[Created: 24 May, 2023]
[Updated: May 24, 2023 ]
This is an e-Book from
Pro populo adversus tyrannos: or The sovereign Right and Power of the People over Tyrants, Clearly Stated and plainly Proved. (London, 1689).http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Books/1689-Milton_SovereignRight/Milton_SovereignPower1689-ebook.html,
John Milton, Pro populo adversus tyrannos: or The sovereign Right and Power of the People over Tyrants, Clearly Stated and plainly Proved. With some Reflections on the late posture of Affairs. By a true Protestant English-man, and Well-wisher to Posterity. (London : [s.n.], Printed in the year, 1689).
Editor's Note: This tract was first published in 1649 to justify the overthrow of King Charles I. It was revised and edited by James Tyrrell and republished 40 years later at the time of the accession of William III to the throne.
To make this edition useful to scholars and to make it more readable, I have done the following:
IF Men within themselves would be govern'd by Reason, and not generally give up their Understandings 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 publick State conformably govern'd to the inward vicious Rule by which they govern themselves; for indeed none can love Freedom heartily but good Men, the rest love not Freedom but License, which never hath more Scope or greater Indulgence than under Tyrants: Hence it is that Tyrants are not often offended with, nor stand much in doubt of bad Men, as being all naturally Servile, but in whom Virtue and true Worth is most eminent, them they fear in earnest, as by right their Masters, against them lies all their Hatred and Suspicion. Consequently neither do bad Men hate Tyrants, but have been always readiest, with the falsified Names of Loyalty and Obedience, to colour over their base Servile Compliances. And although sometimes for shame, and when it comes to their own Grievances of Purse or Profit, especially, they would seem good Patriots, and side with the better Cause, yet when others, for the deliverance of their Country, indu'd with Fortitude and Heroick Virtue, to fear nothing but the Curse against those that do the work of the Lord negligently, Jer. 48.10. 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, as if they hated the Miseries, but not the Mischiefs, after they have Juggled and paltred with the World, reflected on their King, and provok'd Persons to bear Arms against him; nay, forc'd him to fly the Land, and curs'd him all over it, to the engaging of sincere and real Men beyond what is possible or honest 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 just before, themselves seem'd to desire and promote, and which are the necessary Consequences of their own late Actions; nor would they now perhaps shew any dislike to, did they not fear they will not be managed intirely to the Advantages of their own Faction, not considering the while, that he, toward whom they would boast their reviv'd and almost lost Loyalty,  counts them accessary, and will, if ever he gets Power, by those Laws and Statutes which they have frequently and inhumanly brandish'd against others, doom them to the death of Traytors, for what they have done already.
Others there are too, who not long ago seem'd fierce against their King, under the just Notions of a Tyrant, an Jncroacher on the Rights of the People, a Dispencer with the Laws, and a Promoter of all Arbitrary and Illegal Actions; Yet when God, out of his merciful Providence, and singular Love, hath deliver'd him over to follow such Councils and Methods, as have induc'd him to rid us of such an Enemy to the Publick Good as himself was, on a sudden, and in a new Garb of Allegiance (which their late doings seem'd to have cancel'd) plead for him, pitty him, extol him, and protest against those that talk of Excluding him from the Government of these Nations, which by his Arbitrary Actings he has justly Forfeited. But certainly if we consider who, and what these are, on a sudden grown so pittiful; we may conclude their pitty can be no True and Christian Commiseration, but either Lenity or 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 Seditious Pitty, feigned of Industry to beget new Commotions.
As for Mercy, if it be to a Tyrant, undoubtedly it is the Mercy of Wicked Men, and their Mercies (we read) are Cruelties, who would hazard the Wellfare of a whole Nation to save him, who rather than have fail'd in the Accomplishment of his Arbitrary and Popish Designs (had it lain in his Power) would have set the whole World on Fire. There is yet another sort, who coming in the course of their Affairs, or by choice of the People, to have a share in great great Actions now in Agitation, at least to give their Voice and Approbation therein, begin to swerve and almost shiver at the Majesty and Grandeur of this Noble Deed, as if they were newly entered into a great Sin, disputing Presidents, Forms and Circumstances, when the Commonwealth nigh Perishes for want of Deeds in Substance, done with just and faithful Expedition. To these I wish better Instruction, and Virtue equal to their Calling; the former of which (that is to say Instruction) I shall endeavour, as my duty is, to bestow on them; but considering what Attempts are daily made to withdraw the Nation from their Duty, and cause them to mistake their Interest, I will crave leave briefly to exhort them all not to start from the necessary, just, and pious Resolution, of adhering  with all their assistance, to those to whom (next under the Divine Providence) we owe our Deliverance from Popery, Tyranny, and Arbitrary Government, and the Safety both of our Lives and Estates. And first, let not any be discouraged by any New, Seditious, Foolish, or Apostate Scare-crows, who under shew of giving Counsel, send out their barking Monitories, Mementoes, Speeches, and Advices, empty of ought else, but the Spleen of a Foolish and frustrated Faction; for how can that pretended Counsel be either Sound or Faithful, when they that give it, see not, for Madness and Vexation of their Ends lost, that those Statutes and Scriptures, which both Falsly and Scandalously they wrest against us, would, by Sentence of the common Adversary, fall first and heaviest upon their own Heads? Neither let mild and tender Dispositions be Foolishly softened from their Duty and Perseverance, with the unmasculine Rhetorick of any puling Priest, Chaplain, or Prelate, either in their Pulpits (which have constantly been made the place whence Revilings and Curses, instead of Christian Doctrine and Exhortations, have been passionately emitted) or in their Papers, pretended to be sent as Friendly Letters of Advice; or the like, for fashion-sake in private, and forthwith publish'd by the Sender himself, that we may know how much of Friend there was in it, to cast an odious Envy on him, to whom it was pretended to be sent in Charity.
Nor lastly, Let any man be deluded by either the Ignorance, or notorious Hypocrisie, and Self-repugnance of some of our Dancing Clergy, who have the Conscience and the Boldness to come with Scripture in their Mouths, glos'd and fitted for their turns, with a double contradictory Sense; transforming the Sacred Verity of God to an Idol with two Faces, looking at once two several ways, and with Quotations to charge others, which in the same Cause, they have at other times made serve to justifie themselves; for, while the hopes to have that unlawful and unlimited Power, which their late Kings gave them (as finding them the most fit and chief Instruments to serve their Arbitrary ends) continued to them by the present Powers led them on, then to Write and Fight against the Kings Party was Lawful, it was no resisting of Superior Powers, they only were Powers not to be, resisted, who countenanc'd the Good, and punish'd the Evil: But now that they are (we hope) justly afraid their unsufferable and unchristian Domineering, Persecuting, Lordly Power will be abridg'd and taken away, and themselves depriv'd of those vast Revenues which the most of them consume Riotously,  and Pluralities to be now no more, now to talk of bringing all Delinquents without Exception or Exemption to a fair Tryal, is to be no less than Corah, Dathan and Abiram. He, who but ere while was industriously by them reported to be a Tyrant, an enemy to Cod, the Protestant Religion, and Liberty of People, is now (though not one jot more Penitent, or altered from his Principles) a Lawful Magistrate, a Sovereign Lord, the Lords Anointed, not to be touch'd, though by themselves forc'd to fly. Good God! what Inconstancy, what Folly and Madness possesses the Breasts of this People, to what a miserable Slavery would they lead us, and how fond and eager do they seem, to have him rule over us, who (like the Stork in the Fable) has, and would make it his greatest delight, to devour the best of Free-born Subjects? But hoping all their Attempts, to bring us to our old Slavery, will be blasted, and that their eagerness in prosecuting them, will make us the more resolv'd to confound both them and their Devices, I shall leave this Subject, and (according to my promise) endeavour to give suitable Instruction on to those last and fearful sort of People I mentioned but now. To begin then, who in particular is a Tyrant, cannot be determin'd in a general Discourse, otherwise than by Supposition, his particular charge, and the sufficient proof of it must determine that, which I leave to Magistrates, at least to the uprighter sort of them, and of the People (though in number less by many) those in whom Faction and Interest least have prevailed above the Law of Nature and right Reason, to judge as they find: But this I dare own as part of my Faith, that if such a one there be, by whose Commission Cities have been burnt, Royal Relations Murther'd, Multitudes of Innocent Subjects Butcher'd, Nobles taken off by Sham-Plots, Poyson, Perjuries or Massacres; part of his Kingdom promised as their share, whom he had sollicited to help him to destroy his Protestant Subjects, and an Impostor put on the Nation to deprive the next Heir of the Crown; I say if such a one there is, be he King, or Tyrant, or Emperor, the Sword of Justice is above him, in whose hand soever is found sufficient Power to avenge the Effusion of so much Innocent Blood, and those other unspeakable wicked Tyrannies.
For if all Humane Power to execute, not accidentally but intendedly, the Wrath of God upon Evil Doers without Exception, be of God; then that Power, whether Ordinary, or if that fail, Extraordinary, so executing that intent of God is lawful, and not to be resisted. But to unfold more at large this whole Question, though  with all expedient Brevity, I shall here set down, from the first beginning, the Original of Kings; how and wherefore exalted to that Dignity above their Brethren; and from thence shall prove, that turning to Tyranny they may be as lawfully Depos'd and Punish'd, as they were at first Elected: This I shall do by Authorities and Reasons, not learn'd among Schisms and Heresies, as our doubting Divines are ready to calumniate, but fetch'd out of the midst of choicest and authentick Learning, and no prohibited, nor many Heathen, but Mosaical, Christian, and Orthodoxal Authors.
No man that knows any thing, can be so stupid to deny, that all men naturally were born Free, being the Image and resemblance of God himself, and were by Priviledge above all the Creatures, born to command, and not to obey; and that they lived so, till from the root of Adam's Transgression, falling among themselves to do Wrong and Violence, and foreseeing that such courses must needs tend to the destruction of them all, they agreed by common League, to bind each other from mutual Injury, and joyntly to defend themselves against any that gave disturbance or opposition to such agreement: Hence come Cities, Towns and Commonwealths. And because no Faith in all was found sufficiently binding, they saw it needful to ordain some Authority, that might restrain by Force and Punishment, what was violated against Peace and common Right: The Authority and Power of Self-defence and Preservation, being originally and naturally in every one of them, and united in them all, for ease and for order. And, left each man should be his own partial Judge, they communicated and derived either to one, whom for the eminency of his Wisdom and Integrity they chose above the rest, or to more than one, whom they thought of equal deserving: The first was called a King, the other Magistrates. Not to be their Lords and Masters (though afterwards those Names in some places, were given voluntarily to such as had been Authors of inestimable good to the People) but, to be their Deputies and Commissioners, to execute by virtue of their intrusted Power, that Justice which else every Man, by the Bond of Nature and of Covenant, must have executed for himself, and for one another. And to him that shall consider well, why among Free Persons, one Man by civil Right should bear Authority and Jurisdiction over another, no other end or reason can be imaginable. These, for a while, governed well, and with much Equity decided all things at their own Arbitrement; till the Temptation of such a Power left absolute  in their hands, perverted them at length to injustice and Partiality. Then did they who now by tryal had found the danger and inconveniencies of committing Arbitrary Power to any, invent Laws either framed or consented to by all, that should confine and limit the Authority of whom they chose to govern them: that so man, of whose failing they had proof, might no more rule over them, but Law and Reason abstracted as much as might be from personal Errors and Frailties. When this would not serve, but that the Law was either not executed, or misapplied, they were constrained from that time, the only Remedy left them, to put Conditions and take Oaths from all Kings and Magistrates at their first Installment, to do impartial Justice by Law; who upon those terms and no other, received Allegiance from the People, that is to say, Bond or Covenant, to obey them in Execution of those Laws which they the People had themselves made or assented to. And this often times with express warning, that if the King or Magistrate proved unfaithful to his Trust, the People would be disingaged. They added also Counsellors and Parliaments, not to be only at his beck, but with him or without him, at set times, or at all times, when any Danger threatned, to have care of the Publick Safety. Therefore, saith Claudius Sesell a French Statesman, The Parliament was set as a bridle to the King; which I instance rather, because that Monarchy is granted by all to be a far more Absolute than ours. That this and the rest of what hath hitherto been spoken, is most true, might be copiously made appear throughout all Stories Heathen and Christian, even of those Nations where Kings and Emperors have sought means to abolish all Ancient Memory of the Peoples Right, by their Encroachments and Usurpations. But I spare long Insertions, appealing to the German, French, Italian, Arragonian, English, and not least the Scottish Histories: Not forgetting this only by the way, that William the Norman, though a pretended Conqueror, and not unsworn at his Coronation, was compelled a second time to take Oath at St. Albans, ere the People would be brought to yield Obedience.
First, It being thus manifest that the Power of Kings and Magistrates is nothing else, but what is only derivative, transferr'd and committed to them in trust from the People to the common good of them all, in whom the Power yet remains Fundamentally, and canot be taken from them, without a violation of their natural Birth-right: And seeing that from hence Aristotle and  the best of Political Writers have defin'd a King, him who Governs to the good and profit of his People, and not for his own ends, it follows from necessary causes, that the Titles of Soveraign Lord, Natural Lord, and the like, are either Arrogancies or Flatteries, not admitted by Emperors and Kings of best Note, and disliked by the Church both of Jews, Isa. 26.13. and ancient Christians, as appears by Tertullian and others. Although generally the People of Asia, and with them the Jews also, especially since the time they chose a King, against the advice and counsel of God, are noted by wise Authors much inclinable to Slavery.
Secondly, That to say, as is usual, the King hath as good right to his Crown and Dignity as any Man to his Inheritance, is to make the Subject no better than the King's Slave, his Chattel or his Possession that may be bought and sold: And doubtless, if hereditary Title were sufficiently enquired, the best Foundation of it would be found but either in Courtesie or Convenience. But suppose it to be of right hereditary, what can be more just and legal, if a Subject for certain Crimes, be to forfeit by Law from himself and Posterity, all his Inheritance to the King, than that a King for Crimes proportional, should forfeit all his Title and Inheritance to the People, unless the People must be thought Created all for him, he not for them, and they all in one Body Inferior to him single; which were a kind of Treason against the dignity of Mankind to affirm.
Thirdly, It follows, that to say Kings are accountable to none but God, is the overturning of all Law and Government. For if they may refuse to give account, then all Covenants made with them at Coronation; all Oaths are in vain, and meer Mockeries; all Laws which they swear to keep, made to no purpose; for if the King fear not God, (as how many of them do not?) We hold then our Lives and Estates, by the tenure of his meer Grace and Mercy, as from a God, not a mortal Magistrate; a position that none but Court Parasites or Men Besotted would maintain. And no Christian Prince not drunk with high mind, and prouder than those Pagan Caesars, that Deifi'd themselves, would arrogate so unreasonably above human condition, or derogate so basely from a whole Nation of Men his Brethren, as if for him only subsisting, and to serve his Glory, valuing them in comparison of his own brute will and pleasure, no more than so many Beasts or Vermin under his feet, not to be reasoned with, but to be injur'd among whom there might be found so many thousand men, for Wisdom, Vertue, nobleness  of mind, and other respects, but the fortune of his Dignity, of above him. Yet some would perswade us, that this absurd opinion was King David's; because in the 51 Psalm, he crys out to God, Against thee only have I Sinned; as if David had imagined, that to Murther Uriah and Adulterate his Wife, had been no sin against his Neighbour, when as that Law of Moses was to the King expresly; Deut. 17. not to think so highly of himself above his Brethren. David therefore by those words, could mean no other, than either that the depth of his guiltiness was known to God only, or to so few as had not the will or power to question him, or that the sin against God was greater beyond compare, than against Uriah. What ever his meaning were, any wise Man will see, that the pathetical words of a Psalm can be no certain decision to a point that hath abundantly more certain rules to go by. How much more rationally spake the Heathen King Demophoon, in a Tragedy of Enripides, than these Interpreters would put upon King David; I rule not my People by Tyranny, as if they were Barbarians, but am my self liable, if I do unjustly, to suffer justly. Not unlike was the Speech of Trajan the worthy Emperor, to one whom he made General of his Praetorian Forces. Take this drawn Sword, saith he, to use for me, if I Reign well, if not, to use against me. Thus Dion relates, and not Trajan only. But Theodosius the younger, a Christian Emperor, and one of the best, caused it to be Enacted as a rule undeniable, and fit to be acknowledged by all Kings and Emperors, That a Prince is bound to the Laws; that on the Authority of Law the Authority of a Prince depends, and to the Laws ought to submit. Which Edict of his remains yet unrepealed in the Code of Justinian, lib. 1. tit. 24. as a sacred Constitution to all the Succeeding Emperors. How then can any King in Europe maintain and write himself accountable to none but God, when Emperors in their own Imperial Statutes, have written and decreed themselves accountable to Law. And indeed where such account is not fear'd, he that bids a Man Reign over him above Law, may bid as well a Savage Beast.
It follows lastly, That the King or Magistrate holds his Authority of the People, both Originally and Naturally, for their good in the first Place, and not his own; then may the People as oft as they shall judge it for the best, either chuse him, or reject him, retain him, or depose him, though no Tyrant, meerly by the Liberty and Right of free-born Men, to be Govern'd as seems to them best. This, though it cannot but stand with plain reason, shall be made good  also by Scripture, Deut. 17.14. When thou art come into the Land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt say, I will set a King over me, like as all the Nations about me. These words confirm us, that the right of choosing, yea of changing their own Government, is by the Grant of God himself in the People. And therefore when they desired a King, though then under another form of Government, and though their changing displeased him, yet he that was himself their King, and rejected by them, would not be a hindrance to what they intended, further than by perswasion, but that they might do therein as they saw good, 1 Sam. 8. only he reserv'd to himself the nomination of who should Reign over them. Neither did that exempt the King as if he were to God only accountable, though by his especial command Anointed. Therefore David first made a Covenant with the Elders of Israel, and so was by them anointed King, 1 Chron. 11. And Jehoiadah the Priest, making Jehoash King, made a Covenant between him and the People, 2 Kings, 11.17. Therefore, when Rehoboam at his coming to the Crown, rejected those conditions which the Israelites brought him; hear what they answer him, What portion have we in David, or Inheritance in the Son of Jesse? See to thine own house David. And for the like conditions not perform'd, all Israel before that time, Deposed Samuel; not for his own default, but for the misgovernment of his Sons. But some will say to both these Examples, it was evilly done. I answer, that not the latter, because it was expresly allow'd them in the Law to set up a King if they pleas'd; and God himself joyn'd with them in the Work; though in some sort it was at that time displeasing to him, in respect of old Samuel, who had govern'd them uprightly. As Livy praises the Romans who took occasion from Tarquinius, a wicked Prince, to gain their Liberty, which to have extorted saith he, from Numa or any of the good Kings before, had not been seasonable. Nor was it in the former Example done unlawfully; for when Rehoboam had prepar'd a huge Army to reduce the Israelites, he was forbidden by the Prophet, 1 Kings 12.24. Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your Brethren, for this thing is from me. He calls them their Brethren, not Rebels, and forbids to be proceeded against them, owning the thing himself; not by single Providence, but by approbation, and that not only of the Act, as in the former Example, but of the fit Season also; he had not otherwise forbid to molest them. And those grave and wise Counsellors whom Rehoboam first advis'd with, spake no such thing, as  our old gray headed Flatterers now are wont; stand upon your Birth-right, scorn to capitulate, you hold of God, and not of them; for they know no such matter, unless conditionally, but gave him politick Counsel, as in a civil Transaction. Therefore Kingdom and Magistracy, whether Supream or Subordinate, is called a human Ordinance, 1 Pet. 2.13. &c. Which we are there taught, is the will of God, we should submit to, so far as for the punishment of Evil doers, and the encouragement of them that do well. Submit, saith he, as Free-men. And there is no power but of God, saith Paul, Rom. 13. as much as to say, God put it into mans heart to find out that way at first, for common Peace and Preservation, approving the exercise thereof; else it contradicts Peter, who calls the same Authority an Ordinance of Man. It must be also understood of Lawful and Just Power, else we read of great power in the Affairs and Kingdoms of the World permitted to the Devil: For saith he to Christ, Luke 4.6. All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them, for it is delivered to me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it: Neither did he lie, or Christ gainsay what he affirm'd: For in the 13. of the Revelations, we read how the Dragon gave to the Beast his power, his seat, and great authority: Which Beast so authorized, most expound to be the tyrannical Powers and Kingdoms of the Earth. Therefore St. Paul in the fore-cited Chapter tells us, that such Magistrates, he means, as are not a terror to the good, but to the evil, such as bear not the Sword in vain, but to punish Offenders, and to encourage the Good. If such only be mentioned here as powers to be obeyed, and our submission to them only required, then doubtless those powers that do the contrary, are no powers ordained of God, and by consequence no obligation laid upon us to obey, or not to resist them. And it may be well observed that both these Apostles, when ever they give this Precept, express it in terms not concret, but abstract, as Logicians are wont to speak, that is, they mention the Ordinance, the Power, the Authority before the Persons that execute it, and what that power is, left we should be deceived; they describe exactly. So that if the power be not such, or the Person execute not such power, neither the one nor the other is of God, but of the Devil, and by consequence to be Resisted. From this exposition Chrysostom also on the same Place dissents not, explaining, that these words were not written in behalf of a Tyrant. And this is verified by David, himself a King, and likeliest to be Author of the, Psalm 94.20. which  saith, Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee? And it were worth the knowing, since Kings, and that by Scripture, boast the justness of their Title, by holding it immediately of God, yet cannot shew the time when God ever set on the Throne them or their Forefathers, but only when the People chose them; why, by the same reason, since God ascribes as often to himself the casting down of Princes from the Throne, it should not be thought as Lawful, and as much from God, when none are seen to do it but the People, and that for just Causes. For if it needs must be a sin in them to Depose, it may as likely be a sin to have Elected. And Contrary, if the Peoples Act in Election be pleaded by a King, as the Act of God, and the most just Title to Enthrone him, why may not the Peoples Act of Rejection be as well pleaded by the People, as the Act of God, and the most just Reason of Depose him? So that we see the Title and just Right of Reigning or Deposing, in reference to God, is found in Scripture to be all one; visible only in the People, and depending meerly upon Justice and Demerit. Thus far hath been considered briefly the Power of Kings and Magistrates, how it was, and is originally the Peoples, and by them conferred in Trust only to be imployed to the common Peace and Benefit; with Liberty therefore and Right remaining in them to reassume it to themselves, if by Kings and Magistrates it be abus'd; or to dispose of it by any Alteration, as they shall judge most conducing to the Publick Good.
We may from hence, with more ease and force of Argument, determine what a Tyrant is, and what the People may do against him. A Tyrant, whether by wrong or by right coming to the Crown, is he who regarding neither Law nor the Common Good, Reigns only for himself and his Faction: Thus St. Basil, among others, defines him. And because his Power is great, his Will boundless and exorbitant, the fulfilling whereof is for the most part accompanied with innumerable Wrongs and Oppressions of the People, Murders, Massacres, Rapes, Adulteries, Desolation, and Subversion of Cities and whole Provinces; look how great a good and happiness a Just King is, so great a Mischief is a Tyrant; as he the publick Father of his Country, so this the Common Enemy; against whom, what the People lawfully may do, as against a common Pest, and destroyer of Mankind, I suppose no Man of clear judgment need go farther to be guided, than by the very Principles of Nature in him. But because it is the Vulgar Folly of  Men to desert their own Reason, and shutting their Eyes, to think they see best with other Mens, I shall shew by such Examples as ought to have most weight with us, what hath been done in this case heretofore. The Greeks and Romans, as their prime Authors witness, held it not only lawful, but a Glorious and Heroick Deed, rewarded publickly with Statues and Garlands, to kill an infamous Tyrant at any time without tryal; and but reason, that he who trod down all Law, should not be vouchsafed the benefit of Law. Insomuch that Seneca the Tragedian brings in Hercules the grand Suppressor of Tyrants, thus speaking,
—Victima haud ulla amplior
Potest, magisque opima mactari Jovi"Quàm Rex iniquus—
—There can be slain
No Sacrifice to God more acceptable
Than an unjust and wicked King—
But of these I name no more, lest it be objected they were Heathen, and come to produce another sort of Men that had the knowledge of true Religion. Amongst the Jews this Custom of Tyrant-killing was not unusual. First, Ehud, a Man whom God had raised to deliver Israel from Eglon King of Moab, who had conquered and ruled over them eighteen years, being sent to him as an Ambassador with a Present, slew him in his own Hoase. But he was a Forreign Prince, an Enemy, and Ehud besides had special warrant from God. To the first I answer, it imports not whether Forreign or Native, for no Prince so Native, but professes to hold by Law, which when he himself overturns, breaking all the Covenants and Oaths that gave him Title to his Dignity, and were the Bond and Alliance between him and his People, what differs he from an Outlandish King or from an Enemy? For look how much Right the King of Spain hath to govern us at all, so much Right hath the King of England to govern us Tyrannically. If he, though not bound to us by any League, coming from Spain in Person to subdue us, or to destroy us, might lawfully, by the People of England, either be slain in Fight, or put to Death in Captivity, what hath a Native King to plead, bound by so many Covenants, Benefits and Honours to the wellfare of his People, why he through the  contempt of all Laws and Parliaments, the only tye of our Obedience to him, for his own wills sake, and a boasted Prerogative unaccountable, after unspeakable Damages done by him to the People of Great Britain for these many years, and being now fled to our greatest Enemy, should think to scape unquestionable, as a thing Divine, in respect of whom so great a number of Christians destroy'd should lye unaccounted for, polluting with their slaughtered Carcasses all the Land over, and crying for Vengeance against the Living that should have righted them. Who knows not that there is a mutual Bond of Amity and Brotherhood between Man and Man over all the World, neither is it the English Sea that can sever us from that Duty and Relation: A straiter Bond yet there is between Fellow-subjects, Neighbours, and Friends: But when any of these do one to another so as Hostility could do no worse, what doth the Law Decree less against them, than open Enemies and Invaders? Or if the Law be not present, or too weak, what doth it warrant us to less than single Defence or Civil War? and from that time forward the Law of civil defensive War differs nothing from the Law of Forreign Hostility. Nor is it distance of place that makes Enmity, but Enmity that makes distance. He therefore that keeps Peace with me near or remote of whatsoever Nation, is to me as far as all Civil and Human Offices an English-man and a Neighbour; but if an English-man forgetting all Laws, Humane, Civil and Religious, offend against Life and Liberty, to him offend and to the Law in his behalf, though born in the same Womb, he is no better than a Turk, a Saracen, a Heathen. This is Gospel, and this was ever Law among Equals, how much rather then in Force against any King whatsoever, who in respect of the People is confess'd Inferior and not Equal: to distinguish therefore of a Tyrant by Outlandish or Domestick, is a weak Evasion. To the second, That he was an Enemy, I answer, what Tyrant is not? Yet Eglon by the Jews had been acknowledged as their Sovereign, they had served him eighteen years, as long almost as we our William the pretended Conqueror, in all which time he could not be so unwise a Statesman, but to have taken of them Oaths of Fealty and Allegiance, by which they made themselves his proper Subjects, as their Homage and Present sent by Ehud testified. To the Third, That he had special Warrant to kill Eglon in that manner, it cannot be granted, because not expressed; it is plain that he was raised by God to be a Deliverer, and went  on just Principles, such as were then and ever held allowable, to deal so by a Tyrant that could no otherwise be dealt with. Neither did Samuel, though a Prophet, with his own hand abstain from Agag, a Forreign Enemy no doubt, but mark the reason, As thy Sword hath made women childless; a cause that by the Sentence of Law it self, nullifies all Relations. And as the Law is between Brother and Brother, Father and Son, Master and Servant, wherefore not between King, or rather Tyrant and People? And whereas Jehu had special command to slay Jeboram a Successive and Hereditary Tyrant, it seems not the less imitable for that; for where a thing grounded so much on natural reason, hath the addition of a command from God, what does it but establish the lawfulness of such an Act. Nor is it likely that God, who had so many ways of punishing the House of Ahab, would have sent a Subject against his Prince, if the Fact in it self, as done to a Tyrant, had been of bad Example. And if David refused to lift his hand against the Lords Anointed, the matter between them was not Tyranny, but private Enmity, and David, as a private Person, had been his own Revenger, not so much the Peoples; but when any Tyrant at this day can shew to be the Lords Annointed, the only mentioned reason why David withheld his hand, he may then, but not till then, presume on the same Priviledge.
We may pass therefore hence to Christian times. And first our Saviour himself, how much he favour'd Tyrants, and how much intended they should be found or honour'd among Christians, declares his mind not obscurely; accounting their absolute Authority no better than Gentilism; yea, though they flourish'd it over with the splendid name of Benefactors; charging those that would be his Disciples to usurp no such dominion; but that they who were to be of most Authority among them, should esteem themselves Ministers and Servants to the Publick. Matt. 20.25. The Princes of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them; and Mark 10.42. They that seem to Rule, saith he, either slighting or accounting them no lawful Rulers; but ye shall not be so, but the greatest among you shall be your Servant. And although he himself were the meekest, and came on Earth to be so, yet to a Tyrant we hear him not vouchsafe and humble word: But, Tell that Fox, Luke 13. And wherefore: did his Mother the Virgin Mary, give such praise to God in her Prophetick Song, that he had now by the coming of Christ, Cut down  Dynasta's or proud Monarchs from the Throne; if the Church when God manifests his power in them to do so, should rather choose all misery and vassalage to serve them, and let them still sit on their potent Seats, to be Ador'd for doing Mischief. Surely it is not for nothing that Tyrants by a kind of natural instinct, both hate and fear none more than the true Church and Saints of God, as the most dangerous Enemies and Subverters of Monarchy, though indeed of Tyranny: Hath not this been the perpetual cry of Courtiers, and Court Prelates? whereof no likelier cause can be alledg'd but that they well discern'd the mind and principles of most devout and zealous Men, and indeed the very discipline of Church, tending to the dissolution of all Tyranny. No marvel then if since the faith of Christ receiv'd in purer or impurer times, to Depose a King and put him to Death for Tyranny, hath been accounted so just and requisite, that neighbour Kings have both upheld and taken part with Subjects in the Action. An Ludovicus Pius, himself an Emperor, and Son of Charles the Great, being made Judge, (Du Haillan is my Author) between Milegast King of the Vultzes and his Subjects, who had depos'd him, gave his Verdict for the Subjects, and for him whom they had chosen in his room. Note here, that the right of Electing whom they please, is by the impartial testimony of an Emperor in the People. For, said he, A just Prince ought to be preferr'd before an unjust, and the end of Government before the Prerogative. And Constantinus Leo, another Emperor in the Byzantine Laws saith, That the end of a King is for the general good which he not performing, is but the counterfeit of a King. And to prove that, some of our own Monarchs have acknowledg'd, that their high Office exempted them not from Punishment; they had the Sword of St. Edward born before them by an Officer, who was called Earl of the Palace, even at the times of their highest Pomp and Solemnity, to mind them, saith Matthew Paris, the best of our Historians, that if they err'd, the Sword had power to restrain them. And what restraint the Sword comes to at length, having both edge and point, if any Sceptick will needs doubt, let him feel. It is also affirm'd from diligent search made in our ancient Books of Law, that the Peers and Barons of England, had a legal right to judge the King: Which was the cause most likely, for it could be no slight cause, that they were call'd his Peers, or Equals. This however may stand immovable, so long as Man hath to deal with no better than Man; that if our Law judge all Men to the lowest by their  Peers, it should in all Equity ascend also, and judge the Highest. And so much I find both in our own and Foreign Story, that Dukes, Earls, and Marquesses, were at first not heriditary, not empty and vain Titles, but names of trust and office, and with the office ceasing, as induces me to be of Opinion, that every worthy man in Parliament, for the word Baron imports no more, might for the publick good be thought a fit Peer and judge of the King; without regard had petty Cavears and Circumstances, the chief impediment in high Affairs, and ever stood upon most by circumstantial men. Whence doubltless our Ancestors who were not ignorant with what rights either Nature or ancient Constitution had endowed them, when Oaths both at Coronation and renew'd in Parliament would not serve, thought it no way illegal to Depose and put to Death their Tyrannous Kings; insomuch, that the Parliament drew up a Charge against Richard the Second, and the Commons requested to have Judgment decree'd against him, that the Realm might not be endangered. And Peter Martyr, a Divine of foremost rank, on the third of Judges approves their doings. Sir Thomas Smith also, a Protestant and States man in his Commonwealth of England, putting the question, Whether it be Lawful to rise against a Tyrant? answers, That the Vulgar judge of it according to the event, and the Learned according to the purpose of them that do it, But far before those days, Gildas the most Ancient of all our Historians, speaking of those times wherein the Roman Empire decaying, quitted and relinquish'd what right they had by Conquest to this Island, and resign'd it all into Peoples hands testifies that the People thus reinvested with their own Original Right, about the Year 446, both Elected them Kings, whom they thought best; (the first Christian British Kings that ever Reign'd here since the Romans) and by the same Right, when they apprehended Cause, usually Depos'd and put them to Death. This is the most fundamental and ancient Tenure that any King of England can produce or pretend to; in comparison of which, all other Titles and Pleas are but of yesterday. If any object that Gildas condemns the Britains for so doing, the Answer is as ready; that he condemns them no more for so doing, than he did before for chusing such; for saith he, They anointed them Kings; not of God, but such as were more Bloody than the rest. Next, he condemns them not at all for Deposing or putting them to Death, but for doing it over hastily, without Tryal or well examining the cause, and for Electing others worse in their room. Thus  we have here both Domestick and most Ancient Examples, that the People of Britain have Deposed and put to Death their Kings in those Primitive Christian times. And to couple Reason with Example, if the Church in all Ages, Primitive, Romish, or Protestant, held it ever no less their Duty, than the power of their Keys, though without express warrant of Scripture, to bring indifferently both King and Peasant under the utmost rigor of their Canons and Censures Ecclesiastical, even to the smiting him with a final Excommunication; if he persist Impenitent, what hinders but the Temporal Law both may and ought, though without a special Text or President, extend with like indifference the Civil Sword, to the cutting off without exemption, him that capitally offends, seeing that Justice and Religion are from the same God, and works of Justice oft-times more acceptable. Yet because some of our late Passive Obèdience Men have wrote, That proceedings against Kings are without Presidents, from any Protestant State or Kingdom, I will briefly rehearse a few (of many) Examples, which shall be all Protestant.
In the year 1546. the Duke of Saxony, Lantgrave of Hessen, and the whole Protestant League raised open War against Charles the Fifth their Emperor, sent him a Defiance, renounced all Faith and Allegiance toward him, and debated long in Council, whether they should give him so much as the Title of Caesar. Sleidan l. 17. Let all Men judge what this wanted of Deposing or of Killing, but the Power to do it.
In the Year 1559. the Scotch Protestants claiming Promise of their Queen Regent for Liberty of Conscience, she answering, That Promises were not to be claimed of Princes, beyond what was commodious for them to grant; told her to her Face in the Parliament then at Sterling, that if it were so, they renounced their Obedience; and soon after betook them to Arms. Buchanan, Hist. l. 16. Certainly when Allegiance is renounced, that very hour the King or Queen is in effect Deposed.
In the Year 1564. John Knox a most Famous Divine, and the Reformer of Scotland, at a general Assembly, maintained openly in a Dispute against Lethington the Secretary of State, that Subjects might and ought execute Gods Judgments upon their King; that the Fact of Jehu and others against their King, having the Ground of Gods ordinary Command, to put such and such Offenders to Death, was not Extraordinary, but to be imitated of all that preferred  the Honour of God to the affection of Flesh and wicked Princes; that Kings, if they offend, have no Priviledge to be exempted from the Punishments of Law, more than any other Subject; so that if the King be a Murtherer, Adulterer or Idolater, he should suffer not as a King, but as an Offender; This Position he repeats again and again before them. Answerable was the Opinion of John Craig another Learned Divine; and that Laws made by the Tyranny of Princes, or the Negligence of People, their Posterity might Abrogate, and Reform all things according to the Original Institution of Commonwealths; and Knox being commanded by the Nobility to write to Calvin, and other Learned Men, for their Judgements in that Question, refused; alledging, that both himself was fully resolved in Conscience, and had heard their Judgments, and had the same opinion under Hand writing of many the most Godly, and most Learned that he knew in Europe; that if he should move the Question to them again, what should he do but shew his own Forgetfulness and Inconstancy? All this is far more largely in the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, lib. 4. with many other Passages to this effect all the Book over; set out with Diligence, by Scotch-men, of best Repute among them, to let the World know, that the whole Church, and Protestant State of Scotland, in those purest times of Reformation, were of the same Belief, three years after, they met in the Field Mary their Lawful and Hereditary Queen, took her Prisoner, yielding before Fight, kept her in Prison, and the same year Deposed her. Buch. Hist. lib. 18. And four years after that, the Scots, in Justification of their Deposing Queen Mary, sent Ambassadors to Queen Elizabeth, and in a Written Declaration alledg'd, that they had used towards her more Lenity than she deserved; that their Ancestors had heretofore punish'd their Kings by Death or Banishment; that the Scots were a Free Nation, made King whom they Freely Chose, and with the same Freedom Unking'd him if they saw cause, by Right of ancient Laws and Ceremonies, yet remaining, and Old Customs yet among the High-landers, in choosing the Head of their Clans or Families; all which, with many other Arguments, bore witness, that Regal Power was nothing else but a mutual Covenant, or Stipulation between King and People. Buchan. Hist. lib. 20. Nor did our Queen, at the earnest Desires of both Houses of Parliament, forbear to take off her Head, though a Crown'd one, and the Reasons which were urged by our Learned Bishops, and others, for the Queens Encouragement  in, and speedy Execution of that great act of Justice, being so very Remarkable, and Convincing, I think it not amiss to transcribe a few of them (which may be read more at large in Sir. S. D'Ewes Journal) which are as follow, (viz.)
For that they had a long time, to their intolerable Grief, seen by how manifold most dangerous and execrable Practices, the said Queen of Scots had compassed the Destruction of her Majesties Person, thereby not only to bereave them of the Sincere and True Religion of Almighty God, bringing them and this Noble Crown back again into the Thraldom of the Romish Tyranny, but also utterly to ruinate and overthrow the happy State and Commonweale of this most Noble Realm; to banish and destroy the Professors and Professing of the True Religion of Jesus Christ, and the Ancient Nobility of this Land, and to bring this whole State and Common-weale to Forreign Subjection, and to utter Ruine and Confusion; which Malicious Purposes would never cease to be prosecuted by all possible Means, so long as the said Queens Confederates, but Ministers, and Favourites had their Eyes and Imaginations fixed upon the said Queen, the only Ground of their Treasonable Hopes and Conceits, and the only Seed-plot of all Dangerous and Traiterous Devices and Practices against her Majesties Sacred Person. And for that, upon advised and great Consultation, they could not find any possible means to provide for her Majesties Safety, but by the just and speedy Execution of the said Queen, the neglecting whereof might procure the heavy Displeasure and Punishment of Almighty God, as by sundry severe Examples of his great Justice in that behalf left us in Sacred Scripture, doth appear; and that if the same were not put in Execution, they should thereby (so far as Man's Reason could reach) be brought into utter Despair of the Continuance amongst them of the true Religion of Almighty God, and of her Majesties. Life, and of the Safety of all her Subjects, and of the Good Estate of this flourishing Common weale.
For that she (the said Queen of Scots) had continually breathed the overthrow and Suppression of the Protestant Religion, being poysoned with Popery from her tender Youth, and at her Age joyning in that false termed Holy League, and had been ever since, and was then a powerful Enemy of the Truth.
For that she rested wholly upon Popish hopes, to be delivered and advanced, and was so devoted, and doted in that Profession, that she would (as well for the satisfaction of others, as for the feeding her own humour) supplant the Gospel where and whensoever she might; which Evil was so much the greater, and the more to be avoided, for that it slayeth the Soul, and would spread it self not only over England and Scotland, but also into all Parts  beyond the Sea, where the Gospel of God is maintained, the which cannot but be exceedingly weakened, if Defection should be in these two most violent Kingdoms.
For that if she prevailed, she would rather take the Subjects of England for Slaves than for Children.
For that she had already provided them a Foster father and a Nurse, the Pope and the King of Spain, into whose hands if it should happen them to fall, what would they else look for, but Ruin, Destruction, and utter Exterpation of Goods, Lands, Lives, Honours and all?
For that as she had already by her poyson'd Baits, brought to Destruction more Noble-men and their Houses, and a greater multitude of Subjects, during her being here, than she would have done if she had been in Possession of her own Country, and arm'd in the Field against them, so would she be still continually the cause of the like spoil, to the greater loss and peril of this Estate; and therefore this Realm neither could nor mought endure her.
For that her Sectaries both Wrote and Printed, that the Protestants would be at their Wits end, Worlds end, if she should out-live Queen Elizabeth; meaning thereby, that the end of the Protestant World was the beginning of their own; and therefore if she the said Queen of Scots, were taken away, their World would be at an end before its beginning.
For that since the sparing of her in the Fourteenth year of Queen Elizabeths Reign, Popish Traytors and Recusants had multiplied exceedingly: And if she were now spared again, they would grow both innumerable and invincible also: And therefore Mercy in that case would prove Cruelty against them all: Nam est quaedam crudelis misericordia; and therefore to spare her Blood, would be to spill all theirs.
And for Gods Vengeance against Saul, for sparing the life of Agag, and against Ahab for sparing the life of Benhadad was most apparent, for they were both by the just Judgement of God, deprived of their Kingdoms, for sparing those wicked Princes, whom God had delivered into their hands. And those Magistrates were much commended; who put to death those mischievous and wicked Queens, Jezabel and Athaliah.
So much for these Reasons, which I leave to the perusal of our present Prelates who have extreamly degenerated from the good and laudable Principles of their Fore-fathers.
I will now return to the History, and after having mentioned one President more of Protestants Revolution from their Kings, will conclude this Subject.
In the Year 1581. the States of Holland, in a General Assembly at the Hague, abjured all Obedience and Subjection to Philip King  of Spain; and in a Declaration justifie their so doing; for that by his Tyrannous Government against Faith so often given and broken, he had lost his Right to all the Belgick Provinces; that therefore they deposed him, and declared it lawfull to choose another in his stead. Thuan. lib. 14. From that time to this no State or Kingdom in the World hath equally prospered.
But what need these Examples to any who have but sense enough to conceive what monstrous Inconveniences and Miseries the Doctrine of Submission to a Tyrannical Power brings along with it? Thereby the Property of all Subjects, and the Laws of all Countries are destroyed together; and we are (contrary to the Law of Nature, Reason, and Christianity) obliged to fit still while our Children are Murthered, Wives Ravish'd, Estates consumed, and our own Throats cut, besides an unspeakable deal more of Barbarity commited by the Irregular Partizans of Inhumane Tyrants. In a word, the Lawfulness of raising War against, and Deposing of a Tyrant in Defence of Religion and Liberty, has not been denied, but constantly warranted and maintained by all the Protestant Churches round, from the first Waldenses of Lyons and Languedoc, to this day.
Having now, I think, sufficiently cleared what the People by their just Right may do in change of Government and Governor, besides other ample Authority, even from the Mouths of Princes themselves, give me leave to add further, That surely they who shall boast as we do, to be a Free Nation, and yet not have in themselves the power to remove, or to abolish any Governor, Supream, or Subordinate, with the Government it self, upon urgent Causes, may please their fancy with a ridiculous and painted freedom, fit to cozen Babies, but are indeed under Tyranny and Servitude, as wanting that power which is the Root and Source of that Liberty, to dispose and oeconomize in the Land, which God hath given them, as Masters of Families in their Houses, and free Inheritance.
Without which natural and essential Power of a Free Nation, (how high soever they bear their heads) they can in due esteem, be thought no better than Slaves and Vassals, Born in the Tenure and Occupation of another Inheriting Lord, whose Government though not Illegal or Intolerable, hangs over them as a Lordly Scourge, not as a free Government, and therefore to be Abrogated. How much more justly may they fling off Tyranny, or Tyrants? who having once forsaken the Kingdom, and being justly Excluded,  can be no more than Private Men, as subject to the reach of Justice and Arraignment as any other Transgressors, as Grotius affirms, de jur. & Bell. lib. 1. Chap. 4. Si Rex aut alius quis Imperium abdicavit, aut manifeste habet pro derelicto, in eum post tempus omnia licent qua in privatum.
And certainly if Men (not to speak of Heathen) both Wise and Religions, have done Justice upon Tyrants what way they could soonest, how much more mild and human then is to Dethrone them, and divest them of their Prerogative, nay, to bring them to Legal and open Tryals? to teach Lawless Kings, and all that so much adore them, that not Mortal Man or his Imperious will, but Justice is the only true Soveraign and Supream Majesty upon Earth.
Let Men therefore cease out of Faction and Malice to make Outcries and report horrid things of things so just and honourable as our most Renowned Convention hath acted hitherto agaist our common Adversary, and we hope they will go on, to act upon him such Justice as may be a President to future Ages to imitate, who if they prove not too degenerate, shall look up with Honour, and aspire towards those exemplary deeds of their Ancestors, as the highest top of their Glory and Emulation, which heretofore in the pursuance of Fame and Foreign Dominion, spent it self Vaingloriously abroad, but shall heceforth learn a better Fortitude, to dare Execute the highest Justice on them that shall by force of Arms endeavour the oppressing and bereaving Men of their Religion and Liberty at home; that no ubridled Potentate or Tyrant, but to his Sorrow, for the future may presume such high and irresponsible Licence over Mandkind, to havock and turn upside down whole Kingdoms of Men, as though they were no more in respect of his perverse Will, than a Nation of Pismires.
I conclude all with one word of Advice to that Party called Prelatical, many of whom I believe to be Honest Men, though they have been strangely misled by some of corrupt Principles and Prosecuting Turbulent Spirits: I wish them earnestly and calmly not to affect Rigor and Superiority over Men, nor justly under them; not to compell unlawful and unmerciful things in Religion, especially if not voluntary becomes a Sin, nor to assist the clamour and malicious drifts of Men, who they themselves have judg'd to be the worst of Men, the obdurate Enemies of God and his Church, nor to dart against the Actions of their Brethren, (for  want of other Arguments) those Laws and Scripture, which tho' they hurt not otherwise, yet taken up by them to the Condemnation of their own late doings, give Scandal unto all Men, and discover in themselves either extream Passion or Apostasy. Let them not oppose their best Friends and Associates, who molest them not at all, nor Infringe the least of their Liberties, unless they call it their Liberty to bind other Mens Consciences, but are still seeking to live at Peace with them and Brotherly accord.
Let them beware an old and implacable Enemy, though he hopes by sowing Discord, to make them his Instrument, yet cannot forbear a minute the open threatened Revenge upon them, when they have served his Purposes.
Let them fear therefore if they be wise, rather what they have done already, than what remains to do, and be warned in time to put no confidence in Princes whom they have provoked, lest they be added to the Examples of those that miserably have tasted the Event.
Stories can inform them how Christiern the Second, King of Denmark, not much above a hundred years past, driven out by his Subjects, and received again upon new Oaths and Conditions, broke through them all, to his most Bloody Revenge; Slaying his chief Opposers when he saw his time, both them and their Children invited to a Feast for that purpose. How Maximilian dealt with those of Bruges, though by Mediation of the German Princes reconciled to them by solemn and publick Writing drawn and sealed.
How the Massacre at Paris was the effect of that credulous Peace with the French Protestants, made with Charles the Ninth their King; and that the main visible cause which to this day hath saved the Netherlands from utter ruine, was their final not believing the perfidious Cruelty, which as a constant Maxim of State, hath been used by the Spanish Kings on their Subjects that have taken Arms, and after trusted them; as no latter Age but can testifie, heretofore in Belgia it self, and not many years ago in Naples. And further they may remember, how the present Tyrant of France, has, after all his many Edicts, Oaths and Grants, to maintain the Protestants in all their Priviledges, besides the Obligations they have laid on him, most inhumanly and perfidiously Banish'd, Dragoon'd, Murther'd and made away most, if not all  his Protestant Subjects; nay, what might be more convincing, would they but lay it to Heart, how our late Tyrant, notwithstanding the manifold Obligations they heaped upon him, and Oaths he laid himself under, to maintain them and their Grandeur, has nevertheless violated all, and with all his Power (as if Ingratitude was his chiefest Delight) endeavoured their Extirpation and Ruine, as well as other his Protestant Subjects.
And to conclude with one past Exception, though far more Ancient, David, after once he had taken Arms, never after that trusted Saul, though with tears and much relenting, he twice promised not to hurt him. These Instances, few of many, might admonish them, both English and Scotch, not to let their own ends, and the driving on of a Faction, betray them blindly into the snare of those Enemies whose Revenge looks on them as the Men who first begun, fomented and carried on beyond the cure of any sound of safe Accommodation, all the evil which hath since unavoidably fallen upon them and their King.
I have something also to the Clergy, though brief to what were needful; not to be Disturbers of the Civil Affairs, being in hands better able, and more belonging to manage them, but to Study harder, and to attend the Office of Good Pastors, knowing that he whose Flock is least among them, hath a dreadful Charge, not performed by mounting frequently in the Desk to repeat their Prayers; or into the Pulpit with a Formal Preachment hudled up at the old hours of a whole lazy Week, but by incessant Pains and Watching in Season and out of Season, from House to House, over the Souls of whom they have to feed. Which if they ever well considered, how little leisure would they find to be the most Pragmatical Sides-men of every popular Tumult and Sedition? And all this while are to learn what the true end and reason is of the Gospel which they teach; and what a world it differs from the Censorious and Supercilious Lording over Conscience. It would be good also, they lived so as might perswade the People they hated Covetousness, which, worse than Heresie, is Idolatry; hated Pluralities and all kind of Simony; left Rambling from Benefice to Befice, like ravenous Wolves seeking where they may devour the Biggest; of which, if some well and warmly seated from the beginning, be not guilty, it were good they held not Conversation with such as are. These things, if they observe and  wait with Patience, no doubt but all things will go well, without their Importunities or Exclamations; and the printed Letters and Pamphlets which they send, subscribed with the Ostentation of great Characters and little Moment, would be more considerable than now they are. But if they be the Ministers of Mammon instead of Christ, and Scandalize his Church with the filthy Love of Gain, aspiring also to sit the closest and heaviest of all Tyrants upon the Conscience, and fall notoriously again into the same Sins, which they lately seemed solemnly to have renounced and abjured, as God has rooted out those great Enemies to Truth and Peace, the Papists, so may they (if they will be the others Imitators) except that the same God shall, for the Vindication of his own Glory and Religion, uncover their Hypocrisie to the open World, and visit upon their Heads, in double and treble manner, those Curses and Miseries wherewith they have endeavoured to ruine and destroy the best of Subjects and Christians in Great Britain and Ireland.
1 Sam. XII. 24, 25.
Only fear the Lord and serve him, in truth, with all your heart, for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed both ye and your king.