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cording to the course of the common law; that all persons shall be bailable unless for capital offences, when the proof shall be evident, or the presumption great; that all fines shall be moderate, and no cruel and unusual punishment shall be inflicted; that no man shall be deprived of his liberty or property but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; and should the public exigencies make it necessary to take any man's property, or to demand his particular services, full compensation shall be made for the same; and in the just preservation of his rights and property, it is understood and declared that no law ought ever to be made or have force in said territory that shall in any manner whatever interfere with or affect private contracts or engagements bona fide and without fraud previously made.
“This was the first embodiment in written constitutional law of a provision maintaining the obligation of contracts. Six weeks later it was, on motion of Mr. King, of Massachusetts, incorporated in the draft of the Constitution of the United States."
.... Every square mile of territory that was covered by the Or. dinance of 1787 was patriotic, and gave its men and its means for the support of the Union."
“Dr. Manasseh Cutler, of Ipswich, Mass., arrived July 5th.
"In April, 1788, the Ohio Company made the first English settlement of the Northwest Territory at Marietta, Ohio, at the mouth of the Muskingum, on the land which Dr. Cutler had bought on this occasion. General Washington, writing from Mount Vernon, two months later, said:
No colony in America was ever settled under such favorable auspices as that which has just commenced at the Muskingum. Information, property, and strength will be its characteristics. I know many of the settlers personally, and there never were men better calculated to promote the welfare of such a community. If I were a young man, just preparing to begin the world, or, if advanced in life and had a family to make provision for, I know of no country where I should rather fix my habitation than in some part of that region.'
“Massachusetts had in 1780 abolished slavery, established public schools for general education, and framed the most advanced code of laws concerning the liberties and natural rights of man, civil jurisprudence, and public polity, which the world had then seen.
“The Ordinance of 1787 is a condensed abstract of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Every principle contained in the former, either in a germinal or developed form, except that relating to the obligation of contracts, and some temporary provisions relating to the organization of the territorial government, is found in the latter, and often in the same phraseology."
In 1830 Daniel Webster, in his answer to Hayne, as1 Sparks' edition of Washington's Writings, Vol. ix. p. 385.
cribed the authorship to Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts. Mr. Benton, of Missouri, said it was not the work of Nathan Dane, but of Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia. Hon. Edward Coles, Governor of Illinois (1822-26), in January, 1856, claimed the honor for Jefferson. Dr. Poole clearly proved that it could not have been the work of Jefferson.
Of the Ordinance, Daniel Webster said:
“We are accustomed to praise the lawgivers of antiquity; we help to perpetuate the fame of Solon and Lycurgus; but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced effects of more distinct, marked and lasting character than the Ordinance of 1787. We see its consequences at this moment, and we shall never cease to see them perhaps while the Ohio shall fow." I
Judge Story said:
“The Ordinance is remarkable for the brevity and exactness of its text and for its masterly display of ihe fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty." ?
Judge Timothy Walker said:
“Upon the surpassing excellence of the Ordinance no language of panegyric would be extravagant. The Romans would have imagined some divine Egeria for its author. It approaches as nearly to absolute perfection as anything to be found in the legislation of mankind; for after the experience of fifty years it would perhaps be impossible to alter a word without marring it. In short, it is one of those matchless specimens of sagacious forecast which even the reckless spirit of innovation would not venture to assail,” !
Dr. Poole clearly showed that this Ordinance was the work of the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, of Ipswich. He admits that it was in the handwriting of Dane, whom Webster credited with being its author, but both Dane and Cutler came from Ipswich,—Dane being the member from the Essex district. Ipswich was the home of Nathaniel Ward, the author of the “Body of Liberties," and he was the great friend of Thomas Hooker. It must be that Congregationalism in Ipswich was thoroughly imbued with sound piety and polit
i Daniel Webster, Work, iii. 263.
Quoted by Poole, No. Am. Rev., April, 1876.
ical sagacity, and we imagine we know its origin. It was Rev. Nathaniel Ward, who was trained to the law and practised it in England.
Let us examine one more political document, famous as a title-deed to liberty,—the Emancipation Proclamation.
In the early part of the century a Congregational home missionary settled upon this Western Reserve, at Tallmadge, Ohio, and afterward moved to Detroit, Mich., when a son was born to him. This boy became one of the heroic, distinguished, and useful men in the denomination. His name was Leonard Bacon. He wrote a tract on Slavery which fell into the hands of another Western boy,—Abraham Lincoln. When the Emancipation Proclamation became famous, and was recognized as worthy to be ranked with the Magna Charta and the Declaration of Independence, as one of the world's three title-deeds to liberty, Lincoln was asked as to the source of his inspiration, and he gave full credit to that tract of Dr. Bacon's for its influence upon him in his earlier years."
It makes little difference, therefore, at what point we analyze the waters of that stream called "American History." The simple elements are ever the same. The Congregational idea is clearly revealed. At whatever point of vision we view the past four centuries, the same rugged truths stand out in bold relief against the sky. They are the basal ideas of Congregationalism on their religious side, and American democracy on their civil side. They are religion, morality, knowledge; liberty, equality, democracy. Individualism and true socialism; egoism and Christian altruism; liberty by bondage to truth. We find these truths in the Connecticut Constitution of 1639, in the Body of Liberties of 1641, in Federal Compact of 1643, the Declaration of Independence, the Ordinance of 1787, the Constitution of 1789, and the
1 Lincoln's Declaration to Dr. Jos. P. Thompson, Century Magazine, Vol. xxv. p.658.
Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery, is identical with the sixth clause in the Ordinance of 1787. All of these documents are the result largely of the influence and teaching of Congregational clergymen at periods in the nation's history most pivotal and critical. As a spiritual force and polity the Congregational idea has been a powerful magnet, giving direction to all the religious, civil, and political forces in America. Thus the founders of this nation were men of faith and wisdom. They went upon the mountain, and Christ was transfigured before them. They worshipped him. When they came down they built three tabernacles,-one to religion, one to morality, and one to knowledge.
It has been said they were narrow. So is electricity, but it is concentrated. Sometimes it is narrow; sometimes it is broad. Strange such narrow men should have been such powerful metaphysicians and theologians as Edwards, Taylor, Emmons, Hopkins, Stuart, Finney; and should be succeeded by such men of breadth as Mark Hopkins, Noah Porter, Hickok, and President Fairchild. True, they were Calvinists, and split hairs into sixteenths over such subjects as the freedom of the will, the state of the mind a minute before conversion; the doctrine of election, of foreordination. But they had a sense of the immanence and sovereignty of God, and of man's accountability to him, that would put the amiable doctrines of this age to shame. Where are the men today preaching the doctrine of sin and the persistence of force in character? Where is the heroic truth that has moral fibre and tissue; that has will for the basis of character instead of sentimentalism or emotion?, And yet these fathers, while so severe with themselves, were tender and beautiful in their lives, gentle in manner, and lovely in character. This age needs to learn that love is made of sterner stuff than sentiment; that it seeks the good of all, and is not cultivated for subjective purposes. It can shoot Indians, throw tea overboard, and make quick work with disturbers of the public peace. They had virtue, moral dignity, moral character, because they had freedom which, as they had learned from Christ, came from bondage to truth or law. They defined all of life in terms of faith and duty, and not in terms of expediency or sentiment.
Strange, is it not, that where Scotch piety prevails in its sternest type, Scotch bankers are the most reliable; where parents are most honored, that nation has outlived all others; and where stern sense of duty prevailed, the most beneficent economic conditions flourished.
The founders of America went to the heart of things, and psychology, no less than moral philosophy, as it is taught in our universities to-day, is the gift of Congregational clergymen to this age. But some say they had no religious toleration except in theory. This is the charge of the youngest scion of the Adams family against his own ancestors and the founders of the Massachusetts Colony. Neither had our fathers Winchester rifles to shoot Indians with; nor could Paul Revere telephone the news of the arrival of the British; nor did they come over the ocean on the White Star Line, or bring stem-winding watches with them. These, all, were the fruit of a later age. So was religious toleration. One age must not judge another by its own standards. Brooks Adams has judged by the standards of to-day the men who founded Harvard College, and, as Dr. Poole well says in his review of the book, it bears evidences throughout of the work of a callow dude.
But the Puritans sang psalm tunes through their noses; they wore wigs and enjoyed long sermons; they went to bed early to save candles. Do we not wish that our slums could be induced to do the same? They suffered slavery to exist. Emmons, Edwards, Hopkins, were hostile to involuntary servitude, and all preached against it. Emmons did so when it was sanctioned by his own State. Kidd says:
1 Emancipation of Man.