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If we take an impartial view of the whole transaction, we shall necessarily conclude, that our ancestors were satisfied with the general form and tenor of our constitution and government, by their continuing and confirming the greatest part, when an opportunity offered itself of new modelling the whole; and considering that their then actual state of anarchy, and the preceding ferment and disturbances in the nation were by the majority of them attributed to their sovereigns professing a different religion from their own, it is not surprising, that for the preservation and security of their own, as well as the peace and tranquility of their posterity, they should have taken the most effectual means of preventing the occasion of any such disasters in future. It was in fact a duty incumbent upon them to do it, under the prepossessions of the majority of the community at that time,
If king James the Second, circumstanced as he was in the year 1688, had put himself at the head of his army and militia; had he convened a free parliament; had he paid attention to the advice of his bishops, and the remonftrances of several of his people; and had he summoned all his liege subjects to their allegiance; whatever rebellion might
Ilhat king James should have done, not to have abdimied.
have ensued from some of his subjects; and whatever might have been the fate of the arms of the prince of Orange, king James might have died in the field king of England, or been expelled by his rebellious subjects; but he never could have been said to have abdicated, or forfeited, or abandoned his own or his peoples rights.
The executive power.
Am now come to speak of the first branch
of the legislative power of this realm, which the constitution has made the supreme executive power of the state, and which it has vested in a single person, that is to say, in that person, male or female, to whom the crown by the rule of hereditary succession shall descend. * It rarely happens, that we have the fatisfaction of finding a legislative exposition of any part of our constitution; whenever that happens, I feel myself emphatically bounden to submit it to my readers; for by the principles already laid down and established, the act of the majority of the community concludes every individual of the community; the act of the representatives of the nation is the act of the nation itself; the
• I have already fully fewn the very effential alteration made in the rule of succefion at the revolution; the old line was discontinued, and the condition of being protftant was annexed to the cap.city of fucceeding. Subject to this deviation and condition, the present rule of defcent remains the fame, as it was originally settled by the constitution.
three estates or branches of the legisature, which complete the parliament, make the full representation of the nation; and, therefore, it can be nothing short of high-treason against the state, to disavow, contradict, or resist this legislative authority, expressed in an act of parliament. A new fact in the events of kingdoms often draws forth an explicit declaration from the legiNature of certain fundamental principles, rules, and rights, which before had subsisted upon no other authority, than the universal unqualified admission and submission of the community. So upon the accession of queen Mary to the crown of England, in the year 1553, it was thought proper to make a full, clear, and explicit declaration of the rule and nature of the hereditary descent of the crown of England, as established by the constitution of the realm.
“ Forasmuch as the imperial crown of The crown of this realm, with all dignities, honours, pre- fcerdible to see rogatives, authorities, jurisdictions, and preheminences thereunto annexed, united, and belonging, by the divine providence of Almighty God is most lawfully, justly, and rightly descended and come unto the queen's
highness that now is, being the very true and undoubted heir and inheritrix thereof, and invested in her moft royal person, according unto the laws of this realm; and by force and virtue of the fame, all regal power, dignity, honour, authority, prerogative, preheminence, and jurisdictions doth appertain, and of right ought to appertain and belong unto her highness, as unto the fovereign fupreme governor and queen of this realm, , and of the dominions thereof, in as full, large, and ample manner as it hath done heretofore to any other her most noble progenitors, kings of this realm; nevertheless, the most ancient statutes of this realm, being made by kings then reigning, do not only attribute and refer all prerogative, preheminence, power, and jurisdiction royal unto the name of king, but also give, align, and appoint the correction and punishment of all offenders against the regality and dignity of the crown, and the laws of this realm, unto the king; by occasion whereof the malicious and ignorant persons may be hereafter induced and persuaded unto this error and folly, to think that her highness could ne should have, enjoy, and use such like authority, power, preheminence, prerogative, and jurisdiction, nor do ne execute and use all things con