« VorigeDoorgaan »
1 Sam. viii, 72
draw people from the present government, hy your own text are felf-condemned, and not to be followed, not to be “ meddled with," but to be noted, as moft of all others the “ feditious and desirous of change.”
Your third proof is no less against yourself. Pfal. cv, 15,
« Touch nat mine anointed.” For this is not spoken in behalf of kings, but spoken to reprove kings, that they should not touch his anointed saints and servants, the feed of Abraham, as the verse next before might have taught you: be reproved kings for their fakes, saying, “ Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm;" according to that, 2 Cor. i, 21, “ He who hath anointed us, is God.” But how well
But how well you confirm one wrested scripture with another!
They have not rejected thee, but me:" grossly misapplying these words, which were not spoken to any who had “ resisted or rejected” a king, but to them who much against the will of God had fought a king, and rejected a commonwealth, wherein they might have lived happily under the reign of God only, their king. Let the words interpret themselves; ver. 6, 7, « But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, give us a king to judge us : and Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” Hence you conclude, • fo indissoluble is the conjunction of God and the king.” O notorious abuse of feripture ! whenas you fhould have concluded, so unwilling was God to give them a king, fo wide was the disjunction of God from a king. Is this the doctrine you boast of, to be “ so clear in itself, and like a mathematical principle, that needs no farther demonstration ?" Bad logic, bad mathematics (for principles can have no demonstration at all) but worfe divinity. O people of an implicit faith, no better than Romnith, if these be thy prime teachers, who to their credulous audience dare thus juggle with seripture, to allege those places for the proof of their doctrine, which are the plain refutation: and this is all the feripture which he brings to confirm his point. The rest of his preachment is mere groundless chat, Ff2
save here and there a few grains of corn scattered to entice the filly fowl into his net, interlaced here and there with some human reading, though Night, and not without geographical and historical mistakes : as pag. 29, Suevia the German dukedom, for Suecia the Northern kingdom: Philip of Macedon, who is generally understood of the great Alexander's father only, made contemporary, pag. 31, with T. Quintus the Roman commander, instead of T. Quintius, and the latter Philip: and pag. 44, Tully cited “ in his third oration against Verres," to say of him, “ that he was a wicked conful,” who never
a consul: nor“ Trojan sedition ever portrayed” by that verse of Virgil, which you cite pag. 47, as that of Troy : schoolboys could have told you, that there is nothing of Troy in that whole portraiture, as you call it, of Sedi. tion. These gross mistakes may juftly bring in doubt your other loose citations, and that you take them up somewhere at the second or third hand rafhly, and without due considering.
Nor are you happier in the relating or the moralizing your fable. “The frogs" (BEING ONCE A FREI NATION, faith the fable) “ petitioned Jupiter for a king: he tumbled among them a log: they found it insensible; they petitioned then for a king that should be active: he sent them a crane" (a STORK, faith the fable)
“ which straight fell to pecking them up.” This you apply to the reproof of them who desire change: whereas indeed the true moral shows rather the folly of those who being free seek a king; which for the most part either as a log lies heavy on his subjects, without doing aught worthy of his dignity and the charge to maintain him, or as a stork is ever pecking them up, and devouring them.
But“ by our fundamental laws, the king is the highest power,” pag. 40. If we must hear mooting and law lectures from the pulpit, what shame is it for a doctor of divinity not first to consider, that no law can be fundamental, but that which is grounded on the light of nature or right reason, commonly called moral Law: which no form of government was ever counted, but arbitrary,
and at all times in the choice of every free people, or their representers? This choice of government is so efsential to their freedom, that longer than they have it, they are not free. In this land not only the late king and his posterity, but kingship itself hath been abrogated by a law; which involves with as good reason the posterity of a king forfeited to the people, as that law heretofore of treason against the king, attainted the children with the father. This law against both king and kingship they who moft question, do not less question all enacted without the king and his antiparliament at Oxford, though called mongrel by himself. If no law muft be held good, but what passes in full parliament, then furely in exactness of legality no member must be missing: for look how many are missing, so many counties or cities that sent them want their representers. But if, being once chofen, they serve for the whole nation, then any number, which is sufficient, is full, and most of all in times of discord, necessity, and danger. The king himself was bound by the old mode of parliaments, not to be absent, but in case of fickness, or fome extraordinary occasion, and then to leave his substitute ; much less might any member be allowed to abfent himfelf. If the king then and many of the members with him, without leaving any in his stead, forsook the parliament upon a mere panic fear, as was that time judged by most men, and to levy war against them that fat, Thould they who were left sitting, break up, or not dare enact aught of neareit and presenteft concernment to public fafety, for the punctilio wanting of a full number, which no lawbook in such extraordinary cafes hath determined ? Certainly if it were lawful for them to fly from their charge upon pretence of private safety, it was much more lawful for these to sit and act in their trust what was necessary for the public. By a law therefore of
parliament, and of a parliament that conquered both Ireland, Scotland, and all their enemies in England, defended their friends, were generally acknowledged for a parliament both at home and abroad, kingship was abolished: this law now of late hath been negatively repealed; yet kingship not positively restored, and I suppose never
was established by any certain law in this land, nor poffibly could be: for how could our forefathers bind us to any certain form of government, more than we can bind our pofterity? If a people be put to war with their king for his misgovernment, and overcome him, the power is then undoubtedly in their own hands how they will be governed. The war was granted just by the king himself at the beginning of his last treaty, and still maintained to be so by this last parliament, as appears by the qualification prescribed to the members of this next enfuing, that none shall be elected, who have borne arms against the parliament since 1641. If the war were juft, the conquest was also juft by the law of nations. And he who was the chief enemy, in all right ceased to be the king, especially after captivity, by the deciding verdict of war; and royalty with all her laws and pretensions yet remains in the victor's power, together with the choice of our future government. Free commonwealths have been ever counted fittelt and properett for civil, virtuous, and industrious nations, abounding with prudent men worthy to govern: monarchy fitteft to curb degenerate, corrupt, idle, proud, luxurious people. · If we desire to be of the former, nothing better for us, nothing nobler than a free commonwealth : if we will needs condemn ourselves to be of the latter, despairing of our own virtue, industry, and the number of our able men, we may then, conscious of our own unworthiness to be governed better, fadly betake us to our befitting thraldom: yet choosing out of our own number one who hath best aided the people, and best merited against tyranny, the space of a reign or two we may chance to live happily enough, or tolerably. But that a victorious people should give up themselves again to the vanquished, was never yet heard of, seems rather void of all reason and good policy, and will in all probability subject the fubduers to the fubdued, will expose to revenge, to beggary, to ruin, and perpetual bondage, the victors under the vanquithed : than which what can be more unworthy?
From misinterpreting our law, you return to do again the faine with seripture, and would prove the fupremacy
of English kings from 1 Pet. ii, 13, as if that were the apostle's work : wherein if he faith that “ the king is fupreme,” he speaks fo of him but as an “ ordinance of man," and in respect of those “ governors that are fent by him," not in respect of parliaments, which by the law of this land are his bridle; in vain his bridle, if not also his rider : and therefore hath not only coordination with him, which you falsely call seditious, but hath fuperiority above him, and that neither “ against religion," nor “ right reason:" no nor against common law; for our kings reigned only by law. But the parliament is above all positive law, whether civil or common, makes or unmakes them both; and still the latter parliament above the former, above all the former lawgivers, then certainly above all precedent laws, entailed the crown on whom it pleased, and as a great lawyer faith, “ is so transcendent and absolute, that it cannot be confined either for causes or persons, within any bounds.” But your cry is, no parliament without a king. If this be so, we have never had lawful kings, who have all been created kings either by such parliaments, or by conquest: if by such parliaments, they are in your allowance none: if by conqueft, that conqueft we have now conquered. So that as well by your own assertion as by ours, there can at present be no king. And how could that perfon be absolutely supreme, who reigned, not under law only, but under oath of his good demeanour, given to the people at his coronation, ere the people gave him his crown? and his principal oath was to maintain those laws, which the people thould choose. If then the law itself, much more he who was but the keeper and minifter of law, was in their choice, and both he subordinate to the performance of his duty sworn, and our sworn allegiance in order only to his performance.
You fall next on the consistorian Schismatics; for fo you call Presbyterians, pag. 40, and judge them to have « enervated the king's fupremacy by their opinions and practice, differing in many things only in terms from popery;” though some of those principles, which you there cite concerning kingthip, are to be read in Arif totle's Politics, long ere popery was thought on. The