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Ye friends of America, turn your eyes therefore, for a moment, from those you suspect to be the only authors of the present evil, and think seriously of a more secret but certain cause, namely, the universality and enormity of every species of wickedness that is found in our land; and then marvel not that the great Governor of the world hath withheld that restraint which he is ever wont to hold amongst the governors of a wise and good people. For we may be assured of this, that, were those in authority under the temptation of despotism and oppression, and would to God, it never was the case !) if we as a people, by our transgressions, had not to a great and certain degree provoked the eyes of his glory, “I,” saith the Lord, “would put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips.”

Ye friends of government also, draw near, and turn your eyes from those you suspect to be the only authors of the present evil; look in this glass, and see the ugly monster, universal sin, that subtle, unsuspected serpent that has inflamed our blood, and brought on the malignant fever of contention on our body. Here gaze till its loathsome and hideous deformity makes you loathe her. Then you will not marvel, that when the Divine restraint is withheld, we are capable of any thing; even that which is the most likely to end in our present and eternal ruin ! And should not ye, O ye Americans, ye unhappy sufferers by this dreadful fire, look into the same glass, and not marvel at a Divine permission of your afflictions; but in a becoming spirit and disposition ask, “Wherefore dost thou contend with me? Why hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy? Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee ?" Surely then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people!

But is our universal impiety the first and principal cause of our misery and wretchedness in general, and of the present distress in particular? Then let no individual attempt to clear himself from the dreadful charge of being accessary to it. Let no one presume to look on himself as unconcerned and innocent. Let no one “ wipe his mouth and say, What harm have I done ?” but rather let him know that his sin in particular has added to the general account, and not a little contributed to the fierceness of the divine contention. I say “divine contention;" and such doubtless it is, though in general we conceive it merely human. But the latter is the effect only of the former, and should never be forgotten. It demands our first and most serious attention, being the first and principal means of restoring the wished for peace, and greatly desired reconciliation. For this is no other than to make God himself our friend ; and, “ if he be for us, who can be against us?" Let us do this therefore without delay. Let every one remember his own sin, and not his neighbour's.

Let us follow the example of the Ninevites. Let us “break off our sins by repentance." Let us " observe such a fast as God hath chosen.” (And, 0, what need of a national fast at this juncture !) “ Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Spare" (not destroy) “ thy people, O Lord ;” and “ "give not thine heritage to reproach, that the Heathen should rule over them, and say, Where is their God? Then will the Lord by jealous for his land, and pity his people.” But should this spirit of universal humiliation fail, and consequently the Divine favour upon our land, let not the

seed of Abraham faint, neither let them be dismayed. Their humiliation and intercession shall be remembered. It cannot be forgotten; and, if Sodom is not spared for their sake, they themselves shall nevertheless be spared, “ as a man spareth his own son that serveth him: God will make a difference between him that serveth him, and him that serveth him not."

Strong is his arm, and shall fulfil

His great decree and sovereign will. “ Fear not,” therefore, ye “ little flock,” if the overflowing scourge should come. But " enter ye into the rock, and hide ye for a little moment in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity : the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain !"




Friends AND COUNTRYMEN,-1. About a year and a half ego, being exceedingly pained at what I saw or heard continually, I wrote a little tract entitled, “ A Calm Address to our American Colonies ;” but the ports being just then shut up by the Americans, I could not send it abroad as I designed. However, it was not lost; within a few months, fifty, or perhaps a hundred thousand copies, in newspapers and otherwise, were dispersed throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The effect exceeded my most sanguine hopes. The eyes of many people were opened; they saw things in a quite different light. They perceived, and that with the utmost clearness, how they had been hoodwinked before. They found, they had been led unawares into all the wilds of political enthusiasm, as far distant from truth and common sense, as from the real love of their country.

2. I am encouraged hereby to address myself once more, not indeed to my countrymen afar off, but to you who remain in your native land, who are inhabitants of Old England. I have no private views in doing this. I attend no great man's table. I have nothing to ask, either of the king, or any of his ministers. You may easily believe this; for if I had sought wealth or preferment half a century ago, I should hardly think it worth while to seek it now, when I have one foot in the grave. But I have a view to contribute all that in me lies to the public welfare and tranquillity. A flame was studiously kindled some time since, which threatened to involve the whole nation. By the blessing of God, it is greatly checked; it does not spread, or blaze as formerly. But it is not quite put out. I wish to quench the remains of that evil fire.

3. My view is, as far as is possible, to lessen, if not remove, the misunderstandings under which many honest, well-meaning men are labouring to this day; misunderstandings, which have caused much animosity, nay, much bitterness and rancour in their minds, against those who equally " strive to have a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man.” I would fain have all these duly sensible of the blessings which they enjoy; that they may be thankful to the Giver of every blessing, and may love one another as he has loved us.

4. Surely every man of candour and humanity must wish well to such an attempt; in the prosecution of which I will first endeavour to set down, in as plain and artless a manner as I can, according to the best light I have, the real state of those affairs which have occasioned these misunderstandings; and then add two or three short reflections, which I conceive naturally deducible therefrom.

5. And, First, I will set down, in as plain and artless a manner as I can, according to the best light I have, the real state of those affairs which have occasioned these misunderstandings. I have perhaps had some means of information which many others have not had. Over and above those accounts which have been published, I have had abundance of letters from persons in America, on whose judgment, veracity, and impartiality I could safely depend; especially from the provinces of New-York, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. I have likewise had the opportunity of conversing freely and largely with many that came from those provinces, and of comparing together the accounts of those who were attached to one or the other party. And I shall endeavour to deliver the plain facts, without speculations concerning them.

6. In the year 1737, my brother took ship, in order to return from Georgia to England. But a violent storm drove him up to New England, and he was for some time detained at Boston. Even then he was surprised to hear the most serious people, and men of consequence, almost continually crying out, “ We must be independent; we shall never be well, till we shake off the English yoke." This sounded exceeding strange to him; as he could not form any imagination, that they could be happier under any government, than the mild one which they then enjoyed.

A gentleman, who spent some time at Boston in the year 1739, informed me that he had frequently heard the very same conversation there ; although at that time the people only spake what they had long and eagerly desired; but, it seems, without any formed design, or having concerted any measures upon the head.

7. Almost from their settlement in the country, but more especially from this time, the people of this, as well as the other provinces, multiplied exceedingly. This was the natural effect of the unparalleled lenity of the government they were under, and the perfect liberty they enjoyed, civil as well as religious. Through the same causes, from the smallness of their taxes, and the large bounties continually reccived from their mother country, (which also protected them from all their enemies,) their wealth increased as fast as their numbers. And, together with their number and their wealth, the spirit of independency increased also. At the same time, it could not be but their shipping would increase in the same proportion with their trade, which was now extended not only through America, and not only through Great Britain and Ireland, but also (notwithstanding the act of navigation) through almost every part of Europe.


8. Much more wealth was accumulated in the numerous seaport towns, by defrauding his majesty of his customs. This was continually done, not only by stealth, but' frequently with a high hand. Whole ship loads of uncustomed goods were imported, particularly at Boston, and that at noon-day. And it is notorious, that one of the greatest dealers in this kind was the celebrated Mr. Hancock. It is true, this now and then met with some check from his majesty's officers; but it was so little, it scarce deserves the naming. However, little as it was, they bore it not without huge indignation, and strong marks of resentment. And, whenever a matter of this kind came before an American jury, (which could not but frequently be the case,) it was easy to foresee the

The officer was sure to have his labour for his pains; for they were too good patriots to condemn their countrymen ! By this means the customs of North America, which ought to have brought in so considerable a sum as would have gone far toward defraying the expense of the government, were reduced to a very small pittance.

9. In consideration of this, the English government a few years ago thought it equitable to lay a small duty upon the stamps in America, in order, if not to bear themselves harmless, yet to lessen their burden. Immediately a cry arose, as if all America was just going to be swallowed up. It was echoed across the Atlantic ocean, from America to England. The patriots (so they styled themselves) in England eagerly joined the cry, and spared no labour and no expense to propagate

it throughout the nation. Do you suppose they did this out of stark love and kindness to the poor, ruined Americans? No such matter. They understood the case too well; they knew they cried before they were hurt. But they laid hold on this as a fair occasion to throw an aspersion on those that were in power, being very willing, and supposing themselves very worthy, to supply their place. However, the ministry finding the clamour increasing, and the storm spreading on both sides the ocean, were persuaded to give way to the torrent. They did so; and the stamp act was repealed.

10. The American leaders now apprehending that they had a sufficient number of fast friends in England, began to entertain higher designs; the New England men in particular. They had no longer any thing to fear from Canada, which the English had conquered for them. And they had nothing to fear from England, when they judged their allies were growing stronger and stronger. They therefore paved the way for the execution of their favourite scheme; first, by diligently cultivating the republican notions which they had received from their forefathers; and then by speaking and writing in the most contemptuous and reproachful manner of the English government.

11. Soon after, it being thought reasonable, that every part of the British empire should furnish its share of the general expense, the Eng. lish parliament laid a small duty on the tea imported into America. Aga n a violent outcry arose, and was studiously propagated through all the provinces. It was no less diligently spread throughout England. And as they judged the time was now come to advance a little farther, the leading men, both at home and abroad, began more and more confi. dently to assert, " that the English had no right to tax the American colonies." The asserters of this new position in England strongly

exhorted those in America to withstand what they were pleased to call this illegal, unconstitutional oppression.” Thus encouraged, the Bostonians, under the auspices of Mr. Hancock, (whose interest was particularly at stake,) scorning to do any thing secretly, paraded the town at noon day with colours flying, and bravely threw the English tea into the sea. This was the first plain overt act of rebellion, not of a few, but of the town of Boston. Reparation of the wrong was demanded; but it was not obtained. Till it should be obtained, the parliament ordered Boston harbour to be shut up.

12. But things were not yet ripe for an open rupture: therefore the Americans still gave the government good words. They professed their loyalty, their great regard for the king, and their desire of obeying all his legal commands. But all this time they were using all possible art and diligence to blacken, first the ministry, after a time the parliament too, and then the king himself. Of this I had a clear and particular account from a friend in Pennsylvania, who then observed a storm rising in the north, and moving on toward the southern colonies. And it moved on apace. A new supreme power, called a Congress, appeared. It openly assumed the reins of government, exercised all the rights of sovereignty, burst all the bands, and totally disclaimed the authority both of king and parliament.

13. But still the Americans talked of allegiance, and said they desired nothing but the liberty of Englishmen. Many in England cordially believed them; I myself for one. And many more (though they saw deeper ; perhaps were in the secret) affected to believe them, defended them with all their might, and pleaded their cause, in public and private, as honest, upright men, who only withstood oppression, and desired nothing but what was their legal right.

14. While we were warmly debating these things in England, the Americans, believing matters were now in a proper forwardness, wholly threw off the mask, openly took up arms, seized upon his majesty's stores and ships, and avowed themselves to be sovereign states, independent on Britain or any other. And herein they were still vehemently encouraged by their numerous friends in England. Some of these (and they were persons of no mean account) wrote them letters, (which were carefully sent by the congress through all the provinces,) nearly in these words: “ Make no concessions ; give up nothing. Stand your ground. Be resolute, and, you may depend upon it, in less than a year and a half, there will be such commotions in England, that the government will be glad to be reconciled to you upon your own terms.”

15. One might have imagined, for some time, that this was a true prophecy. Many warm men at home laboured to embarrass the government in all its measures. They spoke all manner of evil of the ministry. They made the keenest reflections on the parliament; and, when they had whetted themselves and one another, they spared not the king himself. Meanwhile, they were so wonderfully tender of the Americans, that they would not in any wise term them rebels, though they were in open arms against their lawful sovereign. And all this time, whatsoever was undertaken against them went on heavily. The king's troops were either detained in the harbours, or stopped in their passage by contrary winds. Some of the transports, and abundance of other ships, fell into

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