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themselves kindly leading them towards associating, or incorporat. ing with each other; though (what is rather strange) Providence had ordained, that this way of life was to be so effentially necessary towards their happiness, that they must be miserable without it: nay, they were driven by deceility, and not drawn by inclination, to seek for any sort of civil government whatever. And, what is itranger ftill, it seems they were sensible, that this kind of institution, called Government, to which they had no natural inclination, but rather an avession, and whose good or bad effects they had not experienced, might easily procure advantages which they then wanted, and protect them from many dangers, to which they were continually exposed, in their independent, unconnected ftate. All these things, I own, are Itrange paradoxes to me: I cannot comprehend them.'
Now the essential distinction between that frong and original law of nature, which, previous to all reasoning, draweth men into SOCIETY, and that subsequent conclusion of reafon, which produces POLITY, as a security against those inconveniences which the imperfections of human nature must necessarily occasion in society prior to the existence of Law, are here, and almost every where throughout the book, confounded together, as though there were no difference. If our Author can see no such distinction, we presume it is evident enough to other men: but we will not venture to attribute to him this blindness, Since he states the distinction so fully in p. 151, as what will be objected to his doctrine ; although in our opinion, instead of giving it a fair and candid answer, he instantly Aies off from the point, and very difingenuously frames a case which is not similar, nor will admit of the fame answer. By this artifice of assuming, that instinctive society amongst men, and civil government, are one and the same thing, our Author, by Thewing that the Lockians, as he terms them, represent the latter as the effect of mere compact, very candidly infers, that they deny the former to be natural to man. See p. 378. But that this inference is a gross misrepresentation, appears from the very passage which he has selected from Dr. Priestly; for, if we can understand plain English, the foundation upon which the Doctor erects his fuperstructure of civil government is, the inconvenience of living independent and unconnected in a fociety merely instinctive, which he evidently, nay expressly supposes to have taken place; so far is he from supposing, as his commentator will have it, that " they did not feel any instincts within themselves kindly leading them towards associating, or incorporating with each other.' The passage under confideration seems a very extraordinary one indeed, for proving that the writer, together with all the Lockians, deny an innate propensity in mankind to social life; but it was the best our Author could pick out to serve his purpose.' His fairness in this particular we shall hereafter shew more at large. Had Dr. Priestley supposed men and tygers, sheep and Rev. Oct. 17814
wolves, pigeons and hawks, as existing together in one society, and, in consequence of insults and wrongs, common amongst them, to have entered into a compact, establishing a civil government for the future regulation of their communiiy, it would have been fair enough, we confess, for a learned commentator fagely to have remarked, that the supposer did not represent such a government, or such a previous society, to have taken place, in consequence of inftinéts within themselves kindly leading them towards associating or incorporating with each other ;' but to draw such an inference, when men with men were supposed existing together, is not very natural surely. This very cavil, however, is the principal stone in the foundation of that system, by which our Author most triumphantly boasts to have beaten down the system of Locke!
Our Author farther collects, p. 25, from his aforesaid quotations, II. That the Lockians do moft ftrenuously infift, that every man, every individual of the human species, hach an unalienable right to chuse, or refuse, whether he will be a member of this, or that particular government, or of none at all.' . For,' says he,' they • have extended the privilege of voting, or of giving actual consent, in all the affairs of government and legislation, beyond what was ever dreamt of before in this, or in any other civilized country ;-nay, according to their leading principles, it ought to be extended ftill much farther, than even they themselves have done. Before this new system had made iis appearance among us, the right of voting was not supposed to be an unalienable right, which belonged to all mankind indiscriminately: but it was considered as a privilege, which was confined to those few persoos who were in posteljon of a certain quantity of land, to persons enjoying certain franchises (of which there are various kinds), and to persons of a certain condition, age, and fex. Perhaps all these numbers put cogether may make about the fortieth part of the inhabitants of Great Britain : they cer. tainly cannot make much more, if an actual survey and enumeration were to be made. Whereas the great mass of the people, who do not come within this description, are, and ever have been, excluded by the English Conftitution from voting at elections for members of Parliament, &c. &c. And heavy penaliies are to be levied on them, if they should attempt to vote.'
Here we cannot but observe, that if it be a sufficient objection to the conclufiveness of doctrines, that they were never before dreamt of in this or any other civilized country,' that Bacon, · Boyle, and Newton, as well as every other person who hath enlarged at any time the fields of science, must have laboured altogether in vain ; for the laws of nature, which they severally unfolded to us, had not in many cases been dreamt of' before : ergo, according to this mode of reasoning, they ought not to be received. In like manner, we must reject, as law, all those rules and maxims which have resulted, from time to time, from the improvements in our jurisprudence made by the Lytteltons, the
is appearanuthor's princih land, mult to be Mares, in this among us, they before
Cokes and Hardwickes, who, as occasions arose, interpreted the law and constitution contrary to the prevailing, though erroneous, opinions of the times in which they lived : and the modern sepub. lican notions of Lord Mansfield, in particular, in the celebrated cases of Somerset and others the Negroes, pronounced to be free men the instant they had set foot on English land, must be reprobated ; because, upon our Author's principles, before this new system had madeirs appearance among us, the right of' holding our fellow-creatures as slaves, in this land of liberty, was supposed to beLong to every person who had bought a black man, and brought him to England. And as our learned Author, towards the support of his own system, has been very careful to inform us, p. 302, that under England's former Gothic Conftitution, the villains jn gross, who were by far the moft numerous class, seem to have been on the same footing with the Negroe saves at present in the West Indies; '--ergo,-Lord Mansfield is no lawyer; byt a faflious republican, who, under the vile pretence of unalienable rights, deprives the master of his legal property in his slave, on the mere authority of an argument which, weak and trifing as it is, may nevertheless become a formidable weapon, in the hands of desperate Catilinarian men, for establishing a real and cruel tyranny of their own (according to the example which the American rebels have already set), instead of that harmless, imaginary tyranny, of which they lo bitterly complain at present.'
It must, we conceive, be obvious to readers of the flightest discernment, that, were luch arguments as those we have quoted from our Author to be admitted, there is no species of tyranny, no corruption, no degradation of the human species but what might be justified : for at one period or other, there have, in all countries, been precedents for the violation of cvery law, human .and divine, by those in power. It is not, however, for such -frothy cavillings as these, to weigh down the folid reasonings of the venerable Locke. But we do not admit the fact, that the great mass of the people ever have been thus excluded by the English Constitution from voting at elections for members of Parliament,' as our Author so confidently allerts : we maintain, that there is not a principle of that Conftitution which authorises 'any such exclusion; and as to the practice of former times, it has
differed at different periods; although in itself it is utterly in.capable of affording any proof either one way or other; for that . must ftill depend upon reason and our notions of natural equity.
The introduction of the Norman line of Kings was, we know, attended with an almost total extinction of all liberty, but particularly of the elective franchise. So deeply, however, wis ic rooted in the minds of the people, that it soon again prevailed; and, in the 7th year of Hen. IV. it was expressly enacled, that " At the next County [Couri] to be holden alter the delivery
as others, the dent, as well the Parliamtion
of the brief of Parliament, proclamation be made in full county, of the day and place of the Parliament; and that all those that be there present, as well sutercz duly summoned for this cause, as others,'hall attend to the election of their Knights for the Parliament.” Vide Cap. 15. A writer who will indulge him. felf in a gross misrepresentation of facts, so long as he remains uncontradicted, may prove any thing. Now our Author must know, that it was not till the 8th year of Hen. VI. that the great mass of the people were excluded'-not, as he infidiously asserts, by the English Constitution, but by the English Parliament; expressions which are not understood to be synonimous. He must also know, that at the prior period, the 7th of Hen. IV. villainage had very greatly declined in England. Were he disposed to allow the people any rights, either natural or legal, he would find it difficult to explain, upon what principle of justice or equity the representatives appointed by the great mass of the people, could pals a law to exclude from thenceforth that very
mass of the people' from the exercise of that franchise which conferred on them their delegated authority in truft. A power in the representative to annihilate his principal, is, we confess, above our comprehension. But, by firft denying to the people any unalienable rights to share either immediately or remotely in their own government, it is then easy to resolve every thing that belongs to their government, the election of legislators, as well as the appointment of magiftrates, into matters of a prudential nature *;' and as eafy to pronounce, that thefe things being matters of a prudential nature, they must be difpofed of according to the discretion of the ruling powers in every state ti'
The third thing collected by our Author (p. 27.) out of the extracts produced, is, that, Jf all mankind indiscriminately hare a right to vote in any society, they hare, for the very fame rea. Son, a right to reject the proceedings of the government of that foci. ety to which they belong, and to feparate from it whenever they thall think fit. For it has been inculcated into us over and over, that every man's consent ought first to be obtained, before any law whatever can be deemed to be valid, and of full force.- We have been also assured, that all, and every kind of taxes are merely free gifts : which, therefore, no individual giver is obliged to pay, upless he has previoufly confented to the payment of it. From thefe premises it undoubtedly follows that every individual member of the Siate is at full liberty either to submit, or to refu fe submission to any, and to every regulation of it, according as he had predetermined in his own mind. For being his own legislator, his own governor, and director in every thing, no man has a right to prescribe to him what he ought to do. Ochers may advise, but he alone is co dictate, refpecting bis own actions. For, in host, be is to obey no other will but his own.'
• Page 26 & 32.
| Page 3.2.
Here Here the Dean unhappily forgets those two wholesome cau. tions of Locke, which he has himself adopted in his Preface, and given to us Reviewers and all other critics, who shall make free with the work before us ; « Firft, that cavilling here and there, at some expression, or little incident of his discourse, is not an answer to his book. Secondly, That he shall not take railing (nor misrepresentation] for argument,” &c.; for, had he paid a due attention to these salutary cautions, he could not thus have misrepresented either Locké or his disciples as he has done. That • every individual member of a state is at full liberty either to submit, or to refuse submillion to any, and to every regulation of it, according as he had previously determined in his own mind,' and that he is to obey no other will but his own,' are not the doctrines of either Locke, Molyneux, Priestley, Price, or any Lockian that ever we heard of. The extracts do not prove it; and if the Dean's readers will carefully consult the works from which those extracts are made, they will be astonished at our Author's mode of proceeding. There was a time, we have been assured, when our Author himself was so far in the contrary extreme to that in which we at present find him, as by his fellow collegians, to be called Locke-mad: but, even then, when youthful fire and animal spirits might be supposed to urge his flights somewhat beyond his more rober master, we cannot fuppose that he maintained such gross and puerile absurdities, as he now attempts to fix upon ' Locke and some of the most eminent of his disciples.'
The title of our Author's second chapter is 'Several very gross Errors and Absurdities chargeable on the Lockian System. For instance, p. 29. I. They maintain the indefeasible right of privace judgment, in matters of a mere civil nature; (30.) II. They teach that every man must of necessity be his own legislator; III. p. 33. That civil government is not natural to man. * Now we readily confess, that on the two first positions he has displayed some ingenuity; nor can it, in our opinion, be maintained against him, that religious and civil freedom are exactly parallel cases; although we apprehend it is sufficiently apparent, that in points of great importance there is a strong fimilitude. If the advocates of civil liberty have illustrated their arguments by fimiles and allusions, they have only employed the fame means of conviction and persuasion that all writers, all orators, all disputants (excepting on mathematical and other subjects where it is of no ure), in all ages, and in all countries, have employed before them, the Dean himself not excepted. If indeed they have ever called those parallel cases which are only similar, they have erred. This is charged by our Author upon Doctor Price and Major Cartwright; and as the question turns upon a right interpretation of their words, we shall not take it upon us to give
. . an
sille peadily confuity ; nor can and civil cufficient