‘Let parliament lay what burthens they please on us,’
he even added, ‘it is our duty to submit and patiently bear them till they will be pleased to relieve us. If any thing fall from my pen that bears the least aspect but that of obedience, duty, and loyalty to the king and parliament, the candid will impute it to the agony of my heart.’
It was his purpose not to enter into war with British institutions, or the British parliament, but to treat of the first principles of free government and human rights.
‘Government,’ such was his argument, which I shall state as nearly as possible in his own words-
government is founded, not on force, as was the theory of Hobbes, nor on compact, as was the theory of Locke and the revolution of 1688; nor on property, as had been asserted by Harrington.
It springs from the necessities of our nature, and has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God.
Man came into the world and into society at the same instant.
There must exist in every earthly society a supreme sovereign, from whose final decision there can be no appeal, but directly to Heaven.
This supreme power is originally and ultimately in the people; and the people never did in fact freely, nor can rightfully make an unlimited renunciation of this divine right.
Kingcraft and priestcraft are a trick to gull the vulgar.
The happiness of mankind demands that this grand and ancient alliance should be broken off for ever.
The omniscient and omnipotent Monarch of the universe has, by the grand charter given to the human race, placed the end of government in the good of the whole.
The form of government is left to the individuals of each society; and its whole superstructure