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gold of which he pretended to have “ made a molten calf. Besides pecula« tion, they charged Moses with ambition; “ to gratify which passion, he had, they " said, deceived the people, by promis

ing to bring them to a land flowing “ with milk and honey ; instead of doing

which, he had brought them from such “ a land; and that he thought light of all “ this mischief, provided he could make “ himself an absolute prince *. That, to

support the new dignity with splendour “ in his family, the partial poll tax alrea

dy levied and given to Aaron † was to “ be followed by a general one , which es would probably be auginented from

* Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 13. 6 Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land “Aowing with milk and honey, to kill us in this “ wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a

prince over us?"
+ Numbers, chap. iii.
* Exodus, chap. xxx.

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" tiine to time, if he were suffered to

on promulgating new laws, on pretence 56 of new occasional revelations of the dis ts vine will, till their whole fortunes were “ devoured by that aristocracy."

Mofes denied the charge of peculation; and his accusers were destitute of proofs to support it; though facts, if real, are in their nature capable of proof. “I “ have not,” said he (with holy confidence in the presence of God), “ I have not 6 taken from this people the value of an “ ass, nor done them any other injury." But his enemies had made the charge, and with some success among the

populace; for no kind of accufation is so readily made, or easily believed, by knaves, as the accufation of knavery.

In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of the principal men “ famous in “ the congregation, men of renown *,"

* Numbers, chap. xvi.

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heading and exciting the mob, worked them up to such a pitch of phrensy, that they called out, stone 'em, stone 'em, and thereby secure our liberties; and let us choose other captains that may lead us back into Egypt, in case we do not succeed in reducing the Canaanites.

On the whole, it appears that the Ifraelites, were a people jealous of their newly acquired

acquired liberty, which jealousy was in itself no fault ; but- that, when they suffered it to be worked upon by artful men, pretending public good, with nothing really in view but private interest, they were led to oppose the eftablishment of the new constitution, whereby they brought upon themselves much inconvenience and misfortune. It farther appears from the same inestimable history, that when, after many ages, the constitution had become old and much abused, and an amendment of jt was proposed, the populace as they had VOL. I.

P. accused

accused Moses of the ambition of making himfelf a prince, and cried out, stone him, stone him; so, excited by their high-priests and scribes, they exclaimed against the Messiah, that he aimed at becoming king of the Jews, and cried, crucify him, crucify him. From all which we may gather, that popular opposition to a public measure is no proof of its impropriety, even though the opposition be excited and headed by men of distinction.

To conclude, I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our general convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new federal constitution, merely because that constitution has been unreasonably and vehemently opposed : yet, I must own, I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the pofterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided; and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and have their being.

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