A SERMON PREACHT On January 30th. 1683. IN Westminster-Abby, Before the REVEREND and HONOURABLE, the KINGS JUDGES, and Printed at their Request.

By Edw. Pelling, Praebendary of Westminster, and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Somerset.

Omnis quidem sub Rege & ipse sub nulló, sed tantùm sub Deo; non est inferior sibi Subjectis, non parem habet in Regno.

Bracton. l 1. c. 8.

A Deo Rex, à Rege Lex.

LONDON. Printed by H. Hills Jun. for William Abington, next Door to the Wonder Tavern in Ludgate-Street. 1684.

To the Right Honourable Sir George Jeffe­ryes, Knt. and Bar. Lord Chief Justice of England, and one of His Majesties Most Honourable Privy-Council.

My Lord,

I Do heartily wish, that your Lordships desires had not been so Earnest and Pressing as they were, to have this Discourse made Publick, which I assure Your Lordship was not in the least by me designed to be sent abroad into the World. Your Lordship knew those Obligations I lye un­der to Your Lordship as my Kind and Noble Friend, and the Principle I go upon of submit­ting to Authority; so that Your Lordship had me under a double tye, both of Gratitude and Obedience.

I expect to bear a great many more hard Cen­sures and Invectives for this, though I have done no more then what I think was my bounden Duty to do: But those things I have been so accustomed to hear, that I am now Clamour-proof; I had almost said, that mine Ears are somewhat like a Traytors Conscience, past all feeling. But (if I may have leave to express my Real thoughts) I cannot but pitty Your Lordship and your Reve­rend Brethren, for Causing this Sermon to be Printed; because hereby you have made it your own, and are Oblig'd in Honour to undertake for it, and to be my Defendants, if ever I should be [Page] Threatned to be brought upon my Knees, or to ho [...] up my hand at the Bar for this, as I have been threatned formerly for things of the like Nature.

And this I may think to be Security good e­nough. But the mischief is, that if ever tho [...] Canicular days should come again, Your Lord­ships will be in greater Jeopardy then my self and then God help my Advocates as well [...] Your Client.

Let times be as it shall please God: It is, my Lord, your Honour that you are true to you [...] Duty; and it is my satisfaction, that I can in any thing Obey your Commands: And I do it with the more readiness, because it is observed how ready your Lordship and the rest of the Judg­es are to stand by the Interest of the Church, and upon all Occasions publickly to Vindicate the Honour and Integrity of the Conformable and Loyal Clergy.

That the God of peace, for whom you Judge, will Vouchsafe to preserve you in your Great and Honourable Station, and support your Courage, and Bless your Labours in the Ministration of Justice, and Eternally Reward your Faithfulness to the King, to the Church, and to the whole Na­tion, is, My Lord, the hearty Prayer of

Your Lordships most Obliged, and Obedient Servant, Edw. Pelling.
Rom. 13. 2.‘Whosoever therefore Resisteth the Power, Resisteth the Ordinance of God; and they that Resist, shall receive to them­selves Damnation.’

WHen the Christian Religion began to be planted in the World, there were four very Evil Men, which in their turns Succeeded Augustus in the Roman Empire; Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, (the latter of whom was the Man, that raised the first Persecution against Christians.) I do not know, but the Providence of God might order it thus, that all men might have the most early notices of their Duty to Princes, and that together with the true Faith, they might receive the necessary Doctrines of due Obedience and Subjection, to their Law­ful Governours, whether good or bad. It was under Tiberius that Christ (the Great [Page 2] Bishop of all our Souls) gave that Com­mand of rendering to Caesar the things that were Caesar's, Matth. 22. 21. It was under Claudius, that St. Peter (the Great Apostle of the Jews) taught the dispersed Con­verts, to submit themselves to every Ordi­nance of Man, for the Lords sake; whether to the King as Supream, or unto Go­vernours sent by him, &c. 1 Pet. 2. And (as 'tis generally conceived) it was under Nero, that St. Paul (the great Apostle of the Gentiles) gave this so strict a charge: Let every Soul be subject to the Higher Powers: Because there is no Power but of God. Had not this thing been a prime part of the Christian Religion, we cannot conceive why such great care should have been taken to inform the whole World of it, especially in times which afforded not any common encouragements thereunto.

Were it not a sad Truth, that some will believe no more of the Scriptures, then what serves their present Turn, we might wonder how 'tis possible for a Christian to be an Undutiful Subject. For, (as that great Christian, and Divine; the Learned and Incomparable Dr. Hammond) hathOf Resisting the Lawful Magistrate. rightly observed; In the New Testament, [Page 3] especially in the Epistles of the Apostles, (which were all Written in time of the Reign of Wicked, Heathen, Bloody Adversa­ries of Christianity, and can refer to none but those) there is no one Christian Virtue, or Article of Faith more clearly delivered, more effectually inforced upon our Under­standings and Affections, to be acknowledg­ed by the one, and submitted to by the o­ther, then that of Obedience unto Kings.

So that it is not either Ignorance that can excuse, or any allowable principle of Christianity that can encourage Resistance; nor is it Zeal or Conscience that doth it, though that has been pretended by some pu­ling and ill natur'd Hypocrites; but 'tis ei­ther an haughty and unmanageable Spirit, or an hankering after Spoyl, or an Aking Tooth after Government, or a Furious Rage for disappointments, or Personal Spight, or hopes of Revenge, or the fear of Justice, or a Restless, Factious Humour, or direct Devillishness and Atheism under the Bonnet of Religion; some or all these things have ever been the true causes of those Riots, which have been so Vexatious, so Fatal to Soveraign Powers: It being otherwise im­possible, that Men whose Consciences are so [Page 4] Enlightned by Gods own Word; should be so Blind, Wicked and Fool-hardy; as to Rise up against their Prince, at the manifest hazard of the Greatest and most Intolerable of all Evils: For that is the Rebels portion, if St. Paul may be credited, That they who resist shall receive to themselves Damnation.

Yet I do not intend to declaim, though the World might well bear with me, and with all others, should our mouths be full of the very Quintessence of bitterness; e­specially when we reflect upon that most Horrid and Execrable Murder, which was acted about this time upon the person of that Great Monarch and Martyr, of whom the World was not worthy, and perhaps will hardly ever see the like of him again. It would be a pittiful and woful thing in­deed, should not such a superlative piece of Villany stir at least an honest mans Choler, and provoke him to spit some of it in the Rebels face. I hope things will not come to that pass yet, but that we who then had not hands to rescue a good Kings blood, may now be allowed the use of our Tongues to Revenge it, and I trust in God our honest Posterity will think so too.

But I will charm my self, as much as 'ti [...] [Page 5] possible, and instead of breaking out into such declamatory speeches as this occasion does justly require, I shall insist upon the natural Sense and Importance of my Text, and with what brevity I can, handle such truths as may be easily discover'd by any Eye that is not blood-shot, or that doth not look asquint upon our Government.

In order hereunto we are to note, 1. That by resistance here is meant in general all undu­tiful, disobedient and contumacious beha­viour, and in particular all open, forcible and violent Opposition. 2. That by the Power in my Text is meant, not only the Governours Authority, but the Governour himself, the Person of the Chief Magistrate who is vested with the Supreme Authority. This is well to be observed, because the Traytors of the late times proceeded upon a nice distinction between the Kings Na­tural and Politick capacity, cheating the World into a belief, that his Power was Lodged not in his Person, but in the Two Houses of Parliament, and that 'twas not the Man in the Throne, but the Regal Au­thority which was virtually in the People, that was the thing sacred. According to this sophistical pretence, the King was against [Page 6] himself; and such as stood for him, were understood to Resist his Power in defending his Person: So that in the upshot 'twas his Ma­jesty that was looked upon as the Traytor a­gainst the King, and they who destroy'd him, did not destroy their Soveraign, but did only cut off Charles Stuart: No, the Re­bellious Juncto at Westminster were (in their own Language) the Kings most dutiful and most Loyal Subjects, even when they pull'd off his Crown, when one damned Faction held him by the Hair, and the other Godly Reprobates cut off his Head.

After this rate was not the Apostle, a very Heterodox Malignant, an ill Common­wealths-man, in not dividing the Kings Au­thority from his Person, but joyning both together? For he calls the Person of Nero, and other Princes [...], the Su­pream, or Highest Powers, v. 1. And by his following discourse 'tis plain, that by the Power he doth mean the Person of the Magistrate that is in Chief, the person that presideth over all, the person that is the Head of a Nation. For at the 3d. 4th. and 6th. Verses he calls him expresly the Ruler, the Minister of God, the man that beareth [Page 7] the Sword, the Revenger▪ pointing all a­long to the person himself, that is to re­ceive Tribute, to the person that is Gods Substitute and Deputy, to the person that is to praise them that do well, and Execute wrath upon evil-doers. Shall I take leave to give you a paraphrase upon my Text? Why, you shall have it, not out of any single Commentator that may be lookt up­on as an Arbitrary or Prerogative man, or onePopishly affected, but out of an honest Statute of this Realm, which makes St. Paul's Divinity to be Law too; the Act declares, That it is not lawful upon any pretence whatso­ever, to take Arms against the King, and that the Position of taking Arms by the Kings Authority against his Person, or against those that are commissionated by him, is a Trayterous Position. Nay, there is another very signifi­cant word yet, which commands every Subject to be an Abhorrer in this point, for faith the Law, it is a Traiterous position, to be Abhorr'd.

The Text being thus opened, there are three grand Truths which it offers to every mans conscience, and which cannot but stare in that Rebels face, whose conscience [...]s not seared with an hot Iron, though I [Page 8] think, there are few Rebels in the Land whose consciences are not feared to a very Crust.

1. That the Supreme Power, or the Au­thority which is seated in the Kings Person, is the Ordinance of God himself.

2. That because the King is Gods own Minister, ordained Supreme by his Com­mission, no man must dare upon pain of Damnation, to use any violence against him.

3. That considering what Princes were, who were the Supreme Powers in St. Pauls time, it is by no means lawful to resist e­ven wicked and Heathen Kings. And when these truths are a little laid open, Duty and Allegiance will further oblige us all to con­sider the sin of the Day.

1. First, That the Supreme Power, or the Authority which is seated in the Kings Per­son, is the Ordinance of God himself: Who­soever resisteth the Power, resisteth the Or­dinance of God, saith the Apostle: And so this point passed all along uncontradicted through all Ages, till some counted it [...] greater virtue to be Politicians, then to b [...] Honest; I do not know one Christian Write for 1600 years together, who ever denye [...] [Page 9] that the Power of the Civil Magistrate is of Divine Institution; though Jure Divino is now look't upon by some either, Fanciful or Ill Men, as a betraying of the Peoples Li­berties and Rights. And yet doth not the Apostle positively tell us, that there is no power but of God? v. 1. And to prevent a mistake; for fear we should interpret this of Gods Permission only, he tells us in the next breath, that the Powers that be, are Ordained of God: And that is much more than Permission. He hath permitted Op­pressors and Usurpers, Bradshaws, Cromwels, and such like Excrements of Nature: But he never appointed, or Ordained them as he doth every Lawful Prince. No; the Commission, the Authority of a Lawful Prince is from above; so that he is, Homo à Deo secundus, & quicquid est à Deo consecutus, & Solo Deo minor, as Tertullian (and all Christians then) believed; a Man next un­to God, holding all his Regalities of God, Inferior to God alone. And indeed how could St. Paul call Kings, the Ministers of God (as he doth Thrice for failing, in 2. Verses of this Chapter) were not the Au­thority of Kings by Divine Right, or De­signation? All the Apostles expressions are [Page 10] so clear, so significant, so full on the Kings behalf, that I should be loth to see the Tythe of so much, for a Chair-man in a Com­mon-wealth, or for a Parish Pope, or for a Lay-Elder: Nay, did the Scriptures speak but the Hundredth part so much on their side, what a Noise, and Dust should we have about Jus Divinum then?

Many men do not understand what we mean, when we say that this or that thing is de Jure Divino: many dangerous and mischievous Errors have been occasioned through mens Ignorance in this particular. Therefore for the right understanding of this matter, we must know that a thing may be said to be Jure Divino either in a strict, or in a larger sense.

1. In a strict sense, when we find it in the Word of God to be Ordained by such an ex­press Command, as that the neglect there­of becometh Sinful. Now when we speak of the Divine Right of Monarchy, we do not mean that God did institute it so, by his Express Command, as if all other Forms of Government were absolutely Unlawful, or as if it were unlawful for a Monarch to Con­tract his Power, or set Limits to himself in the Use and Exercise of his Power. No; Princes [Page 11] may tye up their own hands themselves, tho it be not Lawful for their Subjects to force Manacles upon them: Kings may Abate much of their Greatness, if they will: 'tis law­ful for them to do it pro re natâ, though it be Impolitick and Unsafe for them and for their Subjects too, to do so at every Turn. There­fore there is no ground for those Odious and Base Reflections which of late have been made upon the honest Clergy of thisSee Mr. Hunts Post-script, Church, as if they were Friends to Arbitrary Power, and Tyranny, and the like, for as­serting the Kings Power to be of Divine O­riginal. These are Lewd and Unjust cen­sures: But so it is, that if any dirt can be raked out of the Kennel, the Clergy shall be sure to have store of it thrown upon their Faces.

2. A thing is said to be Jure divino in a Larger sense.

1. When the Scriptures declare it to be Ordained of God, though we cannot shew the Original Command, or the precise time of its Institution:

2. Or Secondly, when we have strong and highly Probable Reasons to believe it (tho there were no Declarations on that behalf.)

1. Partly from the great Congruity of [Page 12] the thing, by reason whereof it seems to be Morally and Humanely Necessary;

2. Partly from several Insinuations in Scripture, which render the thing very Credi­ble:

3. And partly from the General practice of all Mankind, who would not (as we can suppose) have consented in the Uni­versal Observation of the thing, had not God given some Law or other for it in the beginning.

Now then to apply this matter to our present purpose;

1. Those places of Scripture which I have alleadged already, do abundantly declare, that the King hath his Power and Authori­ty from God. And this is enough to satis­fie any Sober Man, who hath any Reve­rence for the Scripture, that Kingly Govern­ment was instituted by God (as the best of Governments) though we could not Trace the Institution of it clearly to the Fountain Head. For in a matter of so Re­mote Antiquity, it is not easie to Salve all doubts, or to take away all occasion of Ca­vil from every Witty and Inquisitive So­phister. As long as God hath declared, that Kings Reign by Him, 'tis Reasonable [Page 13] for us to rest in that, should we not be a­ble to answer that Impudent Question, which hath been ask't us of Late, Where is the Charter for Kings? 'Tis in the Bible, we see: And that must satisfie me, though I could not tell when, or where, or how it was first Signed.

2. But then, 2ly. It hath been found by the certain Experience of all Ages, that Monarchy is so Excellent, so Incomparably beyond all other Forms, so useful for the Ends of Government, and in many Cases so extreamly necessary for the publick Good; that 'tis reasonable to conclude from the ve­ry Congruity of the thing, that Kings were Ordained of God; because 'tis Reasonable to believe, that in the Beginning God did Order every thing for the Best, did Institute that Government which is most for the good of Prince and People too, and made the World for us all not to plague one another, but to be Happy in, as long as we stay in it.

3. Besides this, Thirdly, the Scripture gives us such plain, such pregnant Insinuati­ons touching matter of Fact in this point, as do abundantly justifie the Jus Divinum of Regal power, to be no Idle, no Groundless Notion. Go to the Creation, and you will [Page 14] find, that God Invested Adam with a pleni­tude of power over all Creatures, over his very Wife, and by consequence over all her Issue.

This the Apostle calleth, a Law 1. Cor. 14 34. and as the Law which God gave to all his Works was to hold and last to the World's End; so this Law touching Superiority and Subjection under one person, seems as if it was intended to continue, and to descend from Father to Son by Right of Primogeni­ture. And this I take to have been the True Reason of that deadly Quarrel which Cain had against his Righteous Brother. When he saw that God had a particular re­spect to Abel and his Offerings, he was a­fraid lest Abel should go away with the Re­gal power; and so he contrived to be rid of him, not so much out of Envy, as out of Ambition, for fear he should lose his Birth­right. To quiet his mind as to that, God told him, that if he did well, he should have the Excellence; that his Brothers desire should be subject unto him, and that he should Rule over him (which was the very Form of words, whereby the Protoplast was in­vested with Authority over his Wife.) And St. Chrysoston Rightly observes, that though [Page 15] God was displeased with Cain, yet he did not presently deprive him of his just Autho­rity and power, but allowed him still [...] the Priviledges of Pri­mogeniture.

Thus it was in the Times before thePrimo geniti per Patris aut Mortem aut absentiam, pa­ternam quo­dammòdo au­ctoritatem in fratres habe­bant: Sed hoc jus Peccato a­mitti poterat. Gr [...]t. Annot. ad Gen. 4. 7. Flood: Right of Dominion was ordered by God to Descend by Inheritance; and so it did actually descend, where God himself did not cut off that Right which he had giv­en, for some Important Reasons.

In the times after the Flood, Govern­ment went in the same Channel. So Reuben was called the Excellency of Dignity, and the Excellency of Power, because he was the First-Born. And Esau should have been a Lord and Prince over Jacob, had he not Sold his Birth-right; and because he Sold it, he is called a Prophane person for Sel­ling that which was not his own; it was a Sacred thing, a Donative from God; there­fore he was Cursed for Selling it for a mess of Pottage.

But here we must note, that when Fami­lies increased, so that they were forced to part into several Colonies for want of Room; by the grant and Donation of the Father each Son became a distinct Prince, [Page 16] having a distinct Empire over his own Fa­mily; and by such Divisions and Subdivisi­ons it came to pass, that so many Monar­chies were set up in the World in a short time. Hence it was that Nimrod had a Kingdom of his own: And the Scripture calls him a Mighty Hunter, not because he was a Monarch, but because he was a Vio­lent Encroacher; because not content with his own Empire, he Invaded the Rights and Royalties of others, who were Sove­raigns within their Territories, as well as himself. Hence it is too, that upon that [...]ee Mr. Med [...]s [...]iatrib. in Gen. 10. Orderly dispersion of the Sons of Noah, the whole Earth was by degrees divided into a great many Kingdoms; so that of Noah, Issue there were I know not how many Kings in a short time. They were divided after their Tongues, after their Families, after their Generations, in their several Na­tions and Countries, as the Scripture often tells us, Gen. 10. Thus all the Monarchies in the World were Founded; not by Peo­ples chusing their Leaders and Governours, but by Princes going out with their Respect­ive Families, and using a Soveraign Power over them, pursuant to Gods Institution and Ordinance, that the Head and Chief of a [Page 17] Family should have Dominion and Autho­rity over the rest.

Hence also it was, that we read of Twelve Princes out of the Loins of Ishmael; and of several Dukes which Sprang out of the Loins of Esau. For every Head of a Di­stinct Great Family was by the Divine ap­pointment a King in his Nation; and his Kingdom was of greater or less Extent, as his Family was more or less Numerous. And hence, lastly, it was, that we Read of many Kingdoms in one Country (as in Canaan, for Instance) because their Territo­ries were according to their Numbers: So that Antiently Principalities were but small, till by the Union of many Great Fa­milies (either by Conquest and Force, or by Voluntary Submission) Great Monar­chies and Empires came to be Erected.

4. And this brings me to the last Observa­ble, to prove the Jus Divinum of Kingly Power; viz. The Universal practice of all Nations. For nothing can be more plain, than that Kingly Government was the only Government (we know of) in the whole World for some Thousand Years together. The Greeks were under Monarchs all along, till such a Frenzy possest some of them, as [Page 18] hath possest some Bedlams among us, to change their Old Government for a New nothing: But their Madness did cost them very dear in the End; they were Undone and Ruin'd by it, as we should soon be by our Innovations. In the most Antient Times there was no such thing as an Aristocratick or Democratick State: And the Reason why the Jews would needs have a King (though thy were under a Theocracy) was, because they would not be Singular; there­fore they would have a King to Judg them, as all the Nations (all other Nations) had, 1 Sam. 8. 5. Now, Lex currit cum praxi; the Universal Practice of the World is a strong argument to prove, that there was some Antecedent Law, which (as they sup­posed) did lay some Obligation upon them; because people are not very forward to fall under Government of themselves (suppo­sing them to be in a State of Liberty:) Nor is it conceivable that all Men in the World should be of one mind, or that one Form of Government should please all; especially that Government which is in the hands of one Man: We may as soon be­lieve, that all parts of the World did fall asleep at once, and then all on a sudden [Page 19] did awake into so many Formed and Setled Monarchies.

By this time, I hope, it doth appear, that there are stronger Reasons for the Doctrine of the Jus Divinum of Regal Power, then that it should be lookt upon as a State Heresie of a Modern date, and of dangerous Conse­quence. The sutableness thereof to Hu­mane necessities, the Concurrence of Scrip­ture-history, which doth plainly Insinuate the Institution, the Original, the Usage of Monarchical Dominion, together with the Suffrages of all Mankind, who for a long Tract of Ages submitted unto it, as if it were Entailed upon them from the begin­ning: All this, I say, doth clearly argue as well the Truth as the Reason of this Propo­sition, that the Kings power is Gods Ordi­nance.

Which serves also to baffle those Wild and groundless conceits which our Repub­lican Spirits are so very fond of; that there was once a State of Nature, wherein all Mankind were Free, under their own Pow­er, and at their own choice, whether they would have Government or no Govern­ment; and whether they would have this Form or another. These and the like are [Page 20] no other then the Lewd and Idle conceits of Factious Brains: For there never was such a State of Nature, but in the Imagination of such Brainsick Men who have fancied a World in the Moon: Whosoever has come out of the Womb hath been Born un­der Government; nay, under Kingly Go­vernment, till Rebellion, or Faction, or the Love of Novelty altered the Natural and Regular course of affairs. I do not blame Aristotle, and other Old Infidels, for not hitting well upon the True Original of Govern­ment, considering they were not well ac­quainted with the Scriptures, but spake for the most part by guess.

But I wonder at the confidence of Hobbs and other such Modern Politicians (though in truth even they are for the most part Infidels too) for talking so idly and unphilosophi­cally, as that Kings have their Authority by Compact and Covenant, and the pleasure of the people; so that they may Crown them, or Un-king them, as they think fit; Doctrines, which cost King Charles the 1st, of Blessed Memory, no less then his Crown and his Head too. Whereas! for many A­ges after the Creation, Regal Authority de­scended by Inheritance; and as Nature gave [Page 21] a Man the Father-hood, so the Authority which went along with it, was Gods Do­native; people did no more chuse their Kings, then Children do chuse their Fathers. As for Common-wealths, and Aristocracies and Elective States, the World formerly was unacquainted with them; nay the ve­ry Names of them were unknown: No, they are only so many Usurpations, Degene­rate and Bastard sorts of Government: The Monarchical Form as it is far the best, so 'tis incomparably the Oldest, and of Gods own Institution: The rest are but Upstarts and Mushrooms of yesterday in compari­son; and I think, 'tis nothing but the ne­cessities of some few places in the World, that makes them either Tolerable or Law­ful.

2. I have done with the first point, That the Kings Power is Gods Ordinance, and it brings me to the 2d, That because the King is Gods own Minister, Ordained Supreme by his Commission, no man must dare up­on pain of Damnation, to use any Violence against him, they that Resist, shall receive to themselves Damnation. For, if God will Judg the Open and the Secret Actions of men according to the Gospel, and re­ward [Page 22] every man according to his Works, what less can the bold Rebe [...] expect, then the Severities of Judgment, that presumes in spight of all the Out-cries of Conscience, to act that which is so contrary to the Ends of Government; so Reproachful to the Gospel, so repugnant to the Spirit of its Author and its Laws? Did not Christ suffer for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps? 1 Pet. 2 21. Did not his Peaceable and Submissive deportment all along Teach us, that all Undutifulness and Violence must be utterly forborn? Did he not pay Caesar his Tribute with a plain com­mand that every Disciple of his should pay him his due? Did he not Rebuke those, who would have called for Fire upon the Heads of the Samaritanes? Did he not recommend to us the Practice of his Humi­lity, Meekness, and Patience under the Cross? Was he not angry with Peter for drawing his Sword upon the Chief-Priests Servants? Did he not own Pilates Power to have been from above? Did he not submit to it, when he had at his Command 12 Legions of Angels? Did not every Instance of his Life shew us, that 'tis better far to Die, then to Resist? Why, this was Christs Religion; [Page 23] and this is Christianity, that we should be Conformed to the Image of Christ, Rom. 8. 29. That's the Substance, the Power, the Life of Christianity: That's the business and Office of every Christian: And though Men please themselves with other popular Names, and call themselves the only true Catholicks on the one hand, and the only true Protestants on the other; yet as long as they are Disloyal on either hand; as long as they are Gun-powder Catholicks, or Cut-throat True Protestants; as long as they shoot at Government either with Bulls, or with Ordinances, as long as Con­sults or Covenants are in Fashion with them, and the King cannot be safe for them neither in the Field, nor at Home; as long as they Act after this Devilish rate, they do but abuse themselves into a State of Damnation, for all their fine Names; they ought not to be called Christians; or if they will wrongfully Usurp that Name too, there are as good Christians as they with Korah and Judas; and I had rather be a meer Philosopher, or an honest Hea­then, then such a Christian.

And doth not the Gospel strictly Com­mand us, not to Strive, not to Resist Evil, [Page 24] but to be Charitable, Patient and Peaceable, to obey Magistrates, to Honour the King, to Submit to our Rulers, to be Quiet, to do our own Business, and to be subject for Con­science sake? many Commands more we meet with up and down which hallow the Authority, and immure the Throne of the Chief Magistrate. And doth not my Text award Damnation to every Rebel? Why, one would think, that such Men did use some other Gospel, since they have no be­nefit by this, nothing but Damnation by the Gospel of Christ. Certainly they have a Gospel by themselves; Evangelium Armatum, a Gospel that is covered in Armour and dipt in Blood: For by ours, there is no Salvation for them, without such a Stinging Re­pentance as St. Paul describes in 2 Cor. 7. 11.

But I shall not need to proceed further upon the proof of this Matter, because the clearing of the 3d. Point will serve à Fortiori to confirm this. Only give me leave, be­fore I come to it, to note how the Apostle in my Text doth Limit Non-Resistance. He forbids Resistance against the Governour in Chief, against him that is the Fountain of all Authority in the Kingdom. Let every Soul be Subject (but) to the Higher (that [Page 25] is, to the bighest, or Supreme) Powers. And so in my Text, he that Resisteth the Power, meaning the same Power, that is the Power, the Authority, the Magistrate that is over all: Whether it be King as Supreme, saith St. Peter, 1 Pet. 2. 13. Supremacy was in the Crown in those days; there the High­est Power is Lodged, and that is the Power we must be subject unto for Conscience sake. Other Usurping and pretending Powers Men may be forced sometimes to be sub­ject unto upon pain of Plunder and Sequest­ration; but the Supreme Power, the King is he, whom we must not Resist upon pain of Damnation. There is in every King­dom the Supreme, and a Subordinate Ma­gistracy. So St. Peter doth distinguish be­tween the King that is Supreme, and Govern­ours that are sent by Him. The King is Gods Representative, other Subordinate Gover­nours are the King's: And as long as those Governours Act Regularly, and according to their Commission, they are to be obeyed too. But I will speak a blunt Truth, what­ever be the Issue of it, should our Nation be so unhappy again as it was in 42. when Inferior (or rather, Usurping) Powers for­sook their Allegiance, Levyed a War, Raised [Page 26] Arms, Issued out Commissions, and turned the points of their Swords against the Supreme (and only Lawful) Power, it would be not only allowable and Lawful, but 'twould be the Peoples Duty, and in point of Conscience a necessary Duty to Resist such Power even unto Blood, though Ten Thousand Hou­ses of Parliament (were there so many) should pretend to it.

Perhaps I might have spared that Hint in this Age, when our former sufferings on each side, should be enough (one would think) to make all Men Wise, and for their Interest (if not for Conscience) sake to be Dutiful for the Future. But I could not baulk it well, without baulking some­thing in my Text which forbiddeth all Re­sistance against the Supreme or Soveraign Power.

3. That Power is priviledg'd from all Re­sistance, though the King should happen to be a Wicked, or an Heathen Prince; which is the 3d. and last point, and it is con­cluded from the Consideration of what those Princes were, when the Apostles were plant­ing Christianity: For when St. Peter wrote his First Epistle, wherein he Charged Christi­ans to Submit to the King as Supreme, and [Page 27] unto Governours, his Ministers of State, Christians were so hardly dealt with, that they were forced to Flee up and down into places where they could best shift, into Pon­tus, Galatia, and divers Provinces more, as we find at the beginning of that Epistle. And Claudius himself, who probably was Emperour at that Time, was a Man of a Cruel disposition, Zealous for Heathenish Idolatry, Severe to all of a Foreign Reli­gion, so that he would not suffer the Jews to meet together (saith Dio;) and at last he Expel'd the whole Body of Jews out of Rome (Believers, and Unbelievers too,) and that upon Christs account, saith Suetonius, such was the Emperour, and such were his Mi­nisters, that they would not allow Christi­ans neither the exercise of their Religion, nor the Liberty of their Native Countries, nor the protection of their own Houses; and yet, both Claudius and his Deputies must be submitted unto. After Claudius imme­diately came Nero to be Emperour: A man called a Lyon by St. Paul himself, because he was of a Savage and ferine mind, espe­cially after he had got a tast of Blood (that I may save Seneca's credit in his Book de Clementià:) A Man that kill'd his Tutor af­ter [Page 28] all his Courtship of him; that dispatche his Wife and Ript open the Bowels of his Own Mother. A man that had a spight a­gainst every thing that was Good (saith Ter­tullian,) and that some Christians took to have been the Antichrist spoken of. For he was the Man that rais'd the first of the Ten Famous and General Persecutions, that in­flicted punishments upon Christians, saith Suetonius; put them to the most exquisite Torments, saith Cornelius Tacitus. For he Crucified some, and others he Burned. And as before, he set Fire on Rome, that he might please himself with the Resemblance of the Burning of Troy, so after that he burnt Christians in huge Heaps and Piles, that the light of the Fires might direct Passengers in dark Nights (saith the Historian:) and not content with all this Cruelty, many Christi­ans he drest up in the Skins of Wild Beasts, that they might be Torn in pieces by Dogs, as the same Tacitus Relates further. It was in the Reign of this Monster of Men, that St. Paul liv'd, by this Token, that he cau­sed that Apostle himself to be Beheaded; and it was in the 2d. Year of Nero (as 'tis probably conjectur'd by Baronius out of O­rigen) that St. Paul wrote this Epistle to [Page 29] the Christians in and about the Imperial Ci­ty: And though St. Paul knew enough of the Man already, and the Spirit of God foresaw a great deal more, yet you see what was written touching Subjection even to him (who was a shame to all Prin­ces) even this, Let every Soul be subject to the Highest Powers; for there is no Power but of God: The Powers that be, are Or­dained of God: Whosoever therefore Resisteth the Power, Resisteth the Ordinance of God, and they that Resist shall receive to themselves Damnation.

Against this that hath been spoken there is one popular objection which I must take no­tice of, and it is this: That where a King­dom hath adopted the True Religion, so that it is Establisht by publick Authority (as God be Blessed it is in this Kingdom) and the Laws of the Country are on its side, there Resistance is not unlawful, if a Prince doth indeavour the Destruction or Alterati­on of the True Faith.

In answer hereunto these things in short are to be considered.

1. First that the true Religion was Esta­blisht in the Jewish State by the Municipal Laws of that Nation, and that by the Authority [Page 30] of God himself and yet, though several Kings did attempt the introduction of Idola­try, nay did actually introduce it, the Jews Resisted not nevertheless, and if they had Resisted, such Resistance had been sinful notwithstanding.

2. It is very hard and unjust, that Prin­ces Favours should be made use of against themselves, that their Prerogatives should be prejudiced for their having received the Faith, and for the Kindnesses they have shew­ed to the Church of Christ. Because Con­stantine was a Zealous Protector of the true Religion, it would have been highly Un­reasonable, should this have redounded to the Violation of the Imperial Dignity of his Son Constantius. The Primitive Christi­ans had the Laws of Constantine on their side: And yet they did not think Resist­ance Lawful, though the Son was an Ene­my to that Faith, of which the Father was the Defender.

3. No Laws ought to be pleaded beyond their plain Design and Meaning. Now the intent of our Laws is to secure our Religion against Schismaticks, and Hereticks; but not to Arm Subjects against their Prince. For the same Laws which are the Stabiliment [Page 31] of the Church, do manifestly and Roundly declare all Resistance to be unlawful and Treasonable, and do Agnize the power of the Sword to be in the King, and in the King only: So that no Law is on our side as to matter of Resistance.

4. Should our Laws be so bad, as to al­low of Resistance in some Cases, yet this could be no Bar against the Laws of God which forbid Resistance in all Cases. For it is not in the power of men to give us leave to Sin; nor can any Humane Authority give us the liberty whether we will obey the Commands of Christ or no. I may not in any wise Hurt my Prince, had I his own leave for it, because the King of Kings hath com­manded me under pain of his high displeasure to do the Contrary.

5. Nay I will be bold to say, in the last place that supposing Law-givers should be so Impolitick as under pain of Death to re­quire, and by a Formed Law to command us to Resist the Soveraign power, it ought not in any wise to be done however. For it is a standing Rule in Christianity, that Authority is not to be obeyed in things that are Unlawful, now Resistance is simply and in its own Nature Sinful; and all Casuists [Page 32] will tell us, that rei illicitae nulla est obliga­tio, an Unlawful Command cannot bind, unless it be to Sufferings; such a command would be Null and Void of it self; the matter of a Law somtimes taking off its Obligation, when 'tis contrary to the Laws of God and Nature; and such would a Law for Resistance be, should the Authority of the whole Kingdom consent to it.

I have done now with the Consideration of my Text, and come at length to the day: but am at a great loss, how or where to begin, or in what Language to express my Sense of that Superlative Villany Acted at this time; which hath stain'd the Consciences of Rebels with Blood, which hath dyed the Faces of all Christians with shame, which hath brought upon all English Men a perpetual Reproach, which was an astonish­ment to all Nations, a blow to all Thrones, a wound to the hearts of all Princes, a Contumely to Heaven, and such an horrid Affront to the great God, that I am afraid, what­soever Judgments and Plagues we have la­boured under since, or do labour under still, have fallen upon our Heads as the Returns of that Cry, with which the Sacred Blood of the Lords Anointed, his late Majesty, went up to [Page 33] Heaven. I pray God our Land may be once throughly cleansed from the Guilt of it. The Blood of Christ can, and nothing but Christs own blood can purge us. And I am of the opinion, that if the blood of any Prince or Martyr could be so valuable and precious, as never to be atoned for in this World, it would be that Royal, that Sacred, that Innocent blood, which was so barba­rously shed upon the Earth, as at this time.

As often as I cast my thoughts upon the consideration of this most Horrid Fact, I cannot but think on those Memorable words of David, to the Amalekite upon the death of Saul. Part of the whole Story we have in 2 Sam. 1. Saul indeed had killed himself with his own Sword, at least, had given himself his Deaths-wound. This Amalekite took off the Crown from his Head, and the Bracelet from his Arm, and brought both unto David, pretending that he had slain Saul. Very probable it is, that he hoped for some good reward at Davids Hands (which has somtimes been the Traitors For­tune;) and he was the first I read of, that counted King killing a Meritorious Act: But instead of reaping his expected Booty he obtain'd not so much as a Para [...], [Page 34] but receiv'd his Final and deserved Doom. David stood amaz'd and astonisht at the Villany How wast thou not afraid (saith he) to▪ stretch forth thine hand, to destroy the Lords Anointed? 2 Sam. 1. 14. It was a Formidable and dreadful Crime in Davids account: And yet there are some Circumstances in that Story, which those Accursed Regicides in 48 would have used to have Justified their Fact, had the Case then been Parallel. For first, as for this Villain; he was no Jew, nor, (by what we find of him) any sworn Subject of Sauls: I am, saith he▪ the Son of a Stranger, an Amalekite, v. 13. 2ly, as for Saul Himself, he was a Man that had been Rejected of God for his Diso­bedience: A Man full of spight and cause­less Revenge; a Man so wicked, as that he consulted with the Devil, when he applyed himself to the Witch at End or? And yet for all this you see, David called him the Lords Anointed. Besides, he was a Man so implacably set against David in particular, that he pursued him like a Partridge upon the Mountains, and would gladly have been at any Labour or Gost to have made him away▪ notwithstanding all his Honourable Atchievements even for Sauls sake. Nevertheless [Page 35] though David was sure to▪ Succeed him [...] in the Throne, and so was little Concern'd (in comparison) in point of Interest, either to have spared him himself, or to have Re­venged his Blood being shed by another; yet be did not only himself let him go, when he had him in his Power (nay, his Heart smote him, when he only cut off the skirt of his Mantle,) but as soon as this Amalekite had own'd that he had slain him, he straight ordered him to be Executed, with these upbraiding and wrath­ful words▪ How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lords Anointed?

And what a fearful sin was that then▪ which was at this time acted? 1. By per­sons, that were the Kings Natural and Born▪ Subjects, Members and Children, as it were, of his Family; such as he had a natural interest in, such as lay under all those obligations, which God and Nature ever laid upon Men, to Obey and Ho­nour, to Revere and Love the great and common Father of the Country, who was no more accountable to his Subjects, then Parents are punishable by those of their own House-hold. So that the sin of this day was not only Murder, but Parricide too. A crime, which the very Heathens of old did [Page 36] not dream, that it could enter into any Mans thought to meditate, therefore nei­ther Numa nor Solon made any Laws against it. But when Hostius and Malleolus had once taken the heart to kill their Parents, then it was provided, that all such Ʋnnatu­ral Wretches (or Brutes rather) should be burnt alive, or drowned in the Sea with Dogs, or be cast to the wild Beasts, or be tumbled headlong from the top of some tugged Precipice. And yet, Secondly, be­sides these natural obligations, there were voluntary and Adventitious ones, which those persons laid themselves under; the most sacred tyes in the World, and there­fore called the Oaths of God; I mean the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, which no Man can break, but must be in danger of Hell-Fire. We thought once, that the devilish stratagem of dispensing with Oaths, and of Absolving Men from their Allegiance, had been the work of the Pope only; to prove whom to be Antichrist, one of the best Arguments is this, that he exalteth himself above all that is called God, that is, above the Kings of the Earth.

[Page 37]But it seems, some who were great pre­tending Enemies to Popery▪ could Dispense with themselves, and Absolve themselves, and that at a cheaper rate too: So that in spight of Honour, Nature, Religion, and all the most strict and inviolable bands upon the Conscience, they took the unparallel'd boldness, not only to invade his Preroga­tive, to divest him of his Regalities, and to number him among Traytors (even be­neath themselves, the very Worst and Rank­est of all Traytors,) but after they had cut off his Locks, and taken off his Crown, they proceeded yet further, even to stretch forth their hands to destroy the Life of Gods Anointed, than which nothing under Hea­ven could be secured with a more sacred Fence.

And yet behold a greater than Saul was here: A Prince, for Intellectual and Mo­ral virtues, for Natural and Acquired ac­complishments, for Wisdom, Eloquence, and all kinds of Literature, for his sincere Piety, for his Christian and well-govern'd Zeal; for his Exemplary Temperance, for his Unspotted Chastity, for his Invincible Patience, for his Inexhaustible Clemency, for the Tenderness and Compassions of his [Page 38] Heart, for his most Condescending and Gracious Spirit, for his Love to God, to his People, to the Church, for his Courage, Constancy, and singular Christian Charity even to his Enemies, and to his last breath; for all necessary and admirable Endowments, becoming a Man, a Christian, a King, a Martyr, he was a Prince by the confession of the World so Heroick, Singular, and In­comparable, that even a Romish Priest gave this character of him, that he was the greatest of Men and of Kings, nisi quod Hae­reticus, only he was an▪ Heretick (in their account,) that is, in truth, he prov'd a De­fender, Reign'd a Confessor, Liv'd a Suffer­er, and Dyed a Martyr for the True, Ancient, Catholick and Apostolick Faith and Govern­ment of Christs Church.

The whole and only design of this Dis­course is, to make Men throughly sensible of the Foul and Horrid nature of this days sin; that if any chance to hear me, who were either Actors, or Accesseries in it they▪ may joyn with us in such) a sincere and hearty sorrow for the Excerable Murder, as may both answer the ends of all those judg­ments which we have already felt; and may be a means to prevent those further Scour­ges [Page 39] which we have reason yet to Fear.

Before God and the World I confess my self abundantly satisfied, that Popish Jesu­ites were in that Horrid Plot, to execute which some Protestant Jesuites were the In­struments and Hands. That Roman Priest and Confessor is known, (saith my Author)Answer to Philanax, p. 58. who when he saw the fatal stroke given to our Holy King, flourisht with his Sword, and said, now the greatest Enemy that we have in the World is gone: And when the news of that Horrible Execution came to Roan some Jesuited persons there told a Protestant Gentleman (of good credit) that now they were Revenged upon the King of England, for not re-establishing the Catho­lick Religion: And much more to the same effect we have in the answer to Phila [...]a [...].

But yet it is too too manifest, who they were and what they profest, who were the actual Regicides. And I will take this just oc­casion from hence to warn all well meaning persons who profess the Reformed Religi­on, that they take great care, how they suf­fer themselves to be Abus'd for the future, or be drawn into the guilt of Disloyalty or Resistance. For I am perswaded, when our late troubles were upon breaking out, [Page 40] many (even Hot) Men did not look as far as the Scaffold, or dream that it would be built for the King at his own Palace door, but would have abhorr'd the very thoughts and suspicion of it. Many specious and po­pular pretences ran up and down the King­dom, and those set on foot by the Jesuites themselves; that innovations crept into the Church, that the Prelates were Popishly-af­fected, that there was great danger of Ar­bitrary Power, and the like. All the Histories of those times do bear witness to the truth of this. But would to God all Sober and Ho­nest Men would consider, whither those things came at last. Did they not end in the slaughter of the best of Kings? Was not that the Period and sad conclusion of all? Did not all the clamours and strivings of the people end in that? all actions & proceedings, how­ever otherwise intended by some; all was at last unhappily Sealed up▪ with that blood, which ever since has cryed aloud for Venge­ance upon this Nation. Men ought to be care­ful and wary for the future, and endeavour to choke the beginnings of Mischief.

For if once the bank be cut, who can tell how far the Deluge will run? In the late times, it was not the First Intentions, but [Page 41] the subsequent designs of Men, which took place so, that after the effusion of so much Heroick, Noble, and at last Royal Blood too, God plagued people strait for their First Resistance; he suffered the Basest of Men to ride over our backs; he brought us under the very Faeces and Scum of the Nation; and permitted such to be our Lords, as a Man of Honour would have disdained to have set with the Dogs of his flock, as the expression is, Job 30. 1. And what was the end of this? Why, nothing but Tyranny, Hypocrisie, and Oppression. To uphold Religion they introduced Atheism: To promote Arbitrary Power they banisht our Laws; and to preserve our Liberties, they made us Slaves, and the very worst of Slaves, Slaves to the vilest of our Fellow-subjects. In a word; it may de­serve to be consider'd, whether all those grievances which People have complain'd of all along under the Kings of England (putting them all together) since the Conquest, do amount to half the value and num­ber of those Cruelties, Miseries, and Oppressions, which within the compass of a few years were brought upon us, by those few Carrion Members, of that one Rake-Hell Parliament of cursed Memory.

Thus it is, when Men will be Arbitrary, and des­pise the Laws. To affirm (saith my Author) that the Kings Power is separable from his Person, is High Treason by the Law of this Land. And he ob­serves out of the case of the two Spencers in the Reign of Edw. 2. that to cover their Treason, they went upon three principles; 1st. That if the King do not demean himself by Reason in the right of his Crown, his Subjects are bound by Oath to remove him. 2ly. That seeing the King could not be reformed by sute at Law, that ought to be done by Force. 3ly. That his Lieges are bound to govern in aid of him, and in de­fault [Page 42] of him. Jenkins Rediv. Vindic. Pag. 74.

These Principles were condemned as Execrable and Detestable by two several Parliaments in those days: And yet these were the Fundamental Principles on which that Lewd and Profligate Party did rely in 41. Then, what had been adjudged to be Execrable before, passed for Law and for Gospel too: Then Treason was their Conscience, Resistance was their Creed, V [...]es and Ordinances their Magna Charta, the Sword was their Judg, and hence it followed, that so many of the Representatives of our Nation was our greatest Grievance.

God would not stay till Dooms-day to reckon with us; but his Judgments pursued us close at heels: We had Worm-Wood for loathing Manna, and a Yoke of Bondage upon us, for a Stubborn and Ungovernable humour under a Light hand.

This was part of our Reward in this World; and should God add weight to our Burthen yet, Rebelli­ous people must confess (if they will ever speak Truth in earnest) that they have deserved the most intole­rable of all Evils▪ if our Apostle be in the night, that They that Resist, shall receive to themselves Damni­tion.

To prevent the Execution of this sad sentence, [...] all such as have a Real and True value of their Souls, and desire to live so in this world, as not to he misera­ble in another, let such account Subjection to the King, both an Honourable and a Necessary part o [...] Religion, and not suffer themselves either to b [...] wheadled out of their Loyalty by Flatteries, or to [...] [Page 43] husst out of it by Fears. Methinks 'tis something odd, that when we all agree in the Premises, we should differ in the Conclusion. That Kings ought to be sub­mitted unto, is a Truth assented to by all sober Christians in the World; This is owned in general. The mischief is, that when we come to Particulars (whe­ther Things or Persons) either prejudice, or pas­sions, or interests of Men, start Evasions, and Con­ditions, which were never heard of in the World a­mong Christians before. Some are for the King, as long as he is Rich, Powerful, and able to maintain their Interest; that's the Loyalty of the Leviathan. O­thers stick to him, as long as he sticks to their Reli­gion; that is, the Loyalty of the Conclave, and the Kirk. But the Faith of the Church of England is this (which I am sure is consonant to the universal sense and practice of the Ancient, Apostolick Church, that let Princes be (as it shall please God) either a Blessing, or a Rod to a Kingdom, in all things Law­ful they are to be Obeyed; and where we cannot Obey them, but by sinning against God, there their Authority is to be submitted unto; so that whatever their Practices, or their Faith be, yet their Preroga­tives, their Persons, their Lives must be Sacred: though they be Sauls, yet 'tis a most fearful thing to lift up ones hand to destroy the Lords Anointed. I shall conclude all with that of the wisest of Monarchs and Men, Prov. 24. 21. My Son, fear thou the Lord, and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change. Amen,

Soli Deo Gratia.

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