Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

rotten suggestions whereon it yet leans; if his intents be
sincere to the public, and Mall carry him on without
bitterness to the opinion, or to the person dissenting; let
him not, I entreat him, guess by the handling, which
meritoriously hath been bestowed on this object of con-
tempt and laughter, that I account itany displeasure done
me to be contradicted in print: but as it leads to the at-
tainment of any thing more true, shall esteem it a bene-
fit; and shall know how to return his civility and fair
argument in such a fort, as he shall confess that to do fo
is my choice, and to have done thus was my chance.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THE

TEN U R E

OF

KINGS AND MAGISTRATES:

PROVING,

ages, for

That it is lawful, and hath been held fo through all

any, who have the power, to call to account a Tyrant, or wicked KING, and, after due conviction, to depose, and put him to death; if the ordinary MAGISTRATE have neglected, or denied to do it.

And that they, who of late fo much blame Deposing, are

the men that did it themselves. * IF men within themselves would be governed by reason, and not generally give up their understanding to a double tyranny, of custom from without, and blind affections, within; they would discern better what it is to favour and uphold the tyrant of a nation. But being slaves within doors, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public state conformably governed to the inward vitious rule, by which they govern themselves. For indeed none can love freedom heartily, but good men: the rest love not freedom, but licence: which

• This tract, which was first published in February 1648-9, after the execution of king Charles, and is a defence of that action againft the objections of the Presbyterians, was, in the year 1650, republished by the author with considerable additions, all which, omitted in every former edition of the author's works, are here carefully inserted in their proper places. The copy which I ute, after the above title, has the following sentence ; " Published now the second time with some addie tions, and many testimonies also added out of the best and learnedett among protestant divines, afferting the position of this book.” The passages here restored are marked with single inverted commas.

[ocr errors]

never hath more fcope, or more indulgence than under tyrants. Hence is it, that tyrants are not oft offended, nor stand much in doubt of bad men, as being all nas turally servile; but in whom virtue and true worth most is eminent, them they fear in earnest, as by right their masters ; against them lies all their hatred and fufpicion. Consequently neither do bad men hate tyrants, but have been always readielt, with the falsified names of Loyalty and Obedience; to colour over their base compliances. And although fometimes for shame, and when it comes to their own grievances, of purfe especially, they would feem good patriots, and side with the better cause, yet when others for the deliverance of their country endued with fortitude and heroic virtue, to fear nothing but the curfe written against those “that do the work of the Lord negligently *," would go on to remove, not only the calamities and thraldoms of a people, but the roots and causes whence they spring ; straight these men, and sure helpers at need, as if they hated only the miseries, but not the mischiefs, after they have juggled a ad paltered with the world, bandied and borne arms against their king, divested him, disanointed him, nay cursed him all over in their pulpits, and their pamphlets, to the engaging of fincere and real men beyond what is possible or honeft to retreat from, not only turn revolters from those principles, which only could at first move them; but lay the stain of disloyalty, and worse, on those proceedings, which are the neceffary confequences of their own former actions ; nor dilliked by themselves, were they managed to the entire advantages of their own faction; not considering the while that he, toward whom they boasted their new fidelity, counted them accessory; and by those statutes and laws, which they fo impotently brandish against others, would have doomed them to a traitor's death for what they have done already. It is true, that most men are apt enough to civil wars and commotions as a novelty, and for a flaili hot and active ; but through floth or inconstancy, and weakness of fpirit, either fainting ere their own pre* Jer. xlviii, .

tences,

men.

tences, though never fo juft, be half attained, or, through an inbred falsehood and wickedness, betray ofttimes to destruction with themselves men of nobleft temper joined with them for causes, whereof they in their rafh undertakings were not capable. If God and a good cause give them victory, the prosecution whereof for the moft part inevitably draws after it the alteration of laws, change of government, downfall of princes with their families; then comes the talk to those worthies, which are the foul of that enterprise, to be sweat and laboured out amidft the throng and noses of vulgar and irrational

Some contefting for privileges, customs, forms, and that old entanglement of iniquity, their gibberish laws, though the badge of their ancient slavery. Others, who have been fiercest against their prince, under the notion of a tyrant, and no mean incendiaries of the war against him, when God, out of his providence and high disposal hath delivered him into the hand of their brethren, on a sudden and in a new garb of allegiance, which their doings have long since cancelled, they plead for him, pity him, extol him, protest against those that talk of bringing him to the trial of juttice, which is the fword of God, superjor to all mortal things, in whose hand foever by apparent signs his testified will is to put it. But certainly, if we consider who and what they are, on a sudden grown so pitiful, we may conclude their pity can be no true and christian commiseration, but either levity and shallowness of mind, or else a carnal admiring of that worldly pomp and greatness, from whence they see him fallen; or rather, lastly, a dissembled and feditious pity, feigned of industry to beget new discord. As for mercy, if it be to a tyrant, under which name they themselves have cited him so oft in the hearing of God, of Angels, and the holy church assembled, and there charged him with the spilling of more innocent blood by far, than ever Nero did, undoubtedly the mercy which they pretend is the mercy of wicked men, and their mercies*, we read, “are cruelties;" hazarding the welfare of a whole nation, to have saved

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

one whom they so oft have termed Agag, and villifying the blood of many Jonathans that have saved Ifrael; infisting with much niceness on the unnecessariest clause of their corenant wrested, wherein the fear of change and the abfurd contradiction of a flattering hoftility had hampered them, but not scrupling to give away for compliments, to an implacable revenge, the heads of many thousand christians more.

Another fort there is, who coming in the course of these atlairs, to have their thare in great actions above the form of law or custom, at least to give their voice and approbation; begin to fwerve and almost thiver at the majetty and grandeur of fome noble deed, as if they were newly entered into a great fin; difputing precedents, forms, and circumstances, when the counmonWealth nigh perishes for want of deeds in substance, done with just and faithful expedition. To these I with better intiruction, and virtue equal to their calling; the for-, mer of which, that is to lay instruction, I shall endeavour, as my duty is, to bestow on them; and exhort them not to startle from the just and pious resolution of adhering with all their ttrength and aslistance to the present parliament and army, in the glorious way wherein juliice and victory lath set them;, the only warrants through all ages, next under immediate revelation, to exercise lupreme power; in those proceedings, which hitherto appear equal to what hath been done in any age or nation heretofore justly or magnanimoully. Nor let them be discouraged or deterred by any new apoftate lcarecrows, who, under show of giving counsel, fend out their barking monitories and mementoes, empty of angħt elle but the spleen of a frustrated faction. For how can that pretendied counsel be either found or faithful, when they that give it see not, for madness and vexation of their ends loft, that thofe statutes and fcriptures, which both faisely and fcandaloufly, they wrest, againīt their friends and allociates, would by sentence of the common adverfary fall first and heaviest upon their own heads? Neither let mild and tender difpofitions be foolithiy foftened from their duty and perseverance with the unmafculine rhetoric of any puling priest or chap

:

« PreviousContinue »