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Mr. W. says,

66

that the peculiar privileges of the House of Comn belong to every corporation in the kingdom.

To this refutation of your arguments, permit me add a remark upon your answer to Mr. W.'s most sti ing plea. You are sensible of the advantage which has over you, where he appeals to the express terms the charters granted to the Colonists. You know, t] honest men dare not go from their bargain ; and that charter is nothing but a solemn bargain committed writing, whereby the Sovereign makes such and su grants to such subjects, upon such and such term: And you know, that if the subjects accept the grant they agree to the terms on which these grants are mad

“ Remember your last charter, that ( Pennsylvania, says, in express terms, you are liable ! taxation.”—Here, Sir, you seem embarrassed ; and, o get off as well as you can, you tell us that the clause o the charter which Mr. W.appeals to, was never under stood to mean a power of internal taxation for the pur. pose of raising a revenue ; but merely the laying on of such duties, as might be necessary solely for the regula. tion of trade.” But your mistake was lately demonstrated before the House of Lords, by the testimony of Governor Penn. Lord Denbigh asked him at the bar of the house, If he was well acquainted with the charter of Pennsylvania ? He replied, " that he had read the charter, and was well acquainted with the contents." Lord Denbigh asked, 66 If he did not know there was a clause which specifically subjected the Colony to taxation by the British legislature ?" and he answered, “ He was well apprised there was such a clause.” Now, Sir, as you are so evidently mistaken in your account of the charter of Pennsylvania ; you will permit me to think, that you give us as fabulous an account of the charter of Massachusett's Bay, when you say, you are credibly informed, that the exemption from taxes for seven years, which was granted to the Colonists of that province, 66 had no reference to what we commonly mean by taxes, but to" something, which you call “ quit-rents." -An

odd criticism this, which I should imitate, if I insinuat. ed, that when the apostle charges us to pay custom, he does not mean, that we should pay what we commonly anderstand by custom ; but only that tenants should pay their rent. From this specimen, it is easy to determine who have most reason to complain of “ mutilated charters,” the patriots or the parliament.

Having so long pleaded the cause of my Sovereign and my country, I may be allowed to bestow a few paragraphs upon my friend. You say to him, “ It is fallacious to the last degree, and unworthy of a man of integrity and candour to insinuate, as you are pleased to do, that the people have ceded to the King and parlia. ment the power of disposing, without their consent, of both their lives, liberties, and properties." I shall make no remark, Rev. Sir, on the Christian courtesy of this address. We, who pass for abject slaves, expect such liberal hints from you patriots s and to tell you the truth, we think it an honour to share them with our King, and our legislature. But may not I ask a few questions, which will throw some light upon Mr. W.'s remark? When did all the freeholders, who have estates from fifty to ninety-nine pounds a year, consent to be deprived of the liberty to carry a gun, and to shoot a hare on their own land ? When did all the Quakers consent to pay tithes, for the non-payment of which their property is forcibly taken from them accord. ing to act of parliament, to the amount of several thousand pounds a year? When did all the Clergy, who lately petitioned the parliament for the repeal of the thirty-nine Articles, consent that the Act, which orders subscription to these Articles, should continue in force? When did all the freeholders in Middlesex consent to be additionally taxed, in order to enforce the taxation of the Colonists? When did all our bluster. ing gentlemen consent to be sent to the house of correction, or to pay five shillings, every time they demean themselves, by profane cursing or swearing ? When did all the Dissenters consent to the law, which obIf yo2

they will have places under the government ? And,
sum up all in one question: When did one half of t
Lords who distinguish themselves by their violent opp
sition to the measures of the government, consei
that their liberty, estate, title, and life should be forfei
ed, if they should assist their fellow-patriots, who tak
up arms against the King and parliament ?
give me a satisfactory answer to these queries, I wil
give you leave to reflect on my friend's integrity for his
assertion. But remember, Sir, that if you flee to the
back door of an implicit consent to make your escape,
Mr. Wesley, like an honest man, will meet you face to
face; and stopping you in the name of consistency, he
will demonstrate that, according to your evasive doc.
trine, you yourself have taxed the Colonists, “ commit.
ted robbery,” and “ stabbed our vitals."

You try another method to overthrow Mr. Wesley's arguments. You object, that five years ago, he did not defend the measures taken with regard to America ; because he 6 doubted” whether they were at all defensible; and you have been informed, that he has since represented the Americans as “ an oppressed, injured people;” and has warmly expressed his fears, with respect to the danger of our liberties. But who could blame Mr. Wesley then ; and who can blame him now? Is vot a good man bound by his conscience to judge without partiality, according to the best information he has ? When Mr. W. heard the clamours of the pa. triots, so called, who inveighed against the Sovereign, for breach of charter; he really thought that they had truth, and the charters of the Colonists, on their side ; and therefore he considered the claims of the govern

the Colonists, as subversive of charter, and consequently as faithless, injurious, and oppressive. Nor is it surprising that, upon such wrong informa. tion, he should have thought our liberties in danger ; for if the Sovereign had really violated the charters of the Colonies, he might next have attempted to violate the great charter of England. But when Mr. W. was better informed ; when he found that the charters

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of the Colonies were as much for the Sovereign as the patriots had insinuated they were against him, Mr. W. would not have acted as a conscientious man, if he had not altered his mind, according to this important and decisive information.

But supposing I mistake the reason, which has determined Mr. W. to defend the claims of Great Britain ; and supposing you have been rightly informed concerning the change of his political sentiments ; what can you infer from thence, but that he once leaned too much towards your over-doing patriotism? He once “ doubted” the equity of the Sovereign's claims. His strong patriotism gave an hasty preponderance to his doubts ; but, his candour having proceeded to a close exam ination of the question, light has sprung up; conviction has followed ; and he has laid before the public the result of his second thoughts, and the arguments which have scattered his doubts. For my part, far from think. ing the worse of a rational conviction, because it follows 3 doubt, and has met with some opposition in a good man's mind, I am inclined to pay it a greater regard. And, if my friend's warm patriotism has been forced to yield to the strength of the arguments contained in his Calm Address, I am thereby encouraged to hope, that your warm patriotism, Sir, will not be less candid than his; and that you will yield to the arguments contained in this calm Vindication. Should this be the case, the public will see in you both, that Reason and Conscience can, at last, perfectly balance Patriotism and Loyalty in the breast of a good man.

With respect to me, Sir, I had not deeply entered into the merits of the cause either way, before I saw Mr. W.'s Address, and your answer to it.

I contented myself to wish and pray for peace in general, without enquiring who was right and who wrong. But after an attentive perusal of your publications, I was fully convinced, that Mr. W.'s doctrine of government and taxation is Rational, Scriptural, and Constitutional ; and that your's, Sir, draws after it a chain of the most absurd and is subversive of all the scripture-precepts, whic I have quoted in my first letter: And therefore, m reverence for God's word, my duty to the King, anı regard for my friend, my love to injured truth, and th consciousness of the sweet liberty which I enjoy unde the government, call for this little tribute of my pen And I pay it so much the more cheerfully, as few mer in the kingdom have had a better opportunity of trying which is the most eligible,-a republican governmentor the mild tempered monarchy of England. I lived more than twenty years the subject of two of the mild. est Republics in Europe: I have been for above that number of years the subject of your Sovereign :

And, from sweet experience, I can set my seal to this clause of the King's speech, at the opening of this session of parliament, “ To be a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the happiest subject of any civil government in the world.” That you, Sir, and all my dissatisfied fellow-subjects, may be as sensible of this truth as myself; and that we may all be daily more thankful to God, to the King, and to the parliament, for the religious and civil liberty which we enjoy, is the cordial wish of, Reverend Sir, Yorir affectionate fellow-labourer in the gospel,

J. FLETCHER.

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