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ftriction: but now, upon the new fettlement, the inheritance is conditional; being' limited to such heirs only, of the body of the princess Sophia, as are Protestant members of the church of Engiand, and are married to none but Protestants. *
And in this due medium consists the true constitucional notion of the right of succession to the ima perial crown of these kingdoms. The exireams, between which it steers, are each of them equally destructive of those ends for which focieries were formed and are kept on foot." Where the magistrate, upon every succession, is elected by the people, and may by the express provision of the laws be deposed (if not punished) by his subjects, this may sound like the perfection of liberty, and look well enough when delineated on paper, but in practice will be ever productive of tumult, contention, and anarchy. And, on the other hand, divine indefeasible heredi. tary right, when coupled with the doctrine of unli. mited paflive obedience, is surely of all constitutions the most thoroughly savish and dreadful. But when such an hereditary right, as our laws have created and vested in the royal stock, is closely interwoven with those liberties, which are equally the inheritance of the subject; this union will form a confti. tution, in theory the most beautiful of any, in prac. tice the most approved, and, in all probability, will prove in 'duration the most permanent. This conİtitution, it is the duty of every good Englishman to understand, to revere, and to defend. "The principal duties of the king are expressed in his oath at the coronation, which is administered by one of the archbishops, or bilhops of the realm, in the presence of all the people; who on their parts do reciprocally take the oath of allegiance to the crown. This coronation oath is conceived in the following terms: * « The archbishop or bipop ball say, Will you soť lemnly promise and swear to govern the people “ of this kingdom of England, and the dominions " thereunto belonging, according to the statutes in « parliament agreed on, and the laws, and customs «s of the fame - The king or queen fball say, I " solemnly promise so to do.
“ Archbishop or bijbop. Will you to your power < cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in " all your judgments ?- King or queen. I will..
« Archbishop or bishop. Will you to the utmost of “ your power maintain the laws of God, the true “ profession of the gospel, and the Protestant .re« formed religion established by the law? And will
you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of this « realm, and to the churches committed to their
charge, all such rights and privileges as by law “ do or shall appertain unto them, or any of them?
- King or queen. All this I promise to do.
- After this the king or queen, Laying his or ber band 66 upon the.boly gospels, fall. say, The things which “ I have here before promised I will perform and “ keep: so help me God. And then mall kiss the 66 book.” • This is the form of the coronation oath, as it is now prescribed by our laws:, and we may observe, that in the king's part in this original contract, are exprefed all the duties that a monarch can owe, to his people; viz. to govern according to law: to execute judgment in mercy : and to maintain the established religion. . With respect to the latter of these three branches, we may farther remark, that by the act of unicn, 5. Ann. c. &. two preceding itatutes are recited and confirmed; the one of the parliament of Scotland, the other of the parliament of England : which enact; the former, that every king at his acceffion shall take and subscribe an oath, to preserve the Protestant religion and Presbyterian church government in Scotland; the latter, that at his coronation he shall take and subscribe a similar oath, to preserve the settlement of the church of
i England England within England, Ireland, Wales, and Berwick, and the territories thereunto belonging :
The king of Great Britain, notwithstanding the limitations or the power of the crown, already mentioned, is one of the greatest monarchs' reigning over a free people. His person is facred in the eye of the law, which makes it high treason 'so much as to imagine or intend his death; neither can he, in himself, be deemed guilty of any crime, the law taking no cognizance of his actions, but only in the persons of his minifters, if they infringe the laws of the land. As to his power, it has no bounds, (except where it breaks in upon the liberty and property of his subjects, as in making new laws, or raising new taxes) for he can make war or peace; send and receive ambassadors ; make treaties of league and commerce; levy armies, fit out fleets, employ them as he thinks proper; grant commissions to his officers both by sea and land, or revoke them at pleasure; dispose of all magazines, castles, &c. summon the parliament to meet, and, when met, adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve it at pleasure; refuse his affent to any bill, though it hath passed both houses; which, confequently, by such a refusal, has no more force than if it had never been moved. He possesseth the right of chusing his own council; of nominating all the great officers of state, of the houshold, and the church; and, in fine, is the fountain of honour, from whom all degrees of nobility and knighthood are derived. Such is the dignity and power of a ķing of Great Britain.
Of the Parliament. Parliaments, in some shape, are of as high antiquity as the Saxon government in this island; and have subsisted, in their present form, at least five hundred years.
The parliament is assembled by the king's writs, and it's fitting must not be intermitted above three
d, in fine,
of nobility and power of
years. Its constituent parts are, the king fitting there in his royal political capacity, and the three estates of the realm ; the lords spiritual, the lords temporal, (who lit, together with the king, in one house) and the commons, who sit by themselves in another. The king and these three estates, toge. ther, form the great corporation or body politic of the kingdom, of which the king is said to be caput, principium, et finis. For upon their coming together the king meets then, either in person or by reprefentation; without which there can be no beginning of a parliament; and he also has alone the power of diffolving them. .
It is highly necessary for preserving the balance of the constitution, that the executive power should be a branch, though not the whole, of the legisature. The crown cannot begin of itself any alterations in the present established law; but it may approve or disapprove of the alterations suggested and consented to by the two houses. The legislative therefore cannot abridge the executive power of any rights which it now has by law, without it's own consent: since the law must perpetually stand as it now does, unless all the powers will agree to alter it. And herein indeed consists the true excellence of the English government, that all the parts of it form a mutual check upon each other. In the legislature, the people are a check upon the nobility, and the nobility à check upon the people; by the mutual privilege of rejecting what the other has resolved: while the king is a check upon both, which preserves the exes cutive power from encroachments.
The lords spiritual consist of two archbifhops and twenty-four bishops. The lords temporal con ft of all the peers of the realm, the bishops not being in ftrictneis held to be such, but meeriy lords of parLianient. Some of these fic by delcent, as do all antient peers; some by creation, as do all the news made ones; others, since the union with Scotland, by election, which is the całe of the sixteen peers, who
reprekent the body of the Scots nobility. Their number is indefinite, and may be encreased at will by the power of the crown.
A body of nobility is more peculiarly necessary in our mixed and compounded constitution, in order to support the rights of both the crown and the people; by forming a barrier to withstand the encroachments of both. It creates and preserves that gradual scale of dignity, which proceeds from the peasant to the prince; rising like a pyramid from a broad foundation, and diminishing to a point as it rises. The nobility therefore are the pillars, which are reared from among the people, more immediately to support the throne ; and if that falls, they must also be buried under it's ruins. Accordingly, when in the last century the commons had determined to extirpate monarchy, they also voted the house of lords to be useless and dangerous.
The commons consist of all such men of any pro. perty in the kingdom, as have not seats in the house of lords; every one of which has a voice in parliament, either personally, or by his representatives. In a free state, every man, who is supposed a free agent, ought to be, in some measure, his own governor ; and therefore a branch at leat of the legisative power should reside in the whole body of the people, in so large a state as ours, it is very wisely contrived, that the people should do that by their representacives, which it is impracticable to perform in person: representatives, chosen by a number of minute and le parate districts, wherein all the voters are, or easily may be, distinguished. The counties are therefore represented by knights, elected by the proprietors of lands; tie cities and boroughs are represented by citizens and burgesses, chosen by the mercantile part or supposed trading interest of the nation. The number of English representatives is 513, and of Scots 45; in all 558. And every member, though chosen by one particular district, when elected and