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midable foe. But to form a government which should secure and perpetuate that independence was an untried and doubtful experiment.
The records of the world furnished them no precedents.The history of governments, ancient and modern, was a history of wrongs, oppression and failure.
Again they resorted to the fountain of wisdom. The learning and experience of ages were collected and concentrated; a liberal and enlightened philosophy was called to their aid the rights of man were canvassed, ascertained and defined; and that heaven-born principle of the Christian religion, which declares all men equal in the sight of the Creator, was made the corner stone of the Temple of Liberty.
They formed a system of government, and a code of laws, such as the wisdom of man had never before devised.
After the formation of the new government, Mr. Adams and Mr. Jefferson continued to serve their country with unabated zeal and fidelity. Their best talents were displayed in the public assemblies of their several states; in the councils of the nation; and at foreign courts, in negotiating treaties of peace and commerce, with the several powers of Europe.
By the voice of a grateful people, they were severally and in succession called to preside over the nation which owed so much to their wisdom and virtue.
They became rival candidates for the same exalted station. Yet each maintained a steady eye to his country's glory.No hostile armies backed their pretensions. No civil war spread ruin around them. Both had high claims upon their country, and they cheerfully submitted those claims to the free decision of their fellow citizens.
Let it never be alleged as an accusation against the memory of those sages, that they were the leaders of the two great parties which once divided the American Republic. They. contended, not for different systems of government, but for different modes of administering the same system. With equal sincerity their hearts were alike devoted to the same
glorious cause, and fired by the same unceasing love of coun try. Their collision, like that of the steel and the flint, produced the true promethean spark of liberty, which kindling to a flame, served to illuminate that stupendous fabric which had risen from their united and friendly labors.
Following the example of their illustrious predecessor, they resigned the powers, the honors, and emoluments of office, to the people who bestowed them; and retired to the peaceful shades of private life, conscious of having acted well their parts in the great drama of the day.
Rarely will the historian be permitted to record the lives of two such men as Jefferson and Adams. The course of time will hardly bring upon the stage of action individuals possessing the means and opportunity of rendering such important services to their country and to the world.
To them and a few worthy compatriots, were reserved the signal honors of broaching a new theory; of solving that, until then mysterious problem of self government; of opposing successfully the blasphemous doctrine of the divine right of kings; of redeeming the rights of man from the chaotic accumulations of ignorance, superstition and prejudice; of unfolding to the world the true source of temporal enjoyment, and the legitimate object of human society; of emancipating the human mind from the thraldom of ages, and restoring man to his proper dignity in the great scale of being.
Eventful and glorious has been their career: wonderful and providential has been its termination! For fifty years they were permitted to witness the unexampled prosperity resulting from the successful operation of their institutions ; and finally, to behold the great semi-centurial Jubilee of their country's Independence: and on that bright auspicious day, to die amid the hosannas and grateful benedictions of a numerous, happy, and joyful people.
The same individual, who fifty years before, with the eye of a prophet foretold the glories of that day, was suffered to see his prediction verified, and with the last aceents of his
breath, to pronounce the confirmation, "IT IS INDEED A GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY !""*
Let no cold calculating philosophy attempt to ascribe such an unheard of coincidence to the natural causes. Let not the tongue of infidelity presume to tax us with superstition, when we consider this event as a special dispensation. Stupid must be the mortal who does not see in the death of Jefferson and Adams, the hand of that Being, who controls the destinies of man; who placed the bow in the heavens as a sign and a token; who tamed the ferocity of the lion in the presence of a Daniel; and who flung the mantle of safety around a Washington when fighting the battles of his country, exposed to the shafts of death and a thousand dangers. Let it be forever remembered, that the two great champions of popular rights, from whom proceeded the great charter of liberty, (they having been the sub-committee who reported it,) just fifty years from its promulgation, simultaneously closed their earthly existence.
To them, this auspicious dispensation is the confirmation of that unfading immortality to which their lives entitle them.To the cause of freedom, it is the seal of perpetuity, stamped by the hand of Omnipotence.
The venerated ADAMS and JEFFERSON are no longer among us. Their toils are over, and they have gone to rest. Their labors, their precepts and examples of virtue, they have left us, as a legacy, far more valuable than treasures of gold.
Consecrated to freedom, their names shall be its talismanic watchword; they shall dwell forever on the tongue of lisping infancy and be the rapturous theme of narrative old age.'
Farewell great souls,
If virtue's votary, if freedom's friend
Be worthy of the palm and robes of white,
Then ye have place eternal with the blessed."
Adieu, adieu, your country mourns!
The last words of Mr. Adams.
PRONOUNCED IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA,
[July 24th, 1826.
BY JOHN SERGEANT.
Friends and Fellow Citizens,-Time, in its course, has produced a striking epoch in the history of our favored country; and as if to mark with peculiar emphasis this interesting stage of our national existence, it comes to us accompanied with incidents calculated to make a powerful and lasting impression. The dawn of the fiftieth Anniversary of Independence beamed upon two venerable and illustrious citizens, to whom, under Providence, a nation acknowledged itself greatly indebted for the event which the day was set apart to commemorate. The one was the author, the other "the ablest advocate," of that solemn assertion of right, that heroic defiance of unjust power, which, in the midst of difficulty and danger, proclaimed the determination to assume a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth, and declared to the world the causes which impelled to this decision. Both had stood by their country, with unabated ardor and unwavering fortitude, through every vicissitude of her fortune, until "the glorious day" of her final triumph crowned their labors and their sacrifices with complete success. With equal solicitude, and with equal warmth of patriotic affection, they devoted their great faculties, which had been employed in vindicating the rights of their country, to construct for her, upon deep and strong foundations, the solid edifice of social order and of civil and religious freedom. They had both held the
highest public employments, and were distinguished by the highest honors the nation could confer. Arrived at an age when nature seems to demand repose, each had retired to the spot from which the public exigencies had first called himhis public labors ended, his work accomplished, his beloved country prosperous and happy-there to indulge in the blessed retrospect of a well-spent life, and await that period which comes to all. But not to await it in idleness or indifference. The same spirit of active benevolence, which made the meridian of their lives resplendent with glory, continued to shed its lustre upon their evening path. Still intent upon doing good, still devoted to the great cause of human happiness and improvement, neither of these illustrious men relaxed in his exertions. They seemed only to concentrate their energy, as age and increasing infirmity contracted the circle of action, bestowing, without ostentation, their latest efforts upon the state and neighborhood in which they resided. There, with patriarchal simplicity, they lived, the objects of a nation's grateful remembrance and affection; the living records of a nation's history; the charm of an age which they delighted, adorned and instructed by their vivid sketches of times that are past; and, as it were, the embodied spirit of the revolution itself, in all its purity and force, diffusing its wholesome influence through the generations that have succeeded, rebuking every sinister design, and invigorating every manly and virtuous resolution.
The Jubilee came.
The great national commemoration of a nation's birth. The fiftieth year of deliverance from foreign rule, wrought out by the exertions and sufferings and sacrifices of the patriots of the revolution. It found these illustrious and venerable men, full of honors and full of years, animated with the proud recollection of the times in which they had borne so distinguished a part, and cheered by the beneficent and expanding influence of their patriotic labors. The eyes of a nation were turned towards them with affection and reverence They heard the first song of triumph on that