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distress, so many hundreds of families would be involved in !
“ The thought of this latter circumstance so much affects me, that I cannot forbear expatiating somewhat more upon it. You have, my dear countrymen and fellow-citizens, riches to tempt a considerable force to unite and attack you, but are under no ties or engagements to unite for your defence. Hence, on the first alarm, terror will spread over all; and as no man can with certainty depend that another will stand by him, beyond doubt every man will seek safety by a speedy flight. Those that are reputed rich will flee, through fear of torture to make them produce more than they are able. The man that has a wife and children will find them hanging on his neck, beseeching himn with tears to quit the city, and save his life, to guide and protect them in that time of general desolation and ruin. All will run into confusion, amidst cries and lamentations, and the hurry and disorder of departers carrying away their effects. The few that remain will be unable to resist. Sacking the city will be the first, and burning it, in all probability, the last act of the enemy. This, I believe, will be the case, if you have timely notice. But what must be your condition, if suddenly surprised, without previous alarm, perhaps in the night! Confined to your houses, you will have nothing to trust to but the enemy's mercy.
Your best fortune will be, to fall under the power of commanders of king's ships, able to control the mariners ; and not into the hands of licentious privateers. Who can, without the utmost horror, conceive the miseries of the latter ? when your persons, fortunes, wives, and daughters, shall be subject to the wanton and unbridled rage, rapine, and lust, of negroes, mulattoes, and others, the vilest and most abandoned of mankind. A dreadful scene ! which some may represent as exaggerated. I think it my duty to warn you: judge for you.selves.”
Afterwards he expostulates with the Quakers :
“On whom may we fix our eyes with the least expectation that they will do any thing for our security? Should we address that wealthy and powerful body of people, who have ever since the war governed our elections, and filled almost every seat in our assembly? Should we entreat them to consider, if not as friends, at least as legislators, that protection is as truly due from the government to the people, as obedience from the people to the government; and that if, on account of their religious scruples, they themselves could not act for our defence, yet they might retire, relinquish their power for a season, quit the helm to freer hands, chosen by their own interest too, whose prudence and moderation, with regard to them, they might safely confide in ; secure, rom their own native strength, of resuming again their present station, whenever it shall please them? Should we remind them, that the public money, raised from all, belongs to all; that since they have, for their own ease, and to secure themselves in the quiet enjoyment of their religious principles (and may they long enjoy them !) expended such large sums to oppose peti. tions, and engage favourable representations of their conduct, if they themselves could by no means be free to appropriate any part of the public money for our defence, yet it would be no more than justice, to spare us a reasonable sum for that purpose, which they might easily give to the king's use as heretofore, leaving all the appropriation to others, who would faithfully apply it as we desired? Should we tell them, that though the treasury be at present empty, it may soon be filled by the outstanding debts collected, or at least credit might be had for such a sum, on a single vote of the assembly? that though they themselves may be resigned and easy under this naked, defenceless state of the country, it is far otherwise with a very great part of the people-with us, who can have no confidence that God will protect those who neglect the use of rational means for their security, nor have any reason to hope that our losses, if we should suffer any, may be made up by collections in our favour at home. Should we conjure them by all the ties of neighbourhood, friendship, justice, and humanity, to consider these things; and what distraction, misery, and confusion, what desolation and distress, may possibly be the effect of their unseasonable predominancy and perseverance ? Yet all would be in vain; for they have already been, by great numbers of the people, petitioned in vain. Our late governor did for years solicit, and request, and even threaten, them in vain. The council have since twice remonstrated to them in vain. Their religious prepossessions are unchangeable, their obstinacy invincible. Is there then the least hope remaining, that from that quarter any thing should arise for our security ? And is our prospect better, if we turn our eyes to the strength of the opposite party, those great and rich men, merchants and others, who are ever railing at Quakers for doing what their principles seem to require, and what in charity we ought to believe they think their duty, but take no one step themselves for the public safety? They have so much wealth and influence, if they would use it, that they might easily, by their endeavours and example, raise a military spirit among us, make us fond, studious of, and expert in, martial discipline, and effect every thing that is necessary, under God, for our protection. But envy seems to have taken possession of their hearts, and to have eaten out and destroyed every generous, noble, public-spirited sentiment. Rage at the disappointment of their little schemes for power gnaws their souls, and fills them with such cordial hatred to their opponents, that every proposal, by the execution of which those may receive benefit as well as themselves, is rejected with indignation. What,' say they, shall we lay out our money to protect the trade of Quakers ? Shall we fight to defend Quakers ? No; let the trade perish, and the city burn; let what will happen, we shall never lift a finger to prevent it.' Yet the Quakers have conscience to plead for their
resolution not to fight, which these gentlemen have not. Conscience with you, gentlemen, is on the other side of the question : conscience enjoins it as a duty on you (and indeed I think it such on every man) to defend your country, your friends, your aged parents, your wives, and helpless children; and yet you resolve not to perform this duty, but act contrary to your own consciences, because the Quakers act according to theirs. Till of late, I could scarce believe the story of him who refused to pump in a sinking ship, because one on board, whom he hated, would be saved by it as well as himself.
But such, it seems, is the unhappiness of human nature, that our passions, when violent, often are too hard for the united force of reason, duty, and religion.”
We must subjoin the conclusion of this spirited piece, as containing a strong eulogium on that parent country against which Franklin afterwards was called to act so much like an enemy: “ All we want is order, discipline, and a few can
At present we are like the separate filaments of flax before the thread is formed, without strength, because without connexion; but union would make us strong, and even formidable, though the great should neither help nor join us; though they should even oppose our uniting, from some mean views of their own, yet, if we resolve upon it, and it please God to inspire us with the necessary prudence and vigour, it may be effected. Great numbers of our people are of British race; and though the fierce fighting animals of those happy islands are said to abate their native fire and intrepidity, when removed to a foreign clime, yet with the people it is not so; our neighbours of New England afford the world a convincing proof, that Britons, though a hundred years transplanted, and to the remotest parts of the earth, may yet retain, even to the third and fourth descent, that zeal for the public good, that military prowess, and that undaunted spirit, which has in every age distinguished their nation. What numbers
have we likewise of those brave people whose 'fathers in the last age made so glorious a stand for our religion and liberties, when invaded by a powerful French army, joined by Irish Catholics, under a bigoted popish king! Let the memorable siege of Londonderry, and the signal actions of the Inniskillingers, by which the heart of that prince's schemes was broken, be perpetual testimonies of the courage and conduct of those noble warriors! Nor are there wanting amongst us thousands of that warlike nation whose sons have, ever since the time of Cæsar, maintained that character he gave their fathers, of joining the most obstinate courage to all the other military virtues : I mean the brave and steady Germans, numbers of whom have actually borne arms in the service of their respective princes; and if they fought well for their tyrants and oppressors, would they refuse to unite with us in defence of their newly-acquired and most precious liberty and property ? Were this union formed—were we once united, thoroughly armed and disciplined-was every thing in our power done for our security, as far as human means and foresight could provide-we might then, with more propriety, humbly ask the assistance of heaven, and a blessing on our lawful endeavours. The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies ; for it is a wise and true saying, that one sword often keeps another in the scabbard. The way to secure peace is to
They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much Tess danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent. We have yet a winter before us, which
may afford a good and almost sufficient opportunity for this, if we seize and improve it with a becoming vigour. And if the hints contained in this paper are so happy as to meet with a suitable disposition of mind in his countrymen and fellow-citizens, the writer of it will in a few days lay before them a form of an association for the
herein mentioned, together with a practicable scheme for raising