Page:The Voice of Truth.djvu/39

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VIEWS OF THE POWERS AND POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT.

outbreak in the principal cities, murder, robbery, and defalcation, scarcity of money and a thousand other difficulties, would have torn asunder the bonds of the Union: destroyed the confidence of man with man; and left the great body of the people to mourn over misfortunes in poverty, brought on by corrupt legislation in an hour of proud vanity, for self aggrandizement. The great Washington, soon after the foregoing faithful admonition for the common welfare of his nation, further advised Congress that "among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." As the Italian would say: Buono aviso, (good advice.)

The elder Adams, in his inaugural address, gives national pride such a grand turn of justification, that every honest citizen must look back upon the infancy of the United States with an approving smile and rejoice, that patriotism in their rulers, virtue in the people, and prosperity in the Union, once crowned the expectations of hope; unveiled the sophistry of the hypocrite, and silenced the folly of foes: Mr. Adams said, "If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information and benevolence." There is no doubt such was actually the case with our young realm at the close of the last century; peace, prosperity, and union, filled the country with religious toleration, temporal enjoyment and virtuous enterprise; and grandly, too, when the deadly winter of the "Stamp Act," the "Tea Act," and other close communion acts of Royalty had choked the growth of freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and liberty of conscience, did light, liberty and loyalty flourish like the cedars of God.

The respected and venerable Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address, made more than forty years ago, shows what a beautiful prospect an innocent, virtuous nation presents to the sage’s eye, where there is space for enterprise; hands for industry; heads for heroes, and hearts for moral greatness. He said, "A rising nation spread over a wide and fruitful land traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye; when I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation