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Daily Courant: Sunday, October 15, 1730 - Page 1

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   Daily Courant (Newspaper) - October 15, 1730, London, Middlesex                                - �" " - Thurfday, O&ober t$, 1730. An ESSAY upon Liberty ; cecafiond by fome late Craftfmen on that SubjeB. LI B E R T Y is undoubtedly one of the greateft Bleffings of Life, and one of the principal Ends of Society j that every Member fhould, in his proper Place, hare a Power to difpofe of himfelf, and every thing that is bis own, juft as he pleafes,m provided he injures no Body. Hereby* the Happinefs which every Man choofes, as far as can be, is put within his Reach ; and he dan arrive atf the Enjoyment of ic no other Way.        ' There is an infinite Variety in the Senfe and JudgmeatT of Mankind, concerning Good and Evil, and things called flea/ant and difagreea-ble in Life, which in fome Cafes extends to abfolute ContradiBions ; for we frequently fee what one Man efteetns his greateft Pleafure, is by another not only utterly.difrelifhed, but counted painful., This Variety of Tafte and Sentiment, which is implanted by Nature for very good Ends, is made ealy, and preferved to all by the kind influence of Liberty. So great a Good ought to be well under-ftood by all Dealers in Politicly, and treated with the moft Jacred and inviolable Regard 5 the true Notion of it is fo plain and obvious* that Men of common Senfe can hardly mi-ftake it; yet through WilfuIInefs and Defign it has been ftrangely perverted and abufed. Some vetoerableAathors have cloathed it in a terrible Difguife, and have done al! they could to make it appear Dangerous and DeftruBive ; that they might engrofs the more of it to ihemfelves: Others who have found great-Occafion to make ufe of the Name, have en-'deavoured rather to gain fome Imputation from ic, than to advance the Thing. Nay, Lome have not Ccrupkd to makeLibercy, which iis the greateft Concern of Mankind, a Cloak to cover very btfe Defigns; than which a greater Inftance of Corruption can hardly be named. And it has but an indifferent Afpect, when an Author makes a great xNoife about the Want and Danger of Liberty; and yet will not tell us plainly and unrefervedly wherein ic does confift, and what Meafures would really content him: For & Liberty to act as we pleafe, is not to be allowed, unlefs our Wills and Purpofes are unalterably fix'd upon things that are Right and Beneficial; but we are to be controuled by the Laws of our Country, and if thefe fail, by the -Rules of natural. Juftice. He that ufurps a Liberty of airing contrary to thofe Limitations, if he is one endued with Power and Authority, is. a Tyrant ; if he is of mean Rank, is well known by as infamous a Name. For Liberty owes all its Charms to the pleating Reft rain ts of Law and Vertue, without which it would immediately degenerate Into^theworftof Plagues! The Proud and Cruel, the Rapacious and Envious, and all who have the Power and Inclination to hurt other*, would be letloofe as fo many Beajls of Prey to. ravage and deftroy the Weak and Innocentj sybo can no otherwifc be preferved from Slavery but by Legal Power; No Man therefore can be a Friend to Liberty, who is not equally a Friend to Law and Juftice. It may feem needleft after this, to mention the Good of our Country, which'undoubtedly prefcribes Limits to the Liberty of all, from the bigheft to the loweft ; but then it is to be considered, that the Gobd of pur Country can be determined no other way but by the Laws of it ; for what are Laws but publick Rules to direct and over-rule ev.ery Man's ConduB, fo that he may contribute his Part towards the Public]^elf arc i While they are under Deliberation, every Subject has an undoubted Right, as Mr. D'An-vers afferts, to propqfe what be thinks fit, for or againft them ; but when they are paft by the proper Leg-'ftators, they receive the Sanction of Authority by which every one is to be concluded. The Majority even of the Le-gijlators are to fubmit, and all Debates ought then to ceafe, becaufe they are determined by a juft Authority j the only way of ending Controverfies concerning the Publicly Good. And nothing can be of greater Importance to good Government and to Liberty iilelf, than that all the Members of Society mould quietly and readily fubmit to lawful Authority; elfe how can we be governed by Law, which i*as fo juftly been recokned the Privilege and Gl^-ry of Britons ? But tfr. D'Anvers feems to think the Liberty of the Prefs gives him a Warrant to write againft the Laws of his Country. Is not this a Liberty for a private Perfon to cenfure the Wifdom, and queftion the Authority of the Legiflature ? He feemed indeed fenfible, that this was not wholefome Politicks, nor well guarded, when he adds, We ought indeed to be retrained from makjng any Attempts upon the Foundation of our EJtablifhment. Does it not follow therefore, that there are fome Laws we may write againft, and fome we may not? And if Mr. D'Anvers is at Liberty to chufe what Laws he will cenfure and condemn, I fuppofe another Man has the fame Right j and at this rate, I fear there are hardly any Laws of the Land'but fome or another will think he may write againft them, and the next Step is to act againft them: So that I can't fee but this great Politician has open'd a Way for all manner of Lic'entioufnefs and Confujion. On the contrary, Legal Authority is fo far from being prejudicial to Liberty, that who-foever refufes Submiflion to it, muft in effect claim a Liberty above Law. It was a glorious Character of the Lacedemonians; They were Slaves te the Laws, that they might be free: A braver Thing could not bi faid of any People iu the World ! This was tke Way to eftablifh their Liberty upon its natural Bafts, and few States ever preferved it-longer than they did; and, without the fttidteft Submiflion to Legal Authority., it is not likely to fubfift long any where, becaufe there is no other Way of ending Difputes; and preferving Harmony and "Union, which are very fgre� Stipports of; X*-berty. Natural Juftice, indeed, ought to be the Source qiLam theDofelves, infome Cafe*, to over-rule and interpret them when made; and where written Laws can'c provide for every, Circumftance of our Conduct, to direct in their Room and Place: For Liberty is a Bleffing designed by Nature for the common Good of all Mankind, being founded upon the natural Equality amongft Men, allowing only for the Proportion of'Refpect which arifes from Civil DiftinBions, It is therefore a grand Miftake, to fuppofe that Liberty of any kind gives one Man an advantage to the Prejudice and Damage of another; and he that takes upon bim to leflen or defame another, ought to fhew he has a Natural Right to do fo, or elfe (hews he has infamous Notions of Liberty. Yet how often has the Liberty of the Pre/** been perverted to fuch Purpofes, by fome who pretend great Zeal for it* who know the proper Ufe of it, bur fcorn to confine themfelves to it: and can't be content to afperfe and vilify Perfons of great Rnnl^ and Vfefulnefs, meerly for thwarting their low and private Defigns> but ever and anon muft (ally forth into the moft fcandalous RefieBions upon thofe who have been, and ftill are, the Patrons of this and ail other Liberty; nay� have not fp&red him who is the greateft PrcteBor of Liberty the World at this Day can boaft of? And as Juftice is the natural Support and Defence of this, fo it is of all other Liberty which is ufeful or virtuous. The Libertv of judging for our felves in Matters of Religion, can only be fecured by defending one Party from the Penalty of doing fo as well, as another, which puts them upon a natural Eaua* lity. For, as it hath been moft clearly {hewn* that in the Cbriftian Church there are no Lc~ gijlators nor Interpreters of Chrift's Law who have Right and Power to publifh and declare bis Will, any otherwife than he has left ic j fb there can be no Judge of religious Controverfies, nor any Ecclefiaftical Authority ("properly fo called; but what is founded upon Vfurpation, Yet it frequently happened, that one Party has claimed and engrofs'd the Title of Orthodox to themfelves, and immediately thought fome great Privileges of Pomp And Grandeur annex'd to it3 and when they have perfuaded the Magiftrate to be of their Mind, the next Step has been to obtain Laws in their Favour, which were never efteemed fufficient without abridging the natural Rights and Liberties of others. For none who have a high Opinion of Orthodoxy, which in Reality is nothing elfe bur. a, high Conceit of themfelves, can be fatisfy'd without branding tbole who differ from them, with odious Names, and depriving them of the Supports of Life, whereby ah "Unnatural J�-eauality is introduced ; fome ftrutthg with all the tnfolence imaginable, while others are forced to fneak. with the Marks of Difgrdce and Contempt upon them; tho* by all the inviolable Rule6 oijujlice, they have as good * Right, and fometimes better Reafonsfot their Opinions than their Qfpreffbrs, The Daily Courant.   

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