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vision of this establishment might be as stable
I have now, I hope, adduced sufficient rea-
lishment forms an essential part of the Eng-
or people, into clergy and laity, whose several
" Had I inferred the truth of our reli-
• Rogers's Vindication of the Civil Etablishment of Religion, sect. i. p. 191.
tion before me, I used other arguments; but
proper grounds. If it was false before
From what has been said in this and the Civil establishforegoing chapter, I hope it will sufficiently gion of tixe fame appear, that the fanction, which the laws give bile civil Lawr. to the establishment of the church of England throughout England, and to presbytery throughout Scotland, is in its tendency and effects merely of a civil nature; consequently, that the obligation of submitting to it, is the very same as the obligation of submitting to any other civil law whatever. Now, every external and public disavowal of, or opposition to the civil exactions of the legis
ment of reli
lature, must be criminal in an individual subject to the power of that legislature: But I shall hereafter have occasion to speak more fully upon the nature of crimes against the state.
CHAP CH A P. VI.
OF THE EFFECTS OF DENYING TRUE PRIN
true source and
T has been usual for most writers both an
cient and modern, in discussing the subject of our constitution, to endeavour to trace its origin from the earliest antiquity, and to identify its form and substance through all the various modifications, changes, reformations, and revolutions, which it has undergone since the first establishment of society, or of a community in this country. I beg the liberty of following a very different course. I establish Principle the a principle, which, if it ever existed, must now origin of our exist, and if it now exist, must have always existed; for what gives existence to a principle, is its universal and invariable truth, which, if it exist in one moment, must essentially have existed from all eternity ; I need not, therefore, seek for its importation into this iNand by the Trojan prince Brutus ; nor enquire whether it were borrowed by our British an, cestors from their Gallic neighbours; nor whether it were the peculiar growth of our native foil; whether it grew out of the hedge-rowed towns or encampments of our warlike ances
Principles true from all eternity.
tors, or issued out of the sanctuaries of their mysterious Druids ; whether it were imposed upon them by heathen Rome, or infused into them by Christian Rome; whether it were transplanted from Germany with our Saxon conquerors and progenitors, nor whether it attended the despotism of the Norman conqueror; nor, in a word, whether it flourished with vigour and luxuriancy, or withered in apparent decay, under the several houses of Tudor, Stuart, Nassau, and Brunswick.
At this moment, this principle, the fovereignty of power ever did, and now does, unalienably reside in the people, exists, because it is universally and invariably true; and it must for ever have exifted with the same force and efficacy, that it now does; for universal truth excludes all degrees. From this invariable and ever operative principle have arisen all the various changes, innovations, and improvements, which have at different times been effected in our constitution and government, by the means of reformation and revolution. The coercive introduction or imposition of new laws by the force of arms, can never make a part of the constitution and government of a free people, till they have been voluntarily submitted to, recognized, accepted, or confirmed by the act of the commu