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hu majesty " is almost the only lawful king in they come to be examined upon the plain the world, because the only one who owes his meaning of their words, and the direct tendency crown to the choice of his people.” As to the of their doctrines, then equivocations and slipkings of the world, all of whom (exce one) pery constructions come into play. When this arch pontiff of the rights of men, with all they say the king owes his crown to the choice the plenitude, and with more than the boldness of his people, and is therefore the only lawful of the papal deposing power in its meridian sovereign in the world, they will perhaps tell fervour of the twelfth century, puts into one us they mean to say no more than that some of sweeping clause of ban and anathema, and the king's predecessors have been called to the proclaims usurpers by circles of longitude and throne by some sort of choice ; and therefore latitude, over the whole globe, it behoves them he owes his crown to the choice of his people. to consider how they admit into their territo- Thus, by a miserable subterfuge, they hope to ries these apostolic missionaries, who are to render their proposition safe, by rendering it tell their subjects they are not lawful kings. nugatory. They are welcome to the asylum That is their concern. It is ours as a domes- they seek for their offence, since they take tic interest of some moment, seriously to con- refuge in their folly. For, if you admit this sider the solidity of the only principle upon interpretation, how does their idea of election which these gentlemen acknowledge a king of differ from our idea of inheritance ? And how Great Britain to be entitled to their allegiance. does the settlement of the crown in the Bruns
This doctrine, as applied to the prince now, wick line derived from James the first, come on the British throne, either is nonsense, and to legalize our monarchy, rather than that of therefore neither true nor false, or it affirms a any of the neighbouring countries ? At some most unfounded, dangerous, illegal, and un- time or other, to be sure, all the beginners of constitutional position. According to this dynasties were chosen by those who cailed spiritual doctor of politics, if his majesty does them to govern. There is ground enough for not owe his crown to the choice of his people, the opinion that all the kingdoms of Europe he is no lawful king. Now nothing can be were at a remote period, elective, with more more untrue than that the crown of this king- or fewer limitations in the objects of choice ; dom is so held by his majesty. Therefore if but whatever kings might have been here or you follow their rule, the king of Great Britain, elsewhere, a thousand years ago, or in whatwho most certainly does not owe his high ever manner the ruling dynasties of England office to any form of popular election, is in no or France may have begun, the king of Great respect better than the rest of the gang of Britain is at this day king by a fixed rule usurpers, who reign, or rather rob, all over the of succession, according to the laws of his face of this our miserable world, without any country: and whilst the legal conditions of the sort of right or title to the allegiance of their compact of sovereignty are performed by him people. The policy of this general doctrine, (as they are performed) he holds his crown in so qualified, is evident enough. The propa- contempt of the choice of the revolution society, gators of this political gospel are in hopes their who have not a single vote for a king among abstract principle (their principle that a popu- them, either individually or collectively ; lar choice is necessary to the legal existence of though I make no doubt they would soon erect the sovereign magistracy) would be overlooked, themselves into an electoral college, if things whilst the king of Great Britain was not were ripe to give effect to their claim. His affected by it. In the mean time the ears of majesty's heirs and successors, each in his their congregations would be gradually ha- time and order, will come to the crown with the bituated to it, as if it were a first principle same contempt of their choice with which his admitted without dispute. For the present it majesty has succeeded to that he wears. would only operate as a theory, pickled in the Whatever may be the success of evasion, in preserving juices of pulpit eloquence, and laid explaining away the gross errour of fact, by for future use. Condo et compono quæ mox which supposes that his majesty' (though he depromere possim. By this policy, whilst our holds it in concurrence with the wishes) owes government is soothed with a reservation in his crown to the choice of his people, yet its favour, to which it has no claim, the nothing can evade their full explicit declarasecurity, which it has in common with all tion, concerning the principle of a right in the governments, so far as opinion is security, is people to choose, which right is directly maintaken away.
tained, and tenaciously adhered to. Al the Thus these politicians proceed, whilst little oblique insinuations concerning election bottom narica is taken of their doctrines; but when in this proposition, and are referable to it.
1.est the foundation of the king's exclusive legal A few years after this period, a second op title should pass for a mere rant of adulatory portunity offered for asserting a right of elecfreedom, the political divine proceeds dogmati- tion to the crown. On the prospect of a total cally to assert,* that by the principles of the failure of issue from king William, and from revolution the people of England have ac- the princess, afterwards queen Anne, the quired three fundamental rights, all of which, consideration of the settlement of the crown, with him, compose one system, and lie to- and of a further security for the liberties of the gether in one short sentenco; namely, that we people, again came before the legislature. have acquired a right
Did they this second time make any provision 1. “ To choose our own governours.” for legalising the crown on the spurious revo2. “ To cashier them for misconduct." lution principles of the Old Jewry? No. 3. “ To frame a government for ourselves.” They followed the principles which prevailed in
This new, and hitherto unheard-of bill of the declaration of right; indicating with more nghis, though made in the name of the whole precision the persons who were to inherit in people, belongs to those gentlemen and their the protestant line. This act also incorporated, faction only. The body of the people of Eng- by the same policy, our liberties, and an land have no share in it. They utterly dis- hereditary succession in the same act. Instead claim it. They will resist the practical as- of a right to choose our own governours, they sertion of it with their lives and fortunes. They declared that the succession in that line (the que bound to do so by the laws of their coun- protestant line drawn from James the first) try, made at the time of that very revolution, was absolutely necessary.“ for the peace, quict, which is appealed to in favour of the fictitious and security of the realm," and that it was rights claimed by the society which abuses its equally urgent on them “ to maintain a certainty
in the succession thereof, to which the subjects These gentlemen the Old Jewry, in all may safely have recourse for their protection." their reasonings on the revolution of 1688, Both these acts, in which are heard the uner. have a revolution which happened in England ring, unambiguous oracles of revolution policy, about forty years before, and the late French instead of countenancing the delusive, gipsey rovolution, so much before their eyes, and in predictions of a "right to choose our govertheir hearts, that they are constantly confoun- nours,” prove to a demonstration how totally ding all the three together. It is necessary that adverse the wisdom of the nation was from we should separate what they confound. We turning a case of necessity into a rule of law, must recall their erring fancies to the acts of Unquestionably there was at the revolution, the revolution which we revere, for the dise in the person of king William, a small and a covery of its true principles. If the principles temporary deviation from the strict order of a of the revolution of 1688 are any where to be regular hereditary succession ; but it is against' found, it is in the statute called the Declaration all genuine principles of jurisprudence to of Right. In that most wise, sober, and consi- draw a principle from a law made in a speciai derate declaration, drawn up by great lawyers case, and regarding an individual person. and great statesmen, and not by warm and in- Privilegium non transit in eremplum. If ever experienced enthusiasts, not one word is said, there was a time favourable for establishing ncr one suggostion made, of a general right the principle, that a king of popular choice was “to choose our own governours ; to cashier the only legal king, without all doubt it was at them for misconduct; and to form a govern- the revolution. Its not being done at that time ment for ourselves."
is a proof that the nation was of opinion it This declaration of right (the act of the 1st ought not to be done at any time. There is no of William and Mary, sess. 2. ch. 2.) is the person so completely ignorant of our history, as corner-stone of our constitution, as reinforced, not to know, that the majority in parliament of explained, improved, and in its fundamental both parties were so little disposed to any thing principles for ever settled. Ii is called “ An resembling that principle, thai at first they were uct for declaring the rights and liberties of the determined to place the vacant crown, not on the subject, and for settling the succession of the head of the prince of Orange, but on that of his crown.' You will observe, that these rights wife Mary, daughter of king James, the eldest and this succession are declared in one body born of the issue of that king, which they acand bound indissolubly together.
knowledged as undoubtedly his. It would be
to repeat a very trite story, to recall to your * P. 34, Discourse on the Love of our Country, memory all those circunstances which demonby Dr. Price.
strated that their accepting king William was
Aot properly a choice; but to all those who did Mary * and queen Elizabeth, in the next not wish, in effect, to recall king James, or to clause they vest, by recognition, in their ma deluge their country in blood, and again to bring jesties, all the legal prerogatives of the crown. their religion, laws, and liberties into the peril declaring, “that in them they are most fully, they had just escaped, it was an act of neces- rightfully, and intirely invested, incorporated, sity, in the strictest morau sense in which ne- united, and annexed.” In the clause which Cessity can be taken.
follows, for preventing questions, by reason of In the very act, in which for a time, and in any pretended titles to the crown, they declare a single case, parliament departed from the (observing also in this the traditionary lanstrict order of inheritance, in favour of a prince, guage, along with the traditionary policy of the who, though not next, was however very near nation, and repeating as from a rubric the in the line of succession, it is curious to ob- language of tho preceding acts of Elizabeth serve how Lord Somers, who drew the bill and James) that on the preserving " a certainty called the Declaration of Right, has comported in the succession thereof, the unity, peace, himself on that delicate occasion. It is curi- and tranquillity of this nation doth, under God, ous to observe with what address this tempo- wholly depend." rary solution of continuity is kept from the eye ; They knew that a doubtful title of succeswhilst all that could be found in this act of sion would but too much resemble an election ; necessity to countenance the idea of an here- and that an election would be utterly destrucditary succession is brought forward, and fos- tive of the unity, peace, and tranquillity of tered, and made the most of, by this great man, this nation,” which they thought to be consideand by the legislature who followed him. rations of some moment. To provide for these Quitting the dry, imperative style of an act of objects, and therefore to exclude for ever the parliament, he makes the lords and commons Old Jewry doctrine of " a right to choose our fall to a pious, legislative ejaculation, and de- own governours," they follow with a clause, clare, that they consider it “as a marvellous containing a most solemn pledge, taken from providence, and merciful goodness of God to the preceding act of queen Elizabeth, as solemn this nation, to preserve their said majesties' a pledye as ever was or can be given in favour royal persons, most happily to reign over us on of an hereditary succession, and as solemn a the thu one of their ancestors, for which, from the renunciation as could be maile of the principles bottom of their hearts, they return their hum- by this society imputed to them. 4. The Lords blest banks and praises." -The legislature spiritual and temporal, and commons, do, in plainly had in view the act of recognition of the name of all the people aforesaid, most humthe first of queen Elizabeth, chap. 3d, and of bly and faithfully submit themselves, their heirs that of James the first, chap. Ist, both acts and posterities for ever; and do faithfully prostrongly declaratory of the inheritable nature mise, that they will stand to, maintain, and of the crown, and in many parts they follow, defend their said majesties, and also the limi. with a nearly literal precision, the words and tation of the crown, herein specified and coneven the form of thanksgiving, which is found tained, to the utmost of their powers,” &c. &c. in these old declaratory statutes.
So far is it from being true, that we acquired The two houses, in the act of king William, a right by the revolution to elect our kings, that did not thank God that they had found a fair if we had possessed it before, the English opportunity to assert a right to choose their own nation did at that time most solemnly renounce governours, much less to make an election the and abdicate it, for themselves, and for all their only lawful title to the crown. Their having posterity for ever. These gentlemen may been in condition to avoid the very appearanco value themselves as much as they please on of it, as much as possible, was by them consi- their whig principles; but I never desire to be dered as a providential escape. They threw thought a better whig than Lord Somers; or to a politic, well-wrought veil over every circum- understand the principles of the revolution stance tending to weaken the rights, which in better than those by whom it was brought the meliorated order of succession they meant about; or to read in the declaration of right to perpetuatc; or which might furnish a pre- any mysteries unknown to those whose penocedent for any future departure from what they trating style has engraved in our ordinances, had then settled for ever. Accordingly, that and in our hearts, the words and spiri: of that they might not relax the nerves of their mo- immortal law. aarchy, and that they might preserve a close It is true that, aided with the powers deriven conformity to the practice of their ancestors, as it appeared in the declaratory statutes of queen
Ist Mary, sess. 3. ch. I.
from force and opportunity, the nation was at succession in our government, with a power of that time, in some sense, free to take what change in its application in cases of extreme course it pleased for filling the throne ; but only emergency. Even in that extremity (if we free to do so upon the same grounds on which take the measure of our rights by our exercise they might have wholly abolished their mo- of them at the revolution) the change is to be narchy, and every other part of their constitue consined to the peccant part only; to the part tion. However, they did not think such bold which produced the necessary deviation; and changes within their commission. It is indeed even then it is to be effected without a dedifficult, perhaps impossible, to give limits to composition of the whole cival and political the mere abstract competence of the supreme mass, for the purpose of originating a new power, such as was exercised by parliament at civil order out of the first elements of sothat time; but the limits of a moral compe- ciety. tence, subjecting, even in powers more indis- A state without the means of some change putably sovereign, occasional will to permanent is without the means of its conservation. reason, and to the steady maxims of faith, without such means it might even risk the loss justice, and fixed fundamental policy, are per- of that part of the constitution which it wished fectly intelligible, and perfectly binding upon the most religiously to preserve. The two those who exercise any authority, under any principles of conservation and correction ope name, or under any title, in the state. The rated strongly at the two critical periods of house of lords, for instance, is not morally the restoration and revolution, when England competent to dissolve the house of commons; found itself without a king. At both these no, nor even to dissolve itself, nor to abdicate, periods the nation had lost the bond of union if it would, its portion in the legislature of the in their ancient edifice; they did not, however, kingdom. Though a king may abdicate for dissolve the whole fabric. On the contrary, in his own person, he cannot abdicate for the both cases they regenerated the deficient part monarchy. By as strong, or by a stronger of the whole constitution through the parts reason, the house of commons cannot renounce which were not impaired. They kept these its share of authority. The engagement and old parts exactly as they were, that the part pact of society, which generally goes by the recovered might be suited to them. They name of the constitution,
forbids such invasion acted by the ancient organized states in the and such surrender. The constituent parts shape of their old organization, and not by the of a stale are obliged to hold their public faith organic molecula of a disbanded people. At with each other, and with all those who derive no time, perhaps, did the sovereign legislature any serious interest under their engagements, manifest a more tender regard to that fundaas much as the whole state is bound to keep its mental principle of British constiutional polifaith with separate communities. Otherwise cy, than at the time of the revolution, when it competence and power would soon be confoun- deviated from the direct line of hereditury sucded, and no law be left but the will of a pre- cession. The crown was carried somowhat vailing force. On this principle the succes- out of the line in which it had before moved; sion of the crown has always been what it now but the new line was derived from the same is, an hereditary succession by law: in the old stock. It was still a line of hereditary descent ; line it was a succession by the common law; still an hereditary descent in the same blood, in the new by the statute law, operating on the though an hereditary descent qualified with proprinciples of the common law, not changing testantism. When the legislature altered the the substance, but regulating the mode, and direction, but kept the principle, they shewed describing the persons. Both these descrip- that they held it inviolable. tions of law are of the same force, and are On this principle, the law of inheritance had derived from an equal authority, emanating admitted somo amendment in the old time, from the common agreement and original com- and long before the æra of the revolution pact of the state, communi sponsione reipublicæ, Some time after the conquest great questions and as such are equally binding on king, and arose upon the legal principles of hereditary people too, as long as the terms are observed, descent. It became a master of doubt, wheand they continue the same body politic. ther the heir per capita or the heir per stirpes
It is far from impossible to reconcile, if we was to succeed; but whether the heir per ca. do not suffer ourselves to be entangled in the pita gave way when the heirdom per stirpes truk mazes of metaphysic sophistry, the use both place, or the catholic heir when the protes ant of a fixed rule and an occasional deviation; was preferred, the inheritable principle curthe sacredness of an hereditary principle of vived with a sort of immortality thru yn all
transmigratious-multosque per annos stat 'fore crown; and the princes of the house of Brunstuna domus et avi numerantur avorum. This wick came to the inheritance of the crown, not is the spirit of our constitution, not only in its by election, but by the law, as it stood at their settled course, but in all its revolutions. Who- several accessions of Protestant descent and ever came in, or however he came in, whether inheritance, as I hope I have shewn suffi. he obtained the crown by law, or by force, the ciently. hereditary succession was either continued or The law by which this royal family is speadopted.
cifically destined to the succession, is the act The gentlemen of the society for revolutions of the 12th and 13th of King William. The sce nothing in that of 1688 but the deviation terms of this act bind “ us and our heirs, and from the constitution; and they take the devia- our posterity, to them, their heirs, and their tion from the principle for the principlo. They posterity," being Protestants, to the end of have little regard to the obvious consequences time, in the same words as the declaration of of their doctrine, though they may sce, that it right had bound us to the heirs of King Willeaves positive authority in very few of the po- liam and Queen Mary. It therefore secures sitive institutions of this country. When such both an hereditary crown and an hereditary an unwarrantable maxim is once established, allegiance. On what ground, except the con. that no throne is lawful but the elective, no stitutional policy of forming an establishmen: one act of the princes who preceded this æra to secure that kind of succession which is to of fictitious election can be valid. Do these preclude a choice of the people for ever, theorists mean to imitate some of their pre- could the legislature have fastidiously rejected decessors, who dragged the bodies of our an- the fair and abundant choice which our own cient sovereigns out of the quiet of their country presented to them, and searched in tombs? Do they mean to attaint and disable strange lands for a foreign princess, from whose backwards all the kings that have reigned bewomb the line of our future rulers were 10 fore the revolution, and consequently to stain derive their title to govern millions of men the throne of England with the blot of a con- through a series of ages ? tinual usurpation? Do they mean to invali- The Princess Sophia was named in the act date, annul, or to call into question, together of settlement of the 12th and the 13th of King with the titles of the whole line of our kings, Willia for a slock and root of inheritance to that great body of our statute law which passed our kings, and not for her merits as a tempounder those whom they treat as usurpers ? to rary administratrix of a power, which she annul laws of inestimable value to our liberties might not, and in fact did not, herself ever of as great value at least as any which have exercise. She was adopted for one reason, passel at or since the period of the revolutiet? and for one only, because, says the act," the If kings who did not owe their crown to the most excellent Princess Sophia, Electress and choice or their people, had no title to make Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, is daughter laws, what will become of the statute de talla- of the most excellent Princess Elizabeth, late gio non concedendo? of the petition of right? Queen of Bohemia, daughter of our late soveof the act of habeas corpus ? Do these new reign Lord King James the First, of happy doctors of the rights of men presume to assert, memory, and is hereby declared to be the that King James the second, who came to the next in succession in the Protestant line," &c. crown as next of blood, according to the rules &c.; "and the crown shall continue to the of a then unqualified succession, was not heirs of her body, being Prostestants.” This to all intents and purposes a lawful king of limitation was made by parliament, that through England, before he had done any of those acts the Princess Sophia an inheritable line, not which were justly construed into an abdication only was to be continued in future, but (what of his crown? If he was not, much trouble in they thought very material) that through her parliament might have been saved at the it was to be connected with the old stock of period these gentlemen commemorate. But inheritance in King James the First; in order King James was a bad king with a good title, that the monarchy might preserve an unbroken ard noi ani usurper. The princes who suc- unity through all ages, and might be preserved ceeded according to the act of parliament (with safety to our religion) in the old ap which settled the crown on the electress So- proved mode by descent, in which, if oui phia and on her descendants, being Protes- liberties had been once endangered, they had tants, came in as much by a title of inheritance often, through all storms and struggles of preas King James did. He came in according to rogative and privilege, bern preserved. They the law, as it stood at his accession to the did well. No experience has taught us, thá Vol. 1.-30