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feasts : which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers : these shall receive greater damnation.'
Hoping* this edition may be as useful, and meet with the same rapid sale as the last, I subscribe myself the public's much obliged and devoted ser. vant,
THOMAS BRANAGAN. Philad. April 12, 1812.
That “ hope," has been abundantly accomplished: the above edition has sold so rapidly, that I am necessitated to put another edition to press, making the round number of four thousand copies. Three editions of the same book in the same year, is a phenomena among distinguished booksellers : how much more then, by one who is accounted a cypher by almost the whole frater. nity!
Philadelphia, Sept. 8, 1819.
MY mind is deeply impressed, with the propriety and necessity of expostu. lating with the reader on the present eventful signs of the times: my motives are doubtless disinterested and pure: I cannot expect either praise or profit. I know all king-ridden and priest-ridden people will be ny implacable enemies, because I expose their base servility ; but I pity and forgive them, while at the same time I disregard their calumny: "Let them talk till they are tired, and then they will stop.” My business is, to take no notice of them, but to do all the good, and avoid all the evil I can. It requires no spirit of prophecy to foresee, that the revolutions and counter-revolutions, wars and rumours of wars, the many earthquakes and inundations, famine, pestilence,and commotions among the different nations of the earth, are the beginnings of sorrow.” They evidently are big with events of prodigious magnitude ! In our own country I must say, that clouds
and darkness rest upon our prospects ! Our domestic affairs wear a most gloomy aspect.
We are threatened with the great calamity of war, both by the brigands of Europe, and the savages of America! The numerous earthquakes in divers places in the United States, the destructive storms on our sea coast, the conflagration of the theatre at Richmond, with about one hundred respectable individuals, the conspiracies to sever the union, which have recently been detected, denote (at least to me) some great approaching calamity. Yet, notwithstanding all these harbingers of the judgments of the Al. mighty, there is no salutary dread of his divine Majesty even anticipated. But our republic is more depraved in its minority, than the Roman republic was in its maturity. The rights of God are shamefully and wickedly infringed. Who dare deny this assertion, when they view the million of his rational creatures, now bound in galling chains, in the bowels of our commonwealth ? or at least doomed to perpetual slavery,
because they happen to be born black! Will not God visit a people guilty of such unparalleled inconsistency and duplicity? Without any manner of doubt.
“Sons of Columbia, hear this truth in time, He wlio allows oppression shares the crime."
Notwithstanding a voice of reproof and warning is heard from the Wabash, where our countrymen were recently slaughtered by the Indians, from Richmond, where about one hundred souls were ushered from the Theatre to the bar of God, (among whom was the Governor of Virginia) from the Mis. sissippi, where hundreds of acres of land have been swallowed up by earthquakes ! from the Spanish Maine, where 10,000 people were lately destroyed by one! from London, where it was almost total darkness at 2o'clock on the 11th day of January 1811! from Spain, where 25,000 persons were destroyed by pestilence, in one city, exclusive of those destroyed by bloody war! (indeed, a volume would not contain the many alarming calls
to repentance, which we have or might have heard) notwithstanding all these divine calls, we will not see our danger. nor prepare for death. Alas! surely we must be judicially infatuated, or we would be more sensible of our danger than we really are. Of all the calamities in this calamitous world, none can be more destructive to both soul and body, than war; yet we are on the brink of war, and look upon it with a sullen indifference. Vengeance always did, and always will pursue states, as well as individuals, for unrepented crimes. God has deposited in our care the last remains of civil liberty, and we have violated the sacred deposit. Can a land be sacred to liberty, while a million of its inhabitants are in the most ignoble and tormenting slavery? It is impossible. It is therefore my firm belief, that vengeance is on the wing; and it can only be averted by repentance and deep humiliation. I do, therefore, in the fear of the Almighty, solemnly warn my fellow-worms of their danger, and earnestly exhort