Scire volunt, Secreta Domus atque inde Timeri.

Printed in June 1754.



THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE has been distinctly heard, not in rude Clamours, not in calumnious Invectives—not in outragious Declamations, but in the sober Strains of Reason and Argument, against this pernicious, this detestable Scheme of extending the Ex—se.

How unhappy is it that those who have had the Direc­tion of this Affair, have hitherto like the deaf Adder, stopped their Ears against every Charm, by which Wisdom and Liberty would have commanded their Attention. They have without any Remorse carried this Affair thro' both H—s. It now stands before HIM, who if he should refuse to pass it, would deserve the Highest Praise, [Page 4] and if not, the smallest Blame.—For if Liberty is de­sorted and exposed by its proper Parents, who can expect it will be nurs'd in the Lap of Prerogative?—Be the Event as it will, may Posterity know, that the Sons of New-England were not all asleep: That when pr..v..te Interests, mistaken Views, Ignorance of the Constitution, and in..q...t...s Compacts to create and discharge f..l..f..sh Obligations, had influenced the Conduct of our A—y, there were not wanting those, who had the Courage to hold the broad Mirrour of Truth before their pernicious Schemes, and represent them in their true Light to their Constituents.—Perhaps it may not be long before we are plunged into the most abject Subjection, and the uncon­scious Mud of Slavery may sleep over us—we will NOW improve the Liberty which GOD and Nature has given us, and our Constitution has not thought proper to restrain.

It is a great Misfortune that the Promoters of this B—ll were so unacquainted with the British Constitution, and the patriotick Struggles to preserve it from this de­stroying Corroder in 1733. Had they known the Num­ber and Character of its Opposers, had they digested their weighty Arguments, had they been animated by their Spirit, they would have stifled this M.nst.r before it was capable of doing Mischief: I cannot but claim the Merit of being candid in this Supposition, for if there were any that knew better, and through corrupt Motives counter­acted the Light of their Consciences, they have departed from that filial Regard they owe to the Constitution, and proved themselves Bastards and not Sons.

No Man in the Exercise of common Sense, can deny that the Extension of the E—e A-t will deprive us of Part of our Liberty. If it be alledged, that Part of our Liberty [...] of [Page 5] Society, yet in all Cases where that happens, it ought e­vidently to appear that this desirable End could not be ob­tained without it; and will any Man be so hardy as to assert, that this is the Case respecting the present A...t? Will any Man think himself after the Commencement of this A-t as free as he was before, and will not every one know that he might have had his Liberty preserved inviolable, and the Ends of the Government answered another Way.

Besides this destroys the exclusive Right that every Man has to the innocent Secrets of his Family. For if an Ac­count of any Part of his innocent Conduct is extorted from him, every other Part may with equal Reason be required, and a Political Inquisition severe as that in Catholick Countries may inspect and controul every Step of his private Conduct. And if the Exigencies of the State Increase, and this be the only Way of answering them, this State Inquisition may be extended, as much beyond Decency, as it is at present beyond our natural Rights. As Dr. Donne in Pope's Dress says,

Shortly no Lad shall Chuck, or Lady Vole,
But some EXCISING COURTIER will have Tole

The needless Multiplication of Penal Laws, and Offi­cers to execute them, have been justly deemed inconsist­ent with Liberty: When these are calculated to support a Scheme which evidently destroys some of our Priviledges, Occasions of Sedition and Contention will not be want­ing; to suppress these a Military Force will be necessary; as this will sharpen the Spirit of Opposition, that Mili­tary Force must be ESTABLISH'D; and when that is the Case we must expect to take an Eternal Vanguard of Liberty.—The Places that arise from this B...ll, may be in the Disposal of an H—devoted to a C—t [...] [Page 6] respect to the Administration of this Oath. This may fall under the Direction of those who want to make themselves absolute, and well know how to make this conducive to that End. Those who are so complaisant as to fall in with their Measures, especially in the Choice of Representatives, will meet with all possible Encourage­ment, and those who are so obstinate as to love and assert their Remaining Liberties, must be learnt by a severe Conduct, to accommodate themselves to all the Schemes of arbitrary Power.

Thus all the various Tendencies and Consequences of this A... lead to, and terminate in the Destruction of a free Constitution, and the Support of Arbitrary Power. I have heard it alledg'd in order to reconcile this B..l to a New-England Taste, that there will not be such an Invasion of our Liberties as some uneasy People imagine..that the Officers of the Ex..se are not to be invested with the Power of Visitation, and all the Authority they are to have, is to demand an Account upon Oath: But will any one presume to say, that this will be no Dimi­nution of our Liberties, if it be an essential Part of our Constitution, that no Man is held to convict himself in any Affair whereof he is accus'd? And whoever will under­take to prove, that a Man can consistent with the Con­stitution, be obliged to clear himself of an innocent Action by Oath, or forfeit an heavy Penalty, may a fortiori prove, that this Practice is desensible in Criminal Cases: If the Argument for purging by Oath in one Case, is founded upon the Advantage the Publick will receive by knowing the Truth, the very same Argument will hold stronger in Criminal Cases: If it be said, that to make that a Test in Criminal Cases, would be laying a Temp­tation before Men to perjure themselves, the very same Reason holds good in this Case; and such Evasions will take Place here among Persons who are ill principled, as will partake largely of the Guilt of Perjury, and frustrate [Page 7] the Views of the Gov...m...t too.—If it be alledged that such Oaths are warranted by various Precedents, I answer that in almost all Cases where that happens, it is justly complained of as an Infringement on the Constitution,—that they generally respect Things that are Criminal in themselves, and the Ends proposed to be answered by them, cannot be answer'd another Way:—Will any Man that has lost one of his Arms, be perswaded from that very Con­sideration to part with the other, or will he not be the more desirous to preserve it?—Besides may not our Su­periors take Occasion from our Readiness to adopt this un­constitutional Test, to put us upon Oath with Regard to all we eat, drink, or wear, and extend that to our own Ma­nufactures, under Pretence of promoting the Manufactures of Great-Britain, and what a Train of Mischiefs would that bring with it to the whole Community!

No one can slatter themselves that the whole Commu­nity will be brought upon an equal Footing in the Pay­ment of this Exc...se by Means of the Oath. When a Search is establish'd, (which occasion'd such a Clamour in 1733,) All are equally exposed to it; But in this Case it can be only the honest and conscientious Man, for when an Oath is administred to one of this Character nothing can be conceal'd; consequently such a one will pay his full Proportion to the support of the State, while the Man who fears not an Oath will pay nothing at all,—and the Officer has no other Way to come at him.

As Oaths are so awful and sacred, and the Welfare of Society so much depends on cultivating a religious Re­verence for them, they ought not to be too frequently us'd, nor adopted into every trisling Concern.—They ought to be both given and taken with the utmost Deli­beration, Seriousness and Caution,—their Nature and sa­cred Obligations should be explained to the Ignorant, and enforc'd on the Careless and Vicious: But by this A-t [Page 8] they will be made as common as Street Swearing,—they are to be administred by Collectors and Deputy Collectors of Ex—se, and none under this odious Oeconomy (it is pre­sumed) will undertake such a JOBB, but Men of the most contemptible and abandoned Characters.—How shocking will it be to have an Oath administred by one of these, who has perhaps just taken the tremendous Name of GOD in vain in common Conversation, who will admi­nister it in a hurry with Carelessness and Levity, and to many without affording them proper Time for Recol­lection,—How will this tend to eradicate the Fear of GOD, and a serious Sense of Religion from Men's Minds, and proportionably weaken the Obligations to all the Du­ties of Society—How will that Reverence of an Oath properly administred in a Court of Judicature be lessened by the inconsiderate and indecent Manner in which it will be IMPOS'D in this Case. And when once this most sacred Band of Society is broken, what horrid Consequences will follow? Look over into our Mother Country for Exam­ples of this kind!—the frequency of Swearing upon tri­fling Occasions, and the light indifferent Manner of giving an Oath has so greatly abated that Awe and Solemnity which formerly attended it, that Perjury is become com­mon, and Evidences may for a Trifle be procur'd to swear away both Property and Life: For which Reasons a Concurrence of Circumstances in Courts of Judicature, hath been sometimes more depended upon in Cases of Life and Death, than multiplied Oaths.

'Tis very possible that Religion may have been out of the Question, with some of the warm St..ckl..rs for this B..ll, but how can it be estem'd equal,? It is indeed the pretended Equality of the B...ll which has drawn in many of the less discerning to countenance it—All the Poor, say they, purchase only Rum, and that in small Quantities; they pay an Exc..se of 2s6 per Gallon, while the richer Part purchase in large Quantities, [Page 9] and so get clear of that Burthen,—But allowing this to be the Case, is not the Manner of their living considered by the Assessors, as an Evidence of their Circumstances, and are they not Tax'd the more upon this Pre­sumption.—Moreover Wine, the Liquor most in Vogue in the trading Towns, has so large an Impost laid upon it, that allowing 3 Gallons of Wine is as soon con­sumed as a Gallon of Rum; it amounts to much more than the Exc...se upon Rum; it should also be considered that Persons in Trade are by the Nature of their Business obliged to entertain more Company, and live in a less frugal Manner than those of the same Circumstances not in Trade, consequently the Impost Duty upon the Wine they expend, more than makes up for the West-India Rum they purchase free of Exc..se, which also is sub­ject to an Impost, and is not bought by the poorer Sort, who prefer our own Manufacture—And although Wine be esteem'd by some an Article of Luxury, it should be observ'd, that our Wine is chiefly purchas'd with our Lumbar and Fish, and with a sort of the latter which does not answer so well at other Markets. But even allowing the Ex...se as it has been hitherto laid, to be something unequal, the Method propos'd to remedy this will be far worse to you my Country Brethren, than the Evil complained of—It strikes at our Constitution—It will affect our Morals—And when once from a Pre­text of easing the Poor by this Imposition on the Rich, the popular Voice should be for it, a Precedent will be then made for Excising any other Articles of our Con­sumption—And if this severe and dangerous Method is thought necessary to be taken in order to raise Money to defray the Charge of erecting a Fort on our Frontiers—What will be the Consequence of our being involved in an Indian War?—What the Consequence to a People who has such an extent of Frontiers to defend as we have—

[Page 10]This is only the beginning of Sorrows—Your Win­dows it has been already propos'd to Tax.—Your Cy­der, your Sugar, your Candles and Soap, your Molosses, even your small Beer must be Excis'd anon, when the rest­less Politicks of your French Neighbours create a Necessity for more Armaments.

You may perhaps think your superior Interest in the House will secure you, as long as any Trade is left to be Tax'd; but when Trade dies, when Merchants and Tradesmen leave you, and there are hardly Commodities or People left in our Maritime Towns to pay Exc..se, you must have all these Burdens shifted and doubled upon you, and what is worse, be put to it to raise Money out of your Produce to answer these pressing Demands. Many a Country has grown rich and affluent by Trade alone, no Country without it.—'Tis as easy to lose Trade, as to lose Reputation, and 'tis equally hard to recover either.

However tender we wish you to be of the Interests of Trade, we need no other Arguments to dissuade you from consenting to this B..ll, than those that arise from your known Love to our happy Constitution.

Some of your Rep...sen....tives have argued for it, from this Principle, that the Town of Boston would be greatly eas'd by it, by the large Revenues that it would draw from the Country.——Though that were to be the certain Effect of it, yea though we were free'd thereby from all our Taxes, I hope no one would desire to purchase that Benefit, great as it is, with the Loss of the Constitution. It is not the fear of an heavier Tax, it is not the hopes of any Abate­ment that occasions the present Ferment: It is not the desire of being excus'd from a reasonable Share in the Ex­pence, of this chargeable Expedition. Were Religion and Liberty at Stake, I doubt not there is Virtue enough [Page 11] left in the Citizens of Boston to sacrifice their Fortunes, in the Defence and Establishment of either.

The Pulse of Liberty at this critical Conjuncture beats high in all Ranks: Those, whose Circumstances never allow'd, those, whose Inclinations never prompted them to drink either Wine or Rum have for the pure Love of Liberty, joined the general Voice, and with one Consent, endeavour'd to Chase the deformed M..ft..r back to the Den of Arbitrary Power, the Place of his Nativity. May it never issue out of its hateful Retreat, without finding a Victorious Enemy, in the Friend of Liberty.

This Scheme my dear Brethren is an Entering Wedge into the Constitution: The first Year will be remarkable for the Lenity of the Officers who collect the Exc...se, for all the Severities of it cannot be inflicted at once; by this I enity we shall be learnt Security: This will not answer the Ends of the Government—The expected Revenues will fall short,—To make them good, stricter Officers will be appointed,—more Articles will be Ex­cis'd,—Security and Severity will go hand in hand, Arbitrary Power will tread close on their Steps, Exc...ses will become a Part of our Constitution, and like an in­veterate Canker grow into it, and devour its Vitals. Per­haps you that are Poor, may think to obtain Relief by it, but this will be only partial and temporary—Liberty, the only Thing that can console a Man under the Wants of Life, the only alleviating Circumstance of Poverty, will be put far away from you: And if through honest In­dustry you should emerge into competent or affluent Circumstances, you must go through all the Fatigue, Self-Denial and Patience, requisite thereto—for what? Why for a Posterity of Slaves.—If we should be so Patient as to Consent to try this Scheme, and find these Evils grow out of it, it may not be easy to discharge our selves from it: Power and Revenues are sweet,—Those [Page 12] that have Artifice enough to keep People Quiet under the first Establishment of both, have generally Address enough to perpetuate them.

Their Successors enter into their Advantages, and look upon themselves under small Obligations to remove an Evil, which they have not Establish'd—Pretences are found to continue it,—Prodigality arises from these ample Means,—That grows into an heavy Debt, and a perpetual Reason for maintaining these Oppressions—The Spirit of the People will sink under the Pressure of an Evil, which is doubly aggravated by the Reflection, that they once had it in their Power to have hinder'd it: Murmur­ings, Broils and Tumults will excite new Severities, and they in their Turn new Troubles: Faction, Confusion, and Evil Work will sadden every Heart, and lour on every Face, and Desolation, War and Blood, must restore the Constitution, or fix the miserable Subjects of it in irretrievable Slavery—

This my Brethren is the faithful Portrait of these Mis­chiefs which this M..nst...r may produce, perhaps by slow, but certain Gradations—Shall we not then all awake and assert our Alliance and Affection to one of the best and freest Constitutions of Liberty? It is our Security, let us preserve it; It is our Happiness, let us rejoice in it; It is the Gift of Heaven, let us not despise it! Without it, all the Charms of Life, Wither and Languish; the Riches of Nature, the Productions of Art, the Improve­ment of Commerce, and the Efforts of Genius, are crampt in their Operations, and languid in their Effects! Would we act up to the Light of past Ages? Would we transmit the sacred Flame to Posterity? Do we covet present Ad­vantage? Do we Pant after Applause upon the Theatre of Nature? Let us distinguish ourselves in the support of that Liberty which is now w....nded in the House of its Friends.

[Page 13]Who then that relishes the sweets of our happy Con­stitution can forbear crying out in the fulness of his Heart,—May no Weapon form'd against thee ever Prosper. Bles­sed be he that blesseth thee, and Cursed be he that Curseth thee—Whoever with an upright Heart supporteth thee against the Ravages of lawless Power, and the Arts of designing Men, is a Friend to the best Interests of his Country, a Friend to Mankind, a Friend to the Universal Chorus of Rational Beings.—And he shall hereafter BE CALLED THE FRIEND OF GOD.


SINCE the above was put into the Press, we have been favour'd with his E....len....y's Speech to both H...s...s upon this Affair. It is impossible to express the Joy which it has diffus'd—The People were not indeed so impious as to shout upon this Occasion, It is the Voice of a God and not of a Man; but we may surely say consistent with Decency and Religion, that this Speech of our G....v....r was heard, like the Voice of a kind Messenger from Heaven, DO YOURSELVES NO HARM. He has sav'd us from ourselves—He has stept in between the Constitution, and our mistaken R..p..s..n...v..s.—He has preserv'd Liberty from the cruel St....bs of those that call themselves Free-men, And if he has not as yet wholly broken, he has at least hung up for a while those Ch....ns which the G...rd...ns of our Liberty had f....rg'd for us, and which they impatiently demanded to have immediately f...st....n'd upon us.....It now lies with you the Freemen of this Province to say, whether you [Page 14] will wear these Sh...ckl...s, or reject them with that Dis­dain which becomes every Man born under the British Constitution, and who has ever tasted the Sweets of Liberty—Some of those who are chosen to act for you in the G.....l A.....y, may be dishonest, perhaps some are Ignorant, and surely none are Infallible......This Sch...me of theirs is fatal: All wise and unprejudic'd Persons see it—The G...v...rn...r fees it, and is generously willing to to prevent it. He cannot believe that you will Concur with your R....pr....v....s upon this Occasion—He Ap­peals from them to you, nor will he pass an Act that will deprive you of a valuable Branch of your Liberty, unless you will say yourselves that you despise your Birth­right, and insist upon having it taken from you.

I am afraid, my dear Countrymen that your Votes will be called for upon this Occasion suddenly, and before you can be well appriz'd of the Nature and Consequences of it.

I am afraid that it will be represented to you, that all that is said against this extraordinary B....ll is only the Clamour of Selfish and factious Men—It is the Interest of some People to make you believe so, and therefore they will take Pains for this— But I cannot have so mean an Opinion of the Understandings of New-England Men, who are equal in natural good Sense to any People under Heaven, as to imagine they will be so impos'd upon—Would the G...v...n...r patronize the Cause of interested and factious Men, when his Regard to Truth and Justice is so conspicuous? Would the common Father of the Country listen to the Complaints of one Town in an Affair of such general Concern, if he did not think they would be seconded by the Voice of the whole Pro­vince? Would he ever oppose the other Branches of the L....g....sl....ture with whom it is always his Inclination and Interest to cultivate Harmony, if he thought they acted in a Manner agreeable to the Constitution, and the true Interest of the People? Is there a Man to be found [Page 15] among us more thoroughly acquainted with the English Constitution then he who now fills the Chair? more vers'd in our Laws and Customs; more capable of prying into the distant Consequences of Things, or more ready to employ his great Talents for the publick Good? and can we believe that a Gentleman plac'd so high, and able to see so far around him, may be deceiv'd and impos'd upon by senseless Arguments, and empty Clamour? To suggest it is ridiculous: And yet this is the Gentleman that tells you, and speaks so loud that the whole Province may hear—He tells you I say in so many Words—That the Method of raising Money propos'd in this B...ll, is not only of an extraordinary Kind, but altogether unprecedented in the English Government: and that he should ill discharge the Trust reposed in him by his Majesty, if he should join in imposing a Burden upon the People which would be IN­CONSISTENT WITH THE NATURAL RIGHTS OF EVERY PRIVATE FAMILY IN THE COMMUNITY. He tells you likewise that this B....ll is unconstitutional, and contrary to all true Policy; and informs you of the extraordinary Manner in which it was received, after be­ing nonconcurr'd by the C..un..l.

Is there then a Freeman in the Province that can now be at a Loss what Part to act in this important Affair? Is there a New England Man that is weary of his Privi­ledges? If this is not the Case, and God forbid it ever should be, we shall unite to a Man in instructing our R..pr.......ves tenderly to cherish LIBERTY and PRO­PERTY, and defend us from so grievous an EXCISE. When this is done,

Awake ye Bards the sprightly Lyrick,
Now Hey for Praise and Panegyrick,
The M...nst...r Slain, the People freed,
And Wreaths round SHIRLEY'S glorious Head.

Now in the Press, and will be publish'd with all Speed. The Monster of Monsters, A true and faithful Narra­tive of a most remarkable Phae­nomenon, which lately made its Appearance in this Metropolis, to the Surprize and Terror of all his Majesty's good Sub­jects, Dedicated to all the Vir­tuosi of New-England.

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