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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 fo 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 pʻrliament of both 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 goof 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 lois. 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 circumstancos much as possible, was by them confi. which demonstrated that their accepting dered as a providential escape. They king William was not properly a choice; threw a politic, well-wrought veil over but, to all those who did not wish, in every circumstance tending to weaken effect to recall king James, or to deluge the rights, which in the meliorated ortheir country in blood, and again to der of succession they meant to perpebring their eligion, 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 strictest what they had then settled for ever, moral sense 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 departed from the strict order of inhe appeared in the declaratory Atatutes 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 majeities, all the legal pre. to observe how lord Somers, who drew rogatives of the crown, declaring, 'ihat the bill called the Declaration of Right,' in them they are most fully, rightfully, has comported himtelf 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 language, 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 feiving 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 majesties semble an election; and that an elecqoyal 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 humbles thanks and siderations of some moment. To propraises.'- 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. ifty
ift Mary, Seff. 3. ch. 1.
a right to choose our own governors,' policy, are perfectly intelligible, and they follow with a clause, containing a perfe&tly 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 Colemn a pledge as eyer was or can be of lords, for instance, is not morally given in favour of an hereditary suc. competent to diffolve the house of com ceffion, 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 abdicate for the aforefaid, molt humbly and faithfully, monarchy. By as strong, or by a submit themselves, their heirs and stronger reason, the house of commons posterities 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, 10 the and such surrender. 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 fate is bound to keep its at that time molt folemnly renounce faith with feparate communities. Oiherand abdicate it, for themselves and for wile competence and power would foon all their posterity for ever. There
be confounded, and no law be left but plemen 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- of law are of the fame force, and are mortal law.
derived from an equal authority, ema6. It is true that, aided with the nating from the common agreement powers derived from force and oppor. and original compact of the state, come tunity, the nation was at that time, in muni sponfione reipublicæ, and as such some sense, free 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 abolish- litic. ed their monarchy, and every other “ It is far from impossible to recon. part of their constitution. However, cile, if we do not fuffer ourselves to be they did not think such bold changes entangled in the mazes of metaphysic within their commission. It is indeed fophistry, the use both of a fixed rule difficult, perhaps impossible, to give and an occasional deviation ; the salimits to the mere abstract competence credness of an hereditary principle of of the supreme power, such as was ex- succession in our government, with a ercifd 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 inore indispu- that extremity (if we take the measure tably sovereign, occasional will to per- of our rights by the exercise of thein aç manent reason, and to the steady maxims the Revolution) the change is to be of faith, justice and fixed fundamental confined to the peccant part only;...
the part which produced the necessary preferred, the inheritable principle furo deviation ; and even then it is to be et vived with a sort of immortality through fected without a decompofition of the all transmigrations-multo que per an. whole civil and political mass, for the nos flat fortuna domus et avi numeranpurpose of originating a new civil order tur avorum. This is the spirit of our out of the first elements of society. conftitution, not only in its settled
." Aftate without the means of some course, but in all its revolutions, Whochange is without the means of its con. ever came in, or however he came in, servation: Without such means it whether he obtained the crown by law, might even risque the loss of that part or by force, the hereditary fucceflion of the constitution which it wished the was either continued or adopted. most religiously to preserve. The two “ The gentlemen of the Society for principles of conservation and correction Revolutions fee nothing in that of 1688 operated frongly at the two critical pe- but the deviation from the conftitution; siods of the Restoration and Revolution, and they take the deviation from the when England found itself without a principle for the principle. They have king. At both those periods the na- little regard to the obvious confequention had lost the bond of union in their ces of their doctrine, though they mufi antient edifice ; they did not, however, fee, that it leaves pofitive anthority in diffolve the whole fabric. On ebe con- very few of the positive inftitutions of trary, in both cases they regenerated this country. When such an unwar. the deficient part of the old conftitution rantable maxim is once establithed, that rhrough the parts which were not im. no throne is lawful but the elective, no paired. They kept these old parts exactly one act of the princes who preceded as they were, that the part recoveredmight their æra of fi&itious election can be be suited to them. They acted by the anci- valid. Do these thieorists mean to imi. ent organized dates in the shape of their tate fome of their predecessors, who old organization, and not by the orga- dragged the bodies of our antieni fovenic molecule of a disbanded people. reigns out of the quiet of their tombs? At no time, perhaps, did the sovereign Do they mean to attaint and disable legislature manifeit a more tender re- backwards all the kings that have gard to that fundamental principle of reigned before the Revolution, and cop. British conftitutional policy, than at the sequently to ftain the throne of England time of the Revolution, when it devie with the blot of a continual ufurparjon? ated from the direct line of hereditary Do they mean to invalidate, annul, or fuccefiion. The crown was carried to call into question, together with the fomexvhat out of the line in which it titles of the whole line of our kings, kad before 'moved; but the new line that great body of our statute law which was derived froin the fame stock. It paffed under those whom they treat as was still a line of hereditary descent; ufurpers? to annul laws of inestimable ftill an hereditary descent in the fame value to our liberties of as great value blood, though an hereditary descent at least as any which have pafied at or qualified with protestantism. When fince the period of the Revolution : lf the legislature altered the direction, but kings, who did not owe their crown to kept the principle, they shewed that the choice of their people, had no title they held it inviolable.
to make laws, what will become of the On this principle, the law of in- statute de tallagio non concedendo? of the heritance had admitted some amend- petition of right ?-of the act of babeas ment in the old time, and long before corpus? Do these new doctors of the the æra of the Revolution. Soine time rights of men presume to assert, that after the conquest great questions arose king James the Second, who came ta upon the legal principles of hereditary the crown as next of blood, according descent. It became a matter of doubt, to the rules of a then unqualified suc whether the heir per capita or the heir cession, was not to all intents and puro per firpes was to fuccced; but whether poses a lawful king of England, before the heir per capita gave way when the he had done any of those acts which, heirdom per fiirpes took place, or the were juftly construed into an abdication Catholic heir when the Protestant was of his crown? If he was not, much
trouble in parliament might have been and is hereby declared to be the next in saved at the period these gentlemen fucceffon in the Protestant line,' &c. &c.;
But king Jaines was a 6. and the crown thall continue to the bad king with a good title, and not an heirs of her body, being Protestants." ulurper. The princes who succeeded This limitation was made by parliaaccording to the act of parliament ment, that through the princess Sophia which fettled the crown on the electress an inheritable line, not only was to be Sophia, and on her descendants, being continued in ure, but (what they Proteftants, came in as much by a title thought very material) that through her of inheritance as king James did. He it was to be connected with the old stock came in according to the law, as it stood 'of inheritance in king James the First; at his accession to the crown; and the in order that the monarchy might preprinces of the House of Brunswick serve an unbroken unity through all came to the inheritance of the crown, ages, and might be preserved (with not by election, but by the law, as it safety to our religion) in the old apstood at their several acceflions of Pro- proved mode by descent, in which, if teltant descent and inheritance, as I our liberties had been once endangered, hope I have shewn sufficiently.
they had often, through all forms and 6. The law by which this royal family truggles of prerogative and privilege, is specifically destined to the succession, been preserved. They did well. No is the act of the 12th and 13th of king experience has taught us, that in any William. The terms of this act bind other course or method than that of an ! us and our heirs, and our pofterity, to bereditary crown, our liberties can be them, their heirs, and their pofterity,' regularly perpetuated and preserved being Protestants, to the end of time, sacred as our hereditary rigbt. An ire in the same words as the declaration of regular, convulsive movement may be right had bound us to the heirs of king neceflary to throw off an irregular, William and queen Mary. It there convullive disease. But the courfe of fore securep both an hereditary crown succession is the healthy habit of the and an hereditary allegiance. On British constitution. Was it that the what ground, except the constitutional legislature wanted, at the act for the lipolicy of forming an establishment to mitation of the crown in the Hanoverian secure that kind of luccellion which is line, drawn through the female descendo to preclude a choice of the people for ants of James the First, a due sense of ever, could the legislature have faftidie the inconveniencies of having two or ously rejected the fair and abundant three, or possibly more, foreigners ja choice which our own country presented succession to the British throne? No! to them, and searched in strange lands they had a due sense of the evils which for a foreign princess, from whole womb might happen froin such foreign rule, the line of our future rulers were to de- and more than a due sense of them. rive their title to govern millions of But a more decisive proof cannot be men through a series of ages ?
given of the full conviction of the • The princess Sophia was named in British nation, that the principles of the the act of setilement of the 12th and Revolution did not authorize them to 13th of king William, for a jock and elect kings at their pleafure, and withroor of inberitance to our kings, and out any attention to the antient funda. Bot for her merits as a temporary admi- mental principles of our government, nistratrix of a power, which the might than their continuing to adopt a plan of not, and in fact did not, herself ever hereditary Protestant succefiion in the exercise. She was adopted for one rea- old line, with all the dangers and all fon, and for one only, because, says the the inconveniencicsof its being a foreign act, the most excellent princess Sophia, line full before their eyes, and operating electress and duchess do,vager of Ha- with the utmost force upon their minds. nover, is daughter of the most excellent “A few years ago I should be princess Elizabeth, late queen of Bohe. alhamed to overload a matter, so capa-, mia, daugbter of our late fovereign lord ble of supporting itself, by the then king James the First, of happy memory, unnecessary fupport of any argument;
but this feditious unconftitutional doc- a fi&tious cause, and feigned persotrine is now publicly taught, avowed, nages, in whose favour they suppose and printed. The dilike I feel to you engaged, whenever you defend the revolutions, the lignals for which have inheritable nature of the crown. It is so often been given from pulpits; the common with them to dispute as if fpirit of change that is gone abroad; they were in a conflict with some of the total contempt which prevails of those exploded fanatics of lavery, with you, and may come to prevail who formerly maintained, what I be. with us, of all antient inftitutions, lieve no creature now maintains, that when let in oppofition to a present the crown is held by divine, hereditary, sense of convenience, or to the bent and indefeasible right.'-Thefe old faof a prefent inclination : all these natics of single arbitrary power dog. confiderations make it not unadvise- matized as if hereditary royalty was able, in my opinion, to call back our the only lawful government in the attention to the true principles of our world, just as our new fanatics of poown domestic laws; that you, my pular arbitrary power, maintain that French friend, should begin to know, a popular election is the sole lawful and that we should continue to cherif source of authority. The old prerothem. We ought not, on either side gative enthusiasts, it is true, did fpeof the water, to suffer ourselves to be culate foolidly, and perhaps impioufry imposed upon by the counterfeit wares too, as if monarchy had more of a which fome perions, by a double fraud, divine fanétion than any other mode export to you in illicit bottoms, as raw of government, and as if a right to commodities of British growth, though govern by inheritance were in striëtness wholly alien to our soil, in order after- indefeasible in every person, and under wards to smuggle them back again every circumstance, which no civil or into this country, manufactured after political right can be. But an absurd the newest Paris fashion of an improved opinion concerning the king's herediliberty.
tary right to the crown does not pre. “ The people of England will not judice one that is rational, and boto ape the fashions they have never tried; tomed upon folid principles of law nor go back to those which they have and policy. If all the absurd theories found mischievous on trial. They of lawyers and divines were to vitiate look upon the legal hereditary fuccef- the objects in which they are converfion of their crown as among their fant, we should have no law, and no rights, not as among their wrongs ; religion, left in the world. But an as a benefit, not as a grievance; as a absurd theory on one side of a question fecurity for their liberty, not as a forms no justification for alledging a badge of servitude. They look on the false fact, or promulgating mischievous frame of their commonwealth, such as maxims on the other. it sands, to be of ineltimable value; “ The second claim of the Revolution and they conceive the undisturbed Society is ' a right of cashiering their succession of the crown to be a pledge governors on misconduet.' Perhaps of the Itability and perpetuity of all the apprehensions our ancestors enter. the other members of our conftitution. tained of forming such a precedent as
" I Mall beg leave before I go any that of cashiering for misconduct," further, to take notice of some paltry was the cause that the declaration of artifices, which the abettors of election the act which implied the abdication as the only lawful title to the crown, of king James, was, if it had any are ready to employ, in order to ren- fault, rather too guarded, and too der the support of the just principles circumstantial *. But all this guard, of our conititution a talk somewhat and all this accumulation of circuminvidious. These fophifters substitute ftances, ferves to thew the spirit of
* " That king James the Second, having perfons, having violated the fundamental endeavoured to subvert the constitution of laws, and having withdrawn bimself out of the kingdom, by breaking the original con- the kinrtom, hath abdicated the government, tract between king and ifcople, and by and the throne is thereby vacant.” the advice of jesuits, and other wicked