Imágenes de página

son upon which to believe it, and the Experience of all Ages doth abundantly confirm it.

We have good Reason upon which to believe it, and that upon these two plain accounts.

I. Because Soveraign Kings and Princes are God's Deputies and Vicegerents, set up by himself, and they derive their Power and Authority from him alone. God Almighty, the Maker of us all, is the only Absolute Lord and tJncontrolabk Soveraign of Men and Aneels. Part of his own Power and Authority which he hath over his Creatures, he hath delegated and committed to Kings and Princes, who are the most principal Instruments and Ministers of his Providence in the World. Hence are they called Gods, and Children of the Most High, Pfal. 82. 6. God hath invested them With some part of his own Majesty, stamped his own Character upon them, and appointed them in his place to perform and administer even some part of his own Divine Office, if I may so speak, amongst men Thus constituting them Earthly Gods, as to their Persons [acred, and as to their AHions accountable to none, but that supereminent Divine Authority that gave them Commission.

This is not any new-coined Divinity, inverted in favour of Arbitrary Power by Court Parasites, and needy Flatterers, who feck Preferment 5 (as the Ene

j;" mies mies of our flourishing Monarchy have sometimes represented it 5) but it is exprefly delivered in the Holy Scriptures, was professedly owned and taught by the Primitive Christians, and hath been the constant Doctrine of the Reformed Church of England: Nay, it is agreeable to the general fense oFMankind, and might be made qut by rational Evidence, if we had no other Confirmation of it.

That Supreme Governours have their Power and Authority from God alone, is expresly delivered in Scripture 5 and that not only of the Kings of Israel, who were evidently established by God's Appointment, but in general we are told, Prov. 8. 15, 16. By me Kings reign, and Princes decree justice. By me Princes rule, and Nobles, even till the Judges of the earth. Thus Cyrus an Heathen JEmperour is called Gods Anointed, lfa.\^. 1. Thus faith the-Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus 5 and in the last Verse of the preceeding Chapter he is called God's Shepherd: (Princes being often, by reason of the resemblance between the Pastoral Office and Government, called Shepherds) / have made the earth, faith God by the Prophet Jeremiah 27. 5, 6. and have given it to whom it seemed meet unto me, and now have I given all ttefe lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon my Servant. Thus Daniel declares that she most high -.. ruleib tulethin the Kingdom os men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And he tells Nebuchadnezzar, cap. 2. 37. that it was the God of Heaven that had given him a Kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. In the New Testament nothing can be plainer, than the beginning of the thirteenth Chapter to the Romans, where St.*/W tells us, that there is no ■power but of God: that the powers that be are ordained of God. Whence in the next Verse he stileth Magistracy or Government the Ordina?ice of God-, and in the Fourth Verse the Ruler is called the Minister of God (not of the People,) to execute his vengeance upon them that do evil.


I (halt not now trouble you with any Quotations out of t^e Primitive Fathers, who so oftenacknowledged even their Heathen Emperours to have been constituted by God, and to have held their Empire from him alone, and to have only him above them.

It is plain that this was always the Doctrine of our Church of England, as appears from the Book of Homilies, wherein we are taught, That the High Powers are set in Authority by God, that they are God's Lieutenants, God's Presidents, God's Officers, Gods Commiffioners, God's Judges ordained of God himself $ nay, it hath been directly asserted in our Church, That the most high and sacred Order os Kings is of Divine Right, being the Ordinance os God himself founded in the prime Law os Nature, and clearly established by express Texts both of the Old and New Testament.

Nor is ic our Religion alone that teacheth Us this, but the fame was of old owned both by the Heathen Poets and Philosophers, that Kings were from God, and to his Supreme Authority ordering, and appointing it, was to be referred the Original of all Soveraignty and Rule amongst: men.

Nor indeed can it be well conceived, or reasonably imagined, from whence Kings and Soveraign Powers should have Right to Govern and Command, but from God alone. Since he is the undoubted Lord of the whole Earth, and alone hath full power and right to Govern it, I cannot fee but that whoever shall go about to confer any power of Government, or take upon himself any such Authority over others, were it not by God's appointment and institution, he would thereby put himself upon disposing of God's right, without his leave or ordering. So that Government and Superiority of one or more over others, is all Tyranny and Usurpation upon God's right, or else it must be granted to be Ordained by God himself. And it being so necessary for the Happiness and Welfare of Mankind, that it is imposlible Peace and Order should be maintained, Justice administred, or that we should live in tolerable safety, every man enjoying his own, without Government, it would seem an unworthy disparagement and reflexion upon the Divine Wisdom ana Goodness, to have left the World without any such provision for the quiet and security of it.

Thus whatever the Form of Government may be, which is different in several places, whether it be in a single person, or many, or in the Body of the People, or their Representatives, whatever hand the people may have in some places, according to the particular Customs of their Countries, in Chusing or Designing the person or persons, that shall be invested with this Supreme Authority, yet the Power and Authority it self is derived only from God, and is neither received of the People in trust, nor is the Soveraign Power answerable to them for the Administration of it. Which is sometimes illustrated thus, Tho' the Wife may chuse what person (he pleaseth to make her Husband, yet the Husbands Authority over the Wife is not owing to her, nor doth she confer it upon him, but it is of Divine Appointment.

she King - (as it hath been said of old) in regard of the Nature of his Body is of the fame Mould with ■every man, but hi respect of the eminency of his Dignity

« AnteriorContinuar »