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prefent pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoy ment of our rights and privileges.
A COMPARISON OF THE CONDUCT OF THE AN
CIENT JEWS, AND OF THE ANTIFEDERALISTS IN
A zealous advocate for the propo:fed Federal Con
Atitution, in a certain public atrembly said, that " the repugnance of a great part of mankind to good government was such, that he believed, that if an angel iroin heaven was to bring down a conftitution formed there for our uie, it would nevertheless meet with violent opposition.”---He was reproved for the supposed extravagance of the sentiment; and he did not justify it -- Probably it might not have immediately occurred to him that the experiment had been tried, and that the event was recorded in the most faithful of all histories, the Holy Bible ; otherwise' he night, as it seems to me, have supported his opinion by that unexceptionable authority.
The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive prov.dence, 'till it became a great people : and having rescued them from bondage by many miracles performed by his fervant Mofes, he personally delivered to that chosen fervant, in presence of ihe whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance ; accompanied and fanétioned with promiles of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedience or disobedience.
This conititution, though the Deity himself was to be at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers a Theocracy) could not be carried into execution but by mcans of his ministers ; Aaron and his sons were therefore commissioned to be, 'with Moses, the firit eítablished ministry of the new government.
One would have thought, that the appointinent of men who had dilimguished themíclves in procuring the liberty of their nation, and had hazarded their lives in openly on.
poring the will of a powerful monarch who would have retained that nation in liavery, might have been an appoinia Inent acceptable to a grateful people ; and that a confitu. tion, framed for them by the Deity himself, might on that account have been secure of an universal welcome recepţion. Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, fome discontented, restless fpirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new government, and this from various motives.
Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity, and these, wheneves they felt any inconvenience or hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of situation, exclaimed against their leader3 as the authors of their trouble : and were not only for returning into Egypt, but for Noning their deliverers.* Those inclined to idolatry were displeased that their golden calf was destroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new conftitution inight be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable places would be eng rolled by the farni ier and friends of Mises and aron, and others equally well-born exeluded + -- In Josephus, and the Talmud, we learn some particulars, not so fully narrated in the scripture. We are there told, " that Corah was ambitious of the priesthood; and offended that it was conferred on Aaron; and this, as he said, by the authority of Moses only, without the consent of the people. He accused Moses of having, by various artifices, fraudulently obtained the government, and deprived the people of their liberties; and of conspiring with Aaron 10 perpetuate the tyranny in their fami'y. Thus, thoug'ı Corah's real motive was the supplanting of Aaron, he perfuaded the people he meant only the public good ; and they, moved by his insinuations, began to cry out--" Let us maintain the common liberty of our respeErve tribes; we have freed ourselves from the slavery imposed upon is by
* Number's, chap. xiv.
+ Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. 15 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, and laid onto ihein, ye take too much upon you, fering all the congregations are holy, every one of them- wherefore then lift yo
Jourselves above the congregation ?"
the Egyptians, and shall we suffer ourselves to be made flaves by Moses; If we must have a master, it were better 10 rcturu to Pharaoh, who at least fed us with bread and onions, than to serve this new tyrant, who by his operations las brought us into danger or famine.” Then they called in question the nea.ity of his conference with God; and objected to the privacy of the meetings, ard the preveniing any of the people from being present at the colloques, or even approaching the place, as grounds of great fufpicion. They accuiel Moses also of foecuia iun; as embezzling part of the golden spoons and the filver chargers, that the princes had oticred at the dedication of the aliar*, and the offerings of the goid of the common peopleť, as well as miost of the poll tust; and Aaron they acculed of pocketing much of the gold of which he pretended to have made a molten calf. Besides peculation, they charged Mofes with ambition; to gratify which paflion, he had, they said, deceived the people, by promising to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey ; instead of doing which, le had brought them from such a land : and that he thought light of this mischief, provided he could make himself an obfolute prince. That, to support the new digniiy with splendour in his family, the partial poll tax already levied and given to Aaron was to be followed by a general onel, which would probably be augmented from time to time, if he were suffered to go on promulgating'new laws on pretence of new occasional revelations of ihe divine wiil, till their whole fortunes were deroured by that arila tocracy."
Moses denied the charge of peculation : and his accusers were destitute of proofs to support it ; though facts if real, are in their nature capable of proof. “ I have not,” said he, (With holy confidence in the presence of God)“ I have not zaken from this people the value of an als, nor done them
Numbers, chap. vii. + Exodus, chap. xxxv. ver. 22. # Numbers, chap. iii. and Exodus, chap. xxx.
$ Numbers, chap xvi, ver. 13. 6 Is it a linall thing that thou hast brought us up out a of land flowing with inilk and honey, to kill us in this wilderners, except thou make thy: lelt altogether a prince over us?”
# Numbers, chap. iii. I Exodus, chap. xxx.
any other injury.” But his enemies had made the charge, and with fome fuccels aviong the populace ; for no kind of acculition is fo readily made, or easily believed, by knaves, as the accuation of knavery. In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of the princi
sófainous in the congregation, men of renown, he.ding and exciting the mob, worked them up 10 such a pitch vi phrensy, that they called out, stone 'em, stone 'ein, and thereby fecure our liberties; and let us chooíe other Captains that may lead us back into Egypt, in case we do not succeed in reducing the Canaanites.
On the whole, it appears that the Israelites were a people jealous of their ne wiyacıquired liberty, which jealousy was in itself no fault : but that when they fuifered it to be worked upon by artful men, pretending public good, with nothing really in view but private interest, they were led to oppolo che eitablishment of the new constitution, whereby they brought upon themselves inuch inconvenience and mis. forture. It farther appears from the Remitimable hilo tory, that when, after many ages, the contido. had become old and inuch abused, and an amendacht of it was propoied, the populace as they had accuferi soses or che ambition of making hufelf a prince, and in citie, tone hiin, itune him; fo, exciied by it is his haprieitsind turbins, they excluimed against the lidh, taelio sineriat L.coming king of the Jews, and cried, crucily inn, oruc biri From all whici we may sulier, that populer opfattivo a public meal'ı: is no prons of ins , ropriety. CV? though the opportion be enched and tell he ci uita tinction.
To conclude. I beg I may poi he will calvaid to viera that our general convention Windiziety ilir formed the new federal conititutior, vert, because it conftitution has been unreasonably and easy to info ed : yet, I mus own, I have fo much for the distral government of the world by Providence, it is in telu conceive a transaction of such momenios impo'live'wild welfare of millions now exifiing, and to exist in a no rity of a great nation, should be fufiered to pass within
* Numbers, clap. xvi.
l-ing in loine degree influenced, guided, and governed by tut omnipotent, omnipresent and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior fpirits live, and move, and have their being
There is a tradition
, that, in the planting of New-En
gland, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hard-