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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Of Rebellion

By Josiah Quincy, Jr. (1744–1775)

[Observations … on the Boston Port-Bill. 1774. From Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Jun. 1825.]

TO complain of the enormities of power, to expostulate with overgrown oppressors, hath in all ages been denominated sedition and faction; and to turn upon tyrants, treason and rebellion. But tyrants are rebels against the first laws of Heaven and society; to oppose their ravages is an instinct of nature—the inspiration of God in the heart of man. In the noble resistance which mankind make to exorbitant ambition and power they always feel that divine afflatus, which, paramount to everything human, causes them to consider the Lord of Hosts as their leader, and his angels as fellow-soldiers. Trumpets are to them joyful sounds, and the ensigns of war, the banners of God. Their wounds are bound up in the oil of a good cause; sudden death is to them present martyrdom; and funeral obsequies, resurrections to eternal honor and glory,—their widows and babes being received into the arms of a compassionate God, and their names enrolled among David’s worthies. Greatest losses are to them greatest gains; for they leave the troubles of their warfare to lie down on beds of eternal rest and felicity.