Category — Divine Right

Saturday, September 2. 1704.

Numb. 52.
[221]

I Have done with the Swedes: Monsieur L—n may concern himself to defend the Polish Election, in what Way and Method he pleases; I am perswaded he will never Compass it to his Master’s Reputation.

Conquest indeed may go a great way; Victory is so Sacred a thing, and Men are so apt to give the Sanction of Right, where Heaven gives the Blessing of Success, that to Argue against the Justice of that Cause, to which the Sword gives the Authority, is almost to oppose the General Stress of Human Reasoning.

If Stanislaus the Palatin of Posen, for as yet I can call him no more, by the Assistance of the Swede, Conquers the present King of Poland, who shall dispute his being Lawful King? I question whether the King of Sweden himself, or half the Kings in Europe have better Titles.

If Conquest be not a Lawful Title to a Crown, we must go back to the Oracle and Enquire, where the Grand Spring of Title is to be found; and unless the People come in to help us out, I doubt we shall be at a loss. [Read more →]

September 2, 2008   No Comments

Tuesday, August 29. 1704.

Numb. 51.
[217]

I Hinted in the last Review the Scandal rais’d on this Undertaking, viz. That it does not please every body; I hope some of the Gentlemen Objectors will take that Note for an Answer, as particularly the Gentleman who is so Angry at my Opinion, concerning the Consequences of the late Victory; and so much for Objectors.

’Tis my Satisfaction that they cannot, nor indeed have they attempted to Answer the Reasons brought on this Head; when they can, I shall most readily alter my Opinion.

I am of Opinion I have sin’d against Novelty in the Article of Sweden, and as most People have this Vice in their Judgments, to be always cloy’d with a long Story, I might have dwelt upon the Swedish Affair too long: The Fancy is the Weather-cock of the Soul, and ’tis always Vereing with the Gusts of Novelty; Men are eternally gapeing after Variety, and no Story can be so well told, as to please them, if it be too long in telling.

And yet I cannot satisfy my self to close with this humour of the Town, and quit a Subject, before I have gone thro’ it, to please the Luxuriance of the World’s imagination; such as think me dull, only because I am long, are like those that don’t approve of the Sermon, because they don’t love the Parson. [Read more →]

August 29, 2008   No Comments

Tuesday, April 18. 1704.

Numb. 13.
[65]

THe Cevennois are not so much the Miracle of this Age, as ’tis a Wonder to me the Accounts we have had of them should obtain so much in an Age, so incredulous as this.

I cannot think ’tis my Business to enter into a Debate of Original Right in such an undertaking as this; and to concern these Sheets with an Enquiry into the Justice of their taking Arms, and the Reasonableness of their being Oppress’d for Matters of Conscience.

That the Christian Religion does no way justify the oppression of the Conscience, we who call ourselves Protestants generally grant; but how far those Oppressions justify the Subject in defending themselves, is a point so hotly debated, that in this Paper, wherein I carefully avoid the Strife of Parties, I shall not enter into the Dispute.

Besides, as I have frequently Ingag’d in the Argument on other occasions, I think ’tis needless to Examine a Case, here, which ought to take up a whole Volume by it self. [Read more →]

April 18, 2008   No Comments

Saturday, April 8. 1704.

Numb. 10.
[53]

THE General Head I am upon, is the wonderful Benefit of Arbitrary Power; and methinks I need not make an Apology here, and tell the Reader again, that I do not mean the Benefit to the Subject; but that I distinguish between the Greatness of the Monarch as a King, and the Greatness of a Nation as a People: But such is the Iniquity of the Times, that ’tis Dangerous to walk on the Brink of a tender Point.

I dare not say, that all our good Friends who are so very full of the Word Arbitrary Government, understand the Meaning of it; and possibly their want of rightly Understanding it, may have been the Reason of their Mistaking the just Power of a lawful Prince, for the Real Bug-bear we speak of; and the People who are of this sort, generally are for allowing their Governours little or no Power at all, and perhaps in the end, would be for no Governours at all.

I am far from giving Arbitrary Power a Character to recommend it to the Subject: But without doubt, That Prince, whose Designs center in his own Projects, enlarging his Dominions, and in the Conquest of his Neighbours; there is nothing can contribute more to this end, than a Despotick Arbitrary Dominion over his Subjects, whereby he obliges them, without any Reserve, to Comply with whatever he demands; to give what he asks; to go where he sends; and to do what he directs.

When a Prince must court his Subjects to give him leave to raise an Army, and when that’s done, tell him when he must disband them; That if he wants Money, must Assemble the States of his Country, and not only give them good words to get it, and tell them what ’tis for, but give them an Account how it is expended, before he calls for more. The Subjects in such a Government are certainly Happy, in having their Properties and Privileges secur’d; but if I were of his Privy-Council, I would advise such a Prince to content himself within the Compass of his own Government, and never think of Invading his Neighbours, or Increasing his Dominions: For Subjects, who Stipulate with their Princes, and make Conditions of Government, who Claim to be Govern’d by Laws, and make those Laws themselves; who need not pay their Money, but when they see Cause, and may refuse to pay it when demanded, without their Consent; such Subjects will never Empty their Purses upon Foreign Wars, for enlarging the Glory of their Sovereign. If [54] such People are free to Fight, or Pay, it is always for the Defence and Security of their own, not for the Conquests and Glories of their Prince. [Read more →]

April 8, 2008   1 Comment