ON THE KING AND THE NATION
A treatise? why, the subjects might, I own, excite some apprehension of the sort. But it will be found like sundry Greek Treatises among the tinder-rolls of Herculaneum, with titles of as large promise, somewhat largely and irregularly abbreviated in the process of unrolling. In fact, neither my purpose nor my limits permit more than a few hints, that may prepare the reader for some of the positions assumed in the second part of this volume.
Of the King with the two Houses of Parliament, as constituting the STATE (in the special and antithetic sense of the word) we have already spoken: and it remains only to determine the proper and legitimate objects of its superintendence and control. On what is the power of the State rightfully exercised? Now, I am not arguing in a court of law; and my purpose would be grievously misunderstood if what I say should be taken as intended for an assertion of the fact. Neither of facts, nor of statutary and demandable rights do I speak; but exclusively of the STATE according to the idea. And, in accordance with the idea of the State, I do not hesitate to answer, that the legitimate objects of its power comprise all the interests and concerns of the PROPRIETAGE, both landed and personal, and whether inheritably vested in the lineage or in the individual citizen; and these alone. Even in the lives and limbs of the lieges, the King, as the head and arm of the State, has an interest of property: and in any trespass against them the King appears as plaintiff.
The chief object, for which men, who from the beginning existed under a social bond, first formed themselves into a State, and on the social super-induced the political relation, was not the protection of their lives but of their property. The natural man is too proud an animal to admit that he needs any other protection for his life than his own courage and that of his clan can bestow. Where the nature of the soil and climate has precluded all property but personal, and admitted that only in its simplest forms, as in Greenland for instance -- there men remain in the domestic state and form neighbourhoods, not governments. And in North America, the chiefs appear to exercise government in those tribes only which possess individual landed property. Among the rest the chief is the general, a leader in war; not a magistrate. To property and to its necessary inequalities must be referred all human laws, that would not be laws without and independent of any conventional enactment: i.e. all State-legislation. -- FRIEND, vol. 1. 351.
Next comes the KING, as the Head of the National Church, or Clerisy, and the Protector and Supreme Trustee of the NATIONALTY: the power of the same in relation to its proper objects being exercised by the King and the Houses of Convocation, of which, as before of the State, the King is the head and arm. And here, if it had been my purpose to enter at once on the development of this position, together with the conclusions to be drawn from it, I should need with increased earnestness remind the reader, that I am neither describing what the National Church now is, nor determining what it ought to be. My statements respect the idea alone, as deduced from its original purpose and ultimate aim: and of the idea only must my assertions be understood. But the full exposition of this point is not necessary for the appreciation of the late Bill which is the subject of the following part of the volume. It belongs indeed to the chapter with which I had intended, and should my health permit it, still intend to conclude this volume -- namely, my humble contribution towards an answer to the question, What is to be done now? For the present, therefore, it will be sufficient, if I recall to the reader's recollection, that formerly the National Clerisy, in the two Houses of Convocation duly assembled and represented, taxed themselves. But as to the proper objects, on which the authority of the convocation with the King as its head was to be exercised -- these the reader will himself without difficulty decypher by referring to what has been already said respecting the proper and distinguishing ends and purposes of a National Church.
I pass, therefore, at once to the relations of the Nation, or the State in the larger sense of the word, to the State specially so named, and to the Crown. And on this subject again I shall confine myself to a few important yet, I trust, not common nor obvious, remarks respecting the conditions requisite or especially favorable to the health and vigor of a realm. From these again I separate those, the nature and importance of which cannot be adequately exhibited but by adverting to the consequences which have followed their neglect or inobservance, reserving them for another place: while for the present occasion I select two only, but these, I dare believe, not unworthy the name of Political Principles, or Maxims, i.e. regulae quae inter maximas numerari merentur. And both of them forcibly confirm and exemplify a remark, often and in various ways suggested to my mind, that with, perhaps, one  exception, it would be difficult, in the whole compass of language, to find a metaphor so commensurate, so pregnant, or suggesting so many points of elucidation, as that of Body Politic, as the exponent of a State or Realm. I admire, as little as you do, the many-jointed similitudes of Fleming, and other finders of moral and spiritual meanings in the works of Art and Nature, where the proportion of the likeness to the difference, not seldom reminds us of the celebrated comparison of the Morning Twilight to a Boiled Lobster. But the correspondence between the Body Politic to the Body Natural holds even in the detail of application. Let it not, however, be supposed, that I expect to derive any proof of my positions from this analogy. My object in thus prefacing them is answered, if I have shown cause for the use of the physiological terms by which I have sought to render my meaning intelligible.
The first condition then required, in order to a sound constitution of the Body Politic, is a due proportion of the free and permeative life and energy of the Nation to the organized powers brought within containing channels. What those vital forces that seem to bear an analogy to the imponderable agents, magnetic or galvanic, in bodies inorganic, if indeed they are not the same in a higher energy and under a different law of action -- what these, I say, are in the living body in distinction from the fluids in the glands and vessels -- the same, or at least a like relation, do the indeterminable, but yet actual influences of intellect, information, prevailing principles and tendencies, with the influence of property, or income, where it exists without right of suffrage attached thereto, hold to the regular, definite, and legally recognised Powers, in the Body Politic. But as no simile runs on all four legs, (nihil simile est idem), so here, the difference in respect of the Body Politic is, that in sundry instances the former species of force is capable of being converted into the latter, of being as it were organised and rendered a part of the vascular system, by attaching a measured and determinate political right, or privilege, thereto.
What the exact proportion, however, of the two kinds of Force should be, it is impossible to predetermine. But the existence of a disproportion is sure to be detected, sooner or later, by the effects. Thus: the ancient Greek democracies, the hot-beds of Art, Science, Genius, and Civilization, fell into dissolution from the excess of the former, the permeative power deranging the functions, and by explosions shattering the organic structures, they should have enlivened. On the contrary, the Republic of Venice fell by the contrary extremes. All political power was confined to the determinate vessels, and these becoming more and more rigid, even to an ossification of the arteries, the State, in which the people were nothing, lost all power of resistance ad extra.
Under this head, in short, there are three possible sorts of malformation to be noticed, namely, -- The adjunction or concession of direct political power to personal force and influence, whether physical or intellectual, existing in classes or aggregates of individuals, without those fixed or tangible possessions, freehold, copyhold, or leasehold, in land, house, or stock. The power resulting from the acquisition of knowledge or skill, and from the superior development of the understanding is, doubtless, of a far nobler kind than mere physical strength and fierceness, the one being peculiar to the animal Man, the other common to him with the Bear, the Buffalo, and the Mastiff. And if superior Talents, and the mere possession of knowledges, such as can be learnt at Mechanics' institutions, were regularly accompanied with a Will in harmony with the Reason, and a consequent subordination of the appetites and passions to the ultimate ends of our Being: if intellectual gifts and attainments were infallible signs of wisdom and goodness in the same proportion, and the knowing, clever, and talented (a vile word!) were always rational; if the mere facts of science conferred or superseded the soft'ning humanizing influences of the moral world, that habitual presence of the beautiful or the seemly, and that exemption from all familiarity with the gross, the mean, and the disorderly, whether in look or language, or in the surrounding objects, in which the main efficacy of a liberal education consists; and if, lastly, these acquirements and powers of the understanding could be shared equally by the whole class, and did not, as by a necessity of nature they ever must do, fall to the lot of two or three in each several group, club, or neighbourhood; -- then, indeed, by an enlargement of the Chinese system, political power might not unwisely be conferred as the honorarium or privilege on having passed through all the forms in the National Schools, without the security of political ties, without those fastenings and radical fibres of a collective and registrable property, by which the Citizen inheres in and belongs to the Commonwealth, as a constituent part either of the Proprietage, or of the Nationalty; either of the State, or of the National Church. But as the contrary of all these suppositions may be more safely assumed, the practical conclusion will be -- not that the requisite means of intellectual developement and growth should be withheld from any native of the soil, which it was at all times wicked to wish, and which it would be now silly to attempt; but -- that the gifts of the understanding, whether the boon of a genial nature, or the reward of more persistent application, should be allowed fair play in the acquiring of that proprietorship, to which a certain portion of political power belongs, as its proper function. For in this way there is at least a strong probability, that intellectual power will be armed with political power, only where it has previously been combined with and guarded by the moral qualities of prudence, industry, and self-control. And this is the first of the three kinds of mal-organization in a state.
The second is: the exclusion of any class or numerous body of individuals, who have notoriously risen into possession, and the influence inevitably connected with known possession, under pretence of impediments that do not directly or essentially affect the character of the individuals as citizens, or absolutely disqualify them for the performance of civic duties. imperfect, yet oppressive, and irritating ligatures that peril the trunk, whose circulating current they would withhold, even more than the limb which they would fain excommunicate!
The third and last is: a gross incorrespondency of the proportion of the antagonist interests of the Body Politic in the representative body -- i.e. (in relation to our own country,) in the two Houses of Parliament -- to the actual proportion of the same interests, and of the public influence exerted by the same in the Nation at large. Whether in consequence of the gradual revolution which has transferred to the Magnates of the Landed interest so large a portion of that Borough Representation which was to have been its counterbalance; whether the same causes which have deranged the equilibrium of the Landed and the  Monied interests in the Legislation, have not likewise deranged the balance between the two unequal divisions of the Landed interest itself, viz., the Major Barons, or great Land-owners, with or without title, and the great body of the Agricultural Community, and thus giving to the real or imagined interests of the comparatively few, the imposing name of the interest of the whole -- the Landed Interest! -- these are questions, to which the obdurate adherence to the jail-crowding Game Laws, (which during the reading of our Church Litany, I have sometimes been tempted to include, by a sort of sub intellige, in the petitions -- "from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness; from battle, murder, and sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us!") to which the Corn Laws, the exclusion of the produce of our own colonies from our distilleries, &c., during the war, against the earnest recommendation of the government, the retention of the Statutes against Usury, and other points, of minor importance or of less safe handling, may seem at a first view to suggest an answer in the affirmative; but which, for reasons before assigned I shall leave unresolved, content if only I have made the Principle itself intelligible.
The following anecdote, for I have no means of ascertaining its truth, and no warrant to offer for its accuracy, I give not as a fact in proof of an overbalance of the Landed interest, but as an indistinctly remembered hearsay, in elucidation of what is meant by the words. Some eighteen or twenty years ago -- for so long I think it must have been, since the circumstance was first related to me -- my illustrious (alas! I must add, I fear, my late) friend, Sir Humphrey Davy, at Sir Joseph Banks's request, analysed a portion of an East Indian import, known by the names of cutch, and Terra Japonica; but which he ascertained to be a vegetable extract, consisting almost wholly of pure tannin: and further trials, with less pure specimens, still led to the conclusion, that the average product would be seven parts in ten of the tanning principle. This discovery was  communicated to the trade; and on inquiry made at the India House. It was found that this cutch could be prepared in large quantities, and imported at a price which, after an ample profit to the importers, it would very well answer the purposes of the tanners to give. The trade itself, too, was likely to be greatly benefitted and enlarged, and by being rendered less dependant on a particular situation, and by the reduction of the price at which it could be offered to the foreign consumer, which, in conjunction with the universally admitted superiority of the English leather might be reasonably calculated on as enabling us to undersell our foreign rivals in their own markets. Accordingly, an offer was made, on the part of the principal persons interested in the leather trade, to purchase, at any price below the sum that had been stated to them as the highest, or extreme price, as large a quantity as it was probable that the Company would find it feasible or convenient to import in the first instance. Well! the ships went out, and the ships returned, again and again: and no increase in the amount of the said desideratum appearing among the imports, enough only being imported to meet the former demand of the druggists, and (it is whispered) of certain ingenious transmuters of Bohea into Hyson -- my memory does not enable me to determine whether the inquiry into the occasion of this disappointment was made, or whether it was anticipated, by a discovery that it would be useless. But it was generally understood, that the Tanners had not been the only persons, whose attention had been drawn to the qualities of the article, and the consequences of its importation; and that a very intelligible hint had been given to persons of known influence in Leadenhall-street, that in case of any such importation being allowed, the East-India Company must not expect any support from the Landed Interest in parliament, at the next renewal, or motion for the renewal of their Charter. The East India Company might reduce the price of Bark, one half, or more: and the British Navy, and the grandsons of our present Senators, might thank them for thousands, and myriads of noble oaks, left unstript in consequence -- this may be true; but no less true is it, that the Free Merchants would soon reduce the price of good Tea, in the same proportion, and monopolists ought to have a feeling for each other.
So much, in explanation of the first of the two Conditions of the health and vigour of a Body Politic: and far more, I must confess, than I had myself reckoned on. I will endeavour to indemnify the reader, by despatching the second in a few sentences; which could not so easily have been accomplished, but for the explanations given in the preceding paragraphs. For as we have found the first condition on the due proportion of the free and permeative Life of the State to the Powers organized, and severally determined by their appropriate, and containing, or conducting nerves, or vessels; the Second Condition is --
A due proportion of the potential (latent, dormant) to the actual Power. In the former, both Powers alike are awake and in act. The Balance is produced by the polarization of the Actual Power, i.e. the opposition of the Actual Power organized, to the Actual Power, free and permeating the Organs. In the Second, the Actual Power, in toto, is opposed to the Potential. It has been frequently and truly observed, that in England, where the ground plan, the skeleton, as it were, of the government is a monarchy, at once buttressed and limited by the Aristocracy, (the assertions of its popular character finding a better support in the harangues of theories of popular men, than in state-documents and the records of clear History), a far greater degree of liberty is, and long has been enjoyed, than ever existed in the ostensibly freest, that is, most democratic Commonwealths of ancient or of modern times -- greater, indeed, and with a more decisive predominance of the Spirit of Freedom, than the wisest and most philanthropic statesmen of antiquity, or than the great Commonwealth's-men, the stars of that narrow interspace of blue sky between the black clouds of the first and second Charles's reigns, believed compatible, the one with the safety of the State, the other with the interests of Morality.
Yes! for little less than a century and a half Englishmen have collectively, and individually, lived and acted with fewer restraints on their free-agency. than the citizens of any known  Republic, past or present. The fact is certain. It has been often boasted of, but never, I think, clearly explained. The solution of the phenomenon must, it is obvious, be sought for in the combination of circumstances, to which we owe the insular privilege of a self-evolving Constitution: and the following will, I think, be found the main cause of the fact in question. Extremes meet -- an adage of inexhaustible exemplification. A democratic Republic and an Absolute Monarchy agree in this; that in both alike, the Nation, or People, delegates its whole power. Nothing is left obscure, nothing suffered to remain in the idea, unevolved and only acknowledged as an existing, yet indeterminable Right. A Constitution such states can scarcely be said to possess. The whole Will of the Body Politic is in act at every moment. But in the Constitution of England according to the Idea (which in this instance has demonstrated its actuality by its practical influence, and this too though counter-worked by fashionable errors and maxims, that left their validity behind in the Law-courts, from which they were borrowed) the Nation has delegated its power, not without measure and circumscription, whether in respect of the duration of the Trust, or of the particular interests entrusted. The Omnipotence of Parliament, in the mouth of a lawyer, and understood exclusively of the restraints and remedies within the competence of our Law-courts, is objectionable only as bombast. It is but a puffing pompous way of stating a plain matter of fact. Yet in the times preceding the Restoration, even this was not universally admitted. And it is not without a fair show of reason, that the shrewd and learned author of "THE ROYALISTS' DEFENCE," printed in the year, 1648, (a tract of 172 pages, small quarto, from which I now transcribe) thus sums up his argument and evidences:
"Upon the whole matter clear it is, the Parliament itself (that is, the King, the Lords, and Commons) although unanimously consenting, are not boundless: the Judges of the realm by the fundamental Law of England have power to determine which Acts of Parliament are binding and which void." p. 48. -- That a unanimous declaration of the Judges of the realm, that any given Act of Parliament was against right reason and the fundamental law of the land (i.e. the Constitution of the realm), render such Act null and void, was a principle that did not want defenders among the lawyers of elder times. And in a state of society in which the competently informed and influencive members of the community, (the National Clerisy not included), scarcely perhaps trebled the number of the members of the two Houses, and Parliaments were so often tumultuary congresses of a victorious party rather than representatives of the State, the Right and Power here asserted might have been wisely vested in the Judges of the realm: and with at least equal wisdom, under change of circumstances, has the right been suffered to fall into abeyance. Therefore let the potency of Parliament be that highest and uttermost, beyond which a court of Law looketh not: and within the sphere of the Courts quicquid Rex cum Parliamento voluit, Fatum Sit!
But if the strutting phrase be taken, as from sundry recent speeches respecting the fundamental institutions of the realm, it may be reasonably inferred that it has been taken, i.e. absolutely, and in reference to the Nation, to England with all her venerable heir-looms, and with all her germs of reversionary wealth -- thus used and understood, the Omnipotence of Parliament is an hyperbole, that would contain mischief in it, were it only that it tends to provoke a detailed analysis of the materials of the joint-stock company, to which so terrific an attribute belongs, and the competence of the shareholders in this earthly omnipotence to exercise the same. And on this head the observations and descriptive statements given in Chap. v. of the old tract, just cited, retain all their force; or if any have fallen off, their place has been abundantly filled up by new growths. The degree and sort of knowledge, talent, probity and prescience, which even when exerted within the sphere and circumscription of the constitution, and on the matters properly and peculiarly appertaining to the State according to the idea (i.e., the interests of the proprietage of the realm, and (though not directly or formally, yet actually), the interests of the realm in its foreign relations, as affecting the weal, and requiring the aid of the proprietors), it would be only too easy, were it not too invidious, to prove from acts and measures presented by the history of the last half century, are but scant measure -- placed by the side of the plusquam-gigantic height and amplitude of power, implied in the unqualified use of the phrase, Omnipotence of Parliament, and with its dwarfdom exaggerated by the contrast, would threaten to distort the countenance of truth itself with the sardonic laugh of irony. 
The non-resistance of successive generations has ever been, and with evident reason, deemed equivalent to a tacit consent, on the part of a nation, and as finally legitimating the act thus acquiesced m, however great the dereliction of principle, and breach of trust, the original enactment may have been. I hope, therefore, that without offence I may venture to designate the Septennial Act, as an act of usurpation, tenfold more dangerous to the true Liberty of the Nation, than the pretext for the measure, viz. the apprehended Jacobitual leaven from a new election, was at all likely to have proved. And I repeat the conviction, I have expressed in reference to the practical suppression of the CONVOCATlON, that no great principle was ever invaded or trampled on, that did not sooner or later avenge itself on the country, and even on the governing classes themselves, by the consequences of the precedent. The statesman who has not learnt this from history, has missed its most valuable result, and might in my opinion as profitably, and far more delightfully have devoted his hours of study to Sir Walter's Scott's Novels. 
But I must draw in my reins. Neither my limits permit, nor does my present purpose require that I should do more than exemplify the limitation resulting from that latent or potential Power, a due proportion of which to the actual powers I have stated as the second condition of the health and vigor of a body politic, by an instance bearing directly on the measure, which in the following section I am to aid in appreciating, and which was the occasion of the whole work. The principle itself, which as not contained within the rule and compass of law, its practical manifestations being indeterminable and inappreciable a priori, and then only to be recorded as having manifested itself, when the predisposing causes and the enduring effects prove the unific mind and energy of the nation to have been in travail; when they have made audible to the historian that Voice of the People which is the Voice of God -- this Principle, I say, (or the Power, that is the subject of it) which by its very essence existing and working as an Idea only, except in the rare and predestined epochs of Growth and Reparation, might seem to many fitter matter for verse than for sober argument, I will, by way of compromise, and for the amusement of the reader, sum up in the rhyming prose of an old Puritan poet, consigned to contempt by Mr. Pope, but whose writings, with all their barren flats and dribbling common-place, contain nobler principles, profounder truths, and more that is properly and peculiarly poetic than are to be found in his  own works. The passage in question, however, I found occupying the last page on a flying-sheet of four leaves, entitled England's Misery and Remedy, in a judicious Letter from an Utter-Barrister to his Special Friend, concerning Lieut.-Col. Lilburne's Imprisonment in Newgate, Sept. 1745; and I beg leave to borrow the introduction, together with the extract, or that part at least, which suited my purpose.
"Christian Reader, having a vacant place for some few Lines, I have made bold to use some of Major GEORGE WITHERS, his verses out of VOX PACIFICA, page 199.
The preceding position exemplified.
Let not your King and Parliament in One,
Much less apart, mistake themselves for that
Which is most worthy to be thought upon:
Nor think they are, essentially, the STATE.
Let them not fancy, that th' Authority
And Priviledges upon them bestown,
Conferr'd are to set up a MAJESTY,
A POWER, or a GLORY of their own!
But let them know, 'twas for a deeper life,
Which they but represent --
That there's on earth a yet auguster Thing,
Veil'd tho' it be, than Parliament and King."
And here again the "Royalist's Defence" furnishes me with the introductory paragraph: and I am always glad to find in the words of an elder writer, what I must otherwise have said in my own person -- otium simul et autoritatem.
"All Englishmen grant, that Arbitrary power is destructive of the best purposes for which power is conferred: and in the preceding chapter it has been shown, that to give an unlimited authority over the fundamental Laws and Rights of the nation, even to the King and two Houses of Parliament jointly, though nothing so bad as to have this boundless power in the King alone, or in the Parliament alone, were nevertheless to deprive Englishmen of the Security from Arbitrary Power, which is their birth-right.
"Upon perusal of former statutes it appears, that the Members of both Houses have been frequently drawn to consent, not only to things prejudicial to the Commonwealth, but, (even in matters of greatest weight) to alter and contradict what formerly themselves had agreed to, and that, as it happened to please the fancy of the present Prince, or to suit the passions and interests of a prevailing Faction. Witness the statute by which it was enacted that the Proclamation of King Henry VIII should be equivalent to an Act of Parliament; another declaring both Mary and Elizabeth bastards; and a third statute empowering the King to dispose of the Crown of England by Will and Testament. Add to these the several statutes in the times of King Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, setting up and pulling down each other's religion, every one of them condemning even to death the profession of the one before established." -- Royalists' Defence, p. 41.
So far my anonymous author, evidently an old Tory Lawyer of the genuine breed, too enlightened to obfuscate and incense-blacken the shrine, through which the kingly idea should be translucent, into an idol to be worshipped in its own right; but who, considering both the reigning Sovereign and the Houses, as limited and representative functionaries, thought they saw reason, in some few cases, to place more confidence in the former than in the latter: while there were points, which they wished as little as possible to trust to either. With this experience, however, as above stated, (and it would not be difficult to increase the catalogue,) can we wonder that the nation grew sick of parliamentary Religions? or that the Idea should at last awake and become operative, that what virtually concerned their humanity, and involved yet higher relations, than those of the citizen to the state, duties more awful, and more precious privileges, while yet it stood in closest connection with all their civil duties and rights, as their indispensable condition and only secure ground -- that this was not a matter to be voted up or down, off or on, by fluctuating majorities! that it was too precious an inheritance to be left at the discretion of an Omnipotency, that had so little claim to Omniscience? No interest of a single generation, but an entailed Boon too sacred, too momentous, to be shaped and twisted, pared down or plumped up, by any assemblage of Lords, Knights, and Burgesses for the time being? Men perfectly competent, it may be, to the protection and management of those interests, in which, as having so large a stake they may be reasonably presumed to feel a sincere and lively concern, but who, the experience of ages might teach us, are not the class of persons most likely to study, or feel a deep concern in, the interests here spoken of, in either sense of the term CHURCH; i.e. whether the interests be of a kingdom "not of the World," or those of an Estate of the Realm, and a constituent part, therefore, of the same System with the State, though as the opposite Pole. The results at all events have been such, whenever the Representatives of the One Interest has assumed the direct control of the other, as gave occasion long ago to the rhyming couplet, quoted as proverbial by Luther:
Cum Mare siccatur, cum Daemon ad astra levatur,
Tunc clero laicus fidus Amicus erit.
[Google translate: When dried the sea, relieved with the demon to the stars, Then lay member of the clergy will be a faithful friend.]
But if the nation willed to withdraw the religion of the realm from the changes and revolutions incident to whatever is subjected to the suffrages of the representative assemblies, whether of the state or of the church, the trustees of the proprietage or those of the nationalty, the first question is, how this reservation is to be declared, and by what means to be effected. These means, the security for the permanence of the established religion, must, it may be foreseen, be imperfect: for what can be otherwise, that depends on human will? but yet it may be abundantly sufficient to declare the aim and intention of the provision! Our ancestors did the best it was in their power to do. Knowing by recent experience that multitudes never blush, that numerous assemblies, however respectably composed, are not exempt from temporary hallucinations, and the influences of party passion; that there are things, for the conservation of which --
Men safelier trust to heaven, than to themselves,
When least themselves, in storms of loud debate
Where folly is contagious, and too oft
Even wise men leave their better sense at home
To chide and wonder at them, when returned.
Knowing this, our ancestors chose to place their reliance on the honour and conscience of an individual, whose comparative height, it was believed, would exempt him from the gusts and shifting currents, that agitate the lower region of the political atmosphere. Accordingly, on a change of dynasty they bound the person, who had accepted the crown in trust -- bound him for himself and his successors by an oath, to refuse his consent (without which no change in the existing law can be effected), to any measure subverting or tending to subvert the safety and independence of the National Church, or which exposed the realm to the danger of a return of that foreign usurper, misnamed spiritual, from which it had with so many sacrifices emancipated itself. However unconstitutional therefore the royal veto on a Bill presented by the Lords and Commons may be deemed in all ordinary cases, this is clearly an exception. For it is no additional power conferred on the king, but a limit imposed on him by the constitution itself for its own safety. Previously to the ceremonial act, which announces him the only lawful and sovereign head of both the church and the state, the oath is administered to him religiously as the representative person and crowned majesty of the nation. Religiously, I say, for the mind of the nation, existing only as an Idea, can act distinguishably on the ideal powers alone -- that is, on the reason and conscience.
It only remains then to determine, what it is to which the Coronation Oath obliges the conscience of the king. And this may be best determined by considering what in reason and in conscience the Nation had a right to impose. Now that the Nation had a right to decide for the King's conscience and reason, and for the reason and conscience of all his successors, and of his and their counsellors and ministers, laic and ecclesiastic, on questions of theology, and controversies of faith -- ex. gr. that it is not allowable in directing our thoughts to a departed Saint, the Virgin Mary for instance, to say Ora pro nobis, Beata Virgo, [Google translate: Pray for us, the Blessed Virgin] though there would be no harm in saying, Oret pro nobis, precor, beata Virgo, [Google translate: Let him pray for us, I pray, the Blessed Virgin] whether certain books are to be held canonical, whether the text, "They shall be saved as through fire," refers to a purgatorial process in the body, or during the interval between its dissolution and the day of Judgment; whether the words, "this is my body," are to be understood literally, and if so, whether it is by consubstantiation with, or transubstantiation of, bread and wine; and that the members of both Houses of Parliament, together with the Privy Counsellors and all the Clergy shall abjure and denounce the theory last mentioned -- this I utterly deny. And if this were the whole and sole object and intention of the Oath, however large the number might be of the persons who imposed or were notoriously favorable to the imposition, so far from recognizing the Nation in their collective number, I should regard them as no other than an aggregate of intolerant mortals, from bigotry and presumption forgetful of their fallibility, and not less ignorant of their own rights, than callous to those of succeeding generations. If the articles of faith therein disclaimed and denounced were the substance and proper intention of the Oath, and not to be understood, as in all common sense they ought to be, as temporary marks because the known accompaniments of other and legitimate grounds of disqualification; and which only in reference to these, and only as long as they implied their existence, were fit objects of political interference; it would be as impossible for me, as for the late Mr. Canning, to attach any such sanctity to the Coronation Oath, as should prevent it from being superannuated in times of clearer light and less heat. But that these theological articles, and the exclusion of all, who professed to receive them as parts of their creed, are not the evils which it is the true and legitimate purpose of the oath to preclude, and which constitute and define its obligation on the royal conscience; and what the real evils are, that do indeed disqualify for offices of national trust, and give the permanent obligatory character to the engagement -- this, in which I include the exposition of the essential characters of the Christian or Catholic Church; and of a very different church, which assumes the name; and the application of the premises to an appreciation on principle of the late bill, and now the law of the land; will occupy the remaining portion of the volume.
And now I may be permitted to look back on the road, we have past: in the course of which, I have placed before you, patient fellow-traveller! a small part indeed of what might, on a suitable occasion, be profitably said; but it is all, that for my present purpose, I deem it necessary to say respecting three out of the five themes that were to form the subjects of the first part of this -- small volume, shall I call it? or large and dilated epistle? -- First, but here let me apologize to the reader for any extra trouble I may have imposed on him, by employing the same term (the State, namely) in two senses, though I flatter myself, I have in each instance so guarded it as to leave scarcely the possibility, that a moderately attentive reader should understand the word in one sense, when I had meant it in the other, or confound the STATE as a whole, and comprehending the Church, with the State as one of the two constituent parts, and in contra-distinction from the Church -- first, I have given briefly but, I trust, with sufficient clearness the right idea of a STATE, or Body Politic; "State" being here synonimous with a constituted Realm, Kingdom, Commonwealth, or Nation, i.e. where the integral parts, classes, or orders are so balanced, or interdependent, as to constitute, more or less, a moral unit, an organic whole; and as arising out of the idea of a State I have added the Idea of a Constitution, as the informing principle of its coherence and unity. But in applying the above to our own kingdom (and with this qualification the reader is requested to understand me as speaking in all the following remarks), it was necessary to observe, and I willingly avail myself of this opportunity to repeat the observation -- that the Constitution, in its widest sense as the Constitution of the Realm, arose out of, and in fact consisted in, the co-existence of the Constitutional STATE (in the second acceptation of the term) with the King as its head, and of the CHURCH (i.e. the National Church), likewise the King as its head, and lastly of the King as the Head and Majesty of the whole Nation. The reader was cautioned therefore not to confound it with either of its constituent parts; that he must first master the true idea of each of these severally; and that in the synopsis or conjunction of the three, the idea of the English Constitution, the Constitution of the Realm, will rise of itself before him. And in aid of this purpose and following this order, I have given according to my best judgment, first, the idea of the State, and the State-legislature, and of the two constituent orders, the landed, with its two classes, the Major Barons, and the Franklins; and the Personal, consisting of the mercantile, or commercial; the manufacturing, the distributive and the professional; these two orders corresponding to the two great all-including INTERESTS of the State, -- the landed, namely, to the PERMANENCE, -- the Personal to the PROGRESSION. The Possessions, of both orders taken collectively, form the  PROPRIETAGE of the Realm. In contradistinction from this and as my second theme, I have explained (and as being the principal object of this work, more diffusely) the NATIONALTY, its nature and purposes, and the duties and qualifications of its Trustees and Functionaries. In the same sense as I at once oppose and conjoin the NATIONALTY to the PROPRIETAGE; in the same antithesis and conjunction I use and understand the phrase, CHURCH and STATE. Lastly, I have essayed to determine the Constitutional idea of the CROWN, and its relations to the Nation, to which I have added a few sentences on the relations of the Nation to the State. To the completion of this first part of my undertaking, two subjects still remain to be treated of -- and to each of these I shall devote a small section, the title of the first being "On the idea of the Christian Church;" that of the other, "On a third Church:" the name of which I withhold for the present, in the expectation of deducing it by contrast from the contra-distinguishing characters of the former.
"WE (said LUTHER), tell our Lord God plainly: If he will have his Church, then He must look how to maintain and defend it: for we can neither uphold nor protect it. And well for us, that it is so! For in case we could, or were able to defend it, we should become the proudest Asses under heaven. Who is the Church's Protector, that hath promised to be with her to the end, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her? Kings, Diets, Parliaments, Lawyers? Marry, no such cattle." -- Colloquia Mensalia.
1. That namely of the WORD (Gosp. of John, I. 1.) for the Divine Alterity; the Deus Alter et idem of Philo; Deitus Objectiva.
2. Moneyed, used arbitrarily, as in preceding pages the words, Personal and Independent, from my inability to find anyone self-interpreting word, that would serve for the generic name of the four classes, on which I have stated the interest of Progression more especially to depend, and with it the Freedom which is the indispensable condition and propelling force of all national progress, even as the Counter-pole, the other great interest of the Body Politic, its Permanency, is more especially committed to the Landed Order, as its natural Guardian and Depositary. I have therefore had recourse to the convenient figure of speech, by which a conspicuous part or feature of a subject is used to express the whole; and the reader will be so good as to understand, that the Moneyed Order in this place comprehends and stands for, the Commercial, Manufacturing, Distributive, and Professional classes of the Community.
Only a few days ago, an accident placed in my hand a work, of which, from my very limited opportunities of seeing new publications I had never before heard. Mr. CRAWFURD'S History of the Indian Archipelago -- the work of a wise as well as of an able and well-informed man! Need I add, that it was no ordinary gratification to find, that in respect of certain prominent positions, maintained in this volume, I had unconsciously been fighting behind the shield of one whom I deem it an honour to follow. But the sheets containing the passages, having been printed off, I avail myself of this note, to insert the sentences from Mr. Crawfurd's History, rather than lose the confirmation which a coincidence with so high an authority has produced on my own mind, and the additional weight which my sentiments, will receive, in the judgment of others. The first of the two Extracts the reader will consider as annexed to pp. 20-22 of this volume; the second to the paragraph on the protection of property, as the end chiefly proposed to the formation of a fixed government, quoted from a work of my own, (viz The Friend), published ten or eleven years before the appearance of Mr. Crawfurd's History, which I notice in the work to give the principle in question that probability of its being grounded in fact, which is derived from the agreement of two independent minds. The first extract, Mr. Crawfurd introduces by the remark, that the possession of wealth, derived from a fertile soil, encouraged the progress of absolute power in Java. He then proceeds --
The devotion of a people to agricultural industry, by rendering themselves more tame, and their property more tangible, went still farther towards it, for wherever Agriculture is the principal pursuit, there it may certainly be reckoned, that the People will be found living under an absolute government.
-- HISTORY OF THE INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO: vol. III p. 24.
In cases of murder, no distinction is made (i.e. in the Ancient Laws of the Indian Islanders), between a willful murder and chance medley. It is the Loss, which the family or tribe sustains, that is considered, and the pecuniary compensation was calculated to make up that loss.
-- DITTO, DITTO, p.123.
3. And, (if I recollect right, though it was not from him, that I received the anecdote) by a friend of Sir Humphrey's, whom I am proud to think my friend likewise, and by an elder claim. -- A man whom I have seen now in his harvest-field, or the market, now in a committee-room, with the Rickmans and Ricardos of the age, at another time with Davy, Woolaston, and the Wedgewoods; now with Wordsworth, Southey, and other friends not unheard of in the republic of letters; now in the drawing-rooms of the rich and the noble, and now presiding at the annual dinner of a Village Benefit Society; and in each seeming to be in the very place he was intended for, and taking the part to which his tastes, talents, and attainments, gave him an admitted right. And yet this is not the most remarkable, not the individualising trait of our friend's character. It is almost overlooked in the originality and raciness of his intellect, in the life, freshness, and practical value of his remarks and notices, truths plucked as they are growing, and delivered to you with the dew on them, the fair earnings of an observing eye, armed and kept on the watch by thought and meditation, and above all, in the integrity, i.e. entireness of his being, (integrum et sine cera vas), the steadiness of his attachments, and the activity and persistency of a benevolence, which so graciously presses a warm temper into the service of a yet warmer heart, and so lights up the little flaws and imperfections, incident to humanity in its choicest specimens, that were their removal at the option of his friends, (and few have, or deserve to have so many!) not a man among them but would vote for leaving him as he is.
This is a note digressive; but, as the heighth of the offence is, that the Garnish is too good for the Dish, I shall confine my apology to a confession of the fault.
4. It will be thought, perhaps, that the United States of North America, should have been excepted. But the identity of Stock, Language, Customs, Manners and Laws scarcely allows us to consider this an exception: even tho' it were quite certain both that it is and that it will continue such. It was, at all events, a remark worth remembering, which I once heard from a Traveller (a prejudiced one, I must admit) that where every man may take liberties, there is little Liberty for any man.
5. I have not in my possession the morning paper in which I read it, or I should with great pleasure transcribe an admirable passage from the present King of Sweden's Address to the STORTHING, i.e. Parliament of Norway, on the necessary limits of Parliamentary Power, consistently with the existence of a CONSTITUTION. But I can with confidence refer the reader to the speech, as worthy of an Alfred. Every thing indeed, that I have heard or read of this sovereign, has contributed to the impression on my mind, that he is a good and wise man, and worthy to be the king of a virtuous people, the purest specimen of the Gothic race.
6. This would not be the first time, that these fascinating volumes had been recommended as a substitute for History -- a ground of recommendation, to which I could not conscientiously accede, though some half dozen of these Novels, with a perfect recollection of the contents of every page, I read over more often in the course of a year, than I can honestly put down to my own credit.
7. If it were asked whether the Author then considers the works of the one of equal value with those of the other, or that he holds George Withers as great a writer as Alexander Pope? his answer would be, that he is as little likely to do so, as the Querist would be to put no greater value on a highly wrought vase of pure silver from the hand of a master, than on an equal weight of Copper Ore that contained a small percentage of separable Gold scattered through it. The Reader will be pleased to observe, that in the stanza here cited, the "STATE" is used in the largest sense, and as synonimous with the Realm, or entire Body Politic, including Church and State, in the narrower and special sense of the latter term.
8. To convey his meaning precisely is a debt, which an Author owes to his readers. He therefore who to escape the charge of pedantry, will rather be misunderstood than startle a fastidious critic with an unusual term, may be compared to the man who should pay his creditor, in base or counterfeit coin, when he had gold or silver ingots in his possession, to the precise amount of the debt; and this under the pretence of their unshapeliness and want of the mint impression.