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but a Murderer of his King: And his Children being also illegitimate, the whole hereditary Right must have passed from him to his Sister Maud, the Daughter and only surviving Issue of Henry II. (in whom, N. B. the Norman and Saxon Lines were united.) And from this Princess, married to the Duke of Bavaria, His present Majesty, King George II. is LINEALLY descended. So that tho the Plea of an indefeasible hereditary Right is certainly a very weak one, and such as every Friend to our present happy Constitution would heartily disclaim, yet it may have its Use merely as an Argumentum ad Hominem, and serve to confute the Defenders of a wild, extravagant Opinion, upon their own Principles.
X. LASTLY, The Faults of the Administration, the Number of our Taxes, and the vast Load of the National Debt, are made standing Subjects of Complaint.
As to Faults and Miscarriages, there is no Doubt to be made, but every buman Institution is subject to them; and with respect to our own, its best Friends will the more readily acknowledge it, as they are the most zealous in their Endeavours to rectify what may seem amiss, and to render our Constitution still more complete and perfect. For it is one Thing to aim at the Improvement and Perfection of the Government under which we live, and another to plot its Ruin, and side with its Enemies. Moreover, it is an indisputable Fact, that many Things have been made Matters of great Complaint, which really deserved Commendation; and that some of the most violent Clamours against Male Administration have had no other Grounds, than either a Spirit of Disaffection, or the Views of Ambition.
As to the NATIONAL Debts, the real Fact stands thus:
The first Article upon the List was a Debt contracted in the Time of King Charles II. when he shut up the Exchequer, and rewarded that Gentleman (Mr Clifford) with a Peerage, and raised him to the Office of Lord High Treasurer, who projected this infamous Scheme of robbing the Publick Creditors.
The second Cause of necessary Expence was the Revolution; concerning which it may be sufficient to say, that either the Nation must have taken those Measures, or have submitted to the Loss of all its Liberties, Civil and Religious, and been contented to wear the Chains of arbitrary Power, riveted by Popish Bigottry and Perfecution..
The third was the Reduction of Ireland, then in the Hands of an Army of French and Irish Papifts, with King James at the Head of them, exercising all Manner of Cruelties on the poor Protestants of that Country, and ready to invade England at the first Opportunity
The fourth, and greatest of all, was occasioned by the long Wars with France; When the real Question was, Whether the Nation would prefer
being a free People, or submit to become a Prós vince to the French Monarchy ?
The fifth was owing to the Intrigues and Cabals of the disaffeEted Party at Home, who endeavoured to subvert the Government by destroying its Credit;-in which wicked Arts they so far succeeded, as to cause the Premiums, Discounts, and Interest of Money lent to the Publick, to be raised to a most exorbitant Height, and then made these Evils the Foundation of new Clamours; thus going on in a Circle of Complaining; and creating more Causes of Complaint.
The fixtb was the unwearied Attempts of the fame Party by continual Plots and Intrigues, by fepeated Insurrections and Rebellions, which have occasioned the necessary Expence of constant Precautions. And therefore, when all these Things are taken into the Account, let it be fubmitted to the Judgment of the impartial World, who hath moft Reason to complain of the Load of our 'National Debts, and to whose Conduct and Behaviour it is chiefly to be imputed.
MOREOVER, as to the Number of Taxes, that Part of them which is necessary for the Payment of Interest in the Funds, ought in Truth and Juftice to be so far imputed to the disaffested Party, as they have been the Occasion of the present Largeness of our publick Debts. *And as to the remaining Taxes, one Portion of them is now fo absolutely appropriated to the Publick Service, and fo entirely under the Command of the Parliament, that an Examination is made, Accounts and Vouchers produced every Sessions; an Happiness this, which never could be obtained till the Revolution. And in regard to the other Part; called the Civil List, this is in fact less by one half than what it was in the Times of King Charles II. and King James II. that is; when the Sums expended on the Publick Service were taken out of the Sums granted by Parliament, or otherwise received, the Balance* remaining in the Hands of the Crown at that Juncture was really double the Income of the present Civil Lift, considering the Difference between the Value of Money then and now.
* See this, and the following Article, clearly demonstrated in a Pamphlet called The By-stander, which contains many other very solid and judicious Reflections. London, printed for J. Robinson, at the Golden Lion in Ludgate Street.
be farther observed, what I do not recollect hath ever yet been particularly taken Notice of, that the System of our Finances and Commerce hath, in some Measure, been put upon a new Footing since the Revolution, to the Nation's great Advantage;-though there is still Room for very great Improvements. For with regard to qur Finances, it is not so much the Consideration of the Sum raised, as of the Commodity or Perfons that are to pay it, which should denominate a Tax useful or oppressive : -Because a Tax produc
ing The Amount of the Civil Lip for three Years and an “ half (that is, from the first half Year after the Restoration,
ending at Christmass 1660, till Christmass 1663.] was
6,075,8557. which is after the Rate of 1,735,900l. for one “ Year. And this may be fairly stated, as upon a Medium, • the Annual Civil Liji Revenue after the Restoration.” By. Sander, Pages 84, and 85,
ing vast Sums, may be laid on in such a Manner as to promote the Publick Welfare, by checking those vicious artificial Wants, which are preju. dicial to a general, lasting, and extensive Commerce: And on the other Hand, another may be supposed of fo fatal a Tendency, though its own Amount may be but a Trifle, as to prevent the Circulation of Millions, by stopping the Machine of Commerce in its first Motions. Now this was too much the Case before the Revolution; for Taxes were laid upon the Exportation of our own Manufactures, and even upon Cloth itself, Nay the very Ingredients used in Dying of Cloth, paid a Duty upon Importation so late as the 8th of King George II. when in Pursuance of His Majesty's most Gracious Speech from the Throne, a Repeal was made of those absurd and pernicious Laws.
AND as to the more immediate Concerns of Commerce, it is a Principle not to be doubted, tho! never taken Notice of till the happy Revolution, that many Branches of Commerce, greatly advantageous to the Kingdom, are of such a Nature as not to afford a fufficient Profit to Individuals, unless hired at the Publick Expence, to engage in them. Hence therefore all our Bounties, Premiums, and Drawbacks, which are certainly right in themselves, when judiciously applied, though they are subject, as every good Thing is, to many Frauds and Abuses. But if we want any Example or Illustration of their general Utility, we need have Recourse to no other, than to the Case of the Bounty upon the Exportation of Corn.