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Scripture, is found every way so fully consonant, that God himself would not impose, no, not his own laws upon his people, by the hand of Moses, without their free and open consent.”
Answ. 1. Wisdom doth but prepare laws, and governing power enacteth them, and giveth them their form. But the whole body hath no such governing power, therefore they give them not their form m. 2. The people's consent to God's laws gave them not their form or authority; this opinion I have elsewhere confuted, against a more erroneous author. Their consent to God's laws was required indeed, as naturally necessary to their obedience, but not as necessary to the being or obligation of the law. Can you think that it had been no sin in them to have disobeyed God's laws, unless they had first consented to them? Then all the world might escape sin and damnation by denying con
sent to the laws of God. 3. This doctrine will teach men 3 that we have no church laws"; for the whole church never
signified their consent. Millions of the poorer sort have no voices in choosing parliament men or convocations; and this will teach the minor dissenting part, to think themselves disobliged for want of consenting ; and will give every dissenting part or person a negative voice to all church laws. 4. A single bishop hath a governing power over his particular church, and they are bound to obey himo. And if the governing power of one pastor be not suspended for want of the consent of any or all the people, then much less, the governing power of king and parliament.
Object. ix. Lib. viii. p. 220. “ It is a thing even undoubtedly natural that all free and independent societies should themselves' make their own laws; and that this. power should belong to the whole, not to any certain part of a politic body—-".
m Hanc video sapientissimoruni fuisse sententiam. Legem nec hominum ingeniis cxcogitatam, nec scitum aliquod esse populorum; sed æternum quiddam, quod universum mundum regeret, imperandi prohibendique sapientia. Cicero de Leg. See lib. i. sect. 17-19. (T. C.)
* How considerable a part of England is London? Yet in this convocation, which hath made the new changes in the liturgy and book of ordination, Londou had not one clerk of their choosing: for being to choose but two, they chose only Mr. Calamy and myself, who were neither of us accepted, or ever there. Now if your opinion be true ; Quær. 1. Whether you make not this convocation's decrees to be but counsels to us. 2. Or at least whether the city of London, or the London ministers be not made free from detriment, as not consenters: you will free them and me, especially, from detriment for our not conforming to this convocation's acts as such ; upon reasons which I do not own myself, as generally by you laid down.
• Heb. xiii. 7. 17.
Answ. This is oft affirmed, but no proof at all of it; in many nations the representatives of the whole body have the legislative power or part of it. But that is from the special constitution of that particular commonwealth, and not from nature, nor common to all nations. All that naturally belongeth to the people as such, was but to choose their law-makers, and secure their liberties, and not to make laws themselves by themselves or mere representers."
Object. x. Lib. viii. p. 221. “For of this thing no man doubteth, namely, that in all societies, companies, and corporations, what severally each shall be bound to, it must be with all their assents ratified. Against all equity it were that a man should suffer detriment at the hands of men, for not observing that which he never did, either by himself or by others, mediately agree to- M"
Answ. I am one that more than doubt of that which you say no man doubteth of.. Do you not so much as 'except God's laws, and all those that only do enforce them, or drive men to obey them? As men are obliged to obey God, whether they consent or not; so are they to obey the laws of their sovereigns, though they never consented to them, no, nor to their sovereignty, as long as they are members of that commonwealth, to the government whereof the sovereign is lawfully called, millions of dissenters may be bound to obey, till they quit the society. .
Object. XI. Lib. viii. p. 221. “ If magistrates be heads of the church, they are of necessity Christians.”
Answ. That can never be proved. A constitutive head indeed must be a Christian, and more, even a pastor to a particular church, and Christ to the universal. This headship our kings disclaim ; but a head of the church, that is, over the church, or a coercive governor of it, the king would be if he were no Christian. As one that is no physician may be head over all the physicians in his kingdom; or though he be no philosopher, or artist, he may be head over all the philosophers and artists, and in all their causes have the supreme coercive power; so would the king over all
Protestants if he were no Protestant, and over all Christians if he were no Christian! But you think that he that is no member of the church cannot be the head of it: I answer, not a constitutive, essential head as the pastor is ; but he may be the head over it, and have all the coercive power over it. What if the king be not a member of many corporations in his kingdom? Yet as he is head of the kingdom, he is head of or over them as they are parts of it.
Object. XII. Lib. viii. pp. 218. 223, 224. “ What power the king hath, he hath it by law: the bounds and limits of it are known; the entire community giveth order, &c.” P. 223. “As for them that exercise power altogether against order, although the kind of power which they have, may be of God, yet is their exercise thereof against God, and therefore not of God, otherwise than by permission, as all injustice is.” P. 224. “ Usurpers of power, whereby we do not mean them that by violence have aspired unto places of highest authority, but them that use more authority than they did ever receive in form and manner beforementioned. Such usurpers thereof as in the exercise of their power do more than they have been authorized to do, cannot in conscience bind any man to obedience.”
Answ. It is true that no man can exercise more power than he hath : the power that we speak of being sola, jus regendi,' it is impossible to use more authority than they have; though they may command beyond and without authority. And it is true that where a man hath no authority or right to command, he cannot directly bind to obedience. But yet a ruler may exercise more power than man ever gave him, and oblige men to obedience thereby. God giveth them power to govern for his glory, according to his laws, and to promote obedience to those laws of God (in nature and Scripture) by subordinate laws of their own. And all this the sovereign may do, if the people at the choice of him or his family, should only say, ' We take you for our sovereign ruler:' for then he may do all that true reason or Scripture make the work of a sovereign ruler, even govern the people by all such just means as tend to the public good and their everlasting happiness : and yet that people that should do no more but choose persons and families to govern them, and set them no bounds, do give no power to those
they choose, but determine of the persons that shall have power from God. Yet it is granted you, that if the person or family chosen, contract with them to govern only with such and such limitations, they have bound themselves by their own contract; and thus both specifications of government and degrees of power come in by men. But always distinguish, 1. Between the people giving away their propriety, (in their goods, labours, &c. which they may do,) and giving authority, or governing power (which they have not to give). 2. Between their naming the persons that shall receive it from the universal king, and giving it themselves. 3. Between bounding and limiting power, and giving power. 4. And between a sovereign's binding himself by contract, and being bound by the authority of others P, If they be limited by contracts, which are commonly called the constitutive or fundamental laws, it is their own consent and contract that effectively obligeth and limiteth them; of which indeed the people's will may be the ocoasion, when they resolve that they will be governed on no other terms : but if the contract limit them not, but they be chosen simply to be the summæ potestates,' without naming any particular powers either by concession or restraint, then as to ruling they are absolute as to men, and limited only by God, from whose highest power they can never be exempt, who in nature and Scripture restraineth them from all that is impious and unjust, against his laws and honour, or against the public happiness and safety. And here also remember, that if any shall imagine that God restraineth a magistrate when it is not so, and that the commands of their governors are contrary to the Word of God, when it is no such matter, their error will not justify their disobedience.
Though I have answered these passages of this reverend author, it is not to draw any to undervalue his learned writings, but to set right the reader in the principles of his obedience, on which the practice doth so much depend.
p Potestas maritalis est a Deo: applicatio ejus .potestatis ad certam personam ex consensu venit quo tamen ipsum jus non datur. Nam si ex consensu daretur, posset consensu etiam dissolvi matrimonium, aut convcniri ne maritus fæminæ impe. raret. Quid minime verum est. Imperatoria potestas non est penes electores: ergo nec ab ipsis datur; sed ab ipsis tamen certæ personæ applicatur. Jus vitæ et necis non est penes cives antequam in rempublicam coeant. Privatus enim jus vindictæ non habet : ab iisdem tamen applicatur ad cætum aut personari aliquan. Grotius de Imperio, p. 270.
And I confess, that other authors of politics say as much as Mr. Hooker saith, both Papists and Protestants; but not all, nor I think the soundest: I will instance now in Alstedius only, (an excellent person, but in this mistaken,) who saith, Encyclop. lib. xxiii. Polit. cap. p. 178. “ Populus universus dignior et potior est tum magistratu tum ephoris.
Hinc recte docent Doct. Politici, populum obtinere regnum et jura majestatis proprietate et dominio : principem et ephoros usu et administratione; (whereas the people have not the ' regnum vel jura majestatis' any way at all). ---Si administratores officium suum facere nolint, si impia, et iniqua mandent, si contra dilectionem Dei et proximi agant, populus propriæ salutis curam arripiet, imperium male utentibus abrogabit, et in locum eorum alios substituet. Porro ephori validiora ipso rege imperia obtinent: principem enim constituunt et deponunt; id quod amplissimum est præeminentiæ argumentum. Atque hæc prærogativa mutuis pactis stabilitur.- Interim princeps summam potestatem obtinere dicitur, quatenus ephori administrationem imperii, et cumulum potestatis ipsi committunt. Denique optimatum universorum potestas non est infinita et absoluta, sed certis veluti rhetris et clathris definita, utpotè non ad propriam libidinem, sed ad utilitatem et salutem populi alligata. Hinc illorum munia sunt regem designare, constituere, inaugurare, constitutum consiliis et auxiliis juvare; sine consensu et approbatione principis, quamdiu ille suum officium facit, nihil in reipublicæ negotiis suscipere : nonnunquam conventum inscio principe agere, necessitate reipublicæ exigente.--Populum contra omnis generis turbatores et violatores defendere ," I suppose Mr. Hooker's principles and Alstedius's were much the same. I will not venture to recite the conclusion, cap. 12. p. 199. R. 5. • de resistendo Tyranno.'
Many other authors go the same way, and say that the people have the majestas realis,’ (both Papists, and Protestants, and heathens). But I suppose that what I have said against Hooker will serve to shew the weakness of their grounds : though it is none of my purpose to 'contradict either Hooker or any other, so far as they open the