Obrazy na stronie
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may be mild, moderate and merciful in his Anger ; but Clemency is the peculiar Property of Kings and Magistrates, who have the fole Power of mitigating the Severity of Laws in punishing Malefactors : for the better Con. servation of Society, Safety, and Peace ; the very End of all Government. Clemency, to ufe Bona's Description of it in his Guide to Eternity, (and I know not a Juster; done in English by the famous Sr. R. L'estrange, never to be forgotten) "Is not only the Privilege, u the Honour, and the Duty of a Prince, but it

is likwise bis Security; and better than all his " Garrisons, Forts, and Guards, to preserve himself and his Dominions in Safety.

When 4 to be fear'd, he's hated; and " when he comes to be hated, the People wish him

out of the World. His Strength lies not so much' in his Arms and Magazines, as in the Hearts of his Subjects : For whoever contemns « his own Life, is Master of another Man's. Many Executions are as great a Reproach to

a Government ; as many Funerals to a Pbysi" cian. That Prince is truly Royal, who masters himself; looks upon all Injuries as below him; " and governs by Equity and Reason, not by Passion. The greatest Minds are ever the most u jerene and quiet.

IN distributive Justice, the principal Thing to be consider'd is impartiality; which is so essential to the very Nature, Constitution and Establishment of it in good Order of Truth ; that, without this Qualification, it becomes the contrary Vice of Injustice, and finks into the worst of Characters for Corruption, Tyranny, or arbicrary Power. Let the Sky fall, and Fustice be done ; says the Moraliff.' Let the Con

sequences

sequences be what they will, of Apprehension, Hazard or Danger, it is still oblig'd to do its Duty. And if it is rightly administer'd; it must be done without any personal Refpe&t to Party or Fa&tion, on either Side of the. onhappy Distination between Whig and Tory. What's Sawce for the Goose, ought to be Samce for the Gander also, impartially; as certain as an Oracle in a civiliz'd Government. But if any Geometrical Proportion, or Reason and Discretion may be urg'd for the different Punishments of the same specifical Offenders ; it can only be just where the Crimes are differently circumstantiated, with greater or less Aggravations: which is nothing to the Merits of the Caufe, but only as it distinguishes the Demerits of the Malefactors. This Proverb however, in former Times, spoil'd all the Politicks of the Green-Ribbon-Club; and for once balk'd the Bill of Exclufion, by disconcerting their partial Proceedings.

But would it not be the grosseft Injustice, and give the greatest Offence among honest People, to destroy one Man and save another, as notoriously guilty of the fame Fact to all Intents and Purpofes ? Crimes therefore ought to be equally punish'd upon the fame Criminals with the most impartial Judgment: and even to an Aritba metical Proportion too, where the aggravating Circumstances do not differ in the Action, and the Case is the same in all Points. But, and if the Court has a Mind to preserve him that stole the Horse, I hope he shall not fuffer shar only look'd over the Hedge; by the Prejudice and Misapplication of the well-meaning Provert. All Partialities of this Kind have ever been

deem'a

deem'd egregiously impolitick in publick Afe fairs.

IMPARTIALITY likewise ought to be ftri&tly obferv'd in Mercy, as the sole constituent Power of its Truth and Righteousness. It chíefly consists in the equitable Distribution of Royal Favours and Rewards, as Justice does in that of Punishments. Persons of equal Parts and Merit ought, by good Reason, to have equal Preferments, or Posts of Honour, Dignity and Trust, if posible, either in Church or State ; according to their respectiveQualifications. There need be no great Disparity of Grants, Gifts and Graces bestow'd from Above, but only to the more worthy Patriots, and the more orthodox Divines. Those that are equally peccant, on the other Hand, and alike undeferving Trespassers in Politicks, Mould, by Right, have the same hard Fate, or meet with the same 'merciful Treatment. A Peer of the Realm, God bless him ! deserves no more Favour from his injur’d Prince, than a poor illiterate Peasant ; ingag'd in the fame Treachery, Conspiracy or Treason: notwithstanding his Nobility. In the ingenious Juvenal's Judgment

tanto conspectius in fe Crimen habet ; quanto major, qui peccat, habetur. The greater the Person is, offending ; the greater is the Crime of the Offender. However, to focw Mercy is the true Character of a Christian Here, and the very Criterion of a good Governour. Nothing can

Nothing can conduce more to the political Welfare of his Realms, or more perpetuate the peaceable Duration of his Reign. He will always have Reason to triumph in the faithful Hearts and Affections of his loving Subjects; sit sure upon the Throne of his

mer

merciful Ancestors ; and bid Defiance to all Foreign Pretenders, Invaders or Usurpers of his Crown, as well as Domestick Deposers or Disturbers of his Right. He will be safe still in the general Voice of his unanimous People, both with divine and humane Acclamations of Joy.

BUT as a Sovereign Prince may restrain his Clemency too much on the one Hand; so he may extend it too far on the other, to his own Disadvantage. To hang up all or save all, whether Murderers, Rebels or Traytors, would be the most dangerous Extremes of a discommendable Cruelty in that Respect, and a ridiculous Indolence in this : So that true Mercy must consist in a due Medium, and discreet Management between those Two fatal Rocks of Imprudence, Rigour and Remisness; upon · which Royal Majesty it self has more than once been split to Pieces, and Monarchy cast away in the Shipwrack of State. According to the Wisdom and Conduct of Kings in older Times: Things go best, when the truest Merit takes place; Things are best manag’d, when the truest Justice is administer'd ; Things are in the best Condition, when the truest Mercy is pra&is'd; the fairest Judgment executed, and the greatest Right recover'd, resto. red and re-instated, either in Law or in Equity. A King may be too merciful, as well as unmerciful, upon popular Insurrections or rebellious Doings. Acts of Grace from Time to Time may be adviseable and prudent; but not to make immutable Decrees of Indemnity for ever, or vast Concessions of Oblivion to all Posterity : after a dreadful, destructive, bloody Civil War. Such a good-natur'd con descending Prince would have no Mercy for

himself, by cramping bis Power, or giving away his Prerogative, and parting with his own Security. It would be nothing but indangering his Crown again, to gratify fome artificial Statesmen's politick Designs of an aspiring Ambition, either to ennoble their own Persons at Court, or aggrandize their Fortunes by an Affectation of Honour and Popularity. Jt would only be discouraging his faithful Friends, to countenance his Enemies; and ruining some loyal fuffering Families, to confirm the Plunderers in the full Poflellion and Injoyment of their unjust Acquisitions,

ON the other Hand again; as it would be look'd upon to be a strange Kind of unmer. ciful Partiality, or at least the falseft Perversion of Justice, for a King to punish his Friends and spare his Foes, to execute those and preserve these : so it would be reckon'd the most barbarous Piece of inhumane Cruelty, to cutoff all for the Fault of one rebellious Ring. leader. Take off the Heads of the mighty Authors, and the petty Traytors will quickly dwindle of Course into nothing ; sneak Home peaceably, or skulk Abroad for Fear of impartial Destruction without Mercy. What, and if the Jack Dams are sometimes rashly got among the Rooks, ingag'd through Inadvertency perhaps, or ignorantly drawn.in by some specious Pretences of Religion and Law; or that damnable Doctrine of doing Evil that Good may come on't, by a diabolical Position: 'Tis a Pity however, they should all go to Pot together, by the utmost Rigour of Justice. A wise Prince will easily separate the one from the other, discern the Innocent from the Guilty. Nocent, distinguish the grand Offenders from

the

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