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( 33 ) the i 2th and i 3th of King William. The terms of this act bind “ us and our heirs, and our
posterity, to them, their heirs, and their poste"rity," being Protestants, to the end of time, in the same words as the declaration of right had bound us to the heirs of King William and Queen Mary. It therefore secures both an hereditary crown and an hereditary allegiance. On what ground, except the constitutional policy of forming an establishment to secure that kind of succession which is to preclude a choice of the people for ever, could the legislature have fastidiously rejected the fair and abundant choice which our own country presented to them, and searched in strange lands for a foreign princess, from whose womb the line of our future rulers were to derive their title to govern millions of men through a series of ages?
The Princess Sophia was named in the act of settlement of the 12th and 13th of King William, for a stock and root of inheritance to our kings, and not for her merits as a temporary administratrix of a power, which she might not, and in fact did not, herself ever exercise. She was adopted for one reason, and for one only, because, says the act, «s the most excellent k Princess Sophia, Electress and Dutchess Dow
ager of Hanover, is daughter of the most " excellent Princess Elizabeth, late Queen of * Bohemia, daughter of our late sovereign lord
King James the First, of happy memory, and e is hereby declared to be the next in succession
“ in the Protestant line," &c. &c.; “ and the “ crown shall continue to the heirs of her body,
being Protestants." This limitation was made by parliament, that through the Princess Sophia an inheritable line, not only was to be continued in future but (what they thought very material) that through her it was to be connected with the old stock of inheritance in King James the First; in order that the monarchy might preserve an unbroken unity through all ages, and might be preserved (with safety to our religion) in the old approved mode by descent, in which, if our liberties had been once endangered, they had often, through all storms and struggles of prerogative and privilege, been preserved. They did well. No experience has taught us, that in any other course or method than that of an hereditary crown, our liberties can be regularly perpetuated and preserved sacred as our hereditary right. An ir: regular, convulsive movement may be necessary to throw off an irregular, convulsive disease. But the course of succession is the healthy habit of the British constitution. Was it that the legislature wanted, at the act for the limitation of the crown in the Hanoverian line, drawn through the female descendants of James the First, a due Tense of the inconveniencies of having two or three, or possibly more, foreigners in succession to the British throne ? No! – they had a due sense of the evils which might happen from such foreign rule, and more than a due sense of
them. But a more decisive proof cannot be given of the full conviction of the British nation, that the principles of the Revolution did not authorize them to elect kings at their pleasure, and without any attention to the antient fundamental principles of our government, than their continuing to adopt a plan of hereditary Protestant succession in the old line, with all the dangers and all the inconveniencies of its being a foreign line full before their eyes, and operating with the utmost force upon their minds.
A few years ago I should be ashamed to overload a matter, so capable of supporting itself, by the then unnecessary support of any argument ; but this seditious, unconstitutional doctrine is now publicly taught, avowed, and printed. The diNike I feel to revolutions, the signals for which have so often been given from pulpits ; the spirit of change that is gone abroad; the total contempt which prevails with you, and may come to prevail with us, of all antient institutions, when set in opposition to a present sense of convenience, or to the bent of a present inclination: all these considerations make it not unadviseable, in my opinion, to call back our attention to the true principles of our own domestic laws; that you, my French friend, should begin to know, and that we should continue to cherish them. We ought not, on either side of the water, to suffer ourselves to be imposed upon by the counterfeit wares which some persons, by a
double fraud, export to you in illicit bottoms, as raw commodlities of British growth though wholly alien to our foil, in order afterwards to smuggle them back again into this country, manufactured aster the newest Paris fashion of an improved liberty.
The people of England will not ape the fashions they have never tried; nor go back to those which they have found mischievous on trial. They look upon the legal hereditary succession of their crown as among their rights, not as ainong their wrongs; as a benefit, not as a grievance; as a security for their liberty, not as a badge of servitude. They look on the frame of their commonwealth, such as it stands, to be of inestimable" value; and they conceive the undisturbed succession of the crown to be a pledge of the stability and perpetuity of all the other members of our constitution.
I shall beg leave, before I go any further, to take notice of some paltry artifices, which the abettors of election as the only lawful title to the crown, are ready to employ, in order to render the support of the just principles of our constitution a task somewhat invidious. These sophisters substitute a fictions cause, and feigned personages, in whose favour they suppose you engaged, whenever you defend the inheritable nature of the crown. It is common with them to dispute as if they were in a conflict with some of those exploded" fanatics of slavery, who formerly maintained, what I believe no creature
now maintains, “ that the crown
“ that the crown is held by die “vine, hereditary, and indefeasible right."—These old fanatics of single arbitrary power dogmatized as if hereditary royalty was the only lawful government in the world, just as our new fanatics of popular arbitrary power, maintain that a popular election is the sole lawful source of authority. The old prerogative enthusiasts, it is true, did speculate foolishly, and perhaps impiously too, as if monarchy had more of a divine sanction than any other mode of government; and as if a right to govern by inheritance were in strictness indefeasible in every person, and under every circumstance, which no civil or political right can be. But an absurd opinion concerning the king's hereditary right to
to the crown does not prejudice one that is rational, and bottomed upon solid, principles of law and policy. If all the absurd theories of lawyers and divines were to vitiate the objects in which they are conversant, we should have no law, and no religion, left in the work. But an absurd theory on one side of a question forms no justification fur alledging a false fact, or promulgating mischievous maxims on the other. The second claim of the Revolution Society is "a right of cashiering their governors on "misconduct." Perhaps the apprehensions our ancestors entertained of forming such a precedent as that "of cashiering for misconduct," was the cause that the declaration of the act which implied the abdication of king James, D3