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[442] as the year went out, were ‘encouraged by the
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Dec.
people's thorough understanding of their civil and religious rights and liberties, to trust in God, that a day was hastening when the efforts of the Colonists would be crowned with success, and the present generation furnish an example of public virtue, worthy the imitation of all posterity.’

In a like spirit, the new and eventful year of 1773

1773. Jan.
was rung in by the men of Marlborough. ‘Death,’ said they unanimously on the first of January, ‘is more eligible than slavery. A freeborn people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their laws and liberties.’ And advising all the Colonies to prepare for war, they ‘implored the Ruler above the skies, that he would make bare his arm in defence of his church and people, and let Israel go.’

‘As we are in a remote wilderness corner of the earth, we know but little,’ said the farmers of Lenox; but they were certain that neither nature nor the God of nature required them to crouch ‘Issachar-like, between the two burdens’ of poverty and slavery. ‘We prize our liberties so highly,’ thus the men of Leicester with the districts of Spencer and Paxton spoke modestly and sincerely, ‘that we think it our duty to risk our lives and fortunes in defence thereof.’ ‘For that spirit of virtue which induced your town, at so critical a day to take the lead in so good a cause,’ wrote the Town of Petersham, ‘our admiration is heightened, when we consider your being exposed to the first efforts of power. The time may come, when you may be driven from your goodly heritage; if that should be the case, we invite you to ’

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