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HEN in the progress of the world's affairs, a great work is to be accomplished, the reformation of religion, the discovery of a new world, the subjection of barbarous nations to the mild sway of civilization, the resistance of political oppression, or the founding of a great republic, it appears to be the order of Divine Providence to raise
up and prepare a great man for effecting the object. Such a man was GEORGE WASHINGTON. He was the chosen instrument for laying the foundations of the republic on whose prosperity and perpetuity the hopes of human freedom rest. Born and educated in the ranks
of the people, early trained to the endurance of hardship, endowed with extraordinary courage, circumspection, foresight and selfreliance, he found himself placed, by the suffrages of his fellowcitizens, at the head of that grand movement which was to detach his country from her state of colonial dependence, and render her the noblest empire of modern times; and having by deliberate examination convinced himself of the justice of her cause, he devoted his whole life to the great work which he had been raised up to accomplish, the successful assertion of her independence and the complete organization of her free institutions. No man was ever charged with a higher mission. None ever performed his mission with more complete success. Every step in the onward march of the republic affords a new proof of the greatness of its founder. Our future glories can never exceed the grandeur of his conceptions; for we have only to examine his actions and his writings in order to see that he anticipated allbelieved all-provided for all-and that he laid the foundations deep enough, broad enough, to sustain any superstructure of national greatness that can ever be raised upon them.
As our country advances in prosperity and power, it becomes more and more interesting and important for us to recur to those trying times in which its institutions were formed, and its liberties defended; and to recognise in the exalted character of its acknowledged FATHER, the elements of its greatness and strength. The life of Washington has already furnished a subject for some of the most distinguished writers in America; but it still offers a fertile theme; it presents new aspects as the country continues to fulfil the destinies which he foresaw; it is hoped and believed, therefore, that a new attempt to recount the actions of his life, to recommend his virtues to the imitation of his countrymen, and to enforce his principles of conduct in public and private life, may be regarded with indulgence, even though this attempt should be supported by little more than a sincere reverence for his character and an earnest desire to do justice to his merits.
Many of the most illustrious benefactors of mankind have been not less remarkable for the obscurity of their origin than for the greatness of their destiny; but Washington sprung from a family whose name had already become known to history. Mr. Sparks has traced his ancestry back to the thirteenth century, and has recognised the name in the local records of the county histories as belonging to men of ample fortunes and respectable characters. Sir Henry Washington was a colonel in the army of Charles I.