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of this first right of man, but because they might by possibility exercise it in the same manner, in which their progenitors had chosen to do it before them. They did not attempt to check, nor forbid, nor prevent the personal adoption or exercise of religion in the individual; but as there could be no sove- ;. · reignty enjoyed by any one, without the free consent of the community, so the community determined, that no one, who should in future chuse to adopt and follow the Roman catholic religion, should be capable ! of enjoying the crown of this realm. The absolute deviation from the constitutional rule of hereditary succession, by the exclusion of King James and his heirs, though the nation, for regulating the future succession of the crown, resorted to a common stock from a remoter heir of the Stuart family, was the most irrefragable proof, that could be given of the right to alter the succession. And certainly it cannot be denied, but that it was an innovation in the constitution to make the renunciation of a certain' religion the fine quâ non condition of inheriting the crown; otherwise it could not have descended upon King James the Second, and the few years of his reign must be erased from the annals and statute books of this realm," and 04.
When violent In the heat of the times, in which the ma. measures become necessary, jority of this community chose to carry the art is requisite
exercise of their rights to such an extraordiinto execution.
nary extent, it certainly became necessary policy in the active ministers of the nation's wishes and intentions, to carry them into execution in a lenient and palatable, if not artful manner. Thus, from not sufficiently distinguishing between the rights of the people, which were exercised at the revolution, and the measures of the ministers in carrying them into execution, have arisen most of the contradictory judgments and opinions formed by posterity in the complex of that great and memorable event. *“ From these views arose that repugnance between the conduct and the language of the revolutionists, of which Mr. Burke has availed himself. Their conduct was manly and systematic; their language was conciliating and equivocal; they kept measures with prejudice, which they deemed necessary to the order of society; they imposed on the grossness of the popular understanding, by a fort of compromise between the constitution and the abdicated family; they drew a politic well-wrought veil, to use the expressions of Mr. Burke,
• Mackintosh, p. 298, and 299,
over the glorious scene, which they had acted ; they affected to preserve a femblance of succession, to recur for the ob. jects of their election to the posterity of Charles and James, that respect and loyalty might, with less violence to public sentiment, attach to the new sovereign.” In forming Actual diffolu
tion of governour thoughts and judgment upon this great ment by the ab
dication of King event, it never must be forgotten, that at the James. . time, when the convention of the two estates, on behalf of the majority (which is equivalent to the whole) of the community, called King William to the throne, and recognized him as their sovereign, there was an actual diffolution of government, occasioned by the flight and abdication of King James, who may perhaps with more strictness be said to have diffolved, than to have violated the original compact between the governor and the governed; for wherever one of two con tracting parties withdraws or recedes from the condition and obligation of the contract, there, the contract of itself ceases. · It cannot be denied, but that all the writers upon this subject, who were living at the time partial upon the of the revolution, have either, on the one side or the other, been guilty of some partiality. At this time of day, I will not even suppose the possibility of any such undue bias bear
ing upon the mind of any man, who undertakes to consider and view that transaction in a mere historical point of view. .
It would exceed my intent and purpose, were I to undertake either to justify or approve of every act of resistance in any of the people against the commands of their fovereign, from the acceffion of King James the Second to the time of the revolution, or to blame and condemn the several acts of the fovereign, which provoked such resistance. It is evident from obfervation, that a long feries and combination of acts may produce and even justify a consequence, which no one single act of the whole would of itself have produced or justified. I fhall not therefore argue upon any of the actions, either of the sovereign or of the nation, dur
ing the short reign of this unfortunate moIn 1683 every narch. But when the circumstances and situact of the king
ation of the nation had, as it were, collected into one focus all the counteracting efforts of the opposite parties, there arose that neceffity for decision in acting, that rendered every future act, either of the fovereign or the people, in their respective political capacities, absolutely conclusive.
The old uncontroverted principle, that, Rex datur propter regnum et non regnum propter
regem, will enable us to form our mind very satisfactorily upon this great event. I shall take for granted, what I presume no one will undertake to deny, viz. the right and poffibility of a king's relinquishing, abandoning, or giving up that power, and those rights, which had been given or deputed to him by. the community. Without; therefore, tak-, ing into consideration the reasons, motives, or inducements, which brought over the prince of Orange with an armed force into this country, we are to consider, and form our minde.. upon the conduct and actions of king James the Second, after that prince had once landed. It will not suffice to say, that king James, at that time, and under all circumstances, found himself in a very embarrassed situation; that Personal views he had reason to apprehend a general defec- king James nog tion of his subjects, and to fear for the per- dered. sonal safety of himself and his family; and that consequently his flight, and abandonment of the kingdom were to be looked upon, not as the acts of a free agent, but as the compulsive measures of the most dire necessity; and therefore that his fight out of the kingdom never can be construed into an actual abdica- , tion or renunciation of his sovereignty. It A considerable is immaterial also to consider, what part of lion with hina. his subjects were ready and willing to adhere
or motives of
· to be confi