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sociale to the presbyterian disci
and the retormes pline, at a general assembly maintained openly in a dispute against Lethington the secretary of state, that subjects might and qught to execute God's judgments upon their king; that the fact of Jehu and others against their king, having the ground of God's ordinary coinmand to put such and such offenders to death, was not extraordinary, but to be imitated of all that preferred the honour of God to the affection of flesh and wicked princes; that kings, if they offend, have no privilege to be exempted from the punishments of law more than any other subject: so that if the king be a murderer, adulterer, or idolater, he should suffer, not as a king, but as an offender; and this position he repeats again and again before them. Answerable was the opinion of John Craig, another learned divine, and that laws made by the tyranny of princes, or the negligence of people, tlieir posterity might abrogate, and reform all things according to the original institution of commonwealths. And Knox, being commanded by the nobility to write to Calvin and other learned men for their judgments in that question, refused; alleging, that both himself was fully resolved in conscience, and had heard their judgments, and had the same opinion under handwriting of many the most godly and most learned that he knew in Europe; that if he should nove the question to them again, what should he do but show his own forgetfulness or inconstancy? All this is far more largely in the ecclesiastic history of Scotland, 1. 4, with many other passages to this effect all the book over, set out with diligence by Scotsmen of best repute among them at the beginning of these troubles; as if they laboured to inform us what we were to do, and what they intended upon the like occasion.
And to let the world know, that the whole church and protestant state of Scotland in those purest tinies of reformation were of the same belief, three years after, they inet in the field Mary their lawful and hereditary queen, took her prisoner, yielding before fight, kept her in prison, and the same year deposed her. Buchan. Hist. l. 18.
And four years after that, the Scots, in justification of their deposing queen Mary, sent embassadors to queen Elizabeth, and in a written declaration alleged, that they had used towards her more lenity than she deserved ; that their ancestors had heretofore punished their kings by death or banishment; that the Scots were a free nation, made king whom they freely choose, and with the same freedom unkinged him if they saw cause, by right of ancient laws and ceremonies yet remaining, and old customs yet among the highlanders in choosing the head of their clans, or families; all which, with many other arguments, bore witness, that regal power was nothing else but a mutual covenant or stipulation between king and people. Buch. Hist. 1. 20. These were Scotsmen and presbyterians : but what measure then have they lately offered, to think such liberty less beseeming us than themselves, presuming to put him upon us for a master, whom their law scarce allows to be their own equal? If now then we hear them in another strain than heretofore in the purest times of their church, we may be confident it is the voice of faction speaking in them, not of truth and reformation. Which no less in England than in Scotland, by the mouths of those faithful witnesses communly called puritans and nonconformists, spake as clearly for the putting down, yea the utmost punishing of kings, as in their several treatises may be read; even from the first reign of Elizabeth to these
times. Insomuch that one of them, whose name was Gibson, foretold king James, he should be rooted out, and conclude bis race, if he persisted to uphold bishops. And that very inscription stamped upon the first coins at his coronation, a naked sword in a hand with these words, “Si mereor, in me," " against me, if I deserve."
, not only manifested 'the judgment of that state, but seemed also to presage the sentence of divine justice in this event upon his son.
In the year 1581, the states of Holland, in a general assembly at the Hague, abjured all obedience and subjection to Philip king of Spain; and in a declaration justify their so doing; for that by his tyrannous government, against faith so many times given and broken, he had lost his right to all the Belgic provinces ; that therefore they deposed him, and declared it lawful to choose another in his stead. Thuan. 1.74. From that time to this, no state or kingdom in the world hath equally prospered : but let them remember not to look with an evil and prejudicial eye upon their neighbours walking by the same rule.
But what need these examples to presbyterians, I mean to those who now of late would seem so much to abhor deposing, whenas they to all Christendom have given the latest and the liveliest example of doing it themselves ? I question not the lawfulness of raising war against a tyrant in defence of religion or civil liberty; for no protestant church, from the first Waldenses of Lyons and Languedoc to this day, but have done it round, and maintained it lawful. But this I doubt not to affirm, that the presbyterians, who now so much condemu deposing, were the men themselves that deposed the king, and cannot with all their shifting and relapsing, wash off the guiltiness from their own hands. For
they themselves, by these their late doings, have made it guiltiness, and turued their own warrantable actions into rebellion.
There is nothing, that so actually makes a king of England, as rightful possession and supremacy in all Causes both Civil and Ecclesiastical: and nothing that so actually makes a subject of England, as those two oaths of allegiance and supremacy observed without equivocating, or any mental reservation. Out of doubt then when the king shall command things already constituted in church or state, obedience is the true essence of a subject, either to do, if it be lawful, or if he hold the thing unlawful, to submit to that penalty which the law imposes, so long as he intends to remain a subject. Therefore when the people, or any part of them, shall rise against the king and his authority, executing the law in any thing established, civil or ecclesiastical, I do not say it is rebellion, if the thing commanded though established be unlawful, and that they sought first all due means of redress (and no man is further bound to law); but I say it is an absolute renouncing both of suai premacy and allegiance, which in one word is an actual and total deposing of the king, and the setting up of another supreme authority over them. And whether the presbyterians have not done all this and much more, they will not put me, I suppose, to reckon up a seven years story fresh in the memory of all men. Have they not utterly broke the oath of allegiance, rejecting the king's command and authority sent them from any part of the kingdom,
whether in things lawful or unlawful? Have they not abjured the oath of supremacy, by setting up the parliament without the king, supreme to all their obedience; and though their vow and covenant bound them in general to the parliament, yet
sometimes adhering to the lesser part of lords and commons that remained faithful, as they term it, and even of them, one while to the commons without the lords, another while to the lords without the commons ? Have they not still declared their meaning, whatever their oath were, to hold them only for supreme, whom they found at any time most yielding to what they petitioned? Both these oaths, which were the straitest bond of an English subject in reference to the king, being thus broke and made void; it follows undeniably, that the king from that time was by them in fact absolutely deposed, and they no longer in reality to be thought his subjects, notwithstanding their fine clause in the cove.nant to preserve his person, crown and dignity, set there by some dodging casuist with more craft than sincerity, to mitigate the matter in case of ill success, and not taken I suppose by any honest man, but as a condition subordinate to every the least particle, that might more concern religion, liberty, or the public peace. To
prove it yet more plainly, that they are the men who have deposed the king, I thus argue. We know, that king and subject are relatives, and relatives have no longer being than in the relation; the relation between king and subject can be no other than regal authority and subjection. Hence I infer past their defending, that if the subject, who is one relative, take away the relation, of force he takes away also the other relative : but the presbyterians, who were one relative, that is to say subjects, have for this seven years, taken away the relation; that is to say the king's authority, and their subjection to it; therefore the presbyterians for these seven years have removed and extinguished the other relative, that is to say the king; or to speak more in brief, have deposed him; not only by depriving him