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tion of departed souls that ever imagination formed, and one which revelation has since in part sanctioned. The Athenians not only pronounced funeral orations, and publicly mourned individuals as they deceased, but once a year held a solemn festival in honor of the mighty dead. The Romans were still more careful to pay funeral honors where they were deserved. Every great man had his orator to speak at his funeral, from Junius Brutus to Julius Cæsar, and the memory of their virtues was preserved by the balmy breath of friendship and love. The Holy Bible, to which we turn for precepts and examples, abounds with eulogies on the dead. The Psalmist of Israel pronounced an imperishable panegyric upon the untimely fate of Saul and Jonathan, in which their virtues only were named in the hallowed strain of affection; other things were left to the chronicles of the day. This was not the momentary burst of grief, but was intended for permanent effect. It was an epic record of the virtues of "the mighty who had fallen," "the measure of which he ordered to be taught to the children of Judah."

In a republic like ours, it is peculiarly proper to pay funeral honors to those who assisted in giving us freedom and fame. Their reputation is identified with our national history, and it can never be fully understood without an acquaintance with the motives, the talents and deeds of our fathers.

The actors in our revolutionary conflict have been falling away, one after another, like the leaves of autumn, until the number left were but few, and those scattered through the country. The list of our provincial congress is nearly a full starred catalogue, and of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but three only remained when the fiftieth year had come, and the jubilee was sounded through the land.On that memorable day, demonstrations of joy were extendded through a great and happy country-twelve millions of people raised their united voices to God, in gratitude and thanksgiving for all his manifold kindnesses to our nation, and

for preserving the lives of three venerable patriarchs, who had survived to see the prosperity of their country, after half a hundred years from the hour of doubt and danger in which they were called to act. The festivities and the day were ended-the next morning's sun arose-the public knell was struck and the cry was, that the sage of Quincy died yesterday. Singular occurrence! Wonderful event! What a happy hour in which to leave the world!—were the ejaculations from every tongue. The mathematician was calculating the chances of such a death, the superstitious viewed it as miraculous, and the judicious saw in the event the hand of that Providence, without whose notice not a sparrow falls to the ground. While this knell was still vibrating on our ears, and wonder was still sitting on the countenances of all, that death-note was struck again; it came from city to city, on the southern breeze, and told a tale of still greater wonder-that at the noon-tide of the jubilee, the angel of death had summoned the great philosopher and philanthropist of Monticello to immortality. The hand of God was seen by all; and a whole people are now falling upon their knees to acknowledge HIM the wise ruler of the universe, who in the midst of his chastenings, shows his love for the beings he has created; and we are now at the altar, as it were, with the ashes of these patriarchs before us, to express our gratitude that they lived so long and expired as they did.

At the funeral solemnities we can do but little more than show a few of the garments the deceased made for a naked land, and pluck as we follow the funeral car, a sprig or two of evergreen to drop into the fresh made grave; and as the earth closes over them, put down a head and a foot stone, in order to show the future architect where to place the monument, when the materials shall be collected for the purpose. It is seldom that the mourner at the grave writes the inscription on the marble that covers it.

Only one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence now survives-the venerable Charles Carroll, of Maryland,

is the last of that sacred band. But he is not alone in the world, for millions claim kindred to him, and new-born generations wear him in their hearts, and support him in their arms; and if their prayers can avail, he will tarry a little longer, to receive the affectionate attentions of a grateful people.

But, however, to show the justice of the praise we may bestow, it is necessary to narrate some of the events of their lives but is impossible, in a short discourse, at this time, to do but little more than go from date to date in their annals, and to offer a few remarks as we pass along; leaving it to the future historian and biographer to delineate their characters in the minuteness the subjects demand.

John Adams was born at Qunicy, then a part of Braintree, October 19th, 1735. He was educated at Harvard University, and graduated in 1755. While at college he was distinguished for all those characteristics which mark the future great man. His learned and evangelical friend and classmate, the Rev. Dr. Hemmenway, often spoke of the honesty, openness and decision of character which he displayed while an under-graduate, and illustrated his opinions by numerous anecdotes. From Cambridge he went to Worcester, and for a time instructed in the grammar school in that town; and studied the profession of the law with Mr. Putnam, a barrister of eminence. By him he was introduced to the celebrated Jeremy Gridley, then Attorney General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. At the first interview they became friends. Gridley at once proposed Mr. Adams for admission. to the bar of Suffolk, and took him into special favor. Soon after his admission, Mr. Gridley led his young friend into a private chamber, with an air of secrecy, and pointing to a book case, said, sir, there is a secret of my eminence, and of which you may avail yourself if you please. It was a pretty good collection of treatises on the civil law, with the institutes, of Justinian. It was, indeed, a field which had not been very widely opened to the lawyers of the day. In this

place Mr. Adams spent his days and nights, until he made himself a good master of the code. It may seem strange to us of the present time, to find that there was so much empiricism in a profession now so far from mystery. Yet it was, unquestionably, the case in that day. And those acquainted with the urbanity of the present judges in our country, can hardly imagine how difficult it was for a young lawyer to go on against the overbearing and austere manner of every creature, great or small, then called a judge. Mr. Adams first discovered his lofty spirit of independence, by breaking in upon these encroachments of arbitrary power. The learning and spirit of the young advocate were soon taken notice of by the bar and made known to his clients. As early as 1765, he was associated with Otis and others in the great cause of liberty, in appearing before the Governor and Council to argue with them upon the stamp act, and to insist, at all events, “that the courts should administer justice without stamped paper." He had been about twelve years at the bar when he was called upon to act as of counsel for Captain Preston and his soldiers, who were to be tried for an alleged murder of certain citizens of Boston. Mr. Adams was well aware of the popular indignation against these prisoners, and he was at this time a representative of Boston in the general court, which office depends entirely upon popular favor; but he knew what was due to his profession and to himself, and hazarded the consequences. The trial was well managed. The captain was severed in his trial from the soldiers, who were tried first, and their defence rested, in part, upon the orders, real or supposed, given by the officer to his men to fire. This was, in a good measure, successful. On the trial of Capt. Preston, no such order to fire could be proved. The result was as it should have been, an acquittal. It was a glorious thing that the counsel and jury had nerve sufficient to breast the torrent of public feeling. It showed Britain that she had not a mere mob to deal with, but resolute and determined men, who could restrain themselves. "Such men are

dangerous to arbitrary power." At this time, Gridley was dead, and the intellectual lamp of Otis was flickering and decreasing, if, indeed, the ray of reason was partially left; and Mr. Adams had but few to contend with him in the race. Sewall and Leonard, were leaning to the side of power, and were supporting the ministry in the papers of the day. Mr. Adams appeared under a feigned name, as was the usual mode of discussing subjects at that time, and met the crown writers with great vigor and success. He soon saw that the question must be settled by arms, and calmly made up his mind for the event, even to martyrdom. He knew the spirit of New England and her resources; and he insisted that the former could never be destroyed, however long the struggle might last. Not a single word ever escaped him that looked like doubt or despair. When the question of Independence was agitated in the continental congresss, he was fully prepared his soul was lighted up by its fires, and his mouth was filled with the arguments it inspired. So full and so forcible was his reasoning on this subject, that when he had finished his speech on some previous motion, which involved the merits of this question, even his friends were astonished that he had matured the subject so well.

In 1780, Mr. Adams was sent to Holland, with full powers from congress to negociate for a loan, for that body had seen the pernicious effects of a paper currency without some of the precious metals to redeem it, in part, if not to a full extent. Money at all events must be had. The sword-arm of the nation would have soon fallen from its socket, without this sinew of war. Holland was rich, and, as we hoped, kindly disposed to these colonies, for she had once redeemed herself from a foreign yoke, and had, of course, a sympathy for those making similar exertions; still she was a cautious merchant, and although not without patriotic sentiments, made shrewd calculations upon the chances of our success in the struggle, and of our future ability to refund the loan, if successful. The minister saw at a glance the disposition of the au

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