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after consider the submission and respect due from the subject to the sovereign, as a civil duty and obligation, which every member of the community is indispensably obliged to perform, under the penalties, which the state has annexed to the crime of high treason.
The most vehement opponents of kingly power admit, after Milton, * that “there is no power but of God; that is, no form, no lawful constitution of any government”. For Almighty God + " is equally the original of it, whether he first lodged it more in common, and left the communication of it to particular persons, to be the result of reason and deliþeration, or himself immediately gave it to those particular persons.” And thus clearly all power from are to be understood thofe words of our mediately or blessed Redeemer to Pilate, I “ Thou would;t immediately. not have any power over me, unless it were given thee from above;" unless it be contended that Pontius Pilate, or Tiberius Cæ. far, whose lieutenant he was, had like Joshua, Saul, or David received an immediate appointment or commission from God, to rule over the people of Israel, I have cited this
* Milton's Defence, p. 64.
+ Hoadley's Defence of Mr. Hooker's Judgment, p. 199. Joan. c. xix, 2. 11.
sendered pliant to the sense of every inter
one quotation from scripture, that both
para ties may draw from it the fatisfactory inference, that the submissive deference of
any subject to an acknowledged sovereign will ever be regarded as a moral duty to Al
mighty God. Little will it avail me to atThe scriptures tempt to prove or confirm my reasoning by
the application of passages from the holy
writ, where most men interpret it by their preter.
own private judgment; and in this very controversy, I firmly believe, that there is not a passage relating to kingly or magiftratical power, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Revelations, which has not been tortured by the supporters of
the opposite parties into contrary meanings. Soare many po
The liberty, with which the ecclesiastical and theological writers upon this controversy have accommodated the authority of the scriptures to their respective doctrines, has been closely followed by most historical, political, and legal writers; for we find, through their writings, the very same texts quoted from the old approved authors, Bracton, Briton, Fleta, Fortescue, and others, to prove and support their opposite doctrines. It is neither incumbent upon me, nor is it competent for me to discuss the propriety of accommodating the sense of the holy fcrip
tures to opposite purposes; but I feel it an
The king (or queen) * of this realm, in The king to be
* Whenever I shall in future speak generally of the king, I beg also to be understood of a queen regnant, such as were Mary, Elizabeth, and Anne.
The king is a corporation in pacity.
The king, in his political capacity, is a his political ca. corporation fole : now *“ corporations fole
consist of one person only and his successors in some particular station; who are incore . porated by law, in order to give them fome legal capacities and advantages, particularly that of perpetuity, which in their natural perfons they could not have had.
But as all personal rights die with the person, and as the necessary forms of investing a series of individuals, one after another, with the same identical rights, would be very inconvenient; if not impracticable, it has been found necessary; when it is for the advantage of the public to have any particular rights kept on foot and continued, to constitute artificial perfons, who may maintain a perpetual fuccessions and enjoy a kind of legal immortality.” So in this sense is it said, that the king never dies : and those, who are his heirs in his natural capacity; are called his successors in his political capacity; for a corpcration can have no heirs; as nemo eft heres viventis, and a corporation never dies.
Blak. Com. b. i. c. xviii.
C H A P.
CH A P. X.
OF THE SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH
Shall follow the common order of affo
ciating our ideas of church and state, by first considering the king as fupreme head of the church of England. Now, although in this discussion I shall rather, consider, what the constitution now is, than what it heretofore was; yet; as whatever ecclesiastical supremacy aftical fupreover the church of England is now vested macy vetted in by the constitution in the person of the king, is generally supposed to be vested in him by the continuance, recognition, revival, or transfer of an old power, and not by the crea= tion, donation, and investiture of a new one; as I shall endeavour to make appear, it will be incumbent upon me to make some researches into the origin and establishment of fpiritaal or ecclefiaftical power in this country. I will presume it useless to repeat any thing I have heretofore faid, to prove that the majority of the community, who must conclude the whole, have not only an indefeasible
Right and dirty right, but an indispensable obligation and of individuals duty to adopt that divine cult or worship, dictates of God. 7
to follow the