The OATH of ALLEGIANCE AND THE NATIONAL COVENANT PROVED To be NON-OBLIGING: OR, THREE SEVERAL PAPERS ON THAT SUBJECT; VIZ.

  • 1. Two POSITIONS, with several REASONS of them, and CONSEQƲENCES flowing from thence.
  • 2. An ANSWER to the said POSITIONS.

A REPLY to the said ANSWER, wherein the Truth of the Positions is Vindicated, and the Oath of Allegiance, and the National Covenant are made Non-Obliging.

By SAMUEL EATON, Teacher of the Church of Christ at DARKEN­FIELD in CHESSHIRE.

LONDON: Printed by Peter Cole, at the sign of the Printing-Press in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange, 1650.

To the READER.

Good READER,

IT is not many daies sin [...] I was informed, that some Positions of mine, respecting the Oath of Allegiance, were made publick to the world, and that an Answer thereto was annexed, and to­gether with the Positions was printed, which at first I could hardly receive for truth: but for further satisfaction, the book was sent me, and in the Title Leaf, I read, An Answer to some Positi­ons of Mr. Samuel Eaton (dispersed by him.) I am necessitated for the Vindication of my self, to publish the bad dealings that I have met with in this business from Brethren, I will not call them false­brethren, though their proceedings do hold forth too much falseness and baseness.

I had occasion in the latter end of the last yeer, to be often times at a Gentlemans house of honorable note in Lancashire; he declared himself unsatisfied how the Oath of Allegiance could be Non-Obli­ging, which was so absolutely taken by many of the Subjects, and by himself: I gave him such Answers as were suitable to my present ap­prehensions: his request was, That I would put down in writings what I had presented in words, or any other conceptions of the like na­ture, about that subject, and send them to him: I condescended, and in a free friendly way presented him with my sudden thoughts, and inclosed them in a letter to him, having had his promise not to communicate the same to any, save to one friend of his, whose private conceptions of th [...]m he would entreat, and would shew them to me. But thus it fell out, there waas a piece of dishonestly (I might put a worse term upon it) acted by some, that would be better thought of. The letter sent to this Gentleman was opened, a Copy was taken of the Positions conteined therein, and many Copies written out of that Co­py and dispersed abroad, all [...]ver two Counties, before ever the Gen­tleman [Page] (to whom I writ, and sent the said Positions) received his Letter. I wondred much at it, knowing that I had not given any Copy to any Creature, and had not so much as shewed it to any at that time, save to three persons. The Gentleman discerning that the Let­ter had been opened, and hearing that Copies were got abroad, thought himself bound to search it out, some pains was taken to discover it, at last it came to light. I could both name the place where, and the person by whom it was done, but for some special reasons I forbear. The Gentleman when he had perused the Writing sent it to his friend, and his friend instead of Answering it himself, (as I expected) pro­cures an elaborate Answer unto it; which after the space of six weeks or two months was sent unto me, and therein my two Positions were spoken to, but nothing else that was contained in my Paper was med­led with. And the Author of this Answer, at that time, thought to have proceeded no further in his Answer, but about six weeks after the receipt of the other, the second part of his Answer was given to me, both which are now printed to the view of the world by means of some Brethren about Manchester, to whom a Copy of the Answer was sent, without the knowledg, and unto the offence of the Author thereof, as I am credibly informed. I had sent my Reply to that part of the An­swer which first came to my hands, to be perused in a private way, before I knew that any thing was extent in print, but am now forced to expose it to Publick view. By all this it may appear that I inten­ded not to engage in this Controversie, but could not decline the giving of an Answer to a Question propounded. If any satisfaction shall a­rise to any by any thing which I represent, I shall be thankful to God. However I shall not repine, because it was Gods Will, that my private conceptions must thus come to light. Notwithstanding, wrong doers must give an account. I remain,

Thy friend in the Truth, SAM. EATON.

POSITION I.

EVERY Oath to make it warran [...]able, and lawful, ought to be taken in Judgment and Righteousness. Ier. 4. 2.

The Oath then of Allegience, that it may be in Righteous­ness and Judment must be,

1 Conditional, not Absolute; mutual, not single: taken by both Parties, not by one onlie: by the Ruler or Governor, not alone by the Ruled; by the Prince, as well as by the Subject.

Reason.

It is against the ground and reason of the Primitive Institution of Government, which is the good of the Subject, That there should be any Oath to hind the Sub­ject absolutelie to Allegiance and Dutie, whether the Prince or Governour rule for the Subjects good or not; therefore such an Oath cannot be taken by the Subject in judgment, or in righteousness; therefore such an Oath is not lawful.

So again it is against Equity, and Reason, and against the good of the Subject, that he should be further or longer bound to the Prince, or Ruler, to submit to him, then the Prince or Ruler is bound to the Subject, to rule well, and administer ju­stice rightlie, if therefore the Obligation be not mutual, but single, it is not law­ful.

Consequence.

Then (if the Oath of Allegiance taken to the late King, were in judg­ment and righteousness, and so lawful) the King was, or ought to have been, as strongly bound to all his Subjects by Oath, as any of them to him; then if he break his oath, all the Subjects are absolved, if they will. Then at what time the King levyed War against his Subjects, they were discharged by that breach of oath in him, of their Allegiance, else the whole Parliament, and Parliamentary party were both perjured per­sons (as many of them as ha [...]e take [...] that Oath) and are Rebels, that have taken up Arms against the King.

2 Not to Heires.

Reason.

Because who knoweth (as Solomon saith Eccles. 2. 19.) whether the Heir will be a Wise man, or a Fool: a just and righteous man, or a wicked man, and tyrant. Now if no man know this, then it is not an Oath in judgment, if any man swear Allegiance to an Heir, nor is it a righteous Oath, for the Subject may hind himself to his own hurt, yea ruin and destruction.

Consequence.

Then the oath of Allegiance was in that branch of it that respect­ed Heirs, an unlawful oath; for who knows what any of the late Kings Posterity might have proved? Whether they would have upheld Reli­gion, or have changed it? Whether they would have upheld the Liber­ty and Propriety of the Subject, or subverted it? We know what their Education was, Who then could take an oath in righteousness and judg­ment in reference to them? It is good to know first, and to swear after­ward.

3 Not to any one kind of Government, Monarchical, or any other, to uphold it, and continue it, in a constant way, without changing of it.

Reason.

Because, though Civil Government in general be an Ordinance of God, ten­ding to mans good, therefore to reject it would be sinful; yet this or that kind of Government is not an Ordinance of God, but an Ordinance of man, 1 Pet. 2. 13. And if an Ordinance of man, then man may change it, for his own greatest good, and benefit, and must change it, when he hath proved any kind of Government inconvenient, and hurtful. Then to swear not to change it, is sinful, and in righ­teousness and judgment may not be done, for all kinds of Government is not equal­lie good, uor are they equallie suitable to all people; and experience makes persons wise to discern what is better, and what is worse for themselves: Therefore an Oath to uphold any one kind of Government, longer then it continues to be most safe and profitable, is unlawful.

Consequence.

Then the oath of allegiance serving to uphold Kingly. Government against all other, was an unlawful oath; for who knows not what a plague this kind of Government hath been to this Nation? and who knows not that the most of our Kings have been Tyran [...]s? and who knows not what a Blessing the change of Government hath brought to the United Provinces▪

Objection.

But suppose there was some unlawfulness in the taking of such Oathes, yet is there not a necessity of keeping them being taken?

Answer.

If that Oath taken against the life of one man, by Herod, because un­righteous, and cruel, was not only sinfully taken, but more sinfully kept; then such oaths of allegiance which are absolute, and not conditional, which are single, and not mutual, which are to Heirs, whether wise-men or fools, whether just men or Tyrants, which are to uphold Monarchy, (the woful fruits whereof having been long tasted, and felt by this Nation) seeing they are dangerous, and may pro [...]e (as often they have done) destructive to the lives of many men, they are not only unlawful to be taken, but unlawful to be kept.

POSITION II.

SUppose the Oath of Allegiance be a lawful Oath, yet the Subject is now absolved from it, by them that have Power to absolve from it.

Reason.

The Representatives of the People, which in reason are the Supream Power of the Nation, imposed this Oath upon the Subject, by an Act for it, made in Par­liament, by which they obliged the Subject to Allegiance to the King, then in being, and to his Heirs. And this Act done by their Representatives was their own vo­luntarie Act, to which they were not obliged by anie law of God, or Nature; for there is no rule requiring them to accept of such a Person to be their Prince, and his Heirs after him, and to swear Allegiance to him and them; but this was the Sub­jects own free Act, in their Representatives: Therefore if the Repres [...]ntatives take away this Act and repeal it, they thereby set the Subjects at Libertie from such Allegiance, and from that Oath by which they are bound to it. Abraham that imposed the Oath upon his Servant, might acquit him of it, because not bound by anie rule from God, but obliged by Abraham onlie.

Consequence.

This present Parliament, having taken away that Oath of Allegiance, which was Enacted to be imposed; there remains no more Conscience of it, to such who have taken it.

But then it will come unto this,

Whether the Parliament be the Supream Power?

Whether the Representatives of the People, be the Parliament?

Whether the present Representatives that now Sit in Parliament, be the Re­presentatives of the People?

To the First I say, 1 It is evident, That the Norman Kings coming in by Conquest had never any true Right to the Crown of England, but what the Parliament gave them: Then the Power of the Parliament was greater then theirs; because that Power, that is the Cause of Po­wer, is greater then that Power, that is the Effect of Power: 2 The Power of Parliament, is the Power of the People; now in Reason the Power of the People is the Supream Power, because thence (as from the Root) all Power first sprang, and proceeded.

To the Second I say, I [...] the Parliaments Power be the Peoples Po­wer, and the Supream Power, then the Representatives of the People, are the Parliament, and none else: for the Representatives of the Peo­ple are the People in them, and there is the Root of Power, therefore they are a Parliament.

To the Third I say, The present Representatives that now Sit in Par­liament, are, 1 All of them Chosen by the People, therefore of Right they Sit in Parliament. 2 The present Representatives are all that are left to Sit in Parliament; for the most of the rest have Deserted their Trust, without any Force upon them; for though some were Secluded and Secured, yet the rest were not at all interrupted, but have voluntarily Departed from the House. 3 The Representatives that Remained, and Continued to Sit in Parliament, were alwayes, when fewest, and still are above the Number allowed of by Law; and therefore they are a Par­liament.

There is one Objection, which may be urged against the Parliaments Absolving men from their Allegiance to the Kings Heirs, and against their Abolishing Kingly Government. It may be said, That

Kings have the same Right to their Kingdoms, Crowns, and Revenues, as others Quest. have to their Mannors, and Demesnes?

Such Right which Kings have had, they never justly came by it, but Answ. by Force and Flattery have obtained it, and have Usurped upon the Birth-right of the People, to whom it belongs to Chuse them that must Rule over them: and Kingdoms with the Appurtenances thereto, were never intended for particular mens Advancements; to lift up such Fa­milies in Glory and Greatness; or that the Heraeditary Right of any should be in them; but that Wisdom, Righteousness, and Vertue was to lift up men unto them; and Crowns and Revenues were to encou­rage them in acting in such Places; and men that were so Qualified, were to be Heirs, and Successors, set up by the People, after them. And the People themselves, nor their Representatives, could neither Give, nor Sell away this Priviledge from their Posterity, in which the welfare of the People is so mainly concerned, and without which a People are gi­ven up, and sold to Ruine. This cannot be said of Mannors and De­mesnes which are things which fall under Commutative Justice, and are things vendible, and wherein particular men are concerned, and not the Common-Wealth.

AN ANSVVER TO A PAPER Pretending to prove the OATH of ALLEGIANCE Void, and non-Obliging: Containing TWO POSITIONS, The Substance whereof is Repeated in the Process of this ANSWER.

THE drift of the First Position, and the prosecution thereof, (with which I begin) is to shew the said Oath to have been unlawful and unwarrantable in the taking of it, and so void in the fact, or making.

1 I shall premise for the cleering partly of what follows, That anD. Sand. de Iuram. obl. pr. 2. §. 14 Oath may be unlawful, 1 Either in regard of the matter, or thing sworn, as if a m [...]n swear to do any impossible, or sinful act. 2 Or in the Man­ner, or Circumstances of swearing; as if a man swear unadvisedly, or with a false intention or other-wayes unduly for manner. The former way of unlawfulness makes an Oath void in the taking, but not the Lat­ter: So that though a man swear an Oath (in some sort) not in Truth, that is, not intending to be tyed to, or to keep it; or not in Judgment, [Page 2] that is, not consideratly enough; yet if the Oath be in Righteousness, that is, of a just, and lawful matter, or thing, it is of Force; otherwise no Oath could bind in foro externo, or be of any use for Confirmation, for who can discern with what mind another man Swears? Again, This evi­dently appears by the validity of that unadvised Oath of the Princes to the Gibe [...]nites, Joshu. 9. 15. 18, 19. 2 Sam. 21. 2. And of that Oath of Z [...]d [...]kiah, and his people to Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Cron. 36. 13. Ezek. 17. 13 21. 2 [...]. which they entred into treacherously, Hos. 104. Annotat of [...]mes & Diodat. on Hos. 10 4.

2 I observe what a gross Imputation the first Position layeth upon the King, and Parliament that framed and Ordained the Oath of Alle­giance, and all other Parliaments since that have Continued, and the Successive Houses of Commons that have Sworn it, with those multi­tudes of Magistrates, Ministers, and of other Professions in the Kingdom that have taken, and still hold themselves bound by it (having had all the while so much Divine and Gospel▪ light shining forth to and in them) as if they had published, pressed, taken, and justified (as against the Papists by writing) an Oath the matter of it unjust and sinful. This man had need bring cleer Reasons for what he here thus chargeth upon so many Worthyes, for place, piety, and judgment; and declare themA Lye a­gainst the Title, or the Title a Lye against this. more publickly then by a Private Paper, that he may call to Repentance the whole Nation, that is (as he supposeth) involved in this impiety of an unlawful Oath. But let us first by the Tryal of his Reasons, see whe­ther he hath not more need to repent of this his Charge.

His general exception against the lawfulness of the Oath is, That it is not according to the rule Jer. 4. 2. in Iudgment and in Righteousness. Were it defective [in judgment] that is (in deliberatness of taking) that would not be (as I have said) a ground to invalidate its obligation ipso [...]acto: seeing it were but a failing in the manner, not a corruptness in the mat­ter: a fault in the Person swearing, not in the Oath sworn: and in the person a defect internal, or of the mind, not externally visible in the act: and to be presumed to be found only in some persons swearing, not in all. That part therefore of the Allegation, were it true, might have been left out, and as often as it is brought in to prove the Oath unlawful so as not to bind, it addes no strength to the Conclusion. But to descend to his particulars, 1 To manifest the Oath's disagreement with the said rule of Ieremiah. His first particular Exception is, That it ought to have been Conditional, not Absolute; Mutual, not Single. His Argument in effect runs thus, That it may be in Iudgment and Righteousness, it must be Conditional not Absolute; Mutual, or taken both by Ruler, and Rulled; not Single, or taken onlie by one Partie. But this Oath is not so Ergo, &c. That the Rea­der may understand us both, and I may more cleerly pass on in my An­swer, I must interpose a distinction or two upon the Terms.

1 Saith he, The Oath must be Conditional, not Absolute. 1 I conceive [Page 3] the words [Conditional, and Absolute] may be taken, 1 Either in re­ference to the thing sworn, which is Obedience, or Allegiance to the KING; thus the Oath must be Conditional, not Absolute; that is, the obedience which we bind our selves to, must be with limitation, and c [...]ndition, restraining it (as all obedience to men in any relation is to be, to just, honest, lawful things, or so as to Consist with our obedience to God; not absolute or illimited in that sense. 2 Or in reference to the tye, or obligation of the oath, as the qualification thereof; and so I say it may be Absolute, and must not of necessity be Conditional, that is, The subordinate and limited obedience which is due to the Prince or Magistrate, I may swear unto absolutely, or withour any special Condi­tion annexed to my Engagement. Special Condition I say, for I must once again distinguish, to wit, of Conditions. 1 Some are general, and such as no promisary oath that is lawful can be without, those are (I think) all of them reduced to these two heads, namely that the thing sworn be Ho­nest and Possible. These Conditions are presupposed, and not wont to be exprest, and notwithstanding the including of them an oath may be said to be Absolute. 2 Others are Special, and Proper Conditions, which are ingredients in some oaths, the which are (by reason of them) termed Conditional. They are usually either somewhat that is Contingent, as when a Merchant Covenants and Swears to give an hundred pounds to another man, or to a publick Use, if his Ship (that is gone to Sea) re­turn home safe with her Merchandize; or, that which is Arbitrary, or in the choice of mans Will, his (commonly) to whom the oath is En­gaged; as if a Master Covenant and Swear to maintain his Servant with Meat, Drink, and such Wages, if he be a true and diligent Servant to him. It is not the Former, but this Latter Conditionality which he re­quires in the oath of Allegiance, to wit, That the Subject be only bound to his Duty of Allegiance if, and so long as the Prince observeth his du­ty of Government inviolate: and this in truth is not in that oath, nor is it necessary to make the oath lawful. The Major therefore of this Oath-impugners Syllogisme I deny in that first part of it, viz. It must be Conditio­nal, not Absolute: To make good my Denial, 1 I will Answer what he saith to prove it. 2 Bring in my Reasons against it: and leave the Rea­der to judge betwixt us.

1 All that he saith for proof of that Assertion is this, It is against the ground, and reason of the Primitive Institution of Government, which is the good of the Subject, that there should be any Oath to bind him Absolutlie, whether the Prince Rule for the Subjects good, or not. This were something if it were proved, but the Reader is left either to take it upon his word, or to re­main unsatisfied both of it, and the conclusion which depends upon it, if he like to do neither, let him try whether I can satisfie him to the con­trary.

[Page 4]1 The Parliament that Enacted this Oath, and all subsequent Parlia­ments who were intrusted with, and most able (in all probability) to judge what would be for the Subjects good, and who (without all con­troversie) were more sufficient and competent Judges thereof then this man, have adjudged it not against, but for the Subjects good.

2 It hath consisted with the publick good (yea contributed to it, or els the Papists would not have so opposed it) from the time it was first set forth, until now, in impartial mens judgments, and no complaint hath been at all heard against it from the Kingdom, nor scarcely, if at all, from particular men, till within these few dayes, what the suppressing of it on the other hand will tend to, a little time may fully enough manifest.

3 A thing may be said to be against the peoples good in two very far different senses: 1 Either in it self of its own nature, or simply conside­red: of this sort are injustice, impunity of offences, sedition, conspiracy, hostile invasion, and the like; such things are in their own nature op­posed to the publick good. 2 Or accidentally and contigently, thus any thing almost that fals under a political consideration, and comes under the dehberation of the Law-givers, though lawful in it self, and for the present probably, yea, or necessarily good for a Common-wealth, may prove in the event somewhat incommodious and hurtful. There is a goodness of the end, which is one and the same in all States and Go­vernments, viz. The happiness of the Community, and this is intended, not deliberated on, or chosen by the Law-givers: Ac deliberamus quidem non de fini­bus sed de iis quae referuntur ad fines. Aristot. Eth. l. 3. c. 3. And there is a goodness of the means tending to that end, and this is variable in re­lation to times and people; that may be good in the nature of a means for one people, or time, that is not so for another. Est enim genus hominum natura va­riè comparatum atque affectum, aliud servile, aliud colendis regthus accommo­datum; aliud Democraticum & Popu­lare; at que horum generum suum cui­que est ac distinctum commodum. Ari­stot. Polit. l. 3. c. 12. num. 112. Ita­que manifestum est ejusdem disciplinae esse considerare, non solum quae sit, & qualis optima Respublica, cujus status si nulla vis obstiterit, maximè desidere­tur, & optetur; sed etiam, quae cuique congrua & consentanea est, permulti enim optimam consequi nequeunt, qua­re neque Legislator, neque is qui verè civilis habeatur, ignorare debet quae re­s [...]ub tam absolutè perfecta sit, tum pro statu rerum presaentium maximè lau­danda, tum denique quae pro conditione aliqua non sit improbanda. Idem l. 4. c. 1. num. 2. Itaque cognoscendae erant rerum publicarum species, ac differen­tiae, & quot modis u [...]ter se commiscean­tur, cumque haec eadem prudentia opti­marum legum scientia & unicuique Reipub. convenientium conjungenda est, ad respublicas enim leges sun [...] ac­commodandae non autem ad leges res ipsae publicae. Idem eodem Nu. 6. 27 It is the means and its goodness which fals under the consulation of the Le­gislators, and because of the uncer­tainty thereof, they are occasioned often to change their advisements and laws: But by reason that in things which approach neer the foundation, or do constitute it, changes are very perillous in a State, and in those things it is bet­ter to bear an inconvemency, then to run the hazard of an in̄ovation; therefore it hath been the honest [Page 5] and necessary wisdome of most States, to settle them by a firmer Sanction then they use in other things, and to ordain a kind of im­mutability in them, and conse­quently to ratifie them by Oaths, fore-seeing that no inconvenience in the Constitution of a Govern­ment, in it self lawful and eligible, can match the mischief of an-alte­ration; and therefore that the un­certain danger of that is rather to be chosen, then the inevitable mi­series of this: Such things as may by reason of their changeable nature prove in the issue some what disadvantagious, may yet, if for the present good, and probably hopeful so to continue, be sworn to absolutly, as in voluntary Promises, Leagues, and Contracts, both publike and private, among all Nations hath been the practise, and by good Scripture-presi­dents it is justified, Gen. 47. 31. Exod. 13. 19. Josh. 9. 15 14 9. Judg. 21. 5. 18. 15. 12. 13. 1 Sam. 14. 24. 19. 6. 20. 12. 17 1 King. 1. 13. 29. 2 Sam. 29. 23. and the reason is, Because if any future prejudice do redound, it can be (the Obligation of the Oath remaining) at the worst, but an outward incommodity, the which is compensated by the avoiding of a greater evil, which the leaving of the matter free and un­secured would more certainly breed and bring. To apply all this to the case in hand: If any impeachment of the Subjects good can be suppo­sed to result out of his sweating to his Prince absolutly, whether he Rule well or no, it is but accidental, and such as it is, it is over-ballanced with a greater mischief which would accrue by leaving the Subjects un-inga­ged: for the shuning of which, the lesser evil, to wit, the being bound to a King, though he should prove a bad Governor, is to be chosen; for that, in comparison of a greater evil, hath the consideration of good, and is so eligible: It is a less evil for a people to be bound to a Prince that possibly may prove bad, then to be so loose, as to be at liberty to cast him off when they shall judge him to Rule ill, that is, when they please; the former doth not so neerly and probably tend to the subjects hurt as doth the latter: For, first, The Prince may prove just and vertuous. Second­ly, If he degenerates, the Subject is bound to obey him actively, but in lawful things. Thirdly, In his lawless Acts there may be a remedy (as the punishment or resistance of his bad instruments by the Parliament, without whom, though he may Will unjust things, yet he cannot Exe­cute them) and yet his Government be continued. Fourthly, And sup­pose the case that there be no remedy, as when he hath got a party stron­ger then can be resisted, or subjected to punishment, then to cast off his power and depose him (suppose it lawful to do) will be no relief, his [Page 6] strength will command subjection. Fifthly, The miscarriages of a Prince ordinarily (unlesse it come to publick contestation, wherein the Subjects sworn and unsworn, if their cause be just, and the Parliameot authorize their standing up, are in the same capacity of resistence) extend but to the detriment of some particular persons, rarely doth any Nero-like, seek the destruction of the whole. But on the other hand, set the people free to shake off the reins of their present Government, when they shall think it unequal, and, 1 You destroy the nature of Government, as will after­wards be shewed. 2 You expose the people to an immediate losse of the very use and enjoyment of any Government, the power of mobility and change being sure to invite al ill-disposed persons immediatly to put that power in ure, and hurry all (if they may prevail) into consusion. In short, a bad Government is better then none; it is more tolerable for a people that one, or few, then that every man do that which is right in his own eyes. To be bound to Allegiance, may lay the people open to the for­mer; to be loose, will precipitate them into the latter: The former in­convenience cannot be so universally extensive, speedily destructive, and remediless, or unresistible, as the latter.

2 The latter thing I premised, is to give my Reasons for the contra­dictory to his Major Proposition in that first part, It must be Conditional, not Absolute: Against which I say, The oath of allegiance may be abso­lute, or unconditional, in the sense before given; and for this Assertion, I render these Reasons:

1 Were there no Oath, the limited obedience which is due to Princes and Magistrates, is due to them absolutly; that is, Whether they Ru [...]e well or no; and that which is absolutly due, may be obsolutly sworn; The former Proposition I ground thus;

1 The Precept of Obedience to Civil Governors, is without any condition or reserve of a disingagement of the Subject in case of the Go­vernors miscarriage; reade the Fifth Commandement, and those other Injunctions, Rom. 13. 1, 2, &c. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13, &c.

2 God commands his people to be subject to Heathen Princes, and the most absolute and oppressive Tyrants that likely ever have ben, Jer. 27. 12. Mat. 22. 21. 1 Pet. 2. 13. I speak not here of Tyrants, in regard of Title, or Right; that is, Usurpers: but of Tyrants whose Title is just, but their Government unjust, and oppressive.

3 Servants are to be subject to their Masters, not only that are good and gentle, but those that are froward, and do them wrong, and from whom they suffer for wel-doing, 1 Pet. 2. 18, 19, 20. and by Analogy. Subjects are tyed in the same terms to their Governors.

4 David would not stretch out his hand against Saul upon this ground, for that he was his Master the King of Israel, and the Lords A­nointed, though he was then in actual, violent, and unjust pursuit of his life, 1 Sam. 24. 5. &c. 26. 9. &c.

[Page 7]5 Otherwise you leave no place for passive obedience to pray for, and patience towards Magistrates in case of their wrong doing, and your innocency, which yet is generally acknowledged to be a duty Ames. Medula Theol. l. 1. c. 17. p. 57. Vrsin. Cat. p. 3. q. 104

6 Els you dissolve all Magistracy, it will be impossible in mans cor­rupt estate to retain or continue any, in as much as no man, or men, can in the vast multitude, and difficulty of Magistratical affairs avoid offen­ding every day, 2 Sam. 23. 3, 5.

7 The Doctrin of orthodox Protestant Divines generally is, That obedience is due (in lawful things) to the most degenerate, oppressing, and tyrannical Princes Calvin. Inst. l 4 c. 20. §. 24, 25, &c. Pet. Mart. loc. C cl. 4. C. 2. §. 12. 18, 19. Als. Theol. C. 17. Reg. 8. Perk C. of Cons. l. 3 c. 6. §. 1 [...] Buc. Insti. Theol. loc. 49. q. 21. Synop. pu [...]. Theol. dis. 50. Thes. 18. 27. Sharp. sim. Epoch. 5. Q. 44. 45.

2 We find oaths of Allegiance in Scripture, sworn to Princes without any Conditions inserted, Judg. 11. 9, 10. 2 King. 11. 4. 2 Chron. 36. 13. Ezek. 17. 13. & Nehem. 10. 29. Their oath was to observe all the Com­mandements of the Lord, whereof the fifth Commandement, with ap­plication to their present and future Magistrates, was one.

3 It is a thing within our power to settle our Allegiance absolutly, as well as it is within a mans power to dispose of himself to service so, whe­ther his Master prove good, or evil, or as it is in a man or womans pow­er to bestow themselves in Marriage, whether the mate be observant of duty, or no?

4 A Conditional oath is not consistent with a necessary duty; obedi­ence to Magistrates is no less arbitrary, but commanded, and that though they be bad; but now the duty being necessary, if you would have it sworn with a proviso of the Rulers performing his duty, you nullisie the end of an Oath, which is to confirm, put out of doubt, and give security of what is due. A thing sworn may become due, either by the rule of Equity, or by a voluntary Covenant: That which is due the latter way, if the Covenant be conditional; the Oath that is to ratifie it, may be al­so so far conditional, but what is due in the former kind, to wit, by abso­lute and unalterable rule, or precept of Justice, cannot be sworn to con­ditionally; for that would be no ratification to it, nay it would be a de­bilitating, and rendering more insecure of that which was simply due without an oath, a condition being put into your oath, being a very pro­bable medium to perswade the swearer that he is no otherwayes bound to the things sworn, then upon that Condition; which being broken by that party sworn to, he will easily conceive himself altogether free: Thus the absolute Rule will receive impeachment, and not strength in its obliga­tion by the conditional oath: such an oath therefore is in its end inconsi­stent with it.

2 I come to the latter part of his Major which exacteth, That the Oath be mutual, or taken both by Ruler, and Ruled; not single, or taken only by the ru­led. Some explanation of his terms, more then is here he might have used; for lack whereof I shall as I go observe some difference of sense [Page 8] appliable to his words, and so expresse how I deny this branch of his Position, and why.

1 His words sound, as if he would have the same oath to be taken mu­tually both by Prince and Subject, which (if he remember that the oath spoken of, is the oath of a Subjects Allegiance, obedience, or subjection to be yeelded to his Sovereign, and that the King is the person sworn to) he will no [...], cannot I suppose, own to be his sense.

2 But the apter sense, and that which I suppose was in his intention, is, That the Ruler and Subject should each swear to his respective duty; the Prince, That he will Command and Govern lawfully: the Subject, That he will perform all lawful homage, and obedience: And to this I say, Although it be true, it in fact, in our case, that the King hath sworn his duty on his part, as well as the Subject doth in this oath swear his, yet the Proposition is false in this, and it cannot be said, That thus it univer­sally ought of necessity to be betwixt every Prince & his Subjects, much lesse can it hold that, unlesse it be thus mutual, the Subjects oath is not in righteousnesse according to Jer. 4. 2. but that for want of this mutua­lity it is null. For,

1 We read of many undoubtedly righteous Oaths in Scripture, under­taken in Covenant betwix [...]s man and man, wherein one party only swea­reth, and not both mutually, Gen 24. 2. 47. 31. Exod. 13. 19. Josh. 2. 12. 9. 15. 14. 9 Judg. 15. 12. 1 Sam. 19. 6. 1 King. 1. 13. 29. 51. 2 Sam. 19. 23. Neh. 5. 12. Jer. 38. 16.

2 We find in Scripture, Oaths of Allegiance taken by Subjects to their Rulers, without the reciprocal swearing of the Rulers to them 2 King. 11. 4. Judg. 11. 10. Ch. 36. 13 Ez. 17. 3.; such was that engagement, Josh. 1. 16, 17, 18.

3 Oaths are never to be taken but necessarily, that is, When not only the matter is of great weight, but it cannot otherwise be sufficiently con­firmed or assured then by Oath Doctor Sanders. de Juram. ob. prael. 7. §. 12. Thol. synt. jur. l. 50. c. 3., but in solemn humane Covenants it comes to passe that sometimes the performance lies only on one party, the other is to receive advantage, but not to do any thing: Sometimes the danger of breach lies only, or more on one part then on another: Sometimes th [...]re is other satisfactory assurance given besides swearing: and sometimes there is other remedy, if there should be a breach, then the forfeiture of an Oath: In such, and other cases, an Oath on the one party may no [...] need, and consequently is not to be exacted.

4 But suppose the case, that it be as necessary for security that the King swear to the people, as that they take an oath to him, yet if through over­much credulity, or otherwise it be that the people do swear, and not the Prince, this cannot be the least colour for the nullifying of the peoples Oath: For whether the King Swear or no, that which makes the Oath obliging, is, That in a just and possible matter promised, God is invo­cated as a witnesse of the promise.

3 There is another sense of mutual swearing more strict then the for­mer, and that is, when not only two parties swear to each other their re­spective parts, but they both swear with a mutual respect; that is, The obligation of the one party, hath a respct to, and a dependance on the per­formance of the other party: as when one man swears to another to give him so much Money for his Land; that other swears to convey to him his Land for so much Money; in this kind, the breach of the one is a releasment to the other. And here that Adage holds good,

‘Frangenti fidem, fides frangatur eidem;’ And also that Rule of the Law, ‘Frustra qu [...] fidem postulat sibi servari ab eo, cui fidem à se praestitam servare recusat.’

But this sense of mutual swearing cannot come in to be meant in our case: For, 1 Such an oath is plainly conditional; The one party swears not to give the other absolutly, and cleerly so much Money, but to give him so much for his Land; the having of the Land then is an expresse condition of his oath: but the oath of the Subjects Allegiance is granted to be absolute, and is as such disputed against by him here; and I have a­bo [...]e proved an oath of Allegiance cannot be Conditional. 2 The Kings cath is also absolute, and binds without dependence on the Subjects loy­alty; no man wil say (I think) that the King is discharged from ruling justly, and may become an absolute Tyrant, if his Subjects exceed the bounds, or fail of the bonds of their oath, or duty: nay, if the Subject transgresse his duty, the King is bound by his oath to cause Justice accor­ding to the Law and Tenor of his Oath, to be done; and cannot other­wise escape violation of his Oath. 3 Such mutual oathes are entred in­to by both parties at the same time, and have their mutual respects ex­pressed, but neither doth the King and Subjects swear to each other at the same time; neither is there any such mutual respect mentioned, or so much as implyed in either of their Oathes. 4 Such mutually re­spective oathes have only place in matters arbitrary, or that are in mens choice to do, or not to do until they bind themselves by Covenant, but such are not the relative duties of Kings and Subjects, there being a divine Law obliging each to the Duties of their Offices before they swear.

We see no sense imaginable of Mutual not Single wil fit this mans turn, but it wil make his Proposition false, either if predicated of the oath of Allegiance at al; So doth the First, and Third acception afore mentio­ned; or if predicated with that modus of a necesse est, so doth the Second. But let us hear his Reason for this clause of his Major whatever be the sense of it.

It is (saith he) against Equitie and Reason, and the good of the Subject, that he should be further, or longer bound to the Prince to submit to him, then the [Page 10] Prince is bound to the Subject to Rule wel, and administer justice rightlie. Grant al this, and it wil no way follow; Therefore the Oath of Allegiance to make it righteous must be mutual, in any sense: for the Prince may be bound, and that as long to his part, as the Subject is to his, (and so he is, and it is impossible to be otherwise for Prince and Subject; his tye to Rule in Justice, and his to Obey in just things are relatives, and do infer necessa­rily each other) to wit, by the tye of Scripture, Conscience, and positive Laws, and yet not be sworn at al.

His Major being thus (I hope) fully Refuted, I need not to take no­tice of his Consequences, as he cals them, but in a word I shal touch on them.

The First is nothing but a Hypothetical Repetition of some part of the Major Proposition, which I have been so long in disproving: If the Oath of Allegiance were in judgement and righteousnesse, the King was as stronglie bound to the Subjects, as any of them to him: This therefore I passe by, as the same that was said before, and no Consequence from it.

The Second is, Then if he break his Oath, al the Subjects are absolved if they wil. This Consequence I deny: I have I think, fully made it cleer be­fore, That the Oath of Allegiance taken by the Subject is absolute, not depending upon any thing to be performed by the King, whether sworn, or not sworn; and that it could not have been otherwise. And though the King and People have each sworn their duties mutually, yet not withSee Doct. Sanders. de Juram. ob. prael. 4. §. 8. a mutual respect, by vertue whereof a breach on one side might be a dis­charge on the other, and that neither the tenor of their Oaths hold forth any such thing, neither is the matter of them capable thereof, being ne­cessary, not arbitrary.

The Third is, Then at what time the King Levied War against his Sub­jects, they were discharged by that breach of Oath in him of their Allegiance. This is a Consequence of the former Consequence, and stands or fals with it: That therefore being Answered and Disproved, this vani­sheth.

The Fourth thing is no Consequence, but a Reason of the two last Consequences, and in method of arguing is therefore an antecedent to prove them, it is thus, Else the whole Parliament and their partie were perjured persons, so manie of them as have taken this Oath, and are Rebels in taking up Armes against the King.

First, If their taking up of Arms against the King (as he terms it) were Rebellion, their absolution from their Oathes (were it so indeed) by the Kings breach of his, could not unmake, or make it no Rebellion; for the debt of Obedience is existent in the Subject before any Oath ta­king, and it is not founded on swearing, but only confirmed by it, and therefore survives after the pretended dissolution of it; and consequently makes that taking up of Armes which would have been (if the Oath [Page 11] had not been (as he supposeth) nullified) Rebellion neverthe­lesse.

Secondly, We must therefore say, as the Parliamentarian party hath beleeved, declared, and in many Treatises in Print, maintained al along the late Wars, That the Armes of the Parliament were not against any brance of the Subjects Allegiance, or the Oath for it (which they pro­fessed stil to persist in, yea, and in the act of their Armes bearing, Cove­nanted to yeeld and maintain) but concordant with the same. In as much as they enterprized not against the Kings Person, his State, or Govern­ment, they went not against his Majesty, his Heirs, or Successors, they joyned not against his Crown and Dignity, the Rights whereof, and the Bounds of the Subjects Obedience, are prefixed by the Lawes of the Realm, the ultimate interpretation whereof, is in the Parliament which declared their Arms to be for, and agreeable to the Laws. The King, as King, acts only by his Courts and Laws, what he doth besides, or a­gainst these, is the mans, not the Kings acting. What is done by Order of the Courts of Justice, and by vertue of the Laws, is done (though a­gainst his personal presence or command, yet) for the King, his Crown, and Dignity.

2 His next Exception against the Oath of Allegiance is, That it is an unlawful Oath, in that it is sworn to the Kings Heirs: His Reason for this Exception proceeds thus,

Who knoweth (as Eccles. 2. 19.) whether he will be a wise man, or a fool; a just, or a [...]ricked man, and Tyrant? Now if no man know this, then to swear to an Heir, is not an Oath in judgment, nor is it righteous: for the Subject may bind himself to his own hurt, yea ruine.

Consequence. Then the Oath of Allegiance was in that branch, that respected Heirs, an unlawful Oath, &c.

I admit of the Antecedent, but utterly deny the Conse­quence.

1 For the whole Consequence, I Answer;

1 This inference is directly contrary to that which Solomon in the place cited, Eccles. 2. 19. makes from the words. Solomons is, Yet shall he have Rule over all my labours wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed my self wise under the Sun. This mans inference is (in effect) be­cause no man knows whether he wil be a wise man, or a fool; there­fore he shal not have Rule, &c. that is, We must not Engage before­hand that he shal Rule, while it is uncertain what he wil prove: though Solomon saith, Notwithstanding that is uncertain, yet he shal have Rule.

2 The same Reason (if it held) would lie against any Oath, or En­gagement to any Rulers in being whatsoever they are; for say they be come to maturity, and for the past and present time have given proof; [Page 12] yet who knows what they that are now wise, and just (morally) may hereafter come to be? The Scripture supposeth, That not only a just Father may have a wicked Son, but a righteous man (in profession and external carriage) may turn from his righteousnesse, and commit ini­quity, Ezek. 18. 24. Neroes Quinqu [...]nnium of Reigning wel is generally known, the good beginnings of [...]eash, and Vzziah, 2 Chron. 23, 24, and 26. and therefore degeneracies are sufficient instances of the lubricity of men in authority. Yea it is wel known how fearfully Solomon himself with Asa, 1 King. 11. 2 Chron 16. and others, fel in divers particulars of a grosse nature; if we must first know, and swear afterwards, we must never swear to any promissorily.

3 This Consequence (were it of force) would equally condemn in general al promissory Oathes, and other Covenants, and Engagements, betwixt man, and man; for it cannot be fore-seen in any, what the per­sons contracted with wil prove; or whether the Covenant wil be bene­ficial, ot hurtful; and in particular, the Laws and Sanctions of those Na­tions in al ages, which have settled successive Regality, or any other Go­vernment, [...]or longer then the present possessors of the power endure, which yet is a way, not only more generally approved, and practised, then any other of vicissitudinary Election, but warranted by the word of God. Israel offered a successive power to Gideon, Judg. 8. 22. and God himself instituted, and bound the People to a lineal Government in David and his seed, 2 Sam. 12. 15. 2 Chron. 13. 5. The Patriarchal power (which was political) was successive, and could not have been cast off at pleasure: so was the Government of the Jewish Nation, f [...]r about an hundred yeers in the lineage of the Macca [...]ees.

4 We have Scripture examples (of an uncontroverted integrity) of Oathes, and Engagements to Princes and their Heirs; and to Princes in their yong, unripe, and untryed yeers: Take for instance that of Abra­hams swearing to Abimelech King of Gerar, his Son, and Sons Son, 1 Chr. 23. 29. 22. 29. 1. 22 5. & that of Davids making Solomon King in his own life time, and engaging the people to him when he was yet yong and ten­der; and that of JEHOJADAHS, and the Peoples making Ioash King, and swearing to him when he was but seven yeers old, 2 King. 11. 4. 22.

2 For the two parts of the CONSEQUENCE in seve­ral.

1 The Oath is not in judgment, because no man knows what the Heir will prove.

I say, 1 It may be in Judgment so far as a future contigency can be de­liberated on: and this may be concluded on advisedly (as morally cer­tain) that it's better to have the Crown settled in a line, whereby some­times a vicious person may be advanced, then to have it under Election [Page 13] at every personal change. This hath been the experimented maxime of the wisest States Minore discrimine sumi prin­cip. m quā quaeri. Tacit. H. lib. 2.. 2 If it were not in Judgment, this defect makes not an oath Unlawful, as to the nullifying of it. A rash oath, if of a lawful thing binds (Judg. 21. 7. 15. 1 Sam. 14. 24. 37. Josh. 9. 14. 15. as before was proved.

2 Nor is it a righteous Oath, for the Subject may bind himself to his own hurt, yea ruine.

1 Though the Subject may not bind himself to what is necessarily, or at the time of his swearing may appear probably to tend to his hurt, or ruine, yet he may swear (intending the publick good) to that which is of a mutual nature, and may in the event turn to his own hurt, and ruine; and might he not so swear, yet having so sworn, he is bound to stand to his Oath, Psal. 15. 4. Iosh. 9. 15. Ezek. 17. 13. 1 Sam. 14. 26. 28. 37. Judg. 21. 5. 15. 18. which is contradictory to what this man here saith.

2 If the Heir should misprove, his power is bounded by the Law, and commixed with the Parliaments: If he vary, the power of Parlia­ment, the Laws and Liberties of the Subject are the same. The late King confessed and declared a remedy against Tyranny to reside in the Parliament; there may be a prevention then of the Subjects ruine (what­ever the Heir prove) if the KINGDOME be faithful to it self.

3 His Third Exception against the Oath as unlawful, and void, is, That it is to uphold one kind of Government for continuance, and in a constant way without changing. His Argument to make good this Exception, proceeds thus,

If of the several kinds of Government, all are not equally good, nor sutable to all People: And man may change the Government he is under for his own greatest good and benefit, and must change it when he hath proved any kind of Government inconvenient and hurtful, and must not uphold any one kind of Government longer then it continues to be most safe and profitable; then to swear to up­hold any one Government continually and constantly, and not to change it, is sinful; and in Righteousness and Judgment may not be done. But of the several kinds of Government, all are not equal­ly good, nor sutable to all people, and man may change the Govern­ment he is under for his own greatest good and benefit, and must change it, when he hath proved any kind of Government inconveni­ent and hurtful; and must not uphold any one kind of Government longer then it continues to be most safe and profitable. Ergo,

For Answer hereunto,

First, I observe there is a fault to be found with the whole Argument, as somewhat transgressing the rules of arguing.

1 In the Consequence there is something of the error called Ignoratio Elenchi; for we swear not in the Oath of Allegiance, indefinitly or inde­terminatly as his words import, to uphold one Government continual­ly, and not to change.

First, We swear only to His Majesty, his Heirs, and Successors: so that when ever they are al extinct, (which may be sooner or later, as divine Providence disposeth) the Oath of it self ceaseth and deter­mines.

Secondly, Notwithstanding the Allegiance sworn to the said persons, their Crown and Dignity, there is power of change in the Govern­ment left to the mutual consent of both parties; to wit, Those sworn to, and them swearing, as it is in al humane Contracts and OathsAls. Theol. Cas. C. 15. Reg. 2. of this nature ‡.

2 In the Minor there is somewhat of the fallacy called petitio principii, namely, That any kind of Government, granted to be lawful, can prove inconvenient and hurtful to the Subjects. The Governors indeed may prove bad and noxious, and so the Government comes to be abused; but a perniciousnesse cannot therefore be charged upon the Govern­ment it self, nor can that be a necessary ground for the change of Go­vernment: if so, you wil bring in a ground for endlesse Mutations; a change in the persons, or a regulating of them, is the apt remedy for that hurt: but the Government, the abstract or essence of the thing, never can prove hurtful, because it is an Ordinance of God for mans good, Rom. 13. 12. 4. and that in specie, as afterwards wil be shewed, and as a Go [...]ernment it hath a political goodnesse seated in its being, by the un­changable Law of Nature.

Secondly, But admit the Argument were not peccant in form, yet the Assumption in the main of it, which is, That man may change the Govern­ment he is under for his own greatest good, and must change it when he hath proved anie Government inconvenient and hurtful, and must not uphold anie one Go­vernment longer then it continues most safe and profitable; I must flatly deny. What Position more Anarchical could be delivered? For the disproof, I offer thus,

1 He saith, Man may change the Government, &c. but the holy Ghost saith, Prov. 24. 21. My Son, fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change: He alloweth a change to be for greater good; but the holy Ghost tels us in the next words, Vers. 22. For their Calamitie shall rise suddenlie, and who knoweth the Ruine of them [...]oth?

2 If men may change for the better, and must change upon a sup­posed [Page 15] hurt, then all Oathes, Engagements, or Promises of Obedi­ence, Allegiance, or Fidelity to Magistrates, are unlawful to be un­dertaken; for al such Bonds, are in relation to a present, and particular Government, the Engagers are under: And they are not for the time present, or for an instant, but for a future Continuance. And there is in al such Engagements, a making over of the Right which the Enga­gers have in the matter Covenanted, to the persons Engaged to; accor­ding to that known Rule, Omne promissum cadit in debitum: either then such a change to be made by the persons under Authority may not, must not be; or such Engagements may not, must not be by them under­taken: The former imports a power and duty inherent in the Subjects to reserve in themselves a liberty to alter, and to practise it when they judge it convenient: The latter speaks a binding out from any such deed, and an abandoning of any such Right; but the Scripture is cleer enough for such Engagements, Eccles. 8. 2. 2 King. 11. 4. Josh. 1. 16, 17, 18 Judg. 8. 9, 10. 2 Chron. 36. 13.

Thirdly, This Position not only disalows all such Engagements, but dissolves the natural, or moral bond it self of duty, and subjection to Magistrates, for to be free to change when a man judgeth it best, is to be free when he wil, and that is not to be tyed at al; by this means any man is disingaged from subjection, both in foro interno, & externo, when he wil say, He thinks the present Government not safe or profitable, or another to be better; and having so resolved, he is absolved: He may now disobey the Commands, stand our against the Judgements, take up Arms against the Person and Authority, and be exempt from the Sword of the Magistrate: yea, although he have sworn, or subscribed Allegiance: because such an Oath, or Promise (saith this Doctor) was sinful, not in righteousnesse: But I would fain have him declare, What thing Magistracy, and what Subjection is.

Fourthly, This Doctrine wil acquit, and justifie al the Conspiracies, and Treasons, that ever were enterprized against the power of the Ma­gistrate since the World was. Was not the Conspiracy of Absolem, 2 Sam. 1 [...] 1 Kin. 11 2 [...]. 12. 1. &c. Act. 5. 36. and that of Sheba against David? Was not the Rebellion of Ieroboam a­gainst Solomon, and Rehoboam? Were not the Seditions of Thendas and Iudas the Gaulonite against Caesar? Were not al the Treasons a­gainst MAGISTRACY that ever have been, attempted for the p [...]rties (yea for the Publique) greater good, as the Conspira­tors judged?

If it be said, That not particular men or a lesse party are to judge the expediency, and take in hand the change, but the whole people. Be­sides that, the people under Authority collectively taken have no such power (as I intend presently to shew) it may be said.

1 Seldome or never doth a whole Nation under a lawful Govern­ment [Page 16] of themselves affect or move to a change, it is the flatterers, and deceivers of the people ‡ ordinarily that desire and mislead the people to [...] Arist. poli. lib. 5. c. 5. it.

2 How the Judgement and Will of the whole Body of a People should be known and declared unto Execution before particular men act to a change of their own private judgement, to me is a thing unimagi­nable.

Fifthly, This necessity of retaining a power in Subjects to change, and of using it for a greater good, or removal of a temporal hurt, in oppo­sition to an Oath sworn against that change, is directly against the Scri­ptures, tying men, that swear to their own hurt, not to change, Psal. 15. 4. Josh. 9. 18, 19. and condemning those that for such ends have re­ceded from their Oathes, Ezek. 17. 13, &c. Josh. 9. 15. compared with 2 Sam. 21. 2.

Sixthly, That Position so much now adayes insisted on of the Peo­ples Power to depose, abolish, and alter the power of their Governors at pleasure, which is actually setled, and both in it self lawful, and law­fully set over them, I hold is a grosse error.

Some of my Reasons in short are,

First, Such a course (supposing the Governors Dissent to it al a­long) is no other then that resistance of the Ordinance of God, con­demned, Rom. 13. 2.

Secondly, It is directly opposite to that Subjection commanded e­very Soul that is in the relation of a Subject, Rom. 13. 1. and that 2 Pet. 2. 13.

Thirdly, If the People may do it, then it must needs be that they have a Civil power and authority over their Magistrates; which is contrary to those Scriptures which make the King Supream, and cal the power which the people are subject to, The higher Powers; higher in relation to them, who are below, and put in subjection to them, 1 Pet. 2. 13. Rom. 13. 1. And indeed, if the People have a power over their Magistrates to judge, or displace them, How are the Magistrates their Superiors, and Rulers? The same persons cannot be under, and over others in the same kind of order or power. If the Magistrates be under the People, whom are they over? If the People be above the Magi­strates, whom are they under?

Fourthly, The holy Ghost commands the People to render Tri­bute, Custome, Fear, Honor▪ (not at random to a Magistracy lea­ving them at liberty to what they please, but) to whom they are due; they are a debt then, which respecteth a determinate object, the pre­sent Magistrate. No Debtor can pay a Debt by transfering it from one to another, or giving what he oweth to another besides the proprie­tor.

Fifthly, Magistrares are of God, his Ordinance and Ministers, and they are Judges for him as his Vicegerents, Rom. 13. 1, 2. 4. 2 Chr. 19. 6. and therefore cannot stand at the meer wil of the People. God must have a hand in their removal, as he hath in their admission; or else it is injurious: he removes, and admits now, but not by immediate re­velation (as sometimes in Israel) but by the rule of his Word, exe­cuted by man, He hath given a Rule for the setting up of Magistrates, but where hath he given any for their deposing?

Sixthly. If it were in the Peoples power to change at pleasure their Magistracy, then how could it be such a heinous sin as it is challenged to be for the people to reject Samuels Government, and desire and mo [...]e for a King, 1 Sam. [...]. 6, 7, 8. 12. 17?

But let us next [...]ear what he alledgeth for this his Assertion of Muta­bility.

He saith, Though Civil Government in general be an Ordin [...]nce of God tending to mans good, therefore to reject it would be sinful, yet this or that kind of Government is not an Ordinance of God, but an Ordinance of man, 1 Pet. 2. 13. and if an Ordinance of man, then man may change it, &c.

1 Civil Government in the general cannot be said to be Gods Ordi­nance, and therefore unrejectable; but this, or that kind of Govern­ment, that is a legitimate & true species of it, must necessarily be yeelded to be also Gods Ordinance, and unrejectable; for it is a sure rule, what­soever is directly and per se said of the genus, or general nature, must be also said of the species, or particu­lar kind: And again, the whole nature of the genus, or general, is conteined in every Species, or kind Quicquid predicatur de praedicato praedicetur de subjecto, Reg. 1. [...]. Tota natura generis continetur in una quaque specie.

2 The Apostle cannot be taken to speak of power in general only, and abstractly, but must be understo [...]d distributively of al lawful powers in their special kinds: When he saith, 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, Rom. 13. 1, 2. He that shal say of this or that kind of lawful Government, as of Monarchy, it is not of God, it is not the Ordinance of God; speaks direct contradictories to the holy Ghost here. No Subjects obedience, to this or that Government he is under, could be urged upon him by vertue of this reason, There is no power but of God, &c, if this, or that kind of Government were not of God, and were not his Ordinances.

3 And for his discretive, but an Ordinance of man, it is no inference of the former, therefore not the Ordinance of God. For this, or that Go­vernment, is both an ordinance of God in Pauls stile, and an ordinance [Page 18] of man in Peters; and you cannot say these two Apostles speak of Go­vernment in two different wayes; the former in general, the latter in particular: for as I have proved, Paul must be taken of particular kinds. So it is cleer, Peter speaks first in general, Submit your selves to everie Or­dinance of man, &c. and then in particular, Whether it be to the King as Su­pream, or unto Governors, &c. this, or that Government, Paul cals an Or­dinance of God.

1 In that it is instituted in its special nature by God, and warranted for any people, but not commanded or imposed (as Government in the general is) upon every Nation. For it is with Governments in relation to Nations, as with Callings, in relation to Persons: every man must have a Calling, but it is distribu [...]ively this, or that, or the other; al are not necessarily to have this one, 1 Cor. 7. 7. 17.

2 In that it is invested in the particular persons by God, when they are called to the Government according to his Rule, though he doth not point them out immediatly by his own finger, but immediatly by men. In like manner as they are the Ministers of Christ in the Church that are Called according to his appointment, though men in the same office ordain them And in this regard, the Magistrates (not the Govern­ment abstractly) are called Gods Ordinance, Rom. 13. 2. compared with 3, and 4. Peter terms it mans ordinance, either because both the speci­al form of Government, and the persons holding it are chosen, and so im­mediatly Constituted by men. Or rather because it is conversant about humane affairs, and mans benefit. Not as if it were invented by, and had its original from men, for so it is of God. As Expositors interpret and compare that place of Peter with the other of Paul Beza. Marlor. Divin [...]s Annotat. D [...]odat. And that Peter ex­cludes not, but taketh in the divine authoriration to that Government he treats of, is evident; in that he willeth submission to it, for the Lords sake. How for his sake, if it be not his Ordinance?

Having thus answered the Premises of his Sylogism, and what he brings to back the Assumption withal. His Consequence or Conclu­sion following goes to the ground, and the lawfulnesse of the oath of Allegiance remains unshaken. But he, as his manner is, amplifies his Consequence with matters altogether inconsequential, and independant on the Premises.

1 He saith, Who knoweth not what a plague this kind of Government (viz. Kinglie) hath been to this Nation? And that the most of our Kings have been Tyrants? I am one that knows not these things, but judge the contrary, and wil be tryed by the Experience, and Voice of this Nation. And in the mean while, I request him to try these his words by the Scriptures following, 2 Pet. 2. 10, 11, 12. Jude 8, 9, 10. And to take heed of the Verdict, and Ju [...]gement therein given upon Government­blasphemers.

[Page 19]2 Who knows not what a Blessing the Change of Government hath brought to the Vnited Provinces? I am sure this man knows not, neither can say, If those Provinces excel in Blessings, that they are brought by a Change of their lawful Government, considering what Solomon observed of old, Eccles. 8. 14. 9. 1, 2. concerning the disproportion of Wordly success to mens wayes; and the inevidence of the goodnesse, or badnesse of per­sons, and actions if estimated by events. Which every mans experience can second.

Whether those Provinees have changed or recovered their Govern­ment; or whether they yet stand but as our Parliament did with the late King in the first War, defending, and demanding the Security of their just Priviledges with the Sword in their hand, I leave him further to consider: and I assure him this, There have been observations great store of Gods Judgements up­on those that have rebelled against, cast off, or murdered their lawful Governors gathered by worthy men Theatre of Gods judgments by D. Beard and Doct. Taylor, lib. 2. chap. 2, 3, 4, 5.. But I never before met with a­ny, that made observations of divine blessings up­on any of those acts.

Thus far his EXCEPTIONS by way of proof of his first Po­sition goes.

He in the close makes one Objection against himself, and gi [...]es his Answer to it thus;

Objection. Suppose there was some unlawfulness in the taking such Oathes, yet is there not a necessitie of keeping them being taken?

Answer. If Herods Oath against the life of one man, being unrighteous and cruel, was sinfullie taken, and more sinfullie kept, then these of Allegiance which are absolute, not Conditional, &c. and which are to uphold Monarchie, the woful fruits whereof seeing they are dangerous, and may prove, as often they have done, destructive to the lives of manie men; they are not onlie unlawful to be taken, but to be kept.

Not granting any unlawfulnesse in the taking of this Oath, having (I hope) made good its innocency against al that hath been said; yet suppose I had made this Objection, I would not take this Answer. My Reason is,

He cannot paralel Herods Oath and ours in the matter wherein Herods was unlawful both in the taking and keeping. What was that? to shed innocent bloud, to massacre a guiltlesse and holy Person. What was ours? To yeeld obedience in lawful things, to a lawful power. Is it any more? and are not the matters of these two Oathes as far unlike as light and darknesse? That which he heaps np to aggra [...]a [...]e our O [...] to the height of the unrighteousnesse of Herods, is nothing but the three ex­ceptions which al this while I ha [...]e been Answering, and therefore shal [Page 20] content myself with what hath been said to them; only in the close, he tels us,

Monarchy is dangerous, and may, as often it hath, prove destructive to the lives of many men, and therefore its unlawful to swear, or keep the upholding of it.

This is nothing but what may be as truly said of any kind of Govern­ment, how lawful soever: none that hath been as much practised as it, can be affirmed to have been lesse destructive▪ or to be lesse dangerous then it. But the possiblity of being, or experience of having been a­bused, is no valid Reason why a Government may not be upheld; (if it be, down must al Governments fal) and if yet it may be upheld, to swear to uphold it, may be an Oath lawful for the matter; and if it cannot in that respect be made a Crime, it deserves not to be paraleld with Herods▪ Oath. What paralel in point of unrighteousnes Herods keeping his oath, and others violating theirs; his execution, and theirs, may have; it is not to my pu [...]pose in hand to shew.

I have done with his First Position, and pr [...]ceed to his Second, which is this,

Suppose the Oath of Allegiance to be Lawful, yet the Subject is now absolved from it by th [...]m that have power to absolve from it.

This Position of a power in any to absolve from a lawful Oath is new (as far as I have read, or heard) among Protestants, and hath until now been accounted by Papists, the Popes and Prelates Prerogative; by us, their Anti-christian presumption.

But let us see where, and upon what ground he builds such a power:

Reason. Because Representatives of the People, which in reason are the Supream power, imposed this Oath by an Act of Parliament, this was the Subjects free Act in their Representatives, no Law of God or Nature obliging them to ac­cept of such a Person, and his Heirs, and to swear Allegiance to them. If ther­fore the Representatives take away, and repeal this Act (as this Parliament hath done) they thereby set the Subjects at libertie from such Allegiance, and from their Oath binding to it, there remains no more Conscience of it to such as have taken it: Abraham that imposed the Oath upon his Servant, might acquit him of it, &c.

First, For the Antecedent, I shal only note;

1 He sets up a Supream power over us by Reason, not by Law, or the Peoples Constitution: and this Reason is not the Nations, but, 1 Either his own private judgement, and if that may create a Su­pre [...]m power to him, then every ot [...]er private mans Reason is to set up one to him▪ even where there is one already, over the people he is of. 2 Or it is the Common Reason that is in all men naturally: and if so, how comes it to passe, That there is so much variety of Kinds of Su­pream [Page 21] Government, and that Representatives have it not in all times and Nations; yea that scarce they ever had it?

2 That in citing the power that Enacted this Oath, he omits the King, and House or Lords, who in the then Parliament concu [...]ed in this Enacting, and Imposition.

3 That although the King then was rightsully and actually Enthro­ned in the Regal power and Dignity, and both the Law, and the Oath of Supremacy obliged the people to him and his Heirs; yet he dares to say, No Law of God, or Nature, obliged them to accept of such a Person and his Heirs. Is not the Fifth Commandement the Law of God, and Nature? and those Precepts, Rom. 13. 1. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. Repe [...]ions, and divine Ratifications thereof? And doth not that Law command every people and person Allegiance to their particular lawful Governors▪ and was not the King in Being, his Heirs in Capacity, and designaton such▪

Secondly, But for the Consequent there is no Truth in it, nor colour of Reason; or inference from the Anteceden [...] for it. Besides, That the act cannot (for ought appears to me) be Repealed, but by the same po­wer that made it: and the Allegiance sworn was not founded upon the Act or Oath, but due, and paid before them both. The Oath in its own words terms it self a Recognition and Acknowledgement; and the first words of it are,

I A. B. Do trulie and sincerelie acknowledge, profess, testifie, and declare in my Conscience before God and the World, That King James is lawful King of this Realm, &c.

Suppose the Representatives to be the Supream power, that the Im­posing of this Oath was their Sole Act, and the Subjects in them, and that they did it voluntarily or unobliged to it: doth it thence fol­low. The Representatives repealing that Act, the Subjects that upon their Enacting swore it, are now absolved from their Allegiance, and from the Oath▪

1 They that have power to impose an Oath were never said (many Divintty extant) to have power eo ipso to absolve from it, when the im­posers are also the party sworn to, there it is granted (both by Prote­stantDoct. Sanders. de juram. oblig. prael. 7. §. 8. Theolos Syntag. juris, l. 50. c. 12. and Papists ‡) they have po­wer to release from the Oath, not because they are the imposers, but because they are the party sworn to, for omnis qui promittit sacit jus alteri, cui est facta promissio, the right of the thing sworn is theirs to whom the Oath is made, and therefore they may release from it; and this is [...]e true ground of that power he sup­poseth in Abraham to acquit his Servant, not his being the imposer of his Oath: but where the imposers are a Third party from the persons swea­ring, [Page 22] and sworn to, there they have no claim of power of Relaxation. And thus the case is here, The Representatives (as he faith) impose the Oath, which is sworn to the King, and bind in Allegiance to him. If they that impose an Oath, may Release from it, then may any Court or Magistrate Release a Juror or Examinate from the Oath they have gi [...]en him; then it a man impose an Oath upon himself (as in some cases he may) he may absolve himself when he wil from it, though he therein obliged himself to God, or another man. And this is truly the case here, as he himself states it; The Subjects by their own act in their Re­presentatives impose this Oath, and by their own personal act swear i [...], and after by their own [...]ctin their Representatives absolve themselves i [...].

2 The Repeal of the act, is no Repeal or dissolution of the Oath; the Parliament that framed, and by their act imposed the Oath, did not there­by make it an Oath, but it was the Subjects swearing which made it an Oath, and an Obligation or Religion to him▪ as the Ministers rehear­sing and dictating the words of Marriage to the Couple Marrying each other, makes not the Marriage, but the parties themselves declaring in those words. And as the Clerk in a Court reciting the words of a Ju­rors Oath to him makes not the Oath, but the Jurors assent to it. The Parliament can conjoyn, or punish the refusal, or manifest breach of an Oath. But a promissory Oath being the act and Covenant of him that swears, and a part of divine Worship, the bond of Conscience upon the swearer, and the validity of Gods Ordinance, and the Obligation that is therein entred into unto God, as the invocated witnesse, and judge, can­not be within the Parliaments authority to nullifie in al Subjects Oathes which may be made with, or without their imposition. There are cases indeed, wherein a superior, as a Husband, Master, Father, Magistrate, may make void the Oath of their respective inferior by ANALOGY, or equity of that Rule, Numb. 30. but those are, 1 In matters that are belonging to the Right, or Power of the Superior to dispose of; as the Representatives may acquit from an Oath in point of their owne Right Animadvertendum tamen est penes [...]os non esse facultatem rescindendi quod libet jus jurandum subditorum sed illud duntaxat cujus materia est eorum▪ potestati subjecta. Alsted. Theol. Cas. Cap. 15. Reg. 2. But the Allegiance in this Oath sworn is none of theirs, but the Kings, and therefore sworn to him by the Subjects, and in par­ticular by them. 2 By that Law Numb. 30. the Superior may inter­pose to nullifie his Inferiors Oath made without his knowledge and con­sent, and that must be done in the day that he hears of it; but there is no further power given by that Law in the matter of Oathes. Now in this our Case, the Representatives have been so far from being ignorant of [Page 23] the making of this Oath, and disalowing it as soon as it was know to them, that they were the Composers and Commanders of it; yea, and have taken it themselves. Let any the least Warrant, yea or President be brought for Releasing an Oath in this Case, and I shal sit down.

Lastly, For a Close of my Answer unto this Position, I shal observe what the Tenor of this Oath hath in it:

I do beleeve, and in Conscience am resolved, That neither the Pope, nor any Person whatsoever hath power to absolve me of this Oath, or any part thereof. And do renounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrary.

This is not the Swearers Declaration only, but the Parliaments in Compiling, and Imposing this Oath, and al Representatives have per­sonally thus declared in taking it. Shal we beleeve them concerning their power in this matter, or this man?

That which follows is no proof of the Position, nor any thing to the validity of the Oath.

FINIS.

A REPLY TO AN ANSVVER Pretending to Refute some POSITIONS Which tended to make the OATH of ALLEGIANCE Void, and not Obliging.

THE Answerer begins with the Drift of the First Position, which he saith is, To shew the Oath to be unlawful in the taking of 1 it.

Reply. The Drift of the First Position is to shew the un­lawfulness of the Oath upon a Supposition, that the Oath was Absolute and not Conditional, that it was Single and not Mutual, &c. and not o­therwise.

He falls upon Premising something in these words: An Oath may be 2 unlawful, 1 Either in regard of the matter or thing sworn, as when it is some sinful act: Or, 2 In regard of the manner, as when the thing is unadvisedly [Page 2] sworn: The former way of unlawfulness makes the Oath Void in the taking of it, but not the latter: which appears by the validity of that unadvised Oath of the Princes to the Gibeonites, Josh. 9. 15. 18, 19. 2 Sam. 21. 2.

He erreth at the first dash; That Oath of the Princes was a sinful Oath Reply. in the matter of it, because expresly against the command of God, Deut. 7. 2. Exod. 23. 32. yet it was not void, but was kept by them.

He falls upon Observing, and speaks of A gross imputation that is laid 3 upon very many Worthies of all sorts and kinds of men, as if they had pressed, taken, and justified an Oath in the matter of it unjust and sin [...]ul.

If there be any Charge at all upon any, it is upon those that make the Reply. Oath to be Absolute and not Conditional, &c. But if any person hold otherwise, that it was a Mutual Conditional Oath that was taken when Allegiance was sworn, then there is no imputation at all upon one or o­ther, which the Author of the Position rather conceives then the con­trary.

He mentioneth the general Exception against the lawfulnesse of the 4 Oath, and Objects against it in that branch of it that respects Judgment, and saith, That Defectivenesse in that will not invalidate the Oath, It is but a fault (saith he) in the manner, not in the matter; in the Person, not in the Oath.

If it be so, Whence is it that the Law provides, That no Vows, Oaths, Reply. Deeds, or Acts that are done by persons in their Nonage (because it is supposed they are not done in Judgment) shall stand, but be all invalid, unlesse ratified afterwards when they come to age. This man (who­ever he be) speaks against the Law herein, which is more grosse then to speak against persons. Notwithstanding it must not be conceived, That the Author of the Positions doth intend, That every oath that is defe­ctive in judgement, is ipso facto void; but he connects Judgement and Righteousnesse together, as adding strength to each other, and making such an oath so unlawful, as not to be obligatory.

He descends to particulars, and objects against that Conditionality 5 which in the Position is made necessary unto an oath, that it may agree with Jer. 4. 2. And he distinguisheth in these words: I conceive the words (Conditional and Absolute) may be taken, 1 Either in reference to the thing sworn, which is Obedience or Allegiance to the King; and so the Condition is, it must be Honest; Or, 2 In reference to the Tye or Obligation of the Oath: And of this latter, he makes another distinction concerning Conditions, in these words: Some Conditions are general, and such as no promisory Oath that is law­ful can be without: And he makes (Honest) this general Condition. 2ly. Others are special and proper Conditions.

He makes, Honest and Iust, to fall under the opposite members of his Reply. own distinction, and so confounds that which he would distinguish.

He comes to oppugn the Reason, that is brought in the Position, that 6 [Page 3] the Oath must not be Absolute, but Conditional, viz. That it is against the Ground and Reason of the Primitive Institution of Government, which is the good of the Subject, that there should be any Oath to bind him absolutly whether the Prince Rule for the Subjects good or not. And his first Exception is,

That this Reason wants proof. 1

There was such cleernesse in the Reason, that it needed not proof. For Reply. if an absolute Vassalage (with first or last will infallibly be the Conse­quence of an absolute Oath) be not for the good of the Subject, and so not sutable to the Primitive Institution of Government, then an absolute oath cannot be for the good of the Subject, and so not sutable to the Pri­mitive Institution of Government.

His Second Exception is, The Reflection that this Argument in the 2 Position would have upon the Parliament (should it be granted to be true) who Enacted the Oath of Allegiance, and all subsequent Parlia­ments confirmed it, which if it were not for the good of the Subject, would call their wisdom and goodnesse into question.

There is something inserted in this, that is not granted, viz That the Reply. Parliament intended this Oath to be Absolute, without implying in it so much as this Condition, While the Prince should rule according to the Laws of the Kingdom. For, 1 They never declared so much, That they in­tended the oath to be absolute. 2 The Oaths that Kings in this Nation have alwayes taken, shew the contrary, and their Oaths to him must be interpreted by his Oath to them: Now his Oath to them is, To Rule according to the Laws of the Kingdom, therefore their Oath to him must have the same restriction, and so cannot be absolute. 3 The Par­liament is sharer (at least) by this mans own confession, pag 5. with the Prince in Government. For, he saith, It is a mixed Government that is amongst us in this Nation; and in a mixed Government, the Prince hath his share; and the People, in their Representatives, have their share; therefore the Parliament would never make the Oath absolute, least thereby they should give away to the Prince that part in Government which is theirs. 4 It was to recover this share in Government, and the Peoples Liberties thereby out of the hand of the Prince, that this WAR was undertaken against him. Which if they had never Con­ditioned with the Prince for, in their Oath to him, (neither expresly, nor implicitly) had not been justifiable upon this mans Assertion, That an absolute Oath is lawful.

His third Exception is setcht from Experience, His words are, 3 It hath consisted with the publick good (yea contributed to it, or else the Papists would not have so opposed it) from the time it was first set forth, until now, and no complaint at all hath been heard against it [...]ill now.

1 It had been necessary that he should have shewed what good it Reply. [Page 4] hath contributed to it, and how it hath been consistent with it, conside­red as absolu [...]e, as now he and many more do understand it, and hold themselves still obliged by it.

2 The Papists [...]ad reason to oppose it, because it was given out to be intended principally (if not solely) against them. And their Allegi­ance in reference to their Religion (which subjected them to a forreign power) tell justly under suspition, to engage them therefore more firm­ly to the Prinee, this oath was contrived and Enacted.

3 Many precions conscientious men were long since (much more then Papists) offended at it, foreseeing that there would be a great snare in it, as it was urged without an explication, Yea, It was pressed more upon them▪ then upon the Papists; and the Papists (most of them) knew how to get off from it, and to avoid it, but not they. When the Perse­cution was so ho [...] against Inconformists that many thousands were forced to fly the Land; then was there a command, That all Ports and Havens should be narrowly looked unto, that none might be suffered to passe out of the Nation, till they had first taken this Oath; and my self hardly e­scaped at that time.

4 It might [...]ave proved fatal to this Nation, had this Parliament understood it as this man doth in an absolute sense, and not according to the Laws of the Land▪ For then had the Design of the late King and his Father (to make themselves absolute Mona [...]chs, and to bring the peo­into an absolute subjection to their arbitrary Government) been accom­plished, and there had been no place so much as for a Defensive War, but absolute slaves the Kingdom must have been, as they were several yeers before this Parliament sate.

He comes to distinguish of things that are against the peoples good; and, saith he,

That some things are against the peoples good in their own nature, and 1 other things accidentally▪ and saith, That any thing almost that falls under a Political consideration may be against the peoples good in the latter Consideration though unlawful, and for the present, probably (yea necessarily) for the peoples good: and of this sort (I suppose) he makes this absolute oath of Allegiance to be. It is but by accident that it proves hurtful, but it is good in it self.

He might and must distinguish of things accidentall; some things are Reply. accidental in reference to the time when, and yet ce [...]ain that they will be, in reference to the Causes whence they come, and the Course of Gods Providence: other things are so accidental, as that it is contin­gent, whether they will be at all. Christ speaks of offences, That it is necessary that they should come: and the Apostle of Heresies, That there must be Heresies, and yet both the one and the other are acciden­tal, in reference to the persons by whom, and the time in which they [Page 5] should come: So it is in Common-wealths, there are many things that are against the good of the people, which though accidental in reference to the persons and time, yet certain and in [...]allible, in reference to the Causes, and the course of Gods Providence; and when there is not pro­vision against such evils, but rather a door set open for them, by either persons or things done, 'tis against the good of the people, because all knowing men may easily foresee such things, though they cannot so pun­ctually discern the times and seasons of them.

I shall give some instances: Wars, are things accidental, yet certain, at one time or another; and that Government that provides not against it, but rather invites it by security and negligence, is against the good of the people, and ought to be either redres [...]ed, or removed: Murthers, Rapes, Fellonies in a Common-wealth are accidental, yet they will cer­tainly be, and those States-men, and L [...]gisla [...]ors that provide not against them, are against the good of the people.

There may be Instances of other kinds: Wolves amongst the Flock are accidental, yet they will be, and those Shepherds that provide not a­gainst them, by feeding the Church of God with wholsome sound Do­ctrine, are against the good of the Flock. Storms and Tempests at Sea are accidental, yet they will certainly come; and those Ship-masters and Marriners that go to Sea without good Tacking, they are against the good of their Principals, and those that fraught them, and against their own lives also. And so it is with Tyrants in Government, they are ac­cidental in a Common-wealth, yet it is certain such there will be, since so great corruption sell upon mankind, and those Oath-imposers, and Oathes that are imposed, that provide not against such, but rather invite and set open a door to Governors to be such, are against the good of the Common-wealth, and people; and such is that Oath of Allegiance, if it be absolu [...]e and not conditional, as this man would have it.

2 He distinguisheth again of the goodnesse of the End, and of the means tending to that End; and he makes the happinesse of the Com­munity to be the goodnesse of the End; and this to be intended and not deliberated on, or chosen by the Law-gi [...]ers. The means he makes va­riable, in relation to times and people, and saith. That that may be good in the nature of a means, for one people or time, that is not good for a­nother.

Reply. I allow of the Distinction in the former branch of it fully, and say with him, That the happinesse of the Community is the goodnesse of the End. And I ad this, That the just freedom o [...] the Subject is the happi­nesse of the Communitie, which an absolute Oath of ALLEGIANCE fights against.

I also concur with him in the second branch of the Distinction of the goodnesse of the means, that it is that which falls under Deliberation and [Page 6] Counsel: but that all means is variable and changable after Counsel hath found it out, I deny: For the goodnesse of the means may be con­sidered Generally, or Specifically. Consider it in its general nature, and it admits not of any such variation according to times and places: but consider it in its special nature, and then it may admit of variation. For Example, Government in general, is a good of the means, respecting the happinesse of the Community, and yet is necessary for all Commu­nities, that they may be happy: but this, or that special kind of Govern­mentis not necssary for all Communities, in all places and at all times, but there may be some change and variation. So to Govern according to Laws, and to obey according to Laws, is necessary, and admitts of no variation, because it conduceth absolutly to the good of the Communi­ty: but to govern and obey according to the same Laws, is not necessa­ry, but variable, according to places and times.

Unto this head of the goodnesse of means conducing to such an End, viz. The happinesse of the Community, he makes a firm Sanction by an absolute Oath (that there may be a kind of immutability in States and Governments thereby) to appertain. And saith, It is the wisdom of most States so to setle them, to prevent the danger of Innovation and changes. And [...]e makes this to be a better means of the Communities happinesse, then the other of Conditional parts and Covenants with the Prince. For he speaks of the evil of swearing to a Prince absolutly, to be but incon­venience, disadvantagiousnesse, prejudice, outward incommodity, im­peachment of the Subjects good: but the evils of a Conditional, or un­absolute Engagement, he speaks of them, as Mischief and Misery: and when the other is in his accompt but uncertain danger, he makes this inevitable hurt.

Reply. If all this be true, then the Constitution of our State, was not so prudently considered by our fore-Fathers, when they Established a mixt Government, as might have been; and so much expence of Bloud to recover the Subjects Liberty and Propriety, was a great sin. For it had been better for the Subject (if he have said truth) to have yeelded themselves up to the Will of their Prince, to have submitted quietly to an arbritrary power, and to have borne an Iron yoke for ever, then to have contended with him: and our Brethren of Scotland did ill to give us such an Example as first to appear in Arms against him: But rational men must first put out their eyes▪ before they can beleeve such a Para­dox. For can there be a greater Mischief and Misery, then thraldom and slavery? then losse of Religion, Liberty, Propriety, Life it self? For all these will lie at stake, and be hazarded, by an absolute Oath firm­ly kept and observed. War with all the effects of it that can follow such conditional Engagements, is but a short Misery, and not so ignominious as the other, for persons live and die like men in it; but in the other, [Page 7] they live and die like beasts, and all their life is but a long-lived death. But many in these dayes, are like the Israelites, who when in bondage and under Pharoahs yoke, cryed to God, and sighed and groaned, and then it was a condition intollerable; but when they were delivered and saw War, and found some evils they expected not, then they judged it better to be in Egyptagain: and then the state of cruel Servitude was but an inconvenience in comparison of the other Mischief. But let the mischief of a Conditional Engagement be what it will, it must be chosen, and the absolute must be avoided, because Liberty, and Propriety, &c. are the happinesse of a Community, and the end of Government, and the birth-right of all the Subjects which have not forfeited it, and ought not to be given away to the will of the Governor, and a Conditional En­gagement is the means to preserve it.

He saith, Such things as may by reason of their changeable nature prove in the issue somewhat disadvantagious, may yet, if for the present good, and probably hopeful so to continue, be sworn to absolutly, as in voluntary Promises, Leagues, and Contracts, both publike and private, among all Nations hath been the practise, and by good Scripture-presi­dent it is justified, Gen. 47. 31. Exod. 13. 19. Josh. 9. 15 14 9 Judg. 21. 5. 18. 15. 12. 13. 1 Sam. 14. 24. 19. 6. 20. 12. 17 1 King. 1. 13. 29. 2 Sam. 19▪ 23..

Reply. 1 Allegiance (which is the thing that he would have absolut­ly sworn unto) may not only prove through the changable nature disad­vantagious, but also hath, and doth often, and will certainly at one time or other prove pernicious, not to persons only, but to Common­wealths.

2 An absolute Contract of Allegiance, sets up the Prince too high, and puts down the Subject too low: The one is made by such a Con­tract more then a man, the other is rendered lesse then a man, and more like unto a Beast. And it is neither for the present good, nor hopeful to continue so▪ to put such a distance betwixt them. For absolute Sove­reignty is Gods Prerogative, whose Will is perfectly holy, and just, and good, and not to be attributed to the Creature, so full of imperfecti­on and corruption; and it layes a temptation before him to miscarry in his Office.

3 Some voluntary Promises and Contracts are dissimilia, things un­like, holding no proportion to the thing in Controversie, viz. To the Oath of Allegiance, the absolutnesse whereof is by him Asserted, and the Instances or Examples in Scripture carry not any kind of Analogy. Let them be pe [...]used, and rational men will wonder, that ever they were produced. 1 Some of them, are not Oaths made to men at all, but to God, as that in Judg. 21. 5. 18. and some others. 2 Others of them are Oathes, the performanee whereof lies only on one Party; the other is to receive advantage, but to do nothing, as that in Gen. 47, 31. Exod. 13. 19. Josh. 9. 15. & 14. 9▪ 3 Others of them were Oathes of things, that [Page 8] were in their nature pernicious and sinful to be sworn to, as that in 1 Sam. 14. 24. Ionathan speaks of it, That his Father had troubled Israel and hindred the Lords Work by that Oath of not touching any food till evening. And when Saul would have had Ionathan put to death in refe­rence to his violation of that Oath, the people rescued him, and did well in it. And there is none that comes so neer the case, as Ionathans and Da­vids Oath, which was not absolute, but conditional, so as that if the one had broken it, the other would have been absolv'd upon it. But this Oath of Allegiance is an Oath betwixt persons, that owe respective du­ties to each other, and the Obligation of the one, hath a respect unto, and a dependance on the performance of the other; and so is an Oath of another kind, then those mentioned in his Scriptures, and cannot be absolute, as he from these patterns would prove.

But he gives his Reasons, why absolute Allegiance doth not so neerly and probably tend to the Subjects hurt, as the Conditional doth.

1, He saith, The Prince may prove just and vertuous.

Reply. 1 The Conditional Engagement is the best way to make him prove such, when he Rules upon his good Behaviour, he is more likely to Rule well. 2 Most Princes prove not such but unjust and vitious. 3 To be left to his own arbitrary Will in Governing, is like to prove a temptation and snare to him. A lawlesse Liberty to do what he listeth many times corrupteth the Prince.

2, He saith, If he degenerates, the Subjects are bound to obey him a­ctively, but in lawful things.

Reply. What then? If the Oath be absolute, they are bound to obey him passively in all other things, wherein they cannot obey him active­ly, even to the losse of Life, Limb, Liberty, and Estate, which will cer­tainly bring calamity enough upon them. Nor were the Children of Israel bound to obey Pharaoh actively, save only in lawful things; and yet they were miserable enough for all that. And the Condition of the Sub­ject may be no better then the Condition of Gally-slaves, if this be all the comfort that the Subject hath, that he is bound to obey actively but in lawful things,

3, Hesaith, In his lawless Acts there may be a remedy (as the punish­ment or resistance of his bad instruments by the Parliament, without whom, though he may Will unjust things, yet he cannot Execute them) and yet his Government be continued.

Reply. 1 What Justice is in this, To resist, and punish his bad Instru­ments, and not him who is the principal efficient? For if they be in fault, he that sets them on work much rather. And usually it hath been said, The Messenger bears no blame, but if there be a fault, his it is that sent him, and certainly the Servant is in lesse fault. 2 This resisting of his [Page 9] bad Instruments, is a resisting of him, as Christ speaks to his Apostles whom he sent forth, He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that de­spiseth you, desp [...]seth me: So it may be said of Resisting, in reference to the Instruments of the Prince, He that punisheth, or resisteth them, pun­isheth and resisteth him in them; and this is absolutly against the Oath of absolute Allegiance. 3 This resisting and punishing of the Princes Instruments, is as unsafe and dangerous, as the not continuing of his Government when it is degenerated to Tyranny; for it will inevitably bring on a War betwixt the Prince and People: For the Prinee, if he be able, will maintain his Instruments in what he setteth them about, and vindicate their Cause, while they do nothing but what they have his authority for; and this is the evil that this man declines so much, that to prevent it, he pleads for an absolute Engagement, whatever the mis­chief be to the Subject; and yet in this place he brings this in as a Re­medy to prevent the danger of the other. 4 This Remedy begins at the wrong end, goes not the next way, but far about to work redresse, and reacheth not the end, nor effects any cure; for a corrupt Prince will ne­ver want bad Instruments, his greatnesse will have a corrupting influence upon those about him; and like Prince, like Officers and Servants un­der him. But let the Prince be fettered by wholsome Laws, tending to his own just Honor, and the Subjects just Freedom, and the Mischief will not only be redressed, but might be pre [...]ented, and with lesse [...]azard also. 5 The Parliament are Subjects, in this mans account, as well as other men; and therefore by his Assertion, must be absolutly engaged to the Prince; and wherein they cannot obey actively, they are bound to obey passively, and therefore may not actively appear against his au­thority in his Instruments, for where is then Allegiance, which an ab­solute Oath will alwayes bind too?

4, He saith, And suppose the case that there be no remedy, as when he hath got a party stronger then can be resisted, or subjected to punish­ment, then to cast off his power and depose him (suppose it lawful to do) will be no relief, his strength will command subjection.

Reply. 1 The way to prevent the getting of this strong Party, is to keep the Subject from the snare of absolute Oathes, and to let them know their Liberty, and that their Allegiance is but Conditional. 2 Concerning deposing (if an absolute Oath be once taken, and be lawful both to be taken, and kept when taken) it cannot be lawful; no nor yet the putting of his Person into hazard by War, pretended to be underta­ken against his Ministers and Servants under him. 3 When the Sub­ject hath a just Cause to contend for; viz. For Covenanted Rights, they may cast themselves upon God; for God hath made it to appear, not by Might, nor by Arms, but by his Spirit, great things have been ac­complished.

5, He saith, The miscarriages of a Prince ordinarily extend but to the detriment of some particular persons, rarely doth any Nero-like, seek the destruction of the whole.

Reply. 1 Let the Declarations which have been set forth by the Par­liament (when both Houses sate, and were most full) be viewed, and it will appear, That the Mischiefs and Miseries that came by the corrupt Mind and Will of the Prince, were general, and reached the whole Na­tion: What can be said of Ship-money, and multiplicity of Monopo­lies? Did they not, one way or other, reach all? Were some particu­persons only annoyed by them? 2 If at first few be like Nero, to seek the destruction of the whole; yet being crossed, and thereby incensed and vexed, if it come to a publick Contestation, almost every one will chuse to destroy all, rather then to misse of their Will, and fall short of their Design.

6, He saith, In that case Subjects sworn, and unsworn, (if their Cause be good, and the Parliament authorize their standing up) are in the same capacity of Resistance.

Reply. 1 Not so, if their Oath be absolute and obligatory, (as this man will have it) for an absolute obligatory Oath to obey actively or passive­ly, and yet a capacity of Resistance (if the Parliament warrant it) are con­tradictory one to the other. 2 Nor can the Parliament authorize it, if themselves have absolutly, and irrevokably, and lawfully also sworn Al­legiance, and in such sort also imposed it upon the Subject.

7, He saith, Set the people free to shake off the reins of their present Government, when they shall think it unequal, and, 1 You destroy the nature of Government; and, 2 You expose the people to an immediate losse of the very use and enjoyment of any Government.

Reply. 1 The People act all in, and by their Representatives, who are so wise and faithful to the Common-wealth, that they wil not sleightly shake off the present Government; but when it is to preserve the Com­mon-wealth, after they have had long patience, and plentiful experience that there is little hope of good whilst it stands, much lesse wil they suf­fer the Common-wealth to be without a Government, and to lie in Confusion; the proof of both which we have had amongst our selves. 2 How the change of Government should be against the nature of Go­vernment, I cannot apprehend; and he shewes no Reason for it

What is spoken by him, in way of Comparison, betwixt a bad Go­vernment, and no Government; betwixt one, or a few, doing that which is right in their own eyes; and every mans doing so, the one he makes an accidental effect of absolute Allegiance; the other he makes an inevitable effect of conditional Allegiance, because they be naked unconfirmed Assertions, and experience amongst our selves hath so evi­dently confuted them, I shal therefore passe over them.

Afterwards in the Second place he layes down a contradictory Asser­tion in these words, The Oath of Allegiance may be Absolute, or unconditio­nal: And he renders Reasons for it:

1 He saith, Were there no Oath, the limitted obedience which is due to Princes and Magistrates, is due to them absolutly, whether they Rule well, or no; and that which is absolutly due, may be absolutly sworn.

Reply. This is only true while they acknowledge them to be their Princes and Magistrates, and do continue them in those Offices and Pla­ces: and it is as true of every Constable, what misdemeanour soever he be guilty of, yet he must have that observance of his Place from all, while in his Place: But the Question is, When Princes and Magistrates Rule amisse, not to the welfare, but ruine of the people over whom they are Magistrates, Whether the People be not (in that case) absolved from al Tye and Obligation to them, as Magistrates, if they will: that is, Whether the Representatives of the People, which have the Peoples power, for the Executive part of it, may not if they wil, (yea, and in ma­ny Cases are bound in faithfulnesse to the People, and for their good, to) declare such Princes and Magistrates, in reference to such miscari­ages, to be no longer Governors, and so therein to free the People from their Allegiance to them. And it is asserted in the Position, That they may if they wil. A Pastor of a Church miscarries in the execution of his Office, and becomes a Wolf to devour, rather then a Pastor to feed the Church of Christ, Is not his Flock notwithstanding bound to obey him in the Lord, and according to Rule, whilest he remains a Pastor to them? But the Question is, Whether it be not the Duty of such where the Power is, To Depose him from his Office, and therein to absolve the People from such Duty as such an Office cals for? And so it is in this Case of a Prince or Pastor to a Common-wealth.

But he Confirms this REASON, by Seven other Reasons.

Reas. 1. The Precept of Obedience to Civil Governors, is without any condition or reserve from a disingagement of the Subject in case of the Governors miscarriage, reade the 5th Commandement, and those other Injunctions, Rom. 13. 1, 2, &c. Tit 3. 1. 1 Pet. 1. 13. &c.

Reply. It is to be understood whilest they are Governors, and whilest they are Fathers: and the same may be spoken of Pastors of Churches, for they are Fathers; and there is no reserve for a disingagement from duty towards such, whilest the office of such lasts. But the Question is, Whether there be no Reserve for a disingagement from the Office it self, and the Relation in reference to that Office, as it respects such a person who hath miscarried in it? If that be asserted, the Fifth Commande­ment wil not prove it, not those places quoted. For there are Two sorts of Fathers included in that Commandement; there is a Natural Father, [Page 12] whose relations is indissolvable, what ever the miscarrying be: and there is an Instituted Father, which originally the People both in Church and Common-wealth were wont to create, for the Common good of them all. And such a Father as the People make, or their Elders, or Patriots for them, the People may lay aside; or their Representatives on their behalf, upon misdemeanors in Government, the relation in this Father­hood is not indissolvable; and those Scriptures quoted, contradict not this; For it is known wel, That in those times there were great Chan­ging of the Chief Magistrate, which took off the People, and freed them from their duty, when their relation ceased.

Reas. 2. God cōmands his people to be subject to Heathen Princes, and the most absolute and oppressive Tyrants that likely ever have been, Jer. 27. 12. Mat. 22. 21. 1 Pet. 2. 13. I speak not here o [...] Tyrants, in regard of Title, or Right; that is, Usurpers: but of Tyrants whose [...]itles a [...]e just, but their Government unjust, and oppressive.

Reply. 1 But did God ever Command the Heads of the people, who had the power of al the people, to continue such in their Places, if they had power to remove them? It is one thing what God Commands particular parsons to do, that have no Power no manner of way, and what the duty of the Chief of al the people (who represent them) is to do. 2 Were not those very persons many of them [...]yran [...]s in Title, as­wel as in Government, concerning whom God Commands his People, That they should be subject to them? Did not the Emperors advance themselves by the power of their Armies that they commanded, to whom the Senate was forced to yeeld, and yet subjection is required whilst they were in Place? What can be said of Nebuchadnezzar him­self? Was his Title good, getting all by the Sword as he did? and yet Subjection is commanded to him, as his own quotation proves. So that it is manifest, That al the Scriptures which he produceth, are as strong to prove that which he disapproves of, as they are to prove that, which he would prove by them.

Reas. 3. Servants are to be subject to their Masters, not only to them that are good and gentle, but those that are froward, and that do them wrong, 1 Pet. 2. 18, 19, 20. and by Analogy Subjects are tyed in the same [...]erms to their Governors.

Reply. Servants in those dayes were such who were bought with their Moneis, and were their Slaves, as now many Christians are to the Turks; therefore in subjection they must be, both to the Good and Froward, and could not help themselves; and the Apostle exhorts them to be contented, and patient in their condition for the Lords sake: But yet elsewhere he exhorts them, That if they could be free, they would chuse it rather. Now I hope this mans scope is not, To put Common­wealthes into this Condition of Servility and Slavery to Princes. Nor [Page 13] will he grant such an abso [...]ute Dominion to Princes, as to Masters over such Servants. Such Servants were for their Masters, when their Ma­sters had bought them: But Common-wealths are not for Princes, but Princes for Common-wealths; therefore there is no parity betwixt the one and the other. The subjection of Common-wealths, must not be a bondage, as the subjection of such Servants was, unlesse it be that som people have forfeited their freedom by some Rebellion, or wicked bloudy hostile acts, as the Irish have done. The yoke may be hea [...]ie on such justly, and yet they have no cause to kick against it.

Reas. 4. David would not stretch out his hand against Saul upon this ground, for that he was his Master the King of Israel, and the Lords A­nointed, though he was then in actual, violent, and unjust pursuit of his life, 1 Sam. 24. 5, &c. 26. [...]. &c.

Reply. David at that time was but a private man, and Saul was King unquestioned by the Heads of Israel, and Sauls persecution was but of one private mans life, it appears not that he was a Tyrant unto the Com­wealth. However it i [...] e [...]ident that he was given of God immediatly, without the interposition of the people, and therefore it might be, that he must be taken away by God, though he had been a Tyrant. But what is this to Princes in these times, that have no such immediate Cals to Kingdoms?

Reas. 5. Otherwise you leave no place for passive obedience to, pray­er for, and patience towards Magistrates in case of their wrong doing, and your own innocency, which yet is generally acknowledged to be a duty.

Reply. There will be particular wrongs enough, to exercise the pati­ence of particular persons, before it come to be miscarriage against the Common-wealth: and there will be miscarries enough through weak­nesse and invigilancy against the Common-wealth which will exercise the patience of all the people, and yet at last, if the mischief grow very high and threaten ruine; subjection is not so absolute, but that the Heads of the people may free themselves, and the people, from such a yoke.

Reas. 6. Els you dissolve all Magistracy, it wil be impossible in mans cor­rupt estate to retain or continue any, in as much as no man, or men, can in the vast multitude, and difficulty of Magistratical affairs avoid offen­ding every day, 2 Sam. 23. 3, 5.

Reply. If the people themselves were such Ideots and Children as to expect a Government that should be perfect, yet I hope it wil hardly be asserted of their chosen men, whom they make their Representatives, that they are such; and therefore I wonder that ever such a Reason should be produced. The High COURT where Wisdome should be seated (if any where) wil not run stark mad, to displace the Supream [Page 14] Governor for infirmity and weaknesse, which (as a man) he is incident unto every day, and so therein overthrow al Government: No, no, there hath been experience enough of their long suffering. But when a Prince to maintain his Lust, wil raise a War, to endanger the destruction of al his Subjects; then let the REPRESENTATIVES of a peo­ple know their Priviledg and Duty, which is to serve the People, how­ever it goes with the Prince.

Reas. [...]. The Doctrin of orthodox Protestant Divines generally is, That obedience is due (in lawful things) to the most degenerate, oppressing, and tyrannical Princes.

Reply. These orthodox Divines speak of subjection of particular per­sons to such Princes while they are in place and power; but they speak not of States which are set up to be (at least) sharers in Government with the Prince. Nor do they presse obedience upon them, without a­ny allowance to help themselves, by calling him to an accompt in the peoples name.

2 He saith, We find oaths of Allegiance in Scripture, sworn to Princes without any Conditions inserted, Judg. 11. 9, 10. 2 King. 11. 4. 2 Chron. 36. 13. Ezek. 17. 13. & Nehem. 10. 29. Their Oath was to observe all the Commandements of the Lord, whereof the fifth Com­mandement, with application to their present and future Magistrates, was one.

Reply. 1 If there be no Condition inserted, it wil not follow, That therefore there was no Condition; but the justice and equity of the thing is to be considered, whether i [...] doth not require a Condition; and the Rules of general Equity are to be followed, which is consonant to, yea, commanded in the Scripture, viz. To do, as one would be done unto. 2 The places quo [...]ed, prove not the thing; That in Iudges, of the peo­ples Oath to Iepthah may well be understood with this restriction, Accor­ding to the Laws of the Lord, and of the Land: for Iepthah was a Beleever, and a Judge whom God raised up; and it is probable, that he would not desire Headship over them upon other terms. They were also an unfree people when they Covenanted with Iepthah to advance him to Government: and if their Oath were absolute, they did not put them­selves into a worse Condition thereby, but might think it better to be servants to him, then slaves to the Ammonites: and if it were an absolute Rule which he had, he must Merrit it before he had it, and was to be­come their Saviour, before their Ruler: so that this Instance is not ap­plicable to the thing in Controversie. That place in 2 King. 11. 14. must be interpreted by Vers. 17. where it is said, That Ie [...]o [...]ada made a Covenant betwixt the King and the People, which implyes, that he mutually engaged them, and so it was not an absolute Oath. That in 2 Chron. 36. 13. speaks of Zedekiahs breach of oath, but nothing of any absolute Oath. [Page 15] That in Ezek. may receive the same Answer with the former, because it belongs to the same thing. That in Nehemiah, which respects the Observation of the Fifth Commandement, h [...]th had its Answer be­fore.

3 He saith, It is a thing within our power to settle our Allegiance ab­solutly, as well as it is within a mans power to dispose of himself to ser­vice, whether his Master prove good, or evil; or as it is in a man or womans power to bestow themselves in Marriage, whether the Mate be observant of duty, or no?

Reply. The Question is not whether it be in our power to settle our Allegiance absolutly, but whether it be in our lawful power to do it or no; and the doubt is not the lesse in reference to these Instances which he produceth of a Servant his giving of himself up to his Master irrevo­kably, whether good or bad; and of a Man or Woman giving them­selves up in Ma [...]riage, whether the Mate be observant of duty or no, but the grea [...]er? For it persons be bound to be wise, and just, and merciful to themselves, then they cannot do such a thing without sin: and it would be counted a desparate wicked part in a man, to bind himself to a­nother to be servant for ever, whether he be kind or cruel; whether he give him any thing or nothing; yea, though he take from him that which he hath. And the unrighteousnesse of the thing is the same, in the case of an absolute Oath to a Magistrate.

4 He saith, A conditional oath is not consistent with a necessary duty; o­bedience to Magistrats is not left arbitrary, but cōmanded, & that though they be bad; but now the duty being necessary, if you would have it sworn with a proviso of the Rulers performing his duty, you nullifie the end of an Oath, which is to confirm, put out of doubt, and give security of what is due. A thing sworn may become due, either by the rule of Equity, or by a voluntary Covenant: That which is due the latter way, if the Covenant be conditional▪ the Oath that is to ratifie it, may be al­so so far conditional, but what is due in the former kind, to wit, by abso­lute and unalterable rule, or precept of Justice, cannot be sworn to con­ditionally; for that would be no ratification to it, nay it would be a de­bilitating, and rendering more insecure of that which was simply due without an oath, a condition put into your oath, being a very pro­bable medium to perswade the swearer that he is no otherwayes bound to the things sworn, then upon that Condition▪ which being broken by the party sworn to, he will easily conceive himself altogether free: Thus the absolute Rule will receive impeachment, and not strength in its obliga­tion by the conditional oath: such an oath therefore is in its end inconsi­stent with it.

Reply. 1 This Reason is much like to the First, and hath its Answer there: But, 2 It may be demanded, Whether obedience to Magistrates, [Page 16] be more necessary, or due by more absolute unalterable Rule and Pre­cept of Justice, then obedience from Servants (which came free, and upon Covenant to their Masters) is? If not, then, Whether obedience to Masters may not (and ought not to) admit of a Conditional promise or oath to the performance of it, without any inconsistency with the ne­cessity of such a duty: and if, in the necessary obedience of Servants, such a Conditional promise or oath may be admitted, Why not in the necessary obedience of Subjects to Magistrates? And, 3 It may be asked how, and when obedience to Magistrates came to be necessary▪ He wil not say, That before Magistrates were, obedience was necessary to them; but Magistrates, and obedience to them, came in together. But how came Magistracy▪ (I speak of individual persons put into the Office of Magistracy) Not by an immediate cal from God, as David did and some few others which Scripture mentioneth: nor were they (ori­ginally) born to that superiority over the people, but were first exalted to that power by the Choice of the People: then there was a voluntary Covenant at first betwixt them: then (if the people looked at their own good) the Covenant was Conditional, and so their Oath (which was to confirm it) was Conditional, and so their obedience (which is the thing sworn to) was Conditional, and so it was necessary not otherwise but up­on a Condition. And so it's commanded in Scripture, not otherwise but upon the Condition it was first grounded on, and in that way it is ne­cessary and unalterable, the Condition being observed upon which it was built and bottomed; and more then this cannot be inserted by di­vine Precept. And whereas he makes this distinction, A thing sworn may become due either by rule of Equitie, or by a voluntary Covenant: It appears by what hath been presented, That both members of the distinction without jarring meet in this. 1, There is a voluntary Covenant which is Conditional; and 2, There is a Rule of Equity necessitating upon that Covenant and Condition; so that obeying comes to be due both wayes. 4 A Conditional Oath doth not weaken, but strengthen such obedience which is necessary and unalterable upon such a Condition. For the Ma­gistrate comes to be assured by such an Oath, that he shall be obeyed, up­on his good behaviour, and just, and upright carriage in his Office, and that the people wil not be fickle to him, if he be faithful in Government to them. After his large dispute against the Conditionality of the Oath, he proceeds to arguing against the Mutuality of it; and First he men­tioneth so me of the words in the Proposition, and blames them for de­fectivenesse in point of cleernesse, in reference to the Sense in which the Position is to be understood, and takes occasion thereupon to speak of different senses, and gives one sense which he supposeth will not be ow­ned by me; and then an apter sense, which he supposeth was in my In­tention: For thus he speaks;

[Page 17]1, His words sound, as if he would have the same oath to be taken mu­tually both by Prince and Subjects, which he will not, cannot (I suppose) own to be his sense.

2, But the apter sense, and that which (I suppose) was in his intenti­on, is, That the Ruler and Subject, should each swear to his respective duty; the Prince, That he will Command and Govern lawfully: the Subject, That he will performe all lawful Homage, and Obedience.

Reply. And what needed so much ado? Was the Proposition some­what defective in words? And was it not immediatly made full in the Reason which followed the Position? So that he needed not to have said, For want of Explanation he must observe some different senses ap­plyable to my words; nor needed he to have said, (I suppose) for he might have been at a certainty, what my sense was; For my words in the Reason are these, It is against the good of the Subject that he should be further, or longer bound to the Prince, or Ruler, to submit to him, then the Prince or Ruler is bound to the Subject to Rule well, and to Administer Iustice rightly. Let the Reader judge, whether he needed to have come with his diffe­rent senses: or, whether the different senses that he brings were ap­plyable to my words, when these words were before him.

After he pretends to have found out the sense of the Proposition, he concludes it false. But how doth he make it out?

1 He saith, We read of many undoubtedly righteous Oaths in Scri­pture, undertaken in Covenants between men and men, wherein one party only sweareth, and not both mutually, Gen. 24. 2. 47. 31. Exod. 13. 19. Josh. 2. 12. 9. 15. 14. 9 Judg. 15. 12. 1 Sam. 19. 6. 1 King. 1. 13. 29. 51. 2 Sam. 19. 23. Neh. 5. 12. Jer. 38. 16.

Reply. The Scriptures that he quotes to prove undoubtedly righteous single Oaths, taken by one party, and not by both parties, are Oaths most of them of another kind then that which the Position speaks of, viz. Oathes, the performance whereof lies only on one party, the other is to receive advantage, but not to do any thing: but the Oaths that the Po­si [...]ion speaks of to be Mutual, are of things and duties which both parties are equally with respect to their several places bound to by the Com­mand of God: For the Command to Obey, lies no more stricktly upon the Subject, then the Command to Rule, lies upon the Prince; and these Scriptures have been most of them Answered before: Only in Josh. 2. 12. and Jer. 38. 16. the performance whereof lies on both sides, and whether the Oath were reciprocal, is not so cleer; but conditional it was, as from Josh. 2. 17, &c. Jer. 38. 24. appears; and conditional in the very sense I have urged: So as that they were discharged if the Con­dition were not kept; and they assented to the Condition whether they swore, or not; and they are full against him as any text in Scripture.

2 He saith, We find in Scripture, Oaths of Allegiance taken by Sub­jects [Page 18] to the Rulers, without the reciprocal swearing of the Rulers to them 2 King. 11. 4. Judg. 11. 10. Ch. 36. 13; such was that engagement, Josh. 1. 16, 17, 18.

Reply. 1 To the Scriptures in the Margent, I have Answered before, yet this may be added, That if there be some examples of Oathes of Al­legiance without reciprocal swearing through over much credulity of the Subject, or because in a necessitous condition, yet the equity and ju­stice of the thing, viz. That the Oath ought to be reciprocal, is nothing lesse by such examples. 2 That in Josh. 1. 16, 17, 18. which he seems to lay most weight upon, is rather against him then for him, for it was con­ditional as the last words in Vers. 18. shew, Only (say they) be strong and of good courage: It is as if they should have said, Upon this Condition we wil harken unto thee as unto Moses before, if thou be such as Moses was, if thou be strong and of a good courage to do the work of the Lord in thy Place and Office; they require as much from him in his Place, as they promised to him in their places: for there is not any thing spoken of an Oath, on either side.

3 He saith, Oathes are never to be taken, but necessarily.

1 When the matter is of great weight.

Reply. Is there not as much necessity for the Prince to swear, as the People? Is not Ruling wel as weighty, if not much more weighty then Obeying? Hath not faithfulnesse in Ruling, begotten Loyalty? Hath not a wise, just PRINCE, made an obedient, upright Peo­ple?

2 When it cannot otherwise be sufficientlie confirmed.

Reply. This Reason of an Oath is much more strong in reference to the Prince, then to the People: For when once the Prince hath the Po­wer of the Kingdom in his hand, What can be better security of his faith­fulnesse, then his Oath? As for the people, if they swear not, yet if they be disloyal, their lives, and al they have, are in the Princes hands. But it is nor so with the Prince, til there hath been a Contestation first, and his power is broken.

3 It comes to passe sometimes, That the Performance is onlie on one Partie.

Reply. But that is not the case betwixt Prince and People, for the per­formance must be on both sides, else the Common-wealth is miser­able.

4 Sometimes there is other Satisfactorie Assurances given besides an Oath.

Reply. But what is that the Prince can give to satisfie the People be­sides swearing, and yet the People cannot give the same, but they must needs swear?

5 Sometimes the danger of the breach lies onlie, or more on one Partie then another.

Reply. So much more need hath the Prince to swear then the People, because the danger of the breach lies most on his part. For, for one In­stance that can be given of the Peoples disloyalty to a just Prince, there may be twenty given of the Princes unjust oppressive carriage to an obe­dient People.

6 Sometimes there is other remedies, if there should be a breach, then the forfeiture of an Oath.

Reply. I hope the Remedy whatever it be besides an Oath, may be applicable to the People, if they break, as to the Prince, if he break.

4 He saith, But suppose the case, that it be as necessary for security, that the King swear to the people, as the people to the King; yet if (through overmuch credulity, or otherwise) it be that the people do swear, and not the Prince, this cannot be the least colour of the nullifying of the peoples Oath: For that which makes the Oath obliging, is, That in a just and possible matter promised, God is invocated as a wit­nesse of the promise.

Reply. Grant it be as necessary, that the King swear as the People, and that through the credulity of the people the King swear not, or that through fear of incensing him, they dare not demand an Oath from him, and yet through his power and wrath they are forced to swear to him, (and this is the case many times) and suppose that the King after this Oath of the People to him turn Tyrant, and prey upon them, Is this Oath of the people obligatory, or is it not? I have Asserted that it is not, and for this Reason, Because whether the King swear, or swear not, he ought to do the thing that he should swear, or else not expect that which he makes the People swear to, because the justice of the thing in the peoples Oath, depends upon a Condition, that the King perform his duty. For its impious and wicked for a people to promise, much more for a people to swear, that though it should come to passe, that the King should turn all his power and force against them to destroy them, yet he shal be their King, and they will obey him still, while any of them are le [...]t alive. And this man himself, saith nothing in his Reason which he renders Contradictory to this, but what rather serves to confirm it. For he saith, That which makes the Oath obliging is, that in a just and possible matter promised, God is invocated, as a witnesse of the Promise: He saith, The matter must be just that is promised and sworn to, or the Oath is not obliging: now the justnesse of such a promise and oath, is the Condition upon which it is made, viz. That the Prince Rule for their welfare, and not for their Ruine, otherwise the Subject is most inhumanly unjust against himself, and God is invocated to such wickednesse, which is high pre­sumption in those persons that do it: and the thing is not ratified there­by, but repentance ought rather to be shewed. But (indeed) it is to be [Page 20] supposed, that the people swear not at any time, but that at least this Condition is tacite, in the Oath; and that the King is engaged unto his part with the people in the same oath. And if any man argue otherwise and say it is not so; I say then, Such an Oath is unlawful, and holds not longer, then in the true scope and extent of it, it ought to hold.

After that apter sense of (Mutual) which he saith is my sense, he comes to give another sense of (Mutual swearing) which he saith is stricter then the former, and that is saith he, When not onlie two persons swear to each other their respective parts, but both swear with a mutual respect; that is, The Obligation of the one partie, hath a respect to, and a dependence upon the performance on the other partie: as when one man swears to give another so much for his Land, the other swears to convey to him his Land for so much Money, in this kind the breach of the one, is the releasment of the other.

Reply. This is not another sense, but the same with the former; for this is in al mutual Oathes that are made by two persons to each other re­ciprocally, they are Oathes made with mutual respect; that is, The ob­ligation of the one party, hath respect to, and dependence upon the per­formance of the other partie, as in Gen. 21. 31, 32. betwixt Abimel [...]ch and Abraham. Gen. 31. 52, 53. betwixt Iacob and Laban. Josh. 2. 12. 17. to 21 betwixt Rahab and the Spies. 1 Sam. 30. 15. betwixt David and the Ama­lekite. 1 Sam. 20. 16. 17. betwixt David and Ionathan. 1 King. 2. 42, 43. betwixt Solomon and Shimei. 2 King 11. 17. betwixt Ioash and the People. And where wil it be found otherwise, but stil in mutual Oathes of two persons to each other, they are with mutual respect, and the obligation of the one, hath respect to, and a dependence upon the performance of the other, so as the breach of the one, is the releasment of the other, as in the Oath betwixt the Spies and Rahab is most cleerly manifest. For there it is expressed in so many words, and it is perpetually imply'd in al other such like Oathes which we reade of in the Scripture, where it is not ex­pressed. Of this nature are Oathes betwixt Prince and People if they be mutual, (as (by the grant of this man) in Englands case they be) then they be with respect: for the Prince doth not swear to give himself up for the Peoples good, to be shepheard of them, and Captain over them for nought, but for such homage, obedience, fear, duty, tribute, custome, revenue, to be performed and given by the People uuto him: So the People do not swear to give unto the Prince so much fear, observance, subjection, revenue, absolutly and cleerly, but for such a work of faith­ful Ruling and Governing them. And it is yet more cleer in the Re­lation betwixt Pastor and People, the Covenant betwixt them is with respect, and the obligation of the one party, hath respect to, and depen­dence upon the performance of the other. The People do not promise or engage to give so much of their Estates for the maintenance of him absolutly and cleerly, but with respect to his labouring in the Word and [Page 21] Doctrine among them; neither doth the Pastor engage absolutly and cleerly so to labour amongst them, and give out his strength in such sort for their good, but with respect to such double honor, as the Scripture obligeth them to give him. And yet it cannot be denied but that (not­withstanding this mutual respect that such an Engagement hath to each other, and dependence which the one hath upon the performance of the other) both of them are tyed and engaged to God, and that the duties which they do performe are duties to God, because God hath comman­ded them such duties, but not without, but upon such mutual respect to each other, and it is no duty to God without this respect, for a people to give this double honor to him, that wil not Rule wel, and labour in the Word and Doctrine among them, but they ought rather in discharge of their duty to God, to remove, or cause to be removed such a person from his office, and so to with-draw their double honor from him: and so it is in these relative duties betwixt Prince and people. And so let this man (if he can) or any other, shew by divine Rule a more absolute en­gagement betwixt Prince and people, then betwixt Pastor and peo­ple.

But he saith, This sense of swearing cannot come in to be meant in the point of Controversie: But why so?

1 Saith he, Such an Oath is plainlie Conditional, as when one gives so much Monie for so much Land, he gives it not cleerlie and absolutlie, but for so much Land.

Reply. So it is in this case plainly Conditional, perhaps not alwayes expresly Conditional: If a people should say nothing to him that is to be their Pastor of any duty that he is to perform to them, but only pro­mise such maintainance to him, the Condition of Preaching to them is plainly enough imply'd though not expressed. It cannot rationally be conceived, that they would give so much to him, as being their Pastor, for doing nothing: so of the People it may be said, in reference to their Allegiance to their Prince, that there is no absolute necessity that the Condition should be expressed, especially in the case of the Subjects of this Kingdom, because the King was sworn to Rule according to the Laws, and that was the Condition of al after Oathes taken by the people to him.

2 He saith, The Oath of Allegiance is granted to be absolute by the Author of the POSITIONS, and disputed against by him, as such.

Reply. It is a mistake to say so: The Dispute was to prove, That ei­ther the Oath was Conditional, or ought to be; was Mutual, or ought to be; if lawful: And therefore if broken on the Kings party, then the people are absolved. And though he himself was satisfied that it was Conditional, and Mutual, and with Respect; yet because others did de­ny [Page 22] it, therefore he expressed himself in a disjunctive [either was mutual or ought to have been.]

3 But saith he, The Kings Oath is absolute, and binds without depen­dence on the Subjects Loyaltie; no man will say, That the King is discharged from Ruling justlie, and may turn Tyrant, if the People fail in their Oath to­wards him.

Reply. It is denyed, That the Kings or Peoples Oathes bind without dependence any more then Pastors and Peoples Engagements do: and though no man wil say, That the King is discharged from Ruling justly, and may turn Tyrant; yet rational men wil say, That he may cease his Ruling, and lay down his Office of Government, if the People generally with-hold their Subjection, and his Revenue from him. Nor can any one rationally think, That the Governor should stil carry the weight of such a Trust over such a People, who do with-draw their fear, and reve­rence, and obedience from him, and wil pay him no tribute, and with­hold his Re [...]enue, and abuse his person: but that he may in such a case, be absolved from all engagement in reference to such a Function over such a People, and so the case is with the Subject. There is difference betwixt non adjuration, and male adjuration, the latter is in no case warrant­able, but the former is justifiable upon the breach of the people in di­sloyalty to him.

4 But (saith he) such mutual Oathes are entred into by both Parties at the same time, but neither doth the King nor Subjects swear to each other at the same time.

Reply. This is not necessary in mutual Oathes betwixt two parties which are with respect; such mutual Oaths may be betwixt two Princes of divers Nations, and so depending the one upon the performance of the other; that if there be a breach on either side, the other is free upon it from such obligation, and yet these Princes not meet together, nor swear at one time.

5 Such mutual respective Oathes, have onlie place in matters arbitrarie, which are in mens choice to do, or not to do before they swear, but not so in these relative duties betwixt Kings and Subjects.

Reply. It is arbitrary (though not in reference to Government it self, yet) in reference to the disignation of the person or persons that are to be put in place of Government, before there be a Pact or Covenant be­twixt such person or persons, and such a people whom they are to Go­vern. And though there be a necessity after such Pact and Covenant, yet such necessity is bottom'd on such a Pact or Covenant, and so it is not an absolute necessity, but a necessity upon such a Condition. The duties of Masters and Servants, are necessary in the general, but particularly considered in reference to this or that person giving up themselves to be Servants unto such and such Masters, it is meerly arbitrary before the [Page 23] Pact, and there is place for such respective Oathes betwixt them, and that the one breaking, the other is free upon it.

But he goes on to consider of the Reason of the Position, viz.

That it is against Equitie and Reason, that the one should be further or longer bound to the other, then the other is bound to him: And he saith, That if that be granted, yet there is no necessitie that the Oath be mutual, for the Prince may be bound, and is bound, and it cannot he otherwise, but that he should be bound to his dutie as long as the Subject is to his, by Scripture, Conscience, and positive Laws, and yet not sworn at al.

Reply. If al be granted that he saith, let the Reader judge whether if the Subject be bound to the Prince by Scripture, Conscience, and posi­tive Lawes, and by an Oath to the Prince over and above al the other, and the Prince be bound to the Subject by Scripture, Conscience, and positive Laws, but not by an Oath; Whether the Subject be not fur­ther bound to the Prince, then the Prince to him. But in this particle (further) he meddles not, which yet was in the Reason of the Position: but saith, The Prince is bound (and that as long) but he saith not (and that as far) and yet he would seem to grant the whole Reason, and notwith­standing deny the mutual Oath, but it is without Reason.

The Proposition remaining stil in strength (as I suppose) and the Rea­son of it also, notwithstanding al that hath been endeavoured by him a­gainst it; the Consequence remains firm also. And as he disables them not, so need not I to confirm them.

Only in the end of the Consequences there was (for further illustra­tion rather then confirmation) the Parliaments Fact, in taking up Arms produced as sutable to those inferences, and serving to cleer the Oath of Allegiance to be Conditional, and not Absolute; to be Mutual, and not Single; in the very accompt of the Parliament it self, who best un­derstood it. For had not they in that Oath of Allegiance sworn with this limitation in their own understandings, (viz. According to the Laws of the Kingdom) as the Condition whether expressed or not, and had they not known that the King was sworn to them, to Govern according to the Laws, and that these two Oathes had mutual respect to each other, this Oath of Allegiance in an absolute sense Considered, had they not re­nounced it as unjust and wicked, would have made them guilty of disloy­alty and Rebellion in taking up of Arms, which I am sure my Antago­nist (whoever he might be) would not charge them with.

Now unto this he Answereth two things:

1 He saith, If their taking up of Arms against the King were Rebel­lion, their absolution from their Oathes by the Kings breach of his, could not unmake, or make it no Rebellion; for the debt of Obedience is existent in the Subject before any Oath taking, and it is not founded on swearing, but only confirmed by it, and therefore survives after the Oath should be dissolved.

Reply. But in this argumentation, he builds upon that which I have oft destroyed, and takes that for granted, which I have oft denyed, viz. (That there is an absolute debt of Obedience to this or that Magistrate) which is not so, save only upon mutual Covenant, which comes afterwards to be confirmed by Oath, and from which by the breach of Covenant and Oath upon the Magistrates side, the Subject is acquitted, viz. From his Oath and Covenant together; so that the one doth not survive the o­ther, as in al mutual Oathes it is; there is an absolution from the oath, and from the thing (of which the oath is) together; as in Josh. 2. 20. ap­pears: they would be quit of the oath, and not only so, but of the thing also, if she kept not within, or should discover.

2 He saith, We must therefore say, as the Parliamentarian party hath beleeved, declared, and in many Treatises in Print, maintained al along the late Wars, That the Armes of the Parliament were not against any brance of the Subjects Allegiance, or the Oath for it (which they pro­fessed stil to persist in, yea, and in the act of their Armes bearing, Cove­nanted to yeeld and maintain) but concordant with the same. In as much as they enterprized not against the Kings Person, his State, or Govern­ment, they went not against his Majesty, his Heirs, or Successors, they joyned not against his Crown and Dignity, the Rights whereof, and the Bounds of the Subjects Obedience, are perfixed by the Lawes of the Realm, the ultimate interpretation whereof, is in the Parliament which declared their Arms to be for, and agreeable to the Laws. The King, as King, acts only by his Courts and Laws, what he doth besides, or a­gainst these, is the mans, not the Kings acting. What is done by Order of the Courts of Justice, and by vertue of the Laws, is done (though a­gainst his personal presence or command, yet) for the King, his Crown, and Dignity.

Reply. In this sense that he puts upon the taking up of Arms, there is enough to ratifie and confirm that which al along I have been conten­ding for; and there is nothing that contradicts me, but what contra­dicts it self. I shall take up some passages in the Relation which he makes:

1 He saith The King, as King, acts onlie by his Courts and Laws, and what he doth besides, or against, these is the mans, not the Kings acting: It is as much as if he should say, The King fals under a double consideration, as a man, and so when he departs from Laws, and from Justice, he is on­ly to be lookt upon as such, and as a King, and so only when he keeps to his Laws, and to his Courts of Justice. Now we know that the oath of Allegiance was made to the King, as King; and so the Subject hath nothing to do with him in point of obedience or Allegiance, save only as King; that is, When he Rules according to Law. Again, The oath of Allegiance being to a legal King, when the person of the King is a [Page 25] Tyrant, and breaks al Laws and overthrowes al Courts of Justice, where is then this legal King? and if there be none, the subject is then dischar­ged from their oath of Allegiance.

This distinction betwixt the man and the King, is but a notional con­ceit; for take away the man, and where is then the King? and sure I am, that God wil make no such distinction when he shal come to judg Prin­ces; but al their miscarriages in Government, & irregularities in the man­aging of their Offices shal be charged upon them as Princes set over the People: then it wil not be said, What he doth besides, or against the Laws and Courts of Justice, is the mans, not the Kings acting; it wil appear then, That Kings, as Kings, have offended, and been unjust and tyrannous.

2 He saith, That the Parliament hath declared their Arms to be for, and a­greeable to the Laws; that is, for the King ruling by Laws: and against the King; that is, the person that carrieth that name, which is indeed but the man, when he violates al Laws in Ruling; for they were only sworn to the King, acting by his Courts and Lawes; and what is this, but the same that I have asserted in the Positions, viz. That if the Subject were absolutly engaged by oath to the person of the King, whether he Rule wel or il, and that this oath were lawful, the PARLIAMENT must needs be disloyal in taking up Armes against the person of the King.

3 He saith, That which is against the Kings personal Presence, or Command, is not against the King: that is, is not against the King in Law, or against such a one as the King ought to be according to Law. So that he grants, That Allegiance is not to a personal King, or his Commands, unlesse he be a legal King, and a King according to Law; for things may be done against his personal Presence and Commands, wherein he concurs with the Positions, but contradicts himself: For, where is any place for passive obedience, if that be true, which yet is one of his Reasons of un­conditional, or absolute Allegience.

4 Now whereas he saith, The Parliamentarie Partie enterprized nothing against his Person, &c. There seems to be a contradiction in it; For he saith, They declared their Arms to be for the Laws, and so against al that op­posed them, which his Person, personal Presence, and Commands often did. And (indeed) did they not make his Person flye from place to place? And was not his Person often in danger, as the persons of those that fought under him were? And was not his Person secured in Holmes­by-House? And had their Allegiance been to his Person as distinct from the Laws, they had violated it.

And whereas there is mention made of the Covenant which they en­tred into to preserve his Person, and that in the very times of their Arms bearing: It is manifest, That they bind themselves first to maintain Re­ligion, [Page 26] and the Liberties of the Kingdom; and then in Religion and Liberties to preserve his Person and Honor, and no further, but as might stand with them; which shews that they were bound to them firstly by Law, and not to any Allegiance to his Person against them, but so far as they might preserve them: and therefore in the very time of this Cove­nant, they are found in wayes of chastizing him, though with a scope of preserving him, if possibly Religion and the Subjects Liberty may sub­sist with it. And first, they correct him in his Instruments, and then in Person in securing him, which was not very honourable unto him, but the preservation of Religion, and Liberty of the Subject forced them to it. At last their Counsels were to make no more Addresses to him, but to lay him aside, and to settle Religion and Liberty without him, and this was more dishonarable to him; but their Covenant which bound them first to Religion, &c. compelled them to it: and there was yet further liberty in the Covenant left for them to cut him off, and his also, if the necessity of the preservation of Religion and Liberty of the Subject should require it. And indeed it is not rational to think, That they could have a lawful power, without contradicting the oath of allegiance or the Covenant, of inflicting lesser Censures and Penalties upon him, and yet want power to inflict higher and greater punishments if the na­ture of the Crime deserved them, and the necessity of conserving Reli­gion and Liberty required them.

But he comes to consider of the Second Exception against the Oath of Allegiance which the Position mentions, viz. as there is in it, A swear­ing to the Kings Heirs, he mentions my words in the Reason that I lay down of my Exception against it, viz. Who knows whether he will be a wise man or a foole, &c. And he mentions my Consequence, viz. The Oath of Allegiance was in that branch of it an unlawful Oath. And he makes this An­swer;

First, I allow of the Antecedent, but utterlie denie the Consequence of it.

Reply. But it must be understood that I mean it (as it is now made use of, and insisted upon, and urged by many who have taken it) of an ab­solute Oath to them whatsoever they prove to be. For the strength of the Reason which I bring against it, lies in these words, They may bind themselves therebie to their own hurt and ruine; which if it be not absolute they cannot do: therefore I dispute against it, as absolute as I did against the other branch of it.

But let his Reason of the whole CONSEQUENCE be weighed.

1 Saith he, This Inference is directlie contrarie to that which Solomon in the place cited, Eccles. 2. 19. makes from the words: Solomons is, Yet shall he have Rule over all my labour, wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have [Page 27] shewed my self wise under the Sun; This mans is, (in effect) because no man knows, whether he will be a wise man or a foole, therefore he shall not have Rule.

Reply. 1 Let the text be weighed and truly examined, and it wil ap­pear that Solomon speaks not of the kingdom which he was to leave to his Son, whether a wise man or a fool, but he speaks of his labour, where­in he had laboured in getting Riches, in gathering Wealth, in building Houses, in planting Vineyards, in improving of his earthly Estate in the World. He shewes there is a vanity in it, His Son shal have Rule over al. In Vers. 18. he saith, He hated all his labour because of this; which can­not be meant of his labor in the Kingdom in Government: and it is su­table to that in Job 14. 21. Psal. 49. 10.

2 If Solomon should mean it of the Rule of the Kingdom, yet he speaks not of it as a thing that he did approve of, but of it as that which he coun­ted vanity.

2 He saith, The same Reason if it hold, would be against anie Oath or En­gagement to anie Rulers in being whatsoever they are, for say they become to ma­turitie, and for the past and present time have given proof, yet who knows what they that are now wise and just (morallie) may hereafter come to be? The Scripture supposeth, That not onlie a just Father may have a wicked Son, but a righteous man (in Profession and External carriage) may turn from his carriage, &c.

Reply. 1 This Reason of his wherewith he disputes against the Ex­ception that I make, viz. Of Oathes to Heirs; is very strong against him­self in reference to absolute Oathes which he would maintain, and shews how dangerous absolute oathes to Princes or other Governors are, and how destructive they may become, if not only a just Father may have a wicked Son, but a righteous man (Prince or other) may turn away from his Righteousnesse.

2 Notwithstanding there is this difference betwixt the one and the o­ther, that whilst a man swears Allegiance to a Prince, at present wise, and just, and pious in profession, but mutual and changable he swears in judg­ment to him, he exerciseth his understanding and best abilities in judg­ing, beyond which a man cannot go, nor doth God require him to go: but in the other, he exerciseth not his judgment at al, but swears hand­over-head to a thing he doth not know what, and to a person he knoweth not whom. And I would ask this man, Whether (if it were so) in al the under-Offices in the Kingdom, That persons should come by Succession to their Places? If all Judges should, and al Magistrates and other per­sons in office should, whether there were not like to be a miserable Common-wealth? And whether he durst reason after this manner, and make a parity, betwixt chusing men just at present and wise men, and men of truth to such places, and making such places Hereditary; because [Page 28] if there be an Election, the persons that are good and able for such places may de­generate, and if it be Hereditarie, they may be good, and can be but naught as the other may prove to be. I would ask him also, Whether there be the like casuality in reference to the one as to the other? Though there be a pos­sibilty in reference to both. And if this Reasoning be shameful in refe­renee to under Officers, then, Why is it not so in reference to the supream Officer? Besides, there is an expresse Command for the one in Exod. 18. 21. 23. campared with Numb. 11. 16, 17. but where is there any Command for the other?

3 He saith, This Consequence were it of force, would equallie condemn all promisorie Oathes, and other Covenants and Engagements between man and man; for it cannot be foreseen in anie, what the persons contracted with will prove.

Reply. This Reason of his (thus far of it) is of the same nature with the former, and receives its Answer in the former; But he goes on, and saith,

It is also against the Laws and Sanctions of those Nations in all ages, which have settled successive Regalitie, or other Governments for longer then the present possessors of the power endure.

Reply. Nations have so done, and they have been plagued in doing so also.

But (saith he) its warranted by the Word of God. Israel offered a successive power to Gideon, Judg. 8. 22. God himself instituted and bound his people to a lineal GOVERNMENT, in David and in his Seed, 2 Sam. 12. 15. 2 Chron. 13, 5. The Patriarchs power which was political, was successive; so was the Government of the Jews for a hundred yeers, in the linage of the Ma­cabees.

Reply. 1 The instance in Gideon proves nothing; though Israel offer­ed it, being deeply affected with the greatnesse of the deliverance of which he was instrumental, (and it was only a sudden expres­sion of their love, and not so deliberatly done) yet Gideon accepted it not.

2 As for Gods instituting it lineally in David: 1 God raised up Saul to the Kingdom, but settled it not lineally in him; let the one be set a­gainst the other. 2 It appears not that God settled it in the next of bloud in Davids lineage, or that the next of bloud had it; for Solomon was not his eldest Son living, but Adonijah was before him, yet God gave it to Solomon not to Adonijah; therefore this setting it in Davids seed, is not pattern for succession among us. 3 It was done in reference to Christ, who was to come from Davids loines, and was to have his Throne, Luk. 1. 32.

3 The Patriarchal Government, whatever it was (for we are left much in the dark about it; and this man makes use of it, but holds not [Page 29] out any light concerning it) the Law of Nature instituted it, for the Father is greater then the Child, and his Governor, from that act of his in begetting of him; as God is Governor of the World, by that act of his in Creating it: but mixed Families, as in Common-wealths, the People make their own Father, that is, their own Governor. And they ought to do it with the best understanding they have.

4 The example of the Maccabees proves nothing. For they were Saviours whom God raised up successively, and therefore they might wel Rule successively; but for the thing it self, God seems to di [...]alow it, for Israel had a Government setled by God amongst them, before Sauls time, but not Kingly, nor in Succession, but of another kind. And this Government they liked not, but would have a Government according to the Nations, viz. Kinglie Government in Succession; but God was displeased with it, and said they had rejected him in it.

4 He saith, We have Scriptural examples of an uncontroverted integritie, of Oathes to Princes and their Heirs, and to Princes in their yong▪ unripe, and un­tryed yeers. Take (saith he) that instance of Abrahams swearing to Abime­lech, his Son, and his Sons Son, Gen. 21. 23, 24. And that of Davids making Solomon King in his own life time▪ when he was yong and tender, 2 Chron. 23. 1. & 29. 1. And that of Jehojada's and the Peoples making of Joash King, and swearing to him when he mas but seven yeers old, 2 King. 11. 4. 21.

Reply. 1, Abraham swore to Abimelech, and to his Son, and to his Sons Son, not to deal falsly with them, but according as Abimelech had dealt kindly with him. This was not only a safe oath without dāger in Abraham, but a just Oath, and of a thing necessary in it self to be done; and of an unchangable nature so far as concerns falsnesse, and it was a mutual oath, and also therein conditional so far as concerns kindnesse, and therefore no way applicable to the oath of Allegiance in reference to Heirs which (as was said in the Reason) may bring Ruine, and is like to prove sooner or later, pernicious. 2 That instance of David in making Solomon King in his life time while yong and tender, hath little strength in it. Solomon was the person appointed thereunto of God, and therefore he was sure to be competently furnished with abilities for it from God, what ever his age might be; and he grown up to such yeers, that excellent Wis­dom, and an excellent Spirit fit for Government appeared in him. 3 That of Ioash hath more in it in reference to unripe yeers, but reacheth not the case, because he was al that was left of those Heirs that were to succeed in Davids linage in the Kingdom, which God had established by Covenant upon David and his seed.

2, He denyeth the two parts of the Consequence, 1 That part, viz. The Oath is not in judgment, because no man knows what the Heir will prove. But what are the words wherein he denyes it?

1 It may be (saith he) in judgment so far as a future contigencie can be deli­berated [Page 30] upon, and this may be concluded on advisedlie (as morallie certain) that it is better to have the Crown setled in a Line wherebie sometimes a vitious person may be advanced, then to have it under Election at everie personal change: This hath been the experimented Maxime of the wisest States.

Reply. The true sense of this Answer is, That there is no place for deliberation in swearing to Heirs, of whom we can know nothing how they wil prove, save only how to prevent a greater mischief which is sup­posed wil come by new Elections upon every change, which wise States do decline: but what evil there is at al in a wel Governed State by new Elections at every change I am not able to reach, but experience wil instruct, That the greatest, and longest lasting Wars have been, where Competitors in point of Title, have contended for the Crown. And how frequently one hath supplanted another to obtain the Kingdom, Stories do plentifully shew.

2 If it were not in judgment (saith he) this defect makes not an Oath unlaw­ful as to the nullifying of it, a rash Oath (if of a lawful thing) binds, as before was proved, Judg. 21. 2. 7. 1 Sam. 14. 24. 37. Josh. 9. 14, 15.

Reply. 1 Nor did I ever assert, That an Error in Judgment when the Oath is righteous in the nature of it, might be broken, though there are cases which are very dubious. 2 The Scriptures which he cites are none of them in a righteous thing, nor did they al of them bind, nor ought they to have done, therefore he mentioneth them improperly. For, First, That Oath which the Tribes did make, of not giving their Daughters to the Benjamites, after they had cruelly cut off al the Wo­men appertaining to that Tribe, was an unrighteous and cruel Oath, and should not have bound them. Secondly, That Saul should lay a Cu [...]se upon the People, that tasted any thing til evening, was also not only a rash, but an unmerciful, and unjust Oath; and Ionathan said as much of it when he heard of it, so far was he from being troubled that he had broken it, and he thought not himself guilty of death, Shall I die (saith he) for this? And the People rescued him, and the Oath stood not in that branch of it. And that of Josh. 9. respecting the Gibeonites was a sinful Oath in the matter of it, as it proved though they knew it not, as wel as a rash Oath; and there was Error personae in it also, which is enough to break any Oath, and therefore there was special reason why it held, and it reacheth not to us. And it is against this mans own Position, That an unrighteous oath in the matter of it should hold; now this oath to Heirs is of this nature, not only rash, and not in judgment, but unrighteous, and therefore ought not to hold.

2 He denies that part of the Consequence, which concerns righteous­nesse in an oath, which I lay down in the Position thus, Nor is it a righte­ous Oath for the Subject may bind himself to his own hurt, yea ruine. His words are these;

Though the Subject may not bind himself to what is necessarilie, or at the time of his swearing may appear probably to tend to his hurt or ruine; yet he may swear (intending the publick good) to that which is of a mutual nature, and may in the event turn to his own hurt and ruine. And might he not so swear, yet having so sworn he is bound to stand to his Oath, Psal. 15. 4. Iosh. 9. 15. Ezek. 17. 13. 1 Sam. 14. 26. 28. 37. Iudg. 21. 5. 15. 18. which is contradictorie to what this man here saith.

Reply. He states the Question amisse, and puts the case so, as that it is not the case, for to swear to Heirs from generation to generation, though it be uncertain which Heirs, and at whattime such Heirs wil prove cor­rupt and unjust in adjuration, yet it is more then probable (even as certain as that there wil be change of weather, when yet for the present it is fair and pleasant) that such Heirs wil stand up in ensuing generations.

2 Though there may possibly be cases in which oathes that were ta­ken with a good intent, but proving accidentally pernicious to the ta­kers, must be kept: yet if this be asserted by the Answerer, That meer voluntary arbitrary oathes made without any Condition, and at the best (if not forced) in favour of such a Family, and intended for mutual good, but proving ruinous to the makers, and serving only to strengthen cruel­ty and unrighteousnesse in the persons to whom made, that such oathes ought to be kept, hath neither the colour of Reason nor Scripture for it; and this is the case directly in such absolute oathes to Heirs: Nay, in the case which himself makes, it wil not hold that such an oath should be kept: For suppose a man should swear to another to go to such a City for him at such a time, to effect such a businesse; but he afterwards comes to understand, That at his return there are persons that wil be in ambuscado to take away his life; [...] this man bound to keep his oath, if the other wil hold him to it?

3 As for the Scriptures, they are not pertinent, and some of them have been oft Answered: That in Psal. 15. 4. is meant of an oath that is made to another, by which that other may be profited, and the person himself that sweirs, comes at unawares to be thereby damified; such an oath oug [...] to be kept, though it be to a mans losse: but the oath [...] we are discussing, is of another nature, an oath by which not one [...] but a Nation, not disadvantaged somewhat, but even sold (as it is [...] times) to ruine, or (what is worse, even) vassalage, by which not the person to whom the oath is made is profited, but his base lusts satisfied, to his own ruine at the last. That in Josh. 9. 15. is not exemplary, as I have often said before; For I would ask, Whether if a Counterfeit Prince (as sto­ries make mention of many) had under pretence of being such a one (viz. The right Heir to the Crown) gained an oath of Allegiance, would that oath have stood against the right Heir? I am sure this man wil not assert it. The other Scriptures have been answered already, therefore I passe them over.

If the Heir (saith he) should misprove, his power is bounded by the Law, and commixed with Parliaments if he vary, the power of Parliament, the Lawes and Libertie of the Subject, are the same. The late King confessed and declared a re­medie against Tirannie to reside in the Parliament, there may be prevention then of the Kingdoms ruine, whatever the Heir prove, if the Kingdom be faithful to it self.

Reply. But what are Parliaments, if the Prince wil not cal them, or may speedily dissolve them? Or what are Laws, if the Prince wil not keep them? Or what are the Liberties of the Subject, if the Prince wil overthrow them? As the late King gave out, He would never have anie more Parliaments. And if the Scots had not frighted and forced him, pro­bably he would have made his saying good. What are al these, if the People be absolutly bound to Alleg [...]ance, whether the Prince Rule wel or il, and must obey in lawful things, and be passive in al the rest? And suppose they may oppose, Wil it not engender a War? and how that War may issue, who can foretel? It may be a Kingdoms Ruine: here is then but a poor Remedy, such an oath then as endangers al this cannot be lawful, nor is it fit to be kept.

But he comes to examine my Third Exception against the Oath of Allegiance, Which is against swearing to anie one kind of Government absolut­lie wiihout admitting of a change, for a greater good and benefit, and to prevent inconvenience and hurtfulness, which hath been observed to come through such a Government.

And, 1 He blames the form of arguing in these words;

I observe (saith he) there is a fault to be found with the whole Argument as somewhat transgressing the Rules of Arguing: 1 In the Consequent, there is some­thing of the Error called Ignoratio Elenthi, for we swear not in the Oath of Allegiance indefinitlie or indeterminatlie to uphold one Government continuallie and not to change.

1, We swear onlie to his Majestie, his Heirs, and Successors, so that when e­ver they are extinct (which may be sooner or later as divine Providence disposeth) the Oath of it self ceaseth and determineth.

Repl [...] [...]n swearing to Heirs, we swear to al that are of the blood, for the [...] Heirs in Law, and while any of them are alive, the oath ne­ver cease [...]; and the blood hath lasted neer 600 yeers already, and may last probably enough til Doomes Day. 2 Swearing to Successors (though not of bloud, though al the bloud should be extinct) is a swearing that there shal be Successors, and that we wil obey them; And is not this to swear indefinitly to uphold one kind of Government, where is then that fault, viz. Ignoratio Elenchi?

2. Notwithstanding the Allegiance sworn to the said persons, there is power of change in the Government left to the mutual Consent of both parties, to wit, those sworn to, and them swearing, as it is in al humane Contracts and Oathes of this nature.

Reply. 1 But this man hath sure forgotten, that which he hath often asserted, viz. That the Precept of Obedience to Civil Governors was without anie Condition, or reserve of a disingagement, or that it was due by absolute and unalterable Rule, and without dependance upon another, and not with mutual re­spect. Which (if he have spoken the truth) wil be an impediment to this power of change by mutual consent. However it be, its very palpable that he hath contradicted himself in his Assertions.

2 If the Oath be to Heirs and Successors, and binding, how can he say, They may be discharged through mutual consent from that part of it which concerns Heirs, without Contradiction again to himself, in refe­rence to what he asserts afterwards in pag 8. His words are these, Is not the Fifth Commandement the Law of God? And those Precepts, Rom. 13. 4. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. Repetitions and divine Ratifications thereof? And dotl [...] not that Law Command everie People and Person Allegiance to their lawful Go­vernors? And was not the King in Being, and his Heirs in Capacitie and De­signation such?

Thus he Disputes against absolution from the Oath of Allegiance, not only in reference to the King in Being, but also in reference to his Heirs in Capacity and Designation, as a breach of the Law of God: and yet it seems by mutual Consent, the King in Being, and the People may di­spence with this Law of God, and may cut off the Heirs from Reg­nancy, and change the Government, and not be guilty of breaking this Law of God.

3 This grant that he makes of a power of change through consent, is as good as nothing, for how unreasonable wil it be to conceive, That a Person in Possession of a Kingdom, wil consent to loose it, and alter the Government?

The Second fault he finds in the form of Arguing, is in the Minor: There is (saith he) somewhat of the fallacie called Petitio principii, namelie, That anie kind of Government granted to be lawful can prove inconvenient and hurtful to the Subjects. The Governors (indeed) may prove bad, and so (indeed) a change in the persons, or a regulating of them, is the apt remedie for that hurt: but the Government is the Ordinance of God, and hath a political goodness seated in its being.

Reply. But he forgets himself again, and makes that to be Petitio Prin­cipii, which he had before granted; and doth afterwards grant in that comparison which he makes betwixt several kinds of Governments, and several Callings. He had said, pag. 2. in that distinction of the good­nesse of means tending to the happinesse of a Community, That it was va­riable in relation to times and people, and that that may be good in the nature of a means for one people or time, that is not so for another. And he cites out of Aristotle Pol. Lib. 3. these words, Est enim genus hominum naturâ varia com­paratum atque affectum, aliud servile, aliud colendis Regibus accommodatum, aliud [Page 34] timo craticum & populare, atque horum generum suum cuique, est ac distinctum commodum. And more there is exserted by him out of Aristotle to this purpose. And then afterwards, in comparing diversity of Governments to diversity of Callings, he doth by Consequence speak the same thing again, viz. That though al Governments be according to God, warran­ted in the Scriptures, and in that sense Gods Ordinance, as al lawful Callings are, (for there is no difference, but what may be said of the one in this respect, may be said of the other) yet al Governments are not a­like good and profitable, alike congruous and agreeable, alike safe and sutable to al people; nay, there may be a comparative evilnesse and hurt­fulnesse in some Governments to some Common-wealths; some Com­mon-wealths know how to put a bridle upon Kings better then others can: and so it is in Callings, which is his own Comparison, some Cal­lings though good in themselves and Gods Ordinance in the sense before expressed, yet hurtful to some persons, and pernicious also; and there­fore to bind up to one Calling is unlawful, especially when by experi­ence it hath been found hurtful, through the unsutablenesse thereof; and so it is of Governments: and so he cavils against that as not granted, which yet is granted by himself more then once.

Having done with the form of Arguing, he comes to consider of the Argument it self, which is, That man may change Government for his grea­test good, and must change it, upon experience of the hurtfulnesse of it. And he flatly denyes it, and saith,

No Position is more Anarchical then this is.

Reply. 1 But it was necessary, that first he should have done me right, and taken up my words in a right sense, and then have shewed the Anarchie in them; but he puts a false sense upon my words, and then disputes against them. It is said in the Argument, That man may change Government; he takes it up for every particular man, and then cryes out of Anarchie, but without al reason, for this word [man] is frequently in common phrase of Speech, and in Scripture acception, the same with [men] Let not (man) prevail, is the same with Let not (men) prevail. Vain is the help of (man) is al one with Vain is the help of ( [...]en) and so here, man is put for men. And (man) is sometimes in Scripture put for Rulers, and the great ones amongst men; Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (man) that is, a man in power and authority, who is wont to be a terror unto other men; and so here, (man) is put for the principal Men a­mongst the People, and my inference which I make from 1 Pet. 2. 13. shews the sense in which I understood it as he might easily have concei­ved (if he had pleased) It is this, If an Ordinance of man, then man may change it; that is, If it be not expresly commanded of God, but left to the liberty of man at the first, to establish what form of Government he liketh best, then man, that is, such men which at first Erected it, may [Page 35] change it. Now these are chief men chosen out of al the People (be­cause al the people cannot meet together conveniently, nor without con­fusion act) and which have the peoples power, if these set up Kingly Go­vernment, they may upon experience of the hurtfulnesse of it, change it, and establish another, which they apprehend more safe and profitable: And where is the Anarchie in this Position or Assertion? And what is become of al his Disproofs which he offers? Are they not Shafts shot against the wal, and break themselves?

2 He himself confesseth man may change it; For doth he not say, That the persons swearing, and the persons sworn to, may by mutual con­sent change it? And are not these [man]? And is not he become Anar­chical now in his own Position?

But let the strength of his Disproofs be weighed.

His First Disproof is from Prov. 24. 21. His words are these:

1, He saith man may change the Government, &c. but the holie Ghost, Prov. 24. 21. saith, My Son, fear thou the Lord and the King, & meddle not with them that are given to change. He alloweth a change to be for greater good: but the holie Ghost tels us in the next words, vers. 22. For their Calamitie shal rise sud­denlie, and who knoweth the ruine of them both?

Reply. The sense that he puts upon this Scripture is abusive to the place, and a wronging of the holy Ghost therein: For the first words, Fear the Lord and the King, serve to give light to al the rest, and the sense of the after words, must carry respect unto those former words, Meddle not with those that are given to change: It is as if he should say, Meddle not with those that wil change the Decrees and Precepts of God and the King, and so neither fear God nor the King. The wife man admonish­eth that we would abstain from the fellowship of those which detract from the Commands of God and the King, speaking evil of them, and bringing others to the contempt of them; So Iansenius upon the place. And Wilcock, Such as varie, viz. from the Command of God and the King, a­greeing together, are the persons that are given to change. And Tremelius up­on the place, understands it of persons violating the Commands of God and of the King, and departing from the reverence of God and of the King, in the disobedience of their Life and Conversation; the Calami­ty of such shal rise suddenly, and who knoweth the Ruine of them both? that is, of such who do so contemn God and the King, and others who are associated with them. And what is this against changing the Go­vernment, when it is (by the Governors breaking of Gods Laws and the Laws of the Land) become hurtful and ruinous.

2, He saith, If men may change for the better, and must change, then are all Oathes, Engagements, Promises of Obedience to Magistrates unlawful to be un­dertaken; for all such Bonds are in relation to a present and particular Govern­ment the Engagers are under, and they are not for the time present, or for an in­stant▪, [Page 36] but for a future Continuance. And there is in all such Engagements a ma­king over the right, which the Engagers have in the matter Covenanted, to the per­sons engaged to: either then such a change may not, must not be; or such Engage­ments may not, must not be by them undertaken. But the Scripture is cleer enough for such Engagements, Eccles. 8. 2. 2 King. 11. 4. Iosh. 1. 16, 17, 18. Iudg. 8. 9, 10. 2 Chron. 36. 13.

Reply. 1 All such Oathes should be Conditional, and then they can­not be unlawful, as hath often been shewed: and as for the persons, where the chief Power resides, viz. The Representatives of the people, they should never absolutly bind their own hands in Engaging to any Governors or Magistrates whatever; for they sel away the peoples Li­berties, and betray their trust in so doing. But they are to be the Eyes of the People, to spie out the wayes of the Peoples safety, and [...]elicity. No more then the present Parliament ought to make any absolute En­gagement to any Councel of State, but with Limitation of the good of the Subject of which they must be Judges: and yet it will not follow tha [...] such an Engagement would be only for an instant, but it may be for long Continuance, if the good of the Subject wil permit it. And as for the People, their swearing ought to be with Subordination to their Tru­stees which Represent them. There is therefore no strength in the Con­sequence, viz. If there be a libertie to Change, there must be no Engagement. There may be liberty of Change in Servants that live with such Masters, yet there may be an Engagement to them. There may be liberty of Change in people in reference to Pastors amongst them, and yet there may be Engaging also. And as for the Scriptures that are brought to prove the lawfulnesse of Engaging they might have been spared; for the lawfulnesse of it is not denyed, Provided, That such Engaging be Con­ditional: and therefore they need no Answer.

3, This his Position not onlie disaloweth all such Engagement, but dissolves the Natural and Moral Bond it self of Dutie and Subjection to Magistrates; For to be free to Change when a man judgeth it best, is to be free when he wil; and that is, Not to be tyed at all, &c. and then a man may disobey Commands, and take up Arms, and be exempt from the Sword of the Magistrate, because such an Oath to continue anie Government longer then he thinks it safe, saith this Doctor, is sinful.

Reply. It is not my Position, but his own Fiction, that dissolves al Go­vernment: For I have not asserted [but he hath imagined so much] That any man may be free to Change when he judgeth it best, but I place the power of erecting, and plucking up, and changing for the Com­mon-wealths Good, where it ought to be of right, in the Representa­tives of the People. As for that Title, which in scorn he puts upon me, I passe it over, knowing, That it is more his shame to do it, then mine to suffer it.

But saith he, I would fain have him declare what thing Magistracie and Subjection is.

Reply. The Apostle hath declared, Rom. 13. 1, &c. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. to which I adhere: Magistracy is a Principallity or higher Power ordained of God, and (yet in reference to the special form of Govern­ment and the persons holding it) chosen, and immediatly constituted by men, for their good; And Subjection, is the Peoples acknowledging and obeying for their own good this Principallity, to ordained of God,2 Sam. 15 20. 1 Kim. 11. 26. 1. 12. &c. Act. 5. 36. and so constituted by men.

4, He saith, This Doctrine wil acquit, and justifie all the Conspiracies and Treasons that ever were enterprised against the power of the Magistrate since the World was, for all will be pretended to be for the great good of the Common­wealth.

Reply. This is a great slander that is cast upon this Doctrine so far as it is mine, for seeing that it only reserves a liberty in Common-wealths, to change upon weighty Causes which their Representatives are Judges of, and Agents in; it justifies no particular persons, no [...] particular par­ties Risings, but it may be truly said, That this Doctrine cuts the comb of al Tyranny, and wil force, and constrain Go [...]ernors to a good beha­viour.

But after he had so greatly aspersed and vilified this Doctrine (as he cals it) which (indeed) was formed in his own heart; he approacheth somewhat neerer to the truth of my Assertion by way of Objection, but reacheth not fully the sense in which I intended it; His words are these, But it may be said, Not particular men, or a lesser partie, are to judge of the ex­pedi [...]ncie, or take in hand the change, but the whole People. And he argues against it thus,

1 He saith, Seldo [...]e or never doth a whole Nation under a lawful Govern­ment of themselves, affect, or move to a Change, it is the flatterers and d [...]ceivers of the people that lead the people to it.

Reply. If they do not affect, and move to a Change, yet if their Re­presentatives do it, who are not (I hope, in this mans accompt) the flat­terers and deceivers of the People, but the Trus [...]es or t [...]e people for their good, the people do it in them, unlesse they do in their Petitions generally appear against it.

2 How the judgement and will of the whole Bodie of the people (saith he) should be known and declared unto execution, before particular men Act to a Change of their own private judgement, is to me a thing unimaginable.

Reply. When the whole Body of a people have entrusted certain Se­lected ones with their Power, their Trustees meeting together, and hol­ding Corespondence with the several Counties, and Places that Chose them; and sent them out in their Name, mav act for a Change for the peoples good. And is this unimaginable? Besides, If this were not, [Page 38] yet the Common-wealth consists of rational, sociable Creatures, which meet at Church and Market (as the saying is) that is, have occasions of the Communication of Councels; and so it comes to passe, That the apprehensions of some men comes to be the Spirit of the most of the People, nor is there any indirectnesse or unlawfulnesse in this.

5, He saith, This necessitie of retaining a power in Subjects to Change, and of using it for a greater good, or removing of a temporal hurt, in opposition to an Oath sworn against that Change, is directlie against these Scriptures, tying men that swear to their own [...]urt not to Change, Psal. 15. 4. Iosh. 9. 18, 19. and con­demning those that for such ends have receded from their Oathes, Ezek. 17. 13. &c. Iosh. 9. 15. compared with 2 Sam. 21. 2.

Reply. 1 These Scriptures have been oft made use of, and often An­swered; That in Psal. 15. 4. speaks of particular mens swearing for the ad [...]an [...]age and good of another, and their own disadvantage; but speaks not of things that have been, and may be pernicious; not to single persons alone, but to Common-wealths; and not profitable to any, unlesse to saitsfie the lusts of some parricular persons. And I would ask, Whether if a Common-wealth should swear Succession of Judges in al the Courts within it self, should such an Oath stand or not? Or, whether would not such an Oath, rather fal under his own Exception, That the thing sworn to must be just and honest, else it is not obliging▪ And I would know a Reason wherefore it should not much rather be asserted of the supream Judge▪

2 If there hath been such a perpetuating Oath to any Family, yet it is Conditional while that Family carrieth it justly, and according to the Laws of the Kingdom: and so it is, That as a Family advanceth it self sometimes by vertue over the people, meriting their favour as Gideon did, and gaining their Promise (yea oath) that they shal Rule, and their Son, and their Sons Son: So a Family may by vice, dishonour it self; and lose that favour, and be adjudged worthy to be sleighted, and Ca­shiered; yea, Censured and Punished, as Sauls house came to reproach and ignominie: And an Oath, or many Oathes, would not have sup­ported it, or confirmed it.

3 That Oath of Josh. 9. 18, 19. to the Gibeonites was ratified after they knew that they were their neighbors, and after they knew that they had transgressed the Commandement of the Lord (though unwillingly) by making peace with them; and therefore if they had not had some speci­al warrant from the Lord for it, it would have been in them double ini­quity to have confirmed it. But its more then probable, That (being it was in Ioshua's dayes, to whom God did much reveal himself, and seeing they had mist it by rashnesse before in not enquiring at Gods mouth) they went to God about it, and had his direction in it; therefore the offence of Saul became so heinous, as 2 Sam. 21. 2. shews.

4 That in Ezek. 17. 13. &c. is not for his turn, but rather against him; For, 1 Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah King, who was not King til he made him; and so he was of Nebuchadnezzar's setting up. 2 Nebu­ohadnezzar took of him an Oath to be faithful, and he brake this Oath. 3 Therefore Nebuchadnezzar justly came against him, and deposed him, and put out his eyes, and carried him to Babylon; and so (indeed) origi­nally it was the Common-wealth in their Representatives, make the King (for their best Title was from Parliament) and they take him sworn to Rule according to the Laws, and he breaks his oath, and they declare the Common-wealth disingaged from him, and they not not only re­move him, but suffer not any of his Seed to Reign. Thus it appears he strengthens that by Scripture which he would invalidate: Other Answers have been given besides this, when this Text hath been urged, to which I refer the Reader.

6, That Position so much insisted upon now a-dayes, of the Peoples tower to depose, abolish, and alter the power of their Governors at pleasure, which is actual­lie setled, and both in it self lawful, and lawfully set over them, I hold is a grosse error.

Reply. I know no such Position insisted on in Terminis, as he layes down; nay, I know, That al wise godly men do abhor such a Position, of deposing, abolishing their lawful Governors at pleasure: But that Parliaments may do it in the Peoples Name, upon just, and weighty Causes; is asserted, and wil be maintained.

But saith he, Some of my Reasons in short are:

Reply. His Reasons might be over-passed with out any answer, because they be Reasons of a Position of his own Invention, and will not be owned by them, at whom he strikes at in it; yet they shal be considered of.

1, He saith, Such a course (supposing the Governors dissent) is no other then that resistance of the Ordinance of God, condemned Rom. 13. 2.

Reply. 1 This Reason suits not with the Position, which he undertakes to Confute, in the limitations that he gives it; For he saith, That the Governors must be lawfully set over, but the Governors, Rom. 13. 2. were set over the People by the Souldery, by the power of the Sword. And yet he saith, To remove such (when their continuance is for the peoples hurt, without their own consent) is a resisting of an Ordinance of God, which (I beleeve) when he considereth more seriously of, wil not appear truth in his own eyes.

2 The Text of Rom. 13. hath nothing at al to do with (neither meddleth it with) a States Changing his Governors, and altering for the better; but he requires obedience to received Governors in lawful things, while they remain Governors, and are in their Offices. I sup­pose he wil not deny, but that the Senate of Rome, while the power was theirs (though they obeyed Dictators, and Emperors, whilst they con­tinued▪ [Page 40] them) might yet upon just cause remove them, without falling under the guilt of resisting the Ordinance of God, condemned in Rom. 13. 2.

2, It is directlie opposue to that Subjection commanded every soul, that is in relation of a Subject, Rom 13. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13.

Reply. This may receive the like Answer with the former; and in the instance of Pastors in reference to their flocks may be morefully cleered. Is it required in Heb. 13. 17. That the People obey them that have the Rule over them in the Lord, and to submit unto them: but this doth not take away their power of removing them from their Offices, upon their unworthy and un-Pastor-like carriages; Suppose (to prevent controver­sies) it be in a place where there is no Classis.

3, It the People may do it, then it must needs be that they have a Civil Power over their Magistrates which is contrarie to those Scrip [...]ures which make the King Supream, 1 Pet. 2. 13. and call the Powers that the People are to be Subject to, Higher Powers, Rom. 13. 1. higher in relation to them, &c. And if the Magi­strates be over the People, how are they under them, to be removed or changed by them, &c? If the Magistrate be under the People whom are they over? If the People be above the Magistrate, whom are they under, &c?

Reply. The People may be considered, either in Themselves, or in their Substitutes and Representatives; in Themselves, and so they may be taken as they are a Community or Common-wealth collectively; Or distributively, as individual persons and members of the Community or Common-wealth. If they be considered as a Community, the Root of al Civil power is in them, and they are Supream, and greater then all the individual members of them, so far as concerns right, but not so far as concerns the exercise of power, for that is in their Substitutes, and Trustees, who have the power of the Community for the exercise of it. The Representatives also may be considered in a two-fold Respect; as a Parliament and Court Collectively, and so they set up Judges, and Of­ficers, and Magistrates, both the Superiour and the Inferiour, and are greater then they: Or they are considered singly, and personally, and as out of Courts, and as pri [...]ate men; and so they are lesser, and inferior; to the very Officers which they themselves in Court do make: So any Parliament-man is subject to inferiour Courts and the Judges thereof, as other men are. And a King, or any other Chief-Magistrate, or Magi­strates, by what Title soever you wil cal them, may be considered in re­ference to the People, as they are a Common-wealth, Collectively; and so he is not Superiour, or greater then they, in the right of Power, though in the exercise, he is. But consider him, in reference to any of the mem­bers singly, whether in Office, or Office, he is greater both in po­wer, and in the exercise of it, then any other, either person, or party: So of the Representatives, they are al Subjects singly and a part considered; [Page 41] and he is supream over them al; but Collectively considered, they ha­ving the power of the Common-wealth, and he set up by the Common­wealth, (or by them in the Common-wealths name) they are greater then he; and he himself in that sense is but a Subject, though the prin­cipal in reference to that great authority, wherwith he is entrusted. Thus a Prince is Major singulis, & Minor universis; greater then any part, but lesse then the whole. And (indeed) there is sound Reason for it: Kings are for Common-wealths, and not Common-wealths for them; and therefore Common-wealths are greater. They are Ministers (saith the Apostle) as to God; so in a sense, to Common-wealths for their good: Common-wealths create them, and impower them, therefore they are lesse then them. The Representatives also, may be considered, as Sit­ting, and then no Magistrate is supream to them; or as not Sitting, and then the Magistrate, King, or other chief Governor, may be called su­pream in the exercise of Power, though not in the right of it.

4, The holie Ghost commands the People, To render Tribute, Custome, Fear, Honor, not at random to the Magistrate, leaving them at libertie to what they please, but to whom they are due; which respects a determinate object, the present Magistrate.

Reply. The whole of this may be granted, for it serves only to prove subjection to the present Magistrate, but it hinders not a Change; but that if Reason, and the good of the Community require, one may be re­moved, and another set up in his stead; and he who is impowered, is to have the tribute.

5, Magistrates are of God, his Ordinance, and Ministers, and Iudges for him, and his Vicegerents, Rom. 13. 24. 2 Chr. 19. 6. and therefore cannot stand at the meer will of the People; God must have a hand in their removal, as he hath in their admission, or else it is injurious: he r [...]moves and admits now, not by im­mediate revelation, as sometime in Israel, but by the rule of his Word, executed by man: He hath given a rule for the setting up of Magistrats, but where hath he given anie for their deposing?

Reply. As Magistrates are Gods Ordinance, so they are Mans Ordi­nance; because man determines both of the kind of Government, and doth also design the men, but alwayes, according to Gods Word: And as they are Judges for him, and his Vicegerents, so they are Judges for the Common-wealth and their Substitutes. They Judge for God, viz. His Glory: and for the People, viz. Their Good, Rom. 13. 4. And it being confessed, That their admission and removal is not immediatly from God, but by men, according to Gods Word; it wil follow, That in that way, by which Regularly they enter into Power and Office, by that way, they may be put forth, and removed from Office: For, Eorum est deponere, quorum est ponere. And let me see that Rule that God hath given for setting up, and I doubt not, but I shal make the same Rule [Page 42] serve for putting down. Indeed, That Scripture wherein it is said, That Kings, &c. are the Ordinances of Man, doth impower man, both to set-up, and to pul down.

6, If it were in the Peoples power to change their Magistrates at pleasure, then how could it be such a heinous sin, as it is challenged to be, for the People to reject Samuels Government, & desire, & move for a King, 1 Sam. 8. 6, 7. & 12. 17?

Reply. Samuels Government, was Gods Government; for there were Elders of the People, and Princes of the Tribes, by whom the People were ordinarily Governed; and there were Judges raised up by God immediatly, at certain times when they were molested by the Nations round about them, of which Samuel was one: Now that which God had Constituted, That, they might not Change, especially not for a worse, as they did, when they chose Kingly Government after the manner of the Nations.

After al his own Reasons against change of Government, he comes to weigh my Reason for the lawfulnesse of Change; which was this, That though Civil Government in general be the Ordinance of God for mans good, therefore to reject it would be sin: yet, this, or that kind of Government is not the Ordinance of God, but an Ordinance of man, and therefore man may change it. And against these words (is not the Ordinance of God, but an Or­dinance of man) he bends himself by several Arguments to overthrow it; and yet in the issue he establisheth it. And because my words in point of cleernesse were not so ful, he takes advantage; but yet opening that text of Peter, which I aleadge for the proof of my Assertion, he gives my sense wherein I made use of it; but I shal set down his Exception in his own words:

Civil Government in the general cannot be said to be Gods Ordinance, and ther­fore unrejectable; but this, or that kind of Government that is a legitimate, and true species of it, must necessarilie be yeelded to be Gods Ordinance and unre­jectable.

Reply. When I expresse my self in these words, This, or that kind of Go­vernment is not the Ordinance of God, but the Ordinance of man: my meaning was, This, or that kind of Government, is not in such sort, or sense, the Ordinance of God, as Government in general is; that is, Is not by spe­cial Institution imposed upon al, or any people, as Government in ge­neral is; is not by Commandement laid upon any people to necessitate the receiving of it, as Government in general is: So that it cannot be said of any special Government, That if a Nation, or People, receive it not, admit it not, it sins in not doing it; as it may be said of Government in general, That if any People receives it not, that People sins in not re­ceiving it. And because I speak of sinning, in the not-admitting of the one, and not of sinning in the not-admitting of the other; it is plain, That I meant it in the sense that I have now expressed [Page 43] it. And in this sense he concurs with me; his words are, Government in its special nature, is Warranted for anie People, but not Commanded, or Im­posed (as Government in general is) upon everie Nation: and he saith after­wards, That Peter terms Government Mans Ordinance, because both the special form of Government, and the persons holding it, are chosen, and so imme­diatly Constituted by man. And this is that which I assert: So that when I said, That Government in specie, was not an Ordinance of God; my mea­ning was, It was not an Ordinance by any special Commandment, as go­vernment in general was; it was not immediatly Constituted by God, but by men. God doth not so Institute the kinds of Officers in Com­mon-wealths, as he doth the kinds of Officers in Churches. And in this lay the strength of my Reason; Therefore if the special kinds of Go­vernment be not Commanded by God, but chosen, and immediatlie Constituted by men, then they may be changed by men; Provided, That their grounds be suffici­ent to bear such a Change. And to this he replyeth nothing, nor disables it at al; so that the Reason stands in strength, and the Consequence is firm and unshaken; viz. That such an Oath, that tends absolutlie to uphold anie one forme of Government, is unlawful.

But he urgeth this Argument against my words in the sense that he took them; as if I had asserted, That they were not the Ordinance of God at al: and saith thus, Whatever is predicated of the genus, or general na­ture; is predicated of the species, or special nature.

Reply. I appeal to the Reader, Whether he doth not herein Contra­dict himself afterwards, when he saith, That of the general nature of Govern­ment, it may be said, That it is the Commandment of God; but of the special kind of Government (he saith) that it cannot be said, That it is the Commandment of God, but warranted onlie by God.

There is also a Second Contradiction in his words, whilst he prose­cutes against my Expression so earnestly; (if my understanding fail me not) he saith in one place, That Government is Instituted in its special nature by God; and afterwards he saith, It is not Commanded by God, and that both the special forme of Government, and the persons holding it, are immediatlie Con­stituted by men.

There is also a Third Contradiction (which in this bad Cause which he manageth) he runneth into; He had said in pag. 5. The King, as King, Acts onlie by his Courts and Laws, and what he doth, besides these, is the Mans not the Kings; and that things may be done against his personal Commands. Yet in this place he saith, The Magistrates, not the Government abstractlie are cal­led Gods Ordinance: the meaning is, The King, not King-ship (where Kingly Government is on foot) the person of the King, the Man, not the Power (as it ought to be exercised according to Law) is the Ordinance of God, and must be obeyed.

After the Consequence, by way of Illustration, I expressed my self in [Page 44] some words, concerning the heavie plague that hath been upon this Na­tion in Kingly Government, and of the many blessings that have follow­ed the Change of it, among the United Provinces, which he takes great offence at, wherein I shal be justified by the Chronicles, that record the Reigns of the Kings of this Nation, and the plentiful experience which many thousands living have had of the truth thereof in some of them. Notwithstanding lest I should move his patience further, I shal forbear any further Reply. It is enough what the Parliament when the House was ful, and Voted, NO more Addresses to be made, hath published to the World concerning the late King.

In the last place, in the Close of the first Argument, he comes to con­sider of the Objection which I (knowing many other would be ready to make it) both framed, and answered: The Objection was, Though the Oath might be unlawful to be taken, yet being taken, it ought to be kept: The Answer was, That if Herods Oath was unlawful to be taken, and much more unlawful to be kept, being only an Oath against the life of one man; then this Oath of Allegian [...]e (if absolute) was not onlie unlawful to be taken, but also to be kept, because verie dangerous to the lives, state, and liberties of a Common-wealth of men.

His Answer hereto, in substance is this;

He cannot paralel Herods Oath and ours in the mater, wherein Herods was unlawful both in the taking and keeping. What was the matter of that? To shed innocent bloud: To massacre a guiltless and holie Person. Now what is the mat­ter of ours? To yeeld Obediance in lawful things, to a lawful power: Is it anie more? And are not the matter of these two Oathes, as far unlike as light and darkness?

Reply. There's only this difference, That Oath was to kil directly; This consequently: That speedily and out of hand; This surely and un­doubtedly, though uncertain in reference to the time when. For if the Oath be of absolute obedience, to the Father, and Son, and Sons Son, and al after-Heirs, then not only active, but passive obedience must be yeelded; and if the person be the power, as he asserts from Rom. 13. 2. compared with vers. 3, 4. (his words are these, The Magistrate, not the Government abstractlie (are called Gods Ordinance) then the person may not be resisted in any thing, let him do what he wil; let him become a Nero, yet he may not be resisted, no not in his Ministers; For his name and his authority is in them, and it is impossible to resist them, but there wil be a resisting of him in them. And if this be so, then the Floud-gates are set open to al Iniquity, and corrupt men which are chief in power, and are secure from al opposition and resistance, that know that they may have life and state and al at their demand without contradiction, are in­vited to al unrighteousnesse and oppression. Even as a gracelesse person, that is in want, and knoweth that the Judge wil neither hang him, nor [Page 45] punish him, is invited to rob and steal: what an unrighteous Oath then is this, in the very matter of it, that tempts the Prince in such sort to al lewdnesse and wickednesse, and that wil certainly, either sooner or later, be destructive? And how unmeet is it to be kept? It is as it a Judge should swear to al poor persons that are in want, That whatever they do, he wil not question them: those who are good, would be good still, notwithstanding this Oath; but yet it would invite naughty minded per­sons to al dishonesty and unrighteousnesse, and it would expose the lives and estates of men that have any thing, to extream danger, though it would be uncertain who the persons are that would suffer, or at what time they might suffer violence, but they are not secure any moment, such is the Oath of absolute Allegiance, and such an Oath as this kept, is more murtherous then the Oath of Herod.

In the Second place he comes to Consider of the Second Position, viz. That the Representatives of the People, (which in reason are the Supream power) imposed this Oath, by an Act of Parliament, this was the Subjects free Act in their Representatives, no Law of God or Nature obliging them to accept of such a per­son and his Heirs, and to swear Allegiance to them; if therefore the Representa­tives take away and Repeal this Act, as this Parliament hath done, they thereby set the Subject at liberty from such Allegiance, and from their Oath binding to it, there remains no more Conscience of it to such which have taken it. Abraham that imposed the Oath upon his Servant, might acquit him of it.

He begins with the Antecedent of this Position, and Notes Three things;

1 He saith, He sets up a Supream power over us by Reason, not by Law or the Peoples Constitution.

Reply. Though it be by Reason, yet it is by Law and by the peoples Constitution also, for the People appoint their Representatives, and the persons whom they appoint, are the Parliament; and this is according to Law: And this Parliament hath the power of making Laws, and repealing them, and the King by Oath is sworn to confirme what they conclude on, and present unto him; as at the beginning of the War was held out in those Declarations which they put forth for the Kingdoms satisfaction. The Parliament then is above the King according to Law, and the peoples Constitution: For, he is bound up to their Conclusions which they make for the good of the Kingdom, and they are not bound up to his, yet it is according to Reason also.

But he asketh, What Reason? Private, or Common Reason?

Reply. 1 Common Reason shewes that in the mixture of Families in one Common-wealth, where there is no natural headship (as in one Fa­mily there hath been) there, without consent, there can be no headship, or power, or Government; And those that must Consent, are the Root of that power or Government that comes to be amongst them.

2 Common Reason shews also, That al the people that give this Consent unto a power or powers to be over them, cannot act this power which is founded in their Consent.

3 Common Reason shews, That those whom they Substitute for the acting of their power in matters of Supream concernment, are the Su­pream power.

4 Common Reason shews, That if these Substitutes or Trustees for the people do chuse one Statesman to Rule over al, or a Councel of State to do it, yet they that chuse and set up such persons, are greater in power then they that are chosen.

5 Common Reason shews, That if such Princes who have gotten Possession of the Kingdom by the Sword, have yet Complyed with the Parliament to obtain a sure Title, then the power of putting in and esta­blishing such Chief Commanders, appertaineth to the Parliament.

But how comes it then (saith he) that there is such variety of kinds of Su­pream Government?

Reply. This hath come to passe sometimes because the peoples Right hath been invaded by force and power, and so the people hath not acted freely; and sometimes by the interest of some persons in the people, they have been wrought up to give consent to this or that kind of Su­pream Government, or it may come from the variety of apprehensions in several Common-wealths, affecting and chusing rather this then that kind of Government. Notwithstanding, in those Common-wealths where the people chuse their Representatives to act their power for them, Common Reason saith that such Representatives are the Su­pream power.

2 He saith, In citing the power that Enacted this Oath, he omitts the King and House of Lords, who in the then Parliament Concurred in this Enacting, and Imposition.

Reply. Neither King, nor House of Lords had power to make a Law, that was the Prerogative of the peoples Representatives, and the King must confirm what they did. Herein was the Representative Suprema­cy above the other.

3 He saith, That although the King was then rightfully and actually En­throned in the Regal Power and Dignitie, and both the Law, and the Oath of Supremacy obliged the People to his Heirs, yet he dares to say, That no Law of God or Nature obliged them to except of such a Person and his Heirs. Is not the Fifth Commandement the Law of God and Nature? And those Precepts, Rom. 13. 1. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. Repetitions and divine Ratifications thereof?

Reply. 1 I speak of things Originally as they were at first, himself spake a little before, That Government in the special forme of it, and the persons holding it, was Chosen and immediatly Constituted by men; Where then is either Law of God or Nature, determinatively binding [Page 47] to it? Therefore what Right any such Family hath, it was Originally by the Peoples receiving such a Family, and therefore it was free and volun­tary. 2 The 5 Commandement, Rom. 13. 1. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. exalts not any Family to the Throne, nor doth require the people to ac­cept of such and such a Family to be over them; but being accepted, and while continued, requires subjection, but no further. 3 The Kings Ancestors came by Conquest, and if rightfully Enthroned in Regal Po­wer, then the Title by Conquest it seems is good by his Assertion, which yet in the present change, I beleeve he wil not acknowledge, nor dare I grant it without the consent of the Representatives in Parliament. Ther­ [...]ore it is that Kings themselves, when they have got the Crown by the Sword, have desire to hold it by Consent of Parliament, and their Acts for it. 4 What Right came Originally by Parliament, and the Acts thereof, and not by any expresse Law of God or Nature, cannot be an e­verlasting Right, but may be with-drawn, together with al the Confir­mations of it, if the Causes be just, by the same power that set it up.

But for the Consequence, he saith,

It hath no Truth in it, or colour of Reason, nor Inference from the Antecedent. But what Reason shews he for blasting the Consequence, and reproach­ing it in such sort?

1 He saith, The Act cannot (for ought appears to me) be Repealed but by the same power that made it.

Reply. If he mean by the same power, the Representatives in Parlia­ment, then the same power that made the Act, hath Repealed it; but if he mean, by the same power, the King and House of Lords, together with the Representatives in Parliament, I have shewed, That the King and House of Lords have no Legislative power at al, and that it is the Representative sole priviledge to make Laws, and the King must Con­firme, therefore they could do it without him.

2 He saith, The Allegiance sworn was not founded upon that Act, or Oath, but due before.

Reply. I have not Asserted, That the Allegiance is founded upon that Act or Oath, but I hold the contrary, viz That the Oath is founded upon Allegiance that was due before. But this I Assert, That Allegi­ance was never absolutly but conditionally due: 1 While the Prince keeps his Oath in the Coronation, taken to administer Justice. 2 While the Parliament have not declared him to have broken his Oath, and so that relation cease betwixt him & the people, & consequently the Alle­giance to be at an end, and consequently the Oath of it to be extinct. This is cleerly my Tenant, That while Allegiance is due to any Governor whatever, the Oath that hath been taken of it is binding, and that al per­sons and powers in the World, are never able to absolve or acquit the persons that have taken it, from it: But yet withal this I hold, That [Page 48] 1 Allegiance may expire, 2 That it then expires when the Condition of it is not kept. 3 That the Parliament is the Supream power, and so the Judge o [...] this when the Condition is broken. 4 When they declare that the Condition is broken (unlesse there be a palpable unrighteousness in their Declaration) and when they by their Acts do discharge the peo­ple of their Allegiance, and do Repeal the Act for the Oath of Allegi­ance, then the people are free, first, of their Allegiance, and then of the Oath which they took of it. And this is that which I further hold, That the People or Common-wealth are firstly and principally subject to the Parliament their Representatives, for they have put their whole power into their hand, so far as concerns the exercise of it, and have put them­selves into subjection under them, and therefore their Allegiance is first­ly due to them, and through them to any Governor or Governors, Prince or other Magistrate or Magistrates, whom they shal either set up and entrust with the exercise of Supream power when they Sit not, or whom they shal confirm finding in that power, when they came to Sit. Why else have persons who have come to the Throne by Conquest, im­mediatly called Parliaments to ratifie and confirme their Title, which they foresaw might be justly questioned without such ratification. And in this sense it is, That the Parliament it self hath taken the Oath of Al­legiance to Princes, not Collectively as an House sitting in power and authority of Parliament; for in that sense themselves were Supream, but as single persons and members of the Common-wealth, they them­selves are subject to the power that as a Parliament themselves erect and confirm. And I also conceive, That hereupon there is no Allegiance to any Magistrate against the Parliament, but that the Parliament may make it void, while they remain the Peoples Representatives, and con­tinue in that place and power. As now in this Change of things, the Councel of State, is the Supream power of the Nation, at al times when there shal be no Parliament sitting; but in the time of Parliament, the Parliament it self is Supream, and not they. And though the persons of al Parliament men, and al the Nation with them, should swear Allegi­ance to that Councel, yet it is in, and not against the authority of Parlia­ment, that they so swear; and if the Councel of State should miscarry in point of Government, and the Parliament should declare them to be no Councel of State, both themselves who in their persons were sworn, and al the people who have taken that Oath with them, are acquitted from it. For the Allegiance it self and the Oath to confirme it, are first due to the higher power, who hath power over both the Councel of State (and for maleadjuration may cal them to accompt) and the people also, and so may discharge the one of Government, and the other of du­ty to them. And so I look upon the Parliament, as the principal party in the Oath of Allegiance to any Prince, and the Oath to the Prince is [Page 49] through them, and in them, and not against them; and so the Parlia­ment (the Causes being just and weighty) have power to acquit from it▪ And in that sense it was that I produced the instance of Abraham▪ So if a Magistrate should [...] a Constable, to obey [...] is lawful Commands, according to his place; a superior power to the Magistrate, who hath power over them both, by removing the Magi­strate from his Trust, absolves the Constable from the Allegiance, and from his Oath also. And this is so cleer, that none can rationally deny it. Yea, he himself grants it, in his first Argument against my Conse­quence, only he denies that this is the Case in Controversie, (but it is but a bare denial) for he saith,

Where the imposers are also the partie sworn to, there it is granted that there may be absolving from the Oath, or a dispencing with it.

And this is the Case because an Oath to an inferior power is made in and not against the superior power, in and through whom, Duty and Al­legiance is due to the inferior power, I hope then there is both Truth, and colour of Reason, and good inference in the Consequence. He grants further, and saith,

There are Cases wherein a superiour, as a Husband, Master, Father, Magi­strate, may make void the Oath of their respective inferior, by an Analogie or equi­tie of that Rule: but these are (saith he) in matters belonging to the right and power of the Superiour to dispose of, as the Representatives may acquit from an Oath in point of their own right.

Reply. This is the very Case, it is the right of the Representatives to be Supream; therefore any Oath of the Subject, to any Magistrate, (suppose a Prince) is not against them, bnt in them, and they are the principal party; it is to the other in them, they may therefore absolve from it, by taking Rule from the one, and Duty from the other, because both are subordinate unto them, and they are principally concerned in the Oath that passeth betwixt them.

Thus I have endeavoured to maintain the Truth of the Positions: Let the Reader judge betwixtus.

There is one thing more which I think good to annex to what I have held forth in this Reply, viz. My Answer to a Querie, or Con­clusion rather, which is drawn from my Positions, and is late­ly come to my hands, viz.

Querie.

WHAT may Conscientiously be resolved upon, in relation to the late Enacted Engagement, from the Principles and Premises laid down by me in the prosecution of my first Position? And whether I have not damned it, as to my self, and to all those who are of my mind, and perswaded (fo far as my Position may prevail) all others not to take it?

For thus he Argues from my Positions;

If an Oath, or Promise, or Engagement, failing in any of those Rules which in the Position are laid down, be unlawful, then the Enacted En­gagement must needs be unlawful, because first it is absolute, without any Proviso of their Ruling wel, that are, or may be in power. 2 It is single, or without the Rulers Engaging to the Subject to Rule wel and justly. 3 It is to those of whom we may be as much unsatisfied, how they wil prove hereafter, as we can be of an Heir. 4 It is to one kind of Government, called, The Common-wealth, as it is now Established, and that described with contradistinction from, and Exclusion of King and Lords. It is also to continue in a constant way, for the words run, [I will be true and faithful.]

Answer.

If I should look upon the Engagement, under such apprehensions as he hath looked upon the Oath of Allegiance, and pleaded for it, I should not think it tolerable to be taken by any Consciencious man. But I have other Conceptions of it.

1 I deny, That the Engagement is Absolute, or that any such En­gagement can be absolute, but that at least there wil be a tacite Conditi­on therein, for the Equity and Justice of the thing wil require it perpe­tually; and that (however it would be more satisfactory if the Condi­tion [Page 51] were expressed, yet it is palpable enough that the Condition is im­plyed, though not one word should be spoken. I have given Instance in Pastor and People: If the people should not indent with their Pastor to Preach the Gospel, but should accept of him to be their Pastor, and promise so much Maintenance unto him, yet it is implyed that it is upon the Condition of his Preaching to them; for no rational man wil con­ceive that they promised such Maintenance in reference to such an Of­fice, without performing the work of the Office: So it is betwixt Ma­gistrate and Subject.

2 I deny, That the Engagement is single; for long since there came forth a Declaration from the Parliament, wherein they Engaged to Go­vern the Nation according to known Laws of the Land. And this Nar­rative was purposely set forth to satisfie the Nation, in reference to Jea­lousies that the people lay under. And it makes the Engagement mu­tual betwixt the Magistrate and the People. And if it be mutual, then it cannot be absolute, as he asserted. For I have shewed, That in a mu­tual Engagement the Obligation of the one, hath respect unto, and de­pendence upon the performance of the other, so that if the one violate the Engagement in his part, the other is discharged upon it.

3 I deny, That it is to those of whom we may be as much unsatisfied how they wil prove hereafter, as we can be of an Heir; for the Engage­ment is to the Representatives of the Nation, of whom we were satisfi­ed when we Chose them, and we exercised our judgement when we Chose them; and if otherwise, it was the Common-wealths fault. And we know what they have been, they have sought the Nations welfare; and time wil declare what they wil be, and let them not be prejudged. However, they are but temporarie Rulers, and not so much as for term of life, much lesse are their Heirs to be chief Rulers after them.

4 I deny, That the Engagement is to one kind of Government ab­solutly, whether hurtful or profitable, for the Representatives of the peo­ple have power to change it, when they see cause, for the good of the Nation, and they neither have, nor intend to tye their own hands abso­lutly, but that if they should prove it to be pernicious, they might change it.

So that it is apparent, by what I have presented, That he hath totally mistaken the business of the Engagement.

FINIS.

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