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A81982 Davids three mighties: or Sovereignties three champions: being the three prime reformers of the Protestant religion, Luther, Calvin, Tindal. Faithfully cited, and affectionately presented to all the misled people of England, for their instruction and direction, how to deport themselves in the unhappy division betwixt the King and them. That yet at the last by the light of these three glorious professors of the Gospel, they may the better discern both their owne errors, and the impostures of their false teachers. Other renowned worthies since the Reformation have done honourably in the defence of sovereignty, howbeit they attained not unto the first three, 2 Sam. 23. v.18.23. 1644 (1644) Wing D378; Thomason E42_1; ESTC R11742 28,856 41

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were no defence of the common peoples liberty to be made and no other protection to be subministred but by force of Armes or other violence They that are but smatterers in our Lawes are able to cite many cases wherein Tuters and Guardians are allowed if not commanded to maintaine defend the rights and liberties of those who are under their tuition and protection and yet may not do either by force and violence but only in that way and course which the Law prescribes Nay our last so much violated and abused Protestation wherein we promise vow and protest every man in particular to maintaine and defend with our life power and estate the true reformed Protestant Religion c. with this restriction as far as lawfully we may doe yeeld us this as granted that the greatest bond or obligation wherein any man stands bound to maintaine and defend another be it thing or person obligeth him to no other maintenance and defence then is lawfull makes not any maintenanc● defence to be lawfull that he that is so obliged either is able or thinks fit to attempt And therefore Calvins affirming some to be protecters or defenders of the peoples liberty does not give liberty to any to make such defence and protection thereof as they shall thinke good as suppose by Armes or other violence but does only allow that protection and defence of their liberty to be good which the Laws of God and man approve to be lawfull I have been the larger in clearing this latter part of this testimony because I am verily perswaded that the mistaking thereof hath induced divers pious and loyall Protestants with whom this Worthies authority hath been alwayes prevalent to yeeld more in this case of defending the liberty of the people against the outragious licentiousnesse of Kings and sovereigne Princes then otherwise they would have granted Many other excellent places full of loyalty are to be found in Calvin but I must remember what I promised in my Epistle or without doubt the poore man will chalenge me for the forfeiture I passe therefore to the third and last testimony MAster William Tindal a faithfull Minister and constant Martyr of Christ first strangled at the stake and then burnt at Filford in Fland●rs anno 1536. A man that for his extraordinary paines in translating the Scripture especially the new Testament into English which till then had been concealed and hid from the people of ●his Nation in an unknown tongue well d●s●rved the name of the English Evangelist or as Mr. Fox Act. mon. anno 1536 p. 1053. for that and some other reasons stiles him an Apostle of England the most honourable title that can be given to a Minister of the Gospel In his book intituled The obedience of a Christian man printed at London 1573. p. 111. having spoken briefly of Davids carriage towards Saul when God had twice delivered him into his hands 1 Sam. c. 24 c. 26 he thus proceeds Why did not David slay Saul seeing he was so wicked not in persecuting David only but in disobeying Gods Commandments and in tha● he had sl●ine 85. of Gods Priests w●ongfully Verily for it was not lawfull for if he had done it he must have sinned against God for God hath made the King in every Realme Judge over all and over him there is no Judge He that judgeth the King judgeth God and he that layeth hands on the King layeth hands on God and he that resisteth th● King resisteth God and damneth Gods Law and Ordinance If the Subjects sin they must be brought to the Kings judgement if the King sin he must be brought unto the judgement wrath and vengeance of God And as it is to resist the King so it is to resist his Officer which is set or se●t to execute the Kings commandment and in the first Chapter of the s●cond book of Kings David commanded the young man to be sl●ine which b●ought unto him the Crowne and Bracelet of Saul and said to please David withall That he himselfe had slaine Saul and in the 4. Chapter of the same booke David commanded those two to be slaine which brought unto him the head of Ishbosheth Sauls sonne by whose meanes yet the whole Kingdome returne unto David according unto the promise of the Lord. And Luke 13. when they shewed Christ of the Galileans whose bloud P●late mingled with their own sacrifice He answered Suppose ye That these Galileans were sinners above all other Galileans because they suffered such punishment I tell you nay but except ye repent ye shall likewise perish This was told C●rist no doubt of such an intent as they asked him Matth. 22. Whether it were lawfull to give tribute unto Caesar For they thought it was no sin to resist an heathen Prince as few of us would think if we were under the Turke that it were sin to rise against him and to rid our selves from under his Dominion so sore have our Bishops robbed us of the true Doctrine of Christ but Christ condemned their deeds and also the secret thoughts of all other that consented thereunto saying Except ye repent ye shall likewise perish as who should say I know that ye are within your hearts such as they were outward in their deeds and are under the same damnation except therefore ye repent betimes ye shall break out at the last into the like deeds and likewise perish as it came afterwards to passe Hereby seest thou that the King is in this world without Law and may as his lust doe right or wrong and shall give accounts but to God only And page 112. upon these words of the Apostle He is the Minister of God to thee for thy good Rom. 13. he rendereth it for thy wealth Though the King be the greatest Tyrant in the world yet he is unto thee a great benefit of God and a thing wherefore thou oughtest to thanke God highly for it is better to have somew●at then to be cleane stript out of altogether it is better to pay the tenth then to lose all it is better to suffer one Tyrant then ma●y and to suffer wrong of one then of every man Page 118. Heads and Governours are ordained of God and are even the gift of God whether they be good or bad and whatsoever is done unto as by them that doth God be it good or bad If they be evill why are they evill Verily for our wickednesse sake are they evill because that when they were good we would not receive that goodnesse of the hand of God and be thankfull submitting our selves unto his Lawes and Ordinances but abused the goodnesse of God unto our sensuall and beastly lusts therefore doth God make his scourge of them and turne them into wilde beasts contrary to the nature of their n●mes and offices even into Lions Beares Foxes and unclean swine to avenge himselfe of our unnaturall and blinde unkindnesse and of ●u●re●t lious disobedience This ●●sition he proves from
David and throughout all the Bookes of the Kings The authority of the King is the authority of God and all the Subjects compared unto the King are but Subjects still though the King be never so evill as a thousand sonnes gathered together are but sonnes still and the commandement Obey your fathers goeth over all as well as over one even so goeth the commandement over all the Subjects Obey your Prince and the higher power and he that resisteth him resisteth God and getteth him damnation And unto your argument cujus est ligare ejus est solver● I answer He that bindeth with absolute power and without any higher authority his is the might to lose againe but he that bindeth at another mans commandement may not loose againe without the commandement of the same As they of London chuse them a Major bu● may not put downe againe how evill soever he be without th●●●thori●y of him with whose licence they chose him As long as the powers o● officers be one under another if the inferiour doe the wrong complaine to the higher but if the highest of all d●e the wrong thou must complaine to God only wherefore the only remedy against evill Rulers is that thou turne thine eye to thy selfe and thine owne sin and then l●●ke up to God and say O Father for our sin and the sin of ●●r f●●hers is this misery come upon us we know not thee as ●u●●●ther to obey thee and walke in thy wayes and theref●●● th●n knowest not us as thy sons to set loving School Masters over us we hate thy Law and therefore hast thou through the wickednesse of unrighteous Judges made that Law which was for our defence to be a Tyrant most cruell and to oppresse us and done us injury above all other kindes of violence and robbing and amend thy living and be meek and patient and let them rob as much as they will yet shall ●od give thee food and rayment and an honest possession in the earth to maintaine th●e and thine withall I will but adde one passage more of the same Author to shew him to be alwayes the same upon any occasion of mentioning the Subjects duty and then I thinke scarce any sober J●dge can require more from one witnesse In his Epistle to the Christian Reader before his booke intituled The practice of Papisticall Prelates he gives this Exhortation Unto all Subjects be it said if they professe the Law of God and Faith of the Lord Jesus and will be Christs Disciples then let them remember that there was never man so great a Subject as Christ was there was never creature that suffered so great unright so patiently and so meekly as he therefore whatsoever they have beene in times past let them now thinke that it is their parts to be subject in the lowest kinde of subjection and to suffer all things patiently If the higher powers be cruell unto you with naturall cruelty then with sof●nesse and patience ye shall either win them or mitigate their fiercenesse If they joyne them unto the Pope and persecute you for your faith and hope which ye have in the Lord Jesus then call to minde that ye he chosen to suffer here with Christ that ye may joy with him in the life to come with joy everlasting that shall infinitely passe this your short paine here If they command what God forbiddeth or forbid what God commandeth then answer as the Apostles did Acts 5. That God must be obe obeyed more then man If they counsell you to suffer unright then Christ shall helpe you to beare and his Spirit shall comfort you but only see that they neither pu● you from Gods word nor yee resist them with bodily violence but abide patiently a while till the hypocrisie of hypocrites bee slaine with the sword of Gods word and untill the word be openly published and witnessed unto the powers of the world that their blindnesse might be without excuse Thus Master Tindal And by this and the other two testimonies I hope you perceive of how far different a spirit your new pretended Reformers are from those ancient pious Reformers of the true Protestant Religion They watered what they planted with their owne teares These desire to plant in the bloud and water with the tears of their fellow brethren Their Arms were their prayers all the praiers of these are for Arms. They abhorred tumults and commotions as Antichristian and Diabolicall These so delight in them as that they detest and persecute as Antichristian and malignant all those that will not run the same tumultuous and rebellious courses with them They following the Doctrine and example of our blessed Saviour and his Apostles both acknowledged and yeelded all submission and obedience to Sovereigne Princes though never so wicked and tyrannicall These following the suggestions and practises of the Divell and his angells stir up and foment insurrection and rebellion against their Lord and Sovereigne though most Pious and Gracious I beseech you therefore in the words of Saint John 1 Epistle Chap. 4. Verse 1. Beleeve not every Spirit but try the Spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world Here is a fair way of tryall presented unto you Compare the doctrine and practises of these furious Spirits in these times with the Doctrine and Practises of those zealous Spirits in former tines and see and judge which comes nearest to the Spirit of God and of Christ and beseech God that that Spirit may possesse you which is the prayer as well as the counsell of one that greatly longeth after you all in the bowells of Jesus Christ FINIS
sundry places of Scripture and then page 119 be makes this exhortative conclusion Let us receive all things of God whether it be good or bad Let us humble our selves under his mighty hand and ●ubmit our selves unto his nurture and chastising and not withdraw our selves from his correction Read Heb. 12. for thy comfort and let us not take the staffe by the end or seek to avenge our selves on his rod which is the evill Rulers The childe as long as he seeketh to avenge himselfe upon the rod hath an evill heart for he thi●keth n●t that the correction is right or that he hath deserved it neither repente●h but rejoyceth in his wickednesse and so long shall be never bee without a rod yea so long shall the rod be made sharper if he knowledge his fault and take the correction meekly and even kisse the rod and amend himselfe with the learning and nurture of his father and mother then is the rod taken away and burnt So if we resist evill Rulers seeking to set our selves at liberty we shall no doubt bring our selves into more evill bondage and wrap our selves in much more misery and wretchednesse for if the Heads overcome then lay they more weight on their backs and make their yoake sorer and tye them shorter if they overcome their evill Rulers then make they way for a more cruell Nation or for some Tyrant of their own Nation which hath no right unto the Crown if we submit our selves unto the chastising of God and meekly knowledge our sins for which we are scourged and kisse the rod and amend our living then will God take the rod away that is he will give the Rulers a better heart or if they continue their malice and persecute you for wel-doing and because you put your trust in God then will God deliver you out of their tyranny for his truths sake It is the same God now that was in old time and delivered the Fathers and the Prophets the Apostles and other holy Saints and whatsoever he sware to them he hath sworne to us and as he delivered them out of all temptations cumbrance and adversity because they consented and submitted themselves unto his will and trusted in his goodnesse and truth even so will he doe us if we doe likewise Whensoever the children of Israel fell from the way which God commanded them to walke in he gave them up under one Tyrant or other as soone as they come to knowledge of themselves and repented crying for mercy and leaning unto the truth of his promises he sent one to deliver them as the Histories of the Bible make mention A Christian man in respect of God is but a passive thing a thing that suffereth only and doth nought as the sicke in respect of th● Chyrurgeon or Physitian doth but suffer only The Chyrurgeon lanceth and cutteth out the d●ad flesh searcheth the wounds thrusteth intents seareth ●urneth soweth and stitcheth and layeth too corrasives to draw out the corruption and layeth too healing plaisters and maketh it whole The Physitian likewise giveth purgations and drinks to drive our the disease and then with restaurations bringeth health Now if the sicke resist the Rasor the searching iron and so forth doth he not resist his owne health and is cause of his owne death So likewise it i● of us if we res st evill Rulers which are the rod and scourge wherewith God chastiseth us the instruments wherewith God searcheth our wounds and bitter drinkes to drive out the sin and to make it appeare and cor●asives to draw ou● by the roots the core of the pox of the soule that fretteth inward A Christian man therefore receiveth all things at the hand of God both good and bad both sweet and sowre both wealth and want If you please at your leasure further to peruse that excellent worke of that incomparable Worthy or but that part only of the Obedience of Subjects to Kings to Princes and Rulers grounded upon Rom 13. you will meet with many other excellent passages to the same purpose wort● your observing But passe we from that Booke to another of the same learned and religious Author viz. his Exposition upon Matth 5 6 7. Chap. and there we shall finde the du●y of Subjects to their sovereigne Princes so stated and the prime objections pretended against it so framed and resolved as if that holy Man had been not only an ●vangelist or an Apostle as you heard before but also a Prophet and had foreseen this present Rebellion and known the very pre●ences all●adged for the justification thereof The words which I refer unto are those upon Chap 5. ver 38 39 and more particularly upon the 40. verse where the Law is unj●stly mi●istred and the gov●rnours and J●dges corrupt and take ●●●●es and be partiall there be patient and readier to s●ff●r ev●r as much more whatsoever unright be done thee rather then of ●●patiency thou shouldest avenge thy selfe on thy neighbour or rash or make insu rection against the Superiours which God hath set over thee for to rise against them is to rebell against God and against thy Father when he scourgeth thee for thine ●ffence and a thousand times more sin then to avenge thee on thy neighbour and to ●ayle on them is to rayse on God as though thou wouldest blaspheme him if he made thee sicke poore or of low degree or otherwise then thou wouldest be made thy selfe Thou wilt happily say The Subjects ever chuse the Ruler and make him sweare to keep their Law and to maintaine their priviledges and liberties and upon that su●mit themselves unto him ergo if he rule amisse they are not bound to obey but may re●i●t him and put him downe againe I answer your argument is naught for the husband sweareth to his wife yet though he forsweare himselfe she hath no power to compell him also though a Master keep not covenant with his servant or one neighbour with another yet hath neither servant no nor yet neighbour though he be under none obedience power to avange but the vengeance ever pertaineth to an higher Officer to whom thou must complaine Yea but ye will say It is not like for the whole body of the Subjects chuse the Ruler now cujus est ligare ejus est solvere ergo if he rule amisse they that set him up may pull him downe againe I answer God and not the common people chuseth the Prince though he chuse him by them for Deut. 16. God commandeth to chuse and set up Officers and therefore is God the chiefe chuser and setter up of them and so must he be the chiefe puller down of them againe now hath God given them no commandment to put them downe againe but contrarywise when we have anointed a King over us at his commandement he saith Touch not mine Anointed And what jeopardy it is to rise against thy Prince that is anointed over thee how evill so ever he be see the story of King