ALSO, A Confutation of that False Maxim, that Royal Authority is Originally and Radically in the People.

By Bartholomew Lane, Esq

LONDON: Printed for William Bateman, at the Kings-Head, in the Old-Change, 1684.


THe Laws and Constituti­ons of Kingdoms and Common-wealths have ever been esteemed by those happy Subjects whose lot it hath been to be governed by them, as the most Precious and Sacred Treasure wherewith the Divine Bounty had Inriched them, and therefore they would as soon have been prevailed upon to part with their Lives as their Laws, and among all those Nations whose Monarchs are truly Royal, and whose happy Subjects are Ruled and Governed by the Un­erring Precepts of Equity and Law, England is yet the most happy, and [Page]challengeth the Precedency above the rest of her Neighbours, for the Constitutions of her Government are the best in the World, being no Absolute, Arbitrary, or Despotick Tyranny, wherein the Will and Pleasure of the Prince disposeth of the Lives and Fortunes of his mise­rable Vassals; nor is it an Oligar­chy wherein the Nobles and those who bear sway, like the larger Fish in the Ocean, prey upon, and live by devouring the smaller, and raise themselves to Wealth and Grandure by the Oppression and Ruine of their Inferiours; nor yet is it a Po­pular Democracy, or a Confused Anarchy, but the Law maintains the Sovereigns Dignity, and yet secures the Subjects Liberty. It is by the Law that the King is en­abled to govern and dispose of all things with a Royal Sovereignty, [Page]and free from any kind of Arbitrary Severity, & thereby oblig'd the Peo­ple to a willing subjection without force or compulsion; and the same Laws by uniting the Interest of the Prince who governs by that of the People who are governed, hath so firmly knit and ty'd them together, that the happiness of the one is in­separably wrapped up and Invol­ved in the good of the other, so that Majesty may be maintained in its just splendour, and the Royal Pre­rogatives of the Crown preserved from any kind of Diminution, and yet the Liberty of the Subject be secured, and Property no way infringed or violated, and there­by approves it self to be the best security of both, and that when it is trampled under Foot, and vio­lated, neither the one nor the other is safe.

[Page]And that which still augments the excellency of our Constitution, and renders it the most happy, de­sirable thing under the Sun, for the Prince to govern, and the People to be governed by Law, is its exact agreement with the dictates of Heaven, and the resemblance it bears to the Original of all Govern­ment. For the Supream Monarch and Sovereign of the Universe go­verns his Subjects by Laws, clearly stating and ascertaining the Duties commanded, and the Crimes forbid­den, together with the rewards of the one, and the purishments of the other.

And as those Sacred Precepts whereby the Almighty rules his Subjects are all of them designed for, and directly tend to the Ho­nour and Glory of God, who is the Lawgiver, so they are as pro­perly [Page]designed for, and have as di­rect a tendency to the present good and felicity, and the fortune, hap­piness and glory of Mankind who is to yield obedience to them, and the honour of the Sovereign and the happiness of the Subject are thereby so inseparably united, that one and the same Act of Obedi­ence effects both, and the same act of Rebellion reflects dishonour upon the Sovereign, and merits punishment to the disobedient Sub­ject; so our Wise Legislators in the composeing of our Laws, have so contrived them, that by the ve­ry same act of Subjection where­by we manifest our obedience to them, we bring happiness and safe­ty to our selves, as well as yield honour and homage to our Prince, as is more fully proved in the fol­lowing Tract, wherein you'l find [Page]a brief account of the Laws and Customs of most Nations, and a Convincing Demonstration from the most Authentick Historians, that those Countries have ever been the most happy and flourishing whose Prince have ruled, and whose Subjects have obeyed by Law.

J. N.

IT has been always the Great Hap­piness of this Nation, even as far as we can pierce into the dark and obscure Coverts of Anti­quity, to have been famous for the Equity and Justice of her Princes: and that from such most wise and prudent Legislators, she has receiv'd the chiefest of her wholsome Laws, accord­ing to the Temper and Genius of the People. So that although perhaps some few in the long successive Series of her Monarchs, may have aspir'd to absolute and uncontroulable Dominion, yet the Opposition which they met with from the provident Establishments of their Predecessours, would in no wise suffer them to be successful in their Attempts; and others, tho' perhaps meaning no bet­ter than the worst, have thought it no imprudence not only to confirm those ancient and wholsom Laws of their An­cestors, but to make some new addi­tions of their own, to rivet themselves into the favour of the People, as being [Page 2]otherwise obnoxious to those Violences incident to Usurpation and a crazy Title. Which as it was their Wisdom to do, so was it an Excellency in their Govern­ment far longer liv'd, and much more beneficial to the Publick than the Pecca­dillio's of their Ambition could be pre­judicial to private Interests. For all good Laws are the Honour and Renown of them that frame them, whether out of real, or out of seeming Virtue and Affe­ction to the People.

Yet some there are, perhaps, that may despise the Generous Constitutions of their Native Country, believing nothing super-excellent, but what is Foreign. But they are not to imagin there is the same judgment to be made of Govern­ments, as of Dyet and Habits; besides, that it is the Fate of English Travellers to be very unhappy in their Observations of things of Moment: Neither is the Insight into Government to be travell'd for only into France, or Italy, or Spain, nor to Jerusalem neither, unless it were the ancient Sion; but into History and approved Authors, where is to be seen the Reasons of the Periods and Disso­lutions of Boundless Empires, and the Causes of the Revolutions and over­turnings [Page 3]of Potent Common-wealths.

That Law and Government are of Celestial Extraction, is a Dispute which will admit of no Controversie. For no sooner Man committed a Transgression, but Nature, which is that Reason which Man at first deriv'd from the benignity of his Maker, soon inform'd him he had done amiss. And no sooner was Man­kind multiply'd into Numbers, with disparity of Parts and Genius, Temper and Humours, but the same Nature taught them the necessity of Rule, and the Benefit of Subjection. I say these things were instill'd into the Breasts of Men by Nature, and not by the grow­ing Experiences which one day prompted by another perceiv'd, and concluded to be the only Remedies of the Evils they sustain'd. Those Conjectures therefore of Tacitus and Livy are altogether to be laid aside, who tells us of the Simplicity and Virtues of the first Ages of the World, and that the most ancient of Mortals co-habited without inordinate Desires, free from Villany and Impiety, and so not under fear of Punishment or Coertion; and that there was no need of reward, when every one voluntarily pur­su'd the Tracts of Virtue, and void of [Page 4]all extravagant Desires, requir'd no re­straint of their Excesses. These were only florid Conjectures: For it is apparent from authentic History, that Violence and Treachery enter'd the World when there was yet but the small number of Four, and of them, the one that slew, and the other that was slain. Of which the Tyranny and Cruelty of Lamech being no less an immediately ensuing In­stance, they both afford an emergent Evidence, that they were not ignorant of the Enormity of the Facts they had com­mitted, as convicting themselves by that Law of Nature which inwardly upbraid­ed them for having so highly transgress'd. So though in part it might be true, that Luxuriant Dominion and Injurious Vio­lence, when just Equality and Modesty grew out of date, inforc'd the necessity of Laws, yet does it not appear that the World was so long ignorant of Mis­chief, as to merit those Encomiums of Ethnic Fancy.

But though the Apprehension of a Law commanding Good, and restrain­ing Evil, and a deep fence of Punish­ment incurr'd by the breach of that Law, were imprinted thus in our first Proge­nitours, yet we do not hear in all the [Page 5]Thousand six hundred fifty six Years (for I omit the fabulous Calculations of the Egyptians) before the Flood, that ever any one attempted to erect a Sove­reignty, or to assemble the confused Multitude under any settl'd Constitu­tions. Although there be who affirm, Dresserus among the rest, that Cain Erected a Peculiar Kingdom and a Reli­gion of his own, which well he could not do without prescribing Rules and Institutions proper to his Government.

After the Flood, no longer than a Hundred sixty one Years, (so ancient is Kingly Government) most certain it is, that Nimrod assum'd to himself Imperial Dignity and Dominion, as being the first Founder of the Assyrian Monarchy: In whose Raign also Ashur went out of Shinar and built several Cities; wherein it cannot be thought Men liv'd without the Tyes and Bands of Political Govern­ment. Nimrod having led the way, we read of many others in many other places, as Amraphel, Kedorlaomer, Tidal King of Nations, and therest all mention'd toge­ther. And now Particular Laws and Customs apparently discover'd them­selves. Abraham gives the Tenth of his Booty to Melchisedech, and the reseu'd [Page 6]Kings voluntarily resign him the share of the Spoyl which he had won in Bat­tel. Leagues were made for mutual de­fence; and under variety of Govern­ments, every one held their Native Rights and Customs so dear, that as the first War we read of in the World was made to subdue, the next was a revolt, to recover lost Liberty, and to throw off the Yoak of Arbitrary Dominion.

Now the same Law that restrain'd Injury and Wrong, asserted Right and Property, or lawful and peculiar Pos­session of the Assistances and Conve­niences of Living. And this was also taught to Man by Nature: For at the same time that the Breath of Life was infus'd into him, was also bequeath'd him that light of Nature, that gave him not only Reason, but right Reason, and consequently the true Grounds and Foundations of Law. Therefore it was that Cain and Abel betook themselves to different Occupations, to the end they might the better understand what belong'd of right to each other; it being but reason that they should both enjoy the advantages and emoluments of their different Labours. Thus Adam was the first that Planted, Cain the first that dealt [Page 7]in Pasturage, and Abel the first that fol­low'd Agriculture. Who as the World encreas'd made a disposition of right to others according as they saw convenient. And it was but rational for them that were thus invested in possession, to esta­blish the right of their peculiar Claims and Properties upon the Divisions and Bequests of them that were Lords of All. After them were born the Inventers of Arts and Handicraft Trades. From whom 'tis very improbable to think 'twas then lawful to rifle their Inventions, without Exchange or the plenary satisfaction of one Commodity for another.

These things were well observ'd by Seth, the third Son of Adam, 235 Years after the Creation, in the hundred and fifth Year of his Age, by which time as the World was vastly stor'd with People, so had they as greatly encreas'd their Proportions of Stock and Substance, and improv'd their Allotments and Inhe­ritances of Land. And therefore he be­gan to deem it now high time to think of Framing Laws and Ordinances, for the better Government of so numerous a Common-Weal. And this fell out to be in the Year that his Son Enoch was born; at what time, as the Text records, [Page 8] Men first began to call upon the Name of the Lord. For that then it was, that Seth first introduced the Practice of Religion, or the Awe of Divinity, and made Laws and Constitutions for the safety and security of Right and Property; and to prevent those disorders and disturbances of common Tranquillity, of which it may be well conjectur'd he was not a little fearful from the bad Examples of Cain and Lamech. So that although Cain and his Off-spring, that totally perish'd in the Deluge, were the first that broke the Law of Nature, Yet Seth, by another Line; another Son of Adam, begot by him after his own Image and Likeness, that is to say, Prudent, Good and Vir­tuous, as he was, whose Race re-peopl'd the drown'd World, and continues to this day; He it was that made this Light of Nature burn more clearly, by bring­ing Religion into Form of Worship, and Law into Precept and Practice. And it may not vainly otherwise be thought, but that under that same Form of Wor­ship, and under those Laws, Men in all respects continu'd obedient and conform­able while Adam liv'd; that is, till within seven hundred and seven years before the Flood, so great a veneration they [Page 9]might have for him that was so well known to be the surviving Original of all Humane Race. However it were, this remains unquestionable, that the ge­neral Corruption and Impiety of Man­kind, occasion'd the Wrath of the Om­nipotent Creator, and that thereupon he sent the Deluge to destroy from the Earth that numerous Succession which had so highly offended him. Of this the reason assign'd in general was that already mention'd; a total Defection of all the Sons of Men from God, which had in­fected every thought of their hearts. All the Precepts of Religion and Na­ture, all that good Order which Seth had settl'd in the World, was at length utter­ly ranvers'd; Liberty and Property was invaded, and the Repose and Peace of Common Society spurn'd and trampl'd on by Potent Cruelty and Domineering Injustice. And all this seems to be in­cluded under the particular reason of Divine Vengeance. For says the Text, In those days were Gyants upon the Earth, [...] that is to say, Men who either were such as bore down all others be­fore them, by reason of their vast strength, and huge proportion of bulk, from Naphal, to throw down; or from the [Page 10]same word signifying, to revolt; such as were Revolters from God, or from the same Root again, signifying to rush upon, such as by violence invaded the Rights of others by Violence and Oppression. According to which two latter significa­tions, the mighty Men of those times were call'd Gyants. For that contrary to the Law of Nature, supposing then no other Law, by force and power they despoil'd the weaker sort not only of their Goods and Possessions, but robb'd them of their Children, their beautiful Daughters at their will and pleasure; so the words Lakach, and Bathar imply, the one signifying to ravish away by violence, and the latter to cull and choose. Other­wise, with reverence be it spoken, it cannot be thought, that the being de­lighted with the Charms of beautiful Women, and taking them for Wives, was a Crime to merit the Destruction of the Almighty's Handy-work; or as the Scripture terms it, the Repentance of the Creator that he had made Man. But this is mention'd as a Crime [...], in­cluding all those other Violations of Law and Justice then raging in the World. And this is apparent from the Context, which gives the best and brightest light [Page 11]to Interpretation. For among all the High Crimes and Misdemeanours that so insanely provok'd the Indignation of the Lord, there is none particulariz'd, but this one Act of the Mighty, stil'd the Sons of God, incroaching upon the Rights and Priviledges of the meaner sort, call'd the Sons of Men, by taking forcibly from them their Daughters and Virgins, to satisfie the fury of their Lust and Incontinency. For which, at first, God only determin'd to abbreviate their Days, and shorten the measure of their long Lives. Perhaps he might forbear, expecting a Reformation of their Op­pression and Cruelty, repeated in the next Verse, with aparticular aggravation of the same Fact, of going into the daugh­ters of Men; not to be avoided by reason of their irresistable force and power, as being the Sons of God and Gyants. But by vertue of those Conjunctions, the Gyants had Sons, who became after­wards Men of Renown; that is, such as made themselves terrible and redoubted by their Cruelties, and Exercise of Illegal Dominion; and as they multiply'd, fill'd the World, no doubt, with Arbitrary Rapine, and wilful Bloodshed, to obtain their wicked purposes. Which is also [Page 12]more palpably discover'd in the following words, explanatory of the preceding ge­neral Accusation, that the Earth was fill'd with Violence. A word so diffu­sive in its signification, that it compre­hends all the signal breaches of the Law and Religion, and all the Effects and ill Consequences of Violence, Rape, and Injury; which where ever they predo­minate, renders the sufferers miferable.

Thus we are come to the Destruction of the First World; and find the Causes that hasten'd it, to be the want of Order and good Government. So that it may well be said, that while all the Sons of Men had abandon'd themselves to the neglect and contempt of the Law and Justice, while Dominion rang'd without the curb of Primitive Reason, and Obe­dience was only Passive Confusion, the general Inundation of merciless Cruelty and remorceless Violence, set open the Flood-gates of the Deep, and let loose the general Inundation of Water, that overwhelm'd the whole Earth. From whence it being apparent, that the con­tempt and disregard of right Reason, and consequently of Law, Government, Order, Justice and proportionate Equa­lity between Dominion and Subjection, [Page 13]produc'd those Effects which were the universal subversion of Mankind, the chiefest Lesson which the next World had afterwards to learn, was to observe the Failings and Miscarriages of their Prede­cessours, and to be tender of running into these Enormities that draw down the Judgments of Heaven, and distract and dislocate the Unity and Society of Man­kind.

And had it not been for the solemn Promise of the Almighty, how soon another Deluge might have washed away the replenish'd Race of Noah, no Man can say. Yet might it well be thought there was cause enough given for it, while ear­ly Nimrod trod the Gyants steps, became the Proverb of those times, and was call'd Gibbor Tsaid, or the strong Hunter be­fore the Lord. For He perceiving the People terrifi'd with the thoughts of the late Deluge, and afraid themselves of the same Calamity, takes from thence a plausible Pretence to make himself their absolute Lord and soveraign Comman­der; and to inculcate into their grosser apprehensions a deeper awe and reve­rence of his Person, perswades them that he had found out a Means to secure them from all their Fears,Joseph. Antiquit. l. 1. c. 4. and to that purpose [Page 14]puts them upon that stupendious Labour of building a Tower, whose vast heighth should bid defiance as well to Heaven it self, as to all future Inundations. Which Toil and Travail while they undertook, he had the advantages both to exercise and establish the Tyranny which he had long before affected. In the pursuit of which Design the numberless Multitude being shatter'd into several Languages, were constrain'd to quit their intended Enterprize, and having no way to unite again, they only assembl'd and embodi'd together, as variety of Language prom­pted their understanding, and parting sundry ways sought out particular Habi­tations, some in the nearer, some in the remoter empty Regions of the Earth, as Room and Convenience led them. Where under several Kings and Princes doubt­less were Erected several Forms and Constitutions of Government, accord­ing to the Genius of them that bore sway.

Nimrod all this while kept his station with those that spake his own Dialect, and minding nothing more than to ex­tend his Territories, propagated his Do­minion where he built Nineveh and Resen, particularly call'd the great City, [Page 15]by subduing his Neighbours, and laid the first Foundation of that Monarchy. And these were the first beginnings, ac­cording to the report of the best Au­thors, of Political Rule and Political Subjection. Nor were they in those times, though the true Worship of the true God were altogether forgot, quite void of a sence of Religion. And therefore Nimrod being dead, for his great Prowess and admir'd Atchievements, after his de­cease was worshipp'd, though not by the Name, yet in the Person of Saturn. And the Statue of Belus his Successour promoted also to Celestial Dignity, was ador'd under the Name of Jupiter. Which is thought to be the Original of all the Heathenish Idolatry. For tho', as al­ready hath been said, there was then a general Oblivion of all true Religion, yet they found it absolutely necessary there should be some sort of Religion conjoin'd with Policy, finding it so im­possible they should be separate, and that they were so dependent one upon another, that neither could subsist with­out the other's support.

To this same Ninus, Justin seems to attribute what Scripture imputes to Nim­rod. For first he asserts, that Kingly [Page 16]Government was the most ancient in the World:l. 1. c. 1. deleg 3. Principio rerum, saith he, gen­tium, nationum (que) Imperium penes reges erat. Conformable to that of Cicero, Omnes antiquae gentes regibus quondam pa­ruerunt. Confirm'd by that of Salust, Sal. l. 1. Initio reges diversi; nam in terris nomen Imperii id primum fuit. Then he also pretends to tell us the Manners and Cu­stoms of those Times preceding Ninus, That the People were restrain'd by no Laws, but that the Determinations of Princes were obey'd as such. That it was the Cu­stom to Defend not to Enlarge their Em­pires. But that Ninus was the first who made War upon his Neighbours, and by sub­duing People unskilful in making resistance, extended the Limits of his Dominions, and violated the former Justice and Mode­ration of regal Power. In all which it cannot be said that Justin was any where mistaken, but only in the Person of Ninus. For that the Antiquity of Kingly Government is unquestionable, and that so highly commended equality of Tem­per between Prince and People, by him suggested before the Birth of Nimrod, is not at all improbable. However, Scripture and Justin with others, agree all in this, that there was a Law in the [Page 17]World from the beginning, tho' only of Reason and Nature, so long as Men obey'd in Quiet and Repose, and Princes Rul'd with Justice and Prudent Equity. On the other side, when Men were depriv'd of that Primitive Safety and Tranquility, Law ceas'd, giving way to War and Publick Devastation. Which Cessation of Law began in the time of Nimrod, and not of Ninus.

And certainly tho' the Nature of Man be in part corrupt, yet there are those Seeds of Virtue and Divine Reason still remaining in his Soul, which will not suffer him to deny, but that the real distinctions between Good and Evil, are Members of that True Reason, and Di­vine Knowledge, which were at first in­fus'd into him. Cicero, De leg. l. 1. by a light more than Human, labours hard to make this out, that the Foundations of Law and Justice are fix'd in Man by Nature, and in that reason with which Man is naturally endu'd to difference Right from Wrong, Justice from Injustice, and Evil from Good. Seeing that Men are in the first place furnish'd and adorn'd with heaven­ly Gifts. Next, because there is but one consentaneous and common Method of Mens living one among another. And [Page 18]in the third place, by reason that all Men are oblig'd and bound one to another, as well by a certain natural Indulgence and kindness one toward the other, as by the Tye of the Law. Which being granted to be absolutely true, how is it possible to separate Law and Right from Nature. And indeed should it be other­wise, it would fall out unhappily for the preserving the Strength and Unity of a Nation, or the People in their right Senses. Seeing that no Laws ought to be propounded, but such as are approv'd by those who believe all things just and honest to be desirable for their own sakes, and that nothing was to be reck'ned in the number of good things, but what was laudable in it self.

Again, if only Fear of Punishment, and not Nature, were the only reason that deterr'd Men from Acts of Impiety and Injustice, no Man could be properly said to be unjust; but the wicked were rather to be accounted inconsiderate and imprudent. Or if advantage and profit were the only Motives to do well, then were Men to be accounted rather subtil & cunning, than naturally and intrinsical­ly just. Consequently the Law, tho' never so strict, has no effectual or valuable tye [Page 19]upon such persons, and the security ex­pected from it, is in a manner rendred void to all Civil Society and Co-habita­tion. For what will not persons so prin­cipled adventure to act in the dark, when they are out of the danger of Witnes­ses, and by that means freed from the fear of a Judge? The Gyants of the old World had forgotten Nature, when they acted only by the sway of Arbitra­ry Will and Pleasure. For Nature pro­poses but one Law for the preservation of Mankind; that is, the right Method of commanding and restraining upon the solid knowledge of Natures Good and Evil. Which they who understand not, or at least neglect and scorn, must of ne­cessity be unjust. And such were they who by neglecting Natures good and evil, ranvers'd the Laws of Human preservation, and ruin'd not only them­selves, but all the Earth besides. Nor was it any Opinion or singular Judgment of their own, that could make their Actions just, seeing that all Virtue is in­herent in Nature, and cannot be separa­ted from it. Only Men may be so wick­ed as to despise Nature, and cry up that for good and honest, which is not so in [Page 20]it self. Not considering that what ever is vertually good, must of necessity in­clude within it self that which is with­out all contradiction to be valu'd and esteem'd. And thus in all Governments that pretend to right reason, tho' Cir­cumstantial Laws may differ, yet the Law of Nature is immoveable through­out all Nations. Otherwise should one Nation think it lawful to Kill, another to Rifle and Steal, or another believe Perjury no Crime, not only Publick Commerce between Nation and Nation, but Private Dealing betwixt Man and Man would be at an end. Nor that Men were instructed of the Mischief of these things by the Conveniencies of peaceable Living one among another; but by the Dictates of Nature, and Impressions of right Reason.

Cicero goes yet a little farther, affirm­ing, That it was the Opinion of the wi­sest of the Ancients, That Law was ne­ver the Invention of Humane Wit, but something Eternal that govern'd the Ʋni­versal World by the wise Conduct of Com­mand and Prohibition. Which supream and ultimate Law, was the Mind or Om­niscience of the Deity, enjoyning or [Page 21]forbidding all things according to reason. Wherefore that Law which Heaven im­parted to Mankind, is rightly to be ex­toll'd, as being the reason and intelli­gence of a wise Man proper to controul and deter. Which Power was not only elder than the Age of People or Cities, but co-eternal with God that rules and governs both Heaven and Earth: for that neither can the Divine Intelligence be without reason, neither is it possible but that such reason should be incapable to determin what was good and what evil. So that had there been no Law against those who first were guilty of Murder, Envy or Malice, or any other sort of destructive Violence, this Law would have condemn'd them, as it did in Cain. In regard that same reason pro­ceeded from the Divine Light of Na­ture, perswading Men to do well, and disswading them from evil, which did not then begin to be a Law, when it first came to be written, but when it first had a being; that is, from Eternity. Which being the Original of all upright and just Law, we must thence conclude, that the true End of all Laws, are the Safety and Welfare of those Nations, and the Peace and Tranquility of such [Page 22]Societies for which they are ordain'd. Law being as it were the Distinction be­tween the just and unjust, deriv'd, next to God, from the most ancient Fountain of all things, Nature to which all the Laws of Men, that punish the bad, and protect the good, should tend as to their center of Light and Information.

And this was that which the Poets meant by all their Fables of the Golden Age, which is describ'd by them to be a time when Men liv'd in Peace, Plenty, and Liberty, without written Laws, but by those Rules of Justice and Sincerity which Primitive Nature had planted in their minds, when it was a pleasure to Rule with Mildness and Equity, and without Care, keeping just Dominion within her proper bounds; and a hap­piness to obey without Disorder, Tu­mult and Contention, while Astrea her self held the Ballance of Authority and Subjection in an equal poise.

Which reverence of Law and Justice was not then committed to Parchment, nor cut in Brass, but imprinted in the Hearts of Men: According to that of Virgil,

[Page 23]
— Neve ignorate Latimos
Saturni Gentem, haud vinclo, neclegibus aequam
Sponte sua, veteris (que) Dei se more tenen­tem.

And Hesiod, also describing the Golden Age, says, that they liv'd like the Gods, [...] [...], [...] 1. without care or fear. For most certainly they who are constrain'd, through fear of punishment, to live according to the In­tegrity of written Laws, not out of a spontaneous probity, cannot be said to be good or virtuous Men, seeing that they who forbear to commit evil, through fear of punishment, cannot be said to be really good, but only not to be evil. They are only said to be good Men, who by the conduct of Nature, and not to avoid the lash of Human provision against Vice, bend their minds to pra­ctice Honesty, Virtue, and Justice. And thus this Golden Age continu'd, till Jupi­ter, ambitious of Empire, overturn'd this Harmonious Frame of Nature's Law, and expell'd his Father from his King­dom.

[Page 24]
Tunc Jove sub Domino caedes & vulnera semper.
Yibul. l. 1.
— Tunc Lethi mille repente viae.

Which is no more than this, that after the Golden Reign of Noah, the Earth was fill'd with Iron Violence, by Nimrod and his Successors. Yet as Jupiter, by his Example, taught those that came after him to lay violent hands on Thrones and Scepters, so may good and virtuous Princes be said to restore, as it were, so many Golden Ages at least within their own Dominions, by making wholsom Laws for the benefit and security of the People. For tho' the Tyranny of Ju­piter chac'd Astrea from the World, yet it is said, and the Allegory may well hold, that she left behind her, as her Legacy, that Primitive light of Nature and right Reason, which they who follow closest may be accounted the nearest Restorers of the Primitive Purity and Innocence of Law and Justice. And for this reason some will have the Golden Age to be no other than the Common Liberty of People in a Common-weal, establish'd and secur'd by wholsom Constitutions; where Hares with Hounds, Sheep with [Page 25] Wolves, converse together with freedom and safety, under the protection of good Laws.

This is then the difference between the Primitive Ages of the World, and those that succeed. At first the Natural In­clination of Man to Good, and his Aver­sion from Evil, govern'd his Actions so exactly, that there was no need of any other Law, than that Law of Nature which was imprinted in his mind. After­wards when Ambition, Pleasure, and Pro­fit, had, it cannot be said extinguish'd, but only eclips'd that Light of Nature, then Men resolv'd they would not see or understand what Law was, until they saw it first put down in Writing, and obedience thereto commanded, un­der such and such Penalties. So that be­fore there were none at all, now there was an absolute necessity of written Ordi­nances and Constitutions.

And indeed it was high time to set up Law and Government, when Wrong and Injury did so infest the World, that there was no security of Liberty and Property, but what Law and good Government procur'd. From which Men reap'd those vast Advantages, and superlative Bene­fits, that then they began to acknow­ledge [Page 26]the Sacred Original of Nature's Law, as descending first from Heaven. Therefore was Themis presently exalted to be a Goddess. No less than the Wife of Jove himself, and said to be the Mo­ther of [...] and [...], or Law, Justice,Hes. [...]og. and Peace, as Hesiod witnesses. And Law or Eunomia is made the eldest Sister,Pind. Ode. 9. whom Pindarus calls [...], or servatricem; as well knowing that the making and observance of Good Laws are the preservation of all Kingdoms; without which they would soon fall to ruin. He also adds the Epithite [...] in regard that good Laws bring both Honour and Glory, as well to the Legisla­tors, as to the Observers. In another place the same Author, applauding Law, entitles her the Queen of Cities. And Homer, speaking of Jupiter, does not attribute to his Divinity, the giving to Princes and Sovereign Rulers, the De­structive Instruments of War and Blood­shed, but his arming them with Laws and Justice. And therefore it was the say­ing of the Orator Demosthenes, that Law was the Soul of a City: seeing that as the natural Body of Man could not sub­sist, without a Soul, so without Law and Justice, Cities and Kingdoms, and all [Page 27]Politic Bodies, were but as expiring slum­bers, which nothing can preserve from Politic Death. And thus the Primitive Light of Nature and right Reason was in some measure recover'd from that neglect and oblivion which had over­whelm'd it. For that this written Jus, or Genus of written Law, had the same Original with the spontaneous and har­monious Concord of the Golden Age. Seeing that if all Men at that time had been principl'd like their Legislators, they might doubtless have liv'd in the same happy Estate and Condition, as their first Fore-fathers.

By which Encomiums and high Ap­plauses of Law and Government, it ap­pears, that the End of all Law is in ge­neral the preservation of Mankind; more particularly of all Publick Weals and Societies of Men.

Among those that first made use of written Laws,L. 6. are reck'ned the Locri Epizephirij, as Strabo relates. A flourish­ing People once in the farther part of Calabria, in the Kingdom of Naples, not far from the Promontory, now call'd Punta di Saetta. Pindarus gives them a high Commendation in these words, [...],Ode. 10. Truth go­verns [Page 28]the City of Locri. So careful had Zaleucus their Legislator, been to pick and cull the choicest of their Cretan, La­cedemonian and Athenian Customs.

But Scripture, of indisputable Autho­thority, tells us that in the time of Moses, the first Law-giver in the World, the Decalogue was written in Tables of Stone, and for the rest of his Constitu­tions they were also otherwise committed to Letters, as being too prolix to be pre­serv'd by Memory or Tradition, and the Original Copy'd up in the Ark, by the command of Moses, where the Le­vites might have recourse to it upon all occasions; who also had it in Charge to read it in the hearing of all the people at the end of every seven Years. And certainly there never was a nobler mix­ture of Civil and Ecclesiastical Sanctions, all tending to perpetuate the Establish­ment of the Jewish Nation; nay, they had the absolute promise of God for their Duration, upon the bare conditi­on of Dutiful performance. All the en­couragement of Victory, Plenty, Peace, Renown and Liberty to the Observers of this Law; and on the other side, all the fair warnings of that Misery and De­struction that would befall them, if they [Page 29]revolted from it. And to preserve them from all occasions of going astray, the strictest injunctions and prohibitions that could be devis'd, were laid upon them against Idolatry. To which purpose they were as streightly commanded not so much as to cast their Eyes upon the al­luring Beauty of strange Women; and as expresly inhibited from the use of such Diet and Meats, both Flesh and Fowl, as by their lushious moisture and extra­ordinary nutriment excited the heat of their natural Incontinency; and as a far­ther bar to Foraign lust and female com­munication, the Pander to Idolatry, they were permitted to take as many free Women and Bond Servants of their own, as their Revenues would allow of. In a word the whole scope of Moses Law, the sole intent of all his Constitutions both Ecclesiastical and Civil, was for the glory of God, the safety and preserva­tion of the whole Nation in general, and the security of every individual person in particular. That by the Observation of the words of his Law, which as he told them was their Life, they might prolong their daies in the Land which God had given them; That Israel might dwell in safety alone, that the Fountain of Jacob [Page 30] might be upon a Land of Corn and Wine, their Heavens drop Dew, and they them­selves tread upon the High Places of their Enemies. In which words are summ'd up all the blessings that can befall a free Nation under good Government. Yet all this while, for all his pains and travel, for all his restless Study, and incessant cares, for his prophetical Blessings upon every particular Tribe, for his attoning even God himself, upon their hasty and rash erection of the Molten Calf, he does not exact one single kindness for himself or his Sons; but as if the Laws of God had been the only Successors which he took care of, enjoyns Obedience only to them as well to the chiefest in Authority, as the meanest under Subjection.

And thus Moses having fitted them for peace by Laws and Statutes that gave to God his own establish'd Reverence and Worship, to the Church her due, to the people their just Rights and Priviledges (not excluding the Daughters of Zelo­phahad from the Inheritance of their Male-issueless Father) Joshua was next appointed by God, who had inspir'd him with Valour and Conduct fit for so great an undertaking, to lead them in the Field. Yet not so, but that although [Page 31]the people heark'ned to him in reference to Military Affairs, yet in other things they did as the Lord Commanded Moses.

But Moses had the pre-eminence above all that came after him: He had the su­pream Oracle of the World to consult up­on all Occasions. The pretences of Others were but meer Imposture, and Delphian Figments. Which however it is not improbable but that they might have learnt from the obscure and imper­fect knowledge which they had gather'd among the Egyptians of the Story of Moses. And therefore Rhadamanthus among the Cretans is said to have faign'd a Familiarity with Jove in Jupiter's Den. Numa pretended to frequent consultati­on with the Goddess Egeria. He first Ci­viliz'd the Romans by introducing among them the practice of Religious Ceremo­nies, and the worship of the Gods. To which Serv. Tull. added several Instituti­ons relating to the Civil Administration, Ʋt quemadmodum Numa divini auctor Ju­ris fuisset ita Servium conditorem Omnis in Civitate discriminis, Ordinumque, Liv. l. 1. quibus in­ter Gradus Dignitatis, Fortunaeque aliquid interlucet, posteri Fama Ferrent. Which Laws were afterwards collected and di­gested into a Method by Papirius, from [Page 32]it was call'd Jus Papirianum. But the chief of the Roman Laws were those that were contain'd in their Twelve Tables cut in Brass; of which ten were compil'd by the Decemvirs, after the return of those Embassadors which were sent by the Senate to Athens to Transcribe the Laws of Solon, and of those other Cities of Greece which were most famous for the Excellency of their Government; to which soon after two others were added. Of which Ten Tables Livie writes that in his time,L. 3.34. when there was such a prodi­gious pile of Laws heap'd one upon ano­ther, they were still the Fountain of all the Roman Equity. And it is observa­ble that when the Decemvirs first pro­pos'd them to the People, they command­ed them to consider 'em well, that there might be nothing but what was for the good and prosperity of the Common­weal and their posterity. For that as much as lay in the wit of Ten men, they had adapted the equality of the Law with the same respect to the meanest as to the most Wealthy and Noble.

Lycurgus boasted Apollo for his grand Associate, and made the World so far believe it, that both Plutarch and Strabo confirm it, and Herodotus tells ye the very [Page 33]Verses with which the Priestess of Del­phos congratulated him at his Entrance into the Temple, wherein she gave him the Title of [...], the Friend of Jove, and all the Gods besides. And most certainly he was a Person of exquisite Justice, as appear'd in the preservation of the young Prince Charilaus, whom his Mother offer'd to stifle in her own Womb, and to give him possession of her self and the Kingdom, if he would have Marry'd her. And therefore fit to give Laws to a Kingdom that could refuse one, when it was thrown into his Em­braces. Neither could any thing be more signal than his Love to his Coun­trey, while he so laboriously turmoil'd not only to advance but to perpetuate the felicity of the Lacedemonian King­dom. Justin says of him, that he was not more famous for the Invention of his Laws, than for the Example which he set in his own Person, for that he never decreed any Law against others, which he was not most punctual to observe him­self. Populum in obsequia Principum, Principes ad justitiam Imperiorum forma­vit. In which words, could they be but faithfully and candidly extracted, lies that grand Arcanum, the True [Page 34]Ballance between Dominion and Subje­ction.

He so endoctrinated his Lacedemonians, that they should neither be willing, nor indeed know how to live asunder; but that, like Bees, they should always stick to their Hives, and be always ready about their Prince to receive and execute his Just Commands.

Neither did he care to put his Laws in Writing; as judging that those things which most conduc'd to the felicity of the City, and the bravery of the Inhabi­tants, were to be planted in their Minds by Education and Custom.

At length, having done as much as he thought could be done to advance the Glory and Renown of his Country, and the Welfare of the Realm, that he might render the effects of his labour diutur­nal, he assembles the People, and takes an Oath from the highest to the lowest, that they would observe the Form of Government which he had establish'd among them till his return; for that he was then going to consult the Oracle, about something farther of great Im­portance for the Common Good. To the Oracle thereupon he goes, and after Consultation, sends back Apollo's Answer, [Page 35]that Lacedemon should flourish so long as they observ'd Lycurgus's Institutions; which done, he starv'd himself to death at Delphos, that he might not absolve the People from their Oaths by his Re­turn.

Solon also refus'd the Kingdom of Athens, when he might have had it.Justiu, l. 2. c. 7. A Person of that extraordinary Justice, that he is by the Historian said to have made Athens a new City, behaving him­self with that equal Temper between the Senate and the People, that both himself and his Laws were equally grateful to both. And Lucian also brings in Ana­charsis, Dial. de Gymna [...]. highly commending him, as one that had fram'd most excellent Laws, and introduc'd most useful Customs into the Country where he liv'd, to the great benefit of the Publick. Which Laws, as Lucian afterwards, in the same Dia­logue, makes Solon to acknowledge, were publickly expos'd in the City of Athens, for every one to peruse, that so they might understand when they did well, and what they were to avoid. He could not 'tis true reduce the Athenians to that austerity of living, to which the Institutions and Education of Lycurgus had enur'd the Lacedemonians, as being [Page 36]of a quainter and more airy Geniu [...], where Mercury had an equal ascendant with Mars, and would therefore have an equal share in the publick Concerns. Yet the renowned Captains that Athens bred, the many and famous Victories which they won, the Learning of her Philosophers, the Liberty of the People, and the long flourishing Estate of the Government, make it appear that there is more than one way for a Nation to be happy by her own Laws. And that Laws agreeable and consentaneous to the Tem­per of one People, will not correspond with the Humour of another. On the other side, when a Kingdom is once establish'd under settled Constitutions, which are found to suit with the Disposi­tion of the People, those Constitutions are the Safety and Protection of that People, and the Change of such Ordi­nances has been always the fore-runner of their destruction, as by History has been fatally verify'd in the Athenians, Lacedemonians, and Romans themselves.

But they who laid the Foundations of Despotic Turanny and Absolute Domi­nion in War and Devastation, cannot be said to have those noble aims of be­queathing Liberty and Safety to the [Page 37]People under their Subjection: but only the advancement of lawless Power, as be­lieving all Mankind besides to be their Vassals and Slaves: and therefore in the heighth of their over-soaring and pre­sumptuous Mortality, calling themselves Lords of the Earth, and Kings of Kings, which swelling Titles were derided in Alexander, tho' in the midd'st of his Vi­ctories, by his Followers better obser­ving the Laws of Nature and Reason. All this while they disregarded the equal distribution of Right and Propriety to any, and deny'd the Priviledge of Liber­ty to all, while most liv'd miserably, and contemptibly, none liv'd free. This un­happy Bondage the Europeans contemn'd. While Conon refus'd to worship the Per­sian Monarch in all his Glory,Just. l. 6. c. 2. and Manius the Consul, call'd the Asiatic Grecians, and Syrians. Liu. Hist. l. 36. Levissima Hominum Genera & Servituti nata. For here was no Safe­ty, no Security for the People, whose Lives were at the Mercy and Beck of one Man. They Till'd the Earth and La­bour'd only for him; they got Poste­rity only for him to sport away in the bloody Games of War and wilful Vexa­tion. Whereas in well Constituted Go­vernments, the People enjoying all those [Page 38]Priviledges with which they are satisfy'd themselves, by the same Law that war­rants their security are bound to pay the Homage of their Obedience to the Prince, for his continual Care of their safety. And Princes can claim a security of their own, without fear or hazard, which Tyrants in continual distrust and jeopardy are forc'd to hire and largely pay for. Thus if we consider the mighty Ottoman Empire, we find him indeed expanding his vast Dominion over the largest part of the habitable World, yet through those Violences which his Inhu­mane Constitutions of Self-safety com­mit against the Dictates of Nature and Primitive Reason, he may be said to be an Emperour rather over Solitudes and Desarts, and the wild Beasts that ravage the forsaken Habitations of Mankind, than the potent Lord of Numerous Ci­ties. He is indeed surrounded with po­pulous Guards; but what are they? the inforc'd Tribute of Christian Chil­dren through the neighbouring Territo­ries under his Subjection, who are more his Lords and Masters, than he theirs. If those his own Domesticated Lyons once begin to roar for want of Pay or other discontent, all his Majestic Titles [Page 39]tremble, and he must appease their fury with the Heads of his best beloved Fa­vourites. His Armies, a confus'd Rabble of several Nations brought together to stop the Mouths of Cannons, and over­bear his less powerful Adversaries with the weight of Multitude. In whom there is no faith or confidence neither, as not being reciprocally oblig'd by any Act of Kindness which his care confers upon them; and therefore following him for Fear, not Love. And then their own Thrones so tott'ring, that they ne­ver think 'em fix'd, till they have ce­mented them to the Floor with the Blood of their Brethren, or oblig'd their Stipendiaries with a Magnificent Over­plus, like Amurath the Third.Thuan. l. 104. And yet notwithstanding all their Care and Court­ship an Ibrahim lies strangled at the feet of his Stipendiaries. In a word, the Emperours Will is his Law, a Capricio lutestrings the most deserving of his Princes. And to preserve himself in this excess of Arbitrary Power, he deprives the People of their self-Defence, their Arms, and puts them under the domi­neering Mastership of Christian Apo­states. So that in short, all things are carry'd on for the sole benefit and advan­tage [Page 40]of the Tyrannical Monarch, with­out any regard to the good and welfare of the People; contrary to the true end of Law and Justice, which equally respects the good of all, and therefore advances the Shepherd, to take care of the Flock.

As for the Persian Monarch, it is ac­corded on all hands, that his Dominion is not altogether so uneasie to the Subject, however he is an absolute Tyrant, the People enjoying nothing of their own, but what is absolutely at the disposition of the Sophi. And the Constitution of the Go­vernment is wholly such as mainly aims at the profit of the Sovereign, with little regard to the safety and well-being of the People: nor is there any other me­thod or distribution of Publick or Com­mon Justice, but what lies solely in the breast of the Emperour. His Princes, like those of the Grand Turk, are his Slaves, and he sends for their Heads as he pleases himself upon the least jealousie or distast; nor does the Despotic Tyrant think himself oblig'd to give the World satisfaction for what he does. So that Sha Shephi is said to have carry'd his Sci­mitar always ready drawn in his bosom, to cut off the Heads of his Nobles upon [Page 41]every slight occasion. Yet is he for this never a whit the safer; as being harrass'd with frequent Rebellions of his Shans; and Emir Hemptza Mirza had the sad fate to have his Throat cut by his Bar­ber, by the Command of his great Offi­cers. Which is confirm'd by Thuanus in these words, speaking of the Persians, Crebrae inter eos contra principes suos con­jurationes; nec in Regia Familia inter fratres aut silios cum patribus Pietatis Offi­cia constant. So little does Arbitrary Power avail to the Security of a Prince.

The Great Mogul is said to be a meer Sponge, that sucks away all the Wealth of his chief Governours and Kans, after they have squeez'd out the very Heart-blood of the People. Who may be only said to Sow, the Kans to Reap, but the Mogul himself to inn the Harvest. And thus he supports his Grandeur by the Misery of his Subjects. And yet for all his Guard of 30000 Men watching Day and Night about his Person, he is forc'd to part with his Command sometimes to his rebellious Peers, sometimes to his un­dutiful Sons. And Aurangzeeb now holds, or lately held the Scepter of that vast Empire wrested out of his Father's hands.

[Page 42]The Ethiopian or Abissinian Poten­tate, commonly, tho' erroneously, call'd Prester John, is so absolute, that none of his Subjects, whether noble or plebeian, can claim any Propriety in what he en­joys. Which is the reason that they adore their Prince as their absolute Lord and Master, as being perfect Slaves to his Will and Pleasure. Yet notwith­standing all their absolute Dominion, none less secure in their Thrones than the Habessinian Monarchs. As the stories of Maenas, slain in battel by his rebellious Subject Bernagassus. Jacob, Crown'd, Depos'd, Recall'd, and Redepos'd by his own Nobility, and the frequent Re­bellions against one of the best of their Emperours, Susneus, sufficiently declare. Fatal Documents that the slavery of Sub­jects is no such protection to regal Power, as vainly some imagin.

Thus it appears upon what Founda­tions stands the absolute Dominion of the Asiatic and Ethiopian Monarchs. Their Subjects are made a Prey, as having no refuge to the Sanctuary of known Laws, and Soldiers of Fortune are the Pillars upon which they depend. For it is necessary that the Power of Princes be sustain'd by the Love of their Subjects, [Page 43]or of others: for he that is fear'd by all can assure himself of no long continu­ance. But when Tyrants can promise to themselves nothing of security from their Subjects, whom they treat as their Slaves, there is a necessity for them to guard themselves with Forraign armed Forces; and to merit their favour, to allow them their full swinge of preying upon, and insulting over their Subjects. Thus the Turk supports himself by Jani­zaries, who know not only no other Lord, but indeed scarce any other Fa­ther than himself, and therefore he indulges them in all things to preserve their affe­ction. And the Kings of Ormus, Cam­baya, Decan and Achen commit the ma­nagement of their Affairs to their Slaves. Whereas a lawful and just Prince takes care to be belov'd by his own Subjects, as being the safest. Bulwark against his external and domestic Enemies. Nor is there any better or securer way to gain the Affections of a People, than by pro­tecting them under the rules of their an­cient Customs and Constitutions.

The Europeans are of a more fierce and haughty temper, and were always more impatient of servitude. Tho' some of them much more than others. In which va­riety [Page 44]we may easily observe those Princes most secure, where the Laws and Con­stitutions of the Realm are most sincere­ly adapted for the preservation and wel­fare of the People.

The Spaniard takes the first care of himself, in the next place indulges his Nobility, and takes the least care of his People. The Nobility and Clergy get all, being altogether Tribute free; the People lose all, being so intolerably bur­den'd that they are forc'd to forsake the Tillage of their Country,Olden­burgh. T. 1. p. 166. not being able to support their Families. Hence a scar­city of the People, and the strength of the Kingdom weakn'd. Hence the Ca­stilians out of their natural Pride no great Lovers, somtimes contemners of their Prince.

The Arragonians cannot forget the loss of their ancient priviledges. The Catalomians impatient of their Subje­ction, as they have made apparent by their late revolts. The Neapolitans, Sicilians and Milaneses unfaithful and tottering upon all opportunities; as find­ing themselves reduc'd to misery to enrich their Oppressors. And what he has got by the neglect of his People, and by Riding with so strict a Curb, is suffici­ently [Page 45]known to the most meanly read in modern History.

As for the Portugals, the Scope of their ancient Government was the joynt regard equally both of the Prince and Peoples safety;Olden. T. 1. p. 370. for som time interrupted under the Spanish Usurpation, but after­wards restor'd by John of Braganca. Therefore such is their Love to their na­tural Princes, such their hatred of the Castilian, that Thuanus said of them, in quorum animis incertum plus ad insaniam us (que) improbus in reges suos amor, Lib. 126. circa fin. cum im­placabile Hispani nominis odium valeat. Him they Defend, him they Adore and Honour, because under him they live in plenty and freedom govern'd by just and equal Laws. And if their Country be not over-abounding in People, it is to be attributed partly to the heat of the Climate, but more especially to their draining their own Country to supply their great Navies, and more beneficial acquists in other parts of the World.

And that the safety of Prince and Peo­ple are equally sought in that Nation, appears by the Laws to which King Phi­lip was sworn in the year 1580. Nor is it a mean sign that the Laws are good and wholsome, when they agree with the [Page 46]Constitution of the People. The health and soundness of a Common-weal ap­pears in the health and vigour of its par­ticular Members. It being the Maxim of Tyranny, only to keep the Subject poor. To which auri vis, Arist. l. 5. pol. c. 11. Annal. l. 11. c. 1. & opes infensae, saith Tacitus. Nero never gave to any Favorite any great employment, but he added, Thou knowst what we want. Let us take care, Sueton in Neron. ne quis quidquam habeat. And it is a Proverb relating to the great Turk, That where he has once trampl'd, there neither grow Leaves nor Grass. On the other side, we find with what a tor­rent the Portugals bore down all before e'm to recover their ancient Laws, and the Soveraignty of their lawful Princes, from the servitude and oppres­sion of the Spaniards; insomuch, that when the Duke of Braganca had once declar'd his mind, the revolt was uni­versal, and with such a rapid motion, that one single day determin'd the con­tention with little blood; so swift and astonishing was the surprize. Nor must we forget how impatiently this Nation bow'd under Usurpation; how hainous­ly they bore the exilement of his present Majesty, and the loss of their ancient Liberties, almost buryed in a most im­pious [Page 47]Tyranny, not ceasing till they had recover'd both their Prince and their Laws, to the unspeakable joy of the whole Kingdom.

In France the King is Absolute and Arbitrary. His word is the Law. He may thank Lewis the XI. for laying the Foundations, and Richlieu and Maza­rine for perfecting the work. However,Olden. T. 2. as it is brought about, the Final cause of the French Government, at present, is the Grandeur of the Monarch; for the support of which, the welfare of the People is but trampled under Foot. The King squeezes with his Exactions, the great Lords and Gentry for their Rents, till the Commonalty are reduc'd to ut­most penury. For which reason France is compar'd to a most flourishing plain, that feeds innumerable Flocks of Sheep, which are to be fleec'd when the Shep­herd pleases. He is never safer than when he is in War, to keep his haughty Nobility from hatching mischief. But his own Subjects being so cow'd and out of heart for Infantry, he is forc'd to hire among his Neighbours, and Skins the servile Peasant for their pay: by that means dilating his Territories to the in­tolerable detriment of his enslav'd Peo­ple. [Page 48]Only they are happy, because they know no better.

In Swedeland it is quite otherwise;Olden. T. 2. for there the King is bound to govern by the Laws of the Country, which he has no power to alter without the consent of the People. So that the Character of the Swedish Government is this, That it aims more at the welfare of the Subject than the Interest of the Prince. And therefore it is observed, that no Com­monalty in the World live more happy than they. Which renders them stout defenders of their Country, and formi­dable to the most formidable of their Neighbours.

The Danish Government regards the Common Interest of the People, who are govern'd by the ancient Laws of the Country; which the King is sworn to observe at his Coronation. Therefore the People thrive, and live in a plentiful and flourishing condition.

Whether the English imbib'd their love of Liberty from their ancient Ancestors the Danes, is not material here to dis­cuss. Yet certainly no Nation under Heaven enjoys those Rights, those Pri­viledges, that uncontroul'd Propriety with more ample provision, and careful [Page 49]circumspection of Law, or a more equal ballance between the Prince and the Subject, than the People of England; which makes them jealous of their in­fringement, sometimes even to excess. For the Laws of England are made with the consent of the People themselves. By which means they prevent the impo­sing any oppressive Burden upon their own Shoulders. So that it may well be said, that the safety and security of the English People, their Lives, their Liber­ties, and peculiar Proprieties, are as it were entrusted to the Guardianship, and deposited in the keeping and defence of Laws and Constitutions of their own framing. Not of yesterday, but deriv'd from the provisions of distinct Legisla­tors and Princes, from the most ancient to these present times, carefully delibe­rated and debated among the most emi­nent for Wisdom and Counsel in the Nation. The want of Laws in the great­est part of those Governments already recited sufficiently declare, how little the People have to trust to, that are only govern'd by Will and Power. On the other side, those People who are go­vern'd by Kings, not Tyrants, are the most happy; and those Kings approach [Page 52]nearest to the King of Kings, who govern like Shepherds not like Wolves. Which is the reason that David calls God himself the Shepherd of Israel. Now then the Common good being the Rule and Quadran of good Government, the better the Laws are, and the more they tend to the Com­mon good, their ultimate end, the bet­ter must that Government be; in regard that where the Law is predominant, the Common good can receive no injury: and where the Common good is so secur'd, there the People are safe in all things that concern their Civil welfare. And in this appears the excellency of those Laws that mainly design the common Benefit, that they resemble nearest the Laws of God, whose Dispensations of Justice were the same to the Peasant as to the Prince. And as it was most certainly a greater Prerogative of the Hebrew Kings above all other Kings and Monarchs whatso­ever, that they govern'd by the Law of God, so does it not admit of much dis­pute, whether the Monarchs of England may not claim a Prerogative of the same kind over all other Potentates, by go­verning by a Law, the nearest to Divine of any extant: more justly far deserving the Title of most Christian Kings, than [Page 53]they who glory only in commanding nu­merous swarms of Slaves. But where the National Constitutions of a Kingdom have so interwoven and twisted the In­terest of Prince and People, that they are inseparable without detriment to both, there the Laws are the safety of the Prince, and the security of the People; and as the ballance kept but duly even, ren­der's the Obligation and reciprocal relati­on between the one and the other indis­soluble, so it perpetuates their mutual happiness and tranquility.

Now the People claim their security by the Law from the equal distribution of Justice, the preservation of their Freedom and Proprieties, and protect­ing the publick Peace from Tumult and Disorder. On the other side, the Prince expects all due Obedience from the Peo­ple in the execution of the Law, and an exact condescension to his just Preroga­tives, without which his Authority les­sens, and grows into contempt. The Laws of England ordain to these ends, a limited Authority to the Prince, and a consin'd freedom to the Subject; there­by providing at one and the same time, for the safety of the Prince and the se­curity of the People. For it is as equally [Page 52]dangerous and wicked for the People to deny the Prince his just Prerogatives, as it is of ill consequence to deny the People their Freedoms warranted by the National and Fundamental Laws of the Land. We are then to believe that the Princes just Prerogatives, and the Peo­ples safety, are the common Good of this Nation; and that their Lives and For­tunes equally depend upon those Pro­visions which the Law has so equally made for the security of the whole Body of the Commonweal, of which the So­veraign Prince is the Head.

It is one of the Excellencies then of the English Laws, that they provide for the Common good, which is the end of all true Law. For this is the general Axiom, That the Reason and Substance of Law, demands that every part should be fram'd for the Common Benefit,Greg. Lop. in l. 9. [...]t. 1. part 1. which was the Condition that Alphonsus King of Spain requir'd also in his Laws. And thus it is understood by the Interpreters of the Civil Law, who affirm that the Law is a common Precept, respecting the Benefit of all. Aristotle observes, that the chief end of a Commonweal is to live well and happily. And therefore adds,Ethied. 4. c. 1. That the Laws are to be accommoda­ted [Page 53]to the Commonweal, not the Common­weal to the Laws. In my opinion, saith Plato, the Law is made for Benefits sake, In Dialog. Hippias. as intended by the Legislator to be the su­pream happiness of a Commonweal; for the Law being taken away, there is no well be­ing in a City. And in another place he shews at large, that the end of Law is the common safety and felicity. And Plutarch tells us,In Pro­blem. tit. 40. That Laws are then ac­compted good and wholsome when they procure the public Benefit.

Which is evident from the most sacred Laws of the Almighty. For though they be ordain'd to the honour of God (for that God cannot will any thing without himself; nor operate, but for himself) yet in those Laws the great Monarch of Monarchs, seeks not his own Benefit, but the good and felicity of Mankind.Suarez l. 1. c. 7. Which then also the Laws of Man most nearly imitate, when they drive nearest to the same Perfection. Therefore as Laws are impos'd upon a Community, so are they to be fram'd for the good of that Com­munity: otherwise they are irregular. For it is against all rectitude and justice, to direct the Common good to private Interest, or to make the whole relate to the part, for the parts sake. And there­fore [Page 56]when the Law is fram'd for a public Society, the good of that Society ought primarily and principally to be procur'd. The same thing is apparent from the Or­der of small Causes. For the end ought to be proportionate to the act, its begin­ning, and its virtual efficacy. Now the Law is the common rule of moral acti­ons; and therefore the first principle of moral actions ought to be the first begin­ning of the Law. For in Morals, the End is the beginning of Operation, and so the ultimate end is the first beginning of such Operations: But common good and felicity is the ultimate end of a Commonweal; therefore, that also ought to be the beginning of the Law, and therefore the Law ought to aim at the Common good.

This is illustrated by St. Austin, who collecting a Consequence, from the Re­lation of the part to the whole, argues, that a Master of a Family ought to take his pattern from the public Laws, and so to govern his House, as to be con­formable and agreeable to the public Peace. Therefore ought the public Laws to give a good Example of public Bene­fit, and common Safety, that Domestic Government may not be ruin'd by a bad President.

[Page 57] Suarez brings another reason from the Original of Law, For that the ruling power which is in Men, is either imme­diately from God, as in spiritual Power; or from men, as in Power purely tem­poral. But both ways,Suarez l. 1. c. 7. such Authority is given for the public advantage of all in general. For therefore are the Rulers of the Church call'd Pastors, because it behoves them to lay down their Lives for their Sheep; and Dispencers, not Lords, and Ministers, not Primary causes; and therefore they are oblig'd to be con­formable to the Divine Intention in the use of such Authority. Therefore also are the supream Magistrates call'd the Mi­nisters of the Public: as not being cre­ated for their own benefit, but for the advantage of them from whom they de­rive their Power. They are also call'd the Ministers of God, and therefore ought to use the Power entrusted in their hands in imitation of the King of Kings, who in his Government, solely respects the common good of Mankind. For which reason St. Basil makes this distin­ction between a Tyrant and a King, that the one seeks his own proper advantages, the other labours chiefly for the common good and benefit of all his Subjects; not [Page 56]excluding himself, as being the supream Member, and consequently the first that ought to share in the publick and gene­ral Emolument.

The reason why so few People attain this summum bonum of Government, ap­pears by the ways of practizing Domini­on already recited; the want of a due poyse between Rule and Subjection. For in the Arbitrary Eastern Monarchies, the People are altogether Slaves, and may be only said to live, not to live with any comfort or enjoyment of themselves. In the Elective Kingdom of Poland, the No­bility carry such an unbridl'd sway, that the King is but a Cypher, a King and no King; which subjects the Royal Sove­raignty to such an insufferable Bondage, that the Title is hardly worth the accep­tance of an English Knight. A King in subjection to many Kings. And all this while the People live miserably under the Slavery of a many-headed Tyranny.

The Emperor is so overmaster'd by his Golden Bull, and so hamper'd with Ele­ctors and Dyets, that in the most emer­gent affairs, the slowness of deliberati­on, many times renders him useless to his Friends, and his Authority cumber­some to himself. So that he never moves [Page 57]but like a Clock, when his weights are hung on. Such clogs upon Soveraignty, are frequently the ruine of great At­chievments. Neither do the Laws of God any where enjoyn the Kings of Judah when they should make either War or Peace.

The Ephori were added as a check to the Lacedemonian Kings. Which tho' it grieved the Wife of Theopompus, who upbraided her Husband for suffering such an Eclipse of his Authority, yet was not Theopompus of her mind; who re­turn'd her answer, So much the greater, by how much the more lasting. And this Remedy saith Plutarch, was invented by the Lacedaemonians, to prevent the evil accidents and ruine that befell the Kings of the Messenians and Argines, who lost all for obstinately refusing to condescend a little to the Grievances of the Peo­ple.Plut. in vit. Lyc.

The Romans were terribly pester'd about keeping the ballance even between the People and the supream Magistrate. For after they had ingratefully thrown out the Regal Government, which had laid the Foundations of all their Gran­deur, they betook themselves to their Annual Consuls; but when the Nobi­lity [Page 60]had engross'd that Office to them­selves, the Plebeians began to wince at their Oppression, and departing to Mount Aventino, threatned the Roman Nobility to forsake the City unless they releas'd them of their Burthens. There­upon the Tribunes of the People were in­vented to be Protectors of the Com­mons (for I omit the Consular Pretors and Decemvirs, as of no continuance) but their Power was over-large, and they rastl'd with Authority at too high a rate. Sometimes the Tribunes, saith Tacitus, were mutinous and head-strong, sometimes the Consuls prevail'd, whence Civil bloodshed and slaughter, even in the heart of the City. Till at length Marius one of the meanest rank of Ple­beians, and Sylla the most cruel of the Nobility, turn'd the Roman Liberty, van­quish'd at length by both their Arms, into Arbitrary Dominion. After which, no other Contests but those of Ambiti­on. So that it is apparent that the Ro­mans lost their Liberty for want of the Tribunes prudent management of the Ballance which was put into their hands, whereas the Ephori knew the Limits of their own Authority, as well as the Bounds of that Power to which they [Page 61]were appointed as Assistants and Mode­rators.

Nor is this Equilibrium in Government an airy Notion or Idea; It may easily be found in the moderation of our own Laws, wherein there is that veneration of Just Prerogative, and that care of the Peoples Rights and Liberties, that did not sometimes Popular Affectation, sometimes the Ambition of evil Mini­stry shog the Beam, it would be a diffi­cult thing for Soveraignty to find an oc­casion to complain, or subjection to mur­mur. And for this excellency of our Laws, we are chiefly beholding to the prudence and moderation of our own Princes. Two such Celestial Virtues, that of the whole Succession of Roman Emperors, they render'd only Vespasian, his Son Titus, and Antoninus Pius the most Illustrious Monuments of the Im­perial Dignity. Neither is good Go­vernment any other thing than Justice by another name; which is always pictur'd with an even Ballance in her hand. And that high Character sounds like somewhat immortal, given of Hiero King of Sicily, that he was, justus in negotio, in imperio moderatus. Of whom Livy also reports,Justin. l. 23 c. 24. that he would have made the Romans [Page 60]his Heirs, that he might leave the Syra­cusans in the same Liberty which for fifty years he had maintain'd among them.l. 24. c. 4. In all which time his Subjects had not beheld him nor his Son Gelo, aut vestis habitu, Justin. l. 7. c. 6.16. aut alio ullo insigni differentes. And it is reckon'd among the Elogies of Philip of Macedon, that he was not only moderatus, verum etiam mitis adversos victos. It is farther said of Valerius Pob­licola, that when he was advanc'd to the highest degree of Roman Honour, he lessen'd his own Authority by degrees, that the Law of the whole City might appear more free. To which we may add the saying of Theopompus, a King himself, who being ask'd by his Intimate, which was the most severe method for a Prince to preserve his Dignity, made an­swer, If he made his Friends sharers of his Prerogative and Authority, and took care that no injury were done to his Subjects.

Nor can any thing more brightly il­lustrate the moderation of ancient Le­gislators, than the Laws themselves which they have left behind, so easie and gen­tle, so tender of Life and Limb, so in­dulgent to reputation, so strict in the pre­servation of Liberty and Propriety, so [Page 61]equal to the highest, to the lowest, to the most wealthy and the poorest, that if they fail of their aim, the Common good and welfare of All, 'tis when they fall in­to the hands of bad interpretation, and such as wrest their sincere and just inten­tion. Which creates no little astonish­ment in the brests of many judicious men, that the Remedy of their strictness should be so highly advanc'd, which frequently proves worse than the Disease, and proves oft-times more fatal both to Purse and Person, than the most grie­vous sentence, that lies in their Power to pronounce. The main blot in the fair Scutcheon of our English Constitu­tions. Tho' there may sometimes hap­pen another misfortune to their Noble Characters, when Ecclesiastical jealousie seeks to gall the People with spiritual Im­positions, or Temporal for the sake of spiritual Interest; by which means the Yoke of Christ, by himself asserted to be light and easie, is made like Reho­boams little Finger, thicker than the Loyns of humane Sanction.

Pulton, the Laborious Collector of all the Fundamental Laws and Statutes of the Kingdom, highly extols them be­yond the Constitutions of the Roman [Page 64]Emperours, and of all other Nations. And before him the Great and Learned Fortescue was also of the same Judgment, who prefers the Law of England far be­yond the Civil Edicts. But above all, nothing commends it more than that it preserves the Rights and Liberties of the Subject inviolable, and is of that nature that as the same Fortescue affirms, the Prince himself cannot change them with­out the Consent of his Subjects, Delaud. Leg. Ang. c. 9. nor charge them with strange Impositions against their wills. For which reason the People frankly and freely enjoy and occupy their own Goods, being rul'd by such Laws as they desire. Therefore saith he, rejoyce O Soveraign Prince, and be glad that the Law of your Realm wherein you shall succeed, is such. For it shall procure to you and your People no small security and comfort. With such Laws should all mankind have bin govern'd if in Paradise they had not transgress'd. With such Laws was the Synagogue rul'd, while it serv'd under God only as King, who adopted the same to him for a peculiar Kingdom. Concluding with a short Me­morandum of the wealthy and flourishing Condition of the Jews under their good Kings, and the Misery and Captivity that attended wilful and Arbitrary Idolatry.

[Page 65]St. Austins Definition of a People may be rightly apply'd to the English Nation;De civit. Dei, l. 19 A People, saith he, is a multitude of Men associated by the consent of the Law, and Communion of publick Benefit. Which as it is most certainly true of the English Nation, so may it farther be said, that this same Body of Men thus Incorpora­ted within this Island, has from the first beginning had that peculiar Felicity ne­ver to have had any other Head but what wore a Royal Diadem. And these Laws which are the Guard and Muni­ments of the Common Good, may be said to have bin compil'd by a grand Sanhedrim of Soveraign Potentates, West Saxon, Danish, Northumbrian, Mercian, Ina, Ethelwolph, Cednulph, Alfred, Athel­stan, Edwin and Canute, every one throw­ing the Royal Contributions of his par­ticular Cares and Studies into the pub­lick Treasury of the Common Good; which being the Act and Deed of Sove­raignty it self, it cannot be thought that Regal Power was regardless of its just Prerogative, or that Edward the Con­fessor would have bin so chary of them to collect and reduce them into one Bo­dy, and leave them as a sacred Relieque to the prejudice of his Successors. And [Page 64]from thence our Fundamental Laws de­rive their illustrious Descent, and may therefore justly claim the Title of High­born, contriv'd by Soveraign Princes, as well for their own safety as the Peo­ples security. Which being at length made publick with the unanimous con­sent and approbation of the Peoples Suffragans; there was nothing binding to the Prince, but what Princes had al­ready condescended to; and nothing impos'd upon the People, but what themselves thought necessary and con­venient.

To come to particulars, first in refe­rence to the safety of the Prince; those good and famous Monarchs of our own gave ample testimonies, that they were not ignorant what procures the Honour and Esteem, what the ill will of the Subject. And therefore in the first place, none were more devout according to the knowledge of those times, none greater observers and setlers of Religi­on, and none more bountiful enlargers of the Churches Priviledges. And in regard the next Applause belongs to them who best provide for the Civil Go­vernment, therefore they took care to make good Laws, that by them they [Page 65]might govern well. For as they have justly merited immortal Honours who have bin the Establishers of Religion and good Government, so none have clouded their Memories with greater in­famy, then the Contemners of Religion, the Subverters of establish'd Govern­ment, and Oppressors of the People. For it is but the Counterfeit Glitter and Delusion of false Honour, that capti­vates the Ambitious, and enslaves them to the desire of enslaving others; and mounts their unruly passions rather to an affectation of upbraided Tyranny, then renowned and God-like Kingship. And yet there is that shame of ignominy, and that eager thirst after what is most praise-worthy among Men, that the worst of Tyrants would sooner be ac­compted Agesilaus's, Timoleon's and Dio's, then Nabis's, Phalaris's and Dionysius's.

Nor shall we find that Timoleon and the rest, had less Authority in their se­veral Dominions, then Phalaris or Dio­nysius; but this is certain, they liv'd in much more safety and security. If we consider the difference between those Roman Emperors, and virtuous Princes that rul'd according to Law, and those that took a contrary course, Story is [Page 66]full of the never dying Encomiums of Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Antoninus, who needed not the Guard of Praetorian Bands, nor the Defence of armed Legions to secure them, as being sufficiently defended by their own Justice and Moderation, the Affection of the People, and Love of the Senate; whereas all the Power of the Roman Empire could not save Caligula, Nero, Vitellius, and those others like themselves from those mortal Enemies which their own depraved Lusts and Tyranny rais'd to their destruction; the most abandon'd of Men at their Falls. Which was the reason, that of twenty six Emperors from Caesar to Maximus, sixteen came to untimely and unfortu­nate Ends. Land-marks sufficiently visi­ble, whereby to discover the happy Road of Honour and Security, from the Sands and Shelves of Reproach and ti­morous Anxiety. It is a pleasure to dwell in History under the Raigns of those virtuous Emperors, which give us a full view of Princes, safe and secure in the midst of their secure and faithful Subjects; the World flourish'd in Peace and Justice; the Senate enjoy'd their Authority; the Magistrates their due Ho­nours, [Page 67]the People grew Rich and Weal­thy; Virtue and Nobility was exalted; and fear only possess'd the Gates of the Enemy. Reverence, Obedience, and the Peoples Hearts, were the Princes sa­tisfaction; Freedom and Security the People's. On the other side, under the Lawless Raign of Will and Tyranny, behold the World all in dismal Com­bustion, there War and Bloodshed, here Tumult and Sedition, Cities dis-peopled, Rapes and Adulteries Triumphant, Guards doubl'd, the Prince in perpetual Fears and Jealousies, in continual disquiet and distrust; the People mad and raging, and unruly as the inundations of the unfetter'd Ocean: and in a word, no­thing but disorder and confusion, till the gaping Jaws of Ruine swallow All.

And therefore it is recorded of Nu­ma, Plut. in vit. Num. so highly eminent for his Justice and Affection to his People, that during all his Raign, there was neither War nor Sedition, nor so much as the least com­motion that tended to a Tumult. Which was the reason of Plato's assertion, That it was impossible to move the Throne of that Prince, in whom a Philosophers mind and Regal Supremacy met toge­ther. On the contrary, it is said of Ti­berius, [Page 68]Non Fortuna, Tacit. An­nal. l. 6. c. 6. non Solitudines pro­legebant, quin Tormenta pectoris suasque ipse paenas fateretur. Therefore, saith Cicero, Fear is an ill preserver of Diutur­nity, but love and respect is faithful, and to Perpetuity. And from hence it was, that when the Poets represented, in the person of Jove, a wise and virtuous Prince, they brought him in, attended by Obedience and Equity; but when they make him a Tyrant, they associate with him Injury and Fear. And Juvenal setting forth the unsafe Condition of Arbitrary Pomp, and the perillous E­state of Tyranny, goes a great way in two lines,

Ad generum Cereris,
Sat. 10.112.
sine caede & vul­nere pau [...]
Descendunt Reges & sicca morte Ty­rann [...]

Reges being there taken abusive, in the same sense with Tyranni.

But the words and sentence of a King are of greater force. Therefore let us hear the determination of Ferdinand of Arragon, [...]uan. l. [...]. 4. who marry'd Isabella of Castil [...]. It was a part of the Arragonian Constitu­tions at that time, that if the King went [Page 69]about to violate the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom, it might be lawful for the Nobility to create another in his room. This seem'd very severe to the Castilians; and therefore they advis'd Ferdinand to abolish that Law, as pre­judicial to Royal Dignity. But Ferdi­nand reply'd, That he was bound by the sacred Oath which he had taken, from do­ing any such thing. Besides, that he was of Opinion, that the safety of a King and Kingdom was secur'd by the equal poise of Power; and that if at any time it hap­pen'd, that the Power of the one out-hal­lanc'd the other, that without doubt the ruine of the one or the other would ensue. And it is recorded of Augustus Caesar, That when he listen'd to the Advice of his Wife Julia, and govern'd by the Law,Dio in vit. Au­gust. that he was from thenceforth free from Conspiracies, and that the People and Senate were always after that faithful and obedient to him. Which was also Escovedo's Counsel to John of Austria, Governour of the Spanish Netherlands; telling him withal, that he could never be safe among those, who were not safe from his own Ministers: for that Secu­rity was to be obtain'd by mutual Secu­rity. S [...]ada l. 9. circa princip.

[Page 70]And indeed the Kingly Office (made and ordain'd for the defence of the Law of the Subjects,Fortes Cur. de Laud. leg. Angl. c. [...] their Bodies and Goods, to which end a Prince receives Power of his People, so that he cannot govern his People by any other Law) is of that vast and high importance to the preser­vation of Mankind, especially consider'd according to those Appellations which are given to virtuous Princes, for the reasons aforesaid, that nothing in the World ought more to oblige the Sub­ject to the perfect awe and reverence of it, as well for their own as the Princes sake. Which awe and reverence, while it continues towards the Dignity, it is impossible but that the Person must be secure and safe in all respects. For while Princes govern by the Fundamental Laws of Justice and Equity, they are not only impal'd with the defence of a Loy­al People, but under the promis'd Pro­tection of God himself. Their Justice and Moderation demands both Honour and Veneration; their Vigilancy Obe­dience and Loyalty. In this respect all Virtuous Princes, that seek the prospe­rity and felicity of the People under their charges, are call'd by Homer, [...], Shepherds of the People. [Page 71]And certainly it would be the highest Iniquity imaginable for the Sheep to re­bel or murmur against a Shepherd, that sought nothing more then the common welfare of them all, and never shear'd them, but when the Tribute of their Fleeces was justly due. For which rea­son Pindarus calls the Royal Dignity [...], an Honour given to Princes for nourishing and cherishing the People. He also calls Apollo [...],Olymph. Ode 6. and Acastus [...], Inspectors, Overseers, or Guardians of Delos, Nemeor. Ode 5. and the Magnetes, denoting the cares and continual watchings that attend upon true Kingly Government; which is also the Character given of it by Homer,


And for these reasons is Royal Soveraign­ty the highest Dignity among mortal men. For the Title of Emperour is only a nominal, no real difference. Where­fore Pindarus speaking of Jamus, the Ancestor of Agesias, that he was as great as Man could be. Some, saith he, are more eminent then others, but he, [...], had attain'd to the utmost extent of Honour, as being in [Page 72]the number of Kings. It was the pub­lick Benefit which Men receiv'd by the Glorious Actions of the Ancient Hero's, that made them ascribe Divine Honours to their deceased persons. And the same Virtues in all just and virtuous Princes produce the same Effects of Veneration and Reverence, Obedience and Loyalty in all good Subjects. A King thus arm'd with his own Virtues, and for their sakes, with the Hearts and Affections of his People, may justly warrant that Axiom of the King of the Argines in Aeschylus, In Trag. H [...]erti­des.


The Awe and Terrour of Princes is hard­ly to be imagin'd.

And yet he was none of those that lawlesly controul'd; for presently after, saith he,

I will perswade the Common Good.

From all that has bin said, it plainly ap­pears wherein the true and diuturnal se­curity and repose of a Soveraign Prince mainly and principally consist. In which particular, the Laws of England cannot [Page 73]be said to have bin any way defective; as having extended their power all along to their own satisfaction; rather have they bin so tender of it, that they would not suffer the Pope to make his Ecclesi­astical [...]oachments upon it, even in the most flourishing Estate of Papal Usurpotical. Which was never admit­ted in England, but only when the De­sertion of his Barons expos'd King John to the Exorbitancy of Papal Triumph.

To deseend to the cause, and primum mobile of the Subjects security, none can be found more apparent then good Laws, including Justice and Freedom; And he that is the Soveraign of a People so go­vern'd, may be rightly said to be as Aga­memmon is frequently stil'd by Homer, [...], the King of Men. Which cannot be thought to be, where Arbi­trary Will only controuls a multitude of Slaves.

Therefore, says the famous Pindar, [...]

The foundation of Cities is firm Ju­stice, and Peace accomplish'd with her Virtues, the Dispencers of Riches to Men, the Golden Daughters of consi­derate Thenis. Olymp. Ode 13. And praising the City of Opus, the Metropolis of the Locrians, [Page 74] [...]. Which Themis, and her Sisters good Government, the preserver of Common Weals, took into their pro­tection. And in another place, extol­ling the City of Aetna for its freedom, which is the other main happiness of a Kingdom, [...]. To whom, meaning his Son, Hiero gave that City which he had built, and endow'd with Divine Liberty, according to the Stan­dard of the Laconic Laws. Taking an occasion to commend the Constitutions the Aetnean Commonweal, from the Excellency of its Government founded in Justice and Liberty, after the example of Lacedaemon, then accompted the most exact Form of Dominion in the World; and therefore by the Poet stil'd the Stan­dard of all other Governments.

Certainly the Government of England cannot be thought to stand upon a slight Foundation, that has stood so long upon the single Basis of her own Laws. And it is observable, that then England first began to flourish, when the Laws, being reduc'd into one Body, were under the execution and care of one Universal Mo­narch. Nor could the Breach of Nor­man [Page 75]Conquest hinder the Chasin of long enjoy'd Liberty, from uniting again, and closing it self more firmly with the Ce­ment of its former Constitutions; cal­culated by so many Kings of this Island for the Meridian of English Freedom.

To come to particulars; the Statutes are made not only by the Princes plea­sure, but also by the Assent of the whole Realm; so that of necessity they must procure the Wealth of the People, and in no wise tend to their hindrance: and it cannot be thought but that they are replenish'd with much prudence and wis­dom, seeing that they are ordain'd not by the Providence and Deliberation of one Man alone, but of more then five hundred chosen persons.

And here now in the distribution of Justice between Man and Man, the Ex­cellency of the English above the Civil Laws, is manifest from hence, that the Issue of the Plea is not try'd by the Depo­sition of two Witnesses only, according to the proceedings of the Civil Law, but the Truth of the matter must ap­pear evident to the Judge, by the Oaths of Twelve men, Neighbours to the place. For that Man may well be thought to be the Master of little Cunning or [Page 76]Industry, that cannot find two persons, who either for fear, for love or profit, will not be ready to contradict the Truth. Nor is it so easie a thing to dis­prove the affirmative, or to expose the wicked Lives and Conversations of per­sons altogether unknown.

The second Excellency of the English Laws derives it self from the Equitable proceeding, or at least, intention of the Law in the Election and Swearing of Jurors. Who when the parties are come to the Issue of the Plea upon matter of Fact, are by Writ directed to the She­riff of the County, by him to be chosen, good and lawful Men, Neigh­bours to the place where the Fact is sup­pos'd to be done. Upon their atten­dance, either party may refuse them, upon the reasonable Allegations of Fa­vour or Affection in the Return. Which Exceptions proving true, the Pannel shall be quash'd, and another Writ directed to the Coroner for the Return of a new Pannel. And if that be found faulty, the Judges shall appoint two Clerks of the same Court, who upon their Oaths are bound to make up an indifferent Pannel, which shall be challeng'd by nei­ther party; yet notwithstanding all this, [Page 77]either of the parties has the liberty to make his particular Exceptions against the person of any, if they can tax him either of Alliance, Friendship, or any other warrantable suspition of preju­dice; upon which the name of the per­son shall be cancell'd in the Pannel. Moreover, they must have Lands or Re­venues for term of Life at the least, to the yearly value of Forty shillings, lest for need or poverty such Jurors might be corrupt and suborn'd. Being thus admitted and sworn to Impartiality, their determination of the matter is call'd a Verdict, or Verum dictum, a true Report.

Here it is evident, that the final Cause of this Constitution, is the determinati­on of Controversie as much as can be devis'd, to the satisfaction as well of the loser as of the gainer. For in regard every man is apt to believe his own cause to be the justest, he can have no reason to be discontented, when he finds himself convinc'd by a fair Tryal, and the true report of so many good and sub­stantial Men; of whose Probitie he has as it were, the winnowing and sifting, be­fore he is bound to submit to their Ar­bitrement. The same method, or very [Page 78]little different, is observ'd in Criminal Proceedings. So that no Man can be condemn'd either in Life, Forfeiture, or any other poenal Punishment, unless so many men, whose integrity and probity cannot be impeach'd, be upon their Oaths, and upon mature deliberation fully evinc'd of the Merits of his Crime.

By this means the Lives and Estates of the People of this Nation are in a great measure secur'd. For that no man can be depriv'd of his Possessions, if his Te­nure be just. Nor is his Life or Liberty liable to the blasts of Arbitrary breath. So that the Courts of Justice are as it were publick Registers, ready to give an Accompt of all the particular Actions and demeanour of the Law. Insomuch that the Law it self may in a manner be said to be upon its Good Behaviour. And therefore it behoves every Jury­man and every Evidence, to be in the highest degree careful how they mislead the intent of the Law, since he may have need at one time or other, of the same Justice himself. And he is to con­sider that his own Verdict is the fence and pale of all his fellow Subjects Right and Liberty. And that he is guilty of all the mischief which shall ensue, who [Page 79]opens the least Gap for Injury and In­justice to break in upon Right and Free­dom; and that thereby he violates the intent of the Law, which is the com­mon good as well of himself as of all the rest. For Injury and Injustice are of the Nature with Quick-silver; which upon a smooth and polish'd Table can­not take the least advantage, but where it finds the most diminutive chink, there it harbours and corrodes. Hence we may conclude, that there are not two things more pernicious to the Probity of English Verdicts, then Ignorance and Faction. For the end of Juries being to distribute equal Justice for the publick security, Ignorance not knowing when she does well or ill, must of necessity be guilty of many gross and foul trans­gressions, while not understanding their value, she sports away the Jewels of other Men, as Children play away their Parents Jacobus's. Therefore the Law has with solemn prudence provided, that none should be the Judges of Estate and Liberty, but such as enjoy both. And therefore if others are put upon that employment, whose familiarity with Beggery values not Estate, or whose ab­ject Spirit matters not Liberty, 'tis the [Page 80]miscarriage of Execution, not of the Law it self. Which many times may prove dreadful in the conclusion, even to Po­sterity.

Nor is Faction less dangerous, which seldom makes a true construction of the Law, but carries along with it prejudice, and an opiniater'd Zeal for byass'd Inte­rest to the Bar. Thus a Ghibelline is a fore­judg'd Offender right or wrong, in the breast of a Guelph. And a Guelph is fore-condemn'd without any farther con­sideration, by the Verdict of a Ghibel­line. So that where persons are brought to Trials, where they who try believe themselves cock-sure of a Jury for their Turn, those cannot properly be said to be Trials, but only the Formalities of Trials. And Jurors that go with a pre­meditated good-will or aversion to such a Trial, may not be said to give a Ver­dict, but to follow the dictates of Pas­sion and Affection, more frequently in the wrong, then in the right; as being carry'd like floating and unfix'd pieces of Timber, which way soever the Stream runs. And therefore what is done by Faction cannot be said to be a Law. For it brings the World into confusion; while one thing shall be accompted law­ful [Page 81]to day, and another thing lawful to morrow. But the Law of England is certain and unalterable; It had its Birth from King and People, and was solely intended for the common good and pre­servation of Both. So that there needs no picking and culling of Jurors by In­terest and Faction, but the return of Men of Understanding, Integrity and Probity, and then they who fall by their Judgments, may be rightly said to fall deservedly.

The Law most certainly aim'd at the right mark; and there is undoubtedly that security of our Lives and Liberties from it, that without it there cannot well be any. And therefore if there be any such who strain it from its natural and genuine Intention. They are in the fault and not the Law; and Heaven will require the oppression and blood of the Innocent at their hands. For the Law it self is absolutely grounded upon the firm Basis of Reason, Nature and Ju­stice, the Common good of Prince and People.

And most assuredly, Fortescue, when he was so deeply engag'd with Prince Edward in the praise of the Laws of England, might have pitch'd upon far [Page 82]more noble Themes, setting this of Ju­ries aside, then to set them at variance with the Civil Laws, only about Bastar­dy and Wardships. But he aim'd at Brevity, and therefore passes over Mag­na Charta in silence; wherein, as in a Mirror, all the World may take a lovely Prospect of the advantages which this Kingdom of England has above all other Nations under the Sun. Yet can it not be said to be the Original of the Laws of this Realm, but a Collection of those ancient Constitutions of the Saxons, Danes, Mercians and Northumbrians, which were by Matthew Paris call'd Bo­nae & adprobatae antiquae Regni leges; & leges Edvardi Regis, quae prius inventae sunt, & constitutae in tempore Adgari, avi sui; & leges aequissimi Regis Edvardi.

These the English, oppress'd by Nor­man Tyranny, eagerly thirsted to have restor'd, and were impatient, till they were at length in most solemn manner confirm'd, first by King John, and af­terwards by Henry the Third, with the severest Anathama upon the Infringers of it, that State or Religion could de­vise. Know ye, saith the King, that We, in the fear of God, for the Salvation of our Soul, the Exaltation of the Church, and [Page 83]the Amendment of the Kingdom. In which words are contain'd the Motives indu­cing the King to make the Grant, and next the Final causes of the Grant. The first Inducement is the Fear of God. And this those Two Great Monarchs, Favo­rites of the Almighty, Victorious David and Wise Solomon both conclude to be the beginning of Wisdom. Which Wisdom, as it can consult nothing but what is good and virtuous in General, so when It comes to be chief Privy Counsellour and Minister of State to a Prince in the Establishing a particular National Government, can never be suspected to advise otherwise then for the general Good and Preservation of the People from whom Obedience to that Government is requir'd. 'Twould be impiety to think that the Beginning of Wisdom could have any other aim or intention then what is just and profita­ble. Therefore where a Prince is bles­sed with the fear of God, That Reli­gious Fear instructs him with Heav'nly Wisdom; and that Heavenly Wisdom guides him to make and establish such Laws as may come nearest to the Laws of God himself, which respected no­thing more then the safety, repose, pro­tection [Page 84]and welfare of his own People. Happy then is the English Nation, whose Lives, Estates and Liberties are wrapt and folded up in such a Charter of Laws, which had its Confirmation from the fear of God. Certainly their Estates, their Lives and Liberties can no where be more safe then in the fear of God; by nothing more cordially or warily preserv'd, then by the Beginning of Wis­dom. Which when the late Usurpers violated, they soon found it to be the Beginning of Folly.

The second Inducement was the Good of the Kings Soul. Which he well might hope for from the Promises of the King of Kings Himself. He might well have a fair prospect of Eternal happiness, when he was so largely providing for the Temporal Felicity of his People. It was an Argument of the Queen of Sheba, That God delighted in Solomon, and that the Lord loved the People of Israel, be­cause he had made him King to do Judg­ment and Justice. This is the Great Charter of Heaven, by which Princes hold their Supream Dignity; the Exe­cution of Judgment and Justice is the high Employment, to which God has appointed Kings. In so doing, they ob­serve [Page 85]the Statutes and Ordinances of Heaven. The Rock of Israel spoke to David, saying, Let him that ruleth over Men be just, ruling in the fear of God. The recompence of which, is to be re­warded according to their Righteous­ness. Which is the Guerdon that David acknowledges to have bin the happy re­taliation of his Integrity in observing the Precepts and Statutes of God, by him fram'd for the publick Benefit of his People; and who may be also said to be the Author of all good and wholsome Laws grounded upon Reason and Na­ture. And therefore the King might well hope for the reward of his Equity and Justice from the God of Both. And the People might well hope for security temporal of their Lives and Liberty, from Laws confirm'd for the Eternal security of the Confirmer.

And as the Motives and Incentives to pass this Grant were twofold, so were likewise the Final causes of the Grant it self.

First the Exaltation of the Church. Thus Moses provided first for his own Worship in general, in the first part of the Decalogue; as he also did in his parti­cular Worship, in the Erection of the [Page 86]Tabernacle, and the Consecration of the High Priest and subordinate Levites. And this order and method the very Heathens were prompted to observe by the very Light of Nature. The first care of Numa was to settle the Heathen Wor­ship of the Gods, the next care of Ser­vius Tullus was to provide for the good Order of the Politic Government. And Justin speaking of Moses and a feigned Son of His, whom he calls Arnas, and the great Benefit which the Jewish Com­monweal had reap'd from their good Government, Quorum Justitia, saith he, Religione permixta, incredibile quantum coaluere. Which mixture of Religion with Justice, was by some of the Hea­thens accompted so absolutely necessary that they would not separate the Priest­hood from the Kingly Office, as we may read in Virgil:

Rex Anius, Rex idem hominum, Phoebique Sacerdos
Aene [...]d. l. 3.
& sacro redemitus tempora Lauro.

And it was the Fatherly advice of Charles the Fifth to his Son, whereby he might approve himself a worthy Prince,Strada, l. 1. to be constant in the Patronage of Religion [Page 87]and the protection of the Laws, which he calls the true and certain Establish­ments of all Kingdoms. For the Ship of the Common-weal can never Ride safe without the sacred Anchor of Re­ligion.

For it concerns all Princes that Study the Diuturnity of their Dominions, above all things, to preserve the Wor­ship of God in its intire purity. There being no more dangerous symptoms of a perishing Kingdom, then the neglect and contempt of Religion. This is easie to be understood, if Men would give themselves to understand the Funda­mental ground and reason of the Reli­gion where they are born and bred. For that Religion has its Birth from some peculiar and awful Original or other. The Religion of the Heathens was groun­ded upon the Answers of the Oracles, and the Observations of Diviners and Soothsayers. Believing that those Gods which could foretel good and evil, could also bequeath them the same Felicities, or vex them with the same Misfortunes. But the Foundation and Original of Christian Religion, it is not to be que­stion'd but that we all know, as being establish'd in the World by the Eternal [Page 88]Son of the ever living God. And the ends of it are to procure Salvation in Heaven, and Tranquility, Union and Peace upon Earth. And while the Faith and Integrity of Men makes no other use of it, the Intermixture of it with secular Justice makes that binding Ce­ment, that renders the Bulwark of Go­vernment impenetrable to all the assaults of Humane Violence. For by the Ex­altation of the Church is not meant the Exaltation of Pomp and Gawdy Cere­mony, and the pampering it up in world­ly Honour and exorbitant Wealth, quite contrary to the Institutions of the Foun­der, who laid the Foundations of his Doctrine in Humility and Peace. From whence while Men in Holy Orders devi­ate, and maintain the forbidden Interest of Worldly Glory, while they seek to support the name and shew of Religion, they Adulterate Justice, and many times become the main disturbers of the pub­lick Peace. Whence Matchiavel makes this observation,Matchia­vel. dis [...] ­c [...]si. l. 1. c. 12. That those People who inhabit nearest to the Church of Rome, have the least Religion; and ascribes the Bad Estate of Italy to the Roman See. And for this, he gives two invincible, as he calls them, Reasons. First, for that [Page 89]by the evil and wicked Examples of that Court, the whole Nation have lost all their Piety and Devotion. The next Reason proceeds from the different In­terest of Christian Humility, and Anti­christian Vain-glory. For the Roman Court to maintain the Pomp and Splen­dour of a Temporal Hierarchy, is forc'd to keep not only Italy, but all Europe in Division, and sometimes to League even with the Turk for its own preser­vation; by which means unhappy Italy, being prevented from uniting under their own supream Prince, and one frame of Law, is expos'd to all the Pre­tences of her more powerful Neigh­bours, and her pettie Princes are but the precarious Tenants at Will to more migh­ty Potentates.

Nor does the Exaltation of the Church encourage the Priesthood to move irregularly out of their Sphere, or to lead an Amphibious Life, some­times in the running Streams of the Gospel, sometimes upon the Terra Fir­ma of Temporal Government. Nor is it in Scripture a warrantable method of seeking Church preferment to oblige the secular Interest by strain'd and wrested Interpretations of the Immaculate Scrip­ture. [Page 90]Like Shaw Preaching up the Ti­tle of Richard the Third, and Latimer the right of Jane Seymour. For if the Kingdom of their Lord and Master be not of this World, no more does tem­poral preferment belong to the Ministers of his Doctrine. But the true Exalta­tion of the Church is to protect it's Mi­nisters in the Preaching of sound Scrip­ture, to the Conversion of Souls, to the building up the new Jerusalem, and advancing the future Kingdom of Christ, by their endeavouring to increase the number of his Celestial Subjects. The Exaltation of the Church protects her neat and pure, and exactly cleans'd and swept from all the Cobwebbs of Babylo­nish Superstition. For then will Rome despair of ever setting Foot in England more, when with grief she beholds all her Follies and inveigling Allurements Root and Branch, extirpated. To which end, the same resolution might well be­come the Clergy of England in reference to the Relicks of Popish Ceremonies, which was applauded in King Stephen in relation to the Roman Laws; who hear­ing that they were brought into En­gland, and lodg'd in the custody of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, com­manded [Page 91]them out of his House, pub­lish'd an Edict against the Laws of Italy, and banish'd them out of his Realm. Not enduring, tho' a Forraigner him­self, any other then the Honesty of the English Constitutions. An Act of his not recorded by any of our Historians, but by the Learned Selden in his Notes upon Fortescue, cited from Roger Bacon's Compendium Theologiae, and John of Sa­lisbury in his Treatise de nugis Curiaticum.

On the other side, the Wolf in Sheeps cloathing, outwardly Meek, and insinu­ating Heresie and Schisme, are equally dangerous and contagious. For Here­sie, the Illegitimate Brat of Contumacy, while it labours to shake off from the minds of Men the easie Yoke of Christ, at the same time teaches Men to violate their Allegiance to their lawful Princes: and they that strive to bring in the In­novations of obstinate Opinion, if they get the upper hand, seldom change the Religion alone.

Therefore the Exaltation of the Church defends and guards those Men that give themselves to compose the breaches of Ecclesiastical Differences, and labour to beget a harmony and uni­ty of Faith and Devotion, which then [Page 92]Religion most truly useful, and the most unblemish'd Aid of Civil Ju­stice.

The second final Cause of this Great Charter, was the Amendment of the Kingdom. The miscarriages of those times are by our Historians said to be the Cancelling of the Great Charter, by the advice of Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justiciary of England, as first confirm'd by the King during his Nonage. The displacing the English Nobility, and ad­mitting Poictovins and Forraigners into the Chief employments of the King­dom, and the Impoverishment of the Nation by vast and continual Taxations. By the means of which undue proceed­ings the ancient Laws of the Realm were render'd useless, and the Liberty of the People lay at the Mercy of Evil Mini­sters. The amendment of which Grie­vances, as being an Act due to the Ho­nour of God, the Salvation of the Kings Soul, and the Exaltation of the Church, is now intended by the Confirmation of this Great Charter. From whence it is inductively demonstrable, that if the Establishment of good Laws be the way to procure such inestimable Happiness to a Prince, the continuance of bad [Page 93]Customs and Oppression inclines to all the contrary consequences; that is, to be dishonourable to God, hazardous to Salvation, and injurious to the Church. Which considerations of Eternal Detri­ment or Felicity, when they come to be the inducements to Reformation, must certainly be a great advantage to such Reformation, that it may prove effectu­al to all its purposes. And then such Act of Reformation is of that high Merit, that it produces a benefit of the good, exceeding the mischief of the Evil; the reason perhaps why Machiavel ascribes a more Exalted renown to those Princes who reform the corruptions of a disor­der'd State, then to those who only con­tinue the Good Government which they found. E veramente, saith he, un Pren­cipe cercando la gloria del mondo doverebbe desiderare di possedere una Citta corrotta, non par guastarlo, come Caesare, ma per riordinarla, come Romulo. A Prince Am­bitious of the Honour of this World would desire to come to a Kingdom un­der the corruption of ill Customs, not to ruine it like Caesar, but reform it like Romulus. For as it is impossible but that Ambition, desire of absolute Do­minion, and many other oversights of [Page 94]Government, will many times disturb the Courts of Justice, and let in con­fusion at the Breaches of the Law, so is that Prince the more highly to be ho­nour'd, who reforms those abuses, and restores exiled Justice, by how much such Reformation must needs be the more welcome and acceptable, even as health is more valued by such as know the Inconveniencies of Sickness, then by those who never understood the want of Cure: and by how much the Joy is greater for the recovery of the lost Sheep, then for those that never went astray.

Now this Amendment of the Kingdom imply'd the defect of Government, and such a defect which endanger'd the Estates, Lives and Liberties of the Sub­ject; which since they could be no way secur'd, but by the Recovery of the Ancient Laws of the Kingdom, it fol­lows, that seeing the Rights and Liber­ties of the English People are still the same, they can be guarded by no better security then what has hitherto preserv'd them, as upon which the Salvation of the Princes Soul, and the Exaltation of the Church depend, and all redounding to the Honour of God.

[Page 95]Neither could Time it self dissolve this Charter, as being granted to all the Freemen of the Kingdom, to be held and enjoy'd in the Kingdom for ever.

But what those Liberties were, and what the Amendments were, is better seen by the Charter it self: in regard that what was good by Amendment, was on the contrary, evil and unjust in practice: No Man may be taken or im­prison'd, or disseis'd of his Free Tenement, his Liberties or Free Customs, or be Out­law'd or Exil'd, or any way destroy'd, nor will we enter upon his Possession, Nec super eum ibi­mus, nec super eum mittemus. nor Com­mit him (so Selden renders the last words) but by the Loyal Judgment of his Peers, or Men of his Condition, or by the Law of the Land.

By this Paragraph of the Charter it is plainly to be made out, that the Estates and Liberties of the English Subjects are desended and guarded as well by the Law of Nature, as by the Law of the Land: as having embody'd those Prin­ciples of Morality, which most conduce to Publick Honesty, which is the Com­mon Security. All which are muster'd up under that General Head of Alterine feceris quod tibi fieri non vis. Which being the Law of Nature, is also the [Page 96]Will of God, who is the Author of Nature. So that as God can command nothing but what is purely honest and just, no more can the Law of Nature. Now that the Materia prima of this Law is the same with that of the Law of Na­ture, is apparent from hence, that it en­joyns necessary Honesty, and forbids the Evil contrary to it. To clear the point a little farther, This Paragraph contains nine Branches relating to the Liberty of Person, the security of Pro­perty and Possession, and the general execution of Justice.

1. No Freeman may be taken or im­prison'd; That is, as the Lord Chief Justice Cooke expounds it: No Man shall be restrain'd of his Liberty by Petition or Suggestion to the King or his Coun­cil, but by Indictment, or Presentment of good and lawful Men, where such deeds be done. For Liberty is the power of living at pleasure. And no Man lives as he pleases, who is not per­mitted to enjoy that repose and tran­quility both of Mind and Body which he proposes to himself. Which Liberty was given him by Nature, and in some measure granted even to the wild Beasts themselves. And therefore to deprive [Page 97]him of the Power of himself, is to deprive him of the gift of Nature, to which there is nothing that he can have more Right, until he forfeit it back to the Law by transgressing it. And that it is the gift of Nature, is evident from that Love of Liberty which Nature has infus'd even into all the particular Members of the Cre­ation. The Elements themselves dis­dain the Curb of Servitude. Impri­son'd Fire when it gets loose revenges it self with greater fury. The fet­ter'd Ocean foames and roares at his Confinement; The Winds against their will detain'd in the Earth's bowels, put the Earth into most violent Convul­sions. We see how impatiently young Horses brook their Imperious Curbs; and how the little Birds at first bewail the Captivity of the Cage. Liberty is one of the chiefest Felicities Man has to boast of that he is by Nature Lord of himself, and has only Reason to be his Governour. Nor does the Law require slavish Subjection from him, but natural and necessary Obe­dience; which is therefore so far from being oppressive, that it becomes de­lightful [Page 98]to him, because he finds there­by his Liberty preserv'd. For these reasons every Man that enjoys his Li­berty is said to be the treasurer of a most inestimable Jewel, the Priviledge of Nature and his Birthright, which they who ravish from him by violence and against the Law of Nature, de­spoil him of the Benefit of Heaven, and reduce him to the slavish conditi­on of Beasts, as if he were only made for the use of Tyrannizing Power.

Therefore says this Law, let No man be restrain'd of his Liberty or impri­son'd but by the Law. I omit the fa­tal Consequences of endangering the Liberty of a People enur'd to Privi­ledge and Freedom, the love of which to them is so excessive, that account­ing nothing dearer to them in this World, they prostrate Life, Estate, and all at the feet of its Preservation. On the other side, Popular Licence is with all the severity imaginable to be restrain'd; for that unhinges publick Safety, and makes an Inundation upon the true Justice of Government. Then which nothing can be more pernici­ous to the Publick Security, and [Page 99]the Common Good of Prince and People.

2. Let no man be disseis'd or dispos­sess'd of his Freehold, that is, of his Lands, Livelyhood, Liberties, or free Customs as belong to him by his free Birth-right.

And this also depends upon the Law of Nature. For no sooner was the World Created, but immediately ap­pear'd Propriety. Abel was a Keeper of Sheep, and Cain a Tiller of the DGround. And therefore was Man endu'd by Nature with Industry, to advance his Estate, to the end he might not only live, but live comfortably upon what by his Labour he enjoy'd. Which being obtain'd by his own in­dustry and pains, Nature instill'd that Moral Principle among Men, that it was but just that every man should quietly and peaceably enjoy what he had got by his Labour and the sweat of his Brows. And this is evident from the Law of Inheritance, the In­stitution of God himself. For if by the Law of Nature he had not power to possess and keep, he could not have power to dispose. But the undenia­ble [Page 100]Power of disposition confirms the right of Property and Possession. So that for a Man to be despoyl'd of the fruits of his Labour, or of the Inhe­ritance of his Ancestors, is against the Law of God and Nature. Thou shalt eat of the Labour of thy hand; happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee; and He that gathereth by La­bour shall encrease. This was the Esta­blishment of Property by two of the best of Kings, by the dictate of God himself. And therefore for Tyranny to waste the Labours of the Subject profusely upon illegal Innovasions, and unnecessary Pomp and Riot, is a piece of Injustice of the highest Nature. And therefore this Law grounded upon the Law of God and Nature, takes especial care to secure the Pro­perty of the Subject from Exorbitancy and Oppression.

Not that hereby the Laws of legal Tributes are any way contradicted. For they are impos'd upon the People, and given to the Prince as a publick Person for the Common Good; of which the support of his Dignity is a part. And generally in England they [Page 101]are given with the Subjects consent. And this is also warranted by Scrip­ture. For this reason you pay Tribute also; for they are Gods Ministers. Nor can the People expect to be safe in what they possess, unless the Prince be sufficiently supply'd for their defence. And yet the Law has so provided too, that they cannot be put upon the ex­pence of chargeable and unnecessary Wars; for tho it be in the power of the Prince to make and proclaim the War, yet the Sinews of it are in the Peoples keeping. However, for the People to deny their Prince his just and legal Tributes is altogether as un­natural, as it may be thought unkind in him to deprive them of their Goods and Fortunes, without a lawful cause against their good-liking.

The third and fourth Branches are made to interpose in bar of unjust Exilements and Outlaries. Of which the one is the Occasion that a Man is said Perdere Patriam, to lose his Coun­try; and the other to be depriv'd of the benefit of his Native Laws. Two heavy Burthens, and two un­merciful Injuries for a Free-born Man [Page 102]to take at the hands of Violence with­out a Legal Provocation. They are a sort of Civil Excommunications, which cut a Man off from the society and commerce with his dearest Friends and Country-men, and the benefit of the Law; and leave him as it were forsaken both of God and Man. Ba­nishment was look't upon in former times, as an affliction so heavy and so insupportable, that it was thought a Punishment sufficient for Treason in the Raign of Henry the First. Even in the time of Richard the Second, the offences of great Personages were punish'd by Banishment. In short, they are both when undeserved, Breaches of Mans Liberty, and consequently contrary to the Law of Nature, which gives to every Man the right of a Civis Natu in the Country where he was born. For it is not to be question'd, but the Land which the Lord thy God has given thee, was spoke to every in­dividual Native of the Country, and not to particular persons. And there­fore it is not a thing of that slight Im­portance, to hurry the Free-born Citi­zens of a Commonweal, out of the [Page 103]Land of their Nativity, or to put them upon the necessities of vo­luntary Exile, upon the Score of Con­science and Ecclesiastical Interest. For all true Ecclesiastical Interest is the In­terest of Christ, and as such the Inte­rest of Christian Religion as to this World, is grounded upon the Law of Nature; one of whose chief Maximes therefore is, Do as you would be done by. For which reason that Law which forces the free-born Subject of a Na­tion into Exile, and all Men are con­strain'd that go to avoid some incon­venience or violence prejudicial to their present Peace, is contrary not only to this Statute, which says, that no Man shall be exil'd but by the Le­gal judgment of his Peers, but also to the Laws of Christian Liberty, which admits of no Corporeal punishment upon the score of Religion, much less of Exilement, which is a forfei­ture of the highest degree. Ecclesi­astical Interest, which is far the more sublime and more noble Power, may exterminate from Heaven, but not from Earth; For it is the same thing whether Interest advise or act. Ac­cording [Page 104]to that of the Learned Bishop Taylor, Many, saith he, have got a trick of giving People over to the Secular Power, which at the best is no better then Hypocrisie, removing Envy from them­selves, and laying it upon others; a Re­fusing to do that in external Act, which they do in Counsel and approbation; which is a transmitting the Act to another, Liberty of Prophecy­ing, p. 229 and retaining a proportion of the Guilt to themselves, even their own and the others too.

And therefore this Law, having a greater regard to the Publick good and the Defence of the Prince, ener­vated by the dispeopling and empty­ing of his Country of its chiefest Si­news and Strength which consists in the Number of Inhabitants, (and which he that travels the Popes Ter­ritories may easily observe not to be the Interest of Rome) has here taken care that no Man should be exil'd be­fore legal judgment of his Peers. Not but they who deserve Banishment ought to be punish'd according to their deserts; but then they must be first convicted according to the Law of the Land. Otherwise it is not only [Page 105]contrary to the Law but the Customs of the Realm, by which no Man can be banish'd out of his Native Coun­try, but either by Authority of Par­liament, or in case of Abjuration for Felony by the Common Law.

Therefore the secular Law, (never so certain in its course, as when it steers without the helm of Ecclesiasti­cal Ambition) is so tender of Exile­ment, that it will not permit even the Prince himself to send any Subject of England to serve him against his will: nay, if you believe the Lord Cooke, a Man cannot by constraint be comman­ded out of England into Ireland, tho' for his Honour to be Deputy of the Kingdom. Which shews how nice the Laws of England were to tread the Footsteps of Nature and Reason in this particular.

5. No Man shall be destroy'd, that is, by the interpretation of the Lord Cook, No Man shall be forejudg'd of Life or Limb, dis-inherited, or put to torture or Death.

And thus all oppression against Law, by colour of any usurp'd Authority, or under the pretence of Justice, is a [Page 106]kind of destruction. Which is nei­ther to be done aliquo modo, by any way, means, pretence or shadow whatsoever.

Of this sort of Destruction the Psalmist complains when he cries out, All the Foundations of the Earth are out of course. The public good and safe­ty was turn'd into public Violence and Oppression, while Lawless Power and Arbitrary Dominion made Havock of the Lives and Liberties of the succour­less People. Then which a greater Calamity cannot befall Mankind. For what more irreparable injury can be done to a Man then to deprive him of his life, or maim him in his limbs; thereby to demolish not only his well-Being, but his very Being it self, upon every Cholerick Incentive of Lust, Ambition, Superstition, Revenge, and many times of Interest and Politic Conveniency? This prudent Nature foresaw, and engrav'd in the heart of every Man a desire of association for mutual defence against the Rage of licentious Will and Pleasure. Nature approv'd their design, aided them with her own Light, and dictated to them [Page 107]Her self those Principles and Precepts of Honesty, Justice, and Moderation, which Heaven had infus'd into Her, that they might reduce them into Laws, to prevent the Havocks of un­limited Controul, which wherever it sets footing, reduceth All to Beggery, Slavery and Destruction. Which while it is the chief endeavour of Nature, aiming at nothing more then preserva­tion, to keep fast bound in the Chains and Fetters of her own Law, war­rants the same method in Constitutions of Human Frame. And certainly if they are to be thought the only Foelices Agricolae, that live under the Prote­ction of good Laws, the English may be said rightly to be They, who have the Laws of God and Nature spreading their Cherubim-Wings over the Lives and Liberties of every par­ticular person in the Nation.

The next and sixth Branch, Neither will we enter upon his Possession, nor com­mit him, may seem to be a particular Promise of moderate Indulgence to the Subject in reference to the pecu­liar claims and Suits of the King rela­ting to the Crown, yet still springing [Page 108]from the same Original. Which shews the Kings of England truly fit to rule, while they themselves submit to the Laws by which they govern. As it was said of Lycurgus, Quod nihil lege ulla in alios Sanxit, cujus non ipse primus in se Documenta daret.

The three next Branches relate to the great prejudices and damages which are sustain'd by the ill manage­ment and Execution of Justice through the Corruption of its Ministers; a­gainst which the Law provides in these words:

We shall sell to no Man Justice or Right.
We shall deny to no Man Justice or Right.
We shall delay to no Man Justice or Right.

The selling of Justice or taking Bribes, and the denial and delay of Justice as they are equally dishonour­able to God, so are they to them that require Justice equally injurious. For it is the highest presumption that Man can be guilty of to expose to sale one [Page 109]of the chiefest Attributes of the Al­mighty. There is nothing whereby God more exalts himself to Mankind, then in the frequent Repetitions of his Justice. Of which he that makes Merchandize, prostitutes the Honour of his Maker for filthy lucre: and yet neither is it his own to sell; for God is the Fountain of Justice; from him it all flows, and his it is. Only he en­trusts it with the Ministers of Justice for the good of Mankind. He that does Justice uprightly, acts like God; but he that sells it, sells the Act of God and not his own; for tho it prove Justice in the purchaser, yet it is not Justice in the seller, but the Price of the Buyer, which if the poor and needy want, they must not have, because they have not wherewithal to bid for it, who are nevertheless under the Protection of Justice equally with the most Opulent. However God out of his boundless Providence fore­saw how great would be the Tempta­tions of Avarice, and the allurements of Gold, tho currant no where but upon Earth, that he provides against the charming Iniquiry by a strict com­mand, [Page 110] Thou shalt not respect persons, nor take a Gift, for a gift blinds the eyes of the wise. So that the high Crimes al­ledg'd against the Sons of Samuel were, that they turn'd after Lucre, and took Bribes. From whence the Light of Nature infus'd the same detestation of these Misdemeanors in all other Mini­sters of Justice. By Hesiod they are call'd [...], or Gift-eaters, whom he makes Justice to follow weeping, and bewailing the fatal Con­sequences of her bad usage. Phocyl­lides also, from the same Law of Na­ture could give this advice,


Let not favour byass Justice; for if thou dost saith he, — [...]. God will afterwards judge thee. And another of the Gnomo­nicks, wouldst thou support thy life, [...], by doing justly? then [...], fly ill got gain. We read in Herodotus of Sesamnes one of the Persian Judges, put to death for Bri­bery by Cambyses, who caus'd him to be flea'd after he was dead, and his [Page 111]Tann'd Skin to be cut into Thongs to make a Seat for his Son.

Among the Roman's by the Junian Law Bribery or selling of Justice was punish'd with Exile; and by the Aci­lian Law, they were immediately to receive Judgment, without any de­murs. It may be thought that selling of places relating to Courts of Judi­cature was not a custom then in pra­ctice, else we might conclude that they who made such ample provision against the selling of Justice, would have as carefully provided against the selling of those Inferiour Authorities that re­fer to the Execution of it. Especially when the Rates run so High as now they do. Twelve hunder'd, Two Thousand pound for a Jaylours place, Four hund [...] [...]o [...] [...] Serjeants, and so proportionably for others. For it serves for a specious Plea to those that shall be call'd to accompt for their mis­carriages, that they have bought so dear. Nor does the Name of a Fa­vourite in Court sound well, for though it may not be so effectual as some may think, yet is the thing it self suspicious to all, especially when they see the [Page 112]Fortunes and Emoluments of that person advanc'd above others of equal merit.

But after pardon for this short di­gression, the two next Grievances by this Charter promis'd to be reform'd are the delay and denial of Justice; both much of the same Nature, seeing that the Delay is in some measure the denial of Justice. Which words, de­lay of Justice, are so expounded by se­veral Acts of Parliament, that by no means Common Right or Common Law should be disturb'd or delay'd, tho' it be commanded under the Great or Privy Seal, or by any Order, Writ, Letters or Command whatso­ever, even from the Prince himself, or any other; but that the Justices shall proceed, as if no such Writs, Letters, Messages or Commandment were come to them. And therefore the Epithite of Celeris is giv'n to the Law; in regard there is nothing which can be more welcom to those who are aggriev'd or distressed then quick and speedy Relief. And this is without doubt the meaning of those positive Commands in Scripture to which the [Page 113]Judges of the Earth, to hear the cries of the Poor and Needy; who if not soon redress'd, are doubly undone by unnecessary Expence, and with-hold­ing from them the profit of their legal and just claims. But as the Delay is bad, so is the positive denial so much the more to be avoided, by how much the Lamentations and Cries of the in­jur'd make a louder sound in the Ears of Heaven, and open with greater swiftness and more rapid violence the Flood-gates of Divine Vengeance up­on a Nation. For if the cause of the oppressed be the cause of God, then the denial of Justice is the denial of the Almighties own Suit, with whom this great Charter would not contend. And therefore the Prince, here minding his future Salvation, freely discards the selling, delay and denial of Justice, knowing how little they would avail, when unreliev'd Oppression should plead against him at the Bar of Hea­ven. If then the Law of England be the surest Sanctuary which an English Man can take, and the strongest For­tress to protect the weakest of All, it must be assuredly much more sacred [Page 114]and beneficial, when built up of the Materials of Gods Commands and Na­tures Light. Nor can they who at any time shall seek to destroy so beau­tiful a Structure, expect other then to perish in its Ruines.

But here may some advance a Quaere, and ask, what is meant by this Per le­gem terrae, this Law of the Land? A Scru­tiny with the same facility as made plainly resolv'd by the Statute of the 25 Ed. 3. c. 4. where per legem terrae is expounded to be by due Process of the Law. For thus the words run: Whereas it is contained in the Great Charter, &c. that no Man shall be im­prison'd, &c. It is accorded, assented and stablish'd, That no Man shall be ta­ken by Petition or Suggestion to our Lord the King, or his Council, unless it be by Indictment or Presentment of his good and lawful People of the same Neigh­bourhood where such Deeds be done, in due manner, or by Process made by Writ Original at the Common Law. Nor that none be outed of his Franchise or his Freehold, unless he be duly brought in an­swer, and forejudg'd of the same by the Course of the Law. And if any thing [Page 115]be done against the same, it shall be re­dress'd and holden for none. Upon which words the Lord Cook observes, that Process of Law is twofold, By the Kings Writ, or by due proceed­ing and Warrant, either in Deed, or in Law without Writ. Which latter way of Proceeding is against Crimi­nals, where there is good Witness against the Offender. And Evidence must proceed from persons of good Fame, Credit and Honesty, not from debauch'd, malevolent and scandalous Informers. And therefore the Law requires, that they who grant any such Warrant have lawful Authority; that the Warrant be lawful, and under Hand and Seal; that the Cause be spe­cify'd in the Warrant; and lastly, that the intent of the Warrant be Legal, for the safe Custody of the Party till he be deliver'd by due course of Law. Which is plain from the Stile of our Habeas Corpus's, Ʋt Justiciarii nostri visa causa, fieri faciant quod de Jure & secundum Legem & Consuctu­dinem Regni Nostri Angliae foret fa­ciendum.

[Page 116]In farther proof of which Exposi­tion, we sind it Enacted in the 27 of Ed. 3. c. 3. That no Man of what Estate or Condition that he be, shall be put out of Land or Tenement, nor taken nor imprison'd, nor disherited, nor put to death without being brought to answer by due Process of the Law. Which last words expounding and fully answer­ing the doubt upon per Legem terrae, plainly evince the Law of the Land to be such, that no Man ought to receive detriment either in Person or Estate before legal Trial and due proof of the Offence.

True it is, that the Lord Cook brings an Instance of an Act of Par­liament made in the face of this Fun­damental Law of Magna Charta in the 11th year of Hen. 7. That as well Justices of Assize, as Justices of the Peace (without any finding or Pre­sentment of Twelve Men) upon a bare Information for the King before them made, should have full Power and Authority by their discretions to hear and determine all Offences and Contempts committed or done against the form of any Statute in force and [Page 117]not repeal'd. But the Fence of Com­mon Justice being thus broken, what ensu'd? By this Act, shaking the Fun­damental Law of Magna Charta, it is not credible, saith He, what Oppres­sions and Extortions to the Ruine of infinite numbers of People were com­mitted by Empson and Dudley.

Therefore in th first year of Hen. 8. that Act was repeal'd and made void; and the reason is given, For that by force of the said Act, many sinister, crafty, feigned and forg'd Informati­ons had bin pursu'd against divers of of the Kings Subjects, to their great Damage and wrongful vexation. So that even Acts of Parliament them­selves, if they entrench upon the Sub­jects Liberty grounded upon the sacred meaning and intent of this Fundamen­tal Law of Magna Charta, are as liable to be put to death, as any that offend against the justest Ordinances of the Realm. Neither was this a thing that scap'd the consideration of former Princes. And therefore to prevent so foul a miscarriage by the best means that could be, It was Enacted at West­minster in the Third year of Ed. 1. [Page 118]That, because all Elections ought to be free, no Man should under grievous for­feiture by force, malice or menaces, di­sturb any to make free Election. It be­ing the ancient maxime of the Law, Fiant Electiones Rite, & libere sine ali­qua interruptione, Let all Elections be due and Free.

By the 1 Hen. 5.1. it is ordained and Established, That the Citizens and Burgesses of the Cities and Boroughs be chosen of Men, Citizens and Burgesses Resiant and dwelling, and free in the same Cities and Boroughs, and no other­wise.

The like provision is also made by the 23 of Hen. 6. c 15. Nor was there less care taken to commit the charge of Elections to Men of Substance and Estate; besides that all Sheriffs and Mayors, and others concern'd are lya­ble to great Fines and Actions of the parties injur'd for undue Returns.

For it might be well thought, that Persons of Credit and Reputation in the places of their Birth, or long ha­bitation, and where their Fortunes lye, will be more tender of the Com­mon Good and welfare of their [Page 119]Friends, Relations, and Neighbours with whom they have daily Converse, then Strangers creeping in at the back dores of vast Expence and Purchase to gratifie their own Ambition. Which sort of Ambitus by the Culpurnian Law among the Romans was punish'd by heavy Fine on the Canvasser; beside that, he was afterwards render'd un­capable of being Elected into a Sena­tors place. And the same Law was also after that ratify'd by the Senate in the Consulship of Tullius and Antonius. And by the Tullian Law the Commo­nalty themselves offending in that point were also most severely punish'd, be­side that the Canvassers were to suffer ten years Exilement. And thus we may see how vigilant even our Princes themselves have bin to set strong Watch and Ward about the Election of our Law-makers and Preservers. But if needy Corporations will sell their Rights, and surrender the For­tress of wholsome Statutes to Philip of Macedon's laden Mules, they must not blame the steady Ordinances of the Realm, and the just Provisions of their most Noble Princes, but [Page 120]their own Edomite Hunger after the Amiable Pottage.

There is a second Question which may be propounded by some, Where the Remedy lies if a Man be wrong'd or injur'd contrary to the Law of the Land? To which the Lord Cook him­self replies, That every Act of Par­liament made against any Injury, Mis­chief or Grievance, either expresly or impliedly, give a remedy to the party wrong'd; which also is done by many Chapters of the Great Charter; and therefore he may have an Action grounded upon the Charter it self. And that moreover it is provided by the 36 Ed. 3. That if any Man feeleth himself griev'd contrary to any Article in any Statute, he shall have his pre­sent Redress in Chancery, that is, by Original Writ, by force of the said Ar­ticles and Statutes.

That Nation would enjoy a most perfect Happiness indeed that were not sometimes liable to the incroaching Distempers and Corruptions of a sick­ly Government. The most healthy person in the World may sometimes need a little Physie; and the most [Page 121]temperate and sane may sometimes dis­order the frame of their Health by their own Excesses. But it is rarely known that such accidental Commo­tions of the blood prove mortal; as meeting with those timely Applications which soon restore and settle all again. Thus the Epidemic Fever of Dudley and Empsons Prosecutions infected for a while the Veins of the whole Nati­on, but the Healthy Constitution of the Kingdom foon threw it off, and it was cur'd with a little Blood-letting.

The Proceedings, Censures and De­crees of the Star-Chamber, were for some time in the very words of the Act an Intolerable Burthen to the Sub­ject, and lookt upon as a means to in­troduce Arbitrary Power and Govern­ment. Even the Privy Council it self was tax'd, with determining of the Estates and Liberties of the Subject con­trary to the Law of the Land. There­fore was the Power of the Star-Cham­ber by that Act absolutely and clearly dissolv'd, taken away and determin'd. And that not only for the general reasons already recited, but upon the rehearsal of the Grand Charter, and [Page 122]the several Confirmations of it from time to time; First, because the Judges of that Court, had undertaken to pu­nish where the Law did not warrant, to make Decrees for things having no such Authority, and to inflict heavier punish­ments then by Law were warrantable; and secondly, for that all matters ex­aminable and determinable before the said Judges might have their proper remedy and redress, and th [...]ir due punishment and correction by the Common Law of the Land, and in the ordinary Course of Justice elsewhere. And with this same Court fell also several other Jurisdicti­ons of the same Nature.

Then for the Regulation of the Council, it was enacted, that neither the Prince or his Council had or ought to have any Jurisdiction, Power or Au­thority by English Bill, Petition, Arti­cles, Libell, or by any other Arbitrary way whatever, to examine or draw into question, determine or dispose of the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods or Chattels of any of the Subjects of this Kingdom, but that the same ought to be try'd and determin'd in the ordinary Courts of Justice, and by the ordinary Course of the Law.

[Page 123]And thus the Grievances of a well constituted Nation at one time or other have still their mortal Periods, and are forc'd to flie from the stern and awful Countenance of Funda­mental Law. For Law has Heav'n on her side, which Injustice and Oppres­sion cannot pretend to. For where Laws are grounded upon the firm Basis of Divine Reason, the violation of Humane Constitution, is the violation of Heavenly Justice. Against which for Cruelty and Oppression to make a kind of a Titanic War, proves as fa­tal in the end as the Insurrection of those Gyants against Heav'n it self. Leges dormiunt, non moriuntur. The Laws may sleep but never dye. The locks of the Law may be cut off, but they will grow again; and then she rouzes up her self more vigorously and with new recover'd strength, sha­king off the feeble bands of Violence, nere ceases till she has brought Illegal Force and Arbitrary prosecution upon their Knees.

Nor fares it better with those who to enrich and raise their own Families advise the infringement of Fundamen­tal [Page 124]Law and moderate Rule. Who for the sake of Temporary Splendour and Command, care not tho they drive the Chariot Wheels of their Am­bition over the Necks of undone Mil­lions. And thus we may behold in History, even where Tyranny it self controuls, an Ibrahim Bassa with all his tickling flattery dragg'd to the block to attone the oppression of the Incens'd Multitude with the loss of his Criminal Head. Our own story brings us forth the Great Justiciary of En­gland, Hubert de Burgo, once a Patriot and lover of his Country, but at length beguil'd by the Advantages of Honour and Preferment, for Caressing the humour of a young Prince, and instructing him which way to avoid this very Charter granted by his Fa­ther, and by himself in his Nonage confirm'd, (for which he was ad­vanc'd to the highest Dignity in the Kingdom, and made Earl of Kent,) not only degraded of his Honour, not only stripp'd of all his Wealth which he had so unduly obtain'd, but which wat more, he saw himself a forlorn sufferer under the heavy Indignation [Page 125]of that Prince to whom he had so of­ficiously devoted his Illegal Industry. We may also in the progress of the same Story read the Tragical Exits of the Potent and Opulent Spencers, Fa­ther and Son, for giving rash and evil Counsel to their Soveraign against the Form of the Grand Charter. So hard a matter it is for the most pow­erful and politic Champions of Ille­gality and Oppression to wrastle with the Fundamental Law of this Nation without a dismal fall. According to that of Pindar, for this is not novel but ancient Experience.Isthm. Ode 7. [...]. Most bit­ter is the end which attends the sweets of Injustice. And therefore Thuanus reflecting upon the Calamity of Ibra­him Bassa before-mention'd, A most remarkable example, saith he, to those, who for the sake of one person, whose fa­vour they have won by most unseemly and pernicious Devotion, trample under Foot the general Hatred of all others; where­as they ought rather to imitate those per­sons, who being advanc'd to highest pre­ferments, so behav'd themselves in the discharge of their Trusts, Thuan. l. 96. that they may [Page 126]be always ready to part with their prefer­ments, and not be afraid to retire to a private life, if it be their Fortune to be remov'd. Otherwise it many times falls out that they are left to the free re­venge of all whom they have offend­ed, or else with the great regret of the Prince himself are hurry'd away to open punishment for the satisfaction of Popular indignation.

Even Princes themselves have la­bour'd under the evil consequences that have attended the Injuries which they have done to the fundamental Constitutions of their own Realms; which has only serv'd to render their Lives and all their Glory troublesome, vexacious, and full of perplexity; and to deprive them of that quiet and tranquility which makes the Enjoy­ment of Life sweet.

Lewis the XI, as Comines his own Servant records, was the first, to use his own words, who at his own plea­sure levy'd mony upon the People without their consent. And to gain the consent of the Nobility so to do, within their own Jurisdictions, pro­mis'd them Annual Pensions. Certainly [Page 127]saith the Historian, he gave so great a wound to France, that it will not easily be cur'd. For none of the former Kings so afflicted France as he did, but more especially by subvert­ing the Authority of their Parlia­ments. And is therefore said to have bin the first of the French Monarchs that freed his Successors hors de Page, out of Guardianship.

Of this Prince, Mezeray gives this accompt. The Conduct which Lewis while he was yet but Dolphin, ob­serv'd in all his Actions, particularly toward his own Father, and Subjects of the Dauphinate, La vie du Louis XI. sufficiently demon­strated what his Friends and Subjects were to hope from him. He govern'd always without Counsel, most com­monly without Justice, without rea­son. He thought it the height of Po­licy to forsake the Road of all his Predecessors, and to leave nothing unassay'd, whether good or evil to make himself redoubted. His piercing but too fine and crafty Wit, was the greatest Enemy of his own and the repose of France. He chose rather to follow his own irregular Fancies, then [Page 128]the prudent Laws of the Realm. And he caus'd his Grandeur to consist in the Oppression of his People, the undoing and debasing his Nobility, and the advancement of the meanest and most indigent. But when he grew near his end, then the considera­tions of what he had done, tormen­ted him in so cruel a manner, that he was afraid of every one that came near him, grew jealous of his own Son and Daughter;Comines. and he that had invented Prisons and Fetters for others, was now his own Prisoner in his Ca­stle of Plessis, fortify'd with a grate of Iron-Bars; and planted with Watch-houses of Iron for his Guards. So that it was impossible to hold a King in a streighter Prison then he held himself; where he liv'd unseen of any, because he would let none come at him. His Physitian, who had sworn to him he should not live eight days, if he turn'd him away as he did his other Servants, he so dreaded, that he flatter'd him to obtain his Favour. And to prolong his Life which he was so afraid to lose, he superstitiously sent for a Hermit from the farthest [Page 115]Corner of Italy, expecting great mat­ters from his prayers. In short, says Comines, From his Childhood to his Death he was in continual noise and trouble, so that were his joyful days to be number'd, they would be found but very few. But when there was no hopes of life, he sent for his Son, and gave him other advice then he had follow'd himself, to rule according to the Law, to ease his People, and re­duce the Taxes to their former Esta­blishment.

So that the Law is as much the se­curity and safety of the Prince as of the People; and the Observation of the Law is so far from being a servi­tude, that it is a Royal Vertue. For this is that, which as it secures his out­ward felicity, secures the Inward tran­quility of his mind, and raises him a Monument of lasting Fame and Ve­neration after death in the hearts of his Subjects from Generation to Ge­neration.

And thus Lewis the XII. sirnam'd the Just, so dear to his People while He liv'd, became so much the Darling of Posterity, and his memory conti­nu'd [Page 130]so sacred and so much reverenc'd even in the time of Thuanus, that when any debate arose either in Coun­cil, Parliaments, or Courts of Judica­ture, about the Miscarriages of the Government, always the Raign of Lewis the XII. was propos'd as the Pat­tern and Standard of the Reformation intended.

Thus the Law of England is the Se­curity of the Prince and People. The security of the Prince as being the se­curity of his Prerogative, which is a part of the Law, and comprehended in it. And so the security of the Pre­rogative becomes in course the securi­ty of the Peoples Liberty, being both determin'd by the Law and Customs of the Land; there being no other Pre­rogative, nor any other Liberty of the Subject then what they allow.

So that there is nothing can injure the Law of England but wresting and misinterpretation, nor can it well be wrested neither, unless it be screw'd from the intent of Reason and Hone­sty. Neither is it possible for any man to mis-interpret it, without the Ship­wrack of his Conscience upon the [Page 131]Rocks of specious pretence. For mis­interpretation mis-guides the Law to Evil; which no man can think to be a vertuous Act, whatever may be his aim in doing of it. The Law of En­gland imposes nothing but what is grounded upon the Maximes of what is just and honest in it self, and is cur­rant to all, as bearing the Stamp of Right Reason and Divine Truth; which They who mis-interpret, coun­terfeit the Impression, and utter the base Coyn of Falshood and Dissem­bl'd Pretence for Real Verity.

But when Dominion and Authority believing it self too rudely curb'd, or Popular Liberty deeming it self too severely checkt, seek to transcend the Limits of the Law; then Interest and Faction create Sidings and Parties, and invent wicked Names of Distinction; and the whole Frame of Law is put into Disorder. Nor does either party want Incendiaries, who for their pri­vate Emoluments and Advantages kin­dle those Fires on Earth that shall tor­ment 'em hereafter. Whereas the strict observance of Command according to the Law, and the due performance of [Page 132]Homage and Obedience according to the Injunctions of the same Law would keep all things right, and nothing could shake the Prerogative and Safe­ty of the Prince, or the Liberty and Security of the Subject.

The greatest Happinesses that God bestows upon Mankind have all their Limits set. The Sun is ty'd to his Di­urnal and Annual Motions; The Stars are fix'd within their proper Spheres, and cannot stir beyond the Law of Nature. The Seasons have their limits; the Sea and Land have both their bounds. Nay Vertue her self, if she runs into Excess, mounts or descends to some particular Vice. And there­fore good Government cannot take it ill, if it be impal'd within the Laws of Order and Moderation. Especially seeing that Justice it self whose Mini­ster it is, is restrain'd and limited in her Power.

The same considerations fasten the Ligaments of Obedience. For the whole World is but one entire piece of Obedience to its Soveraign, of which that only unruly part is Man himself. We are bound to obey our [Page 133]lawful Supream not only as Subjects, for the outward benefits of Peace and Protection, but as Christians, for the inward satisfaction of Conscience, as being a part of our Christian Duty. Neither is it less folly then Impiety to be disobedient to those that govern by good and wholsome Laws. For there­by they destroy their own preserva­tion. Therefore it was one of the highest praises of the Lacedemonians, that they knew when they had good and wholsome Laws, and as well knew how to obey them. And it was their constancy in adhering to their funda­mental Laws, and the reverence they bare to their Princes so strict in the Observance of them, that so long preserv'd them their Reputation of be­ing what they were, the most renowned People of Greece.

To serve a Prince because we receive particular Benefits and Graces from his Authority, is no Obedience but Self-Interest, and consequently there is no assurance of their Fidelity, which changes of an instant upon the hopes of a better Market.

[Page 134]Neither can that be said to be true Obedience, which is only a submission out of fear of punishment. For that is only Self-love, and a natural pro­pensity to ease and repose. If it may not rather be said to be Slavery. For submission out of fear denotes com­pulsion: and compulsion is a mark of servitude and vassalage, rather then of real Homage and Obedience.

But the Fidelity and Obedience of a true Subject proceeds from the obli­gation of Conscience; and is the same Tye to his Prince, by which the Prince is bound to God Himself, by Consci­ence to do Acts of Justice and Mercy, as being the Vice-Pastor of the People of God, and the Vice-gerent of the King of Peace and Justice. Nay he is the living Image of God; [...]. And how comes that to be? The Light of Nature tells us, shining even among the Heathen. [...]. For that ha­ving obtain'd a Kingdom, he is to shew himself most worthy of so supream a Dignity. Which high deserving Ex­cellence then most radiantly displays it self in Majesty, when it appears array'd [Page 135]with the Beams of Divine Attributes. [...],Philo. [...] As to bodily substance a King is like another Man, but in the power of his Dignity he is like to God who is above all. So that when the Authority of a King is like the Authority of God, (and Righteous and true are all his ways) there to re­fuse Obedience to the King, is the same impiety as to refuse Obedience to God himself. However, it is not to be imagin'd that so much strictness can be expected from Mortality: the resemblance is enough to fix our Vene­ration. Therefore all Princes are by the Psalmist stil'd Gods; tho he is very severe against those that deviate from the Resemblance of the Heavenly Pro­totype. Niloxenus also the Wise Man, being ask'd what was the most profi­table and useful Thing in the World, answer'd, a King, as most resembling God in his works of Justice and Mer­cy, and to whom therefore the People by Conscience are bound with all hu­mility to pay the Tribute of Homage and Obedience. And for this reason [Page 136]all persons, of what Quality, Conditi­on, or Sex soever, tho they never took the Oath of Allegiance, are as firmly bound by it, as if they had taken it, as being written by the Finger of the Law in the hearts of every one, and the taking it is but an outward Decla­ration of the Act it self. For as it is proprium Imperiis imperare per leges, So is it proprium Subjectionis, obedientiam praestare per leges. Which is no more then the reciprocal Stipulation of God himself with his Creature Man. I am the Lord thy God that brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, therefore thou shalt have no other Gods but me. I am the Lord thy God, &c. therefore obey my Commandments. And it is remarka­ble that God always expostulates with his People for their Ingratitude for signal benefits receiv'd, before he pu­nish them for disobedience.

Now there is one prevailing Lure that draws Men into the Snare of Dis­obedience, and that is call'd pretence of Religion; which falling into the ma­nagement of Crafty Heads, proves the pernicious Coverture of Rebellious and Trayterous designs, and therefore [Page 137]one of the greatest Enemies of Law and Government in this World. It ought to be mark'd for destruction, as Cain was for his preservation. For it is a hard matter to discover it, so ex­actly do the Incendiaries and Promo­ters of Sedition paint and dress their false Plantagenets, and Pseudo-Musta­pha's in resemblance of the real Por­traiture. Especially when they come to be fucuss'd and periwigg'd by the Skilful hands of Spiritual Ambition, for the support of Ecclesiastical Pomp and Superstition. It is nefarious any where, but never proves worse then when it ascends the Pulpit. From whence it ought to be exterminated with all the care imaginable; there being nothing more fatal to all good Government then to foster it in the Bosom of Interest. Which sully'd the Encomium of Ferdinand of Arragon, a most prudent and happy Prince, in whom says the Historian, there was nothing to be desir'd but that Integri­ty with which he us'd to cloak his am­bition and immoderate desire of en­larging his Dominions, under the pre­tence of Religion.Thuan. l. 1. Nor need there [Page 138]any farther Examples of the mischiefs of dissembl'd Piety, then those which so lately imbru'd their hands in the bowels of this Nation.

However, the truest touch-stone of feigned Zeal and counterfeit Religion is the Fundamental Law of the Land; which being grounded, as hath bin already made out, upon the Law of God and Nature, nothing of true Zeal, nothing of sincere Religion, nothing of Conscience will adventure to vio­late or disturb. No real Christian Sub­ject, no person of Conscience, no man professing the true grounds of Religi­on will deny his Prince the least tittle of his lawful Rights, or refuse him the least Mite of his Legal Tributes, or whisper the least undecent Murmur against his just proceedings, according to the Fundamental Law of the Land, which if true Prerogative it self can­not pretend against, much less are the Encroachments upon it of dissembl'd Piety and masqueraded Zeal to be en­dur'd. So that whatever pretence of Religion impugnes the Fundamental Law of the Land, the pretence is un­just and irreligious; and such pretences [Page 139]are to be grappl'd with, as the inten­ding Introducers of Confusion and Subversion.

Not that this extends to the inforce­ment of Obedience to any unjust Law which the Self-ends of Interest, may produce. For according to the Sen­tence of all the Grand Casuists now in Fame, and of Suarez among the rest, an unjust Law is no Law,L. 3. de leg. c. 19. and therefore lays no obligation upon the Conscience or Moral Obedience of the People, but is rather to be perempto­rily refus'd. Now whither any Law be unjust or no, is to be decided by Magna Charta, for that all Laws made contrary to That, are by other Fun­damental Laws of the Realm adjudg'd to be void and of no effect. And thus the Great Charter becomes the Judge of True Religion as well as True Law. For True Law commands nothing but what is just and consonant to true Re­ligion. But an unjust Law is ex parte materiae unjust, as commanding that which is dishonest and Irreligious; of which only the pretence of Religion will adventure to be the Patron; and which they who wrest the favour of [Page 140]the Law to protect, can never be ac­compted Men of Religion or Piety. And therefore the vigorous defenders of pretended Religion cannot be too severely censur'd, as being breakers of the Law. For,


A wicked Orator pollutes the Laws; defending Falshood by Fallacy, and Imposture by deceitful Argument. Which tho they have their successes for a time, yet no sooner comes the Storm of Reformation, but they dash to pieces against the Rock of Funda­mental Law. Against which all the Cabals and Combinations of Policy and pretence of Religion have not yet been able to prevail. Even the most Potent and Arbitrary Usurpation that ever hamper'd this Kingdom, and the most powerfully defended in all it's specious Pretences tam Marte quam Mercurio, by Arms and Pens, was compell'd at length to surrender all its counterfeit Glory to the Restoration of Legal Soveraignty and Fundamen­tal Law.

[Page 141]Since then the Fundamental Law of England is the free and open Asylum for every Free-born English Man to re­pair to for the Redress of Grievances, and Oppression; as they who have recourse to other Remedies travail with Reproach and Scandal, so they who suffer Languishment and Ruine, without seeking relief in its proper place, and by those declared means, which with the consent of the Prince himself the Law of the Land, for so many Ages constituted and confirm'd, so frankly affords, are themselves the Felo's of their own Rights and Liber­ties. And if by other attempts they shew their desire of Innovasion, and have it, tho perhaps not to their own content, they are the cause Original of such Encroachments, and chiefly to be blam'd if any Violence be offer'd to the Fundamental Laws. It is their In­terest therefore to defend those Laws which defend and secure their Prince and them; their Prince's Successors and their own Posterity. It is their busi­ness to stand by the sincerity of Reli­gion, and the Integrity of their esta­blish't Law: And therefore as the Pa­tronage [Page 142]of True Religion and the Guardianship and Protection of the Fundamental Law belongs to the care of the Prince, so for the Subject to desert the Prince in the prosecution of such high designs, is to desert the chief security of their own Rights and Li­berties: and to ramble after Innova­sions and Changes of their Establisht Laws, is to forfeit their Estates and Fortunes, and the Felicity of the whole Realm to the next most Potent Seizer. Nothing render'd the Lacedemonians more formidable to Forraign Nations then the strict observance of their fundamental and experienc'd Laws. And then their ancient Glory and Re­nown first deserted Them, when first they began to relinquish their own Se­curity.

'Tis a folly therefore for a Nation to dis-unite about Trifles which the Law of Man is able to decide whether just and honest in Temporals, and the Holy Scripture to determine whether necessary or useful in Spirituals. To insist upon the determination of these sacred Arbitrators is not only Regular but necessary, to avoid the forfeiture [Page 143]of Temporal Right and Christian Freedom.

If a rigorous Creditor should come and sweep away with an Execution ten times the value of his Debt, he would be thought to have a strange distrust of the Law, and to be monstrously forgetful of his Family and himself, that should forgo the relief of the Law, and suffer his Creditour to enrich him­self with the Spoils of his ransackt Estate. Or if a Person of great wealth and high Authority should set up a feign'd Title to the small Tenement of a Poor man, he must be deem'd to have a very slight Opinion of the Law, that should stand still, and suffer his slender Patrimony to be ravish'd from him by the violent hands of opu­lent Oppression. The Law has pro­vided Remedies against all sorts of Cruelty, and infringements of legal and due Liberty, which the natural Law of Self-preservation encourages every Man to lay hold of. So that he who carelesly neglects, deservedly suffers under the neglect of his own Security. Therefore 'tis a Maxim of the Law, Vigilantibus, non Dormientibus Jura sub­veniunt. [Page 144]And therefore also says the Son of Syrach, A man of understand­ing trusteth in the Law, Eccles. 3.33. and the Law is faithful unto him, as an Oracle.

But wherever Division and Distra­ction, displacing Concord and Unity so like the precious Oyntment that ran down from the Beard to the Skirts of the sacrificers Garment, disturb the Oeconomy of good Government, and disorder the steady Course of Meum and Tuum, Justice is put to a Non­plus, being courted of all hands at the vast Expence of fawning Rhetoric and Reward, while both Parties endeavour to make her the Patron of their pre­tensions. So that when Grievance seeks redress, or Wrong and Injury implore relief, Justice like a certain kind of Sentinel, demands first of all, Who are ye for? and puts ye to the Shibboleth Test, before she will admit a Parley. And while a Nation is thus embroyl'd, what can be expected, but saeva Jussa, continuae accusationes, & fallaces Amicitiae; Which only tend to Ruine and Destruction. A Scene far different from those Times of Unity and Peace, of which Tacitus speaks, [Page 145]when it was lawful to think what a Man pleas'd, and speak what he thought:Hist. l. 1. c. 1. the surest Character of Na­tional Quiet and Unanimity.

The Romans had no less then four Temples in Rome, dedicated to Con­cord. More then are sometimes to be found in some Christian Cities, which have three times the number of Churches. Concord is the Medulla Spinalis of a Kingdom, that fortifies and strengthens the several parts of a Realm, gives it Force and Activity, and makes it pliable to all the perfor­mances of Vertue and Heroic Magna­nimity, that renders it compact and strong at home, and formidable abroad, and consequently secure from Clande­stine and Domestic Distempers, and the Menaces of Forraign Violence. And for this reason it was that the The­bans assign'd the Protection of their City to the Goddess Harmonia; There­by intimating the vast benefits which Kingdoms and Cities receiv'd from the strict observance of Unity and Con­cord among themselves. And the Achaeans then flourish'd most highly in renown, when, singularium urbium pe­ricula [Page 146]mutuis viribus propulsabant. For such was the Unanimity of the seve­ral Cities under their Jurisdiction, that they were said to be but one City en­viron'd with several Walls. And it is farther recorded to their fame, that while Justice and Concord hold the Raines of their Government, not all the force of their confederated Ad­versaries could remove them from their Station. But when those Vertues were exil'd by Avarice and Ambition, and the poyson of Discord had infus'd it self into their Counsels,Polybius. then fell that noble and renowned Commonwealth. Which Felicities of Justice and Con­cord proceeded from the equal poise between the Authority of the supream Rulers and the Peoples Liberty.

But the Concord and Unanimity of a Nation, more especially born to Freedom and the remembrance of their Ancestors Heroic Atchievments, are such frightful Apparitions to the jea­lous Politicks of all the Neighbouring World, that every one endeavours to prevent the progress of such a mena­cing Association. Nor are the fatal Instruments of Discord wanting to as­sist [Page 147]and forward their designs. So pre­valent are the sedulous and crafty to the service of the worst of Mistresses.

Among the rest, none have infus'd their poyson more deeply into the veins of secular Authority and spiritual Ju­risdiction, then the Mysterious Society of Jesus, combin'd against the Maximes of the Soveraign of their own Order. Whose only business and employment in this World it is, to incense the Peo­ple against their Princes, and Princes against their Subjects. These Vermin far excel Proteus, or any Infernal Spi­rit in the Assumption of Shapes, and are now at length a Terrour even to their first Indulger, even Anti-Christ Himself.

To arm themselves against these se­veral Pests of National Concord and Unanimity, it behoves every true Chri­stian and every good Subject. For it can be no Crime for Men born Free, to preserve their Ancient Liberties and Rights by the proper and legal means by Fundamental Law prescrib'd. It can be no Crime to countermine the hidden Trains of Ambitious Project, and self-ended Advice, which for pre­sent [Page 148]gratification lye sapping the very foundations of Common Good and National Unanimity. It can be no of­fence to have a watchful and vigilant Eye upon the conceal'd Corroders in­to the Bowels of Law and Liberty, and to display the discoveries of their Wiles and Frauds. For, for want of detection the Law loses in part the op­portunity of Reformation. Nature has given to all Creatures some or other defence to preserve them from the Oppression of superiour Violence. To some Horns, Claws, Tuskes, Probosces, Taloons and Stings, from the Lyon to the Crawling Serpent. To others Scales and Armour Cap a pe from the Leviathan to the little pitiful Prawn. Neither are Vegetatives with­out their Thorns, Barks and Prickles. And it would be unreasonable to think, that Man should be the only part of the Creation left altogether naked. To him therefore is given, both for private and for general preservation, the defence of Reason and Law. Which they who enjoy by Funda­mental Constitution, are the most hap­py People in the World; nor can [Page 149]they be depriv'd of their Inestimable Treasure, their Strength in the Law of Justice, enless they will be so unkind to themselves, and so treacherous to their Posterity, as to surrender it to the Green Withs, and weak Cords to such as love not Righteousness, Wisdom 1.1. nor think of the Lord with a true heart.

And as the People are allow'd the Defence of the Law for the mainte­nance and Protection of their Liber­ties. So is the same Law no less the Fortress and Bulwark of Prerogative. And indeed the Law gives to Princes the highest Prerogative imaginable. For the Law of Justice is Wisdom, and not the Wisdom of one single Person, but the Wisdom of God and Nature. Which therefore Kings are advis'd to seek, that they may Reign for evermore. And who knows, for it is not improbable, seeing there are Thrones and Dignities and Prehemi­nencies in Heaven, that the Just Vice­gerents of God upon Earth, may be allow'd to re-assume their Dignities in the New Jerusalem; which tho just and virtuous Princes cannot be sure of, yet Tyrants and Oppressors can have [Page 150]little hope, that it shall ever be their Lot.

Princes without their just Preroga­tives look like the Sun in Winter de­priv'd of all his Beams by a thick Fog. They are but Fetter'd Dukes of Venice, or Elective Kings of Poland. Their Res Angusta domi, levels their conditi­on with the meanest; obstat Virtutibus; It will not let them display their Ver­tues in the performance of those glo­rious Enterprizes which their Heroic Souls pant after. Their Subjects, if so they may be call'd, cannot appre­hend whether they deserve or not. For 'tis no thanks that they do justly, when they have no power to do ill. And it is apparent that the too much over-weaning and over-wary curbing of Regal Power, has bin the utter overthrow of many a glorious Under­taking. And we find the Romans, tho they had expell'd their Kings, were forc'd, when they knew not what else in the Earth to do, in the low Ebb of their Affairs, to trust a greater Power then ever their Kings had in the Hands of a Dictator. A remedy which ne­ver fail'd 'em. And therefore it be­hoves [Page 151]the People to defend the just Prerogatives of the Prince with the same Zeal, the same Conscience, and the same Resolution which they owe to the maintenance of their Liberties, Lives and Fortunes. Since it may well be thought that the one cannot subsist without the other. The same Divine Oracle of Truth, that said to Kings, Do Justice and lead my People, com­manded the Subject to give Caesar his Due. In which proportionate and equal Poyse of Relative Care and Obe­dience whatever State or Kingdom keeps its Station fix'd upon the Foun­dations of Law and Unanimity, may be certain of an unshaken and im­moveable Diuturnity.


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