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Remarks on a late Pamphlet, 



Wherein are (hewn, that the Scheme of INDEPENDENCE is rui- 
nous, delufive, and impracticable; that were the Author's 
Affeverations, refpecling the Power of AMERICA, as real as 
nugatory, Reconciliation on liberal Principles with GREAT 
BRITAIN would be exalted Policy; and that, circumftanced 
as we are, permanent Liberty and true Happinefs can only 
be obtained by Reconciliation with that Kingdom. 


Will-ye turn from Flattery and attend to this Side. 

There TRUTH, unlicencM, walk?; and dares accoft 
Even Kings themfelves, the Monarchsof the Free. 

THOMSON on the liberties of BRITAIN. 


LONDON, Reprinted for J. ALMON, oppofite BURLINGTON 


T O 


ALTHOUGH I have not the honor to be known 
to you, I am not unacquainted with your native 
candor and unbounded benevolence. As happy as obfcure, 
I am indeed a Granger to the language of adulation : 
flattery I deleft ; virtue I refpeft. 

Be not offended, Sir, if I remark that your character 
is contemplated with profound veneration by the friends 
of the ConfUtution. Thofe abilities which you fo illuf- 
trioufly difplayed in defence of the Conftitution, they 
now fupplicate you to exert, in faving it from impending 
ruin, under the Syren form of delufive Independence. 

Step then forth; exert thofe talents with which heaven 
has endowed you ; and caufe the parent and her children 
to embrace, and be foes no more. Arduous as this 
extraordinary tafk may feem, perhaps your virtue and ta- 
lents may yet effect it. Your endeavors to flop the effufion 
of blood, of torrents of blood, is worthy of your acknow- 
ledged humanity even the honeft attempt, upon recol- 
lection, will afford you ineffable fatisfaction. 

My prefuming to infcribe to you the following crude re- 
marks is to remind you, Sir, what your dift relied country 
expects, nay loudly demands from your extenfive capa- 

I beg you will forgive this temerity ; and that you may 
long enjoy the fruits of your exalted virtue, and remain an 
honor to your country, and to mankind, is the ardent wiih 


Your mofl obedient 

and reffieftfulfervant, 




TF, indignant at the doctrine contained in the pamphlet 
JL intitled Common Senfe, I have exprefled myfelf, in the 
following obfervations, with fome ardor, I entreat the 
reader to impute my indignation to honed zeal againft the 
author's infidious tenets. Animated and impelled by every 
inducement of the human heart, I love, and (if I dare fo 
exprefs myfelf) I adore my country. Paffionately devoted 
to true liberty, I glow with the pureft flame of patriotifm. 
Silver'd with age as I am, if 1 know myfelf, my humble 
fword (hall not be wanting to my country (if the mod 
honorable terms are not tendered by the Britifti nation) ; 
to whofe facred caufe I am moft fervently devoted. The 
judicious reader will not impute my honeft, though bold 
remarks, to unfriendly defigns againft my children * 
againft my country ; but to abhorrence of independency, 
which, if effected, would inevitably plunge our once pre- 
eminently envied country into ruin, horror, and defola- 





I HAVE now before me the pamphlet intitled Common 
Senfe ; on which I fhall remark with freedom and 
candour. It may not be improper to remind my rea- 
der, that the inveftigation of my fubject demands the ut- 
mofl freedom of enquiry ; I therefore entreat his indul- 
gence, and that he will carefully remember, that intemperate 
zeal is as injurious to liberty, as a manly difcuffion of 
facts is friendly to it. " Liberty, fays the great Montef- 
quieu, is a right of doing whatever the laws permit; and 
if a citizen could do what they forbid, he would no longer 
be pofTefled of liberty, becaufe all his fellow citizens would 
have the fame power." In the beginning of his pamphlet 
the author aflerts, that fociety in every ftate is a bleffing. 
This in the fincerity of my heart I deny ; for it is fupreme 
mifery to be afTcciated with thofe who, to promote their 
ambitious purpofes, fiagitioufly pervert the ends of poli- 
tical fociety. I do not fay that our author is indebted to 
Burgh's -Political Difquifitions, or to RoufTeau's Social Com- 
pact for his definition on government, and his large tree; 
although I wi(h he had favoured his reader with the fol- 
lowing extract from that fublime reafoner : " To invefti- 
gate thofe conditions of fociety which may beft anfwer the 
purpofe of nations, would require the abilities of fome 
fuperior intelligence, who fliould be witnefs to all the 
pafllons of men, but be fubject itfelf to none, who (hould 
have no connections with human nature, but {hould have 

A a perfect 

2 P L A I K T R 'U T H. 

a perfect knowledge of it : a being, in fhort, whofe hap" 
pinefs thould be independent gf us, and who would ne- 
verthelefs employ itfelf about us. It is the province of 
Gods to make laws for men.'* With the utmoft deference 
to the celebrated Rouffeau, I cannot indeed imagine, that 
laws even fo conftrufted, would materially benefit our 
imperfect race, unlefs Otnnifcience deigned previoufly to 
exalt our nature. The judicious reader will therefore per- 
ceive, that malevolence only is requisite to declaim againft, 
and arraign the moft perfect governments. Our political 
quack avails himfelf of this trite expedient, to cajole 
the people into the moil abject flavery, under the delufive 
name of independence. His firfl indecent attack is againft 
the Englifh conftitution, which, with all its imperfections, 
is, and ever will be, the pride and envy of mankind. To 
this panegyric involuntarily our author fubfcribes, by grant- 
ing individuals to be fafer in England, than in any other 
pan of Europe. He indeed infidioufly attributes this 
pre-eminent excellency to the conftitution of the people, 
rather than to our excellent conftitution: to fuch con- 
temptible fubterfuge is our author reduced. I would afk 
him, why did not the conftitution of the people afford 
them fuperior fafety, in the reign of Richard the third, 
Henry the eighth, and other tyrannic princes ? Many pages 
might indeed be filled with encomiums beftowed on our 
excellent conftitution by illuftrious authors of different 

This beautiful fyftem (according to Montefquieu) our 
conftitution- is a compound of monarchy, ariftocracy, and 
democracy. But it is often faid, that the fovereign, by 
honours and appointments, influences the commons. The 
profound and elegant Hume agitating this queftion, thinks, 
to this circumftance, we are in part indebted for our fu- 
preme felicity ; fince, without fuch controul in the crown, 
our conftitution would immediately degenerate into de- 
mocracy ; a government which, in the fequel, I hope to 
prove ineligible. Were I afked marks of the beft govern- 
ment, and the purpofe of political fociety, I would reply, 
the encreafe, prefervation, and profperity of its members ; 
In no quarter of the globe are ^thofe marks fo certainly 



to be found, as in Great Britain and her dependencies. 
After onr author has employed feveral pages to break 
the mounds of fociety by debafmg monarchs, he fays, 
" the plain truth is, that the antiquity of Englifh monar- 
chy will not bear looking into." 

Hume, treating of the original contract, has the following 
melancholy, but fenfible obfervation; " yet reafon tells 
us, that there is no property in durable objects, fuch 
as lands and houfes, when carefully examined, in paffing 
from hand to hand, but muft in fome period have been 
founded on fraud and injuftice. The neceflities of human 
fociety, neither in private or public life, will allow of 
fuch an accurate enquiry ; and there is no virtue or moral 
duty, but what may, with facility, be refined away, if we 
indulge a falfe philofophy, in fifting and fcrutinizing, by 
every captious rule of logic, in every light or pofition in 
which it may be placed." 

Say, ye votaries of honour and truth, can we adduce a 
Aronger proof of our author's turpitude, than his quoting 
the anti-philofophical ftory of the Jews, to debafe monar- 
chy and the beft of monarchs. Briefly examining the 
ilory of this contemptible race, more barbarous than our 
favages, we find their hiftory a continued fncceflion of 
miracles, aflonifhing our imaginations, and exercifing our 
faith. After wandering forty years in horrid defarts, they 
are chiefly condemned to perifti for their perverfenefs, al- 
though under the immediate dominion of the king of 
heaven. At length they arrive in the flerile country of 
Paleftine, which they conquer by exterminating the in* 
habitants, and warring like demons. The inhabitants of 
the adjoining regions juftly, therefore, held them in de- 
tefration, and the Jews finding themfelves conftantly ab- 
horred, have ever fmce hated all mankind. This people, 
as deftitute of arts and induftry as humanity, had not 
even in their language a word exprefliveof education. We 
might indeed remind our author, who fo readily drags in 
the Old Teftament to fupport his finifter meafures, that 
we could draw from that fource many texts favourable 
to monarchy, were we not confcious that the Mofaic law 
gives way tp the gofpel difpenfation. The reader no 

A 2 (Joubt 


doubt will be gratified by the following extract from a 
a moft primitive chriftian: " Chriftianity is a fpiritual 
religion, relative only to celeftial objects. The chriftian's 
inheritance is not of this world. He performs his duty it 
is true, but this he does with a profound indifference for 
the good or ill fuccefs of his endeavours : provided he 
hath nothing to reproach himfelf, it is of little confe- 
quence to him whether matters go well or ill here below. 
If the Hate be in a fiourimlng condition, he can hardly 
venture to rejoice in the public felicity, left he fhould 
be puffed up with the inordinate pride of his country's 
glory. If the ftate decline, he bleffes the hand of God, 
that humbles his people to the duft." 

Having defined the beft government, I will humbly 
Attempt to defcribe good kings by the following unerring 
rule. The beil princes are conftantly calumniated by the 
envenomed tongues and pens of the moft worthlefs of their 
fubjecls. For this melancholy truth, do I appeal to the 
teftimony of impartial hiftorians, and long experience. 
The noble impartial hiftorian Sully, fpeaking of the al- 
moll divine Henry the fourth of France, fays, " Thus 
-was this god-like prince reprefented (by the difcontented 
of thefe days) almoft throughout his whole kingdom, as 
a furious and implacable tyrant : they were never without 
one fet of arguments to engage his catholic nobility in 
a rebellion againft him ; and another to fow feclition among 
his proteftant officers and gentry." Hume fays, that the 
cruel unrelenting tyrant, Philip the fecond of Spain, with 
his infernal inquifition, was not more detefted by the peo- 
ple of the Netherlands, than was the humane Charles 
with his inoffenfive liturgy, by his mutinous fubjedls. The 
many unmerited infults offered to our gracious fovereign. 
by the unprincipled Wilkes, and others down to this late 
author, will for ever difgrace humanity. For he fays, 
*' that monarchy was the moft profperous invention the 
devil ever fet on foot for the promotion of^idolatry. It is 
the pride of kings which throws mankind into confufion : 
in ihort, continues this author, monarchy and fucceMion 
have laid not this or that kingdom only, but the world 
JQ hlppd and afhes," How deplorably wretched the con- 


ditlon of mankind, could they believe fuch execrable flagi- - 
tious jargon ! Unhappily indeed, mankind in every age 
are fufceptible of delufien ; but furely our author's poifon 
carries its antidote with it. Attentive to the fpirit of his 
publication, we fancy ourfelves in the barbarous fifteenth 
century ; in which period our author would have figured 
with his " Common Senfe" -and blood will attend it. 

After his terrible anathema againft our venerable confti- 
tution and monarchy, let us briefly examine a democra- 
ticalflate; and fee whether or not it is a government lefs 
fanguinary. This government is extremely plaufible and 
indeed flattering to the pride of mankind. The dema- 
gogues therefore, tofeduce the people into their criminal de<- 
iigns, ever hold up democracy to them ; although confci- 
QUS it never did, nor ever will anfwer in practice. If we 
believe a great author, " there never exifted, nor ever 
will exift a real democracy in the world." If we examine 
the republics of Greece and Rome, we ever find them in 
a flate of war domeftic or foreign. Our author therefore 
makes no mention of thefe antient flates. " When Alex- 
ander ordered all the exiles to be reflored throughout all 
the cities, it was found that the whole amounted to twenty 
thoufand, the remains probably of ftill greater {laughters 
and maflacres. What an aftonilhing number in fo narrow 
a country as antient Greece? and what domeftic confufion, 
jealoufy, partiality, revenge, heart-burnings muft tear thofe 
cities, where factions were wrought up to fuch a degree 
of fury and defpair ?" Appian's hiftory of the civil wars of 
Rome contains the moil frightful picture of maflacres, 
profcriptions, and forfeitures that ever were prefented to 
the world. 

The excellent Montefquieu declares, " that a democracy 
fuppofes the concurrence of a number of circumftances rarely 
united ; in the firfl place, it is requifite that the {late itfelf 
fhould be of fmall extent, fo that the people might bq 
eafily aflembled and perfojially known to each other : fe- 
condly, the fimplicity of their manners fliould be fuch as 
to prevent a multiplicity of affairs, and perplexity in dif- 
cuffing them: and thirdly, there (hould fubfiil a great de* 
of equality between them, in point of right and autho- 
rity : 

6 P L A I N T R U T H. 

rity : laftly, there fhould be little or no luxury, for luxry 
muft either be the effect of wealth, or it muft make it ne- 
ceffary ; it corrupts at once, both rich and poor : the one, 
by the poflfefiion, and the other, by the want of it.*' To 
this may be added, continues the fame author, " that no 
government is fo fubject to civil wars, and inreftine com- 
motions, as that of the democratical or popular form ; be- 
caufe no other tends fo ftrongly and fo conftantly to alter, 
nor requires fo much vigilance and fortitude to prefer ve 
it from alteration. It is indeed, in fuch a conftitution 
particularly, that a citizen fhould always be armed with 
fortitude and conftancy, and (hould every day, in the 
fincerity of his heart, guard againft corruption, arifing 
cither from felfi(hnefs in himfelf, or in his compatriots ; 
for if it once enters into public tranfactions, to root it out 
afterwards would be miraculous. 

Our author aflTerts, that Holland and Swifferland are 
without wars domefHc or foreign. About a century ago, 
I lolland was in a few weeks over- run by the arms of France, 
and aloioft miraculoufly faved by the gallantry of her Prince 
of Orange, fo celebrated afterwards by the name of William 
the third. Almoft from that period, until the treaty of 
Utrecht, Holland was a principal in wars, the moft expen- 
five and bloody, ever waged by human kind : the wounds 
(he then received were unhealed in 1744, when reluctantly 
voufed from her pacific lethargy, (he was dragged into war; 
and lofmg her impregnable Bergen-op-zoom, and Maeftrichr, 
was again on the brink of becoming a province to France, 
when happily liberated by the Britifh Nation. In the war 
of 1756, Holland,, continually infulted in the capture of 
her fliips by our cniifers, preferred a humiliating neutrality. 
If victory indeed had not crowned the Britifh banners, 
the Dutch in Jubitabl-y would have affifted their natural 
allies, in whatever quarter of the globe attacked ; for it is 
inconteitibly true, that the exiftence of Holland, as a (rate, 
depends, and invariably will depend, on the profperity of 
Great Britain. Since the murder of Barnevelt, and t'tie 
immortal Dswits, by the deluded furious people, Holland 
hath too often been convulfed by anarchy, and torn by 
party. Unfortunately alas ! for the caufe of humanity, 

3 ' lh 


the rugged and incult deferts of SwifTerland preclude not 
ambition, fedition, and anarchy. Her bleak and barren 
mountains do not fo effectually fecure precarious liberty, 
as daily vending her fons to the adjoining nations, parti- 
cularly to France, by whom the Thirteen Cantons could 
be fubjected in as many days, did that court meditate fa 
fenfelefs and delufive an object. Nugatory indeed, if we 
confider, that France derives more fubftantial advantage 
from the prefent icate of Swiflerland, than if me exhausted 
herfelf, to maintain numerous battalions, to bridle the Can- 
tons. A moment let us fuppofe, that our author's afife- 
verations of Holland and SwifTerland are as real as delr- 
five: his inferences do not flow from his premifes; for 
their fuperior advantages do not arife from their popular 
government, but from circumftances of peculiar local feli- 
city, obliging the princes of Europe to defend them from 
the omnipotent land force, if I may fo fpeak, of France. 
After im potently attacking our fovereign and the confti- 
tution, he contradicts the voice of all mankind, by de- 
claring, that America " would have flourifhed as much, 
and probably much more, had no European power takea 
any notice of her." 

If he means, that had this continent been unexplored, 
the original inhabitants would have been happier, for once 
I agree with him. Previous to the fettlement of thefe 
provinces by our anceftors, the kingdom of France was 
convulfed by religious phrenzy. This, and Sebaftian Ca- 
bot's prior difcovery, perhaps, happily afforded the people 
of England an opportunity of locating thefe provinces. 
At length, peace being reftored to France by her hero, 
Henry the Fourth, his nation in turn were feized with the 
rage of colonizing. Finding the English claimed the pro- 
vinces on the Atlantic, they appropriated the fnow banks 
of Canada, which we dare not fuppofe they would have 
preferred to thefe fertile provinces, had not the prior oc- 
cupancy and power of England interfered. I hope it will 
not be denied, that the notice taken of us at this time by 
an European power, was rather favourable for us. Cer- 
tain it is, had not England then taken notice of us, thefe 
delectable provinces would now appertain to France ; and 



the people of New England, horrid to think, would now 
be counting their beads. Some years after the sera in quef- 
tion, the civil wars intervening in England, afforded to 
the Swedes and Dutch a footing on this continent. Charles 
the fecond being reflored, England reviving her claim, 
rendered abortive the Swedish pretenfions, and by con- 
queft, and granting Surinam to the Dutch, procured the 
ceffion of their ufurpation, now New York. I do indeed 
confefs my incapacity to difcern the injury fuflained by 
this fecond " notice taken of us by an European power ;" 
in default of which intervention, the Swedes, to this hour, 
would have retained their fettlement, now the famed Penn- 
fylvania ; and the Dutch, confequently, had retained theirs. 
Some time after this period, the people of New England 
\vere employed in framing and executing laws, fo intole- 
rant and fanguinary, that to us they feem adapted for 
devils, and not men. 

Indeed it is worthy of note, that the inhabitants of Ja- 
maica, Barbadoes, and Virginia, at that very time, enacted 
laws, breathing the fpirit of humanity, and fuch as men 
could bear. Soon after the period in queftion arrived the 
great and good William Penn, with his philofophic people 
called Quakers, together with toleration, induftry, and 
permanent credit. The people of England, encouraged 
by the extenfion of their laws and commerce to thofe co- 
lonies, powerfully affified our merchants and planters, in- 
fomuch, that our fettlements encreafed rapidly, and throve 
apace. It may be affirmed, that from this period, until 
the prefent unhappy hour, no part of human kind ever 
experienced more perfect felicity. Voltaire indeed fays, 
that if ever the golden age exifted, it was in Pennfylvania. 
France, difgufted with the unhappy fituation of her Ame- 
rican Colonies, had long meditated the conqueft of one of 
our middle provinces : to accomplifh this purpofe, me 
extended a line of forts on our frontiers, and actually for- 
tified the place now called Pittfburgh. Juftly alarmed by 
thcfe encroachments, in the hour of our diftrefs we called 
aloud on Great Britain for affiftance, nor was {he deaf to 
our cries. The Englim miniflry, after in vain exhaufting 
all the arts of negociation, declared war againft France. 



fter fpilling torrents of blood, after expending one hun- 
dred and ninety millions of- their dollars, and four or five 
millions of ours, they glorioufly reduced the French 
Settlements. Surely it will not be faid, that this laft 
notice taken of us by the people of England, was injuri* 
ous to us ? Our enemies indeed alledge, that this laft inter- 
vention by bloating us with pride, will eventually ruin us, 
and render the people of Britain objects of derifion, for 
Javifhing their blood and treafure in defence of provinces; 
" a match not only for Europe (according td our author) 
but for the world." Our author next remark?, " that 
the commerce by which (lie hath enriched herfelf, are the 
ncceiTaries of life, and will always have a market while eat- 
ing is the cuilcm of Europe." 

I reply, that our exporting grain is as it were of yefter- 
day ; that the recent demand was principally occafioned by 
the diftra&ions in Poland, and other parts of Europe, and 
probably will totally or partly fail, foon as the fertile coun- 
try of Poland, and more fertile Ukraine, (hall again become 
cultivated. I believe the Europeans did eat before our 
merchants exported our grain, and perhaps will eat when 
they ceafe to export it. I deny, that this momentary com- 
merce hath enriched us; and I could adduce tiumberlefs 
melancholy proofs of the contrary. I fhall only remark, 
that in the moil fertile and deledrablfc wheat country in 
America, bounded by Chefopeak-bay, and almoft adjoin- 
ing that of Delaware, a trad of the beft wheat land, tea 
years ago, would hardly have exceeded a guinea and a half 
per acre; indeed in 1773, fuch land, covered with wood, 
would fcarcely have fold for four guineas an acre ; an un- 
doubted proof of want of people, induftry, and wealth; 
particularly fo, if we confider that one crop of corn and 
wheat on fuch land, jtidicioufly cultivated, would actually 
repay the fuppofed price. Our author afTert?, '* that our 
prt fen t numbers are fuflicietit to repel the force of all th<* 
world ; that theContinenthath at this time the lafgeil difci- 
plined army of any power under heaven ; that the English navy 
is only worth three millions and a half fterling," which, in 
trrecr, would reduce it to thirty-five (hips of the line, twenty 
/hips of forty guns, tweuty of thirty-fix, and eight of twenty 
guns. " That if America had only a twentieth part of this 

B force, 


force, fhe would be by far an over-match for Britain : that in- 
dependence is necedary, becaufe France and Spain cannot 
affid us until fnch an event." He alfo affirms, " that Great 
Britain cannot govern us ; and that no good can arife froni 
a reconciliation with her." 

I (hull humbly endeavour to (hew, that our author fhame- 
fully mifreprefents facts, is ignorant of the true date of Great 
Britain and her Colonies, utterly unqualified for the arduous 
talk he has prefumptuoufly adumed, and ardently intent on 
fed ucing us to that precipice on which himfelf (lands trembling. 
To elucidate my tinctures, I mud: with fidelity expofe the 
circumdances of Great Britain and her Colonies. If, there- 
fore, in the energy of defcription, I unfold certain bold and 
honed truths with fimplicity, the judicious reader will re- 
member, that a true knowledge .of our fituation is as eden- 
tial to our fafety as ignorance thereof may endanger it. In 
the Englifti provinces, excliifive of negroe and other flaves, 
we have one hundred and fixty thoufand or one hundred 
and fevcnty thbufand men capable of bearing arms. Jf we 
deduct the people called Quakers, Anabaptifts, and other re- 
ligionids averfe to arms, a confiderable part of the emi- 
grants, and rhofe having a grateful predilection for the an- 
cient conftitution and parent ft ate, we (hall certainly reduce 
the fir ft number to filty or feventy thoufand men. Now, 
admitting thofe equal to the Roman legions, can we fup- 
pofe them capable of defending againft the power of Bri- 
tain, a country nearly twelve hundred miles extending on 
the ocean ? Suppofe our troops aflembled in New England, 
if the Britains fee not fit to a' flail them, they hafte to and de- 
foiate our other provinces, which eventually would reduce 
New England. If, by dividing our forces, we pretend to 
defend oar provinces, we alfo are infallibly undone. Our 
mod fertile provinces, filled with unnumbered domedic ene- 
mies, flaves, interfered by navigable rivers, every where 
acceiiible to ihe fleets and armies of Britain, can make no 
defence. If, without the medium of paflion and prejudice, 
we view our other provinces, half armed, dellUute of money 
rind a navy, we mud confefs, that no power ever engaged 
potent antagonifts under fnch peculiar circumdances of 
infelicity. In the better days of Rome, fae permitted no re- 


gular troops to defend her. Men defthute of property (lie 
admitted not into her militia (her only army). I have been 
extremely concerned at the feparation of the Connecticut 
men from our army; it augured not an ardent enthufiaftn 
for liberty and glory. We ftill have an army before Bofton, 
and I fliould be extremely happy to hear fubflantial proofs 
of their glory: I am (till hopeful of great things from our 
army before Bofton when joined by the regiments now 
forming, which want of bread will probably foon fill. Not- 
withftanding the predilection I have for my countrymen, I 
remark with grief, that hitherto our troops have difplayed 
but few marks of Spartan or Roman enthufiafm. In the 
fincerity of my heart I adjure the reader to believe, that no 
perfon is more fenfibly afflicted by hearing the enemies of 
America remark, that no general ever ftll fingly and fo in- 
glorioufly unrevenged before the inaufpicious affair of Que- 
bec. I am under no doubt, however, that we fhall become 
as famed for martial courage as any nation ever the fun be- 
held. Sanguine as I am, refpecting the virtue and courage 
of my countrymen, depending on the hiftory of mankind 
fince the Chriftian aera, I cannot however imagine, that zeal 
for liberty will animate to fuch glorious efforts of heroifm, 
as religious enthufiafm has often impelled its votaries to per- 
form. If the cruel unrelenting tyrant Philip the fecond of 
Spain had never attempted to introduce into the Low Coun- 
tries the infernal Tribunal of the Inquifition, it is moil pro- 
bable, that the prefent States of Holland would to this time 
have remained provinces to Spain, and patiently paid the 
fiftieth penny and other grievous exactions. Certain it is, 
that the fanatics of Scotland and people of England had 
never armed againft the firft Charles, if religious enthufiafm 
had not more powerfully agirated their minds than zeal for 
liberty ; the operations of which on the human mind hath, 
jince the sera in queftion, ever been more languid than the 
former molt powerful paflion. Thefe hardy aflertions are 
fupported as well by notorious facts, as by the learned 
Hume and other judicious hiflorians. I cannot here omit 
remarking the inconfiftency of human nature. The Scotch, 
the moft furious enthufiafts then in Europe, were flaughtered 
like (heep by Cromwell at Dunbar, where their formidable 

B 2 army 

12 P L A I N T R U T H. 

army hardly made any refinance, if we except that made by 
a handful of loyalifts, deflitute of that paffion. Certain it 
is, that thpfe emhufiafts were often cut in pieces by their 
countryman the gallant marquis of Montrofe, \vhofe troops 
(Highlanders and other loyaliits) held Prefbyterianifm in 

With the utmoft deference to the honorable Congrefs, I 
do not view the mod diftant gleam of aid from foreign 
powers. The princes alone capable of fuccouring us are 
the Sovereigns of France and Spain, If, according to our 
Author, we pofiels an eighth part of the habitable globe, 
and actually have a check on the Weft India commerce of 
EnpUnd, the French indigo and other valuable Weft India 
com-nodities, and the Spanifh galeons, are in great jeopardy 
from our power. The French and Spaniards are therefore 
yvrctched politians, if they do not ailiil: England in reducing 

her colonies to obedience. Plenfantry aparr, can we be 

fo deluded to expect aid from thofc princes, which, infpir- 
ing their fnbjects with a relifii for liberty, might eventually 
{hake their arbitrary th IT. les Natural avowed enemies to 
our facred caufe, will thcycherifh, will they fupport the flame 
of liberty in America, ardently intent on extingnifhing its la- 
tent dyin s ; fparks in iheir respective dominions ? Can we be- 
lieve, that thofe princes will offer an example fo dangerous 
to their fubjects and colonies, by aiding thpfe provinces to 
independence? If independent, aggrandized by infinite 
numbers from every part of Europe, this continent would 
rapidly attain power aftoni/hirig to imagination. Soon, very 
fpon, would we be conditioned to conquer Mexico, and all 
their Weft India fettlements, which to annoy, or poflefs, wq 
indeed are moft happily fituatecl. Simple and obvious as 
t'hefe truths are, can they be unknown to the people and 
princes of Europe ? Be it however admitted, that thofc 
princes, unmindful of the fatal policy of Richlieu's arming 
Charles's fubjeels againft him, and the more fatal policy of 
I>ewis the fourteenth permitting our glorious deliverer to ef- 
fect the Revolution : I fay, be it admitted that thofe princes, 
regardlefs of future confequences and the ineptitude of the 
times, are really difpofed to fuccour us j fay, ye friends of 
liberty and mankind, would no danger accrue h,om ail army 


$f French and Spaniards in the bofom of America ? Would 
you not dread their junction with the Canadians and Sa- 
vages, and with the numerous Roman Catholics difperfed 
throughout the Colonies ? 

Let us now briefly view the pre-eminently envied ftate of 
Great Britain' If we regard the power of Britain, unembai> 
raffed with continental connexions and the political balance, 
we may juftly pronounce her what our author does America, 
" A match for all Europe." Amazing were the efforts of 
England in the war of Queen Ann, when little benefited by 
colony commerce, and ere (he had availed herfelf of the 
courage, good fenfe, and numbers of the people of Scotland 
and Ireland. 

That England then prefcribed laws to Europe, will be 
long remembered. Laft war her gUry was, if pofiible, 
m<>re eminently exalted : in every quarter of the globe did 
victory hovtr iound her armies and navies, and her fame re- 
echoed from pole to pole : at prcient Great Britain is the 
umpire of Europe. It is not exaggeration to affirm, that 
the Ruffians principally are indebted for their laurels to her 
power, which alpne rerained France from preventing; .the 
ruin of her anciem faithful ally the Ottoman Porte. Super- 
fluous it were to enumerate her powerful alliances, or men- 
tion her immenfe refources : her i ailing the incredible fums 
of eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-two millions fterling for 
the fervice of the years 1759, 60, and 61, was more afton- 
iihing to Europe than the victories of her fleets and armies. 
The annual rents of the kingdom of England only, many 
years ago, amounted to thirty-three millions fterling. Thirty- 
five millions buihels of wheat are annually produced in that 
kingdom, and perhaps as many bufhels of other grain. 
Twelve millions ot fleeces of wool are there yearly fhorn. 
In fhort, the kingdom is a perfect: bee- hive in numbers 
and induftry ; and is faid to contain more induftry, confe- 
quently more wealth, than all the reft of Europe. The 
famed Hume fays, " I mould as foon dread, that all our 
rivers and fprings mould be exhaufted, as that money 
(houlvl abandon a kingdom, where. .there are people and in- 
duftry." The Britifh navy, at the clofe of the laft war, con- 
lifted of nearly two hundred fhips of the line, and one hundred 


* 4 P L A I N T R U T, H. 

large frigates, and about one hundred fmaller frigates, 
or other armed vefTels. Since the peace, I believe, the 
navy has been mofl vigilantly preferved by lord Sand- 
wich, (faid to be as equal to that arduous department as any 
man in Europe). Since the war, feveral capital {hips 
have annually been built; and it is mofl certain, that 
on fix months notice Great Britain could equip fleets, 
fufEciently formidable, to contend with all the naval forc 
that could or would aft againft her. The immenfe 
quantity of naval and other (lores, in the different arfenals, 
with the royal navy*, cannot at this time be worth leis 
than twenty millions flerling. The ifland of Great Bri- 
tain, between fix and feven hundred miles in length, and 
upwards -of two thoufand miles in circumference, and 
being every where indented with harbours, forms (with 
other caufes) fuch nurferies of feamen as the world can- 
riot produce. 

Let us now examine our author's account of the navy 
of Great Britain. " It is, fays he, worth no more than 
three millions and a half fteiTmg." This in effect will 
reduce it to ten fecond rate (hips of war, ten third rate, 
fifteen fourth rate, ten (hips of forty guns, ten of thirty- 
fix, and eight of twenty. " If America, fays he, had 
only a twentieth part of the naval force of Britain, (he 
would be by far an over-match for her; becaufe, as we nei- 
ther have or claim any foreign dominion, our whole force 
would be employed on our own coaft ; where we fhould 
in the long-run have two to one the advantage of thofe 
who had three or four thoufand miles to fail over before 
they could attack us, and the fame diftance to return, in 
order to refit and recruit. And although Britain by her 
fleet hath a check over our trade to Europe, we have as 
large a one over her trade to the Weft Indies, which, by 
laying in the neighbourhood of the Continent, lies entirely 
at its mercy." 

Were it lawful to joke on fo ferious an occafion, I 
would remind the reader of our author's modcfty, in fay- 
ing, " that we claim no foreign dominion ;" fmce we 

* Seventeen capital fhips were built from 1763 until 1771. 


have the moft numerous and beft difciplined army under 
the heaven, and a navy fufficiently ftrong to combat that 
of Great Britain ; for our preferit naval armament cornpofe 
a fleet more than equal to a twentieth part of the Britifh 
navy (according to our author's e(limation). Notwith- 
ftanding our author's delicacy, relying on the well knowii 
utility of melafles to the New-England governments, I 
hope they will order admiral Manly to feize Jamaica and 
the other Weft India iflands. The admiral cannot be at 
a lofs for men ; fince, according to our author, " a few 
focial failors will foon inftruct a fufficient number of active 
land-men in the common work of a (hip/' I do indeed 
confefs, that the Britim mips of war are conftantly equipi: 
altogether with very fociai failors; and as conftantly drub 
the French fhips, double mann'd with active land men, 
tho' fufficiently inftrncled by a few focial failors. The 
reader will perceive, that our author has humbled the 
naval power of Britain with more facility than France 
and Spain could have done; and has alfo expelled hei* 
from our ports with happier fuccefs than did Spain, who 
\vas compelled to yield her Gibraltar and Portmahon for 
the conveniency of her fleets and commerce, 

We muft indeed allow, that Spain, tho' poflefled of 
Mexico and Peru, cannot maintain the moft numerous and 
bed difciplined army under heaven, nor equip a navy 
fit to contend with the fleets of Britain. It mull: alfo be 
confefled, that he makes Great Britain very favourably 
difpofe of her humbled navy, by employing nineteen parts 
of it in the Mediterranean, Afia, Africa, and I know not 
where ; when he knows we have fo great a check on 
her Weft India trade, a commerce of the laft importance 
to her. 

1 would blum for poor human nature, did I imagine 
that any man, other than a bigot, could believe thefe 
ridiculous ftories, .thefe arrant gafconades, refpecting our 
numerous and beft difciplined army under heaven, about 
our navy, and a few focial failors, and that France and 
Spain will not affift us (who by- the- by, according to our 
author, are able to conquer them) until playing upcn 
j We declare ourfelves independent. Can a reafon- 


J6 F LA I ft TkU T I?. 

able being for a moment believe that Great Britain, whoft 
political exigence depends on our conftitutional obedience, 
who but yefterday made fuch prodigious efforts to fave us 
from France, will not exert heffelf as powerfully to pre- 
ferve us from our frantic fchemes of independency ? Can 
\ve a moment doubt, that the fovereign of Great Britain 
and his minifters, whofe glory as well as perfonal fafety 
depends on our obedience, will not exert every nerve 
of the Britifh power' to fave themfelves arid us from 
ruin ? 

"Much, fays our author, has been faid of the flrength 
of Britain and the Colonies, that in conjunction they 
might bid defiance to the world ; but thrs is mere prefump- 
ticn ; the fate of war is uncertain." 

Excellent reafoning, and truly confident with our au- 
thor ! We of ourfeives are a match for Europe, nay 
for the world ; but in junction with the moil: formidable 
power on earth, why then the matter is mere prefump- 
tion ; the fate of war is uncertain. It is indeed humi- 
Kating to confider that this author fhould vamp np a 
form of government for a confiderable part of mankind ; 
and in cafe of its fucceeding, that he probably would be 
one of our tyrants, until we prayed fome more illuftrious 
tyrant of the army to fpurn him to his primeval obfcu- 
J'ity; from all his ill-got honours flung, turned to that 
dirt from whence he fprting. " A government of our 
own is our natural right," fays our author. " Had right 
decided, and not fate the caufe, Rome had preferved 
her Cato and her laws,'* Unfortunately for mankind, 
thofe are fine founding words, which feldom or ever 
influence human affairs ; if they did, inftead of appro- 
priating the vacant lands to fchemes of ambition, we mult 
Jnflantly deputife envoys to the Indians, praying them to 
re-enter their former pofTeflions, and permit us quietly to 
depart to the country of our anceftors, where we would 
be welcome guefts. But, continues our author, " what 
have we to do with fetting the world at defiance ? our 
plan is commerce, and that well attended to, will fecure 
us the peace and friendfhip of ail Europe; becaule it is 
the intereft of all Europe to have America a free port^ 


P L A I N T R U T H. i) 

her trade will always be her protection, and her bar- 
rennefs of gold and filver will fecure her from inva- 

I am perfectly fatisfied, that we are in no condition 
to fet the world at defiance, that commerce and the pro- 
tection of Great Britain will fecure us peace, and the 
friendfhip of all Europe : but I deny, that it is the interefl 
of all Europe to have America a free port, unlefs they 
are defirous of depopulating their dominions. His a/Ter- 
tians, that barrennefs of gold and filver will fecure us 
from invaders, is indeed highly pleafant: have we not 
a much better fecurity from invafions ? viz. the moll nu- 
merous and beft difciplined army under heaven ; or has our 
author already difbanded them ? Pray how much gold and 
filver do the mines of Flanders produce? and what coun- 
try fo often has feen its unhappy fields drenched with 
blood, and fertilized with hmftan gore? The princes "of 
Europe have long dreaded the emigration of their fub- - 
jecls to America; and we are fenfible, that the king of 
Pruilia is faid more than once to have hanged newlanders, 
or thofe who feduced his fubjefts to emigrate. I alfo 
humbly apprehend, that Britain is a part of Europe. 
Now, old gentleman, as you have clearly (hewn, that we 
have a check upon her Weft India trade, is it her in- 
tereft to give us a greater check upon it, by permitting 
America (as you exprefs it) to become a free port ? can 
we fuppofe it to be her intereft to lofe her valuable 
commerce to the Colonies, which effectually me would do, 
by giving up America to become your free port ? if there- 
fore it is the intereft of all Europe to have America a 
free port, the people of Britain are extremely fimple to 
expend fo many millions fterling to prevent it. " It is 
repugnant to the nature of things, to all examples from 
former ages, to fuppofe that this Continent can long re- 
main fubjecl to any external power." 

Antiquity affords us no ecclaircifTerhent reflecting the 
future government of America. Rome, fi tinted in a fteril 
corner of Italy, long, long retained the then world in 
chains, and probably had maintained her dominion long- 
er, had not the Crofs, removing the empire to Byzantium, 

C weakened 


weakened the eagles, and in turn juflly been deflroyed by 
the Barbarians. I fee no reafon to doubt, that Great 
Britain may not long retain us in conftitutional obedience. 
Time, the deftroyer of human affairs, may indeed end her 
political life by a gentle decay ; like Rome, {he may be 
conftrained to defend herfelf from the Huns and Alaricks 
of the north. Ingratefully fhould we endeavour to pre- 
cipitate her political demife ; (he will devife every expedient 
to retain our obedience, and rather than fail, will partici- 
pate thofe provinces amongft the potent flates of Europe. 
" The authority of Great Britain over this continent is a 
form of government which fooner or later mufr, have an 

This I have granted ; and I add, that a million of revo- 
lutions may happen on this continent, for every one of 
which I am not indeed fo over felicitous as our Phoenix of 
whims, the author of Common Senfe. " The Colonies 
have manifefted fuch a fpirit of good order and obedience 
to continental government, as is fufficient to make every 
perfon happy on that head." 

What is this union fo highly vaunted of ? whence the 
inarching and counter- marching through almofr, every pro- 
vince to difarm thofe denominated tories ? I perfectly 
ngree, that glorious is our union I execrate thofe who fay, 
it has been cemented by every fpecies of fraud and violence ; 
yet notwithftanding I dread its fragility, were an army of 
Britons in the middle of our country. As the author of 
Common Senfe is now in the grand monde, and cannot be 
acquainted with the language of many people in the pro- 
vinces, I will communicate the general purport of their 
difcourfe. " We, fay they, do not fee through thewifdorn 
of the prefent times. We remember with unfeigned 
gratitude the many benefits derived through our connections 
with Great Britain, by whom but yeflerday we were eman- 
cipated from flavery and death. We are not indeed un- 
aware, that Great Britain is uniformly reproached with 
defending us from interefted motives. In like manner, 
however, may every iiigrate reproach his benefactor ; fmce 
all benefactions may be faid to flow from no purer 
fountain. Wuh predilection we view our parent ftate, and 



\vifbfully contemplate on our late felicity, almoft realizing 
that flate of old, fo beautifully feigned by the poets. We 
venerate the conflitution, which with all its imperfections 
(too often exaggerated) we apprehend almofl approaches as 
near to perfection as human kind can bear. We mudder 
at the idea of arming with more virulence, more un- 
remitting ardour, againft the parent flate than againft 
France ; by whom our rights, civil as well as religious, 
certainly were more imminently endangered. With horror 
we refleft on the former civil wars, .when every crime, 
odious and baneful to human nature, were alternately per- 
petrated by the foldiers, particularly by the Independents." 

11 Every quipt method of peace has been ineffectual : 
our prayers jxive been rejected with difdain." I do not 
indeed agree with the people of England in faying, that 
thofe who fo fuccefsfully laboured to widen the breach 
defired nothing lefs than peace. That they who fhortly 
were to command the molt numerous and beft difciplined 
army under heaven, and a navy fit to contend with the 
fleets of England, imagining the time had found us, dif- 
dained to be jufl. I highly venerate a majority of the 
Delegates : I have not indeed the honour of knowing all 
the worthy members ; however, 1 wifh the gentlemen of 
the Congrefs, ere they entered on their important charge, 
had been better acquainted with the flrength of our friends 
in parliament. I fincerely lament that the King did not 
receive the lajft excellent petition from the Congrefs ; and I 
as fincerely wifh that the gentlemen of the Congrefs had not 
addrefTed themfelves, at that juncture, to the people of 
Ireland. " As to government matters," (continues our 
author) " it is not in the power of Britain to do this con- 
tinent juftice : the bufmefs of it will foon be too weighty 
and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of 
convenience by a power fo very diftant from us, and fo 
very ignorant of us ; for if they cannot 'Conquer us, they 
cannot govern us. The difference between Pennfylvania 
and Connecticut, refpecting fome unlocated lands, (hews 
the infigniflcance of a Britifli government, and fully proves, 
that nothing but continental authority can regulate coml- 
pental matters/' 

C> Until 


Until the prefent unhappy period, Great Britain has 
afforded to all mankind the moft perfect proof of. her wife, 
lenient, and magnanimous government of the Colonies > 
the proofs to which we already have alluded, viz. our 
fupreme felicity and amazing increafe. Than the affair of 
the Connecticut invaders, Omnipotence only could grant 
us ftrongcr reafons for praying a continuance of our 
former beneficent government. Mod certainly every dif- 
paffionate perfon, as well as the plundered Pennfylvaninns, 
rnuit cbnfefs, that the arm of Great Britain alone detained 
thofe free-booters aforefaid from felling the city of Phila- 
delphia, to which without all doubt they^ have as juft a- 
claim as to thofe fertile regions in Pennfylvania which they 
furreptitloufly have poflelfed themfelves of. In wrath to 
mankind, fhould heaven permit our author's new-fangled 
government to exift, I, as a friend to Pennfylvanians, ad- 
vife them to explore new fettlcments, and avoid the cruej. 
mortification of being expelled by the Saints from their 
delicious abodes and pleaflng fields. " But (fays tne 
author) the molt powerful argument is, that nothing but 
independence (that is, a continental form of government) 
can keep the peace of the continent, and preferve it in- 
violate from civil wars. I dread the event of a reconciliation 
EOW with Britain, as it is more than probable it will be 
folio \ved by revolt fome where; the confequences of which 
may be far more fatal than all the malice of Britain. 
Thoufands are already ruined by Britifh barbarity, thou- 
funds more will probably (hare the fame fate. Thefe men 
have other feelings than thofe who have nothing fuffered ; 
all they now poffefs is liberty ; what they before enjoyed is 
facrificed to its fervice, and having nothing more to lofe, 
they difdain all fubmiffion." 

Here we cannot mifhike our author's meaning, that if 
one or more of the middle or fouthern Colonies reconcile 
with Great Britain, they will have war to fuftain with New 
England, " the confequences of which may be more detri- 
memal than all the malice of Britain." This terrible de- 
nunciation, fortunately for fuch Colonies, is as futile as its 
author. Should Great Britain re-eftablifti her authority in 
fhe faid Colonies by negotiation, furely it is not temerity 


P'L A I N T RU T H. / 21 

to add, that the weight of Britain, in the fcales of thofe 
provinces, would preponderate againit the power of New 
England. If Britain mould reduce the Colonies by arms 
(which may heaven avert!) the New England provinces Will 
have as little inclination as ability to difhirb the peace of 
their neighbours. I do indeed moil: fincerely compaflionate 
thofe unhappy men who are ruined by our unfortunate 
diffractions. I do fervently pray, that Britain and the 
Colonies may moft effectually confider .their peculiar in- 
felicity : fuch attention will do infinite honour to the 
parent ftate, who cannot view them as enemies, but as 
men unhappily irritated by the impolitic meafures of Great 
Britain. " The diminution of trade affords an army, and 
the necefHties of an army create a new trade" (fo fays our 
author). I am furprized the miniftry, fo often reproached 
with ruining the commerce of Britain, never urged (what 
was never thought or faid before) oiir author's excellent 
axiom, " that the diminution, &c." Certain it is, the 
minority had replied, fmce the commencement of this 
.century, the diminution of the commerce of France hath 
afforded her nearly one million of foldiers ; but the 
neceflities of this prodigious number of troops created her 
fo bad a commerce, that (he hath twice proved bankrupt 
iince, and more than once experienced the miferies of 

" If premiums (fays our author) were to be given to 
merchants to build and employ in their fervice fhips 
mounted with 20, 30, 40, or 50 guns, the premiums to 
be in proportion to the lofs of bulk to the merchants ; 
fifty or fixty of thofe fhips, with a few guard fhips on 
confhnt duty, would keep up a fufftcient navy, and that 
without burdening ourfelves with the evil fo loudly com- 
plained of in England, of fuffering their fleets in time of 
peace to lie rotting in their docks." Yield the palm of in- 
genuity to our author, ye De Wits, Colberts, Pelhams, and 
Pitts. He hath outdone ye by confrrucYmg a beautiful 

navy, alas ! on paper only. Firft, no nation in 

Europe depends on fuch (hips for her defence. Secondly, 
fuch fhips would be unfit to contend with capital fhips. 
Thirdly, in the hour of danger, thefe fhips on their voyage 



or return would alternately be taken by an active enemy, 
Lartly, fix times as many fuch. {hips would be unequally 
matched with that part of" the naval power of Great Britain, 
which (he actually could fpare to combat on our coafts. 
This cannot be thought exaggeration, if we confider that 
the Britifh navy, laft war, carried about feyenteen thoufand 
guns, and upwards of ninety-five thoufand focial fcamen. 
* No country (fays our author) is fo happily fituated, or 
internally capable of raifing a fleet as America. Tar, 
timber, iron, and cordage, are her natural produce." He 
fpeaks of forming a fleet as if he could do it by his fiat. 
A third rate (hip of the line fitted for fea is allowed to coil 
74,000 1. fterling, which at the prefent exchange is about 
129,000!. Now as labour, fail cloth, cordage, and other 
requifites are dearer than in Europe, we may reafonably 
fuppofe the advanced price at twenty-five per cent, which 
makes the amount 154,000!. We mult next fuppofe our 
navy equal to that of France, which confifts of iixty-four 
Jhips of the line (fifty gun (hips inclufive) twenty-five 
frigates, with jfhips of inferior force. In cafe of inde- 
, pendence, we cannot admit a fmaller naval force. Indeed, 
when joined to the fleets of France and Spain, the navies 
fo united, and navigated principally by landfmen, inltructed 
by a few focial Jailors, will be vaftly inferior to thefquadrons 
of Britain. The amount therefore of fuch a navy will only 
require the trifling fum of 12,625,000!. currency, which 
I am very willing to believe we can fpare, being fcarccly one 
fourth the value of our property real and perfonal. With 
excellent management, our navy would lafl eight, nine, or 
ten years : we therefore would find it extremely con- 
venient to rebuild it conitantly at the expiration of that 
term : of this there cannot be a doubt, when we remember 
xvith our author, " that < (hip-building is America's greated 
pride. The vaft empire of Ruffia is almoil: (hut out from 
the fen, wherefore her boundlefs forefls, her tar, iron, and 
cordage, are only articles of commerce." I reply, that 
JRuflia containing ten times our numbers, is destitute of 
incluflry and commerce. She has ports fufficient to build 
and contain a navy to fubdue the world. Deftitute, as we 
have remarked, of induftry and commerce, her navy is in- 


P L A I N T R U T H. 23 

confiderable j and being equipt with landfrnen, cannot 
figure againft mips navigated by focial failors. Who can 
doubt the ability of Spain to build a navy as formidable as 
that permitted to Great Britain (by the author of Common 
Senfe). In her ifland of Cuba, poiTeiTed ef an immenfity 
of fine cedar, (he might conftruct a navy as formidable as 
that of Great Britain, but to what purpofe, other than to 
adorn the triumph of her enemies ; unlefs me could arm 
her (hips otherwife than by active landfmen, inftructed by 
a few focial failors. Our author fays, ." that the Terrible, 
Capt. Death flood the hotteft engagement of any fhip laft 
war, yet had not twenty failors on board," (though her 
compliment of men was upwards of two hundred). 

We do indeed confefs ourfelves doubtful on this head, 
and therefore with our author had produced his authority. 
We do apprehend, that naval actions very generally de- 
pend on feaman-fhip, that is, on dextroufly working the 
fhip during the combat. Now the judicious reader will 
remember, that (hips of war in engagement cannot be na- 
vigated by a few focial failors, nor even by a bare com- 
petency, unlefs fuch failors are more invulnerable than was 
the great Achilles. 

" Were the continent (fays our author) crowded with 
inhabitants, her fufferings under the prefent circurnftances 
would be intolerable, the more fea ports we had, the; more 
we fhould have both to defend, and to lofe." This is ra- 
ther incomprehenfible ; I cannot imagine, that ,we would 
be lefs formidable with ten times our prefent numbers ; if 
at prefent we can defend one fea-port, furely, with ten 
times as many inhabitants, we could equally defend ten. 
If with our prefent numbers, we are a match for the world, 
confequently with ten times ns many, we would be a 
match for ten worlds, which would indeed be prodigious ! 
" The infant ftate of the Colonies, as it is called, fo far from 
being againft, is an argument in favour of independence." 
This aflertion is as abfurd, as if he had maintained, that 
twenty is inferior in number to two. " But the injuries 
and difadvantages we fuftain by that connection, are with- 
out number, and our duty to mankind at large, as well as 
to ourfelves, in&ruct us to renounce the alliance. Bccaufc 


24 P L A I N T R U T H. 

any fubmiflion to, or dependence upon Great Britain, 
tends directly to involve this continent in European wars 
and quarrels. As Europe is our market for trade, we 
ought to form no political connection with any part of it." 
Innumerable are the advantages of onr connection with 
Britain ; and a jufl dependence on her is a fare way ta 
avoid the horrors and calamities of war. Wars in Europe 
will probably than heretofore become lefs frequent ; reli- 
gious rancour, which formerly animated princes to arms, 
is fucceeded by a fpirit of philofophy extremely friendly to 
peace. The princes of Europe are or ought to be con- 
vinced by fad experience, that the objects of conqueft, are 
vaftly inadequate to the immenfe charge of their armaments. 
Prudential motives, therefore, in future, will often dictate 
negotiation, inftead of war. Be it however admitted, that 
our fpeculations are nugatory, and that as ufual, we are 
involved in war ; in this cafe we really do not participate 
a twentieth part of the mifery and hardfhips of war, expe- 
rienced by the other fubjects of the empire. As future- 
wars will probably be carried on by Britain in her proper 
element, her fuccefs will hardly be doubtful ; nor can this 
be thought audacity, if we remember the great things ef- 
fected by Britain in her naval wars, then fecondary objects 
to her Germanic connections, to which (he now politically 
feems indifferent. Our failors navigating our veflels to the 
Weft Indies during war, are exempted from imprefTment ; 
and if our trade to any part of Europe is then ftagnated, it 
flows with uncommon rapidity in' the Weft Indies; nor is 
the object of captures inconiiderable. 

Our author furely forgets, that when independent, we 
cannot trade with Europe, without political connections, 
and that all treaties made by England or other commerical 
ftates are, or ought to be, ultimately fubfervient to their 
commerce. " But (fays our author) admitting that mat- 
ters were now made up what would be the event ? I anfwer, 
the ruin of the continent, and that for feveral reafons." 
Reconciliation would conduct us to our former happy ftate. 
The happinefs of the governed is without doubt the true 
interefl of the governors; and if we aim not at indepen- 
dence, there cannot be a doubt of receiving every advantage 


P L A I N T R U T H. 25 

relative to laws and commerce that we can de/ire. Mon- 
tefquieu fpeaking of the people of England fays, '* They 
know better than any people on earth, how to value at 
the fame time thefe three great advantages, religion, liber- 
ty, and commerce." 6( It is a matter worthy of obfervation, 
that the more a country is peopled, the fmaller their ar- 
mies are." This indeed would be worthy of obfervation, 
did not daily experience controvert ir. The armies of 
Ruflia, France, Auftria, England, and Pruflia, are cer- 
tainly more numerous than thofe of Spain, Sweden, Den- 
mark, Portugal, and Sardinia. Now, the fird five dates 
contain nearly fixty millions, and the la ft kingdoms do not 
contain fourteen millions*of people. " In military num- 
bers, the ancients far exceeded the moderns, and the rea- 
fon is evident, for trade being the confequences of popu- 
lation, men become too much abforbed thereby to attend 
to any thing elfe ; commerce dimiiiifties the fpirit both of 
patriotifm, and military defence." 

Every ma.nof fenfe now rejects the fabulous numbers of the 
army of Xerxes, and other fabled armies of antiquity. The 
ancient armies did not exceed in numbers the armies 
of the moderns. If fo, their dates had been defolate<J 
by the horrid carnage of their battles, arifmg from the 
military fpirit of defence, from the nature of their arms, and 
the arrangement of their armies, which permitted the com- 
batants to buckle together, who feldom gave quarter. The 
Roman armies never exceeded twenty-five legions, which, 
including auxiliaries, did not exceed two hundred and fifty 
thoufand, a number greatly inferior to the armies of France or 
perhaps Britain during war. Notwithftanding my ardour for 
liberty, I do mod fervently pray, that we may never exchange 
the fpirit of commerce for that of military defence, even at the 
price of augmenting our armies. L,et us hear the tedimony 
of Montefquieu in favour of commerce: " Commerce, fays 
he, is a cure for the mod deftructive prejudices-, for it is 
almod a general rule, that wherever we find agreeable 
manners, there commerce flourifhes. Let us not be ado- 
niftied then, if our manners are now lefs favnge than for- 
merly. Commerce has every where diffufed a knowledge 
pf all natrons ; thefe are c mparcd one with another, and 

D from 

2$ PLAIN T R U T H. 

from this companfcm arife the greateil advantages. Peace 
js the natural effect of trade, &c." The Athenian people, 
perhaps the mofl refpeclable of antiquity, did not long 
poflTeis a commercial fpirit, bat were almoft continually af- 
flicted by this Tpirit of military defence. The common 
pfcople ia efFecl: diflributed the public revenues amongft 
taemfelveg, while the rich were in a flate of oppreffion. 
According to Lyfms the orator and others, it was their 
cuilom, when in wa.nt of Money, to put to death fome of 
the rich citizens, as well as Grangers, for the fake of the 
forfeiture. In iliort, could we enumerate the infinite train 
qf misfortunes inflicted on 'mankind in every clime and 
age by this felf-fame fpirit of military defence, our read- 
ers would furely join us in opinion, that commerce has. 
moil happily humanized mankind. I am not unaware, 
that there are many declamations againfr, commerce ; thefe 
I have ever regarded as trials of wit, rather than ferious 
productions. Our author's antipathy, and extreme 5 aver- 
fion to commerce, is eafily accounted for. If his inde- 
pendence takes place, I do aver, that commerce will be as. 
pfelefs as our fearching for the philofopher's ftone. " And 
hiftory (fays he) fufficiently informs us, that the bravefi 
atchievemtnts were always accomplifhed in the non-age of 
a nation." The Greeks in their early Mate were pirates, 
and the Romans robbers, and both warred in character. 
"Their glorious aclions were performed (if I may fo ex- 
prefs myfelf) in the manhood of their empire. Carthage, 
Greece, Afia, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, were not indeed 
conquered during the non-age of the republic. Agin^ourt, 
Creffy, Oudenard, Ramiliies, Blenheim, Dettingen, and 
Mjnden, furely were not fought in the infancy qf the 
Englifh empire. " With the encreafe of commerce, Eng- 
land has loll her fpirit." This is really a curious difcove- 
jry; who is unacquainted, that the EngliPa are the lords 
and fuclors of the univej-fe, and that Britain joins to the 
Commerce of Tyre, Carthage and Venice, the difcipline 
of Greesc, and the fire of old Rome ? " The city of Lon- 
don, fubmits to continued infults, with the patience 
ef a coward. The more men have to lofe, the lefs will- 
ing they are to yeoture a iind fubmit to courtly power wi;h 

3 toe 

t L A I N T R U T H. tf 

the trembling duplicity of a fpaniel." That an inconfi- 
derable part of the people in London fubmit to a perfon 
not Very honourably diltinguiflied in the world is certain; 
but that the city of London fubmits to continued infuhs is 
certainly a miftakc. I fuppofe our author means, that by 
fubmiuing to the beft laws on earth, they fubmit to con- 
tinued infuhs. The rich, whom he fo very honourably 
diftinguifhes, can be at no lofs for his meaning. Art 
agrarian law would perhaps be convenient for himfelf and 
his independents. It may not however be amifs to remind 
him of that, which in the multiplicity of his projects he 
may have forgot, viz. that the richeft part of the commu- 
nity will always be an overmatch for the poorefl part. 
" It may be difficult (fays our author) if not impoffible, 
to form this continent into a government half a century 

Here I humbly apprehend our author's meaning is truly 
confpicuous. This Continent fifty years hence infallibly wilt 
be richer and much better peopled than at prefcnt ; confe- 
quently abler to affect a revolution. But, aids ! ere that 
period our author will be forgotten : impelled therefore by 
his villainous ambition, he would rather precipitate his 
country into every fpecies of horror, mifery, and defola- 
tion, than forego his fancied protector (hi p. 4C But if you 
have (fays our author) and ftill can (hake hands with the 
murderers, then are ye unworthy the name of hufband, fa- 
ther, friend, or lover ; and, whatever may be your rank or 
title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the fpirit 
of a fycophant, &c. To talk of friendfhip with thofe in. 
whom our reafon forbids us to have faith, and our affections 
wounded through a thoufand pores inftructs us to detS'ff, is 
madncfs and folly." 

Ye that are not drunk with fanaticifm anfwer me. Are 
thefe words dictated by peace, or bafe foul revenge, the 
conftant attendant on cowards and fycophants ? Does our 
author, fo perfectly verfed in fcripture, mean to conduct us 
to peace or defolation ? Or is he fit to legiilate for men of 
devils ? Nations after defolating each other (happily for 
mankind) forgive, forget, and reconcile ; like individuals 
whp qilarrel, reconcile, and become friends. Following the 

,O 2 laudable 

28 P L A I-N T R U T H. 

laudable example of the Congrefs, we lately have mo& 
readily (haken hands with our inveterate enemies the Cana- 
dians, who have fcalped nearly as many of our people as the 
British troops have done : Why therefore may we not for- 
give and reconcile ? By no means : it blafts our author's 

ambitious purpofes. The Englifli and Scotch, fmce the 
firft Edward's time, have alternately flaughtered each other 
(in the field of Bannockbui n more men fell than are now in 
the New England provinces) to the amount of feveral hun- 
dred thoufand, and now view ea^h other as fubjects ; defpif- 
ing the efforts of certain turbulent fpirits, tending to rekin- 
dle the ancient animofity. Many of the unhappy men, cri- 
minally engaged with the Pretender, reconciled by humane 
treatment to that family againft whom they rebelled, ferved 
in their armies a few years after. Indeed the conduct of the 
Canadians to our troops as effectually illuftrates our doc- 
trine as it reprobates the anti-chriftian diabolical tenets of 
our Author. " The unwarrantable ftretch likewife which 
that houfe made in their laft fitting, to gain an undue au- 
thority over the Delegates of that province, ought to warn 
the people at large, how they truft power out of their own 
hands. A fet of inftructions for the Delegates were put to- 
gether, which, in point of fenfe and bufmefs, would have 
dishonored a fchool-boy, and after being approved by a few, 
a very few, without doors, were carried into the houfe, and 
there palled in behalf of the whole Colony. Whereas, did the 
whole Colony know with what ill will that houfe hath entered 
on fome neceiTary meafures, they would not hefitate a moment 
to think them unworthy of fuch a truft." This veryinfidious 
charge we cannot read without indignation. If the Pennfylva- 
nians had happily adhered to their virtuous refolves, it is more 
than probable, that a conftitutional reconciliation had ere now 
taken place. Unfortunately refcinding their opinions, they 
perhaps adopted the fentiments of certain perfons, by no 
means fuperior in virtue and knowledge. Thofe not inebri- 
ated with independency will certainly allow, that the in- 
ftructions to their delegates were dictated by the true fpirit 
of peace, juftice, and exalted policy. If infpiration had 
dictated thofe refolves, obnoxious as they are to i^idepen- 
iency, our author had reprobated them. How dare the 



author of Common Senfefay, " that they attempted to gain 
an undue authority over the delegates of their province?" 
Who fo proper to inftruct them as thofe chofen by the people ? 
Not in the hour of paflion, riot, and confufion, but in the day 
of peace and tranquil reflection. The gentleman whom our 
author impotently attacks in this and other innuendos, will 
be long revered by his grateful countrymen and the friends 
of mankind, as well for his true patriotifm and extenfive 
abilities as his unbounded benevolence. Would we profit 
by the unhappy examples of our anceftors (which, alas I 
mankind too feldom do) let us remember the fate of thofe 
illuftrious patriots of the firfl Charles's time : allied at firft 
with the independents, they did not fufpect thofe exe- 
crable hyprocrites of the horrid delign of deflroying the 
king and conftitution : when they faw through their abo- 
minable views, it was too late to fave the king and kingdom ; 
for the independents had feized the fovereignty. Soon as 
they were firmly poflefred of power, they perfecuted thofe 
illuftrious patriots with more unrelenting virulence than the 
profefled advocates of arbitrary power. Every virtuous 
Pennfylvanian muft be fired with indignation at the infidious 
attack made by this independent on the refpeclable aflembly 
of his province. Indeed the aflembly of Pennfylvania in this 
unworthy treatment have a fure earned of their future ex- 
pectations, <f It is the cuflom of nations (fays our author) 
when any two are at war, for fome other powers, not en- 
gaged in the quarrel, to flep in as mediators, and bring 
about the preliminai ies of a peace. But while America calls 
herfelf the fubject of Britain, no power, however well dif- 
pofed (he may be, can offer her mediation : wherefore, in 
our prefent llate, we may quarrel on for ever." 

Nations, like individuals, in the hour of paflion attend to 
no mediation ; but wheu heartily drubbed, and tired of 
war, are very readily reconciled, whhout the intervention 
of mediators ; by whom belligerents were never reconciled 
until their interests or pafliocs dictated the pacification. If 
we may ufe our author's, elegant language, mediation is 
" farcical." J grant, however, that the idea of our forcing 
England by arms to treat with us is brilliant. " It is unrea- 
/ooable (continues our author) to fuppofe, that Frsocc and 



Spain will give us any kind of affiftance, if we mean only 
to make ufe of that affiftance for the purpofe of repairing 
the breach, and ftrengthening the connexion between Bri- 
tain and America ; becaufe thofe powers would be fufFerers 
by the confequences." 

Confidering " we have the mod numerous and beft dif- 
ciplined army under heaven, and a fleet fit to contend with 
the navy of Britain," we muft fuppofe our author's brain 
affected by dwelling conftantly on his beloved independency, 
elfe he would not have the imbecility to require the affift- 
ance of France and Spain. The manner of his prevailing 
on France and Spain to affift us is alfo a ftrong proof of his 
infanity ? Did thofe powers hefitate to fuccour the Scotch 
rebels in 1 745, becaufe they did not declare themfelves in- 
dependent ? it then was their intereft to create a diversion, 
alas ! too ferious in the fequel for the deluded rebels in that 
kingdom : and were they now interefted in aiding us, they 
undoubtedly would do it in fpite of quibbles. In fuch cafe, 
ere this time their armies and navies had joined us without 
interruption : for we muft confefs, that the efforts of Britain 
hitherto would not have precluded the republic of Genoa 
from aiding us. Suppofe our author had a fon, or an appren- 
tice, eloped to his intimate acquaintance, and defired to en- 
ter into his fervice. If this perfon replied to the youth, I 
know your apprenticcfhip is unexpired; notwithftanding, 
declare yourfelf a free man, and I will hire and protect you. 
I demand, would fuch odious, ridiculous duplicity render 
our fuppofed perfon lefs criminal in the eyes of our author, 
or render the example lefc dangerous to his own apprentice? 
*' Were a manifefto (fays our author) difpatched to foreign 
courts, &c." This alfo is a conclufive proof of our au- 
thor's maniacum delirium. Our author " challenges the 
\varmeft advocate for reconciliation to fhew a fmgle advan- 
tage this continent can reap by being connected with Great 
Britain. I repeat the challenge. Not a fmgle advantage is 
derived : our corn will fetch its price in any market in Eu- 
rope." Were the author's aifertions, refpecting our power, 
as real as delufive, a reconciliation on liberal principles , 
with Great Britain would be moft excellent policy. I wave 
familiarity of manners, laws, aad cultoms,. moft friend- 

P L A I N T R U T H. 3^ 

ty indeed to perpetual alliance. The greateft part of pur 
plank, ftaves, (hingles, hoops, corn, beef, pork, herrings, 
and many other articles, could find no vent but ia the Eng- 
lifti iflands : the demand for pur flour would alfo be con- 
fiderably leflened. The Spaniards have no demand for thefe 
articles, and the French little or none. Britain would be a 
principal mart for our lumber, part of our grain, naval 
{lores, tobacco, and many other articles, which perhaps are 
not generally wanted in any kingdom in Europe. If it is 
fuggefted, that the Englifh, iflands, impelled by neceffity, 
would trade with us, I reply, that it is not uncommon to 
fee Englifli flour for fale in thofe iflands, as our merchants 
have more than once found to their coft. Since 1750 flour 
hath fold in the iflands at ten and twelve per cent, the price 
being reduced by flour from England. 

Britain* is alfo better calculated to fupply us with woollen 
goods, and other neceflary articles, than any kingdom in 
Europe. Should a feparation enfue, Britain will open an 
extenfive commerce to the Baltick and Ruflia for all, or 
many of the commodities flie now receives from us ; the 
Ruffians, fince their laft glorious treaty with the Port, can 
now export the commodities of their mofr, fertile Ukraine 
through the Mediterranean ; until that period they were 
conftrained to carry their hemp eight or nine hundred 
miles to the Baltick ; whence, by a long and dangerous 
navigation, it reached the different ports in the Atlantic. 
I need not inform the reader that fuch immenfe land 
carnage precluded the fubjecls of Ruffia from raifmg 
wheat, which generally fold in the Ukraine for ten-pence 
per bufhel, as did rye at five-pence in that extenfive re- 
gion, than which no country on earth is more happily 
adapted for that grain : the Britifh nation, pre-eminently 
diftinguiihed for induftry and enterprize, will eftablifh 
factories in the provinces of Ruffia, and animate thofe 
pejple to emulate our productions, which they will tran- 
fport by the Mediterranean to the ports of Europe and 
the Weft Indies. By tbeie means, and the culture of 
Ppland, our grain would probably be reduced to .its 
prifline price, two (hillings and fix-pence. As our au- 
t.har is Ip vigl^atiy bent againft reconciliation, he muft 

eithe r 

32 P L A I N T R U T H. 

either fuppofe a conftant war with the mcenfed power of 
England, or admit that he is a proper inhabitant of the 
domains of Ariofto (the world in the moon) ; now, ad^ 
mitting " we have the moft numerous and beft difciplined 
army under heaven, and a navy formidable for that of 
England;" pray what are our refources to pay fuch con- 
fiderable armaments ? although I do not wi(h to mortify 
my countrymen, I muft acknowledge, that the neat pro- 
ceeds of all our produce is inadequate to that end : our 
author allows " that we have a confiderable check on 
the Weft India commerce of Britain, and that Great 
Britain has a confiderable check upon our European 

In cafe Great Britain infults therefore our European 
bound (hips, we have only to order our admirals to feize 
their Weft Indiamen. Unfortunately, the Algerines and 
other piratical ftates of Africa have no Weft-India com-* 
mcrce; nnd not having the cleared distinctions of thine 
and mine, will be apt to feize our vefTels. Our author 
affirms, <c that our trade will always be our protection.'* 
I therefore crave his pardon, and (hall believe, that the 
iight of our grain, and fmell of the New England codfifh, 
lull effectually ferve as a Mediterranean pais to the pi- 
rati:al rovers. I do humbly confefs my fufpicions, leaft 
Portugal, extremely dependent on Great Britain, may not 
infult us. When independent, we no doubt will receive 
ftrong proofs of friendship from France and Spain ; never - 
thelefs, with the utmoft humility I imagine, could we 
feize Gibraltar or Portmahon, and there ftation a formida- 
ble fquadron of capital fliips, we might as effectually pro- 
tect our commerce, as our trade will protect us: the 
author of Common Senfe confidently affirms, " that our 
trade will always be its protection." I cannot imagine 
that his purfe or watch would effectually protect him on 
Bounflovv or Blackheath from footpads or highwaymen, 
Hitherto we have treated of reconciliation on the principles 
of our being as poient as Great Britain. Let us now 
confider our army nearly as I have ftated it, and our navy 
as an object by no means fubl unary. It now behoves 
us well to confider, whether it were belter to enter the 

P L A I N T R U T H. 33 

harbour of peace with Gre^t Britain, or plunge the (hip 
into all the horrors of war of civil war. As peace and 
a happy exfenfion of commerce are objects infinitely better 
for Great Britain, than war and a diminution of her com- . 
merce, it therefore is her intereffc to grant us every fpecies 
of indulgence, confident with our conftitutional depen- 
dence; fhouldvwar continue, there can be no doubt of the 
annihilation of our (hips, ports, and commerce by Great i 
Britain. The king's (hips now in New England unhappily 
arc more than fuffjcient to ruin the ports and commerce 
of thefe provinces; New York is already fecured ; and I 
fhould be extremely grieved to hear that a fmall armament 
were deftined againft Philadelphia. In the opinion of the. 
beft officers of the navy, Philadelphia is acceffible to a 
few forty and fifty gun mips, in defpite of our temporary 
expedients to fortify the river Delaware. If fuch opinion 
is groundlefs, the miniftry by their imbecility have be- 
friended us, fmce by guarding the river Delaware with a 
few frigates only, they had precluded us- from arming 
our veffels and ftrengthening the river Delaware. I would 
remind our author or the conftant language and apparent 
purport of all ranks in oppofition .to Great Britain : " \ve 
have (fay they) been the happieit people on earth, and 
would continue to be io, mould Great Britain renounce 
her claim of taxation ; we have no finifter views, we claim 
not independence; no! perifli the thought;'' fuch I be- 
lieve alfo was the tenor of the petitions from the congrefs to 
his majefly. Now I would afk every man of fen time tit, what- 
opinion our friends in Great Britain, nay the whole world 
will entertain of us, if ingratefully and madly adopting 
our author's frantic fchemes, we reject reafonable terms- 
of reconciliation? wiH they not moft afluredly believe that 
our popular leaders have by infinite art deluded the 
imwary people into their pre-concerted fchemes, on fup- 
polition that the time had found us? thofe acquainted with 
Britain mutt confefs, that the .minority in, parliament hi- 
therto have been our main prop : now independency for 
ever annihilates this our beA reiource. Let us admit a 
part of the minority, republicans, or what is more pro* 

E bable, 


bable, bent on removing the prcfent miniflry from their 
power, our author's fchemes annihilates all their con^ 
fequence, all their oppofition. In cafe of our indepen- 
dence, mould a Barre, or Burke, patronize our govern- 
ment, fuch patrons would infallibly participate the fate of the 
great and good De Witts, be torn in pieces by the furious 

people. If my remarks are founded on truth, it refults 

that the time hath not found us ; that independency is 
inexpedient, ruinous, "and impracticable, and that recon- 
ciliation with Great Britain on good terms is our fole 
refource ; it is this alone will render us refpecTiable ; it is 
this alone will render us numerous ; it is this only will 
make us happy. 

I mall no longer detain my reader, but conclude with 
a few remarks on our author's fcheme: the people of 
thofe colonies would do well to confider the character, 
fortune, and defigns of our author and his independents ; 
and compare them with thofe of the moft amiable and 
venerable perfonages in and out of the congrefs, who 
abominate fuch nefarious meafures ; I would humbly ob- 
ferve, that the fpccious" fcience of politics is of all others 
the mod delufive. Soon after the Revolution the ablefl; 
fbtefmen in England and other parts of Europe confi- 
dently predicted national ruin, infallible ruin, foon as the 
public debt exceeded fifty! millions feeding : the nation, 
now indebted nearly thrice that fum, is not arrived at the 
zenith of her credit and power. It is perhaps poflible to 
form a fpeciotis fyftem of government on paper which 
may feem practicable, and to have the confcrit of the 
people ; yet it will not arifwer in practice, nor retain their 
approbation upon trial: "all plans of government (fays 
Hume) which kippofe great reformation in the manners of 
mankind, are merely imaginary." 

The fabricators of independency have too much in- 
fluence to be entrufted in fuch arduous and important 
concerns ; this reafon alone were fufficient, at prefent, to 
cieter us from altering the conftitution : it would be as 
inconfiftent in our leaders in this hour of danger to 
form a government, as it were for a colonel, forming 
'" ' " bis, 

'. ":. 


his battalion in the face of an enemy, to flop to write aii 
ciTay on war. 

This author's Quixotic fyftem is really an infult to 
our un'derftdnding ; it is infinitely inferior to Hume's idea 
of a perfect commonwealth, which, notwithstanding his 
acknowledged greatnefs of genius, is fiill reprehenfible : 
it is not our bufmefs to examine in what manner this 
Author's aiTociates acquired their knowledge in national 
affairs ; but we may predict, that his fcheme of indepen- 
dency would foon, very foon, give way to a government 
impofed on us by fome Cromwell of our armies : nor 
is this fentiment unnatural, if we are attentive to conftant 
experience and human nature: the fublime Montefquieu, 
fo aptly quoted by the congrefs, unhappily corroborates 
our doctrine, " from (fays he) a manner of thinking that 
prevails amongft mankind, they fet a higher value upon 
courage than timoroufnefs ; on activity than prudence; 
on ftrength than counfel.' Hence, the army will ever; 
defpife a fenate, and refpect their own officers ; they will 
naturally flight the order fent them by a body of men 
whom they look upon as cowards, and therefore un- 
worthy to command them ; fo that as foon as the army 
depends on the legiilative body, it becomes a military 
one;" and if the contrary has ever happened, it has been 
owing to fome extraordinary circumflances, fuch as Hol- 
land being able to drown her garrifons, and the Venetians 
having it in their power to compel their troops to obe- 
dience by the vicinity of the European armies ; resources 
to which we for ever muft be ftrangers. If independence 
takes place/ the New England men by their confequence 
therein will afTume a fuperiority impatiently to be borne 
by the other colonies. 

Notwhhftanding our author's fine words about tolera- 
tion, ye fons of peace and true chrifYianity, believe me, 
it were folly fupreme, madnefs t to expect angelic tolera^ 
tion from New England, where me has confhmtly been 
detefVed, perfecuted, and execrated ; even in vain would 
our author, or our Cromwell, cherifh toleration ; for the 
people of New England, not yet arrived in the feven- 

E 3 uentli 


teeuth or eighteenth century, would reprobate her. It fc 
more than probable to fuppofe that the New England 
governments would have no objection to an Agrarian law; 
cor is it unreafonable to fuppofe that fiich divifion of 
property would be very agreeable to the foldiers ; indeed 
their general could not, perhaps, with fafety to his exift- 
ence as a general, refufe them fo reafonable a gratification^ 
particularly, as he will have more than one occafion for 
their fervices ; let us, however, admit that our general 
and troops, contradicting the experience of ages, do not 
aflume the fovereignty. Releafed from foreign war, we 
would probably be plunged into all the mifery of anarchy 
and inteftine war. Can we fuppofe that the people of the 
fouth would fubmit to have the feat of empire at Phi- 
laddphia, or in New- England ? or that the people op- 
prefied by a change of government, contrafting their mifery 
wiih their former happy {late, would not invite Britain 
to re-aflume the fovereignty ? 

A failure of commerce precludes the numerous tribe of 
planters, farmers and others, from paying their debts con- 
tracted on the faith of peace and commerce. They can- 
not, nor perhaps ought not to pay their debts. A war 
will enfue between the creditors and their debtors, which 
will eventually end in a general fpunge or abolition of 
debts, which has more than once happened in other ftates 
occniions fimilar. 

Ye refpectable defcendants of the planters from Holland 
and Swifferland, who acknowledge, that your fathers 
have inflructed you to felicitate yourfelves in exifting un- 
der the benign Britifh government, and have taught you 
to execrate the government of Holland and other popular 
ftates, where the unhappy people, unacquainted with trial 
by jury and other peculiar felicities of Britifli fubjects, are 
(to ufe the fignificant language of your fathers) under the 
harrow of opprefTive Demagogues. Do ye poffefs the wif- 
dom to continue your happinefs by a well regulated con- 
nection with Britain ? 

Volumes were infufficient to defcribe the horror, mifery, 
and defolation awaiting the people at large in the Syren 




form oF American independence. In fhort, I affirm that 
it would be moft excellent policy in thofe who wi(h for 
true liberty, to fubmit by an advantageous reconciliation 
to the authority of Great Britain ; " to accomplifti in the 
long run, what they cannot do by hypocrify, fraud, and 
force in the fhort one.'* Independence and flavery are y- 
nonymous terms. 

f I N I Si 

The following Publication by RATIONALIS, is 
frinted in this Jtze for the convenience of thofe 
Gentlemen 'who choofe to bind it with other 
Pamphlets, in an Odtavo Volume. 

The Republican Spirit is indeed at bottom as am- 
bitious as the monarchical. 


TH E town has been lately amufed with a new political 
pamphlet, intitled Common Senfe. 

This piece, though it has taken a popular name, and 
implies that the contents are obvious, and adapted to the 
underftandings of the bulk of the people, is fo far from 
meriting the title it has attained, that in my opinion it 
holds principles equally inconfiftent with learned and com 
mon fenfe. 

I know not the author, nor am I anxious to learn hi 
name or character ; for the book, and not the writer of 
it, is to be the fubjecl of my animadverfions/ 

It is the glory of a free country to enjoy a free prefs, 
and of this, that the fentiments and opinions of the meaneft, 
equally with thofe of the greateft, are brought to view * 
for we know by frequent inftances, that the rich and high 
born are not the monopolizers of wifdom and virtue ; oil 
the contrary, thefe qualities are oftner to be found among 
the middling clafs in every country, who, being lefs difTi- 
pated and debauched than thofe who are ufually called 
their betters, apply themfelves with more induftry to the 
culture of their understandings, and in reality become 
better acquainted witli the true interefts of the fociety id 
which they live. 

But to my great grief I have too often feen inftances of 
pcrfons in every clafs of life, whofe publications, at the 
fame time they have reflected honour on the parts and ge- 
nius of the authors, have been fo fhamefully wanting iri 


R A T I O N A L I a. 33 

candour as to attempt, by the cadence of words, and force 
of ftile, a total perverfion of the underitanding. 

The pamphlet in queftion feems to be plainly calculated 
to induce a belief of three things : 

i ft. That the Englifh form of government has no wif T 
dom in it, and that it is by no means To conftrufted as to 
produce the happinefs of the people, which is the end of 
all good government. 

2d. That monarchy is a form of government inconfift- 
ent with the will of God. 

3d. That now is the time to break off all connexion 
with Great Britain, and to declare .an independence of the 

It muft be obvious to every impartial eye, that the au- 
thor reafons from the abufes of, againft the benefits de- 
rived from, the Engiilh conftitution ; and after reciting 
thefe abufes concludes very unfairly, that " it is incapa- 
ble to produce what it feems to promife." For if an ar- 
gument of this fort is to be received, it will prove perhaps 
rather more than the author would chufe it would ever* 
prove that the Jewish theocracy was quite as improper, 
and as incapable to produce what it aimed at, as the re- 
probated Englifh government. The records of facred hif- 
tory informs us, that the law was given to the people frona 
God. and that the great Jehovah himfelf condefcended to 
call them his cbofen people. He fignally interpofed in thek 
behalf in bringing them out of bondage, in preferving them 
from the rage o; Pharaoh's army, and feating them in a 
land flowing with milk and honey, under his immediate 
government and laws, " written with his own finger." 

" And he will love thee and biefs thee, and multiply 
thee : he will alfq bkfs the fruit of thy womb and the fruit 
of thy land, thy corn and thy wine, and thy oil ; the in- 
creafe of thy kine, and the flocks of thy fheep, in the land 
which he fvvare unto thy fathers to give thee." Deut. 
yii. 13. 

" Thou (halt be blefled above all people ; there (hall not 
be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.'* 

l)cut. vii. 14. 



But what effects did all thefe extraordinary favours an4 
promifes of the Deity himfelf produce upon that wicked, 
perverfe, {tiff-necked people ? Mofes tells them, 

" From the day that thou didft depart out of the 
land of Egypt until ye came unto this place, ye have been 
rfcjellious againit the, Lord." Deut. ix. 7. 

" You have been rebellious againft the Lord from the 
day that 1 knew you." Deut. ix. 24. 

Profane as well as facred hiftory informs us of the inef- 
fectuality of the beft governments and the wiieft laws among 
a corrupt, degenerate people it does not regularly follow, 
that if the people are not happy under an excellent form 
of civil polity, that the fault is in the government, it may 
be owing to the corruption of the people ; and this I take 
to be the cafe in Great Britain at this day. When the 
Bririfh parliament is properly balanced, and each branch 
of the legiflature faithfully executes its duty, I think I am 
fafe in affirming there was never ye a form of government 
in the world fo well calculated for the happinefs of a free 
people as this, and yet we are told by the author of the 
pamphlet, that the " prejudice of Engliflimen in favour 
of King, Lords, and Commons arifes as much or more 
from national pride than reafon." The world has already 
feen numberlefs inftances of fine-fpun political theories, 
which, like the quackeries of mountebank doctors, are 
to cure all the political evils to which human nature is 
liable. But when the experiment is made, they become 
aftonimed at the ill fuccefs of their boafted fchemes they 
find a thoufand little paffions and intere is continually in- 
terfering with their defigns, and at length retire again to 
their clofets, chagrined they had not thought it necellury 
to ftudy the great volume of human nature, before they 
ventured to fay what was the beft for mankind. 

The author, after venting his fpleen againft the Englifti 
form of government, comes next to confider the fubjecl of 
monarchy and hereditary fucceffion ; in treating which he 
plainly difcovers the utmo't prepofTeflioa in favour of a 
republic. I mail not follow him through his fcripture 
quotations, which he has fo carefully garbled to anfwef his 
purpofe, but beg leave to cppofe fome authorities to it. 



The celebrated Trenchard., in No. 60, of Cato's Let- 
ters, fays, " there is no government now upon earth, 
which owes its formation or beginning to the immediate 
revelation of God, or can derive its exiftence from fuch re- 
velation : it is certain, on the contrary, that the rife and 
infritution, or variation of government, from time to time, 
is within the memory of men or of hiflories; and that every 
government which we know at this day in the world, 
was eftablifhed by the wifdom and force of mere men, and 
.by the concurrence of caufes evidently human." 

" Nor has God by any revelation nominated magiftrates, 
mewed the nature or extent of their powers, or given a 
plan of civil polity for mankind." (Hutchefon's Moral 
Philofophy, p. 272.) 

" There being no natural or divine law for any form of 
government, or that one perfon rather than another mould 
have the fovereign adminiftration of affairs, or have power 
over many thoufand different families who are by nature 
all equal, being of the fame rank, promifcuoufly born to 
the fame advantages of nature, and to the ufe of the fame 
common faculties, therefore mankind, is at liberty to choofe 
-what form of government they like* 

" God's providence or permiffion fuffered his own pe- 
culiar people the Jews to be under divers governments at 
divers times; as firft under patriarchs, Abraham, Ifaac, 
and Jacob, &c. then under judges, thniel, Ehud, and 
Gideon; then under high priefts, Eli and Samuel; then 
u;ider kings, Saul, David, and the reft; then under cap- 
tains and high priefls again, as Zorobabel, Judas Mac- 
cabeus, and his brethren ; and the government was laftly 
taken from them, and they brought under the power of 
Rome. And that God permits fuch magiftrate or magif- 
trates as the community thinks fit to approve, is plain by 
the teftimony of Holy Scriptures ; when God faid to Solo- 
mon, " By me kings rule, even all the judges of the earth." 
Prov. viii. 16. 

" When the fons of Samuel were judges over Ifrael, they 
took bribes and perverted judgment, therefore the elders 
of Ifrael defired Samuel to make them a king ; and though 
the elders are only mentioned to have afked a king of, 

F Samuel, 

4* R A T I O N A L I S. 

Samuel, they feem to have been deputed from the whole 
congregation ; for God faid unto Samuel, " Hearken to 
the voice of the people in all that they fay unto thee." i Sam. 
viii. 4, 7. 

(t And Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, 
and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. 
i Sam. x. 25. It is plain the manner of the kingdom fjg- 
nifies the confUtution of the government, by which was 
meant the conditions on which Saul was to be king, and 
they his fubjects ; for though God had given him the crown, 
it was to rule the people according to jufiice and laws." 

" After the battle between Saul and the Ammonites, 
Samuel faid to the people. Come, let us go to Cilgal\ and 
there they made Saul king before the Lord, i Sam. xi. i. 
5, 6, 7. 14, 15. Now therefore behold the king, ivhom 
ye have chofen, and behold the Lord hath fet a king over 
you." i Sam. xii. 13. 

Thefe latter quotations are taken from the great Lord 
Somers's book called " the Judgment of whole Kingdoms 
and Nations concerning the Rights of Kings and the Peo- 
ple." This nobleman was Lord high chancellor of Eng- 
land in King William's reign, and was remarkable for his 
revolution -principles, great learning, and unfhaken integri- 
ty in public and private life. 

It does therefore from the foregoing teftimpnies appear, 
that monarchy (efpeciaily a limited one, fuch as that of 
England) is not inconfiflent with the Holy Scriptures, as 
is fet forth in faid pamphlet, but that it is as plea/mg to 
the Almighty, if agreeable to the people, as any other form 
of government, even the author's beloved republic. 

The writer next proceeds to inform his readers of the 
numerous wars and fcenes of blood afted in England under 
their kings, and afTerts, that " Monarchy and fucejjion 
have laid the world in blood and aJJjes, It is a form of go- 
vernment which the word of Cod bears tejlimony againft, 
and blood will attend it." Here are bold aifertions indeed. 
To the latter part I have already endeavoured to make 
fome reply, fo far as he aflerts it is contrary to the word 
of God ; but will the author's candour permit him to in- 
form his reader of the infinite diffractions and mifchiefs 
3 which 


\vhich liave happened in the ancient and modern republics ? 
Under this form there are always two parties, which 
divide the whole body of the people, and an eternal war- 
fare fubfjfts between them for power. The conteft is 
dreadful enough, but whichfoever party prevails, there 
is no rod heavy enough, no fword fufficiently {harp, to 

punifh thofe whom they have fubdued. It then becomes 

a many-headed monfler, a tyranny of many. 

Let any man read with an unprejudiced eye the accounts 
which hiftorians give us of the famous Grecian Common- 
wealths, and I will venture to fpeak for him, that he will 
not beflow great commendations on them. The Atheni- 
ans, a wife and poliflied people, very often banifhed their 
belt citizens from an apprehenfion of their power a glo- 
rious reward for a virtuous citizen, who, as was the cafe 
in more inftances than one, had preferved his country from 
deftruclion. In the latter times of the Carthaginian and 
Roman republics, what comtant fcenes of blood and de- 
vaflation does hiftory prefent to us the multitude in a 
perpetual ferment like the ocean in a ftorm in a florm, did 
I fay? like the waters of the fea, agitated by a dreadful 
whirlwind, nothing' but the fury of one party ercountering 
the rage of another. Every trace of humanity being thus 
loft, men change their natures and become as fierce and fa- 
vage as wolves and tygers. 

But let us defcend nearer to modern times let us look 
for happinefs and fecurity in the republic of Holland, fa 
often mentioned, and fo little known let us recollect the 
fate of the two brothers, Cornelius and John de Wit, 
Dutch minifters, who were maiiacred by the people in the 
year 1672. Holland itfelf, from being a republic, is be- 
come a downright ariftocracy. Liberty did not continue 
long in that country, notwithstanding the blood and trea- 
fure that were expended to acquire it. The people, fo far 
from being free, have had no voice for many years paft in the* 
election of perfons to reprefent them in the States-Gene- 
ral, nor have they any thing to do in the forming of laws 
by which they are to be governed. Whenever one of 
them dies, the vacancy is filled up without any interference 
of the people, and this important change was made in the 
F a ftate, 


Hate, becaufe of the intolerable feuds and animofities which 
attended the elections of reprefentatives. Had they been to 
have chofen a king, what dangerous and definitive tu- 
mults muft it have produced ? Founded on the woeful ex- 
perience of ages, it is now become a general fixed opi- 
nion, that hereditary is preferable to elective monarchy, on 
account of the terrible diforders, outrages, and confufion 
which ufually attend the election of a king; a pregnant 
inflance of which, in our times, is the kingdom of Po- 

In our own hiftory, we fee what was the effect of the 
much wimed for Commonwealth, after the death of the 
tyrant Charles it did not produce liberty it prefently 
ended in arbitrary power. The moment almoft after the 
reins of government fell from Charles's hands, Cromwell 
took them up, and governed the nation with abfolute fway. 

I cannot agree with the author of the pamphlet in opi- 
nion, that this is the time to declare an independence of 
the Colonies : this ought to be the dernier refort of Ame- 
rica. Let us not yet lofe fight of the primary object of 
the difpute^ namely, a fafe, honourable, and lafting re- 
conciliation with Great Britain, until we are under a ne- 
teffity of doing it. If an advantageous accommodation can 
be had, and a free conftitution for this country be eftablifh- 
ed on mutual agreement and compact, it will be better and 
happier for us. But if juftice is ftill denied us, and we 
are to contend for liberty by arms, we will meet them in 
the field, and try our manhood againft them, even to 
fpilling the blood of every brave man we have. Should 
the miniftry have recourfe to foreign aid, we may poflibly 
follow their example ; and, if it be efTential then to our 
fafety to declare an independence, I would willingly em- 
brace the neceffity.