern Reader from the 1556 Edition by Patrick S. Poole. Text-searchable. 1642 edition.
John Adams. The Works of John Adams, vol. 6 (Defence of the Constitutions Vol. III cont'd, Davila, Essays on the Constitution). 1851.
There have been three periods in the history of England, in which the principles of government have been anxiously studied, and very valuable productions published, which, at this day, if they are not wholly forgotten in their native country, are perhaps more frequently read abroad than at home.
The first of these periods was that of the Reformation, as early as the writings of Machiavel himself, who is called the great restorer of the true politics. The 'Shorte Treatise of Politicke Power, and of the True Obedience which Subjects owe to Kyngs and other Civile Governors, with an Exhortation to all True Natural Englishemen, compyled by John Poynet, D. D.,' was printed in 1556, and contains all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterwards dilated on by Sidney and Locke.
... Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet,' and 'Thou shalt not steal,' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.
Attorney, "the Patriot", newspaper propagandist, son of
Josiah Quincy I (1709-1784), Revolutionary War soldier, built Josiah Quincy House (1770). Read about Quincy here and here.
Father of Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), president of Harvard University (1829-1845), US representative (1805-1813), mayor of Boston (1823-1828).
Untitled. The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal. September 28, 1767. p. 1.
Untitled. The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal. October 5, 1767. p. 1.
Untitled. The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal. September 26, 1768. p. 2.
Untitled. The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal. October 3, 1768. p. 3.
British taxations, suspensions of legislatures, and standing armies, are but some of the clouds, which overshadow the northern world. Heaven grant that a grand constellation of virtues may shine forth with redoubled lustre, and enlighten this gloomy
... Now is the time for this people to summon every aid, human and divine; to exhibit every moral virtue, and call forth every christian grace. The wisdom of the serpent, the innocence of the dove, and the intrepidity of the lion, with the blessing God,
will yet save us from the jaws of destruction.
Where is the boasted liberty of Englishmen, if property may be disposed of, charters suspended, assemblies dissolved, and every valued right annihilated, at the uncontrollable will of an external power? Does not every man, who feels one ethereal
spark yet glowing in his bosom, find his indignation kindle, at the bare imagination of such wrongs? What would be our sentiments, were this imagination realized?
American Congressman, physician and historian. OCLC Bio/History from David Ramsay Papers: David Ramsay was born April 2, 1749 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a friend and student of the physician Benjamin Rush. After practicing medicine in Maryland for one year, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he immersed himself in local politics and society. He served as a member of the Charleston Council of Safety, member of the South Carolina legislature and Privy Council, Continental Congress, and United States Congress. Ramsay was an early member of the newly formed Medical Society of South Carolina and was elected president in 1798. He was an early advocate for the creation of a Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston. He authored numerous works on medicine and history, including A dissertation on the means of preserving health in Charleston and the Lowcountry (1796) and The history of the revolution of South-Carolina, from a British province to an independent state (1785). On May 8, 1815 he was shot dead on Broad Street in Charleston by an unstable patient whose insanity he had certified previously. Read about Ramsay here and here.
Ramsay, David, 1749-1815. An Oration, delivered on the anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1794; in Saint Michael's Church, to the inhabitants of Charleston, South Carolina. London: printed and sold by Citizen Daniel Isaac Eaton, 1795. 23 pp.
"Having delivered the first oration that was spoken in the United States, to celebrate this great event, I feel myself doubly honored in being again called upon, after a lapse of sixteen years, to perform the same duty."
... "I will not wound your ears, on this festive day, by a repetition of the many injuries received by this country from Great Britain, which forced us to cut the gordian knot which before had joined us together. Suffice it to observe, that for the twelve years preceding the 4th of July, 1776, claim rose on claim, injury followed injury, and oppression trod on the heels of oppression, till we had no alternative left, but that of abject slavery or complete independence. The spirit of freedom decided in favour of the latter: Heaven smiled on our exertions."
... "Among the privileges enjoyed by the citizens of these States, we may reckon AN EXEMPTION FROM ECCLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENTS. These promote hypocrisy, and uniformly have been engines of oppression. They have transmitted error from one generation to another, and restrained that free spirit of enquiry which leads to improvement. In this country no priests can decimate the fruits of our industry, nor is any preference, whatever, given to one sect above another."
... "Upon an average, five of our CITIZENS do not pay as much to the support of government as one European SUBJECT. the whole sum expended in administering the public affairs of the United States, is not equal to the fourth part of what is annually spent in supporting one crowned head in Europe."
History of the United States, from their first settlement as English colonies, in 1607, to the year 1808, or, the thirty-third of their Sovereignity and Independence. 2nd edition, revised and corrected. Volume 1 of 3. Philadelphia, 1818. 463 pp.
History of the United States, from their first settlement as English colonies, in 1607, to the year 1808, or, the thirty-third of their Sovereignity and Independence. 2nd edition, revised and corrected. Volume 2 of 3. Philadelphia, 1818. 491 pp.
History of the United States, from their first settlement as English colonies, in 1607, to the year 1808, or, the thirty-third of their Sovereignity and Independence. 2nd edition, revised and corrected. Volume 3 of 3. Philadelphia, 1818. 500 pp.
Swiss pastor and theologian. Read about Roustan from the Biographie Universelle. "ROUSTAN (Antoine-Jacques)". Biographie universelle ou Dictionnaire de tous les hommes qui se sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertus ou leurs crimes, depuis le commencement du monde jusqu'a ce jour (in French). 17 Ritzon - Scheremetof. Brussels: H. Ode. 1846, p. 140.
Helena Rosenblatt. "The Social Contract". Rousseau and Geneva: from the first discourse to the social contract, 1749-1762, pp. 264-265. Ideas in context 46. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-57004-6.
Yves Touchefeu. L'antiquité et le christianisme dans la pensée de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, p. 358. Studies on Voltaire and the eighteenth century (in French) 372. Voltaire Foundation.
"Sidney, a son of the Earl of Leicester, allied by the female line, to the Northumberland Percys, was born of the noblest blood of England. Born in 1622, he came into active life precisely at the agony of the conflict between the Democracy and the Monarchy of England. -- Sidney, though not included in the number of the regicides, was one of the main pillars of the republican cause, and was personally obnoxious to Charles the second, for some occasional offensive remarks that he had recently made--especially for two Latin lines that he had written in the album of the royal library at Copenhagen:
"Manus haec inimica tyrannis
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietam."
"This hand, the rule of tyrants to oppose
Seeks with the sword fair freedom's soft repose,"
"I knowe my Redeemer liues [sic, lives]; and, as he hath in a great measure upheld me in the day of my calamity, hope that he will still uphold me by his Spirite in this last moment, and giving me grace to glorify him in my death, receive me into the glory prepared for those that feare him, when my body shall be dissolved. Amen."-- p. 306.
"HAVING lately seen a book, intitled, 'Patriarcha,' written by Sir Robert Filmer, concerning the universal and undistinguished right of all kings, I thought a time of leisure might be well employed in examining his doctrine, and the questions arising from it: which seem so far to concern all mankind, that, besides the influence upon our future life, they may be said to comprehend all that in this world deserves to be cared for."-- p. 309.
THE COMMON NOTIONS OF LIBERTY ARE NOT FROM SCHOOL DIVINES, BUT FROM NATURE.
"IN the first lines of this book he seems to denounce war against mankind, endeavouring to overthrow the principle of liberty in which God created us, and which includes the chief advantages of the life we enjoy, as well as the greatest helps towards the felicity, that is the end of our hopes in the other. To this end he absurdly imputes to the school divines that which was taken up by them as a common notion, written in the heart of every man, denied by none, but such as were degenerated into beasts, from whence they might prove such points as of themselves were less evident. Thus did Euclid lay down certain axioms which none could deny that did not renounce common sense, from whence he drew the proofs of such propositions as were less obvious to the understanding; and they may with as much reason be accused of Paganism, who say that the whole is greater than a part, that two halves make the whole, or that a straight line is the shortest way from point to point, as to say, that they who in politics lay such foundations as have been taken up by schoolmen and others as undeniable truths, do therefore follow them, or have any regard to their authority. Though the schoolmen were corrupt, they were neither stupid nor unlearned: they could not but see that which all men saw, nor lay more approved foundations, than, that man is naturally free; that he cannot justly be deprived of that liberty without cause; and that he doth not resign it, nor any part of it, unless it be in consideration of a greater good, which he proposes to himself. But if he doth unjustly impute the invention of this to school divines, he in some measure repairs his fault in saying, 'this hath been fostered by all succeeding Papists for good divinity: the divines of the reformed churches have entertained it, and the common people every where tenderly embrace it.' That is to say, all Christian divines, whether reformed or unreformed, do approve it, and the people every where magnify it, as the height of human felicity. But Filmer, and such as are like him, being neither reformed or unreformed Christians, nor of the people, can have no title to Christianity; and, inasmuch as they set themselves against that which is the height of human felicity, they declare themselves enemies to all that are concerned in it; that is, to all mankind.
"But, says he, 'they do not remember, that the desire of liberty was the first cause of the fall of man.' And I desire it may not be forgotten, that the liberty asserted is not a licentiousness of doing what is pleasing to every one against the command of God; but an exemption from all human laws, to which they have not given their assent. If he would make us believe there was any thing of this in Adam's sin, he ought to have proved, that the law which he transgressed was imposed upon him by man, and consequently that there was a man to impose it; for it will easily appear that neither the reformed nor unreformed divines, nor the people following them, do place the felicity of man in an exemption from the laws of God, but in a most perfect conformity to them. Our Saviour taught us, 'not to fear such as could kill the body, but him that could kill, and cast into hell:' and the apostle tells us, that 'we should obey God rather than man.' It hath been ever hereupon observed, that they who most precisely adhere to the laws of God, are least solicitous concerning the commands of men, unless they are well grounded; and those who most delight in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, do not only subject themselves to him, but are most regular observers of the just ordinances of man, made by the consent of such as are concerned, according to the will of God.
John Adams. On Government: Algernon Sidney. From The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a life of the author, notes and illustrations. Boston, 1851. Volume 4 of 10.
A Sermon, preached to the society in Brattle Street, Boston, November 14, 1790. And occasioned by the death of the Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq. L.L.D. F.R.S. lately governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By Peter Thacher, A.M. Pastor of the church in Brattle Street.
Printed at Boston: by I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, Faust's Statue, no. 45, Newbury Street, MDCCXCI. 
27,p. ; 4^(0)
Select discourses on practical subjects. By the Rev. Peter Thacher, A.M. late Pastor of the church at Attleborough. Leominster, Massachusetts, 1798. 114 pp.
SERMON I. On Prayer. 5
SERMON II. God Will Not Forsake His People. 34
SERMON III. The Gospel Invitation. 56
SERMON IV. Future Happiness And Misery. 71
SERMON V. The Goodness Of God. 85
SERMON VI. The Hypocrites Prayer. 102
A Sermon, occasioned by the death of General George Washington, and preached Feb. 22, 1800, by their direction, before His Honor Moses Gill, Esq. commander in chief, the Honorable Council, the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By Peter Thacher, D.D. Chaplain to the General Court. Boston, . 21 pp.
American doctor and patriot. Died at Battle of Bunker Hill. Read about Warren here and here.
An Oration delivered March 5th, 1772. At the request of the inhabitants of the town of Boston; to commemorate the bloody tragedy of the fifth of March, 1770. By Joseph Warren. [Three lines in Latin from Virgil]. (The second edition). Boston, 1772. 18 pp.
If you, with united zeal and fortitude, oppose the torrent of oppression; if you feel the true fire of patriotism burning in your breasts: if you, from your souls, despise the most gaudy dress that slavery can wear; if you really prefer the lonely cottage (whilst blest with liberty) to gilded palaces, surrounded with thr ensigns of slavery, you may have the fullest assurance that tyranny, with her whole accursed train, will hide their hideous heads In confusion, shame, and despair--if you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers--who enabled them to turn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare his arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring.
May this Almighty Being graciously preside in all our councils. May he direct us to such measures as he himself shall approve, and be pleased to bless. May we ever be a people favored of God. May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum ot the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguished ruin!
An Oration; delivered March sixth, 1775. At the request of the inhabitants of the town of Boston; to commemorate the bloody tragedy of the fifth of March, 1770. By Dr. Joseph Warren. [Two lines of quotations in Latin]. Boston, M,DCC,LXXV. . 22 pp.
In Provincial Congress, at Watertown, April 26, 1775. To the Inhabitants of Great Britain. From The Journals of each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775: and of the Committee of Safety, with an appendix, containing the proceedings of the county conventions-narratives of the events of the nineteenth of April, 1775-papers relating to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and other documents, illustrative of the early history of the American revolution. Dutton and Wentworth, Printers to the state, 1838. 778 pp. Also here.
... "We sincerely hope, that the Great Sovereign of the Universe, who hath so often appeared for the English nation, will support you in every rational and manly exertion with these colonies, for saving it from ruin, and that, in a constitutional connection with our mother country, we shall soon be altogether a free and happy people."
History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution. Interspersed with biographical, political and moral observations. Boston: Printed by Manning and Loring, For E. Larkin, No. 47, Cornhill, 1805. 3 volumes. 21 cm. Volume 1 of 3, Volume 2 of 3, Volume 3 of 3. Text-searchable here.
 At the same time that these wayward appearances began early to threaten their internal felicity, the inhabitants of America were in general sensible, that the freedom of the people, the virtue of society, and the stability of their commonwealth, could only be preserved by the strictest union; and that the independence of the United States must be secured by an undeviating adherence to the principles that produced the revolution.
These principles were grounded on the natural equality of man, their right of adopting their own modes of government, the dignity of the people, and that sovereignty which cannot be ceded either to representatives or to kings. But, as a certain writer has expressed it,
Powers may be delegated for particular purposes; but the omnipotence of society, if any where, is in itself. Princes, senates, or parliaments, are not proprietors or masters; they are subject to the people, who form and support that society, by an eternal law of nature, which has ever subjected a part to the whole.*
These were opinions congenial to the feelings, and were disseminated by the pens, of political writers; of Otis, Dickinson,  Quincy, and many others, who with pathos and energy had defended the liberties of America, previous to the commencement of hostilities.
On these principles, a due respect must ever be paid to the general will; to the right in the people to dispose of their own monies by a representative voice; and to liberty of conscience without religious tests: on these principles, frequent elections, and rotations of office, were generally thought necessary, without precluding the indispensable subordination and obedience due to rulers of their own choice. From  the principles, manners, habits, and education of the Americans, they expected from their rulers, economy in expenditure, (both public and private,) simplicity of manners, pure morals, and undeviating probity. These they considered as the emanations of virtue, grounded on a sense of duty, and a veneration for the Supreme Governor of the universe, to whom the dictates of nature teach all mankind to pay homage, and whom they had been taught to worship according to revelation, and the divine precepts of the gospel. Their ancestors had rejected and fled from the impositions and restrictions of men, vested either with princely or priestly authority: they equally claimed the exercise of private judgment, and the rights of conscience, unfettered by religious establishments in favor of particular denominations.
They expected a simplification of law; clearly defined distinctions between executive, legislative, and judiciary powers: the right of trial by jury, and a sacred regard to personal liberty and the protection of private property, were opinions embraced by all who had any just ideas of government, law, equity, or morals.
These were the rights of men, the privileges of Englishmen, and the claim of Americans: these were the principles of the Saxon ancestry of the British empire, and of all the free nations  of Europe, previous to the corrupt systems introduced by intriguing and ambitious individuals.
These were the opinions of Ludlow and Sydney, of Milton and Harrington: these were principles defended by the pen of the learned, enlightened, and renowned Locke; and even judge Blackstone, in his excellent commentaries on the laws of England, has observed, 'that trial by jury and the liberties of the people went out together.' Indeed, most of the learned and virtuous writers that have adorned the pages of literature from generation to generation, in an island celebrated for the erudite and comprehensive genius of its inhabitants, have enforced these rational and liberal opinions.
These were the principles which the ancestors of the inhabitants of the United States brought with them from the polished shores of Europe, to the dark wilds of America: these opinions were deeply infixed in the bosoms of their posterity, and nurtured with zeal, until necessity obligated them to announce the declaration of the independence of the United States. We have seen that the instrument which announced the final separation of the American colonies from Great Britain, was drawn by the elegant and energetic pen of Jefferson, with that  correct judgment, precision, and dignity, which have ever marked his character.
The declaration of independence, which has done so much honor to the then existing congress, to the inhabitants of the United States, and to the genius and heart of the gentleman who drew it, in the belief, and under the awe, of the Divine Providence, ought to be frequently read by the rising youth of the American states, as a palladium of which they should never lose sight, so long as they wish to continue a free and independent people.
This celebrated paper, which will be admired in the annals of every historian, begins with an assertion, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, which nature and nature's God entitle them to claim; and, after appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions, it concludes in the name of the good people of the colonies, by their representatives assembled in congress, they publish and declare, that they are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States: in the name of the people, the fountain of all just authority, relying on the protection of Divine Providence, they mutually pledged themselves to maintain these rights, with their lives, fortunes, and honor.
[*]See Lessons to a Prince, by an anonymous writer. [David Williams, Lessons to a Young Prince on the Present Disposition in Europe to a General Revolution: with an Addition of a Lesson on the Mode of Studying and Profiting by the Reflections on the French Revolution by. . . Edmund Burke, by an old Statesman (6th. ed. New York, 1791).]
[**]The characters of Dickenson [sic, John Dickinson] and Otis are well known, but the early death of Mr. Quincy prevented his name from being conspicuous in the history of American worthies. He was a gentleman of abilities and principles which qualified him to be eminently useful, in the great contest to obtain and support the freedom of his country. He had exerted his eloquence and splendid talents for his purpose, until the premature hand of death deprived society of a man, whose genius so well qualified him for the investigation of the claims, and the defence of the rights of mankind. He died on his return from a voyage to Europe, a short time before war was actually commenced between Great Britain and the colonies.
The writings of the above named gentlemen, previous to the commencement of the war, are still in the hands of many.
Clergyman. Read more about West here. Disclaimer: West taught doctrine that became Unitarianism.
Christ the Grand Subject of the Gospel ministry: A Sermon Preached at the ordination of the Reverend Mr. Samuel West, to the pastoral office over the Church of Christ in Needham. April 25th 1764. / By Samuel West, A.M. Pastor of the church in Dartmouth; To which are annexed, the charge by his father, the Reverend Mr. Thomas West, of Rochester. And the right hahd [sic] of fellowship, by the Rev. Mr. Balch, of Dedham. Boston: Printed by Samuel Kneeland in Queen-Street, MDCCLXIV. . , 28 pp.; 19 cm. (8vo).
"Our obligation to promote the public good extends as much to the opposing every exertion of arbitrary power that is injurious to the state as it does to the submitting to good and wholesome laws. No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny, as he is ready to obey magistracy.
... "If magistrates are ministers of God only because the law of God and reason points out the necessity of such an institution for the good of mankind, it follows, that whenever they pursue measures directly destructive of the public good, they cease being God's ministers, they forfeit their right to obedience from the subject, they become the pests of society, and the community is under the strongest obligation of duty both to God and to its own members, to resist and oppose them, which will be so far from resisting the ordinance of God that it will be strictly obeying his commands.
An Anniversary sermon, preached at Plymouth, December 22d, 1777: In grateful memory of the first landing of our pious New-England ancesters [sic] in that place, A.D. 1620. / By Samuel West, A.M. Pastor of the church in Dartmouth. [Eight lines of Scripture texts] Boston: Printed, by Draper and Folsom, at their printing-office, at the corner of Winter-Street, 1778. 79,  pp.; 20 cm. (4to).
Essays on liberty and necessity: in which the true nature of liberty is stated and defended; and the principal arguments used by Mr. Edwards, and others, for necessity, are considered. / By Samuel West, A.M. Pastor of the Church of Christ in New-Bedford. Boston: Printed by Samuel Hall, in Cornhill, MDCCXCIII. . 54,  pp.; 19 cm. (4to) Part 1. Part 2. 1795. 96 pp.
Greatness the Result of Goodness: A Sermon, occasioned by the death of George Washington, late commander in chief of the armies, and first president, of the United States of America, who died December 14, 1799, aged 68. / By Samuel West, D.D. Pastor of the church in Hollis Street, Boston. Boston: From the printing-office of Manning & Loring, . 40 pp.; 23 cm. (8vo)
Reverend. Read more about Witherspoon here and here and here.
Ellis Sandoz, editor: ... "Witherspoon served intermittently in Congress until 1782 and was a member of over a hundred legislative committees, including two vital standing committees, the Board of War and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In the latter role, he took a leading part in drawing up the instructions for the American peace commissioners who concluded the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war in September 1783. He later served in the New Jersey legislature and was a member of that state's ratifying convention for the Constitution in 1787.
"Witherspoon has been called the most influential professor in American history, not only because of his powerful writing and speaking style--and he was carefully attended to on all subjects, both here and abroad--but also because of his long tenure at Princeton. His teaching and the reforms he made there radiated his influence across the country. He trained not only a substantial segment of the leadership among Presbyterians but a number of political leaders as well. Nine of the fifty-five participants in the Federal Convention in 1787 were Princeton graduates, chief among them James Madison (who, among other things, spent an extra year studying Hebrew and philosophy with Witherspoon after his graduation in 1771). Moreover, his pupils included a president and a vice-president of the United States, twenty-one senators, twenty-nine representatives, fifty-six state legislators, and thirty-three judges, three of whom were appointed to the Supreme Court. During the Revolution, his pupils were everywhere in positions of command in the American forces.
"Witherspoon's The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men caused a great stir when it was first preached in Princeton and published in Philadelphia in 1776, about a month before he was elected to the Continental Congress on June 22. He reminds his auditors that the sermon is his first address on political matters from the pulpit: ministers of the Gospel have more important business to attend to than secular crises, but, of course, liberty is more than a merely secular matter."
The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Man. A Sermon, preached at Princeton, on the 17th of May, 1776. To which is added, an address to the natives of Scotland, residing in America. By John Witherspoon. The second edition, with elucidating remarks. [Glasgow]: Philadelphia, printed: Glasgow re-printed; sold by the booksellers in town and country, 1777. 54 pp.; 80. Text-searchable here. Advertisement: "It hath been frequently said, by many persons of the best intelligence, that the unhappy commotions in our American colonies, have been considerably promoted, if not primarly agitated, by clerical influence: and none of that order have had a greater share of it ascribed to them than Dr. Witherspoon, though not credited by many of his favourites in this country. The following Sermon and Address, however, will fully justify the allegation, and silence the doctor's friends."
The Law of Liberty. A Sermon on American affairs, preached at the opening of the Provincial Congress of Georgia: Addressed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Dartmouth: With an appendix, giving a concise account of the struggles of Swisserland [sic] to recover their liberty. [Two lines from Isaiah]. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Henry Miller. 1775. Also to be had of Messieurs Bradfords, in Philadelphia: Noel and Hazard, at New-York: William Scott, on the bay, in Charles-Town, South-Carolina: and at Mr. Bard's store, at Savannah, Georgia.
"The assertion, that all religion countenances despotism, and Christianity more than any other, is diametrically opposite to fact. Survey the globe, and you will find that liberty has taken its seat only in Christendom, and that the highest degree of freedom is pleaded for and enjoyed by such as make profession of the gospel."
... "The Christian religion, while it commands due respect and obedience to superiors, nowhere requires a blind and unlimited obedience on the part of the subjects; nor does it vest any absolute and arbitrary power in the rulers. It is an institution for the benefit, and not for the distress, of mankind. It preaches not only "glory to God on high," but also "peace on earth, and good-will among men." The gospel gives no higher authority to magistrates than to be "the ministers of God for the good of the subject." From whence it must surely follow, that their power is to edify, and not to destroy. When they abuse their authority, to distress and destroy their subjects, they deserve not to be thought ministers of God for good; nor is it to be supposed, when they act so contrary to the nature of their office, that they act agreeably to the will of God, or in conformity to the doctrine of the gospel."
"In England there can be no taxation without representation, and no representation without election; but it is undeniable that the representatives of Great-Britain are not elected by nor for the Americans, and therefore cannot represent them; and so, if the Parliament of Great-Britain has a right to tax America, that right cannot possibly be grounded on the consideration that the people of Great-Britain have chosen them their representatives, without which choice they would be no Parliament at all."