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[240] here but such as suits his purpose. We may be as
Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan.
effectually enslaved by the want of laws in America, as by submitting to laws made for us in England.

Reconciliation and ruin are nearly related. The best terms which we can expect to obtain can amount to no more than a guardianship, which can last no longer than till the colonies come of age. Emigrants of property will not come to a country whose form of government hangs but by a thread. Nothing but a continental form of government can keep the peace of the continent inviolate from civil wars.

The colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order and obedience to continental government, as is sufficient to make every reasonable person easy and happy on that head; if there is any true cause of fear respecting independence, it is because no plan is yet laid down. Let a continental conference be held, to frame a continental charter, or charter of the united colonies. But where, say some, is the king of America? He reigns above; in America the law is king; in free countries there ought to be no other.

All men, whether in England or America, confess that a separation between the countries will take place one time or other. To find out the very time, we need not go far, for the time hath found us. The present, likewise, is that peculiar time which never happens to a nation but once, the time of forming itself into a government. Until we consent that the seat of government in America be legally and authoritatively occupied, where will be our freedom? where our property?

Nothing can settle our affairs so expeditiously as an open and determined declaration for independence.

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