F A N A T I C K S.
Printed, and are to be sold by Walter Davis
in Amen-Corner. 1682.
1. The higher [supreme, or super-eminent] powers, it is manifest, are Rulers: for that the Apostle giving the reason why the Christians must be subject to them, calls them so; saying, For Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil, V. 3. And that which he adds agrees only to a person endued with power or authority, and not at all to power or authority in the abstract, The power is the Minister of God to thee for good, and bears not the sword in vain, and is a Revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil, V. 4. And thus we find powers signifie in other places of Scripture: as Luke 12. 11. They shall bring you unto the Magistrates and Powers. Tit. 3. 1. Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates So that to acknowledge authority, whilst we war against our Rulers (which is Resisting) is not sufficient to excuse us.
And the Rulers which the Apostle speaks of, are the Civil: those (as you see) that bear the Sword, and execute wrath, i. e. corporal punishment, which agrees not to the Ecclesiastical.
Wherefore they are particularly those Magistrates which ruled over the Romans at this time: Caesar, who was the head and chief; and the several Officers that were under him and appointed by him. And thus St. Peter giving the same Command to the Christian Iews that were scattered in several parts of the Roman Empire (Caesar's Dominion) expresses it, in his 1 Epist. 2. 13, 14. saying, Submit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the King, as supreme; or unto Governours, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that doe well.
This Commandment to the Christians under the Roman Government doth extend and belong to all other Christians even to the end of the world, under what sort of Government soever they are, whether Monarchy, Aristocracy or Democracy: viz. to be subject to the supreme Civil Power, and to all that by that Power are put in Authority. For the reason of the Commandment is perpetual, which the Apostle gives, namely, that Rulers are God's Ordinance, God's Ministers for good to them that doe good, and for wrath to them that doe evil.
2. Let us see what the Commandment doth mean, Be subject. A Commandment it is, even as it is a Commandment for Servants to obey their Masters, and Children their Parents, and for Wives to be subject to their Husbands: and not a counsel or advice, as if it might be done when we see it convenient, and omitted at our pleasure according to our discretion without any sin against God. For the Apostle tells us v. 5. that we must Needs be subject, and that not only for wrath, but also for Conscience-sake: And again, that they that resist the power, resist the Ordinance of God, and that for so doing they shall receive to themselves Damnation, v. 2.
Now this Commandment doth mean, that we must obey the Powers. So we have heard St. Paul himself explaining it, Tit. 3. 1. Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to Obey Magistrates. When the thing is lawfull which they command, it must he done. Upon which account tribute, which they enjoyn, must be paid them: this being in no wise contrary to any of God's Laws; insomuch that sometimes we may pay it even to Usurpers. And therefore as the Christians at Rome did now pay it, so the Apostle commands them to continue in the same duty: v. 6, 7. For this cause pay ye tribute.--Render to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom. And he reckons it Rulers due, for that they are God's Ministers, attending continually upon his service, government and the ministration of Iustice. Upon which account also we are to fear and honour them: as he also commands in the same place, Render fear to whom fear is due, honour to whom honour. For neither is this in any wise contrary to the Law of God.
But then if the thing which they command be sinfull, we must refuse it. As the Apostles themselves have taught us by their own examples: who being commanded by the Rulers of the Iews to teach no more in the name of Iesus, refused to obey that command, telling them, that they ought to obey God rather than men, and appealing unto them whether this was not right. So when Saul commanded his footmen to slay the innocent Priests, they refused to doe it, because it was wicked. And when Nebuchadnezzar commanded that all should worship the Golden Image which he had set up, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told him, they would not serve his Gods, nor worship the Image. And when Darius with his Presidents, Governours, Princes, Counsellours and Captains had made a Royal Statute, that no one should ask any petition of any God or Man, save of Himself, for thirty days, Daniel notwithstanding pray'd to the Lord as he was wont to doe.
But though the sinfull thing may not be done, yet the Rulers must not be resisted, otherwise than by prayers and tears, intreaty and persuasion, reasoning and discourse, reproof and admonition: Arms must not be taken up against them, and war waged with them upon this account; but their penalties must be submitted to, and their injuries born with patience, peace and meekness. And thus are they indeed obeyed, by submitting to them; thus subjection is paid them, by yielding to their power and authority. As wives are subject to their husbands, children and servants obey, the one their parents, the other their masters, in all things (as it is commanded them) when what is lawfull they doe at their command, and refusing what is unlawfull, they patiently submit to their pleasure; and though they punish them for their refusal, do not resist with blows, and cast off their yoke by force. And thus to be subject, so as not to resist, is the meaning of our Text. For it immediately follows thus, Whosoever resisteth the Power, resisteth the Ordinance of God: and they that resist, &c.
3. We must next consider the Extent and latitude of the Commandment, Let every soul be subject. As the Iews say every soul, so we say every body: and the meaning both of them and us is every man. Forasmuch then as every man is to be subject to the Higher Powers, it is undeniable that no one of what rank and quality soever is exempt from their jurisdiction: no Christian (for to such the Apostle writes) not the greatest Saint, not the eminentest Doctor, not the Apostles themselves; who as they gave the Precept to others, so most certainly held themselves bound to perform the same. And what can be more manifest than that one as well as other, Clergy as well as people, living in the same Kingdom, are Subjects of the same Secular Powers there? and being Subjects, must be Subject to them? St. Peter hath determined the case, when he reckons the King Supreme Governour: and St. Paul also, who here calls Rulers that bear the Sword, the Higher Powers. These he requires every soul to be subject to: of these he speaks again so universally, Whosoever resisteth, &c. Be he then Priest or Pastor, Cardinal or Kirk-man, Legat or Pope that doth so, he offendeth, and incurreth the punishment threatned, They shall receive to themselves damnation.
Having thus given you an exact account of the Apostle's injunction, God's Commandment by his Servant: The first thing which I shall consider is,
1. Whether the Apostle means we should be subject to evil Powers, and not resist such by force of arms. Here the Seditious and Rebellious always take shelter, saying, The Rulers oppress, persecute, govern illegally, command what God forbids, and forbid what God commands. This they pretend whether it be so or not. This they will say, and feign as much abuse and tyranny, and contrive their story as plausible and seemingly true as their wit can devise: for that otherwise they would be utterly condemned of all men for raising War, which is so great a plague to a Nation, and for resisting honest and good Rulers, which is gross profaneness; neither would they have any hope of gaining the people unto their assistance, nor of obtaining their design, which is spoil and rapine, riches and honour, dominion and greatness, and perhaps revenge of some petty injuries. It ought to be considered very carefully, whether this which they pretend be true; for oftentimes it is but fiction and a lie, as their professions also of Reformation are oft mere hypocrisie. They groan when they feel no burthen, and report strange things, which no one sees, nor knows, nor themselves believe, because they would rebel: and from the same lust they can call those Papists, whom they know the Pope for not being Papists damns for Hereticks: can preach the danger of thousands of souls eternal destruction by the prevailing of the Roman Religion, and yet believe all that perish would have perished, though the same had not prevailed: can preach the Parliament Supreme to justifie their War against their King, and yet when the play is ended, and Law may judge, would not for all they are worth want the King's Pardon. Our late Sovereign was accused of being Popishly affected, and of ruling tyrannically, illegally, arbitrarily: who yet was such a Papist as to require of his Subjects the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, which is the absolute renouncing of the Pope's authority; and such a Papist again as to worship God according to the Church of England, whose Liturgy, Articles, Homilies, Canons speak all positively and fully against Popery: who was such a Tyrant, illegal and arbitrary Governour as to rule by the Laws, to fear to act in any particular contrary to them (taking advice therefore of the Iudges) and to make conscience of oppressing, and to suffer every one to enjoy his own. But such Defenders of our Laws, Liberties and Properties were the Grandees his enemies, as to bring us into a liberty of paying grievous Taxes 18 years together, to sequester Loyalists estates, to make Laws, and impose Oaths and Covenants, to raise Armies, and to seise Forts, Ports and Navy, to usurp and command the Militia, to make War and Peace with foreign Nations, to coin Money, to alter the Service and Government of the Church, to sequester the King's Revenues, to try him for his life, and to cut off his head, all by arbitrary, their sole power, without His authority and assent, and contrary to his Command, contrary to our established Laws and Government .
But be the pretence true, this however I shall shew doth not warrant Subjects to wage War against their Rulers. For as the Apostle speaks of Powers without restriction, whether good or bad: so the Command, Be subject to them, Resist them not, admits not of any, any more than these the like Commands, Wives, be subject to your Husbands in every thing: Children, obey your Parents in all things: Servants, obey in all things your Masters. And will any one say the Apostle means only good Husbands, Parents, Masters, and not at all the bad? Go to then, ye Servants, Wives, Children, and with authority beat your froward Masters, Husbands, Parents. But if this should be our Rebels case, I suppose they would judge the treatment undecent and profane; and though they have deserved it for their frowardness, and may thank themselves for what they suffer, yet will say, these Servants, Wives, Children have fallen from the honour, fear and reverence, subjection and obedience which they owe them. St. Paul says, The husband is the head of the wife: therefore let the wives be subject. And are not evil husbands heads? Let the King's enemies judge. But St. Peter says expresly, Ye wives, be in subjection to your husbands, that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. These that obeyed not the word, these that were Heathens, were bad husbands enough. Likewise Servants, says he, be subject to your Masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. And such froward ones he means that afflict them for their conscience toward God, and for well-doing: as by the following words appears, For this is thank-worthy if a man for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully. If when ye doe well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. From whence also it is manifest, that he requires these innocent abused persons to be so subject as not to resist violence with violence, but only patiently and peaceably to take the wrong; like our Saviour, whose example he there propounds, Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatned not. And as Children, Wives and Servants ought to behave themselves thus submissively to their rigid and unrighteous Parents, Husbands and Masters: so ought Subjects to behave themselves, no one can doubt, after the same manner to their alike evil Rulers.
To make this matter yet more clear, let us consider whether the present Powers were not evil; for these doth St. Paul more particularly mean: for to whom should he command the Christians at Rome to be subject, but to the Rulers there? or to whom could they at present pay subjection, but to them? His words moreover plainly shew, that they are those to whom they now paid tribute. And St. Peter delivering the same Precept, expresly names the King and Governours sent out by him. Now these were Heathens (the Government not coming into Christian hands till Constantine's time, which was 250 years after:) and they were Idolaters and Maintainers of that abomination, and Persecutors of the Christians: Of whose sufferings we reade in these very Epistles. Rom. 12. 12, 14. Be patient in tribulation: bless them that persecute you. 1 Pet. 1. 6. Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations. C. 4. 12. Think it not strange concerning the fiery tryal which is to try you. C. 5. 9. Know that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. And so we reade they suffered at Corinth, at Philippi, at Thessalonica, at Ierusalem and in all Iudea. To whom it must needs be said the same Commandment of subjection belonged, as well as to their brethren and fellow-sufferers at Rome, and in Pontus, Galatia, Capadocia, Asia and Bithynia. Thus suffered the Apostles themselves, and knew that as the Christians were already, so they would be afterwards persecuted by Rulers, when they gave this Commandment of non-resistence.
But some may object, that St. Paul says v. 4. Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil: and therefore means, that the Christians should be subject to, and not resist such only as rule well and fulfill their office. Ans. I have clearly shewed that he means the present Rulers, and that these were idolaters and injurious: and therefore this cannot be his meaning. But this he says, Rulers are ordained of God for good, and generally they so act; though there be several defects and corruptions: (for what Laws of any Kingdom are all perfect? or what Administration of them is without fault?) In every Nation we find they suppress Sedition, and conserve Peace; punish Murtherers, Thieves, Adulterers, Perjured persons; end Controversies, and distribute Iustice betwixt man and man. Wherefore since they are ordained of God, and ordained for good, and good they doe in the world, for the authority which God hath given them, and for the benefit which the world receives by them, Let euery soul of you be subject to them, let none of you resist them, even the present Powers, idolaters and your enemies. This is plainly the Apostle's mind; and not that they might take up arms against Caesar and the Officers under him, because they were evil. St. Peter speaks it most clearly, Submit your selves to the King, and to the Governours sent out by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that doe well. Was it for the punishment of evil doers, when they were sometime sent forth to punish Christians for their Christianity, for not worshiping their false gods and observing their impious superstitions? And was it for the praise of them that did well, when they were sent forth to encourage and defend Idolaters in their Idolatry? Besides there were several other evils which according to their received authority they were to promote and execute; for who dare say Heathens Laws and Commands were all good and just? But yet good they did, and not a little by their Government, as their Constitutions and Ministrations witness: and therefore the Apostles say, Be subject to them. For I may add, that if they were not to be subject to such that were to some good works a terror, and to some evil not a terror; to such that were injurious to them, and even to their Heathen subjects also, in some things, and that both civil and religious; they were then to be subject to none at present, there being at present none without these faults: and so the Commandment would signifie at present just nothing to them: which is monstrous.
And now we must not forget, that this Command is not delivered unto Heathens, who if by resisting they should conquer, would yet still maintain their Idolatry, and persecute Christians: but to Christians, who if they should get the supreme Power into their hands, would make a glorious reformation, establishing in the Empire by Sanction of Law the Gospel of Christ in the room of Ethnicism. For the effecting of which great good they must not rebel: according to the general doctrine, We must not doe evil that good may come.
And this is the sense of the Primitive Church: this was their Practice, and this was their Doctrine also. As Tertullian (who lived but 150 years after) witnesseth: who writing unto the Roman Heathen Magistrates, tells them in the name of all his brethren, that though they unjustly and most grievously persecuted them for that their Piety and Religion alone, and no evil, yet they would not take up arms against them, though they were able to doe it, for their Religion forbad them. Whose words are these, Ye kill the Christians on crosses and stakes, ye tear their sides with hooks; we are thrown to the beasts, we are burned in the fire, we are condemned to the Mines, we are banished into Islands.--We always pray for all Emperors, that God would give them a long life, a secure Empire, a safe house, valiant Armies, a loyal Senate, faithfull People, a quiet World, and whatsoever any man or Caesar himself can desire.--In Emperors we adore the Counsel of God, who hath set them over the Nations. We know that to be in them which God wills: and therefore what God wills, we pray the same may be safe and prosperous.--But why speak I any more of the Piety and Religion of Christians to the Emperor, whom we must needs honour, as one that our Lord hath chosen? so that I may justly say, Caesar is rather Ours, as being constituted by our God; and therefore being mine, I doe the more for his welfare.--We are the same to Emperors as to our neighbours; for to wish, to doe, to speak to think ill of any one whoever, is alike forbidden us. What we may not doe against the Emperor, neither may we doe against any one; and what we may doe to no one, much rather perhaps may we not doe to Him who is so Great by God. If we are commanded to love our enemies, who then remains for us to hate? If when we are hurt, we are forbidden to repay the like, whom then can we hurt? God forbid we should avenge our selves by private fire. If we would shew our selves open enemies, should we want number and forces? We have filled all your places, your Cities, Islands, Castles, Corporations, Consistories, your very Camps, Tribes, Decuries, the Palace, the Senate, the Common Court. What war should we not be fit for and very forward unto, yes though unequal in forces, who so freely part with our lives, if our Religion did not require us rather to be killed than to kill?--Now your enemies are the fewer for the multitude of Christians, as such now are almost all your Citizens. And writing to Scapula an Heathen President in Africa, he says the same, You persecute us with all your rage.--We are defamed as to the Majesty of the Emperor, and yet never were the Christians Rebels, as several of your own Religion have been, Albinus, Niger, Cassius.--A Christian is no mans enemy, much less the Emperor's, whom, as knowing him to be constituted of God, he must necessarly love, reverence, honour and wish well, with the whole Roman Empire, so long as the world shall endure. We therefore do worship the Emperor so as is lawfull for us and fit for him, as a man next to God, and that what he is, hath obtained of God, and that is inferior to none but God.--It cannot but be manifest to you that we live according to the discipline of divine patience, whilst being so great a multitude of men, almost the greater part of every City, we behave our selves with peace and submission.--God forbid that we should contrive to avenge our selves of you, who expect God will punish you.--We render to no man evil for evil.
After the same manner doth St. Cyprian (who lived about 50 years after Tertullian) write to Demetrian, an Heathen Proconsul likewise in Africa, and a Persecutor of the Christians: saying, Men harmless, just, dear to God thou deprivest of house and patrimony, shuttest up in prison, punishest with beasts, sword, fire.--Not content with the usual, thy ingenious cruelty invents new torments.--No one of us when he is apprehended, resists, nor avengeth himself of your unjust violence, though our people are numerous and able to doe it.--We may not hate; and thus we please God the more, whilst we retaliate no injury.
But Mr. Calvin's judgment may be of more account with some. Let us therefore hear what he saith in this matter. Some Princes violate all Laws and Privileges, miserably oppress the people, kill the innocent, &c. Yet the word of God teacheth us to be subject to these.--In the worst and most unworthy King that Divine Authority resides, which God in his word hath given to righteous Magistrates: and therefore the Subjects are to have the same Reverence for him (as far as belongeth unto publick Obedience) as for the best King.--This shall be the Right of the King that shall reign over you: He shall take your Sons, &c. Certainly this they could not doe by Right of God's Law, which commands Kings to rule better: but it is called a Right over the People, which they should necessarily obey, and which it should not be lawfull for them to resist.--If we did always remember, that the worst Kings are appointed by the same Decree that the Authority of Kings is ordained, these seditious thoughts would never rise in us, that Kings are to be treated according to their deserts, and we are not bound to perform the duty of Subjects to them who perform not the duty of Kings unto us.--This affection of reverence we owe to all our Rulers, whether good or bad, until death. We are not to consider the men: it is enough for us, that by the will of God they are Magistrates, on whom God hath impressed an Inviolable Majesty.--If a cruel Prince torment us, if a covetous rob us, if an impious persecute us for our piety, let us then remember our sins, which without doubt God thus punishes: and so our humility will curb our impatience.--We are commanded only to obey and suffer. Thus he condemns all private mens rising against their Governours, though they be most tyrannical: And only adds, that if any Popular Magistrates are constituted by the Laws of a Kingdom for the restraining of the King's licentiousness, they ought according to their office to curb him when he grows extravagant and tyrannical. So that where there are no such Magistrates, and yet where there are, when those Magistrates consent with the King in his licentiousness and tyranny, there (according to Mr. Calvin) no forceable resistance ought to be made by the Subjects. And as for our selves, our King is exempt from punishment, nor may our Parliament levy War against him in any case, only his ill Advisers and the Executioners of his oppression are punishable; who may be called to account by our Parliament, which is to convene once in three years, and oftener if need be.
But some not content with all this, will still say,
Must we be abused, and not right our selves? Must God and Religion suffer, and we sit with our hands in our pockets?
And I say, would ye be sighting? How ill doth it become a Christian to be a man of fury and revenge, of blood and war? If for conscience sake and well-doing ye suffer, and take it patiently, happy are ye: this is your glory, and great is your reward in heaven. But if ye rebel, what doe ye more than others? where is your patience? where is your glory? where is your reward? and what indeed is your Religion? Let God alone to maintain his own cause in his own way: who will certainly doe it without seditious insurrections, by a spirit of patience, meekness, justice and righteousness, in spite of the proudest and greatest that war against him: will defend his truth, and exalt his Church, and bring down wicked powers, or turn their hearts, whilst his holy servants, notwithstanding their afflictions, continue in their duty to Him and Men, making their humble and ardent prayers to him, and trusting in his Power, Goodness and Promise. For thus is it written, The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that doe evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.--Evil shall slay the wicked, and they that hate the righteous, shall be desolate. Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be.--The transgressors shall be destroyed. Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.
And I would have all those that are so prone to arms for the casting down of wicked Powers, and pretend such zeal for God and Religion, ask themselves in sincerity, whether their hearts be right, and their lives honest: whether they be humble, patient, content: whether they design no secular advantage, no wealth, no dominion, no honour or popular fame to themselves, but purely the advancement of piety and the glory of God: whether they are not criminal, and as much as their Rulers. For I am much mistaken if there be not such Zealots, and more than a few, that are in excess revengefull, ambitious, censorious, liars, defamers, lovers of this world and of carnal pleasures, drunkards and adulterers: may I not say, almost Atheists? And let them calmly consider again, Whether their Remedy be not worse than the Disease, War worse than an ill Prince. For now the very Devil seems to be broken loose from his Chains, and freely to domineer in the Land: Hatred rages in the breasts of men, and lies are daily coined to serve the Cause: the Father fights against the Son, and one neighbour reviles and betrays another: honest Matrons and chast Virgins are ravished, Cities and Noble buildings turned into ashes, many plundered of their Goods in an hour, which with long labour and much care they had honestly gotten, and many deprived of the ancient inheritance of their Family: grievous taxes are imposed, and must be born, and a company of leud and idle fellows maintained: Nobles are despised and affronted; the Loyal maligned, menaced, and vilely treated; the peaceable horribly affrighted with sad rumors and the rude behaviour of Ruffian Soldiers: and finally, hundreds and thousands are slain suddenly in the battels, and such as need a longer time for repentance and amendment, the most profane and profligate, who of all are most unfit to die. These sad things we have seen in the time of Rebellion: and in the same case we must expect the same again. And I pray you tell me faithfully, Whether all these evils be not worse than what our Male-contents complain of, Prelacy and Liturgy I may name, the common grievances: whether not more grievous than a Bishop and our Service-Book, a Surplice, Holy-days, baptizing in Fonts and where now they stand, the Sign of the Cross, Godfathers, Marrying with a Ring, Reading before the Corps, Kneeling at the Lord's Supper. I do not appeal to anger and malice, ambition and avarice, presumption and self-will (which lurk in nature, and which I know will give perverse judgment:) but to piety and the fear of God begotten in your hearts by his Holy Spirit. Not this, but something else sure it was, that spake by the Preacher's lips in our late Troubles these strange words, The removal of the impositions of Prelatical innovations, Altar-genuflexions, and Cringings and Crossings, and all that Popish trash and trumpery, countervails for the Blood and Treasure shed and spent in these late Distractions. Well, let them not strain at a Gnat, and swallow a Camel; refuse our Liturgy, and raise War against their King: like the Pharisees, that would not eat with unwasht hands, nor with uncircumcised Gentiles, Publicans and Sinners, nor touch them, lest they should be defiled; and that condemned our Saviour for healing, and his Disciples for plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath-day: and yet were full of excess and pride, and devoured Widows houses, and killed the Prophets, and the Holy Iesus.
Whether the froward minds of men will accept it or not, I cannot but prescribe Subjects a better remedy against injurious Governours than War and Rebellion: and that is, what before was mentioned, patient suffering, an holy life, fervent prayer, trust in God. For God will either here deliver his people out of their troubles, whilst they fret not themselves in any wise to doe evil; or if he suffer them to continue in them and die by them, will abundantly recompence them in the other world. This was the mind of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: Our God (say they) whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O King: but if not, we will not serve thy Gods. And what was the event? God did preserve them in the midst of the fire, and moreover so changed the King's heart, that the King promoted them in the Province of Babylon, and also made a decree, that whosoever should speak any thing against their God, should be cut in pieces, and their houses be made a dunghil. This mind was in David: Who (says he) can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's Anointed and be guiltless? The Lord forbid that I should doe it. The Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall descend into the battel and perish. And it came to pass, that Saul in his fight with the Philistins, being wounded, took a sword and fell upon it, and so perished. And thus David was freed of his Persecutor, and was presently after anointed King. And this same mind was also in Christ Iesus: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatned not: but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. And God likewise pleaded his cause: who, though he suffered him to fall by the hand of his enemies, yet raised him from the grave, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, and gave him to be head over all things. And if we suffer with him, we are assured that we shall also reign with him; and if we lay down our life for him, that we shall receive it again with advantage, eternal life. And when we are persecuted, reviled and hated for righteousness sake, we are pronounced blessed and happy, and are bid to rejoice, to leap for joy and to be exceeding glad, and to glorifie God on this behalf; for that the Spirit of Glory and of God resteth upon us, and the Kingdom of Heaven is ours, and our reward there is great, an exceeding eternal weight of glory. If this will not satisfie us, but we will take the Sword, is it not just that we perish by the Sword? We are commanded to take up the Cross and follow Christ, to endure afflictions, to be patient in tribulation, and not avenge our selves. And after all this have we learned Christ no better than to fight, and that against our Rulers, rather than suffer for well-doing? to embroil a Nation in bloody War, rather than for the Kingdom of God bear imprisonment and loss of goods? to take away the lives of thousands, rather than quietly lay down our own for the Gospel? What glory, what joy is it, to be crucified for Treason? What Martyrdom this? Christ suffering and dying under Pontius Pilate without resistance, and Christians warring and rebelling against their evil Governours, what a contradiction!
This Doctrine of quiet and submissive patience and nonresistance cannot be interpreted a defence of Rulers oppression, unless by perverse malice; nor an encouragement of them to this wickedness, any more than the Gospel, which (as we have seen) commands it, and the Primitive Fathers, who (as we have also seen) taught it. Nor can any think I have now spoken this, as if I judged our Prince oppresses, or feared he will; unless he think me so extravagant as to judge, that to rule only by our established Laws is to oppress: which we all see he doth, and which he hath assured us, since his Coronation-Oath (which obligeth to the same,) by his Royal word, that in all things he ever will. And whilst thus he governs, even I. Milton, our late good King's heavy friend, affirms, That the Subject, if he hold the thing to be unlawfull which by Law is commanded, ought not to resist, but to submit to the penalty which the Law imposes: and in this case to rise against the King, is to renounce Allegiance to him, and is an actual and total deposing of him. No, the design is to prevent the horrid sin of Rebellion, and the multifarious mischiefs of a Civil War. Whether our King be more prone to oppression, or his people to rebellion, let the present state of affairs witness, let the Male-contents speak, if from their hearts they'l speak. When He proves a Tyrant, I dare say, Resist; as being confident his Nature is so gentle, and his Wisedom so great, that he never will rule so barbarously, and give such provocation to the factious multitude, so expose himself to War, and so hazard his Crown and Life. But then by a Tyrant, I mean not one that is called so by enemies, or by the ignorant, by an ambitious and discontented, a wanton and seditious company, or by a whole Nation of such men; (as remembring our late Sovereign was so slandred, whose Tyranny was Law and Clemency, as his imputed Popery was true Protestantism, and his suspected vice Piety:) Nor yet mean I one that once or twice acts illegally: but (as enemies themselves have defined) one who rules either wholly or in great part contrary to the Laws, and continually oppresses grievously, nor will be persuaded from his frowardness, injustice and cruelty.
And they that rule thus inhumanly, cannot but expect (as the world now is) mutiny, opposition and rebellion: For as Christianity hath not made Governours, which are but few, what they should be: so neither Subjects especially, which are numerous. And sin besides provokes God to punish: who suffering the rebellious to act according to the evil of their heart, uses them as scourges for the chastisement of Rulers offences. And if they do receive violence for violence, rebellion for tyranny, they may thank themselves, and cannot but acknowledge they have deserved it; themselves they must blame for their ungodly oppression, as well as their Subjects for their ungodly opposition. But there is somewhat more for them to fear than the wrath of unruly men, the wrath of the Holy and Almighty God: who hates iniquity in all, and will in the last day judge without respect of persons, rendring to every one according to his deeds, tribulation and anguish to all that work evil, both Kings and Subjects. And worse is it (who can say how much worse?) to be deprived by the Divine Iustice of the Kingdom of Heaven and Eternal life, and to be carried by Devils into the Infernal prisons, and there tormented for ever in fire and brimstone, than to be imprisoned by seditious men in a Castle or Common Gaol, and there mocked and contemned, and to be deprived of an earthly Kingdom and temporal life. And as the one for resisting shall receive to themselves damnation, so shall the other for oppressing receive the same, without repentance; and repentance there is none without amendment.
I may here recite what St. Cyprian said to the forementioned Demetrianus, the evil Africk Governour, and to the rest of the vicious and cruel Heathens under him, who complained of the Christians as the cause Of all the miseries that befell them. Inter ipsa adversa, &c. In the midst of the adversities, in which the straitned soul can scarce breathe, ye yet find liberty enough to be wicked, and in so great dangers judge of others, but not of your selves. Ye are angry that God is angry, as if ye deserved good by doing evil, as if all the miseries that befall you, were not less and lighter than your impieties. Thou who judgest others, be judge sometimes of thy self; view the recesses of thy conscience, and who art clearly seen of all, see thy self.--Dost thou wonder that the anger of God increases, for the punishment of men, when that increases daily which is punished?--The truth is this which the Prophet delivers, that God can restrain adversities, but the crimes of sinners are the-cause that he doth not help.
Is God's hand (says he) weak, that he cannot save? or is his ear heavy, that he cannot hear? But your sins separate betwixt you and God: and because of your iniquities he turneth his face from you, and will not pity.
--As if it were a light thing, that your life is defiled with variety of raging vices, with the iniquity of lamentable crimes, with all bloody rapines, that true Religion is subverted by false superstitions, that God is not sought nor feared at all: ye worry the servants of God with unjust persecutions.--ot by us, but for us do all those things happen which descend from the divine indignation.--In the terrible day of judgment will the wicked say, What doth our pomp and the glory of our riches profit us? all those things are gone as a shadow. Then repentance, sorrow, weeping, praying will be fruitless and avail nothing. Provide therefore for your welfare whilst ye may.--Believe [convert] and live, and you who for a time make us sad, rejoice with us for ever.
Thus may Prince and People be happy, if they will be holy, doing their duty each to other, and both to God. But when sin abounds, judgment breaks forth like a whirl-wind, we know not how: and that, if it reforms us not in this life, in the other changes upon us into eternal burnings.
2. Let us now see the Black Deed of the day. Which being worse than fighting against evil Powers, the killing of a good and pious Prince, a just and legal Ruler, swells the guilt into a monstrous bigness. Our Sovereign, after a long rebellious War, falls into his enemies hands:
Who erect a new Tribunal of abject Subjects against Him, which they call the High Court of Iustice: the greatest part whereof were Commanders of the Army, who before had conspired his destruction, and such Members of the House of Commons as were his most heavy friends; the rest were of the dregs of the City of London or the Neighbourhood. Among these, one or two were Shoe-makers, some Ale-brewers, Goldsmiths, and other Mechanicks; Cast-off Lawyers, Spend-thrifts, Bankrupts, Whore-masters many. Out of the number of these Iudges were expunged all the Lords [of the Upper House] for that they rejected the Vote for trying the King; and the Iudges of the Kingdom likewise, for that being asked their opinions privately about this matter, they answered, That it was against the received Laws and Customs of England that the King should be brought to Tryal. They now appoint a President to this Court, one Bradshaw, a fogging fellow, of obscure birth, and of effronted impudence
Before these Iudges the King is brought, and is charged in the name of the People with Tyranny and Treason: and by this authority of the people of England the President tells him he is called to account, as being by their Election admitted King. The King replies, That the Kingdom descended to him in no wise Elective, but had been hereditary for above a thousand years: That there appeared none of the Lords, who ought to the constituting of a Parliament to be there That yet neither both the Houses had any authority to call the King to account, much less some certain Iudges masked with the authority of the Lower House, and that proculcated: That the Laws of England enjoin all accusations to be made in the King's name: nor do they indulge any power of judging even the most abject Subject to the Lower (or Commons) House. The President, who ever and anon interrupted Him, tells Him, That the Court was not to hear any reasons that detracted from their power. But what or where, says the King, is that Court in which no place is left for reason? You shall find, answers the President, that this very Court is such an one: and growing angry, commands the Prisoner to be taken away. Who being brought the fourth time, the President commands the Sentence to be read under this form, Whereas Charles Stuart being accused by the People of Tyranny, Treason, Murthers and Mis-government, and hath not answered for himself, be therefore the said Charles Stuart adjudged to death by the severing of his head from his body. He is now hurried away by the Soldiers, who triumphing and mocking, cry out, Iustice, Iustice. They spit upon his Clothes; which he wiping off, said, Christ suffered more for me. One (as among other standers-by, a Colonel, one of the King's Iudges related, not without commendation of the Soldier's hardiness) defiles his venerable Face with Spittle. They whiff Tobacco in his face, the smell of which they knew was offensive to him. Such as bowed or put off their Hats, they bastinadoe. They intrude themselves into his Closet; deny him the use of his Chaplains, all but one; keep a loud laughing at him as he was at Divine Service after the manner of the Church of England; and whilst he was preparing for his last, busie him with scoffs and whimsie questions. Certain Soldiers the day before his death offer him propositions, promising to gratifie him with his Life and Regal Authority, if he would subscribe them. Which having read, he rejects, saying, I will rather undergo a thousand deaths, than so prostitute my Honour and my Peoples Liberties. The Scaffold is erected before his Banqueting-house, where he was wont to ascend the Throne. Whither being come, about an hours space he was at prayer: and then ascends the Scaffold, where the Executioners in Vizards encounter Him, and the Block and Ax present themselves. All mine enemies, says He, I pardon from my very heart, and earnestly beseech God to grant them sound repentance, and remit this great sin. I die, adds He, in the Christian faith, according to the profession of the Church of England, as the same was left me by my Father of blessed Memory. Having given advice for the welfare of the Kingdom, he prays, and stoops to the Block, and so the Vizarded Executioner cut off His Head.
And now, my Brethren, I question not but ye will conclude with me, that these men have acted as if they had never read the Apostle's Injunction in our Text; and if they had not been quite over-run with malignity of nature, and moved by a more than ordinary impulse of the Devil, they could not have perpetrated this monstrous villany. O my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly be not thou united: who in their presumption and self-will slew their King, the Lord's Anointed. May this one act suffice them (which truly is wickedness enough for an age) as having hereby made themselves famous enough for impious boldness, and run themselves far enough towards perdition. Now they have done so much, may they for ever hereafter cease their insurrections, as taught by sad experience how far in the nasty chambers and abominable mysteries of darkness, unto what horrid and hellish villany, the Devil leads the Rebellious. Let the Memorial of this day be a perpetual shame and curb to all Seditious spirits. Amen.
Nor can the Raisers and Prosecutors of the War wash their hands clear from this Blood, though some of them exclaimed against the hellish Deed. For they hunted the King into the snare wherein he was taken and perished; they brought him to the Block whereon their fellow Soldiers cut off his Head; they accused and arraigned him for an illegal and arbitrary Governour, a Violator of his Oaths and Promises, a Grand Delinquent, an Enemy to the State, a Rebel to the Law, a Traytor against the Parliament, for Popish, a Tyrant, a Most Bloody man; and the others Executed him as such. The Presbyterians (says Iohn Milton, the defender of the Regicides) have for these seven years Deposed the King, not only by depriving him of his authority, but by conferring it upon others. If then the Oaths of Subjection broken, new Supermacy obeyed, new Oaths and Covenants taken, have in plain terms unkinged the King; much more then hath the seven years War, not Deposed him only, but Outlawed him, and defied him as an Alien, a Rebel to Law, an Enemy to the State.--Have they not levied all the Wars against him? &c. They certainly who by deposing him have long since taken from him the life of a King, his Office and Dignity, they in the truest sense may be said to have killed the King, not only by deposing, and waging War against him, which set him in the farthest opposite point from any vital function of a King, but by their holding him in Prison, vanquished and yielded into their absolute and despotick power, which brought him to the lowest degradement and incapacity of a Regal name.
But when the late mischievous War and the horrid Regicide ought to have frighted all from attempting such things any more, yet ungodly men (by a better name they call themselves, but most unjustly) have oft endeavoured to act the same again. Which I shall now shew: viz.
3. The Rebellious Practices of some of our Fanaticks since the Restauration of our present King. As soon almost as He was setled in his Throne (at Christmas 1661, as I remember) rose up Venner and his company of Fifth-Monarchy men in London, acted with strong delusion, expecting Christ Iesus to come down from Heaven in person to them in St. Paul's Church-yard for their assistance in destroying the present Powers.
In the next year 1662 was a Conspiracy among several sorts of our Sectaries, to levy War against the King, and to surprize and kill Him, with the Duke of York, the Duke of Albemarle, Sir Richard Brown, and to give no quarter to any that opposed them; to put an end to Kings, Princes, Dukes, that they might have a free State, and be troubled no more with any such kind of men, nor with Lawn-sleeves and Surcingles. For this end they had provided store of Arms, and had laid them up in several places, and had disposed a good number of them to their Friends. The time appointed for the Insurrection was Alhallows Eve: and to colour the business they pretended that they had received a Letter from a Correspondent of the Papists, that the Papists at that time intended to make use of their Army [meaning the King's Guards at White-hall] for the Massacring of all Protestants in the City. Which news they dispersed in and about London by a Letter of their own to their Friends: wherein they invited them to doe what Piety to God, Loyalty to their King, Love to their Country, and Self-preservation should direct them: Calling the eternal God to witness that this was no trepan nor trick, but a sober truth. They had framed a Declaration to justifie their proceedings, viz. against Popery and Monopolies, Bishops and Common-Prayer, for Liberty of Conscience and a free Commonwealth. They were discovered by some of the Party, and several of them were apprehended, tried and condemned at Iustice-Hall in the Old Bayly, London, the same year, Dec. 11. Some acknowledged themselves wholly guilty, others so far guilty as that they heard this villany discoursed of, and did not reveal it: only Tho. Tonge in his Dying Speech said, That he had sometimes been in some mens company where he had heard them contriving the business for which he was condemned to die; and that that which led him to join with them, was this, That he had sometimes been in the Army, and looked upon this cause to be good.
After the Discovery of the Plot in 1662, the same sort of factious Dissenters laid a Plot the very next year (viz. 1663.) in the Bishoprick of Durham, to this purpose.
First, To reconcile all their Brethren of different persuasions. Secondly, Upon an Oath of Secrecy, to send Agitatours all over England with propositions most comprehensive of all Interests, who met at one Ouldred's house (the Devil of Dewshury, as they call'd him) and afterwards at Stank-house in that County, from whence Maisden and Palmer are sent Agitatours to London to the Secret Committee there, whence they bring a resolution to rise October the 12th, with assurance that the Insurrection should be general. Thirdly, To attempt White-hall, upon some Shewnight, to secure New-Castle for a passage to Scotland, and Boston in Lincoln-shire for Correspondence with Foreign Parts, for Succours and Ammunition. Fourthly, To lay hold upon the Gentry. Fifthly, To oppose Subsidies and Chimny-money, to restore the Long Parliament, to establish a Gospel-Magistracy and Ministry, and to check the Clergy, Gentry and Lawyers. Sixthly, They preached over all the Nation in order to a general rising, calling it, following the Lamb, and inferring from that expression the lawfulness of the design, so it were carried on for the love of the Cause, and for no By-ends. Seventhly, They were to Garrison Glocester, Nottingham, &c. and to this purpose had several meetings at Leeds and the Spaw. Eighthly, They had a Secret Committee for two years before in London about the Plot, who had Listed Eighteen Thousands. Ninthly, They drew a Declaration to unite the Sectaries against the Government. Tenthly, They were to begin in Ireland. Eleventhly, To seize the Lord Falconbridge and the Lord Fairfax's Horses and Arms, with the rest of the Gentries and Clergies. This Plot was discover'd by some concern'd in it, and Thirty Executed for it.
Now though the discovery of this Plot and Execution of so many of the hottest of them, dash'd their hopes at present, and God's severe hand upon the Nation in the year--65 a little check'd their Ambition, and so one plague serv'd to stop another; yet no sooner was that over, but they are all at work again as eagerly as ever. The Gazette, publish'd April the 30th, 1666, hath these words:
At the Sessions in the Old Bayly, Iohn Rathbone, an old Army-Colonel, William Saunders, Henry Tucker, Thomas Flint, Thomas Evans, Iohn Miles, William Westcoat and Iohn Cole, (formerly Officers or Soldiers in the late rebellion) were Indicted for conspiring the Death of the King, and the overthrow of the Government, having laid their plot and contrivance for the surprizal of the Tower, the killing of his Grace the Lord General, Sir Iohn Robinson, Lieutenant of his Majestie's Tower of London, and Sir Richard Brown, and then to have declared for an equal division of Lands, &c. The better to effect this Hellish design, the City was to have been Fired, and the Portcullices to have been let down, to keep out all assistance, the Horseguard to have been surpriz'd in the Inns, where they were Quarter'd, several Ostlers having been gain'd to that purpose; the Tower was accordingly view'd, and its surprize order'd by Boats over the Moat, and from thence to scale the Wall; one Alexander, who is not yet taken, had likewise distributed Sums of money to these Conspirators; and for carrying on the design the more effectually, they were told of a great Council of the great ones that sate frequently in London, from whom Issued all Orders, which Council received their directions from another in Holland, which sate with the States, and the 3d of September was pitch'd on for the attempt, as being found by Lily's Almanack, and a Scheme erected for that purpose to be a lucky day; a Planet then ruling, which prognosticated the downfall of Monarchy; the Evidence against these persons was very full and clear, and they accordingly found guilty of High-Treason.
In the same year (viz. 1666) a company of Presbyterian Scots (Nine hundred says their own friend) rose up in arms, and renewed the Solemn League and Covenant: Which in their fight with the King's Forces, under Lieutenant-General Dalzel at Pentlandhills, were routed. Their Plea and Iustification of themselves for this fact (the bare relation whereof is sufficient condemnation) I shall give you in the words of some of them that were arraigned, condemned and executed for the same, delivered in their last Writings and Speeches, and recorded by their great Advocate in his Book intituled Napthtali. Thus Ten of them jointly testifie and subscribe, We suffer for renewing the Covenant, and in pursuance thereof, for preserving our selves by Arms against the Usurpation of the Prelates. One of these ten, Iohn Shields, declares singly thus, I suffer not for any Rebellion against his Majetie's lawfull authority, but for renewing of the Covenant, and for following the Ends thereof, as to the suppressing of Abjured Prelates and intruders upon the Lords flock, and the Restoring of the house of God by Presbyteries. And another of the ten thus, I designed no rebellion against lawfull authority, but the suppressing of Prelacy and Profanity, and the advancing of holiness. I did intend the restoring of our good Ministers; and thought it my duty to appear in helping the Lord against the Mighty. Thus Mr. M. Kaile, As soon as I heard of a party up in arms, I was moved to go along with them, being Bound by the Covenant against indifferency and neutrality in this matter, and to esteem every injury done to any engaged in this Covenant upon the account of it, as done to my self: very conscience of duty urged me to this.
In the year 1668 Iuly, Mr. Iames Mitchel (one of these Pentland-hill Rebels, and a Presbyterian Conventicle-Preacher) discharged a Pistol laden with three Bullets at the Arch-Bishop of St. Andrews, but missed him, and escaped then taking. But returning in the year 1673, was taken, and kept Prisoner till 1676; when in December he was brought to his tryal, and there the Bishop of Galloway and the Lord Halton deposed, that having asked him, what moved him to make such a bloody attempt, he answered That he did it because the Arch-bishop was an enemy to the people of God. In his Speech which was found in his pocket at his Execution at Edenburgh, (Ian. 18. 1676/7) and whereof he had transcribed several Copies, he thus justifies himself, I am brought here that I may be a witness for Gods despised truth and interest, who am called to seal the same with my blood. I bless my God that he hath thought me so much worthy to lay down my life in testimony of the Cause of Christ. In a Letter to a Friend thus he writes, As to Rebellion and Treason (as they term it) I answered to my Lord Chancellor, That it was no Rebellion, but a Duty which every one was bound to have performed in joining with that Party: As to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, I looked upon him to be the main instigator of all the oppression and bloodshed of my brethren.--I prosecuted the Ends of the Covenant, which was and is (in that part) the Overthrow of Prelates and Prelacy. These Murthering Prelates ought to be killed by the avenger of blood when he meeteth them. And in another Speech he hath these words, Happy shall he be that taketh this Prelatical brood, and dasheth them against the stones. And yet as bad as this man was, the Fanaticks owned, justified, honoured him. His Majestie's Advocate, who pursued him, receiving a threatning Letter, and the common talk of the Town was, that Mr. Iames Mitchel's blood should be revenged upon the whole order. From the West a private Message was sent to the Arch-bishop, to assure him, that if Mr. Iames were hanged, another should not fail to execute his design. And you shall next see, that they were as good as their word.
In the year 1679, May 3. the Arch-bishop of St. Andrews, as he was riding in his Coach from Kennoway to his House, was assaulted betwixt a 11 and 12 a clock in the forenoon by 11 or 12 of these ill-principled men: who wounded the Postilion in the face with a Sword, and stopped the Coach, and fired a Pistol at the Arch-bishop: but that missing him, they called to him by the name of Dog, Villain, Betrayer of Christ and his Church, &c. and bad him come out of his Coach to receive what he deserved for his wickedness against the Kirk of Scotland. Upon this his Daughter got out of the Coach, and fell on her knees, begging her Father's life: but they regarded neither prayers nor tears, threw her down several times, trampled on her, and wounded her. The Arch-bishop came out of the Coach, and seeing he must die, kneeled down to one of them, and said, Since you are resolved I must die, spare the life of my child here; and for this, Sir, give me your hand. And thereupon stretching his hand towards the cruel man, he had for a return a very great blow with a Shablè, which almost cut off his hand; and the Villain re-doubling his stroke, gave him another great wound upon the left eye. This stroke knocked him down: but getting upon his knees again, he said, Gentlemen, it is now enough, you have done your work; and holding up his hands (as well as he could) to heaven, he fervently cryed out, Lord Iesus; have mercy on my soul, and receive my spirit. Whilst he was in this posture of devotion, they wounded him in his hands and other parts of his body, till in a kind of composure he laid down his head upon his arm, saying, God forgive you, and I forgive you all. After this they gave him no less than sixteen wounds on his head, insomuch that it seemed to be all one wound. And pieces of his scattered skull and brains were some days after found on the ground. Having thus hacked and cleft his head, some of them as they were going away thought they heard him groan, which made them go back, and to make sure work, stir up his brains in the skull with the points of their Swords. Thus he died. It was made apparent upon the examining of the Inhabitants of Magus upon Oath, that these bloody Assassines, and many others which were strongly presumed to have been Abettors and Contrivers of this Murther, were notorious Fanaticks, frequenters of Field-Conventicles, and followers of Mr. Welsh and other intercommuned and rebellious Preachers. Five of the Complotters and Abettors of this horrid Murther chose to die, and to be hung up in Chains upon the place, rather than confess the sinfulness of the action. The Fanatical party foretold it in several places: and he who commanded the Foot for Mr. Welsh upon Reuparlaw, the famous Field-Conventicle, owned that their Friends thanked God for the Arch-bishop's death. Which neither they nor their Abettors will call Murther, when they have occasion to speak thereof.
Immediately after the Arch-bishop's death, the same month and year (May 29. 1679.) this sort of men (the Scotch Presbyterian Covenanters and Field-Conventiclers) brake forth into another insurrection and rebellion, for the promoting, as they declared, the Ends of the Covenant; increasing unto the number of fourteen or fifteen thousand. Who were overthrown by the King's Forces under the Conduct of the Duke of Monmouth at Bothwell-Bridge. They teach,
That the King hath no right to govern, because he hath revolted from the Solemn League and Covenant and damn the Act of Parliament for an Anniversary-day of Thanksgiving, May 29. for his Majestie's Restauration, and burn it publickly at the Cross of Rugland on the same 29 of May, together with the Act of Supremacy. Mr. Iohn King, a Presbyterian Preacher to these Rebels (who was executed of High Treason and Rebellion Aug. 4. 1679.) in his Last Speech says, I bear witness against all Oaths and Bonds contrary to our Covenant and Engagements, especially that Oath of Supremacy.--I bear my testimony against that horrid violation done to our Lord Iesus Christ in spoiling him of his Crown and Sceptre through that wofull Supremacy so much applauded to. The same says Mr. Iohn Kid, another of the same Preachers, in his Last Speech, Supremacy is destructive down-rightly to the sworn Covenants.--I am pressed in conscience to bear my testimony against, and abhorrence of every Usurpation that is made against Christ's Crown and Kingdom, original upon, and derivative from that which they call the Supremacy.
The same says the Author of Napthtali, p. 89, 90, 95, 123. And I believe, Many of our Dissenters, if they were tryed, as well as Papists, will not take the Oath of Supremacy. And to deny the King's Supremacy over all persons and in all causes, Ecclesiastick as well as Temporal, is known of all to be Popery.
And yet more of this wickedness proceeding from the same sort of men you shall hear, and that from their own Confessions.
Iames Skene being examined at Edenburg Nov. 13. 1680. in the presence of the Lords of the Privy Council, Whether he was with the Rebels at Bothwell-bridge, answers, That he thinks those persons were not Rebels, for that they were in defence of Gods cause, which he had honourably engaged them to. He owns and justifies the burning of the King's Acts of Parliament at Rutherglen, because they were against the Covenant: Declares, that he owns the Excommunication against the King used by Cargil, and thinks the reasons of it just: that he thinks the Killing of the Arch-bishop of St. Andrews was no Murther, and that the Actors thereof were upon their duty: that he thinks there is a declared war betwixt those who serve the Lord, and those who serve the King against the Covenant, and that it is lawfull to kill them in defence of the Gospel: that he thinks, the King being excommunicated, and there being now a lawfull war declared against him upon the account of the breach of the Covenant, it is lawfull to kill him, and to kill him, if he were passing along in his Coach, as the Arch-bishop of St. Andrews was, and to kill all that were in opposition to the Covenant. And all this he signed by writing his name, Iames Skene. And Archibald Steward being at the same time examined, declares That he was present at the Excommunication of the King at the Conventicle at Torwood, and was there in Arms, and that he was justly excommunicated, and that he disowns His Authority, and thinks he is not obliged to obey him, because he hath broken the Covenant: that he thinks it was lawfull to kill the Arch-bishop of St. Andrews, because he had betrayed the Kirk, and that he owns the Proclamation against the King at Sanchar, and the burning of the King's Acts of Parliament at Rutherglen as a duty, and owns and justifies Cargil's Covenant: Signed thus, Archibald Steward. And Nov. 15. in the presence of the Committee of Council he confesses, that in general they had a mind to kill any that should oppose them, and that they had a design to kill Tho. Kennoway in the Guard, because he had taken several of their party, and Mr. Iohn Park, Minister of Garrin, and Mr. Iames Hamilton, Minister of Borrowstonness, because they had been instrumental to discover Mr. Donald Cargil at Queens-Ferry; and that if they could have gotten any of the Bishops or Iudges in their hands, they would have killed them. And Nov. 16. he declares that Mr. Donald Cargil in his Preachings advised them to these designs. And Iohn Potter being examined Nov. 17. declares, he own and justifies the Declaration in Sanchar, and that he owns not the King for King, and thinks he owes no Obedience to Him.
All the former particulars are again expresly mentioned in the King's Proclamation issued forth upon this occasion, Nov. 22. 1680. Some of which I shall again relate from thence for further satisfaction to all. A treasonable Covenant was found with Mr. Donald Cargil, one of their seditious Preachers, on the 3d day of Iune last: wherein they declare Us an Usurper and the Devils Vicegerent.--And the 22d of Iune last, they affixed to the Market-Cross and other places of our Burgh of Sanchar, their treasonable Declaration, wherein they disown Us to be their King, calling themselves the Representatives of the true Presbyterian and Covenanted people of Scotland, and declaring an open War against Us, and all our Loyal Subjects. And a most treasonable Bond was found among the Papers of Richard Cameron: wherein they declare themselves loosed from their Allegiance to Us; which Bond was signed by Thomas Douglas, pretended Minister of the Gospel, Iohn Vallence, &c. And in October last they sacrilegiously excommunicated Us by Donald Cargil at a numerous Field-Conventicle at Torwood in Sterling-shire.--And by this Mock Excommunication, and the foresaid Declaration of War at Sanchar, they endeavour to justifie the lawfulness of killing Us, and our faithfull Ministers and Subjects. The Originals of all which Papers herein mentioned do lie in the hands of the Clerks of our Privy Council. Moreover, the Reality of this horrid Plot is further evident by the free confession of Iames Skene, Archibald Steward, and Iohn Potter: who in the face of our Privy Council have avowed and declared their owning of, and adherence to the aforesaid treasonable Covenant, Declaration and Excommunication: and with bare faces assert the lawfulness of killing Us their Sovereign, our only Brother, our Ministers, Bishops and Iudges; and that it is their Duty to kill Us and them according as they shall have power and opportunity.
All this is surely sufficient to convince every good Christian of the wickedness of these men. And upon this sad narration I appeal to all sincerely pious, Whether the King, or these Rebels; and whether the Arch-bishop of St. Andrews, or his Assassinates and their Abettors, be the worse men: Whether these Scotch Fanaticks be not a seditious and bloody sort of people: Whether we are not in danger of private Murthers and publick War by them: Whether our Episcopacy and Liturgy, or their Murthers and Rebellions, be the true Popery: Whether their doctrine, that the King having revolted from the Covenant, and the Iesuits, that the King being an Heretick, may be excommunicated, and hath no right to govern, and may lawfully be refisted by his Subjects with force of arms, be deprived of his dominion, and be killed; be not the same: Whether these men, when they are punished for their Murthers and Rebellions, suffer persecution for righteousness sake: Whether they are not sadly deluded, and whether they do not grosly profane Gods Name in pretending his authority for the said Villanies: Whether all ought not to turn from these pernicious Preachers.
Many are apt in excuse of these sinners to say, they were Papists in disguise, crept in among them, that did the evils, or these at least stirred them up to them. Whereas nothing is plainer, than that the chief Actors were eminent and well known Presbyterian Preachers and Covenanters; and the other numerous companies that rose in arms with these, can no more be thought Papists, than the Armies which fought against our late King, or that multitude that conspired his death. And if Popish Priests did stir them up to the wickednesses (as indeed they are always busie in machinating mischief against our Government that is the Bulwark against their Popery) how silly then are they, and how evily disposed (who yet pretend great knowledge and sanctity) to learn of these Teachers, and practice their hellish counsels? And it is acknowledged then that this is a Popish work. And what excuse to obey Pope or Devil? for says St. Peter, blaming Ananias for the sin, as his own act and deed, though tempted, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Come, excuse them not because they are Protestants, but (as is just) let them that act like Papists, fall with Papists. Confess'd it must be (if we are impartial) that many among our selves are stark naught. For hear again,
4. The Principles of certain of our Fanaticks: which are as pernicious and rebellious as the foresaid Practices. That such were the Principles of the foresaid men, their Deeds and Confessions manifest. I shall now recite only a few words of some others, and that out of their own Books where I read them.
Knox, History of Reform. L. 2. p. 190. Whilst vertue is contemned, and vice extolled (say the Lords of Scotland) while we are unjustly persecuted, what godly man can be offended, that we shall seek reformation of these enormities by force of arms, seeing that otherwise it is denied us? We are assured, that neither God, nor nature, nor any just law forbiddeth us. P. 313. If Princes (says Iohn Knox) do exceed their bounds, there is no doubt but they may be resisted even by power. P. 387. What ye may and ought to do by God's express commandment, that I can tell. The Idolater ought to die the death by the people of God.--A commandment is given, that if it be heard that Idolatry is committed in any one City, Inquisition shall be taken: and if it be found true, that then the whole body of the people arise and destroy that city, sparing in it neither man, woman nor child.--What Gods word commands to be punished in the people, is not to be absolved in the King. P. 389, 390. Gods law pronounces death to Idolaters without exception of persons.--I affirm that the fact of Iehu in destroying the house of his Master Ahab for Idolatry committed by him, is to be imitated of all those that prefer the true honour of the true worship of God to the affections of the flesh and wicked Princes. His Appel. p. 23. The punishment of Idolatry [Deut. 13.] doth not appertain to Kings only, but also to the whole people, yea to every member of the same. P. 22. And the Gentiles embracing Christ, are bound to the same covenant [viz. that in Duet. 13.]--And if any man go about to set up Idolatry, after that the verity hath been received and approved, then not only the Magistrates, but also the people are bound by that Oath which they have made to God, to revenge to the utmost of their power the injury done against his Majesty. P. 25. I say, Unto such a number as do boldly profess God's Religion, it is lawfull to punish the Idolaters with death, if by any means God give them power The Author of the Preface to the said History, p. 44. The Chimera of Passive Obedience is the invention of Court-parasites, a non ens.
Milton, Contra Salmas. Def. Reg. (printed 1652.) c. 3. p. 64. Rom. 13. Omnis anima, &c. Non tali, &c. Subjection is not commanded, Rom. 13. to a Magistrate that is not a terror to evil works, neither are we forbidden to resist such an one P. 70. Tulerunt Christiani, &c. The Christians suffered Princes of another Religion, it is true: but they were private men, and far inferior in strength. The same Author, Tenure of Kings (printed 1649.) P. 14. The people may as oft as they shall judge it for the best, depose the King, though no Tyrant
Iohn Goodwin, Anticavalierism: (printed 1643.) p. 23. The glory of Martyrdom doth not consist in suffering wicked men [Rulers] to destroy us, when God puts an opportunity into our hand to defend our selves; but when it comes to a necessity of suffering, in not baulking with Christ. The same Author, Defence of the sentence passed upon the late King by the High Court of Iustice. P. 11. Reason gives the superiority of Power to the People, or Parliament, and not to the King.--The people have the precedency in honour before the King. P. 12. When they find that the charge of maintaining Kingly Government hath been, and if continued, is like to be over-burdensome to the State, conceiving upon good ground withall that another form of government will accommodate the interest of the State upon equal or better terms with less expence, a People or State formerly governed by Kings may very lawfully turn these servants of theirs out of their doors P. 39. The people have a just and legal power in their Representative (which is the House of Commons) without the Lords to act and doe what soever they rightly judge conducible to their wealth and safety. P. 59. Nor doth any promise of Allegiance, Obedience, or subjection unto a King and his Successors or Posterity, though confirmed by an Oath, bind any longer or otherwise, either before God or men, than whilst and as this King or his Successors shall continue in the same deportment of themselves in the discharge of their trust and administration of their power, whereby they commended themselves unto us at the time when we swore such Allegiance unto them, and in consideration and expectation whereof the same was sworn by us. P. 60. The observation of the Oath of Allegiance by the Parliament would have been as sinfull to them, as the observation of Herod's Oath was to him, who killed Iohn the Baptist because he had so sworn. P. 90, 95. There never was for matter of guilt and death-deserving crimes a sentence more just and righteous awarded in any Court of Iudicature in any age throughout the whole world, than that which passed in the High Court of Iustice against the late King.
Rutherford, Lex, Rex: (printed 1644.) p. 371. Obj. Tertullian saith,
That the Christians might for strength and number have defended themselves against their Persecutors, but thought it unlawfull.
Ans. I ingeniously confess Tertullian was in that Error. P. 261. Obligation to suffer of wicked men falleth under no commandment of God, except in our Saviour. P. 319. Passive obedience is no where commanded, but only the Manner of suffering. P. 334. Though the King be present as an unjust invader in War against his innocent Subjects, he is absent as a King: and therefore the innocent may defend themselves.--The King as offering unjust violence to his innocent Subjects, is not King. 377. The Sovereign power of the Parliament is perfect without the King for all Parliamentary Acts.--It is false, that to an Act of Parliamentary Supremacy the consent of the King is required.--More false is it, that the King hath a Negative voice in Parliament. P. 68. Kings go not as heritage from father to son.
Baxter, Common-wealth: (printed 1659.) p. 420. to 425. Though a Nation wrong their King, yet may he not lawfully war against the publick good on that account, nor any help him in such a war,--A war raised against the body of a Nation, is by them to be construed to be against the common good. No war therefore against the body of a Nation by Prince or People, can be lawfull.--He that puts himself into a garb of hostility, is nor to be trusted to for mercy, but when there is no other remedy.--If Princes injury [from the people] be too great to be born, they may lay down their Crowns at pleasure,--If the Nation injuriously deprive themselves of a Worthy Prince, the hurt will be their own: but if it be necessarily to their welfare, it is no injury to him.--Though some injury to the King be the occasion of the War, it is the duty of all the people to defend the Common-wealth against him, so as that they protest against that injury. They resist no true authority in resisting him that warreth against the Common-wealth. P. 480. It cannot be a just War that is made against the Parliament by the King.--If I had known the Parliament had been the beginners, and in most fault, yet the ruine of our Representatives is a punishment greater than Any fault of theirs against a King can from him deserve: and their faults cannot disoblige me from defending the Common-wealth. P. 484. I am bound to submit to the present Government [in the year 1659.] as set over us by God, and to obey for conscience sake, and to behave my self as a Loyal Subject towards them.
P. 486. If such a War [speaking of our late Civil War] could not be prevented, I must take the same side as then I did. And my judgment tells me, that if I should doe otherwise, I should be guilty of Treason or disloyalty against the Sovereign Power of the land, and of perfidiousness to the Common-wealth. P. 488. If I had taken up Arms against the Parliament in that War, my conscience tells me I had been a Traytor, and guilty of resisting the Highest Powers says our present Bishop of Lincoln) We swear that the King is the Only Supreme Governour: Supreme, and so none above him: and Only Supreme, and so none co-ordinate or equal to him. So that by our known Laws our King is Solo Deo minor, invested with such a Supremacy as excludes both Pope and People and all the World, God Almighty only excepted, from having any power, jurisdiction or authority over him.
[See his Proofs from the Laws p. 5. to 8.] I add, Stat. 13 Car. 2. c. 1. It is enacted, that if any person shall maliciously and advisedly affirm, that both or either Houses of Parliament have a Legislative power without the King, he shall incur the penalty of a Premunire mentioned in the Stat. of 16 Rich. 2. And it is also there declared, that all Ordinances of both or either Houses of Parliament for imposing of Oaths, Covenants or Engagements, Levying of Taxes, or Raising of Forces and Arms, to which the Royal Assent either in Person or by Commission was not expresly had or given, were in the very first creation and making, and still are, and so shall be taken to be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever. And Stat. 13. Car. 2. c. 6. & Stat. 14. c. 3. it is declared, that within all his Majestie's Realms and Dominions the sole Supreme Government, Command and Disposition of the Militia, and of all Forees by Sea and Land, and of all Forts and Places of strength is and ever was the undoubted Right of his Majesty, and his Royal Predecessors, Kings and Queens of England, and that both or either Houses of Parliament cannot nor ought to pretend to the same, nor can nor lawfully may raise or levy any War, Offensive or Defensive, against his Majesty, his Heirs or lawfull Successors. And Stat. 13. Car. 2. c. 1. & Stat. 14. c. 4. it is declared, that it is not lawfull upon Any pretence whatsoever to take Arms against the King: and that the position of taking Arms by His Authority against His Person, or against those that are Commissionated by Him, is Trayterous. And long before, 25. Edw. 3. Stat. 5. c. 2. it is declared High Treason to levy War against the King, or to adhere to his enemies within the Realm, giving them aid or comfort..
Eutactus Philodemius, Origen of Civil Power (printed 1649.) p. 32. There is no reason why an office of so great trust as the government of a Kingdom should be Hereditary, in respect of the miserable effects that must ensue.
Regal Tyranny: (Printed 1647.) p. 38. Though the King be the Supreme Officer (which is all and the most he is) yet he is not the Supreme Power; for the absolute supreme power is the people in general, made up of every individual; and the legal and formal supreme power is only their Commissioners, their Collective or Representative body chosen by them, and assembled in Parliament. P. 43. The House of Lords are mere Vsurpers and Incroachers, and were never intrusted by the People with any Legislative power; who merely sit by the King's Prerogative, which is a mere shadow, and in truth nothing at all, there being no Law-making power in Himself, but merely and only at the most a Law-executing power; who by his Coronation-Oath is bound to pass and assent to All such Laws as his People or Commons shall chuse. P. 57. It is scarce possible to commit that act of Tyranny that Charles Stuart is not guilty of: and therefore de jure he hath absolved all his people from their Allegiance and Obedience to him. P. 61. It is lawfull in the sight of God as well as man for a people to withdraw their Obedience to that Magistrate, or King, that refuseth to govern them by legal justice; but oppresseth them contrary to the end of the trust reposed in him. P. 85. Only the legal Commissioners of the people, commonly called the Commons of England have an original and true power to erect judicatures, and not the King, who is not to give a law unto his people, but his people vnto him. P. 92. Our House of Peers are no legal Iudicature at all, nor have any true Legislative or Law-making power at all in them, having never in the least derived it from the people, the true Legislators and Fountain of power, from whom only and alone must be fetched all derivative power that can be esteemed just.--Up with the pretended power of the Lords by the roots, and let them sit no longer as they do, unless they will put themselves upon the power of their Country, to be freely thereby chosen as their Commissioners to sit in Parliament: for in right all their actions now are unbinding and invalid.
I have now satisfied my design in producing these Principles, which are apparently Seditious and Rebellious, and Pernicious to our Government: and the iniquity of them is therefore as apparent. Let all that love Truth and Righteousness, Peace and Loyalty, pray they may never spread, and we may never feel their sad effects.
Almighty God! so rule the heart of our Sovereign Lord and Supreme Governour King Charles, that He knowing whose Minister he is, may above all things seek thy honour and glory: And grant that all his Subjects, duly considering whose Authority he hath, may faithfully serve, honour, and humbly obey him, in thee, and for thee, according to thy blessed word and ordinance, through Iesus Christ our Lord. Amen.