« PreviousContinue »
= none, they fay, Get out, you Indian dog. "You fee they have not yet learned those little good things that we need no meetings to be in"tructed in, becaufe our mothers taught them "to us when we were children; and therefore it "is impoffible their meetings fhould be, as they "fay, for any fuch purpose, or have any fuch "effect; they are only to contrive the cheating of "Indians in the price of beaver."
TO MR. DUBOURG,
CONCERNING THE DISSENSIONS BETWEEN
London, October 2, 1770.
I SEE with pleasure that we think pretty much alike on the fubjects of English America. We of the colonies have never infifted that we ought to be exempt from contributing to the common expences neceffary to fupport the profperity of the empire. We only affert, that having parliaments of our own, and not having reprefentatives in that of Great Britain, our parliaments are the only judges of what we can and what we ought to contribute in this cafe; and that the English parliament has no right to take our money without our confent. In fact the British empire is not a fingle ftate; it comprehends many; and though the parliament of Great-Britain has arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do fo, than it has to tax Hanover. We have the fame king, but not the fame legiflatures.
The dispute between the two countries has already loft England many millions sterling, which it has loft in its commerce, and America has in this respect been a proportionable gainer. This commerce confifted principally of fuperfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the refolution we have formed of importing no more till our grievances are redreffed, has enabled many of our infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be eafy to make
make our people abandon them in future, even fhould a connection more cordial then ever fucceed the prefent troubles. I have, indeed, no doubt that the parliament of England will finally abandon its prefent pretenfions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and pri vileges.
A Comparison of the Conduct of the Ancient JEWS, and of the ANTIFEDERALISTS in the United States of AMERICA.
A ZEALOUS advocate for the proposed Federal Constitution in a certain public affembly, faid, that" the repugnance of a great part of mankind "to good government was fuch, that he believ"ed, that if an angel from heaven was to bring "down a conftitution formed there for our use, it "would nevertheless meet with violent oppofiti"on."-He was reproved for the fuppofed extravagance of the fentiment; and he did not justify it, -Probably it might not have immediately occurred to him that the experiment had been tried, and that the event was recorded in the most faithful of all hiftories, the Holy Bible; otherwise he might, as it seems to me, have fupported his opinion by that unexceptionable authority.
The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourifh up a fingle family, by continued acts of his attentive Providence, 'till it became a great people and having refcued them from bondage by many miracles performed by his fervant Mofes, he perfonally delivered to that chofen fervant, in prefence of the whole nation, a conftitution and code of laws for their obfervance; accompanied and fanctioned with promifes of great rewards, and threats of fevere punishments, as the confequence of their obedience or difobedience.
This conftitution, though the Deity himself was to be at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers a Theocracy) could not be carried into execution but by the means of his minifters; Aaron and his fons were therefore commiffioned
commiffioned to be, with Mofes, the first establifhed miniftry of the new government.
One would have thought, that the appointment of men who had diftinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their nation, and had hazarded their lives in openly oppofing the will of a powerful monarch who would have retained that nation in flavery, might have been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people; and that a conftitution, framed for them by the Deity himself, might on that account have been secure of an univerfal welcome reception. Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, fome discontented, reftlefs fpirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new government, and this from various motives.,
Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity, and thefe, whenever they felt any inconvenience or hardfhip, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of fituation, exclaimed against their leaders as the authors of their trouble; and were not only for returning into Egypt, but for ftoning their deliverers*. Thofe inclined to idolatry were dif pleased that their golden calf was deftroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new conftitution might be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable places would be engroffed by the families and friends of Mofes and Aaron, and others equally well-born excluded +.-In Jofephus, and the Talmud, we learn fome particulars, not fo fully narrated in the scripture. We are there
Numbers, chap. xiv.
Numbers, chap. xvi. yer. 3. "And they gathered "themselves together against Mofes and against Aaron, and "faid unto them, ye take too much upon you, feeing all the congregations are holy, every one of them,-wherefore "then lift ye up yourfelves above the congregation."