תמונות בעמוד

nan is a fubitance of all seek this stri

eed opacity, mental.; 2. That all there is this

Only be imagined by those who shall seek this true basis in the work itself. The substance of what we find there is this; 1. That man is a focial creature; 2. That all men are not of like strength nor capacity, mental or corporeal ; 3. That the fpecies stand in need of each others allistance; and hence it is, 4th, inferred, “That nature implanted the constituent principles of government into mankind, without any previous care or thought on their parts. But having done this, the left the rest to themselves, in order that they might cultivate and improve her gifts and blessings in the best manner they could.' - Indeed! why, this is all that Locke and his disciples contend for. If our Au. thor means, that no human societies, which deserve the denomination of civil, can exist without government, we believe that no Lockian will contradict him. But what does all this prove? Where is the discovery we are in quest of?-Why, the grand secret, it seems, is this, " That there is found to exist in human nature a certain ascendancy in some, and a kind of submislive acquiescence in others. The fact itself, however unaccountable, is nevertheless so notorious, that it is observable in all stations and ranks of life, and almost in every company. For even in the most paltry country village, there is, generally speaking, what the French very expreslively term, Le coque de village ;-a man, who takes the lead, and becomes a kind of dictator to the rest. Now, whether this arises from a consciousness of greater courage, or capacity,-or from a certain overbearing temper, which assumes authority to dictate and com. mand, or from a greater address, that is, from a kind of instinctive insight into the weaknesses, and blind sides of others, or from what. ever cause, or causes, it matters not. For the fact itself, as I said before, is undeniable, however difficult it may be to account for it. And therefore here again is another instance of great inequalities in the original powers and faculties of mankind:-consequently this na. tural subordination (if I may lo speak) is another distinct proof, thas there was a foundation deeply laid in human nature for the political edifices of government to be built upon ;-without recurring to, wbat never existed but in theory, universal, social compacts, and unanimous elections.

This, Reader, is the notable discovery which proves Locke a blockhead, and overturns the whole fabric of his fyftem; and our happy Author instantly breaks forth into this exultation"Yere, therefore, I will fix my foot, and rest the merits of the cause.' It is a new discovery, indeed, that those who feel 'a consciousness of greater courage and capacity,' who are sensible of an overbearing temper which assumes authority to dictate and command,' and who are distinguished by their insight into the weaknesses, and blind sides of others,' are therefore authorized to be dictators,' and sovereigns to the rest of their species ! Away, then, with all elections and implied compacts, with human rights and heavenly justice ; for nothing more is now wanting towards conftituting the true basis of civil governo • Y 2

ment,' ment,' than arrogance, shrewdness, knavery, and courage. A blessed discovery, truly! Now, whether such doctrines, or those of Mr. Locke, be the greater stimulants to wanton treason and rebellion' (p. 112), is for our impartial Readers to determine.

On our Author's answers to the objection he supposes may be made to his system, as well as on his comparison between different forms of government, we shall not make any comments; as it would exceed the extent of our design in this work, and would not greatly edify our Readers.

But that part of his treatise which is entitled, Improvements suggested,' demands our attention ; because we observe that it contains a laboured attempt to disguise the defects in our popular representation in parliament, and to assign other reasons as the cause of that too great influence in the crown, which is seen and so sensibly felt by the nation. That there is much plausibility, and even much truth, in what our Author says on the subject of distant colonies, wars, armies, contracts, &c. we readily acknowledge ; but still we conceive that the defects in the popular branch of our government are what give the regal part its too great influence and ascendancy. 'Tis iis influence over parliament which alone is to be dreaded ; for, were parliament un. corrupt and independent, the greater the power of the Crown, the better; because then it would be the power of the State, operating through its executive or organ, the Crown; and not a power in the Crown, operating against the State.

That the Crown, at present, hath an alarming influence over parliament, owing to the defects in the popular branch, hath been largely demonstrated by Mr. Cartwright, in his Legislative Rights and his Barrier ; and, if we mistake not, the Dean bas read that author with more attention than it suits with his system to acknowledge. Mr. Cartwright has taken some pains to promote an equal representation, and has particularly pointed out to the cities of London and Westminsler, and their environs, how far short of what is justly and conftitutionally due to them is their prelent portion of representation. Our Author does not, upon this ground, openly enter the lifts against Mr. Cartwright, nor call justice to his aid, as the supporter of his argument; but fill depends upon his old friend Difcretion, and, by reasonings of a very fallacious nature, endeavours to insinuate, that if an equal representation were given to the metropolis, it would be attended with a subversion of the government, and every dirorder which the licentiousness of an abandoned people could produce. But we will not suffer such an assertion to stand upon our own credit. His words, p. 259, are all overgrown cities are formidable in another view, and therefore ought not to be encouraged by new privileges, to grow ftill more dangerous; for they


are, and ever were, the seats of faction and sedition, and the nurseries of anarchy and confusion. A daring, and desperate leader, in any great metropolis, at the head of a numerous mob, is terrible to the peace of societv, even in the most despotic governments :-but, in London, where the people are the moit licentious upon earth ;-in London, wbere the populace are daily taught, that they have an onalienable :ight to be self-governed, and that their rulers are no o:ber than their servan!s; in London, where nothing is held facred but the will of the people [blasphemously called the Voice of God) what are you to expect from an addition of privilege and power, but an increase of the most daring outrages, and the subversion of law and government? The audacious villanies recently committed in June 1730, are suficient, one would think, to give any man a surfeit of the very idea of adding flill greater influence and power to a London mob?

How an equal representation implies a mob-government, we have not penetration to discover ; but as Mr. Cartwright is the only person we know of, who has fully vindicated the rights of the metropolis in this particular, let us hear what he has to say on the subject. “Every Englishman," says he, “having an undoubted right to be either by his representative, or personally, in parliament, where the laws which affect his property and his life are enacted, there is not a non-elector who may not justly demand, in his own right, admiffion into the Commons-house; so that he may there be his own political guardian ; since the guardians appointed him by the law and the Constitution have been unjustly taken from him. And it deserves to be noticed, that all tumults and riots for redress of grievances are the legitimate effects of NON-REPRESENTATION ; since it is not practicable to deliver in parliament the sense of a people who have no voice there; and, if it be presented to parliament, what justice can be hoped for by the aggrieved, from that power which has avowed its fixed purpose to oppress them, by depriving them of that representation which was their sole defence; in which very instance it continually exercises over them the most consummate tyranny? It is the dictate of nature for men to seek, in their own collective strength, that redress from tyrant rulers, which they do not hope to obtain from the mere justice of their complaints; whereas men who enjoyed a constitutional representation, corrected and purified by themselves from fellion to feflion, could not possibly have, at any time, either cause or inclination for such proceedings *.

And in another place he says, “ It is the very praise of emancipation, that, cheering the depressed heart by, imparting the

• Letter to the Deputies of the Associated and Petitioning Counties, Cities, and Towns; on the Means necessary to a Reformation of Parliament, p. 13.


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valuable privileges of a citizen, and ennobling the depraved mind, by paying it respect, and teaching it to know its own value, it eminently promotes virtue, and an orderly, decent conduct in the humbleft orders of the community; whereby it renders to the commonwealth a benefit, which wise men know to be of infinitely more value than mines of gold, and far more operative towards public peace and safety, than armies of men who never tafted of true liberty, or volumes of statutes for forcing men to contribute to the good of the State, in which they have no common interest; but, by the injustice of its laws, are made aliens and frangers in their own country *.”

The next question discussed, is, that of a right in the Commons of England to elect their representatives annually, or rather every fellion. The Dean, as may be supposed, denies the existence of such a right; and resorts to the same species of arguments as those used by Blacksione, in his Commentaries, 1. 153. We shall not trace the subtilties of this dispute, as a refutation of Blackstone may be found in Sharp's Declaration of the People's natural Right to a Share in the Legislature, first edition, p. 159, which equally refutes the Dean : but, joining issue with the Dean himself (p. 256.), that • deputies from, and representatives of the people,' are an essential branch of the British Conftitution,' we cannot but infer, that an equal division of such deputies is an evident dictate of justice; and, consequently, that all the people are entitled to vote for representatives. And from these premises it is, that Mr. Cartwright demonstrates their right to a new election every session; " because," says he, “ whenever a parliament continues in being for a longer term, very great numbers of the Commons, who have arrived at the years of manhood since the last election, and iherefore have an indisputable right to be represented in the House of Commons, are then unjustly deprived of that right t." And again, says he, “if the Legislature may enact, that the people fall not elect a new parliament more than once in three years, by parity of reason they may forbid them for thirty, or threescore, or three hundied. Who sees not the absurdity of such doctrine, and the perdition which is connected with such a principle [ ?”– If the Dean means seriously to confute, and not to confound, we should recommend it to him not to pass by sound and conclusive rea. fonings in works which we know he has read, because he has quoted them, while, at the same time, he makes use of stale arguments, as new, which in those very works have been anfwered over and over again.

* Barrier, p. 25. t Ib p. 21. allo Legislative Rights, f. 61.

Ib. 110. See


Although we do not affent to the principles of our Author's fyltem, yet, we mean not to insinuate, that in al! he has written on the subject there is no instruction. As the works of the most acute unbelievers have tended, in no {mall degree, to advance the cause of religion ; so those who have written with most ingenuity against the liberties of mankind, have, in like manger, advanced the cause of freedom ; by exciting men of warm affec's tions, and a zeal for truth, to exercise their best talents in its defence. In this division of the treatise before us there are some useful hints.

In Part III. we meet with an elaborate account of the ancient Gothic and Feudal systems of government; on which we have only to observe, that our Author has selected and dwelt upon such parts of history only, as place the liberty then enjoyed in this country in the most unfavourable point of view : from which he draws conclusions to the prejudice of those popular rights, and that rational system of freedom, vindicated by Mr. Locke and his followers; although we can by no means admit, that, were our ancestors universally placed in as slavish a condition as the Dean erroneously represents, we ought to be saves too; for we entirely agree with the Lockians in thinking, that the rights of freedom are inherent in all men, and are not in the smallest degree impeached by any violation of them which may have been experienced by their ancestors. But those who are desirous to make a due estiinate of our Author's merit with respect to this part of his work, may receive great aslistance from consulting Mr. Ibbetson's Dissertation on the National Asemblies under the Saxon and Norman Governments *. With a Pojlícript addressed to the Dean of Glocesier.

We come now to a chapter which is divided into two sections; the first of which is in answer to · The cavils of Mr. Carta wright,' and the second to · Thę cavils of Mr. Profesior Dunbar.

As the point in dispute between him and the former of these two gentlemen is of a deep and delicate nature, going to the very foundation of their respective systems, we will only state the several questions which, as we conceive, are necessary to be solved in order to its decision; and refer our Readers to the Authors themselves for the solucions: 1. Are the rights of mankind to civil liberty inherent and unalicnable? 2. Is it eficntial to freedom, that a person be either a member of the Legislature, or have a representative therc? 3. Have the women the same title to the privileges of being present in the Legillature, either in person or by representatives, as the men ?

in the smants of freedoms are with the Leagught to be laves

* An account of this Tract is at this tine due from us to the Public.




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