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the Egyptians in the plagues which he inflicted upon them. God has taken from us our national idol.
4. The scourge of war is the last judgment which I shall notice.
My opinion of the commencement of this war, and of the measures of our government which led to it, are unaltered. As I have never from this place obtruded upon you that opinion in time past, you yourselves bearing me witness, so I will not now do it. Shortly after it was declared, on a fast day, I observed that as it respected its moral and religious effects, considering its relation to the interests of the Church, I did view it to be one of the most deplorable wars which had ever occurred. Its character I dislike; its issues I dread-not as it respects our temporal consequence, but our moral and religious habits. Temporal losses may soon be regained; but immoral and irreligious effects can be corrected only in a succession of years. It is in this light that it is a judgment; and, Brethren, dispensed as it is by a righteous God, I take the opportunity of obserying, that as a nation we were ripe for it, or we would never have suffered it.
Whether our rulers were guilty in declaring the war or not, the conclusion is the same. If we had not merited God's displeasure we would never have had an administration who have, as their opponents say, plunged us in a war; nor would we have been subjected to the insults and oppression of a foreign power, so as to make it necessary for us to resort to arms, as the friends of the administration assert. The conclusion, I repeat it, is that we have merited the scourge of war. Its effects we deeply feel' in the different relations of life, now whilst we suffer from its pressure; but God only can tell what incalculable mischiefs may result from it, to the spiritual interests of thousands. War always demoralizes a people, and the effects of our revolutionary contest upon our moral habits are sufficient to awaken the most lively anticipations of evil in this respect from the present conflict.
* III. Our national prospects now demand our attention.
They are gloomy indeed, but cheered with the rays of hope. The present state of affairs cannot but depress every mind. There are, however, considerations to inspire courage, and produce no ordinary expectation about the future, state of this country:
1. The manner in which our country was settled, is one of these considerations.
With few exceptions, the soil was purchased fairly from the natives. A great proportion of the first settlers emigrated to this new world for conscience sake. The ancestors of the New England states were men of whom the world was not worthy.
They left their all, and came to this continent that they might worship God without molestation. Other parts of our country are filled with emigrants, who came hither to escape oppression, slavery, degradation, or the children of such emigrants. The character of these first settlers, and the manner in which their settlement was effected, give the pledge that the Lord will preserve us in future, as he has done in times past. · Nor have we any reason for despondence, when we take into consideration the character of the other first settlers of our country. On comparing them with the ancestors and founders of the greatest part of the present European nations, they will not suffer in their claims to moral worth. It is true a very small number were convicts from Britain ; but, if their character is to be alleged against them, the blame must rest upon the then mother country, who from motives of mere political expediency, sent to her colonies those who had forfeited their lives or their reputation at home. With this exception, an exception which in fact militates not against us, but against her, we shrink not from the comparison. Let that person judge who is acquainted with the history of France, Spain, Italy, but above all, of England, first subdued by the Romans, then by the Saxons, afterwards by the Danes, and lastly by the Normans. If ancestry afford any foundation for national respectability, ours is incomparably better than theirs. Our forefathers had passed from barbarism, were become civilized, had embraced the Gospel. Theirs were uncultivated, rude, fierce, unpolished, savage. Where is the European nation to be found that can look back upon such an honourable origin as the State of Pennsylvania ? I have singled out this part of our country, next to the soil occupied by the pilgrims of Leyden, on account of the pre-eminent worth of its first proprietor, William Penn. I forbear descending to more particulars. The very convicts sent over to people this western world were better members of civil society than the Goths, the Vandals, the Saxons, the Scandinavians, those forefathers of the greatest part of the European continent.
Taking all the circumstances connected with the colonization of our country; 'a colonization not effected by mere rapine, blood, injustice and conquest, but by means more consistent with the Spirit of the Gospel; I confess that, while my heart is sad at our present condition, I look forward to the future with high anticipations.
2. Our nation, though irreligious in its political constitution, has never given its power to antichrist. We have never recognized the authority of the Roman Church, therefore are not included in the grand apostacy. . .
On this subject I may be unfashionable in my opinions, but I am convinced that these opinions are according to truth, even the truth of God's Word. No one is a more decided friend of religious liberty: but at the