James Fraser.

REFLECTIONS UPON THE Late Great Revolution.

Written by a LAY-HAND in the COUNTRY. For the Satisfaction of some Neighbours.

LONDON: Printed for Ric. Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard. MDCLXXXIX.


PRovidence having placed me in so low a Sphere, that I have had nothing to do in the great Revolutions of which our Land has lately been the Scene; I must not pre­tend to judge of what has past: But altho I have not been an Actor, I cannot say I have been altogether an unconcern'd Spectator of the great Changes these last Three Months have produced: For what I did not know in the Cause, I thought I might yet lawfully admire in the Effects; which tru­ly have been so miraculous, that 'tis as much the Worlds Wonders as ours: So that if ever People had cause to apply the Words of the Psalmist, Psal. 118. ver. 23. we certainly may say, This is the Lord's do­ing, and I'm sure it ought to be marvellous in our Eyes. But alas! as if we meant to vie Miracles, and to shew that we can be as obstinate as God can be gracious, we are so far from admiring, that we will neither own nor accept the Wonderful Deliverance that God has wrought for us. A sign, I fear, that we are un­worthy of so great a Mercy, while we can be so in­sensible of, and so unthankful for it: And, like the Children of Israel in the Wilderness, instead of going on to possess that Canaan God seems to have design'd [Page 2] for us, we are for making a Captain to return again into Egypt; and to put our Necks into that Yoke, which neither we nor our Fathers were able to bear. And I wish our present Murmurings and Discontents do not provoke God to deal with us as he did with the Israelites, and swear that we shall not enter into, nor enjoy that Rest we so despise.

But if Passive Obedience be so necessary a Duty, and we are indispensibly obliged to obey our Kings what­soever they be; the Children of Israel had certainly a great deal of reason to quarrel with Moses and Aaron, for making them Rebels, depriving them of the Ho­nour of suffering for a good Cause, and making them do so many ill things. For certainly the Children of Israel were as much, and as truly the Subjects of Pha­raoh, as any body can be to any of our Modern Kings. For they were all born in his Land, govern'd by his Laws, and he and his Ancestors had reigned over them by a long Prescription of Four hundred Year; and if this is not enough to give a King a Title, I doubt most of our Monarchs may despair of shewing a better. But to that I know it will be an­swer'd, That 'twas God Almighty's own Doings; and that as Abraham might lawfully sacrifice his Son when God commanded it, so they might lawfully Rebel when they had God's Authority for it; for God be­ing the Great King, may dispose of Kingdoms as he pleases. To which I shall make no other Return, but humbly offer this Quere, (which I should be glad to see resolved) Whether God can, or ever did com­mand an unlawful thingg? For his Proposal to Abra­ham was only for Trial; for you see, he would not permit him to kill his Son when it came to it: But [Page 3] the Children of Israel went through with their De­sign; therefore if in it self it had been so great a Sin, he would not have commanded, much less assisted the Israelites in the Execution of it. To see Men then murmur against God, and quarrel with Pro­vidence, only because it would not suffer them to be opprest as the Israelites were, nay destroy'd and ru­in'd; seems so unaccountable a Ground for Dissatis­faction, that it deserves to be examined into.

And I must own, that I have so much both of Esteem and Reverence for some of our Discontents, that I cannot think them so weak, as to have a Pla­tonick Love of Suffering; or so wilful, as to oppose the Truth if they are convinced of it: Therefore suppose they have (at least as it seems to them) some good Reason, which makes them thus not only deny, but resist their own Interest. And here Conscience and Zeal both stand up for them, (the two best Cham­pions in the World when in the right, but the most unruly and dangerous when in the wrong;) and Conscience telling them they cannot comply, Zeal tells them they must oppose and declare against such Proceedings. But yet for all this, how hard a Task soever it seems, I should not fear encountring, nay overcoming these two, had I not two greater Difficulties to contest with, that is Prepossession, and Prejudice. For we daily see by sad experience, that People may be as fully perswaded of, and as zealous for an Error, as 'tis possible to be for Truth it self. For which I need go no further for an Instance, than St. Paul, who says, Acts 26.9. I verily thought with my self, that I ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth. Of which he gives us an [Page 4] account in the two following Verses; Being (as he himself terms it) exceedingly Mad against them. But that we might not be ignorant what we are to ascribe this extravagant Zeal and extraordinary Fierceness to, he tells in the preceding Verses of this 26th Chap. and also in the 3d Verse of the 22th, That from his Youth up he had been brought up in Jerusalem, at the Feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the perfect manner of the Law of the Fathers, and was zealous towards God, as ye all are this day. So that 'tis very apparent, it was his Education that inspired him with his Zeal. For the Pharisees were not only the strictest, but the most dogmatical Sect among the Jews; and while they thought they, and only they, had the Law of their sides, they not only despised, but hated all that were not of their Opinion; and thought it not enough to instil their own Doctrines and Principles into their Disciples, unless at the same time they imprest upon them an absolute Horror and Detestation of all others: So that here was Prepossession and Prejudice to the height; and we may see the Effects of it in St. Paul; for it made him proof against all the Mira­cles of our Saviour and his Apostles, (for living in Jerusalem, it cannot be supposed but that he must both see and hear of them) so that nothing but a Call from Heaven it self could convince him. But I say not this, that I intend to apply it particularly to any of our Times, but only to shew in general the Unhappiness of such a grounded Prepossession and Prejudice, and the difficulty of treating with it, be­cause Truth it self will appear unwelcome to such, if it contradict their received and admired Opi­nions.

[Page 5] But after all this, it must be allow'd, that never a­ny prejudice was taken up on so justifiable grounds, as that our Church-men may have to the very ap­pearance of Rebellion; for living in the late War, and seeeing the dismal Effects of it, by the sad ruin it had wrought both in Church and State, they might reasonably think they could not run too far from such pernicious Principles. But alas! there is an extream of the other hand, which perhaps may be as dangerous, and therefore ought as carefully to be avoided. For if, like some of our over Zealous Reformers in the Church, who having both seen and detested the Errors and Superstitions of the Church of Rome, thought they were to hold nothing in Common with them; if, I say, like these, our State-Re­formers should fling away and abhor and detest all that was done in 41. as the one would soon run us out of our Religion as Christians, so the other would out of our Birth-right and Priviledges as English men. But as I hope no body will reject their Creed because believed by the Papists; so I think it would be full as unreasonable for a People to despise and destroy their own Rights and Liberties, because they were asserted by a Company of Rebels so long ago.

But all this while I have been only skirmishing with some of their Out-Guards, their main Body and Strength too remains yet entire: Which I shall own invincible, if they can make out those two great Points. First, That Monarchy is Jure Divino, pro­perly so call'd; and Secondly, That if the King Com­mand us any thing contrary to our Laws, we are yet in Conscience obliged to obey, and yield Obe­dience [Page 6] either Active or Passive. These are indeed the Foundation Stones on which the great Doctrines of Non-Resistance and Passive Obedience are built; and if the Foundation prove firm and true, I can­not, no I dare not deny the Superstructure, but [...] yield my self their Convert; being, I bless God, more desirous to be overcome by Truth, than to conquer without it. And coming with this Re­solution, I hope I may, for Argument sake, be al­low'd to say what I can for the Cause I have under­taken. To which purpose, I shall desire leave to Consider these two things; First, From whence Kings in general do derive their Authority (which an­swers to the first Point of Monarchy being Jure Divino;) and Secondly, What is that particular Au­thority that is vested in our Kings (from which I hope to clear the second Point.)


But first of the First, And since Jure Divino is the thing pretended to, I think I cannot take a better Me­thod, than to let Gods own Word and Law decide the Question. For I take it to be the best as well as the last Judge in such Points; and therefore I shall confine my self to the Sacred Scripture, and bring no Proofs nor Argument on this first Head, but what that affords me. And if I can from thence prove these Three things: First, That Monarchy was not at the first Instituted by God Almighty: Secondly, That after Monarchy was permitted and established among the Jews, the People did make and set up their Kings; and Thirdly, That those Kings which were named and appointed by God himself had not an absolute Power, but were [Page 7] under Conditions and Covenants: If, I say, I can make out these three things, I shall then suppose I have done all that can be expected from me, and that I have sufficiently confuted the Jure Divino Title. I.

And now when I come to treat of my First Point, 'tis possible some may expect that I should by Histo­ry trace Monarchy back to its Original source; but our present dispute being, Whether it be Jure Divino or no? I thought (as I said before) that Gods Word would be our best Guide; and therefore shall con­fine my self to the Sacred Writ, although it must be own'd, that if there be any intimations at all about the Matter we are now in quest of, they are for se­veral Centuries so dark and obscure, that Negative Inferences are the best Proofs we can produce; but if our Advesaries can bring a piece of Canonical Scripture that is Affirmative on their side, I shall not only be very glad to see it, but also very willing to submit to it; for I am sure it was never my design to contest either Gods Will, or Gods Word; and the latter being the surest way to come to the know­ledg of the former, (it being given us for that very end) I hope it will not be unreasonable in me to ex­pect that the Claims to Jure Divino should be made out by express Scripture, for the Grant ought to be ve­ry clear that conveys such an inestimable Privilege.

Now I conceive a thing may become Jure Divino two ways; First, by being immediately Instituted by God Almighty; and Secondly, by being positively Commanded; of which the Church both Jew and Christian can afford us Instances, among the which I should reckon the Passover with the Jews, and the [Page 8] Lords Supper with the Christians, they both of them being not only immediately Instituted, but also their ob­servation positively Commanded by God himself. And although I cannot say I rank Kings in that Classis, yet I do own an Order of Men to be Jure Divino, and that is the Bishops; for that of St. Joh. 17.18. As thou hast sent me into the World, even so send I them into the World, seems to me so powerful, and so full a Commission, that I dare not reject it. And when our Monarchical Men can shew me a Text of Scripture, wherein our Saviour does as fully make over his Regal Authority to Kings, as he does there his Prophetical to the Apostles, I shall then certainly pay them the same deference. And because Examples do illustrate things much more than simple Positions, I shall now suppose, that some of us of the Church of England went into the Indies in the Nature of Apostles, to Preach and Plant Christianity among them; and succeeding in the design, I should then ask, Whether it were lawful to set up what sort of Church-Government we pleas'd among these new Converts, or whether they did not think we were obliged to establish Episcopacy? But of the other side, supposing that we went as Conquerors, and had made an absolute Conquest of a very large Territo­ry, might we not then lawfully set up what kind of Civil Government we pleased, and such as we thought might be most beneficial and agreeable to our new Subjects? Or are we in Conscience indispensibly obliged to set up Monarchy where-ever we have the Command, although it should happen to be extreamly disadvantageous to the State in its present Circumstan­ces? And the Answer that every body shall in such a Case be able to give themselves, will I suppose suffi­ciently [Page 9] clear the Point of Jure Divino. But for all this, the other side are very free to make out their Title to it; and if they can prove that it was Originally In­stituted by God Almighty, or that we are positively Commanded to obey Kings exclusively to all other sort of Government (for if that, and only that, be Jure Divino, I conceive it would then be a sin to submit to any other.) If, I say, they can make out both or either of these from Scripture, I yield; but till that is done, it may not be amiss to see what Ac­count the Historical part of the Bible gives us of the beginning of Monarchy. And here it must on all hands be owned, that for the first Sixteen hundred years, that is, the whole space from the Creation to the Deluge, there is not any mention or least inti­mation of such a thing as a King; and yet according to the Calculation of some of the Learned, the World was then as full of People, and consequently there was as much need of Government then as now. But what want there was of it, I know not; but that there was no such thing as Monarchy then in the World, we have a great deal of reason to believe. For this I can be very sure of, that in the Holy Line, that Branch of the Posterity of Noah wherein the Church was to be preserved, and from whence the Messiah was to spring, there was no King for near Fifteen hundred years after the Flood, and yet one would have guest, that that People that were so par­ticularly favour'd of God, that they had the Enclo­sure of his other Laws and Ordinances, (as the Psalmist tells us, Psal. 147.19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his Statutes and Ordinances unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any Nation, neither have the hea­then [Page 10] knowledge of his laws); should not have been ex­cluded for so many hundred years from this Jure Di­vino Ordinance, had it originally been instituted by God. But that it was not commanded to them, is, I think, pretty evident, not only from their being so long without it, but also from the very severe and bitter Reproofs they meet with from Samuel, when they desire a King. And after that God had com­ply'd with the People, in setting a King over them, he was yet at the expence of a Miracle, as you may find it, 1 Sam. 12.18. to convince the People of their sin and folly in asking one; who in the 19th Verse, confess, We have added to all our sins this evil in asking us a King; which methinks is no very good Argu­ment of its being Jure Divino. It's answered, I know, to this, That God was their King; which doth not cross, but confirm what I say; for he who is the King of all the Earth, did not think fit to govern them by Kings.

But how long soever it was before Monarchy was set up in Israel, it must be owned, that it had a much earlier admittance among other Nations; for Nimrod, who was the first King, at least, the first we find mentioned in Holy Writ, did certain­ly begin his Kingdom in the Second Century after the Flood. But truly the Character that is given of the Man, would not make us very much in love with the Order to which he gave both Beginning and Name; for that his Kingdom was founded by Force and Violence, is very clearly intimated; and that he got the Name of the great Hunter, by his driving Men (not Beasts) out of their Possessions: for poor Ashur, the Son of Sem, who had fixt him­self [Page 11] in the Land of Shinar, was forced to fly for it, and to get him over Tigris, where indeed he laid the Foundation of another great Monarchy, that of the Assyrians. For Nimrod carrying on his Kingdom by the same means he began it, made it necessary for some that were his Neighbours, to set themselves up Kings, that they might be the better able to oppose him: and Pride and Ambition be­ing very natural to Men, every body began to as­pire to Dominion; so that in a short time every lit­tle Village and Hamlet had its particular Monarch: for we find the Land of Canaan pretty well stockt with Kings when Abraham comes to sojourn among them.

And this is all the Account that I can from the Scripture collect of the Original of Monarchy. But I think it is a little remarkable, that as the first Ci­ty was built by Cain, so the first Kingdom was set up by Nimrod, who was of the Posterity of C [...]am. So that the very Foundations of Monarchy seem to be laid from those Two Persons, who have a particular Curse and Brand upon them in Holy Scripture; and they that shew'd so little Re­spect to the Paternal Authority, (from which some would derive the Original of Monarchy) are the beginners of the Kingly Power; which is another very good Proof of its being at first Jure Di­vino.

I could have said a great deal more on this Head; but my Design being to make an Essay, not a Book, I shall proceed to the Second thing I undertook to prove from Scripture; that is, That after Monarchy was establish't among the Jews, the People had a share [Page 12] in the Election, and did frequently set up, and make their own Kings.

That the Kings of Israel and Judah did owe their II. Crowns at the first to the Peoples Importunity, is, I think, so evident, by what I have already cited out of Samuel, that I shall suppose it needless to repeat it here; for although God did comply with the Peoples Request, yet we cannot say he approved it, but barely permitted it, as he did Divorces among them, and perhaps on the same account, the hardness of their hearts; but from the beginning it was not so, Mat. 19.8.

But 'tis not from this Topick that I intend to prove the People had a hand in making their own Kings; but I shall bring Instances of several Kings, of whom it is said, by Name, they were set up by the People; and I will set them down in order, as I find them recorded in the Sacred Story. But perhaps you will wonder that I should begin my Catalogue with Saul and David, who being particularly chosen and ap­pointed by God Almighty, one would think the Peo­ple should have nothing to do in setting them up. But yet you will find they had, if Scripture is Au­thentick in the Point. For although Saul was so­lemnly Anointed by Samuel, 1 Sam. 10.1. chosen by Lot at the Assembly of the Tribes at Mizpeh, ver. 21. and declared King, ver. 24. Yet you may see how soon he was despised, even by those that had desired a King; for in the 27th Verse of that very Chapter, you will find them asking, How can this man save us? and they despised him &c. and he was glad to hold his peace, and went home to his own [Page 13] House at Gibeah, where he follows his Rural Im­ployment; for in the next Chapter we find him not very like a King, but like a good Husband, driving his Cattel home himself; Behold Saul came after the herd out of the field, 1 Sam. 11.5.

But after Saul had signalized himself by the De­feat of Nahash, and the People seem'd to have a very warm sense of their late deliverance, Samuel very wisely takes them while they are in good Hu­mour, and says, Come, let us go up to Gilgal, and there renew the Kingdom: And the people went up to Gilgal, and there they made Saul King before the Lord, 1 Sam. 11.14, 15. Which methinks seems to infer, that Samuel thought the Peoples Approbation necessa­ry for the Confirmation of the Kingdom to Saul; for after that, they all owned and obeyed him, which they did not before: And although this is a pretty clear Proof as to Saul, yet those that I shall pro­duce about David, are, I think, more strong and pregnant; for although David was by God Al­mighty design'd and declar'd King, during Saul's Life-time, and at Saul's Death was in a very good posture to have possest himself of that Kingdom, to which he seem'd to have so good a Title (for he had a Victorious Army with him, with which he might certainly very easily have vanquish'd the small remainder of Saul's baffled Forces); yet he does nothing like that, but comes and settles himself and Family quietly at Hebron, where the Text says he dwelt, 2 Sam. 2.3. But how long he was there be­fore the men of Judah came to make him their King, the Story does not express; but thither they came (of their own accord, it is to be supposed), and [Page 14] there they make him King over the House of Ju­dah, 2 Sam. 2.4. But for all he had the same Title to the Crown of Israel, God having promised him both, yet he does not pretend to any Dominion over them, till they themselves come and make him their King, as you will find it, 2 Sam. 5.3. and 1 Chron. 11.3. but that was not till Seven Years and an half after he was King of Judah: So that it seems Israel took a fair time to consider of it; for Ishbo­sheth reigning but Two Years, it must be Five Years and an half after his Death; and what Govern­ment was in that Interregnum, is hard to say, be­cause the Scripture says nothing of it; but what they did so many years after, is yet call'd the ful­filling of Samuel's Prophecy to David; for the Text tells you, They anointed David King over Israel, ac­cording to the Word of the Lord by Samuel, 1 Chron. 11.3. From whence we infer, That when God Al­mighty does the most directly and immediately raise a single Person or Family, the People are his Instru­ments to do it, and bring it about, as is, I think, very apparent in this Case of David; as also in that of Jeroboam: for although the Prophet Ahijah had given him Ten Pieces, to signifie the Ten Tribes he should reign over, and had also told him, 1 Kings 11.37. I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be King over Is­rael: Yet for all these great Promises, he was glad to run for it, and play least in sight all Solomon's days; so that he had no advantage by it, but only great hopes, till the People fulfill'd that which was but Prophecy before, 1 Kings 12.20. And it came to pass, that when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, [Page 15] that they sent and call'd him to the Congregation, and made him King over all Israel: So true is sometimes that saying, Vox Populi est Vox Dei. But this last In­stance does afford us another Observation, which I think ought not to be past over in silence; and that is, That God does not tye himself to a Family or Line; For if Jeroboam will serve God, as David did, he will build him as sure a house as he built for Da­vid, 1 Kings 11.38. By which we may see, that God is no Respecter of Persons, and that Kings have no su­rer Tenor in Gods Favour than other People; for his Promises are as conditional to them, as to the meanest man; and if they fail of their Duty, God may, and oftentimes does take the Forfeiture, as we see here both in the Case of David and Jeroboam. But when, and how far those Forfeitures are to be taken, ought to be left to that Almighty Wisdom and Providence, that turns every thing to good. But to return to the Story, from which I think I have not much digrest as to the Matter, though I may have a little Inver­ted the Order; for according to that, I should not have treated of Jeroboam before Solomon. But the truth is, I cannot say there is such Proofs of the Peoples setting up Solomon, as for the Two preceding Kings; and yet there are some Circumstances in the Story, from whence one may infer something of that kind: However, it may prove something which may be of some use in our present Dispute; and that is, That a King may have a Successor, even while he lives; for David, you see, commanded Zadock the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet, to anoint Solomon King, &c. that, as David says in the following Verse, he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be [Page 16] King in my stead, 1 Kings 1.34, 35. Now the oc­casion of this unusual way of proceeding, I suppose, was this; David had a mind that Solomon should suc­ceed him, and finding that Adonijah had got a strong Party, thought the best way to secure the Throne to Solomon, was, to put him in present Possession of it: Although, by the way, it must be remarked, that Adonijah was the Elder Brother, and so, according to our Rules of Succession, had the better Title; from whence it may be inferr'd, That that Rule may some­times be inverted without sin; and 'tis the more re­markable, because that God had taken such particular care of the Right of the First born in private Fami­lies, so that a Father had not power to make a Favou­rite-Child the Eldest, nor to put by the Son of a ha­ted Mother from that double Portion to which his Birth-right intitled him. And yet the very first time that Succession to the Crown of Israel can be preten­ded, that Order, you see, is inverted, and Solomon, the Youngest Son set up. But to go on with our Sto­ry; David, on the former account, finding it necessa­ry to turn over the Crown to Solomon, during his own Life, yet thinks it fit to give the People an Ac­count of his Proceedings, and the Reasons of them; for he tells them, that God had 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 (for the Lord hath given me many sons) he hath chosen Solomon my son, to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel, 1 Chron. 28.4, 5. And after that David had given Instructions to Solomon about building the Temple, and both the King and People had made [Page 17] their Oblations of what they had which was fit for the Work, the Congregation of the People continuing yet together, 'tis said, Chap. 29. ver. 22. And they made Solomon, the son of David, King the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord, to be the chief Governour. So that it seems David thought the Peoples Approba­tion necessary for the Confirmation of the Crown to Solomon; else truly that very solemn Sacrifice and In­vitation, of a Thousand Bullocks, a Thousand Rams, and a Thousand Lambs, had been a very unnecessa­ry Expence: And then it follows in the 23d Verse, Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, as King, instead of David his father, and prosper'd, and all Israel obey'd him. And although 'tis said of his Son Rehoboam, both 1 Kings 11.43. and 1 Chron. 9.31. that he reign­ed in his Father's stead, yet 1 Kings 12.1. 1 Chron. 10.1. we find there was something else necessary to make him his Successor; for in both places 'tis said, all Israel were come to Shechem to make Rehoboam King: And when he was so imprudent as to disoblige them, and would not comply with them, they did not think it their duty to comply with him, nor would they allow him Second Thoughts in the Case, nor ad­mit of any Treaty, but ston'd Adoram, that he sent to them, and immediately made Jeroboam King; So that of Twelve Tribes, there was but One that made Re­hoboam King. But now the Kingdom being divided into Two Branches, perhaps it may be expected that I should speak to them both. But the Succession in the Kingdom of Israel being so broken and confused, al­though it might afford me more Instances both of the Peoples making and pulling down Kings; yet I shall, with the Tribe of Judah, adhere to the House of Da­vid, [Page 18] and from the Story of that Crown, bring my main Proofs for the Confirmation of the Argument I have in hand; but since the Story of Israel may afford some very good and useful Observations, I hope I shall not be thought to deviate very much from the Design of this Paper, if I make a little stop here, to pick them up by the way, that so when I return to my Discourse of Judah again, I may meet with no more interruptions.

The Observations that might have been made on Jeroboam, I have in part superseded, by taking notice of them in another place; and therefore shall only re­peat the Heads of them; which were, 1st, That the People were the Instrument of making good God's Promise to him: 2dly, If Jeroboam had served God as sincerely as David, he should have been as great a Favourite: 3dly, That Jeroboam not performing those Conditions on which he was raised to the Crown, it was very just in God to take the Forfeiture, and to extirpate the House of Jeroboam. And although Ba­asha does seem to come as ill by the Crown as any bo­dy recorded in the Sacred Story; for he not only con­spires against, but slays the King his Master, 1 Kings 15.27, 28. yet for all this he is owned by God Al­mighty, being the man, that was promis'd, shall I say, or rather threaten'd to Jeroboam; for old Ahijah tells Jeroboam's Wife, Moreover the Lord shall raise him up a King over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jerobo­am, 1 Kings 14.14. And although Baasha did take great care to fulfil the latter part of this Prophecy as fast as he could, yet he walking in the way of Jeroboam, and continuing in his sin, God sends his Prophet to up­braid him, and tell him what he had done for him: [Page 19] Forasmuch is I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee Prince over my people Israel, and thou hast walk't in the way of Jeroboam, &c. behold I will take away the poste­rity of Baasha, &c. 1 Kings 16.2, 3. from which we may infer these Two things,

1. That Usurpers are raised by, and may pretend to reign by God's Power; and therefore may claim the same Obedience that lawful Kings (so that the Affirmation of St. Paul, There is no power but of God, ought to be taken in the largest and literal sense.)

Our Second Inference is, That Baasha and his Fami­ly were rejected, not for his Treason, but his Idolatry; not for killing Nadab, but for sinning like Jeroboam. And truly this Observation will run through most of the Kings of Israel, who, generally speaking, came to the Crown the same way, and afterwards walk't in the same steps Baasha did: But if any of them had but bro­ken down the Calves, and rooted out Idolatry, no question but their Posterity should have been establish­ed; for you see, that Jehu's imperfect Piety, in destroy­ing Baal, and rooting out the House of Ahab, that first introduced that Worship into Israel, was rewarded with his Sons sitting on the Throne to the 4th generation; and had he but gone on to do that to the Golden Calves that Josiah afterward did, who knows how long his Posterity might have govern'd Israel? But after his Promised Succession was at an end, the Crown was never settled in any Family, but the Kingdom so broken by continual Conspiracies, that we hardly meet with any thing else that is remarkable, unless it be God Almightys Justice, who from that time to the end of that Monarchy, suffers the Son to be pull'd [Page 20] down by the very self same method and me ans the Father was set up; so that there was nothing but Blood and Confusion among them, with which the People were so tired, that they do not seem to con­cern themselves at all in the matter, but submit to them that were uppermost; else it would seem pretty strange, that Pekah the Son of Remaliah should with Fifty Men assault and take the Palace Royal in Sa­maria, kill the King that then Reigned, and put the Crown on his own Head, as you have it, 2 Kings 15.25. For as it would have been a madness in Pekah to have attempted it with so small a force, if the People had stood by Pekahiah: so on the other side, had the People joyn'd with Pekah, a much greater number would certainly have appeared with him. So that I suppose the People sat Neuters, and did not concern themselves of either side, but obeyed him that proved the strongest. And although that is a method that I should not much recommend, yet we do not find that God or his Prophets do any where reprove them for it; so that it seems there was no fighting about Titles in those days. There might indeed be a great many more Ob­servations raised from the Story, but any attentive Reader will be so well able to do it for himself, that I shall neither forestal his Diligence, nor tire his Patience with any more at this time; but resume the thread of my Discourse, and go on with the Story of Judah. And it must be owned, that from the time of Rehoboam (where we last left) to Vzziah, or Azariah, which you please to call him, there is no express mention of the Peoples setting up their King's: But, as I observed before in Reho­boam, [Page 21] we are not, from the Texts saying, such an one Reigned in his Fathers stead, to conclude, that he did it without the Peoples suffrage and good will; and truly for the most part there are some general words, as that the People brought them Presents, as to Jeho­saphat, 2 Chron. 17.5. (and Presents was the way by which in those days People owned and exprest their Duty and Homage, and the refusing them was an interpretative denying of their Authority, as you see in the Case of Saul, 1 Sam. 10.27.) or, when the Kingdom was confirm'd, as they say of Amaziah, 2 Chron. 25.3. he then slew his Father's Murderers: So that it seems there was something previous, even to the impow'ring him to do that Act of Justice. And altho I cannot say, these Phrases do down-right affirm, yet they do intimate, that there was something to be done by the People.

But whether Amaziah was set up by the People, or no, I shall not now dispute; but sure I am, they pull'd him down, and deprived him, not only of his Crown, but of his Life also, as you may find it in 2 Kings 14.19. But of that we have a larger Account, 2 Chron. 25.27. Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord, they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they sent to La­chish after him, and slew him there. Now that his turn­ing away from following the Lord, did give his Sub­jects Authority to depose, and to kill him, is that which I should be very loth to affirm, although it seems to be set down there as the ground and occasion of their conspiring against him; but this, I suppose, I may safe­ly aver, That his forsaking God might be one great Reason why God forsook him, and left him in the [Page 22] Power of his Subjects: For all the Promises to the Jews, being of temporal good things, and the posses­sing of Canaan, and long life and prosperity in it, their great reward, they might very reasonably make their good or bad success the great Criterion by which they might judge how they stood in God Almighty's Fa­vour, and whether they had pleas'd or displeas'd him. But now among us Christians, whose Promises are of another Nature, I should be very far from making that a general Inference, though from the very same E­vent. For alas! it is yet too fresh in some of our Me­mories, when the best of Kings, and of Men, was deliver'd up to his Subjects: But I think I may bor­row the Expression of the Prophet Esay, and say, that not for his own sins, but for the transgression of the People he was stricken: Wherein God's Justice was to be admired, in making their greatest sin the greatest judgment that could have been inflicted on a rebelli­ous People. But to return to Amaziah: I must con­fess, that I can never read that Story but with won­der, to find, that the People are neither upbraided with it, nor punish't for it. For although we read, that he took vengeance on his Father Joash's Mur­derers, and that the People of the Land slew all those that conspired against King Amon, 2 Chron. 33.25. yet we do not find any body so much as call'd in question for his Death: So that certainly there was some Cir­cumstances that did much alleviate it; and that the Fact was not in it self so foul, as at this distance it ap­pears to us: for although Vzziah, for to get the Crown, might promise them Impunity, yet I question whether God would have confirmed the Sentence: and Isaiah, who prophesied in the Days of Vzziah, should not [Page 23] have been more partial to the People, than he was to the Kings; for you see he could tell Hezekiah pretty plainly, of his little Vanity, in shewing his Treasures to the King of Babylon's Embassadors; and not on­ly reproves the Pride of the Women for, but also repeats all the little foolish Toys that belong'd to their Dress in his Days; and he that was so strict in these lesser matters, methinks should not in silence have past over so foul a Fault as that of King-killing; and yet, to my great wonder, I do not find any one Passage, either in the Story, or Esay's Prophecy, as does so much as seem to reflect on that Fact, as an ill thing.

There is another Prophet indeed (who lived in his Grandson's time) who is thought by some to reflect on this Crime very heavily, as the beginning of this sort of sin in Judah; Amaziah being the first of their Kings who was murder'd, though many had been murder'd in Israel, Mieah 1.13. I will not therefore insist too much upon this, but go on to observe, That although they would not suffer Amaziah to enjoy his Life; after he had quitted both Crown and Kingdom, yet they had that Honour and Justice for him too, after he was dead, that they not only interred him in the Royal Sepulcher, but set his Son also on the Royal Seat; For all the peo­ple of Judah took Vzziah, and made him King in the room of Amaziah his Father, 2 Chron. 26.1. And he is indeed the first King that is so expresly said to be set up by the Authority of the People, although their Suf­frages, as I hope I have sufficiently proved, was thought necessary for the establishment of most of them.

[Page 24] But altho Vzziah was the first, you will find he was not the last that was so set up. But before we come to speak of them, we will consider one Passage in the Reign of Vzziah; and that is, his going into the Temple to burn Incense; which being against the Law, we will see a little how the Priests demean themselves, and whether they thought they were ob­lig'd to sit still if they could not persuade him off it, and rather suffer him to do it, than resist him. But by the Preparation Azariah the High-Priest makes for a Scuffle, I fancy he did not understand the Doctrine of Passive Obedience; for the Text tells you, 2 Chron. 26.17. that Azariah enters after the King, with four­score Priests which were valiant Men: But what occa­sion he had for such a Train, or why their Valour should be so particularly taken notice of, if they were to have no use of it, but were to submit, I can­not so easily conceive. But the 18th Verse says, they did actually oppose the King, and bid him get him out of the Sanctuary, for he had nothing to do there. Nay, in the 20th Verse they do thrust him out; but that indeed was after the Leprosie was come out upon him. But altho this Story might af­ford several Inferences which would not be beside our present Question, yet they are so very obvious, that I may trust my Reader to make them; there­fore shall proceed, and must own, that from Vzziah to Josiah, there is no express mention of the Peoples interposing, or setting up of Kings; but upon Amon's Murder, you see, they did take upon them; for you will find it both in 2 Kings 21.24. and 2 Chro. 33.25. But the people of the land smote those that had conspired against King Amon; also the people of the land did [Page 25] make Josiah his Son King in his stead. And I hope it may be said, that God Almighty did approve their Choice, he being the best King and the best Man that we read of in the whole Catalogue of the Kings of Judah; he performing his Duty both to God and his People so very well, it would have been a shame to his Subjects, if they had not requited him, by pay­ing him all that Observance and Duty to which he could have any Pretence. But altho he may be an Example to the best of Kings, the Scripture giving him this Eulogie, And like unto him there was no King before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the Law of Moses: Neither after him arose there any like him: Yet from him we may best learn what an intolerable Mischief a Wicked King is; for tho Josiah was so very good, yet there was an old Arrere of his Grandfather Manasseh, that all his Vertue and Goodness could not clear: For, 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: And the Lord said, I will remove Judah out of my sight, as I have removed Israel; and will cast off this City Jerusalem, which I have chosen, and the House of which I said, My Name shall be there, 2 Kings 23.26, 27. Therefore what Reasons have both Church and State to deprecate such a King as will infallibly intail Ruine on both? For you see, that God's House, even that House that he had chose to set his Name there, shall be involved in the common Destruction. Therefore were I to add a new Clause to the Litany, it should be, From such a King as Manasseh, Good [Page 26] Lord, deliver us. But above all, we ought to be fearful of, and pray against an Idolatrous and Bloody King; for those are the two Crimes with which Ma­nasseh is particularly charged, and which hastned the Captivity of Judah, and consequently shortned the Life and Reign of the good and beloved Josiah, to whom it was particularly promised as a Blessing, that he should not live to see the Ruine and Desolation that was to be brought on the Nation after his Death. After which, the people of the land took Je­hoabas the son of Josiah, and made him King in his fathers stead in Jerusalem, 2 Chron. 36.1. and 2 Kings 23.30. But altho he inherited his Father's Kingdom, it seems he did not his Vertues; for it follows in ver. 32. That he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and so his Reign was very short; for Pharaoh Necho makes him a Prisoner, and carries him into Egypt, and makes his elder Brother Jehoiakim King in his stead; in whose days the King of Babylon first came up against Judah; and after his death, Jehoiachin succeeds, whom Nebuchadnezzar carries to Babylon, and makes Zedekiah King, in whom the Succession was quite inverted, (for he was Uncle, and not in the Direct Line;) and the Monarchy also ending with him, I should here have concuded this Part of my Discourse, but that I cannot omit one Obser­vation, and that is, That there were several Kings of Judah alive at the same time: It is certain Two, Jeconiah and Zedekiah; but for any thing I know, there might be Three; for we do not read of the Death of Jehoahas, who was carried Prisoner into Egypt; and by his Age I'm sure he might survive Zedekiah's carrying to Babylon; for he was but Twen­ty [Page 27] three Years old when he began to reign, and his own Reign, with all the Three Kings that succeeded him, do not make Twenty three Years more before the Captivity. But now I would fain know, what the Royalists of our Age would do in such a Case, and which of the Three they would own? For there was great Variety; One set up by the People; the second, as Heir to him whom the King of Egypt had set up; and the third, set up by the King of Babylon. But I do not find, that the Jews had any such Scru­ples at that time, but always obey'd them which were in possession (as long as they were so) let them be set up by whom they would; and the Scripture gives them the same Epithete, they are all called Kings, without ever disputing their Titles. Nor are the People reproved for obeying Zedekiah, altho they knew that Jehoiachin (who had certainly the better Title, and had also reign'd as King) was alive. But altho the People are not rebuked for submitting to Zedekiah, whom Nebuchanezzar had set over them; yet Zedekiah is for not obeying the King of Babylon, to whom he had past his Word that he would: So that we may see, that Kings are obliged by their Oaths and Promises, as well as other Men.

Which brings me to my third Particular I was to prove, which is, That at the first setting up of Kings among the Jews, their Power was not Absolute; but that they were obliged to certain Covenants and Conditions. And altho I will not pretend to prove it of every indivi­dual King; yet if I can do it of the first and second, and also the solemn repeating of it after an Inter­regnum, I shall hope I have done all that can be ex­pected from me: For whoever succeeds to a Crown, [Page 28] is supposed to take it on the same Conditions his Pre­decessors had it; which it would be superfluous for the Story to repeat every time. III.

And therefore I shall not make a long Preface to a Point that I hope so easily to dispatch; for I sup­pose, that a few plain Scripture-proofs will (for I'm sure they ought to) go farther than a long Rheto­rical Discourse: And how few Instances soever I can bring, yet I shall begin at the Spring-head, and make the first Kings, Saul and David, Witnesses to the Truth of what I now assert, and prove, that such a Compact and Agreement between the Prince and Peo­ple, is the very Corner-stone of Monarchy it self.

And that I may do this the more fully and clearly, I must beg my Reader's Pardon, tho I carry him so far back as the Inauguration of Saul the first King of Israel. But I shall not tire his Patience so much as to repeat all that I have already said of Samuel's displeasure at the People, for rejecting God, and de­firing a Man to be set over them for their King, 1 Sam. 10.19. And tho Samuel, to terrifie them, had re­presented the King they desired, rather in the shape of a Tyrant, that would destroy and ruine, than of a Prince that was to defend and save them, 1 Sam. 8. from the 11th to the 19th; yet seeing they would not be discouraged, but still persisted in their Resolution, Nay, but we will have a King over us, God was so merciful to them, as to give Rules to this un­ruly King that Samuel had described: As I think we may safely collect from 1 Sam. 10.25. Then Samuel told the People the manner of the Kingdom, and wrote it in a Book, and laid it up before the Lord. For had [Page 29] God designed that the King's Will should have been his only Law, it had, I'm sure, been a very super­fluous, if not an impossible Task, for Samuel to have writ that down: And besides, the laying it up before the Lord, does infer somethign of extraordinary weight and sacredness in that Book, that was to be placed in that holy Repository, with the Records of that Covenant which God himself had vouchsafed to make with his People. Now upon these Considerati­ons, I think, I may safely call this the Original Contract that was between the Kings and People of Israel. But we may guess, it was not an Absolute Arbitrary Power (such as our Neighbour-Prince pretends to over his Subjects) that was by this made over to Saul; for altho he saw many of his new Subjects did despise him, yet he was glad to hold his peace; or, as the Margin says, He was as tho he had been deaf, 1 Sam. 10.27. So that it seems Samuel thought it necessary the People should be farther obliged, than at present they thought themselves; and there­fore proposes their going up to Gilgal, there to re­new the Kingdom, 1 Sam. 11.15. And all the people went to Gilgal, and there they (that is, certainly, the People) made Saul King before the Lord in Gilgal, and there they sacrificed Sacrifices of Peace-Offerings before the Lord. And that the joining in a Sacrifice, and both Parties eating and partaking of the same Sacri­fice, or at least eating together at what they called a Feast, was both the most usual and solemn way of making Covenants in those days, both among Jews and Gentiles, is a thing so well known, that I need not insist on it; else both Sacred and Profane Story would furnish us with Proofs enough, were it neces­sary. [Page 30] But the Agreement which I suppose was then made between King and People, begot such a mutual Kindness and Confidence in one another, that the Text adds, There Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly; and from that time we never find any Di­spute between them. And so I shall proceed to his next Successor, David; and the Proofs of his making such a Covenant with the People of Israel, are as clear and full as can be desired. Upon what Terms the Men of Judah first admitted him, is not so plain­ly set down; but it being their own voluntary Act to make him King, we may suppose, that they would take care to see their own Interest secured. But 'tis very apparent, that after Abner designed to revolt to David, he will make his Conditions with him first: And Abner sent Messengers to David, saying, Make thy League with me, and behold my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel to thee. And he said, Well, I will make a League with thee, &c. So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty Men with him: And David made Abner, and the Men which were with him, a Feast, 2 Sam. 3.12, 13, 20. at which, I suppose, the Bargain was made of both sides; for, as I be­fore observ'd, few Contracts were concluded with­out the Ceremony of Eating and Drinking together. And after that, Abner says, I will arise, and go and gather all Israel to my Lord the King, (for now he owns him to be so, altho he would not call him so before) that they may make a League with thee, and that thou maist reign over all that thy Heart desireth; as it follows in Verse 21. So that it seems the King's making a Covenant with the People, was to precede his Reigning over them, altho David had been both [Page 31] chosen by God, and Anointed by Samuel so many years before. And when upon Abner's death, that first Treaty with the Men of Israel was broken off, we do not find that David pretended to any Autho­rity over Israel, till of their own accords, about five years and a half after, All the Elders of Israel came to the King to Hebron, and King David made a Cove­nant with them in Hebron before the Lord, and they Anointed David King over Israel, 2 Sam. 5.3. And yet, as I said before, if ever any King could pretend to be Jure Divino, it must be David; but for all that, he is content to come to the Crown like other Men, and does not assume it to himself till given him by the People.

There is another thing also that I desire may be observed; which is, That the Phrase before the Lord, both in this place, and 1 Sam. 11.15. is indifferent­ly apply'd both to King and People. For here 'tis said, the King made a Covenant with the People before the Lord; and there, that the people made Saul King before the Lord. From whence I think we may col­lect, that being mutual, the Promise was as oblig­ing, as it was solemn of both sides, for both are ex­prest in the same words. And we may also con­clude, that when we meet with that Phrase of eating and drinking before the Lord, and making King unto, or before the Lord, as 'tis 1 Chron. 29.22. it is designed to signifie the mutual stipulation between King and People: So that we may infer, that Solomon did take the Crown upon the same Terms his Father David did, altho the word League or Covenant is not exprest. And if the three first Kings did thus receive the Crown from, and oblige themselves to the People, [Page 32] we may safely suppose that their Successors did the same thing, although it is not particularly affirm'd of every one. Nor do we find any more mention of it till King Joash's coming to the Crown. And when the Kingdom was restored (after the Usurpation, or Interregnum, shall I call it, of Athaliah) all the old Rights and Customs are both mentioned and re­peated, as you may find it, 2 Kings 11.4, 17. How Jehoiada brought Joash into the House of the Lord to the People, and made a Covenant with them, and took an Oath of them in the House of the Lord; and in the 17. Verse, And Jehoiada made a Covenant be­tween the Lord, and the King, and the People, that they should be the Lords people; between the King also and the People; all which you will find repeated, 2 Chron. 23.3, 16. And if this is not a pregnant Proof of the Truth of what I have said, that the Kings of Israel and Judah were not Absolute, but were under Obli­gations and Conditions to their People, as well as subjected to the Laws of God; if this Instance, I say, with the rest before mentioned, may not be al­low'd for Proofs, I shall dispair of bringing a Proof, either for this or any thing else, out of the Bible; but if these will pass, I suppose they may be suffi­cient to convince any impartial Reader, therefore shall presume it would be superfluous to multiply Quotations in so plain a Case.

And now I have gone through the three things I proposed to clear out of Scripture: How well I have perform'd my undertaking, I shall leave to better Judgments; and that my Readers may be the better qualified to be my Judges, I desire they would do as the Noble Bereans did, Acts 17.11. Search the Scrip­ture [Page 33] daily whether these things are so; for as I advance nothing upon my own Authority, so I do not de­sire any thing should be credited only because I say it; for in Points of such importance, 'tis very fit every body should judge for themselves.

And if these things are so, Kings must be contented to own their Power as well as Birth to be of humane extraction. But yet I must beg leave to deny an Inference that some would make from that, who say, 'Tis no act of Disobedience to God, to resist our Prince; nor of Obedience to God, to submit to him, if he does not derive his Power from God, and act by his Authority and Commission; for I would fain know whether it is not possible to make a humane Con­tract so strong, that it shall be a Sin against God to break it? For according to this way of arguing, I might give away an Estate, and settle it as firm as Law can make it, and yet afterwards I might, with­out doing the Party any wrong, take it from him a­gain without his consent, because he has no Grant to shew from Heaven for it. And this Instance I think may be pretty applicable to this Case: The People at the first Institution and setting up of Mon­archy among them, make over so much of the Power, and such and such Rights and Priviledges to the King, which if afterwards they refuse to make good, they are and ought to be lookt upon as Rebels and Traitors. But on the other side, suppose the Per­son to whom I had made over some part of my Estate, should upon that pretend a Title to my whole Estate, and would let me enjoy no part of it, might not I lawfully resist him? And what answer they would give to this, may serve to the other Case; and that [Page 34] brings me to my second General, What Power and Authority it is, that is actually vested in our Kings? Under which the Doctrines of Non-resistance and Passive Obedience shall be consider'd.


Having on the former Head examined both the Original of Monarchy, and also proved that it was Limited and Conditional among the Jews; and it being agreed on all hands, even by the greatest As­sertors of the Prerogative, that our Saviour did not make any Alteration in the Rights of Princes, but what he found them possest of, he gives them leave quietly to enjoy; I think we may safely conclude, that since he made no augmentation to the Princes Power, he laid no new Obligation on the Subject, but the King is to Govern, and the People to Obey, according to the Rules agreed and establish'd between them; for the truth is, there can be no universal Rule given in the Case; for the Magistrates Power, and the Measures of the Subjects subjection, are on­ly to be judged of by the particular Laws and Con­stitutions of that Kingdom; for that may be very lawful in one Place which is not so in another: Therefore our Saviour did give not only the Wisest, but the Justest Resolution, to that ensnaring Questi­on of the Jews about Tribute, that ever was, when he said, Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesars, and unto God the things that are Gods, Mat. 22.20. For although he does by name reserve nothing but Gods dues, yet I think it can hardly be inserved from that Negative Argument, that the People should [Page 35] part with their dues; for the Command is only in general, to give to Cesar that which of right belongs to Cesar: so that I cannot think this Text gives Prin­ces any Title to what is not their due; but you see he does not pretend to tell us what is Cesar's due, because no general Rule could be given in that Case, the Rights of Kings and People varying almost in e­very Country. Therefore 'tis from the Statute-Book, not the Bible, that we must judge of the Power our Kings are invested withal, and also of our own Obligations, and the measures of our Subjecti­on. And here I might have a fair opportunity of expatiating, and both tell you the advantages, nay the necessity of Government in generals, and di­scourse also of the several kinds that are in the World. But my design being Brevity, I shall only take no­tice of that wherein we are particularly concerned, and that is Monarchy; which, generally speaking, is the best Government in the World. But of that there are several sorts, as an Elective Monarchy, and an Hereditary one; and those that Reign by Succes­sion, may be distinguish'd into two kinds more, an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy; the latter of which I take to be the happiest Constitution under the Heavens: Therefore next being born within the Pale of the true Church, I think to be born an English-Man is one of the greatest Privileges any ones Birth can entitle him to; a happiness that I am sure is en­vied by our Neighbours, though I doubt not valued so much as it ought to be by them that enjoy it; al­though they have the opportunity of a Comparison, which they say is the only way to judge either of happiness or ease; for if we look but on our next [Page 36] Neighbours of the other side the Dike, we shall soon see the difference, and what a misfortune it is to be sub­ject to the Arbitrary Power of a lawless and merciless Tyrant.

How they came under those unhappy Circumstances at first, is not my business at present to examine; but I'm sure it ought to be the business of our whole Lives to bless God that we are not yet under the like; and next our Thanks to God, we ought to commemorate the Courage of those Noble Patriots, who from the beginning of our Monarchy have opposed the En­croachments that some of our Kings would have made upon our Laws and Liberties, which, blessed be God, were derived intire to us, and I hope we shall trans­mit them so to our Posterity, notwithstanding all the endeavours that have been used for the subversion of them. For I think I may challenge the whole World to shew so equal and so happy a Constitution of Go­vernment as is this day in England, which is so exactly and harmoniously composed, that I know nothing to compare it to but its self: for as Vertue does common­ly lie in the mean, so our Legislators have wisely pickt out all the good that was in all sorts of Government, but shun'd the Extreams that any one might have be­tray'd us to: For here the Populace have liberty with­out a Democratical Confusion and Fury; the Nobili­ty have all the Priviledges to which Aristocracy it self could intitle them, without the necessity of running into Factions and Cabals for it; and the King's Power so equally ballanced between the Two other, that his Power can hardly ever degenerate into Tyranny, nor, on the other side, while he governs by Law, can he ever want Authority, either to protect or correct his [Page 37] Subjects, or means to reward Vertue, or discourage Vice, which are the great Ends for which Civil Go­vernment was at first instituted. And as the several parts of our Government have such a mutual depen­dance one upon the other, so they have the same op­portunities of reciprocally endearing and obliging one another: So that I have often thought, with reverence be it spoke, that we have a kind of Trinity in our Go­vernment, as well as in our Faith, to which I'm sure they ought to have another resemblance, and that is their Unity: for their Power is so equal in the great Point of Legislature, that one cannot properly say, that one is greater, or less than another; for as all have Negative Voices, so neither, nor both the Hou­ses without the King, nor the King without the Two Houses, can do any thing; but the Consent of the whole Three is necessary both to the making and ab­rogating a Law; for all Three Parties being equally obliged to execute, and obey those Laws when made, it was very reasonable they should all give their Con­sents to them before they were made. And since the Legislative Power is in all Nations esteemed the Su­preme, and ours being so divided, it seems to be a little improper to call any One of the Three the Su­preme Power. It must be acknowledged indeed, that the Executative Part of the Power is, by the Consent of the other Two, committed to the King, and that only by way of Trust, and under such Limitations, that it cannot properly be call'd the Supreme Power, although he may fitly enough be stiled the Supreme Magistrate of the Nation, because he, and none but he, has the Power to make men keep the Laws, and to punish them for the Breaches of the Law; but that un­der [Page 38] such Restrictions and Limitations, that the Title of Chief Magistrate of the Nation is given to him much upon the same account that the Mayor of a Town is call'd the Chief Magistrate of that Town; for, without all doubt, all the Members of that Cor­poration, and the Inhabitants of that Town, are ob­liged to obey their Mayor, when his Commands are according to their Charter; and he has also power to punish the willful Breaches of it, in any that are within his Jurisdiction; but yet every body knows his Power is limited: and so truly is our King's, and that in the most important things, and where he would certainly chuse to shew his Power, were it absolute; that is, in the raising of Money, and punishing of Capital Of­fenders; for of all things the Sword of Justice should be solely in the Power of the supreme Magistrate (if he were really absolute); but that we know our Kings have not, for he hath no other way to right himself than what the meanest Subjects have: For suppose he should accuse any one of High Treason, he must first Indict him, and then undergo all the tedious Forms and Pro­cesses of Law, before he can Convict him: So that I cannot say, that the King has in that particular any pri­viledge beyond the Subject; for Traitors are to have as fair play for their Lives as any other Offenders, al­though the punishment (as it ought to be) is more severe when 'tis inflicted; for the King being a publick Person, and one that by his undertaking the Admini­stration of the Law, is more expos'd to danger; for by the very Execution of Justice, he certainly pro­vokes the Offender, and if he be of any Quality and Rank, his Friends and Relations too: So that truly by the Rules of Equity, both the Law and the People [Page 39] ought to set a double Fence about the King's Person, and take particular care to secure him from those Ha­zards to which his High Place and Office may render him more liable than more inferiour people. So that those particular Laws which are made in favour of the Prince, are rather the Effects of the Justice and Kind­ness of the People, than Evidence of the Priviledge and Prerogative of the King; several Instances of which the Reign of our late King Charles the Second might furnish us with; but as it would be tedious to repeat them all, so truly all may be comprized in that one, of putting the Militia into the King's Power; for the remembrance of the late Rebellion, and the sad Effects of it, were then so fresh in every bodies memory, that they thought there could be no greater Inconvenience, than that of the King's wanting Pow­er to maintain that Authority with which the Law had invested him; and so for his farther security, they past that, and several other Acts which were extreamly for the King's advantage: And surely none of our Non-Resistance Gentlemen but must own, that they were a considerable Addition to the Prerogative: And who­soever shall pretend they were the Right of the Crown before, teaches the King to be ungrateful as well as un­just.

I know it is alledg'd by some, That a Soveraign Prince receives not his Authority from the Laws, but the Laws receive their Authority from him. From which they would infer, That a King is neither subject to, nor bound up by the Laws any farther than he pleases. But I must beg leave to deny both this their minor Proposition, and the Conclusion, although I grant the major, from which they say the other Two will [Page 40] necessarily result; but for my part, I cannot see the necessity of such Consequences, although I should grant there was a personal Power antecedent to all the Civil Laws; for that was the Paternal, and not the Regal Authority. For sure none will affirm, that is the Law of Nature, as the former certainly is: for without all doubt the People had power to Elect a King, before there could be any such thing as a Soveraign Prince born in the World. So that 'tis evident, that the power of the People is not only an­tecedent to that of Kings, but also that the Kings did receive and derive their Authority at first from the People. So that 'tis no incongruous, much less impos­sible supposition, That Kings do derive their Autho­rity from the Laws; for certainly they must owe their power to that which gave it a Being; and that is that Original Contract which is made between the People and the Person or Family they shall think fit to advance to the Kingship; which ought to be the Boundary of the Prince's Authority, as also of the Subjects Submission. But however the Case may stand in other Countries, God be thank'd us so in England.

For our Ancient History tells us what sad Con­fusion there was in this poor Island after the Con­quest of the Romans, when every little Captain set up for a King; and there was always such inveterate hatred between those small neighbouring Princes (if they deserve to be call'd so) that they would rather call in and submit to Forreigners, who devour'd and enslav'd all sides, than yield to one another: And on this account both Danes and Saxons were at first call'd in. And although the Saxons had establish'd [Page 41] an Heptarchy among us, yet they found they were too many for this small Plat of Ground; for they were always encroaching, and fighting with one another: wherefore growing weary of that, Horne tells you, in his Mirrour, chap. 1. How they chose themselves One King, to maintain and defend their Persons and Goods in Peace, by Rules of Law, and made him swear, That he would be obedient to suffer Right, as well as his People should be. And these are the Terms on the which our first Monarch, pro­perly so call'd, (for truly before they did not de­serve the Name of Kings; for I'm sure their power was not so great, or perhaps so extensive, as that of a Lord Mayor of London) did ascend the Throne; and that the same Terms and Conditions were a­greed to, and confirmed by his Successors, might be easily proved, would it not take up too much time; but yet King Edgar thought it worth their while to collect and transcribe them. And we find William the First was willing to wave his Title of Conquerour, and by confirming the Ancient Rights and Priviledges of the People, be receiv'd as their Legal, not their Conquerour, or Arbitrary Gover­nour: For although Conquest may give one pow­er, it cannot of its self give one Right to rule a Nation; for the Consent of the People, either ta­cite (that is, when they like their new Governour so well, that they never offer to resist, but quietly com­ply and submit to his Government, receive the advan­tage of his Protection and Laws, and pay him, in re­turn, what his Laws require) or explicit, (that is, when they make Conditions and Terms for themselves, before they will submit) is so necessary, that no King [Page 24] can be long safe without it. And since the way of ex­plicit Contract has been the general Method of our Predecessors, therefore whatever Objections are made against that known saying of Bracton, Lex fa­cit Regem, it will hold good in Law; and I verily be­lieve none of our Kings would exchange the Title that the Law gives them to the Crown, for all the Evidences the Clergy can furnish them with out of the Gospel, to prove their power absolute and arbi­trary. Therefore since 'tis the Law that must tell us with what power our Kings are invested, perhaps Bracton may give us as good an account of it as any body, when he says, The whole Power of the King of England is to do good, and not to do hurt; which he explains, by adding, Nor can he do anything as a King, but what he can legally do, lib. 3. c. 9. From whence, I suppose, the old Maxim, That the King can do no wrong, first sprung. For while he acts by Law, 'tis evident he cannot; and for what he does a­gainst Law, he does not do it as a King. Nay, the same Bracton seems to think, That he actually un­kings himself by it; for he says, Non est enim Rex, ubi dominatur Voluntas, & non Lex: By which cer­tainly he does not mean, that he ceased to be a good King; for that he need not have been at the pains of telling us; for our own sad Experience would soon have convinced us of it; but having told us before, That he can do nothing as a King, but what he can legally do; without all doubt his mean­ing was, that we are not to look upon him nor obey him as our King, when he commands any thing contra­ry to Law.

[Page 43] But there has been so much writ on this Subject already, that as it would be hard to say any thing new upon it, so it would be both tedious and su­perfluous to repeat the old. But I suppose I may safely take for granted what all sides allow; and that is, That ours is a limited Monarchy: For all must own, that if our Kings act as they ought to do, they must keep within the Boundaries of the Laws. And where the Regal Authority is circumscribed, and the King's Power, as King, has its Non ultra; yet that the Peoples Obedience should know no Measures, but is extended ad infinitum, is to me, I must confess, a very unintelligible Doctrine. For if we are equally obliged to render Obedience, either Active or Passive, to the Kings Commands which are contrary to the Law, as we are to those which are consistent with it, and authorized by it; I must crave leave to say, that Law is a very superfluous, because a very insignifi­cant thing; nay, certainly, if the Case be so, it were much better be taken away; for perhaps it may be­tray some poor ignorant People, who, 'tis possible, may think it gives them some Right, when indeed it gives them none. But if they shall think fit to make any distinction between the Obedience we are to ren­der to the King, when he speaks like a King, by the Consent and Authority of the Laws; and what we are to pay him when he speaks in his Personal and Private Capacity: If, I say, they shall think fit to make any distinctions in the Case, I should desire them to set the Boundaries; for truly, according to the Doctrine of Passive Obedience (in the Latitude they now take it) I know no body else that can fix them. But I would fain know of them, whether there is not [Page 44] such a Rule in Divinity, That where there is no Law, there is no Transgression. And if no Transgression, certainly no Obligation to undergo any Penalty; for the same Text tells us, in the same Verse, Rom. 4.15. That the Law worketh wrath; that is, that the Law obligeth to the Punishment threatned to the Breakers of it: But, Where there is no Law, there is no Trans­gression, and consequently, no wrath; and if they will please to apply this to the Point in hand, I think I need not add any thing to it; but proceed to shew, that besides the general and implicit Obligation that our Laws lay upon all that have any share in the Government, or any Interest in the State; our Kings have a more particular and actual Obligation to go­vern by them, and to submit to them. For that Au­gust Ceremony of their Coronation was not intend­ed only to please and amuse the Vulgar with the Gaiety and Splendor of the Shew, but was instituted for Wiser Ends, that by the Magnificence and Solem­nity of the Action, it might fix upon the Hearts both of King and People the remembrance of those Vows and Engagements they at that time mutually make to one another; and I do not at all doubt, but the Custom was derived from the Jews, and is the same thing that I have so largely treated on in my First Part: For here King and People make a solemn Co­venant before the Lord; and that nothing may be wanting to the Resemblance, they partake of a Com­mon Meal together; which was the ancient way of confirming and ratifying all Compacts and Agree­ments betwixt Party and Party: And I think I may not improperly stile the Coronation, the Marriage-day between the King and Kingdom; for altho in Here­ditary [Page 45] Monarchies there is a kind of Pre-contract, as there often is between private Persons, which may be so obligatory, that nothing but Death can dis­solve it; yet the Wisdom of the Law does not think that sufficient, but requires a formal and pub­lick owning of it, for these Two Reasons, among many others. First, For the Satisfaction of the Par­ties themselves, and to give them the greater Confi­dence in one another. Secondly, That the Number of Witnesses may be some Check to them, and make them think how notorious their Perjury will be, after they had confirm'd their Vows before a Multitude.

So that, as we before proved, the King's Power was Limited; so now I think we may say, it is Con­ditional also: For I cannot but suppose, that all that shall read this Paper, understand the Nature of a Co­venant so well, that I need not tell them, the Obli­gation is mutual, and that if I break my part of the Covenant, I have no Right to challenge the Perfor­mance of the other side. But if Kings have any particular Privilege of breaking their Words, and forswearing themselves, they would do well to pro­duce their Grant of Exemption from the Rules of God and Nature; for we know where 'tis said, I will not hold him guiltless that takes my Name in vain; in which Law I do not remember any Exception. But I know to this 'twill be replied, That they shall an­swer for it to God, but are not accountable to their Subjects for the Breaches of their Oaths: And if so, I do wonder why they were at first imposed; for I think I may not improperly urge what St. Paul says, 1 Tim. 1.9. The Law is not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless, &c. So 'tis not a good King that [Page 46] we desire to tie up; for we know he will be a Law to himself; but 'tis the Lawless King that we would set Bounds to. But if the most sacred and solemn Oaths give the Subject no Right at all to require or expect Performance, I know not of what Use they are, unless it be to Damn the King, which surely will be but small Consolation to a Christian Subject. But this by the by.

But since such Covenants have in all Ages and Na­tions been counted so obligatory and sacred, that the Apostle tells you, Gal. 3.15. Tho it be but a Mans Covenant, yet if it be confirm'd, no Man disanmilleth, or addeth thereto. Nor can any after-act (as he proves very well in the 17th Verse) make it void: There­fore by this Doctrine I cannot see what Authority any third Person has to acquit either King or Peo­ple of their Oaths to each other: So that I hope I may without offence say, That Kings are obliged by their Covenants, since God Almighty owns himself to be so; for Moses desires the People should take particular notice of it, Deut. 7.9. Know therefore, that the Lord thy God he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth Covenant and Mercy with them that love him and keep his Commandments: That is, God will be sure to perform his part of the Covenant, if the People keep theirs. And in Psal. 89.34. My Cove­nant will I not break, says God. And it seems to be a Title wherein he takes more than ordinary delight; for both Nehemiah and Daniel desiring to procure his Favour, and to make him propitious to his Peo­ple, begin their Addresses to him in these very words: O Lord God, the great and terrible God, that keepeth Covenant and Mercy, &c. Neh. 1.5. and Dan. [Page 47] 9.4. therefore since it is one of the Attributes and Excellencies of God, that he is true and faithful to his word, it should be no part of the Privilege of Kings to be at liberty to break theirs.

Now all Covenants being Conditional, where there is a possibility of the Parties breaking their part of the Covenant, there is also a possibility of their for­feiting the advantages of it, and the right they had to claim performance of the other side. Now that Kings can break their Word, and Oath too, as well as meaner Men, we have had a little too late expe­rience. Therefore it is a point of great concern, to know how far, and when it may be lawful for the Subjects to take the forfeiture for their Kings brench of Covenant.

And here God forbid that I should attempt to make the Government Precarious, or to make Kings accountable for every little Failure: For as every breach of the Law in a Subject is not Treason, so every violation of it by the Prince is not the forfeit­ing of his Prerogative. Nay, they are so very few Cases wherein 'tis possible to be done, that perhaps our Late unhappy King James is the first Instance of it in our Nation; not but that we have had as bad Kings, and worse Men to rule over us: But none but himself did ever attempt, in so many Instances to destroy the Constitution, and overturn the very Foundation of our Government. For 'twas neither his Mal-administration in general, nor the several particular Injustices that were committed in his Reign, that I look upon as his great Crimes: For although the Proceedings against the Bishops and Magdalen College, were very ill things, and made [Page 48] a very great noise, yet sure none can say that he for­seited his Crown by those particular Breaches of the Law. No, there was the time for shewing and ex­ercising true Passive Obedience; for had the Bishops done any thing but just what they did, they had not done their Duty; but their Patience and Submission to those Injustices did extreamly well become them: For 'twould be a sad World indeed, if every body that thought themselves hardly or unjustly dealt withal, should fly in the face of Publick Authority, and have power to resist the lawful Magistrate. No, I would rather chuse to live under the greatest Ty­rant in the World, than in such an Anarchy; for where there is any Law, private Persons are not, nor ought not to be Judges in their own Causes, and that is one Reason why an unjust Sentence is Obli­gatory; for in such Cases private Persons must suffer, rather than by force right themselves. For 'tis an old saying, Better a Mischief than an Inconvenience; that is, Better a private Person should be wrong'd, than the publick Peace disturb'd; and the calling Authority in question for every little Complaint, would be a greater inconvenience than thousands un­just Sentences against particular Persons; for although Justice be never so much violated, yet if the Law it self be preserv'd intire, and the Constitution and Ba­sis of the Government remain firm and unshaken, the Subject must be content to suffer, and neither Op­pose nor Depose their King. But yet, after all, there is some things that may be done by Princes, which the greatest Asserters of the Monarchical Right hold to be Forfeitures of it; particularly, the selling of them, or betraying them to a Foreign Power and Ju­risdiction: [Page 49] to which I shall crave leave to add two more; the setting up a False and Spurious Heir in an Hereditary Monarchy; and the overturning all the Establisht Laws, and setting up Arbitrary Power in a limited one. And if I can prove our late King James to have been guilty of all three, surely I need not say much more to prove that he has forfeited his Right, or that his Subjects are actually freed from their Allegiance to him.

1. And as to the first point, I shall not trouble my self to enquire into the particulars of the Private League, which they say he made with the French King, for we have publick matters of Fact enough, to prove all that is necessary in this Point: For the sending an Ambassador to Rome, and owning of the Popes Authority so far, as to receive his Nuncio and Provincial Romish Bishops, and that against so many Laws and Statutes that are expresly against it; and not only that, but making Privy Counsellors, and advancing to the Helm of State those very Persons that by our Laws are not allow'd to live in the King­dom. And to what end could all this tend, but to bring the Nation under the Papal Jurisdiction and Slavery?

2. The second, of setting up a suspected Child to be Heir; as 'tis a thing of which we have no President in all our Story, so 'tis a Sin for which we have yet no name; but I should call it Civil Adultery; it being doing that to the Publick, that a false Wife does in a private Family. It is a thing indeed against which there is no Law, because, like that of committing Pa­ricide, the Law-givers thought no body could ever be guilty of it; and truly I believe he is the first In­stance [Page 50] of a Father that ever set up a suspected Child against his own Children. And if this is not an in­version, or rather a subversion of the Succession, I know not what is. And yet, to my wonder, I can see some people pass this by very patiently, who can rail with a very good grace against the Parliament; I cannot say for giving the present King a Right, but anticipating the Title he had to the Crown, and that with the consent of the next Heirs too; so that they cannot say there is any wrong done in the Case And yet some make a horrible out-cry, as if both the Con­stitution of the Government, and the Laws of Succession, were all subverted and broken by it: when they have only set up a Prince of the Blood, for which there is Presidents in our own Chronicles. For Henry the 7th. by Name, had no Right of either side, but what he derived from his Mother (who was Heir of the House of Lancaster) and his Wife, who was the true and undoubted Heir of the House of York, and consequently of the Kingdom. But al­though he Reigned by her, he would not suffer her to Reign with him, for he would allow her neither Power nor Title; so that this is no new thing among us; but the setting up of that spurious Brat I am sure has no paralel: And if there was to be Inversion in the Case, surely it should sooner be made for the sake of a Noble Prince, who merited all that could be done for him, than for the setting up of an unknown, but in all probability base-born Child; the very thoughts of which all true English Men ought to abhor.

3. But how foul soever the two former things may and ought to appear, it is the third that knocks the Nail of the head. But I think I may reasonably sup­pose [Page 51] it superfluous for me to enter into a long Dis­course of the Illegality of the Dispensing Power, which is so fully display'd in the Tryal of the seven Bishops, that it may supersede all that can be said on the point. But although Charles the Second wished he had had the Power of dispensing with tender Con­sciences on some particular Emergencies; yet none but our late King James ever pretended to have Au­thority to dispense with, and silence all the Laws of the Nation. But when he assumed to himself the Power of dispensing with those Laws he could neither make nor abrogate, he did at once both Un­king himself and release his Subjects. For as the English Kings have no Right but what the Law gives them; so the People owe no duty but what the same Law obliges them to; and when our Kings go about to invalidate the Laws, they destroy that very Power that gives the Monarchy both Being and Authority. And that this was the very Case of the late King James, I dare appeal to any body that knows our Laws, unless it be those vile despicable Wretches, whose names will be Infamous to all Po­sterity, who pretending to sit to Judge according to Law, gave Sentence contrary to the Law. But it was very much for the honour of that Noble Profession, that there was so many sets of Judges turned out, and that they were so many years before they could pick out Twelve Men that were Rogues enough to be entrusted by them; and even here they were happily deceived, for among four which I suppose they thought themselves secure of, two of them, when they came to the tryal, approved themselves honest Men. But if we talk of Treason and of [Page 52] Traytors, none sure, since the very Foundation of Monarchy in this Nation, have deserved that Title so well as J. and C. for I am loth to know them by the Names of Lord C. and Lord Bishop of Ch. (but since there was a Judas among the Apostles, I hope it will be no scandal to our Excellent and Reverend Bishops, that there was one Traytor among them.) But certainly two such Traytors both to King and Kingdom, Church and State, England never bred. But I hope they will meet with such full rewards for their Treasons in this World, as may deter others from following them, and also secure them from that sadder vengeance in the World to come, which I am sure I heartily wish.

I could here add a great deal more on this Head, but that I suppose it needless; for having proved be­fore, that our King's Power is both Limited and Conditional, and consequently that he can forfeit his Right to the Government; I think I need not, now I have made out those three things, use any other Arguments to prove King James has actually done so, although I might insist upon his Deserting, as well as subverting the Government.


But after all that I can say, I do not expect every body should have the same Sentiments I have. But having endeavour'd from the beginning to clear the way before me, and to prove all my Points as I went, that I may not leave my Reader in a Maze at the last, I shall consider and answer, as well as I can, the Chief Objections that may be made against what [Page 53] I have now said, which I think may be reduced to these Four Heads. First, That it is against the re­ceiv'd Opinion of Monarchies being Jure Divino, and being first Instituted by God. Secondly, That it contra­dicts several plain Texts of Scripture. Thirdly, That having sworn Allegiance to King James, his doing an ill thing will not acquit us. Fourthly, That 'tis doing the same thing we condemn'd so in the Rebel­lion in 41. And I should have added a fifth, but that I hope I have in part anticipated all the Objecti­ons can be made against the Succession.

1. Now to the First, I shall only desire them to consider what I have said in my First Part, about the first beginning of Monarchy in the World, and par­ticularly the establishing of it among the Jews. But although I there deny its first Institution to be by God's immediate Appointment and Direction; yet I would not be understood so, as if I meant to exclude God from having any thing to do in the setting up or making of Kings; for I know, that by him Kings reign, and 'tis by his Counsel and Inspiration that Princes decree just things: For, alas! without him the mightiest Monarch in the World can neither think a Thought, nor stir a Step; for in him (as St. Paul says) we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17.28. So that in some senses God may be said to be the Au­thor of all our Actions; for the Prophet says, Shall there be evil in the City, and the Lord hath not done it? Amos 3.6. And without him we are not able to do any thing; for St. Paul says, 1 Cor. 3.5. That we are not sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves, but our sufficiency is of God: And if not able to think, certainly not able to act, without his Con­currence [Page 54] and Assistance. And if a Sparrow shall not fall to the ground without our Father, and the very Hairs of our Head are numbred, as our Saviour tells us, Mat. 10.29, 30. surely that God that takes such care and notice of little inconsiderable things, will not let Kings and Kingdoms be without his Care and Providence: And yet for all that, they may be, as St. Peter stiles them, an Ordinance of Man. The truth is, some of our Prerogative-men treat the King as the Papists have done the Virgin Mary, think they cannot speak too highly of her; and so they make her a perfect Goddess, and ascribe Honours to her which are not her due. But altho I have as great Veneration for her as I can or ought to have for a Creature, and acknowledge her to be Blessed among Women; yet she was but a Woman still: So I must look upon Kings as Men still, and own them to be the Chiefest, I wish I could always say, the Best of Men. And altho God may in his secret Decrees de­sign the making such Persons Kings; yet he makes the People the Instruments of raising them, and 'tis from the People that they immediately receive their Power, as I shew'd at large in the Stories of David and Jero­boam. But tho God do not chuse a King by any mi­raculous Declaration of his Will in the Case, yet (if that will satisfie) I will grant that he may direct and incline the Hearts of the People to chuse one rather than another; and when they once have chose, God certainly does confirm it, so that 'tis not in the Peo­ples power to chuse again, unless by the King's fault his Power is forfeited, and so it revolves to the Peo­ple. For I should be very unwilling to live under any Government where God has nothing to do; but [Page 55] all that I contest is, that Kings are not so immediate­ly set up by God, that upon that score they should be unaccountable to their People, especially where they are not the Supreme Power, as 'tis evident they are not in England. And that one Circumstance does make so great an alteration in the Case, that it almost supersedes what I have to say to the several Texts of Scripture that may be urged against what I have here said: But yet that I may both take away all Obje­ctions, and give all the Satisfaction imaginable, we will consider all those Texts distinctly, and see how far they may be applicable to our Case.

2. And the properest Method of doing it, I sup­pose, will be by taking them in order as they lie: And the first that offers it self to our Consideration, is that of our Saviour, Mat. 22.21. Render therefore to Cesar the things that are Cesar's, &c. But having had occasion in another place to treat of that Text, I shall desire my Reader to turn some few Leaves back, and shall only add to what I have there said, That I do acknowledge it a Duty to render to Cesar, nay to every body, the Things and Dues that belong to them; but think that we fully discharge our Du­ty to the King, when we pay him all the Obedience that the Law gives him Right to challenge, or lays any Obligation upon the Subject to perform: And if they can by this Text prove we do not do so, or that we are obliged to render unto Cesar the things which are not Cesar's, they will indeed then say something to the purpose. But this being the only Rule that our Saviour gave in the Case, and it being acknow­ledged, that our Saviour did not intend to make any Alteration in the Rights of Princes, but leaves them [Page 56] as he found them; it may not be amiss to consider a little how he found that Matter, and what particu­lar Commands God gave to the Jews concerning their Obedience to Kings. And I must declare, that I have read the Old Testament over with all the at­tention I am capable of; and unless it be in the Pro­verbs, I cannot find one Text that gives us any Dire­ction, much less Command, about Subjection to Kings, but only what our Divines draw by way of Inference from the Fifth Commandment: But whe­ther God intended it in that sense they have now put upon it, I think might bear a Dispute: But if he did, it must be only by way of Prophecy, for there was not a King in Israel for near Five hundred Years after the giving of the Law: And this I'm sure of, that upon the setting up of Saul, when Samuel had the King and People Face to Face, altho he often repeats their Duty and Obligation of fearing the Lord, and obeying him, yet not one word of Command to the People to obey their new King, which I have some­times wonder'd at; and the only Account that I can give of it, is this: That being they were resolv'd they would be like other Nations, and would have a King to reign over them, God comply'd with them in the thing, but would have nothing to do with the Compact between them, but leaves them to agree that Matter between themselves as well as they can; and accordingly we find, that tho God chose the Person, as in the Case of David, yet they would not admit him King, till they had made a Bargain with him, as I have shew'd at large in the First Part of this. So that upon the whole, and as far as I can discover, the Power that our Saviour found Kings [Page 57] invested with, was what the People first consented to, and afterwards by Laws obliged themselves to: But there can be no Universal Rule, because that the Laws vary according to the differing Constitution of Government that is in several Nations: Therefore our Saviour gave the properest and the fullest An­swer, by bidding them render to Kings what by the Municipal Laws of that Kingdom was their Due.

The next Text is that of our Saviours rebuking St. Peter, Mat. 26.52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up thy Sword into thy place; for all they that take the Sword, shall perish with the Sword. Now for the bet­ter understanding of this Place, it may not be impro­per to compare the several Relations of this very Passage, as 'tis diversly recorded by all Four Evan­gelists; and altho it is the most at large in St. Mat­thew, yet he omits one very necessary and remarka­ble Particular, which is related by St. Luke, chap. 22.49. And when they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the Sword? But Peter being a little too zealous, would not stay for his Lord's Answer, as the others did; but without leave makes use of his, which oc­casions him this Reprimand from Christ, and upon a double account. First, Striking without his Lord's Commission; for I do not question but it would have been a fault in him to have cut off any bodys Ear, as well as Malchus's. Secondly, Thinking that Christ wanted his Defence; and tho Christ had so often foretold, That the Son of Man was to be betray'd, and given up into the hands of Sinners; yet now he would pretend to rescue him from those very Sufferings he came on purpose into the World to undergo. For [Page 58] St. John lays the stress of the Argument there, Put up thy Sword into the Sheath: The Cup that my Father gives me, shall I not drink it? Joh. 18.11. So that the unseasonableness of the Defence is all that he there reproves, and seems to me to be the chief thing aim­ed at by St. Matthew, when Christ says, Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve Legions of Angels? But how then shall the Scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Mat. 26.53, 54. But allowing it was unlawful for St. Peter to strike without Christ's leave, yet I cannot see how that Text would support all that they would build upon it; for the Chief Priest's was not the Su­preme Authority of that Nation at that time; for they own'd to Pilate, Joh. 18.31. That it was not law­ful for them to put any man to death: And whether they had any better Authority to take him, is more than I think can be proved; for St. Matthew intimates, that they sought to take him by craft and subtilty, and could not have accomplished it but by his Servant's Treachery; and after they had apprehended him, and brought him to Pilate, who was the Chief Magistrate under Cesar, yet he would not pretend to judge him, because he belong'd to Herod's Jurisdiction, till Herod return'd him to him. So that here is no reason to sup­pose, that Malchus's being the High Priest's Officer, was an Aggravation to St. Peter's Guilt; for the High Priest had no Power himself in those Causes; so that there was no Resistance of the Supreme Magistrate, or Publick Authority in the Case. But our Saviour did very justly condemn Peter's taking so much upon him, as to presume to strike without his Lord's leave, when he stood by.

[Page 59] But now the two main Texts of Rom. 13. and 1 Pet. 2.13. should come to be considered; but they enterfe­ring a little one with another, we shall endeavour to re­concile them, before we discourse of either; for nothing can be more directly contrary, than St. Peter's calling that the Ordinance of Man, which St. Paul says is the Ordinance of God. But I must confess I cannot see that there is any greater necessity of bringing St. Peter to St. Paul, than Paul to Peter; for they are both Canonical, and both equally true; and were it not that all Texts are to be prest to maintain the Doctrine of Monarchy's being Jure Divino, I should think there were no great difference in the Case: For having before so fully proved, That Kings were at first set up by the People, St. Peter had a great deal of reason to call them the Ordinance of Man; but after they were establish'd, it was then the Ordinance, Order, or Command of God, call it which you will, that the People should obey them as far as they had obliged themselves by Law to do: And I do and must own, that any Subject who refuses Obedience, either Active or Passive, in any of those Instances which the Laws and Constitution of the Government require him to submit to; that Man, I say, does actually resist the Ordinance or Command of God, and does deserve the Penalty the Apostle threatens, take the Word in what Latitude you please. And this I take to be the clearest way of recon­ciling the two Texts. And I will also own, that the Apo­stles gave very good Advice, and that the Christians of those Times were obliged to follow it; and if there be now in the World any Christians in the same unhappy Predicament, I should think it their Duty to follow it also: But, God be thank'd, we are in much other Cir­cumstances than they were at that time; for they were [Page 60] under the Command of Arbitrary Tyrants, whose Will was their only Law: Whereas we are under no Law but what we have made our selves, and our King's Power is both Limited and Conditional, and, properly speaking, we cannot call the King Supreme, for I think I have be­fore shew'd, that there is a possibility for a King to be guilty of Treason, or at least that which is tantamount to it; for they can forfeit their Regal Authority, as I do not at all doubt but our late King actually did. So that unless they will be pleased to prove, that it is the duty of all Kingdoms and States to put themselves into the same Circumstances, and make themselves Slaves on purpose that they may be oblig'd by this Command of St. Paul's; I think we may very lawfully plead exemption from some of the Inferences they would draw from it; not but that I will own there is such a duty as Passive Obedience, a Virtue which even in our Constitution we may have the opportunity of exercising, perhaps oftner than they desire; although of late it has been so great an Idol, that not only our Laws and Government, but even our Re­ligion and Posterity were to be sacrifis'd to it. But if it was really the effect of a tender Conscience, I would ve­ry willingly be informed how they came to be so parti­cularly partial to this Rule of St. Paul's, for there are a great many Commands of our Saviours which seem to be as obliging, to which they do not pay so great defe­rence. For I am sure there is such Precepts, That if any man smite thee on the right Cheek, turn to him the other also; and that we shall give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away; and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again; and many such like we shall find in the 5th. of St. Matthew and 6th. of St. Luke. Now if these were duties to the Primitive Chri­stians, [Page 61] how come we to be excus'd from them? and I can think but of two Answers; the one that they were Temporary; (but that will not be allow'd for something I know) and the other, and I think the better is, that the Circumstances of the Christians are so much alter'd in Worldly respects, that what was a proper means to bring people in, and make them in love with the Gospel, when they saw the great Patience and Meekness of the Profes­sors of it, would not now be so proper a way to preserve it. For now that the Laws have set the Boundaries to every Mans Right, (which neither Law nor Gospel al­lows any body to infringe) to take away those Fences, would be so far from advancing Christianity, or rendring it more Beautiful and Lovely, that on the contrary it would let in Confusion, and authorize Rapine and Dis­orders: so that a litteral Performance of those Duties, would, in our present Circumstances, destroy one of the great designs of Christianity, and certainly that can ne­ver be a Duty which is against the very end for which the Command was at first given; and whether an ille­gal and unlimited Obedience in the People would not destroy the very end of Government, which we know is the safety of the People, I shall desire may be a little better consider'd. But now suppose some tender Con­sciences should think themselves obliged to obey those commands of turning the Cheek, and not asking their Goods again in the very literal sence of the words, yet might they not keep this to themselves, and exercise the Virtue when occasion offer'd it self? or was it necessary for them to cry this their Opinion in all the Market Towns of the Countries? Nay, to thunder Damnation against all that were not of their mind. How this may be ap­plyed I believe every body can guess; and also what, in [Page 62] all probability would be the effect of such Proceedings; but a word to the Wise is enough.

3. I come now to the 3d. and in appearance the most difficult Objection, how those that have taken the Oaths of Allegiance to King James can be absolved from the Obligation of them? But if they will allow what I should hope, I have before sufficiently proved that the Kings Power is both Limited and Conditional, I should think this great question might be very easily solved; for every body knows that a Covenant is a mutual Obligation, and has force no longer than while the Conditions are per­formed on both sides; but if one of the Parties shall wilful­ly break his part of the Covenant, he does not only forfeit the Right he had to challenge the Performance of the other side, but does by his breach actually void the Covenant, and consequently releases the other Party from all the Ob­ligation he was under.

But besides this, there is another Consideration, which being of weight ought not to be omitted; and that it is an uncontestable Maxim of our Law, which makes it Treason for to resist the King de Facto, although it be in defence, and to maintain the Right of the King de Jure. So that Possession is not only, as we used to say, eleven Points of the Law, but is in this Case all twelve. And if any body can think it their Duty to commit Treason, it would be pretty strange; but if they do, however they may satisfie their Consciences, 'tis probable they will not the Law so easily. Nor is this Law, if thoroughly consider'd, so unreasonable in it self, as perhaps it may at first appear: For 'tis an acknowledged Aphorism, That the safety of the People is the Supreme Law; and therefore to be prefered before Titles to Succession. For the Law-makers might easily suppose, that no Person who was actually in [Page 63] Possession of the Throne, would willingly quit it unless forced to it; for I verily believe our late King James is the first Instance, of any Prince that ever ran away from his Government, and quitted the Crown without striking a stroke for it, and that when he had any Army to defend it; and truly for that we must own our selves extreamly ob­liged to him, he having prevented that, which that Law seem'd to fear, and desir'd to avoid; that is a Civil War. For the Law supposes that a greater Inconvenience to the People, than to be Governed by one that had not a right Title to the Crown: And truly all the Proofs that are brought out of the Gospel for Obedience to Princes, do confirm this Maxim of our Law; for neither our Saviour nor his Apostles bid Christians enquire into the Right and Title of the Roman Emperors; but bids them to obey them under whose Government it was their lot to fall: For few of them could pretend a legal Title to the Crown, and sometimes there were several Persons set up by several parts of the Army; and then he that got the Mastery, proved his Title by his Success; so that the Right of the King de facto is confirm'd both by Law and Gospel, and therefore must be unquestionable, when there is no such thing as a King de Jure to oppose him: For by the For­feiture King James made of his Right, I do not at all doubt but our present King is de jure as well as de facto. Nay had King James never done any thing amiss in his whole Reign, but that of deserting the Government at that very nick of time, it would certainly have justified our Compliance with the present King. For although King James had thought it necessary for the security of his Person to withdraw himself, yet sure there was no necessity of his leaving us without all Government and Defence. For might he not have appointed a Vice Roy [Page 64] or Deputy, as he do's in Ireland, that might have kept possession of the Throne in his Name, and to whom the Subject might have resorted, both for Justice and Pro­tection? But instead of that, he steals away himself, or­ders his Army to be disbanded, and so abandons the People solely to the mercy of the Foreign Force, whom he leaves in the Possession of the Authority which he quitted. And if silence and submission may be inter­preted consent, he did by that resign both Crown and Kingdom to him. But however he meant to dispose of himself, 'tis evident he left those of his Subjects, that would have adhered to him (as there is reason to believe a great many would, if he had stuck to them) in a very ill Predicament; they having then no power to resist, and now no right to do it. For all that shall now attempt his restoration, are by the Law made actual Traytors; and I do not at all question, but that he would take care to see they should be treated as such, if by their means he should recover the Crown: For the resisting of the King de facto, is a Treason that not only makes them liable to that Kings punishment whom they oppose, but leaves them to the discretion of the King they served; for the Law gives him power to execute them for Traytors, who should now restore him to the Throne: And both the Example and Doctrine of his dear Brother and Ally of France, will soon teach him which is the best, because much the readiest way of requiting those who should procure his Re-establishment. For 'tis a dangerous thing to oblige a King of his Principles too much, as we may learn from the Barbarous treatment of the poor Hugo­nots in France; who without all dispute gave that King the Power to use them, or rather abuse them so. And such we have a great deal of reason to believe, shall be [Page 65] the requital of those of the Reformed Party, who should do the same thing for King James, that they did for the now Tres Grand Louis,

And since we English have no Obligation to our Kings but what the Law lays upon us; when we are by that set at Liberty, methinks we should not think it our duty to enslave our selves contrary to the Laws, and known Constitutions of the Nation, especially since there is nothing else required of us, but to accept of that Deliverance which God himself hath wrought for us. For there is very few that have had any other part to act in this Great Revolution, than That of standing still (as Moses says to the Israelites) and seeing the Salvation of the Lord, Exodus 14.13. Of which that we may be worthy, pray God make us more sensible of it, and more thankful for it; and this I suppose may be enough, because a great deal more than I at first intended to have said to the third Objection.

And to the Fourth I hope there will be no great oc­casion of saying much; for certainly no body that can either consider, or compare, can think the Cases of 1648. and 1688. Parallel. For the great (I had almost said the only) fault of that good King, and true Martyr, was his complying too much with his People, (and yielding that to their importunity which both Law and Conscience told him he should not have consented to) a fault that I dare say his Son James would never have been guilty of.

But it must be acknowledged indeed, that in the Case of the Ship-money he did assume a Power the Law did not allow him; but 'twas the only Instance of his doing it in his whole Reign: And 'tis evident, that in that too he did not design his Subjects Wrong; for no body was [Page 66] forced to pay it; but they that had a mind to contest the thing, as some did, had liberty so to do: For there were Trials in Westminster-hall about it, and Sentence given against the King: From which we may gather these two things: First, That the Judges were neither over­aw'd nor turn'd out by the King, for doing Justice. Secondly, That the King did not think himself above the Law, but submitted to it; so that it seems there was no such thing as the Dispensing Power known in those days, but the Rights of the People were preserved inviolate. I wish I could have said, the Rights of the Crown had been so too; and then perhaps we should never have known the vast difference that there was between the Father and the Son: But whoever will please to compare the Cases, will find full as great difference between the Causes, as the Persons. For in the former, it was the most open and notorions Rebellion that ever was recorded in Story; whereas all the Fault that the generality of the English can now be charged with, is (if it be a Fault) the Com­plying with the Necessity that King James himself laid on them, of submitting to the Power he left in Possessi­on; and which I am sure they were not in a Condition to resist. And now methinks it should hardly bear a Di­spute, Whether 'tis any bodies Duty to make themselves Traytors according to the Rules both of Law and Go­spel (as I have shew'd above) for the Restitution of him that subverted the Laws, deserted the Government, and I doubt still designs the Destruction of the Nation. And truly the Causes and Occasions of those two great Revo­lutions in 48, and 88, were not more distant than their Designs and Ends were; the first intending the Subversi­on, and this latter the Establishment and Preservation of the best and purest Religion in the World.

[Page 67] But perhaps some may say, This is not the best way of doing it; for 'tis an Old Saying, and a True, That the Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church, which, like a Palm-tree, grows fastest when it has the greatest weight upon it: And that 'tis a very idle Out-cry that some make, That they would take their Religion from them; for that dwells in the Heart, and no body can take that from me, unless I please. But altho 'tis very true, that the Heart is the Seat of true Religion; yet I think it savors a little too much of Presumption, for any body to undertake to preserve it there by their own Strength. But suppose that they were, and that they were sure their Faith should not fail under the se­verest Trials; yet is the Publick Service of God, the Op­portunities of going into the House of God, and there pouring out our Prayers and Praises before him with the Congregation of the Saints; is this, I say, so despicable a Blessing, that 'tis not worth keeping if we can? We see how holy David bemoans and laments his Banishment from the Temple, and how he longs and languishes for the return of those blessed Privileges, so that he envies the very Birds that were permitted to nest near the Altar; and yet he had as true a sense of God and Religion, and as plentiful Effusions of the Spirit to supply such a Want, as any of us can pretend to. But alas! it would not be only a temporary Deprivation that we should bewail; for whoever now shall attempt to bring back King James, does as much as in him lies, to cut off both himself and his Posterity from the solemn Publick Worship of God for ever. And altho I know God can support under any Condition, yet they will find a great deal of diffe­rence between those Sufferings they wilfully bring upon themselves, and those which are of God Almighty's lay­ing: [Page 68] For I can securely rest upon his Word; for I know that he is faithful, and will not suffer us to be be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. 10.13. But if we will not escape when he affords us the Means, What Promise is there either of Support or Deliverance from those Dangers we wilfully bring upon our selves? And 'twill certainly be very just in God, to suffer us fall under that Ruine we have courted, in which, I doubt, we shall have very little comfort; for 'tis not the Suffer­ings, but the Cause, that makes the Martyr. Therefore I beg leave to conclude with the Words of St. Paul, 2 Cor. 6.1, 2, 3. and beseech you that you receive not the Grace of God in vain; for as God may truly say, he has heard us in a time accepted; in the day of salvation he hath succour'd us; so may I also, Behold, now is the accepted time; Behold, now is the day of salvation. And let us all be careful that we give no offence in any thing, that the Mi­nistry be not blamed. But that we may all with one Heart and one Mouth bless God for his wonderful Delive­rance, and pray for the Prosperity and long Life of King WILLIAM and Queen MARY, whom God grantlong to Reign.



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