The solemnities of this occasion belong to a Christian people. By them religion is solicited to throw her protection and authority around the institutions of the State. The citizen and the magistrate recognise their common relation to a higher Power than the functionary or the State, and in such recognition exchange the pledge of a mutual fidelity. The custom which this day renews comes to us from the founders of the Commonwealth—men of strong faith and religious hearts, who erected their political fabric as a temple in which to worship God, and inscribed over its front the name of the one Master whom they honored, even Christ. The place to which our legislators and rulers have come upon entering on their official duties is the house of prayer and Christian instruction. Every thing that distinguishes the occasion seems to point out the course of remark in which he who addresses this audience should invite his hearers to follow him. The relation of religion to politics—the religion of political life—is the subject to which he is unequivocally directed; and of which it is my purpose to treat, at such length only as the limits of the occasion will allow, but with such plainness of speech as should alone be used before freemen by one as free as they when speaking on their common duties.