Independence Twenty Years Later

The joy of seeing all the notable men of the Colonies rising to sign a Declaration that would fulfill twenty years of labor was beyond all that I could hope for.  We as a people have experienced the continues abuses of those who were expected to be the protectors of our Liberties.

Now after all these years, the energy that was given through the preaching in the nation that caused a Great Awakening such that true Liberty was clearly understood and the Foundations of our Fathers returned to a Reformation Faith that initially settled America.

To elaborate on my true feelings of this day I suggest that you take the time to read what I spoke on August 1st, 1776.  American Independence 8-1-1776 v2

On the Right to Rebel Against Governors, 1776, by Rev. Samuel West

I think about the great ministers and preacher that spoke in our Churches.  Most not afraid of what the government might do to them.  They stood on Truth and Principles!  The understood what Liberty is based on the essence of God given Rights, Law and Principles for Life.

What is shocking to me is that the majority of you moderns are willing to sit for several hours to watch your electronic entertainment or what you call sporting events.  Your children must have information cut to five-minute explosions of what they think is information.  There are complaints that government does little for you and your youth believe that the source of their Rights is from government.  The primary purpose of Rev. West message to the legislature is: “a discourse upon the nature and design of government, and the rights and duties both of governors and governed, that so, justly understanding our rights and privileges, we may stand firm in our opposition to ministerial tyranny, while at the same time we pay all proper obedience and submission to our lawful magistrates; and that, while we are contending for liberty, we may avoid running into licentiousness; and that we may preserve the due medium between submitting to tyranny and running into anarchy. I acknowledge that I have undertaken a difficult task; but, as it appeared to me, the present state of affairs loudly called for such a discourse; and, therefore, I hope the wise, the generous, and the good, will candidly receive my good intentions to serve the public.

Those who believe in your modern liberation theology must read this sermon because you have to have your sense of Liberty corrected according to what we founders understood as truth.  Although, even during my time there were those who would rather blindly submit to the ruling government than standup for Liberty or who had a wrong sense of Liberty because they sought the wisdom of men instead of God.

I will plead with you to read and learn from this sermon, which was delivered to us who were in attendance in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1776.  Oh…. Just a moment as I consider that you have dissolved your modern elected of moral guidance by God and prefer the mores of men who create unto themselves what they consider right and wrong.  I know there will be ideas, comments and perspectives that you moderns do not understand because your history has not been properly taught in your places of education nor in your churches.

You will note that Rev. West identifies that the people were not lawless when the King of Britain and Parliament remove self-governance from the Colonies.  He articulates that the Citizens acted correctly because they had the rule of God in their hearts.  I don’t think that is universally true in these present United States.

I will tell you plainly, that humanist, socialist and any who promote earthly utopian ideas have deceived you.  I will verify that we studied Biblical principles – The morals and virtues for good governance as written about by leaders of the Reformation, especially the Scottish Reformation.  For me, it was critical to read and understand the writings of Bradford, the works of John Knox and Rutherford’s Lex, Rex .  We required that God would be brought into the halls of the Legislature so that men would understand that they are not supreme and all must individually submit to the King of all creation and the universe.  I spoke of this often in my speeches and especially after signing the Declaration of Independence in the August 1st, 1776 speech!

I implore you to understand that if the elected or bureaucrats are not moral and virtuous, following close their individual responsibilities to God first, then they will be treacherous tyrants seeking to enslave the people and seeking their own agenda for their own well being.  As Rev. West notes, “No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny as he is ready to obey magistracy. A slavish submission to tyranny is a proof of a very sordid and base mind. Such a person cannot be under the influence of any generous human sentiments, nor have a tender regard for mankind.”

I gave a speech on August 1, 1776 where I noted many of the principles that you will hear from Rev. West.  Remember what I spoke regarding the Declaration of Independence:

  • We have this day restored the Sovereign, to whom alone men ought to be obedient.  He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self-direction which He bestowed on them.  From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.
  • Were the talents and virtues, which Heaven has bestowed on men, given merely to make then more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few?  Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all?
  • My warning in the August speech: In a state of tranquility, wealth and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war, and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible.  Every art of corruption would be employed to loosen the bond of union which renders our assistance formidable.  When the spirit of liberty which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin, and render us easier victims to tyranny.  Ye abandoned minions of an infatuated ministry, if peradventure (uncertainty or doubt) any should yet remain among us! – remember that a Warren and Montgomery are numbered among the dead.  Contemplate the mangled bodies of our countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices?  Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice (extreme greed for wealth) of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood, and hunt us from the face of the earth?  If we 1ove wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Please, take the time – more so – make the time, you would otherwise spend bowing before your favorite indulgence or entertainment, to read this clear descriptor of self-governance and your Right to take a stand against tyranny.

(All emphasis are added by the modern blog writer.)

Now:  the sermon – ‘On the Right to Rebel Against Governors’, 1776, by Rev. Samuel West

One of the most influential citizens in Massachusetts during the founding era, Congregationalist minister Samuel West delivered this sermon before the Massachusetts Council and House of Representatives in Boston, 1776.

‘Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.’ – Titus iii. 1.

The great Creator, having designed the human race for society, has made us dependent on one another for happiness. He has so constituted us that it becomes both our duty and interest to seek the public good; and that we may be the more firmly engaged to promote each other’s welfare, the Deity has endowed us with tender and social affections, with generous and benevolent principles: hence the pain that we feel in seeing an object of distress; hence the satisfaction that arises in relieving the afflictions, and the superior pleasure which we experience in communicating happiness to the miserable. The Deity has also invested us with moral powers and faculties, by which we are enabled to discern the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil; hence the approbation of mind that arises upon doing a good action, and the remorse of conscience which we experience when we counteract the moral sense and do that which is evil. This proves that, in what is commonly called a state of nature, we are the subjects of the divine law and government; that the Deity is our supreme magistrate, who has written his law in our hearts, and will reward or punish us according as we obey or disobey his commands. Had the human race uniformly persevered in a state of moral rectitude, there would have been little or no need of any other law besides that which is written in the heart, — for every one in such a state would be a law unto himself. There could be no occasion for enacting or enforcing of penal laws; for such are “not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to” moral rectitude and the happiness of mankind. The necessity of forming ourselves into politic bodies, and granting to our rulers a power to enact laws for the public safety, and to enforce them by proper penalties, arises from our being in a fallen and degenerate state. The slightest view of the present state and condition of the human race is abundantly sufficient to convince any person of common sense and common honesty that civil government is absolutely necessary for the peace and safety of mankind; and, consequently, that all good magistrates, while they faithfully discharge the trust reposed in them, ought to be religiously and conscientiously obeyed. An enemy to good government is an enemy not only to his country, but to all mankind; for he plainly shows himself to be divested of those tender and social sentiments which are characteristic of a human temper, even of that generous and benevolent disposition which is the peculiar glory of a rational creature. An enemy to good government has degraded himself below the rank and dignity of a man, and deserves to be classed with the lower creation. Hence we find that wise and good men, of all nations and religions, have ever inculcated subjection to good government, and have borne their testimony against the licentious disturbers of the public peace.

Nor has Christianity been deficient in this capital point. We find our blessed Saviour directing the Jews to render to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s; and the apostles and first preachers of the gospel not only exhibited a good example of subjection to the magistrate, in all things that were just and lawful, but they have also, in several places in the New Testament, strongly enjoined upon Christians the duty of submission to that government under which Providence had placed them. Hence we find that those who despise government, and are not afraid to speak evil of dignities, are, by the apostles Peter and Jude, classed among those presumptuous, self-willed sinners that are reserved to the judgment of the great day. And the apostle Paul judged submission to civil government to be a matter of such great importance, that he thought it worth his while to charge Titus to put his hearers in mind to be submissive to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work; as much as to say, none can be ready to every good work, or be properly disposed to perform those actions that tend to promote the public good, who do not obey magistrates, and who do not become good subjects of civil government. If, then, obedience to the civil magistrates is so essential to the character of a Christian, that without it he cannot be disposed to perform those good works that are necessary for the welfare of mankind, –if the despisers of governments are those presumptuous, self-willed sinners who are reserved to the judgment of the great day, –it is certainly a matter of the utmost importance to us all to be thoroughly acquainted with the nature and extent of our duty, that we may yield the obedience required; for it is impossible that we should properly discharge a duty when we are strangers to the nature and extent of it.

In order, therefore, that we may form a right judgment of the duty enjoined in our text, I shall consider the nature and design of civil government, and shall show that the same principles which oblige us to submit to government do equally oblige us to resist tyranny; or that tyranny and magistracy are so opposed to each other that where the one begins the other ends. I shall then apply the present discourse to the grand controversy that at this day subsists between Great Britain and the American colonies.

That we may understand the nature and design of civil government, and discover the foundation of the magistrate’s authority to command, and the duty of subjects to obey, it is necessary to derive civil government from its original, in order to which we must consider what “state all men are naturally in, and that is (as Mr. Locke observes) a state of perfect freedom to order all their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any man.” It is a state wherein all are equal, –no one having a right to control another, or oppose him in what he does, unless it be in his own defence, or in the defence of those that, being injured, stand in need of his assistance.

Had men persevered in a state of moral rectitude, every one would have been disposed to follow the law of nature, and pursue the general good. In such a state, the wisest and most experienced would undoubtedly be chosen to guide and direct those of less wisdom and experience than themselves,–there being nothing else that could afford the least show or appearance of any one’s having the superiority or precedency over another; for the dictates of conscience and the precepts of natural law being uniformly and regularly obeyed, men would only need to be informed what things were most fit and prudent to be done in those cases where their inexperience or want of acquaintance left their minds in doubt what was the wisest and most regular method for them to pursue. In such cases it would be necessary for them to advise with those who were wiser and more experienced than themselves. But these advisers could claim no authority to compel or to use any forcible measures to oblige any one to comply with their direction or advice. There could be no occasion for the exertion of such a power; for every man, being under the government of right reason, would immediately feel himself constrained to comply with everything that appeared reasonable or fit to be done, or that would any way tend to promote the general good. This would have been the happy state of mankind had they closely adhered to the law of nature, and persevered in their primitive state.

Thus we see that a state of nature, though it be a state of perfect freedom, yet is very far from a state of licentiousness. The law of nature gives men no right to do anything that is immoral, or contrary to the will of God, and injurious to their fellow-creatures; for a state of nature is properly a state of law and government, even a government founded upon the unchangeable nature of the Deity, and a law resulting from the eternal fitness of things. Sooner shall heaven and earth pass away, and the whole frame of nature be dissolved, than any part even the smallest iota, of this law shall ever be abrogated; it is unchangeable as the Deity himself, being a transcript of his moral perfections. A revelation, pretending to be from God, that contradicts any part of natural law, ought immediately to be rejected as an imposture; for the Deity cannot make a law contrary to the law of nature without acting contrary to himself, – a thing in the strictest sense impossible, for that which implies contradiction is not an object of the divine power. Had this subject been properly attended to and understood, the world had remained free from a multitude of absurd and pernicious principles, which have been industriously propagated by artful and designing men, both in politics and divinity. The doctrine of nonresistance and unlimited passive obedience to the worst of tyrants could never have found credit among mankind had the voice of reason been hearkened to for a guide, because such a doctrine would immediately have been discerned to be contrary to natural law.

In a state of nature we have a right to make the persons that have injured us repair the damages that they have done us; and it is just in us to inflict such punishment upon them as is necessary to restrain them from doing the like for the future, – the whole end and design of punishing being either to reclaim the individual punished, or to deter others from being guilty of similar crimes. Whenever punishment exceeds these bounds it becomes cruelty and revenge, and directly contrary to the law of nature. Our wants and necessities being such as to render it impossible in most cases to enjoy life in any tolerable degree without entering into society, and there being innumerable cases wherein we need the assistance of others, which if not afforded we should very soon perish; hence the law of nature requires that we should endeavor to help one another to the utmost of our power in all cases where our assistance is necessary. It is our duty to endeavor always to promote the general good; to do to all as we would be willing to be done by were we in their circumstances; to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. These are some of the laws of nature which every man in the world is bound to observe, and which whoever violates exposes himself to the resentment of mankind, the lashes of his own conscience, and the judgment of Heaven. This plainly shows that the highest state of liberty subjects us to the law of nature and the government of God. The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts; he introduces confusion and disorder into society, and brings misery and destruction upon himself. This, therefore, cannot be called a state of freedom, but a state of the vilest slavery and the most dreadful bondage. The servants of sin and corruption are subjected to the worst kind of tyranny in the universe. Hence we conclude that where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.

The law of nature is a perfect standard and measure of action for beings that persevere in a state of moral rectitude; but the case is far different with us, who are in a fallen and degenerate estate. We have a law in our members which is continually warring against the law of the mind, by which we often become enslaved to the basest lusts, and are brought into bondage to the vilest passions. The strong propensities of our animal nature often overcome the sober dictates of reason and conscience, and betray us into actions injurious to the public and destructive of the safety and happiness of society. Men of unbridled lusts, were they not restrained by the power of the civil magistrate, would spread horror and desolation all around them. This makes it absolutely necessary that societies should form themselves into politic bodies, that they may enact laws for the public safety, and appoint particular penalties for the violation of their laws, and invest a suitable number of persons with authority to put in execution and enforce the laws of the state, in order that wicked men may be restrained from doing mischief to their fellow-creatures, that the injured may have their rights restored to them, that the virtuous may be encouraged in doing good, and that every member of society may be protected and secured in the peaceable, quiet possession and enjoyment of all those liberties and privileges which the Deity has bestowed upon him; i.e., that he may safely enjoy and pursue whatever he chooses, that is consistent with the public good. This shows that the end and design of civil government cannot be to deprive men of their liberty or take away their freedom; but, on the contrary, the true design of civil government is to protect men in the enjoyment of liberty.

From hence it follows that tyranny and arbitrary power are utterly inconsistent with and subversive of the very end and design of civil government, and directly contrary to natural law, which is the true foundation of civil government and all politic law. Consequently, the authority of a tyrant is of itself null and void; for as no man can have a right to act contrary to the law of nature, it is impossible that any individual, or even the greatest number of men, can confer a right upon another of which they themselves are not possessed; i.e., no body of men can justly and lawfully authorize any person to tyrannize over and enslave his fellow-creatures, or do anything contrary to equity and goodness. As magistrates have no authority but what they derive from the people, whenever they act contrary to the public good, and pursue measures destructive of the peace and safety of the community, they forfeit their right to govern the people. Civil rulers and magistrates are properly of human creation; they are set up by the people to be the guardians of their rights, and to secure their persons from being injured or oppressed, –the safety of the public being the supreme law of the state, by which the magistrates are to be governed, and which they are to consult upon all occasions. The modes of administration may be very different, and the forms of government may vary from each other in different ages and nations; but, under every form, the end of civil government is the same, and cannot vary: It is like the laws of the Medes and Persians — it altereth not.

Though magistrates are to consider themselves as the servants of the people, seeing from them it is that they derive their power and authority, yet they may also be considered as the ministers of God ordained by him for the good of mankind; for, under him, as the Supreme Magistrate of the universe, they are to act: and it is God who has not only declared in his word what are the necessary qualifications of a ruler, but who also raises up and qualifies men for such an important station. The magistrate may also, in a more strict and proper sense, be said to be ordained of God, because reason, which is the voice of God, plainly requires such an order of men to be appointed for the public good. Now, whatever right reason requires as necessary to be done is as much the will and law of God as though it were enjoined us by an immediate revelation from heaven, or commanded in the sacred Scriptures.

From this account of the origin, nature, and design of civil government, we may be very easily led into a thorough knowledge of our duty; we may see the reason why we are bound to obey magistrates, viz., because they are the ministers of God for good unto the people. While, therefore, they rule in the fear of God, and while they promote the welfare of the state, – i.e., while they act in the character of magistrates, – it is the indispensable duty of all to submit to them, and to oppose a turbulent, factious, and libertine spirit, whenever and wherever it discovers itself. When a people have by their free consent conferred upon a number of men a power to rule and govern them, they are bound to obey them. Hence disobedience becomes a breach of faith; it is violating a constitution of their own appointing, and breaking a compact for which they ought to have the most sacred regard. Such a conduct discovers so base and disingenuous a temper of mind, that it must expose them to contempt in the judgment of all the sober, thinking part of mankind. Subjects are bound to obey lawful magistrates by every tender tie of human nature, which disposes us to consult the public good, and to seek the good of our brethren, our wives, our children, our friends and acquaintance; for he that opposes lawful authority does really oppose the safety and happiness of his fellow-creatures. A factious, seditious person, that opposes good government, is a monster in nature; for he is an enemy to his own species, and destitute of the sentiments of humanity.

Subjects are also bound to obey magistrates, for conscience’ sake, out of regard to the divine authority, and out of obedience to the will of God; for if magistrates are the ministers of God, we cannot disobey them without being disobedient to the law of God; and this extends to all men in authority, from the highest ruler to the lowest officer in the state. To oppose them when in the exercise of lawful authority is an act of disobedience to the Deity, and, as such, will be punished by him. It will, doubtless, be readily granted by every honest man that we ought cheerfully to obey the magistrate, and submit to all such regulations of government as tend to promote the public good; but as this general definition may be liable to be misconstrued, and every man may think himself at liberty to disregard any laws that do not suit his interest, humor, or fancy, I would observe that, in a multitude of cases, many of us, for want of being properly acquainted with affairs of state, may be very improper judges of particular laws, whether they are just or not. In such cases it becomes us, as good members of society, peaceably and conscientiously to submit, though we cannot see the reasonableness of every law to which we submit, and that for this plain reason: if any number of men should take it upon themselves to oppose authority for acts, which may be really necessary for the public safety, only because they do not see the reasonableness of them, the direct consequence will be introducing confusion and anarchy into the state.

It is also necessary that the minor part should submit to the major; e.g., when legislators have enacted a set of laws which are highly approved by a large majority of the community as tending to promote the public good, in this case, if a small number of persons are so unhappy as to view the matter in a very different point of light from the public, though they have an undoubted right to show the reasons of their dissent from the judgment of the public, and may lawfully use all proper arguments to convince the public of what they judge to be an error, yet, if they fail in their attempt, and the majority still continue to approve of the laws that are enacted, it is the duty of those few that dissent peaceably and for conscience’ sake to submit to the public judgment, unless something is required of them which they judge would be sinful for them to comply with; for in that case they ought to obey the dictates of their own consciences rather than any human authority whatever. Perhaps, also, some cases of intolerable oppression, where compliance would bring on inevitable ruin and destruction, may justly warrant the few to refuse submission to what they judge inconsistent with their peace and safety; for the law of self-preservation will always justify opposing a cruel and tyrannical imposition, except where opposition is attended with greater evils than submission, which is frequently the case where a few are oppressed by a large and powerful majority.[1] Except the above-named cases, the minor ought always to submit to the major; otherwise, there can be no peace nor harmony in society. And, besides, it is the major part of a community that have the sole right of establishing a constitution and authorizing magistrates; and consequently it is only the major part of the community that can claim the right of altering the constitution, and displacing the magistrates; for certainly common sense will tell us that it requires as great an authority to set aside a constitution as there was at first to establish it. The collective body, not a few individuals, ought to constitute the supreme authority of the state.

The only difficulty remaining is to determine when a people may claim a right of forming themselves into a body politic, and assume the powers of legislation. In order to determine this point, we are to remember that all men being by nature equal, all the members of a community have a natural right to assemble themselves together, and act and vote for such regulations as they judge are necessary for the good of the whole. But when a community is become very numerous, it is very difficult, and in many cases impossible, for all to meet together to regulate the affairs of the state; hence comes the necessity of appointing delegates to represent the people in a general assembly. And this ought to be looked upon as a sacred and inalienable right, of which a people cannot justly divest themselves, and which no human authority can in equity ever take from them, viz., that no one be obliged to submit to any law except such as are made either by himself or by his representative.

If representation and legislation are inseparably connected, it follows, that when great numbers have emigrated into a foreign land, and are so far removed from the parent state that they neither are or can be properly represented by the government from which they have emigrated, that then nature itself points out the necessity of their assuming to themselves the powers of legislation; and they have a right to consider themselves as a separate state from the other, and, as such, to form themselves into a body politic.

In the next place, when a people find themselves cruelly oppressed by the parent state, they have an undoubted right to throw off the yoke, and to assert their liberty, if they find good reason to judge that they have sufficient power and strength to maintain their ground in defending their just rights against their oppressors; for, in this case, by the law of self-preservation, which is the first law of nature, they have not only an undoubted right, but it is their indispensable duty, if they cannot be redressed any other way, to renounce all submission to the government that has oppressed them, and set up an independent state of their own, even though they may be vastly inferior in numbers to the state that has oppressed them. When either of the aforesaid cases takes place, and more especially when both concur, no rational man, I imagine, can have any doubt in his own mind whether such a people have a right to form themselves into a body politic, and assume to themselves all the powers of a free state. For, can it be rational to suppose that a people should be subjected to the tyranny of a set of men who are perfect strangers to them, and cannot be supposed to have that fellow-feeling for them that we generally have for those with whom we are connected and acquainted; and, besides, through their unacquaintedness with the circumstances of the people over whom they claim the right of jurisdiction, are utterly unable to judge, in a multitude of cases, which is best for them?

It becomes me not to say what particular form of government is best for a community, – whether a pure democracy, aristocracy, monarchy, or a mixture of all the three simple forms. They have all their advantages and disadvantages, and when they are properly administered may, any of them, answer the design of civil government tolerably. Permit me, however, to say, that an unlimited, absolute monarchy, and an aristocracy not subject to the control of the people, are two of the most exceptionable forms of government: firstly, because in neither of them is there a proper representation of the people; and, secondly, because each of them being entirely independent of the people, they are very apt to degenerate into tyranny. However, in this imperfect state, we cannot expect to have government formed upon such a basis but that it may be perverted by bad men to evil purposes. A wise and good man would be very loth to undermine a constitution that was once fixed and established, although he might discover many imperfections in it; and nothing short of the most urgent necessity would ever induce him to consent to it; because the unhinging a people from a form of government to which they had been long accustomed might throw them into such a state of anarchy and confusion as might terminate in their destruction, or perhaps, in the end, subject them to the worst kind of tyranny.

Having thus shown the nature, end, and design of civil government, and pointed out the reasons why subjects are bound to obey magistrates, – viz., because in so doing they both consult their own happiness as individuals, and also promote the public good and the safety of the state, – I proceed, in the next place, to show that the same principles that oblige us to submit to civil government do also equally oblige us, where we have power and ability, to resist and oppose tyranny; and that where tyranny begins government ends. For, if magistrates have no authority but what they derive from the people; if they are properly of human creation; if the whole end and design of their institution is to promote the general good, and to secure to men their just rights, – it will follow, that when they act contrary to the end and design of their creation they cease being magistrates, and the people which gave them their authority have the right to take it from them again. This is a very plain dictate of common sense, which universally obtains in all similar cases; for who is there that, having employed a number of men to do a particular piece of work for him, but what would judge that he had a right to dismiss them from his service when he found that they went directly contrary to his orders, and that, instead of accomplishing the business he had set them about, they would infallibly ruin and destroy it? If, then, men, in the common affairs of life, always judge that they have a right to dismiss from their service such persons as counteract their plans and designs, though the damage will affect only a few individuals, much more must the body politic have a right to depose any persons, though appointed to the highest place of power and authority, when they find that they are unfaithful to the trust reposed in them, and that, instead of consulting the general good, they are disturbing the peace of society by making laws cruel and oppressive, and by depriving the subjects of their just rights and privileges. Whoever pretends to deny this proposition must give up all pretence of being master of that common sense and reason by which the Deity has distinguished us from the brutal herd.

As our duty of obedience to the magistrate is founded upon our obligation to promote the general good, our readiness to obey lawful authority will always arise in proportion to the love and regard that we have for the welfare of the public; and the same love and regard for the public will inspire us with as strong a zeal to oppose tyranny as we have to obey magistracy. Our obligation to promote the public good extends as much to the opposing every exertion of arbitrary power that is injurious to the state as it does to the submitting to good and wholesome laws. No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny as he is ready to obey magistracy. A slavish submission to tyranny is a proof of a very sordid and base mind. Such a person cannot be under the influence of any generous human sentiments, nor have a tender regard for mankind.

Further: if magistrates are no farther ministers of God than they promote the good of the community, then obedience to them neither is nor can be unlimited; for it would imply a gross absurdity to assert that, when magistrates are ordained by the people solely for the purpose of being beneficial to the state, they must be obeyed when they are seeking to ruin and destroy it. This would imply that men were bound to act against the great law of self-preservation, and to contribute their assistance to their own ruin and destruction, in order that they may please and gratify the greatest monsters in nature, who are violating the laws of God and destroying the rights of mankind. Unlimited submission and obedience is due to none but God alone. He has an absolute right to command; he alone has an uncontrollable sovereignty over us, because he alone is unchangeably good; he never will nor can require of us, consistent with his nature and attributes, anything that is not fit and reasonable; his commands are all just and good; and to suppose that he has given to any particular set of men a power to require obedience to that which is unreasonable, cruel, and unjust, is robbing the Deity of his justice and goodness, in which consists the peculiar glory of the divine character, and it is representing him under the horrid character of a tyrant.

If magistrates are ministers of God only because the law of God and reason points out the necessity of such an institution for the good of mankind, it follows, that whenever they pursue measures directly destructive of the public good they cease being God’s ministers, they forfeit their right to obedience from the subject, they become the pests of society, and the community is under the strongest obligation of duty, both to God and to its own members, to resist and oppose them, which will be so far from resisting the ordinance of God that it will be strictly obeying his commands. To suppose otherwise will imply that the Deity requires of us an obedience that is self-contradictory and absurd, and that one part of his law is directly contrary to the other; i.e., while he commands us to pursue virtue and the general good, he does at the same time require us to persecute virtue, and betray the general good, by enjoining us obedience to the wicked commands of tyrannical oppressors. Can any one not lost to the principles of humanity undertake to defend such absurd sentiments as these? As the public safety is the first and grand law of society, so no community can have a right to invest the magistrate with any power or authority that will enable him to act against the welfare of the state and the good of the whole. If men have at any time wickedly and foolishly given up their just rights into the hands of the magistrate, such acts are null and void, of course; to suppose otherwise will imply that we have a right to invest the magistrate with a power to act contrary to the law of God, – which is as much as to say that we are not the subjects of divine law and government. What has been said is, I apprehend, abundantly sufficient to show that tyrants are no magistrates, or that whenever magistrates abuse their power and authority to the subverting the public happiness, their authority immediately ceases, and that it not only becomes lawful, but an indispensable duty to oppose them; that the principle of self-preservation, the affection and duty that we owe to our country, and the obedience we owe the Deity, do all require us to oppose tyranny.

If it be asked, Who are the proper judges to determine when rulers are guilty of tyranny and oppression? I answer, the public. Not a few disaffected individuals, but the collective body of the state, must decide this question; for, as it is the collective body that invests rulers with their power and authority, so it is the collective body that has the sole right of judging whether rulers act up to the end of their institution or not. Great regard ought always to be paid to the judgment of the public. It is true the public may be imposed upon by a misrepresentation of facts; but this may be said of the public, which cannot always be said of individuals, viz., that the public is always willing to be rightly informed, and when it has proper matter of conviction laid before it its judgment is always right.

This account of the nature and design of civil government, which is so clearly suggested to us by the plain principles of common sense and reason, is abundantly confirmed by the sacred Scriptures, even by those very texts which have been brought by men of slavish principles to establish the absurd doctrine of unlimited passive obedience and nonresistance, as will abundantly appear by examining the two most noted texts that are commonly brought to support the strange doctrine of passive obedience. The first that I shall cite is in 1 Peter ii. 13, 14: “submit yourselves to every ordinance of man,” – or, rather, as the words ought to be rendered from the Greek, submit yourselves to every human creation, or human constitution, – “for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.” Here we see that the apostle asserts that magistracy is of human creation or appointment; that is, that magistrates have no power or authority but what they derive from the people; that this power they are to exert for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well; i.e., the end and design of the appointment of magistrates is to restrain wicked men, by proper penalties, from injuring society, and to encourage and honor the virtuous and obedient. Upon this account Christians are to submit to them for the Lord’s sake; which is as if he had said, Though magistrates are of mere human appointment, and can claim no power or authority but what they derive from the people, yet, as they are ordained by men to promote the general good by punishing evil-doers and by rewarding and encouraging the virtuous and obedient, you ought to submit to them out of a sacred regard to the divine authority; for as they, in the faithful discharge of their office, do fulfill the will of God, so ye, by submitting to them, do fulfill the divine command. If the only reason assigned by the apostle why magistrates should be obeyed out of a regard to the divine authority is because they punish the wicked and encourage the good, it follows, that when they punish the virtuous and encourage the vicious we have a right to refuse yielding any submission or obedience to them; i.e., whenever they act contrary to the end and design of their institution, they forfeit their authority to govern the people, and the reason for submitting to them, out of regard to the divine authority, immediately ceases; and they being only of human appointment, the authority which the people gave them the public have a right to take from them, and to confer it upon those who are more worthy. So far is this text from favoring arbitrary principles, that there is nothing in it but what is consistent with and favorable to the highest liberty that any man can wish to enjoy; for this text requires us to submit to the magistrate no further than he is the encourager and protector of virtue and the punisher of vice; and this is consistent with all that liberty which the Deity has bestowed upon us.

The other text which I shall mention, and which has been made use of by the favorers of arbitrary government as their great sheet anchor and main support, is in Rom. xiii., the first six verses: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation; for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For, for this cause pay you tribute also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” A very little attention, I apprehend, will be sufficient to show that this text is so far from favoring arbitrary government, that, on the contrary, it strongly holds forth the principles of true liberty. Subjection to the higher powers is enjoined by the apostle because there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God; consequently, to resist the power is to resist the ordinance of God: and he repeatedly declares that the ruler is the minister of God. Now, before we can say whether this text makes for or against the doctrine of unlimited passive obedience, we must find out in what sense the apostle affirms that magistracy is the ordinance of God, and what he intends when he calls the ruler the minister of God.

I can think but of three possible senses in which magistracy can with any propriety be called God’s ordinance, or in which rulers can be said to be ordained of God as his ministers. The first is a plain declaration from the word of God that such a one and his descendants are, and shall be, the only true and lawful magistrates: thus we find in Scripture the kingdom of Judah to be settled by divine appointment in the family of David. Or,

Secondly, By an immediate commission from God, ordering and appointing such a one by name to be the ruler over the people: thus Saul and David were immediately appointed by God to be kings over Israel. Or,

Thirdly, Magistracy may be called the ordinance of God, and rulers may be called the ministers of God, because the nature and reason of things, which is the law of God, requires such an institution for the preservation and safety of civil society. In the two first senses the apostle cannot be supposed to affirm that magistracy is God’s ordinance, for neither he nor any of the sacred writers have entailed the magistracy to any one particular family under the gospel dispensation. Neither does he nor any of the inspired writers give us the least hint that any person should ever be immediately commissioned from God to bear rule over the people. The third sense, then, is the only sense in which the apostle can be supposed to affirm that the magistrate is the minister of God, and that magistracy is the ordinance of God; viz., that the nature and reason of things require such an institution for the preservation and safety of mankind. Now, if this be the only sense in which the apostle affirms that magistrates are ordained of God as his ministers, resistance must be criminal only so far forth as they are the ministers of God, i.e., while they act up to the end of their institution, and ceases being criminal when they cease being the ministers of God, i.e., when they act contrary to the general good, and seek to destroy the liberties of the people.

That we have gotten the apostle’s sense of magistracy being the ordinance of God, will plainly appear from the text itself for, after having asserted that to resist the power is to resist the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, he immediately adds as the reason of this assertion, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.” Here is a plain declaration of the sense in which he asserts that the authority of the magistrate is ordained of God, viz., because rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil; therefore we ought to dread offending them, for we cannot offend them but by doing evil; and if we do evil we have just reason to fear their power; for they bear not the sword in vain, but in this case the magistrate is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil: but if we are found doers of that which is good, we have no reason to fear the authority of the magistrate; for in this case, instead of being punished, we shall be protected and encouraged. The reason why the magistrate is called the minister of God is because he is to protect, encourage, and honor them that do well, and to punish them that do evil; therefore it is our duty to submit to them, not merely for fear of being punished by them, but out of regard to the divine authority, under which they are deputed to execute judgment and to do justice. For this reason, according to the apostle, tribute is to be paid them, because, as the ministers of God, their whole business is to protect every man in the enjoyment of his just rights and privileges, and to punish every evil-doer.

If the apostle, then, asserts that rulers are ordained of God only because they are a terror to evil works and a praise to them that do well; if they are ministers of God only because they encourage virtue and punish vice; if for this reason only they are to be obeyed for conscience’ sake; if the sole reason why they have a right to tribute is because they devote themselves wholly to the business of securing to men their just rights, and to the punishing of evil-doers, – it follows, by undeniable consequence, that when they become the pests of human society, when they promote and encourage evil-doers, and become a terror to good works, they then cease being the ordinance of God; they are no longer rulers nor ministers of God; they are so far from being the powers that are ordained of God that they become the ministers of the powers of darkness, and it is so far from being a crime to resist them, that in many cases it may be highly criminal in the sight of Heaven to refuse resisting and opposing them to the utmost of our power; or, in other words, that the same reasons that require us to obey the ordinance of God, do equally oblige us, when we have power and opportunity, to oppose and resist the ordinance of Satan.

Hence we see that the apostle Paul, instead of being a friend to tyranny and arbitrary government, turns out to be a strong advocate for the just rights of mankind, and is for our enjoying all that liberty with which God has invested us; for no power (according to the apostle) is ordained of God but what is an encourage of every good and virtuous action, – “Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.” No man need to be afraid of this power which is ordained of God who does nothing but what is agreeable to the law of God; for this power will not restrain us from exercising any liberty which the Deity has granted us; for the minister of God is to restrain US from nothing but the doing of that which is evil, and to this we have no right. To practise evil is not liberty, but licentiousness. Can we conceive of a more perfect, equitable, and generous plan of government than this which the apostle has laid down, viz., to have rulers appointed over us to encourage us to every good and virtuous action, to defend and protect us in our just rights and privileges, and to grant us everything that can tend to promote our true interest and happiness; to restrain every licentious action, and to punish everyone that would injure or harm us; to become a terror of evil-doers; to make and execute such just and righteous laws as shall effectually deter and hinder men from the commission of evil, and to attend continually upon this very thing; to make it their constant care and study, day and night, to promote the good and welfare of the community, and to oppose all evil practices? Deservedly may such rulers be called the ministers of God for good. They carry on the same benevolent design towards the community which the great Governor of the universe does towards his whole creation. `Tis the indispensable duty of a people to pay tribute, and to afford an easy and comfortable subsistence to such rulers, because they are the ministers of God, who are continually laboring and employing their time for the good of the community. He that resists such magistrates does, in a very emphatical sense, resist the ordinance of God; he is an enemy to mankind, odious to God, and justly incurs the sentence of condemnation from the great Judge of quick and dead. Obedience to such magistrates is yielding obedience to the will of God, and, therefore, ought to be performed from a sacred regard to the divine authority.

For any one from hence to infer that the apostle enjoins in this text unlimited obedience to the worst of tyrants, and that he pronounces damnation upon those that resist the arbitrary measures of such pests of society, is just as good sense as if one should affirm, that because the Scripture enjoins us obedience to the laws of God, therefore we may not oppose the power of darkness; or because we are commanded to submit to the ordinance of God, therefore we may not resist the ministers of Satan. Such wild work must be made with the apostle before he can be brought to speak the language of oppression! It is as plain, I think, as words can make it, that, according to this text, no tyrant can be a ruler; for the apostle’s definition of a ruler is, that he is not a terror to good works, but to the evil; and that he is one who is to praise and encourage those that do well. Whenever, then, the ruler encourages them that do evil, and is a terror to those that do well, – i.e., as soon as he becomes a tyrant, – he forfeits his authority to govern, and becomes the minister of Satan, and, as such, ought to be opposed.

I know it is said that the magistrates were, at the time when the apostle wrote, heathens, and that Nero, that monster of tyranny, was then Emperor of Rome; that therefore the apostle, by enjoining submission to the powers that then were, does require unlimited obedience to be yielded to the worst of tyrants. Now, not to insist upon what has been often observed, viz., that this epistle was written most probably about the beginning of Nero’s reign, at which time he was a very humane and merciful prince, did everything that was generous and benevolent to the public, and showed every act of mercy and tenderness to particulars, and therefore might at that time justly deserve the character of the minister of God for good to the people, – I say, waiving this, we will suppose that this epistle was written after that Nero was become a monster of tyranny and wickedness; it will by no means follow from thence that the apostle meant to enjoin unlimited subjection to such an authority, or that he intended to affirm that such a cruel, despotic authority was the ordinance of God. The plain, obvious sense of his words, as we have already seen, forbids such a construction to be put upon them, for they plainly imply a strong abhorrence and disapprobation of such a character, and clearly prove that Nero, so far forth as he was a tyrant, could not be the minister of God, nor have a right to claim submission from the people; so that this ought, perhaps, rather to be viewed as a severe satire upon Nero, than as enjoining any submission to him.

It is also worthy to be observed that the apostle prudently waived mentioning any particular persons that were then in power, as it might have been construed in an invidious light, and exposed the primitive Christians to the severe resentments of the men that were then in power. He only in general requires submission to the higher powers, because the powers that be are ordained of God. Now, though the emperor might at that time be such a tyrant that he could with no propriety be said to be ordained of God, yet it would be somewhat strange if there were no men in power among the Romans that acted up to the character of good magistrates, and that deserved to be esteemed as the ministers of God for good unto the people. If there were any such, notwithstanding the tyranny of Nero, the apostle might with great propriety enjoin submission to those powers that were ordained of God, and by so particularly pointing out the end and design of magistrates, and giving his definition of a ruler, he might design to show that neither Nero, nor any other tyrant, ought to be esteemed as the minister of God. Or, rather, –which appears to me to be the true sense, – the apostle meant to speak of magistracy in general, without any reference to the emperor, or any other person in power, that was then at Rome; and the meaning of this passage is as if he had said, It is the duty of every Christian to be a good subject of civil government, for the power and authority of the civil magistrate are from God; for the powers that be are ordained of God; i.e., the authority of the magistrates that are now either at Rome or elsewhere is ordained of the Deity. Wherever you find any lawful magistrates, remember, they are of divine ordination. But that you may understand what I mean when I say that magistrates are of divine ordination, I will show you how you may discern who are lawful magistrates, and ordained of God, from those who are not. Those only are to be esteemed lawful magistrates, and ordained of God, who pursue the public good by honoring and encouraging those that do well and punishing all that do evil. Such, and such only, wherever they are to be found, are the ministers of God for good: to resist such is resisting the ordinance of God, and exposing yourselves to the divine wrath and condemnation.

In either of these senses the text cannot make anything in favor of arbitrary government. Nor could he with any propriety tell them that they need not be afraid of the power so long as they did that which was good, if he meant to recommend an unlimited submission to a tyrannical Nero; for the best characters were the likeliest to fall a sacrifice to his malice. And, besides, such an injunction would be directly contrary to his own practice, and the practice of the primitive Christians, who refused to comply with the sinful commands of men in power; their answer in such cases being this, We ought to obey God rather than men. Hence the apostle Paul himself suffered many cruel persecutions because he would not renounce Christianity, but persisted in opposing the idolatrous worship of the pagan world.

This text, being rescued from the absurd interpretations which the favorers of arbitrary government have put upon it, turns out to be a noble confirmation of that free and generous plan of government which the law of nature and reason points out to us. Nor can we desire a more equitable plan of government than what the apostle has here laid down; for, if we consult our happiness and real good, we can never wish for an unreasonable liberty, viz., a freedom to do evil, which, according to the apostle, is the only thing that the magistrate is to refrain us from. To have a liberty to do whatever is fit, reasonable, or good, is the highest degree of freedom that rational beings can possess. And how honorable a station are those men placed in, by the providence of God, whose business it is to secure to men this rational liberty, and to promote the happiness and welfare of society, by suppressing vice and immorality, and by honoring and encouraging everything that is honorable, virtuous, and praiseworthy! Such magistrates ought to be honored and obeyed as the ministers of God and the servants of the King of Heaven. Can we conceive of a larger and more generous plan of government than this of the apostle? Or can we find words more plainly expressive of a disapprobation of an arbitrary and tyrannical government? I never read this text without admiring the beauty and nervousness of it; and I can hardly conceive how he could express more ideas in so few words than he has done. We see here, in one view, the honor that belongs to the magistrate, because he is ordained of God for the public good. We have his duty pointed out, viz., to honor and encourage the virtuous, to promote the real good of the community, and to punish all wicked and injurious persons. We are taught the duty of the subject, viz., to obey the magistrate for conscience’ sake, because he is ordained of God; and that rulers, being continually employed under God for our good, are to be generously maintained by the paying them tribute; and that disobedience to rulers is highly criminal, and will expose us to the divine wrath. The liberty of the subject is also clearly asserted, viz., that subjects are to be allowed to do everything that is in itself just and right, and are only to be restrained from being guilty of wrong actions. It is also strongly implied, that when rulers become oppressive to the subject and injurious to the state, their authority, their respect, their maintenance, and the duty of submitting to them, must immediately cease; they are then to be considered as the ministers of Satan, and, as such, it becomes our indispensable duty to resist and oppose them.

Thus we see that both reason and revelation perfectly agree in pointing out the nature, end, and design of government, viz., that it is to promote the welfare and happiness of the community; and that subjects have a right to do everything that is good, praiseworthy, and consistent with the good of the community, and are only to be restrained when they do evil and are injurious either to individuals or the whole community; and that they ought to submit to every law that is beneficial to the community for conscience’ sake, although it may in some measure interfere with their private interest; for every good man will be ready to forgo his private interest for the sake of being beneficial to the public. Reason and revelation, we see, do both teach us that our obedience to rulers is not unlimited, but that resistance is not only allowable, but an indispensable duty in the case of intolerable tyranny and oppression. From both reason and revelation we learn that, as the public safety is the supreme law of the state, – being the true standard and measure by which we are to judge whether any law or body of laws are just or not, – so legislatures have a right to make, and require subjection to, any set of laws that have a tendency to promote the good of the community.

Our governors have a right to take every proper method to form the minds of their subjects so that they may become good members of society. The great difference that we may observe among the several classes of mankind arises chiefly from their education and their laws: hence men become virtuous or vicious, good commonwealthsmen or the contrary, generous, noble, and courageous, or base, mean-spirited, and cowardly, according to the impression that they have received from the government that they are under, together with their education and the methods that have been practised by their leaders to form their minds in early life. Hence the necessity of good laws to encourage every noble and virtuous sentiment, to suppress vice and immorality, to promote industry, and to punish idleness, that parent of innumerable evils; to promote arts and sciences, and to banish ignorance from among mankind.

And as nothing tends like religion and the fear of God to make men good members of the commonwealth, it is the duty of magistrates to become the patrons and promoters of religion and piety, and to make suitable laws for the maintaining public worship, and decently supporting the teachers of religion. Such laws, I apprehend, are absolutely necessary for the well-being of civil society. Such laws may be made, consistent with all that liberty of conscience which every good member of society ought to be possessed of; for, as there are few, if any, religious societies among us but what profess to believe and practise all the great duties of religion and morality that are necessary for the well-being of society and the safety of the state, let every one be allowed to attend worship in his own society, or in that way that he judges most agreeable to the will of God, and let him be obliged to contribute his assistance to the supporting and defraying the necessary charges of his own meeting. In this case no one can have any right to complain that he is deprived of liberty of conscience, seeing that he has a right to choose and freely attend that worship that appears to him to be most agreeable to the will of God; and it must be very unreasonable for him to object against being obliged to contribute his part towards the support of that worship which he has chosen. Whether some such method as this might not tend, in a very eminent manner, to promote the peace and welfare of society, I must leave to the wisdom of our legislators to determine; be sure it would take off some of the most popular objections against being obliged by law to support public worship while the law restricts that support only to one denomination.

But for the civil authority to pretend to establish particular modes of faith and forms of worship, and to punish all that deviate from the standard which our superiors have set up, is attended with the most pernicious consequences to society. It cramps all free and rational inquiry, fills the world with hypocrits and superstition bigots – nay, with infidels and skeptics; it exposes men of religion and conscience to the rage and malice of fiery, blind zealots, and dissolves every tender tie of human nature; in short, it introduces confusion and every evil work. And I cannot but look upon it as a peculiar blessing of Heaven that we live in a land where every one can freely deliver his sentiments upon religious subjects, and have the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience without any molestation or disturbance, – a privilege which I hope we shall ever keep up and strenuously maintain. No principles ought ever to be discountenanced by civil authority but such as tend to the subversion of the state. So long as a man is a good member of society, he is accountable to God alone for his religious sentiments; but when men are found disturbers of the public peace, stirring up sedition, or practicing against the state, no pretence of religion or conscience ought to screen them from being brought to condign punishment. But then, as the end and design of punishment is either to make restitution to the injured or to restrain men from committing the like crimes for the future, so, when these important ends are answered, the punishment ought to cease; for whatever is inflicted upon a man under the notion of punishment after these important ends are answered, is not a just and lawful punishment, but is properly cruelty and base revenge.

From this account of civil government we learn that the business of magistrates is weighty and important. It requires both wisdom and integrity. When either are wanting, government will be poorly administered; more especially if our governors are men of loose morals and abandoned principles; for if a man is not faithful to God and his own soul, how can we expect that he will be faithful to the public? There was a great deal of propriety in the advice that Jethro gave to Moses to provide able men, – men of truth, that feared God, and that hated covetousness, – and to appoint them for rulers over the people. For it certainly implies a very gross absurdity to suppose that those who are ordained of God for the public good should have no regard to the laws of God, or that the ministers of God should be despisers of the divine commands. David, the man after God’s own heart, makes piety a necessary qualification in a ruler: “He that ruleth over men (says he) must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” It is necessary it should be so, for the welfare and happiness of the state; for, to say nothing of the venality and corruption, of the tyranny and oppression, that will take place under unjust rulers, barely their vicious and irregular lives will have a most pernicious effect upon the lives and manners of their subjects: their authority becomes despicable in the opinion of discerning men. And, besides, with what face can they make or execute laws against vices which they practise with greediness? A people that have a right of choosing their magistrates are criminally guilty in the sight of Heaven when they are governed by caprice and humor, or are influenced by bribery to choose magistrates that are irreligious men, who are devoid of sentiment, and of bad morals and base lives. Men cannot be sufficiently sensible what a curse they may bring upon themselves and their posterity by foolishly and wickedly choosing men of abandoned characters and profligate lives for their magistrates and rulers.

We have already seen that magistrates who rule in the fear of God ought not only to be obeyed as the ministers of God, but that they ought also to be handsomely supported, that they may cheerfully and freely attend upon the duties of their station; for it is a great shame and disgrace to society to see men that serve the public laboring under indigent and needy circumstances; and, besides, it is a maxim of eternal truth that the laborer is worthy of his reward.

It is also a great duty incumbent on people to treat those in authority with all becoming honor and respect, – to be very careful of casting any aspersion upon their characters. To despise government, and to speak evil of dignities, is represented in Scripture as one of the worst of characters; and it was an injunction of Moses, “Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” Great mischief may ensue upon reviling the character of good rulers; for the unthinking herd of mankind are very apt to give ear to scandal, and when it falls upon men in power, it brings their authority into contempt, lessens their influence, and disheartens them from doing that service to the community of which they are capable; whereas, when they are properly honored, and treated with that respect which is due to their station, it inspires them with courage and a noble ardor to serve the public: their influence among the people is strengthened, and their authority becomes firmly established. We ought to remember that they are men like to ourselves, liable to the same imperfections and infirmities with the rest of us, and therefore, so long as they aim at the public good, their mistakes, misapprehensions, and infirmities, ought to be treated with the utmost humanity and tenderness.

But though I would recommend to all Christians, as a part of the duty that they owe to magistrates, to treat them with proper honor and respect, none can reasonably suppose that I mean that they ought to be flattered in their vices, or honored and caressed while they are seeking to undermine and ruin the state; for this would be wickedly betraying our just rights, and we should be guilty of our own destruction. We ought ever to persevere with firmness and fortitude in maintaining and contending for all that liberty that the Deity has granted us. It is our duty to be ever watchful over our just rights, and not suffer them to be wrested out of our hands by any of the artifices of tyrannical oppressors. But there is a wide difference between being jealous of our rights, when we have the strongest reason to conclude that they are invaded by our rulers, and being unreasonably suspicious of men that are zealously endeavoring to support the constitution, only because we do not thoroughly comprehend all their designs. The first argues a noble and generous mind; the other, a low and base spirit.

Thus have I considered the nature of the duty enjoined in the text, and have endeavored to show that the same principles that require obedience to lawful magistrates do also require us to resist tyrants; this I have confirmed from reason and Scripture.

It was with a particular view to the present unhappy controversy that subsists between us and Great Britain (and now in your modern times, the administrations, congress and especially the bureaucracies that are acting as Great Britain did in the 1700’s) that I chose to discourse upon the nature and design of government, and the rights and duties both of governors and governed, that so, justly understanding our rights and privileges, we may stand firm in our opposition to ministerial tyranny, while at the same time we pay all proper obedience and submission to our lawful magistrates; and that, while we are contending for liberty, we may avoid running into licentiousness; and that we may preserve the due medium between submitting to tyranny and running into anarchy. I acknowledge that I have undertaken a difficult task; but, as it appeared to me, the present state of affairs loudly called for such a discourse; and, therefore, I hope the wise, the generous, and the good, will candidly receive my good intentions to serve the public. I shall now apply this discourse to the grand controversy that at this day subsists between Great Britain and the American colonies. (And here, modern pastors, priest and rabbi should apply the afore mentioned truths to what is happening in every level of governance in these United States.  Even at the local level where international laws, treaties and rules are being imposed over the Liberties and Rights of the Citizenry)

And here, in the first place, I cannot but take notice how wonderfully Providence has smiled upon us by causing the several colonies to unite so firmly together against the tyranny of Great Britain, though differing from each other in their particular interest, forms of government, modes of worship, and particular customs and manners, besides several animosities that had subsisted among them. That, under these circumstances, such a union should take place as we now behold, was a thing that might rather have been wished than hoped for.

And, in the next place, who could have thought that, when our charter was vacated, when we became destitute of any legislative authority, and when our courts of justice in many parts of the country were stopped, so that we could neither make nor execute laws upon offenders, – who, I say, would have thought, that in such a situation the people should behave so peaceably, and maintain such good order and harmony among themselves? This is a plain proof that they, having not the civil law to regulate themselves by, became a law unto themselves; and by their conduct they have shown that they were regulated by the law of God written in their hearts. This is the Lord’s doing, and it ought to be marvelous in our eyes.

From what has been said in this discourse, it will appear that we are in the way of our duty in opposing the tyranny of Great Britain; for, if unlimited submission is not due to any human power, if we have an undoubted right to oppose and resist a set of tyrants that are subverting our just rights and privileges, there cannot remain a doubt in any man, that will calmly attend to reason, whether we have a right to resist and oppose the arbitrary measures of the King and Parliament; for it is plain to demonstration, nay, it is in a manner self-evident, that they have been and are endeavoring to deprive us not only of the privileges of Englishmen, and our charter rights, but they have endeavored to deprive us of what is much more sacred, viz., the privileges of men and Christians;[2] i.e., they are robbing us of the inalienable rights that the God of nature has given us as men and rational beings, and has confirmed to us in his written word as Christians and disciples of that Jesus who came to redeem us from the bondage of sin and the tyranny of Satan, and to grant us the most perfect freedom, even the glorious liberty of the sons and children of God; that here they have endeavored to deprive us of the sacred charter of the King of Heaven. But we have this for our consolation: the Lord reigneth; he governs the world in righteousness, and will avenge the cause of the oppressed when they cry unto him. We have made our appeal to Heaven, and we cannot doubt but that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

Need I upon this occasion descend to particulars? Can any one be ignorant what the things are of which we complain? Does not every one know that the King and Parliament have assumed the right to tax us without our consent? And can any one be so lost to the principles of humanity and common sense as not to view their conduct in this affair as a very grievous imposition? Reason and equity require that no one be obliged to pay a tax that he has never consented to, either by himself or by his representative. But, as Divine Providence has placed us at so great a distance from Great Britain that we neither are nor can be properly represented in the British Parliament, it is a plain proof that the Deity designed that we should have the powers of legislation and taxation among ourselves; for can any suppose it to be reasonable that a set of men that are perfect strangers to us should have the uncontrollable right to lay the most heavy and grievous burdens upon us that they please, purely to gratify their unbounded avarice and luxury? Must we be obliged to perish with cold and hunger to maintain them in idleness, in all kinds of debauchery and dissipation? But if they have the right to take our property from us without our consent, we must be wholly at their mercy for our food and raiment, and we know by sad experience that their tender mercies are cruel.

But because we were not willing to submit to such an unrighteous and cruel decree, – though we modestly complained and humbly petitioned for a redress of our grievances, – instead of hearing our complaints, and granting our requests, they have gone on to add iniquity to transgression, by making several cruel and unrighteous acts. Who can forget the cruel act to block up the harbor of Boston, whereby thousands of innocent persons must have been inevitably ruined had they not been supported by the continent? Who can forget the act for vacating our charter[3], together with many other cruel acts which it is needless to mention? But, not being able to accomplish their wicked purposes by mere acts of Parliament, they have proceeded to commence open hostilities against us, and have endeavored to destroy us by fire and sword. Our towns they have burnt, our brethren they have slain, our vessels they have taken, and our goods they have spoiled.[4] And, after all this wanton exertion of arbitrary power, is there the man that has any of the feeling of humanity left who is not fired with a noble indignation against such merciless tyrants, who have not only brought upon us all the horrors of a civil war, but have also added a piece of barbarity unknown to Turks and Mohammedan infidels,[5] yea, such as would be abhorred and detested by the savages of the wilderness, – I mean their cruelly forcing our brethren whom they have taken prisoners, without any distinction of whig or tory, to serve on board their ships of war, thereby obliging them to take up arms against their own countrymen, and to fight against their brethren, their wives, and their children, and to assist in plundering their own estates! This, my brethren, is done by men who call themselves Christians, against their Christian brethren, – against men who till now gloried in the name of Englishmen, and who were ever ready to spend their lives and fortunes in the defence of British rights. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon, lest it cause our enemies to rejoice and our adversaries to triumph! Such a conduct as this brings a great reproach upon the profession of Christianity; nay, it is a great scandal even to human nature itself.

It would be highly criminal not to feel a due resentment against such tyrannical monsters. It is an indispensable duty, my brethren, which we owe to God and our country, to rouse up and bestir ourselves, and, being animated with a noble zeal for the sacred cause of liberty, to defend our lives and fortunes, even to the shedding the last drop of blood. The love of our country, the tender affection that we have for our wives and children, the regard we ought to have for unborn posterity, yea, everything that is dear and sacred, do now loudly call upon us to use our best endeavors to save our country. We must beat our ploughshares into swords, and our pruning-hooks into spears, and learn the art of self-defence against our enemies. To be careless and remiss, or to neglect the cause of our country through the base motives of avarice and self-interest, will expose us not only to the resentments of our fellow-creatures, but to the displeasure of God Almighty; for to such base wretches, in such a time as this, we may apply with the utmost propriety that passage in Jeremiah xlviii. 10: “Cursed be he that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.” To save our country from the hands of our oppressors ought to be dearer to us even than our own lives, and, next the eternal salvation of our own souls, is the thing of the greatest importance, – a duty so sacred that it cannot justly be dispensed with for the sake of our secular concerns. Doubtless for this reason God has been pleased to manifest his anger against those who have refused to assist their country against its cruel oppressors. Hence, in a case similar to ours, when the Israelites were struggling to deliver themselves from the tyranny of Jabin, the King of Canaan, we find a most bitter curse denounced against those who refused to grant their assistance in the common cause; see Judges v. 23: “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”

Now, if such a bitter curse is denounced against those who refused to assist their country against its oppressors, what a dreadful doom are those exposed to who have not only refused to assist their country in this time of distress, but have, through motives of interest or ambition, shown themselves enemies to their country by opposing us in the measures that we have taken, and by openly favoring the British Parliament! He that is so lost to humanity as to be willing to sacrifice his country for the sake of avarice or ambition, has arrived to the highest stage of wickedness that human nature is capable of, and deserves a much worse name than I at present care to give him. But I think I may with propriety say that such a person has forfeited his right to human society, and that he ought to take up his abode, not among the savage men, but among the savage beasts of the wilderness. Nor can I wholly excuse from blame those timid persons who, through their own cowardice, have been induced to favor our enemies, and have refused to act in defence of their country; for a due sense of the ruin and destruction that our enemies are bringing upon us is enough to raise such a resentment in the human breast that would, I should think, be sufficient to banish fear from the most timid male. And, besides, to indulge cowardice in such a cause argues a want of faith in God; for can he that firmly believes and relies upon the providence of God doubt whether he will avenge the cause of the injured when they apply to him for help? For my own part, when I consider the dispensations of Providence towards this land ever since our fathers first settled in Plymouth, I find abundant reason to conclude that the great Sovereign of the universe has planted a vine in this American wilderness which he has caused to take deep root, and it has filled the land, and that he will never suffer it to be plucked up or destroyed.

Our fathers fled from the rage of prelatical tyranny and persecution, and came into this land in order to enjoy liberty of conscience, and they have increased to a great people. Many have been the interposition of Divine Providence on our behalf, both in our fathers’ days and ours; and, though we are now engaged in a war with Great Britain, yet we have been prospered in a most wonderful manner. And can we think that he who has thus far helped us will give us up into the hands of our enemies? Certainly he that has begun to deliver us will continue to show his mercy towards us, in saving us from the hands of our enemies: he will not forsake us if we do not foresake him. Our cause is so just and good that nothing can prevent our success but only our sins. Could I see a spirit of repentance and reformation prevail through the land, I should not have the least apprehension or fear of being brought under the iron rod of slavery, even though all the powers of the globe were combined against us. And though I confess that the irreligion and profaneness which are so common among us gives something of a damp to my spirits, yet I cannot help hoping, and even believing, that Providence has designed this continent for to be the asylum of liberty and true religion; for can we suppose that the God who created us free agents, and designed that we should glorify and serve him in this world that we might enjoy him forever hereafter, will suffer liberty and true religion to be banished from off the face of the earth? But do we not find that both religion and liberty seem to be expiring and gasping for life in the other continent? – where, then, can they find a harbor or place of refuge but in this?

There are some who pretend that it is against their consciences to take up arms in defence of their country; but can any rational being suppose that the Deity can require us to contradict the law of nature which he has written in our hearts, a part of which I am sure is the principle of self-defence, which strongly prompts us all to oppose any power that would take away our lives, or the lives of our friends? Now, for men to take pains to destroy the tender feelings of human nature, and to eradicate the principles of self-preservation, and then to persuade themselves that in so doing they submit to and obey the will of God, is a plain proof how easily men may be led to pervert the very first and plainest principles of reason and common sense, and argues a gross corruption of the human mind. We find such persons are very inconsistent with themselves; for no men are more zealous to defend their property, and to secure their estates from the encroachments of others, while they refuse to defend their persons, their wives, their children, and their country, against the assaults of the enemy. We see to what unaccountable lengths men will run when once they leave the plain mad of common sense, and violate the law which God has written in the heart. Thus some have thought they did God service when they unmercifully butchered and destroyed the lives of the servants of God; while others, upon the contrary extreme, believe that they please God while they sit still and quietly behold their friends and brethren killed by their unmerciful enemies, without endeavoring to defend or rescue them. The one is a sin of omission, and the other is a sin of commission, and it may perhaps be difficult to say, under certain circumstances, which is the most criminal in the sight of Heaven. Of this I am sure, that they are, both of them, great violations of the law of God.

Having thus endeavored to show the lawfulness and necessity of defending ourselves against the tyranny of Great Britain, I would observe that Providence seems plainly to point to us the expediency, and even necessity, of our considering ourselves as an independent state. For, not to consider the absurdity implied in making war against a power to which we profess to owe subjection, to pass by the impracticability of our ever coming under subjection to Great Britain upon fair and equitable terms, we may observe that the British Parliament has virtually declared us an independent state by authorizing their ships of war to seize all American property, wherever they can find it, without making any distinction between the friends of administration and those that have appeared in opposition to the acts of Parliament. This is making us a distinct nation from themselves. They can have no right any longer to style us rebels; for rebellion implies a particular faction risen up in opposition to lawful authority, and, as such, the factious party ought to be punished, while those that remain loyal are to be protected. But when war is declared against a whole community without distinction, and the property of each party is declared to be seizable, this, if anything can be, is treating us as an independent state. Now, if they are pleased to consider us as in a state of independency, who can object against our considering ourselves so too?

But while we are nobly opposing with our lives and estates the tyranny of the British Parliament, let us not forget the duty which we owe to our lawful magistrates; let us never mistake licentiousness for liberty. The more we understand the principles of liberty, the more readily shall we yield obedience to lawful authority; for no man can oppose good government but he that is a stranger to true liberty.

Let us ever check and restrain the factious disturbers of the peace; whenever we meet with persons that are loth to submit to lawful authority, let us treat them with the contempt which they deserve, and even esteem them as the enemies of their country and the pests of society. It is with peculiar pleasure that I reflect upon the peaceable behavior of my countrymen at a time when the courts of justice were stopped and the execution of laws suspended. It will certainly be expected of a people that could behave so well when they had nothing to restrain them but the laws written in their hearts, that they will yield all ready and cheerful obedience to lawful authority. There is at present the utmost need of guarding ourselves against a seditious and factious temper; for when we are engaged with so powerful an enemy from without, our political salvation, under God, does, in an eminent manner, depend upon our being firmly united together in the bonds of love to one another, and of due submission to lawful authority. I hope we shall never give any just occasion to our adversaries to reproach us as being men of turbulent dispositions and licentious principles, that cannot bear to be restrained by good and wholesome laws, even though they are of our own making, nor submit to rulers of our own choosing. But I have reason to hope much better things of my countrymen, though I thus speak. However, in this time of difficulty and distress, we cannot be too much guarded against the least approaches to discord and faction. Let us, while we are jealous of our rights, take heed of unreasonable suspicions and evil surmises which have no proper foundation; let us take heed lest we hurt the cause of liberty by speaking evil of the ruler of the people.

Let us treat our rulers with all that honor and respect which the dignity of their station requires; but let it be such an honor and respect as is worthy of the sons of freedom to give. Let us ever abhor the base arts that are used by fawning parasites and cringing courtiers, who by their low artifices and base flatteries obtain offices and posts which they are unqualified to sustain, and honors of which they are unworthy, and oftentimes have a greater number of places assigned them than any one person of the greatest abilities can ever properly fill, by means of which the community becomes greatly injured, for this reason, that many an important trust remains undischarged, and many an honest and worthy member of society is deprived of those honors and privileges to which he has a just right, whilst the most despicable, worthless courtier is loaded with honorable and profitable commissions. In order to avoid this evil, I hope our legislators will always despise flattery as something below the dignity of a rational mind, and that they will ever scorn the man that will be corrupted or take a bribe. And let us all resolve with ourselves that no motives of interest, nor hopes of preferment shall ever induce us to act the part of fawning courtiers towards men in power. Let the honor and respect which we show our superiors be true and genuine, flowing from a sincere and upright heart.

The honors that have been paid to arbitrary princes have often been very hypocritical and insincere. Tyrants have been flattered in their vices, and have often had an idolatrous reverence paid them. The worst princes have been the most flattered and adored; and many such, in the pagan world, assumed the title of gods, and had divine honors paid them. This idolatrous reverence has ever been the inseparable concomitant of arbitrary power and tyrannical government; for even Christian princes, if they have not been adored under the character of gods, yet the titles given them strongly savor of blasphemy, and the reverence paid them is really idolatrous. What right has a poor sinful worm of the dust to claim the title of his most sacred Majesty? Most sacred certainly belongs only to God alone, – for there is none holy as the Lord, – yet how common is it to see this title given to kings! And how often have we been told that the king can do no wrong! Even though he should be so foolish and wicked as hardly to be capable of ever being in the right, yet still it must be asserted and maintained that it is impossible for him to do wrong!

The cruel, savage disposition of tyrants, and the idolatrous reverence that is paid them, are both most beautifully exhibited to view by the apostle John in the Revelation, thirteenth chapter, from the first to the tenth verse, where the apostle gives a description of a horrible wild beast which he saw rise out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the names of blasphemy. By heads are to be understood forms of government, and by blasphemy, idolatry; so that it seems implied that there will be a degree of idolatry in every form of tyrannical government. This beast is represented as having the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion; i.e., a horrible monster, possessed of the rage and fury of the lion, the fierceness of the bear, and the swiftness of the leopard to seize and devour its prey. Can words more strongly point out, or exhibit in more lively colors, the exceeding rage, fury, and impetuosity of tyrants, in their destroying and making havoc of mankind? To this beast we find the dragon gave his power, seat, and great authority; i.e., the devil constituted him to be his vicegerent on earth; this is to denote that tyrants are the ministers of Satan, ordained by him for the destruction of mankind…

… Such a horrible monster, we should have thought, would have been abhorred and detested of all mankind, and that all nations would have joined their powers and forces together to oppose and utterly destroy him from off the face of the earth; but, so far are they from doing this, that, on the contrary, they are represented as worshipping him (verse 8): “And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him,” viz., all those “whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life”, i.e., the wicked world shall pay him an idolatrous reverence, and worship him with a godlike adoration. What can in a more lively manner show the gross stupidity and wickedness of mankind, in thus tamely giving up their just rights into the hands of tyrannical monsters, . . . and in so readily paying them such an unlimited obedience as is due to God alone?

We may observe, further, that these men are said (verse 4) to “worship the dragon”; – not that it is to be supposed that they, in direct terms, paid divine homage to Satan, but that the adoration paid to the beast, who was Satan’s vicegerent, did ultimately centre in him. Hence we learn that those who pay an undue and sinful veneration to tyrants are properly the servants of the devil; they are worshipers of the prince of darkness, for in him all that undue homage and adoration centres that is given to his ministers. Hence that terrible denunciation of divine wrath against the worshippers of the beast and his image: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and who receive the mark of his name.”[6] We have here set forth in the clearest manner, by the inspired apostle, God’s abhorrence of tyranny and tyrants, together with the idolatrous reverence that their wretched subjects are wont to pay them, and the awful denunciation of divine wrath against those who are guilty of this undue obedience to tyrants.

Does it not, then, highly concern us all to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Heaven hath made us free, and to strive to get the victory over the beast and his image – over every species of tyranny? Let us look upon a freedom from the power of tyrants as a blessing that cannot be purchased too dear, and let us bless God that he has so far delivered us from that idolatrous reverence which men are so very apt to pay to arbitrary tyrants; and let us pray that he would be pleased graciously to perfect the mercy he has begun to show us by confounding the devices of our enemies and bringing their counsels to nought, and by establishing our just rights and privileges upon such a firm and lasting basis that the powers of earth and hell shall not prevail against it.

Under God, every person in the community ought to contribute his assistance to the bringing about so glorious and important an event; but in a more eminent manner does this important business belong to the gentlemen that are chosen to represent the people in this General Assembly, including those that have been appointed members of the Honorable Council Board.

Honored fathers, we look up to you, in this day of calamity and distress, as the guardians of our invaded rights, and the defenders of our liberties against British (in modern times it is the statist/socialist/radicals elected or appointed into the highest offices of governance in these United State that are carrying out) tyranny. You are called, in Providence (who are electec), to save your country from ruin. A trust is reposed in you of the highest importance to the community that can be conceived of, its business the most noble and grand, and a task the most arduous and difficult to accomplish that ever engaged the human mind – I mean as to things of the present life. But as you are engaged in the defence of a just and righteous cause, you may with firmness of mind commit your cause to God, and depend on his kind providence for direction and assistance. You will have the fervent wishes and prayers of all good men that God would crown all your labors with success, and direct you into such measures as shall tend to promote the welfare and happiness of the community, and afford you all that wisdom and prudence which is necessary to regulate the affairs of state at this critical period.

Honored fathers of the House of Representatives: We trust to your wisdom and goodness that you will be led to appoint such men to be in council whom you know to be men of real principle, and who are of unblemished lives; that have shown themselves zealous and hearty friends to the liberties of America; and men that have the fear of God before their eyes; for such only are men that can be depended upon uniformly to pursue the general good.

My reverend fathers and brethren in the ministry will remember that, according to our text, it is part of the work and business of a gospel minister to teach his hearers the duty they owe to magistrates. Let us, then, endeavor to explain the nature of their duty faithfully, and show them the difference between liberty and licentiousness; and, while we are animating them to oppose tyranny and arbitrary power, let us inculcate upon them the duty of yielding due obedience to lawful authority. In order to the right and faithful discharge of this part of our ministry, it is necessary that we should thoroughly study the law of nature, the rights of mankind, and the reciprocal duties of governors and governed. By this means we shall be able to guard them against the extremes of slavish submission to tyrants on one hand, and of sedition and licentiousness on the other. We may, I apprehend, attain a thorough acquaintance with the law of nature and the rights of mankind, while we remain ignorant of many technical terms of law, and are utterly unacquainted with the obscure and barbarous Latin that was so much used in the ages of popish darkness and Superstition.

To conclude: While we are fighting for liberty, and striving against tyranny, let us remember to fight the good fight of faith, and earnestly seek to be delivered from that bondage of corruption which we are brought into by sin, and that we may be made partakers of the glorious liberty of the sons and children of God: which may the Father of Mercies grant us all, through Jesus Christ.

AMEN.


[1] This shows the reason why the primitive Christians did not oppose the cruel persecutions that were inflicted upon them by the heathen magistrates. They were few compared with the heathen world, and for them to have attempted to resist their enemies by force would have been like a small parcel of sheep endeavoring to oppose a large number of ravening wolves and savage beasts of prey. It would, without a miracle, have brought upon them inevitable ruin and destruction. Hence the wise and prudent advice of our Saviour to them is, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another.”

[2] The meaning is not that they have attempted to deprive us of liberty of conscience, but that they have attempted to take away those rights which God has invested us with as his creatures and confirmed in his gospel, by which believers have a covenant right to the good things of this present life and world.

[3] Each colony had a charter granted by the King at the time of the Colonies establishment.  The key element of these charters always included the element of self-governance.  When the charters were vacate, then the local assemblies did not have the capacity to regulate and chose judges and others as previously established in the charters. Additionally, the method of compensating the governor, judges and other official went from the colonial people to the King and Parliament.  This was a major affront since now those officials were dependent on the King and not the people for their salaries.

[4] The modern application is the driving of business off-shore due to regulation and taxation, the encroachment of international rules on private property and the destruction of morality and Christian religious freedom by international agreements.

[5] The modern application is accepting the encroachment of the Mohammedan such that the fundamental truths of Christianity are being wiped out of every aspect of the public squre.

[6] Rev. xiv. 9, 10.

Tyranny By Any Other Name

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**Parens and Italics added for modernization and emphasis.

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.”

From 1748 “Loyalty and Sedition”

Again you moderns lack understanding to what are the ideals of Liberty.  It is sad to see that the activities of the King and Parliament are again dominant in these United States such that sedition has lead to elected usurpation and the soft Tyranny that Mr. de Tocqueville would write about.  I’m sorry to see you enslaved by your own volition.  You have given up the ideals and protection of Liberty for the false hopes of economy and security.  Only you, as individuals can produce the latter two by ensuring the former!

 This I wrote in 1748. 

” But we oftentimes perceive such significations assumed by those who find the wrong use of the words conducive to the increase of power or gain, that it is difficult to tell whether loyalty is really commendable or sedition blameworthy. True loyalty in the sense just now explained is the beauty and perfection of a well-constituted state. It cannot indeed subsist in an arbitrary government, because it is founded in the love and possession of liberty. It includes in it a thorough knowledge of our Constitution, its conveniences and defects as well as its real advantages; a becoming jealousy of our immunities, and a steadfast resolution to maintain them. It delights in the quiet and thankful enjoyment of a good administration, and it is the scourge of the griping oppressor and haughty invader of our liberties.

” But sedition is founded on the depraved and inordinate passions of the mind: it is a weak, feverish, sickly thing, a boisterous and unnatural vigor, which cannot support itself long, and oftentimes destroys the unhappy patient. It proceeds from gross mistake or great wickedness, from lust of power or gain, in the first promoters of it, and from untamable obstinacy and a vitiated palate that cannot relish the happiness of a free state in the creatures of their designs.

” It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions. This has led millions into such a degree of dependence and submission, that they have at length found themselves to homage the instruments of their ruin at the very time they were at work to effect it. The true object of loyalty is a good legal constitution, which, as it condemns every instance of oppression and lawless power, derives a certain remedy to the sufferer by allowing him to remonstrate his grievances, and pointing out methods of relief when the gentle arts; of persuasion have lost their efficacy. Whoever, therefore, insinuates notions of government contrary to the constitution, or in any degree winks at any measures to suppress or even to weaken it, is not a loyal man. Whoever acquaints us that we have no right to examine into the conduct of those who, though they derive their power from us to serve the common interests, make use of it to impoverish and ruin us, is in a degree a rebel to the undoubted rights and liberties of the people. He that despises his neighbor’s happiness because he wears a worsted cap or leathern apron, he that struts immeasurably above the lower size of people, and pretends to adjust the rights of men by the distinctions of fortune, is not over loyal. He that aggravates beyond measure the well-meant failings of a warm zeal for liberty, he that leaves no stone unturned to defend and propagate the schemes of illegal power, cannot be esteemed a loyal man. Indeed, the reverse use of these words may possibly find authorities in some parts of the world where language and sense are deluged in the torrent of arbitrary power.”

“*Libertate modice utantur. (Make use of a little Liberty) Temperatam earn salubrem et singulis et civitatibus esse: nimiam et aliis gravem, et ipsis qui habeant effrenatam et praecipitem esse Alienis armis partam, externa fide redditam libertatem sua cura custodirent servarentque, ut populus Romanus dignis datam libertatem ac munus suum bene positum sciret.’ (It wholesome to be tempered and every one, and the cities of: an excessive and other severe, and precipitation, are foreign to those who possessed, the unbridled and won, by force of arms, the freedom of His care to keep the external servarentque faith restored, given that the Roman people worthy of freedom and responsibility he knew his well-placed.)— Orat T. Quint, ad Grsec Civit apud Liv. XXXrV. 49.

” 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 a society of wise and reasonable creatures from the brutal herd, where the strongest horns are the strongest laws. 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 a former paper, the true notion of loyalty has been considered; I shall now offer to the public some general thoughts upon liberty, in order rightly to apprehend which subject we must consider man in two different states, namely, those of Nature and of Society.”

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 the great Creator of all things.  The perfection of liberty therefore, in a state of nature, is for every ruan to be free from any external force, and to perform such actions as in his own mind and conscience he judges to be Tightest; which liberty no man can truly possess whose mind is enthralled by irregular and inordinate passions; since it is no great privilege to be free from external violence if the dictates of the mind are controlled by a force within, which exerts itself above reason.

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.*  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; in one short word, where no laws are carried through humor or prejudice, nor controlled in their proper execution by lust of power in the great, nor wanton licentiousness in the vulgar.”

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. O Libertas! Dea certe! (Oh, Freedom! goddess at least!) — 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! who hold their property and even their lives by no other tenure than the sovereign will of a tyrant, and he often the worst and most detestable of men, who, to gratify the least humor or passion in his nature, does not scruple to massacre them by thousands! Sure it is true what orthodox divines tell us, that men are apostate from God, since in his righteous providence he subjects so many of them to such miserable fate!

“But there are other states and civil societies in the world, the model of whose government seems to promise the sure enjoyment of this blessing; which yet, if we attentively examine, we shall find to be really destitute of it. We shall often find, that where the forms of it are observed, the substance of it is wanting; for, as that man is truly a slave, who, though impelled by no external violence, is yet carried away by the impetuosity of his passions to do those things which are abhorrent from his nature and his reason, so neither can the people be called free, who, though they make their own laws, are yet blinded by prejudice and diverted by undue influence from uniformly pursuing their own interest.

” 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 the English. 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 Parliaments and their juries; by the former of which no laws can be made without their consent, and by the latter none can be executed without their judgment. By this means the subject 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 Parliament 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 and the weight of the bishop’s yoke, 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 haranguing 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 hut 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.”

Mr. Adams’ Views & Understanding of Constitutional Republicanism for Liberty – Today!

With all that is happening in modern lack of good governance this letter as Governor, Mr. Adams addresses the State Legislature and the Citizenry with great knowledge of how a Republic is to function to preserve Life, Liberty and Property (also considered happiness).  We must raise up statesmen and stateswomen for our states and nation to preserve Liberty.  Let Mr. Adams be an example for you.

TO THE LEGISLATURE OF MASSACHUSETTS.

JANUARY 19, 1796.

[Independent Chronicle, January 21, 1796]

FELLOW CITIZENS,

I CANNOT but congratulate you upon the many blessings which the bountiful hand of Providence has bestowed upon us since your adjournment.

We with our Fellow Citizens at large have observed a day solemnly to recognize these blessings; and if sincere obedience to our gracious Benefactor, shall accompany the gratitude which we then professed, we may humbly rely upon him that he will continue his divine favors to the citizens at large, and direct the public councils of our Nation and Commonwealth to such measures as shall be productive of the safety and welfare of all.

In my former address to this General Court I mentioned the duty required by the (state) Constitution, frequently to revise the laws, and amend such of them as may still be necessary to secure the lives, liberty and property of the citizens — The importance of civil commutative justice and the good policy of making adequate compensations to those who administer well — and the great advantages of cherishing the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them among the body of the people. Upon these I shall not now enlarge.

Agriculture and Commerce mutually depend upon each other. As foreign markets are supplied from our fields, it is an object of importance, that the transportation of heavy articles, and means of communication from one part of the State to another, may be rendered as easy and cheap as the nature of the country will admit. By the spirit of enterprize, which so remarkably animates the citizens, countenanced by the Legislature, much has been done and is still doing in various parts of the Commonwealth.

The improvement of Arts and Manufactures is of interesting moment. The encouragement of such manufactures in particular, as will diminish the consumption of Foreign Articles and exhibit a real balance in our favor, is the common concern of the whole Union — Such encouragement as will spread the spirit of Industry individually through the body of the people, will tend to increase their happy feelings of Independence, and give them an exalted idea of the truly noble character of Free Citizens. Industry naturally leads to sobriety of sentiment, rectitude of manners, a due observance of wise and constitutional laws, and of course to public and private virtue.

Fellow Citizens,

IT is wisdom often to recur to first principles. The people of this Commonwealth, as well as those of the United States, have voluntarily formed such constitutions of government, as they have judged well adapted to secure their own political safety.  These Constitutions are founded upon the same principles; and they avow the great and fundamental political truth that all power is derived from the people.

As these and all new forms of Government which recognize principles, never reduced to practice until the period of our illustrious Revolution must be in their nature experiments, the provision of a peaceable and constitutional remedy for such defects as experience may point out, is with great propriety established in our State and National Governments.  The citizens of this Commonwealth, have lately discovered their acquiescence under their Constitution as it now stands. But it still remains recorded in our declaration of rights, that the people alone have an incontestible, unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government; & to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it. And the Federal Constitution, according to the mode prescribed therein has already undergone such amendments in several parts of it, as from experience has been judged necessary.

The Government of the United States is entrusted solely with such powers as regard our safety as a nation; and all powers not given to Congress by the Constitution remain in the individual States and the people. In all good Governments the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary powers are confined within the limits of their respective Departments. If therefore it should be found that the Constitutional rights of our federal and local Governments should on either side be infringed, or that either of the Departments aforesaid should interfere with another, it will, if continued, essentially alter the Constitution, and may in time, I hope far distant, be productive of such convulsions as may shake the political ground upon which we now happily stand.

Under these impressions, I cannot forbear to mention to you a subject which has lately arrested the public attention and employed the pens of ingenious men of different sentiments concerning it. In discussing a subject so exceedingly momentous as a national Treaty, no personal attachment or prejudice, no private or selfish feelings, no arts of deception should be suffered to intermingle: Truth should be the object, and reason the guide.

By the Constitution of the United States, it is provided, that all Legislative powers therein granted, shall be vested in a Congress, to consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. These several branches have, and exercise a positive negative upon each other: No Legislative act, therefore, can pass without their joint concurrence. But in another part of the Constitution, under the head of Executive, the President has the power with the advice and consent of the Senate, provided two thirds of the Senate present, concur, to make Treaties; and all Treaties which are made or shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be among the Supreme Laws of the Land: The Senate therefore partakes with the Executive, so far as to advise and consent; but the most popular branch of Congress has no concern therein. I do earnestly recommend to you to turn your attention to those parts of the Constitution, at least, which relate to the Legislative and Executive powers, and judge for yourself, whether they may not be construed to militate with each other and lead to an absurd conclusion– that there actually exists in the Government of the United States, two distinct and decisive Legislatives.

I am far from being desirous that unnecessary alterations of our Constitution, should be proposed: but it is of great consequence to the liberties of a nation, to review its civil Constitution and compare the practice of its administrators with the essential principles upon which it is founded. We, fellow-citizens, are under the strongest obligations, from the solemnity of our mutual compacts, and even our sacred oaths, with a watchful eye at every point to defend and support our Constitutions; and to strengthen the essential principles upon which they are founded, when it shall be needful, falls in my opinion within those solemn obligations.

I hope, fellow-citizens, that what I am now about to say will not be deemed improper.

I have been accustomed to speak my mind upon matters of great moment to our common country with freedom; and every citizen of the United States has the same right that I have. I may never hereafter have an opportunity of publicly expressing my opinion on the Treaty made with the Court of London: I am therefore constrained with all due respect to our Constituted Authority to declare, that the Treaty appears to me to be pregnant with evil. It controuls some of the powers specially vested in Congress for the security of the people; and I fear that it may restore to Great Britain such an influence over the Government and people of this country as may not be consistent with the general welfare. This subject however it is expected will come before the Congress whose immediate province it is to discuss it, and to determine, so far as it may be in their power, as they shall think, for the safety and welfare of the people.

I shall use my best endeavor to dispatch the business which you shall lay before me. And it is my cordial wish that all your decisions may tend to the prosperity of the Commonwealth, and afford to you the most agreeable reflections.

 

SAMUEL ADAMS.

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.

Two Thanksgiving Writings

Sadly the United States in general or a State specifically no longer, especially at the public leadership level, believes as our Founders did.  Samuel Adams, Known as “The Last Puritan” brought the Truths of Faith in a Christian Savior to the forefront of Thanksgiving for all that was good in the establishment his State and the United States.

Is there today a national legislature or governor who has the belief and the fortitude to speak like Samuel Adams did?  Today, the United States lives in national sin by leaving its historical perspective of being established as a land on Biblical law and values.  Since to have days of Thanksgiving were not set as they are in modern times, hear from Samuel Adams and Pray that this Nation fall on our knees, individually and collectively, seeking the forgiveness of the God of the Bible so that we can return to our roots of our heritage and understand the foundational perspective of ‘self-governance’; thereby receiving the grace to restore the Nation to its Foundational core.

Samuel Adams wrote this:

RESOLUTION OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.

November 3, 1778.

It having pleased Almighty God through the Course of the present year, to bestow great & manifold Mercies on the People of these United States; And it being the indispensible Duty of all Men gratefully to acknowledge their obligations to Him for Benefits receivd.

Resolvd, That it be and hereby is recommended to the legislative or executive Authority of each of the said States, to appoint Wednesday the 30th day of December next to be observd as a Day of publick Thanksgiving and Praise. That all the People may with united Hearts on that Day express a just Sense of His unmerited Favors: — Particularly in that it hath pleased Him, by His over ruling Providence to support us in a just and necessary War for the Defence of our Rights and Liberties; — By affording us seasonable Supplys for our Armies–by disposing the Heart of a powerful Monarch to enter into Alliance with us and aid our Cause–by defeating the Councils and evil Designs of our Enemies, and giving us Victory over their Troops–and by the Continuance of that Union among these States, which by his Blessing, will be their future Strength & Glory.

And it is further recommended, that together with devout Thanksgivings may be joined a penitent Confession of our Sins, and humble Supplication for Pardon through the Merits of our Savior. So that under the Smiles of Heaven, our publick Councils may be directed–our Arms by Land and Sea prosperd–our Liberty and Independence secur’d–our Schools & Seminaries of Learning flourish–our Trade be revivd–our Husbandry and Manufactures increasd, and the Hearts of all impressd with undissembled Piety, with Benevolence, and Zeal for the publick Good.

And it is also recommended that Recreations unsuitable to the Purpose of such a Solemnity may be on that Day–

OCTOBER 14, 1795.

[Independent Chronicle, October 19, 1795.]

Published by Authority [Seal] Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

BY THE GOVERNOR.

A PROCLAMATION FOR A DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE.

FORASMUCH as the occasional meeting of a People for the exercise of Piety and Devotion towards God, more especially of those who enjoy the Light of Divine Revelation, has a strong tendency to impress their minds with a sense of Dependence upon HIM and their Obligations to HIM.

I have thought fit, according to the ancient and laudable Practice of our renowned ancestors, to appoint a day of Public Thanksgiving to God, for the great benefits which HE has been pleased to bestow upon us, in the Year past.  And I do by advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY the Nineteenth day of November next, to be observed as a DAY of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAISE throughout this Commonwealth: Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel of all Denominations, with their respective Congregations to assemble on that Day to offer to God, their unfained Gratitude, for his great Goodness to the People of the United States in general, and of this Commonwealth in particular.

More especially in that he hath in his Good Providence united the several States under a National Compact formed by themselves, whereby they may defend themselves against external Enemies, and maintain Peace and Harmony with each other.

That internal tranquillity has been continued within this Commonwealth; and that the voice of Health is so generally heard in the habitations of the People.

That the Earth has yielded her increase, so that the labours of our industrious Husbandmen have been abundantly crowned with Plenty.

That our Fisheries have been so far prospered.–Our Trade notwithstanding obstructions it has met with, has yet been profitable to us, and the works of our Hands have been established.

That while other nations have been involved in War, attended with an uncommon profusion of Human Blood, we in the course of Divine Providence, have been preserved from so grievous a Calamity, and have enjoyed so great a measure of the Blessing of Peace.

And I do recommend that together with our Thanksgiving, humble Prayer may be offered to God, that we may be enabled, by the subsequent obedience of our Hearts and Manners, to testify the sincerity of our professions of Gratitude, in the sight of God and Man; and thus be prepared for the Reception of future Divine Blessings.

That GOD would be pleased to Guide and Direct the Administration of the Federal Government, and those of the several States, in Union, so that the whole People may continue to be safe and happy in the Constitutional enjoyment of their Rights, Liberties and Privileges, and our Governments be greatly respected at Home and Abroad.

And while we rejoice in the Blessing of Health bestowed upon us, we would sympathize with those of our Sister States, who are visited with a Contagious and Mortal Disease; and fervently supplicate the FATHER of Mercies that they may speedily be restored to a state of Health and Prosperity.

That HE would in HIS abundant Mercy regard our fellow Citizens and others, who are groaning under abject Slavery, in Algiers, and direct the most effectual measures for their speedy Relief.

That HE would graciously be pleased to put an end to all Tyranny and Usurpation, that the People who are under the Yoke of Oppression, may be made free; and that the Nations who are contending for freedom may still be secured by HIS Almighty Aid, and enabled under His influence to complete wise systems of Civil Government, founded in the equal Rights of Men and calculated to establish their permanent Security and Welfare.

And Finally, that the Peaceful and Glorious Reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole Family of Mankind.

And I do recommend to the People of this Commonwealth, to abstain from all such Labour and Recreation, as may not be consistent with the Solemnity of the said Day.

Given at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, the fourteenth Day of October in the Year of our LORD, One Thousand seven Hundred and Ninety-five, and in the Twentieth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

SAMUEL ADAMS.

True Copy–Attest,

JOHN AVERY, jun. Sec’ry.

God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

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It is so pitiful that Massachusetts has become degenerate in leadership and leads in the fullness of the sin that plagues the National Government also.  What is in the modern times is NOT what the Founders intended for a ‘moral and virtuous people’ to self-govern a great State and Nation.

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 & Constitutional Abuse: Response to Ben Franklin June 29, 1771

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF MASSACHUSETTS

TO BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.[1]

[Boston Gazette, July 29, 1771; a text from the Bowdoin MS. is in Proceedings of Massachusetts Historical Society, Ser. I., vol. viii., pp. 468-473.]

PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY,

June 29, 1771.

SIR,

Your letter of the 5th of February[2] has been laid before the House: The contents are important and claim our fixed attention.

We cannot think the doctrine of the right of Parliament (modern perspective: Congress or Bureaucratic Agencies that violate the original intent of the Constitution, the malfeasance of the 16th Amendment and the fees by rule/regulations of Agencies) to tax us is given up, while an act (modern perspective: such as the 16th Amendment and the fee charging authority of Agencies) remains in force for that purpose, and is daily put in execution; and the longer it remains the more danger there is of the people’s becoming so accustomed to arbitrary and unconstitutional taxes (modern perspective: the sheeple going accepting the wrong), as to pay them without discontent; and then, as you justly observe, no Minister (modern perspective: Politician) will ever think of taking them off, but will rather be encouraged to add others.  If ever the provincial assemblies (modern perspective: States Legislatures) should be voluntarily silent, on the Parliament’s  (modern perspective: Federal Congress) taking upon themselves a power thus to violate our constitutional and Charter Rights, it might be considered as an approbation of it, or at least a tacit consent, that such a power should be exercised at any future time.  It is therefore our duty to declare our Rights and our determined Resolution at all times to maintain them: The time we know will come, when they must be acknowledged, established and secured to us and our posterity.

We severely feel the effects, not of a revenue raised, but a tribute extorted, without our free consent or control (modern perspective: Congress passing legislation without reading the bills, Pork and agencies Fees). Pensioners and Placemen are daily multiplying (modern perspective: public employee union member retirements, Congress retirement packages after one term, other federal employee retirements); and fleets and standing armies posted in North America (modern perspective: all the Federal agencies that have law enforcement armed individuals – post office, NOAA, IRS, DHS-TSA and other agencies), for no other apparent or real purpose, than to protect the exactors and collectors of the tribute; for which they are to be maintained, & many of them in pomp & pride to triumph over and insult an injured people, and suppress if possible, even their murmurs.  And there is reason to expect, that the continual increase of their numbers will lead to a proportionable increase of a tribute to support them.  What would be the consequence?  Either on the one hand, an abject slavery in the people, which is ever to be deprecated; or, a determined resolution, openly to assert and maintain their rights, liberties and privileges (modern perspective: it’s not about the economy, it’s about Liberty!).  The effects of such a resolution may for some time be retarded by flattering hopes and prospects (modern perspective: “Hope & Change”); and while it is the duty of all persons of influence here to inculcate (definition: instill (an attitude, idea, or habit) by persistent instruction) the sentiments of moderation (modern perspective: regarding the acts of Congress and the bastardizing of Constitutional Original Intent), it will in our opinion, be equally the wisdom of the British administration (modern perspective: Congress and the presidential administration(s)), to consider the danger of forcing a free people by oppressive measures into a state of desperation.  We have reason to believe that the American Colonies (modern perspective: The various States), however they may have disagreed among themselves in one mode of opposition to arbitrary measures, are still united in the main principles of constitutional & natural liberty (modern perspective: The 10th Amendment movement); and that they will not give up one single point in contest of any importance, tho’ they may take no violent measures to obtain them.  The taxing their property without their consent (modern perspective: EPA rules and other egregious environmental regulations), and thus appropriating it to the purposes of their slavery and destruction, is justly considered, as contrary to and subversive of their original social compact, and their intention in uniting under it: They cannot therefore readily think themselves obliged to renounce those forms of government, to which alone for the advantages imply’d or resulting, they were willing to submit.  We are sensible, as you observe, that the design of our enemies in England (modern perspective: Oligarchs, socialist, fascist, humanist and globalist in elected offices, the agencies administration, politicians that ascribe to the former), as well as those who reside here (modern perspective: in the States), is to render us odious (definition: repulsive) as well as contemptible, and to prevent all concern for us in the friends of liberty in England (modern perspective: Washington D.C. and some states capitals); and perhaps to detach our Sister Colonies (modern perspective: separate the States by class warfare or other economic means) from us, and prevent their aid and influence in our behalf, when the projects of oppressing us further and depriving us of our Rights by various violent measures, should be carried into execution.  In this however, we flatter ourselves they have failed: But should all the other Colonies (modern perspective: The various States) become weary of their liberties, after the example of the Hebrews, this Province (modern perspective: specific to Mass. in this letter) we trust, will never submit to the authority of an absolute government.

We are now led to take notice of another fatal consequence, which we are under strong apprehensions will follow from these parliamentary revenue laws (modern perspective: Congress & Federal Agencies); and that is, the making the governors of the colonies, and other officers, independent of the people for their support (modern perspective: Politicians receiving lobbyist monies).  You tell us there is no doubt of such intention, and that it will be persisted in, if the American revenue is found sufficient.  We are the more inclin’d to believe it, not only because the governor of the province of New-York has openly declared it with regard to himself, to the assembly there; but because the present governor of this province has repeatedly refused to accept of the usual grant for his support, tho’ he has not been so explicit as to assign a reason for it.  The charter of this province (modern perspective: developed into the State Constitution in 1780) recognizes the natural Right of all men to dispose of their property: And the governor here, like all other governors, kings and potentates, is to be supported by the free grants of the Representatives of the people.  Every one sees the necessity of this to preserve the balance of power and the freedom of any state: A power without a check, is subversive of all freedom: If therefore the governor (modern perspective: or president), who is appointed by the crown (modern perspective: elected by the people), shall be totally independent of the free grants (modern perspective: paid by the public) of the people for his support, where is the check upon his power?  He becomes absolute and may act as he pleases: He may make use of his power, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage, or any other purpose to which he may be inclined, or instructed by him upon whom alone he depends.  Such an independency threatens the very being of a free constitution; and if it takes effect, will produce and firmly establish a tyranny upon its ruin.  The act of parliament of the 7 Geo. 3.[3] intitled, “An act for granting certain duties in the Colonies, &c.” declares That it is expedient that a revenue should be raised in his Majesty’s dominions in America, for making more certain and adequate provision for the defraying the charge of the administration of justice, and the support of civil government in such colonies where it shall be found necessary; and, towards further defreying the expences of defending, protecting and securing the said dominions.  These are the very purposes for which this government by the Charter is empowered to grant taxes: So that by the act aforementioned, the Charter is in effect made void.  Agreeable to the design of that act, the governor it seems is first to be made independent; and in pursuance of the plan of despotism, the judges of the land, and all other important civil officers, successively: Next follows an independent military power, to compleat the ruin of our civil liberties. (modern perspective: the consolidation of law enforcement agencies under DHS and the power of the public employee unions)  Let us then consider the power the Governor already has, and his Majesty’s negative (modern perspective: Veto – Misinterpretation of the Art. 4 sec. 2 clause 1 and the 14th Amendment) on all our acts, and judge whether the purposes of tyranny will not be amply answered! (modern perspective: from a strict constructionist view with “Natural law and the Ten Commandments” as the guide of the first Courts to the modern theories of law being: Legal positivism, Legal realism  and Critical legal studies)  Can it be expected that any law will pass here, but such as will promote the favourite design (modern perspective: of the oligarchs)?  And the laws already made, as they will be executed by officers altogether dependent on the crown (modern perspective: agents of Federal agencies), will undoubtedly be perverted to the worst purposes.  The governor of the province (modern perspective: of the various States and how the State militia’s or guard units were nationalize removing full authority from the States governor’s to the Feds), and the principal fortress in it, are probably already thus supported.  These are the first fruits of the system: If the rest should follow, it would be only in a greater degree, a violation of our essential, natural rights.  For what purpose then will it be to preserve the old forms without the substance?  In such a state, and with such prospects, can Britain expect anything but a gloomy discontent in the Colonies (modern perspective:  a strong Federal government overpowering the States therefore, the States should be discontent and engage their 10th Amendment Rights)?  Let our fellow-subjects (modern perspective: citizens) there recollect, what would have been their fate long ago, if their ancestors had submitted to the unreasonable and uncharitable usurpations, exactions and impositions of the See of Rome (modern perspective: Now is the actions by the global Islam & radical Islam movements), in the reign of Henry the VIII.  Soon would they have sunk into a state of abject slavery to that haughty power, which exalteth itself above all that is called God: But they had the true spirit of liberty, and by exerting it, they saved themselves and their posterity; The act of parliament passed in the 25th of that reign,[4] is so much to our present purpose, that we cannot omit transcribing a part of it, and refer you to the statute at large.  In the preamble it is declared (modern perspective: the following is the precursor to the Declaration of Independence), that

“the realm of England hath been and is free from subjection to any man’s law but only to such as have been devised, made and ordained within the realm for the wealth of the same.”  And further, “it standeth therefore with natural equity and good reason, that in every such law humane made within this realm by the said sufferance, consents and customs, your Royal Majesty and your Lords spiritual and temporal and Commons representing the whole state of your realm in this your Majesty’s high court of parliament, hath full power and authority, not only to dispense, but also to authorize some elect person or persons to be sent to dispense with those and all other humane laws in this your realm, and with every one of them, as the quality of the persons and matter may require.  And also the said laws and every one of them to abrogate, annul, amplify or diminish, as it shall seem to your Majesty and the Nobles and Commons of your realm present in parliament meet and convenient for the wealth of your realm.  And because that it is now in these days present seen, that the state, dignity and superiority, reputation and authority of the said imperial crown of this realm, by the long sufferance of the said unreasonable and uncharitable usurpation and exaction is much and sore decayed, and the people of this realm thereby much impoverished.”  It is then enacted, that “no person or persons of the realm, or of any other his Majesty’s dominions, shall from henceforth pay any pensions, censes, portions, peter pence, or any other impositions to the use of the said Bishop of the See of Rome; but that all such pensions, &c. which the said Bishop or Pope hath heretofore taken – shall clearly surcease, and never more be levied or paid to any person or persons in any manner or wise.”

Nothing short of the slavery and ruin of the nation would have been the consequence of their submitting to those exactions: And the same will be the fate of America, if the present revenue laws remain, and the natural effect of them, the making governors independent (modern perspective: Congress and Bureaucrats continue to act without limitation of the Constitution as originally intended and expect the Judiciary to fix it) , takes place.

It is therefore with entire approbation that we observe your purpose freely to declare our Rights, and to remonstrate against the least infringement of them.  The capital complaint of all North-America, hath been, is now and will be until relieved, a subjugation to as arbitrary a tribute as ever the Romans laid upon the Jews, or their other colonies: The repealing these duties (modern perspective: Obamacare, EPA and other egregious regulations on the people and business) in part is not considered by this house as a renunciation of the measure: It has rather the appearance of a design to sooth us into security in the midst of danger: Any species of tribute unrepealed, will stand as a precedent, to be made use of hereafter as circumstances and opportunity may admit: If the Colonies (modern perspective: The Various States) acquiesce in a single instance, it will in effect be yielding up the whole matter and controversy. We therefore desire it may be universally understood, that altho’ the tribute is paid, it is not paid freely: It is extorted and torn from us against our will: We bear the insult and the injury for the present, grievous as it is, with great impatience; hoping that the wisdom and prudence of the nation will at length dictate measures consistent with natural justice and equity: For what shall happen in future, We are not answerable: Your observation is just, that it was certainly as bad policy, when they attempted to heal our differences, by repealing part of the duties only (modern perspective: the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare and little regulatory reform in the House), as it is bad Surgery to leave splinters in a wound which must prevent its healing, or in time occasion it to open afresh.

The doctrine, that no agent ought to be received or attended to by government, who is not appointed by an act of the general court (modern perspective: the Senate now giving carte blanche to the presidential administration(s) to appoint personnel without Senate Approval- S. 679), to which the governor (modern perspective: president) has given his assent, if established, must be attended with very ill consequences; for, besides the just remarks you made upon it, if whatever is to be transacted between the assemblies of the Colonies and the government, is to be done by agents appointed by and under the direction of the three branches, it will be utterly impracticable for an assembly ever to lay before the Sovereign (modern perspective: Congress) their complaints of grievances occasioned by the corrupt and arbitrary administration of a governor (modern perspective: a president).  This doctrine, we have reason to think, was first advanced by governor Bernard, at a time when he became the principal agent in involving the nation and the Colonies in controversy and confusion: Very probably, it now becomes a subject of instruction to governor Hutchinson5 (modern perspective: example — the president not working with The House on a true budget) who refuses to confirm the grants of the Assembly to the Agents for the respective houses.  In this he carries the point beyond Governor Bernard who assented to grants made in general terms for services performed, without holding up the name of agent: But governor Hutchinson (modern perspective: a strong parallel between many acts of Hutchinson and the president in 2012) declines his assent even in that form; so that we are reduced to a choice of difficulties, either to have no agent at all, but such as shall be under the influence of the minister; or to find some other way to support an agent than by grants of the general assembly.  But we are fallen into times, when governors of colonies (modern perspective: governors of the States and any politician beholding to lobbyist, unions, international bankers and other global oligarchs) seem to think themselves bound to conform to instructions, without any regard to the civil constitution, or even the public safety.

End note: Since the writing of this letter an Instruction of this kind is arrived, which has been communicated by the Governor to his Majesty’s Council; and is recorded in their Journal 1


[1] [Boston Gazette, July 29, 1771; a text from the Bowdoin MS. is in Proceedings of Massachusetts Historical Society, Ser. I., vol. viii., pp. 468-473.] Page 46, note, applies also to the authorship of this letter.

[2] J. Bigelow, Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin, vol. iv., p. 378.

[3] The act of parliament of the 7 Geo. 3, Chap. 46.

[4] Chap. 21.  The quotation from the statute is inexact.

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