« السابقةمتابعة »
and liberty, and magnifying so much the defenders of the people's liberty against monarchs, that it will secretly steal the dislike of monarchy, and the love of popular liberty into your minds P.'
Answ. It must be considered in what times and places the ancient Greek and Roman historians did live 9. They that lived where popular government was in force and credit, wrote according to the time and government which they lived under; yet do they extol the virtues and heroic acts of monarchs, and often speak of the vulgar giddiness and inconstancy. And for my part, I think he that readeth in them those popular tumults, irrationalities, furies, inconstancies, cruelties, which even in Rome and Athens they committed, and all historians record; will rather find his heart much alienated from such democratical confusions. And the historians of other times and places do write as much for monarchy, as they did for democracy.
Object. IV. Some of them revile at Aristotle and all universities, and say, That while multitudes must be tasters and pretenders to the learning which they never can thoroughly attain, they read many dangerous books, and receive false notions; and these half-witted men, are the disturbers of all societies. Do you not see, say they, that the two strongest kingdoms in the world, are kept up by keeping the subjects ignorant. The Greek and Latin empires were ruined by the contention of men that did pretend to learning. The Turk keepeth all in quiet by suppressing it : and the pope confineth it almost all to his instruments in government, and keepeth the common people in ignorance; which keepeth them from matter of quarrel and disobedience '.'
Answ. I hope you will not say, that Rome or Athens of old did take this course. And we will not deny, but men
P So Hollingshed maketh Parliaments so mighty as to take down the greatest kings, &c.
As Aug. Traj. the Antonines, &c. It is confessed that most historians write much for liberty against tyranny. But the heathens do it much more than the Christians.
Langius saith, that in his own bearing, Jodocus Præses Senat. Mechlin. Magna contentione tuebatur, neminem posse vel unius legis intelligentiam consequi, qui quicquam sciret in bonis literis, et addebat, vix esse tres in orbe qui leges Cæsareas intelligerent.
of knowledge are more subject to debates, and questionings, and quarrels, about right and wrong, than men of utter igBeasts fall not out about crowns or kingdoms, as men do. Dogs and swine will not scramble for gold, as men will do, if you cast it among them: and it is easier to keep swine or sheep quiet, than men; and yet it is not better to be swine or sheep, than men; nor to be governors of beasts, than men. Dead men are quieter than the living, and blind men will submit to be led more easily than those that see; and yet it is not better to be a king of brutes, or blind men, or dead men, than of the living that have their sight. A king of men that have many disagreements, is better than a king of beasts that all agree. And yet true knowledge tendeth to concord, and to the surest and constant obedience.
Object. v. But their chief calumniations are against divines. They say, That divines make a trade of religion, and under pretence of divine laws, and conscience, and ecclesiastical discipline, they subjugate both princes and people to their will, and set up courts which they call ecclesiastical, and keep the people in dependance on their dictates, and teach them to disobey upon pretence that God is against the matter of their obedience; and also by contending for their opinions, or for superiority and domination over one another, they fill kingdoms with quarrels, and break them into sects and factions, and are the chief disturbers of the public peace3.'
Answ. We cannot deny that carnal, ignorant, worldly, proud, unholy pastors, have been and are the great calamity of the churches: but that is no more disgrace to their office, or to divinity, than it is to philosophy or reason, that philosophers have been ignorant, erroneous, divided, and contentious; nor than it is to government, that kings and other rulers, have been imperfect, contentious, and filled the world with wars and bloodshed. Nay, I rather think that this is a proof of the excellency of divinity: as
• Read Bishop Andrews Tort. Tort., Bishop Bilson of Christian Subjection, Robert Abbot, Jewel, Field, &c., who will fully shew that true church-power is no way injurious to kings. De regum authoritate, quod ex jure divino non sit Tortus probat: asseri enim scriptorum sententia communi: at nec omnium, nec optimorum. Andr. Tort. Tort. p. 384.
the reason of the foresaid imperfections and faultiness of philosophers and rulers, is because that philosophy and government are things so excellent, that the corrupt, imperfect nature of man, will not reach so high, as to qualify any man to manage them, otherwise than with great defectiveness; so also divinity, and the pastoral office, are things so excellent and sublime, that the nature of lapsed man will not reach to a capacity of being perfect in them. So that the faultiness of the nature of man, compared with the excellency of the things to be known and practised by divines, is the cause of all these faults that they complain of; and nature's vitiosity, if any thing must be blamed. Certainly, the pastoral office hath men as free from ignorance, worldliness, pride and unquietness, as any calling in the world. To charge the faults of nature upon that profession, which only discovereth, but never caused them, yea, which would heal them, if they are to be healed on earth, judge whether this dealing be not foolish and injurious, and what will be the consequents if such unreasonable persons may be heard. And therefore, though leviathan and his spawn, among all that is good, bring down divines, and the zealots for democracy have gloried of their new forms of commonwealths, as inconsistent with a clergy, their glory is their shame to all but infidels. Let them help us to take down and cure the ignorance, pride, carnality, worldliness and contentiousness of the clergy, and we will be thankful to them; but to quarrel with the best of men for the common pravity of nature, and to reproach the most excellent science and function, because depraved nature cannot attain or manage them in perfection, this is but to play the professed enemies of mankind.
Object. vi. These atheists or infidels also do spit their venom against Christianity and godliness itself, and would make princes believe, that the principles of it are contrary to their interest, and to government and peace: and they fetch their cavils, 1. From the Scripture's contemptuous expressions of worldly wealth and greatness. 2. From its prohibition of revenge and maintaining our own right. 3. From the setting it above all human laws; and by its authority and obscurity, filling the minds of men with scrupulosity. 4. From the divisions which religion occasioneth in
and 5. From the testimonies of the several sects against each other.' I shall answer them particularly, though but briefly.
Object, 1. Say the infidel politicians, How can subjects have honourable thoughts of their superiors, when they believe that to be the Word of God, which speaketh so contemptuously of them? As Luke vi. 24. "Woe to you that are rich; for ye have received your consolation." James v. 1-3. "Go to now ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you." Ver. 5, 6. Ye have lived in pleasure on earth, and have been wanton-- Ye have condemned and killed the just-." Luke xii. 21. xvi. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is spoken to make men think of the rich as miserable, damned creatures. Ezek. xxi. 25. Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel." Prov. xxv. 5. "Take away the wicked from before the king." Prov. xxix. 12. "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked;" the contempt of greatness is made a part of the Christian religion,'
Answ. 1. As if there were no difference between the contempt of riches and worldly prosperity, and the contempt of government? He is blind that cannot see that riches and authority are not the same; yea, that the over-valuing of riches is the cause of seditions, and the disturbance of governments, when the contempt of them removeth the chief impediments of obedience and peace. 2. And may not governors be sufficiently honoured, unless they be exempted from the government of God? And unless their sin must go for virtue? And unless their duty, and their account, and the danger of their souls be treacherously concealed from them? God will not flatter dust and ashes; great and small are alike to him. He is no respecter of persons: when you can save the greatest from death and judgment, then they may be excepted from all those duties which are
t Just such occasions as Papists bring against the Reformers, did the heathens bring against the Christians, as you may see in Ennapius in Ædesio. At egregii illi viri et bellicosi confusis perturbatisque rebus omnibus debellasse Deos incruentis quidem, sed ab avaritiæ crimine non puris manibus gloriabantur, sacrilegium et impietatis crimen laudi sibi assumentes. Iidem postea in sacra loca invexerunt Monachos, sic dictos homines quidem specie, sed vitam turpem porcorum more exigentes, qui in popatulo infinita et infanda scelera committebant, quibus tamen pietatis pars videbatur, sacri loci reverentiam proculcari. O partiality!
needful to their preparation. 3. And is it not strange, that God should teach men to contemn the power which he himself ordaineth? And which is his own? Hath he set officers over us, for the work of government, and doth he teach us to despise them? There is no shew of any such thing in Scripture: there are no principles in the world that more highly advance and honour magistracy, than the Christian principles, unless you will make gods of them, as the Roman senate did of the Antonines, and other emperors.
Object. 11. How can there be any government, when men must believe that they must not resist evil, but give place to wrath, and turn the other cheek to him that smiteth them, and give their coat to him that taketh away their cloak, and lend, asking for nothing again? Is not this to let thieves and violent, rapacious men rule all, and have their will, and go unpunished? What use is there then for courts and judges? And when Christ commandeth his disciples, that though the kings of the nations rule over them, and exercise authority, and are called benefactors, yet with them it shall not be so ".'
Answ. These were the old cavils of Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian; but very impudent. As though love and patience were against peace and government. Christ commandeth nothing in all these words, but that we love our neighbour as ourselves, and love his soul above our wealth, and that we do as we would be done by, and use not private revenge, and take not up the magistrate's work and is this doctrine against government? It is not magistrates, but ministers and private Christians, whom he commandeth not to resist evil, and not to exercise lordship, as the civil rulers do. When it will do more hurt to the soul of another, than the benefit amounteth to, we must not seek our own right by law, nor must private men revenge themselves. All lawsuits, and contentions, and hurting of others, which are inconsistent with loving them as ourselves, are forbidden in the Gospel. And when was government ever disturbed by such principles and practices as these? Nay, when was it disturbed but for want of these? When was there any sedition, rebellion or unlawful wars, but through self-love, and
"Rom. xii. 17. 19, 20. Luke vi. 28-30. Matt. v. 39-41. Luke xxii.