THE other Grand Ordinance of God, Magistracy, which He hath in His Sovereign Wisdom, Justice, & Goodness, appointed, ordained, & consecrated, for the demonstration, illustration, & vindication of His own Glory, and the Communication, Conservation, and Reparation of the Peace, safety, order, Liberty, and universal good of mankind, is next to that of the Ministry of Greatest Concern: wherein not only the Prudence, Policy, Property, & Liberty of men, but also the conscience, Duty, & Religion of Christians, have a special Interest. And therefore it is no less important, pertinent, profitable, & necessary for every one that hath any of these to care & contend for, keep or recover, to inquire into and understand something of the institution, constitution, nature, & boundaries of the Sacred ordinance of Magistracy, than into the holy ordinance of the Ministry; So far at least as may consist with the sphere of every ones Capacity & Station, and may conduce to the satisfaction of every ones conscience, in the discharge of the duties of their relations. Every private man indeed hath neither capacity, concern, nor necessity, to study the Politicks, or search into the secrets, or Intrigues of Government, no more than he is to be versed in all the Administrations of Ecclesiastical Policy, and Interests of the Ministry: yet every man’s Conscience is no less concerned, in distinguishing the Character of God’s Ministers of Justice, the Magistrates, to whom he owes & owns allegiance, that they be not usurping Tyrants, everting the Ordinance of the Magistracy; than in acknowledging the Character of Christ’s Ministers of the Gospel, to whom he owes & owns obedience, that they be not usurping Prelates or Impostors, perverting the Ordinance of the Ministry. The Glory of God is much concerned, in our owning & keeping pure & entire, according to His will & word, both these Ordinances. And our Conscience as well as Interest is concerned in the advantage or hurt, profit or prejudice, of the right or wrong, observation or prevarication, of both these ordinances; being interested in the advantage of Magistracy, and hurt of Tyranny in the State, as well as in the advantage of the Ministry, and hurt of Diocesan or Erastian Supremacy in the Church; in the advantage of Liberty, and hurt of slavery in the State, as well as in the advantage of Religion and hurt of Profaneness in the Church; in the profit of Lawes and prejudice of Prerogative in the State, as well as in the profit of Truth and prejudice of Error in the Church; in the profit of Peace and true Loyalty, and prejudice of oppression and Rebellion in the State, as well as in the profit of Purity & Unity, and prejudice of Defection & Division or Schism, in the Church. So that in Conscience, we are no more free to Prostitute our Loyalty & Liberty absolutely, in owning every Possessor of the Magistracy; than we are free to Prostitute our Religion & faith implicitly, in owning every Pretender to the Ministry. This may seem very Paradoxical to some, because so dissonant & dissentient from the vulgar, yea almost Universal and inveterate opinion & Practice of the world, that hitherto hath not been so precise in the matter of Magistracy. And it may seem yet more strange, that not only some should be found to assert this; but that any should be found so strict and strait-laced, as to adventure upon suffering, and even to Death, for that which hath hitherto been seldom scrupled, by any that were forced to subjection under a yoke, which they had no force to shake off, and wherein Religion seems little or nothing concerned; for not owning the authority of the present Possessors of the place of Government: which seems to be a Question not only eccentric & extrinsic to Religion, but such a State question, as for its thorny Intricacies & difficulties, is more proper for Politicians & Lawyers to dispute about (as indeed their debates about this head of Authority, have been as manifold & multiplied as about any one thing) than for Private Christians to search into, and suffer for, as a Part of their Testimony. But if we will cast off Prejudices, and the Tyranny of Custom, and the bondage of being bound to the worlds Mind in our inquiries about Tyranny, and suffer ourselves to Ponder impartially the importance of this matter; And then to state the question right; We shall find Religion & Conscience hath no small interest in this business. They must have no small Interest in it, if we consider the importance of this matter, either extensively, or objectively, or Subjectively. Extensively considered, it is the Interest of all mankind to know and be resolved in Conscience, whether the Government they are under be of God’s Ordination or of the Devil’s administration; whether it be Magistracy or Tyranny; whether it gives security for Religion & Liberty, to themselves and their posterity, or whether it induces upon themselves, and entails upon the posterity, slavery as to both these invaluable Interests; whether they have matter of praise to God for the blessings & mercies of Magistracy, or matter of Mourning for the plagues & miseries of Tyranny, to the end they may know both the sins & snares, Duties & dangers, Case & Crisis, of the times they live in. All men that ever enjoyed the mercy of a right Constitute Magistracy, have experienced, and were bound to bless God for the blessed fruits of it: And on the other hand, the world is full of the Tragical Monuments of Tyranny, for which men were bound bath to search into the Causes, and see the effects of such plagues from the Lord, to the end they might mourn over both. And from the beginning it hath been observed, that as People’s sins have always procured the Scourge of Tyranny; So all their miseries might be refounded [founded again] upon Tyrants’ encroachments, Usurping upon or betraying their Trust, and overturning Religion, Lawes, & Liberties. Certainly Mankind is concerned in point of Interest & Conscience, to inquire into the cause & Cure of this Epidemic distemper, that hath so long held the world in misery, and so habitually, that now it is become as it were Natural to lie stupidly under it; that is, that old Ingrained Gangrene of the King’s Evil, or Compliance with Tyranny; that hath long afflicted the Kingdoms of the world, and affected not only their backs in bearing the burden thereof; but their hearts into a Lethargic stupor of insensibleness; and their heads in infatuating & intoxicating them with Notions of the Sacredness & incontrollableness of Tyranny; and their hands in enfeebling and fettering them from all attempts to work a Cure: Or else it hath had another effect on many that have been sensible of a touch of it; even equivalent to that, which an ingenious Author Mr. Gee in his Preface to the Divine right & Original of the Civil Magistrate (to which Mr. Durham is not absonant [contrary]) expounds to be the effect of the fourth vial, Rev. 16. 8, 9. when in these Dog-days of the world, power is given to the Sun of Imperial, especially Popish, Tyranny, by their exorbitant stretches of absolute Prerogative, to scorch men with fire of furious oppressions, they then blaspheme the Name of God which hath power over these Plagues, in their Mal-content Complaints, grumblings, grudgings, and Murmurings under the misery, but they do not repent nor give Him Glory, in mourning over the causes promeriting [i.e., earning from God] such a Plague, and their own accession in exposing themselves to such a scorching sun, nakedly without a Sconce. Certainly this would be the remedy that Conscience would suggest, and Interest would incite to, an endeavour either of allaying the heat, or of subtracting from it under a shelter, by declining the oblique Malignity of its Scorching rays. But will the world never be a wakened out of this Dream & dotage, of Dull & stupid subjection to every Monster that can Mount a Throne? Sure at length it may be expected, either Conscience from within as God’s deputy, challenging for the palpable perversion of this His excellent Ordinance, Or Judgments from without, making sensible of the effects of it, will convince & confute these old inveterate Prejudices. And then these Martyrs for that universal Interest of mankind, who got the fore-start and the first sight of this, will not be so flouted as fools, as now they are. And who knoweth, what Prelude or Preparative, fore-boding & presaging the downfall of Tyranny, may be in its aspirings to this height of arbitrary absoluteness, and in the many questions raised about it, and by them imposed upon Consciences to be resolved. If we consider the object of this question; as Conscience can only clear it, so in nothing can it be more concerned. It is that Great Ordinance of God, most signally impressed by a very Sacred & illustrious Character of the Glorious Majesty of the Most High, who hath appointed Magistracy; in which, considering either its fountain, or Dignity, ends, or effects, Conscience must have a very great Concern. The fountain or efficient cause of Magistracy, is high & sublime. The powers that are be of God, not only by the all disposing hand of God in His Providence, as Tyranny is, nor only by way of naked approbation, but by Divine institution; And that not only in the general, by at least a Secondary Law of Nature, but also the special investiture of it, in Institution & Constitution, is from God; and therefore they are said to be ordained of God, to which Ordinance we must be subject, not only for wrath but also for Conscience’ sake; which is the Great Duty required in the fifth Command, the first Commandment with Promise; that hath the Priority of Place before all the Second table, because the other Commandments respect each some one Interest, this hath a supereminent influence upon all. But Tyrannical powers are not of God in this sense. And it were Blasphemy to assert they were of the Lord’s Authorization, Conscience cannot bind to a subjection to this. Again the Dignity of Magistracy, ordained for the maintenance of Truth & righteousness, the only foundations of peoples felicity, whether temporal or eternal, including the bonds & boundaries of all obedience & subjection, for which they are intended & to which they refer, is supereminent; as that Epithet of higher added to the powers that are of God, may be rendered; making them high & sublime in Glory, whose highest prerogative is, that being God’s Ministers, they sit in the Throne of God, anointed of the Lord, judging not for man but for the Lord, as the Scripture speaks. To this Conscience is concerned in duty to render honour as due, by the Prescript of the fifth Commandment: but for Tyranny, Conscience is bound to deny it, because not due; no more than obedience, which Conscience dare not pay to a Throne of Iniquity, and a Throne of the Devil, as Tyranny may be called as really as Magistracy is called the Throne of God. Next Conscience is much concerned in the ends of Magistracy, which are the Greatest, the Glory of God and the good of Mankind. And in the effects of it, the maintenance of Truth, Righteousness, Religion, Liberty, Peace, & Safety, and all choicest external blessings: But the ends & effects of Tyranny are quite Contrary, Domineering for pleasure, and destroying for profit. Can we think that Conscience is nothing Concerned here, that these great ends shall be subverted, and the effects precluded; and to that effect, that Tyranny not only be shrouded under a Privilege of impunity, but by our subjection & acknowledgment of it, as a Lawful power, encouraged into all enormities, and Licensed to usurp, not only our Liberties, but God’s Throne by an uncontrollable Sovereignty? But if we Consider the subjective Concern of Conscience, it must be very great: when it is the only thing that prompts to subjection, that regulates subjection, and is a bottom for subjection to lawful powers. If it were not out of Conscience, men that are free born are naturally such Lovers of Liberty, and under Corruption such lusters after Licentiousness, that they would never come under the Order of this Ordinance, except constrained for wraths sake: but now, understanding that they that resist the power resist the Ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves Damnation, they must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for Conscience sake. If Conscience were not exercised in regulating our duty to Magistrates, we would either obey none, or else would observe all their Commands promiscuously, Lawful or unlawful, and would make no difference either of the matter commanded, or the power commanding: but now, understanding that we must obey God rather than man, and that we must render to all their dues, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour, Conscience regulates us what & whom to obey. And without conscience there is little hope for Government to prove either beneficial or permanent: little likelihood of either a real, regular, or durable subjection to it. The discernible standing of Government upon conscientious grounds, is the only thing that can bring in conscience, & a conscientious submission to it; it being the highest & most kindly principle of, and the strongest & most lasting obligation to, any relative duty. It will not be Liberty of Conscience (as sayeth the late Declaration for it) but reality of conscience, and Government founded upon a bottom of conscience, that will Unite the Governed to the Governours by inclination as well as duty. And if that be, then there is needful a rule of God’s revealed preceptive will (the only Cynosure & Empress of conscience) touching the founding & erecting of Government, that it have the stamp of God’s Authority. It must needs then follow that conscience hath a very great concernment in this question in the General, and that before it be forced to an abandoning of its light in a matter of such moments, it will rather oblige people that are conscientious to suffer the worst that Tyrants can do; especially when it is imposed & obtruded upon conscience, to give its suffrage & express acknowledgment that the present Tyranny is the Authority of God, which is so visible in the view of all that have their eyes open, that the meanest capacity that was never conversant in Lawes & Politicks can give this verdict that the Constitution & administration of the Government of the two Royal Brothers, under whose burthen the earth and we have been groaning these 27 years past, hath been a complete & Habitual Tyranny, and can no more be owned to be Magistracy than Robbery can be acknowledged to be a rightful possession. It is so plain, that I need not the help of Lawyers & Politicians to demonstrate it, nor launch into the Ocean of their endless debates in handling the head of Magistracy & Tyranny: yet I shall improve what help I find in our most approved Authors who have enlarged upon this Question (though not as I must state it) to dilucidate [elucidate] the matter in Thesi, and refer to the foregoing Deduction of the succession of Testimonies against Tyranny, to clear it in Hypothesi. Whence we may see the occasion, and clearly gather the solution of the Question, which is this.
Whether a people, long oppressed with the encroachments of Tyrants & Usurpers, may disown their pretended Authority; & when imposed upon to acknowledge it; may rather choose to suffer than to own it?
To clear this question: I shall first premit [premise] some concessions, and then come more formally to resolve it.
1. It must be granted the Question is extraordinary, and never so stated by any writer on this head; which makes it the more difficult, and odious, because odd & singular, in the esteem of those who take up opinions rather from the number of votes than from the weight of the reasons of the asserters of them. It will also be yielded, that this was never a case of confession for Christians to suffer upon. And the reason of both is, because, before these seven years past, this was never imposed upon private & common subjects to give an account of their thoughts & conscience about the Lawfulness of the Government they lived under. Conquerors & Usurpers sometimes have demanded an acknowledgment of their Authority; from men of greatest note & stroke in the Countries they have seized: but they never since the Creation urged it upon common people, as a Test of Loyalty; but thought always their Lawes, & power to execute them on offenders, did secure their subjection. Or otherwise to what purpose are Lawes made, and the execution of them committed to men in power, if they be not thought a sufficient fence for the Authority that makes them; except it also have the actual acknowledgment of the subjects to ratify it? Men that are really invested with Authority, would think it both a disparagement to their Authority, and would disdain such a suspicion of the questionableness of it, as to put it as a question to the subjects, whether they owned it or not. But the Gentlemen that rule us, have fallen upon a piece of unprecedented Policy: wherein they think both to involve the Nation in the guilt of their unparalleled Rebellion against the Lord, by owning that Authority that promotes it, and so secure their Usurpations, either by the suffrage of all that own them, or by the extirpation of the Conscientious that dare not, with the odium & obloquy of being enemies to Authority; by which Trick they think to bury the honour of their Testimony. Yet in sobriety without Prophesying it may be presumed, at the long run this project will prove very prejudicial to their Interest: and herein they may verify that Scots Proverb, ov’r fast ov’r loose, and accomplish these Divine sayings He disappointeth the devices of the Crafty, He taketh the wise in their own Craftiness, and the Counsel of the froward is carried head long. For as they have put people upon this question, who would not otherwise have made such inquiries into it; and now finding they must be resolved in conscience to answer it, whenever they shall be brought before them; upon a very overly search, they see terrible Tyranny written in legible bloody Characters almost on all administrations of the Government, and so come to be fixed in the verdict that their conscience & the word of God gives of it: So it may be thought, this question now started, for as despicable beginnings it hath, yet ere it come to a full & final Decision, will be more inquired into through the world, and at length prove as fatal to Tyranny, as ever anything could be, and then they may know whom to thank. But however though the question be extraordinary, and the sufferings thereupon be unprecedented; And therefore among other contradictions, that may be objected, that neither in History nor Scripture we can find instances of private people their refusing to own the Authority they were under, nor of their suffering for that refusal: yet nevertheless it may be duty without example. Many things may be done; though not against the Law of God, yet without a precedent of the practice of the people of God. Though we could not adduce an example for it, yet we can gather it from the Law of God, that Tyranny must not be owned, this will be equivalent to a thousand examples. Every age in somethings must be a precedent to the following, and I think never did any age produce a more honourable precedent, than this beginning to decline a yoke under which all ages have groaned.
2. It will be also granted, It is not always indispensably necessary, at all times. for a people to declare their disclaim of the Tyranny they are under, when they cannot shake it off; nor, when they are staged for their duty before wicked & Tyrannical Judges, is it always necessary to disown their pretended Authority positively; when either they are not urged with questions about it, then they may be silent in reference to that; or when they are imposed upon to give their judgment of it, they are not always obliged, as in a case of confession, to declare all their mind, especially when such Questions are put to them with a manifest design to entrap their lives, or entangle their Conscience. All Truth is not to be told at all times; neither are all questions to be answered when impertinently interrogate, but may be both Cautiously & Conscientiously waved. We have Christ’s own practice, & his faithful servant Paul’s example, for a Pattern of such prudence & Christian caution. But yet it were cruel & unchristian rigour, to censure such as out of a pious principle of zeal to God & conscience of duty, do freely & positively declare their judgment, in an absolute disowning of their pretended Authority, when posed with such Questions, though to the manifest detriment of their lives, they Conscientiously looking upon it as a case of confession. For where the Lord hath not peremptorily astricted [confined] His Confessors to such rules of prudence, but hath both promised and usually gives His Spirits Conduct, encouraging & animating them to boldness, so as beforehand they should not take thought how or what they shall speak, and in that same hour they find it given them, it were presumption for us to stint them to our rules of prudence. We may indeed find rules to know, what is a case of confession; but hardly can it be determined, what Truth or duty we are questioned about is not, or may not be, a case of confession. And who can deny, but this may be in some circumstances a case of confession, even Positively to disown the pretended Authority of a bloody Court or Council? when either they go out of their Sphere, taking upon them Christ’s Supremacy, and the Cognizance of the concerns of His Crown, whereof they are Judges no ways Competent; then they must freely & faithfully be declined. Or when, to the dishonour of Christ, they blaspheme His Authority, and the Sacred boundaries He hath prescribed to all human Authority, and will assert an illimited [unbounded] absolute Authority, refusing & discharging all offered Legal & Scriptural restrictions to be put thereupon (as hath been the case of the most part of these worthy though poor Martyrs, who have died upon this head) then they must think themselves bound to disown it. Or when they have done some cruel indignity & despite to the Spirit of God, and to Christ His prerogative & Glory, and work of Reformation, and people, in murdering them without Mercy, and imposing this owning of their King, by whose Authority all is acted, as a condemnation of these witnesses of Christ their Testimony, and a justification of their bloody cruelties against them, which hath frequently been the case of these poor people that have been staged upon this account: In this case, and several others of this sort that might be mentioned, then they may be free & Positive in disowning this Test of wicked Loyalty, as the mark of the Dragon of the secular beast of Tyranny. And in many such cases, when the Lord gives the Spirit, I see no reason but that Christ’s witnesses must follow His Pattern of zeal in the case of confession, which He witnessed before Pontius Pilate in asserting His own Kingship, as they may in other cases follow His Pattern of Prudence. And why may we not imitate the zeal of Stephen, who called the Council before whom he was staged stiff necked resisters of the Holy Ghost, Persecutors of the Prophets, and betrayers & Murderers of Christ the Just one, as well as the Prudence of Paul? But however it be, the present Testimony against this pretended Authority Lies in the Negative, which obliges always, semper & ad semper; that is to say, we plead, that it must never be Owned. There is a great difference between a Positive disowning, and a not Owning: though the first be not always necessary, the Latter is the Testimony of the day, and a negative case of confession, which is always clearer than the Positive. Though we must not always confess every Truth, yet we must never deny any.
3. It is confessed, we are under this sad disadvantage besides others, that not only all our Brethren, groaning under the same yoke with us, will not take the same way of declining this pretended Authority, nor adventure when called to declare their judgment about it (which we do not condemn, as is said, and would expect from the rules of equity & charity, they will not condemn us, when we find ourselves in conscience bound to use greater freedom) But also some when they do declare their judgment, give it in terms condemnatory of, & contradictory unto our Testimony, in that they have freedom positively to own this Tyranny, as Authority, and the Tyrant as their Lawful Sovereign. And many of our Ministers also are of the same mind. And further as we have few expressly asserting our part of the debate, as it is now stated; so we have many famous & learned divines expressly against us in this point, as especially we find in their Comments upon Rom. 13. among whom I cannot dissemble my sorrow to find the great [John] Calvin, saying, saepe solent inquirere &c. ‘men often inquire, by what right they have obtained their power who have the rule! It should be enough to us that they do govern, for they have not ascended to this eminency by their own power, but are imposed by the hand of the Lord.’ As also [David] Pareus saying too much against us. For answer to this I refer to Mr. [John] Knox his reply to Lethington, producing several Testimonies of Divines against him upon this very same head; wherein he shews, that the occasions of their Discourses & Circumstances wherein they were stated were very far different, from those that have to do with Tyrants & Usurpers, as indeed they that are most concerned and smart most under their scourge are in best case to speak to the purpose. I shall only say, Men’s averment in a Case of Conscience is not an oracle, when we look upon it with an impartial eye, in the case wherein we are not prepossessed: it will bear no other value, than what is allayed [put to rest] with the imperfections of fallibility; and moreover is contradicted by some others, whose Testimony will help us as much to confirm our persuasion, as others will hurt us to infirm it.
4. But now when Tyrants go for Magistrates; lest my plea against owning Tyranny, should be mistaken as if it were a pleading for Anarchy: I must assert, that I and all those I am vindicating are for Magistracy, as being of divine Original, institute for the common good of human & Christian Societies, whereunto every soul must be subject, of whatsoever quality or Character, and not only for wrath but also for conscience sake (though as to our soul & conscience, we are not subject) which whosoever resisteth resisteth the ordinance of God, and against which Rebellion is a damnable sin, Whereunto (according to the fifth Commandment, and the many reiterated exhortations of the Apostles) we must be subject, and obey Magistrates, and submit ourselves to every Ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be unto the King as Supreme &c. And we account it a hateful brand of them that walk after the flesh, to despise Government, to be presumptuous, self-willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities and that they are filthy dreamers who despise Dominion & speak evil of dignities, and of those things which they know not. We allow the Magistrate, in whatsoever form of Government all the power the Scripture, Lawes of Nature or Nations, or Municipal do allow him: Asserting that he is the keeper & avenger of both the Tables of the Law, having a power over the Church as well as the state suited to his Capacity, that is; not formally Ecclesiastical but objectively for the Church’s good; an external power, of Providing for the Church, & Protecting her from outward violence, or inward disorder; an imperate [directing, or commanding] power, of commanding all to do their respective duties; a Civil power of Punishing all, even Church officers, for Crimes; a Secondary power of Judicial approbation or condemnation, or discretive [discriminative], in order to give his Sanction to Synodical results; a Cumulative power, assisting & strengthening the Church in all her Privileges, subservient though not servile, Coordinate with Church power not Subordinate (though as a Christian he is subject) in his own affairs, to wit Civil, not to be declined as Judge, but to be obeyed in all things Lawful, and honoured & strengthened with all his dues. We would give unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. But to Tyrants, that usurp & pervert both the things of God & of Cesar, and of the people’s Liberties, we can render none of them, neither God’s, nor Cesar’s, nor our own; Nor can we from conscience give him any other deference, but as an enemy to all, even to God, to Cesar, & the people. And in this, though it doth not sound now with Court parasites, nor with others that are infected with Royal Indulgences & Indemnities, we bring forth but the transumpt [i.e., the copy of legal documents] of old Principles, according to which our fathers walked when they still contended for Religion & Liberty, against the attemptings & aggressions of Tyranny against both.
5. It must be conceded, it is not an easy thing to make a man in the place of Magistracy a Tyrant. For as every escape, error, or act of unfaithfulness, even known & continued in, whether in a Ministers entry to the Ministry, or in his Doctrine, doth not unminister him, nor give sufficient ground to withdraw from him, or reject him as a Minister of Christ: So neither does every enormity, misdemeanor, or act of Tyranny, Injustice, perfidy, or profanity in the Civil Magistrate, whether as to his way of entry to that office, or in the execution of it, or in his private or personal behaviour, denominate him a Tyrant or usurper, or give sufficient ground to divest him of Magistratical power, and reject him as the Lawful Magistrate. It is not any one or two Acts contrary to the Royal Covenant or office, that doth denude a man of the Royal dignity, that God & the people gave him: David committed two acts of Tyranny, Murder & Adultery; yet the people were to acknowledge him as their King (and so it may be said of some others, owned still as Kings in Scripture) the reason is, because though he sinned against a man or some particular persons, yet he did not sin against the State, and the Catholic good of the Kingdom, subverting Law; for then he would have turned Tyrant, and ceased to have been Lawful King. There is a great difference between a Tyrant in act, and a Tyrant in habit, the first does not cease to be a King. But on the other hand, as everything will not make a Magistrate to be a Tyrant: So nothing will make a Tyrant habitu, a Magistrate. And as every fault will not unminister a Minister; So some will oblige the people to reject his Ministry, as if he turn Heretical, & Preach Atheism, Mahumetanism [Islamism], or the like, the people, though they could not formally depose him, or through the corruption of the times could not get him deposed; yet they might reject & disown his Ministry: So it will be granted, that a people have more power in creating a Magistrate than in making a Minister, and Consequently they have more right and may have more light in disowning a King, as being unkinged; than in disowning a Minister, as being un-ministered. It will be necessary therefore, for clearing our way, to fix upon some ordinary Characters of a Tyrant, which may discriminate him from a Magistrate, and be ground of disowning him as such. I shall rehearse some, from very much approved Authors; the application of which will be as apposite to the two Brothers, that we have been burthened with, as if they had intended a particular & exact description of them. [George] Buchanan de jure regni apud Scotos shews, ‘that the word Tyrant was at first honourable, being attributed to them that had the full power in their hands, which power was not astricted [confined] by any bonds of Laws, nor obnoxious to the Cognition of Judges, and that it was the usual denomination of Heroes, and thought at first so honourable that it was attribute to the Gods: But as Nero & Judas were sometimes among the Romans & Jews names of greatest account, but afterwards by the faults of two men of these names, it came to pass that the most flagitious would not have these names given to their Children; So in process of time, Rulers made this name so infamous by their wicked deeds, that all men abhorred it as contagious & Pestilentious, and thought it a more light reproach to be called a hangman than a Tyrant.’ Thereafter he Condescends upon several Characters of a Tyrant. ‘1. He that doth not receive a Government by the will of the people, but by force invadeth it, or intercepteth it by fraud, is a Tyrant; and who domineers even over the unwilling (for Rex volentibus Tyrannus invitis imperat) and procures the Supreme rule without the peoples Consent, even though for several years they may so govern, that the people shall not think it irksome.’ Which very well agrees with the present Gentleman that rules over us [i.e., James II.], who, after he was by public vote in Parliament secluded from the Government, of which the standing Lawes of both Kingdoms made him incapable for his Murders, Adulteries, & Idolatries, by force & fraud did intercept first an Act for His Succession in Scotland, and then the actual Succession in England, by blood & treachery usurping & intruding himself into the Government, without any Compact with, or Consent of the people; though now he studies to make himself like another Syracusan Hiero, or the Florentine Cosino de Medices, in a mild Moderation of his usurped power, but the West of England, and the West of Scotland both, have felt the force of it. 2. ‘Tyrannus non civibus sed sibi gerit imperium, neque publicae utilitatis sed suae voluptatis rationem habet &c. He does not govern for the subjects’ welfare or public utility but for himself, having no regard to that but to his own lust; Acting in this like robbers, who cunningly disposing of what wickedly they have acquired, do seek the praise of Justice by injury, & of Liberality by robbery; So he can make some shew of a Civil mind, but so much the less assurance gives he of it, that it is manifest he intends not thereby the subjects good, but the greater security of his own lusts, and stability of empire over posterity, having somewhat Mitigated the people’s hatred, which when he hath done he will turn back again to his old manners, for the fruit which is to follow may easily be known both by the seed and by the sower thereof.’ An exact Copy of this we have seen within these two years, as oft before in the rule of the other Brother. After God hath been robbed of His prerogatives, the Church of her Privileges, the State of its Lawes, the Subjects of their Liberty & property, he is now affecting the praise & captating [artfully acquiring] the Applause of tenderness to conscience, and Love of Peace, by offering now Liberty after all his Cruelties; wherein all the thinking part of men do discern he is prosecuting that hellish Project, introducing Popery & slavery; and overturning Religion, Law, & Liberty. 3. ‘Regium imperium secundum Naturam est, Tyrannicum contra, Regium Liberi inter Liberos est Principatus, Tyrannus domini in servas &c. Tyranny is against Nature, and a Masterly Principality over slaves. Can he be called a father, who accounts his subjects slaves? or a Shepherd, who does not feed but devours his flock? or a Pilot, who doth always study to make shipwreck of the goods, and strikes a leak in the very ship where he sails? what is he then that bears Command, not for the people’s advantage, but studies only himself, who leadeth his subjects into manifest snares? he shall not verily be accounted by me either Commander, Emperour, or Governour?’ King James the 6th also, in a speech to the Parliament anno 1609. makes this one Character of a Tyrant, when he begins to invade his subjects’ rights & Liberties. And if this be true, then we have not had a King these many years: the foregoing deduction will demonstrate, what a slavery we have been under. 4. ‘Quid qui non de virtute certet cum bonis &c. What is he then, who doth not contend for virtue with the good, but to exceed the most flagitious in vices? If you see then any usurping the Royal name, and not excelling in any virtue, but striving to exceed all in baseness, not tendering his subjects’ good with native affection, but pressing them with proud domination, esteeming the people committed to his trust not for their safeguard but for his own gain; will you imagine this man is truly a King, albeit he vapours [boasts] with a numerous Levegard [bodyguard], and makes an ostentation of gorgeous Pomp?’ The learned [Johannes] Althusius likewise in his Politicks cap. 38. Num. 15. (as He is cited by Ius Populi chap. 16. Pag. 347.) makes this one Character of a Tyrant, that ‘living in Luxury, whoredom, greed, & idleness, he neglecteth or is unfit for his office.’ How these suit our times we need not express; what effrontery of impudence is it, for such monsters to pretend to rule by virtue of any Authority derived from God, who pollute the world with their Adulteries & Incests, and Live in open defiance of all the Laws of the universal King; with whom to exceed in all villainies is the way to purchase the Countenance of the Court, and to aspire to preferment? No Heliogabulus &c. could ever come up the length in wickedness, that our Rulers have professed. 5. ‘Omnium vim Legum in se transferre &c. He can transfer unto himself the strength of all Laws, and abrogate them when he pleases.’ King James the 6. in that fore-cited speech saith, a King degenerateth into a Tyrant when he leaveth to rule by Law. Althusius also loc. cit. saith, there is one kind of Tyranny which consisteth in violating, changing, or removing of fundamental Laws, specially such as concern Religion; such, saith he, Philip the King of Spain, who, contrary to the fundamental Belgic Lawes, did erect an administration of Justice by force of arms; and such was Charles the 9th of France, that thought to overturn the Salic Law.’ All that knoweth what hath been done in Britain these 27 years, can attest our Lawes have been subverted, the Reformation of Religion overturned, and all our best Lawes rescinded; and now the Penal Statutes against Papists disabled & stopped, without & against Law. 6. ‘Ad suum eum unius nutum omnia &c. He can revoke all things to his nod at his pleasure.’ This is also one part of King James the 6 his Character of a Tyrant, when he sets upon arbitrary power. And of Althusius loc. cit. ‘when he makes use of an absolute Power, and so breaks all bonds for the good of human Society.’ We allow a King an absolute power taken in a good sense, that is, he is not subaltern nor subordinate to any other Prince; but supreme in his own dominions: or if by absolute be meant Perfect, he is most absolute that governs best according to the word of God. But if it be to be Legibus solutus, loosed from all Laws, we think it blasphemy to ascribe it to any Creature. Where was there ever such an arbitrary & absolute power arrogated by any Mortal, as hath been claimed by our Rulers these years past? especially by the present Usurper, who, in this Liberty of conscience now granted to Scotland, assumes to himself an absolute power which all are to obey without reserve, which carries the subjects’ slavery many stages beyond whatever the Grand Seigneur did attempt. 7. ‘Tyranno—ad cives opprumendos &c. For by a Tyrant strangers are employed to oppress the subjects; They place the establishment of their Authority in the peoples weakness, and think that a Kingdom is not a Procuration concredited to them by God, but rather a prey fallen into their hands; Such are not joined to us by any Civil bond, or any bond of humanity, but should be accounted the most Capital enemies of God and of all men.’ King James ub, supra says, he is a Tyrant that imposes unlawful Taxes, raises forces, makes war upon his subjects, to Pillage, Plunder, waste, & spoil his Kingdoms. Althusius ubi supra ‘makes a Tyrant, who by immoderate exactions, and the like, exhausts the subjects, and cites Scripture Jer. 22. 13. 14. Ezek. 34. 1 King. 12. 19. Psal. 14. 4.’ It is a famous saying of [Henry of] Bracton, He is no longer King; then dum bene regit, while he rules well, but a Tyrant when-soever he oppresseth the people that are trusted to his Care & Government. And Cicero sayes, amittitis omne exceritus & imperit jus, qui eo imperio & exercitu Rempublicans oppugnat. He loseth all legal power in & over an Army or Empire, who by that Government & army does obstruct the welfare of that republic. What oppressions & exactions by armed force our Nation hath been wasted with, in part is discovered above. 8. Althusius in the place above quoted, makes this another mark, ‘when he keepeth not his faith & promise, but despiseth his very oath made unto the people.’ What shall we say of him then, who not only brake but burnt, and made it Criminal to assert the obligation of the most solemnly transacted Covenant with God and with the people, that ever was entered into, who yet upon these terms of keeping that Covenant only was admitted to the Government? And what shall we say of his Brother succeeding, who disdains all bonds, whose professed principle is, as a Papist to keep no faith to Heretics? 9. In the same place he makes this on Character: a Tyrants is he, ‘who takes away from one or more members of the common wealth the free exercise of the Orthodox Religion. And the Grave Author of the Impartial inquiry into the administration of affairs in England, doeth assert pag. 3, 4. ‘whensoever a Prince becomes depraved to that degree of wickedness, as to apply & employ his power & Interest, to debauch & withdraw his subjects from their fealty & obedience to God, or sets himself to extirpate that Religion which the Lord hath revealed & appointed to be the rule of our living & the means of our happiness, he doth ipso facto depose himself, and instead of being owned any longer for a King, ought to be treated as a Rebel & Traitor against the Supreme & Universal Sovereign.’ This is the perfect Portraiture of our Princes; the former of which, declared an open war against Religion & all that professed it; and the Latter did begin to prosecute it with the same cruelty of persecution, and yet continues without relenting against us; though to others he tolerates it under the Notion of a Crime, to be for the present dispensed with, until he accomplish his design. 10. Ibid. he tells us, ‘that for corrupting of youth he erecteth stage plays, Whore-houses, & other Play-houses, and suffers the Colleges & other Seminaries of Learning to be corrupted.’ There was never more of this in any age, than in the conduct of our Court, which like another Sodom profess it to be their design to debauch mankind in to all villainies, and to poison the fountains of all learning & virtue, by intruding the basest of men into the place of teachers, both in Church & University, and precluding all access to honest men. 11. Further he says, ‘he is a Tyrant who doth not defend his subjects from injuries when he may, but suffereth them to be oppressed (and what if he oppress them himself?)’ It was one of the Laws of Edward the Confessor, Quod si Rex desit officio, nomen Regis in eo non constabit. If the King fail in the discharge of his Trust & office, he no longer deserves nor ought to enjoy that name. What name do they deserve then, who not only fail in the duty of defending their subjects, but send out their Lictors & bloody Executioners to oppress them, neither will suffer them to defend themselves! But Althusius makes a distinct Character of this. 12. Then in fine, he must certainly be a Tyrant, who will not suffer the people, by themselves nor by their Representatives, to maintain their own rights, neither by Law nor force: for, saith my Author Forecited, ‘he is a Tyrant who hindereth the free suffrages of members of Parliament, so that they dare not speak what they would; And chiefly he who takes away from the people all power to resist his Tyranny, as Arms, strengths, & chief men, whom therefore though innocent he hateth, afflicteth, & persecuteth, exhausts their goods & livelihoods, without right or reason.’ All know that our blades [human beings] have been all along enemies to Parliaments; and when their Interest forced to call them, what means were used always to pacque & prelimit [to inhibit in advance] them and over-awe them, and how men who have faithfully discharged their trust in them have been prosecuted with the height of envy & fury, and many murdered thereupon; And how all the armed force of the Kingdoms have been enhanced into their hand, and the people kept so under foot, that they have been rendered incapable either to defend their own from intestine Usurpers, or foreign Invaders. All that is said amounts to this, that whenever men in power do evert & subvert all the ends of Government, and intrude themselves upon it, and abuse it, to the hurt of the Common wealth, and the destruction of that for which Government was appointed; They are then Tyrants, and cease to be Magistrates. To this purpose I shall here append the words of that forecited Ingenious Author of the Impartial Enquiry Pap. 13. 14. ‘There can be nothing more evident from the light of reason as well as Scripture, than that all Magistracy is appointed for the benefit of mankind and the common good of Societies: God never gave any one power to reign over others for their destruction (unless by His providence where He had devoted a people for their sins to ruin) but on whomsoever He confers Authority over Cities or Nations, it is with this Conditional Proviso & Limitation, that they are to Promote their Prosperity & good, and to study their defense & Protection: All Princes are thus far Pactional [contractual]—And whosoever refuseth to perform this fundamental condition, he degrades & deposes himself, nor is it rebellion in any to resist him; whensoever Princes ceases to be for the common good, they answer not the end they were instituted unto, and cease to be what they were chosen for.’
6. It will not be denied but when the Case is so circumstantiate, that it would require the arbitration of judgment to determine whether the King be a Tyrant or not, that then people are not to disown him: for if it be a question, whether the people be really robbed of their rights & Liberties, and that the King might pretend as much reason to complain of the people their doing indignity to his Sovereignty, as they might of his Tyranny; Then it were hard for them to assume so for the umpirage of their own Cause, as to make themselves absolute judges of it, and forth with to reject his Authority upon these debatable grounds. But the Case is not so with us: no Place being left for doubt or debate, but that our fundamental rights & Liberties Civil & Religious are overturned, and an absolute Tyranny exactly Characterized as above is established on the ruins thereof. Hence we have not disowned the pretended Authority, because we judged it was Tyrannical, but because it was really so. Our discretive [discriminatory] judgment in the case was not our rule, but it was our understanding of the rule, by which only we could be regulated and not by the understanding of another, which cannot be better nor so good of our grievances, which certainly we may be supposed to understand best ourselves, and yet they are such as are understood everywhere. To the question then, who shall be Judge between these Usurping & Tyrannizing Rulers & us? we answer briefly & plainly, We do not usurp a judgment in the case, pretending no more Authority over them in our private Capacity than we allow them to have over us, that is none at all? Nor can we admit that they should be both Judges & party; for then they might challenge that prerogative in every case, and strengthen themselves in an incontrollable immunity & impunity to do what they pleased. But we appeal to the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom, agreeable to the word of God, to Judge, and to the whole world of impartial Spectators to read & pronounce the judgment. Lex Rex Quest. 24. Pag. 213. sayeth in answer to this: ‘There is a Court of Necessity no less than a Court of Justice; And the fundamental Lawes must then speak, and it is with the people in this extremity as if they had no ruler. And as to the doubtsomeness of these Laws he saith (1) As the Scriptures in all fundamentals are clear & expone [expound] themselves, & actu primo condemn Heresies: So all Lawes of men in their fundamentals, which are the Law of Nature & Nations, are clear (2) Tyranny is more visible & intelligible than Heresy, and its soon discerned—The people have a Natural Throne of Policy in their conscience, to give warning, & materially sentence against the King as a Tyrant—where Tyranny is more obscure; and the thread small that it escape the eye of man, the King keepeth Possession, but I deny that Tyranny can be obscure long.’
7. I shall grant that many things are yieldable even to a Grassant [raging] Dominator, & Tyrannical Occupant of the place of Magistracy, as 1. There may be some cases, wherein its Lawful for a people to yield subjection to a Lawless Tyrant, when groaning under his overpowering yoke, under which they must patiently bear the indignation of the Lord, because they have sinned against Him, until He arise & plead His own Cause & execute judgment in the earth (Mic. 7. 9.) until which time they must kiss the rod as in the hand of God, and own & adore the holiness & Sovereignty of that Providence that hath subjected them under such a slavery; and are not to attempt a violent ejection or excussion [driving out], when either the thing attempted is altogether impracticable, or the means & manner of effectuating it dubious & unwarrantable, or the necessary Concomitants & consequents of the cure more hurtful or dangerous than the disease, or the like. As in many cases also a man may be subject to a robber prevailing against him: So we find the people of Israel in Egypt & Babylon &c. yielded subjection to Tyrants. But in this case we deny two things to them (1) Allegiance or active & voluntary subjection, so as to own them for Magistrates (2) Stupid Passive obedience, or suffering without resistance. For the first, we owe it only to Magistrates, by virtue of the Law either Ordinative of God, or Constitutive of man. And it is no Argument to infer; as a man’s subjecting himself to a Robber assaulting him, is no solid proof of his approving or acknowledging the injury & violence committed by the robber, therefore a Persons yielding subjection to a Tyrant a Public robber does not argue his acknowledging or approving his Tyranny & oppression. For, the subjection that a Tyrant requires, and which a Robber requires, is not of the same nature: the one is Legal of subjects, which we cannot own to a Tyrant; the other is forced of the subdued, which we must acknowledge to a Robber. But to make the Parallel; If the Robber should demand, in our subjecting ourselves to him, an owning of him to be no robber but an honest man, as the Tyrant demands in our subjecting ourselves to him in owning him to be no Tyrant but a Magistrate, then we ought not to yield it to the one no more than to the other. For the Second, to allow them Passive obedience is in-intelligible Non-sense, & a mere Contradiction: for nothing that’s merely passive can be obedience as relative to a Law, nor can any obedience be merely passive, for obedience is always active. But not only is the inaccuracy of the Phrase excepted against, but also that position maintained by many, that in reference to a yoke of Tyranny there is a time which may be called the proper season of suffering, that is, when suffering (in opposition to acting or resisting) is a necessary & indispensable duty, and resisting is a sin: For if the one be an indispensable duty, the other must be a sin at the same time: But this cannot be admitted. For, though certainly there is such a season of suffering, wherein suffering is Lawful, laudable & necessary, and all must lay their account with suffering, and little else can be attempted but which will increase sufferings; yet even then we may resist as well as we can: and these two, Resistance & Suffering at the same time, are not incompatible: David did bear most patiently the injury of his Sons usurpation, when he said, let the Lord do to me as seemeth Him good 2 Sam. 15. 26. ch. 10. 12. and betaketh himself to fervent prayers Psal. 3. and yet these were not all the weapons he used against him, Neither did he ever own[D1] him as a Magistrate. We are to suffer all things patiently as the Servants of the Lord, and look to Him for Mercy & relief (Psal. 123. 2.) but we are not obliged to suffer even in that season, as the slaves of men. Again, suffering in opposition to resistance, does never fall under any moral Law of God, except in the absolutely extraordinary Case of Christ’s passive obedience, which cannot fall under our deliberation or imitation; Or in the case of a positive Law, as was given to the Jews to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, which was express & peculiar to them, as shall be cleared. That can never be commanded as indispensable duty, which does not fall under our free will or deliberation, but the enemies will as the Lord permits them, as the Case of suffering is. That can never be indispensable duty which we may decline without sin, as we may do suffering if we have not a call to it; yea in that case it were sin to suffer, therefore in no case it can be formally indispensably commanded, so as we may not shift it if we can without sin. Suffering simply the evil of punishment, just or unjust, can never be a conformity to God’s preceptive Will but only to His Providential disposal, it hath not voluntas signi for its rule, but only voluntas beneplaciti. All the Commands that we have for suffering, are either to direct the manner of it, that it be Patiently & Cheerfully, when forced to it wrongfully 1 Pet. 2. 19, 20. or Comparatively to determine our choice in an unavoidable alternative, either to suffer or sin: and so we are commanded rather to suffer than to deny Christ, Math. 13. 33. and we are commanded upon these terms to follow Christ to take up His Cross, when He lays it on in His Providence Math. 16. 24. See at length this cleared Lex rex Q. 30. Pag. 317–320. otherwise in no case subjection even Passive can be a duty; for it is always to be considered under the notion of a plague, Judgment, & Curse to be complained of as a burden, never to be owned as a duty to Magistrates. As we find the Lord’s people resenting it as a servitude, under which they were servants even in their own Land, which did yield increase unto the Kings whom the Lord had set over them because of their sins, Neh. 9. 36. 37. 2. In diverse cases there may be some Compliance with a mere occupant, that hath no right to reign; as upon this account the Noble Marquis of Argyle [Archibald Campbell] and Lord Warriston [Archiblad Johnston] suffered for their Compliance with the Usurper [Oliver] Cromwell. Such may be the warrantableness, or goodness, or necessity, or profitableness of a Compliance, when people are by Providence brought under a yoke which they cannot shake off, that they may part with some of their Privileges for the avoidance of the loss of the rest, and for the conveniency & profit, peace & safety of themselves and their Country, which would be in hazard if they did not comply; they may do whatsoever is due from them to the Public weal, what soever is an office of their station or place, or which they have any other way a call unto, whatsoever may make for their own honest interest, without wronging others or the Countries Liberties in their transactions with these Powers, even though such a Compliance may be occasionally to the advantage of the Usurpers: Seeing good & necessary actions are not to be declined for the ill effects that are accidental to them, and arise from the use which others make of them. But though this may be yielded in some cases to such Usurpers, especially Conquerors, that have no right of occupying the empire, but are Capable of it by derivation from the people’s consent: yet it must not be extended to such Usurpers as are also Tyrants, that have no right of their own, nor are capable of any, and that overturn all rights of subjects. To such we can yield no Compliance, as may infer either transacting with them, or owning them as Magistrates. We find indeed the Saints enjoyed Places under these, who were not their Magistrates; as Nehemiah, & Mordecai, and Esther was Queen to Ahasuerus. But here was no Compliance with Tyrants (for these Heathens were not such) only some of them were extraordinary Persons, raised up by an extraordinary spirit, for extraordinary ends, in extraordinary times, that cannot be brought to an ordinary rule, as Esther’s Marriage; and all of them in their places kept the Law of their God, served the work of their generation, defiled not themselves with their Customs, acted against no good, and engaged to no evil, but by their Compliance promoted the welfare of their Country, as Argyle & Warriston did under Cromwell. Again, we find they paid Custom to them, as Neh. 9. 36. 37. and we read of Augustus his taxation universally complied with Luk. 2. 1–5. and Christ paid it. This shall be more fully answered afterwards. Here I shall only say (1) It can never be proven that these were Tyrants. (2) Christ Paid it with such a Caution, as Leaves the title unstated; not for conscience (as tribute must be paid to Magistrates Rom. 13. 5, 6.) but only that he might not offend them (3) Any other instances of the Saints taxations are to be judged forced acts, badges of their bondage, which if they had been exacted as tests of their allegiance, they would not have yielded. Strangers also, that are not subjects, use to pay Custom in their trafficking, but not as tests of their allegiance. 3. There may be also in some cases obedience allowed to their Lawful Commands, because of the Lawfulness of the thing commanded, or the coincidency of another Just & obliging Authority commanding the same. We may do many things Tyranno Iubente which he commands, and Tyranno premente which he enforces, and many things also ipso sou volente seu nolente whether he will or not But we must do nothing Tyranni jussu upon the consideration of his Command, in the acknowledgment of obedience due by virtue of Allegiance, which we own of Conscience to a Lawful Magistrate. We must do nothing which may seem to have an accessoriness to the Tyrants unlawful occupancy, or which depends only on the warrant of his Authority to do it, or may entrench on the Divine Institution of Magistracy, or bring us into a Participation of the Usurpers sin. In these cases we can neither yield obedience in Lawful things, nor in unlawful: ‘Nor can we own absolute subjection, no more than we can own absolute obedience; for all subjection is enjoined in order to obedience: And to plead for a Privilege in point of obedience, and to disclaim it in point of subjection, is only the flattery of such, as having renounced with conscience all distinction of obedience, would divest others of all privileges, that they may exercise their Tyranny without Control.’ Napthali pag. 28. prior edit. 4. There may be Addresses made, to such as are not rightful Possessors of the Government, for justice, or mercy, or redress of some intolerable grievances, without scruple of accepting that which is materially justice or mercy, or seeking them at the hand of any who may reach them out to us, though he that conveys them to us be not interested in the umpirage of them. Thus we find Jeremiah supplicated Zedekiah for mercy, not to return to prison: and Paul appealed to Cesar for justice. But in these Addresses, we may not acknowledge the wicked Lawes that brought on these grievances, nor conceal the wickedness no more than the misery of them which we have endured, nor may we own the Legal power of them that we address to take them off, nor signify anything, in the matter or manner of our Representations, that may either import a declining our Testimony for which we have suffered these grievances, or a contradiction to our declinature of their pretended Authority: Only we may remonstrate what cruelties we have endured, and how terrible it will be to them to be guilty of, or accessory to our blood in not pitying us; which was all that Jeremiah did. And as for Paul’s appeal, we find he was threatened to be murdered by his Country-men Act. 23. 14. from whose hands he was rescued, & brought before the judicatory of Festus the Roman deputy, not voluntarily; thence also they sought to remand him to Jerusalem, that they might kill him Act. 25. 3. whereupon he demands in justice that he might not be delivered to his accusers & Murderers, but claims the benefit of the Heathens’ own Law, by that appeal to Cesar. which was the only constrained expedient of saving his own life Act. 28. 19. by which also he got an opportunity to witness for Christ at Rome. But as shall be cleared further afterwards; Cesar was not an Usurper over Judea: which not obscurely is insinuated by Paul himself, who asserts, that both his person, & his Cause Criminal of which he was accused (it was not an Ecclesiastical Cause, & so no advantage hence for the Supremacy) appertained to Cesar’s Tribunal, and that not only in fact but of right Act. 25. 10. I stand at Cesar’s judgment seat where I ought to be judged. We cannot say this of any tribunal, fenced in the name of them that Tyrannize over us. 5. I will not stand neither upon the Names & Titles of Kings &c. to be given to Tyrants & Usurpers, in speaking to them or of them, by way of appellation or compellation: for we find even Tyrants are called by these names in Scripture, being Kings de facto though not de jure, and indeed not impertinently Kings & Tyrants for the most part are reciprocal terms. But in no case can we give them any Names or Titles, which may signify our love to them whom the Lord hates or who hate the Lord 2 Chron. 19. 2. or which may flatter them, which Elihu durst not give, for fear his Maker should take him away Job. 32. 22. or which may be taken for honouring of them, for that is not due to the vilest of men when exalted never so high Psal. 12. ult: a vile person must be contemned in our eyes Psal. 15. 4. Nor which may any way import or infer an owning of a Magistratical relation between them & us, or any Covenant transaction or Confederacy with them, which in no terms with them as such we will say or own Isa. 8. 12. Hence many sufferers upon this head so bear to give them their Titles.
8. It will be yielded very readily by us, that a Magistrate is not to be disowned merely for his differing in Religion from us, yea though he were a Heathen. We do not disown our pretended Rulers merely upon that account, but cheerfully do grant & subscribe to that Truth, in our Confession of faith chap. 23. § 4. That Infidelity or difference in Religion, doth not make void the Magistrates just & Legal Authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: On which our Adversaries have insulted, as if our Principles & Practices were thereby disproved. But it is easy to answer 1. ‘let the words be considered; and we are confident, that no sober man will think, the acknowledgment of just & legal Authority & due obedience, a rational ground to infer, that Tyranny is thereby either allowed or privileged.’ Napth. Pag. 60. Prior Edition. 2. Though Infidelity or difference of Religion does not make void Authority where it is Lawfully invested; yet it may incapacitate a person, and Lawfully seclude him from Authority, both by the word of God, which expressly forbids to set a Stranger over us who is not our brother Deut. 17. 15. Which includes as well a stranger of a strange Religion as one of a strange Country, and by the Laws of the Land, which do incapacitate a Papist of all Authority, Supreme or subordinate. And so if this James the 7/2 [seventh of Scotland/second of England and the United Kingdom] had been King before he was a Roman Catholic, if we had no more to object, we should not have quarreled his succession. 3. We both give & grant all that is in the Confession, viz. Dominium non fundari in gratia, that Dominion is not founded on Grace. Yet this remains evident, that a Prince who not only is of another religion, but an avowed enemy to & overturner of the Religion established by Law, and intending & endeavouring to introduce a false, heretical, blasphemous, & Idolatrous religion, can claim no just & legal Authority, but in this case the people may very Lawfully decline his pretended Authority; Nay they are betrayers of their Country & Posterity, if they give not a timeous & effectual Check to his Usurpings, and make him sensible that he hath no such Authority. Can we imagine, that men in the whole of that blessed work so remarkably led of God, being convocate by a Parliament of the wisest & worthiest men that ever was in England, whom they did encourage, by writing, & preaching, & every way to stand fast in their opposition to the then King displaying a banner for his prerogative (a court dream) against Religion & Liberty; should be so far left, as to drop that as a principle & part of our Religion, which would sacrifice Religion itself to the lust of a raging Tyrant? Must we believe, that a Religion-destroying Tyrant is a righteous Ruler? And must we own him to be a Nursing father to the Church? Shall we conclude that the common bounds & Limits, whereby the Almighty hath bounded & Limited Mankind, are removed by an Article of our confession of faith, which hereby is turned into a Court creed? Then welcome Hobs de Cive, with all the rest of Pluto’s train, who would babble us into a belief, that the world is to be governed according to the pleasure of wicked Tyrants. I would fain hope at length the world would be awakened out of such ridiculous dreams, & be ashamed any more to own such fooleries. And it may be, our two Royal Brothers have contributed more to cure men of this Moral madness, than any who went before them. And this is the only advantage, I know, that the Nations hath reaped by their reign.
9. Though we deny that Conquest can give a just Title to a Crown; yet we grant in some cases, though in the beginning it was unjust yet by the peoples after consent it may be turned into a just Title. It is undeniable, when there is just ground of the war; if a Prince subdue a whole Land, who have justly forfeited their Liberties, when by his grace he preserves them, he may make use of their right now forfeited, and they may resign their Liberty to the Conqueror, and consent that he be their King upon fair & Legal & not Tyrannical conditions. And even when the war is not just, but successful on the invading Conquerors side, this may be an inducement to the Conquered, if they be indeed free and unengaged to any other, to a submission, dedition [yielding], & delivery up of themselves to be the subjects of the victor, and to take him for their Sovereign: as it is like the case was with the Jews in Cesar’s time, whose Government was translated by dedition to the Roman power; in the translation when a doing there was a fault, but after it was done it ceased; though the beginning was wrong, there was a post-fact which made it right, and could not be dissolved without an unjust disturbance of public order. Whence, besides what is said above, in answer to that much insisted Instance of Christ’s paying tribute, and Commanding it to be paid to Cesar, the difficulty of that instance may be clearly solved. That Tribute which he paid, Math. 17. 24. &c. and that about the payment whereof He was questioned Math. 22. 21. seem to be two different Tributes. Many think very probably they were not one & the same Tribute. Its a question, for whom & by whom that of Math. 17. was gathered; its most likely it was gathered by the officers of the Temple for its service: however the payment was made with such caution (tacitly declining the strict right to exact it from him, but to avoid offence, in an act in itself unobliging) that their claim is left as much in the dark, as if the question had never been moved. The other Math. 22. was exacted for Cesar: but to that captious question our Lord returns such an Answer, as might both solve it, and evade the snare of the propounders, giving a general Rule of giving to God & to Cesar each their own, without defining which of them had the right to the payment in question; whether Cesar should have it, or whether it should be paid only for the Temples use: Upon which they marveled; which they needed not do, if they had understood in His words an express & positive declaration of an obligation to make that payment to Cesar; for then they would have obtained one of their ends, in making Him odious to the people, who were not satisfied with the payment of it. But however, the knot is loosed by considering, that they were now Lawfully subject to the Roman Emperours as their Governours, to whom they were obliged (I do not say Christ was) to pay tribute. For they had yielded themselves unto & owned the Roman Dominion, in Pompey, Cesar Augustus, & Tiberius, ere this question about Tribute paying was proposed to our Saviour, and therefore they who stuck at the payment of it were a seditious party dissenting from the body of the Nation: Else it is not supposable readily, that their Dominion in Judea could have been exercised long without some consent, sufficient to legitimate it to the present Rulers, And this is the more likely, if we consider the confession of the Jews themselves, disavowing the power of Capital punishment; It is not Lawful for us to put any man to death, And owning Cesar as their King, with an exclusive abrenounciation [repudiation] of all other, we have no King but Cesar: As Paul also acknowledges he ought to be judged at Cesar’s bar, in his appeal to Cesar. It is also acknowledged by very good Authors, that this was the tribute which Judas the Galilean stood up to free the people from, and that the sedition of those Jews that followed him mentioned Act. 5. 37. who mutinied upon this occasion, was according to Gamaliel’s speech disallowed by that Sanhedrin or Council of the Jews. And it may be gathered out of Josephus, that the Jews of Hircanus his party came under the Roman power by consent & dedition; while they of Aristobalus his party looked upon the Romans as Usurpers. Which difference continued till our Savior’s time, when some part of them acknowledged the Cesarean Authority, some part looked upon it as an Usurpation, and of this generally were the Pharisees. To confirm this, Calvin’s Testimony may be adduced, upon Math. 22. who sayeth, ‘the Authority of the Roman Emperours was by common use approved and received among the Jews, whence it was manifest that the Jews had now of their own accord imposed on themselves a Law of paying the tribute, because they had passed over to the Romans the power of the sword.’ And Chamier’s Panstrat Tom. 2. lib. 15. cap. 16. pag. 635. ‘what then? if Cesar’s Authority were from bad beginnings, did therefore Christ untruly say it was from above? Can no power at first unjust, afterward become just? if that were so, then either none, or very few Kingdoms would be just.’
10. As Tyranny is a destructive plague to all the Interests of men & Christians; So Anarchy, the usual product of it, is no less pernicious, bringing a Community into a Paroxysm as deadly & dangerous. We must own Government to be absolutely necessary, for the constitution & conservation of all Societies. I shall not enter into a disquisition, let be determination, of the Species or Kind of Magistracy, whether Monarchy, Aristocracy, or Democracy, be preferable. My dispute at present is not levelled against Monarchy, but the present Monarch: Not against the Institution of the Species (though I believe, except we betake our selves to the Divine allowance & permission; we shall be as pusled [puzzled] to find out the Divine Original of it, as Cosmographers are in their search of the Spring of Nilus or Theologues of the Father of Melchizedek) but the constitution of this Individual Monarchy established among us; which in its root & branch, Spring & streams, in its Original, Nature, ends, & effects, is Diametrically opposite to Religion & Liberty; And because its Contagion, universally perverting & corrupting all the ends & Orders of Magistracy, doth affect & infect all the subordinate officers, deriving their power from such a filthy fountain; we must also substract [subtract] & deny their demanded acknowledgments, as any way due, so long as they serve the pride & projects of such a wicked power: And do not reckon ourselves obliged by Covenant, or any other ways (though in the third Article of the Solemn League, we are bound to preserve the rights & privileges of our Parliaments, & consequently the honour & deference that’s due to our Peers, or other Parliament men, acting according to the trust committed to them, but not when they turn Traitors engaged in a Conspiracy with the Tyrant) to own or defend a Soul-less shadow of a Court Cabal, made up of persons who have sold themselves to work wickedness, in conspiring with this throne of iniquity against the Lord, which is all we have for a Parliament, whom we can in no ways own as our Representatives, but must look upon them as perjured & perfidious Traitors to God & their Country, which they have betrayed into the hands of a Tyrant; And therefore divested of that power & Authority, which they had of the people as their Representatives, which now is returned to the fountain. And therefore we must act as we can against them, and also what is necessary for securing of ourselves, Religion & Liberty, without them. We would think Nobles, ennobled with virtue, a great Mercy & encouragement. And if they would concur in the Testimony for Religion & Liberty, we would be glad that they should lead the van and prove themselves to be powers appointed by God, in acting for Him & His Interest. But for the want of their Conduct, we must not surcease from that duty that they abandon, nor think that the Concurrence of Peers is so necessary to legitimate our actions, as that without that formality our resolutions to maintain the Truth of God on all hazards, in a private Capacity, were unlawful in the Court of God & Nature: But on the contrary must judge, that their relinquishing or opposing their duty, which before God they are obliged to maintain, preserve, & promote, is so far from loosing our obligation, or eximing [relieving] us from our duty, that is should rather press us to prosecute it with the more vigour, without suspending it upon their precedency. For now they can pretend to no precedency, when they do not answer the end of their erection, and do not seek the public good but their own private advantage, they cease to be the Ministers of God & of the people, and become private persons. And reason will conclude, that ‘when the Ephori or Trustees betray their Trust, and sell or basely give away the Liberties & Privileges of the people, which they were entrusted with, the people cannot be brought into a remediless condition; if a Tutor waste & destroy the pupils’ estate, the Law provides a remedy for the pupil. Jus popu. vind. cap. 15. pag. 335. 336. ‘The remedy in this case can only be, as every one must move in his own sphere, while all concur in the same duty; So if any in higher place become not only remiss, but according to the influence of their power would seduce others into their Apostasy, it is their duty to resist & endeavour their Reformation or removal: And if these more eminently entrusted shall turn directly Apostates, & obstructive & destructive to common Interests, the people of an inferior degree may step forward to occupy the places, & assert the Interests, which they forfeit & desert. Neither is this a breach of good order; for Order is only a mean subordinate to, & intended for the Glory of God & the peoples good, and the regulation thereof must only be admitted as it is conducible & not repugnant to these ends. A Generals command to his soldiers in battle, does not impede the necessity of succession, in case of vacancy of any charge, either through death or desertion, even of such as in quality may be far inferior to those whose places they step into.’ Naph. Pag. 151. Prior Edition. I do not assert this for private peoples aspiring into the Capacity of Primores or Peers; but that they may do that which the Peers desert, and dare not or will not do, if the Lord put them in a Capacity to do it. And more plainly I assert, that if the Peers of the Land, whose duty it is principally to restrain & repress Tyranny, either connive at it or concur with it, and so abandon or betray their Trust, then the Common people may do it; at least are obliged to renounce, reject, & disown allegiance to the Tyrant, without the peers. For which I offer these reasons 1. Because all men have as much freedom & Liberty by nature as Peers have, being no more slaves than they; because slavery is a penal evil contrary to nature, and a misery consequent of sin, and every man created according to God’s image is res Sacra a Sacred thing; And also no more subjects to Kings &c. than they; freedom being natural to all, (except freedom from subjection to Parents, which is a Moral duty & most kindly & natural, and subjection of the wife to the husband &c.) but otherwise as to Civil & Politic[al] subjection, man by nature is born as free as beasts; No Lion is born King of Lions, nor no man born King of men, nor Lord of men, nor Representative of men, nor Rulers of men, either supreme or subordinate; because none by nature can have those things that essentially constitute Rulers, the calling of God, nor gifts and qualifications for it, nor the election of the People. 2. The original of all that power, that the Primores or Representatives can claim, is from the people, not from themselves; from whence derived they their being Representatives, but from the people’s Commission or Compact? when at the first constitution of Parliaments or public Conventions for affairs of State, necessity put the people, who could not so conveniently meet all, to confer that honour & burden upon the best qualified, & who had chief Interest, by Delegation. Hence if the people give such a power, they may wave it when perverted, and act without their own impowered Servants. 3. The peoples power, is greater than the power of any delegated or constituted by them; the Cause is more than the effect; Parliament-men do represent the people, the people do no not represent the Parliament: They are as Tutors & Curators unto the people, and in effect their servants deputed to oversee their public affairs, therefore if their power be less the people can act without them. 4. It were irrational to imagine, the people committing the administration of their weighty affairs unto them, did denude themselves of all their radical power; or that they can devolve upon them, or they obtain, any other power but what is for the good & advantage of the people; therefore they have power to act without them, in things which they never resigned to them: for they cannot be deprived of that natural aptitude, & natures birth right, given to them by God & Nature, to provide the most efficacious & prevalent means for the preservation of their Rights & Liberties. 5. As the people have had power before they made Peers, and have done much without them; So these Primores could never do without them, therefore in acts of common Interest, the Peers depend more upon the people than the people does upon them. 6. All these primeval rights, that gave rise to Societies, are equal to both People & Peers, whereof the Liberty to repress & reject Tyranny is a chief one. The People as well as Peers have a hard in making the King, and other Judges also, as is clear from Deut. 17. 14. Judg. 9. 6. 1 Sam. 11. 15. 2 King. 14. 21. therefore they may unmake them as well as they. To seek to preserve the ends of Government, when they are over-turned, is essentially requisite to all Societies, and therefore common & competent to all Constituents of these Societies, Superiours or inferiours. The Glory of God & Security of Religion, the end of all Christian Government, doth concern all equally. As everyone equally is bound to obey God rather than man, so violence in this case, destroys both the Commonwealth, & maketh the end & the means of Government, and the injured persons obligation thereto to cease, and this equally to every man of Private or public Capacity. In the Concern of Religion at least, We must not think, because we are not Nobles or in Authority, that the care of it or Reformation thereof does nothing pertain to us; Nay in that, and carrying on the work thereof, there is an equality; As in the erection of the Old Testament Tabernacle, all the people were to contribute a like, half a shekel Exod. 30. that it might be for a remembrance before the Lord. Hence it follows, if we disown the Supreme Ruler, and the inferior confederate with him, and cannot have the Concurrence of others; ‘Now through the manifest & notorious Perversion of the great ends of Society & Government, the bond thereof being dissolved, we Liberated therefrom, do relapse into our Primeval Liberty & Privilege, and accordingly as the similitude of our Case & exigence of our Cause doth require, may upon the very same Principles again join & associate, for our better defense & Preservation, as we did at first enter into Societies.’ Naph. P. 150. yet, whatever we may do in this case; We are not for presumptuous Assumptions of Authority, which maleversers [those who act in a dishonest or corrupt manner] have forfeited: Neither are we for new erections of Government, but are for keeping the Society of which we are members entire, in an endeavour to have all our fellow members united unto God & to one another, in Religion & Liberty, according to the bond of the Solemn League & Covenant. Certain it is that Greater Societies under one Government, may in some cases make a Secession, & divide into Lesser without sedition: or else, how would there be now so many distinct Commonwealths in the world? seeing at first all was under one head: and how comes it to pass, that there are so many Kingdoms in Europe, when it can be instanced when all, or the most part, were under on Roman Emperour? But this in our Circumstance is no way expedient, neither was it ever in Projection. But our aim is to abstract ourselves inoffensively, and maintain our rights that remain unrobbed, and to adhere closely to the fundamental Constitutions, Laws, & Laudable Practices of our native Kingdom.
11. We own the obligation of our Sacred Covenants, unrepealably & indispensably binding to all the duties of Christian subjection to Magistrates. But we deny, that hereby we are bound either to maintain Monarchy, especially thus perverted; nor to own the Authority of either of the two Monarchs that have Monarchized or Tyrannized over us these 27 years past. For as to the first we assert, that that which is in its own nature Mutable, cannot be simply sworn unto to be maintained & preserved, but Hypothetically it most, else it were simply sinful; since it were to make things, in their own nature and in the Providence of God changeable, unchangeable; yea it were a down right swearing not to comply with, but to spurn against, the various vicissitudes of Divine Providence, the great Rector of the Universe. And it is unquestionable, that when things alterable & unalterable are put in the same Oath, to make the Engagement Lawful the things must be understood, as they are in their own nature and no otherwise: else both the Imposer & the Taker grievously transgress; the former, in taking upon him what is in the power of no Mortal, and a Contradiction to the Prerogative of the Immortal God; and the other, in owning that power as just. Hence when these two fall to be in the same Oath, they must be so understood as it may not be made a snare to the conscience of the Swearer. For it may fall so out in the Providence of God, that the Preservation of both is in all respects made impossible: And an adhesion to the one, may so far interfere with the Preservation of the other, as if the Mutable and that which hath no objective obligation be stuck to, the other, which with the loss of all Interests we are to maintain, must be abandoned; yea, that which was sworn to be maintained as a mean only, & a mutable one too, may not only cease to be a mean, but may actually destroy the main end, and then it is to be laid aside, because then it inverts the order of things. Hence also it may be questioned, if it were not more convenient, to leave out those things that are alterable in themselves, out of the same Oath with things unalterable, and put them in a distinct Oaths or Covenant by themselves; as we see Jehoiadah did 2 King. 11. 17. He made a Covenant between the Lord and the King & the people, that they should be the Lord’s people; between the King also & the People. Here are two distinct Covenants; the one made with God, about things eternally obligatory, wherein King & people engage themselves upon level ground, to serve the Lord, and Joash the King his treacherous dealing with God in that matter brought the Curse of that Covenant upon him: The other Covenant was Civil, about things alterable, relating to Points of Government & Subjection. And as he, by virtue of that prior Covenant, had obliged himself, under the pain of the Curse thereof, to carry as one Covenanted to God with the people, and so not to Tyrannize over his brethren: So the people, by virtue of that same Covenant, were to yield obedience, but in nothing to acknowledge him as having power or Authority to countermand God’s Command; Neither had it been an act of disloyalty, to have broken down his Groves, which he had with the addition of the guilt of Perjury set up, and to have bound his ungrateful hands from the blood of the Gracious Zechariah: A perfect parallel to our Case under the former dominator, save that it was out-done as to all dimensions of wickedness by him. To speak more plainly, the Religious part of our Covenant is of an Eternal obligation: but as to the Civil part, it is impossible it can ever be so, unless it be well & Cautiously understood, that is, unless instead of any species of Government, as Monarchy, &c. we put in Magistracy itself. For this is that power which is of God: but Monarchy &c. is only a human Creature, about the creation whereof men take a Liberty, according to what suits them best in their present Circumstances. And as to this Species of Monarchy; men are never left at Liberty, to clothe therewith any inept or impious Person. And they are perfectly loosed from it. 1. when that Species of Government becomes opposite to the ends of Government, and is turned Tyranny, especially when a legal establishment is pretended; then it affects with its contagion the very species itself: The house is to be pulled down, when the Leprosy is got into the walls & foundation. 2. when as it is exercised, it is turned inept for answering the end of its erection, and prejudicial to the main thing for which Government is given, to wit, the Gospel and the coming of Christ’s Kingdom: hence it is promised to the Church, Isai. 49. 23. Kings shall be nursing fathers to the Church—And Isai. 52. 15. It is promised to the Mediator, that Kings shall shut their mouths—i.e., never a word in their head, but out of reverence & respect to His absolute Sovereignty, they shall take the Law from Him, without daring to contradict, far less to take upon them to prescribe in the House of God, as they in their wisdom think fit. 3. when Providence, without any sinful hand, makes that species impossible to be kept up, without the ruin of that for which it was erected: when things come to this push & pinch, whosoever are clothed with the power are then under an obligation to comply with that alteration of providence, for the safety of the people; else they declare themselves unworthy of rule, and such who would sacrifice the interest of the people to their particular interest; in which case the people may make their Public servant sensible, he is at his highest elevation but a Servant. Hence, now when this species named in the Covenant, viz, Monarchy, is by Law so vitiate, as it is become the mean & instrument of the destruction of all the ends of that Covenant, and now by Law transmitted to all successors as a hereditary, pure, perfect, & perpetual opposition to the coming of Christ’s kingdom; So that as long as there is one to wear that Crown (but Jehovah will in righteousness execute Coniah’s doom upon the race Jer. 22. ult. write this man childless—) and enter heir to the Government as now established, he must be an enemy to Christ; there is no other way left, but to think on a new Modell moulded according the true Pattern. As to the Second, we are far less obliged to own & acknowledge the interest of any of the two Monarchs, that we have been Mourning under these many years, from these Sacred Covenants. For as to the first of them, Charles the 2. Those Considerations did cassate [make void] his Interest, as to any Covenant obligation to own him. 1. In these Covenants we are not sworn absolutely to maintain the King’s Person & Authority, but only Conditionally, in the Preservation & defense of Religion & Liberties. Now when this Condition was not performed, but on the contrary professedly resolved never to be fulfilled; And when he laid out himself to the full of his power & Authority, for the destruction of that Reformed Religion & Liberties of the Kingdom; which he solemnly swore to defend when he received the Crown, only in the terms that he should be a Loyal subject to Christ, and a true & faithful Servant to the people, in order to which a Magistrate is chosen, and all his worth, excellency, & valuableness consists in his answering that purpose; for the excellency of a mean, as such, is to be measured from the end, and its answerableness thereunto: We were not then obliged, to maintain such an enemy to these precious Interests. 2. Because, as the people were bound to him, so he was bound to them by the same Covenant, being only on these terms entrusted with the Government: All which Conditions he perfidiously broke, whereupon only, his Authority & our Allegiance were founded; And thereby we were loosed, from all reciprocal obligation to him by virtue of that Covenant. 3. Though he and we stood equally engaged to the duties of that Covenant, only with this difference, that the King’s Capacity being greater, he was the more obliged to have laid out that power, in causing all to stand to their Covenant Engagements, as Josiah did 2 Chron. 34. 31, 32, 33. (But alas there was never a Josiah in the race) yet he rose up to the height of rebellion against God and the people, in heaven-daring insolency, and not only brake but burnt that Covenant, and made Lawes to case & rescind it, and made a not-concurring in this Conspiracy a note of incapacity for any Trust, in Church or State. Therefore to plead for an owning of him in this case, were only concludent of this, that the Generation had dreamed themselves into such a distraction, as may be feared will be pursued with destruction, and make such dreamers the detestation of posterity, and cause all men Proclaim the righteousness of God, in bringing ruin upon them by that very power & Authority they owned in such circumstances. 4. It is a known maxim, Qui non implet conditionem a se promissam cadit beneficio; & qui remittit obligationem non potest exigere. He that does not fulfill the conditions falls from the benefit of it, and whoso remits the obligation of the party obliged upon condition, cannot exact it afterwards. So then it is evident that the subjects of Scotland, were by King Charles the 2de his consent, yea express command, disengaged from so much of that Covenant as could be alleged in favors of himself: So that all that he did, by burning & rescinding these Covenants, and pursuing all who endeavoured to adhere to them, was a most explicit Liberating his subjects from, & remission of their Allegiance to him (and in this we had been fools, if we had not taken him at his word) yea he rescinded his very Coronation, by an act of his first Parliament after his return, which did declare null & void all Acts, Constitutions, & establishments, from the year 1633 to that present session, not excepting those for his own Coronation, after which he was never recrowned, And therefore we could not own that right, which himself did annul. But as for his Royal Brother, James the 7/2 we cannot indeed make use of the same reasons & arguments, to disown him, as we have now adduced; yet, as we shall prove afterwards, this Covenant does oblige to renounce him. So it is so clear, that it needs no Illustration, that there lies no obligation from the Covenant to own him: And also that for this cause we are obliged not to own him. 1. Because as he is an enemy to the whole of our Covenant, and especially to these terms upon which Authority is to be owned therein: So he will not come under the bond of this Covenant, nor any other compact with the people, but intrude himself upon the Throne, in such a way as overturns the Basis of our Government, and destroys all the Liberties of a free people, which by Covenant we are bound to preserve, and consequently as inconsistent therewith, to renounce his Usurpation. For, a Prince that will set himself up without any transactions with the people, or conditions giving Security for Religion & Liberty, is an Usurping Tyrant, not bounded by any Law but his own lusts. And to say to such an one, Reign thou over us, is all one as to say, come thou and play the Tyrant over us, and let thy lust & will be a Law to us: which is both against Scripture & Natural-sense. If he be not a King upon Covenant terms, either expressly or tacitly, or general stipulations according to the word of God & Lawes of the Land, he cannot be owned as a father, Protector, or Tutor, having any fiduciary power entrusted to him over the Commonwealth, but as a Lawless & absolute Dominator, assuming to himself a power to rule or rage as he lists: whom to own were against our Covenants; for there we are sworn to Maintain his Maj. just & Lawful Authority, and by consequence not to own Usurpation & Tyranny, stated in opposition to Religion & Liberty, which there also we are engaged to maintain. Sure, this cannot be Lawful Authority which is of God, for God giveth no power against Himself; Nor can it be of the people, who had never power granted them of God to create one over them, with a Liberty to destroy them, their Religion & Liberty, at his pleasure. 2. As he is not nor will not be our Covenanted & sworn King (and therefore we cannot be his Covenanted & sworn subjects) So he is not nor cannot be our Crowned King, and therefore we must not be his Liege subjects, owning fealty & obedience to him. For according to the National Covenant; as ‘all Lieges are to maintain the King’s Authority, consistent with the subjects Liberties; which if they be innovated or prejudged, such Confusion would ensue, as this realm could be no more a free Monarchy—So for the Preservation of true Religion, Laws, & Liberties of this Kingdom, it is statute by the 8 Act. Parl. 1, repeated in the 99 Act. Parl. 7. ratified in the 23. Act. Parl. 11. and 114 Act. Parl. 12. of King James 6. and 4 Act of K. Charles 1. that all Kings & Princes, at their coronation & reception of their Princely, Authority, shall make their faithful Promise by their solemn Oath, in the presence of the Eternal God; That enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same Eternal God, to the utter-most of their power, according as He hath required in His most holy Word, contained in the Old & new Testaments, and according to the same Word, shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of His holy Word, the due & right Ministration of the Sacraments, now received & Preached within this realm (according to the Confession of faith immediately preceding) and shall abolish & gainstand all false religion, contrary to the same; And shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will & Command of God, revealed in His fore-said Word, and according to the Laudable Lawes & Constitutions received in this realm, no ways repugnant to the said Will of the Eternal God; And shall procure, to the uttermost of their power, to the Kirk of God & whole Christian people, true & perfect peace in all time coming; And that they shall be careful to root out of their Empire all Heretics & Enemies to the true Worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God of the foresaid Crimes. Now this Coronation Oath he hath not taken, he will not, he cannot take; and therefore cannot be our Crowned King according to Law. As there be also many other Lawes incapacitating his admission to the Crown, being a Professed Papist, and no Law for it at all, but one of his own making by a Packed Cabal of his own Complices, a Parliament, wherein himself presided as Commissioner, enacting materially his succession, and rescinding all these Ancient Lawes: which Act of Succession (which is all the legal right he can pretend to in Scotland) because it cannot be justified, therefore his right cannot be owned, which is founded upon the subversion of our Ancient Lawes. But as he cannot be our Legally Crowned King, so he is not so much as formally Crowned. And therefore before his Inauguration, whatever right to be King (whom the Representatives may admit to the Government) he may pretend to, by hereditary Succession; yet he cannot formally be made King, till the people make a Compact with him, upon terms for the safety of their dearest & nearest Liberties, even though he were not disabled by Law. He might, as they say, pretend to some jus ad rem, but he could have no jus in re. The Kings of Scotland, while uncrowned, can exercise no Royal Government; for the Coronation in Concrete, according to the substance of the Act, is no Ceremony (as they, who make Conscience itself but a Ceremony, call it) nor an accidental ingredient in the Constitution of a King, but as it is distinctive, so it is Constitutive: it distinguished Saul from all Israel, and made him from no King to be a King, it is dative & not only Declarative; it puts some honour upon him that he had not before. 3. Though the Lawes should not strike against his Coronation, And though the Representatives Legally should take the same measures with him that they took with his brother, and admit him upon the terms of the Covenant; yet after such doleful experiences of such transactions with these Sons of Belial, who must not be taken with hands, nor by the hand, it were hard to trust, or entrust them with the Government, even though they should make the fairest Professions: Since they whose Principle is to keep no faith to Heretics (as they call us) and who will be as absolute in their promises as they are in their power, have deservedly forfeited all Credit & Trust with honest men; so that none could rationally refer the determination of a half Crown reckoning to any of them, far less own them & their Government in the Management of the weightiest affairs of State, since their Male-versations [duplicities] are written in such bloody Characters, as he that runs may read them. At least it were wisdom, & is our duty, to take our Measures from the General Assemblies Procedure with the other Brother, before his admission to the Government, to suspend our Allegiance to him until Authority be Legally devolved upon him, and founded upon & bounded by terms giving all security for Religion & Liberty.
12. As I said before; wary Prudence, in waving such an impertinent & Ticklish Question, cannot be condemned: since whatever he may be in conscience, no man in Law can be obliged, so far to surrender the common Privilege of all Mankind, to give an account of all his inward thoughts, which are always said to be free. And as in nothing they are more various, so in nothing they can be more violented, than to have our opinion & sentiments of the current Government extorted from us; a declining of which Declaration of thoughts, where no overt Act in project or practice can be proven against it, cannot be Treason in any Law in the world: So a Cautelous [cunning] Answer, in such a ticklish & entrapping imposition, cannot be censured in point of Lawfulness of expediency, even though much be conceded, to stop the Mouths of these bloody Butchers, gaping greedily after the blood of the Answerer; if he do not really own, but give them to understand he cannot approve of, this Tyranny. But as these poor faithful Witnesses, who were helped to be most free, have always been honoured with the most signal Countenance of the Lord in a happy issue of their Testimony: So those that used their Prudentials most, in seeking shifts to shun severity, and studying to satisfy these Inquisitors with their stretched Concessions, were ordinarily more exposed to snares, and found less satisfaction in their Sufferings, even though they could say much to justify, or at least extenuate their Shiftings. I knew one, who had proof of this, who afterwards was ashamed of this kind of Prudence. A short account of whose managing of Answers to this Question, because it may conduce somewhat to the explication of it, may here be hinted. The question moved after the usual form, was, Do ye own the Authority of King James the 7? In answer to which, he pleaded first, for the immunity of his thoughts, which he said were not subject to theirs or any Tribunal. When this could not be an evasion from their extortions, he objected the ambiguity of the terms in which the Question was conceived, being capable of diverse senses: And inquired, what they meant by Authority? what by owning Authority? By Authority, whether did they mean the Administration of it, as now improved? if so, then he was not satisfied with it: or the right as now established? if so, then he was not clear to give his opinion of it; as being neither significant nor necessary, and that it was fitter for Lawyers, and those that were better acquaint with the Arcana Imperii, than for him to dispute it. Again he asked, what they meant by owning? either it is Passive subjection; that he did not decline: or Active acknowledgment of it; and that he said he looked upon as all the suffrage he could give to its establishment in his station, which he must demur upon some scruple. The replies he received were very various, and some of them very rare, either for ignorance or imposture. Sometimes it was answered: To own the King’s Authority, is to take the Oath of Allegiance; this he refused. Some answered, it is to engage never to rise in Arms against the King upon any pretense whatsoever; this he refused likewise. Others explained it to be, to acknowledge his right to be King: To this he answered, when the Authority is Legally devolved upon him by the Representatives of both Kingdoms, it was time enough for him to give account of his sentiments. Others defined it, to own him to be Lawful King by succession: To this he Answered, he did not understand succession could make a man formally King, if there were not some other way of Conveyance of it; it might put him in the nearest Capacity to be King, but could not make him King. Some did thus Paraphrase upon it, that he must own him to be his Sovereign Lord under God, and God’s vicegerent, to be obeyed in all things Lawful: To this he answered, whom God appoints, and the People choose according to Law, he would own. When those shifts would not do, but from time to time being urged to a Categorical Answer; he told them, he was content to live in subjection to any Government Providence set up, but for owning the present Constitution as of God and according to Law, he durst not acknowledge it, nor own any Mortal as his Lawful Sovereign, but in terms consistent with the Covenant securing Religion and Liberty. This not satisfying, when he came to a more pinching Trial; he declared, he owned all Lawful Authority according to the Word of God, and all Authority that was the Ordinance of God by His Preceptive Will, and he could be subject to any; but further to acknowledge it, he behooved to have more clearness, for sometimes a Nation might be charged with that, ye have set up Kings and not by me &c Further he conceded, he owned his providential Advancement to the Throne; he owned as much as he thought did oblige him to subject himself with patience; he owned him to be as Lawful as providence possessing him of the Throne of his Ancestors, and Lineal succession, as presumed next in blood & line, could make him: But still he declined to own him as Lawful King, and alleged that was all one, whether he was Lawful or not, he refused not subjection, distinguishing it always from Allegiance. But all these concessions did not satisfy them, & they alleged he might say all this of a Tyrant: & therefore commanded him to give it under his hand, to own not only the Lineal but the Legal succession of King James the 7. to the Crown of Scotland: which he did, upon a fancy that Legal did not import Lawful, but only the formality of their Law; withal protesting, he might not be interpreted to approve of his succession. But this was a vain Protestatio contra factum [protest against fact]. However by this we see, what is owning this Authority, in the sense of the Inquisitors. The result of all is, to acknowledge Allegiance to the present possessor, and to approve his pretended Authority as Lawful, Rightful, & Righteous: which indeed is the true sense of the Words, and any other that men can forge or find out is strained. For, to speak properly, if we own his Authority in any respect, we own it to be Lawful: for eyery Authority, that is owned to be Authority indeed, is Lawful; Authority always importing Authorization, and consisting in a Right or Call to rule, and is formally & essentially contradistinct to Usurpation: wherever the place of power is merely usurped, there is no Authority but verbo tenus [in word only]; A Style without truth, a barely pretended nominal equivocal Authority, no real denomination: if we then own this Man’s Authority, we own it to be Lawful Authority: And if we cannot own it so, we cannot own it at all. For it is most suitable, either to manly ingenuity, or Christian simplicity, to speak properly, and to take words always in the sense that they to whom they are speaking will understand them, without equivocating.
These Preliminaries being thus put by, which do contribute to clear somewhat in this Controversy, and both furnish us with some Arguments for, and solutions in most of the objections against, my Thesis in answer to the Question above stated. I set it down thus. A people long oppressed with the Encroachments of Tyrants & Usurpers, may disown all Allegiance to their pretended Authority, and when imposed upon to acknowledge it, may & must rather choose to suffer, than to own it. And consequently we cannot as matters now stand, own, acknowledge, or approve the pretended Authority of King James the 7. as Lawful King of Scotland; as we could not as matters then stood own the Authority of Charles the 2. This consequence is abundantly clear from the foregoing deduction, demonstrating their Tyranny & usurpation. In prosecuting of this General Thesis, which will evince the particular Hypothesis: I shall. 1. Adduce some Historical Instances, whence it may be gathered, that this is not altogether without a precedent, but that people have disowned Allegiance to Tyrants & Usurpers, before now. 2. Deduce it from the Dictates of reason. 3. Confirm it by Scripture Arguments.
I. Albeit, as was shewed before, this Question as now stated, is in many respects unprecedented; yet the practice, which in our day hath been the result of it, to wit, to disown or not to own Prevailing Dominators Usurping the Government or abusing it, is not so alien from the examples of History, but that by Equivalency or consequence it may be collected from, & confirmed by instances.
1. To begin at home, besides many Passages related already for confirmation, we may add (1) That for about 1025. years, the people had in their choice whom to own or admit to succeed in the Government, ‘even though the Kingdom was hereditary; and used to elect, not such who were nearest in blood & line, but these that were judged most fit for Government, being of the same progeny of Fergus,’ Buchan. Rer. Scot. lib. 6. pag. 195. in vita Kenneth. 3. This continued until the days of Kenneth the 3. who to cover his villainous Murder of his Brothers Son Malcolm, and prevent his and secure his own son’s succession, procured this Charter for Tyranny, the settlement of the succession of the next in line from the Parliament: which, as it pretended the prevention of many inconveniences, arising from Contentions & Competitions about the succession; So it was limited by Lawes, Precluding the succession of Fools or Monsters, and preserving the peoples liberty to shake off the yoke, when Tyranny should thereby be introduced: Otherwise it would have been not only an irrational surrender of all their own Rights, & enslaving the posterity, but an irreligious contempt of Providence, refusing & anticipating its Determination in such a case. However it is clear, before this time, that as none but the fittest were admitted to the Government; So if any did usurp upon it, or afterwards did degenerate into Tyranny, they took such order with him, as if he had not been admitted at all; as is clear in the instances of the first Period, and would never own every pretender to hereditary succession. (2) As before Kenneth’s days, it is hard to reckon the numerous Instances of Kings that were dethroned, or imprisoned, or slain, upon no other account than that of their oppression & Tyranny: So afterwards, they maintained the same power & privilege of repressing them, whenever they began to encroach. And although no Nation hath been more patient towards bad Kings, as well as Loyal towards good ones; yet in all former times, they understood so well their Right they had, and the duty they owed to their own preservation, as that they seldom failed of calling the exorbitantly flagitious to an account. And albeit, instead of condoling or avenging the death of the Tyrannous, they have often both excused & justified it, yet no Kingdom hath inflicted severer Punishments upon the Murderers of just & righteous Princes: And therefore, though they did neither enquire after, nor animadvert upon those that slew James the 3. a flagitious Tyrant, yet they did by most exquisite Torments put them to death who slew James the 1. a virtuous Monarch. Hence, because these & other instances I mind to adduce of deposing Tyrants, may be excepted against, as not pertinent to my purpose, who am not pleading for exauctoration [deprivation of authority] & deposition of Tyrants, being impracticable in our case: I shall once for all remove that, and desire it may be considered.  That though we cannot formally exauctorate a Tyrant; yet he may ipso jure fall from his right, and may exauctorate himself, by His Law by whom Kings reign; and this is all we plead for as a foundation of not owning him.  Though we have not the same power, yet we have the same grounds, and as great & good if not greater & better reasons to reject & disown our Tyrant, as they whose example is here adduced had to depose some of their Tyrannizing Princes.  If they had power & ground to depose them, then a fortiori they had power & ground to disown them; for that is less & included in the other, and this we have.  Though it should be granted, that they did not disown them before they were deposed; yet it cannot be said that they did disown them only because they were deposed: for it is not deposition that makes a Tyrant; it only declares him to be justly punished, for what he was before. As the sentence of a Judge does not make a man a murderer or Thief, only declares him convict of these Crimes, & punishable for them; its his own committing them that makes him Criminal: And as before the sentence, having certain knowledge of the fact, we might disown the Man’s innocency or honesty; So a Rulers Acts of Tyranny & Usurpation make him a Tyrant & Usurper, and give ground to disown his just & legal Authority; which he can have no more than a Murderer or Thief can have innocency or honesty. (3) We find also examples of their disowning Kings undeposed; as King Baliol was disowned with his whole race, for attempting to enslave the Kingdom’s Liberties to foreign power. And if this may be done for such an attempt, as the greatest Court parasites & Sycophants consent; what then shall be done for such as attempt to subject the people to Domestic or Intestine Slavery? Shall we refuse to be slaves to one without, and be, & own ourselves contented Slaves to one with in the Kingdom? It is known also that King James the 1. his Authority was refused by his subjects in France, so long as he was a Prisoner to the English there, though he charged them upon their Allegiance, not to fight against the party who had his person Prisoner: They answered, they owned no Prisoner for their King, nor owed no Allegiance to a Prisoner. Hence Princes may learn, though people submit to their Government; yet their resignation of themselves to their obedience is not so full, as that they are obliged to own Allegiance to them, when either Morally or Physically they are incapacitate to exercise Authority over them. They that cannot rule themselves, cannot be owned as Rulers over a people.
2. Neither hath there been any Nation, but what at one time or other hath furnished examples of this Nature. The English History gives account, how some of their Kings have been dealt with by their Subjects, for impieties against the Law & Light of Nature, and encroachments upon the Laws of the Land. Vortigernus was dethroned for incestuously marrying his own Sister. Neither did ever Blasphemies, Adulteries, Murders, Plotting against the lives of Innocents, and taking them away by Poison or Razor, use to escape the animadversion of men, before they were Priest-ridden unto a belief that Princes persons were sacred. And if men had that generosity now, this man that now reigns might expect some such animadversion. And we find also King Edward, & Richard the 2. were deposed, for Usurpation upon Laws & Liberties, in doing whereof the people avowed. They would not suffer the Lawes of England to be changed. Surely the people of England must now be far degenerate, who having such Lawes transmitted to them from their worthy Ancestors, and they themselves being born to the possession of them without a Change, do now suffer them to be so encroached upon, and mancipate themselves, & leave their Children vassals to Popery, & slaves to Tyranny.
3. The Dutch also, who have the best way of guiding of Kings of any that ever had to do with them (witness their having so many of them in Chains, now in Batavia in the East Indies) are not wanting for their part to furnish us with examples. When the King of Spain would not condescend to govern them according to their Ancient Laws, and rule for the good of the people, they declared him to be fallen from the Seigniorie of the Netherlands, and so erected themselves into a flourishing Common-wealth. It will not be amiss to transcribe some of the words of the Edict of the Estates General to this purpose. ‘It is well known,’ (say they) ‘that a Prince & Lord of a Country is Ordained by God to be Sovereign & Head over his subjects, to preserve & defend them from all injuries, force, & violence, and that if the Prince therefore faileth therein, and instead of preserving his subjects, doth outrage & oppress them, depriveth them of their Privileges & Ancient Customs, commandeth them and will be served of them as slaves; they are no longer bound to respect him as their Sovereign Lord, but to esteem of him as a Tyrant, neither are they bound to acknowledge him as their Prince, but may abandon him &c.’ And with this agrees the answer of William Prince of Orange to the Edict of Proscription, published against him by Philip. the II. ‘There is, says he, a Reciprocal Bond betwixt the Lord & his vassal; so that if the Lord break the Oath, which he hath made unto his vassal, the vassal is discharged of the Oath made unto his Lord.’ This was the very Argument of the poor suffering people of Scotland, whereupon they disowned the Authority of Charles the Second.
4. The Monarchy of France is very absolute; yet there also the State hath taken order with their Tyrants; not only have we many instances of resistances made against them, but also of disowning, disabling, & invalidating their pretended Authority & repressing their Tyranny. So was the two Childerici served: So also Sigebertus, Dagabertus, and Lodowick the II. Kings of France.
5. The great body of Germany moves very slowly, and is inured to bear great burdens: yet there also we find Joanna of Austria Mother of Charles the 5. was put to perpetual imprisonment: which example is adduced by the Earl of Morton, in his discourse to the Queen of England (whereof I rehearsed a part before) vindicating the deposing & disowning Queen Mary of Scotland. ‘If,’ saith he, ‘we compare her with Joanna of Austria—what did that poor wretch commit, but that she could not want a little lustful pleasure, as a remedy necessary for her age? And yet poor Creature, she suffered that punishment, of which our Dame convicted of most grievous Crimes now complains—Buchan. Rer. Scotic. l. b. 20. pag. 748. The Duke of Saxon, the Landgrave of Hesse and the Magistrats of Magdeburgh, joined in a war against her Son Charles the 5. and drew up a conclusion by resolution of Lawyers, wherein are these words—‘Neither are we bound to him by any other reason, than if he keep the conditions on which he was created Emperour. By the Laws themselves it is provided, that the Superior Magistrate shall not infringe the right of the inferior, & if the Superior Magistrate exceed the Limits of his power, and command that which is wicked, not only we need not obey him, but if he offer force we may resist him.’ Which Opinion is confirmed by some of the greatest Lawyers, and even some who are Patrons of Tyranny, Grotius none of the greatest enemies of Tyrants, de jure belli lib. 1. cap. 4. n: 11. saith out of Barclaius, & with him, that the King doth loss his power when he seeketh the destruction of his subjects. It was upon the account of the Tyranny of that bloody house of Austria over the Helvetians, that they shook off the rule & Government of that family, and established themselves into a Republic. And at this present time, upon the same accounts, the Tyranny & Treachery of this Imperial Majesty, the Hungarians have essayed to maintain & justify a revolt in disowning the Emperour, now for several years.
6. Poland is an Elective Kingdom, and so cannot but be fertile of many instances of casting off Tyrants. Henricus Valesius, disowned for fleeing, and Sigismuadus for violating his faith to the States, may suffice. Lex Rex Q. 24. Pag. 217.
7. In Denmark, we find Christiernus their King, was for his intolerable Cruelty put from the Kingdom, he and all his Posterity, and after twenty years did end his life in Prison.
8. In Sweden, within the Compass of one Century, the people deposed & banished the two Christierns, and dethroned & imprisoned Ericus, for their oppressions & Tyranny, and for pursuing the destruction of their Subjects.
9. The Portuguese, not many years ago, laid aside and confined Alphonsus their King, for his rapines & Murders.
10. Some Dukes of Venice have been so disowned by these Commonwealths men, that laying aside their Royal honours as private men, they have spent their days in Monasteries. Buchan. de jure regni apud Scotos.
11. If we will revolve the old Roman Histories, we shall find no small store of such examples, both in the time of their Kings, Consuls, & Emperours. Their seventh King Tarquinius Superbus, was removed by the people, for his evident Usurpation: Neque enim ad jus regni quicquam praeter vim habebat, ut qui neque populi jussu, neque Patribus Authoribus, regnavit, sayth Livius i.e., for he had nothing for a right to the Government, but mere force, and got the rule neither by the peoples consent & choice, nor by the Authority of the Senators. So afterwards the Empire was taken from Vitellius, Heliogabulus, Maximinus, Didius Julianus, Lex Rex, ub, supra.
12. But it will be said. Can there be any Instances of the Primitive Christians adduced? Did ever they, while groaning under the most insupportable Tyranny of their Persecuting Emperours, disown their Authority, or suffer for not owning it? To this I answer. 1. What they did or did not of this Kind, is not of moment to inquire: seeing their practice & Example, under such disadvantages, can neither be known exactly, nor what is known of it be accommodated to our case: for (1) they were never forced to give their judgment, neither was the question ever put to them, whether they owned their Authority or not: if they transgressed the Lawes, they were liable to the punishment, they craved no more of them. (2) They confess themselves to be strangers, that had no establishments by Law, and therefore they behooved to be passively subject, when in no capacity to resist; there was no more required of them. Yet Lex Rex Quest. 35. pag. 371. cites Theodoret affirming, Then evil men reigned through the unmanliness of the subjects. (3) Their examples are not imitable in all things: They were against resistance, which we doubt not to prove is Lawful against Tyrannical violence: Many of them refused to flee from the fury of Persecutors: They ran to Martyrdom, when neither cited nor accused; And to obtain the Crown thereof they willingly yielded up their lives & Liberties also to the rage or Tyrants. We cannot be obliged to all these. 2 Yet we find some examples not altogether inapplicable to this purpose. When Barochbach, the pretended King of the Jews, after the destruction of Jerusalem, set himself up as King in Bitter a City in Arabia; the Christians that were in his precincts, refused to own him as King; which was one great cause of his persecuting them. Its true he persecuted them also for other things, as for their not denying Christ; So are we persecuted for many other things, than for our simple disowning of the King: yet this is reckoned as a distinct cause of their suffering, by Mr. [Joseph] Mede on the Revel. Part. 1. Pag. 43. [Edward] Gees Magist. Origin. ch. 10. Sect. 7. Pag. 361. The same last cited Author shewes, that when Albinus, Niger; & Cassius, successively usurped the Empire, having none of them any Legal investure, the Christians declined the recognition of their Claim, and would not own them; and that upon this Tertullian says, Nunquam Albiniani, nec Nigriani, vel Cassiani, inveniri potuerunt Christiani, that is, the Christians could never be found to be Albinians, or Nigrians, or Cassians, meaning they were never owners of these men for Magistrates. And so may we say, Pudet inveniri inter Carolinianos & Jacobinianos hujus temporis. [It is shameful to be found among the Carolingians and Jacobians, or supporters of Charles and James, of the time.] Not unlike is the passage of Ambrose, who in favors of Valentinian, the rightful Governour, contested against Maximus the Tyrant, and not only disowned him but excommunicated him, for which he was threatened with death. And yet it is observable, that when Maximus offered to interpose his power in defense of Ambrose, that he might not be banished by Justina the Empress, he would not accept of the help of Maximus, whose power he disallowed & disowned. Whence I observe, that it is not without a Precedent for a Minister to disown a Tyrant, to refuse favour from him, yea and to excommunicate him, yea even without the concurrence of his fainting brethren; for all which some of our faithful Ministers have been much condemned in our day, especially Mr. Donald Cargil for excommunicating Charles the Second & James Duke of York, as if such a thing had never been done before: Whereas we see what Ambrose did to Maximus. And this same faithful Minister Ambrosius Minister at Milan, in Italy, did also hold out of the Assembly of the Christians Theodosius the Emperour though a most virtuous Prince, for that grievous Scandal committed by him, against the innocent people at Thessalonica, in killing so many of them in a Passionate transport. But 3. since this objection of the Primitive Christians is much insisted on, both against this and the head of defensive Arms: I shall further take notice of several distinctions, that do make the difference between their case & Ours very vast. (1) There is a great difference betwixt a Prince of the common Religion of his Subjects, but distinct from some of them, whom yet he does not seek to entice to his Religion, but gives them liberty & the benefit of the Law as other Subjects: (which was the case of many in these primitive times sometimes.) And a Prince by all means, both foul & fair, pressing to a revolt from the true and to embrace a false Religion. In this case (which is ours with a witness) it must be granted we should be wary, that we neither engage with him, nor own Allegiance to him, when he would withdraw us from our Allegiance to God. (2) There is a great difference betwixt a Prince, persecuting the true Religion, which only a few of his subjects here & there did profess, who in regard of their Paucity were never in capacity to be looked upon as the body of the people, impowering him as their public Servant: (which was their case) And a Prince persecuting that Religion, which was professed by the body of the Nation, when they set him up. In this Latter case, men of great sense have denied he should be owned for a Prince, because then he is stated against the Common good. This was our case under the former King, and yet under this, though all Professors be not now persecuted, the public Religion & Ancient Reformation is persecuted in a few, whom he intends to destroy, and in their destruction to bury it. (3) There is a difference, betwixt a Prince Persecuting Religion publicly owned & received of his subjects, yet never approved nor confirmed by Law (as it was not in the primitive times) And a Prince persecuting Religion ratified & established by the Laws of the Land, which is our case. It will seem clear to every soul, not benighted with Court darkness, that he then de facto and ipso jure falleth from his right in this case, because now he is not only stated against the common good, but against the very Laws by which the Subjects must be ruled. Then he ruleth not as a Prince, to whom the Law giveth his Measures & Bounds, but rageth as a Tiger & Tyrant, and ought to be carried towards as such. (4) There is a difference, betwixt a Prince suppressing that Religion established by Law, which he never professed, nor never gave his consent to these Laws (as might be the case of some of the Arian Emperours) though it be unlawful for any people to set up any Mortal over them, who is not in this case bound to the good behaviour; And a Prince, opposing, & oppressing that Religion, which himself hath professed and is ratified by Laws with his own consent: which was our case under the former King, who did give the most solemn Ratification of them that ever was given, but afterwards most perfidiously retracted it. As also this Apostate Papist, did sometime profess himself Protestant, and consented to the Laws establishing it, and the Penal Statutes against Papists, though now he is going about to raze all, and ruin that alone valuable Treasure of our Nation, Religion. (5) There is a difference, betwixt a Prince consenting to Laws establishing Religion which he now persecuteth (which might have been the case of Iulian the Apostate) And a Prince who not only consented to these Laws, but who did upon these very terms & no other get & receive his Crown & Scepter, that he should preserve the Religion as Reformed, and protect as a Father the Professors thereof, and maintain the Laws establishing it, which yet he perfidiously & perniciously, being once settled in the Government, Breaks, Casts, Cassats [makes void], & Overturns (which was done by Charles) Or, And a Prince who will neither be bounded by the Laws he consented to, nor be bound to the Observation of any Laws whatsoever; but challenges it as his prerogative Royal, to be absolute above all Laws, and denying all Security upon terms, is free to destroy Religion & Liberty, and all the valuable Interests of the Nation, when he pleases. This is James his Character (6) There is a difference, betwixt a Prince breaking the main & only Article of his Covenant, in a fit of fury & rage, being transported upon some Mistakes (which was the case of Theodosius the Emperour) And a Prince not only violating this upon deliberation, but plainly Declaring, that neither Oath nor Declaration can or will bind him, but these being made void, he will destroy without restraint all these Covenanted privileges (This was the case of Charles) Or, And a Prince, who, as he never will come under the bond of a Covenant with his people, So though he make never so many fair promises with the greatest Solemnities, maintains a principle that he will keep no promises, but when & with whom he pleases, and can get a Dispensation to break all when he likes. (This is James his Ingenuity.) Sure in this case, Such as are so Characterized Declare themselves so far from being Princes, that they profess before the world, they are no more men to be conversed with: for if neither their words, Writs, vows, promises, Oaths, Declarations, nor Protestations, can bind them; what Society can be had with them? Are they not to be looked upon & carried towards as Common Enemies of Morality, Religion, Righteousness, Liberty, Humanity, yea even of Mankind it self? Now then, let the world be Judge, if the people of Scotland can be judged in Conscience, Reason, Prudence, Policy, or any imaginable way, bound to own their Authority, being so Stated, and by the Act Rescissory all human ground rescinded, that ever it shall be otherwise. let them go seek other slaves where they can find them, for we will not sell our selves & posterity to Tyrants as slaves, nor give up our Religion and the exercise of it to the Mouldings of the Court.
II. In the Second place: It being clear from these forementioned Instances, that Tyrants & Usurpers have been disowned; And it being also as clear as light can make anything, from the foregoing Account of their Government, and all the Characters of Truculency Treachery, & Tyranny conspicuously relucent therein, that these two Gentlemen whose Authority we are pressed to own, were Tyrants & Usurpers: It remains therefore to prove from all dictates of Reason about Government, that their pretended Authority could not nor cannot be owned. For the Argument runs thus; The Authority of Tyrants & Usurpers cannot be owned: But the Authority of Charles & James was & is the Authority of Tyrants & Usurpers: Ergo their Authority cannot be owned. Now its the Major of this Syllogism that I under take to prove. The Minor being so clear from their History, that to prove it by witnesses were actum agere [to resume a cause already determined].
1. All Authority to be owned of men must be of God, and ordained of God: for so the Apostle teacheth Expressly Rom. 13. 1. &c. Which is the alone formal reason of our Subjection to them, and that which makes it a damnable sin to resist them, because it is a resisting the Ordinance of God. The Lord owns Himself to be the Author of Magistrates, Prov. 8. 15. By me Kings reign and Princes decree Justice. As He is the Author of man and hath made him a sociable Creature so He is the Author of the Order of human Society which is necessary for the Preservation of Mankind He being the God of Order & not of Confusion. And this must hold not only of the Supreme Authority, but of subordinate Magistrates also; for they must be included in the higher Powers to whom we must be subject Rom. 13. And they that resist them resist God’s Ordinance too. Their judgment is God’s, as well as the judgment of the Supreme Magistrate Deut. 1. 17. 2 Chron. 19. 6, 8. They are called Gods among whom the Lord judgeth, Psal. 82. 1. He speaketh not there of a Congregation of Kings. We are to be subject to them for the Lord’s sake, as well as to the Supreme Magistrate 1. Pet. 2. 13. Therefore all Magistrates superior & Inferior are ordained of God in the respective Places. Its true, Peter calls every degree of Magistracy, an Ordinance of man, not that he denies it to be an Ordinance of God (for so he would contradict Paul Rom. 13.) but terms it so Emphatically, to commend the worth of obedience to Magistrates though but men, when we do it for the Lord’s sake: Not effectively as an invention of men, but subjectively because exercised by men, & created & invested by human suffrages considered as men in Society, and objectively for the good of man, and for the external Peace & safety of man thereby differenced from the Ministry, an Ordinance of Christ, for the spiritual good of men’s souls. Hence, Those Rulers that are not of God nor ordained of God, cannot be owned without sin: But Tyrants & Usurpers are the Rulers, that are not of God nor ordained of God, but are set up and not by Him &c. Hos. 8. 1–4. Therefore they cannot be owned without sin. I refer it to any man of conscience & Reason to judge, if these Scriptures proving Magistracy to be the Ordinance of God, for which alone it is to be owned, can be applied to Tyrants & Usurpers: How will that Rom, 13. read of Tyrants? let every soul be subject to Tyrants, for they are ordained of God as His Ministers of Justice &c. and are a terror to evil works and a praise to the good, would not every man nauseate that as not the Doctrine of God? Again, how would that sound Prov. 8. By me Tyrants reign & Usurpers decree injustice? harsh to Christian ears. Can they be said to be Gods among whom the Lord judgeth? If they be, they must be such as the witch of Endor saw, Gods coming out of the earth, when she raised the Devil; in a very Catichrestical [strained or misuse of a word] meaning, as the Devil is called the God of this world. And indeed they have no more power, nor otherwise to be owned, than he hath: for this is a Truth, Tyranny is a work of Satan & not from God; because sin either habitual or actual is not from God; Tyranny is sin in habit & act: Ergo—The Magistrate as Magistrate is good in nature & end, being the Minister of God for good, A Tyrant as a Tyrant is quite contrary. Lex Rex saith well ‘A power Ethical, Politick, or Moral, to oppress, is not from God, and is not a power but a Licentious deviation of a power, and no more from God but from sinful Nature & the old Serpent, than a license to sin.’ Quest. 9. Pag. 59. Hence sin, a License to sin, a Licentious sinning, cannot be from God: But Tyranny, Usurpation, absolute power encroaching upon all Liberties, Laws, Divine & human, is sin, a License to sin, a Licentious sinning. Ergo—But to make this clear, and to obviate what may be said against this: let it be Considered how the powers that be are of God & ordained of God. Things are said to be of God and ordained of God two ways; by His purpose & providence, and by His Word & Warrant. Things may be of God, either of His Hand working or bringing them about ordaining & ordering them to be to His Glory; either by a holy overruling Providence, as Samson’s desire of a wife was of God Iudg. 14. 4. and Amaziah’s insolent & foolish rejection of Joash his Peaceable overture 2 Chron. 25. 20. Or by a powerful effective providence, So Rom. 11. 36. Of Him & through Him are all things 1 Cor. 8. 6. One God of whom are all things. Or things be of God of His Word warranting & Authorizing. So we are commanded to try the spirits whether they be of God (1 John. 4. 1.) So in this sense, sin, temptation, lust, Corruptions of the world are not of God Jam. 1. 13. 1 John. 2. 16. Again, things are ordained of God, either by the order of His Counsel or Providential will, either effectively by way of Production or Direction, or Permissively by way of non-impedition: Or they are ordained by the order of His Word & Preceptive will. The former is God’s Rule, the latter is ours: The former is always accomplished, the latter is often contradicted: The former orders all actions even sinful, the latter only that which is good & acceptable in the sight of God. By the former Israel rejected Samuel, by the latter they should have continued Samuel’s Government, and not sought a King: By the former, Athaliah usurped the Government, by the latter, she should have yielded obedience & resigned the Government to the posterity of Ahaziah: By the former all have a physical subordination to God as Creatures, subject to His All-disposing will; by the latter, Those whom He approves have a moral subordination to God, as obedient subjects to His Commanding will. Now Magistrates are of God and ordained by Him both these ways, Tyrants but one of them. I say, Magistrates, the higher Powers, to whom we owe & must own subjection are of God both these ways, both by His purpose & Providence, and that not merely eventual but effective & executive of His Word, disposing both of the Title & Right, & Possession of the power, to them whom He approves, and bringing the People under a conscientious subjection, And by His Word & warrant. So Adonijah the Usurper (though he had the pretense of Hereditary right, and also possession by Providence) was forced to own King Solomon in these terms upon which only a Magistrate may be owned: The Kingdome, says he, was mine, and all Israel set their faces on me that I should reign, howbeit the Kingdom is turned about and become my brothers for it was his from the Lord, 1 King. 2. 15. He had both Providence turning about the Kingdom to him, and also the Warrant of the Lord’s Approbative & preceptive will. But Tyrants & Usurpers are only of God and ordained of God, by His overruling purpose & permissive Providence, either for performing His holy purpose towards themselves; as Rehoboams professing he would be a Tyrant, and refusing the Lawful desires of the people was of God 2 Chron. 10. 15. Or for a judgment & vengeance upon them that are subject to them, Zech. 11: 6: whereby they get a power in their hand, which is the Rod of the Lord’s Indignation, and a Charge & Commission against a Hypocritical Nation Isa. 10. 5. 6. This is all the power they have from God, who gives Jacob to the spoil & Israel to the Robbers, when they sin against Him Isa. 42. 24. This doth not give these Robbers any right, no more than they whose Tabernacle prosper, into whose hand God bringeth abundantly Job. 12. 6. Thus all Robbers, and the great Legal Robbers, Tyrants, and their Authorized Murderers, may be of God, to wit, by His Providence. Hence those that are not ordained of God’s preceptive will, but merely by His Providential will, their Authority is not to be owned: But Tyrants & Usurpers are not ordained of God’s Preceptive, but merely by His Providential will. The Minor needs no proof: yet will be cleared by many following Arguments. The Major will be afterwards more demonstrated. Here I shall only say, They that have no other ordination of God impowering them to be Rulers, than the devil hath, must not be owned: But they that have no other than the ordination of Providence, have no other ordination of God empowering them to be Rulers than the devil hath: Ergo they that have no other than the ordination of Providence must not be owned.
2. But let us next consider, what is comprehended in the Ordination of that Authority which is to be owned as of God: And it may be demonstrated there are two things in it, without which no Authority can be owned as of God, viz. Institution & Constitution: So as to give him, whom we must own as God’s Minister, Authority both in the Abstract & Concrete, that is, that he should have Magistracy by God’s Ordination, and be a Magistrate by & according to the will of God. All acknowledge that Magistracy hath God’s Institution, for the Powers that be are ordained of God: which contains not only the Appointment of it, but the qualification & form of it. That Government is appointed by Divine Precept all agree, but whether the Precept be Moral Natural, or Moral Positive, Whether it was appointed in the State of Innocency, or since disorder came in the world, Whether it be Primario or Secundario, from the Law of nature is not agreed upon, It may possibly be all these ways; Government in the General may be from the Law and light of Nature appointed in Innocency, because all its relative duties are enjoined in the fifth Command, and all Nations Naturally have an esteem of it, Without which there could be no order, distinction, or Communion in human Societies, But the Specification or Individuation may be by a Postnate [subsequent] Positive & Secondary Law, yet Natural too, for though there be no reason in Nature why any man should be King & Lord over another, being in some sense all Naturally free but as they yield themselves under Jurisdiction: The exalting of David over Israel is not ascribed to Nature, but to an act of divine bounty which took him from following the Ewes and made him feeder of the People of Israel, Psal. 78. 70, 71: yet Nature teacheth that Israel and other People should have a Government, and that this should be subjected to. Next, not only is it appointed to be, but qualified by Institution, and the Office is defined, the End prescribed, and the measures & Boundaries thereof are limited, as we shall hear. Again the forms of it, though Politically they are not stinted, that People should have such a form & not another: yet Morally, at least Negatively, whatever be the form, it is limited to the Rules of equity & justice, and must be none other than what hath the Lord’s Mould & Sanction. But there is no Institution any of these ways for Tyranny. Hence, that Power that hath no Institution from God, cannot be owned as His ordinance: But the Power of Tyrants is that Power, being contrary in every respect to God’s Institution, and a mere deviation from it, & eversion of it. Ergo—To the Minor it may be replied; Though the Power which Tyrants may exercise & Usurpers assume, may be in Concrete contrary to God’s Institution, and so not to be owned: yet in abstracto, it may be acknowledged of God. Its but the abuse of the Power, and that does not take away the use. We may own the Power, though we do not own the abuse of it. I Ans[wer]. 1. I acknowledge the distinction as to Magistrates is very pertinent: for it is well said by the Congregation in a Letter to the Nobility, Knox Hist. of Scot. lib. 2. ‘That there is a great difference betwixt the Authority which is God’s ordinance, and the persons of these who are placed in Authority; the Authority & ordinance of God can never do wrong, for it commandeth that vice be punished & virtue maintained;’ But the Corrupt Person placed in this Authority may offend—Its certain higher Powers are not to be resisted but some persons in Power may be resisted. The Powers are ordained of God, but King’s commanding unjust things are not ordained of God to do such things. But to apply this to Tyrants, I do not understand: Magistrates in some Acts may be guilty of Tyranny, and yet retain the Power of Magistracy; but Tyrants cannot be capable of Magistracy, nor any one of the Scripture Characters of Righteous Rulers. They cannot retain that which they have forfeited, and which they have overturned; And Usurpers cannot retain that which they never had. They may act & enact some things materially just, but they are not formally such as can make them Magistrates, no more than some unjust actions can make a Magistrate a Tyrant. A Murderer, saving the life of one & killing another, does not make him no Murderer: Once a Murderer ay a Murderer, once a Robber ay a Robber, till he restore what he hath robbed: So once a Tyrant ay a Tyrant, till he make amends for his Tyranny, and that will be hard to do. 2. The Concrete does specificate [specify] the Abstract in actuating it, as a Magistrate, in his exercising Government makes his Power to be Magistracy; a Robber in his robbing, makes his Power to be Robbery; an Usurper in his usurping makes his Power to be Usurpation; So a Tyrant in his Tyrannizing can have no Power but Tyranny. As the Abstract of a Magistrate is nothing but Magistracy, So the Abstract of a Tyrant is nothing but Tyranny. Its frivolous then to distinguish between a Tyrannical power in the Concrete, & Tyranny in the Abstract; the power & the abuse of the power: for he hath no power as a Tyrant, but what is abused. 3. They that objects thus, must either mean, that power in its general Notion is ordained of God, but this particular Power abused by Tyrants, and assumed by Usurpers, is not ordained: Or they must mean, that the very Power of Tyrants & Usurpers is ordained of God, but the way of holding & using it is not of God. If the first be said, they grant all I plead for: for though the Power in general be ordained, yet what is this to Tyrants & Usurpers? would not this Claim be ridiculous for any man to say, God hath ordained Governments to be, therefore I will challenge it? God hath ordained Marriage, therefore any may cohabit together as man & wife, without formal Matrimony? If the Second be alleged, that the Power of these prevailing Dominators is ordained, but not their holding & using of it: This is Non-sense, for how can a Power be ordained and the use of it be unlawful? For, the abuse & use of Tyrannical Power is all one and reciprocal: an Usurper cannot use his Power but by Usurpation. Again is it not plain, that the Abstract & the Concrete, the act or habit, and the subject wherein it is, cannot have a contrary Denomination? if Drunkenness and Theft, Lying or Murder, be of the Devil; then the Drunkard, the Thief, the Liar, & the Murderer, are of the Devil too: So if Tyranny and Usurpation, or the use or abuse of Tyrants & Usurpers, be of the Devil; Then must the Tyrants & Usurpers also be of him: None can say, the one is of the Devil, and the other of God. Wherefore it is altogether impertinent to use such a Distinction, with application to Tyrants or Usurpers, as many do in their pleading for the owning of our Oppressors: for they have no power, but what is the abuse of power.
3. As that Authority which is God’s Ordinance must have His Institution: So it must have His divine Constitution from Himself and by the people. Wherever then there is Authority to be owned of men, there must be these two, Constitution from God and Constitution from the people. For the first, God hath a special Interest in the Constitution of Authority, both Immediately & Mediately. Immediately, He declares such & such forms of Government to be Lawful & Eligible, and does order whom & who and how people shall erect Governours. And so, He confers Royal Graces & Enduements & Gifts for Government on them, as on Joshua & Saul: So they become the Lord’s Anointed, placed & set on the Throne of the Lord, 1 Chron. 29. 23. and honoured with Majesty as His deputies & vicegerents, having their Crown set on by God. Psal. 21. 3. But in regard now He doth not by any special Revelation determine, who shall be the Governours in this or that place; Therefore He makes this Constitution by mediation of men; giving them Rules how they shall proceed in setting them up. And seeing by the Law of Nature He hath enjoined Government to be, but hath ordered no particular in it with application to singulars, He hath committed it to the positive transaction of men, to be disposed according to certain General Rules of Justice. And it must needs be so, for 1. without this Constitution, either all or none would be Magistrates: if He hath ordained Civil Power to be, and taken no order in whom it shall be, or how it shall be conveyed, any might pretend to it; and yet none would have a right to it, more than another. If then He hath affixed it to a peculiar having & holding, by virtue whereof this man is instated & entitled to the office, and not that man, there must be a Law for Constituting him in Authority, which will discover in whom it is. 2. If it were not so, then a resisting of a particular Magistrate would not be a resisting of the ordinance of God, if a particular Magistrate were not Constitute of God, as well as Magistracy is Institute of God: for still it would be undetermined, who were the Power; and so it would be left as free & Lawful for the resister to take the place, as for the resisted to hold it; the institution would be satisfied if any possessed it: therefore there must be Constitution to determine it. 3. No Common Law of Nature can be put into practice, without particular Constitution regulating it. That Wives & Children own their superior relations, is the Law of Nature; but there must be such a relation first fixed by human transaction, before they can own them; there must be Marriage Authorized of God, there must be Children begotten, and then the Divine Ordination of these relative duties take place. So the Judges of Israel for 450 years were given of God, Act. 13. 20. not all by an immediate express designation, but a mediate Call from God by men, as Jephthah Judg. 11. 6. 11. Inferior judges also are Magistrates appointed by God, yet they have their Deputation from men. Our Saviour speaks of all Magistrates, when he applies that of the 82. Psalm to them, I said ye are Gods; and shews how they were Gods, because unto them the Word of God came, John. 10. 35. that is, by His Word & Warrant He Authorized them, not by immediate designation in reference to the most of them, but the Word of God comes to them, or His Constitution is past upon them, who are advanced by men according to His Word. When men therefore do act according to the Divine Rule, in the Moulding & Erecting of Government & Governours, there the Constitution is of God, though it be not immediate. And where this is not observed, whatever power (so named or pretended) there may be, or what-soever persons there be that take upon them to be the power, and are not thereto appointed or therein instated, and do exercise such a power as God hath not legitimated, they are not a power ordained of God. Hence, whatsoever power hath no Constitution from God, either Immediate or Mediate, cannot be owned: But the Authority of Tyrants & Usurpers, is a power that hath no Constitution from God, either Immediate or Mediate: Ergo it cannot be owned. The Major is cleared above. The Minor is also undeniable: For, either they must pretend to an Immediate Constitution by revelation, that James Duke of York, a vassal of Antichrist, had by all his plots & pranks Merited the Crown of Britain, and therefore must be Constitute King: And this I hope they will not pretend to, except the Pope hath gotten such a Revelation from Pluto’s Oracle: Or they must have recourse to the Mediate Constitution by men: And if so; Then, either this Mediate Constitution of God is left undetermined, indefinitely & absolutely giving way to any that will assume what power they please & can: And then, I confess, Tyrants may have a Constitution; but this confusion cannot be of God: Or else, it is fixed by a Rule, regulating the succession or Constitution of the Governours, and obliging the people to own the Government so constituted, with exclusion & disallowance of any other. And so, if in that Constitution there be a Substantial Deviation from the Rule, as when incompetent or unallowed persons be the advancers of themselves, or others, into that place by illegal & sinistrous means, in as much as in that case there is the Divine disapprobation, it may be said there is no Ordinance of God, but a Contradiction & Contraordination to God’s Order. Gee’s Magist. Origin. chap. 5. Sect. 4. subject 3. pag. 135. This will shake off this of ours, and all other Tyrants & Usurpers, that come into the Government, & hold it not according to God’s Rule.
4. It is clear also in the second place, that the Authority which we can own out of conscience, must have Constitution by the people. The special way by which men should be called into the place of Sovereign power, may perhaps not be found so expressly defined in Scripture, as men’s Call to the other Ordinance of the Ministry is; yet in this two things are essentially necessary to the Constitution of a Magistrate, The peoples consent & compact either formal or virtual. And without these we can own conscientious subjection & Allegiance to no man living. That the first is necessary will be evident, from the Law of Nature & Nations, and from Scripture. First the light & Law of Nature dictates, that the Right & Interest of Constituting Magistrates is in the Elective vote or suffrage of the people. This will Appear. 1. If we consider, The Original of Government among men, especially after they were so multiplied, that there was a necessity of a reduction into diverse Communities; which, whatever was before the flood, yet after it, behooved to be by a Coalition with consent under an Elective Government. The Scripture makes it more than probable, that the first partition of Common-wealths was in Peleg’s days, in whose time the earth was Divided Gen. 10. 25. occasioned by the Confusion of Languages at Babel which did dissolve their union and scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth Gen. 11. 9. Then was it that we may conceive, as Buchanan says de Jure Regni apud Scot. ‘the time was, when men dwelt in cottages & caves, and as strangers did wander to & fro without Laws, and such as could converse together of the same language assembled together as their humors did lead them, or as some common Utility did allure them. A certain instinct of Nature did oblige them to desire Converse & Society.’ But this confusion of Languages, and Communion of Language, in several divided Parcels, could not incorporate these several Parties into Communities; that behooved to be the effect of some other cause: & what should that be, but the joint will, consent & agreement of the severally Languaged? It could not be by Consanguinity; for there is no direction from Nature for a confinement of that into such & such degrees, to make out the bounds of a Common-wealth, or Possibility of knowing all with in such degrees; besides all within these degrees might not be of the same Language. Now the Scripture says, they were divided everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their Nations Gen. 10. 5. Next it could not be by Cohabitation: for how that must go to be the boundaries of a Common-wealth, inclusively or exclusively, is not defined by nature, nor can it be otherwise determined than by human choice. Then, it could not be by men’s belonging to such a Sovereign: for after that Division & Confusion, they could not all be under one Sovereign, nor under the same that they were subject to before; and a Sovereign cannot be before the aggregation of the Subjects whereof he is head, they must first be a Common-wealth before they can belong to it. Again it cannot be founded upon the Right of fatherhood: for in that scattering, such a Right could not be uninterruptedly preserved: And then Noah should also have been the Universal Magistrate, which he could not be in these multiplied secessions. And further if it be refounded [founded again] on the Right of fatherhood; either every Company had one Common Father over all, or every Father made a Common-wealth of his own Children: The Latter cannot be said, for that would multiply Common-wealths in infinitum: Neither can the first be said, for if they had one Common Father, either this behooved to be the Natural Father of all the Company, which none can think was so happily ordered by Babel’s confusion: Or else the eldest in age, and so he might be incapable for Government, and the Law of Nature does not direct that the Government should always be astricted [legally restricted] to the eldest of the Community: Or else finally he behooved to be their Political Father, by consent. For before this consent, they were unengaged as to common order of Government; none of the Community having any legal Claim to Sovereignty more than the rest. When therefore they were forced to conclude upon Association for their Mutual Preservation, they must be thought to act rationally, and not to make their condition worse but rather better by that conclusion, and, if they found it worse, to resume their radical Right which they had conferred upon men, subject to Law not to Tyrannize over them: And in this case, certainly they had the power of choosing what Kind of Government suited most to their advantage, and would best preserve their Liberties, and how far this should be extended, and who should be assumed into this Combination; still with a reservation of the Privilege to their own safety, if their Associates should not do their duty: And so they might also reserve to themselves a Liberty, to alter the form when they found it productive of more prejudice than advantage, and never to leave their condition remediless; And to pitch upon this way of succession and not another, the way of free election of every successor, or of definite election limited to one line, or to the nearest in line, And e contra with a reserve still of their primeval Privileges, to secure themselves from the inconveniences of that determination, or to change it; And to make choice of such a family & line and not another, and whether the eldest always of that family or the fittest is to be chosen: And however it be, yet still by the peoples consent: And in all this to have respect to some good, great, & Necessary Ends, which if they should be disappointed of, and find these means useless or destructive to, they were to be loosed from their obligation to use or to own them. See Jus populi vindicat. ch. 5. pag. 80. &c. 2. If we consider how Nature determines the peoples Interest in the constitution of Governours: whence comes it that this man and not that man, this race & family and not that, is invested with that Title? It will be found there is no Title on earth now to the Crowns to families, to persons, but the peoples suffrage: for the Institution of Magistracy in general does, not make James Stewart a King, no more than John Chamberlain: Neither do qualifications make one, otherwise there might be many better than is this day extant, for there are many men better qualified: And there is no Prophetical or immediate Callings to Kingdoms now: And as for Conquest without consent, and having no more for a Title, it is no better than Royal Latrociny. It is certain God would not Command us to obey Kings, and leave us in the Dark that we should not know him that hath a real call to it: And if he have not the people’s Call, where shall we find another? It remains therefore they must have it from the people, who have it to give Radically & virtually; having a power to preserve themselves, and to put it in the hands of one or more Rulers, that they may preserve themselves by them. All men are born alike as to Civil power (no man being born with a Crown on his head) and yet men united in Society may give it to this man & not to that man, therefore they must have it virtually; for they cannot give what they have not. And as Cities have power to choose their Magistrates, so many Cities have power to create an Universal Ruler over them all. The people also have power to Limit the Magistrate’s power, with conditions; so that the present Ruler shall not have so much prerogative as his predecessor, as Royalists cannot deny, therefore they must have given that power which they can Limit See Lex Rex Quest. 4. pag. 10. &c. Secondly the Scripture also gives Light in this particular. 1. In giving directions & Rules about their Orderly calling their Governours; Impowering them, to take wise men, & understanding, & known among their tribes, to be made Rulers Deut. 1. 13. To make Judges & Officers in all their gates Deut. 16. 18. To set one among their brethren King over them and not a stranger Deut. 17. 15. To what purpose are these Rules given them, if they had no interest to choose their Magistrates? Would God command them to set a King over them, if they had not power to do it? And to set such a man over them and not such an one, if they had no influence in making one at all? And accordingly that wise Statist says very well 2 Sam. 16. 18. Hushai to Absalom, Nay, but whom the Lord & this people and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide. Which will also hold in the Negative, whom the Lord & the people and all the men of the Kingdom do not choose, his we will not be, nor with him will we abide. 2. The Scripture expressly attributeth the making of Kings to the people. All the people of Juda took Azariah and made him King, instead of his Father Amaziah, whom they had executed 2 King. 14. 21. They came with a perfect heart to make David King in Hebron 1 Chron. 12. 38. So they made Joash King 2 Chron. 23. 11. 3. Even these that were particularly designed of God & chosen to be Rulers, yet were not formally invested with power, before the people conferred it upon them. Gideon was called of God to it, but was not Judge till the people said, Rule thou over us, both thou & thy Son, giving him an hereditary right for his Children, Judg. 8. 12. Saal was appointed to be King, and therefore Samuel honoured him, because he was marked out of God to be King, 1 Sam. 9. 24. and anointed him with oil 1 Sam. 10. 1. after which he was gifted & qualified for Government, God gave him another heart vers. 9. yet all this did not make him King, till the people met for his inauguration vers. 17. &c. and Crowned him & made him King in Gilgal 1 Sam. 11. ult. David was anointed by Samuel, and yet was a persecuted fugitive for several years, and never acknowledged formally King, till the men of Judah came & anointed him 2 Sam. 2. 4. for if he had been King before, then there were two Kings in Israel at one time, and David failed of his Royal duty in not punishing the Murderer Saul; whereas himself says, he would not touch the Lord’s anointed. Therefore the people made all these Kings, and that by choice & consent, without which they were no Kings. Hence I argue, If the consent & choice of the people be so essentially necessary to the making of Kings; then they who set up themselves against the consent of the body of the Land, and without the choice of any, must be Usurpers, not to be acknowledged for Lawful Kings: But the former is true as is proven above: Ergo—Now Plain it is that this Duke set up himself against the consent of the body, being excluded from the Government by the Representatives of England, and generally hated of all; who disdaining to wait upon the formal choice of any, but after he had paved his passage to the Throne upon his Brothers blood, did usurp the Title without all Law.
5. The second thing necessary for the Legal Constitution of a King by the people, is their Compact with him: which must either be Express or Tacit, Explicit or Implicit. Two things are here to be proven, that will furnish an Argument for disowning both the Brothers. First, That there must be a Conditional reciprocally obliging Covenant between the Sovereign and the Subjects, without which there is no such relation to be owned. Secondly That when this compact is broken in all or its chiefest conditions by the Sovereign, the peoples obligation ceases. The first. I shall set down, in the words of a famous Author, our Renowned Country man Buchanan in his Dialogue de Jure Regni apud Scotos. Mutua igitur Regi cum Civibus est pactio &c. There is then (or there ought to be) a Mutual compact between the King and his subjects &c. That this is indispensably necessary & essential to make up the Relation of Sovereign & Subjects, may be proved both from the Light of Nature, & Revelation. First it may appear from the Light of Natural reason. 1. From the Rise of Government, and the Interest people have in erecting it by consent & choice (at is shewed above) If a King cannot be without the peoples making, then all the power he hath must either be by compact or gift: If by compact, then we have what we proposed: And if by gift, then if abused they may recall it or if they cannot recover it, yet they may & ought to hold their hand, and give him no more that they may retain, that is no more honour or respect, which is in the honourer before the honoured get it. Can it be imagined, that a people acting rationally would give a power absolutely without restrictions to destroy all their own rights? Could they suppose this boundless & Lawless Creature, left at Liberty to Tyrannize, would be a fit mean to procure the ends of Government? for this were to set up a rampant Tyrant to rule as he listeth [wished], which would make their condition a great deal worse than if they had no Ruler at all, for then they might have more Liberty to see to their safety. See Jus populi ch. 6. pag. 96. 97. 2. This will be clear from the nature of that Authority, which only a Sovereign can have over his Subjects; which whatever be the Nature of it, it cannot be absolute, that is against Scripture, Nature, & Common sense, as shall be proven at more length. That is to set up a Tyrant, one who is free from all conditions, a roaring Lyon & a ranging Bear to destroy all if he pleases. It must be granted by all, that the Sovereign Authority is only fiduciary, entrusted by God & the people with a great Charge: A great Pledge is impawned & committed to the Care & Custody of the Magistrate, which he must take special care of, and not abuse; or waste, or alienate or sell (for in that case Royalists themselves grant he may be deposed) He is by Office a Patron of the Subjects Liberties, and Keeper of the Law both of God & Man, the Keeper of both Tables. Sure he hath no power over the Lawes of God but a Ministerial power, he may not stop & disable them as he pleases; Of the same nature is it, over all other Parts of his Charge. He is rather a Tutor, than an Inheritor & proprietor of the Common-wealth, and may not do with his pupil’s interest what he pleases. In a word the Nature & whole significancy of his power lies in this, that he is the Nation’s public Servant, both Objectively in that he is only for the good of the people, and Representatively in that the people hath impawned in his hand all their power to do Royal Service. The Scripture teaches this, in giving him the Titles of Service, as Watchman &c. allowing him Royal wages for his Royal work Rom. 13. he is God’s Minister attending continually on this thing, There is his work, for this cause pay you tribute also, There is his wages & maintenance. He is called so in that transaction with Rehoboam; The old men advised him to be a Servant unto the People, then they should be his Servants 1 King. 12. 7. There was a conditional bargain proposed: As to be a Servant, or Tutor, or Guardian upon Trust, always implies Conditions & Accountableness to them that entrust them. 3. It must needs be so otherwise great absurdities would follow. Here would be a voluntary contracted Relation, obliging as to relative duties, to a man that owed none correlative to us, and yet one whom we set over us. It were strange, if there were no Condition here; and no other voluntarily suscepted  Relations can be without this, as between Man & Wife, Master & Servant &c. This would give him the disposal of us & Ours, as if both we and what we have were his own, as a man’s goods are, against which he does not sin whatever he do with them. So this would make a King that could not sin against us; being no ways obliged to us, for he can no otherwise be obliged to us but upon Covenant conditions; he may be obliged & bound in duty to God otherwise, but he cannot be bound to us otherwise: And if he be not bound then he may do what he will, he can do no wrong to us to whom he is no ways bound. This also is point blank against the Law of God, which is the Second way to prove it, by the Light of Revelation or Scripture. 1. In the very directions about making & setting up of Kings, the Lord shews what conditions shall be required of them Deut. 17. 15. &c. and in all directions for obeying them, the qualifications they should have are rehearsed as Rom. 13. 3, 4. Therefore none are to be set up but on these conditions, and none are to be obeyed but such as have these qualifications. 2. In His promises of the succession of Kings, He secures their continuation only Conditionally, to establish the Kingdom if they be constant to do His Commandments & Judgments 1 Chron. 28. 7. There shall not fail a man to sit upon the Throne yet so that they take heed to their way to walk in God’s Law, as David did 2 Chron. 6. 16. Now He was not otherwise to perform these promises, but by the action & suffrage of the people setting him up, (which He had appointed to be the way of calling Kings to Thrones) if therefore the Lord’s promise be conditional, the peoples actions also behooved to be suspended upon the same conditions. 3. We have many express Covenants, between Rulers & Subjects in Scripture. Jephthah was fetched from the Land of Tob, and made the head of the Gileadites by an explicit mutual stipulation, wherein the Lord was invocated as a Witness, Judg. 11. 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. So all the Elders of Israel came to make David King, and King David made a League with them in Hebron before the Lord, and then they anointed him over Israel 2 Sam. 5. 3. he made there a Covenant with them before the Lord 1 Chron. 11, 3. He was no King before this Covenant, and so it was a Pactional Oath between him & the Kingdom, upon terms according to the Law Deut. 17. he was only a King in fieri [in the making]; one who was to be King, but now actually inaugurate a Covenanted King upon terms that satisfied them. Its true they came to recognosce [recognize] his Right from the Lord; But so did they recognosce Rehoboam’s Right, and came to Shechem to make him King 1 King. 12. 1. and yet when he would not enter in Covenant terms with them, to satisfy their just demands, the people answered the King, saying, what portion have we in David, neither have we inheritance in the Son of Jesse, to your tents O Israel vers. 16. They refused to acknowledge such an Usurper, and we find no Prophets ever condemning them for it. So when Jehoash or Joash was Crowned, Jehoiada made a Covenant between the Lord and the King & the people, that they should be the Lord’s people, between the King also and the people 2 King. 11. 17. 2 Chron. 23. 11, 16. From all these Reasons & Scriptures, It is clear there must be a Mutual Compact. between the Subjects and every Sovereign they own subjection to, which if he refuse, and usurp the Sword, they are under an Anterior obligation to substract [substract] their Allegiance, and to make use of their Sword, if they be in capacity, to pull it out of his hands and use it against him. And of this we are put in mind by the Motto of our old Coronation pieces, which have these Words about the Sword. pro me, si mereor in me, that is, for me but if I deserve against me: And surely to him that hath it now in his hands, it may be said, tu meruisti & adhuc meres [you deserve & still you grieve]. We see then, the Allegiance that this Usurper alleges is his due, wants a bottom, to wit a compact with the people. Whence I argue, If there must of necessity be a compact between the King & the people when, he is advanced to the Government; then he that advances himself, without & against this compact, is an Usurper not to be owned: But the former is true: Ergo he that advances himself without & against this compact, is an Usurper not to be owned. And who more Notoriously deserving such a signature, than James the 7/2 who hath made horns of his own strength, or the Pope’s Bulls, to push his Brother out and himself in to the Throne, upon no terms at all, or any security for Religion & Liberty. One Objection is to be removed here: Can the Customs of the Jews be binding to all Nations? The Kings of Judah made such Covenants, shall therefore all Kings do so? Ans. why not this Custom, as well as Crowing, which they used likewise? These Rules are not Typical or Ceremonial, nor only so Judicial as to be peculiarly Judaical, but are matters of moral equity, bearing a standing reason founded upon that Law Deut. 17. 15. &c. Limiting the Prince to stand to conditions. If we cast at Divine Laws for Rules of Government, where will we find better Laws? It is recorded of the first of the British Kings who was Christian, that writing to Eleutherius Bishop of Rome (before Antichrist took that seat) for the Roman Laws, he received this Answer; ‘By Divine Clemency ye have received the Law & faith of Christ, you have the Old & New Testaments, out of them in God’s Name by Counsel of your State take Laws, & Govern your Kingdom.’ And of another, that he began his Laws thus, God spake all these words &c. And so repeated the Laws of God. The Second thing I undertook to prove, is that Assertion of Buchanan ubi supra, de Jure Regni. Qui prior a Conventis recidit &c. ‘There being a paction between the King & Subjects, he who first recedes from what is Covenanted, and doth Counteract what he hath Covenanted, he looses the contract; and the bond being loosed which did hold fast the King with the people, whatever right did belong to him by virtue of that compact, he looses it, and the people are as free as before the stipulation.’ Which is also asserted by the Author of Jus populi ch. 6. pag. 112. ‘It is no less clear, that when the Sovereign doth not perform the principal main & most necessary conditions, condescended & agreed upon, de jure he falleth from his Sovereignty: and pag. 117. when the Prince doth violate his compact, as to all its conditions, or as to its chief main & most necessary condition, the subjects are de jure free from subjection to him, and at Liberty to make choice of another.’ This is so clear that it needs no labour to prove it, that upon this head we were loosed from all Allegiance to the former Tyrant, who was admitted upon terms of an explicit Covenant, the conditions whereof he did as explicitly break. There are two cases wherein Subjects are loosed from Covenanted Allegiance to their Princes. 1. When the Prince remits the obligation of the Subjects, and refuses Allegiance upon that basis; then he can no more demand it by virtue of that compact. He that remits & will not have that Allegiance, that the Subjects Covenanted upon such & such conditions to him, these Subjects should not give it that they so Covenanted, for they should not prostitute it to a Refuser & Remitter: But Charles the Second remitted and would not have that Allegiance, which we Covenanted upon such & such conditions viz. upon the terms of the Covenant, which he cassed [made void], & annulled, and made Criminal to own: Ergo to him we should not have given it, which we so Covenanted. 2. When the Prince did enter into a Mutual Covenant with the people upon Mutual conditions, and does not only cease to perform the conditions, but simply denies all obligation to do it, and makes it a quarrel to insinuate so much, yea persecutes all who dare assert the obligation of that Covenant; and yet demands Allegiance, not upon the obligation of that Covenant which he hath remitted, but absolutely upon the grounds of his prerogative. In this case it will be evident also, the subjects are not bound either to oune their formerly Covenanted Allegiance to him, Or that which he demands on other grounds. Grotius de Jure belli is clear as to this Lib. 1. Cap. 4. Num. 12. Si ex Clausula posita in ipsa delatione Imperii, ut si Rex hoc aut hoc faciet subditi omni obedientiae vinculo solvuntur, tunc quoque Rex in privatam personam recidit. If there be such a Clause or condition in the very devolution of the Government upon a Prince, as if he do so & so the subjects shall be loosed from all bonds of obedience, then when he does so he becomes a mere private person. Grotius there supposes the power is transferred upon a resolutive condition, that is if he transgress the condition the power shall be resolved into its first fountain: much more if it be transferred expressly also upon a suspensive condition, that he shall continue to maintain the ends of the Covenant, defend Religion & the Liberties of the Subjects, in the defense whereof we shall own Allegiance to him, otherwise not in that case if he do not maintain these ends, plain it is our obligation ceases; for how can it stand upon a conditional obligation, when his performance of the condition sists [ceases]? But whatever be the conditions Mutual, it flows Natively from the Nature of a Mutual compact, that qui non praestat officium promissum cadit beneficio hac lege dato, he who doth not perform the conditions agreed upon hath no right to the benefit granted upon condition of performance of these conditions; especially if he perform not, or violate these conditions upon supposition whereof he would not have gotten the benefit: It were very absurd to say, in a Mutual conditional compact one party shall still be bound to perform his conditions, though the other perform none but break all. Were it the act of rational Creatures to set up a Sovereign, upon conditions he shall not play the Tyrant, and yet be bound to him though he Tyrannize never so much? We have the Nature of Mutual compacts in the Spies Covenant with Rahab Josh. 2. 20. If thou utter this our business, then we will be quite of thine Oath, which thou hast made us to swear: if she should break condition, then the obligation of the Oath on their part should cease. But next all the stress will lie in proving that the Covenant, on such & such conditions between a Prince & Subjects, doth equally & mutually oblige both to each other: for if it equally oblige both, then both are equally disengaged from other by the breach on either side, and either of them may have a just claim in Law against the other for breach of the conditions. But Royalists & Court-slaves allege, that such a Covenant obliges the King to God; but not to the people at all; so that he is no more accountable to them, than if he had made none at all. But the contrary is evident: For  If the compact be Mutual, and if it be infringed on one side, it must be so in the other also; for in contracts, the parties are considered as equals, whatever inequality there may be betwixt them otherwise: I speak of contracts among men.  If it be not so, there is no Covenant made with the people at all: And so David did no more Covenant with Israel. than with the Chaldeans: for to all with whom the Covenant is made it obliges to them. Otherwise it must be said, he only made the Covenant with God, contrary to the Text; for he made it only before the Lord as a Witness, not with Him as a party. Joash’s Covenant with the Lord is expressly distinguished from that with the people.  If it be not so, it were altogether non-sense to say, there were any Covenant made with the King, on the other hand: for he is supposed to be made King on such & such terms, and yet by this after he is made King he is no more obliged unto them, than if there had been no compact with him at all.  If he be bound as King, and not only as a man or Christian, then he is bound with respect to the people; for with respect to them he is only King: But he is bound as King, and not only as a man or Christian, because it is only with him as King that the people Covenant, and he must transact with them under the same consideration. Next, that which he is obliged to, is the specifical act of a King, to defend Religion & Liberty, & Rule in Righteousness; And therefore his Covenant binds him as King. Again, if he be not bound as King, then as a King he is under no obligation of Law or Oath, which is to make him a Lawless Tyrant, yea none of God’s subjects. It would also suppose that the King as King could not sin against the people at all, but only against God: for as King he could be under no obligation of duty to the people, and where there is no obligation there is no sin; by this he would be set above all obligations to love his neighbour as himself, for he is above all his neighbours, and all mankind, and only less than God; and so by this doctrine he is loosed from all duties of the Second Table, or at least he is not so much obliged to them as others. But against this it is Objected: both Prince & people are obliged to perform their part to each other, and both are obliged to God, but both are not accountable to each other; there is not mutual power in the parties to compel one another to perform the promised duty; the King hath it indeed over the people, but not the people over the King, and there is no indifferent Judge Superior to both to compel both, but God. Ans. 1. What if all this should be granted? yet it doth not infringe the proposition: what if the people have not power to compel him? yet Jure he may fall from his Sovereignty, though de facto he is not deposed: he loses his right to our part, when he breaks his part. 2. There is no need of a Superior Arbiter: for as in contracting they are considered as equal, so the party keeping the contract is Superior to the other breaking it: 3. There may be Mutual Coactive Power, where there is no Mutual relation of Superiority & Inferiority: yea in some cases Inferiours may have a Coactive Power by Law, to compel their Superiours failing in their duty to them; As a Son wronged by his Father may compel him to reparation by Law; And independent Kingdoms, nothing inferior to each other, being in Covenant together, the wronged may have a Coactive power to force the other to duty, without any Superior Arbiter. 4. The bond of suretyship brings a man under the obligation to be accountable to the Creditor, though the surety were never so high and the Creditor never so low: Solomon says in General without exception of Kings, yea including them because he was a King that spake it Prov. 6. 1, 2. My son if thou be Surety for thy friend—thou art snared with the words of thy Mouth. Now a King’s power is but fiduciary; And therefore he cannot be unaccountable for the power concredited to him. And if the Generation had minded this, our Stewarts should have been called to an account for their Stewardship ere now. Hence I argue, If a Covenanted Prince, breaking all the Conditions of his compact, doth forfeit his right to the Subjects Allegiance, then they are no more to own him as their Sovereign: But the former is proved, that a Covenanted Prince breaking all the conditions of his compact doth forfeit his right to the Subjects Allegiance: Ergo—And Consequently when Charles the Second, expressly bound by Covenant to defend & promote the Covenanted Reformation & Liberties of the Kingdom, to whom only we were bound in the terms of his defending & promoting the same, did violently & villainously violate & vilify these conditions, we were no more bound to them. Somewhat possibly may be Objected here. 1. If this be the sense of the Covenant, then it would seem that we were not bound to own the King, but only when & while he were actually promoting & carrying on the ends of the Covenant. Ans. It does not follow, but that we are obliged to preserve his Person & Authority in these necessary intervals, when he is called to see to himself as a man; for we must preserve him as a mean, because of his aptitude & designation for such an End, albeit not always formally prosecuting it: we do not say, that we are never to own him, but when actually exercised in prosecuting these ends: but we say, we are never to own him, when he is Tyrannically & Treacherously abusing his Authority for destroying & overturning these ends, and violating all the conditions of his compact. It may be Obj. 2. Saul was a Tyrant, and a breaker of his Royal Covenant, and persecutor of the Godly, and Murderer of the Priests of the Lord, usurper upon the Priests Office, and many other ways guilty of breaking all conditions: And yet David and all Israel owned him as the Anointed of the Lord. Ans. 1. Saul was indeed a Tyrant, rejected of God, and to be ejected out of his Kingdom in His own time & way, which David a Prophet knowing would not anticipate. But he was far short, and a mere Bungler in acts of Tyranny in comparison of our Grassators [criminals]: he broke his Royal Covenant in very gross particular acts, but did not cass [make void] & rescind the whole of it, did not burn it, did not make it Criminal to own its obligation, nor did he so much as profess a breach of it, nor arrogate an Absolute prerogative, nor attempt arbitrary Government, nor to evert the fundamental Laws and overturn the Religion of Israel, & bring in Idolatry, as Ours have done: He was a Persecutor of David upon some private quarrels, not of all the Godly upon the account of their Covenanted Religion: He Murdered 85 Priests of the Lord, in a transport of fury, because of their kindness to David; but he did not make Laws adjudging all the Ministers of the Lord to death, who should be found most faithful in their duty to God & His Church, as Ours have done against all Field Preachers: He Usurped upon the Priests Office, in one elicit act of Sacrificing; but he did not usurp a Supremacy over them, and annex it as an inherent right of his Crown. 2. He was indeed such a Tyrant, as deserved to have been dethroned & brought to condign punishment, upon the same accounts that Amaziah & Uzziah were deposed for afterwards: And in this the people failed in their duty, and for it they were plagued remarkably; shall their Omission be an Argument to us? 3. As the question was never put to the people, whether they owned his Authority as Lawful or not? So we do not read, either of their Universal owning him, or their positive disowning him: However, That’s no good Argument, which is drawn a non facto ad faciendum; because they did it not, therefore it must not be done. 4. They owned him; but how? as the Minister of God, not to be resisted or revolted from under pain of damnation? (as all Lawful Magistrates ought to be owned Rom. 13. 2, 4.) This I deny: for David & his six hundred men resisted him resolutely; And though the body of the Nation did long Lazily lie & couch as Asses under his burden, yet at length, weary of his Tyranny, many revolted from under him, and adjoined themselves to David at Ziklag, while he kept himself close because of Saul the Son of Kish 1 Chron. 12. 1. who are commended by the Spirit of God for their valour vers. 2. &c. and many out of Manasseh fell to him, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle vers. 19. This was a practical disowning of the Tyrant, before the Lord deposed him. 5. David did indeed pay him & his Character some deference, as having been the Anointed of the Lord; yet perhaps his honouring him with that title, the Lord’s anointed 1 Sam. 24. 1 Sam. 26. and calling him so often his Lord the King cannot be altogether Justified, no more than his using that same language to Achish King of Gath. 1 Sam. 29. 8. I shew before how titles might be allowed: but this so circumstantiate, does not seem so consistent with his imprecatory prayer, for the Lord’s avenging him on him. 1 Sam. 24. 12. and many other imprecations against him in his Psalms; in some of which he calls the same man, whom here he stiles the Lord’s anointed, a Dog; as Saul & his Complices are called Psal. 95. 6, 14. and the evil violent & wicked man Psal 140. 1, 4. and the vilest of men Psal. 12. ult. However it be, there can be no Argument from hence, to own the Authority of Tyrants & Usurpers.
6. Though this Necessary conditional compact, which must always be in the constitution of Lawful Rulers, be not always express & explicit, so that a written Authentic Copy of it cannot be always produced; yet it is always to be understood implicitly at least transacted, in the Rulers admission to the Government, wherein the Law of God must regulate both parties; and when he is made Ruler, it must natively be understood that it is upon terms to be a Father, feeder, & Protector, and not a Tyrant, Murderer, & Destroyer. All Princes are so far pactional, that they are obliged, by the high & absolute Sovereign from whom they derive their Authority, to reign for the Peace & profit of the people: this is fixed unalterably by the Laws of the Supreme Legislator, and solemnly engaged unto at the Coronation: and whosoever declines or destroys this fundamental condition, he degrades & deposes himself. It is also not only the Universal practice, but necessary for the Constitution & Conservation of all Common-wealths, to have fundamental Laws & Provisions about Government, both for the upholding & transmitting & transferring it as occasion calls, and preventing & punishing violations thereof, that there be no invasion or intrusion upon the Government, and if there be any entrance upon it not according to the Constitution, that it be illegitimated, and the Nations Liberties always secured. This doeth infer & regulate a conditional compact with all that are advanced to the Government, albeit it should not be expressed. For it is undeniable that in the erection of all Governours, the grand Interests of the Community must be seen to by Legal Securities for Religion & Liberty, which is the end & use of fundamental Laws. Now how these have been unhinged & infringed, by the introduction & present establishment by Law of that Monster of the prerogative, enacted in Parliament Anno 1661. the Apologetic Relation doth abundantly demonstrate, Sect. 10. Concerning the King’s Civil Supremacy, enhancing all the Absoluteness that ever the Great Turk could arrogate, and yet far short of what hath been Usurped since, and impudently proclaimed to the world, especially by him who now domineers, in his Challenges of Sovereign Authority, prerogative Royal, & Absolute Power, which all are to obey without reserve, whereby the whole basis of our Constitution, and Bulwark of our Religion, Laws, & Liberties, is enervated, and we have security of no Law but the King’s lust. Hence I argue, Those Princes, that, contrary to their virtual compact (at least) at their coming to the Crown, have overturned all fundamental Laws, cannot be owned: But our Princes have contrary to their virtual compact (at least) at their coming to the Crown overturned all fundamental Laws: Ergo they cannot be owned. ‘The Major is plain: for they that overturn fundamental Laws are no Magistrates; thereby all the ends of Government being subverted, and the subverter cannot be owned as a Father or friend, but an open enemy to the Common-wealth, nor looked upon as Magistrates doing their duty, but as Tyrants seeking themselves with the destruction of the Common-wealth.: And in this case the compact, the ground of the Constitution, being violated, they fall from their right, and the people are Liberated from their obligation, and they being no Magistrates the people are no subjects, for the relation is mutual, and so is the obligation.’ Jus populi chap. 9. pag. 183. The Minor is manifest, both from the matter of fact, and the Mischiefs framed into Laws, by the Sovereign Authority, Prerogative Royal, & Absolute Power foresaid: whereby what remains of our fundamental Constitutions, either in Religious or Civil Settlements, unsubverted as yet, may be subverted when this Absolute Monarch pleases. Which Absolute Authority we cannot in conscience own, for these Reasons, taken both from Reason & Scripture. First its against Reason. 1. A power contrary to Nature cannot be owned: Absolute power is such: for that which takes away, and makes the people to give away, their Natural power of preserving their lives & Liberties, and sets a man above all rule & Law, is contrary to Nature; such is Absolute power, making people resign that which is not in their power to resign, an absolute power to destroy & Tyrannize. 2. A power contrary to the first rise of its Constitution cannot be owned: Absolute power is such: for, The first rise of the Constitution is a peoples setting a Sovereign over them, giving him Authority to administer justice over them; But it were against this, to set one over them with a power to rage at random, and rule as he lists: Its proven before, a King hath no power but what the people gave him, but they never gave, never could give an absolute power to destroy themselves. 3. That power which is against the ends of Government cannot be owned: Absolute power is such: for, that which will make a peoples condition worse than before the Constitution, and that mean which they intended for a blessing to turn a plague & scourge to them, and all the subjects to be formal slaves at the Princes devotion, must needs be contrary to the ends of Government: But Absolute power is such: for, against the exorbitance thereof no means would be left to prevent its obstructing all the fountains of Justice, and commanding Laws & Lawyers to speak, not justice righteousness & reason, but the lust & pleasure of one man, and turning all into Anarchy & confusion: Certainly it could never be the intention either of the work or workers, at the Constitution of Government, to set up a power to enslave the people, to be a Curse to them; but their ends was to get comfort, safety, & Liberty, under the shadow of Government. 4. That power which invalidates, and is inconsistent with the King’s compact with the people, cannot be owned: Absolute Power is such: for, the tenor of that is always to secure Laws & Liberties, to rule according to Law; but to be Absolute invalidates & is inconsistent with that: That which were an engagement into Contradictories cannot consist with that compact; but to engage to be absolute, and yet to rule by Law, is an engagement into Contradictories, which no people could admit for a security: Its inconsistent with this compact, to give the King Absolute Power to overturn Religion & Liberty, and to assume it which was never given, were to invalidate this compact, and to make himself no King; but to restore unto the people the power they conferred upon him, for the defense of Religion & Liberty. 5. That power which is not from God, nor of God, cannot be owned: But Absolute Power is not of God; because it is a power to Tyrannize & Sin, which if it were of God He should be the Author of Sin; for if the Moral Power be of God, so must the acts be; but the acts of Absolute Power, being Lawless, cannot be from God: Ergo neither the Moral Power to commit these acts. 6. That Ruler who cannot be God’s Minister for the peoples good cannot be owned: (for that is the formal reason of our conscientious subjection to Rulers Rom. 13. 4, 5.) But Absolute Sovereigns are such as cannot be God’s Ministers for the peoples good; for if they be God’s Ministers for good, they must administer justice, preserve peace, rule by Law, take directions from their Master; and if so, they cannot be absolute. 7. A Tyrant in actu signato & exercito [signified act & practice] cannot be owned: But an Absolute Prince is such; being a power that may play the Tyrant if he pleases, and jure as King: And so if Kings be actu primo [first act] Tyrants, then people are actu primo [first act] Slaves; and so Royal Power cannot be a blessing to them: yea a Lawless breaker of all bonds, promises, & Oaths, cannot be owned as Lawful Power: But Absolute Power is such: for, it cannot be limited by these Obligations, at least people cannot have any security by them. 8. A Lawless Power is not to be owned: An Absolute Power is a Lawless power: Ergo not to be owned. The Major is plain. Cicero says Lib. 2. de officio Eadem constituendarum Legum causa fuit, quae Regum The reason of making Lawes was the same, as of the creation of Kings. And Buchanan de jure Regni very excellently; ‘when the lust of Kings was instead of Laws, and being vested with an infinite & immoderate power, they did not contain themselves within bounds—the insolency of Kings made Laws to be desired; for this cause Laws were made by the people, and Kings constrained to make use, not of their Licentious wills in judgment, but of that right & privilege which the people had conferred upon them, being taught by many experiences, that it was better that their Liberty should be concredited to Laws, than to Kings; better to have the Law which is a dumb King, than a King who is not a speaking Law.’ If then Laws be necessary for the making of Kings, and more necessary than Kings, And the same cause requires both, then a King without Laws is not to be owned. Rex must be Lex loquens; a King must be a speaking & living Law, reducing the Law to practice: So much then as a King hath of Law, so much he hath of a King; and he who hath nothing of the Law, hath nothing of a King. Magna Charta of England saith, the King can do nothing but by Law, and no obedience is due to him but by Law. Buchanan rehearses the words of the most famous Emperours, Theodosius & Valentinianus to this effect, Digna vox Majestate regnantis, legibus se alligatum Principem fateri; & revero Imperio majus ost, submittere legibus Principatum. It is, say they, a word worthy of the Majesty of a King, to confess he is a tied Prince to the Laws, and indeed it is more to submit a Principality to the Laws, than to enjoy an Empire. But now that an absolute power must be a Lawless power, is also evident; for that’s a Lawless power that makes all Laws void, needless & useless: but such is absolute power: for, it cannot be confined to the observance of Laws. 9. That power which is destructive to the peoples Liberties cannot be owned: Absolute power is such: for, such a Licentious freedom as is absolute, cannot consist with the peoples Liberties; for these he may infringe when he pleases: Now these, in their own Nature, and in all respects, being preferable to the King’s prerogative, And it being no prerogative which is not consistent with, yea in its own nature adapted to, the precious Interests of Religion & Liberty, when the King’s Absolute Authority is stated in contradictory terms to these, we cannot own that Authority: for now he hath another Authority than could be given him for the preservation of these Interests, in the preservation whereof he can only have an Authority to be owned, seeing he claims a power to destroy them if he please. 10. If we should own Absolute Authority; then we should own a Royal prerogative in the King to make & dispense with Laws: Now that cannot be owned: for, it would infer that the King had a Masterly Dominion over his subjects, to make Lawes, & inflict Penalties without their consent. And plain it is, they that make Kings must have a Coordinate power to make Laws also; but the people in their Representatives make Kings, as is proven. Next a prerogative to dispense with Laws, except such Laws as are in their own nature dispensable, without prejudice to any Law of God or Liberties of men, cannot be owned: for any power to dispense with Reason & Law, not grounded on any other reason but mere will & absolute pleasure, is a brutish power. It cannot be jus Coronae, a right annexed to the Crown, to do so: for a King as a King illud tantum potest quod jure potest can do nothing but what he may do by Law. Nay this is not only a Brutish power, but a Blasphemous power, making him a Kind of God on earth illimited, that can do what he pleases: And to dispute it further, were to dispute whether God hath made all under him slaves by their own consent; Or whether he may encroach on the prerogative of God, or not. By this prerogative, he arrogates a power to dispense with the Laws of God also, in pardoning Murderers &c. which no man hath power to do: the Law of God being so peremptorily indispensable Gen. 9. 6. whoso sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed. Numb. 35. 30. 31. Who so killeth any person, the murderer shall he put to death—more over ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, but he shall be surely put to death. These pardons are acts of blood to the Community. If the Judgment be God’s, as it is Deut. 1. 17. and not for man but for the Lord 2 Chron. 19. 6. then no King can arrogate a power to dispense with it, no more than an inferior Judge can dispense with the King’s Laws: for the King is but a Minister, bearing the Sword not in vain, but as a revenger to execute wrath upon them that do evil Rom. 13. 4. They are but bastard Kings who give out sentences out of their own mouth, contrary to God’s mind. And if he may do acts of grace by Prerogative above Law, then may he also do acts of Justice (so pretended) by the same Prerogative; and so may murder Innocents, as well as pardon Murderers, he may condemn the just as well as justify the wicked, both which are alike abomination to the Lord Pro. 17. 15. This power cannot be owned in any man. 11. To own Absolute power, were to recognosce the King as the proper & sole Interpreter of the Law. This Buchanan shews to be very absurd: Cum regi Legum interpretationem &c. ‘when you grant the interpretation of Laws to a King; you give him such a License, that the Law should not speak what the Lawgiver meaneth but what is for the Interpreters Interest; so that he may turn it to all actions, as a Lesbian rule, for his own advantage; And so what he pleases the Laws shall speak, and what he will not it shall not speak.’ Now the King’s absolute pleasure, can no more be the sense of the Law, than it can be the Law itself: He is King by Law, but he is not King of Law: No mortal can make a sense to a Law, contrary to the Law; for it involves a Contradiction; the true meaning is only the Law. This also would take away the use of all Laws; for they could not declare what were just & unjust, but as the King pleased; their genuine sense could not be the rule. 12. If we own the Law to be above the King, then we cannot own the King to be absolute: But the former is true: For, he must be under it several ways: (1) under its Directive power; that will not be denied. (2) under its Constitutive power: he is not a King by Nature, but by Constitution & Law: therefore the Law is above the King; because its only from the Law that there is a King, and that such a man and not another is King, and that the King must be so & so qualified, and they that made him a King may also unmake him by the same Law. (3) under its Limiting & Restrictive power, as a man he cannot be absolute, nor as a King by Law. (4) under its Coactive power. A Law maker, said King James the 6. should not be a Law breaker: but if he turn an overturner of the fundamental Laws, that Law or Covenant that made him King, doth oblige to unmake him. Whatever power he hath it is only a borrowed, fiduciary power, as the Nations Public servant: and that which was lent him in Pledge or pawn, may be reclaimed, when abused by him. Especially if he turn parricide, Kill his brother, murder his nobles, burn Cities, then he may & ought to be punished by Law. Otherwise, God should have provided better for the safety of the part, than of the whole, though that part be but a mean for the safety of the whole: for if he turn Tyrant in his absoluteness, the people must be destroyed, if they may not repress him; thus he is secured, and the whole exposed to ruin. Yea, if he be a man as well as a King, he must be under rule of Law; and when he transgresses, either his transgressions are punishable by men, or they are not transgressions with men, See many Arguments to this purpose in Lex Rex Quest. 14. 19. 22. 23. 24. 26. 27. But Secondly I prove it by Scripture 1. Even as King he is regulated by Law, not to multiply horses, nor wives, nor money, but to keep the words of the Law, and not lift up himself above his brethren, Deut. 17. 16, 17, 19, 20. he must observe to do according to the Law, and not turn from it to the right hand or to the left Josh. 1. 7. Ergo he must not be absolute. 2. He is certainly under that Law, Math. 7. 12. what so ever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them: which is the universal fundamental Law. If then he would have us keeping in our line of subordination to him, he must keep his line, and so cannot be absolute. 3. What is God’s due & peculiar Prerogative, can be owned in no Mortal: But Absolute power is God’s due & peculiar Prerogative. He alone does whatsoever pleaseth Him Psal. 115. 3. He alone worketh all things after the Counsel of His own will Eph. 1. 11. Acts or Commands founded upon the sole pleasure of the Agent, are proper to God. Its God’s will and not the Creatures, that can make things good or just. Its Blasphemy therefore to ascribe absolute power to any Creature. 4. That which the spirit of God condemned as a point of Tyranny in Nebuchadnezzar, that is no prerogative to be owned: but the Spirit of God condemned this in him, proceeding from absolute power, that whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive, whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put down, And his heart was lifted up Dan. 5. 19. 20. 5. That which God condemns & threatens in Tyrants in the Word in General, cannot be owned: but Absolute power, God condemns & threatens in the word in general; that they turned Judgment into Gall, and said, have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? Amos. 6. 12. 13. 6. The Word of God speaks nothing of the King’s Absolute prerogative, to make Laws as he will. It is plain the Kings of Judah had it not; but the Sanhedrin had a great part of the Nomothetic power, and of the punitive power in a special manner: the Princes & people had it by Jeremiah’s acknowledgment Jer. 26. 14. And Zedekiah confesses to them; the King is not he that can do anything against you Jer. 38. 5. 7. we find the King in Scripture had not an absolute power, to expone [expound] or execute the Law as he would: Saul made a Law 1 Sam. 14. 24. Cursed be the man that eats any food until evening. But exponing [expounding] it, & thinking to execute it after a Tyrannical manner, he was justly resisted by the people, who would not let him kill innocent Jonathan. 8. Nor had he the sole power of Interpreting it: for inferior Judges were Interpreters, who are no less essential Judges than the King, who are set to Judge for the Lord, and not for the King 2 Chron. 19. 6. and therefore they were to expone it according to their own conscience, and not the Kings. They were to speak righteousness & Judge uprightly Psal. 58. 1. hence called Gods, as well as Kings Psal. 82. 1. There was no essential Difference between a King of God’s approving and a Judge; there being but one Law to both Deut. 17. 9. he was subject to judgment as well as others: for being but a brother, even while on the throne, who was not to lift up his heart above his brethren, Deut. 17. ult. When his Cause was to be judged, his person though never so great was not to be respected; nor were they to be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment was God’s. Deut. 1. 17. therefore the Judges were to give out sentence in judgment, as if the Lord were to give it out: There was no exception of Kings there. Yea, we find according to common Law, they judged & punished offending Kings, as shall be made appear. 10. If they were under Church Censures, then they were not absolute: but we find Kings were under Church Censures; not only rebuked sharply to their face, of which we have many instances; but also subjected to Church discipline, as Uzziah shut up for his Leprosy. And certainly at all times this must be extended to all: for the King is either a brother, or not: If not, then he should not be King, according to the Scripture Deut. 17. 15. then also he is not a Christian, nor can he say the Lord’s Prayer: If he be, then if a brother offend, he is subject to the Church Math. 18. there is no exceptions of Kings there. The Objection from Eccles, 8. 3. 4.—he doth whatsoever pleaseth him where the word of a King is there is power, and who may say unto him, what doest thou? is of no significancy here. For. 1. This Argument will enforce absolute obedience, if the power be to be taken absolutely; for it is obedience that is there commanded: and so we must not only own the absolute Authority, but obey it without reserve, which never any yet had the impudence to plead for, until James the unjust claimed it in a Scots Proclamation: but we answer, It is better to obey God than man, 2. If he may do whatsoever pleases him, then he may turn Priest, then he may kill whom he pleases, & take possession; and yet for Saul’s Usurpation Samuel could say more than what doest thou? even to tell him, he had done foolishly, and his Kingdom should not continue 1 Sam. 13. 13. 14. And for Ahab’s Tyranny, Elijah could tell him, the dogs shall lick thy blood even thine 1 King. 21. 19. And Ezekiel, thou profane wicked-Prince of Israel Ezek. 21. 25. 3. The meaning is then only this; that a righteous King, his just power may not be controlled; he is armed with power that may not be resisted, for he beareth not the Sword in vain, and therefore we must not stand in an evil matter against them I conclude then this Argument, with the words of an Ingenious Author, upon this same subject, both in Thesi & Hypothesi: ‘whosoever shall offer to rule Arbitrarily, does immediately cease to be King de jure. seeing by the fundamental, Common & Statute-Laws of the Realm, we know none for Supreme Magistrate & Governour but a limited Prince, and one who stands circumscribed & bounded in his power & Prerogative. Ill effects of animosities.’ Pag. 17.
7. From what is said this is the result, that it is essentially necessary to a Moral power & Authority, to have a right & title, without which we can own none, but as a Tyrant sine Titulo [without title]. For what is Authority, but a right to rule? if then it have not a right, it is not Authority. This will be undeniable, if we consider, that as Private dominion, or Property, consists in a right to enjoy; So Public dominion, in a right to rule. Some things indeed are exposed to the common & arbitrary use of every man, and also at the beginning, by reason of the fewness of mankind, Dominion was not reduced to distinct Property; yet now, upon the Multiplication of Occupants, of necessity it must be stated by peculiar appropriation, from the Law of Nature, and by the Grant of the Supreme King, who hath given the earth to the Children of men Psal. 115. 16, not to be catched up as the food of beasts, which the stronger seize, and the weaker get only what the other leave them, but divided by right as an Inheritance, by Him who separated the Sons of Adam and set the bounds of the People Deut. 32. 8. Especially Public Dominion cannot be without a foundation for its relation to the subjected, and must be so tied up, that it may be said, this man is to command and these are to obey. I shew that Authority is from God both by Institution & Constitution; so that the Subjects are given to understand, such an one is singled out by God to sustain this Authority, by prescribing a rule for men’s entry into the Authoritative relation, whereby He communicates that power to them which is not in others, and which otherwise would not be in them. Hence it is that Orderly admittance that must give the right, and upon men’s having or not having such an entrance to it depends the reality or nullity of the power they challenge. Where therefore there is no Lawful Investure, there is no Moral power to be owned; otherwise John of Leyden his Authority might have been owned: the unlawfulness of such a power consists in the very tenor itself, and if we take away the use or holding of it, we take away the very being of it: it is not then the abuse of a power Lawfully to be used, but the very use of it is unlawful. But in the Usurpation of this Man, or Monster rather that is now mounted the Throne, there is no Lawful investure in the way God hath appointed, as is shewed above. Ergo there is no Moral power to be owned. To clear this a little further, it will be necessary to remove the ordinary Pretenses, pleaded for a Title to warrant the owning of such as are in power. Which are three chiefly viz. Possession, Conquest, and Hereditary Succession. The first must be touched more particularly, because it hath been the originate error, & spring of all the stupid mistakes about Government, and is the pitiful plea of many even Malcontents, why this Man’s Authority is to be owned, asserting that a person attaining & occupying the place of power (by whatsoever means) is to be owned as the Magistrate. But this can give no right: for. 1. If Providence cannot signify God’s approbative ordination, it can give no right; for without that there can be no right: But Providence cannot signify His approbative Ordination: because that, without the warrant of His Word, cannot signify either allowance or disallowance, it is so various, being often the same to Courses directly contrary, and oftentimes contrary to the same Course: sometimes favouring it, sometimes crossing it, whether it be good or bad: And the same Common Providence may proceed from far different Purposes, to one in Mercy, to another in Judgment; And most frequently very disproportionable to men’s ways: Providence places sometimes wickedness in the place of Judgment, and iniquity in the place of righteousness Eccles. 3. 16. that is not by allowance. By Providence it happens to the just according to the work of the wicked, and to the wicked according to the work of the righteous Eccles. 8. 14. No man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them, all things come alike to all, there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked Eccel. 9. 1. It were a great debasing of the Lord’s anointed to give him no other warrant then sin hath in the world, or the falling of a Sparrow. 2. Either every Providential Possession, in every ease, gives a title: Or God hath Declared it as a Law, that it shall be so in this particular matter of Authority only. The first cannot be said: for, that would justify all robbery: Nor the second, for where is that Law found? Nay it were impious to allege it; for it would say, there is no unjust Possessor or Disorderly occupant, but if he were once in the Possession, he were right enough: And then Usurpation would be no sin. 3. If none of the Causes of Magistracy be required to the producing of this Possessory power, then it cannot give or have any right; for without the true Causes it cannot be the true effect, and so can have no true right to be owned: But none of the Causes of Magistracy are required to the production of this; neither the Institution of God, for this might have been if Magistracy had never been instituted; Nor the Constitution of men, for this may usurp without that. 4. That which must follow upon the right, and be Legitimated by it, cannot be owned as the right, nor can it give the title: But the Possession of the power, or the Possessory exercise thereof, must follow upon its right, and be legitimated by it. Ergo—A man must first be in the relation of a Ruler, before he can rule; and men must first be in the relation of subjects, before they obey. The Commands of Public Justice, to whom are they given but to Magistrates? They must then be Magistrates, before they can be owned as the Ministers of Justice: he must be a Magistrate before he can have the power of the Sword, he cannot by the power of the Sword make himself Magistrate. 5. That which would make everyone in the Possession of the Magistracy, a Tyrant, cannot be owned: But a Possessory occupation giving right, would make everyone in Possession of the Magistracy a Tyrant, cannot be owned: But a Possessory occupation giving right, would make everyone in Possession a Tyrant; for, that which enervates & takes away that necessary Distinction between the King’s personal Capacity & his Legal Capacity, his natural & his moral power, will make every King a Tyrant (seeing it makes every thing that he can do as a man, to be Legally done as a King) But a Possessory occupation giving right, would enervate & take away that distinction: for how can these be distinguished in a mere Possessory power? the man’s Possession is all his legal power; and if Possession give a right, his power will give legality. 6. What sort or size of Possession can be owned to give a right? Either it must be partial or plenary possession: Not partial, for then others may be equally entitled to the Government, in competition with that partial possessor, having also a part of it: Not plenary, for them every interruption or Usurpation on a part, would make a dissolution of the Government. 7. Hence would follow infinite absurdities: this would give equal warrant in case of vacancy to all men to step to, & stickle for the throne, and expose the Common wealth as a booty to all aspiring spirits; for they needed no more to make them Sovereigns, and lay a tie of subjection upon the consciences of people, but to get into possession: And in case of Competition, it would leave people still in suspense & uncertainties whom to own, for they behooved to be subject only to the Uppermost, which could not be known until the Controversy be decided: It would cassate [vacate] & make void all preobligations, Cautions, & restrictions from God about the Government: it would Cancel and make vain all other titles of any, or Constitutions, or provisions, or Oaths of Allegiance: yea to what purpose were Laws, or pactions made about ordering the Government, if possession gave right, & laid an obligation on all to own it? yea then it were sinful to make any such provisions, to fence in & limit the determination of providence, if providential possession may authorize every intrusive acquisition to be owned: Then also in case of competition of two equal pretenders to the Government, there would be no place left for arbitrations: If this were true, that he is the power that is in possession, the difference were at an end; no man could plead for his own right then: In this also it is inconsistent with itself, condemning all resistance against the present occupant, yet justifying every resistance that is but successful to give possession. 8. That which would oblige us to own the Devil & the Pope, cannot be a ground to own any man: But if this were true, that possession gave right, it would oblige us to own the Devil & the pope. Satan we find claiming to himself the possession of the worlds Kingdoms Luk. 4. 6. which as to many of them is in some respect true, for he is called the God of this world, and the Prince of this world. John. 14. 30. 2 Cor. 4. 4. Are men therefore obliged to own his authority? or shall they deny his, and acknowledge his lieutenant, who bears his name, and by whom all his orders are execute, I mean the man that Tyrannizes over the people of God? for he is the Devil that casts some into prison. Revel. 2. 10. Again the Pope, his Captain-General, lays claim to a Temporal power & Ecclesiastic both, over all the Nations, and possesses it over many; and again, under the Conduct of his vassal the Duke of York, is attempting to recover the possession of Britain: Shall he therefore be owned? This Cursed Principle disposes men for Popery, and contributes to strengthen Popery & Tyranny both on the stage, to the vacating of all the promises of their dispossession. 9. That which would justify a Damnable sin, and make it a ground of a duty, cannot be owned: But this fancy of owning every power in possession would justify a damnable sin, and make it the ground of a duty: for, Resistance to the powers ordained of God is a damnable sin Rom, 13. 2. but the Resisters having success in providence may come to the possession of the power, by expelling the just occupant; and by this opinion that possession would be ground for the duty of subjection for Conscience sake. 10. If a self-created dignity be null and not to be owned, then a mere possessory is not to be owned: But the former is true: as Christ saith, John. S. 54. If I honour myself my honor is nothing. 11. That which God hath disallowed cannot be owned: But God hath expressly disallowed possession without right Ezek. 21. 27. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it until He come whose right it is, Hos. 8. 4. They have set up Kings & not by me. Math. 26. 52. All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword; by this the Usurper of the Sword is differenced from the true owner. 12. Many Scripture examples confute this; shewing that the possession may be in one, and the power with right in another. David was the Magistrate, and yet Absalom possessed the place 2 Sam. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. chap. Shebah also made a revolt and Usurped the possession in a great part, and yet David was King 2 Sam. 20. 2. Adonijah got the start in respect of possession, exalting himself, saying, I will be King: yet the Kingdom was Solomon’s from the Lord. 1 King. 1. ch. The house of Ahaziah had not power to keep still the Kingdom 2 Chron. 22. 9. and Athaliah took the possession of it, yet the people set up Joash 23. 3. Next we have many examples of such who have invaded the possessor, Witness Jehoram & Jehoshaphat their expedition against Mesha King of Moab, Elisha being in the expedition 2 King. 3. 4, 5. Hence we see the first pretense removed. The Second is no better; which Augustine calls Magnum Latrocinium, a Great Robbery; I mean conquest; or a power of the Sword gotten by the Sword: which that it can give no right to be owned, I prove. 1. That which can give no signification of God’s approving will, cannot give a Title to be owned: But mere conquest can give no signification of God’s approving will, as is just now proven about possession: for then the Lord should have approven all the unjust conquests that have been in the world. 2. Either conquest as conquest must be owned, as a just Title to the Crown; and so the Ammonites, Moabites, Philistines &c. prevailing over God’s people for a time; must have reigned by right: or as a just conquest, in this case conquest is only a mean to the conquerours seizing & holding that power, which the State of the war entitled him unto, And this ingress into Authority over the conquered is not grounded on conquest but on justice, and not at all privative but Inclusive of the consent of the people; and then it may be owned; but without a compact, upon conditions of securing Religion & Liberty, the posterity cannot be subjected without their consent: for, whatever just quarrel the conquerour had with the present Generation, he could have none with the Posterity, the Father can have no power to resign the Liberty of the Children. 3. A King as King, and by virtue of his Royal Office, must be owned to be a Father, Tutor, Protector, Shepherd, & Patron of the people: But a mere conquerour without consent cannot be owned as such. Can he be a Father & Patron to us against our will, by the sole power of the sword? a Father to these that are unwilling to be Sons? an head over such as will not be members? and a defender through violence? 4. A King as such is a special gift of God, and blessing not a judgment: But a conquerour as such is not a blessing but a judgment, his native end being not Peace but fire & sword. 5. That which hath nothing of a King in it, cannot be owned to make a King: But conquest hath nothing of a King in it; for it hath nothing but violence & force, nothing out what the bloodiest villain that was never a King may have, nothing of God’s approving & regulating Will, nothing of Institution or constitution; and a plain repugnancy to the Ordination of God, for God hath said, thou shalt not kill; conquest says, I will kill, and Prosper, & reign. 6. A Lawful Call to a Lawful Office may not be resisted: But a Call to conquest, which is nothing but ambition or revenge, ought to be resisted; because not of God’s preceptive will, otherwise He should be the Author of sin. 7. That power which we must own to be the Ordinance of God, must not be resisted Rom. 13. 2. But conquest may be resisted in defense of our King & Country: Therefore it must not be owned to be the Ordinance of God. 8. That which God condemns in His Word cannot be owned: But Dominion by the sword God condemns in His Word Ezek. 33. 26. ye stand upon your sword—and shall possess the Land, Amos 6. 13. ye rejoice in a thing of naught which say, have we not taken horns to us by our own strength. Habbak. 2. 5, 6—Wo to him that increaseth that which is not his, how long &c. 9. We have many examples of invading Conquerours: as Abraham for the rescue of Lot pursued the Conquering Kings unto Dan. Gen. 14. 14. Jonathan smote a Garrison of the Conquering Philistines 1 Sam. 13. 3. The Lord owning & authorizing them so to do. The people did often shake off the yoke of their Conquerours in the history of the Judges: But this they might not do to their Lawful Rulers. What is objected from the Lord’s people Conquering Canaan &c. is no Argument for conquest: for He, to whom belongs the earth and its fullness, disponed to Israel the Land of Canaan for their Inheritance, and ordained that they should get the possession thereof by conquest: It followeth not, therefore that Kings now, wanting any word of promise or divine Grant to any Lands, may ascend to the Thrones of other Kingdoms than their own, by no better title than the bloody sword. See Lex Rex Quest 12. The Third pretense, of Hereditary Succession remains to be removed: which may be thus disproven. 1. This clashes with the former, though commonly asserted by Royalists. For either Conquest gives a right, or it does not: If it does, then it looses all allegiance to the heirs of the Crown dispossessed thereby: If it does not give a right, then no Hereditary Succession founded upon conquest can have any right, being founded upon that which hath no right: And this will shake the most part of Hereditary Successions that are now in the world. 2. If Hereditary Succession have no right, but the peoples consent; then of itself it can give none to a man that hath not that consent: But the former is true. For, it is demanded, how doth the Son or Brother succeed? by what right? It must either be by divine promise; Or by the Fathers will; Or it must come by propagation from the first Ruler, by a right of the Primogeniture: But none of these can be. For the first, we have no immediate Divine Constitution tying the Crown to such a race, as in David’s Covenant: It will be easily granted, they fetched not their Charter from Heaven immediately, as David had it, a man of many peculiar prerogatives, to whose line the promise was astricted of the Coming of Messias, and Jacob’s Prophesy that the Scepter should not depart from Judah until His coming Gen. 49. 10. was restricted to his family afterwards: Wherefore he could say, The Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be King over Israel forever, for He hath chosen Judah to be the Ruler, and of the house of Judah the house of my father, and among the sons of my father He liked me to make me King over Israel, and of all my Sons He hath chosen Solomon. 1 Chron. 28. 4. 5. All Kings cannot say this; neither could Saul say it, though immediately called of God as well as David: yet this same Promise to David was Conditional, if His Children should keep the Lord’s ways. 2 Chron. 6. 16. Next it cannot be said this comes from the will of the father; for according to the Scripture, no King can make a King, though a King may appoint & design his son for succession, as David did Solomon, but the people make him. The father is some way a Cause why his son succeedeth, but he is not the Cause of the Royalty conferred upon him by line: for the question will recur, who made him a King? and his father? & grandfather? till we come up to the first father. Then, who made him a King? not himself: therefore it must be refounded upon the people’s choice & constitution: And who appointed the lineal succession, and tied the Crown to the line, but they? It is then at the best, the Patrimony of the people, by the fundamental Law of the Kingdom, conferred upon the successor by consent. And generally it is granted, even where the succession is lineal, he that comes to inherit, Doth it not jure hereditario but vi legis, he does not succeed by heritage but by the force of Law; the Son then hath not his Kingdom from his father but by Law, which the people made & stand to, as long as it may consist with the reasons of public advantage, upon which they condescended to establish such a family over them. Neither can it be said, It is by a right of Primogeniture propagated from the first Ruler; for this must either be Adam the first of the world; or Fergus v. G. the first of this Kingdom. It could not come from Adam as a Monarch & father of all: For that behooved to be, either by order of Nature, or his voluntary assignment: It could not be transferred by order of Nature; for besides the difficulty to find out Adams successor, in the universal Monarchy, and the absurdity of fixing it on Cain (who was a Cursed vagabond, afraid of every man, and could not be an universal Monarch yet Adams first born) It will be asked, how this passed from him unto others? whether it went by father-hood to all the Sons, fathers to their Posterity? which would multiply as many Common wealths, as there have been fathers since: Or if it went by Primogeniture only to the first born, that he alone could claim the power which would infer the necessity of an universal Monarchy, without multiplication of Common-wealths. If it was by his voluntary assignment, to whom & in what proportion he pleased; then the universal Monarchy died with himself, and so could not be conveyed at all: for, either he behooved to give each son a share, to be conveyed downwards to their children in that proportion; or whole & solid to one: So also the former dilemma recurs, for if the first be said, it will make as many little Kingdoms as there have been sons of Adam; if the second, the world should be but still one Kingdom. But however it be, this could never be the way that God appointed, either for raising a Magistratical power where it is wanting, or deriving a right to any in being; Considering the multiplication, division, confusion, & Extinction of families that have been. If it be from Fergus the first of this line; then either it comes from him as a King, or as a Father: not the first, for the reason above hinted: nor as a father; for a father may defraud his son of the heritage, a King cannot deprive his son of the Crown; a father may divide his heritage, a King cannot divide the Kingdom among his sons; It must then be at length refounded on the peoples Consent 3. If even where lineal succession is Constituted by Law, for eviting the inconveniences of frequent elections, people are not tied to admit every first born of that line; then that birth right, where there is no more, cannot make a King: But the former is true; for they are tied only conditionally, so he be qualified, and have a head to sit at the helm, and not a fool or monster, neither are they free to admit Murderers or Idolaters by the Laws of God and of the Land: It is not birth then, but their admission being so qualified, that makes Kings. Hence. 4. That which takes away the people’s birth-right, given them of God to provide for their liberties in the fittest Government, that is not to be owned: But to make birth alone a tile to the Crown, takes away the peoples birth-right given them of God of providing for their liberties in the fittest Government, and fetters their choice to one destructive to these. Certainly where God hath not bound the conscience, men may not bind themselves nor their posterity: But God hath never fettered men to a choice of a Government or Governing line, which contrary to the intention of the Oath may prove destructive to the ends thereof. Nor can the fathers leave in legacy by Oath, any chains to fetter the after wits of posterity to a choice destructive to Religion & liberty. Israel was bound by Covenant not to destroy the Gibeonites; but if they had risen to cut off Israel, who can doubt but they were loosed from that obligation? for to preserve Cut-throats was contrary to the intention of the Oath: so when either Monarchy, or the succeeding Monarch, proves destructive to the ends of Government, the Choice, Law, or Oath of our fathers, cannot bind us. 5. If we are tied to the hereditary succession, not for the right the successor hath by birth, but for our Covenanted allegiance to them whose successor he is; then cannot his birth-right be the ground of our Allegiance, And consequently hereditary succession cannot make a King: But the former is true; for in hereditary Crowns, the first family being chosen by the suffrages of the people, for that Cause the hereditary Prince comes to the Throne, because his first father, and in him the whole line, was chosen: The hereditary successor hath no privilege or prerogative, but from him who was chosen King. Therefore the obligation to the son, being no greater than the obligation to the father, which is the ground of that, if the father then was owned only because he was chosen & qualified for Government, the Son cannot be owned for any other Cause, but as chosen in him, and also qualified and admitted with Consent. We cannot choose the father as qualified, and tie ourselves to the Successors, be what they will. 6. If a King be not born heir of a Kingdom, then is he not King by birth; But he is not born heir of a Kingdom: for, a mean cannot be born to inherit the end, the King is but a mean for the Kingdoms preservation. If the Kingdom be his by birth as an inheritance, why may he not upon necessary occasions sell his inheritance? but if he sell it, then all confess he is no more King. 7. If that which makes a King cannot be transmitted from father to son; then succession by birth cannot make a King: But the former is true. The Royal faculty of Governing cannot be transmitted: Solomon asked it from God, he had it not from his father: nor can he be born to the honour of a King, because not born with either the gift or honour to be a Judge. God maketh high & low, not birth. Nor can the Call & Constitution of a King according to the will of God be transferred from father to son, for that cannot be in God’s way without the intervening Consent of the people, that cannot make him a born King. 8. If no Dominion can come by Nature, as is proven before, then can no man be a born King: Nature & birth cannot give them a Scepter in their hand; nor Kingly Majesty they must have that alone from God & the people, and may only expect honour from their own good Government: Kings (as Plutarch says) must be like dogs that are best hunters, not these who are born of best dogs. 9. The peculiar Prerogative of Jesus Christ must not be ascribed to any other: But this is His peculiar Prerogative, to be a born King of whom it might be truly said, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? And for this end was He born, who came out of the womb with a Crown on His Head, which no Creature can bear. 10. In Scripture we find that a King was to be so & so qualified, not a stranger, but a reader of God’s Word &c. Deut. 17. 15. &c. he was not qualified by naked birth. Hence, if all the qualifications requisite in an heir cannot make a King qualified according to the Institution of God, then his being heir cannot make him King: But the first is true; an heir may be an heir without these qualifications. 11. We find in the Scripture, the people were to make the Kings by that Law Deut. 17. thou shalt choose him whom the Lord chooseth: yea neither Saul nor David were Kings, till the people met to make them: Therefore birth never made them Kings, even though the Kingdom was tied to David’s line. That was only a Typical designment by special Promise, because Christ was to come of that line; it was therefore established in David’s family for Typical reasons, that cannot be now alleged. 12. We find in the disposal of Government among brethren, this birth-order was not seldom inverted; as when Jacob was preferred before Esau, Judah before all the elder sons of Jacob. Ephraim before Manasseh, Solomon before Adonijah. Hence if this Gentleman now regnant, have no better pretenses than these now confuted, we cannot recognosce his right to reign: yea though this last were valid, yet he cannot plead it, it being expressly provided in our Laws against the succession of a Papist. But there is one Grand Objection against all this. The Jews and other Nations are commanded to bring their necks under the yoke of the King of Babylon and to serve him, and yet he had no other right to these Kingdom, then the Lord’s Providential disposal, because the Lord had given all these Lands into his hand, Jer. 27. 6, 7, 12. Ans. 1. He was indeed an unjust Usurper, and had no right but the Lord’s providential gift; which sometimes makes the tabernacles of Robbers prosper into whose hand God bringeth abundantly Job. 12. 6. and gives Jacob sometimes for a spoil and Israel to the Robbers Isai. 42. 24. and giveth power to the Beast to continue forty & two Months, and to have power over all kindreds & tongues & Nations Revel. 13. 5, 7. His Tyranny also was very great extensively, in respect of his oppressions & usurpations by Conquest: but it was not so great intensively, as our Robbers & Spoilers may be charged with; he was never such a Perverter of all the ends of Government, nor a treacherous overturner of all Conditions, he was never a Persecutor of the Jewish Religion, he never oppressed them upon that account, nor endeavoured its extirpation, he never enacted such mischiefs by Law. The Lord only made use of him to bring about the holy ends of the Glory of His Justice & Wisdom, in which respect alone he is called His Servant, as else where His rod & hammer, having given him a charge against an Hypocritical Nation to trample them down in His holy Providence, and accordingly there was no resistance could prevail, they must be trampled upon, no help for it; but no subjection was required, acknowledging his Magistratical right by divine Ordinance, but only a submissive stooping to the holy disposal of divine Providence; no owning was exacted either of the equity of that power, or of fealty to the administrator. 2. This behooved to be a particular Command, by Positive Revelation given at that time, not binding to others in the like Condition; which I refer to the judgment of the objectors: put the case, and make it run parallel, If the King of England were in league with the King of France, and breaking that league should provoke that aspiring Prince, growing potent by many Conquests, to discover his designs, make preparations, and give out threatenings for the Conquest of England & all Britain; were the people of England bound to surrender themselves as Servants & tributaries to him, for 70 years or forever, under pain of destruction, if they should not? This were one of the most ridiculous inferences, that ever was pleaded: nay it would make all refusal of subjection to invaders unlawful. 3. I will draw an Argument from this to confirm my Plea: for these Commands of subjection to Babylon, were not delivered until after the King of Judah had surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, and entered into Covenant with him to be subject to him 2. King. 24. chap. in keeping which Covenant the Kingdom might have stood, and after he had Rebelled against him and broken that Covenant, when lo he had given his hand; after which he could not prosper, or escape, or be delivered, Ezek. 17. 14, 15, 18, 2 Chron. 36. 13. Then the Commandment came, that they should disown their own King Zedekiah, now forfeiting his right by breach of Covenant, and be subject to Nebuchadnezzar. Whence I argue, If people are commanded to disown their Covenant-breaking Rulers, and subject themselves to Conquerours; then I have all I plead for: But the former is true, by the truth of this objection: Ergo also the Latter. There is a 2 Obj. from Rom. 13. 1. let every soul be subject to the higher powers, the powers that be are ordained of God: yet the Roman Emperour, to which they were to be subject, was an usurper. Ans. 1. It cannot be proven that the Apostle intendeth here the Roman Emperour as the higher power: There were at this time several Competitions for the Empire, about which Christians might have their own scruples whom to own; the Apostle does not determine their litigations, nor interest himself in parties, but gives the General Standard of God’s Ordinance they had to go by. And the best Expositors of the place do allege, the question & doubt of Christians then, was not so much in whom the Supremacy was? as whether Christians were at all bound to obey Civil power, especially Pagan? which the Apostle resolves, in giving general directions to Christians, to obey the ordinance of Magistracy, conformed to its original, and as it respects the end for which he had & would set it up, but no respect is there had to Tyrants. 2. It cannot be proven that the Supreme power then in being was usurpative: there being then a Supreme Senate, which was a Lawful power; nor that Nero was then an usurper, who came in by choice & consent, and with the good liking of the people. 3. The Text means of Lawful powers, not unlawful force, that are ordained of God by His Preceptive will not merely by His Providential disposal, and of conscientious subjection to Magistracy, not to Tyranny, describing & characterizing the powers there, by such qualifications as Tyrants & Usurpers are not capable of. But I mind to improve this Text more fully hereafter, to prove the quite contrary to what is here objected.
8. From the Right of Magistracy, flows the Magistratical Relation; which is necessary to have a bottom, before we can build the relative duties thereof. This brings it under the fifth Commandment, which is the Rule of all relative duties between Inferiours & Superiours, requiring honour to be given to Fathers, Masters, Husbands &c. and to rightful Magistrates, who are under such political relations, as do infer the same duties; and prohibiting not only the omission of these duties, but also the committing of contrary sins; which may be done, not only by contrary acts, as dishonouring & rebelling against Fathers, Magistrates &c. but also by performing them to contrary objects, as by giving the Fathers due to the Fathers opposite, and the Magistrates due to Tyrants who are their opposites. Certainly this Command prescribing honour, doth regulate to whom it should be given; And must be understood in a consistency with that duty, and Character of one that hath a mind to be an inhabitant of the Lord’s holy Hill Psal. 15. 4. in whose eyes a vile person is contemned but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. So that we sin against the fifth Command, when we honour them that we are obliged to contemn by another Command. Hence I argue, If owning or honouring of Tyrants be a breach of the fifth Command; then we cannot own their Authority: But the former is true: Ergo the latter. I prove the Assumption. A honouring the vile to whom no honour is due, and who stand under no relation of Fathers as Fathers, is a breach of the fifth Command: But the owning of Tyrants Authority is a honouring the vile to whom no honour is due, and who stand under no relation of Fathers, and is yet a honouring them as Fathers: Ergo the owning of Tyrant’s Authority is a breach of the fifth Command. The Major is clear: for if the honouring of these to whom no honour is due, were not a breach of the fifth Command; that precept could neither be kept at all, nor broken at all. It could not be kept at all: for, either it must oblige us to honour all indefinitely, as Fathers, and other relations, which cannot be: or else it must leave us still in suspense & ignorance, who shall be the object of our honour; and then it can never be kept: or finally it must astrict our honouring to such definite relations, to whom it is due; & then our transgression of that restriction, shall be a breach of it. Next if it were not so, it could not be broken at all: for if prostituting & abusing honour be not a sin, we cannot sin in the matter of honour at all; for if the abuse of honour be not a sin, then dishonour also is not a sin, for that is but an abuse of the duty, which is a sin as well as the omission of it. And what should make the taking away of honour from the proper object to be sin, and the giving it to a wrong object to be no sin? Moreover if this Command do not restrict honour to the proper object; we shall never know who is the object: how shall we know who is our Father, or what we owe to him, if we may give another his due? The Minor also is manifest: for if Tyrants be vile, then no honour is due to them, according to that Psal. 15. 4. And yet it is a honouring them as Fathers if they be owned as Magistrates; for Magistrates are in a politick sense Fathers: But certain it is that Tyrants are vile, as the Epithets & Characters they get in Scripture prove. But because, in contradiction to this, it may be said; though Fathers be never so wicked, yet they are to be honoured because they are still Fathers, And though Masters be never so vile and froward, yet they are to be subjected unto 1 Pet. 2. 18–20. and so of other relations, to whom honour is due by this Command, therefore though Tyrants be never so vile they are to be owned under these relations, because they are the higher Powers in place of Eminency, to whom the Apostle Paul commands to yield subjection Rom. 13. and Peter to give submission & honour. 1 Pet. 2. 13, 17. Therefore it must be considered, that as the relative duty of honouring the relations to whom it is due, must not interfere with the moral duty of contemning the vile, who are not under these relations; So this general Moral of contemning the vile, must not cassate [vacate] the obligation of relative duties, but must be understood with a Consistency therewith, without any prejudice to the duty itself. We must contemn all the vile that are not under a relation to be honoured, and these also that are in that relation in so far as they are vile. But now Tyrants do not come under these Relations at all that are to be honoured by this Command. As for the higher Powers that Paul speaks of Rom. 13. they are not those which are higher in force, but higher in Power, not in potentia [in potential] but in potestate [in power], not in a Celsitude [exaltation] of prevalency but in a pre-excellency of dignity, not in the pomp & pride of their prosperity & possession of the place, but by the virtue & value of their office, being ordained of God not to be resisted, the Ministers of God for good, terrors to evil doers, to whom honour is due, those are not Tyrants but Magistrates. Hence it is a word of the same root which is rendered Authority, or an Authorized Power 1 Tim. 2. 2. And from the same word also comes that supreme to whom Peter commands subjection & honour 1 Pet. 2. 13. Now these he speaks of have the Legal Constitution of the people, being the ordinance of man to be subjected to for the Lord’s sake. and who sends other inferior Magistrates for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well, who are to be honoured as Kings or Lawful Magistrates: this cannot be said of Tyrants. But more particularly, to evince that Tyrants & Usurpers are not to be honoured according to this Command, and that it is a breach of it so to do; let us go through all these Relations of Superiority that come under the obligation of this Command, and we shall find Tyrants & Usurpers excluded out of all. First, they cannot come under the Parental relation: We are indeed to esteem Kings as Fathers, though not properly but by way of some Analogy, because it is their office to care for the people, and to be their Counselors, and to defend them, as Fathers do for Children: but Roaring Lyons & Ranging Bears, as wicked Rulers are, Prov. 28. 15. cannot be Fathers. But Kings cannot properly be owned under this Relation, far less Tyrants (with whom the Analogy of Fathers cannot consist) there being so many notable disparities betwixt Kings & Fathers. 1. A Father may be a Father to one Child; but a King cannot be a King or Politick Father to one only, but his Correlate must be a Community; a Tyrant can be a Father to none at all in a Politick sense. 2. A Father is a Father by Generation to all coming out of his loins; a King not so, he doth not beget them, nor doth their relation flow from that; a Tyrant is a destroyer not a Procreator of people. 3. A Father is the cause of the Natural being of his Children; A King only of the Politick wellbeing of his subjects; but Tyrants are the cause of the ill-being of both. 4. A Father once a Father, as long as his Children live, retains still the relation, though he turn mad and never so wicked; A King turning mad may be served as Nebuchadnezzar was, at least all will grant in some cases the subjects may shake off the King; and if in any case, it is when he turns Tyrant. 5. A Fathers relation never ceases, whither soeuer his Children go; but subjects may change their relation to a King, by coming under another King in another Kingdom; a Tyrant will force all lovers of freedom to leave the Kingdom where he Domineers. 6. A Fathers relation never changes, he can neither change his children nor they change their Father; but a King may naturalize new subjects, and subjects may also change their Sovereign, Royalists will grant a State or Common-wealth way make a King, and there is great reason sometimes that a Monarchy be turned into a Common-wealth; but a Tyrant changes those that are under him, expels the natives, brings in foreigners, and all good Patriots do pant for a Change of him every day. 7. A Father hath no power of life & death over his Children; a King hath it over his subjects according to Law; a Tyrant Usurps it over the innocent against Law. 8. A Father is not a Father by consent of his Children; as a King is by consent of his subjects; a Tyrant is neither a Father with it nor without it. 9. A Father is not made by the Children; as a King is by his subjects as was shewed; a Tyrant is neither a Natural, nor by compact, but a self-created power. 10. A Father is not chosen conditionally upon compact, as a King is by the free suffrages of the Community; A Tyrant in this Differs from a King that he is not chosen, and in Tyranny from a Father. 11. Children wanting a Father cannot choose whom they will to be their Father; as subjects wanting a King may choose whom they will, and what form they please; but though they can, yet if they be rational, they will never choose a Tyrant, nor a Tyrannical form of Government. 12. Children cannot restrict their Father’s power to what degrees they please; as subjects may limit their Kings, at their first erection; but a Tyrant though he ought yet he will not be limited, and if he might he should be restrained. 13. Children cannot set bounds how long they will have their Fathers to continue; Subjects may condescend upon the time, in making Laws how long such an one shall be their Sovereign, ad vitam [for life] or ad culpam [to a fault; that is, until he forfeits his office by reason of a fault], according as the fundamental Law is made at first; Tyrants ought every day to be repressed, that they should not continue at all. Yet giving and not granting, that a King were to be owned under the relation of a Father; though every man be bound to own & maintain his Father’s parental Authority, yet let the case be put, that the Father turns a Robber, murderer, an avowed enemy to God and the country, is his person & Authority in that case to be owned, to the dishonour of God, and hurt & hazard of the country? or ought he not rather to be delivered up even by the Son to Justice? Much more then will it follow, that a King who turns the more dangerous because the more powerful Robber, & Legal Murderer, and enemy to God & the country, cannot be owned; seeing the relation betwixt Father & Son is stronger & stricter, as having another Original, than can be betwixt King & subjects, and stands unremoved as long as he is Father, though turning such they ought to contribute (in moral duty, to which their relative duty must cede) that he should no more be a Father, nor no more a living man, when dead by Law. Secondly, They cannot come under the herile [relating to a master] or Masterly relation, though Analogically also sometimes they are styled so, and subjects are called Servants, by reason of their subjection, and because it is the Office of Kings to command & subjects to obey, in this there is some Analogy. But Kings cannot properly be owned under this relation, as Masters over either persons or goods of subjects, far less Tyrants, yea Kings assuming a Masterly power turn Tyrants. Now that the Magistratical relation is not that of a Master, is clear from many disparities & absurdities, whether we consider the state of hired Servants or Slaves. For hired Servants, the difference is vast betwixt them & subjects. 1. The hired Servant gets reward for his service, by compact; the subjects none, but rather gives the Royal reward of Tribute to the King for his service; the Tyrant exacts it to maintain his Tyranny. 2. The hired Servant is maintained by his Master; the subjects maintain the King; the Tyrant Robs it from them by force. 3. The hired Servant bargains only for a time, and then may leave him; the subject cannot give up his Covenanted allegiance, at that rate and for these reasons as the servant may his service; a Tyrant will make nor keep no such bargain. 4. The hired Servant must have his Masters profit mainly before his eyes, and his own only secondarily; but the Magistrates power is primarily ordinated to the public good of the Community, and only consequentially to the good of himself. 5. The Master hath a greater power over the hired Servant, to make & give out Lawes to him, which if they be Lawful he must obey; than the King hath over the Nation, to which he is not the sole Lawgiver, as is shewed. 6. The hired Servant his subjection is Mercenary & servile; but the subject’s subjection is civil, free, voluntary, liberal, & loving to a Lawful King. Again for Slaves, the difference between them & subjects is great. 1. Slavery being against Nature, rational people would never choose that life if they could help it; but they gladly choose Government, & Governours. 2. Slavery would make their condition worse than when they had no Government, for Liberty is always preferable; Neither could people have acted rationally in setting up Government, if to be free of oppression of others they had given themselves up to slavery, under a Master who may do what he pleases with them. 3. All Slaves are either taken in war, or bought with money, or born in the house where their parents were slaves, as Abraham & Solomon had of that sort; But subjects are neither captives, nor bought, nor born slaves. 4. Slavery is not Natural, but a penal fruit of sin, and would never have been if sin had not been; But Government is not so, but Natural & necessary. 5. Slaves are not their Masters brethren; subjects are the King’s brethren; over whom he must not lift up himself Deut. 17. 20. 6. Masters might purchase and sell their slaves, Abimelech took sheep & men servants & gave them unto Abraham. Gen. 20. 14. Jacob had maid servants & men servants & Asses Gen. 30. 43. no otherwise than other goods, Solomon got to himself servants and maidens, & servants born in his house Eccles. 2. 7. a King cannot do so with his subjects. 7. Princes have not this power to make the people slaves, neither from God, nor from the people: From God they have none, but to feed and to lead them 2 Sam. 5. 2. to rule them so as to feed them 1 Chron. 11. 2. Psal. 78. 71, 72. From the people they have no power to make slaves, they can give none such. 8. Slavery is a Curse: It was Canaan’s Curse to be a servant of servants Gen. 9. 25. but to have Magistrates is a promised blessing Jer. 17. 27. 9. To be free of Slavery is a blessing, as the redemption from Egypt’s bondage is everywhere called, and the year of redemption was a Jubilee of joy, so the freedom of release every seven years a great privilege. Jer 34. 9. but to be free of Government is a judgment Isai. 3. 4, 5. its threatened, Israel shall abide without a King & without a Prince Hos. 3. 4. In the Next place they cannot be owned as Masters or Proprietors over the goods of the subjects; though in the case of necessity, the King may make use of all goods in common, for the good of the Kingdom: For 1. The introduction of Kings cannot overturn natures foundation; by the Law of Nature property was given to man, Kings cannot rescind that. 2. A man had goods ere ever there was a King; a King was made only to preserve property, therefore he cannot take it away. 3. It cannot be supposed that rational people would choose a King at all, if he had power to turn a greater Robber to preserve them from lesser Robberies & oppressions: would rational men give up themselves for a prey to one, that they might be safe from becoming a prey to others? 4. Then their case should be worse by erecting of Government, if the Prince were proprietor of their goods, for they had the property themselves before. 5. Then Government should not be a blessing but a curse, and the Magistrate could not be a Minister for good. 6. Kingdoms then should be among bona fortunae, the goods of fortune, which the King might sell & dispone as he pleased. 7. His place then should not be a function, but a possession. 8. People could not then, by their removes or otherwise, change their Sovereigns. 9. Then no man might dispose of his own goods without the King’s consent, by buying or selling, or giving alms, nay nor pay tribute, for they cannot do these things except they have of their own. 10. This is the very Character of a Tyrant, as described 1 Sam. 8. 11. he will take your sons &c. Zeph. 3. 3. her Princes are roaring Lyons, her Judges are evening Wolves. 11. All the threatenings & rebukes of oppression condemn this, Isai. 3. 14. 15. Ezek. 45. 9. Mic. 3. 2, 3. Ahab condemned, for taking Naboth’s vineyard. 12. Pharaoh had not all the Land of Egypt, till he bought it Gen. 42. 20. So the Land became Pharaohs not otherwise. Yet giving and not granting that he were really a Master in all these respects; Notwithstanding if he turn to pursue me for my life, because of my fidelity to my Master & his both, & will withdraw me from the service of the Supreme Universal Master, I may Lawfully withdraw myself from his, and disown him for one, when I cannot serve two Masters. Sure he cannot be Master of the conscience. Thirdly, They cannot come under the conjugal relation, though there may be some proportion between that and subjection to a Lawful Ruler, because of the Mutual Covenant transacted betwixt them; but the Tyrant & Usurper cannot pretend to this, who refuse all Covenants. Yet hence it cannot be inferred, that because the wife may not put away her husband. Or renounce him, as he may do her in the case of Adultery, therefore the people cannot disown the King in the case of the violation of the Royal Covenant. For the King’s power is not at all properly a husband’s power. 1. The wife by nature is the weaker vessel; but the Kingdom is not weaker than the King. 2. The wife is given as an help to the man; but here the man is given as an help to the Common-wealth. 3. The wife cannot limit the husbands power; as subjects may limit their Sovereigns. 4. The wife cannot prescribe the time of her continuing under him; as subjects may do with their Sovereigns. 5. The wife cannot change her husband; as a Kingdom can do their Government 6. The husband hath not power of life & death; but the Sovereign hath it over Malefactors. Yet giving and not granting, his power were properly Marital; if the case be put, that the man do habitually break the Marriage Covenant, or take another wife, and turn also Cruel & intolerable in compelling his own wife to wickedness; and put the case also, that she should not get a Legal divorce procured, who can doubt but she might disown him, and leave him? for this case is excepted out of that Command 1 Cor. 7. 10. let not the wife depart from her husband, meaning for mere difference in Religion, or other lesser causes; but Adultery doth annual the Marriage relation, See Pool Synopsis Critic. in Locum. So when a Prince breaks the Royal Covenant and turns Tyrant, or without any Covenant commits a rape upon the Common-wealth, that pretended relation may & must be disowned. Hence we see, there is no relation can bring a King or Ruler under the object of the duty of the fifth Command, except it be that of a fiduciary Patron or Trustee and Public Servant: for we cannot own him properly either to be a Father, or a Master, or a husband. Therefore what can remain, but that he must be a fiduciary Servant? Wherefore if he shall either treacherously break his trust, or presumptuously refuse to be entrusted, upon terms & conditions to secure & be accountable for (before God & man) Religion & Liberty, we cannot own his usurped Authority. That Metaphor which the learned Buchanan uses, de Jure Regni, of a Public & Politick Physician, is not a relation different from this of a fiduciary Servant; when he elegantly represents him as entrusted with the preservation & restauration of the health of the politick body, and endued with shill & experience of the Laws of his Craft. If then he be orderly called unto this charge, and qualified for it, and discharges his duty faithfully, he deserves, and we are obliged to give him the deference of an honoured Physician: But if he abuse his Calling and not observe the rules thereof, and instead of curing go about willfully to kill the body he is entrusted with, he is no more to be owned for a Physician but for a Murderer.
9. If we inquire further into the nature of this Relation between a King (whose Authority is to be owned) and his subjects; we can own it only as it is Reciprocal in respect of Superiority & Inferiority, that is, whereby in some respects the King is Superior to the people, and in some respects the people is Superior to him. The King is Superior & Supreme as he is called 1 Pet. 2. 13. in respect of formal Sovereignty, and executive Authority, and Majestic Royal dignity, resulting from the peoples devolving upon him that Power, and constituting him in that relation over themselves, whereby he is higher in place & power than they, and in respect of his Charge & conduct is worth ten thousands of the people 2 Sam. 18. 3. and there is no formally regal Tribunal higher than his; And though he be Minor universis yet he is Major singulis, greater than any one, or all the people distributively taken; And though he be a Royal Vassal of the Kingdom, & Princely Servant of the people; yet he is not their deputy, because he is really their Sovereign, to whom they have made over their Power of governing & protecting themselves irrevocably, except in the case of Tyranny; and in acts of Justice, he is not countable to any, and does not depend on the people as a deputy. But on the other hand, the people is superior to the King, in respect of their fountain power of Sovereignty, that remains radically & virtually in them, in that they make him their Royal Servant, and him rather than another and limit him to the Laws for their own good & advantage, and though they give to him a Politick Power for their own safety; yet they keep a Natural Power which they cannot give away, but must resume it in case of Tyranny; And though they cannot retract the power of Justice to govern righteously, yet it is not so irrevocably given away to him, but that when he abuseth his power to the destruction of his subjects, they may wrest a sword out of a mad man’s hand, though it be his own sword and he hath a just power to use it for good, but all fiduciary power abused may be repealed. They have not indeed Sovereignty or power of life & death formally; yet in respect they may constitute a Magistrate with Laws, which if they violate they must be in hazard of their lives, they have this power eminently & virtually. Hence in respect that the King’s Power is and can be only fiducial, by way of trust reposed upon him, he is not so superior to the people, but he may & ought to be accountable to them in case of Tyranny; which is evident from what is said, and now I intend to make it further appear. But first I form the Argument thus; We can own no King that is not accountable to the people: Ergo we cannot own this King. To clear the Connexion of the antecedent & consequent, I add; Either he is accountable to the people, or he is not: If he be accountable to all then he is renounceable by a part, when the Collective body either will not, or cannot exact an account from him, when the Community is defective as to their part, it is the interest of a part, that would but cannot do their duty, to give no account to such as they can get no account from for his Malversations [official corruptions]. This is all we crave: If he be not accountable, then we cannot own him, because all Kings are accountable: for these reasons. 1. The Inferior is accountable to the Superior: the King is inferior, the people superior: Ergo the King is accountable to the people. The proposition is plain; if the King’s superiority make the people accountable to him, in case of transgressing the Laws; then, why should not the peoples superiority make the King accountable to them, in case of transgressing the Laws? especially seeing the King is inferior to the Laws: because the Law restrains him, and from the Law he hath that whereby he is King; the Law is inferior to the people, because they are as it were its parent, and way make or unmake it upon occasion: and seeing the Law is more powerful than the King, and the people more powerful than the Law, we may see before which we may call the King to answer in Judgment, Buchan Jure Regni apud Scot. That the King is inferior to the people is clear on many accounts: for these things which are institute for others sake, are inferior to those for whose sake they are required or sought; a horse is inferior to them that use him for victory; A King is only a mean for the peoples good; A Captain is less than the Army, a King is but a Captain over the Lord’s Inheritance 1 Sam. 10. 1. He is but the Minister of God for their good Rom. 13. 4. Those who are before the King, and may be a people without him, must be superior to him who is a posteriour and cannot be a King without them: let the King be considered either Materially as a Mortal man, he is then but a part inferior to the whole; or formally under the reduplication as a King, he is no more but a Royal Servant, obliged to spend his life for the people, to save them out of the hand of their enemies 2 Sam. 19. 9. A part is inferior to the whole, the King is but a part of the Kingdom: A Gift is inferior to them to whom it is given, a King is but a gift given of God for the peoples good: That which is Mortal & but accidental, is inferior to that which is eternal & cannot perish Politically; a King is but mortal, and it is but accidental to Government that there be a succession of Kings; but the people is eternal, one generation passeth away & another generation cometh Eccles. 1. 4. especially the people of God, the portion of the Lord’s inheritance, is superior to any King, and their ruin of greater moment than all the Kings of the world; for if the Lord for their sake smite great Kings, & slay famous Kings, as Sihon & Og. Psal. 137. 17–20. if he give kings & famous kingdoms for their ransom. Isai. 43. 3, 4. then His people must be so much superior than kings, by how much His Justice is active to destroy the one, and His Mercy to save the other. All this proves the people to be superior in dignity, And therefore even in that respect its frivolous to say, the king cannot be accountable to them, because so much superior in Glory & Pomp; for they are superior every way in excellency; And though it were not so, yet Judges may be inferior in rank considered as men, but they are superior in Law over the greatest as they are Judges, to whom far greater than they are accountable. The low & mean condition of them to whom belongs the power of Judgment does not diminish its dignity: when the king then is Judged by the people, the Judgment is of as great dignity as if it were done by a superior king; for the Judgment is the sentence of the Law, 2. They are superior in power: because every constituent cause is superior to the effect, the people is the constituent cause, the king is the effect, and hath all his Royalty from them, by the Conveyance God hath appointed; so that they need not fetch it from Heaven, God gives it by the people, by whom also his power is limited and, it need be, diminished from what they gave his Ancestors: Hence, if the people constitute & limit the power they give the King, then they may call him to an account, and judge him for the abuse of it: But the first is true as is proven above: Ergo—The Major is undeniable, for sure, they may judge their own Creature, and call him to an account for the power they gave him, when he abuses it, though there be no Tribunal formally Regal above him, yet in the case of Tyranny and violating his Trust there is a Tribunal virtual eminently above him, in them that made him & reposed that Trust upon him, as is said. 3. The fountain power is superior to the power derived: The people, though they constitute a King above them, yet retain the fountain power, he only hath the derived power: Certainly the people must retain more power eminently, than they could give to the King, for they gave it, and he receives it, with limitations, if he turn mad or uncapable they may put Curators & Tutors over him; if he be taken captive, they may appoint another to exercise the power, if he die then they may constitute another, with more or less power; So then if they give away all their power, as a slave selleth his Liberty, and retain no fountain power or radical right, they could not make use of it to produce any of these acts: They set a King above them only with an executive power for their good, but the radical power remains in the people, as in an immortal spring, which they communicate by succession to this or that Mortal man, in the manner & measure they think expedient; for otherwise if they gave all their power away, what shall they reserve to make a new King, if this man die? What if the Royal line surcease, there be no Prophets now sent to make Kings: And if they have power in these cases, why not in the case of Tyranny? 4. If the King be accountable by Law, for any act of Tyranny done against one man, then much more is he accountable for many against the whole state: But the former is true; a private man may go to Law before the ordinary Judges for wronging his inheritance, and the King is made accountable for the wrong done by him. Now shall the Laws be like Spiders webs, which hold flies, but let bigger beasts pass through? Shall Sentence be past for petty wrongs against a man, and none for Tyrannizing over Religion, Laws, & Liberties of the Kingdom? Shall none be past against parricide or fratricide, for killing his Brother, Murdering the Nobles, and burning Cities? Shall petty Thieves be hanged for stealing a Sheep, and does the Laws of God or man give impunity, for robbing a whole Country of the nearest & dearest Interests they have to Crowned heads for the fancied Character of Royalty, which thereby is forfeited? 5. If there be Judges appointed of God independently, to give out & execute the Judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of the highest; then the King also must be subject to that Judgment: But there are Judges appointed of God independently, to give out & execute the Judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of the highest. Two things must be here proved; first, that in giving Judgment they do not depend on the King, but are the immediate vicars of God: Secondly that the King is not excepted from, but subject to, their Judgment, in case he be Criminal. First they cannot depend upon the King, because they are more necessary then the King; and it is not left to the King’s pleasure whether there be Judges or not. There may be Judges without a King, but there can be no King without Judges, nor no Justice but Confusion; no man can bear the peoples burden alone Numb. 11. 14, 17, If they depended on the King, their Power would die with the King; the streams must dry up with the fountain: but that cannot be, for they are not Ministri regis but regni, they are not Ministers of the King but of the Kingdom, whose honour & promotion, though by the King’s external call, yet comes from God, as all honour & promotion does Psal. 75. 7, The King cannot make Judges whom he will by his absolute Power, he must be tied to that Law Deut. 1. 13. To take wise men & understanding & known: Neither can he make them durante beneplacito : for if these qualifications remain, there is no allowance given for their removal. They are Gods & the Children of the Most High, appointed to defend the poor & fatherless, as well as he, Psal. 82. 3, 6. They are ordained of God for the punishment of evil doers, in which they must not be resisted, as well as he Rom. 13. 1, 2. by me (saith the Lord) rule … all the Judges of the earth Prov. 8. 16. To them we must be subject for Conscience sake, as being the Ministers of God for good; they must be obeyed for the Lord’s sake, as well as the King; though they are sent of him, yet they Judge not for man but for the Lord 2 Chron. 19. 6. hence they sit in his room, and are to act as if he were on the bench: the King cannot say, the Judgment is mine, because it is the Lord’s: neither can he limit their sentence (as he might, if they were nothing but his deputies) because the Judgment is not his: nor are their Consciences subordinate to him, but to the Lord immediately; otherwise if they were his deputies, depending on him; then they could neither be admonished, nor condemned for unjust Judgment, because their sentence should neither be righteous nor unrighteous, but as the King makes it; And all directions to them were capable of this exception, do not so or so except the King command you, crush not the poor, oppress not the fatherless, except the King command you: yea then they could not execute any Judgment, but with the King’s License, and so could not be rebuked for their not executing Judgment. Now all this is contrary to Scripture, which makes the sentence of the Judges undeclinable when just Deut. 17. 11. the Lord’s indignation is kindled, when He looks for Judgment & behold oppression, for righteousness & behold a Cry Isai. 5. 7. neither will it excuse the Judges to say, the king would have it so; for even they that are subservient, to write grievousness, to turn aside the needy from Judgment &c. are under the wo, as well as they that prescribe it Isai. 10. 1, 2. The Lord is displeased when Judgment is turned away back ward, and Justice stands a far of—and when there is no Judgment, whatever be the Cause of it Isai. 59. 14, 15. The Lord threatens He will be avenged on the Nation, when a man is not found to execute Judgment. Jer. 5. 1, 9. And promises if they will execute Judgment & righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, He will give them righteous Magistrates. Jer. 22. 3, 4. but if they do not, He will send desolation ibid. He rebukes those that turn Judgment to wormwood and leave of righteousness in the earth Amos. 5. 7. He resents it when the Law is slacked and Judgment doth not go forth freely without overawing or overruling restraint Hab. 1. 4. Can these Scriptures consist with the Judges dependence on the king’s pleasure, in the exercise & execution of their Power? Therefore if they would avoid the Lord’s displeasure, they are to give Judgment, though the King should countermand it. Secondly, that the King is not excepted from their Judgment, is also evident from the General Commands Gen. 9. 6. whoso sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed: there is no exception of Kings or Dukes here, and we must not distinguish where the Law distinguisheth not. Numb. 35. 30, 31. whoso killeth any person the murderer shall be put to death, by the mouth of witnesses—ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a Murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall be surely put to death. What should hinder then Justice to be awarded upon a Murdering King? Shall it be for want of witnesses? It will be easy to adduce thousands: Or shall this be satisfaction for his life, that he is a Crowned King? the Law saith there shall no satisfaction be taken. The Lord speaketh to under Judges Levit. 19. 15. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the Mighty. If Kings be not among the Mighty, how shall they be classed? Deut. 1. 17. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, but you shall hear the small as well as the great, you shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God’s: if then no man’s face can outdare the Law & Judgment of God, then the King’s Majestic face must not do it, but as to the demerit of blood he must be subject as well as another. Its no Argument to say, the Sanhedrin did not punish David for his Murder & Adultery. Ergo now it is not Lawful to punish a King for the same: a reason a non facto is not relevant. David did not punish Joab for his Murder, but Authorized it, as also he did Bathsheba’s Adultery; will that prove that Murders connived at, or commanded by the King, shall not be punished? or that Whores of State are not to be called to an account? Neither will it prove that a Murdering king should not be punished, that David was not punished: because he got both the sin pardoned, and his life granted from the Lord, saying to him, by the mouth of the Prophet Nathan, Thou shalt not die: But as for the demerit of that fact, he himself pronounced the sentence out of his own mouth 2 Sam. 12. 15. As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. ‘So every king condemned by the Law, is condemned by his own mouth; for the Law is the voice of the king: why then do we so much weary ourselves concerning a Judge? seeing we have the king’s own Confession, that is the Law.’ Buchanan. de jure regni. And there needs be no other difficulty, to find a Tribunal for a Murdering king, than to find one for a Murderer; for a Judgment must acknowledge but one name, to wit of the Crime; if a king then be guilty of Murder, he hath no more the name of a king but of a Murderer, when brought to Judgment; for he is not Judged for his kingship, but for his Murder; as when a Gentleman is Judged for Robbery, he is not hanged, neither is he spared, because he is a Gentleman, but because he is a Robber. See Buchanan. ubi supra. 6. If the Peoples Representatives be superior to the king in Judgment, and may execute Judgment without him, and against his will, then they may also seek account of him, for if he hath no Power but from them, and no Power without them to act as king (no more than the eye or hand hath Power to act without the body) then his Power must be inferior, fiduciary, & accountable to them: But the former is true, The Peoples Representatives are superior to the king in Judgment, and may execute Judgment without him, and against his will. In Scripture we find the Power of the Elders and heads of the People was very great, and in many cases superior to the king: which the Learned Dr. Owen demonstrates in his Preliminary Exercitations on the Epist. to the Heb. and proves out of the Rabbins, that the kings of the Jews might have been called to an account, & punished for transgressing of the Law. But in the Scripture we find. (1) They had a Power of Judgment with the Supreme Magistrate, in matters of Religion, Justice & Government. Hamor & Shechem would not make a Covenant with Jacob’s Sons, without the consent of the men of the City. Gen. 34. 20. David behooved to consult with the Captains of thousands, & every Leader, if it seemed good to them to bring again the Ark of God. 1. Chron. 13. 1, 2, 3. So also Solomon could not do it without them 1 King. 8. 1. Ahab could not make peace with Benhadad against the consent of the People 1 King. 20. 8. The men of Ephraim complain that Jephthah, the Supreme Magistrate, had gone to War against the Children of Ammon without them, and threatened to burn his house with fire, which he only excuses by the Law of necessity Judg. 12. 1, 2, 3. The Seventy Elders are appointed by God, not to be the Advisers only & helpers of Moses, but to bear a part of the burden of ruling & governing the People, that Moses might be eased Numb. 11. 14, 17. Moses upon his sole pleasure had not power to restrain them, in the exercise of Judgment given of God. They were not the Magistrates depending deputies, but in the act of Judging they were independent, and their Consciences as immediately subjected to God as the Superior Magistrate, who was to add his approbative suffrage to their actings, but not his directive nor imperative suffrage of absolute pleasure, but only according to the Law; he might command them to do their duty, but he could do nothing without them. (2) They had Power, not derived from the Prince at all, even a Power of life & death. The rebellious Son was to be brought to the Elders of the City, who had Power to stone him Deut. 21. 18, 24. They had Power to punish Adultery with death Deut. 22. 21. They had Power to cognosce [give judgment], whom to admit into and whom to seclude from the Cities of refuge: So that if the King had commanded to take the life of an innocent man, they were not to deliver him Josh. 20. per tot. But besides the Elders of Cities, there were the Elders and heads of the People, who had judicial Power to cognosce on all Criminal Matters, even when Joshua was Judge in Israel we find they assumed this Power, to judge of that matter of the two tribes & the half Josh. 22. 30. And they had Power to make Kings, as Saul & David, as was shewed: and it must needs follow, they had Power to unmake them in case of Tyranny. (3) They had Power to convene, even without the indiction of the Ruler, as in that Josh. 22. they convene without him: and without advice or knowledge of Samuel, the Ruler, they convene to ask a King 1 Sam. 8. And without any head or superior, they convene & make David King, notwithstanding of Ishbosheth’s hereditary right. Without & against Tyrannous Athaliah her consent, they convene & make Joash King, and cared not for her Treason, Treason 2 King. 11. But now the king alone challenges the Prerogative-power of calling & dissolving Parliaments as he pleases, and condemns all meetings of Estates without his warrant, which is purely Tyrannical: for in cases of necessity, by the very Law of nature, they may & must convene. The Power is given to the king only by a positive Law, for orders sake; but otherwise, they have an intrinsical Power to assemble themselves. All the fore cited Commands, Admonitions, & Certifications, to execute Judgment, must necessarily involve & imply & Power to convene, without which they could not be in a Capacity for it: Not only unjust Judgment, but no Judgment, in a time when Truth is fallen in the streets & equity cannot enter, is charged as the sin of the State; therefore they must convene to prevent this sin, and the wrath of God for it: God hath committed the keeping of the Common-wealth, not to the king only, but also to the peoples Representatives & heads. And if the king have Power to break up all Conventions of this nature, then he hath Power to hinder Judgment to proceed, which the Lord Commands: And this would be an excuse, when God threatens vengeance for it, we could not execute Judgment, because the King forbad us. Yet many of these forementioned reproofs, threatenings, & certifications were given, in the time of Tyrannous & Idolatrous kings, who no doubt would inhibit & discharge the doing of their duty; yet we see, that was no excuse, but the Lord denounces wrath for the omission. (4) They had Power to execute Judgment, against the will of the Prince. Samuel killed Agag against Saul’s will, but according to the Command of God 1 Sam. 15. 32. Against Ahab’s will & mind Elijah caused kill the Priests of Baal, according to God’s express Law 1 King. 18. 40. It is true it was extraordinary, but no otherwise than it is this day, when there is no Magistrate that will execute the Judgment of the Lord; then they who have Power to make the Magistrate may & ought to execute it, when wicked men make the Law of God of none effect. So the Princes of Judah had power, against the king’s will, to put Jeremiah to death, which the king supposes, when he directs him what to say to them Jer. 38. 25. They had really such a Power, though in Jeremiah’s case it would have been wickedly perverted, See Lex Rex Q. 19. 20. (5) They had a power to execute Judgment upon the king himself: as in the case of Amaziah & Uzziah, as shall be cleared afterwards. I conclude with repeating the Argument: If the king be accountable, whensoever this Account shall be taken, we are confident our disowning him for the present will be justified, and all will be obliged to imitate it: If he be not, then we cannot own his Authority, that so presumptuously exalts himself above the People.
10. If we will further consider the nature of Magistracy; it will appear what Authority can conscientiously be owned, to wit, that which is ἐξουσία Potestas, not δύναμις Potentia; Authorized Power, not Might or force; Moral Power, not merely Natural. There is a great difference betwixt these two: Natural Power is common to brutes, Moral Power is peculiar to men; Natural Power is more in the Subjects, because they have more strength & force; Moral Power is in the Magistrate, they can never meet adequately in the same subject; Natural power can, Moral only may warrantably exercise rule; Natural power is opposed to impotency & weakness, Moral to illicitness or unlawfulness; Natural power consists in strength, Moral in righteousness; Natural power may be in a Rout of Rogues making an uproar, Moral only in the Rulers; they cannot be distinguished by their acts, but by the Principle from which the acts proceed; in the one from mere force, in the other from Authority. The Principle of Natural power is its own might & will, and the end only self; Moral hath its rise from positive Constitution, and its end public safety. The strength of Natural power lies in the Sword, whereby its might gives Law; the strength of Moral power is in its Word, whereby reason gives Law, unto which the Sword is added for punishment of Contraveners: Natural power takes the Sword Math. 26. 52. Moral bears the Sword Rom. 13. 4. In Natural power the Sword is the Cause; in Moral it is only the Consequent of Authority: In Natural power the Sword legitimates the Scepter; in Moral the Scepter legitimates the Sword: The Sword of the Natural is only backed with Metal, the Sword of the Moral power is backed with God’s warrant: Natural power involves men in passive subjection, as a traveler is made to yield to a Robber; Moral power reduces to Conscientious subordination. Hence the power that is only Natural not Moral, Potentia not Potestas, cannot be owned: But the power of Tyrants & Usurpers is only Natural not Moral, Potentia not Potestas: Ergo it cannot be owned. The Major cannot be denied; for it is only the Moral Power that is ordained of God, unto which we must be subject for Conscience sake. The Minor also; for the Power of Tyrants is not Moral, because not Authorized nor warranted nor ordained of God by His preceptive Ordinance, and therefore no Lawful Magistratical Power. For the clearer understanding of this let it be observed, there are four things required to the making of a Moral or Lawful Power; the matter of it must be Lawful, the Person Lawful, the Title Lawful, and the Use Lawful. 1. The matter of it, about which it is exerted, or the work to be done by it, must be Lawful & warranted by God; and if it be unlawful, it destroys its Moral being. As the Popes power in dispensing with Divine Laws, is null & no Moral Power: And so also the King’s power, in dispensing with both Divine & human Laws is null. Hence, that power which is in regard of matter unlawful, and never warranted by God, cannot be owned: But absolute power, which is the power of Tyrants & Usurpers (& particularly of this of ours) is in regard of matter unlawful & never warranted by God: Ergo—2. The Person holding the power must be such as not only is capable of but competent to the tenure of it, and to whom the holding of it is allowed; and if it be prohibited, it evacuates the Morality of the power. Korah & his Company arrogated to themselves the Office of the Priesthood, this power was prohibited to them, their power then was a nullity. As therefore a person that should not be a Minister, when he usurps that office is no Minister: So a person that should not be a Magistrate, when he usurps that Office, is no Magistrate. Hence, a person that is incapable & incompetent for Government, cannot be owned for a Governour: But the D[uke]. of Y[ork]. [i.e., James the 2nd] is such a person, not only not qualified as the Word of God requires a Magistrate to be, but by the Laws of the Land declared incapable of Rule because he is a Papist, a Murderer, an Adulterer &c. 3. There must be in Moral Power, a Lawful Title & Investure, as is shewed above; which if it be wanting, the Power is null, and the person but a Scenical [theatrical] King, like John of Leyden [the Anabaptist who declared himself “king” of Münster, in 1534]. This is essentially necessary to the being of a Magistrate; which only properly distinguishes him from a private man: for when a person becomes a Magistrate, what is the change that is wrought in him? what new habit or endowment is produced in him? he hath no more natural power than he had before, only now he hath the Moral Power, right, & Authority to Rule, Legally impowering him to Govern. Let it be Considered, what makes a subordinate Magistrate, whom we may own as such: It must be only his Commission from a Superior Power, otherwise we reject him: If one come to us of his own head, taking upon him the style & office of a Bailiff, Sheriff, or Judge, and command our Persons, demand our purses, or exact our Oaths; we think we may deny him, not taking our selves to owe him any subjection, not owning any bond of conscience to him; why? because he hath no lawful Commission. Now if we require this qualification in the subordinate, why not in the Supreme? Hence, that Magistrate that cannot produce his Legal Investure, cannot be owned: But the D[uke]. of Y[ork]. cannot produce his Legal Investure, his admission to the Crown upon Oath & Compact, and with the consent of the subjects, according to the Laws of the Land, as is shewed above: Ergo—4. There must also be the Lawful Use of the Power; which must be not only legal for its composure, but right for its practice; its Course & Process in Government must be just, Governing according to Law, otherwise it is mere Tyranny: for what is Government, but the subjecting of the Community to the rule of Governours, for Peace & Orders sake, and the security of all their precious Interests? and for what end was it ordained, and continued among men, but that the stronger may not domineer over the weaker? And what is Anarchy, but the playing the Rex of the Natural power over the Moral? Hence, that Power which is contrary to Law, evil & Tyrannical, can tie none to subjection: But the power of the King, abused to the destruction of Laws, Religion & Liberties, giving his power & strength unto the beast, & making war with the Lamb Revel. 17. 13, 14. is a power contrary to Law, evil & Tyrannical: Ergo it can tie none to subjection: wickedness by no imaginable reason can oblige any man. It is Objected by some from Rom. 13. 1. There is no power but of God: The Usurping power is a power: Therefore it is of God, and consequently we owe subjection to it Ans. 1. The Original reading is not Universal, but thus οὐ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐξουσία εἰ μὴ ὑπὸ θεοῦ for there is no power if not from God: which confirms what I plead for, that we are not to own any Authority, if it be not Authorized by God. The words are only relative to higher powers, in a restricted sense, and at most are but indefinite, to be determined according to the matter; not all power simply, but all Lawful power. 2. It is a fallacia a dicto secundum quid: There is no power but of God, that is no Moral Power, as Universal negatives use to be understood, Heb. 5. 4. no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God; which is clear, must not be understood for the negation of the fact, as if no man at all doth or ever did take unto himself that honour, for Korah did it &c. but, no man taketh it warrantably, with a Moral right and God’s allowance, without God’s call: So also the universal imperative, in that same Text, must not be taken absolutely without restriction; for if every soul without exception were to be subject, there could be none left to be the higher powers; but it is understood with restriction to the relation of a subject. So here no Power but of God, to be understood with restriction to the relation of a Lawful Magistrate. It is also to be understood indiscriminately, in reference to the diverse species, sorts, & degrees of Lawful Power, Supreme & subordinate, whether to the King as Supreme, or to Governours &c. as Peter expresses it: Or whether they be Christian or Pagan: It cannot be meant of all universally, that may pretend to power, and may attain to prevailing Potency; for then by this Text, we must subject ourselves to the Papacy now intended to be introduced; and indeed if we subject ourselves to this Papist, the next thing he will require will be that. 3. To the Minor proposition, I Answer. The usurping power is a power: It is Potentia, I grant; that it is Potestas, ἐξουσία, or Authority, I deny. Therefore it is of God, by His Providence, I concede; by His Ordinance; I deny. Consequently we owe subjection to it, I deny. We may be subject passively, I grant; Actively, out of conscience I deny. But some will Object. 2. Though the Power be Usurped, and so not Morally Lawful, in all these respects; yet it may do good, its Laws & administrations may be good. Ans. I grant, all is good that ends well and hath a good beginning. That cannot be good which hath a bad principle, bonum ex integra causa. Some Government for constitution good, may in some acts be bad; but a Government for constitution bad, cannot for the acts it puts forth be good. These good acts may be good for matter, but formally they are not good, as done by the Usurper: They may be comparatively good, that is better so then worse; but they cannot be absolutely, and in a Moral sense good: for to make a Politick action good, not only the matter must be warrantable, but the Call also. It may indeed induce subjects to bear & improve to the best, what cannot be remedied; but cannot oblige to own a Magistratical Relation.
11. The Nature of the power thus discovered, lets us see the Nature of that relative duty, which we owe & must own as due to Magistrates, and what sort of owning we must give them; which to inquire a little into, will give light to the question. All the duty & deference the Lord requires of us, towards them whom we must own as Magistrates, is comprehended in these two expressions, honour required in the fifth Command, and subjection required in Rom. 13. 1. &c. 1 Pet. 2. 13. &c. Whomsoever then we own as Magistrates, we must own honour & subjection as due to them: And if so be we cannot upon a conscientious ground give them honour & subjection, we cannot own them as Magistrates. The least deference we can pay to Magistrates is subjection, as it is required in these words; Let every soul be subject to the higher Powers, and submit your selves to every Ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake. But this cannot be given to Tyrants & Usurpers: Ergo no deference can be paid to them at all, and consequently they cannot be owned. That this subjection, which is required to the higher Powers, cannot be owned to Tyrants, will be apparent, if we consider. 1. The Subjection required is orderly subjection to an orderly power, that we be regularly under him that is regularly above: But Usurpation & Tyranny is not an Orderly Power, orderly placed above us: Therefore we cannot be orderly under it. This is gathered from the Original Language, where the powers to be subjected to are τεταγμέναι, ordained of God, and διαταγῇ, the Ordinance of God, and he that resisteth the Power is ὁ ἀντιτασσόμενος, Counter-ordered, or contrary to his orderly duty: So the duty is ὑποτασσέσθω be subject. They are all words coming from one root, which signifies to Order: So that subjection is to be placed in order under another relative to an Orderly Superiority: But to occupy the seat of dignity unauthorized, is an Ataxie, a breaking of order, and bringing the Common-wealth quite out of order. Whereby it may appear, that in relation to an Arbitrary Government, there can be properly no ὑποταγὴ, no orderly subjection. 2. The thing it self must import that relative duty which the fifth Command requires; not only a passive stooping endurance, or a feigned Counterfeit submission, but a real Active duty including obedience to Lawful Commands; and not only so, but support & maintenance; and that both to the acts of his administration, and to his standing & keeping his station, assisting him with all our abilities, both human & Christian; And not only as to the external acts of duties, but the inward motions of the heart, as consent, Love, Reverence, & Honour, and all sincere fealty & Allegiance. But can a subjection of this extent, be paid to a Tyrant or Usurper? Can we support those we are bound to suppress? Shall we love the ungodly, and help those that hate the Lord? Can we consent, that we & our posterity should be slaves? Can we honour them who are vile, and the vilest of men, how high soever they be exalted? 3. The ground of this subjection is for conscience sake, not for wrath, that is, so far & so long as one is constrained by fear, & to avoid a greater evil, to stoop to him, but out of conscience of duty, both that of Piety to God who ordained Magistracy, and that of equity to him who is His Minister for good, and under pain of damnation if we break this orderly subjection Rom. 13. 2, 5. But can it be imagined that all this is due to a Tyrant & Usurper? Can it be out of conscience, because he is the Lord’s Minister for good? the contrary is clear, that he is the Devils drudge serving his Interest; Is resistance to Tyrants a damnable sin? I hope to prove it to be a duty. 4. If subjection to Tyrants & Usurpers will inveigle us in their snares, and involve us in their sin & judgment, then it is not to be owned to them: But the former is true: Therefore the Latter. In the foregoing head I drew an Argument, for withdrawing from & disowning the Prelatic Ministers, from the hazard of partaking in their sin, and of being obnoxious to their judgment, because people are often punished for their Pastors sins; Aaron & his sons polluting themselves, would have brought wrath upon all the people, Lev. 10. 6. because the Teachers had transgressed against the Lord, therefore was Jacob given to the Curse & Israel to reproaches Isai. 43. 27, 28. and all these Miseries Lamented by the Church were inflicted for the sins of her Prophets and the iniquities of her Priests, Lam. 4. 13. the reason was, because they owned them, followed them, countenanced them, complied with them, or connived at them, or did not hinder or else disown them. The same Argument will evince, the necessity of withdrawing our subjection from & disowning Usurping & Tyrannical Rulers, when we cannot hinder their wickedness, nor give any other Testimony against them, to avert the wrath of the Lord. If the defections of Ministers will bring on the whole Nation desolating judgments; then much more have we reason to fear it, when both Magistrates & Ministers are involved in, and jointly carrying on, and caressing & encouraging each other in promoting, a woeful Apostasy from God: when the heads of the house of Jacob, & Princes of the house of Israel, abhor judgment & pervert all equity, the heads Judge for reward, and the Priests teach for hire, and the Prophets divine for money, and yet lean upon the Lord and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us: Then we can expect nothing but that Zion for their sake shall be plowed as a field & Jerusalem become heaps and the Mountain of the house as the high places of the forest, Mich. 3. 9, 11, 12. Certain it is that subjects have smarted sore for the sins of their Rulers: for Saul’s sin in breaking Covenant with the Gibeonites, the Land suffered three years famine 2 Sam. 21. 1. and the wrath of the Lord could not be appeased, till seven of his sons were hanged up unto the Lord. What then shall appease the wrath of God, for the unparalleled breach of Covenant with God in our day? For David’s sin of numbering the people, 70000 men died by the Pestilence. 2 Sam. 24. 5. For Jeroboam’s sin of Idolatry, who made Israel to sin, the Lord threatens to give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam 1 King. 14. 16. only they escaped this Judgment, who withdrew themselves and fell into Judah. For Ahab’s sin of letting go a man whom the Lord had appointed to utter destruction, the Lord threatens him, thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people 1 King. 20. 42. Because Manasseh King of Judah did many abominations, therefore the Lord threatened to bring such evil upon Jerusalem & Judah that whosoever heard it his ears should tingle &c. 2 King. 21. 11, 12. and not withstanding of his repentance, and the Reformation in the days of Josiah, notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of His great wrath, wherewith His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked Him withal 2 King. 23. 26. which was accomplished by the hands of the Chaldeans, in Jehoiakim’s time. Surely at the Commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh according to all that he did, and also for the innocent blood which he shed … which the Lord would not pardon 2 King. 24. 3, 4. And Jeremiah further threatens, that they should be removed into all Kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh for that which he did in Jerusalem. Jer. 15. 4. Certainly these passages were recorded for our Learning Rom. 15. 4. and for our examples, to the intent we should not do as they did 1 Cor. 10. 6. and for our admonition vers. 11. Whence we may be admonished, that it is not enough to keep our selves free of public sins of Rulers; Many of those then punished, were free of all actual accession to them; but they became accessory to and involved in the guilt of them, when they did not endeavour to hinder them, and bring them to condign punishment for them, according to the Law of God which respecteth not persons; or at least, because they did not revolt from them, as Libnah did: There might be other provocations on the peoples part, no doubt, which the Lord did also punish by these Judgments; but when the Lord specifies the sin of Rulers, as the particular procuring Cause of the Judgment, it were presumption to make it the Occasion only of the Lord’s punishing them: for plain it is, if these sins of Rulers had not been committed, which was the ground of the threatening & execution, the Judgment would have been prevented; And if people had bestirred themselves as became them, in repressing & restraining such wickedness, they had not so smarted; And when that sin so threatened & punished was removed, then the Judgment itself was removed or deferred. It is just & necessary, that the subjects being Jointly included with their Rulers in the same bond of fidelity to God, be liable to be punished for their Rebellion & Apostasy, when they continue under the bond of subjection to them. But how deplorable were our Condition, if we should stand obnoxious to divine Judgments, for the Atheism, Idolatry, Murders, & Adulteries of our Rulers, and yet be neither Authorized nor Capacitated to hinder it, nor permitted to withdraw ourselves from subjection to them? But it is not so; for, the Lord’s making us responsible for their debt, is an impowering us either to repress their wickedness when He gives us Capacity, or at least to save ourselves harmless from their Crimes, by disowning them; that being the only way of standing no longer accountable for their faults.
12. It remains to Consider the Ends, for which Government was institute by God, and constitute by men: from whence I Argue, That Government that destroys the Ends of Government, is not to be owned: But Tyranny, and especially this under which we howl, destroys all the Ends of Government: Ergo it is not to be owned. The Minor I prove thus. That Government that destroys Religion & Safety, destroys all the Ends of Government: But this Popish & arbitrary Absolute power, destroys Religion & Safety: Ergo—It is evident both from the Laws of Nature & Revelation, that the Ends of Government are the Glory of God, & the good of Mankind. The first is the Glory of God, the ultimate end of all Ordinances; to which whatever is opposite, is not to be owned by them that fear Him: whatever power then is destructive to Religion, and is applied & employed against the Glory of the Universal King, and for withdrawing us from our fealty & obedience to Him, is nothing but Rebellion against the Supreme Lord & Lawgiver, and a Traitorous Conspiracy against the Almighty; and therefore not to be owned: And they are enemies to Religion, or strangers to it, who are not sensible this hath been the design of the present Government, at least these 27 years, to overturn the Reformed Covenanted Religion, and to introduce Popery. Hence, seeing a King at his best & highest elevation is only a mean for preserving Religion, and for this end only chosen of the people to be Custos utriusque tabulae, keeper of both Tables of the Law, he is not to be regarded but wholly laid aside, when he not only moves without his sphere, but his motion infers the ruin of the ends of his erection, and when he employs all his power for the destruction of the Cause of Christ, and advancement of Antichrists, giving his power to the beast; he is so far from deserving the deference of the power ordained of God, that he is to be looked upon & treated as a Traitor to God, and Stated enemy to Religion & all Righteousness, The Second End of Government is the good of the people, which is the Supreme & Cardinal Law; Salus Populi est Suprema Lex [the supreme law is the safety of the people]. Which cannot be denied, if it be considered. 1. For this only the Magistrate is appointed of God to be His Minister, for the peoples good Rom. 13. 4. and they have no goodness but as they conduce to this end; for all the power they have of God is with this Proviso, to promote His people’s prosperity. (It were blasphemy to say, they are His Authorized Ministers for their destruction) to which if their Conduct degenerate, they degrade themselves, and so must be disowned. He is therefore; in his institution, no more than a mean for this end; and himself cannot be either the whole or half of the end, for then he should be both the end & the mean of Government; and it is contrary to God’s mould to have this for his end, to multiply to himself silver & gold, or lift up himself above his brethren Deut. 17. 17, 20. if therefore he hath any other end than the good of the people, he cannot be owned as one of God’s moulding. 2. This only is the highest pitch of good Princes ambition, to postpone their own safety to the people’s safety. Moses desired, rather than the people should be destroyed, that his name should be razed out of the Book of life. And David would rather the Lord’s hand be on him & his father’s house, than on the people that they should be plagued 1 Chron. 21. 17. but he that would seek his own ambitious ends with the destruction of the people, hath the spirit of the Devil, and is to be carried towards as one possessed with that malignant spirit. 3. Originally their power is from the people, from whom all their dignity is derived; with reserve of their safety, which is not the donative of Kings, nor held by concession from them, nor can it be resigned or surrendered to the disposal of Kings; since God hath provided, in His universal Laws, that no Authority make any disposal, but for the good of the people. This cannot be forfeited by the usurpation of Monarchs, but being always fixed in the essential Laws of Government, they may reclaim & recover it when they please. Since then we cannot alienate our safety, we cannot own that Authority which is inconsistent with it. 4. The attaining this end was the main ground & motive, of peoples deliberating to constitute a Government; and to choose such a form, because they thought it most conducible for their good; and to admit such persons as fittest Instruments for compassing this end; and to establish such a Conveyance, as they thought most contributive for this end: When therefore Princes cease to be what they could be constitute for, they cease to have an Authority to be owned; but ceasing to answer these ends of Government, they cease to be what they could be constitute for. 5. For no other end were Magistrates limited with Conditions, but to bound them that they might do nothing against the peoples good & safety: Whosoever then breaking through all legal limitations, shall became injurious to the Community, lists himself in the number of enemies, and is only to be looked upon as such. 6. For this end all Laws are ratified or rescinded, as they conduce to this end, which is the soul & reason of the Law: then it is but reason, that the Law establishing such a King, which proves an enemy to this, should be rescinded also. 7. Contrary to this end no Law can be of force; if then either Law or King be prejudicial to the Realm, they are to be abolished. 8. For this end, in cases of necessity Kings are allowed sometimes to neglect the Letter of the Laws, or private Interests, for the safety of the Community; but if they neglect the public safety, and make Laws for their own Interests, they are no more Trustees but Traitors. 9. If it were not for this end, it were more eligible to live in deserts than to enter into Societies: When therefore a Ruler, in direct opposition to the ends of Government, seeks the ruin not only of Religion, but also of the peoples safety, he must certainly forfeit his right to reign. And what a vast as well as innocent number, have, for Religion and their adherence to their fundamental rights, been ruined, rooted out of their families & Possessions, oppressed, persecuted, Murdered, & destroyed by this and the deceased Tyrant, all Scotland can tell and all Europe hath heard. If ever the ends of Government were perverted & subverted in any place, Britain is the stage where this Tragedy hath been acted.
13. I may argue from the Covenant, that to own this Authority is contrary to all the Articles thereof. 1. That Authority which overturns the Reformation of Religion in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, & Government, which we are sworn to preserve against the Common Enemies thereof, in the first Art. cannot be owned: But the present pretended Authority overturned (and continues more to overturn) the Reformation of Religion &c. Ergo it cannot be owned: for against what common enemy must we preserve it, if not against him that is the chief Enemy thereof? and how can we own that Authority, that is wholly employed & applied for the destruction of Religion? 2. If we are obliged to extirpate Popery, without respect of persons, lest we partake in other men’s sins; then we are obliged to extirpate Papists without respect of persons, and consequently the head of them. (For how otherwise can Popery be extirpated? or how otherwise can we cleanse the Land of their sins?) But in the 2d Art. we are obliged to extirpate Popery without respect of persons, lest we partake in other men’s sins: Ergo we are obliged to extirpate Papists without respect of Persons and consequently the Crowned Jesuit [i.e., James VII./II.], and therefore cannot own him; for how can we own him, whom we are bound to extirpate? 3. If we be engaged to preserve the Rights & Liberties of Parliaments, and the Liberties of the Kingdoms, and the King’s Authority only in the preservation & defense of the true Religion & Liberties of the Kingdoms; then we cannot own his Authority, when it is inconsistent with, opposite to, & destructive of all these precious Interests, as now it is with a witness: But in the 3. Art. we are engaged to preserve the Rights & Privileges of Parliaments, & the Liberties of the Kingdoms, and the King’s Authority only in the preservation & defense of the true Religion & Liberties of the Kingdoms: Ergo. All allegiance that we can own to any man, must stand perpetually thus qualified, in defense of Religion & Liberty; that is, so far as it is not contrary to Religion & Liberty, and no further, for if it be destructive of these, it is null. If we should then own this man, with this restricted allegiance, and apply it to his Authority (as we must apply it to all Authority that we can own) it were to mock God & the world, and own Contradictions: for can we maintain the Destroyer of Religion, in defense of Religion? And the Destroyer of all our rights & Liberties, and all our legal securities for them, in the preservation of these rights & Liberties? that were pure Non-sense. 4. If we be obliged to endeavour, that all Incendiaries & Malignants &c. be brought to condign punishment, then we cannot own the Authority of the head of these Incendiaries & malignant Enemies: But in the 4. Art we are obliged to endeavour that all Incendiaries & Malignants &c. be brought to Condign Punishment: Ergo—The Connexion of the Major cannot well be doubted: for is it imaginable, that the head of that unhallowed Party, the Great malignant Enemy who is the spring & gives life unto all these Abominations, shall be exempted from punishment? or owned for a Sacred Majesty? shall we be obliged to discover, and bring to Justice, the little petty Malignants, and this implacably stated Enemy to Christ escape with a Crown on his head? Nay, we are by this obliged, if ever we be in case, to bring these stated Enemies to God & the Country to condign punishment, from the highest to the Lowest: And this we are to do, as we would have the anger of the Lord turned away from us, which cannot be without hanging up their heads before the Lord against the sun, as was done in the matter of Peor. Numb. 25. 4. For hath not he & his Complices made the Kingdom a Curse? and we with our own consent have made our selves obnoxious to it, if we do not procure, each in our Capacities, and pursue these Traitors & Rebels, that the Judgment of the Lord be executed upon the accursed. 5. No willful opposer of Peace & union between the Kingdoms is to be owned; but according to the 5. Art. we are obliged to endeavour that Justice be done upon him: But this man & his brother have been willful opposers of Peace & union between the Kingdoms, all true Peace & union, except an union in Confederacy against the Lord; for they have taken Peace from both the Kingdoms, and destroyed & annulled that which was the bond of their union, viz. the Solemn League & Covenant. 6. If we are obliged to assist & defend all those that enter into this League & Covenant, in the maintaining & pursuing thereof, and never to suffer ourselves to be divided, to make defection to the contrary part &c. According to the 6 Art. Then we must not own the Butcher of our Covenanted Brethren, who hath imbrued his hands in their blood, in the maintaining & pursuing thereof, and would have us withdrawn into so detestable a defection; for we cannot both own him as he requires to be owned, and as God requires every Magistrate to be owned (so as not to resist him under pain of damnation Rom. 13. 2) and assist our Brethren too in resisting his Murders; and our owning of him were a dividing of ourselves from our Brethren that oppose him, into a defection to the Contrary part, whereof he is head & Patron. Lastly in the Conclusion, we are obliged to be humbled for the sins of these Kingdoms, and to amend in a real Reformation: Whereof this is one to be mourned for, that after the Lord had delivered us from the yoke of this Tyrannical family, we again joined in affinity with the people of these abominations, and took these serpents into our bosom again which hath bit us so sore, and where-with the Lord hath scourged us severely. And if it was our sin to engage with them at first, then it is our sin to continue under their subjection: And is not consistent with that Repentance, that the Lord’s Contendings call for, to continue owning that Power which was our sin to own at first.
III. In the Third place, I promised to confirm my Thesis from more express Scripture Arguments. Therefore I shall endeavour to gather them as briefly as may be 1. from Scripture Inferences, nearly & natively Consequential. 2. from Scripture Assertions. 3. from Scripture Precepts. 4. from Scripture Practices. 5. from Scripture Promises. 6. from Scripture Threatenings. 7. from Scripture Prayers.
First, I shall offer some Arguments deduced by way of immediate Inference, from the grounds laid before us in Scripture about Government: wherein I shall confine myself to these Particulars.
1. Let us Consider the Characters of a Magistrate, laid down in Scripture; and we may infer, if Tyrants & Usurpers are not Capable of these Characters, then they cannot be owned for Magistrates. For if they be not Magistrates, they cannot be owned as Magistrates: but if they be not capable of the Characters of Magistrates, they are not Magistrates: Ergo if they be not capable of the Characters of Magistrates, they cannot be owned as Magistrates. To find out the Characters of Magistrates, I need seek no further than that full place Rom. 13. Which usually, is made a Magazine of Objections against this Truth; but I trust to find store of Arguments for it from thence, not repeating many that have been already deduced therefrom. We find in this place many Characters of a Magistrate, that are all incompatible with a Tyrant or Usurper. 1. He is the higher power vers 1. ἐξουσίαις ὑπερεχούσαις Authorities Supereminent, signifying such a Pre-excellency as draweth towards it a recognition of honour: But this is not Competent to Tyrants & Usurpers; for they are the vilest of men, let them be never so high exalted, Psal. 12. ult. and if they be vile then they are to be contemned Psal. 15. 4. and no more to be regarded then Herod was by Christ, when he called him a Fox Luk. 13. 32. But more particularly let us consider what is the ὑπεροχὴ, highness, or dignity of Magistrates, set forth in Scripture. They are styled Gods not to be reviled Exod. 22. 28. among whom God Judgeth. Psal. 82. 1. so called because the Word of God came unto them John 10. 35. But Tyrants are rather Devils, as one of them is called Lucifer Isai. 14. 12. and they that persecute & imprison the People of God, because acted by the Devil, and acting for him, do bear his name Revel. 2. 10. They are Devils that cast the Lord’s witnesses into prison. The Magistrate’s Judgment is God’s Judgment Deut. 1. 17. because it is not for man but for the Lord 2 Chron. 19. 6. and therefore Solomon is said to have sat on the Throne of the Lord 1 Chron. 29. 23. But it were blasphemy to say, that Tyrant’s Judgment, usurping the place without His warrant, and giving forth Judgment against His Laws & Cause & People, is the Lord’s Judgment, or for Him, or that they sit on the Throne of the Lord. A Throne of iniquity is not the Throne of the Lord, for He hath no fellowship with it; The Tyrant’s Throne is a Throne of iniquity, Psal. 94. 20. Magistrates are truly to be subjected to & obeyed, as Principalities & Powers Tit. 3. 1. it is a sin to speak evil of them, vers. 2. for it is presumption to despise Dominion & speak evil of Dignities 2 Pet. 2. 10. Jude. 8. But Tyrants are very Catechrestically [improperly called] & abusively Principalities & Powers, no otherwise then the Devils are so termed Eph. 6. 12. and there is no argument to own or obey the one more than the other: for if all Principalities & Powers are to be subjected to & owned, then also the Devil must, who get the same Title. To speak Truth of Tyrants indignities, cannot be a speaking evil of Dignities; for Truth is no evil, nor is Tyranny a Dignity. Hence they that are not capable of the Dignity of Rulers, are not to be owned as such: But Tyrants are not capable of the Dignity of Rulers, as these places prove: Ergo—Against this it is Objected, that Paul did apply this Character to the Tyrannical High Priest Ananias, whom, after he had objurgated for manifest injustice, he honours with that Apology, that he wist not that he was the high Priest, for it is written, thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people Act. 23. 5. Ans. Though all should be granted that is in this Objection▪ yet our Argument would not be enervated: for grant we should not speak evil of Tyrants, that does not evince that we should hold them as Rulers; for we should bless our persecutors, Rom. 10. 14. and speak evil of no man Tit. 3. 2. that does not say, we should hold every man, or our persecutors, to be Rulers. The meaning must be, he knew not that he was the high Priest, that is, he did not acknowledge him to be either high Priest or Ruler, he could acknowledge or observe nothing like one of that Character in him: for as the high Priests Office was now null & ceased, so this Ananias was only an usurper of the Office, in place of Ishmael or Joseph, who had purchased it by money: And Paul had learned from his Master Gamaliel, Judicem, qui honoris consequendi causâ pecunias dederit, revera neque Judicem esse, neque honorandum, sed Asini habendum Loco. Tit. Talmud. de Synedrio. That a Judge who hath given money for purchasing this honour, is neither a Judge, nor to be honoured as such, but to be held in place of an Ass. And it was common among the Jews to say, if such be gods, they are silver gods not to be honoured, as is quoted by Pool Synopsis Criticorum &c. in locum. And that this must be the sense of it is plain; for he could not be ignorant that he was there in place of a Judge, being called before him, and smitten by him Authoritatively, whom therefore he did threaten with the judgment of God; it were wicked to think, that he would retract that threatening which he pronounced by the Spirit of God. And therefore this place confirms my Thesis: If a Tyrannical Judge, acting contrary to Law, is not to be known or acknowledged to be a Ruler, but upbraided as a whited wall; Then a Tyrant is not to be known or acknowledged as such: But the former is true, from this place: Therefore also the latter. Paul knew well enough he was a Judge, and knew well enough what was his duty to a Judge, that he should not be reviled; but he would not acknowledge this Priest to be a Judge, or retract his threatening against him.
2. He is of God & ordained of God: I proved before, Tyrants are not capable of this; yea it were blasphemy to say, they are Authorized or Ordained of God, by His Preceptive Will. Hence take only this Argument. All Rulers that we must own are ordained of God, do reign & are set up by God Prov. 8. 15. (for that & this place are parallel) But Tyrants do not reign nor are set up by God Hos. 8. 4. They are set up (saith the Lord) but not by me: Ergo we cannot own them to be ordained of God. 3. Whosoever resisteth this power ordained of God resisteth the Ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation vers. 2. This cannot be owned of a Tyrant, that it is a damnable sin to resist him, for it is duty to resist & also repress him, as is proven already, and shall be afterwards. Hence, whatsoever Authority we own subjection to we must not resist it: But we cannot own that we must not resist this Authority: therefore we cannot own it at all. Again, That cannot be the power not to be resisted, which is acquired & improved by resisting the Ordinance of God: But the power of Usurpers & Tyrants is acquired & improved by resisting the ordinance of God: Ergo their power cannot be the power not to be resisted. The Major is manifest: for when the Apostle says, the resisting of the power bring damnation to the resister, certainly that resistance cannot purchase Dominion instead of damnation: And if he that resists in a lesser degree, be under the doom of damnation: then certainly he that does it in a greater degree, so as to complete it, in putting himself in place of that power which he resisted, cannot be free. The Minor is also undeniable; for, if Usurpers acquire their power without resistance forcible & sensible, it is because they that defend the power invaded are wanting in their duty; but however Morally the Tyrant or Usurper is always ἀντιτασσόμενος, or in contrary order to a Lawful Power. 4. Rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil, and they that doe that which is good shall have praise of the same vers. 3. This is the Character & duty of righteous Magistrates, though it be not always their Administration: But an Usurper & Tyrant is not capable or susceptible of this Character, but on the contrary is & must be a terror to good works and a praise to the evil: for, he must be a Terror to them that would secure their rights & Liberties in opposition to his encroachments, which is a good work; & he must be a fautor [abettor], Patron, & Protector of such, as encourage & maintain him in his Usurpation & Tyranny, which is an evil work: And if he were a terror to the evil, then he would be a terror to himself & all his Complices, which he cannot be. Therefore, that power which is not capable of the duties of Magistrates, cannot be owned: But the Power of Tyrants & Usurpers is such: Ergo—We find in Scripture, the best Commentary on this Character, where the duties of a Magistrate are described. They must justify the righteous & condemn the wicked Deut. 27. 1. They must, as Job did, deliver the poor that cry and put on righteousness as a clothing—and be eyes to the blind & feet to the lame, and a Father to the poor—and break the Jaws of the wicked Job 29. 12–17. Their Throne must be established by righteousness Prov. 16. 12. a King sitting on the Throne of Judgment must scatter away all evil with his eyes—then Mercy & Truth will preserve him and his Throne is upholden by Mercy Prov. 20. 8, 28. But Tyrants have a quite contrary Character: The Throne of iniquity frames Mischief by a Law, and condemns the innocent blood Psal. 94. 20. 21. They judge not the fatherless, neither doeth the cause of the widow come unto them Isai. 1. 23. They build their house by unrighteousness, & their chambers by wrong, and use their neighbour’s service without wages Jer. 22. 13. They oppress the poor & crush the needy Amos 4. 1. They turn judgment to Gall & the fruit of righteousness to hemlock, and say, have we not taken horns to as by our own strength Amos 6. 12, 13. These contrary Characters cannot consist together. 5. He is the Minister of God for good vers. 4. not by Providential Commission, as Nebuchadnezzar was, and Tyrants may be eventually, by the Lord making all things turn about for the good of the Church; but he hath a Moral Commission from God, & is entrusted by the people to procure their Public & Political good at least. Now this, and Tyranny & Usurpation, are together inconsistible [unable to agree]: for if Tyrants & Usurpers were Ministers for good, then they would restore the public & personal Rights, and rectify all wrongs done by them; but then they must surrender their Authority, and resign it, or else all rights cannot be restored, nor wrongs rectified. Hence, these that cannot be owned as Ministers of God for good, cannot be owned as Magistrates: But Tyrants & Usurpers, (and in particular this Man) are such as cannot be owned as Ministers of God for good: Ergo—Again, If Magistracy be always a blessing, and Tyranny & Usurpation always a Curse, then they cannot be owned to be the same thing, and the one cannot be owned to be the other: But Magistracy or the rightful Magistrate, is always a blessing; Tyranny & Usurpation or the Tyrant & Usurper, always a curse: Ergo—That the former is true, these Scriptures prove it. God provides him for the benefit of His people 1 Sam. 16. 1. a just Ruler is compared to the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without Clouds 2 Sam. 23. 4. So the Lord exalted David’s Kingdom, for His people Israel’s sake 2 Sam. 5. 12. because the Lord Loved Israel forever, therefore made He Solomon King to do judgment & Justice 1 King. 10. 9. when the righteous are in Authority the people rejoice—the King by Judgment stabilisheth the Land—Prov. 29. 2, 4. The Lord promises Magistrates as a special blessing Isai. 1. 26. Jer. 17. 25. and therefore their continuance is to be prayed for, that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life in all godliness & honesty 1 Tim. 2. 2. And they must needs be a blessing, because to have no Ruler is a Misery; for when Israel had no King every man did that which was right in his own eyes Judg. 17. 6. and the Lord threatens it as a Curse to take away the stay & the staff—the mighty man and the man of war, the Judge & the Prophet &c. Isai. 3. 1, 2 &c. and that the Children of Israel shall abide many days without a King, and without a Prince Hos. 2. 4. But on the other hand Tyrants & Usurpers are always a Curse, and given as such: It is threatened among the Curses of the Covenant, that the stranger shall get up above Israel very high—and that they shall serve their enemies which the Lord shall send against them—and He shall put a yoke of iron upon their neck, until He hath destroyed them Deut. 28. 43, 48. As a roaring lion and a ranging bear so is a wicked Ruler over the poor people Prov. 28. 15. and therefore, when the wicked beareth rule the people mourn Prov. 29. 2. The Lord threatens it as a Curse, that he will give Children to be their Princes, and babes shall rule over them Isai. 3. 4. and if unqualified Rulers be a curse, much more Tyrants. They are the rod of His anger, and the staff in their hand is His indignation, His axe & saw & rod Isai. 10. 5, 15. It is one thing to call a man God’s instrument, His rod, axe, sword, or hammer; another thing to call him God’s Minister: there is a wide difference betwixt the instruments of God’s Providence, and the Ministers of His Ordinance; those fulfill His Purposes only, these do His precepts. Such Kings are given in the Lord’s anger Hos. 13. 11. therefore they cannot be owned to be Ministers of God for good. 6. He beareth not the sword in vain for he is the Minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil vers. 4. The Apostle doth not say, he that beareth the sword is the Ruler, but he is the Ruler that beareth the sword. This is not every sword; for there is the sword of an enemy, the sword of a robber, the sword of a common traveler, but this as a faculty of Political rule & Authoritative judgment. It is not said, he takes the sword (as the Lord expresses the Usurpation of that power, Math. 26. 52.) but he beareth the sword, hath it delivered him into his hand by God, by God’s warrant & allowance, not in vain; to no end or without reason, or without a Commission, as [David] Pareus upon the place expounds it. He is a revenger to execute wrath, not by private revenge, for that is condemned Paulo ante Rom. 12. 19. not by providential recompense, for when a private person so revengeth, it is the providential repayment of God; but as God’s Minister, by Him Authorized, commissionated, & warranted to this work. Now this cannot agree with a Tyrant or Usurper, whose sword only legitimates his scepter, and not his scepter his sword, who takes the sword rather than bears it, & uses it without reason or warrant from God, in the execution of his lustful rage upon him that doth well, and hath no right to it from God. Hence, he that beareth the sword no other way but as it may be said of a Murderer, cannot be a Magistrate bearing the sword: But a Tyrant & Usurper beareth the sword no other way but as it may be said of a Murderer: Ergo—So much for the Characters of a Magistrate, which are every way inapplicable to Tyrants & Usurpers, and as inapplicable to this of ours as to any in the world.
2. If we consider the Scripture Resemblances importing the duty of Magistrates, and the Contrary Comparisons holding forth the sin, vileness & villainy of Tyrants & Usurpers; we may infer, that we cannot own the last to be the first. First, from the benefit they bring to the Common wealth, Magistrates are styled. 1. Saviours, as Othniel the son of Kenaz is called Judg. 3. 9. and Jehoahaz in his younger years 2. King. 13. 5. and all good Judges & Magistrates Neh. 9. 27. But Tyrants & Usurpers cannot be such, for they are destroyers whom the Lord promises to make go forth from His people Isa. 49. 17. The Chaldean Tyrant is called the destroyer of the Gentiles Jer. 4. 7. and the destroyer of the Lord’s heritage Jer. 50. 11. wherefore they can no more be owned to be Magistrates, than Abaddon or Apollyon can be owned to be a Saviour. 2. From their Paternal love to the people, they are styled fathers, and therefore to be honoured according to the fifth Command. So Deborah was raised up a Mother in Israel Judg. 5. 7. Kings are nursing fathers by office Isai. 49. 23. But that Tyrants cannot be such I have proved already; for they can no more be accounted fathers, than he that abuseth or forceth our mother. 3. From the Protection & shelter that people find under their Conduct, they are called Shields Psal. 47. Ult. The Princes of the people, the Shields of the earth, belong unto God. But Tyrants cannot be such, because they are the subverters of the earth. 4. From the Comfort that attends them, they are resembled to the morning light & fruitful showers of rain 2 Sam. 23. 4. They waited for me as for the rain, saith Job. 29. 23. But Tyrants cannot be resembled to these, but rather to darkness, and to the blast of the terrible ones Isai. 25. 4. as a storm against the wall, If darkness cannot be owned to be light, then cannot Tyrants be owned to be Magistrates. 5. From their Pastoral Care & Conduct and duty, they are feeders. The Judges of Israel are commanded to feed the Lord’s people 1 Chron. 17. 6. David was brought to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His Inheritance Psal. 78. 71. But Tyrants are wolves not Shepherds. 6. By office they are physicians or healers Isai. 3. 7. That Tyrants cannot be such is proven above. Secondly on the other hand, the vileness, villainy, & violence of Tyrants & Usurpers, are held forth by fit resemblances, being Compared to these unclean creatures. 1. Tyrants are wicked Dogs, as they who compass about Christ Psal. 22. 16, 20. Saul is called Dog there, and in that Golden Psalm Psal. 59. 4. Saul & his Complices, watching the house to kill David, make a noise like a dog & go round about the City. 2. They are pushing Bulls Psal. 22. 12. and crushing Kine of Bashan, that oppress the poor Amos. 4. 1. they have need then to have their horns cut short. 3. They are roaring Lions. that are wicked Rulers over the poor People Prov. 28. 15. Zeph. 3. 3. So Paul calls Nero the Lyon, out of whose mouth he was delivered. 2 Tim. 4. 17. 4. They are ranging bears Prov. 28. 15. So the Persian Monarch is emblemized Dan. 7. 5. 5. They are Leviathan the piercing Serpent & Dragon Isai. 27. 1. and have great affinity in name & Nature with the Apocalyptic Dragon: So also Isai. 51. 9. the Egyptian Tyrant is called Dragon. And Nebuchadnezzar swallowed up the Church like a Dragon Jer. 51, 34. See also Ezek. 29. 3. 6. They are wolves ravening the prey Ezek. 22. 27. evening wolves that gnaw not the bones till the morrow Zeph. 3. 3. 7. They are Leopards: So the Grecian Tyrants is called Dan. 7. 6. and Antichrist Revel. 13. 2. 8. They are foxes: So Christ calls Herod Luk. 13. 32. 9. They are Devils who cast the Lord’s people into Prison Revel. 2. 10, 13. Now can we own all these abominable Creatures to be Magistrates? Can these be the fathers we are bound to honour in the fifth Commandment? They must be esteemed sons of dogs & Devils that believe so, and own themselves sons of such fathers.
If we further take notice, how the Spirit of God describes Tyranny, as altogether Contradistinct & opposite unto the Magistracy He will have owned; we may infer hence Tyrants & Usurpers are not to be owned. What the Government instituted by God among His people was, the Scripture doth both relate in matter of fact, and describes what it ought to be de jure, viz. That according to the Institution of God, magistrates should be established by the Constitution of the people, who were to make them Judges & Officers in all their gates, that they might Judge the people with just Judgment Deut. 16. 18. But foreseeing that people would affect a change of that first form of Government, and in imitation of their neighbouring Nations would desire a King, and say, I will set a King over me like all the Nations that are about me Deut. 17. 14. The Lord, intending high & holy ends by it, chiefly the procreation of the Messiah from a Kingly race, did permit the change, and gave directions how he should be moulded & bounded, that was to be owned as the Magistrate under a Monarchial form: To wit, that he should be chosen of God, and set up by their suffrages, that he should be a brother and not a stranger, that he should not multiply horses, nor wives, nor money (which are Cautions all calculated for the peoples good, and the security of their Religion & Liberty, and for precluding & preventing his degeneration into Tyranny) and that he should write a Copy of the Law in a book, according to which he should Govern vers. 15. ad fin. cap. [to the end of the chapter.] yet the Lord did not approve the change of the form, which that luxuriant people was long affecting, and at length obtained. For long before Saul was made King, they proffered an Hereditary Monarchy to Gideon, without the boundaries God’s Law required; Which that brave Captain, knowing how derogatory it was to the Authority of God’s Institution, not to be altered in form or frame without His order, generously refused, faying, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you, the Lord shall rule over you. Jud. 8. 23. But his bastard, the first Monarch & Tyrant of Israel, Abimelech, by sinstrous means being advanced to be King by the traitorous Shechemites, Jotham and other of the Godly disowned him: which, by the Spirit of God, Jotham describes Parabolically, significantly holding out the Nature of that Tyrannical usurpation, under the Apologue of the trees itching after a King, and the offer being repudiate by the more generous sort, embraced by the bramble: Signifying that men of worth & virtue would never have taken upon them such an arrogant Domination, and that such a Tyrannical Government in its Nature & tendency was nothing but an useless, worthless, sapless, aspiring, scratching, & vexing shadow of a Government, under subjection to which there could be no peace nor safety. But this was rather a Tumultuary interruption than a Change of the Government, not being universally either desired or owned; therefore after that the Lord restored the pristine form: Which continued until, being much perverted by Samuels sons, the people unanimously & peremptorily desired the change thereof, and whether it were reason or not would have a King; as we were fondly set upon one, after we had been delivered from his father’s yoke: And the Lord gave them a King with a Curse, and took him away with a vengeance, Hos. 13. 11. as He did our Charles the Second. Yet He permitted it, but with a Protestation against and conviction of the sin, that thereby they had rejected the Lord 1 Sam. 8. 7. and with a demonstration from Heaven, which extorted their own confession, that they bad added unto all their sins this evil to ask a King 1 Sam. 12. 17, 18, 19. And to deter & dissuade from such a Conclusion, He appoints the Prophet to shew them the manner of the King that should reign over them 1 Sam. 8. 9. to declare beforehand, what sort of a Ruler he would prove, when they got him; to wit, a mere Tyrant, who would take their sons and appoint them for himself, for his Chariots, and for horsemen, and to run before his Chariots, and make them his soldiers, and labourers of the ground, and Instrument-makers, and household servants, and he would take their fields & vineyards—the best of them, and give unto his servants, in a word to make all slaves; and that in the end when this should come to pass, they should cry out because of their King, but the Lord would not hear them vers. 11–18, All which, as it is palpable in itself, so we have sensibly felt in our experience to be the Natural description of Tyranny, but more tolerable than an account of ours would amount to. It is both foolishly & falsely alleged, by Royalists or Tyrannists, that here is a grant of incontrollable absoluteness to Kings to Tyrannize over the people without resistance, And that this manner of the King is in the Original Mishphat [מִשְׁפָּט], which signifies right or Law, So that here was a permissive Law given to Kings to Tyrannize, and to oblige people to passive obedience, without any remedy but tears, And therefore it was registered & laid up before the Lord in a book 1 Sam 10. 25. But I answer. 1. If anything be here granted to Kings, it is either by God’s Approbation, directing & instructing how they should govern; or it is only by permission & providential Commission to them, to be a plague to the people for their sin of choosing them, to make them drink as they have brewed, as sometimes He gave a Charge to the Assyrian rod to trample them down as the mire of the streets: If the first be said, Then a King that does not govern after that manner, and so does not make people cry out for their oppression, would came short of his duty, and all behooved to Tyrannize and make the people cry out; then a King may take what He will from his subjects, and be approved of God: this were blasphemously absurd, for God cannot approve of the sin of oppression. If the Second be said, then it cannot be an universal Grant, or otherwise all Kings must be ordained for plagues; And if so, it were better we wanted such nursing fathers. 2. Though Mishphat signifies right or Law, yet it signifies also, and perhaps no less frequently, Manner, Course, or Custom: And here it cannot signify the Law of God, for all these Acts of Tyranny are contrary to the Law of God; for to make Servants of subjects is contrary to the Law of God Deut. 17. 20. forbidding to lift up himself so far above his brethren, but this was to deal with them as a proud Pharaoh; to take so many for Chariots & horsemen, is also contrary to the Law Deut. 17. 15. he shall not multiply horses: to take their fields & vineyards, is mere Robbery, contrary to the Moral & Judicial Law, whereof he was to have always a Copy vers. 18. And contrary to Ezek. 46. 18. The Prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance &c. This would justify Ahab’s taking Naboth’s vineyard, which yet the Lord accounted Robbery, and for which Tyrants are called Companions of Thieves Isai. 1. 23. & Robbers Isai. 42. 24. into whose hands the Lord sometimes may give His people for a spoil in Judicial providence, but never with His Approbation & grant of right: to make them cry out, as oppression, which the Lord abhors Isai. 5. 7, 8. And if this be all the remedy, it is none; for it is such a Cry, as the Lord threatens He will not hear. 3. It is false that this manner of the King was registered in that Book mentioned 1 Sam. 10. 25. for that was the Law of the Kingdom, accordingly the Copy of which the King was to have for his instruction, containing the fundamental Laws, point blank contrary to this which was the manner of the King: There is a great difference between the Manner of the Kingdom, what ought to be observed as Law, and the Manner of the King what he would have as lust. Would Samuel write in a Book the rules of Tyranny, to teach to oppress, contrary to the Law of God? He says himself he would only teach both King & people the good & the right way, Sam. 12. 23, 25. 4. Nothing can be more plain, than that this was a mere dissuasive against seeking a King; for he protests against this Course, and then lays before them what sort of King he should be, in a description of many acts of Tyranny, and yet in end its said vers. 19. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and said, Nay but we will have a King. Now what else was the voice of Samuel, than a dissuasion? I am not here levelling this Argument against Monarchy in the abstract, that does not lie in my road. But I infer from hence. 1. If God was displeased with this people for asking & owning a King, who was only Tyrannus in fieri [a tyrant in the making], and dissuades from the choice by a description of his future Tyranny; Then Certainly He was displeased with them when they continued owning him, when a Tyrant in facto esse [in fact of being], according to that description: But the former is true, Therefore also the latter. The Consequence is clear; for Continuing in sin is sin; but continuing in owning that Tyrant which was their sin at first, was a continuing in sin: Ergo—The Minor is confirmed thus: Continuing in counteracting the Motives of God’s dissuasion, especially when they are sensibly visible, is a Continuing in sin: But their Continuing in owning Saul after he became a Tyrant, was a Continuing in counteracting the Motives of God’s dissuasion, when they were sensibly visible. I do not say, because it was their sin to ask Soul, therefore it was not Lawful to own him, while he ruled as a Magistrate; And so if Charles the second had ruled righteously, it would not have been sin to own him: but after the Lord uses dissuasives from a choice of such a one, and these are signally verified, if it was sin to make the choice, then it must be sin to keep it. 2. If it was their sin to seek & set up such a one before he was Tyrant, who yet was admitted upon Covenant terms, and the manner of it registered; Then much more is it a sin to seek & set up one, after he declared himself a Tyrant, and to admit him without any terms at all, or for any to consent or give their suffrage to such a deed: But the former is true: Therefore the latter: and Consequently, to give our consent to the erection of the D[uke]. of Y[ork]. [i.e., James VII./II.] by owning his Authority, were our sin. 3. If it be a sin to own the manner of the King there described, then it is a sin to own the present pretended Authority, which is the exact transumpt [writing] of it: But it is a sin to own the manner of the King there described, or else it would never have been used as a dissuasive from seeking such a King. 4. To bring our selves under such a burden which the Lord will not remove, and involve our selves under such a misery wherein the Lord will not hear us, is certainly a sin vers. 18. But to own or choose such a King, whose manner is there described, would bring our selves under such a burden & misery, wherein the Lord would not hear us: Ergo it were our sin.
4. We may add the necessary Qualifications of Magistrates, which the Lord requires to be in all, both Superior & Inferior: And thence it may be inferred, that such pretended Rulers who neither have nor can have these Qualifications are not to be owned as Magistrates, no more than such are to be owned as Ministers who have no qualifications for such a function. We find their essentially necessary qualifications particularly described. Jethro’s Counsel was God’s Counsel & Command; That Rulers must be able men, such as fear God, men of Truth, hating Covetousness Exod. 18. 21. Tyrants & Usurpers have none nor can have any of these qualifications, except that they may have ability of force, which is not here meant; but that they be Morally able for the discharge of their duty: Surely they cannot fear God; nor be men of Truth, for then they would not be Tyrants. It is God’s direction, that the man to be advanced & assumed to Rule, must be a man in whom is the Spirit Numb. 27. 18. as is said of Joshua: what Spirit this was, Deut. 34. 9. explains, He was full of the Spirit of Wisdom, that is, the Spirit of Government; not the Spirit of infernal or Jesuitical Policy, which Tyrants may have, but they cannot have the true Regal Spirit, but such a Spirit as Saul had when he turned Tyrant, an evil Spirit from the Lord. Moses saith: they must be wise men & understanding and known among the tribes, Deut. 1. 13. for if they be Children or fools, they are plagues & punishments Isai. 3. 2, 3, 4. &c. not Magistrates, who are always blessings. And they must be known men of integrity, not known to be knaves or fools, as all Tyrants are always. The Law of the King is, Deut. 17. 15. he must be one of the Lord’s choosing. Can Tyrants & Usurpers be such? No they are set up, but not by Him Hos. 8. 4. he must be a brother & not a stranger, that is, of the same Nation and of the same Religion: for though infidelity does not make void a Magistrates Authority, yet both by the Law of God & man, he ought not to be chosen who is an enemy to Religion & Liberty: Now it were almost treason, to call the Tyrant a brother; and I am sure it is no reason, for he disdains it, being absolute above all. That good King’s Testament confirms this, the God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake, he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God 2 Sam. 23. 3. But Tyrants & Usurpers cannot be just; for if they should render everyone their right, they would keep none to themselves, but behooved to resign their Robberies in the first place, and then also they must give the Law its course, and that against themselves. These Scriptures indeed do not prove, that all Magistrates are in all their Administrations so qualified, nor that none ought to be owned but such as are so qualified in all respects. But as they demonstrate what they ought to be, so they prove that they cannot be Magistrates of God’s ordaining who have none of these qualifications: But Tyrants & Usurpers have none of these qualifications. Much more do they prove that they cannot be owned to be Magistrates, who are not capable of any of these qualifications: But Usurpers are not capable of any of these qualifications. At least they conclude, in so far as they are not so qualified, they ought not to be owned but disowned: But Tyrants & Usurpers are not so qualified in any thing: therefore in anything they are not to be owned but disowned: for in nothing they are so qualified as the Lord prescribes.
Secondly, I shall offer some reasons from Scripture Assertions.
1. It is strongly Asserted in Elihu’s speech to Job, that he that hateth right should not govern. Where he is charging Job with blasphemy, in accusing God of injustice; of which he vindicates the Almighty, in Asserting His Sovereignty & Absolute Dominion, which is inconsistent with injustice: and shews both that if He be Sovereign He cannot be unjust, and if He be unjust He could not be Sovereign: which were horrid Blasphemy to deny. And in the demonstration of this, he gives one Maxim in a question, which is equivalent to an universal negative Job. 34. 17, 18. Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a King, thou art wicked? and to Princes, ye are ungodly? In which Words, the Scope makes it clear, that if Job made God a hater of right, he should then deny His Government; and if he took upon him to condemn Him of injustice, he should blasphemously deny Him to be King of the World. For it is not fit to say to any King, that he is wicked, or so ungodly as to be a hater of right; for that were treason, Lese-Majesty, and in effect a denying him to be King: much less is it fit to say to Him that is King of Kings. Here then it is affirmed, & supposed to hold good of all Governours, that he that hateth right should not govern, or bind, as it is in the Margin[al reading found in the Bible]; for Habash [חָבַשׁ] signifies both to bind and to Govern, but all to one sense, for Governours only can bind subjects Authoritatively, with the bonds of Laws & Punishments. I know the following Words are alleged, to favour the incontrollableness & absoluteness of Princes, that it is not fit to say to them, they are wicked. But plain it is, the words do import treason against Lawful Kings, whom to call haters of right were to call their Kingship in question; as the Scope shews, in that these words are adduced to Justify the Sovereignty of God by His Justice, and to confute any indirect charging Him with injustice because that would derogate from His Kingly Glory, it being impossible He could be King & unjust too. So in some Analogy, though every act of injustice do not unking a Prince; yet to call him wicked, that is habitually unjust, and a hater of Justice, were as much as to say, he is no King, which were intolerable treason against Lawful Kings. But this is no treason against Tyrants: for Truth & Law can be no treason; now this is the language of Truth & Law, that wicked Kings are wicked; And they that are wicked & ungodly ought to be called so, as Samuel called Saul, and Elijah Ahab &c. However it will hold to be a true Maxime, whether we express it by way of Negation or Interrogation. Shall even he that hateth right Govern? But are not Tyrants & Usurpers haters of right? shall therefore they Govern? I think it must be answered, they should not Govern. If then they should not Govern, I infer, they should not be owned as Governours. For if it be their sin to Govern (right or wrong, its all one case, for they should not Govern at all) then it is our sin to own them in their Government: for it is always a sin to own a man in his sinning.
2. The Royal Prophet, or whoever was the Penman of that Appeal for Justice against Tyranny Psal. 94. 20. does tacitly Assert the same truth, in that Expostulation, shall the Throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, that frameth mischief by a Law? which is as much as if he had said, the Throne of iniquity shall not, no cannot have fellowship with God; that is, it cannot be the Throne of God that He hath any Interest in, or Concern with, by way of approbation: He hath nothing to do with it, except it be to suffer it a while, till He take vengeance on it in the end. And shall we have fellowship with that Throne, that God hath no fellowship with, and that is not His Throne but the Devils, as it must be, if God doth not own it? Much may be argued from hence, but in a word: A Throne which is not of God nor ordained of God, but rather of the Devil, cannot be owned (for that is the reason of our subjection to any power, because it is of God and ordained of God Rom. 13. 1. And that is the great dignity of Magistracy, that its Throne is the Throne of God. 1 Chron. 29. 23.) But a Throne of Tyranny & usurpation is a Throne which is not of God, nor ordained of God, but rather of the Devil: Ergo—the Minor is proved: A Throne of iniquity &c. is a Throne which is not of God, nor ordained of God, but rather of the Devil: But a Throne of Tyranny & usurpation is a Throne of iniquity: Ergo it is not of God & so not to be owned.
3. The Lord charges it upon Israel as a transgression of His Covenant, & trespass against His Law, that they had set up Kings & not by Him and had made Princes and He knew it not Hos. 8. 4. and then taxes them with Idolatry, which ordinarily is the Consequent of it, as we have reason to fear will be in our case. He shews there the Apostasy of that people, in changing both the Ordinances of the Magistracy and of the Ministry, both of the Kingdom & of the priest-hood, in which two the safety of that people was founded: So they overturned all the order of God, and openly declared they would not be governed by the hand of God, as Calvin upon the place expounds it. Whereas the Lord had commanded, if they would set up Kings they should set none up but whom He choose Deut. 17. 15. yet they had no regard to this, nor consulted Him in their admission of Kings, but set them up and never let Him to wit of it, without His knowledge, that is, without consulting Him, and without His approbation, for it can have no other sense. I know it is alleged by several Interpreters, that here is meant the tribes secession from the house of David, and their setting up Jeroboam. I shall confess that the ten tribes did sin in that erection of Jeroboam, without respect to the Counsel or Command of God, without waiting on the vocation of God, as to the time & manner, and without Covenanting with him for security for their Religion & Liberty: But that their secession from David’s line, which by no precept or promise of God they were astricted to, but only conditionally, if his Children should walk in the ways of God, Or that their erecting of Jeroboam was materially their sin, I must deny; and assert, that if Jeroboam had not turned Tyrant & Apostate from God (for which they should have rejected him afterwards and returned to the good Kings of David’s line) he would have been as Lawful a King as any in Judah, for he got the Kingdom from the Lord the same way, and upon the same terms that David did, as may be seen expressly in 1 King. 11. 38. It must be therefore meant, either generally of all Tyrants whom they would set up without the Lord’s mind, as at first they would have Kings on any terms, though they should prove Tyrants, as we have seen in Saul’s case. Or particularly Omri whom they set up, but not by the Lord 1 King. 16. 16. And Ahab his Son, And Shallum, Menahem, Pekah &c. who were all set up by blood & treachery, the same way that our Popish Duke is now set up, but not by the Lord, that is by His approbation. Hence I argue, those Kings that are not owned of God, nor set up by Him, must not be owned by us (for we can own none for Kings but those that reign by Him Prov. 8. 15. and are ordained of Him Rom. 13. 1.) But Tyrants & Usurpers are not owned of God as Kings, nor are set up by Him: Ergo—Again if it be a sin to set up Kings and not by God, then it is a sin to own them when set up: for, that is a partaking of & continuing in the sin of that erection, and hath as much affinity with it, as resetting hath with theft; for if they be the thieves, they are the resetters [those who harbor criminals] who receive them & own them.
4. The Prophet Habakkuk, in his Complaint to God of the Chaldean Tyranny, Asserts that God hath made the righteous, as the Fishes of the Sea, as the Creeping things, that have no Ruler over them, Habak. 1. 14. Now how were they said to be without a Ruler, when the Chaldean actually commanded & absolutely ruled over them? yea how can the Fishes & Reptiles have no Ruler over them? If Domineering be ruling, they want not that; when the weaker are over-mastered by the stronger, and by them made either to be subject: as to become their prey. But the meaning is, these Creatures have no Ruler over them by order of nature: And the Jews had then no Ruler over them by order of Law, or ordination from God, or any that was properly their Magistrate by Divine Institution, or human orderly constitution. We see then it is one thing for a people to have an arbitrary or enthralling Tyranny, another to have true Magistracy or Authority to be owned over them, without which Kingdoms are but as Mountains of prey, and Seas of Confusion. Hence I argue, If the Jews, having the Chaldean Monarch tyrannizing over them, had really no Ruler over them, then is a Tyrant & Usurper not to be owned for a Ruler: But the former is true: therefore also the Latter.
5, Our Saviour Christ delivers this as a Commonly received & a true Maxime, John. 8. 54. He that honoureth himself his honour is nothing. The Jews had objected that He had only made himself Messiah, vers. 53. To whom He answers by way of concession, if it were so indeed then His Claims were void, If I honour myself my honour is nothing: And then claims an indubitable title to His dignity, It is my Father that honoureth me. Here is a two fold honour distinguished, the one real the other suppositious & null, the one renounced the other ouned by Christ, Self-honour & honour which is from God. Hence I argue, A self-created dignity is not to be owned: the Authority of Tyrants & Usurpers is a self-created dignity: Ergo—this was confirmed above.
Thirdly I shall offer some other considerations confirming this truth, from those Scriptures which I class among precepts. And these I find of diverse sorts touching this subject.
1. I shew before that the greatest of men, even Kings, are not exempted from punishment and Capital punishment, if guilty of Capital Crimes: for where the Law distinguisheth not, we ought not to distinguish. There is one special & very peremptory Law, given before the Law for regulating Kings, which by that posterior Law was neither abrogated nor limited even as to Kings, Deut. 13. 6–9. If thy Brother (and a King must be a Brother Deut. 17. 15.)—entice the secretly saying let us go & serve other Gods—Thou shalt not consent unto him nor hearken unto him neither shall thine eye pity him. How famous Mr. Knox improved this Argument, is shewed in the third Period. That which I take notice of here is only, that Kings are not excepted from this Law, but if they be open Enticers to Idolatry, by force or fraud, Persecution or Toleration, as this Idolater now reigning is palpably doing, they are obnoxious to a legal animadversion. As it cannot be supposed, that Secret Enticers should be liable to punishment, and not open Avouchers of a desire & design to pervert all the Nation to Idolatry: that a private perverter of one man, though never so nearly & dearly related, should be pursued & brought to condign punishment, and a public Subverter of whole Nations, and Introducer of a false & blasphemous Idolatrous Religion, should escape Scot-free. Let the punishment inflicted be in a Judicial way, and of what measures it pleases the Judge to determine, I shall not controvert here; Only I plead, that Idolatrous Tyrants are not excepted from this Law: and infer, that if they ought to be punished they ought to be deposed; And if they ought to be deposed, they cannot be owned, when undeniably, guilty of this Capital Crime, as was urged above. To this I may add that part of that Prophetical King’s Testament; who being about to leave the world, under some Challenges of Mal-administration in his own Government (for which he took himself to the well-ordered everlasting Covenant, for pardon & encouragement) after he had shown what Rulers should be, he threatens, by Antithesis, Tyrannical pretenders, in these severe words, which do also imply a precept, and a direction how to deal with them 2 Sam 23. 6, 7. But they of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands, but the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron & the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place. Let these words be understood as a threatening against all the wicked in general, who are to be quenched as the fire of thorns; or particularly of the Promoters of Antichrist’s Kingdom, in opposition to Christ’s, as some Interpreters judge; it will not weaken but confirm my Argument, if Kings who are ringleaders of that gang be not excepted. I know some do understand this of Rebels against righteous Rulers: which though indeed it be a truth, that they that are such should be so served, and roughly handled with iron and the staff of a spear; yet it is not so consonant to the scope & connexion of this place, shewing the Characters of righteous Rulers and of usurping Tyrants, making an opposition between Rulers that are just ruling in the fear of God, and those that are Rulers of Belial, promising blessings upon the Government of the one & contempt & Rejection to the other, and shewing how both should be carried towards: Neither does it agree with the words themselves, where the supplement in our translation is redundant; for it is not in the Hebrew, the sons of Belial, only They of Belial, clearly relative to the Rulers of whom he was speaking before. And indeed the word Belial, in its Etymology is not more applicable to any than to Tyrants; for it comes from beli [בְּלִי], non [not], and Hhall [יָעַל] supra [above], because they will have none above them, or from beli [בְּלִי] non [not] and Hhol [עוֹל] jugum [yoke], because they cannot suffer a yoke, but cast away the yoke of Laws and the yoke of Christ, saying, let us burst His bands &c. Nor is it always agreeable to truth, to understand it only of Rebels against righteous Rulers, that they can never be taken with hands: For as very rarely righteous Rulers have any Rebels, to be the objects of their rigour & rage; So when there are any, discreet & wise Rulers will find many ways to take & touch them, and quash or quiet them. But it is always true of Tyrants, for they can never be taken with hands, neither in a friendly manner, taken by the hand and transacted with in any bargain as other men, for they that would do so will find them like pricking & jagging briars, which a man cannot handle without hurt to himself; Nor can they be any other way repressed or restrained or touched, but by hands fenced with iron, that is, with the sword of necessity, or ax of Justice. And this is insinuated as duty, so to endeavour to extirpate & eradicate such thorns, as pester the Common-wealth: but if it cannot be done, it must be duty & wisdom both not to meddle with them, nor own them, no more than Jotham, who would not subject himself nor come under the shadow of the bastard bramble. I confess it is commonly taken as a threatening of the Lord’s Judgment against these Sons of Belial: And so it is. But it teacheth also what men are called to, when they have to do with such, to wit, to take the same course with them as they would to clear the ground of thorns & briars. And that it is restricted to the Lord’s immediate way of taking them off, is not credible: For, it can have no tolerable sense to say, they shall be thrust away because they cannot be taken with the Lord’s hands: Neither is there need, that He should be fenced with iron &c. And let iron &c. be taken tropically for the Lord’s sword of vengeance; yet how can it be understood, that He must be fenced there with? or that He will trust them away, as a man must be fenced against thorns? What defense needs the Lord against Tyrants? It is only then intelligible, that the Lord in His righteous Judgment will make use of men & legal means, and of those who cannot take them with hands, in His Judicial procedure against them. Hence I argue, If Tyrants are to be dealt with as thorns, that cannot be taken with hands, but to be thrust away by violence, Then, when we are not in case to thrust them away, we must let them alone, and not meddle nor make with them, and so must not own them, for we cannot own them without meddling, and without being pricked to our hurt: But the former is true: Ergo—Of this same nature, another threatening confuting the pretense of Princes’ impunity, may be subjoined out of Psal. 82. 6, 7. I have said ye are Gods, and all of you are Children of the most High, but ye shall die like men & fall as one of the Princes. From which words, the learned Author of the History of the Douglasses, Mr. David Hume of Gods craft, in his discourse upon Mr. Craig’s Sermon upon the words, doth strongly prove, that the Scope is to beat off all Kings, Princes, & Rulers, from the conceit of impunity for their Tyrannical Dominations; that they must not think to Domineer and do what they list, and overturn the foundations or fundamental Laws of Kingdoms, because they are gods; as if they were thereby incontrollable, and above all Law & punishment: no, they must know, that if they be guilty of the same transgressions of the Law, as other Capital offenders, they shall die like other men, & fall as Princes who have been formerly punished. It is not to be restricted to a threatening of Mortality; for that is unavoidable, whether they Judge justly or unjustly, and the fear thereof usually hath little efficacy to deter men from Crimes punishable by Law: Neither can it be understood only of the Lord’s immediate hand taking them away, exclusive of men’s legal punishment; for expressly they are threatened to die like Common men, and to be liable to the like punishment with them: Now common men are not only liable to the Lord’s immediate Judgment, but also to men’s punishment. Hence, if Tyrants and overturners of the foundations of the earth, must be punished as other men, then when they are such they cannot be looked upon as righteous Rulers, for righteous Rulers must not be punished: But the former is true: Ergo—According to these Scriptures, which either express or imply a precept to have no respect to Princes in Judgment when turning Criminals, we find examples of the peoples punishing Amazia &c. which is recorded without a challenge, and likewise Athaliah.
2. There is a Precept given to a humbled people, that have groaned long under the yoke of Tyranny & oppression, enjoining them, as a proof of their sincerity in humiliation, to bestir themselves in shaking off those evils they had procured by their sin. Isai. 58. 6. Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? which are all good works of Justice & Mercy, and more acceptable to God than high flown pretenses of humiliation, under a stupid submission; and hanging down the head as a bulrush. We see it then a duty to relieve the oppressed, and to repress Tyranny, and break its yoke. If it be Objected (1) That these are Spiritual bonds & yokes, that are here commanded to be loosed & broken; or if any external be meant, they are only the yokes of their exactions & usuries. For Ans. I grant, that it is the great duty of a people humbling themselves before the Lord, to break off their sins by righteousness and their iniquity by shewing mercy to the poor Dan. 4. 27. but that this is the only duty I deny; or that this is the genuine & only sense of this place, cannot be proved, or approved by the Scope; which is, to press them to those duties they omitted, whereby the poor oppressed people of God might be freed from the yokes of them that made them to houl, and to bring them to the conviction of those sins for which the Lord was contending with them, whereof this was one, that they exacted all their Labours, or things wherewith others were grieved (as the Margin[al gloss in the Bible] reads) or suffered the poor to be oppressed. (2) If it be alleged, that this is the duty proper to Rulers to relieve the oppressed &c. I Answer, It is so; but not peculiar to them: yet most commonly they are the oppressors themselves, and cast out the poor, which others must take in to their houses. But the duty here is pressed upon all the people, whose sins are here cried out against (vers. 1.) upon all who professed the service of God, & asked the ordinances of Justice (vers. 2) upon all who were fasting & humbling themselves, and complained they had no success (vers. 3.) the reasons whereof the Lord discovers (vers. 4. 5.) whereof this was one, that they did not loose those bands, nor break these yokes, nor relieved the oppressed; And those works of Justice (vers. 6.) are pressed upon the same grounds, that the works of mercy are pressed upon (vers. 7.) sure these are not all nor only Rulers. Hence I argue, If it be a duty to break every yoke of oppression & Tyranny, then it is a duty to come out from under their subjection: But the former is true: therefore also the latter.
3. In answer to that grand objection of the Jews’ subjection to Nebuchadnezzar, I shew what little weight or force there is in it. And here I shall take an Argument from that same Passage. The Lord commands His people there, to desert & disown Zedekiah who was the possessor of the Government at present, and says, it was the way of life to fall to the Chaldeans Jer. 21. 8, 9. which was a falling away from the present King. Either this commanded subjection to the Chaldeans is an universal precept; or it is only particular at that time. If it be universal, obliging people to subject themselves to every Conqueror, then it is also universal obliging people to renounce & disown every Covenant-breaking tyrant, as here they were to fall away from Zedekiah: If it be only particular, then the owners of Tyranny have no advantage from this passage. And I have advantage, so far as the ground of the precept is as moral, as the reason of that punishment of Zedekiah, which was his perfidy & perjury. Hence, if the Lord hath commanded to disown a King breaking Covenant, then at least it is not insolent or unprecedented to do so: But here the Lord hath commanded to disown a King: Ergo—
Fourthly we may have many Confirmations of this truth, from Scripture practices approven.
1. I was but hinting before, how that after the death of that brave Captain & Judge Gideon, when Abimelech the son of his whore, did first aspire into a Monarchy, which he persuaded the silly Shechemites to consent to, by the same Argument which Royalists make so much of, for asserting the necessity of an Hereditary Monarchy [whether is it better for yow either that all the sons of Jerubbaal—reign over you or that one reign over you.] & by bloody cruelty did usurp a Monarchical or rather Tyrannical Throne of Domination, founded upon the blood of his seventy brethren (as we know, whose Throne is founded upon the blood of all the brethren he had) Jotham, who escaped, scorned to put his trust under the shadow of such a bramble, and they that did submit, found his parable verified, a mutual fire reciprocally consuming both the usurping King and his traitorous subjects: Neither did all the Godly in Israel submit to him. See [Matthew] Pool Synops. Critic. on the place Judg. 9. Here is one express example of disowning a Tyrant & Usurper.
2. I shew before, how after the Period of that Theocracy, which the Lord had maintained & managed for some time in great mercy & Majesty in & over His people, they, itching after novelties and affecting to be neighbour-like, rejected the Lord in desiring a King; And the Lord permitting it, gave them a King in His wrath (the true Original & only Sanction of Tyrannical Monarchy) when the Characters of his Tyranny, presaged by Samuel, were verified in his aspiring into a great deal of absoluteness, especially in his cruel persecuting of David; not only the 600 men that were David’s followers stood out in open opposition to him, but in the end, being weary of his Government, many brave & valiant men, whom the Spirit of God commends & describes very honourably, fell off from Saul, even while he was actually Tyrannizing, before he was dead 1 Chron. 12. 1. &c. They came to David to Ziklag while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish (N. B. now he is not honoured with the name of King) they were armed with bows and could use both the right hand & the left. And of the Gadites, there separated themselves unto David men of might fit for the battle, that could handle shield & buckler, whose faces were as the faces of lions vers. 8. And the Spirit came upon Amasai chief of the Captains, saying, Thine are we David & on thy side thou son of Jesse. Here was a formed Revolt from Saul unto David before he was King, for after this he was made King in Hebron, and there could not be two Kings at once. Hence I argue, if people may separate themselves from and take part with the Resister, against a Tyrant; then they may disown him (for if they own him still to be the Minister of God, they must not resist him Rom. 13. 2.) But here is an example that many people did separate themselves from Saul and took part with the Resister David: Ergo—Here two of the first Monarchs of Israel were disowned, Abimelech & Saul.
3. The first Hereditary Successor was likewise disowned, as was hinted above likewise. The ten tribes offer to Covenant with Rehoboam, in terms securing their Rights & Liberties. They desired nothing on the matter, but that he would engage to rule over them according to the Law of God; To which when he answered most Tyrannically, and avowed he would Tyrannize over them, and oppress them more than any of his Predecessors, they fell away from him, and erected themselves into a new Common-wealth 1 King. 12. 16. So when Israel saw that the King hearkened not unto them, they answered, what portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, to your tents O Israel, now see to thine own house David 2 Chron. 10. 16. Now, however the event of this declared Revolt proved sorrowful, when they and their new King made defection unto Idolatry, yet if they had stated & managed it right, the Cause was good, justifiable, & commendable. For (1) We find nothing in all the Text condemning this (2) On the Contrary its expressly said, the Cause was from the Lord, that He might perform His saying which He spake by Ahijah 1 King. 12. 15. 2 Chron. 10. 15. And (3) When Rehoboam was preparing to pursue his pretended right, he was reproved & discharged by Shemaiah, ye shall not go up nor fight against your brethren, for this thing is from me 1 King. 12. 24. 2 Chron. 11. 4. (4) Whereas it is alleged by some, that this was of God only by His providence, and not by His Ordinance; the contrary will appear, if we consider, how formally & Covenant-wise the Lord gave ten tribes to Jeroboam 1 King. 11. 35, 37, 38. I will take the Kingdom out of his sons hand, and I will give it unto thee, even ten tribes; And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shall be King over Israel; And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and will walk in my ways and do that which is right in my sight, to keep my statutes & my commandments, as David my servant did, that I will be with thee & build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. Where we see, the Kingdom was given unto him on the same Terms & conditions, that it was given to David. He may indeed give Kingdoms to whom He will, by Providential grant, as unto Nebuchadnezzar and others; but He never gave them a Kingdom upon these Conditions, and by way of Covenant, that does always imply & import His Word, Warrant, & ordinance (5) If we consider the Cause of the Revolt, we will find it very just: for after the decease of the former King, they enter upon terms of a Compact with the successor, upon a suspensive condition, to engage into fealty & Allegiance to him as subjects, if he would give them security for their Liberties & Privileges. A very Lawful, Laudable & necessary transaction, founded upon Moral equity, & upon the fundamental Constitutions of that Government, and suitable to the constant practice of their Predecessors in their Covenanting with Saul & David. As for that Word 1 King. 12. 19. So Israel Rebelled against the house of David: It is no more than in the margin[al reading found in the Bible], they fell away or revolted; And no more to be condemned, then Hezekiah’s Rebellion 2 King. 18. 7. The Lord was with him, and he Rebelled against the King of Assyria. That was a good Rebellion. Hence, If it be Lawful for a part of the people to shake off the King, refuse subjection to him, and set up a new King of their own, when he resolveth to play the Tyrant, and rule them after his own absolute power; then it is a duty, when he actually plays the Tyrant, and by his absolute power overturns Laws & Religion, and claims by Law such a prerogative: But the former is true: Ergo—See Jus Populi vindic. chap. 3. Pag 52.
4. This same Jeroboam, when he turned Tyrant & Idolater, was revolted from and deserted by the Priests & the Levites, and after them out of all the tribes of Israel, by all such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel; because that King, degenerating into Tyranny & Idolatry, had put them from the exercise of their office & Religion (as our Charles did, and ordained him Priests for the Devils & for the Calves: So they returned to Rehoboam, being induced by his administration of the Government, which for a time was better than he promised, for three years he walked in the ways of David & Salomon 2 Chron. 11. 13–17. Hence I argue, If Idolatrous Tyrants may be deserted, then they may be disowned; for when they desert them, they disown them abroad, in coming under another Government; and if they may be disowned abroad, it is the same duty at home, though may be not the same Policy or Prudence.
5. Another example of the like nature we have in the reign of Baasha, who succeeded to Nadab Jeroboam’s son, whom he slew & reigned in his stead (the same way that the Duke came to the Throne) For he could not keep his subjects within his Kingdom, but behooved to build Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa. King of Judah, a good Prince, 1 King 15. 17. yet that could not hinder them, but many strangers out of Ephraim & Manasseh & Simeon fell to him in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him 2 Chron. 15. 9. Hence, If people may choose another King, when they see the Lord is with him, then they may disown their Country King, when they see the Devil is with him.
6. When Jehoram the son of Ahab reigned over Israel, we have an express example of Elisha’s disowning him 2 King. 3. 14. 15. And Elisha said unto the King of Israel, what have I to do with thee?—As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the King of Judah, I would not look toward thee nor see thee, Here he declares so much contempt of him, and so little regard, that he disdains him a look. And if he would not regard him, nor give him honour, then he did not own him as King; for all Kings are to be honoured, that are owned to be Kings really. It may be alleged by some: that Elisha was an extraordinary man, and this was an extraordinary action, and therefore not imitable. I shall grant it so far extraordinary, that it is not Usual to carry so to persons of that figure, and that indeed there are few Elisha’s now, not only for his Prophetic Spirit which now is ceased, but even in respect of his Gracious Spirit of zeal, which in a great measure is now extinguished: He was indeed an extraordinary man, and this Action did demonstrate much of the Spirit of Elias, to have been abiding with him. But that this was unimitable, these reasons induce me to deny. (1) Prophets were subject to Kings as well as others, as Nathan was to David (1 King. 1. 32, 33.) every soul must be subject to the higher powers that are of God (2) All the Actions of Prophets were not extraordinary, nor did they everything by extraordinary inspiration; that was peculiar to Christ, that He could Prophecy & do extraordinary acts when He pleased, because He received the Spirit not by measure, and it rested upon Him. (3) this particular Action & carriage was before he called for the Minstrel, and before the hand of the Lord came upon him vers. 15. Ergo this was not by inspiration. (4) The ground of this was Moral & Ordinary, for hereby he only shewed himself to be a person fit to abide in the Lord’s Tabernacle, and an upright walker in whose eyes a vile person is contemned, Psal. 15. 4. and a just man, to whom the unjust is an abomination Prov. 29. 27. What further can be alleged against this instance, I see not. And I need draw no Argument by Consequence, it is so plain.
7. This same Jehoram, after many signal demonstrations of the power of God exerted in the Ministry of His Servant Elisha, which sometimes did extort his acknowledgment and made him call the Prophet his father, 2 King. 6. 21. yet when in the strait siege of Samaria he was plagued with famine for his Idolatry, in so much that the pitiful Mothers were made to eat their own tender Children; became so insolent a Tyrant, that being incensed into a madness of outrageous malice against the Prophet Elisah, that he sware, God do so to him & more also if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat should stand on him that day, accordingly he sent a messenger to execute it. But the Prophet, from a Principle of Nature & Reason & Law, as well as Grace, and by the Spirit of a man as well as of a Prophet, stood upon his defense, and encouraged those that were with him to keep out the house against him, saying, See ye how this son of a Murderer (a proper style for such a Monster of a King) hath sent to take away mine head … 2 King. 6. 32. This is a strong Argument for self defense, but I improve it thus: If Tyrants may be opposed as sons of Murderers, & Murderers themselves, and no otherwise to be accounted then under such a vile Character, then can they not be owned as Kings: But here is an example for the first: Ergo—
8. This man’s brother in Law, of the same name, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, who had the Daughter of Ahab to wife, and therefore walked in the way of the house of Ahab, gives us another instance. He turned Apostate & Tyrant, and Abimelech-like (or if you will Yorklike [i.e., like the Duke of York, James II.]) slew his brethren, and diverse also of the Princes of Israel; Moreover he made high places in the Mountains of Judah, and caused the Inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto: For which Cause of his intolerable insolency in wickedness, Libnah one of the Cities of Priests in Judah, Revolted from him 2 King. 8. 22. because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers 2 Chron. 21. 10. which was the motive & impulsive Cause of their disowning him, and is not to be detorted to that restricted Cavil of Royalists, understanding it only as the Meritorious or procuring Cause of his punishment & loss sustained thereby; for it is not so said of the Edomites who revolted at the same time, as it is mentioned in another Paragraph; Neither of the Philistines & Arabians & Ethiopians, whose spirit the Lord stirred up against him; These were also a punishment to him: Nor would it found very suitably to be said, that they opposed him because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers: for that would insinuate some influence that his Apostasy had on them, as certainly it could not but have on the Lord’s Priests that dwelt in Libnah, who understood by the Law of God, what was their duty to do with Enticers or Drawers or Drivers to Idolatry: And when they were not in capacity to execute the Judgment of the Lord, this was the least they could do, to Revolt. Here then is an example of a Peoples Revolt from a Prince, and disowning Allegiance to him because of Apostasy & Tyranny.
9. In this Kingdom of Judah, after long experience of a Succession of Hereditary Tyranny in many wicked Kings, the people after they had long smarted for their lazy Loyalty in their stupid abandoning, forgetting, & foregoing this Privilege of disowning Tyrants, and keeping them in order, began at length to bestir themselves in their endeavours to recover their lost Liberties, and repress Tyrants Insolencies on several occasions. Wherein, though sometimes there were extravagances, when Circumstances did mar the Justice of the Action, and some did go beyond their sphere in tumultuary precipitations; yet upon the matter it was Justice, and in conformity to a Moral Command. One impregnable witness of this we have, in the pious Plot of Jehoiada the Priest, who being but a Subject, as all Priests were (as the deposition of Abiathar by King Solomon 1 King. 2. 27. proveth) entered into an Association with the inferior Rulers, to choose & make a new King; and notwithstanding that the Idolatress & She-Tyrant Athaliah, who had the Possession of the Government, cried Treason, Treason at the fact, they had her forth without the ranges, & slew her 2 King. 11. 14–16. This was according to the Law Deut. 13. And approven by all Interpreters, even Mr. Pool in his Synopsis Critic. though alias Superlatively Loyal, yet approves of this, and says, she was an incurable Idolatress, and therefore deserved to be deposed by the Nobles of the Kingdom: And quotes Grotius in Loc. saying [she reigned by mere force & no right, and therefore justly repressed by force, for the Hebrews were to have Brethren for their Kings but not Sisters, Deut. 17. 15.] Hence if Tyrants may be forcibly repressed, then may they peaceably be disowned: But this example confirms that: Ergo—
10. The Sacred History proceeds in the Relation, how this same Joash, the Son of Ahaziah, after he degenerated into Murdering Tyranny, was slain by Jozachar & Jehozabad 2 King. 12. 20, 21. But that was by his own Servants in private Assassination; therefore they are called Murderers by Amaziah his Son 2 King. 14. 5, 6. but upon the matter it was the Justice of God, which he deserved (if it had been duly execute) for the blood of the Sone of Jehoiada the Priest 2 Chron. 24. 25. So Amon the Son of Manasseh, for his walking in the way of his Father in Idolatry & Tyranny, and forsaking the Lord God of his Fathers, was slain in his own house by his Servants, who conspired against him; But though this was Justice also upon the matter, and consonant to the Command for punishing Idolaters & Murderers, yet because defective in the manner, and done by them that took too much upon them, in a perfidious way of private Assassination & Conspiracy, therefore the People of the Land punished them for it 2 King. 21. 23. 24. But the repressing & punishing of Amaziah is a more unexceptionable instance. The people made a Conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they sent after him to Lachish and slew him there 2 King. 14. 19. after the time that he turned away from following the Lord 2 Chron. 25. 27. Which was according to the Command Deut. 13. which hath no exception of Kings in it. This Action was not questioned either by the people, or his Successor, as the forementioned Conspiracies were. His son Uzziah succeeding, who did right & consulted the Lord (2 Chron. 26. 4, 5.) did not resent nor revenge his Father’s death; which certainly he would have done, by advice of Zechariah who had understanding in the visions of God, if it had been a transgression. The famous & faithful Mr. Knox doth clear this passage beyond Contradiction in his conference with Lethington Hence I take an Argument a fortiori. If people may conspire & concur in executing Judgment upon their King turning Idolater & Tyrant; Then much more may they Revolt from him: But this example clears the Antecedent, Ergo.
11. The same power & privilege of peoples punishing their Princes, was exemplified in the Successor of him last mentioned, to wit, in Uzziah the son of Amaziah, called Azariah 2 King. 15. when he degenerated into the ambition of arrogating a Supremacy, in causes Ecclesiastic & Sacred as well as Civil, his heart was lifted up to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the Temple of the Lord to burn Incense. In which Usurpation he was resisted by Azariah the Priest, and with him fourscore Priests of the Lord that were valiant men, who withstood him, and told him it did not appertain to him to take upon him so much, and bade him go out of the Sanctuary, or else it should not be for his honour. Which indeed he stomached at as an affront, to be controlled & resisted; but in thinking to resent it he was plagued of the Lord with leprosy; which the Priests looking upon, they thrust him out from thence: And thereafter sequestred him from all Supremacy, both that which he had before in things Civil, and that which he was affecting in matters Sacred; for he was made to dwell in a Several house, being a leper, (the Law including (& here execute upon) the King as well as the beggar) and to resign the Government into his son Jotham’s hands 2 Chron. 26. 16–21. Where it appears he was not only excommunicated by a Ceremonial punishment, but also deposed Judicially. Whether he voluntarily demitted or not, it is to no purpose to contend: its evident, that by the Law of God, the actual exercise of his power was removed, whether with his will or against it, it is all one; And that he was punished both by God and by men is undeniable. Yea in this, his punishment was very gentle, and far short of the Severity of the Law; for by the Law he should have been put to death, for intermeddling with these holy things, interdicted to all but to the Priests under pain of death Numb. 3. 10. Numb. 18. 7. The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death: All were strangers that were not Priests. Whence I argue, If a Prince, for his Usurpation beyond his line in things Sacred, may by the Priests be excommunicated, and by the people deposed; then may a Prince, not only Usurping a Supremacy (as Charles did) but an absolute power of overturning all things Sacred & Civil (as James doeth) & oppressing his subjects in all their Liberties, be disowned, a fortiori, for that is less than deposing or dethroning: But this Example clears the Antecedent: Ergo—See Knox discourse to Lethington: Lex Rex Quest. 44. §. 15. pag. 461. Jus popul. chap. 3. pag. 56.
12. What if I should adduce the Example of a King’s Rebellion against, and Revolt from a Superior King, to whom he & his Fathers both acknowledged themselves subject? Surely our Royalists and Loyalists would not condemn this; and yet in justifying it, they should condemn their beloved principle of uncontrolled subjection to uncontrollable Sovereign’s possessing the Government. Ahaz became Servant to the Assyrian Monarch 2 King. 16. 7. yet Hezekiah his son, when the Lord was with him, and he prospered—Rebelled against the King of Assyria and he served him not 2 King. 18. 7. Hezekiah was indeed a King: but he was not Sennacherib’s King; he acknowledges himself his vassal, and that he offended in disowning him vers. 14. which certainly was his sin against the Lord, to make such an acknowledgment: for if his Fathers transaction with the Assyrian was sin, then it was duty to break the yoke; if the Lord was with him in that rebellion, then it was his sin to acknowledge it to be his offence; And to make good this acknowledgment, it was certainly his sin to commit Sacrilege in robbing the House of God, to satisfy that Tyrant. By way of Supplement, I shall add that instance of repressing a mad & furious Tyrant, which all will acknowledge to be Lawful. Nebuchadnezzar was both stricken of God with madness, and for that was depelled [removed] from the Kingdom, according to the heavenly Oracle, The Kingdom is departed from thee and they shall drive thee from men, Dan. 4. 31–33. Calvin says upon the place, he was ejected as usually is done to Tyrants, by the Combination of the nobles & people, Pool Synopsis Critic. in Locum. Thus he was unkinged for a time, both by the just Judgment of God, and by the intermediation of the just Judgment of men; and could not be owned to be King at that time, when his nails were like birds Claws, and he could not tell his own fingers: They could not own him to be the Governour then of so many Kingdoms, when he could not Govern himself. Hence, though this is an instance of Heathens, yet because they acted upon a rational ground, it may be argued: If Kings, because of Natural madness when they cannot govern themselves, may not be owned; Then also because of Moral madness, when they will not govern but to the destruction of Kingdoms, may not be owned: But the former is true: Therefore also the Latter. The same reason against the Government of Asses, will also militate against the Government of Tigers, the first is more eligible then the last.
Fifthly, This may be confirmed from Several promises in Scripture.
1. There are many Gracious & precious promises of Reformation of the Magistracy, and Restitution of good Rulers, as a great blessing from God to Mankind and to the Church Isai, 1. 26. I will restore thy Judges as at the first, and thy Counsellors as at the beginning, afterward thou shalt be called the City of righteousness. If Judges must first be restored before the City can be a City of righteousness, then they must be restored before we can own the Government thereof: for that Government under which it cannot be a City of Righteousness, cannot be owned: since it is no Government but a Rebellion & Combination of Thieves, see vers. 23. I do not here restrict the promise, as it is a Prophecy, to its exact fulfillment, as if no Government were to be owned but what answers this promise, of the restitution of the primitive order of Magistrates; but I plead, that when the Princes are rebellious & Companions of Thieves, the Government is not to be owned, till Judges be so far restored, as to reduce righteousness in some measure, which cannot be under Tyranny. And in the general I may plead, that none is to be owned as a Magistrate but who some way is found in a promise; for there is no Ordinance of God, no duty, no blessing, no good thing, either to be done or enjoyed, but what is in a promise: but Tyranny, or owning of Tyrants, or subjection to Usurpers, is not nor cannot be in a promise. We have many other promises about Magistrates, as that the Lord will be for a Spirit of Judgment to him that sitteth in Judgment, Isai. 28. 6. A Tyrant cannot be capable of this happiness, nor we under Tyranny, nor any while they own them. Kings shall be the Churches nursing Fathers and their Queens her nursing Mothers Isai. 49. 23. Kings are not always so, but all Kings to be owned are such as can be so, at least they are never to be owned when they turn destroyers of what they should nourish: But Tyrants can never be Nourishers. It is promised to the Lord’s people, if they will hearken diligently unto the Lord, and keep the Sabbath, then shall there enter into their gates Kings & Princes Jer. 17. 24, 25. And if they will execute Judgment & righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor &c. they shall obtain the same blessing Jer. 23. 3, 4. But it is never promised, neither doth it ever come to pass in Providence, that these duties procured Tyrants. There are many other promises to the same purpose, from whence may be concluded, the Lord will not always leave His people to howl under ineluctable Tyranny, but will accomplish their deliverance in His own time & way, though we are not to look to Miracles. Whence I argue. 1. Since all the Ordinances of God, & Rulers in a special manner, are appointed & promised as blessings, these cannot be owned for His Ordinance, which are not Blessings but Curses. 2. That which would vacate & evacuate all the promises of Magistracy, cannot be a Doctrine of God: But this that obliges to own Tyrants & Usurpers, as long as they are up, would vacate & evacuate all these promises of Magistracy: For except the Lord work Miracles (which are not in the promise) and do all without means, they cannot be accomplished. For if any means be used, they must be such as will infer disowning of Tyrants; for Magistrates cannot be restored except Tyrants be removed, and whatever way they be removed without Miracles, by others or their own Subjects, they must still be disowned, and that before they be removed; for if they be to be owned before, their removal, if they exist, cannot make them to be disowned: dispossession cannot take away their right, if they have it before.
2. There are many promises of breaking the yoke of Tyrants Isai. 10. 27. His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder and his yoke from off thy neck. And in that promise of the Churches deliverance & enlargement, wherein they are Prophetically urged & stirred up to some activity in cooperating with the providence, Isai. 52. 1, 2. they are called to awake & put on strength & their beautiful garments—and to shake themselves from the dust—and to rise and loose themselves from the bands of their neck, that were captives. Here is not only a promise of deliverance, or a ground of encouragement what the Church may expect, but a promise of & direction for their being active in delivering themselves, as men, from the encroachments that were made on their human Liberties, that they should loose themselves from these bands; Whose bands? from their bands that ruled over them, and made them to howl, and the Lord’s Name to be blasphemed (vers. 5.) Here’s a promise of breaking the bands of Rulers, by them who houled under their subjection. And it also includes a precept, that people should not stay any longer under these yokes, than they can shake them off or slip from under them. Hence we see we are not to lie stupidly sleeping, or sinking in the Ditch, expecting the accomplishment of the promise of Deliverance, but are to endeavour actively, in dependence upon the Lord’s Assistance, to deliver ourselves. Hence we may argue. 1. A promise by way of Command, that a people under bands of oppressing Rulers shall rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them, implies & infers a promise & a duty of disowning those Rulers (for otherwise they cannot be loosed from their subjection.) But here is a promise by way of Command, that a people under bands of oppressing Rulers shall rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them: Ergo—2. If the removal of Tyranny & Usurpation be promised as a blessing, then those can never be owned to be the Ordinance of God; for the removal of that can never be a blessing: But in these promises we see, the removal of those is promised as a blessing: Therefore they can never be owned.
Sixthly, To the same purpose we may cite some Threatenings, that will confirm the same Truth.
1. There are many Threatenings against Tyrants themselves. There are two mentioned Jer. 22. that seem partly to quadrate, and near of a piece, with our Misrulers; both because of the demerit of the Threatening, and the likeness of the Judgment Threatened. The ground of it was building their house by unrighteousness and their chambers by wrong vers. 13. And severally they are Threatened: Jehoiakim with the burial of an Ass unlamented vers. 18, 19. Coniah with a life without prosperity, and a death without issue to succeed vers. 30. The first of these is verified in the Elder of our Royal Brothers, the last is like to be of both. But that which I take notice of is, first, the demerit, building their house by unrighteousness, on which Whitehall is built with a witness: and particularly it is noted of Jehoiakim, as his Crimson sin (to which his Son Jehoiakim or Coniah served himself heir) that he burnt Jeremiah’s Roll, or Causes of wrath; So did our Dominators burn the Causes of wrath (a book written by the Commission of the General Assembly [Mr. James Guthrie]) and the Covenants. Then I note these words vers. 15. Shalt thou reign because thou closest thy self in Cedar &c. It is certainly not fit for us to say, he shall reign, of whom the Lord says, he shall not reign: but when we own the Authority of those whom the Lord threatens they shall not reign, we say, they shall reign: for we say, they have a right to reign, and own ourselves obliged to do all that is required in our Capacity, to perpetuate their reign. There is a terrible Threatening against Zedekiah Ezek. 20. 25–27. Thou profane (or as some translate it; Thou worthy to be killed, Pool. Synops. Critic. in Locum.) wicked Prince of Israel—Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the Diadem, take off the Crown, this shall not be the same, exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high, I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him. Than which nothing can be more applicable to our Princes, who are profane, and the patterns & patrons of it, whose Diadem the Lord will remove; and if He threaten it, wo to them that contribute to hold it on. We see here, a profane & wicked Prince threatened to be overturned must not be owned, because he hath no right: But our Excommunicate Tyrant, is a profane & wicked Prince threatened to be overturned: Ergo—There is another dreadful Threatening against Tyrants Amos 4. 1, 2. Hear this word ye Kine of Bashan, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy—The Lord God hath sworn by His Holiness, that lo the days shall come upon you, that He will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fish hooks. Shall we own these, against whom the Lord hath engaged His Holiness by Oath so solemnly, that He will fish them with hooks? We may fear if there be such a tie as Allegiance between them and us, that that same hook which fishes them may also catch us; as it is said of Pharaoh and his subjects, when he is hooked, then his fish stick unto his scales, and he & they are left in the wilderness Ezek. 29. 4, 5. that is as Grotius expounds it, whoever are of his Community shall be consorts in his Calamity, Pool Critic. in Locum. If we then own them we must be of their Community, and so partake of their Judgments.
2. There are many Threatenings against illimited Loyalty, and those who had more of that than Religion: for this Ephraim was broken in Judgment, because he willingly walked after the Commandment Hos. 5. 11. And because the Statutes of Omri were kept, and the works of the house of Ahab, therefore the Lord threatens to make them a desolation Mic. 6. ult. And among other Threatenings against the men of such universal Loyalty, that is notable Hos. 10. 3. Now ye shall say, we have no King, because we feared not the Lord, what then should a King do to us? It is the just punishment of wicked Loyalty, that prefers the fear & favour of Kings to the fear & favour of God, that at length they are brought to that pass, that either they have no Kings at all to look to, or else they have such of whom it may be said, they are no Kings in effect, for they cannot act the part of Kings to them that trust in them. Hence. 1. If to have really no Kings be a punishment, then such Kings as are a punishment cannot be owned to be Kings; for to have them cannot be a punishment, if the want of them be a punishment. 2. If those that have the name of Kings, that can do no good, be no Kings; Then Tyrants that can do no good but a great deal of hurt, must be reckoned no Kings also: But here its threatened, people that had Kings, that had the name but could do no good, should reckon they had no Kings: Therefore much more may Tyrants be reckoned to be no Kings, who can do no good but a great deal of hurt.
Seventhly, This Truth is confirmed from Scripture Prayers: Whereof there are many against Tyrants, none for them. Hence we argue, If we are not to pray for Tyrants then we are not to own them; for we are to pray for all that are in Authority 1 Tim 2. 2, But we are not to pray for Tyrants: Ergo we are not to own them. The Minor now must be proved. And this leads me to another subordinate Question, which hath also been a head of suffering to some serious Seekers of God in our Land of late.
The profane Emissaries of this and the late Tyrant, sent out with bloody Commissions to hunt after the Lord’s hidden Ones, in order to murder all whom they might meet with, that made Conscience of adhering to every part of the present Testimony; among other trapping Questions to discover their prey, they used to put this to them as a discriminating Shibboleth, and Tessera of owning the present Tyranny, will you say, God save the King? And for refusing this, many have been cruelly murdered in the Fields; And many before their bloody Judicatories, have for this been arraigned & condemned, & executed to the death. Wherefore to this somewhat must be said. 1. By way of Concession. 2. By way of Vindication, of Scrupling it and Suffering upon it.
First, In the General, it will be necessary to premit by way of Concession. 1. It is duty to pray, supplicate, & intercede for all men 1 Tim. 2. 1. not Collectively considered, nor Distributively for everyone universally without exception, but indefinitely & indiscriminately, pro generibus singulorum for all sorts & sexes, of whatsoever Nation or Religion, Jew or Gentile, Christian or Infidel, not excluding any for these distinctions: And not only so, but pro singulis generum also Conditionally, if they be among those all whom the Lord will have to be saved vers. 4. If they be among those all for whom the Mediator gave himself a ransom to be testified in due time vers. 5, 6. If they have not sinned the sin unto death, for which we are not bidden pray 1 John. 5. 16. Which, because we know not particularly who are guilty of it, Charity will oblige us to take into our Prayers many that may never be the better of them; Yet it is necessary that we pray in Faith, for what, or whomsoever we pray; at least, if I may so call it, we must have a negative Faith, a belief that they have not sinned that sin unto death; which we cannot have of all, there being some whose demonstrations of desperate displays of affronted wickedness, and hatred of Godliness, may give ground to doubt of it, as Christians had of Iulian the Apostate. 2. We are obliged to love our Enemies, to Bless them that Curse us, to do good to them that hate us, to pray for them that despitefully use & persecute us Math. 5. 44. Accordingly Our Master, who commanded this, did give us a Pattern to imitate, when He prayed, Father forgive them for they know not what they do Luk. 23. 34. And His faithful Martyr Stephen, prayed for his Murderers, Lord lay not this sin to their charge, Act. 7. ult. We are to pity them, and not to seek vengeance against them, for any injuries they can do to us. Yet, as this doth not interfere with a holy & zealous Appeal to God, for righting & resenting & requiting the wrongs done to us, that He may vindicate us & our Cause, and make them repent of their injuries done to us, to the Glory of God, and Conviction of Onlookers, and Confusion of themselves, which may well consist with Mercy to their Souls: So all we can pray for them in their opposition to us, is in order to their repentance, but never for their prosperity in that Course. And we may well imitate, even against our enemies, that prayer of Zecharia’s, The Lord look upon it and require it 2 Chron. 24. 22. But we are never to pray for Christ’s stated Enemies, as to the bulk of them, and under that formality as His Enemies: for we must not love them that hate the Lord 2 Chron. 19. 2. but hate them, and hate them with a perfect hatred, Psâl. 139. 21, 22. We are to pray for the Elect among them, but only to the end they may escape the vengeance, which we are obliged to pray for against them. 3. We are not to execrate our enemies, or use imprecations against any, out of blind zeal, or the passionate or revengeful motions of our own hearts: Our Lord rebuked His Disciples for such preposterous zeal Luk. 9. 55. Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of. But against the Stated & Declared Enemies of Christ, as such & while such, we may well take a pattern from the imprecatory Prayers of the Saints recorded in Scripture; such as do not peremptorily determine about the eternal State of particular persons: which determinations, except we be extraordinarily acted by the same Spirit, whose Dictates these are, are not to be imitated by us. We find several sorts of Imprecations in the Psalms, & other Scriptures: Some are imitable, some not: Some are Prophetical having the force of a Prophecy, as David’s Psal. 35. 4. Let them be confounded—that seek after my Soul—Let Destruction come upon him Psal. 55. 15. Let them go down quick to hell. And Jeremiah chap. 17. 18. Let them be confounded that persecute me—destroy them with double destruction. Without this Prophetical Spirit, determining the application of these threatenings to particular persons, we may not imitate this peremptoriness. Some are Typical of Christ’s Mediatory devoting His Enemies to destruction; who as He intercedes for His friends, so by virtue of the same Merits (by them trampled upon) He pleads for vengeance against His enemies: Which Mediatory vengeance, is the most dreadful of all vengeances (Heb. 10. 29.) So also Psal. 40. He whose ears were opened, and who said lo I come—vers. 6. 7. that is Christ) does imprecate shame & Confusion & desolation vers. 14. 15. As also Psal. 109. the Psalmist personates Christ, complaining of & imprecating against His enemies, particularly Judas the Traitor vers. 8. It must be dreadful to be under the dint of the Mediator’s Imprecations; And also dreadful to clash with Him in His Intercessions, that is, to apprecate [pray for] for them against whom He imprecates [pray against], or pray for them against whom He intercedes. But some Imprecations against the enemies of God, are imitable such as proceed from pure zeal for God, and the Spirit of Prayer, as that Psal. 109. ult. Put them in fear O Lord that the Nations may know themselves to be but men. Psal. 83. 16.—fill their faces with shame that they may seek thy Name. This is to be imitated in general against all the enemies of God Psal 129. 5. Let them all be confounded that hate Zion; without condescending on particular persons, except obviously & not odiously desperate, & presumptively Christ’s implacable Enemies. 4. Touching Magistrates it is a great duty to pray, that God would give us Magistrates, as He hath promised for the Comfort of His Church Isai. 1. 26. Isai. 49. 2. Jer. 30. 21. Promises should be motives & foments of Prayer. We ought to pray against Anarchy as a Plague, and with all earnestness beg of God, that the mercy of Magistracy may again be known in Britain, of which it hath been long deprived. 5. And when we have them, it is a necessary Duty to pray for them; for Kings and for all that are in Authority, that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life in all Godliness & honesty 1 Tim. 2. 2. Where it is specified, what sort we should pray for, and to what end. As we are not to pray for all men absolutely; for some, as they are declared to be out of the precincts of Christ’s Mediation, so they must be out of our Prayers: So there may be some in actual Rule, that may be excepted out of the verge of the Christians Prayers, as was said of Julian the Apostate. But he that is a Magistrate indeed, and in Authority, the subjects are to pray and to give thanks for him, not as a man merely, but as a Magistrate. Yea though they be Heathen Magistrates, Ezra. 6. 10. We may pray for all in Authority, two ways; As Men, & as Kings. As Men, we may pray for their Salvation, or Conversion, or taking them out of the way, if they be enemies to Christ’s Kingdom, according as they are stated; and upon Condition, if it be possible, and if they belong to the Election of Grace. Though for such as are opposites to the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, as it is a contradiction to the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer [Thy Kingdom come] So in the experience of the most eminent wrestlers, they have found less faith & less encouragement in praying for them, than for any other sort of men. It is rare that ever any could find their hands, in praying for the Conversion of our Rulers. And though we pray that the Lord would convince them, yea & confound them, in mercy to their souls; yet this must never be wanting in our Prayers for Tyrants, as men, that God would bring them down, and cause Justice overtake them, that so God may be Glorified, and the Nation eased of such a burden. But if we pray for them as Kings, then they must be such by God’s approbation, and not mere possessory Occupants, to whom we owe no such respect nor duty. For whatever the Hobbists, and the time-serving Casuists of our day, and even many good men (though woefully lax in this point) homologating both Doctrinally & Practically their heathenish notions, say to the contrary; I hope it be in some measure made out, that Tyrants are no more the Ordinance of God, nor to be owned as His Ministers & Vicegerents, than the Devil the Prince of this World for the Lord’s Anointed, or Baal’s Priests for true Ministers. If we pray for them as Kings, we must pray for their peace, prosperity, & preservation, that their Government may be blessed with success, their designs not frustrated, nor their desires disappointed. This we cannot pray for Tyrants. 6. Albeit we may pray for the Peace of the Nation, and for the Government thereof, so far as it may conduce to our own & the Church’s Tranquility, that we may live a peaceable & Godly life under it; yet this cannot be extended to the peace of Tyrants, for whom the best Prayer that we can bestow is, that the Lord would bridle & restrain them, that they may not mar the Church’s peace. That Command, Jer. 29. 7. Seek the Peace of the City, whither soever I have caused yow o be carried Captives, and pray unto the Lord for it, for in the peace thereof shall yow have peace, is apparent to have been but of a temporary nature, upon occasion of their Captivity there, until the 70 years should be expired, having it also declared by God, that their own peace was bound up in that of Babylon’s: For after that time they are taught the contrary carriage towards that City, to depart, and pray against it, and exult & rejoice in its ruin; O Daughter of Babylon, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us, that dasheth thy little ones against the Stones, Psal. 137. 8, 9. The voice of them that flee out of the Land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His Temple. Jer. 50. 28. And Jer. 51. 35. The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say, and my blood be upon Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Certainly this is not the season to seek the Peace of Mystical Babylon, but to pray for the destruction thereof and all its supporters: Which we cannot do, if we pray for them that improve, employ, & apply all their power to support it, lest we pray contradictions; as many do, who pray against Babel’s brats and yet pray for the King: but the Comfort is this, that Nonsensical Prayers will do little good, little hurt, but to themselves that pray them.
Secondly, To vindicate the Scruplers & Refusers of such Compelled & extorted Devotion, in praying for Tyrants, I shall offer these Considerations.
1. The imposed form of it (which as it is found in the Original from whence it is taken, is only Paraphrastically expounded, God save the King; and most Catechrestically [improperly] applied to Tyrants, being in the native sense of the words of this signification, Let the King Live; which is a very improper Wish for men of death, of whom God says, they shall die, and the Law says, they should die, for their Murders & Capital Crimes) must be taken either as an Adulatory Complement; or a Congratulatory honour; or a precatory benediction. The first, as it is extorted most illegally, so it can be rendered neither Civilly, nor Sincerely, nor Christianly: but all ingenuous men would think it a base imposition, to be forced not only to subject themselves to their Tyrannical Oppressors, but to flatter them as if they were not such. Whatever they may force the mouth to speak dissemblingly, they can never compel the heart to think, such wishes are due to them; and so they can never be Cordial, nor consistent with Candor; and to interpose the Holy & Dreadful Name of God, in a dissembling Complement, to flatter base men, is a horrid mocking of God, and a heinous taking His Name in vain, contrary to the Third Command. If it be a Congratulation (as always it is used in Scripture, and in all cases formerly; being never imposed on men by way of Compulsion, before this set of Tyrants started up, that know they can get no deference of honest men, but by extortion) It is the more abominable; not only for the Hypocrisy that is in it, but the Blasphemy, in giving thanks for the Promoter of the Devil’s Interest, and the Destroyer of Christ’s, and the Liberties of Mankind. What have we to Congratulate him for, but for overturning our Laws & Liberties, and oppressing us in most grievous Tyranny? Besides to give the vilest of men when exalted any Congratulatory honour, is contrary to the fifth Command, as is shewed above. And it were a forsaking of the Law, thus to praise the wicked, since they that keep the Law will contend with them Prov. 28. 4. If it be a Benediction, we cannot bestow it upon one whom our Father Curses, our Mother Curses, and all our Brethren. It is no less preposterous to bless whom the Lord declaredly Curses, than to Curse whom he blesses. The Curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked Prov. 3. 33. we cannot then bless that house. Nor can we bless them that our Mother curses, and cries for vengeance against, as she did against Nebuchadnezzar Jer. 51. 34, 35. Nor them against whom the blood of our dead Brethren hath a Moral Cry, How long O Lord holy & true dost thou not Judge & avenge our blood, Revel. 6. 10. And the vexed Spirits of our Brethren, yet howling under the same yoke, are putting up before the Throne of Grace, the same continued Cry, with incessant importunity, How long how long shall the wicked triumph how long shall they break in pieces thy people? O God to whom vengeance belongeth? Psal. 94. 1–4. Yea God hath said it, and we must not contradict it in our practice, against all Tyrants that wrest Judgment, and say unto the wicked thou art righteous, him shall the people, curse Nations shall abhor him, Prov. 2. 24. And this must stand registered as the everlasting Claise [clothes] of all Zion’s haters, to which all her Lovers must say, Amen, that they shall be as the grass upon the house tops and never have the benefit of the Churches benediction Psal. 129. 8. Neither do they which go by say, the blessing of Lord be upon you, we bless you in the Name of the Lord. This one word may be a sufficient Supercedeas [a bond ordering the stoppage or suspension of a judicial proceeding] from blessing any of the enemies of God, or of the Church, while acting in a declared opposition to God for the destruction of His people & interest.
2. Either this—Save the King, as they mouth it, and demand the repetition of it, is a Prayer; or it is not. If not, it must be a dreadful profanation of the name of God, to be commanded to speak to Him, and yet not to pray. If it be a Prayer, we would expect another way of dealing with us, if they really desired the benefit of our Prayers, than a threatening us with death if we did it not. And if they did desire it as Darius did, that we might offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of Heaven, and pray for the life of the King and of his sons Ezra. 6. 10. we could not refuse to pray for him, so far as might consist with that Prayer of the same Darius, in that same decree vers. 12. that God may destroy all Kings & people, that shall put to their hand to alter and destroy the House of God. We can pray no Prayer inconsistent with this, And to pray that God would save this King, and yet destroy all Kings that put to their hand against His House, were to pray Contradictions. But they know they deserve no Prayers, and must force them if they get them. And all the world knows, that Compelled Prayers are no devotion; and if they be no devotion, they must be sin: Imposed Prayers, are not the Prayers that God will hear & accept; And if we have not the faith of acceptance in them, they must be sin, for whatever is not of faith is sin, Rom. 14. ult. All Prayers which God will hear, must proceed from the heart voluntarily and fervently, in Spirit & in Truth, with the whole heart. But imposed & compelled Prayers cannot be such; especially when they are not only by them imposed, but prescribed as to the form of them. Which sets and forms prescribed by men, and such men as usurp a Supremacy over the Church, cannot be subjected to, according to the Word of God, and the Principles of our Reformation.
3. That infallible Proposition of the Apostle, Whatsoever is not of faith is sin, must be urged yet a litle further: And that with a reference, both to the Person required to be prayed for, and to the matter of the duty more generally. First if we cannot pray for this man, neither as a Christian, nor as a King, then we cannot satisfy this imposed demand; for it will not satisfy to pray for him as a Heathen: But we cannot in faith pray for him, either as a Christian, or as a King. Not as a Christian; for besides that he is an excommunicate Apostate (by a sentence which we believe stands yet rate [ratified] in Heaven, Pronounced by a faithful Servant of Christ) and a Papist, which as such can no more be prayed for than the Pope as Pope; for whom, and all the limbs of Antichrist; the only prayer that Protestants can pray, is, that the Lord would consume him with the Spirit of His Mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming 2 Thess. 2. 8. (we cannot reconcile the prayers of some, that pray against the Pope and his supporters, and upholders of his tottering Kingdom, and yet for this his Antichristian vassal) His rage & resolution in prosecuting a war against Christ and His followers, is such, that if we may make Comparisons, our faith will have little more ground to pray for James, than Christians of old could find for Julian, the Apostate. Nor as a King, for that we cannot do, because he is none with God’s approbation, and may not do, for a very heathen could teach us to pray, that God would destroy all Kings that put to their hand to alter & destroy the House of God, Ezra. 6. 12. And besides, in the Second place, with respect to the matter of the duty in general: That cannot be in faith which wants a warrant in the Word, either by precept, promise, or practice: But to pray for wicked Tyrants & Enemies of God, wants a Warrant in the Word, either by precept, promise, or practice. There is no precept for it, either General on particular, neither express, nor any to which this is reducible. And who dare add without a precept in the Worship of God, either for matter, or manner, or end, what He hath not commanded? for such presumption; Nadab & Abihu were destroyed Levit. 10. 1, 2. because they did that which the Lord had not commanded. What Command can there be for praying for that, which is against the preceptive Will of God? But it is against the preceptive Will of God, that there should be Tyrants: Therefore to pray that these may be preserved in the World, cannot fall under a Command of God. There is no promise for it, which is the foment & foundation of Prayer: We can pray for nothing that we have not a promise for, either General or Particular: But we have none, nor can have any, for the preservation of a plague to us, as Tyrants are. There is no Practice for it in Scripture, to pray for Kings that put to their hand to destroy the House of God. Samuel did indeed mourn for Saul, but the Lord reproved him for it, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being King over Israel? 1 Sam. 16. 1. belike this reproof was for his praying for Saul’s preservation as King, for otherwise we may mourn for wicked wretches, for their sin & Misery both. But hence, if the Lord reprove His Servant for mourning for a King whom He disowned, then we may not pray for such a King whom the Lord disowns, as He disowns all Tyrants, for they are set up & not by Him! But the Antecedent is true in that example of Samuel: Therefore also the Consequent, that we may not pray for them as Kings, whom the Lord disowns.
4. Moreover to confirm this yet further: That Prayer is not of Faith, and so sin, which is contrary to the Precepts of God, and his promises, and the practices of the Saints: But praying for wicked Kings their preservation, is contrary to these precepts, promises, & practices &c. Ergo—It is contrary to some Divine precepts, both Affirmative, & Negative. There is an Affirmative precept, prescribing what Prayer should be used under the Domination of Tyrants, that they should weep and say, Spare thy people O Lord, give not they Heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them, wherefore should they say among the people where is their God. Joel. 3. 17. If it be a reproach to be under Heathen Rulers, and if we should pray that they may not Rule, but that Our God may shew Himself where He is, and who He is, in delivering His people from their Domination; Then it is contrary to this, to pray for the preservation of Tyrants, that do rule over them to their destruction & reproach: For it is contradictory to pray, that they may not Rule, and that they may be preserved in Ruling. There is a negative precept, prohibiting the salutation of Heretics and Enemies of the Gospel, which will condemn this salutation of Heretical Kings: for in the Original God save the King is no more than a solemn salutation, or apprecatory [prayerful] Wish that he may prosper. 2 Epist. John. vers. 10, 11. If there come any—and bring not this Doctrine—neither bid him God speed, for he that biddeth him, God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds. God speed, in the Greek, is the same with God save, in the Hebrew. If then we must not say, God save a Heretic, neither must we say God save an Heretical King, or a Popish Tyrant, a sworn enemy to the Gospel of Christ, and the coming of His Kingdom. This is also inconsistent with that Rule & Directory of our prayers, commonly called The Lord’s prayer, not only because it cannot be reduced to any of its petitions (which are comprehensive of all that we are warranted to pray for) but because it is contradictory to the Second which is, Thy Kingdom come. The Coming of Christ’s Kingdom in our Land cannot consist with the preservation of the Tyrant’s reign, which is Satan’s rule: for Antichrist’s & Satan’s Kingdom, and Christ’s, cannot be promoted both at once. It may be also demonstrated, that it is inconsistent with all the petitions of that perfect form of prayer. With the first, Hallowed be thy Name; for when they who rule over His people make them to howl, then His Name continually every day is Blasphemed Isai. 52. 5. yea much profaned in the frequent repeating that imposition. With the Second, Thy Kingdom come for when He takes unto Him His great power & Reigns, then is the time He, will destroy them that destroy the earth, Revel. 11. 17, 18. It is against the third, Thy will be done—for it is against His preceptive will that there should be a Throne of iniquity, it shall not have fellowship with Him; as it would have, if according to His will. And therefore Habbakkuk pleads from the Lord’s Holiness & Righteousness against Tyrants, Habbak. 1. 13, 14. It is against the fourth, Give us this day our daily bread, to pray for them that rob us of it, whom the Lord hath set over us for a plague, to domineer over our bodies, and all the means of life Neh. 9. 37. The Saints there make a Complaint of Kings, and pray to remove them, not to save them: The Church also prays against base Rulers on this account, because under them they get their bread with the peril of their lives Lam. 5. 8, 9. It is against the fifth, Forgive us our debts or sins; for if we pray for taking away the guilt of sin, we must also pray for removing the punishment; whereof this is one, to be under Tyrants: And if it be sin which brings on such a judgment, then it is sin to pray for the keeping of it on & continuing thereof: And though we should forgive their sin against us, yet we ought to complain against their sins against God, and the Church, in defiling it, & shedding the blood of the Saints Psal. 79. 1–7. It is against the sixth, Lead us not into Temptation and deliver us from evil: for their Government is a continued tract of Temptation, they being a snare on Mizpah & a net spread upon Tabor Hos. 5. 1. And if we pray to be delivered from all evil, then we must pray to be delivered from Tyranny, which is a great evil. It is against the Conclusion also for thine is the Kingdom—& Glory: Tyrants being stated in opposition to the Glory of God. Again, in the next place, it is against many promises of giving good Rulers, and of breaking the yoke of Tyrants (as I cited several above) Neither of which can consist with the preservation of Tyrants, if such a Prayer should be answered according to the idol of the heart of the supplicants: for if God should save this man as long as we may pray for him as a King, then all the promises of a Change & Revolution are precluded. Lastly, it is contrary to the constant tenor of the Saints prayers against the Enemies of God. Deborah prayed upon the destruction of a Tyrant, So let all thine enemies perish O Lord. Judg. 5. ult. [last verse] Jotham prayed against that bastard King, let fire come out from Abimelech & devour the men of Shechem, and—let fire come out from the men of Shechem & devour Abimelech, Judg. 9. 20. David prays against Saul, whom he calls Cush the Benjamite in the title of Psal. 7. alluding to Kish his Father, or because he was no better than an Ethiopian a Cushite Amos 9. 7. and could no more change his manners than an Ethiopian can change his skin Jer. 13. 23. See Pool Synops. Critic. in Locum. Where it is proven that this was Saul; against him he prays that the Lord would awake to Judgment Psal. 7. 6. and that He would break the arm of the wicked and the evil man Psal. 10. 15. that He would not slay them (to wit suddenly or in a common way) lest the people forget, but scatter and bring them down and consume them in wrath, that they may not be, that it may be known God ruleth in Jacob to the ends of the earth Psal. 59. 11, 13. This is a Psalm against Dogs vers. 6. what Dogs? Saul and his men watching David, See the Title. As also it is against Saul that he prays, that the Lord would not grant his desires nor further his devices, and as for the head of them that compassed him about (which was Saul) let the mischief of their own lips cover them Psal. 140. 8, 9. There is also a prayer that the Saints may execute vengeance & the judgment written upon Tyrants, and bind them with chains Psal. 149. 7, 8, 9. The Church is brought in praying for vengeance against the Babylonian Tyrant, Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon hath devoured me—the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon shall the Inhabitant of Zion say Jer. 51. 34, 35. Paul imprecates any man that does not love the Lord Jesus, let him be Anathema Maranatha 1 Cor. 16. 22. and sure no Tyrant, persecutor & subverter of Christ’s Kingdom, can be a Lover of Christ. The Martyrs under the fifth seal slain for the Word of God, and the Testimony which they held, are brought in crying against the Tyrants that murdered them, How long! O Lord, Holy & True, dost thou not judge & avenge our blood, Revel. 6. 9, 10. Which though it be to be understood of a Moral Cry of blood, as Abel’s blood cried against Cain; yet ought to be a pattern of our prayers against such Bloody Enemies, imbruing their hands in the blood of our Brethren, for which we ought to pray that the Lord would haste to make inquisition. [James] Durham Observes from this place, that God’s people in a holy way may pray for vengeance upon persecutors.
5. Let us consider the person & matter, for whom and for what this prayer is extorted. Either it is for the personal salvation of James the Papist: or the Royal preservation of James the Tyrant. It will not satisfy to pray, that if it be possible, and if it were the Lord’s will, he might be taken to Heaven, that so we might be quit of him. Neither were it Lawful to pray that, except we prayed first, that he might repent of this his wickedness, if perhaps it might be forgiven him, as Peter directed Simon Magus to pray for himself Act. 8. 22. for it is unlawful to pray for the salvation of a Papist, except upon supposition of his repentance & relinquishing Popery. We must pray nothing but according to the Will of God; and it is not the Will of God, that they that have & keep & will not part with the Mark of the beast, should be saved, for he is adjudged of God to drink of the wine of His wrath Revel. 14. 9, 10. So we cannot pray for him as a Christian, which he is not; Nor as a Papist, except that he may get repentance. Nor can we pray for him as a King, which he is not; nor as a Tyrant, except that he may repent of & relinquish his Tyranny & Usurpation: for Tyrants as such cannot be saved, no more than Papists as such; for Tophet is ordained of old yea for the King it is prepared—Isai. 30. 33. We cannot then pray for his salvation, except we pray for his repentance, and relinquishing all his sins, and so we must pray for his relinquishing his Kingship, and that he may cease to be King; for that is his sin, that he hath made himself King without God, and against the Laws of the Land. And now while he continues such, we must complain in prayer, not for his Misgovernment only, but for that he Governs, and desire to be delivered from him. See Gee’s Magistrates Original pag. 258. But now considering what a Man, and what a King he hath been, guilty of Murder, Adultery, Idolatry, under sentence of the Law both of God & Man; We can pray no otherwise for him, than for a Murderer, Adulterer, or an Idolater. We cannot pray for him as Clothed with Authority, or that the Lord may bless his Government for that is his sin & our Misery that he is a Governour: And his Throne is a Throne of iniquity, which we dare not pray may have fellowship with God. Can we pray that God would bless him on a Throne of iniquity? Could we pray, that the Lord would bless a Drunkard in his drunkenness, abusing his enjoyments? Or a Thief in Stealing his, though he used his purchase never so soberly? What if prevailing Robbers by Land, or pirates by sea, preying upon all passengers, should require this as the sign of subjection to them, and only condition whereupon such as they apprehended & overcame should be suffered to live, that they should pray for preservation & prosperity to them? Would not this be wickedness thus to pray for Thieves & Robbers? And are not Tyrants the greatest of Thieves, that rob & destroy twenty for one of private Robbers? And do they not require this as such a sign on such a Condition?
6. Lastly, then the plea will be reduced to this, that it is exacted as a Badge of Loyalty, and Sign, Tessera, & Shibboleth of owning the Authority. Which I have at this length endeavoured to prove, cannot be conscientiously Owned by us, in these circumstances. And even by this Argument: That Authority which we cannot pray for we cannot own: But we cannot pray for this Tyrannical Authority: Ergo—The Minor I trust is in some measure made manifest, by what is said above. And so I conclude this Head, with that form of prayer, that I use for the King. O Lord God to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thy self; lift up thy self thou Judge of the Earth, render a reward to the proud. Lord how long shall the wicked? how long shall the wicked Triumph? Shall the Throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, that Frameth Mischief by a Law? The Mighty & Terrible God, destroy all Kings & people, that put to their hand to alter & destroy the House of God. Overturn, Overturn, Overturn this Throne of Tyranny, and let it be no more, until he come whose right it is.
[go to HEAD II.]