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Parliament; and consequently the Doctrine of Non-Resistance is not deposited in such a Place of Security as in the irrepealable Act of Union.
The Statute of the Thirteenth of Elizabeth confirms. all the Articles of Reli• gion, which ONLY concern the Confeflion of the true Christian Faith, and " the Doctrine of the Sacraments ;' but neither that Article about the Homilies, nor several other Articles which ONLY concern Matters of Discipline, were ever confirm'd by Parliament to this Day. I refer the Reader to the Argument at large annexed to this paper, which I don't doubt but will convince him of the Truth of this Affertion.
We must then consider the Homilies as so many Sermons wrote by the Clergy in Edward the Sixth's Time, when few of them were of tolerable Learning or Abilities : Does it appear that they had our Constitution under Consideration ? Does it not appear that they understood nothing of it? The Resistance that was made against Richard the Third was then fresh in their Memory; who, bad as he was, even such an Anointed was not to be touched by their Rules, if stretch'd to an unlimited Sense. They might have heard of many Precedents of deposing our former Tyrants, and easily collected that it was the Practice of the Church, and Law of England, in such unfortunate Cases. Let us consider their Argument thus.
A Convocation of the Clergy confirm a Doctrine utterly inconfiftent with the Conftitution of the State, and therefore 'tis an high Prefumption in the Laity, against the Authority of the Church, to refuse to be bound down by it. Some modern Doctors misapply and misconstrue those Doctrines and then it is Irreligion and Acheism to examine or inquire into their Mistakes. May we not be permicced to oppose the Sentiments and Practices of those Convocations, against the Opinions and Comments of the Expositors of their Doctrine? It's very probable that the Members of those Convocations best understood their own Meanings, and surely they would never have assisted so freely and largely in resisting the French and Spanish Tyrants, and defended their oppress”d Subjects, if they had ever thought that Relistance was, de toto genere, unlawful, and that a Tyrant was upon no Pretence to be relifted. And I think it a fatal Stroke to the Kingdom, if the Sevenois were denied Afistance thro’ this modern Principle, whose Support was both lawful, and of infinite Advantage to the Allies.
To support that unsupportable Sense of the Homilies, the Doctor produces the concurrent Opinions of many learned Fathers, down from the Reformation to this Day, who have preach'd the same Doctrine, and thinks his Case extream bard ibat be bould be accused for what others have received Thanks; he might very truly have added, and been made Bipops for it, and then he would have explain'd the Reason why they preach'd it, and what he himself expected for having done it.
It is allowed by all Sides that the Manwarings and Sibthorps were the first Authors of King Charles's Misfortunes, by misguiding his Conscience in the very fame Point, in Eitect, that you endeavour to deceive the Queen : It was fome as wicked as you who persuaded her Father, that the Church of England would not, nay, could not resist ; and you think it your fingular Misfcriune that for this fatal Doctrine you have not received Thanks, or Preferment, from her Majesty.
i 36b of Doctrince in the of Parlia
Notwithstanding that some Fathers have strain'd fuch Homilies as regard this Point, which was always the high Way to Preferment, yet they have rejected others; which is a strong Argument to me, that the Article which contains the Homilies was never confirm'd by Parliament, and that the Clergy thought themfelves at Liberty to amend, alter, or reject, wholly, or in Part, any Article that did not concern the Confellion of the true Christian Faith, or Doctrine of • the Sacraments ;' and therefore the Homily about the Idolatry of Pictures and Organs is now exploded as erroneous, and the Uie of them now allowed ; which could not have been done by the Clergy alone, if that Article about the
Homilies had been confirm'd by the 13th of Elizabeth, as it is pretended. • The Doctor's Managers insist, that their Doctrine of Non-Resistance is war.
ranted by Law, and to prove this they read a Clause in the Milicia Act of the 13th of Charles II. viz. That both, or either of the Houses of Parliament, may • not lawfully raise or levy War, Offensive or Defensive, against his Majesty;' and the fame Parliament in the next Sessions had framed a Position in the Cor. poration Aet in the same Sense, and almost in the fame Words, viz. "That it 6 is not lawful, upon any Pretence whatsoever, to take Arms against the King,' and obliged People to swear to this Declaration. The Oath in the Corporation Act, and the Clause in the Militia AC, being convertible Positions, buth only declaring the Illegality of resisting the King, if the Clause were made the Oarb, or the Oath turn'd into the Clause, it would make no Difference: Since therefore the Corporation Dalb ftands repealed by the ist of W. and M. the Militia Clause being one and the same Thing with the Oath, is not only virtually, but exprefly repealed too; and those Acts being made upon the Restoration, only to condemn the Antimonarchical Principles, and to settle the Power of the Militia in the King, it would astonish the Makers, who design'd only to preserve one Part of the Constitution, viz. The Monarcby, to see that very Act stretch'd to the Subversion of the W bole. .
They who are not satisfy'd with this may observe, that by the several Acts mention’d in the Preamble of the Impeachment, the very Substance and Intention (if it had any such Intention) of the Militia Act is damn'd, and the Arms of Relistance avowed to have been justifiable and necessary; and to confirm the Legality of Resistance in some Cases, the Act of Rights and Liberties, ift of G. & M. Sect. 9. says, That upon such and such Misdemeanors of the King and Queen, the Subjes shall thereby be abfolved from their Allegiance, which AC will and ought to protect them against the Statute of Treasons of E. III. if they in fuch Cases do rehist: And this Act will justify, that there is an indispensible Duty of Resistance in some Cases, and that they are Traitors to Pofterity, who refuse to perform the Trust reposed in them by this Act; that to encourage them to rent, has absolved them from their Allegiance ; that to protect them in Refftance, has çranted them an Indemnity
But since some learned Gentlemen would prove the Law felo de fe, and make a Clause of one Act, to destroy both Law and Parliament; since some ridicule the Original Contra 7, by importunately desiring to see it, I hope I shall be able here to give a good Account of it, and to Thew the original Right of the · People to defend then felves against a King becoming a Tyrant.
· I suppole no body expe&s to see an original Contract in Writing, Time must needs have worn out that, and 'tis likely it was only verbal; and we must be fatisfy'd with the best Evidence a Matter of that Nature is capable of: If the first Records of Authority mention the Conditional Tenure of the Crown, and the Duties imposed on the King by the People ; if our former Kings have con. firm'd this in Parliament, if the Opinions of all the Ancient Lawyers agree, that the People had an Original Right to what was so confirm'd ; if the People have ever fince enjoy'd and maintain'd that Right; sure there's tomething more than Fable in this Original Compact.
In the Saxon Parliaments, few new Laws were enacted, but the Custom then was for some of the most learned Members to declare upon Oath the Fundamental Laws of the Realm to the King and the People. I find in Edward the Confeffor's Timne, twelve sworn Sages pronounced the Law, thus : Rex ad boc eft Conftitutus, ut Regnum & Ecclefiam ab injuriofis defendat, quod nifi fecerit, nec nomen Regis in eo conftabit, verum nomen Regis perdit; debei Justitia magis regnare quam voluntas Prava : And further, Rex (r's dum bene regis, quud nifi feceris, nomen Regis perdis. Lambard,142. I observe here, that first the excellent Duties of the King are enumerated, and the Purposes specify'd for which he was made: That in the Beginning there was a Limitation fet upon his Power, that he should rule by the Law, and not by wicked Will or Arbitrary Power : That the original Conditions were expressed, for the Breach of which he was to be Unking’d. Which strongly makes out an original Contract.
If it be obferved here, that it is not exprelly said, that the King was constituted by the People, nor that the People are to depose him upon Failure of his Duty :: Yec it must be allow'd, that there were Conditions annexed to the Crown, and that it was forfeitable for the Breach of them; and when we find who had a Right to punish delinquent Kings, we shall discover between whom the original Contract was made.
The Conquest has made no Alteracion in our Fundamental Laws ; for even the Conqueror, submitted to wear the Crown upon the Conditions that his Saxon Predeceffors had enjoy'd it. After this, the first memorable Affertion of the People's Right by the original Contract was in King Jobn's Time, which at last ended in a full Recognition of the People's Right to dethrone cyrannizing Kings. I'll only repeat Part of the Substance of a Clause in the Act of Parliament, drawn in the Form of a Charter, and refer the Examination of it to the whole Clause in the Appendix : *Jf the King, or' his Justices in his Absence, do not reform · Miscarriages within forty Days after they are complain'd of, the Five and "Twenty Barons, and all the Commonalty of England, may distress us by all " the Ways they can, till it be amended, and the Subjects may swear to obey " the said Barons, and to distress us.' *
I know of no Objection to be made against this Charter, but what may be made against the Great Charter; and Historians say, they are the very fame, which may be the Reason why this is omitted out of the Statute-Book, The Lawyers of those Times concur, that the People in filted only upon their Ancient Liotitias; the Confeffor's Laws say, the Tyrant Thall be Unking'd. This Charter declares tho snall have Power to Unking him. The Method only was then
fettled Cheri s of King John, dated at Running- Mend.
settled of making use of the Coercive Power of the People, which was before their Original Right.
Eroilon, Lib. 2. C. 16. Fleta, Lib. 1. C. 17. express themselves, 'That the 'Law is above the King; that the High Court (of Parliament) is superior to .! the King; that the King is made by the Law : And therefore if the King be , without a Bridle, chat is, without Law, they inaft Bridle him,' These Opi. nions justify, that the People had a Right to Bridle King Jobn, a muft: unruly Prince and that King Jobn granted them nothing but what was their Due. If these Authors are not often quoted in the Hall, it is because they are not Cafe-repor, ters; but consider'd as Historical Collectors of the old Law, they are certainly in this Case the best Evidence. Some Gentlemen may perhaps object, that these Laws are too old to be of Force, as they say that some Precedents are too modern to be good. But the Opinion of Chancellor Fortescu is Ancient enough to be venerable, and Modern enough to be credited.
The Chancellor in the gtb Chapter tells the Prince of Wales, . That Eng. land is a Political Kingdom, and that the King governs by a Political Power; • therefore he can't alter the Laws of the Kingdom.' C. 13. He tells the Prince, how a Political Kingdom is to be made; ' A People that raise themselves into sa Kingdom must ever appoint one to be the chief Ruler of the whole Body, « which in Kingdoms is called King.' Then he informs the Prince of the Original of this Political Kingdom of England, viz. · "That it was form'd from Brutus and his Companions. Then he informs by whom,and to what End this Political Kingdom was form’d, viz. ! The King was made and ordain'd for
the Defence of the Law of his Subjects, and of their Bodies and Goods, where• unto he receiveth Power from his PEOPLE; so that he can't govern
his PEOPLE by any other Power.' It is plain, that Fortefcu thought the King derived his Power from the People ; and I much rely upon his Opinion, as being the most learned and best of our Chancellors, except the Present. He lived at a Time when the Title of the Crown was most canvaffed, and best understood : He wrote for the Instruction of the Heir Apparent, was too great a Lawyer to mistake the Fundamentals of our Constitution, and too faithful a Counsellor to misguide the Judgment of the Young Prince.
Wherefore, since it appears by the most ancient Monuments of the Conftitution, that Limitations and Conditions were originally imposed upon the King, and that che King upon his Demerits was removeable, which necessarily implies an Original Contrazt ; since Chancellor Fortescu affirms, that the King of England was made King by, and received his Power from, the People ; since by the Magna Charta of King John,the Right and Power of Dethroning Kings, for Breach of the Contract, has been acknowledged and settled in the People, The Original Contract must needs have been between the King and the People, who gave the King Power to govern, and reserved a Right to themselves to remove him for Tyranny; which Power and Right have been enjoy'd by the People from the Original of Government in England down to this Day, as often as the Necessity of the Case compelld them to make use of it.
But since some are endeavouring the Ruin of the State, by an upstart Doc. trine of the Church, it is with great Pleasure I have read the History of the
Pihe Case compella line the Ruin of the State, the History of the Church Refiftant, Protestant Catholick, as well as Roman Catholick; and it is ex. ceeding comfortable to me, who, with regard to my Duty towards God, think it'a heniou: Sin to rebell against the lawful Powers of a good Prince, and yet, with respect to my Country, think myself indispensibly obliged to resist the unlawful Acts of a Tyrant: To find, thit this Doctrine of Non-Resittance (as now preached) is not the Doctrine of the Church of England, nor the true Senie of the Homilies, that the Practice and Opinions of all the subsequent Convos cacions have been contrary ; to find, that the true Meaning of Kings having • their Power from God, is not, that they have any distinct Authority besides "the Law of the Land derived to them from God, but that by the Laws of • God, the Authority of the Law of the Land was secured to them: That " the Laws of Religion in the Scripture did, only establish the several r Constitutions and Governments that were in the different Parts of the World." To find all this so well proved, in the incomparable Speech of the Bishop of Salisbury, and by the Opinions of the greatest Part of the Sacred Bencb; to find the Truth force itself out of the Mouths of the Prisoner's Council, who did all fully and plainly own, that in Cases of extream Necessity an Exception of the Doctrine was to be admitted, and that such was the Case of the Revolution ; to find the Revolution justify'd, by those who were brought there to arraign it, gives entire Sacisfaction to my Conscience, that I perform'd my Duty to my Country in resisting King James, without breaking the Law or Ordinance of God.
But you, Doctor, wave all Defences, but that of your Homilies; And of all their Expositors, the Opinion of Bilhop Sanderson is properest for your Purpose, and the Spirit of it very agreeable to your Genius: I dare not be so unmannerly free with either dead or living Prelates, as you, you dutiful Son of the Church; nor do I believe, nor will I call Bishop Sanderson a false Son of the Church, or a perfidious Prelate, because I think him out in one Opinion; which maintains that · Defensive Arms are de toto genere unlawful, and may not be taken up by 6 any Man, at any Time, in any Case, upon any Colour or Pretension what• foever ; nor for the Defence of Religion ; nor for the Preservation of a Church,
or State; no, nor yet, if that could be imagined possible, for the Salvacion of a • Soul; no, not for the Redemption of the whole World."
If this Doctrine be Orthodox, then Christ came into the World upon a poor Errand, to be Crucified for the Redemption of Mankind; which, in this Bishop's Opinion, is not of equal Consideration with the Interests of a single Man. I take this Doctrine to be so far from being Apostolical, that I make bold 10 affirm it to be a wild and blafphemous Rant, and very proper to be burnt with Doctor Sacheverell's Blasphemous Collections, · As they are many Precedents to justify Resistance in the History of the Jews, in whore Political Government God had such an immediate Hand, as to condes. cend to be for some time even their King ; I shall only give one Instance of the Resistance that the Maccabees made against Antiochus, when he endeavoured to to make them break their Laws, by eating Swine's Flesh, and attempted to introduce Idolatry into their Temples. This, in Bishop Sanderson's Opinion, though to save their Church, and Laws, had not been sufficient Cause to resist; * VOL. III.