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that is about it. They thus give greater These are the arguments of states and king. strength to the position which they are de- doms. Leave the rest to the schools, for sirous to maintain, and perhaps obtain there only they may be discussed with safety. credit for a discriminating mind; but the But if, intemperately, unwisely, fatally, you distinction is often without a difference;- government, by urging subtle deductions, and
sophisticate and poison the very source of the practice is neither philosophical nor consequences odious to those you govern, by statesmanlike.
the unlimited and illimitable nature of sú. The first of the eminent writers whom preme Sovereignty, you will teach them by this contest excited was Samuel Johnson.- that means to call that Sovereignty itself into He showed the inconsistency of the simul- question."* taneous demand of the rights of man, and the rights of Englishmen; and he treated
Again, with deserved contempt, Lord Chatham's “Refined policy ever has been the padistinction between taxation and general rent of confusion, and ever will be so as legislation.* But he enunciated no theory long as the world endures. Plain good of Government, and indeed treated the intention, which is as easily discovered at transaction, of which he did not perceive at last, is, let me say, of no mean force in
the first view, as fraud is surely detected the inportance, or foresee the result, with the government of mankind.”+ more of technical correctness than philosophical wisdom.
It was rather before this time that Dr. Edmund Burke took a memorable part Joseph Priestly, more adventurous than in the discussion. Nothing, perhaps, is Burke, wrote * upon the first principles of more worthy to be observed in his well. Government.”I But in truth he admitted known speeches, than his almost con- circumstances largely into his system. He temptuous rejection of theory. Profound supposes, and apparently desires it to be taand philosophical thinker as he was, he ken as a supposition, and not a fact, that forebore to dogmatize upon the origin of political societies were formed by mutual governinent. He avoided the great compact; but he follows Locke (whom he Serbonian bog" in which Hooker and does not name) no further than this; he does Locke had floundered. His rule of practice not require a continual renewal of the comwas found in precedent, and in the proba- pact, and evidently considers the governbility of success in the desired object of con- ment that is, though it may consist of King, ciliation.
Lords, and Commons, imperfectly repre
sented as a primâ facie legitimate govern. “I am not going,” he said, “into the dis- ment. Though he repudiates passive obe. tinctions of rights, nor attempting to mark dience, and allows the people, a term which their boundaries; I do not enter into these he does not attempt to define, to supersede metaphysical distinctions; I hate the very the government in cases of manifest opsound of them. Leave the Americans as they anciently stood; and these conditions, born pression or abuse, he puts extreme cases of our unhappy contest, will die along with only ;$ and it does not appear to us that he it. They and we, and their and our ances- recognizes the right of the people to intertors, have been happy under that system. Let the memory of all actions, in contradic * Speech on American Taxation, 19th April, tion to that good old mode, on both sides, be 1774, Works, ii. 432.—It is clear, however, that extinguished for ever. Bé content to bind Burke was prepared to maintain the right, for he America by Laws of Trade; you have always suggested (p. 437), that if the Colonies would not done it. Let this be your reason for binding voluntarily contribute to the general expenses, their trade. Do not burthen them by taxes;
the supreme legislature might ultimately inter
fere. you were not used to do so from the beginning:
+ On Conciliation with America, Mar. 22, Let this be your reason for not taxing. 1775, iii. 31. In this speech he did so far con
nect taxation with representation as to urge, in * " There are some, and those not inconsidera- p. 86, the example of Wales and other parts of ble in numbers, nor contemptible for knowledge, the island conciliated by the privilege of sending who except the power of taxation from the gene- representatives to parliament; and he proposed ral dominion of parliament, and hold, that what- to resolve that the mode of taxing by Colonial ever degrees of obedience may be exacted, or Assemblies had been found more agreeable than whatever authority may be exercised in other laxing by Parliament. acts of governinent, there is still reference to be # An Essay on the First Principles of Governpaid to money, and that legislation passes its ment, and on the Nature of poliiical, civil, and limits when it violates the purse. of this sug- religious Liberty, &c. London, 1771. Priestly gestion, which by a head not fully impregnated was born in 1733, and died in 1804. with politics, is not easily comprehended, it is § See p. 43. We see little or nothing in alleged as an unanswerable reason, that the Co- Priestly's remarks on government, or civil liberlonies send no representatives to the House of ty, (excluding always the question of religious Commons." Taxation Tyrannye, 1775, establishments,) in which a liberal Tory might Works. xii. 194,
fere, otherwise than in constitutional form, professed Whig, (but certainly one of the upon a mere difference of opinion. old school,) and he plainly admitted the
Dr. Price* professed to found his doc- right of resistance by force of arms to the trines upon
those of Locke and Priestley, governors, or, as he styles them, trustees of but he fell far short of the one, and he went the state, “ if they should so far forget the as much beyond the other. Civil liberty, nature of their office, as to act directly con. he thought, in its most perfect degree, could trary thereunto in the general tenor of not exist except in a state so small as to al- their administration, and if neither humble low of personal suffrage (not in election but petition nor decent remonstrance can bring in decision), and of the eligibility of every them to a sense of their duty.” (p. 3.) man to a public office.t Representation This Whig writer was the first who exhe allowed to be an inadequate substitute, posed in a systematic treatise the true na. but insisted upon the necessity of frequent ture of Locke's principles, and their conseelections, and a continued control over the quences.
He showed clearly that, acrepresentative.—(p. 10.) Provided there cording to Locke, every man has a right to were this full representation of the people reject the acts of government, (however it at large, he allowed of a hereditary King, may be constituted,) or to separate himself and a hereditary Chamber, as part of the from it, if he shall think fit. (p. 27.) He legislature. The English Constitution he shows that according to the doctrine of naappears to think defective only in the ina- tural right, women are not to be excluded, dequacy of the representation. But he (p. 33); and he asks, (p. 46,] in referenee was far from considering the unrepresented to one of Locke's contrivances for evading portion of the English community as his own theory, how did a man become posslaves, in the sense in which he regarded sessed of the right to annex to land or as such the American colonists.-(p. 43.) other property, descending to his children, He admitted clearly, though perhaps not in the condition of adhering to the govern words, of virtual representation, and of the ment? rights of a constitution which worked prac He denies also the right of the majority tically well. As for the original contract to bind the minority; and easily refutes he does not even name it. This is foul re- Priestley, who had come to the aid of his bellion against Locke; while in putting in master with a proviso, that every member the same category taxation and internal le of the community had previously agreed to gislation he trampled upon the nice discri- be bound by the vote of the majority. In mination of Chatham.
short, he shows that the system of Locke But the growing freedom of the age now is really and truly the same as that of the produced men who ventured to attack honest and undissembling Rousseau," Locke in front. Of these the principal was and does require the actual consent of eveJosiah Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, a wri- ry individual to every act of the Commuter who is probably not at all known on the nity. Continent, and not now read in England, There is a great deal in Tucker worth but who is nevertheless one of great practi. reading by those who wish to go further cal wisdom, who sometimes gave excellent into the subject; but we are not sure but advice. He published in 17819 “a Trea. that, as Locke, after triumphantly expotise concerning Civil Government;" the sing the nonsense of Filmer, floundered first part of which was devoted to a refuta- when he set up his own theory, so Tucker, tion of “ Mr. Locke and his followers." after setting forth the absurdities of Locke, Tucker was by no means the advocate of may have also got into some confusion passive obedience; he was indeed, as al- when he treated of the “ true basis of civil most every Englishman of the time was, a government."
Let us then turn to another opponent of Born in 1723, died in 1791. His Observa
Locke's, a writer who is more brief, more tions on Civil Liberty were published in 1975, clear, and more popularly known, Archand his Observations on Civil Government in deacon Paley, whose Moral Philoso1777. For the former he received the thanks of the Common Council of London.
† Observations on the Nature of Civil Li * It is due to Sir William Temple to mention, berty:
that in his Essay on the Origin and Nature of # At a very early period of the dispute with Government, (i. 9,) he exposes this doctrine of America, Dean Tucker recommended that the original contracts, which he found in “ the great desire for independence should be instantly and writers concerning politics and laws. It seems amicably gratified. He would have emancipated calculated,” he says, “ for the acce nt given by the colonists, as a son is emancipated when able some of ihe old poets of the origin of man, to provide for himself.
when they came out of the ground by great num$ Tucker was born in 1712, died in 1799. bers at a time, in perfect stature and strength."
phy'* is, we b:lieve, "a text-book” atl And he, too, asks the question, which it Cambridge, and must be well known is quite impossible to answer, “how did among the philosophers of Germany. these first inhabitants acquire the right of
This writer compliments Locke with the disposing of their lands, with couditions anepithet venerable, but is entirely opposed to nexed ?" The “dangerous censéquences" his opinions.To the compact he objects, which Paley imputes to the doctrine of ist, That it is founded upon a supposition compact, are two-fold. It renders it imposfalse in fact; and 2dly, That it leads to sible (for that may surely be deemed imposdangerous consequences. The first of sible which requires the unanimous assent these positions is now, we apprehend, ge- of millions) lawsully to make improvements nerally admitted to be true; that the com- in the constitution; but, secondly, and this pact, as Paley observes, is sometimes pro- is the more probable danger, it puts the go. posed as a fiction. It was carrying a legal vernment at all times in jeopardy, and gives fiction raiter far, when it was used to de: countenance to unreasonable resistance. pose a King and change a dynasty. But
“The terms and articles of the social ihough Paley thought that in his time the compact being nowhere extant or ex compact was still invoked as a real transac- pressed, the rights and offices of the admi. tion, we believe that at this day no man of nistrator of an empire being so many and ordinary education would venture so to various, the imaginary and controverted treat it.
line of his prerogative being so liable to be Paley quotes from Locke the agreement overstepped in one part or other of it; the by which the duty of obeying the govern- amounts to a forfeiture of the govern
position that every such transgression ment is carried doivn from the first mem- ment, and consequently authorizes the bers of the state, who ivere bound by ex- people to withdraw their obedience, and press stipulation," to the succeeding inha- provide for themselves by a new settlebitants, who are understood to promise alle- ment, would endanger the stability of evegiance to the constitution they find esta- ry political fabric in the world, and has in blished, by accepting its protection, claim- fact always supplied the disaffected with a ing its privileges, and acquiescing in its topic of seditious declamation." laws; more especially by the purchase or inheritance of lands, to the possession of
He concludes with a very just and practi.
cal remark: which allegiance to the state is annexed, as the very service and condition of the le
“ If occasions have arisen in which this nure. I
plea has been resorted to with justice and
success, they have been occasions in which “Smoothly," writes Paley, "as this a revolution was defensible upon other and train of argument proceeds, little of it will plainer principles. The plea itself is at all endure examination. The native subjects times captious and unsafe.” of modern states are not conscious of any stipulations with their sovereigns, of ever On the English revolution, as founded upexercising an election whether they will on the breach of the original contract, we be bound or not by the acts of the legis, would recur to Dean Tucker, who has ably lature, or any alternative being proposed shown, (ch. 3, p. 89) how little comforma. to their choice, of a promise either requir: ble the proceedings of 1688 were to the prined or given ; nor do they apprehend that the validity or authority of the law de- ciple of Locke. pends at all upon their recognition or consent. In all stipulations, whether they
“What then was that great national vote be expressed or implied, private or public, which established the revolution ? A few formal or constructive, the parties stipulascores of noblemen, and a few hundreds of ting must both possess the liberty of as- gentlemen, together with some of the aldersent and refusal, and also be conscious of men and common council of London, met at this liberty, which cannot, with truth, be af- Westminster, but without any commission firmed of the subjects of civil government, from the body of the people auihorising them as government is now, or ever was, actual to meet, and requested (thereby empowering,) ly administered. This is a defect which no the Prince and Princess of Orange, to assume arguments can excuse or supply; all pre- the royal prerogative, and to summon a new sumptions of consent without this con parliament. They summoned one according. sciousness, or in opposition to it, are vain ly, which was called the convention parliaand erroneous."
ment. This assembly put the crown on their
heads, the power of which they had exercised * First published in 1785. He was born in before; the crown, I say, not only of England, 1743, and died in 1805.
but also of Ireland, and of all the English + B. 6, c. 3, p. 130 of Ed. 1790.
dominions throughout every part of the globe, # This is from Locke, b. ii. c. 8, (p. 410 of and this too, not only without asking the con1801.)
sent, but even acquainting the people of these 26
other countries with their intention. Now if As we are not writing a history of the this transaction can be said to be carried on French revolution, we shall not relate how agrecably to Mr. Locke's plan, or if it can be these “ ambiguous words, dispersed among justitied by his principles, I own myself the the common people,” were soon construed, worst judge of reason and argument, and of a
or what tyranny and oppression this mani. plain matter of fact, that ever scribbled on pa. per. Nay, 1 appeal to all the world, whether festo of freedom produced, or what respect ihe whole business of this famous revolution, was paid to the right of property so recently from whence nevertheless we have derived and philosophically sanctioned. so many national blessings, ought not to be In England, the French revolution em. looked upon as a vile usurpation, and be boldened those who, during the American chargeable with the guilt of robbing the good contest
, had preserved some moderation. people of England, of Ireland, and of all the Our revolution of 1687 was now said to have colonies, of their unalienable rights, it Mr. Locke's principles of government are the on-proceeded upon the same principles which ly true and just ones. But I ask further, was produced the Revolution in France ; and the the convention itself unanimous in its deci. doctrines of Locke,and more, if possible, than sions ? No, very far from it. On the con. the doctrines of Locke were now claimed as trary it is a well known fact, that the mem-part of the British Constitution. The ser. bers of it, (I mean a majurity of the members, mon in which this was done by Dr, Price,* would never have yoted the crown to the and the congratulations offered to the French threatening message, that he would leave Assembly by a society commemorative of them to the resentment of King James, unless our Revolution, were among the chief in. they complied with such a demand. So that ducements to the still celebrated Reflexions even a majority of this very convention would of Mr. Burke. have acted otherwise than they did, had they The reflexions were too little systematic remained unawed, and uninfluenced. And to afford us much quotation on the iheory of thus, reader, it is demonstrated to thee, that Government ; indeed it was the just decision this famous convention, and in them the whole of this great writer, not now taken up, but dation, was self-governed, and self-directed, according to the Lockian principle, in estabequally to be found in his former publications lishing this glorious revolution.
already noticed, that government could not
be reduced to theory and system.t He The demonstration is complete, without took the Constitution of his country as he the aid of King William's message; yet it found it, content to live under it, so long as may, perhaps, be strengthened by consider. it should answer practically the purposes of a ing how very unlike the convention parlia. Constitution. It is only because our subject ment was to the complete representation of compels us to deal in theories, that we make all the people, (even of England.) which is no larger use of Burke. required by the theory of Locke!
Burke was answered by a Theorist indeed,
but still one who was prepared violently to We should have expected to see in a his- reduce his theories to practice, rather
nan tory of political theories, some reference to affect to believe that they had their sanction the declaration of the rights of man, which in the English form of government. Paine's accompanied the French revolution. This Rights of Man rejected all but written concelebrated document (An. Reg. 1789, p. 232) stitutions, agreed upon by a whole nation ; embodied the principles of Locke, excluding, denied accordingly that the English had any however, whether as reality or fiction, the government at all
, and contended for the original contract, and iis necessary conse, universal Sovereignty of " the nation” for quences; it asserted the right of universal the time being ; in what way the accession suffrage, but recognised the principle of re- of new men to the community, with all their presentaiion; and, apparently, of the deci. rights about them, by birth, or coming to sion by majorities. Much of it is harmless, years of discretion, was to affect the identity and even consistent with the English consti- of the Sovereign Nation, so as to annul the tution and practice; it enumerates property inherited Constitution, Mr. Paine has not de. among the rights of man; it contemplated termined. For one admission in particular, a law for punishing the licentiousness of the Paine's work is remarkable ; the revolt of press; and the assertion of general equality, and condemnation of useless distinctions, are so vague as to be reconcilable with a Nov. 1789. Although it does not immediately
* Discourse on the Love of our Country, 4th monarchy and a peerage.
concern our inquiry, we cannot help pointing out
one of the principles said by this learned divine * See some very pertinent remarks on Locke, to have been established at ihe Revolution. The and the Revolution, in the third chapter of the right to liberty of conscience in religious matters! History of the Revolution by George Moore, one he should have said, among Protestants. of Sir James Mackintosh's correspondents. + See p. 320, ante.
the French, he tells us, was not against men, edly true. The principle of such a reprebut principles.
sentation, so based upon the equal rights of There is assuredly one great difference man, is assuredly violated, if either a king, between Locke and Paine. Locke had or a second chamber constituted upon any wrought himself up to the notion of an ori. different principle, has the power of negativ. ginal contract, by which a whole nation had ing the decisions of the House of Representa. bound itself, upon certain terms, to an here. tives. It is only by the fiction of an original ditary King ; Paine rejected Kings, and all contract, whereby ihe sovereign people have hereditary rights. Upon his own principles, not only delegated their power to a majority Locke should have condemned them too; of select representatives, but have consented for how is an hereditary right to be matter that those representatives shall be controlled of consent by the successive inhabitants of a by other bodies or individuals, that this prin. country? We therefore do no: except this, ciple of the sovereignty of the people (which when we say, that there is not one of the ex- is not more that of Rousseau than of Locke,) travagances of Paine, or other modern the. can be reconciled with a limited Monarchy, orists, which cause Professor Heeren, so or a mixed Government of any sort. As it much of apprehension for the monarchical is certain that this contract, and delegation principle, which may not be traced in the to representatives and majorities, never was work of Locke, whom he imagines to be the made, still less continually renewed, there champion of the English Constitution, and can be no lawful government, according to the instructor of English politicians. Locke and his followers, unless all decisions
Most erroneously then is it said by our are made by the whole people, male and fe. author—" The doctrines of Locke had, for male, without one dissentient voice. This the most part, been already applied in Eng. sovereignty of the people, is not only incomland, and only had the effect of supplying patible with Monarchy, but is in itself utterly other countries with philosophical reasons for incapable of being reduced to practice. that attachment to the British Constitution Heeren therefore, writing at a time when which had become almost universal through the constitutions of almost every state in Euout Europe previously to the late (French) rope had been brought into question, and revolution.”—(p. 178.) It is probable enough the expectation of free constilutions had that English travellers, when asked where been held out especially to the several states the principles of their Constitution were to be of Germany, was justified in observing—“We found, would refer to the works of Locke; have no longer to consider mere speculation
- without having either read the works of and theory; the question that concerns us Locke, or studied the English Constitution. is one of fearful practical importance."-p. No man who had compared the two, could 182. The introduction of a new principle hold, that either in its ordinary operation, or into a government is undoubtedly a difficult in the great exception of 1688, the principles and dangerous task. And we can estimate of Locke were followed.
this danger,with ex rience more recent than Between Locke and Rousseau, Heeren Heeren's work. draws a broad line of distinction; in Rous. His apprehension is, that Europe would seau's dictum that the sovereignty of the be filled “ either with monarchical republics, people is neither to be delegated nor trans. orwith republics underthe name of monarchies. ferred ; and he considers Rousseau's maxim He gives no general preference either to a as the cause of all the late revolutions in Eu. republic or to a monarchy,– rope. We think the professor wrong. It
“It is possible to live happily or unhaphas already been shown, that the maxim of pily under either, according to the turn the Genevese philosopher could only be ap. I which events may take. But we may be plied to his own little republic; the Sove- sure that a nation (with individuuls we have reignty which the French people asserted, nothing to do) can never be happy in a was the transferable and deputable Sovereign. pseudo-monarchy or a pseudo-republic, ty of Locke.
because such a form of government is But the political notion in which Heeren contradictory to itself. The history of Posees the greatest danger, is Rousseau's belief land, as it was, affords at once a warning,
and an example. We wish therefore for that the Sovereignty of the people may be actual monarchies, or actual republics." associated with Monarchy.
Observing then that the European poliIf it is Heeren's meaning, that where a chamber is constituted upon the principle of tical system has been for centuries mocomplete and general representation as a narchical, and that all the prinripıl states matter of right, it is incompatible with the
* The elective Throne, and the liberum veto, exercise of a velo, or of any substantial power of the old Polish Constitution, are peculiarities on the part of a king, the position is undoubt. I which allow us to reject Poland.