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converted into a" pension, to depend on the treasury, and to be delayed; with-held, or perhaps to be extinguished by fiscal difficulties; which difficulties
sometimes be pretended for political purposes, and are, in fact, often brought on by the extravagance, negligence; and rapacity of politicians." The people of England think, that they have constitutional motives, as well as religious, against any project of turning their independent clergy into ecclefiaftical pensioners of state. They trem: * ble for their liberty, from the influence of a clergy dependent on the crown; they tremble for the public tranquillity, from the disorders of a factious'
. clergy, if it were made to depend upon any other than the crown. They therefore made their church, like their king and their nobility, independent.
" From the united confiderations of religion and constitutional policy, from their opinion of a duty to make a fúre provision for the consolation of the feeble, and the instruction of the ignorant, "they have incorporated and identified the estate of the church with the mass of private property, of which the state.is not the proprietor, either for use or dominion, but the guardian only, and the regulator. They have ordained that the
vision of this establishment might be as stable
I have now, I hope, adduced sufficient rea.
blishment forms an effential part of the EngDivision of the people into
lish constitution and from hence arises the Clergy and laity. first constitutional division of the community,
or people, into clergy and laity, whose several
I 66 Had I inferred the truth of our reli-
Rogers's Vindication of the Civil Establishment of ...
tion before me, I used other arguments; but
such law, to represent this power as unjust and tyrannical, and under these characters to dissuade all submission to it, these I think actions inconsistent with the obligations of a subject, and that the execution of our laws may justly be called for in restraint of them. The truth of a religion depends on its proper grounds. If it was false before it was established, the establishment will not make it true ; and he, who from the evidence of the thing is convinced it is false, cannot upon any authority believe it true.” From what has been said in this and the Civil establier
ment of religion foregoing chapter, I hope it will sufficiently of the fame appear, that the sanction, which the laws give other civil law, to the establishment of the church of Eng. land throughout England, and to Presbytery throughout Scotland, is in its tendency and effects merely of a civil nature; consequently, that the obligation of submitting to it, is the very same as the obligation of submitting to any other civil law whatever. Now, every external and public disavowal of, or opposation to the civil exactions of the legi
lature, must be criminał în är individual subject to the power of that legislature : But I shall hereafter have occasion to speak more fully upon the nature of crimes against the state.
CH A P. VI.
OF THE EFFECTS OF DENYING TRUE PRIN
true source and
Thas been usual for most writers both an
cient and modern, in discussing the subject of our constitution, to endeavour to trace its origin from the earliest antiquity, and to identify its form and substance through all the various modifications, changes, reformations, and revolutions, which it has undergone since the first establishment of society, or of a community in this country. I beg the liberty of following a very different course. I establish Principle the a principle, which, if it ever existed, must now origin of our exist, and if it now exist, must have always exifted; for what gives existence to a principle, is its universal and invariable truth, which, if it exist in one moment, must essentially have exifted from all eternity ; I need not, therefore, seek for its importation into this island by the Trojan prince Brutus; nor inquire whether it were borrowed by our British ancestors from their Gallic neighbours; nor whether it were the peculiar growth of our native foil ; whether it grew out of the hedge-rowed towns or encampments of our warlike ancefK