There, in New England, the marriage vow was
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Sept.
austerely sacred; no corrupt court tainted innocence; no licentious aristocracy disputed for superiority in excesses.
There industry created wealth and divided it between all the children; and none professed that the human race lives for the few. There every man was, or expected to become, a freeholder; the owner of the land held the plough; he who held the plough held the sword also; and liberty, acquired by the sacrifices and sufferings of a revered ancestry, was guarded, under the blessing of God, as a sacred trust for posterity.
There, among the hills of Berkshire
, or on the shores of the Narragansett
, discoursing from the pulpit to the tillers of the soil, or to merchants and mariners, founded morals on the doctrine of disinterested love; establishing it as the duty of every one to be willing to devote himself for the glory of God, the freedom of his country, the well-being of his race.
‘It is a people,’ said Samuel Adams
of his countrymen, ‘who of all the people on the earth deserve most to be free;’ and for a full year he had been maturing a plan by which he might elicit from their institutions the means of restoring their liberty.
Yet when he first proposed organizing revolution through committees of correspondence, every one of his colleagues in the delegation from Boston
dissuaded from the movement.
, who disapproved the measure as rash or insufficient, joined with three or four others of the selectmen of Boston
; and they rejected the prayer of the first petition for a town-
‘The word of God,’ wrote the younger Quincy