An APPEAL TO HEAVEN and EARTH, Against The Christian Epicureans, Who have betrayed their KING and Countrey, And Exposed them to the Judgments of GOD, Drawn up in QUESTIONS Theological, and Theologico-Political

By Socrates Christianus.

LONDON, Printed in the Year MDCXCI.

THE DESIGN Of the Following Questions,

BEcause it may be mistaken by many, and is otherwise like to be fully understood by few, it is necessary to premise a brief Explication of it. It is not to expose any person, much less Him, whom all may perceive to be particularly concern'd in them. They were indeed written with some respect to him; but for his service: partly for the necessary and more full Con­viction of a dangerous Error by him unhappily committed, that he may, before it be too late, provide to prevent the further Mis­chiefs of it, by humbling himself in the sight of the Lord speedi­ly, and giving Glory to God by acknowledging his Fault, and a resolute actual Amendment, whatever Difficulty or Danger occur in it. For a Great Fault it seems to be, and such as is not to be denyed or palliated, in not well attending to the Design and Con­duct of the Providence of God, and Prosecuting his Service with that Fidelity, Generosity and Magnanimity, as became an Instru­ment raised up by him; but stooping through Evil Counsels to vulgar, mean, and vain Policies: And the Danger of the Conse­quence thereof seems to be no less, viz. Lest being destitute and out of the way of that Conduct, which he deserted to secure him­self, or promote his Business, he fall into the very Evils he sought to avoid, find the Egyptians, upon whom he leans, prove as broken Canes, which run into his hand; and the Cananites, whom he hath not, by a vigorous exerting his Authority, endeavoured [Page]to subdue, as Pricks in his Eyes, and Thorns in his Sides, and a Snare unto him: Partly to represent to him the True Ends and Business of Government, and some of those Faults therein, which have been committed by, and brought no little mischief upon his Predecessors in this Kingdom, that he may with great Caution a­void the same, and all such Counsels as might mislead him into them: For it would greatly aggravate such a Fault in Him, if He should become guilty in the least, but by attempt or desire, of what he is raised up to punish in so near a Relation; and scanda­lize the Extraordinary Manifestation of the Providence of God in the late Revolution, and his own Enterprize, and make it and his Declaration suspected of Hypocritical Ambition from the Begin­ning: And partly to make manifest to him what kind of Persons in matters of Religion, and what in matters of State and Go­vernment, are very unsafe and dangerous for him, to rely upon their Counsel, Advice, or Judgment, even by his own Experience, as well as by the Examples of his Predecessors. For I can hardly be perswaded that ever any Man in such a height of Fortune was more betray'd than he hath been, one way or other by all sorts, but most perniciously by those of the Clergy, who have had any special Obligation or other Advantages of access to him, Which brings me to another Part of the Design.

And this, as I said before, is not to expose any, much less the Sacred Function; but for Admonition to those who are faulty, ei­ther through Neglect of Watchfulness and Faithful Warning, through Unfaithful Caution and Forbearance for any self respect, or through Error and Corruption of Judgment, whereby they de­parted out of the way and caused him to stumble from the Ancient Paths; that they may consider well the Danger, which not only He, through their fault, but themselves also are fallen into; For if he miscarry therein, his Blood, and the Blood of thousands more will be required at their hands, as I doubt they have much to an­swer for already for the many Souls, which in Ireland and else­where have died in their Sins and Wickedness, and might have been reclaimed; that they may consider the danger thereby in Him brought upon all; for this is the pernicious Root of all our Mischief, the Accursed thing for which we cannot prosper: and well considering these things, they may consider further, what is to be done, and by them more especially, to stop the Wrath [Page]which we may fear is gone out, and apply themselves to it speedi­ly, with a Zeal no less than that of Phineas.

And for this purpose it is but reasonable that this should be done, to make it the more effectual, by way of APPEAL to all the Divines of this Church, or rather of all Protestant Churches, if not to Heaven and Earth, to High and Low, Rich and Poor: for all are concern'd in it, and it may be feared that the Sin reaches Heaven it self, and may bring down Judgment upon our Heaven and Earth very suddenly, if not prevented by some ex­traordinary Means used without further delay. And this is the last part of the Design, subordinate to the Supream End of All, to make All, (for All are concerned,) sensible of their concern in this matter, and how dangerous the Case is; which is with us, just as it is in some Diseases, which are never more dangerous, than when the Patient is least sensible of Danger or Disease.

As Insensibility is a most dangerous Symptom, so of it in any such Case we need not seek for further Evidence, when we may perceive it to have invaded the Clergy, who are as it were the Vitals in such Cases. Of which we have three notable Argu­ments and Proofs. The first is the Faults before mention'd, of such as have any special Obligation, or other Advantage of Ac­cess, to the King, of which I need say no more.

Another is the common Discourse of many in good earnest, who can plainly laugh at a Universal Reformation, as a thing Im­practicable, or at least Unseasonable, and think themselves very wise in it; and therefore please themselves in commending the Zeal of such as are any whit earnest for the promotion of it with a kind of insulting pity for their weakness. These Persons, though I am well assured some of them do not intend it, really do strengthen the hands of Evil Doers, and discourage the Work of the Lord; and how conceited so ever they may be of their own Parts or Prudence, are in this particular under two great and shameful Mistakes or Over-sights. 1. They do not consider the Prevalence even of Humane Authority well exerted in a good Cause, and what hath been effected in their own time, or in the time of their Fathers, to the suppression of the most common and impudent Vices which are now reviv'd and reign amongst us, in so much that they durst not appear, but were either wholly suppressed, or fled into Corners. 2. Nor do they any better consider the Power of God, the Methods of his Providence, or the Nature of that Faith, [Page]which is so highly extolled in the Sacred Scriptures; but are in truth, though they little think it, a kind of Christian Epicureans, who confine the Providence of God to the Heavens, and have little apprehension of the secret Interposition of his Power in Humane Affairs and Actions.

This I impute in a great measure to an ill Education in our Ʋniversities, which were intended for Seminaries and Nurseries of solid Learning and sincere Piety and Virtue; but are by ma­ny thought to be now rather Seminaries and Nurseries of Va­nity, Vice, and Faction; which I doubt hath too much of truth in it, and is therefore not impertinent to be here noted, especially since in one of them we have a late notorious instance of their much greater inclination to favour scandalous Persons, than good Discipline, even by a Publick Act; a Case wherein I doubt even one of our Bishops hath but too much followed the Genius and Example of some of the Popes of Rome in their Usurpations upon other Churches in the Matter of Appeals, to the Obstruction of Discipline, which was before scandalously defective in ours. But as to the Education of youth there at this time, it seems more to exercise the Memory and Phancy than the Judgment; and to ha­bituate it rather to a loose Sophistry, (apt to be sway'd by the byass of the Affections, and to make Men conceited, captious, and contentious) than to close and sound Resolutions; more to excite a concern for Politeness, Correctness of Expressions, and the superficial Ornaments of Learning, and a passive disposition to applauded and modish Notions and Opinions, to recommend themselves and get Preferment, than an industrious Study of use­ful and necessary Truth, and to promote the Service of God and the Good of their Country. And hence it is that if a man for the service of the Publick neglect or hazard what these men call his Interest, he is presently looked upon with a little contempt, as an Object of Pity, if not reproached and severely censured. Thus are those Virtues, which in their time have had the highest Esteem and Veneration with all Wise and Good Men, or rather with all Men, not only neglected, and lost, but suppressed, dis­couraged, or opposed, in this degenerate Age, even by such as should be the greatest and most forward Encouragers and Pro­moters of them; the just Punishment whereof we are very like to feel e're it be long: and it doth not a little concern the Clergy, and the Ʋniversities, to be sensible of it in time.

And this Admonition will appear the more necessary by what I shall here observe in the third place; and that is from the Form of Prayer lately (Compos'd I cannot say, but) Published for the Fast, which if I be not much mistaken, is so defective in an Essential and Principal part of a special Office for such a purpose; I mean, Con­fession of Sins, that it doth neither answer such an occasion in ge­neral, much less, the present condition of the Nation therein acknow­ledged in general; nor the Forms formerly Composed for the like occasions, nor the Purport of the Queens Proclamation, nor the Do­ctrine of the Church of England; which is so great an Evidence of what I say in those to whom the Care of that Business was commit­ted, that I shall forbear to say more of it here: And shall only add an Observation, which I happened to cast my Eye upon while thinking of these things, That the War in New-England first began, and the Sword was first drawn upon a Day of Humiliation; and that much of the sad News in the progress of those Wars came at the close of those days: The Lord (says the Author) declaring thereby from Heaven, that he expects something else from his People, on such days, besides Fast­ing and Prayer; and that Prayer without Reformation will not do. And he further observes, That upon their renewing their Covenant with God, to reform the Evils among them, and to endeavour for the future to live more according to the Will of God in Christ Jesus, the Courage and Spirit of the Indians was much taken off, and they had great success against them. And because I fear we may be too apt to deceive our selves with Mis-interpretations of Providence as well as of Prophe­sies, I shall leave it to Consideration, Whether Mr. G. Walker's In­terpretation of the Providence of God, to intimate by what Hand he would defend and maintain both their Majesties Interest, and the (Protestant) Religion, was not afterward confuted, or checked at the next Engagement, at the Boyn, where he was one of the first slain on our side.

I wish as well as any Man to the Church of England, and there­fore cannot but wish that better and more effectual Means might be used in time for the Preservation and Good of it. And because we are like to have some new Bishops e're long, from whom we may expect some good Considerations and Actions for that purpose, I wish it may be considered, both how that Defect aforesaid may be seasonably supplied, and whether some other Hymns may not be more proper for a Solemn Humiliation than the Te Deum, and O [Page]be joyful. But with all it is fit to be considered whether it may be safe for the Clergy that any Form should be imposed upon them, or they be injoyned to read any but what is Au­thorized by Act of Parliament; or that any such Expressions should be prescribed in the Prayers for Religious and Gracious Princes, which in the Reign of a prophane Prince or a Tyrant they can neither leave out without Danger, nor use without Of­fence to their Conscience, and Scandal to the People. The for­mer Reigns afford Evidences of the Inconvenience, and the pre­sent Opportunity to Reform them, according to the Ancient Sim­plicity and Piety.

But to Conclude, the Design of all is the Preservation and Prospe­rity of the King and Queen, the Church, and the whole Nation; and in order thereunto the Removal of the Impediment; which cannot be but by some Great and Heroick Acts, whereby the Fa­vour of the Divine Providence may be recovered: For by that Fault so often mentioned, the Adverse Powers have gotten that Advantage which cannot otherwise be overcome. And for the Truth of this, I Appeal to the Invisible Powers of Heaven, and to the truly Wise upon Earth, who in this Enchanted, Fascinated, Blinded and De­mentated Age are very few, notwithstanding all that great conceit­ed Confidence and Presumption every where to be met with; I be­lieve it will not be long before we see the Resolution of it one way or other, as we behave our selves.

QUESTIONS Theological, and Theologico-Political:

I. THEOLOGICAL, Proposed to the DIVINES of the Church of England.

I. WHETHER a Latent or Ʋnobserv'd Sin, doth not often, like a Root of Bitterness, produce great and continued Afflictions to single Persons, Fami­lies, and whole Nations, until it be found out and reformed; and often Excision or Extirpation at last, if there be no Reformation?

II. Whether a Person succeeding in the Civil State of others, who successively by abuse of that State had contracted much Guilt, may not by committing the like Faults, or by neglecting the Reforma­tion of the Evils, which his Predecessors had introduced, derive the load of that Guilt upon himself?

III. Whether it be not a most Ʋsual Method of the Divine Pro­vidence, when it pleaseth God to Call, Lead, or Excite any Person to be his special Instrument for Good to a People (and not for Judgment or Vengeance, in which case he often useth Evil, and sometimes the worst of Men) to try and exercise such person with various Tryals, many times Difficulties, and such sometimes as in the judgment of Men might seem insuperable?

IV. Whether Fidelity to God in Trust and Confidence in his Wisdom and Power, be not a special Duty in such case absolutely requisite, and so necessary that a Fault therein doth always produce some smart Effects of God's Displeasure; and many times Rejection or Destruction, unless prevented in time by manifest Works of Re­pentance and Reformation?

[Page 2] V. Whether much of that, which is Reputed and Practised as Wisdom or Prudence in the World, even by Men of Learning and Religion, be not a meer Cheat and Imposture, a Cover for those dangerous Sins of Fearfulness and Disowning of Christ, Revel. 21.8. Mar. 8.38. a subtile Stratagem and pernicious Delusion of the Evil One to undermine and frustrate that Great and Heroic Virtue of Faith so much recommended in the S. Scriptures, and to cor­rupt this Fidelity to God in the prosecution of his Service in dif­ficult matters?

VI. Whether in any good Occasion or fair Opportunity for the Service of God, and Good of Men, especially, if put into ones power, or recommended, as it were, afterwards by any special and extraordinary Manifestation of the Providence of God in Conducting, Preserving and Prospering the Person, Remisness, Negligence, or Evil Management, especially through such satisfaction in some worldly acquest, or application to vulgar Prudentials and World­ly Wisdom, as imply an Abatement either of Zeal or Affection to the further prosecution of the Service, or of clear and generous Trust and Confidence in God, viz. without recourse to dawbing shifts, in the prosecution of it, be not such a Fault as aforesaid?

VII. Whether the Correction and Reformation of gross and scan­dalous Prophaneness and Impieties amongst a People by such an extraordinary Providence subjected to ones Power and Authority, especially when desired and expected by many and the best part of them, be not a special Duty incumbent upon such a person, and to be prosecuted without delay by all Good Means; and the Neglect and Procrastination thereof, and employment in the mean time of persons notorious for such sins and wickedness, without check or re­proof of their Faults, be not a piece of such worldly Wisdom, and such a Neglect and Fault, and like to produce such Effects, as aforesaid?

VIII. Whether a Fault in such case as aforesaid, continued or again committed, after plain Admonitions by whomsoeoer it be, if they be true, be not thereby greatly aggravated, and become so much the more dangerous?

IX. Whether such a fault continued, or again committed after remarkable Providential Warnings or Experiments in a Mans self or others, be not thereby also aggravated, and become the more dangerous.

X. Whether a considerable Change or Stop in Success in the Pro­secution [Page 3]of a Good Cause, so favoured as aforesaid, by the Provi­dence of God, doth not oblige all, (but most the Persons most con­cerned therein,) to enquire speedily with all care and circumspection into the true Cause thereof, and whether there be not something amiss, which might provoke God to withdraw or suspend his Di­rection, or his Blessing, and permit the Disappointment; and speedily to reform the same?

XI. Whether Neglect of Great Mercies without due Improvement and suitable Acts of real Gratitude be not a great Provocation of, and usually followed by, so much the Greater and Severer Judge­ments?

XII. Whether it be not the Duty of Ministers of the Gospel to be Watchmen as well as Pastors, and to consider well, and discern truly all such Faults as may provoke the Judgments or Displea­sure of God against a People, or their Governours, and to dis­charge faithfully the part of True Prophets in plain Admonitions thereof; and not to seek Excuses, but seek all Opportunities to do it: But the property of False Prophets to flatter Princes, and Great Persons, and to lead them and the People into Security, or confirm them therein, by smooth, and pleasing, and procrastina­ting Doctrines, instead of exciting them to serious Repentance, speedy Reformation, or necessary Duty, especially when Judge­ments are approaching?

To these I think fit to subjoyn One Question of Fact, concern­ing the present State and Condition of all the Protestant Churches, worthy to be well considered by all serious Persons of whatever Protestant or Reformed Church, at least for their own Use and Benefit. viz.

Whether the Religion, State and Condition of all or most of the Churches, called in general Protestant or Reformed, however distin­guished into several subdivisions, be not greatly deformed, and degenerated from the geniune and compleat State of Christianity? viz. either into

1. External Formality, Superficial Morality, and uncharitable violent Faction, after the Genius of the Imperial Romans; or

2. Notions, and unprofitable Speculations, and Animosities and Contentions about them, after the Genius of the popular Gre­cians; and

3. Neglect,

1. Of divers great and fundamental Christian Doctrines and Virtues, viz. of

[Page 4] 1. Humility, out of a due Sence of the Excellency and Holi­ness of God, and of the Meanness and Corruption of Man, and Vanity of all Earthly things.

2. Contempt of the World, and of the Pomps and Vanities, and Superfluities thereof, which antiently all Christians did re­nounce in their Baptism.

3. Generous, Active Faith and Vigorous Charity in promoting the Honour of God, and the Salvation of Souls; notwithstanding the great Advantages God by his Providence hath given to prose­cute so Glorious a Work to the remoter parts of the World.

2. Of certain necessary Christian Means.

1. In secret Retirements, of Meditation, Contemplation, and Fervent Prayers, with Fasting and Watching upon special Oc­casions.

2. In Publick, of the most Solemn and peculiar part of the Christian Worship, designed both for the Honour of God by so­lemn Recognition of our Redemption, and for our own Benefit, as an external Medium of Sacred and Spiritual Communion both with Him, and with one another.

3. Of Improvement of that portion of our time, which most Churches in all Ages have commended at least, and observed, (if not injoyned to be used) for religious Employments, for Edifica­tion of our own and others Souls, under the name of the Lord's Day. And at last,

4. A Deluge of provoking Sin: either

1. Gross and Scandalous Prophaneness, Impieties, and Contempt of all Religion through want of effectual Discipline: or

2. Such as easily escaping the external Discipline of Men, are fre­quently punished, even in this World, by some remarkable Judge­ments of God; such as Covetousness, which the Sacred Scripture calls Idolatry, and the Root of all Evil, Col. 3.5. 1 Tim. 6.10.) Deceit, Exaction, Pride, Ostentation, Emulation, Contention, Idleness, Luxury, and many such like. And upon that Consideration,

1. Whether from such a deformed and corrupt Estate, there be not great reason to fear, (especially if the Motions of Providence be more swift in after times than formerly, as some Learned Men suppose,) that most of these Churches may e're long be overtaken by some severe Correction, to purge that Wickedness, which neither extraordinary Mercies, nor the remoter approaches of Judgments could prevail with them to reform?

[Page 5] 2. Whether it be not more prudent and more pious to take that Warning of the Lord of Hosts by his Prophet: Amend your Ways, and your Doings; and Trust ye not in Lying Words, saying the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, &c. But go ye to My Place, which was at Shiloh, where I set My Name at the first; and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of My People Israel. and to consider well the following Denunciation: And now because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, ri­sing up early, and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not: Therefore will I do unto this House, which is called by my Name, wherein ye trust, and unto the Place which I gave to you and to your Fathers, as I have done to Shiloh, Jer. 7.3, 4, 12, 13, 14. then either to flatter our selves in our Sins, Trans­gressions, or Neglects of Duty and Reformation, with vain hopes that God will either accept of our Inward Purposes, or spare us for our outward Profession, lest the Adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and preserve us from the Power of King Lewis, any more than he did his People heretofore from that of King Nebuchad­nezzer; or hearken to such as pervert the words of the Living God, cause us to err by their Lies, and by their Lightness, and strengthen the hands of Evil-Doers, that none doth return from his Wickedness.

II. Questions Theologico-Political,

Proposed to the Wise and Virtuous of the Nation.

I. WHether what Theology resolves to be the Duty of Princes and Governours, that is, to be the Ministers of God, for Good to the People, (Rom. 13.4, 6.) that they may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all Godliness and Honesty, be not also as certain and clear a principle of true Policy, the very End of Go­vernment, and the interest of Governours, and the proper way to make their Government Stable, Easy, and Honourable? This in general: But more particularly,

II. Whether it hold not true in Policy, which is affirmed in [Page 6]Theology, that The Throne is established by Righeeousness (Prov. 16.12.) that is, whether the strict and punctual observance of Reli­gion and Piety toward God, and of Justice, Love, and Goodness to the People, especially by promoting of Godliness and Honesty amongst them, be not the most effectual means to Establish a Go­vernment, even upon Civil Considerations, as well as Religious?

III. Whether Justice, Righteousness, and continual Attendance to the Good of a People, and the Peoples Experience of the good Intentions and Prudence of their Governours, be not the most ef­fectual method to make a Government Easy to the Governour, as well as to the People, even upon a Civil account?

IV. Whether such continual Attendance, Study, Care, and En­deavours to promote their Good in all respects, be not the very Work of Good Angels, nay, of God himself, and a Subservience thereunto in Governours, and their proper and special Calling, and as therefore very pleasing to God, and his Blessed Angels, so also the direct and most certain means to be truly Honourable amongst Men, especially the best, both of the present and future Gene­rations?

V. Whether to take care,

  • For the Defence and Protection of the People,
  • For necessary Accomodations for their Living,
  • That they may be trained up in Industry, and Activity,
  • That they may be Sober, and Frugal.
  • That they may be great Lovers of their Country, and their Emulation be most excited that way,
  • And that they may be instructed to be Understanding, and In­genuous, and to be Virtuous, and Pious,

be not necessary Particulars of that Good of a People, which is to be so studied and endeavoured? And whether it be not much more Honourable to be a Beloved Governour of an Industrious, Wealthy, Free, Ingenuous, and Virtuous People, than a dreaded Tyrant over a Poor, Base, Slavish, Barbarous and Vitious People?

VI. Whether it be not more Generous and Commendable for a Prince to relinquish such Rights as are either indirectly gotten, or cannot be used without Inconvenience, either to the People, or [Page 7](which may sometimes happen) to himself, to gratifie the People or oblige their Affections to him, than strictly to assert it, out of a vain Disdain (Rehoboam like) to comply with the People, or to gra­tifie some particular Favourite; most agreeable to the End of Go­vernment, most pleasing to God, and most Advantageous and Honourable to the Prince himself?

VII. Whether Ambitious Desire of Independant Power over others, and to be feared and worshiped by them, and actual Study and En­deavours to acquire the same by Fraud, or Force, by War, Slaugh­ters, Devastations, and Disturbance of the Peace and Quiet of Men, be not the very State of the Devils, and Diabolical Actions, odious both to God, and to Men; and such as frequently produce very unhappy Effects to such ambitious Persons, or their Posterity?

VIII. Whether Oppression of Subjects by Power, or Encroaching upon their Rights by Craft and Tricks, and setting up of a Sepa­rate Interest, be not contrary to the End of Government, tending to the Dissolution thereof, and usually first or last, as pernicious to such Governours, or their Posterity, as troublesome to the Peo­ple?

IX. Whether to set up, and engage a Party or Faction to be­tray the Rights of their Fellow-Citizens or Countrymen, and to oppress the rest under pretence of Religion or Civil-Right, doth not greatly weaken a Government, tend to the Dissolation thereof, and provoke the Judgments of God, who hates all Injustice and Oppression, but especially when done with a High-Hand, Great-Crast, or under pretence of Justice, or of Religion, which adds Profaness to Injustice?

X. Whether the true and proper End and Design of Honours be not to recommend Virtue and Merit by eminent Service for the Publick; but the conferring of Honours upon Ambitious and Aspi­ring Persons for other Respects, an Abuse and a Frustration of the proper End thereof, rendring them insignificant, an injury to Eminent Virtue, Publick Merit, and true Nobility, and an En­couragement to Ambition, Vanity, and indirect Practices; and contrary, both to good Government, and to Christianity? and [Page 8]such Ambitious and Aspiring Persons to be looked upon as Ene­mies to Humane Society, and the Pest of their Countrey?

XI. Whether Prodigality of Princes to insinuating or impudent Fa­vourites, or permitting Officers or Servants to Cheat them, be not an Abuse of their Estate, an Injury to the Publick, a great Occasion to corrupt the Manners of the People with Covetousness, Dis­honesty and Knavery, and inconsistent with good Government, and with the Duty of Gover [...]ours to God, whose Stewards and Deputies they are? And such greedy Favourites, and dishonest Of­ficers and Servants, to be looked upon by all honest Men, as Ver­mine, Horse-Leeches, and common Enemies, and to b [...] p [...]osecuted by all just and lawful means, that they may b [...] [...] to re­fund, and be discharged from all Publick Trust and Implo [...]ment?

XII. Whether to allow greater Salaries and Profits than ne­cessary to Great Officers, and less Wages and Pay to common Seamen and Souldiers, than will maintain them to live honestly and comfortably, and be a reasonable Reward for their Labour and Ha­zard; or to suffer Officers to abuse their Souldiers in their Pay or Wages; be not a great Iniquity, contrary to good Government, to Christianity, and even to Humanity it self?

XIII. Whether the maintaining and protecting of Favourites from Justice, who by their Insolence, Ambition, or Covetousness; or by Evil Counsels, are grown odious or suspicious to the People, and occasion Differences between the Prince and People, be not a great Fault in Divinity, and a great Error in Policy, and incon­stant with the Ends of Government?

XIV. Whether the common Sentiments and Practices of the greatest part of Man-kind, be not as Corrupt, False, and Erro­neous in respect of true Policy, and Prudent management of Pub­lick Affairs, as in respect of Morality in Private Matters?

The true Resolution of these Questions

Is very easie by Reason and Humane Authority as well as Divine: If a Prince will act like a Man, he must consider, VVhat is the End of Man's being upon Earth? And then apply himself with all his Vigor and Advantages to promote that. And from this one Principle of Reason may all these and many more Questions be re­solved. And for Humane Authority, Aristotle, (whom, even those learned and ingenious Gentlemen, who do not much admire his Physicks, repute a Great Man in Politicks, as that which he was most versed in) hath well distinguished the difference between a King, viz. He who intends the Common Good; and a Tyrant, viz. He who acts all for himself, and converts all to that; and to that end, usually endeavours to unman the People, by corrupting their Manners; to Divide them into Parties and Factions; and to Dis­able them in their Estates and Power. But a King, one worthy of that Name, who intends the Common Good, takes Care of Reli­gion, and to keep his Reputation in that respect; takes care of the Education of the People, that from their very Youth they may be preserved from Vice, even from the sight of Obscene Objects, and the hearing of obscene Speeches; and from Plays, &c. and is more ready to strengthen his Empire in the Hearts of his People, even by Abridging his own Power, than to enlarge his Power by encroaching or usurping upon their Rights: And therefore he com­mends the Answer of Theopompus to his VVife, who reproached him for admitting some Limitations? of his Power, That he had rather have his Empire Firm and Strong, than Large and Loose.

And indeed if we look into History, and especially our own, we shall find, that the bravest Princes, the most VVise and Gene­rous, and most Happy, have been of his Mind: That those who have done otherwise have been Persons of weak or mean Parts or Spirits, or imposed upon by Favourites: That the great and most active Assertors of pretended Prerogative and irresistable Regal Power have been for the most part either Men of Design, or imposed upon by the Prejudice of Education, or by the Authority of some Leaders, who have only served themselves thereby, to the great Disservice of their King and Country; and that the Income thereby raised for the King hath all in a manner been devoured by those Vermin, and the Power so usurped, employed for the most part only to secure them in their Evil Practices, or to serve them to Tyrannize and [Page 10]Oppress their Fellow-Subjects, while the King in the mean time reaped no real Benefit or Advantage at all, but lost much in the Affection of the People, in the Stability and Strength of his Go­vernment, in his Honour both with the present Generation, and to all Posterity, and in the Satisfaction of a good Conscience; and for the most part incurred other Mischiefs besides, by the Special Judgments of God upon him, for his Abuse or Evil Administration of so great a Charge. So that upon a true account it is most certain, that there is not a worse sort of Men in any State, and more pernicious to Princes themselves than these; and that the Crimes of Thieves, Robbers and Pyrates are small and pardonable Faults in respect of them. They have two Properties which can never be concealed from others, that is, Covetousness and Am­bition; but they have a third, which Princes ought to be as jealous of, as of the most subtile Policies of their professed Enemies, and that is Flattery, and pretence of Service. As it is punishable only in Parliament, so that Parliament must be very unfaithful both to King and Country, which shall neglect to do it with all Care and Resolution, and so much the more, by how much the more dissi­cult it is. Nor can any Prince be more unjust to himself and to his Government, than to hinder them in it. Nor was ever such Ju­stice more necessary than at this time, when so extraordinary a Mercy of God, as our late Deliverance, is like to be frustrated and turned into Confusion by the Wickedness of such Ravenous Beasts, as in such a Case as we are now in, will not forbear to prey upon the Country, (poor miserable Ireland especially) to prey upon their Fellow-Soldiers, and to prey upon the publick Revenue and the King himself, to gratifie their Insatiable Ambition and Bruitish Lusts. It is a Wickedness that reaches Heaven, and will bring down speedy Judgments thence; nay, will prove such it self, and bring Confusion upon King and Parliament both, if they do not speedily and severely punish it, and redress it. I know not a more abominable Wickedness against Man, than to add Affliction to the Afflicted, to make Advantage of Publick Calamicies and Dangers, and to rob Men of the Price of their Blood: nor a more Just, Glorious, and Prudent Action for a Prince, than to hang up, and make Examples of some of the Greatest Offenders of this kind, and squeez the rest, as an acceptable Expiation to God, and most grateful Satisfaction to Men. I shall conclude with a brief Abstract concerning such Creatures in former times, taken out of

The Lord Chief Justice Coke's Chapter Of Flattery, in his Pleas of the Crown, ch. 99.

THE Flattering mouth worketh ruine, Prov. 26.28. and more Kings and Kingdoms have béen over­thrown by the means of Flattery, than by Publick Hostility.

Rex caecus cernit cum Sycophanta perit.

What Fearful Ends Flattering Favourites, Corrupters of their Sovereign Liege Lord, abusing their Favours in Subversion of their Laws, have had, appeareth in our Par­liament Rolls, Records and Histories.

[William 2. had Ralph Flambard Bishop of Durham, Daniel in W. 2. & H. 1. and others, whom he corrupted to counterpoise the Clergy, awe the Layety, and countenance his Illegal Proceedings. Of him the King used to say, that Ranulph was the only Man for his turn, who car'd not whom he displeas'd, Mat. Par. p. he might please his Master. Sed mortuo Rege iniquo, & Henrico coronato, de Communi Concilio, Gentis Anglorum, posuit eum Rex in Vincu­lis, a quibus cum custodibus suis pecunia corruptis, evasisser, tranfsactavit clam in Normanniam, & sua Exhortatione Du­cem Robertum commovit in Regem fratrem suum.]

King Henry 3. had Hubert de Burgo, Rot. Parl. and 17 H. 3. Speed 18 H. 3. 520. 2 Inst. Proem. p. 2. Chief Iustice and Earl of Kent, and many others: But this was his Safety, that upon just occasion, without any great Grief, he would forego a Favourite. Sée in the Preface to the Second Part of the Institutes, his Counsel to H. 3. to burn Magna Charta.

E. 2. had Pierce de Gaveston, the Spencers, &c. Rot. Parl. 7 E. 2. 2 part, 44.50. [...], and the Spen­cers procéeding against le Grand Charter by Name, (amongst other things) tending to the Subversion of the Law, &c.

R. 2. had Sir Robert Tresilian Chief Iustice, &c. Rot. Parl. 11. E. 2. nu. 8. &c. and Robert Earl of Oxford and Duke of Ireland, &c.

H. 6. had William de la Pole Duke of Suffolk, &c. Rot. Parl. 28 H. 6. nu. 1 [...] to 47. who endeavoured to have brought in the Civil Laws; which was the occasion that the Chief Iustice Fortescue wrote in the Commendation of the Laws of England, preferring them for the Government of this Land before the Civil Laws. This Duke, with others, plotted the Death and Destruction of Humfrey, the Good Duke of Glocester, who ever stood in his way.

Hollinsh 713.2.30.E. 4. had William Lord Hastings, the Kings Chamberlain, and Captain of Calice. All these came to fearful and un­timely Ends.

Hollinsh. 722.748.767.R. 3 had Sir John Catesby, one of the Iustices of the Common Pleas, and Henry Duke of Buckingham, &c. Privy Plotters and Counsellors with R. 3. for the most ex­ecrable Murther of his Nephews E. 5. and Richard Duke of York. What a miserable End the Duke had, you know; and Iustice Catesby in his Iourney to London, in the Kings High way, had Subitaneam & improvisam mortem.

Coram Rege An. [...]H. H. 8. In Information vers D. Petor, & alios. The like In­dictment a­gainst Edmond Dudley. 4 Inst. 198. Anders. 1.156. Godb. 107. Herb. H. 8. p. 6. Bac. H. 7. p. 209 7. Had Sir Richard Empson, Edmond Dudley, &c. Sir Richard Empson was Indicted, Quod ipse Consiliarius Excellentissimi Principis Henrici nuper Regis Angliae Septimi, Deum praeoculis non habens, sed ut filius diabolicus subtiliter imaginans honorem, dignitatem, & prosperitatem dicti nu­per Regis ac prosperitatem Regni sui Angliae minime valere, sed ut ipse magis singulares favores dicti nuper Regis adhibere unde magnatem sieri potuisset, ac totum Regnum Angliae secundum ejus voluntatem gubernare, falso, deceptive & proditorie Legem Angliae subvertens, diversos ligeos ipsius nuper Regis, ex sua falsa Covina, & subtili ingenio contra communem legem regni Angliae de diversis feloniis, &c. In­dictari fecit, &c. Per quod plures & diversi populi dicti nu­per Regis his gravaminibus & indebitis exactionib' multipli­citer torquebantur, in tantum quod populi dicti nuper Regis versus ipsum nuper Regem multipliciter murmurabant, & malignabant in magnum periculum ipsius nuper Regis Regni sui Angliae, Tr. 23 H. 8. coram Rege Rot 14. See the Articles a­gainst Cardi­nal Woolsey, 4 Inst. ch. 8. p. 89. ac subversionem legum & consuetudinum ejusdem Regni, &c. And the like Indictment was against Dudley.

Hen. 8. had Tho. Woolsey Cardinal, Ipse intendens fina­liter antiquissimas Angliae Leges penitus subvertere, & ener­vare universumque hoc Regnum Angliae, & ejusdem Regni populum Legibus Imperialibus vulgo dict' Legibus Civilibus & earundem Legum Canonibus subjugare, & subducere, &c.

We will for some Causes descend no lower. Qui eorum Vestigiis insistunt, eorum exitus perhorrescant.


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