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them forget all their general principles, when they saw themselves openly threatened with a subversion of the ancient government. From these sentiments arose the revolution ; an event of mighty consequence, and the firmest foundation of British liberty. The conduct of the TORIES, during that event, and after it, will afford us a true insight into the nature of that party.
In the first place, they appear to have had the genuine sentiments of BRITONS in their affection for liberty, and in their determined resolution not to facrifice it to any abstract principle whatsoever, or to any imaginary rights of princes. This part of their character might justly have been doubted of before the revolution, from the obvious tendency of their avowed principles, and from their compliances with a court, which seemed to make little secret of its arbitrary designs. The revolution fhewed them to have been, in this respect, nothing, but a genuine court-party, such as might be expected in a BRITISH government: That is, Lovers of liberty, but greater lovers of monarchy. It muft, however, be confessed, that they carried their monarchical principles farther, even in practice, but more so in theory, than was, in any degree, consistent with a limited government.
Secondly, Neither their principles nor affections concurred, entirely or heartily, with the settlement made at the revolution, or with that 'which has since taken place, This part of their character may seem opposite to the former ; since any other settlement, in those circumstances of the nation, must probably have been dangerous, if not fatal to liberty. But the heart of man is made to reconcile contradictions; and this contradiction is not greater than that between pafove obedience, and the resistance employed at the revolution. A TORY, thereVOL.I. F
fore, since the revolution, may be defined in a few words, to be a lover of monarchy, though without abandoning liberty ; and a partizan of the family of STUART. As a WHIG may be defined to be a lover of liberty though without fenouncing monarchy; and a friend to the settlement in the PROTESTANT line.
These different views, with regard to the settlement of the crown, were accidental, but natural additions to the principles of the court and country parties, which are the genuine divisions in the British government. A passionate lover of monarchy is apt to be displeased at any change of the succesion; as favouring too much of a commonwealth: A pasionate lover of liberty is apt to think that every part of the government ought to be subordinate to the interests of liberty.
Some, who will not venture to affert, that the real difference between Whig and Tory was lost at the revolution, seem inclined to think, that the difference is now abolished, and that affairs are so far returned to their natural state, that there are at present no other parties among us but court and country; that is, men, who, by interest or principle, are attached either to monarchy or liberty. The Tories have been so long obliged to talk in the republican stile, that they seem to have made converts of themselves by their hypocrisy, and to have embraced the sentiments, as well as language of their adversaries. There are, however, very considerable remains of that party in ENGLAND, with all their old prejudices; and a proof that court and country are not our only parties, is, that almost all the difsenters side with the court, and the lower clergy, at least, of the church of ENGLAND, with the opposition. This
may convince us, that some biass still hangs upon ourconftitution, some extrinfic weight, which turns it from its natural course, and causes a confusion in our parties *.
* Some of the opinions delivered in these Essays, with regard to the public transactions in the last century, the Author, on more accurate examination, found reason to retract in his History of GREAT BRITAIN. And as he would not enslave himself to the systems of either party, neither would he fetter his judgment by his own preconceived opinions and principles ; nor is he ashamed to acknowledge his mistakes. These mistakes were indeed, at that time, almost universal in this kingdom,
E S S A Y
Of SUPERSTITION and ENTHUSIASM.
THAT the corruption of the best things produces the worff
, , is grown into a maxim, and is commonly proved, among other instances, by the pernicious effects of fuperftition and enthufiafm, the corruptions of true reli. gion.
These two species of false religion, though both pera nicious, are yet of a very different, and even of a contrary nature. The mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions, proceeding either from the unhappy situation of private or public affairs, from ill health, from a gloomy and melancholy difpofition, or from the concurrence of all these circumstances. In such a state of mind, infinite unknown evils are dreaded from unknown agents; and where real objects of terror are wanting, the soul, active to its own prejudice, and fostering its predominant inclination, finds imaginary ones, to whose power and malevolence it sets no limits. As these enemies are entirely invisible and unknown, the methods taken to appease them are