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PART III.: PURITAN VIEWS OF LIBERTY a - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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PURITAN VIEWS OF LIBERTYa
SOME PRINCIPLES OF THE PURITAN PARTIES
From John Saltmarsh, Smoke in the Temple (1646)b
[Principles of the Parties]c
Presbytery so called: what it is, and what they hold
The Presbytery is set up by an alleged pattern of the eldership and presbytery of the Apostles and Elders in the first churches of the Gospel, strengthened by such scriptures as are in the margin,1 and by allusion to the Jewish government and to appeals in nature. Their churches are parochial, or parishes, as they are divided at first by the Romish prelates and the statute-laws of the state. Which parishes and congregations are made up of such believers as were made Christians first by baptism in infancy, and not by the Word; and all the parishes or congregations are under them as they are a classical, provincial, and national Presbytery. And over those parishes they do exercise all church power and government2 which may be called the Power of the Keys. * * *
Independency so called: what it is, and what they hold
The people of God are only a church3 when called by the Word and Spirit into consent or covenant and [when] Saints by profession, and all church-power is laid here and given out from hence into pastorship and elders, &c.; and a just distribution of interest betwixt elders and people.4 All spiritual government is here and not in any power foreign or extrinsical to the congregation, or authoritative. Their children are made Christians first by infant baptism and after by the Word; and they are baptized by a federal or covenant-holiness, or birth-privileges as under the Law.1 They may enjoy all ordinances in this estate, and some may prophesy.2 * * *
Anabaptism so called: what it is, and what they hold
The Church of Christ are a company of baptized believers,3 and whatsoever disciple can teach the Word or make out Christ, may baptize or administer other ordinances.4 That the church or body, though but of two or three, yet may enjoy the Word and ordinances by way of an administrator, or one deputed to administer, though no pastor.5 That none are to be baptized but believers.6 That those commonly called church-officers as pastors, &c., are such as the church or body may be without.7 That none are to be called brethren but baptized believers. All administration of ordinances were given to the Apostles as disciples; not so under the notion of church-power as is pretended.8 That none ought to communicate in the ordinances of Christ till first baptized.9 * * *
Seeking or Seekers so called: what their way is, and what they hold
That there is no church nor ordinances yet. That if they did not end with the primitive or Apostles’ times, yet they are to begin as in the primitive times with gifts and miracles,10 and that there is as much reason for the like gifts to make out the truth of any of the Gospel now to an Antichristian estate, as formerly to a Jewish or heathenish. That such a believer as can dispense ordinances must be qualified as the believers in Mark 16, and as the former disciples were.11 That there is a time and fulness for the Spirit12 and for the later pure spiritual dispensations, as there was formerly for the first dispensations. And [they query] whether this shall be while the Angels are but pouring out their vials or not, or when Babylon is fallen; and whether there is not as much need for new tongues1 to reveal the pure original to us, it being conveyed with corruptions and additionals in translations, by which truth may be more purely discovered and the waters of life that now run muddily may flow more clear and crystal-like from the throne of God.2 * * *
A Way of Peace or a Design of Reconciliationa * * *
Liberty for printing and speaking
Let there be liberty of the press for printing, to those that are not allowed pulpits for preaching. Let that light come in at the window which cannot come in at the door, that all may speak and write one way, that cannot another. Let the waters of the sanctuary have issue and spring up valleys as well as mountains. * * *
Let all that preach or print affix their names that we may know from whom. The contrary is a kind of unwarrantable modesty at the best. If it be truth they write, why do they not own it? If untruth, why do they write? Some such must either suppress themselves for shame or fear, and they that dare not own what they do, they suspect the magistrate or themselves. * * *
Let all that teach or print be accountable, yet in a several way. If it be matter of immediate disturbance and trouble to the state, let them account for it to the magistrate under whom we are to live a peaceable and quiet life (1 Tim. 2. 2); if matter of doctrine, &c., let them be accountable to the believers and brethren who are offended, by conference, where there may be mutual conviction and satisfaction (Gal. 2. 11).
Free debates and open conferences
Let there be free debates and open conferences and communication, for all and of all sorts that will, concerning difference in spirituals;b still allowing the state to secure all tumults or disturbances.c Where doors are not shut, there will be no breaking them open. So where debates are free there is a way of vent and evacuation, the stopping of which hath caused more troubles in states than anything; for where there is much new wine in old bottles the working will be such as the parable speaks on. * * *
No assuming infallibility over each other
Let us not, being under no further degree of the revelation of truth and coming out of Babylon, assume any power of infallibility to each other, so as to soar up all to our light or degree of knowing or practising; for there lies as much on one side for compulsion as on another, respectively to one another, for another’s evidence is as dark to me as mine to him, and mine to him as his to me, till the Lord enlighten us both for discerning alike. Soa when there is no power in us to make that appear to another which appears to us, there can be no reasonable equity for any enforcing or compelling in spirituals. The first great rent betwixt the Eastern and Western kingdoms began when the Bishop of Rome would needs excommunicate the East for not believing as they believed.
No civil power drawn into advantages
Let not those believers who have the advantage of the magistrate strive to make any unwarrantable use of it one against another, because scripture principles are not so clear for it; and because they know not the revolution of Providence, and we are to do as we would be done to. * * *
No despising for too much learning, or too little
Let not one despise another for gifts, parts, learning. Let the Spirit be heard speak in the meanest; let not the scribe or disputer of the law despise the fishermen, nor they despise them because scribes and disputers. The Spirit is in Paul as well as Peter, in both as well as one.
We may be in one Christ, though divers
Consider that we may be one in one Christ though we think diversely, and we may be friends though not brethren, and let us attain to union though not to unity.
The spiritual persecution to be forborne
Consider there is a twofold persecution; there is a spiritual or that of believers, and a mixed persecution or civilly ecclesiastical. The spiritual persecution is that of the spirit merely, and this kind of persecution little thought on and studied. This is when we cannot bear one another’s several opinions or soul-belief[s] in the same spiritual society or fellowship, but [they] must either be of us or out of us; and surely this kind of persecution is as unreasonable as any other. For what is this but soul-compulsion, when another must only believe as we believe and not wait till the Lord reveal even this. This kind of spiritual compulsion will in time break and dissolve the visible communion of Saints and body of Christ exceedingly, if taken up or continued, and it will be amongst Christians as amongst the Antichristians, where they divide and subdivide and some cast themselves into a monkery from all the rest. Jerusalem and Antioch were not of this way to cast out one another upon such grounds, but to meet, reason and counsel, and hear. And surely the churches can ill complain of a mixed persecution from without if they persecute one another from within. The magistrate may as justly whip them both as they whip one another; such grudgings, complainings, dissolvings, spiritual enforcings, gives hint to the civil power to compel while it beholds them, but a little more spiritually, compelling one another. Let all church-rights, privileges, bound-days, be reformed, all heresy and schism by the rule rebuked, but in all spiritual meekness and wisdom, and [let us] not call heretic and schismatic too suddenly neither. See we do not so.
Spiritual Principles drawn Fortha
Gospel Truth is One and the Same
That which is only in some parts of it warrantable by the Word is not purely nor in a scripture way warrantable. For there is not any will-worship but it hath something from the pattern of the true. * * * But truth must be all one and the same and homogeneal; not in parts so, but all so. There is but one Lord, one faith, &c.
Prudence and Consequences are the great Engines of Will-Worship
Things of prudence merely are not to be admitted into the spiritual way and gospel design. Prelacy had its prudence for every new additional in worship and government. And once let prudence open a door and then will more of man crowd in than the law of God can keep out. Nor is that to be admitted which is so received a maxim, ‘though not directly, yet not repugnant to the Word.’ Christ’s rule is not such; he opposes any tradition [added] to the commandments of God. Not direct from scripture is indirect and repugnant, though not to the very letter of such words, yet to the form and analogy of truth, to the general scripture law, viz., the will of God that nothing shall be added nor diminished. * * * Nothing but God’s power and will can make a thing truth. His power creates it, and his will creates it such a truth. Nothing is agreeable to the will of Christ but the very will of Christ. The will of Christ is the only legislative power in the Gospel. * * * And everything is repugnant to his will but what he wills. * * * And whatsoever is devised by prudence, though upon scripture materials, yet being not the work of this will nor having the stamp or image upon it, is none of Christ’s, but as repugnant as any other tradition or invention of men. * * *
The People are Brethren and Saints in Christ’s Church, but in Antichrist’s, Parishioners and Servants
What kind of government is marked out in scriptures for sitting on the waters or people? Christ governs by the people ministerially, not over the people authoritatively only; and the people being once in his church way, lose their old capacity for a new, and are raised up from people to brethren, to churches. * * * The interest of the people in Christ’s kingdom is not only an interest of compliancy and obedience and submission, but of consultation, of debating, counselling, prophesying, voting, &c. And let us stand fast in that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. * * *
None to be forced under Christ’s Kingdom as in the Kingdoms of the World
In a spiritual government the ignorance of people which some would have for expedition that they may practically know it, is no scripture way of knowing. In practical godliness things must be known before practically known, and practice is to begin from faith, and faith from knowledge; else the obedience can be but blind, mixed, and popish. Indeed in things civil or moral, practice may bring in knowledge: habits may be acquired and gotten by acts; a man may grow temperate by practising temperance, and civilly obedient by practising civil obedience. But it is not so in spirituals: there habits go before acts, spiritual infusions before practices.
Indeed the laws of states and kingdoms and civil policy teach men best by ruling them practically, but it is not so in the church. Men are not to be forced into Christ’s kingdom as into the kingdoms of the world. The kings of the nations exercise their dominion; it shall not be so among you.
The Power of a Formal Reformation in a Government makes it not Christ’s Government
A government, though not purely Christ’s, may be made up of such scripture and prudential materials as may much reform the outward man, even as a mere prudential civil government may do if severely executed. * * * In many civil states, merely from their wholesome policy and administration, excellent and precious flowers spring up, many moral virtues, as prudence, temperance, obedience, meekness, love, justice, fortitude. Yet all this makes not a government to be Christ’s, but only that which is merely the discipline of Christ, and policy of Christ. * * *
The National and Congregational Church-covenant, both lawful, or both unlawful * * *
But covenants in their right nature were a dispensation more of the Old Testament strain. A national church had a covenant to gather them up into their national way of worship, and were under the laws of an external pedagogy, and now the spiritual dispensation being come, even the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a fulness of spirit let out upon the Saints and people of God which gather[s] them up more closely, spiritually, and cordially than the power of any former dispensation could. The very covenant of God himself, of which the former were typical and prophetical, comes in nakedly upon the spirits of his [people] and draws them in, and is a law upon their inward parts, sweetly compelling in the consciences with power and yet not with force, with compulsion and yet with consent. And surely where this covenant of God hath its kindly and spiritual operation there would need no such external supplement as before; but because of the hardness of our hearts it is thus. From the beginning it was not so; the Spirit tied up thousands together then.
Let states then have any prudential security, any design of sound wisdom to consonate people together, but let the church only be gathered up by a law of a more glorious and transcendent nature, by the pure covenant of God himself with the souls of his. * * *
All Covenanters are bound to contribute to religion as well as state * * *
The liberty of the subject is that of soul as well as body, and that of soul more dear, precious, glorious: the liberty wherein Christ hath made us free. Be not ye then the servants of men in the things of God. * * *
From J[ohn] G[oodwin], Independency God’s Verity (1647)a
The Necessity of Toleration
Presbytery is the rival of Episcopacy. But Independency is of another strain, and admitteth not of human prudence in church government. For the Church isb a spiritual building, framed of such lively stones as are not of the world, nor [is it] of the wisdom of the world, but founded only upon the wisdom of God, revealed in the word by his Spirit, [which] is sufficient to constitute and maintain a church without any assistance from the kingdoms of the world—whose power they leave entire to itself. For the bishops and presbyters, by their church policy, stand competitors with the magistrate; to whom we leave all save only the kingdom of Christ, which (himself hath said) is not of this world, and so can be no trouble to it, unless it be first troubled by it.
But as the case stands now at present, Independency is the only lint that can stanch our wounds, the only dam that can stay the inundation of blood, which is else likely to overwhelm us. For the very name of Presbytery is hateful to the people, and it were too strange a relapse to give them again their Bishops and their liturgy, and if either of the other be permitted, there can be nothing expected but murmurings and clashings, if not open mutinyings. But if a toleration were allowed, it would take away all occasions of tumults and garboils. For when every man is permitted to use his conscience according as he is persuaded in himself, they will esteem their burdens not half so heavy as before and be encouraged to yield obedience to those injunctions imposed on them by their rulers, which otherwise is not to be expected from them; so that it is not only convenient, but also very necessary, that there be a toleration.
Again, any man the least enlightened will dispense with any compulsive ordinance more tamely than when he is constrained in point of religion. And we know well that the original of our late war was the Bishops’ assuming to themselves that power which Christ never gave them, to wit, of compelling men to yield obedience to whatever they imposed. And men now are grown more various in their opinions than ever before, and will be as easily persuaded to forsake their meat as to relinquish their tenets. And moreover, it is come to that pass—but by what means I will not question—that every man esteemeth it as properly his own, as any immunity contained in Magna Charta, to use his conscience without control; and when they shall be debarred of what they have so long enjoyed, and so much covet to keep, what they may attempt let the wise judge. Therefore there is not only a reason, but also a necessity, of toleration.
THE LAW OF NATURE
From William Ames, Conscience (1639)a
The word jus, signifying right, is derived from the Latin word jussus, because it implies a power of some authority, commanding this or that to be done.
It is therefore taken: First, for the Law commanding. Secondly, for the object and effect of justice, or for the action itself, prescribed and required by law; and in this sense we are said to give every man his right. * * * Fourthly, for the power which any man hath to do this or that according to law, in which sense we usually say, Such a man stands upon his right. And not unlike to this accep[ta]tion is the applying of the same word to denote some particular privilege granted to any man, either by law or just authority. * * *
This word right in its largest acceptation is divided into: divine, of which God is the author; human, of which man is the contriver.
Divine right is divided into right natural, and right positive.
Right natural is that which is apprehended to be fit to be done or avoided, out of the natural instinct of natural light; or that which is at least deduced from that natural light by evident consequence. So that this right partly consists of practic[al] principles known by nature, and partly of conclusions deduced from those principles.
The divine positive right is a right added to the natural by some special revelation of God.
The right natural, or natural law, is the same which usually is called the eternal law. But it is called eternal in relation to God, as it is from eternity in him. It is called natural as it is engrafted and imprinted in the nature of man by the God of nature.
That positive right was in the mind of God from eternity, as well as the natural. But in respect it is not so easily apprehended by human reason, therefore it is not usually termed the law eternal.
The natural and positive divine right differ in this: that the positive is mutable and various according to God’s good pleasure (for that which was heretofore in the Judaical church is different from that which is in the Christian church); but the right natural is always the same and like itself, and for this reason also it is called the law eternal. * * *
Quest[ion] 3: Whether it be rightly said by lawyers, that the right natural, or the law of nature is that which nature hath taught all living creatures?
In brute creatures the true nature of right or law hath no more place than it hath in plants or things inanimate. For neither is there a reason distinguishing between good and evil, neither a will or choice of one thing before another; nor, lastly, any justice at all in brutes more than in things without all life. Nevertheless, in all things there is an inclination, a power and operation, which is guided by certain reason forasmuch as concerns their nature and end. And in this respect all things created are said to have a law prescribed unto them, so that in respect to themselves it is only by similitude and some proportion termed a law or right (Psalm 148. 6; Job 38. 10-12; Jer. 33. 20, 25). * * *
Ques[tion] 4: Whether the Law of Nations be the same with the Law of Nature?
The law of nations, as it is taken for the law which all nations use, comprehends under it not only the law of nature but also the positive law. So servitude is by lawyers said to be by the law of nations, and yet [it] is evident that servitude was brought in by custom and the positive law. And the same is the reason in division of possessions, and the like.
If the law of nationsa be taken for that law which is introduced by the common consent and custom of all nations, it then participates a certain middle nature between the law natural and that positive law which is peculiar to this or that nation. It hath thus much common with the natural law, that it is everywhere received without any certain authority or promulgation, and wheresoever anything is done contrary it is censured of all men to be ill done. And it hath thus much common with the positive law, that it may be changed or abrogated by the common consent of them whom it may concern. A division of things is by the law of nations. Nevertheless, by the common consent it may, upon just grounds, be somewhere enacted that almost all possessions should be in common. * * *
Ques[tion] 5: Whether the precepts of the Law of Nature be rightly stated: To live honestly; not to hurt another; to give every man his due?
This enumeration is somewhat confused and imperfect. For first, here is nothing mentioned of the worshipping of God, which nevertheless is a principle of the law of nature. * * *
Ques[tion] 6: Whether that precept be of the Law of Nature: What you would have done to yourself, do that to another . . . ?
This precept is natural, and indeed divine (Matt. 7. 12; Luke 6. 31). Yet in this it is to be observed: First, that this law doth not include the whole compass of the natural law in general, but that part only in which our duty between man and man is comprehended; secondly, that our will whatsoever it be, may not be the square and rule of the performance of our duty to others . . ., but our natural will being well disposed, and not tainted with any passion or perturbation, by which we truly and considerately wish good unto ourselves. * * *
Quest[ion] 7: What proportion the Civil Law holds with the Law of Nature?
The civil law is that which every city or society of men enacts current for itself. And such a kind of law is not only peculiar to the Romans, but also to the Athenians, English, or any else who have no respect to the Roman law.
This civil law inasmuch as it is right is derived from the law of nature; for that is not law which is not just and right, and that in morality is called right which accords with right practical reason, and right practical is the law of nature.
This civil law therefore is derived from the law of nature, either as a special conclusion inferred from a general proposition or as a special determination and application of a general axiom.
That law which is derived from the natural law only by way of conclusion, if the consequence be good, hath its whole strength from the law of nature, as the conclusion hath its force from the premised propositions; but that which is derived from the law of nature by way of determination and application, is in part a new constitution, even as every species hath its own proper form and essence besides that which is actually comprehended in the genus.
Seeing then that, as well in conclusions as determinations, the reason of man can only imperfectly judge—nay, and is often therein cozened—hence it must needs follow that all human constitutions are of necessity liable to imperfection, error, and injustice. This the authors of the Roman law confess of their own laws: ‘It is impossible that a reason should be given of all things that are enacted—not to all men, nor of all the laws—and it is proved in innumerable cases that there are many things received in the civil law for the public good, which are somewhat contrary to a disputative reason’ (Ad leg. Aquil. f. 51).
The imperfection of the best civil law consisteth in this. First, in regard it contains not in its compass the whole law of nature, but so much of it only as such or such men have approved and thought appliable to their own manners; secondly, in respect it hath no eye at all upon the inward affections, but only upon the outward actions; for it doth not suppress absolutely all vices, but those only which may seem likely to disturb the peace and quiet of the commonwealth, neither doth it enjoin all acts of all virtues, but those only which are opposite to the inconvenient vices; thirdly, in that it doth not principally make good men, but only good subjects or citizens; fourthly, in that upon occasion it may admit in many things of addition, detraction, or correction.
Quest[ion] 8: What proportion the Moral Law bears to the Law of Nature?
All the precepts of the Moral Law are out of the law of nature, except the determination of the sabbath day in the Fourth Commandment, which is from the positive law.
For first, we meet with nothing in them which concerneth not all nations at all times, so that these precepts do not respect any particular sort of men, but even nature itself. Secondly, nothing is contained in them which is not very necessary to human nature for the attaining of its end. Thirdly, there is nothing in them which is not so grounded upon right reason but it may be solidly defended and maintained by human discourse; nothing but what may be well enjoined from clear reason. Fourthly, all things contained in them are for the substance approved, even of the more understanding sort of the heathen. Fifthly, they all much conduce to the benefit of mankind in this present life; insomuch that if all these precepts were duly answered, there would be no need of any other human laws or constitutions. * * *
Object[ion]: But it may be objected that if the Moral [Law] were the same with the law of nature, it had no need to be promulgated either by voice or writing, for it would have been writ in the hearts of all men by nature.
A[nswer]: That to nature upright, i.e., as it was in the state of innocency, there was no need of such a promulgation. But ever since the corruption of our nature, such is the blindness of our understanding and perverseness of our will and disorder of our affections, that there are only some relics of that law remaining in our hearts, like to some dim aged picture, and therefore by the voice and power of God it ought to be renewed as with a fresh pencil. Therefore is there nowhere found any true right practical reason, pure and complete in all parts, but in the written law of God (Psalm 119. 66).
Quest[ion] 9: What proportion the Judicial Law bears to the Natural?
That is properly termed the Judicial which is about judgments or any politic matters thereto belonging, as that was called the Ceremonial Law which was about ceremonies, and that the Moral Law which was about manners and civil duties. That Judicial Law which was given by Moses to the Israelites as proper only to them, was a most exact determination and accommodation of the law of nature unto them, according to the particular condition of that people. To the Israelites therefore in respect of the use, it was of like nature with other good civil laws among other nations; but in respect of authority, which from God, the immediate giver, it received, it was of much more perfection than any. This law belongeth not to Christians under the title of a law especially obliging them, but only by way of doctrine, inasmuch as in its general nature, or in its due proportion to it, it doth always exhibit unto us the best determination of the law of nature. * * *
Those laws were properly termed Judicial, which being not ceremonial, had some singular respect to the people of the Jews, so that the whole reason and ground of them was constituted in some particular condition of that nation. But it is no certain rule (which is given by some) that wheresoever the reason of the law is moral, there the law itself is moral (as is seen in Lev. 11. 44), for any special determination of a law may be confirmed by a general reason. . . . But where the special intrinsical and proper reason of the law is moral, there it always follows that the law itself must needs be moral. Those laws, therefore, which are usually reckoned among the judicial, and yet in their nature bear no singular respect to the condition of the Jews more than of any other people, those are all of the moral and natural laws which are common to all nations.
RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES OF RESISTANCE
Christian Obedience and its Limits
For when they hear that liberty is promised by the Gospel, which acknowledgeth among men no king and no magistrate but hath regard to Christ alone, they think that they can take no fruit of their liberty so long as they see any power to have pre-eminence over them. Therefore they think that nothing shall be safe, unless the whole world be reformed into a new fashion, where may neither be judgments nor laws nor magistrates, nor any such thing which they think to withstand their liberty. But whosoever can put difference between the body and the soul, between this present and transitory life and that life to come and eternal, he shall not hardly understand that the spiritual kingdom of Christ and the civil government are things far asunder. Since therefore that is a Jewish vanity, to seek and enclose the kingdom of Christ under the elements of the world, let us rather (thinking, as the scripture plainly teacheth, that it is a spiritual fruit which is gathered of the benefit of Christ) remember to keep within the bonds thereof this whole liberty which is promised and offered us in him (Gal. 5. 1; 1 Cor. 7. 21). For what is the cause why the same Apostle which biddeth us to stand, and not to be made subject to the yoke of bondage, in another place forbiddeth bondservants to be careful of their state, but because spiritual liberty may very well agree with civil bondage? * * *
But as we have even now given warning that this kind of government is several from that spiritual and inward kingdom of Christ, so it is also to be known that they nothing disagree together. For the civil government doth now begin in us upon earth certain beginnings of the heavenly kingdom, and in this mortal and vanishing life doth, as it were, enter upon an immortal and incorruptible blessedness. But the intent of his spiritual government is, so long as we shall live among men, to cherish and maintain the outward worshipping of God, to defend the sound doctrine of godliness and the state of the Church, to frame our life to the fellowship of men, to fashion our manners to civil righteousness, to procure us into friendship one with another, to nourish common peace and quietness. All which I grant to be superfluous if the kingdom of God, such as it is now among us, do destroy this present life. But if the will of God be so that we, while we long toward the heavenly country, should be wayfaring from home upon the earth, and sith the use of such wayfaring needeth such helps, they which take them from man do take from him his very nature of man. For whereas they allege that there is so great perfection in the Church of God that her own moderate government sufficeth it for a law, they themselves do foolishly imagine that perfection which can never be found in the common fellowship of men. * * *
[The civil state] tendeth not only hereunto, . . . that men may breathe, eat, drink, and be cherished . . ., but also that idolatry, sacrilege against the name of God, blasphemies against his truth, and other offences of religion, may not rise up and be scattered among the people, that common quiet be not troubled, that every man may keep his own safe and unappaired, that men may use their affairs together without hurt, that honesty and modesty be kept among them; finally that among Christians may be a common show of religion, and among men may be manlike civility. Neither let any man be moved, for that I do now refer the care of stablishing of religion to the policy of men, which I seemed before to have set without the judgment of men. For I do no more here than I did before give men leave after their own will to make laws concerning religion and the worshipping of God, when I allow the ordinance of policy which endeavoureth hereunto, that the true religion which is contained in the Law of God, be not openly and with public sacrileges freely broken and defiled. * * *
The Lord hath not only testified that the office of magistrates is allowed and acceptable to him, but also setting out the dignity thereof with most honourable titles, he hath marvellously commended it unto us. * * * Wherefore none ought now to doubt that the civil power is a vocation not only holy and lawful before God, but also the most holy, and the most honest, of all other in the whole life of men. * * *
And . . . it were very vain that it should be disputed of private men which should be the best state of policy in the place where they live; for whom it is not lawful to consult of the framing of any commonweal. And also the same could not be simply determined without rashness, forasmuch as a great part of the order of this question consisteth in circumstances. * * * Truly, if those three forms of governments which the philosophers set out, be considered in themselves, I will not deny that either the government of the chiefest men or a state tempered of it and common government far excelleth all other. Not of itself, but because it most seldom chanceth that kings so temper themselves that their will never swerveth from that which is just and right; again, that they be furnished with so great sharpness of judgment and wisdom that every one of them seeth so much as is sufficient. Therefore the fault or default of men maketh that it is safer and more tolerable that many should have the government, that they may mutually one help another, one teach and admonish another, and if any advance himself higher than is meet, there may be overseers and masters to restrain his wilfulness. This both hath alway been approved by experience, and the Lord also hath confirmed it with his authority, when he ordained among the Israelites a government of the best men, very near unto common government, at such time as he minded to have them in best estate, till he brought forth an image of Christ in David. And as I willingly grant that no kind of government is more blessed than this, where liberty is framed to such moderation as it ought to be, and is orderly stablished to continuance, so I count them also most blessed, that may enjoy this estate. And if they stoutly and constantly travail in preserving and retaining it, I grant that they do nothing against their duty. Yea, and the magistrates ought with most great diligence to bend themselves hereunto, that they suffer not the liberty of the people of which they are appointed governors, to be in any part minished, much less to be dissolved. If they be negligent and little careful therein, they are false faith-breakers in their office, and betrayers of their country. But if they would bring this kind to themselves, to whom the Lord hath appointed another form of government, so that thereby they be moved to desire a change, the very thinking thereof shall not only be foolish and superfluous, but also hurtful. * * *
Now the office of magistrates is in this place to be declared by the way, of what sort it is described by the word of God, and in what things it consisteth. If the scripture did not teach that it extendeth to both the Tables of the Law, we might learn it out of the profane writers. For none hath entreated of the duty of magistrates, of making of laws and of public weal, that hath not begun at religion and the worshipping of God. And so have they all confessed that no policy can be happily framed unless the first care be of godliness, and that those laws be preposterous which, neglecting the right of God, do provide only for men. * * * And we have already showed that this duty is specially enjoined them of God; as it is meet that they should employ their travail to defend and maintain his honour, whose vicegerents they be, and by whose benefit they govern. For this cause also chiefly are the holy kings praised in scripture, for that they restored the worship of God, being corrupted or overthrown, or took care of religion, that it might flourish pure and safe under them. * * *
Next to the magistrate in civil states are laws the most strong sinews of commonwealths. * * * There be some that deny that a commonweal is well ordered, which, neglecting the civil laws of Moses, is governed by the common laws of nations. How dangerous and troublesome this sentence is, let other men consider; it shall be enough for me to have showed that it is false and foolish. That common division is to be kept, which divideth the whole Law of God published, into Moral, Ceremonial, and Judicial Laws; and all the parts are to be severally considered, that we may know what of them pertaineth to us, and what not. Neither in the meantime let any man be cumbered with this doubt, that judicials and ceremonials also pertain to the moral laws. For although the old writers which have taught this division were not ignorant that these two latter parts had their use about manners, yet because they might be changed and abrogate, the morals remaining safe, they did not call them morals. They called that first part peculiarly by that name, without which cannot stand the true holiness of manners and the unchangeable rule of living rightly.
Therefore the Moral Law . . ., sith it is contained in two chief points, of which the one commandeth simply to worship God with pure faith and godliness, and the other to embrace men with unfeigned love, is the true and eternal rule of righteousness prescribed to the men of all ages and times that will . . . frame their life to the will of God. For this is his eternal and unchangeable will, that he himself should be worshipped of us all, and that we should mutually love one another. The Ceremonial Law was the schooling of the Jews, wherewith it pleased the Lord to exercise the certain childhood of that people, till that time of fulness came, wherein he would to the full manifestly show his wisdom to the earth, and deliver the truth of those things which then were shadowed with figures. The Judicial Law, given to them for an order of civil state, gave certain rules of equity and righteousness, by which they might behave themselves harmlessly and quietly together. And as that exercise of ceremonies properly pertained indeed to the doctrine of godliness (namely which kept the church of the Jews in the worship and religion of God), yet it might be distinguished from godliness itself, so this form of judicial orders (although it tended to no other end but how the self-same charity might be best kept which is commanded by the eternal Law of God), yet had a certain thing differing from the very commandment of loving. As therefore the ceremonies might be abrogate, godliness remaining safe and undestroyed, so these judicial ordinances also being taken away, the perpetual duties and commandments of charity may continue. If this be true, verily there is liberty left to every nation to make such laws as they shall foresee to be profitable for them; which yet must be framed after the perpetual rule of charity, that they may indeed vary in form, but have the same reason. * * *
This which I have said shall be plain, if in all laws we behold these two things as we ought, the making and the equity of the law, upon the reason whereof the making itself is founded and stayeth. Equity, because it is natural, can be but one, of all laws. And therefore one law, according to the kind of matter, ought to be the propounded end to all laws. * * * Now sith it is certain that the Law of God which we call moral is nothing else but a testimony of the natural law, and of that conscience which is engraven of God in the minds of men, the whole rule of this equity whereof we now speak is set forth therein. Therefore it alone also must be both the mark and rule and end of all laws. Whatsoever laws shall be framed after that rule, directed to that mark, and limited in that end, there is no cause why we should disallow them, however they otherwise differ from the Jewish law or one from another. * * *
The first duty of subjects toward their magistrates is to think most honourably of their office, namely, which they acknowledge to be a jurisdiction committed of God, and therefore to esteem them and reverence them as the ministers and deputies of God. * * * Of this then also followeth another thing: that with minds bent to the honouring of them, they declare their obedience in proof to them; whether it be to obey their proclamations, or to pay tribute, or to take in hand public offices and charges that serve for common defence, or to do any other of their commandments. Let every soul (saith Paul) be subject to the higher powers (Rom. 13. 1). For he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. * * *
But if we look to the word of God, it will lead us further, that we be subject not only to the government of those princes which execute their office toward us well, and with such faithfulness as they ought, but also of all them which (by what means soever it be) have the dominion in possession, although they perform nothing less than that which pertaineth to the duty of princes. For though the Lord testifieth that the magistrate’s is a special great gift of his liberality for preserving of the safety of men, and appointeth to magistrates themselves their bounds, yet he doth therewithal declare that, of what sort soever they be, they have not their authority but from him; that those indeed which rule for benefit of the commonweal are true exemplars and patterns of his bountifulness; that they that rule unjustly and wilfully are raised up by him to punish the wickedness of the people; that all equally have that majesty wherewith he hath furnished a lawful power. * * *
But (thou wilt say) rulers owe mutual duties to their subjects. That I have already confessed. But if thou thereupon conclude that obediences ought to be rendered to none but just governors, thou art a foolish reasoner. For husbands are also bound to their wives, and parents to their children, with mutual duties. Let parents and husbands depart from their duty . . .; shall yet therefore either children be less obedient to their parents, or wives to their husbands? But they are subjects both to evil parents and husbands and such as do not their duty. * * * Wherefore, if we be unmercifully tormented of a cruel prince, if we be ravenously spoiled of a covetous or riotous prince, if we be neglected of a slothful prince, finally if we be vexed for godliness’ sake of a wicked and ungodly prince, let us first call to mind the remembrance of our sins, which undoubtedly are chastised with such scourges of the Lord. Thereby our humility shall bridle our impatience. Let us then also call to mind this thought: that it pertaineth not to us to remedy such evils; but this only is left for us, that we crave the help of the Lord, in whose hands are the hearts of kings and the bowings of kingdoms. * * *
And here both his marvellous goodness and power and providence showeth itself; for sometime of his servants he raiseth up open avengers and furnisheth them with his commandment to take vengeance of their unjust government, and to deliver his people, many ways oppressed, out of miserable distress; sometime he directeth to the same end the rage of men that intend and go about another thing. * * * For the first sort of men, when they were by the lawful calling of God sent to do such acts in taking armour against kings, they did not violate that majesty which is planted in kings by the ordinance of God; but, being armed from heaven, they subdued the lesser power with the greater, like as it is lawful for kings to punish their lords under them. But these latter sort, although they were directed by the hand of God whither it pleased him, and they unwittingly did work, yet proposed in their mind nothing but mischief. * * *
Though the correcting of unbridled government be the revengement of the Lord, let us not by and by think that it is committed to us to whom there is given no other commandment but to obey and suffer. I speak alway of private men. For if there be at this time any magistrates for the behalf of the people (such as in old time were the Ephori that were set against the kings of Lacedemonia, or the Tribunes of the people against the Roman consuls, or the Demarchi against the senate of Athens, and the same power also which peradventure, as things are now, the three estates have in every realm when they hold their principal assemblies), I do so not forbid them, according to their office, to withstand the outraging licentiousness of kings, that I affirm that if they wink at kings’ wilfully ranging over and treading down the poor commonalty, their dissembling is not without wicked breach of faith because they deceitfully betray the liberty of the people where they know themselves to be appointed protectors by the ordinance of God.
But in that obedience which we have determined to be due to the authorities of governors, that is always to be excepted, yea chiefly to be observed, that it do not lead us away from obeying of him to whose will the desires of all kings ought to be subject, to whose decrees all their commandments ought to yield, to whose majesty their maces ought to be submitted. And truly how unorderly were it, for the satisfying of men, to run into his displeasure for whom men themselves are obeyed? The Lord therefore is the King of Kings, who, when he hath opened his holy mouth, is to be heard alone for all together and above all. Next to him we be subject to those men that are set over us; but no otherwise than in him. If they command anything against him, let it have no place and let no account be made of it. Neither let us herein anything stay upon all that dignity wherewith the magistrates excel, to which there is no wrong done when it is brought into order of subjection in comparison of that singular and truly sovereign power of God. After this reason Daniel denieth (Dan. 6. 22) that he had anything offended against the king, when he obeyed not his wicked proclamation; because the king had passed his bounds, and had not only been a wrong-doer to men, but in lifting up his horns against God he had taken away power from himself. On the other side the Israelites are condemned because they were too much obedient to the wicked commandment of the king (Hos. 5. 13). For when Jeroboam had made golden calves, they, forsaking the Temple of God, did for his pleasure turn to new superstitions (1 Kings 12. 30). * * * I know how great and how present peril hangeth over this constancy, because kings do most displeasantly suffer themselves to be despised, whose displeasure (saith Solomon) is the messenger of death. But sith this decree is proclaimed by the heavenly herald Peter, that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5. 29), let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that we then perform that obedience which the Lord requireth, when we suffer anything rather, whatsoever it be, than swerve from godliness. And that our courage should not faint, Paul putteth also another spur to us: that we were therefore redeemed of Christ with so great a price as our redemption cost him (1 Cor. 7. 13), that we should not yield ourselves in thraldom to obey the perverse desires of men, but much less should be bound to ungodliness.
Presbyterian Principles of Resistance
Whob doubteth (Christian reader) but innocency must be under the courtesy and mercy of malice, and that it is a real martyrdom to be brought under the lawless inquisition of the bloody tongue? Christ, the Prophets and Apostles of our Lord went to heaven with the note of traitors, seditious men, and such as turned the world upside down. Calumnies of treason to Caesar were an ingredient in Christ’s cup, and therefore the author is the more willing to drink of that cup that touched his lip, who is our glorious forerunner. What if conscience toward God and credit with men cannot both go to heaven with the Saints? The author is satisfied with the former companion and is willing to dismiss the other. Truth to Christ cannot be treason to Caesar, and for his choice he judgeth truth to have a nearer relation to Christ Jesus than the transcendent and boundless power of a mortal prince.
He considered that popery and defection had made a large step in Britain, and that arbitrary government had over-swelled all banks of law. . . . And the naked truth is: prelates, a wild and pushing cattle to the lambs and flock of Christ, had made a hideous noise; the wheels of their chariot did run an equal pace with the bloodthirsty mind of the daughter of Babel. * * * And now judgment presseth the kingdoms, and of all the heaviest judgments, the sword. . . . I hope this war shall be Christ’s triumph; Babylon’s ruin. * * *
I have not time to examine the p[roud] prelate’s preface.1 Only I give a taste of his gall.* * * ‘Do they not (Puritans) magisterially determine that kings are not of God’s creation by authoritative commission but only by permission extorted by importunity, and way given that they may be a scourge to a sinful people?’ Ans[wer]: Any unclean spirit from hell could not speak a blacker lie. We hold that the king, by office, is the Church’s nurse father, a sacred ordinance, the deputed power of God. * * *
[The Presbyterians] hold (I believe with warrant of God’s word): if the king refuse to reform religion, the inferior judges and assembly of godly pastors and other church officers may reform; if the king will not . . . do his duty in purging the House of the Lord, may not Eli[j]ah and the people do their duty and cast out Baal’s priests? Reformation of religion is a personal act that belongeth to all, even to any one private person according to his place. * * *
All the forged inconsistency betwixt presbyteries and monarchies is an opposition with absolute monarchy, and concludeth with a like strength against parliaments and all synods of either side, against the Law and Gospel preached, to which kings and kingdoms are subordinate. Lord, establish peace and truth. * * *
[Passages selected from Questions I-XLI]
[I] What is warranted by the direction of nature’s light is warranted by the law of nature, and consequently by a divine law; for who can deny the law of nature to be a divine law?
That power of government in general must be from God, I make good: Because (Rom. 13) there is no power but of God; the powers that be, are ordained of God. God commandeth obedience, and so subjection of conscience to powers: (Rom. 13. 5) Wherefore we must be subject not only for wrath (or civil punishment) but for conscience’ sake; (1 Pet. 2. 13) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, &c. Now God only by a divine law can lay a band of subjection on the conscience, tying men to guilt and punishment if they transgress.
Conclus[ion]: All civil power is immediately from God in its root. In that God hath made man a social creature, and one who inclineth to be governed by man; then certainly he must have put this power in man’s nature. So are we by good reason taught by Aristotle, God and nature intendeth the policy and peace of mankind. Then must God and nature have given to mankind a power to compass this end; and this must be a power of government.
[II] As domestic society is by nature’s instinct, so is civil society natural in radice, in the root, and voluntary in modo, in the manner of coalescing. * * *
We are to distinguish betwixt a power of government, and a power of government by magistracy. That we defend ourselves from violence by violence, is a consequent of unbroken and sinless nature; but that we defend ourselves by devolving our power over in the hands of one or more rulers, seemeth rather positively moral than natural, except that it is natural for the child to expect help against violence, from his father. For which cause I judge . . . that princedom, empire, kingdom, or jurisdiction hath its rise from a positive and secondary law of nations, and not from the law of pure nature. The law saith, there is no law of nature agreeing to all living creatures for superiority; for by no reason in nature hath a boar dominion over a boar, a lion over a lion, a dragon over a dragon, a bull over a bull. And if all men be born equally free (as I hope to prove), there is no reason in nature why one man should be king and lord over another; therefore . . . I conceive all jurisdiction of man over man to be, as it were, artificial and positive, and that it inferreth some servitude whereof nature from the womb hath freed us, if you except that subjection of children to parents, and the wife to the husband. And the law saith, De jure gentium secundarius est omnis principatus. This also the scripture proveth, whileas the exalting of Saul or David above their brethren to be kings, and captains of the Lord’s people, is ascribed, not to nature (for king and beggar spring of one clay-metal), but to an act of divine bounty and grace above nature. So Psalm 78. 70-1: He took David from following the ewes, and made him king and feeder of his people. * * *
If we once lay the supposition that God hath immediately by the law of nature appointed there should be a government, and mediately defined, by the dictate of natural light in a community, that there shall be one or many rulers to govern the community; then the scripture’s arguments may well be drawn out of the school of nature.
[III] But some object: If the kingly power be of divine institution, then shall any other government be unlawful and contrary to a divine institution, and so we condemn aristocracy and democracy as unlawful. Ans[wer]: This consequence were good if aristocracy and democracy were not also of divine institution, as all my arguments prove; for I judge they are not governments different in nature if we speak morally and theologically, only they differ politically and positively. Nor is aristocracy anything but diffused and enlarged monarchy, and monarchy is nothing but contracted aristocracy. . . . And wherever God appointed a king, he never appointed him absolute and a sole independent agent,a but joined always with him judges, who were no less to judge according to the Law of God (2 Chron. 19. 6) than the king (Deut. 17. 15). And in an obligation moral of judging righteously, the conscience of the monarch and the conscience of the inferior judges are equal, with an immediate subjection under the King of Kings, for there is here a co-ordination of consciences, and no subordination, for it is not in the power of the inferior judge to judge, quoad specificationem as the king commandeth him, because the judgment is neither the king’s nor any mortal man’s, but the Lord’s (2 Chron. 19. 6-7).
Hence all the three forms are from God. But let no man say, if they be all indifferent and equally of God societies and kingdoms are left in the dark, and know not which of the three they shall pitch upon because God hath given to them no special direction for one rather than for another. But this is easily answered, that a republic appoint rulers to govern them is not an action indifferent, but a moral action, because to set no rulers over themselves, I conceive, were a breach of the Fifth Commandment, which commandeth government to be one or other. It is not in men’s free will that they have government or no government, because it is not in their free will to obey or not to obey the acts of the court of nature, which is God’s court, and this court enacteth that societies suffer not mankind to perish, which must necessarily follow if they appoint no government. Also it is proved elsewhere that no moral acts in their exercises and use are left indifferent to us. So then the aptitude and temper of every commonwealth to monarchy, rather than to democracy or aristocracy, is God’s warrant and nearest call to determine the wills and liberty of people to pitch upon a monarchy hic et nunc, rather than any other form of government, though all the three be from God, even as single life and marriage are both the lawful ordinances of God, and the constitution and temper of the body is a calling to either of the two. Nor are we to think that aristocracy and democracy are either unlawful ordinances or men’s inventions, or that those societies which want monarchy do therefore live in sins.
[IV] Whether the king be only and immediately from God, and not from the people? * * *
But the question is concerning the designation of the person: whence is that this man rather than this man is crowned king . . .; is it from God immediately and only . . . or is it from the people also, and their free choice? For the pastor and the doctor’s office is from Christ only; but that John rather than Thomas be the doctor or the pastor is from the will and choice of men, the presbyters and people.
The royal power is three ways in the people: (1) Radically and virtually, as in the first subject; (2) Collative vel communicative, by way of free donation, they giving it to this man, not to this man, that he may rule over them; (3) Limitate, they giving it so as these three acts remain with the people: that they may measure out by ounce weights so much royal power and no more and no less, so as they may limit, moderate, and set banks and marches to the exercise; that they give it out conditionate, upon this and this condition, that they may take again to themselves what they gave out upon condition if the condition be violated. The first I conceive is clear: (1) Because if every living creature have radically in them a power of self-preservation to defend themselves from violence (as we see lions have paws, some beasts have horns, some claws), men, being reasonable creatures, united in society, must have power in a more reasonable and honourable way, to put this power of warding off violence in the hands of one or more rulers, to defend themselves by magistrates. (2) If all men be born, as concerning civil power, alike (for no man cometh out of the womb with a diadem on his head, or a sceptre in his hand), and yet men united in a society may give crown and sceptre to this man, and not to this man, then this power was in this united society. But it was not in them formally, for they should then all have been one king. . . . Therefore this power must have been virtually in them, because neither man nor community of men can give that which they neither have formally nor virtually in them. (3) Royalists cannot deny but cities have power to choose and create inferior magistrates. Ergo many cities united have power to create a higher ruler; for royal power is but the united and superlative power of inferior judges in one greater judge, whom they call a king.
[IX] Whether or no sovereignty is so from the people that it remaineth in them in some part, so as they may in case of necessity resume it? * * *
For the subject of royal power, we affirm the first, the ultimate, and native subject of all power is the community, as reasonable men naturally inclining to a society; but the ethical and political subject, or the legal and positive receptacle, of this power is various, according to the various constitutions of the policy. In Scotland and England it is the three estates of Parliament, in other nations some other judges or peers of the land. * * *
No society hath liberty to be without all government, for God hath given to every society . . . a faculty of preserving themselves, and warding off violence and injuries; and this they could not do except they gave their power to one or many rulers. * * * We teach that government is natural, not voluntary; but the way and manner of government is voluntary. * * *
[XII] Whether or not a kingdom may lawfully be purchased by the sole title of conquest? * * *
More conquest by the sword, without the consent of the people, is no just title to the crown, because the lawful title that God’s word holdeth forth to us, beside the Lord’s choosing and calling of a man to the crown, is the people’s election (Deut. 17. 15). All that had any lawful calling to the crown in God’s word, as Saul, David, Solomon, &c., were called by the people, and the first lawful calling is to us a rule and pattern to all lawful callings. * * *
And that any other extraordinary impulsiona be as lawful a call to the throne as the people’s free election, we know not from God’s word; and we have but the naked word of our adversaries that William the Conqueror, without the people’s consent, made himself by blood the lawful king of England, and also of all their posterity, and that King Fergus conquered Scotland. * * * And truly they deserve no wages who thus defend the king’s prerogative royal. For if the sword be a lawful title to the crown, suppose the two generals of both kingdoms should conquer the most and the chiefest of the kingdom now when they have so many forces in the field, by this wicked reason the one should have a lawful call of God to be king of England, and the other to be king of Scotland; which is absurd.
Either conquest, as conquest, is a just title to the crown, or as a just conquest. If as conquest, then all conquests are just titles to a crown. * * * But strength as strength victorious, is not law nor reason. It were then reason that Herod behead John Baptist, and the Roman emperors kill the witnesses of Christ Jesus. If conquest, as just, be the title and lawful claim before God’s court to a crown, then certainly a stronger king for pregnant national injuries may lawfully subdue and reign over an innocent posterity not yet born. But what word of God can warrant a posterity not born, and so accessory to no offence against the conqueror (but only sin original), to be under a conqueror against their will, and who hath no right to reign over them but the bloody sword? * * * [Objection]: But the fathers may engage the posterity by an oath to surrender themselves as loyal subjects to the man who justly and deservedly made the fathers vassals by the title of the sword of justice. I answer: The fathers may indeed dispose of the inheritance of their children, because that inheritance belongeth to the father as well as to the son; but because the liberty of the son being born with the son, all men being born free from all civil subjection, the father hath no more power to resign the liberty of his children than their lives. * * *
It is objected that the people of God by their sword conquered seven nations of the Canaanites; David conquered the Ammonites for the disgrace done to his ambassadors. * * * A facto ad jus non valet consequentia. God, to whom belongeth the world and the fulness thereof, disponed to Abraham and his seed the land of Canaan for their inheritance, and ordained that they should use their bow and their sword for the actual possession thereof; and the like divine right had David to the Edomites and Ammonites, though the occasion of David’s taking possession of these kingdoms by his sword did arise from particular and occasional exigences and injuries. But it followeth in no sort that therefore kings, now wanting any word of promise, and so of divine right to any lands, may ascend to the thrones of other kingdoms than their own by no better title than the bloody sword. * * * I doubt not to say if Joshua and David had had no better title than their bloody sword, though provoked by injuries, they could have had no right to any kingly power over these kingdoms. And if only success by the sword be a right of providence, it is no right of precept. God’s providence, as providence, without precept or promise, can conclude a thing is done, or may be done, but cannot conclude a thing is lawfully and warrantably done; else you might say the selling of Joseph, the crucifying of Christ, the spoiling of Job were lawfully done.
[XIII] Whether or no royal dignity have its spring from nature; and how that is true, ‘Every man is born free’; and how servitude is contrary to nature? * * *
There is a subjection in respect of natural being, as the effect to the cause. So though Adam had never sinned, this morality of the Fifth Command should have stood in vigour, that the son by nature without any positive law should have been subject to the father because from him he hath his being, as from a second cause. But I much doubt if the relation of a father as a father, doth necessarily infer a royal or kingly authority of the father over the son, or by nature’s law that the father hath power of life and death over or above his children. And the reasons I give are: (1) Because power of life and death is by a positive law, presupposing sin and the fall of man . . .; (2) I judge that the power royal and the fatherly power of a father over his children shall be found to be different, and the one is founded on the law of nature, the other, to wit, royal power, on a mere positive law. The second degree or order of subjection natural, is a subjection in respect of gifts, or age. So Aristotle saith that some are by nature servants. His meaning is good, that some gifts of nature, as wisdom natural, or aptitude to govern, hath made some men of gold, fitter to command, and some of iron, and clay, fitter to be servants and slaves. But I judge this [no] title to make a king by birth, seeing Saul whom God by supervenient gifts made a king, seemeth to owe small thanks to the womb or nature that he was a king, for his cruelty to the Lord’s priests speaketh nothing but natural baseness. It’s possible Plato had a good meaning . . ., who made six orders here: (i) That fathers command their sons; (ii) the noble the ignoble; (iii) the elder the younger; (iv) the masters the servants; (v) the stronger the weaker; (vi) the wiser the ignorant. (3) Aquinas . . . [and] Driedo . . . following Aristotle, hold, though man had never sinned, there should have been a sort of dominion of the more gifted and wiser above the less wise and weaker, not antecedent from nature properly, but consequent, for the utility and good of the weaker in so far as it is good for the weaker to be guided by the stronger; which cannot be denied to have some ground in nature. But there is no ground for kings by nature here. * * *
As a man cometh into the world a member of a politic society, he is by consequence born subject to the laws of that society; but this maketh him not from the womb and by nature subject to a king, as by nature he is subject to his father who begat him (no more than by nature a lion is born subject to another king-lion); for it is by accident that he is born of parents under subjection to a monarch, or to either democratical or aristocratical governors, for Cain and Abel were born under none of these forms of government properly; and if he had been born in a new-planted colony in a wilderness where no government were yet established, he should be under no such government. * * *
Every man by nature is a free man born, that is, by nature no man cometh out of the womb under any civil subjection to king, prince, or judge, to master, captain, conqueror, teacher, &c., because freedom is natural to all, except freedom from subjection to parents; and subjection politic is merely accidental, coming from some positive laws of men as they are in a politic society, whereas they might have been born with all concomitants of nature, though born in a single family, the only natural and first society in the world. * * * Man by nature is born free and as free as beasts. * * * If any reply that the freedom natural of beasts and birds who never sinned cannot be one with the natural freedom of men who are now under sin, and so under bondage for sin, my answer is: that . . . he who is supposed to be the man born free from subjection politic, even the king born a king, is under the same state of sin, and so by reason of sin, of which he hath a share equally with all other men by nature, he must be by nature born under as great subjection penal for sin . . . as other men; ergo he is not born freer by nature than other men. * * * For things that agree to men by nature agree to all men equally. * * * If men be not by nature free from politic subjection, then must some, by the law of relation, by nature be kings. But none are by nature kings, because none have by nature these things which essentially constitute kings, for they have neither by nature the calling of God, nor gifts for the throne, nor the free election of the people, nor conquest. And if there be none a king by nature, there can be none a subject by nature. And the law saith, Omnes sumus natura liberi, nullius ditioni subjecti. * * * We are all by nature free. * * * As domestic society is natural, being grounded upon nature’s instinct, so politic society is voluntary, being grounded on the consent of men. And so politic society is natural in radice, in the root, and voluntary and free in modo, in the manner of their union; and the scripture cleareth to us that a king is made by the free consent of the people (Deut. 17. 15), and so not by nature. What is from the womb, and so natural, is eternal, and agreeth to all societies of men; but a monarchy agreeth not to all societies of men; for many hundred years de facto there was not a king, till Nimrod’s time the world being governed by families, and till Moses his time we find no institution for kings (Gen. 7). And the numerous multiplication of mankind did occasion monarchies. Otherwise fatherly government being the first, and measure of the rest, must be the best.
[XIV] Whether or no the people make a person their king conditionally or absolutely? And whether there be such a thing as a covenant tying the king no less than his subjects? * * *
There is an oath betwixt the king and his people, laying on, by reciprocation of bands, mutual civil obligation upon the king to the people, and the people to the king. 2 Sam. 5. 3: So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 1 Chron. 11. 3: And David made a covenant with them before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel. 2 Chron. 23. 2-:. . . And all the congregation made a covenant with the king, Joash, in the house of God. * * * The covenant betwixt the king and the people is clearly differenced from the king’s covenant with the Lord (2 Kings 11. 17). * * * It is expressly a covenant that was between Joash the king and his people. And David made a covenant at his coronation with the princes and elders of Israel; therefore the people gave the crown to David covenant-wise, and upon condition that he should perform such and such duties to them. And this is clear by all covenants in the word of God, even the covenant between God and man is so mutual: I will be your God, and ye shall be my people. The covenant is so mutual that if the people break the covenant, God is loosed from his part of the covenant (Zech. 11. 10). The covenant giveth to the believer a sort of action of law, and jus quoddam, to plead with God in respect of his fidelity to stand to that covenant that bindeth Him by reason of his fidelity (Isa. 43. 26; 63. 16; Dan. 9. 4-5). And far more a covenant giveth ground of a civil action and claim to a people, and the free estates, against a king, seduced by wicked counsel to make war against the land, whereas he did swear by the most high God that he should be a father and protector of the Church of God. * * * There be no mutual contract made upon certain conditions, but if the conditions be not fulfilled the party injured is loosed from the contract. * * *
[XIV] As the king is obliged to God for the maintenance of true religion, so are the people and princes no less in their place obliged to maintain true religion. * * * But when the judges decline from God’s way and corrupt the law, we find the people punished and rebuked for it (Jer. 15. 4). * * * 1 Sam. 12. 24-: Only fear the Lord. But if ye do still wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king. And this case, I grant, is extraordinary, yet so as Junius Brutus proveth well and strongly that religion is not given only to the king that he only should keep it, but to all the inferior judges and people also in their kind.
[XVI] I presuppose that the division of goods doth not necessarily flow from the law of nature, for God made man before the fall lord of creatures indefinitely. . . . But supposing man’s sin: though the light of the sun and air be common to all, and religious places be proper to none, yet it is morally impossible that there should not be a distinction between meum and tuum . . .; and the Decalogue forbidding theft and coveting the wife of another man (yet is she the wife of Peter, not of Thomas, by free election, not by an act of nature) doth evidence to us that the division of things is so far forth (men now being in the state of sin) of the law of nature, that it hath evident ground in the law of nations, and thus far natural, that the heat that I have from my own coat and cloak, and the nourishment from my own meat, are physically incommunicable to any. * * * [But] it is clear, men are just owners of their own goods by all good order both of nature and time before there be any such thing as a king or magistrate. * * * The law of nations, founded upon the law of nature, hath brought in meum and tuum, mine and thine, and the introduction of kings cannot overturn nature’s foundation. Neither civility nor grace destroyeth, but perfiteth nature.
[XIX] There is a dignity material in the people scattered, they being many representations of God and his image, which is in the king also, and formally more as king, he being endued with formal magistratical and public royal authority. In the former regard this or that man is inferior to the king, because the king hath that same remaindera of the image of God that any private man hath, and something more, he hath a politic resemblance of the King of Heavens, being a little God, and so is above any one man. * * * But simply and absolutely the people is above, and more excellent than the king, and the king in dignity inferior to the people; and that upon these reasons: (1) Because he is the mean ordained for the people as for the end that he may save them . . .; (2) The pilot is less than the whole passengers, the general less than the whole army; * * * (3) A Christian people especially is the portion of the Lord’s inheritance (Deut. 32. 9), the sheep of his pasture, his redeemed ones, for whom God gave his blood (Acts 20. 28); and the killing of a man is to violate the image of God (Gen. 9. 6), and therefore the death and destruction of a church, and of thousand thousands of men, is a sadder and a more heavy matter than the death of a king, who is but one man. * * * If God give kings to be a ransom for his Church, and if he slay great kings for their sake, as Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Isa. 43. 3), and Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan (Psalm 136. 18-20); . . . if he make Babylon and her king a threshing-floor, for the violence done to the inhabitants of Zion (Jer. 51. 33-5); then his people as his people must be so much dearer and more precious in the Lord’s eyes than kings because they are kings, by how much more his justice is active to destroy the one, and his mercy to save the other. * * *
For nature doth not ascertain us there must be kings to the world’s end, because the essence of governors is kept safe in aristocracy and democracy though there were no kings. And that kings should necessarily have been in the world if man had never fallen in sin, I am not by any cogent argument induced to believe. I conceive there should have been no government but these of fathers and children, husband and wife, and (which is improperly government) some more gifted with supervenient additions to nature, as gifts and excellencies of engines.
[XXIV] If then any cast off the nature of a king, and become habitually a tyrant, in so far he is not from God nor any ordinance which God doth own. If the office of a tyrant (to speak so) be contrary to a king’s offices, it is not from God, and so neither is the power from God. Yea, laws (which are no less from God than the kings are), when they begin to be hurtful, cessant materialiter, they leave off to be laws, because they oblige non secundum vim verborum, sed in vim sensus, not according to the force of words, but according to sense. . . . But who (saith the Royalist) shall be judge betwixt the king and the people, when the people allege that the king is a tyrant?
Answ[er]: There is a court of necessity, no less than a court of justice; and the fundamental laws must then speak, and it is with the people in this extremity as if they had no ruler.
Obj[ection]: But if the law be doubtsome, as all human, all civil, all municipal laws may endure great dispute, the peremptory person exponing the law must be the supreme judge. This cannot be the people; ergo it must be the king.
Answ[er]: As the scriptures in all fundamentals are clear and expone themselves, and actu primo condemn heresies, so all laws of men in their fundamentals, which are the law of nature and of nations, are clear. And tyranny is more visible and intelligible than heresy, and it’s soon discerned. * * * The people have a natural throne of policy in their conscience to give warning, and materially sentence, against the king as a tyrant, and so by nature are to defend themselves. Where tyranny is more obscure, and the thread [so] small that it escape the eye of men, the king keepeth possession; but I deny that tyranny can be obscure long.
[XXVII] This is the difference between God’s will and the will of the king or any mortal creature. Things are just and good because God willeth them, especially things positively good (though I conceive it hold[s] in all things), and God doth not will things because they are good and just. But the creature, be he king or any never so eminent, do[th] will things because they are good and just. And the king’s willing of a thing maketh it not good and just; for only God’s will, not the creature’s will, can be the cause why things are good and just. * * * Nay, give me leave to doubt if Omnipotency can make a just law to have an unjust and bloody sense, aut contra, because it involveth a contradiction, the true meaning of a law being the essential form of the law.
[XXVIII] For the lawfulness of resistance in the matter of the king’s unjust invasion of life and religion, we offer these arguments. That power which is obliged to command and rule justly and religiously for the good of the subjects, and is only set over the people on these conditions, and not absolutely, cannot tie the people to subjection without resistance, when the power is abused to the destruction of laws, religion, and the subjects. But all power of the law is thus obliged (Rom. 13. 4; Deut. 17. 18-20; 2 Chron. 19. 6; Psalm 132. 11-12; 89. 30-1; 2 Sam. 7. 12; Jer. 17. 24-5), and hath, and may be abused by kings to the destruction of laws, religion, and subjects. * * * There is not a stricter obligation moral betwixt king and people than betwixt parents and children, master and servant, patron and clients, husband and wife, the lord and the vassal; between the pilot of a ship and the passengers, the physician and the sick, the doctor and the scholars; but the law granteth, if these betray their trust committed to them, they may be resisted. * * * Every tyrant is a furious man, and is morally distracted, as Althusius saith. * * *
That which is inconsistent with the care and providence of God in giving a king to his Church, is not to be taught.
[XXX] Much is built to commend patient suffering of ill, and condemn all resistance of superiors, by Royalists, on the place (1 Pet. 2. 18) where we are commanded, being servants, to suffer buffets, not only for ill-doing, of good masters, but also undeservedly. . . . But it is clear, the place is nothing against resistance. * * * One act of grace and virtue is not contrary to another. Resistance is in the children of God an innocent act of self-preservation, as is patient suffering, and therefore they may well subsist in one. * * * If it be natural to one man to defend himself against the personal invasion of a prince, then it is natural and warrantable to ten thousand, and to a whole kingdom; and what reason to defraud a kingdom of the benefit of self-defence more than one man? Neither grace nor policy destroyeth nature. And how shall ten or twenty thousand be defended against cannons and muskets that killa afar off, except they keep towns against the king, . . . except they be armed to offend with weapons of the like nature, to kill rather than be killed, as the law of nature teacheth?
[XXXI] Self-preservation in all creatures in which is nature, is in the creatures suitable to their nature. * * * So men, and Christian men, do naturally defend themselves; but the manner of self-defence in a rational creature is rational, and not always merely natural. Therefore a politic community, being a combination of many natures (as neither grace, far less can policy, destroy nature), then must these many natures be allowed of God to use a natural self-defence.
[XL] A contract, the conditions whereof are violated by neither side, cannot be dissolved but by the joint consent of both; and in buying and selling, and in all contracts unviolated, the sole will of neither side can violate the contract; of this speaketh the law. * * * We hold that the law saith with us that vassals lose their farm if they pay not what is due. Now what are kings but vassals to the state, who, if they turn tyrants, fall from their right? * * *
Let Royalists show us any act of God making David king, save this act of the people making him formally king at Hebron, and therefore the people as God’s instrument transferred the power, and God by them in the same act transferred the power, and in the same they chose the person. * * * This power is the people’s, radically, naturally. * * * And God hath revealed (in Deut. 17. 14-15) the way of regulating the act of choosing governors and kings, which is a special mean of defending and protecting themselves; and the people is as principally the subject and fountain of royal power, as a fountain is of water. I shall not contend if you call a fountain God’s instrument to give water, as all creatures are his instruments.
[XLI] It is no error of Gerson, that believers have a spiritual right to their civil possessions, but by scripture (1 Cor. 4. 21; Rev. 21. 4).
Independent Principles of Resistance
Though some other things have been of late acted by the Army,1 wherein many pretendingly complain of want of conscience and justice; yet I suppose they have done nothing either more obnoxious to the clamorous tongues and pens of their adversaries, or more questionable in the judgments and consciences of their friends, than that late garbling of the Parliament, wherein they sifted out much of the dross and soil of that heap, intending to reduce this body, upon the regular motion whereof the well-being, indeed the civil life, of the whole kingdom depends, to such members who had not manifestly turned head upon their trust, nor given the right hand of fellowship to that most barbarous, inhumane, and bloody faction amongst us, who for many years last past have with restless endeavours procured the deep trouble, and attempted the absolute enslaving (which is, being interpreted, the utter undoing), of the nation. So that if this action of theirs shall approve itself, and appear to be regular and conformable to such laws and rules of justice which all considering and disengaged men conclude ought to be followed and observed in such cases as that which lay before them; especially if it shall appear to have been the legitimate issue of true worth and Christianity; I presume, all their other actions of like tenor and import will partake of the same justification and honour with it. * * *
The first-born of the strength of those who condemn the said act of the Army as unlawful, lieth in this: that the actors had no sufficient authority to do what they did therein, but acted out of their sphere, and so became transgressors of that law which commandeth every man to keep order, and within the compass of his calling.
To this I answer: . . . as our Saviour saith (Matt. 2. 27) that the sabbath was made for man (i.e., for the benefit of man), and not man for the sabbath, so certain it is, that callings were made for men, and not men for callings. Therefore the law of the sabbath, though enacted by God, was of right, and according to the intention of the great Lawgiver himself, to give place to the necessary accommodations of men, and ought not to be pleaded in bar hereunto; in like manner, if the law of callings at any time opposeth, or lieth cross to, the necessary conveniences of men, during the time of this opposition it suffereth a total eclipse of the binding power of it. * * *
Nor did they stretch themselves beyond the line of their callings, to act therein as they did. Their calling and commission was to act in the capacity of soldiers, for the peace, liberties, and safety of the kingdom. What doth this import but a calling to prevent or suppress by force all such persons and designs whose faces were set to disturb or destroy them? * * *
If the calling which the Parliament itself had to levy forces against the King and his party, to suppress them and their proceedings as destructive to the peace, liberties, and safety of the kingdom, was warrantable and good, then was the calling of the Army to act as they did in the business under debate, warrantable and good also. * * *
Now then, supposing the same proportion to the peace, benefit, and safety of the kingdom, in what the Army did in purging the Parliament and in what the Parliament itself did in opposing the King by force (which is a point of easy demonstration, and is ex superabundanti proved in the large Remonstrance of the Army1 lately published), let us consider whether the call of the Army to act for the kingdom as they did, be not as authentic, clear, and full, as that of the Parliament to act as they did in reference to the same end.
First, the authority and power of the people (or rather the present exercise and execution of this power) to act for their own preservation and well-being in every kind, was as well formally,a and according to the ceremony of the law, as really, and according to the true intentions and desires of the people, vested in the Parliament. So that the Parliament by virtue of this investiture, and during the same, had the same right of power to raise an army, and to give unto it what commission they judged meet in order to the benefit of the people, or to act any other thing of like tendency, which the people themselves had to choose for themselves a parliament. Therefore whatsoever lieth within the verge of the Army’s commission derived from the Parliament, relating to the kingdom’s good, they have as full and formal a call or warrant to act and put in execution as the Parliament itself had either to raise an army or to do any other act whatsoever. If then first, the tenor of their commission stood towards any such point as this (which I presume is no way questionable), viz., to suppress by strong hand all such persons whom upon rational grounds they should judge enemies to the peace and welfare of the kingdom; and secondly, that those Parliament-members whom now they have cut off from that body were upon such grounds judged such by them (of the truth whereof they have given a sufficient account in their said late Remonstrance), it is as clear as the sun, that their calling to act as they did in cutting off these members is every whit as legitimate and formal as that of the Parliament itself is to act anything whatsoever as a parliament. * * *
Secondly, suppose the Army had not a call to act as they did in the case under debate, every ways as full of formality as the call of the Parliament to act as they did in opposition to the King, yet might their call be (and indeed was) as material, as weighty, as considerable, and as justifiable in the sight of God, and of all unprejudiced intelligent men, as the other. * * *
When the pilot or master of a ship at sea be either so far overcome and distempered with drink or otherwise disabled, as through a phrenetical passion or sickness of any kind, so that he is incapable of acting the exigencies of his place for the preservation of the ship, being now in present danger either of running upon a quick sand or splitting against a rock, &c., any one or more of the inferior mariners, having skill, may, in order to the saving of the ship and of the lives of all that are in it, very lawfully assume, and act according to, the interest of a pilot or master, and give orders and directions to those with them in the ship accordingly, who stand bound, at the peril of their lives, in this case to obey them. By such a comparison as this, Master Prynne himself demonstrates how regular and lawful it is for parliaments, yea and for particular men, to turn kings—I mean, to assume that interest and power which the law appropriates to the office, and vesteth only in the person of a king—when the king steereth a course in manifest opposition to the peace and safety of the kingdom. * * *
But two things (it is like) will be here objected. First, that the Parliament were judges lawfully constituted, of the King’s delinquency against the kingdom, but the Army were no judges of such a constitution, of the miscarriages of the Parliament. Therefore there is not the same consideration in point of lawfulness in the proceedings of the Army against the Parliament, which is of the Parliament’s proceeding against the King. There is the same difference likewise between the act of a client and pupil, wherein the one dischargeth his advocate and the other his guardian, and the act of the Army in dethroning the Parliament-men. To this I answer:
First, that whether we place the lawfulness of a parliamentary judicature in respect of the King’s delinquency either in their election by the people or in the conformity of this their election unto the laws of the land, certain it is that the Army were judges of every whit as competent and lawful a constitution, of their delinquencies in the same kind. For . . . if we measure the lawfulness of parliamentary judicature by the call of the people thereunto, the Army (as was formerly proved) hath every whit as lawful a constitution to judge who are enemies to the peace and safety of the kingdom as the Parliament itself hath. Nor doth it at all argue any illegality in their judgments about the Parliamentmen, that they had not the explicit and express consent of the people therein, or that they had no call by them so to judge; no more than it proveth an illegality in many votes and ordinances of Parliament, that they were both made and published, not only without the particular and express consent, but even contrary to the mind and desires of the people, or at least of the major part of them. Besides it is a ridiculous thing to pretend a want of a call from the people against the lawfulness of such an act which is of that sovereign necessity for their benefit and good, which the actings of the Army were; especially at such a time when there is no possibility of obtaining or receiving a formal call from the people, without running an imminenta hazard of losing the opportunity for doing that excellent service unto them which the providence of God in a peculiar juncture of circumstances exhibits for the present unto us. Men’s consents unto all acts manifestly tending to their relief are sufficiently expressed in their wants and necessities.
If it be yet said, ‘But the people do not judge the proceedings of the Army against the Parliament-men as tending to their relief or welfare in any kind, but as contrary unto both, nor do they give so much as their subsequent consents thereunto’; I answer (besides what was lately said to the nullifying of this pretence) that physicians, called to the care and cure of persons under distempers, need not much stand upon the consents of such patients, either subsequent or antecedent, about what they administer unto them. If the people be incapable in themselves of the things of their peace, it is an act of so much the more goodness and mercy in those who, being fully capable of them, will engage themselves accordingly to make provision for them. It is a deed of charity and Christianity, to save the life of a lunatic or distracted person even against his will. Besides, it is a ruled case amongst wise men, ‘that if a people be depraved and corrupt, so as to confer places of power and trust upon wicked and undeserving men, they forfeit their power in this behalf unto those that are good, though but a few.’ So that nothing pretended from a non-concurrence of the people with the Army will hold water.
Or, secondly, if we estimate the lawfulness of that judicature by the conformity of their elections thereunto, to the laws of the land, the investiture of the Army into that judicature which they have exercised in the case in question, is conform unto a law of far greater authority than any one, yea than all the laws of the land put together; I mean, the law of nature, necessity, and of love to their country and nation, which, being the law of God himself, written in the fleshly tables of men’s hearts, hath an authoritative jurisdiction over all human laws and constitutions whatsoever, a prerogative right of power to overrule them and to suspend their obliging influences in all cases appropriate to itself. Yea, many of the laws of God themselves think it no disparagement unto them, to give place to their elder sister, the law of necessity, and to surrender their authority into her hand when she speaketh. So that whatsoever is necessary is somewhat more than lawful—more (I mean) in point of warrantableness. If then the Army stood bound by the law of nature and necessity to judge the Parliament-men as they did, viz., as men worthy to be secluded from their fellows in parliamentary interest, this judiciary power was vested in them by a law of greater authority than the laws of the land; and consequently the legality or lawfulness of it was greater than of that in the Parliament, which derives its legality only from a conformity to the established laws of the land. Yea, the truth is that the law of necessity, by which the Army were constituted judges of those parliamentary delinquents we speak of, cannot (in propriety of speech) be denied to be one of the laws of the land, being the law of nature, and consequently the law of all lands and nations whatsoever, established in this and in all the rest by a better and more indubitable legislative authority than reside[s] in any parliament or community of men whatsoever. * * *
Another thing that, it’s like, will be objected upon and against what hath been answered to the second main objection, is this: That the Parliament-men, disturbed in their way by the Army, at least many of them, were religious and conscientious men, voted and acted as they did conscientiously, really judging the course they steered to be the safest and most direct for bringing the great ship of the commonwealth into the harbour of rest and peace. And is it not contrary as well to principles of reason as religion, that such men, upon so fair an account as this, should be so foully handled? To this I answer: * * * When men are religious only to a mediocrity, and withal servile in their judgments to some principles which are commonly and with great confidence and importunity obtruded upon the consciences of professors for sacred truths, and yet are extremely discouraging and full of enmity to a thorough, stable, and quiet dependence upon God; by being religious upon such terms as these they become twofold more the children of fear than otherwise they were like to be, and consequently so much the more capable and receptive of sad and dismal impressions from the world upon all occasions. And it is not more commonly than truly said, that fear is a bad counsellor. . . . When religious men sin against the common interest and liberties of a free-born nation and make one purse with the known and thrice-declared enemies of their land and people, whether they do it with or against their judgments and consciences, the law of nature and necessity cannot (for the present) stand to make either a scrupulous inquiry after such a difference or a regular assignment of favour to the qualifying circumstances of demerit, but calls, yea and cries out immediately, and commands all men without exception that have a prize in their hand, to give it for the redemption of their nation out of the hand of oppression and tyranny. And when this law hath been obeyed to the securing of the nation, she presently resigneth, and this freely and willingly, all her authority and command into the hand of positive and standing laws, calculated for the ordinary posture and state of things, until there be another cry of like danger in her ears. When these standing laws come to resume their authority and power, there will be an opportunity to inquire, if it shall be thought convenient, who sinned with, and who against, their consciences; and their assessments which were uniformly rated by the law of necessity, may be reduced to terms of more equity by those other laws. . . . According to the notion of that maxim in natural philosophy, that the corruption of the best is worst, so are the miscarriages and errors of the best men of worst consequence in many cases. The digressions of men religious are many times worse than the thorough discourses of other men. When conscience and concupiscence meet (as oft they do in religious men), the conjunction is very fiery. It was the saying of Gregory long since, ‘When men conceive of sin under the notion of a duty, there it is committed with an high hand and without fear’ (Greg., de Pastor. cur. 1. 3. 1). Nor ever was (nor is ever like to be) the persecution of the Saints more grievous than when those that shall persecute them and put them to death, shall think that therein they do God service (John 16. 2). So that whereas the objection in hand pleads on behalf of those Parliament-men who were religious, that they followed the light and dictate of their judgments and consciences in complying with the King and his complices, the truth is that though it may reasonably be thought so much the less sinful in them if they did it upon such terms, yet was it a ground so much the more justifiable for the Army to proceed upon to the disinteresting of them, as they did. For when religious men break out of the way of righteousness and truth, with the renitency and obmurmuration of their judgments and consciences, it is a sign that their judgments and consciences are yet at liberty and in condition to reduce them; but when these are confederate with their lust, there is little hope of their repentance. * * *
A fourth objection in the mouths of some, against which they conceive the Army cannot be justified in the business in question, is that all such actions are contrary unto, and condemned by, the laws of the land. But to this objection, at least to the weight and substance of it, we have already answered over and over, and particularly have asserted and proved, first, that all human laws and constitutions are but of a like structure and frame with the Ceremonial Laws of old made by God himself, which were all made with knees to bend to the law of nature and necessity. Secondly, that it is to be presumed that the intent of all law-givers amongst men is, notwithstanding any or all their laws seemingly commanded the contrary, to leave an effectual door always open for the common good, and in cases of necessity to be provided for by any person or persons whatsoever. Thirdly, that all laws bind only according to the regular and due intentions of the law-makers. Fourthly, that the laws of nature and necessity are as well the laws of the land as those commonly so called. Fifthly, that when any two laws encounter one the other in any such exigent or strait of time that both of them cannot be obeyed, the law of inferior consequence ought to give place to that of superior, and the duty enjoined in this to be done though that required in the other be left undone. We now add:
First, that we charitably suppose that there is no such law of the land, which prohibiteth or restraineth any man or sort of men from being benefactors to the public; especially from preserving the public liberties in cases of necessity when they stand in extrema regula and are in imminent danger of being oppressed forever, there being no likelihood of relief from any other hand. And if there be no such law as this, there is none that reacheth the case of the Army—no, not in the critical or characteristical circumstance of it.
Secondly, that in case there be any such law as this, that it is a mere nullity, and the matter of it no more capable of the form of a law (i.e., of an obliging power) than timber or stone is capable of information by a reasonable soul, which, according to vulgar philosophy rather than the truth, is the proper form of a man. The laws of nature and of common equity are the foundation of all laws (truly and properly so called) and whatsoever venditateth itself under the name or notion of a law, being built besides this foundation, wanteth the essence and true nature of a law, and so can be but equivocally such. * * *
I know nothing of moment that can be opposed against the lawfulness of the action hitherto apologized and justified in these papers, beyond what hath been already bought and sold (I mean urged and answered) at sufficient rates. The lawfulness of the action we speak of, being supposed, the honour and worth of it are of much more easy demonstration. For what better favour can a Christianly-heroic spirit spread abroad of itself than when men shall put their lives in their hand, and in this posture stand up to take lions by the beards when they are ready to tear in pieces and devour the sheep of the fold, to attempt the wresting of an iron sceptre out of those hands which were now lifting it up to break a poor nation in pieces like a potter’s vessel? What the Army hath done in this behalf calleth to mind the unparallelable example of the Lord Jesus Christ, blessed for ever, who descended into the lower parts of the earth, went down into the chambers of death, from thence to bring up with him a lost world. It was the saying of Plato that ‘to do good to as many as we can, is to be like unto God.’ But to do good to as many as we can, as well enemies as friends, by an exposal of our own lives unto death for the accomplishment of it, is a lineament of that face of divine goodness, which Plato (it is like) never saw. It was the manner of almost all nations (as the Roman orator observeth) to place the assertors of their countries’ liberties next to the immortal gods themselves at the table of honour. And I make no question but when the inhabitants of this nation shall have drank awhile of the sweet waters of that well of liberty which the Army have digged and opened with their swords, after it had been for a long time stopped and filled up with earth by the Philistines, they will generally recover of that malignant fever which now distempereth many of them, and be in a good posture of sobriety and strength to rise up early and call their benefactors blessed. However, the good will of him that dwelt in the bush be upon the head of such warriors, who pursue that blessed victory of overcoming evil by doing good, and, according to the method of the warfare of heaven, seek to reconcile a nation unto themselves by not imputing their unthankfulness or other their evil entreaties unto them, but in the midst of their own sufferings from them set themselves with heart and soul to set them at liberty from their oppressors.
THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL: CHRISTIAN LIBERTY
From Luther’s Commentary upon Galatians (edition of 1644)a
 For there be divers sorts of righteousness. There is a political or civil righteousness, which emperors, princes of the world, philosophers, and lawyers deal withal. There is also a ceremonial righteousness, which the traditions of men do teach. * * * Besides these, there is another righteousness, which is called the righteousness of the Law, or of the Ten Commandments, which Moses teacheth. This do we also teach after the doctrine of faith. There is yet another righteousness, which is above all these: to wit, the righteousness of faith or Christian righteousness, the which we must diligently discern from the other afore rehearsed. * * * But this most excellent righteousness, of faith I mean, which God through Christ, without works, imputeth unto us, is neither political nor ceremonial, nor the righteousness of God’s Law, nor consisteth in works, but is clean contrary; that is to say, a mere passive righteousness, as the other above is active. For in this we work nothing, we render nothing unto God, but only we receive and suffer another to work in us—that is to say, God. Therefore it seemeth good unto me to call this righteousness of faith or Christian righteousness, the passive righteousness. * * *
The world understandeth not this doctrine, and therefore it neither will nor can abide it, but condemneth it as heretical and wicked. It braggeth of free will, of the light of reason, of the soundness of the powers and qualities of nature, and of good works as means whereby it could deserve and attain grace and peace, that is to say, forgiveness of sins and a quiet conscience. But it is impossible that the conscience should be quiet and joyful unless it have peace through grace, that is to say, through the forgiveness of sins promised in Christ. * * *
But because they mingle the Law with the Gospel they must needs be perverters of the Gospel. For either Christ must remain and the Law perish, or the Law must remain and Christ perish. For Christ and the Law can by no means agree and reign together in the conscience. Where the righteousness of the Law ruleth, there cannot the righteousness of Grace rule. And again, where the righteousness of Grace reigneth, there cannot the righteousness of the Law reign; for one of them must needs give place unto the other. * * *
 Neither do we seek the favour of men by our doctrine. For we teach that all men are wicked by nature, and the children of wrath. We condemn man’s free will, his strength, wisdom and righteousness, and all religions of man’s own devising. And to be short, we say that there is nothing in us that is able to deserve grace and the forgiveness of sins: but we preach, that we obtain this grace by the free mercy of God only for Christ’s sake. * * * This is not to preach for the favour of men out of the world. For the world can abide nothing less than to hear his wisdom, righteousness, religion, and power condemned. * * *
 For we must diligently mark this distinction, that in matters of divinity we must speak far otherwise than in matters of policy. In matters of policy (as I have said) God will have us to honour and reverence these outward veils or persons as his instruments, by whom he governeth and preserveth the world. But when the question is as touching religion, conscience, the fear of God, faith, and the service of God, we must not fear these outward persons, we must put no trust in them, look for no comfort from them, or hope for deliverance by them either corporally or spiritually. * * *
For in the cause of religion and the word of God, there must be no respect of persons. But in matters of policy we must have regard to the person; for otherwise there must needs follow a contempt of all reverence and order. In this world God will have an order, a reverence and a difference of persons. For else the child, the servant, the subject would say: I am a Christian as well as my father, my schoolmaster, my master, my prince; why then should I reverence him? Before God then there is no respect of persons, neither of Grecian nor of Jew, but all are one in Christ, although not so before the world. * * *
But be it far from us that we should here humble ourselves, since they would take from us our glory, even God himself that hath created us and given us all things, and Jesus Christ who hath redeemed us with his blood. Let this be then the conclusion of all together, that we will suffer our goods to be taken away, our name, our life, and all that we have; but the Gospel, our Faith, Jesus Christ, we will never suffer to be wrested from us. And cursed be that humility which here abaseth and submitteth itself. Nay rather let every Christian man here be proud and spare not, except he will deny Christ. * * *
 Whoso then can rightly judge between the Law and the Gospel, let him thank God, and know that he is a right divine. * * * Now the way to discern the one from the other, is to place the Gospel in heaven and the Law on the earth: to call the righteousness of the Gospel heavenly, and the righteousness of the Law earthly, and to put as great difference between the righteousness of the Gospel and of the Law, as God hath made between heaven and earth, between light and darkness, between day and night. * * * Wherefore if the question be concerning the matter of faith or conscience, let us utterly exclude the Law and leave it on the earth. * * * Contrariwise, in civil policy obedience to the Law must be severely required. There, nothing must be known as concerning the Gospel, conscience, grace, remission of sins, heavenly righteousness, or Christ himself; but Moses only with the Law and the works thereof. If we mark well this distinction, neither the one nor the other shall pass his bounds, but the Law shall abide without heaven, that is, without the heart and conscience, and contrariwise the liberty of the Gospel shall abide without the earth, that is to say, without the body and members thereof. * * *
[5. Gal. 2. 21: For if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ died in vain.]
Paul, here disputing of righteousness, hath no civil matter in hand, that is, he speaketh not of civil righteousness (which God, notwithstanding, alloweth and requireth, and giveth rewards thereunto accordingly; which also reason is able in some part to perform); but he entreateth here of the righteousness that availeth before God, whereby we are delivered from the Law, sin, death and all evils, and are made partakers of grace, righteousness, and everlasting life, and finally are now become lords of heaven and earth, and of all other creatures. This righteousness neither man’s law neither the Law of God is able to perform. * * *
 The first use then of the Law is to bridle the wicked: For the devil reigneth throughout the whole world, and enforceth men to all kinds of horrible wickedness. Therefore God hath ordained magistrates, parents, ministers, laws, bonds, and all civil ordinances, that if they can do no more, yet at least they may bind the devil’s hands, that he rage not in his bondslaves after his own lust. * * * This civil restraint is very necessary and appointed of God, as well for public peace as also for the preservation of all things, but especially lest the course of the Gospel should be hindered by the tumults and seditions of wicked, outrageous, and proud men. But Paul entreateth not here of this civil use and office of the Law. It is indeed very necessary, but it justifieth not. * * *
Another use of the Law is divine and spiritual, which is (as Paul saith) to increase transgressions; that is to say, to reveal unto a man his sin, his blindness, his misery, his impiety, ignorance, hatred, and contempt of God, death, hell, the judgment and deserved wrath of God. Of this use the Apostle entreateth notably in the seventh to the Romans. * * *
 The school doctors, speaking of the abolishment of the Law, say that the Judicial and the Ceremonial Laws are pernicious and deadly since the coming of Christ, and therefore they are abolished; but not the Moral Law. These blind doctors knew not what they said. But if thou wilt speak of the abolishment of the Law, talk of it as it is in his own proper use and office, and as it is spiritually taken; and comprehend withal the whole Law, making no distinction at all between the Judicial, Ceremonial, and Moral Law. For when Paul saith that we are delivered from the curse of the Law by Christ, he speaketh of the whole Law, and principally of the Moral Law, which only accuseth, curseth and condemneth the conscience, which the other two do not. Wherefore we say that the Moral Law or the Law of the Ten Commandments hath no power to accuse and terrify the conscience in which Jesus Christ reigneth by his grace, for he hath abolished the power thereof. * * *
There is also another abolishment of the Law which is outward: to wit, that the politic laws of Moses do nothing belong unto us. Wherefore we ought not to call them back again, nor superstitiously bind ourselves unto them, as some went about to do in times past, being ignorant of this liberty. Now although the Gospel make us not subject to the judicial laws of Moses, yet notwithstanding it doth not exempt us from the obedience of all politic laws, but maketh us subject in this corporal life to the laws of that government wherein we live, that is to say, it commandeth every one to obey his magistrate and laws, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake (1 Pet. 2; Rom. 13). * * *
[8. Gal. 4. 31: Then, brethren, we are not children of the servant, but of the woman.]
Whereupon he taketh occasion to reason of Christian liberty; the knowledge whereof is very necessary, for the Pope hath in a manner quite overthrown it, and made the Church subject to man’s traditions and ceremonies, and to a most miserable and filthy bondage. That liberty which is purchased by Christ, is unto us at this day a most strong fort and munition whereby we may defend ourselves against the tyranny of the Pope. Wherefore we must diligently consider this doctrine of Christian liberty, as well to confirm the doctrine of justification, as also to raise up and comfort weak consciences against so many troubles and offences, which our adversaries do impute unto the Gospel. Now Christian liberty is a very spiritual thing which the carnal man doth not understand. * * * It seemeth to reason that it is a matter of small importance. * * *
[Gal. 5. 2: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.]
In what liberty? Not in that wherewith the Emperor hath made us free, but in that wherewith Christ hath made us free. * * * This is also a liberty, but it is a civil liberty. . . . Moreover, there is a fleshly, or rather a devilish liberty, whereby the devil chiefly reigneth throughout the whole world. For they that enjoy this liberty obey neither God nor laws, but do what they list. This liberty the people seek and embrace at this day; and so do the sectaries, which will be at liberty in their opinions and in all their doings, to the end they may teach and do whatsoever they dream to be good and sound, without reprehension. These stand in that liberty wherein the devil hath made them free. But we speak not here of this liberty, albeit the whole world seeketh no other liberty. Neither do we speak of the civil liberty, but of a far other manner of liberty which the devil hateth and resisteth with all his power.
This is that liberty whereby Christ hath made us free: not from an earthly bondage . . . but from God’s everlasting wrath. And where is this done? In the conscience. There resteth our liberty, and goeth no farther. For Christ hath made us free, not civilly, nor carnally, but divinely; that is to say, we are made free in such sort that our conscience is now free and quiet, not fearing the wrath of God to come. This is that true and inestimable liberty, to the excellency and majesty whereof if we compare the other, they are but as one drop of water in respect of the whole sea. * * *
To the end . . . that Christians should not abuse this liberty (as I have said) the Apostle layeth a yoke and a bondage upon their flesh by the law of mutual love. Wherefore let the godly remember that in conscience before God they be free from the curse of the Law, from sin and from death, for Christ’s sake; but as touching the body they are servants and must serve one another through charity, according to this commandment of Paul: Let every man therefore endeavour to do his duty diligently in his calling, and to help his neighbour to the uttermost of his power. This is it which Paul here requireth of us: Serve ye one another through love. Which words do not set the Christians at liberty, but shut them under bondage as touching the flesh.
Milton on Christian Liberty
From Of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes (1659)
Many are the ministers of God, and their offices no less many. None more different than state and church government. * * *
The main plea [of those who assert the contrary] is . . . that of the kings of Judah. . . .
But to this I return . . .: that the state of religion under the Gospel is far differing from what it was under the Law. Then was the state of rigour, childhood, bondage, and works; to all which force was not unbefitting. Now is the state of grace, manhood, freedom, and faith; to all which belongs willingness and reason, not force. The Law was then written on tables of stone, and to be performed according to the letter, willingly or unwillingly; the Gospel, our new covenant, upon the heart of every believer, to be interpreted only by the sense of charity and inward persuasion. The Law had no distinct government or governors of church and commonwealth, but the priests and Levites judged in all causes, not ecclesiastical only, but civil (Deut. 17. 8, &c.); which under the Gospel is forbidden to all church ministers, as a thing which Christ their master in his ministry disclaimed (Luke 12. 14), as a thing beneath them (1 Cor. 6. 4), and by many other statutes, as to them who have a peculiar and far-differing government of their own. * * *
I have shown that the civil power neither hath right nor can do right by forcing religious things. I will now show the wrong it doth by violating the fundamental privilege of the Gospel, the new birthright of every true believer, Christian liberty. 2 Cor. 3. 17: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Gal. 4. 26: Jerusalem which is above is free; which is the mother of us all; and [verse] 31: We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. It will be sufficient in this place to say no more of Christian liberty than that it sets us free not only from the bondage of those ceremonies, but also from the forcible imposition of those circumstances, place and time in the worship of God, which though by him commanded in the old Law, yet in respect of that verity and freedom which is evangelical, St. Paul comprehends—both kinds alike, that is to say, both ceremony and circumstance—under one and the same contemptuous name of weak and beggarly rudiments (Gal. 4. 3, 9, 10; Col. 2. 8 with 16), conformable to what our Saviour himself taught (John 4. 21, 23): Neither in this mountain,nor yet at Jerusalem. In spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. * * *
They who would seem more knowing, confess that these things are indifferent, but for that very cause by the magistrate may be commanded. As if God of his special grace in the Gospel had to this end freed us from his own commandments in these things, that our freedom should subject us to a more grievous yoke, the commandments of men! As well may the magistrate call that common or unclean which God hath cleansed . . .; as well may he loosen that which God hath straitened or straiten that which God hath loosened, as he may enjoin those things in religion which God hath left free, and lay on that yoke which God hath taken off. For he hath not only given us this gift as a special privilege and excellence of the free Gospel above the servile Law, but strictly also hath commanded us to keep it and enjoy it. Gal. 5. 13: You are called to liberty. 1 Cor. 7. 23: Be not made the servants of men. Gal. 5. 1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Neither is this a mere command, but for the most part in these forecited places, accompanied with the very weightiest and inmost reasons of Christian religion. Rom. 14. 9, 10: For to this end Christ both died and rose and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? &c. How presumest thou to be his lord, to be whose only Lord, at least in these things, Christ both died and rose and lived again? We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Why then dost thou not only judge, but persecute in these things for which we are to be accountable to the tribunal of Christ only, our Lord and law-giver? 1 Cor. 7. 23: Ye are bought with a price: be not made the servants of men. Some trivial price belike, and for some frivolous pretences paid in their opinion, if—bought and by him redeemed, who is God, from what was once the service of God—we shall be enthralled again and forced by men to what now is but the service of men! Gal. 4. 31, with 5. 1: We are not children of the bondwoman, &c. Stand fast therefore, &c. Col. 2. 8: Beware lest any man spoil you, &c., after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Solid reasons whereof are continued through the whole chapter. Verse 10: Ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. Not completed therefore, or made the more religious, by those ordinances of civil power from which Christ their head hath discharged us, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (verse 14). Blotting out ordinances written by God himself, much more those so boldly written over again by men! Ordinances which were against us, that is, against our frailty, much more those which are against our conscience! Let no man therefore judge you in respect of, &c. (verse 16). Gal. 4. 3, &c.: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, &c., to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, &c. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, &c. But now, &c., how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, &c. Hence it plainly appears, that if we be not free, we are not sons, but still servants unadopted; and if we turn again to those weak and beggarly rudiments, we are not free—yea, though willingly, and with a misguided conscience, we desire to be in bondage to them. How much more then, if unwillingly and against our conscience?
Ill was our condition changed from legal to evangelical, and small advantage gotten by the Gospel, if for the spirit of adoption to freedom promised us, we receive again the spirit of bondage to fear; if our fear, which was then servile towards God only, must be now servile in religion towards men. Strange also and preposterous fear, if when and wherein it hath attained by the redemption of our Saviour to be filial only towards God, it must be now servile towards the magistrate. Who, by subjecting us to his punishment in these things, brings back into religion that law of terror and satisfaction belonging now only to civil crimes; and thereby in effect abolishes the Gospel, by establishing again the Law to a far worse yoke of servitude upon us than before. It will therefore not misbecome the meanest Christian to put in mind Christian magistrates, and so much the more freely by how much the more they desire to be thought Christian—for they will be thereby, as they ought to be in these things, the more our brethren and the less our lords—that they meddle not rashly with Christian liberty, the birthright and outward testimony of our adoption; lest while they little think it—nay, think they do God service—they themselves, like the sons of that bondwoman, be found persecuting them who are freeborn of the Spirit, and by a sacrilege of not the least aggravation, bereaving them of that sacred liberty which our Saviour with his own blood purchased for them. * * *
From Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio (1651)a
Having proved sufficiently, that the kings of the Jews were subjected to the same laws that the people were; that there are no exceptions made in their favour in scripture; that it is a most false assertion, grounded upon no reason, nor warranted by any authority, to say . . . that God has exempted them from punishment by the people, and reserved them to his own tribunal only; let us now consider whether the Gospel preach up any such doctrine, and enjoin that blind obedience which the Law was so far from doing, that it commanded the contrary. Let us consider whether or no the Gospel, that heavenly promulgation, as it were, of Christian liberty, reduce us to a condition of slavery to kings and tyrants, from whose imperious rule even the old Law, that mistress of slavery, discharged the people of God, when it obtained. Your first argument you take from the person of Christ himself. But, alas! who does not know, that he put himself into the condition, not of a subject only, but even of a servant, that we might be free? Nor is this to be understood of some internal liberty only, as opposed to civil liberty; how inconsistent else would that song of his mother’s be with the design of his coming into the world: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek! How ill-suited to their occasion would these expressions be, if the coming of Christ rather established and strengthened a tyrannical government, and made a blind subjection the duty of all Christians! He himself having been born, and lived, and died under a tyrannical government, has purchased all due liberty for us. And as he gives us his grace to submit patiently to a condition of slavery, if there be a necessity of it, so if by any honest ways and means we can rid ourselves, and obtain our liberty, he is so far from restraining us, that he encourages us so to do. Hence it is that St. Paul not only of an evangelical, but also of a civil liberty, pronounces (1 Cor. 7. 21): Art thou called, being a servant? Care not for it; but if thou mayst be made free, use it rather. You are bought with a price; be not ye servants of men. So that you are very impertinent in endeavouring to argue us into slavery by the example of our Saviour, who, by submitting to such a condition himself, has confirmed even our civil liberties. He took upon him indeed in our stead the form of a servant, but he always retained his purpose of being a deliverer; and thence it was, that he taught us a quite different notion of the right of kings than this that you endeavour to make good: you, I say, that preach up not kingship, but tyranny, and that in a commonwealth, by enjoining not only a necessary, but a religious subjection to whatever tyrant gets into the chair, whether he come to it by succession or by conquest, or chance, or anyhow. * * * It is evident that our Saviour’s principles concerning government were not agreeable to the humour of princes. * * * He asked for the tribute-money. ‘Whose image and superscription is it?’ says he. They tell him it was Caesar’s. Give then to Caesar, says he, the things that are Caesar’s. * * * Our liberty is not Caesar’s. It is a blessing we have received from God himself. It is what we are born to. To lay this down at Caesar’s feet, which we derive not from him, which we are not beholden to him for, were an unworthy action, and a degrading of our very nature. If one should consider attentively the countenance of a man, and inquire after whose image so noble a creature were framed, would not any one that did so presently make answer that he was made after the image of God himself? Being therefore peculiarly God’s own, that is, truly free, we are consequently to be subjected to him alone, and cannot, without the greatest sacrilege imaginable, be reduced into a condition of slavery to any man, especially to a wicked, unjust, cruel tyrant. * * * Absolute lordship and Christianity are inconsistent. * * *
From Defensio Secunda (1654)a
To these men,1 whose talents are so splendid, and whose worth has been so thoroughly tried, you would without doubt do right to commit the protection of our liberties. * * * Then I trust that you will leave the Church to its own government . . . and no longer suffer two powers (so different as the civil and the ecclesiastical) . . . by their mutual and delusive aids in appearance to strengthen, but in reality to weaken and finally to subvert each other. * * * Then, since there are often in a state men who have the same itch for making a multiplicity of laws as some poetasters have for making many verses, and since laws are usually worse in proportion as they are more numerous, I trust that you will not enact so many new laws as you abrogate old ones which do not operate so much as warnings against evil but rather as impediments in the way of good; and that you will retain only those which are necessary, which do not confound the distinctions of good and evil, and which, while they prevent the frauds of the wicked, do not prohibit the innocent freedoms of the good, which punish crimes without interdicting those things which are lawful, only on account of the abuses to which they may occasionally be exposed. For the intention of laws is to check the commission of vice; but liberty is the best school of virtue, and affords the strongest encouragements to its practice. Then, I trust that you will make a better provision for the education of our youth . . .; that you will prevent the promiscuous instruction of the docile and the indocile, of the idle and the diligent, at the public cost, and reserve the rewards of learning for the learned, and of merit for the meritorious. I trust that you will permit the free discussion of truth without any hazard to the author, or any subjection to the caprice of an individual, which is the best way to make truth flourish and knowledge abound. * * * If there be any one who thinks that this is not liberty enough, he appears to me to be rather inflamed with the lust of ambition, or of anarchy, than with the love of a genuine and well-regulated liberty. . . .
It is of no little consequence, O citizens, by what principles you are governed, either in acquiring liberty or in retaining it when acquired. * * * For who would vindicate your right of unrestrained suffrage, or of choosing what representatives you liked best, merely that you might elect the creatures of your own faction whoever they might be, or him, however small might be his worth, who would give you the most lavish feasts, and enable you to drink to the greatest excess? Thus not wisdom and authority, but turbulence and gluttony, would soon exalt the vilest miscreants from our taverns and our brothels, from our towns and villages, to the rank and dignity of senators. * * * Who could believe that the masters and the patrons of a banditti could be the proper guardians of liberty? * * * Among such persons, who would be willing either to fight for liberty or to encounter the least peril in its defence? It is not agreeable to the nature of things that such persons ever should be free. However much they may brawl about liberty, they are slaves both at home and abroad, but without perceiving it; and when they do perceive it, like unruly horses that are impatient of the bit, they will endeavour to throw off the yoke, not from the love of genuine liberty (which a good man only loves and knows how to obtain), but from the impulses of pride and little passions. But though they often attempt it by arms, they will make no advances to the execution; they may change their masters, but will never be able to get rid of their servitude. * * * Instead of resentment, or thinking that you can lay the blame on anyone but yourselves, know that to be free is the same as to be pious, to be wise, to be temperate and just, to be frugal with your own goods, and abstinent from another’s, and, lastly, to be magnanimous and brave; so to be the opposite of all these is the same as to be a slave. * * *
You, therefore, who wish to remain free, either instantly be wise, or as soon as possible cease to be fools; if you think slavery an intolerable evil, learn obedience to right reason and the rule of yourselves; and finally bid adieu to your dissensions, your jealousies, your superstitions, your outrages, your rapine, your lusts. Unless you will spare no pains to effect this, you must be judged, by God, man, and your very deliverers, unfit to be entrusted with the possession of liberty and the administration of the government. * * *
THE PRIVILEGES OF THE SAINTS
The Elect and the Reprobate
The Anti-Arminian orthodox assertions, now in controversy (which I shall here evince to be the ancient, the undoubted, the established doctrine of the Church of England) contract themselves into these seven dogmatical conclusions:
1. That God from all eternity hath, by his immutable purpose and decree, predestinated unto life, not all men, not any indefinite or undetermined, but only a certain select number of particular men (commonly called the Elect, invisible true Church of Christ), which number can neither be augmented nor diminished; others hath he eternally and perpetually reprobated unto death.
2. That the only moving or efficient cause of election, of predestination unto life, is the mere good pleasure, love, free grace, and mercy of God; not the preconsideration of any foreseen faith, perseverance, good works, good will, good endeavours, or any other pre-required quality or condition whatsoever, in the persons elected.
3. That though sin be the only cause of damnation, yet the sole, the primary cause of reprobation or non-election (that is, why God doth not elect those men that perish, or why he doth pass by this man rather than another, as he rejected Esau when he elected Jacob) is the mere free will and pleasure of God, not the prevision, the pre-consideration of any actual sin, infidelity, or final impenitency in the persons rejected.
4. That there is not any such free will, any such universal or sufficient grace communicated unto all men, whereby they may repent, believe, or be saved if they will themselves.
5. That Christ Jesus died sufficiently for all men (his death being of sufficient intrinsical merit in itself, though not in God’s intention, or his Spirit’s application, to redeem and save even all mankind), but primarily, really, and effectually for none but the Elect, for whom alone he hath actually impetrated, effectually obtained remission of sins, and life eternal.
6. That the Elect do always constantly obey, neither do they, or can they, finally or totally resist the inward powerful and effectual call or working of God’s Spirit in their hearts, in the very act of their conversion: neither is it in their own power to convert or not convert themselves, at that very instant time when they were converted.
7. That true justifying, saving faith is proper and peculiar to the Elect alone, who after they are once truly regenerated and engrafted into Christ by faith, do always constantly persevere unto the end; and though they sometimes fall through infirmity into grievous sins, yet they never fall totally nor finally from the habits, seeds, and state of grace.
Rev. 19. 6: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying: Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
At the pouring forth of the first vial, there was a voice saying: Babylon is fallen, it is fallen. At the pouring forth of the sixth, John hears a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of thunderings, saying: Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, immediately following the other. Babylon’s falling is Sion’s raising. Babylon’s destruction is Jerusalem’s salvation. The fourth vial was poured upon the sun, which is yet doing, namely upon the Emperor and that house of Austria, and will be till that house be destroyed. * * * This is the work that is in hand. As soon as ever this is done, that Antichrist is down, Babylon fallen, then comes in Jesus Christ reigning gloriously; then comes in this Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. * * * It is the work of the day to cry down Babylon, that it may fall more and more; and it is the work of the day to give God no rest till he sets up Jerusalem as the praise of the whole world. Blessed is he that dasheth the brats of Babylon against the stones. Blessed is he that hath any hand in pulling down Babylon. And beautiful likewise are the feet of them that bring glad tidings unto Jerusalem, unto Zion, saying, The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. This is the work of this exercise: to show unto you how, upon the destruction of Babylon, Christ shall reign gloriously, and how we are to further it.1 * * *
From whence came this hallelujah? I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters. By waters we are to understand people: the voice of many waters, of many people. * * *
The voice, of Jesus Christ reigning in his Church, comes first from the multitude, the common people. The voice is heard from them first, before it is heard from any others. God uses the common people and the multitude to proclaim that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. As when Christ came at first the poor receive[d] the Gospel—not many wise, not many noble, not many rich, but the poor—so in the reformation of religion, after Antichrist began to be discovered, it was the common people that first came to look after Christ. * * * The business, brethren, concerning the Scots, it is a business in the issue whereof we hope there will be great things. Where began it? At the very feet, at the very soles of the feet. You that are of the meaner rank, common people, be not discouraged; for God intends to make use of the common people in the great work of proclaiming the kingdom of his Son: The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. The voice that will come of Christ’s reigning is like to begin from those that are the multitude, that are so contemptible, especially in the eyes and account of Antichrist’s spirits and the prelacy: the vulgar multitude, the common people—what more contemned in their mouths than they? * * *
Though the voice of Christ’s reign came first from the multitude; yet it comes but in a confused manner, as the noise of many waters. Though the multitude may begin a thing, and their intention may be good in it, yet it is not for them to bring it to perfection: that which they do commonly is mixed with much confusion and a great deal of disorder. * * * The people had a hint of something: Down with Antichrist, down with popery. Not understanding distinctly what they did, their voice was but as the voice of many waters. Therefore it follows: and as the voice of mighty thunderings. * * * After the beginning of this confused noise among the multitude, God moves the hearts of great ones, of noble, of learned ones; and they come in to the work, and their voice is as the voice of mighty thundering, a voice that strikes terror, and hath a majesty in it to prevail. * * * This is the work of the day, for us to lift up our voice to heaven, that it might be mighty to bring forth more and more the voice of our Parliament as a voice of thunder, a terrible voice to the Antichristian party, that they may say, The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. And let us not be discouraged, for our prayers, though they be poor and mean, and scattered, they may further the voice of thunderings. * * *
Though Christ’s kingdom be for a while darkened, Christ shall reign gloriously. That is implied. It is revealed to John as a great wonder, as a glorious thing. Why, did not Christ reign before? Yes, but not in that manner that now he is to reign: the kingdom of Christ hath been exceedingly darkened in the world: though it now begins to appear a little more brightly, it hath been exceedingly darkened. * * *
It may be, it is to be a stumbling block to wicked and ungodly men in his just judgment, that they should see and not understand. And it was upon this ground that God suffered his kingdom to be darkened hitherto, that Antichrist might prevail: because of much glory that he is intendinga to bring out of the prevailing of Antichrist in the world, therefore in his providence he hath so permitted it as that the kingdom of his Son for many years should be darkened. And (my brethren) if the kingdom of Christ had been kept in congregations in that way that we and some other churches are in, it had been impossible that Antichrist should have got head. But God in his providence, because he would permit Antichrist to rise and to rule for a long time—and he had many things to bring out of the kingdom of Antichrist, to work for his glory—therefore God hath left this truth to be so dark: the setting up of Christ in his kingly office. Thirdly, because God would exercise the faith and other graces of his Spirit in his children, that they might believe in, and love Jesus Christ for his spiritual beauty, though there appears nothing but spiritual beauty, though no outward beauty, no outward kingdom doth appear, but he be as a spiritual king only. * * * And the less Christ doth reign outwardly in the world, the less glorious his kingdom doth appear outwardly, the more let us labour to bring our hearts under his spiritual reign. * * * For yet the voice is not heard much, that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, abroad in the world, though lately some noise we have heard. But blessed be God, in our congregations amongst us we may hear that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. It is through our wretched wickedness if his kingly power be not fully set up amongst us in all his ordinances. And that we should have an opportunity to set up his kingly power amongst us here, while it is so much opposed and so little known in the world, it is a great mercy. * * *
But though it be dark for a while, certainly he shall reign, and the voice will be glorious and distinct one day, saying, Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. He shall reign first personally; secondly, in his Saints.
First, personally. We will not fully determine of the manner of his personal reigning. But thus far we may see there is . . . a probability, in his person, God and Man, he shall reign upon the earth, here in this world, before that great and solemn day. There are divers scriptures that have somewhat of this in them. We cannot give the distinct voice of those scriptures, but many of God’s Saints, they do hear something, and when a thing grows nearer and nearer God will reveal it more distinct. Zech. 12. 10: They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son. It is usually understood either of a spiritual looking by the eye of faith or beholding Christ at the day of judgment. But why should we take it for a spiritual looking, and looking at the day of judgment? That [the] place doth not hold out; that is not the thing intended. They shall mourn every one apart: this is not like the setting forth of the mourning at the day of judgment. And take but this one rule: that all texts are to be understood literally, except they make against some other scriptures, or except the very coherence and dependence of the scripture shows it otherwise, or it makes against the analogy of faith. Now there is nothing against this, but it may be so. A second scripture that seems to hold out somewhat is that in the 26th of Matthew, 29: I will not henceforth drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. It is true, this is likewise interpreted in a mystical sense; but there is no reason why we may not take it literally. Not in the kingdom of his Father in heaven; but in that kingdom that he shall come in here, to drink the fruit of the vine, to have communion with his Saints in this world. 2 Thess. 2. 8: Antichrist shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming, the brightness of his personal coming. And that place (Rev. 20) where it is said, The Saints shall reign with him a thousand years, which cannot be meant reigning with him in heaven. It is made as a proper peculiar benefit unto such as had refused Antichrist’s government, especially to the Christian Church. It is likely divers of the prophets and patriarchs may come in, but especially it belongs to the Christian Church. Now the reigning with Christ a thousand years is not meant reigning with him in heaven. For after these thousand years there shall be many enemies raised against the Church; Gog and Magog shall gather themselves together. If it were meant of heaven, that could not be; and therefore it must be meant of Jesus Christ coming and reigning here gloriously for a thousand years. And although this may seem to be strange, yet heretofore it hath not been accounted so. It hath been a truth received in the primitive times. Justin Martyr, that lived presently after John, he spake of this as a thing that all Christians acknowledged; and likewise Lactantius hath such expressions in divers places of his seventh book. * * *
God intends to honour Christ and the Saints before the world. * * * And God is pleased to raise the hearts of his people to expect it; and those that are most humble, most godly, most gracious, most spiritual, searching into the scriptures, have their hearts most raised in expectation of this. And it is not like, that that work of the Spirit of theirs shall be in vain. But God is beginning to clear it up more and more. God is beginning to stir in the world, and to do great things in the world, the issue whereof (I hope) will come to that we speak of. * * *
The first thing wherein the happiness of the Church consists is this: that it shall be delivered from all the enemies of it, and from all molesting troubles, and so be in a most blessed safety and security. The God of peace shall tread down Satan shortly, and all that are of Satan. Christ is described in this Rev. 19, with his garment dyed in blood, when he doth appear to come and take the kingdom. And he appeared with many crowns on his head; that notes his many victories, and his name was King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And the Saints appeared triumphing with him, clothed with white linen and set upon white horses. Is that a clothing for soldiers? Yes, for the army of Christ, that rather comes to triumph than for to fight. Christ fighteth and vanquisheth all these enemies; and they come triumphing in white. * * * And this city that is described in the Revelation shall have the gates always open, in regard of the security that is there—no danger at all of any enemy.
Secondly, there shall be a wonderful confluence of people to this church: both Jew and Gentile shall join together to flow to the beautifulness of the Lord. Dan. 2. 35: Christ is compared to the stone that shall break the image and shall become a mountain, and fill the whole heaven. Isa. 60. : They shall come as doves to the windows. And when John came to measure the city, the Church, it was a great and mighty city.
Thirdly, because where there is much confluence, there useth to be a contraction of much filthiness; therefore, in the third place, it shall be most pure—a pure church, yea, in great part, if not altogether; nay, we may almost affirm, altogether to be delivered from hypocrites. Without there shall be dogs, and whosoever shall work or make a lie. Not without, in hell; but without the church. Hypocrites shall be discovered and cast out from the church. Though many get into the church now; then the righteous nation shall enter in. In the 44th of Ezekiel, 9, there is a description of the Church under the Gospel; and he shows that none uncircumcised in heart shall enter in there. But the fulfilling of the prophecies of those chapters in the latter end of Ezekiel will not be till this time; and then no uncircumcised in heart shall enter. Rev. 21. 27: There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, &c. * * * It is a most pure church, and therefore is described: the walls to be precious stones, the city to be as clear as glass, and the pavement to be pure gold.
Fourthly, there shall be abundance of glorious prophecies fulfilled, and glorious promises accomplished. When you read the Prophets, you have prophecies of many glorious things; and the knowledge of this truth will help to understand those prophecies. * * *
Fifthly, abundance of hidden mysteries of godliness will be cleared then, that now are exceeding dark. * * * Rev. 11. 19: There was seen the Ark of the Testament; whereas the Ark stood before in the Holy of Holies that was shut up, that none was to come into it but the High Priest. But now it is opened to all. In the Ark werea the secrets, a type of the secrets that shall be opened at this time, that were shut up before. Glorious truths shall be revealed, and above all the mystery of the Gospel and the righteousness of faith shall be discovered. Before, what a little of the mystery of the Gospel and the righteousness of faith was discovered! But this will grow brighter and brighter till that time, which is the great design of God for his glory to all eternity.
Sixthly, the gift of the Saints shall be abundantly raised. He that is weak shall be as David; and he that is strong, as the Angel of the Lord (Zech. 12. 8). And then shall be accomplished that promise that God will pour his Spirit on them; and their young men shall see visions, and their old men shall dream dreams. It was fulfilled in part upon the Apostles, but the full is not till that time knowledge shall be increased.
Seventhly, the graces of the Saints shall be wonderfully enlarged, even in a manner glorified; though not so full as afterwards in the highest heaven, but mightily raised. The Saints shall be all clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the Saints; that is, the righteousness they have by Christ, whereby they shall be righteous before God, and holy before men. Holiness shall be written upon their pots, and upon their bridles: upon every thing their graces shall shine forth exceedingly to the glory of God. * * *
The people of God have been, and are, a despised people. But their reproach shall be for ever taken away, and they shall not be ashamed of religion, for it shall be glorified before the sons of men. * * * There are notable texts of scripture to show the great honour that shall be in the ways of religion. Isa. 49. 23: Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee, and lick up the dust of thy feet. What a high expression is this for the honour of godliness! * * * The second place is in Zech. 12. 5: The governors of Judah shall say in their hearts: The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of Hosts, their God. We know that now in many places the governors of Judah, the great ones of the country, their spirits have been set against the Saints of God. We know what reproachful names they have put upon them, and how they have discountenanced them. Though the governors of Judah have counted them factious, and schismatics, and Puritans, there is a time coming when the governors of Judah shall be convinced of the excellency of God’s people, so convinced as to say in their hearts that the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that is, the Saints of God gathered together in a church, are the best commonwealth’s men: not seditious men, not factious, not disturbers of the state. * * * This shall be when the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth in his Church. And through God’s mercy we see light peeping out this way. * * *
In the ninth place, the presence of Jesus Christ and of God shall be exceeding glorious in the Church: then the name of it shall be called Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is there. They shall follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth; they shall see the King in his beauty and glory. And such a presence of Christ will be there as it is questionable whether there shall be need of ordinances, at least in that way that now there is. And therefore some interpret that place so: They shall be all taught of God, and shall not need to teach one another. * * * The presence of Christ shall be there and supply all kind of ordinances. * * *
In the tenth place, . . . many of the worthies of God, that have lived in former times, shall rise again. * * *
The eleventh is this: there shall be most blessed union of all the churches of the world. * * * Blessed will the time be when all dissensions shall be taken away; and when there shall be a perfect union of all, and not any distinction of Calvinists or Lutherans, or the like, but all shall come and serve God and be called by one name.
The twelfth is the resurrection of the creatures of the world: and so in that regard there shall be abundance of outward glory and prosperity. * * * When the fulness of the glory of the adoption of the sons of God shall come, the creatures shall be delivered to them. The whole world is purchased by Christ, and purchased for the Saints, that is Christ’s aim. All is yours, says the Apostle, the whole world; and therefore (Rev. 21. 7) it is said, The Saints shall inherit all things. You see that the Saints have little now in the world; now they are the poorest and the meanest of all; but then when the adoption of the sons of God shall come in the fulness of it, the world shall be theirs; for the world is purchased for them by Jesus Christ. Not only heaven shall be your kingdom, but this world bodily. * * *
But you will say, Are these things true? To that we answer: For the truth of them I will go no further than this chapter, verse 9, These are the true sayings of God. * * *
But how can they be? Zech. 8. 9: If it be marvellous in your eyes, should it also be marvellous in my eyes? saith the Lord of Hosts. * * * It is God Omnipotent that shall do these things, by that power, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Mountains shall be made plain, and he shall come skipping over mountains and over difficulties. Nothing shall hinder him. * * *
But when shall these things be? Truly, brethren, we hope it is not long before they shall be; and the nearer the time comes, the more clearly these things shall be revealed. * * * No place in scripture gives us so much light to know when this shall be as Dan. 12. 11. And from the time that the daily sacrifices shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand, two hundred and ninety days. What is the meaning of this? The light that I have from this, I acknowledge to be from that worthy instrument of God, Mr. Brightman. A day is usually taken for a year, and so many days as were set, so many years it should be. All the question is about the beginning of the time. This abomination of desolation was in Julian’s time, in 360, because then Julian would set up the Temple again (that was destroyed), in despite of the Christians, and would set up the Jewish religion again. That was the abomination of desolation, says he; and the whole Jewish religion was not consumed till that time. Now reckon so many years according to the number of the days, it comes to 1650; and it is now 1641, and that place for the abomination of desolation is like to be it as any that can be named. But it is said, Blessed is he that comes to another number: 1335 days; that is 45 years more added. That is, says he, in 1650 they shall begin; but it shall be 45 years before it comes to full head, and blessed is he that comes to this day. And he hath hit right in other things, as never the like, in making Sardis to be the church of Germany, and foretold from thence how things would fall out, and we see now are. Now we have also a voice from the multitude as from the waters, and it begins to come from the thunderings. * * *
If God hath such an intention to glorify his Church, and that in this world, oh, let every one say to his own heart: What manner of persons ought we to be? * * * Because you are beginning this despised work, gathering a church together, which way God will honour. Certainly, the communion of Saints, and independency of congregations, God will honour. And this work is a foundation of abundance of glory that God shall have, and will continue till the coming of Christ. And blessed are they that are now content to keep the word of God’s patience. And do you keep the word of God’s patience though you suffer for it, as you now do. * * * Take heed that you lose not this opportunity; certainly if there should fall out any just cause amongst you of scandal in regard of divisions, or any other way, you may do more hurt to hinder this glorious work than all the persecutors could do. For you will persuade the consciences of men that this is not the way of Christ—persecutors cannot do so—so that the governors of Judah will not say, Our strength is in the inhabitants of Jerusalem, those that profess themselves to be the people of Jerusalem.
To his Excellency, Thomas Lord Fairfax, Lord General of the Army, and to the General Council of War: * * *
And because the great design of God in the falls and overthrows of worldly powers that have opposed the kingdom of his Son, is by making Christ’s foes his footstool to lift up him on high, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named in this world, that he may be Prince of the kings of the earth, and all nations may serve and obey him, as you shall quickly see if you make the scriptures your counsellors. . . .1
Therefore our daily prayer shall be for yourselves and your noble Army, that you may never stumble at the stumbling stone, nor take that honour to yourselves, that is due to Christ, nor be instrumental for the setting up of a mere natural and worldly government, like that of heathen Rome and Athens (as too many late overtures have caused us to fear), whereby the public interest of Jesus Christ will be utterly banished the kingdom in the conclusion. But that you (whom God hath honoured so highly as to begin the great work of smiting the image on the feet) may show yourselves thankful to him that hath given you victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, may honour his Son, and comfort his Saints, in whom he reigns spiritually, and by whom he will reign visibly over all nations of the world, as these scriptures declare, with others: Dan. 2. 44, 55; and 7. 22, 27; Mic. 5. 4, 5, 6; Rev. 2. 26, 27; and 5. 9, 10; and 12. 9, 10, 11.
To which end we humbly crave, that yourselves would take into your serious and grave consideration and debate, the particulars in the papers herewith humbly offered to you, and also present them to the Honourable Parliament, that they may be improved so far as found agreeable to the will and word of God; which done, we doubt not but God shall have much glory, the godly party shall be comforted, natural men (enjoying their estates) will be at rest also and much satisfied; and this commonwealth will be exalted to be both an habitation of justice and mountain of holiness, even such a people as God will bless (Jer. 31. 23). * * *
1st Query: Whether there is not a kingdom and dominion of the Church, or of Christ and the Saints, to be expected upon earth? Dan. 7. 27, and 2. 44; Isa. 2. 2, 3, and 60. 12, &c. Rev. 11. 15; Rev. 5. 10.
2nd Q[uery]: Whether this kingdom (though more spiritual in the administration thereof, yet) be not external and visible in the world, yea, extend not to all persons and things universally? Isa. 60. 12, 14; Zech. 14. 16, 17; 1 Cor. 6. 2, 3; Eph. 1. 21, 22.
For this end consider: 1. How this fifth kingdom or monarchy comes in the place of the fourth, visibly succeeding it; 2. How the main scope of the prophecies is to show the outward visible administration of the government of the world, under the several kingdoms successively, as under the first three monarchies, then under the fourth (by the Roman emperors first, then by Antichrist and the ten horns), and then how the Church comes to have the outward and visible government of the world (see Daniel and Revelation).
3rd Q[uery]: Whether this kingdom is not proper to Christ as Mediator, specifically distinct from the essential kingdom of God, and from all worldly kingdoms, and so to be administered by such laws and officers as Christ (as Mediator) hath appointed in his kingdom, and therefore not set up when magistrates become Christian, seeing they rule not then as Christian, nor as Christ’s officers, nor by his law, but as worldly governors; the magistrates being officers set up by God in that essential kingdom, not in this mediatory kingdom of Christ?
4th Q[uery]: Whether the kingdoms of the world and powers thereof, as kings, yea parliaments also, and magistrates (so far as appertains to the present worldly constitution of them) must not be put down, before this kingdom can be erected? 1 Cor. 15. 24, 25; Dan. 2. 35, 44, 45.
1st Object[ion]: But these powers are not inconsistent with the kingdom of Christ. Both may stand together. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers.
R[eply]: The persons betrusted with these powers may befriend it. Such as rule in the kingdoms of the world may be subjects of Christ. But the question here is of the government itself, which relates to the great image (Dan. 2), and so must be broken down.
2nd Obj[ection]: But worldly government, as worldly or civil, appertains not to the fourth monarchy, nor to the image, but as opposing Christ’s kingdom.
1st R[eply]: The ten toes, horns or kingdoms, are parts of the image.
2nd: They oppose Christ’s kingdom as worldly or civil, because they let it (not to speak now of other opposition) as the Roman heathen empire letted Antichrist (2 Thess. 2. 7).
5th Q[uery]: Whether this be not the time (or near upon it) of putting down that worldly government, and erecting this new kingdom?
For this end consider: This kingdom is to succeed the fourth monarchy immediately, the first part whereof, the heathenish empire, is long since expired, and the second part, the Antichristian empire, is about the expiration, the time allotted (1,260 years) being about to finish.
Obj[ection]: But Christ saith, My kingdom is not of this world. How then can it now be expected?
R[eply]: But he doth not say, It shall not be upon the earth, nor while the earth remains (see the contrary, Rev. 5. 10). But world is taken for the time of continuance of that worldly government: the world is put for the Roman monarchy (Luke 2. 1). When the fifth monarchy begins, shall be those new heavens and new earth spoken of (Heb. 2. 5). The Church is called the world to come (as some expound that place, 2 Esdras 6. 9). Esau is the ending of the old world, and Jacob the beginning of the new. That is, the reign of the wicked, Esau’s progeny, terminates the old world; and the reign of Jacob, of the Saints (to whom the promise of dominion is made), begins the new world.
6th Q[uery]: Whether the kingdom is not to be set up without hands (Dan. 2. 45), without human power and authority (Zech. 4. 6), but by the Spirit of Christ, calling and gathering people into less families, churches and corporations, till they thus multiply exceedingly? Thus all worldly political kingdoms arise and grow; and thus the spiritual kingdom of the Church.
7th Q[uery]: Whether these churches and corporations, thus gathered and multiplied exceedingly, shall not join together in general assemblies and church-parliaments, choosing and delegating such officers of Christ, and representatives of the churches, as may rule nations and kingdoms; and so the kingdoms of the world be the churches?
This kingdom must either be monarchical, as when Christ the Head and King appears visibly, or parliamentary, as in the meantime, when Christ’s officers and the churches’ representatives rule.
The Brief Resolution of the Queries
(1) There is a kingdom and dominion which the Church is to exercise on the earth. (2) That extends to all persons and things universally, which is to be externally and visibly administered, (3) by such laws and officers as Jesus Christ our Mediator hath appointed in his kingdom. (4) It shall put down all worldly rule and authority (so far as relates to the worldly constitution thereof), though in the hands of Christians; (5) and is to be expected about this time we live in. (6) This kingdom shall not be erected by human power and authority, but Christ by his Spirit shall call and gather a people, and form them into several less families, churches, and corporations; and when they are multiplied, (7) they shall rule the world by general assemblies, or church-parliaments, of such officers of Christ, and representatives of the churches, as they shall choose and delegate; which they shall do till Christ come in person.
Q[uery]: What then is the present interest of the Saints and people of God?
R[eply]: To associate together into several church-societies and corporations (according to the Congregational way), till being increased and multiplied, they may combine into general assemblies or church-parliaments (according to the Presbyterian way); and then shall God give them authority and rule over the nations and kingdoms of the world.
For the present to lay aside all differences and divisions amongst themselves, and combine together against the Antichristian powers of the world (Rev. 15. 2, &c.), whom they may expect to combine against them universally (Rev. 17. 13, 14).
An Humble Advice concerning the Government of the Kingdom, according to the former Platform or Model
[1.] That you would stir up godly ministers and people throughout the kingdom, to associate or incorporate into church-societies (as is before expressed) and grant them your special favour, provision, and protection; so shall you be the Saints’ nursing fathers.
2. That you would please to satisfy the godly dissenting brethren, both of Presbytery and Independency, by such ways and means as your wisdoms shall find out, how both their interests may meet herein, that so they may concur with one heart in the work.
3. That sister-churches oversee such incorporations and embodyings, that only such as be of approved godliness may have the right hand of fellowship given to them.
4. That such churches, where more of them are thus collected and embodied in any division, circuit, province, &c., may choose and send out some delegates, members, officers, to meet in one session, lesser parliament, presbytery, or assembly, for ordering all such affairs as there occur, according to the Word, if appertaining alone to that division.
5. That all such churches, and the members thereof, have voices in elections of such as are to sit in general assemblies or church-parliaments (so often as occasion is); and those elected, to sit there as Christ’s officers and the churches’ representatives, and to determine all things by the Word, as that law that God will exalt alone and make honourable.
6. That you take special care to send out and encourage godly preachers, that may go into the rest of the kingdom to preach the Gospel, that so, when others are converted and the Son of God makes them free, they may enjoy the former freedoms with the rest of the Saints.
Additional Considerations for the Improvement of the former Model
1. Consider whether it be not a far greater honour for parliaments, magistrates, &c., to rule as Christ’s officers and the churches’ representatives than as officers of a worldly kingdom and representatives of a mere natural and worldly people?
2. What right or claim mere natural and worldly men have to rule and government, that want a sanctified claim to the least outward blessings?
3. How can the kingdom be the Saints’ when the ungodly are electors, and elected to govern?
4. Whether it be not a straitening of the Church’s power, to limit it only to spiritual matters?
5. We expect new heavens and a new earth, according to his promise. How then can it be lawful to patch up the old worldly government, especially being lapsed, for its maladministration, according to its own natural principles?
6. Whether to repair the broken image that the stone hath smitten upon the feet, be not to fall upon the stone?
7. Whether all powers falling upon that stone have not deserved to be broken in pieces?
8. What a sin it would be to set up the dim light of nature for our law, when God hath given the light of the scriptures, a better law.
9. How unbeseeming it were for the followers of the Lamb to comply in the least with the powers of the world in setting up their worldly kingdoms.
10. How dangerous it is to keep out Christ from his throne when he hath exalted you and given you an opportunity to exalt him.
11. What facility appears in settling the kingdom in the hands of the Saints, and difficulty to settle it any other way1 and not destroy the interest of the Saints.
12. What advantage of reconciling the godly this way, and suppressing the enemies of godliness for ever.
These, and many other considerations of like nature hereby hinted, we humbly offer to your wisdoms, desiring the assistance of God’s Spirit in all your counsels for the improvement of them.
LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
b There are two things contended for in this liberty of conscience: first to instate every Christian in his right of free, yet modest, judging and accepting what he holds; secondly, to vindicate a necessary advantage to the truth, and this is the main end and respect of this liberty. I contend not for variety of opinions; I know there is but one truth. But this truth cannot be so easily brought forth without this liberty; and a general restraint, though intended but for errors, yet through the unskilfulness of men, may fall upon the truth. And better many errors of some kind suffered than one useful truth be obstructed or destroyed. * * * Moses permitted divorce to the Jews, notwithstanding the hardness of their hearts; so must this liberty be granted to men (within certain bounds) though it may be abused to wanton opinions more than were to be wished.
c Christ Jesus, whose is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, both in nature and in grace, hath given several maps and schemes of his dominions . . .: both of his great kingdom, the world, his dominions at large which he hath committed to men to be administered in truth and righteousness, in a various form as they please . . .; and also of his special and peculiar kingdom, the kingdom of grace. Which kingdoms, though they differ essentially or formally, yet they agree in one common subject-matter, man and societies of men, though under a diverse consideration. And not only man in society, but every man individually is an epitome, either of one only or of both these dominions. Of one only, so every natural man (who in a natural consideration is called microcosmus, an epitome of the world) in whose conscience God hath his throne, ruling him by the light of nature to a civil outward good and end. Of both, so every believer who, besides this natural conscience and rule, hath an enlightened conscience, carrying a more bright and lively stamp of the kingly place and power of the Lord Jesus, swaying him by the light of faith or scripture; and such a man may be called microchristus, the epitome of Christ mystical.
This is conscience, and this its division. And of this conscience is the question, or rather of the person that hath this conscience, and the things he holds or practises conscientiously. For the power of conscience itself, as it will not be beholden to any man for its liberty so neither is it capable of outward restraint: they must be moral or spiritual instruments that can work upon conscience. But the exercise or practice of conscience, or the person so exercising, is properly the object of outward restraint in question.
Now then, if we keep but to this term conscience, first, all vicious and scandalous practices, contrary to the light of nature or manifest good of societies, are cut off not to trouble us in this matter, as deriving themselves not from conscience, but a malignant will and unconscienced spirit. Nor yet may all principles that derive themselves from conscience have the benefit of this plea of liberty, so as to save their owners. As first, if they shall be found of a disabling nature, or wanting in their due proportion of benevolence to public peace, liberties, societies; . . . as for instance, scruple of conscience cannot exempt a man from any civil duty he owes to the state or the government thereof, but it may well beseem a state to force men to contribute to their own and the public good and safety. And though God can have no glory by a forced religion, yet the state may have benefit by a forced service. Again, the service of the state is outward, civil, bodily, and is perfect as to its end without the will and conscience of that person from whom it is extorted; so is not the service of God, which is inward and spiritual, yea it must be in spirit and in truth. Then much less may any such principles find favour in this discourse, as, besides the former deficiency, shall be found pregnant with positive malignity (and that in a high nature and consequence too perhaps) to societies, as the doctrines of the Papists. * * *
And of principles thus allayed and qualified, the question is not whether there be not a power to deal with them, and a force to be applied to them, yea to conscience itself, the source of them; for we all agree in this, that there is, viz., Christ’s power, and a spiritual force. But the question is, whether outward force be to be applied. * * *
a Though it be easier to say what the magistrate may not do than what he may [and though] we are never more out than when we go about to make forms and systems and be definitive, comprehensive doctors . . . (especially in things of this nature which may better be perceived and discerned upon occasion from time to time by the humble and godly than digested into a few rules or canons)—this premised, we acknowledge that the duty of a Christian magistrate is somewhat more than of another magistrate. Civil protection is that which all magistrates owe, whether Christian or not Christian, to all quiet livers within their dominions, whether Christian or not Christian, as being founded upon such politic considerations and conditions (setting aside religion) as, being performed on the subjects’ part, it cannot with justice be denied them. But a Christian magistrate owes something more to the truth he professes, and to those that profess the same with him; which duty of his differs only in degree, not in kind, from the duty of another Christian that is no magistrate. For it is the duty of every Christian to improve every talent and advantage entrusted with him, for the honour of Christ and good of the body to the utmost in a lawful way. So a Christian magistrate, if he have (as he hath by virtue of his magistracy) a talent and advantage above other men, he is bound to improve it [in] all lawful ways to the aforesaid purpose. To which he is to direct even all the common acts and parts of his government; for though all do equally share in the outward benefits of magistracy (viz., peace and plenty, &c.), yet ought Christian magistrates principally ex intentione to direct their whole government to the good of the churches, and the glory of God therein, forasmuch as all things are the churches’, and for the churches. And doubtless magistracy, though an ordinance of man, yet is a most glorious ordinance, and of singular use and service, if rightly applied, to the Church; as I shall show gradually in these steps.
First, magistrates do prepare by a good government for the Gospel. Civility, not rested in nor mistaken for godliness, makes men in a more proximousb outward capacity for, and disposition towards, religion, inasmuch as they are thereby restrained from gross profaneness and insolent opposition of the truth, whereby the Word may come amongst them with safety to the persons of those that bring it; according to which part Chrysostom says well that the magistrate helps the ministry, viz., by taking cognizance of all moral vices, and it is their part not to commend only, but to command a good moral conversation of their subjects, at least negative. In which case again Chrysostom says well that good princes make virtue easy while they both urge it with their example and drive men to it by fear and punishments.
But now for supernatural gifts, as illumination, special or common: to make a man of this or that judgment or opinion or faith, to make a man of this or that practice in religion, may not be required by the civil sword; it may be persuaded, induced by exhortation, example, or such means, and that’s all. * * * And by the way, wherefore hath it the denomination or distinction of civil power but that (ex vi vocis) civility is the next, most proper, immediate and almost utmost care and extent of this power? For though the Christian magistrate well discharging his place, doth promote the spiritual good and edification of the churches, yet not immediately and directly, but by and through a politic good, as he procures rest and safety to them, and so they are edified (Acts 9. 31). Which is a very considerable and needful service while the public worship and the churches in the exercise thereof, though according to their being and beauty in the Spirit they transcend the understanding and principles of the world, yet are circumstanced and habited with such outward relations and considerations as need such a worldly provision. * * * And is not here a great deal of work, and enough to take up a whole man; and may not very acceptable service be done to God herein, and much good redound to the Church, while not only the Church hath hereby fairer quarter in the world, but a rude preparation is made for the Gospel?
Thus we have committed to the magistrate the charge of the Second Table; viz., materially, that is, he is not to see God dishonoured by the manifest breach thereof, or any part thereof. But is that all? No, surely. He may enter the vault even of those abominations of the First Table, and ferret the devils and devil-worship out of their holes and dens, so far as nature carries the candle before him. Therefore it seems to me that polytheism and atheistical doctrines (which are sins against the First Table and [First] Commandment), and idolatry (which is against the Second Commandment), such as may be convinced by natural light, or [by] the letter of the command where the scriptures are received, as the worshipping of images, and the breaden-god, the grossest idolatry of all:—these, so far forth as they break out and discover themselves, ought to be restrained [and] exploded by the Christian magistrate; for ’tis that which a heathen’s light should not tolerate, nature carrying so far (Rom. 1). And also blasphemy (which is against the Third Commandment, and is a common nuisance to mankind), and the insolent profanation of the Lord’s day (though the keeping of it be not obvious to nature’s light) ought not to be suffered by the Christian magistrate. For herein (as in the former) no man’s liberty is infringed, no man’s conscience enthralled, truth not at all prejudiced or obstructed, while only manifest impiety and profaneness is excluded, and the peace of those that are better disposed procured, and scandal avoided by these negatives. And thus far the magistrate is custos utriusque tabulæ, not to require the positive so much as to restrain the negative. And all this nature teaches hitherto.
But thirdly, as belonging to the Third Commandment, the Christian magistrate may not only require a conversation and practice, moralized according to the principles and light of nature where they run lowest (as among the heathen), but as they are improved and raised by the Gospel through the common irradiation thereof. For consuetudo est altera natura: custom or education is another nature. And look what notions fall upon every understanding that is so situated, or look what impressions are made upon every natural conscience by the Gospel, which ripens and meliorates nature in some degree, and hath at least some fruit and success wherever it comes, though it do not change and sanctify:—I say these fruits, tales quales, the magistrate is God’s titheman or officer to gather them in for him, and to require a demeanour suitable to such an acknowledged light, at least negatively; that is, to restrain the contrary, that so the name of God be not taken in vain. As to instance, though it be not eruable1 by the light of nature, the article of the Trinity, or the person and office of Jesus Christ, yet sure to teach doctrine that denies either of these where the Gospel hath sounded, is not tolerable; or to deny the Resurrection, or a Judgment Day, &c. I say, the Christian magistrate ought not to tolerate the teaching of such contradictions (in an instructed commonwealth) to received principles and manifest impressions upon all hearts that have lived under the Gospel within his dominions. And the reason is, because these principles fall into the same rank and order and consideration with natural principles (1 Cor. 11. 14), inasmuch as they are not only habituated unto men as natural, but attested unto within by a divinely-impressed conscience, though but natural and in a common way. And although in treating hereof I have reflected much upon the principles and light of nature and the outward good and consisting of societies, yet I make not these the only grounds authorizing the magistrate that is Christian (of whom this chapter speaks) to the premises, nor the ultimate end and scope he is to aim at therein. For though the light of nature be God’s law in the hearts of men, not to be violated, and the preservation of societies one end thereof, not to be despised, yet certainly the Christian magistrate, as he hath his authority from God, so he is to take the rise of exercising it from him who hath not committed to him the sword in vain. And he is to aim at the glory of God (the preventing or redressing his dishonour) in every act thereof, and to punish evil out of that consideration that it is evil, though God hath given him that rule to proceed by, and to make out the evil of evil to the world, even the contrariety thereof to the light of nature and the good of societies. Wherein also God hath admirably showed his wisdom and goodness, both in twisting and combining so the interests of his glory (in this sense we speak which is negative) and the happiness of societies, that this latter cannot be without the former, and in laying no other burden on the Christian magistrate for the material than what is within every man’s cognizance and the light of nature will lead him to. * * *
Fourthly, the Christian magistrate owes a duty about the external peace and order of the churches, to look to that. For though the magistrate take not cognizance of several forms and opinions in religion, yet of the outward manner and order he doth and ought, and to bound and rectify that is his place, and to punish disorder. And all this (whatever noise it makes) is but a civil thing. For there are these two things go to religion: the thing itself, and the managing of it. Though conscience is not to be forced to or from the thing, yet the manner of the practice is to be regulated according to peace and comeliness by the civil magistrate.
But all this yet is but extrinsical to religion. May the Christian magistrate come no nearer? Yes, doubtless. He may and ought to do all that he is able and hath opportunity to do in the behalf of the truth, so that he keep on this side of force; as for instance, he ought to be exemplary in the profession of the truth, as Joshua was (Josh. 24. 15: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord). Wherein (as also in his exhortation of the people) he is without all scruple imitable by all in eminent place or authority. Though the faith of their subjects or tenants is not to be pinned upon their sleeve, yet if their example, countenance, interest, exhortations will gain any credit to the truth, it is an honest way to make use thereof. * * * They may and ought to propose the truth to all, to apply means for the reclaiming of those that err, and to send forth teachers into blind and ignorant places where they are not capable of the care of their own souls, and to call synods or assemblies to confer their light in relation to a work of reformation, or to the solving of some particular difficulties. In a word, he may do anything for the truth, so that, when he have done, he leave men to their consciences that are of a different mind from him, and manage that difference without offence.
Sixthly, and lastly, the Christian magistrate ought to be a nursing father to the Church, to nourish the truth and godliness. The begetting father he is not; that is Christ, the everlasting Father by the seed of the Word. But the magistrate is to conserve and maintain the churches’ peace and liberty in the exercise of their consciences and worshipping of God, in all his ordinances according to their light; and so he is to exercise a defensive power for religion both at home and abroad.
And this respect he is to bear to all equally, whom he judges to be the children of truth in the main, though scabby or itchy children through some odd differences. In which things though he be not to further them or edify them, wherein he apprehends them alien from the truth, by any compliance, but to leave those opinions to themselves to stand or fall; yet (notwithstanding them) he is to afford to them his civil protection, they managing their differences in a lawful, peaceable manner (as hath been noted before). I say, this provided, these differences ought not to impair or prejudice them at all in the interest they have in common justice and protection; but if any assault them in an unquiet way, they are to be defended, the assailants punished. So that with this difference is the magistrate to carry himself towards the acknowledged truth and the reputed errors (I mean so reputed by him): he may and ought to do all he can to promote and enlarge the truth he owns; he is not to do aught against the other in controversy, nor suffer any to do aught against them, save to apply spiritual means, to preach, write, discourse, dispute, exhort against them, which kind of fighting is allowable among brethren, so it be with right spirits. * * *
And my judgment herein for the magistrate’s intermeddling thus far, is founded upon this reason or principle: It is lawful for every man (and so for the magistrate), nay, it is his duty, to do all he can for the truth; but it is unlawful to do the least thing against the truth. Now because by earnest invitations, hearty recommendations, exemplary profession, general tuition—in a word, by offering and proposing, not magisterially forcing, commanding, imposing, much and great and certain service may be, will be, done for the truth, and nothing against; and because by the other way of forcing, prohibiting, censuring, punishing (impeached in this discourse), though something may light for the truth, and sometimes (as in Austin’s days is noted in the case of the Donatists), yet much more prejudice is much more probably like to redound to the truth (many a truth snibbed, kept low, or quite kept out; men confirmed in obstinacy if in errors, and more prejudiced against the right ways through the force that hangs over them); therefore that is lawful, and this is unlawful. * * *
a That this public determining, binding cognizance belongs not to him appears:
[i] Because it belongs to another charge, viz., to the Church, properly and peculiarly to try the spirits, and judge of doctrines; therefore it is usurpation of the Church’s power and interest to take this out of her hands (1 Tim. 3. 15). * * *
[ii] Christ is the judge of controversies, and the interpreter of Holy Scripture . . .; that is, Christ by his Word and Spirit, in the true ministry of the Church, not in the Pope’s sentence, nor in the commentaries of the Fathers, or the votes of synods, or the interpretations of national assemblies (though much help may be had by them). . . . Now to give the magistrate this cognizance of differences in religion, were to set up him (after we have pulled down these) as judge of controversies and interpreter of scripture.
[iii] This were also to commit unto the magistrate the better part of the ministry, whose office it is to declare the whole counsel of God, and to be the boundsmen between truth and error. . . . Nay, it is to give them a greater power and office than the ministry, who are only to propose doctrines, not to impose them. * * *
[iv] If the determining of religion, and differences therein, belong to the magistrate, quatenus a magistrate: then to all magistrates, or to the magistracy of every country, then to the great Turk, and pagan kings and governors. But how uncapable of such an interest they are who are aliens from the true God, and his commonwealth of Israel, I need not say. The consequence is good, for quatenus and ad omne are terms adequate and convertible. That which belongs to a man as a man, belongs to every man. If you say therefore that it belongs not to the magistrate, quatenus a magistrate, but quatenus a Christian magistrate, and so make it a flower that Christianity sticks in his crown, I answer: that Christianity being altogether accidental and extrinsical to a magistrate, adds nothing of power over others in religion, to him more than to another man, but only personal privilege; for Christianity is the same in all, and why should one man by virtue of his Christianity (for ’tis denied to be by virtue of his magistracy) have power over judgments and consciences in matters of religion, more than another that hath equal and perhaps more Christianity? But the word of God adds nothing of that nature to a Christian magistrate; and let that suffice. For it adds nothing in the same kind, viz. of civil power; therefore it much less adds anything of another kind, as namely, ecclesiastical power. For the same subjection, and degree of subjection, is required of servants and subjects to masters and governors; without distinction of good and bad, Christian and pagan, nay though they be cruel and froward (1 Pet. 2. 18). By Christianity Christ hath settled no advantage of power on the head of the magistrate, though thereby he commend the yoke to the subject with an advantage of sweetness (1 Tim. 6. 1). * * *
[v] The object or matter about which magistracy is conversant, which they punish or reward, is not faith but facts, not doctrines but deeds. * * *
[vi] This practice of magistracy, to be the dictator of truth, and to moderate with the sword, lays an unhappy caution, and too effectual an obstruction, in the way of truth, which comes not in always at the same end of the town—not always by the learned and eminent in parts or power (John 7. 48: Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed on him?) but even by the people oftentimes. * * * Ought not this to be considered, that truth be not prevented, by shutting the door she often chooses to come in at, and opening a stately door which she delights not always in?
[vii] The just care that Christ showed, to maintain the due distinction between magistracy and ministry, the office politic and ecclesiastic, doth likewise impeach this cognizance of the magistrate. * * * If Christ would not judge in civil things (Luke 12. 13), magistrates as such ought not to judge in the things of Christ. * * *
a The immunity and impunity of differing opinions in religion, as in relation to the civil magistrate, may seem to be a principle in nature, founded upon the light of reason, seeing [that] many of the ingenuous heathen practised it, as in that instance of Paul’s case, who was impeached by the Jews of greater heresy than any differing brethren in these days can charge one another withal. For he pulled down the old religion, established by God himself, and preached a new doctrine. Yet see what pleads for Paul in the consciences of his judges, who had nothing in them but what they sucked in with their mother’s milk. You have the story, Acts 23, where I shall not comment upon the deeds of Lysias. * * * And of the same mind in the same case is Festus, chap. 25. 18, where declaring Paul’s cause to King Agrippa, he uses these words: Against whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed, but had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And because I doubted of such manner of questions, &c. Observe here the ingenuity of an heathen, that will not by a secular sword cut in sunder those knots in religion which he cannot untie by a theological resolution. * * * See the moderation of a heathen and the stability of his resolution against the importunity of multitudes. He is not so zealous of his gods but he will let a Christian live; nay, he will save him from any that would hurt him; justice so constrains him that he disdains the solicitations of the multitude. * * * And when Paul had declared his own cause before King Agrippa, Festus and Bernice, and the whole council, they saw no reason to be of any other mind (chap. 26. 31), . . . saying, This man doth nothing worthy of death, or of bonds. An instance which Christians in these days may look upon and blush, who think an inconvenient expression deserves a prison. * * * They look[ed] for deeds, evil deeds, and thought it unreasonable to punish him for his different opinions. Now to enervate the force of this instance and argument, some men perhaps will represent my inference thus: These heathens did de facto permit differences of opinion, and remit those that were accused of them, ergo Christian magistrates must be as careless de jure. But I urge it not as a fact only, but as flowing from a principle of reason and justice, that did glow in the hearts of these heathen, and so argues strongly from them to Christians. And let any prove it was from a principle of heathenism.
To employ the magistrate in this kind of compulsion, is a prejudice to the Lord Jesus, and the provision he hath made for the propagation of the Church and truth. Christ hath a sword for the vindicating of truth, for the propulsing of errors, for the conquering of enemies. And what is that? Why, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. * * * And the Apostle cries up not only the sufficiency, but the mightiness of this means (2 Cor. 10. 4): The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty through God. ’Tis through God indeed, and through him they are so mighty that Christ will not be beholding to king or magistrate for their power to convert men by, though he may use them to correct insolent enemies, and shelter the profession of the truth, as was noted before. * * *
It is contrary to the nature of Christ’s kingdom, to have the ministry of these carnal means; for ’tis a spiritual kingdom. * * * Christ’s kingdom is not of this world nor served by this world. And as the manner of this world is contrary to him, so he delights to walk contrary to the manner of this world, who make their party as strong as they can. But Christ hath chosen (mark, ’tis upon choice, not of necessity) the weak things of the world, even babes, to show forth his praise and strength. * * *
If pastors and teachers, nay the Apostles themselves, be not lords of the people’s faith (in a way humanly authoritative) to impose doctrine or practice upon them, then much less magistrates. * * *
It will be granted on all hands, that if religion be the magistrate’s charge, yet as it is not his only, so neither his first charge (for though it be the highest charge, it follows not that it must be the proper charge of magistracy). But magistracy immediately and directly respects the good of men, their persons and outward being, and religion only obliquely and collaterally; for such an end must be assigned to magistracy as doth competere omni, hold among all, and to level magistracy at a higher and further end than God hath, or its own principle will carry, is vain. Now this will press after the other, to be admitted likewise, that the first charge must be first looked to, and attended upon, and the latter doth not disoblige from the former, much less contra-oblige the former. That is, differing opinions in religion, being of a secondary and remote consideration to the outward well-being of men, doth not oblige to destroy, or to expose to destruction by mulcts, bonds, or banishment, the persons of men; for whom, and in relation to whose preservation, magistracy was erected. For this is a rule: The law of nature supersedes institutions. Men have a natural being before they come to have a spiritual being; they are men before they are Christians. Now therefore for faultiness in Christianity, you must not destroy the man.
’Tis also certain there ought to be a proportion between the fault and the punishment, as that wherein justice mainly consists. Now this proportion is not, nor cannot be observed, when you go out of that nature and capacity in which a man hath offended, and punish him in another, as the magistrate doth when he punishes for such opinions in religion. As for instance, a man is capable of a threefold notion, according to a threefold capacity, viz., natural, politic, religious. He sins or offends in his religious capacity, and hath some heterodox opinions; yet a good subject and fellow-subject, a good father to his family, &c. Why now, such may his errors be, that he may forfeit his religious notion, and ought to be rejected, as the Apostle says, after once or twice admonished in vain. But now to come upon his politic being or privileges, is to punish him in that notion and capacity wherein he hath not at all offended—except he have disturbed the public peace by the turbulent managing of his opinion, and then no man may excuse him. * * *
a In policy ’tis the worst way in the world and will prove the least successful, to extirpate errors by force. For this multiplies them rather, even as the Bishops’ tyrannies did drive men to extremities, and we may thank their strict urging conformity and uniformity, as the instrumental cause and means of those extremities of absolute separation and Anabaptism, which many honest and tender hearts, thinking they could never run far enough from the Bishops, did run into. As the Antinomians likewise have stumbled at our churlish exacting preachers of the Law, who made empty the soul of the hungry, and caused the drink of the thirsty to fail (Isa. 32. 6). And who knows but—if force were removed, and a league made, and free trading of truth set on foot, and liberty given to try all things—straying brethren on the right hand might be reduced? Forasmuch as we know that as sin takes occasion by the Commandment, so do errors by proscription, and to forbid them, is to sow them, and no readier way to make men fond of them than to restrain them by force; for . . . we love to be prying into a closed ark. . . . Our first parents were easily induced by the devil to believe there was more in that forbidden tree than in all the trees of the Garden; and men are not so wise as not to deliver themselves of such a sophistry unto this day.
The Apostle requires us (1 Thess. 5) to prove all things. * * * And this is the dignity, as well as the duty, of a spiritual man, that he judges all things, and is not concluded by the former judgment of any. And this liberty is as worthy the vindication as any in these exonerating times, this liberty of judging.1 And ’tis established upon very good reason, for it makes much to the advantage of truth, both to the getting and holding of it. . . . The Bereans for searching into Paul’s doctrine and examining it by the Word, are recorded by an epithet unusual for the Holy Ghost to give to men: they were more noble, it’s said.
Now this liberty of trying and judging is in vain if there be not a liberty of profession; and to hinder this were a most tyrannical usurpation over that connection which God hath made between the act of the understanding and the will, whereby voluntas sequitur dictamen intellectus, and to put asunder what God hath joined together, and indeed to violate the law of God and nature. A man cannot will contrary to the precedent act of judgment; he wills weakly without an act of judgment preceding. To force a man to a profession or practice which he wills not, nay, which he nills, is to offer unto God a sacrifice of violence on the part of the compulsor, and an unreasonable service on the part of the compelled, and therefore necessarily unacceptable. * * *
Who art thou, says the Apostle, that judgest another man’s servant? (Rom. 14. 4). Man in a natural or politic consideration, is the servant of men, of his prince, and the republic; but man in a religious consideration, is only the servant of God, and he stands or falls to his own master. He is the servant of men to their edification by holding forth his light and conscience before them; but he receives neither his law nor his judgment from man. God accepts perhaps whom man rejects. * * *
Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased (Dan. 12. 4). As a dog doth in following the scent, so do men in following the truth; and they that will not give this liberty, must not expect they should discreetly follow the track. We have a proverb, that they that will find must as well seek where a thing is not as where it is. Let us look upon the truth as God’s, and not ours, and let us look upon ourselves in all our discourses as hunting after it; every one acting and seeking for himself and for his part only, acknowledging that God must lead every man by a sense and instinct. So shall we give God his due glory, and save ourselves much unprofitable vexation. And this liberty of free disquisition is as great a means to keep the truth as to find it. The running water keeps pure and clear, when the standing pool corrupts. * * * The true temper and proper employment of a Christian is always to be working like the sea, and purging ignorance out of his understanding, and exchanging notions and apprehensions imperfect for more perfect, and forgetting things behind to press forward. * * *
The practice of forcing straitens men in their liberty they have as they are men and reasonable creatures, who are born with this privilege and prerogative, to be led forth always under the conduct of their own reason. Which liberty is much enlarged by being Christians. Therefore the Apostle says, The spiritual man judgeth all things, which is not only the clergyman, but (as Alsted glosses well) spiritualis homo, i.e., vere Christianus. And to the test and trial of such doth Paul submit his doctrine, 1 Cor. 10. 15: I speak as unto wise men; judge ye what I say. And 1 Cor. 14. 29: Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the rest judge. * * * To this argument I will add the words of a late, and (for aught I know) yet living author:
The true office of a man, his most proper and natural exercise, his worthiest profession, is to judge. Why is he a man, discoursing, reasoning, understanding? Why hath he a spirit? To build (as they say) castles in the air, and to feed himself with fooleries and vanities, as the greatest part of the world doth? * * * No, doubtless; but to understand, to judge of all things. * * * To go about to deprive him of this right is to make him no more a man, but a beast. If not to judge hurts the simple and proper nature of man, what shall it do to a wise man, who is far above the common sort of men? * * * It is strange that so many men . . . deprive themselves willingly of this right and authority so natural, so just and excellent, who, without the examining or judging of anything, receive and approve whatsoever is presented, either because it hath a fair semblance and appearance or because it is in authority, credit, and practice. Yea, they think it is not lawful to examine or doubt of anything; in such sort do they debase and degrade themselves. They are forward and glorious in other things, but in this they are fearful and submiss, though it do justly appertain unto them and with so much reason. Since there are a thousand lies for one truth, a thousand opinions of one and the same thing, and but one that is true, why should not I examine with the instrument of reason, which is the better, the truer, the more reasonable, honest, and profitable? It is to play the part of profane men and beasts, to suffer ourselves to be led like oxen. What can a wise or holy man have above a profane if he must have his spirit, his mind, his principal and heroical part, a slave to the vulgar sort? Why should it not be as lawful for one to doubt and consider of things as doubtful, as ’tis for others to affirm them? How should we be capable to know more, if we grow resolute in our opinions, settle and repose ourselves in certain things, and in such manner that we seek no farther, nor examine any more, that which we think we hold? They know not that there is a kind of ignorance and doubt, more learned and certain, more noble and generous, than all their science and certainty. * * * It is a very sweet, peaceable, and pleasant sojourn, or delay, where a man feareth not to fail or miscount himself, where a man is in the calm under covert, and out of danger of participating so many errors (produced by the fantasy of man, and whereof the world is full), of entangling himself in complaints, divisions, disputes, of offending divers parts, of belying and gainsaying his own belief, of changing, repenting, and readvising himself. For how often hath time made us see that we have been deceived in our thoughts, and hath enforced us to change our opinions! * * * There is an universality of spirit in a wise man, whereby he takes a view, and enters into the consideration of the whole universe. Like Socrates, who contained in his affection all human kind, he walketh through all as if they were near unto him; he seeth, like the sun with an equal and settled regard, as from an high watch-tower, all the changes and interchangeable courses of things; which is a livery of the Divinity, and a high privilege of a wise man, who is the image of God upon earth. * * * The most beautiful and greatest spirits are the more universal, as the more base and blunt are the more particular. Every man calleth that barbarous that agreeth not with his palate and custom; and it seemeth that we have no other touch of truth and reason than the example and the idea of the opinions and customs of that place or country where we live. These kind of people judge of nothing, neither can they: they are slaves to that they hold; a strong prevention and anticipation of opinions doth wholly possess them &c.
Thus Charron, of Wisdom (second book, chap. 2), which he speaks of in general as a disposition to wisdom. But who knows but he might intend it in the nature of the woman of Tekoah’s parable, as an advantage to Divine truth? However, I bring it not as an authority, but as reason.
 Furthermore, are there not several statures in Christ, and that in knowledge as well as in other graces, as there are several kinds of metals in the earth, some more precious and better concocted than other? And doth not one star differ from another star in glory? Even so do men, and so will they (do we what we can), in the accurateness of their knowledge, and in the clearness of their apprehensions. Some can only see a rule of discipline in the scripture confusedly and indistinctly, like the purblind man that saw men like trees walking (and in truth ’tis most proper for them to cry for a toleration, and he had a hard heart that would deny it them). Others see more clearly the perfect draft, and all the lineaments thereof, not through the excelling of their own wit, but the teaching of Christ’s Spirit, yet not assuming to themselves a greater measure of it than the other, who perhaps in other things may see more than they by the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12. 8, &c.).
Lastly, I shall conclude the positive part of this discourse with opening, in some measure, the design of Christ in establishing no other more specious, better satisfying order and means for the propagation of the truth, and in excluding force and power and authority human, from ministering in his kingdom in this particular—leaving this, and all that hath been said, to spiritual men to judge, who can compare spiritual things with spiritual.
It is in this matter as ’tis in the government of particular churches: the adversary carries it the same way, and turns upon the same common hinge of human reason, and must be answered the same way in both. They diffide the sufficiency of a particular church to manage its own affairs, and why? Because they have so few officers, and in some churches perhaps but one, and he none of the greatest scholars, and the brethren a company of illiterate men; and a good mess of government these are like to make! This error proceeds now from not considering where the strength and sufficiency of this poor flock doth lie, which is not in themselves (were they as eloquent as Apollo, as logical as Paul), but in Christ their head, who is by his special promise present with them (Matt. 18): Where two or three are gathered together in his name [&c.]. The Lord is in the midst of her; therefore she cannot be moved (Psalm 46). And the government is upon his shoulder (Isa. 9. 6). Now hence (I say) is the mistake, through not considering that the government of the Church by officers is but ministerial, and that they are guided and acted by Christ, and he puts wisdom into their hearts, and right words into their mouths. * * * He doth fill carefully all his own institutions with force and efficacy; and they do not wisely that judge of them according to their appearance, for so, they are the most contemptible, unlikely things in the world. But could you see the virtue and power that Christ conveys secretly under them, you would fall down before them. So I say now in this matter of suppressing errors (as before qualified), which we say must be only by the ministry of the Spirit, by the word of God (which in the hand of the Spirit is quick and powerful), by brotherly admonitions and earnest exhortations, and holding forth the contrary light, doctrinally and practically, &c. Now alas, say our carnal hearts, what are these like to do? ’Tis true, look upon them in the outward appearance only and they promise little; but men do not consider that these are but the veil and covering of that arm and power which must do the deed. For God himself is judge (Psalm 50. 6). Christ Jesus is the Prince of Light and Truth, the decider of controversies, dictator to his Church, and in the observation of Gospel rules he discovers himself unto his people, and, by and through his people, to those that err. The Oracle in the Temple spake not—’twas but a form or image; but God spake in the Oracle. The scriptures themselves are but a sealed book except Christ by his Spirit speak in them, and by them, to our understandings and hearts. What matter is it what the form be if God fill it? * * * We forget that Christ will have his Church in all their ordinances, affairs, and administrations to show forth his death, that all things and persons in the Church must bear a suitableness and correspondency to Christ crucified, the head of the Church. * * * And I, brethren, came not, says Paul (who could have afforded it as soon as any man), with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, &c. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2). Mark here the ground and root of the whole matter (I mean of the simplicity of Christ’s ways and ordinances): ’tis Christ crucified. Christ’s death is thus avenged upon the glory of the world, whilst the power and greatness of this world is reprobated and rejected from the most noble uses and honourable services, namely, from ministering in his kingdom. Go, says Christ to man’s wisdom and human eloquence, I will have none of thee in preaching my Gospel; and return into the scabbard, says he to the magistrate’s sword, I will have none of thee to cut the way for my truth, through woods and rocks and mountains, through stony hearts and implicated reasonings. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord. Thus Christ reprobates parts and learning, and the most specious and likely means. Shall he be crucified, and shall these be in their flower and blossom? And he brings down the mighty things of the world by the weak, and things that are, by things that are not, that no flesh may glory in his presence, but he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord; that neither our faith, nor the ordinance’s success, should stand in the wisdom of men, nor in the likeliness of the means, approving themselves so to man’s understanding, but in the power of God. These, and such-like, are the reasons rendered in the first and second chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians; and these are enough, I conceive, to satisfy a moderate understanding. For my own part, I must profess it is the clue of thread that carries me through this labyrinth; ’tis the pole-star by which I steer my judgment, and by which my doubts are resolved satisfactorily. I see reason enough for that slender and abject provision which Christ hath made (in the world’s account) for the propulsing of errors, and for that mean form and guise wherein all Christ’s ordinances appear unto us, when I look upon the death of Christ, or upon Christ crucified. * * *
Nam in senatu, ut fertur, patuit omnibus ad dicendum locus, nec ulli hominum generi potestas contradicendi, suamq; fidem profitendi interclusa est; imo integrum fuit cuiq; liberis velitari ac pugnare sententiis in quo summa elucet aequitas & moderatio principum qui allicere, ducere, persuadere; non cogere, trahere, jubere voluerunt; ut impudens mendacium sit, si quis jam dixerit, authoritatem vicisse, non veritatem. Illud etiam constat, liberum fuisse adversariae parti in publica disputatione suas partes tueri, arbitris adhibitis incorruptioribus, sive voce sive calamo certare, sive opponere sive respondere maluissent.
I quote the words because if they had never been realized, yet the idea of such a carriage when men are seeking out the truth is lovely as being very equal and rational. * * *
[9a Regarding the main objection, the example of the kings of Judah]: Whatsoever they did rightly . . . yet cannot be drawn into precedent by us. . . .
First, those were the times of the Old Testament, these of the New; therefore ’tis not a sound way of arguing from them to us in everything. * * * However it was that their service was compulsorily required from them, we have a word that ours should be free (Psalm 110): Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. * * *
Secondly, their worship was carnal, bodily, outward, consisting much in the conformity of the outward man and practice to certain worldly ordinances (Heb. 9). . . . But the worship of the New Testament is chiefly in the heart and hidden man, in spirit and in truth (John 4), which is at the beck of no human force or power. Therefore it is no good argument from that worship to this.
Thirdly, the kings of Judah (as it is generally received) had a peculiar notion from kings now. Therefore ’tis no good argument from them to these. * * * They were types of Christ, the King of the Church, and did bear visibly, and execute typically, his kingly office (even as priests and prophets did his other two offices). * * * Our kings are only the ministers of God in the world, ruling indeed for the Church, not in the Church and over it as then. * * *
Fourthly and lastly, the people of the Jews were interchangeably a church and a nation (so that he who was head of the state, was so also of the Church in a typical way; as he that was a member of the commonwealth, was by that a member of the Church, and vice versa), which no people ever since were. Therefore the argument will not hold from Israel to England, or any other nation. * * * Now though I know a national church in one sense is the apple of some men’s eye . . . ; yet in this sense they will none of them hold it: that as in Israel, so in England, so in Scotland, the nation is holy, and all that are born in it are of the Church ipso facto, or ipso natu. And if not so, then may not Christ’s kingly sceptre, which relates only to his Church, be swayed over them all generally. Therefore kings or magistrates may not now as then compel men to religion; but that which those kings did in a typical way, Christ, the King of his Church, doth in a spiritual, antitypical way of accomplishment. * * *
 Now if there be light in the things that have been brought and that they conclude for a greater liberty than some brethren want, I hope you will save them the labour of asking their liberty at your hand. * * * We never go before the throne of grace but we carry you in our hearts and prayers along with us . . . and are full of hope that God, who hath concurred with you thus far and acted you to so many worthy and memorable degrees of service to him and his Son Jesus Christ, hath not conceived that displeasure against both you and us as to reserve your further counsels, to shut the door of Christian liberty that was first opened to us by your means. And let it not be imputed to us as arrogance if in the day wherein ourselves are but probationers our principles speak for others as well as ourselves. * * * We shall bless God if he shall so far clear us and our way in your thoughts, but our peace and liberty will not fall with that rich and full contentment into our bosoms except all who walk conscientiously and inoffensively may enjoy the same with us. * * *
[Summary of Contents and Contentions]b
* * * Pregnant scriptures and arguments are throughout the work proposed against the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience. * * * All civil states with their officers of justice, in their respective constitutions and administrations, are proved essentially civil, and therefore not judges, governors, or defenders of the spiritual, or Christian, state and worship. It is the will and command of God that, since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Antichristian consciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only, in soul matters, able to conquer, to wit, the sword of God’s Spirit, the word of God. The state of the land of Israel (the kings and people thereof, in peace and war) is proved figurative and ceremonial, and no pattern nor precedent for any kingdom or civil state in the world to follow. God requireth not an uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity, sooner or later, is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls. * * * An enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. The permission of other consciences and worships than a state professeth only can, according to God, procure a firm and lasting peace; good assurance being taken, according to the wisdom of the civil state, for uniformity of civil obedience from all sorts. True civility and Christianity may both flourish in a state or kingdom, not withstanding the permission of divers and contrary consciences, either of Jew or Gentile. * * *
[Religion and the Civil Peace]c
* * * First for civil peace, what is it but pax civitatis, the peace of the city? . . . Thus it pleased the Father of Lights to define it. Jer. 29. 7: Pray for the peace of the city. Which peace of the city, or citizens so compacted in a civil way of union, may be entire, unbroken, safe, &c., notwithstanding so many thousands of God’s people, the Jews, were there in bondage and would neither be constrained to the worship of the city Babel, nor restrained from so much of the worship of the true God as they then could practise, as is plain in the practice of the three worthies, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as also of Daniel (Dan. 3; and 6)—the peace of the city or kingdom being a far different peace from the peace of the religion, or spiritual worship, maintained and professed of the citizens. This peace of their worship (which worship also in some cities being various) being a false peace, God’s people were and ought to be nonconformitants, not daring either to be restrained from the true or constrained to false worship; and yet without breach of the civil or city peace, properly so called.
Hence it is that so many glorious and flourishing cities of the world maintain their civil peace; yea, the very Americans and wildest pagans keep the peace of their towns or cities, though neither in one nor the other can any man prove a true church of God in those places, and consequently no spiritual and heavenly peace—the peace spiritual, whether true or false, being of a higher and far different nature from the peace of the place or people, [that] being merely and essentially civil and human.
* * * To illustrate this. The church, or company of worshippers, whether true or false, is like unto a body or college of physicians in a city, like unto a corporation, society, or company of East India or Turkey merchants, or any other society or company in London; which companies may hold their courts, keep their records, hold disputations, and in matters concerning their society may dissent, divide, break into schisms and factions, sue and implead each other at the law, yea, wholly break up and dissolve into pieces and nothing, and yet the peace of the city not be in the least measure impaired or disturbed; because the essence or being of the city, and so the well-being and peace thereof, is essentially distinct from those particular societies; the city courts, city laws, city punishments, distinct from theirs. The city was before them, and stands absolute and entire when such a corporation or society is taken down. For instance further. The city or civil state of Ephesus was essentially distinct from the worship of Diana in the city, or of the whole city. Again the church of Christ in Ephesus, which were God’s people, converted and called out from the worship of that city unto Christianity or worship of God in Christ, was distinct from both. Now suppose that God remove the candlestick from Ephesus, yea, though the whole worship of the city of Ephesus should be altered; yet, if men be true and honestly ingenuous to city covenants, combinations, and principles, all this might be without the least impeachment or infringement of the peace of the city of Ephesus. * * *
[Parable of the Tares (Matt. 13. 24-30) Interpreted]a
I shall make it evident, that by these tares in this parable are meant persons in respect of their religion and way of worship, open and visible professors, as bad as briars and thorns,1 not only suspected foxes, but as bad as those greedy wolves which Paul speaks of (Acts 20. ), who with perverse and evil doctrines labour spiritually to devour the flock, and to draw away disciples after them, whose mouths must be stopped, and yet no carnal force or weapon to be used against them; but their mischief to be resisted with those mighty weapons of the holy armoury of the Lord Jesus, wherein there hangs a thousand shields (Cant. 4. ).
That the Lord Jesus intendeth not doctrines, or practices, by the tares in this parable, is clear. For . . . the Lord Jesus expressly interpreteth the good seed to be persons, and those the children of the kingdom; and the tares also to signify men, and those the children of the wicked one (ver. 38). * * *
Again, hypocrites were not intended by the Lord Jesus in this famous parable.
First, the original word ζιζάνια, signifying all those weeds which spring up with the corn, as cockle, darnel, tares, &c., seems to imply such a kind of people as commonly and generally are known to be manifestly different from, and opposite to, the true worshippers of God, here called the children of the kingdom: as these weeds, tares, cockle, darnel, &c., are commonly and presently known by every husbandman to differ from the wheat, and to be opposite, and contrary, and hurtful unto it. * * *
The second reason why these tares cannot signify hypocrites in the church, I take from the Lord Jesus his own interpretation of the field in which both wheat and tares are sown, which, saith he, is the world, out of which God chooseth and calleth his Church.
The world lies in wickedness, is like a wilderness, or a sea of wild beasts innumerable, fornicators, covetous, idolaters, &c.; with whom God’s people may lawfully converse and cohabit in cities, towns, &c., else must they not live in the world, but go out of it. In which world, as soon as ever the Lord Jesus had sown the good seed, the children of the kingdom, true Christianity, or the true Church, the enemy Satan presently . . . sowed also these tares, which are Antichristians or false Christians. These strange professors of the name of Jesus the ministers and prophets of God beholding, they are ready to run to heaven to fetch fiery judgments from thence to consume these strange Christians, and to pluck them by the roots out of the world. But the Son of Man, the meek Lamb of God—for the Elect’s sake which must be gathered out of Jew and Gentile, pagan, Antichristian—commands a permission of them in the world, until the time of the end of the world, when the goats and sheep, the tares and wheat, shall be eternally separated each from other. * * *
Such, then, are the good seed, good wheat, children of the kingdom as are the disciples, members, and subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ, his Church and kingdom; and therefore, consequently, such are the tares as are opposite to these, idolaters, will-worshippers, not truly but falsely submitting to Jesus, and in especial, the children of the wicked one, visibly so appearing. * * *
Secondly, it is manifest that the Lord Jesus in this parable intends no other sort of sinners, ofa whom he saith, Let them alone, in church or state; for then he should contradict other holy and blessed ordinances for the punishment of offenders, both in Christian and civil state.
First in civil state. From the beginning of the world, God hath armed fathers, masters, magistrates, to punish evil-doers; that is, such, of whose actions fathers, masters, magistrates are to judge, and accordingly to punish such sinners as transgress against the good and peace of their civil state, families, towns, cities, kingdoms—their states, governments, governors, laws, punishments, and weapons being all of a civil nature; and therefore neither disobedience to parents or magistrates, nor murder, nor quarrelling, uncleanness nor lasciviousness, stealing nor extortion, neither aught of that kind, ought to be let alone either in lesser or greater families, towns, cities, kingdoms (Rom. 13), but seasonably to be suppressed, as may best conduce to the public safety.
Again, secondly, in the kingdom of Christ Jesus, whose kingdom, officers, laws, punishments, weapons, are spiritual and of a soul nature, he will not have Antichristian idolaters, extortioners, covetous, &c., to be let alone; but the unclean and lepers to be thrust forth, the old leaven purged out, the obstinate in sin spiritually stoned to death, and put away from Israel; and this by many degrees of gentle admonition in private and public, as the case requires.
Therefore, if neither offenders against the civil laws, state, and peace ought to be let alone, nor the spiritual estate, the Church of Jesus Christ, ought to bear with them that are evil (Rev. 2. ), I conclude that these are sinners of another nature—idolaters, false worshippers, Antichristians, who without discouragement to true Christians must be let alone and permitted in the world to grow and fill up the measure of their sins, after the image of him that hath sown them, until the great harvest shall make the difference. * * *
Now if any imagine that the time or date is long, that in the mean season they may do a world of mischief before the world’s end, as by infection, &c.;a first, I answer that as the civil state keeps itself with a civil guard, in case these tares shall attempt aught against the peace and welfare of it, let such civil offences be punished; and yet, as tares, opposite to Christ’s kingdom, let their worship and consciences be tolerated. Secondly, the Church, or spiritual state, city or kingdom, hath laws and orders and armouries, . . . weapons and ammunition, able to break down the strongest holds (2b Cor. 10. ), and so to defend itself against the very gates of earth or hell. Thirdly, the Lord himself knows who are his, and his foundation remaineth sure; his elect or chosen cannot perish nor be finally deceived.
Lastly, the Lord Jesus here, in this parable, lays down two reasons, able to content and satisfy our hearts to bear patiently this their contradiction and Antichristianity, and to permit or let them alone.
First, lest the good wheat be plucked up and rooted up also out of this field of the world. If such combustions and fightings were as to pluck up all the false professors of the name of Christ, the good wheat also would enjoy little peace, but be in danger to be plucked up and torn out of this world by such bloody storms and tempests. And, therefore, as God’s people are commanded (Jer. 29. ) to pray for the peace of material Babel, wherein they were captivated, and (1 Tim. 2. [1, 2]) to pray for all men, and specially [for] kings and governors, that in the peace of the civil state they may have peace: so, contrary to the opinion and practice of most, drunk with the cup of the Whore’s fornication, yea, and of God’s own people fast asleep in Antichristian Delilah’s lap, obedience to the command of Christ to let the tares alone will prove the only means to preserve their civil peace, anda without obedience to this command of Christ, it is impossible (without great transgression against the Lord in carnal policy, which will not long hold out) to preserve the civil peace. Beside, God’s people, the good wheat, are generally plucked up and persecuted, as well as the vilest idolaters, whether Jews or Antichristians; which the Lord Jesus seems in this parable to foretell.
The second reason noted in the parable, which may satisfy any man from wondering at the patience of God, is this. When the world is ripe in sin, in the sins of Antichristianism (as the Lord spake of the sins of the Amorites, Gen. 15.b ), then those holy and mighty officers and executioners, the angels, with their sharp and cutting sickles of eternal vengeance, shall down with them, and bundle them up for the everlasting burnings. Then shall that man of sin (2 Thess. 2. ) be consumed by the breath of the mouth of the Lord Jesus; and all that worship the Beast and his picture, and receive his mark into their forehead or their hands, shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God; which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment shall ascend up for ever and ever (Rev. 14. 10, 11). * * *
I conceive this charge of the Lord Jesus to his messengers, the preachers and proclaimers of his mind, is a sufficient declaration of the mind of the Lord Jesus if any civil magistrate should make question what were his duty concerning spiritual things.
The Apostles, and in them all that succeed them, being commanded not to pluck up the tares, but let them alone, received from the Lord Jesus a threefold charge. First, to let them alone, and not to pluck them up by prayer to God for their present temporal destruction. * * * Secondly, God’s messengers are herein commanded not to prophesy, or denounce, a present destruction or extirpation of all false professors of the name of Christ, which are whole towns, cities, and kingdoms full. * * * Thirdly, I conceive God’s messengers are charged to let them alone, and not pluck them up by exciting and stirring up civil magistrates, kings, emperors, governors, parliaments, or general courts or assemblies, to punish and persecute all such persons out of their dominions and territories as worship not the true God according to the revealed will of God in Christ Jesus. * * * And therefore saith Paul expressly (1 Cor. 5. 10), we must go out of the world in case we may not company in civil converse with idolaters, &c. * * *
I shall conclude this controversy about this parable, in this brief sum and recapitulation of what hath been said.
I hope, by the evident demonstration of God’s Spirit to the conscience, I have proved, negatively: . . . that the tares in this parable cannot signify doctrines or practices, as was affirmed, but persons; . . . the tares cannot signify hypocrites in the church, either undiscovered or discovered; . . . the tares here cannot signify scandalous offenders in the church, . . . nor scandalous offenders in life and conversation against the civil state; . . . the field in which these tares are sown is not the church.
Again, affirmatively: . . . The field is properly the world, the civil state or commonwealth; . . . the tares here intended by the Lord Jesus are Antichristian idolaters, opposite to the good seed of the kingdom, true Christians; . . . the ministers or messengers of the Lord Jesus ought to let them alone to live in the world, and neither seek by prayer or prophecy to pluck them up before the harvest; . . . this permission or suffering of them in the field of the world is not for hurt, but for common good, even for the good of the good wheat, the people of God. Lastly, the patience of God is that, that the patience of men ought to be exercised toward them; and yet notwithstanding, their doom is fearful at the harvest, even gathering, bundling, and everlasting burnings, by the mighty hand of the angels in the end of the world. * * *
[The Blind Pharisee, Matt. 15. 14]a
* * * Beside, let it be seriously considered by such as plead for present corporal punishment, as conceiving that such sinners though they break not civil peace, should not escape unpunished—I say, let it be considered, though for the present their punishment is deferred, yet the punishment inflicted on them will be found to amount to a higher pitch than any corporal punishment in the world beside. . . . First by just judgment from God, false teachers are stark blind. God’s sword hath struck out the right eye of their mind and spiritual understanding, ten thousand times a greater punishment than if the magistrate should command both the right and left eye of their bodies to be bored or plucked out. . . . Secondly, how fearful is that wound that no balm in Gilead can cure! How dreadful is that blindness which for ever to all eye-salve is incurable! For if persons be wilfully and desperately obstinate, after light shining forth, Let them alone, saith the Lord. * * * Thirdly, their end is the ditch, that bottomless pit of everlasting separation from the holy and sweet presence of the Father of Lights, Goodness, and Mercy itself—endless, easeless, in extremity, universality, and eternity of torments. * * * Fourthly, of those that fall into this dreadful ditch, both leader and followers, how deplorable in more especial manner is the leader’s case, upon whose neck the followers tumble—the ruin not only of his own soul being horrible, but also the ruin of the followers’ souls eternally galling and tormenting.
Some will say, these things are indeed full of horror; yet such is the state of all sinners, and of many malefactors, whom yet the state is bound to punish, and sometimes by death itself.
I answer, the civil magistrate beareth not the sword in vain, but to cut off civil offences, yea, and the offenders too in case. But what is this to a blind Pharisee, resisting the doctrine of Christ, who haply may be as good a subject, and as peaceable and profitable to the civil state as any? And for his spiritual offence against the Lord Jesus in denying him to be the true Christ, he suffereth the vengeance of a dreadful judgment, both present and eternal, as before.
Yea, but it is said that the blind Pharisees, misguiding the subjects of a civil state, greatly sin against a civil state, and therefore justly suffer civil punishment; for shall the civil magistrate take care of outsides only, to wit, of the bodies of men, and not of souls, in labouring to procure their everlasting welfare?
I answer, it is a truth. The mischief of a blind Pharisee’s blind guidance is greater than if he acted treasons, murders, &c.; and the loss of one soul by his seduction is a greater mischief than if he blew up parliaments, and cuta the throats of kings or emperors; so precious is that invaluable jewel of a soul above all the present lives and bodies of all the men in the world! And therefore I affirm that justice, calling for eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, calls also [for] soul for soul; which the blind-guiding, seducing Pharisee shall surely pay in that dreadful ditch which the Lord Jesus speaks of. But this sentence against him the Lord Jesus only pronounceth in his Church, his spiritual judicature, and executes this sentence in part at present, and hereafter to all eternity. Such a sentence no civil judge can pass; such a death no civil sword can inflict.
I answer, secondly, dead men cannot be infected. The civil state, the world, being in a natural state, dead in sin (whatever be the state-religion unto which persons are forced), it is impossible it should be infected. Indeed the living, the believing, the Church and spiritual state, that and that only is capable of infection; for whose help we shall presently see what preservatives and remedies the Lord Jesus hath appointed.
Moreover, as we see in a common plague or infection the names are taken how many are to die, and not one more shall be struck than the destroying angel hath the names of: so here, whatever be the soul-infection breathed out from the lying lips of a plague-sick Pharisee, yet the names are taken; not one elect or chosen of God shall perish. God’s sheep are safe in his eternal hand and counsel, and he that knows his material, knows also his mystical stars, their numbers, and calls them every one by name. None fall into the ditch on the blind Pharisee’s back but such as were ordained to that condemnation, both guide and followers (1 Pet. 2. 8; Jude 4). The vessels of wrath shall break and split, and only they—to the praise of God’s eternal justice (Rom. 9. 22). * * *
[Romans 13. Examined]a
The next scripture produced against such persecution is 2 Cor. 10. 4: The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. * * *
I acknowledge that herein the spirit of God denieth not civil weapons of justice to the civil magistrate, which . . . Rom[ans] 13. abundantly testifie[s]. * * *
I . . . observe that there being in this scripture [2 Cor. 10. 4] held forth a twofold state, a civil state and a spiritual, civil officers and spiritual, civil weapons and spiritual weapons, civil vengeance and punishment and a spiritual vengeance and punishment—although the Spirit speaks not here expressly of civil magistrates and their civil weapons—yet, these states being of different natures and considerations, as far differing as spirit from flesh, I . . . observe that civil weapons are most improper and unfitting in matters of the spiritual state and kingdom, though in the civil state most proper and suitable. * * *
Now, in the second place, concerning that scripture (Rom[ans] 13.) . . . my humble request . . . is for your care . . . to enlighten and clear this scripture.
First, then, upon the serious examination of this whole scripture it will appear that from the ninth verse of the twelfth chapter to the end of this whole thirteenth chapter, the Spirit handles the duties of the Saints in the careful observation of the Second Table in their civil conversation or walking towards men, and speaks not at all of any point or matter of the First Table concerning the kingdom of the Lord Jesus. For having in the whole Epistle handled that great point of free justification by the free grace of God in Christ, in the beginning of the twelfth chapter he exhorts the believers to give and dedicate themselves unto the Lord both in soul and body; and unto the ninth verse of the twelfth chapter he expressly mentioneth their conversation in the kingdom or body of Christ Jesus, together with the several officers thereof. And from the ninth verse to the end of the thirteenth [chapter], he plainly discourseth of their civil conversation and walking one toward another, and with all men, from whence he hath fair occasion to speak largely concerning their subjection to magistrates in the thirteenth chapter.
Hence it is that [at] verse 7 of this thirteenth chapter, Paul exhorts to performance of love to all men, magistrates and subjects . . .: Render, therefore, to all their due; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. * * *
The Spirit of God here commands subjection and obedience to higher powers, even to the Roman emperors and all subordinate magistrates; and yet the emperors and governors under them were strangers from the life of God in Christ, yea, most averse and opposite, yea, cruel and bloody persecutors of the name and followers of Jesus: and yet unto these is this subjection and obedience commanded. * * * Now then, I argue, if the Apostle should have commanded this subjection unto the Roman emperors and Roman magistrates in spiritual causes . . .: I say, if Paul should have, in this scripture, put this work upon these Roman governors and commanded the churches of Christ to have yielded subjection in any such matters, he must, in the judgment of all men, have put out the eye of faith and reason and sense, at once. * * *
I dispute from the nature of the magistrate’s weapons (ver. 4). He hath a sword, which he bears not in vain, delivered to him, as I acknowledge, from God’s appointment in the free consent and choice of the subjects for common good.
We must distinguish of swords. We find four sorts of swords mentioned in the New Testament: First, the sword of persecution . . .; secondly, the sword of God’s Spirit, expressly said to be the word of God (Eph. 6. ), a sword of two edges . . . piercing . . . between the soul and the spirit (Heb. 4. ); thirdly, the great sword of war and destruction, given to him that rides that terrible red horse of war, so that he takes peace from the earth, and men kill one another, as is most lamentably true in the slaughter of so many hundred thousand souls within these few years in several parts of Europe, our own and others. None of these three swords are intended in this scripture. Therefore, fourthly, there is a civil sword, called the sword of civil justice, which being of a material, civil nature, for the defence of persons, estates, families, liberties of a city or civil state, and the suppressing of uncivil or injurious persons or actions by such civil punishment, it cannot, according to its utmost reach and capacity, now under Christ when all nations are merely civil, without any such typical, holy respect upon them as was upon Israel, a national church—I say, [it] cannot extend to spiritual and soul-causes, spiritual and soul-punishment, which belongs to that spiritual sword with two edges, the soul-piercing (in soul-saving, or soul-killing), the word of God. * * *
Lastly, that the Spirit of God never intended to direct or warrant the magistrate to use his power in spiritual affairs and religious worship, I argue from the term or title it pleaseth the wisdom of God to give such civil officers, to wit (ver. 6) God’s ministers.
Now at the very first blush, no man denies a double ministry. The one appointed by Christ Jesus in his Church, to gather, to govern, receive in, cast out, and order all the affairs of the Church, the house, city, or kingdom of God (Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 12). Secondly, a civil ministry or office, merely human and civil, which men agree to constitute, called therefore a human creation (1 Pet. 2. ), and is as true and lawful in those nations, cities, kingdoms, &c., which never heard of the true God, nor his holy Son Jesus, as in any part of the world beside, where the name of Jesus is most taken up.
From all which premises, viz., that the scope of the Spirit of God in this chapter is to handle the matters of the Second Table (having handled the matters of the First in the twelfth); since the magistrates of whom Paul wrote were natural, ungodly, persecuting, and yet lawful magistrates, and to be obeyed in all lawful civil things; since all magistrates are God’s ministers, essentially civil, bounded to a civil work, with civil weapons or instruments, and paid or rewarded with civil rewards;—from all which, I say, I undeniably collect that this scripture is generally mistaken, and wrested from the scope of God’s Spirit and the nature of the place, and cannot truly be alleged by any for the power of the civil magistrate to be exercised in spiritual and soul-matters. * * *
Against this, I know, many object, out of the fourth verse of this chapter, that the magistrate is to avenge or punish evil: from whence is gathered that heresy, false Christs, false churches, false ministries, false seals, being evil, ought to be punished civilly, &c.
I answer, that the word κακὸν is generally opposed to civil goodness or virtue in a commonwealth, and not to spiritual good or religion in the Church.
Secondly, I have proved from the scope of the place, that here is not intended evil against the spiritual or Christian estate handled in the twelfth chapter, but evil against the civil state in this thirteenth, properly falling under the cognizance of the civil minister of God, the magistrate, and punishable by that civil sword of his, as an incivility, disorder, or breach of that civil order, peace, and civility, unto which all the inhabitants of a city, town, or kingdom, oblige themselves. * * *
[‘Christ Jesus the deepest politician that ever was’]a
* * * It is evil, saith he [Cotton], to tolerate notorious evil-doers, seducing teachers, scandalous livers. In which speech I observe two evils.
First, that this proposition is too large and general, because the rule admits of exception, and that according to the will of God. (1) It is true that evil cannot alter its nature but it is alway evil, as darkness is alway darkness; yet (2) it must be remembered that it is one thing to command, to conceal, to counsel, to approve evil, and another thing to permit and suffer evil with protestation against it or dislike of it—at least without approbation of it. Lastly, this sufferance or permission of evil is not for its own sake, but for the sake of good, which puts a respect of goodness upon such permission.
Hence it is that for God’s own glory’s sake, which is the highest good, he endures (that is, permits or suffers) the vessels of wrath (Rom. 9. ). And therefore, although he be of pure eyes and can behold no iniquity, yet his pure eyeb patiently and quietly beholds and permits all the idolatries and profanations, all the thefts and rapines, all the whoredoms and abominations, all the murders and poisonings; and yet, I say, for his glory’s sake he is patient and long permits.
Hence for his people’s sake (which is the next good, in his Son), he is oftentimes pleased to permit and suffer the wicked to enjoy a longer reprieve. * * *
It may be said, this is no pattern for us, because God is above law, and an absolute sovereign.
I answer, although we find him sometime dispensing with his law, yet we never find him deny himself, or utter a falsehood. And therefore, when it crosseth not an absolute rule, to permit and tolerate—as in the case of the permission of the souls and consciences of all men in the world, I have shown, and shall show further, it doth not—it will not hinder our being holy as he is holy, in all manner of conversation. * * *
This ground, to wit, for a common good of the whole, is the same with that of the Lord Jesus’ commanding the tares to be permitted in the world because, otherwise, the good wheat should be endangered to be rooted up out of the field or world also, as well as the tares. And therefore, for the good’ sake, the tares, which are indeed evil, were to be permitted: yea, and for the general good of the whole world, the field itself, which, for want of this obedience to that command of Christ, hath been and is laid waste and desolate with the fury and rage of civil war, professedly raised and maintained, as all states profess, for the maintenance of one true religion—after the pattern of that typical land of Canaan—and to suppress and pluck up these tares of false prophets and false professors, Antichristians, heretics, &c., out of the world.
Hence illae lachrymae: hence Germany’s, Ireland’s, and now England’s tears and dreadful desolations, which ought to have been, and may be for the future, by obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus concerning the permission of tares to live in the world, though not in the Church—I say, ought to have been, and may be, mercifully prevented.
I pray descend now to the second evil which you observe in the answerer’s position, viz., that it would be evil to tolerate notorious evil-doers, seducing teachers, &c.
I say, the evil is that he most improperly and confusedly joins and couples seducing teachers with scandalous livers. * * *
First, it is not an homogeneal (as we speak), but an heterogeneal commixture or joining together of things most different in kinds and natures, as if they were both of one consideration. For who knows not but that many seducing teachers, either of the paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Antichristian religion, may be clear and free from scandalous offences in their life, as also from disobedience to the civil laws of a state? * * * Again, who knows not that a seducing teacher properly sins against a church or spiritual estate and laws of it, and therefore ought most properly and only to be dealt withal in such a way, and by such weapons, as the Lord Jesus himself hath appointed; gainsayers, opposites, and disobedients—either within his Church or without—to be convinced, repelled, resisted, and slain withal? Whereas scandalous offencea against parents, against magistrates in the Fifth Command[ment], and so against the life, chastity, goods, or good name in the rest, is properly transgression against the civil state and commonweal, or the worldly state of men. And therefore, consequently, if the world or civil state ought to be preserved by civil government or governors, such scandalous offenders ought not to be tolerated, but suppressed according to the wisdom and prudence of the said government.
Secondly, as there is a fallacious conjoining and confounding together persons of several kinds and natures, differing as much as spirit and flesh, heaven and earth, each from other: so is there a silent and implicit justification to all the unrighteous and cruel proceedings of Jews and Gentiles against all the prophets of God, the Lord Jesus himself, and all his messengers and witnesses, whom their accusers have ever so coupled and mixed with notorious evil-doers and scandalous livers. * * *
Yea, but he produceth scriptures against such toleration, and for persecuting men for the cause of conscience: ‘Christ,’ saith he, ‘had something against the angel of the church of Pergamos, for tolerating them that held the doctrine of Balaam, and against the church of Thyatira, for tolerating Jezebel to teach and seduce (Rev. 2. 14, 20).’
* * * From this perverse wresting of what is writ to the church and the officers thereof, as if it were written to the civil state and officers thereof, all may see how, since the apostasy of Antichrist, the Christian world (so-called) hath swallowed up Christianity; how the church and civil state, that is, the Church and the world, are now become one flock of Jesus Christ. Christ’s sheep, and the pastors or shepherds of them, all one with the several unconverted, wild, or tame beasts and cattle of the world, and the civil and earthly governors of them: the Christian Church, or kingdom of the Saints, that stone cut out of the mountain without hands (Dan. 2. ) now made all one with the mountain or civil state, the Roman empire, from whence it is cut or taken; Christ’s lilies, garden, and love, all one with the thorns, the daughters and wilderness of the world, out of which the spouse or church of Christ is called—and amongst whom in civil things, for a while here below, she must necessarily be mingled and have converse, unless she will go out of the world before Christ Jesus, her Lord and husband, send for her home into the heavens (1 Cor. 5. 10). * * *
I affirm that the state-policy and state-necessity, which, for the peace of the state and preventing of rivers of civil blood, permits the consciences of men, will be found to agree most punctually with the rules of the best politician that ever the world saw, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, in comparison of whom Solomon himself had but a drop of wisdom compared to Christ’s ocean, and was but a farthing candle compared with the all- and ever-glorious Sun of Righteousness. That absolute rule of this great politician for the peace of the field which is the world, and for the good and peace of the Saints who must have a civil being in the world, I have discoursed of in his command of permitting the tares, that is, Antichristians, or false Christians, to be in the field of the world, growing up together with the true wheat, true Christians. * * *
[Toleration for Roman Catholics]a
‘As for the testimony of the popish book,’ saith he [Cotton], ‘we weigh it not, as knowing whatever they speak for toleration of religion where themselves are under hatches, when they come to sit at stern they judge and practise quite contrary, as both their writings and judicial proceedings have testified to the world these many years.’
I answer, although both writings and practices have been such, yet the scriptures and expressions of truth alleged and uttered by them, speak loud and fully for them when they are under the hatches, that for their conscience and religion they should not there be choked and smothered, but suffered to breathe and walk upon the decks, in the air of civil liberty and conversation in the ship of the commonwealth, upon good assurance given of civil obedience to the civil state.
Again, if this practice be so abominable in his eyes from the papists, viz., that they are so partial as to persecute when they sit at helm, and yet cry out against persecution when they are under the hatches, I shall beseech the Righteous Judge of the whole world to present, as in a water or glass where face answereth to face, the faces of the Papist to the Protestant, answering to each other in the sameness of partiality, both of this doctrine and practice. When Mr. Cotton and others have formerly been under hatches, what sad and true complaints have they abundantly poured forth against persecution! How have they opened that heavenly scripture (Cant. 4. 8) where Christ Jesus calls his tender wife and spouse from the fellowship with persecutors in their dens of lions and mountains of leopards! But coming to the helm, as he speaks of the papists, how, both by preaching, writing, printing, practice, do they themselves—I hope in their persons lambs—unnaturally and partially express towards others the cruel nature of such lions and leopards! Oh that the God of Heaven might please to tell them how abominable in his eyes are a weight and a weight, a stone and a stone, in the bag of weights—one weight for themselves when they are under hatches, and another for others when they come to helm! Nor shall their confidence of their being in the truth, which they judge the papists and others are not in—no, nor the truth itself—privilege them to persecute others, and to exempt themselves from persecution. * * *
[‘A Model of Church and Civil Power’ Examined]
. . . I observe that although the kingdom of Christ, the Church, and the civil kingdom or government be not inconsistent, but that both may stand together; yet that they are independent according to that scripture [My kingdom is not of this world (John 18. 36)]; and that therefore there may be, as formerly I have proved, flourishing commonweals and societies of men where no church of Christ abideth. And secondly, the commonweal may be in perfect peace and quiet, notwithstanding the Church, the commonweal of Christ, be in distractions and spiritual oppositions, both against their religions and sometimes amongst themselves (as the church of Christ in Corinth, troubled with divisions, contentions, &c.).
Secondly, I observe, it is true, the Church helpeth forward the prosperity of the commonweal by spiritual means (Jer. 29. 7). The prayers of God’s people procure the peace of the city where they abide; yet that Christ’s ordinances and administrations of worship are appointed and given by Christ to any civil state, town, or city, as is implied by the instance of Geneva, that I confidently deny.
The ordinances and discipline of Christ Jesus, though wrongfully and profanely applied to natural and unregenerate men, may cast a blush of civility and morality upon them, as in Geneva and other places—for the shining brightness of the very shadow of Christ’s ordinances casts a shame upon barbarism and incivility—yet withal I affirm that the misapplication of ordinances to unregenerate and unrepentant persons hardens up their souls in a dreadful sleep and dream of their own blessed estate and sends millions of souls to hell in a secure expectation of a false salvation. * * *
* * * If the powers of the world or civil state are bound to propose external peace in all godliness for their end, and the end of the Church be to preserve internal peace in all godliness, I demand, if their end (godliness) be the same, is not their power and state the same also; unless they make the Church subordinate to the commonwealth’s end, or the commonweal subordinate to the Church’s end, which—being the governor and setter-up of it, and so consequently the judge of it—it cannot be? * * *
I ask further, what is this internal peace in all godliness? Whether intend they internal, within the soul, which only the eye of God can see, opposed to external or visible, which man also can discern? Or else, whether they mean internal, that is spiritual soul-matters, matters of God’s worship? And then I say, that peace, to wit, of godliness or God’s worship, they had before granted to the civil state.
The truth is, as I now perceive, the best and most godly of that judgment declare themselves never to have seen a true difference between the Church and the world, and the spiritual and civil state; and howsoever these worthy authors seem to make a kind of separation from the world, and profess that the Church must consist of spiritual and living stones, Saints, regenerate persons, and so make some peculiar enclosed ordinances, as the Supper of the Lord, which none, say they, but godly persons must taste of; yet by compelling all within their jurisdiction to an outward conformity of the church worship, of the word and prayer, and maintenance of the ministry thereof, they evidently declare that they still lodge and dwell in the confused mixtures of the unclean and clean, of the flock of Christ and herds of the world together—I mean, in spiritual and religious worship. * * *
I confess that without godliness, or a true worshipping of God with an upright heart according to God’s ordinances, neither subjects nor magistrates can please God in Christ Jesus, and so be spiritually or Christianly good. Which, few magistrates and few men either come to, or are ordained unto, God having chosen a little flock out of the world, and those generally poor and mean (1 Cor. 1. ; James 2. ).
Yet this I must remember you of: that when the most high God created all things of nothing, he saw and acknowledged divers sorts of goodness, which must still be acknowledged in their distinct kinds—a good air, a good ground, a good tree, a good sheep, &c. I say the same in artificials, a good garment, a good house, a good sword, a good ship. I also add, a good city, a good company or corporation, a good husband, father, master. Hence also we say, a good physician, a good lawyer, a good seaman, a good merchant, a good pilot for such or such a shore or harbour; that is, morally, civilly, good in their several civil respects and employments.
Hence (Psalm 122a ) the Church, or city of God, is compared to a city compact within itself; which compactness may be found in many towns and cities of the world where yet hath not shined any spiritual or supernatural goodness. Hence the Lord Jesus (Matt. 12 ) describes an ill state of an house or kingdom, viz., to be divided against itself, which cannot stand.
These I observe to prove that a subject, a magistrate, may be a good subject, a good magistrate, in respect of civil or moral goodness (which thousands want, and where it is it is commendable and beautiful), though godliness, which is more beautiful, be wanting, and which is only proper to the Christian state, the commonweal of Israel, the true Church, the holy nation (Eph. 2; 1 Pet. 2). * * *
* * * Whereas they say that the civil power may erect and establish what form of civil government may seem in wisdom most meet, I acknowledge the proposition to be most true, both in itself, and also considered with the end of it, that a civil government is an ordinance of God to conserve the civil peace of people so far as concerns their bodies and goods, as formerly hath been said.
But from this grant I infer, as before hath been touched, that the sovereign original and foundation of civil power lies in the people, whom they must needs mean by the civil power distinct from the government set up. And if so, that a people may erect and establish what form of government seems to them most meet for their civil condition. It is evident that such governments as are by them erected and established, have no more power, nor for no longer time, than the civil power, or people consenting and agreeing, shall betrust them with. This is clear not only in reason, but in the experience of all commonweals where the people are not deprived of their natural freedom by the power of tyrants.
And if so—that the magistrates receive their power of governing the Church from the people—undeniably it follows that a people as a people, naturally considered—of what nature or nation soever, in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America—have fundamentally and originally as men, a power to govern the Church, to see her do her duty, to correct her, to redress, reform, establish, &c. And if this be not to pull God and Christ and Spirit out of heaven, and subject them unto natural, sinful, inconstant men, and so consequently to Satan himself, by whom all peoples naturally are guided, let heaven and earth judge!
It cannot, by their own grant, be denied but that the wildest Indians in America ought (and in their kind and several degrees do) to agree upon some forms of government, some more civil compact in towns, &c., some less; as also, that their civil and earthly governments be as lawful and true as any governments in the world. And therefore, consequently, their governors are keepers of the Church, or both Tables, if any church of Christ should arise or be amongst them. And therefore, lastly, if Christ have betrusted and charged the civil power with his Church, they must judge according to their Indian or American consciences, for other consciences it cannot be supposed they should have.
Again, whereas they say that outward civil peace cannot stand where religion is corrupted (and quote for it 2 Chron. 15. 3, 5, 6; and Judges 8), I answer with admiration how such excellent spirits as these authors are furnished with, not only in heavenly but earthly affairs, should so forget and be so fast asleep in things so palpably evident, as to say that outward civil peace cannot stand where religion is corrupt, when so many stately kingdoms and governments in the world have long and long enjoyed civil peace and quiet, notwithstanding their religion is so corrupt as that there is not the very name of Jesus Christ amongst them. And this every historian, merchant, traveller in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, can testify. For so spake the Lord Jesus himself (John 16. ): The world shall sing and rejoice.
Secondly, for that scripture, 2 Chron. 15. 3, &c., relating the miseries of Israel and Judah, and God’s plagues upon that people for corruption of their religion, it must still have reference to that peculiar state unto which God called the seed of one man, Abraham, in a figure, dealing so with them as he dealt not with any nation in the world (Psalm 147a ; Rom. 9). The antitype to this state I have proved to be the Christian Church, which consequently hath been and is afflicted with spiritual plagues, desolations, and captivities, for corrupting of that religion which hath been revealed unto them. This appears by the seven churches, and [by] the people of God, now so many hundred years in woeful bondage and slavery to the mystical Babel, until the time of their joyful deliverance. * * *
Their fifth head is concerning the magistrates’ power in making of laws.
‘First, they have power to publish and apply such civil laws in a state as either are expressed in the word of God in Moses’ judicials—to wit, so far as they are of general and moral equity, and so binding all nations in all ages—[or are] to be deduceda by way of general consequence and proportion from the word of God. For in a free state no magistrate hath power over the bodies, goods, lands, liberties of a free people but by their free consents. And because free men are not free lords of their own estates, but are only stewards under God, therefore they may not give their free consents to any magistrate to dispose of their bodies, goods, lands, liberties at large, as themselves please, but as God, the sovereign Lord of all, alone. And because the Word is a perfect rule, as well of righteousness as of holiness, it will be therefore necessary that neither the people give consent nor that the magistrate take power to dispose of the bodies, goods, lands, liberties of the people, but according to the laws and rules of the word of God.
‘Secondly, in making laws about civil and indifferent things about the commonweal: first, he hath no power given him of God to make what laws he please, either in restraining from or constraining to the use of indifferent things; because that which is indifferent in its nature, may sometimes be inexpedient in its use, and consequently unlawful (1 Cor. 2. 5), it having been long since defended upon good ground, Quicquid non expedit, quatenus non expedit, non licet. Secondly, he hath no power to make any such laws about indifferent things wherein nothing good or evil is shown to the people, but only or principally the mere authority or will of the imposer, for the observance of them (Col. 2. 21, 22; 1 Cor. 7. 23, compared with Eph. 6. 6).
‘It is a prerogative proper to God, to require obedience of the sons of men because of his authority and will. The will of no man is regula recti, unless first it be regula recta. It is an evil speech of some, that in some things the will of the law, not the ratio of it, must be the rule of conscience to walk by; and that princes may forbid men to seek any other reason but their authority, yea, when they command frivola et dura. And therefore it is the duty of the magistrate, in all laws about indifferent things, to show the reasons, not only the will; to show the expediency as well as the indifferency of things of that nature. For, we conceive, in laws of this nature it is not the will of the lawgiver only, but the reason of the law, which binds. Ratio est rex legis, et lex est rex regis. * * *’
In this passage these worthy men lay down such a ground as the gates of hell are not able to shake, concerning the magistrates’ walking in indifferent things; and upon which ground that tower of Lebanon may be raised, whereon there hang a thousand shields and bucklers (Cant. 4. ), to wit, that invincible truth, that no man is to be persecuted for cause of conscience. The ground is this: ‘The magistrate hath not power to make what laws he please, either in restraining [from] or constraining to the use of indifferent things.’ * * *
Hence I argue, if the civil magistrate have no power to restrain or constrain hisa subjects in things in their own nature indifferent, as in eating of meats, wearing this or that garment, using this or that gesture, but that they are bound to try and examine his commands, and satisfy their own reason, conscience, and judgment before the Lord, and that they shall sin if they follow the magistrate’s command, not being persuaded in their own soul and conscience that his commands are according to God: it will be much more unlawful and heinous in the magistrate to compel the subjects unto that which according to their consciences’ persuasion is simply unlawful, as unto a falsely constituted church, ministry, worship, administration, and they shall not escape the ditch by being led blindfold by the magistrate. * * *
[V]bTruth [in the course of proving in great detail that Israel is merely a prophetic type of the Christian Church, and not a model for the Christian state, explains that ‘the dispute lies not concerning the monarchical power of the Lord Jesus . . . but concerning a deputed and ministerial power,’ and proceeds]:
There are three great competitors for this deputed or ministerial power of the Lord Jesus.
First, the arch-vicar ofc Satan, the pretended vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals. * * *
The second great competitor to this crown of the Lord Jesus is the civil magistrate, whether emperors, kings, or other inferior officers of state, who are made to believe by the false prophets of the world that they are the antitypes of the kings of Israel and Judah, and wear the crown of Christ.
Under the wing of the civil magistrate do three great factions shelter themselves, and mutually oppose each other, striving as for life who shall sit down under the shadow of that arm of flesh.
First, the Prelacy: who, though some extravagants of late have inclined to waive the king, and to creep under the wings of the pope, yet so far depends upon the king that it is justly said they are the king’s bishops.
Secondly, the Presbytery: who, though in truth they ascribe not so much to the civil magistrate as some too grossly do, yet they give so much to the civil magistrate as to make him absolutely the head of the church. For if they make him the reformer of the church, the suppressor of schismatics and heretics, the protector and defender of the church, &c., what is this in true plain English but to make him the judge of the true and false church, judge of what is truth and what error, who is schismatical, who heretical? Unless they make him only an executioner, as the pope doth in his punishing of heretics.
I doubt not but the aristocratical government of Presbyterians may well subsist in a monarchy, not only regulated but also tyrannical; yet doth it more naturally delight in the element of an aristocratical government of state, and so may properly be said to be (as the prelates the king’s, so these) the state’s bishops.
The third (though not so great, yet growing) faction is that so-called Independent. (I prejudice not the personal worth of any of the three sorts.) This latter, as I believe this discourse hath manifested, jumps with the Prelates, and, though not more fully, yet more explicitly than the Presbyterians, cast[s] down the crown of the Lord Jesus at the feet of the civil magistrate. And although they pretend to receive their ministry from the choice of two or three private persons in church-covenant, yet would they fain persuade the mother,a Old England, to imitate her daughter New England’s practice, viz. to keep out the Presbyterians, and only to embrace themselves both as the state’s and the people’s bishops.
The third competition for this crown and power of the Lord Jesus is of those that separate both from one and the other, yet divided also amongst themselves into many several professions. Of these, they that go furthest profess they must yet come nearer to the ways of the Son of God. And doubtless so far as they have gone, they bid the most and make the fairest plea for the purity and power of Christ Jesus—let the rest of the inhabitants of the world be judges. Let all the former well be viewed in their external state, pomp, riches, conformity to the world, &c. And on the other side, let the latter be considered in their more thorough departure from sin and sinful worship, their condescending (generally) to the lowest and meanest contentments of this life, their exposing of themselves for Christ to greater sufferings, and their desiring no civil sword nor arm of flesh, but the two-edged sword of God’s Spirit to try out the matter by. And then let the inhabitants of the world judge which come nearest to the doctrine, holiness, poverty, patience, and practice of the Lord Jesus Christ; and whether or no these latter deserve not so much of humanity and the subjects’ liberty, as (not offending the civil state) in the freedom of their souls to enjoy the common air to breathe in. * * *
But to your last proposition, whether the kings of Israel and Judah were not types of civil magistrates? Now I suppose by what hath been already spoken, these things will be evident.
First, that those former types of the land, of the people, of their worships, were types and figures of a spiritual land, spiritual people and spiritual worship under Christ. Therefore consequently their saviours, redeemers, deliverers, judges, kings, must also have their spiritual antitypes, and so consequently [be] not civil but spiritual governors and rulers, lest the very essential nature of types, figures and shadows be overthrown.
Secondly, although the magistrate by a civil sword might well compel that national church, to the external exercise of their nationala worship; yet it is not possible, according to the rule of the New Testament, to compel whole nations to true repentance and regeneration, without which (so far as may be discerned true) the worship and holy name of God is profaned and blasphemed. An arm of flesh and sword of steel cannot reach to cut the darkness of the mind, the hardness and unbelief of the heart, and kindly operate upon the soul’s affections to forsake a long-continued father’s worship, and to embrace a new, though the best and truest. This work performs alone that sword out of the mouth of Christ, with two edges (Rev. 1; and 3).
Thirdly, we have not one tittle in the New Testament of Christ Jesus, concerning such a parallel, neither from himself nor from his ministers with whom he conversed forty days after his resurrection, instructing them in the matters of his kingdom (Acts 1. ). Neither find we any such commission or direction given to the civil magistrate to this purpose, nor to the Saints for their submission in matters spiritual, but the contrary (Acts 4; and 5; 1 Cor. 7. 23; Col. 2. 18).
Fourthly, we have formerly viewed the very matter and essence of a civil magistrate, and find it the same in all parts of the world, wherever people live upon the face of the earth, agreeing together in towns, cities, provinces, kingdoms—I say the same, essentially civil, both from (1) the rise and fountain whence it springs, to wit, the people’s choice and free consent, [and] (2) the object of it, viz., the common weal or safety of such a people in their bodies and goods, as the authors of this model have themselves confessed. This civil nature of the magistrate we have proved to receive no addition of power from the magistrate being a Christian, no more than it receives diminution from his not being a Christian, even as the commonweal is a true commonweal although it have not heard of Christianity; and Christianity professed in it, as in Pergamos, Ephesus, &c., makes it ne’er thea more a commonweal; and Christianity taken away, and the candlestick removed, makes it ne’er the less a commonweal.
Fifthly, the Spirit of God expressly relates the work of the civil magistrate under the Gospel (Rom. 13), expressly mentioning as the magistrates’ object, the duties of the Second Table concerning the bodies and goods of the subject. * * *
Sixthly, since the civil magistrate[s], whether kings or parliaments, states and governors, can receive no more in justice than what the people give, and are therefore but the eyes and hands and instruments of the people, simply considered, without respect to this or that religion, it must inevitably follow, as formerly I have touched, that if magistrates have received their power from the people, then the greatest number of the people of every land have received from Christ Jesus a power to establish, correct, reform his Saints and servants, his wife and spouse, the Church. And she that, by the express word of the Lord (Psalm 149. ), binds kings in chains and nobles in links of iron, must herself be subject to the changeable pleasures of the people of the world, which lies in wickedness (1 John 5. ), even in matters of heavenly and spiritual nature. Hence, therefore, in all controversies concerning the church, ministry and worship, the last appeal must come to the bar of the people or commonweal, where all may personally meet, as in some commonweals of small number, or in greater, by their representatives. Hence, then, no person esteemed a believer, and added to the church; no officer chosen and ordained; no person cast forth and excommunicated: but as the commonweal and people please. And in conclusion, no Church of Christ in this land or world, and consequently no visible Christ the head of it; yea, yet higher, consequently no God in the world worshipped according to the institutions of Christ Jesus: except the several peoples of the nations of the world shall give allowance. * * *
I may, therefore, here seasonably add a seventh, which is a necessary consequence of all the former arguments, and an argument itself: viz., we find expressly a spiritual power of Christ Jesus in the hands of his Saints, ministers, and churches, to be the true antitype of those former figures in all the prophecies concerning Christ his spiritual power (Isa. 9; Dan. 7; Mic. 4; &c., compared with Luke 1. 32; Acts 2. 30; 1 Cor. 5; Matt. 18; Mark 13. 34, &c.) * * *
Secondly, concerning the laws themselves: it is true the Second Table contains the law of nature, the law moral and civil; yet such a law was also given to this people as never to any people in the world. Such was the law of worship (Psalm 147) peculiarly given to Jacob, and God did not deal so with other nations; which laws for the matter of the worship . . . were never to be paralleled by any other nation, but only by the true Christian Israel established by Jesus Christ amongst Jews and Gentiles throughout the world.
Thirdly, the law of the ten words (Deut. 10), the epitome of all the rest, it pleased the most high God to frame and pen twice with his own most holy and dreadful finger, upon Mount Sinai, which he never did to any other nation before or since, but only to that spiritual Israel, the people and the Church of God, in whose hearts of flesh he writes his laws, according to Jer. 31; Heb. 8 and 10.* * *
In the fifth place, consider we the punishments and rewards annexed to the breach or observation of these laws.
First, those which were of a temporal and present consideration, of this life: blessings and curses of all sorts, opened at large (Lev. 26; and Deut. 28), which cannot possibly be made good in any state, country, or kingdom, but in a spiritual sense in the Church and kingdom of Christ. The reason is this. Such a temporal prosperity of outward peace and plenty of all things, of increase of children, of cattle, of honour, of health, of success, of victory, suits not temporally with the afflicted and persecuted estate of God’s people now; and therefore spiritual and soul-blessedness must be the antitype: . . . in the midst of revilings and all manner of evil speeches for Christ’s sake, soul-blessedness, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions, soul-blessedness (Matt. 5; and Luke 6); and yet herein the Israel of God should enjoy their spiritual peace (Gal. 6. 16).
Out of that blessed temporal estate to be cast or carried captive, was their excommunication or casting out of God’s sight (2 Kings 17. 23). Therefore was the blasphemer, the false prophet, the idolater, to be cast out or cut off from this holy land; which punishment cannot be paralleled by the punishment of any state or kingdom in the world, but only by the excommunicating or out-casting of person or church from the fellowship of the Saints and churches of Christ Jesus in the Gospel. And therefore, as before I have noted, the putting away of the false prophet by stoning him to death (Deut. 13) is fitly answered, and that in the very same words, in the antitype: when, by the general consent or stoning of the whole assembly, any wicked person is put away from amongst them; that is, spiritually cut off out of the land of the spiritually living, the people or Church of God (1 Cor. 5; Gal. 5).
Lastly, the great and high reward or punishment of the keeping or breach of these laws to Israel, was such as cannot suit with any state or kingdom in the world beside. The reward of the observation was life, eternal life; the breach of any one of these laws was death, eternal death, or damnation from the presence of the Lord (so Rom. 10; James 2). Such a covenant God made not before nor since with any state or people in the world. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Rom. 10. 4). And he that believeth in that Son of God, hath eternal life; he that believeth not hath not life, but is condemned already (John 3; and 1 John 5). * * *
What state, what kingdom, what wars and combats, victories and deliverances, can parallel this people but the spiritual and mystical Israel of God in every nation and country of the world, typed out by that small typical handful in that little spot of ground, the land of Canaan? The Israel of God now, men and women, fight under the great Lord-General, the Lord Jesus Christ: their weapons, armour, and artillery area like themselves, spiritual, set forth from top to toe (Eph. 6), so mighty and so potent that they break down the strongest holds and castles, yea in the very souls of men, and carry into captivity the very thoughts of men, subjecting them to Christ Jesus. * * *
This glorious army of white troopers, horses and harness—Christ Jesus and his true Israelb —gloriously conquer and overcome the Beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth, up in arms against them (Rev. 19). And lastly, reigning with Christ a thousand years, they conquer the devil himself, and the numberless armies, like the sand on the sea-shore, of Gog and Magog. And yet not a tittle of mention of any sword, helmet, breast-plate, shield, or horse, but what is spiritual and of a heavenly nature. All which wars of Israel have been, may be, and shall be, fulfilled mystically and spiritually. * * *
I have in part, and might further discover that, from the king and his throne to the very beasts, . . . their civils, morals, and naturals were carried on in types. And however I acknowledge that what was simply moral, civil, and natural in Israel’s state, in their constitutions, laws, punishments, may be imitated and followed by the states, countries, cities, and kingdoms of the world; yet who can question the lawfulness of other forms of government, laws and punishments, which differ—since civil constitutions are men’s ordinances or creation (2 Pet. 2. 13), unto which God’s people are commanded even for the Lord’s sake to submit themselves, which if they were unlawful they ought not to do? * * *
I dare not assent to that assertion, that even original sin remotely hurts the civil state. ’Tis true some do, as inclinations to murder, theft, whoredom, slander, disobedience to parents and magistrates; but blindness of mind, hardness of heart, inclination to choose or worship this or that God, this or that Christ, beside the true, these hurt not remotely the civil state, as not concerning it, but the spiritual. * * *
But to wind up all. As it is most true that magistracy in general is of God (Rom. 13) for the preservation of mankind in civil order and peace—the world otherwise would be like the sea wherein men, like fishes, would hunt and devour each other, and the greater devour the less—so also it is true that magistracy in special, for the several kinds of it, is of man (1 Pet. 2. 13). Now what kind of magistrate soever the people shall agree to set up, whether he receive Christianity before he be set in office, or whether he receive Christianity after, he receives no more power of magistracy than a magistrate that hath received no Christianity. For neither of them both can receive more than the commonweal, the body of people and civil state, as men, communicate unto them and betrust with them. All lawful magistrates in the world, both before the coming of Christ Jesus and since, excepting those unparalleled typical magistrates of the church of Israel, are but derivatives and agents, immediately derived and employed as eyes and hands, serving for the good of the whole. Hence they have and can have no more power than fundamentally lies in the bodies or fountains themselves, which power, might or authority is not religious, Christian, &c., but natural, human, and civil. * * *
MODELS OF A FREE CHURCH
The Power of the People
The greatest commotions in kingdoms have for the most part been raised and maintained for and about power and liberties of the rulers and the ruled, together with the due bounds and limits of either. And the like hath fallen out in churches, and is continued to this day in the sharpest contentions (though now the seat of the war is changed) who should be the first adequate and complete subject of that church-power which Christ hath left on earth; how bounded, and to whom committed. This controversy is in a special manner the lot of these present times. And now that most parties (that can pretend anything towards it) have in several ages had their turns and vicissitudes of so long a possession of it, and their pleas for their several pretences have been so much and so long heard, it may well be hoped it is near determining, and that Christ will shortly settle this power upon the right heirs, to whom he primitively did bequeath it.
In those former darker times, this golden ball was thrown up by the clergy (so called) alone to run for among themselves. * * * This royal donation, bestowed by Christ upon his Church, was taken up and placed in so high thrones of bishops, popes, general councils, &c. . . . in so great a remoteness from the people that the least right or interest therein was not so much as suspected to belong to them. But . . . it hath now in these our days been brought so near unto the people, that they also have begun to plead and sue for a portion and legacy bequeathed them in it. The Saints (in these knowing times) finding that the key of knowledge hath so far opened their hearts that they see with their own eyes into the substantials of godliness, and that, through the instruction and guidance of their teachers, they are enabled to understand for themselves such other things as they are to join in the practice of, they do therefore further (many of them) begin more than to suspect that some share in the key of power should likewise appertain unto them.
It was the unhappiness of those who first in these latter times revived this plea of the people’s right, to err on the other extreme (as it hath ever been the fate of truth when it first ariseth in the Church from under that long night of darkness which Antichristianism had brought upon the world, to have a long shadow of error to accompany it) by laying the plea and claim on their behalf unto the whole power, and that the elders set over them did but exercise that power for them which was properly theirs, and which Christ had (as they contended) radically and originally estated in the people only.
But after that all titles have been pleaded of those that are content with nothing but the whole, the final judgment and sentence may (possibly) fall to be a suitable and due-proportioned distribution and dispersion of this power into several interests, and the whole to neither part. In commonwealths it is a dispersion of several portions of power and rights into several hands, jointly to concur and agree in acts and process of weight and moment, which causeth that healthful κράσις and constitution of them, which makes them lasting and preserves their peace, when none of all sorts find they are excluded; but as they have a share of concernment, soa a fit measure of power or privilege is left and betrusted to them. And accordingly the wisdom of the first constitutors of commonwealths is most seen in such a just balancing of power and privileges, and besides also in setting the exact limits of that which is committed unto each, yea, and is more admired by us in this than in their other laws. And in experience, a clear and distinct definement and confinement of all such parcels of power, both for the kind and extent of them, is judged to be as essentially necessary, if not more than whatever other statutes that set out the kinds and degrees of crimes or penalties.
So in that polity or government by which Christ would have his churches ordered, the right disposal of the power therein (we humbly suppose) may lie in a due and proportioned allotment and dispersion (though not in the same measure and degree) into divers hands, according unto the several concernments and interests that each rank in his Church may have rather than in an entire and sole trust committed to any one man, though never so able, or any one sort or kind of men or officers, although diversified into never so many subordinations under one another. And in like manner we cannot but imagine that Christ hath been as exact in setting forth the true bounds and limits of whatever portion of power he hath imparted unto any (if we of this age could attain rightly to discern it) as he hath been in ordering what kind of censures, and for what sins, and what degrees of proceedings unto these censures; which we find he hath been punctual in.
Now the scope which this grave and judicious author in this his treatise doth pursue, is to lay forth the just lines and terriers of this division of church-power, unto all the several subjects of it, to the end to allay the contentions now on foot about it. And in general he lays this fundamental maxim that holds in common true of all the particulars to whom any portion of power can be supposed to be committed: that, look, whatever power or right any of the possessors and subjects thereof may have, they have it each alike immediately . . . from Christ, and so are each the first subjects of that power that is allotted to them. And for the particular subjects themselves, he follows that division . . . which the controversy itself hath made unto his hands; to wit: (1) What power each single congregation (which is endowed with a charter to be a body politic to Christ) hath granted to it to exercise within itself; and (2) What measure, or rather kind, of power Christ hath placed in neighbour-churches without it, and in association with it.
For the first: as he supposeth each congregation such as to have the privilege of enjoying a presbytery or company of more or less elders, proper unto itself, so . . . he asserteth this incorporate body or society to be the first and primary subject of a complete and entire power within itself over its own members, yea, and the sole native subject of the power of ordination and excommunication (which is the highest censure). And whereas this corporation consisteth both of elders and brethren (for as for women and children, there is a special exception by a statute-law of Christ against their enjoyment of any part of this public power), his scope is to demonstrate a distinct and several share and interest of power in matters of common concernment vouchsafed to each of these, and dispersed among both, by charter from the Lord; as in some of our towns corporate, to a company of aldermen (the rulers) and a common council (a body of the people) there useth to be the like. He giving unto the elders or presbytery a binding power of rule and authority, proper and peculiar unto them, and unto the brethren, distinct and apart, an interest of power and privilege to concur with them, and that such affairs should not be transacted but with the joint agreement of both, though out of a different right; so that as a church of brethren only could not proceed to any public censures without they have elders over them, so nor in the church have the elders power to censure without the concurrence of the people; and likewise so as each alone hath not power of excommunicating the whole of either, though together they have power over any particular person or persons in each.
And because these particular congregations, both elders and people, may disagree and miscarry, and abuse this power committed to them, he therefore, secondly, asserteth an association or communion of churches, sending their elders and messengers into a synod, . . . and acknowledgeth that it is an ordinance of Christ, unto whom Christ hath . . . committed a due and just measure of power . . . and furnished them not only with ability to give counsel and advice, but further . . . with a ministerial power and authority to determine, declare, and enjoin such things as may tend to the reducing such congregations to right order and peace. * * * And . . . for the extent of this power in such assemblies and association of churches, he limits and confines that also unto cases, and with cautions (which will appear in the discourse), to wit: that they should not entrench or impair the privilege of entire jurisdiction committed unto to each congregation (as a liberty purchased them by Christ’s blood), but to leave them free to the exercise and use thereof until they abuse that power. . . .
As for ourselves, we are yet neither afraid nor ashamed to make profession (in the midst of all the high waves on both sides dashing on us) that the substance of this brief extract from the author’s larger discourse is that very middle-way, which in our Apology1 we did in the general intimate and intend, between that which is called Brownism and the Presbyterial government as it is practised; whereof the one doth in effect put the chief (if not the whole) of the rule and government into the hands of the people and drowns the elders’ votes (who are but a few) in the major part of theirs, and the other, taking the chief and principal parts of that rule (which we conceive is the due of each congregation, the elders and brethren) into this jurisdiction of a common presbytery of several congregations, doth thereby in like manner swallow up not only the interests of the people, but even the votes of the elders of that congregation concerned in the major part thereof. * * *
Only we crave leave . . . to declare that we assent not to all expressions scattered up and down, or all and every assertion interwoven in it, yea, nor to all the grounds or allegations of scriptures; nor should we in all things perhaps have used the same terms to express the same materials by. For instance, we humbly conceive prophesying (as the scripture terms it) or speaking to the edification of the whole church, may sometimes be performed by brethren gifted, though not in office as elders of the church.* * *
We conceive the elders and brethren in each congregation, as they are usually in the New Testament thus mentioned distinctly apart, and this when their meeting together is spoken of, so they make in each congregation two distinct interests though meeting in one assembly (as the interest of the common council or body of the people, in some corporations, is distinct from that of the company of aldermen); so as without the consent and concurrence of both nothing is esteemed as a church act, but so as in this company of elders this power is properly authority, but in the people is a privilege or power. * * *
The like difference would appear if we had seen a government tempered of an aristocracy and democracy; in which, suppose the people have a share, and their actual consent is necessary to all laws and sentences, whereas a few nobles that are set over them (whose concernment is less general) in whom the formal sanction of all should lie, in these it were rule and authority, in that multitude but power and interest. * * *
And in this distribution of power, Christ hath had a suitable and due regard unto the estate and condition of his Church, as now under the New Testament he hath qualified and dignified it. Under the Old Testament it was in its infancy, but it is comparatively come forth of its nonage, and grown up to a riper age (both as the tenure of the Covenant of Grace, in difference from the old, runs in the Prophets, and as Paul to the Galatians expresseth it). They are therefore more generally able, if visible Saints (which is to be the subject-matter of churches under the New Testament) to join with their guides and leaders in judging and discerning what concerns their own and their brethren’s consciences, and therefore Christ hath not now lodged the sole power of all church matters solely and entirely in the Church’s tutors and governors, as of old, when it was under age, he did. But yet because of their weakness and unskilfulness (for the generality of them) in comparison to those whom he hath ascended to give gifts unto, on purpose for their guidance and the government of them, he hath therefore placed a rule and authority in those officers over them, not directing only, but binding; so as not only nothing in an ordinary way of church-government should be done without them, but not esteemed validly done unless done by them. And thus by means of this due and golden balancing and poising of power and interest, authority and privilege, in elders and the brethren, this government might neither degenerate into lordliness and oppression in rulers over the flock, as not having all power in their hands alone, nor yet into anarchy and confusion in the flock among themselves; and so as all things belonging to men’s consciences might be transacted to common edification and satisfaction. * * *
Neither let it seem strange that the power of this censure, of cutting men off and delivering them to Satan . . ., should be inseparably linked by Christ unto a particular congregation, as the proper native privilege hereof, so as that no assembly or company of elders, justly presumed and granted to be more wise and judicious, should assume it to themselves or sever the formal power thereof from the particular congregations. For though it be hard to give the reason of Christ’s institutions, yet there is usually in the ways of human wisdom and reason something analogous thereunto, which may serve to illustrate, if not to justify, this dispersion of interests. And so (if we mistake not) there may be found even of this in the wisdom of our ancestors, in the constitutions of this kingdom. The sentencing to death of any subject in the kingdom, as it is the highest civil punishment, so of all other the nearest and exactest parallel to this in spirituals, of cutting a soul off and delivering it to Satan; yet the power of this high judgment is not put into the hands of an assembly of lawyers only, no, not of all the judges themselves, men selected for wisdom, faithfulness, and gravity, who yet are by office designed to have an interest herein. But when they upon any special cause of difficulty, for counsel and direction in such judgments do all meet (as sometimes they do), yet they have not power to pronounce this sentence of death upon any man without the concurrence of a jury of his peers, which are of his own rank, and, in corporations, of such as are inhabitants of the same place. And with a jury of these (men, of themselves, not supposed to be so skilful in the laws, &c.), two judges, yea one . . . hath power to adjudge and pronounce that which all of them, and all the lawyers in this kingdom together, have not, without a jury. And we of this nation use to admire the care and wisdom of our ancestors herein, and do esteem this privilege of the subject in this particular (peculiar to our nation) as one of the glories of our laws, and do make boast of it as such a liberty and security to each person’s life as (we think) no nation about us can show the like. And what should be the reason of such a constitution but this (which in the beginning we insisted on), the dispersion of power into several hands, which in capital matters every man’s trial should run through, whereof the one should have the tie of like common interest to oblige them unto faithfulness, as the other should have skill and wisdom to guide them and direct the rein. * * *
The Church Covenant
The Church Covenant may be proved from the New Testament. . . . But suppose there were not pregnant places for it in the New Testament, yet it is not enough to prove the same unlawful. For whatsoever ordinance of the Old Testament is not repealed in the New Testament, as peculiar to the Jewish pedagogy, but was of moral and perpetual equity, the same binds us in these days, and is to be accounted the revealed will of God in all ages, though it be not particularly and expressly mentioned in the writings of the New Testament. Else . . . how shall we prove it warrantable and necessary for magistrates to punish sabbath-breaking, blasphemy, and idolatry? * * * For the scriptures of the New Testament do speak little in these cases; only the scriptures of the Old Testament do give direction and light about them . . ., and the New Testament hath nothing to the contrary, and they are all according to moral equity and reason, and therefore they are to be observed from the scriptures of the Old Testament as the revealed will of God, though there were nothing expressly for them in the New. And the same we say for the particular in hand. For that a company should be combined together into one body, in way of government and subjection, by way of mutual free covenant, as men do when they enter into church estate, nothing is more natural or agreeable to moral equity; nay, it implieth a contradiction in the very name of liberty or freedom that free men should take upon them authority or power over free men without their free consent and voluntary and mutual covenant or engagement. And therefore seeing this covenant is not repealed in the scriptures of the New Testament, the scriptures of the Old are sufficient warrant for it. * * *
We speak of voluntary relation; for there are natural relations, as between parents and children, and these need no covenant. There is no covenant to make a man a parent, or a child. There are also violent relations, as between conqueror and captives, and in these there is no covenant neither. But others are voluntary, and these always imply a covenant, and are founded therein, whether they be moral or civil, as between husband and wife (Prov. 2. 17); between master and servants (Luke 15. 15); between prince and subject; between partners in trade (2 Chron. 20. 35-7), where the covenant or agreement is that men shall bear such a share of charges, and receive such a share of profits; or religious, as between minister and people, between the church and the members. All these are done by way of covenant. * * * If men be united into a body politic or incorporate, a man cannot be said to be joined to them by mere hearty affection, unless withal he joins himself unto them by some contract or covenant. Now of this nature is every particular church, a body incorporate (1 Cor. 12. 27: Ye are the body of Christ, &c.), and hath power to cast-out (1 Cor. 5. 13), and to forgive and receive-in penitents (2 Cor. 7, 8), as a body incorporate; and therefore he that will join unto them must do it by way of covenant or agreement. * * * All voluntary relations, all relations which are neither natural nor violent, are entered into by way of covenant. * * *
Churches have no power over such as have not engaged themselves by covenant, and committed power unto them by professing to be subject to all the ordinances of Christ amongst them.
The truth whereof may appear by two reasons: First, because all Christians have power and right, jure divino, to choose their own officers to whom they commit their souls (Acts 6. 1; and 14. 23). * * * And as they have power to choose their officers, so likewise to choose their brethren according to God (Rom. 14. 1). Now if they have power to choose their officers and brethren, then none can have power over them as officers and brethren without their own consent, and whom they never chose, nor promised by any covenant or engagement to be subject to [in] the Lord.
Secondly, if the church should exercise any act of church-power over such a man as never entered into covenant with them (suppose to excommunicate him for whoredom or drunkenness, or the like) the man might protest against their act, and their sentence, as coram non judice, and they could not justify their proceedings if indeed there have passed no covenant or engagement between him and them. * * *
From The Saints’ Apology (1644)a
First, I conceive a visible ministering church under the Gospel to be a company of believers, joining themselves together in the name of Christ, for the enjoyment of such ordinances, and exercise of such spiritual government, as the Lord hath appointed for his worship and honour, and their mutual edification. * * *
I add ‘under the Gospel’ because the constitution under the Law was national, the officers, ordinances and places of worship, all fitted to such a frame, and typical; which under the Gospel was changed, as appeareth both by Christ’s institution (Matt. 18) and all the Apostles’ practice throughout in all places, who best understood our Saviour’s intention and meaning for the constitution of churches evangelical, being by him instructed and left authorized there[in].
Secondly, the matter of this church is a company of Saints, such whom as the Apostle, so the church that admits them or joins with them, ought to think it meet to judge of every one of them that Christ hath begun a good work in them and will finish it. The Apostles always style them Saints and faithful brethren, or the church of such a place, which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saints by calling, sanctified in Christ Jesus, the church elected together with them, and such-like titles apply-able only unto men sanctified. That they ought to be such in profession, will not be denied; that they ought to be what they profess, is as evident. The power of the church, and the exercise of that power commanded by our Saviour, is for this end, that offences may be taken away, when men shall appear to be other than they make profession to be, and that they may be prevented, so far as man can judge, by keeping out false brethren, that they creep not in privily. The unruly are to be admonished, and if upon admonition they will not reform, Christ directeth what course shall be taken with them. And he who is to be cast out when he is known, ought not to be admitted could he be known to be other than a Saint by the church before he was received.
Thirdly, the form of such a visible church, I conceive to be the relation which by their mutual consent is raised between them for spiritual ends, by which it is that they have power of jurisdiction and may and ought to judge those that are within (1 Cor. 5. 12).
Which jurisdiction no man can lawfully be subjected unto but by his own agreement. The superiority of jurisdiction either in things spiritual or temporal (if it be not natural as the paternal) must be voluntarily subjected unto, or it is usurped and tyrannical. Therefore to raise this relation which gives a power of judging, there must be a voluntary submission of themselves one to another testified by some act, whether you will call it a covenant, or consent, or agreement between fit members for such ends.
This consent and agreement ought to be explicit [f]or the well-being, but not necessarily to the being, of a true church. For it may be implied by such constant and frequent acts of communion performed by a company of Saints joined together by cohabitation in towns and villages, as that the falling in of their spirits into this brotherly fellowship and communion in things spiritual is acted unto the true being of it; but for the want of the clear and full expression thereof among themselves, the relation it raises, the power it gives them one over another, the duty it obligeth them unto in the exercise of that power, is obscurely and little apprehended, and less practised. * * *
Now, that he that reads may understand, it is necessary for me, speaking of the unity and peace of the Church, to tell you now, at first, that I intend not to propound any way of peace either between the Church and the world, or . . . between the carnal and spiritual children of the Church, as having learned no such thing out of the word of God.
First, not between the Church and the world: for the Lord never intended any reconciliation and agreement between these in the spiritual and eternal things of the kingdom of God. For these are two distinct seeds and sorts of people; the one from beneath, the other from above; the one the seed of the woman, the other the seed of the serpent; and between these two God hath put such an enmity that no man can take away. Wherefore they, who never minding these two different seeds between whom God hath put such irreconcilable enmity, would make all the people of one or more whole kingdoms a church at once, and would reconcile all of them together in the things of God, and in the ways of his worship, according to devices and methods of their own: these men know not what they do, for they walk in the darkness of their own hearts, and not in the light of the Word; which shows us clearly that it is as possible to reconcile Michael and the devil, as the angels of both.
Neither, secondly, do I find any way in the Word to reconcile all those together, who are commonly called the Visible Church, seeing even among these there are two distinct sorts of children, as Paul teacheth us: one sort of those that are born after the flesh, as Ishmael and Esau, and another of those who are born after the Spirit, as Isaac and Jacob; and there is as great enmity between these in the church as between the former in the world; for they that are born after the flesh, are always persecuting them that are born after the Spirit, but never agreeing with them. * * *
The right Church then is not the whole multitude of the people whether good or bad, that join together in an outward form or way of worship. * * * And therefore I shall not speak of this church. But the church I shall speak of is the true Church of the New Testament, which, I say, is not any outward or visible society, gathered together into the consent or use of outward things, forms, ceremonies, worship, as the churches of men are; neither is it known by seeing or feeling, or the help of any outward sense, as the society of mercers or drapers, or the like; but it is a spiritual and invisible fellowship, gathered together in the unity of faith, hope, and love, and so into the unity of the Son, and of the Father by the Spirit; wherefore it is wholly hid from carnal eyes, neither hath the world any knowledge or judgment of it.
This true Church is the communion of Saints, which is the communion believers have with one another; not in the things of the world, or in the things of man, but in the things of God. For as believers have their union in the Son, and in the Father, so in them also they have their communion; and the communion they have with one another in God cannot be in their own things, but in God’s things, even in his light, life, righteousness, wisdom, truth, love, power, peace, joy, &c. This is the true communion of Saints, and this communion of Saints is the true Church of God.
Now this true Church of God differs from the churches of men in very many particulars, as follows. * * *
In the churches of men members are admitted through an outward confession of doctrine; but none are admitted into this true Church but through a new birth from God and his Spirit. John 3. : Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, which is the right Church of the New Testament. * * *
The churches of men knit themselves together into such societies by some outward covenant or agreement among themselves. But the true Church is knit into their society among themselves by being first knit unto Christ, their head; and as soon as ever they are one with him, they are also one with one another in him; and are not first one among themselves, and then after one with Christ. So that the true Church is a spiritual society knit unto Christ by faith, and knit to one another in Christ by the Spirit and love; and this makes them infinitely more one than any outward covenant they can engage themselves in, the union wherein God makes us one, passing all the unions wherein we can make ourselves one. And so when some believers perceive the grace that is given to others, they presently fall into one communion, without any more ado. Wherefore they that are of the Church, the body, cannot deny communion to them that are in true union with Christ, the head, when they do perceive this grace. For this is considerable in this matter, that we are not first one with the Church, and then after one with Christ; but we are first one with Christ, and then one with the Church, and our union with the Church flows from our union with Christ, and not our union with Christ, from our union with the Church. Christ (John 17. ) prays, That they all (that is, believers) may be one in us; so that our union is not first among ourselves, and then with the Son, and with the Father, but it is first with the Son, and with the Father, and then with one another in them. And Christ is the door through which we enter into the Church, and not the Church the door through which we enter into Christ. For men may join themselves to believers in the use of all outward ordinances, and yet never be joined to Christ, nor to that communion which believers have in Christ; but a man cannot be joined to Christ but he is joined to all believers in the world, in the communion they have with Christ and with one another in him; which upon all occasions he enjoys with them wherever he meets with them. So that the true Church is knit up together into one body and society by one faith and Spirit; the churches of men by an outward covenant or agreement only.
The churches of men have human officers, who act in the strength of natural or acquisite parts, who do all by the help of study, learning, and the like. But in the true Church, Christ and the Spirit are the only officers, and men only so far as Christ and the Spirit dwell and manifest themselves in them. And so when they do anything in the Church, it is not they that do it, but Christ and his Spirit in them. * * *
The churches of men have the government of them laid on men’s shoulders. . . . But the true Church hath its government laid only on Christ’s shoulders. . . . For if the Church be gathered together in Christ, as the true Church is, Christ is always in the midst of them, and if Christ is ever present with them, his own self, how cometh it to pass that Christ may not reign immediately over them? Wherefore the true Church reckons it sufficient authority that they have Christ and his word for the ground of their practice; and whatever they find in the Word, they presently set upon the practice of it, and never ask leave either of civil or ecclesiastical powers. But the churches of men will do nothing without the authority of the magistrate or assembly, though it be never so clear in the word of God. For in their religion they regard the authority of men more than the authority of God.
The churches of men are still setting themselves one above another, but the assemblies of the true Church are all equal, having Christ and the Spirit equally present with them and in them. And therefore the believers of one congregation cannot say they have power over the believers of another congregation, seeing all congregations have Christ and his Spirit alike among them, and Christ hath not anywhere promised that he will be more with one than with another. And so Christ and the Spirit in one congregation do not subject, neither are subjected to Christ and the Spirit in another congregation, as if Christ and the Spirit in several places should be above and under themselves. But Christ in each assembly of the faithful is their head, and this head they dare not leave, and set up a fleshly head to themselves whether it consist of one or many men, seeing Antichrist doth as strongly invade Christ’s headship in many as in one man, in a council, as in a pope. * * *
And thus having declared what the true Church of Christ is, and rectified some ancient and general mistakes touching it, I shall now proceed to make known from the clear and evident word, the true and only bonds of the Church’s union, peace, and agreement, as the Apostle hath delivered them to us by the Spirit. Ephes. 4. 4: There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Where note, in general, that among all these bonds of the Church’s unity, the Apostle makes not so much as any mention of uniformity. * * * But it will appear . . . by the Apostle’s doctrine, that no conformity or uniformity are any bonds of the true Church’s peace and union, seeing the Church is such a kingdom as is not preserved in its peace by any outward forms and orders, as the kingdoms of the world are, but by inward principles. * * *
In this true Church or one body of Christ, notwithstanding diversity of members and offices, there is still an equality among them all, seeing all alike make up one body. In which regard one member is as necessary to the body as another; and no member can say to another,a I contribute more to the making up of the body than thou. The most honourable members cannot say thus to the most mean—not the Apostles themselves to believers among the Gentiles; for we are the body of Christ as well as they, and they are the body of Christ no more than we. Wherefore no member, for diversity of office, is to lift up himself above another member who is as necessary as itself to the making up the body, and also is every whit as useful in its place. * * *
They that do content themselves in joining to some outward and visible society and corporation of men, though called a church, and think that by being knit to them in ways of outward worship and ordinances, they live in the unity of the Church, when as yet all this while they live out of that one body that is born of the Spirit, which is the only true Church and body of Christ. He that lives out of this spiritual body, though he live in the most excellent society in the world, yet he breaks the unity of the Church, not living in one body with it. And thus many break the Church’s unity, that never think on it.
Again they break this bond of the Church’s unity that live in this one body, but not as members. And such are they who, having got the advantage of the magistrate’s power, will needs lift themselves up above their fellow-members, and exercise authoritative, coercive, domineering power over them; whereas the very Apostles themselves were not lords of the Church, but fellow members with the faithful, living in one body and under one head with them, and so did all by love and persuasion, and nothing by force and violence. * * *
They that labour to join men into one body with the Church that are not one spirit with it, do mar the peace of it. For as unity of spirit in the Church is the bond of peace, so diversity of spirit is the breach of peace, and therefore to preserve the peace of the Church, none are to join themselves to this one body that are not of this one spirit. * * *
As all believers are called by one calling (which is the inward and effectual voice of God to the soul, by his Spirit through the Gospel), so they are called into one blessed hope of obtaining the kingdom and glory of God. And no one is called to this hope more than another, or hath more interest or share in it than another. Fishes that live in the sea, though some be greater and some less, yet none hath more interest or share in it than another, but all, being alike produced in it, enjoy it alike. The creatures that live on the earth, though some be greater and some less, yet all enjoy the sun and air alike. * * *
Now the government of the Church is twofold. (1) There is that government which God exercises immediately by himself; and (2) that government which he exercises mediately and by the faithful. The first of these again, that is God’s immediate government, is twofold: (1) the government of his special providence; (2) the government of his spiritual presence. * * *
Now besides this immediate government of God, there is another sort of government of the Church, which Christ exercises mediately by the Church. And this also is Christ’s government, and not man’s; and men who have not known nor understood the former government of Christ, have mistaken this also through the same unbelief. Wherefore they, not so much as minding the former government of Christ, which is immediate and by himself, have made this mediate government of the Church by man, to be all. And this also I say, they have understood most grossly and carnally, and not according to the Word, but according to their own ignorant and seduced hearts. * * *
This mediate government then of Christ in the true Church (which, it may be, may better be called order and decency than government) I conceive to be nothing but this, Christ’s ordering all things by the faithful, among the faithful, in reference to the communion of Saints. * * *
The first thing then is: to whom Christ hath committed the power of ordering and managing all things in the true Church, in reference to the communion of Saints. I answer, he hath given it to the true Church itself, as formerly described, even to each and all the members of it. For as natural power belongs to all natural men alike, so spiritual power (which is the true church-power) to all spiritual men alike. Christ in a believer is the root of true church-power; and because Christ dwells in all believers alike, through unity of faith, therefore all believers partake alike of spiritual and supernatural power; and no one partakes of this power more than another, any more than he partakes of Christ more than another; but Christ in them all is the self-same power of God to do all things that are to be done in the kingdom of God. * * *
But what are these keys about which there hath been so great ado in the Church? I answer, they are not any outward ecclesiastical power whatever, that men have devised to serve their own turns withal. But to pass by the many false conceits, wherewith many former and present writers have and do still trouble the Church, John doth tell us plainly (John 20. 22) what Matthew means by the keys of the Church. Christ (saith he) appearing to his Disciples after his resurrection, breathing on them, said, Receive the Holy Spirit (here are the keys of the kingdom of Heaven), and then adds, Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whose sins ye retain, they are retained. That is, when ye have received the Spirit, then you have received the keys, to bind and to loose, to remit and retain sin, and that not according to your wills, but wholly according to the mind and will and direction of the Spirit. * * *
What is the extent of this true church-power? I answer that this power extends itself full as far as the Church, but no further. For what hath the Church to do with those that are not of the Church? What have we to do (saith Paul) with them that are without? For church-power, which is spiritual, is no more suitable to the world than worldly power, which is fleshly, is suitable to the Church. The power of the Church, which is Christ’s power, only reaches so far as Christ’s kingdom; that is, the people that are born of God and his Spirit. True church-government reaches as far as Christ’s and the Spirit’s effectual influence and operation, but no further; that is to all that are willing, but to none that are unwilling. As nothing hath more troubled the Church than to govern it and give it laws, after the manner of the world, by secular force and power; so nothing hath more troubled the world than to govern it and give it laws after the manner of the Church, by the aforesaid compulsion. Wherefore as the government of the world is not to be spread over the Church, so neither is the government of the Church to be spread over the world. But as the world and the Church are distinct things in themselves, so they are to be contented with their distinct governments.
What is the outward instrument of this power? I answer, the Word only, which is the only sceptre and sword of Christ’s kingdom, to govern his people and subdue his enemies. * * * And so the true Church doth all in itself only by the Gospel; by the Gospel it bindeth and looseth; by the Gospel it remits and retains sin, by the Gospel it quickens to life and wounds to death; by the Gospel it receives in, and casts out; by the Gospel it works faith, renews the life, acts, orders, guides and governs all things. * * *
What the true Church can do by virtue of this power.
Now the true Church by the power it hath received from Christ can gather itself together when, and as often as, it pleaseth. The company of believers have power to gather themselves together for their mutual good, instruction, preservation, edification, and for the avoiding or preventing of evil, and that without the consent or authority of any extrinsical and foreign power whatever; else Christ were not a sufficient founder of his Church. And if every free society, not subjected to tyranny, hath power in itself to congregate and come together as conveniency and necessity shall require, as is evident in all civil corporations, and in all fraternities and meetings of love; much more hath the Church of Christ, which is the freest society in the world, power to meet together into a communion of Saints, though it be without and against the consent and authority of the powers of the world. * * *
As the Church of the faithful hath power from Christ to meet together, so . . . to appoint its own outward orders. * * * And these things each church or communion of Saints may order by itself, according to the wisdom of the Spirit, so it observe these rules. That they do all things in love, seeing all laws without love are tyranny; and so whatsoever is not from, and for, love, is not to be appointed; and if it be, it is again to be abolished; seeing no text of the scripture itself, if it build not up love, is rightly interpreted. They are to do all things for peace. * * * They must appoint nothing as of necessity; for there is no more pestilent doctrine in the Church than to make those things necessary which are not necessary. For thus the liberty of faith is extinguished, and the consciences of men are ensnared. * * * They may persuade their orders (if they see cause) by the spirit of love and meekness, but must not enforce them upon pain of secular punishment or church-censure, as those use to do that make themselves lords and tyrants in the Church. For these outward things the Church can order only for the willing, but not for the unwilling. * * *
Now one thing more I shall add touching the Church’s power to appoint its own orders: . . . that the true Church hath power to appoint these outward orders, not for itself only, but also for its officers (which also are part of itself), and it is not to suffer its officers to frame or impose such on it. For the Church is not the officers’, but the officers are the Church[’s]. * * *
The true Church hath power to choose its officers, and, if there be cause, to reform them or depose them. * * *
More particularly in this matter we shall inquire after these three things: (1) What officers are to be chosen? (2) Out of whom they are to be chosen? (3) By whom they are to be chosen?
For the first, . . . Paul teaches us, . . . they must be faithful men, apt, and able to teach others. For as among natural men in the world, they that have most natural power and abilities, are fittest to be the officers: so among spiritual men in the Church, they are fittest to be the officers that have most spiritual power, that is, such in whom Christ and the Spirit are most manifest; and of this the faithful of all sorts are judges. Wherefore no natural parts and abilities, nor no human learning and degrees in the schools or universities, nor no ecclesiastical ordination or orders, are to be reckoned sufficient to make any man a minister, but only the teaching of God, and gifts received of Christ, by the Spirit, for the work of the ministry, which the faithful are able to discern and judge of.
Out of whom these officers are to be chosen. And that is out of the flock of Christ, and nowhere else. * * *
By whom they are to be chosen. And that is by the congregation or community of believers. For if every free society hath power to choose its own officers, much more hath the true Church this power, being (as is said) the freest society under heaven. And so the true Church is not to have officers thrust over them by others, but is to choose them itself.1 * * *
The true Church hath power to call its councils. * * * Now I said, the Church, if it need a council, may call one; because the Church of believers now seldom needs a council, seeing all things are so clear in the word of God, with which the faithful are so well acquainted. * * * For it is not dead laws and orders, written by men, will do the true Church any good; but the living Law of God, written in their hearts by the Spirit, as God hath promised to do, saying, I will write my Law in their hearts, and put it in their inward parts. For as the law of sin hath been written in our natures, to corrupt us, so the law of the Spirit of Life must be written also in our natures, to reform us. * * *
The Church hath power to judge of all doctrines, and that both of its officers and councils.
The clergy and ecclesiastical men have been wont to challenge to themselves the knowledge and judgment of doctrines, and have excluded ordinary Christians from it; whereas in truth, the judgment of doctrine belongeth to the people, and not to the ministers. * * * And the Apostle commands them, to try the spirits, whether they be of God, and hath said, Let one or two speak, and the rest judge (1 Cor. 14, &c.). By which, with many other scriptures, it is evident that the ministers are not to judge of doctrine for the people, but the people are to judge of the doctrine of the ministers, and according as they find it to be of God, or not of God, to receive it, or reject it. For every one is to be saved by his own faith, and not by another man’s. * * * And Paul gives this liberty to Christians—yea, we have it from Christ himself whether Paul had allowed it or no—to try the very Apostles themselves and the very angels of heaven, whether they bring the right word or no. * * *
Among the things . . . which are to be done to procure and preserve the peace of the Church these . . . things that follow have not the least place. * * *
The true Church is to preserve itself distinct from the world, and is neither to mingle itself with the world, nor to suffer the world to mingle itself with it. For if the Church and the world be mingled together in one society, the same common laws will no more agree to them who are of such different natures, principles and ends, than the same common laws will agree to light and darkness, life and death, sin and righteousness, flesh and Spirit. * * * Wherefore it is not the way of peace to mingle the Church and the world, but to separate them, and to keep them distinct; that those that are of one nature and spirit may be of one communion among themselves. And this way of peace God himself teacheth us by Paul (2 Cor. 6. 17) saying, Come out from among them, my people, and be ye separate. For to separate the Church from the world, in its communion of Saints, is the only way to preserve peace in both; seeing the Church will best agree with itself, and the world with itself.
The Church being thus distinct from the world is to be contented with its own power for its own affairs, and is not to introduce or entertain any power in it that is not of it. Wherefore the true Church, being such a kingdom as is not of this world, stands in need of no worldly power, and being a spiritual and heavenly kingdom, is only to have and exercise a spiritual and heavenly power, seeing this power alone, and by itself, is able to accomplish the whole good pleasure of God in the Church, and to work all the works in it that God hath to do. * * *
The third rule is, not to bring or force men into the Church against their wills. * * *
The fourth rule is, to make void the distinction of clergy and laity among Christians. For the clergy or ecclesiastical men have all along, under the reign of Antichrist, distinguished themselves from other Christians, whom they call the laity, . . . and separated themselves from the lay in all things, and called themselves by the name of the Church, and reckoned other Christians but as common and unclean in respect of themselves; whereas in the true Church of Christ there are no distinctions, . . . nor difference of persons; no clergy or laity . . .; but they are all, as Peter describes them (1 Pet. 2. 9), a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, to show forth the virtues of him that called them out of darkness into his marvellous light. And so all Christians, through the baptism of the Spirit, are made priests alike unto God; and every one hath right and power alike to speak the Word; and so there is among them no clergy or laity, but the ministers are such who are chosen by Christians from among themselves, to speak the Word to all in the name and right of all; and they have no right nor authority at all to this office but by the consent of the Church. And so presbyters and bishops, or (which is all one) elders and overseers in the Church, differ nothing from other Christians, but only in the office of the Word which is committed to them by the Church; as an alderman or common-council man in the city differs nothing from the rest of the citizens, but only in their office, which they have not of themselves neither, but by the city’s choice; or as the Speaker in the House of Commons differs nothing from the rest of the Commons, but only in his office, which he hath also by the choice of the House. And thus, and no otherwise, doth a minister differ from other Christians. * * *
The fifth rule is, to keep equality between Christians. For though according to our first nativity, whereby we are born of men, there is great inequality, some being born high, some low, some honourable, some mean, some kings, some subjects, &c.; yet according to our new or second birth, whereby we are born of God, there is exact equality, for here are none better or worse, higher or lower, but all have the same faith, hope, love, the same God, Christ, Spirit, the same divine nature, the same precious promises, the same incorruptible crown and inheritance of Saints in light. * * *
The sixth rule is, to keep the officers of the Church in subordination to the whole Church or community; and not to suffer them to get head over it; seeing the very nature of ruling the Church is not dominion, but service. * * *
Now if any say, by what means may the Church be able to keep out error? I answer, it may certainly keep out error by these means.
Let the Church suffer none to teach among them, that are not themselves taught of God; though they have never so great natural parts, and never so much human learning. * * *
Let the faithful examine everything that is taught by the word of God, and not receive doctrines upon trust from their teachers. * * * And though through God’s especial goodness the doctrine of the Gospel be again revived among us at this present time, yet ought we not to sit down content with the present state of things, but to search and see if our present doctrine do not yet err from the primitive purity and brightness of the Gospel, and that in many considerable points, and whether some or many corruptions do not yet remain among us, to be purged out by the light and truth of the Apostles’ doctrine. Wherefore to conclude this thing, let us know that the Church cannot possibly keep out error longer than it precisely keeps itself to the bare and naked word of God, and tries all doctrines of their teachers by it.
The Church, that it may be able to keep out errors, must desire of God, the Spirit which he hath promised; that this Spirit of Truth may lead them into the true and spiritual knowledge of the Word, and understanding of the mind of Christ. For no man can make any right judgment of the Word he hears or reads, without the teaching of the Spirit. * * * But believers must know that the gift of the Spirit only, without all human learning, is sufficient to teach us perfectly which is truth and which error, and to make us able to judge of all doctrines of men and angels; and that all human learning in the world, without the Spirit, is not able to do this. And so a poor, plain countryman, by the Spirit which he hath received, is better able to judge of truth and error, touching the things of God, than the greatest philosopher, scholar, or doctor in the world, that is destitute of it.
Another notable means to keep error out of the Church, is to restore in it that most ancient Gospel ordinance of prophesying, which, howmuchsoever it hath been out of use during the reign of Antichrist, yet is no other than the very commandment of the Lord as Paul witnesseth (1 Cor. 14. 31). * * * When one man only speaks and the doctrine he preaches proves to be erroneous . . . error is not only preached but also goes away uncontrolled, and no way is left for the restraining [of] error proportionable to that of propagating it, nobody being permitted to speak to keep the people from the poison of it. * * * But now when the right or power of prophesying is allowed to the whole Church, the minister can no sooner vent any error, but there is some believer or other, whose heart God shall move, ready to convince it by the word of God. And so error is as soon discovered and detected as it is published; and as soon destroyed as it is detected; the word of God, though from a private Christian, being more mighty to destroy error than error can be to uphold itself against the Word. * * *
If they that publish doctrine should also be judges of it, and the people be bound to subscribe to their judgment, error would not only, by this means, have opportunity to be vented, but would also be established and confirmed without the least contradiction. But now God hath appointed it otherwise in the Church; for whoever speak there, the hearers are to judge of the truth of the doctrine, and accordingly are either to receive it or reject it, having power to do either as they see occasion; and so error cannot prevail in that church where the faithful have liberty to judge of all doctrines, and do exercise that liberty. * * *
But here now a great question will be moved . . .: Whether the magistrate hath not power to suppress error by the sword, and whether the Church may not use this remedy against error as well as all those before named?
I answer that many men of great eminency have attributed such a power to the magistrate . . . thinking that religion would soon be lost if he should not uphold it. And to make this good they have produced many scriptures of the Old Testament, which seem to arm the magistrate against the authors and spreaders of errors. But I desire the wise-hearted to consider whether as clear scriptures may not be produced out of the Old Testament to prove that temporal power in the world belongs to ecclesiastical men, as that spiritual power in the Church belongs to worldly magistrates. * * *
The putting power into the magistrate’s hands to suppress error by the sword, gives him full opportunity to destroy and slay the true children of God, if at any time he shall mistake and judge them heretics. For what power men ignorantly allow a godly magistrate against true heretics, the same power will all magistrates arrogate to themselves as their just due, against all that differ from themselves in matters of religion though their judgment be never so true. And thus the magistrate, who is a most fallible judge in these things, instead of tares may pluck up the wheat, and kill the faithful instead of heretics, at his own pleasure, till he have destroyed all the faithful in the land. * * *
If any shall yet demand whether the magistrate can do nothing at all towards the suppressing of errors; I answer, this he may do. He may and ought, and if he be a godly man he will, countenance and encourage faithful ministers (that are called of God, and anointed by the Spirit) to this work of the Gospel; and having done this, he need not trouble himself any farther, for the Word preached will do all the rest. And let it not be doubted but if the truth of God do enter the lists against error, it will be infinitely able to prevail of itself alone without calling in any power, or borrowing any weapons, from the world. * * *
Now if they be very truths wherein Christians differ, yet such wherein they may err without danger of salvation, then these rules are of use. (1) To hear them speak their judgments with freedom, and not to condemn them unheard; for thus mayst thou soon condemn the innocent and make thyself guilty. (2) To understand fully what thy adversary means before thou contend against him; lest, if thou want this wisdom and patience, thou oppose not so much his judgment as thy own conceit. * * * If thou canst but have patience to hear him relate his own mind, perhaps in the end thou shalt understand it differs little from thy own in substance. (3) Reproach not anything thy adversary speaks with this, that thou never heardst it before. For this may not so much discover his error as thy ignorance; and that which seems to thee a new error, if it be truly examined by the Word, may prove an old truth. And if thou wilt needs condemn whatever savours of novelty, how shall the truths we yet know not be brought in, or the errors that yet remain with us be purged out? (4) Be not over-confident in what thou holdest upon thy own judgment, or other men’s strengthened from multitude, custom and antiquity. For men have erred most grossly, even in those things wherein they have thought themselves most certain. And therefore, prove all things, that thou mayst hold fast that which is good. * * * (5) In these differences make the Word the judge, and not men. The word of God is the sole and perfect judge in all the things of God. * * * Now though all have the same outward Word, yet all are not of one mind except they attain to one spirit; for Paul saith (1 Cor. 2) that only the Spirit of God knows the things of God. Neither doth man’s sense or reason understand the things of the Spirit, but the spiritual man judgeth all things. And hence it follows that we can only judge aright of divine truths by the Word, and we can only judge aright of the Word if we have the Spirit to be the interpreter of it to us. * * *
Now in case the doctrine wherein we differ be such as is absolutely necessary to salvation, and without believing which men can have no interest in Christ; yet even in this case hear them speak, and be rather confident that the truth of God will prevail over their error than fearful that their error will prevail against the truth. And so strive not for secular power to shut up men’s mouths and to restrain men’s writings, though they speak and print things that seem never so contrary to the truth of God and doctrine of the Gospel. For . . . if men vent errors publicly, if there be as public liberty to preach the truth I doubt not the success of the truth against it at any time with all that belongs to God. And it is the only Gospel way, to conquer error by the truth, and all human, yea and devilish doctrines, by the Gospel, which is the ministration of the Spirit and therefore so mighty that all false teachers and false doctrines must needs fall down before it; seeing, stronger is that Spirit that is in it, than that spirit that is in the world, which is its own spirit and the devil’s. * * * Now . . . if upon hearing and debating things by the Word, it shall clearly appear that our adversaries hold such things which are so false and erroneous that they cannot be reckoned believers and members of Christ, nor retain those doctrines without unavoidable damnation, then in this case the true Church hath authority from the Word to do these things: To condemn the doctrine; to excommunicate their persons. * * *
Now these things have I spoken and propounded to the faithful and churches of Christ wherever the Providence of God shall cast this book, which may travel farther on this errand than weak flesh can do, and I so propound them all as being most ready myself to hear from any what they can propound in more light and evidence of the Word. * * *
God and Man
A Postscript containing a General Proposition.
God, the absolute sovereign Lord and King of all things in heaven and earth, the original fountain and cause of all causes, who is circumscribed, governed, and limited by no rules, but doth all things merely and only by his sovereign will and unlimited good pleasure, who made the world and all things therein for his own glory,b by his own will and pleasure gave man, his mere creature, the sovereignty (under himself) over all the rest of his creatures (Gen. 1. 26, 28, 29) and endued him with a rational soul or understanding, and thereby created him after his own image (Gen. 1. 26-7, and 9. 6). The first of which was Adam, . . . made out of the dust or clay, out of whose side was taken a rib, which by the sovereign and absolute mighty creating power of God was made a female . . . called Eve. Which two are the earthly original fountain . . . of all and every particular and individual man and woman . . . in the world since, who are, and were, by nature all equal and alike in power, dignity, authority, and majesty, none of them having by nature any authority, dominion, or magisterial power one over or above another; neither have they, or can they exercise any, but merely by institution or donation, that is to say, by mutual agreement or consent, given, derived, or assumed by mutual consent and agreement, for the good benefit and comfort each of other, and not for the mischief, hurt, or damage of any; it being unnatural, irrational, . . . wicked, and unjust, for any man or men whatsoever to part with so much of their power as shall enable any of their Parliament-men, commissioners, trustees, deputies, . . . or servants, to destroy and undo them therewith. And unnatural, irrational, sinful, wicked, unjust, devilish, and tyrannical, it is for any man whatsoever, spiritual or temporal, clergyman or layman, to appropriate and assume unto himself a power, authority and jurisdiction, to rule, govern or reign over any sort of men in the world without their free consent, and whosoever doth it . . . do thereby, as much as in them lies, endeavour to appropriate and assume unto themselves the office and sovereignty of God (who alone doth, and is to, rule by his will and pleasure), and to be like their Creator, which was the sin of the devils, who, not being content with their first station,a would be like God, for which sin they were thrown down into hell, reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day (Jude, ver. 6). And Adam’s sin it was, which brought the curse upon him and all his posterity, that he was not content with the station and condition that God created him in, but did aspire unto a better and more excellent, namely to be like his Creator, which proved his ruin, yea, and indeed had been the everlasting ruin and destruction of him and all his, had not God been the more merciful unto him in the promised Messiah (Gen., chap. 3). * * *
But such is our misery, that after the expense of so much precious time, blood, and treasure, and the ruin of so many thousands of honest families, in recovering our liberty, we still find the nation oppressed with grievances of the same destructive nature as formerly, though under other notions, and which are so much the more grievous unto us because they are inflicted in the very time of this present Parliament, under God the hope of the oppressed.
For as then all the men and women in England were made liable to the summons, attachments, sentences, and imprisonments of the Lords of the Council-board, so we find by woeful experience, and the suffering of many particular persons, that the present Lords do assume and exercise the same power, than which nothing can be more repugnant and destructive to the Commons’ just liberty.
As then the unjust power of the Star Chamber was exercised in compelling men and women to answer to interrogatories tending to accuse themselves and others, so is the same now frequently practised upon divers persons, even your cordial friends, that have been, and still are, punished for refusing to answer questions against themselves and nearest relations.
As then the great oppression of the High Commission was most evident in molesting of godly, peaceable people for nonconformity, or different opinion or practice in religion, in judging all who were contrary-minded to themselves to be heretics, sectaries, schismatics, seditious, factious, enemies to the state and the like, and under great penalties forbidding all persons, not licensed by them, to preach or publish the Gospel: even so now at this day, the very same, if not greater, molestations are set on foot and violently prosecuted by the instigation of a clergy no more infallible than the former, to the extreme discouragement and affliction of many thousands of your faithful adherents, who are not satisfied that controversies in religion can be trusted to the compulsive regulation of any, and after the bishops were suppressed did hope never to have seen such a power assumed by any in this nation any more.
And although all new illegal patents are by you abolished, yet the oppressive monopoly of Merchant Adventurers and others do still remain, to the great abridgment of the liberty of the people, and to the extreme prejudice of all such industrious people as do depend on clothing or woollen manufacture (it being the staple commodity of this kingdom and nation), and to the great discouragement and disadvantage of all sorts of tradesmen, seafaring men, and hindrance of shipping and navigation.
Also the old tedious and chargeable way of deciding controversies or suits in law is continued to this day, to the extreme vexation and utter undoing of multitudes of families—a grievance as great and palpable as any in the world. [And] that old and most unequal punishment of malefactors is still continued, whereby men’s lives and liberties area liable to the law’s corporal pains (as much inflicted for small as for great offences, and that mostb unjustly) upon the testimony of one witness, contrary both to the Law of God and common equity—a grievance very great, but little regarded.
And also tithes and other enforced maintenance are still continued, though there be no ground for either under the Gospel, and though the same have occasioned multitudes of suits, quarrels, and debates both in former and latter times.
In like manner multitudes of people, poor distressed prisoners for debt, lie still unregarded in a most miserable and woeful condition throughout the land, to the great reproach of this nation.
Likewise, prison-keepers or gaolers are as presumptuous as ever they were both in receiving and detaining of prisoners illegally committed, [and are] as cruel and inhumane to all, especially to such as are well-affected, as oppressive and extorting in their fees, and are attended with under-officers of such vile and unchristian demeanour as is most abominable.
Also thousands of men and women are permitted to live in beggary and wickedness all their life long, and to breed their children to the same idle and vicious course of life; and no effectual means used to reclaim either, or to reduce them to any virtue or industry.
And last, as those who found themselves aggrieved formerly at the burdens and oppressions of those times, that did not conform to the church-government then established, refused to pay ship-money or yield obedience to unjust patents, were reviled and reproached with nicknames of Puritans, heretics, schismatics, sectaries, or were termed factious or seditious, men of turbulent spirits, despisers of government, and disturbers of the public peace: even so it is at this day in all respects with those that show any sensibility of the fore-recited grievances, or move in any manner or measure for remedy thereof; all the reproaches, evils, and mischiefs that can be devised, are thought too few or too little to be laid upon them, as Roundheads, sectaries, Independents, heretics, schismatics, factious, seditious, rebellious, disturbers of the public peace, destroyers of all civil relations and subordinations. Yea, and beyond what was formerly, nonconformity is now judged a sufficient cause to disable any person (though of known fidelity) from bearing any offices of trust in the commonwealth, whiles neuters, malignant and disaffected, are admitted and countenanced. And though it be not now made a crime to mention a Parliament, yet it is little less to mention the supreme power of this honourable House. So that in all these respects this nation remains in a very sad and disconsolate condition, and the more because it is thus with us after so long a session of so powerful and so free a Parliament, and [one that] hath been so made and maintained by the abundant love, and liberal effusion of the blood, of the people. And therefore . . . we . . . do most earnestly entreat that you will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people who have chosen and trusted you, that you will seriously consider that the end of your trust was freedom and deliverance from all kind of grievances and oppressions.
1. And that, therefore, in the first place, you will be exceeding careful to preserve your just authority from all prejudices of a negative voice in any person or persons whatsoever, which may disable you from making that happy return unto the people which they justly expect, and that you will not be induced to lay by your strength till you have satisfied your understandings in the undoubted security of yourselves and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered to you in all your extremities, and until you have secured and settled the commonwealth in settled peace and true freedom, which is the end of the primitive institution of all government.
2. Secondly, that you will take off all sentences, fines, and imprisonments imposed on commoners by any whomsoever, without due course of law or judgment of their equals, and to give due reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withal, and for preventing the like for the time to come, that you will enact all such arbitrary proceedings to be capital crimes.
3. Thirdly, that you permit no authority whatsoever to compel any person or persons to answer to any questions against themselves or nearest relations, except in cases of private interest between party and party in a legal way, and to release such as suffer by imprisonment or otherwise, for refusing to answer to such interrogatories.
4. Fourthly, that all statutes, oaths, and covenants may be repealed so far as they tend, or may be construed, to the molestation and ensnaring of religious, peaceable, and well-affected people, for nonconformity or difference of opinion or practice in religion.
5. Fifthly, that no man for preaching or publishing his opinion in religion in a peaceable way, may be punished or persecuted as heretical, by judges that are not infallible but may be mistaken as well as other men in their judgments, lest upon pretence of suppressing errors, sects, or schisms, the most necessary truths, and sincere professions thereof, may be suppressed, as upon the like pretence it hath been in all ages.
6. Sixthly, that you will for the encouragement of industrious people, dissolve that oppressive company of Merchant Adventurers, and the like, and prevent all such others by great penalties for ever.
7. Seventhly, that you will settle a just, speedy, plain, and unburdensome way for deciding of controversies and suits in law, and reduce all laws to the nearest agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English tongue, and that all processe[s] and proceedings therein may be true, and also in English, and in the most usual character of writing without any abbreviation, that each one who can read may the better understand their own affairs, and that the duties of all judges, officers, and practisers in the law, and of all magistrates and officers in the commonwealth, may be prescribed, their fees limited under strict penalties, and published in print to the knowledge and view of all men; by which just and equitable means this nation shall be for ever freed of an oppression more burdensome and troublesome than all the oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.
8. Eighthly, that the life of no person may be taken away [but] under the testimony of two witnesses at least, of honest conversation; and that in an equitable way you will proportion punishment to offences, so that no man’s life be taken away, his body punished, nor his estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable causes as justly deserve such punishment; and that all prisoners may have a speedy trial, that they be neither starved nor their families ruined by long and lingering imprisonment; and that imprisonment may be used only for safe custody until time of trial, and not as a punishment for offences.
9. Ninthly, that tithes and all other enforced maintenances may be for ever abolished, and nothing in place thereof imposed, but that all ministers may be paid only by those who voluntarily choose them, and contract with them for their labours.
10. Tenthly, that you will take some speedy and effectual course to relieve all such prisoners for debt as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in prison through the hard-heartedness of their creditors; and that all such who have any estates may be enforced to make payment accordingly, and not shelter themselves in prison to defraud their creditors.
11. Eleventhly, that none may be prison-keepers but such as are of approved honesty; and that they be prohibited under great penalties to receive or detain any person or persons without lawful warrant; that their usage of prisoners may be with gentleness and civility, their fees moderate and certain; and that they may give security for the good behaviour of their under-officers.
12. Twelfthly, that you will provide some powerful means to keep men, women, and children from begging and wickedness, that this nation may be no longer a shame to Christianity therein.
13. Thirteenthly, that you will restrain and discountenance the malice and impudency of impious persons in their reviling and reproaching the well-affected with the ignominious titles of Roundheads, factious, seditious, and the like, whereby your real friends have been a long time, and still are, exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and profane people; and that you will not exclude any of approved fidelity from bearing office of trust in the commonwealth for nonconformity, but rather neuters, and such as manifest disaffection or opposition to common freedom, the admission and continuation of such being the chief cause of all our grievances. * * *
An Appeal to the People
It is confessed that our English histories and records of the actions and transactions of our predecessors, both of ancient and late times, so far as I can understand, do not afford me any example or precedent for any appeal from parliaments to people. Neither is there any such liberty provided in the letter of our law. So that by such as prefer precedents and formalities, forms and figures, before the substance, life, and spirit of all just precedents and laws, I may probably be censured and condemned for this present enterprise, as an open and desperate enemy to parliaments and magistracy, a subverter and destroyer of all national laws and government, and a reducer (to my power) of kingdoms and people into confusion. To such I shall return even the late words of our now degenerate Parliament: that reason hath no precedent; for reason is the fountain of all just precedents. . . . Therefore where that is, there is a sufficient and justifiable precedent.
And if this principle must be granted of, and obeyed by all (as by no rational man can be denied), then the act of appeal in this nature, if grounded upon right reason, is justifiable and warranted, even by that which gives an equitable authority, life, and being, to all just laws, precedents, and forms of government whatsoever. For reason is their very life and spirit, whereby they are all made lawful and warrantable both for settlement, administration, and obedience; which is the highest kind of justification and authority for human actions, that can be, for greater is that which gives being and justifieth than that which receiveth and is justified. All forms of laws and governments may fall and pass away, but right reason (the fountain of all justice and mercy to the creature) shall and will endure for ever. It is that by which in all our actions we must stand or fall, be justified or condemned; for neither morality nor divinity amongst men can or may transgress the limits of right reason. For whatsoever is unreasonable cannot be justly termed moral or divine, and right reason is only commensurable and discernible by the rule of merciful justice and just mercy. It is gradual in its quantity, but one in its quality. Several are its degrees, but its perfection and fulness is only in God. And its several branches and degrees are only communicable and derivated from him, as several beams and degrees of heat from the body of the sun—yet all heat. So in reason there are different degrees, as from morality to divinity, and under those two heads several subordinate degrees, all derivated and conveyed from the Creator (the original fountain) to the creature, yet all one and the same in nature—the difference only lying in the degree of the thing, not in the thing itself, as a dwarf is as much a man as a giant though not so big a man. And soa the gifts and graces of God are one radically, yet different in their species, and all from one and the same Spirit, which canb act nothing contrary to its own nature. And God is not a God of irrationality and madness, or tyranny. Therefore all his communications are reasonable and just, and what is so is of God.
And upon this principle, as upon a firm and sure foundation, all just laws and governments are founded and erected, and in particular the fundamental laws and government of this kingdom. For it is a sure and radical maxim in our law, Nihil quod est contra rationem est licitum (Nothing which is against reason is lawful), reason being the very life of the law of our land; so that should the law be taken away from its original reason and end, it would be made a shell without a kernel, a shadow without substance, a carcass without life, which presently turns to putrefaction. And as reason only gives it a legal being and life, so it only makes it authori[ta]tive and binding. If this be not granted, lust, will, pride (and what the devil and corruption will) may be a law. For if right reason be not the only being and bounder of the law over the corrupt nature of man (that what is rational, the which injustice and tyranny cannot be, may only and at all times be legal, and what is legal, to be simply and purely rational, the which mercy and justice must be whensoever, wheresoever, and by whomsoever it be . . .),c all would fall into confusion, disorder, madness, and cruelty; and so magistracy would cease, and be converted into inhumanity and tyranny.
So that it being most evident and clear to the eye of rational man that this fundamental principle may not (in being [fundamental] to magistracy itself) be expulsed the precincts of magisterial government, but must be preserved . . . entire and absolute therein . . . as a sure and safe refuge to fly to, in all straits and extremities whatsoever, for preservation, safety, removal of oppressions, &c.; or else no safety or relief from oppression, either public or private, to be lawfully attempted, pursued, or had—so that where that principle is, there legality and authority must be, and is concomitant to, and inseparable therefrom, never to be altered while the sun and the moon endures. By it kings and kingdoms have their essential legal being, without which they cease from being either kings or kingdoms. Therefore, that which doth institute, constitute, and authorize the regality of kings and kingdoms, certainly must needs be sufficiently authori[ta]tive for a particular, as for this expedient of mine or the like, in case it be found under the protection and authority of the said principle of right reason—as I shall clearly evidence it to be.
First, then, be pleased to consider that it is a firm law and radical principle in nature, engraven in the tables of the heart by the finger of God in creation, for every living, moving thing, wherein there is the breath of life, to defend, preserve, guard,a and deliver itself from all things hurtful, destructive and obnoxious thereto, to the utmost of its power. Therefore from hence is conveyed to all men in general, and to every man in particular, an undoubted principle of reason: by all rational and just ways and means possibly he may, to save, defend, and deliver himself from all oppression, violence and cruelty whatsoever, and (in duty to his own safety and being) to leave no just expedient unattempted for his delivery therefrom. And this is rational and just. To deny it is to overturn the law of nature, yea and of religion too; for the contrary lets in nothing but self-murder, violence, and cruelty. Now the unreasonable oppression of myself, my wife, brother, and children, under the arbitrary tyranny of the Westminster Lords, and the ways and means that I have used for delivery therefrom, considered and weighed in the balance of this natural radical principle of reason, this, mine attempt of appeal (though of a desperate nature) will be found the only mean wherein I may discern any probability of relief. . . .
Secondly, necessity is a law above all laws. And this principle conveyeth and issueth forth authority and power, both to general and particular cases, even to the taking up of unusual and un-exemplary courses for public and particular deliverances. . . . And upon this principle the Netherlanders made an hostile defence and resistance against the King of Spain, their then sovereign lord, for the recovery of their just rights and freedom. And upon the same point rose the Scotch up in arms and entered this kingdom without all formal countenance or allowance of king or parliament, and were justified for that very act by this present Parliament. Yea, and even this Parliament upon the same principle took up arms against the King. And now, right worthy patriots of the Army, you yourselves upon the same principle, for recovery of common right and freedom, have entered upon this, your present honourable and solemn Engagement against the oppressing party at Westminster, and plead yourselves justifiable thereby, and tell them . . . that the Parliament hath declared it no resistance of magistracy to side with the just principles and law of nature and nations, being that law upon which you have assisted them. So that if I be condemned for a traitor by all or any of you, whether Scotch, Parliament, or Army, for proceeding upon the said just principles and law of nature, for common right and freedom, I tell you plainly that out of your own mouths you shall be judged no less traitors than myself, yea, allowers of that in yourselves, which for treason you condemn in others. * * *
Thirdly, the equity of the law is superior to the letter, the letter being subordinate and subject thereto. And look how much the letter transgresseth the equity, even so much it is unequal, of no validity and force. * * * And by this principle, worthy officers and soldiers, you have charged the Parliament from their own declarations, to warrant this your present expedition; . . . bya which principle, together with yourselves and with them, I lay claim to a title for an equal justification and protection from the letter of the law. * * *
Fourthly, all betrusted powers, if forfeit[ed], fall into the hands of the betrusters, as their proper centre.b And where such a forfeit is committed, there it disobligeth from obedience, and warranteth an appeal to the betrusters, without any contempt or disobedience to the powers in the least; for such an appeal in that case is not at all from the power, but from the persons; not forsaking the power, but following of it in its retreat to the fountain. For as formerly the Parliament averred, and as now this honourable Army assumeth, . . . all authority is fundamentally seated in the office, and but ministerially in the persons. Therefore, the persons in their ministrations degenerating from safety to tyranny, their authority ceaseth, and is only to be found in the fundamental original rise and situation thereof, which is the people, the body represented. For though it ceaseth from the hands of the betrusted, yet it doth not, neither can it, cease from its being; for kings, parliaments, &c., may fall from it, but it endureth for ever. For were not this admitted, there could be no lawful redress in extremity. Yea, magistracy itself should be transitory and fading like as is corruption—of no certain duration or moment; but it is unchangeable and certain; man perisheth, but it endureth. It always is either in the hands of the betrusted or of the betrusters. While the betrusted are dischargers of their trust it remaineth in their hands, but no sooner the betrusted betray and forfeit their trust but (as all things else in dissolution) it returneth from whence it came, even to the hands of the trusters. For all just human powers are but betrusted, conferred, and conveyed by joint and common consent; for to every individual in nature is given an individual propriety by nature, not to be invaded or usurped by any (as in mine Arrow against Tyranny is proved and discovered more at large); for every one as he is himself hath a self propriety—else could he not be himself—and on this no second may presume without consent; and by natural birth all men are equal, and alike born to like propriety and freedom, every man by natural instinct aiming at his own safety and weal. And so it is that there is a general communication amongst men from their several innate properties to their elected deputies for their better being, discipline, government, property, and safety. * * *
Now these premises considered, I do confidently conclude (if confidence may be derived from the just principles of nature) that the transgression of our weal by our trustees is an utter forfeiture of their trust, and cessation of their power. Therefore if I prove a forfeiture of the people’s trust in the prevalent party at Westminster in Parliament assembled, then an appeal from them to the people is not anti-parliamentary, anti-magisterial; not from that sovereign power, but to that sovereign power. For the evidence whereof I shall first present a discovery of their dealings with me, relating to the public, and then their common course to the general.1 * * *
But for brevity’s sake I shall omit the several new oppressions, exactions, and burdens, wherewith the people are loaded everywhere, even till their backs are ready to break, as every man by woeful experience can witness, and shall only relate to the main and principal end of their election and session, which is for hearing the cries and groans of the people, redressing and easing their grievances. And as touching this matter, this is their course: instead of relief for oppression, themselves do oppress, and, which is worst, then stop the mouths of the oppressed, . . . slight, reject and crush their just and necessary petitions, which is the highest kind of tyranny in the world, shut their doors and ears against the cry of the people both of country and City, yea, though the burdens of the oppressed are so great that multitudes in a peaceable manner have attended the House daily with petitions for no other thing than for the removal of oppression and recovery of freedom, according to the fundamental laws of this kingdom, which they [have] often declared, covenanted, protested, and sworn with hands lifted up to the most high God, to perform faithfully and truly.
Yet these very men, contrary to their many oaths, covenants, declarations, vows, and protestations, call the petitioners rogues, villains, seditious, factious fellows . . .; and not only so, but imprison some of them, as Mr. Nicholas Tew, Mr. Browne, and Major Tulidah,a the two first of them prisoners to this hour, the third under bail. And they stay not here, but their arrogance mounts higher and higher: [they] even vote their petitions seditious breach of their privileges, and cause them to be burnt by the hand of the common hangman—even such petitions wherein was contained the liberties and freedoms of the Commons of England, and no jot of anything . . . that was not just, honest and reasonable, and their sworn duties to perform.1 * * *
Halters and gallows is more fit for them than places in Parliament. What! will you be more fearful of them, to bring them to justice, than they were of you, to burn your laws and liberties? For shame! Never let an English spirit be taxed with that dishonour. You have Othniels, Ehuds, Baraks, and Gideons, before you, even a mighty and puissant, virtuous army, which hath most gallantly and honourably engaged for you and their own safety and protection from those unnatural tyrants and usurpers, to remove them from the seat of your authority, and to bring them to justice, that you, and your children after you, may be delivered from the fear and prejudice of their cruelties, dwell in peace and safety, enjoy the price of your labour and travail quietly and freely to yourselves, be absolute lords and possessors of your own, andb be made true and real freemen indeed. Fall therefore into their assistance and protection, and trust no longer your perjured, traitorous trustees dissembled at Westminster, but save yourselves from that cursed and wicked generation. Now is the opportunity. Do not procrastinate nor delay, lest your destruction be of yourselves. * * *
Dear friends, our destruction is beyond the privilege of Parliament. It is out of the compass of that betrusted authority. While they move in the sphere of our safety, their motions are parliamentary, legal and author[it]ative, and to be obeyed, defended and maintained. But on the contrary, the contrary must be concluded; for contraries have contrary consequents. For there is a difference betwixt their parliamentary and their own personal capacity, and their actions are answerably different. Therefore the rejection, disobedience, and resistance of their personal commands, is no rejection, disobedience, or resistance of their parliament[ary] authority; so that he that doth resist their personal commands, doth not resist the Parliament. . . .
And upon this principle of justice and reason they grounded and justified their war against the King. * * * Even so may the commonalty of England reply to their Parliament-members, that they are made for the people, not the people for them, and no otherwise may they deal with the people than for their safety and weal, for no more than the people are the King’s, no more are the people the Parliament’s, [they] having no such propriety in the people as the people have in their goods, to do with them as they list. As they will not grant it to be the prerogative of kings, neither may we yield it to be the privilege of parliaments. For the safety of the people is the reason and end of all governments and governors. Salus populi est suprema lex: the safety of the people is the supreme law of all commonwealths. * * *
Therefore it is in vain for our members in Parliament to think that we will justify or tolerate the same among them which we would not endure in the King—to pluck off the garments of royalty from oppression and tyranny, to dress up the same in Parliament-robes. No, no, that was ever, and is, far from our hearts, and we shall justify or allow the same no more in the one than in the other. For to allow it in the one is to justify it in the other, for it is equally unequal in both, and in itself resistible wheresoever it is found. For were it not resistible, all defensive war whatsoever were unlawful. And upon this point we moved against the King, the equity thereof arising from an inherent principle of nature concording with the commandment of God. For were not tyranny in itself resistible, then a man might lawfully murder himself or give power to another to be his butcher. But . . . by the law of God in nature and in his word, both the one and the other is verily unlawful. * * * And upon this ground, in case we have to deal with a mighty and furious enemy, we are bound to the utmost of our power to arm and fortify ourselves for our just and necessary defence, and by force of arms to repel and beat back the invading, assaulting enemy, whether it be an enemy for the confusion and extirpation of our persons or for destruction and ruin of our laws, our freedoms and liberties. For bondage and slavery are not inferior to death, but rather to be more avoided, condemned and resisted than present destruction, by how much the more that kind of destruction is more languishing than present. * * *
And against the justice of this defensive principle no degrees, orders, or titles amongst men can or may prevail; . . . all laws, customs and manners . . . must be subject to give place and yield thereunto, and it unto none; for all degrees and titles magisterial . . . are all subservient to popular safety, . . . all instituted and ordained only for it. For without it can be no human society, cohabitation, or being; which above all earthly things must be maintained as the earthly sovereign good of mankind, let what or who will, perish or be confounded. For mankind must be preserved upon the earth, and to this preservation all the children of men have an equal title by birth, none to be deprived thereof but such as are enemies thereto. And this is the groundwork that God in nature hath laid for all commonwealths, for all governors and governments amongst men. * * * And from hence ariseth the true definition of treason. For indeed treason is no other than a destruction to human society, or actions . . . tending to the utter overthrow of public safety, cohabitation, and peace, or to the . . . thraldom of a people or country. * * *
Now in regard the body natural, for its own safety, may prune, amputate, and cut off the corrupt, putrefied members from the body representative, yea, utterly renounce . . . and dissolve all the members therein, upon total forfeiture of, and real apostasy from, the true representative capacity of Parliament; . . . it then inevitably followeth, that this natural body, by virtue of its instincted, inherent natural sovereignty, may . . . depute any . . . persons for their . . . deputies for the removal of those dead, corrupt, putrefied members from the seat and name of their formal authority, and for the suppression of injustice and tyranny, [and the] recovery of liberty and freedom. But it may be, it will be objected that, by reason of . . . confusion and disorder at such an exigency in the body natural, such a new deputation . . . cannot possibly be formally effected, and therefore those forementioned members, though never so corrupt and destructive, must be continued and subjected unto. I answer that the body natural must never be without a mean to save itself, and therefore, by the foresaid permanent unalterable rule of necessity and safety, any . . . persons (in discharge of their duty to God, themselves, and their country) may warrantably rise up in the cause and behalf of the people, to preserve them from imminent ruin and destruction, such . . . persons doing in that act no more than every man by nature is bound to perform. For as every man by the very bond of nature and neighbourhood, in case his neighbour’s house be on fire, is bound forthwith without any formal or verbal deputation of the owner, to endeavour the quenching thereof with his utmost power and ability; even so, and much more, may the same be saida of a whole country or kingdom; for necessity in that case of extremity justifies the act of safety and preservation in any, though without any formal election . . . from the people in general thereto. For such formalities must give place unto the main, being but circumstances in comparison thereof, and a kingdom or commonwealth must not be neglected and lost for a trifle. * * * It is not the part of the just and merciful freemen of England to behold the politic body of this commonwealth fallen amongst a crew of thieves, as Hollis, Stapleton,b&c., stripped of its precious raiment of freedom and safety, wounded and left grovelling in its blood, even half dead, and pass by on the other side like the merciless priest and the Levite. No, now is the time for the compassionate Samaritan to appear, to bind up its wounds, to pour in wine and oil, to engage in the defence and preservation of a distressed, miserable people; for greater love and mercy cannot be amongst men than to take compassion over the helpless and destitute.
Therefore this evangelical principle of mercy (being of the nearest communication to the nature of God) is a warrantable ground for the Solemn Engagement of the Army, like the compassionate Samaritan, to bind up the wounds of the almost murdered laws and liberties of England. * * * And in case they be enforced to a defensive resistance, in so doing they will be no resisters, despisers, condemners or oppugners of magistracy, authority or government. For tyranny is no magistracy. Therefore the resistance of tyrants is no resistance of magistrates, except it be of such [as are] so nominally, but really and essentially monsters and pests of humanity. * * *
Now magistracy in its nature, institution, and administration, is for such a kind of safety, national and general, as wherein every . . . particular person, of what sort . . . soever, may fully and freely enjoy his liberty, peace, and tranquillity, civil and human. It is an ordinance amongst men, and for men, that all men may have a human subsistence and safety, to live as men amongst men, none to be excepted from this human subsistence but the unnatural and the inhuman. It is not for this opinion or that faction, this sect or that sort, but equally and alike indifferent for all men that are not degenerated from humanity and human civility in their living and neighbourhood. And therefore the destroyers and subverters of human society, safety, cohabitation, and being, are to be corrected, expulsed, or cut off for preservation of safety and prevention of ruin, both public and private. And thus is magistracy for the praise of them that do well, and for the punishment of those that do evil.
And as for matters of conscience or opinion about religion or worship, with which human society, cohabitation, and safety may freely subsist and stand together—that doth not fall under the power of the magisterial sword, either for introduction and settlement, or for extirpation and subversion. For the limits of magistracy extend no further than humanity or human subsistence, not to spirituality or spiritual being; and no further than its own nature extends, no further may its compulsive power be stretched. And this is the true distinction, for matter of subjection, betwixt God and Caesar; and what is God’s we must in the first place give unto God, and what is Caesar’s, in the second place, freely and readily we must give unto Caesar. The inward man is God’s prerogative; the outward man is man’s prerogative. God is the immediate Lord over the inward, and mediately over the outward; but man is only lord over the outward, and though immediate thereover, yet but by deputation or commission from him who is thus both over the one and the other. And God, who only knoweth the heart and searcheth the reins, hath reserved the gubernation thereof to himself as his own prerogative. And the only means which he useth in this kind of government, that by his ministers must be dispensed, is only by the Word, not by the sword. For the sword pierceth but the flesh; it toucheth but the outward man; it cannot touch the inward. Therefore where by the Word (to wit, by doctrine or argumentation, the proper means to work upon the intellectuals and affections) a conversion is not, nor cannot be, obtained, there no human compulsive power or force is to be used, either for plantation or extirpation.
And therefore it was that Christ refused the sword for the promulgation and settlement of his doctrine; for it was spiritual, and such were the weapons he used for that warfare of his. And therefore in imitation of his pattern, and [the] practice of the Apostles, we must rather suffer for matters of faith than be enforced or enforce thereunto. But it does not therefore follow that by defensive force we may not maintain our natural human being and subsistence upon earth; for the contrary doctrine would tend to the utter confusion of humanity, the depopulation of nations, kingdoms, and countries. Though for the spiritual warfare we are confined to spiritual weapons, yet for this human, natural warfare human and natural weapons may and are to be used, each according to its kind. So that neither the one nor the other in their distinctive propriety and administration is destructive or contradictory one to another, but both may properly meet and stand together in one individual without the least encroachment or prejudice to each other’s propriety. And if the magistrate should so far extend his compulsive force, under pretence of religion and conscience, to the destruction of our human subsistence or being, we may, upon the points of oura human subsistence, lawfully make our defensive resistance, for in itself it is defendable against all opposition or destruction, from whence or from whomsoever it shall be. And of this defensive resistance none in duty can be excused but in case of an utter deprivationb of power. . . .
Therefore, these premises . . . deliberately weighed, I appeal to all moderate and rational commoners to judge impartially about this matter, whether now without all check or scruple of conscience, in maintenance and pursuance of this defensive principle of resistance, we may not, every man of us, in duty to our own natures and to our native country in general, to the utmost of our lives and fortunes, be assistant and united to this faithful Army that now is, or to whomsoever shall rise up and appear in the defensive cause of this kingdom, for the recovery of our natural human rights and freedoms, that all orders, sorts, and societies of the natives of this land may freely and fully enjoy a joint and mutual neighbourhood, cohabitation, and human subsistence, one as well as another, doing unto all men as we would be done unto, it being against the radical law of nature and reason that any man should be deprived of a human subsistence, that is not an enemy thereto. He that is fit for neighbourhood, cohabitation, human society and fellowship, and will freely comply and submit thereunto, ought not to be abridged of the same in the least measure; he that shall deny, oppose and resist this, the same is an enemy to mankind and is guilty of the highest kind of treason that is. * * *
I shall therefore presume, most excellent General, honourable officers, faithful Agitators,a and gentleman soldiers, . . ., to make my humble address and appeal unto this Army as to the natural head of the body natural of the people at this present. * * *
Be therefore quick and active and be not demurred, protracted and delayed, by the old, beaten, subtle foxes of Westminster, into your own and our destruction. Can you imagine that they intend you any good? What have they done, I pray you, as hitherto, but fobbed, befooled, and deluded you . . ., that they might gather time and ground? * * *
Therefore, right worthy and faithful Agitators, be advised to preserve that power and trust, reposed in and conferred upon you by the body of the Army, entire and absolute. And trust no man, whether officer or soldier, how religious soever appearing, further than he acts apparently for the good of the Army and kingdom. Mark them which would and do bring you into delays and demurs; let their pretences be what they will be, their counsels are destructive. I am afraid that your officers areb too forward to interpose all delays. Therefore, as I dare not totally condemn them, but honour them so far as they have dealt honourably in your Engagement, I only advise you to be cautious and wary, and keep up your betrusted power and authority, and let nothing be acted . . . or concluded without your consent and privity. For by that means the cause in a clandestine, underhand manner may be given away. And what do you know but there is a design amongst you, to take the power of all agitation from the hand of the private soldier? * * * Sure I cannot judge that you will altogether be befooled of your power. If you do, I am sure we shall all be befooled with you. If that once be accomplished, then farewell our hopes in the Army. For I am confident that it must be the poor, the simple and mean things of this earth, that must confound the mighty and the strong. Therefore your officers that seek not themselves, and have no sinister ends nor designs in their breasts, will be contented that your betrusted power be preserved entire in your hands till the end of your work be accomplished, and rather than they will any ways seem to infringe it, [they will] be continued in their addition to your agitation only for advice and consultation, not for control and conclusion, not desiring a negative voice any more in your agitation than they and you would allow the King in the great council of Parliament; that so the sense and mind of the Army may not be prevented or denied. * * *
Certain Articles for the Good of the Commonwealth, Presented to the consideration of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, and to the Officers and Soldiers under his command.a * * *
1. That for the future the election and expulsion of Parliament-members may be so settled in the electors, that none may be hindered . . . from serving his country under any colour or pretence whatsoever, as for refusing the Covenant or otherwise, without order first, [and] assent or concurrence of their country.
2. That for the better security of the interest and power of the people, all titles by prerogative, privilege, patent, succession, peerage, birth, or otherwise, to sit and act in the assembly of Parliament, contrary to and without the free choice and election of the people, be utterly abrogated. . . .
3. That the authority of Parliament may be preserved and secured for the future from the obstructions and prejudice of a negative voice in any person or persons whatsoever.
4. That every county may have liberty to choose some certain number amongst themselves, to inquire and present to the Parliament what be the just laws, customs and privileges of each county. And that those county commissioners be bound to receive all . . . impeachments, by any person . . . of the respective counties, against any of their own respective knights or burgesses in Parliament, for falsifying and betraying . . . their country’s trust, or anywise endeavouring the introduction of an arbitrary power in this land. * * *
 That all courts which are not established by the just old law of the land, and all illegal offices and officers belonging to the same, and all other vexatious and unnecessary courts, be abolished by Act of Parliament. And that provision be made, that for time to come no courts or officers whatsoever may be obtruded upon the free commoners of England, eitner by royal grant, patent, Act of Parliament, or otherwise, contrary to the old law of the land.
 That according to the old law and custom of the land, long before and some time after the Conquest, there may be courts of judicature for the speedy trial and determination of all causes, whether criminal or civil, erected and established in every hundred, for the ease and benefit of the subject, to be holden according to the old custom once or twice every month, for the ending of all causes criminal and civil whatsoever, which shall happen in the respective hundreds. * * *
 That all such officers as, by the ancient and common laws of this nation, are eligible,b and to be chosen by the free Commons, as mayors, sheriffs, justices of peace, &c., may be left to the free election of the people in their respective places, and not otherwise to be chosen. * * *
 That the extortions and oppressive fees of gaolers may be redressed and eased, and that strict and severe provision be made against all gaolers and their deputies, to restrain them for the future from the like extortions and cruelties, now frequent in all gaols of the land. And that there may be a strict and severe inquisition after the blood of such prisoners as have been murdered and starved by the cruelties of gaolers, that so the persons guilty thereof may have justice executed upon them.
 That no prisoners be put in irons, or to other pain, before conviction and condemnation.
 That there may be cleanly and wholesome provision made in all the gaols of England, for the lodging of prisoners at the charge and cost of the state, and that no fees for chamber-rent, for entering or deliverance, or anything in lieu thereof, be exacted or demanded, under a severe penalty.
 That neither the High Court of Parliament nor any other inferior court or magistrate whatsoever may commit any freeman of England to prison upon any pretended contempts, as is frequent in these days, but only for transgression and breach of the known laws of the land. * * *
 That all laws of the land (locked up from common capacities in the Latin or French tongues) may be translated into the English tongue. And that all records, orders, processes, writs, and other proceedings whatsoever, may be all entered and issued forth in the English tongue, and that in the most plain and common character used in the land, . . . that so the meanest English commoner that can but read written hand in his own tongue, may fully understand his own proceedings in the law.
 That no free commoner of England be enforced,a either by the High Court of Parliament or by any subordinate court, . . . to make oath or to answer to any interrogatories concerning himself in any criminal case concerning his life, liberty, goods, or freehold. * * *
 That neither membership in Parliament, office nor function whatsoever in the magistracy of the land, may be any protection or demur in any wise against the due process or course of the ancient and common laws of this realm, but that in all cases of treason, murder, burglary, and felony, in all actions, suits, and civil proceedings whatsoever, the greatest man . . . in the realm may be made equally liable at all times and seasons . . . to the trial, sentence and execution of the law, with the meanest commoner.
 That all wicked persons that shall bear false witness against any freeman of England . . . be adjudged and condemned of their lives, liberties, and freeholds, according to that which they would have done unto their neighbours.
 That the cruel practice of imprisoning debtors may be provided against, and that due rights and properties may be recovered upon more merciful terms than by way of imprisonment.
 That according to the Law of God, and the old law of the land, matters of theft may not be punished with death, and that such malefactors may make satisfaction either by just restitution to the party wronged or by an answerable servitude, and that such offenders upon the second conviction (lawfully had) be brand-marked visibly in the most eminent part of their face, and confined to a singular habit. And upon the third lawful conviction, to be put to perpetual servitude for the benefit of the state, saving to the party wronged a competent deduction thereout for restitution according to the theft. And that upon all occasions of war, such bondmen may be taken for the military service, and the impressing of freemen on that behalf in some measure spared.
 That every English native who hath goods, wares, and merchandise, may have freedom to transport the same to any place beyond the seas, and there to convert them to his own profit, it being his true and proper inheritance [so] to do . . .; and therefore to thata end, [that] the old trade-engrossing Company of Merchants may be dissolved, and the like for the future prevented.
 That the grievous oppressions by tithes and forced maintenance for the ministry be removed, and that the more easy and evangelical practice of contribution be granted and confirmed, for the benefit of the subject, and his freedom therein, for prevention of the lordliness in, and the commotions, oppressions, and tyrannies that might happen by, the clergy.
 That all ancient donations for the maintenance and continuance of free schools, which are . . . converted to any private use, and all such free schools which are destroyed . . ., may be restored and erected again, and that all parts or counties, . . . destitute of free schools for the due nurture and education of children, may have a competent number of such schools founded, erected, and endowed at the public charges of those respective counties and places so destitute, that few or none of the freemen of England may for the future be ignorant of reading and writing.
 That all ancient charitable donations towards the constant relief of the poor . . . and all hospitals that are . . . vitiated from their primitive constitution and end, or . . . deprived of any of their franchise, profits or emoluments, may be restored . . . and safely preserved to the relief and maintenance of poor orphans, widows, aged and impotent persons, &c. And that there be a convenient number of hospitals . . . erected and constituted in all the counties of England and Wales, at the public charge of the respective counties, for the good education and nurture of poor fatherless or helpless children, maintenance and relief of poor widows, aged, sick, and lame persons. And to that end, that all the glebe-lands in the kingdom may be converted to the maintenance and use of those charitable houses.
 That all the grounds which anciently lay in common for the poor, and are now . . . enclosed . . . , may forthwith, in whose hands soever they are, be . . . laid open again to the free and common use and benefit of the poor.
 That strong provision be made that neither the Parliament nor any inferior court . . . may in any wise let . . . any person or persons from contriving, promoting, or presenting any petition . . . concerning their grievances [and] liberties, to the High Court of Parliament.
The truth is (and we see we must either now speak [or] for ever be silent), we have long expected things of another nature from you, and such as, we are confident, would have given satisfaction to all serious people of all parties:
1. That you would have made good the supreme [authority] of the people in this honourable House from all pretences of negative voices, either in King or Lords.
2. That you would have made laws for election of Representatives yearly and of course, without writ or summons.
3. That you would have set express times for their meeting, continuance, and dissolution: as not to exceed forty or fifty days at the most, and to have fixed an expressed time for the ending of this present Parliament.
4. That you would have exempted matters of religion and God from the compulsive and restrictive power of any authority upon earth, and reserved to the supreme authority an uncompulsive power only of appointing a way for the public worship,a whereby abundance of misery, persecution, and heart-burning would for ever be avoided.
5. That you would have disclaimed in yourselves, and all future Representatives, a power of pressing and forcing any sort of men to serve in wars, there being nothing more opposite to freedom, nor more unreasonable in an authority empowered for raising moneys. (In all [due] occasions for war,b and [with] a just cause, assistants need not be doubted; the other way serving rather to maintain injustice and corrupt parties.)
6. That you would have made both kings, queens, princes, dukes, earls, lords, and all persons, alike liable to every law of the land, made or to be made, that so all persons, even the highest, might fear and stand in awe [of them], and neither violate the public peace nor [the] private right of person or estate (as hath been frequent) without being liable to accompt as other men.
7. That you would have freed all commoners from the jurisdiction of the Lords in all cases; and to have taken care that all trials should be only of twelve sworn men, and no conviction but upon two or more sufficient, known witnesses.
8. That you would have freed all men from being examined against themselves, and from being questioned or punished for doing of that against which no law hath been provided.
9. That you would have abbreviated the proceedings in law, mitigated and made certain the charge thereof in all particulars.
10. That you would have freed all trade and merchandizing from all monopolizing and engrossing by companies or otherwise.
11. That you would have abolished excise, and all kinds of taxes except subsidies, the old and only just way of England.
12. That you would have laid open all late enclosures of fens, and other commons, or have enclosed them only or chiefly to the benefit of the poor.
13. That you would have considered the many thousands that are ruined by perpetual imprisonment for debt, and provided to their enlargement.
14. That you would have ordered some effectual course to keep people from begging and beggary in so fruitful a nation as, through God’s blessing, this is.
15. That you would have proportioned punishments more equal to offences, that so men’s lives and estates might not be forfeited upon trivial and slight occasions.
16. That you would have removed the tedious burden of tithes, satisfying all impropriators, and providing a more equal way of maintenance for the public ministers.
17. That you would have raised a stock of money out of those many confiscated estates you have had, for payment of those who contributed voluntarily above their abilities, before you had provided for those that disbursed out of their superfluities.
18. That you would have bound yourselves and all future Parliaments from abolishing propriety, levelling men’s estates, or making all things common.
19. That you would have declared what the duty or bussinessa of the kingly office is, and what not; and ascertained the revenue, past increase or diminution, that so there might never be more quarrels about the same.
20. That you would have rectified the election of public officers for the City of London, of every particular company therein, restoring the commonalty thereof to their just rights, most unjustly withheld from them to the producing and maintaining of corrupt interest[s], opposite to common freedom, and exceedingly prejudicial to the trade and manufactures of this nation.
21. That you would have made full and ample reparations to all persons that had been oppressed by sentences in High Commission, Starb Chamber, and Council-board, or by any kind of monopolizers or projectors, and that out of the estates of those that were authors, actors, or promoters of so intolerable mischiefs, and that without much attendance.
22. That you would have abolished all committees, and have conveyed all businesses into the true method of the usual trials of the commonwealth.
23. That you would not have followed the example of former tyrannous and superstitious Parliaments in making orders, ordinances or laws, or in appointing punishments, concerning opinions or things supernatural, styling some blasphemies, others heresies, whenas you know yourselves easily mistaken and that divine truths need no human helps to support them; such proceedings having been generally invented to divide the people amongst themselves, and to affright men from that liberty of discourse by which corruption and tyranny would be soon discovered.
24. That you would have declared what the business of the Lords [w]as, and ascertain[ed] their condition, not derogating from the liberties of other men, that so there might be an end of striving about the same.
25. That you would have done justice upon the capital authors and promoters of the former or late wars, many of them being under your power; considering that mercy to the wicked is cruelty to the innocent, and that all your lenity doth but make them the more insolent and presumptuous.
26. That you would have provided constant pay for the Army, now under the command of the Lord Gen[eral] Fairfax, and given rules to all judges, and all other public officers throughout the land, for their indemnity, and for the saving harmless all that have anyways assisted you, of that have said or done anything against the King, Queen, or any of his party since the beginning of this Parliament; without which any of his party are in a better condition than those who have served you, nothing being more frequent with them than their reviling of you and your friends; [and] the things and worthy acts which have been done and achieved by this Army and their adherents (however ungratefully suffered to be scandalized as sectaries and men of corrupt judgments) in defence of the just authority of this honourable House and of the common liberties of the nation, and in opposition to all kinds of tyranny and oppression, being so far from meriting an odious Act of Oblivion, that they rather deserve a most honourable Act of Perpetual Remembrance, to be as a pattern of public virtue, fidelity and resolution, to all posterity.
27. That you would have laid to heart all the abundance of innocent blood that hath been spilt, and the infinite spoil and havoc that hath been made of peaceable, harmless people, by express commissions from the King; and seriously to have considered whether the justice of God be likely to be satisfied, or his yet continuing wrath appeased, by an Act of Oblivion.
These, and the like, we have long time hoped you would have minded, and [would thereby] have made such an establishment for the general peace, and contentful satisfaction of all sorts of people, as should have been to the happiness of all future generations. And which we most earnestly desire you would set yourselves speedily to effect; whereby the almost dying honour of this most honourable House would be again revived, and the hearts of your petitioners, and all other well-affected people, be afresh renewed unto you, [and] the freedom of the nation (now in perpetual hazard) would be firmly established. For which you would once more be so strengthened with the love of the people, that you should not need to cast your eyes any other ways (under God) for your security. But if all this availeth nothing, God be our guide; for man showeth us not a way for our preservation. * * *
Agreements of the People the history of the second agreement1
And being come to London, myself and some other of my friends, by two messengers . . . , sent a message down2 to him [Cromwell] to Pontefract,b to be delivered to himself, and to debate it with him and bring his express answer back again speedily. The effect of which message was: that to our knowledge God had caused him to understand the principles of a just government under which the glory of God may shine forth by an equal distribution unto all men; that the obtaining of this was the sole intended end of the war; and that the war cannot be justified upon any other account than the defence of the people’s right unto that just government and their freedom under it.
His answer to which message, by Mr. Hunt, was principally directed to the Independents. Some of whom appointed a meeting at the Nag’s Head Tavern by Blackwell Hall . . . , and invited Mr. Wildman and myself, &c. thither. Whither we went accordingly, and . . . met with Colonel Tichborne,c Col. John White, Dr. Parker, Mr. Taylor, John Price, and divers others. Where we had a large debate of things, and where the just ends of the war were as exactly laid open by Mr. Wildman as ever I heard in my life. But towards the conclusion they plainly told us the chief things first to be done by the Army was first to cut off the King’s head, &c., and force and thoroughly purge, if not dissolve, the Parliament. All of which we were all against, and pressed to know the bottom of their centre and in what they would absolutely rest for a future settlement. And I plainly told them in these words or to this effect: It’s true, I look upon the King as an evil man in his actions, and divers of his party as bad, but the Army had cozened us the last year and fallen from all their promises and declarations, and therefore could not rationally any more be trusted by us, without good cautions and security. In which regard, although we should judge the King as arrant a tyrant as they supposed him, or could imagine him to be, and the Parliament as bad as they could make them; yet, there being no other balancing power in the kingdom against the Army but the King and Parliament, it was our interest to keep up one tyrant to balance another, till we certainly knew what that tyrant that pretended fairest would give us as our freedoms; that so we might have something to rest upon and not suffer the Army (so much as in us lay) to devolve all the government of the kingdom into their wills and swords (which were two things we, nor no rational man, could like), and leave no persons nor power to be a counter-balance against them. And if we should do this, our slavery for [the] future (I told them) might probably be greater than ever it was in the King’s time, and so our last error would be greater than our first. And therefore I pressed very hard for an Agreement amongst the people first, utterly disclaiming the thoughts of the other till this was done. And this (I told them) was not only my opinion, but I believe[d] it to be the unanimous opinion of all my friends with whom I most constantly conversed.
At which the gentlemen Independents were some of them most desperately choleric. But, my opinion being backed with the speeches of some others of my friends, we came calmly to choose out four and four of a side to debate and conclude of some heads towards the accomplishment of an Agreement of the People, and (as I remember) their four were Colonel Tichborne, Col. White, Dr. Parker, and Jo[hn] Price; and our four were Mr. William Walwyn, Lieut.-Col. Wetton, Mr. John Wildman, and myself. But John Price sent some of the company to tell us (after we were parted and some of us drinking a cup of wine below), he would not make one if Mr. Walwyn was one, for he had a prejudice against him. Unto which I replied, Mr. Walwyn had more honesty and integrity in his little finger than John Price had in all his body, and therefore no meeting for me, seeing John Price was so base, unless Mr. Walwyn was one though we had but two of a side! But the business being much debated and expostulated, Mr. Walwyn and John Price both (for peace’ sake) were at present laid aside; and according to appointment (as I remember) all the other six met the fifteenth of November 1648, being Wednesday, at the aforementioned Nag’s Head, and there after some debate unanimously agreed in these words, viz.: That in our conceptions the only way of settlement is:
1. That some persons be chosen by the Army to represent the whole body and that the well-affected in every county (if it may be) choose some persons to represent them, and those to meet at the headquarters.
2. That those persons ought not to exercise any legislative power, but only to draw up the foundations of a just government, and to propound them to the well-affected people in every county, to be agreed to. Which agreement ought to be above law, and therefore the bounds, limits, and extent of the people’s legislative deputies in parliament, contained in the Agreement, [ought] to be drawn up into a formal contract to be mutually signed by the well-affected people and their said deputies upon the days of their election respectively.
3. To prevent present confusion, the Parliament (if it be possible) may not be by force immediately dissolved, but that the day of its dissolution be inserted in that Agreement, by virtue whereof it shall be dissolved.
4. That this way of settlement (if it may be) should be mentioned in the Army’s first Remonstrance.
5. That the matter of the Petition of September 111 be the matter to be settled.
Which Agreement of ours (as I remember) was immediately sent away to the headquarters at St. Albans by Mr. Highlanda of Southwark, where (as it was afterwards told us) it was very well accepted and approved of by the great ones there. Whose high and mighty declaration2 (drawn by Ireton at Windsor when he pretended to lay down his commission) against the King, coming to our view, we made divers objections against many passages in it, but especially at divers lashes that tacitly at the beginning of it hinted at us, which, we told some of their friends, could not be put in with a spirit of peace towards us or intention of good to the nation in those good things we desired and propounded for it. But it was with many fair expressions salved up by them. Upon which we judged it requisite for some of us to go to Windsor to speak with Mr. Ireton, the steersman himself, and accordingly (as I remember) Lieut.-Col. Wetton, Mr. Petty, Mr. Wildman, and myself met there, and, having drawn up our thoughts in writing, we communicated them to Col. Tichborne, Col. White, Mr. Moyer, and divers others of the Independent Party. Who went with us to the Governor’s house; where we met with Mr. Peters, the grand journey- or hackney-man of the Army, and after we had acquainted him with our minds, we delivered him a copy of our paper containing distinctly the heads of what we desired, and entreated him to deliver them to Commissary Ireton, with whom we desired to discourse about them. Who sent us word, at such an hour he would come to our inn at the Garter, to speak with us about them. And accordingly he did, accompanied with a whole train of officers. And a large and sharp discourse we had, our principal difference lying ina his desire in the too strict restraining liberty of conscience and in keeping a power in the Parliament to punish where no visible law is transgressed, the unreasonableness of which was much spoken against by divers of the principal officers with him, but especially by Col. Harrison, who was then extreme fair and gilded. And so little satisfaction had we at that meeting from Ireton (the Army’s Alpha and Omega) that we despaired of any good from them and were in a manner resolved to come away in haste to London and acquaint our friends with our conceptions, and so improve our interests, forcibly, as much as we could, to oppose their intended designs. But Colonel Harrison coming to us again at ten o’clock according to our desire, we had a private and large discourse with him, and fully and effectually acquainted him with the most desperate mischievousness of their attempting to do these things without giving some good security to the nation for the future settlement of their liberties and freedoms, especially in frequent, free, and successive Representatives, according to their many promises, oaths, covenants and declarations—or else as soon as they had performed their intentions to destroy the King, which we fully understood they were absolutely resolved to do (yea, as they told us, though they did it by martial law), and also totally to root up the Parliament and invite so many members to come to them as would join with them to manage businesses till a new and equal Representative could by an agreement be settled, which, the chiefest of them protested before God, was the ultimate and chiefest of their designs and desires: I say, we pressed hard for security before they attempted these things in the least, lest when they were done we should be solely left to their wills and swords, by which, we told them, they might rule over us arbitrarily without declared laws as a conquered people and so deal with us as the poor slavish peasants in France are dealt with, who enjoy nothing that they can call their own. And besides we plainly told him: we would not trust their bare words in general only, for they had broke their promise once already both with us and the kingdom, and he that would break once would make no conscience of breaking twice if it served for his ends, and therefore they must come to some absolute particular compact with us, or else, some of us told him, we would post away to London and stir up our interest against them—yea, and spend our bloods to oppose them. To which he replied to this effect: it was true,a what we said, for he must ingenuously confess they had once broken with us and the kingdom, and therefore acknowledged it was dangerous trusting them upon generals again. But, saith he, we cannot stay so long from going to London with the Army as to perfect an Agreement, and without our speedy going we are all unavoidably destroyed. For (saith he) we fully understand that the treaty betwixt the King and Parliament is almost concluded upon, at the conclusion of which we shall be commanded by King and Parliament to disband. The which if we do, we are unavoidably destroyed for what we have done already, and if we do not disband they will by Act of Parliament proclaim us traitors and declare us to be the only hinderers of settling peace in the nation. And then (saith he) we shall never be able to fight with both the interest of King and Parliament, so that you will be destroyed as well as we. For we certainly understand that Major-General Browne, &c., are underhand preparing an army against us. And therefore I profess—I confess I know not well what to say to your reasons, they are so strong, but—our necessities are so great that we must speedily go or perish; and to go without giving you some content, is hazardable too.
Well, sir, said we, we have as much cause to distrust the Parliament-men as we have to distrust you; for we know what and how many large promises they have made to the kingdom and how little they have performed. And we also know what a temptation honour, power, and profit are even to those spirits that were pretty ingenuous and honest before. And when you have done your work and got, as you pretend, forty or fifty of the honestest members of the House to you, alas (said we), it will be a mock-power. Yet they may find such sweetness and delight in their pretended power that they may fly to your swords for their protection and bid us go shake our ears for our Agreement and go look [for] it where we can catch it. And therefore we will trust generals no more to your forty or fifty members of Parliament than to you. For it’s possible, if we leave the Agreement to their framing, they may frame us such a one as will do us no good, but rather make us slaves by our own consents if signed by us. And therefore we pressed him that we might agree upon a final and absolute judge of the matter and method of the Agreement, that so we might not spend months and years in dispute about it.
And therefore we would propound this unto him: that if their honest friends in the Parliament, as they called them, would choose four from amongst themselves, and the Army four from amongst themselves, and the Independents four from amongst themselves, we that were nicknamed Levellers would choose four from among ourselves; and these sixteen should draw up the Agreement finally without any more appeal to any other. And we for our parts, so far as all our interest in England extended, would be willing to acquiesce in, and submit to, the determinations of them, [the] sixteen, or the major part of them. And we would be willing the Presbyterian Party should be invited and desired to choose four more to be of equal authority with the other sixteen, provided they did it by the first day we should appoint to meet upon. Which proposition he approved of extraordinary well, and said, it was as just, as rational, and as equitable, as possibly could be, and said he doubted not but all interests would centre in it, and engaged to acquaint them with it. And so we parted very glad that we were likely to come to some fixed agreement for the future enjoyment of our dear-bought and hard-purchased freedoms.
And the next morning we went to the gentlemen Independents . . ., and we acquainted them with it, who liked it very well; and with whom we fixed a night for several distinct meetings in London, to choose our respective trustees for this work, and also appointed a day to meet at Windsor again about it. * * * So we went . . . to Commissary-General Ireton’s chamber to have his concurrence, which of all sides was taken for the concurrence of the whole Army—or at least for the powerful and governing part of it, he being in a manner both their eyes and ears. So . . . he . . . sent us out word by Colonel Harrison (as he averred to us) that he did absolutely and heartily agree to the foresaid proposition, which to avoid mistakes was again repeated. So we seemed joyful men of all sides, and appointed a day speedily to meet at Windsor about it, Master Holland again and again engaging for four Parliament-men, and Colonel Harrison, with Commissary Ireton, for four of the Army, as we Londoners had done for each of our tribe. And so to horse we went, and I overtook upon the road the whole gang of Independents, with whom I discoursed again, and acquainted them all fully with the absoluteness of our agreement. Which they acquainted their friends with in London; who chose Colonel Tichborne, Colonel John White, Master Daniel Taylor, and Master Price the scrivener. And for our party there was, by unanimous consent of the agents from our friends in and about London, at a verya large meeting, chosen Master William Walwyn, Master Maximilian Petty, Master John Wildman, and myself. And for the honest men of the Parliament, as they were called, they had several meetings at the Bell in Kings Street, and at Somerset House, where (as I was informed) they chose Colonel Henry Marten,a Colonel Alexander Rigby, Master Thomas Chaloner,b and Master Scot, with one or two more to supply the places of those of them that should be absent at any time about their occasions. So when we came to Windsor, the Army men had chosen Commissary-General Ireton, Sir William Constable, and (as I remember) Colonel Tomlinson, Colonel Baxter, Lieutenant-Colonel Kelsey, and Captain Parker, some two of the which last four should always make up the number. So we had a meeting in their Council Chamber at the Castle; where we were all of all sides present but only the Parliament-men, for whom only Colonel Marten appeared. And after a large discourse about the foundations of our Agreement we departed to our lodging. Where Colonel Marten and we four nicknamed Levellers locked ourselves up and went in good earnest to the consideration of our Agreement. But much was not done in it there because of their haste to London, to force and break up the Parliament—which journey at all was very much opposed by Mr. Walwyn and many reasons he gave against their march to London at all—the absolute dissolution of which their friends in the House would no ways admit of, although Ireton, Harrison, &c., commonly styled it then a parliament that had forfeited its trust, a mock-parliament, and [said] that if they did not totally dissolve it, but purge it, it would be but a mock-parliament and a mock-power however. For where have we, say they, either law, warrant or commission to purge it? Or can anything justify us in the doing it but the height of necessity to save the kingdom from a new war that they, with the conjunction with the King, will presently vote and declare for; and to procure a new and free Representative, and so successive and frequent free Representatives, which this present Parliament will never suffer, and without which the freedoms of the nation are lost and gone? And the doing of which can only justify before God and man our present and former extraordinary actings with and against legal authority, and so [escape rendering] all our fighting fruitless. And this was their open and common discourse, with more of the like nature, and [especially] to those that objected against their total dissolving or breaking the House and the illegality of their intended and declared trying of the King—which also was opposed by us till a new and unquestionable Representative was sitting. * * *
But to return to our acting to complete the Agreement. All parties chosen of all sides constantly met at Whitehall after the Army came to town, saving the Parliament-men failed—only Master Marten was most commonly there. And a long and tedious tug we had with Commissary-General Ireton only, yea sometimes whole nights together, principally about liberty of conscience and the Parliament’s punishing where no law provides. And very angry and lordly in his debates many times he was. But to some kind of an expedient in the first for peace’ sake we condescendeda to please him, and so came amongst the major part of the sixteen commissioners, according to our original agreement, to an absolute and final conclusion, and thinking all had been done as to any more debate upon it, and that it should without any more ado be promoted for subscriptions, first at the Council of War, and so in the regiments, and so all over the nation. But alas, poor fools! we were merely cheated and cozened (it being the principal unhappiness of some of us, as to the flesh, to have our eyes wide open to see things long before most honest men come to have their eyes open, and this is that which turns to our smart and reproach), and that which we commissioners feared at the first, viz., that no tie, promises, nor engagements were strong enough to [bind] the grand jugglers and leaders of the Army, was now made clearly manifest. For when it came to the Council1 there came the General, Cromwell, and the whole gang of creature-colonels and other officers, and spent many days in taking it all in pieces, and there Ireton himself showed himself an absolute king, if not an emperor, against whose will no man must dispute. And then shuttlecock Roe, their scout, Okey, and Major Barton (where Sir Hardress Waller sat president) begun in their open council to quarrel with us by giving some of us base and unworthy language; which procured them from me a sharp retortment of their own baseness and unworthiness into their teeth, and a challenge from myself into the field besides, seeing they were like to fight with us in the room in their own garrison. Which, when Sir Hardress in my ear reproved me for it, I justified it, and gave it him again for suffering us to be so affronted.2 And within a little time after, I took my leave of them for a pack of dissembling, juggling knaves amongst whom in consultation ever thereafter I should scorn to come (as I told some of them), for there was neither faith, truth, nor common honesty amongst them. And so away I went to those that chose and trusted me and gave publicly and effectually (at a set meeting appointed on purpose) to divers of them an exact account how they had dealt with us and cozened and deceived us, and so absolutely discharged myself for meddling or making any more with so perfidious a generation of men as the great ones of the Army were, but especially the cunningest of Machiavelians, Commissary Henry Ireton. And having an exact copy of what the greatest part of the foresaid sixteen had agreed upon, I only mended a clause in the first reserve about religion to the sense of us all but Ireton, and put an epistle to it of the 151 of December 1648, and printed it of my own accord,2 and the next day it came abroad. About which Mr. Price the scrivener and myself had a good sharp bout at Colonel Tichborne’s house within two or three days after. Where I avowed the publishing of it, and also putting my epistle to it of my own head and accord. And after that I came no more amongst them, but with other of my friends prepared a complaint against their dealing with us and a kind of protest against their proceedings; which with my own hand I presented to the General’s own hands at the Mews, the 28 of December 1648; . . . and which was immediately printed by Ja. and Jo. Moxon, for William Larner3 . . . . Within two or three days of the delivery of which I went towards my journey to Newcastle. . . .
And yet in . . . a Declaration . . . appointed by His Excellency and his Council of War to be . . . published, May 22, 1649, . . . and first printed at Oxford, and then reprinted at London, May 23, 1649, I find these very words, viz.:
‘The grounds and manner of the proceedings of these men that have so much pretended for the liberty of the people, have been as followeth.
‘There was a paper styled the Agreement of the People framed by certain select persons and debated at a general council of officers of the Army, to be tendered to the Parliament, and to be by them commended over to the people of the nation, it being hoped that such an expedient, if assented unto at least by the honest part of the people that had appeared for this common cause to which God hath so witnessed, it would have tended much to settlement and the composing of our differences—at least have fixed honest men to such grounds of certainty as might have kept them firm and entire in opposing the common enemy, and [in] stand[ing] united to public interest.
‘The General Council of the Army, and the other sorts of men going then under the name of Levellers (so baptized by yourselves at Putney), who by their last actings have made good the same which we then judged but an imputation, had, as now it appears, different ends and aims both in the matter and manner of their proceedings. That which was intended by those men was to have somewhat tendered as a test and coercion upon the people and all sorts of men and authorities in the land. That which these, to wit, the Council of the Army, aimed at was to make an humble representation of such things as were then likely to give satisfaction and unite, and might be remitted to men’s judgments to be owned or disowned as men were satisfied in their consciences, and as it should please God to let men see reason for their so doing; that so it might not be only called an Agreement, but through the freedom of it be one indeed, and receive its stamp of approbation from the Parliament, to whom it was humbly submitted.
‘Hereupon those other men took so much dissatisfaction that they forthwith printed and spread abroad their paper, which was different from that of the Army, using all possible means to make the same to pass—but with how little effect is very well known. And finding by the Army’s application to the Parliament that they were likely, according to their duty, to stand by and own them as the supreme authority of the nation, they have by all means essayed to vilipend that authority, presenting them to the people, in printed libels and otherwise, as worse tyrants than any who were before them.’
In which passage of the General’s and his Council I shall desire to observe these things . . .:
First, that they give a false and untrue narrative of the original occasion of that Agreement, to which by our importunate importunity they were necessitated, and drawn unto that little they did in it as a bear to the stake, as is truly by me before declared; and which, as the sequel shows, they undertook merely to quiet and please us (like children with rattles) till they had done their main work (viz., either in annihilating or purging the House, to make it fit for their purpose, and in destroying the King, unto both which they never had our consents in the least), that so they might have no opposition from us, but that we might be lulled asleep in a fool’s paradise with thoughts of their honest intentions till all was over, and then totally lay it aside, as they have done, as being then able to do what they pleased whether we would or no. For if they ever had intended an Agreement, why do they let their own lie dormant in the pretended Parliament ever since they presented it, seeing it is obvious to every knowing English eye that from the day they presented it, to this hour, they have had as much power over their own Parliament now sitting as any schoolmaster in England ever had over his boys? But to them it was presented (who scarce ought to meddle with it) on purpose that there, without any more stir about it, it might be lodged for ever. For, alas, an Agreement of the People is not proper to come from the Parliament, because it comes from thence rather with a command than anything else; for that it’s we, and not they, that really and in good earnest say it ought not to do, but to be voluntary. Besides, that which is done by one parliament, as a parliament, may be undone by the next parliament, but an Agreement of the People, begun and ended amongst the people, can never come justly within the Parliament’s cognizance to destroy; which the General (and the chief of his Council) knew well enough; and I dare safely say it upon my conscience, that an Agreement of the People upon foundations of just freedom gone through with, is a thing the General (and the chiefest of his Council) as much hates as they do honesty, justice and righteousness (which they long since abandoned), [and] against which in their own spirits they are absolutely resolved, I do verily believe, to spend their heart’s blood, and not to leave a man breathing in English air, if possibly they can, that thoroughly and resolutely prosecutes it; a new and just Parliament being more dreadful to them than the great Day of Judgment spoken so much of in the scripture. And although they have beheaded the King, yet I am confidently persuaded their enmity is such at the people’s liberties that they would sooner run the hazard of letting the Prince in, to reign in his father’s stead, than further really a just agreement, or endure the sight of a new Parliament rightly constituted. * * *
[As his next two points, Lilburne denies that his Foundations of Freedom post-dated the presentation of the Agreement to the Parliament and that this presentation was the ground of the Levellers’ dissatisfaction, and proceeds]:
Fourthly, they say we used all possible means to make ours pass, but with how little success, they say, is very well known. If they mean we used all possible means to make ours pass with them, it’s true; but the reason it had no better effect was because they had no mind to it; it was too honest for them. And I am sure, in the very epistle to it, it is declared that the principal reason of the printing of it is that the people might have an opportunity to consider the equity of it, and offer their reasons against anything therein contained. And this was all the means, after the printing of it, we used to make it pass. * * *
Fifthly, they say, we were troubled at their doing their duty in submitting to authority and owning the Parliament as the supreme authority of the nation; whenas, alas, it is as visible as the sun when it shines in its glory and splendour, that Korah, Dathan and Abiram of old were never such rebels against authority as the General and his Council are, nor the Anabaptists at Munster with John of Leyden and Knipperdollinga were never more contemners of authority; nor Jack Straw, nor Wat Tyler, nor all those famous men mentioned with a black pen in our histories and called rebels and traitors can never be put in any scale of equal balance, for all manner of rebellions and treasons against all sorts and kinds of magistracy, with the General and his Council. * * * For did any or all of them forementioned ever rebel against their advancers, promoters, and creators, as these have done two several times? Did ever any or all of them chop off (without all shadow of law) a king’s and nobles’ heads, ravish and force a parliament twice, nay raze the foundation of a parliament to the ground, and under the notion of performing a trust, break all oaths, covenants, protestations, and declarations, and make evidently void all the declared ends of the war? * * *
And as for their styling this their own junto, the supreme authority: I know the time not long since when that style to be given to the House of Commons single was accounted an abominable wickedness in the eye of the chiefest of them. Yea, I also know the time . . . that they were absolutely resolved and determined to pull up this their own Parliament by the roots, and not so much as to leave a shadow of it (frequently then calling it a mock-power, and a mock-parliament), yea, and had done it if we, and some in the House of our then friends, had not been the principal instruments to hinder them, we judging it then of two evils the least to choose rather to be governed by the shadow of a parliament till we could get a real and true one (which with the greatest protestations in the world they then promised and engaged with all their might speedily to effect) than simply, solely, and only by the wills of swordsmen, whom we had already found to be men of no very tender consciences. But to me it is no wonder that they own this for the supreme power, seeing they have totally in law, reason and justice broke the Parliament, and absolutely, by the hands of Tho[mas] Pride, set up indeed a mock-power and a mock-parliament, by purging out all those that they were any way jealous of, [and that] would not vote as they would have them, and suffering and permitting none to sit but, for the major part of them, a company of absolute schoolboys, that will, like good boys, say their lessons after them, their lords and masters, and vote as they would have them, and so be a screen . . . betwixt them and the people, with the name of parliament and the shadow and imperfect image of legal and just authority—to pick their pockets for them by assessments and taxations, and by their arbitrary and tyrannical courts and committees (the best of which is now become a perfect Star Chamber, High Commission and Council-board) make them their perfect slaves and vassals by their constant and continual breaking and abasing of their spirits. * * *
The Cavaliers . . . were most desperate mad at me in particular about the beheading of the late King, although I were as far as Newcastle when it was done, and refused to give my consent to be one of his judges (although I was solicited so to be before I went out of London); yea, although I avowedly declared myself at Windsor against the manner and time of their intended dealing with him, arguing there very stiffly that upon their own principles, which led them to look upon all legal authority in England as now broken, they could be no better than murderers in taking away the King’s life though never so guilty of the crimes they charged upon him. For as justice ought to be done, especially for blood, which they then principally charged upon him (so said I, and still say), it ought to be done justly. For in case another man murder me, and a day, a week, or a year after, my brother or friend, that is no legal magistrate, executes him therefor, yet this is murder in the eye of the law because it was done by a hand had no authority to do it. And therefore I pressed again and again, seeing themselves confessed all legal authority in England was broke, that they would stay his trial till a new and equal free Representative upon the Agreement of the well-affected people (that had not fought against their liberties, rights and freedoms) could be chosen and sit; and then either try him thereby or else by their judges sitting in the court called King’s Bench. But they at Windsor asked me how by law I could have him tried. I told them: the law of England expressly saith, ‘Whosoever murders or kills another shall die’; it doth not say, excepting the King . . .; and therefore where none is excepted, there all men are included in law. But the King is a man: ergo, he is included as well as I. Unto which it was objected, that it would hardly be proved that the King with his own hands killed a man. To which I answered: By the law of England, he that counsels or commissionates others to kill a man or men is as guilty of the fact as he or they that do it. And besides, the advantage of trying of the King by the rules of the law would be sufficient to declare that no man is born (or justly can be made) lawless, but that even magistrates, as well as people, are subject to the penal part of the law, as well as the directive part. And besides, to try him in an extraordinary way that hath no real footsteps nor paths in our law would be a thing of extraordinary ill precedent; for why not twenty upon pretended extraordinary cases as well as one? And why not a thousand as well as twenty? And extraordinary cases are easily made and pretended by those that are uppermost, though never so unjust in themselves. And besides, to try him in an extraordinary way when the law hath provided all the essentials of justice in an ordinary way . . . will nourish and increase in men that erroneous conceit, that magistrates, by the law of God, nature, and reason, are not—no, nor ought not to be—subject to the penal part of the laws of men, as well as the directive part of it; which is the bane, ruin, and destruction of all the commonwealths in the world. * * *
THE SECOND AGREEMENT OF THE PEOPLE (1648)
(with variants introduced by the Council of Officers, in notes)
The Publisher to the Judicious Reader
This Agreement having had its conception for a common good as being that which contains those foundations of freedom and rules of government, adjudged necessary to be established in this nation for the future, by which all sorts of men are to be bound, I adjudged it a just and reasonable thing to publish it to the view of the nation, to the end that all men might have an opportunity to consider the equity thereof, and offer their reasons against anything therein contained, before it be concluded. That being agreeable to that principle which we profess, viz., to do unto you as we would all men should do unto us, not doubting but that the justice of it will be maintained maugre the opposition of the stoutest calumniator, especially in those clear points in the reserve so much already controverted, viz., touching the magistrate’s power to compel or restrain in matters of religion, and the exercise of an arbitrary power in the Representative to punish men for state offences against which no law hath provided; which two things especially are so clear to my understanding that I dare with confidence aver that no man can demand the exercise of such a power but he that intends to be a tyrant, nor no man part with them but he that resolves to be a slave. * * *1
Having by our late labours and hazards made it appear to the world at how high a rate we value our just freedom, and God having so far owned our cause as to deliver the enemies thereof into our hands, we do now hold ourselves bound, in mutual duty to each other, to take the best care we can for the future, to avoid both the danger of returning into a slavish condition and the chargeable remedy of another war. For as it cannot be imagined that so many of our countrymen would have opposed us in this quarrel if they had understood their own good, so may we safely promise to ourselves, that when our common rights and liberties shall be cleared, their endeavours will be disappointed, that seek to make themselves our masters. Since therefore our former oppressions, and not-yet-ended troubles, have been occasioned either by want of frequent national meetings in council, or by the undue or unequal constitution thereof, or by rendering those meetings ineffectual, we are fully agreed and resolved4 to provide that hereafter our Representatives be neither left for uncertainty for time, nor be unequally constituted, nor made useless to the ends for which they are intended. In order whereunto we declare and agree:
I. That to prevent the many inconveniences apparently arising from the long continuance of the same persons in5 authority, this present Parliament be dissolved upon or before the last day of April, in the year of our Lord 1649.
II. That the people of England being at this day very unequally distributed by counties, cities, or boroughs, for the election of their representatives, be more indifferently proportioned, and to this end, that the Representative of the whole nation shall consist of 300 persons;7 and in each county and the places thereto subjoined there shall be chosen to make up the said Representative at all times, the several numbers hereunder mentioned. * * *
[Here follows the distribution of seats for the counties, the cities, the parliamentary boroughs, and the two universities.]8
III. The Manner of Elections:
1. That the electors in every division shall be natives or denizens of England,9 such as have subscribed this Agreement,10 not persons receiving alms, but such as are assessed ordinarily towards the relief of the poor; not servants to, or receiving wages from, any particular person. And in all elections (except for the Universities) they shall be men of one-and-twenty years old or upwards, and housekeepers, dwelling within the division for which the election is. Provided that until the end of seven years next ensuing the time herein limited for the end of this present Parliament, no person shall be admitted to, or have any hand or voice in, such elections, who have adhered to, or assisted the King against the Parliament in any of these wars or insurrections; or who shall make or join in, or abet any forcible opposition against this Agreement;11 and that such as shall not subscribe it before the time limited for the end of this Parliament, shall not have vote in the next election; neither if they subscribe afterwards, shall they have any voice in the election next succeeding their subscription, unless their subscription were six months before the same.12
2. That13 until the end of fourteen years14 such persons, and such only, may be elected for any division, who by the rule aforesaid are to have voice in elections in one place or other; provided that of those, none shall be eligible for the first or second Representatives who have not voluntarily assisted the Parliament against the King, either in person before the fourteenth of June, 1645, or else in money, plate, horse, or arms, lent upon the propositions, before the end of May, 1643, or who have joined in, or abetted the treasonable engagement in London in the year 1647, or who declared or engaged themselves for a cessation of arms with the Scots who invaded the nation the last summer, or for compliance with the actors in any the insurrections of the same summer, or with the Prince of Wales or his accomplices in the revolted fleet.15
3. That whoever, being by the rules in the two next preceding articles incapable of election, or to be elected, shall assume to vote in, or be present at, such elections for the first or second Representative, or being elected, shall presume to sit or vote in either of the said Representatives, shall incur the pain of confiscation of the moiety of his estate to the use of the public, in case he have any estate visible, to the value of fifty pounds. And if he have not such an estate, then he shall incur the pain of imprisonment for three months. And if any person shall forcibly oppose, molest, or hinder the people (capable of electing as aforesaid) in their quiet and free election of their representatives;16 then each person so offending shall incur the pain of confiscation of his whole estate, both real and personal; and if he have not an estate to the value of fifty pounds, shall suffer imprisonment during one whole year without bail or mainprize; provided that the offender in each such case be convicted within three months next after the committing of his offence.17
4. That for the more convenient election of representatives, each county, with the several places thereto conjoined, wherein more than three representatives are to be chosen, shall be divided by a due proportion into so many parts, as each part may elect two, and no part above three, representatives. And for the making of these divisions,18 two persons be chosen in every hundred, lathe, or wapentake, by the people therein (capable of electing as aforesaid), which people shall on the last Tuesday in February next between eleven and three of the clock, be assembled together for that end at the chief town or usual meeting place in the same hundred, lathe, or wapentake. And that the persons in every hundred, lathe, or wapentake, so chosen, or the major part of them, shall on the fourteenth day after their election meet at the common hall of the county-town, and divide the county into parts as aforesaid, and also appoint a certain place in each respective part of the division, wherein the people shall always meet for the choice of their representatives, and shall make returns of the said divisions, and certain places of meeting therein, into the Parliament records in writing under the hands and seals of the major part of them present; and also cause the same to be published in every parish in the county before the end of March now next ensuing. And for the more equal division of the City of London for the choice of its representatives, there shall one person be chosen by the people in every parish in the said City (capable of election as aforesaid) upon the last Tuesday in February aforesaid; on which day they shall assemble in each parish for the same purpose between two and four of the clock. And that the persons so chosen, or the major part of them, shall upon the fourteenth day after their election meet in the Guild Hall of the said City, and divide the same City into eight equal parts or divisions, and appoint a certain place in every division respectively, wherein the people of that division shall always meet for the choice of their representatives, and shall make return thereof, and cause the same to be published in the manner prescribed to the several counties, as in this article.
5. That for the better provision for true and certain returns of persons elected, the chief public officer in every division aforesaid, who shall be present at the beginning of the election, and in the absence of every such officer, then any person eligible as aforesaid, whom the people at that time assembled shall choose for that end, shall regulate the elections, and by poll or otherwise clearly distinguish and judge thereof,19 and make true return thereof in writing indented under the hands and seals of himself, and of six or more of the electors, into the Parliament’s records, within one-and-twenty days after the election, and for default thereof, or for making any false return, shall forfeit £100 to the public use.20
IV. That one hundred and fifty members at least be always present in each sitting of the Representatives at the passing of any law, or doing of any act whereby the people are to be bound.21
V. That every Representative shall within twenty days after their first meeting, appoint a Council of State for the managing of public affairs until the first22 day of the next Representative, and the same council to act and proceed therein, according to such instructions and limitations as the Representatives shall give, and not otherwise.
VI. That to the end all officers of state may be certainly accomptable, and no factions made to maintain corrupt interests, no member of a Council of State, nor any officer of any salary forces in army or garrison, nor any treasurer or receiver of public moneys, shall (while such) be elected to be a representative; and in case any such election shall be, the same to be void; and in case any lawyer shall be chosen of any Representative or Council of State, then he shall be incapable of practice as a lawyer during that trust.
VII.23 That the power of the People’s Representatives extend (without the consent or concurrence of any other person or persons) to the enacting, altering, repealing, and declaring of laws; to the erecting and abolishing officers of courts of justice,24 and to whatsoever is not in this Agreement excepted or reserved from them.
1.26 We do not empower our Representatives to continue in force, or make, any laws, oaths, covenants, whereby to compel by penalties or otherwise any person to anything in or about matters of faith, religion, or God’s worship, or to restrain any person27 from the professing his faith, or exercise of religion according to his conscience in any house or place (except such as are, or shall be, set apart for the public worship); nevertheless the instruction or directing of the nation in a public way for the matters of faith, worship, or discipline (so it be not compulsive or express popery) is referred to their discretion.
2. We do not empower them to impress or constrain any person to serve in28 war either by sea or land,29 every man’s conscience being to be satisfied in the justness of that cause wherein he hazards his life.30
3. That after the31 dissolution of this present Parliament,32 none of the people be at any time questioned for anything said or done in reference to the late wars or public differences, otherwise than in execution or pursuance of the determination of the present House of Commons against such as have adhered to the King or his interest against the people; and saving that accomptants for public moneys received, shall remain accomptable for the same.33
4. That in any laws hereafter to be made, no person by virtue of any tenure, grant, charter, patent, degree or birth, shall be privileged from subjection thereto, or [from] being bound thereby as well as others.
5.34 That all privileges or exemptions of any persons from the laws, or from the ordinary course of legal proceedings, by virtue of any tenure, grant, charter, patent, degree or birth, or of any place of residence or refuge, shall be henceforth void and null, and the like not to be made nor revived again.35
6. That the Representatives intermeddle not with the execution of laws, or give judgment upon any man’s person or estate, where no law hath been before provided, save only in calling to an accompt, and punishing public officers for abusing or failing their trust.
7. That no member of any future Representative be made either receiver, treasurer or other officer during that employment, saving to be a member of the Council of State.
8. That no Representative shall in any wise render up, or give, or take away any the foundations of common right, liberty or safety contained in this Agreement, nor shall level men’s estates, destroy propriety, or make all things common.36
VIII. That the Council of State, in case of imminent danger or extreme necessity, may in each interval summon a Representative to be forthwith chosen and to meet, so as the sessions thereof continue not above forty37 days, and so it dissolve two months38 before the appointed time for the meeting of the next Representative.
IX.39 That all securities given by the public faith of the nation shall be made good by the next and all future Representatives,40 save that the next Representative may continue or make null, in part or in whole, all gifts of moneys41 made by the present House of Commons to their own members, or to any of the Lords, or to any of the attendants of either of them.
X.42 That every officer or leader of any forces in any present or future army or garrison, that shall resist the orders of the next or any future Representative (except such Representative shall expressly violate this Agreement), shall forthwith after his or their resistance, by virtue of this Agreement, lose the benefit and protection of all the laws of the land, and die without mercy.
These things we declare to be essential to our just freedoms, and to a thorough composure of our long and woeful distractions. And therefore we are agreed and resolved to maintain these certain rules of government and all that join therein, with our utmost possibilities, against all opposition whatsoever.43
These following particulars were offered to be inserted in the Agreement, but adjudged fit, as the most eminent grievances, to be redressed by the next Representative:
1. It shall not be in their power to punish or cause to be punished any person or persons for refusing to answer to questions against themselves in criminal cases.
2. That it shall not be in their power to continue or constitute any proceedings in law, that shall be longer than three or four months in finally determining of any cause past all appeal, or to continue the laws (or proceedings therein) in any other language than in the English tongue.
3. It shall not be in their power to continue or make any laws to abridge any person from trading unto any parts beyond the seas, unto which any are allowed to trade, or to restrain trade at home.
4. It shall not be in their power to continue excise longer than twenty days after the beginning of the next Representative, nor to raise moneys by any other way except by an equal rate, proportionably to men’s real or personal estates; wherein all persons not worth above thirty pound shall be exempted from bearing any part of public charge, except to the poor and other accustomary charge of the place where they dwell.
5. It shall not be in their power to make or continue any law whereby men’s estates, or any part thereof, shall be exempted from payment of their debts; or to continue or make any law to imprison any man’s person for debts of that nature.
6. It shall not be in their power to make or continue any law for taking away any man’s life except for murder, or for endeavouring by force to destroy this Agreement; but [they] shall use their uttermost endeavour to propound punishments equal to offences, that so men’s lives, limbs, liberties and estates may not as hitherto be liable to be taken away upon trivial or slight occasion; and shall have special care to keep all sorts of people from misery and beggary.
7. They shall not continue or make a law to deprive any person in case or trial from the benefit of witnesses, as well for as against him.
8. They shall not continue the grievance and oppression of tithes longer than to the end of the first Representative; in which time they shall provide for and satisfy all impropriators. Neither shall they force any person to pay toward the maintenance of the public ministers, who out of conscience cannot submit thereunto, but shall provide for them in some other unoppressive way.
9. They shall not continue or make a law for any other ways of judgment or conviction of life, liberty, or estate, but only by twelve sworn men of the neighbourhood.
10. They shall not continue or make a law to allow any person to take above six pound per cent. for loan of money for a year.
11. They shall not disable any person from bearing any office in the commonwealth for any opinion or practice in religion, though contrary to the public way.44
Unto these I shall add:
1. That the next Representative be most earnestly pressed for the ridding of this kingdom of those vermin and caterpillars, the lawyers, the chief bane of this poor nation; to erect a court of justice in every hundred in the nation, for the ending of all differences arising in that hundred, by twelve men of the same hundred annually chosen by freemen of that hundred, with express and plain rules in English made by the Representative, or supreme authority of the nation, for them to guide their judgments by.
2. That for the preventing of fraud, thefts, and deceits, there be forthwith in every county or shire in England, and the Dominion of Wales, erected a county record for the perfect registering of all conveyances, bills, and bonds, &c., upon a severe and strict penalty.
3. That in case there be any need, after the erection of hundred courts, of mayors, sheriffs, justices of the peace, deputy lieutenants, &c.; that the people capable of election of Parliament-men in the foregoing Agreement, be restored by the Representative unto their native, just, and undoubted right by common consent, from amongst themselves annually to choose all the foresaid officers in such manner as shall be plainly and clearly described and laid down by the supreme authority of the nation; and that when any subsidies or public taxes be laid upon the nation, the freemen of every division or hundred capable of election as aforesaid, choose out persons by common consent from amongst themselves, for the equal division of their assessments.
4. That the next Representative be earnestly desired to abolish all base tenures.
The Female of the Species
Sheweth, that since we are assured of our creation in the image of God, and of an interest in Christ equal unto men, as also of a proportionable share in the freedoms of this commonwealth, we cannot but wonder and grieve that we should appear so despicable in your eyes as to be thought unworthy to petition or represent our grievances to this honourable House. Have we not an equal interest with the men of this nation in those liberties and securities contained in the Petition of Right, and other the good laws of the land? Are any of our lives, limbs, liberties, or goods to be taken from us more than from men, but by due process of law and conviction of twelve sworn men of the neighbourhood? And can you imagine us to be so sottish or stupid as not to perceive, or not to be sensible when daily those strong defences of our peace and welfare are broken down and trod underfoot by force and arbitrary power?
Would you have us keep at home in our houses, when men of such faithfulness and integrity as the four prisoners, our friends, in the Tower,1 are fetched out of their beds and forced from their houses by soldiers, to the affrighting and undoing of themselves, their wives, children, and families? Are not our husbands, o[u]r selves, our children and families, by the same rule as liable to the like unjust cruelties as they?
Shall such men as Capt. Bray be made close prisoners, and such as Mr. Sawyer snatched up and carried away, beaten and buffeted at the pleasure of some officers of the Army; and such as Mr. Blanka kept close prisoner, and after most barbarous usage be forced to run the gauntlet,b and be most slave-like and cruelly whipped? And must we keep at home in our houses, as if our lives and liberties and all were not concerned?
Nay, shall such valiant, religious men as Mr. Robert Lockyer2 be liable to law martial, and to be judged by his adversaries, and most inhumanly shot to death? Shall the blood of war be shed in time of peace? Doth not the word of God expressly condemn it? Doth not the Petition of Right declare that no person ought to be judged by law martial (except in time of war) and that all commissions given to execute martial law in time of peace are contrary to the laws and statutes of the land? Doth not Sir Ed. Coke,c in his chapter of murder in the third part of his Institutes, hold it for good law (and since owned and published by this Parliament) that for a general or other officers of an army in time of peace to put any man (although a soldier) to death by colour of martial law, it is absolute murder in that general? And hath it not by this House in the case of the late Earl of Strafford been adjudged high treason? And are we Christians, and shall we sit still and keep at home, while such men as have borne continual testimony against the injustice of all times and unrighteousness of men, be picked out and be delivered up to the slaughter? And yet must we show no sense of their sufferings, no tenderness of affections, no bowels of compassion, nor bear any testimony against so abominable cruelty and injustice?
Have such men as these continually hazarded their lives, spent their estates and time, lost their liberties, and thought nothing too precious for defence of us, our lives and liberties, been as a guard by day and as a watch by night; and when for this they are in trouble and greatest danger, persecuted and hated even to the death,d should we be so basely ungrateful as to neglect them in the day of their affliction? No, far be it from us. Let it be accounted folly, presumption, madness, or whatsoever in us, whilst we have life and breath we will never leave them nor forsake them, nor ever cease to importune you, having yet so much hopes of you as of the unjust judge (mentioned, Luke 18), to obtain justice, if not for justice’ sake, yet for importunity, or to use any other means for the enlargement and reparation of those of them that live, and for justice against such as have been the cause of Mr. Lockyer’s death. * * *
And therefore again we entreat you to review our last petition in behalf of our friends above mentioned, and not to slight the things therein contained because they are presented unto you by the weak hand of women, it being a usual thing with God, by weak means to work mighty effects. For we are no whit satisfied with the answer you gave unto our husbands and friends, but do equally with them remain liable to those snares laid in your Declaration, which maketh the abetters of the book laid to our friends’ charge, no less than traitors, when hardly any discourse can be touching the affairs of the present times but falls within the compass of that book; so that all liberty of discourse is thereby utterly taken away, than which there can be no greater slavery. * * *
[Wildman’s Speech in Rebuttal]
May it please your Lordship and this honourable Court to give me leave to make some answers to what the learned gentlemen on the other side have pleased to object. . . . I shall not, my Lord, endeavour (as that gentleman did) captare benevolentiam, to take the affections of the people before I begin to debate the matter in question. I shall not tell them that I will not insinuate into their minds anything but what will stand upon the foundation of truth, but offer my thoughts and freely submit to your judgment. Yet I hope to answer particularly Mr. Maynard’s exceptions.
He was pleased, first, to take exception at that general principle that I averred, from whence, I said, might be deduced the right of all the Wards to choose the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs by their representatives—though the gentleman might have pleased to remember I did say I would waive those principles of common right, lest he should say we intended to bring all things to an uncertainty by unravelling the bottom of government to its first principle, and therefore I insisted upon nothing but what we claim as our written right. However, he might have pleased to spare quarrelling with that principle, that a just subjection ought to be founded upon an assent of the people to their governors’ power; especially in this parliamentary time, wherein the Parliament hath pleased to declare that the original of all just power (under God) is from the people. And how governors shall derive a just power from the people but by an assent of the people, I understand not. Neither do I know how we can otherwise be a free people, as the Parliament hath declared we are. If he had quarrelled with this in the time of the King, it had been for his interest to have said that we ought to be subject to the son and heir of a conqueror because such. I hope better things now.
The second thing the gentleman was pleased to except against, was that which he only imagined in his own brain—misreciting my words—like a man created by his fancy to try his skill upon. For he supposed I did say that if we had the records that are now lost, we doubted not but that they would prove the assertion we maintain. Whereas I said: If we had the records of those times, that are lost, they would show us what the rights of the people then were. And that I conceive to be without exception.
The next thing he takes exception against is what I said concerning Magna Charta, and would make this Court believe that I had thought all that great charter was unalterable. I confess, if I had thought so I would never have drawn sword against the King. But the gentleman was pleased to assert that the King was by the common law; and if he agrees with Sir Edw. Coke’sa law, he saith that the common law is but recta ratio, right reason; and I am sure the King stood not by right reason. If he had, the Parliament could not have justly declared his office burdensome and unnecessary. But the truth is, I did only say that Magna Charta, the great charter of England, was unalterable according to the principles of the gentlemen of the long robe; I only spoke it upon their bottom. I said, if I should believe Sir Edw. Coke in what he said upon the statute of 42 Edw. 3, I must then say that an Act of Parliament made contrary to that part of the Great Charter that was declarative of the common law, was null of itself; for he said that part of it was unalterable. Thus I gave them only their own authority, and made it no assertion of mine absolutely. Though, under his favour, I think a man may assert that what is founded upon the true common law of England, as Sir Edw. Coke saith, which is right reason, no authority whatsoever ought to alter (I speak not of circumstances); for if we should aver that, we should aver contradictions in the very terms, and say that right reason of right may be altered from right reason.
I shall let pass what the gentleman was pleased to say of the laws being edge-tools, and of men cutting themselves with them. I believe he met with an argument for the people’s right that was an edge-tool in his way, and he was loath to break his shins over it, and therefore he passed over the argument with a grave caution of the sharpness of the law, that he might divert your thoughts from it. But the gentleman, coming a little nearer to the matter, lays down his maxim, which is this: that ever since the 15 of Edward the Fourth, these Liveries have had the choice. And then he argues thus. Saith he, The case would be very hard to have your titles of land, after one hundred and ninety years’ possession, to be questioned. And is it not as hard that the right of the Liveries to elections should now be questioned? Under the gentleman’s favour, the case is very different. I suppose no man pleads for the like title to a power or authority over the people that men have to their lands, nor upon the same grounds. If the titles were alike, it were just to buy and sell authority, or places of trust and government, as we buy and sell lands, or horses in Smithfield; and this our common law abhors. If we speak of people that are arrant mere vassals, like the slaves in Algiers,b authority over them is indeed bought and sold—but I hope we are not to be so esteemed—and yet the justice of those bargains is not clear. But certainly men’s titles to land and to a power of government are, or ought to be, of a different nature. And I shall make bold to assert that ’tis no hard case that the right of any number of men claiming a power in or about government by succession only, should after a hundred and ninety years’ possession be questioned. Suppose Mr. Maynard could have made good the Liverymen’s claims to the election of the chief officers of the City by custom—but then he must have more than doubled the time of the usage he spake of—yet I humbly conceive that the exercise of any power about government is not made just by continuance of time, unless it were just in the original. If long usurpation of a power in or about government could give a right to that power, all the foundations of just government were overturned, and by consequence it were not right or just to take away an usurped power if the usurpers be grown old.
Next, the gentleman is pleased, before he comes to his material arguments, to insinuate strange, huge, dreadful, monstrous consequences that would ensue in case any man shall deny his assertions. He is pleased to say, What strange consequences would ensue if we should say for a hundred and ninety years all the Lord Mayors or Sheriffs of the City of London have been unlawfully chosen! Truly, I could only answer that we might have said before the Parliament executed justice upon the King and cast off his family, What strange consequences would ensue if we should say that almost for five hundred years the people of England have been governed by them that came in unlawfully, and claimed their power successively to make the people their vassals by the sword of William the Conqueror! But the Parliament was not affrighted by such bugbear arguments to do justice upon him, and take away the power that his family claimed by conquest over us; and, I believe, Mr. Maynard will not say they did unjustly. But suppose that which he suggests, that the Mayors have been chosen unlawfully so long, ’tis time then to provide for a lawful choice. And the continuance of the unlawful will breed more of Mr. Maynard’s monstrous consequences. And if it be unlawful, ’tis not forbearing to say so that will amend the consequences.
But now the gentleman comes to his position, and saith that this government that is now is lawful. The gentleman might have pleased to have spared that—I did not yet assert that the government that is now is unlawful—yet he may take some answers to his arguments, or rather authorities, for the legality of it.
The first ground he builds upon for the lawfulness of this government is the opinion of the judges, which makes a huge cry. But by the way, the question is not now concerning the government, but only concerning the choosers or electors of the governors. The government may be the same still, though the manner and way of electing these governors may be altered from what it is at present. Yet to that opinion of the judges which makes the great noise in the Court. Oh, saith he, ’tis the opinion of all the learned judges; and then he paraphrases upon the goodness, honesty, learning, and fame of the judges that were named in the book produced. It may be those gentlemen of the long-robe were black swans; yet the argument from authority is none of the strongest. ’Tis not a very good consequence, that the thing is just because good men thought so.
Yet, under favour, the opinion of the judges I take to be not the most certain or unalterable amongst men, nor the most unbiased by their own interest. I believe, if a man should go to the twelve judges he shall scarce find four or three of the twelve of the same opinion in a dubious case. Yet if there were more that agreed, the late opinion of the judges in the case of ship-money may inform us how free the judges’ opinions are from the bias of private interest in such cases, and how fit ’tis for us to depend upon them. They could, many of them, agree to destroy property at once in favour of the King. But, however, the opinion of the judges produced by Mr. Maynard, I crave leave to affirm to be against him in this case—at least not for him. I desire it may be read.
The Case of Corporations, touching the election of Governors in the fourth of the Lord Coke’s Reports, fol. 77, 78. * * *
After Mr. Maynard had produced the authority of the judges as he supposed for his clients’ case, he argues from consequences. Saith he, If this present way of electing by the Liveries were not lawful, mark the consequences. Your Charter, saith he, is forfeited. This, I confess, is a big-bellied word, but how will this assertion agree with what Mr. Maynard, Mr. Hale,a and Mr. Wilde all affirmed: that the Charters of the City did not originally give the City those liberties that are mentioned in the Charter, but that the Charters were only declarative of the City’s rights, showing what their rights were before the Charters. Now if the Charters give not the City their rights, certainly you cannot forfeit your Charters unless the learned gentlemen shall please to say, you shall forfeit the declaration of your rights (for the Charters are no more, by their own confession). And if your forfeiture be no more, you may enjoy your liberties still, notwithstanding such a forfeiture as they pretend. But suppose a man should say what I did not yet say, that the present way of electing the Mayor is unlawful, is it any more than this, that the citizens have suffered their right to be taken from them for many years, and others to enjoy it unlawfully? And how will this consequence be deduced from thence, that the City hath forfeited their rights? I confess I understand not, by the law, that a body politic or corporation as such is under harder laws in our nation than the members of the commonwealth severally. Now, no man in England can forfeit his rights without a legal conviction of some crime for which the law censures him to forfeit his rights. And I know no reason why the City should have such hard measure, that in case the freemen have suffered the Companies to usurp their right, that therefore all the City’s rights should be forfeited. But without question this argument might have frighted you in the King’s time. Then some needy projecting courtier might have frighted you with the forfeiture of your Charter to the King, and eased you of some of your bags upon pretence of soliciting the King to renew your Charter for an easy fine. But now, if you be satisfied you have erred from the rule, I believe you may return to do right and enjoy your liberties without paying a fine.
Mr. Maynard’s next argument for the Liveries’ elections was this. That ’tis founded upon a constant usage time out of mind, so that (saith he) the City now prescribes unto this way of electing. And yet the gentleman was pleased afterwards to confess that to make a title by prescription there must be a constant usage since Rich[ard] the First’s time, and they only produce an act of a Common Council for the Liveries’ electing about a hundred and seventy-four years since, and will suppose that that act of Common Council was in confirmation of what was the custom before—whereas they produce no one footstep of a record before that time to prove that it was the usage to choose by Liverymen, but (on the contrary) it hath appeared that the election hath been four hundred years since by a select number out of the several Wards, which cannot be anyway supposed to be meant of Liverymen, they not coming as men from several Wards but as men from several Companies.
The next thing the gentleman said was this: that he hoped we would grant that we did both depart from the Charter itself. For, saith he, if we found the way of electing upon the Charter, the Charter running to the citizens indefinitely, it must be understood of all the citizens and barons. And, saith he, you grant it is impossible they should all together make the election; so we both depart from it. Under his favour I must be bold to deny it. We depart not from the Charter. For we say that, the Charter giving a right of choice to all the citizens, they may proceed in their elections either by themselves personally or their deputies; and they, finding it inconvenient to meet personally, may depute others to make their elections, and an election so made is truly said to be made by the citizens. So that in case that way of electing were admitted which the petitioners propose, it were directly agreeable to the Charter; for then indeed the citizens should choose because they choose every one of them by their deputies, as all the people of England make laws in Parliament because every man’s deputy is, or ought to be, there in Parliament.
Next, Mr. Maynard answers an objection. If, saith he, it be objected that in the way of election that is by the Liverymen, all are not represented, (saith he) it is true if you take it in some sense. But (saith he) if you take it in the sense of the law, therein they are represented, and it is the City makes these elections: . . . the Law saith so, as (saith he) in case a man’s hand moves, it is the man that moves, or his eye sees a colour, it is the man that sees. I hope the gentleman will please to confess a vast difference between a body natural and a body politic. Because he may truly say, if a man’s hand moves all the man moves, therefore will he say that what a few, or one member of the City doth is the City’s action? If so, if one in the City commit treason all the City are traitors. I believe, gentlemen, you would be loath to admit of such a law!
But to confirm this assertion the gentleman produced something out of that which he called Articuli super Chartas, where he saith, the King granted to the people to choose Sheriffs, and yet the people did not choose them all in general, it was the freeholders chose them. Mr. Maynard, if he pleaseth, could have told when the people in general were restrained from electing Parliament-men, and other the Sheriffs also, and upon what pretence it was put upon freeholders only, and how it served the King’s ends to procure that Statute of Restriction. If I forget not the time it was in the 8 of Henry 6, chap. 7. But, however, Mr. Maynard should have proved this to be just, before he can prove the other to be just by this. * * *
His next argument against this petition is this. Saith Mr. Maynard, It will tend to popularity if this should be admitted, that the Wards should choose. And I leave it, saith he, to the Court to judge what the consequent of that would be. All men’s educations, saith he, are not such as make them fit for government, or fit to choose governors. Truly, if it please the honourable Court but to consider who they are that are now the electors, this arrow of the gentleman’s returns upon himself. I could say more of it if I should not be thought to reflect—because I have a reverent respect to all kind of trades. But if I should speak of all the several Companies, the Bricklayers, Bowyers, Fletchers, Turners, Coopers, Tallow-chandlers, &c., if I should speak of the education of most of the Liverymen of forty Companies of the City, and compute their number, and tell you upon what terms most are admitted to be of the Liveries, that is, for a small sum of money; I conceive the Court would quickly judge which way of election tends most to popularity, as he calls it, and who proposeth most men that are unfit for government, to choose the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. Will any man suppose that the educations of all the handicraft-men of the Liveries render them so able and discreet that they are fit for government? I submit it to the Court.
As for the great word Mr. Maynard was pleased to add about the ill consequents of this change that would be to other corporations, saying that this is an earthquake comes under them: I shall conceive his oratory in this to be of the earthquake’s nature, a swelling vapour, unless he will be pleased to show me how the liberty of the City, or any one citizen, is undermined by what is proposed. Only I must observe to the Court that where arguments are wanting their room is commonly supplied with words and pretences of huge strange consequences that will ensue if their desires be crossed. But the arguments from a consequence, I believe they well know their strength is not of the first degree. But, however, to suppose an ill consequence may ensue upon a city or company of persons exercising their right, and thence to conclude they must not enjoy it, is a way of arguing that I understand not.
I confess Mr. Hale is pleased to deal very ingenuously in laying down those principles wherein we agreed, which was: that the liberties of the City were by prescription, and that the Charters were but declarations of what our liberties were, and that the Common Councilmen ought to have a vote in their elections. But I said not they ought, but that they might have their votes if they were chosen to that purpose. But he was pleased to say that the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council were a kind of a Representative of the City, and therefore he would thence aver that there is no inconvenience to the City, seeing they have such a Representative. I shall answer Mr. Hale thus: If a man should say the Parliament represent the commonwealth, and seeing we have a Representative, what matter if that two hundred or three hundred men more went into the Parliament and voted with them, the people of England surely would not think themselves well dealt withal, nor think those Acts so passed to be valid. Mr. Hale is pleased also to pursue Mr. Maynard’s mode of imagining strange kind of consequences that may ensue upon this. And, saith he, how if the people will say when you brought it to the representatives, We will not be bound to representatives, but we will come and choose personally? What then (saith he) would be the consequence of this? Truly, if Mr. Hale will suppose that the people will not be bound by any government, nor by Acts of Parliament, he may fill his fancy with bad consequences. And why may it not be supposed as well, that all the people in England should say, We will go and make laws ourselves in Parliament, as well as that the people should not be willing to be bound in their Wards to choose the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs by their representatives? I shall let pass also what Mr. Hale was pleased to urge concerning that principle of a just subjection of people to governors to be founded upon an assent, because he was pleased to confess very ingenuously that I waived those arguments that might reduce government to an uncertainty, or to the first principles of general common right. But, saith Mr. Hale, if that principle be allowed amongst a free people, that subjection to their governors ought to be by mere assent, . . . we must consider there is a personal and a virtual assent, and it shall be conceived to be a virtual consent where there hath been an usage time out of mind for the people to be subject to any form of government. Of which nature he endeavoured to prove the way of electing the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs by the Liverymen of the several mysteries; whereas, if Mr. Hale please to remember, they do all aver the usage of this way of electing but to have been for one hundred and seventy-four years that they can prove. As for any suppositions that it was before, I think there is enough answered to that, there being no ancienter records that mention the choice to have been by the Liverymen, who come not as sent from Wards. And though Mr. Hale is pleased to balance the records produced on one hand and on the other, and saith thus, that they produce for one hundred [and] seventy-four years to show that this hath been the way of electing which now is; but (saith he) those records produced to prove another way of electing is but a short time. If he please to remember, there is no footstep of mention made of any Liverymen, or of any of the mysteries, having a power to elect, until that 15 of Edw. 4, and we find from Edward the First, about two hundred years before, that there were twelve men in the Wards, that were electors, which we may well think to be the representers of those Wards, and chosen by them for that purpose; and no footsteps of the discontinuance of it from the time produced. But we may well say that all the records that mention the commonalty’s choice are to be interpreted by the former record, until that record comes wherein mention is made of Liverymen, there being no mention made of them formerly (under that or any other name) as such. * * *
As to the arguments from the consequences. If this government were not right, then (saith Mr. Hale) all the purchases you have made since that time you altered the way of elections, is null. I must humbly crave leave not to submit to his judgment in that till he give me better reasons; for I suppose it is grounded upon that of forfeiting a Charter, which was answered before; for though the body corporate have not had their officers rightly elected, yet the body is not thereby dissolved, and therefore their purchase may be good and without fear of forfeiture. * * *
And as for Mr. Wilde’s arguments concerning the danger that would ensue upon the multitude coming to elections, upon the same ground he may say the Wards must not choose their Aldermen nor Common Councilmen—if the citizens should be deprived of their right upon that ground that it is popularity—or they may be divided and fall to blows. Upon the same grounds they may take away the liberty of choosing Common Councilmen and Aldermen, and all their common freedoms. And if these fears shall affright men from the claim of their right, they may be told next that the sky may fall, and therefore they must not go abroad.
As for the last objection of Mr. Wilde’s, that in this way of popularity ’tis possible a choice may be made of unfit men, I shall only offer this to the consideration of the Court: whether it is more probable that a whole Ward meeting together to choose a small number of men that should represent them in the electing their superior officers, should choose more unfit men for that election than a Company, it may be, of Coopers, Tallow-chandlers, or other manual occupations should admit to the Livery (who admit all that will give so much money to be of the Livery). Who are the likeliest men to send fittest men for the choice, I humbly refer to the honourable Court—though it is strange to me to hear that the fear of popularity, or of giving way so much to the liberty of the people, is so much insisted on. Now we are come into the way of a commonwealth, it is a little dissonant to the present constitution. * * *
In the beginning of time, the great Creator, Reason, made the earth to be a common treasury, to preserve beasts, birds, fishes, and man, the lord that was to govern this creation. For man had domination given to him over the beasts, birds, and fishes. But not one word was spoken in the beginning, that one branch of mankind should rule over another.
And the reason is this. Every single man, male and female, is a perfect creature of himself. And the same Spirit that made the globe dwells in man to govern the globe; so that the flesh of man, being subject to Reason, his Maker, hath him to be his teacher and ruler within himself, therefore needs not run abroad after any teacher and ruler without him. . . .
But since human flesh . . . began to delight himself in the objects of the creation more than in the Spirit Reason and Righteousness, who manifests himself to be the indweller in the five senses . . .; then he fell into blindness of mind and weakness of heart, and runs abroad for a teacher and ruler, and so selfish imaginations, taking possession of the five senses, and ruling as king in the room of Reason therein, and working with covetousness, did set up one man to teach and rule over another. And thereby the Spirit was killed, and man was brought into bondage and became a greater slave to such of his own kind than the beasts of the field were to him.
And hereupon the earth, which was made to be a common treasury of relief for all, both beasts and men, was hedged into enclosures by the teachers and rulers, and the others were made servants and slaves. And that earth that is within this creation made a common storehouse for all, is bought and sold and kept in the hands of a few; whereby the great Creator is mightily dishonoured: as if he were a respecter of persons, delighting in the comfortable livelihood of some, and rejoicing in the miserable poverty and straits of others. From the beginning it was not so. * * *
But for the present state of the old world, that is running up like parchment in the fire and wearing away, we see proud imaginary flesh, which is the wise serpent, rises up in flesh and gets dominion in some to rule over others, and so forces one part of the creation, man, to be a slave to another. And thereby the Spirit is killed in both. The one looks upon himself as a teacher and ruler, and so is lifted up in pride over his fellow creature. The other looks upon himself as imperfect, and so is dejected in his spirit, and looks upon his fellow creature, of his own image, as a lord above him.
And thus Esau, the man of flesh, which is covetousness and pride, hath killed Jacob, the spirit of meekness, and righteous government in the light of reason, and rules over him. And so the earth that was made a common treasury for all to live comfortably upon, is become, through man’s unrighteous actions one over another, to be a place wherein one torments another.
Now the great Creator, who is the Spirit Reason, suffered himself thus to be rejected and trodden under foot by the covetous, proud flesh, for a certain time limited. Therefore saith he: The seed out of whom the creation did proceed, which is myself, shall bruise this serpent’s head, and restore my creation again from this curse and bondage; and when I, the King of Righteousness, reigns in every man, I will be the blessing of the earth, and the joy of all nations.
And . . . the earth hath been enclosed and given to the elder brother Esau, or man of flesh, and hath been bought and sold from one to another; and Jacob, or the younger brother, that is to succeed or come forth next, who is the universal spreading power of righteousness that gives liberty to the whole creation, is made a servant. And this elder son, or man of bondage, hath held the earth in bondage to himself, not by a meek law of righteousness, but by subtle selfish counsels, and by open and violent force. For wherefore is it that there is such wars and rumours of wars in the nations of the earth? And wherefore are men so mad to destroy one another? But only to uphold civil propriety of honour, dominion and riches one over another, which is the curse the creation groans under, waiting for deliverance.
But when once the earth becomes a common treasury again—as it must; for all the prophecies of scriptures and reason are circled here in this community, and mankind must have the law of righteousness once more writ in his heart, and all must be made of one heart and one mind—then this enmity in all lands will cease. For none shall dare to seek a dominion over others; neither shall any dare to kill another, nor desire more of the earth than another. For he that will rule over, imprison, oppress, and kill his fellow creatures under what pretence soever, is a destroyer of the creation and an actor of the curse, and walks contrary to the rule of righteousness: Do as you would have others do to you; and love your enemies, not in words, but in actions.
Therefore you powers of the earth, or Lord Esau, the elder brother, because you have appeared to rule the creation, first take notice that the power that sets you to work is selfish covetousness, and an aspiring pride to live in glory and ease over Jacob, the meek spirit; that is, the seed that lies hid in and among the poor common people, or younger brother, out of whom the blessing of deliverance is to rise and spring up to all nations. And Reason, the living King of Righteousness, doth only look on and lets thee alone, that whereas thou counts thyself an angel of light, thou shalt appear in the light of the Sun to be a devil . . . and the curse that the creation groans under. And the time is now come for thy downfall; and Jacob must rise, who is the universal spirit of love and righteousness that fills, and will fill, all the earth. * * *
[After reproaching ‘the powers of England’ with their failure to make ‘this people a free people,’ with their having indeed, through their ‘self-seeking humour,’ increased its bondage, the pamphlet proceeds:]
Surely thou must not do this great work of advancing the creation out of bondage; for thou art lost extremely, and drowned in the sea of covetousness, pride, and hardness of heart. The blessing shall rise out of the dust which thou treadest under foot, even the poor despised people, and they shall hold up salvation to this land, and to all lands, and thou shalt be ashamed. * * *
The work we are going about is this: to dig up George’s Hill and the waste ground thereabouts, and to sow corn, and to eat our bread together by the sweat of our brows.1
And the first reason is this. That we may work in righteousness, and lay the foundation of making the earth a common treasury for all, both rich and poor. That every one that is born in the land may be fed by the earth, his mother that brought him forth, according to the reason that rules in the creation, not enclosing any part into any particular hand, but all as one man working together, and feeding together as sons of one father, members of one family; not one lording over another, but all looking upon each other as equals in the creation. So that our Maker may be glorified in the work of his own hands, and that every one may see he is no respecter of persons, but equally loves his whole creation, and hates nothing but the serpent. Which is covetousness, branching forth into selfish imagination, pride, envy, hypocrisy, uncleanness, all seeking the ease and honour of flesh, and fighting against the Spirit Reason that made the creation. For that is the corruption, the curse, the devil, the father of lies, death and bondage—that serpent and dragon that the creation is to be delivered from.
And we are moved hereunto for that reason, and others which hath been showed us, both by vision, voice, and revelation. For it is showed us, that so long as we or any other doth own the earth to be the peculiar interest of lords and landlords, and not common to others as well as them, we own the curse thata holds the creation under bondage. And so long as we or any other doth own landlords and tenants, for one to call the land his, or another to hire it of him, or for one to give hire, and for another to work for hire; this is to dishonour the work of creation—as if the righteous Creator should have respect to persons, and therefore made the earth for some, and not for all. * * *
And that this civil propriety is the curse, is manifest thus. Those that buy and sell land and are landlords, have got it either by oppression or murder or theft; and all landlords live in the breach of the Seventh and Eighth Commandments, Thou shalt not steal, nor kill.
First by their oppression. They have, by their subtle, imaginary, and covetous wit, got the plain-hearted poor, or younger brethren, to work for them for small wages, and by their work have got a great increase; for the poor by their labour lifts up tyrants to rule over them. Or else by their covetous wit, they have outreached the plain-hearted in buying and selling, and thereby enriched themselves but impoverished others. Or else by their subtle wit, having been alifted upb into places of trust, [they] have enforced people to pay money for a public use, but have divided much of it into their private purses, and so have got it by oppression.
Then, secondly, for murder. They have by subtle wit and power pretended to preserve a people in safety by the power of the sword. And what by large pay, much free-quarter, and other booties which they call their own, they get much moneys, and with this they buy land and become landlords. And if once landlords, then they rise to be justices, rulers, and state governors, as experience shows. But all this is but a bloody and subtle thievery, countenanced by a law that covetousness made; and is a breach of the Seventh Commandment, Thou shalt not kill.
And likewise, thirdly, a breach of the Eighth Commandment, Thou shalt not steal. But these landlords have thus stolen the earth from their fellow creatures, that have an equal share with them by the law of reason and creation, as well as they.
And such as these rise up to be rich in the objects of the earth. Then, by their plausible words of flattery to the plain-hearted people, whom they deceive, and that lies under confusion and blindness, they are lifted up to be teachers, rulers, and lawmakers over them that lifted them up; as if the earth were made peculiarly for them, and not for others’ weal. If you cast your eye a little backward, you shall see that this outward teaching and ruling power is the Babylonish yoke laid upon Israel of old, under Nebuchadnezzar. And so successively from that time the conquering enemy have still laid these yokes upon Israel, to keep Jacob down. And the last enslaving conquest which the enemy got over Israel, was the Norman over England. And from that time kings, lords, judges, justices, bailiffs, and the violent bitter people that are freeholders, are and have been successively: the Norman bastard William himself, his colonels, captains, inferior officers, and common soldiers, who still are from that time to this day in pursuit of that victory, imprisoning, robbing, and killing the poor enslaved English Israelites.
And this appears clear. For when any trustee or state officer is to be chosen, the freeholders or landlords must be the choosers, who are the Norman common soldiers spread abroad in the land. And who must be chosen but some very rich man who is the successor of the Norman colonels or high officers? And to what end have they been thus chosen but to establish that Norman power the more forcibly over the enslaved English, and to beat them down again whenas they gather heart to seek for liberty? For what are all those binding and restraining laws that have been made from one age to another since that conquest, and are still upheld by fury over the people? I say, what are they but the cords, bands, manacles, and yokes that the enslaved English, like Newgate prisoners, wears upon their hands and legs as they walk the streets; by which those Norman oppressors, and these their successors from age to age, have enslaved the poor people by, killed their younger brother, and would not suffer Jacob to arise? * * *
It is showed us, that all the prophecies, visions and revelations of scriptures, of Prophets and Apostles, concerning the calling of the Jews, the restoration of Israel, and making of that people the inheritors of the whole earth, doth all seat themselves in this work of making the earth a common treasury; as you may read: Ezek. 24. 26-7, &c.; Jer. 33. 7-12; Isa. 49. 17-18, &c.; Zech. 8. 4-12; Dan. 2. 44-5; 7. 27; Hos. 14. 5-7; Joel 2. 26-7; Amos 9. 8 to the end; Obad. 17, 18, 21; Mic. 5. 7 to the end; Hab. 2. 6, 7; 8. 13, 14; Gen. 18. 18; Rom. 11. 15; Zeph. 3. &c.; Zech. 14. 9. And when the Son of Man was gone from the Apostles, his Spirit descended upon the Apostles and Brethren as they were waiting at Jerusalem; and the rich men sold their possessions and gave part to the poor, and no man said that aught that he possessed was his own, for they had all things common (Acts 4. 32).
Now this community was suppressed by covetous, proud flesh, which was the powers that ruled the world. And the righteous Father suffered himself thus to be suppressed for a time, times and dividing of time, or for forty-two months, or for three days and an half, which are all but one and the same term of time. And the world is now come to the half day; and the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of universal community and freedom, is risen, and is rising, and will rise higher and higher, till those pure waters of Shiloa, the well-springs of life and liberty to the whole creation, do overrun . . . those banks of bondage, curse, and slavery. * * *
Another voice that was heard was this: Israel shall neither take hire nor give hire.
And if so, then certainly none shall say, ‘This is my land; work for me and I’ll give you wages.’ For the earth is the Lord’s; that is man’s, who is lord of the creation, in every branch of mankind. For as divers members of our human bodies make but one body perfect, so every particular man is but a member or branch of mankind; and mankind, living in the light and obedience to Reason, the King of Righteousness, is thereby made a fit and complete lord of the creation. And the whole earth is this Lord’s man, subject to the Spirit, and not the inheritance of covetous, proud flesh that is selfish, and enmity to the Spirit. * * *
That which does encourage us to go on in this work is this. We find the streaming out of love in our hearts towards all, to enemies as well as friends. We would have none live in beggary, poverty, or sorrow, but that every one might enjoy the benefit of his creation. We have peace in our hearts, and quiet rejoicing in our work, and [are] filled with sweet content though we have but a dish of roots and bread for our food.
And we are assured that, in the strength of this Spirit that hath manifested himself to us, we shall not be startled, neither at prison nor death, while we are about his work. And we have been made to sit down and count what it may cost us in undertaking such a work. And we know the full sum, and are resolved to give all that we have to buy this pearl which we see in the field.
For by this work, we are assured, and reason makes it appear to others, that bondage shall be removed, tears wiped away, and all poor people by their righteous labours shall be relieved and freed from poverty and straits. For in this work of restoration there will be no beggar in Israel. For surely, if there was no beggar in literal Israel, there shall be no beggar in spiritual Israel, the antitype, much more. * * *
 Matt. 18. 15; Acts 15. 19, 28, 31; Acts 16. 4; 1 Tim. 4. 14; Tit. 1. 5; 1 Tim. 1. 2; Tit. 1. 6; Acts 13. 1; 1 Cor. 12. 17.
 Acts 6. 6; 2 Tim. 2. 2; 1 Tim. 4. 14; Eph. 4. 11-12; Heb. 13. 17; Acts 20. 28-9; Rev. 2. 14, 20.
 1 Pet. 2. 5; 1 Cor. 1. 2, 9; Col. 1. 2; 2 Cor. 6. 16-17; Acts 2. 41-2; Rev. 3. 1, 17; Acts 9. 26.
 Matt. 18. 15-20; Matt. 16. 18-19; 1 Cor. 12. 28; Eph. 4. 11; Acts 6. 3, 5; Acts 15. 22; 1 Tim. 3. 15.
 1 Cor. 7. 14; Acts 2. 39; Rom. 11. 16.
 Acts 2. 42; 1 Tim. 3. 15; 1 Cor. 14. 22, 6, 11, 4.
 Heb. 12. 22; Acts 10. 48; Acts 2. 41; Acts 16. 32-3.
 Matt. 10. 1 compared with Matt. 28. 18; John 4. 1; John 8. 31; Isa. 1. 16; Acts 9. 10; Acts 1. 15.
 1 Cor. 12. 5.
 Acts 2. 38; Acts 10. 48; Matt. 28. 18; Mark 16. 16; Acts 8. 37.
 Acts 1. 15; Acts 2. 42.
 Matt. 10. 1 compared with Matt. 28. 18; Isa. 8. 16; Acts 9. 10.
 Acts 2. 41-2, and Acts 16. 31.
 Matt. 10. 1; Mark 16. 16; 1 Cor. 12.
 Acts 8. 6, and Acts 9. 17.
 Rev. 15. 8, and Rev. 18. 1.
 Acts 2. 4; Mark 16. 17; Acts 19. 6; 1 Cor. 14. 22, 39.
 Rev. 22. 1.
Lex, Rex, is an answer to the Sacrosancta regum majestas (1644) of John Maxwell, Bishop of Killala and Achonry, afterwards Archbishop of Tuam.
 The pamphlet is a defence of Pride’s purge.
 See Appendix, pp. 456-65.
 Milton is here addressing Cromwell and urging him to rely upon the leaders of the Independent party.
D.N.B. 31. 280; see further W. Haller, The Rise of Puritanism (1938), 270-1. Also ascribed to William Kiffin.
 Querying how an hallelujah is suitable to a fast, the preacher answers that it is ‘suitable . . . because we are by faith to speak of things as if they were done.’
 See also Collier’s sermon, Appendix, pp. 390-6.
 Cited as representative examples: Psalms 2. 9-12; 72; 93; 110. 1-6; Isa. 2. 11-12; 11. 4-5; 32. 1-2; 52. 13-15; 53. 12; Jer. 33. 15-17; Ezek. 34. 22-4; Dan. 2. 34-5, 44-5; 7. 26-7; Mic. 5. 4-6; Zech. 9. 10; Luke 1. 32-3; Rev. 1. 5, &c.; 17. 14; Phil. 2. 9-11; Eph. 1. 20-2.
 As subscriptions, &c. [This brief marginal note refers to, and repudiates, the method of settlement by an Agreement of the People.]
 Evidently coined from eruo (dig, or search, out).
 The margin quotes Charron, Of Wisdom: ‘What monster is this, for a man to desire to have all things free, his body, his members, his goods, and not his spirit, which, nevertheless, is only born unto liberty? A man will willingly make benefit of whatsoever is in the world that comes from the east or the west, for the good and service, nourishment, health, ornament of his body, and accommodate it all unto his use, but not for the culture, benefit, and enriching of his spirit, giving his body the liberty of the fields, and holding his spirit in close prison.’
 Humfred. de vera Relig. &c. [i.e., Laurence Humphrey’s De religionis conservatione et reformatione vera (Basle, 1559), pp. 31-2]. For translation see Introduction, pp. [77-8].
 Though the dispute with Cotton originated in New England, Williams wrote in England, and with frequent reference to the situation there.
 ‘Briars and thorns’ signify for Williams natural or unconverted persons; ‘tares’ signify heretics and false worshippers. Both groups are to be tolerated in the world (so long as they do not infringe the civil peace); neither is to be tolerated in the church.
An Apologetical Narration (1644).
 Dedicated to Fairfax, Cromwell, and the Council of War, who ‘through the renewing of the . . . presence of God . . . after a manifest withdrawing of it, and . . . through a blessed necessity,’ are ‘now doing that work of God, which once’ they ‘had little mind to: . . . the procuring the peace of the kingdom by subduing the great enemies of peace, and removing all the enmity against peace that was enwrapped in our very laws and degenerated constitution . . .’: ‘And now here . . . shall you see a better peace and agreement than you are striving for . . ., of which Christ himself is the immediate author and prince, which he communicates not to the world, but to them he chooses out of the world . . ., which hath its foundation in Christ, and its influence into each of the communion of Saints all the world over. And this peace can no more be brought about by your sword than by the magistrate’s sceptre. And therefore take heed lest you now, having power in your hands to another purpose, should so far forget yourselves as to do that yourselves which you have condemned in others. Therefore suffer the Word only to be both sceptre and sword in the kingdom of God, and let the true Church remain free in the freedom which Christ hath conferred upon it; or else the Lord, whose own the Church is, will as certainly, in his due time, take the sword out of your hands as he hath done the sceptre out of the magistrate’s, and throw you into one destruction with him. But I am persuaded better things of you, though I thus speak, and even such things as are suitable to the light of the Gospel and to the virtues and graces of Christ and his Spirit, which have been hitherto (and I hope, will yet still be) very manifest, not only in you honourable ones who have the chief conduct, but also in very many of the Council and Army besides. And upon such a gathering together of God’s people and Saints (let the world, if it please, still laugh at that word), who can but think he hath some choice and singular work in hand for his own glory? * * * For hath not that day of the Lord of Hosts dawned, which is upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he is to be brought low, and the Lord alone is, and must be, exalted in this day.’
 Further defined below: ‘The congregations of the faithful have power in themselves, according to the doctrine of the Gospel, to choose their own ministers.’
 Selections from Putney Projects; The Case of the Army Truly Stated; the first Agreement of the People; A Call to all the Soldiers of the Army; various letters from the Agitators, and Lilburne’s Plea for Common Right and Freedom, which also illustrate Leveller principles, are printed in the Appendix.
 I follow Professor Pease (Leveller Movement, p. 158 n.) in accepting a pamphlet acquired by Thomason on 19th September 1648 [E. 464 (19)] as presenting the text of this petition. See also Tracts, ed. Haller (3. 397-405), where the whole pamphlet is reproduced.
 Here follows an account (pp. 7-10) of Overton’s arrest, on 11th August 1646, by order of the Lords, on a charge of breach of privilege; his appeal to the House of Commons; its reference of the case, with Lilburne’s, to Henry Marten’s committee on the Commons’ liberties, which pronounced both imprisonments illegal; Overton’s refusal to appear again before the Lords; his imprisonment, as a result, in Newgate, from 3rd November 1646 till the time of writing (8th July 1647); and finally the arrest of his wife and brother. From the Lords his attack turns (pp. 10-13) to the eleven members of the Commons charged with treason by the Army, and concludes with a repudiation of the authority of that House, which by its acts has forfeited the character of a true Representative.
 Omitted passage cites the condemnation of the soldiers’ petition by the dominant Presbyterian party in the House of Commons, and the effort to gain complete control of the City militia.
 This appears to be the Petition of 11th September, referred to in the Remonstrance of the Army (Appendix, p. 464) and in the Whitehall Debates (pp. 141-2). But the Large Petition of March 1647 (pp. 318-23) seems also to have been revived at this time, and to have been printed more than once. It is possible that the references to the Petition of 11th September are intended to cover both documents.
 For the first Agreement see Appendix, pp. 443-5.
 Early in November 1648.
 See above pp. 338-42.
 The Remonstrance of the Army (see Appendix, pp. 456-65).
 See Whitehall Debates, above pp. 125-69. For the Levellers’ protest at the time, see Appendix, pp. 472-4.
 Clarke MSS. contain no record of this incident.
 Epistle is dated the tenth (see below, p. 356). Another edition (McAlpin Collection, New York) is dated the fifteenth.
Foundations of Freedom (see below, pp. 355-67).
A Plea for Common Right and Freedom (see below, pp. 472-4).
 Dated Friday, 10th December 1648.
 Notes (except where specified) record the significant changes introduced by the Council of Officers (as a result of the Whitehall Debates), before presenting the Agreement to Parliament, on 20th January 1649.a
 + and safety.
 + God willing.
 + supreme.
 400 persons, or not more. (Clarke MS. copy reads: three or four hundred.)
 + Provided that the first or second Representative may . . . assign the remainder of the 400 representers . . . unto such counties as shall appear in this present distribution to have less than their due proportion. Provided also that where any city or borough . . . shall be found in a due proportion not competent . . . to elect . . . the number of representers assigned thereto, it is left to future Representatives to assign such a number of parishes or villages near adjoining . . ., to be joined therewith in elections, or [they] may make the same proportionable. . . . That the people do, of course, choose themselves a Representative once in two years and shall meet for that purpose upon the first Thursday in every second May . . .; and the Representatives so chosen, to meet upon the second Thursday in the June following . . . and to continue their sessions . . . until the second Thursday in December following, unless they shall adjourn or dissolve themselves sooner; but not to continue longer. The election of the first Representative to be on the first Thursday in May 1649; and that and all future elections to be according to the rules prescribed in this Agreement.
 Transposes provision respecting representatives to 15 before +.
 Transposes provision respecting representatives to 15 before +.
 + And we desire and recommend it to all men, that in all times the persons to be chosen for this great trust may be men of courage, fearing God and hating covetousness; and that our Representatives would make the best provisions for that end.
 + for the first Representative.
 + And the first Representative is to make further provision for the avoiding of these evils in future elections. + VI below.
 Substitutes: so as to make the elections less subject to confusion or mistake, in order to the next Representative, Thomas Lord Grey of Groby [two knights, one gentleman, five citizens of London, also named] or any five or more of them are intrusted to nominate . . . three or more fit persons in each county, and in each city and borough . . ., to be as commissioners for the ends aforesaid. . . . Which commissioners . . . shall . . . appoint two fit and faithful persons or more in each hundred, lathe, or wapentake . . . and in each ward within the City of London, to take care for the orderly taking of all voluntary subscriptions to this Agreement. . . . And the same commissioners . . . for the several counties, cities, and boroughs respectively shall, where more than three representers are to be chosen, divide such counties, as also the City of London, into . . . such parts as are aforementioned and shall set forth the bounds of such divisions; and shall . . . appoint one place certain wherein the people shall meet for the choice of the representers, and some one fit person or more . . . to be present at the time and place of election, in the nature of sheriffs to regulate the elections . . .; and shall in every . . . parish likewise nominate . . . one trusty person or more . . ., to make a true list of all the persons . . . who, according to the rules aforegoing, are to have voice in the elections, and expressing who amongst them are, by the same rules, capable of being elected, and such list . . . to bring in and return . . unto the person appointed in the nature of sheriff. . . . Which person . . . being present . . ., or in case of his absence by one hour after the time limited for the people’s meeting, then any person present that is eligible, . . . whom the people, then and there assembled, shall choose for that end, shall receive . . . the said lists and admit the persons therein contained . . . unto a vote in the said election, and, having first caused this Agreement to be publicly read . . ., shall proceed unto, and regulate, and keep peace and order in the elections, and by poll or otherwise openly distinguish and judge of the same. . . .
 Substitutes: so as to make the elections less subject to confusion or mistake, in order to the next Representative, Thomas Lord Grey of Groby [two knights, one gentleman, five citizens of London, also named] or any five or more of them are intrusted to nominate . . . three or more fit persons in each county, and in each city and borough . . ., to be as commissioners for the ends aforesaid. . . . Which commissioners . . . shall . . . appoint two fit and faithful persons or more in each hundred, lathe, or wapentake . . . and in each ward within the City of London, to take care for the orderly taking of all voluntary subscriptions to this Agreement. . . . And the same commissioners . . . for the several counties, cities, and boroughs respectively shall, where more than three representers are to be chosen, divide such counties, as also the City of London, into . . . such parts as are aforementioned and shall set forth the bounds of such divisions; and shall . . . appoint one place certain wherein the people shall meet for the choice of the representers, and some one fit person or more . . . to be present at the time and place of election, in the nature of sheriffs to regulate the elections . . .; and shall in every . . . parish likewise nominate . . . one trusty person or more . . ., to make a true list of all the persons . . . who, according to the rules aforegoing, are to have voice in the elections, and expressing who amongst them are, by the same rules, capable of being elected, and such list . . . to bring in and return . . unto the person appointed in the nature of sheriff. . . . Which person . . . being present . . ., or in case of his absence by one hour after the time limited for the people’s meeting, then any person present that is eligible, . . . whom the people, then and there assembled, shall choose for that end, shall receive . . . the said lists and admit the persons therein contained . . . unto a vote in the said election, and, having first caused this Agreement to be publicly read . . ., shall proceed unto, and regulate, and keep peace and order in the elections, and by poll or otherwise openly distinguish and judge of the same. . . .
 + and [he] shall also cause indentures to be made . . . betwixt himself and six or more of the said electors, on the one part, and . . . each person elected . . ., on the other part, expressing their election of him as a representer of them according to this Agreement, and his acceptance of that trust, and his promise to perform the same with faithfulness, to the best of his understanding and ability, for the glory of God and [the] good of the people. This course is to hold for the first Representative, which is to provide for the ascertaining of these circumstances in order to future Representatives.
 + saving that the number of sixty may make a house for debates or resolutions that are preparatory thereunto.
 tenth . . . unless that next Representative think fit to put an end to that trust sooner.
 + That the Representatives have, and shall be understood to have, the supreme trust in order to the preservation and government of the whole.
 + and the highest and final judgment concerning all natural or civil things, but not concerning things spiritual or evangelical. Provided that, even in things natural and civil, these six particulars . . . are . . . understood to be excepted and reserved from our Representatives.
 (Lilburne admits here ‘mending a clause . . . to the sense of all of us but Ireton’; above p. 350.) Reserve in religion becomes Article IX of final Agreement:
Concerning religion, we agree as followeth: (1) It is intended that the Christian religion be held forth and recommended as the public profession in this nation, which we desire may, by the grace of God, be reformed to the greatest purity in doctrine, worship, and discipline, according to the word of God; the instructing the people thereunto in a public way, so it be not compulsive, as also the maintaining of able teachers for that end, and for the confutation or discovery of heresy, error, and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine, is allowed to be provided for by our Representatives; the maintenance of which teachers may be out of a public treasury, and we desire, not by tithes; provided that popery or prelacy be not held forth as the public way or profession in this nation. (2) That to the public profession so held forth, none be compelled by penalties or otherwise; but only may be endeavoured to be won by sound doctrine, and the example of a good conversation. (3) That such as profess faith in God by Jesus Christ, however differing in judgment from the doctrine, worship, or discipline publicly held forth as aforesaid, shall not be restrained from, but shall be protected in, the profession of their faith and exercise of religion according to their consciences, in any place except such as shall be set apart for the public worship (where we provide not for them unless they have leave), so as they abuse not this liberty to the civil injury of others, or to actual disturbance of the public peace on their parts. Nevertheless, it is not intended to be hereby provided that this liberty shall necessarily extend to popery or prelacy. (4) That all laws, ordinances, statutes, and clauses in any law, statute, or ordinance to the contrary of the liberty herein provided for in the two particulars next preceding, concerning religion, be, and are hereby, repealed and made void.
 (Clarke MS. + professing Christianity).
 + any foreign.
 + nor for any military service within the kingdom, save that they may take order for the forming, training and exercising of the people in a military way, to be in readiness for resisting of foreign invasions, suppressing of sudden insurrections, or for assisting in execution of the laws, and may take order for the employing and conducting of them for those ends; provided that, even in such cases, none be compelled to go out of the county he lives in, if he procure another to serve in his room.
 time herein limited for the commencement of the first Representative.
 time herein limited for the commencement of the first Representative.
 + IX below.
 + and that, in all matters of such fundamental concernment, there shall be a liberty to particular members of the said Representatives to enter their dissents from the major vote.
 fifty days.
 That no securities given . . . shall be made void or invalid . . . except to such creditors as have . . . justly forfeited the same.
 That no securities given . . . shall be made void or invalid . . . except to such creditors as have . . . justly forfeited the same.
 + lands, . . . offices, or otherwise.
It is agreed that whosoever shall by force of arms resist the orders of the next or any future Representative (except in case where such Representative shall evidently render up, or give, or take away the foundations of common right, liberty and safety contained in this Agreement), he shall forthwith, after . . . such resistance, lose the benefit and protection of the laws, and shall be punishable with death as an enemy and traitor to the nation. Of the things expressed in this Agreement: the certain ending of this Parliament, as in the first Article; the equal or proportionable distribution of the number of the representaters to be elected, as in the second; the certainty of the people’s meeting to elect for Representatives biennial, and their freedom in elections; with the certainty of meeting, sitting and ending of Representatives so elected, which are provided for in the third Article; as also the qualifications of persons to elect or be elected, as in the first and second particulars under the third Article; also the certainty of a number for passing a law or preparatory debates, provided for in the fourth Article; the matter of the fifth Article, concerning the Council of State, and of the sixth, concerning the calling, sitting and ending of the Representatives extraordinary; also the power of Representatives to be, as in the eighth Article, and limited, as in the six reserves next following the same; likewise the second and third particulars under the ninth Article, concerning religion, and the whole matter of the tenth Article; all these we do account and declare to be fundamental to our common right, liberty, and safety; and therefore do both agree thereunto, and resolve to maintain the same as God shall enable us. The rest of the matters in this Agreement we account to be useful and good for the public; and the particular circumstances of numbers, times, and places expressed in the several Articles, we account not fundamental; but we find them necessary to be here determined for the making the Agreement certain and practicable, and do hold these most convenient that are here set down; and therefore do positively agree thereunto.
It is agreed that whosoever shall by force of arms resist the orders of the next or any future Representative (except in case where such Representative shall evidently render up, or give, or take away the foundations of common right, liberty and safety contained in this Agreement), he shall forthwith, after . . . such resistance, lose the benefit and protection of the laws, and shall be punishable with death as an enemy and traitor to the nation. Of the things expressed in this Agreement: the certain ending of this Parliament, as in the first Article; the equal or proportionable distribution of the number of the representaters to be elected, as in the second; the certainty of the people’s meeting to elect for Representatives biennial, and their freedom in elections; with the certainty of meeting, sitting and ending of Representatives so elected, which are provided for in the third Article; as also the qualifications of persons to elect or be elected, as in the first and second particulars under the third Article; also the certainty of a number for passing a law or preparatory debates, provided for in the fourth Article; the matter of the fifth Article, concerning the Council of State, and of the sixth, concerning the calling, sitting and ending of the Representatives extraordinary; also the power of Representatives to be, as in the eighth Article, and limited, as in the six reserves next following the same; likewise the second and third particulars under the ninth Article, concerning religion, and the whole matter of the tenth Article; all these we do account and declare to be fundamental to our common right, liberty, and safety; and therefore do both agree thereunto, and resolve to maintain the same as God shall enable us. The rest of the matters in this Agreement we account to be useful and good for the public; and the particular circumstances of numbers, times, and places expressed in the several Articles, we account not fundamental; but we find them necessary to be here determined for the making the Agreement certain and practicable, and do hold these most convenient that are here set down; and therefore do positively agree thereunto.
 These particulars (together with 3 below, the election of municipal officers) are added in the Levellers’ third Agreement of the Free People of England, issued by John Lilburne, William Walwyn, Thomas Prince, and Richard Overton, on 1st May 1649; which also contains some further provision, e.g.:
IV.a That no member of the present Parliament shall be capable of being elected of the next Representative, nor any member of any Representative shall be capable of being chosen for the Representative immediately ensuing. * * *
VIII. And for the preservation of the supreme authority, in all times, entirely in the hands of such persons only as shall be chosen thereunto, we agree and declare: That the next and all future Representatives shall continue in full power for the space of one whole year; and that the people shall of course choose a Parliament once every year. . . . Also (for the same reason) that the next or any future Representative, being met, shall continue their session, day by day, without intermission for four months, and after that shall be at liberty to adjourn from two months to two months, as they shall see cause, until their year be expired; but shall sit no longer than a year upon pain of treason to every member that shall exceed that time. And in times of adjournment [they] shall not erect a Council of State, but refer the managing of affairs in the intervals to a committee of their own members, giving such instructions (and publish[ing] them) as shall in no measure contradict this Agreement. * * *
XXIV. That it shall not be in their power to impose ministers upon any the respective parishes, but [they] shall give free liberty to the parishioners . . . to choose such as themselves shall approve, and upon such terms, and for such reward, as themselves shall be willing to contribute or shall contract for. Provided none be choosers but such as are capable of electing Representatives. * * *
And forasmuch as nothing threateneth greater danger to the commonwealth than that the military power should by any means come to be superior to the civil authority: XXIX. We declare and agree that no forces shall be raised, but by the Representative for the time being; and in raising thereof that they exactly observe these rules, namely: that they allot to each particular county, city, town, and borough, the raising, furnishing, agreeing, and paying of a due proportion, according to the whole number to be levied; and shall to the electors of Representatives in each respective place give free liberty to nominate and appoint all officers appertaining to regiments, troops, and companies, and to remove them as they shall see cause, reserving to the Representative the nominating and appointing only of the general and all general officers, and the ordering, regulating, and commanding of them all upon what service shall seem to them necessary for the safety, peace, and freedom of the commonwealth.
 It is improbable that this petition was actually composed by the women. Its principles are none the less interesting.
 Lilburne, Overton, Walwyn, and Prince.
 Executed on 27th April 1649.
 The prefatory material presents the essential facts. In the course of an investigation of the City’s accounts ‘it was found that the chief officers had been very faulty; and thereupon it was considered how they were elected, and there arose the question about the right of electing the chief officers of the City. And it came into debate whether the Liverymen ought to be the electors, as now they are. Thereupon the Companies of London petitioned the Court that they might continue their elective power; and divers freemen of the City petitioned for the abolishing that power of the Liveries or Companies. * * * These were referred to a committee, and counsel for the Companies there heard, and Mr. Price in the behalf of the freemen. From thence it was referred to be fully debated before the Lord Mayor, Court of Aldermen, and Common Council. And on Saturday the 14th of December, the Court being sat at Guild Hall, the Companies brought for their counsel Mr. Maynard, Mr. Hale, and Mr. Wilde, gentlemen most famous in the profession of the law; and the freemen (besides Mr. John Price) had prevailed, by much entreaty, with Mr. John Wildman, as I am informed, without hopes of fees or rewards, to plead their cause.’ The arguments were taken down in shorthand. Though Wildman is here found in association with the Independent John Price (see above, p. 343), his speech is coloured by Leveller principles. The whole debate offers an interesting parallel in the municipal field to that in national politics carried on at Putney three years earlier.
 By William Everard, Gerrard Winstanley, John Taylor, and others. For full list see ‘Notes on Text.’
 Clarke MSS. contain a petition of the Diggers, and a letter from Winstanley to Fairfax, on the use of soldiers against the Diggers, late in 1649; also a Diggers’ Song. See Clarke Papers, ed. Firth, 2. 215-24.
[179. (a)] The texts of the illustrative documents, whether in Part III or the Appendix, are derived from contemporary printed sources, and (except where another library is mentioned) from a copy in the British Museum. The principles on which the selections are edited, and the notations used, are identical with those adopted in editing the Debates, but with two additional signs: three dots (. . .) for omissions of less than a sentence, three asterisks (* * *) for omissions of a sentence or more. A sufficiently full title of each book or pamphlet is given in these notes, together with a record of other omissions (or adaptations). The date following the title is that supplied by the copy in the Thomason Collection (British Museum).
[179. (b)]The Smoke in the Temple. Wherein is a designe for peace and reconciliation of believers of the several opinions of these times. * * * By John Saltmarsh. . . . London, Printed by Ruth Raworth for G. Calvert . . . 1646 [Jan. 16];
[(c)] pp. 9-19: scripture references transferred to footnotes.
[181. (a)] pp. 3-6: marginal references omitted;
[(b-c)] tr from end of paragraph.
[182. (a)] + as.
[183. (a)] pp. 59-68.
[186. (a)]Independencie Gods Veritie. Or the necessitie of toleration. * * * Written by J. G. B. D., London, Printed for William Ley, 1647. (McAlpin Collection, Union Theological Seminary, New York.) Pp. 7-8;
[(b)]which is of.
[187. (a)]Conscience with the power and cases thereof. Divided into V bookes. Written by the godly and learned William Ames. . . . Translated out of Latine into English for more publique benefit. * * * Imprinted Anno MDCXXXIX. Book 5, chap. 1.
[191. (a)]The Institution of Christian Religion. Written in Latine by M. Iohn Calvin. Translated into English * * * By Thomas Norton. Imprinted at London by Anne Griffin for Ioyce Norton and R. Whitaker, 1634. Book 4, chap. 20. Section numbers omitted; marginal scripture references incorporated, in brackets.
[199. (a)]Lex Rex: The Law and the Prince. A dispute for the just prerogative of king and people. * * * London: Printed for Iohn Field . . . Octob. 7. 1644. Numbering of arguments, and some headings, omitted; marginal scripture references incorporated, in brackets; other marginal matter omitted;
[204. (a)] + to.
[212. (a)]Right and Might Well Met. Or a briefe and unpartial enquiry into the late and present proceedings of the Army. . . . By John Goodwin. [Quotes John 7. 24; Prov. 17. 15; also from Tertullian and Seneca.] London, Printed by Matthew Simmons for Henery Cripps . . . 1648 [Jan. 2, 1649]. Compared with copy in McAlpin Collection. Marginal quotations omitted; marginal references incorporated, in brackets.
[221. (a)]A Commentarie of Master Doctor Martin Luther upon the Epistle of S. Paul to the Galathians. * * * London, Printed by George Miller . . . 1644 (4th edition of a translation first issued in 1575). Marginal gloss omitted; numbers in square brackets supplied.
[228. (a)] Translation is from Milton, Prose Works (Bohn edition), vol. 1, but has been somewhat revised by comparison with the Latin text printed in the Columbia Milton and the accompanying translation.
[230. (a)] Translation is from Milton, Prose Works, vol. 1, but has been somewhat revised by comparison with the Latin and the improved translation in the Columbia Milton.
[232. (a)]Anti-Arminianisme. Or the Church of Englands old antithesis to new Arminianisme. * * * By William Prynne. . . . The second edition much enlarged. * * * Imprinted, 1630. Pp. 72-5. The second column, setting forth the Arminian position, has been omitted, as also the marginal scripture references.
[233. (a)]A Glimpse of Sions Glory: or the Churches beautie specified. Published for the good and benefit of all those whose hearts are raised up in the expectation of the glorious liberties of the Saints. [Quotes Psalm 87. 3; Isa. 40. 10, 11.] London, Printed for William Larnar . . . MDCXLI. ‘To the Reader,’ signed W. K. (i.e. William Kiffin), omitted.
[241. (a)]Certain Qværes humbly presented in way of petition, By many Christian people dispersed abroad throughout the county of Norfolk and city of Norwich, to the serious and grave consideration and debate of his Excellency the Lord General and of the General Councel of War. * * * Together with an humble advice for the settling of the kingdom, according to such a model hinted therein, offered as the sence of many Christians, who conceive themselves ingaged (as by their prayers, so) by their councels, to help on the present work of God. . . . London, Printed for Giles Calvert . . . 1648 [Feb. 19, 1649].
[247. (a)]The Ancient Bounds, or Liberty of Conscience, tenderly stated, modestly asserted, and mildly vindicated. 1 Cor. 10. 15: I speake as to wise men, judge yee what i say. * * * Licensed and entred according to order. London, Printed by M. S. for Henry Overton . . . 1645 [June 10]. Compared with corrected copy in McAlpin Collection. Chapter numbers and marginal gloss omitted; biblical references incorporated, in brackets; Address to the Reader, preceding that headed ‘A Light to the Work,’ omitted; all other omissions indicated; numbers in square brackets supplied; notes thereon indicate the chapter from which the selection is taken;
[(b)] ‘A Light to the Work’;
[(c)] Chap. 1.
[249. (a)] Chap. 2;
[254. (a)] Chap. 3.
[255. (a)] Chap. 4.
[258. (a)] Chap. 6.
[263. (a)] Chap. 9.
[264. (a)] Chap. 10.
[266. (a)]The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience, discussed in a conference betweene Truth and Peace. Who in all tender affection present to the High Court of Parliament . . . these, among other passages of highest consideration. Printed in the year 1644 [July 15]. Chapter numbers and marginal gloss omitted; headings, and under the last heading section numbers, supplied;
[(b)] Numbering omitted;
[(c)] Chap. 6.
[268. (a)] Chaps. 19-28.
[270. (a)] + Truth;
[271. (a)] + that;
[272. (a)] Chaps. 31-3.
[274. (a)] Chaps. 44-52.
[277. (a)] Chaps. 53 (wrongly numbered 54)-60; heading is from chap. 60;
[280. (a)] Chap. 74.
[281. (a)] Chap. 83.
[282. (a)] Chaps. 86-91.
[(b)] Chaps. 92-3.
[(b)] Chap. 94.
[(b)] Chaps. 120-3, 128, 131;
[(b)] + Rev. 19.
[293. (a)]The Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Power Thereof, according to the Word of God. By that learned and judicious divine, Mr Iohn Cotton. * * * The second time imprinted * * * Published by Tho. Goodwin, Philip Nye. London, Printed by M. Simmons for Henry Overton . . . 1644 [Second edition; Thomason’s copy of first, dated, June 14].
[294. (a)] + that.
[299. (a)]An Apologie of the Churches in New-England for Church-covenant. Or a discourse touching the covenant between God and men, and especially concerning church-covenant. . . . Sent over in answer to Master Bernanrd, in the yeare 1639. And now published. . . . London, Printed by T. P. and M. S. for Benjamin Allen, 1643.
[300. (a)]The Saints Apologie, or a vindication of the churches (which indeavour after a pure communion) from the odious names of Brownists and Separatists, in a letter sent to an eminent divine of the Assembly. * * * London, Printed with order, by A. C. Anno MDCXLIV [May 15].
[302. (a)]The Way of True Peace and Unity among the Faithful and Churches of Christ, in all humility and bowels of love presented to them. By William Dell. . . . [Quotes from Psalm 120; also from St Augustine.] London, Printed for Giles Calvert . . . 1649 [Feb. 8]. Marginal references, numbering of arguments, and some superfluous headings, omitted.
[306. (a)] + that.
[317. (a)]The Free-Mans Freedome Vindicated. Or a true relation of the cause and manner of lieut. col. Iohn Lilburns present imprisonment in Newgate. * * * [No title-page (McAlpin Collection)];
[(b)] + and who.
[318. (a)] + but.
[318. (b)]To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament Assembled. The humble petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of god, the freedome of the common-wealth, and the peace of all men [Sept. 19, 1648].
[319. (a)] + as;
[(b)] + most.
[323. (a)]An Appeale from the Degenerate Representative Body the Commons of England assembled at Westminster: To the Body Represented. The free people in general of the several counties, cities, townes, burroughs, and places within this Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales. And in especiall, To his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax (Captaine Generall) and to all the officers and souldiers under his command. By Richard Overton, prisoner in the infamous goale of Newgate, for the liberties and freedomes of England. [Quotes 2 Cor. 10, 16; 11, 4; and applies them to the contemporary situation of Parliament, City, and people.] London, Printed in the yeare, 1647 [July 17]. Marginal gloss omitted.
[324. (a)] + though;
[(b)] + not;
[(c)] + or else.
[(b)] + to.
[331. (a)] + as;
[334. (a)]adjutators (so below; also adjutation);
[(b)] + not.
[335. (a)] Appended to the Appeal;
[336. (a)] + to put.
[338. (a)]To the Right Honorable, the Commons of England In Parliament Assembled. The humble petition of divers wel-affected persons inhabiting the City of London, Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamblets, and places adjacent [Sept. 15, 1648] (McAlpin Collection).
[339. (a)] tr Religion and God;
[342. (a)]The Legall Fundamentall Liberties of the People of England Revived, Asserted, and Vindicated. Or, an epistle written the eighth day of june 1649, by Lieut. Colonel John Lilburn. * * * London, Printed in the grand yeer of hypocriticall and abominable dissimulation. 1649;
[(c)]Tichburn (later Tychburn, Titchburn).
[346. (a)] +in.
[348. (a)]Martyn (later Martin);
[349. (a)] + in.
[355. (a)]Foundations of Freedom or an Agreement of the People: Proposed as a rule for future government in the establishment of a firm and lasting peace. Drawn up by several well-affected persons, and tendered to the consideration of the General Councel of the Army; and now offered to the consideration of all persons who are at liberty, by printing or otherwise, to give their reasons for, or against it. Unto which is annexed several grievances, by some persons offered to be inserted in the said Agreement, but adjudged only necessary to be insisted on, as fit to be removed by the next representatives. Published for the satisfaction of all honest interests. 1648 [Preface dated 10th Dec. 1648; Thomason’s date, 15th Dec.]. Compared with another edition in McAlpine Collection (with same preface dated 15th Dec., and with the imprint: London, Printed for R. Smithurst, 1648).
[356. (a)] Text of these passages is supplied by A Petition from . . . Fairfax and the General Council of Officers . . . to . . . the Commons of England in Parliament assembled, concerning the Draught of an Agreement of the People. . . . Together with the said Agreement presented Jan. 20. . . . Tendred to the consideration of the people. * * * London Printed for John Partridge, R. Harford, G. Calvert, and G. Whittington MDCXLIX [Jan. 22]. Compared with text in Rushworth’s Collections.
[365. (a)] Text supplied by An Agreement of the Free People of England. Tendered as a peace-offering to this distressed nation. By Lieutenant Colonel John Lilburne, Master William Walwyn, Master Thomas Prince, and Master Richard Overton . . . May the 1. 1649. [No title-page; colophon: London, Printed for Gyles Calvert (McAlpin Collection).]
[367. (a)]To the Svpreme Avthority of England the Commons assembled in Parliament. The humble petition of divers well-affected women of the Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamblets and parts adjacent. Affecters and approvers of the Petition of Sept. 11. 1648 [May 5, 1649].
[(d)] + and.
[369. (a)]London’s Liberties; or a Learned Argument of Law & Reason, upon Saturday, December 14. 1650. Before the Lord Major, Court of Aldermen, and Common Councell at Guild Hall, London. Between Mr Maynard, Mr Hales & Mr Wilde Of Councellfor the Companies of London. And Major John Wildman and Mr John Price Of Councell for the Freemen of London. * * * This discourse was exactly taken in short-hand by severall that were present at the argument. . . . London, Printed by Ja. Cottrel for Gyles Calvert . . . 1651 [Dec. 19, 1650].
[371. (a)]Cook (thus throughout);
[373. (a)]Hales (thus throughout).
[379. (a)]The True Levellers Standard Advanced: or the State of Community opened, and presented to the Sons of Men. By William Everard, Iohn Palmer, Iohn South, Iohn Courton, William Taylor, Christopher Clifford, Iohn Barker, Ferrard Winstanley, Richard Goodgroome, Thomas Starre, William Hoggrill, Robert Sawyer, Thomas Eder, Henry Bickerstaffe, Iohn Taylor, &c. Beginning to plant and manure the waste land upon George-Hill, in the Parish of Walton, in the County of Surrey. London, Printed in the year MDCXLIX [April 26, 1649]. Address ‘To all my fellow creatures that shall view these ensuing lines,’ signed John Taylor, April 20, 1649, omitted. Heading of main body of text, ‘A declaration to the powers of England and to all the Powers of the World . . .’ omitted.
[(b)]a lifter up.
[385. (a)]The Diggers Mirth, or, Certain Verses composed and fitted to tunes, for the delight and recreation of all those who dig, or own that work, in the commonwealth of England. * * * Set forth by those who were the original of that so righteous a work, and continue still successfull therein at Cobham in Surrey. London, Printed in the Year 1650 [April 4]. Pamphlet contains a second song; neither is that copied in Clarke MSS. and printed by Firth (Clarke Papers, 2.221);