Lex Rex [Law Is King, or The Law & The Prince] (1644)
Whether or No the Popish Prelate, the Author of “Sac. San. Regum Majestas,” Called the Sacred and Royal Prerogative of Kings, proves That God Is the Immediate Author of Sovereignty, and That the King Is No Creature of the People’s Making
Consider, 1. That the excommunicated prelate says, (c. 2, p. 19,) “Kings are not immediately from God as by any special ordinance sent from heaven by the ministry of angels and prophets; there were but some few such; as Moses, Saul, David, etc.; yet something may immediately proceed from God, and be his special work, without a revelation or manifestation extraordinary from heaven; so the designation to a sacred function is from the church and from man, yet the power of word, sacraments, binding and loosing, is immediately from Jesus Christ, The apostle Matthias was from Christ’s immediate constitution, and yet he was designed by men, Acts 1. The soul is by creation and infusion, without any special ordinance from heaven, though nature begets the body, and disposes the matter, and prepares it as fit to be conjoined with the soul, so as the father is said to beget the son.”
- Ans. 1st, The unchurched Prelate strives to make us hateful by the title of the chapter, That God is, by his title, the immediate author of sovereignty; and who denies that? Not those who teach that the person who is king is created king by the people, no more than those who deny that men are now called to be pastors and deacons immediately, and by a voice from heaven, or by the ministry of angels and prophets, because the office of pastors and deacons is immediately from God.
- 2nd, When he has proved that God is the immediate author of sovereignty, what then? Shall it follow that the sovereign in concreto may not be resisted, and that he is above all law, and that there is no armor against his violence but prayers and tears? Because God is the immediate author of the pastor and of the apostle’s office, does it therefore follow that it is unlawful to resist a pastor though he turn robber? If so, then the pastor is above all the king’s laws. This is the Jesuit and all made, and there is no armor against the robbing prelate but prayer and tears.
2. He says in his title, that “the king is no creature of the people’s making.” If he mean the king in the abstract, that is, the royal dignity, whom speaks he against? Not against us, but against his own father, Bellarmine, who says,1 that “sovereignty has no warrant by any divine law.” If he mean that the man who is king is not created and elected king by the people, he contradicts himself and all the court doctors.
3. It is false that Saul and David’s call to royalty was only from God, “by a special ordinance sent from heaven,” for their office is (Deut. 17:14) from the written word of God, as the killing of idolaters, (ver. 3, 7,) and as the office of the priests and Levites, (ver. 8-10,) and this is no extraordinary office from heaven, more than that is from heaven which is warranted by the word of God. If he mean that these men, Saul and David, were created kings only by the extraordinary revelation of God from heaven, it is a lie; for besides the prophetical anointing of them, they were made kings by the people, as the Word says expressly; except we say that David sinned in cot setting himself down on the throne, when Samuel first anointed him king; and so he should have made away with his master, king Saul, out of the world; and there were not a few called to the throne by the people, but many, yea, all the kings of Israel and of Judah.
4. The prelate contends that a king is designed to his royal dignity “immediately from God, without an extraordinary revelation from heaven,” as the man is “designed to be a pastor by men, and yet the power of preaching is immediately from God,” etc.; but he proves nothing, except he prove that all pastors are called to be pastors immediately, and that God calls and designs to the office such a person immediately as he has immediately instituted by the power of preaching and the apostleship, and has immediately infused the soul in the body by an act of creation; and we cannot conceive how God in our days, when there are no extraordinary revelations, does immediately create this man a king, and immediately tie the crown to this family rather than to that. This he does by the people now, without any prophetical unction, and by this medium, viz., the free choice of the people. He need not bring the example of Matthias more than of any ordinary pastor; and yet an ordinary pastor is not immediately called of God, because the office is from God immediately, and also the man is made pastor by the church.
The P. Prelate says, (c. 2, p. 20-23,) A thing is immediately from God three ways.
- 1st, When it is solely from God, and presupposes nothing ordinary or human antecedent to the obtaining of it. Such was the power of Moses, Saul and David; such were the apostles.
- 2nd, When the collation of the power to such a person is immediately from God, though some act of man be antecedent, as Matthias was an apostle. A baptized man obtains remission and regeneration, yet aspersion of water cannot produce these excellent effects. A king gives power to a favorite to make a lord or a baron, yet who is so stupid as to aver, that the honor of a lord comes immediately from the favorite and not from the king.
- 3rd, When a man has, by some ordinary human right, a fall and just right, and the approbation and confirmation of this right is immediately from God.
The first way, sovereignty is not from God. The second way, sovereignty is conferred on kings immediately: though some created act of election, succession or conquest intervene, the interposed act contains not in it power to confer sovereignty; as in baptism regeneration, if there be nothing repugnant in the recipient, is conferred, not by water, but immediately by God. In sacred orders, designation is from men, power to supernatural acts from God. Election, succession, conquests, remotely and improperly constitute a king. To say in the third sense, that sovereignty is immediately from God by approbation or confirmation only, is against Scripture, Prov. 8:15; Psal. 88:8; John 19; then the people say, You are God’s, your power is from below. And Paul’s “ordained of God,” is “approved and confirmed only of God;” the power of designation, or application of the person to royalty, is from man; the power of conferring royal power, or of applying the person to royal power, is from God. A man’s hand may apply a faggot to the fire, the fire only makes the faggot to burn.
- Answer. 1st, Apostles, both according to their office and the designation of their person to the office, were immediately and only from God, without any act of the people, and therefore are badly coupled with the royal power of David and king Saul, who were not formally made kings but by the people at Mizpah and Hebron.
- 2nd, The second way God gives royal power, by moving the people’s hearts to confer royal power, and this is virtually in the people, formally from God. Water has no influence to produce grace, God’s institution and promise does it; except you dream with your Jesuits, of opus operatum, that water sprinkled, by the doing of the deed, confers grace, nisi ponatur obex, what can the child do, or one baptized child more than another, to hinder the flux of remission of sins, if you mean not that baptism works as physic on a sick man, except strength of humors hinder? and therefore this comparison is not alike. The people cannot produce so noble an effect as royalty, a beam from God. True, formally they cannot, but virtually it is in a society of reasonable men, in whom are left beams of authoritative majesty, which by a divine institution they can give (Deut. 17:14) to this man, to David, not to Eliab. And I could well say the favorite made the lord, and placed honor in the man whom he made lord by a borrowed power from his prince; and yet the honor of a lord is principally from the king.
- 3rd. It is true the election of the people contains not formally royal dignity, but the Word says they made Saul, they made David king; so virtually election must contain it. Samuel’s oil makes not David king, he is a subject after he is anointed; the people’s election at Hebron makes him king, differs him from his brethren, and puts him in royal state; yet God is the principal agent. What immediate action God has here, is said and dreamt of, bo man can divine, except Prophet P. Prelate. The e0cousi/a, royal authority, is given organically by that act by which he is made king: another act is a night-dream, but by the act of election, David is of no king, a king. The collation of du/namiv, royal gifts, is immediately from God, but that formally makes not a king, if Solomon saw right, “servants riding on horses, princes going on foot.”
- 4th, Judge of the Prelate’s subtlety, I dare say not his own; he steals from Spalato, but tells it not, “The applying of the person to royal authority is from the people; but the applying of royal authority to the person of the king, is immediately and only from God; as the hand puts the faggot to the fire, but the fire makes it burn?” To apply the subject to the accident, is it any thing else but to apply the accident to the subject? Royal authority is an accident, the person of the king the subject. The applying of the faggot to the fire, and the applying of the fire to the faggot, are all one, to anyone not forsaken of common sense. When the people applies the person to the royal authority, they but put the person in the state of royal authority; this is to make an union between the man and royal authority, and this is to apply royal authority to the person.
- 5th, The third sense is the Prelate’s dream, not a tenet of ours. We never said that sovereignty in the king is immediately from God or approbation or confirmation only, as if the people first made the king, and God did only by a posterior and latter act say Amen to the deed done, and subscribe, as recorder, to what the people does: so the people should deal crowns and kingdoms at their pleasure, and God behoove to ratify and make good their act. When God does apply the person to royal power, is this a different action from the people’s applying the person to royal dignity? It is not imaginable. But the people, by creating a king, applies the person to royal dignity; and God, by the people’s act of constituting the man king, does by the mediation of this act convey royal authority to the man, as the church by sending a man and ordaining him to be a pastor, does not by that, as God’s instruments, infuse supernatural powers of preaching; these supernatural powers may be, and often are in him before he be in orders. And sometimes God infuses a supernatural power of government in a man when he is not yet a King, as the Lord turned Saul into another man, (1 Sam. 10:5, 6,) neither at that point of time when Samuel anointed him, but afterwards: “After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, the Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man;” nor yet at that time when he is formally made king by the people; for Saul was not king formally because of Samuel’s anointing, nor yet was he king because another spirit was infused into him, (v. 5, 6) for he was yet a private man till the states of Israel chose him king at Mizpah. And the word of God used words of action to express the people’s power: Judg. 9:6, And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the men of Millo, w%kylim;y%AwA regnare facerunt, they caused him to be king. The same is said 1 Sam. 10:15, They caused Saul to reign; 2 Kings 10:15 5, #Oy)i K7ylim;nA )Ol We shall not king any man; 1 Chron. 12:38 39, They came to Hebron dywId@F-t)ee K7ylim;hal; to king David over all Israel; Deut. 17 three times the making of a king is given to the people. When thou shalt say, Deut. 17:14 K7leeme ylaa(f hmfy#io)ff I shall set a king over me. If it were not in their power to make a king no law could be imposed on them not to make a stranger their king; 1 Kings 12:20, All the congregation kinged Jeroboam, or made him king over all Israel; 2 Kings 11:12, They kinged Joash, or made Joash to reign.
- 6th, The people are to say, You are God’s, and your power is below, says the Prelate: What then? therefore their power is not from God also? It follows not subordinata non pugnant. The Scripture says both, the Lord exalted David to be king, and, all power is from God; and so the power of a lord mayor of a city: the people made David king, and the people makes such a man lord mayor. It is the Anabaptists’ argument, God writes his law in our heart, and teaches his own children; therefore books and the ministry of men are needless. So all sciences and lawful arts are from God; therefore sciences applied to men are not from men’s free will, industry and studies. The prelate extols the king when he will have his royalty from God, the way that John Stiles is the husband of such a woman.
P. Prelate. Kings are of God, they are God’s, children of the Most High, his servants, public ministers, their sword and judgment are God’s. This he has said of their royalty in abstracto and in concreto; their power, person, charge, are all of divine extract, and so their authority and person are both sacred and inviolable.2
Ans. So are all the congregation of the judges; Psal. 82:1, 6, All of them are God’s; for he speaks not there of a congregation of kings. So are apostles, their office and persons of God; and so the prelates (as they think), the successors of the apostles, are God’s servants; their ministry, word, rod of discipline, not theirs, but of God. The judgment of judges, inferior to the king, is the Lord’s judgment, not men’s. Deut. i; 17; 2 Chron. 19:6, Hence by the Prelate’s logic, the persons of prelates, mayors, bailiffs, constables, pastors, are sacred and inviolable above all laws, as are kings. Is this an extolling of kings? But where are kings’ persons, as men, said to be of God, as the royalty in abstracto is? The Prelate sees beside his book, (Psal. 82:7,) “But ye shall die like men.”
P. Prelate. We begin with the law, in. which, as God by himself prescribed the essentials, substantiate, and ceremonies of his piety and worship, gave order for piety and justice; Deut. 17:14, 15, the king is here originally and immediately from God, and independent from all others. “Set over them” them is collective, that is, all and every one. Scripture knows not this state principle, Rex est singulis major, universis minor. The person is expressed in concreto, “Whom the Lord thy God shall choose.” This peremptory precept discharges the people, all and every one, diffusively, representatively, or in any imaginable capacity to attempt the appointing of a king, but to leave it entirely and totally to God Almighty.
Ans. Begin with the law, but end not with traditions. If God by himself prescribed the essentials of piety and worship, the other part of your distinction is, that God, not by himself, but by his prelates, appointed the whole Romish rites, as accidentals of piety. This is the Jesuits’ doctrine. This place is so far from proving the king to be independent, and that it totally is God’s to appoint a king, that it expressly gives the people power to appoint a king; for the setting of a king over themselves, this one and not that one, makes the people to appoint the king, and the king to be less and dependent on the people, seeing God intends the king for the people’s good, and not the people for the king’s good. This text shames the Prelate, who also confessed, (p. 22,) that remotely and improperly, succession, election, and conquest makes the king, and so it is lawful for men remotely and improperly to invade God’s chair.
P. Prelate. Jesuits and puritans say, it was a privilege of the Jews that God chose their king. So Suarez, Soto, Navarra.
Ans. The Jesuits are the Prelate’s brethren, they are under one banner, we are in contrary camps to Jesuits. The Prelate said himself, (p. 19,) Moses, Saul, and David, were by extraordinary revelation from God. Sure I am kings are not so now. The Jews had this privilege that no nation had. God named some kings to them, as Saul, David, he does not so now. God did tie royalty to David’s house by a covenant till Christ should come, he does not so now; yet we stand to Deut. 17.
P. Prelate. Prov. 8.15, “By me kings reign.” If the people had right to constitute a king, it had not been king Solomon, but king Adonijah. Solomon says not of himself, but indefinitely, “By me,” as by the Author, Efficient, and Constituent, kings reign. Per is by Christ, not by the people, not by the high priest, state or presbytery, not per me iratum, by me in my anger, as some sectaries say. Paul’s diatagh/ tou~ qiou~, Rom. 13:2 an ordinance by high authority not revocable. Sinesius so uses the word, Aristotle, Lucilius, Appian, Plutarch, yb@i in me and by me, and also Doctor Andrews. Kings indefinitely, all kings: none may distinguish where the law distinguishes not, they reign in concreto. That same power that makes kings must unmake them.
Ans. 1. The prelate cannot restrict this to kings only; it extends to parliaments also. Solomon adds, MynIz:row: and consuls, MyrI#offf all the sirs, and princes, MybiydIn:w% and magnificents, and nobles, and more CrE)e y+’p;#oO-lk@f and all the judges of the earth Prov. 8:15,16, they reign, rule, and decree justice by Christ. Here, then, mayors, sheriffs, provosts, constables, are by the Prelate extolled as persons sacred, irresistible. Then,
- (1.) the judges of England rule not by the king of Britain, as their author, efficient, constituent, but by Jesus Christ immediately; nor does the commissary rule by the prelate.
(2.) All these, and their power, and persons, rule independently, and immediately by Jesus Christ.
(3.) All inferior judges are diatagai\ tou~ qeou~, the ordinances of God not revocable. Therefore the king cannot deprive any judge under him; he cannot declare the parliament no parliament: once a judge, and always and irrevocably a judge. This Prelate’s poor pleading for kings deserves no wages. Lavater intelligit superiores et inferiores magistratus, non est potestas nisi a deo, Vatablus consiliarios.
2. If the people had absolute right to choose kings by the Law of Israel, they might have chosen another than either Adonijah or Solomon; but the Lord expressly put an express law on them, that they should make no king but him whom the Lord should choose, Deut. 17:4. Now the Lord did either by his immediately inspired prophet anoint the man, as he anointed David, Saul, Jehu, etc., or then ho restricted, by a revealed promise, the royal power to a family, and to the eldest by birth; and, therefore, the Lord first chose the man and then the people made him king. Birth was not their rule, as is clear, in that they made Solomon their king, not Adonijah, the elder; and this proves that God did both ordain kingly government to the kingdom of Israel, and chose the man, either in his person, or tied it to the first-born of the line. Now we have no Scripture nor law of God to tie royal dignity to one man or to one family; produce a warrant for it in the Word, for that must be a privilege of the Jews for which we have no word of God. We have no immediately inspired Samuels to say, “Make David, or this man king;” and no word of God to say, “Let the first-born of this family rather than another family sit upon the throne;” therefore the people must make such a man king, following the rule of God’s word, (Deut. 17:14,) and other rules showing what sort of men judges must be, as Deut. 1:16-18; 2 Chron. 19:6, 7.
3. It is true, kings in a special manner reign by Christ; therefore not by the people’s free election? The P. Prelate argues like himself: by this text a mayor of a city by the Lord decrees justice; therefore he is not made a mayor of a city by the people of the city. It follows not. None of us teach that kings reign by God’s anger. We judge a king a great mercy of God to church or state; but the text says not, By the Lord kings and judges do not only reign and decree justice, but also murder protestants, by raising against them an army of papists. And the word diatagai\, powers, does in no Greek author signify irrevocable powers; for Uzziah was a lawful king, and yet (2 Chron. 26) lawfully put from the throne, and “cut off from the house of the Lord.” And interpreters of this passage deny that it is to be understood of tyrants. So the Chaldee paraphrase turns it well, Potentes virga justitiae:3 so Lavater and Diodatus says, this place does prove, “That all kings, judges and laws, derivari a lege ceterna, are derived from the Eternal Law.” The prelate, eating his tongue for anger, strives to prove that all power, and so royal power, is of God; but what can he make of it? We believe it, though he say (p. 30,) sectaries prove, by e0a/n mh\, “That a man is justified by faith only;” so there is no power but of God only: but feel the smell of a Jesuit. It is the sectaries’ doctrine, that we are justified by faith only, but the prelates and the Jesuits go another way, not by faith only, but by works also. And all power is from God only, as the first Author, and from no man. What then? Therefore men and people interpose no human act in making this man a king and not that man. It follows not. Let us with the Prelate join Paul and Solomon together, and say, “That sovereignty is from God, of God, by God, as God’s appointment irrevocable.” Then shall it never follow: it is inseparable from the person unless you make the king a man immortal. As God only can remove the crown, it is true God only can put an unworthy and an excommunicated prelate from office and benefice; but how? does that prove that men and the church may not also in their place remove an unworthy churchman, when the church, following God’s word, delivers to Satan? Christ only, as head of the church, excommunicates scandalous men; therefore the church cannot do it. And yet the argument is as good the one way as the other; for all the churches on earth cannot make a minister properly, they but design him to the ministry whom God has gifted and called. But shall we conclude that no church on earth, but God only, by an immediate action from heaven, can deprive a minister? How, then, dare prelates excommunicate, unmake, and imprison so many ministers in the three kingdoms? But the truth is, take this one argument from the Prelate, and all that is in his book falls to the ground, to wit, Sovereignty is from God only. A king is a creature of God’s making only; and what then? Therefore sovereignty cannot be taken from him: so God only made Aaron’s house priests. Solomon had no law to depose Abiathar from the priesthood. Possibly the Prelate will grant all. The passage, Rom. 13, which he says has tortured us, I refer to a fitter place it will be found to torture court parasites. I go on with the Prelate, (c. 3,) “Sacred sovereignty is to be preserved, and kings are to be prayed for, that we may lead a godly life,” 1 Tim. 3. What then? All in authority are to be prayed for, even parliaments; by that text pastors are to be prayed for, and without them sound religion cannot well subsist. Is this questioned, that kings should be prayed for; or are we wanting in this duty? but it follows not that all dignities to be prayed for are immediately from God, not from men.
P. Prelate. Prov. 8, Solomon speaks first of the establishment of government before he speaks of the works of creation; therefore better not be at all as be without government. And God fixed government in the person of Adam before Eve, or any one else, came into the world; and how shall government be, and we enjoy the fruits of it, except we preserve the king’s sacred authority inviolable?
Ans. 1. Moses (Gen. 1) speaks of creation before he speaks of kings, and he speaks (Gen. 3) of Adam’s sins before he speaks of redemption through the blessed Seed; therefore better never be redeemed at all as to be without sin. 2. If God made Adam a governor before he made Eve, and any of mankind, he was made a father and a husband before he had either son or wife. Is this the Prelate’s logic? He may prove that two eggs on his father’s table are three this way. 3. There is no government where sovereignty is not kept inviolable. It is true, where there is a king, sovereignty must be inviolable. What then? Arbitrary government is not sovereignty. 4. He intimates aristocracy, and democracy, and the power of parliaments, which makes kings, to be nothing but anarchy, for he speaks here of no government but monarchy.
P. Prelate. There is need of grace to obey the king, Psal. 18:43; 144:2. It is God who subdues the people under David. Rebellion against the king is rebellion against God. 1 Pet. 2:17; Prov. 24:12. Therefore kings have a near alliance with God.
Ans. 1. There is much grace in papists and prelates then, who use to write and preach against grace. 2. Lorinus your brother Jesuit will, with good warrant of the texts inter, that the king may make a conquest of his own kingdoms of Scotland and England by the sword, as David subdued the heathen. 3. Arbitrary governing has no alliance with God; a rebel to God and his country, and an apostate, has no reason to term lawful defense against cut-throat Irish rebellion. 4. There is need of much grace to obey pastors, inferior judges, masters, (Col. 3:22, 23,) therefore their power is from God immediately, and no more from men than the king is created king by the people, according to the way of royalists.
P. Prelate. God says of Pharaoh, (Ex. 9:17,) I have raised thee up. Elisha, directed by God, constituted the king of Syria, 2 Kings 8:13. Pharaoh, Abimelech, Hiram, Hazael, Hadad, are no less honored with the appellation of kings, than David, Saul, etc., Jer. 29:9. Nebuchadnezzar is honored to be called, by way of excellency, God’s servant, which God gives to David, a king according to his own heart. And Isa. 45:1, “Thus says the Lord to his anointed, Cyrus;” and God names him near a hundred years before he was born; Isa. 44:28, “He is my shepherd;” Dan. 5:21, God gives kingdoms to whom he will; Dan. 5:21, empires, kingdoms, royalties, are not disposed of by the composed contracts of men, but by the immediate hand and work of God; Hos. 13:11, “I gave thee a king in my anger, I took him away in my wrath;” Job, He places kings in the throne, etc.
Ans. Here is a whole chapter of seven pages for one raw argument ten times before repeated.
1. Exod. 9:7, I have raised up Pharaoh; Paul expounds it, (Rom.9) to prove that king Pharaoh was a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction by God’s absolute will; and the Prelate following Arminius, with treasonable charity, applies this to our king. Can this man pray for the king?
2. Elisha anointed, but did not constitute, Hazael king; he foretold he should be king; and if he be a king of God’s making, who slew his sick prince and invaded the throne by innocent blood, judge you. I would not take kings of the Prelate’s making.
3. If God give to Nebuchadnezzar the same title of the servant of God, which is given to Daniel, (Psal. 18:1, and 116:16;) and to Moses, (Jos. 1:2,) all kings, because kings, are men according to God’s heart. Why is not royalty then founded on grace? Nebuchadnezzar was not otherwise his servant, than he was the hammer of the earth, and a tyrannous conqueror of the Lord’s people. All the heathen kings are called kings. But how came they to their thrones for the most part? As David and Hezekiah? But God anointed them not by his prophets; they came to their kingdoms by the people’s election, or by blood and rapine; the latter way is no ground to you to deny Athaliah to be a lawful princess she and Abimelech were lawful princes, and their sovereignty, as immediately and independently from God, as the sovereignty of many heathen kings. See then how justly Athaliah was killed as a bloody usurper of the throne; and this would license your brethren, the Jesuits, to stab heathen kings, whom you will have as well kings, as the Lord’s anointed, though Nebuchadnezzar and many of them made their way to the throne, against all law of God and man, through a bloody patent.
4. Cyrus is God’s anointed and his shepherd too, therefore his arbitrary Government is a sovereignty immediately depending on God, and above all law; it is a wicked consequence.
5. God named Cyrus near a hundred years ere he was born; God named and designed Judas very individually, and named the ass that Christ should ride on to Jerusalem, (Zach. 9:9,) some more hundred years than one. What, will the Prelate make them independent kings for that?
6. God gives kingdoms to whom he will What then? This will prove kingdoms to be as independent and immediately from God as kings are; for as God gives kings to kingdoms, so he gives kingdoms to Kings, and no doubt he gives kingdoms to whom he will. So he gives prophets, apostles, pastors, to whom he will; and he gives tyrannous conquests to whom he will: and it is Nebuchadnezzar to whom Daniel speaks that from the Lord, and he had no just title to many kingdoms, especially to the kingdom of Judah, which yet God, the King of kings, gave to him because it was his good pleasure; and if God had not commanded them by the mouth of his prophet Jeremiah, might they not have risen, and, with the sword, have vindicated themselves and their own liberty, no less than they lawfully, by the sword, vindicated themselves from under Moab, (Judges 3) and from under Jabin, king of Canaan, who, twenty years, mightily oppressed the children of Israel, Judges 4.
Now this P. Prelate, by all these instances, making heathen kings to be kings by as good a title as David and Hezekiah, condemns the people of God as rebels, if, being subdued and conquered by the Turk and Spanish king, they should, by the sword, recover their own liberty; and that Israel, and the Saviors which God raised to them, had not warrant from the law of nature to vindicate themselves to liberty, which was taken from them violently and unjustly by the sword. From all this it shall well follow that the tyranny of bloody conquerors is immediately and only dependent from God, no less than lawful sovereignty; for Nebuchadnezzar’s sovereignty over the people of God, and many other kingdoms also, was revenged of God as tyranny, Jer. 1:6, 7; and therefore the vengeance of the Lord, and the vengeance of his temple, came upon him and his land, Jer. 1:16, etc. It is true the people of God were commanded of God to submit to the king of Babylon, to serve him, and to pray for him, and to do the contrary was rebellion; but this was not because the king of Babylon was their king, and because the king of Babylon had a command of God so to bring under his yoke the people of God. So Christ had a commandment to suffer the death of the cross, (John 10:18,) but had Herod and Pilate any warrant to crucify him? None at all.
7. He says, Royalties, even of heathen kings, are not disposed of by the composed contracts of men, but by the immediate hand and work of God. But the contracts of men to give a kingdom to a person, which a heathen community may lawfully do, and so by contract dispose of a kingdom, is not opposite to the immediate hand of God, appointing royalty and monarchy at his own blessed liberty. Lastly he says, God took away Saul in his wrath; but I pray you, did God only do it? Then had Saul, because a king, a patent royal from God to kill himself, for so God took him away; and we are rebels by this, if we suffer not the king to kill himself. Well pleaded.
1. Bellarmine, lib. 5, c. 6, not 5, de Laicis.
2. Sacro. Sa. Reg. Ma. c. 24.
3. Aquinas, 12, q. 93, art. 3.