Rom. 13.7.

Reddite ergo omnibus debita: cui tributum, tributum: cui vectigal, vectigal; cui timorem, timorem: cui HONO­REM HONOREM.

LONDON, Printed by T. R. & N. T. and are to be sold by Anthony Lawrence, Book-seller in Ordinary to Her Majesty, in Exeter-stret, and James Thompson in Eagle Court near the Strand, 1675.


THis Piece is Forreign, and as hastily put into English, as usually Men are into new Cloaths against some suddain Solemnity; or a Traveller into the dress of the Coun­trey where he arrives. The haste, I hope, will excuse the faults; and the near approach of this Session of Parli­ament, to the undertaking, may excuse the haste: Being it was a Stranger, I was loath it should lose the opportu­nity of most Authentick Naturaliza­tion; And being Loyal, it could not hope for greater applause, than from those, who have so signalized them­selves in that Virtue, as in a manner to repair the ghastly Ruines of the late [Page]Rebellion; At home, by inspiring com­fort to the Sufferers, and Repentance to the Guilty: And abroad, by freeing us from Reproach, and defacing the Marks of our Disgrace, even where the Emulation of our Neighbours ad­ded to the depth of their native Die.

If Any one shall think this Paper too small for so great a Subject, as it carry­eth in the Front, Let him consider, that the nakedness of Truth ren­dreth it less bulkie, and that what is Solid, is likewise Compact: but ra­ther instead of an Apologie, Let him peruse the Treatise it self; Wherein, I hope, the Majesty of the sense will shine through, and thereby illustrate, the meanness of my Expression, and whilst it gathers praise for my Author, will at least obtain pardon for me.


MEN have for Greatness most contrary Instincts, which notwithstanding pro­ceed alike from the general Corruption of their Nature. They love it; and they hate it; They admire it, and they des­pise it. They love it, because they see therein whatsoever they desire, viz. Wealth, Pleasure, Honour and Power. They hate it, be­cause it depresseth and abaseth them, making them sensi­ble of their want of those things which they love. They admire it, because they are dazz'led with its brightness. They despise it likewise sometimes, or at least pretend to do so, that they may seem in their own fancies to be raised above their Superiours, and build to themselves an ima­ginary Greatness, by undervaluing those who are high­ly esteemed by the Multitude.


And though such differing Motions of the Mind are all Humane, yet nevertheless must it be acknowledged, that [Page 2]those, which incline us to Honour and Esteem the Great, are the most strong and active, because they concern the most Natural Objects of Concupiscence; Whereas the hatred, which Men bear to Greatness, is much weakened by their Dependance on the Great, and the continual need they have of them, which doth insensibly warp and bend their Soul towards a respect and veneration for that Con­dition. Men despair of raising themselves to an equal height with them, and therefore are willing to partici­pate of their enjoyments by submitting to them.


For which reason Humane Contempt of Greatness is not commonly found but among those, who desguise their Pride with the name of Philosophie, such as not being a­ble to satisfy their Ambition by becoming Great, endea­vour to satisfy their Malice by vilifying those who are so. Since we cannot arrive to Greatness, let us revenge our selves by railing at it, said Montaigne; & thereby aptly enough expressed this Natural sentiment of Pride.

And if there were some Philosophers, who having rea­son to be contented with the rank they held in the world, did notwithstanding in appearance contemne and decrie Greatness by their Writings and Discourses, this was the effect of more subtile and artificial Vanity. These Men took sufficient care not to forsake their Riches in good earnest. Seneca made it his business to defend himself by Maximes against such an effective Renunciation. Infirmi est animi pati non posse Divitias. It is (saith he) the mark of a weak mind not to be able to endure Riches. Wherefore then are so many fine Discourses made against the Great, and against Riches? It is because they would joyn toge­ther, both the worldly Glory of Greatness, and the Philo­sophical Glory of the Contempt of Greatness, that they might be prized not only by the Commonalty, but also by Scholars and Philosophers.


Now we ought not to follow our Concupiscence in such Sentiments, as That inspireth either for, or against the Great: Nay, herein we must even distrust our Reason, in regard of the near union it hath with the Passions, which ordinarily corrupt the same, when it judgeth of their Objects. We must search for Light more sure and less suspected: And this is no where to be found, but in Christian Religion, since it is shee alone, that throughly understandeth the nature of Concupiscence, and is able to separate from Greatness those false advantages, which our Ambition giveth it; and to restore those true ones, which our Malice taketh from it.


Nothing of real value is in the World, but what hath been placed there by God, according to that Maxime of the Ghospel. Non potest homo accipere quicquam, nisi fuerit ei datum de Coelo. Whatsoever cometh from God is good and worthy of esteem: but the productions of Self-love can deserve only contempt and hatred. We ought then to esteem that in the Great, which is given them by God, as we ought to despise that, which is attributed to them by Concupiscence. And it belongeth to Religion to di­stinguish both the one and the other, and to discover to us what the Great have truly received from God, and what they hold through the errour and delusion of Men.


This Principle once established will easily evince, that the Common Idea, which Men frame of Greatness, is al­together false and deceitful, being founded on nothing else, but their own erroneous Judgments and vain Con­ceipts. For, Behold after what manner they compose this Idea. They love Power, Wealth and Pleasure. They see these possessed by the Great. For this reason they account [Page 4]them happy. They prefer their Condition before that of those, who are destitute of such enjoyments, and by this Preference they raise them above others. But this Appre­hension is very false. Because Pleasure, Riches and Power are not true Goods; they appear not so, but only to Concupiscence: On the contrary they are and appear great Evils to Reason enlightned by Faith, because they are great Impediments to Piety and Salvation. But Men do not stop there. Whereas they perceive that the Opi­nion, they have of Greatness, is not peculiar to them alone, but is likewise the Sentiment of the most part of the world, who together with them respect and admire the Great: on this consideration they lay a new Basis both in them­selves and others for enhancing their value for Greatness, setting before the eyes of their Imagination the Great, en­compassed by vast Troopes of Admirers, who look on them as Personages infinitely Superiour to the rest.

Such is the Idea, which Concupiscence createth in us of this Condition. But a very little Light will serve to detect the Delusion. For, All these Opinions which lift the Great above others, being only vain fancies, and such as arise from the corruption of Man's heart, it is evident that the Greatness founded thereon is meerly a Phantome and without solidity.


Thus far Philosophy is able to conduct us; But if we have no other Light, but what is borrowed thence, we shall no sooner be delivered from one errour, than cast in­to another, by being made believe that the Great are not indeed worthy of any Honour or Respect. And in effect such a Conclusion would necessarily deduce it self, should it once be granted, that Greatness hath no other founda­tion, but this heap of false Opinions and Deceitful Goods: [...]t being certain that I am not bound to honour a Man, [Page 5]because he is more miserable then my self: And that De­lusion, which should make the Great to think their Con­dition happy, only because it seemeth so to a Multitude of silly and abused People, would deserve Pity, instead of Esteem and Veneration.


But the Holy Scriptures assure us, that Honour is due unto the Great, and the payment thereof an Obligation, wherewith Christian Piety ought to comply. Now Pie­ty, being inseparable from Verity, cannot honour that, which is not truly worthy of Honour. It must then be said, that there is Something of God in Greatness, since the Scrip­tures on the one side commanding us to honour the Great, and on the other teaching, that Honour is due to God al­one, Soli Deo Honor & Gloria, It followeth, that we ho­nour God by honouring the Great, and consequently that something of God is in them, whereunto the Respect, which is paid them, doth relate. But for the knowing what this is, we must look back to the first Establishment and Origine of Greatness.


Concupiscence, Reason and Religion unite themselves, though diversly, towards the composure of this Condi­tion, which is called Greatness. Concupiscence desireth it through Pride; Reason approveth it for its necessari­ness among Men; And Religion confirmeth it by the Au­thority of God himself. But for the understanding after what manner this cometh to pass, we must consider, That if Men had continued in the state of Innocence, there had not been any Great amongst them, but being born alike, they would have remained alwayes in the same equality of Nature. Man was not made properly to command Men, as S. Gregory sayeth, because one Mans will is not the Rule of anothers; but all have for their only Rule [Page 6]the Law of God, which before their Transgression they understood with such perspicuity, as not to stand in need of being taught it by others.


Wherefore though Greatness cannot be said to be an Irregularity in it self, yet it is at least an effect of the Irre­gularity and Disorder of Nature, and a necessary Conse­quent of the first Sin. Because as the state of Innocence could not admit Difference and Distinction, so That of Sin could not suffer Equality. Every Man would be a Master and Tyrant over the rest, but being impossible that every one should succeed in this Design, it was ne­cessary either that Reason should induce Men to Order, or Force compel them: And so the Strong obtain the Mastery, and the Weaker remain in subjection.


Reason knoweth, that this Subjection among Men to one another, is not only inevitable, but also most requisite and useful. It perceiveth that the Light of Man's under­standing, since his Sin, is too feeble to direct him even in Matters regarding only the Civil life, and that the Cor­ruption of his Will is such, as rendreth him incapable of be­having himself quietly in a regular Condition. It seeth it therefore to be necessary, that there should be some more gross and exterior Law, which might oblige him to the performance of his Duty, and such is That of Empire and Dominion. It judgeth convenient, that Laws and Policies should be established, and that some Persons should have Authority to make them observed. It approveth that Hu­mane Affaires should be regulated, and for the avoiding of Contests, that Preference should be given to some above others. In fine, It doth not only consent to the constitu­tion of Greatness, but looketh on this Order as the Master­piece of Humane Wit, and the most useful thing in the World.


But although Concupiscence desireth Greatness, and Reason approveth the establishment thereof, yet neither the one nor the other are sufficient to render it Lawful. Men are not in their own Power, and therefore cannot dispose of themselves, much less of others. God alone is their Soveraign Master, neither can They, unless by his Command, set up or acknowledge any other, without committing Treason against Him. Should a Company of Slaves, assembled in a Prison, confer on some amongst them the Power of Life and Death over the rest, it is not to be doubted, but their Master would not only laugh at so bold and rash an Establishment, but also punish him, that should make use thereof, as an Usurper and Tyrant, since such Authority appertained to Him alone; and therefore it was only He, that could communicate and transfer the same to another. This is our Case in respect of God: We are all his Slaves, and cannot dispose of our selves, but by his Order. It would therefore be in vain, that Men gave to some amongst them the Right and Power of governing o­thers, did not God joyn his Authority to their Choice. And for this Reason (according to the Doctrine of St. Au­gustine) all Capital Punishments & Executions of Justice would be so many Homicides and Murthers, if God, who is the sole Master of the Life & Death of Men, had not given them the Power of inflicting Death on Those, who should violate the Laws of Nature, and trouble their Society. We learn from the Scriptures, that God hath done it, That He hath ratifyed by his Authority these Humane Establish­ments, That He approveth the binding and uniting Men together by Laws and Constitutions, That He authoriseth them to make Choice of some, for the procuring their Ob­servance, And lastly, communicateth his Power to the Persons chosen, for the Government of those that are un­der them.


These are not vain Speculations, but Truthes defined by the Holy Scriptures. It is the Apostle S. Paul, who teacheth us, that all Power cometh from God. Non est Potestas nisi a Deo. That Authorities are established by God. Quae au­tem sunt, a Deo ordinatae sunt. That whosoever resisteth them, doth resist the Order and Appointment of God. Qui resi­stit Potestati, Dei ordinationi resistit. That those who go­vern the People are the Ministers of God, for the reward­ing the Good and punishing the Evil. Dei Minister est tibi in Bonum, Dei Minister est vindex in Iram. And he giveth to Princes the same Title, which he taketh himself as an Apostle. Sic nos existimet Homo ut Ministros Christi.

By this it appeareth, that Greatness is a Participation of the Power of God to Men, which he communicateth to Some for the good of Others: That it is a Ministry or Of­fice wherewith he entrusteth them: In so much as there being nothing more real, or more just then the Authority and Power of God; so there can be nothing more real, or more just then Greatness, in those to whom he truly imparteth the same, and who are not Usurpers.


It may easily be comprehended by this Doctrine, that although Monarchy, and the other Formes of Government may proceed originally from the Choice and Consent of the People, yet the Authority of Monarchs is not derived from the People, but from God alone. He indeed hath gi­ven the People Power to Chuse their Government: But as the Election of those who Chuse the Bishop is not that which rendreth him a Bishop, but only the Pastoral Au­thority of Jesus Christ imparted to him in his Consecration; so likewise the sole Consent of the People maketh not Kings, but the communication of God's Royalty and Power, by which they become Lawful, and receive a [Page 9]real and solid Right over their Subjects. And it is for this reason, that the Apostle calleth not Princes the Ministers of the People, but the Ministers of God; because they hold their Power from none but God.


From what hath been said may be drawn a Consequence most advantagious for successive Monarchies, which is, that although this Forme of Government might originally depend on the People, through the Choice they made of a certain Family, and the Order they appointed for the succession; Nevertheless this Order being once settled, it is not in the People's Power to change the same. Because the Authority of making such Constitutions doth not re­side any longer in the People, who have deprived them­selves thereof, and had good reason so to do, there being nothing more profitable for them: But it resideth now in the King, to whom God communicateth his Power, for the Government of the People. Wherefore as in successive Monarchies, the Kings can never die, nor the People ever be without a King; so for this cause can they never be in a Condition of Making any n [...]w Law towards the Changing the Order of the Succession, nor have any just Authority for the same: In regard that this Authority re­sideth always in the King, being imparted to him by God, according to that Constitution and Order, whereunto the People did voluntarily subject themselves.


And hence it is likewise clear, that it can be never law­ful for any One to rise or take Armes against his Soveraign, and engage in a Civil War. Since War cannot be made without Authority, and that Soveraign too, viz. such as hath a Power of Life and Death, and may justify the se­veral Slaughters of the War. Now in a Monarchical State [Page 10]this Right over the Lives of Men appertaineth not to any, but to the King alone, and those who exercise the same by his Authority. So that Rebels being destitute of this Right, commit as many Homicides, as they slay Men, in a Civil War, because they take away their Lives without a competent Authority, and against the Order and Ap­pointment of God. It is in vain also, that they alledge for their justification the Disorders of the State, whereunto they pretend to bring a remedy; in regard that no disor­der can give Subjects a liberty to draw the Sword, neither can they have any Authority to make use thereof, but by his alone, who hath received it from God.


This Regal Power and Right of Governing People, which belongeth essentially to God, but is communicated by him to Men, for the benefit and good of Men, as we have already said, doth indeed eminently reside in Kings, but passeth also and extendeth it self to their Ministers, and all those who are employed under them for the exercise of their Government & preservation of Order, in such manner as it compriseth all that Authority, which actuateth and re­gulateth the whole State, and is variously distributed ac­cording to the several Charges & Ministries of the Realm; and whosoever possesseth any Portion thereof, is a Minister of God, by reason of the part he holdeth of His Authority.


It may be said, that there are in States certain Great­nesses, which consist more in the rank of those who possess them, then in any Authority. Such is the quality of Prin­ces of the Bloud, which giveth them a Preheminence, but includeth no Jurisdiction, unless joyned to some Office or Charge. But this Rank it self is a kind of Authority, and proceedeth likewise from the Order of God. Because Hu­mane [Page 11]Affaires not being able to subsist without due Order and Regulation, it was necessary that such Preheminences should be constituted, and that Some should have Right of being Preferred before Others. And this Preference hath been most justly accorded to the Princes of the Bloud, and necessarily floweth from the nature and genius of suc­cessive Monarchies. Because this Forme of Government consisting essentially in the Election of a certain Family, the People chusing such as shall be of it for their Sove­raigns, according to the order of their Birth, it is manifest, that all those of that Family have right to the Regal Power, and may hereafter happen to arrive thereat, and therefore it is requisite, that the People should be accustomed before hand to look on them with greater Respect then the rest, for as much as otherwise, when they should in effect obtain the Scepter, Men would hardly be able to have those sen­timents of Submission for them, which ought to be had to­wards Kings.


By these Principles may be resolved the Question touch­ing That, which rendreth Great Men worthy of Respect. It is neither their Riches, nor their Pleasure, nor their Pomp; but it is the part they have of the Soveraignty of God, which ought to be Honoured in their Persons, ac­cording to the measure, which they possess thereof. It is the Order, wherein God hath placed them by the Dispo­sition of his Providence; In so much as this Submission having for its Object, That which is truly worthy of Re­spect, it ought not only to be exteriour and a bare Cere­mony, but must be likewise interiour; that is, must include the acknowledgment of a real Superiority and Greatness, in Those who are honoured after this manner. And it is for this Cause, that the Apostle commandeth Christians to [Page 12]be subject to Powers, not only for fear of punishment, but also through a motive of Conscience. Non solum propter I­ram, sed etiam propter Conscientiam.


The Pomp and Splendour, accompanying the State of Great Men, is not that which causeth them to deserve Ho­nour, but it is nevertheless that, which doth make them actually to be honoured by the greatest part of the world. And because it is just that they should be honoured, it is also fit, that in order thereunto their Greatness should be attended by some exteriour Magnificence. For Men are not spiritual enough, to acknowledge and honour in them the Authority of God, should they behold them in such an Equipage, as is the ordinary object of their scorn and aver­sion. Wherefore that Greatness may make the impression it ought on their minds, there is a necessity that it be first made on their senses. It is for this reason that Wealth be­cometh necessary to the Great, in proportion to the de­gree wherein they are, since that without it they would not be able to maintain the Decency required by their Condition, and consequently be disrespected and rendred useless among Men. What therefore Tertullian teacheth De Idol. Cap. 18. is a palpable mistake, viz. That all out­ward marks of Dignity and Power, and all Ornaments belong­ing to Great Offices, are not allowed to Christians, and that Christ reckoned all those things among the Pomps of the Devil, by appearing so meanly himself, and in a state far enough from all Splendour and Magnificence. For, Christian Religion is never contrary to right Reason: And though Christ did not assume this outward Pomp, it was not because he absolutely disapproved the same, but because it was not proper for his Function and Ministry, which was to show, even in his exteriour Deportment, what [Page 13]Disposition all his Disciples ought inwardly to have. The Great ought then to learn from the Example of Christ not to love indeed this Pomp, but must not cast it off, un­less God should inspire them, absolutely to quit the World. But we need not wonder at this mistake of Ter­tullian, since he affirmeth in the same Book, That Chri­stians are forbidden to judge in Matters concerning the Lives or Honour of Men; which is contrary to the Doctrine and Practice of the Church.


In like manner the outward signs of Respect, which In­feriours pay to the Gre at, are most justly due unto them, and the necessary attendants of their Condition and Degree. For although perhaps originally they were no­thing else, but the Inventions of Humane Pride, which de­lighteth to behold others abased through its Greatness, yet must it be acknowledged, that these Ceremonies & Respects are in themselves Useful and Reasonable, and therefore though Pride had not introduced them, Reason would have done it. Because it is convenient and just, that the Great should be honoured by a sincere and true acknow­ledgment of God's Order and Appointment, which hath raised them above the rest; But Men have so great an Op­position to humble themselves and own the Superiority of others, that to induce their Minds thereunto, it is necessa­ry first to exercise and accustome their Bodies, whereof the Soul insensibly admitting the Bent and Posture, will easily pass from Ceremony to Truth. And for this reason it was fit, that these outward demonstrations of Respect should be somewhat incommodious and uneasy, other­wise they would not be so manifestly discerned, to be Ex­pressions of Honour towards the Great, but might be looked on, as things done meerly out of pleasure or con­venience, [Page 14]and by that means be indifferently shown to all; which could not have had an efficacy, towards the imprint­ing on the Mind any sentiments of Reverence, for those that are Honoured in this manner.


Some have said that, there being two sorts of Greatness, the one Natural, and the other Established, we ought to render to the Natural only, those Natural Respects, which consist in the esteem and inward Submission; and give to the Greatness of Establishment, those Honours only, that are established, viz. certain Ceremonies, invented by Men, for the honouring such Dignities, as they themselves con­stitute. But to render this Notion altogether solid, it must be added, that these exteriour Ceremonies ought to pro­ceed from an inward Sentiment, whereby a real Superio­rity is acknowledged in the Great. For, their Degree in­cluding, as we have said, a participation of the Authority of God, it meriteth a true and interiour Respect. Neither is there as much reason to say, That the Great have right to exact none other from us, but such kind of outward Ce­remonies, without any Correspondence thereunto in the Mind; as there is, that they have no right to require these Ceremonies, but only in order to the stamping on the Mind a just sense and reverence for their State. In so much as when they are well assured, touching some Persons, that they have such inward Dispositions towards them as they ought, these outward Duties may be dispensed with, being of no farther use.


It is true, that the Respect due unto the Great, ought not to corrupt our Judgment concerning them, nor make us esteem in them, what is not worthy thereof. This Re­spect is compatible with the knowledge of their faults, nei­ther [Page 15]doth it forbid us, interiourly to prefer those, who have more real Goods and Natural Greatness. But because Honour is their due, and it is useful to mankind, that it should be paid them, but the Common People have not enough, either of Discretion or Equity, to condemn faults, without despising those, in whom they observe them; Every one is obliged, to take an extream care, in speak­ing of the Great, and all those, to whom Honour is ne­cessary; That Sentence of Holy Scripture, Speak not evil of the Prince of thy People, being understood of all Superi­ours, as well Secular as Ecclesiastick, viz. Universally of all such, as any wayes participate of the Power of God. Where­fore the liberty, which the Commons take, of decrying the Conduct of their Governours, is a thing most repugnant to Piety: For besides that very often they speake rashly, and without Truth, for want of sufficient Information, they can hardly ever do it, without sin and injustice; in regard that, by such Discourses, they produce in others a disposition contrary to that which God requireth from them, towards those whom he employeth to govern them.


There are some, who would at least, that this Authority, which is to be respected, should alwayes be joyned to Me­rit, accusing such Laws of injustice, as have fastned the same to exteriour quality. How triumphantly do they attack those Constitutions, which make Greatness to de­pend on Birth? In the choice of a Pilot (say they) it is not regarded, who amongst the Pretenders is of the better Family: Wherefore is the same done in the greater Go­vernments of Kingdoms and Empires? But this is, be­cause they know not the true extent of the weakness and corruption of our Nature. Their reasoning would be good, were Men Just and Reasonable; but since they neither are [Page 16]nor will be so, it is frivolous and inconclusive. The Natu­ral and indeleble Injustice of Man's heart, rendreth the pre­sent choice, not only Reasonable, but the Master-piece of Reason. For, Whom shall we chuse? The most Vertu­ous, the most Wise, the most Valiant. Behold! every one cryeth, that He is this most Vertuous, most Valiant, and most Wise. Let us therefore fix our Choice to some­thing exteriour, manifest, and incontestable. He is the Kings Eldest Son. This is clear, and without room for Dispute. Reason cannot do better: Since that Civil War which most commonly springeth from the other Method, is the greatest of Evils, and therefore most to be avoided.


As this is true of the Regal Power, so is it likewise of the chief Dignities, and first Ranks of the State. Were it not good (say some) that there should be Princes and Nobles of Merit, and not of Birth, and that Men should arrive at this Height by Vertue, and not by a vain Quality? Is it not unjust, that the General of an Army, after the Conquest of many Provinces, should be forced to give place to a Prince of the Blood without prudence or expe­rience? No, 'tis not unjust, but rather the most excellent Stratageme, which Reason hath invented, for tempering the haughty Nature of Greatness, and freeing that State from the hatred and envie of Inferiours. Should none be Great but through Merit, the Elevation of Persons to that degree, would continually advertise Men, of the prefe­rence given to others before them, whom they imagining to deserve less then themselves, would fill the Kingdom with clamours, and complain of the Injustice and Partiality of such Promotions. But by uniting Greatness to Birth, we calm the Pride of Inferiours, and render Greatness less piquant and incommodious to them: Men are not ashamed [Page 17]to give place, when they can say, I owe this to his Birth: This reason convinceth the mind, without wounding it by spite or jealousy: Hereunto it is accustom'd, and will not resist an establishment no waies injurious to its own credit.


Another advantage arising from this establishment, is, that our Princes and Great Men will be rendred hereby more humble and free from haughtiness. It is not arro­gance for us to remain in that order and degree, where­in the Providence of God hath placed us, if we use the same for those ends, which we ought. We may, not­withstanding our High Degree, retain sentiments of hu­mility within our hearts, and may be able to perceive and acknowledge our failings and miseries, looking on our Dignity as extrinsick, and not properly belonging to us, but proceeding meerly from the appointment of God. But it would be very difficult for us, to preserve humility, should we look on our Promotion, as the fruit of our own labour and merits. Having prepossessed it by our Desires, and procured it by our Industry, we should easily be brought to imagine, that it was our due, and that we surpassed others in Deserts, as far as we excelled them in Dignity.


Where Merit is the passage to Greatness, seldom any enter, but through the Gate of Ambition. And by sub­stituting the Favourite and the Bribe, in the place of sub­stantial qualities, Men often arrive thereat without Merit; but almost ever without Vocation, being only Called ther­unto by their own Ambition: Whereas those, who are Great by Birth, may truly say, That they were called to their State by God, and that He made them Great. So [Page 18]that faithfully practising the Duties belonging to their Condition, they are, without doubt, in much greater assu­rance of obtaining the Blessing and Grace of God, then those, who having raised themselves through motives altogether carnal and vitious, ought rather to leave, then retain their Dignities; since they cannot say in their con­sciences, that God hath lifted them to that height, whi­ther only their own Pride hath carryed them.


This manner of honouring the Great, by considering in them the part, which they hold of God's Authority, is the more useful to publick Society, in regard that being independent of Personal qualities; it is so likewise of all Opinions and Caprichoes concerning them: and by this means becometh fixt and invariable.

Behold another Cause of the reasonableness of this Honour.

It is most certain, that Superiours are Ministers em­ployed by God, for the procuring to Men the greatest and most essential Goods of this World; since that, with­out the establishment of this Politick order, Men could not enjoy their Estates, inhabit quietly, travel in safe­ty, receive any benefit from Commerce, or advantage from the Industry of others, and from humane Society. Were this Order destroy'd, none could say, that he pos­sessed any thing; Men would become enemies to one an­other, and stir up a general Civil war, not to be decided but by force.


But for the better understanding, how much we are obliged to the Politick Constitution, we must consider, that Men by reason of their first transgression, becoming void of Charity, yet still remained full of wants and [Page 19]necessities, and depending of one another, in a great number of things. In order to the supplying these ne­cessities, Cupidity hath taken the place of Charity, and effecteth it after a manner, which we cannot enough ad­mire, and whereunto the ordinary Charity could not arrive. For example; You see spread all over the Coun­trey Persons, who are ready to assist you, when you tra­vel: They prepare your lodgings, and other accommo­dation: You command them what you please; and they not only obey, but acknowledge for a favour, that you vouchsafe to accept their services: They excuse not themselves from any attendance you require. What could be more admirable, then these Persons, were they animated by Charity? But it is Cupidity, which maketh them act, and that with so good a grace and excess of duty, that (I say) they look on it as a boon, to have been employed in serving you.

Where is that Charity, which is contented to build an House for you, replenish it with moveables, adorn it with Tapestry, and put the key thereof into your hands? Cupidity will do it, and chearfully too. What Cha­rity will run to the Indies for Medicines, stoop to the meanest Employments, and not refuse the basest and most painful Offices? Cupidity will perform all this, without grudging.

There is nothing then, whereby greater services are done to Men, than by their Cupidity it self. But that this Cupidity may be fitly disposed to render them, it must be limited by something, since of it self, it hath neither bound nor measure; and instead of being subservient to human Society, would ruine and destroy it. There is no excess, whereof it is not capable, being left alone and without check or tye, it's Inclination and natural bent [Page 20]tending towards Injustice, Rapine, Murther, and the greatest Disorders.

It was necessary therefore, that some Art should be found out, for the regulating Cupidity; and this Art is the Politick Order, or State-Government; which restraineth Cupidity by the fear of punishment, and applyeth it to the uses of Civil Society. This Order giveth us Merchants, Physitians, Artists, and generally whatever conduceth to the pleasures, or satisfyeth the necessities of Life. For which reason we have a great obligation to the Preser­vers thereof, viz. such as hold that Authority, which regulateth and maintaineth the State.


People would admire a Man that should tame Lyons, Bears, Tigers and other savage Beasts, and make them fit for Service. This wonder is done by State-Government; since that Men filled with Cupidity, are worse then Ti­gers, Bears or Lyons; each one would devour the rest, but yet by means of the Laws & Policy, they are tamed after such sort, that Services as useful, are performed by them, as could proceed from the purest Charity.


State Government is the most excellent Invention found out by Men, whereby each particular amongst them, obtaineth more convenience, than the greatest and richest King could do, were this Order discompos'd. How were it possible without this Invention, that any one Man (whatever wealth he possessed, or how many servants soever attended him) should enjoy those advan­tages, which now a Citizen of London doth, with the Rent of one thousand pounds per annum? What would it cost him, to send Ships all over the World, that some might bring him Medicines, others Cloaths, others Cu­riosities, [Page 21]and the works of distant Nations? What number of Servants would suffice towards the procuring News, duly every week, from all parts of Europe? What Riches would be enough to entertain so many Couriers, so many Horses for their Riding, and so many Inns for their Lodging, as were necessary? How many Soul­diers were requisite to secure the waies, and defend them from Theeves? What a Troop of Artisans and Mechanicks to provide him Dwelling, Food, and Ray­ment? All Arts being joyn'd and link'd together, and having need one of another, a necessity would be found of them all: neither would it be sufficient, to get all these things for himself; since they must be procured likewise, for all those who are his Officers and work for him; which proceedeth to an infinity. One single Alderman hath all this; without labour, care, or trouble. Whatsoever, not only necessity, but his fancy craveth, is fetched for him from China, Peru, Aegypt, Persia, or any other part of the World. He is exempted from the pains of providing Ships; he is not exposed to the hazard and ill success of Voyages. The waies are free and open to him throughout Europe: Posts are established, that he may neither want the usefulness of Advice, nor the entertainment of News. There are those, who spend their Lives in the study of Nature, for the remedying his Diseases, and are as ready to serve him, as if he kept them at constant wages. It may be said with truth, that there are a million of Men, who labour for him. He may reckon in the number of his Servants, all the Arti­sans of England, and even those of neighbour Countries; since they are all disposed to do him service, and he may command them when he pleaseth, in laying down a small recompence, according to establishment; which is the [Page 22]least wages, that could be given to Servants. These, who work for him, are not burthensom or incommodious to him in the least. He is neither obliged to provide for their necessities, nor to make their Fortunes. There is no need of Superiour Officers to govern, or inferiour to serve them; or if there be, he is not troubled therewith. Who is able to extol these advantages enough, which render the condition of private Persons, equal to that of Kings; and dispensing with the Anxieties that attend great Riches, afford them all sorts of Convenience?


That, which maketh the most part of the World in­sensible of all this, is a principle of Vanity and Ingrati­tude: They reap the same benefit from those, who la­bour for the Publick, wherein they themselves are com­prised, as if they wrought for them alone. Their Let­ters are as well carryed to the furthermost parts of the World, by a Courier, that carryeth ten thousand, as if he carryed but one only. They are as well looked af­ter, by a Physitian, who visiteth many others, as if he waited on none but them; nay, rather better, since by observing others, he gaineth experience, and becometh more capable of assisting them; nevertheless because they are not the only Persons, who enjoy these goods, they are neither touched nor concern'd. Their necessities are as well supply'd, but their vanity is not as well satisfy'd. Because they have no right to monopolize and arrogate to themselves in particular all those Men, who do them any service; they account for nothing whatsoever is done.

And although the utility, which accrueth to others, doth not diminish theirs, it taketh away how ever the sense, they ought to have of this benefit; and they think them­selves obliged to no body, because an infinity of others [Page 23]share with them, in both the Advantage and Obligation.


Men do not ordinarily take notice of these real Goods, which they receive from Kings, and from the Great; be­cause they never reflect on the common favours of God Almighty, how considerable soever they are. We ne­ver consider with one of the Antients, that we have an high obligation to the Earth, for sustaining us, and should be sufficiently perplexed, did it sink from our feet. This oblivion is the proof, but cannot be the excuse of our Ingratitude. For since these are benefits, and great ones too, which we receive from God, by the mini­stry of Men, we ought to be thankfull for them to God, and include in our acknowledgement those, whom he appointeth to confer them on us, and maketh the Stew­ards of his Authority here in the World.


Human Obligations, when they are just, become the Duties of Religion; because Christian Religion hath for its Rule the Supream Justice, and consisteth in an exact following the same; for which reason the Apostle com­mandeth Christians, to pray for Kings, and those, who govern, under them, the Temporal State: And these prayers are due unto them, were it only for the Charge they have, of preserving the Publick Peace and Tran­quility. Therefore it is certainly a great fault and negli­gence, not to offer up our prayers for Kings; and we do hereby render our selves unworthy of those Goods, which God bestoweth on Men by their means. Few Persons make sufficient reflection hereon. Men are taken up in com­plaining of the disorders of the Government, which many times they are ignorant of, but never think of paying that just acknowledgement, which is due unto God, [Page 24]for the Benefits, that accrue to them, from all Regular Governments. And yet these Benefits are infinitely more considerable, then those Disorders, true or false, which are the continual subject of their Complaint and Mur­muration.

‘Reddite ergo quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari. Matth. 22.22.

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