THE enemies of the people are devising methods and adopting means, unjust and ungenerous, to silence the general and powerful demand for Reform: it would, however, be wise of them to consider whether its opposition can be successful, or whether their efforts to curb the struggle for reform, may not prove the unintended means of strengthening the cause of civil and religious liberty.Those who oppose reform, who are so wise in their own conceit, and so imprudently zealous in the bad cause of injustice and cruelty, should remember, that the indignation of the people augments, and their desire for reformation increases in the same proportion, as increases their knowledge of their rights and oppressions. The truth of this proposition, history has clearly demonstrated, and the result of the present contest between the reformers and their opponents will farther elucidate.That the people’s knowledge is more correct and extensive than their enemies are aware of, is a fact beyond contradiction. We, however, as an act of charity, inform the tyrants, (who insolently calumniate a nation as an “ignorant, impatient, swinish multitude,”) That the people are too enlightened to be terrified by the bug-bears of state, or to swallow the doctrine of passive obedience.The people know that they are the source whence all law and authority emanate; and that the original intention of laws, was for the protection of property, and the encouragement of industry. It is as difficult to make a people, possessing such knowledge, cordially submit to the arbitrary enactments of a self-elected junto, as it is to make them willingly obey the orders of a banditti; the difficulty is of a 314moral nature; similar to that which a good man experiences when compelled to murder his innocent fellow-countrymen.The people know that Kings were chosen and men placed in authority for the sole purpose of regulating the commonwealth according to the sovereign will of the people. They also know, that some kings and knaves have perverted the original intention of their establishment; and that their only study has been how they may rob the public and encourait the panders of corruption. And the attempt to make a people, (who know that kings and magistrates are their servants,) believe the nonsense of “the divine right of Kings,” and that subjects must “not speak evil of Rulers,”—(who, if every man had his due, would be banished from society, or exalted as “food for crows,”)—is as wise, and would be as effectual, as to attempt to persuade men that truth is a falsehood.The people know, “that taxation should be as extensive as representation,” or, in other words, that where they are not represented they have no right to be taxed—of the truth of this proposition the people are convinced: and he who may endeavour to enforce a submission to the laws, rapaciously unjust, will find it a task, not less easy, than the pushing a mill-stone up a steep ascent.Such is the knowledge which the people possess: and those who are in the habit of traducing the nation, as ignorant—contemptible, should remember, that the people art well informed in civil and religious liberty, and that it is morally impossible to make them submit to the absurdities promulgated and sanctioned by oppressors. The folly of resisting a reform, which the people know to be absolutely just and necessary, and which they are determined to obtain, (and will obtain, if true to themselves) must be evident to every reasonable being.A. M.