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band, and know the Penalties of transgressmg 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.
Air. Stanhope, in Defence of Resistance in Cafes 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 shall 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 fy sar: 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 be bat laid upon both Church and State by bis Writings on the Subject of Government, argues against Unlimited Tower 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 absolute Power is a Power to destroy that End, and therefore inconsistent with the End it self.
These Passages I thought fit to produce by way of Presace to the following Discourse, as carrying in them the Reason and Foundation of Government it self, and in Maintenance of what passed at the Revolution.
J shall only beg leave to add to them one very great Living Authority, the present Lord Jiigb 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, Cafes 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 Cases
t» to be unlawful, you are of necessity mderstoodto mean, that Resistance in some Cafes 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 Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom.
The CRISIS, &c.
IT is every Man's Duty to correct the Extravagances of his Will, in order to enjoy Life as becomes a rational Being ; but we cannot possess our Souls with Pleasure and Satisfaction, 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 personal Consent, or that of their Representatives.
Without this, the Distinctions amongst Mankind are but gentler Degrees of Misery; for as the true Life of Man consists in conducting it according to his own just Sentiments and innocent Inclinations, his Being is degraded below that of a free Agent, which Heaven has made him, when his Affections and Passions are no longer governed by the Dictates of his own Mind, and the Interests of Humane Society, but by the arbitrary unrestrained Will of another.
Without Liberty, even Health, and Strength, and all the Advantages bestowed on us by Nature and Providence, may at the Will of a Tyrant be employed to our own Ruin, and that 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; hut 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 Possessions, 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 Parsimoniously, when we consider they have transmitted this to their Posterity.
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 Constitution; it is a seasonable and honest Office to look into our Circumstances, and let the Enemies of our present Establishment behold the Securities which the Laws of our Country have given those Who dare assert their Liberties, and the Terrors which they have pronounced against 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 Pusillanimity can make desperate.