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Among other theological arguments made use of in those times in praise of monarchy, and justification of absolute obedience to a prince, there seemed to be one of a singular nature: it was urged, that Heaven was governed by a monarch, who had none to control his power, but was absolutely obeyed: then it followed, that earthly governments were the more perfect, the nearer they imitated the government in Heaven. All which I look upon as the strongest argument against despotic power, that ever was offered ; since no reason can possibly be assigned, why it is best for the world, that God Almighty has such a power, which does not directly prove, that no mortal man should ever have the like.

But though a church of England man thinks every species of government equally lawful, he does not think them equally expedient; or for every country indifferently. There may be something in the climate, naturally disposing men toward one sort of obedience; as is manifest all over Asia, where we never read of any commonwealth, except some small ones on the western coasts, established by the Greeks. There may be a great deal in the situation of a country, and in the present genius of the people. It has been observed, that the temperate climates usually run into moderate governments, and the extremes, into despotic power. It is a remark of Hobbes, that the youth of England are corrupted in their principles of government, by reading the authors of Greece and Rome, who writ under commonwealths. But it might have been more fairly offered for the honour of liberty, that while the rest of the known world was overrun with the arbitrary government of single persons, arts and sciences took their rise, and flourished, only in those few small territories,

where the people were free. And though learn ing may continue after liberty is lost, as it did in Rome for a while, upon the foundations laid under the commonwealth, and the particular patronage of some emperors, yet it hardly ever began under a tyranny in any nation : because slavery is of all things the greatest clog and obstacle to speculation. And indeed, arbitrary power is but the first natural step, from anarchy or the savage life; the adjusting of power and freedom being an effect and consequence of maturer thinking: and this is no where so duly regulated, as in a limited monarchy: because I believe it may pass for a maxim in state, that the administration cannot be placed in too few hands, nor the legislature in too many: Now, in this material point, the constitution of the English government far exceeds all others at this time on the earth; to which the present establishment of the church does so happily agree, that I think, whoever is an enemy to either, must of necessity be so to both.

He thinks, as our monarchy is constituted, an hereditary right is much to be preferred before election. Because the government here, especially by some late amendments, is so regularly disposed in all its parts, that it almost executes itself, And therefore, upon the death of a prince among us, the administration goes on without any rub or interruption. For the same reasons, we have less to apprehend from the weakness or fury of our monarchs, who have such wise councils to guide the first, and laws to restrain the other. And therefore this hereditary right should be kept so sacred, as never to break the succession, unless where the preserving of it may endanger the constitution ; which is not from any intrinsic merit, or unalienable right in a particular family, but to


avoid the consequences that usually attend the ambition of competitors, to which elective kingdoms are exposed ; and which is the only obstacle to hinder them from arriving at the greatest perfection, that government can possibly reach. Hence appears the absurdity of that distinction, between a king de facto, and one de jure, with respect to

For every limited monarch is a king de jure, because he governs by the consent of the whole, which is authority sufficient to abolish all precedent right. If a king come in by conquest; he is no longer a limited monarch; if he afterward consent to limitations, he becomes immediately king de jure for the same reason.

The great advocates for succession, who affirm it ought not to be violated upon any regard or consideration whatsoever, do insist much upon one argument, that seems to carry little weight. They would have it, that a crown is a prince's birthright, and ought at least to be as well secured to him and his posterity, as the inheritance of any private man; in short, that he has the same title to his kingdom, which every individual has to his property : now the consequence of this doctrine must be, that as a man may find several ways to waste, mispend, or abuse his patrimony, without being answerable to the laws; so a king may in like manner do what he will with his own; that is, he may squander and misapply his revenues, and even alienate the crown, without being called to an account by his subjects.

They allow such a prince to be guilty indeed of much folly and wickedness, but for these he is answerable to God, as every private man must be, that is guilty of mismanagement in his own concerns. Now, the folly of this reasoning will best appear, by applying it in a parallel case: should any man argue, that a physician is supposed to understand his own art best; that the law.protects and encourages his profession; and therefore, although he should manifestly prescribe poison to all his patients, whereof they should immediately die, he cannot be justly punished, but is answerable only to God: or should the same be offered in behalf of a divine, who would preach against religion and moral duties; in either of these two cases, every body would find out the sophistry, and presently answer, that although common men are not exactly skilled in the composition or application of medicines, or in prescribing the limits of duty; yet the difference between poisons and remedies, is easily known by their effects; and common reason soon distinguishes between virtue and vice: and it must be necessary to forbid both these the farther practice of their professions, because their crimes are not purely personal to the physician or the divine, but destructive to the public. All which is infinitely stronger in respect to a prince, in whose good or ill conduct, the happiness or misery of a whole nation is included : whereas it is of small consequence to the public, farther than example, how any private person manages his property.

But granting that the right of a lineal successor to a crown, were upon the same foot with the property of a subject; still it may at any time be transferred by the legislative power, as other properties frequently are. The supreme power in a state can do no wrong, because whatever that does, is the action of all : and when the lawyers apply this maxim to the king, they must understand it only in that sense, as he is administrator of the supreme power; otherwise it is not universally true, but may be controlled in several instances easy to produce,

And these are the topics we must proceed upon, to justify our exclusion of the young pretender in France; that of his suspected birth being merely popular, and therefore not made use of, as I remember, since the revolution, in any speech, vote, or proclamation, where there was an occasion to mention him.

As to the abdication of king James, which the advocates on that side look upon to have been forcible and unjust, and consequently void in itself, I think a man may observe every article of the English church, without being in much pain about it. It is not unlikely that all doors were laid open for his departure, and perhaps not without the privity of the prince of Orange, as reasonably concluding, that the kingdom might be better settled in his absence: but to affirm he had any cause to apprehend the same treatment with his father, is an improbable scandal flung upon the nation, by a few bigotted French scribblers, or the invidious assertion of a ruined party at home, in the bitterness of their souls ; not one material circumstance agreeing with those in 1648; and the greatest part of the nation having preserved the utmost horror for that ignominious murder : but whether his removal were caused by his own fears, or other men's artifices, it is manifest to me, that supposing the throne to be vacant, which was the foot the nation went upon, the body of the people was thereupon left at liberty to choose what form of government they pleased, by themselves, or their representatives.

The only difficulty of any weight against the proceedings at the revolution, is an obvious objection, to which the writers upon that subject have not yet given a direct or sufficient answer, as if they were in pain at some consequences, which

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