THE SEDITIOUS Principle, Viz. That the Supreme Power is inherent in the People, and that perpetually as in the proper Subject; [Upon which the late lawlesse Actings against the KING were grounded; and from which the long Thraldom and Misery of the three Nations did ensue.]

Examined and Confuted.


LONDON, Printed for Sarah Bartlet at the Gilt Cup in Westminster-Hall. 1662.

Perlegi hunc Tractatum cui Titulus [The Seditious Principle, &c.]

Examined and Confuted, Quem & Lectu & Typis dignum judico.

M. Franck S.T.P. R. P. Epis. Lond. à sacris domesticis.
May it please Your Majesty,

THis unhappy Posthumus was intended to kisse Your Majesties hand before the Authors death, but by some ill fate hath trewanted by the way, till now of late it came to me, who (having had a former acquaintance with it) in loyalty to Your Sacred Majesty, duty to my Countrey, and obedience to the Authors meaning, whom I had the honour to call Tutor) dare do no lesse than publish and present it; nor could I have abused this opportunity without a tacite condem­nation of my self as accessory to this horrid Principle. The Dregs whereof hang too much in the heads of many mistaken moderate persons, and still continues lurking in corners, and building strong holds in secret and seditious Conventicles. And to give it an hono­rable Pedigree, they make it of kin to that ancient frontispiece of the Common Laws of England, Salus populi suprema Lex: Where, without doubt, the King in good manners must needs be understood in the first place as Head of the people, and in case our Division­mongers shall take the King and people as distinct Estates, it can bear no other meaning than that the health and welfare of the peo­ple is the strength of the King, who is the life of the Law: But their crooked constructions are like bad constitutions, that turn the best of meats into the worst of humors. And to give this popular principle the more formality and priviledge, it must be denizon'd by the Taile of that Serpent-Parliament (the memory whereof is only hap­py in the Act of Oblivion) and laid up in their Journal as a per­petual magazen for the fifth of November or a recruit in taile to the black and dismal day of our late Kings murder, Your Majesties Royal Father: Though our late combustions by Your Majesties Pro­vidence and prudence are alayed for present, yet 'tis justly to be feared they will never be extinguished so long as this Principle hath [Page]one spark of life or being in the hearts and heads of your Majesties subjects: To which the Author most humbly offers this expedient.

And if Your Majesty shall please to give a second life to him by a countenance of these lines with Your gracious acceptance, without doubt You will find them bear a very considerable part in Your Majesties Life-guard.

But my duty to him forbids me all Encomiums, knowing how little he loved them, and how much lesse he needs them. Now may it please Your Majesty, since Your Pardon hath prevented the utmost darings of all mens askings, I shall not be desperate of mine for assuming this boldnesse, being the real effect of a heart brim full of affection and loyalty to Your most Sacred Majesty, and upon that confidence shall presume to beg leave to write my self

Your Majesties most humble and Loyal Subject, JOHN SHADWELL.

TO THE KINGS most Excellent Majesty.

Most gracious and dread Soveraign,

THat ingenuous and true Loyalty which is due to your most Sacred Majesty (if it can yet be as du­ly rendred) is the truest and surest foundation of the whole peoples civil happiness and safety.

That which is most opposite to that true Loyalty, is the late unchristian policy, most perniciously pra­ctised in these Nations, upon the false ground of this most erroneous and seditious Principle, That the Supreme Political power is both originally from, and still inherent in the People.

In the Confutation whereof (which may by some other be much more irrefragably done.) All these persons that have from the very beginning of our late miseries) in any Way, or in any Capacity acted (directly or indirectly) against your Ma­jesties Royal Father (of ever blessed and most precious me­mory,) and against your most Sacred Majesties own Person and just Right, will find themselves not a little concerned. They will easily see, that, if this Principle be proved false, the only pretence of lawfulnesse for all their lawless actings is ut­terly taken away. For even to themselves and to all other men it is most apparent, (if duly considered,) that from this Principle arose the Confidence or Pretence of lawfulness so, the most unlawful usurping of the power of the Militia, their taking Armes by their pretended Authority from the People, their making pretended Acts of Parliament without the Roy­al Assent, their most impudent accusing and most scelerati­ous [Page]condemning of Your Majesties Royal Father expresly in the name of the People, and (which was the root of all the evil) their first Covenanting to alter the fundamentals of Govern­ment, and to abolish that which stood fully established by all the Law of England without any Concurrence of the Royal Authority, and in a forcible and violent opposition against it; their Ejecting the whole House of Lords, and most unrighte­ous banishing of Your most Sacred Majesty, upon pretence of sole Soveraignty in the People, whose Representatives they would (even in despight of the People) be then esteemed; For all which unrighteous practises, and many other, most nefa­riously perpetrated against all Law Divine and Humane, the Authors, Actors, Abettors, and Approvers have no other pretence of Apology, (by which they yet continue in impe­nitency,) besides their own Opinion or Dissimulation of this most false, Antiscriptural, and most seditious Principle. There­fore any confutation of this, will, perhaps, irritare crabrones, too much irritate the whole nest of Hornets, with all their dis­loyal and Antichristian Faction; there being but little hope of more than forced Repentance from them that have sinned wilfully after they had received the knowledge of the truth; and hence it is, there is so little appearance yet of any such thing. How seasonable therefore such a Corrosive may be to that old Sore that is but newly skinn'd, it is not easie for any private person to determine. Yet the Conscience of my necessary du­ty to serve God and Your Majesty, and to defend Your most Sacred Authority (in my way) to the uttermost of my power hath enforced me to this Endeavour; which I most humbly submit to Your Majesties Censure, pleasure and Pardon, as becomes

Your Majesties most devoted Servant and lowest Subject, JOHN NOVELL.

AN Introduction Touching the state of the QƲESTION, WITH A Brief Explication of the Terms.

IT is the new and strange Doctrine of some of the late Jesuits, (more lately reduced into Practice by Persons professing the greatest Enmity and Op­position to those Innovators) That the whole Po­litical Power is not only originally from, but for­mally inherent in the People. Nota, hanc Pote­statem immediatè esse tanquam in Subjecto, in to­ta Multitudine, saith oneBellar. lib. 3. de Laicis. c. 6.; Note, that this power is immediately in the whole people, as in the Subject of it: And, Pendet à Con­sensu multitudinis; It depends upon the Agreement of the people, saith the same Author. And, Potestas secularis est à Deomediatè; quia Natura & Recta Ratio dictat, & hominibus persuasit praefi­cere Reipublicae Magistratus, saith anotherCaanel. à La­pide, in his note upon Rom. 13.1.; i. e. The secular power is of God, but mediately; because Nature and Right Rea­son, which is of God, doth dictate, and hath perswaded men to set up Magistrates over the Common-wealth: But, (saith the same Author,) Potestas Ecclesiastica immediatè est à Deo instituta; The Ecclesiastical Power is ordained of God immediately: This is true; and so indeed, must also that Original Power of Paternal Re­gality needs be, which God by the Law of Nature hath ordained, and by positive Institution settled, (of which his written Word gives [Page 4]us clear, and certain Instances; by which also He hath governed the world universally in the first ages of it; and, unto which He expresly commanded obedience to be yielded by one of the special Precepts of his moral and eternal Law, then, when there was no other kind of Civil Power extant in the world.

But this Device of Mediate derivation of the Civil Power, and immediate Institution of the Ecclesiastick, is invented and obtruded by these deceitful Workers to exalt the Pope to an absolute Soveraign­ty over all Kings and Princes; and that not only in Spirituals, but (by the help of that Distinction of not directly, but indirectly, which is just as good as this of not immediately, but mediately,) in all tem­poral and secular things and Causes too, as well as in Spiritual. In order to this Design intended by these Authors, and in prosecution of many other farre Different Ends designed by the Anabaptists and o­thers, the Foxes have their tails tyed together in this false Principle, equally common to both: which is that Fire-brand that did for so long a time put these Nations into one general Combustion.

The self-same Principle was once delivered by one Dr. Dorislaus (of infamous memory) in the Schools at Cambridge in my hearing about thirty years since: And had he then been punished (as he was complain'd of) according to his high Demerit, and his dange­rous Doctrine publickly condemned (if it could have been) by a just Law, perhaps the mischief that hath since ensued of it, (in which the very same Man had a hand) might have been prevented.

It hath also been more lately asserted by the Author of a seditious Pamphlet set forth about the beginning of our late fatal War, enti­tuled, OBSERVATIONS upon some of His Majesties late Answers and Expresses; wherein the Observators Fundamental Thesis confidently presumed and never proved, is in these express words; Power is originally inherent in the People: And, Power is but secundary and derivative in Princes, the fountain and effi­cient Cause is the People. And last of all, the Author of the Ar­mies Plea (as 'twas call'd) affirmeth, That Kings have no power and authority, but what they have from the People. Still the Peo­ple are colloqued with, and made believe all is their own, till they are left Owners of Nothing, but at the pleasure and allowance of their Covetous Undoers: Why should I make these petty instances, when this principle is become so National, as to have the Counte­nance [Page 5]of a Vote in that which was called a Parliament, as you may see in their Preparative to the High Court of Justice, Jan. 4. 1648. and the eigth of January, 1648. you may see the same Dorislaus appear in his Colours, as one of the Chief Architects of that most Horrid Structure.

But, That there can be no other Fountain and efficient Cause of Civil Power and just Authority, but God: That it is derived to Princes immediately from God, and not solely or chiefly from the People: That the Special Right and Title to it, is from God alone; And, That God never gave his own glory to men, to have the giving of this Power, is that which is here endeavoured to be made ap­parent.

But first, a little explication of Terms, (such as shall here occa­sionally be mentioned,) will not be amiss. When the word [Ma­gistrate] is used, not every one that is vulgarly called by that Name is meant. The inferiour Minister of Justice, having no inherent power, but deriving all his authority by Commission from the King, is not the Magistrate here spoken of. The King alone is the Magi­strate (properly so called,) who only is that Supreme Person whose Authority is not Commissionary, but original, formal, inherent, and inexistent, as created in Him of God, by communicating to Him the Image and Title of his Own Dominion and Power, by which He Himself Governs the world: And it is of the same Nature (but more eminent) with that authority which a Father hath over his sons; which depends on no Act or Deed, much less on any Concession or Grant of theirs.

And by this it also appears what must needs be meant by the Su­preme Political Power and Authority; to wit, that Paternal and e­quitable, and (yet) full and uncontroulable Dominion over the free people of the Land, whose freedom consists in this, that He Rules and Governs them, as the Minister of God, in true judge­ment and justice according to the known Laws, ancient Customs, and fundamental Constitutions of the Kingdom, and that for the Common Good, and Universal Benefit of all: As, a Father un­controulably governs his Children, yet for the equal and common Welfare both of Him and them.

What is meant by immediate Derivation of this Power from God, (which is often mentioned,) is next and last to be unfolded. [Page 6]Things may be said to be of God, or from God, divers wayes. 1. By his immediate Influx into the Essence of every thing, as he is the Universal Cause of all things that have a Being. 2. By his imme­diate Instinct, Motion, Special Help and Exciration, as He is the Father of Lights, and Giver of every good and perfect Gift; and thus he gives to his Special Minister the Supreme Magistrate, special grace, wisdom, counsel, courage, justice, love to his people, and a tender care of their Welfare. 3. By his own proper Donation, Grant and Conveyance of just Right, Title and Interest; And thus the Right and just Title to Supreme Government and Political Pow­er, comes immediately from God to the lawful Magistrate; As eve­ry private Right, Title and Interest to or in any thing, must needs come to him that receives it immediately from the only just possessor and proper owner of it; Such as God must needs be of all Domini­on, Government and Rule over the Nations of the world, as their Sole Creator and Upholder. For, God (of his own right) being the only King, and (by his own Act) the immediate Governor of and in all the actual Governments and Kingdoms of the world, it incommu­nicably belongs to him to have the giving and conveying of the Right of Government to them that justly possess it: And, it in­communicably belonging to him to have the giving of that Right, from him immediately must it needs come.

This way of Derivation and Collation of Civil Authority and the Right of it directly and immediately to the Supreme Magistrate from God, the proper Fountain, and formal Owner, and actual Possessor of it, (who imparts it to the Supreme Magistrate, not by alienation from, but by communication with himself;) these ensuing Argu­ments, by vertue of that high Principle upon which they are foun­ded, the Word of God, will (it may be hoped) sufficiently prove and ma­nifest to all, but such as are given to change, and are led by the Phana­tick Spirit to Despise Dominion, and to count all just Authority, tyran­ny, if they be not allowed to take the liberty to controul it at their pleasure, to use the Lords Anointed as execrably as they have lately done, and to shed the blood of the chief Nobility also, to satisfie their filthy Lust.

I. Exod. 22.28. Thou shalt not revile the Gods, nor curse the Ruler of thy People, [or, the Prince among thy People.]

GOD gives his own Name and Title to the Prince; which were utterly incongruous and incompetible, if he did not also communicate to him a competent pro­portion of his own authority and power. But, if God had given the whole civil Authority to the People, and the People only (and only upon their own ac­count) had given it to the Prince, by such a meer extrinsecal Com­mission of authority from Men, how could Princes be stiled Gods, when those men themselves could never be stiled so?

I have said, Ye are Gods, likewise saith the Psalmist, The rea­son whereof is expressely and purposely rendred by our Saviour in the GospelPsal. 82.6. John 10.34.; Because, to them the Word of God came. Which can signifie no less than that their Civil Power is given and conveyed to them by the express Word of God. For it is God himself that saith by the mouth of David, I have said, Ye are Gods. Therefore, Dicit Christus Reges vocari Deos, quòd munus sustineant divi­nitus sibi injunctum, saith Calvin rightly, upon those words; that is, Christ affirmeth, that Kings are therefore stiled Gods, because they bear an Office by Divine Injunction: Who will say, that the Peoples Election or Commission (unless they were all Prophets) is Divine Injunction? Or who will say (in express contradiction to the Text) that, not the Word of God, but only the word of the People it was that came to them? Where a Kingdom is by Custom elective, the Case differs not. For, in this, the Act of men is on­ly instrumental to God: In their electing who have right to elect, God alone gives the right, and the just Power to govern: Which is apparent, because this right and power the Electors themselves never had, and therefore could never give it.

Briefly thus,
Whosoever can have the giving of Supreme Political Power, can likewise have the giving of Gods own Name and Title;
No mortal men nor Angels in heaven can have the giving of Gods own Name and Title;
Therefore no mortal men nor Angels in heaven can have the giving of Supreme Political Power.

The Major is evident, because God hath said to Princes, I have said, Ye are Gods, and directed his Prophets to call them Gods, for no other reason, but because they communicate with God in that Supreme Power of Government, that principally and properly is his peculiar. Whence also the Minor is manifest, because none but God, whose only peculiar the Power is, can, upon the account of communicating thereof to Princes, be the Giver of his own Name and Title. And therefore, saith our Saviour, To them the Word of God came: that is, It was God himself that said thus to them, I have said, Ye are Gods: And if he had not said it, who ever durst or could? The conclusion therefore is certain; He who alone could say, Ye are Gods, could really make them such; that is could really communicate to them of his own Power, for which he so entitles them.

II. Rom. 13.1. Let every soul be Subject to the Higher Powers; or, to the Supreme Power.

TO say a Derivative Power is Supreme, is a contradiction. Therefore Nero's Power was not then Derivative, but (under God) Original and Inherent in himself; which it could no otherwise be, but by his communicating therein with God, whose Minister (the Apostle saith) he was; whereby it became as properly his own (against all other men) as wisdom or learning, or any other quality (which God also is the Giver of) is his that hath it.

Upon occasion of the Sedition of Judas of Galilee (mentioned, Acts 5.37.) the Romans were ever apt to suspect that Christ and his Apostles (being also Galileans) were ill-affected to Caesar, and to the Roman Empire. Hence it was that the Pharisees sent their Disciples with the Herodians to Christ, thinking (with flattery and hypocrisie) to discover it to be his Opinion, That it was not lawful to acknowledge the Authority of the Roman King over Gods people to be taxed by him, or to pay Tribute to him; in that it might seem a betraying of their Liberty, as they were the seed of Abraham: The pretence whereof, specious, and very taking, was that that drew so great a multitude after the Galilean Rebel.

For this Cause, our Saviour himself, and his holy Apostles, were as watchful upon all Occasions to wipe off this unjust Aspersion cast up­on them.

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, said our Saviour, Matth. 22.21. Thereby declaring not only the lawfulness, but the justness and duness of Caesars Tribute, even from Gods own people, the Jewes; which is plainly notified by Caesaris, and Reddite, Ren­der it. Now if the Civil Power over the land of Judaea had been of Right in the People, that whole Nation, and all the World be­sides,Luke [...]. 1. could not have been taxed to pay it (as they were) against their Wills, without manifest Injustice: The Tribute had in no wise been due to Caesar, till it had first been granted by the full and free Consent of the people. It was not their own Act, but only Caesars De­cree, that drew it from them; yet, by our Saviours own words was this Tribute just and due to Caesar, which manifestly shewes that Cae­sars just Power was not depending on any Act, Grant, or Consent of the People.

[That now Taxes are not ordinarily raised in this Christian Monarchy without the Peoples own Act and Consent in Par­liament, hath grown into an ancient and obliging Custom now, which took its beginning (no doubt) from those Chri­stian Principles in our Christian Kings, which are of greater perfection, than what the Rules of meer Civil Justice do re­quire, which infers not any dependance of the Kingly Office and Authority on the Consent or Will of the People.]

And as Christ himself, so his Apostle Paul writing here to the Ro­mans, endeavours in like manner to evidence to the World, That Christians were no way guilty of the Galilean Heresie (as the Anci­ents call'd it:) And therefore doth here effectually move the Christi­ans to yield Obedience and Subjection to the Roman King, though then an Infidel, and afterwardFor this E­pistle was writ­ten in Quin­quennio Neronis a fierce Enemy, and a Persecutor of the Church. To this Duty he stirs them up by divers convincing Ar­guments, whereof the first is to this effect.

  • All Power that is of God must every soul be subject to.
  • But the Power of the Roman King is of God: Therefore,
  • The Power of the Roman King must every soul be subject to.

Here, our later Polititians could (for a need) have helped the Christians (if they had had a Will to Rebel) to such a near distin­ction upon the Minor, as should have utterly repelled the force of the Apostles Argument; viz. Power is of God two wayes; either mediately or immediately: And would have taught the people to ap­ply it thus; If Caesars Power were of God by immediate deriva­tion of it from himself, then indeed it were not for men to reverse it, or to disobey it: But since it is of God (according to the new dis­covery) but only mediately, that is, only by and through the agree­ment of the people, to transfer that Power to the Magistrate, which God had first and originally given to them alone in this case (O Paul!) the Power of our King being no otherwise from God, but thus, We the people that gave it to him, and still have it inherent in our selves, as in the Subject of it, may not only disobey it in him, but take it from him if we think good (as they that can grant a Commission, can recall it when they will) and then give it to whom we please, or take it into our own hands again.

Whosoever therefore will believe there is any thing in that distin­ction, and that God who gives life, health, strength, wisdom, grace, goodness, and every thing else immediately by himself, doth not give this so too, will (by an avoidable consequence) make but a weak Logician of the holy Apostle.

But the Wisdom of God by which the Apostle was directed, hath so ordered his words, as to prevent this furilous Evasion! For, he so af­firmeth the Power of the King to be from God, as (withall) ex­presly [Page 11]to deny it to be from any other: The words run thus; [...]. Which can be rendred, strictly and [...] batim, no otherwise but thus: The Power is not, but from God: Or, There is not Power, but from God: Which is a flat denial, that the Pow­er there spoken of, is at all from men. And therefore, to say it is not only from God, but also, and more immediately from the people, is not only the express Contradictory to the Apostles Assertion, but quite destroyes the Reason involved in it: For, if the Supreme Pow­er of the Prince be from the people, and no more directly and imme­diately from God, then these things are that come by second Causes, That there is no Power but of God, is no more a Reason why every soul should be subject to the Power of Caesar, than to the command of a Robber; for this also is mediately from God, in that the mans Nature and Reason is from him by which he commands.

III. Rom. 13.4. He is the Minister of God.

IF the Supreme Magistrate be Gods Minister, then is he not the peoples; as he needs must, if he received his power immediately from them: Then also the whole people themselves must needs be principal (under God) in the governing of their own Civil Body; and consequently all Government must of necessity be De­mocratical. For even in a simple Democracy (if any such be) the whole people being utterly incapable of doing any Act of Govern­ment themselves (in their universal Body) must needs govern by some One, or some few deputed and impowred by them. If then in an ancient and lawful Monarchy, the King or Monarch were but the peoples Minister or Deputy, and only by them impowred, Monar­chy and Democracy were formally the self-same, and no real, or so much as formal difference between them; which were manifestly false and contradictory.

  • Whosoever hath his Authority to govern from the people, is the peoples Minister in governing themselves.
  • [Page 12]The Minister of God in governing the people, is not the peo­ples Minister in governing themselves: Therefore,
  • The Minister of God in governing the people hath not his Authority to govern from the people; [But consequently, from God himself.]

If this Minister of God were the peoples Minister, then not only God, but the people were principal in inflicting death; which no Angel nor man, but as Gods Minister only, is any more capable of than of giving life. God only is the Lord of life: Therefore, as the whole peo­ple cannot give to one man life, so neither can the whole people have a just power to take it away. None can justly destroy Gods image, but God, let the Cause be what it will: And the power which the people have not, they cannot give. It is therefore God alone, and not the people, that gives to the Supreme Magistrate, the Power to execute wrath, and to punish with death.

IV. Judg. 7.20. The Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

IN the whole Word of God there is neither mention nor intimation of any such thing as the Power of the Sword in or from the people: But as here, The Lord and Gideon; so the Lord and the chief Magistrate (such as Gideon was then made) are only mentioned in Scripture to have any interest in that Power.

  • Whatsoever power is in the people, is in them either princi­pally or ministerially.
  • The power of the Sword is not in the people either of these wayes.
  • Therefore, it is not at all in them.

The disjunction is undeniable: The Minor is apparently true in respect of both; for the principal power of the Sword can be in [Page 13]none but God; and the Ministerial power of it can be in none but Gods Minister.

The Conclusion therefore is infallible, The power of the Sword is not at all in the people.

And if this power be not in them, which all political power doth either consist in, or depend upon, what other power can be, where that of the Sword cannot.

Yet the Phanatick Spirit had of late taught many weak people to believe, That the peoples Representative (though really not that) was the only Supreme Authority of the Nation (as they commonly call'd the late Authours of our greatest evils.)

But if (what was phansied) the peoples Representative by their own choice, were the only Supreme, and the only just Authority in every Nation; and consequently, the Kingly Office and Govern­ment in it self unjust, and inconsistent with Liberty; (as all out Republican Zelots commonly asserted) then all these consequences are inevitable; viz.

First, That if Justice did everywhere obtain, which God doth eve­rywhere command; that is, If Gods own Will were done, he must needs lose his own glory to be King of Kings; for there would be never a King in all the World beside himself.

Secondly, That God, no less the Worlds immediate Governour, than its Creatour, having generally goven'd it ever since the Creati­on of it, by the Monarchical (which is really the same with the Pa­ternal and Patriarchal) power, hath been all this while to seek how to govern it in the only just and good; that is, in the pure Democra­tical, or simple Republican way, or by Successions of Representa­tives, or no man knowes what; for which there hath never yet been one Example in the World.

Thirdly, That all the good Kings of Israel (as well as the bad) and all those Kings and Queens over Christian Nations, who God did promise should be nursing Fathers, and nursing Mothers to his Church, were, and are (all and every one of them, even Queen Elizabeth among the rest) wicked and unrighteous persons; that is, Tyrannical, and unjust Invaders of the peoples Right, and Subverters of their Native Liberty.

Fourthly, That Gods promise in that particular, must, or of right ought to have been totally disappointed.

Fifthly, That God himself was then the Authour of injustice and Tyranny, when he sent his Prophets to anoint Saul and David, and Solomon, and Hazael, and divers other Kings.

These, and many other irrational and intolerable consequences must unavoidably follow, if it were true, That the peoples just Right and Liberty did only and formally consist in having the Supremacy of all Civil power in their own hands, or at their disposal.

Another vulgar Errour consequent to the former was, That the good of the people is not at all concerned in the Supremacy of power re­siding in the Prince; and that the Kings Prerogative is to them no priviledge; but (in all) a prejudice (as they were senslesly made believe) to publick Interest and Liberty.

The Kings Majesty, in virtue of His Supremacy, hath the Preroga­tive power as well of dissolving, as of calling Parliaments. If such a Parliament should come (which God avert!) as should begin to do what the late long Parliament hath done, the Nation would then scon learn to believe, That the Kings Prerogative to dissolve such a Parliament, would do them no harm.

The great end of Government, and of the Supreme Kingly Pre­rogative and power, is (doubtless) the general Welfare of the people. Therefore most assuredly, in such an anciently constituted Kingdom, and after so many Lawes and Charters, securing for ever the peoples Interest and Liberty; no understanding man will now be made believe (after the late horrid delusion) That there is any an­cient and legal Prerogative or power belonging to the King; but is certainly (though not visibly to all) conducing directly to the general good and welfare of the people.

If the due Administration of Justice by the power of the Sword, and of the Lawes of the Land, against all wrong-doers, and against all perturbators of the publick Peace (in what place of capacity so­ever) be for the general good of the whole people, then assuredly, the greater the Supreme Governers power and Prerogative is, the greater is the whole peoples present safety, and future security. And for this cause it is, that God hath given (not another, but) his own Sword to his sole Vice-gerent, the Supreme Magistrate. The Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

V. Numb. 27.16, 17, 18, 19. Let the Lord, the God of the Spirits of all flesh, set a man over the Congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in, that the Con­gregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepheard. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the sonne of Nun, &c. And set him before Eleazer the Priest, &c.

FRom all which words it is apparent, First, That the Lord is the immediate Author and Donor of the Civil Power and Authority: Secondly, that (because this authority is derived immediately from God to the Prince,) the Prophet and the Priest were here appointed the special Ministers of God in the actual Conferring of it. As (in token that God is the proper fountain of this Power) Christian Kings have usually had the Crown set on their Heads by the Metroplitan Bishop, as the chief Minister of Christ, who is (now, as man) the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Third­ly, that the Civil Authority and just power of Government could not be given by the people. For, the Lords setting of a man over them, is here represented as the sole Expedient, by which they could escape that fatal Evil, of being as sheep that have no Shepherd. From whence the illation is evident and certain, That (if God had left them to themselves,) they had been vested with no Civil power, which they could (of themselves) have transferred to One or More. For being in themselves (without a Prince) in a state of actual Anarchy, they were no more united in a Civil Body, (without which there can be no Civil Power) than Sheep can be one Flock in one Fould with­out a shepherd.

Neverthelesse, the Authors of the new Policy well enough dis­cerning how hard it would be to maintain, there could ever, in any time in which the meere imaginary founding if Authorities is dream­ed of by some,) be any real and formal power of Magistracy inhe­rent [Page 16]in a people (without a Prince;) and the impossibility of a peoples conferring that to Others which they never had themselves; to pre­vent (if they can) a manifest Conviction, think to make their Escape by a nice Metaphysical distinction of Act and Habit; and answer, That the people (indeed) never had the power in Act, but yet, in ha­bit they had, and ever have it.

But, (if this be so) when they come actually to conferre it, (which is a dream, and never done,) can they do that Act by it, and yet have it but in habit only?

Or, may not this prove a Distinction without a difference? For here indeed, the Dispute is not of the actual administration and pra­ctice, but, of the power it self; that is, not of the power in actu secundo, or Execution, (which on both sides is confessed to be only in the Magistrate,) but of the power in astu primo, or Existence in it self; and in this there can be no difference at all between Act and habit; And therefore to say, the people have it in habit, but they have it not in act, is an unavoidable Contradiction, They have it, and they have it not.

  • What the people never had, could never by them be transferred to the Prince.
  • But the Supream authority the people never had; Therefore;
  • The Supreme authority could never by them bee transferred to the Prince.

Consequently, the Soveraign Prince must needs receive it imme­diately from God.

The truth of the Major appears by a manifest Rule in Philosophy and common Reason it selfe; Nothing can give what it selfe hath not, either formally, or Eminently. The Minor is also apparent, in that the people have not, nor ever had the Supreme authority either of these wayes; not Eminently, because it can be eminently competible to none but God. For the Supream Civil authority is eminently con­teined in the Divine, and in no other; Not Formally, unless they could (at once) be Prince and people too; that is, unless it were possible for them to be the formal Governours of their own Selves, in their whole collective Body. Therefore they no way have, nor ever had it; And Consequently, it never could by them be trans­ferred to the Prince.

VI. Prov. 8.15. By me, [or, in me] Kings reign.

IF the Supreme Civil power were in the people or any way depen­ding upon their will and pleasure, it must necessarily follow, that this special Ordinance and work of God, should be as muta­ble as the mindes of men, and lyable to be put by and disappointed upon every alteration of the most unstable Opinion of the giddy Multitude; especially, of the more subtile, active, ambitious, and busie-headed party. If these will translate the Supreme power for rather the Empty Name and Shadow of it,) from the King to the two Houses (that had sworn subjection to it,) and then from two to one, and then from that one to a (falsely called) Protector, and then (repenting of that) turn it into other hands, God must (all along) wait upon their unconstancy (even in their foul iniquity,) not only with his Providence permitting, but also with his Ordinance legiti­mating whatsoever new or no form of Government the wickedness of some, and the weaknesse of others shall put them upon.

That which supposeth the special Ordinance and Operation of God to depend upon the inconstancy of men in their unrighteous wayes, is impious and false;

But, that Kings reigning by the special Ordinance and Co-opera­tion of God, should have their power of reigning from the plea­sure of the people, supposeth the special Ordinance and Operation of God, to depend upon the inconstancy of men in their unrighte­ous wayes, Therefore,

That Kings reigning by the special Ordinance and Operation of God, should have their power of reigning from the pleasure of the people, is impious and false.

The major cannot at all be doubted of, nor yet the minor, by such as will oblerve, that Solomon reckons it for one of the Glories and Special Excellencies of God, that, By him, Kings reign. And this can signify no lesse, than that the reigne of Kings is by the special Operation and Ordinance of God; (as S. Paul saith it is.) If then the [Page 18]Reign of Kings were penes populum, in the Power, and at the plea­sure of the people, so were also that special Operation and Ordinance of God by which they reign; which, as it is apparently false, so were it gross impiety to imagine it to be true.

VII. 1 Sam. 24.5. It came to pass afterward, that Davids heart smote him, because he had cut off Sauls skirt.

YET, when our late political (that is, Atheistical) Parricides spared not to cut off their Kings head, their wicked hearts were never troubled at it: Nor have many, if any of them, or of their close Adherents and parties to the same faction, yet profess'd any remorse or sorrow for what they have done: but still seek to cheat the world and their own soules with the meer form of Godlinesse and pharisaical Ostentation of more than ordinary Sancti­mony, and still hold on in their old way of justifying themselves, in their farr greater by condemning some (smaller) sinnes in others, (as they account the setting up of a May-pole, the meer drinking of a health, and the like;) As if our Saviour had never condemn'd this soul hypocrisy, of spying motes in the eyes of others, when huge beams are in their own.

But, Observe the words that follow, vers. 6. ‘And David said un­to his men. The Lord forbid, that I should do this thing unto my Master, the Lords Anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the Anointed of the Lord.’

Here the people had all the Cause in the world (if any cause could, or can be,) to withdraw their Allegiance, and to call home the So­veraign Power into their own hands, if there had been any such thing to be done. Saul their King was then a wicked man, a Tyrant, a Persecutor of holy David, a man forsaken of God, and evidently acted by the Devil; Yet here we see no deposing (much lesse murde­ring) of him. Nay, David, who was now in Sauls stead anointed [Page 19]King, durst not here stretch forth his hand against him, to imprison him, or to do him any harme; (his heart quaked when he had but onely cut off the skirt of his Robe.)

What would our new Polititians have done in the like case? They would have looked upon the Opportunity as a Divine warranty to do the mischief; and have told the world afterward, That God put it into their hands; and, it was set upon their spirits; and their prosperous successe in it was the good hand of God, and the answer of prayers; (Three or four of the best of the new Rules of seeming Righteousness, fitted for the justification of all their Lawlesse acting by that wicked Princi­ple we here dispute against.)

But (here in the text) we find all tendernesse shewed by David to Saul; though God had put it into Davids hand, and it was set (by the Devil) upon the spirits of Davids servants to destroy him. And all this care which David took to stay his servants from rising against Saul, was, because Saul (however then rejected of God) remained still the Lords Anointed; — seeing he is the Anointed of the Lord.

Now, if Kings be the Lords Anointed, and their special anoin­ting be that by which they are formally made Kings, then nothing can be more manifest than that they are made such immediately by God. For, the outward anointing (of old) was but a Ceremony; the real and substantial unction by which Kings then were (and now are) for­mally constituted, the Lords Anointed, could be (or can be) no other but the formal Authority and supreme Power inherently vested in them. And, To signify the derivation of this from God immediate­ly, the outward unction was ever ministred by a special messenger im­mediately sent from God; (the people doing nothing in it, nor know­ing of it,) But since it is apparent that the Authority it self is the real anointing, (though the Ceremony be never had) the King is there­by formally constituted the Lords Annointed. Consequently all Christian Kings at this day are the Lords Anointed, as well, and as really, as those that were anointed with outward oil by Prophets sent ro m God. And this, though manifest enough in it self, is also pro­ved by the example of Cyrus; who though never anointed by a Pro­phet with outward oil, was neverthelesse the Lords Anointed. Isa. 45.1. Thus saith the Lord to his Anointed, to Cyrus, &c. He was the Lords Anointed, as having the supreme authority of a King, by which he was enabled to be a powerful deliverer of Gods people; Much [Page 20]more then are all Christian Kings the Lords Anointed, as having the same Kingly power by which they are enabled to be the nursing Fathers of the Church.

  • Whosoever are the Lords Anointed, do receive their un­ction immediately from God.
  • All Kings are the Lords Anointed. Therefore,
  • All Kings do receive their unction immediately from God.

The Minor is confirmed by as many clear Testimonies of holy Scripture, as the most of those Divine Verities which we undoubted­ly believe. And it is evident in it self, That in as much as those Kings that are recorded in Scripture to be the Lords Anointed, were such in no other capacity, but as they were Kings, all Kings must needs be such by the known Rule.

Nor can the Major be doubted of, since it is not at all (or not only) the outward, but the inward and immaterial unction of So­veraign Authority, by which Kings are really and formally the Lords Anointed; and that which is inward and immaterial, God only can be the immediate Giver and Creator of.

VIII. 1 Sam. 8.4, 5.

WHEN the people of Israel desired a King, they never so much as pretended to any Soveraign Authority in them­selves, which they would transfer in aliquem unum (as is said) and so set up a King of their own making. If the people had had any such original power in them­selves, they were then in a two-fold disposition to make use of that, without any more ado.

For first, They were Gens Prophetica, beside their natural Sagaci­ty, they were a Learned and Prophetick Nation, and could not be ig­norant of Jus naturate, of any natural right and power they had of themselves to set up a King, had there been any such.

Secondly, They were in this very thing rebellious against the Lord, and therefore not over-scrupulous of adventuring of themselves to set up a King, if they had known themselves to have had original power of their own so to do. But, though they met with a strong Repulse, by which they had occasion to plead their Right, they never so much as mentioned any such Right or power of their own; but they only went and made their Address to God, That he would set a King over them; and accordingly, Behold (said Samuel) the Lord hath given you a King, 1 Sam. 12.13.

  • Whatsoever is incommunicably in God, is not at all in men.
  • The Original and only Right of erecting a Monarchy, and setting up a King, is incommunicably in God. There­fore,
  • It is not at all in men.

The Major is evident: And the truth of the Minor also is clearly seen in that famous instance, and in many other; as in Gods anointing and setting up David (afterwards) by his own immediate Act, to be King instead of Saul. This he did, not at second hand, but immediately by his own, without and before any Act of the people touching that Affair, as appears, 1 Sam. 16.1, &c. especially, ver. 12, 13. And this appears also by Gods giving (without the consent of the people, and before they knew it) the Kingdom of the ten Tribes to Jeroboam, 1 Kings 11.31. and ver. 35. and ver. 37. and also Chap. 12.24.

Therefore though it be said that the people made David King, 2 Sam. 2.4. and so Jeroboam, 1 Kings 12.20. yet we see how ap­parent it is, that those Kings had their Right from God, without and before any consent or knowledge of the people.

IX. Dan. 2.21, 22. He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth Kings, and setteth up Kings; He giveth Wisdom to the Wise, and Knowledge to them that know understanding; He revealed deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the dark, and the light dwelleth with him.

THAT which is principally intended by the Prophet here (as the Context evidently shewes) is to celebrate the praise of God, as the only Authour of setting up in Succes­sion the several Monarchies of the World: And to make it evident, that to do this, belongs to none but God, he compares it with these other Prerogatives of his, which are apparently belonging so to him, as that no other can have any thing to do in them: For who can have any thing to do in changing the times and the seasons which God hath put in his own powerActs 1.7.? Who but God alone can be the Giver of Wisdom and Knowledge? Who can reveal Secrets, that are absolutely such (such as the knowledge of the future Monarchies, and the meaning of a forgotten dream concerning them) but God alone? Who besides him, or with him, can tell what is in the dark? Who then (if Daniels parallel here made be true) can have the right or the power to remove Kings, and to set up Kings, but God alone? His meaning must necessarily be, that men can have no more to do in this, than in those other special Prerogatives of God, in any of which they can be (at most) but instrumental; which signi­fies nothing to the purpose, save that it infers a necessity of Gods im­mediate Essiciency, as of the principal Cause, without whose imme­diate Concurrence, the Instrumental operates nothing at all.

And if the people cannot be principal, or other than meerly in­strumental in the Fact, they can have no pretence of interest in the [Page 23] Right. The Right therefore, that is, the lawful Power and just Au­thority of removing Kings, and setting up Kings, can in no wise belong unto them, but precisely and incommunicably to God alone.

  • No proper Right, and special Prerogative of God is at all belonging to men: But,
  • The just power to remove Kings, and set up Kings, is the proper Right, and special Prerogative of God. Ergo.

The Major is evident in it self; the Minor is clearly evin­ced by the Text alledged; the Conclusion then is certain and infal­lible; viz. The just power to remove Kings, and set up Kings, is not at all belonging to men.

From whence it followes, That if a whole people, and much more, if a prevailing Party (against the will, and to the extream regret of the whole) shall (de facto) not only remove, but murder their lawful King (all the aggravations of that Monster­sin duly weighed) they can be no less wicked, than the worst wickedness can make them, except that of desperation, and fi­nal impenitency: For in that wilful, deliberate and affected A­nomy, wherein all Law, Divine and Humane, is knowingly transgressed (beside the greatest wrong done to the Best of men) they boldly assault Heaven, and invade the proper Right and spe­cial Prerogative of God: From hence the justness of the seve­rest punishment of those horrid Offendors, is most evident to all understandings, and even to their own consciences (if they have, or ever had any.)

X. John 19.11. Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.

THAT this was the Civil Judiciary and just power, it is appa­rent; otherwise, when Pilate evidently spake of this, Christs answer had been equivocal; and the Supreme power of life and death it was; which, though formally competible to none but to the Supreme Magistrate, is yet here by Christ attributed to Pi­late, because the Supreme Magistrate, and his immediate Minister, are in a moral sense but as one person; to wit, the latter sustaining in the exercise of this power, not his own, but precisely the person of the former.

And the Magistrate (saith Christ here) can have no power at all, except it be given him from above: Consequently, all his power is from God alone.

  • That which is not given to the Magistrate, but from above, is given him of God alone.
  • The Supreme power is not given to the Magistrate, but from above: Therefore,
  • The Supreme power is given to the Magistrate of God alone.

Here all is manifest and certain; from whence every one must needs conclude, That what hand soever men may have in making a King de facto, or restoring a King to the exercise of His Kingly Of­fice, the formal Authority, and Supreme Kingly power, and the just Right to exercise that power, is not at all from men, but from God a­lone.

Therefore also they that have interrupted, and sought to annihilate this power and right which God alone hath created, have not only sin­ned against God, as sinners usually do; but have striven to shew them­selves stronger than he, to overthrow what he alone (without them, and without all men) hath only by his own Ordinance and Act established.

XI. Acts 22.27. The Jewes which were of Asia stirred up all the people of Jerusalem, and they laid hands on Paul; And Chap. 22.22. They lifted up their voyces, and said, Away with such a Fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live.

FROM this unjust sentence of that whole people, the Apo­stle made his just Appeal to Caesar, Chap. 25.11.

If it be true, which is averred, That Kings have no Power and Authority, but what they have from the people; St. Pauls Appeal from the whole people to the single person of the King, was apparently unjust; and he a manifest Abettor of Tyran­ny, in owning a power in Caesars person, above the power of the collected Body of all the people.

But the holy Apostle well knew where, and in whom the highest power (next and immediately under God) was found; and there­fore declined to be censured by the peoples universal Vote, or to go up to Jerusalem where the peoples Representative was, to be judg­ed there; but made his just and last Appeal to Caesar.

  • Every just and last Appeal is to the highest power next and immediately under God.
  • St. Pauls just and last Appeal was to Caesar.
  • Therefore Caesar was the highest power next and immedi­ately under God.

The Major must needs be true, unless it could be lawful and just to Appeal from the highest Authority under God, to meer violence and force; for Inferiour power against the Superiour, from which it is derived, can be nothing else.

The Minor is found in the express words of the Text; the Con­clusion therefore is certain, That Caesar was, and so every Caesar, [Page 26]or Soveraign Prince is, the highest Power next and immediately under God: And, that the King is solo Deo minor, less than none but God, is a Maxim in the Common and Fundamental Law of the Land: So grossly and palpably false is that Seditious Assertion, That the King is singulis mojor, sed universis minor; only greater than the single persons, but less than all together.

XII. 1 Pet. 2.13. Submit you selves to every humane Creature. Which signifies, that every Man that is a Magistrate, is of God himself created such; and therefore to be readily submitted to, [...], for the Lords sake. But the words that follow are chiefly to be noted, [...], Whether to the King as Supreme.

THe King then is Supreme, by the express Word of God. And, there being none superior to him that is Supreme, it is impossible and contradictious that any other pretended Authority should justly overtop and controll the Supreme Imperial Power of the King. From hence it must follow, That every Insurrection, or levying of War against the King, by what persons soever, Subjects of the same King­dom, or in what capacity soever, must of necessity be that unlawful Resistence which God threatens with damnationRom. 13.2.. For, To say, that the levying War, and taking up Arms, within the Kings Dominions, without the Kings Commission, against the Kings Armies which have his Commission, is no levying of War against the King, is but a sad Apology, and too weak a Plea, for all the hope of those mens salvation (who scorn to repent) to rely upon. For, in this Text, the weak and wicked principle, from which that grand Mistake, and all the Mischief that hath ensued is most expresly confuted: For, if the King be Su­preme, the People, or the Peoples Representative is not; unless it were true, That the People, or their Representative, is the King. For,

  • Whosoever is Supreme, is the King:
  • The whole People is not the King; Therefore,
  • The whole People is not Supreme.

The Major is apparent, because the Apostle ascribes the Supremacy to the King, and to no other: unless, in one Kingdom there could be two, or more Supremes; which would infer a manifest contradiction. He that denies the Minor, must be sent to Bedlam. Therefore the Conclusion is unavoidable; The whole People is not Supreme: Much less their Representative, (though virtually the whole;) Least of all, a Party, apostatizing from their faith given to the People, and their promissory Oath to the King, joyning with, and approving the Armed force and violence which excluded their Fellow-Members (that were more in number, and so, of greater authority than themselves) out of that House into which they had been legally called by the King, and sent by the People. Yet, how gloriously those Apostates could arrogate to themselves the Title of, The Supreme Authority of the Nation! Which was frequently given them also by their close Adherents, and some other ignorant and besotted people.

XIII. Exod. 20.12. Honour thy Father, &c.

THat the Civil Magistracy and Paternal Authority are really the same, (though not gradually,) and so, the former as well as the latter immediately derived from God, (and not at all from Man,) it most demonstratively appears, in that Obedience is commanded to both, by one and the same precept, and signified by one and the same word in this moral and eternal Law of God. For if the Authority of all Magistracy be not established upon this moral precept, what ground is there for it? How comes it to be morally lawful to be any Magistrate at all, especially so far as (in any case) to be a Revenger, and to punish any person (especially for less than Murder) with death, (since it is God alone that is the Lord of life?)

If then the Civil Authority be established onely upon the same precept of the Moral Law, (which is the proper foundation and the adequate measure of all just Laws and lawful actions,) and the Magistrate there included in that word Father, which the Paternal Authority it self is onely grounded on; both that and this must ne­cessarily [Page 28]be the self-same power, and cannot differ really, but only mo­dally or gradually, in the different Object and Execution.

And, at that time when this Law was onely in the hearts of men, and afterward (with the whole Decalogue) delivered to Moses, (and long after that too,) there was no Government in the world beside the Regal. And this appears by the words of the people to Samuel; Make us a King to judge us like all Nations 1 Sam. 8.5.; and also, by all In­stances that can be named. Therefore the onely Magistratical Autho­rity established at first of God himself, upon this moral precept of his eternal Law, was Regal.

And, the Regal power being the same really and originally with the Paternal, it certainly follows, That the People do no more authorize their King, than Children their Father, to have dominion over them. And it must needs be as lawful (if not much more) for Children to call their Natural Father to an account, to depose him, or to put him to death, as for any People to do so to their Civil Father, the King, the LORD'S Anointed.


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