« PreviousContinue »
tion has been made since the revolution, is proved by the actual poffeffion of the throne by king James II. before that event; the reasons of it were fully canvassed and submitted to even in those times of animosity and heat.
« But when these prerogatives are asserted to a prince, who is of a contrary religion to that established by law, there would be always danger of their being abused to the prejudice or destruction of the established religion ; to which it cannot be forgotten, that the promoters of the bill of exclusion used the same argument; leave him king, say they, he will have all the prerogatives of a king, and those prerogatives may be made infrumental to the ruin of your religion ; which could not be denied by the gantiemen on the other side, who cpposed that bill. Their only reply was, fout jufii:ia, ruat celum; it is his right, and we must not do evil, that goad may come; we must not do wrong, no, not to promote the interest of religion itself.” No. thing but an alteration in the constitution could prevent the possibility of the likę event happening again.
* Lord Chief Juslice Herbert's Reasons for the Judgment in the Case of Sir Edward Hales, p. 32.
* “ With regard to foreign concerns, the King complete king is the delegate or representative of his of the nation in
foreign trealas. people. It is impoffible, that the individuals of a state in their collective capacity can tranfact the affairs of that state with another community equally numerous as themselves. Unanimity must be wanting to their measures, and strength to the execution of their counsels. In the king therefore, as in a center, all the rays of his people are united, and form by that union a consistency, splendor, and power, that make him feared and refpected by foreign potentates, who would scruple to enter into any engagement, that inust afterwards be revised and ratified by a popular assembly. What is done by the royal authority with regard to foreign powers, is the act of the whole nation; what is done without the king's concurrence, is the act only of private men.”
+ “ The king has the military power ; but still with respect to this, he is not abfolute. It is true, in regard to the sea-forces, Kine can keep as there is in them this very great advantage, forces he that they cannot be turned against the liberty of the nation, at the same time that they are the surest bulwark of the island, the
up what lea
land forces without the
king may keep them as he thinks propers and in this respect he lies only under the ge
neral restraint of applying to parliament for But cannot raise obtaining the means of doing it. But in re
gard to land forces, as they may become an consent of par- immediate weapon in the hands of power,
for throwing down all the barriers of public liberty, the king cannot raise them without the consent of parliament. The guards of Charles II. were declared anti-constitutional; and James's army was one of the causes of
his being at length dethroned. The nature of Qur present
“ In these times, however, when it is Standing army. become a custom with princes to keep those
numerous armies, which serve as a pretext and means of oppressing the people, a state, that would maintain its independence is obliged in great measure to do the same. The parliament has therefore thought proper to establish a standing body of troops, which amounts to about thirty thousand men, of which the king has the command.
“ But this army is only established for one year; at the end of that term it is (unless re-established) to be ipfo facto disbanded; and as the question, which then lies before parliament is not whether the army ball be disolved, but whether it shall be eslablished anew, as if it had never existed, any one of
of minifters the
the three branches of the legislature may, by its dissent, hinder its continuance.
“ Besides, the funds for the payment of The pay of the this body of troops are to be raised by taxes, raised by annual that never are established for more than one year; and it becomes likewise necessary, at the end of this term again to establish them.”
Against any abuses of the king's prero- Impeachment gative in commencing, carrying on, or con- remedy against cluding wars, or in making treaties, leagues, of imprudent or alliances with foreign states, is the constitutional security of parliamentary impeachments of the ministers, who shall have advised or induced the crown to an imprudent, detrimental, or injurious exertion of the prerogative.
* “ Arother capacity, in which the king is King is the difconsidered in domestic affairs, is as the foun- penter of juftain of justice, and general conservator of the peace of the kingdom. By the fountain of justice the law does not mean the author or original, but only the distributor. Justice is not derived from the king, as from his free gift; but he is the steward of the public, to dispense it to whom it is due. He is not the spring, but the reservoir, from whence
right and equity are conducted, by a thoufand channels, to every individual. And hence it is, that all jurisdictions of courts are either mediately or immediately derived from the crown, their proceedings run generally in the king's name, they pass under his seal, and are executed by his officers.
" It is probable, and almost certain, that in very early times, before our conftitution arrived at its full perfection, our kings in person often heard and determined causes between
but at present, by the long and uniform usage of many ages, our kings have delegated their whole judicial power to the judges of their several courts, which are the grand depository of the fundamental laws of the kingdom, and have gained a known and stated jurisdiction, regulated by certain and established rules, which
the crown itself cannot now alter but by act Independence of parliament. And, in order to maintain
both the dignity and independence of the judges in the superior courts, it is enacted by the statute 13 W. III. c. 2. that their commissions shall be made (not as formerly, durante bene placito, but) quamdiu bene je gelerint, and their salaries 'ascertained and citablished; but that it may be lawful to remove them on the address of both houses
of the judges.