At a time when we are called upon to surrender our liberties, our religion, and country; or defend them at the point of the sword, against those, that were our friends, our brethren, and allies (whose swords, and ours, till lately were never drawn but for mutual defence; and in joint battalions, cemented in love, affinity, and valour, have wrought wonders, vanquished armies, and triumphed over the power of mighty potentates), nothing will inspire our councils with unanimity, our resolves with firmness, and render the exertions, the noble struggles of a brave, free and injured people, bold, rapid and irresistable, like a right understanding of the necessity and rectitude of the defence, we are compelled to make, in this unnatural contention.
To write upon a subject that hath been so often and ably handled—a subject so important in its nature, so extensive in its consequences, in which the fate of America, the rights and liberties of millions, nay more, of mankind, are involved; and to trace those rights to their native original source, develope the fountain from whence derived; define their nature and immutability, and shew wherefore the arbitrary institutions of civil government (originally ordained to connect the strength of each, for the security of all) cannot destroy or alter them, requires a fund of abilities far beyond mine; yet, to attempt it, may serve to awaken and stimulate some masterly pen, to execute a task so arduous, and beneficial to the world. And should these imperfect considerations, on a subject so important, call forth the prolific fire of some great intuitive genius, to lighten upon the subject, on which I have only glimmered, and like a skilful physician, comprehending the disease and the remedy, point out the one, and prescribe the other, or some mighty deliverer, while others lop here and there a scattered branch, with unerring aim, to give a blow at the root, my end would be answered, my pains compensated, and my country rescued from the darkness that invelops, and from the misery and slavery that impend it. With these views, the following pages are humbly dedicated to the candour and patronage of the impartial world; to whom (under God), we make our appeal, with fervent desires, that he, who hath the hearts of king’s in his hands suspends the fate of empires on his nod, and whom, even angry, conflicting elements instantly obey, would hush the civil tumults, still and dispel the thundering tempest, that darkens and disquiets our hemisphere.
Excerpt from Moses Mather 1775 Sermon, America’s Appeal to the Impartial World, given in Hartford, Connecticut.