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never king of England yet revived, but by the new reinforcement of his own party, which was a kind of resurrection to him.
Thus having quite extinguished all that could be in him of a king, and from a total privation clad him over, dike another specifical thing, with forms and habitudes destructive to the former, they left in his person, dead as to law and all the civil right either of king or subject, the life only of a prisoner, a captive, and a malefactor; whom the equal and impartial hand of justice finding, was no more to spare than another ordinary man; not only made obnoxious to the doom of law by a charge more than once drawn up against him, and his own confession to the first article at Newport, but summoned and arraigned in the sight of God and his people, cursed and devoted to perdition worse than any Ahab, or Antiochus, with exhortation to curse all those in the name of God, that made not war against him, as bitterly as Meroz was to be cursed, that went not out against a Canaanitish king, almost in all the sermons, prayers, and fulminations that have been uttered this seven years by those cloven tongues of falsehood and dissension, who now, to the stirring up of new discord, acquit him; and against their own discipline, which they boast to be the throne and sceptre of Christ, absolve him, unconfound him, though unconverted, unrepentant, unsensible of all their precious saints and martyrs, whose blood they have so oft laid upon his head: and now again with a new sovereign anointment can wash it all off, as if it were as vile, and no more to be reckoned for than the blood of so many dogs in a time of pestilence; giving the most opprobrious lie to all the acted zeal, that for these many years hath filled their bellies, and fed them fat upon the foolish people. Ministers of sedition, not of the gospel, who, while they saw it manifestly tend to civil war and bloodshed, never ceased exasperating the people against him; and now, that they see it likely to breed new commotion, cease not to incite others against the people, that have saved them from him, as if sedition were their only aim, whether against him or for him.
But God, as we have cause to trust, will put other thoughts into the people, and turn them from giving ear or heed to these mercenary noisemakers, of whose fury and false prophecies we have enough experience; and from the murmurs of new discord will incline them to hearken, rather with erected minds, to the voice of our supreme magistracy, calling us to liberty, and the flourishing deeds of a reformed commonwealth; with this hope, that as God was heretofore angry with the Jews who rejected him and his form of government to choose a king, so that he will bless us, and be propitious to us, who reject a king to make him only our leader, and supreme governor, in the conformity as near as may be of his own ancient government; if we have at least but so much worth in us to entertain the sense of our future happiness, and the courage to receive what God vouchsafes us: wherein we have the honour to precede other nations, who are now labouring to be our followers. For as to this question in hand, what the people by their just right may do in change of government, or of governor, we see it cleared sufficiently; besides other ample authority, even from the mouths of princes themselves. And surely they that shall boast, as we do, to be a free nation, and not have in themselves the power to remove or to abolish any governor supreme, or subordinate, with the government itself upon urgent causes, may please their fancy with a ridiculous and painted freedom, fit to cozen babies; but are indeed under tyranny and servitude; as wanting that power, which is the root and source of all liberty, to dispose and economize in the land which God hath given them, as masters of family in their own house and free inheritance. Without which natural
and essential power of a free nation, though bearing high their heads, they can in due esteem be thought no better than slaves and vassals born, in the tenure and occupation of another inheriting lord. Whose government, though not illegal, or intolerable, hangs over them as a lordly scourge, not as a free government; and therefore to be abrogated. How much more justly then may they fling off tyranny, or tyrants; who being once deposed can be no more than private men, as subject to the reach of justice and arraignment as any other transgressors? And certainly if men, not to speak of heathen, both wise and religious, have done justice upon tyrants what. way they could soonest, how much more mild and humane then is it, to give them fair and open trial; to teach lawless kings, and all who so much adore them, that not mortal man, or his imperious will, but justice, is the only true sovereign and supreme majesty upon earth? Let men cease therefore, out of faction and hypocrisy, to make outcries and horrid things. of things so just and honourable. Though perhaps till now, no Protestant state or kingdom can be alleged to have openly put to death their king, which lately some have written, and imputed to their great glory; much mistaking the matter. It is not, neither ought to be, the glory of a Protestant state, never to have put their king to death; it is the glory of a Protestant king never to have deserved death.' And if the parliament and military council do what they do without precedent, if it appear their duty, it argues the more wisdom, virtue, and magnanimity, that they know themselves able to be a precedent to others. Who perhaps in future ages, if they prove not too degenerate, will look up with honour, and aspire toward these exemplary and matchless deeds of their ancestors, as to the highest top of their civil glory and emulation. Which heretofore, in the pursuance of fame and foreign dominion, spent itself vaingloriously abroad; but henceforth may learn a better fortitude, to dare execute highest justice on them, that shall by force of arms endeavour the oppressing and bereaving of religion and their liberty at home: that no unbridled potentate or tyrant, but to his sorrow, for the future may presume such high and irresponsible license over mankind, to havoc and turn upside down whole kingdoms of men, as though they were no more in respect of his perverse will than a nation of pismires. As for the party called Presbyterian, of whom I believe very many to be good and faithful Christians, though misled by some of turbulent spirit, I wish them, earnestly and calmly, not to fall off from their first principles, nor to affect rigour and superiority over men not under them; not to compel unforcible things, in religion especially, which, if not voluntary, becomes a sin; not to assist the clamour and malicious drifts of men, whom they themselves have judged to be the worst of men, the obdurate enemies of God and his church: nor to dart against the actions of their brethren, for want of other argument, those wrested laws and scriptures thrown by prelates and malignants against their own sides, which, though they hurt not otherwise, yet taken up by them to the condemnation of their own doings, give scandal to all men, and discover in themselves either extreme passion or apost y. Let them not oppose their best friends and associates, who molest them not at all, infringe not the least of their liberties, unless they call it their liberty to bind other men's consciences, but are still seeking to live at peace with them and brotherly accord. Let them be ware an old and perfect enemy, who, though he hope by sowing discord to make them his instruments, yet cannot forbear a minute the open threatening of his destined revenge upon them, when they have served his purposes. Let them fear therefore, if they be wise, rather what they have done already, than what remains to do, and be warned in time they put no confidence in
princes whom they have provoked, lest they be added to the examples of those that miserably have tasted the event. Stories can inform them how Christiern the II. king of Denmark, not much above a hundred years past, driven out by his subjects, and received again upon new oaths and conditions, broke through them all to his most bloody revenge; slaying his chief opposers, when he saw his time, both them and their children, invited to a feast for that purpose. How Maximilian dealt with those of Bruges, though by mediation of the German princes reconciled to them by solemn and public writings drawn and sealed. How the massacre at Paris was the effect of that credulous peace, which the French Protestants made with Charles the IX. their king: and that the main visible cause, which to this day hath saved the Netherlands from utter ruin, was their final not believing the perfidious cruelty, which as a constant maxim of state hath been used by the Spanish kings on their subjects that have taken arms, and after trusted them; as no latter age but can testify, heretofore in Belgia itself, and this very year in Naples. And to conclude with one past exception, though far more ancient, David, whose sanctified prudence might be alone sufficient, not to warrant us only, but to instruct us, when once he had taken arms, never after that trusted Saul, though with tears and much relenting he twice promised not to hurt him. These instances, few of many, might admonish them, both English and Scotch, not to let their own ends, and the driving on of a faction, betray them blindly into the snare of those enemies, whose revenge looks on them as the men who first begun, fomented, and carried on beyond the cure of any sound or safe accommoda. tion, all the evil which hath since unavoidably befallen them and their king.
I have something also to the divines, though brief to what were needful; not to be disturbers of the civil affairs, being in hands better able and more belonging to manage them; but to study harder, and to attend the office of good pastors, knowing that he, whose flock is least among them, hath a dreadful charge, not performed by mounting twice into the chair with a formal preachment huddled up at the odd hours of a whole lazy week, but by incessant pains and watching in season and out of season, from house to house, over the souls of whom they have to feed. Which if they ever well considered, how little leisure would they find, to be the most pragmatical sidesmen of every popular tumult and sedition! And all this while are to learn what the true end and reason is of the gospel which they teach; and what a world it differs from the censorious and supercilious lording over conscience. It would be good also they lived so as might persuade the people they hated covetousness, which, worse than heresy, is idolatry; hated pluralities, and all kind of simony; left rambling from benefice to benefice, like ravenous wolves seeking where they may devour the biggest. Of which, if some, well and warmly seated from the beginning, be not guilty, it were good they held not conversation with such as are: let them be sorry, that, being called to assemble about reforming the church, they fell to progging and soliciting the parliament, though they had renounced the name of priests, for a new settling of their tithes and oblations; and double-lined themselves with spiritual places of commodity beyond the possible discharge of their duty. Let them assemble in consistory with their elders and deacons, according to ancient ecclesiastical rule, to the preserving of church discipline, each in his several charge, and not a pack of clergymen by themselves to belly-cheer in their presumptuous Sion, or to promote designs, abuse and gull the simple laity, and stir up tumult, as the prelates did, for the maintenance of their pride and avarice. These
things if they observe, and wait with patience, no doubt but all things will go well without their importunities or exclamations: and the printed letters, which they send subscribed with the ostentation of great characters and little moment, would be more considerable than now they are. But if they be the ministers of mammon instead of Christ, and scandalize his church with the filthy love of gain, aspiring also to sit the closest and the heaviest of all tyrants upon the conscience, and fall notoriously into the same sins, whereof so lately and so loud they accused the prelates; as God rooted out those wicked ones immediately before, so will he root out them their imitators and to vindicate his own glory and religion, will uncover their hypocrisy to the open world; and visit upon their own heads that "curse ye Meroz," the very motto of their pulpits, wherewith so frequently, not as Meroz, but more like atheists, they have blasphemed the vengeance of God, and traduced the zeal of his people.
*And that they be not what they go for, true ministers of the protestant doctrine, taught by those abroad, famous and religious men, who first reformed the church, or by those no less zealous, who withstood corruption and the bishops here at home, branded with the name of puritans and nonconformists, we shall abound with testimonies to make appear: that men may yet more fully know the difference between Protestant/divines, and these pulpit-firebrands.
"Luther. Lib. contra rusticos apud Sleidan. 1. 5.
Is est die rerum status, &c. "Such is the state of things at this day, that men neither can, nor will, nor indeed ought to endure longer the domination of you princes."
'Neque vero Cæsarem, &c. "Neither is Cæsar to make war as head of Christendom, protector of the church, defender of the faith; these titles being false and windy, and most kings being the greatest enemies to religion." Lib. de Bello contra Turcas, apud Sleid. 1. 14. What hinders then, but that we may depose or punish them?
'These also are recited by Cochlæus in his Miscellanies to be the words of Luther, or some other eminent divine, then in Germany, when the protestants there entered into solemn covenant at Smalcaldia. Ut ora iis obturem, &c. "That I may stop their mouths, the pope and emperor are not born, but elected, and may also be deposed as hath been often done." If Luther, or whoever else, thought so, he could not stay there; for the right of birth or succession can be no privilege in nature, to let a tyrant sit irremovable over a nation freeborn, without transforming that nation from the nature and condition of men born free, into natural, hereditary, and successive slaves. Therefore he saith further; "To displace and throw down this exactor, this Phalaris, this Nero, is a work pleasing to God ;" namely, for being such a one: which is a moral reason. Shall then so slight a consideration as his hap to be not elective simply, but by birth, which was a mere accident, overthrow that which is moral, and make unpleasing to God that which otherwise had so well pleased him? Certainly not: for if the matter be rightly argued, election, much rather than chance, binds a man to content himself with what he suffers by his own bad election, Though indeed neither the one nor other binds any man, much less any people, to a necessary sufferance of those wrongs and evils, which they have ability and strength enough given them to remove.
All that follows, to the end of this tract, was left out not only in the edition printe 1738, in 2 vols. folio, but in that of Mr. Toland, who first collected the author's works: how this omission arose, the reader will see in a note at the beginning of this tract, page 50
'Zwinglius, tom. 1, articul. 42.
Quando vero perfidè, &c. "When kings reign perfidiously, and against the rule of Christ, they may according to the word of God be deposed."
'Mihi ergo compertum non est, &c. "I know not how it comes to pass, that kings reign by succession, unless it be with consent of the whole peo'ple." Ibid.
66 Quum vero consensu, &c.
"But when by suffrage and consent of the whole people, or the better part of them, a tyrant is deposed or put to death, God is the chief leader in that action." `Ibid.
Nunc cum tam tepidi sumus, &c. "Now that we are so lukewarm in upholding public justice, we endure the vices of tyrants to reign now-adays with impunity; justly therefore by them we are trod underfoot, and shall at length with them be punished. Yet ways are not wanting by which tyrants may be removed, but there wants public justice." Ibid.
'Cavete vobis ô tyranni. "Beware, ye tyrants! for now the gospel of Jesus Christ, spreading far and wide will renew the lives of many to love innocence and justice; which if ye also shall do, ye shall be honoured. But if ye shall go on to rage and do violence, ye shall be trampled on by all men." Ibid.
"Romanum imperium imô quodque, &c. "When the Roman empire, or any other, shall begin to oppress religion, and we negligently suffer it, we are as much guilty of religion so violated, as the oppressors themselves." Idein, Epist. ad Conrad. Somium.
( Calvin on Daniel, c. iv. v. 25.
'Hodie monarchæ semper in suis titulis, &c. "Now-a-days monarchs pretend always in their titles, to be kings by the grace of God: but how many of them to this end only pretend it, that they may reign without control! for to what purpose is the grace of God mentioned in the title of kings, but that they may acknowledge no superior? In the mean while God, whose name they use to support themselves, they willingly would tread under their feet. It is therefore a mere cheat, when they boast to reign by the grace of God.”
Abdicant se terreni principes, &c. "Earthly princes depose themselves, while they rise against God; yea they are unworthy to be numbered among men rather it behoves us to spit upon their heads, than to obey them." On Dan. c. vi. v. 22.
'Bucer on Matth. c. v.
'Si princeps superior, &c. "If a sovereign prince endeavour by arms to defend transgressors, to subvert those things which are taught in the word of God, they, who are in authority under him, ought first to dissuade him; if they prevail not, and that he now bears himself not as a prince but as an enemy, and seeks to violate privileges and rights granted to inferior magistrates, or commonalties, it is the part of pious magistrates, imploring first the assistance of God, rather to try all ways and means, than to betray the flock of Christ to such an enemy of God: for they also are to this end ordained, that they may defend the people of God, and maintain those things which are good and just. For to have supreme power lessens not the evil committed by that power, but makes it the less tolerable, by how much the more generally hurtful. Then certainly the less tolerable, the more unpardonably to be punished."
'Of Peter Martyr we have spoken before.