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An eminent Divine, who deferves all Honour for the Obligations be bas laid upon both Church and State by his Writings on the Subje&t of Government, argues against Unlimited Power 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 pleaseth 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. Luce Power is a Power to destroy that End, and therefore inconfiftent with the End it self.
These Pasages I thought fit to produce by way of Preface to the following Discourse, as carry. ing in them the Reason and Foundation of Go. vernment it self, and in Maintenance of whas pared at the Revolution.
I pall only beg leave to add to them one ve. ti2ti2mâmă?2 ģŻÂ§Â§Â2Ò2ÂÒÂ?22/22ūņēņēmēģ2âÒâ? 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 Refiftance, and alert before the most solemn and august Asembly of Europe, that there are extraordinary Cases, Cases of Neceffity, 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 whilft you are declaring Resistance in all Cafes to be unlawful, you are of necesity 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 bigh as this great Man did upon that Critical Occasi. on. At the same time he was so just to his Country as to declare, That such a Case un. doubtedly the Revolation was, when our late unhappy Sovereign then upon the Throne, mil.led by evil Consellors, endeavoured to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom.
The CRISIS, &c.
TT is every Man's Duty to correct the Ex
travagances of his Will, in order to enjoy
Life as becomes a rational Being ; but we cannot possess our Souls with Pleasure and Sa. tisfa&tion, except we preserve to our selves that inestimable Blessing which we call Liberty. By Liberty I desire to be understood to mean, the Happiness of Mens living under Laws of their own making by their perfonal Consent, or that of their Representatives.
Without this, the Distinctions amongst Mankiod are but gentler Degrees of Misery; for as the true Life of Man confifts in conducting it aces cording to his own juft Sentiments and innocent Inclinations, his Being is degraded below that of a free Agent, which Heaven has made him, when his Affections and Paffions are no longer governed by the Di&tates of his own Mind, and the Interests of Homane Society, but by the arbitrary unrestrained Will of another.
Without Liberty, even Health, and Strength, and all the Advantages beltowed on us by Na-: ture and Providence, may at the Will of a Tyrant be employed to our own Ruin, and thar of our Fellow Creatures. -? . .':? . '
Liberty is essential to our Happiness, and they who resign Life it self rather than part with it, do only a prudent Action; but those who lay it down, and voluntarily expose themselves to Death, in behalf of their Friends and Country, do an heroick One. The more exalted Part of our Species are moved by such generous Impulses as these ; but even the Community, the Mass of Mankind, when convinced of the Danger of their Civil Rights, are anxious of preserving to themselves that dearest of all Pofferfions, Liberty,
The late Kingdoms of England and Scotland have contended for it from Age to Age, with too great a Price of Blood and Treasure to be given for the Purchase of any other Blessing ; but laid out Parfimoniously, when we consider they have transmitted this to their Pofterity.
But since, by I know not what Fatality, we are of late grown supine, and our Anxiety for it is abated, in Proportion to the Danger to which it is every Day more exposed, by the artful and open Attacks of the Enemies of our Constitu. tion; it is a seasonable and honeft Office to look into our Circumstances, and let the Enemies of our present Etablishment behold the Securities which the Laws of our Country have given those who dare affert their Liberties, and the Terrors which they have pronounced againft those who dare undermine them. For, whatever is the Prospect before our Eyes, it is the Business of every honest Man to look up with a Spirit that becomes Honesty, and to do what in him lies for the Improvement of our present Condition, which nothing but our own Pufillanimity can make defperate.
Corentions at is fugge Caule,
The most deftru&ive Circumstance in our Affairs seems to be, that by the long and repeated Infinuations of our Enemies, many are worn into a kind of Doubt of their own Cause, and think with Patience of what is suggested in favour of contrary Pretenfions. The most obvious Method of reviving the propenSentiments in the Minds of Men for what they ought to esteem most dear, is to shew, That our Cause has in it all the Sanctions of Honour, Truth, and Justice, and that we are, by all the Laws of God and Man, enstated in a Condition of enjoying Religion, Life, Liberty, and Property, rescued from the most imminent Danger of having them all for ever depend upon the Arbi. trary Power of a Popish Prince.
We should have been chained down in this abje& Condition in the Reign of the late King James, had not God Almighty in Mercy given us the late happy Revolution, by that glorious Inftrument of his Providence the great and memorable King WILLIAM. But though this wonderful Deliverance happened as it were but Yesterday, yet such is the inadvertency or in. gratitude of some amongst us, that they seem not only to have forgotten the Deliverer, bu* even the Deliverance it self. Old Men act as if they believed the Danger which then hun over their Heads was only a Dream, the will Effe@s of ill-grounded imaginary Fears ; an: young Men, as if they had never heard front their Fathers, nor read of what paffed in this Kingdom, at a Period no farther backward than the Space of Five and Twenty Years.