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; [….]

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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.

My Hopes for Congress Then and Now!

This letter was to my Dear Friend Elbridge Gerry.  He was serving in the Confederated Congress when I wrote this letter to him.  My concerns for Congress hold true not only for that day in September in 1783 but would hold my beliefs more so after the new Constitution came into being.

I wrote on September 9th Saying:

“MY DEAR SIR,
This is the first letter I have been able to write since I had the pleasure of seeing you, excepting a short one to our delegates, informing them that the general court had appointed a committee to correspond with them. Mr. Appleton and Mr. Rowe are my colleagues in this business. The correspondence is to be very extensive. “Any other important matter which relates to the being and welfare of the United States!” My bodily illness has prevented my engaging in it. I wish the delegates would begin. The welfare, and perhaps the being of the United States, in my opinion, depends much upon congress possessing the confidence of the people at large; that upon the administration of public affairs being manifestly grounded upon principles of equality and justice, or upon the people being assured that congress merit their confidence. The war is now over, and the people turn their eyes to the disposition of their money, a subject, which I hope congress will always have so clear a knowledge of, as to be able at any time to satisfy the rational enquiries of the people. To prevent groundless jealousies, it seems necessary not only that the principal in that department should himself be immaculate, but that care should be taken that no persons be admitted to his confidence but such as have the entire confidence of the people. Should a suspicion prevail that our high treasurer suffers men of bad principles or of no principles to be about him and employed by him, the fidelity of congress itself would be suspected, and a total loss of confidence would follow. I am much concerned for the reputation of congress, and have laboured to support it because that body is and must be the cement of the union of the states. I hope, therefore, they will always make it evident to reasonable men that their administration merits the public applause. Will they be able to do this, if they should cease to be very watchful over men whom they trust in great departments, especially those who have the disposition of the public moneys? Power will follow the possession of money, even when it is known that it is not the possessor’s property. So fascinating are riches in the eyes of mankind! Were our financier, I was going to say, even an angel from heaven, I hope he will never have so much influence as to gain the ascendency over congress, which the first lord of the treasury has long had over the parliament of Britain; long enough to effect the ruin of that nation. These are the fears which I expressed in congress when the department was first instituted. I was told, that the breath of congress could annihilate the financier; but I replied, that the time might come, and if they were not careful it certainly would, when even congress would not dare to blow that breath. Whether these fears are the mere creatures of the imagination you will judge.
My regards to Dr. Holten and Mr. Higgenson, if he is still in Congress.

Pray write to me often.
Adieu.

Have not modern times played out the concerns that I had?  Are not those that control the treasury of the Union and even of the States more in control then the Representatives of the People?  The People are to blame for not maintaining the watchful eye over those that have been elected and worse, the elected not holding accountable those appointed to the various departments.

Mr. Gerry and I are for Limited government!  That must be the cry of the people!  To demand a full accountability for the Peoples money and to regard it with the same principles of good conduct as one would within their own household.

For those in the present age, it is critical that you understand the Tale of Two Constitutions and hear this told at your events and meetings.

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. 

Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Twinsburg, Ohio – 2013

Local, State and National Representatives from Twinsburg, Summit County and the 14th Ohio Congressional District took part in Reading the Declaration of Independence.  I was visiting this once frontier land and was asked to comment on the Declaration and the idea of Liberty.

Please view the video and then see my unabridged written comments from Loyalty and Sedition:

From Loyalty and Sedition written 1748

Edited for the Reading of the Declaration in Twinsburg Ohio July 4, 2013

About Liberty:

” There is no one thing which mankind are more passionately fond of, which they fight with more zeal for, which they possess with more anxious jealousy and fear of losing, than liberty.  But it has fared with this, as with many other things, that the true notion and just definition of it has been but little understood, at the same time that zeal for it and disputes about it have produced endless altercations.  There is, there certainly is such a thing as liberty, which distinguishes man from the beasts.  And though the notions of men were ten times more confused and unsettled, and their opinions more various about this matter than they are, there yet remains an internal and essential distinction between this same liberty and slavery.

“In the state of nature, every man has a right to think and act according to the dictates of his own mind, which, in that state, are subject to no other control and can be commanded by no other power than the laws and ordinances of God, the great Creator of all things.

“This is liberty in a state of nature, which, as no man ought to be abridged of, so no man has a right to give up, or even part with any portion of it, but in order to secure the rest and place it upon a more solid foundation; it being equally with our lives the gift of the same bounteous Author of all things.[1]  As, therefore, no man’s life is his own in such a sense as that he may wantonly destroy it at his own pleasure, or submit it to the wanton pleasure of another, so neither is his liberty. And had mankind continued in that innocent and happy state in which the sacred writings represent them as first created, it is possible that this liberty would have been enjoyed in such perfection as to have rendered the embodying into civil society and the security of human laws altogether needless.

“But though in the present corrupt and degenerate times no such state of nature can with any regularity exist, it will not, however, be difficult from the description we have given of liberty in that state to form the true notion and settle the just bounds of it in a state of society and civic government.  But here, too, we must distinguish and consider liberty as it respects the whole body and as it respects each individual.  As it respects the whole body, it is then enjoyed when neither legislative nor executive powers (by which I mean those men with whom are intrusted the power of making laws and of executing them) are disturbed by any internal passion or hindered by any external force from making the wisest laws and executing them in the best manner; when the safety, the security, and the happiness of all is the real care and steady pursuit of those whose business it is to care for and pursue it;

” As it respects individuals, a man is then free when he freely enjoys the security of the laws and the rights to which he is born; when he is hindered by no violence from claiming those rights and enjoying that security, but may at any time demand the protection of the laws under which he lives, and be sure when demanded to enjoy it.  This is what I take to be liberty; and considered in this light, all the fine things said of it by ancient and modern do justly belong to it.—it is the choicest gift that Heaven has “lent to man ; an emanation from the Father of Lights; an image and representation of the government of the Supreme Director of all things, which, though it can never be controlled by any superior force, is yet ever guided by the laws of infinite wisdom.

” But alas! in this exalted sense, liberty is rather admired in the world than truly enjoyed. What multitudes of persons are there who have not so much as the shadow of it!

” It has been a question much controverted in the world what form of government is best, and in what system this liberty is best consulted and preserved.  I cannot say that I am wholly free from that prejudice which generally possesses men in favor of their own country, and the manners they have been used to from their infancy.  But I must declare, for my own part, that there is no form of civil government, which I have ever heard of, appears to me so well calculated to preserve this blessing, or to secure to its subjects all the most valuable advantages of civil society, as ours.  For in none that I have ever met with is the power of the governors and the rights of the governed more nicely adjusted, or the power which is necessary in the very nature of government to be intrusted in the hands of some, by wiser checks prevented from growing exorbitant.  This Constitution has indeed passed through various amendations, but the principal parts of it are of very ancient standing, and have continued through the several successions of kings to this day; having never been in any great degree attacked by any, but they have lost their lives or their crowns in the attempt.

” The two main provisions by which a certain share in the government is secured to the people are their Legislatures and their juries.  By this means the Citizen can never be oppressed by bad laws, nor lose the security of good ones, but by his own fault; and though I am not such an extravagant admirer of my own country as to suppose that the Legislature never made unwise laws, or that jurors never put false constructions on wise ones, yet I will venture to assert that every man’s security and happiness is much safer in such hands than under an arbitrary or aristocratical form of government.  Especially since, by the wise provisions of our ancestors, both these powers are of short continuance; for power intrusted for a short time is not so likely to be perverted as that which is perpetual.

” From this happy Constitution of our mother country, ours in this is copied, or rather improved upon.  Our invaluable charter secures to us all the English liberties, besides which we have some additional privileges which the common people there have not.  Our fathers had so severely felt the effects of tyranny, that they underwent the greatest difficulties and toils to secure to themselves and transmit to their posterity those invaluable blessings; and we, their posterity, are this day reaping the fruits of their toils. Happy beyond expression! —in the form of our government, in the liberty we enjoy,—if we know our own happiness and how to improve it.  But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.  We must not conclude merely upon a man’s speaking upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country.  It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty— to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves.  It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind;— examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same Liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.

** The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people: then shall we both deserve and enjoy it.  While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.”

 

 


[1] Compare the Rights of the Colonists, November, 1772 ; and the Declaration of Rights in the Congress of 1774.

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).

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.

A Modern Interpretation of Samuel Adams 2012 Year In Review

As 2012 comes quickly to a close I can see Mr. Adams seething in frustration with all that occurred in 2012.  Having been known for his strong opinions I’m sure that he would open the floodgates of commentary in his eloquent manner condemning the acts of usurpation and tyranny being perpetrated on the Citizenry.  Sadly, as seen by the November election results, the majority does not understand the tyranny closing the noose of modern feudalism around their lives.  Mr Adams was making efforts to effect a moral reform in Boston & Massachusetts and was not meeting with much success, though public meetings at which Mr. Adams presided were held on the subject (Boston Town Records, 1780, 1781) and he attempted to effect something by uniting families. Writing to a friend on the increasing lacking and moral degradation of public manners, he says:

“It was asked in the of Charles the Second 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, and effeminate.’  Hutchinson advised the curtailment of what are called English liberties by the same means. ‘We shall never subdue them’, said Bernard, ‘but by eradicating their manners and 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, though even they did not dare to openly confess them? … Our Bradfords, Winslows, and Winthrops would have revolted at the idea of opening scenes of (squandering of money, energy, and resources) and folly (lack of good sense; foolishness), 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.   Sydney tells us, there are times when people are not worth saving; meaning, when they have lost their virtue. I pray this may never be truly said of my beloved town”

So in this closing of 2012, Mr. Adams would be praying for God’s mercy on Boston and these United States for losing our virtue and our freedom follows down the gutter of moral degradation.

It is important that we step back a moment and take the time to understand that this “Father of the Revolution” always approached every aspect of life and the fight for Liberty from his devout Puritan Christian perspective.  Let’s look at the character sketch summarized in the Three Volumes of the “Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams”:

“Thomas Jefferson, then just elected President of the United States, wrote to his (Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, Feb. 26, 1801) “ever respected and venerable friend: “Your principles have been tested in the crucible of time, and have come out pure. You have proved that it was monarchy, and not merely British monarchy, you opposed. A government by representatives, elected by the people at short periods, was our object, and our maxim at that day was, ‘Where annual election ends, tyranny begins.'” Jefferson’s remarks were applicable, not only to the period of the Revolution, but to the whole lifetime of Samuel Adams. The spirit which, in his boyhood, dictated the college thesis advocating the lawfulness of resistance to tyranny was the same that spoke in the Independent Advertiser five years later for the right of remonstrating public grievances and against the exercise of lawless power.

Adams would be again, in 2012, raising the awareness of not only the international tyranny of the United Nations being imposed on the Citizenry through treaty, executive commitment and executive order, but by a direct assault on Founders Intent for self-governance by congressional actions that foster over-reaching bureaucratic regulation and executive usurpation’s.  If one looks with seeing eyes, the actions of congress over the last 50 years and Parliament during Adams time, have uncanny parallels of attacking Liberty, Property, Life and Religious Freedom. But again, even the churches in America no longer understand the Liberty Principles as Adams understood them.

It was said of Adams,

“If he preferred the mode of divine worship in which he was born and educated to other religious institutions of antiquity (being of Puritan heritage), or to other forms in which Christianity has appeared, it was not from the prejudices of education, or mere mechanical habit; but because he conceived our churches, when confined to their original design, were excellent schools of morality; that they were adapted to promote the future happiness of mankind; and because by experience he had known them a powerful auxiliary in defending the civil as well as religious privileges of America. In this mode of thinking he was instituted.  The purity of his life witnessed the sincerity of his profession, and with the same faith he expired. The last printed production of which he was the author has given unquestionable proofs of his belief in, and respect for, our holy religion.

“Much may be collected from the religious and moral character of this great man whom we have attempted to describe which will assist us in the same laudable design. Such an example of piety and purity is better than a system of ethics to instruct us in our duty to Almighty God, and in the practice of those moral and social virtues which embellish and dignify human life. We have had presented before us a man struggling with adverse fortune, yet elevated by his mind above every external evil; never discouraged by the numerous obstacles opposing his progress; performing with fortitude every dangerous duty; equally uniform, open, and consistent in his opinion and conduct, under the cruel coldness and negligence of his friend, as under the malignant obloquy and rancor of his enemy; and finally, under the darkest scenes of his existence, refreshing the native energy of his soul by sublime contemplation on the wisdom and goodness of the eternal Providence. And now let me ask whether the portrait thus exhibited doth not warrant us in borrowing the eulogium of the son of Sirah on King Josiah, and applying it to our departed friend. “His remembrance is like the composition of a perfume made by the art of the apothecary. It is sweet as honey in all mouths, and as music at a banquet of wine.”

This great Patriot understood that all government and those governing are under the rule of the King of the Universe and that to violate the Liberties of the Citizenry is evil.  To burden the future generations with debt as is being implemented in 2012 would be considered by Adams the enslavement of the future generations.  Adams would decry the enactment of laws and regulations that promote the taking of property, the killing of the innocent unborn and the acceptance of lewd and immoral behavior as homosexuality – all funded by Citizens taxation – he would consider this total deprivation, non-virtuous and an affront to God’s design of humanity.  Yet all of this acceptance and enslavement is reaching a pinnacle in 2012.

As Governor of Massachusetts hear how Adams approached the time of legislative session:

“It having been the invariable practice, derived from the days of our renowned ancestors, at this season of the year to set apart a day of public fasting and prayer, and the practice appearing to be in itself productive, if well improved, of happy effects on the public mind,

“I have therefore thought fit, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, to appoint Thursday, the fourth day of May next ensuing, to be observed and improved throughout this Common wealth for the purpose of public fasting and prayer, earnestly recommending to the ministers of the Gospel, with their respective congregations, then to assemble together and seriously to consider, and with one united voice to confess, our past sins and transgressions, with holy resolutions, by the grace of God, to turn our feet into the path of His law, humbly beseeching Him to endue us with all the Christian spirit of piety, benevolence, and the love of our country; and that in all our public deliberations we may be possessed of a sacred regard to the fundamental principles of our free, elective, civil Constitutions; that we may be preserved from consuming fires and all other desolating judgments.

“And as at this season the general business of the year commences, it seems highly proper humbly to implore the Divine blessing on our husbandry, trade, and fishery, and all the labor of our hands; on our University and schools of education; on the administration of the government of the United States; and in a particular manner that all misunderstanding between them and a sister republic may be happily so adjusted as to prevent an open rupture and establish permanent peace.

“And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken into pieces, and the oppressed made free; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all the people willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is the Prince of Peace.”

The actions of the various states and the federal governments would have Mr. Adams chastising every elected person for allowing this breath of government overreach and the insidiousness of statist central planners to openly institute a power seizure that would be repugnant to the Founders of this Nation.  But, the moderns wanted and elected “guardians” as de Tocqueville predicted – those that would “fundamentally change America.”  When you change fundamentals, you go away from the principles of “Original Intent.”

Finally, it seems that as Adams was eulogized there was a greater hope that he left; one that should have been the integral essence of 2012 instead of the deeper imposition of tyranny. Here are the closing comments about Samuel Adams by WILLIAM V. WELLS:

“Finally, if we wish to continue those copious blessings already enumerated, and to convey them for an inheritance to posterity, let us cultivate the memory and virtue of those illustrious men by whom they were obtained. Let their august image ever dwell be fore our eyes; that they may still live, not merely on marble or canvas, or yet in the historic page, but in the heart and morals of the survivor. Then may we expect from the tomb of the patriots, as the phoenix from its ashes, their exalted worth, their dignified qualities, will be newly delineated in the life and actions of posterity; and that our country will still produce characters so elevated and noble, that even those venerable shades will cheerfully hail them as kindred spirits. But if, which God forbid! we sink in luxury and licentiousness; if our hearts are cankered with avarice, and we become dead to every noble and generous principle; if the torch of civil discord is blown up, and is permitted to blaze with increasing fury; if unbridled faction and unprincipled ambition are elevated to dominion, while true patriotism and genuine worth are thrown into obscurity, then may we expect a total eclipse of our past and present glory. We shall be ripe for the avenging hand of Heaven. Every footstep of order and liberty will vanish, and the iron age of despotism most probably succeed.  Then may it be said of this great and good man, whose memory and virtue we have celebrated, as well as other illustrious luminaries whose eyes are now closed in the slumbers of the grave “that Heaven hath not so much          them deprived of the of life, as rewarded them with death.”

We now stand, at the end of 2012, at the open “iron age of despotism.”  Will the Citizens of the United States be able to heartily look at this summation of our Patriot patriarchs and first go to that decree of Adams as governor to “repent” and return to God?  Then will the Citizenry demand the fortitude of virtuous and moral leaders?  Will the true Christian religion raise up moral and virtuous leaders who will stand in the gap having wisdom in economics, culture and the political understanding of Founders Intent?  Or, is the judgment of God going to be so great that the words of Adams echo with, “Sydney tells us, there are times when people are not worth saving; meaning, when they have lost their virtue.” Instead of, “…I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken into pieces, and the oppressed made free; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all the people willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is the Prince of Peace.”

Let 2013 be the time that true Patriots continue to rise “as the phoenix” to avert the despotism and tyranny being embellished in 2012.  May God’s continued Grace be on those called according to His purpose for doing good, being virtuous leaders in fulfilling our callings!

**All quotes from William Wells volumes on the “Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams”   Interpretation of how Adams would respond is based on the in depth study of his personal writings and other peers letters and writings.

ARTICLE SIGNED “CANDIDUS.” For Modern Times

                        Modern Commentary at the end of Original

            Sadly Modern Americans have no real understanding of “Liberty”! It is not taught in your schools or churches.  The study of the “ancients” no longer touches your thoughts so that you would understand that history tells the story of the way small numbers of individual hold to the feudal beliefs of enslaving others.  That slavery does not have to be overt. This word would conjures ideas of what many of us Founders fought against from the beginning yet with that, it applies in a modern sense to what de Tocqueville wrote would happen to the United States.  More terrible, as de Tocqueville wrote, is that the majority of the citizenry is willing to accept the cloak of slavery for security by clamoring in your modern times for the god of environmentalism and economy over the truths of Liberty.

The Original – [Boston Gazette, October 14, 1771.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

“Ambition saw that stooping Rome could bear A MASTER, nor had Virtue to be free.”

I Believe that no people ever yet groaned under the heavy yoke of slavery, but when they deserv’d it.  This may be called a severe censure upon by far the greatest part of the nations in the world who are involv’d in the misery of servitude: But however they may be thought by some to deserve commiseration, the censure is just.  Zuinglius, one of the first reformers, in his friendly admonition to the republic of the Switzers, discourses much of his countrymens throwing off the yoke: He says, that they who lie under oppression deserve what they suffer, and a great more; and he bids them perish with their oppressors.  The truth is, All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.  Is it possible that millions could be enslaved by a few, which is a notorious fact, if all possessed the independent spirit of Brutus, who to his immortal honor, expelled the proud Tyrant of Rome, and his “royal and rebellious race?”  If therefore a people will not be free; if they have not virtue enough to maintain their liberty against a presumptuous invader, they deserve no pity, and are to be treated with contempt and ignominy.  Had not Caesar seen that Rome was ready to stoop, he would not have dared to make himself the master of that once brave people.  He was indeed, as a great writer observes, a smooth and subtle tyrant, who led them gently into slavery; “and on his brow, ‘ore daring vice deluding virtue smil’d”.  By pretending to be the peoples greatest friend, he gain’d the ascendency over them: By beguiling arts, hypocrisy and flattery, which are even more fatal than the sword, he obtain’d that supreme power which his ambitious soul had long thirsted for: The people were finally prevail’d upon to consent to their own ruin: By the force of perswasion, or rather by cajoling arts and tricks always made use of by men who have ambitious views, they enacted their Lex Regia: whereby Quod placuit principi legis habuit vigorem; that is, the Will and pleasure of the Prince had the force of law.  His minions had taken infinite pains to paint to their imaginations the god-like virtues of Caesar: They first persuaded them to believe that he was a deity, and then to sacrifice to him those Rights and Liberties which their ancestors had so long maintained, with unexampled bravery, and with blood & treasure.  By this act they fixed a precedent fatal to all posterity: The Roman people afterwards, influenced no doubt by this pernicious example, renew’d it to his successors, not at the end of every ten years, but for life.  They transfer’d all their right and power to Charles the Great: In eum transtulit omne suum jus et poteslatem.  Thus, they voluntarily and ignominiously surrendered their own liberty, and exchanged a free constitution for a TYRANNY!

It is not my design at present to form the comparison between the state of this country now, and that of the Roman Empire in those dregs of time; or between the disposition of Caesar, and that of — (the present administration); The comparison, I confess, would not in all parts hold good: The Tyrant of Rome, to do him justice, had learning, courage, and great abilities. It behoves us however to awake and advert to the danger we are in.  The Tragedy of American Freedom, it is to be feared is nearly compleated: A Tyranny seems to be at the very door.  It is to little purpose then to go about cooly to rehearse the gradual steps that have been taken, the means that have been used, and the instruments employed, to encompass the ruin of the public liberty: We know them and we detest them.  But what will this avail, if we have not courage and resolution to prevent the completion of their system?

Our enemies would fain have us lie down on the bed of sloth and security, and persuade ourselves that there is no danger.  They are daily administering the opiate with multiplied arts and delusions, and I am sorry to observe, that the gilded pill is so alluring to some who call themselves the friends of Liberty. But is there no danger when the very foundations of our civil constitution tremble?  When an attempt was first made to disturb the corner-stone of the fabrick, we were universally and justly alarmed: And can we be cool spectators, when we see it already removed from its place?  With what resentment and indignation did we first receive the intelligence of a design to make us tributary, not to natural enemies, but infinitely more humiliating, to fellow subjects?  And yet with unparalleled insolence we are told to be quiet, when we see that very money which is torn from us by lawless force, made use of still further to oppress us – to feed and pamper a set of infamous wretches, who swarm like the locusts of Egypt; and some of them expect to revel in wealth and riot on the spoils of our country.  Is it a time for us to sleep when our free government is essentially changed, and a new one is forming upon a quite different system?  A government without the least dependance upon the people: A government under the absolute controul of a minister of state; upon whose sovereign dictates is to depend not only the time when, and the place where, the legislative assembly shall sit, but whether it shall sit at all: And if it is allowed to meet, it shall be liable immediately to be thrown out of existence, if in any one point it fails in obedience to his arbitrary mandates.  Have we not already seen specimens of what we are to expect under such a government, in the instructions which Mr. HUTCHINSON has received, and which he has publickly avow’d, and declared he is bound to obey?   By one, he is to refuse his assent to a tax-bill, unless the Commissioners of the Customs and other favorites are exempted: And if these may be freed from taxes by the order of a minister, may not all his tools and drudges, or any others who are subservient to his designs, expect the same indulgence?  By another he is to forbid to pass a grant of the assembly to any agent, but one to whose election he has given his consent; which is in effect to put it out of our power to take the necessary and legal steps for the redress of those grievances which we suffer by the arts and machinations of ministers, and their minions here.  What difference is there between the present state of this province, which in course will be the deplorable state of all America, and that of Rome, under the law before mention’d?  The difference is only this, that they gave their formal consent to the change, which we have not yet done.  But let us be upon our guard against even a negative submission; for agreeable to the sentiments of a celebrated writer, who thoroughly understood his subject, if we are voluntarily silent, as the conspirators would have us to be, it will be consider’d as an approbation of the change.  “By the fundamental laws of England, the two houses of parliament in concert with the King, exercise the legislative power: But if the two houses should be so infatuated, as to resolve to suppress their powers, and invest the King with the full and absolute government, certainly the nation would not suffer it.”  And if a minister shall usurp the supreme and absolute government of America, and set up his instructions as laws in the colonies, and their Governors shall be so weak or so wicked, as for the sake of keeping their places, to be made the instruments in putting them in execution, who will presume to say that the people have not a right, or that it is not their indispensible duty to God and their Country, by all rational means in their power to RESIST THEM.

“Be firm, my friends, nor let UNMANLY SLOTH Twine round your hearts indissoluble chains.  Ne’er yet by force was freedom overcome.  Unless CORRUPTION first dejects the pride, And guardian vigour of the free-born soul, All crude attempts of violence are vain.  Determined, hold Your INDEPENDENCE; for, that once destroy’d, Unfounded Freedom is a morning dream.”

The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.  We have receiv’d them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas’d them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.  It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightned as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing menOf the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it.  Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath’d to us from the former, for the sake of the latter.  Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember, that, “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.”  It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event.

CANDIDUS.

 

Comments and Application for the Modern Citizen:

My fears are great in that again, the general citizenry of your modern age will not receive the benefits of the true Founding wisdom that uncompromising history can instruct.  As written in this 1771 article, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1831 in Chapter VI of his book two a discussion regarding the tyranny that occurred during the Roman times.  More so, de Tocqueville was concerned that the America and other Christian democracies would fall to a despotism not ever been recognized before.  He described it in such a manner that you in the modern United States might finally be able to see:

“But it would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. I do not question, that in an age of instruction and equality like our own, sovereigns might more easily succeed in collecting all political power into their own hands, and might interfere more habitually and decidedly within the circle of private interests, than any sovereign of antiquity could ever do. But this same principle of equality which facilitates despotism, tempers its rigor. We have seen how the manners of society become more humane and gentle in proportion as men become more equal and alike. When no member of the community has much power or much wealth, tyranny is, as it were, without opportunities and a field of action. As all fortunes are scanty, the passions of men are naturally circumscribed–their imagination limited, their pleasures simple. This universal moderation moderates the sovereign himself, and checks within certain limits the inordinate extent of his desires.

Independently of these reasons drawn from the nature of the state of society itself,… When I consider the petty passions of our contemporaries, the mildness of their manners, the extent of their education, the purity of their religion, the gentleness of their morality, their regular and industrious habits, and the restraint which they almost all observe in their vices no less than in their virtues, I have no fear that they will meet with tyrants in their rulers, but rather guardians. I think then that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything which ever before existed in the world:… I am trying myself to choose an expression which will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it, but in vain; the old words “despotism” and “tyranny” are inappropriate: the thing itself is new; and since I cannot name it, I must attempt to define it.”

As was mentioned in the third paragraph that “Our enemies would fain have us lie down on the bed of sloth and security,” having you receive the “daily administering the opiate with multiplied arts and delusions” via the modern media leads then to what de Tocqueville describes where the citizens will see “petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives.” And that they will “live apart” from neighbors and children such that “he exists but in himself and for himself alone.”  Above this segregated citizenry, de Tocqueville view the future, your present, sees a “race of men stands an immense and tutelary (a guardian, patron or protector) power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances–what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

Your present situation is that of not understanding Liberty to the extent that de Tocqueville describes your condition with agency regulations and burdens at every level manipulating you the ‘sheeple’– “After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned them at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a net-work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates (weakens), extinguishes, and stupefies (unable to think clearly) a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

Unlike the time of 1771 when the King appointed the governor, your governors and politicians of immense authority are elected.  To this concern much was written in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers but I would again direct you to de Tocqueville who visited America in 1831 as he continue writing almost prophetically of your present condition: “Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free: as they cannot destroy either one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite; they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large that holds the end of his chain. By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large.

“…Of all the forms which democratic despotism could assume, the latter would assuredly be the worst. When the sovereign is elective, or narrowly watched by a legislature which is really elective and independent, the oppression which he exercises over individuals is sometimes greater, but it is always less degrading; because every man, when he is oppressed and disarmed, may still imagine, that whilst he yields obedience it is to himself he yields it, and that it is to one of his own inclinations that all the rest give way. In like manner I can understand that when the sovereign represents the nation, and is dependent upon the people, the rights and the power of which every citizen is deprived, not only serve the head of the State, but the State itself; and that private persons derive some return from the sacrifice of their independence which they have made to the public…” and “…Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day, and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their will…” Lastly, “…It is in vain to summon a people, which has been rendered so dependent on the central power, to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity…”

The conclusion for the citizen during your present time and future generations is that you MUST always have a clear and truthful Perspective of Liberty above all else!  I can only finish with reiterating the end of the final paragraph in the original – “…Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember, that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.”  It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event.”

 

Taxation, Government Pensions, Morality…. Liberty!

ARTICLE SIGNED “VALERIUS POPLICOLA.”

[Boston Gazette, October 5, 1772.]

A Comparison to the Modern United States

The original letter after the “Comparison”

The Modern Day Comparison

Historical reference: The encroachments by the constitutionally established government in England continued to foster indignation among the general Citizenry.  The Colonial Patriots well knew the risk, hardships and blood spilt by their forefathers to secure the original Charters that allowed for self-governance and not allow the changes occurring in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s; that being the central government appointing governors, judges and taxing the colonies in a manner that was not accordance to even the English Constitution.  In comparison internationally, the Founders were also aware that the Parliament was exercising the same regulatory and taxing policies that were imposed on India via the East India Trading Company, which enslaved the people of India, destroyed their commerce and made many in Parliament wealthy.  This was the design for the Colonies, subjugation and pillaging of resources, labor and property while destroying religious liberty and instituting debauchery that then removes overall Liberty.  Remember, Lord North, who administered the government for England, “would never acquiesce in the absurd opinion “that all men are equal.””[1]  What was the moral perspective of that government in England in 1772 and how has the morality of the elected representatives in the present US degenerated to masters over economics for the modern “East India Trading” companies instead of preserving Liberty that fosters innovation, commerce and economy?

In reviewing the 20th and now the early 21st Centuries, it can be seen that the Citizenry lost their perspective as to who is the governing authority.  By the trickery and manipulation of education and media communication, the federal entities have, as did Parliament in my day, usurped the governing authority of We The People.  Instead of every individual participating in self-governance, the “princes” – the career politicians, instituted a centralized government by telling the people what they would do for them instead of the Citizenry telling the elect what to accomplish for the purposes of the States and then the nation in maintaining Principled Constitutional governance.  By this inverse of governance, the Citizenry have allowed elected Tyrants, as de Tocqueville said would happen, to revise the Constitution by amendment, bureaucratic regulation and now through the court decision – unlimited taxation.  Where is the moral character of the politician that would impose slavery on the Citizenry for the sake of the imagined “General Welfare”?  How is this reconciled today even as these ploys were questioned in 1772? Is not the modern Congress and Administrations the plunderers of the Citizenry?

What of modern mega-corporations, the Merchants of the present? As the small and medium businesses in the U.S. suffer the increase of regulations that are in all measures another form of taxation, the large internationalist corporations and global banking conglomerates have explicit relationships with the government to the detriment of private property and therefore Liberty.  The largeness of federal departments, not originated in the Constitution, are constitutors of rules that then increase the indebtedness of posterity by chaining this generation’s ability to be productive to controls over every aspect of life and livelihood.  Not only that, the organizing (unionization) of public employees is forcing local governments and therefore the people of the communities, into bankruptcy from the pensions that have in these modern centuries “multiplying like the Locusts in Egypt” devouring every green dollar of the Citizenry.  How long will We The People tolerate the Bondage of over-bloated government that is not preserving Liberty but continues to burden Citizens, especially the next generation, into slaves of debt?

Are not the Citizenry of these modern centuries calling, writing, and communicating with elected representatives and the administrations for deliverance of over-burdensome government?  Instead of a deaf Royal Ear or Heart, there is now the deaf and cold politicians who are easily corrupted by lobbyists and globalist concerns!  What must this modern population of 300 million now do to have their Remonstrance’s and Supplications heard and the elected adhere to First Principles of a limited Federal Constitution?

Where the very essence of the American Citizenry has Patriotism genetically imbued, the actuality of what Patriotism is happens to be manipulated by those who hold to a philosophy completely contrary to that of foundational truths.  Instead, the elite educators, industrialists, globalists and politicians have cajoled “We the People” into thinking that nationalism and patriotism is not loyalty and that we must become subservient to the greater needs of the global citizenry.  Yet our Loyalty is to our Rights given by our Creator through our Forefathers, bought with their very being and blood, that secured for us the Liberty in a uniting of the States in a Republican form of self-governance through the rule of law, and which is expressly founded on Judea-Christian principles.  We the People, now as in 1772, feel the indignity of excessive Revenues established by those who have “limited” authority to establish them but yet, “extorted from the People in a Manner most Odious, insulting and oppressive.”  And now with Nationalized healthcare, “Is Life, Property and every Thing dear and sacred, to be now submitted to the Decisions of PENSION’D JUDGES?”  Yes, under this Republic, it is We the People that are suppose to be the final arbiters of governance by out suffrage (vote).  Yet As then, even NOW, “To what a State of Infamy, Wretchedness and Misery shall we be reduced if our Judges shall be prevail upon to be thus degraded to Hirelings, and the Body of the People shall suffer their free Constitution to be overturned and ruined.”

WE the PEOPLE, must return to the coalescence that the “First Great Awakening” brought across the various congregations and denominations is such a way that all understood that Our Rights are God given, not man or government given.  To that the plea must be to the Eternal Sovereign, Oh Merciful God, inspire We the People with Wisdom and Fortitude, directing us to Your gracious Ends.  It was reality that the majority of the people had a clear understanding of morality and justice based on Biblical Principles that included the complete context of the Whole Bible, Old and New testaments, Not the humanist/Marxist concept of social justice that is predominant in modern religion.  It is the reality that God is Sovereign and that He takes an Active role in culture, world events, economy and politics that can only return the modern age to the Fundamental Principles of the Nations Founding.

As with the foundation, internationalists were raping the economy, the colonies experienced loss of trade, loss of industry and total economic distress. The 20th century moved from industrialization to the “modern mercantilism” with globalization rendering American core businesses impoverished as seen in 1772. Yet, the True leaders of that day understood that it was not the economy but Liberty that would revive the nation in every manner.  It was also clear that “wherever Tyranny is established, Immorality of every Kind comes in like a Torrent. It is in the Interest of Tyrants to reduce the People to Ignorance and Vice.”  This is being exemplified in every area that has decimated the American Culture: abortion, homosexuality, drugs and cultural degradation from other immoralities.

At this place in the comparison, as in 1772, the original words of Samuel Adams can only hold true and call all the Citizenry to Action!  The truths of the last paragraph in the article stand in completeness now as they did when published in October 5th 1772.

Remember the full affect of these words and Calls To Action:

“We are at this moment upon a precipice.  The next step may be fatal to us. Let us then act like wise Men; calmly look 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.”

“Candidus”

The Original Letter

    (Emphasis added for moderns to show attention to Mr. Adams words & intents.)

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, O 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 look 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.

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.


[1] Great Americans of History, SAMUEL ADAMS, A CHARACTER SKETCH, BY SAMUEL FALLOWS, D.D., LL.D., 1903, pg. 45

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