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because the end of the architects was, that no new thing, which was of so much concernment as the stable good and damage of the kingdom, should be introduced without the consent and advice of the whole. So that, if any business be of that moment, that it is equipollent to a law in the publick interest, it should be managed by such an authority and way as that is. Secondly, such as introduce a necessity of publick charge, be it matter of war, or else if, to the effecting of it, the purse of the kingdom be required, it is evident that it ought to be done by the concurrence of all, because they only jointly (as appears before) have power to impose a publick charge on the estates of men. And it were all one to put the power of our estates in the hands of one, as to put the power of such undertakings in his sole hands, which of necessity bring after them an engagement of publick expence.
Ilux far forth the two estates may oppose and resist the will of the monarch f
This question is in the general already handled in the first part, so that it will be easy to draw those answers there to this particular here: Therefore conformably to what I then affirmed, I will answer this question by divers positions.
First, The monarch working according to his power, not exceeding the authority which God and the laws have conferred on him, is no way to be opposed either by any or all his subjects, but in conscience to God's ordinance obeyed. This is granted on all sides.
Secondly, If the will and command of the monarch exceed the limits of the law, it ought for the avoidance of scandal and offence to be submitted to, so it be not contrary to God's law, nor bring with it such an evil to ourselves, or the publick, that we cannot be accessary to it by obeying. This also will find no opposition. Disobedience in light cases, in which we are not bound, makes an appearance of slighting the power, and is a disrespect to the person of the magistrate. Therefore Christ, to avoid such offence, would pay tribute, though he tells Peter, he was free, and need not have done it.
Thirdly, If he command a thing which the law gives him no authority to command, and if it be such as would be inconvenient to obey, in this case obedience may lawfully be denied: This also finds allowance from them which stand most for royal power. Doctor Fern in his preface acknowledges obedience to be limited and circumscribed by the established laws of the land, and accordingly to be yielded or denied. And Sect. i. says he, ' We may and ought to deny obedience to such commands of the prince as are unlawful by the law of God, yea by the established laws of the land.' Here he says more than we say, yea more than should be said, as appears in the second position: It is not universally true, that we ought. Fourthly, If he exceed the limits of the law, and proceed in Courses illegal, means there are which it is agreed upon the subjects may use to reduce him to legal government, so much Doctor Fern allows Sect. iv. Cries to God, Petition to the Prince, Denial of Obedience, Denial of Subsidy, &c.
Fifthly, But the point in controversy is about positive and forcible resistance, the lawfulness of which some do utterly deny, and others do as confidently maintain: But yet this point might be brought to a narrower state than, in the confused handling of it, it usually is: By distinguishing betwixt forcible resistance used against the king's own person, or against inferior officers and instruments, advising to, or executing the illegal commands.
Foil the First, As I have before expressed myself, Force ought not to be used against the person of the sovereign, on any pretence whatever, by any or all his subjects, even in limited and mixed monarchies: For, if they be truly monarchs, they are irrevocably invested with sovereignty, which sets their persons above all lawful power and force. Also, the Sovereign Power being so conferred on that person, the person and power cannot be really sundered, but the force, which is used to the one, must also violate the other; for power is not in the sovereign as it is in inferior officers: As water is otherwise in the spring than in the channels, and pipes deriving it. It is not inseparably in them, and therefore, they offending, force may be used against them without violation of the ordinance of authority. These arguments prove it unlawful in any: That, which the Doctor brings, I approve as strong against all private force, where he allows defence against the person of the prince himself, so far as to ward his blows, but not to return blows, no, though for natural defence: Because the common-wealth is concerned in his person, Sect. ii. And to divert a private evil, by inducing a publick, is unjust and unlawful: So that, for this point of force against the person of the prince, I think there ought to be no contention. If any have been so rash to hold it lawful on these grounds, that the whole kingdom is above him, because they make him king, and that by miscarriage he may make a forfeiture, and so layhimself open to force: I do judge these grounds very insufficient, unless the kingdom reserve a superiority to itself, or there be a fundamental clause of forfeiture on specified causes; and then it is not properly a monarchy: But all this hath been already handled in the general part.
Secondly, For instruments of oppression of publick liberty, if the wrong be destructive, and no other means of prevention, but force, be left: I am persuaded it may be used, and positive resistance made against them: And, if I find any contradiction from the most rigid patrons of royalty, it must be only in this point. And here I must complain of the indistinct dealing of that Doctor in this matter; who mingleth both these points together, and scarce speaks any thing to resolve men's consciences in this, but speaks either in general, or else of force against the prince's own person: Whereas I think, the case, which sticks most on the conscience at this time, is this latter: Of opposing misleading and misemployed subjects, which he speaks very little to. Nay, he seems to me, after all hit disclaiming of resistance, to come home to us, and, though sparingly, yet to assent to the lawfulness of resistance in this point. For Sect. ii. speaking of David's guard of armed men: He says, it was to secure his person against the cut-throats of Saul, if sent to take away his life: He means to secure it by force, for soldiers are for force: He means no negative securing by flight, for that may b» done even against Saul himself: But he speaks of such a securing which might only be against cut-throats. So then he grants securing by force against these: But they went on Saul's command, and mostly with his presence. Again, in the instance of Elisha, he seems to acknowledge the lawfulness of personal defence against the sudden and illegal assaults of messengers; he means by force, for he speaks of such which he will not allow in publick, which can be understood of none, but by force: But it appears the Doctor, in his whole discourse, hath avoided this point of resistance of misemployed subjects; which yet is the alone point which would have given satisfaction: For, before it appears, we agree in all the rest, and in this too for aught I know, he having not distinctly said any thing against it.
Whether resistance of instruments of will be lawful.
Now, concerning this case of forcible resistance of inferior per. sons misemployed to serve the illegal, destructive commands of the prince, I will do two things. 1. I will maintain my assertion by convincing arguments. 2. I will shew the invalidity of what is said against it.
This, then, is my assertion. The two estates in parliament may lawfully, by force of arms, resist any persons, or number of persons, advising or assisting the king in the performance of a command illegal and destructive to themselves or the publick.
First, Because that force is lawful to be used for the publick con. Servation, which is no resistance of the ordinance of God, for that is the reason condemning the resistance of the powers. Now, this is no resistance of God's ordinance; for, by it, neither the person of the sovereign is resisted, nor his power; not his person, for we speak of agents employed, not of his own person, nor his power, for the measure of that, in our government, is acknowledged to be the law. And therefore he cannot confer authority beyond law; so that those agents, deriving no authority from him, are mere instruments Of his will, unauthorised persons, in their assaults robbers, and, as Dr. Fern calls them, cut-throats. If the case be put, What if the sovereign himself, in person, be present with such assailants, joining his personal assistance in the execution of his commands? It is much to be lamented, that the will of the prince should be so impetuous in much testimony: Thus it is apparent, that the denial of this power any subverting act, as to hazard his own person in the prosecution of it: Yet, supposing such a case, all counsels and courses must be taken, that no violence be offered to his person, and profession of none intended: But no reason the presence of his person should privilege ruining instruments from suppression, and give them an impunity to spoil and destroy subjects, better than themselves. His person being secured from wrong, his power cannot be violated in such an act, in which none of it can be conferred on the agents. And sure David, though he avoided laying hands, or using any violence against the person of Saul, and on no extremity would have done it; yet, for the cut-throats about him, if no other means would have secured him, he would have rescued himself by force from their outrage, though Saul was in their company, else what intended he by all that force of soldiers, and his enquiry of God at Keilah? By which it is plain he had an intent to have kept the place by force, if the people would have stuck to him: Neither is it to the purpose which the Dr. says, Sect. ii. That his example was extraordinary, because he was anointed, and designed to succeed Saul, for that, being but a designation, did not exempt him from the duty of subjection, for the present, or lessen it, as is plain by the great con. science he made of not touching Saul. But he knew it was one thing to violate Saul's person and power, and another to resist those instruments of tyranny, the cut-throats which were about him.
Secondly, Because, without such power of resistance in the hands of subjects, all distinction and limitation of government is vain, and all forms resolve into absolute and arbitrary; for that is so which is unlimited; and that is unlimited not only which hath no limits set, but also which hath no sufficient limits; for to be restrained from doing what I will, by a power which can restrain me no longer, nor otherwise than I will, is all one, as if I were left at my own will. I take this to be clear: Now, it is as clear, that, unless this forcible resistance of instruments of usurped power be lawful, no sufficient limits can be to the Prince's will, and all laws bounding him are to no purpose. This appears by enumerating the other means, prayer to God, petition to the prince, denial of obedience, denial of sub. sidy, a moderate use of the power of denying, as Dr. Fern calls it. These are all; but whatare these to hinder, if a prince be minded to overthrow all, and bring the whole government to his own will? For prayer and petition, these are put in to fill up the number: They are no limitations; they may be used in the most absolute monarchy. For denial of obedience, that may keep me from being an instrument of publick servitude; but princes wills never want them which will yield obedience, if I deny it; yea, enough to destroy all the rest, if nothing be left them but to suffer. Then for denial of subsidy, if he may, by thousands of instruments, take all, or what he or they please, and I must not resist: What need he care whether the people deny or grant, if a prince be taught that he may do it? Cases and reasons will soon be brought to persuade him, that in them he may lawfully do it, as late experiences have given us too of resistance of instruments overthrows and makes invalid all government, but that which is absolute, and reduces the whole world dejurc to an absolute subjection, that is, servitude; for the end of all constitution of moderated forms is not, that the supreme power might not lawfully exorbitate, but that it might have no power to exorbitate.
The doctor is conscious hereof, and therefore tells us, in his Sect. v. This is the very reason which is made for the Pope's power of curbing and deposing kings in case of heresy, because else the church, says the Papist, hath no means for the maintenance of the catholick faith, and its own safety. But who sees not the vast difference betwixt these two? And that the same reason may be concluding here, which is apparently non-concluding there. For, 1. they thereby would draw to the Pope an authoritative power, we no such superior power, but only a power of resistance for self-conservation, which nature and the law of reason gives to every one, and may stand with the condition of subjection and inferiority. 2. They, on this reason, give the Pope a power over the very person of the king, we only of resisting of unauthorised, invading destroyers, coming under the colour of an authority which is not in the sovereign to be derived. 3. They prove a civil right for spiritual reasons, we only for civil reasons. 4. The church and the faith are constituted in their very formal being from Christ himself, who is the head and great shepherd immediately in his own person; and, as it is his own family, so he keeps the power of preserving it in his own hands, having made direct and particular promises to assure us of their upholding against all subversion by his own power; so that here is assurance enough without visible means of force for a spiritual body, which lives by faith. But in a civil state there is no such assurance, nor supporting promises, power only, in the undefined being of it, being God's immediate ordinance, and not in this sperificated or determinate being; wherefore it hath no such immediate provision made for its preservation, no promise of a divine power for its standing: But as it is left by God to men's wisdom to contrive the frame, so to their providence to establish means of preservation. As the body is outward and civil, so the upholding means must be such, spiritually and infallibly assuring a formed state hath not, as the church and faith have; if there be none of outward force and power neither, then none at all it hath, and is in ill case indeed. But there is an art full of venom, when a truth cannot be beaten down by just reasoning, then to make it odious by hateful comparisons; so in this case aspersions are cast, as if the patrons of resistance did borrow the Popish and Jesuitical grounds, and their positions as dangerous to kings, as the Jesuits hell-bred and bloody principles: Whereas it appears, by all this discourse, and I am persuaded is written in capital letters in the very consciences of them which despightfully object it, that there is no congruity at all betwixt their doctrines, no more than betwixt light and darkness.
Thirdly, Because such power is due to a publick state for its preservation, as is due to a particular person. But every