Common Sense, British Edition

Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflexions

Page 39

                            COMMON SENSE.                               39
into the House, and there passed in behalf of the whole colony;
whereas, did the whole colony know, with what ill will that
House hath entered on some necessary public measures,
they would not hesitate a moment to think them unworthy of
such a trust.

Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which
if continued, would grow into oppressions. Expedience and
right are different things. When the calamities of Ame-
rica required a consultation, there was no method so ready,
or at that time so proper, as to appoint persons from the se-
veral Houses of Assembly for that purpose; and the wisdom
with which they have proceeded hath preserved this conti-
nent from ruin. But as it is more than probable that we
shall never be without a CONGRESS, every well wisher to
good order, must own, that the mode for choosing members
of that body, deserves consideration. And I put it as a
question to those who make a study of mankind, whether re-
presentation and election is not too great a power for one and
the fame body of men to possess ? When we are planning
for posterity, we ought to remember, that virtue is not he-

It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent max-
ims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mis-
takes. Mr. Cornwall (one of the Lords of the Treasury)
treated the petition of the New-York Assembly with con-
tempt, because that House, he said, consisted but of twenty-
six members, which trifling number, he argued, could not
with decency be put for the whole. We thank him for his
involuntary honesty.*

To CONCLUDE, however strange it may appear to some,
or however unwilling they may be to think so, matters not,
but many strong and linking reasons may be given, to shew,
that nothing can settle our affairs fo expeditiously as an open
and determined declaration for independance. Some of
which are,

First. It is the custom of nations, when any two are at
war, for some other powers, not engaged in the quarrel, to
step in as mediators, and bring about the preliminaries of a

*Those who would fully understand of what great consequence a large and equal representation is to a state, should read Burgh’s poli-
tical Disquisitions.



“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed June 18, 2024,

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