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REIGN OF KING GEORGE THE FIRST.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors, A. D. 1717.......... ............ 1046
The Trial of William NEWBOLT and Edward BUTTLER,
Printers, for High Treason, in compassing and imagining the
A COMPLETE COLLECTION
442. The Trial of Henry SacheverELL, D. D. upon an Impeach
ment before the House of Lords, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors: 9 ANNE, A. 1). 1710.
| which Books were delivered in at the table; AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT PASSED MOST where several paragraphs in the Epistle DediREMARKABLE IN THE SESSIONS OF
catory, preceding the first mentioned Book,
and also several paragraphs in the latter Book, PARLIAMENT, 1709, 1710, IN THE were read. HOUSE OF COMMONS, RELATING
Resolved, That a Book entituled, “The
Communication of Sin; being a Sermon TO THE CASE OF DR. HENRY SA
preached at the Assizes held at Derby, August CHEVERELL.*
15, 1709;" and a Book, entituled, “The Perils
of False Brethren both in Church and State; December 13, 1709.
set forth in a Sermon preached before the right A COMPLAINT being made this day, in the honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and House of Commons, of two printed Books, the Citizens of London, at the cathedral church of one eotitaled, “ The Communication of Sin ; St. Paul, on the 5th of November, 1709," are a Sermon preached at the Assizes held at Der- | malicious, scandalous and seditious libels ; by, August 15, 1709, by Dr. Henry Sacheve. | highly reflecting upon her majesty and governrell :" And the other entituled, “ The Perils of ment, the late happy Revolution, and the ProFalse Brethren both in Church and State ; set testant Succession as by law established, and forth in a Sermon preached before the right both Houses of Parliament; tending to alienate honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and the affections of her majesty's good subjects, and Citizens of London, at the cathedral church of | to create jealousies and divisions among them. St. Paul, on the 5th of November, 1709," Ordered, That Dr. Henry Sacheverell, and preached also by the said Dr. Henry Sacheve. | Henry Clements, do attend at the bar of the rellt ; and both printed for Henry Clements : House to-morrow.
• This very prejudiced account, drawn up, Burke's 'Appeal from the New to the Old perhaps, by Salmon, is copied from the former Whigs. At the present period, the unqualieditions ; in which it was inserted in vol. 8, fied doctrine of Non-Resistance appears to be with a notice that it should be read before the abandoned; though much difference of opinion Trial, which had been inserted in vol. 5. Con. may subsist, as to the cases in which Resistcerning forms of procedure, see what mate. ance is justifiable. Blackstone's observations rial occurred as to this Case in the Journal, as on the matter are well worthy of attention: referred to, 4 Hats. Prec. + Upon this occasion bishop Kennet, then
"As to such public oppressions as tend to dean of Peterborough (see the article Kennet
dissolve the constitution, and subvert the fun. in the Biograpbia Britannica) published a True
damentals of government, they are cases, which
the law will not, out of decency, suppose : Answer to Dr. Sacheverell's Sermon, &c. in a letter addressed to an alderman of the city. It has invested with any part of the supreme
being incapable of distrusting those, whom it is worth perusal.
power; since such distrust would render the The doctrines, concerning the question of exercise of that power precarious and ingResistance and the Revolution of 1688, which practicable. For, wherever the law exwere in this case asserted by the Managers for presses its distrust of abuse of power, it always the Commons, form the ground-work of Mr. vests a superior coercive authority io sonno VOL. XV.
John Dolben, esq. made the first motion, thing in the Sermons malicious, scandalous, or against the two Sermons, and was seconded by seditious; nor reflecting on her majesty and Spencer Cowper, esq. [See his Case, vol. 13, government, the late happy Revolution, and p. 1105.1
the Protestant Succession as by law establishThey were opposed by several gentlemen ; ed; of which they did not observe any menwho said, they did not perceive there was any tion; neither had the paragraphs the least re
other hand to correct it; the very notion of latent) powers of society, which no climate, no which destroys the idea of sovereignty. If time, no constitution, no contract, can ever therefore(for example) the two Houses of Parlia- destroy or diminish.” ment, or either of thém, had avowedly a right
And again :to animadvert on the king, or each other, or if the king bad a right to animadvert on either I “ After what has been premised in this chapof the Houses, that branch of the legislature, ter, I shall not (I trust) be considered as an SO subject to animadversion, would instantly advocate for arbitrary power, when I lay it cease to be part of the supreme power; the down as a principle, that in the exertion of balance of the constitution would be overturn lawful prerogative, the king is and ought to be ed; and that branch or branches, in which this absolute; that is, so far absolute, that there is jurisdiction resided, would be completely sove- no legal authority that can either delay or resist reign. The supposition of law therefore is, him. He may reject what bills, may make that neither the king nor either House of Par what treaties, may coin what money, may liament (collectively taken) is capable of doing create what peers, may pardon what offences any wrong; since in such cases the law feels he pleases: unless where the constitution bath itself incapable of furnishing any adequate re-expressly, or by evident consequence, laid dowu medy. For which reason all oppressions, some exception or boundary ; declaring, that which may happen to spring from any branch thus far the prerogative shall go and no farther. of the sovereign power, must necessarily be For otherwise the power of the crown would out of the reach of any stated rule, or express indeed be but a name and a shadow, insufficient legal provision: but, if ever they unfortunately for the ends of government, if, where its jurishappen, the prudence of the times must pro- diction is clearly established and allowed, any vide new remedies upon new emergencies. man or body of men were permitted to disobey
“ Iudeed, it is found by experience, that it, in the ordinary course of law : I say, in the whenever the unconstitutional oppressions, even ordinary course of law; for I do not now speak of the sovereign power, advance with gigantic of those extraordinary recourses to first princistrides and threaten desolation to a state, man- | ples, which are necessary when the contracts kind will not be reasoned out of the feelings of of society are in danger of dissolution, and the humanity; por will sacrifice their liberty by a law proves too weak a defence against the vioscrupulous adherence to those political máxims, lence of fraud 'or oppression. And yet the which were originally established to preserve want of attending to this obvious distinction has it. And therefore, though the positive laws occasioned these doctrines, of absolute power are silent, experience will furnish us with a in the prince and of national resistance by the very remarkable case, wherein nature and people, to be much misunderstood and pervertreason prevailed. When king James the eded by the advocates for slavery on the one invaded the fundamental constitution of the hand, and the demagogues of faction on the realm, the convention declared an abdication, other. The former, observing the absolute whereby the throne was rendered vacant, which sovereignty and transcendent dominion of the induced a new settlement of the crown. And crown laid down (as it certainly is) most so far as this precedent leads, and no farther, strongly and emphatically in our law-books, we may now be allowed to lay down the law of as well as our homilies, have denied that any redress against public oppression. If therefore case can be excepted from so general and posiany future prince should endeavour to subvert tive a rule; forgetting how impossible it is, in the constitution by breaking the original con- any practical system of laws, to point out be. tract between king and people, should violate forehand those eccentrical remedies, which the the fundamental laws, and should withdraw sudden emergence of national distress may dicbimself out of the kingdom ; we are now au- tate, and which that alone can justify. On the thorised to declare that this conjunction of cir- other hand, over zealous republicans, feeling cumstances would amount to an abdication, and the absurdity of unlimited passive obedience, the throne would be thereby vacant. But it is have fancifully (or sometimes factiously) gone not for us to say, that any one, or two, of these over to the other extreme: and, because resistingredients would amount to such a situation; ance is justifiable to the person of the prince for there our precedent would fail us. In these wben the being of the state is endangered, and therefore, or other circumstances, which a fer- | the public voice proclaims such resistance netile imagination may furnish, since both law cessary, they have therefore allowed to every and history are sileni, it becomes us to be silent individual the right of determining tbis expetoo; leaving to future generations, whenever dience, and of employing private force to resist necessity and the safety of the whole shall re- even private oppression, A doctrine productive guire it, the exertion of those inherent (though of anarchy, and in consequence) equally fatal