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ever, to lift up one's finger against magistrates, and with the very
next breath to affirm that it is the duty of their subjects to rise up in rebellion against them. You tell us that St. Jerome calls Ishmael, that slew Gedaliah, a parricide or traitor; and it is very true that he was so ; for Gedaliah was deputy-governor of Judea, a good man, and slain by Ishmael without any cause. The same author in his comment upon the book of Ecclesiastes, says, that Solomon's command to keep the king's commandment is the same with St. Paul's doctrine upon the same subject ; and deserves commendation for having made a more moderate construction of that text, than most of his contemporaries. You say, you will forbear inquiring into the sentiments of learned men that lived since St. Austin's time: but to shew that you had rather dispense with a lie, than not quote any author that you think makes for you, in the very next period but one you produce the authorities of Isidore, Gregory, and Otho, Spanish and Dutch authors, that lived in the most barbarous and ignorant ages of all; whose authorities, if you knew how much we despise, you would not have told a lie to have quoted them. But would you know the reason why he dares not come so low as to the present times? why he does as it were hide himself, and disappear, when he comes towards our own times? The reason is, because he knows full well, that as many eminent divines as there are of the reformed churches, so many adversaries he would have to encounter. Let him take up the cudgels, if he thinks fit; he will quickly find himself run down with innumerable authorities out of Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin, Bucer, Martyr, Paræus, and the rest. I could oppose you with testimonies out of divines that have flourished even in Leyden. Though that famous university and renowned commonwealth, which has been as it were a sanctuary for liberty, those fountains and streams of all polite learning, have not yet been able to wash away that slavish rust that sticks to you, and infuse a little humanity into you.
Finding yourself destitute of any assistance or help from orthodox protestant divines, you have the impudence to betake yourself to the Sorbonists, whose college you know is devoted to the Romish religion, and consequently but of very
weak authority amongst protestants. We are willing to deliver so wicked an assertor of tyranny as you, to be drowned in the Sorbonne, as being ashamed to own so despicable a slave as you shew yourself to be, by maintaining that the whole body of a nation is not equal in power to the most slothful degenerate prince that may be. You labour in vain to lay that upon the pope which all free nations, and all orthodox divines, own and assert. But the pope and his clergy, when they were in a low condition, and but of small account in the world, were the first authors of this pernicious absurd doctrine of yours ; and when by preaching such doctrine they had gotten power into their own hands, they became the worst of tyrants themselves. Yet they engaged all princes to them by the closest tie imaginable, persuading the world, that was now besotted with their superstition, that it was unlawful to depose princes, though never so bad, unless the pope dispensed with their allegiance to them, by absolving them from their oaths. But you avoid orthodox writers, and endeavour to burden the truth with prejudice and calumny, by making the pope the first assertor of what is a known and common received opinion amongst them; which if you did not do it cunningly, you would make yourself appear to be neither papist nor protestant, but a kind of mongrel Idumean Herodian. For as they of old adored one most inhuman bloody tyrant for the Messias, so you would have the world fall down and worship all. You boast that you have confirmed your opinion by the testimonies of the fathers that flourished in the four first centuries; whose writings only are evangelical, and according to the truth of the Christian religion.” This man is past all shame : how many things did they preach, how many things have they published, which Christ and his apostles never taught! How many things are there in their writings, in which all protestant divines differ from them! But what is that opinion that you firmed by their authorities ? Why, that “evil princes are appointed by God." Allow that, as all other pernicious and destructive things are. What then? why, "that therefore they have no judge but God alone ; that they are above all human laws; that there is no law, written or unwritten,
no law of nature, nor of God, to call them to account before their own subjects.". But how comes that to pass ? Certain I am that there is no law against it: no penal law excepts kings. And all reason and justice requires, that those that offend should be punished according to their deserts, without respect of persons. Nor have you hitherto produced any one law, either written or unwritten, of God or of nature, by which this is forbidden. What stands in the way then ? Why may not kings be proceeded against ? Why, “ because they are appointed by God, be they never so bad.” I do not know whether I had best call you a knave, or a fool, or ignorant, unlearned barbarian.' You shew yourself a vile wretch, by propagating a doctrine so destructive and pernicious; and you are a fool for backing it with such silly arguments. God says in Isa. liv, “ I have created the slayer to destroy.” Then by your reason a murderer is above the laws. Turn this topsyturvy, and consider it as long as you will, you will find the consequence to be the same with your own. For the pope is appointed by God, just as tyrants are, and set up for the punishment of the church, which I have already demonstrated out of your own writings. “And yet,” say you, Wal. Mes. page. 412, “ because he has raised his priinacy to an insufferable height of power, so as that he has made it neither better nor worse than plain downright tyranny, both he and his bishops may be put down more lawfully than they were at first set up." You tell us that the pope and the bishops (though God in his wrath appointed them) may yet lawfully be rooted out of the church, because they are tyrants; and yet you deny that it is lawful to depose a tyrant in the commonwealth, and that for no other reason than because God appointed him, though he did it in his anger. What ridiculous stuff is this ! for whereas the
cannot hurt a man's conscience against his own will, for in the consciences of men it is that his kingdom consists, yet you are for deposing him as a grievous tyrant, in whose own power it is not to be a tyrant; and yet you maintain, that a tyrant, properly and truly so called, a tyrant that has all our lives and estates within his reach, without whose assistance the pope himself could not exercise his tyranny in the church, ought for conscience sake to be borne withal
and submitted to. These assertions compared with one another betray your childishness to that degree, that no man can read your books, but must of necessity take notice of your ignorance, rashness, and incogitancy. But you allege another reason : “ Human affairs would be turned upside down.” They would so, and be changed for the better. Human affairs would certainly be in a deplorable condition, if being once troubled and disordered, there was a necessity of their continuing always
I say, they would be changed for the better, for the king's power would revert to the people, from whom it was first derived, and conferred upon one of themselves; and the power would be transferred from him that abused it, to them that were prejudiced and injured by the abuse of it; than which nothing can be more just, for there could not well be an umpire in such a case : who would stand to the judgment of a foreigner? all mankind would equally be subject to the laws; there would be no gods of desh and blood : which kind of deities whoever goes about to set up in the world, they are equally injurious to church and com. monwealth. Now I must turn your own weapons upon you again. You say, “There can be no greater heresy than
, “ this, to set up one man in Christ's seat. These two are infallible marks of Anti-Christ,-infallibility in spirituals, and omnipotence in temporals." Apparat. ad Prim. page 171. Do you pretend that kings are infallible? If you do not,
you make them omnipotent? And how comes it to pass, that an unlimited power in one man should be accounted less destructive to temporal things than it is to ecclesiastical ? Or do you think that God takes no care at all of civil affairs? If he takes none himself, I am sure he does not forbid us to take care which way they go; if he does take any care about them, certainly he would have the same reformation made in the commonwealth, that he would have made in the church, especially it being obvious to every man's experience, that infallibility and oinnipotency being arrogated to one man, are equally mischievous in both. God has not so modelled the government of the world as to make it the duty of any
civil community to submit to the cruelties of tyrants, and yet to leáve the church at liberty to free themselves from slavery
and tyranny; nay, rather quite contrary, he has put no arms into the church's hand but those of patience and innocence, prayer and ecclesiastical discipline; but in the commonwealth, all the magistracy are by him entrusted with the preservation and execution of the laws, with the power of punishing and revenging: he has put the sword into their hands. I cannot but smile at this man's preposterous whimsies : in ecclesiastics he is Helvidius, Thraseas, a perfect tyrannicide. In politics no man more a lackey and slave to tyrants than he. If his doctrine hold, not we only that have deposed our king, but the protestants in general, who against the minds of their princes have rejected the pope, are all rebels alike. But I have confounded him long enough with his own arguments. Such is the nature of the beast, lest his adversary should be unprovided, he hinıself furnishes him with weapons. Never did any man give his antagonist greater advantages against himself than he does. They that he has to do withal, will be sooner weary of pursuing him, than he of flying.
CHAPTER IV. PERHAPS you think, Salmasius, that you have done enough to ingratiate yourself with princes; that you have deserved well of them : but if they consider their own interest, and take their measures according to what it really is, not according to the false gloss that your flatteries have put upon it, there never was any man in the world that deserved so ill of them as you, none more destructive and pernicious to them and their interest in the whole world than yourself. For by exalting the power of kings above all human laws, you tell all mankind that are subject to such a government, that they are no better than slaves, and make them but the more desirous of liberty by discovering to them their error, and putting that into their
, heads that they never so much as dreamed of before, to wit, that they are slaves to their princes. And without doubt such a sort of government will be more irksome and unsufferable, by how much the more you persuade the world