28 September 176753

    “Still be this Truth, this saving Truth confess’d,

    Britain is great, because with Freedom blest;

    Her Prince is great, because her People free,

    And Power here springs from public Liberty.

    Hail mighty Monarch of the free and great!

    Firm on the Basis of a prosp’rous State.

    The Wealth, the Strength of happy Millions thine,

    United rise, united shall decline.

    For Time will come, sad Period of the brave,

    When Britain’s Humble Prince shall rule the Slave;

    When Traffic vile shall stain the guilty Throne,

    And King’s shall buy our Ruin and their own.”54

    Tis a political maxim, that all government tends to despotism, and like the human frame brings at it’s birth the latent seed which finally shall destroy the constitution. This is a melancholy truth—but such is the lot of humanity. The art of an ingenious physician may, indeed, for a time illude the desperate poison, the skill of an able patriot may prolong, awhile, the political existence of a state; but the constitution still hastens with increasing velocity to inevitable death. This truth is founded in nature: Experience has, in every age, verefied this maxim of politics, and the approaching fate of our Mother Country shall but confirm the observation.

    An insatiable appetite, an enormous thirst of despotic sway is a threatening symptom and sure presage of the fatal catastrophe of the constitutional system. A desire of absolute government prompts to the extension of legal authority, and states, like men, are precipitated headlong, by a boundless ambition, from the giddy precipice of power into the gulph of ruin & destruction.—Oh Britain! hold thy cruel hand, suspend the bloody sword an instant, and while, with an out-stretched arm, thou art forcing from thy injured Colonies one Right after another, while even now thou art making the desperate pass, which stabs the very vitals of thy children, reflect one single moment upon the unnatural, the brutal action; but if the dismal scene of woe, thy sons and daughters weltering in their infant blood, touch not thy adamantine heart, look back to distant ages, and see the rise and fall of ancient kingdoms!—Behold their fate and learn thine own!—Such a retrospective view of grandeur and declension in former states will show the genuine origin of a nation’s glory and magnificence, and mark the putrid source of it’s decline and final dissolution. Remember, Britain! human nature is every where the same, and similar effects will always flow from the same cause.55—An extensive commerce will produce opulence; riches create power; these united soon beget insatiable luxury; luxury, opulence and power soon gender fell oppression and a hideous offspring; the next immediate consequences, though various, according to the manners of the age and temper of the people, yet work certain death; political economy is quick destroyed, and sudden desolation shall swallow up the kingdom.

    The powers of the human mind were never made for an unlimited jurisdiction over the extensive realm of science, neither was the sceptre of civil society form’d for arbitrary and universal empire. The political, like the animal body is in the best health, while the original constitution is kept pure and undebauch’d. But despotism has been the alluring syren, the inticing sorceress of the most flourishing nations, whose histories are inroll’d in the annals of fame. The boundless power of Rome was her mortal disease. Rome trod the path that leads up to the high and lofty tower of dominion: She tumbled head-long from the giddy elevation.—Britain now totters on the same dreadful precipice!—The British flag and Roman standard flourish’d in the days of public virtue. The one was disgrac’d and trampled under foot, when vice and tyranny rear’d their execrable heads, the other shall surely kiss the dust with like infamy.—But, methinks, I hear my injur’d countrymen exclaim—What comfort doth this voice of prophecy afford? To know the destin’d wrath of an avenging GOD shall blast the head of Britain; to see our mother’s honours kiss the dust, her children too become the slaves of miscreant lordlings, to bear the galling yoke and cumberous load of merciless oppressors, doth rather add a tenfold pang to the keen anguish of our heart’s distress. We! the sons of glorious Sires who nobly bled for civil and religious liberty in fame’s immortal field, who dauntless fought with many a crimson wound the cause of freedom, and with many a blushing honor, godlike, won the victory of the day. We and our children must become the ignominious slaves of haughty, cruel and oppressive masters!—And that Britain, at some future period, shall receive the full reward of all her crimes, her aggravated guilt and her abhorred oppressions is now the only word of peace and consolation!—Think not, my countrymen! I meant to sooth you into peace, or lull your fears of tyranny asleep: too well I know the loss of Liberty, the spectre of departed freedom, the terrors of approaching bondage will haunt you day & night, & harrow up your souls.—No consolation can I whisper to my fellow-slaves and countrymen: No lamp of hope and pleasing expectation can I hold up to light our feet in this dark night of deep distress and woe.—Our fathers sacrificed their blood—they died freemen—they purchas’d Liberty with death—they left the legacy of freedom to their offspring.—We their sons, shall leave the royal gift of bondage to our sons and daughters.—Think you not, my brother-slaves, our children will arise and call us blessed?—The valor and the blood of our fore-fathers purchas’d their freedom.—The purple current of our noble ancestors still swells our veins—but oh the British Virtue’s fled!—the ethereal spark which fir’d our father’s blood is quite extinct!—the flames of patriotism blaze no more!—Hence then all consolation!—away!—

    “—Let no man speak of comfort;

    Let’s talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs,

    Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes

    Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth!

    Let’s chuse executors, and talk of wills!

    And yet not so—for what can we bequeath,

    Save our deposed bodies to the ground?

    Our lands, our lives, and all are Britain’s

    And nothing can we call our own, but Death;

    And that small model of the barren earth,

    Which serves as paste & cover to our bones!”56