ABSTRACT

The pretended rights of these theorists are all extremes: and in proportion as they are metaphysically true, they are morally and politically false. … By these theorists the right of the people is almost always sophistically confounded with their power … but till power and right are the same, the whole body of them has no right inconsistent with virtue. … Far am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice (if I were of power to give or to withhold,) the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy.