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him; and there is a respect, which it would
be criminal to withold from him." Treason to deny Since it would be treasonable for any Brithe king's prerogative. tish subject openly to maintain, that the con
stitution of this kingdom does not vest the
be conceived limited in their reverence and The absolute homage to his vicegerent upon earth; those, king is the who trace it from the immediate appointef ile people. ment of the community, undervalue and
contemn the people, in proportion as they fubftract from the majesty of their appointee; for the refusal of the absolute honours to the prince, is the disavcwal of the relative honour to the people. I shall, therefore, here,
honour of the
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 deliberation, or himself immediately gave it to those particular persons,” And thus clearly all power from are to be understood those words of our meditly or blessed Redeemer to Pilate, &“Thou wouldj} imracciately, not have any power over me, unless it were given thee from above ;” unless it be contended that Pontius Pilate, or Tiberius Cæfar, 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.
one quotation from scripture, that both parties may draw from it the satisfactory 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 tenderen Pelicant the application of passages from the holy every inter
writ, where most men interpret it by their 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 Ge. nesis to the end of the Revelations, which has not been tortured by the supporters of
the opposite parties into contrary meanings. Snare 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
power and right to confer it: thus are
• 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 his political capacity.
The king, in his political capacity, is a corporation fole: now *“ corporations fole consist of one person only and his successors in some particular station, who are incorporated by law, in order to give them some legal capacities and advantages, particularly that of perpetuity, which in their natural persons they could not have had. 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
maintain a perpetual fuccession, 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 beres viventis, and a corporation never dies.
* Blak. Com. b. i. c. xviii.
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