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ed : But when it is considered that he has held a correspondency with the Pope and the French King, to subvert our Religion and Laws, what protection can we expect from him if he be King? It is a sensleless thing to imagine, that he will not di-. sturb us in our Religion and Laws, seeing whilest he is a Subject he is practising to destroy us and them: Therefore for my part, I think we betray both our Religion and Laws if we do not pass this Bill,
There is one Opinion which prevails much in the World, which as it is false so it does a great deal of hurt, and that is this ; That every Govern. ment in the World was constituted by God himself: But that cannot be fo; for it would follow, that God is unjust, which he cannot be. There neither is nor was any Government of that fort but only that of the Jews, the rest of the World were left to themselves, to frame such a Government as suited best to their Inclinations, and to make such Rules and Laws as they could best obey and be governed by
Ours is compounded of an absolute Monarchy and a Common-wealth, and the original of it we have from the Saxons : But be it what it will, or whence it will, it is without question that the firfe original of our Kings was, that the people found it for their advantage to set one over them, because of his Wisdom, Valour, and Justice, and therefore they gave him several Prerogatives above the rest of the People, that he might be the better able to govern and defend them for there is none of the Kings Prerogatives, but are for the good of the Nation if rightly imployed : But it will be a Itrange conclusion to fuppofe, that the People
obliged themselves to submit to the Posterity of that Man whom they first chose for their King be. cause of his extraordinary Endowments, let them be what they would, and never so unfit for the Government: For the next of blood may be incapable of governing in leveral respects; suppose a Fool or Lunatick; by his Principles if he aim at Arbitrary Power, by his Religion if he be a Papist or a Heathen, or by his practiles, before he comes to the Crown, to destroy the Religion and Government by Law Establisht.
Now this I do not say to argue that the Election of the King is in the People, though I think much might be said in that case, neither is it now the question ; but that which I speak for is, to prove that the next of blood has not so absolute an Inherent Right to the Crown, but that he may the good of the Nation be set aside.
There is yet another Inconvenience to allow the next of blood to have so absolute a Right to the Crown, because the Poffefsion of the Crown takes away all disabilities, but only such as are by Act of Parliament; which being so, every King must thank his Successor for every moment that he lives; if he kill him himself he cannot be questioned for it, because as soon as the one is dead the other is King, for here the King never dies.
If therefore the next of blood has so absolute a Right, the King is very unsafe : For though the D. be not inclined to shorten his Brothers days, nay though he be averse to it, yet in obedience to the Pope and his Priests, it must be done either by himself or some other hand, and then how long we expect his Majesties life?
If Kings were good Men an absolute Monarchy were the best Government, but we see that they are subject to the fame Infirmities with other Men, and therefore it is necessary to bound their power: And by reason that they are flesh and blood, and the Nation is fo apt to be bad by their Example, I believe was that wherefore God was averse to let the Jews have a King; till they had Kings, they never revolted fo wholly from him; when their Kings were good they were obedient to him, but when they were idolatrous then the People went mad of Idols. I hope it is no Regis ad exemplum that makes our Nation fo lewd and wicked at this day
S P E E CH
A G A IN S T
Arbitrary and Illegal IMPRISONMENTS
Β Υ Τ Η Ε
Privy Councill. TH
Here is not any thing that an Englishman can
claim as his Right, that we value more than Freedoin and Liberty, I mean that of the Body; because Imprisonment is a sort of Death, and less tolerable to some than Death it felf: Fpr by it we are deprived of all our Earthly Comforts. What is a Man the better for having never so great an Estate, never so great Honour, or what else is defirable in this World, if he is restrained of his Li. berty ? Now there are several sorts of Restraints or Imprisonments, and they are all forbidden by our Law, unlets the cause be very just and reasonable; not for bare surmises or vain stories that a Man shall be imprisoned and hurried from his aboad, but only for such cause as shall prove that it is for the good of the Governinent, and the fup. port of it, that this or that Man is imprisoned or restrained. Although the Law has taken very good care, yet the Subject is often abused in his Liberty, sometimes
, by the Courts in West-Hall, sometimes by other Courts and particular Magistrates : But the greatest cause of complaint proceeds from the Privy Council.
The Privy Council that is, though they have been much to blame in this particular, yet it is not a new thing that they practice, but this Itch of lending for and impriloning the Subject upon vain pretences has descended from one Privy Council to another, like an Infirmity that runs in a Blood; for no sooner is a Man made a Privy Councellor, but this Spirit rests upon him. This Mischief was early espied, even in Henry III's time, and several Lawes have been made to restrain the Privy Council.
By the 9. H. 3, Chap. 29. it's declared that No Free man shall be taken or imprisoned, or be difseised of his Free-hold or Liberties, or Free Customes, or be out-lawed, or any other way destroyed, nor we will not pass upon him, whor con. demn him, but by Lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land.
By the 5. Edw. III. 9. It is Enacted, That no Man from thenceforth shall be attacht by any Accusation, nor fore-judged of Life or Limb, nor his Lands, Tenements, Goods nor Chattels seized into the Kings Hands, against the form of the Great Charter, and the Law of the Land.
By 25. Edw. III. Chap. 4. It is declared, That from thenceforth none shall be taken by Petition or Suggestion made to our Lord the King, or tc his Council, unless it be by Indiament or Presentment