Common Sense, British Edition

Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflexions

Page 38

38                          COMMON SENSE.
do therewith. Let a man throw aside that narrowness of
soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all
professions are so unwilling to part with, and he will be at
ouce delivered of his fears on that head. Suspicion is the
companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.
For myself, I fully and conscientiously believe, that it is the
will of the Almighty, that there should be a diversity of re-
ligious opinions among us: it affords a larger field for our
Christian kindness. Were we all of one way of thinking,
our religious dispositions would want matter for probation;
and on this liberal principle, I look on the various deno-
minations among us, to be like children of the same family,
differing only, in what is called, their Christian names.

In page twenty-five, I threw out a few thoughts on the
propriety of a Continental Charter, (for I only presume to
offer hints, not plans) and in this place, I take the liberty
of re-mentioning the subject, by observing, that a charter is
to be undrstood as a bond of solemn obligation, which the
whole enters into, to support the right of every separate part,
whether of religion, personal freedom, or property. A firm
bargain and a right reckoning make long friends.

In a former page I likewise mentioned the necessity of a
large and equal representation ; and there is no political mat-
ter which more deserves our attention. A small number of
electors, or a small number of representatives, are equally
dangerous. But if the number of the representatives be not
only small, but unequal, the danger is increased. As an in-
stance of this, I mention the following; when the Associators
petition was before the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania;
twenty-eight members only were present, all the Bucks
county members, being eight, voted against it and had se-
ven of the Chester members done the same, this whole pro-
vince had been governed by two countries only, and this
danger it is always exposed to  The unwarrantable stretch
likewise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain
an undue authority over the Delegates of that province,
ought to warn the people at large, how they trust power out
of their own hands. A set of instructions for the delegates
were put together, which in point of sense and business
would have dishonoured a school-boy, and after being ap-
proved by a few, a very few without doors, were carried


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