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he makes about liberty, he only leads us to a liberty, which is as far from what he calls complete liberty, as a single unit is far from nine millions ? And that he brings us as near the state which you are pleased to call abject slavery, as having only one share of that part of the legislative power, which is lodged in the house of commons, out of nine millions of shares, is near to having nothing to do with legislation at all? If these observations be just, is it not evident, Sir, that your doctrine of civil liberty rests on frivolous and irrational refinements, as well as your American patriotism ?
Permit me to make one more remark upon taxation. Page 117, I have quoted you and Doctor Price, who both agree to mention an act of parliament, where ** certain duties, &c., are said to be given and granted by the parliament to the king.” Looking now into your pamphlet, I take notice, that you put the words given and granted in italics. Should you do it to insi. nuate, that the taxes which we pay are not a debt, but a free-gift from us and our fellow-subjects; permit me, sir, to answer your indirect argument by observing, that the legislative power being chiefly lodged in the Parliament, as the executive power is chiefly lodged in the king;
the legislative power may with propriety give and grant to the executive power the revenue arising from such and such taxes. All that can therefore be reasonably inferred from the two expressions, on which you seem to lay so much stress, is that the legislative power gives and grants supplies to the king, as the first commander of the fleet and army. But to conclude from thence, that taxes are not due by the people to the legislative and protective power, is as absurd, unseriptural, and unconstitutional, as to conclude, that all the freeholders are legislators, that all who have no vote for parliament-men are slaves, and that the supreme and governing power is in the hands of the governed : -Three dangerous opinions these, which are to your levelling patriotism, what the three heads of Cerberus are to that fabulous monster.
Observations on Doctor Price's awful arguments taken from our immorality.—What great share ou national profaneness hod in the ruin of the King, and in the subversion of the Church and State in the days of Cromwell.--It becomes us to obviate the dangerous argument, by which thousands of rash Religionists are seduced into wild Patriotism.
I SHOULD be inexcusable if I concluded my refutation of Doctor Price's antichristian politics without doing him the justice to confess, that he has advanced a Chris. tian argument, which I cannot properly answer, and which is so awful, that it highly deserves the attention of all, who wish well to Church and State: Take it in his own words.-—“ in this hour of tremendous danger, it would become us to turn our thoughts to heaven. This is what our brethren in the Colonies are doing !-From one end of North America to the other, they are fasting and praying. But what are we doing ?-Shocking thought! we are ridiculing them as fanatics, and scoffing at religion. We are running wild after pleasure, and forgetting every thing serious and decent at masquerades. We are gambling in gaming houses; trafficking for boroughs; perjuring ourselves at elections; and selling ourselves for places. Which side then is Providence likely to favour? In America we see a number of rising States in the vigour of youth, &c., and animated by piety. Here we see an old State, &c., inflated and irreligious, enervated by luxury, &c., and hanging by a thread. Can we look without pain on the issue ?”
There is more solidity in this argument, than in all that Doctor Price has advanced. If the Colonists
throng the houses of God, while we throng play-houses, or houses of ill fame ; if they crowd their communiontables, while we crowd the gaming-table, or festal board ; if they pray, while we curse; if they fast, while we get drunk; and keep the sabbath, while we pollute it ; if they take shelter under the protection of heaven, while our chief attention is turned to our hired troops ; Fe are in danger-in great danger. Be our cause ever so good, and our force ever so formidable, our case is bad, and our success doubtful. Nay, the Lord of Hosts, who of old sold his disobedient people into the hands of their unrighteous enemies, to chastise and humble them -this righteous Lord may give success to the arms of the Colonies, to punish them for their revolt, and us for our profaneness. A youth that believes and prays as David, is a match for a giant that swaggers and curses as Goliath. And they that, in the name of the Lord, enthusiastically encounter their enemies in a bad cause, bid fairer for success, than they that, in a good cause, profanely go into the field, trusting only in the apparent strength of an arm of flesh. To disregard the King's righteous commands, as the Colonists do, is bad ; but to despise the first-table commandments of the King of kings, as we do, is still worse. Nor do I see how we can answer it, either to reason or our own consciences, to be so intent on enforcing British laws, and so remiss in yielding obedience to the laws of God. If the capital command, Fear God and honour the King,' could be properly parted, should not every Christian prefer the former part to the latter ? Will our honouring the king, atone for our dishonouring God ?
And can we expect that our loyalty shall make amends for our impiety or lukewarmness ?
Is it not surprising, that amidst all the preparations, which have been made to subdue the revolted Colo. nies, none should have been made to check our open rebellion against God; and that in all national applications to foreign princes for help, we should have forgotten a public application to the Prince of the kings of the earth ? Many well-wishers to their country flattered themselves, that at a time when the British empire stands, as Doctor Price justly observes, “on an edge so perilous,” our superiors would have appointed a day of humiliation and prayer ; a day to confess the national sins, which have provoked God to let loose a spirit of political enthusiasm and revolt upon us ; a day to implore pardon for our past transgressions, and to resolve upon a more religious, and loyal course of life; a day to be. seech the Father of Lights and Mercies to teach, at this important juncture, our senators wisdom in a peculiar manner; and to inspire them with such steadiness and mildness, that by their prudence, courage, and condescension, the war may be ended with little effusion of blood; and, if possible, without shedding any more blood at all. Thousands expected to see such a day ; thinking that it becomes us, as Reformed Christians, nationally to address the throne of grace, and intreat God to turn the hearts of the Colonists towards us, and ours towards them, that we may speedily bury our mutual ani. mosities in the grave of our common Saviour. And not a few supposed, that humanity bids us feel for the myriads of our fellow-creatures, who are going to offer up their lives in the field of battle ; and that charity and piety require us to pray that they may penitently part with their sins, and solemnly prepare themselves for a safe passage, I shall not say from Britain to America ; but, if they are called to it, from time into eternity. Such, I say, were the expectations of thousands, but hitherto their hopes and wishes have been disappointed.
Doctor Price knows how to avail himself of our omission or delay in this respect, to strengthen the hands of the American patriots, by insinuating, that heaven will not be propitious to us, and that “our cause is such as gives us [no] reason to ask God to bless it.” None can tell what fuel this plausible observation of his will add to the wild fire of political enthusiasm, which burns already too fiercely in the breasts of thousands of injudicious religionists. I therefore humbly hope, that our Governors will consider Doctor Price's objection, taken from our immorality and pro.
faneness ; and that they will let the world see, we are neither ashamed nor afraid to spread the justice of our cause before the Lord of Hosts, and to implore his blessing upon the army going to America, to enforce gracious offers of mercy, and reasonable terms of reconciliation.
And why, after all, should we be ashamed of asking help of God, as well as of German princes? Have we never read such awful scriptures these ? "Save us, O King of heaven, when we call upon thee. Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses : But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Blessed be my strong helper, who subdueth the people unto me, and setteth me above mine adversaries. Through thee will we overthrow our enemies, and in thy name will we tread them under that rise against us. For I will not trust in my bow. It is not my sword that shall (comparatively] help me. Be not afraid of this & great. multitude ; for the battle is not yours, but God's. All the assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with the sword and spear : For the battle is the Lord's.'
Our own history, as well as the scripture, confirms Doctor Price's objections, taken from our neglect of the religious means of success in the present contest. It is well known to many, that in the civil wars of the last age, a national disregard of the Lord's day, and the avowed contempt of God's name, which prevailed in the king's party, did him unspeakable injury. For multitudes of men who feared God, seeing profaneness reign in the army of the royalists, while religious duty was solemnly performed by the forces of the Parliament ; and being unable to enter into the political questions, whence the quarrel arose, judged of the cause according to religious appearances ; and sided against the King,
Dr. Price, speaking of the numbers of the'Americans, says, “To think of conquering that whole Continent with thirty or forty thousand men, to be transported across the Atlantic, and fed from hence, and incapable of being recruited after any defeat.-This is folly so great, that language does not afford a name for it."