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tioned here as powers to be obeyed, and our submission to them only required, then doubtless those powers, that do the contrary, are no powers ordained of God; and hy consequence no obligation laid upon us to obey or 110t to resist them. And it may be well observed, that both these apostles, whenever they give this precept, express'it in terms not conerete, but abstract, as logicians are wont to speak; that is, they mention the ordinance, the power, the authority, before the persons that execute it; and what that power is, lest we should he deceived, they describe exactly. So that if the power be not such, or the person execute not such power, neither the one nor the other is of God, but of the devil, and by consequence to be resisted. From this exposition Chrysostoin also on the same place dissents not; explaining that these words were not written in behalf of a tyrant. And this is verified by David, himself a king, and likeliest to be the author of the psalm xciv. 20, which saith, “ Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee?" And it were worth the knowing, since kings in these days, and that by Scripture, boast the justness of their title, by holding it immediately of God, yet cannot show the time when God ever set on the throne them or their forefathers, but only when the people chose them; why by the same reason, since God ascribes as oft to himself the casting down of princes from the throne, it should not be thought as lawful, and as much from God when none are seen to do it but the people, and that for just causes.
For if it needs must be a sin in thein to depuse, it may as likely be a sin to have elected. And contrary, if the people's act in election be pleaded by a king, as the act of God, and the most just title to enthrone him, why may not the people's act of rejection be as well pleaded by the
people as the act of God, and the most just reason to depose him? So that we see the title and just right of reigning or deposing in reference to God, is found in Scripture to be all one; visible only in the people, and depending merely upon justice and deinerit. Thus far hath been considered chiefly the power of kings and magistrates ; how it was and is originally the people's, and by them conferred in trust only to be employed ta the common peace and benefit; with liberty therefore and right remaining in them, to reassume it to themselves, if by kings or magistrates it be abused; or to dispose of it by any alteration, as they shall judge most conducing to the public good.
We may from hence with more ease and force of argument determine what a tyrant is, and what the people may do against him. A tyrant, whether by wrong or by right coming to the crown, is he who, regarding neither law nor the common good, reigns only for himself and his faction: thus St. Basil among others de-fines him. And because his power is great, bis will boundless and exorbitant, the fulfilling whereof is for the most part accompanied with innumerable wrongs and oppressions of the people, murders, massacres, rapes, adulteries, desolation, and subversion of cities and whole provinces ; look bow great a good and happiness a just king is, so great a mischief is a tyrant; as he the public father of his country, so this the common enemy. Against whom what the people lawsully may do, as against a cominon pest, and destroyer of mankind, I suppose no man of clear judgment need go further to be guided than by the very principles of nature in him. But because it is the vulgar folly of men to desert their own reason, and shutting their eyes to think they see best with other men's, I shall show by such
examples as ought to have most weight with us, what hath been done in this case heretofore. The Greeks and Romans, as their prime authors witness, held it not only lawful, but a glorious and heroic deed, rewarded publicly with statues and garlands, to kill an infamous tyrant at any time without trial : and but reason, that he, who trod down all law, should not be vouchsafed the benefit of law. Insomuch that Seneca the tragedian brings in Hercules, the grand suppressor of tyrants, thus speaking;
-Victima haud ulla amplior
There can be slain
Than an unjust and wicked kingBut of these I name no more, lest it be objected they were Heathen; and come to produce another sort of men, that had the knowledge of true religion. Among the Jews this custom of tyrant-killing was not unusual. First Ehud, a man whom God had raised to deliver Israel from Eglon king of Moab, who had conquered and ruled over them eighteen years, being sent to him as an ambassador with a present, slew him in his own house. But he was a foreign prince, an enerny, and Ehud besides had special warrant from God. To the first I answer, it imports not whether foreign or native : for no prince so native but professes to hold by law; which when he himself overturns, breaking all the covenants and oaths that gave him title to his diguity, and were the bond and alliance between him and his people, what differs he from an outlandish king, or from an enemy? For look how much right the king of Spain hath to govern us at all, so much right hath the king of England to go
vern us tyrannically. If he, though not bound to us by any league, coming from Spain in person to subdue us, or to destroy us, might lawfully by the people of England either be slain in fight, or put to death in captivity, what hath a native king to plead, bound by so
, many covenants, benefits, and honours, to the welfare of his people; why he through the contempt of all laws and parliaments, the only tie of our obedience to him, for his own will's sake, and a boasted prerogative unaccountable, after seven years warring and destroying of his best subjects, overcome, and yielded prisoner, should think to scape unquestionable, as a thing divine, in respect of whom so many thousand Christians destroyed should lie unaccounted for, polluting with their slaughtered carcasses all the land over, and crying for vengeance against the living that should have righted them? Who knows not that there is a mutual bond of amity and brotherhood between man and man over all the world, neither is it the English sea that can sever us from that duty and relation : a straiter bond yet there is between fellow-subjects, neighbours, and friends. But when any of these do one to another so as hostility could do no worse, what doth the law decree less against them, than open enemies and invaders ? or if the law be not present or too weak, what doth it warrant us to less than single defence or civil war? and from that time forward the law of civil defensive war differs nothing from the law of foreign hostility. Nor
Nor is it distance of place that makes enmity, but enmity that makes distance. He therefore that keeps peace with me, near or remote, of whatsoever nation, is to me, as far as all civil and human offices, an Englishman and a neighbour: but if an Englishman, forgetting all laws, human, civil, and religious, offend against life and liber
ty, to him offended and to the law in his behalf, though born in the sarne womb, he is no better than a Turk, a Saracen, a Heathen. This is gospel, and this was ever law among equals; how much' rather then in force against any king whatever, who in respect of the people is confessed inferior and not equal : to distinguish therefore of a tyrant by outlandish,or domestic, is a weak evasion. To the second, that he was an enemy; I answer, what tyrant is not ? yet Eglon by the Jews had been acknowledged as their soveriegn, they had served him eighteen years, as long almost as we our William the conqueror, in all which he could not be so unwise a statesman, but to have taken of them oaths of fealty and allegiance; by which they made themselves his proper subjects, as their homage and present sent by Lhud testified. To the third, that he had special warrant to kill Eglon in that manner, it cannot be granted, because not expressed; it is plain, that he was raised by God to be a deliverer, and went on just principles, such as were then and ever held allowable to deal so by a tyrant, that could no otherwise be dealt with. Neither did Samuel, though a prophet, with his own hand abstain from Agag, a foreign enemy, no doubt; but mark the reason,
“ As thy sword hath made women childless ;" a cause that by the sentence of law itself nullifies all relations. And as the law is between brother and brother, father and son, master and servant, wherefore not between king or rather tyrant and people? And whereas Jebu had special command to slay Jehoram a suecessive and hereditary tyrant, it seems not the less imitable for that; for where a thing grounded so much op natural reason hath the addition of a command from God, what does it but establish the lawfulness of such an act? Nor is it likely that God,