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nical Monarch, and an oppressive parliament than you But supposing our mild King were a tyrant, and h parliament consisted of three hundred and ninety-nin little tyrants, would it not be better, upon the whol to be ruled by four hundred tyrants, than to be at th mercy of four hundred thousand? If you calmly weig a this question, I am persuaded, Sir, that your prejudice will subside. In the mean time, remember that if yo are right as a patriot, you are wrong not only as a Ma and a Christian, but also as a Controvertist; and tha whether the Constitution is defective or not, and whethe you can mend it or not, you have granted that unequa representation is constitutional, and of consequence tha the taxation of myriads of Britons in England, and son of Britons in America, who send no representatives t parliament, is perfectly agreeable to the Constitution.
You strengthen your cause by quoting a French and an English Judge. As Mr. Wesley has taken particular notice of these quotations in the last edition of hi Address, I shall only transcribe his answers. You write "All the inhabitants," &c., says Montesquieu, speak. ing of the English Constitution, "ought to have a right. of voting at the election of a representative, except such as are so mean as to be deemed to have no will of their own."-Nay, (answers Mr. W.,) "If all have a right to vote that have a will of their own, certainly this right belongs to every man, woman, and child, in England. A man has a will of his own, whether he be twenty or thirty years old, and whether he have forty pence or forty shillings a year."
One quotation more. Judge Blackstone says, "In a Free State, every man, who is supposed to be a Free Agent, ought in some measure to be his own governor : Therefore one branch at least of the legislative power should reside in the whole body of the people."-Mr. Wesley answers: "But who are the whole body of the people? According to him, every free agent. Then the argument proves too much; for are not women free-agents? Yea, and poor as well as rich men? According to this argument, there is no free state under
the sun."-From these just answers it is evident, that your scheme drives at putting the legislative power in every body's hands, that is, at crowning king Mob.
To conclude :-Upon the force of the preceding arguments I ask, First, Is not the demand of proportionable moderate taxes, which the Sovereign of Great Britain has upon our wealthy fellow-subjects settled in the British dominions on the Continent, both rational, scriptural, and constitutional?—Rational, as being founded upon a reasonable, self-evident right, flowing from the nature and fitness of things, and acknowledged by every civilized nation under heaven ?-Scriptural, as being supported by the explicit commands of St. Paul, and Christ himself?-And Constitutional, since the Constitution enjoins, that millions of Britons at home, who have no voice at elections, or are represented by men whom they voted against; and that myriads of Britons abroad, whether they are free-holders or not, (and some of them are not only free-holders, but members of parliament also,) shall be all taxed without their consent? I flatter myself, Sir, that this appeal to your Conscience, your Bible, and your legal Patriotism, will soften your prejudices, and prepare your mind for my next letter. In the mean time I earnestly recommend to your thankful admiration, the excellence of the British government, which equally guards our properties, liberties, and lives, against the tyranny of unjust, arbitrary, or cruel monarchs; and against the ferocity of that Cerberus,-that Hydra,—that Briareus,—that manyheaded monster, a mob of ungrateful, uneasy, restless men, who despise dominion ;- speak evil of dignities; give to illiberal behaviour, scurrilous insolence, and disloyalty unmasked, the perverted name of patriotism; -commit enormities under pretence of redressing grievances-and set up the ensign of devastation, wherever they erect their standard of lawless liberty. Hoping, Sir, that a panic fear of a virtuous King, a lawful Parliament, and a conscientious Minister, whose crime is only that of making a constitutional stand against the
ing, I say, that such an absurd fear will never hur you into groundless discontent, and unguarded public tions;-entreating you to take no step which may cou tenance King Mob, his merciless minister, Rapine, ar his riotous parliament summoned from the "most de picable hovels ;"-requesting you to exalt our Divi Lawgiver, who sums up his law of liberty in the precious statutes, Render to Cæsar the things whic are Cæsar's, and to God the things which are God's:A new commandment I give unto you, that you lov one another, as I have loved you ;'-wishing you, Si all scriptural success in the gospel, which says, 'Sub mit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord) sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or uut governors, as unto them that are sent by him for th punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of then that do well:' Ardently praying, that when the governors generals, and forces going to America, shall land there our disobedient fellow-subjects, may be found doing well that is, penitently submitting themselves to their Sove reign, that the threatened punishment may be turned into deserved praise ;-and begging you would take in good part the freedom of this well-meant expostulation. I declare that I am as much in love with liberty, as with loyalty; and that I write an heart-felt truth, when subscribe myself,
Your affectionate fellow-labourer in the gospel,
a republican by birth and education, and a subject, of Great Britain by love of liberty and free choice, JOHN FLETCHER,
November 15, 1775.
The Doctrine of Americanus is highly unconstitutional, and draws after it a long train of absurd consequences.
I HOPE I have proved in my first letter, that Mr. Wesley's doctrine of government is Rational, Scriptural, and Constitutioual; and that a right of taxing subjects, with or without their consent, is an inseparable appen. dage of supreme government. I shall now attempt to prove, that your doctrine of liberty, and taxation only with our own consent, is absurd and unconstitutional; and that, whilst you try to break the lawful yoke of civil government laid on the Colonists, you doctrinally bind the greatest part of the English with chains of the most abject slavery, and fix a ridiculous charge of robbery on the king and parliament, for taxing some millions of Britons who are no more represented in parliament, than the foreigners who sojourn in England, or the English who live abroad.
Permit me to state the question more particularly than I have done in my former letter. Mr. Wesley thinks, that the Colonists are mistaken, when they consider themselves as put on a level with slaves, because they are taxed by a parliament in which they have no representatives of their own choosing: I say, of their own choosing, because I apprehend that, as all the freeholders and voting burgesses in Great Britain virtually represent the commonalty of all the British empire,+
Mr. Fletcher added in a parenthesis here "except Ireland, which being a kingdom by itself, and no English Colony, coins its own money, and has its peculiar parliament." As Ireland is now incorporated with Great Britain in one Empire, and sends representatives to the British parliament, that clause is here omitted.
and as such Freeholders, &c., virtually represent all tl commonalty, whether it be made up of voters or no voters, of poor men or men of property, of men home, at sea, or on the Continent; so the house of con mons virtually represents all the freeholders and votin burgesses in Great Britain; whether they voted or no at the last election, or whether they voted for or again the sitting members.
With an eye to this virtual representation, which draw after it a passive submission to taxation, Mr. W. asks "Am I and two millions of Englishmen," who hav no right to vote for representatives in parliament "made slaves, because we are taxed without our own consent?" You reply: "Yes, Sir, if you are taxed without your own consent, you are a slave." You con sider such taxation as "the very quintessence of sla very;" you declare, that if the Americans submit to it, "their condition differs not from that of the most abject slaves in the universe:" and you insinuate that whoever attempts to tax them otherwise than by their direct representatives, "attempts an injury; whoever does it, commits a robbery; he throws down the distinction between liberty and slavery. Taxation and representation [you mean direct representation] are co-eval with, and essential to this constitution." But when you pub. lish such assertions, which justify the armed Colonists, and represent the majority in parliament as a gang of robbers, does not an enthusiastic warmth for lawless liberty carry you beyond the bounds of calm reflection? And are you aware of the stab which you give the Constitution; and of the insult which you offer, not only to your superiors, but also to millions of your worthy countrymen, whom you absurdly stigmatise as some of the "most abject slaves in the universe ?"
Probably not one in five of our husbandmen, sailors, soldiers, mechanics, day-labourers, and hired servants, are freeholders, or voting burgesses. And must four out of five, in these numerous classes of free-born Englishmen, wear the badge of the most abject slavery, in compliance with your chimerical notions of liberty? We