1783 ELIPHALET PORTER. First Sermon Preached Upon America's Defeat of the British!

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An exceptionally scarce volume not to have appeared on the market in many years. Preached by pro-Revolutionary divine, Eliphalet Porter, it was delivered at the very first Thanksgiving after the defeat of the British with the formal acknowledgement of America’s Independence by the British just 12 weeks afterward. An exceptional piece of Americana!

Porter, Eliphalet. A Sermon, Delivered to the First Religious Society in Roxbury, December 11, 1783; being the First Day of Public Thanksgiving, in America. After the Restoration of Peace, and the Ultimate Acknowledgment of Her Independence. Boston: Printed by Adams and Nourse. 1784. 24pp.

Previous ownership signature at the top of the title of Joseph Ruggles Jun. [1729-1802], who was Captain of the 4th Regiment at Newbury during the American Revolution.  This was also the church where John Eliot preached for 40 years and one of the most important in early Colonial American history and a lightning rod of pro-revolutionary preaching leading up to the Declaration of Independence.

Fascinating interpolating [or, pesher] on various Old Testament prophecies ascribing their fulfillment to the Lord’s favor in the establishment of the United States of America.


“Now may America say, if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; then they had swallowed us up quick when their wrath was kindled against us. Imperious and unreasonable men had executed their arbitrary designs against us, and our vaunting adversaries triumphed over us, and stripped us of our dearest enjoyments. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not delivered us up to the will of our enemies – who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul – our dear country, with its valued rights and privileges, of a civil and religious nature is escaped out of the hand of those who fought her ruin. . . “

“That support and protection which have been afforded our land during the late contest, and the signal deliverance we have at length obtained, will well bear a comparison with the memorable interpolation of Providence on the behalf of ancient Israel, and the remarkable political salvation experienced by that highly-favoured people. And the psalm we have selected for the theme of the present discourse, though originally designed as a song of praise for some great deliverance granted the Jewish nation, is yet very applicable to the present occasion, and may with all propriety be adopted by the American Israel this day.”

“Would time permit, we might, without being guilty of a digression wholly foreign to the occasion, carry back our attention to the first settlement of our land, and the memorable interpositions of Providence on the behalf of our fore-fathers. We might consider the first settlers of our country, fleeing from the hand of tyranny and religious persecution, and seeing asylum in the uncultivated and inhospitable wilds of America. We might recount the misfortunes and discouragement that attended them, and relate the almost incredible hardships and sufferings they endured. We might behold with astonishment their resolution, fortitude and perseverance under all their difficulties and trials. We might recollect how wonderfully they were delivered from that ruin and destruction repeatedly mediated, and attempted by the savages of the wilderness; and bless the Lord who did not give them as prey to their teeth; for if the Lord had not been on their side, then they had been swallowed up quick. We might notice the earliest workings of a persecuting spirit in the mother country toward her infant colonies, and observe with becoming indignation, the disposition she discovered to abridge the civil and religious liberties of our respected ancestors. We might tell how the invaluable charter of this government was at an early period violated and wrested from them by an arbitrary Prince, and might speak of the tyranny and insufferable proceedings of an Andross, and of the fears and distresses occasioned by the administration of this Governor. And we might dwell with pleasure on that manly and noble opposition they made to lawless power, and see in them, the same spirit, firmness and valour, in the cause of freedom, which have distinguished and immortalized their sons.”

“We can now, friends, look back on the attempts of our enemies against us, with the pleasing reflection, that we were escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers. Many of their unjust as well as impolitic designs and proceedings, no doubt, readily occur to your memory, on the present occasion. Need I remind you how the increasing population, the growing opulence, and rising importance of our land, excited their avarice and their jealousy, and urged them on to the most unjustifiable and improper measures to gain advantage from our flourishing state, and to the most cruel and unlikely methods to secure and perpetuate our dependence? Need I remind you of their unconstitutional attempt to raise a revenue in America without her consent? Need I mention the memorable stamp-act, or the arbitrary declaration once made in the Parliament of Britain, that they had a right to bind the Americans in all cases whatsoever? Need I remind you of their quartering their hostile forces amongst us in the time of peace, of their cruelly blockading our ports, of the daring infringement they made on the inestimable right of trial by Jury, of their unconstitutional appointment of our Counsellors, and of their many other unjustifiable and arbitrary proceedings? Or, on the hand, need I remind you of that becoming resentment, and manly indignation which these measures roused in American breasts; and of the noble opposition early made to unconstitutional power?”

Good + with some light foxing, minor stain and handling on title and on rear leaf; side sewn and together essentially from remains of a perhaps old sammelband binding.

Textually complete.