A VINDICATION OF THE Oath of Allegiance IN ANSWER TO A Paper disperst by Mr Sam: Eaton, pretending to prove the Oath of Allegiance voyd, and non-obliging.

Wherein his POSITJONS Against it are Examined and Confuted.

By the Author of the Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers.

PROV. 20.25.

It is a snare to a man after Vows to make enquiry.

Printed in the Year, 1650.

Mr Eaton's Positions against the Oath of Allegiance.


EVery Oath, to make it lawful and warrantable, ought to be taken in Iudgment and Righteousness, Jerem. 4.2. The Oath then of Allegiance, that it may be in Righte­ousness and Iudgment, must be

First, Conditional, not Absolute; mutual, not single; taken by both parties, not by one onely; by the Ruler or Governor, not alone by the Ruled; by the Prince, as well as by the Subject.

Reas. 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 binde the Subject absolutely, whether the Prince or Governor rule for the Subjects good or not: Therefore such an Oath cannot be taken by the Subject in Judge­ment or 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 rightly: 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 Iudgment and Righteousness, and so lawful, the King was, or ought to have been, as strongly bound to all the 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, so many of them as have taken this Oath; and are Rebels, that have taken up Arms against the King.

Secondly, Nor to His Heirs.

Reas. Because who knoweth (as Solomon saith, Eccles. 2.19.) whether the Heir will be a wise man, or a fool? a just, or righte­ous man? or a wicked man, and Tyrant? Now if no man know this, then it is not an Oath in Iudgment, if any man swear Allegi­ance to an Heir, nor is it a righteous Oath; for the Subject may binde himself to his own hurt, yea ruine and destruction.

Conseq. 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 changed it? whether they would have upheld the Liberty and Property of the Subject, or subverted it? We know what their education was, who then could take an Oath in Righteousness and Iudgment in reference to them? It is good to know first, and swear afterwards.

Thirdly, Nor to any one kinde of Government, Monarchical, or any other, to uphold and continue it in a constant way, with­out changing of it.

Reas. 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 kinde 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 greater good and benefit; and must change it, when he hath proved any kinde of government inconvenient and hurtful: Then to swear not to change it, is sinful, and in Righteousness and in Iudgment may not be done; for all kindes of Government are not equally good, nor are they equally suitable to all people: and experience makes persons wise, to discern what is better, and what is worse, for themselves; and therefore an Oath to uphold any one kinde of Government longer then it continues to be most safe and profitable, is unlawful.

Consequ. Then the Oath of Allegiance, serving to uphold King­ly Government against all others, was an unlawful Oath; for who knows not what a plague this kinde of Government hath been to this Nation? and who knoweth not that the most of our Kings have been Tyrants? and who knows not what a Blessing the Change of Government hath brought to the united Pro­vinces?

Object. But suppose there was some Ʋnlawfulness in the taking of such Oaths, yet is there not a necessity of keeping them, being taken?

Answ. If that Oath, taken against the life of one man by He­rod, because unrighteous and cruel, was not onely 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 of just men, or Ty­rants, which are to uphold Monarchy, the woful fruits whereof, though they have been long tasted and felt by this Nation, seeing they are dangerous, and may prove (as often they have done) de­structive to the lives of many men, they are not onely unlawful to be taken, but unlawful to be kept.

POSIT. II. Suppose the Oath of Allegiance to be a Lawful Oath, yet the Subject is now absolved from it by those that have Power to absolve from it.

Reas. Because the Representative of the People, which in Rea­son are the Supreme Power of the Nation, imposed this Oath up­on the Subject by an Act 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 Voluntary Act, to which they were not obliged by any 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 free Act in their Representatives; Therefore if the Representatives take away this Act, and repeal it, they thereby set the Subjects at liberty from such Allegiance, and from their Oath by which they are bound unto it: Abraham that imposed the Oath upon his servant, might acquit him of it, because not bound by any Rule from God, but obliged by Abraham onely.

Consequence. This Present Parliament having taken away that Oath of Allegiance which which was enacted to be imposed, there remains no more Conscience of it to such who have taken it: But [Page 6] then it will come to this. Whether the Parliament be the Supreme Power: Whether the Representative 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, 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. Secondly, The Power of the Parliament is the Power of the People: Now in Reason the Power of the People is the Su­preme Power, because thence, as from the root, all Power first sprung and proceeded.

To the second, I say, if the Parliaments Power be the Peoples Power, and the Supreme Power; Then the Representatives, or the People, are the Parliament, and none else: for the Represen­tatives are the People in them, and there is the root of Power; therefore they are the Parliament.

To the third, I say, That the present Representatives, that now sit in Parliament, are, first, all of them chosen by the People, therefore of right they sit in Parliament. Secondly, 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. Thirdly, The Representatives, that remained and conti­nued to sit in Parliament, were always, when fewest, and still are, above the number allowed of by Law, and therefore are a Parli­ament. There is one Objection that may be urged against the Parliament absolving men from their Allegiance to the Kings heirs, and against their abolishing Kingly Government.

Object. It may be said, That Kings have the same Rights to their Kingdoms, Crowns, and Revenues, as others have to their Mannors and Demains.

Answ. Such Right as Kings have had, they never justly came by it, but by force and flattery have obtained it, and have usurped upon the birth-right of the People, to whom it belongs to choose them that must rule over them; and Kingdoms, with their [Page 7] appurtenances thereto, were never intended for particular mens ad­vancement, to lift up such Families in glory and greatness, or that the Hereditary Right of any should be in them: but Wisdom, Righteousness, and Virtue was to lift up men unto them; and crowns & revenu's were to incourage them in acting in such places; and men that were so qualified, were to be Heirs & Successors, set up by the People after them; and the People themselves, nor their Re­presentatives, could neither give, nor sell away this priviledg 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 Demains, which are things fall under Commutative Justice, and are things vendible, and where­in particular men are concerned, and not the Common-wealth.


An Answer to a Paper pretending to prove the Oath of Allegi­giance voyd, 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 bin unlawful & unwarrantable in the taking of it, and so voyd in the fact or making.

First, I shall premise, for the clearing partly of what follows, That an Oath may be unlawful Dr San­dos. de Juram ob­lig. proel. 2. sect. 14.: 1. Either in regard of the mat­ter, or thing sworn, as if a man 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 otherwise un­duly for manner. The former way of unlawfulness makes an Oath voyd 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, that is, not con­ [...]iderately 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 binde in foro externo, or be of any use for confirmation; for who can discern with what minde another man swears? Again, this evidently appears by the validity of that unadvised Oath of the Princes to the Gibeonites, Josh. 9.15, 18, 19. 2 Sam. 21.2. and of that Oath of Zedekiah and his people to Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Chro. 36.13. Ezek. 17.13, 21, 23. which they entred into treacherous­ly, Anotat. of Divines, & Dioda:. on. Hos. 10.4. Hos. 10.4.

Secondly, 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 Conscience, 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 in the matter of it unjust and sinful: This man had need bring clear Reasons for what he here thus chargeth upon so many WORTHIES for Place, Piety, and Judgement; and declare them more pub­liquely then by a PRIVATE PAPER, that he may [Page 9] call to repentance the whole Nation that is (as he supposeth) in­volved in this impiety of an unlawfull Oath. But let us first by the triall of his Reasons, see whether he hath not more need to repent of this his charge.

His generall exception against the lawfulnesse of the Oath, is: That it is not according to the rule, Jer. 4.2. in judgement and in righ­teousnesse. Were it defective in judgement, that is, in deliberatenesse of taking, that would not be (as I have said) a ground to inva­lidate its obligation ipso facto, seeing it were but a failing in the manner, not a corruptnesse in the matter; a fault in the person swearing, not in the Oath sworne; and in the person a defect in­ternall, 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 unlawfull, so as not to bind, it addes no strength to the conclusion: But to descend to his particulars.

1. To manifest the Oaths disagreement with the said rule of Jeremiah, his first particular exception is, That it ought to have been conditionall, not absolute; mutuall, not single; his argument in effect runs thus: That it may be in judgement and righteousnesse it must be conditionall, not absolute, mutuall, or taken both by Ruler and ruled, not single, or taken only by one party, but this Oath is not so: Ergo,

That the Reader may understand us both, and I may more clearly passe on in my Answer, I must interpose a distinction or two upon the termes.

First, saith he, the Oath must be conditionall, not absolute: First, I conceive the words conditionall, and absolute, may be taken,

1. Either in reference to the thing sworne, which is Obedience or Allegiance to the King; thus the Oath must be conditionall, not absolute, that is, the obedience which we bind our selves to, must be with limitation and condition, restraining it (as all obe­dience to men in any relation is to be) to just, honest, lawfull things, or so as to consist with our obedience to God, not absolute or il­limited in that sense.

2. Or in reference to the tie or obligation of the Oath, as the qualification thereof: and so I say, it may be absolute, and must not of necessity be conditionall, that is, the subordinate and limi­ted [Page 10] obedience, which is due to the Prince or Magistrate, I may swear unto absolutely, or without any speciall condition annex­ed to my Engagement. Speciall condition I say, for I must once a­gaine distinguish, to wit, of conditions.

1. Some are generall, and such as no promissary Oath that is lawfull can be without; those are, I think, all of them reduced to these two heads: namely, that the thing sworne be honest and possible; these conditions are presupposed, and not wont to be expressed, and notwithstanding the including of them an Oath may be said to be absolute.

2. Others are speciall and proper conditions, which are ingre­dients in some Oaths, the which (by reason of them) termed con­ditionall; they are usually either somewhat that is contingent, as when a Marchant covenants, and swears to give a hundred pounds to another man, or to a publike use, if his ship (that is gone to Sea) returne home safe with her Merchandize, or that which is arbitrary, or in the choice of mans will, his (commonly) to whom the Oath is ingaged, 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 requireth 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 lawfull. The Major therefore of this Oath-impugners Syllogisme I deny in that first part of it, viz. It must be condi­tionall, not absolute: To make good my deniall, first, I will an­answer what he saith to prove it. Secondly, 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 a­against 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 absolutely, 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.

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 [Page 11] (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 publike good (yea contributed to it, or els the Papists would not have so opposed it) from the time it was first set forth, untill now, in impartiall mens judgements, and no complaint hath been at all heard against it from the King­dome, 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 publike good. 2. Or ac­cidentally and contingently, thus any thing almost that falls un­der a politicall consideration, and comes under the deliberation of the Law-givers, though lawfull in it self, and for the present probably, yea, or necessarily good for a Common-wealth, may prove in the event somewhat incommodious and hurtfull. There is a goodnesse of the end, which is one and the same in all States and Governments, viz. the happinesse of the Community, and this is intended, not delibera­ted on, or chosen by the Law-givers: Ac deliberamus quidem non de finibus sed de tis quae referuntur ad sines. Ari­stot. Eth. l. 3. c. 3. And there is a goodnesse 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 varie comparatum at (que) affectum, aliud servile, a­liud colendis regibus 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 etiàm, quae cuique congrua & conson­tanca est, permulti enim optimam consequi nequeunt, quare neque Legislator, neque is qui verè civilis habeatur, ignorare debet quae respub. tam absolutè perfecta sit, tum pro statu rerum praesentium maximè lau­danda, tum denique quae pro conditione a­liqua non sit improbanda. Idem lib. 4. cap. 1 num. 2. Itaque cognoscendae erant rerum publicarum species, ac differentiae, & quot modis inter se commisceantur, cumque hac eadem prudentia optimarum legum scien­tia & unicuique Reipub. convenientium conjurgenda est, ad respublicas enim leges sunt accomodauda non autem ad leges res ipsa publicae. Idem eodem Num. 6.27. It is the means and its goodnesse which falls un­der the consultation of the Legislators, and because of the uncertainty thereof, they are occasioned often to change their advisements and Lawes: But by reason that [Page 12] 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 inconveniency, then run the hazard of an innova­tion; therefore it hath been the honest and necessary wisdome of most States to settle them by a firmer Sanction then they use in other things, and to ordaine 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 lawfull and eligible, can match the mis­chief of an alteration; and therefore that the uncertaine 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 somewhat disadvantagious, may yet, if for the present good, and probably hopefull so to continue, be sworne to abso­lutely, 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, Genes. 47.31. Exod. 13.19. Iosh. Iudg. 1 Sam. 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 in outward incommodi­ty, the which is compensated by the avoiding of a greater evill, 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 swearing to his Prince absolutely, whether he rule well or no, it is but accidentall, and such as it is, it is overballan­ced with a greater mischief which would accrue by leaving the Subjects uningaged: for the shunning of which the lesser evill, to wit, the being bound to a King, though he should prove a bad Go­vernour, is to be chosen; for that, in comparison of a greater e­vill, hath the consideration of good, and is so eligible: It is a lesse evill for a people to be bound to a Prince that possibly may prove bad, then to be so loose, as to be at the 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, the Subject is only bound by his Allegiance to le­gall [Page 13] obedience, which obedience (be the Prince never so bad) can do the people no harme. Thirdly, in his lawlesse 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 lawfull to do) will be no relief, his strength will command subjection. Fiftly, the miscarriages of a Prince ordi­narily (unlesse it come to publike contestation, wherein the Sub­jects sworne and unsworne, if their cause be just, and the Parlia­ment 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 reines of their present Government, when they shall think it unequall, and first, 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 injoyment of any Government, the power of mobi­lity and change being sure to invite all ill disposed persons imme­diately to put that power in ure, and hurrie all [if they may pre­vaile] into confusion. In short, a bad Government is better then none; it is more tolerable for a people that one or a few, then that every man do that which is right in his owne eyes. To be bound to Allegiance, may lay the people open to the former; to be loose, will precipitate them into the later: The former incon­venience cannot be so universally extensive, speedily destructive, and remedilesse, or unresistible, as the later.

2. The later thing I premised, is to give my Reasons for the contradictory to his major Proposition in that first part, It must be conditionall, not absolute: Against which I say, the Oath of Alle­giance may be absolute or unconditionall, 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 absolutely, that is, whether they rule well or no, and that which is absolutely due, may be ab­solutely sworne; the former Proposition I ground thus.

1. The Precept of obedience to Civill Governors, is without a­ny condition or reserve of a disingagement of the Subject [Page 14] in case of the Governours miscarriage, read 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 been, Ier. 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 subjects to their Masters, not only that are good and gentle, but those that are froward, that do them wrong, and from whom they suffer for doing well, 1 Pet. 2.18, 19, 20. and by analogy Subjects are tyed in the same terms to their Governours.

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 actuall, violent, and unjust pursuit his life, 1 Sam. 24.5. &c. 26.9. &c.

5. Otherwise you leave no place for passive obedience to pray for, & patience towards Magistrates in case of their wrong doing, & your innocency, which yet is generally acknowledged to be a dutyAmes. medul­la Theol. l. 1. c. 17. p. 57. Vrsin. Catech. pa. 3. qu. 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 magistraticall af­fairs avoid offending every day, 2 Sam. 23.3, 5.

7. The Doctrine of Orthodox Protestant Divines generally is, that obedience is due (in lawful things) to the most degenerate, op­pressing, and tyrannicall PrincesCalvin. In­stit. l. 4. c. 20. S. 24, 25. &c. P. Martyr loc: C. clas. 4. C. 2. S. 12. 18. 19. Al­sted. Theol. case 17. Reg. 8. Mr. Perkins cases of Gonsc. l. 3. c. 6. s. 1. Bucan. Instit. Theol. loc. 49. quaest. 21. Synops puc. Theol. disp. 50. Thes. 18.27. Scharp. sym­phon. Epoch. 5. Quaest. 44. 45..

2. VVe find Oaths of Allegiance in Scripture, sworn to Princes without any conditions inserted, Judg. 11.9, 10. 2 Kings 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 abso­lutely, as well as it is within a mans power to dispose of himself to service so, whether his Master prove good, or evill, 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 Conditionall Oath is not consistent with a necessary duty; obedience to magistrates is not lesse arbitrary, but commanded, and that though they be bad, but now the duty being necessary, if you [Page 15] 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 later way, if the Covenant be conditi­onall; the Oath that is to ratifie it, may be also so far conditionall, 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 otherwaies 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 it's obligation by the conditionall Oath: such an Oath therefore is in it's end inconsistent with it.

2. I come to the lrtter part of his Major which exacteth, That the Oath be mutuall, 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 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 Subjects, which (if he remember that the Oath spoken of, is the oath of a Subjects Allegiance, obe­dience, or subjection to be yeelded to his Soveraign, and that the King is the person sworn to) 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 perform all lawfull 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 and his Subjects, much lesse can it hold that unlesse it be thus mutuall, the Subjects oath is not in righteousnesse according to Ier. 4.2. but that for want of this mutuality it it is null. for,

[Page 16]1. We read of many undoubtedly righteous Oaths in Scripture undertaken in Covenants betwixt man and man, wherein one par­ty only sweareth, and not both mutually Gen. 24.2.47 31. Exod. 13.19. Iosh. Iudg. 15.12. 1 Sam. 19.6. 1 Kings 2 Sam. 19.23. Noh. 5.12. Ier. 38 10..

2. We find in Scripture Oaths of Allegiance taken by Subjects to their Rulers, without the reciprocall swearing of the Rulers to them 2 Reg. 11.4. Iudg. 11 10. Chron. 36.13. Ezek. 17.3.; such was that ingagement, 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 D. Sanders. de Iuram. ob. pral. 7. S. 12. Tholos. syntag. dur. 1.50. c. 3., but in solemne hu­mane Covenants it comes to passe that somtimes the performance lies only on one party, the other is to receive advantage, but not to do any thing; somtimes the danger of breach lies only or more on one part then on another, somtimes there 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 not need, and consequently is not be exacted.

4 But suppose the case that it be as necessary for security that the King sweare to the people, as that they take an Oath to him, yet if through over much 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 sweare to each other their respective parts, but they both sweare with a mutuall respect, that is, the obligation of the one party hath a respect to, & a depen­dence 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 conveigh to him his land for so much money: in this kind a breach of the one is a releasement to the other. And here that Adage holds good,

Frangenti fidem, fides frangatur eidem;

As also that Rule of the Law, Frustra quis fidem postulat sibi ser­v [...]i ab eo, cui fidem à se praestitam servare recusat: But this sense [...]ll swearing cannot come in to be meant in our case: For, [...] an oath is plainly conditionall, the one party sweares not [...] the other absolutely and clearly so much money, but to give [Page 17] 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 above proved an Oath of Al­legiance cannot be conditionall. 2. The Kings Oath is also absolute, and binds without dependence on the Subjects Loy­alty, no man will say (I thinke) that the King is discharged from ruling justly, and may become an absolute Tyrant, if his Subjects exceed the bounds, or faile 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 tenour of his oath to be done, and cannot otherwise escape violation of his oath. 3. Such mutuall oaths are entred into by both parties at the same time, and have their mutu­all respects expressed, but neither doth the King and Subjects sweare to each other at the same time; neither is there any such mutuall respect mentioned, or so much as implied in ei­ther of their oaths. 4. Such mutually respective oaths have only place in matters arbitrary, or that are in mens choice to do, or not to do untill 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 mutuall nor single will fit this mans turne, but it will make his Proposition false, either predicated of the Oath of Allegiance at all, so doth the first and third acception afore-mentioned, or if predicated with that modus of a necesse est, so doth the third: But let us heare his Reasons for this clause of his major, whatever be the sense of it.

It is (saith he) against equity 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 Prince is bound to the Subject to rule well, and administer Justice rightly. Grant all this, and it will no way follow: therefore the Oath of Allegiance to make it righ­teous must be mutuall, in any sense; for the Prince may be bound, and that as long to his part, as the Subject is to his, [Page 19] (and so he is, and it is impossible to be otherwise; for Prince and Subject, his tie to rule in justice, and his to obey in just things, are relatives, and doe inferre necessarily each other) to wit, by the tie of Scripture, conscience, and positive Laws, and yet not be sworne at all. His major being thus (I hope) fully refuted, I need not to take notice of his con­sequences, as he calls them, but in a word I shall touch on them.

The first is nothing but a hypotheticall 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 strongly 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, all the Subjests are absolved if they will. This consequence I deny; I have I thinke, fully made it cleare before, that the Oath of Alle­giance taken by the Subject is absolute, not depending upon any thing to be performed by the King, whether sworne or not sworne; and that it could not have been otherwise: and though the King and people have each sworn their duties mu­tually,See D. San­ders. de Iuram. oblig. Prael. 4. S 8. yet not with a mutuall 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 falls 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; ellse the whole Parliament [Page 18] and their party were periured persons so many of them as have ta­ken this Oath, and are Rebells in taking up Armes against the King.

1. If their taking up Arms against the King (as he termes 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 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 arms which would have been (if the Oath had not been (as he supposeth) nullified) rebellion never­thelesse.

2. We must therefore say, (as the Parliamentarian party hath believed, declared, and in many Treatises in print maintained all along the late warrs) that the Armes of the Parliament were not against any branch of the Subjects Allegiance, or the Oath for it, (which they professed still to owe, persist in, yea, and in the Act of their Arms-bearing covenanted to yeeld & 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 Laws 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 Court, 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 personall pre­sence or commands) yet for the King, his Crown and dignity.

[Page 20]2. His next exception against the Oath of Allegiance is, That it is an unlawfull oath, in that it is sworn to the Kings Heirs; his reason for this Exception proceeds thus, Who knoweth (as Eccl. 2.19.) whether he will be a wise man, or a fool, a just, or a wicked man, and tyrant? now if no man know this, then to swear to an Heir, is not an Oath in iudgement, 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 un­lawfull Oath, &c. I admit of the Antecedent, but utterly deny the Consequence. 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 will be a wise man, or a fool, therefore he shall not have Rule, &c. that is, we must not engage before hand that he shall rule, while it is uncertain what he will prove: though Solomon saith notwithstanding that is uncertain, yet he shall have Rule, and so Rehoboam (none of the wisest Princes) had Rule over Solomons labour, yet they that cleaved to him, did much better then they that revolted from him, and I suppose this gentleman dare not say, that an Oath of Allegiance to So­lomon and his seed, or to Rehoboam himself after the manifesta­tion of his weaknesse was unlawfull.

2. The same reason (if it held) would lie against any Oath or Engagement to any Rulers, in being whatsoever they are, yea against the new Engagement to the present Government: for say that Rulers be come to maturity, and for time past and pre­sent have given proof that they are wise and (morally) just (which yet in some cases is not evident) yet who knows what they may hereafter be.

The Scripture supposeth, that not only a just Father may have a wicked son, but a righteous man (in profession and externall carriage) may turne from his righteousnesse, and commit ini­quity, Ezek. 18.14. Neroes Quinquennium of reigning well is generally known, the good beginnings of Ioash and Ozziah, [Page 21] 2 Chron. 23, 24. & 26. and thereafter degeneracies are sufficient instances of the lubricity of men in authority. Yea it is well known how fearfully Solomon himself with Asa, 1 Kings 11. 2 Chron. 16. and others fell in divers particulars of a grosse na­ture, if we must first know, and swear afterwards, we must na­ver swear promissarily.

3. This consequence (were it of force) would equal­ly condemn in generall all promissary oaths, and other Covenants, and Engagements, betwixt man, and man, for it cannot be foreseen in any what the persons contracted with will prove, or whether the Covenant will be beneficiall, or hurtfull, and in particular the Laws and Sanctions of those Na­tions in all ages which have setled successive regality, or any other Government, for 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 vicissicudinary E­lection, but a warranted by the word of God. Israel offered a successive power to Gideon, Iudg. 8.22. and God himself institu­ted, and bound the people to a lineall 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, for about a hundred years in the lineage of the Maccabees.

4. We have Scripture examples (of an uncontro­verted integrity) of oaths, and Engagements to Princes and their Heirs, and to Princes in their young, unripe and untryed years: Take for instance that of Abrahams swearing to Abimelech King of Gerar, his son, and sons son, 1 Chron. and that of Davids making Solomon King in his own life time, and engaging the people to him when he was yet young and tender, 2 King. 11.4.22. and that of Iehoiadahs and the peoples making Joash King, and swea­ring to him when he was but seven years old.

2. For the two parts of the consequence in severall.

1. The Oath is not in Judgement, because no man knows what the Heire will prove: I say, it may be in Judgment [Page 22] so far as a future contingency can be deliberated on: and this may be concluded on advisedly (as morally certain) that it's better to have the Crown setled in a line, whereby sometimes a vicious person may be ad­vanced, then to have it under Election at every perso­nall change: this hath been the experimented maxime of the wisest states, Judg. 21.7.15. Sam. 14.24.37. Josh. 9.14.16. If it were not in Judgement, this defect makes not an oath unlawfull, as to the nullifying of it, a rash Oath, if of a lawfull thing binds, as before was pro­ved.

2. Nor is it a righteous Oath, for the Subject may bind himselfe to his owne 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 (in ending the publike good) to that which is of a mutuall nature, and may in the event turne to his owne hurt, and ruine; and might he not so sweare, yet having so sworne, he is bound to stand to his Oath, Psal. 15 4. Josh. 9.15. Ezek. 17.13. 1 Sam. 14.26.28. Judg. 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 & 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 [Page 23] ruine (whatever the Heir prove) if the Kingdome be faithfull to it self.

3. His third exception against the Oath as unlaw­lawfull, and void, is, That it is to uphold one kinde of go­vernment for continuance, and in a constant way without changing. His argument to make good this exception, proceeds thus.

If of the severall kinds of government, all are not e­qually good, nor suitable to all people: And man may change the government he is under for his owne greatest good and benefit, and must change it when he hath proved a­ny kind of government inconvenient and hurtfull, and must not uphold any one kind of government longer then it conti­nues to be most safe and profitable; then to sweare to uphold any one government continually and constantly, and not to change it is sinfull, and in righteousnesse and judgment may not be done. But of the severall 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 kinde of government inconvenient and hurtfull, and must not uphold any one kinde of government longer then it continues to be most safe and profitable. Ergo,

For answer hereunto,

First, I observe there is fault to bee found with the whole argument, as somwhat transgressing the rules of arguing.

1. In the consequence there is somthing of the errour called ignoratio Elenchi; for we sweare not in the Oath of Al­legiance (indefinitely or indeterminately as his words im­port) [Page 24] to uphold one government continually, and not to change.

First, wee sweare onely to His Maiesty, his Heires and Successors: so that when ever they are all 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 mutuall consent of both parties, to wit, the sworn to, and them swearing, as it is in all humane contracts and oaths of this nature Alsted. Theol. cas. c. 15. Reg. 2. D. Sanders. de Iuram. oblig. prael. 7. S. 8..

Secondly, In the Minor there is somwhat of the fallacy called petitio principii, namely, that any kind of government (granted to be lawfull) can prove inconvenient and hurtfull to the subjects. The Governours 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 will 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 hurtfull, because it is an Ordinance of God for mans good, and that in specie, (as after will be shewed) and as a government it hath a poli­ticall goodnesse seated in its being, by the unchangeable 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 any government inconvenient and hurtfull, and must not uphold any one go­vernment longer then it continues most safe and profitable, I must flatly deny. What position more anarchicall 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. [Page 25] My Son feare 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 tells us in the next Words, vers. 22. for their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both. 2. If men may change for the better and must change upon a supposed hurt, then all oaths, ingagements, or promises of obedience, allegiance, or fidelity to Magistrates are unlawfull 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, but for a future continuance. And there is in all such Engagements a makeing 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, Eccl. 8.2. 2 Kings 11.4. Joshua 1.16 17, 18. Iugdes 8.9.10. 2. Cr. 36.13.

3. This position not only disallowes all such engagements, but dis­solves the naturall, or morall 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 will, and that is not to be tyed at all, by this means any man is disengaged from subjection both in foro interno & externo, when he will 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 out against the Judgements, take up armes 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 sinfull, not in righteousnes, but I would fain have him declare what thing magistracy and what subjection is.

4. This Doctrine will acquit, and justifie all the conspiracies and treasons that ever were enterprized against the power of the Magi­strate since the World was. Was not the conspiracy of Absolom, 2. Sam. 15 1. Kings &c. and that of Sheba against David, was not the Rebellion of Jeroboam against Solomon, and Rehoboam; were not the seditions of Thendas [Page 26] and Judas the Gaulnite against Caesar; Acts 5.36 were not all the Treasons against Magistracy that ever have bin, attempted for the parties (yea for the publique) greater good, as the Conspirators iudged?

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 show) it may be said. 1. Seldome or never doth a whole nation under a lawfull government of them­selves affect or move to a change, it is the flatterers, and deceivers of the people [...] Anst. poli [...]. lib. 5. c. 5. ordinaryly that desire and mislead the people to 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 judgment, to me is a thing unimagina­ble.

5. This necessity of retaining a power in Subjects to chang, and of using it for a greater good, or removall of a temporall hurt, in oppo­sition to an Oath sworn against, the change is directly against the Scrip­tures, tying men, that sweare 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 oaths; Ezek 17 13, &c: Joshua 9, 15, compared with 2 Sam. 21.2.

6. That position so much now adays 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 governours dissent to it all a­long) is no other then that resistance of the ordinance of God, con­demned Rom. 13.2.

2. It is directly opposite to that subjection commanded every soul that is in the relation of a Subject, Rom: 13.1. and that 1. Pet. 2.13.

3. If the people may do it, then it must needs be that they have a civill power and authority over their Magistrates. Which is contrary to those Scriptures which make the King supreme, and call the powers 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. 2.12. Rom. 13.1 and indeed if the people have a power over their Magistrates to Judge, or displace them, how are they 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 [Page 27] under the people, whom are they over? If the people be above the Magistrates whom are they under?

4. The Holy Ghost commands the people to render tribute, custom, feare, 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 transferring it from one to another, or gi­ving what he oweth to another besides the proprietor.

5. Magistrates are of God, his ordinance and ministers, and they are Judges for him as his vicegerents. Rom. 13.1.24. 2. Cron. 19 6. and therefore tannot stand at the meer will of the people. God must have a hand in their removall as he hath in their admission: or else it is injurious, he removes and admits now, 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. 6. If it were in the peoples pow­er to change at pleasure their magistracy,1. Sam. then how could it be such a heinous sin as it is challenged to be for the people to reject Samu­ells government, and desire and move for a King?

But let us next hear what he alledgeth for this his assertion of mu­tabllity. Though civill government (he saith) in generall be an or­dinance of God tending to mans good, therefore to reject it would be sinfull, 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.

First Civill Government in the generall cannot be said to be Gods ordinance, and therefore unrejectable, but this, or this, or that kind of government that is a legittimate and true species of it, must necessarily be yeelded to be also Gods Ordinance, and unrejectable, for it is a sure rule, for whatsoever is directly and per se said of the genus, or generall nature must be also said of the species or particu­lar kind, and again the whole nature of the genus or generall is con­teined in every species or kind. Quicquid oredicatur de praedi­cato praedi, catur de subjecto, Hist. 1. va­la bados Tota natu­ra generis continctur in una quae que specie.

2. The Apostle cannot be taken to speak of power in generall only; and abstractly, but must not be understood distributively of all law­full powers in their speciall kind, 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 shall say of this or that kind of lawfull govern­ment, [...] [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [Page 28] as of Monarchy, it is not of God, it is not the ordinance of God speaketh 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 ordinance. 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 style, and an ordinance of man in Peters, and you cannot say these two apostles, speak of goverment two different wayes, the for­mer in generall, the latter in particular, for as I have proved Paule must be taken of particular kinds so it is cleare Peter speaks first in generall, submit your selves to every ordinance of man &c. and then in particular, whether it be to the King as supreme, or unto Governors &c. This or that government Paul calls an ordinance of God. 1 In that it is instituted in its speciall nature by God, and warranted for any people, but not commanded or imposed (as Government in the generall is) upon every nation. For it is with goverments in relation to Nations as with callings, in Relation to Persons; every man must have a calling, but it is distributively this, or that, or the other, all are not necessarily to have this one. 1. Cor. 77, 17

2 In that it is invested in the particuler person by God, when they are called to the government, according to his rule, though he doe not point them out imediately by his own finger, but mediately 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 ordaine them. And in this regard, the Magistrats (not the government abstractly) are caled Gods ordinance Rom 13 2. compared with 3.4. Peter terms it mans ordinance, either be­cause both the speciall forme of government, and the persons holding it, are chosen and so imediaaely constituted by men. Or rather be­cause it is conversent about humane affairs,Beza Mar­lor est Di­vines A­notat. Dio­dat. and mans benefit, not as if it were invented by, or had its originall from men, for so it is of God, as expostitors interpret and compare that place of Peter with the other of Paul and that Peter excludeth not, but taketh in the Divine authoritation 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 syllogisme and what he [Page 29] brings to back the assumptions withall, his consequence or conclusion following goes to the ground, and the lawfullnes of the oath of Allegi­ance remains unshaken. But as his manner is, he amplyfied his conse­quence with matters altogether in consequentiall, and inde­pendant on the premises. First he saith who knowes not what a plague this kind of Government (viz. Kingly) hath bin to this Nation? and that the most of our Kings have been Tyrants? I am one that know not these things but Judge the contrary and will he 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, Iude 8, 9, 10 and to take heed of the verdict and Judgment therein given upon government-blasphemers.

2. Who knowes not what a blessing the change of government hath brought to the United Provinces? I am sure this man knowes not, neither can say (if those Provinces excell in blessings) that they are brought by a change of their lawfull Government, considering what Solomon observed of old, concerning the disproportion of worldly successes to mens wayes: and the inevidence of the goodnes or bad­nes of persons, and actions if estimated by events, which every mans experience can second.

Whether those provinces have changed or recovered their govern­ment as Hugo Grotius conceiveth. 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 Judgments upon those that have rebelled against, cast off, or murdered their lawfull Go­vernors, gathered by worthy men, Theatre of Gods Judgments by Doctor Beard, and Doctor Taylor. lib. 2. chap. but I never before met with a­ny that made observation of divine Blessings upon any of those acts.

Thus far his exceptions by way of proof of his first position, goe; He in the close makes one Objection against himselfe, and giveth his answer to it thus. Ob; Suppose there was some unlawfullnes, in the taking such Oathes, yet is there not a necessity of keeping them be­ing taken? Answer, If Herods Oath against the life of one man being unrighteous and cruel was sinfully taken, and more sinfully kept, then these of allegiance which are absolute not conditionall &c. and which are to uphold Monarchy, the wofull fruits whereof seeing they are dangerous, and may prove, as often they have done, destructive to the [Page 30] lives of many men, they are not only unlawfull to be taken, but to be kept. Not granting any unlawfullnes in the taking of this Oath, (ha­ving (I hope) made good its innocency against all that hath bin 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 unlawfulll both in the taking and keeping, what was that? it comprised as he interpreted it the shedding Innocent bloud, the massacring of a guiltlesse and holy person. Now what is the matter of ours? To yeeld obedience in lawfull things, to a lawfull power. Is it any more? and are not the matters of these two oaths, as farre unlike as light and darknesse? That which he heaps up to agravate our oath to the height of the un­righteousnesse of Herod is nothing but the three exception, which all this while I have been answering, and therefore shall content my selfe with what hath bin said to them. Only in the close he tels us Monarchy is dangerous, and may, as often it hath, prove distructive to the lives of many men, and therefore its unlawfull to sweare or keep the upholding of it. This is nothing but what may be as truly said of any kind of government how lawfull soever: none that hath bin as much practised as it can be affirmed to have bin less distructive, or to be lesse dangerous then it; but the possibility of being, or ex­perience of having been abused, is no valid reason why a government may not be upheld; if it be downe must all government fal? and if yet it may be upheld, to sweare to uphold it may be an oath lawfull 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 Herod keeping his oath, & others violating theirs, his execution & theirs may have, it is not to my purpose in hand to shew.

I have done with his first position, and proceed to his second, which is this.

Suppose the Oath of Allegiance to be lawfull, yet the subject is now absolved from it by them that have power to absolve from it. This position of a power in any to absolve from a lawfull 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 antichristian presumption. But let us see where and upon what ground he builds such power.

Reason. Because the Representatives of the people, which in rea­son are the Supream power, imposed this Oath by an Act in Parlia­ment; [Page 31] this was the Subjects free Act in their Representatives, no law of God, or nature obligeing them to accept of such a person as his heires, and to swear allegiance to them. If therefore the representa­tives take away and repeale this Act (as this Parliament hath done) they thereby set the subjects at liberty from such allegiance, and from their Oath bind [...]ng 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.

1 For the antecedent I shall only note. 1 he sets up a supreame power over us by reason, not by law, or the peoples constitution, and this reason is not the Nations, but first either his own privat judg­ment, and if that may treat a supream power to him, then every other privat mans reason is to set up on to him, even when there is one alrea­dy over the people he is of. 2 Or is it the common reason that is in all men naturally, and if so, how comes it to passe that there is such variety of kinds in supreame government, and that Representatives have it not in all times and nations, yea that scarse they ever had it?

2. That in citing the power that Enacted this Oath, he omits the King and House of Lords, who in the then Parliament concur­red in this Enacting and Imposition.

3. That although the King then was rightfully and actually in­throned in the Regall power, and Dignity, and both the Law, and the Oath of Supremacy obliged the people to him and his heires, 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 5th. 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: and doth not that Law command every people and person allegiance to their particular lawfull Governours, and was not the King in being, his heires in capacity, and designation such?

2. But for the consequence there is no truth in it nor colour of reason, or inference from the Antecedent for it. Besides, that the act cannot (for ought appeares 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 acknow­ledgment, and the first words of it are; I. A. B. truly and sincerely acknowledg, professe, testifie, and declare in my Conscience before God and the World, that King James is lawfull King of this [Page 32] Realm. &c. Suppose the Representatives to be the supreme 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 (in any Divinity extant) to have power eo ipso to absolve from it, when the imposers are also the partie sworn to, there it is granted (both by Protestants and Papists Doctor Sanders. de Juram. oblig. prael 7, S. 8. Thol [...]s. Syr. tag. Jur [...], lib. 50. cap. 12.) they have so farre as concernes them­selves power to release from the Oath, not because they are not the Imposers, but because they are the party sworn to, for omnis qui pro­missit facit jus alteri, cui est facta promissio, the right of the thing sworn is theirs to whom the Oath is made, therefore they may release from it, and this is the true ground of that power he supposeth in Abraham to acquit his servant, being the imposer of his oath (if that was not rather the interpretation then relaxation of the oath) but where the imposers are a third party from the persons swearing, and sworn to, there they have no claim of power of relaxation. And thus the case is here, the Representatives (as he saith) 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 gi­ven him, then if a man impose an oath upon himselfe (as in some cases he may) he may absolve himselfe when he will from it, though he therein obliged himselfe to God or another man. And this is tru­ly the case here as he himselfe states it, the subjects by their own Act in their Representatives impose this oath, and by their own perso­nall act swear it, and after by their own act in their Representatives absolve themselves from it.

2 The repeale of the Act is no repeale or dissolution of the oath, the Parliament that framed 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 to him, as the Ministers rehearsing and dictating the words of marriage, to the couple Marying each o­ther makes not the mariage, but the parties themselves declaring in those words. And as the clerk in a court reciteing the words of the Iurors oath to them makes not the oath, but the Iurors assent to it. The Parliament can injoyne, or punish the refusall, or manifest [Page 33] 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 entered into unto God, as the invocated witnesse, and judge, cannot be within the Parliaments authority to nullifie in all subjects oaths which may be made with or without their imposition. There are cases indeed, wherein a superiour, 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 own right, Animad­vertendum tamen est penes hos non esse facultatem rescinden­di quodli­bet jusju­randum subdito­rum sed il­lud dun­taxat cu­jus mate­ria est eo­rum pote­sta [...]i 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 bin so far from being ignorant of the making of this oath, and disalowing it as soon as it was known 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 shall sit down. Lastly for a close of my answer unto this position, I shall observe what the tennor of this oath hath in it. I doe 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 doe renounce all pardons and dispensations to the contrary. This is not only the swearers declaration, but the Parliaments, in compiling and imposing this oath, and all Representatives have personally thus declared in taking it, shall we beleeve them concerning their power in this matter, or this man?

In the end he brings in three questions and answers to them, un­to which though they have no immediate reference either to this latter position, or the proof of it, to which they are subjoyned, nor to the question of the oaths obligatorinesse, which is the sub­ject of the precedent discourse, yet lest the over-passing them [Page 34] should imply that they are unto me either currant, or difficult to be answered, I shall say somewhat.

1. His first question and answer is after this manner.

But then it will to this. Whether the Parliament be the su­preme gower. R. 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 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 the Parliament is the power of the people, now in reason the power of the people is the supreme; because thence as from the root all power first sprung, and proceeded.

The Norman Kings did not come in by Conquest, the first of them surnamed the Conquerour did indeed so come in: although even he layd other claim to the Crown besides Conquest, as the ground of the attempt thereof, namely a right both by vertue of the Covenant, and Oath of Harold, and the Donation of King Edward. Speeds H [...]st. Book 1. Chap. 7 Sect. 6. 13 14. 16. 30 Speed. B. 9. Ch. 2. S. 54 Chap. 3. S. 12. The next to him William Rufus neither came in by Conquest, nor by lineall succession: his father on his death-bed being in remorse of Conscience for his cruell government of the Kingdome, durst not (as he said) dispose of the Land to any other then to God, only he wisht (if it might be the will of God) that William his son might flourish in the Throne, Speed. B. 9. Ch. 2. S. 54 Chap. 3. S. 12. who accordingly notwithstanding (Duke Robert was his elder brother) by a gene­rall consent and vote was made King, The rest that have follow­ed successivly came in by discent, and title of inheritance [although in some happily it was wrested] and were the most of them peace­ably, and without contest of any, seated in the throne, and that which the Parliament usually did, was not a creating of a title to them, but a recognition of that which they had, and a securing of it to their posterity, which was for the Kingdoms safety, as wel as the Kings interest. 2. It is well known this Land was gover­ned by Kings in supreme power long before the Norman race be­gun, so that this exception from the manner of the Normans com­ing in lies rather against their title (who came in by Conquest) to be Kings then against the Kings Title to be supreme. 3. If the Judgment of Parliaments themselves to whom he would appro­priate the supremacy, may decide to whom it belongs, it will be [Page 35] yeilded to be in the King (though not exclusively, in reference to Parliament) witnesse the Act of Parliament setting forth and en­joyning the Oath of the Kings Supremacy. 4 The causing or con­veying of civill power, by way of consent or election, whether it be by the Parliament to the King, or by the people to them both, or to either of them, is no argument of a power in the said con­veyers greater then that which is so conveyed by them: because they that by Election, or consent invest the Magistrate with pow­er,Those axi­omes quic­quid efficit tale illud est magis tale Nihil dat quod non habet, are not ment of Instrumentall but of principall efficients. are not the proper or principall efficient causes of that power but only the applyers of it to the person, and the instrumentall means of giving him a right therein. God by his institution, and ordination is the efficient cause of the Magistrates power, and therefore he indeed is superior to him; and he alone. In the ad­vancement of men to that office, God only acteth authorita­tively men by the choice of the person, and consenting to him do it ministerially. This proposition, that which is the cause of power is it selfe of greater power may be true of the prin­cipall efficient, but cannot hold of the subordinate or instrumen­tall cause, a wife as the meanes giveth the power of a husband over her to him whom she marryeth, by her consent in marriage of him, a servant in like manner giveth power to his master over him by his voluntary agreeing to be his servant; yet can it not thence be concluded that the wife or servant, are greater in pow­er respectively then the husband or master, an over topping, or super-regall power then in the Parliament, or a super-parliamen­tary and super-regal power in the people cannot be bottomed on that reason. 5, As for that which is said as the ad. reason, the power of the Parliament is the power of the people, now in rea­son &c. I answer 1. There is a petition of a principle not to be granted, not offered to be proved, which is, that Magistraticall power or authority (even supreme) is seated in the people. I have brought reasons for the refutation of this before, and I shall only here say, first, Rulers are called the powers, the bearers of the sword, the revengers to execute wrath upon him that doth evill, we read of their commission and instructions for Magistracy in Scripture, but where find we any such thing spoken of or granted to the people?

2 Rulers are stiled powers of God, his ordained, his ordi­nance, [Page 36] his Ministers, Judges for him, but where read wee that they are the peoples power, or subordinate ministers?

3 The people are the object about which, the subject over which the power is set, and therefore cannot be the agent or sub­ject in which it is stated.

4 If Supreme authority be in the people, then they may ma­nage it themselves (for in vain is that power that cannot be redu­ced into act) and hold it in their own hands, and need not choose or constitute any higher powers, or Magistrates over them, which cannot be if Magistracy be an Ordinance of God, and ne­cessary by divine precepts, as it is Deut. 16.18. and to reject it would be sinfull as this man tells us in his first position.

5 If the people be a power, and that supreme, they must have some to be their subjects; and who are their subjects? either them­selves or their Magistrates: not themselves, for every relation (and therefore Magistracy, and subjection) must have two terms; never was such a politicall state heard of, wherein the same men are both under and over themselves in the same power. Not the Magistrates for we read of no such ordinance of God as a humane power over the Magistracy; but contrarywise they are said in rela­tion to the people, to be set over, to be the rulers, and heads of the people, and to be the higher powers and the supreme. Deutr. 1 2. Sam. 23 3. Ro. 13.1. 1. Pet. 2.13.

6 If it be so, then there is no specificall distinction, or distributi­on of Government in generall into divers Species, as into Mo­narchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, as hath been generally held, and accordingly practised, but all government is Democra­ticall, Monarchy and Aristocracy are specifically the same with, and but subordinate offices under it. 2 Suppose the power were indeed supremely in the people, how can he say, or doth he prove that the power of the Parliament is the power of the people, more then is the power of the King? he cannot mean that the power of the Parliament is subjectively or formally the peoples, for the Parliament and people being two distinct subjects, the same indi­viduall power cannot totally be subjected or formally inherent to both, but he understands (doubtlesse) that the Parliaments power is effectively causally the peoples, that is, it is derived and received from them, and so (granting the supposition) is the Kings also, and that as immediately (in the constitution of the [Page 37] Kingly office) as is that of the Parliament, it was never yet I think said, neither is there the least warrant for it, that in the first constituting of the government, the people chose the Parliament and the parliament founded the Kingly office, but rather the peo­ple ordained both joyntly and immediately, appointing kings to reigne over them successively, who should governe with the ad­vice, and authority of Parliament, which should be called by him, and consist of the Peers hereditarily, and the Commons by perso­nall election. Which three estates are collaterally incorporated together in the fundamentall constitution, and Government of this Kingdome (as even the Commons have declared D [...]cla­rat. of Apr. 17. 1646.) and there­fore are not superstructory one to another.

3 And whereas he saith, to prove the power to be in the people, that from the power of the people as from the root, all power first sprung and proceeded. The people are not the root from whence power first sprung: they are rather the soyle in which it growes, by which it is fed and supported. God is the Root, Head, or Fountaine from whence all power springs. There is no power but of God &c. The people are only a channell, or instrument of its conveyance to the Magistrate by their election and consent, which acts of theirs, do no more prove the supreme power to be in the people, then the Electorship of the seven Princes proves the imperiall power, and dignity to be in them: or the choise of a Major of a City by the aldermen, or freemen; proves the office, or authotity of the Major to be in them.

2 His second Question and Answer followes.

Whether the Representative of the people be the Parliament? R. If the Parliaments power be the peoples, and the supreme power, then the Representatives of the people are the Parliament, and none else: for the Representatives are the people in them, and there is the root of power, therefore they are the Parliament. Here is an antecedent, a consequence, a reason of the conse­quence: but very feeble all. First the Antecedent. If the Par­liaments power be the Peoples, and the Peoples the supreme power.] This hath been disproved above in the discussion of the 1 question, I have therein manifested that the power of Parliaments as distinct from the King is neither the peoples, not the Supreme by way of peculiarity; and that the Kings power derives as strongly [Page 38] and as nerely from the people as as doth the Parliaments, though both have their principall originall from God, and are but instru­mentally from the people.

2. The Consequent is [then the Representatives of the people are the Parliament and none else] were the Antecedent granted, and most true, yet he that knows what an argument is, or hath but naturall Logick, may see that this hath no kind of inference, or consequentiall force from it.

We say that the Lords and Commons of England assembled with the politicall power and presence of the King are the Par­liament: and for this we appeal to all the use of the word, since there was such a thing as a Parliament in England, till within these very few dayes and the generall understanding of the word still; to the Law common and municipal; to the Titles of Parliamentary Acts, and Statutes; and to the Declarations, and constant language of Parliaments themselves, from first to last, He saith the Representatives of the people, meaning the said Commons, are the Parliament; for this he brings no proofe in the world, from the application or use of the word by any, though he cannot but know that words signifie according to the pleasure of some Imposer; all his medium is in those term. [The Peoples power, and the supreme power] Whereas it is a question betwixt us whether there be such a thing as power, or supremacy belong­ing to the people: and if that were granted, yet it is still a questi­on betwixt us whether the peoples, and the supreme power be any more appertaining to the Commons, then to the King, and Lords; I cannot assent to either; the affirmative of both are his positions and but barely affirmed by him; so that in making this inference he doth but prove one of his principles by another improved, and in so doing doth but petere principium. 3. His reason of this con­sequence is [for the Representatives are the people, in them, and there is the race of power.] This is still but to infer the conclusion upon an unproved principle of his own, which I have denyed, and refuted above: but I shall here touch upon the wide mistakes a­bout this term and thing, Representatives, with which hee, and o­thers are, I see, overtaken. 1. he taketh for granted, that the Commons in Parliament are the peoples Representatives, which me thinks cannot properly be said, if we understand by the people [Page 39] all estates, members or parties in the Kingdome (and if he doth not so understand it I aske, how can he (after his own sense) place the power, supremacy, & representablenes only in one part of the Kingdom?) for the said Commons are chosen but by, and in the name of the Commoners, in distinction from the Peers, and cannot, are not intended to represent any more then those by, and in whose name they are elected, and therefore are called the Commons in Parliament, besides the Peers are present, and therefore cannot be represented. If then all the people are not Commoners, nor represented, how are those Commons truly and compleatly the Representatives of the people?

2. He seems to found the Commons power, (and that in a de­gree above others that are undoubted powers) upon their being Representatives of the people. Whereas (I think it will up­on scanning appear that) their representativenesse is not the rise or ground of any Magistraticall power in them. 1. That which makes them, or any men a power (as I apprehend the matter) is that they are Gods Representatives, and that which ordinarily makes them so is that they are chosen, or consented to by the people, either personally, or in the originall constitution of go­vernment, unto the administration of an authority ordained by God; and thus are in this kingdom the Prince, the Peers, and the Commons in Parliament though not all the same way, but some personally, others hereditarily.

The said Commons have indeed this addition (but it is not of Magistraticall power, but of popular action, and employment) that they are the Commons representatives, because the colect­ive Commons cannot convene, or treat; which representation empowers them not to any publique Magistracy, or Acts of di­stributive Iustice, but only intrusts and inables them to deeds of Commutative right or contract, on the Commoners behalf, as the agreeing on Taxes, Forces, or other requisites to be borne in an equall proportion, and which are due as far as proportionable from the people to the publique Magistrates and service. 2. If the power of the Commons be grounded on their representative­nes of the people, then it is necessary all the Members should be present to make them a representative of the whole Body of the people, and to inable them to act so as to bind the whole; [Page 40] because the Members compose a Representative; not so as that e­very one tepresents the whole, but each one represents a part, and all of them collectively represents the whole. 3 He pla­ceth the dimension and prerogative of the Office of the said Commons in their Representativenes of the people, where it see­meth to me they are not meere (but more then) Representatives of the people. They that are meerly Representatives are, 1. To act what they whom they represent might act if they were present. 2 To act nothing but what they have in charge from the re­presented. But this is not the latitude of the Commons in Par­liament, they are not thus tyed up. For first, If they be an estate endued with civill authority, they may act authoritatively, and so could not the people whome they represent if they were pre­sent: no such power being seated in them, as was a little before alleged. 2 If they be a power, they are impowred by God, and so have in charge from him to act the thing within their Commission, whether they are charged from the people to doe them or not; yea though the people should command the con­trary. If they be no more then representees, and so be bounden by the latter rule here given, perhaps some would aske what charge or Commission did the people ever give either to any Former, or to the present Representatives for some actings?

Thirdly, His third Question and Answer is. Whether the present Representatives that now sit be the Representative of the people. R. First they are all of them chosen by the people, there­fore of right they sit in Parliament. First, Whether they be all so chosen, I shall not enquire; but I have read in Master Prin (as I remember it is in his Speech upon the Treaty) who it is probable knew the house better then this Gentleman) the con­trary of some whom he there names. 2 But if they all be legally chosen, that proves not that they of right sit in Parliament, unles there be a right Parliament to sit in. R. Secondly, the present Representatives are all that are left to sit in Parliamet, 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. First, he means they that sit are all that are left de facto to sit, I shall not gainsay him. But he might say thus if [Page 41] they were but two, and all the rest were excluded by force of arms, and those two were prisoners in the place, those two in this case would be a Representative, according to this his reason. If he would be understood, that they are all that are de jure left to sit; I would heare that proved; all that he brings for it here i [...]. The most of the rest have diserted their trust. 1 Say they had, would that prove they that are left are all that de jure are to sit, what say you to the lesse part of the rest whom you accuse not for deserters? what say you to the secluded, and [...]ecured, whom you cannot accuse of deserting their trust? I doe not know that the house, or those you call the present Representatives have try­ed, or Judged any, or all of either sort of them unto depri­vation of the right of sitting: nay what say you to those most of the rest taxed by you as deserters of their trust, as voluntarily, and without interruption departing? are they actually divested of their right to sit? because they doe not performe their trust, therefore ought they not to do it? 2 But I can loke upon this charge of those most of the rest, no otherwise then as a railing oc­cusation brought against men in dignity, and a presumptious slan­der, intollerably cast upon those who have otherwise suffered so much in their trust.

first, It hath been currently, and without contradiction (to my knowledg) published that were secured, or secluded in two or three dayes; and how can he, or any man be able to know, or say that there is so much as one man of that house left at liberty, that hath not come to discharge his trust and been actually debarred? much lesse can any one say that the most of them have not.

2 I would aske whether all that disclaimed not the vote about the Kings concessions were not declaredly excluded, and actual­ly put back if they offered to enter, and if there be not still forces there ready to do the same?

3 Not long before the last breaking of the house, they that for feare of the Apprentices departed the house, were counted the best performers of their trust, and they that taried be­hind in the house were accused as faylers of it. Must now [Page 42] the charge be inverted, because the persons are varied 2. If they that sit are all that are left to sit de jure, yet unlesse they be a number competent in Law to make a house, and free from force, I would be satisfyed how they can be qualifyed to sit and act (especially in so high matters as the taking away the King, and House of Lords, and establishing a new power, and way of goverment, which if don by that house at the fullest, and freest would be at least questionable?) the suspension and annulling the acts of the house upon the proceedings against the five Members, and the coming of the Apprentices to the Parliament doores are fresh in memory, and lively presidents. And if the power of an Army not only captivating some Members, but keeping the house that only a few (scarce the eighth part of the number of them that constitute the house) may enter, and sit, whom they distinguish by no known Character (much lesse by any open or legall sentence a­gainst the excluded) but only by a private roll of paper reserved in their own hands, be not a taking away of the houses freedom, I know not what can be so called: R. Thirdly, the Representa­tives that remain were alwaies when fewest, and still are above the number allowed of by Law. What number is allowed of by Law, what Law that is, where written, and when made, that alloweth of that number, and what that number (suppose it were 40.) is allowed to do, this Gentleman tells us not; and yet these things should be set downe and scanned before this reason can passe: There is a great difference betwixt forty and foure or five hundred, betwixt some acts of the house, and others in point of concernment. If the Members of the house do not each of them represent the whole, but all of them aggregatively, in that some represent this part, some another of the nation, how can an eight part of them be said to make a representative of the whole Nation, wherein possibly there is not one representative from se­ven parts of eight of the Land? But the above alledged exception of a force upon the house must be wiped off, or else the cleering of this point of the number (could it be) wil not serve.

The last thing in the Paper (which he would, it may be, not have [Page 43] to be overslipped) is a new doctrine concerning the interest of the people in the appointing of their Governors. Wherein he saith. 1. Such right as Kings have had, they never justly came by it, but by force and flattery have obtained it. What a blasphemer of digni­ties is this, that presumes to revile the whole order of Kings as U­surpers, and unjust possessors of the highest civill property, Do­minion? not one of them will he except from injurious attainment of their Crownes; no not Melchisedech himselfe, the interpreta­tion of whose name bespeaks him King of Righteousnesse! Surely he that is the King of Kings would never have stiled h [...]mself so, if the universality of them had been so bad: and the Apostle Pauls retractation Act. 23.5. The Angels modesty, 2. Pet. 2.10.11. Nay the Prince of Angels his moderation, Jude 8.9. are high re­dargations of this insolent evill speaking of dominions. If his in­tention be to reflect more specially on the Kings of this Realm, he is yet therein reproved by the current of History, by which it is apparent the most of the Kings of this Land received their Crown by succession, which is neither force nor flattery.

It were easie, besides that, to derive to many of them that title which he himself accounts the only just one, viz. The consent of the Kingdome, as for instance, thus were Cassibelan of the British, Edward sirnamed the Confessor of the Saxon, and William Rufus of the Norman Kings invested. Speeds Hist. B. 5. chap. 6 P. 8. c 6. S. 1. B. 9. c. 3 [...]. Yea all of them in a manner have had the Nations vote for their Crowns, either antecedent in their predecessors, concurrent in their personall entrance, or subsequent in their establishment by after acts of Parliament, and not a few have had this threefold consent.

Lastly, the Parliament that Enacted the Oath of Allegiance, and all the Members of the house of Commons, with all other subjects that have taken that oath solemnly, give this man the lye (excuse it if it be incivility) in the first words of it declaring the King sworn to be lawfull King of this Realm.

I. A. B. Do truely, and sincerely acknowledge, professe, testifie, and Declare in my Conscience before God and the World, that our Soveraigne Lord King James is lawfull King of this Realme &c.

Secondly, Kingdomes were never intended (saith he) that the hereditary right of any should be in them. With what forehead can he say that was never intended which the lawes and statutes of Kingdomes have ordained and setled? Particulerly this Kingdome hath for divers successions provided before hand both for acts, and oathes for the hereditary descent of the Crowne. Will he [...]verre that the estates of the Realme never intended that which they en­acted, and caused to be sworne?

3 He tells us, that men that were qualified with Wisdome, righ­teousnesse, and vertue, were to be heires and successors, and set up by the people after them that last possessed them and neither the people themselves, nor their Representatives could either give or sell away this priviledg from their posterity viz. of choosing, and setting up Kings, and rulers over them.

He [...]eth still higher in absurdnesse of asserting, and in this pas­sage he is not content to crosse the common sence of others, but he will needs overthrow his own way. 1 As to common reason how in consistent is this that he delivers? for by this position the arising posterity must first give their consent and passe their e­lective vote to the power they find standing, before they can ei­ther owe allegiance and subjection to it, or enjoy the benefit of protection of it, so that Children (suppose ours of this age) whilst they are under years of consent, and after that too untill they please t [...] consent (which is at their own choise and may be denyed for ever if they will) are both accountable to the present Government, for any trespasses, or crimes they may commit, be it murder, or whatsoever is the worst, and left out of the lawes protection, and redresse, in any thing they may unjustly suffer. And suppose their judgment, or choice concurre not with their parents, they must during their parents lives, either conti­nue in that estate, or chose another government, and become a­nother commonwealth, apart by themselves. Yea & by this reason all those that have sitten downe under a present power, which they find in the thron, and have given no consent to it, are in the same condition of outlawednesse, and liberty to chose rulers for themselves, yea by this means a Kingdome may come presently to [Page 45] be divided into a thousand peeces of states, and petty cōmonwealths according as their different choices may sway them, to the infla­ming of the whole with endlesse seditions, and the overthrow of all government.

2 As to his own way I aske, 1 upon what constitution of the people doth the present House of Commons (so called) claime to be a power? not by any made in this age certainly, the present people having not as yet chosen any new government, but do ei­ther acquiesse in the old received from their forefathers, or are sub­jected perforce, without their consent to a new, if any such be. I appeale to the severall proposers of the agreements of the people that have been lately published whether the people of this age have yet setled or chosen any government in their time. If it be here suggested, that the present people have chosen these Representa­tives, I say to that. True the Countries or Corporations have chosen them to be Parliament men, but in so doing they ordai­ned not, founded not, any Parliamentary power; they acting distributively within their severall precincts and only nominating two, or a few persons upon a writ sent out in the Kings name, to consult on the difficult affaires of the Kingdom, according to a known, and antient custome, and constitution of the Realm, cannot be conceived to constitute a new power, it must then be said they are a branch of the ancient and hereditary government of this Nation, and this is not opposed by me: but this Gentle­man here contradicts this clame, and tells us this title is null, and could not be made by any of our predecessors in relation to us.

Secondly, Vpon what ground do the said Commons challenge to be the sole supreme power, without a King or house of Lords, in way of a Common-wealth or free-State? if it could be said that in former times the people have placed such a power in the House of Commons, that will be of none effect, according to this principle, which denyeth that the people may conclude their po­sterity in such an act. If it be said the present people in electing these Commons invested them with such a power, my simplicity cannot comprehend it, at the last elections of Parliament Mem­bers, the people (for ought I have ever heard) neither resolved [Page 46] on, nor so much as deliberated, or moved a word of making o­ver any new power, they only elected them according to former custome, and trust which was (as I understand) to sit in the House of Commons, and to act in consociation with the King and the House of Peers, about the publick affairs of the Kingdome. [...]o that the upshot is, this Gentleman by giving the people the pri­viledge is violably to chose their own government, personally and not by their predecessors, hath utterly overturned the present power.

4thly. But to defend this his position, he instructs us in the last place thus. This Priviledg the welfare of the people is so mainely concerned in, as that without it a people are given up, and sold to ruine. 1. Are not the Lawes which must regulate both, the rulers, and the ruler of as great a concernment, as the choice of the ru­lers to the people, and yet the people by their Laws, do conclude their posterity, which are therefore called every mans birth-right? Again, is not a mans estate of Lands and goods of as great a con­cernment to his Issue being their earthly subsistence, as is their share in the Election of the publique Magistracy? yet a man may involve his posterity (undenyably) in any act concerning his estate. Yea is not Religion and Covenanting with God, a far greater concern­ment, then this of government? yet men may represent and act for their issue in setling religion, and entring into Covenant with God as is clear in the example of Israel. Deut. 29 Joshua 24.15.

2. This reason would make us beleive the welfare of the Nation of Israel was mainly prejudiced, and that they were given up and sold to ruine, when there was an hereditary kingdome setled o­ver them, as there was by the Lord himself in David and his seed. Nay we are rather to beleive because he set such a government o­ver his own people, therefore it was the better way.

I have done answering this paper, and for a conclusion have on­ly one word to the author of it. Seeing he hath undertaken to deal in the removall of mens doubts concerning their solemn en­gagements unto their Governors, I would propound to him a Quaery, and that of a necessary and seasonable importance, and which is occasioned by what he hath in this paper delivered being [Page] conferred with what at this time is publiquely imposed. It is only this, what may conscientiously be resolved upon in relation to the lately enacted Engagement from the principles and pre­mises layd down by him in prosecution of his first position?

He therein avers that an oath of allegiance must be 1. Conditiall not absolute, or whether the governor rule well, or not. 2. It must be mutuall, or taken both by rulers, and ruled (so as the ruler be bound to the Subject to rule well, and administer Justice rightly, as well as the subject is bound to him) and not single or taken only by the ruled. 3. It must not be to those whom no man knoweth how they will prove, whither they will be wise or fools, just or tyrannicall 4. It must not be to any one kind of go­vernment to uphold and continue it in a constant way without changing of it, and that if it transgresse in any of these qua­lifications, it is unrighteous, sinfull, and unlawfull.

I will not Query whether or no, but assume it as undoubted and clear, if an oath to persons in authority must be thus regu­lated a Promise, Covenant, or whatever engagement of that na­ture must be so also; and if his reasons, or any other that can be brought conclude an oath failing in any of those rules to be un­lawfull, they will as strongly inferre the sinfulnes of an Engage­ment in that matter, if it be dissonant in any particular from them.

Next, I will not doubt to say, the above-named Engagement is as far discrepant from these Limitations in every point as is the oath of Allegiance if not further, 1. It is absolute or 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 well and justly. 3. It is to those of whom we may be as unsatis­fyed how they will prove hereafter, as we can be of an heire, 4. It is to one kind of Government called the Common-wealth, as it is now established, and that described with contradistinctions from, and exclusion of King and Lords. It is also to uphold and continue it in a constant way, for it is a Covenant de futuro, bin­ding to be true and faithfull to the government for future time in those words [I will be true and faithfull] and binding to it, as e­stablished, [Page 48] and therefore is for some continuance and constancy, which being left indefinite and illimited is more extensible in du­ration then is the Oath of allegiance, which determines with the Kings race, and it is without changing: the continuance how long soever it is to which it engageth (which must needs be some, it being as I said a tye for future) must of necessity exclude changing, for so long as it lasteth. It will easily (I hope) be yeilded, he that binds himself to be true and faithfull to this Go­vernment as it is now establisht, is bound out from attempting a change of it, while the Terme of the same obligation endu­reth.

I demand therefore how he will both stand to these principles, and justifie the engagement? and whether he hath not, as to him­selfe and all those who hold with his said premises, damned it; and so far as his reasons in that position can prevaile, perswaded all others that they ought not to take it, but are in conscience bound to reject it.


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