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resolve to suffer none to live in peace, but those that in every punctilio are all of one opinion, they must have but one subject that is sincere in his religion, (for no two will be in every thing of the same apprehension, no more than of the same complexion,) and all the rest must be worldly hypocrites, that while they are heartily true to no religion, will profess themselves of any religion which will serve their present turns: and these nominal Christians will be ready to betray their rulers, or do any mischief which their carnal interest requireth c.
Object. v. What witness need we more than their own accusations of one another? For the Papists, how many volumes have the Protestants written against them as enemies to all civil government: alleging even the decrees of their general councils, as Later. sub Innoc. III. Can. 3. And for the Protestants, they are as deeply charged by the Papists, as you may see in the " Image of both Churches," and "Philanax Anglicus," and abundance more. For Calvin and the Presbyterians and Puritans, let the prelates tell you how peaceable they are. And the Papists and Puritans say that the Prelatists are of the same mind, and only for their own ends pretend to greater loyalty than others. There are no two among them more famous for defending government, than Hooker and Bilson. And what Hooker saith for popular power, his first and eighth books abundantly testify: and even Bishop Bilson himself defendeth the French and German Protestant wars; and you may judge of his loyal doctrine by these words; p. 520, " Of Christian Subjection :" "If a prince should go about to subject his kingdom to a foreign realm, or change the form of the commonwealth from
e Eunapius saith of his master Chrysanthius, that when Julian had made him, Primarium pontificem totius illius ditionis, in munere tamen suo non morose ac superbe se gessit; junioribus urgendo haud gravis (sicut plerique omnes in unum consentientes, callide ferventerque faciundum censebant ;) neque Christianis molestus admodem: quippe tanta erat morum in eo lenitas atque simplicitas, ut per Lydiam propemodum ignorata fuerit sacrorum in pristinum restitutio. Eo factum est, ut cum priora aliter cecidissent, nihil innovatum neque mutatio insignis accepta videretur, sed præter expectationem cuncta placide sapirentur. Moderation in a heathen was his benefit.
d Vestra doctrina est, nisi princeps vobis ex animo sit, quantumvis legitimus hæres sit, regno excludi, alium eligi posse. Posse dixi? immo oportere. Hæc Clementina vestra fuit. Bishop Andrews of the Papists, Tort. Tort. p. 327.
impery to tyranny, or neglect the laws established by common consent of prince and people, to execute his own pleasure; in these and other cases which might be named, if the nobles and commons join together to defend their ancient and accustomed liberty, regimen and laws, they may not well be counted rebels."
Answ. 1. If it be clear that Christianity as to its principles, is more for love, and concord, and subjection, than any other rational doctrine in the world, then if any sect of Christians shall indeed be found to contradict these principles, so far they contradict Christianity; and will you blame religion because men contradict it? or blame Christ's doctrine because men disobey it? Indeed every sect that hath something of its own to make a sect, besides Christian religion, which maketh men mere Christians, may easily be guilty of such error as will corrupt the Christian religion. And as a sect, they have a divided interest which may tempt them to dividing principles: but none more condemn such divisions than Christ. 2. And indeed, though a Christian as such is a credible witness; yet a sect or faction as such, doth use to possess men with such an envious, calumniating disposition, that they are little to be believed when they accuse each other! This factious zeal is not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish; and therefore where this is, no wonder if there be strife, and false accusing, and confusion, and every evil work. But as these are no competent witnesses, so whether or no they are favoured by Christ, you
e So pp. 381, 382. "If others do but stand on their guard to keep their lives and families from the bloody rage of their enemies, seeking to put whole towns and provinces of them to the sword, against all law and reason, and to disturb the kingdoms in the minority of the right governors: or if they defend their ancient and Christian liberties, covenanted and agreed on by those princes, to whom they first submitted themselves, and ever since confirmed and allowed by the kings that have succeeded: if in either of these two cases the godly require their right, and offer no wrong, impugn not their princes, but only save their own lives, you cry, Rebellious heretics, rebellious Calvinists, fury, frensy, mutiny; and I know not what. You may pursue, depose, and murder princes, when the Bishop of Rome biddeth you, and that without breach of duty, law, or conscience, to God or man, as you vaunt, though neither life nor limbs of yours be touched. We may not so much as beseech princes that we may be used like subjects, not like slaves; like men, not like beasts, that we may be convented by laws before judges, not murdered in corners by inquisitors. We may not so much as hide our heads, nor pull our necks out of the greedy jaws of that Romish wolf, but the foam of your unclean mouth is ready to call us by all the names you can devise." So far Bilson,
may judge if you will read but those three chapters, Matt. v., Rom. xii., James iii. I may say here as Bishop Bilson in the place which is accused, p. 521. "IT IS EASY FOR A RUNNING AND RANGING HEAD TO SIT AT HOME IN HIS CHAMBER AND CALL MEN REBELS, HIMSELF BEING THE RANKEST." 2. For the Papists I can justify them from your accusation, so far as they are Christians; but as they are Papists let him justify them that can. Indeed usurpation of government is the very essence of Popery; for which all other Christians blame them; and therefore there is small reason that Christianity should be accused for them. 4. And for the Protestants, both episcopal and disciplinarians, the sober and moderate of them speak of one another in no such language as you pretend. For the episcopal, I know of none but railing Papists, that accuse them universally of any doctrines of rebellion; and for the practices of some particular men, it is not to be alleged against their doctrine. Do you think that Queen Elizabeth, to whom Bishop Bilson's book was dedicated, or King Charles to whom Mr. Hooker's book was dedicated, took either of them to be teachers of rebellion? It is not every different opinion in politics that proveth men to be against subjection. He that can read such a book as Bilson's for "Christian Subjection against Antichristian Rebellion," and yet deny him to be a teacher of subjection, hath a very hard forehead. For the controversies I shall say no more of them here, but what I have said before to Mr. Hooker. And as for Calvin and the Disciplinarians or Puritans as they are called, they subscribe all the same confessions for magistracy, and take the same oaths of allegiance and supremacy, as others do; and they plead and write for them; so that for my part I know not of any difference in their doctrine. Hear what Bishop Andrews saith, (who was no rebel,) in his " Tortura Torti," pp. 379, 380. "Calvinus autem ut papam regem; ita regem papam non probavit ; neque nos quod in papa detestamur, in rege approbamus; at et ille nobiscum, et nos cum illo sentimus, easdem esse in ecclesia Christiana regis Jacobi partes, quæ Josiæ fuerunt in Judaica; nec nos ultra quicquam fieri ambimus:" that is, "But Calvin neither liked a pope-king, nor a king-pope; nor do we approve of
that in the king, which we detest in the pope. But he with us, and we with him do judge, that King James hath as much to do in the Christian church, as Josias had in the Jewish church; and we go not about to get any more." And after, "Sub primatus nomine, papatam novum rex non invehit in ecclesiam; sic enim statuit, ut non Aaroni pontifici, ita nec Jeroboamo regi, jus ullum esse conflatum a se vitulum populo proponendi, ut adoret, (id est,) non vel fidei novos articulos, vel cultus Divini novas formulas procudendi :” that is, "The king doth not bring into the church a new papacy, under the name of primacy; for thus he judgeth, (or determineth,) that neither Aaron the priest, nor Jeroboam the king, had any right to propose the calf which they had made, to the people to be adored; that is, neither to hammer (or make) new articles of faith, or new forms of divine worship." And pp. 379, 380. "Quos vero Puritanos appellat, si regium primatum detestantur, detestandi ipsi. Profitentur enim, subscribunt, jurant indies; sed et illi quod faciunt ingenue faciunt, et societatem in hoc Torti, ipsumque adeo Tortum, tanquam mendacem hominem, (et alibi de aliis, et hic de se,) ac sycophantem egregium detestantur:" that is," And for those he calleth Puritans, if they detest the king's supremacy, they are to be detested; for they daily profess, subscribe, and swear to it; and what they do, they do ingenuously; and they detest the society of Tortus in this, and Tortus himself, as à lying man, (elsewhere of others, and here of themselves,) and an egregious sycophant." By these testimonies judge what Protestants think of one another in point of loyalty.
5. And why are not all the other Christians taken into your enumeration? The Armenians, Abassins, and all the Greek churches; whom the Papists so frequently reproach as flatterers or servile, because they still gave so much to their emperors? Have you any pretence for your accusation as against them? Unless perhaps from the tumults which Alexandria in its greatness was much addicted to, which is nothing to the doctrine of Christianity, nor to the practice of all the rest.
Having answered these cavils of the late atheistical or infidel politicians, I shall next shew, though briefly, yet by plentiful evidence, that Christianity and true godliness is
the greatest strength of government, and bond of subjection, and means of peace, that ever was revealed to the world; which will appear in all these evidences following.
1. Christianity teacheth men to take the higher powers as ordained of God, and to obey them as God's ministers, or officers, having an authority derived immediately from God; so that it advanceth the magistrate as God's officer, as much higher than infidels advance him, (who fetched his power no higher than force or choice,) as a servant of God is above a servant of men; which is more than a man is above a dog'.
2. Christianity telleth us that our obedience to magistrates is God's own command, and so that we must obey him by obeying them. And as obedience to a constable is more procured by the king's laws than by his own commands, so obedience to a king is far more effectually procured by God's laws than by his own. If God be more above a king, than a king is above a worm, the command of God must be a more powerful obligation upon every understanding person, than the king's. And what greater advantage can a king have in governing, than to have subjects whose consciences do feel themselves bound by God himself, to obey the king and all his officers?
Object. But this is still with exception, If it be not in things forbidden of God? And the subjects are made judges whether it be so or no.'
Answ. And woe to that man that grudgeth that God must be obeyed before him! and would be himself a God to be obeyed in things which God is against! The subjects are made no public judges, but private discerners of their duties and so you make them yourselves; or else they must not judge whether the king or an usurper were to be obeyed; or whether the word of the king or of a constable, if they be contradictory, is to be preferred. To judge what we must choose or refuse is proper to a rational creature; even brutes themselves will do something like it by instinct of nature, and will not do all things according to your will; you would have us obey a justice of peace no further than our loyalty to the king will give leave; and therefore there is greater reason that we should obey the higher powers no
Rom. xv. 1—4.