- A Defence of the People of England, In Answer to Salmasius’s Defence of the King. *
- A Treatise of Civil Power In Ecclesiastical Causes; Showing That It Is Not Lawful For Any Power On Earth to Compel In Matters of Religion.
- Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings Out of the Church. Wherein Is Also Discoursed of Tithes, Church-fees, and Church-revenues; and Whether Any Maintenance of Ministers Can Be Settled By Law.
- A Letter to a Friend Concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth.
- The Present Means and Brief Delineation of a Free Commonwealth, Easy to Be Put In Practice, and Without Delay.
- The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and the Excellence Thereof, Compared With the Inconveniencies and Dangers of Readmitting Kingship In This Nation.
- Brief Notes Upon a Late Sermon, Titled, the Fear of God and the King.
- The History of Britain, That Part Especially Now Called England, From the First Traditional Beginning, Continued to the Norman Conquest:—collected Out of the Ancientest and Best Authors Thereof.
- The First Book.
- The Second Book.
- The Third Book.
- The Fourth Book.
- The Fifth Book.
- The Sixth Book.
- Of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration; and What Best Means May Be Used Against the Growth of Popery.
- A Brief History of Moscovia, and of Other Less Known Countries Lying Eastward of Russia As Far As Cathay.
- The Preface.
- Moscovia: Or, Relations of Moscovia, As Far As Hath Been Discovered By English Voyages; Gathered From the Writings of Several Eye-witnesses: and the Other Less Known Countries Lying Eastward of Russia As Far As Cathay, Lately Discovered At Several Time
- Chapter I.: A Brief Description.
- Chapter II.: Of Samoëdia, Siberia, and Other Countries North-east, Subject to the Muscovites.
- Chapter III.: Of Tingoësia, and the Countries Adjoining Eastward, As Far As Cathay.
- Chapter IV.: The Succession of Moscovia Dukes and Emperors, Taken Out of Their Chroniles By a Polac, With Some Later Additions. †
- Chapter V.: The First Discovery of Russia By the North-east, 1553, With the English Embassies, and Entertainments At That Court, Until the Year 1604.
- A Declaration of Letters Patents, For the Election of This Present King of Poland, John the Third, Elected On the 22d of May Last Past, A. D. 1674.
- Letters of State to Most of the Sovereign Princes and Republics of Europe, During the Administration of the Commonwealth and the Protectors Oliver and Richard Cromwell.
- Letters Written In the Name of the Parliament.
- Letters Written In the Name of Oliver the Protector.
- Letters Written In the Name of Richard, Protector.
- A Manifesto of the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, Ireland, &c.
- The Second Defence of the People of England, Against an Anonymous Libel Entitled “the Royal Blood Crying to Heaven For Vengeance On the English Parricides.”
- Familiar Epistles, Translated From the Latin, By Robert Fellowes, A. M. Oxon.
- I.: To His Tutor Thomas Jure.
- II.: To Alexander Gill.
- III.: To the Same.
- IV.: To Thomas Jure.
- V.: To Alexander Gill.
- VI.: To Carolo Deodati.
- VII.: To the Same.
- VIII.: To Beneditto Bonomattai, a Florentine.
- IX.: To Luke Holstein, In the Vatican At Rome.
- X.: To Carolo Deodati, a Florentine Noble.
- XI.: To Hermann Milles, Secretary to the Count of Oldenburgh.
- XII.: To the Renowned Leonard Philara, the Athenian.
- XIII.: To Richard Heth.
- XIV.: To Henry Oldenburgh, Aulic Counsellor to the Senate of Bremen.
- XV.: To Leonard Philara, the Athenian.
- XVI.: To Leo of Aizema.
- XVII.: To Ezechiel Spanheim, of Geneva.
- XVIII.: To Henry Oldenburgh, Aulic Counsellor to the Senate of Bremen.
- XIX.: To the Noble Youth, Richard Jones.
- XX.: To the Accomplished Youth Peter Heinbach.
- XXI.: To the Accomplished Emeric Bigot.
- XXII.: To the Noble Youth Richard Jones.
- XXIII.: To the Illustrious Lord Henry De Bras.
- XXIV.: To Henry Oldenburgh.
- XXV.: To the Noble Youth Richard Jones.
- XXVI.: To the Illustrious Lord Henry De Bras.
- XXVII.: To the Accomplished Peter Heinbach.
- XXVIII.: To John Badiaus, Minister of the Church of Orange.
- XXIX.: To Henry Oldenburgh.
- XXX.: To the Noble Youth Richard Jones.
- XXXI.: To the Accomplished Peter Heinbach, Counsellor to the Elector of Brandenburg.
BRIEF NOTES UPON A LATE SERMON, TITLED,
THE FEAR OF GOD AND THE KING.
PREACHED AND SINCE PUBLISHED BY MATTHEW GRIFFITH, D. D., AND CHAPLAIN TO THE LATE KING.
wherein many motorious wrestings of scripture, and other falsities, are observed,
[first published 1660.]
I affirmed in the preface of a late discourse, intitled, “The ready Way to establish a Free Commonwealth, and the Dangers of re-admitting Kingship in this Nation,” that the humour of returning to our old bondage was instilled of late by some deceivers; and to make good, that what I then affirmed was not without just ground, one of those deceivers I present here to the people: and if I prove him not such, refuse not to be so accounted in his stead.
He begins in his epistle to the General, and moves cunningly for a license to be admitted physician both to church and state; then sets out his practice in physical terms, “a wholesome electuary to be taken every morning next our hearts;” tells of the opposition which he met with from the college of state physicians, then lays before you his drugs and ingredients; “Strong purgatives in the pulpit, contempered of the myrrh of mortification, the aloes of confession and contrition, the rhubarb of restitution and satisfaction;” a pretty fantastic dose of divinity from a pulpit mountebank, not unlike the fox, that turning pedlar opened his pack of ware before the kid; though he now would seem, “to personate the good Samaritan,” undertaking to “describe the rise and progress of our national malady, and to prescribe the only remedy;” which how he performs, we shall quickly see.
First, he would suborn St. Luke as his spokesman to the General, presuming, it seems, “to have had as perfect understanding of things from the very first,” as the evangelist had of his gospel; that the General, who hath so eminently borne his part in the whole action, “might know the certainty of those things” better from him a partial sequestered enemy; for so he presently appears, though covertly, and like the tempter, commencing his address with an impudent calumny and affront to his excellence, that he would be pleased “to carry on what he had so happily begun in the name and cause” not of God only, which we doubt not, but “of his anointed,” meaning the late king’s son; to charge him most audaciously and falsely with the renouncing of his own public promises and declarations, both to the parliament and the army, and we trust his actions ere long will deter such insinuating slanderers from thus approaching him for the future But the General may well excuse him; for the Comforter himself scapes not his presumption, avouched as falsely, to have empowered to those designs “him and him only,” who hath solemnly declared the contrary. What fanatic, against whom he so often inveighs, could more presumptuously affirm whom the Comforter hath empowered, than this anti-fanatic, as he would be thought?
Prov. xxiv. 21.—My son, fear God and the king, and meddle not with them that be seditious, or desirous of change, &c.
Letting pass matters not in controversy, I come to the main drift of your sermon, the king; which word here is either to signify any supreme magistrate or else your latter object of fear is not universal, belongs not at all to many parts of Christendom, that have no king; and in particular not to us. That we have no king since the putting down of kingship in this commonwealth, is manifest by this last parliament, who, to the time of their dissolving, not only made no address at all to any king, but summoned this next to come by the writ formerly appointed of a free commonwealth, without restitution or the least mention of any kingly right or power; which could not be, if there were at present any king of England. The main part therefore of your sermon, if it mean a king in the usual sense, is either impertinent and absurd, exhorting your auditory to fear that which is not; or if king here be, as it is understood, for any supreme magistrate, by your own exhortation they are in the first place not to meddle with you, as being yourself most of all the seditious meant here, and the “desirous of change,” in stirring them up to “fear a king,” whom the present government takes no notice of.
You begin with a vain vision, “God and the king at the first blush” (which will not be your last blush) “seeming to stand in your text like those two cherubims on the mercy-seat, looking on each other.” By this similitude, your conceited sanctuary, worse than the altar of Ahaz, patterned from Damascus, degrades God to a cherub, and raises your king to be his collateral in place, notwithstanding the other differences you put; which well agrees with the court-letters, lately published, from this lord to the other lord, that cry him up for no less than angelical and celestial.
Your first observation, page 8, is, “That God and the king are coupled in the text, and what the Holy Ghost hath thus firmly combined, we may not, we must not dare to put asunder;” and yourself is the first man who puts them asunder by the first proof of your doctrine immediately following, Judg. vii. 20, which couples the sword of the Lord and Gideon, a man who not only was no king, but refused to be a king or monarch, when it was offered him, in the very next chapter, ver. 22, 23, “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.” Here we see, that this worthy heroic deliverer of his country thought it best governed, if the Lord governed it in that form of a free commonwealth, which they then enjoyed, without a single person. And thus is your first scripture abused, and most impertinently cited, nay, against yourself, to prove, that “kings at their coronation have a sword given them,” which you interpret “the militia, the power of life and death put into their hands,” against the declared judgment of our parliaments, nay, of all our laws, which reserve to themselves only the power of life and death, and render you in their just resentment of this boldness another Dr. Manwaring.
Your next proof is as false and frivolous, “The king,” say you, “is God’s sword-bearer;” true, but not the king only: for Gideon, by whom you seek to prove this, neither was nor would be a king; and as you yourself confess, page 40, “There be divers forms of government.” “He bears not the sword in vain,” Rom. xiii. 4: This also is as true of any lawful rulers, especially supreme; so that “Rulers,” ver. 3, and therefore this present government, without whose authority you excite the people to a king, bear the sword as well as kings, and as little in vain. “They fight against God, who resist his ordinance, and go about to wrest the sword out of the hands of his anointed.” This is likewise granted: but who is his anointed? Not every king, but they only who were anointed or made kings by his special command; as Saul, David, and his race, which ended in the Messiah, (from whom no kings at this day can derive their title,) Jehu, Cyrus, and if any other were by name appointed by him to some particular service: as for the rest of kings, all other supreme magistrates are as much the Lord’s anointed as they; and our obedience commanded equally to them all; “for there is no power but of God,” Rom. xiii. 1: and we are exhorted in the gospel to obey kings, as other magistrates, not that they are called any where the Lord’s anointed, but as they are the “Ordinance of man,” 1 Pet. ii. 13. You therefore and other such false doctors, preaching kings to your auditory, as the Lord’s only anointed, to withdraw people from the present government, by your own text are self-condemned, and not to be followed, not to be “meddled with,” but to be noted, as most of all others the “seditious and desirous of change.”
Your third proof is no less against yourself. Psal. cv. 15, “Touch not mine anointed.” For this is not spoken in behalf of kings, but spoken to reprove kings, that they should not touch his anointed saints and servants, the seed of Abraham, as the verse next before might have taught you, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm;” according to that, 2 Cor. i. 21, “He who hath anointed us, is God.” But how well you confirm one wrested scripture with another! 1 Sam. viii. 7, “They have not rejected thee, but me:” grossly misapplying these words, which were not spoken to any who had “resisted or rejected” a king, but to them who much against the will of God had sought a king, and rejected a commonwealth, wherein they might have lived happily under the reign of God only, their king. Let the words interpret themselves; ver. 6, 7, “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us: and Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” Hence you conclude, “so indissoluble is the conjunction of God and the king.” O notorious abuse of Scripture! whenas you should have concluded, so unwilling was God to give them a king, so wide was the disjunction of God from a king. Is this the doctrine you boast of, to be “so clear in itself, and like a mathematical principle, that needs no farther demonstration?” Bad logic, bad mathematics, (for principles can have no demonstration at all,) but worse divinity. O people of an implicit faith, no better than Romish, if these be thy prime teachers, who to their credulous audience dare thus juggle with Scripture, to allege those places for the proof of their doctrine, which are the plain refutation: and this is all the Scripture which he brings to confirm his point.
The rest of his preachment is mere groundless chat, save here and there a few grains of corn scattered to entice the silly fowl into his net, interlaced here and there with some human reading, though slight, and not without geographical and historical mistakes: as page 29, Suevia the German dukedom, for Suecia, the Northern kingdom: Philip of Macedon, who is generally understood of the great Alexander’s father only, made contemporary, page 31, with T. Quintus the Roman commander, instead of T. Quintius, and the latter Philip: and page 44, Tully cited “in his third oration against Verres,” to say of him, “that he was a wicked consul,” who never was a consul: nor “Trojan sedition ever portrayed” by that verse of Virgil, which you cite page 47, as that of Troy: schoolboys could have told you, that there is nothing of Troy in that whole portraiture, as you call it, of Sedition. These gross mistakes may justly bring in doubt your other loose citations, and that you take them up somewhere at the second or third hand rashly, and without due considering.
Nor are you happier in the relating or the moralizing your fable, “The frogs” (being once a free nation, saith the fable) “petitioned Jupiter for a king: he tumbled among them a log: they found it insensible; they petitioned then for a king that should be active; he sent them a crane” (a Stork, saith the fable) “which straight fell to pecking them up.” This you apply to the reproof of them who desire change: whereas indeed the true moral shows rather the folly of those who being free seek a king; which for the most part either as a log lies heavy on his subjects, without doing aught worthy of his dignity and the charge to maintain him, or as a stork, is ever pecking them up, and devouring them.
But “by our fundamental laws, the king is the highest power,” page 40. If we must hear mooting and law lectures from the pulpit, what shame is it for a doctor of divinity not first to consider, that no law can be fundamental, but that which is grounded on the light of nature or right reason, commonly called moral law: which no form of government was ever counted, but arbitrary, and at all times in the choice of every free people, or their representers. This choice of government is so essential to their freedom, that longer than they have it, they are not free. In this land not only the late king and his posterity, but kingship itself, hath been abrogated by a law; which involves with as good reason the posterity of a king forfeited to the people, as that law heretofore of treason against the king, attainted the children with the father. This law against both king and kingship they who most question, do not less question all enacted without the king and his antiparliament at Oxford, though called mongrel by himself. If no law must be held good, but what passes in full parliament, then surely in exactness of legality no member must be missing: for look how many are missing, so many counties or cities that sent them want their representers. But if, being once chosen, they serve for the whole nation, then any number, which is sufficient, is full, and most of all in times of discord, necessity, and danger. The king himself was bound by the old mode of parliaments, not to be absent, but in case of sickness, or some extraordinary occasion, and then to leave his substitute; much less might any member be allowed to absent himself. If the king then and many of the members with him, without leaving any in his stead, forsook the parliament upon a mere panic fear, as was at that time judged by most men, and to levy war against them that sat, should they who were left sitting, break up, or not dare enact aught of nearest and presentest concernment to public safety, for the punctilio wanting of a full number, which no law-book in such extraordinary cases hath determined? Certainly if it were lawful for them to fly from their charge upon pretence of private safety, it was much more lawful for these to set and act in their trust what was necessary for the public. By a law therefore of parliament, and of a parliament that conquered both Ireland, Scotland, and all their enemies in England, defended their friends, were generally acknowledged for a parliament both at home and abroad, kingship was abolished: this law now of late hath been negatively repealed; yet kingship not positively restored, and I suppose never was established by any certain law in this land, nor possibly could be: for how could our forefathers bind us to any certain form of government, more than we can bind our posterity? If a people be put to war with their king for his misgovernment, and overcome him, the power is then undoubtedly in their own hands how they will be governed. The war was granted just by the king himself at the beginning of his last treaty, and still maintained to be so by this last parliament, as appears by the qualification prescribed to the members of this next ensuing, that none shall be elected, who have borne arms against the parliament since 1641. If the war were just, the conquest was also just by the law of nations. And he who was the chief enemy, in all right ceased to be the king, especially after captivity, by the deciding verdict of war; and royalty with all her laws and pretensions yet remains in the victor’s power, together with the choice of our future government. Free commonwealths have been ever counted fittest and properest for civil, virtuous, and industrious, nations, abounding with prudent men worthy to govern; monarchy fittest to curb degenerate, corrupt, idle, proud, luxurious people. If we desire to be of the former, nothing better for us, nothing nobler than a free commonwealth: if we will needs condemn ourselves to be of the latter, despairing of our own virtue, industry, and the number of our able men, we may then, conscious of our own unworthiness to be governed better, sadly betake us to our befitting thraldom: yet choosing out of our number one who hath best aided the people, and best merited against tyranny, the space of a reign or two we may chance to live happily enough, or tolerably. But that a victorious people should give up themselves again to the vanquished, was never yet heard of, seems rather void of all reason and good policy, and will in all probability subject the subduers to the subdued, will expose to revenge, to beggary, to ruin, and perpetual bondage, the victors under the vanquished: than which what can be more unworthy?
From misinterpreting our law, you return to do again the same with Scripture, and would prove the supremacy of English kings from 1 Pet. ii. 13, as if that were the apostle’s work: wherein if he saith that “the king is supreme,” he speaks so of him but as an “ordinance of man,” and in respect of those “governors that are sent by him,” not in respect of parliaments, which by the law of this land are his bridle; in vain his bridle, if not also his rider: and therefore hath not only co-ordination with him, which you falsely call seditious, but hath superiority above him, and that neither “against religion,” nor “right reason:” no nor against common law; for our kings reigned only by law. But the parliament is above all positive law, whether civil or common, makes or unmakes them both; and still the latter parliament above the former, above all the former lawgivers, then certainly above all precedent laws, entailed the crown on whom it pleased; and as a great lawyer saith, “is so transcendent and absolute, that it cannot be confined either for causes or persons, within any bounds.” But your cry is, no parliament without a king. If this be so, we have never had lawful kings, who have all been created kings either by such parliaments, or by conquest: if by such parliaments, they are in your allowance none; if by conquest, that conquest we have now conquered. So that as well by your own assertion as by ours, there can at present be no king. And how could that person be absolutely supreme, who reigned, not under law only, but under oath of his good demeanor, given to the people at his coronation, ere the people gave him his crown? and his principal oath was to maintain those laws, which the people should choose. If then the law itself, much more he who was but the keeper and minister of law, was in their choice, and both he subordinate to the performance of his duty sworn, and our sworn allegiance in order only to his performance.
You fall next on the consistorian schismatics; for so you call Presbyterians, page 40, and judge them to have “enervated the king’s supremacy by their opinions and practice, differing in many things only in terms from popery;” though some of those principles, which you there cite concerning kingship, are to be read in Aristotle’s Politics, long ere popery was thought on. The presbyterians therefore it concerns to be well forewarned of you betimes; and to them I leave you.
As for your examples of seditious men, page 54, &c. Cora, Absalom, Zimri, Sheba, to these you might with much more reason have added your own name, who “blow the trumpet of sedition” from your pulpit against the present government: in reward whereof they have sent you by this time, as I hear, to your “own place,” for preaching open sedition, while you would seem to preach against it.
As for your Appendix annexed of the “Samaritan revived,” finding it so foul a libel against all the well-affected of this land, since the very time of ship-money, against the whole parliament, both lords and commons, except those that fled to Oxford, against the whole reformed church, not only in England and Scotland, but all over Europe, (in comparison whereof you and your prelatical party are more truly schismatics and sectarians, nay, more properly fanatics in your fanes and gilded temples, than those whom you revile by those names,) and meeting with no more Scripture or solid reason in your “Samaritan wine and oil,” than hath already been found sophisticated and adulterate, I leave your malignant narrative, as needing no other confutation, than the just censure already passed upon you by the council of state.