6 August 1770124

    The fittest Time to corrupt a Man’s Wife,

    is when she’s fallen out with her Husband.


    WHAT this great master of the human heart pronounces concerning the dearest connections in life, is equally true, when applied to every other social union. And those great villains, who have degraded the human species by their infernal practices, have even tread upon that grand principle of corruption. No tyrant could plunder and slaughter, if union in resistance opposed his ravage. One would think, that at this period of the world, mankind could need no instructions on this head. The greatest ornaments of the world have foretold the mischiefs of discord, and the annals of all countries confirm those interesting truths; yet the ingenuous and unwary are still frequently off their guard. The wiles of iniquity are so many and various; the snare is so deep laid and artfully covered; that fraud will insure success in those schemes, which power could never effect. Hence we find, that tyranny & oppression in their first approach always come disguised, in some friendly appearance, and the emissaries of power and rapine ransack earth and hell for plausible pretexts of their first advances: And the progress from the admission of unlawful controul to the full sway of despotic usurpation, is so insidious and rapid, that mankind are trampled upon and butchered, before they have time to meditate their deliverance. Good GOD! How is it possible for a sensible people to think of relaxing their vigilance a moment, when they all hear the clank of their shackles, and see the fiend entering the door! Are not the monitions of your best, your disinterested friends, enough to alarm you? Does not the miseries of a parent country awaken? Has the historic page no instruction? Did not the nobility and people of England at first oppose those encroachments and burdens, under the pressure of which, they now tremblingly despond?—But their weakness—their wickedness—their infamy remains—they became corrupt, they were sold and bought—they are—Oh my heart! a dagger for the bowels of every traitor!—and GOD knows hundreds could be honestly bestowed!

    I need not inform my countrymen who inhabit near this metropolis, of the malevolence and obstinate perseverance of the enemies of our Israel. Their conduct has been uniformly treacherous and abandoned. Yet I will offer a few thoughts to the public, on some late artful efforts to tempt us to precipitate into ruin. A belief of their success does not so much move me, as a certain knowledge of the baseness and infamy of the agents: for surely, we have been wanting in observation indeed, if we have not frequently noticed, who among us are of the tribe of Issachar.126 Notwithstanding the pretended variation of their attacks, the views, motives and actions of the tribe, have been pretty generally seen through. Even that arch fiend of the North, whose baleful influence did heretofore frequently reign, has at last discovered his cloven foot; his duplicity is detected, his nakedness is seen, and his odious form driven from all good men, seems in the course of nature, but a little way from that bottomless pit, where the father of lies must be bound his thousand years.127

    It is a great truth, that in an age like this, more self-denying virtue is necessary, to entirely cease the importation of British manufactures, than to wade thro’ crimson gore, in hot pursuit of our worst enemies. Every wound we received in such a conflict, would revive our indignation, and every drop of vital blood from such foes would inspire and invigorate our heart. Such is human nature! The glorious spirit of extirminating from the earth, it’s reproach and scourge, would inspire enthusiasm, and a noble death would happily deliver us from slavery, and be an acceptable sacrifice to our dear country.

    It is the great unhappiness of man, that the fruition of a small good, when present, is often preferred to the highest acquisitions when remote. Hence every day, we find a momentary gratification is hazarded at the risque of the future; tho’ eternal, vengeance. Sensible of this, and in order to take advantage of a weakness too predominant in the human mind, the ministerial faction, in America, are perpetually declaiming on the stagnation of trade, and the poverty arising from a decline of British commerce. As, if that commercial intercourse was our summum bonum, & foreign manufactures the grand desiderata of Americans. When no truth is more apparent, or oftener conceded, than this, that the stoppage of importation is to the great general emolument of the colonies, however detrimental to a few individuals. Now allowing the plea of commercial poverty its full extent, surely the sacrifice of the few is far more eligible than that of the many. And a community convinced of its true, nay, its only interest will never hesitate, whether to forego the public welfare and become compleat bond-men, rather than occasion the rise or fall of stock; or an alteration in the balance of exchange.

    A wise people will inquire thoro’ly into every scheme proposed for their adoption, and when its baneful or salutary effect is discerned, will be inflexible in their resolutions. A nation would be mad indeed should they see, as in the meridian sun, a design to enslave them, and after a feeble opposition be cajoled or bullied into timid acquiescence. But their disgrace would be singularly infamous and deplorable should they tamely surrender their birthrights to pimpls, parasites and harpies, when their solemn protestations of resistance, to their hearts-blood, had been registered in the records of eternity. Dead also must they be to every moral sentiment should they be actuated to commit the most atrocious crime by a fondness and a precipatude to imitate the perfidy of others. Surely it is to good men and christians a strange doctrine, that the villainy of one part of society is a sanction for the wickedness of the residue. Men, who have a genuine attachment to their most important concernments will examine, what is their duty, and what the Lord their God requireth of them; and then will walk as a well informed conscience shall dictate. On such men alone, under GOD, do we depend: On those, who despising the disingenuity of fraudulent subterfuge, will persevere with untainted probity to the end.

    There is no one argument, founded on right principles, which heretofore was urged in favour of our disuse of British commodities, but what now subsists in its primary force. Hence every defection, whether of individuals or communities, from former pretences of supporting our common liberties, is an open disclosure of consummate ignorance, deep hypocrisy or deliberate and exquisite malice.

    We have been verging an unexpected length of time to that trying period, which is to delineate and mark forever our true characters. If we are blind, we shall surely be deluded;—if discerning, we shall escape the snare. If we are pusillanimous wretches, we may easily be frightened; if brave our courage, vigour and stability will accumulate strength by opposition. And let those who fear the wants arising from loss of trade, remember the toils and labours of their forefathers, and blush, when they repine at fancied miseries. If it did not move our derision, it would excite the sharpest anger to hear the difficulties, we now sustain, mentioned with a complaining regret. Good God! Consider my fellowmen, what you are strugling for—consider what you oppose and what you seek!—In defending your fair inheritance, it is impossible for you to suffer half the pains and sorrows, your pious ancestors bore, in the arduous acquisition.

    In short, my friends, you have nothing to fear, but the deceitfulness of your own heart and the variegated and unremitting malevolence of your enemies. Struggle with half the spirit and obstinacy to save yourselves, that they seek to destroy you, and victory will crown you with success.—You have often been enlightened, and often been warned. It is your own fault, if you do not discern, if you do not avoid destruction.

    Shall then the wretch, whose dastard heart

    Shrinks at a Tyrant’s nobler part,

    And only dares betray;

    With reptile wiles, alas! prevail,

    Where force, and rage, and priest-craft fail

    To pilfer power away?128