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other, by the southern, at no small expence to each, our people have, till lately, slept securely in their habitations.
There is no British colony, excepting this, but has made some kind of provision for its defence; many of them have therefore never been attempted by an enemy; and others, that were attacked, have generally defended themselves with success. The length and difficulty of our bay and river have been thought so effectual a security to us, that hitherto no means have been entered into, that might discourage an attempt upon us, or prevent its succeeding.
But whatever security this might have been while both country and city were poor, and the advantage to be expected scarce worth the hazard of an attempt, it is now doubted whether we can any longer safely depend upon it. Our wealth, of late years much encreased, is one strong temptation, our defenceless state another, to induce an enemy to attack us; while the acquaintance they have lately gained with our Bay and river, by means of the prisoners and flags of truce they have had among us; by spies which they almost every where maintain, and perhaps from traitors among ourselves; with the facility of getting pilots to conduct them; and the known absence of ships of war, during the greatest part of the year, from both Virginia and New York, ever since the war began, render the appearance of success to the enemy far more promising, and therefore highly encrease our danger. · That our enemies may have spies abroad, and some even in these colonies, will not be made much doubt of, when it is considered, that such has been the practice
of all nations in all ages, whenever they were engaged, or intended to engage, in war. Of this we have an early example in the book of Judges (too pertinent to our case, and therefore I must beg leave a little to enlarge upon it) where we are told, Chap. xviii, v. 2. That the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts to spie out the land, and search it, saying, Go, search the land. These Danites it seems were at this time not very orthodox in their religion, and their spies met with a certain idolatrous priest of their own persuasion, v. 3, and they said to him, Who brought thee hither? What makest thou in this place? And what hast thou here? [Would to God no such priests were to be found among us]. And they said unto him, v.5. Ask counsel of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous: and the priest said unto them, Go in peace; before the Lord is your way wherein you go. [Are there no priests among us, think you, that might, in the like-case, give an enemy as good encouragement? It is well known, that we have numbers of the same religion with those, who of late encouraged the French to invade our Mother Country.] And they came, verse 7, to Laish and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt CARELESS, after the manner of the Zidonians, Quiet and secure. They thought themselves secure, no doubt; and as they never had been disturbed, vainly imagined they never should. It is not unlikely, that some might see the danger they were exposed to by living in that careless manner; but that, if these publicly expressed their apprehensions, the rest reproached them as timorous persons, wanting courage or confidence in their gods, who (they might say) had hitherto protected them. But the spies, verse 8, returned, and said to their countrymen, verse 9, Arise that we may go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold it is very good! And are ye still? Be not slothful to go. Verse 10, when ye go, ye shall come to a people secure; (that is, a people that apprehend no danger, and therefore have made no provision against it; great encouragement this !] and to a large land, and a place where there is no want of any thing. What could they desire more? Accordingly we find, in the following verses, that six hundred men only, appointed with weapons of war, undertook the conquest of this large land; knowing that 600 men, armed and disciplined, would be an over-match perhaps for 60,000, unarmed, undisciplined, and off their guard. And when they went against it, the idolatrous priest, verse 17, with his graven image, and his ephod, and his seraphim, and his molten image, [plenty of superstitious trinkets] joined with them, and, no doubt, gave them all the intelligence and assistance in his power; his heart, as the text assurés us, being glad, perhaps for reasons more than one. And now, what was the fate of poor Laish! The 600 men being arrived, found as the spies had reported, a people QUIET and SECURE, verse 20, 21, And they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with FIRE; and there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon.-Not so far froin Zidon, however, as Pensylva. nia is from Britain; and yet we are, if possible, more careless than the people of Laish! As the scriptures are given for our reproof, instruction and warning, may we make a due use of this example, before it be too late! And is our country, any more than our city, altoge
ther free from danger ? Perhaps not. We have, it is true, had a long peace with the Indians: but it is a long peace indeed, as well as a long lane, that has no ending. The French know the power and importance of the Six Nations, and spare no artifice, pains or expence, to gain them to their interest. By their priests they have converted many to their religion, and these* have openly espoused their cause. The rest appear irresolute what part to take; no persuations, though enforced with costly presents, having yet been able to engage them generally on our side, though we had numerous forces on their borders, ready to second and support then. What then may be expected, now those forces are, by orders from the crown, to be disbanded, when our boasted expedition is laid aside, through want (as it may appear to them) either of strength or courage ; when they see, that the French and their Indians, boldly, and with impunity, ravage the frontiers of New York, and scalp the inhabitants; when those few Indians, that engage with us against the French, are left exposed to their resentment; when they consider these things, is there no danger that, through disgust at our usage, joined with fear of the French power, and greater confidence in their promises and protection than in ours, they may be wholly gained over by our enemies, and join in the war against us? If such should be the case, which God forbid, how soon may the mischief spread to our frontier countries ? And what may we expect to be the consequence, but desertion of plantaa tions, ruin, bloodshed and confusion!
* The praying Indians.
Perhaps Perbaps some in the city, towns, and plantations near the river, may say to themselves, “An Indian war on the frontiers will not effect us; the enemy will never come near our habitations; let those concerned take care of themselves.” And others who live in the country, when they are told of the danger the city is in from attempts by sea, may say,
“ What is that to us! The enemy will be satisfied with the plunder of the town, and never think it worth his while to visit our plantations ; let the town take care of itself.”---These are not mere suppositions, for I have heard some talk in this strange manner.
But are these the sentiments of true Pensylvanians, of fellow-countrymen, or even of men, that have common sense or goodness? Is not the whole province one body, united by living under the same laws, and enjoying the same privileges ? Are dot the people of city and country connected as relations, both by blood and marriage, and in friendships equally dear? Are they not likewise united in interest, and mutually useful and necessary to each other? When the feet are wounded, shall the head say, it is not me; I will not trouble myself to contrive relief! Or if the head is in danger, shall the hands say, we are not affected, and therefore will lend no assistance! No. For so would the body be easily destroyed : but when all parts join their endeavours for its security, it is often preserved. And such should be the union between the country and the town; and such their mutual endeavours for the safety of the whole. When New Enyland a distant colony, involved itself in a grievous debt to reduce Cape Breton, we freely give for thousand pounds for their relief. And aţ another time, remem