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encourage every attempt to enlighten others who may. Dr. Price has said truly, * Our
. first concern, as lovers of our country, must be to enlighten it; and is it not because they are. kept in darkness, and want knowledge, that mankind submit to be treated as if they were a kerd of cattle? Enlighten them, and elevate them. This is wholesome doctrine, and if rightly applied, will produce much good. But I wish daily experience did not fatally convince ys, how grossly, it is misapplied and abused. I presume not absolutely to determine, that the effects of the scholars imbibing these precepts, arę strictly attributable to the intention of the teacher in inculcating them. No error nor abuse was ever attempted to be supported, but under the cover of some uncontrovertible general po
sition. Thus protected, the malcontents of tents under ge the day are taught voraciously to catch at every novelty. every novelty, that can throw disrepute and
disaffection upon our present establishment in church and state, with the intent to weaken, if they cannot dissolve, the bond of their union and submission to it. Every novelist, every theorist, is now a politician, informing, instructing, illuminating mankind; and
tions catch at
• Price, ubi fupra,
seldom does the barb or poison within these glittering baits of knowledge and liberality shew its deadly effects, till the wound is irremediable. With all the boasted preferences, False policy which our present existence gives us over our known and repredecessors, I find, that about two centuries jettede ago this fort of political angling was also the favourite amusement of the malcontents of those days; and whether the shoals of gudgeons were then more or less numerous than at present, certain it is, that there then were, in some of our predeceffors, sufficient knowledge, penetration, and firmness; to detect and reject the flattering delusion. *«
* « Amongst many errors concerning religion, which are currant in this unfortunate age, none is more dangerous or pernitious, than the opinion of such, as are commonly called politikes ; so named, not because they practize true and perfect policie, but because they esteeme themselves, or are of many falsly reputed for prudent and politike men; and, therefore, as the Latin word tyrannus, which at first did signify a monarche and absolute kinge, came afterwardes, by the abuse of roial authority to signify only a tyrant, and
in like manner the word latrones signified
* Fitzherbert's Preface to his Treatise concerning Policy and Religion, printed in 1695.
at the first, such as were the guards of princes,
heauen, and the world before God.”
idea will impel the same individual, ac-
the same per
in the full glow of gratitude for royal favour, in the chapel of St. James, and soured with the loss of place or pension in the discontented congregation of the Old Jewry: *«Civil governors are, properly, the servants of the public; and a king is no more, than the first servant of the public, created by it, maintained by it, and responsible to it; and all the homage paid him is due to him on no other account, than his relation to the public; his sacredness is the sacredness of the community; his authority is the authority of the community, and the term of majesty, which it is usual to apply to him, is by no means his own majesty, but the majesty of the people ; for this reason, whatever he may be in his private capacity, and though, in respect of personal qualities not equal to, or even far below many among ourselves, for this reason, I say, (that is, as representing the community and its magistrate) he is entitled to our reverence and obedience. The words most excellent majesty † are rightly applied to
* Dr. Price's Disc. on the Love of our Country, p. 23, 24.
+ The word majesty is not, at least was not always, effential to express that constitutional deference and respect, which are due to the sovereign; for, according to history, king Henry VIII. was the first of our sovereigns, to whom the tețm majesty was attributed.
Treason to deny the king's prefogative.
him ; and there is a respect, which it would be criminal to withold from him,"
Since it would be treasonable for any British fubject openly to maintain, that the conftitution of this kingdom does not vest the supreme executive power in the single perfon, who by the fixed rule of hereditary descent, shall have succeeded to the throne ; it is equally true and certain, that the constitution has affixed a certain limitation of prerogative or power to this person so in possession of the throne, which it would also be treasonable in any subject or member of the community to question or deny. I do not think it
material to canvass the motives, which draw from subjects that respect and reverence to the king's majesty, which Dr. Price says it would be criminal to withhold, Those, who derive the king's sovereignty immediately from Almighty God, cản scarcely be conceived limited in their reverence and homage to his vicegerent upon earth; those, who trace it from the immediate appointment of the community, undervalue and contemn the people, in proportion as they substract from the majesty of their appointee; for the refusal of the absolute honours to the prince, is the difavcwal of the relative honour to the people. I shall, therefore, here
The absolute honour of the king is the relative honour of the people.