Page images





treene the estate of
Edum Halcokat

Insolens, mehercule foret, omnia urbis alicujis ædificia diruere, ad hoc solum ut, iisdem postea meliori ordine et formá extructis, ejus platece pulchiores evaderent. At certe non insolens est dominum unius domus ad illam destruendam adhortari, ut ejus loco meliorem ædificet. Imá sæpe multi hoc facere coguntur nempe cum ædes habent vetustate jam fatiscentes, vel quæ infirmis fundamentis superstructæ ruinam minantur.


[ocr errors]





4 And it was no wonder if some good and innocent men, especially such as He (LIGHTFoot) who was generally more concerned about what was done in Judea many centuries ago, than what was transacted in his own time in his own country-it is no wonder if some such were for a while borne away to the approval of opinions which they after more sedate reflection disowned. Yet his innocency from any self-interest or design, together with his learning, secured him from the extravagancies of demagogues, the people's oracles.” LIGHTFOOT's Works, Publisher's Preface to the Reader.

I have nerer seen Major Cartwright, much less enjoy the honour of his acquaintance ;

Vol. II.



but I know enough of his character from the testimony of others and from his own writings, to respect his talents, and revere the purity of his motives. I am fully persuaded, that there are few better men, few more fervent or disinterested adherents of their country or the laws of their country, of whatsoever things are lovely, of whatsoever things are honourable! It would give me great pain should I be supposed to have introduced, disrespectfully, a name, which from my early youth I never heard mentioned without a feeling of affectionate admiration. I have indeed quoted from this venerable patriot, as from the most respectable English advocate for the Theory, which derives the rights of government, and the duties of obedience to it, exclusively from principles of pure Reason. It was of consequence to my cause that I should not be thought to have been waging war against a straw image of my own setting up, or even against à foreign idol that had neither worshippers nor advocates in our own country; and it was not less my object to keep my discussion aloof from those passions, which more unpopular names

might have excited. I therefore introduced the name of Cartwright, as I had previously done that of Luther, in order to give every fair advantage to a theory, which I thought it of importance to confute; and as an instance that though the system might be made tempting to the Vulgar, yet that, taken unmixed and entire, it was chiefly fascinating for lofty and imaginative spirits, who mistook their own virtues and powers for the average character of men in general.

Neither by fair statements nor by fair reasoning, should I ever give offence to Major Cartwright himself, nor to his judicious friends. If I am in danger of offending them, it must arise from one or other of two causes ; either that I have falsely represented his principles, or his motives and the tendency of his writings. In the book from which I quoted (“ The Peoples' Barrier against undue Influence, &c.” the only one of Major Cartwright's which I possess) I am conscious that there are six foundations stated of constitutional Government. Therefore, it may be urged, the Author cannot be justly classed with those who deduce

our social Rights, and correlative Duties exclusively from principles of pure Reason, or unavoidable conclusions from such. My answer is ready. Of these six foundations three are but different words for one and the same, viz. the Law of Reason, the Law of God, and first Principles: and the three that remain can not be taken as different, inasmuch as they are afterwards affirmed to be of no validity except as far as they are evidently deduced from the former; that is, from the PRINCIPLES implanted by God in the universal REASON of Man. These three latter foundations are, the general. customs of the realm, particular customs, and acts of Parliament. It might be supposed that the Author had not used his terms in the precise and single sense in which they are defined in my former Essay: and that self-evident Principles may be meant to include the dictates of manifest Expedience, the Inductions of the Understanding as well as the Prescripts of the pure Reason. But no ! Major Cartwright has guarded against the possibility of this interpretation, and has expressed himself as decisively, and with as much warmth, against founding

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »