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sense of the word, and that whatever construction might be given by the Tories or by the Whigs, to the terms of the prince's declaration, it was quite idle to suppose that he and the states of Holland would embark in an enterprise like this, and put every interest that was dear to them into a situation of the most imminent danger, for the sake alone of the good people of England. What was England to either of them but as a member of the great community of Europe ; as a country that might be Protestant or Popish, that might concur to protect or destroy them, merely as James did or did not succeed in his designs upon its liberties and constitution ? Their civil and religious interests, and those of England, thoroughly coincided, and the whole cause was the most generous and noble that could well be proposed to the human imagination; but when it had succeeded, and succeeded so completely-when without disturbance or bloodshed the whole force and energies of such a country as England were within the reach of William, to be turned to the defence of every interest of his own country, of Europe, and of England itself, when this could only be done by his requiring for himself the executive administration of the government, when every other expedient could only have served to renew the designs and power of James and Louis, and must have ultimately ended in the ruin of the civil and religious liberties of mankind; in this situation of things, was it for William to have disappointed the reasonable expectations of his own country, and of every intelligent man in Europe; to have been wanting to his own glory, and to have shown himself incapable of discharging the high office of humanity, to which, in the mysterious dispensation of events, he had been called ? Was it for William to have abandoned all the great pretensions and honours of his life, embarked, as he had been from the first, in opposition to Louis, and placed on the theatre of Europe in a situation of all the most elevated—that of the champion, and hitherto the successful champion, of the civil and religious liberties of mankind ?

The fact is, that what was required or expected from William, by the moralists and statesmen who criminated or even censured his conduct then or afterwards, was in itself inconsistent and impossible.

· No man with the views or feelings of such moralists or statesmen would have ever engaged in such an enterprise at all, much less have conducted it with success.

Enterprises like these that produce an epoch in the annals of the world, and give a new career of advancement to society, are neither approached nor comprehended at the time, but by men of a more exalted order like William. Even to such men the latent possibilities of such enterprises, from the uncertain nature of every thing human, can only be apprehended, dimly and at a distance, and suspected rather than seen ; the prospect clears or darkens as they proceed; it opens at last, or shuts for ever; but if the moment of visible glory once presents itself, it is then that these heroes of the world march on as did William, and decide for themselves and for posterity the happiness of kingdoms and of ages.

In consequence of William's decided and critical interference, the lords at last agreed to withdraw their amendments, to consent to the word “ abdicated,” and to admit the vacancy of the crown.

Burnet seems to say that these important points were only carried at last by a majority of two or three voices.

When it was at last resolved to crown the Prince and Princess of Orange, a new oath of allegiance was to be constructed. This was done with very commendable attention to the Tories, that their principles might be as little interfered with, while they concurred with the new settlement, as possible.

And now began the benefits of this successful enterprise. First, the line of succession was departed from, and it was declared that no Papist should reign; Popery was therefore escaped. Secondly, William was made king, though it was his wife, not himself, who was next in succession ; William therefore was considered as elected. The right, therefore, of the community, in particular cases, to interfere with the disposal of the executive power, and even of the crown itself, was exercised and admitted. Thirdly, Before the crown was conferred, as a preliminary part of the ceremony, the opportunity was taken, which had not been taken at the Restoration, of making some provision for the future security of the constitution, and certain rights and liberties were claimed, demanded, and insisted upon, as the undoubted rights and liberties of the people of England. The constitution was therefore renewed and confirmed. The prínce and princess, when they received the crown, which was after this declaration tendered to them, in their turn declared, that they thankfully accepted what was offered them.

These remarkable transactions have been a fruitful source of political discussion; and as it is difficult, indeed impossible, to refer to the various inferences that have been drawn from them with respect to the constitution of England, I shall select as prominent specimens, and of an opposite nature, the sermon of Dr. Price on the Love of our Country, and the Reflections of Mr. Burke on the French Revolution; and it is to them that I shall chiefly allude, in the observations which I shall now offer.

From the general turn and result of these memorable proceedings, it appears to Dr. Price that the people of England have acquired a right, to use his own words, to choose their own governors, to cashier them for misconduct, and to frame a government for themselves. All this is resisted by Mr. Burke; and, stated in the unqualified manner of Dr. Price, it cannot well be admitted.

Yet something more must be admitted than Mr. Burke seems willing to allow. As far as precedent can establish a right, it must be conceded, both from all the language of the parties at the time, and from the result of these transactions, that the right is established in the people of England on very grave and urgent occasions of departing from the hereditary succession, and therefore, as Dr. Price would have it, in such cases, of choosing a governor for themselves, for it was in this manner that King William was chosen.

But the same reasonings, and every other fact, conspire to show that this is a right, as Mr. Burke contended, to be exercised, rather as of necessity than of choice ; to be admitted as a mere exception to the general rule of hereditary succession, and as in no respect to be considered as the rule itself; a right to be exercised with the same unwillingness and doubt with which any great rule in morality would be brokenbroken from the mere necessity of the case.

In reasoning of this tenor and spirit, Mr. Burke seems perfectly supported by the whole of the expressions that appear on the face of these proceedings, and the facts that took place. Reference may even be had to the sum and substance of the whole, and it may be asked, what were the alterations which the patriots in 1688 really did make in the constitution ?

These will be found very much to disappoint the expectations of all such reasoners as suppose that constitutions of government are in the first place to be planned out, according to the suggestions of deliberative wisdom, and when reduced to shape and order, and perfection, then to be proposed and accepted by a people, and the people thus made to grow up and fashion themselves to their prescribed model.

There is certainly little in these transactions to countenance any experiments or reasonings of this nature.

The same rights and liberties which had been claimed, demanded, and insisted upon, when the crown was tendered, were afterwards converted into the materials of an act, which was presented to the king, and received the royal assent, and the whole was then “declared, enacted, and established by authority of that present parliament, to stand, remain, and be the law of the realm for ever.” This was done and no more ; this was all that, apparently at least, was attempted; no pretences were made to any merit of salutary alteration or legislative reform; the original declaration, the subsequent bill of rights, were each of them expressly stated to be only declarations of the old constitution; they were each an exhibition of the rights and liberties of the people of England, already undoubted and their own; experiment, innovation, every thing of this kind, is virtually disclaimed, for nothing of the kind is visible in the style or language of these singular records.

It must, however, on the other hand, be carefully noticed, that though the Bill of Rights might not propose itself as any alteration, it was certainly a complete renovation of the free constitution of England; the abject state to which the laws, the constitution, and the people themselves, had fallen, must never be forgotten; and it then can surely not be denied that this public assertion on a sudden, this establishment and enactment of all the great leading principles of a free govern

ment, fairly deserves the appellation which it has always received, of the Revolution of 1688.

It is very material to observe that the declaration and enactment was totally on the popular side, was declaratory entirely and exclusively of the rights and liberties of the people, in no respect of the prerogatives of the crown; the Bill of Rights was in fact a new Magna Charta ; a new petition of right; a new enrolment of the prerogatives, if I may so speak, of the democratic part of the constitution, which, though consented to by William, an elected prince, and perhaps even thought necessary to his own justification and security, could only have been extorted by force from any reigning hereditary monarch, and, in point of fact, was eertainly not procured by the English nation on this occasion, till the regular possessor of the crown had ceased to wear it, and till the country had appeared in a state of positive and successful resistance to his authority.

It must be always remembered that through the whole of these proceedings there was an acknowledgment, and a practical exhibition, of the great popular doctrine, that all government, and all the forms and provisions which are necessary to its administration, must ultimately be referred to the bappiness of the people. This is supposed at every moment from the first resistance of the measures of James, to the last act of the ceremony of crowning the Prince of Orange; and it is this acknowledgment, and this practical exhibition of a great theoretical truth, which constitute the eternal value and importance of these most remarkable transactions. The caution, the moderation, the forbearance, the modest wisdom with which the leading actors in the scene conducted themselves, are the proper subjects of our panegyric, but must never be so dwelt upon, that we are to forget the real meaning of these proceedings, their positive example, their permanent instruction, transmitted practically and visibly not only to the sovereign, but to the people.

Hitherto we have considered the revolution chiefly with respect to the civil constitution of the kingdom; but another subject, to which, before I conclude this lecture, I must briefly advert, still remains. The student must never forget that he is at all times to keep his attention fixed, not only on

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