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Britain ;—to ascertain, in an equitable manner, the quantum of that allowance ;-and to remove their dread of being disproportionably taxed by the most solemn assurances, that their taxes shall always rise or fall in exact proportion to our own, according to the plan laid down in p. 121, 122 ?
I would not carry matters so far as to say, with the poet, Summum jus summa injuria ;S but might I not observe, that parental love, brotherly kindness, and British equity require that some condescension be shewn to the Colonists ? Should not British legislators shew themselves gods, by imitating the God of gods,
Who conquers all, beneath, above,
Whilst the Atlantic foams under the weight of the transports, which carry the troops sent over to subdue the revolted provinces, might not love suspend the destructive stroke and conquer them without farther effusion of blood ? Is their hardness absolutely desperate ? Whilst the sight of a force so superior to that which quelled them at Bunker's Hill, works upon their pru. dence ; and whilst scriptural expostulations enlighten their consciences ; might not some gracious and timely concessions work upon their gratitude, excite their admi. ration, and regain their confidence ? O that you, Sir, and I could imitate those courageous women, who, when the Romans their husbands, and the Sabines their brothers, were going to engage, rushed between the two armies, and so wrought upon them by terider expostulations, that the fierce antagonists, intead of plunging their swords into each other's breasts, fell upon each other's necks, and turned the field of battle into a field of reconciliation! If a Heathen country saw the delightful scene, might not a Christian land behold it also ?
- The pleasing thought transports my mind :-My imagination, warmed by the fond hope, carries me be. yond myself: Methinks I rush between the parliament and the Congress, and after having pleaded the sovereign's cause before the patriots, I plead that of the patriots before the sovereign. Fancying myself at the foot of the throne, and seeing the king raised on high above all the British lawgivers, on my bended knees, from the dust, with trembling awe, I present my bold, mediatorial plea :
0 King, live and reign in righteousness for ever ! And ye, his patrician and & plebeian senators, (help him long to sway the sceptre with Christian gentleness and British fortitude! As his faithful assessors, and partakers with him of the legislative power, firmly support on his royal head the ponderous crown, which gives him the dominion over the British islands, half of the western world, and the whole aqueous globe!One of your adopted subjects, warmed with gratitude for the religious and civil liberty, which he enjoys un. der your mild government; and deeply concerned for your glory and the prosperity of your dominions, intrudes into your awful presence to intercede for his guilty bre
There is a symmetrical excellence in the British Constitution, which escapes the attention of many Britons. I have observed, that the capital business of the parliament is to keep the balance even between the king and the people ; that neither oppressive despotism, (or the tyranny of one,) nor mobbing anarchy, (or the tyranny of many,) may prevail. I now add, that the two houses of parliament are two mediato. rial courts between the king and the people. The house of commons is composed of senators chosen by the pe»ple, to be a check upon the king aud nobles; and the house of lords is composed of senators chosen by the king, to be a check upon the people and their representatives. Hence it appears that the house of lords is peculiarly bound to maintain the prerogatives of the crown, against the encroachments of mobs and mobbing patriots; and that it is the peculiar duty of the house of commons to maintain the privileges of the people, against the encroachments of despots and despotic ministers. In the last century the lords failing in their duty, the balance was broken : The commons prevailed ; and the consequence was what might naturally be expected: The house of lords was set aside, the king beheaded, and the Constitution overthrown. This remarkable event should teach our sena. tors the wisdom peculiarly necessary to a faithful discharge of their high office,
thren. If the King of kings and Lord of lords, vouchsafes to receive his fervent addresses to the throne of grace for you ; do not reject, O ye gods, his humble address for your American Colonies.
It is not my design to extenuate their crime. An ingenuous confession becomes a prostrate suppliant.They have sinned against heaven and against you.-They have preposterously charged you with robbery, when they themselves robbed I God, by keeping 'from his political representatives, the reasonable and legal taxes due to the supreme power :-To a creative and protective power that gave them birth, and raised them from a state of infant weakness and want, to youthful vigour and growing opulence. Their crime is complicate: They have openly encouraged the lawless mobs, which trampled upon your authority, and destroyed the property of your loyal subjects :—They have obstiDately protected felony and sedition :—They have auda. ciously hindered the course of justice:– Their congress has met to oppose your claim of taxation in the capital of that very province, by the express terms of whose charter they are solemnly bound to pay you taxes : They have armed by sea and land to cut off your forces :-And, not satisfied with asserting their assumed supremacy over the revolted provinces, they have aimed at making conquests :— They have completed their guilt by a daring attempt to annex your immense province of Canada to the empire they have newly set up.-And now, what can I say in their behalf ?-My grand plea, Oye insulted powers, is taken from yourselves. As your majesty is, so is your mercy.-Ye are called
I would not dare to use such an expression, if the scriptures did not bear me out. The Lord, speaking by the prophet Malachi, says, • Will a man RUB GOD! Yet ye have ROBBED ME. But ye say, Wherein have we ROBBED THEE? In TITHES.' Mal. iii. 8. I infer from this answer, that if God accounts himself robbed, when tithes are detained from His priests; he does so much more when reasonable and legal taxes are detained from sovereigns his primary representatives, whom he calls his anointed, and to whom he
Christians by the name of the mild Potentate, who in terceded for his mobbing murderers. When they poured floods of contempt upon his royal head :-When they pierced his temples with thorns, his hands with nails, his heart with sarcasms :-And when they prepared to pierce his side with a spear ; even then, he not only forgave them himself, but turned their excuser, and said, " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' The divine plea prevailed. It obtained an evangelical proclamation of pardon on the most conde. scending terms. "Where sin had abounded, there grace did much more abound.' Where rebellion had set up her bloody banner, there mercy gloried to erect her superior standard. Jerusalem, ungrateful, hypocritical rebellious Jerusalem :-Jerusalem, guilty of the mur. der of the King of kings :-Jerusalem, the still rebellious and unrelenting city, was first blessed with the news of a free pardon ; and thousands of relenting rebels submitted to the terms of the gracious proclamation. By this unexpected effort of mercy, the Lord of glory subjugated those stiff religionists. Pardoning love effectually conquered their stubbornness; and a na. tion of loyal subjects was born in a day.
And might ye not, Oye Christian rulers, imitate the Lord of glory without prostituting your dignity ? Directed by the example of our meek Redeemer, might not thy mercy, 0 King, issue out a proclamation of pardon, upon such terms as might raise the astonishment of an Adams and a Washington ? Are Lee and Hancock ficrcer against thee, than Saul of Tarsus was against his Saviour ? Have they breathed out more threatenings and slaugh'er than that enthusiastic zealot, who, not satisfied with his personal contempt of the Lord of lords, compelled others to blaspheme him, and persecuted to death those who would not ? Neverthe. less, when he fell to the ground, mercy raised him up, not only to the dignity of a Christisn, but to that of an apostle: And the service which he did the church in that high office, far exceeded the injury he had done her by his bloody enthusiasm. Could ye not, 0 ye Chris
tian legislators, try the same successful method with your American subjects ? If mercy alone would make them insolent; and if power alone would make them desperate; could not power and mercy, combined by your wisdom, effectually disarm them, and for ever attach them to your steady and mild government ?
Nor will you by this means overcome the Americans alone. You will also disarm the minority of your respectable body, and their numerous partisans in the kingdom. When we are wrongfully accused of intending things we never thought of, does not prudence call upon us to remove the very appearances, by which the charge seems supported ? And how can these appearances be fally removed in the present case, otherwise than by granting your American subjects the privilege of some direct representation, together with some security, that the taxes laid upon them shall always bear an equitable proportion to the taxes laid upon your British subjects ?
Might I not also presume to ask, whether all the grievances complained of are imaginary, and whether no needless provocation has been given them by some of our countrymen, and no secret encouragement by otbers ? Besides, are ye not divided among yourselves? And if ye have taught them the unhappy art of rising against you, by rising against each other, should you not pity them ? And should ye not bear a little with their turbulency, since you are obliged to bear so much from those of your own body, who openly countenance their rash patriotism ?
Again:- If we are the politic parents of the Colonists, are they not entitled to parental indulgence from
My lord the king is an angel of God, to discern good and bad : He knows, and ye, his legislative assessors, know, that political, as well as religious enthusiasm is a fever of the mind, which throws those, who are attacked with it, into a temporary delirium : and that, in the paroxysm, heated religionists and patriots, like delirious people, say and do a thousand things, of which they are ashamed when they come to then selves again. If your own children were dangerously ill and