'.' " : ." .'.'--r.-iV
v- ? A E: :T;' T
September t9 1783
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t i , j" . . ' "M: .-NO 4
4 feries ef letters on the efalhjher.t of the vorfiip fifths
- Of'J as ejential to national haffuicfsBy an Ame
Plufaue hunt mores,
Qudm honae leger, valcrJi
, " Religion I
Without then, what trere unenlighten'd man !
A lavage reaming througthe woods and wilds,
1 qaclt of prey j and-wdi thunfafcion'd fur
&Ough clad : dc7oid of cv'ry liner art,
And elegance of life. Nor happinefs
Domeftic, mixt of tendeniefs and care,
Nor moral excellence, ucr focial blifs,
Nor guardian law, were his.
Nothing, favc rapine, indolence, and guile,
And woes on woes, a (till revolving train,
Whofe hon id circb had made human life -Than
ncn-exiftence worfe ; but, taught by thee,
Ours are the plans of policy and peace,
To live like brothers, and, ccniunclive all,
YOU are pleafed to zftz rny opinion on the fenttment
expreffed in Dr. Price's obfervations, refpecling
the article' of religious liberty ; and whether there
may not bz aiv cftabiiihment of religion confidently
Yrith the civil and religious rights of all denominati
ons : and on the expediency of fach an. eftahlifhment
iathsfe ftatesi . '
I fubmit trie fuhfequent thoughts to your candour.
Doctor Price, by his generous and diiinterefted la
lours in the caufe of human nature, merits the applajifc
,cf all the friends of civil and religious liberty in the
wrd, and efpecially cf every American. I efteem it
a fpecial favour, that he and other foreigners, of en
larged minds, have given us their enlightened thoughts
on the momentous iubjel cf government, and the permanent-foundation
cf fuch a fyftem of regulation, as
ftiaU tend to make wife and happy prefer and future
American generations. May we profit by their la
bours ! -
We need .the aQiilance of the wife and good, as well
thefmiles of an omnipotent providence, to lay firm
and lafting the bafis of the mcll glorious empire on
(hich the fun ever ihone.
Happy land cf univerfal liberty ! Thrice happy
thy future foas, if wifdom direct and eftabiifh the coun
cils of their fathers ! While the fubjeels cf European
monarchies pine in ignominious vaflalage, and look up,
from an humble diiiance, to their haughty lords and
opprciu;rs, the free-born American fmile?, with con
fci&us digjiity and independence, m polTeflion cf the
5 nYjits and privileges of man, and is eligible to the of
fice of honor and influence, in the road of merit, de
fending not -on the capricious whim of a. defpotic
-prince, or his favourite, but on the uncorrupted voice
cf his fellow-citizens.
May Americans, by their wifdem and -virtue, for
ever merit thofe high encomiums which the enlighten
ed .mong foreign nations have be (lowed up on them.
, Europe ha lor ages, groaned under civil and ecclefi
aflLal pprefllon, and (till feels the fmart of tyranny
in church and ftate. The nations have in time pall re
voked from cppreTicn, androufed to feize the prize
cf freedom, but have generally fallen on two evils,
anarchy in the firfl inltance, and the power of feme
afpiring defpot, as the confcqyer.ee, who lias mere firm
Ty riveted their chains. Imidit in Scjjllam9 duvi vut
'iiare Cl. aribJim. Happily we have fliot the culf, w!th-
- cut feeling the reck of tyranny, or the- whirpool of
snatchy; and cur "rar-wcrn bar!: has reached the fair
haven cf peace. The heat and burden is paft, but
1 p the work" of tlie day. is yet to be finilhed. We have
t ivut wife rtuiauiacs 1UU1 U YlULIlt V iJatil put IHLt)
It hands, and to tnnitlicm to the public good.
Scch is the ftate of human nature, that tlie fanclions
f religion are ncceffary to give energy to law. Man-
.iT,d arc held back from wrong, by tlie commanding
h of a power infinitely fupcricr to the power cf their
yjrcating ; and are excited to the practice cf tlie .
Dr. Price paiTes oyer fn ilen ce, a point I conceive
eTential to the futurelprcfpeHtycf theie ftates f tliat is,
tlie iupport ot the public worlhip ct the Deity ; I rr
, 5". wuiuiuuiiicut L'i iuiyvuz jecc or oenommation,
accompanied either vyitH an exclufion or toleration of
others. Uniformity ii mode of fsnttment is not to be
expected altnoft' all (the difrerent feds, into which
Chriendom is divided are fcattered throughout this
cent Inent. No one fate is uniform, either in . creeds
or modes of worflijp,: and therefore no one denomina
tion can be eflabliihedori 'the principles of equal li
berty. " ' ! -v- .; . '
The magiflrate Heps oiit of the line cf his duty, the
rnomcnt he eftablifhes liis opinion as the ilandard of
crthodoxy.;. became, hi j:$Iigicus notions, "every man
is his own judge, and liis ipecuiative opinions fall not
under tle co-niance of human law. In this refpecV
tlie confiiinjcions of die American ftates have fiiewn a
nojble freedem from the Hackles of human ; inventions
in religious matters, unparalleled bv otlisr nations:
but if, to fhun the dangers which religious eftablifli
ments have brought upon mankind, wecaftclF all re
ligious worlhip, cr leave it to the. option of individuals
at Jarge, whether public worlhip, or religious, inilrucli
cn lhall be fuppcrtedat all, I conceive it is making
fuch an offering at the fhrine of liberty, as is incon-
hftcnt with national exifteate, or at lealt with public
crder and hnppinefs
All nations, heathen as well as chrifHan, have ever
maint lined thewcrihip of the Deity. The Grecians
and Romans had their, public facred days, devcted to
the worlhip of their deities and to the inflruSions of
morality. They had. their priefts, harufpices, and
prophets, who taught the knowledge of the Deity,
enforced the practice cf virtue, and pointed out the
dangers of vice, by ecrideratiens drawn from a future
'ft ate -of retribir.i.m. Their fables cf Tartarus and
Elyuum, and the lenience palled by their, judges on de
parted fpirits, according to their good or evil conduct
in tins world, were mighty incentives to a virtuous
lifei and ncceiTary aids to civil government.
X-ycurgus.and Solcn, Tvomulus and Jerebcam, thofe
ifoujidcrsof nations, faw the ncceffity of ..calling in
,th?!nid of rehfion to tw. ;ft;.',!ily and durrioTi to
their newly-erecTcd empires ; and without it, their po
liiical pirns would have proved abortive. Human
nature is ftill much tlie fame ; and the aids of religion
nvc as neceflary in forming empires in modem, as in an
cient times. '
7"o he continued J
had facrificed his life for his ctmntrr be'ere SocrfttCS
1 had made tlie love of our country a duty ; Sparta Txas
, fober - before Socrates cemmanded fcbrltty : before ,
he had given a definition of virtue, Greece aboun Jed ,
fin virtuous" menJ 6ut of whom did. Chrift bcn"0r
- tbat fublime and pure mcrality, which he,' and he
only, tatight both by word and example ? v From
I the centre f of tlie , rnoft extravagant far.at'cifm the
( higneit wiicicm made jtfelf heard, and the vilcft oflna-'.,
. nuns injiiuureu -irn me limpnciry or tne moit ne
rcic virtues. The death of Socrates, philofophulng
cooly with his friends, is the eajieft that can be dehritf;
that cf Chrift expirin'g; in the riiidft cf toirn'entSvabuied,
fcomed, dctcfted by a whole people, is the mo ft dread- I
ful that can be apprehended.! f . Socrates, ttmg the
poifonous draught, returns thanks to the peribn, who- -with
tears in his.eyes prefents pit to him ; Clirift, in
the mcft exquifite tenure, prays for his bloody execu
tioners. VTes, if Socrates lived and died like a 'jphilo-.,
.fopher, Chrift lived and died like a God. Shall jwe .
fay that the evangelical hiftory was invented at plea
fure ? My friend, inventions are not made after tills
manner, and Socrates's hiftoj-y, of which no bcdy!en--
tertains any doubt, is? not fb trell-attefted as that cf
Chrift. Upon the whcle, it is removing the difficulty
farther back, without! folving it for it would be'rnuch
harder to' conceive, that a number cf men mould hive -joined
together tn fabricate this book, than a- finsle .
perfon fhould frunifh put the fubject to its authorsf?
Jewifh writers would never have fallen into that (Ivta
or that fyftem of morjab'ty ; and the gefpe! hath fuih 'j
ftrong and fuch inimitable marks of truth, that the x
ventor would be more furprifmg than the hero
; NOTE, ; .
KartheTT, chap. ver. 21, 8tc. r.
jJJJ, ind Social virtues, by thp animating hope ajnd at- drew lectures from theirj
V:e cf f'jf.rc T;j-r?bailca zzd reward. 1 - - juft,efore Socrates told
The Confeficn cf the Freethinker Johm James Rousseau,
Citizen of Geneva. Y
I ACKNOWLEDGE to you, that the majeftyiof
ithf fcriptures aftonifhes.me, and the fcahclity :of
the ;goipel fils me with rapture. Look into the writ
ing;? of the philofophers, with all their pemp and,pa
radi ; how trivial they appear, when compared to
thisjfacred volume.. Is itpofiible, that a book fo fifn
ple, and yet fb Alblime, fhould be the work of man ?
Is it pofable, that he, whofe hiftory it contains, fhould
himfelf be a mere man ? Is the Ilyle that of an entliu-
fiaft, or of a feclary inflated with ambition ? What
fvreetnefs, what purity in his morals 1 what force,
wh4t perfuaflcn in his inftruclicns i his' maxims how
't fublime ! his dilbourfes how wife and profound ! fuch
presence of mind, fuch beauty and precificn in his
Anfwers ! fuch empire over his pafhons ! Where is
thernan, or the philofopher, that knows how to aclto
fuller, and to die without weaknefs or orientation ?
'Plato, in his piure of the imaginary juft man, cover- '
ed Vvith all tlie opprobrioufhefs cf guilt, and-worthy
of every reward of virtue, gives us an exact reprefen
tation of Chrift.; fo hiking is the refemblance, that
all the fathers faw it, and indeed there is no poffibiiity
of rjiiftaking it. What prejudice, what blindnefs, to
compare the offspring of .Sophrcnifca to the fon of
Mary I -How immenie the ditFerence between thofe
two II Socrates dyinz without pain, and without irno-
j miny, found it eafy to fuppcf t his character to the very
laft j and ,f his life had ;not been honoured by 'fo'
' gentle a deitth, we might have doubted whether So
crates, with all his underftanding was any tiling mere
than a fbphift. You will fay, he invented a fyftem of
mcraL philofophy. O thers had pradifed it before hi s
timej ;-he only related what they had performed, and
example Airiihdes had-, been
us. what juft ice was -9 JL
irks on the amendments to the federal confiitttf&zpra
redbythe CQtiveniiony Ltjfacbzt
Ae-jj-Tork, vtrgimai South-CaroUnat and North-Go
1 r$ina,ivith the minorities of Pennsylvania and Maryland
By the Rev. Nicholas Collin, D. D. fc? M. A jP $ ,
Continued from durlaf.J
IW treating a momentous and difficult fuhjecl, inf
reafoningmay femetimes jar with the principles of
; many enlightened perfons ; but my pen fliall be guided
by a finceie zeal for the liberty and happinefs of th
union, and by a Tacrcd regard to what I believe to bp
the truth, without even the leaft tinihire Of well-ineanb
diflimulation. This isjodious to a candid mind,. anci
juftinable only by extreme neceffity. Happily the fe-.
deral caufe does not want fuch a paltry reloUrce : the
better we underftand oiir true fittiaticn, the more unaf.
nimous, pleafirig, and ffectual will . be the purfuit of
our common intcreft. With a peculiar fatisfafticn Is
can alfo execute my defin, "without reflecling cn mcri ;
cr parties. I dilcufs with modeft freedom the actions
of public bodies, without "any critic ifm of tlieir . mof .
tives, or diftincliori of ;he individuals who compofe
: them : only obfervin t hat the minority of Mary land -
was but eleven j that the amendments were more -oH
lefs approved of nt the feveral ftates ; and that thofe;
propofed by MafTachufe:its and Soith-Cirolina are but
; lew ; from which we may conclude, that there is muchil
more apparent than redl diiTentacn about the conflitu i
tion. ' . i. ' 1 ', -,. !; '
Our attention is naturally Sril attracted Jby th;s exJ.
tenfive amendment " That it; be explicitly declared,.,
that all powers net: exprefsly delegated by tlie confti
: tution, are refcryed to the feveral ftates, to be by them j
1 exerciied'-arificatibrt by Mafiachuietts, firft am;
5 Ditto, by' NeV-Hamp0itre,: North-Carolina, Virginia ; 1
, minority-of rMaryland, and eleventh m iiat of the mi 4
nority cf Pennfylvania- all in wcrds nearly the famei
The convention of New-York probably fuppofsd that "
fo many other pointed amendments made this needlefsj r
The minority of Pennfylvania enforce it by this additi4
on, ' thrat the fovcrcigntv and independency of the' fe-
veral ftpshall be;retimed,,, Virgihia and; NorthJ '
Car6jinaftfengtKen it bf this fartlier airieRdnient(fc4
yenieenth and eighteenth itefpeclivdy j ' That thofd
claufes which decb.re that Ccngreii (hall net czercifd I "
S r . , ' . ... 'J-!.. . : - ' -: -'