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tants Puritans against the Church and Government of England. Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum!
II. That the natural rights of man, are the rights of man in a state of nature only: that is, of man considered as an unsociable independent savage. These are, the rights of eating, drinking, sleeping, hunting, fishing, propagating his species, whipping his children, and defending himself against wild men and wild beasts.
III. That as soon as man becomes a member of society, and property is divided by authority, and secured by laws; he is bound as a moral agent. If he takes a vay the properly of another man against law, he is a thief: if he takes away the life of another man without law, he is a murderer, and the law hangs him. All his natural rights are under restraint, and he cannot exercise them at his will, for fear of an executive power, ordained to prevent it. They are now no longer natural, but are changed into civil rights.
IV. That upon the reception of the Christian Religion, natural rights are farther restrained by the divine authority of the ten commandments; which forbid robbery, murder, false witness, disobedience, and even the desire of another Rights. : 459 man's property : and man himself rises from a moral, into a religious agent. And no Christian is a good Christian until he acts in obedience to God as the Supreme Lawgiver, and obeys the laws of man for God's sake.
V. That therefore, if any member of a Christian Society now pleads his natural rights, he thereby declares, that he intends to break through the laws of civil society, and the restraints of religion, and go back, as fast as he can, to the state of nature ; that is, to reduce things, if he and his fellows shall be able, to a political chaos, or state of anarchy, under which there shall be no distinction of right, or property, but such as they themselves shall be pleased to settle. To presume that property is vested in the nation at large, is in virtue of no law existing in the world, nor any charter but that of Belzebub.
If all the beasts of the forest and the desart were mingled into one society with sheep, goats, oxen, and horses ; against which God's providence hath wisely provided; Common Sense foresees what must happen, when they begin to pursue and exercise their common rights. The swine would make his part good by his impudence ; and his hard snout would lay waste our fields and gardens at his pleasure. Foxes and other vermin would no longer be thieves, because there would be no law to make them such : they would take what they wanted by natural right. The wolves would scatter the sheep and tear them in pieces. The dogs, having no master to encourage and direct them, would forget their duty and join the enemy: and thus the best part of the animal creation would become a prey to the worst. The dogs might perchance quarrel with a wolf; but as this would happen, not out of friendship to the sheep, but only out of hatred to the wolves, the the poor sheep would be no gainers. All these circumstances will hold good in human society : for mankind, like other creatures, are distinguished by birth, humour, and education, into the wild and the tame, the cunning and the simple, the peaceable and the rebellious, the temperate and the insatiable, the harmless and the blood-thirsty ; and have no more claim to the exercise of common rights than the beasts have: of which the absurdity is so plain, that to show it is to prove it: and if any man asserts common rights in a civilized country where laws are established, a trap should be set for him as for other termin.
Upon the whole ; as it is best for the beasts that they should be under man ; so it is best for man that he should be under God; and under Laws divine and human : If he knows his own interest, he will plead for a due distinction of rights, and defend them to the last drop of his blood: he will say and do all he can to strengthen the hands of the government under which he lives, in return for the security he enjoys.
Happy is he who is made wise by seeing misery in others, rather than by feeling it in himself.— Instat lupus, caveat grex : the wolf is at hand, let the sheep look to themselves : and, above all, let them beware of wolves in sheep's or shepherds' clothing.
December 12, 1792.
ONE ONE PENNY-WORTH OF TRUTH.
Thomas Bull to his Brother John.
..DEAR BROTHER, THERE has always been such a good understanding between us, that you and I can speak our minds freely to one another. Our father, you know, always maintained the character of a blunt, honest, sensible man; and our mother was as good a sort of woman as ever lived. They gave us the best teaching they could afford, and the neighbours have never counted us fools. But some people are taking great pains to make us so, and rogues into the bargain. They have tried their skill upon me, and so they will upon you ; but I write you this letter to give you warning, that you may look to yourself. For it seems, John, you and I are now to learn every thing from those conceited monkeys the French. Nobody knows any thing now but they, and some Englishmen at