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[34] a farmer from his holding. The prince might
chap. III.} 1763.
dream no more of unbounded prerogatives. In England, monarchy, in the Catholic sense, had gone off; the dynasty on the throne had abdicated the dignity of hereditary right and the sanctity of divine right, and consented to wear the crown in conformity to a statute, so that its title was safe only with the constitution. The framework of government had for its direct end, not the power of its chief, but personal liberty and the security of property. The restrictions, which were followed by such happy results, had been imposed and maintained under the lead of the aristocracy, to whom the people, in its gratitude for a bulwark against arbitrary power and its sense of inability itself to reform the administration, had likewise capitulated; so that England was become an aristocratic republic with a king as the emblem of a permanent executive.

In the Catholic world, the church, as the self-sustained interpreter of the divine will, assumed to exercise a control over the state, and might interpose to protect itself and the people against feudal tyranny by appeals to that absolute truth which it claimed and was acknowledged to represent. In England, the hierarchy had no independent power; and its connection with the state was purchased by its subordination. None but conformists could hold office; but in return, the church, in so far as it was a civil establishment, was the creature of parliament; a statute prescribed the articles of its creed, as well as its book of prayer; it was not even intrusted with a co-ordinate power to reform its own abuses; any attempt to do so would have been crushed as a

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