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Desirous to share the blessings, which our pacific Lord promises to the “meek’ and the “ peace-makers ;' 1 shall, in these sheets, neither throw oil upon the flame of the American revolt, nor blow up the coals of indignation, which glow in the breasts of our insulted Gover.
Whatever my performance and success may be, moderation and reconciling truth are my aim: I can assure you, Sir, that my utmost ambition is to draw the line between unruly patriotism and servile subjec tion, in such a manner as to give you, and our readers, an equal detestation of both these unconstitutional ex
After throwing away all your First Letter upon an uselessg question, and beginning the second with an
This useless question 19, whether Mr. Wesley had, or had not, forgotten the title of I know not what book, which he had recommended to some of his friends, and which, through forgetfulness, he asserted that he had never seen ; till, upon perusing the book, he discovered and owned his mistake. Mr. Evans diverts the reader's mind from the true question, by setting before him eight letters, which passed between Mr. W. and others, about that insignificant particu. lar. For my part, I admit the public acknowledgment which Mr. W. has made of his forgetfulness, rather than Mr. Evan s's insinuation, that he is not "an honest man;" and I do it, (1.) Because it is best to be on the safer side, which is that of charity. (2) Because it is highly improbable that a wise man, except in case of forgetfulness, would deny a fact, which a number of proper witnesses can prove, and are inclined to prove against him. And (3.) Because experience constrains me to sympathize with those, whose memory is as treacherous as my own. On a Sunday evening, after preaching three times, reading prayers, and being all day in a crowd, or hurry. ing from place to place, my mental powers are so incapacitated to do their office, that, far from being able to recollect the title of a book, which I have seen some months before, I frequently cannot, after repeated endeavours, remember one of the tests, on which I have preached that very day. Now Mr. W. lives all the year round in the hurry and crowd, in which I am on my busy Sundays; and he is between seventy and eighty years of nge, a time of life this, when even the men who enjoy uninterrupted rest, find that their memory naturally fails. If Mr. Evans consider this, he will not be surprised that his first letter bas not had its intended effect upon me.
idlet report, you step into the tribunal of the Reviewers, and condemn my Vindication before you have refuted cne of my arguments. As if you were both judge and jary, without producing one true witness, page 24, you authoritatively say, “Instead of argument, I meet with Dothing but declamation ; instead of precision, artful colouring ; instead of proof, presumption ; instead of consistency, contradiction ; instead of reasoning, a string of sophistries.”
To support this precipitate sentence, you represent me as saying things which I never said. Thus, page 25, you write : "One while you tell us, that our Constitu. tion guards our properties, &c., against the tyranny of unjust, arbitrary, or cruel monarchs; then you preach up with great solemnity, &c., that their subjects have no more right to resist, than children or scholars have a right to take away paternal or magisterial anthority." I desire, Sir, you would inform me where I advance such a doctrine. Far from “preaching it with great solemnity," I abhor and detest it. If a Nebuchadnezzar commanded me to worship his golden image, I would (God being my helper) resist him as resolutely as did Shadrach. And suppose the king and parliament were to lay a tax upon me, in order to raise money for the purchasing of poison, wherewith to destroy my fellowsubjects, I would resist them, and absolutely refuse to pay such a tas.
When you have made my doctrine odious, by lending me principles which I never advanced, or drawing con. sequences which have not the least connection with my sentiments ; you prejudice the public against my book, by insinuating that I contradict myself, where it is plain I do not. Thus you say, p. 26, “ In one letter
The idle report I mean is, that my Vindication has recelved many additions and corrections from the pen of a celebrated nobleman.” This is a mistake. I find, indeed, some errors of the press, which injure the sense of my book; but I do not discover one addition in it, except that of two words; and if Mr. Evans will be pleased to inspect my manuscript, he will see that the few little negative emendations
you tell us, The Colonists are on a level with Brito general ; in another that They were never on a levei England.” This last sentence I spake of the Colo as independent legislatures, and not of the Colon: And both sentences in their place are perfectly consis For, although not one of the Colonies was ever o level with England (an Independent Kingdom) respect to supreme dominion ; yet all the Colonists on a level with Britons in general, with respect to se ral particulars enumerated just before, as appears by whole argument, wbich, (Vind. p. 23,) runs thus: “I Mother.country and the Parliament-house are as open them (the Colonists] as to any free-born Englishmai They may purchase freeholds, they may be made bu gesses of corporate towns, they may be chosen Member of the House of Commons, and some of them, if I mi: take not, sit already there. The Colonists are then on level, not only with [absent] Britons in general, bu with all our members of Parliament who are abroad." Had you, Sir, quoted my words in this manner, you: readers would have seen, that there is something in my letters beside contradiction and sophistry; but it is more easy to shuffle the cards, than to win the game.
Permit me, Sir, to produce another instance of your polemical skill : You say, p. 24, “Your reasoning upon the quotation I made from the very learned Judge Black. stone is equally conclusive, &c. In a free state (says Judge Blackstone) every man who is supposed a Free Agent, ought to be in some measure his own governor ; and therefore a branch, at least, of the legislative power should reside in the whole body of the people. You reply-Your scheme drives at putting the legislative power into every body's hands.” No, Sir, this is not my reply, but only a just inference which I naturally drew from my solid answer. My reply, (Vind. p. 16,) runs thus: “But who are the whole body o. the people ? According to Judge Blackstone, every Free Agent. Then the argument proves too much ; for are not wo. men free agents ? Yea, and poor, as well as rich, men ?" This, and this only, I advance as a reply to Judge
Slackstone's argument. I cannot therefore help being
Four argument out of sight: You render me ridicu. lasly producing as my answer, what is not my answer *d; and, before you conclude, you make me amends Se this piece of patriotic liberty, by calling me, “one the most unmeaning and unfair controvertists.” The eder's patience would fail were I minutely to describe site logical stratagems of this sort, by wbich you support your cause, which I confess stands in need of all
manner of props.
However, in your Second Letter, you come to the question, which is, Whether the Colonists, as good men, good Christians, or good subjects, are bound to pay moderate proportionable taxes, for the benefit of the whole British Empire; when such taxes are legally laid upon them by the supieme protective power, that is, by the three branches of the British Legislature.
In my Vindication of the Calm Address, I have pro. daced the arguments which induce me to believe, that the doctrine of such taxation is rational, scriptural, and constitutional: And in your Reply you attempt to prove, that it is contrary to reason, scripture, and the Constitution. Let us see how your attempt is carried un, and,
FIRST, How you disprove the reasonableness of the taxation I contend for.
Page 27, You say, that you do not deny " the neces. i sity and propriety of subjects paying taxes.” But in
not denying this, Sir, do you not indirectly give up the point? Do you not grant that, as the Colonists are not protected by the King alone, but by the whole legislative power of Great Britain, they are not under the jurisdiction of the King alone, but of all the British Legisla. ture ? Now if they are not the subjects of the King, as unconnected with the British parliament ; but as constitutionally connected with that high court, which supplies him with proper subsidies to protect his Ame. rican dominions ; it is evident that they owe taxes to the knowledge “the necessity of subjects paying taxe: the supreme power which protects them. But W12 tax have they, of late, consented to pay ? Has it kan a tax upon tea, or upon stamped paper ?
Should you reply, that they have offered to pay tri to the King and their provincial assemblies, I renk that this is not paying capital tribute, to whom caj. tribute is due: For capital tribute is due to the caj na protective power ; and the capital power that proti. the Colonists, is not the King and the regency of H. over, nor the King and the Irish Parliament, much 1 the King and a provincial assembly; but the King a the British Parliament. Had the Americans got th wealth under the protection of the Irish ; had the Ha overian fleets kept off the Spanish ships from the Am rican coasts ; or had squadrons of American men of w beat off the French fleets; I would not hesitate a mi ment to affirm, that the Colonists ought to pay propo. tionable taxes to the King and the Irish Parliament ; the Elector and regency of Hanover; or to the King British America and the American assemblies. when all this has been done for the Colonists by the King and the British Parliament, I confess to you, Sir, thai setting aside the consideration of the love and duty, which Colonies owe to their Mother-country, I cannot see what law of gratitude, equity, and justice the Colonists can plead to refuse paying the King and the British Parliament moderate and proportionable taxes.
Page 36, You indirectly appeal to the case of “ the patriots of Charles's days," who refused to pay the tax called ship-money : But their cause was far better than that of the Americans. The ship-money was demanded by the King alone; but the King alone is not the supreme legislative power that protects the subjects of Great Britain, because he can make no laws, and of con. sequence raise no taxes, without the concurrence of the Parliament. The patriots of the last century were not then absolutely bound either by the law of God, or the law of the land, to pay a tax, which had not the sanction of the legislative power ; a money-bill passed by the King