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on the prelent
State of Clergymen's Widows
cNaGHTON, authentic Par. Ogden's British Lion roused,
ORR's 'Theory of Religion, 442
MEMOIS of Mrs. Catherine
Oblervations on ditto,
Motives for purfuing a Spanish PARALLEL,
148 Progress of lying, 385
On the Papers PRPER Object of the prelent
relative to the Rupture with
PROPERTY, plain Argument to SINGLE Sermons, 80, 159, 399
shew that we have no Law for Sketch of the prefent Times,
structions by, 58, 156 SOBIESKI, John, King of Po.
of Selma, versified, from
Paris contre les Jefuirs, 63 SPEAKING, Art of,
Rocer's present State of Den- quet,
Thomson's Works, new Edi.
SCRIPTURE Doctrine of Thoughts on the Times, 159
SCROPE on the Lord's Supper, dern Travel.
Smolleti' adventures of fir Lancelot
TUMULTS in Ireland confidered, WALPOL E's Anecdotes. of Paint, i
ing in England,
241 TURNER'S Gauger's Instructor, WAR, Tragi-comic Memoirs of 503
118 TYRT ÆUS, Elegies of, 57 Warner's Remarks on Fingal,
WATKINSON's Essay on Eco-
282 VINDICATION, full, of the E
complete Annuitant, of , 320
388 UNIVERSAL Restitution, a Scrip- WHITEHEAD's Charge to the ture Doctrine,
Poets, UNIVERSITY Educaticn, De
School for Losects of, 234 vers,
The Frederician Code : Or, A Body of Law for the Dominions
of the King of Pruffia. Founded on Reason, and the Constitution of the Country. Translated from the French. 8vo. 2 vols. 12 s. boards. Edinburgh printed for Donaldson, and fold by Richardson in London.
T was a saying of Solon's, that he had given the Athenians
the best Laws they were able to bear : and it is possible that the Author of the present Code may, upon this principle, justify his institutions. But they who ignorantly commend them as a fit model for this Kingdom, do not deserve to enjoy the superior advantages, to which the Laws of England. entitle them. Indeed the chief, if not only excellence for which the admirers of this Code have extolled it, is its suppofed brevity ;. and they inconsiderately express their wifhes to reduce the Laws of this kingdom within the narrow dimensions' they would prescribe: without reflecting, that they would thereby at the same time; render their property and personal liberties more precarious and insecure,
In the days of Alfred, the English Laws were much more fort and compendious than the Pruffian Body now under confideration. But the Alfredian Code would ill suit the nation, now that it has happily extended the wide circle of trade and commerce, and enlarged the basis of public liberty. As foşial and commercial intercourse expand, a variety of cases daily revolve, which must either be provided for by a particular and express Law, or referred to difcretionary decision. A people however, jealous of liberty, will be cautious to entrust as little as possible to arbitrary discrea tion. In a free kingdom, the Judges are but the mouths of VOL. XXVI.
the Law, and the King, no more than the supreme minister to execute its decrees. In such a state, therefore, the Laws cannot be so simple and concise as in those governments, where much is left to the discretion of the judge without any other appeal, than to the absolute will of the Sovereign. It is true that, under a wise and good Monarch, little or no inconvenience may arise from such summary institutions ; but it might be expected that a Prince who, like his Pruffian Majesty, is supposed to be no less a philosopher than a statesman, ihould have a juster sense of Legislation, than to institute, what is more properly a Government of Men, than of Laws.
This Code, which copies, and, in some points, improves the Roman Law, docs nevertheless retain, and even multiply, its moft capital defects. The King prohibits, under severe penalties, any Commentaries to be made, either on the whole Law of the country, or on any part of it. In short, he reserves to himself the prerogative of being the ultimate and fole Commentator on the Laws; and his Refcripts, like those of the Roman Emperors, can make that legal, which is not to be justified under the fanction either of Law or Reason. The consequence of such unbounded authority must be, that when a weak or vicious Prince succeeds to the throne, Juftice will not only be partially distributed, but openly bought and sold, as it was once in this Kingdom, especially in the time of the Norman Princes, when every thing appertaining to Judicature was so avowedly venal, that our Kings accepted bribes from the suitors, which were called by the soft name of presents; and that with so little sense of honour or decorum, that these shameful items are transmitted on record, with the scandalous purposes for which they were received.
But true wisdom and unaffected philosophy would have dictated a more liberal and benevolent fyftem, than this of the Frederician Code. They would have directed our Royal Legislator to have consulted the future and permanent good of his people, by, endeavouring to secure them against those abuses in his successors, from which his own personal virtues may perhaps protect them during his reign. A Prince, who instead of labouring to confirm and to extend arbitrary prerogativés, has the courage to limit his.own power, displays the noblest proofs of greatness. All the pomp which awaits abfolute dominion, all the triumphs of heroilm, are little, compared to such a philosophical sacrifice, made on the principles of gencral benevolence and philanthropy. This is the true 8