BRIEF NOTES Upon a late SERMON, TITL'D, The Fear of God and the King; Preachd, and since Publishd, By MATTHEW GRIFFITH, D.D. And Chaplain to the late KING.

Wherin many Notorious Wrestings of Scripture, and other Falsities are observd by I.M.

LONDON, Printed in the Year 1660.

Brief NOTES upon a late SER­MON, Titl'd, The Fear of God and the King, &c.

I Affirmd in the Preface of a late dis­course, Entitl'd, The ready way to e­stablish a free Commonwealth, and the dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation, that the humor of returning to our old bondage, was instilld of late by some deceivers; and to make good, that what I then affirmd, was not without just ground, one of those deceivers I present here to the people: and if I prove him not such, refuse not to be so accounted in his stead.

He begins in his Epistle to the General; and moves cunningly for a licence to be admitted Physitian both to Church and State; then sets out his practice in Physical terms, an wholsom Electuary to be taken eve­ry morning next our hearts: tells of the opposition which he met with from the Colledge of State-Physitians, then laies before you his drugs and ingre­dients; Strong purgatives in the Pulpit, contemperd of the myrrhe of mortification, the aloes of confession and contrition, the rubarb of restitution and satisfaction; a pretty fantastic dos of Divinity from a Pulpit­Mountibanck, not unlike the Fox, that turning Ped­ler, [Page 2] opend his pack of ware before the Kid; though he now would seem to personate the good Samaritan, undertaking to describe the rise and progress of our na­tional malady, and to prescribe the onely remedy: which how he performs, we shall quickly see.

First, he would suborn Saint Luke as his spokesman to the General, presuming, it seems, to have had as perfect understanding of things from the very first, as the Evangelist had of his Gospel; that the General who hath so eminently born his part in the whole action, might know the certainty of those things better from him a partial Sequesterd enemy: for so he presently appears, though covertly and like the tempter, com­mencing his address with an impudent calumnie and affront to his Excellence, that he would be pleasd to carry on what he had so happily begun in the name and cause not of God onely, which we doubt not, but of his anointed, meaning the late Kings son: which is to charge him most audaciously and falsly with the renouncing of his own public promises and declarations both to the Parlament and the Ar­my, and we trust his actions ere long will deterr such insinuating slanderers from thus approaching him for the future. But the General may well excuse him; for the Comforter himself scapes not his pre­sumption, avouchd as falsly, to have impowrd to those designs him and him only, who hath solemnly declar'd the contrary. What Phanatique against whom he so often inveighs, could more presumptu­ously affirm whom the Comforter hath impowrd, then this Antifanatic, as he would be thought?

The Text.

Prov. 24. 21. My son, fear God and the King, and meddle not with them that be seditious, or desirous of change, &c.

Letting pass matters not in controversie, I come to the main drift of your Sermon, the King; which word here is either to signifie any supreme Magi­strate, or else your latter object of fear is not univer­sal, belongs not at all to many parts of Christendom, that have no King; and in particular, not to us. That we have no King since the putting down of Kingship in this Commonwealth, is manifest by this last Parlament, who to the time of thir dissolving not onely made no address at all to any King, but summond this next to come by the Writ formerly appointed of a free Commonwealth, without resti­tution or the least mention of any Kingly right or power; which could not be, if there were at pre­sent any King of England. The main part therefore of your Sermon, if it mean a King in the usual sense, is either impertinent and absurd, exhorting your au­ditory to fear that which is not, or if King here be, as it is, understood for any supreme Magistrate, by your own exhortation they are in the first place not to meddle with you, as being your self most of all the seditious meant here, and the desirous of change, in stirring them up to fear a King, whom the present Government takes no notice of.

You begin with a vain vision, God and the King at the first blush (which will not be your last blush) seem­ing to stand in your text like those two Cherubims on the [Page 4] mercy-seat, looking on each other. By this similitude, your conceited Sanctuary, worse then the Altar of Ahaz, patternd from Damascus, degrades God to a Cherub, and raises your King to be his collateral in place, notwithstanding the other differences you put: which well agrees with the Court-letters, lately pub­lishd from this Lord to tother Lord, that cry him up for no less then Angelical and Celestial.

Your first observation, pag. 8. is. That God and the King are coupl'd in the text, aud what the Holy Ghost hath thus firmely combin'd, we may not, we must not dare to put asunder; and your self is the first man who puts them asunder by the first proof of your doctrine immediately following, Iudg. 7. 20. which couples the sword of the Lord and Gideon, a man who not only was no King, but refus'd to be a King or Monarch, when it was offered him, in the very next chapter, vers. 22, 23. I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you. Here we see that this worthy heroic deliverer of his Country thought it best governd, if the Lord go­vernd it in that form of a free Commonwealth, which they then enjoid without a single person. And this is your first Scripture, abus'd and most im­pertinently cited, nay against your self, to prove that Kings at thir Coronation have a sword given them, which you interpret the Militia, the power of life and death put into thir hands, against the declar'd judge­ment of our Parlaments, nay of all our Laws, which reserve to themselves only the power of life and death, and render you in thir just resent­ment [Page 5] of this boldness, another Doctor Manwa­ring.

Your next proof is as false and frivolous, The King, say you, is Gods sword-bearer; true, but not the King only, for Gideon by whom you seek to prove this, neither was, nor would be a King; and as you your self confess, pag. 40. there he divers forms of govern­ment. He bears not the sword in vain, Rom. 13. 4. this also is as true of any lawful rulers, especially su­preme, so that rulers, vers. 3. and therefor this pre­sent government, without whose authority you ex­cite the people to a King, bear the sword as well as Kings, and as little in vain. They fight against God, who resist his Ordinance, and go about to wrest the sword out of the hands of his Anointed? This is likewise gran­ted: but who is his Anointed? not every King, but they only who were anointed or made Kings by his special command; as Saul, David, and his race, which ended in the Messiah, (from whom no Kings at this day can derive thir title) Iehu, Cyrus, and if any other were by name appointed by him to some particular service: as for the rest of Kings, all other supreme Magistrates are as much the Lords anointed as they; and our obedience commanded equally to them all; For there is no power but of God, Rom. 13. 1. and we are exhorted in the Gospell to obey Kings, as other Magistrates, not that they are call'd any where the Lord's anointed, but as they are the ordi­nance of man, 1. Pet. [...]. 13. You therefor and other such false Doctors, preaching Kings to your auditory, as the Lord's only anointed, to withdraw people from the present Government, by your own text are [Page 6] self condemnd, and not to be followd, not to be medl'd with, but to be noted, as most of all others the seditious and desirous of change.

Your third proof is no less against your self. Psal. 105. 15. touch not mine anointed. For this is not spo­ken in behalf of Kings, but spoken to reprove Kings, that they should not touch his anointed Saints and Servants, the seed of Abraham, as the verie next be­fore might have taught you: he reproved Kings for their sakes; saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm; according to that 2 Cor. 1. 21. He who hath anointed us, is God. But how well you con­firme one wrested Scripture with another; 1 Sam. 8. 7. They have not rejected thee, but me: grosly misapply­ing these words, which were not spoken to any who had resisted orrejected a King, but to them who much against the will of God had sought a King, and re­jected a Commonwealth, wherin they might have livd happily under the Raign of God only, thir King. Let the words interpret themselves: v. 6. 7. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, give us a King to judge us: and Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not re­jected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. Hence you conclude, so in dissoluble is the Conjunction of God and the King. O notori­ous abuse of Scripture! whenas you should have concluded, So unwilling was God to give them a King, So wide was the disjunction of God from a King. Is this the doctrin you boast of to be so clear in it self, and like a Mathematical principle, that [Page 7] needs no farther demonstration. Bad Logic, bad Ma­thematics (for principles can have no demonstration at all) but wors Divinitie. O people of an implicit faith no better then Romish, if these be thy prime teachers, who to thir credulous audience dare thus jugle with Scripture, to alleage those places for the proof of thir doctrin, which are the plane refutation: and this is all the Scripture which he brings to con­firm his point.

The rest of his preachment is meer groundless chat, save heer and there a few granes of corn scatterd to intice the silly fowl into his net, interlac't heer and there with som human reading; though slight, and notwithout Geographical and Historical mistakes▪ as page 29, Suevia the German dukedom, for Suecia the Northern Kingdom: Philip of Macedon, who is generally understood of the great Alexanders father only, made contemporanie, page 31, with T. Quintus the Roman commander, instead of T. Quintius and the latter Philip: and page 44, Tully cited in his third ora­tion against Verres, to say of him, that he was a wicked Consul, who never was a Consul: nor Trojan sedition ever portraid by that verse of Virgil, which you cite page 47, as that of Troy: school-boyes could have tould you, that ther is nothing of Troy in that whole portraiture, as you call it, of sedition. These gross mistakes may justly bring in doubt your other loos citations; and that you take them up somwhere at the second or third hand rashly and without due considering.

Nor are you happier in the relating or the morali­zing your fable. The frogs (being once a free Na­tion [Page] saith the fable) petitioned Iupiter for a King: he tambl'd among them a log. They found it insensible: they petitioned then for a King that should be active: he sent them a Crane (a Stork saith the fable) which straight fell to pecking them up. This you apply to the reproof of them who desire change: wheras indeed the true moral shews rather the folly of those, who being free seek a King; which for the most part either as a log lies heavie on his Subjects, without doing aught wor­thie of his dignitie and the charge to maintain him, or as a Stork is ever pecking them up and devouring them.

But by our fundamental Laws, the King is the highest power, page 40. If we must hear mooting and law­lectures from the Pulpit, what shame is it for a Dr. of Divinitie, not first to consider, that no law can be fundamental, but that which is grounded on the light of nature or right reason, commonly call'd moral law: which no form of Government was ever counted; but arbitrarie, and at all times in the choice of every free people, or thir representers. This choice of Govern­ment is so essential to thir freedom, that longer then they have it, they are not free. In this land not only the late King and his posteritie, but kingship it self hath bin abrogated by a law; which involves with as good reason the posteritie of a King forfeited to the people, as that Law heretofore of Treason against the King, attainted the children with the father. This Law against both King and Kingship they who most question, do no less question all enacted without the King and his Antiparlament at Oxford, though call'd Mungrell by himself. If no Law must be held good, [Page] but what passes in full Parlament, then surely in ex­actness of legalitie, no member must be missing: for look how many are missing, so many Counties or Ci­ties that sent them, want thir representers. But if being once chosen, they serve for the whole Nation, then any number which is sufficient, is full, and most of all in times of discord, necessitie and danger. The King himself was bound by the old Mode of Parla­ments, not to be absent, but in case of sickness; or som extraordinary occasion, and then to leave his substi­tute; much less might any member be allowd to absent himself. If the King then and many of the members with him, without leaving any in his stead, forsook the Parlament upon a meer panic fear, as was at that time judg'd by most men, and to leavie Warr against them that sat, should they who were left sit­ting, break up, or not dare enact aught of neerest and presentest concernment to public safety, for the punctilio wanting of a full number, which no Law book in such extraordinary cases hath determind? Certainly if it were lawfull for them to fly from thir charge upon pretence of privat safety, it was much more lawfull for these to sit and act in thir trust what was necessary for public. By a Law therefor of Par­lament, and of a Parlament that conquerd both Ire­land, Scotland, & all thir enemies in England, defended thir friends, were generally acknowledgd for a Parla­ment both at home & abroad, kingship was abolishd: this Law now of late hath bin negatively repeald; yet Kingship not positively restor'd; and I suppose never was establishd by any certain Law in this Land, nor possibly could be: for how could our forefathers binde [Page] us to any certain form of Government, more then we can binde our posteritie? If a people be put to warre with thir King for his misgovernment, and overcome him, the power is then undoubtedly in thir own hands how they will be governd. The warr was gran­ted just by the King himself at the beginning of his last treatie; and still maintaind to be so by this last Parlament, as appears by the qualification prescrib'd to the members of this next ensuing, That none shall be elected, who have born arms against the Parla­ment since 1641. If the warr were just, the con­quest was also just by the Law of Nations. And he who was the chief enemie, in all right ceasd to be the King, especially after captivitie, by the deciding ver­dit of warr; and royaltie with all her Laws and pre­tentions, yet remains in the victors power, together with the choice of our future Government. Free Commonwealths have bin ever counted firtest and properest for civil, vertuous and industrious Nations, abounding with prudent men worthie to govern: monarchie fittest to curb degenerate, corrupt, idle, proud, luxurious people. If we desire to be of the former, nothing better for us, nothing nobler then a free Commonwealth: if we will needs con­demn our selves to be of the latter, desparing of our own vertue, industrie and the number of our able men, we may then, conscious of our own unwor­thiness to be governd better, sadly betake us to our befitting thraldom: yet chusing out of our own num­ber one who hath best aided the people, and best me­rited against tyrannie, the space of a raign or two we may chance to live happily anough, or tolerably. But [Page] that a victorious people should give up themselves a­gain to the vanquishd, was never yet heard of; seems rather void of all reason and good policie, and will in all probabilitie subject the subduers to the subdu'd, will expose to revenge, to beggarie, to ruin and per­petual bondage the victors under the vanquishd: then which what can be more unworthie?

From misinterpreting our Law, you return to do again the same with Scripture; and would prove the supremacy of English Kings from 1 Pet. 2. 13. as if that were the Apostles work: wherin if he saith that the king is supreme, he speaks so of him but as an ordinance of man, and in respect of those Governours that are sent by him, not in respect of Parlaments, which by the Law of this Land are his bridle; in vain his bridle, if not also his rider: and therefor hath not only coordination with him, which you falsly call seditious, but hath su­perioritie above him, and that neither against religion, nor right reason: no nor against Common Law; for our Kings reignd only by Law: but the Parlament is above all positive Law, whether civil or common, makes or unmakes them both, & still the latter Parla­ment above the former, above all the former Lawgi­vers, then certainly above all precedent Laws, entaild the Crown on whom it pleasd; and, as a great Lawyer saith, is so transcendent and absolute, that it cannot be consin'd either for causes or persons, within any bounds. But your cry is, no Parlament without a King. If this be so, we have never had lawfull Kings, who have all bin created Kings either by such Parlaments, or by conquest: if by such Parlaments, they are in your allowance none: if by conquest, that conquest [Page] We have now conquerd. So that as well by your own assertion as by ours, there can at present be no King. And how could that person be absolutely supreme, who reignd, not under Law only, but under oath of his good demeanour given to the people at his coronati­on, ere the people gave him his Crown? and his principal oath was to maintain those Laws which the people should chuse? If then the Law it self, much more he who was but the keeper and minister of Law, was in thir choice; and both he subordinat to the performance of his duty sworn, and our sworn allegiance in order only to his performance.

You fall next on the Consistorian Schismatics; for so you call Presbyterians, page 40; and judge them to have enervated the Kings Supremacie by thir opinions and practice, differing in many things only in terms from Poperie; though some of those principles which you there cite concerning Kingship, are to be read in A­ristotles Politics, long ere Popery was thought on. The Presbyterians therefor it concerns to be well forewarnd of you betimes; and to them I leave you.

As for your examples of seditious men, page 54, &c. Cora, Absalom, Zimri, Sheba, to these you might with much more reason have added your own name, who blow the Trumpet of sedition from your Pulpit against the present Government: in reward wherof they have sent you by this time, as I hear, to your own place, for preching open sedition, while you would seem to preach against it.

As for your appendix annext of the Samaritan re­viv'd, finding it so foul a libell against all the well­affected of this land, since the very time of Ship-mo­ney, [Page] against the whole Parlament, both Lords and Commons, except those that fled to Oxford, against the whole reformed Church, not only in England and Scotland, but all over Europ (in comparison wherof you and your Prelatical partie are more truly schismatics and sectarians, nay more properly fanatics in your fanes and guilded temples, then those whom you revile by those names) and meeting with no more Scripture or solid reason in your Samaritane wine and oyle, then hath already bin found sophistica­ted and adulterate, I leave your malignant narrative, as needing no other confutation, then the just censure already pass'd upon you by the Councel of State.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.