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Only be imagined by those who fhall feek this true bafis' in the work itself. The fubftance of what we find there is this; 1. That man is a focial creature; 2. That all men are not of like ftrength nor capacity, mental or corporeal; 3. That the fpecies stand in need of each others affiftance; and hence it is, 4th, inferred, That nature implanted the conftituent principles of government into mankind, without any previous care or thought on their parts. But having done this, the left the reft to themfelves, in order that they might cultivate and improve her gifts and bleffings in the best manner they could.'-Indeed! why, this is all that Locke and his difciples contend for. If our Author means, that no human focieties, which deferve the denomination of civil, can exift without government, we believe that no Lockian will contradict him. But what does all this prove? Where is the discovery we are in queft of?-Why, the grand fecret, it seems, is this, That there is found to exist in human nature a certain afcendancy in fome, and a kind of fubmiffive acquiescence in others. The fact itself, however unaccountable, is nevertheless fo notorious, that it is obfervable in all stations and ranks of life, and almost in every company. For even in the most paltry country village, there is, generally fpeaking, what the French very expreffively term, Le coque de village;-a man, who takes the lead, and becomes a kind of dictator to the reft. Now, whether this arifes from a conscioufnefs of greater courage, or capacity,—or from a certain overbearing temper, which affumes authority to dictate and command, or from a greater addrefs, that is, from a kind of inftinctive infight into the weakneffes, and blind fides of others,-or from whatever cause, or caufes, it matters not. For the fact itself, as I faid before, is undeniable, however difficult it may be to account for it. And therefore here again is another inftance of great inequalities in the original powers and faculties of mankind:-confequently this natural fubordination (if I may so speak) is another diftinct proof, that there was a foundation deeply laid in human nature for the political edifices of government to be built upon ;-without recurring to, what never exifted but in theory, univerfal, focial compacts, and unanimous elections.'
This, Reader, is the notable difcovery which proves Locke a blockhead, and overturns the whole fabric of his fyftem; and our happy Author inftantly breaks forth into this exultationHere, therefore, I will fix my foot, and reft the merits of the caufe.' It is a new difcovery, indeed, that those who feel a consciousness of greater courage and capacity,' who are fenfible of an overbearing temper which affumes authority to dictate and command,' and who are diftinguifhed by their infight into the weakneffes, and blind fides of others,' are therefore authorized to be dictators,' and fovereigns to the rest of their fpecies! Away, then, with all elections and implied compacts, with human rights and heavenly juftice; for nothing more is now wanting towards conftituting the true bafis of civil government,
ment,' than arrogance, fhrewdnefs, knavery, and courage. A bleffed difcovery, truly! Now, whether fuch doctrines, or thofe of Mr. Locke, be the greater ftimulants to wanton treafon and rebellion' (p. 112), is for our impartial Readers to determine.
On our Author's anfwers to the objection he fuppofes may be made to his fyftem, as well as on his comparison between different forms of government, we fhall not make any comments; as it would exceed the extent of our defign in this work, and would not greatly edify our Readers.
But that part of his treatife which is entitled, Improvements fuggefted,' demands our attention; becaufe we obferve that it contains a laboured attempt to difguife the defects in our popular representation in parliament, and to affign other reasons as the cause of that too great influence in the crown, which is feen and fo fenfibly felt by the nation. That there is much plaufibility, and even much truth, in what our Author fays on the fubject of diftant colonies, wars, armies, contracts, &c. we readily acknowledge; but ftill we conceive that the defects in the popular branch of our government are what give the regal part its too great influence and afcendancy. 'Tis its influence over parliament which alone is to be dreaded; for, were parliament uncorrupt 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 prefent, hath an alarming influence over parliament, owing to the defects in the popular branch, hath been largely demonftrated by Mr. Cartwright, in his Legislative Rights and his Barrier; and, if we miftake not, the Dean has read that author with more attention than it fuits with his fyftem to acknowledge. Mr. Cartwright has taken fome pains to promote an equal reprefentation, and has particularly pointed out to the cities of London and Westminster, and their environs, how far fhort of what is juftly and conftitutionally due to them is their prefent portion of reprefentation. Our Author does not, upon this ground, openly enter the lifts against Mr. Cartwright, nor call juffice to his aid, as the fupporter of his argument; but ftill depends upon his old friend Difcretion, and, by reafonings of a very fallacious nature, endeavours to infinuate, that if an equal reprefentation were given to the metropolis, it would be attended with a fubverfion of the government, and every diforder which the licentioufnefs of an abandoned people could produce. But we will not fuffer fuch an affertion to ftand 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 feats of faction and fedition, and the nurferies of anarchy and confufion. A daring, and defperate leader, in any great metropolis, at the head of a numerous mob, is terrible to the peace of fociety, even in the most defpotic governments:-but, in London, where the people are the most licentious upon earth;-in London, where the populace are daily taught, that they have an unalienable right to be felf-governed, and that their rulers are no other than their fervants ;-in London, where nothing is held facred but the will of the people [blafphemously called the Voice of God] what are you to expect from an addition of privilege and power, but an increafe of the most daring outrages, and the fubverfion of law and government? The audacious villanies recently committed in June 1730, are fufficient, one would think, to give any man a furfeit of the very idea of adding ftill greater influence and power to a London
How an equal reprefentation implies a mob-government, we have not penetration to difcover; but as Mr. Cartwright is the only perfon 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 fubject. Every Englishman," fays he, "having an undoubted right to be either by his reprefentative, or perfonally, in parliament, where the laws which affect his property and his life are enacted, there is not a non-elector who may not juftly demand, in his own right, admiffion into the Commons-houfe; fo that he may there be his own political guardian; fince the guardians appointed him by the law and the Conftitution have been unjustly taken from him. And it deferves to be noticed, that all tumults and riots for redress of grievances are the legitimate effects of NON-REPRESENTATION; fince it is not practicable to deliver in parliament the fenfe of a people who have no voice there; and, if it be prefented to parliament, what juftice can be hoped for by the aggrieved, from that power which has avowed its fixed purpose to opprefs them, by depriving them of that reprefentation which was their fole defence; in which very inftance it continually exercifes over them the moft confummate tyranny? It is the dictate of nature for men to feek, in their own collective ftrength, that redrefs from tyrant rulers, which they do not hope to obtain from the mere juftice of their complaints; whereas men who enjoyed a conftitutional representation, corrected and purified by themselves from feffion to feffion, could not poffibly have, at any time, either caufe or inclination for fuch proceedings *"
And in another place he fays, "It is the very praise of emancipation, that, cheering the depreffed heart by imparting the
Letter to the Deputies of the Affociated and Petitioning Counties, Cities, and Towns; on the Means neceffary to a Reformation of Parliament, p. 13.
valuable privileges of a citizen, and ennobling the depraved mind, by paying it refpect, 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 wife men know to be of infinitely more value than mines of gold, and far more operative towards public peace and fafety, than armies of men who never tafted of true liberty, or volumes of ftatutes for forcing men to contribute to the good of the State, in which they have no common intereft; but, by the injuftice of its laws, are made aliens and ftrangers in their own country*."
The next queftion difcuffed, is, that of a right in the Commons of England to elect their reprefentatives annually, or rather every feffion. The Dean, as may be fuppofed, denies the exiftence of fuch a right; and reforts to the fame fpecies of arguments as thofe ufed by Blackflone, in his Commentaries, I. 153. We shall not trace the fubtilties of this difpute, 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 iffue with the Dean himself (p. 256.), that deputies from, and reprefentatives of the people,' are an effential branch of the British Conftitution,' we cannot but infer, that an equal divifion of fuch deputies is an evident dictate of juftice; and, confequently, that all the people are entitled to vote for reprefentatives. And from thefe premifes it is, that Mr. Cartwright demonftrates their right to a new election every feffion; "becaufe," fays 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 fince the laft election, and therefore have an indifputable right to be reprefented in the Houfe of Commons, are then unjustly deprived of that right+." And again, fays he, "if the Legiflature may enact, that the people fhall not elect a new parliament more than once in three years, by parity of reafon they may forbid them for thirty, or threefcore, or three hundred. Who fees not the abfurdity of fuch doctrine, and the perdition which is connected with fuch a principle?"- If the Dean means feriously to confute, and not to confound, we should recommend it to him not to pass by found and conclufive reafonings in works which we know he has read, because he has quoted them, while, at the fame time, he makes ufe of ftale arguments, as new, which in thofe very works have been aniwered over and over again.
Barrier, p. 25.
allo Legislative Rights, p. 61.
+ Ib p. 21.
I Ib. 110. See
Although we do not affent to the principles of our Author's fyftem, yet, we mean not to infinuate, that in all he has written on the fubject there is no inftruction. As the works of the moft acute unbelievers have tended, in no fmall degree, to advance the cause of religion; fo thofe who have written with oft ingenuity against the liberties of mankind, have, in like manger, advanced the caufe of freedom; by exciting men of warm affec◄ tions, and a zeal for truth, to exercife their beft talents in its defence. In this divifion of the treatise before us there are fome ufeful hints.
In Part III, we meet with an elaborate account of the ancient Gothic and Feudal fyftems of government; on which we have only to obferve, that our Author has felected and dwelt upon fuch parts of history only, as place the liberty then enjoyed in this country in the most unfavourable point of view from which he draws conclufions to the prejudice of those popular rights, and that rational fyftem of freedom, vindicated by Mr. Locke and his followers; although we can by no means admit, that, were our ancestors univerfally placed in as flavish a condition as the Dean erroneously reprefents, we ought to be flaves 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 fmalleft degree impeached by any violation of them which may have been experienced by their ancestors. But thofe who are defirous to make a due estimate of our Author's merit with refpect to this part of his work, may receive great afliftance from confulting Mr. Ibbetson's Differtation on the National Aemblies under the Saxon and Norman Governments *. With a Paffeript addreffed to the Dean of Glocefter.
We come now to a chapter which is divided into two fections; the first of which is in answer to The cavils of Mr. Cartwright, and the fecond to The cavils of Mr. Profeffor Dunbar.
As the point in difpute between him and the former of thefe two gentlemen is of a deep and delicate nature, going to the very foundation of their respective fyftems, we will only state the feveral queftions which, as we conceive, are neceffary to be, folved in order to its decifion; and refer our Readers to the Authors themselves for the folutions: 1. Are the rights of mankind to civil liberty inherent and unalienable? 2. Is it effential to freedom, that a perfon be either a member of the Legiflature, or have a representative there? 3. Have the women the fame title to the privileges of being prefent in the Legislature, either in perfon or by reprefentatives, as the men?
An account of this Tract is at this time due from as to the Public.