Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

hope, and I trust they will not hope in vain, to find the Americans friendly to them, while they

the lips, or the pen, of even a sectarian priest. No; on the contrary, those who wished well to the independence of America, have received but too much countenance; had it been otherwise, we should not, at this day, have to encounter the difficulties that surround us, and to strive against the poison that is rankling in the heart of the nation. Had it not been for the Coalition, into which Lord North suffered himself to be inveigled, we should, long before this time, have spoken of the abettors of the American rebellion, in language becoming the loyal people of an injured Sovereign. That many of them were deceived, is most true: these would have confessed their errors, and would have been pardoned by the nation; but, the traitors would have been consigned to everlasting infamy. It was that fatal coalition that drew a veil over every thing; that it was which gave to rebellion the name of revolution, and to rebels the name of patriots. From that hour, as far as related to the Ame rican war, treason became a virtue, and loyalty a reproach.

The Americans knew all this as well as the Doctor, and, therefore, they were not to be deceived by his cant. They perceived, that he made a merit of his treason, that he had come to the country with the hopes of being rewarded for it, and, though they like the treason well enough, they have given him most convincing proofs, that they despise the traitor, That he feels this, he made appear in his eleventh Letter to the inhabitants of Northumberland, published in the summer of 1799. The following is the plaintive passage:-" But to find "in America the same maxims of government, and the same pro



ceedings, from which many of us fled in Europe, and to be reproached as disturbers of government THERE, and chiefly be<< cause we did what the court of England will never forgive "in favour of liberty here, is, we own, a great disappointment to us,


especially as we cannot now return. Had Doctor Price himself, "the great friend of American liberty in England, or Doctor "Wren, with both of whom I zealously acted in behalf of 66 your prisoners, who must otherwise have starved, and in "" every other way in which we could SAFELY serve your cause; "I say, had either of these zealous, and active, and certainly "disinterested, friends of America, been now living, they would "not bave been more welcome here than myself; and they would "have held up their hands with astonishment to see many of the "old Tories, the avowed enemies of your revolution, in greater "favour than themselves."

Oh! the glorious triumph of justice! No, Doctor, it is not the British Court, nor the British nation, that has brought on D d 3


come breathing the same generous spirit, and rejoice whenever they shall be enabled to do it, to add to the wealth and respectability of the country to which they have long been looking with the most earnest expectation.

Receive with equal humanity the persecuted of every description. Let your object be simply distress, and not political principles of any kind; and indulge no fear, jealousy, or suspicion, with respect to yourselves. The emigrants will, no doubt, form their opinion with respect to your government, and the administration of it; and finding themselves in a free country, they may express that opinion; and this opinion, being, perhaps, hastily adopted, may be very erroneous and unjust; but it is impossible it should do you any real injury. If the emigrants be men of information, and discernment, you may even receive benefit from the lights they may give you. Where there is perfect liberty of speaking and writing, no principles can be dangerous. In these circumstances, truth has a decided advantage, and will certainly prevail in the end.

But some distressed emigrants, you will say, are men who have fled from their creditors, perhaps from the justice of their country: Are these entitled to our assistance? I answer, that these cases cannot now be many, and it is not possible for us, at this distance, to distinguish them. Besides, the most vicious in one country, and especially a dis

you your punishment; it is the unseen, the slow, but certain, hand of a just and over-ruling providence, which has torn you from your home and your friends, and exposed you to the reproach and derision of those very persons, from whom you expected a recompense for your malicious contrivances against your king and your country.


tant one, being separated from their former connexions, and entering into new ones, of a better cast, may become reformed and useful citizens. Our natures being the same, the greater advantage to which the best of us appear is owing chiefly to our education and connexions, for which we are indebted to a kind providence. Let us, then, shew our gratitude to that providence which has favoured us, by our good will and liberality to those who, in this respect, as well as others, have been less favoured. Seasonable kindness may awaken the dormant seeds of virtue, especially in a country like this, in which there are few temptations to vice. How many respectable, as well as opulent families in America, have arisen from the most indigent, and the most profligate in Europe. And this is so far from being the subject of reproach, that it is a just ground of praise.

To give you some idea of the benefit that has already accrued from this society, I can inform you, from the reports of the acting committee, that since its formation it has been enabled to give such information to sixty-seven emigrants, on their arrival, as to obtain for them almost immediate employment. It has afforded pecuniary assistance to one hundred and twenty persons in actual distress, and to many of them advanced money to purchase working tools, &c. that they might follow their respective occupations. From the reports of the physician, it appears that the society has granted both pecuniary and medical assistance to between sixty and

[ocr errors]

* If the liberal Doctor had thrown out this hint in Virginia, instead of Pennsylvania, he would have required a couch and a litter to carry him home; for he most assuredly would not have had a whole bone left in his skin. It was exceedingly impudent; but the Doctor's loquacity stops at nothing.

D d 4



seventy sick and needy emigrants,† many of whom laboured under infectious diseases, and who would most probably have been lost but for the timely and unremitting attention that was given to them. And no distinction has ever been made to any emigrant's country, his religion, or his political principles.

Here then, my brethren, an opportunity offers itself, which the truly benevolent and pious would think themselves happy to find, though it should cost them some pains to seek; an opportunity of disposing of some part of their superfluity in a manner highly honourable to themselves, and useful to others, and of course what will give them the most satisfaction to reflect upon hereafter. It is acting the part of good brothers in that great family of which God is the parent and head, a part that cannot but be pleasing to him, to whom we all, whether we be rich or poor, natives of any particular country, or foreigners, stand in the same relation. Is not every parent, who is deserving of the name, pleased to see his children act the part of true brothers to each other, that is, a friendly and benevolent part, from real affection and feeling for each other, and at the same time from a sense

One hundred and twenty in actual distress, pecuniary and medical aid to between sixty and seventy sick, all in one city, and in the space of about fourteen months! Emigrating must be a thriving rade. These people too were all strong and healthy when they left Europe!-For sixty-seven emigrants, this society found almost immediate employment. Bless us! what a fine thing it is to go to America ! Almost immediate work ! And a society formed and charity sermons prated, for this important purpose too! I'll go back. It is positively the finest country in the world: it is "the land flowing with milk and honey." -Now I think of it, this Emigration Society used to advertise the emigrants in my newspaper, and, by the same token, I remember that they are still in my debt. The treasurer, whose name was ZANE, broke, and ran off with the strong box!A pretty crew!


of duty to their common parent. And we are all the offspring of God.

In having such an opportunity as now presents itself to us, we ought to think ourselves greatly honoured. To give and to befriend is godlike. For God is the universal benefactor with respect to all his creatures. And though, when in want, we ought not to refuse favours, but be thankful for them; since otherwise none could be bestowed; 1; yet, of the two, it is, as our Saviour said, more blessed to give than to receive. Rejoice, then, my brethren, in having it in your power to chuse the better, the more honourable, and the more godlike part. And remember, that though the widow's mite will be accepted, and is a just subject of praise when it comes from a widow, or any other poor person, who can barely spare it, he who, as the apostle says, soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully, while he who soweth sparingly, shall reap but sparingly.


The blessedness of giving is not confined to the present world, but chiefly respects that which is to Our Saviour, in his first sermon, pronounced a blessing on the merciful, saying, that they should obtain mercy; and in his account of the proceedings of the last day, the only inquiry that is said to be made into any person's conduct, is whether he has fed the hungry, clothed the naked, or administered to any other of the wants of his fellow creatures. The apostle James also defines pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father, to be the visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, as well as keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. Certainly, therefore, a most essential part of true religion must consist in doing kind offices to a who stand in need of them, and especially to the most destitute and the most deserving, and such, I think, I have shewn the distressed


« PreviousContinue »