Dedicated to that great Lover and Love of his Country, GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq.

God prosper long these sister States,
In union, health and peace,
And grant henceforth that quarrels vile
'Twixt A's and D's may cease.
Nor Gaul nor Brit, can make Columbia rue,

By the Rev. M. L. WEEMS, (of Lodge No. 50) Dumfries, VIRGINIA.





SCARCELY was I delivered of this young republican Philanthropist, before I began, according to good Christian usage, to look about for a suitable god-fa­ther for it. My thoughts presumptuously enough, I con­fess, instantly fixed on you—for two reasons. First, I was desirous of paying to you, (as being next to God, the greatest benefactor of my dear country) this little mite of grateful and affectionate respect:—and secondly, because I well know there exists not on this side of heaven, the man who will more cordially than GENERAL WASHING­TON, approve of whatever tends to advance the harmony and happiness of Columbia.

God, I pray him grant! that you may live to see us all, your loving countrymen, catching from your fair ex­ample, that reverence for the Eternal Being; that vene­ration for the laws, that infinite concern for the national Union; that unextinguishable love for our country, and that insuperable contempt of pleasures, of dangers, and of death itself in its service and defence, which have raised you to Immortality, and which alone can exalt us to be a great and happy republic.

On the Square of Justice, And on the Scale of Love, I remain, Most Honored General, Your very sincere friend, And Masonic Brother, M. L. WEEMS.



"SOHO! What the plague have we got here now? All men equal! All men equal!!! Here's a pretty love powder for us truly—An arrant dose of Jacobinism I'll warrant it, sufficient to poison the nation."

This is just what I apprehended; for some gentlemen, the moment they hear mention of EQUALITY, fancy they see a host of hungry sans-culottes in full march for desolation, equalling all property, levelling all distincti­ons, knocking down kings, clapping up beggers, and waving the tri-coloured flag of anarchy, confusion and wretchedness, over the ruins of happiness and order.

[Page 6] From such equality, good Lord, deliver us! But the equality now in question is as different from that, as is a spirit of heaven from a goblin damn'd. 'Tis an equali­ty of mutual dependence, of civil obligation, of social affection, of dutiful obedience to the laws, and of har­monious co-exertion to make ourselves and our country happy.

When I say that all men are equal, I allude not to the endowments of mind or body. For, whether we consider the size, strength and activity of the former, or, the wit, memory and other faculties of the latter—there is cer­tainly a surprising inequality among men.

As to SIZE—

Some are dwarfs* mere pigmies, hardly a match for cranes—while others, the giant sons of earth, lift their mighty forms, terrible to look on.


Some are so very feeble, that the weight of a grass­hopper is burthensome—while others, like Sampson, among the Hebrews, or Peter Francisco among our­selves, possess a degree of bodily force that is truly aston­ishing.

[Page 7] As to ACTIVITY—

Some men* swift footed as the roe-buck, can bound across the fields with the motion of the winds, scarcely injuring the tender grass in their rapid course; while others snail slow in progress, can scarcely drag their tor­pid limbs along.


Some blest with constitutions of steel, hardly know what sickness means, as was the case of a Mrs. Blackney, an English lady, who on her death bed declared, that during a life of 80 years, she had never felt even a pain of the head—while others enervated by sloth and strong tea, can seldom get through a whole day without mak­ing dreadful complaints.

And, as to LONG LIFE—

Millions return to the dust almost as soon as they are awakened out of it; while others, like superanuated strulbrugs live 'till they are quite tired of living. Wit­ness, Thomas Parr, an old English ploughman, who lived to see ten kings and queens rise and fall from the throne of England. Such bubbles are kings, compared to cheerful labourers! He died aged 153 years. Old Henry Jenkings, (of Bolton England,) went a good vay beyond Parr, for he lived 169 years. Both of these ve­terans were honest, temperate, hard working, poor men.


Some have so much of heaven in their looks, that a single glance is enough to electrify with delight every nerve in our frames, and to throw our leaping hearts into the sweetest palpitation; while others are so slightly [Page 8]touched with this divine magnetism that they attract none of our iron race, but are at full liberty to point to­wards heaven and make angels their admirers.

"E'en crosses from our Maker's hand,
"Are blessings in disguise."

Equally great is the difference between different per­sons, in the powers and qualities of their minds.


Some, like the war-horse, rejoice, at the sound of the trumpet and plunge with eagerness into the thickest bat­tle, declaring with the mad-cap king of Sweden, that no music equals the whistling of bullets; while others like delicate court-ladies fall into a tremor at the fight of an unloaded gun.


Some are so very dull that it is a hard matter to teach them a sum in the rule of three; while others quickly drink dry the shallow fountains of human knowledge, and then boldly strike out into the main ocean of the Al­mighty's works. Witness our great RITTENHOUSE, of whom it' was well said by the Vice-President of the United States, that, "though he never made a world, yet he came nearer to it than any man ever did."

And witness too our sage FRANKLIN, who, though bro't up a poor Printer's boy, soon learnt the art to chain the thunderbolts of heaven and to bid fierce lightnings play harmlessly about our buildings. "E coelo ful­mina eripuit, sceptraque tyrannis."


Some, like our famoūs PATRICK HENRY, can lead the passions of men about, with as much ease as a countryman calls his pigs after him; while another hardly has utterance sufficient to declare his passion to a pretty milk-maid.


One is so tender hearted, that like the amiable Dr. GOLDSMITH, he can say to a little captive fly, "go poor thing, there is surely room enough in this great world for you and me;" while another can pickle the raw hide of a poor slave, for breaking a tea-cup.

[Page 9] As to BENEVOLENCE—

This, like the man of ROSS, will sell his elegant pictures and plate, to assist his distressed tenant; while that, will distress his tenant, selling even the bed from under his sick wife and children, to raise money for gawdy pictures and plate.

Thus there appears a most surprising inequality between men, both in mind and body; an inequality almost as great as that between angels and men, or between men and children. This inequality is so very striking, that some, when told, that all men are equal, burst out into a hearty laugh, treating it as a silly French conceit.— Such gentlemen will perhaps keep up the laugh when they hear that this inequality among men, as individuals, is the very cause of their equality as a social body.— That great philosopher, Paul of Tarsus, has explained this seeming paradox in a most beautiful and masterly manner. He compares the various members in the body of society to the members in the human body.— "We have all, says he, many members in one body; some of these occupy a high place, as the head; some a low, as the feet; some appear to enjoy great honor; the eye which sees beautiful objects, the ear which hears sweet sounds: while others, the poor feet, are obliged to plod on the ground liable to be bruised by stones or defiled by mud." But notwithstanding this apparently great inequality among the members, they have no just cause of pride or discontent. The foot has no reason to envy the eye, nor the eye to insult the foot. They are all equally dependent on one another, equally neces­sary to the perfection of the body, and to each others welfare. For, what could the eyes do without the feet? Or how could the feet do without the eyes? With the like admirable wisdom, God has placed together the members which compose the great body of society.— Some are rich, some poor, some wife, some ignorant, some strong, some feeble. These though seemingly very unequal, are yet perfectly equal, in their mutual depend­ence, in their absolute need of one another. The wife are like eyes, to see, for the ignorant; the poor, like the feet, to plod; some, like the head, to contrive; [Page 10]others, like the arms, to execute. Some were made to direct; others to obey; these to labour with their head, and those with their hands. None of these can do with­out the rest. As in the body, the head cannot say to the foot, "I have no need of you"; so in society, the richest man, nay, the greatest king cannot say to the poorest tradesman, "I have no need of you"; for the laced coat that glitters on his back, the sword which graces his side, the chariot in which he rolls, the palace wherein he lives, the books that amuse his mind, the music that enchants his ear; all these, and the ten thou­sand other conveniences and elegancies of his life are the joint production of as many different artificers. Were it not for these ingenious poor men, what would become of the greatest monarch on earth? Why, he would soon find himself a most necessitous and wretched being. To be more sensibly convinced of this, let us suppose the proudest Nebuchadnezzar that ever scoffed contempt on his poor subjects, to be placed in a situation where he could derive no assistance from them, and mark the fi­gure his haughty kingship makes. "With a flint to­mahawk he hacks down a dozen or two of sapplings; these he sets up on end, ties at the top, and covers with bark and mud, leaving a hole just big enough for him­self and his dog to creep in and out at. This is his wigwam, his castle, his palace. In the midst of this he kindles up a fire, around which he yawns and dozes away his gloomy winters. With no cloaths but skins torn from the quivering limbs of Wolves and Bears, no food but acorns and the carcases of such animals as he has mastered by his club and bow; no music but hissing serpents, screaming wild cats, or the storm howling thro' the forest."

Thus destitute is the condition, thus imperfect the happiness of the man who has none to help him. His abilities, though the greatest ever bestowed on man, are infinitely insufficient to procure those innuinerable feli­cities of which his kind Creator has rendered him capa­ble. His body embraces a number of senses such as see­ing, hearing, tasting, &c. which are so many pleasant inlets to a vast variety of gratifications; add to this, [Page 11]his mind, with its capacities, for all the far sublimer pleasures of knowledge, virtue, beauty, painting, poe­try, harmony, &c. so numerous, that nature herself with all her exhaustless treasures can hardly supply them.

But how utterly impossible it is for an individual to acquire all these things for himself, must instantly occur to any one who considers what a world of industry, time and ingenuity it takes to invent and carry to perfection a single art or science: then how passing absurd to think that any one man though armed with the strength of Sampson and the wisdom of Solomon, can manage the thousand arts and sciences which exalt the citizen above the savage, which sweeten and embellish life, and which from the most helpless of the animal creation render man the lord of the world! No: this is the work, not of ONE, but of MYRIADS; a work to be effected by men not as solitary, scattered individuals, but as the members of a compact all powerful society.

Let us now view them in their associated state. Con­vinced of their extreme feebleness while alone, they come together for mutual safety and benefit. The va­rious talents which God has distributed among them individually, are now brought into the common stock and exerted for the general good. Some contribute great bodily strength, others increase that strength by the aid of art and ingenious inventions: the old counsel the young, the wise teach the ignorant, the bold encour­age the timid; and as fifty thousand men, taken indi­vidually, have but little strength or terror, but consoli­dated into an army, furnished with proper weapons aid­ed by discipline, and led on by brave commanders, they become unspeakably formidable. So, when the talents and strength of thousands (though insignificant in the individual) are collected into one great social body, aid­ed by arts and acting in harmonious concert, they ac­quire a force that is truly astonishing, and can with ease accomplish things beyond the reach of imagination. See them now, like a noble band of brothers, bending to the glorious toil. The deepest mines cannot conceal their precious metals. Furnaces and forges begin to blaze and thunder. Iron and steel are fashioned into tools.— [Page 12]Quarries of stone and marbles are dug up and polished for buildings. The strongest animals are subdued and put into their service; the bounding horse, the sturdy ox, and even the mighty elephant lends them all his powers. Nothing can resist their force. Old ocean roars and foams in vain. Tall ships rise upon the stocks, suck the yielding flood and plough the main in quest of foreign luxuries. The aged forest falls beneath their sounding axes. Elegant houses are erected; the fields are ploughed, meadows drained, and orchards planted. Adorned with fruits and flowers, the earth smiles like the garden of God. Their barns are filled with plenty, and their presses burst out with new wine. Royal dainties, even cakes of wheat-flour with marrow and fatness, are piled upon their tables; while their wardrobes are filled with fine linnens and purple, and with silks dyed in the rich colours of the showing arch!

Thus abundantly supplied with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, they now get leisure to cultivate the fine arts and to taste of those far sublimer pleasures of which God has rendered them capable. Painting and printing are invented, by the help of which we can take a view of all the great men and mighty nations of ancient or modern days. Their origin, wars, vices and virtues, with all their interesting consequences, are set before us, to our infinite entertainment and instruction. Music is studied, that magic art, whose wondrous notes can waken every passion of our souls, and charm our senses into rapture. Poetry too is cultivated, that astonishing power which transports us out of ourselves, and lifts our thoughts to heaven.

Who, without the sweetest emotions of gratitude, can cast an eye over this immense feast, this royal banquet of delights which the great king has spread for us his subjects? Or who can meditate, though but for a mo­ment, on this pleasing wondrous theme, without feeling that great truth; the natural equality of men? Does not every man, rich or poor, equally covet these felici­ties of life; and is he not, of himself, equally unable to procure them? Are we not equal in our wants, and equal in our inability to supply them without the help [Page 13]of others, and therefore equally dependant on one another? Without our brethren we can do nothing, no, not even make a hoe or a hatchet; but united with them, supported by their ingennity and strength, we can look on this world with all its rich furniture as our own, and gratefully exclaim with the Poet.

"For us kind nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each plant, and blossoms every flower.
Annual for us, the grape, the rose renew
The juice nectarious and the balmy dew.
For us the mine a thousand treasures brings,
For us health gushes from a thousand springs.
Seas roll to waft us, suns to light us rise,
Our foot stool earth, our canopy the skies."

What virtuous min I can think of these things with­out catching impressions the most desirable, without feeling sentiments the most tender and benevolent to­wards his fellow-men? We have seen that, it is not good for man to be alone; that alone, he is a feeble helpless wretch, living in a world stored with ten thou­sand blessings, but which, Tantalus-like, he has not power to taste; that alone, he is but as a poor ship­wrecked sailor cast on a desolate island, where he is hard put to it for berries and roots to keep him from starv­ing. But that in our associated state, we are like a great family of brothers whom God has placed together as mutual aids, and has endued with suitable talents, giv­ing this to one, that to another, so that we can now most easily command all the conveniences and elegan­cies of a happy life. O how closely ought these con­siderations to unite us to our species, how powerfully do they bind it upon us to love one another? Is it not as much a law of nature that we should love one another, as it is that the members of the body should love one another? As that the eyes should love the feet for car­rying them to gaze on the dear objects of their affecti­ons? Or, that the feet should love the eyes for directing them to slowery walks to ramble in?

This endearing light in which nature herself teaches us to view one another, is enough one would think to [Page 14]banish all hateful passions from our bosoms, and especi­ally, pale, heart sickening envy. Envy! Merciful God! Whom shall we envy? Our own flesh and blood kindly multiplied into a thousand brothers, and placed around us on purpose to administer to our happiness! And for what shall we envy them? For those very tal­ents and possessions which God has conferred on them for our own good, and which will be the more for our good, in exact proportion as they possess them in a more eminent degree. This were a sin not only against na­ture, but utterly unknown to nature. Do the members of the body ever repine at each others perfections?— Does the foot repine because the eye is quick sighted to see a thousand charming objects; because the ear with admirable nicety can distinguish enchanting sounds; or because the arms are strong and able to get an abund­ance of good things? No: they rejoice in each others perfections, as in the instruments of their own glory and happiness. In like manner, ought not every mem­ber of the great body of society to rejoice in the per­fections of his brother member? Am I a poor man, ought I not to rejoice that God has bestowed great riches on my neighbor, who can undertake works of great public usefulness and give employment and bread to thousands of poor men and their families? Am I weak and ignorant, ought I not to thank God for giv­ing my neighbor wisdom to invent and to instruct me in those arts which make my life so much more easy and comfortable? Am I timid and fearful, easily fright­ened out of my rights—ought I not to be thankful that my neighbor has courage to rise up in my behalf and to defend me against him who would be too strong for me? Am I rich, never so rich—I have equal cause of gratitude that I am not left to starve amidst my piles of guineas and half-joes, but that God has kindly placed around me thousands of poor brothers, all ready, this with his strength, that with his ingenuity; one with this charming are, another with that, to add to me all the comforts and pleasures of life! And indeed if I be wise, I shall thank God more cordially for distribut­ing these talents among my brethren, than if they were [Page 15]all concentered in myself. For, had I the talents to be­come as great a Sta esman as Adams, as profound a Phi­losopher as Franklin, as ingenious a Physician as Rush; yet all these eminent talents would be of little use to me or to others, because I should not have time to im­prove them. But distributed as now they are most wisely, among the mass of the citizens, one talent to this, and another to that, they are all cultivated to the highest perfection, and consequently prove eminently useful both to the possessor and to the public.

This endearing view of human kind, this looking on our neighbor as ourself, kindly multiplied into many members, into many dear brothers for mutual good, must shew us as with a sun beam what a horrid thing it is for one man to hurt another! What a most horrible abuse of God's goodness, most monstrous perversion of his blessed design to abuse to the heaviest curses, those very talents which he gave us for richest blessings to one another!

That power which God gave you to protect the in­nocent and to frown the disorderly into good behaviour, will you abuse it to overawe the poor, and to frighten them out of their rights?

That superior genius which he gave you to instruct your brethren in arts and happiness, can you abuse it to overreach and defraud them? That manly strength which God gave you for their assistance, can you cruelly turn it against them?

That precious gift of speech which was given you to hold sweet converse with your brethren, can you most wickedly abuse it to blast their characters, and to make their very appearance vile and odious?

That wealth which was given that you might be a guardian angel to the poor, will you like a Demon abuse it to their corruption and ruin?

That noble courage which was lent you to fly to the defence of your countrymen unjustly invaded, can you most horribly abuse it to their destruction, in worse than brutish battles, and worse than develish duels?

What if you were to see the teeth tearing the flesh from the bleeding arms, or the arms stabbing and mang­ling [Page 16]the quivering body, would not the very sight freeze the blood in your veins, and fill your souls with horror! how then must it affect how torture the soul of humani­ty to see us men, whom God peaced here to live in love, thus dreadfully abusing our powers to curse each others existence, and to crush one another into an untimely grave! Poor deluded mortals! We may call ourselves men of honor, but surely it will be more tolerable in the day of Judgment for bloody savages, than for such men of honor!

This great doctrine "the natural equality of men," founded in our equal wants and equal inability to supply them, suggests the great duty of exerting ourselves for the common benefit. He who neglects this deserves not to be called a good man, for he withholds from the community the blessings which he might confer, & by meanly with­drawing his shoulders from the common burden, he cruelly throws too great a part of it upon others. Such a man, instead of rising as is foolishly imagined, by such a life of idleness and dissipation, degrades himself into the condition of an ungrateful beggar, who lives upon the labours of others without making any return.

And besides, what can sink a man more even in his own eyes, than that he has done nothing to serve his neighbors, to benefit his poor relations, to educate and establish his own children, or to advance the interest and glory of his country; in fine, that he has buried his talents, defeated the kind intentions of heaven in be­stowing them, and that if he were cut off by death, his place would not be misled, nay, the world would be happily delivered from an useless burden.

On the other hand, what nobler satisfaction can any person enjoy than in the reflection, that, no day passes over his head but sees him diligently employed in pro­moting his own and the happiness of mankind: that he not only supplies others with many of the good things of this life, but endeavors by his good example to raise their joyful views to a far brighter world. An exalting consideration this, and one equally open to the poor and to the rich; for as in the natural body, the smallest joint, the smallest nerve and fibre, contributes [Page 17]to the strength, elegance and usefulness of the whole; so in the social body, the general peace and happiness depend on the good behavior of the lower classes, especially as these are by far the most numerous. Hence it is not to be doubted, that the meanest laborer, the poorest slave, who cheerfully exerts himself in the duties of his place, has a right to share with the most exalted of the sons of men, that glorious tide—the friend of mankind and the servant of God.

This great doctrine "the natural equality of men," sweeps away all ground of pride from the rich, and of dejection from the poor.

Some of the great nabobs of the earth, long accustom­ed to the cap in hand homage of the poor, may not per­haps like to be told that there is no difference between the rich lord in his silks, and the poor black-smith in his lea her apron; no odds between the learned doctor in his velvet cap and morocco slippers, and the simple un­lettered ploughman.

Inconsiderate mortal! who can take airs upon your­self and despise your poor brother because he is ignor­ant and you learned. You understand Latin and Greek, and can talk of Comets and Eclipses, and yet after all, the Cobler is a more independent man than you are, for he can do better without your Comets and Eclipses, without your hic, haec, hoc's, than you can without his shoes.

And you my monied friend who are pleased to sup­pose yourself quite independent of mechanics and trades­men —worth a host of blacksmiths, butchers and bakers, &c. &c. &c. Suppose these good people were all to rise up in wrath, and swear by their sledge-hammers, awls and ovens, that you should have no more meat, bread nor cloaths; no more elegant houses, carpets or plate, what would become of you? Unable, like them to work, and yet ashamed to beg, what a sad chop-fallen figure you would make!

Every thing shews "the natural equality of man." If the philosopher confers a favor on the ploughman by inventing for him a plough, the ploughman requites the favor by using it, and thereby supplying the philosopher [Page 18]with bread. If the artist does a great service to the sailor by building him a ship, the sailor comes along side of him, by navigating his ship through the stormy ocean and bringing him the rich commodities of foreing coun­tries. Thus we all depend on each other like the linke in a golden chain, which tho' not all precisely of the same size are yet equally essential to the beauty and [...] of the whole. Break but one link and the rest are [...] but little use. Thus, take away any one class of the citizens—e. g. the cultivators of the earth, and what should we do for bread? Take away our mechan­ics, and of how many conveniencies should we be de­prived? Take away our men of genius, and what a number of noble arts and inventions should we lose? Take away our poets, painters and musicians, and how many sweet embellishments would be lost to social life? And if our gallant seamen and soldiers, our Truxtons'. Tingeys', &c. were to be taken from us, how insecure would be all the riches, elegancies and pleasures acquired by the ingenuity and industry of the other classes!— Thus as in the natural body no member could be am­putated without great detriment to the whole, so in the social body no class of the citizens could be taken away without great detriment to the rest. Thus has GOD, the common PARENT, removed far from us all ground of pride on the part of the rich, and of dejection on the part of the poor—" the rich and the poor, says Solo­mon, meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all." In his view all good men are equally honorable, and none of them are more or less worthy than another; but in as far as he discharges or neglects the part allotted him and increases or diminishes the sum of general hap­piness.

Since then no individual has either time or talents to procure the materials of a happy life, without an affec­tionate union with his fellow men in society—it is very plain that God intended man for society, and it is as plainly his intention that good laws and government should be introduced among them. As in the human body those numberless sinews which give it all its mo­tions, are not left at liberty to distort and convulse it at [Page 19]pleasure, but are wisely confined by ligamentous ban­dages which will not allow their irregular and danger­ous cramps: just so the members of the political body require to be confined within the bounds of their duty and usefulness. The weakness of human nature ren­ders this necessary; for when men leaving their caves and dens first came together, they were neither Solo­mons nor Saints, but a rude selfish race, too ready to lay light hands on whatever pleased them, and to knock down all who displeased them; and at this day there are but too many of the same mohawk principles, ready to rob, to slander, and even to murder their neighbors in duels. Yes, the Iron restraint of the laws is neces­sary; and laws require rulers to execute them—for it would never do for a whole country to quit their ploughs and convene to make laws to punish criminals. Cer­tain persons must be elected by the people and invested with their authority to make good laws and to see them rigorously executed, "to the terror of evil doers and to the praise of them that do well."

Hence appears the exceeding obligation of civil obe­dience, an obligation the greatest of all others, our duty to God excepted. Indeed this constitutes a very con­siderable part of our duty to him; for God desires above all things the happiness of man. But as man cannot be happy without society, nor society secure without laws, nor laws effectual without rulers, nor ru­lers beneficial unless they are dutifully obeyed—it fol­lows that CIVIL OBEDIENCE is infinitely pleasing to God. 'Tis the accomplishment of his favorite wish and therefore he looks on it as paid to himself, and ve­ry justly too: for as we are to be their subjects, God has been pleased to delegate to us the power to chuse such laws and rulers as we shall think most likely to make ourselves happy. And since in chusing these we are but using the right which God himself put into our hands, expressly to make ourselves happy according to his blessed will; it follows that the rulers which we chose are, in fact, of God's chusing.—"Let every soul (cries that noblest of patriots St. Paul,) be subject to the higher powers (the rulers) for they are ordained of [Page 20]God—(yes, surely when chosen by the majority of the people) whosoever therefore resisteth the rulers, resist­eth the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall re­ceive to themselves damnation." No wonder that the great preserver of men is so anxious that we should du­tifully obey our rulers, for it is indeed the greatest of ab social blessings, the grand principle of union, strength, order, peace, and happiness to a nation. Embraced in this golden band, we are no longer feeble, crumbled in­dividuals, but the force of millions is collected and ex­erted as a mighty man. The ample shield of a nation's power is spread over each virtuous character. Under its awful shade we enjoy safety and peace. The sons of violence are curbed, the bloody effects of individual rage and resentment are happily checked. The weak­est if innocent, is a match for the mightiest, having the force of the whole community to take his part.— And, besides, clasped in the fostering bosom of his country, he can partake of all the conveniencies and pleasures procured by the art and industry of his fellow citizens, and at the same time following his own fa­vorite business he can gather the rich fruits of it for his own and the good of others. Thus, secure in each others protection, thus abundant and happy in the sweet rewards of their mutual labours, they can eat, drink, and rejoice together like brothers, under the shade of their own vine and fig-tree, none daring to make them afraid. O how goodly a thing it is to see a whole nati­on living thus together in unity! A single instrument of music artfully touched, affords much delight, but how much more delightful to hear an hundred different instruments all mingling their sweet notes in one grand concert! So, to see one man living prudently and hap­pily, affords a heartfelt satisfaction; but to see thous­ands and millions living harmoniously together, under the same excelient laws, all cheerfully engaged at their several works, and moving on smoothly in their proper ranks: the rulers wisely leading, the people dutifully following, and all lovingly accompanying one another.

This is a spectacle worthy the eyes of blessed angels; nay, God himself looks down delighted upon them, the [Page 21]Father of the universe regard, them with smiles of com­placency: He sees the travail of his soul and is satisfied.

Since so many and such precious pleasures and advan­tages arise from good government, what virtuous man can otherwise than most cheerfully pay his part of the taxes necessary to its support. O let us not wait 'till justice knitting her brow declares, that since we desire so much from government, we are bound in equity to contribute to its maintenance; let us not wait 'till the great lover of men thunder forth his orders—"for this cause (the welfare of government) pay you taxes also, for they are God's ministers attending on this very thing:" No, let generous sentiment, let a grateful sense of the numberless blessings we receive from our excellent go­vernment render it a pleasure to us to contribute to its support, its honor and peace. In no country have the people such reason to pay their taxes cheerfully as in this; for in no country do they derive so much from government, or pay so little to it.

In Great Britain which is thought to be the happiest government in Europe, they tax every thing, even the elements cannot escape them. They tax the air above, the earth beneath, and the waters under the earth. And as if all this was not enough, as if wearied of this little peace meal kind of work, they have made lately a short apoplectic stroke at once of ten percent ad valorem, that is, one hundred dollars out of the thousand every year—in addition to a thousand little hectic taxes be­sides. But in this country, thanks to God, our taxes are so very trifling as justly to excite our astonishment. That a man dwelling in a comfortable house, rated at 150 dollars; a plantation of 500 acres, (called a princi­pality in Europe) and 3 valuable slaves, making in all 3000 dollars, should be taxed scarcely 3 dollars for the whole. Is not this most astonishing! and are there. Americans who can think this oppressive who can re­fuse to pay it, can berate and go near to kill their bro­thers just for asking this well earned pittance, can even fly in the venerable face of the parent country, blowing up the flames of a bloody and expensive insurrection! [Page 22]O tell it not in England, publish it not in the streets of London, lest the toil-worn porters throwing their heavy burdens from their backs, stamp on the earth in wrath, and curse us all for fools!

Many of the poor, to my knowledge are not quite so chearful in paying their taxes as good citizens ought to be, because they have been taught (God forgive their teachers) that all the money goes to the President and to the quality, i. e. the great folks. This is so far from being true that the very reverse of it is true; that is, in­stead of the poor paying taxes for the rich, the rich pay taxes for the poor. The really poor pay nothing, nay, those in circumstances that may be called comfortable pay nothing. e. g. with 99 dollars and 99 cents, you may build a very snug house, a much better one than Abraham, Isaac or Jacob ever lived in, and in which you and your loving dame with half a score chubby rosy­cheeked boys and girls may live as merry as crickets, and yet your country does not ask you a copper for your house, the scene of all this innocent mirth. But Mr. Bingham of Philadelphia, one of the quality, living in a house that cost 30,000 dollars, pays no less than 270 dollars yearly.

Again, you own a heavy waggon and team: with this, Jehu like, you rattle along the high ways, tear up the roads, break down the bridges, and set the poor road menders to cursing and swearing, and after all, what is your tax? Why not even a sharp-shin. But lo! here comes one of the quality in a little gim-crack phaeton and Lilliputian pair, not a tythe the substance of your waggon—a carriage that makes no more impression on the roads than does a cat running over a harpsichord, and yet this gentleman pays a tax of 9 dallars.

No, no, my brothers, if you be really poor, you pay nothing, even though your poverty should be owing to your own shameful love of ease, or of whiskey, you pay nothing! Your dear country, like the strong eagle of heaven gathers you her poorest her unfledged-nestlings, under her wings, and imparts to you her vital warmth and strong protection, with no other motive than love: or no other pay than the pleasure of doing it. O then [Page 23]let not for gratitude, for justice sake, let not the sons of Belial deceive you by bringing up an evil report against this good land. But admitting that you were treated as are the poor in many countries, where the neediest Wi­dow is obliged to throw in her mite, the wretchedest La­zarus his crumb or his scab for the support of government; admitting I say, that you were constrained to dowse your half bits, do you think that they would all go to John Adams and to the quality! No, not, a cent beyold what was their well earn'd wright. As every vein in the body sends on its tax of blood to the heart, the great treasury from whence it is quickly driven on again thro' the large and small arteries to each well fed fibre in the system; so, under our constitution, which nearly re­sembles the human body, (that most perfect of all God's works) every guinea or cent that is taken up by those great absorbents, the Sheriffs, is carried strait on to the treasury, from whence in a very few pulsations, it is distributed among the servants of the public, those wife and brave men whom you yourselves have chosen to su­perintend your laws, or to fight for you. Aye, my dear country men, if you did but confider what cost, fatigue and danger these gentlemen encounter to serve you, you could not, I am sure you could not, grudge your mite to reward them. A part of this little money, that each of you gives, goes to your Judges, your Assembly men, your Senators, &c. Now do but reflect how many thou­sands of dollars these gentlemen have laid out on their education and libraries to enable them to cope with the long-headed Pitts and Talleyrands of Europe.

Consider also, the brain-racking, spirit-wasting, hard, flesh-consuming study these poor gentlemen are obliged to undergo for your sakes: as proof of this, look at your Jeffersons, Maddisons, Marshalls, Harpers, &c. see what pale, pensive, werter-looking countenances they generally wear, obliged every now and then to creep off to the springs, to brace up their lax fibres.

A part of your little taxes goes to your brave soldiers, and to your gallant seamen, your Truxtons, your Tin­geys, &c. Noble fellows, who have exchanged their wives and smiling babes for the gloomy waves, that they [Page 24]may there enjoy the heroic pleasure of meeting your enemies. Consider what they undergo for you. While "you are on your down-beds lying, fondly lock'd in beauty's arms," they poor fellows, may be preparing for very different scenes, making ready for bloody battle. See the hostile man of war bearing down upon them. The hearts of the youthful warriors palpitate, while the blood comes and goes in their cheeks; but the love of their country, the justice of their cause, and a noble sense of honor brace them up as with triple steel. "All hands to quarters—fore and aft, a clear ship—up ham­mocks —light the matches, and stand by to wake the thunder—now my hearts be stout and bold." The flag of Columbia waves over their heads, the heroes eye the beloved stripes. The smile of joy is on their counte­nances, and the fire of valor flashes from their eyes.— They demand the fight. The tall black ship of the ene­my is now close along side; her tremendous artillery stares them in the face, yawning for destruction. The dreadful fray begins; the air is rent with their horrid thunder. Old ocean trembles and lowers all her waves. The ships are wrapped up in flaming fire, while storms of Iron bullets dash every thing to pieces. The decks are covered with mangled corpses, and the scuppers run torrents of blood. But lo, the mortal strife is ended, and Columbia is victor. But alas! what avails it that her flag rides triumphant, many of her bravest sons lie low. Hearts that glowed with heavenly fire, that beat high with the love of their country; muscles that were glori­ously strained at the four and twenty pounders, fighting for you my brothers—These now lie in mangled heaps hardly known that they ever were men; their dearest blood mingling with the briny waves, their precious limbs soon to be tossed to devouring sharks!!! O my countrymen, can we think of these things and yet deem it hard to pay a tax of one little dollar in the thousand to our gallant brothers, who thus at the expence of their lives secure to us the other nine hundred and ninety-nine.

But not only on account of the exceeding moderation of our taxes, but also of their amazingly equal distribu­tion, we have reason to pay them with more cheerful­ness [Page 25]than any people on earth. In other countries, the political body is so grown out of all proportion, the head and larger limbs are so bloated with fat, while the inferior members are so shrivelled for nourishment, that it is hard for a cordial love to grow between them. That a bishop should receive his 10 or 15000l sterling per ann, should ride in his coach, live in his palace, and keep up a constant carnival, while his poor brother Levite is obliged to lent it all the year on a pitiful curacy of 20l

That a king should receive his twenty or thirty hun­dred thousand dollars per ann. [...]le the hard working mechanic is put to it for bread, and after all his toils and sorrows is scarcely able to keep his family out of prison or a poor house; and as if all this was not enough, that the government should suffer a host of pensioners and sinecures-men, each with a large salary, to be clap­ped like so many elegant cupping glasses on the vitals of the people.

Who could suffer this without a decline of love for his country, or indeed without feeling that love turn'd into detestation?

But O happy Americans! we groan under none of these iniquitous impositions to wean us from our coun­try; with us the political body still preserves its exqui­site shape and symmetry: the head is not bloated, the feet are not starv'd. Our public officers (the head) are furnished with plenty, but not excess*; while our com­mon [Page 26]citizens (the feet and hands) may, if industrious, have enough, and to spare.

Another consideration which must rivet the souls of all reasonable men to our constitution, is that charming delicacy, that profound and equal respect, with which she treats the religious opinions of her children. Even in that government, which is looked on as the most equit­able in the Eastern world, (I mean Great Britain) the people are at daggers drawn about religion. The Ups insisting on the Downs to think of God Almighty, and to worship him just as they do, or to dowse their money. Oh! this is a shameful thing, a dreadful draw-back on patriotism! What, shall I sweat and bleed in support and defence of my country, and when I expected her sweetest smiles, her kindest caresses, shall she most un­gratefully reject my petition to say what prayers I think best; shall she look tamely on and see my hard-earned substance sold by the sheriff to swell the princely revenue of some bishop, to whose church I belong not? He must be an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no gall, whom this would not provoke to detest his country as a cruel step-mother, and to turn his back on her forever. But, thanks to God, we have none of these pontifical vil­lamies to wean our affections from our country, or from one another. We are perfectly at liberty to worship our Maker, every man according to the dictates of his own conscience; and provided we act up to the high character of good citizens, our excellent constitution stands equally a wall of fire around all, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, Christians or Mahometans.

O my beloved mother country! my soul embraces thee with more than filial ardour for this thy wise and equal love to all us thy dutiful children, and for that thou allowest no establishment to create heart burnings among us, no merciless Priest with fire and faggot to roast us to death.

And O my dear brothers, native or adopted sons of Columbia! If ever people on earth were under particu­lar obligations to love their country, we are that people. Our land is signally favor'd of heaven and our govern­ment has every thing to make it dear to us. Bought by [Page 27]the dearest blood of our Fathers; planned by our ablest Legislators; approved by our firmest Patriots; and ra­tified by the sacred majoriy of our nation: It stands on the broad base of Equity; maintains inviolate the just rights of every cirizen; secures to all alike their civil and religious liberties; and to all alike holds out the fairest opportunities to rise to wealth, to usefulness, and to glory. O blessed land of well secured liberty, of equal laws, of moderate taxes, and of universal tolera­tion! where no king can trample, no statesman oppress, not priest can persecute us; but where all, like an equal band of brothers, cheerfully cultivating our several tal­ents, may enjoy more happiness than can be found in any other nation on earth! What dutiful son can think of all these thy truly republican favors without clasping thee to his heart as thy dearest best of mothers, who gave us our birth, nursed our helpless infancy, supports our manhood, and lavishes on us a profusion of every earthly good. Or what prodigal son who considers the husks fed on by the poor in other lands, but their plen­teousness of bread at thy table O Columbia, but must instantly exclaim, "I will arise, and will go to the arms of my country." Volney assures us, that in the Holy land the people are so wretchedly poor, that to avoid starving they use so much cockle and wild seeds in their bread as often sickens them—and that he actually saw at the gates of the once flourishing Damascus a couple of meagre, half naked wretches contending with hungry dogs over the carcase of a dead camel. O that we did but know in this our day the many felicities we enjoy under this our government, and did but love the govern­ment as we ought!

But how shall we manifest our love? By splitting into parties and mortally hating one another? No, God for­bid; for a furious party spirit is the greatest judgment, the heaviest curse that can befal our country. It extin­guishes love in the best hearts, and in the worst it blows up the coals of hatred to ten fold fury. It makes even good men shy of one another and breaks off the sweetest friendship. This vile spirit deforms every thing; by giving a hardness to the features and a fierceness to the [Page 28]eyes it turns the loveliest woman into a Fright, and the comliest man into a Demon. It pollutes the most sacred places, introducing unnatural strifes even there where sweetest harmony should ever sound; in our streets and at our tables. It fills our newspapers which were meant to be the vehicles of innocent amusement and calm in­struction, with the bitterest abuse, provoking to bloody battles and murderous duels. It confounds all the great distinctions of worth and villainy in characters; the vileft creature, the basest Arnold, if on our side, is cried up as an angel; while an angel if he oppose us, though never so decently and for ever so good reasons, is brand­ed as a miscreant! It corrupts our taste; the dirtiest newspaper printer, if he blackguard for us, is applauded as a Junius; while a Junius, if against us, is execrated as a mere Billingsgate writer. It banishes all sense of gratitude, justice, and truth. What signifies the purest innocence, the uprightest intentions, the greatest abilities, the profoundest learning, if opposed to us, they vanish into nothing; the greatest abilities are hooted at, the brightest virtues are not seen, the longest and faithfulest services are all forgotten under the bias of this most dis­ingenious spirit—JEFFERSON is an empty Pedant, FRANKLIN and old Fool, ADAMS a British Agent, and WASHINGTON—let faction write the rest! It ruins all our public affairs; the blessed end of society and government is to unite men in promoting their mu­tual interest, but the aim of party spirit is to disunite them entirely. Overlooking the general good, the stu­dy of each faction, (I mean the designing men) is, to advance their own separate strength, and to sink their opponents in the public esteem, calumniating the wor­thiest characters, charging the wisest measures with fol­ly, the best intentions with villainy; thus fiding the minds even of honest men with prejudices against their rulers, and opposition to taxes, which, by compelling govern­ment to use coercive measures, bring on insurrection and civil war with all their horrors: when brother with worse than hellish fury shall sheath his steel in his bro­ther's heart, or call in ruthless foreigners to aid the ac­cursed deed; and when God, the righteous Judge, in [Page 29]punishment of such unnatural monsters, shall allow these foreigners to swallow up their substance, to fill their land with blood and violence, and to fix the gall­ing chain of slavery on them and posterity for ages!

Blessed be God, 'tis still in our power to escape this political damnation, and to become the happiest of all nations; the remedy is simple, and is contain'd in the following admirable precepts of an inspired writer:— "HONOR all men—LOVE the brotherhood—FEAR GOD—HONOR the king."

Let us honor all men; yes, even those who differ from us in political sentiments. They may love their country as dearly as we do, and may, with equal sinceri­ty, be aiming at her best interests, though they do not approve the same means. They may be more in the right than we are aware. Let us treat them with re­spect, and never disgrace our character and cause by rudeness and reviling, by "rash suspicions and unmanly slander."

To make this more easy and pleasant; Love the bro­therhood. Let us remember that we are the same ma­terials wrought by the great. Architect, into thousands of springs, wheels, and cogs, of different strengths and sizes, but to make up the same grand harmonious ma­chine; that we are the same flesh and blood wonderfully multiplied into millions of brothers, and wifely gifted with different talents and a passion for society, to make up one great political body. O then let us live toge­ther as brothers, treating each other's sentiments with respect, making proper allowance for education, read­ing, abilities and company; overcoming those who dif­fer from us, by soft words, sound arguments, and good lives; and wifely recollecting that violent opposition even to the most absurd opinions, instead of breaking, will rivet the chains of error, and preclude all possibili­ty of future conviction. And O, if our own happiness is dear to us, let us forever remember that in exact pro­portion as we lesson our mutual love we lessen our own happiness; we dissolve the golden bands of union, we become weak, contemptible, and an easy orey to any cruel and wutchful enemy. D.

[Page 30] Let us fear God; that is the only firm base on which the happiness of individuals, the prosperity of nations can rest securely. It is the only root from which every branch of duty can spring in full vigor, be fed and en­livened, It gives courage in danger, moderation in prosperity, and contentment in poverty. It inspire the Ruler with inviolable honor, the common citizen with cheerful obedience, and pours over all, the rich blessings of unanimity and public virtue.

And next to God, let us honor his representative on earth, that is, the Supreme Magistrate, whether called King, Emperor, or Piesident. If he be chosen by the general voice of the people, he is God's own minister, for God designs above all things the happiness of man; man's happiness requires society, society laws, and laws a magistrate: therefore a magistrate chosen by the peo­ple is in fact chosen of God, and every good man, Deist or Christian, will honor him as such. And thank God, we have a Chief Magistrate, who is, and has, for a great many years, been "a minister of God to us for good," one whom we can honor with alacrity, not coldly as from duty, but cordially as from love; love, for his great virtues, love for his eminent services to our dear country. For, who first alarmed our country against British encroachments? Our President. Who first rous­ed the indignation of our oppressed Colonies? Our Pre­sident. Who for his flaming zeal in our behalf was proscribed by the British government? Our President. And yet, who adventured through an ocean of British cruisers to beg for his bleeding country the help of other lands? Our President. Who decided the grear question for AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE? Our Presi­dent. Who in spite of French intrigue negeciated a peace most advantageous and glorious for his country? Our President. And who, for seven and twenty long years has ceaselessly toiled to advance our nation to glo­ry and happiness? Our President.

Now, who can have any claim on our gratitude, or on our confidence, if this man has not. Who can meditate on all these his great services, without feeling a fire kindling and breaking out in earnest prayers to heaven, [Page 31]for its richest benedictions on his head—that venerable head now grown grey in our cause!

"Father of life and love, thou God supreme! in in­finite mercy look on our nation, and on our Chief ruler, whom thy providence has set over us. O may his coun­sels be guided by thine eternal wisdom, his loins girded with strength, and the arms of his hands be made strong by the arms of the mighty God of Jacob, so that the na­tions who hate us without cause may stand in awe; and that our children's children may enjoy all the blessings of peace and love, while the sun, moon, and stars shall endure!"

Happy, thrice happy, if we would but all love one another as members of the same body, and heartily con­cur in the same glorious work, the discharge of our duties. The rich cheerfully employing their wealth for the good of the poor; the poor their labour for the convenience of the rich: the strong their power to defend the weak; the wise, their abilities to instruct the ignorant, and every one, his respective talents to re-establish the golden reign of justice, mercy, and truth. Wise and blessed above all nations should we be, if we would but adopt such a conduct—a conduct honorable to human nature. and worthy of christianity, which represents men to each other as children of one parent, as members of one fa­mily, journeying together through the chequer'd scenes of this transitory world, towards a region where all the distinctions of rich and poor, high and low, are unknown, and where virtue alone shall be exalted, and vice degrad­ed forever.


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