Page images
PDF
EPUB

ters one of our cabins, we'all treat him as I do you ; we dry him if he is wel, we warm him if he is cold, and give hiro meat and drink, that he may allay his thirst and hunger; and we spread soft fürs for him to rest and sleep on: we demand nothing in return.*. But if I go into a white man's house at Albany, and ask for victnals and drink, they say, Where is your money! and if I have none, they say, Get out, you Indian dog. You see that they have not learned thos Ittle good things that we need no meetings to be in structed in, because our mothers taught them u when we were children ; and therefore it is impos sible their meetings should be, as they say, for any such purpose, or have any such effect; they are only to contrive the cheating of Indians in the price of beaver."

It is remarkable that, in all ages and countries, hospitality has been allowed as the virtue of :bose, whom the civilized were plasseu to call barbarians; the Greeks celebraced the Scythians for it; the Saracens possessed it erineatly; and it is to this dof the reigniug virtue of the wid Arabs. St. Paul, too, in the criation of ha! voyage and ship #reck, on the island of Melita, sayr, The barbarous people showed us ao utile siodness; for they kiudled a fire, and received us avery one, because of the present nato, and because of the cold." This note is takes Tom a slaall collection of Frank Na'r paperi, printed iar Dilly

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

London, October 2, 1770. I ser, with pleasure, that we think pretty much alike on the subjects of English America. We of tho colonies have never insisted that we ought to be exempt from contributing to the common expenses ne. cessary to support the prosperity of the empire. We only assert, that having parliaments of our own, and not having representatives in that cf Great Britain, our parliaments are the only judges of what we can and what we ought to contribute in this case; and that the English parliament has no right to take our inoney without our consent. In fact, the British empire is not a single state; 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 no do so, then it has to tax Hanover. We have the same king, but not the same legislatures.

The dispute between the ‘wo countries has already lost England many millions sterling, which it has lost in its commerce, and America bas in this respect Deen a proportionable gainer. This commerce consisted principally of superfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the resolution we have formed of importing no more till our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our infant manufacturers to take root; and it will not be easy to make our people abandon them in future, even shouid a connexion inore cordial than ever succeed the present troubles.--I have, indeed, no doubt, that the parliament of England will finally abandon its present pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoynient of our rights and priviloges.

B. FRANKLIN

A Comparison of the Conduct of the Anciml Jews,

and of the Antifederalists in the United States of America. A ZEALOUS advocate for the proposed Federal Core stitution in a certain public assembly said, that “tho repugnance of great part of mankind to good govern ment was such, that he believed that if an angel from there for our use, it would nevertheless

meet with violent opposition.”—He was reproved for the supe posed extravagance of the sentiment; 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 histories, the Holy Bible; otherwise he might as it seems to me, have supported his opinion by that unexceptionable authority.

The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive providenice, until it became a great people: and having rescued thein from bondage by many miracles performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance; accompanied and sanctionea. with promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedience or disobedierice.

This constitution, 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 execu ion but by means of his ministers: Aaron and his sous were commissioned to be, with Moses, the first established ministry of the new government.

One would have thought, that the appointment of men, who had distinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their nation, and had hazardec their lives in openly opposing the will of a powerful mo. narch who wuuid have retained that nation in sla. very, miglis have been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people, and that a constitution framed for then by the Deity himself, might on that account have been secure of an universal welcome reception. Yat there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, some discontented, restless spirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new govern. ment, and this from various motives.

Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity; and these, whenever they felt any nconvenience or hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of situation, ex. claimed against their leaders as the authors of their trouble; and were not only for returning into Egypt, but för stoning their deliverers.* Those inclined to idolatry were displeased that their golden caif was destroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new con. stitution might be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable piaces would be engrossed by the families and friends of Moses and Aaron, and others equally well born excluded.t-In Josephus, and the Talmud, we learn some particulars, not so fully narrated in the Scripturs. We are there told, " that Korah was ambitious of the priesthood; and offended that it was conferred on Aaron; and this, as he said, by the authority of Moses only, without the consent of the people. He accused Moses of hav. ing, by various artificers, fraudulently obtained the government, and deprived the people of their liber. ties; and of conspiring with Aaron to perpetuate the tyranny in their faini.y. Thus, though Korah's real motive was the supplanting of Aaron, he persuaded the people that he meant only the public good : and they, moved by his insinuations, began to cry out

Let us maintain the coinmon liberty of our respeco io tribes; we have freed ourselves from the slavery

Numbers, chap. xiv.

Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. " And they gathered themselves together again Moses and against Aaron, and aid unto them, Y. bake too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, very one of them, --wherefore then lift je up your ciru aburo the congregation 7"

[ocr errors]

imposed upon us by the Egyptians, and shall we puffer ourselves to be made slaves by Moses? If we must have a master, it were better to return to Pha. raoh, who at least fed us with bread and onions, than to serve this new tyrant, who by his operations has brought us into danger of famine.' Then they called in question the reality of his conferences with God; and objected to the privacy of the meeting, and the preventing any of the people from being present at the colloquies, or even approaching the place, as grounds of great suspicion. They accused Moses al. so of peculation; as embezzling part of the golden spoons and the silver chargers, that the princes had offered at the dedicaticn of the altar,* and the offer. ings of gold by the common people,t as well as most of the poll-tax ;f and Aaron they accused of pocketing inucii of the golu of which he pretended to have made a molten calf. Besides peculation, they charg. ed Moses with anbition; to gratify which passion, he had, they said, deceived the people, by promising to bring thein to a land flowing with milk and honey: instead of doing wnich, he had brought them from such a land; and that he thought light of all this mischicf, provided he could make himself an abso. lute prince.l. That to support the new dignity with splendour in his family, the partial poll-tax already levied and given to Aaror:S was to be followed by a generalone, ** which would probably be augmented from ime to time, if he were suffered to go on promulgatng new laws on pretence of new occasional revela. ions of the Divine will, till their whole fortunes were devoured by that aristocracy."

• Numbers, ebap. vii.
| Exodus chap. xxv. ver. 22.

Numbers, chap. iit. ind Exodus, chap. xII.
11 Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 13. "Is it a small thing that the
bast brought us up out of a land Aowing with milk and honey, to kill
u in this willes agn, except that thou make thyself altogether s
prince over us !"
Nuraben, shap, iii.

** Esodus, cap. 26

« PreviousContinue »