Art thou called, being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather,

1 Cor. 7.21.

Ovis non est propter pastorem; sed pastor ovi inservit.

Warneri Proverb. Pers. 16.
Quin et mortalem summum fortuna repentè
Reddidit, è summo ut regno famul optumus essit.
Fortune the low soon lifts to th' high'st degree,
That made great Kings they should good servants be.
Ennius VIII. Annali.

By L. S.

LONDON, Printed for W. R. at the signe of the Vnicorn in Pauls Church-yard, 1652.

To the Reader.

Gentle Reader,

THis Treatise, I assure thee, is no more dipp'd in passion, then the Sunne is drowned in the clouds, which are so far below him. The Au­thor of it desired, whilst he asserted other mens liberty, himself to be ruled by reason, bearing in mind that sentence, Reges alios, si ratio te rexerit, Thou shalt govern others, if reason guide thee.

It was occasioned by a question, which a worthy Mem­ber both of the Parliament and Committee of State above three years since propounded to me. Within short time after I provided this answer, and at my first opportunity presented it unto him. He judged that it deserved to be made of publick use, and offered it to the Press; yet Lucina was not so pro­pitious as to bring it to light; the Printer not daring to un­dertake it, unles the Author had been present to superintend the work. I publish this discourse after I have so long sup­pressed it, because the usefulnesse thereof is still in date, in that it explaneth many Scriptures which are still by many wrested into false senses: and because there is now a more convenient opportunity then formerly. Farewell.

L. S.

Natures Dowrie, OR, The Peoples Native Liberty asserted, &c.

CHAP. 1. Certain Theses concerning the freedom, and authority of any Nation.

WHereas some have concluded that an absolute Mo­narchie is the best of Governments, because it imi­tateth that by which God ruleth the Universe; I conceive their reason is feeble and impotent; and that they considered not that men may abuse their authority and power, which liberty is impos­sible to God.

All authority, unless God determine otherwise by chusing out one or more to rule over the rest, (which now a dayes we have no reason to expect) is fundamentally and radically in the people.

A conquered people, unless they be obliged to the Conquerour, by consenting formerly to be subject to him, in their own persons, or in their Fore-fathers; or after the conquest voluntarily took up­on them his yoke, without conditions, or else upon stipulation; are warranted by the light of naturall reason to endeavour the recove­ry of their liberty: and likewise after a composition, when the Conquerour in his own person, or in his posterity, neglecteth the terms upon which they submitted to him.

That Kings should be ex se uati, (as Tiberius said of Curtius Rufus) That nature or conquest should be a sufficient title to domi­nion; and that an illegall force may not by force be lawfully removed; are opinions which the clear light of reason never smiled upon.

Should any one withTacitus An­nal. lib. 3. Tiberius, be sine miseratione, sine irâ, ob­stinatus, claususque ne quo adfectu perumperetur, by a reserv'd and merciless obstinacy shut up, and baracado'd against the lawes, counsell and prayers; I see not but a people may warrantably goe [Page 2]about to break such an one, seeing he will not be bended by reason.

CHAP. 2. Monarchy is not by Divine right.

I Shall in the first place shew that Monarchicall Government is not of absolute necessity,'The Peravi­ans have thus much notice of the generall deluge, that the Country was overwhelmed with waters, & all men pe­rished except seven. The chief of these seven was Mangoca­ga, whose po­sterity gover­ned themselves for some time in Aristocr at i­call state. See Heylyn in his Description of Peruana, I cannot as­sent to Diodo­rus Siculus, telling us (Bib­lioth, Hist. l. 2.) that there were Kings in Asia long be­fore Ninus, especially if (as some Authors conceive) his Ninus be the same with Nimrod. I mean not here a physicall necessity (for to such a Monarchy cannot pretend) nor a necessity of co­action (seeing that excludeth choice) but a morall necessity hin­ged upon the Law of God. Most clear it is, that neither the Law of Nature, which is written upon the tables of mens minds by the finger of God, nor yet any positive Law which God superadded to the Law of Nature, determineth any Nation to that form of Government. Turn over the Scripture, which hath omitted none of Gods commandements that are now in force, and shew me a precept for it. None will be so impudent as to affirm that there is any expresse commandement for Monarchy in the written word of God: neither is there so much as a shadow of any Virtu­all (or Consequentiall) injunction thereof; unless it be clear by natural reason that Monarchy is the best of Governments for all Nations at all times, howsoever their circumstances varie. It is clear (I acknowledge) both by the light of Naturall reason, and by the Scripture, that men are bound in Conscience to prefer that form of Government, which they know to be the best for them. but that Monarchy should by the light of naturall reason be disco­vered to be the best of Governments, and that for all Nations, and at all times, I cannot consent; because the world after the flood till Nimrods daysNimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord, Gen. 10.9. For the understanding of that phrase, compare with this Scripture, Ier. 16.16. Lament. 4.18. Mich. 7.2. Pro. 1.17. That of Arist. in the first of his Politicks, is a good comment likewise upon Nimrod's hunting; [...], &c. had no Monarch, neither oeccumenicall, nor provinciall; and because Monarchy then came into the World, not by choiceDiodorus Siculus informeth us that the Kings of Aegypt were in all their actions confined by their Lawes, and particularly, [...]. Biblioth. Histor. l. 1. The same Historiographer, speaking of the K. of the Aethiopians, saith, [...]. Biblioth. Hist. l. 3. but by intrusion & usurpation, by force & conquest; [Page 3]because the Israelites had a mixt Government; and the most flou­rishing States amongst the Papists, and all reformed Churches, to­gether with such Heathenish Commonwealths as have most aboun­ded in perspicacitie and wisdom, have ever preferred other forms of Government before it. Aristotle likewise determineth (Polit. 3.) that a King ought to have power to protect the Lawes, but not such power as may render him more potent than the Kingdom.

Obj. The main argument which opposeth what I have delivered in this Chapter, is bottomed upon part of the 7th. comma of the 4. Chapter of Gen. which in our translation saith, Anà unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. The Argument propounded in full dimensions, hath this stature.

That civil government, which God instituted in the beginning of the World, standeth by divine right throughout all ages. But God instituted absolute Monarchie in the beginning of the World. Ergo.

The Assumption seemeth to be warranted by that Scripture be­fore produced.

God (say my Antagonists) gave to the eldest Sonne after his Fa­thers death, Monarchicall authority over his brethren. Into this sense they construe that sentence, And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Ans. The proposition of the syllogism before exhibited, is very impotent: neither can I divine with what crutch my Antagonists can support it.

There is not the like reason for Monarchy in after-ages, as in the infancy of the world, unless it be as casie for one man to govern a Nation, as to govern a Family. There was truth, though no sin­cerity in that speech of Tiberius, se in partem curarum ab Augusto vocatum, experiendo didicisse, quàm arduum, quàm subjectum fortu­nae cuncta regendi onus.

The Kings which God appointed the Israelites, after they had cast off him from ruling over them, were not absolute Monarchs.

I shall now explain, whether those words before quoted (in Gen. 4.7.) warrant what was assumed, to wit, a divine institution of Monarchy.

The words in the Originall are capable of this construction, The desire of it (that is, of sin) is unto thee, but thou shalt rule over it. Compare Rom. 6.12. The affixes (I confess) differ in gender from [Page 4]the word for sin; but so also doth robets, the word for lieth. Ains­worth well observeth other such differences in other texts of Scripture.

Amongst the Hebrew Scholiasts Raesi, Bechai, Nachmanides, and Abarbinel, as also the Author of Thargum Jerus. are very full for that sense which I have propounded. According to these In­terpreters teschukatho, which in our English translation is, his desire, meaneth the desire of sin, to wit jetser haraugh, an evil frame or tem­per of soul andjeiser ha­raugh is not by the Hebrew Doctors confi­ned to the minds, though by many lear­ned Authors it be rendered mala cogitatio. Abarbinel up­on that place in Gen. before quoted, having before inter­preted tejchu­kah to be jets [...] haraugh, saith, [...] because the bo­dy inciteth a man to sin. bodie, (we call it concupiscence, which fitly inter­preteth the word teschukah) which (say they) instigated and temp­ted Cain to sin, and which he should vanquish, would he repent. Becanus is clearly of the same sense; Dixit Dominus ad Cain: Nonnè, sibene egeris, recipies; sin autem malè, statim in foribus peccatum tu­um aderit? sub te erit appetitus ejus (peccati scilicet) & tu domina­beris illius (appetitus scilicet quo ad peccatum propendes, & alliceris.) Thus the Author now quoted, Theol. Scholast. part. 2. tract 1. cap. 2. p. 50.

But let us suppose the affixes of the sentence quoted to be referred to Abel, who is not mentioned in the 5.6. nor in the preceding part of the 7. verse, yet cannot the word for desire in this verse im­port a subjection of Abel to his Brother Cain as an absolute Mo­narch, or a King.

In Gen. 3.16. it is said of Eve, thy desire shall be to thy husband; and he shall rule over her.

Polit. 1. Aristotle telleth us, that a man ruleth his wife and his children, but both as those who are free (or not servile.) But not with the same manner of Government ( [...].) but his wife politically, and his children after the manner of a King.

The word for desire (saith Ainsworth) implieth a desirous affe­ction, as appeareth by Cant. 7.10. The Apostle seemeth to allude to it in 1 Thes. 2.8. Whereas Onkelos, for [...], and ye shall be as Gods, saith, [...], and ye shall be as Princes, (which is a­greeable enough to the Originall) the Serpent by Gods, not mea­ning the S. Trinitie, as Eve construed him, but the faln Angels, who whilst they stood, had experimental knowledge of good, and since their fall, of evill; and which are called [...], and [...], [Page 5] see also Rom. 8.38. Colos. 2.15. and Eph. 2 2. where the Prince of the Air, or of dark­ness (for [...] will also without wresting, ad­mit of that con­struction) may fitly e­nough signifi [...], the chief of the faln An­gels, or all the faln Angels. according to our English translation, principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world, Eph. 6.12.) Abarbinel Vpon Gen. 3.5. conceiving him to speak of earthly Princes saith, [...] Onkelos here is not to be allowed, because then there were no Princes in the world: which words (I conceive) are not to be determined precisely to the time in which the Serpent tempted Eve, but to be extended to the whole time of Adams life, if not to all the time before the Flood. But I shall seem to have spent needless labour in discovering the weaknesse of the Minor, seeing there is not the like reason for Monarchy now as in the beginning of the World: and especially (which I desire all men to take notice of) in that the authority which they attribute to Cain over Abel, af­fordeth us as firm an Argument for an absolute Monarchy of the el­dest Sonne over his brethren throughout all ages, as for Monarchie to be continued in the World.

The authority of the eldest Sonne over his brethren which God instituted in the beginning of the World, standeth by divine right throughout all ages.

But God in the beginning of the World appointed the eldest Sonne to be an absolute Monarch over his Brethren. Ergo, Every eldest Sonne in every age (and so now a dayes) is an absolute Mo­narch (after his Fathers death) over his Brethren.

Let none therefore henceforth, who force that Scripture for the assertion of Monarchy, dare to affirm, That any one by divine right ought to have larger authority over others, then every el­dest Sonne after his Fathers death hath over his brethren.

CHAP. 3. Monarchy is so far from standing by divine right, as that it falleth short of some other forms of Government.

MOnarchy is worse then some other governments, 1 Because one cannot discern so much as many of equall parts.

Object. It may be objected, that this reason implieth that all in a Commonwealth who have attained to years of discretion, ought to be admitted to Vote about every State-business.

Ans. I deny the consequence; in that the managing of all pub­lick affairs by the Votes of the whole people, especially in popu­lous [Page 6]Commonwealths, is a thing altogether impossible: both be­cause it would almost wholly withdraw men from their private concernments, and likewise retard the dispatching of those busi­nesses in which they have a joynt-interest.

2 [...], &c. Arist. Po.lit. 3. Because there are but few in comparison, who are able to judge in State affairs. Those who are themselves unfit for that taske, may be able to make choice of others sufficiently accomplished.

2 Because when the Monarch is wicked, the Government of the State must needs be evill, in that he is not divided against himself; because he will not act against himself: but when Authority is betrusted with many, the good, though fewer, sometimes out-wit the rest.

Plato (in his 9 de legibus) perceived the weight and moment of this and the preceding reason, telling us, that it is necessary for men to appoynt Laws and to observe them; unlesse they be min­did to differ nothing from the most savage Beasts. And assigning this cause thereof, [...], &c. No man is by Nature so accomplished, as that he may be able to discern what things conduce most to the publick good; and when he know­eth what is best, alwaies be able and willing to perform it, Plato pointeth these reasons in his ensuing discourse.

3 Because there is more reason to fear that one man, then that a whole multitude should be malignantly affected. Aristatle telleth me (Polit. 3. c. 11.) that as much water cannot so soon be vici­ated as a lesser quantity; so neither are a multitude so easily as one man corrupted in their judgment by anger, or any other pas­sion. His words are these, [...].

Obj. Here it may be objected that we have more reason also to hope that one man, then that a multitude will be well-affected.

Ans. 1. I answer, The more authority and power any one hath in his hands, by so much he is more tempted to acts of vio­lence. An absolute Monarch, who hath no law but his own will, may more easily miscarry, then those who have onely their porti­ons in the Government of a Nation.

Ans. 2. There is far more danger from an ill-affected Monarch, [Page 7]then when onely part of those who are in authority, are vi­tiated.

4. Because no one will dare to say unto an absolute Monarch, what doest thou?When Cam­byses inquired of his Lawyers, whether there was any Law which permi­ted a man, be­ing willing, to marry his Si­fler? they an­swered, That they found no Law, which permitted a Brother to marrie a Sister: but that they found another Law, v.z. that it was lawfull for the King of the Persians to do what he pleased. See Herodo'us in his Thalia.

And one who never heareth that question from another, it is much to be feared, will forget to propound it to himself. He will be ready to conceive that with Iupiter, he hath Therius perpetually placed by him, so that whatsoever he doth, must needs be right and just.

Iezebel thought it a question unbeseeming a Princely spirit. She concluded that Ahab drooped below himself, when he boggled at the taking away of Naboth's vineyard. Memento mihi omnia & in omnes licere. Thus Caius in Suet mius. I may adde, That a Mo­narchy set led in any one for term of life, is more dangerous, then if the time were limited.

Those who expect that their authority should expire before their lives, will be restrained in some measure by a fear of their suc­cessors who may call them to an accompt, in case they manage not their trust as it becometh them. Those who are to give an ac­compt only to God, are tempted to licentiousness, in that men are not wont to be much awed by an invisible Magistrate. Plato tel­leth us, that when any one ( [...]) is not bound to give an accompt (of his actions and omissi­ons) but governeth a City as he lifleth, (without any controller) he cannot persist in such a mind throughout his life, as to preferre the publick good before his private advantage.Plato 9. de leg.

CHAP. 4. That One man should have a larger share in the Government of a State then all the rest who are interested therein, is not enjoyned by the Word of God.

A King is not a necessary ingredient of the Government of a State. Were a true and visible King of absolute necessi­ty, the Israelites had sinned in that throughout so many ages after they came into the Promised-Land, they set not a King over them. We must taxe many other well-ordered States of a sin of omission in point of civill government, if we underprop the Scepter by divine right. As a King is not necessary by virtue of any divine precept, so neither in order to the well-managing of civil affairs: as the [Page 8]flourishing condition of many States which are without Kings, assureth us.

CHAP. 5. The necessity of Tribunals is evinced.

I Shall in this Chapter, that I may make way. for my ensuing dis­course, explain the necessitie of Judges and Tribunals. The Ba­bylonian Gemara of the Tractate called Sanhedrin, in the 7 Chap­ter, telleth us, That as God injoyned the Israelites to set up judiciary Courts in all their villages and cities, so likewise he commanded the Sons of Noah to erect Tribunals in all their villages and cities. The place is quoted by learned Selden in that incomparable work De ju­re Natural. & Gent. l. 7. c. 5. This Law they must needs affirm to be given to those who lived before the deluge, as well as to Neah's posterity, seeing they make it part of the Law of Nature. The ea­ting of flesh with the life thereof was as unlawfull for Adam and the rest of the old world, as for those who lived since the Flood; but needed not to be forbidden to them explicitly viva voce, (as Gen. 9.4.) in that they were not permitted at all to eat flesh. The set­ting apart of some time for Gods worship is injoyned by he law of na­ture, and was in some degreee put into practice by Gods children from the Creation,See Seder. Olam Rabba c. 5. Philo de v [...]. tà Mesis l. 1. Tertull. adver­sus Judaeos. A hae [...]s. in Synopsi sacr. Scrip. upon Exod. Euseb. Demonstrat. Evangel. c. 6. Justin. Hist. lib. 36. though the Sabbath was not observed till the Israelites came into the Wilderness.

That ( [...]) Houses of Iudgments, or Tribunals, should be constituted for all people, is clearly part of the Law of Nature. For otherwise that punishment which the Law of Nature demandeth for certain offences, as murder, &c. could not be regularly executed.

Plato (in his 9. book of Lawes) in severall cases appointeth those that are naturally allied to the person that is murdered, to inflict death upon the murderer; and so likewise some of the kindred of the partie ravished, to kill the ravisher.

But these constitutions border upon the making a man a Judge in his own cause. If any one be killed by chance-medley, those whose affections Nature hath engaged to the person that is slain, will be tempted to misconstrue it into murder.

Jacob cursed the wrath of Simeon and Levi who revenged the ravishing of their Sister Dinah upon the Sechemites, Gen. 49.7. Suppose also those who susteined the greatest losse in the partie murdered, to neglect the executing of punishment: the city or [Page 9]Country, in which it was committed, is exposed to Gods wrath for bloodshed which goeth unpunished.

We shall be more at a loss in the executing of penalties for the breach of some other of the precepts which are said to be given to Noah, as idolatry and blasphemy, and the eating of flesh with the life thereof; unless tribunals be erected.

In these offences the wrong is not done especially to this or that man, nor this or that Family, but immediately to God the Lord of all, and by way of reflexion in regard of Gods wrath, and by bad examples, to the whole people.

The main argument which seemeth to inferre that Tribunalls, or the exercize of civil judicature, is not inforced by the Law of Na­ture, is, that it was not so from the beginning. In the Sacred Historie of the World before the deluge, we have no instance of any humane censures. AndMetam. l. 1. Ovid telleth us that those who lived in the first or golden age, erant sine judice tuti. His meaning (I conceive) is, that they were free from humane censures. That which this Author in his description of the golden age, delivereth to this purpose, maketh me much suspect that for some considerable time after the Creation, there were no Courts of justice established: nor any humane cen­sures; whether by the eldest of a Family, or by the multitude, or any autorized to that purpose. In his work now praysed, we may often discern a truth recorded in the Scripture, through the cloud of his Poetrie.

In the beginning of his first book, we have the History of the Creation; and in that, man last of all created. His Gygantomachia was occasioned by the building of the Tower of Babel. He menti­oneth also the deluge; That piece of his Poetrie took its rise from Noahs Flood: For it was not confined to this or that patch of ground, but overwhelmed all mankind, save Deucalion and Pyrrha-Lucian also telleth us, that Deucalion with his Wife and Children were saved in a great Ark which he had; and that two of every kind of living creatures came to him, and were received into the Ark, and preserved in it. And Plutarch maketh mention of a Dove sent by Deucalion out of the Ark, and bringing newes of the a­batement of the waters. In the beginning of his 8 book we have Samson's hair given to Nisus In the same book we have the destru­ction of Sodom, and the change of the soyl thereabout: and Let [Page 10]with his Wife under the names of Philemon and Baucis, fetched out thence by Angels, under the Poeticall vizard of Jupiter and Mer­cury. We have Lots incest alluded to in Cynaras and Myrrha, l. 10. In the beginning of the 12. book Iphigenia, when she was fa­stened to the Altar, and about to be sacrificed, is changed for a Doe: which shadoweth out unto us Isaac excused for a Ram. In the same book Cygnus slaying 7000. men, and feigned to be impene­trable, is a resemblance of Samson. In that I find so much of di­vine storie in this Poet, I conjecture that his Poem about the four ages hath some tincture from holy writ. The Image which Nebu­chadnezzar saw in his dream, is one ingredient of it: and mans in­tegrity before his fall, anotherSee Salmas. de U u [...]is, c. 11. p. 303.: and the condition of mankind for some time after our fall, a third. It was usuall with the Hea­then (as we may observe both from their Poets, andSee Justine, l. 36. Tacitus, Histor. lib. 5. Prosaicall writers, and from those two excellent treatises written by a late Author which discover unto us the Banian Religion, and the Reli­gion of the Persees) to mangle those truths which are contained in the Word of God, and likewise to confound, and blend them to­gether: which is very familiar likewise with the pen-men of the Alcoran. But it is easie for the most part to perceive the Sun through their clouds. I shall easily grant that men for some time after their fall in our first Parents, lived after their own man­ner, being restrained by no Courts of Justice: but we cannot in­ferre from thence that such Courts are not necessary: nor yet that they are not by divine right. God might out of his secret counsell for some time connive at such an omission: after what manner he permitted the Israelites writing a Bill of Divorce, to put away their Wives:Those who lived in the former times of the World, ought to have set out some time for God, in which ser­vants might have been ex­empted from such works, as [...]re not of necessity, nor charity, nor piety. or as he connived at the setting of no certain time apart for his worship, till himself made choice of a day when the Israelites were brought into the Wilderness: or as for a long time he connived at Polygamie.

CHAP. 6. Other jurisdiction is necessary now a dayes, besides that wherein the Law of Nature hath invested Masters of Families.

THe next question to be discussed, is, whether the exercise of jurisdiction be confined by a birth-privilege to certain per­sons, [...] (saith Aristotle) [...].Polit. l. 1. Every house is governed by the Eldest, [Page 11]as also the colonies (which are propagated from it) in regard of their (cognation, or) kindred. But clear it is that now a dayes au­thority cannot be dispenced according to this principle.

We have no records by which we can be informed who by way of inheritance and birthright, as all are reckoned from Noah, should have a preeminence above the rest. Neither can one man (though Firmicus telleth us that a certain positure of the Starres designeth a man to an universall Monarchie) be so Atlantick, as to bear upon his shoulders the government of the Universe. Nor yet can it be known, who in this or that Country in regard of a descent from Noah, should have advantage of the rest in order to juris­diction and government. Neither are the Eldest alwayes the wi­sest.Diodorus Si­culus (B [...]blict. Hist. lib. 3.) speaking of the Inhabitants of an Iland in the Southern Ocean, saith, [...]. The eldest in eve­ry company beareth rule over it, as a King: and all the rest obey. Though there be a vast dif­ference between bearing ruse over a certain company of men, (whether their associating of them­selves together take its rise meetly from the harmonie of their minds, or from their occupation) and the goverment of a Nation; yet no wise man will conceive that their practise is perpetually to be imitated. Those who manage the publick affairs of any people, ought to be such as have animi vires, & strict as pondere mentes.

That sentence of Aristotle before praised is to be understood of a Family living apart from the rest of mankind; asSee Tulliein O [...]a [...]. pro P. Sextio, Juvenal Salyr. 15. did some in the first Ages of the World, and for some generations after the Deluge, and perhaps upon some extraordinary occasions in later times. But that any Master of a Family at any time before the Flood passed a sentence of death upon any appertaining to his Family, cannot be proved out of any monuments of antiquity now extant. Neither doth it appear, whether Iudah pronounced sen­tence of death upon Thamar by virtue of any authority which he had over her as belonging to his Family, or by virtue of some Law consented to by his Fore-fathers, or according to the Law and man­ner of the Countrey in which he lived, or out of rashness. Some of the Hebrew Doctors affirm that Iudah intended not that Tha­mar should be burned to death, but only stigmatized in the fore­head for an harlot.

What authority soever a Master of a Family may challenge by [Page 12]the Law of nature over his children and servants, and those who by mariage are ingrafted into his Family, whilst he is a sojourner among a Nation into which he is not incorporated; clear it is that those who have their share in any Country, and a setled abode a­mong others, have no title to such authority, in that they are temp­ted to partiality, and may expose their neighbors to divine justice, by neglecting judgments, or by giving unjust sentence of death, and the same wayes weaken the Country in which they live, and ex­pose it to a common enemy. Homer (in the Iota of his Odyss.) maketh it a badge of rude and uncivill people, to live together in the same Countrey, and not to imbodie themselves into a Society, nor have any publick jurisdiction; saying of the Cyclopes,


They give lawes every one of them to his Wives and children, neither regard one another. Most agreable it is to the light of Nature, that those who inhabite the same Countrey, and so nigh together that they are without inconveniencie capable of a common government, so combine and associate the strengths of their minds and estates, as that they may beHerodotus saith of the Thracions, who by some are called [...], because every man w [...] a Law to him­self: that if they had either, been all of one mind, or un­der one K. they had been in­vincible. in a positure of defence against a common Ene­my, and home-bred disturbances: which cannot be effected with­out common lawes, and publick execution of justice.Plato de Le­gibus, l. 9. [...].

Men must of necessity establish lawes, and observe them, or not at all differ from the most savage beasts.

CHAP. 7. Magistracy standeth by divine right.

IT remaineth doubtfull, whether people who live together, may lawfully retain an Isocracie among them, having all of them suf­frages of equall value in the censuring of Delinquents, and the managing of such affairs as conduce to their publick safety; or be bound by the law of Nature, or any of Gods positive lawes to set Governors and Magistrates over them?

We inquire not now of Magistracy fettered in the circumstances of hic and nunc, determined to time and place; (for there is no doubt but among the Israelites not only Magistracy, but also certain forms of Magistracy were by divine right; moreover that certain persons also bare rule among them by divine right, and that without the mediation of any humane choice) nor yet of Magistracy during the [Page 13]time for which it is established by men, that is, of Magistracy with a presupposition of humane consent, by which in some form or other it was erected, and is for some time to be continued: seeing that Gods Law requireth that men stand to their agreements, and the Scripture saith,Rom. 13.1. The powers that be, are ordained of God; and1 Pet. 2.13. Sub­mit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake: but whe­ther God hath commanded all Nations at all times to have Magi­strates, Judges, or State-Officers? The question is, that I may fur­ther explain the state of it; whether Iso [...]rasie be lawfull, or men be bound by the Law of God to set up a Magistracy, to preferre some to bear rule over the rest? The Scripture doth not extricate us in this controversie by any generall precept. Nor yet if we search the Hi­story of the World before the Flood, shall we find any foot-step of Magistracy, or of humane censures. We have much wickednesse mentioned in the gross, Gen. 6.5. and some sins specified elsewhere, but no intimation of any punishment inflicted by any humane judi­cature.The murde­ring of Abel, Gen. 4.8, and according to some Interpre­ters murder committed by Lamech, Gen. 4.23. and ido­latry according to some of the Hebrew Do­ctors, Gen. 4.26. I should o­therwise inter­pret the two places last quo­ted; but La­mech's rash speech deser­ved a censure. We have Po­lygamie like­wise mentio­ned v. 19. of the same chap. but which some deny to have been a sin in Lamech. That of Cain, It shall come to pass, every one that findeth me shall slay me, importeth not that he feared any judiciary sentence; but only a rude and boystrous inflicting of punishment; that it was permittted to every one to punish so hainous a delinquent: and that he expected not any regular proceedings of justice against him. But I take notice that in regard of the present, he feared where no fear was, departing from the presence of his Parents; neither was likely to prophecie after what manner punishments should afterwards be dispenced. I conceive, he expressed a fear of men onely, and not of beasts. His speech was rash and inconsiderate, having a tincture from his guilty conscience.

If we consult with the light of reason, it will inform us that in large countryes Magistracie is necessary; because in such the Inha­bitants (though all who are servile and indigent be excluded) cannot convene so oft as virtue is to be rewarded and encouraged, or as dis­orders are to be repressed, and vice to be punished; nor yet so oft as the preservation of their common safetie requireth.

It is clear also from the written word of God, that all publick af­fairs ought to be managed in such a way as may conduce most to Gods glory and the publick good.

Moreover God appointed a few in his own peculiar people to go­vern the rest. Such likewise at all times hath been the custom almost of all Nations.

CHAP. 8. The qualifications of those who ought to vote in the dispencing of Authority. The major part of suffrages is equivalently the whole number. Those who are uncapable of Voting, are tied to sub­jection.

ARistotle well observeth, [...]. Polic. 3. that all are not Citizens who inha­bit the City, seeing Strangers and Servants have their share in habitation.

He frequently excludeth those who are indigent, from bearing sway in a Commonwealth. Vnequall it is that Helots and those who have no estates, should have equall authority with those who are wealthy, in making Laws which concern mens estates; in that by their private condition they are much tempted to favour theft and encroachment.

Seeing men are by an innate and hereditary distemper biased towards wicked practices; indigent people who are not restrai­ned from injustice by any self interest, but on the contrary temp­ted to rapine and perfidiousness, are altogether unfit to manage the publick affairs of a Nation. If they have power in their hands, they are fit to squeese their neighbours; or if they want power themselves, through envy and hope of sharing in the prey, ready to betray them to foreiners, if an opportunity be offered. Good nature excepteth some, and Religion others in Christian Common­wealths from this rude and barbarous disposition: but the Chara­cter which I have given, fitteth the most of those who are indi­gent in every nation. It necessarily followeth, that they are un­fit to be trusted with a Legislative power, or offices of judicature and government, or to Vote in the choice of those to whom such authority and power shall be committed.

It remaineth that only such as have an ingenuous subsistence in the Country to be governed, have a title to vote in the dispencing of authority, whether for the preserving of the whole body from forein invasions, and homebred tumults, or for the restraining of vice, and encouraging of virtue. Neither ought any so qualified to be debaried from that privilege, unless they have discovered [Page 14]themselves to be malignantly affected towards the publick good.

Whereas those who choose State-officers, and such also as by their votes immediately order the publick affairs of a City, or Country, are apt to be divided among themselves, in that they differ in their judgments, and in their ends; the light of rea­son telleth us, that the major part of the suffrages is equivalent­ly the whole number.

It cannot be expected that all the members of a Societie should agree about the means which are most effectuall to the promoting of their publick welfare: Neither can the lesser number of those who have equall authority, be of more value than, or of equall with the greater. That strife may be avoided, the number of those who suffrage must be odde, or else some one of them have a ca­sting voice granted him, in case the numbers of those who are divi­ded, be equall: and the major part of the suffrages must bear sway, as if the rest concurred with them. That Maxim, (Quod ad omnes spectat, ab omnibus debet approbari,) What concerneth all, ought to be approved by all; is satisfied, by a consent of the greater part, which is equivalently the whole number. If a lesser part of those who vote, forcibly resist a greater; unlesse that which is con­cluded by the prevailing number of votes, be repugnant to the Law of God, they infringe the Law of Nature, and likewise the posi­tive Law of God; and so have no reason to expect that God should goe along with them in their enterprises.

More doubtfull it is, whether those Inhabitants of a Citie, which are upon due grounds debarred from bearing Office, and from the choice of Officers, be bound in conscience to submit to those who are invested in lawfull authority; and to the wholesom Laws which are enacted by those who according to the Law of nature have a Legislative power, either fundamentally, or else derivatively re­siding in them.

Whereas Gods Law leaveth men indifferent to severall courses which may be taken for the preservation of their lives, and liber­ties, and livelihoods; when they have once consented that one certain course not repugnant to the word of God, and convenient for the obtaining of any of these ends, shall be used: and have [Page 15]compromitted to any person or persons the executing of their Law: God requireth that they submit to the person, or persons, to whom they have betrusted authority, till their grant expire, so he or they transgresse not the bounds of the Commission, but execute the a­greement.

But the Question is, whether those who are hindered from vo­ting in the molding and forming of the government of the City which they inhabite; be obliged likewise to subjection?

The truth of the negative part being supposed, those who did not agree to a Law enacted, neither directly, nor yet virtually, as in­cluded in the major part of those who voted; should not be de­termined by God's Commandements to submit to that Law, as it is the Law of man: though they be obliged to observe the matter of it, when it is contained likewise in the Law of God.

Men by virtue of the 8. precept, are warranted to defend their estates according to their abilities, were there no humane Law su­peradded: and should have no further advantage according to the former supposition, by superadding an humane law, against such as were not permitted to vote in the enacting thereof, but only that they agree to preserve their livelihoods answerably to the Law of God, against all who shall invade them. They might without any former Law or agreement warrantably vindicate one another from injuries, as Abraham did Lot; but moreover are by an agreement mutually ingaged.

But I conceive that such of the people, as have title to vote in the choice of a Representative, or of other Governors, or by them­selves immediately to establish Lawes; have another advantage against those, who by the meanness of their condition, or by their misdemeanors, are debarred from those privileges.

Forasmuch as the meanest Inhabitants of a City reap some bene­fit from the well-tempered government thereof; most equall it is that they should submit unto those Laws which conduce to the pre­servation of publick safety. And forasmuch as God hath exempted none who offend, from humane censures; Some are bound to be accomptable for their demeanors to the Magistrate, who by di­vine providence, or by their own delinquency were rendered unfit to have an influence into the choice of him. God requireth that evill doers be punished: but hath left unto men the specifying of [Page 16]the punishment, whether it be capitall, or more gentle. Such then as are justly hindered from voting about the kinds of penalties that are used in the City which they inhabit: when they offend, must suffer in such a way as is agreed upon by others. The will of God is, that those who have done evill, submit to lawfull pu­nishment, rather than resist lawfull authority.

CHAP. 9. All Civill Authority, unless God determin other wise, by choosing out one or more to Rule over the rest: which now a days we have no reason to expect, is fundamentally and radically in the Peo­ple.

WHereas some tell us of an absolute Monarchie before the Deluge; I conceive with the best Historians, that none can prove that there was any such Government in the World be­fore Nimrods incroachment and usurpation. We have no shadow thereof intimated in the written word of God; nor in any humane writing of approved credit. Had any one before Nimrod used Mo­narchicall authority, it is probable the Scripture should have gi­ven us notice thereof; as it doth of Nimrods Tyranny.

But clear enough it is, that although there should have been Kings, otherwise than as every man is a Prince over his own fami­ly; to wit, such as reign now a dayes; before the deluge, yea so soon as the World through the encrease of mankind was capa­ble of such: they could have no sufficient title to reign, unless through Gods immediate choice, or by the choice of the peo­ple.

Conquest, unless the Conquerour was provoked by some inju­ries,It is not the first blow that maketh the War Invasive, (for that no wise Prince will stay for) but the first Provocation, or at least the first Preparation. See the Ambassage of Charles the 8th. the French K. to Henry the seventh, K. of England; in the Lord Verulam's Henry the seventh. or reall dangers, such as were a just occasion of a warre; can give no better a title to authority, than thest to another mans goods. Neither ought the Conquerour, though he was provoked to the War, to use violence, longer than it shall be necessary for the securing of himself from violence. [...].

Succession in a Kingdom, which hath it's rise from a Conquest, unless the consent of the People supervene; is no better a title than mere Conquest: sith a continuance in doing wrong, cannot make that which is Wrong, to become right.

When God maketh choice of Governors for a people, he sus­pendeth the Peoples authority, but taketh it not quite away: they have liberty to dispence authority, so soon as God ceaseth to in­terpose.

When a Monarchy, or Aristocracie is founded upon the Peoples choice, the authority is actually in one, or some few; but radically in the People.

If any incroach, and usurp authority by force, the right still re­maineth in the people: greater thefts no more than lesser, aliena­ting the right or title to the thing which is invaded.

Solon, though he permitted not such whose revenue amounted not to so much as 200 measures of aride and liquide fruicts, (who were called Thetes) to bear any Office in the Common-wealth; yet gave them authority to be present in the Assemblies of the Ci­ty, and to vote (in the choosing of Officers, and) in matters of ju­dicature. And he suffered those to appeal to the people, who thought they were wronged by the Magistrates. See Plutarch in the life of Solon.

But this perhaps was to prophane authoritie by immoderate popularity.

Whereas Demetrius the sonne of Antigonus, surnamed Gonates, after he had reigned a short time, left a young sonne called Philip: the Macedonians preferred one Antigonus Cosin to the deceased King, to be King Philips Protector, and the chief manager of his warlike affairs, but after having experience of him,Plutarch in his Paulus Ae­milius. made him their King.

Timoleon, when he had delivered Syracusa from former tyrannie, made it a free City: as Plutarch witnesseth in his life.

Plutarch in the life of Marcus Cato.The Roman Censors, one of which was a Patrician, the other a Plebeian: had power to degrade a Knight; or to eject any one out of the Senate, who lived intemperately and disorderly.

Plutarch in the life of C. Marius.The Senators of Rome, when Saturninus was Tribune of the People; sware that they would observe, what the People should vote. [Page 18]

Agamemnon in Euripides saith of himself;

which Sentence I find thus translated in our English Interpreter of Plutarch, in the life of Nicias:

In outward shew of stately pomp, all others I exceed,
And yet the Peoples underling I am in very deed.

CHAP. 10. Kings agreeably to the Law of God, may in some Cases be forcibly re­sisted by their Subjects; and likewise deposed.

A Competency of the light of naturall reason will discover (un­lesse it be overcast with passion) that it is as lawfull for a conquered People by violence to recover their Libertie, as it is for any man to extort his goods out of the hand of a Felon, who is running away with them: as it was for David to rescue his goods and wives out of the hands of the Amalekites, who had plundered Ziglag. Scarce any will dare to affirm that possession is sufficient to give a just title.

Neither is it less clear that a conquered people, which submitted upon termes to the Conqueror, whether in their own persons, or in their forefathers; are no longer engaged to subjection by their submission, than the Conqueror, and his Successors observe the Conditions, upon which subjection was promised. The Peoples promise in their stipulation cannot pretend to bind them any lon­ger, than the terms upon which they promised, are observed. Were it otherwise, there should remain no difference between an absolute, and a conditionall submission.

I acknowledge, if the infringement of the conditions on the Conquerours part be in such particulars onely, as are not momen­tous to the impairing of the publick welfare, and there be no danger of further encroachment: much more if there be a likelihood of redress and reparation: [...]. Arist. Polit. lib. 2. Especially when violent proceedings [Page 19]threaten greater disadvantages to the present age, or to succee­ding generations: it is better for the People to continue in subje­ction, than to endeavour a change.

In some cases it may be their prudence to pardon their Prince not observing his stipulation: but their promise is out of date, and cannot bind them to further subjection.

A People, whose Ancestors have for themselves, and their po­sterity, either gratis, or upon inconvenient articles promised sub­jection and obeisance to any one and his heirs; may lawfully (as Mr. Cnox and Bachanan well perceived) renounce the ingagement, and cast off the yoak.

Gods proceedings with the Israelites in the case of Sauls breach of Covenant with the Gibeonites, have seemed unto some to coun­tenance the negative.

God punished Saul in his posterity for violating that Covenant, which the Israelites against his commandement before their passage over Iordan, had made with the Gibeonites.

Here it may be answered, that although a People be bound to observe a bad Covenant made by their fore-Fathers, which is not much inconvenient, yet in some cases it may be necessary that the Covenant be broken.

Learned Mr. Selden intimateth, that such agreements made by a People, as are repugnant to the Law of God, whether na­turall or positive, do not bind, De Iure Naturali & Gentium jux­ta Disciplinam Ebraeorum. l. 1. c. 8.

Should any by their own, or by their fore-Fathers Oath, stand ingaged to the observance of such Laws as establish Heathenism, Mahumedanism, Iudaism, or Popery; such a Law cannot with­out sin be kept, and may without sin be violated.

Civill inconveniencies which accrue through the observance of a Covenant, may rise so high as to warrant the reassuming of li­berty.

If any Prince go about to destroy Religion, he affordeth unto his subjects a just occasion of resisting him.

If Religion be established by an humane Law, the Prince may be questioned for incroachment in case he oppose it, as well as for vi­olating other terms of his agreement with his people.

It may be Objected, That the infringment of such a Law, [Page 20]though it violate the Princes agreement and consent to that Law; yet perhaps may not encroach upon the conditions for which the People promised subjection to him.

1 I Answer, That no People ought to ingage their subjecti­on to another, unless he condescend to be regulated by those Laws to which he shall give his consent: and in case they accept of any one for their King upon other terms, their posterity are not bound to stand to so imprudent a compact.

2 That should a people be guilty of such an omission in their stipulation with a Conquerour, or any whom they should prefer to bear rule over them; his consenting to a Law which is for their advantage, is an act of grace and favour, by which he devesteth himself of some part of his prerogative, which was setled upon him by his first agreement with the people, and addeth it unto their privileges, so that a Law may be called an additionall stipu­lation. And were it otherwise, it would scarce be worth his sub­jects labour to meet for the enacting of Laws, sith their Prince should be left free to dispence with them at his pleasure.

3 A Law which is beneficiall to the subject, giveth him an in­terest in some privilege, for which he may contend as lawfully as for any thing else which is his own. And it seemeth clear to the light of reason, that any one who hath power, may defend his own by the ruine of an incroacher, when otherwise he cannot be se­cure.

The controversie touching resistance to be made against a Prince, who opposeth Religion, when it is not established by an humane Law, is more perplexed.

Suppose a Prince to make it his study to give a check-mate to Religion; or, though he affect not an utter extirpation thereof, yet by his good will to allow it no existence but with subordinati­on to his own designes. Suppose him to prefer his carnall interests, when they stand in competition with Religion; and to assay the jumbling together and blending of heaven and earth, rather than he will not attain his self-ends.

Suppose also that there is no humane Law to controule him: I doubt not but in this case the Law of God warranteth the taking up of Arms against him. My reasons are these which follow:

1 Because God hath no where throughout the scripture for­bidden [Page 21]us to resist such rulers as are a terror to good works. There is no sin which is not prohibited in the scripture.

2 Because every believer hath, and every man ought to have a propriety in true Religion. Who will dare to deny that the great Senate-house of heaven can give a propriety, as effectually as any Parliament upon earth? The Israelites had nothing besides the great Seal of heaven, to justifie their driving out of the Cana­nites from the Land which they had in possession, and that was sufficient, Iud. 11.24. Every man hath as firm a Commission to dispossess his spirituall enemies, and to worship God in sincerity truth.

And all who have effected this, have a propriety in true Reli­gion, and the exercise thereof; and may Lawfully resist all those who go about to restrain them from the free use of it.

The sixt word in the Decalogue taketh care for the preservation of mans life, is an hedge about his bodie to restrain the incursions of the Sons of violence; which none can break thorough, but he shall get a prick in his Conscience, and (that I may allude to what the Apostle speaketh in another sence) pierce thorough his soul with many sorrowes.

It forbiddeth men to take away the life, to hinder the health, and strength, and to hasten the death of themselves, or other men, unless for the executing of a judiciarie sentence: and requireth all men to preserve other mens lives, but their own in the first place, unless they can lay them out with advantage to Gods honor: as by fighting his Battels, and helping him against his Enemies; or by suffering for a good cause, when they are not at all likely to defend themselves by action; or by way of exchange (if an opportuniy be offered) for the life or lives of some other, who can do God better service. By virtue of this precept a man is bound in conscience to de­fend his life if he be able, against all malicious plots by wch. it is un­dermined, and unjust practices by which it is assaulted: and if he fail herein, he is in the conspiracie against himself, accessory to his own death, guilty of self-murder.

In like manner by the 8th. Commandement we are not only for­bidden to invade that to which we have no right, but enjoyned also to preserve and defend our own livelyhoods from Har­pies, from all who would unjustly snatch them from us.

Every man is an Iland, or a little world; and hath somewhat which he may call his own, and which he not only lawfully may, but also out of duty to God ought to defend from acts of violence according to his abilities, against all other men in the Vni­verse.We are au­torised by the Law or Nature to oppose force against vio­lence. See I­sidore O [...]g. l. 5. Cicero in orat. pro Milone. Iu­ven. Satyr. 15. Livie lib. 42.

That War is just (as a politick writer saith well, though in some other points he miscary) that is necessary; and those arms are religious, when there is no hope left elsewhere, but in them.

Object. Some will here Object, that I open a gap to sedition and tumults; many being apt without due occasion to pick quar­rels against those whom God hath placed in lawfull authority over them.

Ans. Such a determination as I have given of the question which is the subject of this chapter, cannot smile upon sedition, and en­courage it; as permitting men to make forcible resistance against superiours, only upon just occasions, and when they cannot ob­tain a redress by ordinary proceedings. That in this sentence I am orthodox, a learned and juditious authorCamero in his Myrothec. Evang. upon Rom. 10.15. will bear me witness in these words which follow.

Hoc non est seditioni in urbe vel castris favere, quod civis ultra & injussus in rebellem & proditorem Magistratum, miles in perduellem Centurionem vel Decurionem suum insurgit, si nulla alia via & ra­tione occurrit malo potest, tum duntaxat pervertitur ordo & reg­nat [...], quum extra hujusmodi casum tantum quis sibi permittit & licere putat.

I so far expressed the sence of these words, in what I have al­ready answered to the objection, that I shall not need to construe them.

But moreover, if any shall suck poyson from those truthes, whence they might gather honey, were they of well tempred spirits; they will be somewhat restrained by the disadvantage up­on which they should engage against those who are possessed of authority, and by their want of divine assistance in an unlawfull enterprise. And if any shall be so fool-hardy, and fondly reso­lute, as to engage against God and man, against Law and Reli­gion, and against their own safety; let us rather trust God for the backing of his vice-gerents here upon earth so long as they ap­prove [Page 23]themselves to him, than make a lye our refuge. And though God may sometimes seem to sleep and not appear in his own cause, to wit, when due authority is opposed upon empty pretences, (Talera veritatem, licit amara sit) pick not quarrels with truth, because it is bitter, being wrested by mis application to counte­nance selfish designes, and unjust proceedings.

What I have hitherto spoken touching the lawfulness of resisting Princes upon the occasion now mentioned, is plentifully confirmed by some examples in Scripture; and by the demenours of the Iews towards those who reigned over them without Gods immedi­ate appointment; and likewise by the practices of Christians. I shall premise, that if it be lawfull fo [...] one subject, or for one in­considerable number to resist a Prince, then much more for a whole state.

David should have troubled God with a needless and imperti­nent question, asking whether the men of Keilah would deliver him up into Sauls hand? unless he intended there to secure him­self from Sauls mischievous practices; and to offend him rather than not to defend himself. Saul and his men might easily have sealled the walls of Keilah, should David have used no resistance: and in case he had resisted Sauls force, an arrow or a stone would have made no distinction between Saul and his men.

Did not Azariah the Priest think it lawfull to resist King Uzzi­ah, in the defence of the Ceremoniall Law,2 Chron. 26.17. when he followed him into the Temple, attended with no fewer then 80 Priests, and those valiant men? Were not the 80 Priests, which accompanied Uzziah, of the same sense and judgement?

The Iewes themselves by their demeanors towards Alexander Iannaeus, (who together with his Predecessor, and those who suc­ceeded him, are in the Talmud called Kings of Israel, because they were not of the Family of David) declare that they thought it lawfull for them not only to depose, but also to inflict capitall pu­nishment upon those who reigned over them without Gods imme­diate appointment.

Alexander Iannaeus was King over the Iewes, Ioseph. Antiq. In­daic. l. 13. c. 20. Gem. Sanhed. c. 2. He was convented by the San­hedrim, Gem. Sanhed. c. 2.

The Iewes raised warre against him, neither would be satisfied [Page 16]with any terms without his death; Ioseph. Antiq. Iudaic. l. 13. c. 21, & 22.

Schammai rebuked the rest of the Sanhedrin, and King Hirea­nus, shewing favour to Herod, Ioseph. Antiq. Iudaic. lib. 14. cap. 17.

I shall now briefly explain, how Gods people in the younger times of Christian Religion, by their practices testified that they thought it lawfull to resist those who were in authority over them, when they went about to destroy, or to deprave Religion, or to impedite the advancement thereof.

Whereas the Christians in Constantinople, who beleeved that the Son was con-substantiall to the Father, after the death of Euse­bius their Bishop, made choice of one to succeed him, who had been his Predecessor, but was ejected by a Council, which the Em­perour convocated to that purpose, Paul by name; but the Arians of Constantinople at the same time elected Macedonius into the Patri­arkship;Socrat. Hist Eccles. l. 2. c. 12. And Constantius sent Hermogenes, with a military force to expell Paul from the Church of Constantinople: some who adhered to Paul, fired the house in which Hermogenes quartered, and ha­ling him out, slew him. Socrat. Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 13. Sozomen. Hist. Eccles. l. 3. c. 6.

The Constantinopolitans endeavoured to defend Paul their Pa­triark aforenamed against Philip President of Constantinople, when they suspected somthing to be decreed against him by their Emperor Constantius. Socrat. Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 16.

The Romans by violence ejecting Felix out of the See of Rome, Constantius against his mind restoreth unto them Liberius, whom he had banished. Socrat. Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 37.

The Inhabitants of Mantinium out of their fervent zeal for Re­ligion, resisted four troops of Soldiers which were sent against them according to the Emperors order, and were victorious. So­crat. Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 38.

The Samosateans would by force have attempted to preserve their Bishop Eusebius from banishment, to which Valens their Emperour had destinated him; had they not been diswaded by the same Eusebius. Theodorit. Hist. Eccles. l. 4. c. 13.

The Christians of Alexandria resisted the Emperour Martian, and his military force, Evagrius Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 5.

It is sufficiently known, how Ambrose Bishop of Millain opposed the Emperor. See Niceph. Calistius l. 12. c. 42.

It is observable that the Christians whom I have now mentio­ned, when omnia Caesar erat, and whilst the profession of Christian Religion was confirmed by no humane lawes but the Edicts of Em­perours; in the behalf of Religion resisted those who had the Posse of the world in their hands.

That in the elder times of Christian Religion the Papists, and likewise many Protestants of the Church of Scotland have appro­ved these practices of the primitive Christans, and other of higher opposition against Princes, for default in Government, whether respecting Religion, or civill affairs; is sufficiently discovered by Lysimachus Nicanor, in his Epistle congratulatory to the Co­venanters in Scotland. See especially, p. 12. 40. 41. 54.

— Ridentem dicere verum,
Quid vetat?

The sense of our English Senators touching the liableness of Kings to forcible resistance and deposition, is so clear from that Vote in the beginning of our Civill dissentions, to wit, That the King, if he raised Forces against his Parliament, forfeited his Trust; and by some other Votes and Actions, that it needeth no Comment to explain it.

He that desireth to read more touching the Peoples Liber­tie in point of resistance to be made against those that invade their right, may see Plutarch in the Lives of the Gracehi.

CHAP. 11. Kings may render themselves obnoxious to the penalty of death ac­cording to the Law of God, in some cases to be inflicted by publick authority, in other by private men.

THat Law, Gen. 9.6. Whose sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed; reacheth all the Sons of Noah, Princes them­selves, though they be taller than their Brethren by the head and shoulders.

Whoso sheddeth mans blood voluntarily and of his own accord, not out of an error, nor as an executioner of a penaltie, nor yet in his own defence, his blood shall be shedSee Oakelos his Chaldee Pa­raphrase, and the Mauritani­an Jewes Ara­bick translation set out by Er­penius. by a judiciary sentence. This is the meaning of that Law.

The Hebrew Doctors have some glosses here which destroy the Text. According to some of them, he who by himself shedded mans blood, was to be punished with death: but if he hired ano­ther, or imployed his servants to shed blood, or exposed one bound, to a Lion, or other savage beasts, he was to be esteemed an homicide, and deserved death to be inflicted of God; but was not necessarily to be adjudged to death by the sentence of the Ma­gistrate.

They leave to the King, and likewise to the Sanhedrin, a liber­ty to punish such with death, or to exempt them.

Certainly he who committeth murder by a proxie, is more guil­ty than if he had shed blood immediately, in that he hath pro­pagated the sin.

Some of them determine, that, if an Israelite slew a stranger (though he was proselytus domicilis) he was not to be condemned to death for it, because he was not ( [...]) his neighbour.

These considered not that strangers also bear the Image of God; and that God was the Lord of all mankind.

TheSanheds. c. 9. Misna of the Talmud telleth us, that when a homicide is mingled with others, they are all free, that is (as I con­ceive) when many men strike a man so that it cannot be known that what was done by any one of them, killed him.

This exception hath no more warrant from the word of God than have the two former.

Who so sheddeth mans blood, whether by himself immedi­ately, or by the ministery of some other, whether a strangers or a neighbours; whether alone or with the help of others, is a son of death.

No Mortall is excused by his greatness. Plato is very orthodox in this point. [...]. And spea­king of an ho­micide, [...]. He urgeth af­terwards the in flicting of this penalty, e­specially upon such as shall kill any of their kindred. An homicide (as he determineth l. 9 de leg.) must be punished with death.

He passeth the same sentence upon a Sranger killing a Stranger, and a Citizen killing a Stranger, and a Stranger killing a Citizen, as upon one Citizen killing another, and upon a man killing ano­ther with his own hand, or otherwise. He excepteth not any so offending from capitall punishment.

That it is not left arbitrary to the Magistrate to punish or pardon Murther, is cleared by the 33. Section of Num. 35. where it is writ­ten, that The Land cannot be clear sed from the blood that is shed ther­in, but by the blood of him that shed it. Vpon which place saithMore Nevo­chim, Part. 3. cap. 41. Maimonides, (as he is construed by Buxtorf agreeably to the sence of the Hebrew.) Proptereà licet interfectus per horas vel dies aliquot adhuc vixerit, locutus fuerit, sanumque intellectum retinue­rit, testatusque fuerit, se ei condonare & remittere, non auditur, sed necessariò anima pro animâ danda est, aequaliter pro parvo & magno, servo & F lio ingenu­orum, seu filio nobilium. libero, sapiente & stulto. Take notice from this gloss, that the murderer ought necessarily to be put to death, though the person murdered live some days after he receive the wound: which is contrary to the sense of some other Hebrew Doctors.

God in divers places of Scripture requireth that capitall punish­ment be inflicted, as for murder so for some other crimes: neither are Kings excepted from those Laws in any part of the written word which is now extant.

Princes in some other cases are liable to capitall punishment to be inflicted by private men.

When a Prince attempteth to murder another, the person in­vaded may lawfully kill him in his own defence, and is bound by the 6. Commandement to doe it, rather than suffer himself to be murdered. Davids great guard intimateth, that he would [Page 20]rather have killed Saul, than have suffered himself to be killed by him.

Lib. 9 de leg. Plato maketh it lawfull for a man to kill a Thief who by night entereth his house to steal;That is, when he pursaeth a young woman betrothed, to defile her, saith R. Schem. Tof. The wifes n [...] ­kedness is the husbands na­kedness: but Maimonides his words are more compre­hensive, than that Interpre­ter maketh them. That place in Plato's Lawes, before quoted, provi­deth for the chastity of both Sexes, whether mari­edor single: Maimonides his words are capable of the same constiu­ction; adam sometimes being of as large a Signification, as bomo. That testimony which have added out of the Misua, prevaileth with me to think, that Maimonid. under adam compre­hended both Sexes. or one that attempteth at any time after what manner soever to spoil him of his goods; or one who invadeth his chastitie, or hath defiled some other related to him.

Maimonides saith, It is unlawfull to kill a man who hath purposed to commit any wickedness, before he hath done it, unlesse in these 2 cases, [...] when he pursueth a man to kill him, and when he pursueth a mans na­kedness to uncover it.

The Misna in Sanbedr. c. 8. paragr. 7. to the same purpose These are they whom they hinder from sinne by the loss of their life: him that pursueth another with an intention to kill him, and him that pursueth a maid, and him that pusueth a young woman that is be­trothed.

Should one pursue another to kill him, all Israel (according to the sense of our Hebrew Doctors) was bound to rescue the person who was pursued, if it could not be effected otherwise, by the death of the pursuer.

Should any one deliver an Israelite or his goods into the power of the Heathen, it was lawfull (say* the same Writers) for a­ny one to kill the Traytor. It is as great a fault to be­tray the goods and lives of Christians into the hands of Papists.

CHAP. 12. The injunction of subjection to the higher powers, is but a brittle Ar­gument for the impunity of Tyrants.

CHrysostome taketh notice that the Apostle [Rom. 13.1.] doth not say, there is no ruler but of God; but that he spake of the office, saying, there is no power but of God; all the powers that be are ordained of God.

According to this Doctor, the scope of the Apostle is not to in­hibit men from resisting Tyrants, but to bridle-in unruly spirits, which are altogether impatient of any authority.

I may adde, that this Scripture likewise opposeth those who could be contented to submit unto such Magistrates, as will countenance their licentious courses, but cannot endure such as goe about to re­strain sin, and to encourage religion.

If by powers be meant, such as are invested in authority; the trope used will chastise all such as resist Magistrates who are duely called to the exercise of authority, neither abuse the authority wherewith they are betrusted; and so discover themselves to be enemies to authority it self: but the peoples hands are not tyed, when authority is usurped, or the ends thereof neglected.

What we read Rom. 13.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. according to Mr. Calvin, and Buchanan, bindeth us onely to submit our selves to the Edicts of Princes, when they enjoyn us what is agreeable to the Law of God. And indeed the reasons which inforce our subjection to the higher powers, and the motives which incite us to our dutie, ex­pressed in 3. and 4. verses of the Chapter before quoted, byase us into that sense.

For rulers are not a terrour to good works, but to the evill.

We must be subject to rulers, because they are not a terror to good works: and because they are a terror to the evill.

We have afterward a double motive to the subjection which is enjoyned us. Doe that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the power. But if thou doe that which is evill, be afraid: for the Ma­gistrate beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evill.

That injunction (Rom. 13.1.) cannot pretend to bind us to the observance of the Magistrate, when he is a terror to good works, but not to evill: when those who doe evill, have praise of him; and those who doe good, are discountenanced, and punished by him.

The reasons of a Law, whether divine, or humane, are the mea­sure of the latitude of it. Civil Courts of Equity are appointed to exempt us from the literall severity of humane Lawes, where it is not accompanied with the reasons thereof.

The Holie Ghost (as we see) in the Scripture exhibited requi­reth subjection to be given onely to those who are legitimately called to the exercise of government; and to such onely so long as they rule well. Tyrannie is not ordained of God, nor supported by the other reasons for which subjection is enjoyned, or by the motives thereunto, before mentioned.

Beza understandeth by the higher powers, both the supreme and inferiour Magistrates.

Buchanan conceiveth that we are no more tied to be sub­ject to Kings, then to inferiour Officers, by vertue of that Scrip­ture.

The Author of the Appostolicall Constitutions (l. 7. c. 17.) in the Latine interpreter's judgment expresseth the same sense. His words are these, [...]. Thou shalt fear the King, knowing that the choice is of the Lord: thou shalt honour his Magistrates, as the Ministers of God, for they are the revengers of all iniquity.

The Latine interpreter in the Margent directeth us to Rom. 13. and the word used by the Author of the Apostolicall Constitutions, is [...], as Rom. 13.3. not [...], as the 1. Pet. 2.14. I doubt not but in Rom. 13.3. the supreme and subordinate rulers are a­like to be understood.

The reasons which back the authority of Rulers, make alike for both. Peter in his first Epistle c. 2.13, 14. presseth upon us alike submission to the supreme Magistrate, and to subordinate Rulers. To this Scripture (I think) the Author of the Apostolicall Con­stitutions alludeth in the place before quoted.

Scarce any will deny, but a man in some cases may resist, and likewise kill an inferiour Magistrate without offence to God. Who [Page 31]will doubt, should a Constable rob upon the High-way, but a traveller upon whom he maketh an onset, may lawfully, if it be necessary to the defence of his own life, or of his goods, make op­position to the utmost of his ability?

If any distinguish between such an one's person and his Office, I answer, that the same distinction may be applied to the King him­self, as well as to his ministers. There is a vast distance between the opposing of authority, and the resisting of the person invested therein, who abuseth it, or otherwise misdemeaneth him­self.

Quest. Some will be ready here to aske, whether the Chri­stians were not bound in Conscience to be subject unto the Ro­mans Emperours, though they were Heathens, and Tyrants; ru­ling according to their own wills, and not called to the exercise of Authority by Gods immediate choice, nor yet by the Choice of the Major part of the people.

Ans. I conceive (but with submission to better judgments) that those Christians who lived under the Heathenish Emperours, but wanted strength to defend themselves, were by that precept, Rom. 13.1. Let every Soul be subject unto the higher powers, ob­liged to sit still, and to endeavour nothing against those who had the sword in their hands. My reason is this (but the cause depen­deth not upon it) The Holy Ghost there injoyneth not only a visi­ble obedience, but also such a temperament of spirit, as is patient of lawfull Government, and cheerfully ready to submit unto it; of which those fall short who forcibly resist unlawfull Govern­ment; when in all probability the opposition which they make, will only exasperate and not dispell the evill which they groan un­der. Those who in such circumstances use resistance, discover them­selves to be of unruly spirits: (which frame of mind is forbidden) in that they proceed wholly according to passion; and not accor­ding to the dictate of a sober and well-ordered judgment. But the injunction according to the immediate sense of it, requireth only subjection unto the powers which are ordained of God: and I know not with what spectacles any one can discern tyranny to be of that number.

Children (saithEnchicid [...]e. 37. Epictetus) must yield to a Father in all things, and when he revileth or striketh them, must patiently bear it, because, [Page 32]by Nature they stand related to a Father, as a Father, not to a Fa­ther as good.

Subjects are not so rigorously tyed to submit to their Prince, in that their engagement is not naturall but adventitious.

CHAP. 13. The 15 Section of Psalm 105. vindicated from mis-interpreta­tion.

THat negative precept, Touch not mine Anointed, and doe my Prophets no harm, if rightly understood, will not contradict those Theses which I before propounded.

That Scripture conceiveth that we cannot without sin offer in­jurie to the Lords Anointed. This is the mind of it.

It pointeth at Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as we may gather from the context, compared with the History of their lives. God reproved Pharaoh for Abram's sake, Gen. 12.17. And Abimelech for Abraham's sake, Gen. 20.3. God restrained Abimelech from hurting Isaac, Gen. 26. God reproved Laban for Jacobs sake, Gen. 31.24.

R. Alsheach upon that comma of the Psalmist before quoted, tel­leth us that Laban was King of Mesopotamia, and that he was Cu­shan-Rishathaim. He with some other who affirm the same, had no reason to conceive that Laban should be the Cushan-Rishathaim, who is mentioned Iudg. 3. nor more ground to think that Laban had that name. But those who were wealthy, especially if they had great families, had the name of Princes. The children of Heth called Abraham a mighty Prince, Gen. 23.6.

It's as easie a matter to make good that Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, were the Lords Anointed, as that God reproved Kings for their sakes.

I cannot close with those Hebrew Doctors, who tell us that the whole world set Abraham a King over them, but shall shew that in severall respects, he, with Isaac and Iacob, might fitly be called the Lords Anointed.

1. There is an Anointing with the Spirit, sealing to our hearts [Page 33]the promises of God, (2 Cor. 1.21.) in which they had a large portion.

2. They were Anointed with the Spirit of Illumination and of Holinesse, and so became Prophets, and Kings and Priests unto their God. Every true beleever hath his conscience so illuminated, that he is a Prophet to himself, and is so sanctified that he hath victorie and dominion over his lusts, and offereth up himself a living sacri­fice to God. See 1 Iohn 4.6. Heb. 8.10, 11. 1. Pet. 2.9. Rev. 5.10. Rom. 12.1.

3. All those three Worthies before-named were Prophets, as some of our Hebrew Doctors have observed.

Abrah [...]m is expresly called a Prophet, Gen. 20.7. Isaac prophe­sied in the benedictions which he gave to his Sons, Gen. 27. And Iacob prophesied Gen. 49.

This Exposition is very well acquainted with that Text of the Psalmist. The end of the Verse commenteth upon the beginning, and telleth us in what sense they were called the Lords Anointed. See Ger. 20.7.

Aben-Ezra upon Psal. 105.15. construeth the word Anointed into a double sense, viz. Princes and Prophets, but the same Scholi­ast upon Gen. 23.6. saith that Abraham was called a Prince of God, because, he was a Prophet. As he was a Prophet, he was lifted up into a degree of dignity above those who were not Prophets, as the word which is translated a Prince, importeth. And so I conceive with Onkelos, that he is there signified to be a Prince before the Lord, rather then a great Prince, although he was truly great, because he was so highly honoured of God. In the same notion the Priests are called Princes of God, 1 Chron. 24.5. And Rachels prayers for Children, the wrestlings of God, Gen. 30.8. But by the mountains of God, Psal. 36.7. are meant great mountains, and by the Cedars of God, Psal. 80.11. tall Cedars; The flame of God, Cantic. 8, 6. is a most vehement flame. In this Scripture the Hebrew for God, is Iah, in those two places in the Psalms, El, in the other three places quo­ted, Elohim, (Gods.) Strength or greatnes is an essential attribute of God, but the Prophets and Priests were dignified by and in the presence of the three sacred persons, and Rachel powred out her prayers before the blessed Trinity.

It is competently clear from what I have said upon Psal. 105.15. [Page 34]that by Gods Anointed there are meant such as were not Kings, but over their own Families; and that those who were command­ed not to hurt them, neither to doe them harm, were not in sub­jection to them; and the matter of the Commandement is, that they should offer them no wrrong.

The strength of this precept doth not so tie the hands of Princes, but that they have liberty upon some occasions to make War a­gainst other Princes who are without the circumference of their do­minion, and endeavour to subdue them; nor yet so confine Subjects, that they may not lawfully defend their right against their Princes.

I acknowledge that men are by the impetuousnes of a native distemper, till such time as it be restrained and bridled by grace, carried on to envie such as God hath placed in authority over them. Moses and Aaron, because they were highly in favour with God, were envied and hated by a great party of the Israe­lites. Farre be it from me to countenance this Anarchicall humor. We sin, if we withdraw from any, whilst they have lawfull autho­rity over us, and rule well, our due subjection: yet I see not that they are so baracadoed by the Law of God against all opposition, that it should be unlawfull upon any occasion whatsoever to resist, or to question them.

CHAP. 14. An Argument, which is wont to be drawn from 1. Sam. 24.6. and c. 26.9, 10, 11. is propounded.

THe main pillar by which Tyranny is supported remaineth still unshaken, viz. Davids Authority or testimony for the un­lawfullness of killing Saul, when God had delivered him up in­to his hands, which is expressed, 1 Sam. 24.6. c. 26.9, 10, 11.

And he said unto his Men (in the former of these Scriptures) the Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my Master the Lords anointed to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the Anoin­ted of the Lord.

And David said to Abishai (in the other place quoted) de­stroy [Page 35]him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lords A­nointed and be guiltless.

David said further more, as the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to dye, or he shall descend into Battail and perish.

The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lords Anointed.

Many now a days in their familiar discourses allege for Tyrants immunity from censures, especially from deposition and capitall punishment, the example of Saul and his successors in the King­dom.

This their argument should scarce have any shew of a founda­tion in Saul, should have in regard of him no firmer basis then a Castle in the air, were they not beholden to the text that I have now quoted.

Whereas God requireth that those who have committed mur­therGen. 9.6. Compare also the 6 Com­mandement with the scope of it. be put to deathRom. 13. by the Magistrate: and hath made itCompare the 6. Comman­dement with the scope of it. a mans duty to kill another if he can, rather than to suffer himself to be murthered.

David seemeth to except all violence which is offered by tyrants, even that which amounteth to the endangering of other mens lives, from such rough and austere replies, and to leave unto their sub­jects (or rather their vassals) no weapons but prayers and tears, flight and lurking holes wherewith to defend themselves.

This Argument though nothing should be added to its stature, would prove the Goliah of those who love to dispute them­selves into slavery, or else to share with Tyrants in their autho­rity; but is somewhat heightned and strengthned by some cir­cumstances in Which David stood, viz. his frequent dangers in regard of Saul, (by whom he was restlesly pursued) and the digni­ty of his own person.

David, lest Abishai should have conceived that although it was unlawfull for a private man to stretch forth his hand against the Lords anointed, yet one anointed might stretch forth his hand against another, after he had said1 Sam. 26.9. Who can stretch forth his hand against the Lords Anointed, and be gniltless? addeth, The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the Lords Anoin­ted, saith Abarbinel upon the place, He intimateth, that it was [Page 36]obvious to think, that although it was a fault in some one to stretch forth his hand against the Lords Anointed, yet not in Da­vid who was himself also the anointed of the Lord.

That David should cause the Amalekite to be put to death, who witnessed against himself that he had slain Saul, contributeth no more to the preserving of the lives of Kings then of other men, in that the party who accused himself could not pretend to any authority by which he might adjudge Saul to death, nor yet plead that he slew him in his own defence.

CHAP. 15. One of the premises from which some conclude that all Kings are by divine right exempted from legall censures, and forcible resistance, is convicted of falsitie.

IT is taken for granted in the argument which is founded upon those places in Samuel which were produced in the last Chapter, that there is as good reason that all other Kings as that Saul should be exempted from humane censures and forcible resistance, which supposition I shall acknowledge to be Truths legitimate off-spring, and Aeagle-like to sore above the mists and clouds of ignorance and falshood, if it can with an undazled and undaunted eye be­hold the Sun of reason. But you shall clearly perceive it to blink, when it is brought to the tryall.

There are many reasons sure, for which Saul being com­pared with other Kings, had a large advantage in the cases now mentioned.

1 Because he reigned by Gods immediate appointment. God made choice of Saul to be Captain over his people Israel, 1 Sam. 9.16, 17.

Those Kings who were chosen and autorized immediately by God, had a vast advantage, being compared with such as should be chosen by men. When God suspended the people from the act of Electing, he suspended them also from the act of Deposing, otherwise they might presently have pulled down him whom God had set up.

I acknowledge a difference between the prohibiting people from [Page 37]deposing a Prince (enthroned immediately by God himself) quam diu benè se gesserit, so long as he demeaned himself as it be­came a prince, and an absolute debarring of them from going a­bout to alter their condition, howsoever such a Prince should carry himself.

A King by his mandate giving one title to some place in a socie­ty, that have Lawes by which they are enabled (unless a supe­tiour power interpose) to eject any member of their corporation for certain misdemeanours, or because they retain not those qua­lifications which are required in a member of such a body (though permitted otherwise both by the Laws of God and men) is not wont to reserve the party whom he hath preferred, to his imme­diate jurisdiction, but leaveth him to stand or fall by the statutes of the society into which he is admitted.

But neither may I omit a difference between the supreme Magi­strate and earthly Monarches in this particular. So boundless are the knowledg and power of God, that he sees all the Delinquen­cies of the great ones, and can punish them immediately by him­self without any interruption of his affairs.

That God, whose breath like a stream of Brimstone kindleth Tophet, standeth not in need of any instruments for the execu­ting of his wrath upon Kings, and sometimes himself immediately inflicteth vengeance, sometimes is pleased to assign unto men that office out of the sovereignty of his will.

What we read, Deut. 17.20. leaveth us doubtfull, whether God upon any occasions autorised the Israclites to reject their Kings, or their posterity. He might out of a displeasure con­ceived against the King permit his subjects or strangers to offer such violence unto him, as he did not approve of. Himself like­wise by a penall sentence might translate the Kingdom from one Family to another.

One of the reasons which moved David to swear, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to dye, or he shall descend into baettell and perish, was, unless Abarbinel misconstrue him, because he knew that the Lord had Anonited him King.

Most certain it is that Saul could not (without injustice) be deposed by humane authority, much less suffer capitall punish­ments [Page 38]by any humane censures, so long as he demeaned himself so as it became him: in which respect he had a large advantage being compared with other Kings who were mens creatures, viz. not e­lected immediately by God himself, much more above such whose sword is all the title by which they can pretend to the Scep­ter.

Those are as free, as can be imagined, to recover their liberty, who are enslaved by conquest; an unlawfull violence may lawful­ly be removed.

A people may set a King over them for some short time, so that his autority must needs soon expire; or with no firmer commission then durante beneplacito, so that his Kingdom shall not be more stedfast than one of those houses whose foundations are said in the waves, the inhabitants whereof may expect to be tossed to and fro without intermission, unless they can congeale the billowes in­to a sleep.

The Authority which is perpetuated by the tenor of the Patent, may in some cases be recalled both with more wisdom and Religi­on, then it was granted, as I before shewed.

CHAP. 16. That Presumption, viz. That there is as good reason that all other Kings as well as Saul, should be exempted from humane censures, and violent resistance, is by another reason refuted. The Sin of the Israelites in asking a King, is explained negatively and affir­matively. The 14. and 15. Verses of Deuteron. 17. are en­lightened.

GOD, though he granted unto the Israelites a King after the manner of other Nations, and according to the Genius of their request, might deservedly abridge them from that libertie of unthroning Tyrants, which he granted unto other Nations: in that they tendered to him such a Petition, as was both in the sub­stance and the circumstances thereof exceedingly unlawfull and sin­full. God gave them a King in his anger, Hos. 13.11.

God threatneth by Samuel (1 Sam. 8.18.) that he would not hear the Israelites crying out to him for relief under the burden of their royall pressures.

This Scripture informeth us that God determined they should suffer in the things wherein they sinned. Here is measure for measure.

That I may explain the sin of the Isra lites in its full dimensions, I shall premise, That a King is not a necessary ingredient of the Government of a People, (which Thesis I have already pro­ved:) Moreover, that the Israelites were not obliged by any di­vine precept to set over them a King: And lastly, that although a King had been necessary for other Nations in regard of Civill oc­casions, yet could not he be necessary for the Israelites.

The Israelites were not necessitated by any divine precept to set over them a King of their own chusing, nor yet to ask a King of God.

Three things (saith R. Jehuda) were injoyned the Israelites, G [...]m. San­hedr. c. 2. which they should doe after their entrance into the Holy Land: to set a King over them, to cut off the seed of Amaleck, and to build a Temple. Schickard also (De Jure Regio Hebraeorum, c. 1. Theor. 1.) affirmeth, that God commanded the Israelites to set a King over them, Deut. 17.15.

Dei manda­tum e [...]at elige­re Regem.The title of that Theoreme is yet more hardie, affirming that God had commanded the Israelites to chuse them a King.

But if we accurately examine that comma in Deuteronomie quo­ted by Schickard, we shall find that God did not at all permit, much less command the Israelites to chuse a King, but reserved that choice to himself. Neither is there any expression in Deut. 17. which might countenance their asking of a King, but clearly what should have diverted them from that attempt.

It's probable also that those words, Thou shalt in any wise set him him King over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall chuse, (consider well the scope of them) contain onely one precept, which is nega­tive, viz. That they should not set over them a King whom the Lord did not chuse: and certain, that if an affirmative precept be likewise intended in them; the reason was not, that God took complacency in their setting over them a King, but that his choice might be regarded. Their acquiescing in Gods choice should be the pith and kernel of the precept, and the setting up of a King onely the husk and shell of it. It was needless to injoyn them to s [...]t a [Page 40]King over them, when they intemperately desired Kingly Govern­ment. God did not antecedently, nor simply injoyn them to set a King over them, but (if at all) in reference to the choice that he should make. And he chus'd a King for them, not out of any com­placencie which he took in their request, but out of condescension to the hardness of their hearts.

Again,The Book which Samue! wrote touching the manner of the Kingdom, (1 Sam. 10.15) shewed what autority the K. should have o­ver the people, and what pu­nishment he should inslict upon those who disobeyed his commands, and was layed up before the Lord, viz. in the Ark, as R. Levi Bell Gersom com­menteth upon the place. though a King should have been necessary for other Na­tions, yet not for the Israelites. God had undertaken to rule over them in a more peculiar way then over the Nations, had promised to goe before them, and to fight their battles, and had given them Judges, and directed them by his Prophets.

The Israelites in the times of the Iudges before Samuel, seemed to be of this opinion.

This last Thesis is cleared by 1 Sam. 10.19. And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities, and your tribulations.

The Israelites in desiring a King, did not act in the virtue of any divine commandement, nor out of any Civil necessity, or State­exigency, but out of an unbridled humor, out of a Ca [...]exie and e­vill frame of spirit. I cannot think with some of the Hebrew Doctors in Siphre, that they desired a King who would bring in Idolatrous worship; nor with R. Nissim, that their offence was in asking a King, not only to fight their battails, but also to judge them, (see­ing all judicature was not entailed upon their great Sanhedrin and their inferiour judges, it was not necessary that their request should encroach upon those Courts of justice, which were established by Divine right) nor yet with some other, that their sin consisted in desiring a King who should make laws and rule according to his pleasure, not submitting himself unto the Law of God, seeing that we have no hint that they were guilty of this crime.

They offended (as I conceive with Maimonidas) in that there was a spirit of murmuring in their asking of a King. They were not contented with that Government which God had appointed them. God permitted them not to aske a King, but commanded them to set over them a King whom the Lord should chose. Deut. 17.14, 15. God foretelleth their repining against the present Go­vernment, and here, as in some other cases, condescendeth to the hardness of their hearts in granting them a King, but confineth them to one whom himself should chuse.

R. Nehorai (in the Gemara of Sanhedrin c. 2.) expresseth the same sense of that place in Deut. viz. That in regard of their mur­muring, which is intimated in those words, And shalt say, I will set a King over me, like as all the Nations that are round about me, the Lord said, Thou shalt in any wise set him King over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall chuse.

Those Doctors, whose opinions I rejected, mistook, as con­ceiving that God absolutely commanded the Israelites to set over them a King; and sinned not, in the matter of their request, but only in the circumstances thereof. Had there been such a com­mandement, their forefathers had sinned in omitting it, through­out the time after they were possessed of Canaan, till they asked a King.

See Nath­manides upon Gen. 49.10.They sinned also in rejecting Samuel, one who was endewed with the Spirit of prophecie, and eminent in holinesse. Besides that they expressed a desire that some other should rule over them, 1 Sam. 8.5. Vnlesse they were supinely ignorant, or understood by revelation that God would not settle the Kingdom at its begin­ning upon Iudah, they could no expect a king who was not of that tribe.

They had an itching desire to be like unto other Natations, in wth there was a spice & tincture of Idolatry. They chose rather to be governed after the manner of the heathen, then in that way which God had prescribed them, being taken with the pomp and lustre of a visible King. As they had formerly adored the Gods of the Na­tions, so now they idolize their government: as they had often cast off Iehovah from being their God, so now they cast him off from being their King.

R. Eliezer (in the Gemara of Sanhedr. c. 2.) sayth, the Elders sinned not in asking a King, but the common people were per­verse in affecting to be like other Nations.

The beginnning of this sentence is already refuted: the remainder in part maketh for my purpose. The same who desired a King, af­fected also to be like other Nations, 1 Sam. 8.5. &. 20. and were therein perverse, but sinned likewise in the matter of their request. It was impossible for the Israelites to aske a King with such circum­stances as not to sin, in that the request it self implied a rejecting of God from bearing rule over them.

They had not the same liberty with other Nations in this par­ticular, in that God had vouchsafed to reign over them in a peculi­ar manner.

Forasmuch as the Israelites so haynously provoked God in asking a King, it was just with him to abridge them or the Liberty of de­posing Tyrannicall Kings which he left to other Nations: that they might have enough of Kingly government, which they had so much thirsted after.

CHAP. 17. A third reason is opposed against that proposition, or presumption, which was examined in the two last Chapters.

SHould we grant that Davids sparing of Saul, when he was de­livered into his hands, was approved off by God, yet the times in which he lived, will suggest an exception of Tyrants now a dayes from Sauls Privilege, and of subjects whose lives are un­justly sought after by their Princes, from Davids Liberty.

No one will doubt but in the times in which the spirit of Prophe­cie flourished, God dispenced oftner with the matter of his Laws then we have notice given us in the Scriptures.

God remitted unto Cain the sentence of death due to him for his Murder. Gen. 4.15. That Law, Gen. 9.6. Who so sheddeth mans blood, By man shall his blood be shed, was not then first given, but only repeated and inforced by a vocall promulgation. God per­mitted the Isralites to spoil the Aegyptians, Exod. 11.2. And some of those of whom they borrowed jewels, perhaps had no in­fluence into their pressures. If all Gods providential dispensati­ons should have been written, I suppose that even the World it self could not contain the Bookes that should be writ­ten.

I cannot conceive that it will seem strange to any who are not sworn to hold their conclusions, that Saul should by some un-writ­ten dispensation be exempted from some penalties, to which other­wise he should have been liable, or that David by some counter­mand which was not committed to writing, should be inhibited from killing Saul, which otherwise he might have done in his own [Page 43]defence:Upon 1 Sam. 26. Abarbinel saith by way of conjecture, that David recei­ved from Samuel at Naioth in Ramah, what he saith to Abishai, 1 Sam. 26.10. God had promised David the Kingdom, and so vir­tually at least that he would deliver him out of the hands of Saul: and that his information, out of supposition that he sinned not in sparing Saul, was ich'd out by some divine light not recorded in Scripture, sith otherwise he might have conceived that God had decreed he should by his Sword hew out his way to the Kingdom, that Gods promise was to be accomplished by his killing of Saul, when he was delivered into his hands. It is probable enough, that God by some revelation not contained in the Scriptures now ex­tant, signified unto David, that himself without his help would shorten Sauls dayes, and admonished him expresly, or by conse­quence not to lay violent hands upon his Master the Lords anoin­ted. I am confident that the Historie of some privileges which were granted to Saul, and those who by Gods appointment suc­ceeded him in the Kingdom, perished with that book which Sa­muel wrote concerning the manner of the Kingdom, and layed up before the Lord, 1 Sam. 10.25.

That Book was of divine authority, but not joyned to the other Scriptures, in that it would be of little use after the Kingdom ex­pired: and Gods Providence ordered that those divine Writings which should be transmitted to all posterity, should be comprehen­ded in such a volume as would be portable, and might be easily purchased. When I before spake of unwritten dispensations and precepts, I meant such as were not inserted in the Scriptures, which should be preserved as a perpetuall rule of our lives. And perhaps there was never but for some short time, any unwritten tradition, but in this sense.

It is is probable enough that the Book of which Samuel maketh mention, perished with the first Temple. The sacred Writings (as Elias Levita witnesseth) were not gathered into one Volume, till after the Babylonian captivity.

Seeing the Scripture now extant exempted not Saul from violent resistance which might endanger or take away his life, when the life of any of his Subjects, which he unjustly sought after, could not be preserved upon other terms, we must grant, unless we resolve to be irrationall, that David sinned in sparing Saul, or else that his omis­sions [Page 44]were warranted by some divine precept or permission which is not now extant.

No divine command or permission from which there resulted any privilege to Saul alone, or to him and those who succeeded him in the KingdomDeut. 30.11, 12, 13, 14. could be longer in force then it was trans­mitted to Posterity by undoubted authority.

And indeed all of the Reformed Religion acknowledge the written word of God now extant to be a sufficient rule of our reli­gious actions, and omissions.

CHAP. 18. The remainder of the premises in that Syllogism which is built upon Davids carriage towards Saul by those who have endeavoured to support Tyranny, is examined.

THe other proposition to be examined, is, That Saul was free from humane censures, and violent resistance: for so much is wont to be assumed as warranted by Davids carriage towards Saul. But he must have better eyes then ever had Lyneeus, who can see any thing in those Texts of Samuel which I produced in the 10th Chapter, whence it may be concluded, that Saul, if he had committed such sins, as according to Gods Law were to be punished with death, might not by the great Sanhedrin, (or if there had been no such Court by divine institution, by the major part of the people) be deposed, and put to death, or punished with death without other deposition: unless there be the like reason that any one should be exempted from humane censures, and from resist­ance to be made by a private person, whose life he invadeth, which (that I may not deny it to be true) none that I have met with have urged.

I shall now examine, whether we may infallibly conclude from Davids testimony, that Sauls Subjects were bound by Gods Law rather to suffer themselves to be murthered by him, then to slay him in their own defence.

David expresseth his own judgement touching Gods will, which was contrary to the sense of his followers, some of which undoubt­edly were not strangers to the Spirit of God.

R. David Kimchi upon those words, 1 Sam. 24.10. [...] and bad me kill thee, (where our English translation supplyeth the sense by some, and some of the Hebrew Doctors, by every one of my men) saith, And our Rabbines of blessed memorie interpret it, and say, the Scripture saith, when one cometh to murdor thee, consent to kill him, as for instance, if a Theef be found in a Cave, as if he (David) should have said, I had liberty, being also able to kill thee, bad not my Soul spared thee. The same Doctor a little after upon those words, [...] (i.e.) but mine eye spared thee, accor­ding to our English translation; and according to Jonathan Ben Vriel in some copies, my Soul spared thee; according to David Kimchi, my soul, or mine eye spared thee) saith, It was lawfull for me to kill thee, because thou didst pursue me, and the rule is, consent thou to kill him, that cometh to kill thee.

Those Hebrew Doctors which Kimchi mentioneth (and which be doth not gainst-say) though they mis-construe David, yet cer­tifie us that in their opinion the Scripture bad David kill Saul. And indeed so much was injoyned in the 6th Commandement: whether he was countermanded by God, who without doubt can dispence with the Commandementts of the 2d. Table, according to the materialitie of them, the two last being excepted, I dispute not in this place.

Abarbinel, though upon 1 Sam. 26, he conjectures that God by Samuel might have warned Davia to spare Saul, and foretold that himself would shorten his dayes, saw so little warrant from the Scripture for Davids clemencie towards Saul, that he saith upon Chapter 24. of the same book, without doubt David in his profes­sions to his servants about the sparing of Saul, and in slaying the Amalekite who feigned that he had killed Saul, and in putting to death those who murdered Ishbosheth, had an eye upon his own condition.

AndUpon 1 Sam. 24.6. Ralbag also determineth that it was lawfull for him to have slain Saul, because he pursued him, but spared him ( [...]) out of an Hyperbole of clemency, and because the killing of Saul would have been of bad consequence to himself, who (as he knew) should succeed in the King­dom.

That David's interest should insensibly biase him into a tender care of Kings, was not a thing impossible.

Mens affections often make their judgements partiall. But whe­ther Davids conscience dictating that he ought to spare Saul, was erroneous? and if it was erroneous, by what means it was seduced, are questions which I shall not adventure to determine. But give me leave to conceive (till I shall be otherwise informed) that Da­vid either sinned in the sparing of Saul, or else his clemency was warranted by some divine precept, or permission, which is not now extant in the Scriptures transmitted to us, and which in all probabi­lity was peculiarly given to David; his followers seem to have thought it lawfull for him to kill Saul. I doubt not but David would rather have slain Saul, than have suffered himself to be kil­led by him. When he spared him in the Cave, he might perhaps conceive, that such his clemencie (though he had no encourage­ment from Sauls former carriage to expect such an event) would conciliate unto him Sauls affection; but when he again pursued him with 3000. men (1 Sam. 26.) could not have so much as a shadow of a reason to harbour any hopes of a reconciliation, yet spared him being delivered the second time into his hands. David himself after this repetition of his indulgence and clemency towards Saul, said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. Who can doubt but David ought rather to have killed Saul pursu­ing him, and being delivered into his hands, when in regard of his power and implacableness he had no other so probable way left him to secure himself, as by escaping to the Land of the Philistines, whom he had provoked by slaying many of their Nation, had not God by some precept, which is not conteined in the Scriptures now extant, injoyned him to preserve himself by flight onely, and not by laying violent hands upon Saul, when it was in his power to avoid him; or at least promised to preserve him, though he offe­red no violence to Saul. David, though he had a promise of divine protection, might say in his heart, All men are Liars.

CHAP. 19. Another Objection propounded, and answered.

ANother arrow out of the same quiver is wont to be shot a­gainst the Abetters of the just liberty of the people.

Davids regrets of Conscience for his cutting off Sauls skirt,1 Sam. 24.5 seem at the first sight much to countenance the impunity of Tyrants.

Some will conclude from hence, that royaltie by an essentiall pri­vilege is exempted from all opposition, sith scarce any is lesse then the cutting off the skirt of a garment.

This reason hath in it the more shew, because it is not very pro­bable that God by any private admonition, which is neither ex­presly, nor virtually contained in the Scripture, should inhibite David from an act of no greater importance.

I answer, Besides that there are many reasons which evince that Saul, much rather then such as now a dayes exercise Kingly Go­vernment, should have been excepted from all manner of opposi­tion, and he might perhaps have received from Samuel some gene­rall instruction, out of which he concluded, that he ought not to have offered to Saul so much violence as the cutting off his skirt, and his own interest might perhaps somewhat bend his judgement towards the dealing gently with Kings, and his conscience would strike him as well for a seeming as for a reall iniquitie. The He­brew Doctors tell us, that David in that action offended, because he exposed Saul in his old age to danger of taking cold, and with­out any due end spoyled him of part of his garment, and was suita­bly punished in his old age, according to what we read, 1 Kings 1.1. And they covered him with cloaths, but he gat no heat.

CHAP. 20. That Argument which in favour of Tyrants, is forced out of Psalm 51.6. is refuted.

THat of David in the Psalter is wont to be alleged, as if it si­ded with those who would place Kings above the reach of Civill Authority, Against thee only have I sinned, Psalm 51.6.

This testimony, if rightly understood, will not seem to exempt the Kings of the Nations, nor yet David and his successors from humane censure.

R. David Kimchi's Gloss upon the place, is, that the thing was done insecret, none but God being privy to it.

Davids Messengers to Bathsheba knew not his intention in sending for her, neither did Ioab comprehend the reasons for which he willed the death of Vriah, men judged that he caused Vriah to be slain, because he had transgressed his commandement. Kimchi Sen. the Father of this Doctor who now spake, thus com­menteth upon the place, Had Vriah been living, my sin had been against thee and him. But seeing he is dead, against thee only have I sinned, I confess to thee the sin, because all my sin is left un­to thee, neither do I seek pardon of any but thee for the matter of Bathsheba and Vriah, whose death I caused.

Another Author saith upon the place, that David accoun­ted his sins against men, how great or grievous soever they were, as nothing in comparison of his sin against God, and therefore said, Against thee, thee only have I sinned. According to this gloss, to sin only against God, is the same that to sin chiefly against him.

That wrong which David had done to men, vanished and dis­appeared, being compared with that wrong which he had done to God. That which cut David to the heart, was that he had sinned against God. Vbi dolor, ibi digitus. David mainly be­waileth the offending of so good, gracious, and indulgent a Fa­ther.

When the same part (saith Hippocrates) is affected at the [Page 49]same time with severall paines, the greater (swalloweth up) ob­scureth the other.

Again most certain it is, that sin according to its formality is only against God, being a breach of his Law. Adultery and Murther had not been sins had not God forbidden them.

Any sinner, as well as Kings, may say unto God, Against thee only have I sinned. Sinne, though according to its formality it be only against the Law of God, yet may be punished by Earthly Magistrates, as it is hurtfull to a Common wealth.

CHAP. 21. The impotency of that Argument, which in favour of Tyrants is drawn from Eccles. 8.2.

THe second comma, of Eccles. 8. at the first sight may seem much to countenance Tyranny, especiall in our English translation, where the words are these, I (counsell thee) to keep the Kings commandement, and that in regard of the Oath of God.

The Later part of the section is translated by Coch, & summè intentionem juramenti Dei, and chiefly the intention of the oath of God. An Oath here (as this learned Author explaineth himself in his notes upon the place) is whereby any one citeth God as his witness and judge, that with a good Conscience, because God hath so commanded, he will obey the King, and seek his good, and the good of the Common-wealth,

I doubt not but some will be ready to conclude from hence, that it is not lawfull upon any accompt to resist the edicts of Kings.

I acknowledge that the Hebrew is capable of our English tran­slation, and likewise of that construction which Coch assigneth it.

We may admit of our English translation without detriment to the cause, with this provifoe, that Kings be legitimately invested in their authority, and be a terror to evill works, and an incou­ragement to good, and manage well the affairs of the Common-wealth.

That all these conditions are to be taken in, is clear from Rom. 13. and the 6. and 8. Commandements.

Coch hath these words upon Eccles. 8.2. Os Regis serva, h. e. fac quodcun (que) ex Regis ore prodit: quicquid jubet & statuit pro eâ potestate quam habet divinâ ordinatione. Regard the Kings mouth, that is, doe whatsoever he commandeth and appointeth, out of that authority which he hath by divine ordination.

No one hath from God any authority to doe evill, neither hath any one now a days a just title to royall authority, but through the approbation of the people.

I find in Elisha Galico upon the place, this gloss, I am the mouth of the King of Kings, of Jehovah, wherefore observe the words which I speak, (and as our Doctors say,) because thou art sworn to the ob­servance of the Law, when thou comest into the world, (to wit, as say our Doctors of blessed memorte) they adjure a man (in this form) Hevi tsadik veal tehi rashaugh, be thou righteous, and be not wicked.

One interpretation in Rasi importeth this sense, I say it is ne­cessary and meet to observe the mouth of the King of the world, be­cause we sware unto him in Horeb, to keep his Commande­ments.

Hierome varieth but little from that interpretation which I have now propounded out of Rasi, his construction of the Text running thus, Ego os Regis observo, & praecepta juramenti Dei, I observe the mouth of the King, and the commandements of the oath of God. R. Levi in Midrasch hath the same interpretation of the beginning of the Verse. Ani eschmor, &c. (saith this Do­ctor) I will observe the mouth of the King of Kings, that holy blessed one. that mouth which said, I am the Lord thy God, &c.

Another interpretation which I find in Rasi, is this, I say, It is meet to observe the commandement of the Kings of the Nations, so they cause us not to transgresse the oath which we sware to God.

Elisha Galico (before quoted) to the same sense, I say observe the mouth of the King, but chiefly the [...] with­out any note of an Apocope. matter of the oath of God, that is, the Law which we sware to observe at Mount Sinay.

Learned Broughton, and Tremellius and Junius expresse the same sense, though they differ in some Grammaticall punctilio's.

I say, regard the Kings mouth: yet after the Oath of God, Broughton.

The Latter part of the verse is rendred in Latin by the other interpreters now mentioned, Sed pro ratione juramenti Dei.

Their note upon it is thus, Moderatio obsequti quod homines de­bent potestatibus: parendum est, inquit, sed non nisi bouâ side & conseientiâ: quia non est potestas nisi à Deo; ac proinde jus non ha­bet homines ab obsequio avocandi, quod Deus à suis jure jurando ex­igit, & illi side datâ se exhibituros receperunt. That which follow­eth in the fourth verse, (viz. Where the word of a King is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What dost thou!) is by Elisha Galico applyed to Iehovah the King of Kings, but is spoken I conceive of an earthly Prince, yet implyeth not that he is [...], such an one as may not be called to an accompt for his actions, but that we ought when he commandeth what is back­ed by the law of God, to obey him, not only out of Religion, wch in such cases requireth our loyalty, but likewise out of prudence, because he hath power, and beareth not the Sword in vain;See Elisha Galico upon Eccles. 8.3. more­over according to some interpreters, that it is wisdom in a private man, when the Magistrate enjoyneth what is repugnant to Gods will, to remove out of his dominions, rather then contest with him, which they conceive to be imported by the word Telec in the foregoing verse.

'That it is dangerous to resist Kings, because they have power; is the sense of that Scripture according to Abarbinel. That we ought to beware of resisting them, because they do whatsoever pleaseth them, is the mind of that Section, according to Eben-Ezra: The scope of the words is, (as I conceive comparing them with the foregoing verses of the same chapter, and especially with the end of the 3d. verse) that as we tender our own safety, we ought not to withstand the Magistrate in his edicts which are con­sonant to the word of God.

CHAP. 22. The endeavours of the Israelites towards David, and the Kings of his Family, afford no solid Argument to prove that Princes may not lastfully be called to accompt, nor forcible resisted, when they have discovered themselves to be unworthy of their Autho­rity.

ANother Argument by which some contend that Kings are ex­empted from humane censures, and forcible opposition, is drawn from the constant submission of all Israel to David and So­lomon, and of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin to the Kings of Iudah, though by many of them they were burdened with exces­sive taxes, and by some of them with the yoak of Idolatrous wor­ship,Deut. 1 [...].59. to which whosoever assayed to seduce them, was to be pu­nished with death according to their municipall Laws, which were enacted immediately by the Senate-house of heaven.

What I have already delivered in the former Chapters, is suf­ficient for the removall of this argument.

1 These Kings had their call to government immediately from God himself. The Lord commanded Samuel to Anoint David, 1 Sam. 16.12.

The Lord setled the Kingdom upon Davids posterity, 2 Sam. 7.16. Psal. 89.31, 32, 33. 1 Kings 11.36.

If one of the Kings of the Family of David had many Sonnes, the first-born succeeded in the Kingdom, with analogy to that precept Dent. 21.17. That the eldest Sonne should enjoy a dou­ble portion.Maimon. Hal. Malech. c. 1. Sect. 1. The eldest Sonne had the advantage of his Brethren, as well in the occupying of the Kingdom, as in the inheritance of his Fathers goods.

The first born alone succeeded in the whole authority of the Kingdom, that the honour of the Family might be preserved en­tire, and not be shattered into pieces, and that the people should be subject to one Lord rather than to many.

The Israelites (asHal. Mcl. c. Sect. 10. Marmamides witnesseth) ought to have refused him that, in regard to his birthright, had the next title to the Crown, unless he was pious and feared the Lord.

Omnis potestas, & omne officium in Israel haereditarium est ad fi­lies & nepotes in aeternum; modò filius impleat locum patris sui cum sapientiâ & pietate. Quòd si pietate tantum & non sapientiâ ipsi par sit perficiunt nihilominùs officio paterno, & docent id quid deest. At penes quem nulla est pietas, quamvis saptentissimus esset, non pro­movetur tamen ad ullum officierum in universo Israel.

Thus the Hebrew Doctor before-quoted, as he is taught to speak Latine by a learned Writer, whose translation I use, because it can­not be bettered. If this Doctor speak truth, it will unavoidably follow, that the wicked Kings of Judah used deep dissimulation, before they were inaugurated, or that the great Sanhedrin neg­lected their duty, or that they wanted power to execute it.

This knot is somewhat morose, and will not easily be untied. The publick influence of Kingly authority might be a just ground of some exceptions from the usuall way of hereditary propagation. The Eldest Sonne with the Israelites, though he were grossely wicked, inherited a double portion of his Fathers estate: we can­not hence conclude that the Kingdom perpetually descended up­on the Eldest Sonne, howsoever he was qualified; because it re­spected not so much one mans private benefit, as the welfare of the people.

The case of Solomon who was preferred before Adonijah his El­der Brother, will not extricate us, in that the choice was made by God himself, 1 Chron. 28.5, 6, 7. Gods dispencing with any of his positive Lawes, conferreth not the like privilege upon his crea­tures.

Though we are left in the dark in that Quaere, to wit, whether the Sanhedrin had authority to reject the heir apparent of the Kingdom from reigning over them for his want of religion, yet I shall make it clear that the Kings afore-mentioned, were more e­stablished in their authority (against humane opposition) by their call to it, then any can be by a violent invasion thereof, or by the meer choice of men.

David and Solomon were expresly called to be Kings, and the Kingdom was setled upon Solomons posterity be Gods immediate appointment, 1 Chron. 28.7. When God gave unto Ieroboam ten Tribes, he confirmed unto Solomons posterity the Kingdom of Iu­dah, 1 Kings 11.36. If the Sandhedrin could lawfully hinder their [Page 54]Kings first-born Sonne from reigning over them, when he was not an heir of his Fathers virtues, that autority was given them by Gods Commandement, or permission: and it should remain that they were determined by God himself to preferre to the Kingdom him that had the next title by discent being duely qualified, and one of Solomons posterity, though all of them were egregiously wicked.

God secured the Kingdom for Solomons posterity against those iniquities wherewith they should provoke his divine Majestie, 2 Sam. That the grant of the Kingdom was not con­ditionall as to Saul, is cleared by that Scripture, and by 1 King. 11.36. The History of the Kings of Judah informeth us, that some of them provoked God as deeply as did Saul, from whom he took a­way the Kingdom. God did not preserve them from provoking him as did Saul: but shewed them more visible favour, by conti­nuing the Kingdom in their posterity. That condition which is expressed in 1 Chron. 28.7. in those words, I will establish his King­dom for ever, if he be constant to doe my Commandements, and my judgments, as at this day; had respect unto the Kingdom, as it was entire over the 12 Tribes, but not to every part of it; as we may gather from what hath been spoken, and by comparing it with 1 King. 11. v. 12, & 13. That of the Psalmist (Psal. 132.12.) If thy children will keep my Covenant and my testimony, &c. im­porteth that Davids posteritie, unlesse they revolted from God (as did Solomon) should reigne over the 12 Tribes, but moreover that their Line and Succession should not be interrupted (as it was for the King of Manasseh and some other of their Kings) by capti­vity, untill the coming of Shiloh.

Here it may be inquired, how the establishing of Davids King­dom for ever, which is promised 2 Sam. 7.16. can consist with those events which have befaln his posterity; as the Babylonian captivity, and the bereaving of them of all outward and visible Dominion.

That I may not confine the promise to Christs spirituall King­dom, the word Olam, which is there used, doth not alwayes de­note eternity, or a duration till the end of the World; but in generall a duration hidden from man, whether infinite or finite.

See Munster de side Christi­norum.Part of the Ceremoniall Law is said to be [...] an ordi­nance for ever, Numb. 10.8. [...] for ever, Exod. 21.6. is till the next Jubilee, according to Rasi, Aben-Ezra, Bechai, and Abarbi­nel upon those words, and the Talmud in Kidushin. Abarbinel telleth us that because 50 yeers were counted one Age, or Genera­tion, the fiftieth yeer which is the yeer of Jubilee, is called Olam.

According to his construction [...] shall supply the place ofSee Psal. 18.50. [...]: and indeed it is wont to signifie ad, which is thence derived. But I should rather conceive that for ever there according to the gra­maticall accompt, is the same that for the present generation.

The Servant whose Ear was bored thorow, when the generation was renewed (as Aben-Ezra speaketh) to wit, in the year of Ju­bilee was to be set at liberty.

[...] For ever, in 2 Chron. 23.7. seemeth to signifie the time in which the Ceremoniall Law should continue in force. [...] For evermore, is untill Shiloh come, Psal. 132.12.

We cannot determine out of those Scriptures before-quoted, to wit, 2 Sam. 7.16. Psal. 89.31, 32, 33, 1 King 11.36. Whether David and Solomon, and the Kings of Iudah, were liable to deposi­tion and capitall punishment by their Subjects for tyranny, mur­der, and other gross delinquencies, without an expresse permission or injunction from God.

God might punish their persons in such sort, yet not cause his mercy to depart from them, as he took it away from Saul, whose po­sterity he secluded from succeeding in the Kingdom.

But it is clear that those Kings had a large advantage (as I shewed before concerning Saul) being compared with such as came to a Kingdom meerly by Conquest, or by humane choice, in that they were not liable to deposition, so long as their carriage was worthy of their office.

Abarbinel expresseth the same sense in his Preface to his Com­ment upon 2 Sam. 15. Absalom (saith he there) intended not to slay David, neither ascended it into his heart, neither did Israel agree at all to rebell against their King, and to kill him: farre be it from them, for who shall stretch forth his hand against the Lords anointed, and be guiltless.

The other two Arguments, which I used against such as denyed [Page 56] Saul to be privileged above the Kings of other Nations, in the 16. and 17 Chapter, make equually for David and Solomon, and the Kings of Iudah.

If Saul and the Kings of the Family of David were exempted from deposition, and capitall punishment, and forcible resistance, yet not by a common Crown-privilege, but by a speciall grant from God, directly expressed, or at least implied by the manner of their call to the Kingdom, and some other reasons which were peculiar to them.

This assertion hath already been sufficiently confirmed, but is much countenanced alsoSee Chap. 6. by the demeanour of the Iews towards their Kings which were not of the Family of David, in the times of the second Temple.

Another reason for which David with his successors of his li­nage seem to have been privileged above the Kings of other Nati­ons, is that they were types of christ, whose Kingdom should endure:

It is very considerable likewise that the Sanhedrin, and that such among the Israelites as desired a reformation in the Church or State, or both, might want strength to oppose their Kings; and that through the just ordination of divine Providence, in that they had preferred earthly Kings before the Monarch of heaven and earth. Neither can I doubt but the major part of the peo­ple would the rather bear with wicked Kings in that themselves were addicted to the like wickedness.

I shall now examine what the Hebrew Doctors say in this point touching matter of right, and what the Scripture witnesseth touching matter of fact. The kings of the Family of David judge and are judged, saith the Babylonian Talmud in the tractate of the Mischnah called Sanhedr. Chapt. 2. Sect 2.

That the Kings of the Family of David were not exempted from that Law, Deut. 25.2. which required that a certain number of stripes should be inflicted upon those who deserved to be beaten, but were for certain faults liable to it, is affirmed by Mabimon Hal. Melach. c. 3. Sect. 4. in the Talmud Sanhedr. c. 19. and in other Tractates thereof, and in severall other writings of the Hebrew Doctors.

That those who reigned over the Israelites, were as obnoxious [Page 57]to censure for some other faults, as for those three which were wont to be reckoned up by the Hebrew Doctors, viz. the multi­plying of Wives, Gold and Silver, and Horses; is so clear to such as will not jurare in verba Magistrorum, that it needeth no proof.

Neither could this Law be executed without the endangering of their lives in case they resisted. If the Kings of the Iews for mul­tiplying Wives, Gold and Silver, and horses, were to be puni­shed with stripes, then by the rule of proportion for the greatest fault with death, and they might be deposed when they were no­toriously wicked, as the next heir of the Kingdom might by his wickedness be debarred from reigning, unless they were exempted for the reasons before mentioned, which agrees not to any Princes now a dayes.

God foretelleth in 1 Sam. 8. how their Kings should demean themselves, but doth not there or elsewhere authorise them to use such acts of violence.

Mischpat in 1 Sam. 8.11. signifieth the Manner or Custome, as in 1 Sam. 2.13. not Right and Authority, as in c. 10.25.

That the Kings of Iudah were not liable to be censured by the Sanhedrin in such manner as the Hebrew Doctors affirm, because we read not in the Scripture that they were so censured, or because they never were so censured, is an argument not so substantive but it will fall of it self, without opposition. We may conclude much rather that we ought to assent to that piece of history in those writers, in that it is not contradicted in the word of God? some of them (I conjecture) had been brought to their trialls and censures by the Sanhedrin, nisi impunitatis Cupido retinuisset, ma­ginis semper conatibus adversa.

That I may now speak touching matter of fact, we shall find in the practice of the Israelites, in the times of David, and Rehodoam, and Iehoram, might we lawfully make the examples of actions and omissions, our rules; enough to warrant the taking up of Arms against Kings, when they neglect the executing of justice, or squeese their Subjects by immoderate taxes, or impose upon them too hea­vy servitude.

That method which Absolom used to steal away he peoples hearts from his Father, 2 Sam. 15.2, 3, 4. being compared with [Page 58]his successe, maketh us conjecture that those who joyned them­selves to him in the conspiracy, thought it lawfull for them to wrest authority out of Davids hands, and to settle it upon Ab­solom by the sword, that justice might be more freely dispenced. David was old, neither deputed any, (if we may believe Abso­lom) to hear those who had controversies with other men. Abso­lom promiseth that he, were he made judge in the Land, would do justice; and meant, as it is probable, by himself immediate­ly, not by his ministers. It appeareth that they intended not on­ly to strip David of his Authority, but also to take away his life, from 2. & 4. verses of the 2 Sam. 17. compared together. Abarbi­nel conceiveth that neither Absolom, nor the Elders of Israel, nor the rest of the People who sided with him in the conspiracie, had any thought to devest David of his Crown and Dignity, but to sub­stitute Absolom to him for the executing of the Royall Authority during his life, and for his successor afterwards. Absolom was induced (saith this Doctour) to that attempt, because David had sworn unto Bathsheba that Solomon should reign after him, and sit on his Throne in his stead, as also because he suspected that Da­vid would cause Solomon to be placed in the Kingdom during his own life, and after he was once King, who should say unto him, what doest thou?

The people consented to Absolom (saith the same Author) because he was Davids eldest Son after the death of Amnon, and was of the fittest age both to judge them, and to fight their Bat­tles, to with aboutRasi & R. Kim. fasten the epocha of the 40. years which are mentioned 2 Sam. 15.7. In the Iraelites asking a King of Samuel; and Kimchi addeth that Saul reig­ned with Samuel 1 year, and two years alone, and that the other 37 years belonged to the reign of David. Ralbag and R. Ieschaiah make mention of this opinion, but seem to have thought that the 40 years began with Davids Kingdom, Ralbag also conjectureth that it was prophesied of Da­vids Kingdom that it should stand only 40 years, and Absolom concluded these years now expi­red, that the Kingdom should depart from david, and that he should bring to passe his Intention of killing him. These 40 years (saith Abarbinel) could not begin at Sauls inauguration, for that was above 50 years past. He reckoneth that David had reigned al most 40 years, and that Absolom was born at Hebron in the beginning of Davids Kingdom. 40 years, and because they were disaffected towards Solomon, both by reason of Davids Adultery with Bath­sheba, and his killing of Vriah, and likewise that he was but a Child about 9 years old, that is, because they thought him unfit to go­vern, and feared a curse upon his Government in regard of the sins of his Parents.

Ahithophel (according to the same commentator) conjecturedNot much unlike to this is the delibera­tion of Ioab, in the Author now praysed, who suspected should Absolom be suffered to escape with life his Father might perhaps make him be­ing his eldest Son his succes­sor in the Kingdom, and himself should be the Butt for his enmlty and hatted. that David, to buy his peace would consent that Absolom his el­dest Son should succeed him in the Kingdom, and that he would retain an enmity and hatred against himself, and therefore sug­gested such Counsels, as might debar a reconciliation, and cut off David. His advice in 2 Sam. 26.21. tended to the preventing of all thoughts touching a reconciliation (but moreover to in­mind the people of Davids sin with Bathsheba, and to beget in them an expectation of divine revenge to be executed upon David, wherein they should be much confirmed by Nathans prophecie, 2 Sam. 12.11, 12.) and that other part of his Counsell in the 2 Sam. 17.1, 2. to the taking away of Davids life.

Absolom (saith the same Author) consented to the former part of Ahithophel's advice, which was that he should go in unto his Fa­thers Concubines, lest the Israelites should revolt from him be­fore he perfected an agreement with his father: but the other part of his Counsell, which was to kill David, he abhorred, and therefore consulted with Hushai, and preferred his advice.

The same Doctour saith upon 2 Sam. 17.4. that it pleased Ab­solom and the elders of Israel, that Anithophel and the young men should go after David, but Absolom did not acquiesce in Ahitho­phel's advising him to smite David, and therefore inquired the judgement of Hushai.

But the Scripture affordeth no hint for Absoloms disliking of any part of Ahithophel's counsell, before he had consulted with Hushai.

Were Abarbinel right in his conjecture, yet the Israelites thought it lawfull to translate by violence the exercise of Royall authority from David to Absolom, wherefore scarce any Prince though of Methuselah's years, would desire to be disburthened: and to appoint their King a successor against his mind, though he were a Prophet, and therefore likely to have received punctuall instructions from God touching the propagation of the King­dom.

The ten tribes rebelled against Rehoboam, because he would not abate somewhat of the grievous servitude which his Father had imposed upon them, 2 Chron. 10. Their revolting is not resolved into Ahijahs prophecie, but the harsh answer which Rehoboam re­turned to them.

Libnah revolted from Jehoram, because he had forsaken the Lord God of his Fathers, 2 Chron. 21.10. But see especially the in­stances before produced in the tenth Chapter.

To be inserted in Chapter 9. after those words, From violence.

Whilst people are Malignant, they are not to be permitted to suffrage in state affairs, neither indeed would it become them, or prove for their welfare: for [...], servilis pravitas, as Plato in Alcibade primo, [...]. Caeterùm antequam virtus adsit, Conducit viro, non solùm puero, regià meliore, quam regere, Plato ibid.

But as soon as they are reformed, they ought to be trusted with their votes: for [...] Liberalis virtus. ibid.

This to be inserted in Chap. 9. after these Words, can give no bet­ter a title to authority, than thest to another mans Goods.

Mem. That what I have out Elias Levita, and Broughton, who undoubtedly followed him, (in Chap. 17. p. l.) to be contradi­cted, as it fastneth upon Ezra the collecting of the Scripture into one body. That probably was needless.

I cannot consent to Arist. telling us, (Polit. l. 1. c. 8.) that a War undertaken to compell men to subjection, who being more fit to obey then to command, are unwilling to submit themselves to such as are more able to govern, is agreeable to the Law of Na­ture: and putting no difference in point of justice between the sub­duing of these and the hunting of Wild beasts.

‘Behold the Won­der of this Age.’
If thou observ'st these Rules, and tak'st my Physick,
'Twill keep thee from the Pox, Plague, Cough, or Tysick,
Consumptions, Dropsies, nay, the truth to tell ye,
From all griefes either i'th'head; back, or belly.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.