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his friends, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. This desire among the masters to have more hands employed in working for them, induces them to pay the passages of young persons of both sexes, who, on their arrival, agree to serve them one, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned'a trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught an art their poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices, that arise usually from idleness, are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not on ly tolerated, but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the
different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole country.
CONCERNING NEW SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA.
To the Earl of Buchan. MY LORD,
Passy, March 17, 1783. I RECEIVED the letter your lordship did me įthe honour of writing to me the 18th past, and am much obliged by your kind congratulations on the return of peace , which I hope will be lasting.
With regard to the terms on which lands may be acquired in America, and the manner of beginning new settlements on them, I cannot give better information than may be found in a book lately printed at London, under some such title as--Letters from a Pennsylvanian Farmer, by Hector St. John. The only encouragement we hold out to strangers are, a gool climate, fertile soil, wholesome air and water, plenty of provisions and food, good pay for labour, kind neighbours, good laws, and a hearty welcome : the rest depends on a man's own industry and virtue. Lands are cheap, but they must be bought. All settlements are undertaken at private expense; the public contributes nothing but defence and justice. I have long observed of your people, that their sobriety, frugality, industry, and honesty, seldom fail of success in America, and of procuring them a good establishment among us.
I do not recollect the circumstance you are pleased to mention, of my having saved a citizen at St.
Andrew's by giving a turn to his disorder ; and I am curious to know what the disorder was, and what the advice I gave, that proved so salutary.* With great regard, I have the honour to be, my lord, your lordship’s most obedient and most humble servant,
A COMPARISON OF THE, CONDUCT OF THE ANCIENT
JEWS, AND OF THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS IN THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A ZEALOUS advocate for the proposed federal constitution, in a certain public assembly, said, that “ the repugnance of a great part of mankind to good government was such, that he believed, that if an angel from heaven was to bring down a constitution, formed there for our use, it would nevertheless meet with violent opposition.” He was reproved for the supposed extravagance of the sentiment, and he did not justify it. Probably it might not have immediately occurred to him, that the experiment had been tried, and that the event was recorded in the most faithful of all histories, the Holy Bible; otherwise, he might, as it seems to me, have supported his opinion by that unexceptionable authority.
The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive providence, till it became a great people: and hav.
* It was a fever in which the earl of Buchan, then Lord Cadross, lay sick at St. Andrew's; and the advice was, not to blister, according to the old practice, and the opinion of the learned Dr. Simson, brother of the celebrated geometrician at Glas.
ing rescued them from bondage by many miracles, performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen servant, in presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance, accompanied and sanctioned with promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedience or disobedience.
This constitution, though the Deity himself was to be at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers a theocracy) could not be carried into execution but by the means of his ministers; Aaron and his sons were therefore commissioned to be, with Moses, the first established ministry of the new government.
One would have thought, that the appointment of men, who had distinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their nation, and had hazarded their lives in openly opposing the will of a powerful monarch, who would have retained that nation in slavery, might have been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people; and that a constitution, framed for them by the Deity himself, might, on that account, have been secure of an universal welcome reception. Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, some discontented, restless spirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new government, and this from various motives.
Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity; and these, whenever they felt
any inconvenience or hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of situation, exclaimed against their leaders as the authors of their trouble ; and were not only for returning into Egypt, but for stoning their deliverers.* Those inclined to idolatry were displeased that their golden calf was destroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new constitution might be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable places would be engrossed by the families and friends of Moses and Aaron, and others, equally well born, excluded. In Josephus, and the Talmud, we learn some particulars, not so fully narrated in the Scripture. We are there told, that Korah was ambitious of the priesthood, and offended that it was conferred on Aaron; and this, as he said, by the authority of Moses only, without the consent of the people. He accused Moses of having, by various artifices, fraudulently obtained the government, and deprived the people of their liberties, and of conspiring with Aaron to perpetuate the tyranny in their family. Thus, though Korah's real motive was the supplanting of Aaron, he persuaded the people that the meant only the public good; and they, moved by his insinuations, began
* Numbers, chap. xiv.
† Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them--wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation?"