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over them, such a succession of pious and godly rulers; who under the influence of the great principles of religion, and the fear of God, have sought diligently the public weal, and been eminently useful in their day. What province, state or kingdom, from the beginning of the world, to this time, has been, in this respect, more highly favored, than Connecticut? I know not any. And hence this has been one of the most happy provinces upon the face of the earth.”
From a sermon delivered in 1780, by Nathan Williams of Tolland; born, 1735; Yale College, 1755; died, 1829:
“ Disinterested benevolence is a Christian virtue that binds the hearts of good men to their fellow creatures; but it rarely operates as a principle in state police. Self-interest is the great bond of union between states and kingdoms. From hence also all the advantages which these American plantations derived from their connections with Great Britain ; and from the same source have arisen also those many instances of unkindness and oppression, under which America has groaned.
“This principle, with an infatuating blindness (often its attendant), drove the British king, with many subordinate tools of despotism to such a series of oppression, as could not fail to dissolve every bond that connected America with Britain ; and forced the former to act upon that innate principle of selfdefense, by repelling force with force.
“This hazardous, but just and needful war, has been prosecuted by America, with that unremitting ardor, in the midst of countless difficulties, which nothing but a lively sense of the justice and great importance of the cause could inspire.
“And as this contest has been in defense of that liberty which is a foundation-blessing, giving value to every other good,—every individual has been deeply interested in it. Hence, he ought to feel and acknowledge himself under very great personal obligations to his country, for all that blood and treasure she has expended in the present calamitous war. And whilst we bow the knee in humble gratitude to that God, who doeth his pleasure, without control, for his many wonderful and gracious interpositions for this American empire—we ought to acknowledge our obligations to those many patrons of human liberty, who have stept forth in their country's cause; denied themselves the solid pleasures of domestic society; hazarded the loss of ease, yea, and of life itself, by boldly venturing where thickest dangers come,—and have perhaps themselves received the fatal thrust designed for human freedom.”
From a sermon delivered in 1783, by EZRA STILES, D.D., President of Yale College ; born, 1727; Yale College, 1746;
“The crown and glory of our confederacy is the amphictyonic council of the GENERAL CONGRESS standing on the annual election of the united respective states, and revocable at pleasure.—Page 23.
"Jefferson, who poured the soul of the continent into the monumental act of Independence."
“TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL.
"I beg leave, in the first place, with the greatest honor, the most profound and dutiful respect, to address myself to his excellency, the Governor of this State.
"May it please your Excellency, we account ourselves happy, most illustrious Sire, that by the free election and annual voice of the citizens, God hath for so many years past called you up to the supreme magistracy in this commonwealth. And while we rejoice that this State embosoms numerous characters equal to the highest offices of government: yet should this day's election fall again upon him, who, according to the interpretation of his name, Jehovah hath given us, it would diffuse a joy through the United States.
"And should you now resign the chair, you would enjoy the reflection that you had been carried through a scene of the most distinguished usefulness, and lived to see the end of the war and establishment of American liberty and INDEPENDENCE.
“It is observable, that, by a particular turn of genius and a peculiar discipline in early life, God often prefaces great characters, for that future usefulness and eminence, for which they are designed in the world. This was conspicuous in the instances of Joseph, Moses, and Daniel: neither of whom, in youth, thought that they were training up for the eminent spheres of action in which they afterwards moved.
“Endowed with a singular strength of the mental powers, with a vivid and clear perception, with a penetrating and comprehensive judgment, embellished with the acquisition of academical, theological, and political erudition, your Excellency became qualified for a very singular variety of usefulness in life. Instituted in the sciences, the Hebrew literature, and theology, you were not only prepared for the sanctuary, but being expert in all questions touching the law of your God, you became qualified to judge how we, the Ministers of the Gospel under your government ought to behave ourselves in the house of God; while it has pleased God to call you up to other services in civil life. Thus the great Melchisedec was priest of the Most High God, and King of Salem. So Moses, though of the tribe of Levi and learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was called of God to be King in Jerusalem.
“An early entrance into civil improvement, and fifty years' service of our country, with an uncommon activity and dispatch in business, had familiarized the whole rota of duty in every office and department, antecedent and preparatory to the great glory of your Excellency's life, the last eight years' administration at the head of this commonwealth; an administration which has rendered you the Pater Patria, the Father of your country, and our dulce decus atque tutamen.
“We adore the God of our fathers, the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh, that he hath raised you up for such a time as this; and that he hath put into your breast a wisdom, which I cannot describe without adulation-a patriotism and intrepid resolution, a noble and independent spirit, an unconquerable love of LIBERTY, RELIGION, and our COUNTRY, and that grace, by which you have been carried through the arduous labors of an high office, with a dignity and glory never before acquired by an American Governor. Our enemies revere the names of TRUMBULL and WASHINGTON.
“In honoring the State and councils of Connecticut, you, illustrious Sire, have honored yourself to all the confederate sister states, to the Congress, to the Gallic empire, to Europe, and to the world, to the present and distant ages. And should you now lay down your office, and retire from public life, we trust that you may take this people to record, in the language in which that holy patriot, the pious Samuel, addressed Israel, and say unto us—I am old, and grey-headedand I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am, witness against me before the Lord: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whom have I received any bribe, to blind my eyes therewith ? and I will restore it you. And they said thou hast not defrauded nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand. And he said unto them, the Lord is witness against you, and his Anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found aught in my hand. And they answered, he is witness.
"May you receive a reward from the supreme Governor of the Universe ; which will be a reward of grace. For although your Excellency might adopt the words of that illustrious governor NEHEMIAH, and say, think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people, yet your ultimate hope for immortality, will be founded in a more glorious merit, than that achieved by mortals, in the most illustrious scenes of public usefulness. May the momentary remnant of your days be crowned with a placid tranquility.
“And when you shall have finished your work on earth, may you be received to the rewards of the just, and shine in the general assembly of the first-born through eternal ages. Amen." - Pages 87, 88, 89, 90.
In the articles of peace in the treaty of September, 1783, Connecticut was acknowledged by George III to be what she claimed to be in the Declaration of Independence-a“free and independent State.”
“The meteor flag” of England, borne by the incendiary troops of Gov. Tryon, no longer struck terror in the hearts of the inhabitants, Aeeing from their burning houses in Danbury, Norwalk, Fairfield, and New Haven. The murderers of Ledyard, led on by Benedict Arnold, no longer threatened the inhabitants of New London. The British ships that for so many years had vexed Long Island Sound, had left these waters. The people of Connecticut could now securely sleep under the ample fold of her own flag, which her sons had gallantly upheld during a seven years' war, and could sit under their own three vines, having none to molest or make them afraid. The returned soldiers might in their sleep be startled by visions of Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga, Valley Forge, Monmouth, or Germantown, but could awake in the morning under the roof-tree of their own home, to hear the voices of loved ones, and to enjoy the good cheer always given by Connecticut housewives.
The people of Connecticut seemed universally to rejoice in the results of the war.
We have seen how Governor Jonathan Trumbull, for his services in the Revolution, was glorified in the General Assembly in 1783. In the flushing of their hopes at this time, the people of Connecticut were willing to glorify the ministers for their services in the Revolution, for their wise counsels, for their moral courage in times of darkness and danger, for the cheerfulness with which they suffered pecuniary loss in the depreciation of continental money, in which their salaries were paid, and for nobly keeping up heart and hope when others were discouraged.
The pulpit was at this time a throne of power. The white wig was a crown of glory, and the voice of the minister was