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WHEREAS, a bill is now pending in the General Assembly for the adoption of said Uniform Act;
Resolved, That this Association again, as it has repeatedly in the past, earnestly recommends the adoption of said Act, and directs the Legislative Committee to do all in its power to secure such adoption at the approaching session.
This resolution was variously seconded and was unanimously carried.
Mr. John M. Slaton, of Atlanta: I move that this Association do now adjourn.
The motion was carried and the Association adjourned sine die.
SOME OLD SAWS RESHARPENED.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT,
The War of the Revolution was not a matter of sudden, capricious impulse, but the result of the contest long raging between the people of the Colonies, and the British Crown and Parliament. Lexington and Bunker Hill only marked the shifting of the contest from protest and negotiation, to the arbitrament of arms.
The Sugar Act; the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, the Tea Act, the Act for the trial in England of offenses committed in America, the Act regulating the Government of Massachusetts, the foolish and inexcusable violation of the charters of the Colonies, hastened the actual clash of arms. But the real cause of the contest lay deeper.
The people of the Colonies had migrated to America in search of a greater freedom than they enjoyed or could enjoy in England. They came not that they might be free Englishmen,—but that they might be free men. Their conception of a free man was not, however, very clear. Residence in the new world broadened and intensified that conception. Its majestic mountains, its endless plains, and its mighty forests, had aroused in their minds and hearts a new revelation, a new worship, of freedom.
With this new revelation, the aspirations of the Colonist for the privileges of a free born English citizen, for freedom under the English Constitution, were swept away; and in their stead appeared a yearning for a new and broader freedom, a freedom not depending upon the will of sovereign or parliament, not the by-product of laws or constitutions, but a freedom beyond the reach of kings, parlia
ments, laws and constitutions, a freedom endowed by the Creator, co-extensive with the creation and existence of man.
With this new conception of freedom the Colonists came to a clearer understanding of the sources from which their oppressions came. They had come to see from bitter experiences that they had no more to fear from kings than from parliaments. Indeed, the real oppression of the Colonists came from the English Parliament. The Stamp Act, the Mutiny Act, and the long list of Parliament Acts, were for the purpose of colonial discipline and coercion. These oppressions taught the Colonists that there were like dangers from all forms of government, though perhaps less in degree, unless hedged about by wise limitations. They realized that a democracy may be an oppression, and that no tyrant can be more heartless and unrelenting than the tyranny of the majority. When angered or inflamed by passion it brooks no restraint; heeds not the cry of the weak; is deaf to the appeals of justice; tramples upon every right, human or divine; neither makes nor enforces any law except as satisfies its greed and feeds its passion; contempuously disregards all the teachings of history and the experience of the past; defaces every altar and destroys every temple.
Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, and their Colonial compatriots, well understood that all sovereignty, whether emanating from emperor, king, or people, must be in the hands of men; and that a legislative body, if unrestrained, free to follow its own will, or the will of the majority, whether elected by the people, or selected by king or emperor, could with equal force destroy the inherent rights of the people. They knew that vox populi was not always vox dei; that oft it had been, and surely would again be, vox daemonii. More than seventeen hundred years before, in obedience to the cry of the multitude, “Crucify HimCrucify Him”, the Messiah was brought to the cross in humiliation and shame; and that same cry released Barabbas. However little this tragedy stirred the emotions of