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enterprising genius, the obstinacy of Danby; the pompous eloquence, the warmth, and ostentation of Nottingham ; the probity and popularity of Shrewsbury. Godolphin, now brought into the treasury, was modest, silent, sagacious, and upright, Mordaunt, appointed first commissioner of that board, and afterwards created earl of Monmouth, was open, generous, and a republican in his principles. Delamere, chancellor of the exchequer, promoted in the sequel to the rank of earl of Warrington, was close and mercenary. Obsequiousness, fidelity, and attachment to his master, composed the character of Bentinck, whom the king raised to the dignity of earl of Portland. The English favourite, Sidney, was a man of wit and pleasure, possesed of the most engaging talents for conversation and private friendship, but rendered unfit for public business by indolence and inattention. He was ennobled, and afterwards created earl of Romney; a title which he enjoyed with several successive posts of profit and importance. The stream of honour and preferment ran strong in favour of the whigs, and this appearance of partiality confirmed the suspicion and resentment of the opposite party.
III. The first resolution taken in the new council was to convert the convention into a parliament, that the new settlement might be strengthened by a legal sanction, which was now supposed to be wanting, as the assembly had not been convoked by the king's writ of summons. The experiment of a new election was deemed too hazardous; therefore, the council determined that the king should, by virtue of his own authority, change the convention into a parliament, by going to the house of peers with the usual state of a sovereign, and pronouncing a speech from the throne to both houses. This expedient was accordingly practised." He assured them he should never take any
d This expedient was attended with an unsurmountable absurdity. If the majority of the convention could not grant a legal sanction to the establishment they had made, they could never invest the prince of Orange with a just right to ascend the throne ; for they could not give what they had no right to bestow; and if he ascended the throne without a just title, he could have no right to sanctify that assembly to which he owed his elevation. When the people are obliged, by tyranny, or other accidents, to have recourse to the first principles of society, namely, their own preservation, in electing a new sovereign, it will deserve consideration, whether that choice is to be effected by the majority of a parliament which has been dissolved, indeed by any parliament whatsoever, or by the body of the nation, assembled in communities, corporations, by tribes, or centuries, to sig
step that would diminish the good opinion they had conceived of his integrity. He told them that Holland was in such a situation as required their immediate attention and assistance; that the posture of affairs at home likewise demanded their serious consideration; that a good settlement was necessary, not only for the establishment of domestic peace, but also for the support of the protestant interest abroad : that the affairs of Ireland were too critically situated to admit of the least delay in their deliberations: he, therefore, begged they would be speedy and effectual in concerting such measures as should be judged indispensably necessary for the welfare of the nation. The commons returning to their house, immediately passed a vote of thanks to his majesty, and made an order that his speech should be taken into consideration. After the throne had been declared vacant by a small majority of the peers, those who opposed that measure had gradually withdrawn themselves from the house, so that very few remained but such as were devoted to the new monarch. These, therefore, brought in a bill for preventing all disputes concerning the present parliament. In the mean time, Mr. Hambden in the lower house put the question, Whether a king elected by the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons assembled at Westminster, coming to and consulting with the said lords and commons, did not make as complete a parliament, and legislative power and authority, as if the said king should cause new elections to be made by writ? Many members affirmed that the king's writ was as necessary as his presence to the being of a legal parliament, and, as the convention was defective in this particular, it could not be vested with a parliamentary authority, by any management whatsoever.
nify their assent or dissent with respect to the person proposed as their sovereign. This kind of election might be attended with great inconvenience and difficulty, but these cannot possibly be avoided when the constitution is dissolved by setting aside the lineal succession to the throne. The constitution of England is founded on a parliament consisting of king, lords, and commons; but when there is no longer a king, the parliament is defective, and the constitution impaired; the members of the lower house are the representatives of the people, expressly chosen to maintain the constitution in church and state, and sworn to support the rights of the crown, as well as the liberties of the nation ; but though they are elected to maintain, they have no power to alter the constitution. When the king forfeits the allegiance of his subjects, and it becomes necessary to dethrone him, the power of so doing cannot possibly reside in the representatives who are chosen, under certain limitations, for the purposes of a legislature which no longer exists; their power is of course at an end, and they are reduced to a level with other individuals that constitute the community. The right of altering the constitution, therefore, or of deviating from the established practice of inheritance in regard to the succession of the crown, is inherent in the body of the people, and every individual has an equal right to his share in the general determination, whether his opinion be signified viva voce, or by a representative whom he appoints and instructs for the purpose. It may be suggested, that the prince of Orange was raised to the throne without any convulsion, or any such difficulties and inconveniences as we have affirmed to be the necessary consequences of a measure of that nature. To this remark we answer, that since the revolution, these kingdoms have been divided and harassed by violent and implacable factions, that eagerly seek the destruction of each other: that they have been exposed to plots, conspiracies, insurrections, civil wars, and successive rebellions, which have not been defeated and quelled without vast effusion of blood, infinite schief, calamity, and expense to the nation; that they are still subjected to all those alarms and dangers which are engendered by a disputed title to the throne, and the efforts of an artful pretender; that they are necessarily wedded to the affairs of the continent, and their interest sacrificed to foreign connexions, from which they can never be dis. engaged. Perhaps all these calamities might have been prevented by the interposition of the prince of Orange. King James, without forfeiting the crown, might have been laid under such restrictions that it would not have been in his power to tyrannize over his subjects either in spirituals or temporals. The power of the militia might have been vested in the two houses of parliament, as well as the nomination of persons to fill the great offices of the church and state, and superintend the economy of the adıninistration, in the application of the public money: a law might have passed for annual parliaments, and the king might bave been dicprived of his power to convoke, adjourn, prorogue, and dissolve them at his pleasure. Had these measures been taken, the king must have been absolutely disabled from employing either force or corruption in the prosecution of arbitrary designs, and the people must have been fairly represented in a rotation of parliaments, whose power and influence would have been but of one year's Jurütion.
The whigs replied, That the essence of a parliament consisted in the meeting and cooperation of the king, lords, and commons; and that it was not material whether they were convoked by writ or by letter: they proved this assertion by examples deduced from the history of England: they observed, that a new election would be attended with great trouble, expense, and loss of time; and that such delay might prove fatal to the protestant interest in Ireland, as well as to the allies on the continent. In the midst of this debate, the bill was brought down from the lords, and being read, a committee was appointed to make some amendments. These were no sooner made than the commons sent it back to the upper house, and it immediately received the royal assent. By this act the lords and commons, assembled at Westminster, were declared the two houses of parliament to all intents and purposes : it likewise ordained, That the present act, and all other acts to which the royal assent should be given before the next prorogation, should be understood and adjudged in law to begin on the thirteenth day of February: That the members, instead of the old oaths of allegiance and supremacy, should take the new oath incorporated in this act, under the ancient penalty :
and, That the present parliament should be dissolved in the usual manner. Immediately after this transaction, a warm debate arose in the house of commons about the revenue, which the courtiers alleged had devolved with the crown upon William, at least during the life of James; for which term the greater part of it had been granted. The members in the opposition affirmed, that these grants were vacated with the throne ; and at length it was voted, That the revenue had expired. Then a motion was made, That a revenue should be settled on the king and queen; and the house res lved it should be taken into consideration. While they deliberated on this affair, they received a message from his majesty, importing, that the late king had set sail from Brest with an armament to invade Ireland.
They forthwith resolved to assist his majesty with their lives and fortunes : they voted a temporary aid of four hundred and twenty thousand pounds, to be levied by monthly assessments; and both houses waited on the king to signify this resolution. But this unanimity did not take place till several lords spiritual as well as temporal had, rather than take the oaths, absented themselves from parliament. The nonjuring prelates were Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, Turner, bishop of Ely, Lake, of Chichester, Ken, of Bath and Wells, White, of Peterborough, Lloyd, of Norwich, Thomas, of Worcester, and Frampton, of Gloucester. The temporal peers who refused the oath, were the duke of Newcastle, the earls of Clarendon, Litchfield, Exeter, Yarmouth, and Stafford; the lords Griffin and Stawell. Five of the bishops withdrew themselves from the house at one time; but, before they retired, one of the number moved for a bill of toleration, and another of comprehension, by which moderate dissenters might be reconciled to the church, and admitted into ecclesiastical benefi
Such bills were actually prepared and presented by the earl of Nottingham, who received the thanks of the house for the pains, he had taken. From this period, the party averse to the government of William were distipguished by the appellation of nonjurors. They rejected the notion of a king de facto, as well as all other distinctions and limitations; and declared for the absolute power, and divine hereditary indefeasible right of sovereigns: Vol. I.
0 IV. This faction had already begun to practise against the new government. The king having received some intimation of their designs from intercepted letters, ordered the earl of Arran, sir Robert Hamilton, and some other gentlemen of the Scottish nation, to bę apprehended and sent prisoners to the Tower. Then he informed the two houses of the step he had taken, and even craved their advice with regard to his conduct in such a delicate affair, which had compelled him to trespass upon the law of England. The lords thanked him for the care he took of their liberties, and desired he would secure all disturbers of the peace : but the commons empowered him by a bill to dispense with the habeas corpuş açt till the seventeenth of April next ensuing. This was a stretch of confidence in the crown which had not been made in favour of the late king, even while Argyle and Monmouth were in open rebellicn. A spirit of discontent had by this time diffused itself through the army, and become so formidable to the court, that the king resolved to detain the Dutch troops in England, and send over to Holland in their room such regiments as were most tinctured with disaffection. Of these the Scottish regiment of Dumbarton, commanded by mareschal Schomberg, mutinied on its march to. Ipswich, seized the military chest, disarmed the officers who opposed their design, declared for king James, and with four pieces of cannon began their march for Scotland. William, being informed of this revolt, ordered general Ginckel to pursue them with three regiments of Dutch dragoons, and the mutineers surrendered at discretion. As the delinquents were natives of Scotland, which had not yet submitted in form to the new government, the king did not think proper to punish them as 'rebels, but ordered them to proceed for Holland, according to his first intention. Though this attempt proved abortive, it made a strong impression upon the ministry, who were divided among themselves, and wavered in their principlesa However, they seized this opportunity to bring in a bill for punishing mutiny, and desertion, which in: a little time passed both houses, and received the royal assent.