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1Never saw au unruly Crowd of People cool by Degrees into Temper, but it gave me tin idea of the Original of Power and the Nature of Civil Institutions. One particular Man has usually in thofe Cafes, from the Dignity of his Appearance, or other Qualities known or imagined by the Multitude, been received into sudden Favour and Authority, the Occasion of their Difference has been represented to him, and the Matter referred to bis Decision.
This first Step towards acting reasonably has brought them to themselves; and when the Person, by an Appeal to whom they first were taken out of Confusion, was gone from amongst them, they have calmly taken further Measures from a Sense of their common Good.
Absolute unlimited Power in one Person seems to have been the first and natural Recourse of Mankind from Disorder and Rapine; and such a Government must be acknowledged to be better than no Government at all: But all Restrictions of Power made by Laws and Participation of Sovereignty among several Persons, are apparent Improvements made upon what began in that unlimited Power. This is what seems reasonable to common Sense \ and the Manner of maintaining absolute Dominion in one Person,
uubere-ever it subsists, verifies the Observation; For the Subjection of the People to such Authority is supported only by Terrors, sudden and private Executions, and Imprisonments; and not as with happy Britons, by the Judgment, in Cafes of Liberty and Property, of the Peers, and Neighbours of Men accused or profecuted. This absolute Power in one Person, as it is generally exercised, is mt indeed Government, but at best clandestine Tyranny, supported by the Confederates, or rather Favourite-Slaves of the Tyrant.
I was glad to find this naturalSenfe of Power confirmed in me by very great and good Men, who have made Government, and the Principles on which it is founded, their professed Study and Meditation.
A very telebrated Author has these Words;
The Cafe of Man's Nature standing as it does, some kind of Regiment the Law of Nature doth require; yet the kinds thereof being many, Nature tieth not to any one, but leaveth the Choice as a thing arbitrary. At the first, when some certain kind of Regiment was once approved, it may be that nothing was then further thought upon for the Manner of governing, but all permitted unto their Wistiom and Discretion which were t© rule, 'till by Experience they found this for all Parts very inconvenient, so as the thing which they had devised for a Remedy did indeed but increase the Sore which it should have cured. They saw that to live by one Man's Will became the Cause of all Mens Misery. This constrained them to come unto Laws, Wherein all Men might see their Duties beforehand, hand, and know the Penalties of transgressing them. Men always knew that when Force and Injury was offered, they might be Defenders of themselves; they knew that howsoever Men might seek their own Commodity, yet if this were done with Injury to others, it was not to be suffered, but by all Men and by all good Means to be withstood.
Finally, They knew that no Man might in Reason take upon him to determine his own Right, and according to his own Determination proceed in Maintenance thereof, inasmuch as every Man is towards himself, and them whom he greatly affecteth, partial;and therefore that Strifes and Troubles would be endless, except they have their common Consent all to be ordered by some whom they should agree upon.
Mr. Stanhope, in Defence of Resistance in Cases of extream Necessity, cites this memorable. Passage from Grotius;
If the King hath one Part of the Supream Power, and the other Part is in the Senate or People; when such a King Ihall invade that Part that doth not belong to him, it shall be lawful to oppose a just Force to him, because his Power doth not extend so far: Which Position 1 hold to be true, even though the Power of making War should be vested only in the King, which must be understood to relate only to foreign War: For as for Home, it is impossible for any to have a Share of the Supream Power, and not to have likewise a Right to defend that Share.
An eminent Divine, who deserves all Honour for the Obligations he has laid upon both Church and State by his Writings on the Subject of Government, argues against Unlimited sower thus;
The Question is, Whether the Power of the Civil Magistrate be unlimited; that is, in other Words, Whether the Nature of his Office require it to be so But what? Is it the End of that Office that one particular Person may do what he pleascth without Restraint? Or that Society should be made happy and secure? Who will say the former? And if the latter be the true End of it, a less Power than absolute will answer it: Nay, an abso. lute Power is a Power to destroy that End, and therefore inconsistent with the End it self.
These Passages I thought sit to produce by way of Preface to the following Discourse, as carrying in them the Reason and Foundation of Government it self, and in Maintenance of what passed at tpe Revolution.,
I si all only beg leave to add to them one very great hiving Authority, the present Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain; who in a late famous Tryal, did openly before Queen, Lords and Commons, maintain the Lawfulness of the Revolution under the Notion of Resistance, and assert before the most solemn and august Assembly of Europe, that there are extraordinary Cases, Cases of Necessity, which are implyed, though not expressed in the General Rule; that is, which are so plain and so open to the common Sense of Mankind, that even whilst you are declaring Resistance in all Cafes to be unlawful, you are of necessity understood ta mean, that Resistance in some Cases is lawful. I am pleased to observe, that no one ever put the Matter so strongly, or carried it so high as this great Man did upon that Critical Occasion. At the fame time he was so just to his Country as to declare, That such a Case undoubtedly the Revolution was, when our late unhappy Sovereign then upon the Throne, mis led by evil Consellors, endeavoured to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion, and the Law* and Liberties of the Kingdom.