1798 AZEL BACKUS. George Washington Owned - Sermon on the Treasonous Behavior of Factions & Party Spirit.
1798 AZEL BACKUS. George Washington Owned - Sermon on the Treasonous Behavior of Factions & Party Spirit.
1798 AZEL BACKUS. George Washington Owned - Sermon on the Treasonous Behavior of Factions & Party Spirit.

1798 AZEL BACKUS. George Washington Owned - Sermon on the Treasonous Behavior of Factions & Party Spirit.

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Fascinating early election sermon in which Backus urges that for any citizen of the new Nation to live in godlessness by operating in party spirit and factitiousness is to engage in conspiracy and treason against the Nation. 

George Washington's library contained a copy of this sermon and it was held in high repute when released. An important early clarion call to the populace and the government to integrate public politics and private devotion. Alexander Hamilton is quoted extensively throughout. 

Azel Backus. Absalom's Conspiracy: A sermon, preached at the General Election, at Hartford in the State of Connecticut, May 10th, 1798. Hartford. Hudson and Goodwin. 1798. 54pp.

. . . The perfection of a government [structure] will not save it from the evils of faction and party spirit. The divine government itself has long had its opposers . . 

. . . faction has thriven most in the mildest governments; and that republics in particular, have been proverbially stormy and tempestuous. If it is asserted by respectable authority, that "It is yet in experiment whether human nature can bear so free a government as our own;" he is not the enemy of liberty and of the people who would meet its difficulties, but he who would sedulously conceal and keep them out of sight . . . 

. . . The doctrine of human depravity can be proved by the history of every nation, without the aid of the holy Scriptures. "A dispassionate view of human events, affords demonstration, that the fiery and destructive passions of enmity and contention, are more congenial to the natural human heart, than the mild and benevolent sentiments of peace and love." . . . 

. . . The materials of all conspiraces against good government, have always been composed of ignorant, or wicked, subjects and citizens. "It is easy and natural for weak, and uninformed minds, to construe zeal for efficient government, as evidential of a heart fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of civil liberty." Hence, much opposition has made its appearance from the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears . . . 

. . . The materials of faction and conspiracy, have usually been marshalled against order and empire of the laws, in one or all of these three ways. By addressing men's passions and flattering their prejudices - by misstating and discoloring facts - and by humouring the taste of the age. [He then goes on the describe how each of these have worked and are at work in real time] . . .

No copies on the market. Textually complete and good; removed from a larger sammelband with the attending residue on spine and abrasion to inner margin at the first and last leaf. Some light toning and foxing.