Modern Conclusion and Application from an ARTICLE SIGNED “VINDEX.”

Modern Conclusion and Application from an ARTICLE SIGNED “VINDEX.”[i]

[Boston Gazette, January 21, 1771.]

The beginning of the article regarded the discussion around the events and trial that you moderns have come to know as the Boston Massacre.  My conclusion to that whole discussion is pertinent to your present arguments over Patriotism.  We too were contending for what that meant.  The Tory’s had an uncompromising view that Patriotism was having ones complete faith in the reigning government in England.  The Colonies, having always had their own Charters that allowed for independent local legislatures, viewed Patriotism to the source of Liberty – that being the Foundations set by the leaders of the Reformation and architects of Liberty like Rutherford – which through the continued raising of the peoples awareness, ensured that the Magna Carta was the core of what We called the Constitution.  Our Rights as Citizens being secured in the English Constitution and Common Law was set all the way back to Alfred the Great in the Principles of Deuteronomy as the core guides to good governance.

With the truth that our Liberties and Rights are absolutely from God and that Rutherford’s Lex Rex[ii] clarified good kings and administrations from bad, we knew what usurpation, tyranny and despotism actually mean.  You moderns still have much to understand in respect to those three words.  Now, I will relate how the conclusion of my Article is relevant to you by bringing your situations into the context of the argument, especially regarding Patriotism.  Modern emphasis is in (parens) and/or italics.

I shall conclude what I have to say in this article, upon this interesting subject in my next article. In the mean time let me assure Philanthrop (a King’s man who would be your modern progressive pundits as with “Media Matters, the statist/progressive radical bureaucrats, NEOCONS and career politicians), that I am fully of his mind, that a true patriot “will not from private views, or by any ways or means foment (instigate or incite) and cherish groundless fears and jealousies”: But perhaps we may not be so well agreed in our determination, when the fears and jealousies of our fellow citizens are groundless – It is I believe the general opinion of judicious men, that at present, even in the 21st Century, there are good grounds to apprehend a settled design, most assuredly through the United Nations, to enslave and ruin the colonies (The united States of and in America); and that some men of figure and station, (educators, career politicians, NGO’s and even religious leaders) in America, have adopted the plan[iii], and would gladly lull the people to sleep, the easier to put it in execution: But I believe Philanthrop would be far from acknowledging that he is of that opinion. The fears and jealousies of the people are not always groundless: And when they become general (when the scandals and plans become greater public knowledge), it is not to be presum’d that they are (real); for the people in general seldom complain, without some good reason. The inhabitants of this continent are not to be dup’d “by an artful use of the words liberty and slavery[iv], in an application to their passions,” as Philanthrop would have us think they are; like the miserable Italians, who are cheated with the names ” Excommunication, Bulls, Crusades,” They can distinguish between “realities and sounds (false flags and rumors)“; and by a proper use “of that reason which Heaven has given them “, they can judge, as well as their betters (those who would be thought more informed, educated or intelligent), when there is danger of slavery. They have as high a regard for George the III. (the office of President but not always the man himself) as others have, & yet can suppose it possible they may be made slaves (the policies of the leadership and administration will us law to destroy the Citizens Rights), without “enslaving themselves by their own folly and madness” (Believing that the elected and bureaucrats would have the same understanding of Rights such that they would recognize that what they legislate would ultimately fall on their heads also, thereby making them slaves to the bad legislation as well); They can believe, that men who “are bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, born and bred among us,” may, like Achan[v], for a wedge of gold (power and money from political gain or ideology), detach themselves from the common interest, and embark in another bottom; in hopes that they, “with their wives and children” will one day stand and see, and enjoy, and triumph, in the ruins of their country: Such instances there have been frequently in times past; and I dare not say, we have not at present, reason enough for “exclaiming with the roman patriot, 0 tempora, 0 mores[vi]“. The true patriot therefore, will enquire into the causes of the fears and jealousies of his countrymen; and if he finds they are not groundless, he will be far from endeavoring to allay or stifle them: On the contrary, constrain’d by the Amor Patrae (Love for ones Country), and from public views, he will by all proper means in his power foment (stir up) and cherish them: He will, as far as he is able, keep the attention of his fellow citizens awake to their grievances; and not suffer them to be at rest, till the causes of their just complaints are removed.

At such a time Philanthrop’s (The King’s man) Patriot may be “very cautious of charging the want of ability or integrity to those with whom any of the powers of government are entrusted”: But the true patriot, will constantly be jealous of those very men: Knowing that power, especially in times of corruption, makes men wanton ((of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked); that it intoxicates the mind; and unless those with whom it is entrusted, are carefully watched, such is the weakness or the perverseness of human nature, they will be apt to domineer over the people, instead of governing them, according to the known laws of the state, to which alone they have submitted. If he finds, upon the best enquiry, the want of ability or integrity; that is, an ignorance of, or a disposition to depart from, the constitution, which is the measure and rule of government & submission, he will point them out, and loudly proclaim them: He will stir up the people, incessantly to complain of such men, till they are either reform’d, or remov’d from that sacred trust (elected office or bureauracracy), which it is dangerous for them any longer to hold.

Philanthrop may tell us of the hazard “of disturbing and inflaming the minds of the multitude whose passions know no bounds”: A traitor to the constitution alone can dread this: The multitude I am speaking of, is the body of the people – no contemptible multitude – for whose sake government is instituted; or rather, who have themselves erected it, solely for their own good – to whom even kings (presidents, judges and congress) and all in subordination to them, are strictly speaking, servants and not masters. “The constitution and its laws are the basis of the public tranquility – the firmest support of the public authority, and the pledge of the liberty of the citizens: But the constitution is a vain Phantom, and the best laws are useless, if they are not religiously observed. The nation ought then to watch, and the true patriot will watch very attentively, in order to render them equally respected, by those who govern, and the people destin’d to obey ” – To violate the laws of the state is a capital crime; and if those guilty of it, are invested with authority, they add to this crime, a perfidious abuse of the power with which they are entrusted: “The nation therefore, the people, ought to suppress those abuses with their utmost care & vigilance” – This is the language of a very celebrated author, whom I dare say, Philanthrop is well acquainted with, and will acknowledge to be an authority.

Philanthrop, I think, speaks somewhat unintelligibly, when he tells us that the well being and happiness of the whole depends upon subordination; as if mankind submitted to government, for the sake of being subordinate: In the state of nature there was subordination: The weaker was by force made to bow down to the more powerful. This is still the unhappy lot of a great part of the world, under government: So among the brutal herd, the strongest horns are the strongest laws. Mankind have entered into political societies, rather for the sake of restoring equality; the want of which, in the state of nature, rendered existence uncomfortable and even dangerous. I am not of leveling (utopian/socialist) principles: But I am apt to think, that constitution of civil government which admits equality in the most extensive degree, consistent with the true design of government, is the best; and I am of this opinion, because I agree with Philanthrop and many others, that man is a social animal. Subordination is necessary to promote the purposes of government; the grand design of which is, that men might enjoy a greater share of the blessings resulting from that social nature, and those rational powers, with which indulgent Heaven has endow’d us, than they could in the state of nature: But there is a degree of subordination, which will for ever be abhorrent to the generous mind; when it is extended to the very borders, if not within the bounds of slavery: A subordination, which is so far from conducing “to the welfare and happiness of the whole”, that it necessarily involves the idea of that worst of all the evils of this life, a tyranny: An abject servility, which instead of “being essential to our existence as a people,” disgraces the human nature, and sinks it to that of the most despicable brute.

I cannot help thinking, that the reader must have observed in Philanthrop’s last performance, that a foundation is there laid for a dangerous superstructure: and that from his principles, might easily be delineated a plan of despotism, which however uncommon it may be, for the laws and constitution of the state to be openly and boldly oppos’d, our enemies have long threatened to establish by violence. If Philanthrop upon retrospection shall think so, he will, like a prudent physician, administer an antidote for the poison: If not, I hope the attention of others will be awakened to that excellent maxim, “no less essential in politicks than in morals”, principiis obsta (Resist the first advances.). It is impolitick to make the first attempt to enslave mankind by force: This strikes the imagination, and is alarming: “Important changes insensibly happen: It is against silent & slow attacks that a nation ought to be particularly on its guard.”

VINDEX.

Jan. 15th.

 


[i] The Writings of Samuel Adams, volume II (1770 – 1773) collected and edited by Harry Alonso Cushing, Pgs. 70 & 71, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2092/pg2092.html            4/16/11 11:41 AM

[ii] Lex, Rex

[iv] Algernon Sydney – Thomas Jefferson regarded John Locke and Algernon Sidney as the two leading sources for the American understanding of the principles of political liberty and the rights of humanity.  Sidney (or Sydney, as it was sometimes spelled) was once a popular hero. Like Socrates, he was famous for his controversial doctrines on government and for a nobility of character displayed during a dramatic trial and execution that was widely regarded as judicial murder. Unlike Socrates, Sidney was emphatically a political man and a partisan of republicanism. For a century and more he was celebrated as a martyr to free government, as Socrates is still celebrated as a martyr to the philosophic way of life. Socrates died the defiant inquirer, who knew only that he did not know the most important things. Sidney, in contrast, the defiant republican, kept getting into trouble for his democratic political views and projects.

Sidney fell out of fashion during the nineteenth century. The educated began to favor statesmen like Cromwell and Napoleon, who relished the exercise of unrestrained power for grand projects in the service of mankind. Scholars have recently shown renewed interest in Sidney as an object of research. But in spite of twentieth-century tyrannies more terrible than any Sidney experienced or read about, he still fails to satisfy the taste of most contemporary intellectuals. This new edition of Discourses Concerning Government may provide an occasion for students of political liberty to reassess Sidney’s eclipse.

[v] See Joshua 22:20, Comments by: James Parsons – http://ibiblestudies.com/auth/parsons/achan%27s_sin_and_achan%27s_end.htm

I..THE PERPETRATION OF SIN. Iniquity is the common characteristic of all mankind: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” But there is before us a reference to one particular act of sin, which, while proceeding from the depraved heart possessed by the perpetrator in common with others, appears to us in prominent and isolated distinction of enormity.
1. The iniquity of Achan was heinous, on account of its intrinsic nature. It was an act of covetousness. He was beguiled by a greedy and unprincipled desire after the attainment and preservation of wealth.
2. The iniquity of Achan was perpetrated against the Divine command, distinctly expressed and amply known.
3. The iniquity of Achan was heinous on account of its attendant dissimulation and attempted concealment.

[vi]O tempora o mores” is a sentence by Cicero in the fourth book of his second oration against Verres (chapter 25) and First Oration against Catiline. It translates as Oh the times! Oh the customs! (Oh what times! Oh what customs!) It is often printed as O tempora! O mores!, with the interposition of exclamation marks (not present in Classical Latin).  Wikipedia contributors, “O tempora o mores!,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=O_tempora_o_mores!&oldid=554203539 (accessed May 25, 2013).

Tyranny By Any Other Name

In a letter to the Town of Plymouth, March 24, 1766, I commented that those in the central government were imposing on us what we saw initially as a form of subtle tyranny and expansion in oppression: I wrote: “In the Times in which we live, even these very Times, (they) may furnish some future Historian with a Catalogue of those (events), who look upon our rising Greatness with an envious eye; and while we and our Sister Colonies, have been exerting our growing Strength in the most substantial services to the Mother Country (the central government), (national politicians) by Art (strategy) and Intrigue (secret plans) have wickedly attempted to deceive her (Parliament) into Measures to enslave us…”  Yet your modern historians have No or little regard to all that was endeavored by our early founders and How our Charters, being the same as your state constitutions, were maligned by those who hated our Christian faith as Puritans to the degree that our Original Charters were annulled in in 1684; and then the central government even turned our merchants into “smugglers” by virtue of the Navigation Acts.  This tyranny, or unreasonable and arbitrary use of power, was an assault on our Religious Liberty, our Commerce, our Manufacturing and on our secured Liberties under the Magna Charta.

My question to you must be: What is Liberty to you moderns?  Do you have any real heart-felt sense of what we viewed Liberty to be?  I am convinced that your view of Liberty is nothing like that which we fought for – humanists have perverted your ideas – whereas we clearly defined our perspective of Liberty based on Covenant ideas as set forth by our Puritan Fathers.  With that foundational idea of Liberty in mind, I continued in the letter to Plymouth, “If then Gentlemen, the Inhabitants of this Metropolis, have discovered an invariable Attachment to the Principles of Liberty, when it has been invaded:  If they have made the most vigorous Exertions for our Country when she has been threatened with the Loss of every Thing that has been dear: If they have used their utmost Endeavors that she may be relieved from those Difficulties, with which She is at this Time embarrassed; If they have taken the Legal and warrantable Measures to prevent that Misfortune of all others the most to be dreaded, the Execution of the Stamp Act; and as a necessary Means of preventing it, have made any Spirited Applications for opening the Custom House and Courts of Justice; If at the same Time they have bore their Testimony against outrageous Tumults and illegal proceedings, and given any Example of the Love of Peace & good order next to the consciousness of having done their Duty is the Satisfaction of meeting with the Approbation of any of their Fellow Countrymen – “

When a central government acts with the form of law to impose the will of a few over the Rights of the Citizenry – This is called Tyranny.  “Where Law ends, (says Mr. Locke) Tyranny begins, if the Law be transgress’d to anothers harm”: During these times of trouble pressed on us by the national government, we had to make decisions as individual communities and as colonies, now states, to not allow the national government to restrict our Rights as citizens and impose fees and taxes that restricted our abilities to commerce, manufacture, print news papers, engage in legal proceedings, educate and suspend virtually every act of living – with out government requiring oversight and payment.  It is obvious that you moderns are facing almost the entire same conundrum from your central government by it wanting to consolidate power and obviate the state charters – state constitutions.

We acted with request for redress and relief from the acts of usurpation and tyrannical impositions.  The use of law to over-regulate and tax is a means of enslavement.  Even more so, when it came to the keeping of the peace in the communities we were for the most part self-policing.  We had no law enforcement other than administratively with the Sheriff.  And, when the law enforcers are militarized, this is a tyranny we lived through as well as central government troops sent to “keep the peace” with the quartering of armed troops in our city.  I noted “No man can pretend to say that the peace and good order of the community is so secure with soldiers quartered in the body of a city as without them. Besides, where military power is introduced, military maxims are propagated and adopted, which are inconsistent with and must soon eradicate every idea of civil government – Do we not already find some persons weak enough to believe, that an officer is obliged to obey the orders of his superior, tho it be even AGAINST the law!”

Militarization of your modern law moderators, law enforcement, is akin to quartering troops within your towns and cities.  This we would have abhorred now as we did in Boston in 1768 and again in 1774.  With this I added in my Article in the Boston Gazette, “And let any one consider whether this doctrine does not directly lead even to the setting up that superior officer, whoever he may be, as a tyrant.  It is morever to be observ’d that military government and civil, are so different from each other, if not opposite, that they cannot long subsist together.  Soldiers (federal agencies like your Department of Homeland Security) are not govern’d properly by the laws of their country (or your State), but by a law made for them only:  This may in time make them look upon themselves as a body of men different from the rest of the people; and as they and they only have the sword (in your day, fully select-fire arms and ammunition) in their hands, they may sooner or later begin to look upon themselves as the LORDS and not the SERVANTS of the people: Instead of enforcing the execution of law, which by the way is far from being the original intent of soldiers (and militarized local law enforcement or federal agents), they may refuse to obey it themselves:  Nay, they may even make laws for themselves and enforce them by the power of the sword (or modern arms)!  Such instances are not uncommon in history, and they always will happen when troops (or militarized police and agents) are put under the direction of an ambitious or a covetous governor (or an appointed government official)!”  You saw and accepted this militarized action in Boston in April 2013! You did not act as a citizenry that understands self-governance but allowed your Liberty to be trampled on for the sake of momentary security.  Mr. Franklin would have retorted that you “deserve neither security or Liberty”!

“…Whenever it becomes a question in prudence, whether we shall make use of legal and constitutional methods to prevent the incroachments of ANY KIND OF POWER, what will it be but to depart from the straight line, to give up the LAW and the CONSTITUTION, which is fixed and stable, and is the collected and long digested sentiment OF THE WHOLE, and to substitute in its room the opinion of individuals, than which nothing can be more uncertain: The sentiments of men in such a case would in all likelihood be as various as their sentiments in religion or anything else; and as there would then be no settled ride for the publick to advert to, the safety of the people would probably be at an end.”  So then your president, who is know to have and stated that he will obviate Congress, in 2013 tells university graduates to fully trust the government and not listen to those that talk about Tyranny.  What a Tory usurper you have elected!  When I presented my Masters thesis in 1743 it was entitled: “Whether it be lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved.”  This challenge was in Respect to all that my Founding Fathers had endured, what I learned from studying Reformation History and leaders such as Knox, Winthrop, Rutherford and others that understood good governance based on Godly principles.  But you reject those principles of this Nations Foundation for the likes of humanist and vain philosophies of Darwin, Marx, Alinsky and their ilk.

Oh my Fellow Citizens, My desire is “That the Spirit of our venerable Forefathers, may revive and be defused through every Community in this Land: That Liberty Civil and Religeous, the grand Object of their View, may still be felt enjoyd & vindicated by the present Generation, and the fair Inheritance, transmitted to our latest Posterity, is the fervent wish of the Metropolis (and this modern nation as a whole).” That you clearly understand, as de Tocqueville described “the softer form of Tyranny” – That hides itself in the words of “elected guardians” encouraging the citizenry to search for false hopes, security and economy – without understanding their Foundational History – becomes known to you if a manner of real oppression such that you will take heart to rise up and demand the Liberty of your Forefathers.  That you will desire this Liberty with such passion that you will Act in your local communities – Restoring true Foundational Principles for yourselves and your posterity.

**Parens and Italics added for modernization and emphasis.

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