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From this extract it appears, that Cromwell, like Dr. Price, rode the great horse Religion, as well as the great horse Liberty; and that the best way to counter-work the enthusiasm of patriotic religionists, is to do Constitutional Liberty and Scriptural Religion full justice, by defending the former against the attacks of despotic monarchs on the right hand, and despotic mobs on the left, and by preserving the latter from the opposite onsets of profane infidels on the left hand, and enthusiastical religionists on the right. I humbly hope, that our governors will always so avoid one extreme, as not to run into the other; and that, at this time, they will so
which conquered him, when he had conquered others. He thought that he had hitherto done well; that none but God had made him great; that if the war was lawful, the victory was lawful; that if it was lawful to fight against the king and conquer him, it was lawful to use him as a conquered enemy; and that it would be a foolish thing to trust him, when they had so provoked him. Hereupon he joined with that party in the parliament, who were for cutting off the king, and raised with them the Independents and sectaries in the army, city, and country, to make a faction. Accordingly he modelled the army, disbanded the forces which were like to have hindered his design, pulled down the Presbyterian majority in parliament-and then the parliament; being the more easily persuaded that all this was lawful, because he had a secret eye to his own exaltation; thinking that when the king was gone, a government there must be, and that no man was so fit for it as himself -Having thus forced his conscience to justify all his cause, he thought that the end being good and necessary, the necessary means could not be bad. And accord. ingiy, he gave his interest leave to tell him, how far promises and vows should be kept or broken.-Hence he thought secrecy a virtue, dissimulating no vice, and a lie, or pertidiousness, tolerable in case of necessity. His name stands as a monitory monument to posterity, to teil them the instability of man in strong temptations ;-what great success can do to lift up the mind ;-what pride can do to make man selfish; what selfishness can do to bribe the conscience, corrupt the judgment, and make men justify the greatest sins ;-and what bloodshed and great enormities a deluded judgment may draw men into.”-Hence it appears, candid Mr. Baxter believed, that Cromwell was once a good and pious man, who fell from God's fear into complicated wickedness, through the external allurements of success and ambition, and through the inter
guard against the very appearances of irreligion and immorality, as to leave Doctor Price, so far as in them lies, no room to injure our cause by arguments taken from our want of devotion, and of a strict regard to sound morals. What we owe to God, to ourselves, and to the Colonists, calls upon us to remove whatever may give any just offence to those who seek occasion to reflect upon
T'he Colonists narrowly watch us—Let their keen inspection make us diligently watch ourselves.
Let us especially take care neither to embezzle, nor misapply the national income. But, as faithful guar. dians and stewards of the money raised for the necessary expences of the government, let us (as many as are entrusted with the collecting or expending of that consecrated treasure) shew ourselves to be disinterested, thrifty, and invariably just. Nothing can render our doctrine of taxation odious to conscientious people, but a needless rigour in the collecting, and a wanton profusion in the spending of the public revenue.
I know that uneasy men, intent opon sedition and revolt, are apt to say whatever can palliate their crime. The least mis. demeanor of individuals, let it be ever so much hid from, or disapproved of by our governors, will always appear to such men a sufficient reason to pour floods of reproach upon the administration. Thus, if we may depend upon the St. James's Chronicle, “ Doctor Franklin, a member of the American Congress, insi. nuates, that the government is made detestable by governors, who, when they have crammed their coffers, and made themselves so odious to the people, that they can no longer remain among them with safety to their persons, are recalled, and rewarded with pensions : That the produce of the taxes is not applied to the defence of the provinces, and the better support of government; but bestowed where it is not necessary, in augmenting salaries or pensions; and that a board of officers com. posed of the most indiscreet, ill-bred, and insolent men that can be found, live in open, grating luxury upon the sweat and blood of the industrious, whom they worry with groundless and expensive prosecutions,
before arbitrary revenue-judges." I hope, for the honour of the administration, that prejudice guided Dr. Franklin's pen, when it drept these invidious hints. Should we have given them any just ground of complaint, it becomes us to remove it with all speed : Setting our seal to the noble maxim, which Dr. Price advances after Lord Chatham, Rectitude is dignity. Oppression only is meanness; and Justice, honour.
• Righteousness exalteth a nation,' says the wise man, but sin is a reproach to any people,' and may prove the ruin of the most powerful empire. Violence brought on the deluge. Luxury overthrew Sodom. Cruel usage of the Israelites destroyed Egypt. Complete wickedness caused the extirpation of the Canaanites. Impe- ' riousness, and an abuse of the power of taxation, rent ten tribes from the kingdom of Judah. Pride sunk Babylon. Nineveh and Jerusalem, by timely repentance, once reversed their awful doom ; but returning to their former sins, they shared at last the fate of all the States, which have filled up the measure of their iniqui. ties.-And have we taken so few strides towards that awful period, as to render national repentance needless in this day of trouble ? By fomenting contentions and wars among the natives of Africa, in order to buy the prisoners whom they take from each other ; have not some of our countrymen turned Africa into a field of blood ? Do not the sighs of myriads of innocent nee groes, unjustly transported from their native country to the British dominions, call night and day for vengeance upon us; whilst their groans upbraid the hypocritical friends of liberty, who buy, and sell, and whip their fellow men as if they were brutes; and absurdly complain that they are enslaved, when it is they themselves, who deal in the liberties and bodies of men, as graziers do in the liberties and bodies of oxen ?
And is what I beg leave to call our Nabob-trade in the East, more consistent with humanity, than our Slave. trade in the South and West? Who can tell how many myriads of men have been cut off in the East Indies
tion, covetousness, and cruelty of some of our country men ? And if no vindictive notice has been taken o these barbarous and bloody scenes, has not the nation made them in some degree her own ? And does not that innocent blood, the price of which has been im. ported with impunity, and now circulates through the kingdom to feed our luxury-does not all that blood, I say, speak louder for vengeance against us, than the blood of Abel did against his murderous brother? " The justice of the nation,” says Doctor Price, “ has slept over these enormities: Will the justice of heaven sleep ?"- No: but it still patiently waits for our reformation ; nor will it, I hope, wait in vain ; but if it does, the suspended blow will in the end descend with redoubled force, and strike us with aggravated ruin. For God will be avenged on all impenitent nations : He has one rule for them and for individuals ; • Except they repent,' says Christ himself, they shall all likewise perish.'
Let our devotion be improved by the American controversy, as well as our morals. Instead of “ scoffing at religion,” as Doctor Price says we do, let us honour the piety of the Colonists. So far at least, as their reli. gious professions are consistent, sincere, and scriptural, let them provoke us to a rational concern for the glory of God, and our eternal interests. Were we to contend with our American Colonies for supremacy in virtue and devotion, how noble would be the strife! How worthy of a Protestant kingdom, and a mother-country! And does not political wisdom, as well as brotherly love, require us to do something in order to root up their inveterate prejudices against us and our church? Have we forgotten, that many of the first Colonists crossed the Atlantic for conscience' sake: Seeking in the woods of America, some, a shelter against our once persecuting hierarchy; and others, a refuge from our epidemical profaneness ? And does not their offspring look upon us in the same odious light, in which Doctor Price places us? Do they not abhor or despise us, as impious, im. moral men, “ enervated by luxury;" men, with whom
it is dangerous to be connected, and who “may expect calamities, that shall recover to reflection (perhaps to devotion) libertines and Atheists” themselves ?
And is it only for God's sake, for the sake of our own souls, and for the sake of the Colonists, that we should look to our conduct and Christian profession ? Are there not multitudes of rash religionists in the kingdom, who suppose that all the praying people in England are for the Americans, and who warmly espouse their part, merely because they are told that the Colonists “ fast and pray,''
;" while “we forget every thing serious and decent,” and because prejudiced teachers confidently ask, with Dr. Price, " Which side is Providence likely to favour?”–Would to God, that all our legislators felt the weight of this objection which can as easily mislead moral and religious people in the present age, as it did in the last ! Would to God, they would exert themselves in such a manner, that all upprejudiced men might see the king and parliament have “the
as well as “the better cause!”– Would to God, that by timely reformation, and solemn ad. dresses to the throne of grace, we might convince Doctor Price, and all the Americans, that in submitting to the British legislature, they will not submit to libertinism and atheism, but to a venerable body of virtuous and godly senators, who know that the first care of God's representatives on earth—the principal study of political gods, should be to promote God's fear, by setting a good example before the people committed to their charge, and by steadily enforcing the observance of the moral law !
I need not tell you, Sir, what effect this would have on our pious American brethren. You feel it in your own breast. The bare idea of such a reformation softens your prejudices. Were it to take place, it would overcome Dr. Price himself. Pious joy would set him upon writing as warmly for the Government, as he had done against it; and in the midst of his deep repentance for the dangerous errors he has published, he would have