Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

tend a mixed government, and yet to settle the last resolution of all judgment in one, is to contradict their very intention. Neither in a constituted government must we dispose of powers according to the guess of our reason, for men's apprehensions are various: the doctor thinks this power fittest for the king; his answers judge it fittest for the two houses, and give their reasons for it too. Powers must there reside, where they are de facto by the architects of a govern. ment placed. He who can bring a fundamental act stating this power in any, says something to the matter • but, to give our conjectures where it should be, is but to provide fuel for contention.

On the contrary, the author of that which is called,' A full answer to the doctor,' hath two main assertions placing this judgment in the two houses.

1. The final and casting result of this state's judgment concerning what these laws, dangers, and means of prevention are, resides in the two houses of parliament, says he, p. 10.

2. In this final resolution of the state's judgment, the people are to rest, ibidem, page 14. Good Lord! What extreme opposition is between these two sorts of men? If the maintenance of these extreams be the ground of this war, then our kingdom is miserable, and our government lost, which side soever overcome: For I have, more than once, made it good, that these assertions are destructive on both sides. But I am rather persuaded, that these officious propugners overdo their work, and give more to them whose cause they plead, than they ever intended to assume: Nay, rather give to every one their due, give no power to one of these three to crush, and undo the other at pleasure. But why doth this answer give all that to the two houses, which heretofore they would not suffer, when the judges in the case of ship money had given it to the king? Sure, when they denied it to him, they did not intend it to themselves. 1. He tells us, In them resides the reason of the state: And that the same reason and judgment of the state, which first gave this government its being and constitution; therefore all the people are to be led by it, and submit to it as their publick reason and judgment.

I answer: If by state he mean the whole kingdom, I say, the reason of the two houses, divided from the king, is not the reason of the kingdom, for it is not the king's reason, who is the head and chief in the kingdom. If by state be meant the people, then it must be granted, that, as far forth as they represent them, their reason is to be accounted the reason of the kingdom, and doth bind so far forth as the publick reason of the kingdom can bind, after they have restrained their reason and will to a condition of subjection; so that, put the case it be the reason of the state, yet not the same which gave this government its being; for then it was the reason of a state, yet free, and to use their reason and judgment in ordaining a government. But now the reason of state is bound by oath to a government, and not at liberty to resolve again; or to assume a supreme power of judging, destructive to the frame of government they have established, and restrained themselves unto. Their reason is ours, so far as they are an ordained representative body: But I have be

Vol. ix. B b

fbre demonstrated, that, in this frame, the houses could not be ordained a legal tribunal to pass judgment in the last case: For then the architects, by giving them that judicature, had subordinated the king to them, and so had constituted no monarchy. 2. He argues, the parliament being the court of supreme judicature, and the king's great and highest council, therefore that is not to be denied to it, which inferior courts ordinarily have power to do, viz. to judge matters of right between the king and subject, yea, in the highest case of all: The king's power to tax the subject in case of danger, and his being sole judge of that danger, was brought to cognisance, and passed by the judges in the exchequer. I answer, 1. There is not the same reason betwixt the parliament and other courts. In these the king is judge, the judges being deputed by him, and judging by his authority; so that, if any of his rights be tried before them, it is his own judgment, and he judges himself; and therefore it is fit he should be bound by his own sentence: But, in parliament, the king and people are judges, and not by an authority derived from him, but originally invested in themselves. So that, when the two estates judge without him in any case not prejudged by him, it cannot be called his judgment (as that of the other courts, being done by his authority), and, if he be bound by any judgment of the two estates without him, he is bound by an external power which is not his own; that is, he is subordinated to another power in the state where he is supreme, which is contradictory. 2. In other courts, if any case of right be judged betwixt him and the subject, they are cases of particular rights, which diminish not royalty, if determined against him: Or, if they pass cases of general right (as they did in that of shipmoney) it is but declaratively to shew what is by law due to one and the other; yet their judgment is revocable, and liable to a repeal by a superior court, as that was by parliament. But, if the king's prerogatives should be subjected to the judgment of the two estates, the king dissenting, then he should be subject to a sentence in the highest court, and so irremediable; a judicatory should be set up to determine of his highest rights without him, from which he could have no remedy. Thus main causes may be alledged, why, though other courts do judge his rights, yet the two estates in parliament (without him) cannot; and it is from no defect in their power, but rather from the eminency of it, that they cannot. If one deputed by common consent of three doth, by the power they have given them, determine controversies between those three, it is not for either of them to challenge right to judge those cases, because one who is inferior to them doth it. Indeed if the power of the two houses were a deputed power, as the power of other courts is, this argument were of good strength; but, they being concurrents in a supreme court by a rower originally their own, I conceive it hard to put the power of final judgment in all controversies betwixt him and them exclusively or solely into their hauds.

Sect. III.
What is to be done in such a contention f

r

If it be demanded, then, how this cause can be decided? And which way must the people turn in such a contention? I answer, if the non-decision be tolerable, it must remain undecided, whilst the principle of legal decision is thus divided, and by that division each suspends the other's power. If it be such as is destructive, and necessitates a determination, this must be evident; and then every person must aid that part, which, in his best reason and judgment, stands for publick good against the destructive. And the laws and government which he stands for, and is sworn to, justify and bear him out in it, yea bind him to it. If any wonder I should justify a power in the two houses, to resist and command aid against any agents of destructive commands of the king, and yet not allow them power of judging when those agents or commands are destructive: I answer, I do not simply deny them a power of judging and declaring this; but I deny them to be a legal court ordained to judge of this case authoritatively, so as to bind all people to receive and rest in their judgment for conscience of its authority, and because they have voted it. It is the evidence, not the power of their votes, must bind our reason and practice in this case. We ought to conceive their votes the discoveries made by the best eyes of the kingdom, and which, in likelihood, should see most: But, when they vote a thing against the proceedings of the third and supreme estate, our consciences must have evidence of truth to guide them, and not the sole authority of votes, and that for the reason so oftesi alledged.

REASONS FOR CROWNING

THE

PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF ORANGE, KING AND QUEEN JOINTLY, And for placing the Executive Pozeer in the Prince alone. London, printed in the Year 1689. Folio, containing one page.

Wi

IIEREAS the grand convention of the Estates of England, have asserted the people's rights, by declaring, ' That the late King James 'the Second, having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the

* kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and 'people, and, by advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having

*violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out 1 out of this kingdom, has abdicated the government; and that the 'throne is thereby vacant.' For which misgovernment, he has forfeited the trust of the regal inheritance of the executive power, both in himself, and in his heirs, lineal and collateral; so that the same is devolved back to the people, who have also the legislative authority, and consequently may of right give, and dispose thereof, by their representatives, for their future peace, benefit, security, and government, according to their good-will and pleasure. And, forasmuch as it is absolutely necessary at all times, but in this dangerous conjuncture especially, that the government be speedily settled on sure and lasting foundations; and consequently that such person or persons be immediately placed in the throne, in whom the nation has most reason to repose an intire confidence; it, therefore, now lies upon us to make so judicious a choice, that we may, in all human probability, thereby render ourselves a happy people, and give our posterity cause to rejoice, when they read the proceedings of this wise and grand convention. Who is it, therefore, that has so highly merited the love and good opinion of the people, the honour of wearing the crown, and swaying the scepter of this land, as his illustrious Highness the Prince of Orange? Who, with so great expence, hazard, conduct, courage, and generosity, has happily rescued us from popery and slavery, and, with so much gallantry, restored us to our ancient rights, religion, laws, liberties, and properties; for which heroick action, we can do no less, in prudence, honour, and gratitude, than pray him to accept our crown.

II. It is better to settle the exercise of the government in one who is not immediate in the line, than in one that is. 1. Because it is a clear asserting of a fundamental right, that manifests the constitution of the English government, and covers the subjects from tyranny and slavery. 2. It cuts off the dispute of the pretended Prince of Wales. 3. The old succession being legally dissolved, and a new one made, the government is secured from falling into the hands of a Papist.

III. The making the Prince and Princess of Orange, king and queen jointly, is the nation's gratitude and generosity; and, by recontinuing the line in remainder, is manifested the inestimable value the people have for the two princesses, notwithstanding the maleadministration of their unhappy father.

IV. The present state of Europe in general, and of these kingdoms in particular, requires a vigorous and masculine administration. To recover what is lost, rescue what is in danger, and rectify what is amiss, cannot be effected, but by a prince that is consummate in the arts both of peace and war. Though the prince and princess be king and queen jointly, and will equally share the glory of a crown, and we the happiness of their auspicious reign; yet the wisdom of the grand convention is manifested, First, In placing the executive power in one of them, and not in both; for two persons equal in authority, may differ in opinion, and consequently in command; and it is evident, no man can serve two masters. Secondly, It is highly necessary and prudent, rather to vest the administration in the husband, than in the wife. 1. Because a man, by nature, education, and experience, is generally rendered more capable to govern, than the woman; therefore, 2. The husband ought rather to rule the wife, than the wife the husband, especially considering the tow in matrimony. 3. The Prince of Orange is not more proper to govern, as he is man and husband only, but as he is a man, a husband, and a prince of known honour, profound wisdom, undaunted courage, and incomparable merit; as he is a person that is naturally inclined to be just, merciful, and peaceable, and to do all publick acts of generosity for the advancement of the interest and happiness of human societies, and therefore most fit, under heaven, to have the sole executive power.

THE

DOCTRINE OF PASSIVE OBEDIENCE,
AND JURE DIVINO, DISPROVED,

AND

OBEDIENCE TO THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT PROVED,

FROM SCRIPTURE, LAW, ANT> REASON.

Written for the satisfaction of all who are dissatisfied at the present Government,

BY A LAYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.

London, printed for Randal Taylor, near Stationers-Hall, 1689. Folio, containing two pages.

[ocr errors]

TOD by no word binds any people to this, or that form of government, till they by their own act bind themselves.

None ought to advance the greatness of his sovereign, with the publick detriment.

The end of magistracy is the good of the whole body, head and members conjunctly; but, if we speak divisim, then the good of the society is the ultimate end; and, next to that, as conducent to that, the governor's greatness and prerogative.

The measure of our government is acknowledged to be by law; and therefore the king cannot confer authority to any beyond law; so that those agents, deriving no authority from him, are mere instruments of his will, unauthorised persons, in their assaults, robbers.

King Charles the First's declaration at Newmarket, 1641, says, that the law is the measure of his power.

« AnteriorContinuar »