PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not
YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long
habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial
appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry
in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more
converts than reason.
As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of
calling the right of it in question (and in Matters too which might
never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated
into the inquiry) and as the King of England hath undertaken in his
OWN RIGHT, to support the Parliament in what he calls THEIRS, and
as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the
combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the
pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of either.
In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided every
thing which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as
censure to individuals make no part thereof. The wise, and the
worthy, need not the triumph of a pamphlet; and those whose
sentiments are injudicious, or unfriendly, will cease of themselves
unless too much pains are bestowed upon their conversion.
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all
mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not
local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers
of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections
are interested. The laying of a Country desolate with Fire and Sword,
declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and
extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the
Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling;
of which Class, regardless of Party Censure, is
POSTSCRIPT TO PREFACE IN THE THIRD EDITION<BR>
P. S. The Publication of this new Edition hath been delayed, with a
View of taking notice (had it been necessary) of any Attempt to
refute the Doctrine of Independance: As no Answer hath yet appeared,
it is now presumed that none will, the Time needful for getting such
a Performance ready for the Public being considerably past.
Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the
Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the
MAN. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected
with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but
the influence of reason and principle.
Philadelphia, February 14, 1776.