THE Declaration of Independence was put forth by the American Colonies to Great Britain and to the world, as a notification of and justification for their absolute independence.
That Declaration spoke for all people on the earth, as was necessary that it should do. The American colonies did not assert their independence because of any characteristic or circumstances peculiar to themselves, but because “all men are created equal,” and because “to preserve these rights [of all men] governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The colonists claimed this for themselves only on the ground that it was self-evidently due to all.
Now the United States has denied to another people the right of independence; this nobody disputes or can dispute, for the record of it has been in every issue of the daily press for over a year. And as it is true that the Declaration of Independence asserted the right of all people to independence, and that the colonies claimed that right for themselves only under the assertion of it for all, just so true is it that the United States has now repudiated the Declaration of Independence and surrendered its own claim made therein to such freedom.
And as surely as the United States maintains its present course in this respect, so surely must follow that the doctrine of the equal rights of all men and of the justice of government by consent of the governed, will be relegated to the limbo of outgrown traditions, as one of no binding authority or practical importance in this day.
But upon this doctrine the AMERICAN SENTINEL has stood from the first day of its publication. That has been its foundation; and upon no other foundation could it have made the appeals that it has for justice and religious freedom. Upon no other can it make such appeals now or in time to come.
And this is why the AMERICAN SENTINEL has from the first protested against the course of the nation in setting aside the doctrines it put forth to the world in 1776. And surely, when the very foundation on which it stands is being swept from under its feet, the SENTINEL can protest against it without meriting the charge of having “gone into politics.”
When the doctrine of the equal rights of all men shall be no longer be held as true by the American people; when appeal for justice can no longer be made upon this that is the one ground common to all—then further appeal to American principles against religious tyranny will be useless, and the mission of the AMERICAN SENTINEL will have reached its end.