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The First Battle Of The American Revolution

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Psalm xliv.- Ist- 3d. We have haard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didsl in their days in the times of old. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save thora ; but thy right hand and thiue arm and the light oï thy countenance, because thou hadst a favor to them. These words of the Hebrew memorial Psalm are as fit in our days of remembranoe of the fathers of our own republio. They repeat what the pious hold as a conviotion, and what the wise accept as describing virtually the fact and the spirit which have given this nation growth and strength. If we have deniei that narrow theory which sequesters God to any raoe or people or age, and have learned that he is the loving Father of all men, science has not yet brought us to the atheiatic view of this theory, that becauso God is the father of all alike he is really not the father of any, and that all Providence in the affairs of men is delusion. A broad philosophy will not spurn the comfort of patriotisni in bolioving that this nation, as much as the Jewish or any other nation, is beloved and guided by tbe God whom it worships. It is well to bring the ruler of the sanctuary into the course of public events and the record of the national annals. Let faith be large as knowledge, but let it not expunge for us the claim and the joy of feeling that we are God's people. God has had his way in the story of this American nation as much as in the story of those rude Hebrews, and the closer we can draw the parallel between their future and ours, the greater will be the proflt of our reading of their sacred books. Indeed, the highest value of much of that Jewish narrative to us is in the prophecy which it seems to give of our own growth and triumph, what we can find in it applicable to our own national life. Except for this, muoh of that narrative might be distasteful, and more of it would be needless. But on our days of jubilee, those Hebrew songs and stories fiud noble use and an inspiring voice. The names may be changed, but the ancient parable has here and now a place and an illustration. This is the evening of the most important memorial day in the history of our Republic. It closes the century sinoe the flrst blood was shed in vindication of the rights of the American people, since the first martyrs of the Republic feil, since that conflict which the somewhat extravagant line of our philosophio poel has described as firing " the shot heard round the world." The " Battle of Lexington," as it is called in the school books, or the " Concord Fight," as it is more familiarly known in the homely traditional speech of the región, is a very small matter, certainly, when you compare it even with the other battles of that early seven years' war, muoh more when you compare ít with the great battles of our later civil war. It seems hardly large enough to be called a skirmish. Oaly the issues of the event make it grand and momentous. Oaly the results of that iirst skir mish make it grander even than the bloody confllicts of such vast armies in our later war, at Gettysburg and Shiloh and in the Wilderness. Doubtless too to those who are not children of New England, or who are children of foreign races, immigrants on these shores, and wonted to tales of battles far more ancient, which held the destinies of niighty nations, and changed the map of the civilized world, this claim by the ohildren of New England, of the criti cal character of that insignificant skirmish will seem to be pitiful and ridiculous, less tolerable even than their boast of the rock of Plymouth as the corner stoue of the Republic. It is to be feared that aome who help to make laws of the States and of the Nation, Governors and Senators, and wise men, are as ignorant of the Battle of Lexington, as the excellent Ephesians in Paul's time were of the Holy Ghost. The resurrection of this slight event, with lts tale of sounding eulogies, will come to many like the revelation of a phantom from a shell on the shore. Already some of the uncertain souls are inquiring what this means, and seeking in the standard histories the f acts of an event which they had quite forgotten, if they had ever known it. What is all this stir, whioh is oalling the famous men together, even the President of the nation from his home, and thousands of oommon men and women, to an obscure New England neighborhood ? The children of New England need not be surprised if they hear that question asked again and again, with an iacredulous smile, as if this excitement were only a new fanaticism like the pilgrimages to shrine8 of new miraculous pretenders. Buk the children of New England who have reaohed middle life will not be laughed out of their inherited belief that the trilling contest of that April day, 100 years ago, was a suprema event in the history of this nation, ad so in the history of the civilized world. The orators will say ing of it to which the hearts and the voices of their hearers will not anawer with a fullecho. Many prejudices have been discredited, niaiiy notions of the oharaoter and motives of men who were héroes once ; but this prejudice of the first battle of the Bevolution has not been discredited. The interest of that battle has not been lost; no other has superseded it. The pride of pedigree has no higher reach than to have had an ancestor in that battle ; it is more than the pride of an Englishman whose ancestor fought at Naseby or at Cressy, or of a Greek, whose name has oonie from a hero of Marathon. Every New England man or woman is sure that no shade will be thrown on this battle by the olosest scrutiny, that sceptical criticism will find no stain or base motive in the mea who fought on that day ; no treason, no intrigues, no jealous undermining. It was a sniall battle, but morally it has rank with the greatest. There is no need to rehearse tho spticial incidents of the first battle of the Revolution. They are in all the histories, and now the Magazines have begun to teil them again, with pictorial illustration and fullnoss of detail. The latest issue of the most widely circulated of all these magazines, which porhaps some of you here havo just been reading, makes the whole story clear and graphic from the pen of a trained reporter, whose home is in sight of the spot of the most exciting part of the battle. The great multitude who will visit Lexington and Conoord to-morrow, will see some of the vory houses which sheltered the "rebels," as they were called, where the wounded found care, and the bodies of the dying were composed for burial. In front of the Churoh in Lexington, and also on the ground where the British victima feil in Concord, for half a century already obelisks have stood to hold the sacred memory ; and the third goneration now read the inscriptions on the tablets. Who has not read that stiring lay of the night ride of Paul Reveré, and of the lanterns in the tower of the old Boston Church, warning the minute men that the regulars had gone out on their I march of destruction ? I might add to e what has been piinted, some storios and e adventures whioh I heard in boyhood f and when I was a ooilege student, trom 3 aged survivors of those days ; how the t women and children, aroused in the t dead of night, fled half-clad, from the 1 houses aloug the road to the woods and the thickets to hide from the foe, whoso i brutal wrath their terror magnified ; i how the boys, unable to get the I ets or guns, which fathers and brothers i had appropriated, armed themselveB i with scythes and axea to defend the household trom assault ; how volunteer scouts ran ahead of the military signalling their coming by imitation of the voice of beast and bird ; how some more prudent, fearing that their houses would be burned, gavo themselvea veheniently to the reinoval of furnituro and Unen to a place of safety, stumbling in their eagernesB over wall and fence and bruiaing themselves in repeated falls. There was fear, there was much reasonable terror, but more vague alarm ; and there were ludicrous incidents, and we may not doubt, many a hearty laugh in those extemporised oamps, even with the uncertainty about the morrow. These unwritten incidents, -told by the elders more than a generation ago, are now moatly dim in the memories of those who heard them, and are not likely to enliven the permanent history. What is printed is exciting enough. "We can follow every mile of the way of the Kegulars, as they were called, from their crossing on the river from Boston to the Cambridge point, until in the faint light of early inorning, an hour perhaps before the sunrise, they are met by the handful of farmers on the Lexington Green, and the order to fire is given, and the first martyrs of the American nation fall in the front of the Cüurch where they prayed as their fathers before them. Much of that road is still as rural and lonely, as on the night when the troops went on with their quick step, while much of it is now the pa ved street of populous town and city. The imagination is greatly aidod in recalling this first battle of the Revolution by the narrow range of its action and by the small nutnber of men engaged on either side Por the British troops, when they went out on that marauding enterprise, were only a small detachmeut of the ten regiments quartered in rebellious Boston, and in their insolence of power, never dreamed that scattered peasantry would dare to resist them. Their march might be long and tiresome, but it would certainly be safe enough. The whole flght, indeed, between the British and Americans was really a series of skirmishes, lasting from early daylight, üntil nearly sunset, when the worn and tired soldiers, who had marched with only short intermisssions forty miles since miduight, found rofuge in the Boston Península and under the protection of its guns. They had to bring back the mortifying tale that they were defeated, routed and driven back by an undisciplined handful of rude militia, fighting with no skilled offlcers, and that their worst losses came from an enemy whoin they could not see. For all along the line of their retreat the walls, the thickets, the barns and houses, harassed them with a - deadly flre, and the very air seemed to be full of mocking voices. They had 1 accomplished part of the object of their day's expedition ; they had destroyed sotue oí the stores ana some oí tne arins of the rebels ; but when they carne to number their missing men, their wounded and their dead, it was a fearful prioe to pay for their small success. In the first day of battle in the Revolution, the American loss was only onethird as great as that of their eneuiies ; and there can be no sneer in this case, as there lias often been in the case of the battle of Bunker Hill, that the Americans raise rnonuments on the spot of their defeat. It was a small fight, judged by the numbers engagod and the loases experienced, but it was a signal victory, as great as any recorded in the history of the nation. t. aroused the patriothm. of the pqople. For a long time the farmers and mechanics of the northern colonies had been in that strange condition so quaintly sketched by one of our famous story tellers, of "the inau without country." They had lost loyalty to the land of their fathers on the other side of the sea, but had gained no land in its place. The neglect, the exactions, the insults, the outrages, put upon an honest people by these far oft rulers, and their minions and satraps, had alienated thousauds of the best men in the colonies f rom that inherited loyalty to the realrn so deep and dear in the heart of all descendents of the Saxon race. They had learned to distrust, perhapa we inay say to hate, the land of their fathers, but they had no country to love instead of this. They were subject by law to the caprices of arbitrary and tyrannical rulers, yet they had no other country. The liberty which a hundred years before was theirs had been taken frora them, and they were distressed by the perplexing sense that they were virtually slaves, with their heritage of freemen. This fight emancipated them, brought to them the sense of release and delivererance, and gave them a country, an allegiance, showed them where they were, even ín all the encompassing dangers. Thousands in Massachusetts must have feit on the night of that day, what myriads feit a year later, after the declaration of Independence, that the events of that day had made America a nation, had given those who were outcasts froin their home a new home, nearer, more congenial, more truly their own. Before, the laud was almost the property of a foieign master ; now it Buddenly bücame their own land, and they coüld sing of it as Israel sang of Canaan. I have heard more than once this sensation described by those who were roused by it, and by the children as they receiyed it f rom their fathers. A similar sensation waa that of the proclamation of the President of the United States fourteen years ago, when the torces of the loyal North were Bummoned to put down a rebellion which sought to break the Union which the fathers had joined. The sensation which that proclamation made was ïiot deeper or stronger than that whioh the report of the bloodshed on Lexington Cominon and at Concord Bridge made eightysix years before. Messengers were sent instantly in all directions to oarry the news, and more went as volunteer messengers, from an impulse whioh coulci not be restrained. On all the roads, north and south and west, there were flying horsemen publishing the tidings, wakening the sleepers, caliing together the " minute men ;" and the electric telograph could hardly have roused the people more spoedily. That anecdote of one of the generáis, that he was ploughing in the field and left his plough in the furrow when the message came to him, is true probably of many less famous men. It is b tradition of my own great grandfather that ho heard the report of the fight in the afternoon, in his own town, about twenty miles from the scène of the battle, as he was ploughing in the field ; for the spring of that year was early.and the air of that day was mild, and the farmers Were all at work ; and that he left his plough in the fiold, mounted his horse, galloped at once to the houses of the minute men of the town, of whom he was the captain, brought them together to the ohuroh green in the centre, and on that very evening had them on the waroh to Cambridge to besiege the invaders in their place of rofugo. Doubtless, in many more towns, theie was the same patriotic readiness. Indeed, the movel ment began before the day was done, ind almost at the sound of the first shot irmod men seemed to start froin the round at the oall of their country, e [t was an instant, sympathetic, i taneous, movernent, not hampered by i the routine of bureaus, not postponed t by the waiting for orders, a movement i of the people and not of the official ( men. The men who had bofore been i doubtful and bewildered now suddenly í became patriots as the distinct issue was i set before them, and thoy saw that. they i must help the country which had been i given to them by the folly of their tyrants. Thero had been meetings, indeed, of a Provincial Congress, for a yoar or more, and meetings had boen held in this very town of Concord. But that Congress was merely advisory, had no real authority, and not a very clear idea, either, of what was best to be done. The uprising of the people oame, not from the orders of Congress, but from their own quick patriotic feeling. 2. Yet all were not as ready as the minute men. A good inany, even in Massachusetts, were by no means sure that it was Bafe or right to rebel, td flght against the lawful rulers, to refuse even unjnst exactions. There were wavering men, whose conservative feeling resisted the argumenta of the ardent, and who saw no good in what seemed to be an uuequal strife. As long as there was no bloody attack, the influence of these uncertain men went with the office holders and the members of the few English Churches, who were nearly all on the side of the Crown. But the first bloodshed decided hundreds of these wavering men. When their oountrymen were shot down they oould hesitate no longer. They could not go with assassins. They could not hold their peace when these guardians of the law becoine murderers of the people. This battle brought them to a parting of the way, when they could hesitate no longer, but must choose their place. Nuinbers now were made soldiers who had refusod to be minute men, and to hold thecaselves ready for the fight. Men of means, property owners, who are usu ally on the side of the established rule, as rebé"llion endangers their substance, now oame into the patriotic party, and dismissed their prudence and their fears, for which there had been, and still was, good reason. For at the outset of the American Eevolution the prospect of success might well seem to the patriots very distant and disinal. They had no wealthy cities. Their population was sparse. Their union was of the most slender sort. They had the seaboard of a great empire to defend without forts or navy. Their foe was the most famous of military and naval powers, the wealthiest of nations, able tojjcarry on great wars with scarcely a sign of doniestic burden. Any man forty years old might woll hesitate before venturing upon such a strifo. Unless some great reason could be shown, some overruling necessity, submission was certainly the wiser counsel. The attack and the slaughter gave that reason, created that necesaity. When a war is begun, the prudent have to go with the cause that is nearest, have to follow feeling rather than judgment. Probably a large portion of the elders who at the battle of Lexington took sides with the patriots had grave doubts even then of the final result ; ]U8t as so many of the prudent men of the South had in our late war to enlist with their section, though they saw in it ouly personal ruin and final deteat. I lived tor mariy years in Massachusetts in a región where there were in the years of the Stamp Act, and the Tea Tax and the Boston Port Bill, several prominent families in which there was this indecisión, in which intelligent uien did not know for a long time whether to be Tory or Rebel, to go with Hutchinson or Hancock, in which the fear of losing money was strong against the sense of wrong. But when the first battle was fought, when the die was cast, then most of these went with the patriots, and cast like the fanious Boston merchant, whose bold signature heads our national charter, their property and their lives into the scale of their country. 3. That first battle, moreover, was of great importance in simplij'ying the question between the Mother Country and the Colonies. It brought the matter at once into clear light, got away from legal difficulties and subtleties, and made the issue very definite. Heretofore, it had been a question of taxation, of representation, of political right. Now it became a simple matter of life and death. Shall we have an army encamped on our soil, barracked in our cities, abusing our people, desecrating our churches, burniug them for fuel or turning them into stables and hippodromes, marauding in our flelds, plundering and murderingV Plain men, who could not answer arguments about precedente, and charters, could understand perfectly well what was meant in the attack of troops, and how to meet the wrong. Now they must fight. The time for negotiation had ceased ; the time had ceased for petitioning governors, for sending deputations to London, for kneeling in courts and intriguing in cabinets. The musket and bayonet must be the arbiters. That Concord fight cleared away the fog of much discussion and brought the debate out from Custom House and Parliament House into the open field. The country now should be defended by the right hand of its children, and they should not wait the convenience or the skill of forensie ploas, or foreign ofiicers, to Imow what to do. Thousands of men after that battle feit that they understood the need and the difflculty as they had not understood it before. It was worth more than any debate or sermón in clearing their sight. It brought a quick passion, no doubt, in aid of their decisión, but the decisión was not any less positive for that. These intruders must at all hazards be driven out. These insolent murderers must be sent back from the shores which they curse inetead of protecting. Boston mut be rid of these redcoats. Every man and woman and child must make this their first thought, postpone to this other cares and interests, to drive out of the country the minions and tools of tyranny, the men who have destroyed the property and killed the persons of an unoffending people. That lesson was taught just as woll in the straggling fight of the Middlesex road and villages as it could have been taught in some great battlefield, in the shock of vast contending aruiies. 4. And then it had the effect of concentrating the energies and bringing to a head the nerve and zeal that might by and by have boon lost or fatigued from continued inaction. If that state of suspense in which the Northern colonies found theuiRelves had been continued a year or two longer, a disastrous reaction might have come, which would have brought with it indifference and submission. The men had provided for a possible war, food, ammunition, equipments, had filled their storehouses, but they would not keep up a permanent supply of those perishing things. To bo kept up the supply must be used. There is nothing so fatal to sustained intorest in any cause, the materials of which have been gathored, as too long delay in their use. When General Gage sent that expedition to destroy the stores at Concord, he did just what the ardent patriot leaders wished, he brought tho crisis which chauged growing weariness to quick activity. If the issue must come, the sooner the better. If they should lose some of their preparation, they could use more of it, and none of it should rot or be wasted. If the minute men, waiting to be called, had been I tired out in their long waiting, they ' vould not have been ro easily roused, r ivould not havo been " minuto men " in e i later cali. It is even doubtful, if six o nonths later, in the oold November rJ rain, in the short days of coming s ter, they would have left their homes Y jo readily for the hard exposuro of the a 3amp. The first fight came just when i it ought to have come, whnn bright t Aies, and long days, and balmy airs, j seenied to quickon tho pulses and t Uo victory. It camo at a time to bring t out all the best strength, to unito the ; forces of .young and old, to act, if we 1 may borrow a medical phrase, as a i " tonic and alterative " af ter the i content of an anxious winter. It was 1 at the very season whon deliberation naturally passes into action and all are i eager to be up and doing. Then the l old are roused with the young, and the : new order of things begins for the year. There were not many ecclesiastical scholars among the New England scholars of that day, and the Easter festival was a profane mummery of which the childreu of the Puritan knew little, and for which thoy cared less. But if there were any " Churchmen" among those patriots, they must have found good omen, in tho fact that the first battle of the Revolution was fought so near the time of the Easter Festival, the day of promise for the Christian world. 5. Another instant effect of that first battle of the Revolution was the hiithing of sectionai discord, and the bringinto the National cause of the remóte colonies, which had fewer grievances to complain of, and lesa interest in cutting loose from the mother country. The men of the Middle and Southern colonies suffered comparatively little from the burdens put upon the Northern colonies. It was even an advantage to New York, and Philadelphia, and Baltirnoro that the Port of Boston should be closed, and the discontented souls of that city be curbed and vexed by the guards set over them. 80 long as the dispute was on questions of tax, the diverse interests of the sections might prevent harmony. But with the first military blow and bloody affray the situation was wholly changed. Then the colonies made common oause, their differences were silenced, their people became brethren, the Cavalier forgot that tho child of the Puritau was his rival and hereditary foe ; the common danger adjourned, if it did not annihilate, the prejudice of descent, and the diversity of interest. The shot fired at Lexington was heard in Georgia at a,ny rate, if not at the antipodes, and created a wrath as real there as in New Hampshire and Ehode Island. A Virginia General camo with alacrïty to coininand the militia of Massachusetts, and found no wound to his pride in the advice of plain New England men. The sharp exasperation which the strife aroused against the kmg and his ministers and his soldiers was more than balanced by the brotherly sympathy which came from regiona almost as far, in those days of diflicult travel. The journals teil us that a palmetto treo from South Carolina has been sent to Lexington to grace the celebration of to-uiorrow. It is a fine sign of the feeling which the tidings of tlie battlo awakened in that colony one hundred years ago. It is pleasant at the rounding of the century, after so many harsh words, and uufriendly acts, and fierce combats of terrible war, to see the old harmony renewod. Scarcely a tion has passed since the most venerable citizen of Concord was driven out of Charleston with ignominy, as an insolent emisaary of a hated race. Now his son holds the honorable aniendment for this error in the testitnony whioh is returned that those who were brethren on the fields of Middlesex in 1775 will be so as truly in 1875. Opportunely too, at this time, a Confedérate General of the civil war sends back to Massachusetts as a peace offering, the colors of a negro regiment which he had captured at Charleston, and they will be hung in the State House, by the side of the musket which Captain John Parker used at lhe flght in Lsxirigton, and the other musket which he took from a British' soldier. It is hardly possible to keep animosities on the anniversary of the day wbich brought harmony of spirit and purpose to the discordant sections of the land. And we may hope, that when, a few years henee, the people of South Carolina abatí celébrate the lOOth anniversaiy of their revolutionary battles, New England wili be ás ready to return the offering of love, and to join in a thanksgiving that the causes of bitterness and alienation have ceased. If the battle itseli haruionizüd discords so well, much more should its memory, which is the cali of peace and not of war. 6. I mention one more imtnediate result of that firet Revolutionary battle that it bought out the old Puritan temper of trust in God, and restored for a time the ancient piety, which was waning in the scepticisin of the age. The reaction from the great revival in the middle of the 18th century was showing itself in indifference and religious stagnation, where there wag not positive unbelief. The Churches were dull, and many of their best members were drawn away by the voice of the new philosophy, as it was taught by tho wits and scholars of France and England. But when the cali to arms carne and patriotism was stirred, then the Churches were quickened, the preachers broke from their lethargy, the old spirit of the Commonwealth was revived, they thought of Cromwell and his troopers, and how the Lord gave victory to his chosen ones. With the care for the dry powder carne the other and greater half of the Puritan's counsel. Now pulpits rang with appeals. The stammering tongues were loose, and it was a soleum thing to wait in the Lord's House. A new fervor carne to the prayers. The young men asked for the minister's benediction before they went to the strife, and not seldom the minister went with them. These farmers and laborera, unskilled in the arts of war, with scanty resources, with the odds against them, as it might seem, feit the need of divine aid and protection, turned to the God of their fathers in whom human weakness might be strength, by whom the weak might confound the mighty, and two put thousands to flight. Life in the camp, even where the motive of the conflict is high and pure, is rarely favorable to piety or virtue. The army is not the best school school of moráis, even if it goes to a orusade. But the beginning of our first National war was as much an outbreak of fervent faith as of righteous wrath. Men who had not prayed before, turned then to prayer, and cried to God in their trouble, sure that he would hear them. And in this connection, I may teil an inoident of the war a little later in time ; but illustrating the spirit of the first outbreak, (which has never, I think, appeared in print) as it was told me thirty yoars ago by a nonagenarian survivor of the Revolution, a member of the congregation over which I was miniister. This venerable man was an officer in the battle of Bennington, and after the battle, had charge of a detachment of prisoners, on their way to Boston. Under his special charge were two young officers, one of tBein a Scotchman, the othor an Euglishman. They marched all night, mostly iu silence, but occasionally conversing, the Euglishman freely expressing his contempt for these boors, who hoped to conquer his Majesty's troops by their mean, skulking, cowardly ambushes and stratagems. As the day dawued the ofticers becaino faint after their long night ride, and the Major with some misgivings, said thathe would try toget refreshment for them when they came to the next farm houso. A little before I ise, they carne upon a house, dismountd and went to the door It was partly ipen and they heard a voice witüin. fhe Major pushed the door open and w there the father of the house and lis faraily in the act of prayer. lt whs l fervent prayer, a prayer that God ivould save his people, wonld bring vic ;ory to their anus, would give thora their ust claims, would inerease their païienoe and their courage, and would :en the hearts of their enemies. The young Scotch offleer bent liimself upon bis knee, liftod his cap, covered his face with it, and waited devoutly for the and. The English officer, on the contrary, stood bolt upright, without any sign of respect for the act, and with an air of scorn upon his foatures. When the prayer was over, they asked the man for a draught of milk, which was brought to thera, and then they rode on. As soon as they were out of hearing, the Englishman began to jeer at the canting hypocrites, venting their disloyalty in this form of pious jargon. For a time the Scotchman listened auietly, but finally broke out ia choked utterances, " Sir, we are all wrong. We are in a wicked business. We never shall conquer these people. They are a praying people. They beliovo in their God, and the Lord will be on their side." That was the spirit aroused by the ñrst battle of the Revolution, the old faith in prayer, the old faith in God, the spirit whieh led the Pilgriins acros the sea, the spirit which nervd the hearts of the men of God, who fought at Nasby and Marston Moor, the spirit of Israel ot old against the Philistines, of David with his stone and sling against the giant of Gath, with his armor of proof. These reasons, to mention no nioro, are enough to justify the assertion that the skirmishes of that April day a huudred years ago, make one of the deoisive battles of human history. These alone are enough to make any place famous, dear, and sacred. Massachusotts hasmany meinorials of which ber sons makeboast. There is the inseribed rock on her southern river, which tells the expedition of the Northmen hundreds of years before the voyage of Coluuibus, and how their comrade dicd ; which wise denials of sceptical annalists have not quite discredited. There is Plymouth Eock, under its graceful canopy, the Ebenezer of modern pilgrimage, the corner stone of American liberty. There is the old Hinghain Church, the oldest church building in the land still used for worsbip, where siros and sons have prayid foPtwo hundred years and Rtill meet on the Lord's Day. There is Fanieuel Hall, the Cradle of Liberty, which rocks still in the fervor of invective against wrong, as in the days of the Port Bill and the Stamp Act. Thtrj is Bunker HUI, with its lofty shaft, a sign to the mariner as to the husbandman, marking the spot of .a defeat which was greater than a victory. But none of these memorials hold a more sacred renown than the village where the bravo farmers met the hosts of a king, and showed in their act and sucrifice that they believed their motto, " Eesistance to tyrants is obedience to God. In that same town of Goncord ihere are gravestones in the "Acre of God" which one cannot read with dry, or without a thrill of joy ; the stone on which filial piety has inseribed the stern integrity of that noble Puritan of this 19th age, Samuel Hoar ; the stone over the grave of an Africnn, which declares that man wills his brethren to be slaves, but God wills thein to be free. There are famous homes, too, in that town, where poets, and philosopher8 aud romancéis, the disciples of Plato, and Zeno, and Plutarch, and even Antony of the Desert, have studied Nature and Man. But no gravestone or homo is so truly a shrine in that town as the shaft on the spot where the invaders feil, which records tht first forcible resistance to British aggression ; which now ñuds its companion on the opposite bank, where the brass figure of tne " Minute Man, cast from cumon given by the Nation, recalls the f all of the minute men in that deadly fight. These memorials have a higher sentiment than the homes of the famous uien and women, higher than the plain house of Emerson, or the cottage where Alcott lives with his daughter, or the cottage in the wood, where Hawthorne died, or the hermitage of Thoreau, where ha held society with bird and insect and flsh and leaf, oreven than the old Manse, with its long recolloction of devoted Pastors. These martial monuments are the truly religious monuments, symbolizing the trutli, the courage, the faith and the hope, which ought to be immor tal in the soul of the Nation. In that figure of the minute man, which will be unveiled to-morrow, to the gaze of such a throng of men and women as the quiet old town never belore gathered, by the honored grandson of the minister of the vill&ge who came out on that fatal day with his gun, a soldier with the rest, - in that figure the artist has fixed the doublé expression of resolution and faith ; in the eyea there is au upward looking, while the whole attitude is that of firmness and courage. The dress is of a laborer in the fiuld, with arms half bare and vest thrown open ; the left hand grasps the ploughshare, over which the coat is thrown, while the righthand holds the üint-lock muskot. It is the figure not ot' a soldier from the ranks, but of a faithful patriot, springing to the rescue of his country. The men who fought on that first day of battle have all long since gone to their rest. Even of tne third generation from that company the eurvivors are gray haired men and women, and not mauy , reinain. But the inemory of these patriots is still fresh, and their relies are kept with devout care, as much as the relies of the saints in the Catholic temples. The thrioe told tale losas no beauty, as it becomes only the echo of an aneient word. The kindled imagination of the men of to-day leuds graue and dignity to the plain narrative of the march and the array, aud the conflict and the rout. Por the men of to-day can see what the men of that time could not see, the wonderful sequel of that slight strife, the wide douiain which these martyrs left to their children, the country which they gave ; not now thirteen poor colonies, divided, distracted, separate in place and interest, but a continent stretching from sea to sea, a Nation, rival to the eider empires, in numbors, in wealth, in the arts of Ufe, - and more thau rival in the promise of its futuro. No visión could come to the most ecstatic dreamer on that day, which could compare in broadth and grandeur with what is before our eyes. The Apocalypse of that day is faiut when we review the course of the century that has passed, and see how far the work has gone beyond, not the plan only, but the fondest dreams. Concord and Lexington are still rural villages, quiet in their round of Ufe. But a uation of forty millions is the witness to-day to their great place in the land. Nay, uot only the oitizens of this great country make thiö a goal of pilgrimage, but even the heathen come there from lands on the other side of the world, closed aud unknown to the men of theformor time. ün one of my recent aunual visits to the town of Coucord, I saw aud couversed with a Daimio of Japan, a Buddhist nobleman, who had come here from the Antipodes to study the scionce and the letters of the Sons of the Puritans. We can undorstand, as those patriots could not, how thu Lord gave them possession, sent real triumph to their arms, and led thom by his right hand, had favor to them because they trusted in him, and wrought as in the light of his counteuance. I


Old News
Michigan Argus