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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania

A. Responses to ratification and to The Dissent of the Minority,   pp. 646-669

Page 657

all America can testify, that the greater part of the clergy in America
have exerted themselves in the support and defense of it. But as this
is a species of liberty diametrically opposed to the [one line unread-
able] friends and enemies promiscuously, it is not strange that the
authority of the clergy is rejected in this case.
The addressers very modestly proclaim to the public, that "they
are a society united for the express purpose of mutual improvement."
The public are much obliged to them for this information, as it is
of great importance to know it. Lastly, by taking notice of the re-
marks already made in explaining this address, we may easily discern
the reasons why the addressers so highly applauded the minority of
the late state Convention, and so severely execrate the majority. The
minority are esteemed patriots by the addressers; that is, according
to their idea of patriotism, men actuated by discontent, indignation,
and revenge; and stand in the defense of a liberty, that will devour
both its friends and enemies promiscuously; but the majority are for
another kind of liberty, and act from different principles. Hoping the
public will understand the address better by these remarks, I beg leave
to subscribe myself, HERMENIUS.
1. See "An Address to the Minority of the Convention," 2 January, IV:B above.
Independent Gazetteer, 22 January1
A correspondent says, that the present situation of public affairs is
truly alarming. The minority of the state Convention of Pennsylvania
have declared in their protest, that the Continental Convention have
no power to annihilate the old Articles of Confederation without the
consent of every one of the thirteen states in the Union; that two mem-
bers of the late Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania were forcibly
dragged to the House for the purpose of making a quorum to call a
convention, whereby the proceedings of such an Assembly are by no
means binding upon the people; and that the constitution of the
State of Pennsylvania cannot be set aside although nine states should
agree to the ratification of the new Constitution. In these opinions
they are supported not only by their constituents but by a very con-
siderable part of the whole body of the people of Pennsylvania, who,
it is expected, will soon confederate under these sentiments. It would
be the part therefore of wisdom in some of the states who have not
yet adopted the new Constitution, to pause a while before they pro-
ceed to the ratification of it. A civil war with all its dreadful train of
evils will probably be the consequence of such a proceeding. Whereas,
if we have patience, we may at more convenient opportunity determine

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