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the personal liberty of individuals. This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one's person to whatsoever place one's own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.”
* “ III. The third absolute right inhc- Of personal rent in every Englishman, is that of property; which consists in the free use, enjoyment, and disposal of all his acquisitions, without any control or diminution."
It would exceed my purpose to enumerate in detail all the particular laws, by which these rights and liberties are preserved and protected. Some are by common law, others by statute law: every subject may know, if he please, in what they consist; for they depend not upon the arbitrary will of a judge, but are permanent, fixed, and unchangeable, unless by act of parliament. The constitu- Certainty of our tution, powers, and privileges of parliament, "ights. and the limitation of the king's prerogative to certain bounds are the general and fundamental grounds for protecting and maintaining inviolate, our three great and primary rights of personal security, personal liberty,
Blak. Com. b. i. c. i. p. 129,
Oor courts of justice immaculate.
and private. property. Our immediate and
late, that have ever existed in any known Rights of jai ies. country; and to juries of our peers, whose
rights now seem for ever to be unalterably
+ “ In these several articles consist the
rights, or, as they are frequently termed, the
• Vid. Mr. Erskine's excellent argument upon the
five tyranny and oppression must act in opposition to one or other of these rights, having no other object, upon which it can polsibly be employed. To preserve these from violation it is necessary, that the constitution of parliaments be supported in its full vigour, and limits certainly known be set to the royal prerogative. And lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled in the first place to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and lastly to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence. And all these rights and liberties it is our birthright to enjoy entire, unless where the laws of our country have laid them under necefsary restraints; restraints in themselves so gentle and moderate, as will appear upon farther enquiry, that no man of sense or probity would wish to see them Nackened. For all of us have it in our choice to do every thing, that a good man would desire to do; and are restrained from nothing, but what would be pernicious either to ourselves or our fellow citizens. So that this review of our situation may fully justify the obserHh
Our duties to magiftrates, and theirs to us.
vation of a learned French author, * who
My object hitherto has chiefly been the
• Mont, Spir. of Laws, 9. 5.
C H A P.
T may appear singular, that I should Reasons for
attempt to explain and enforce the duties these offences, of individuals towards the society, by considering their breach and violation of them. Were this the point, from which I had originally started the subject, I should certainly have pursued another course; but as what has been already offered will I hope satisfy that class of my readers, who admit of the obligation to observe and comply with these duties virtutis amore, so I feel it incumbent
upon me to throw this obligation into a new light; for the conviction of those, who cannot otherwise than formidine pæna be induced to submit unto it.
Nothing is more true, than that the basis and whole superstructure of our constitution is formed of true liberty; which consists in the preservation of order for the protection of society, not in the abandoned licenciousness of confusion and anarchy. The liberty of a The liberty of a hation is ever proportioned to the perfection tioned to the of its government; the perfection of govern- goverwenent Hh2