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Lex Rex by S. Rutherford Questions 41-44

Question XLI.

Whether doth the P. Prelate upon good grounds ascribe to us the doctrine of jesuits in these questions of lawful defensive wars.

The P. Prelate, without all ground, will have us all Jesuits in this point, but if we make good that this truth was in Scripture before a Jesuit was in the earth, he falleth from his cause.

P. Prelate (c. 1, p. 1, 2). — The Begardi saith, There was no government, no law given to the just. It feareth me this age fancieth to itself some such thing, and have learned of Koran, Dathan, &c.

Ans. — This calumniator, in the next words, belieth himself when he saith, We presuppose that those with whom we are to enter in lists, do willingly grant that government is not only lawful and just, but necessary both for church and commonwealth: then we fancy no such thing as he imputeth to us.

P. Prelate. — Some said that the right of dominion is founded on grace, whether the Waldenses and Huss held any such tenet, I cannot now insist to prove or disprove. Gerson and others held that there must be a new title and right to what men possess. Too many too confidently hold these or the like. Ans. — 1. That dominion is founded upon grace as its essential pillar, so as wicked men be no magistrates, because they are in mortal sin, was falsly imputed to ancient protestants, the Waldenses, Wicliff, and Huss, by papists; and this day by Jesuits, Suarez, Bellarmine, Becanus. The P. Prelate will leave them under this calumny, that he may offend papists and Jesuits as little as he can, but he would lay it on us; but if the P. Prelate think that dominion is not founded on grace, de jure, that rulers should have that spirit that God put on the seventy elders for their calling, and that they ought not to be “men fearing God and hating covetousness,” as Gerson and others did, he belieth the Scripture. 2. It is no error of Gerson that believers have a sipritual right to their civil possessions, but by Scripture, 1 Cor. iv. 21; Rev. xxi. 7.

P. Prelate. — The Jesuits are ashamed of the error of casuists, who hold that, directum imperium, the direct and primary power, supreme, civil, and ecclesiastical, is in the Pope; and, therefore, they give an indirect directive and coercive power to him over kings and states, in ordine ad spiritualia, so may he king and unking princes at his pleasure. Our presbyterians, if they run not fully this way, are very near to it.

Ans. — 1. The windy man would seem versed in schoolmen. He should have named some casuists, who hold any like thing. 2. The presbyterians must be popes, because they subject kings to the gospel, and Christ’s sceptre in church censures, and think Christian kings may be rebuked for blasphemy, bloodshed, &c., whereas prelates, in ordine ad diabolica, murder souls of kings. 3. Prelates do king princes. A popish archprelate, when our king was crowned, put the crown on king Charles’ head, the sword and sceptre in his hand, anointed him in his hands, crown, shoulders, arms, with sacred oil. The king mast kiss the archbishop and bishops. Is not this to king princes in ordine ad spiritualia? And those that kingeth may unking and judge what relation the popish archbishop Spotswood had, when he proffered to the king the oath that the popish kings sweareth to maintain the professed religion, (not one word of the true protestant religion,) and will carefully root out all heretics and enemies (that is protestants as they expone it) to the true worship of God, that shall be convicted by the church of God of the foresaid crimes. And when the prelates professed they held not their prelacies of the king, but of the Pope indeed: who are then nearest to the Pope’s power, in ordine ad spiritualia? 4. How will this black-mouthed calumniator make presbyterians to dethrone kings? He hath written a pamphlet of the inconsistency of monarchy and presbyterian government, consisting of lies, invented calumnies of his church, in which he was baptized. But the truth is, all his arguments prove the inconsistency of monarchs and parliaments, and transform any king into a most absolute tyrant; for which treason he deserveth to suffer as a traitor.

P. Prelate (q. 1, c. 1). The puritan saith that all power civil is radically and originally seated in the community; he here joineth hands with the Jesuit.

Ans. — In six pages he repeateth the same things, 1. Is this such an heresy, that a colony cast into America by the tyranny of popish prelates, have power to choose their own government? All Israel was heretical in this; for David could not be their king, though designed and anointed by God, (1 Sam. xvi.,) till the people (2 Sam. v.) put forth in act this power, and made David king in Hebron. 2. Let the Prelate make a syllogism, it is but ex utraque affirmante in secunda figura, logic like the bellies of the court, in which men of their own way is disgraced and cast out of grace and court; because in this controversy of the king with his two parliaments, they are llke Erasmus in God’s matters, who said, Lutherum nec accuso, nec defendo. He is discourted, whoever he be, who is in shape like a puritan, and not fire and sword against religion and his country, and oath and covenant with God; and so it is this: The Jesuit teacheth that power of government is in the community originally. The puritan teacheth, that power of government is in the community originally; therefore, the puritan is a Jesuit. But so the puritan is a Jesuit, because he and the Jesuit teacheth that there is one God and three persons. And if the Prelate like this reasoning, we shall make himself and the prelates, and court-divines, Jesuits upon surer grounds.

1. Jesuits teach, (1.) The Pope is not the antichrist. (2.) Christ locally descended to hell to free some out of that prison. (3.) It was sin to separate from Babylonish Rome. (4.) We are justified by works. (5.) The merit of fasting is not to be condemned. (6.) The mass” is no idolatry. (7.) The Church is the judge of controversies. (8.) All the Arminian points are safer to be believed, than the contrary; yea, and all the substantiate of popery are true, and catholic doctrine to be preached and printed. 2. The prelates and court-divines, and this Prelate, conspireth in all these with the Jesuits, as is learnedly and invincibly proved in the treatise, called au0tokatakri/sij the Canterburian self-conviction; to which no man of the prelatical and Romish faction durst ever make answer for their hearts; and see then who are Jesuits. 3. This doctrine was taught by lawyers, protestants, yielded to by papists, before any Jesuit was whelped in rerum natura. Never learned man wrote of policy, till of late, but he held power of government, by the light of nature, must be radically and originally in a community. The P. Prelate saith, Jesuits are not the fathers of this opinion (c. 1, p. 12). How then can the liar say, that the puritan conspireth with the Jesuit? Suarez, the Jesuit, (de primat. sum. pontifi. l. 3, c. 2, n. 10,) Non est novum, aut a Cardinali Bellarmine inventum. The Jesuit Tannerus, will not have their family the mother of this opinion, (tom 2, disp. 5, de leg, q. 5, in 12, q. 95, 96; Dubi. 1, n. 7). Sine dubiocommunal omnium Theologorum et Jurisperitorum sententia, &c. The Jesuit Tolet, (in Rom, xiii.,) taketh it for a ground, that the civil powers are from God, by the natural mediation of men, and civil societies. 4. Jesuits teach that there is no lawful Christian society, truly politic, that hath a near and formal power to choose and ordain their own magistrates, but that which acknowledgeth subjection, and the due regulation of their creating of magistrates, to be due and proper to the Pope of Rome. We acknowledge nowise the bishop of Rome, for a lawful bishop and pastor at all. But this popish Prelate doth acknowledge him, for he hath these words, (c. 5, p. 58,) “It is high presumption in the Pope to challenge to himself the title or right of Christ’s universal vicar on earth, by divine right. The Pope, the bishop of Rome, hath no more by divine right, (what he may have by positive ecclesiastical right is not pertinent for us now to examine and discuss,) no higher privilege, (except it be in extent,) than the meanest bishop of the world in his diocese.” And amongst all proofs, he passing by Scriptures, which should prove, or improve a divine right, he will content himself with one proof of Cyprian, (de unitat. Eccles.,) and endeth with these words, — “Would God, both sides in this, and other controversies, would submit to the judgment of the holy fathers.”

1. Hence the P. Prelate, in his fourth article, (the other two I shall touch anon,) maketh puritans grosser than Jesuits, in dethroning kings; because if the king be deficient, the people may resume their power, and govern for him, and so dethrone the king. But Bellarmine (l 3, q. de laic.) holdeth the people cannot dethrone the king, but, in certis casibus, in some cases, that is, (as Suarez saith,) si Rex sua potestate in manifestam, (Civitatis ceu Regni,) perniciem abutatur. But I will demonstrate, that if papists hold that the Pope may dethrone kings, this Prelate is of their mind; for, 1. The words I cited make good that he is for the Pope’s supremacy; (now it is a joint or part of his supremacy, to king and unking princes.) 2. They make good that he is a papist; for, 1. It is presumption in the Pope to challenge to himself that he is Christ’s universal vicar on earth, by divine right. Why saith he not, by no right at all, but only he is not Christ’s vicar by divine right; for it is evident, that papists make him Christ’s vicar only by ecclesiastical right; for they profess succession of popes to this day cannot be proved but by tradition, not by Scripture.

2. The Pope’s supremacy, by papists, is expressly reckoned amongst unwritten traditions, and so there is no necessity that the right of it be proved from Scripture.

3. The Prelate expressly saith, “He will not discuss the ecclesiastical right that the Pope hath to be Christ’s vicar;” and by that he clearly insinuateth that he hath a right to be Christ’s vicar, besides a scriptural and divine right; only, for offending papists, he will not discuss it.

4. He hath no higher privilege, saith he, than other bishops, except in extent, by divine right. Now other bishops, as officers, in nature different from presbyters, (for of such the P. Prelate must speak in his own dialect,) have their office by divine right; and this the Prelate’s word must include, else he saith nonsense to the matter in hand. And, in extent, the Pope hath, by divine right, more than other bishops have. Now what is the Pope of Rome’s extent? All know it is the whole catholic visible church on earth. If then, all bishops be particular ambassadors in Christ’s stead, (2 Cor. v. 20,) and so legates and deputies of Christ, he who by divine right is a bishop in extent over the whole world, is as like one that calleth himself the universal vicar of Christ, as one egg is like another. The doctrine taught by this Prelate, so popish, and hints, yea, are more than evidences, of gross popery in this book, and his other pamphlet against presbyteries. And his desire that the controversy, concerning the Pope’s supremacy and others, were determined with submission to the judgment of the fathers, do cry that he is but a rotten papist. For why will he submit all other controversies to the judgment of the fathers? Why not to the prophets and apostles? Can fathers decide controversies better than the Word of God? A reason cannot be dreamed of why the fathers should be judges, and not the Scriptures, except that the Scriptures are obscure. Their authority and light cannot determine and judge controversies, except in so far as they have authority from fathers and the church; and we know this to be proprium quarto modo, proper to Jesuits and papists, to cry, Fathers, fathers, in all controversies, though the fathers be more for us than for them, except two things: — 1. What fathers speak for us, are corrupted by them. 2. What were but errors in fathers, when children add contumacy to error, becomes the heresies of the sons.

And it is most false that we join with Jesuits. 1. We teach no more against tyrants, in exercitio, than Grotius, Barclay, and Winzetus, in the matter of deposing kings; and in this, royalists conspire with Jesuits. 2. We deny that the Pope may loose subjects from the oath of fidelity when a king turn eth heretical. 3. That people, at the Pope’ commandment, are to dethrone kings for heresy; so do the prelates, and their fellows the papists, teach; so Gregory VII. practised; so Aquinas taught, (22 q. 12. ar. 2. Antonin, (sum. par. 3. t. 22, c. 3, sect. 7.) “Thou hast put all things under the Pope’s feet,” oves, id est, Christianos; boves. Judusos et hereticos; pecora, Paganos; so Navar. (1. 1, c. 13,) Pagans have no jurisdiction. Jaco. Symanca, (de Catho. Instit. tit. 45, n. 25,) “Catholica uxor heretico viro debitum reddere nontenetur” Item, Constat. hæreticum privatum esse omni dominio, naturali, civili, politico, naturali quod habet in filios, nam propter hæresin patris efficiuntur filii sui juris, civili, quod habet in servos, ab eo enim servi liberantur, politico, quod rerum domini habent in subditos, ita Bannes, (22. q. 12, art. 10.) Gregor. (de valent. 22. dis. 1, q. 12, p. 2, lod. Mol. to. 1, de just. et jur. tract. 2, dis. 29, v. 3.) Papists hold that generatio clerici est corruptio subditi, churchmen are not subjects under the king’s Law. It is a canonical privilege of the clergy, that they are not subject to the king’s civil laws. Now this Prelate and his fellows made the king swear, at his coronation, to maintain all canonical privileges of the prelatical clergy, the very oath and words sworn by all the popish kings.

P. Prelate. — Power is given by the multitude to the king immediately, and by God mediately, not so much by collation, as by approbation, how the Jesuit and puritan walk all along in equal pace. See Bellarmine, l. 1. de liac. c. 6. Suarez cont. sect. Angl. l. 2. c. 3.

Ans. — It is a calumny that we teach that the power of the king is from God mediately, by mere approbation; indeed, a fellow of his, a papist, writing against the king’s supremacy, Anthony Capell saith,[1] Saul was made king, and others also, by God’s permission, and Deo invito et irato, God being angry, that is not our doctrine; but with what real efficiency God hath made men and communities rational and social men with the same hath he made them by instinct of nature, by the mediation of reason, to create a king; and Bellarmine and Suarez say not God maketh kings by approbation only.

P. Prelate. — The people may change monarchy into aristocracy or democracy, or aristocracy into monarchy; for aught I know, they differ not in this neither.

Ans. 1. — The P. Prelate knoweth not all things — the two Jesuits, Bellarmine and Suarez are produced only, as if they were all Jesuits; and Suarez saith, (De prim. po. l. 3, n, 4,) “Donationem absotutam, semel valide factam revocari non posse, neque in totum, neque ex parce, maxime quando onerosa fuit,” If the people once give their power to the king, they cannot resume it without cause; and laying down the grounds of Suarez and other Jesuits, that our religion is heresy, they do soundly collect this consequence, “That no king can be lord of the consciences of their subjects, to compel them to an heretical religion.” We teach that the king of Spain hath no power over the consciences of protestant subjects to force them to idolatry, and that their souls are not his subjects, but only their persons, and in the Lord. 2. It is no great crime, that if a king degenerate in a tyranny, or if the royal fine fail, that we think the people have liberty to change monarchy into aristocracy, aut contra. Jesuits deny that the people can make this change without the Pope’s consent. We judge neither the great bishop, the Pope, nor the little popes, ought to have hand in making kings.

P. Prelate. — They say the power is derived to the king from the people, comulative or communicative, non privative, by way of communication, not by way of privation, so as the people denude not themselves of this sovereignty. As the king maketh a lieutenant in Ireland, not to denude himself of his royal power, but to put him in trust for his service. If this be their mind, the king is in a poor case. The principal authority is in the delegate, and so the people is still judge, and the king their deputy.

Ans. — The P. Prelate taketh on him to write, he knoweth not what, this is not our opinion. The king is king, and hath the people’s power, not as their deputy.

1. Because the people is not principal judge, and the king subordinate. The king, in the executive power of laws, is really a sovereign above the people; a deputy is not so.

2. The people have irrevocably made over to the king their power of governing, defending, and protecting themselves, I except the power of sell-preservation, which people can no more make away, it being sinless nature’s birthright, than the liberty of eating, drinking, sleeping; and this the people cannot resume, except in case of the king’s tyranny; there is no power by the king so irrevocably resigned to his servant or deputy, but he may use it himself.

3. A delegate is accountable for all he doth to those that put him in trust, whether he do ill or well. The king, in acts of justice, is not accountable to any; for if his acts be not liable to high suspicions of tyranny, no man may say to him, What dost thou? only in acts of injustice; and those so tyrannous, that they be inconsistent with the habitual fiduciary repose and trust put on him, he is to render accounts to the parliament, which representeth the people.

4. A delegate in esse, in fieri, both that he may be a delegate, and that he may continue a delegate, whether he do ill or well, dependeth on his pleasure who delegateth him; but though a king depend in fieri, in regard of his call to the crown, upon the suffrages of his people, yet that he may be continued king, he dependeth not on the people simply, but only in case of tyrannical administration, and in this sense Suarez and Bellarmine spake with no more honesty than we do, but with more than prelates do, for they profess any emissary of hell may stab a protestant king. We know the prelates profess the contrary, but their judgment is the same with Jesuits in all points; and since they will have the Pope Christ’s vicar, by such a divine right as they themselves are bishops, and have the king under oath to maintain the clergy, bishops, and all their canonical privileges, (amongst which the bishops of Rome’s indirect power in ordine ad spiritualia, and to dethrone kings who turn heretics, is one principal right,) I see not how prelates are not as deep in treason against kings as the Pope himself, and therefore, P. Prelate, take the beam out of your own eye.

The P. Prelate taketh unlearned pains to prove that Gerson, Occam, Jac. de Almaine, and the Parisian doctors, maintained these same grounds anent the people’s power over kings in the case of tyranny, and that before Luther and Calvin were in the world; and this is to give himself the lie, that Luther, Calvin, and we, have not this doctrine from Jesuits; and what is Calvin’s mind is evident, (Instit. l. 4, c. 4,) all that the estates may coerce, and reduce in order a tyrant, else they are deficient in their trust that God hath given them over the commonwealth and church; and this is the doctrine for which royalists cry out against Knox of blessed memory, Buchanan, Junius Brutus, Bouchier, Rossæus, and Althusius. Luther, in scripto ad pastorem, (tom. 7, German, fol. 386,) bringeth two examples for resistance; the people resisted Saul, when he was willing to kill Jonathan his son, and Ahikam and other princes rescued Jeremiah out of the hands of the king of Judah; and Gerardus citeth many divines who second Luther in this, as Bugenliagius, Justus Jonas, Nicholas Ambsderffius, George Spalatinus, Justus Menius, Christopher Hofmanus. It is known what is the mind of protestant divines, as Beza, Pareus, Melancthon, Bucanus, Polanus, Chamer, and all the divines of France, of Germany, and of Holland. No wonder than prelates were upon the plot of betraying the city of Rochelle, and of the protestant church there, when they then will have the protestants of France, for their defensive wars, to be rebels, and siders with Jesuits, when, in these wars, Jesuits sought their blood and ruin.

The P. Prelate having shown his mind concerning the deposing of Childerick by the Pope, (of which I say nothing, but the Pope was an antichristian usurper, and the poor man never fit to bear a crown,) he goeth on to set down an opinion of some mute authors; he might devise a thousand opinions that way, to make men believe he had been in a world of learned men’s secrets, and that never man saw the bottom of the controversy, while he, seeing the escapes of many pens, (as supercilious Bubo praiseth,) was forced to appear a star new risen in the firmament of pursuivants, and reveal all dreams, and teach all the new statists, the Gamaliels, Buchanan, Junius Brutus, and a world who were all sleeping, while this Lucifer, the son of the night, did appear, this new way of laws, divinity, and casuists’ theology.

P. Prelate. — They hold sovereign power is primarily and naturally in the multitude, from it derived to the king, immediately from God. The reason of which order is, because we cannot reap the fruits of government unless by compact we submit to some possible and accidental inconveniences.

Ans. 1. — Who saith so the P. Prelate cannot name, — That sovereign power is primarily and naturally in the multitude. Virtually (it may be) sovereignty is in the multitude, but primarily and naturally, as heat is in the fire, light in the sun, I think the P. Prelate dreamed it; no man said it but himself; for what attribute is naturally in a subject, I conceive may directly and naturally be predicated thereof. Now the P. Prelate hath taught as this very natural predication. “Our dreadful and sovereign lord, the multitude, commandeth this and that.”

2. This is no more reason for a monarchy than for a democracy, for we can reap the fruits of no government except we submit to it.

3. We must submit in monarchy (saith he) to some possible and accidental inconveniences. Here be soft words, but is subversion of religion, laws, and liberties of church and state. Introducing of popery, Arminianism, of idolatry, altar-worship, the mass, (proved by a learned treatise, “the Canterburian self-conviction,” printed 1641, third ed., never answered, couched under the name of inconveniency,) the pardoning of the innocent blood of hundreds of thousand protestants in Ireland, the killing of many thousand nobles, barons, commons, by the hands of papists in arms against the law of the land, the making of England a field of blood, the obtruding of an idolatrous service-book, with armies of men, by sea and land, to block up the kingdom of Scotland, are all these inconveniences only?

4. Are they only possible and accidental? But make a monarch absolute, as the P. Prelate doth, and tyranny is as necessary and as much intended by a sinful man, inclined to make a god of himself, as it is natural to men to sin, when they are tempted, and to be drunken and giddy with honour and greatness. Witness the kings of Israel and Judah, though de jure they were not absolute. Is it accidental to Nero, Julian, to the ten horns that grew out of the woman’s head, who sat upon the scarlet coloured beast, to make war against the Lamb and his followers, especially the spirit of Satan being in them?

P. Prelate. — They infer, 1. They cannot, without violation of a divine ordinance and breach of faith, resume the authority they have placed in the king. 2. It were high sin to rob authority of its essentials. 3. This ordinance is not a3logoj but eu0doki/a and hath urgent reasons.

Ans. 1. — These nameless authors cannot infer that an oath is broken which is made conditionally; all authority given by the people to the king is conditional, that he use it for the safety of the people; if it be used for their destruction, they break no faith to resume it, for they never made faith to give up their power to the king upon such terms, and so they cannot be said to resume what they never gave.

2. So the P. Prelate maketh power to act all the former mischiefs, the essentials of a king. Balaam is not worthy his wages for prophesying thus, that the king’s essentials is a power of blood, and destructive to people, law, religion, and liberties of church and state, for otherwise we teach not, that people may resume from the king authority and power to disarm papists, to root out the bloody Irish, and in justice serve them as they have served us.

3. This ordinance of the people, giving lawful power to a king for the governing of the people in peace and godliness, is God’s good pleasure, and hath just reasons and causes. But that the people make over a power to one man, to act all the inconveniences above named, I mean the bloody and destructive inconveniences, hath nothing of God or reason in it.

P. Prelate. — The reasons of this opinion are: — 1. If power sovereign were not in one, he could not have strength enough to act all necessary parts and acts of government. 2. Nor to prevent divisions which attend multitudes, or many endowed with equal power; and the authors say, they must part with their native right entirely for a greater good, and to prevent greater evils. 3. To resume any part of this power, of which the people have totally divested themselves, or to limit it, is to disable sovereignty from government, loose the sinews of all society, &c. Ans. 1. — I know none for this opinion, but the P. Prelate himself. The first reason may be made rhyme, but never reason: for though there be not absolute power to good and ill, there may be strength of limited power in abundance in the king, and sufficient for all acts of just government, and the adequate end of government, which is, salus populi, the safety of the people. But the royalist will have strength to be a tyrant, and act all the tyrannical and bloody inconveniences of which we spake, an essential part of the power of a king; as if weakness were essential to strength, and a king could not be powerful as a king, to do good, and save and protect, except he had power also as a tyrant to do evil, and to destroy and waste his people. This power is weakness, and no part of the image of the greatness of the King of kings, whom a king representeth.

2. The second reason condemneth democracy and aristocracy as unlawful, and maketh monarchy the only physic to cure these; as if there were no government an ordinance of God save only absolute monarchy, which indeed is no ordinance of God at all, but contrary to the nature of a lawful king. (Deut. xvii. 3,)

3. That people must part with their native right totally to make an absolute monarch, is as. if the whole members of the body would part with their whole nutritive power, to cause the milt to swell, which would be the destruction of the body.

4. The people cannot divest themselves of power of defensive wars more than they can part with nature, and put themselves in a condition inferior to a slave, who, if his master, who hath power to sell him, invade him unjustly, to take away his life, may oppose violence to unjust violence. And the other consequences are null.


[1] Tract, contra primatum Regis Angliæ.

Question XLII.

Whether all Christian kings are dependent from Christ, and may be called his vicegerents.

The P. Prelate taketh on him to prove the truth of this; but the question is not pertinent, it belongeth to another head, to the king’s power in church matters. I therefore only examine what he saith, and follow him.

P. Prelate. — Sectaries have found a query of late, that kings are God’s, not Christ’s lieutenants on earth. Romanists and puritans erect two sovereigns in every state, — the Jesuit in the Pope, the puritan in the presbytery.

Ans. 1. — We give a reason why God hath a lieutenant, as God; because kings are gods, bearing the sword of vengeance against seditious and bloody prelates, and other ill doers. But Christ, God-man, the Mediator and head of the body — the church, hath neither pope nor king to be head under him.

The sword is communicable to men; but the headship of Christ is communicable to no king, nor to any created shoulders. 2. The Jesuit maketh the Pope a king; and so this P. Prelate maketh him, in extent, the bishop of bishops, and so king, as I have proved. But we place no sovereignty in presbyteries, but a mere ministerial power of servants, who do not take on them to make laws and religious ceremonies, as prelates do, who indeed make themselves kings and lawgivers in God’s house.

P. Prelate. — We speak of Christ as head of the church. Some think that Christ was king by his resurrection, jure acquisito, by a new title, right of merit. I think he was a king from his conception.

Ans. — 1. You declare hereby, that the king is a ministerial head of the church, under the head Christ. All our divines, disputing against the Pope’s headship, say, No mortal man hath shoulders for so glorious a head. You give the king such shoulders. But why are not the kings, even Nero, Julian, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar, vicegerents of Christ, as mediator, as priest, as redeemer, as prophet, as advocate, presenting our prayers to God his father? What action, I pray you, have Christian kings, by office, under Christ, in dying and rising from the dead for us, in sending down the Holy Ghost, preparing mansions for us? Now, it is as proper and incommunicably reciprocal with the mediator to be the only head of the body, the church, (Col. i. 18,) as to be the only redeemer and advocate of his church.

2. That Christ was king from his conception, as man born of the Virgin Mary, suiteth well with papists, who will have Christ, as man, the visible head of the church; that so as Christ-man is now in heaven, he may have a visible pope to be head in all ecclesiastical matters. And that is the reason why this P. Prelate maketh him head of the church by an ecclesiastical right, as we heard; and so he followeth Becanus the Jesuit in this, and others of his fellows.

P. Prelate. — 1. Proof. If kings reign by [email protected] per, in and through Christ, as the wisdom of God and the mediator, then are kings the vicegerents of Christ as mediator; but the former is said, Prov. viii. 15, 16; so Dr Andrews, of blessed memory.

Ans. 1. — I deny the major. All believers living the life of God, engrafted in Christ as branches in the tree, (John xv. 1, 2,) should, by the same reason, be vicegerents of the Mediator; so should the angels to whom Christ is a head, (Col. ii. 10,) be his vicegerents; and all the judges and constables on earth should be under-mediators, for they live and act in Christ; yea, all the creatures, in the Mediator, are made new, (Rev. xxi. 5; Rom. viii. 20-22.) 2. Dr Andrew’s name is a curse on the earth, his writings prove him to be a popish apostate. P. Prelate. — 2. Christ is not only king of his church, but in order to his church, King over the kings and kingdoms of the earth. (Psal. ii. 5, 8.) 3. Matt xxi. 18, “To him is given all power in heaven and earth;” therefore, all sovereignty over kings. Ans. 1. — If all these be Christ’s vicegerents, over whom he hath obtained power, then, because the Father hath given him power over all flesh, to give them life eternal, (John xvii. 1, 2,) then are all believers his vicegerents, yea, and all the damned men and devils, and death and hell, are his vicegerents; for Christ, as mediator, hath all power given to him as king of the church, and so power kingly over all his enemies, “to reign until he make them his footstool,” (Psal cx. 1, 2,) “to break them with a rod of iron.” (Psal. ii. 9; 1 Cor. xv. 24-27; Rev. i. 18, 20; v. 10-15.) And, by that same reason, the P. Prelate’s fourth and fifth arguments fall to the ground, He is heir of all things; therefore, all things are his vicegerents. What more vain? He is Prince of the kings of the earth, and King of Ogs, of kings, of his enemies; therefore, sea and land are his vicegerents.

P. Prelate (p. 58). — Kings are nurse-fathers of the church, therefore they hold their crowns of Christ. Divines say, that by men in sacred orders Christ doth rule his church mediately in those things which primely concern salvation, and that by kings’ sceptres and power he doth protect his church, and what concerneth external pomp, order, and decency. Then, in this latter sense, kings are no less the immediate vicegerents of Christ than bishops, priests, and deacons, in the former.

Ans. 1. — Because kings hold their crowns of Christ as mediator and redeemer, it followeth, by as good consequence, kings are sub-mediators, and under-priests, and redeemers, as vicegerents. Christ, as king, hath no visible royal vicegerents under him. 2. Men in holy orders, sprinkled with one of the papists’ five blessed sacraments, such as antichristian prelates, unwashed priests to offer sacrifices, and popish, deacons, are no more admitted by Christ to enter into his sanctuary as governors, than the leper into the camp of old, and the Moabite and Ammonite were to enter into the congregation of the Lord (Deut. xxiii. 3); therefore, we have excommunicated this P. Prelate and such Moabites out of the Lord’s house. What be the things that do not primely concern salvation, the P. Prelate knoweth, to wit, images in the church, altar-worship, antichristian ceremonies, which primely concern damnation.

3. I understand not what the P. Prelate meaneth, That the king preserveth external government in order and decency. In Scotland, in our parliament, 1633, he prescribed the surplice, and he commanded the service-book, and the mass-worship. The Prelate degradeth the king here, to make him only keep or preserve the prelates’ mass-clothes; they intended, indeed, to make the king but the Pope’s servant, for all they say and do for him now.

4. If the king be vicegerent of Christ in prescribing laws for the external ordering of the worship, and all their decent symbolical ceremonies, what more doth the Pope and the prelate in that kind? He may, with as good warrant, preach and administer the sacraments.

P. Prelate. — Kings have the sign of the cross on their crowns.

Ans. — Therefore, baculus est in angulo, prelates have put across in the king’s heart, and crossed crown and throne too. Some knights, some ships, some cities and boroughs do carry a cross; are they made Christ’s vicegerents of late? By what antiquity doth the cross signify Christ? Of old it was a badge of Christians, no religious ceremony. And is this all; the king is the vicegerent of Christians. The prelates, we know, adore the cross with religious worship; so must they adore the crown.

P. Prelate. — Grant that the Pope were the vicar of Christ in spiritual things, it followeth not — therefore, kings’ crowns are subject to the Pope; for papists teach that all power that was in Christ, as man, as power to work miracles, to institute sacraments, was not transmitted to Peter and his successors.

Ans. — This is a base consequence; make the Pope head of the church, the king, if he be a mixed person, that is, half a churchman and Christ’s vicegerent, both he and prelates must be members of the head. Papists teach that all in Christ, as man, cannot be transmitted to Peter; but a ministerial catholic headship (say Bucanus and his fellows) was transmitted from Christ, as | man and visible head, to Peter and the Pope.

P. Prelate. — I wish the Pope, who claimeth so near alliance with Christ, would learn of him to be meek and humble in heart, so should he find rest to his own soul, to church and state.

Ans. 1. — The same was the wish of Gerson, Occam, the doctors of Paris, the fathers of the councils of Constance and Basil, yet all make him head of the church.

2. The excommunicate Prelate is turned chaplain to preach to the Pope; the soul-rest that protestants wish to the Pope is, “That the Lord would destroy him by the Spirit of his mouth.” (2 Thes. ii. 8.) But to popish prelates this wish is a reformation of accidents, with the safety of the subject, the Pope, and is as good as a wish, that the devil, remaining a devil, may find rest for his soul: all we are to pray for as having place in the church, are supposed members of the church. The Prelate would not pray so for the presbytery by which he was ordained a pastor, (1 Tim. iv. 14,) though he be now an apostate; it is gratitude to pray for his lucky father, the Pope. Whatever the Prelate wish, we pray for and believe that desolation shall be his soul-rest, and that the vengeance of the Lord and of his temple shall fall upon him and the prelates, his sons.

P. Prelate. — That which they purpose, by denying kings to be Christ’s vicegerents, is to set up a sovereignty ecclesiastical in presbyteries, to constrain kings, repeal his laws, correct his statutes, reverse his judgments, to cite, convent, and censure kings; and, if there be not power to execute what presbyteries decree, they may call and command the help of the people, in whom is the underived majesty, and promise, and swear, and covenant to defend their fancies against all mortal men, with their goods, lands, fortunes, to admit no devisive motion; and this sovereign association maketh every private man an armed magistrate.

Ans. — You see the excommunicate apostate strives against tho presbytery of a reformed church, from winch ho had his baptism, faith, and ministry.

1. We deny the king to be the head of the church.

2. We assert, that in the pastors, doctors, and elders of the church, there is a ministerial power, as servants under Christ, in his authority and name to rebuke and censure kings; that there is revenge in the gospel against all disobedience (2 Cor. ii. 6; x. 6); — the rod of God (1 Cor. iv. 21); the rod of Christ’s lips (Isa. xi. 4); the sceptre and sword of Christ (Rev. i. 16; xix. 15); the keys of his king[d]om, to bind and loose, open and shut (Matt. xviii. 17, 18; xvi 19; 1 Cor. v. 1-3; 2 Thess. iii. 14, 15; 1 Tim. i. 19; v. 22; v. 17); and that this power is committed to the officers of Christ’s house, call them as you will.

3. For reversing of laws made for the establishing of popery, we think the church of Christ did well to declare all these unjust, grievous decrees, and that woe is due to the judges, even the queen, if they should not repent. (Isa. x. 1.) And this Prelate must show his teeth in this against our reformation in Scotland, which he once commended in pulpit as a glorious work of God’s right arm; and the Assembly of Glasgow, 1638, declared, That bishops, though established by acts of parliament, procured by prelates only, commissioners and agents for the church, who betrayed their trust, were unlawful; and did supplicate that the ensuing parliament would annul these wicked acts. They think God privilegeth neither king nor others from church-censures. The popish prelates imprisoned and silenced the ministers of Christ, who preached against the public sins, the blood, oppressions, injustice, open swearing, and blasphemy of the holy name of God, the countenancing of idolaters, &c., in king and court.

4. They never sought the help of the people against the most unjust standing law of authority.

5. They did never swear and covenant to defend their own fancies; for the confession and covenant of the protestant religion, translated in Latin to all the protestants in Europe and America, being termed a fancy, is a clear evidence that this P. Prelate was justly excommunicated for popery.

6. This covenant was sworn by king James and his house, by the whole land, by the prelates themselves; and to this fancy this P. Prelate, by the law of our land, was obliged to swear when he received degrees in the university.

7. There is reason our covenant should provide against divisive motions. The prelates moved the king to command all the land to swear our covenant, in the prelatical sense, against the intent thereof, and only to divide and so command. Judge what religion prelates are of, who will have the name of God profaned by a whole nation, by swearing fancies.

8. Of making private men magistrates in defending themselves against cut-throats, enough already. Let the P. Prelate answer if he can.

P. Prelate. — Let no man imagine me to privilege a king from the direction and just power of the church, or that, like Uzziah, he should intrude upon sacred actions, ex vi ordinis, in foro interno conscientiæ, to preach or administrate sacraments, &c.

Ans. — Uzziah did not burn incense, ex vi ordinis, as if he had been a priest, but because he was a king and God’s anointed. Prelates sit not in council and parliament, ex vi ordinis, as temporal lords. The pope is no temporal monarch, ex vi ordinis, yet all are intruders. So the P. Prelate will license kings to administer sacraments, so they do it not ex vi ordinis.

P. Prelate. — Men in sacred orders, in tilings intrinsically spiritual, have immediately a directive and authoritative power, in order, to all whatsoever, although ministerial only as related to Christ; but that giveth them no coercive civil power over the prince, per se, or per accidens, directly or indirectly, that either the one way or the other, any or many in sacred order, pope or presbytery, can cite and censure kings, associate, covenant or swear to resist him, and force him to submit to the sceptre of Christ. This power over man God Almighty useth not, much less hath he given it to man. (Psal. cx.) His people are a willing people. Suadenda non cogenda religio.

Ans. 1. — Pastors have a ministerial power (saith he) in spiritual things, but in order to Christ; therefore, in order to others it is not ministerial, but lordly. So here a lordly power pastors have over kings, by the P. Prelate’s way. We teach it is ministerial in relation to all, because ministers can make no laws as kings can do, but only, as heralds, declare Christ’s laws.

2. None of us give any coercive civil power to the church over either kings or any other — it is ecclesiastical; a power to rebuke and censure was never civil.

3. A religious covenant to swear to resist, that is, to defend ourselves, is one thing, and a lawful oath, as is clear in those of Israel that did swear Asa’s covenant, without the authority of their own king, (2 Chron. xv. 9-12,) and to swear to force the king to submit to Christ’s sceptre, is another thing. The presbytery never did swear or covenant any such thing; nor do we take sacrament upon it, to force the king. Prelates have made the king swear, and take his sacrament upon it, that he shall root out puritans, that is, protestants, whereas, he did swear at his coronation to root out heretics, that is, (if prelates were not traitorous in administering the oath,) Arminians and papists, such as this P. Prelate is known to be; but I hold that the estates of Scotland have power to punish the king, if he labour to subvert religion and laws.

4. If this argument, that religion is to be persuaded, not forced, which the P. Prelate useth, be good, it will make much against the king; for the king, then, can force no man to the external profession and use of the ordinances of God, and not only kings, but all the people should be willing.

P. Prelate. — Though the king may not preach, &c., yet the exercise of these things freely within his kingdom, what concerneth the decent and orderly doing of all, and the external man, in the external government of the church, in appointing things arbitrary and indifferent, and what else is of this strain, are so due to the prerogative of the crown, as that the priests, without highest rebellion, may not usurp upon him; a king in the state and church is a mixed person, not simply civil, but sacred too. They are not only professors of truth, that they have in the capacity of Christians, but they are defenders of the faith as kings; they are not sons only, but nurse-fathers; they serve God, as Augustine saith, as men, and as kings also. Ans. 1. — If ye give the king power of the exercises of word and sacraments in his kingdom, this is deprivation of ministers in his kingdom, (for he sure cannot hinder them in another kingdom,) you may make him to give a ministerial calling, if he may take it away. By what word of God can the king close the mouth of the man of God, whom Christ hath commanded to speak in his name? 2. If the king may externally govern the church, why may he not excommunicate; for this is one of the special acts of church government, especially seeing he is a mixed person, that is, half a churchman, and if he may prescribe arbitrary-teaching ceremonies, and instruct men in the duties of holiness required of pastors, I see not but; he may teach the Word. 3. Dr Ferne, and other royalists, deny arbitrary government to the king in the state, and with reason, because it is tyranny over the people; but prelates are not ashamed of commanding a thing arbitrary and indifferent in God’s worship; shall not arbitrary government in the church be tyranny over the conscience? But, say they, “Churchmen teacheth the king what is decent and orderly in God’s worship, and he commandeth it.”

Ans. — 1. Solomon by no teaching of churchmen deposed Abiathar; David by no teaching of churchmen appointed the form of the temple. 2. Hath God given a prerogative royal to kings, whereby they may govern the church, and as kings, they shall not know how to use it, but in so far as they are taught by churchmen? 3. Certainly, we shall once be informed by God’s word, what is this prerogative, if according to it, all the external worship of God may be ordered. Lawyers and royalists teach, that it is an absoluteness of power to do above or against a law, as they say from 1 Sam. viii., 9-11, and whereby the king may oppress, and no man may say, What dost thou? Now, good P. Prelate, if, by a plenitude of tyranny, the king prescribe what he will in the external worship and government of God’s house, who can rebuke the king though he command all the antichristian ceremonies of Rome, and of Turkey, yea, and the sacrificing of children to Molech? (for absoluteness royal will amount to shedding of innocent blood,) for, if any oppose the king, or say, Sir, what do you? he opposeth the prerogative royal, and that is highest rebellion, saith our P. Prelate. 4. I see not how the king is a mixed person, because he is defender of the faith, as the Pope named the king of England, Henry VIII.; he defendeth it by his sword, as he is a nurse-father, not by the sword that cometh out of his mouth. 5. I would know how Julian, Nebuchadnezzar, Og, and Sihon, were mixed persons, and did all in the external government of the church, and that by their office, as they were kings. 6. All the instances that Augustine bringeth to prove that the king is a mixed person, proveth nothing but civil acts in kings; as Hezekiah cast down the high places, the king of Nineveh compelled to obey the prophet Jonah, Darius cast Daniel’s enemies to the lions.

P. Prelate. — If you make two sovereigns and two independents, there is no more peace in the state, than in Rebecca’s womb, while Jacob and Esau strove for the prerogative.

Ans. 1. — What need Israel strive, when Moses and Aaron are two independents? If Aaron make a golden calf, may not Moses punish him? If Moses turn an Ahab, and sell himself to do wickedly, ought not eighty valiant priests and Aarons both rebuke, censure, and resist?

2. The P. Prelate said, (p. 65,) “Let no man imagine we privilege the king from the direction and power of the church, so he be no intruding Uzziah.” I ask, P. Prelate, what is this church power? Is it not supreme in its kind of church power? or is it subordinate to the king? If it be supreme, see how P. Prelate maketh two supremes, and two sovereigns. If it be subordinate to the king, as he is a mixed person, the king is privileged from this power, and he may intrude as Uzziah; and by his prerogative, as a mixed person, he may say mass, and offer a sacrifice, if there be no power above his prerogative to curb him. If there be none, the P. Prelate’s imagination is real; the king is privileged from all church power. Let the P. Prelate see to it. I see no inconvenience for reciprocations of subjections in two supremes; and that they may mutually censure and judge one another.

Obj. — Not in the same cause, that is impossible. If the king say mass, shall the church judge and censure the king for intrusion? and because the king is also sovereign and supreme in his kind, he may judge and punish the church for their act of judging and censuring the king; it being an intrusion on his prerogative, that any should judge the highest judge.

Ans. — The one is not subject to the other, but in the case of mal-administration; the innocent, as innocent, is subject to no higher punishing; he may be subject to a higher, as accusing, citing, &c. Now, the royalist must give instance in the same cause, where the church faileth against the king and his civil law; and the king, in the same cause, faileth against the church canon; and then it shall be easy to answer.

P. Prelate. — Religion is the bottom of all happiness, if you make the king only to execute what a presbytery commandeth, he is in a hard case, and you take from him the chiefest in government. Ecclesiastical power hath the soul in subjection; the civil sovereignty holdeth a dead dominion over the body. Then the Pope and presbytery shall be in a better condition than the king. Cic. in ver. omnes religione moventur: superstition is furious, and maddeneth people, that they spare neither crown nor mitre.

Ans. — Cold and dry is the P. Prelate when he spendeth four pages in declamation for the excellency of relig[i]on: the madness of superstition is nothing to the purpose.

1. The king hath a chief hand in church affairs, when he is a nurse-father, and beareth the royal sword to defend both the tables of the law, though he do not spin and weave surplices, and other base mass-clothes to prelates, and such priests of Baal: they dishonour his majesty, who bring his prerogative so low.

2. The king doth not execute with blind obedience, with us, what the Pope commandeth, and the prelates, but with light of knowledge what synods discern; and he is no more made the servant of the church by this, than the king of Judah and Nebuchadnezzar are servants to Jeremiah and Daniel, because they are to obey the word of the Lord in their mouth. Let them show a reason of this, why they are servants in executing God’s will in discipline, and in punishing what the Holy Ghost, by his apostles and elders, decree, when any contemn the decree concerning the abstinence from blood, things strangled, &c., (Acts xv.,) rather than when they punish murder, idolatry, blasphemy, which are condemned in the Word, presetted by pastors of Christ; and farther, this objection would have some more colour, (in reality it hath not,) if kings were only to execute what the church ministerially, in Christ’s name, commandeth to be done in synods; but kings may, and do command synods to convene, and do their duty, and command many duties, never synodically decreed; as they are to cast out of their court apostate prelates, sleeping many years in the devil’s arms, and are to command trencher-divines, neglecting their flock, and lying at court attending the falling of a dead bishop, as ravens do an old dying horse, to go and attend the flock, and not the court, as this P. Prelate did.

3. A king hath greater outward glory, and may do much more service to Christ, in respect of extension, and is more excellent than the pastor, who yet, in regard of intention, is busied about nobler things, to wit, the soul, the gospel, and eternity, than the king.

4. Superstition maddeneth men; but it followeth, not that true religion may not set them on work to defend soul and body against tyranny of the crown, and antichristian mitres.

P. Prelate. — The kingdom had peace and plenty in the prelates’ time.

Ans. — 1. A belly-argument. We had, plenty, when we sacrificed to the queen of heaven. If the traveller contend to have his purse again, shall the robber say, Robbery was blessed with peace? The rest, to the end, are lies, and answered already. Only his invectives against ruling elders, falsely called lay-elders, are not to purpose. Parliament-priests, and lay and court-pastors, are lay-prophets.

2. That presbyteries meddle with civil business, is a slander. They meddle with public scandals that offendeth in Christ’s kingdom. But the prelates, by office, were more in two elements, in church and state, than any frogs, even in the king’s leaven-tubs, ordinarily.

3. Something he saith of popes usurping over kings, but only of one of his fathers, a great unclean spirit, Gregory the Great. But if he had refuted him by God’s word, he should have thrown stones at his own tribe; for prelates, like him, do ex officio trample upon the neck of kings.

4. His testimonies of one council and one father for all antiquity proveth nothing. Athanasius said, “God hath given David’s throne to kings.” What, to be head of the church? No; to be minister of God, without e0cw to tutor the church. And, because “Kings reign by Christ,” as the council of Armin saith; therefore, it may follow, a bailie is also head of the church. It is taken from Prov. viii., and answered.

5. That presbyteries have usurped over kings more than popes, since Hildebrand, is a lie. All stories are full of the usurpation of prelates, his own tribe. The Pope is but a swelled tat prelate; and what he saith of popes, he saith of his own house.

6. The ministers of Christ in Scotland had never a contest with king James but for his sins, and his conniving with papists, and his introducing bishops, the ushers of the Pope.

Question XLIII.

Whether the king of Scotland be an absolute prince. having prerogatives above Parliament and laws: the negative is asserted by the laws of Scotland, the king’s oath of coronation, the confession of faith, &c.

The negative part of this I hold in these assertions.

Assert. 1. — The kings of Scotland have not any prerogative distinct from supremacy above the laws. If the people must be governed by no laws but by the king’s own laws, that is, the laws and statutes of the realm, acted in parliament under pain of disobedience, then must the king govern by no other laws, and so by no prerogative above law. But the former is an evident truth by our acts of parliament; therefore, so is the latter. The proposition is confirmed, 1. Because whatever law enjoineth passive obedience no way but by laws, that must enjoin also the king actively to command no other way but by law; for to be governed by law essentially includeth to be governed by the supreme governor only by law. 2. An act of regal governing is an act of law, and essentially an act of law; an act of absolute prerogative is no act of law, but an act above law, or of pleasure loosed from law; and so they are opposed as acts of law, and non-acts of law. If the subjects, by command of the king and parliament, cannot be governed but by law, how can the king but be under his own and the parliament’s law, to govern only by law? I prove the assumption from Parl. 3, of king James I. act 48, which ordains “That all and sundry the king’s lieges be governed under the king’s laws and statutes of the realm allenarly, and under no particular laws or special privileges, nor by any laws of other countries or realms.” Privileges do exclude laws. Absolute pleasure of the king as a man, and the law of the king as king, are opposed by way of contradiction; and so in Parl. 6, James IV. act 79, ratified Parl. 8, James VI. act 131.

2. The king, at his coronation, (Parl. 1, James VI. act 8,) sweareth “to maintain the true kirk of God, and religion now presently professed, in purity, and to rule the people according to the laws and constitutions received in the realm, causing justice and equity to be ministered without partiality.” This did king Charles swear at his coronation, and was ratified, Parl. 7, James VI. act 99. Hence he who, by the oath of God, is limited to govern by law, can have no prerogative above the law. If, then, the king change the religion and confession of faith, authorised by many parliaments, (especially by Parl. 1, diaries, 1633,) he goeth against his oath. The king’s royal prerogative, or rather supremacy, (enacted Parl. 8, James VI. act 129; Parl. 18, act 1; Parl. 21, act 1, James; and Parl. 1, Charles, act 3,) cannot be contrary to the oath that king Charles did swear at his coronation, which bringeth down the prerogative to governing according to the standing laws of the realm.” It cannot be contrary to these former parliaments and acts, declaring that “the lieges are to be governed by the laws of the realm, and by no particular laws and special privileges;” (but absolute prerogative is a special privilege above, or without law;) which acts stand unrepealed to this day; and these acts of parliaments stand ratified by Parl. 1, Charles, 1633.

3. Parl. 8, James VI. in the first three acts thereof, the king’s supremacy, and the power and authority of parliaments are equally ratified under the same pain: — “Their jurisdictions, power, and judgments in spiritual or temporal causes, not ratified by his Majesty, and the three estates convened in parliament, are discharged.” But the absolute prerogative of the king above law, equity, and justice, was never ratified in any parliament of Scotland to this day.

4. By Parl. 12, James VI. act 114, all former acts in favour of the true church and religion being ratified, their power of making constitutions concerning to\ pre/pon, order and decency, the privileges that God hath given to spiritual office-bearers, as well of doctrine and discipline, in matters of heresy, excommunication, collation, deprivation, and such like, warranted by the word of God, and also to assemblies and presbyteries, are ratified. Now in that parliament, in acts so contiguous, we are not to think that the king and three estates would make acts for establishing the church’s power in all the former heads of government, in which royalists say, “the soul of the king’s absolute prerogative doth consist;” and therefore it must be the true intent of our parliament to give the king a supremacy and a prerogative royal, (which we also give,) but without any absoluteness of boundless and transcendent power above law, and not to obtrude a service-book, and all the superstitious rites of the church of Rome, without God’s word, upon us.

5. The former act of parliament ratifieth the true religion, according to the word of God, then could it never have been the intent of our parliament to ratify an absolute supremacy, according to which a king might govern his people, as a tyrannous lion, contrary to Deut. xvii. 18-20. And it is true, Parl. 18, James VI. acts 1 and 2, upon personal qualifications, giveth a royal prerogative to king James over all causes, persons, and estates within his Majesty’s dominion, whom they humbly acknowledge to be “sovereign monarch, absolute prince, judge and governor over all estates, persons, and causes.”

These two acts, for my part I acknowledge, are spoken rather in court expressions than in law terms.

1. Because personal virtues cannot advance a limited prince (such as the kings of Scotland, post hominum memoriam, ever were) to be an absolute prince. Personal graces make not David absolutely supreme judge over all persons and causes; nor can king James, advanced to be king of England, be for that made more king of Scotland, and more supreme judge, than he was while he was only king of Scotland. A wicked prince is as essentially supreme judge as a godly king.

2. If this parliamentary figure of speech, which is to be imputed to the times, exalted king James to be absolute in Scotland, for his personal endowments, there was no ground to put the same on king Charles. Personal virtues are not always hereditary, though to me the present king be the best.

3. There is not any absoluteness above law in act 1, — the parliament must be more absolute in themselves. King James VI. had been divers years, before this 18th parliament, king of Scotland; then, if they gave him by law an absoluteness, which he had not before, then they were more absolute. Those who can add absoluteness must have it in themselves, Nemo dat quod non habet. If it be said king James had that before the act; the parliament legally declared it to be his power, which, before the declaration, was his power, I answer, all he had before this declaration was, to govern the people according to law and conscience, and no more; and if they declare no other prerogative royal to be due to him, there is an end, — we grant all. But, then, this which, they call prerogative royal, is no more than a power to govern according to law, and so you had nothing to add to king James upon the ground of his personal virtues, only you make an oration to his praise in the acts of parliament.

4. If this absoluteness of prerogative be given to the king, the subjects, swearing obedience, swear that he hath power from themselves to destroy themselves: this is neither a lawful oath, nor though they should swear it, doth it oblige them.

5. A supreme judge is a supreme father of all his children and all their causes; and to be a supreme father cannot be contrary to a supreme judge; but contrary it must be, if this supremacy make over to the prince a power of devouring as a lion, and that by a regal privilege, and by office, whereas he should be a father to save; or if a judge kill an evil-doer, though that be an act destructive to one man, yet is it an act of a father to the commonwealth. An act of supreme and absolute royalty is often an act of destruction to one particular man, and to the whole commonwealth. For example, when the king, out of his absolute prerogative, pardoneth a murderer, and he killeth another innocent man, and out of the same ground the king pardoneth him again, and so till he kill twenty, (for by what reason the prerogative giveth one pardon, he may give twenty, there is a like reason above law for all,) this act of absolute royalty is such an act of murder, as if a shepherd would keep a wolf in the fold with the sheep, he were guilty of the loss of these sheep. Now an act of destroying cannot be an act of judging, far less of a supreme judge, but of a supreme murderer.

6. Whereas he is called “absolute prince and supreme judge, in all causes, ecclesiastical and civil,” it is to be considered, 1. That the estates profess not in these acts to give any new prerogative, but only to continue the old power, and that only with that amplitude and freedom which the king and his predecessors did enjoy and exercise before: the extent whereof is best known from the acts of parliament, histories of the time, and the oaths of the kings of Scotland. 2. That he is called absolute prince, not in any relation of freedom from law, or prerogative above law, whereunto, as onto the norma regula ac mensura potestatis suæ, ac subjectionis meæ, he is tyed by the fundamental law and his own oath, but in opposition to all to reign jurisdiction or principality above him, as is evident by the oath of supremacy set down for acknowledging of his power in the first act of parliament 21, king James VI. 3. They are but the same expression, giving only the same power before acknowledged in the 129th act, Parl. 8, king James Vl., and that only over persons or estates, considered separatim, and over causes; but neither at all over the laws nor over the estates, taken conjunctim, and as convened in parliament, as is clear, both by the two immediately subsequent acts of that parliament, 8, James VI., establishing the authority of parliaments equally with the kings, and discharging all jurisdictions (albeit granted by the king) without their warrant, as also by the narrative depositive words, and certification of the act itself; otherwise the estates convened in parliament might, by virtue of that act, be summoned before and censured by the king’s majesty or his council, a judicatory substitute, be subordinate to, and censured by themselves, which were contrary to sense and reason. 4. The very terms of supreme judge, and in all causes, according to the nature of correlates, presupposeth courts and judicial proceedings and laws, as the ground-work and rule of all, not a freedom from them. 5. Act 6, Parl. 20, James VI. clearly interpreted what is meant by the king’s jurisdiction in all spiritual and ecclesiastical causes; to wit, to be only in the consistonal causes of matrimony, testaments, bastardy, adulteries, abusively called spiritual causes, because handled in commissary courts, wherein the king appoints the commissary, his deputies, and makes the lords of the session his great consistory in all ecclesiastical causes, with reservation of his supremacy and prerogative therein.

7. Supreme judge in all causes, cannot be taken quoad actus elicitos, as if the king were to judge between two seamen, or two husbandmen, or two tradesmen, in that which is proper to their art; or between two painters. Certainly the king is not to judge which of the two draweth the fairest picture, but which of the two wasteth most gold on his picture, and so doth interest most of the commonwealth. So the king cannot judge in all ecclesiastical causes, that is, he cannot, quoad actos elicitos, prescribe this worship, for example, the mass, not the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. Therefore the king hath but actus imperator some royal political acts about the worship of God, to command God to be worshipped according to his word, to punish the superstitions or neglectors of divine worship; therefore, cannot the king be sole judge in matters that belong to the college of judges by the laws of Scotland, the lords, of session only may judge these matters, (Parl. 2, James I., act 46; Parl. 8, James III., act 62; Parl 4, James III., act 105; Parl, 6, James I., act 83; Parl. 6, James I., act 86; Parl. 7, James V., act 104,) and that only according to law, without any remedy of appellation to king or the parliament (Parl. 14, James II., act 62 and 63). And the king is by act of parliament inhibited to send any private letter to stay the acts of justice; or if any such letter be procured, the judges are not to acknowledge it as the king’s will, for they are to proceed impartially according to justice, and are to make the law, which is the king and parliament’s public revealed will, their rule (Parl. 5, James V., act 68; Parl. 8, James VI., act 139; Parl. 6, James VI., act 92). Nor may the lords suspend the course of justice, or the sentence or execution of decrees upon the king’s private letter (Parl. 11, James VI., act 79, and Parl. 11, James VI., act 47). And so, if the king’s will or desire, as he is a man, be opposite to his law and his will as king, it is not to be regarded. This is a strong argument, that the parliaments never made the king supreme judge, quoad actus elicitos, in all causes, nay not if the king have a cause of his own that concerneth lands of the crown, far less can the king have a will of prerogative above the law by our laws of Scotland. And, therefore, when in Parl. 8, James VI., the king’s royal power is established in the first act, the very next act immediately subjoined thereunto declareth the authority of the supreme court of parliament continued past all memory of man unto this day, and constitute of the free voices of the three estates of this ancient kingdom, which, in the parliament 1606, is called, “the ancient and fundamental policy of this kingdom;” and so fundamental, as if it should be innovated, such confusion would ensue, as it could no more be a free monarchy, as is expressed in the parliament’s printed commission, 1604, by whom the same, under God, hath been upholden. rebellious and traitorous subjects punished, the good and faithful preserved and maintained, and the laws and acts of parliament (by which all men are governed) made and established, and appointeth the honour, authority, and dignity of the estates of parliament to stand in their own integrity, according to the ancient and laudable custom by-past, without alteration or diminution, and therefore dischargeth any to presume or take in hand, “to impugn the dignity and the authority of the said estates, or to seek or procure the innovation or diminution of their power or authority, under the pain of treason:” and, therefore, in the next act, they discharge all jurisdictions, or judicatories, (albeit appointed by the king’s majesty, as the high commission was,) without their warrant and approbation; and that, as contrary to the fundamental laws above titled, (Parl. 3, James I., act 48 and Parl. 6, James IV., act 79,) whereby the lieges should only be ruled by laws or acts passed in the parliament of this kingdom. Now, what was the ancient dignity, authority, and power of the parliaments of Scotland, which is to stand without diminution, that will be easily and best known from the subsequent passages, or historians, which can also be very easily verified by the old registers, whensoever they should be producecl. In tho meantime, remember that in parliament and by act of Parl. James VI., for observing the due order of parliament, promiseth, never to do or command any thing which may directly or indirectly prejudge the liberty of free reasoning or voting of parliament (Parl. 11, James VI., act 40). And withal, to evidence the freedom of the parliament of Scotland, from that absolute unlimited prerogative of the prince, and their liberty to resist his breaking of covenant with them, or treaties with foreign nations, ye shall consider — 1. That the kings of Scotland are obliged, before they be inaugurated, to swear and make their faithful covenant to the true kirk of God, that they shall maintain, defend, and set forward the true religion confessed and established within this realm; even as they are obliged and restricted by the law of God, as well in Deuteronomy as in 2 Kings xi., and as they crave obedience of their subjects. So that the bond and contract shall be mutual and reciprocal, in all time coming, between the prince and the people, according to the word of God, as is fully expressed in the register of the convention of estates, July 1567. 2. That important acts and sentences at home, (whereof one is printed, Parl. 14, James III., act 112,) and in treaties with foreign princes, the estates of parliament did append their several seals with the king’s great seal, (which to Grotius, Barclaius, and Arnisæus, is an undeniable argument of a limited prince, as well as the style of our parliament, that the estates, with the king, ordain, ratify, rescind, &c.) as also they were obliged, in case of the king’s breaking these treaties, to resist him therein, even by arms, and that without any breach of their allegiance, or of his prerogative, as is yet extant in the records of our old treaties with England and France, &c. But to go on, and leave some high mysteries unto a rejoinder.

And to the end I may make good, 1. That nothing is here taught in this treatise but the very doctrine of the Church of Scotland, I desire that the reader may take notice of the larger Confession of the Church of Scotland, printed with the body of the confessions at Geneva, anno 1612, and authorised by James VI. and the three estates in parliament, and printed in our acts of parliament (Parl. 15, James VI., anno 1567). Amongst good works of the second table, saith our Confession, (art. 14,) are these: — To honour father, mother, princes, rulers, and superior powers. To love them, to support them, yea, to obey their charge, (not repugning to the commandment of God,) to save the lives of innocents, to repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed, to keep our bodies clean and holy, &c. The contrary whereof is, to disobey or resist any that God hath placed in authority, (while they pass not over the bounds of their office,) to murder, or to consent thereunto, to bear hatred, or to let innocent blood be shed, if we may withstand it, &c. Now the Confession citeth in the margin, Eph. i. 1, 7 and Ezek, xxii. 1-4, &c., where it is evident, by the name of father and mother, all inferior judges as well as the king, and especially the princes, rulers, and lords of parliament are understood. 2. The bloody city is to be judged, because they relieved not the oppressed, out of the hand of the bloody princes, (v. 6,) who every one of them did to their power shed innocent blood (Ezek. xxii. 6). 3. To resist superior powers, and so the estates of parliament, as the cavaliers of Scotland do, is resistance forbidden (Rom. xiii. 1). The place is also cited in the Confession, and the Confession exponeth the place (Rom. xiii.) according to the interpretation of all sound expositors, as is evident in these words, art. 24, “And therefore we confess and avouch, that such as resist the supreme power, doing that thing which appertaineth to his charge, do resist God’s ordinance, and therefore cannot be guiltless, And farther, we affirm, that whosoever denieth unto them aid, their counsel and support, while as the princes and rulers vigilantly travel in execution of their office, that the same men deny their help, support, and counsel to God, who, by the presence of his lieutenant, craves it of them.” From which words we have clear: —

1. That to resist the king or parliament, is to resist them while as they are doing the thine that appertained to their charge, and while they vigilantly travel in the execution of their office. But while king and parliament do acts of tyranny against God’s law, and all good laws of men, they do not the things that appertain to their charge and the execution of their office; therefore, by our Confession, to resist them in tyrannical acts is not to resist the ordinance of God.

2. To resist princes and rulers, and so inferior judges, and to deny them counsel and comfort, is to deny help, counsel, and comfort to God. Let then cavaliers, and such as refuse to help the princes of the land against papists, prelates and malignants, know, that they resist God’s ordinance, which rebellion they unjustly impute to us.

3. Whereas it is added in our Confession, that God, by the presence of his lieutenant, craveth support and counsel of the people, it is not so to be taken, as if then only we are to aid and help inferior judges and parliaments, when the king personally requireth it, and not otherways. 1. Because the king requireth help, when, by his office, he is obliged to require our help and counsel against papists and malignants, though as misled, he should command the contrary: so if the law require our help, the king requireth it ex officio. 2. This should expressly contradict our Confession, if none were obliged to give help and counsel to the parliaments and estates, except the king in his own person should require it, because (art. 14) it is expressly said, That to save the lives of innocents, or repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed, — not to suffer innocent blood to be shed, are works pleasing to God, which he rewardeth. Now we are not to think in reason, if the king shall be induced by wicked counsel to do tyrannical works, and to raise papists in arms against protestants, that God doth by him, as by his lieutenant, require our help, comfort, and counsel in assisting the king in acts of tyranny, and in oppression, and in shedding in. nocent blood; yea, our Confession tyeth us to deny help and comfort to the king in these wicked acts, and therefore our help must be in the things that pertaineth to his royal office and duty only, otherwise we are to repress all tyranny (art. 14).

4. To save the lives of innocents, to repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed, are, by our Confession, good works, well pleasing to God, and so is this a good work, not to suffer innocent blood to be shed, if we may withstand it. Hence it is clear as the sun, that our Confession, according to the word of God, to which king Charles did swear at his coronation, doth oblige and tie us in the presence of God and Sis holy angels, to rise in arms to save the innocent, to repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed. When the king, by ill counsel, sent armies by sea and land to kill and destroy the whole kingdom who should refuse such a service-book as they could not in conscience receive, except they would disobey God, renounce the Confession of Faith, which the king and they had sworn unto, and prove perfidious apostates to Christ and his church, what could we do, and that the same Confession, considering our bonds to our dear brethren in England, layeth bonds on us to this, as a good work also, not to suffer their innocent blood to be shed, but to defend them, when they, against all law of God, of men, of state, of nations, are destroyed and killed. For my part, I judge it had been a guiltiness of blood upon Scotland, if we had not helped them, and risen in arms to defend ourselves and our innocent brethren against bloody cavaliers. Add to this what is in the 24th article of the same Confession: — “We confess, whosoever goeth about to take away, or to confound the whole state of civil polity, now long established, we affirm the same men not only to be enemies to mankind, but also wickedly to fight against God’s will.” But those who have taken arms against the estates of Scotland, and the princes and rulers of the land, have laboured to take away parliaments, and the fundamental laws of this kingdom, therefore, the Confession addeth, (art. 16,) “We farther confess and acknowledge, that such persons as are placed in authority are to be loved, honoured, feared, and holden in most reverent estimation, because that they are lieutenants of God, in whose sessions God himself doth sit and judge; yea, even the judges and princes themselves, to whom, by God, is given the sword, to the praise and defence of good men, and to revenge and punish all open malefactors.” Therefore, the parliament, and princes, and rulers of the land, are God’s lieutenants on earth no less than the king, by our Confession of Faith; and those who resist them, resist the ordinance of God. Royalists say, they are but the deputies of the king, and when they do contrary to his royal will, they may be resisted, yea, and be killed, for in so far they are private men, though they are to be honoured as judges when they act according to the king’s will, whose deputies they are, But, I answer: —

1. It is a wonder that inferior judges should be formally judges, in so far as they act conform to the will of a mortal king, and not in so far as they act conform to the will of the King of kings, seeing the judgment they execute is the King of kings’, and not the judgment of a mortal king. (2 Chron. xix. 6.)

2. Royalists cannot endure the former distinction as it is applied to the king, but they receive it with both hands as it is applied to inferior judges; and yet, certain it is, that it is as ordinary for a king, being a sinful man, to act sometimes as the lieutenant of God, and sometimes as an erring and misinformed man, no less than the inferior judge acteth sometimes according to the king’s will and law, and sometimes according to his own private way; and if we are to obey the inferior judge as the deputy of the king, what shall become of his person, when cavaliers may kill him at some Edgehill? for so they mock this distinction, as applied to the king in regard of his person and of his royal office; and for this point our Confession citeth in the margin Rom. xiii. 7; 1 Pet. ii. 17; Psal. lxxxii. 1, which places do clearly prove that inferior magistrates are, 1. God’s ordinances; 2. Gods on earth, (Psal. lxxxii. 6); 3. Such as bear the Lord’s sword; 4. “That they are not only (as the Confession saith) appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and superstition.” Then, it is evident, to resist inferior magistrates is to resist God himself, and to labour to throw the sword out of God’s hand. 5. Our Confession useth the same Scriptures cited by Junius Brutus, to wit, Ezek. xxii. 1-7; Jer. xxii. 3, where we are, no less than the Jews, commanded to “execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hands of the oppressor;” for both the law of God and the civil law saith, Qui non impedit homicidium, quum potest, is homicidii reus est. I will cast in a word of other Confessions, lest we seem to be Jesuits alone.

The Confession of Helvetia saith, (c. 30,) de Magistratu. Viduas, pu pillos, afflictos asserat, every magistrate is to defend the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. The French Confession saith, (art. 40,) Affirmamus ergo parendumesse legibus et statutis, solvenda tributa, subjectionis denique jugum voluntarie tolerandum, etiamsi infideles fuerint magistratus, dummodo Dei summum imperium integrum et illibatum maneat. So clear it is that all active obedience is due to all magistrates, and that that yoke of passive obedience is to be tolerated but conditionally, with a dummodo, so as the magistrate violate not the supreme commandment of the King of kings; and we know, accordingly, protestants of that church have taken defensive arms against their king. But our P. Prelate can say, the Confessions of Scotland, Helvetia, France, and all the reformed churches, are Jesuitical, when as it was the doctrine of the Waldenses, the protestants, Luther, Calvin, and others, while as there was no Jesuit on earth.

The thirty-seventh article of the Church of England’s Confession[1] is so far from erecting an absolute power in the king, that they expressly bring down the royal prerogative from the high seat and transcendent superlative power above the law, and expone the prerogative to be nothing but mere law-power. “We only (say they) ascribe that prerogative to the king which the Scripture doth ascribe to all godly princes; that is, that they cause all committed to their trust, whether ecclesiastical or civil persons, to do their duty, and punish with the civil sword all disobedient offenders.” In syntag. Confess. “And this they say in answer to some who believed the Church of England made the king the head of the church.” The Prelates’ Convocation must be Jesuits to this P. Prelate also.

So the thirty-sixth article of the Belgic Confession saith of all magistrates, no less than of a king, (we know, for tyranny of soul and body, they justly revolted from their king,) Idcirco magistratus ipsos gladio armavit, ut malos quidem, plectant pœnis, probos vero tueantur. Horum porro est, non modo de civili politia conservanda esse solicitos, verum etiam dare operam ut sacrum ministerium conservetur, omnis idololatria et adulterinus Dei cultus e medio tollatur, regnum antichristi diruatur, &c. Then, all magistrates, though inferior, must do their duty that the law of God hath laid on them, though the king forbid them; but, by the Belgic Confession and the Scripture, it is their duty to relieve the oppressed, to use the sword against murdering papists and Irish rebels and destroying cavaliers; for, shall it be a good plea in the day of Christ to say, “Lord Jesus, we would have used thy sword against bloody murderers if thy anointed, the king, had not commanded us to obey a mortal king rather than the King of ages, and to execute no judgment for the oppressed, because he judged them faithful catholic subjects.” Let all Oxford and cavalier doctors in the three kingdoms satisfy the consciences of men in this, that inferior judges are to obey a divine law, with a proviso that the king command them so to do, and otherwise they are to obey men rather than God. This is evidently holden forth in the Argentine Confession, exhibited by four cities to the emperor Charles V., 1530, in the very same cause of innocent defence that we are now in in the three kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland.

The Saxon Confession, exhibited to the Council of Trent, (1551, art. 23,) maketh the magistrate’s office essentially to consist in keeping of the two tables of God’s law; and so, what can follow hence, but in so far as he defendeth murderers, — or, if he be a king, and shall with the sword or arms impede inferior magistrates (for the Confession speaketh of all) to defend God’s law and true religion against papists, murderers, and bloody cavaliers, and hinder them to execute the judgment of the Lord against evil doers, — he is not, in that, a magistrate; and the denying of obedience, active or passive, to him in that, is no resistance to the ordinance of God; but, by the contrary, the king himself must resist the ordinance of God.

The Confession of Bohemia is clear, (art. 16,) Qui publico munere magistratuque funguntur, quemcunqut, gradum teneant, se non suum, sed Dei opus agere sciant. Hence, all inferior or the supreme magistrate, whatever be their place, they do not their own work, nor the work of the king, but the work of God, in the use of the sword; therefore, they are to use the sword against bloody cavaliers, as doing God’s work — suppose the king should forbid them to do God’s work; and it saith of all magistrates, Sunt autem magistratuum partes ac munus, omnibus ex œquo jus dicere, in communem omnium usum, sine personarum acceptatione, pacem ac tranquilitatem publicam tueri ac procurare de malis ac facinorosis, hanc inter turbantibus pœnas sumere, aliosque, omnes ab eorum vi et injuria vindicare. Now, this confession was the faith of the barons and nobles of Bohemia who were magistrates, and exhibited to the emperor, anno 1535, in the cause not unlike unto ours now, and the emperor was their sovereign; yet they profess they are obliged, in conscience, to defend all under them from all violence and injuries, that the emperor, or any other, could bring on them; and that this is their office before God, which they are obliged to perform as a work of God, and the Christian magistrate is not to do that work which is not his own but God’s, upon condition that the king shall not inhibit him. What if the king shall inhibit parliaments, princes, and rulers, to relieve the oppressed, to defend the orphan, the widow, the stranger, from unjust violence? Shall they obey man rather than God?

To say no more of this: prelates in Scotland did what they could, 1. To hinder his Majesty to indict a parliament. 2. When it was indicted, to have its freedom destroyed by prelimitations. 3. When it was sitting, their care was to divide, impede, and annul the course of justice. 4. All in the P. Prelate’s book tendeth to abolish parliaments, and to enervate their power. 5. There were many ways used to break up parliaments in England; and to command judges not to judge at all, but to interrupt the course of justice, is all one as to command unrighteous judgment (Jer. xxii. 3). 6. Many ways have been used by cavaliers to cut off parliaments, and the present parliament in England.

The paper found in William Laud’s study, touching tears and hopes of the parliament of England, evidenceth that cavaliers hate the supreme seat of justice, and would it were not in the world; which is the highest rebellion and resistance made against superior powers.

1. He feareth this parliament shall begin where the last left.

Ans. — Whatever ungrateful courtier had hand in the death of king James deserved to come under trial.

2. He feareth they sacrifice some man, Ans. — 1. If parliaments have not power to cut off rebels, and corrupt judges, the root of their being is undone. 2. If they be lawful courts, none need fear them, but the guilty.

3. He feareth their consultations be long, and the supply must be present.

Ans. — 1. Then cavaliers intend parliaments for subsidies to the king, to foment and promote the war against Scotland, not for justice. 2. He that feareth long and serious consultations, to rip up and lance the wounds of church and state, is afraid that the wounds be cured.

4. He feareth they deny subsidies, which are due by the law of God, nature, and nations, whereas parliaments have but their deliberation and consent for the manner of giving, otherwise this is to sell subsidies, not to give them.

Ans. — Tribute, and the standing revenues of the king, are due by the law of God and nations; but subsidies are occasional rents given upon occasion of war, or some extraordinary necessity; and they are not given to the king as tribute and standing revenues, which the king may bestow for his house, family, and royal honour, but they are given by the kingdom, rather to the kingdom than to the king, for the present war, or some other necessity of the kingdom, and therefore are not due to the king as king, by any law of nature or nations, and so should not be given but by deliberation and judicial sentence of the states; and they are not sold to the king, but given out by the kingdom by statute of parliament, to be bestowed on the kingdom, and the king should sell no acts of justice for subsidies.

5. He dare not speak of the consequences, if the king grant bills of grace, and part with the flowrets of the crown.

Ans. — He dare not say, the people shall vindicate their liberty by selling subsidies to buy branches of the prerogative royal, and diminishing the king’s fancied absoluteness; so would prelates have the king absolute, that they may ride over the souls, purses, persons, estates, and religion of men, upon the horse of pretended absoluteness.

6. He feareth the parliament fall upon church business; but, 1. The church is too weak already; if it had more power, the king might have more both of obedience and service. 2. The houses can be no competent judges in point of doctrine. 3. For the king, clergy, and convocation are judges in all causes ecclesiastical.

Ans. 1.— This striketh at the root of all parliamentary power. 1. The P. Prelate giveth them but a poor deliberative power in subsidies; and that is, to make the king’s will a law, in taking all the subjects’ goods from them, to foment war against the subjects. 2. He taketh all jurisdiction from them over persons, though they were as black traitors as breathe. 3. And spoileth them of all power in church matters; to make all judges, yea, and the king himself yield blind obedience to the Pope and Prelate, and their illuminated clergy. Sure I am, P. Maxwell imputeth this, but most unjustly, to presbyteries. What essential and fundamental privileges axe left to parliaments? David and the parliament of Israel are impertinent judges in the matter of bringing home the ark of God. And for the church’s weakness, that is, the weakness of the damned prelates, shall this be the king’s weakness? Yes; the P. Prelate must make it true, no bishop, no king.

7. He feareth factious spirits will take heart to themselves, if the king yield to them without any submission of theirs.

Ans. — The princes and judges of the land are a company of factious men, and so no parliament, no court, but at best some good, advisers of a king to break up the parliament, because they refuse subsidies, that he may, by a lawless way, extort subsidies.

3. He desireth the parliament may sit a short time, that they may not well understand one another.

Ans. — He loveth short or no justice from the parliament; he feareth they reform God’s house, and execute justice on men like himself. But I return to the Scottish parliament.

Assert. 2. — The parliament is to regulate the power of the king. The heritable sheriffs complain that the king granteth commissions to others in cases pertaining to their office; whereupon the estates (Parl. 6, James VI., act 82) dischargeth all such commissions, as also appointeth that all murderers be judged by the justice general only. And in several acts the king is inhibited to grant pardons to malefactors, Parl. 11, James VI., act 75.

It is to be considered that king James, in his Basilikon Doron, layeth down an unsound ground, that Fergus the first, father of one hundred and seven kings of Scotland, conquered this kingdom. The contrary whereof is asserted by Fordome, Major, Boethius, Buchanan, Hollanshed, who run all upon this principle, that the estates of the Kingdom did, 1. Choose a monarchy, and freely, and no other government. 2. That they freely elected Fergus to be their king. 3. King Fergus frequently convened the parliament called Insulanorum duces, tribuum rectores, majorum consessus, conventus ordinum, conventus statuum, communitatum regni, phylarchi, primores, principes, patres; and, as Hollanshed saith, they made Fergus king, therefore a parliament must be Defore the king; yea, and after the death of king Fergus, philarchi coeunt concione advocata, the estates convened without any king, and made that fundamental law regni elective, that when the king’s children were minors, any of the Fergusian race might be chosen to reign, and this endured to the days of Kenneth; and Redotha, the seventh king, resigned and maketh over the government into the hands of the parliament, and Philarchi Tribuum Gubernatores ordained Thereus the eighth king. Buchanan, (l. 4, rer. Scot.) calleth him Reutha, and said he did this, populo egre permittente, then the royal power recurred to the fountain. Thereus, the eighth king, a wicked man, filled the kingdom with robbers, and fearing the parliament should punish him, fled to the Britons, and thereupon the parliament choose Connanus to be prorex and protector of the kingdom.

Finnanus, the tenth king, decreed, — Ne quid reges, quod majoris esset momenti, nisi de publici consilii authoritate juberent, et ne domestico consilio remp. administrarent, regia publicaque negotia non sine patrum consultatione ductuque tractarentur, nec bellum pacem aut fœdera reges per se patrum, tribuumve, rectorum injussu facerent, demerentue; then it is clear that parliaments were consortes imperii, and had the authority with and above the king. When a law is made that the kings should do nothing injussu rectorum tribuum, without commandment of the parliament, a cabinet-council was not lawful to the kings of Scotland. So Durstus, the eleventh king, sweareth to the parliament, “Se nihil nisi de primorum consilio acturum,” that he shall do nothing but by counsel of the rulers and heads of the kingdom. The parliament, rejecting the lawful son of Corbredus, the nineteenth king, because he was young, created Dardanus, the nephew of Metellanus, king, which is a great argument of the power of the Scottish parliament of old for elective rather than hereditary kings.

Corbredus II., called Galdus, the twenty-first king, at his coronation, renouncing all negative voices, did swear, Se majorum consiliis acquieturnum, that he should be ruled by the parliament; and it is said, Leges quasdam tollere non potuit, adversante multitudine.

Luctatus, the twenty-second king, is censured by a parliament, “Quod spreto majorum consilio,” he appointed base men to public offices.

Mogaldus, the twenty-third king, “Ad consilia seniorum omnia ex prisco more revocavit,” did all by the parliament, as the ancient custom was.

Conarus, the twenty-fourth king, was cast into prison by the parliament, “Quod non expectato decreto patrum, quod summæ erat potestatis, privatis consiliis administrasset,” because he did these weightiest business that concerned the kingdom, by private advice, without the judicial ordinance of parliament, that was of greatest authority. Where is the negative voice of the king here?

Ethodius II. (son of Ethodius I.) the twenty-eighth king, (the parliament; passing him by on account of his age, and electing Satrael, his father’s brother, king before him,) was a simple ignorant man, yet for reverence to the race of Fergus, kept the name of a king, but the estates appointed tutors to him.

Nathalocus, the thirtieth king, corrupting the nobles with buds and fair promises, obtained the crown.

Romachus, Fethelmachus, and Angusianus, or as Buchanan calleth him, Æneanus, contended for the crown, the parliament convened to judge the matter was dissolved by tumult, and Romachus chosen king, doing all, non adhibito, de more, consilio majorum, was censured by the parliament.

Fergus II. was created king by the states, de more.

Constantine, the forty-third king, a most wicked man, was punished by the states.

Aidanus, the forty-ninth king, by the counsel of St Columba, governed all in peace, by three parliaments every year.

Ferchard I., the fifty-second king, and Ferchard II., the fiffty-fourth king, were both censured by parliaments.

Eugenius VII., the fifty-ninth king, was judicially accused, and absolved by the states, of killing his wife Spondana.

Eugenius VIII., the sixty-second king, a wicked prince, was put to death by the parliament, omnibus in ejus exitium, consentientibus.

Donaldus, the seventieth king, is censured by a parliament, which convened, pro salute reipublicæ, for the good of the land. So Ethus, the seventy-second king, Ne unius culpa, regnum periret.

Gregory, the seventy-third king, sweareth to maintain kirk and state in their liberties; the oath is ordained to be sworn by all kings at their coronation.

The estates complain of Duff, the seventy-eighth king, because contemning the counsel of the nobles, Sacrificulorum consiliis abduceretur, and that either the nobility must depart the kingdom, or another king must be made.

Culen, the seventy-ninth king, was summoned before the estates, so before him, Constantine III., the seventy-fifth king, did, by oath, resign the kingdom to the states, and entered in a monastery at St Andrews.

Kenneth III., the eightieth king, procured almost, per vim, saith Buchanan, that the parliament should change the elective kings into hereditary; observe the power of parliaments.

After this Grim, and then Macbeth, the eighty-fifth king, is rebuked for governing by private counsel; in his time, the king is ordained by the states to swear to maintain the community of the kingdom.

When Malcolm IV., the ninety-second king, would have admitted & treaty to the hurt of the kingdom, the nobles said, Non jus esse regi, the king had no right to take anything from the kingdom, Nisi omnibus ordinibus consentientibus. In the time of Alexander, the ninty-fourth king, is ordained, Acta regis oporteri conjirmari decreto ordinum regis, quia ordinibus regni non consultis, aut adversantibus, nihil quod ad totius regni statum attinet, regi agere liceret; so all our historians observe; by which it is clear, that the parliament, not the king, hath a negative voice.

The states’ answer to king Edward’s legates, concerning Balzee’s conditions in his contest with Bruce is, that these conditions were made a solo rege, by the king only, without the estates of the kingdom, and therefore they did not oblige the kingdom.

In Robert the Brace’s reign, the ninty-seventh king, the succession to the crown is appointed by act of parliament, and twice changed; and in the league with France, Quod quando de successuro rege ambigeretur apud Scotos, ea controversia ab ordinum de creto decideretur.

Robert, the hundredth king, in a parliament at Scoon, moved the states to appoint the earl of Carrick, his eldest son of the second marriage, to the crown, passing his children of the first marriage; and when he would have made a treaty, he was told, that he could not inducias facere nisi ex sententia conventus publici, he could not make truces but with the consent of the estates of parliament.

James I. could not do anything in his oath in England. The parliament’s approbation of the battle at Stirling against king James III. is set down in the printed acts, because he had not the consent of the states.

To come to our first reformation, the queen regent, breaking her promise to the states, said, “Faith of promise should not be sought from princes;” the states answered, that they then were not obliged to obey, and suspended her government as inconsistent with the duty of princes, by the articles of pacification at Leith, June 16, 1560. No peace or war can be without the states.

In the parliament thereafter, (1560,) the nobility say frequently to the queen, Regum Scotorum limitatum esse imperium, nec unquam ad unius libidinem, sed ad legum præscriptum et nobilitatis consensum regi solitum.

So it is declared, parliament at Stirling, 1578, and parl. 1567, concerning queen Mary, I need not insist here. James VI. July 21, 1567, was crowned, the earl of Morton and Hume, jurarunt pro eo, et ejus nomine, in leges, eum doctrinam et ritus religionis, quæ tum docebantur, publice quoad posset, servaturum, et contrarios oppugnaturum. (Buch. Rer. Scot. Hist. 1. 18.) The three estates revoke all alienations made by the king without consent of the parliament. Parl. 2, James VI. c. 2, 4, 5, 6.

Three parliaments of James II. are held without any mention of the king, as 1437, 1438, and 1440, and act 5 and 6 of Parl. 1440, the estates ordain the king to do such and such things, to ride through the country for doing of justice; and Parl. 1, James I. act 23, the estates ordained the king to mend his money; but show any parliament where ever the king doth prescribe laws to the states, or censure the states.

In Parl. 1, James VI., the Confession of Faith being ratified, in acts made by the three estates, that the kings must swear at their coronation, “In the presence of the eternal God, that they shall maintain the true religion, right preaching, and administration of the sacraments now received and preached within this realm, and shall abolish and gain-stand all false religions contrary to the same, and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will of God, laudable laws, and constitutions of the realm,” &c.

The Parl. 1, James VI., 1567, approveth the acts of parliament 1560, conceived only in name of the states, without the king and queen, who had deserted the same; so saith the act 2, 4, 5, 20, 28. And so this parliament, wanting the king and queen’s authority, is confirmed, Parl. 1572, act 51, king James VI.; Parl. 1581, act 1; and Parl. 1581, act 115, in which it is declared, “That they have been common laws from their first date.” and are all ratified, Parl. 1587, and 1592, act 1; and stand ratified to this day by king Charles’ parliament, 1633. The act of the Assembly, 1566 commendeth that parliament, 1560, as the “most lawful and free parliament that ever was in the kingdom.”

Yea, even Parl. 1641, king Charles himself being present, an act was passed upon the occasion of the king’s illegal imprisoning of the laird of Langton: that the king hath no power to imprison any member of the parliament without consent of the parliament. Which act, to the great prejudice of the liberty of the subject, should not have been left unprinted; for, by what law the king may imprison one member of the parliament, by that same reason he may imprison two, twenty, and a hundred; and so may he clap up the whole free estates, and where shall then the highest court of the kingdom be?

All politicians say, the king is a limited prince, not absolute; where the king giveth out laws, not in his own name, but in the name of himself and the estates judicially convened.

In p. 33 of the old acts of parliament, members are summoned to treat and conclude.

The duty of parliaments, and their power, according to the laws of Scotland, may be seen in the history of Knox, now printed at London (an. 1643), in the nobles’ proceeding with the queen, who killed her husband and married Bothwell, and was arraigned in parliament, and by a great part condemned to death; by many, to perpetual imprisonment.

King Charles received not crown, sword, and sceptre, until first he did swear the oath that king James his father did swear. He was not crowned, till one of every one of the three estates came and offered to him the crown, with an express condition of his duty, before he be crowned.

After king Charles said, “I will by God’s assistance bestow my life for your defence, wishing to live no longer than that I may see this kingdom flourish in happiness,” thereafter, the king showing himself on a stage to the people, the popish archbishop said; “Sirs, I do present unto you king Charles, the right descended inheritor, — the crown and dignity of this realm, appointed by the peers of the kingdom. And are you willing to have him for your king, and become subject to him?” The king turning himself on the stage, to be seen of the people, they declared willingness, by crying, God save king Charles! Let the king live!


[1] Angl. Conf. art. 37. Sed eam tantum prerogativam aquam in sacris Scripturis a Deo ipso omnibus piis princibus semper fuisse tributam, hoc est, ut omnes status atque ordines fidei, suæ commisos, fixe illi ecclesiastici sint, sive civiles, in officio contineant, et contumaces ac delinquentes gladio civili coerceant. []

Question XLIV.

General results of the former doctrine, in some few corollaries, or straying questions, fallen off the roadway, answered briefly.

Quest. 1. — Whether all governments be but broken governments and deviations from monarchy.

Ans. — l. It is denied: there is no less somewhat of God’s authority in government by many, or some of the choicest of the people, than in monarchy; nor can we judge any ordinance of man unlawful, for we are to be subject to all for the Lord’s sake. (1 Pet. ii. 13; Tit. iii. 1; 1 Tim. ii. 1-3.) 2. Though monarchy should seem the rule of all other governments, in regard of resemblance of the Supreme Monarch of all, yet it is not the moral rule from which, if other governments shall err, they are to be judged sinful deviations.

Quest. 2. — Whether royalty is an immediate issue and spring of nature.

Ans. — No; for a man, fallen in sin, knowing naturally he hath need of a law and a government, could have, by reason, devised governors, one or more; and the supervenient institution of God, coming upon this ordinance, doth more fully assure us, that God, for man’s good, hath appointed governors; but, if we consult with nature, many judges and governors, to fallen nature, seem nearer of blood to nature than one only; for two, because of man’s weakness, are better than one. Now, nature seemeth to me not to teach that only one sinful man should be the sole and only ruler of a whole kingdom; God, in his word, ever joined with the supreme ruler many rulers, who, as touching the essence of a judge, (which is, to rule for God,) were all equally judges: some reserved acts, or a longer cubit of power in regard of extent, being due to the king.

Quest. 3. — Whether magistrates, as magistrates, be natural.

Ans. — Nature is considered as whole and sinless, or as fallen and broken. In the former consideration, that man should stand in need of some one to compel him with the sword to do his duty, and not oppress, was no more natural to man than to stand in need of lictors and hangmen, or physicians for the body, which in this state was not in a capacity of sickness or death; and so government by parents and husbands was only natural in the latter consideration. Magistrates, as magistrates, are two ways considered, — 1. According to the knowledge of such an ordinance; 2. According to the actual erection of the practice of the office of magistrates. In the former notion, I humbly conceive, that by nature’s light, man now fallen and broken, even under all the fractions of the powers and faculties of the soul, doth know, that promises of reward, fear of punishment, and the co-active power of the sword, as Plato said, are natural means to more us, and wings to promote obedience and to do our duty; and that government by magistrates is natural. But, in the second relation, it is hard to determine that kings, rather than other governors, are more natural.

Quest. 4. — Whether nature hath determined that there should be one supreme ruler, a king, or many rulers, in a free community.

Ans. — It is denied.

Quest. 6. — Whether every free commonwealth hath not in it a supremacy of majesty, which it may formally place in one or many.

Ans. — It is affirmed.

Quest 6. — Whether absolute and unlimited power of royalty be a ray and beam of divine majesty immediately derived from God?

Ans. — Not at all. Such a creature is not in the world of God’s creation. Royalists and flatterers of kings are parents to this prodigious birth. There is no shadow of power to do ill in God. An absolute power is essentially a power to do without or above law, and a power to do ill, to destroy; and so it cannot come from God as a moral power by institution, though it come from God by a flux of permissive providence; but so things unlawful and sinful come from God.

Quest. 7. — Whether the king may in his actions intend his own prerogative and absoluteness.

Ans. — He can neither intend it as his nearest end, nor as his remote end. Not the former, for if he fight and destroy his people for a prerogative, he destroyeth his people that he may have a power to destroy them, which must be mere tyranny, nor can it be his remote end; for, granting that his supposed absolute prerogative were lawful, he is to refer all lawful power and all his actions to a more noble end, to wit, to the safety and good of the people.

Quest. 8. — Do not they that resist the parliament’s power, resist the parliament; and they that resist the king’s power, resist the king; God hath joined king and power, who dare separate them?

Ans. — 1. If the parliament abuse their power, we may resist their abused power, and not their power parliamentary. Mr Bridges doth well distinguish (in his Annotations on the “Loyal Convert”) betwixt the king’s power, and the king’s will, 2. The resisters do not separate king and power, but the king himself doth separate his lawful power from his will, if he work and act tyranny out of this principle, will, passion, lust; not out of the royal principle of kingly power. So far we may resist the one, and not the other.

Quest. 9. — Why, if God might work a miracle in the three children’s resistance active, why doth he evidence omnipotence in the passive obedience of these witnesses? The kingdom of Judah was Christ’s birthright, as man and David’s son. Why did he not, by legions of men and angels, rather vindicate his own flesh and blood, than triumph by non-resistance, and the omnipotence of glory to shine in his mere suffering?

Ans. — Who art thou that disputest with God? He that killeth with the jaw-bone of an ass, thousands, and he that destroyed the numberless Midianites by only three hundred, should no more put the three children to an unlawful act in the one, if they had by three men killed Nebuchadnezzar and all his subjects, than in the other. But nothing is said against us in a sophism a non causa pro causa; except it be proved, God would neither deliver his three children, nor Christ from death, and the Jews from bondage, by miraculous resistance, because resistance is unlawful. And if patient suffering is lawful, therefore, is resistance unlawful? It is a poor consequent, and a begging of the question: both must be lawful to us; and so we hold, of ten lawful means, fit to compass God’s blessed end, he may choose one and let go nine. Shall any infer, therefore, these other nine means are unlawful, because God chose a mean different from those nine, and refused them? So may I answer by retortion. The three hundred sinned in resisting Midian, and defeating them. Why? Because it should be more honour to God, if they had, by suffering patiently the sword of Midian, glorified God in martyrdom. So Christ and the apostles, who could have wrought miracles, might have wrought reformation by the sword, and destroyed kings and emperors, the opposers of the Lamb; and they did reform by suffering; therefore, the sword is unlawful in reformation. It followeth not. The mean Christ used, is lawful; therefore, all other means that he used not, are unlawful. It is vain logic.

Quest. 10. — Whether the coronation of a king is any other thing but a ceremony.

Ans. — In the coronation there is, and may be, the ceremony of a shout and an acclamation, and the placing of a sceptre in his right hand who is made king, and the like; but the coronation, in concreto, according to the substance of the act, is no ceremony, nor any accidental ingredient in the constitution of a king. 1. Because Israel should have performed a mere ceremonial action on Saul when they made him king, which we cannot say; for as the people’s act of coronation is distinctive, so is it constitutive: it distinguished Saul from all Israel, and did constitute him in a new relation, that he was changed from no king to be a king. 2. The people cannot, by a ceremony, make a king; they must really put some honour on him, that was not put on him before. Now this ceremony, which royalists do fancy coronation to be, is only symbolical and declarative, not really dative. It placeth nothing in the king.

Quest. 11. — Whether subjects may limit the power that they gave not to the king, it being the immediate result (without intervening of law or any act of man) issuing from God only.

Ans. — 1. Though we should allow (which in reason we cannot grant) that royal power were a result of the immediate bounty of God, without any act of man, yet it may be limited by men, that it over-swell not its banks. Though God immediately make Peter an apostle, without any act of men, yet Paul, by a sharp rebuke, (Gal. ii.) curbeth and limiteth his power, that he abuse it not to Judaising. Royalists deny not, but they teach, that the eighty priests that restrained Uzziah’s power “from burning incense to the Lord,” gave no royal power to Uzziah. Do not subjects, by flight, lay restraint upon a king’s power, that he kill not the subjects without cause? yet they teach that subjects gave no power to the king. Certainly this is a proof of the immediate power of the King of kings, that none can fly from his pursuing hand, (Psal. cxxxix. 1-3; Amos ix. 1-4,) whereas men may fly from earthly kings. Nebuchadnezzar, as royalists teach, might justly conquer some kingdoms, for conquest is a just title to the crown, say they. Now, the conqueror then justly not only limiteth the royal power of the conquered king, but wholly removeth his royalty and unkinqeth him; yet, we know, the conqueror gave no royal power to the conquered king. Joshua and David took away royal power which they never gave, and therefore this is no good reason, — the people gave not to the king royal power, therefore they could not lawfully limit it and take it away. 2. We cannot admit that God giveth royal power immediately, without the intervention of any act of law; for it is an act of law, that (Deut. xvii.) the people chooseth such a king, not such a king; that the people, by a legal covenant, make Saul, David, and Joash, kings, and that God exerciseth any political action of making a king over such subjects, upon such a condition, is absurd and inconceivable; for how can God make Saul and David kings of Israel upon this political and legal condition, that they rule in justice and judgment, but there must intervene a political action? and so they are not made kings immediately. If God feed Moses by bread and manna, the Lord’s act of feeding is mediate, by the mediation of second causes; if he feed Moses forty days without eating any thing, the act of feeding is immediate; if God made David king, as he made him a prophet, I should think God immediately made him king; for God asked consent of no man, of no people, no, not of David himself, before he infused in him the spirit of prophecy; but he made him formally king, by the political and legal covenant betwixt him and the people. I shall not think that a covenant and oath of God is a ceremony, especially a law-covenant, or a political paction between David and the people, the contents whereof behoved to be de materia gravi et onerosa, concerning a great part of obedience to the filth commandment of God’s moral law, the duties moral concerning religion, and mercy, and justice, to be performed reciprocally between king and people. Oaths, I hope, are more than ceremonies.

Quest. 12. — Whether or no the commonwealth is not ever a pupil, never growing to age, as a minor under nonage doth come not to need a tutor, but the commonwealth being still in need of a tutor, a governor, or king, must always be a tutor, and so the kingdom can never come to that condition as to accuse the king, it always being minor.

Ans. — 1. Then can they never accuse inferior judges, for a kingdom is perpetually in such a nonage, as it cannot want them, when sometimes it wanteth a king. 2. Can the commonwealth, under democracy and aristocracy, being perpetually under nonage, ever then quarrel at these governments and never seek a king ? By this reason they cannot. 3. The king, in all respects, is not a tutor — every comparison in something beareth a leg; for the commonwealth, in their own persons, do choose a king, complain of a king, and resist an Uzziah, and tie their elective prince to a law. A pupil cannot choose his tutor, either his dying father, or the living law doth that service for him; he cannot resist his tutor, he cannot tie his tutor to a law, nor limit him, when first he chooseth him. Pupillo non licet postulare tutorem suspecti, quamdiu sub tutela est, et manet impubes. (I. Pietatis 6, in sin. C. de susp. Tutor. l. impuberem. 7, and sect, impuberes. Just. eod).

Quest. 13. Whether or no subjects are more obnoxious to a king than clients to patrons, and servants to masters, because the patron cannot be the client’s judge, but some superior magistrate must judge both, and the slave had no refuge against his master, but only flight; and the king doth confer infinite greater benefits on the subjects, than the master doth on the slave, because he exposeth his life, pleasure, ease, credit, and all for the safety of his subjects.[1]

Ans. — 1. It is denied, for to draw the case to fathers and lords, in respect of children and vassals, the reason why sons, clients, vassals, can neither formally judge, nor judicially punish, fathers, patrons, lords, and masters, though never so tyrannous, is a moral impotency, or a political incongruity, because these relations of patron and client, fathers and children, are supposed to be in a community, in which are rulers and judges above the father and son, the patron and the client; but there is no physical incongruity that the politic inferior punish the superior, if we suppose there were no judges on the earth, and no relation but patron and client; and, because, for the father to destroy the children, is a troubling of the harmony of nature; and the highest degree of violence, therefore one violence of self-defence, and that most just, though contrary to nature, must be a remedy against another violence; but in a kingdom there is no political ruler above both king and people, and therefore, though nature have not formally appointed the political relation of a king rather than many governors and subjects, yet hath nature appointed a court and tribunal of necessity, in which the people may, by innocent violence, repress the unjust violence of an injuring prince, so as the people injured in the matter of self-defence may be their own judge. 2. I wonder that any should teach, That oppressed slaves had of old no refuge against the tyranny of masters, but only flight; for, (1.) The law expressly saith that they might not only fly but also change masters, which we all know was a great damage to the master, to whom the servant was as good as money in the purse.[2] (2.) I have demonstrated before, by the law of nature, and out of divers learned jurists, that all inferiors may defend themselves by opposing violence against unjust violence; to say nothing that unanswerably I have proved that the kingdom is superior to the king. 3. It is true, Qui plus dat, plus obligat, as the Scripture saith, (Luke vii.,) He that giveth a greater benefit layeth a foundation of a greater obligation. But, 1. If benefit be compared with benefit, it is disputable if a king give a greater benefit than an earthly father, to whom, under God, the son is debtor for life and being, if we regard the compensation of eminency of honour and riches, that the people putteth upon the king; but I utterly deny that a power to act tyrannous acts, is any benefit or obligation, that the people in reason can lay upon their prince, as a compensation or hire for his great pains he taketh in his royal watchtower. I judge it no benefit, but a great hurt, damage, and an ill of nature, both to king and people, that the people should give to their prince any power to destroy themselves, and therefore that people do reverence and honour the prince most, who lay strongest chains and iron fetters on him, that he cannot tyrannise.

Quest. 14. — But are not subjects more subject to their prince, (seeing the subjection is natural, as we see bees and cranes,) to obey him, than servants to their Lord?[3] (C. in Apib. 7, 9, 1, ex Hiero. 4, ad Rustic. Monach. Plin. n. 17.) For jurists teach, that servitude is beside or against nature, (l. 5, de stat. homi. sect. 2, just, et jur. pers. c. 3, sect. et sicut Nov. 89, quib. med. nat. eff. sui.)

Ans. — There is no question, in active subjection to princes and fathers commanding in the Lord, we shall grant as high a measure as you desire. But the question is, if either active subjection to ill and unjust mandates, or passive subjection to penal inflictions of tyranny and abused power, be natural or most natural; or if subjects do renounce natural subjection to their prince, when they oppose violence to unjust violence. This is to beg the question. And for the commonwealth of bees and cranes, and crown and sceptre amongst them, give me leave to doubt of it. To be subject to kings, is a divine moral law of God; but not properly natural to be subject to co-action of the sword. Government and subjection to parents, is natural; but that a king is juris natureæ strictim, I must crave leave to doubt. I hold him to be a divine moral ordinance, to which, in conscience, we are to submit in the Lord.

Quest. 15. — Whether king Uzziah was dethroned by the people?

Ans. — Though we should say he was not formally unkinged and dethroned, yet if the royal power consist in an indivisible point, as some royalists say, and if Uzziah was removed to a private house, and could not reign, being a leper; certainly much royal power was taken from. It is true, Arnisæus saith,[4] he neither could be compelled to resign his power, nor was he compelled to resign his royal authority; but he willingly resigned actual government, and remained king, as tutors and curators are put upon kings that are mad or stupid, and children, who yet govern all by the authority of lawful kings. But that Uzziah did not denude himself of the royal power voluntarily, is clear. The reason (2 Chron. xxvi. 21) why he dwelt in a house apart, and did not actually reign, is, because he was a leper; for, “He was cut off (saith the text) from the house of the Lord; and Jotham, his son, was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” Whereby it is clear, by the express Law of God, he being a leper, and so not by law to enter into the congregation, he was cut off from the house of the Lord; and he being passive, is said to be cut off from the Lord’s house. Whether, then, Uzziah turned necessity to a virtue, I know not: it is evident, that God’s law removed the actual exercise of his power. If we obtain this, which God’s word doth give us, we have enough for our purpose, though Uzziah kept the naked title of a king, as indeed he took but up room in the catalogue of kings. Now, if by law he was cut off from actual governing, whether he was willing or not willing to denude himself of reigning, is all one. And to say, that furious men, idiots, stupid men, and children, who must do all royal acts by curators and tutors, are kings jure, with correction, is petitio principii; for then hath God infused immediately from heaven (as royalists teach us) a royal power to govern a kingdom, on those who are as capable of royalty as blocks. I conceive that the Lord (Deut. xvii. 14-17) commandeth the people to make no blocks kings; and that the Lord hath not done that himself in a binding law to us, which we have no commandment from him to do. I conceive that God made Josiah and Joash kings typical, and in destination, for his promise sake to David, while they were children, as well as he made them kings; but not actu completo ratione officii. to be a rule to us now, to make a child of six years of age a king by office. I conceive children are to us only kings in destination and appointment; and for idiots and tools, I shall not believe (let royalists break their faith upon so rocky and stony a point, at their pleasure) that God hath made them governors of others, by royal office, who can scarce number their own fingers; or that God tyeth a people to acknowledge stupid blocks for royal governors of a kingdom, who cannot govern themselves. But far be it from me to argue with Bellarmine, (de pœnit. l. 3, c. 2,) from Uzziah’s bodily leprosy to infer that any prince who is spiritually leprous and turned heretical, is presently to be dethroned, Nothing can dethrone a king but such tyranny as is inconsistent with his royal office. Nor durst I infer that kings, now a-days, may be removed from actual government for one single transgression. It is true, eighty priests, and the whole kingdom, so serving king Uzziah (their motives, I know, were divine) proveth well that the subjects may punish the transgression of God’s express law in the king, in some cases even to remove him from the throne; but as from God’s commanding to stone the man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath-day, we cannot infer that Sabbath-breakers are now to be punished with death; yet we may well argue, Sabbath-breakers may be punished, and Sabbath-breakers are not unpunishable, and above all law; so may we argue here, Uzziah, though a king, was punished; therefore kings are punishable by subjects.

Quest. 16. — Whether or no, as the denial of active obedience in things unlawful is not dishonourable to the king, as king, he being obliged to command in the Lord only, so the denial of passive subjection to the king using unjust violence, be also no dishonouring of the king.

Ans. — As the king is under God’s law both in commanding and in exacting active obedience, so is he under the same regulating law of God, in punishing or demanding of us passive subjection, and as he may not command what he will, but what the King of kings warranteth him to command, so may he not punish as he will, but by warrant also of the Supreme Judge of all the earth; and therefore it is not dishonourable to the majesty of the ruler, that we deny passive subjection to him when he punisheth beside his warrant, more than it is against his majesty and honour that we deny active obedience when he commandeth illegally; else I see not how it is lawful to fly from a tyrannous king, as Elias, Christ, and other of the witnesses of our Lord have done; and, therefore, what royalists say here is a great untruth, namely, that in things lawful we must be subject actively, — in things unlawful, passively. For as we are in things lawful to be subject actively, so there is no duty in point of conscience, laying on us to be subject passively, because I may lawfully fly, and so lawfully deny passive subjection to the king’s will, punishing unjustly.

Quest. 17. — Whether the prince may make away any part of his dominions, as an island, or a kingdom, for the safety of the whole kingdoms he hath; as if goods be like to sink an over-burthened ship, the seamen cast away a part of the goods in the sea, to save the lives of the whole passengers; and if three thousand passengers being in one ship, and the ship in a storm like to be lost, it would seem that a thousand may be cast over board, to save the lives of the whole passengers.

Ans. — The kingdom being not the king’s proper heritage, it would seem he cannot make away any part of his kingdom to save the whole, without the express consent of that part, though they be made away to save the whole. In things of this kind, men are not as the commodities of merchants, nor is the case alike; as when one thousand, of three thousand, are to be cast into the sea to save all the rest, and that either by common consent, or by lots, or some other way; for it is one thing, when destruction is evidently inevitable, as in the casting so many men into the sea to save the whole and many passengers, and when a king for peace, or for help from another king, maketh away part of his dominion. The Lord is here to be waited on in his good providence, and events are to be committed to him; but far less, can it be imaginably lawful for a king to make away a part of his dominions without their consent, that he may have help from a foreign prince to destroy the rest: this were to make merchandise of the lives of men.[5]

Quest. 18. — Whether or no the convening of the subjects, without the king’s will, be unlawful.

Ans. — The convention of men, of itself, is an indifferent thing, and taketh its specification from its causes, and manner of convening, though some convention of the subjects without the king, be forbidden; yet ratio legis est anima legis, the reason and intent of the law, is the soul of the law. Convention of the subjects, in a tumultuary way, for a seditious end, to make war without warrant of law, is forbidden; but not when religion, laws, liberties, invasion of foreign enemies, necessitateth the subjects to convene, though the king and ordinary judicatures, going a corrupt way to pervert judgment, shall refuse to consent to their conventions. Upon which ground, no convention of tables at Edinburgh, or any other place, (an. 1637, 1638, 1639,) can be judged there unlawful; for if these be unlawful, because they are conventions of the leagues, without express act of parliament, then the convention of the leagues to quench a house on fire, and the convention of a country to pursue a wolf entered in the land to destroy women and children, which are warranted by the law of nature, should be lawless, or against acts of parliament.

Quest. 19. — Whether the subjects be obliged to pay the debts of the king.

Ans. — These debts which the king contracteth as king, in throno regali, the people are to pay. For the law of nature and the divine law doth prove, that to every servant and minister wages is due. (Rom. xiii. 5, 6, compared with verse 4, and 1 Cor. ix. 9-12; 1 Tim. v. 18.) If the prince be taken in a war, for the defence of the people, it is just that he be redeemed by them: so the law saith, (tit. F. et C. de negotiis gestis, et F. et C. Manda.) But, Ferdinandus Vasquez (illust. quest. l. 1, c. 7, n. 6, Vicesimo tertio apparet, &c.) saith, if the prince was not doing the business of the public, and did make war without advice and consent of the people, then are they not to redeem him. Now certain it is, when the king raiseth war, and saith, “God do so to me and mine, if I intend any thing but peace,” yet maketh war not only against his oath, but also without consent of the parliament, and a parliament at that time convocated by his own royal writ, and not raised, and dissolved at all, but still sitting formally a parliament; if he borrow money from his own subjects, and from foreign princes, to raise war against his subjects and parliament, then the people are not obliged to pay his debts, 1. Because they are obliged to the king only as a king, and not as an enemy; but in so raising war he cannot he considered as a king. 2. Though if the people agree with him, and still acknowledge him king; it is impossible, physice, he can be their king, and they not pay his debts; yet they sin not, but may, ex decentia, non ex debito legali, pay his debts, yet are they not obliged by any law of God or man to pay his debts. But though it be true, by all law the king is obliged to pay his debt, (except we say, that all the people’s goods are the king’s: a compendious way, I confess, to pay all that any voluptuous Heliogabolus shall contract,) yet it may easily be proved, that what his subjects and foreign princes lent him to the raising of an unjust war are not properly debts, but expenses unjustly given out under the reduplication of formal enemies to the country, and so not payable by the subjects; and this is evident by law, because one may give most unjustly monies to his neighbour, under the notion of loan, which yet hath nothing of the essence of loan and debt, but is mere delapidation, and cannot properly be debt by God’s law; for the law regulateth a man in borrowing and lending, as in other politic actions. If I, out of desire of revenge, should lend monies to a robber to buy powder and fuel to burn an innocent city, or to buy armour to kill innocent men, I deny that that is legally debt. I dispute not whether A. B., borrowing money formally, that thereby he may waste it on debauchery, shall be obliged to repay it to C. D. under the reduplication of debt; or if the borrower be obliged to pay what the lender hath unjustly lent. I dare not pray to God that all our king’s debts may be paid; I have scarce faith so to do.

Quest. 20. — Whether subsidies be due to the king as king.

Ans. — There is a twofold subsidy; one debitum, of debt; another, charitativum, by way of charity. A subsidy of debt is rather the kingdom’s due for their necessity than the king’s due, as a part of his rent. We read of customs due to the king as king, and for conscience sake, (Rom. xiii. 5, 6,) never of a subsidy or taxation to the kings of Israel and Judah, at any convention of the states. Augustus Cæsar’s taxing of all the world (Luke ii.) for the maintenance of wars, cannot be the proper rent of Augustus, as emperor, but the rent of the Roman empire; and it is but the act of a man. Charitative subsidies to the king, of indulgence, because, through bad husbanding of the king’s rents, he hath contracted debts, I judge no better than royal and princely begging. Yet lawful they are, as I owe chanty to ray brother, so to my father, so to my politic father the king. See Ferd. Vasq. (illust. quest. l. 1,c. 8) who desireth that superiors, under the name of charity, hide not rapine, and citeth Cicero, gravely saying, (offic. l.1,) “Nulla generi humano et justitiæ major pestis est, quam eorum, quidum maxime fallunt, id agunt, ut boni viri esse videantur,” &c.

Quest. 21. — Whether the seas, floods, roadways, castles, ports, public magazine, militia, armour, forts, and strongholds be the king’s.

Ans. — All these may be understood to be the king’s in divers notions. 1. They are the king’s, quoad custodiam, et publicam possessionem, as a pawn is the man’s in whose hand the pawn is laid down. 2. They are the king’s, quoad jurisdictionem cumulativam, non privativam. The king is to direct, and royally to command, that the castles, forts, ports, strongholds, armour, magazine, militia, be employed for the safety of the kingdom. All the ways, bridges, and public roadways, are the king’s, in so far as he, as a public and royal watchman, is to secure the subject from robbers, and to cognosce of unknown murders, by himself and the inferior judges; yet may not the king employ any of these against the kingdom. 3. They are the kings, as he is king, quoad officialem, et regalem, et publicam proprietatem; for he hath a royal and princely propriety to all these, as his own, in so far as he useth them according to law. 4. And thus they are the king’s also, quoad usum, in regard of official use. But, 1. They are the kingdom’s, quoad fructum, in regard of the effect and fruit. 2. They are the kingdom’s, finaliter, being destinated for the safety and security of the kingdom. 3. They are the kingdom’s, quoad proprietatem propriam, et legalem stricte sumptam, according to the proper and legal propriety; and are not the king’s proper heritage as he is a man: 1. Because he may not sell these forts, strongholds, ports, magazine, bridges, &c. to a stranger, or a foreign prince. 2. When the king is dead, and his heirs and royal line interrupted, these all remain proper to the kingdom; yet so as the state cannot, as they are men, make them away, or sell them, more than the king; for no public persons, yea the multitude cannot make away the security, safety, and that which necessarily conduceth. to the security of the posterity. “The Lord build his own Zion, and appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks!”

THE END.


[1] Arnisæus de authorit. princip., c. 3, n.. 6.

[2] Servi indigne habiti confugiendi ad statuas, et dominum mutandi copiam habent, 1. 2. De bis qui sunt sui. Item, C. de lat. Hered. toll.

[3] Arnisæus de authorit. princip. in popul c. 3, n. 7.

[4] Arnisæus de jure Pontif. Rom. in Regna et Princ. c. 5, n, 30.

[5] Ferdinan. Vasquez illust. quest. l. 1, c. 3, n. 8, juri alieno quisquam nec in minima. parte obesse potest. l. id quod nostru. F. de reg. jur. 1. jur. natu. cod. titul. 1.

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