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nourable confidence on which the process. It will also be seen that interest and the prosperity of a an intention has been declared, of commercial country so essentially not appointing bankers in future depends.

to these offices. Of the propriety To one argument which has of this supposed determination, been adduced, your committee are or how far it may have been indisposed to allow considerable fuenced by considerations conweight, viz. that all the sureties or nected with the subject of this bondsmen for crown receivers of report, your committee offer no every kind, having become such, opinion : but they have no hesidepending on their claims to this tation in saying, that in the inprocess in case of necessity, it stances which have come before would be unjust to deprive thein them, of the exercise of the power of this weapon without notice; and by banking-houses, the advantage that perhaps in equity, if not in of the individuals seems alone to law also, they might thereby be have been attended to, without discharged of their responsibility. any reference to the safety of the

To this it may be replied, that revenue. if it be so, notice may be given ; There are also various other and as far as experience can guide enibariassments and vexations in us, no great difficulty need be ex the course of these proceedings, pected to arise. The situation of which, though small in compariReceiver - General is too much son of the enormous grievances sought after to excite any appre- which have been detailed, are yet hension that it will not be able to too considerable in themselves to find itself securities. In the case be passed without observation, of the increase of surety required and which, your committee hope, on account of the collection of the will, ere long, he also subjected to property-tax, no additional emo. legislative correction. Such are, lument of poundage was granted; the waste of the property by the nor have the instances of default sheriff's poundage, by forced and been so frequent as to create hasty sales, and by other expenses alarm: but should such a difficul- . of the process, especially that of ty be unexpectedly found, it may resistance, or the attempt to set easily be removed by lessening the aside the extent, which even when balances now allowed to be re successful, must equally be borne tained, accelerating the payments by the insolvent's estate: the exinto the Exchequer, and increas- tending the operation of the writ ing the number of receivers : by to the debtor in the fourth degree, all or any of which means the re instead of the third ; the issuing sponsibility of the securities would immediate extents instead of scire be diminished, and the facility of facias ; the modes and rules of obtaining them proportionally in- pleading, all too much in favour creased. On referring, however, of maintaining that possession to the evidence, it will be found which is so hastily, and which, that scarcely any surety has ever sometimes when too late, appears been called on, and that very to have been unjustly obtained ; few of the receivers, not being and all of which, whether debankers, have ever employed the pendent on the rules of court, or


otherwise, undoubtedly require a had it not been speedily checked, careful revision.

threatened to supersede all the That these practices, though fair and ordinary modes of recoreally so injurious, should have vering debts by the common course been permitted so long to exist, of law. and of late even so greatly to in Your committee cannot concrease, seems easily explicable from clude without expressing their sawhat has been already stated. It tisfaction, that even during the is but too much in the nature of consideration of this report, a bill all old establishments to be par- has passed, which, in its present tial to their own modes : to be state, they trust will remedy much slow in perceiving their imperfec. of the evil which they have been tions, and not very forward in compelled to expose and to concorrecting them, even when ac. denin. But as much power is still knowledged, especially if risk be continued to some classes, in which thereby incurred of diminishing are found individuals who have their influence or jurisdiction. It exerted it in the most censurable has been already observed, that manner, they feel bound to reprevious to 1814, the whole num commend an increased vigilance ber of instances in which these over its exercise in every quarter writs were employed was compa- in which it may be at all controllratively very small, and the gross ed, in order that it may be at least abuse of them still more rare, so confined to the objects of its orithat the call for reformation was ginal intention. The laudable neither loud nor urgent; but as practice of the Post-office, the soon as ever they began to be Board of Customs, and, perhaps, more known and used, the en more prominently still, of the croaching principle of power be- Excise, has shown not only how gan to operate ; each instance of unnecessary extents in aid are to their unjustifiable misapplication the security of the revenue, but served also as a pretence for ano how beneficially the solicitors to ther, by way either of self-defence the public boards might be enor reimbursement; and those per- ployed, in limiting their issue ; sons with whom interest is the but your committee must observe rule of action, eagerly sought the that, in order to gain this advanmeans of including themselves tage to its proper extent, the exwithin the class so privilegeil, at ample of the Excise should also the expense of their neighbours : be followed in another point, while the profits arising to all the which to them appears very imagents and officers engaged in the portant, viz.-that these solicitors soliciting the issue, and the exe should contine themselves to their cution of the process, naturally official practice; or at least be induced them to facilitate it by absolutely prohibiteil from underevery means which could be de- taking, for private individuals, sired, and to recommend its adop- the management of any affairs in tion, till, by the concurrence of which the revenue is at all conall these causes, the mischief was cerned. increasing with a rapidity which, July 11, 1817.






LETTERS FROM THE PRIVATE COR- making the least direct return;

BENJAMIN and numberless mercies from God, FRANKLIN, LL.D. F.R.s. &c. who is infinitely above being bene

fited by our services. Those kindTo George WhiteFIELD,

nesses from men, I can therefore (The Preacher.)

only return on their fellow men,

and I can only show my gratitude On Faith and Good Works.

for these mercies from God, by a SIR, Philadelphia, June 6, 1753. readiness to help his other chilRECEIVED your kind letter of dren, and my brethren. For I do the 2d instant, and am glad to

not think that thanks and complihear that you increase in strength; ments, though repeated weekly, I hope you will continue mending can discharge our real obligations till you recover your former health to each other, and much less those and firmness. Let me know to our Creator. You will see in whether you still use the cold this my notion of good works, that bath, and what effect it has. I am far from expecting to merit

As to the kindness you mention, heaven by them. By heaven we I wish it could have been of more understand a state of happiness, use to you. But if it had, the only infinite in degree, and eternal in thanks I should desire is, that you duration : I can do nothing to dewoulii always be equally ready to serve such rewards. He that for serve any other person that may giving a draught of water to a need your assistance, and so let thirsty person, should expect to be good offices go round; for man paid with a good plantation, would kind are all of a family.

be modest in his demands, comFor my own part, when I am pared with those who think they employed in serving others, I do deserve heaven for the little good not look upon myself as conferring they do on earth. Even the mixed favours, but as paying deits. In imperfect pleasures we enjoy in my travels, and since my settle- this world, are rather from God's ment, I have rereived much kind- goodness than our merit ; hox ness from men, to whom I shall much more such happiness of never have any opportunity of Heaven! For my part, I have rot


the vanity to think I deserve it, charitable though orthodox priest, the folly to expect it, nor the am and sanctified Levite ; and those bition to desire it; but content who gave food to the hungry, myself in submitting to the will drink to the thirsty, raiment to and disposal of that God who made the naked, entertainment to the me, who has hitherto preserved stranger, and relief to the sick, and blessed me, and in whose though they never heard of his fatherly goodness I may well con name, he declares, shall in the last fide, that he will never make me day be accepted; when those who miserable ; and that even the af- cry Lord! 'Lord! who value themAictions I may at any time suffer selves upon their faith, though shall tend to my benefit.

great enough to perform miracles, The faith you mention has cer but have neglected good works, tainly its use in the world: 1 do shall be rejected. He professed not desire to see it diminished, nor that he came not to call the righwould I endeavour to lessen it in teous, but sinners to repentance ; any man.

But I wish it were which implied his modest opinion more productive of good works, that there were some in his time than I have generally seen it ; I who thought themselves so good mean real good works; works of that they need not hear even him kindness, charity, mercy, and pub- for improvement; but now-a-days lic spirit; not holiday-keeping, we have scarce a little


that sermon-reading, or hearing; per- does not think it the duty of every forming church ceremonies, or man within his reach to sit under making long prayers, filled with his petty ministrations; and that flatteries and compliments, de whoever omits them, offends God. spised even by wise men, and much

I wish to such more humility, and less capable of pleasing the Deity. to you health and happiness ; The worship of God is a duty; being the hearing and reading of sermons Your friend and servant, may be useful; but if men rest

B. FRANKLIN. in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself on being watered

Reflections on the Conduct of Man. and putting forth leaves, though

kind to each other.- Apologue. it never produced any fruit.

Dear Sir,
Your great Master thought

Passy, June, 7. 1782. much less of these outward ap I received your kind letter of pearances and professions, than the 7th of April, also one of the many of his modern disciples. He 3d of May. I have always great preferred the doers of the word pleasure in hearing from you, in to the mere hearers ; the son learning that you are well, and that seemingly refused to obey his that you continue your experifather, and yet performed his ments. I should rejoice much if commands, to him that pro

I could once more recover the leifessed his readiness but neglect- sure to search with you into the ed the work; the heretical bui works of nature; I mean the incharitable Samaritan, to the un- animate, not the animate or mo



ral part of them; the more I disco- guide; they arrived over the seas vered of the former, the more 1 ad- of Martinico, in the middle of the mired them; the morel know of the long day of obstinate fight between latter, the more I anı disgusted the fleets of Rodney and De with them. Men, I find to be a sort Grasse. When through the clouds of beings very badly constructed, as of smoke he saw the fire of the they are generally more easily pro- guns, the decks covered with voked than reconciled, to do mis- mangled limbs, and bodies dead or chief to each other than to make re- dying; the ships sinking, burnparation, much more easily de- ing, or blown into the air; and ceived than undeceived, and having the quantity of pain, misery, and mure pride and even pleasure in destruction, the crews yet alive killing than in begetting one ano were thus with so much eagerness ther ; for without a blush they dealing round to one another ; asseinble in great armies at noon- he turned angrily to his guide, day to destroy, and when they and said, you blundering blockhave killed as many as they can, head, you are ignorant of your they exaggerate the number to business; you undertook to conaugment the fancied glory ; but duct me to the earth, and

you have they creep into corners, or cover brought me into hell! No, Sir, themselves with the darkness of says the guide, I have made no night when they mean to beget, as mistake; this is really the earth, being ashamed of a virtuous action. and these are men. Devils never A virtuous action it would be, and treat one another in this cruel a vicious one the killing of them, if manner; they have more sense, the species were really worth pro and more of what men (vainly) ducing or preserving ; but of this call humanity. I begin to doubt. I know you have no such doubts, because in your zeal for their welfare, you are taking a great deal of pains to

On the proposed Order of the Cincinsave their souls.

Perhaps as you nati, Hereditary Nobility, and grow older, you may look upon

descending Honours. this as a hopeless project, or an idle amusement, repent of having

My Dear Child, Passy, Jan. 26, 1784. nurdered in mephitic air so many Your care in sending me the honest, harmless mice, and wish newspapers is very agreeable to that to prevent mischief you had me. I received by Captain Barney used boys and girls instead of those relating to the Cincinnati. them. In what light we are view My opinion of the institution caned by superior beings, may be not be of much importance: I gathered from a piece of late only wonder that, when the united West-India news, which possibly wisdom of our nation had, in the has not yet reached you. A young articles of confederation, maniangel of distinction being sent fested their dislike of establishing down to this world on some busi ranks of nobility, by authority ness, for the first time, had an old either of the congress or of any courier-spirit assigned him as a particular state, a number of pri


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