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adultery, though it is not named; for odious things ought not to be suspected, and therefore not named upon such occasions: But, when they fall out, they carry still their own force with them. 2. When there seems to be a contradiction between two articles in the constitution, we ought to examine which of the two is the most evident and the most important, and so we ought to fix upon it, and then we must give such an accommodating sense to that which seems to contradict it, that so we may reconcile those together. Here then are two seeming contradictions in our constitution: the one is, the publick liberties of the nation; the other is, the renouncing of all resistance, in case that were invaded. It is plain, that our liberty is only a thing that we enjoy at the king's discretion, and during his pleasure, if the other against all resistance is to be understood, according to the utmost extent of the words; therefore since the chief design of our whole law, and all the several rules of our constitution, is to secure and maintain our liberty, we ought to lay that down for a conclusion, that it is both the most plain and the most important of the two: and therefore the other article against resistance ought to be so softened, as that it do not destroy this. 3. Since it is by a law, that resistance is condemned, we ought to understand it in such a sense, as that it doth not destroy all other laws: and therefore the intent of this law must only relate to the executive power, which is in the king, and not to the legislative, in which we cannot suppose that our legislators, who made that law, intended to give up that, which we plainly see they resolved still to preserve intire, according to the ancient constitution. So then the not resisting the king can only be applied to the executive power, that so, upon no pretence of ill administrations in the execution of the law, it should be lawful to resist him; but this cannot with any reason be extended to an invasion of the legislative power, or to a total subversion of the government. For it being plain, that the law did not design to lodge that power in the king; it is also plain, that it did not intend to secure him in it, in case he should set about it. 4. The law mentioning the king, or those commissioned by him, shews plainly, that it only designed to secure the king in the executive power: for the word Commission necessarily imports this, since, if it is not according to law, it is no commission; and by con, sequence, those who act, in virtue of it, are not commissioned by the king, in the sense of the law. The king likewise imports, a prince cloathed by law with the regal prerogative; but, if he goes to subvert the whole foundation of the government, he subverts that by which he himself has his power, and by consequence he annuls his own power, and then he ceases to be king, having endeavoured to destroy that, upon which his own authority is founded.
It is acknowledged by the greatest asserters of monarchical power, that, in some cases, a king may fall from his power, and in other cases that he may fall from the exercise of it; his deserting his people, his going about to inslave, or sell them to any other, or a furious going about to destroy them, are, in the opinion of the most monarchical lawyers, such abuses, that they naturally divest those, that are guilty of them, of their whole authority. Infamy or phrenzy do also put them under the guardianship of others. All the crowned heads of Europe have, at least, secretly approved of the putting the late King of Portugal under a guardianship, and the keeping him still prisoner, for a few acts of rage, that had been fatal to a very few persons: and even our court gave the first countenance to it, though of all others the late king had the most reason to have done it at least last of all, since it justified a younger brother's supplanting the elder; yet the evidence of the thing carried it even against in. tercst; therefore, if a king go about to subvert the government, and to overturn the whole constitution, he by this must be supposed either to fall from his power, or at least from the exercise of it, so far as that he ought to be put under guardians: and, according to the case of Portugal, the next heir falls naturally to be the guardian. The next thing to be considered is, to see in fact whether the foundations of this government have been struck at, and whether those errors, that have been perhaps committed, are only such malversations, as ought only to be imputed to human frailty, and to the ignorance, inadvertencies, or passions, to which all princes may be subject, as well as other men; but this will best appear, if we con. sider, what are the fundamental points of our government, and the chief securities that we have for our liberties.
The authority of the law is, indeed, all in one word, so that, if the king pretend to a power to dispense with laws, there is nothing left, upon which the subject can depend; and yet, as if dispensing power were not enough, if laws are wholly suspended for all time coming, this is plainly a repealing of them, when likewise the men, in whose hands the administration of justice is put by law, such as judges and sheriffs, are allowed to tread all laws under foot, even theft, that infer an incapacity on themselves, if they violate them; this is such a breaking of the whole constitution, that we can no more have the administration of justice, so that it is really a dissolution of the government; since all tryals, sentences, and the exe. cutions of them are become so many unlawful acts, that are null and void of themselves.
The next thing in our constitution, which secures to us our laws and liberties, is a free and lawful parliament. Now not to mention the breach of the law of triennial parliaments, it being above three years since we had a session, that erected any law; methods have been taken, and are daily taking, that render this impossible. Parliaments ought to be chosen with an intire liberty, and without either force or pre-engagements, how they will vote, if they were chosen themselves; or how they will give their votes in the electing of others; this is plainly such a preparation to a parliament, as would, indeed, make it no parliament, but a cabal, if one were chosen, after all that corruption of persons, who had pre-engaged themselves, and after the threatening and turning out of all persons out of employments who had refused to do it; and if there are such daily regulations made in the towns, that it is plain, those, who manage them, intend at last to put such a number of men in the corporations as will certainly chuse the persons who are recommended to them. But above all, if there are such a number of sheriffs and mayors made over England, by whom the elections must be conducted and returned, who are now under an incapacity by law, and so are no legal officers, and by consequence, those elections, that pass under their authority, are null and void; if, I say, it is clear that things are brought to this, then the government is dissolved; because it is impossible to have a free and legal parliament in this state of things. If then both the authority of the law and the constitution of the parliament are struck at and dissolved, here is a plain subversion of the whole government. But if we enter next into the particular branches of the government, we will find the like disorder among them all.
The protestant religion and the church of England make a great article of our government; the latter being secured not only of old by Magna Charta, but by many special laws made of late; and there are particular laws made in King Charles the First's and the late king's time, securing them from all commissions that the king can raise forjudging or censuring them. If then, in opposition to this, a court so condemned is erected, which proceeds to judge and censure the clergy, and even to disseize them of their freeholds, withoutsomuchasthe formof a tryal, though this is the most indispensable law of all these, that secures the property of England; and if theking pretends that he can require the clergy to publish all his arbitrary declarations, and, in particular, one that strikes at their whole settlement, and has ordered process to be begun against all that disobeyed this illegal warrant, and has treated so great a number of the bishops as criminals, only for representing to him the reasons of their not obeying him; if likewise the king is not satisfied to profess his own religion openly, though even that is contrary to law, but has sent ambassadors to Rome, and received Nuncio's from thence, which is plainly treason by law; if likewise many Popish churches and chapels have been publickly opened; if several colleges of Jesuits have been set up in divers parts of the nation, and one of the order has been made a privy counsellor, and a principal minister of state; and if Papists, and even those who turn to that religion, though declared traitors by law, are brought into all the chief employments, both military and civil; then it is plain, that all the rights of the church of England, and the whole establishment of the Protestant religion, are struck at, and designed to be overturned; since all these things, as they are notoriously illegal, so they evidently demonstrate, that the great design of them all is the rooting out this pestilent heresy, in their stile, I mean the Protestant religion.
In the next place, if, in the whole course of justice, it is visible, that there is a constant practising upon the judges, that they are turned out upon their varying from the intentions of the court, and if men of no reputation or abilities are put in their places; if an army is kept up in time of peace, and men who withdrew from that
illegal service are hanged up as criminals, without any colour of law, which by consequence are so many murders; and if the soldiery are connived at and encouraged in the most enormous crimes, that so they may be thereby prepared to commit great ones, and, from single rapes and murders, proceed to a rape upon all our liberties, and a destruction of the nation: if, I say, all these things are true in fact, then it is plain, that there is such a dissolution of the government made, that there is not any one part of it left sound and intire; and if all these things are done now, it is easy to imagine what maybe expected, when arbitrary power that spares no man, and Popery that spares no heretick, are finally established; then we may look for nothing but gabels, tallies, impositions, benevolences, and all sorts of illegal taxes; as from the other we may expect burnings, massacres, and inquisitions. In what is doing in Scotland, we may gather what is to be expected in England; where, if the king has over and over again declared, that he is vested with an absolute power, which all are bound to obey without reserve; and has upon that annulled almost all the acts of parliament that passed in King James the First's minority, though they were ratified by himself when he came to be of age, and were confirmed by all the subsequent kings, not excepting the present: We must then conclude from thence, what is reSolved here in England, and what will be put in execution, as soon as it is thought that the times can bear it. When likewise the whole settlement of Ireland is shaken, and the army that was raised, and is maintained by taxes, that were given for an army of English Protestants, to secure them from a new massacre by the Irish Papists, is all now filled with Irish Papists, as well as almost all the other employments; it is plain, that not only all the British Protestants, inhabiting that island, are in daily danger of being butchered a second time, but that the crown of England is in danger of losing that island, it being now put wholly into the hands and power of the native Irish; who, as they formerly offered themselves up sometime to the crown of Spain, sometimes to the Pope, and once to the Duke of Lorrain, so are they, perhaps, at this present treating with another court for the sale and surrender of the island, and for the massacre of the English in it.
If thus all the several branches of our constitution are dissolved, it might be at least expected, that one part should be left intire, and that is the regal dignity; and yet that is prostituted, when we see a young child put in the reversion of it, and pretended to be the Prince of Wales, concerning whose being born of the queen, there appear to be not only no certain proofs, but there are all the presumptions that can possibly be imagined to the contrary. No proofs were ever given, either to the Princess of Denmark, or to any other Protestant ladies, in whom we ought to repose any confidence, that the queen was ever with child; that whole matter being managed with so much mysteriousness, that there were violent and publick suspicions of it before the birth. But the whole contrivance of the birth, the sending away the Princess of Denmark, the sudden shortening of the reckoning, the Queen's sudden going to St. James's. her no less sudden delivery, the hurrying the child into another room without shewing it to those present, and without their hearing it cry j and the mysterious conduct of all since that time; no satisfaction being given to the Princess of Denmark upon her return from tha Bath, nor to any other Protestant ladies, of the queen's having been really brought to bed; these are all such evident indications of a base imposture in this matter, that, as the nation has the justest reason in the world to doubt of it, so they have all possible reason to be at no quiet, till they see a legal and free parliament assembled, which may impartially, and without either fear or corruption, examine that whole matter.
If all these matters are true in fact, then I suppose no man will doubt that the whole foundations of this government, and all the most sacred parts of it, are overturned; and, as to the truth of all these suppositions, that is left to every Englishman's judgment and sense.
THE EXPEDITION OF HIS HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF ORANGE
GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF
THE MOST REMARKABLE PASSAGES THEREOF,
From the Day of his setting Sail from Holland, to the first Day of this Instant December, 1688. In a Letter to a Person of Quality.
[From a Quarto, containing eight Pages, printed in the year 1688.]
JL HE account you so earnestly desired of me, of the Prince's expedition and invasion of England, is a task no one should have commanded from me but yourself; the ancient friendship between us makes nothing appear difficult, in the way to serve you.
I shall not undertake to determine the legality of this great and bold attempt, nor reflect on the counsels that have brought this misery upon us, but shall content myself with giving you a brief account of the prince's expedition.
And, first, you are to take notice, that his highness set sail from Holland with fifty-one men of war, eighteen fire ships, and about three-hundred and thirty tenders, being ships hired of merchants, for the carriage of horse and foot, arms, ammunition, &c. The fleet ftood out at sea to the northward, which met with horrid storms for