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The most deftru&ive Circumstaoce 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 ob. vious Method of reviving the proper Sentiments in the Minds of Men for what they ought to esteem most dear, is to shew, That our Cause has in it all the San&ions 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 Proporty, rescued from the most imminent Danger of ha. ving them all for ever depend upon the Arbi. trary Power of a Popish Prince.
We should have been chained down in this abject Condition in the Reign of the late King James, had not God Almighty in Mercy given us the late happy Revolution, by that glorious Instrument of his Providence the great and memorable King WILLIA M. But though this wonderful Deliverance happened as it were but Yesterday, yet such is the inadvertency or Ingratitude of some amongst us, that they seem not only to have forgotten the Deliverer, but even the Deliverance it self. Old Men a& as if they believed the Danger which then hung over their Heads was only a Dream, the wild Effe&ts af ill-grounded imaginary Fears ; and young Men, as if they had never heard from their Fathers, nor read of what passed in this Kiogdom, at a Period no farther backward than the Space of Five and Twenty Years.
I flatter my felf, that if the Passages which happened in those Days, the Resolutions of the Nation thereupon, and the just Provisions made from Time to Time against our falling into the same Disasters, were fairly stated and laid in one View, all indirect Arts and mean Subtleries pra&tised to weaken our Securities would be fruAtrated, and vanish before the glaring Light of Law and Reason.
I mall not govern my self on this Occafion by the partial Relation of particular Persons or Parties, but by the Sense of the whole People, by the Sense of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the representative Body of the whole Nation; in whose Resolutions, according to the different State of Things, the Condition of the Kingdom, by those who had the greatest Stakes in it, has been from time to time, plainly, impartially, and pathetically expressed.
I shall begin with the A&t of Parliament made in England in the second Seffion of the first Year of the late King W'illiam and Queen Mary, entituled, An Ad declaring the Right's and Liberties of the Subje&t, and settling the Sucscellion of the Crown.
It carries in it the noble Resentment of a People that had been just rescued frorn Tyran.. ny; and yet, that they might justify their A&tions to Pofterity, it recites all the particu. lar Instances of the Tyrannical Reigo in a plain and dispassionate Simplicity: The A & runs as follows. .
Hereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal; oW and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully, and freely representing all the
Estates of the People of this Realm, did upon the 13th Day of February, in the Year of
our Lord 1688, present unto their Majesties, • then called and known by the Names and • Stile of William and Mary, Prince and Prinocess of Orange, being present in their proper • Persons, a certain Declaration in Writing, • made by the said Lords and Commons in the Words following, viz.. • Whereas the late King James the Second, by the Affittance of divers evil Counsellors, . Judges, and Ministers employed by him, did I endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Prote
ftant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of o this Kingdom;
• By assuming and exercising a Power of difspensing with and suspending of Laws, and • The Execution of Laws, without Consent of • Parliament;
" By committing and prosecuting divers worcthy Prelates, for humbly petitioning to be ex• cosed from concurring to the said assumed 6 Power ;
• By issuing, and caufiug, to be executed, a 6 Commission under the Great Seal for ere&ting ca Court called the Court of Commissioners
for Ecclefiaftical Causes ; .
. By levying Money for, and to the Use of o the Crown, by Pretence of Prerogative, for o other Time, and in other Manner, than the 6 same was granted by Parliament;
• By raising and keeping a Standing Army withs in this Kingdom in Time of Peace without
Consent of Parliament, and quartering Sol6 diers contrary to Law; .
By causing several good Subjects, being Protestants, to be disarmed, at the same time
when Papists were both armed and employed, 6. contrary to Law;
* By violating the Freedom of Ele&ion of Members to serve in Parliament;
By Prosecutions in the Court of King's Bencle 6.for Matters and Causes cognizable only in • Parliament, and by divers other arbitrary and illegal Courses:
And whereas of late Years partial, corrupt, 6 and unqualified Persons have been returned
and served on Juries, in Trials, and particu<larly divers Jurors in Trials for High Trea sfon which were not Free-holders.;
• And exceffive Bail hath been required of • Persons commitred in criminal Cases, to e• lude the Benefit of the Laws made for the · Liberty of the Subjeas; • And exceffive Fines have been imposed,
And illegal and cruel Punishments infli&ed, "And several Grants and Promises made of • Fines and Forfeitures, before any Convi&tion s or Judgment against the Persons upon whom • the same were to be levied :
• All which are utterly and directly contra"ry to the knowo Laws, and Statutes, and . Freedom of this Realm.
"And whereas the said late King James the • Ild having abdicated the Government, and • the Throne being thereby vacant,
• His Highness the Prince of Orange (whom • it hath pleased Almighty God to make the • glorious Instrument of delivering this King
dom fram Popery and Arbitrary Power) did ' (by the Advice of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and divers principal Persons of s'the Commons) cause Letters to be written
to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, being
Protestants, and other Letters to the several • Counties, Cities, Universities, Boroughs, ( and Cinque-Ports, for the churing of such
Persons to represent them as were of Right "to be sent to Parliament, to meet and fit at "Westminster upon the two and twentieth Day • of January, in this Year One thousand fix • hundred eighty and eight, in order to such an •'Establishment, as that their Religion, Laws, • and Liberties might not again be in Danger « of being subverted, upon which Letters E6 le&tions having been accordingly made. ;* And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and • Temporal, and Commons, pursuant to their o respective Letters and Elections, being now • assembled in a full and free Representative
of this Nation, taking into their most serious • Consideration the best Means for attaining the « Ends aforesaid, do, in the first place, astheir "Axcestors in like Cafe have usually done for • the 'vindicating and asserting their ancient . Rights and Liberties, declare,
That the pretended Power of suspending 6. of Laws, or the Execution of Laws, by Re• gal Authority, without Consent of Parlia• ment, is illegal.
"That the pretended Power of dispensing • with Laws, or the Execution of Laws by «Regal Authority, as it hath been assumed and • exercised of late, is illegal.
" That the Commiffion for erecting the late « Court of Commissioners for Ecclefiaftical Causes, and all other Commiftions and