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am afraid


some precipice or other, and break your neck; for else I

you will never have done with your riddles and fooleries. You ask, “ Whether or no, when St. Paul names kings, he meant the people ?" I confess St. Paul commands us to pray for kings; but he had commanded us to

pray for the people before, ver. 1. But there are some for all that, both among kings and common people, that we are forbidden to pray for; and if a man may not so much as be prayed for, may he not be punished? What should hinder ? But,“ When Paul wrote this epistle, he that reigned was the most profligate person in the world.” That is false. For Ludovicus Capellus makes it evident that this epistle likewise was writ in Claudius's time. When St. Paul has occasion to speak of Nero, he calls him not a king, but a lion; that is, a wild, savage beast, from whose jaws he is glad he was delivered, 2 Tim. iv. So that it is for kings, not for beasts, that we are to pray that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Kings and their interest are not the things here intended to be advanced and secured; it is the public peace, godliness, and honesty, whose establishment we are commanded to endeavour after, and to pray for. But is there any people in the world that would not choose rather to live an honest and careful life, though never free from war and troubles, in the defence of themselves and their families, whether against tyrants or enemies, (for I make no difference, than under the power of a tyrant or an enemy, to spin out a life equally troublesome, accompanied with slavery and ignominy? That the latter is the more desirable of the two, I will prove by a testimony of your own; not because I think your authority worth quoting, but that all men may observe how double-tongued you are, and how mercenary your pen is. “ Who would not rather," say you,“ bear with those dissensions, that through the emulation of great men often happen in an aristocratical government, than live under the tyrannical government of one where nothing but certain misery and ruin is to be looked for? The people of Rome preferred their commonwealth, though never so much shattered with civil broils, before the intolerable yoke of their emperors. When a people, to avoid sedition, submits to a monarchy, and finds by experience that this is the worst evil of the two, they often desire to return to their former government again.” These are your own words, and more you have to this purpose in that discourse concerning bishops, which under a feigned name you wrote against Petavius the Jesuit; though yourself are more a Jesuit than he, nay, worse than any of that crew. We have already heard the sense of the Scripture upon this subject; and it has been worth our while to take some pains to find it out. But, perhaps, it will not be so to inquire into the judgment of the fathers, and to ransack their volumes; for if they assert anything which is not warranted by the word of God, we may safely reject their authority, be it never so great ; and particularly that expression that you allege out of Irenæus,“ that God in his providence orders it so, that such kings reign as are suitable to and prope for the people they are to govern, all circumstances considered." That expression, I say, is directly contrary to Scripture. For though God himself declared openly that it was better for his own people to be governed by judges than by kings, yet he left it to them to change that form of government for a worse, if they would themselves. And we read frequently, that when the body of the people has been good they have had a wicked king, and contrarywise that a good king has sometimes reigned when the people have been wicked. So that wise and prudent' men are to consider and see what is profitable and fit for the people in general; for it is very certain that the same form of government is not equally convenient for all nations, nor for the same nation at all times ; but sometimes one, sometimes another may be more proper, according as the industry and valour of the people may increase or decay. But if you deprive the people of this liberty of setting up what government they like best among themselves, you take that from them in which the life of all civil liberty consists. Then you tell us of Justin Martyr, of his humble and submissive behaviour to the Antonines, those best of emperors, as if anybody would not do the like to princes of such moderation as they were. How much worse Christians are we in these days than those were! They were content to live under a prince of another religion.”

« But now


Alas! they were private persons, and infinitely inferior to the contrary party in strength and number. papists will not endure a protestant prince, nor protestants one that is popish.” You do well and discreetly in showing yourself to be neither papist nor protestant; and you are very liberal in your concessions, for now you confess that all sorts of Christians agree in that very thing that you alone take upon you with so much impudence and wickedness to cry down and oppose. And how unlike those fathers that you commend, do you shew yourself: they wrote apologies for the Christians to heathen princes ; you, in defence of a wicked popish king, against Christians and protestants. Then you entertain us with a number of impertinent quotations out of Athenagoras and Tertullian: things that we have already heard out of the writings of the apostles, much more clearly and intelligibly expressed. But Tertullian was quite of a different opinion from yours, of a king's being a lord and master over his subjects : which you either knew not, or wickedly dissembled. For he, though he were a Christian, and directed his discourse to a heathen emperor, had the confidence to tell him that an emperor ought not to be called Lord. “Augustus himself,” says he, “ that formed this empire, refused that appellation; it is a title proper to God only. Not but that the title of Lord and Master may in some sense be ascribed to the emperor: but there is a peculiar sense of that word, which is proper to God only; and in that sense I will not ascribe it to the

emperor. I am the emperor's freeman. God alone is my Lord and Master.” And the same author, in the same discourse: “How inconsistent," says he, are those two appellations, Father of his country, and Lord and Master !" And now I wish


much joy of Tertullian's authority, whom it had been a great deal better


had let alone. But Tertullian calls them parricides that slew Domitian. And he does well, for so they were, his wife and servants conspired against him. And they set one Parthenius and Stephanus, who were accused for concealing part of the public treasure, to make him away. If the senate and the people of Rome had proceeded against him according to the custom of their ancestors, had given judgment of death against him, as they




did once against Nero, and had made search for him to put him to death, do ye think Tertullian would have called them parricides? If he had, he would have deserved to be hanged as you do. I give the same answer to your quotation out of Origen, that I have given already to what you have cited out of Irenæus. Athanasius indeed says, that kings are not accountable before human tribunals. But I wonder who told Athanasius this! I do not hear that he produces any authority from Scripture to confirm this assertion. And I will rather believe kings and emperors themselves, who deny that they themselves have any such privilege, than I will Athanasius. Then you quote Ambrosius, who after he had been a proconsul, and after that became a catechumen, at last got into a bishopric: but for his authority, I say, that his interpretation of those words of David, “ Against thee only I have sinned,” is both ignorant and adulatory. He was willing all others should be enthralled to the emperor, that he might enthral the emperor to himself. We all know with what a papal pride and arrogancy he treated Theodosius the emperor, how he took upon him to declare him guilty of that inassacre at Thessalonica, and to forbid him coming into the church: how miserably raw in divinity, and unacquainted with the doctrine of the gospel, he shewed himself upon that occasion ; when the emperor fell down at his feet, he commanded him to get him out of the porch. At last, when he was received again into the communion of the church, and had offered, because he continued standing near to the altar, the

magisterial prelate cominanded him out of the rails: “O Emperor,” says he, “these inner places are for the priests only, it is not lawful for others to come within them !” Does this sound like the behaviour of a minister of the gospel, or like that of a Jewish highpriest? And yet this man, such as we hear he was, would have the emperor ride other people, that himself might ride him, which is a common trick of almost all ecclesiastics. Wi words to this


he put back the em peror, as inferior to himself: “You rule over men,” saith he, " that are partakers of the same nature, and fellow-servants with yourself: for there is one only Lord and King over all, to wit, the Creator of all.” This is very pretty!


This piece of truth, which the craft and flattery of clergymen has all along endeavoured to suppress and obscure, was then brought to light by the furious passion, or, to speak more mildly, by the ignorant indiscreet zeal of one of them. After you have displayed Ambrose's ignorance, you shew your own, or rather, vent a heresy in affirming point blank, that, “under the Old Testament, there was no such thing as forgiveness of sins upon the account of Christ's sufferings, since David confessed his transgression, saying, “ Against thee only have I sinned,” Psal. Iviïi. It is the orthodox tenet, that there never was any remission of sins but by the blood of the Lamb that was slain from the beginning of the world. I know not whose disciple you are that set up for a broacher of new heresies : but certain I am, that that great divine's disciple, whom you are so angry with, did not mistake himself when he said, that any one of David's subjects might have said. “ Against thee only have I sinned," as properly and with as much right as David himself. Then you quote St. Austin, and produce a company of Hipponensian divines. What you allege out of St. Austin makes not at all against us. We confess that, as the prophet Daniel has it, it is God that changeth times, sets up one kingdom, and pulls down another; we only desire to have it allowed us, that he makes use of men as his instruments. If God alone gave a kingdom to king Charles, God alone has taken it from him again, and given it to the parliament, and to the people. If therefore our allegiance was due to king Charles because God had given him a kingdom, for the same reason it is now due to the present magistracy. For yourself confess, that God has given our magistrates such power as he uses to give to wicked princes, for the punishment of the nation. And the consequence of this will be, that according to your own opinion, our present magistrates being raised and appointed by God, cannot lawfully be deposed by any but God himself. Thus you overthrow the opinion you pretend to maintain, which is a thing very frequent with you; your apology for the king carries its death's wound in it. You have attained to such a prodigious degree of madness and stupidity, as to prove it unlawful upon any account whatso

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