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Johannes in Eremo to the People


Salem, Massachusetts, April 20, 1775.

Great Britain, adieu! No longer shall we honour you as our mother; you are become cruel; you have not so much bowels as the sea monsters towards their young ones. We have erred to you for justice, but behold violence and bloodshed! Tour sword is drawn offensively, and the sword of New-England defensively; by this stroke you have broken us off from you, and effectually alienated us from you. O Britain see you to your own house.

King George the Third, adieu! No more shall we cry to you for protection; no more shall we bleed in defence of your person. Your breach of covenant; your violation of faith; your turning a deaf ear to our cries for justice, for covenanted protection and salvation from the oppressive, tyrannical, and bloody measures of the British Parliament, and putting a sanction upon all their measures to enslave and butcher us, have dissolved our allegiance to your Crown and Government. Your sword, that ought in justice to protect us, is now drawn with a witness to destroy us. O George! see thou to thine own house.

General Gage, pluck up stakes and begone; you have drawn the sword; you have slain in cool blood a number of innocent New-England men; you have made the assault, and be it known to you, the defensive sword of New-England is now drawn; it now studies just revenge, and it will not be satisfied till your blood is shed, and the blood of every son of violence under your command, and the blood of every traitorous Tory under your protection: therefore depart with all your master' s forces; depart from our territories; return to your master soon, or destruction will come upon you. Every moment you tarry in New-England, in the character of your master' s General, you are viewed as an intruder, and must expect to be treated by us as our inveterate enemy.

O my dear New-England, hear thou the alarm of war! The call of Heaven is to arms! to arms! The sword of Britain is drawn against us; without provocation, how many of pur sons have been fired upon and slain in cool blood, in the cool of the day! What unheard of barbarity has been committed on the sickly and helpless grey hairs and innocent babes, by the British Troops! Behold the fruits of our being declared rebels by the British Parliament! Behold what all New-England must expect to feel, if we don' t cut off and make a final end of those British sons of violence, and of every base Tory among us, or confine the latter to Simsbury mines. I beseech you, for God' s sake, and for your own sake, watch against every vice, every provocation of God Almighty against us; against intemperance in drinking; against profane language, and all debauchery; and let us all rely on the arm of the Most High; and whether; we tarry by the stuff, or jeopard our lives in the high places of the field, let us all, like good Jehoshaphat, address the Throne of God, saying, "Behold how they reward us, to come to call us out of thy possessions, which thou hast given us to inherit! O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against them; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee."

We are, my brethren, in a good cause; and if God be for us, we need not fear what man can do. Let us be wise, be prudent, be firm, and courageous. The cause that General Gage has undertaken to execute, is so manifestly wrong, that he must be a terrour to himself. Our blood shed by the Troops under his command, cries, and the cry will soon appear to have reached Heaven against him.

O thou righteous Judge of all the earth, awake for our help. Amen and Amen.