Sam Adam Reply to Modern Thespians

Sam Adam Reply to Modern Thespians

 

The moral ineptness of those who claim to be proponents of art are fallacious in the attempts to impact cultural conversion. As to the theatrical, I found that in 1778 this was to be a mixture of gave vanity that Whigs and Tories, being totally incompatible with the present seriousness of the times consorted in amusement. I asked, Who among the Grave and Who among the Whigs, I mean such Whigs as have a feeling for their distressd Country and the Multitudes of distressd Individuals in it, are present at such Entertainmts? I wonder of those who participate in such frivolity, is there a Man who would stand against the folly of subversion and the design of the actors to impede the Virtue and Liberty of the Republic? When entertainers are established as idols and the People set up a so-called Great Peron of their own, their Jealousy of Liberty is asleep, and they are in Danger of a Master.

 

To my friend John Scollay I wrote in 1780 regarding the pomp, which can be pronounced against these modern self-aggrandizing thespians: “Our Government, I perceive, is organizd on the Basis of the new Constitution. I am affraid there is more Pomp & Parade than is consistent with those sober Republican Principles, upon which the Framers of it thought they had founded it. Why should this new AEra be introducd with Entertainments expensive & tending to dissipate the Minds of the People? Does it become us to lead the People to such publick Diversions as promote Superfluity of Dress & Ornament, when it is as much as they can bear to support the Expense of cloathing a naked Army? Will Vanity & Levity ever be the Stability of Government, either in States, in Cities, or what, let me hint to you is of the last Importance, in Families? Of what Kind are those Manners, by which, as we are truly informd in a late Speech, “not only the freedom but the very Existence of Republicks is greatly affected?” HOW fruitless is it, to recommend “the adapting the Laws in the most perfect Manner possible, to the Suppression of Idleness Dissipation & Extravagancy,” if such Recommendations are counteracted by the Example of Men of Religion, Influence & publick Station? I meant to consider this Subject in the View of the mere Citizen. But I have mentiond the sacred Word Religion. I confess, I am surprizd to hear, that some particular Persons have been so unguarded as to give their Countenance to such kind of Amusements. I wish Mr —— would recollect his former Ideas when his Friend Whitfield thunderd in the Pulpit against Assemblies & Balls. I think he has disclaimd Diversions, in some Instances, which to me have always appeard innocent. Has he changd his Opinions, or has the Tendency of things alterd? Do certain Manners tend to quench the Spirit of Religion at one time & are they harmless at another? Are Morals so vague as to be sanctified or dispens’d with by the Authority of different Men? He does not believe this. But I will not be severe, for I love my Friend. Religion out of the Question for the present. It was asked in the Reign of Charles the 2d of England, HOW shall we turn the Minds of the People from an Attention to their Liberties? The Answer was, by making them extravagant, luxurious, effeminate. Hutchinson advisd the Abridgment of what our People called English Liberties, by the same Means. We shall never subdue them, said Bernard, but by eradicating their Manners & the Principles of their Education. Will the judicious Citizens of Boston be now caught in the Snare, which their artful, insidious Enemies, a few years ago laid for them in vain? Shall we ruin ourselves by the very means, which they pointed out in their Confidential Letters, tho even they did not dare openly to avow them? Pownal, who was indeed a mere Fribble, venturd to have his Riots & Routs at his own house, to please a few Boys & Girls. Sober People were disgusted at it, & his privy Councellors never thought it prudent to venture so far as expensive Balls. Our Bradfords, Winslows & Winthrops would have revolted at the Idea of opening Scenes of Dissipation & Folly; knowing them to be inconsistent with their great Design, in transplanting themselves into what they called this “Outside of the World.” But I fear I shall say too much. I love the People of Boston. I once thought, that City would be the Christian Sparta. But Alas! Will men never be free! They will be free no longer than while they remain virtuous. Sidney tells us, there are times when People are not worth saving. Meaning, when they have lost their Virtue. I pray God, this may never be truly said of my beloved Town. Adieu.”

And lastly, “After the organization of the Federal government, the legislative proceedings of the several States assumed a subordinate character. The permission of theatrical representations was one of the local questions in Massachusetts. In 1790 a petition was presented to the Legislature for opening a theatre in Boston, which was rejected. In November of the following year, though many of the old residents, including Myself (Mr. Adams), opposed the proceeding, a town meeting instructed the Boston Representatives to obtain, if possible, a repeal of the prohibitory act; but the effort did not succeed. It was especially advocated by Morton, Tudor, and Dr. Jarvis, and opposed by (Myself) Samuel Adams, Dawes, Austin, and H. G. Otis. The latter is represented as having spoken with such eloquenoe at Faneuil Hall in opposition to Goodman s instructions to the Representatives that I “thanked God that there was one young man willing to step forth in the good old cause of morality and religion.” Now the act was not repealed but the theatre did open in Boston. Upon the meeting of the Legislature, Governor Hancock denounced this infraction of the law, and soon after the whole theatrical company were arrested on the stage.

To show the cultural depravation that ensued: The audience, enraged at the attempt against their public amusements, took the portrait of the Governor from the stage-box, and trod it under foot. During these commotions, it was customary, says an eye witness, to go to the theatre armed with clubs. Application was renewed to the Legislature, who, finding that the public voice was largely in favor of it, repealed the act. (Myself) Mr. Adams, then Governor, refused to sign the bill, and the prohibitory law was nominally in force during the successive administrations.

To which I say that even worse in modern society is the assault on the modicum of true Republican Liberty by the lack of character, morality and virtue by those self-patronizing thespians in general.

Oh to the likes of this character description of the great Patriot from New York: “Time is wasted by many persons as if it had no limit and they were to live for ever. But few place a proper value upon it–but a small portion of _these_ reduce it to an advantageous system. If every person realized that “time is money” and ends in eternity–it would be used very differently by many–not by all. The instances are very rare where a man of fifty can look back upon his career and not see that he has squandered a large portion of his time in senseless vacuity or improper appropriation. If he then realizes its full worth he will gaze upon the past with keen regret and vainly wish he could live his life over again–a wish that the illustrious Washington said he did not indulge. If no one of the human family wasted or improperly used time, earth would be a Paradise–Pandemonium a fable. If all would assign a due portion of time for each class of incumbent duties–rigidly adhere to the one and promptly perform the others–a harmony in action and an amount of labor would be produced that would effect a change in the social, religious and business departments that would astonish the most visionary theorist of system and order. Profligacy of time too often commences in childhood–increases in youth and is made bankrupt in manhood. Let all feel more deeply the importance of a judicious arrangement and wise improvement of precious TIME. Its whirling wheels are rolling us on rapidly to “that country from whose bourne no traveller returns.” It is a boon from our Creator–to Him we must render an account of every hour from the moment our reason assumed and presided over its empire. Let all be prepared to render that account with a joy that shall increase in ecstacy through the ceaseless ages of ETERNITY.”

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Shot Heard Around the World

As we remember April 19th and the Shot Heard Around the World concerning the Battles at Lexington and Concord; it is imperative to consider the Message from my friend and Harvard classmate Samuel Langdon.

Consider the full truth of that which he preached in remembrance of April 19th, 1775:

GOVERNMENT CORRUPTED BY VICE.

by Samuel Langdon

And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.  — ISAIAH 1:26

Shall we rejoice, my fathers and brethren, or shall we weep together, on the return of this anniversary, which from the first settlement of this colony has been sacred to liberty, to perpetuate that invaluable privilege of choosing, from among ourselves, wise men, fearing God, and hating covetousness, to be honorable counselors, to constitute one essential branch of that happy government which was established on the faith of royal charters?

On this day, the people have from year to year assembled, from all our towns, in a vast congregation, with gladness and festivity, with every ensign of joy displayed in our metropolis, which now, alas!  is made a garrison of mercenary troops, the stronghold of despotism.  But how shall I now address you from this desk, remote from the capital (This sermon was preached at Watertown, Mass.), and remind you of the important business which distinguished this day in our calendar, without spreading a gloom over this assembly, by exhibiting the melancholy change made in the face of our public affairs?

We have lived to see the time when British liberty is just ready to expire; when that constitution of government which has so long been the glory and strength of the English nation, is deeply undermined and ready to tumble into ruins–when America is threatened with cruel oppression, and the arm of power is stretched out against New England, and especially against this colony, to compel us to submit to the arbitrary acts of legislators who are not our representatives, and who will not themselves bear the least part of the burdens which, without mercy, they are laying upon us.   The most formal and solemn grants of kings to our ancestors are deemed by our oppressors as of little value, and they have mutilated the charter of this colony in the most essential parts, upon false representations, and new invented maxims of policy, without the least regard to any legal process.  We are no longer permitted to fix our eyes on the faithful of the land, and trust in the wisdom of their counsels, and the equity of their judgment; but men in whom we can have no confidence, whose principles are subversive of our liberties, whose aim is to exercise lordship over us, and share among themselves the public wealth; men who are ready to serve any master, and execute the most unrighteous decrees for high wages, whose faces we never saw before, and whose interests and connections may be far divided from us by the wide Atlantic, are to be set over us as counselors and judges, at the pleasure of those who have the riches and power of the nation in their hands, and whose noblest plan is to subjugate the colonies first, and then the whole nation to their will.

That we might not have it in our power to refuse the most absolute submission to their unlimited claims of authority, they have not only endeavored to terrify us with fleets and armies sent to our capital, and distressed and put an end to our trade, particularly that important branch of it, the fishery, but at length attempted, by a sudden march of a body of troops in the night, to seize and destroy one of our magazines, formed by the people merely for their own security; if, as after such formidable military preparation on the other side, matters should not be pushed to an extremity.  By this, as might well be expected, a skirmish was brought on; and it is most evident, from a variety of concurring circumstances, as well as numerous depositions, both of the prisoners taken by us at that time, and our men then on the spot only as spectators, that the fire began first on the side of the king’s troops.  At least five or six of our inhabitants were murderously killed by the regulars at Lexington, before any man attempted to return the fire, and when they were actually complying with the command to disperse; and two more of our brethren were likewise killed at Concord Bridge by a fire from the king’s soldiers, before the engagement began on our side.   But whatever credit falsehoods transmitted to Great Britain from the other side may gain, the matter may be rested entirely on this–that he that arms himself to commit a robbery, and demands the traveler’s purse, by the terror of instant death, is the first aggressor, though the other should take the advantage of discharging his pistol first and killing the robber.

The alarm was sudden; but in a very short time spread far and wide; the nearest neighbors in haste ran together to assist their brethren, and save their country.  Not more than three or four hundred met in season, and bravely attacked and repulsed the enemies of liberty, who retreated with great precipitation.

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That ever-memorable day, the nineteenth of April, is the date of an unhappy war openly begun, by the ministers of the king of Great Britain, against his good subjects in this colony, and implicitly against all the colonies.   But for what?  Because they have made a noble stand for their natural and constitutional rights, in opposition to the machinations of wicked men, who are betraying their royal master, establishing Popery in the British dominions, and aiming to enslave and ruin the whole nation, that they may enrich themselves and their vile dependents with the public treasures, and the spoils of America.

We have used our utmost endeavors, by repeated humble petitions and remonstrances–by a series of unanswerable reasonings published from the press, in which the dispute has been fairly stated, and the justice of our opposition clearly demonstrated–and by the mediation of some of the noblest and most faithful friends of the British constitution, who have powerfully pleaded our cause in Parliament–to prevent such measures as may soon reduce the body politic to a miserable, dismembered, dying trunk, though lately the terror of all Europe.  But our king, as if impelled by some strange fatality, is resolved to reason with us only by the roar of his cannon, and the pointed arguments of muskets and bayonets.  Because we refuse submission to the despotic power of a ministerial Parliament, our own sovereign, to whom we have been always ready to swear true allegiance–whose authority we never meant to cast off–who might have continued happy in cheerful obedience, as faithful subjects as any in his dominions–has given us up to the rage of his ministers, to be seized at sea by the rapacious commanders of every little sloop of war and piratical cutter, and to be plundered and massacred by land by mercenary troops, who know no distinction betwixt an enemy and a brother, between right and wrong; but only, like brutal pursuers, to hunt and seize the prey pointed out by their masters.

We must keep our eyes fixed on the supreme government of the ETERNAL KING, as directing all events, setting up or pulling down the kings of the earth at His pleasure, suffering the best forms of human government to degenerate and go to ruin by corruption; or restoring the decayed constitutions of kingdoms and states, by reviving public virtue and religion, and granting the favorable interpositions of His providence.  To this our text leads us; and though I hope to be excused on this occasion from a formal discourse on the words in a doctrinal way, yet I must not wholly pass over the religious instruction contained in them.

Let us consider–that for the sins of a people God may suffer the best government to be corrupted, or entirely dissolved; and that nothing but a general reformation can give ground to hope that the public happiness will be restored, by the recovery of the strength and perfection of the state, and that Divine Providence will interpose to fill every department with wise and good men.

Isaiah prophesied about the time of the captivity of the ten tribes of Israel, and about a century before the captivity of Judah.  The kingdom of Israel was brought to destruction, because its iniquities were full; its counselors and judges were wholly taken away, because there remained no hope of reformation.  But the scepter did not entirely depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till the Messiah came; yet greater and greater changes took place in their political affairs; their government degenerated in proportion as their vices increased, till few faithful men were left in any public offices; and, at length, when they were delivered up for seventy years into the hands of the king of Babylon, scarcely any remains of their original excellent civil polity appeared among them.

The Jewish government, according to the original constitution which was divinely established, if considered merely in a civil view, was a perfect republic.  The heads of their tribes, and elders of their cities, were their counselors and judges.  They called the people together in more general or particular assemblies, took their opinions, gave advice, and managed the public affairs according to the general voice.  Counselors and judges comprehend all the powers of that government, for there was no such thing as legislative authority belonging to it, their complete code of laws being given immediately from God by the hand of Moses.  And let them who cry up the divine right of kings consider, that the only form of government which had a proper claim to a divine establishment, was so far from including the idea of a king, that it was a high crime for Israel to ask to be in this respect like other nations; and when they were thus gratified,it was rather as a just punishment of their folly, that they might feel the burdens of court pageantry, of which they were warned by a very striking description, than as a divine recommendation of kingly authority.

Every nation, when able and agreed, has a right to set up over itself any form of government which to it may appear most conducive to its common welfare.  The civil polity of Israel is doubtless an excellent general model, allowing for some peculiarities; at least some principal laws and orders of it may be copied, to great advantage, in more modern establishments.

When a government is in its prime, the public good engages the attention of the whole; the strictest regard is paid to the qualifications of those who hold the offices of the state; virtue prevails–every thing is managed with justice, prudence, and frugality; the laws are founded on principles of equity rather than mere policy, and all the people are happy.  But vice will increase with the riches and glory of an empire; and this gradually tends to corrupt the constitution, and in time bring on its dissolution.  This may be considered not only as the natural effect of vice, but a righteous judgment of heaven, especially upon a nation which has been favored with the blessing of religion and liberty, and is guilty of undervaluing them; and eagerly going into the gratification of every lust.

In this chapter the prophet describes the very corrupt state of Judah in his day, both as to religion and common morality; and looks forward to that increase of wickedness which would bring on their desolation and captivity.  They were a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that were corrupters, who had forsaken the Lord; and provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger.  The whole body of the nation, from head to foot, was full of moral and political disorders, without any remaining soundness.  Their religion was all mere ceremony and hypocrisy; and even the laws of common justice and humanity were disregarded in their public courts.  They had counselors and judges, but very different from those at the beginning of the commonwealth.  Their princes were rebellious against God, and the constitution of their country, and companions of thieves, giving countenance to every artifice for seizing the property of the subjects in their own hands, and robbing the public treasury.   Every one loved gifts, and followed after rewards; they regarded the perquisites more than the duties of their office; the general aim was at profitable places and pensions; they were influenced in every thing by bribery; and their avarice and luxury were never satisfied, but hurried them on to all kinds of oppression and violence, so that they even justified and encouraged the murder of innocent persons to support their lawless power, and increase their wealth.  And God, in righteous judgment, left them to run into all this excess of vice to their own destruction, because they had forsaken Him, and were guilty of willful inattention to the most essential parts of that religion which had been given them by a well-attested revelation from heaven.

The Jewish nation could  not but see and feel the unhappy consequences of so great a corruption of the state.  Doubtless, they complained much of men in power, and very heartily and liberally reproached them for their notorious misconduct.  The public greatly suffered, and the people groaned, and wished for better rulers and better management.  But in vain they hoped for a change of men and measures and better times, when the spirit of religion was gone, and the infection of vice was become universal.  The whole body being so corrupted, there could be no rational prospect of any great reformation in the state, but rather of its ruin; which accordingly came on in Jeremiah’s time.  Yet if a general reformation of religion and morals had taken place, and they had turned to God from all their sins–if they had again recovered the true spirit of their religion, God, by the gracious interpositions of His providence, would soon have found out methods to restore the former virtue of the state, and again have given them men of wisdom and integrity, according to their utmost wish, to be counselors and judges.  This was verified in fact, after the nation had been purged by a long captivity, and returned to their own land humbled, and filled with zeal for God and His law.

By all this we may be led to consider the true cause of the present remarkable troubles which are come upon Great Britain and these colonies; and the only effectual remedy.

We have rebelled against God.  We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it.   We have neglected and set light by the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His holy commands and institutions.  The worship of many is but mere compliment to the Deity, while their hearts are far from Him.  By many the gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism.   And after all the pretended refinements of moderns in the theory of Christianity, very little of the pure practice of it is to be found among those who once stood foremost in the profession of the gospel.  In a general view of the present moral state of Great Britain it may be said: There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.  By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, their wickedness breaks out; and one murder after another is committed, under the connivance and encouragement even of that authority by which such crimes ought to be punished, that the purposes of oppression and despotism may be answered.  As they have increased, so have they sinned, therefore God is changing their glory into shame.   The general prevalence of vice has changed the whole face of things in the British government.

The excellency of the constitution has been the boast of Great Britain, and the envy of neighboring nations.  In former times the great departments of the state, and the various places of trust and authority, were filled with men of wisdom, honesty and religion, who employed all their powers, and were ready to risk their fortunes and their lives for the public good.  They were faithful counselors to kings; directed their authority and majesty to the happiness of the nation; and opposed every step by which despotism endeavored to advance.  They were fathers of the people, and sought the welfare and prosperity of the whole body.  They did not exhaust the national wealth by luxury and bribery, or convert it to their own private benefit, or the maintenance of idle useless officers and dependents; but improved it faithfully for the proper purposes, for the necessary support of government, and defense of the kingdom.  Their laws were dictated by wisdom and equity; and justice was administered with impartiality.  Religion discovered its general influence among all ranks, and kept out great corruptions from places of power.

But in what does the British nation now glory?   In a mere shadow of its ancient political system?  In titles of dignity without virtue?  In vast public treasures continually lavished in corruption, till every fund is exhausted, notwithstanding the mighty streams perpetually flowing in?   In the many artifices to stretch the prerogatives of the crown beyond all constitutional bounds, and make the king an absolute monarch, while the people are deluded with a mere phantom of liberty?  What idea must we entertain of that government, if such an one can be found, which pretends to have made an exact counterbalance of power between the sovereign, the nobles, and the commons, so that the three branches shall be an effectual check upon each other, and the united wisdom of the whole shall conspire to promote the national felicity; but which in reality is reduced to such a situation that it may be managed at the sole will of one court favorite?  What difference is there betwixt one man’s choosing, at his own pleasure, by his single vote, the majority of those who are to represent the people; and his purchasing in such a majority, according to his own nomination, with money out of the public treasury, or other effectual methods of influencing elections?  And what shall we say, if in the same manner, by places, pensions, and other bribes, a minister of state can at any time gain over a nobler majority likewise, to be entirely subservient to his purposes, and moreover persuade his royal master to resign himself up wholly to the direction of his counsels?   If this should be the case of any nation from one seven years’ end to another, the bargain and sale being made sure for such a period, would they still have reason to boast of their excellent constitution?  Ought they not rather to think it high time to restore the corrupted dying state to its original perfection?  I will apply this to the Roman senate under Julius Caesar, which retained all its ancient formalities, but voted always only as Caesar dictated.  If the decrees of such a senate were urged on the Romans as fraught with all the blessings of Roman liberty, we must suppose them strangely deluded, if they were persuaded to believe it.

The pretense for taxing America has been that the nation contracted an immense debt for the defense of the American colonies; and that as they are now able to contribute some proportion toward the discharge of this debt, and must be considered as part of the nation, it is reasonable they should be taxed; and the Parliament has a right to tax and govern them in all cases whatever by its own supreme authority.  Enough has been already published on this grand controversy, which now threatens a final separation of the colonies from Great Britain.  But can the amazing national debt be paid by a little trifling sum squeezed from year to year out of America, which is continually drained of all its cash by a restricted trade with the parent country, and which in this way is taxed to the government of Britain in a very large proportion?  Would it not be much superior wisdom and sounder policy for a distressed kingdom to retrench the vast unnecessary expenses continually incurred by its enormous vices?  To stop the prodigious sums paid in pensions, and to numberless officers, without the least advantage to the public?  To reduce the number of devouring servants in the great family?  To turn their minds from the pursuit of pleasure and the boundless luxuries of life, to the important interests of their country and the salvation of the commonwealth?  Would not a reverend regard to the authority of divine revelation, a hearty belief of the gospel of the grace of God, and a general reformation of all those vices which bring misery and ruin upon individuals, families, and kingdoms, and which have provoked heaven to bring the nation into such perplexed and dangerous circumstances, be the surest way to recover the sinking state, and make it again rich and flourishing?  Millions might annually be saved, if the kingdom were generally and thoroughly reformed; and the public debt, great as it is, might in a few years be cancelled by a growing revenue, which now amounts to full ten millions per annum, without laying additional burdens on any of the subjects.  But the demands of corruption are constantly increasing, and will forever exceed all the resources of wealth which the wit of man can invent or tyranny impose.

Into what fatal policy has the nation been impelled by its public vices?  To wage a cruel war with its own children in these colonies, only to gratify the lust of power, and the demands of extravagance?  May God in His mercy recover Great Britain from this fatal infatuation; show them their errors, and give them a spirit of reformation, before it is too late to avert impending destruction.  May the eyes of the king be opened to see the ruinous tendency of the measures into which he has been led, and his heart inclined to treat his American subjects with justice and clemency, instead of forcing them still farther to the last extremities!   God grant some method may be found out to effect a happy reconciliation, so that the colonies may again enjoy the protection of their sovereign, with perfect security of all their natural rights, and civil and religious liberties.

But, alas!  have not the sins of America, and of New England in particular, had a hand in bringing down upon us the righteous judgments of Heaven?  Wherefore is all this evil come upon us?  Is it not because we have forsaken the Lord?  Can we say we are innocent of crimes against God?  No, surely; it becomes us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand, that He may exalt us in due time.  However unjustly and cruelly we have been treated by man, we certainly deserve, at the hand of God, all the calamities in which we are now involved.  Have we not lost much of that spirit of genuine Christianity which so remarkably appeared in our ancestors, for which God distinguished them with the signal favors of providence, when they fled from tyranny and persecution into this western desert?  Have we not departed from their virtues?  Though I hope and am confident that as much true religion, agreeable to the purity and simplicity of the gospel, remains among us as among any people in the world, yet in the midst of the present great apostasy of the nations professing Christianity, have not we likewise been guilty of departing from the living God?  Have we not made light of the gospel of salvation, and too much affected the cold, formal, fashionable religion of countries grown old in vice and overspread with infidelity?  Do not our follies and iniquities testify against us?  Have we not, especially in our seaports, gone much too far into the pride and luxuries of life?   Is it not a fact open to common observation, that profaneness, intemperance, unchastity, the love of pleasure, fraud, avarice, and other vices, are increasing among us from year to year?  And have not even these young governments been in some measure infected with the corruptions of European courts?  Has there been no flattery, no bribery, no artifices practiced, to get into places of honor and profit, or carry a vote to serve a particular interest, without regard to right or wrong?  Have our statesmen always acted with integrity?  and every judge with impartiality, in the fear of God?

In short, have all ranks of men showed regard to the divine commands, and joined to promote the Redeemer’s kingdom and the public welfare?    I wish we could more fully justify ourselves in all these respects.  If such sins have not been so notorious among us as in older countries, we must, nevertheless, remember, that the sins of a people who have been remarkable for the profession of godliness, are more aggravated by all the advantages and favors they have enjoyed, and will receive more speedy and signal punishment; as God says of Israel: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore will I punish you for all your iniquities.”

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Let me address you in the words of the prophet–“O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”  My brethren, let us repent and implore the Divine mercy.   Let us amend our ways and our doings; reform every thing which has been provoking to the Most High, and thus endeavor to obtain the gracious interpositions of Providence for our deliverance.

If true religion is revived by means of these public calamities, and again prevails among us; if it appears in our religious assemblies, in the conduct of our civil affairs, in our armies, in our families, in all our business and conversation, we may hope for the direction and blessing of the Most High, while we are using our best endeavors to preserve and restore the civil government of this colony, and defend America from slavery.

Our late happy government is changed into the terrors of military execution.  Our firm opposition to the establishment of an arbitrary system is called rebellion, and we are to expect no mercy but by yielding property and life at discretion.  This we are resolved at all events not to do; and therefore, we have taken arms in our own defense, and all the colonies are united in the great cause of liberty.

But how shall we live while civil government is dissolved?  What shall we do without counselors and judges?  A state of absolute anarchy is dreadful.  Submission to the tyranny of hundreds of imperious masters, firmly embodied against us, and united in the same cruel design of disposing of our substance and lives at their pleasure, and making their own will our law in all cases whatever, is the vilest slavery, and worse than death.

Thanks be to God, that He has given us, as men, natural rights, independent of all human laws whatever; and these rights are recognized by the grand charter of British liberties.  By the law of nature any body of people, destitute of order and government, may form themselves into a civil society according to their best prudence, and so provide for their common safety and advantage.   When one form is found, by the majority, not to answer the grand purpose in any tolerable degree, they may by common consent put an end to it, and set up another; only as all such great changes are attended with difficulty, and danger of confusion, they ought not to be attempted without urgent necessity, which will be determined always by the general voice of the wisest and best members of the community.  If the great servants of the public forget their duty, betray their trust and sell their country, or make war against the most valuable rights and privileges of the people; reason and justice require that they should be discarded, and others appointed in their room, without any regard to formal resignations of their forfeited power.

It must be ascribed to some supernatural influence on the minds of the main body of the people through this extensive continent, that they have so universally adopted the method of managing the important matters necessary to preserve among them a free government, by corresponding committees and congresses, consisting of the wisest and most disinterested patriots in America, chosen by the unbiased suffrages of the people assembled for that purpose, in their several towns, counties, and provinces.   So general agreement, through so many provinces of so large a country, in one mode of self-preservation, is unexampled in any history; and the effect has exceeded our most sanguine expectations.  Universal tumults, and all the irregularities and violence of mobbish factions, naturally arise when legal authority ceases.  But how little of this has appeared in the midst of the late obstructions of civil government!  Nothing more than what has often happened in Great Britain and Ireland, in the face of the civil powers in all their strength–nothing more than what is frequently seen in the midst of the perfect regulations of the great city of London; and, may I not add, nothing more than has been absolutely necessary to carry into execution the spirited resolutions of a people too sensible to deliver themselves up to oppression and slavery.  The judgment and advice of the continental assembly of delegates have been as readily obeyed as if they were authentic acts of a long-established Parliament.  And in every colony the votes of a congress have had equal effect with the laws of great and general courts.

It is now ten months since Massachusetts has been deprived of the benefit of that government which was so long enjoyed by charter.  They have had no general assembly for matters of legislation and the public revenue.  The courts of justice have been shut up; and almost the whole executive power has ceased to act.   Yet order among the people has been remarkably preserved; few crimes have been committed punishable by the judge; even former contentions between one neighbor and another have ceased; [….]

[* * * * *]

A Congress succeeded to the honors of a General Assembly as soon as the latter was crushed by the hand of power.  It gained all the confidence of the people.  Wisdom and prudence secured all that the laws of the former constitution could have given.  And we now observe, with astonishment, an army of many thousands of well-disciplined troops suddenly assembled, and abundantly furnished with all the necessary supplies, in defense of the liberties of America.

But is it proper or safe for the colony to continue much longer in such imperfect order?  Must it not appear rational and necessary, to every man that understands the various movements requisite to good government, that the many parts should be properly settled, and every branch of the legislative and executive authority restored to that order and vigor on which the life and health of the body politic depend?  To the honorable gentlemen, now met in this new congress as the fathers of the people, this weighty matter must be referred.  Who knows but in the midst of all the distresses of the present war to defeat the attempts of arbitrary power, God may in mercy restore to us our judges as at first, and our counselors as at the beginning.

On your wisdom, religion, and public spirit, honored gentlemen, we depend, to determine what may be done as to the important matter of reviving the form of government, and settling all the necessary affairs relating to it in the present critical state of things, that we may again have law and justice, and avoid the danger of anarchy and confusion.  May GOD be with you, and by the influences of His Spirit direct all your counsels and resolutions for the glory of His name, and the safety and happiness of this colony.  We have great reason to acknowledge with thankfulness the evident tokens of the Divine presence with the former congress; that they were led to foresee present exigencies, and make such effectual provision for them.  It is our earnest prayer to the Father of lights, that He would irradiate your minds, make all your way plain, and grant you may be happy instruments of many and great blessings to the people by whom you are constituted, to New England, and all the united colonies.

Let us praise our God for the advantages already given us over the enemies of liberty; particularly, that they have been so dispirited by repeated experience of the efficiency of our arms; and that in the late action at Chelsea, [***] when several hundreds of our soldiery, the greater part open to the fire of so many cannon, swivels, and muskets from a battery advantageously situated, from two armed cutters, and many barges full of marines, and from ships of the line in the harbor, not one man on our side was killed, and but two or three wounded; when, by the best intelligence, a great number were killed and wounded on the other side, and one of their cutters was taken and burned, the other narrowly escaping with great damage.

If God be for us, who can be against us?  The enemy has reproached us for calling on His name, and professing our trust in Him.  They have made a mock of our solemn fasts, and every appearance of serious Christianity in the land.   On this account, by way of contempt, they call us saints; and, that they themselves may keep at the greatest distance from this character, their mouths are full of horrid blasphemies, cursing and bitterness, and vent all the rage of malice, and barbarity.   And may we not be confident that the Most High, who regards these things, will vindicate His own honor, and plead our righteous cause against such enemies to His government, as well as our liberties.  Oh, may our camp be free from every accursed thing!  May our land be purged from all its sins!  May we be truly a holy people, and all our towns, cities of righteousness!  Then the Lord will be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; and we shall have no reason to be afraid though thousands of enemies set themselves against us round about, though all nature should be thrown into tumults and convulsions.  He can command the stars in their courses to fight His battles, and all the elements to wage war with His enemies.  He can destroy them with innumerable plagues, or send faintness into their hearts, so that the men of might shall not find their hands.  In a variety of methods He can work salvation for us, as He did for His people in ancient days, and according to the many remarkable deliverances granted in former times to Great Britain and New England, when popish machinations threatened both countries with civil and ecclesiastical tyranny.   [***]

May the Lord hear us in this day of trouble, and the name of the God of Jacob defend us; send us help from His sanctuary; and strengthen us out of Zion.   We will rejoice in His salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners; let us look to Him to fulfill all our petitions.

Oh, For the Preaching of Hitchcock Today!

Gad Hitchcock

Boston, 1774

An Election-Sermon

PROVERBS XXIX.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

This is the observation of a wise ruler, relative to civil government; and the different effects of administration, according as it is placed in good or bad hands—and it having been preserved in the sacred oracles, not without providential direction, equally for the advantage of succeeding rulers, and other men of every class in society; it will not be thought improper by any, who have a veneration for revelation, and the instruction of princes, to make it the subject of our present consideration—Especially as our civil rulers, in acknowledgment of a superintending Providence, have invited us into the temple this morning, to ask counsel of God in respect to the great affairs of this anniversary, and the general conduct of government.

Accordingly, I shall take occasion from it—to make a few general remarks on the nature and end of civil government—point out some of the qualifications of rulers—and then apply the subject to the design of our assembling at this time.

First, I shall make a few remarks on the nature and end of civil government.

(more…)

Anti-Federalis Paper: Brutus VI

I appreciated Mr. Yates of New York addressing the potential dangers of the unamended constitution as submitted to the States for ratification.  Being a strong proponent of Liberty since my Masters Thesis in 1742 I too have many issues regarding this consolidation of government.  Hear the arguments of Mr. Yates relating to taxation, growth of government, lack of definition of the “general welfare” and virtually establishing a future despotic plan for posterity, IF moral and virtuous people are not holding the seats that would be the national government.  The fallen nature of man with this constitution as submitted by the 1787 convention, leaves open the opportunities for a future tyranny over the people.

I bolded and underlined that which I found very thought provoking and which could come to fruition for future generations.

S. Adams

Brutus  VI

 

 27 December 1787   

It is an important question, whether the general government of the United States should be so framed, as to absorb and swallow up the state governments? or whether, on the contrary, the former ought not to be confined to certain defined national objects, while the latter should retain all the powers which concern the internal police of the states?

I have, in my former papers, offered a variety of arguments to prove, that a simple free government could not be exercised over this whole continent, and that therefore we must either give up our liberties and submit to an arbitrary one, or frame a constitution on the plan of confederation.  Further reasons might be urged to prove this point — but it seems unnecessary, because the principal advocates of the new constitution admit of the position.  The question therefore between us, this being admitted, is, whether or not this system is so formed as either directly to annihilate the state governments, or that in its operation it will certainly effect it.  If this is answered in the affirmative, then the system ought not to be adopted, without such amendments as will avoid this consequence.  If on the contrary it can be shewn, that the state governments are secured in their rights to manage the internal police of the respective states, we must confine ourselves in our enquiries to the organization of the government and the guards and provisions it contains to prevent a misuse or abuse of power.  To determine this question, it is requisite, that we fully investigate the nature, and the extent of the powers intended to be granted by this constitution to the rulers.

In my last number I called your attention to this subject, and proved, as I think, uncontrovertibly, that the powers given the legislature under the 8th section of the 1st article, had no other limitation than the discretion of the Congress.  It was shewn, that even if the most favorable construction was given to this paragraph, that the advocates for the new constitution could wish, it will convey a power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, duties, and excises, according to the discretion of the legislature, and to make all laws which they shall judge proper and necessary to carry this power into execution. This I shewed would totally destroy all the power of the state governments.  To confirm this, it is worth while to trace the operation of the government in some particular instances.

The general government is to be vested with authority to levy and collect taxes, duties, and excises; the separate states have also power to impose taxes, duties, and excises, except that they cannot lay duties on exports and imports without the consent of Congress.  Here then the two governments have concurrent jurisdiction; both may lay impositions of this kind.  But then the general government have supperadded to this power, authority to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying the foregoing power into execution.   Suppose then that both governments should lay taxes, duties, and excises, and it should fall so heavy on the people that they would be unable, or be so burdensome that they would refuse to pay them both — would it not be necessary that the general legislature should suspend the collection of the state tax?  It certainly would.  For, if the people could not, or would not pay both, they must be discharged from the tax to the state, or the tax to the general government could not be collected. — The conclusion therefore is inevitable, that the respective state governments will not have the power to raise one shilling in any way, but by the permission of the Congress.  I presume no one will pretend, that the states can exercise legislative authority, or administer justice among their citizens for any length of time, without being able to raise a sufficiency to pay those who administer their governments.

 If this be true, and if the states can raise money only by permission of the general government, it follows that the state governments will be dependent on the will of the general government for their existence.

What will render this power in Congress effectual and sure in its operation is, that the government will have complete judicial and executive authority to carry all their laws into effect, which will be paramount to the judicial and executive authority of the individual states: in vain therefore will be all interference of the legislatures, courts, or magistrates of any of the   states on the subject; for they will be subordinate to the general government, and engaged by oath to support it, and will be constitutionally bound to submit to their decisions.

The general legislature will be empowered to lay any tax they chuse, to annex any penalties they please to the breach of their revenue laws; and to appoint as many officers as they may think proper to collect the taxes.  They will have authority to farm the revenues and to vest the farmer general, with his subalterns (an officer in the army below the rank of captain, esp. a second lieutenant.), with plenary (absolute) powers to collect them, in any way which to them may appear eligible.  And the courts of law, which they will be authorized to institute, will have cognizance of every case arising under the revenue laws, the conduct of all the officers employed in collecting them; and the officers of these courts will execute their judgments.  There is no way, therefore, of avoiding the destruction of the state governments, whenever the Congress please to do it, unless the people rise up, and, with a strong hand, resist and prevent the execution of constitutional laws.  The fear of this, will, it is presumed, restrain the general government, for some time, within proper bounds; but it will not be many years before they will have a revenue, and force, at their command, which will place them   above any apprehensions on that score.

How far the power to lay and collect duties and excises, may operate to dissolve the state governments, and oppress the people, it is impossible to say.  It would assist us much in forming a just opinion on this head, to consider the various objects to which this kind of taxes extend, in European nations, and the infinity of laws they have passed respecting them.  Perhaps, if leisure will permit, this may be essayed in some future paper.

 It was observed in my last number, that the power to lay and collect duties and excises, would invest the Congress with authority to impose a duty and excise on every necessary and convenience of life.  As the principal object of the government, in laying a duty or excise, will be, to raise money, it is obvious, that they will fix on such articles as are of the most general use and consumption; because, unless great quantities of the article, on which the duty is laid, is used, the revenue cannot be considerable.  We may therefore presume, that the articles which will be the object of this species of taxes will be either the real necessaries of life; or if not these, such as from custom and habit are esteemed so.  I will single out a few of the productions of our own country, which may, and probably will, be of the number.  

Cider (distilled alcohols and wines) is an article that most probably will be one of those on which an excise will be laid, because it is one, which this country produces in great abundance, which is in very general use, is consumed in great quantities, and which may be said too not to be a real necessary of life.  An excise on this would raise a large sum of money in the United States.  How would the power, to lay and collect an excise on cider, and to pass all laws proper and necessary to carry it into execution, operate in its exercise?  It might be necessary, in order to collect the excise on cider, to grant to one man, in each county, an exclusive right of building and keeping cider-mills, and oblige him to give bonds and security for payment of the excise; or, if this was not done, it might be necessary to license the mills, which are to make this liquor, and to take from them security, to account for the excise; or, if otherwise, a great number of officers must be employed, to take account of the cider made, and to collect the duties on it.   

Porter, ale, and all kinds of malt-liquors, are articles that would probably be subject also to an excise.  It would be necessary, in order to collect such an excise, to regulate the manufactory of these, that the quantity made might be ascertained or otherwise security could not be had for the payment of the excise.  Every brewery must then be licensed, and officers appointed, to take account of its product, and to secure the payment of the duty, or excise, before it is sold.  Many other articles might be named, which would be objects of this species of taxation, but I refrain from enumerating them.  It will probably be said, by those who advocate this system, that the observations already made on this head, are calculated only to inflame the minds of the people, with the apprehension of dangers merely imaginary.  That there is not the least reason to apprehend, the general legislature will exercise their power in this manner.  To this I would only say, that these kinds of taxes exist in Great Britain, and are severely felt.  The excise on cider and perry (an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of pears.), was imposed in that nation a few years ago, and it is in the memory of every one, who read the history of the transaction, what great tumults it occasioned.

This power, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every comer of the city, and country — It will wait upon the ladies at their toilett, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages, nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bed-chamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office, or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house, or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop, and in his work, and will haunt him in his family, and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house, and in the field, observe the toil of his hands, and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States.  To all these different classes of people, and in all these circumstances, in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them, will be   GIVE! GIVE!

A power that has such latitude, which reaches every person in the community in every conceivable circumstance, and lays hold of every species of property they possess, and which has no bounds set to it, but the discretion of those who exercise it[,] I say, such a power must necessarily, from its very nature, swallow up all the power of the state governments.

I shall add but one other observation on this head, which is this — It appears to me a solecism (a breach of good manners; a piece of incorrect behavior.), for two men, or bodies of men, to have unlimited power respecting the same object.  It contradicts the scripture maxim, which saith, “no man can serve two masters,” the one power or the other must prevail, or else they will destroy each other, and neither of them effect their purpose.  It may be compared to two mechanic powers, acting upon the same body in opposite directions, the consequence would be, if the powers were equal, the body would remain in a state of rest, or if the force of the one was superior to that of the other, the stronger would prevail, and overcome the resistance of the weaker.

But it is said, by some of the advocates of this system, “That the idea that Congress can levy taxes at pleasure, is false, and the suggestion wholly unsupported: that the preamble to the constitution is declaratory of the   purposes of the union, and the assumption of any power not necessary to establish justice, &c. to provide for the common defence, &c. will be   unconstitutional.  Besides, in the very clause which gives the power of levying duties and taxes, the purposes to which the money shall be appropriated, are specified, viz. to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare.”[1] I would ask those, who reason thus, to define what ideas are included under the terms, to provide for the common defence and general welfare?  Are these terms definite, and will they be understood in the same manner, and to apply to the same cases by every one?  No one will pretend they will.  It will then be matter of opinion, what tends to the general welfare; and the Congress will be the only judges in the matter.  To provide for the general welfare, is an abstract proposition, which mankind differ in the explanation of, as much as they do on any political or moral proposition that can be proposed; the most opposite measures may be pursued by different parties, and both may profess, that   they have in view the general welfare; and both sides may be honest in their professions, or both may have sinister views.  Those who advocate this new constitution declare, they are influenced by a regard to the general welfare; those who oppose it, declare they are moved by the same principle; and I have no doubt but a number on both sides are honest in their professions; and yet nothing is more certain than this, that to adopt this constitution, and not to adopt it, cannot both of them be promotive of the general welfare.

It is as absurd to say, that the power of Congress is limited by these general expressions, “to provide for the common safety, and general welfare,” as it would be to say, that it would be limited, had the constitution said they should have power to lay taxes, &c. at will and pleasure.  Were this authority given, it might be said, that under it the legislature could not do injustice, or pursue any measures, but such as were calculated to promote the public good, and happiness.  For every man, rulers as well as others, are bound by the immutable laws of God and reason, always to will what is right.  It is certainly right and fit, that the governors of every people should provide for the common defence and general welfare; every government, therefore, in the world, even the greatest despot, is limited in the exercise of his power.  But however just this reasoning may be, it would be found, in practice, a most pitiful restriction.  The government would always say, their measures were designed and calculated to promote the public good; and there being no judge between them and the people, the rulers themselves must, and would always, judge for themselves.

There are others of the favourers of this system, who admit, that the power of the Congress under it, with respect to revenue, will exist without limitation, and contend, that so it ought to be.

It is said, “The power to raise armies, to build and equip fleets, and to provide for their support, ought to exist without limitation, because it is impossible to foresee, or to define, the extent and variety of national exigencies (the exigencies of the war: need, demand, requirement, necessity.), or the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them.[“]

This, it is said, “is one of those truths which, to correct and unprejudiced minds, carries its own evidence along with it.  It rests upon axioms as simple as they are universal: the means ought to be proportioned to the end; the person, from whose agency the attainment of any end is expected, ought to possess the means by which it is to be attained.”[2]

This same writer insinuates, that the opponents to the plan promulgated by the convention (the constitution), manifests a want of candor, in objecting to the extent of the powers proposed to be vested in this government; because he asserts, with an air of confidence, that the powers ought to be unlimited as to the object to which they extend; and that this position, if not self-evident, is at least clearly demonstrated by the foregoing mode of reasoning.  But with submission to this author’s better judgment, I humbly conceive his reasoning will appear, upon examination, more specious (superficially plausible, but actually wrong) than solid.  The means, says the gentleman, ought to be proportioned to the end: admit the proposition to be true it is then necessary to enquire, what is the end of the government of the United States, in order to draw any just conclusions from it.  Is this end simply to preserve the general government, and to provide for the common defence and general welfare of the union only? certainly not: for beside this, the state governments are to be supported, and provision made for the managing such of their internal concerns as are allotted to them. It is admitted, “that the circumstances of our country are such, as to demand a compound, instead of a simple, a confederate, instead of a sole government,” that the objects of each ought to be pointed out, and that each ought to possess ample authority to execute the powers committed to them. The government then, being complex in its nature, the end it has in view is so also; and it is as necessary, that the state governments should possess the means to attain the ends expected from them, as for the general government.  Neither the general government, nor the state governments, ought to be vested with all the powers proper to be exercised for promoting the ends of government.  The powers are divided between them — certain ends are to be attained by the one, and other certain ends by the other; and these, taken together, include all the ends of good government.  This being the case, the conclusion follows, that each should be furnished with the means, to attain the ends, to which they are designed.

To apply this reasoning to the case of revenue; the general government is charged with the care of providing for the payment of the debts of the United States; supporting the general government, and providing for the defence of the union.  To obtain these ends, they should be furnished with means.  But does it thence follow, that they should command all the revenues   of the United States!  Most certainly it does not.  For if so, it will follow, that no means will be left to attain other ends, as necessary to the happiness of the country, as those committed to their care.  The individual states have debts to discharge; their legislatures and executives are to be supported, and provision is to be made for the administration of justice in the respective states.  For these objects the general government has no authority to provide; nor is it proper it should. It is clear then.  That the states should have the command of such revenues, as to answer the ends they have to obtain.  To say, “that the circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite,” and from hence to infer, that all the sources of revenue in the states should be yielded to the general government, is not conclusive reasoning: for the Congress are authorized only to controul in general concerns, and not regulate local and internal ones; and these are as essentially requisite to be provided for as those.  The peace and happiness of a community is as intimately connected with the prudent direction of their domestic affairs, and the due administration of justice among themselves, as with a competent provision for their defence against foreign invaders, and indeed more so.

Upon the whole, I conceive, that there cannot be a clearer position than this, that the state governments ought to have an uncontroulable power to raise a revenue, adequate to the exigencies of their governments; and, I presume, no such power is left them by this constitution.                                                   

 Brutus.   

 

1. Vide an examination into the leading principles of the federal constitution, printed in Philadelphia, Page 34.

 2. Vide the Federalist, No. 23. 

Continued Parallels in Time…. Treachery, Conspiracy & Nepotism

You moderns have nothing over us, regarding all that we were challenged with!  In fact, You have many of the exact same core issues that we dealt with.  There have always been those devising plans to enslave there fellow man.  Constitutional self-governance is suppose to squelch this but as both the Federalist and Anti-federalist argued, it would require men of Christian morals and values to hold true to the fundamental purposes of governance, else treachery, conspiracy and nepotism would overcome the Rights of the Citizens.  An ever watchful Citizenry is required where as, the majority of you moderns are lulled to complacency and easy of entertainment.

You must come to the honest realization that mankind is of the same nature in your time as in mine regarding lust, self-interest, power-hunger and more characteristics that are inherently bent toward evil; to think that mankind is constantly improving for good and inherently good is to fool yourselves.  You have not proven that humanism and what we called utopianism – which is your Fabian socialist/Marxist ideologies have ever worked. You do not have an understanding of the real nature of humans as we clearly did through our Puritan, Protestant and Reformation Biblical worldview.  We approached our perspective of self-governance from the fundamental Truths that mankind cannot be trusted in and of themselves.  Writers like Knox and Rutherford challenged rulers to act according to principles of good governance, especially Biblical principles that govern the inner intentions and hearts of mankind.

With that, we will look at the corruption in bureaucratic governance, just as you too are experiencing at your present time.  (all emphasis added by the modern composer.)

TO: ARTHUR LEE

BOSTON April 19 1771.[i]

SIR

Your Letter of the 31 Decr which I receivd by Cap Scott a few days past affords me great Satisfaction; especially as it promises a Correspondence which I dare say will be carried on with an Openness & Sincerity becoming those who are anxiously concernd for the publick Liberty at so alarming a Crisis.[ii] Perhaps there never was a time when the political Affairs of America were in a more dangerous State; Such is the Indolence (wanting to avoid activity or exertion; lazy.) of Men in general, or their Inattention to the real Importance of things, that a steady & animated perseverance in the rugged path of Virtue at the hazard of trifles (a thing of little value or importance) is hardly to be expected. The Generality (the majority) are necessarily engaged in Application to private Business for the Support of their own families and when at a lucky Season the publick are awakened to a Sense of Danger, & a manly resentment is enkindled, it is difficult, for so many separate Communities as there are in all the Colonies (individual States), to agree in one consistent plan of Opposition while those who are the appointed Instruments of Oppression (the bureaucrats as in the IRS, EPA and other agencies not established directly in the Constitution), have all the Means put into their hands, of applying to the passions of Men & availing themselves of the Necessities of some, the Vanity of others & the timidity of all.

I have long thought that a Design has been on foot to render ineffectual the Democratical part of this Government, even before the province was cursed with the Appointment of Bernard (federal and bureaucrats loyal to statist, power mongers and Fabian ideologies), and so unguarded have the people been in former times, so careless in the Choice of their representatives as to send too many who either through Ignorance or Wickedness have favored that Design. Of late the lower house of Assembly (republican house of representatives and the Liberty Caucus) have been more sensible of this Danger & supported in some Measure their own Weight, which has alarmd the Conspirators and been in my opinion the true Source of Bernards Complaint (the present administration and bureaucrats) against them as having set up a faction against the Kings Authority (The President). The 4 Judges of the Supreme Court, the Secretary (of State) & the Kings Attourny (Attorney General) who had been Councellors were left out at the annual Election in 1766 (But fully included in your present time as are the unelected czars); (in the 20th & 21st centuries, the equivalent action would be at the local/state level as well as if the Senate refused to confirm any justices or agency heads.  This would cause great issue for the executive branch in the federal system of modern times); this gave great offence to the Govr, and was followd with two Speeches to both Houses perhaps as infamous & irritating as ever came from a Stuart to the English parliamt.[iii] (in modern times, most often the liberal/socialist leaning legislators as the supporters of big government and control over the people.  These self-seeking and self-promoting supporters of tyranny and despotism are the ones that give speeches that sound nice but are full of vile corruptions at the core.) Happy indeed it was for the Province (Massachusetts) that such a Man was at the Head of it, for it occasiond such a Jealousy & Watchfulness in the people as prevented their immediate & total Ruin. (The people must have an understanding of true liberty so that when the politicians and bureaucrats spew their sooth saying tyranny, the watchful rise up and call them what they are: liars, tyrants and thieves of the peoples wellbeing and resources.

The plan however is still carried on tho in a Manner some what different; (even in modern times there continues to be a plan to enslave America.) and that is by making the Governor altogether independent of the People for his Support (this has not happened in your modern times but you have bureaucratic agencies that trample the rights of the Citizenry); this is depriving the House of Representatives of the only Check they have upon him (and the agencies like the EPA, IRS, DHS and other) & must consequently render them the Objects of the Contempt of a Corrupt Administration. Thus the peoples Money being first taken from them without their Consent (in your day, with the consent of Congress you are over-burdened), is appropriated for the Maintenance of a Governor and agencies at the Discretion of one in the Kingdom of Great Britain (in the modern US, the President,) upon whom he absolutely depends for his Support. If this be not a Tyranny I am at a Loss to conceive what a Tyranny is. The House of Representatives did a few days since, grant the Govr the usual Sum for his Support and it is expected that this Matter will be made certain upon his refusal of it. The Govr of New York was explicit at the late Session of their Assembly, upon the like Occasion: But I confess I should not be surprisd if our good Govr, should accept the Grant & discount it out of what he is to receive out of the Kings Chest; thinking it will be conceivd by the Minister as highly meritorious in him, in thus artfully concealing his Independency (for the Apprehension of it is alarming to the people) & saving 1000 Pounds sterling of the revenue at the same time. –> (I hope that you moderns understand what corruption is being discussed here.  This would be similar to the issue in 2013 where an agent of the President (HHS Secretary) seeks, almost demands money’s, from private citizens and businesses to fund government activities when in fact there had already been some funding appropriated.  To the larger extent, our issue in my day was that the House of Representatives ensured that the officials in America were paid as per our original Charters of Self-governance, so that those officials in office would be beholding of the Citizenry.  Whereas, when the crown began to appoint the Govnr and the other bureaucrats, our Charters were being obviated.  Worse, when the crown via the Parliament began to pay these positions, including judges, directly; then they became beholden to their purchasers in England instead of having an attachment to the Liberties of the People. My original letter continues:

While the Representative Body of the people is thus renderd a mere Name, it is . . . considerd that the other Branch of the Legislative tho annually elective, is at the same time subject to the Governors Negative (veto): A Consideration which I doubt not has its full Weight in the minds of some of them at least, whenever any Matter comes before them which they can possibly think will affect the Measures of Administration. You will easily conjecture how far this may tend to annihilate that Branch or produce Effects more fatal. -> (In effect, this is what your modern Senate has become since the ratification of the 17th Amendment: A limited branch of government or the pawn of the administration if the majority is of the same party persuasion. You do not have the balance of legislature as the architects of the Constitution intended.  You have lost a primary means of the States to guard against a runaway administration!) continuing with my original thoughts:

It seems then that we are in effect to be under the absolute Governm’ of one Man – ostensively the Governor of the province (the modern states for the most part have lost their sovereignty due to the 17th Amendment and the strings attached to the federal dollars they take.) but in Reality some other person residing in Great Britain (and in your modern times, he who resides in DC, and that the Congress has granted the Administrative branch powers and authority it never should have had.  In essence establishing the expectations of the people to a one-man responsibility to rule.), whose Instructions the Govr must punctually observe upon pain of forfeiting his place (the federal dollars). So that any little advantage that might now & then arise from his happening to form Connections with wise Men in the province are totally lost. As Matters are now circumstanced he must associate with (all the federal agencies and bureaucrats that were called:) Pensioners, Commissioners of the Customs Officers of the Army & Navy, Tools Sycophants &c who together with him are to make such representations as to them shall seem meet, & joyntly if Occasion shall require it, execute such Orders as they shall from time to time receive. Such is to be the happy Government of free British Subjects in America. I will however do Govr Hutchinson the Justice to say that tho he may [iv], yet he has a very natural Connection with some of the principal Gentlemen Inhabitants of the province for his Excellencys own Brother is a Justice of the Superior Court, & also a Judge of the probate of Wills & he has also a Brother by marriage upon the same superior Bench. Moreover the Lt Govr is his Brother by marriage who has an own Brother & a Brother by marriage who are justices of the Superior Court. As these Gentlemen are Natives of the province it is hoped the Channells of Justice will remain unpolluted notwithstanding his Excellencys other Connections.

The Modern Application and Conclusion:  There has always been corruption in government and to the extent that Great Britain was suffering the debauchery of immoral men on the throne and his agents in Parliament, the actions of rejecting the original Charters of self-governance for the Colonies and establishing rule through a non-representative group only loyal to the king.  The correlation to the U. S. at the beginning of the 21st Century and the majority of the early 1700’s in America is uncanny.  The moral substance was at a low in the Colonies until the Preaching of the First Great Awakening moved the people to understand personal responsibility and reignited the desire for moral self-governance extended into the leadership.  Nepotism was rampant but the hope always was that those born in America and holding various positions of authority would be true to the principles of those that settled the Colonies in the 1600’s.

Such is true in modern times, that the hope that those who are Natural Citizens and elected to office would hold true to the principles of those that set the United States onto the world scene as an independent sovereign nation.  And so in modern times there is also the plans of statists via many affronts, especially from international treaties initiated in the United Nations that are destroying the sovereignty of the individual, community, states and nation. So too as in the 1700, the people are lulled by the jumble of patronizing politicians and distractions including frivolity, and sadly those that are maintaining the substance of life for their families have little time to engage in the activities for the soul of their Liberties.

As Sam Adams pressed into the hearts and minds of the Citizens in the 1700’s, It is only through individuals understanding personal responsibility through a moral guide established on Reformed Religion, that Liberty can be clearly understood.  And in the case of this letter, the corruption in government is at hand and only through the actions of the Citizenry can it be made to reflect the Liberty that the Founders set into motion.


[i] Ms., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.

[ii] On January 10, 1771, Lee wrote to Adams: Our friend Mr. Sayre has done me the favour of communicating to me your very obliging invitation to a correspondence.”-R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., p. 249.

[iii] See Vol. I., pages 79, 83.

[iv] At this point the words “mar a State of Absolute Independency in both Houses of Assembly” are erased in the draft.  Pages 76 – 78  http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2092/pg2092.html      4/16/11 11:41 AM

 

 

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.

Education, True Historical Education, Is A Protector of Liberty

I was always a strong proponent of True Historical and Virtuous education.  Clearly in what I spoke and wrote about it and am now introducing you to our history through this interaction with these great education leaders from Haiti in the videos below:

To James Warren – Feb 12, 1779: “…A general Dissolution of Principles & Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the Common Enemy. While the People are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their Virtue they will be ready to surrender their Liberties to the first external or internal Invader. How necessary then is it for those who are determind to transmit the Blessings of Liberty as a fair Inheritance to Posterity, to associate on publick Principles in Support of publick Virtue. I do verily believe, and I may say it inter Nos, that the Principles & Manners of N Engd, producd that Spirit which finally has establishd the Independence of America; and Nothing but opposite Principles and Manners can overthrow it. If you are of my Mind, and I think you are, the Necessity of supporting the Education of our Country must be strongly impressd on your Mind. It gives me the greatest Concern to hear that some of our Gentlemen in the Country begin to think the Maintenance of Schools too great a Burden. I wish they could hear the Encomiums that are given to N Engd by some of the most sensible & publick spirited Gentlemen in the southern States, for the Care & Expence which have been freely borne by our Ancestors & continued to this time for the Instruction of youth. Virginia is duly sensible of the great Importance of Education, and, as a friend in that Country informs me, has lately adopted an effectual Plan for that necessary Purpose. If Virtue & Knowledge are diffusd among the People, they will never be enslavd. This will be their great Security. Virtue & Knowledge will forever be an even Balance for Powers & Riches. I hope our Countrymen will never depart from the Principles & Maxims which have been handed down to us from our wise forefathers. This greatly depends upon the Example of Men of Character & Influence of the present Day. This is a Subject my Heart is much set upon…” Vol IV Page 79 of 233  http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2094/pg2094.html

How to destroy our Liberty by debilitating True Virtuous Historical Education

To John Scollay 1780: “It was asked in the Reign of Charles the 2d of England, HOW shall we turn the Minds of the People from an Attention to their Liberties? The Answer was, by making them extravagant, luxurious, effeminate. Hutchinson advisd the Abridgment of what our People called English Liberties, by the same Means. We shall never subdue them, said Bernard, but by eradicating their Manners & the Principles of their Education. Will the judicious Citizens of Boston be now caught in the Snare, which their artful, insidious Enemies, a few years ago laid for them in vain? Shall we ruin ourselves by the very means, which they pointed out in their Confidential Letters, tho even they did not dare openly to avow them? Pownal, who was indeed a mere Fribble, venturd to have his Riots & Routs at his own house, to please a few Boys & Girls. Sober People were disgusted at it, & his privy Councellors never thought it prudent to venture so far as expensive Balls. Our Bradfords, Winslows & Winthrops would have revolted at the Idea of opening Scenes of Dissipation & Folly; knowing them to be inconsistent with their great Design, in transplanting themselves into what they called this “Outside of the World.” Vol. IV Page 137 of 233

I was one of the first to encourage the full education of young girls and women – To John Adams – 1781:   “… And this Metropolis has lately appointed a Committee, to consider the present Arrangement of the Schools & what further Improvements may be made, in which the better Education of female Children is designd to be comprehended. All these things I know are pleasing to you…” and again to John Adams in 1790: “… Should we not, my friend, bear a gratefull remembrance of our pious and benevolent Ancestors, who early laid plans of Education; by which means Wisdom, Knowledge, and Virtue have been generally diffused among the body of the people, and they have been enabled to form and establish a civil constitution calculated for the preservation of their rights, and liberties. This Constitution was evidently founded in the expectation of the further progress, and “extraordinary degrees” of virtue…” and in 1790 “…We agree in the Utility of universal Education, but “will nations agree in it as fully, and extensively as we do”? Why should they not? It would not be fair to conclude, that because they have not yet been disposed to agree in it, they never will. It is allowed, that the present age is more enlightened than former ones. Freedom of enquiry is certainly more encouraged: The feelings of humanity have softned the heart: The true principles of civil, and religious Liberty are better understood: Tyranny in all its shapes, is more detested, and bigotry, if not still blind, must be mortified to see that she is despised. Such an age may afford at least a flattering Expectation that Nations, as well as individuals, will view the utility of universal Education in so strong a light as to induce sufficient national Patronage, and Support…” continuing, “…The Cottager may beget a wise Son; the Noble, a Fool: The one is capable of great Improvement—the other not. Education is within the Power of Men, and Societys of Men. Wise, and judicious Modes of Education, patronized, and supported by communities, will draw together the Sons of the rich, and the poor, among whom it makes no distinction; it will cultivate the natural Genius, elevate the Soul, excite laudable Emulation to excel in Knowledge, Piety, and Benevolence, and finally it will reward its Patrons, and Benefactors by sheding its benign Influence on the Public Mind.  Education inures Men to thinking and reflection, to reasoning and demonstration. It discovers to them the moral and religious duties they owe to God, their Country and to all Mankind. Even Savages might, by the means of Education, be instructed to frame the best civil, and political Institutions with as much skill and ingenuity, as they now shape their Arrows. Education leads youth to “the Study of human nature, society, and universal History” from whence they may “draw all the Principles” of Political Architecture, which ought to be regarded. All Men are “interested in the truth.” Education by showing them “the End of all its consequences” would induce, at least, the greatest numbers to inlist on its side. The Man of good understanding who has been well educated, and improves these advantages as far as his circumstances will allow, in promoting the happiness of Mankind, in my opinion, and I am inclined to think in yours is indeed “well born.” It may be “puerile, and unworthy of Statesmen” to declame against Family Pride; but there is and always has been such a ridiculous kind of Vanity among Men. “Statesmen know the evil, and danger is too serious to be sported with.” I am content they should be put into one hole; as you propose, but I have some fears that your Watchmen on each side will not well agree. When a Man can recollect the Virtues of his Ancestors; he certainly has abundantly more solid satisfaction than another who boasts that he sprang from those, who were rich, or noble; but never discovers the least degree of Virtue, or true worth of any kind…”

Haitian Education Leaders with Samuel Adams Part 1:

Haitian Education Leaders with Samuel Adams Part 2:

Is Your Healthcare Laws Like the Stamp Act?

Yes, there are again the similarities to my day and yours.  Is your new healthcare laws not similar in cost and effect to “the Stamp Act” of my day? Is it not that the forced purchase of a government approved method or system removing your choices and like the Stamp Act forcing government approval of every activity of your freedom to live?  Are not the cost such that there are no benefit to you but are excessive and impacting businesses – driving up their cost to function and become even more the forced “tax collector” of the government?  And, is not that government hiring more agents to enforce this healthcare debacle?  Oh, how many are the parallels to the Stamp Act!

Are not the many other Liberty affecting costly regulations and laws not like the marshaling of Parliament against the We The People of the 1700’s? Do not fall into the servitude of those who would lull you to sleep with words of “for the common good” since they only have their good – their best interests in mind.  Remember, it was the merchants of England and the war debt that pressured the Parliament to enslave the American people by taxing and restricting their ability to do local manufacturing and other local business.  Your impositions by our own elective bodies brings tears to my eyes and grieves my heart.  I hoped for a moral people to live in Liberty but I see a shackled people licking the hands of tyrants.

We forced the repeal of the Stamp Act! Will you have the courage and will to force the repeal of this same destroyer of Liberty and economy?  I pray you do!

Here is an exert of the article I wrote in 1771 in the Boston Gazette:

“For my own part, I cannot but at present be of opinion, and “I have reason to believe” that my opinion is well founded, that the measures of the British administration of the colonies, are still as disgustful and odious to the inhabitants of this respectable metropolis in general, as they ever have been: And I will venture further to add, that nothing, in my opinion, can convey a more unjust idea of the spirit of a true American, than to suppose he would even compliment, much less make an adulating address to any person sent here to trample on the Rights of his Country; or that he would ever condescend to kiss the hand which is ready prepared to rivet his own fetters – There are among us, it must be confess’d, needy expectants and dependents; and a few others of sordid and base minds, form’d by nature to bend and crouch even to little great men: – But whoever thinks, that by the most refined art and assiduous application of the most ingenious political oculist, the “public eye” can yet look upon the chains which are forg’d for them, or upon those detestable men who are employ’d to put them on, without abhorrence and indignation, are very much mistaken – I only wish that my Countrymen may be upon their guard against being led by the artifices of the tools of Administration, into any indiscreet measures, from whence they may take occasion to give such a coloring. “There have been, says the celebrated American Farmer, in every age and in every country bad men: Men who either hold or expect to hold certain advantages by fitting examples of SERVILITY to their countrymen: Who train’d to the employment, or self-taught by a natural versatility of genius, serve as decoys for drawing the innocent and unwary into snares. It is not to be doubted but that such men will diligently bestir themselves on this and every like occasion, to spread the infection of their meanness as far as they can. On the plans they have adopted this is their course. This is the method to recommend themselves to their patrons. They act consistently in a bad cause. They run well in a mean race. From them we shall learn, how pleasant and profitable a thing it is, to be, for our submissive behavior, well spoken of at St. James’s or St. Stephen’s, at Guildhall or the Royal Exchange.”

“We cannot surely have forgot the accursed designs of a most detestable set of men, to destroy the Liberties of America as with one blow, by the Stamp-Act; nor the noble and successful efforts we then made to divert the impending stroke of ruin aimed at ourselves and our posterity. The Sons of Liberty on the 14th of August 1765, a Day which ought to be for ever remembered in America, animated with a zeal for their country then upon the brink of destruction, and resolved, at once to save her, or like Samson, to perish in the ruins, exerted themselves with such distinguished vigor, as made the house of Dogon to shake from its very foundation; and the hopes of the lords of the Philistines even while their hearts were merry, and when they were anticipating the joy of plundering this continent, were at that very time buried in the pit they had digged. The People shouted; and their shout was heard to the distant end of this Continent. In each Colony they deliberated and resolved, and every Stampman trembled; and swore by his Maker, that he would never execute a commission which he had so infamously received

“We cannot have forgot, that at the very Time when the stamp-act was repealed, another was made in which the Parliament of Great- Britain declared, that they had right and authority to make any laws whatever binding on his Majesty’s subjects in America – How far this declaration can be consistent with the freedom of his Majesty’s subjects in America, let any one judge who pleases – In consequence of such right and authority claim’d, the commons of Great Britain very soon fram’d a bill and sent it up to the Lords, wherein they pray’d his Majesty to accept of their grant of such a part as they were then pleas’d, by virtue of the right and authority inherent in them to make, of the property of his Majesty’s subjects in America by a duty upon paper, glass, painter’s colours and tea. And altho’ these duties are in part repeal’d, there remains enough to answer the purpose of administration, which was to fix the precedent. We remember the policy of Mr. Grenville, who would have been content for the present with a pepper corn establish’d as a revenue in America: If therefore we are voluntarily silent while the single duty on tea is continued, or do any act, however innocent, simply considered, which may be construed by the tools of administration, (some of whom appear to be fruitful in invention) as an acquiescence in the measure, we are in extreme hazard; if ever we are so distracted as to consent to it, we are undone.”

TYRANNY AND IMMORALITY LINKED

There is nothing new under the sun.

 We have seen that the moral decline of a people will be an integral aspect of the institution of Tyranny.  Once again, America is fighting for its Liberty.  The excessive taxation, slavery by debt, the moral degradation, the suspension of the Citizens Rights, the international cabal causing the loss of sovereignty is linked to those wanting power and rule over the people.

I leave to your reading an article that I wrote in 1772.  Compare how you are living the institutionalization of tyranny in the present.  But instead of the English King and Parliament, you are suffering under your Congress and pseudo king – the President.  You must return to being a Moral and Virtuous people to truly enjoy the fullness of Liberty.

ARTICLE SIGNED “VALERIUS POPLICOLA.”1

[Boston Gazette, October 5, 1772.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

“Is there a Prince on Earth, who has power to lay a single Penny upon his subjects, without the Grant and Consent of those who are to pay it, otherwise than by Tyranny and Violence? No Prince can levy it unless through Tyranny and under Penalty of Excommunication. But there are those who are Bruitish enough not to know what they can do or omit in this Affair.

Such is the language of a great and good Historian and Statesman, a Subject of France. Had the English Politicians and Ministers been either half as honest or half as wise as he, they would never have driven the American Revenue without the Grant or Consent of those who pay it, to such a length, as to cause an Alienation of affection which perhaps may not easily if ever be recovered. By this kind of politics, says the worthy Frenchman, Charles the seventh brought a heavy Sin upon his own Soul and upon that of his Successors, and gave his Kingdom a Wound, which would continue long to bleed. The British Ministers, possibly, may entertain different Ideas of Morals from those of the French Historian, if indeed they have any such kind of ideas at all. However, the Nation, I fear, will have Occasion to rue the day, when they suffer’d their Politics so far to prevail, as to gain such an Influence in their Parliament as they certainly did in the last, to say nothing of the present. The Impositions upon the French, says Mr. Gordon,2 grew monstrous almost as soon as they grew arbitrary. Charles the seventh, who began them, never rais’d annually more than one hundred and eighty thousand Pounds. His Son Lewis the eleventh almost trebled the Revenue; and since then, all that the Kingdom and People had, even to their Skins, has hardly been thought sufficient for their Kings.” An awakening Caution to Americans! Lest by tamely submitting to be plundered, they encourage their Plunderers to grasp at all they have.

The Merchants of this Continent have passively submitted to the Indignity of a Tribute; and the Landholders, tho’ Sharers in the Indignity, have been perhaps too unconcern’d Spectators of the humiliating Scene. Posterity, who will no doubt revenge their Fathers Wrongs, may also be ashamed, when in the Page of History they are informed of their tame Subjection. Had the Body of this People shown a proper Resentment, at the time when the proud Taskmasters first made their appearance, we should never have seen Pensioners multiplying like the Locusts in Egypt, which devoured every green Thing. I speak with Assurance; because it seldom has happened if ever, that even a small People has been kept long in Bondage, when they have unitedly and perseveringly resolv’d to be Free.

At that critical Period, we hearkened to what we then took to be, the Dictates of sound policy and Prudence. We were led to place a Confidence in those, whose Protection we had a right to claim, and we hoped for Deliverance in dry Remonstrances and humble Supplication. We have petition’d, repeatedly petition’d, and our Petitions have been heard, barely heard! The Grievances of this Continent have no doubt “reached the Royal Ear”; I wish I could see reason to say they had touch’d the Royal Heart. No – They yet remain altogether unredress’d. Such has been the baneful Influence of corrupt and infamous Ministers and Servants of the Crown; that the Complaints of three Millions of loyal Subjects have not yet penetrated the Royal Breast, to move it even to pity.

Have not our humble Petitions, breathing a true Spirit of rational Loyalty, and expressive of a just Sense of those Liberties the Restoration of which we implored, been followed with Grievance upon Grievance, as fast as the cruel Heart and Hand of a most execrable Paricide could invent and fabricate them? I will not at present enumerate Grievances; they are known, sufficiently known, felt and understood. Is it not enough, to have a Governor, an avowed Advocate for ministerial Measures, and a most assiduous Instrument in carrying them on – moddel’d, shaped, controul’d, and directed-totally independant of the people over whom he is commissioned to govern, and yet absolutely dependent upon the Crown – pensioned by those on whom his existence depends, and paid out of a Revenue establish’d by those who have no Authority to establish it, and extorted from the People in a Manner most Odious, insulting and oppressive. Is not this, Indignity enough to be felt by those who have any feeling? Are we still threatned with more? Is Life, Property and every Thing dear and sacred, to be now submitted to the Decisions of PENSION’D JUDGES, holding their places during the pleasure of such a Governor, and a Council perhaps overawed! To what a State of Infamy, Wretchedness and Misery shall we be reduc’d if our Judges shall be prevail’d upon to be thus degraded to Hirelings, and the Body of the People shall suffer their free Constitution to be overturn’d and ruin’d. Merciful GOD! Inspire Thy People with Wisdom and Fortitude, and direct them to gracious Ends. In this extreme Distress, when the Plan of Slavery seems nearly compleated, 0 save our Country from impending Ruin – Let not the iron Hand of Tyranny ravish our Laws and seize the Badge of Freedom, nor avow’d Corruption and the murderous Rage of lawless Power be ever seen on the sacred Seat of Justice!

Is it not High Time for the People of this Country explicitly to declare, whether they will be Freemen or Slaves? It is an important Question which ought to be decided. It concerns us more than any Thing in this Life. The Salvation of our Souls is interested in the Event: For wherever Tyranny is establish’d, Immorality of every Kind comes in like a Torrent. It is in the Interest of Tyrants to reduce the People to Ignorance and Vice. For they cannot live in any Country where Virtue and Knowledge prevail. The Religion and public Liberty of a People are intimately connected; their Interests are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together. For this Reason, it is always observable, that those who are combin’d to destroy the People’s Liberties, practice every Art to poison their Morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all Events, to put a Stop to the Progress of Tyranny. It is advanced already by far too many Strides. We are at this moment upon a precipice. The next step may be fatal to us. Let us then act like wise Men; calmly took around us and consider what is best to be done. Let us converse together upon this most interesting Subject and open our minds freely to each other. Let it be the topic of conversation in every social Club. Let every Town assemble. Let Associations & Combinations be everywhere set up to consult and recover our just Rights.

” The Country claims our active Aid. That let us roam; & where we find a Spark Of public Virtue, blow it into Flame.”

VALERIUS POPLIC0LA.

 

1. Attributed to Adams by W. V. Wells. See above, page 256.

2. Rev. William Gordon, of Roxbury, author of The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States of America.

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