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C H A P.
OF THE REVOLUTION, AND OF ITS PRINCIPLES
HE avowal of the principles, which
I have already endeavoured to establith, induces the mortifying necessity of arguing upon the revolution, in a manner different from that great personage, whose talents and virtues are the ornament and glory of the present age :
* « They threw a politic well wrought veil over every circumstance tending to weaken the rights, which, in the meliorated order of succession, they meant to perpetuate, or which might furnish a precedent for any future departure from what they had then settled for ever." No wonder that the malcontents of the present day, when not permitted to attribute effects to their real causes, should fly into any extra
vagancy, which can be proposed to them. Mischief of de- Unlimited is the mischief of not avowing, or
of denying or dissembling true principles. I principles.
neither see the policy, nor admit of the ne
nying or dir. sembling true
• Mr. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, p. 25.
cessity of putting extreme cases to elucidate the truth of our constitutional doctrine ; but, though I make the largest allowances for the indelicacy, the indiscretion, the imprudence, the insolence, or the malice of this practice, ftill do I see less evil in the consequences, than in one attempt to deny or difsemble the truth of the first principles of civil government.
Since this nation or community has de- Acts of parliaposed its sovereign power with parliamentary acts of the pea deputies or representatives, there can be no ple of England, act of parliament, which is not the act of the people of England; nor can there be an act of the people of England, which is not an act of the parliament of England; whatever, therefore, may be faid of the one, may also with strictness be said of the other. If therefore this sense and meaning be properly attended to, little offence, or even difpleasure, can be taken at most of the
propofitions, that have been lately hazarded by the different leaders or fomenters of the discontented minority. Thus, if we come truly and impartially to consider the three rights, which Dr. Price reminded his audience, at the Old Jewry, were gained by the revolution, we shall find nothing false in his politicotheologic assertion, but that we gained
Xave ito new rights to the community.
The revolution) then by the revolution ; for the revolution
gave no rights to the community, which the community did not before poffess; but, by affording an opportunity of calling these rights into action, like all other practical examples, it threw light upon the principles, from which the rights themselves originated.
The first of these is, the right to liberty of conscience in religious matters. I have before said, and, I hope, to the conviction of
my readers, that this is a right poffefsed by every
individual in such a transcendent and inPrice's propofi. defeasible manner, that he essentially holds tions are to be
ic independently of the community. The second is the right of resisting power when abused. Having before shewn, I hope also to the conviction of my readers, that all political power given or delegated by the community, is a trust, and consequently limited within certain bounds, it is evident and clear, that the community cannot be bound to submit to any excess of power, which they themselves have not affented to. This afsent is formally given by every one, who continues to remain a member of that community, which delegated the power to the parliament; and it is this assent, that constitutes the original compact between the governors and governed. The actual limitation of any
political power, is a metaphysical demonstration that it originated from, and depends upon a superior, who formed the limits. The transgression of these limits is a violation of the trust; it is either usurpation or tyranny, and consequently a direct breach of the original compact on the part of the governors; the governed cease to be bound to a power not assented to by them; there arises then a dissolution of the government, and the people have a right to resist the exactions of this assumed or usurped authority
The third of these rights, which Dr. Price represents as gained or obtained by the revolution is, * The right to chuse our own governors, 10 cashier them for misconduct, and to frame a government for ourselves. The general substance of these propositions is certainly true; but the method, which this zealous apostle of liberty has adopted to convey the truth to his
* Dr. Price, in the fame fermon, p. 35. “I would further direct you to remember, that though the revolution was a great work, it was by no means a perfet work; and that all was not then gained, which was necessary to put the kingdom in the secure and complete poffeffion of the blessings of liberty. In particular, you Should recolle&t, that the toleration then obtained was imperfe&t; it included only those, who could declare their faith in the doctrinal articles of the church of England.”
congregation, I must own, is rather of an in-
Deference and homage due to civil magila trates.
Dr. Price's Sermon, p. 27.