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47. As another parallel case, you bring the war of the Romans with the allied states of Italy. But neither is this case parallel at all; for those states were not colonies of Rome, (although some colonies were scattered up and down among them,) but original, independent states, before Rome itself had a being. Were it then true that "every Briton must approve the conduct of those allies,” (p. 91,) it would not follow, that they must approve the conduct of the Americans ; or that “we ought to declare our applause, and say, We admire your spirit; it is the spirit that has more than once saved us." We cannot applaud the spirit of those who usurp an illegal authority over their countrymen; who rob them of their substance, who outrage their persons, who leave them neither civil nor religious liberty; and who, to crown all, take up arms against their king and mother country, and prohibit all intercourse with them.
48. See an argument of a different kind : “ The laws and religion of France were established in Canada, on purpose to bring up thence an army of French Papists.” (p. 94.) What proof have you, what tittle or shadow of proof, for this strange assertion, that the laws and religion which they had before in Canada were established on purpose to bring an army thence? It is manifest to every impartial man, that this was done for a nobler purpose. Every nation, you allow, has a natural liberty to enjoy their own laws, and their own religions : so have the French in Canada ; and we have no right to deprive them of this liberty. Our parliament never desired, never intended, to deprive them of this; (so far were they from any intention of depriving their own countrymen of it!) and on purpose to deliver them from any apprehension of so grievous an evil, they generously and nobly gave them a legal security, that it should not be taken from them. And is this (one of the best things our parliament ever did) improved into an accusation against them ? " But our laws and religion are better than theirs.” Unquestionably they are ; but this gives us no right to impose the one or the other, even on a conquered nation. What if we had conquered France, ought we not still to have allowed them their own laws and religion? Yea, if the Russians had conquered Constantinople, or the whole Ottoman empire, ought they not to have allowed to all they conquered, both their own religion and their own laws? nay, and to have given them, not a precarious toleration, but a legal security for both ?
49. “ But the wild Indians, and their own slaves, have been instigated to attack them.” I doubt the fact. What proof is there of this, either with regard to the Indians or the negroes? “ And attempts have been made to gain the assistance of a large body of Russians.” Another' hearty assertion, which many will swallow, without ever asking for proof: in truth, had
any such attempts been made, they would not have proved ineffectual. Very small pay will induce a body of Russians to go wherever they hope for good plunder. It might just as well have been said, “ Attempts were made to procure a large body of Tartars.”
50. Now for a little more encouragement to your good friends and allies in America : “ The utmost force we can employ does not exceed thirty thousand men to conquer half a million of determined men, fighting for that sacred blessing of liberty, without which man is a beast, and government a curse.” (p. 95.) I am not sure that our utmost force is
either thirty, or forty, or fifty, thousand men. But are you sure, that "half a million, at least, are determined to fight” against them? Yes : For “ a quarter of the inhabitants of every country are fighting men; and the colonies consist of two millions.” Here are several points which are not quite clear. I doubt, (1.) Whether those colonies contain two millions. I doubt, (2.) Whether a quarter of the inhabitants of any country are fighting men: we usually reckon a sixth part. I doubt, (3.) Whether a quarter of the American fighting men are determined to fight in so bad a cause; to fight, not for liberty which they have long enjoyed, but for independency. Will you affirm, that " without this, man is a beast, and government a curse?" Then show, me where man is not a beast, and where government is not a curse.
51. But you give them more encouragement still: “In the Netherlands, a few states thus circumstanced withstood the whole force of the Spanish monarchy; and, at last, emancipated themselves from its tyranny.” (Ib.) Thus circumstanced ! No; they were in wholly different circumstances; they were cruelly and wantonly oppressed; they were robbed both of civil and religious liberty; they were slaughtered all the day long; and, during the contest, which was really for liberty, they were assisted by the German princes, by England, and by France itself. But " what can thirty thousand men do, when they are to be fed from hence ?" (p. 96.) Do you think they will stand with their finger in their eye? If they cannot find food at land, (which would be strange,) the seas and rivers are open. “ Their maritime towns they are resolved to burn themselves.” They will think twice, before they execute that resolution. “ As to their trade, the loss of it will do them unspeakable good.” Will it indeed? Then let them acknowledge their benefactors.
They rejoice particularly in the last restraining act: this will furnish them with a reason for confiscating the estates of all the friends of our government among them.” (p. 97.) A reason! All the friends of our government are infinitely obliged to you for suggesting this to them, who are full ready to improve any hint of the kind; and it will be no wonder if they soon use these enemies of their country as the Irish did the Protestants in 1641.
52. “ One consideration more. From one end of America to the other, they are fasting and praying: but what are we doing? Ridiculing them as fanatics, and scoffing at religion." This certainly is the case with many; but God forbid it should be the case with all! There are thousands in England (I believe full as many, if not many more than in America) who are daily wrestling with God in prayer for a blessing upon their king and country; and many join fasting therewith ; which, if it were publicly enjoined, would be no scandal to our nation. Are they “animated by piety?" So are we; although “not unto us be the praise.”
“ But can we declare, in the face of the sun, that we are not aggressors in this war ?”
• And that we mean not, by it, to acquire dominion or empire, or to gratify resentment?” (p. 99 :) I humbly believe, both the king and his ministers can declare this before God: “ But solely to gain reparation for injury,” from men who have already plundered very many of his majesty's loyal subjects, and killed no small number of thein.
53. You now proceed to answer objections; and mention, as the
First, “ Are they not our subjects ?" You answer: “ They are not your subjects; they are your fellow subjects.” Are they indeed? Do you affirm this? Then you give up the whole question; then their independency, which you have so vehemently maintained, falls to the ground at once.
A Second objection, you say, is this : “But we are taxed; why should not they?" You answer : “ You are taxed by yourselves; they insist on the same privilege." I reply, They are now taxed by themselves, in the very same sense that nine tenths of us are. We have not only no vote in the parliament, but none in electing the members : yet Mr.
“We are virtually represented :" and if we are, so are the Americans. You add : “ They help you to pay your taxes, by giving you a monopoly of their trade.” They consented, as you observed before, to do this; but they have not done it for many years : they have, in fact, traded to Holland, to France, to Spain, and every where they could. And how have they helped us, by purchasing our manufactures ? Take one instance out of a thousand : They have taken large quantities of our earthenware, for which they regularly required three years' credit. These they sold to the Spaniards, at a very advanced price, and for ready money only. And did they not hereby help themselves, at least, as much as they helped us ? And what have we lost by losing their custom? We have gained forty, fifty, or sixty per cent. The Spaniards now come directly to Bristol ; and pay down ready money, pieces of eight, for all the earthenware that can possibly be procured.
54. A Third objection, you say, is this : “ They will not obey the parliament and the laws." You answer : “ Say, They will not obey your parliament and your laws; because they have no voice in your parliament, no share in making your laws.” (p. 100.) So, now the mask quite falls off again. A page or two ago, you said, " They are your fellow subjects." Now, you frankly declare, they owe no subjection to our government, and attempt to prove it! To that proof I reply: Millions in England have no more voice in the parliament than they; yet that does not exempt them from subjection to the government and the laws. But " they may have a voice in it if they will.” No; they cannot, any more than the Americans. “ Then they so far want liberty." I answer, (1.) Whether they do or no, they must needs be subject; and that not only for wrath, for fear of punishment, but for conscience' sake. (2.) They do not want liberty; they have all the liberty they can desire, civil as well as religious. “Nay, 1 have no other notion of slavery, but being bound by a law to which I do not consent.” If you have not, look at that man chained to the oar: he is a slave; he cannot at all dispose of his own person. Look at that negro sweating beneath his load: he is a slave; he has neither goods nor liberty left. Look at that wretch in the Inquisition : then you
will have a far other notion of slavery.
55. You next advance a wonderful argument to convince us that all the Americans are slaves : “ All your freehold land is represented; but not a foot of theirs ; nay,' says an eminent man, there is not a blade of grass in England but is represented.'” This much-admired and frequently-quoted assertion is altogether new! I really thought, not the grass, or corn, or trees, but the men of England, were represented in parliament. I cannot comprehend, that parliament men represent the grass, any more than the stones or clay of the kingdom. No blade of grass but is represented! Pretty words! But what do they mean? Here is Mr. Burke ; pray, what does he represent ? " Why, the city of Bristol.” What, the buildings so called ; or the ground whereon they stand? Nay, the inhabitants of it: the ground, the houses, the stones, the grass, are not represented. Who till now ever entertained so wild a thought? But let them stand together, the independency of our colonies, and the representation of every blade of grass !
56. You conclude: “ Peace may be obtained upon the easy, the constitutional, and therefore the indispensable, terms of an exemption from parliamentary taxation, and an admission of the sacredness of their charters.” (p. 107.)
Are not you betraying your cause? You have been all along pleading, in the most explicit manner, for their exemption, not only from parliamentary taxation, but legislation also. And, if your arguments prove any thing, they certainly prove this, that the colonies have an unalienable right, not only to tax, but to make laws for themselves; so that the allowing them the former is nothing, unless we allow the latter also; that is, in plain terms, unless we allow them to be independent on the English government.
As to your other term of peace, there is unquestionably such a thing as the forfeiting of a charter: whether the colonies have forfeited theirs or not, I leave others to determine. Whether they have or have not, there can be no reason for making the least doubt but, upon their laying down their arms, the government will still permit them to enjoy both their civil and religious liberty in as ample a manner as ever their ancestors did, and as the English do at this day.
57. I add a few words more: Two or three years ago, by means of incendiary papers, spread throughout the nation, the minds of the people were inflamed to an amazing degree; but the greater part of the flame is now gone out. The natural tendency, or rather the avowed design, of this pamphlet, is, to kindle it again ; if it be possible, to blow up into a flame the sparks that yet remain; to make the minds of his majesty's subjects, both at home and abroad, evil-affected toward his government; discontented in the midst of plenty, out of humour with God and man; to persuade them, in spite of all sense and reason, that they are absolute slaves, while they are actually possessed of the greatest civil and religious liberty that the condition of human life allows.
Let all who are real lovers of their country use every lawful means to put out, or, at least, prevent the increase of, that flame which, otherwise, may consume our people and nation. Let us earnestly exhort all our countrymen to improve the innumerable blessings they enjoy; in particular, that invaluable blessing of liberty, civil as well as religious, which we now enjoy in a far more ample measure than any of our forefathers did. Let us labour to improve our religious liberty, by practising pure religion and undefiled; by worshipping God in spirit and in truth; and taking his "word for a lantern to our eet, and a light in all out paths.” Let us improve our civil liberty, the full freedom we enjoy, both as to our lives, goods, and persons, by devoting all we have, and all we are, to his honourable service. Then may we hope that he will continue to us all these blessings, with the crown of all, a thankful heart Then shall we say, in all the changing scenes of life,
“ Father, how wide thy glories shine,
A SEASONABLE ADDRESS
MORE SERIOUS PART OF THE INHABITANTS OF GREAT BRITAIN, ,
THE UNHAPPY CONTEST BETWEEN US AND OUR
WITH AN OCCASIONAL WORD INTERSPERSED TO THOSE OF A DIFFERENT
BY A LOVER OF PEACE.
(PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1776.)
He beheld the city, and wept over il.—Luke xix, 41.
MEN AND BRETHREN,—Unhappy, very unhappy for us, we are a kingdom divided against itself; and, without a miracle, fall we must! What a fall will there then be, when such“ distress is upon the land, and wrath upon the people!" And is this a little thing, brethren? Is it what any of us either desire or promote? God forbid! A kingdom divided against itself is an evil, of all others, the most dreadful; inasmuch as an innumerable train of evils necessarily follow; no inconsiderable part of which are the sword, fire, plunder, and famine. This our forefathers unhappily felt, and to our inexpressible sorrow we may feel.
And is this an unlikely thing? Is it altogether improbable? Surely no! But that small cloud which arose some few years since, has, to discerning minds, been gathering blackness, and spreading itself well nigh over the whole land. And is it any marvel if, by and by, it should burst upon us, as it has done upon America ? Let him that has wisdom understand this.
Then who that has any understanding, any bowels of mercy and compassion, would not do the utmost, that either human or divine prudence can suggest, to prevent it? For who knows, when the sword is once drawn, where it may stop ? Who can command it to be put up into its scabbard and it will obey him? Such power is not in man; it is only in Him
Who rides upon the stormy sky, and calms the roaring seas. Again: If the sword should be drawn, upon whom nay it light? This we know not. But supposing it should be on yourself, or a beloved wife, an aged parent, a tender child, a dear relative, what recompense can be VOL. VI.