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they indeed at all love the Scottish nation, by reason of its resistance of arbitrary
from the people constitute a lawful magistracie, then there hath been very rarely any lawful magistracie in the world, not among us long before and since the conquest.In England, most of our own kings reigned without any call, but made way by their swords; there being of those 25 princes that have king'd it among us, not above half a dozen that came to the crown in an orderly succession, either by lineal or collateral title: and not any one of those half dozen but laid claim to it by virtue of their predecessors usurpations, without any call from the people; only in the investiture they had their consent, because out of a love of publique peace, none would, or out of fear none durst, offer to question their titles. Now, if the former part of this objection were true, that a call, were the only essential, constituting a lawful government; then it would.follow, that, as all the world, so we and oựr ancestors have liv'd and paid obedience, for the most part, under an unlawful magistracie; which sure no sober man will affirm. But if
any will be so mad as to say it, I only propound to him this sober quere, Why, we may not now as law; fully subunit to the present magistracie, in case it were unlawful, as our ancestors did heretofore to theirs, for the publique peace of the nationa."
2. As for the oath of allegiance, by which so many held themselves bound, it was said, " Allegiance is but a political tie, for politick ends, grounded upon political considerations; and therefore being politically determined, when those considerations are altered by new circumstances (be it in relation to. Cæsar or the
? Nedham's Case of the Commonwealth stated, 4to.-Lond. 1650. p. 29.
measures, the assistance it had afforded the parliament of England in the wars against
Senate), the old allegiance is extinct, and must give place to a new. The saine description may serve likewise for the covenant; for even that part of it which relates most to religion, will be found wrapt up altogether in matters of discipline and church politie, to serve politick ends and interests, if the actions of our English and Scotch presbyters may be admitted as a cominent on the text. I grant, both those oaths are religious acts, as they are solemnized with the invocation of God as a witness : but as all actions are qualified from their principal end; so the main end of those oaths being obedience to the prince in order to the good of the publique, they are of a political nature; and when such an alteration of affairs shall happen as extinguishes his title, I conceive, we are not obliged, in this case, to pay him that submission which by oatlı we promised, but ought rather to swear a new one to those who succeed him in the governmenta.”—“ The subject is absolved from the oath of allegiance, by those who have power to absolve from it. The representatives of the people, which in reason are the supream power of the nation, imposed this oath upon the subject by an act made in parliament, by which „they obliged the subject to allegiance to the king then in being, and to his heirs: and this act done by their representatives, was their own voluntary act, to which they were not obliged by any law of God or nature: for there is no rule requiring them to accept of such a person to be their prince, and his heirs after him, and to swear allegiance to him and them: but
• Nedham's Cise of the Commonwealth stated, 4to. Lond. 1650 p. 25.
Charles I. and the delivering up that monarch to the English commissaries, at Newthis was the subjects free act in their representatives ; therefore if the representatives, take away this act, and repeal it, they thereby set the subjects at liberty from such allegiance, and from their oath by which they are bound unto it,
3. To the objection, that kings have the same rights to their kingdoms, as others have to their private properties ;-il was replied, " Such right as kings have had, they never justly came by it; but by force and flattery have obtained it, and have usurped upon the birthright of the people, to whom it belongs to chuse them that must rule over them; and kingdoms, with their appurtenances thereto, were never intended for particular mens advancement, to lift up such families in glory and greatness, or that the hereditary right of any should be in them : but wisdom, righteousness and virtue, was to lift up men unto them; and crowns and revenues were to encourage them in acting in such places; and men that were so qualified, were to be heirs and successors, set up by the people after them; and the people themselves, nor their representatives, could neither give, nor sell away this priviledge from their posterity, in which the welfare of the people is so mainly concerned, and without which a people are given up, and sold to ruin. This cannot be said of manors and demains, which are things that fall under commutative justice, and are things vendible, and wherein particular men are concerned, and not the commonwealth .”
* Eaton's Positions against the Oath of Allegiance, p. 5. prefixed to a Vindication of the Oath of Allegiance. 4to. 1650. without name or place. b Id, p. 6. VOL. IV.
castle. -The king, indeed, had another kingdom in view, where he hoped to enjoy
4. It was further asserted, “ That a magistrate dispossessed hath no right to be restored, nor the subject any obligation to seek to restore, but oppose him. For, what is man, or rather mankinde (for so we have styled a nation), better than a herd of sheep or oxen, if it be to be owned, like them, by masters? What difference is there between their masters selling them to the butcher, and obliging them to venture their lives and livelihoods for his private interest? We know it is natural, that the part should venture for the whole; but that the whole should venture the loss of itself to save the part, I cannot understand. The governour is the highest and noblest part, yet but a part; the people is the whole, the end (though not by office, yet by worth and dignity), the master and lord, for whom those who are lords by office are to be vested and devested in lordship, when it is necessary for the common good. Who thinks otherwise deserves not the name of mana."--Such were the
arguments alleged in behalf of obedience and submission to the new government: arguments which demonstrate the writers of them to be men of real abilities, and knowledge of politics! Arguments which shew they had got loose from the trammels of education, custom, and prejudice; and dared to think and speak like men.
Strong were our sires, and as they fought they writ,
And to manifest still farther the utility of submitting to the commonwealth government, it was shewn, that
• The Ground of Obedience and Government, by Thomas White, p. 142. Rd edit. Lond. 1655.
his own will without restraint, and to be
the young king had not the least probability of success in any attempts he might make against it; or that, if he should succeed, the consequences would be terrible. " From foreign nations he could expect little aid ;for as things were then constituted, some princes wanted leizure, others ability, to assist him; and divers refrained for particular reasons of state. Nor could he reasonably expect much assistance from our own nation, as the people will be less apt to engage in new insurrections, since the last thrived so ill, to the prejudice and shame of all the undertakers. Mobs might rise; but it is not like that the gentry, men of estates, will stir in any considerable number, to hazard their possessions, being yet scarce warm in them, after a purchase made upon dear rates of composition.-But should the royalists proceed with success to the ruin of this government, such inconveniences would follow to the whole nation, as would hinder all wise men from wishing well to them. For the king must come in by the power of the sword; he will be perswaded, if not inclined, to tyrannize; there will be no act of oblivion pass'd beforehand, and if he gain possession, it is a question then, whether he will grant any afterward; or if, for fashion sake, he do grant one, how far shall it extend, and whether it may not be eluded, to make way for revenge against particular persons, who, perhaps, little dream of an inquisition for past offences, as being of the moderate sort of offenders against the regal person and prerogative.-Kings, it was said, were revengeful, and princes that come from banishment to a kingdom, were observed to reign very bloodily: whereof they shall be first sensible,” adds this writer, “ that have opposed his interest; and such are all