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in the old staple of the national church, or in all the rich variety to be found in the wellafsorted warehouses of the diffenting congregations, Dr. Price advises them to improve upon non-conformity; and to set up, each of them, a separate meeting-house upon his own particular principles *. It is somewhat remarkable that this reverend divine should be so earnest for setting up new churches, and so perfectly indifferent concerning the doctrine which may be taught in them.. His zeal is of a curious character. It is not for the propagation of his own opinions, but of any opinions. It is not for the diffusion of truth, but for the spreading of contradiction. Let the noble teachers but diffent, it is no matter from whom or from what. This great point once secured, it is taken for granted their religion will be rational and manly. I doubt whether religion would reap
all the benefits which the calculating divine computes from this “great company of great preachers." It would certainly be a valuable addition of nondescripts to the ample collection of known classes, genera and species, which at present beautify the bortus ficcus of diffent. A sermon from a noble
• « Those who dislike that mode of worship which is pre“ scribed by public authority ought, if they can find no wor
ship out of the church which they approve, to set up a separate' worship for themselves; and by doing this, and
giving an example of a rational and manly worship, men “ of weight from their rank and literature may do the greatest “ fervice to society and the world.” P. 18. Dr. Price's Ser.'
duke, or a noble marquis, or a noble earl, or baron bold, would certainly increase and diversify the amusements of this town, which begins to grow fatiated with the uniform round of its vapid diffipations. I should only stipulate that these new Mess-Johns in robes and coronets should keep fome fort of bounds in the democratic and levelling principles which are expected from their titled pulpits. The new evangelists will, I dare say, disappoint the hopes that are conceived of them. They will not become, literally as well as figuratively, polemic divines, nor be disposed so to drill their congregations that they may, as in former blessed times, preach their doctrines to regiments of dragoons, and corps of infantry and artillery. Such arrangements, however favourable to the cause of compulsory freedom, civil and religious, may not be equally conducive to the national tranquillity. These few restrictions I hope are no great stretches of intolerance, no very violent exertions of despotisin.
But I may say of our preacher, “ utinam nugis " tota illa dedisset tempora sævitiæ.” - All things in this his fulminating bull are not of fo innoxious a tendency. His doctrines affect our constitution in its vital parts. He tells the Revolution Society, in this political fermon, that his majesty " is almost the only lawful king in the
world, because the only one who owes his “ crown to the choice of his people.” As to the kings of the world, all of whom (except one) this. archpontiff of the rights of men, with all the
plenitude, and with more than the boldness of the papal deposing power in its meridian fervour of the twelfth century, puts into one sweeping clause of ban and anathema, and proclaims usurpers by circles of longitude and latitude, over the whole globe, it behoves them to consider how they admit into their territories these apostolic missionaries, who are to tell their subjects they are not lawful kings. That is their concern. It is ours, as a domestic interest of some momento seriously to consider the folidity of the only principle upon which these gentlemen acknowledge a king of Great Britain to be entitled to their allegiance.
This doctrine, as applied to the prince now on the British throne, either is nonsense, and therefore neither true nor false, or it affirms a most unfounded, dangerous, illegal, and unconstitutional position. According to this spiritual doctor of politics, if his majesty does not owe his crown to the choice of his people, he is no lawful king. Now nothing can be more untrue than that the crown of this kingdom is so held by his majesty. Therefore if you follow their rule, the king of Great Britain, who most certainly does not owe his high office to any form of popular elečtion, is in no respect better than the rest of the gang of usurpers, who reign, or rather rob, all over the face of this our miserable world, without any sort of right or title to the allegiance of their people. The policy of this general doctrine, fo qualified, is evident enough. ·C
The propagators of this political gospel' are in hopes their abstract principle (their principle that a popular choice is necessary to the legal existence of the fovereign magiftracy) would be overlooked whilst the king of Great Britain was not affected by it. In the mean time the ears of their congregations would be gradually habituated to it, as if it were a first principle admitted without dispute. For the present it would only operate as a theory, pickled in the preserving juices of pulpit eloquence, and laid by for future use. Condo et compono quæ mox depromere poffim. By this policy, whilst our government is foothed with a reservation in its favour, to which it has no claim, the security, which it has in common with all governments, fo far as opinion is security, is taken away.
Thus these politicians proceed, whilft little notice is taken of their doctrines; but when they come to be examined upon the plain meaning of their words and the direct tendency of their doctrines, then equivocations and nippery constructions come into play. When they say the king owes his crown to the choice of his people, and is therefore the only lawful fovereign in the world, they will perhaps tell us they mean to say no more than that some of the king's predecessors have been called to the throne by some sort of choice ; and therefore he
; owes his crown to the choice of his people.
Thus, by a miserable fubterfuge, they hope to render their proposition fafe, by rendering it
nugátory. They are welcome to the asylum they seek for their offence, since they take refuge in their folly. For, if you admit this interpretation, how does their idea of election differ from our idea of inheritance ? And how does the settlement of the crown in the Brunswick line derived from James the first, come to legalize our monarchy, rather than that of any of the neighbouring countries? At some time or other, to be sure, all the beginners of dynasties were chosen by those who called them to go
There is ground enough for the opinion that all the kingdoms of Europe were, at a remote period, elective, with more or fewer lie mitations in the objects of choice; but whatever kings might have been here or elsewhere, a a thousand years ago, or in whatever manner the ruling dynasties of England or France may have begun, the King of Great Britain is at this day king by a fixed rule of succession, according to the laws of his country; and whilft the legal conditions of the compact of sovereignty are per-formed by him (as they are performed) he holds his crown in contempt of the choice of the Revolution Society, who have not a single vote for a king amongst them, either individually or collectively; though I make no doubt they would foon erect themselves into an electoral college, if things were ripe to give effect to their claim. His majesty's heirs and successors, each in his time and order, will come to the crown with