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[102] words were spoken,1 rash counsels conceived. ‘The
Chap. XXX.} 1767. Oct.
Commissioners,’ said the more hasty, ‘must not be allowed to land.’—‘Paxton must, like Oliver, be taken to Liberty Tree or the gallows, and obliged to resign.’—‘Should we be told to perceive our inability to oppose the mother country,’ cried the youthful Quincy, ‘we boldly answer, that in defence of our civil and religious rights, with the God of armies on our side, we fear not the hour of trial; though the host of our enemies should cover the field like locusts, yet the sword of the Lord and Gideon shall prevail.’2

As the lawyers of England all now decided, that American taxation by Parliament was legal and constitutional, the press of Boston sought support in something more firm than human opinion, and more obligatory than the acts of irresponsible legislation. ‘The law of nature,’ said they,3 ‘is the law of God, irreversible itself and superseding all human law. It perfectly reconciles the true interest and happiness of every individual, with the true interest and happiness of the universal whole. The laws and constitution of the English Government are the best in the world, because they approach nearest to the laws God has established in our nature. Those who have attempted this barbarous violation of the most sacred rights of their country, deserve the name of rebels and traitors, not only against the laws of their country and their King, but against Heaven itself.’

1 Bernard to Shelburne, 21 Sept. 1767.

2 Boston Gazette of 5 Oct. 1767, 653, 1, 2, Hyperion, by Josiah Quincy.

3 G. in Boston Gazette of 5 Oct. 1767. 653, 2, 2, Compare N. Rogers to Hutchinson, London, 30 Dec. 1767.

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