Imatges de pÓgina



portant subject; not being sensible of any
biass to mislead me in my inquiries, and con-
fcious of the uprightness of my intentions, I
freely submit my thoughts to the examination
of all impartial judges, and the friends of their

and of mankind. They, who know
the fervour of generous feelings, will be sen-
sible, that I have expressed myself with no
more warmth, than the importance of the
subject necessarily prompted, in a breast not
naturally the coldest; and that to have ap-
peared more indifferent, I could not have
been sincere."

I am sensible, that I have undertaken a very perilous task; periculofæ plenum opus aleæ. From the open and boasted wishes, and the actual attempts of many individuals to alter or subvert the present form of our government, I have found it incumbent upon me to examine and regulate my subordinate civil duties upon some fixt principles of immutable policy. I entered upon the task with much earnestness, and perfectly unbiassed by any party; in my progress I have seen and trembled at many rocks, against which whole parties have appeared to me blindly and voluntarily to have run; by varying my course, I flatter myself I have avoided them; and if my discoveries be just, I know of no


Neceflity of forming our principles of policy.

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consideration, that can dispense with my sub-
mitting to my countrymen a new chart of
that coast, upon which so many of them have
unfortunately perished,

Whatever divisions of parties have existed
in our country for these three last centuries,
whether between the retainers and reformers
of the oļd religion, between the church and
the presbytery, the round heads and the
royalists, the whigs and the tories, the non-
jurors and the revolutionists, the original
efficient causes of the several divisions into
party have ceased or nearly disappeared in
the variety and change of circumstances,
which the kingdom has since experienced.
Such (if any) of these parties as still fubfift, Little remains
seem rather to have received a mere nominal of different par-
existence by hereditary descent, than to retain
any of their constituent parts or fundamen-
tal properties. The nation, in fact, at pre- Present parties
sent appears to me to be divided into two non-contents
parties only, which have absorbed all the
other; the contents with the present establish-
ment, and the non-contents. The former far
exceed the latter in numbers; and from the
nature of the division, the majority must be
actuated by a more uniform principle, than
the minority. For the approbation of the
particular constitucion and government, which



the nation has received from their ancestors, retains the majority in one body; whereas, the dinike of the whole, or part of the same constitution and government; the preference

of any other, than the established religion and Principles and government; the aversion from any church motives of the pakontoris.

or state establishment whatever; the wishes and expectancies of the indigent and diftressed to profit by a system of equalization ; the allurements of a scramble to lust, avarice, and ambition; the personal envy, jealousy, hatred, insult, injury, disappointment, or losses of individuals, are amongst the multifarious motives, reasons, and inducements, which bring together a set of discordant individuals, who, from the moment, and by the terms of their engagement, sacrifice their several heterogeneous principles to the common erected standard of discontent; for in the political, as well as in the physical system, the moft opposite ingredients may, like vinegar and oil, be so incorporated as to bear the appearance of a perfect coalition. When, therefore, I shall in future consider or speak of this opposite party, which I fall in general call the minority, I shall drop every idea of the nature of their original component parts, and distinguish them only from their opponents by that common quality, which consti




tutes them a party of malcontents, in oppo-
sition to the majority of the community, who
are happy, under, and therefore wish and
intend to preserve the present form of their
constitution and government..

Whoever views with perfect impartiality
the present internal political state of this
country, will, I am confident, readily admit,
that it would be a fruitless attempt to single
out one individual from the whole minority,
who sides with that party, merely from the
motives, which distinguished one of the old
parties of this country from the other, at the
time of their original formation.

I may, perhaps, be fingular, (this publica-
tion will prove how far I am warrantable) in
attributing the formation, the continuance and
the encrease of all such parties, as have at
different times divided our country, to the
inconsiderate and hasty, though, perhaps,
well meant denial of true principles. It is no Greatest evils
less singular than true, that the churchman, inconfiderate
the royalist, and the tory, admitting and wish- principles.
ing to preserve the true constitutional form

government in being, were so blinded
in their zeal, as to deny the truth of first
principles, upon which the puritan, the inde-
pendant, and the republican, unwarrantably
engrafted the fallest doctrines. Instead of


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shewing, that these doctrines were not consequences deducible from the principles, (for every consequence is virtually contained in its premises), they denied absolutely the principles, which were true, because they disapproved of doctrines, which were false, and which, consequently, could not be fairly drawn from true principles. Thus, when the alterations and differences of the opposite parties came to be publicly agitated, they feldon went further, than the truth or falsity of the principles themselves; in which contests the strength of the argument was, necessarily with those, who contended for the principles; and whilst that party had the address to keep up the controversy upon this ground only, they were sure of making profelytes of all those, who had resolution or ability to form a judgment of their own.

The misfortunes, which have heretofore happened to our unhappy country, from the contests of these opposite parties, are of too serious a nature not to rouze every true patriot to the exertion of his utmost efforts to prevent a repetition of them. Nothing can be more certain, than that a party of no inconfiderable number of malcontents does at this moment exist in this country; nothing more evident, than that the party will gain


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