A SERMON PREACH'D at the Cathedral of Norwich, UPON THE Annual Solemnity OF THE Mayors Admision to his Office, being June 17. 1679.

By B. Rively, Curate of St. Andrews Parish in the said CITY.

Published at the Request, and with the Leave of all his Superiors in that Place.

[...], 1. Pet. 3. 14.
[...]. 1. Pet. 3. 14.

In the SAVOY: Printed by T. N. for Samnel Lownds, and are to be sold at his Shop over against Exeter-Exchange in the Strand. MDCLXXIX.

A SERMON, PREACH'D at the CATHEDRAL of NORWICH,
Upon the Annual Solemnity of the Mayor's Admission to his Office, being June 17. 1679.

Rom the 13th. Vers. the 14th.‘For he beareth not the Sword in vain.’

WHatever some misopineing and mispractising Christi­ans of late have Taught the World to the con­trary, there can be no Greater Friend to Civil Government (whether Supream or Subordinate) than Christian Religion is.

And, for Proof of it, if all other parts of [Page 2] the New Testament were silent, the Five first Verses of this Chapter would be suffici­ent.

In the whole Discourse you have Two Generals,

  • 1. strict and universally concerning Precept: And,
  • 2. Mighty strong Arguments to back it.

The Precept is in the first words of the Chapters; Let every Soul be subject to the higher Powers: [...] the Au­thorities set over them; Civil Authorities having jus gladii, as in my Text: 'Twas here the Roman Emperor, and his Lieute­nants (for the word is taken for the Per­sons of Governors as well as for their Power.) To these every Soul is by the Christian A­postle enjoyned Subjection.

'Tis a Catholick Precept, and given to the Roman Christians (whether under Clau­dius or Nero, 'tis not material for they were both Persecutors) and, therefore, how any that boast themselves. Catholick, and own themselves of the Romish Communion (yet [Page 3] living under a very Constantine, and Theo­dosius) can Evade the Force of it, I un­derstand not.

Again, 'tis a Precept of the Christian Religion given to the first Christians by an Eminent Apostle and Disseminator of that Religion; and therefore how any that pre­tend to that Name, especially such as do it more Nicely, and Separately then the rest of their Brethren, should be made to bog­gle at it, I do as little understand as I did before. Yet so it is; As Catholick as it is, there are whole Orders of Men in the Ro­mish Church, that think themselves uncon­cerned with it: And as Christian as it is, there were of old, and are still, whole Sects and Parties of Men in the purer part of the Christian Church, that seek to elude and baffle it.

Therefore, 'tis well our Divine Author doth not barely propound it, but enforces it with strong Reasons, which I come next to consider.

1. The first Argument for this Universal Subjection to Civil Government is drawn from its Divine Original: For, there is no power but of God; and, the powers that be are ordain'd of God, Vers. 1.

[Page] [Page] [Page 4]Here, not only Power in general, but the particular Order and Polity of it, whe­ther in the hand of a Nero, or a Constantine—in a Supream or a Subordinate is made to be a Sacred Institution. There is an [...], and a [...], both in the words, whereby it is asserted, not onely to derive from God, as the first mover, and highest principle in the rank of Beings; but, to come of God too as the efficient cause; And there­fore disobedience on this account must needs be the more Criminal, as being up­on the matter a fighting against God, a russling and perturbing the Order and ap­pointment of Heaven.

2. Argument; from the sin, and dan­ger of resistance, vers. 2. Whosoever there­fore resisteth the Power, resisteth the Ordi­nance of God, and incurs Damnation.

First, Tis resistance of the Ordinance of God, and so 'tis a sin; for, sin in its pr per nature is the transgression of a Law; and, 'tis the greater sin, because against a [...], a Living Law, for so the Magi­strate is; 'tis against Gods Image, as well as his Word.

Against the Power of God in the hand of Man; Tis all one who Commands, [Page 5] God's Word, or God's Vicegerent, pro­vided he commands nothing contrary to that Word.

This Consideration at once invites Obedience, and aggravates Disobedience: Besides,

2. A person so sinning, incurs damna­tion, which is a mighty danger: the most terrible thing within the compass of hu­man apprehension—importing, not on­ly temporal punishment, but, without re­pentance, eternal too. And if fear be one of the most operative passions in the Hu­man Soul, what should so just a cause of it produce?

3. Argument from the end, and use of Government, in respect both of good and evil men, ver 3. 4. For Magistrates are not to be feared for good works, but for evil; Wilt thou then be without fear of the power? do well: so shalt thou have praise of the same: For he is the Minister of God for they wealth: but if thou do evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword for nought: for he is the Minister of God, to take vengeance on him that doeth evil. As if he had said 't vere a huge mi­stake to imagine that Kings, and Gover­nors were [...], Vain and empty [Page 6] names, of no benefit or service in the Com­mon-wealth. For how should Vice re­ceive its condigne punishment, or Virtue come by its proper Guerdon and Reward, but this way? How should the publick Peace be preserved, the common Good be maintained, or particular Rights be defend­ed, but this way? Better set under a Bramble-bush than have no shelter at all. It was better with Israel under Abimelech, than when there was no Magistrate in the Land, to put them to shame in any thing.

Let Governors be what they will as to their personal faults; Foxes as Herod; Li­ons as Nero, yet by the designe of their Place and Office, they are the Ministers of God to men for their good. Gods Sword bearers towards evil-doers, and Gods Shield­bearers towards them that do well: There­fore for them that should be Subjects, un­der what pretence soever, to cast off all aw and regard to Authority, to turn Muti­nous, Rebellious, or Seditious, and to lift up a Battoon of popular fury against this Sword of regular jurisdiction, is to spoil and defeat the most wise and experien­ced Instrument of Good, that ever was in the world.

[Page 7]4. Argument from the necessity of subjection, and the nature of that necessi­ty, ver. 5. [...], &c wherefore ye must needs be subject, and that not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake; as much as to say, 'Tis not a point of in lif­ferency, and arbitrary Choice that I am now upon, but of necessary Duty, such as you cannot handsomly avoid, nor can any company of men in the world, con­sulting to make a Law against it, possi­bly render it null, or absolve you from it.

'Tis a practice we are held to, by a Bond that nothing can untie, even by Consci­ence, and that both natural and enlight­ned. Reason and Revelation guide and hold us to it. 'Tis not only a pruden­tial thing, to live in subjection to them that are set over us in the Lord, as we would avoid the punishment threatned to resistance, in the verse foregoing; but 'tis a chief part of our Integrity and Con­science, both as we are honest men, and good Christians. And by the way, this is worthy of serious consideration to such as would pretend conscience against obe­dience to Governors in such Cases, wherein [Page 8] they have a power to Command.—But I forbear going further at this general rate; Thus much was necessary to find out where the words of my Text are; they are part of the Argument fetcht from the use and end of Civil Government, as it relates either to good or evil men; and they have (as you see) coherence with the antecedent and subsequent part of the A­postles discourse, and are as efficacious to­wards the pressing of the primary Injun­ction of Subjection and Obedience as any of the others, and so I shall handle them under this proposition, or principal head, viz. That Civil Government is by no means to be counted a vain and useless thing in the world—for so much the words do naturally import, though they be concretively exprest, and only with reference (as some think) to the coercive part of the Magistrates Office.

He beareth not the sword in vain. The (He) in my Text is the Power, the Po­testas, in ver. foregoing, Wilt thou not be a­fraid of the power, do that which is, &c for he is, &c. So that the power is spoken of, as vested in some subject, and the Power, [Page 9] and the Impowered mutually suppose one another.

And then for the (Sword) I take it to be comprehensive of the whole power, the Jus vitae, as well as Necis, and a Sym­bol of the defence of the virtuous, as well as of the offence of the vicious: And e­specially when our Apostle expresseth both for the praise of, &c. as well as for the punishment of, &c. and when he speaks not of drawingthe Sword, but of bearing it:—'Tis not amiss so to under­stand it.

This then I shall endeavour to make good upon this occasion—That Magi­stratical power, whereever it is lodged, either in the Prince or his Deputy, is not a vain or empty thing

  • 1. 'Tis not so in its Institution and de­signe.
  • 2. It ought not to be so in its execution and effect. The First will evince the Do­ctrine, and the Second will apply it, and both will absolve my present undertaking.

[...]o the First [...].—Magistrati­cal power is not a vain thing in its Insti­tution and Designe, because 'tis neither [Page 10] without Author nor End, and they both such as will abundantly excuse it from va­nity: for it hath God for its Founder, and it serves very useful and necessary pur­poses.

First, it hath God for its Founder, so far it is from having no Author at all (which is one notion of the [...] in my Text) that it hath the best Author of all. He that is the only wise God, and the God of Order, that can do nothing amiss, and has done all things well, is in another stile called the Blessed and only Potentate, and the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. 1 Tim. 6. 15. that is—the Source of all governing Power, whence all other pow­ers derive. For these words must be un­derstood as the following, as he only hath in ver. 16. God is the only Potentate, Immor­tality, i. e. originally and fundamentally. 'Tis true, Angels, and the Souls of men are immortal, but 'tis by dependance and de­rivation from God; and from the same Fountain, come these several Authorities, and great Commands of Men in the world. David describes this most Divinely in 1 Chro. 29. 11, 12. Thine O Lord, is the greatness, [Page 11] and the Power, and the Glory, and the Victory, and the Majesty, for all that is in Heaven and Earth is thine, thine is the Kingdom O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all: both Riches and Honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thine hand is power and might, and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.—Solomon also saith the same thing. Prov. 8. 15, 16. By me Kings Reign, and Princes decree Justice; By me Princes rule and Nobles, even all the Judges of the earth

Besides, what other sence can you make of that general and familiar Title of the Kings of Israel?—The Lords anointed.—or of Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar, Heathen Princes being called God's servants, as they are several times in Scripture.

Moreover, our blessed Lord himself au­thorizes this Doctrine in Jo. 19. 11. where he looks through the Person of Pilate to his Power (as he confesseth) given him from above. And in Jo. 10. 34, 35. Where he plainly consures the Jews unbelief, of his Divine extract by a concession of no less to their own Rulers. And as the Master, so have his Schollars (I mean the Divine [Page 12] Apostles, and their successors) been always thought to teach.—

I am sure St: Paul is direct to our pur­pose in that first sentence. There is no power but of God, and the powers that be, i. e. the then obtaining powers, though Heathenish, are ordained of God; all of them, whether supream or subordinate; for the superscrip­tion is the same upon greater and lesser coin, and to confirmation of this, he abounds with words in ver. 1. you have his [...], as I before hinted in ver. 2 [...], ver. 4. [...]. ver. 6. [...]. Nor doth St. Peter. contradict this, if rightly understood, for when 1 Ep. 2. ch. 13, 14. he calls for submission to the King and his Deputies, as to an Ordinance of Man; Submit your self to every ordinance of man, whether to the king as Supream, or to Governors sent by him, &c. This is by no means said exclu­sively of God, in their original Institution, as appeareth by the [...] annext, Submit to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake. God is not shut out in the main, though there may be an allowance of human skill and policy in the particular rankings and mouldings of civil power, 'tis as if the Apostle had said, Submit your selves [Page 13] to your Governors, by whatsoever human Model, or Creation, they do hold that Go­vernment; whether by Natural Inheritance, or Legal Succession, or by election for Life, or for a certain Tearm: for, writing to scat­terd Christians (as in the first Verse of this Epistle) How could he better accommodate his Discourse? Besides, Pareus himself, no forward Man for a jus divinum in Civil Au­thority—fayes, tis here called an Hu­man Ordinance, or Creation; not casual­ly, as if it were devised, or brought in on­ly by the fancy of Men: but either subject­ively, because administred by Men, or ob­jectively, because exercised—about the concerns of Men; and, from the very word [...], he picks out a notion of God, because Creation is a work pecusiarly his.

Now I appeale to you, if that which by all manner of Divine Testimony, by Old and New Scripture Records, appears to be the product of an Almighty Power and Wis­dom, can be a vain thing. Especially if thereunto we can add rational Evidence, in which this matter is easie to be done.

For I thus Argue—He that made all things must needs have a right to govern all things which he hath made: and, this Ma­ker [Page 14] and Governor of all things must needs be God, because the Acts of Creation and Providence are accountable to none but a Divine Power: and, if he gave not onely a being, but order to all other parts of the World, how can I reasonably think he should leave Mankind onely (which is his Master­piece) in a state of confusion and disorder, especially when he hath given that Species of his work to a nature infinitely loving and desiring the contrary.

And, as it is thus in power and rule ab­stractly taken, without any modification, so 'tis the same, as 'tis vested, either in a Su­preame, or a Subordinate.

As to a Supreame Power—in Rea­son there can be no order, Sine Relatione ad aliquid primum, So speaks the Philosopher; which made Sen. ca in his Book of Clemency use this expression, That even Nature did first find out a King.

A Government is like a Circle without a Center—i. e. something that hath no being in Nature: 'tis an Utopick, ussless there be in it somewhere a Supremacy. If Justice cannot be finally done, 'tis not done at all; and that can never be without a Su­preame, or Center, in which all Lines must [Page 15] meet—All Motions, Questions, Ap­peales, must receive a stop and determina­tion: upon which account it is observable, that even in those places where there is a seeming opposition to Kingship, and Sove­raignty, there they cannot avoid it for their hearts; as among the Lacedaemonians where the Ephori had it in spight of their Titular Kings; and among the Switzers at this day, where the People have it, for all the [...]r Um­bratile Magistrates: And, in what strange Names it was vested here, while Monarchy lay a bleeding, most of us cannot but sadly remember. But, you'l say; Is there the like reason for a Subor [...]inate Power? I an­swer, Yes: even in the very times of the Jewish Theocracy such a Power obtained, and was thought requisite to be put into the hands of Men, that might exercise Coerti­on, and work Deliverance, as Judges, or Lieutenants, in God's stead. And, what God thought reasonable for himself, Kings, that are but Men, have all the reason in the World to count wise for them to imitate. Therefore, in all Ages since, this way hath been practised, and in the most absolute Go­vernments. I might Instance in Moses, as Extraordinary a Person as he was, both in [Page 16] Commission, and in Ability; yet, not only to alleviate the Government to himself, but to facilitate it unto the People, he was fain to admit of Rulers, of 1000 s. of 100 s. and of 10 s. under him Exod. 18. 18, &c. but, not to insist upon that, we find after­ward the Constitution of the double Trium­virates under the Jewish Sanhedrim at Jeru­salem; and also the Proconsuls, the Curators, the Presidents of Provinces under the Roman Empire: in consideration whereof we are made to understand (by the way) The rea­son of the variety of Terms, Governors come under in the new Testament; some­times we have no King but Caesar; and­sometimes who but Herod; sometimes we read of Augustus, and then of his Tetrarchs; sometimes they are called [...] Principali­ties, and other-while [...] Powers, one while [...], then [...].

So the Greek Authors express the several Banks of Magistrates in the Roman Monar­chy, meaning, by Kings, such as were in the Soveraignty—the Emperors—and by Governors—All subordinate Officers under them.—St. Paul runs it thus, Kings, and all in Authority, 1 Tim. 2. 2.

And otherwise then thus it can never be, [Page 17] unless you can suppose Kings to pertake not only of the Name, but of the Nature of God, not only of his Image, but of his Essence—You may give one Sun leave to suffice a whole World for Light, because it can so easily carry it, and convey it through the Universe: but, Can you imagine a King that can as well serve for an Universal Monar­chy? It must be a very small Dominion which a Man can personally visit within the time, which the Sun runs his whole Cir­cuit: And, if there be a place in the King­dom, where neither the King is, nor no body for him, judge ye what Rule and Govern­ment must be there? Therefore, by wise Speakers, the Sea hath been thought a fitter Emblem of Soveraign Power, than the Sun, because though it be full of Water in it self, yet it is fain to make use of certain Streames and Rivers to carry its Waters into the Con­tinent, whither its self cannot come—And so stands the reason of Subordinate Power, not to rival, or eclipse and lessen, but to ho­nor, ayde, and fulfil the Supream Power.

Now, by this time, you have seen not on­ly Rule at large, but as it is vested in a Su­pream, and in a subordinate Hand, proved by Reason as well as Scripture. God and [Page 18] Nature have given in their Suffrages, and we have a saying (Deus & Natura) God and Nature never did any thing in vain.

Second Particular— [...], Magistra­tical Power is not in vain, neither with refe­rence to its end; It is not something that might be well enough spared, and would not be mist if it were out of the way, for it serves very useful and necessary purposes. Our Apostle had said before as much as this comes to, when, in Verse the third, he thus speaks, Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil: which expression is well con­strued by St. Peter, 1 Epist. 2 Chap. 14 v. The Magistrate is the Minister of God to thee for good; [...]: The Phrase is so com­prehensive, and Indefinite, that 'twill pose us to pitch upon any one kind of good that it doth not fitly tend to. The good of Per­sonal, and Relative; of Publick and Pri­vate Interest: the good of our Bodies and Souls; of our Lives, and Fortunes, of our Rights and Liberties, the good of Order and Justice, of Peace and Quiet.

In a word, whatever is of Natural, Moral, Civil, or Spiritual benefit and consequence, may be conceived to have at least its value and stablishment this way, and if there be any Spiritual benefit and consequence, may be conceived to have at least its value and stablishment this way, and if there be any [Page 19] other Notion of Good which upon serious consideration of the innumerable evils of Anarchy, and Lawlessness, doth come into your Mindes, you may justly place it to this account. Whole Nations, and Kingdoms, and Common-wealths, and Cities, and Churches, and all Societies of Men, and Millions of single persons too, (so far as un­biast Reason and a sound temper of Mind, doth prevail) are able to give in their ex­perimental testimony to all this—

I was fain (I confess) to put in that Parenthesis (so far as unbiast Reason, and a sound temper of Mind doth prevail) with reference to single persons, because (in the Christian Church (more is the Scandal) there hath been diverse forts of Anti-Magistratical spirits, some that have sought to Fight down all other lesser Monarchies, with the Intro­duction of a Fifth Great One; which some would have Christs, and some his Vicars.—Others would distinguish-down Magistracy, by allowing the Heathen not the Christian Magistracy; and alleadging, that now the Sword is a Carnal Weapon, and ought to be laid aside; and, that the Christian ought to be a Law to himself and n [...]ded not to be in Subjection, or Servitude to any Man since [Page 20] the Liberty obtained for him by Christ

But, how opposite soever this seems to be to the Doctrine of the usefulness of Civil Power, and State-Government, I shall not need to spend time in its Redargution, because it hath more of Delirium than Sound Argument in it, it falls apieces of it self.—

As for that of the Swords being a Carnal Weapon, and so not usable under the Gospel; that's onely to be understood (I presume) while its out of their own hands: for, their Design is only by this means to get it there, and then they have a Scabbard for it them­selves; but, it shall sleep no longer in it then till some Heretical Prince or such like Enemy to the Saints come in its way. This is not onely verified in the Sanctify'd Cut-Throats of Rome, but in John-a-Leydens Crew a great while agoe; and, in the Levelling-Party you know when; and, in another late Rabble of English Mammaluks; and, in a later then that of Scatch Enthusiasts, which yet might be all the Same Men (for ought I know) but Under several Disguises.

As for their Fifth Monarchy under King Jesus, 'tis a device quite contrary to Christ's own assertion, who plainly tells us, his Kingdom is not of this World, and how [Page 21] then can it come into Rank and Order with other worldly Kingdoms, so as to be called Fifth or Sixth?

As for that of less need of Magistracy, upon pretence of more Religion since Christ, sure God did never designe such a present perfection should suddenly come upon men together with his Gospel, that all other means of their good, should be necessarily superseded; but the Gospel of Christ was to be the power of God unto mens salvation, as bringing a blessing upon, and an efficacy into other means which were lawful before, amongst which, (doubtless) this of Civil Government was one, and might therefore keep its standing. Indeed if we could make men, there would be less need to make Magistrates; but still there would be need too, for when a man is as much a Saint as he can, yet he is not an Angel,—he may do evil and preventing Justice is an excellent part of the Magistrates Office; but what need I talk at this rate! I would all were honest men that call themselves Saints! You know Moses had a hard taske on't, though most of his charge were Church-members..

A flock of innocent sheep must have a Shepheard, for tho there be no Wolves in the flock, there may be some about it; [Page 22] and some may be crept in too, for ought you and I know; for W olves in Sheeps cloathing you have heard of before now—

In fine, as for that so much vaunted liber­ty by Christ the [...] of Antimagistra­tical men (as they construeit) 'tis a plain Lye; Christ brought in no such thing as they pretend to. 'Tis a liberty from sin, but not from Duty: 'Tis a liberty from Lust, but not from Law: 'Tis a liberty from Satans Tyranny, but not from God's Service. In a word, 'tis pure Liberty, not a Licentiousness that comes in by Christ—No man is authorised to do what he list, but what God and his Ministers would have him; for all this Liberty by Christ, all other bonds of like nature hold, as that of Chil­dren to Parents; of Servants to Ma­sters; of Wives to Husbands; and why should not this of Subjects to their Go­vernors and Princes do so too? 'Tis against the Principles, the Profession, I, and the ve­ry Interest of Christianity to think other­wise, as might abundantly be proved, if it were my present Province.

But I have said enough already in a mat­ter, to which the sense of all good Christi­ans since Constantine, and the Prayers of all before him do agree. It remains there­fore [Page 23] not withstanding all this Libertine Talk, that I proceed a little tell you, that State-Government is no vain thing, no, not now under the Gospel: but the best Uses and Ends it always served for, it serves for still; and for some better than it could serve for before; because a Christian, as such, hath a bigger fraught in the ship of the Common­wealth, than any other man, and besides his Life and Liberty, Safety, Property, Peace, which he hath (by the benefit of the Go­vernment he lives under) preserved to him in common with other subjects; he hath also his Religion safe guarded, and defended, and therefore that Government, by which this Jewel (in comparison whereof, all the other things are but Lumber) is secured unto him, must needs be of greater service and be­nefit.

The better men are, the more taste they have of the good of Government, partly, because their interest is dearest, which is pre­served by it (as I hinted just now) and partly, because the miseries of Anarchy fall heaviest upon such, being by their practice the more exposed to envy and mischief from wicked men, and by their principles more disarmed from private revenge—

[Page 24]But I shall not confine my discourse onely to them—take any man in the latitude of a Subject, and if he hath but a spark of Rea­son awake in him, that will inspire him with another sence of Government then to per­mit it to be thought a vain thing.

'Tis by this that he can say any thing is his; that he sits under his own Vine, and Figtree in quiet; that his House is his Castle; That every spleenful man is not Master of his life; that the Common-wealth is not a Cyclops Den, where [...], That things are not disputed amongst men as amongst dogs (that is) by the Teeth, and the greater force. That our places are not over-run with Malefactors and Crimi­nals, which are the worst sort of Vermin, and Wild Beasts; as for example, When there was no King in Israel, every one did that which was right in his own eyes, (that is) just right wrong; every Micah had a house of God's, and the Levites went a begging, and one Tribe went to war with another, to decide that by the longest sword, which a few hours serious debate, and reference to publick Justice, would have peaceably de­termined. And as it serves thus by way of prevention,—so again, 'tis by this that wholsome Laws are made, and executed; [Page 25] that Justice is done; that Peace is preserved; that Vice is punish'd; that Virtue is encou­raged; that human Society is kept on foot; that we enjoy our selves; and that we may serve our God. The Apostle gives it us in short, that we may live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; 1 Tim. 2. 2. And if this can be a vain Invention that ferves to all these purposes, I am very much mistaken.—Let us therefore admire it, as a wise and gracious provision of God, that we have such a Rank and Order of men set up amongst us, as should do all this for us; and be as Fathers of their Countreys, and Shepheards of the People, and Nurse of the Church, and Heirs of restra [...]nt, and God's among men; through whose vigilancy all others might sleep; through whose care they might be secure; through whose pub­lick employment they might attend their private; such as might be Sanctuaries to the Friendless; Treasuries to the Poor; Shields to the oppressed; a Praise to them that do Well; and a Terror to Evil-doers.

And well is it for the World, that this last part of their Office, is in any competent measure discharged: for 'tis too obvious, that most of the Civility, Honesty, and Re­ligion too, that is amongst us, is owing un­to [Page 26] it; men generally walk more by sight than by faith, and the Magistrates Halter scares more than the Ministers Hell: and though this restraint upon wicked men, by virtue of the Magistrates sword, doth not finally save their own souls, yet undoubt­edly it saves a great many other folks lives; which is so material a consideration, that with it I will shut up the Expository part of my Discourse, and come to Application.

Since the Magistrates Sword, as it em­blemsƲse 1. his Authority, is not in vain, as to its Author or End, neither ought it be in vain, as to its Execution or Effect.

It ought not to be in vain in the execution. This is only applicable to the Magistrate, and as subordinate too; for the making of Laws, and imposing them—that is the Potestas [...]; the Legislative power is in the Supream—But the exe­cution of Law, and Administration of Ju­stice to the people, is the work of the Sub­alterne Officers and Deputies under him; Give me leave then to be the Rembrancer only of such, that according to the Duty of their places, they would be pleased to put the King's Laws into execution, lest they be thought otherwise by God, and the Peo­ple to bear the sword in vain.

[Page 27]The good of the publick depends much upon subordinate means: Let the Kingdom be never so well provided of a Wise and Gracious Prince, and of good and whole­some Laws, if they that are to be the eyes, hands, and feet of him that is the head, be either lame or blind, how necessarily must the whole Body suffer? And if they that are to be as the Arteries and Veins to convey the Life-Blood of Law and Justice through the parts, do not perform their Office, nutri­tion must cease, and consumption must in­vade, and both will be charged upon that obstruction.

'Tis granted, the King's Authority virtu­ally extends it self throughout his whole Dominions; but how can it be actually ex­erted in particular and various places with­out faithful and diligent Ministers under him? Let the Lord-Lieutenant in a County, or the Mayor in a City be a St. George on a Signe­post, and the people will represent the King of the Countrey, but as a King in a Comedy by and by. Let the stagnation or stop of Ju­stice be in the lower Vessels,—it presently redounds to the detriment of the Head, en­dangers the Body of the Government, and in a little time brings an unprofitableness [Page 28] upon the Ordinance of God; unprofitable­ness did I say? yea, it perverts it, and makes it serve quite contrary ends, than it was in tended for.—If the Magistrate be couchant, 'tis ten to one but disorder and misrule will be rampant If the Governor be a Log, no wonder if the Frogs and Vermin leap and croak about it Unexecuted Law first gives impunity to Vice and consequently Cou­rage; for Evils unsupprest will soon grow in­solent, and in a short time, what was Leave at first will come to be Law, and a better Law than the Law it self at last. And the face of the Common-wealth, shall be (much what as the sluggards field in Prov. 24. 31.) Overgrown with Briars and Thorns, Wormwood and Hemlock, instead of those Plants of Renown, Righteousness, and Peace, and Order, and Truth, and Obedience. Gentlemen, I beseech you, mistake me not, I am not so pragmatick as to go about to teach you your Duty, which must needs know better than I, my designe is only to mind you of it, and to excite you to dili­gence, and faithfulness in it: you have your Rule before you, the Law of the Land, and that (Blessed be God) wise for its con­trivance, safe for its end, and useful for its effect: 'Tis not medling beyond this your [Page 29] Rule that I would tempt you to, but act­ting according to it (I think) is justly ex­pectable at your hands. But so much for ge­neral Use; now let me proceed to a modest particularity.

And First for you Sir, who must by and by resigne up your Sword into another hand, I have but two things to offer to you.

Take the best care you can that you go off the Stage with as much innocence as you came on: for besides personal faults, there are a sort of sins called Nostra [...]liena, our o­ther folks sins that a year of May oralty may be apt to be charged deeply withal: Give glory to God in the humble confession of them, and crave his pardon, in and through the merits of Jesus, and what you want of perfection (a thing the best come short of) endeavour to make up in your integrity. Be but able to make good Samuels close, 1 Sam 12. 3. Whose Ox, or whose Ass have I taken? whom have I defrauded, of whose hand have I received any Bribe? I mean, let but God and your own Conscience acquit you, and no matter whether the People give their Plaudite or no.

Moreover, I desire you Sir to remember, that though you now cease to be a kind of Dictator in this Government, yet you must [Page 30] continue to be Consul, and though the main Load shall be taken off your Shoulders, yet you must be willing to lend a hand to the burthen still: And this you have reason to esteem, not only your Honor, but your Happiness because thereby you have an op­portunity of playing an after-game, and con­sequently of amending what you shall see a­miss in the fore one.

But if there be so much heed to be taken in an Act of Resignation, what is there in an Act of Engagement? sure 'tis an easier mat­ter to surrender, than to undertake a Magi­strates Office.

2. To you then Sir, that are our Rising Sun, let my Speech be next directed.

Consider that you may lawfully take that Sword, which God and Man both put into your hands; and when you are invested with your power, use it for Gods Honor, the Kings Service, and the peoples benefit.

Begin with God and Religion for a Gallio-Magistrate, that cares for none of these things, is rather to be accounted a Herdsman of Cattel, than a Governor of Christians.—

Pray first unto God your self, that he that girt you, may bless you, and then entitle your self to the Prayers of the Church, by impro­ving [Page 31] your Authority to its singular advan­tage. Govern with your Example, as well as with your Sword; and what of evil your Office cannot reach, let your Frown and your Eye scatter away—So saith Solomon, A prudent Governor scatters away evil with his eyes, Prov. 20 8. The good example of a Magistrate seems hugely reasonable upon his own account, and other folks too: upon his own, because he would hardly punish that in another, which he is guilty of himself; and so he would be tardy in his Office—And then upon others account, because there are a great many people in the world, that look in no other Book but the Lives of their Go­vernours, and they go either to Heaven or Hell, as they are led by their Superiors.

But chiefly, let your power and zeal bend it self against those sins of Swearing, Drun­kenness, Whoredom, and Prophanation of the Lords day, because these are crimes grown too modish, popular and strong for to be [...]awed by any Church censure, or reproof.—And the best way for Reformation that I know of in this case, is strictly to execute the Laws of the I and against them. Finally let that Religion have your constant profession and countenance which hath crowned this Nation with so many blessings, and such de­liverances [Page 32] as seem almost peculiar to it, I mean the Protestant Religion, as it is established in the Church of England; and let her publick Worship, pure Ordinances, decent Rites, and lawful Ministers, never fail of your presence, support, and encouragement.

But next to fear God, is Honor the King,1 Pet. 2. 17 and this Sir, is as much your Duty, as any private Subjects, yea, and a greater obligation up­on you: and however your place exalts you above the common Level, yet you must own a subordination, and accountableness to your Sovereign. Though you have an Officer to carry the Sword before you, yet you are your self the Kings Sword-bearer too. Your may have the Show, but he must have the Service; you may have the Honor, but he must have the Duty of it; or else you put the Kings Sword into your scabbard, and fight against him with his own weapon.

Next to God's, and the King's, the peo­ples Interest is worthily considerable to you: for Government is not for you that Govern, but for them that are governed; not for pri­vate, but for publick ends. 'Tis not to fill your own pocket, but to shake down the Fruit to them that are underneath; that you are advanced to a high place

[Page 33]The Sword you take is by no means an Instrument of Particular Favour, or of Per­sonal Revenge, but of Common Justice; and must be Weilded to the Publick Ends of Law and Right, of Defence and Offence, as Cases happen within the Verge of your Go­vernment.

You are, Sir, in a diverse Notion, the Ci­ties Master, and the Cities Servant: as is Ma­ster you have a Port allowed you, which it is your wisdom to keep: for he that despi­seth himself, is the more easily despised by others—Be not wheadled by any Man out of your Authority, let him appear in what Cloak he will. As the Cities Servant, you have all her just Rights, and Priviledges to maintain; and, for your Assistance, you have many Fellow-Servants equally enga­ged, whose Aid you need not want in their vindication and assertion—Sir, I have no more, but as Michaiah to Ahab (yet without his Irony) Goe up, and prosper.

Ʋse 2. Let me now speak but one word to the People and I have done.

That the Magistrate should not bear the Sword in vain, by a neglect of his Duty, I have both generally and particularly exhort­ed: Now, that the People may not make him to do so, whether he will or no, I come [Page 34] to Exhort them, for, they have a way of blunting and dulling the Magistrates Sword, let him Whet it, and Weild it never so well: And that is, by their Obstinacy, and Per­versness, and Resty Ungovernable Humor.

But, Brethren, and Fellow-Citizens, let me hope better things of you. That which in the Designation of God, and in its own Nature is so useful and necessary to Humain Society, do not you render unprofitable to your selves, by a Peevish, Crofs, and unsub­missive carriage under it.—Sirs, Do not you treat those Scarlet Robes, as some bold Birds will do a Mawkin in a Corn-field; nor contemn that Sword, as if it were but a Lath in a Velvet Scabbard; Do not despise Dominion, or speak evil of Dignities, but pre­serve an awe and reverence alwayes upon your Spirits to Publick Authority, as to­wards an Ordinance of God; and believe it a matter wherein the Publick Welfare, and the Honour of Religion are very much con­cern'd. Do but suffer that Lawful Sword of Government which you live under to have its proper effects upon you—to keep you within due bounds of Order and Soberness, and Obedience, and you will thereby very much prevent its being borne in vain: you will ease your Magistrates of a [Page 35] great part of their burden, and you will gain unto your selves the reputation of Loyal Subjects, and true Protestants. And now I think on't, this is a new Argument I have to enforce this Duty upon you withal: You see at this day the great Cry is against Po­pery, and that which most justly hath made that Religion odious to us, is, the Bitter Op­position it bears to the Government of this Nation, as it is now to remain Refractroy, Ill-natur'd, Discontented with, and, in any way (open or secret) Rebellious against the present Government, is plainly to take part with the Papists, and to help on their Malitious Designs against us. And, you can no way better approve your selves, not only Christians at large, but of the best sort, that is, of the truly Reform'd Stamp, and most agreeable to the Primitive-Christian Spirit, then by living in Subjection and Obedience to your Supreame, and Superiors in Church and State. It is too late here to meddle with the so much exagitated Question, How far we are to obey Governors? this I am sure; To pretend Conscience against Obe­dience, is expresly against St. Paul's Do­ctrine, teaching us to obey for Conscience sake; and, to Disobey for Conscience, in a thing [Page 36] indifferent, is never to be found in the Books of our Religion.

Goe home then, and if you be as you Pro­fess, Christians and Protestants, shew it not so much by your Railery against the Pope, as Antichrist, and the Whore of Babylon, &c. as by heartily loving and embracing that Church, which he hates and pursues (you see) with all his Spight and Spleen; and confess at last, that that Settlement must needs be of God, that hath out-lived so ma­ny Wars, and Conspiracies, and Fires, and Swords, and Poysons, against it: and, take it not amiss if (according to the Charge given to Titus, and, in him, to all the Successive Ministers of the Gospel) I do, upon this oc­casion, put you in mind to be Subject to Prin­cipalities Tit. 3. 1. and Powers, and to obey Magistrates; which is nothing else, in effect, but to strike in with the best Natur'd King, the best Con­stituted State, and the best Reformed Church, against the Worst sort of Enemies in the whole World.—

FINIS.

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