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merate all the virtues which were concentrated in the bosoms of these eminent men. How much more vain the attempt, to place their characters in a more favorable light, than that in which you are wont to view them.
But if I cannot instruct you or shed any additional lustre on the attributes of men, whose everlasting fame needs not the aid of eulogy—still a comprehensive view of their lives and qualities, may awaken many grateful recollections, and perhaps, prove an incentive to imitate their virtues, if not to emulate their public services. Influenced by these considerations, every celebrated nation of antiquity mourned over the tombs of the patriots and heroes, who established or preserved the institutions of their country; and we act a politic. -as well as filial part, in following their example.
Jefferson and Adams were patriots, in the most unlimited and exalted sense of the word. From the first dawning of manhood, to the very instant of their dissolution, they were distinguished by every quality which characterises the great, the wise and the good. Their history is the history of a nation-presenting one continued chain of munificent and noble acts. Like their immortal companions-Washington, Franklin, Samuel Adams, Henry, Hancock, Lee, and a host of others they lived for their country, not for themselves; and every moment of their protracted existence on earth, was zealously devoted to the welfare of their species. To vindicate the rights of the oppressed, and to elevate man the high moral rank allotted him by his Creator, was the ambition of their souls; and gallantly pledging themses for its achievment, every faculty of their stupendous minds was exerted with a zeal and constancy which no bier could successfully resist. Lucid and determined in 'views,-they descended to no narrow policy-no cry blandishments-no unhallowed means to advance their popularity, or to aggrandise their fame;-but risked their fortunes, their reputations, and their existence, to redeem a peo
ple from Colonial bondage; and to uphold them in their well-earned freedom.
So many and striking are the coincidences in their lives, and so eminently were they serviceable to their country, that I shall find but little occasion to separate them. Their destinies were one-so should be their eulogies.
They were educated at the most flourishing institutions in their respective States, and each was honored with the highest rewards that his Alma Mater could bestow. Equally endowed with minds of the most unlimited capacity, and equally learned in every branch of knowledge that could render them useful citizens, or agreeable companions, they rose, while yet in the bloom of life, to the first order of scholars, philosophers, and statesmen. Both directed their attention to the science of Law-and both became, at an early period, the brightest ornaments of their profession. Before they had attained the age,at which the judgment is supposed to be ripe, they were valuable and conspicuous members of their respective Colonial Legislatures; and by their spirited opposition to the oppressive measures of the mother country, provoked the resentment of the Royal Governors, and the persecution of the slavish minions of power. But neither threats, temptations, nor flattery, could wean them from the cause they had espoused. They persevered with undaunted spirit, and gradually prepared the people for the awful conflict, whicet a few penetrating minds had long foreseen must be the gilbf the weak and wicked policy pursued by the mother covery. To use the words of Mr. Adams, "Britain had been filled with folly, and America with wisdom." The moskilful writers and orators had been pensioned by their
nment, to bewilder the reason of Englishmen; and to induce the belief that taxation, without representation, was no tyranny-that the mother country possessed an unlimited control over the lives and fortunes of her colonial subjectsand that all America was filled with a degenerate race of beings. But while doctrines like these were gathering strength
on the other side of the Atlantic, the people of America were daily becoming more and more enlightened. The wisdom of Jefferson and Adams, and their able associates, was penetrating the minds of their countrymen-arousing them from the lethargy of habitual submission-teaching them the unalienable rights of man, and urging the imperious obligation of claiming those rights at the expense of their blood. Jefferson was an Epaminondas in the South, and Adams, a Pelopidas in the North. If they gathered no laurels on the crimsoned field of battle, still the similitude is good. They were the master spirits of the moral regeneration-the impulse that moved the colonies to resistance—the bands that bound the feeble rods together-the bone and sinew of the nation's strength.
When I speak thus of Adams and Jefferson, think not, my fellow citizens, that I mean to detract from the glory, or the ineffable services of your immortal Washington. No-I would place another wreath on his brow, if I thought that a LEAF of the one which he wears, could yield to the frosts of a million of ages. The tongue that would dare to depress him, no longer exists. His fame is beyond the reach of detraction. And in all time to come, faithful history will award him his rank First in war, first in peace-first in the hearts of his countrymen."
But Jefferson and Adams live next in our affections, and have claims upon our gratitude, as strong as those of their illustrious compatriot.
When the clouds, which had long been gathering over the heads of our fathers, were fully concentrated-and, at last, condensed into torrents of oppression, cruelty and deathJefferson and Adams were called to the Congress of the United Colonies-and, with a confidence and Roman firmness, that inspired all around them, led the way to the momentous events which shook the political world to its centre, and carried consternation and ruin into the strongest holds of legitimacy. No art was left untried to awe them into submission,
But fear was a
or buy them into the service of the crown. stranger to their hearts, and they were men without their price. They saw through the gloom that surrounded them, the brightness of the coming light; and, regardless of danger, hurled defiance in the teeth of the greatest power extant.
Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman and Livingston formed the ever memorable Committee which was instructed to report a Declaration of Independence; but to Jefferson and Adams alone-as a Sub-Committee-was resigned the glorious task. The one stood unrivalled in the strength and beauty of composition ;—the other, in that wonderful talent, which persuades or convinces at will. Hence, to the pen of a Jefferson is the world indebted for that master-piece of human skill-and to the resistless eloquence of an Adams for its final adoption by the most august assembly that ever met on the earth.
Nor were these purest of patriots jealous of each other's honors.
Mr. Adams often declared, that none-but the one who did -could have produced that immortal paper:-and Mr. Jefferson-when consulted about an ornamental engraving of the precious document-replied—“ No man better merited, than John Adams, a most conspicuous place in the design. He was the pillar of its support on the floor of Congress: its ablest advocate and defender against the multifarious assaults it encountered."
It is needless, fellow-citizens, to dwell minutely upon their various services in "those times that tried men's souls." Suffice it to say, that they ever inviolable kept the faith which they plighted. They turned not aside from the path of their duty-but, wending their way with renewed perseverance, laid a solid foundation for the liberties of the world.
There is a sublimity in the contemplation of such moral bravery and sterling integrity, which no language can describe. Few there are who would not have yielded under such peculiar circumstances. They were above the frowns
of pecuniary fortune-high in the estimation of their fellowcitizens and could have enjoyed any post or profit of honor, in the gift of their king. As selfish individuals—their course would have been rash and ridiculous, for they had every thing to lose and nothing to gain-but they were Patriots and Philanthropists, who considered honor, wealth, ease, and power, as mere fleeting bubbles, when compared with the vast importance of arresting the lawless march of despotism. Consequently they fearlessly put on the armour of patriotism, and during the long and gloomy contest that desolated their country, and spared not age or sex-never was the thought of submission for a moment entertained. A just Providence led them to victory—and a grateful people rewarded their fidelity. They enjoyed the confidence of Washington, to the day of his death-filled the most exalted stations that could be given to man-lived as long as their lives could be usefuland died when their deaths could add lustre to their memories, and strength to the cause they had lived for. It is true, that there were days, when conflicting interests and opposite opinions, poured upon them the virulence of party anathemas, and the aspersions of disappointed ambition;-but they lived to see the beams of patriotism dispelling the mists of envy and prejudice and to hear their bitterest enemies speak of their names with reverence. I was never the enemy of either— but, before I had judged for myself, I was led to admire the one-and question the heart of the other. I have examined them since, with attention and calmness; and I speak of them now, in all the sincerity that belongs to my nature.
As the champions of opposite parties, they will ever, perhaps, be the subjects of opposite censure. Yet, whatever opinions we may entertain of the results of their political measures, as tending to the best interests of their country— it is impossible to withhold from such men, that high respect which is due to their unwearied application of superior powers of thought-and that gratitude which we owe them, for the exercise of those powers, in the accomplishment of our