Here has our God erected a banner of civil and religious liberty : And prepared an asylum for the poor and oppressed from every part of the earth. Here, if wisdom guide our affairs, shall a happy equality reign; and joyous freedom bless the inhabitants wide and far, from age to age. Here, far removed from the noise and tumult of contending kingdoms and empires; far from the wars of Europe and Asia, and the barbarous African coast; here shall the husbandman enjoy the fruits of his labor; the merchant trade, secure of his gain; the mechanic indulge his inventive genius; and the sons of science pursue their delightful employment, till the light of knowledge pervade yonder, yet uncultivated, western wilds; and form the savage inhabitants into men.
Here also, shall our Jesus go forth conquering and to conquer; and the heathen be given him for an inheritance; and these uttermost parts of the earth, a possession.
Zion shall here lengthen her cords, and strengthen her stakes; and the mountain of the house of the Lord be gloriously exalted on high.
Here shall the religion of Jesus; not that, falsely so called, which consists in empty modes and forms; and spends it’s unhallowed zeal in party names and distinctions, and traducing and reviling each other; but the pure and undefiled religion of our blessed Redeemer: here shall it reign in triumph, over all opposition.
Vice and immorality shall yet here, become ashamed and banished; and love to God, and benevolence to man, rule the hearts and regulate the lives of men. Justice and truth shall here yet meet together, and righteousness and peace embrace each other: And the wilderness blossom as the rose, and the desert rejoice and sing.
And here shall the various ancient promises of rich and glorious grace begin their complete divine fulfillment; and the light of divine revelation diffuse it’s beneficent rays, till the gospel of Jesus have accomplished it’s day, from east to west, around our world. A day, whose evening shall not terminate in night; but introduce that joyful period, when the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, shall be restored; and with them, the fulness of the gentile world shall flow to the standard of redeeming love: And the nations of the earth, become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior. Under whose auspicious reign holiness shall universally prevail; and the noise and alarm of war be heard no more. Nor shall there be any thing to hurt or destroy, or interrupt the tranquility of men, through all the wide dominions of this glorious prince of peace.
How pleasing the scene! How transporting the prospect! And how thrice happy they, whom God has honored, as instruments in the great work now brought to pass, subservient to these important events!
May the blessings of heaven surround them; and the honor and esteem of a grateful country attend them through life. May the names and memories of those, oh my country! who have planned your measures, and guided your councils through a wilderness of innumerable difficulties, and brought your affairs, by the blessing of God, to a happy conclusion, may they ever be had in kind remembrance
Source: George Duffield. Excerpt from his 1784 “A Sermon Preached on a Day of Thanksgiving.” Spelling has been modernized by the editor.
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Called Unto Liberty is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and introductory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder & Editor in Chief of The Moral Liberal.
Formatting and spelling modernization for this selection and the Called Unto Liberty Copyright © 2013 Steve Farrell.
The Moral Liberal recommends Ezra Taft Benson’s: The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner