Friday, April 23, 2010

George Washington's Farewell Address 1796

The Independent Chronicle, September 26, 1796.

September 17, 1796

Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it - It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

George Washington

George Washington - 2nd Inaugural Address

March 4, 1793
In the City of Philadelphia

President Washington's second oath of office occurred in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in the city of Philadelphia, March 4, 1793. President Washington gave the shortest inaugural address in American history to the assembled members of Congress, Cabinet officers, justices of the federal and district courts of the United States, foreign dignitaries, and a small number of prominent Philadelphians.The oath of office was administered by William Cushing who was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Fellow Citizens:

I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.

Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

George Washington

George Washingtom - 1st Inaugural Address

The First President of the United States of America took his oath of office on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at the Federal Hall located on Wall Street, New York City, New York. Washington was unanimously elected as President by the first electoral college and John Adams became the first vice-president having received the second greatest number of votes. President Washington gave his inaugural address before a joint session of Congress which was assembled in the Senate chamber.

April 30, 1789

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

AMONG the vicissitudes incident to life no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years—a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration) ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which mislead me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.

2. Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

3. By the article establishing the executive department it is made the duty of the President "to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject further than to refer to the great constitutional charter under which you are assembled, and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute, in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications I behold the surest pledges that as on one side no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

4. Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good; for I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen and a regard for the public harmony will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be impregnably fortified or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.

5. To the foregoing observations I have one to add, which will be most properly addressed to the House of Representatives. It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.

6. Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

George Washington

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences - 95 Theses

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.

4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.

6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.

7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.

8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.

9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.

10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.

11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Mt 13:25).

12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.

13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.

14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.

15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.

16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.

17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.

18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.

19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.

20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words "plenary remission of all penalties," does not actually mean "all penalties," but only those imposed by himself.

21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.

22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.

23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.

24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.

25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.

26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.

27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.

29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.

30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.

31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.

32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.

34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.

35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.

36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.

37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.

38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.

39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.

40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.

41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.

42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.

43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.

44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.

45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.

46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.

47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.

48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.

49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.

50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.

51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.

52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.

53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.

54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.

55. It is certainly the pope's sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.

56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.

57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.

58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.

59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.

60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.

61. For it is clear that the pope's power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.

62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.

63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last (Mt. 20:16).

64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.

65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.

66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.

67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.

68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.

69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.

70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.

71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.

72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.

73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.

74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.

75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.

76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.

77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.

78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written, 1 Co 12:28.

79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.

80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.

81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.

82. Such as: "Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.

83. Again, "Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?"

84. Again, "What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, because of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love's sake?"

85. Again, "Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?"

86. Again, "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?"

87. Again, "What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?"

88. Again, "What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?"

89. "Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?"

90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.

91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.

92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace! (Jer 6:14)

93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!

94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.

95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

Martin Luther
October 31, 1517

Speech on Conciliation with America - Edmund Burke - March 22, 1775

To restore order and repose to an empire so great and so distracted as ours is, merely in the attempt, an undertaking that would ennoble the flights of the highest genius, and obtain pardon for the efforts of the meanest understanding. Struggling a good while with these thoughts, by degrees I felt myself more firm. I derived, at length, some confidence from what in other circumstances usually produces timidity. I grew less anxious, even from the idea of my own insignificance. For, judging of what you are by what you ought to be, I persuaded myself that you would not reject a reasonable proposition because it had nothing but its reason to recommend it.

The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord, fomented from principle, in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the juridical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple peace, sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts.

Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government-they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing and their privileges another, that these two things may exist without any mutual relation - the cement is gone, the cohesion is loosened, and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have, the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you. This is the commodity of price, of which you have the monopoly.

This is the true Act of Navigation, which binds to you the commerce of the -colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your Letters of office, and your instructions, and your suspending clauses are the things that hold together the great contexture of this mysterious whole. These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English constitution which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivffles every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member.

Is it not the same virtue which does every thing for us here in England? Do you imagine, then, that-it is the Land-Tax Act which raises your revenue? that it is the annual vote in the Committee of Supply, which gives you your army? or that it is the Mutiny Bill which inspires it with bravery and discipline? No! surely, no! It is the love of the people; it is their attachment to their government, from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience without which your army would be a base rabble and your navy nothing but rotten timber.

All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical politicians who have no place among us: a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material, and who, therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of the great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles, which in the opinion of such men as I have mentioned have no substantial existence, are in truth everything, and all in all. Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together. If we are conscious of our situation, and glow with zeal to fill our places as becomes our station and ourselves, we ought to auspicate all our public proceedings on America with the old warning of the Church, Sursum corda! We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of that trust to which the order of Providence has called us. By adverting to the dignity of this high calling, our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire, and have made the most extensive and the only honorable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race. Let us get an American revenue as we have got an American empire.

English privileges have made it all that it is; English privileges alone will make it all it can he.

Edmund Burke
March 22, 1775

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos - A Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants - Part 4


A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants

by Junius Brutus


Whether neighbour princes may, or are bound by law to aid the subjects of other princes, persecuted for true religion, or oppressed by manifest tyranny.

We have yet one other question to treat of, in the discussing whereof, there is more use of an equitable judgment than of a nimble apprehension; and if charity were but in any reasonable proportion prevalent amongst the men of this age, the disputation thereof was altogether frivolous; but, seeing nothing in these days is more rare, nor less esteemed than charity, we will speak somewhat of this our question. We have already sufficiently proved, that all tyrants, whether those who seek to captivate the minds and souls of the people with an erroneous and superstitious opinion in matter of religion, or, those who would enthral their bodies and estates with miserable servitude and excessive impositions, may justly by the people, be both suppressed and expulsed? But, for so much as tyrants are for the most part so cunning, and subjects seldom so cautelous, that the disease is hardly known, or, at the least, not carefully observed before the remedy prove almost desperate, nor think of their own defence before they are brought to those straits, that they are unable to defend themselves, but compelled to implore the assistance of others: Our demand therefore is, if Christian princes lawfully may, and ought to succour those subjects who are afflicted for true religion, or oppressed by unjust servitude, and whose sufferings are either for the kingdom of Christ, or for the liberty of their own state? There are many, who, hoping to advance their own ends, and encroach on others' rights, will readily embrace the part of the afflicted, and proclaim the lawfulness of it; but the hope of gain is the certain and only aim of their purposes. And in this manner the Romans, Alexander the Great, and divers others, pretending to suppress tyrants, have oftentimes enlarged their own limits.

It is not long since we saw King Henry the Second make wars on the Emperor Charles the Fifth, under colour of defending and delivering the Protestant princes. As also Henry the Eighth, King of England, was in like manner ready to assist the Germans, if the Emperor Charles should molest them. But if there be some appearance of danger, and little expectance of profit, then it is that most princes do vehemently dispute the lawfulness of the action. And as the former cover their ambition and avarice with the veil of charity and piety, so, on the contrary do the others call their fear and cowardly baseness integrity and justice; although that piety (which is ever careful of another's good) have no part in the counsels of the first. nor justice (which affectionately desires the easing of a neighbour's grief) in cooling the charitable intendments of the latter. Therefore, without leaning either to the one side or the other, let us follow those rules which piety and justice trace us out in matter of religion.

First, all accord in this, that there is only one Church, whereof Jesus Christ is the head, the members whereof are so united and conjoined together, that if the least of them be offended or wronged, they all participate both in the harm and sorrow, as throughout Holy Scripture plainly appears: wherefore the church is compared to a body. Now, it oftentimes happens, that the body is not only overthrown by a wound in the arm or thigh, but even also much endangered, yea, sometimes killed by a small hurt in the little finger. Vainly, therefore, does any man vaunt that this body is recommended to his care and custody, if he suffer that to be dismembered and pulled in pieces which he might have preserved whole and entire. The church is compared to an edifice: on which side soever the building is undermined, it many times chances that the whole tumbles down, and on what rafter or piece of timber soever the flame takes hold, it endangers the whole house of burning; he must needs be therefore worthy of scorn, who should defer to quench the fire which had caught his house top, because he dwells most in the cellar. Would not all hold him for a madman who should neglect by countermining to frustrate a mine, because it was intended to overthrow that wall there, and not this here.

Again, the church is resembled to a ship, which, as it sails together, so does it sink together; in so much that in a tempest, those who be in the forecastle, or in the keel, are no more secure than those who remain at the stern or on the deck: so that the proverb commonly says, "When men run the like hazard in matter of danger, that they venture both in one bottom." This being granted questionless, whosoever has not a fellow-feeling in commiserating the trouble, danger, and distress of the church, is no member of that body, nor domestic in the family of Jesus Christ, nor hath any place in the ark of the covenant of grace. He who has any sense of religion in his heart, ought no more to doubt whether he be obliged to aid the afflicted members of the church, than he would be assisting to himself in the like distress; for the union of the church unites us all into one body, and therefore every one in his calling must be ready to assist the needy, and so much the more willingly, by how much the Almighty has bestowed a greater portion of his blessings on us, which were not conferred that we should be made possessors of them, but that we should be dispensers thereof according to the necessity of his saints.

As this church is one, so is she recommended and given in charge to all Christian princes in general, and to every one of them in particular; for so much as it was dangerous to leave the care to one alone, and the unity of it would not by any means permit that she should be divided into pieces and every portion assigned unto one particular; God has committed it all entire to particulars, and all the parts of it to all in general, not only to preserve and defend it, but also to amplify and increase it as much as might be. Insomuch that if a prince who has undertaken the care of a portion of the church, as that of Germany and England, and, notwithstanding neglect and forsake another part that is oppressed, and which he might succour, he doubtless abandons the church, Christ having but one only spouse, which the prince is so bound to preserve and defend, that she be not violated or corrupted in any part, if it be possible. And in the same manner, as every private person is bound by his humble and ardent prayers to God, to desire the restoring of the church, so likewise are the magistrates tied diligently to procure the same, with the utmost of their power and means which God has put into their hands. For the church of Ephesus is no other than that of Colossus, but these two are portions of the universal church, which is the kingdom of Christ, the increase and prosperity whereof ought to be the continual subject of all private men's prayers and desires; but it is the duty of all kings, princes, and magistrates, not only to amplify and extend the limits and bounds of the church in all places, but only to preserve and defend it against all men whatsoever. Wherefore there was but one temple in Judea built by Solomon, which represented the unity of the church; and therefore ridiculous and worthy of punishment was that churchwarden, who had care only of some small part of the church, and suffered all the rest to be spoiled with rain and weather. In like manner, all Christian kings, when they receive the sword on the day of their coronation, solemnly swear to maintain the catholic or universal church, and the ceremony then used cloth fully express it, for holding the sword in their hands, they turn to the east, west, north, and south, and brandish it, to the end that it may be known that no part of the world is excepted. As by this ceremony they assume the protection of the church, it must be questionless understood of the true church, and not of the false; therefore ought they to employ the utmost of their ability to reform, and wholly to restore that which they hold to be the pure and truly Christian church, to wit, ordered and governed according to the direction of the Word of God. That this was the practice of godly princes, we have their examples to instruct us.

In the time of Ezechias, King of Judah, the kingdom of Israel had been a long time before in subjection to the Assyrians, to wit, ever since the King Hosea, his time; and therefore if the church of Judah only, and not the whole universal church had been committed to the custody of Ezechias; and if in the preservation of the church, the same course were to be held, as in the dividing of lands, and imposing of tributes, then questionably Ezechias would have contained himself within his own limits, especially then when the exorbitant power of the Assyrians forded it everywhere. Now, we read that he sent express messengers throughout Israel, to wit, to the subjects of the King of Assyria, to invite them to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Paschal Feast; yea, and he aided the faithful Israelites of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasses, and others the subjects of the Assyrians, to ruin the high places which were in their quarters.

We read also, that the good king Josias expelled idolatry, not only out of his own kingdom, but also even out of the kingdom of Israel, which was then wholly in subjection to the King of Assyria, and no marvel, for where the glory of God and the kingdom of Christ are in question, there no bounds or limits can confine the zeal and fervent affection of pious and godly princes. Though the opposition be great, and the power of the opposers greater, yet the more they fear God, the less they will fear men. These generous examples of divers godly princes, have since been imitated by sundry Christian kings, by whose means the church (which was heretofore restrained within the narrow limits of Palestine) has since been dilated throughout the universal world. Constantine and Licinius governed the empire together, the one in the Orient, the other in the Occident. They were associates of equal power and authority. And amongst equals, as the proverb is, "There is no command."

Notwithstanding, because Licinius does everywhere banish, torment, and put to death the Christians, and amongst them divers of the nobility, and that for and under presence of religion, Constantine makes war against him, and by force compels him to give free liberty of religion to the Christians; and because he broke his faith, and relapsed into his former cruelties, he caused him to be apprehended and put to death in the city of Thessalonica. This emperor's piety was with so great an applause celebrated by the divines of those times, that they suppose that saying in the prophet Isaiah to be meant by him: "That kings shall be pastors and nursing fathers of the church." After his death, the Roman empire was divided equally between his sons, without advantaging the one more than the other. Constans favoured the orthodox Christians, Constantus, being the elder, leaned to the Arrians, and for that cause banished the learned Athanasius from Alexandria; the greatest professed adversary of the Arrians. Certainly, if any consideration in matter of confines be absolutely requisite, it must needs be amongst brethren; and notwithstanding, Constans threatened to war on his brother if he restore not Athanasius, and had without doubt performed it, if the other had long deferred the accomplishment of his desire. And if he proceeded so far for the restitution of one bishop, had it not been much more likely and reasonable for him to have assisted a good part of the people, if they implored his aid against the tyranny of those who refused them the exercise of their religion, under the authority of their magistrates and governors? So at the persuasion of Atticus the bishop, Theodosius made war on Chosroes, King of Persia, to deliver the Christians of his kingdom from persecution, although they were but particular and private persons; which certainly those most just princes, who instituted so many worthy laws, and had so great and special care of justice, would not have done, if by that fact they had supposed anything were usurped on another man's right, or the law of nations violated. But to what end were so many expeditions undertaken by Christian princes into the Holy Land against the Saracens? Wherefore were demanded and raised so many of those Saladine tenths? To what purpose were so many confederacies made, and crusades proclaimed against the Turks, if it were not lawful for Christian princes, yea, those furthest remote, to deliver the church of God from the oppression of tyrants, and to free captive Christians from under the yoke of bondage? What were the motives that led them to those wars? What were the reasons that urged them to undergo those dangers? But only in regard of the churches' union, Christ summoned every man from all parts with a unanimous consent, to undertake the defence thereof? For all men are bound to repulse common dangers with a joint and common opposition, all which have a natural consent and relation with this we now treat of. If this were lawful for them against Mahomet, and not only lawful, but that the backward and negligent were ever made liable to all infamous contempt, and the forward and ready undertakers always recompensed with all honourable respect and reward, according to the merit of their virtues; wherefore not now against the enemy of Christ and his saints? If it be a lawful war to fight against the Greeks (that I may use that phrase) when they assail our Troy; wherefore is it unlawful to pursue and prevent that incendiary Sinon? Finally, if it have been esteemed an heroical act to deliver Christians from corporal servitude (for the Turks enforce none in point of religion), is it not a thing yet much more noble to enfranchise and set at liberty souls imprisoned in the mists of error?

These examples of so many religious princes, might well have the directive power of law. But let us hear what God Himself pronounces in many places of His Word by the mouth of His prophets, against those who advance not the building up of His church, or who make no reckoning of her afflictions. The Gadites, the Reubenites, and half the tribe of Manasses desire of Moses that he would allot them their portion on the other side of Jordan. Moses grants their request, but with this proviso and condition, that they should not only assist their other brethren the Israelites to conquer the land of Canaan; but also that they should march the first, and serve as vanguard to the rest, because they had their portions first set them forth, and if they fail to perform this duty, he with an anathema, destines them to destruction, and compares them to those who were adjudged rebels at Cadisbarnea. And what, says he, "your brethren shall fight, and you in the mean season rest quiet at home? " Nay, on the contrary, you also shall pass Jordan, and not return into their houses, before first the Lord have driven his enemies out from before his face, and granted place to your brethren as well as you, then shall you be innocent before the Lord and His people Israel. He shews by this that those who God first blessed with so great a benefit, if they help not their brethren, if they make not themselves sharers in their labours, companions in their travels, and leaders in their dangers, they must questionless expect a heavy punishment to fall upon them.

Likewise when under the conduct of Deborah, the Nephtalites and Zabulonites took arms against the tyrant Jabin; and that in the mean season the Reubenites, who should have been first in the field, took their ease and played on their pipes, whilst their flocks and herds fed at liberty; the Gadites held themselves secured with the rampire of the ever; the Danites gloried in their command at sea, and Ashur, to be brief, was confident in the difficult access of their mountains. The Spirit of the Lord speaking by the prophetess, does in express terms condemn them all: "Curse ye Meros" (said the Angel of the Lord), "curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

But blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, who, though she might have alleged the alliance which her husband had with the Canaanites, did, notwithstanding, kill Sisera, the general of the enemies' army. And therefore Uriah spoke religiously, and like a true patriarch, when he said: " The ark of the Lord, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents, and my Lord Joab, and the servants of my Lord are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing." But, on the contrary, impious and wicked were the Princes of Israel, who, supposing themselves secured by the craggy mountains of Samaria, and strong fortification of Sion, took liberty to loose themselves in luxurious feasts, loose delights, drinking delicious wines, and sleeping in perfumed beds of ivory, despising in the mean season poor Joseph; to wit, the Lord's flock tormented and miserably vexed on all sides, nor have any compassion on their affliction. "The Lord God hath sworn by Himself, saith the Lord God of Hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces, therefore will I deliver up the city, with all that is therein, and those that wallow thus in pleasures, shall be the first that shall go into captivity." Wickedly, therefore, did those Ephraimnes, who, instead of congratulating and applauding the famous and notable victories of Gideon and Jephta, did envy and traduce them, whom, notwithstanding, they had forsaken in dangers.

As much may be said of the Israelites, who, seeing David overcome the difficulty of his affairs, and remain a peaceable king, say aloud, "We are thy flesh and thy bones." And some years after, seeing him embroiled again in troubles, cried out, "We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse." Let us rank also with these, all those Christians in name only, who will communicate at the holy table, and yet refuse to take the cup of affliction with their brethren, who look for salvation in the church, and care not for the safety and preservation of the church and the members thereof. Briefly, who adore one and the same God the Father, acknowledge and avow themselves of the same household of faith, and profess to be one and the same body in Jesus Christ, and, notwithstanding, yield no succour nor assistance to their Saviour, afflicted in his members; what vengeance do you think will God inflict on such impiety? Moses compares those who abandon their brethren to the rebels of Cadisbarnea. Now, none of those by the decree of the Almighty, entered into the land of Canaan. Let not those then pretend any interest in the heavenly Canaan, who will not succour Christ when He is crucified, and suffering a thousand times a day in his members; and, as it were, begging their alms from door to door. The Son of God with his own mouth condemns them to everlasting fire, that when he was hungry gave Him no meat; when He was thirsty gave Him no drink; when He was a stranger, lodged Him not; naked, and clothed Him not; sick, and in prison, and visited Him not. And, therefore, let those expect punishments without end, who lend a deaf ear to the complaint's and groans of our Saviour Jesus Christ, suffering all these things daily in his members; although otherwise they may appear both to others and themselves, to be jolly Christians, yet shall their condition be much more miserable than that of many infidels. For why ? were they the Jews only, and Scribes and Pharisees, to speak properly, that crucified Christ? or were they Ethnicks, Turks, or some certain pernicious sects of Christians, which crucify, torment, and persecute him in his members? No, certainly, the Jews hold Him as impostor, the Ethnicks a malefactor, the Turks an infidel, the others an heretic, insomuch as if we consider the intention of these men, as the censoring of all offences ought to have principal relation "hereunto, we cannot conclude that it is properly Christ that they persecute with such hatred, but some criminal person, who, in their opinion deserves this usage. But they do truly and properly persecute and crucify Christ Jesus, who profess to acknowledge Him for the Messiah, God and Redeemer of the world; and which, notwithstanding, fail to free Him from persecution and vexation in His members, when it is in their power to do it. Briefly, he who omits to deliver his neighbour from the hands of the murderer, when he sees him in evident danger of his life, is questionless guilty of the murder, as well as the murderer. For seeing he neglected when he had means to preserve his life, it must needs necessarily follow that he desired his death. And in all crimes the will and intendment ought principally to be regarded. But questionless, these Christian princes, who do not relieve and assist the true professors, who suffer for true religion, are much more guilty of murder than any other, because they might deliver from danger an infinite number of people, who for want of timely succour, suffer death and torments under the cruel hands of their persecutors. And to this may be added, That to suffer one's brother to be murdered, is a greater offence than if he were a stranger. Nay, I say further, These forsakers of their brethren in their time of danger and distress, are more vile, and more to be abhorred than the tyrants themselves who persecute them. For it is much more wicked, and worthy of greater punishment, to kill an honest man who is innocent and fearing God (as those who consent with them in the faith, must of necessity know the true professors to be), than a thief, an impostor, a magician, or an heretic, as those who persecute the true Christians do commonly believe them to be. It is a greater offence by many degrees to strive with God, than man. Briefly, in one and the same action it is a much more grievous crime, perfidiously to betray, than ignorantly to offend. But may the same also be said of them who refuse to assist those who are oppressed by tyranny, or defend the liberty of the commonwealth against the oppression of tyrants? For in this case the conjunction or confederacy seems not to be of so strict a condition between the one and the other; here we speak of the commonwealth diversely governed according to the customs of the countries, and particularly recommended to these here, or those there; and not of the church of God, which is composed of all, and recommended to all in general, and to every one in particular.

The Jew says, our Saviour Christ is not only neighbour to the Jew, but also to the Samaritan, and to every other man. But we ought to love our neighbour as ourselves; and therefore an Israelite is not only bound to deliver an Israelite from the hands of thieves, if it be in his power, but every stranger also; yea, though unknown, if he will rightly discharge his duty. Neither let him dispute whether it be lawful to defend another, who believes he may justly defend himself. For it is much more just, if we truly consider the concomitants, to deliver from danger and outrage another than one's self; seeing that what is done for pure charity, is more right and allowable, than that which is executed for colour, or desire of revenge, or by any other transport of passion: in revenging our own wrongs we never keep a mean; whereas in other men's, though much greater, the most intemperate will easily observe moderation. Furthermore, the heathens themselves may teach us what humane society, and what the law of nature requires of us in this business; wherefore Cicero says, "That nature being the common mother of mankind, prescribes and ordains, that every man endeavour and procure the good of another, whatsoever he be, only because he is a man; otherwise all bonds of society, yea, and mankind itself, must needs go to ruin."

And therefore, justice is built on these two bases or pillars; first, that none be wronged; secondly, that good be done to all, if it be possible. So also are there two sorts of injustice; the first, in those who offer injury to their neighbours; the second, in them who, when they have means to deliver the oppressed, do, notwithstanding, suffer them to sink under the burden of their wrongs. For whosoever does wrong to another, either moved "hereunto by anger, or any other passion, he may in a sort be truly said to lay violent hands on his companion; but he that hath means, and defends not the afflicted, or to his power, wards not the blows that are struck at him, is as much faulty, as if he forsook his parents, or his friends, or his country in their distress. That which was done by the first may well be attributed to choler which is a short madness; the fault committed by the other discovers a bad mind and a wicked purpose, which are the perpetual tormentors and tyrants of the conscience. The fury of the first may be in some sort excused, but the malice of the second admits no colour of defence. Peradventure you will say, I fear in aiding the one I shall do wrong to the other. And I answer, you seek a cloak of justice wherewith to cover your base remissness. And, if you lay your hand on your heart, you will presently confess, that it is somewhat else, and not justice, that withholds you from performing your duty. For, as the same Cicero says in another place, "Either thou wilt not make the wrongdoer shine enemy, or not take pains, or not be at so much charge, or else negligence, sloth or the hindering of shine own occasions, or the crossing of other purposes, takes thee off from the defence of those who otherwise thou art bound to relieve. Now in saying thou only attend shine own affairs, fearing to wrong another, thou fallest into another kind of injustice: for thou abandoneth human society, in that thou wilt not afford any endeavour either of mind, body, or goods, for the necessary preservation thereof." Read the directions of the heathen philosophers and politicians who have written more divinely herein, than many Christians in these days. From hence also proceeds, that the Roman law designs punishment to that neighbour who will not deliver the slave from the outrageous fury of his master.

Amongst the Egyptians, if any man had seen another assailed and distressed by thieves and robbers, and did not according to his power presently aid him, he was adjudged worthy of death, if at the least he discovered or delivered not the delinquents into the hand of the magistrate. If he were negligent in performing this duty for the first mulct, he was to receive a certain number of blows on his body, and to fast for three days together. If the neighbour be so firmly obliged in this mutual duty of succour to his neighbour, yea, to an unknown person in case he be assailed by thieves: shall it not be lawful for a good prince to assist, not slaves to an imperious master, or children against a furious father, but a kingdom against a tyrant, the commonwealth against the private spleen of one, the people (who are indeed the true owners of the state) against a ministering servant to the public. And, if he carelessly or wilfully omit this duty, deserves he not himself to be esteemed a tyrant, and punished accordingly, as well as the other a robber, who neglected to assist his neighbour in that danger? Thucydides upon this matter says, "That those are not only tyrants which make other men slaves, but much more those who, having means to suppress and prevent such oppression, take no care to perform it"; and amongst others, those who assumed the title of protectors of Greece, and defenders of the country, and yet stir not to deliver their country from oppression of strangers. And truly indeed; for a tyrant is in some sort compelled to hold a straight and tyrannous hand over those who, by violence and tyranny, he hath constrained to obey him, because, as Tiberius said, "he holds the wolf by the ears, whom he can neither hold without pain and force, nor let go without danger and death."

To the end then that he may blot out one sin with another sin, he fills up one wickedness to another, and is forced to do injuries to others, lest he should prove by remissness injurious to himself. But the prince who, with a negligent and idle regard, looks on the outrageousness of a tyrant, and the massacring of innocents that he might have preserved, like the barbarous spectacles of the Roman sword-plays is so much more guilty than the tyrant himself, by how much the cruel and homicidious directors and appointers of these bloody sports were more justly punishable by all good laws than the poor and constrained actors in those murdering tragedies. And as he questionless deserves greater punishment who, out of insolent jollity, murders one, than he who unwillingly for fear of a further harm kills a man; if any object that is it against reason and good order to meddle in the affairs of another, I answer with the old man in Terence "I am a man, and I believe that all duties of humanity are fit and convenient for me. If others seeking to cover their base negligence, and careless unwillingness, allege that bounds and jurisdictions are distinguished one from another, and that it is not lawful to thrust one's sickle into another's harvest," neither am I also of that opinion, that upon any such colour or presence, it is lawful for a prince to encroach upon another's jurisdiction or right, or upon that occasion to usurp another's country, and so carry another man's corn into his barn, as divers have taken such shadows to mask their bad intentions. I will not say that after the manner of those arbitrators whom Cicero speaks of, thou adjudge the things in controversy to thyself. But I require that you repress the prince who invades the kingdom of Christ, that you contain the tyrant within his own limits, that you stretch forth your hand of compassion to the people afflicted, that you raise up the commonwealth lying grovelling on the ground, and that you so carry yourself in the ordering and managing of this, that all men may see your principal aim and end was the public benefit of human society, and not any private profit or advantage of your own. For seeing that justice respects only the public, and that which is without, and injustice fixes a man wholly on himself, it doubtless becomes a man truly honest to dispose his actions, that every private interest give place, and yield to public commodity.

Briefly, to epitomize what has been formerly said, if a prince outrageously overpass the bounds of piety and justice, a neighbour prince may justly and religiously leave his own country, not to invade and usurp another's, but to contain the other within the limits of justice and equity. And if he neglect or omit his duty herein, he shews himself a wicked and unworthy magistrate. If a prince tyrannize over the people, a neighbour prince ought to yield succour as freely and willingly to the people, as he would do to the prince his brother if the people mutinied against him: yea, he should so much the more readily succour the people, by how much there is more just cause of pity to see many afflicted, than one alone. If Porsenna brought Tarquinius Superbus back to Rome, much more justly might Constantine, requested by the senate, and Roman people, expel Maxentius the tyrant from Rome. Briefly, if man become a wolf to man, who hinders that man (according to the proverb), may not be instead of God to the needy? And therefore the ancients have ranked Hercules amongst the gods, because he punished and tamed Procrustes, Busiris, and other tyrants, the plagues of mankind, and monsters of the earth. So whilst the Roman empire retained her freedom, she was truly accounted the safeguard of all the world against the violence of tyrants, because the senate was the port and refuge of kings, people, and nations. In like manner Constantine, called by the Romans against Maxentius, had God Almighty for the leader of his army. And the whole church does with exceeding commendations celebrate his enterprise, although that Maxentius had the same authority in the West, as Constantine had in the East. Also Charlemagne undertook war against the Lombards, being requested to assist the nobility of Italy: although the kingdom of the Lombards had been of a long continuance, and he had no just presence of right over them. In like manner when Charles the Bold, King of France, had tyrannously put to death the governor of the country between the rivers of Seine and Loire, with the Duke Lambert, and another nobleman called Jametius, and that other great men of the kingdom were retired unto Lewis King of Germany, brother (but by another mother) unto Charles, to request aid against him, and his mother called Judith, one of the most pernicious women in the world, Lewis gave them audience in a full assembly of the German princes, by whose joint advice it was decreed, that wars should be made against Charles for the re-establishing in their goods, honours, and estates, those whom he had unjustly dispossessed. Finally, as there have ever been tyrants distressed here and there, so also all histories testify that there have been neighbouring princes to oppose tyranny, and maintain the people in their right. The princes of these times by imitating so worthy examples, should' suppress the tyrants both of bodies and souls, and restrain the oppressors both of the commonwealth, and of the church of Christ: otherwise, they themselves may most deservedly be branded with that infamous title of tyrant. And to conclude this discourse in a word, piety commands that the law and church of God be maintained. Justice requires that tyrants and destroyers of the commonwealth be compelled to reason. Charity challenges the right of relieving and restoring the oppressed. Those who make no account of these things, do as much as in them lies to drive piety, justice, and charity out of this world, that they may never more be heard of.