29 June 1772167

    The Day of Grace,

    They who neglect and scorn, shall ——

    —— hard be harden’d, blind be blinded more;

    That they may stumble on, and deeper fall.


    THERE is a degree of depravity, to which individuals and communities sometimes arrive, that seems to extinguish not only every moral but every intelligent principle: Men lose all affection and attachment to things which are laudable, and yet wear a mask which screens from common observation and resentment; this, comparatively, is not surprizing; but when we behold a traitor to his species, with the genius and obstinacy of a devil, fulfilling his part; regardless of the universal observation, the curses and vengeance of his injured brethren; dead to those rational sentiments and general feelings, so usual and prevalent in man; we can account for the prodigy in no way better, than by supposing that in wrath GOD hath sealed the eyes and hardened the heart, for the purpose of his own wisdom and glory.

    When I first perused the last production of Lelius, I was inclined to think his designs were too apparent to be undiscovered, and his efforts were too feeble to do mischief. For when a man is so shameless as to make his cause appear with resplendent badges of ignorance, fraud and falshood, he becomes less capable of deception and injury; and more the object of scorn and derision, than of fear or solicitude. Being quite unambitious of the last word with Lelius, the Cobler, or Mr. H, and entertaining better sentiments of my countrymen, than to imagine them influenced by the despicable arts of the lowest cunning, I was much disposed to leave the three adventurers to share the emoluments of their labors, amid the enmity of the wise, the imprecations of the honest, and the scorn even of their companions in guilt: but recollecting that in this world, there are all degrees of intelligence, morality and vice, and therefore perhaps some may be deluded and carried away, even by such leaders, I am prompted to say a few things more,—peradventure for the benefit of my country!—tho’ not hopeful of making any good impression on those who are candidates for the reproach of a world, the infamy of ages, and the torments of an eternity.

    Lelius tells us, that “IF the GOOD PEOPLE over whom governor H. presides, have no greater reason to complain of his administration, than that about which Marchmont has seen fit to exercise his talents, few will be willing to join in the clamour, and fewer still who would ever wish his removal.” Does Lelius really believe that the GOOD people will not cry out against that administration, which is so irreconcileable with TRUTH, wisdom and INTEGRITY, that even a Lelius, hardy and shameless as he is, shrinks from his labor? Is it with Lelius or the GOOD PEOPLE of this land, a trivial matter for a governor triply bound by his duty, as a man and a ruler, and by the oath of GOD, to act for the welfare of those over whom he is ordained? is it a matter of small consideration for such a magistrate, professing himself a christian in a christian land, to pretend a zeal for public happiness, in order to serve a turn on an Election-day—to promise to do what he intends to evade, as sinister purposes and appearances may require;—to persist in the being of a necessity, while he (with his veracity as a man, his faith as a ruler, at stake) is unable, tho’ publickly called upon, to give the lightest proof of its existence;—to hold forth the substance of an instruction from the King, when all that is produced is a ministerial epistle; shamelessly, “in the face of broad-eyed, watchful day,” to avow this epistle, as a sanction for that serpentine conduct, to justify which, it has not the remotest tendency;—to labor and toil for hire to entrap the guardians of public liberty in the snares of ignominious vassallage and thraldom?—I say, are these matters, which good subjects and GOOD people are to view with unconcern, or observe without a murmur?

    But let Lelius be mindful, and let him consider it upon his pillow—There is yet “GREATER reason of complaint,” and that his hypothetical IF gave no grace of truth or modesty to his observation. Lelius has already been told, that “it is not every day, SUCH A SUBTLE RULER, as our present, is exhibited in true colours”: An elevated oppressor may make a trade for life of his oppression, and there may be none found to detect, or of ability to punish: he may by betraying the interests of a single town, make his way to a station more fitted for the destruction of a province: the fall of a province may give a rise sufficient for accomplishing the sacrifice of a new world: the reign of a tyrant—(shame to the morals & virtue of man!)—is seldom thought a time for complaint, conviction or punishment. Thousands become interested to obey, thousands to serve, thousands to protect: the few discern, the many gaze, and the lowest tremble: the deceivers and deceived, the oppressors and the oppressed, make so great a part of the community, that the wise and good, the noble and brave are often crushed and overwhelmed in the general calamity.

    Every sensible man knows, that this is not a time to review or display in a true light Mr. H’s whole public conduct. Our business is to take such parts of his administration, as we may treat of with freedom and safety; to form a proper estimate of the man from his more open operations, and draw that useful knowledge which may serve to counteract or defeat his most secret, but not less dangerous and desperate machinations.

    I have known this gentleman a Selectman of the Town, a Representative and a Counsellor: I have seen him sit in judgment, heard his speeches and his charges, and have now lived to see him in the chair of government. I have attended and marked him, & think I know him. As an individual, having never received any private injury from him, I bear him no enmity. As far as he is an adversary of my native country, I am his foe. Disappointed ambition (of which we have sometimes heard) has not moved me; for I never had an ambition, which Mr. H. had an opportunity to gratify; and at my present time of life and health, I ought to feel no higher ambition than that of fulfilling the more important duties. Being advanced in age & infirmity, I wish to see my country free and happy; that my children may partake as fair an inheritance as I received. These and similar motives actuate me in my present works, and I hope will lead me to those pursuits and labors, which may render the small residue of my days profitable to my species, to whom I bear much affection.

    Believe me, my countrymen, that a love to the human race is a moral and religious duty. It is a great, and too successful, art, which is often practised, to deseminate an aversion of man to man. More of this seed is sown, & more evils spring from it, than is generally apprehended. Disunion inevitably succeeds this aversion, till the divided many fall an easy prey to the compacted few. For this infernal purpose, the execrable WALPOLE propagated his accursed maxim—“EVERY MAN HAS HIS PRICE.” For similar purposes the servile imitators of that odious prostitute have continued to inculcate like principles and doctrines: and whether carolled at a noisy riot, or retailed in Draper’s paper, the same object is still ultimately in view.—To destroy all faith and confidence among men, that the subtle and rapacious may sooner subjugate the poor and innocent. This is the true LEVELING PLAN of the rich and powerful;—a plan that levels virtue with vice, benevolence with selfishness, and all that is good and great with all which is vile and despicable.—To oppose a project so pregnant of every moral and political evil, is a common duty. He who sneers at all public virtue, denies or ridicules the supposed existence of an affection for mankind, betrays that turpitude of heart, which characterised Satan in the garden of Eden:—he ought to be avoided as a pestilence.—Cultivate an affection for each other, and for the world; and let this love be fervent, and it will do mighty works. Oppose with bitterness all who go about to disunite the members of that great body—THE MULTITUDE. I bless GOD, that in early youth, I considered all men, as my brethren; and now, in the decline of life, if I have one predominant desire, next to the plaudit of MY CREATOR and my conscience, it is, that of having THE MANY to arise and call me blessed.