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tical system, much less that the merits National Assembly, through earl Stana of the constitution of any foreign na. hope, as originating in the principles of tion, had been the subject of a formal the fermon, and as a corollary from procceding at their festivals; until, to them. It was moved by the preacher my inexprellible surprise, I found them of that discourse. It was passed by in a sort of public capacity, by a con those who came reeking from the effect gratulatory address, giving an authorita- of the fermon, 'without any centure or tive fan&tion to the proceedings of the qualification, expressed or implied. if, National Assembly in France.
however, any of the gentlemen con• “ In the antient principles and con cerned shall wish to separate the sermon duct of the club, so far at least as they from the resolution, they know how to were declared, I see nothing to which I, acknowledge the one, and to disavow or any sober man, could possibly take the other. They may do it: I canexception. I think it very probable not. that, for some purpose, new members' “ For my part, I looked on that fermay have entered among them; and mon as the public declaration of a man that fome truly christian politicians, much connected with literary caballers, who love to difpente benefits, but are and intriguing philosophers; with pocareful to conceal the hand which dif- litical theologians, and theological potributes the dole, may have made them liticians, both at home and abroad. I the instruments of their pious designs. know they let him up as a sort of oracle; Whatever I may have reason to fufpect becaule, with the best intentions in the concerning private management, 1 ihall world, he naturally philippizes, and fpeak of nothing as of a certainty, but chaunts his prophetic song in exact uniwhat is public.
son with their designs.". “ For one, I thould be forry to be In refuting the pernicions opinions of thought, directly or indire&tly, con Dr. Price, our author, with considerable cerned in their proceedings. I cer- ability, takes a concise, but clear view tainly take my full share, along with the of the British constitution; the whole of rest of the world, in my individual and which we shall extract, for the informaprivate capacity, in fpeculating on what tion, the amusement, and the infruction has been done, or is doing, on the pub- of our readers. lic stage ; in any place antient or mo “ His [Dr. Price's) doctrines affect dern; in the republic of Rome, or the our constitution in its vital parts. He republic of Paris : but having no ge- tells the Revolution Society, in this neral apostolical million, being a citizen political sermon, that his majesty • is ala of a particular state, and being bound up inost the only lawful king in the world, in a considerable degree, by its public because the only one who owes his crown will, I thould think it, at least improper to the choice of his people.' As to the and irregular, for me to open a formal kings of the world, all of whom (except public correspondence with the actual one) this archpontiff of the rights of government of a foreign nation, without men, with all the plenitude, and with the express authority of the govern. more than boldness of the papal dement under which I live.
posing power in its meridian fervour of “ On the forenoon of the 4th of No- the twelfth century, puts into one sweep. vember last, Dr. Richard Price, a ing clause of ban and anathema, and non-conforming minister of eminence, proclaims usurpers by circles of longipreached at the diffenting meeting- tude and latitude, over the whole globe, house of the Old Jewry, to his club or' it behoves them to consider how they fociety, a very extraordinary misceľ- admit into their territories these apoftolaneous sermon, in which there are some lic missionaries, who are to tell their subgood moral and religious sentiments, jects they are not lawful kings. That and not ill expressed, mixed up in a fort is their concern. It is ours, as a do. of porridge of various political opinions melic interest of some moment, seriously and reflections : but the revolution in to consider the solidity of the only prinFrance is the grand ingredient in the ciple upon which these gentlemen accauldron. I conlider the address tranf- knowledge a king of Great Britain to be mitted by the Revolution Society to the entitled to their allegiance. VOL. II.
“ This doctrine, as applied to the people. Thus, by a miserable fuč. prince now, on the British throne, either terfuge, they hope to render their prois nonsense, and therefore neither true position safe, by rendering it dugatory. nor false, or it affirms a molt unfound. They are welcome to the afylum they ed, dangerous, illegal, and unconsti- fiek for their offence, since they take re. tutional polition. According to this fuge in their folly. For, if you admit fpiritual doctor of politics, if his ma this interpretation, how does their idea jesty does not owe his crown to the of election differ from our idea of inhe. choice of his people, he is lio lawful ritance? And how does the settlement king. Now nothing can be more un of the crown in the Brunswick line de true than that the crown of this king rived from James the Fift, come to le dam is so held by his majetty. There- galize our monarchy, rather than that of fore if you follow their role, the king any of the neighbouring countries ! of Great Britain, who most certainly At some time or other, to be sure, all does not owe his high office to any form the beginners of dynasties were cholen of popular election, is in no relpect bet. by those who called them to govern. ter than the reft of the gang of ufurpers, There is ground enough for the opinion who reign, or rather rob, all over the that all the kingdoms of Europe were, face of this our miserable world, with at a remote period, elective, with more out'any fort of right or title to the or fewer limitations in the objects of allegiance of their people. The policy choice ; but whatever kings might have of this general doctrine, so qualified, is been here or elsewhere, a thou and years evident enough. The propagators of ago, or in whatever manner the ruling this political gospel are in hopes their dynasties of England or France may abstract principle (their principle that a have begun, the king of Great Britain popular choice is neceffary to the legal is at this day king by a fixed rule of existence of the sovereign magistracy) succession, according to the laws of his would be overlooked, whilst tlie king of country'; and whilft the legal conditions Great Britain was not affected by it. of the compact of sovereignty are perIn the mean time, the ears of their con formed by him (as they are performed) gregations would be gradually habitua. be holds his crown in contempt of the ied to it, as if it were a first principle choice of the Revolution Society, who admitted without dispute. For the pre- have not a lingle vote for a king amongf: sent it would only operate as a theory, them, either individually or collectively; pickled in the preserving juices of pul- though I make no doubt they would pit eloquence, and laid by for future foon erect themselves into an electoral use. Condo et componó que mox de college, if things were ripe to give effromere pollin. By this posicy, whillt fest to their claim. His majesty's heiri, our government is soothed with a re and fucceffors, each in his time and ore fervation in its favour, to which it has der, will come to the crown with the no claim, the security, which it has in fame contempt of their choice with which common with all governments, so far as his majesty has succeeded to that he opinion is security, is taken away.
« Thus these politicians proceed, "Whatever may be the fuccess of whilA little notice is taken of their duco' exalion in explaining away the grois er• trines ; but when they come to be ex. ror of fact, which supposes that his maamined upon the plain meaning of their jelly (though he holds it in concurrence words and the direct tendency of their with the wishes) owes bis crown to the doctrines, then equivocations and dipe, choice of his people, yet nothing can pery constructions come into play. When evade their full explicit declarationis they say the king owes his crown to the concerning the principle of a right in the choice of his people, and is therefore the people to choose, which right is directly only lawful sovereign in the world, they maintained, and tenaciouly adhered to will perhaps tell us they mean to say no All the oblique infinuations concerning more than that some of the king's pre- election bottom in this propofition, and deceffors have been called to the throne are referable to it. Left the foundation by some sort of choice; and therefore“ of the king's exclufive legal title should ke owes his crown to the choice of his pals for a mere rant of adulatory frete
dom, the political Divine proceeds dog. liberties of the subject, and for settling matically to allert *, that by the princi- the succession of the crown.' You ples of the Revolution the people of will observe, that these rights and this England have acquired three funda- succession are declared in one body, and mental rights, all which, with him, bound indissolubly together. compofe one system, and lie together in “ A few years after this period, a fe. one Thort sentence; namely, that we cond opportunity offered for afferring have acquired a right
a right of election to the crown. On 1. "To choose our own governors.' the prospect of a total failure of issue 2. "To cashier them for misconduct.' from king William, and from the 3. • To frame a government for our. Princess, afterwards queen Anne, the felves.
confideration of the settlement of the This new, and hitherto unheard-of crown, and of a further security for bill of rights, though made in the name the liberties of the people, again came of the whole people, belongs to those before the legiflature." Did they this gentlemen and their faction only. The ficond time make any provision for lebody of the people of England have no galizing the crown on the spurious Res Share in it. They utterly disclaim it. volution principles of the Old Jewry?
They will refilt the practical affertion of No. They followed the principles it with their lives and fortunes. They which prevailed in the Declaration of are bound to do so by the laws of their Right; indicating with more precision country, made at the time of that very · the persons who were to inherit in the Revolution, which is appealed to in Protestant line. This act also incor. favour of the fi&tious rights claimed by porated, by the fame policy, our liber. the society which abuses its name. ties, and an hereditary succesion in the
“ These gentlemen of the Old Jewry, same act. Instead of a right to choose in all their reasonings on the Revolution our own governors, they declared that of 1688, have a revolution which hap the succesion in that line (the protettant pened in England about 40 years before, line drawn from James the First) was and the late French revolution, so much absolutely neceffary • for the peace, before their eyes, and in their hearts, quiet, and security of the realm, and that they are constantly confounding all that it was equally urgent on thein the three together. It is necessary that to maintain a certainty in the fucceffion we should separate what they confound. thereof, to which the subjects may We inuft recall their erring fancies to fafely have recourse for their protection.?. to the acts of the Revolution which we Both these acts, in which are heard the revere, for the discovery of its true unerring, unambiguous oracles of Reprinciples. If the principles of the volution policy, instead of countenan. Revolution of 1688 are any wliere to be cing the delurve, gypsey predi&tions of found, it is in the statute called the right to choose our governors,' Declaration of Right. In that moft prove to a demonstration how totally wise, lober, and confiderate declaration, adverse the wildom of the nation was drawn up by great lawyers and great from turning a case of necessity into a statesmen, and not by warm and inex. rule of law. perienced enthufialts, not one word is “ Unquestionabiy there was at the faid, nor one fuggestion made, of a ge. Revolution, in the person of king Wilneral right to choose our own gover. liam, a finall and a remporary deviation nors; to cashier them for misconduct; from the stuiet order of a regular hereand to form a government for our: ditary fucceflion : but it is against all selves.'
genuine principles of jurisprudence to “ This Declaration of Right (the draw a principle from a law made in act of the ift of William and Mary, a special case, and regarding an indivifeff. 2. ch. 2.) is the corner-stone of dual person. Privilegium non tranfit our constitution, as reinforced, explain. in exemplum. If ever there was a time ed, improved, and in its fundamental favourable for establishing the princi. principles for ever settled. It is called ple, that a king of popular choice was • An act for declaring the rights and ihe only legal king, without all doubt
P. 34, Discourse on the love of our it was at the Revolution. Is not being country, by Ds. Price,
done at that time is a proof that the
nation was of opinion it ought not' to both acts strongly declaratory of the be done at any time. There is no inheritable nature of the crown; and person to completely ignorant of our in many parts they follow, with a nearly history, as not to know, that the majo- literal precition, the words and even rity in perliament of bath parties were the form of thanksgiving, which is fo little disposed to any thing relembling found in these old declaratory Statutes. that principle, that at first they were “ The two houses, in the act of deterniined to place the vacant crown, king William, did not thank God that not on the head of the prince of Orange, they had found a fair opportunity to but on that of his wife Mary, daughter allert a right to choose their own go. of king James, the eldest born of the vernors, much less to make an election issue of that king, which they acknow. the only lawful title to the crown. ledged as undoubtedly his. It would Their having been in a condition to be to repeat a very trite Itory, to recall avoid the very appearance of it, as to your memory all those circumstanças much as possible, was by them consi. which demonstrated that their accepting dered as a providential escape. They king William was not properly a choice; threw a politic, well-wrought veil orer but, to all those who did not wish, in every circumitance tending to weaken effect to recall king James, or to deluge the rights, which in the meliorated or, their country in blood, and again to der of succession they meant to perpebring their seligion, laws, and liberties tuate; or which might furnish a preinto the peril they had just escaped, it cedent for any future departure from was an act of necesity, in the itriciest what they had then fettled for ever. moral fente in which necessity can be Accordingly, that they might not relax taken.
the nerves of their monarchy, and that “ In the very act, in which for a they might preserve a close conformity time, and in a single case, parliament to the practice of their ancestors, as it depaited from the strict order of inhe appeared in the declaratory fatutes of riiance, in favour of a prince, who, queen Mary * and queen Elizabeth, in though not next, was however very near the next clause they vest, by recogniin the line of succession, it is curious tion, in their majelties, all the legal preto observe how lord Somers, who drew rogatives of the crown, declaring, 'ihat the bill called the Declaration of Riglit, in them they are molt fully, rightfully, has comported himfelf on that delicate and intirely invested, incorporated, occasion. It is curious to observe with united, and annexed. In the clause what address this temporary solution which follows, for preventing questions, of continuity is kept from the eye; by reason of any pretended uties to the whilst all that could be found in this crown, they declare (oblerving also in act of necessity to countenance the idea this the traditionary Janguage, along of an hereditary succession is brought with the traditionary policy of the naforward, and fostered, and made the tion, and repeating as from a rubric most of, by this great man, and by the the language of the preceding acts of legislature who followed him. Quitting Elizabeth and James) that on the prethe dry, imperative style of an act of serving a certainty in the succesparliament, he makes the lords and şion thereof, the unity, peace, and commons fall to a pious, legislative tranquillity of this nation doth, under ejaculation, and declare, that they con- God, wholly depend.? sider it' as a' marvellous providence, “ They knew that a doubtful title and merciful goodness of God to this of fucceffion would but too much re, nation, to preferve their faid majesies semble an election; and that an elecroyal persons, most happily to reign over tion would be utterly destructive of the us on the throne of their ancestors, for unity, peace, and tranquillity of this which, from the bottom of their hearts, nation,' which they thought to be conthey return their humblest thanks and siderations of some moment. praises.' The legislature plainly had vide for these objects, and therefore to exin view the act of recognition of the clude for ever the Old Jewry doctrine of first of queen Elizabeth, chap: 3d, and of that of James the First, chap. ift,
if Mary, Seff. 3. ch. 1.
! a right
a right to choose our own governors,' policy, are perfectly intelligible, and they follow with a clause, containing a perfectly binding upon those who exermost folemn pledge, taken from the cise any authority, under any name, or preceding act of queen Elizabeth, as under any title, in the state. The house Solemn a pledge as ever was or can be of lords, for instance, is not morally given in favour of an hereditary suc- competent to dissolve the house of com ceflion, and as solemn a renunciation' mons; no, nor even to dissolve itself, as could be made of the principles by nor to abdicate, if it would, its portion this society imputed to them, '. The in the legislature of the kingdom. lords fpiritual and temporal, and com. Though a king may abdicate for his mons, do, in the name of all the people own person, he cannot ahdicate for the aforefaid, molt humbly and faithfully monarchy. By as strong, or by a fubmit themselves, their heirs and stronger reason, the house of commons pofterities for ever; and do faithfully cannot renounce its Share of authority: promise, that they will stand to, main- The engagement and pact of fociety, tain, and defend their faid majelties, which generally goes by the name of and also the limitation of the crown, the constitution, forbids such invasion herein specified and contained, to the and fuch furrender. The constituent utmost of their powers,' '&c. &c. parts of a state are obliged to hold their
“ So far is it from being true, that public faith with each other, and with we acquired a right by the Revolution all those who derive any serious interest to elect our kings, that if we had.pof- under their engagements, as much as fessed it before, the English nation did the whole ftate is bound to keep its at that time molt folemnly renounce faith with feparate communities. Oiherand abdicate it, for themselves and for wise competence and power would soon all their posterity for ever. Thele gen. be confounded, and no law be left but tlemen may value themselves as much the will of a prevailing force. On this as they please on their whig principles; principle the fuccession of the crown but I never desire to be thought a better has always been what it now is, an whig than lord Somers; or to under- hereditary succession by law: in the old stand the principles of the Revolution line it was a succession by the common better than those by whom it was law; in the new by the statute law, brought about; or to read in the decla- operating on the principles of the comration of right any mysteries unknown mun law, not changing the substance, to those whole penetrating style has.en- but regulating the mode, and describ: graved in our ordinances, and in our ing the persons. Both these descriptions hearts, the words and spirit of that im- ot law are of the same force, and are mortal law,
derived from an equal authority, ema" It is true that, aided with the nating from the common agreement powers derived from force and oppor. and original compact of the state, comtunity, the nation was at ihat time, in muni Sponhone reipublicæ, and as such some sense, tree to take what course it are equally binding on king, and people plealed for filling the throne; but only too, as long as the terms are observed, free to do so upon the same grounds on and they continue the same body powhich they might have wholly abulilh- litic. ed their monarchy, and every other “ It is far from impossible to recon. part of their conititution. However, cile, if we do not suffer ourselves to be they did not think such bold changes entangled in the mazes of metaphysic within their commission. It is indeed fophiftry, the use both of a fixed rule difficult, perhaps impoffible, to give and an occasional deviation ; the salimits to the mere abiraet competence credness of an hereditary principle of of the supreme power, tuch as was ex succession in our government, with a ercild by parliament at that time; but power of change in its application in the limits of a moral competence, sub- cases of extreme emergency. Even in jecting, even in powers more indifpu- that extremity (if we take the meafure tably lovereign, occasional will to per- of our rights by the exercise of thein aç manent reason, and to the Iteady maxims the Revolution) the change is to be of faith, justice, and fixed fundaniental confined to the peccant part only; to