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ally bounden to abstain from such attempts. It is but justice, however, to mark the difference between such individuals, as, following the fortunes of their abdicated sovereign, quitted and renounced the community, (which they had a right to do) and those, who continuing to enjoy the protection and benefit of the community, rebelled against the state, by attempting to force and subject the avowed sense and open acts of the majority to the pretended rights and encroachments of an ufurping minority. By the articles of Limerick, the right of transferring their allegiance to a foreign power was expressly ftipulated for and granted to those, who should chuse on this occafion to quit the community
The revolution is to be looked upon as much (if not more) the act of those, who have ever since approved of it by the adoption and support of the establishment, that was effected by it, than of those, who first planned and brought it to bear. And I have too respetable a deference for the English nation, to charge them with having, as jurymen, brought in a false verdict, by finding against the matter of fact, which occasioned the revolution, or with having, as judges, pronounced against the point of law, by con
The revolution as much the act of those who approve of as of tloie.who planned it.
demning the principles, upon which it was effected. I should not hold myself justifiable in drawing a veil over the one or over the other. I most strongly, therefore, reprobate the idea of the rights of the people of England being weakened by any of the circumstances * that attended the revolution, or that any possible act of the legislature could tender the principles, upon which the revolution was effected, less operative in future than they had before been.
The before mentioned declaration by the Our ancestors national convention of the circumstances, that to deliver down on this occasion summoned them to the ex- for effecting the
revolution. ercise of their inherent and indefeasible rights; which I call the verdict of the nation, so far from being calculated to suppress or dissemble the matter of fact, appears to have been worded with the most cautious intention of handing down to the latest posterity a full and faithful statement of the facts, which induced them to make, and would induce posterity to approve of and support these 'alterations in the constitution and
government of the country. They make this exposition, or rather boast, of the circumfitonces, as tending to vivify and confirm, not 10
* Mr. Burke's Refections on the Revolution in France, P. 25.
weaken the rights, which, in the meliorated order of succesion, they meant to perpetuate ; and the acts, which they engrafted upon this declaration, are the strongest evidence of our ancestor's wishes to keep alive and active the principles, upon which they passed them. Some persons may also formerly have been prepossessed of the idea, that the revolution was *“ an act of necessity, in the strictest moral sense, in which necessity can be taken; and that it should never † furnish a precedent for
any future departure from what they had then settled for ever.” Through fear and anxiety therefore, left in these prepossessions the genuine principles of the revolution might merge and become extinguished, the nation at different times has taken the most effectual means to perpetuate the spirit and principles of the revolution to their latest pofterity, whom they endeavoured at the same time by all possible means to secure against the occasions of calling them into action.
It appears from history, that during the reign of queen Anne, many complaints were 'made by the bishops in particular, of the
increase of dissenters, and of the licentious and rebellious doctrines preached by several
• Burke, ubi fupra.
abolith the re
of the clergy; by which they would infer, Attempts to that the church of England was brought into volution pringreat danger: and very strong attempts were propagation of made from the pulpits and elsewhere, to in- tory principles. culcate into the people tory principles and doctrines, which militated directly against those whig principles, upon which the revolution was brought about and established. These matters were warmly debated in the
* and Lord Somers took a leading part in them. These persons, as Mr. Burke observes, † “ had many of them an active share in the revolution, most of them had seen it at an age capable of reflection. The grand event and all the discussions, which led to it and followed it, were then alive in the memory and conversation of all
The public steps, which were then Declaration of taken by the nation, were probably suggested the revolution and recommended by Lord Somers, and they neither prejucertainly were not grounded upon the idea or state. of our having renounced any rights at the revo
; on the contrary, they were adopted for the express and avowed purposes of keeping alive the genuine constitutional principles, upon which the right of the people to alter
* Vid. Hist. and Proceedings of the House of Lords, vol. ii. p. 154, & feq. 4 Anne. Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs, p. 55.
the nation that
the succession and government was exercised at the revolution, and upon the presumption, that the church of England could not be þrought into danger by the propagation and maintenance of those principles.
The first of these steps was the introduction of the before mentioned clause into the act (4 Ann. c. viii.) for the better security of her majesty's person and government, and of the succession to the crown of England in the protestant line, which makes it high treason to deny to the people, by their representatives in parliament, the right or power to limit, as they should think proper, the descent, inheritance, and government of the crown. The second was the royal proclamation made on the 20th Dec. 1705, in consequence of and in order to publish to the nation the joint vote of both houses of parliament, that the church was not in danger. And the proclamation contains her majesty's declaration, that she would proceed with the utmost severity the law should allow of, against the authors or spreaders of such seditious and scandalous reports. In the sixth year of her said majesty's reign, after the union, this clause of high treason for denying the right of parliament to new model the succeflion,