dined at Brother's. P. M. Attended a Lecture in commemoration of Lexington Battle—Mr. Clarke performed the whole exercise—preached from Joel, third chapter, three last verses.
A very crowded audience, the militia companies in Lexington mustered.
In Adams's Anniversary Discourse at Lexington, April 19, 1783, we find the following allusion to the first and second Anniversary sermons at that place:—‘As hostilities first began in the town of Lexington, it was thought proper by the worthy and patriotic minister of that place, with the entire approbation and concurrence of his respected hearers, to institute a solemn annual commemoration of that important event; on which the militia has been under arms, military exercises performed, and a sermon preached to crowded auditories.
The whole has been conducted with great decorum, and to universal acceptance.
The Rev. Mr. Clarke preached the first sermon, in which is contained a particular narrative of the whole transaction; Mr. Cooke, of Cambridge, the next,’ &c.
In this sermon, as usual with Mr. Cooke and the other ministers of the period, the Britons are handled without gloves. The impress these events of the ‘Nineteenth’ made on the people of that day, is expressed in a passage (p. 10) of his sermon, as follows: ‘The present generation, in this town and neighborhood, need no information of what their weeping eyes then saw—their ears heard—and their pierced heart endured, on that never to be forgotten day—the horrid scene is instamped upon all our breasts, in characters of blood!’
Dec. 9, 1778, it was voted to choose a committee of three to wait upon the Rev. Mr. Cooke
, to see if they ‘could make him easy’ not to take down the belfry.
The committee accordingly reported that he would leave it to the people, and trust in the providence of God!
In 1778 Mr. Cooke was preaching a series of sermons on the exposition of the gospel of John.
In a sermon, April 12, 1778, he alludes to the trouble of the times, as follows:
Those persecuting and murderous practices, foretold by Christ, among Jews, and Heathens, were disgraceful to human nature.
But how much more so, when found among Nations professing Christianity!
Without making any observations on Roman Catholic States, whose principles are Anti-Christian, how much innocent blood was shed in Britain in the last century!
How were our forefathers by persecution for conscience sake, driven into this then howling wilderness!
How are we now pursued with mercenary and bloody troops, with fire and sword, from our once parent—now detested Britain!
How is our substance destroyed—our cities laid waste—our young men slain with the sword, or perishing in cruel captivity!
These barbarities are practised by our worse than savage enemies, to force us to submit to their arbitrary laws—and thereby at their will deprive us, not only of our substance and all our civil liberties,