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The Crisis. No. IV



To the Conspirators against the Liberties of mankind at ST˙ STEPHEN' S Chapel, the House of Lords, or amongst the Bench of Bishops.

The steady and uniform perseverance in a regular plan of depotism since the commencement of this reign, makes if evident to the meanest capacity, that a design was formed (and it has with too much success been carried into execution) for subverting the Religion, Laws, and Constitution of this Kingdom and to establish upon the ruins of publick liberty, an arbitrary system of Government: in a word, the destruction of this Kingdom will soon be effected by a Prince of the House of Brunswick.


The bloody Resolution has passed the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to address our present humane, gentle Sovereign, to give directions for enforcing the cruel and unjust edicts of the last Parliament against the Americans. His Majesty, possessing principles which nothing can equal but the goodness of his heart, will no doubt give immediate orders for carrying effectually into execution the massacre in America; especially as he is to be supported in polluting the earth with blood with the lives and fortunes of his faithful butchers — the Lords and Commons. Would to God they only were to fall a sacrifice in this unnatural Civil War.

The day of trial is at hand; it is time to prove the virtue, and rouse the spirit of the people of England; the prospect is too dreadful, it is too melancholy to admit of farther delay.

The Lord Mayor of London ought immediately to call a Common-Hall for the purpose of taking the sense of his fellow-citizens at this alarming crisis, upon presenting a remonstrance to the Throne, couched in terms that might do honour to the City, as the first and most powerful in the world, and to them as men determined to be free; in terms that might strike conviction into his Majesty' s breast, and terrour into the souls of his minions. This is not a time for compliments, nor should tyrants, or the instruments of tyranny ever be complimented.

The Merchants of London, it is to be hoped, and the whole commercial interest of England, will exert themselves upon this great occasion, by sending to the Throne spirited and pointed remonstrances, worthy of Englishmen; by noble and generous subscriptions; and in every other manner, give all the relief, and all the assistance in their power, to their oppressed and injured fellow-subjects in America.

Let them heartily join the Americans, and see whether tyranny and lawless power, or reason, justice, Heaven, truth, and liberty, will prevail.

Let them, together with the gentlemen of landed property, who must greatly suffer by this unnatural Civil War, make a glorious stand against the enemies of publick freedom, and the constitutional rights of the Colonies for, with the ruin of America, must be involved that of England.

Let them, in plain terms, declare their own strength, and the power of the people a power that has hitherto withstood the united efforts of fraud and tyranny; a power which raises them to a Throne; and when worthy of their delegated trust, can pull them down.

Let them declare to the world they will never be so base and cowardly as quietly to see any part of their fellow-subjects butchered or enslaved, either in England or America, to answer the purpose of exalted villany; and by that means become the detested instruments of their own destruction.

Let them declare to the world they are not yet ripe for slavery; that their forefathers made a noble resistance, and obtained a decisive victory over tyranny and lawless power, when the Stuarts reigned; that they are determined to do themselves justice, and not to suffer any farther attacks upon their freedom, from the present Sovereign, who is exceedingly desirous, as well as ambitious, to destroy the liberties of mankind, but that they do insist upon a restoration, of their, own violated rights, and the rights of British America. Let them enter into an Association for the preservation of their lives, rights, liberties, and privileges, and resolve at once to bring the whole legion of publick traitors, who have wickedly entered into a conspiracy to destroy the dear-bought rights of the free Nation, to condign punishment, for their past and present diabolical proceedings, which have already stained the land with blood, and threaten destruction to the human race.

A few spirited resolutions from the City of London and the whole body of Merchants of England, would strike terrour into the souls of those miscreants — the authors of these dreadful publick mischiefs.

The grand principle of self-preservation, which is the first and fundamental law of nature, calls aloud for such exertions of publick spirit; the security of the Nation depends upon it; justice, and the preservation of our own, and the lives of our fellow-subjects in America, demand it;


the very being of the Constitution makes it necessary; and whatever is necessary to the publick safety must be just.

The present conspirators against the happiness of mankind ought to know that no subterfuges, no knavish subtilties, no evasions, no combinations, nor pretended commissions, shall be able to screen or protect them from publick justice. They ought to know that the PEOPLE can follow them through all their labyrinths and doubling meanders; a power confined by no limitations but of publick justice and the publick good; a power that does not always follow precedents, but makes them; a power which has this for its principle, that extraordinary and unprecedented villanies ought to have extraordinary and unprecedented punishments.

To the Officers, Soldiers, and Seamen, who may be employed to butcher their Relations, Friends, and Fellow-Subjects in AMERICA.

You can neither be ignorant of, nor unacquainted with, the arbitrary steps that the present King, supported by an abandoned Ministry, a venal set of prostituted Lords and Commons, is now pursuing to overturn the sacred Constitution of the British Empire, which he had sworn to preserve.

You are not, or will not long be ignorant, that the King, the Lords and Commons, have (to satiate their revenge against a few individuals) declared the whole people of America to be in a state of rebellion, only because they have avowed their resolution to support their Charters, Rights, and Liberties against the secret machinations of designing men; who would destroy them, and you are fixed upon as the instruments of their destruction. However, I entertain too good an opinion of you, to believe there is one true Englishman who will undertake the bloody work. Men without fortunes, principles, or connexions, may indeed handle their arms in any desperate cause, to oblige a tyrant or monster in human shape; but men of family or fortune, or of honest principles, I hope could never be prevailed upon to sheath their swords in the bowels of their countrymen. Englishmen surely cannot be found to execute so diabolical a deed, to imbrue their hands in innocent blood, and fight against their friends and Country; actions which must brand them with perpetual marks of reproach and infamy.

O my countrymen, let neither private interest nor friendship, neither relations nor connexions, prevail with or induce you to obey (as you must answer at the last day before the awful Judge of the world for the blood that will be wantonly and cruelly spilt) the murderous orders of an inhuman tyrant; who, to gratify his lust of power, would lay waste the world. No, rather enter into a solemn league, and join with the rest of your countrymen, to oppose the present measures of Government, planned for our ruin.

When your Country calls, then stand forth and defend the cause of liberty, despise the degeneracy of the age, the venality of the times, and hand freedom down to posterity, that your children may smile and bless, not curse your war-like resolution. To die gloriously fighting for the Laws and Liberties of your Country, is honourable, and would deserve a crown of martyrdom; to die fighting against it is infamy, and you would forever deserve the heaviest curses and execrations.

I hope neither you nor the Irish have forgot the shameful insults you have received from the King ever since the conclusion of the last war; you have been despised, neglected, and treated with contempt, while a parcel of beggarly Scotchmen only have been put into places of profit and trust, in the East and West-Indies, in England and America, and the preference has, of honour and promotions, been constantly given to those people; nay! even to rebels, and some who have served in the French service. Be assured if you can be prevailed upon to butcher or enslave your fellow-subjects, and to set up an arbitrary power on the ruins of publick liberty, that your substance would soon be reduced to the miserable pittance of Foreign Troops; and you, with the surviving subjects of England and America, be reduced to the miserable condition of being ruled by an army of Scotch Janizaries, assisted by Roman Catholicks.

Let every English and Irish Officer, Soldier, and


Seaman, seriously weigh these things, and then, if they are valiant, courageous, magnanimous, and free, like their forefathers; if they are true to their King and their Country; if they value their religion, laws, lives, liberties, families, and posterity, no consideration can prevail with them to engage against the Americans in an inhuman, bloody civil war.

Let every man, then, who is really and truly a Protestant, who wishes well to his Country and the rights of mankind, lay aside his prejudices and consider the cause of America, and her success in this struggle for freedom, as a thing of the last consequence to England, upon which our salvation depends; for the present plan of Royal despotism is a plan of general ruin. I say, let us all speedily unite, and endeavour to defend them from their open, and ourselves from our own secret and domestick enemies; and if any are lukewarm in this great publick cause, and at this time of imminent danger, let them be made an example of treachery and cowardice, that the present generation may detest and abhor them, and posterity exclaim against and curse them, as unnatural monsters, who would destroy the human race.