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4 In grateful adoration now, Upon the barren sands they bow. at tongue of joy e'er woke such prayer, As bursts in desolation there? What arm of strength e'er wrought such power As waits to crown that feeble hour? There into life an infant empire springs! There falls the iron from the soul; There liberty's young accents roll, Up to the King of kings! To fair creation’s farthest bound, That thrilling summons yet shall sound; The dreaming nations shall awake, And to their centre earth's old kingdoms shake Pontiff and prince, your sway Must crumble from that day; Before the loftier throne of Heaven, The hand is raised, the pledge is given— One monarch to obey, one creed to own, That monarch, God, that creed, His word alone.
5 Spread out earth's holiest records here,
Duty of Literary men to their Country.—GRIMKE.
We cannot honor our country with too deep a reverence; we cannot love her with an affection, too pure and fervent; we cannot serve her with an energy of purpose or a faithfulness of zeal, too steadfast and ardent. And what is our country? It is not the East, with her hills and her valleys, with her countless sails, and the rocky ramparts of her shores. It is not the North, with her thousand villages, and her harvest-home, with her frontiers of the lake and the ocean. It is not the West, with her forest-sea and her inland-isles, with her luxuriant expanses, clothed in the verdant corn, with her beautiful Ohio, and her majestic Missouri. Nor is it yet the South, opulent in the mimic snow of the cotton, in the rich plantations of the rustling cane, and in the golden robes of the rice-field. What are these but the sister families f one greater, better, holier family, our country? come not here to speak the dialect, or to give the counsels of the patriot-statesman. But I come, a patriot-scholar, to vindicate the rights, and to plead for the interests of American Literature. And be assured, that we cannot, as patriotscholars, think too highly of that country, or sacrifice too much for her. And let us never forget, let us rather remember with a religious awe, that the union of these States is indispensable to our Literature, as it is to our national independence and civil liberties, to our prosperity, happiness, and improvement. If, indeed, we desire to behold a Literature like that, which has sculptured, with such energy of expression, which
30 has painted so faithfully and vividly, the crimes, the
vices, the follies of ancient and modern Europe: if we desire that our land should furnish for the orator and the novelist, for the painter and the poet, age after age, the wild and romantic scenery of war; the glittering march of armies, and the revelry of the camp; the shrieks and blasphemies, and all the horrors of the battle field; the desolation of the harvest, and the
burning cottage; the storm, the sack, and the ruin of cities: "If we desire to unchain the furious passions of jealousy and selfishness, of hatred, revenge and ambition, those lions, that now sleep harmless in their den: If we desire, that the lake, the river, the ocean, should blush with the blood of brothers; that the winds should waft from the land to the sea, from the sea to the land, the roar and the smoke of battle; that the very mountaintops should become altars for the sacrifice of brothers; if we desire that these, and such as these—the elements to an incredible extent, of the Literature of the old world—should be the elements of our Literature, then, but then only, let us hurl from its pedestal the majestic statue of our union, and scatter its fragments over all our land. But, if we covet for our country the noblest, purest, loveliest Literature, the world has ever seen, such a Literature as shall honor God, and bless Mankind; a Literature, whose smiles might play upon an Angel’s face, whose tears “would not stain an Angel’s cheek;” then let us cling to the union of these States, with a patriot's love, with a scholar’s enthusiasm, with a christian's hope. In her heavenly character, as a holocaust self-sacrificed to God; at the height of her glory, as the ornament of a free, educated, peaceful, christian people, American Literature will find that THE INTELLECTUAL SPIRIT Is HER very TREE OF LIFE, AND THAT UNION, HER GARDEN OF PARADISE.
Such was the state of things under which the Congress of 1776 assembled, when Adams and Jefferson again met. It was, as you know, in this Congress, that the question of American Independence came, for the first time, to be discussed; and never, certainly, has a more momentous question been discussed in any age or in any country; for, it was fraught, not only with the destinies of this wide extended continent, but as the event has shown, and is still showing, with the destinies of man all over the world.
Amid this appalling array that surrounded them, the first to enter the breach, sword in hand, was John Adams—the vision of his youth at his heart, and his country in every nerve. On the sixth of May, he offered, in committee of the whole, the significant resolution, that the colonies should form governments independent of the crown. This was the harbinger of more important measures, and seems to have been put forward to feel the pulse of the House. The resolution, after a severe struggle, was adopted on the 15th of May following. On the 7th of June, by previous concert, Richard Henry Lee moved the great resolution of Independence, and was seconded by John Adams; and “then came the tug of war.” The debate upon it was continued from the 7th to the 10th, when the further consideration of it was postponed to the 1st of July, and at the same time a committee of five was appointed to prepare, provisionally, a draught of a Declaration of Independence. At the head of this important committee, which was then appointed by a vote of the House, although he was probably the youngest member, and one of the youngest men in the House, for he had served only part of the former session, and was but thirty-two years of age, stands the name of Thomas Jefferson—Mr. Adams stands next. And these two gentlemen, having been deputed a subcommittee to prepare the draught, that draught, at Mr. Adams's earnest importunity, was prepared by his more outhful friend. Of this transaction Mr. Adams is himself the historian, and the authorship of the Declaration, though once disputed, is thus placed forever beyond the reach of question. The final debate on the resolution was postponed as we have seen, for nearly a month. In the meantime, all who are conversant with the course of action of all deliberative bodies, know how much is done by conversation among the members. It is not often, indeed, that proselytes are made on great questions by public debate. On such questions, opinions are far more frequently formed in private, and so formed, that debate is seldom known to change them. Hence the value of the out-ofdoor talent of chamber consultation, where objections, candidly stated, are candidly, calmly, and mildly discussed; where neither pride, nor shame, nor anger take part in the discussion, nor stand in the way of a correct 55 conclusion: but where every thing being conducted frankly, delicately, respectfully, and kindly, the better cause and the better reasoner are almost always sure of success. In this kind of service, as well as in all that depended on the power of composition, Mr. Jefferson 60 was as much a master-magician, as his eloquent friend Adams was in debate. hey were, in truth, hemispheres of the same golden globe, and required only to be brought and put together, to prove that they were parts of the same heaven-formed whole. 65 On the present occasion, however, much still remained to be effected by debate. The first of July came, and the great debate on the resolution for independence was resumed with fresh spirit. The discussion was again protracted for two days, which, in addition to the 70 former three, were sufficient, in that age, to call out all the speaking talent of the House. * # #: :*: Mr. Jefferson has told us that “the Colossus of that Congress—the great pillar of support to the Declaration of Independence, and its ablest advocate and champion 75 on the floor of the House, was John Adams.” # 36 # #: * # # #: # The resolution having been carried, the draught of the Declaration came to be examined in detail; and, so faultless had it issued from the hands of its author, that 30 it was adopted as he had prepared it, pruned only of a few of its brightest inherent beauties, through a prudent deference to some of the States. It was adopted about noon of the Fourth, and proclaimed to an exulting nation, on the evening of the same day. 85 That brave and animated band who signed it—where are they now? What heart does not sink at the question? One only survives: CHARLEs CARRoll, of Carrollton—a noble specimen of the age that has gone by, and now the single object of that age, on whom the ven90 eration and prayers of his country are concentrated.