4th of july

Just for fun (and to be contrarian), here is an excerpt from John Wesley’s “A Calm Address to Our American Colonies.”  It shows that not every Christian, especially those in England, thought that America’s independence was a good thing.  Read Romans 13 at your parade or fireworks display and you’ll get his drift.  Here it is: 

            One writer asserts twenty times, “He that is taxed without his own consent, that is, without being represented, is a slave.”  I answer, no.  I have no representative in Parliament, but I am taxed, yet I am no slave.  Yea, nine in ten throughout England have no representative, no vote, yet they are no slaves; they enjoy both civil and religious liberty to the utmost extent.

            He replies, “But they may have votes if they will; they may purchase freeholds.”  What!  Can every man in England purchase a freehold (property that entitled one to vote)?  No, not one in an hundred.  But be that as it may, they have no vote now; yet they are no slaves, they are the freest men in the whole world.

            Who then is a slave?  Look into America, and you may easily see.  See that Negro, fainting under the load, bleeding under the lash!  He is a slave.  And is there no difference between him and his master?  Yes.  The one is screaming, “Murder!  Slavery!” the other silently bleeds and dies!

            But wherein then consists the difference between liberty and slavery?  Herein:  You and I, and the English in general, go where we will and enjoy the fruit of our labors:  this is liberty.  The Negro does not:  this is slavery. Is not then all this outcry about liberty and slavery mere rant, and playing upon words?…

             But whence then is all this hurry and tumult?  Why is America all in an uproar?  If you can yet give yourselves time to think, you will see the plain case is this:   A few years ago, you were assaulted by enemies [in the French and Indian War], whom you were not able to resist.  You represented this to your mother-country and desired her assistance.  You [were] largely assisted, and by that means wholly delivered from all your enemies.

            After a time, your mother country, desiring to be reimbursed for some part of the large expense she had been at, laid a small tax (which she had always a right to do) on one of her colonies.  But how is it possible that the taking of this reasonable and legal step should have set all America in a flame?…  

            Can you hope for a more desirable form of government, either in England or America, than that which you now enjoy?  After all the vehement cry for liberty, what more liberty can you have?  What more religious liberty can you desire than that which you enjoy already?

            May not every one among you worship God according to his own conscience?  What civil liberty can you desire which you are not already possessed of?  Do not you sit without restraint “every man under his own vine?”  Do you not, every one high or low, enjoy the fruit of your labor?  This is real, rational liberty such as is enjoyed by Englishmen alone and not by any other people in the habitable world.

One Comment

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  1. The man had a point. Not long ago I was part of a rather long discussion about whether the founding of America was counter to the Christian faith (aka, was it sinful?) and it was a very interesting discussion.

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