A LETTER FROM A Meeting of the Brethren called QUAKERS, To the Authors of the Pamphlet called Considerations on the German War, AND Of the several Pamphlets in Answer to it.

LONDON Printed, BOSTON, N. E. Re-printed and Sold by B. Mecom, at the New Printing-Office, near the Town-House. 1761.


A Letter from the Brethren called Quakers.


WE are concerned to find, that on both sides, instead of keeping to this short question, Whether the present manner of carrying on the war in Germany is for the advantage, or disadvantage, of Great-Britain? you make digressions which have no­thing to do with the question.

There is much solid reasoning in the Consider­ations: But why does the author shew so much spleen against the king of Prussia? Does it affect the question, whether his majesty was formerly an enemy, or a friend, to the Elector of Hanover? Whether he be a religious man, or void of re­ligion? Or whether he had in his view the de­fence of the protestant religion, or not, &c? These things, and many more, are only thrown out to amuse the reader, or to move the pas­sions: At the same time we own, that the author seems to be a lover of his country; whereas, in most of what we have seen wrote against him, there seems to be marks of venality, and a time-serving spirit.

It must be owned, by every impartial, sensible man, that there never was a time when the British arms made so great and glorious an appearance as at present: And however we don't approve of par­ticular persons using carnal weapons, in private quarrels, yet we think every nation has a right to defend their country, and we rejoice to see the good success of his majesty's arms, during the three last years, against France; the only nation that we, and all Europe, have reason to guard against.

We have now got possession of all North Ame­rica, which alone is worth much more than the war has yet cost us; as it secures to us, by the fisheries there, a perpetual nursery of sailors, and [Page 4] deprives France of having it in their power to man a fleet; and furnishes us with an opportunity of supplying Europe with fish, a branch of trade that must produce some millions of specie yearly. In short, by our successes in America and the West Indies, our trade is so greatly increased, that it is believed our import of specie is by more than a million greater than it was before the war began.

As to the war we now carry on in Germany, it is plain, to support it, we export upwards of five millions yearly, including the subsidy paid to the king of Prussia; which, we are afraid, is more than we can bear, for any length of time. The computation of the quantity of specie in the nation before the war began, was between twelve and fifteen millions; and supposing it to be much more, by such an export in a few years, we should be rendered incapable of carrying on our trade, and defending ourselves. The question then comes to this: Are we so much interested in the quarrel between the queen of Hungary, and the king of Prussia, or in the defence of Hanover, as to ren­der ourselves unable to take care of ourselves? We admire the king of Prussia's personal great qualities; we know the house of Austria to be the most persecuting house in Europe, of those who are protestants; we know what they have done to their protestant subjects in Hungary, Bohemia, Tran­sylvania, Moravia, and in Silesia, when it was theirs; and therefore, as lovers of mankind, and haters of popish persecuting principles, we should think it the duty of this nation to join their proportion with other protestant powers, to prevent the house of Austria from having it in their power, by crush­ing the king of Prussia, to treat his protestant sub­jects as they have done their own. But if other protestant powers won't join with us, and, on the contrary, will throw their weight in the opposite scale; our attempting this singly, would be en­deavouring to do a thing on the continent so much [Page 5] beyond our strength, that it would deserve the name of madness.

The same way of reasoning will hold, as to our carrying on war against France on the continent. Had we, in the beginning of this war, not meddled with the quarrel between the queen of Hungary, and the king of Prussia, nor detached him from France, by engaging him to defend Hanover, we should have been free of this intolerable ex­pence of maintaining the army under prince Ferdi­nand; but it is needless now to reflect on what is past. We have brought the king of Prussia into our quarrel; the question is, how to extricate our­selves most for the interest and honour of the nation; and tho' it may appear to be a difficult task to under­take to do this, we don't think it impracticable, if we lay aside the thoughts of bringing about a peace, by treating with France. If we treat with them, 'tis next to impossible, because what they will have in view, is singly to recover back from us what we have taken from them, or part of it, as a price for that peace; and no lover of his country can ever approve of giving them back one inch in North America. Their desire is to continue the de­vastations in Germany, and to make Germans cut one anothers throats.

On the other hand by endeavouring to bring about a peace between the queen of Hungary and the king of Prussia, we shall treat with powers, whose interest it is that we keep our conquest, and who must wish to stop the effusion of German blood; as there never can be any danger of our endeavour­ing to make conquests on the continent, were we ever so rich; whereas the riches and power of France must always be dangerous to its neighbours.

'Tis true, the queen of Hungary deserves no fa­vours from us; but if by serving her, we serve ourselves, we should not let resentment get the bet­ter of the public good, and therefore our business is to make up matters between the king of Prussia [Page 6] and queen of Hungary. This scheme of reconciling the contending powers in Germany, or bringing Russia into our interests, seems to be the only ra­tional part for Great Britain to act on the continent.

The armies at present belonging to Prussia, and the queen of Hungary, joined to that under prince Ferdinand, could in one campaign, by going into the heart of France, and by our fleets ravaging their coasts, and raising contributions, force it into any terms of peace that should be proposed. By this scheme, we should extricate ourselves from a war we are unable to support in the way it is carried on, and at the same time effectually reduce the power of France, and disable her for the future from disturbing the peace of Europe.

For hereafter it ought to be a rule with us, not to engage France on the continent; they are equal­ly our superiors there, as we are theirs at sea; and by keeping an army on board our fleets, we are able to assist our allies on the continent more effect­ually, by attacking the islands belonging to France and their coast, than by sending troops on the con­tinent; and we should, at the same time, save the export of our money, and the lives of our people.

It is really shameful to see how this nation has of late years suffered itself to be the dupe of German princes. In king William's time, we assisted them to preserve themselves from the power of France, and they thought themselves much indebted to us, and exerted their utmost strength to second our en­deavours. But the language of German princes of late to us has been this: If you don't pay and main­tain our troops, and likewise send your own troops to defend us against the French, who want to cut our throats, we will join with them, and allow them to take Hanover; and surely, if they can keep us in the humour to pay them for defending their own liberties, and put their own revenues in their pockets, they act wisely, though not generously; but don't we give them cause to laugh at us at the same time?

[Page 7]Pray what does Great Britain get by keeping Hessians, Brunswickers, &c. in pay in peace? No­thing; for, in case of a war, they are unable to defend Hanover against France, which is the only use we have for them; and if they were able, does there ever a shilling come from that country to Great Britain? It must always be our interest to assist Germany against France, by keeping an army on board our fleets ready to attack them, which must oblige them to keep a large army at home to defend their coasts; but sending great sums of money and troops to the continent, to carry on a war against France, is like a weak man's attacking a strong man, and giving him the choice of the ground to fight on.

Surely we cannot imagine that German princes wish to be conquered by France; and therefore, if we will appear as their friends, not as their dupes, we will always find them ready to defend them­selves, and thankful for our assistance. But if they find that our regard to Hanover is such, that we will rather take the whole burthen of a war on the con­tinent against France, than suffer them to invade it, they will continue to exhaust this nation of men and money, make us slaves to their interest, and pick our pockets, as long as we have a shilling.

If his majesty shall think it proper to give H—r to a younger branch of the royal family, that would in our opinion, be greatly for the interest both of Great Britain and H—r, by taking away a pre­tence from France for invading it, when at war with us. But as long as the same person is king of Great Britain and elector of H—r, we have but one method to take, in case of a war with France, viz. to let them take it, instead of maintaining an army for its defence; and to make reprisals by our su­periority at sea.

There never was a prince since Titus Vespasian, who began his reign with greater marks of love to his subjects, love to justice, and every aimiable [Page 8] quality, than our present sovereign has done. He seems resolved to be sovereign of the hearts of all his subjects, and not the king of a faction. It is be­lieved that he has declared he won't allow his ser­vants to meddle in elections, either by making use of his name, or the public money, to procure votes; by which he will have a true representation of his people in parliament, instead of a packt meeting, the child of corruption and venality. This must make him adored by his subjects, and prevent any wicked man about his person from having it in his power to make his sovereign his dupe, by making him believe that he only meant to employ the public money, and his sovereign's name, to serve him; whereas his real intention is, to get his own creatures and dependents chosen, in order to make himself the director of his masters actions; by which piece of management we have often seen a dirty slave of a minister carry an election against men of worth and family; and the sovereign made believe that the man of worth was his enemy, because his love to his country made him refuse being a slave to the base, corrupt intentions of that minister.

To conclude, what obligations is the nation under to her royal highness, and those employed by her, about the person of his majesty, in his ten­der years, for instilling such principles into his mind, which, in all probability, will enable him to make it not only the happiest, but the greatest nation in Europe, by the destruction of corruption, and encouraging public virtue!


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