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.


Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos - A Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants - Part 3B


A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants

by Junius Brutus


Whether it is lawful to resist a ruler who is oppressing or ruining the country, and how far such resistance may be extended; by whom, how, and by what right or law it is permitted.

Whether the king owns all property in the kingdom

But the king, is he not lord proprietor of the public revenue? We must treat this point in a more exactly manner than we did the former. In the first place, we must consider that the revenue of the public treasury is one thing, and the proper heritage of the prince another. The goods of the emperor, king, or prince are of a different nature than those of Antonius, Henry, or Phillip; those are properly the king's, which he enjoys as king, those are Antonius' his which he possesses, as in the right of Antonius, the former he received from the people, the latter from those of his blood, as inheritor to them.

This distinction is mentioned frequently in the books of the civil law, where there is a difference is always made between the heritage of the empire, and that of the emperor. That is, the treasury of Caesar is one thing, and the exchequer of the commonwealth another, and both the one and the other have their own procurers, there being different dispensers of the sacred and public distributions, and of the particular and private expenses, insomuch as he who as emperor is preferred before a private man in a grant by deed or charter, may also sometime as Antonius give place to a lower person.

In like manner in the empire of Germany, the revenue of Ferdinand of Austria is one thing, and the revenue of the Emperor Ferdinand is another: the empire and the emperor each have their own treasures, as there is a also a difference between the inheritances which the princes derive from the houses of their ancestors, and those which are connected with being a ruler. Even among the Turks, Selimus, his gardens and inherited lands, are distinguished from those of the public, the one serving for the provision of the Sultan's table, the other used only for the Turkish affairs of state. There is, notwithstanding, kingdoms as the French and English, and others in which the king has no particular heritage, but only the public which he has received from the people — there this former distinction has no place. For the goods which belong to the prince as a private person there is no question; he is absolute owner of them as other particular persons are, and may by the civil law sell, engage, or dispose of them at his discretion. But for the goods of the kingdom, which in some places are commonly called the demesnes, the kings may not be considered, in any way whatsoever, absolute proprietors of them.

For what if a man, for the sake of the flock, have made you shepherd, does it follow that you have liberty to slay, shear, sell, and transport the sheep at your pleasure? Although the people have established you judge or governor of a city, or of some province, do you therefore have power to alienate, sell, or fritter away that city or province? And seeing that in alienating or passing away a province, the people also are sold, have they raised you to that authority to the end that you should separate them from the rest, or that you should prostitute and make them slaves to whom you please? Furthermore, I demand to know whether the royal dignity is an heritage, or an office? If it's an office, what community has it with any propriety? If it's an heritage, is it not such a one that at least the primary ownership remains still in the people who were the donors? Briefly, if the revenue of the exchequer, or the demesnes of the kingdom, is called the dowry of the commonwealth, and by good right, and such a dowry whose dismembering or wasting brings with it the ruin of the public state, the kingdom and the king, by what law shall it be lawful to alienate this dowry? Let the emperor Wencislaus be infatuated, the French King Charles the Sixth, lunatic, and give or sell the kingdom, or part of it, to the English, let Malcolm, King of the Scots, lavishly dissipate the demesnes and consume the public treasury, what follows from all this? Those who choose the king to withstand the invasions of foreign enemies, shall they through his madness and negligence be made the slaves of strangers? And those means and wealth, which would have secured them in the fruition of their own estates and fortunes, shall they, by the election of such a king, be exposed to the prey and rapine of all comers? And that which particular persons have saved from their own necessities, and from those under their tutorship and government (as it happened in Scotland) to endue the commonwealth with it, shall it be devoured by some panderer or broker, for unclean pleasures?

But if, as we have often said, that kings were established for the people's use, what shall that use be, if it be perverted into abuse? What good can so much mischief and inconvenience bring, what profit can come of such eminent and irreparable damages and dangers? If in seeking to purchase my own liberty and welfare, I sell myself into absolute slavery and willingly subject myself to another's yoke, and become a fettered slave to another man's unruly desires, therefore, as it is imprinted in all of us by nature, so also has it by a long custom been approved by all nations, that it is not lawful for the king by the counsel of his own fancy and pleasure, to diminish or waste the public revenue; and those who have run a contrary course, have even lost that happy name of a king, and stood branded with the infamous title of a tyrant.

I confess that when kings were instituted, there was of necessity means to be assigned for them, as well to maintain their royal dignity, as to furnish the expense of their retinue and officers. Civility, and the welfare of the public state, seem to require it, for it was the duty of a king to establish judges in all places, who should receive no presents, nor sell justice: and also to have power ready to assist the execution of their ordinances, and to secure the ways from dangers, that commerce might be open, and free, etc. If there were likelihood of wars, to fortify and put garrisons into the frontier places, and to hold an army in the field, and to keep his magazines well stored with ammunition. It is commonly said that peace cannot be well maintained without provision for wars, nor wars managed without men, nor men kept in discipline without pay, nor money got without subsidies and tributes.

To discharge therefore the burden of the state in time of peace was the demesne appointed, and in time of wars the tributes and imports, yet so as if any extraordinary necessity required it, money might be raised by subsidies or other fitting means. The main intention of these was ever the public utility, in so much as he who converts any of these public revenues to his own private purposes, much more he who misspends them in any unworthy or loose occasions, no way merits the name of a king, for the ruler, says the apostle Paul, is the minister of God for the good of the people; and for that cause is tribute paid to them.

This is the true original cause of the customs and taxes of the Romans, that those rich merchandises which were brought from the Indies, Arabia, Ethiopia, might be secured in their passage by land from thieves and robbers, and in their transportation by sea from pirates, insomuch as for their security, the commonwealth maintained a navy at sea. In this rank we must put the custom which was paid in the Red Sea, and other tolls of gates, bridges, and passages, for the securing of the great roadways(therefore called the Pretorian Consular, and the king's highways) from the spoil of thieves and free-booters. The repair and maintenance of bridges was referred to commissaries deputed by the king, as appears by the ordinance of Lewis the Courteous, concerning the twelve bridges over the river Seine, commanding also boats to be in readiness, to ferry over passengers, etc.

For the tax laid upon salt there was none in use in those times, the most of the salt-pits being enjoyed by private persons, because it seemed that that which nature out of her own bounty gave to men, ought no more to be enhanced by sale than either the light, the air, or the water. As a certain king called Lycurgus in the lesser Asia, began to lay some impositions upon the salt-pits there, nature, as it were, impatiently bearing such a restraint of her liberality, the springs are said to have dried up suddenly. Yet certain of the court would persuade us at this day (as Juvenal complained in his time) that the sea affords nothing of worth, or good, which falls not within the compass of the king's prerogative.

He who first brought this taxation into Rome, was the Censor Livius, who therefore gained the surname of Salter; neither was it done but in the commonwealth's extreme necessity. And in France King Philip the Long, for the same reason obtained of the estates the imposition upon salt for five years only. What turmoils and troubles it's continuance has bred, every man knows. To be brief, all tributes were imposed and continued for the provision of means and stipends for the men of war: so as to make a province stipendiary or tributary, was esteemed the same with military.

Solomon exacted tributes to fortify the towns, and to erect and furnish a public storehouse. When it was accomplished, the people naturally required of Rehoboam to be freed from that burden. The Turks call the tribute of the provinces, the sacred blood of the people, and account it a most wicked crime to employ it in anything but the defence of the people. Therefore, by the same reason, all that which the king conquers in war belongs to the people, and not to the king, because the people bore the charges of the war, as that which is gained by a factor accrues to the account of his master. Yea, and what advantage he gains by marriage, if it belongs simply and absolutely to his wife, that is acquired also to the Kingdom, for so much as it is to be presumed that he gained not that preferment in marriage in quality of Philip or Charles, but as he was king. On the contrary, in like manner, the queens have interest of endowment in the estates which their husbands gained and enjoyed before they attained the crown, and have no title to that which is gotten after they are created kings, because that is judged to be belonging to the common purse, and has no proper reference to the king's private estate, which was so determined in France, between Philip of Valoys, and his wife Jean of Burgundy. But to the end that there be no money drawn from the people to be employed in private designs, and for particular ends and purposes, the emperor swears not to impose any taxes or tributes whatsoever, but by the authority of the estates of the empire. The kings of Poland, Hungary, and Denmark make similar promises. The English in like manner enjoy the same to this day, by the laws of Henry the Third, and Edward the First.

The French kings in former times imposed no taxes but in the assemblies, and with the consent of the three estates. From there came the law of Philip of Valoys, that the people should not have any tribute laid on them but in urgent necessity, and with the consent of the estates. Even in old times, after these monies were collected, they were locked in coffers through every diocese and recommended to the special care of selected men (who are the same who at this day are called esleus), to the end that they should pay the soldiers enrolled within the towns of their dioceses: the which was in use in other countries, as namely in Flanders and other neighbouring provinces. At this day, though many corruptions have crept in, yet without the consent and confirmation of the parliament, no exactions may be collected; notwithstanding, there be some provinces which are not bound to anything without the approbation of the estates of the country, as Languedoke, Brittany, Province, Daulphiny, and some others. Finally, all the provinces of the low countries have the same privileges, lest the exchequer devour all, like the spleen which exhales the spirits from the other members of the body. In all places they have confined the exchequer within its proper bounds and limits.

Seeing then it is most certain that what has been ordinarily and extraordinarily assigned to kings, that is, tributes, taxes, and all the demesnes which encompasses all customs, both importations and exportations, forfeitures, amercements, royal escheats, confiscations, and other dues of the same nature, were consigned into their hands for the maintenance and defence of the people and the state of the kingdom, insomuch as if the sinews be cut, the people must fall to decay, and in demolishing these foundations, the kingdom will come to utter ruin. It necessarily follows, that he who lays impositions on the people only to oppress them, and by the public detriment seeks private profit, and with their own sword kills his subjects, he truly is unworthy the name of a king. Whereas contrarily, a true king, if he is a careful manager of the public affairs, so is he a ready protector of the common welfare, and not a lord in propriety of the commonwealth, having as little authority to sell or waste the demesnes or public revenue, as the kingdom itself. And if he misgovern the state, seeing it imports the Commonwealth that every one make use of his own talent, it is much more requisite for the public good, that he who has the managing of it, carry himself as he ought.

And therefore, if a prodigal lord, by the authority of justice, be committed to the custody of his kinsmen and friends, and compelled to allow his revenues and means to be ordered and disposed of by others; by much more reason may those who have interest in the affairs of state (and whose duty obliges them to have one), take all the administration and government of the state out of the hands of him who either negligently executes his duties, or ruins the commonwealth, if after admonition he endeavours not to perform his duty. And for so much as it is easily to be proved, without searching into those elder times, that in all lawful dominions the king cannot be held lord in propriety of the demesnes; whereof we have an apt representation in the person of Ephron king of the Hittites, who dare not sell the field to Abraham without the consent of the people. This right is at this day practiced in public states: the emperor of Germany, before his coronation, solemnly swears that he will neither alienate, dismember, nor engage any of the rights or members of the empire. And, if he recover, or conquer anything with the arms and means of the public, it shall be gained to the empire, and not to himself. This is why, when Charles the Fourth promised each of the electors a hundred thousand crowns to choose his son Wencislaus emperor, and, having not ready money to deliver them, he mortgaged customs, taxes, tributes, and certain towns to them, which were the proper appurtenances of the empire, there followed much and vehement protest, most men holding this engagement void. And questionless it had been so declared, but for the profit that those reaped thereby, who ought principally to have maintained and held entire the rights and dignities of the empire. And it followed also, that Wencislaus was justly held incapable of the government of the empire, chiefly because he permitted the rights of the empire over the duchy of Milan to be wrested from him.

There is a very ancient law in the kingdom of Poland which prohibits the alienating of any of the kingdom's lands, which was renewed by King Lewis in the year 1375. In Hungary in A.D. 1221 there was a complaint made to Pope Honorius, that King Andrew had engaged the crown lands contrary to his oath. In England was the same by the law of King Edward in the year 1298. Likewise in Spain by the ordinance made under Alphonsus, and renewed in the year 1560, in the assembly of the estates at Toledo. These laws were then ratified, although it was a long time before custom had obtained the vigor and effect of law.

Now, for the kingdom of France where I longer confine myself, because she may in a sort pass as a pattern to the rest, this right has ever remained there inviolable. It is one of the most ancient laws of the kingdom, and a right born with the kingdom itself, that the demesne may not be alienated, which in A.D. 1566 (although but ill-deserved) was renewed. There are only two cases excepted, the portions or appanages of the children and brothers of the king, yet with this reservation, that the right of vassalage remains always to the crown in like manner if the condition of war require necessarily an alienation, yet it must be ever with power of redemption. Anciently neither the one nor the other were of validity, but by the commandment of the states: at this day since the parliament has been made stationary, the parliament of Paris which is the court of the peers, and the chamber of accounts, and of the treasury, must first approve it: as the edicts of Charles the Sixth and Ninth do testify. This is a thing so certain, that if the ancient kings themselves would endow a church (although that was a work much favored in those days), they were, notwithstanding, bound to have an allowance of the estates: witness King Childebert, who might not endow the Abbey of Saint Vincent at Paris before he had the French and Neustrians' consent. Clovis the Second, and other kings have observed the same. They might neither remit the regalities by granting enfranchisements, nor the nomination of prelates to any church. And if any of them have done it, as Lewis the Second, Philip the Fourth, and Philip surnamed Augustus, did in favor of the churches of Senis Auxera, and Nevers, the parliament declared it void. When the king is anointed at Rheims, he swears to observe this law: and if he infringe it, that act has as much validity with it as if he contracted to sell the empires of the Great Turk, or Sophia of Persia. From this spring the constitutions or ordinances of Philip the Sixth, of John the Second, of Charles Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth, by which they revoke all alienations made by their predecessors.

In the assembly of the estates at Tours, where King Charles the Eighth was in person, various alienations made by Lewis the Second were repealed and voided, and there was taken away from the heirs of Tancred of Chastel his great minion, various places which he had given him by his proper authority. This was finally ratified in the last assembly of the estates held at Orleans. Thus much concerning the kingdom's demesne. But to the end that we may yet more clearly perceive that the kingdom is preferred before the king, and that he cannot by his own proper authority diminish the majesty he has received from the people, nor enfranchise or release from his dominion any one of his subjects; nor quit or relinquish the sovereignty of the least part of his kingdom. Charlemagne in former times endeavored to subject the kingdom of France to the German empire, which the French did courageously oppose by the mouth of a prince of Glascony; and if Charlemagne had proceeded in that business, there would have been war. In like manner, when any portion of the kingdom was granted to the English, the sovereignty was almost always reserved. And if sometimes they obtained it by force, as at the treaty of Bretigny, by the which King John quitted the sovereignty of Glascony and Poytou, that agreement was not kept, neither was he more bound to do it, than a tutor or guardian is being prisoner (as he was then), which for his own deliverance should engage the estate of his pupils.

By the power of the same law the parliament of Paris made void the treaty of Conflans, by which Duke Charles of Burgundy had drawn from the king Amiens and other towns of Picardy. In our days, the same parliament declared void the agreement made at Madrid, between Francis the First, then prisoner, and Charles the Fifth, concerning the Duchy of Burgundy. But the domain made by Charles the Sixth to Henry King of England, of the kingdom of France, after his decease, is a sufficient testimony for this matter, and of his madness, if there had been no other proof. But to leave off producing any further testimonies, examples, or reasons, by what right can the king give or sell away the kingdom, or any part of it: seeing it consists of people, and not of earth or walls? And freemen can't be sold, nor trafficked; even the patrons themselves cannot compel the enfranchised servants to make their habitations in places other than they like. Particularly so in that subjects are neither slaves nor enfranchised servants, but brothers: and not only the king's brethren taken one by one, but also considered in one body, they ought to be esteemed absolute lords and owners of the kingdom.

Whether the king be the usufructor of the kingdom?

But if the king be not lord in propriety, yet at the least we may esteem him usufructor of the kingdom, and of the demesne; nay, truly we can allow him to have the usufruct for being usufructor, though the propriety remain in the people: yet may he absolutely dispose of the profits, and engage them at his pleasure. Now we have already proved that kings of their own authority cannot engage the revenues of the exchequer, or the demesne of the kingdom. The usufructor may dispose of the profits to whom, how, and when he pleases. Contrarily, the excessive gifts of princes are ever judged void, his unnecessary expenses are not allowed, his superfluous to be cut off, and that which is expended by him in any other occasion, but for the public utility, is justly esteemed to be unjustly extorted, and is no less liable to the law Cincea, than the meanest Roman citizen formerly was. In France, the king's gifts are never of force, until the chamber of accounts have confirmed them. From hence proceed the postils of the ordinary chamber, in giving up of the accounts in the reigns of prodigal kings, Trop donne: soyt repele, which is, excessive gifts must be recalled. The judges of this chamber solemnly swear to pass nothing which may prejudice the kingdom, or the public state, notwithstanding any letters the king shall write unto them; but they are not always so mindful of this oath as were to be desired.

Furthermore, the law takes no care how a usufructor possesses and governs his revenues, but contrarywise, it prescribes unto the king, how and to what use he shall employ his. For the ancient kings of France were bound to divide their royal revenues into four parts. The first was implied in the maintaining of the ministers of the church, and providing for the poor: the second for the king's table: the third for the wages of his officers and household servants; the last in repairing of bridges, castles, and the royal palaces. And what was remaining, was laid up in the treasury, to be bestowed on the necessities of the commonwealth. And histories do at large relate the troubles and tumults which happened about the year 1412 in the assembly of the estates at Paris, because Charles the Sixth had wasted all the money that was raised of the revenues and demesne, in his own and his minion's loose pleasures, and that the expenses of the king's household, which before exceeded not the sum of ninety-four thousand francs, did amount, in that miserable estate of the commonwealth, to five hundred and forty thousand francs. Now as the demesne was employed in the before-mentioned affairs, so the aids were only for the war, and the taxes assigned for the payment of the men at arms and for no other occasion. In other kingdoms the king has no greater authority, and in divers less, especially in the empire of Germany, and in Poland. But we have made choice of the kingdom of France, to the end it be not thought this has any special prerogative above others, because there perhaps, the commonwealth receives the most detriment. Briefly, as I have before said, the name of a king signifies not an inheritance, nor a propriety, nor a usufruct, but a charge, office, and procuration.

As a bishop is chosen to look to the welfare of the soul, so is the king established to take care of the body, so far forth as it concerns the public good; the one is dispenser of the heavenly treasure, the other of the secular, and what right the one has in the episcopal revenues, the same has the other, and no greater in the kingdom's demesne. If the bishop alien the goods of the bishopric without the consent of the chapter, this alienation is of no value; if the king alien the demesne without the approbation of the estates, that is also void; one portion of the ecclesiastical goods ought to be employed in the reparation of the churches; the second in relieving of the poor; the third, for the maintenance of the church men, and the fourth for the bishop himself. We have seen before, that the king ought to divide into four parts the revenues of the kingdom's demesne. The abuse of these times cannot infringe or annihilate the right, for, although some part of the bishops steal from the poor that which they profusely cast away on their panders, and ruin and destroy their lands and woods, the calling of the bishops is not for all that altered. Although that some emperors have assumed to themselves an absolute power, that cannot invest them with any further right, because no man can be judge in his own cause. What if some Caracalla vaunt he will not want money whilst the sword remains in his custody? The Emperor Adrian will promise on the contrary, so to discharge his office of principality, that he will always remember that the commonwealth is not his, but the people's; which one thing almost distinguishes a king from a tyrant. Neither can that act of Attalus King of Pergamus designing the Roman people for heirs to his kingdom, nor that of Alexander for Egypt, nor Ptolemy for the Cyrenians, bequeathing their kingdoms to the same people, nor Prasutagus King of the Icenians, who left his to Caesar, draw any good consequence of right to those who usurp that which by no just title belongs to them, nay, by how much the intrusion is more violent, by so much the equity and justice of the cause is more perspicuous: for what the Romans assumed under the colour of right, they would have made no difficulty if that pretext had been wanting to have taken by force. We have seen almost in our days how the Venetians possessed themselves of the kingdom of Cyprus, under presence of an imaginary adoption, which would have proved ridiculous, if it had not been seconded by power and arms. To which also may be not unfitly resembled the pretended donation of Constantine to Pope Silvester, for that straw of the decretist Gratian was long since consumed and turned to ashes; neither is of more validity the grant which Lewis the Courteous made to Pope Paschal of the city of Rome, and part of Italy. Because he gave that which he possessed not, no man opposed it. But when his father Charlemain would have united and subjected the kingdom of France to the German empire, the French did lawfully oppose it: and if he had persisted in his purpose, they were resolved to have hindered him, and defended themselves by arms.

There can be, too, as little advantage alleged that act of Solomon's, whom we read to have delivered twenty towns to Hiram King of Tyre: for he did not give them to him but for the securing of the talents of gold which Hiram had lent him, and they were redeemed at the end of the term, as it appears by the text. Further, the soil was barren, and husbanded by the remaining Canaanites. But Solomon, having redeemed it out of the hands of Hiram, delivered it to the Israelites to be inhabited and tilled. Neither serves it to much more purpose, to allege that in some kingdoms there is no express agreement between the king and the people; for suppose there be no mention made, yet the law of nature teacheth us, that kings were not ordained to ruin, but to govern the commonwealths, and that they may not by their proper authority alter or change the rights of the public state, and although they be lords, yet can they challenge it in no other quality, than as guardians do in the tuition of their pupils; neither can we account him a lawful lord, who deprives the commonwealth of her liberty, and sells her as a slave. Briefly, neither can we also allege, that some kingdoms are the proper acquists of the king himself, insomuch as they were not conquered by their proper means and swords, but by the hands, and with the wealth of the public; and there is nothing more agreeable to reason, than that which was gained with the joint difficulties and common danger of the public, should not be alienated or disposed of, without the consent of the states which represent the commonwealth: and the necessity of this law is such, that it is of force amongst robbers and free-booters themselves. He who follows a contrary course, must needs ruin human society. And although the French conquered by force of arms the countries of Germany and Gaule, yet this before mentioned right remains still entire.

To conclude, we must needs resolve, that kings are neither proprietors nor usufructuaries of the royal patrimony, but only administrators. And being so, they can by no just right attribute to themselves the propriety, use, or profit of private men's estates, nor with as little reason the public revenues, which are in truth only the commonwealth's.

But before we pass any further, we must here resolve a doubt. The people of Israel having demanded a king, the Lord said to Samuel: hearken unto the voice of the people, notwithstanding, give them to understand what shall be the manner of the king who shall reign over them: "he will take your fields, your vineyards, your olive trees, to furnish his own occasions, and to enrich his servants," briefly, "he will make the people slaves." One would hardly believe in what estimation the courtiers of our times hold this text, when of all the rest of the Holy Scripture they make but a jest. In this place the almighty and all good God would manifest to the Israelites their levity, when that they had God Himself even present with them, who upon all occasions appointed them holy judges and worthy commanders for the wars, would, notwithstanding, rather subject themselves to the disordered commandments of a vain mutable man, than to the secure protection of the omnipotent and immutable God. He declares, then, unto them in what a slippery estate the king was placed, and how easily unruly authority fell into disordered violence, and kingly power was turned into tyrannous wilfulness. Seeing the king that he gave them would by preposterous violence draw the sword of authority against them, and subject the equity of the laws to his own unjust desires: and this mischief which they wilfully drew on themselves, they would happily repent of when it would not be so easily remedied. Briefly, this text does not describe the rights of kings, but what right they are accustomed to attribute to themselves: not what by the privilege of their places they may justly do; but what power for the satisfying of their own lusts, they unjustly usurp. This will manifestly appear from the seventeenth chapter of Deuteronomy, where God appoints a law for kings. Here says Samuel "the king will use his subjects like slaves." There God forbids the king "to lift his heart above his brethren," to wit, "over his subjects, whom he ought not to insult over, but to cherish as his kinsmen." "He will make chariots, levy horse-men, and take the goods of private men," says Samuel: on the contrary in Deuteronomy, he is exhorted "not to multiply horse-men, nor to heap up gold and silver, nor cause the people to return into Egypt," to wit into bondage. In Samuel we see pictured to the life wicked Ahab, who by pernicious means gets Naboth's vineyard: there, David, who held it not lawful to drink that water which was purchased with the danger of his subjects' lives. Samuel foretells that the king demanded by the Israelites, instead of keeping the laws, would govern all according to his own fancy. On the contrary, God commands that His law should by the priests be delivered into the hands of the king, to copy it out, and to have it continually before his eyes. Therefore Samuel, being high priest, gave to Saul the royal law contained in the seventeenth of Deuteronomy, written into a book, which certainly had been a frivolous act if the king were permitted to break it at his pleasure. Briefly, it is as much as if Samuel had said: You have asked a king after the manner of other nations, the most of whom have tyrants for their governors: you desire a king to distribute justice equally amongst you: but many of them think all things lawful which their own appetites suggest unto them; in the mean season you willingly shake off the Lord, whose only will is equity and justice in the abstract.

In Herodotus there is a history which plainly expresses how apt the royal government is to degenerate into tyranny, whereof Samuel so exactly forewarns the people. Deioces, much renowned for his justice, was first chosen judge amongst the Medes: presently after, to the end he might the better repress those who would oppose justice, he was chosen king, and invested with convenient authority; then he desired a guard, after, a citadel to be built in Ecbatana, the principal city of the kingdom, with colour to secure him from conspiracies and machinations of rebels; which being effected, he presently applied himself to revenge the least displeasures which were offered him with the greatest punishments.

Finally, no man might presume to look this king in the face, and to laugh or cough in his presence was punished with grievous torments. So dangerous a thing it is, to put into the hands of a weak mind (as all men's are by nature) unlimited power. Samuel therefore teaches not in that place that the authority of a king is absolute; on the contrary, he discreetly admonishes the people not to enthral their liberty under the unnecessary yoke of a weak and unruly master; he does not absolutely exclude the royal authority, but would have it restrained within its own limits; he does not amplify the king's right with an unbridled and licentious liberty; but rather tacitly persuades to put a bit into his mouth. It seems that this advice of Samuel's was very beneficial to the Israelites, for that they circumspectly moderated the power of their kings, the which, most nations grown wise, either by the experience of their own, or their neighbour's harms, have carefully looked unto, as will plainly appear by that which follows.

We have shewed already, that in the establishing of the king, there were two alliances or covenants contracted: the first between God, the king, and the people, of which we have formerly treated; the second, between the king and the people, of which we must now say somewhat. After that Saul was established king, the royal law was given him, according to which he ought to govern. David made a covenant in Hebron before the Lord, that is to say, taking God for witness, with all the ancients of Israel, who represented the whole body of the people, and even then he was made king. Joas also by the mouth of Johoiada the high priest, entered into covenant with the whole people of the land in the house of the Lord. And when the crown was set on his head, together with it was the law of the testimony put into his hand, which most expounds to be the law of God; likewise Josias promises to observe and keep the commandments, testimonies, and statutes comprised in the book of the covenant: under which words are contained all which belongs to the duties both of the first and second table of the law of God. In all the before-remembered places of the holy story, it is ever said, "that a covenant was made with all the people, with all the multitude, with all the elders, with all the men of Judah": to the end that we might know, as it is also fully expressed, that not only the principals of the tribes, but also all the milleniers, centurions, and subaltern magistrates should meet together, each of them in the name, and for their towns and communalties, to covenant and contract with the king. In this assembly was the creating of the king determined of, for it was the people who made the king, and not the king the people.

It is certain, then, that the people by way of stipulation, require a performance of covenants. The king promises it Now the condition of a stipulator is in terms of law more worthy than of a promiser. The people ask the king, whether he will govern justly and according to the laws? He promises he will. Then the people answer, and not before, that whilst he governs uprightly, they will obey faithfully. The king therefore promises simply and absolutely, the people upon condition: the which failing to be accomplished, the people rest according to equity and reason, quit from their promise.

In the first covenant or contract there is only an obligation to piety: in the second, to justice. In that the king promises to serve God religiously: in this, to rule the people justly.

By the one he is obliged with the utmost of his endeavours to procure the glory of God: by the other, the profit of the people. In the first, there is a condition expressed, "if thou keep my commandments": in the second, "if thou distribute justice equally to every man." God is the proper revenger of deficiency in the former, and the whole people the lawful punisher of delinquency in the latter, or the estates, the representative body thereof, who have assumed to themselves the protection of the people. This has been always practiced in all well-governed estates. Amongst the Persians, after the due performance of holy rites, they contracted with Cyrus in manner following:

"Thou, O Cyrus ! in the first place shalt promise, that if any make war against the Persians, or seek to infringe the liberty of the laws, thou wilt with the utmost of thy power defend and protect this country." Which, having promised, they presently add, "And we Persians promise to be aiding to keep all men in obedience, whilst thou defendest the country." Xenophon calls this agreement, "A Confederation," as also Isocrates calls that which he wrote of the duties of subjects towards their princes, "A Discourse of Confederation." The alliance or confederation was renewed every month between the kings and Ephores of Sparta, although those kings were descended from the line of Hercules. And as these kings did solemnly swear to govern according to the laws, so did the Ephores also to maintain them in their authority, whilst they performed their promise. Likewise in the Roman kingdom, there was an agreement between Romulus, the senate, and the people, in this manner: " That the people should make laws, and the king look they were kept: the people should decree war, and the king should manage it." Now, although many emperors, rather by force and ambition, than by any lawful right, were seized of the Roman empire, and by that which they call a royal law, attributed to themselves an absolute authority, notwithstanding, by the fragments which remain both in books and in Roman inscriptions of that law, it plainly appears, that power and authority were granted them to preserve and govern the commonwealth, not to ruin and oppress it by tyranny. Nay, all good emperors have ever professed, that they held themselves tied to the laws, and received the empire from the senate, to whose determination they always referred the most important affairs, and esteemed it a great error, without their advice, to resolve on the occasions of the public state.

If we take into our consideration the condition of the empires, kingdoms, and states of times, there is not any of them worthy of those names, where there is not some such covenant or confederacy between the people and the prince. It is not long since, that in the empire of Germany, the king of the Romans being ready to be crowned emperor, was bound to do homage, and make oath of fealty to the empire, no more nor less than as the vassal is bound to do to his lord when he is invested with his fee. Although the form of the words which he is to swear have been somewhat altered by the popes, yet, notwithstanding, the substance still remains the same. According to which we know that Charles the Fifth, of the house of Austria, was under certain conditions chosen emperor, as in the same manner his successors were, the sum of which was, that he should keep the laws already made, and make no new ones without the consent of the electors, that he should govern the public affairs by the advice of the general estates, nor engage anything that belongs to the empire, and other matters which are particularly recited by the historians. When the emperor is crowned at Aquisgrave, the Archbishop of Cologne requires of him in the first place: If he will maintain the church, if he will distribute justice, if he will defend the empire, and protect widows, orphans, and all others worthy of compassion. The which, after he has solemnly sworn before the altar, the princes also who represent the empire, are asked if they will not promise the same; neither is the emperor anointed, nor receives the other ornaments of the empire, before he has first taken that solemn oath. Whereupon it follows, that the emperor is tied absolutely, and the princes of the empire, under condition. That the same is observed in the kingdom of Polonia, no man will make question, who had but seen or heard of the ceremonies and rites wherewith Henry of Anjou was lately chosen and crowned king of that country, and especially then when the condition of maintaining of the two religions, the reformed and the Roman, was demanded, the which the lords of the kingdom in express terms required of him three several times, and he as often made promise to perform. The same is observed in the kingdoms of Bohemia, Hungary, and others; the which we omit to relate particularly, to avoid prolixity.

Now this manner of stipulation is not only received in those kingdoms where the right of election is yet entirely observed; but even in those also which are esteemed to be simply hereditary. When the king of France is crowned, the bishops of Laon and Beauvois, ecclesiastical peers, ask all the people there present, whether they desire and command, that he who is there before them, shall be their king? Whereupon he is said even then in the style of the inauguration, to be chosen by the people: and when they have given the sign of consenting, then the king swears that he will maintain all the rights, privileges, and laws of France universally, that he will not alien the demesne, and the other articles, which have been yet so changed and accommodated to bad intentions, as they differ greatly from that copy which remains in the library of the chapter of Beauvois, according to which it is recorded, that King Philip, the first of that name, took his oath at his coronation; yet, notwithstanding, they are not unfitly expressed. Neither is he girded with the sword, nor anointed, nor crowned by the peers (who at that time wore coronets on their heads), nor receives the sceptre and rod of justice, nor is proclaimed king, before first the people have commanded it: neither do the peers take their oaths of allegiance before he has first solemnly sworn to keep the laws carefully.

And those be, that he shall not waste the public revenue, that he shall not, of his own proper authority, impose any taxes, customs, or tributes, that he shall not make peace or war, nor determine of state affairs, without the advice of the council of state. Briefly, that he should leave to the parliament, to the states, and to the officers of the kingdom, their authority entire, and all things else which have been usually observed in the kingdom of France. And when he first enters any city or province, he is bound to confirm their privileges, and swears to maintain their laws and customs. This is straightly observed in the cities of Tholouse and Rochel, and in the countries of Daulpiny, Province and Brittany. The which towns and provinces have their particular and express covenants and agreements with the kings, which must needs be void, if the condition expressed in the contract be not of force, nor the kings tied to the performance.

There is the form of the oath of the ancient kings of Burgundy, yet extant in these words: "I will protect all men in their rights, according to law and justice."

In England, Scotland, Sweden, and Denmark, there is almost the same custom as in France; but in no place there is used a more discreet care in their manner of proceeding, than in Spain. For in the kingdom of Arragon, after the finishing of many ceremonies, which are used between him, which represents the Justitia Major of Arragon, which comprehends the majesty of the commonwealth, seated in a higher seat, and the king, which is to be crowned, who swears fealty, and does his homage; and having read the laws and conditions, to the accomplishment whereof he is sworn.

Finally, the lords of the kingdom use to the king these words in the vulgar language, as is before expressed, "We who are as much worth as you, and have more power than you, choose you king upon these and these conditions, and there is one between you and us, who commands over you." But, lest the king should think he swore only for fashion's sake, and to observe an old custom, every third year in full assembly of the estates, the very same words, and in the same manner are repeated unto him.

And, if under pretext of his royal dignity he become insolent, violating the laws, and neglect his public faith and promise given, then, by the privilege of the kingdom, he is judged, excommunicated, as execrable as Julian the apostate was by the primitive church: which excommunication is esteemed of that validity, that instead of praying for the king in their public orations, they pray against him, and the subjects are by the same right acquit from their oath of allegiance: as the vassal is exempted from obedience and obligation by oath to his lord who stands excommunicated; the which hath been determined and confirmed both by act of council and decree of state in the kingdom of Arragon.

In like manner, in the kingdom of Castile in full assembly of the estates, the king, being ready to be crowned, is first in the presence of all advertised of his duty: and even then are read the articles discreetly composed for the good of the commonwealth; the king swears he will observe and keep them carefully and faithfully, which, being done, then the constable takes his oath of allegiance, after the princes and deputies for the towns swear each of them in their order; and the same is observed in the kingdoms of Portugal, Leon, and the rest of Spain. The lesser principalities have their institution grounded on the same right. The contracts which the Brabancers and the rest of the Netherlanders, together with those of Austria, Carinthia, and others, had with their princes, were always conditional. But especially the Brabancers, to take away all occasion of dispute, have this express condition: which is that in the receiving of their duke, there is read in his presence the ancient articles, wherein is comprised that which is requisite for the public good, and thereunto is also added, that if he do not exactly and precisely observe them, they may choose what other lord it shall seem good unto them; the which they do in express words protest unto him. He having allowed and accepted of these articles, does in that public assembly promise and solemnly swear to keep them. The which was observed in the reception of Philip the Second, king of Spain. Briefly, there is not any man can deny, but that there is a contract mutually obligatory between the king and the subjects, which requires the people to obey faithfully, and the king to govern lawfully, for the performance whereof the king swears first, and after the people.

I would ask here, wherefore a man does swear, if it be not to declare that what he delivers he sincerely intends from his heart? Can anything be judged more near to the law of nature, than to observe that which we approve? Furthermore, what is the reason the king swears first, and at the instance, and required by the people, but to accept a condition either tacit or expressed? Wherefore is there a condition opposed to the contract, if it be not that in failing to perform the condition, the contract, according to law, remains void? And if for want of satisfying the condition by right, the contract is of no force, who shall dare to call that people perjured, which refuses to obey a king who makes no account of his promise, which he might and ought to have kept, and wilfully breaks those laws which he did swear to observe? On the contrary, may we not rather esteem such a king perfidious, perjured, and unworthy of his place? For if the law free the vassal from his lord, who dealt feloniously with him, although that to speak properly, the lord swears not fealty to his vassal, but he to him: if the law of the twelve tables cloth detest and hold in execration the protector who defrauds him that is under his tuition if the civil law permit an enfranchised servant to bring his action against his patron, for any grievous usage: if in such cases the same law delivers the slave from the power of his master, although the obligation be natural only, and not civil: is it not much more reasonable that the people be loosed from that oath of allegiance which they have taken, if the king (who may be not unfitly resembled by an attorney sworn to look to his client's cause) first break his oath solemnly taken? And what if all these ceremonies, solemn oaths, nay, sacramental promises, had never been taken? Does not nature herself sufficiently teach that kings were on this condition ordained by the people, that they should govern well; judges, that they should distribute justice uprightly; captains in the war, that they should lead their armies against their enemies? If, on the contrary, they themselves forage and spoil their subjects, and instead of governors become enemies, as they leave indeed the true and essential qualities of a king, so neither ought the people to acknowledge them for lawful princes. But what if a people (you will reply) subdued by force, be compelled by the king to take an oath of servitude? And what if a robber, pirate, or tyrant (I will answer) with whom no bond of human society can be effectual, holding his dagger to your throat, constrain you presently to become bound in a great sum of money? Is it not an unquestionable maxim in law, that a promise exacted by violence cannot bind, especially if anything be promised against common reason, or the law of nature? Is there anything more repugnant to nature and reason, than that a people should manacle and fetter themselves; and to be obliged by promise to the prince, with their own hands and weapons to be their own executioners? There is, therefore a mutual obligation between the king and the people, which, whether it be civil or natural only, whether tacit or expressed in words, it cannot by any means be annihilated, or by any law be abrogated, much less by force made void. And this obligation is of such power that the prince who wilfully violates it, is a tyrant. And the people who purposely break it, may be justly termed seditious.

Hitherto we have treated of a king. It now rests we do somewhat more fully describe a tyrant. We have shewed that he is a king who lawfully governs a kingdom, either derived to him by succession, or committed to him by election. It follows, therefore, that he is reputed a tyrant, which, as opposite to a king, either gains a kingdom by violence or indirect means, or being invested therewith by lawful election or succession, governs it not according to law and equity, or neglects those contracts and agreements, to the observation whereof he was strictly obliged at his reception. All which may very well occur in one and the same person. The first is commonly called a tyrant without title: the second a tyrant by practice. Now, it may well so come to pass, that he who possesses himself of a kingdom by force, to govern justly, and he on whom it descends by a lawful title, to rule unjustly. But for so much as a kingdom is rather a right than an inheritance, and an office than a possession, he seems rather worthy the name of a tyrant, who unworthily acquits himself of his charge, than he who entered into his place by a wrong door. In the same sense is the pope called an intruder who entered by indirect means into the papacy: and he an abuser who governs ill in it.

Pythagoras says "that a worthy stranger is to be preferred before an unworthy citizen, yea, though he be a kinsman." Let it be lawful also for us to say, that a prince who gained his principality by indirect courses, provided he govern according to law, and administer justice equally, is much to be preferred before him, who carries himself tyrannously, although he were legally invested into his government with all the ceremonies and rites hereunto appertaining.

For seeing that kings were instituted to feed, to judge, to cure the diseases of the people: Certainly I had rather that a thief should feed me, than a shepherd devour me: I had rather receive justice from a robber, than outrage from a judge: I had better be healed by an empiric, than poisoned by a doctor in physic. It were much more profitable for me to have my estate carefully managed by an intruding guardian, than to have it wasted and dissipated by one legally appointed.

And although it may be that ambition was his first solicitor to enter violently into the government, yet may it perhaps appear he affected it rather to give testimony of his equity and moderation in governing; witness Cyrus, Alexander, and the Romans, who ordinarily accorded to those people their subdued, permission to govern themselves according to their own laws, customs, and privileges, yea, sometimes incorporated them into the body of their own state: on the contrary, the tyrant by practice seems to extend the privilege of his legal succession, the better to execute violence and extortion, as may be seen in these days, not only by the examples of the Turks and Muscovites, but also in divers Christian princes. Therefore the act of one who at the first was ill, is in some reasonable time rectified by justice: whereas the other like an inveterate disease, the older it grows, the worse it affects the patient.

Now, if according to the saying of Saint Augustine, "those kingdoms where justice hath no place, are but a rhapsody of free-booters," they are in that, both the tyrant without title, and he by practice alike, for that they are both thieves, both robbers, and both unjust possessors, as he certainly is no less an unjust detainer who takes another man's goods against the owner's will, than he who employs it ill when it was taken before.

But the fault is without comparison, much more greater of him who possesses an estate for to ruin it, than of the other who made himself master of it to preserve it.

Briefly, the tyrant by practice vainly colouring his unjust extortions with the justice of his title, is much more blameable than the tyrant without title, who recompenses the violence of his first intrusion in a continued course of a legal and upright government.

But to proceed, there may be observed some difference amongst tyrants without title: for there are some who ambitiously invade their neighbour's countries to enlarge their Own, as Nimrod, Minus, and the Canaanites have done. Although such are termed kings by their own people, yet to those on whose confines they have encroached without any just right or occasion, they will be accounted tyrants.

There be others, who having attained to the government of an elective kingdom, that endeavour by deceitful means, by corruption, by presents, and other bad practices, to make it become hereditary. For witness whereof, we need not make search into older times; these are worse than the former, for so much as secret fraud, as Cicero says, " is ever more odious than open force."

There be also others who are so horribly wicked, that they seek to enthral their own native country like the viperous brood which gnaws through the entrails of their mother: as be those generals of armies created by the people, who afterwards, by the means of those forces, make themselves masters of the stage, as Caesar at Rome under presence of the dictatorship, and divers princes of Italy.

There be women also who intrude themselves into the government of those kingdoms which the laws only permit to the males, and make themselves queens and regents, as Athalia did in Judah, Semiramis in Assyria, Agrippina in the Roman empire in the reign of her son Nero, Mammea in the time of Alexander Severus, Semiamira in Heliogabalus's; and certain Bruniehildes in the kingdom of France, who so educated their sons (as the queens of the house of Medicis in these latter times) during their minority, that attaining to more maturity, their only care was to glut themselves in pleasures and delights, so that the whole management of affairs remained in the hands of their mothers, or of their minions, servants and officers. Those also are tyrants without title, who, taking advantage of the sloth, weakness, and dissolute courses of those princes who are otherwise lawfully instituted, and seeking to enwrap them in a sleepy dream of voluptuous idleness (as under the French kings, especially those of the Merovingian line, some of the mayors of the palace have been advanced to that dignity for such egregious services), transferring into their own command all the royal authority, and leaving the king only the bare name. All which tyrants are certainly of this condition, that if for the manner of their government they are not blameable. Yet for so much as they entered into that jurisdiction by tyrannous intrusion, they may justly be termed tyrants without title.

Concerning tyrants by practice, it is not so easy to describe them as true kings. For reason rules the one, and selfwill the other: the first prescribes bounds to his affections, the second confines his desires within no limits. What is the proper rights of kings may be easily declared, but the outrageous insolences of tyrants cannot without much difficulty be expressed. And as a right angle is uniform, and like to itself one and the same, so an oblique diversifies itself into various and sundry species. In like manner is justice and equity simple, and may be deciphered in few words: but injustice and injury are divers, and for their sundry accidents not to be so easily defined; but that more will be omitted than expressed. Now, although there be certain rules by which these tyrants may be represented (though not absolutely to the life), yet, notwithstanding, there is not any more certain rude than by conferring and comparing a tyrant's fraudulent slights with a king's virtuous actions.

A tyrant lops off those ears which grow higher than the rest of the corn, especially where virtue makes them most conspicuously eminent; oppresses by calumnies and fraudulent practices the principal officers of the state; gives out reports of intended conspiracies against himself, that he might have some colourable pretext to cut them off; witness Tiberius, Maximinius, and others, who spared not their own kinsmen, cousins, and brothers.

The king, on the contrary, does not only acknowledge his brothers to be as it were consorts unto him in the empire, but also holds in the place of brothers all the principal officers of the kingdom, and is not ashamed to confess that of them (in quality as deputed from the general estates) he holds the crown.

The tyrant advances above and in opposition to the ancient and worthy nobility, mean and unworthy persons; to the end that these base fellows, being absolutely his creatures, might applaud and apply themselves to the fulfilling of all his loose and unruly desires. The king maintains every man in his rank, honours and respects the grandees as the kingdom's friends, desiring their good as well as his own.

The tyrant hates and suspects discreet and wise men, and fears no opposition more than virtue, as being conscious of his own vicious courses, and esteeming his own security to consist principally in a general corruption of all estates, introduces multiplicity of taverns, gaming houses, masks, stage plays, brothel houses, and all other licentious superfluities that might effeminate and bastardise noble spirits, as Cyrus did, to weaken and subdue the Sardiens. The king on the contrary, allures from all places honest and able men and encourages them by pensions and honours; and for seminaries of virtue, erects schools and universities in all convenient places.

A tyrant as much as in him lies, prohibits or avoids all public assemblies, fears parliaments, diets and meetings of the general estates, flies the light, affecting (like the bat) to converse only in darkness; yea he is jealous of the very gesture, countenance, and discourse of his subjects. The king, because he converses always as in the presence of men and angels, glories in the multitude and sufficiency of his counsellors, esteeming nothing well done which is ordered without their advice, and is so far from doubting or distasting the public meeting of the general estates, as he honours and respects those assemblies with much favour and affection.

A tyrant nourishes and feeds factions and dissensions amongst his subjects, ruins one by the help of another, that he may the easier vanquish the remainder, advantaging himself by this division, like those dishonest surgeons who lengthen out their cures. Briefly, after the manner of that abominable Vitellius, he is not ashamed to say that the carcass of a dead enemy, especially a subject's, yields a good savour. On the contrary, a good king endeavours always to keep peace amongst his subjects, as a father amongst his children, choke the seeds of troubles, and quickly heals the scar; the execution, even of justice upon rebels, drawing tears from his compassionate eyes; yea, those whom a good king maintains and defends against a foreign enemy, a tyrant (the enemy of nature) compels them to turn the points of their swords into their own proper entrails. A tyrant fills his garrisons with strange soldiers, builds citadels against his subjects, disarms the people, throws down their forts, makes himself formidable with guards of strangers, or men only fit for pillage and spoil, gives pensions out of the public treasury to spies and calumniating informers, dispersed through all cities and provinces. Contrariwise, a king reposes more his safety in the love of his subjects than in the strength of his fortresses against his enemies, taking no care to enroll soldiers, but accounts every subject as a man-at-arms to guard him, and builds forts to restrain the irruptions of foreign enemies, and not to constrain his subjects to obedience, in whose fidelity he puts his greatest confidence. Therefore, it is that tyrants, although they have such numberless guards about them to drive off throngs of people from approaching them, yet cannot all those numbers secure them from doubts, jealousies and distrusts, which continually afflict and terrify their timorous consciences: yea, in the midst of their greatest strength, the tyrannizer of tyrants, fear, makes prize of their souls, and there triumphs in their affliction.

A good king, in the greatest concourse of people, is freest from doubts or fears, nor troubled with solicitous distrusts in his solitary retirements: all places are equally secure unto him, his own conscience being his best guard. If a tyrant wants civil broils to exercise his cruel disposition in, he makes wars abroad; erects idle and needless trophies to continually employ his tributaries, that they might not have leisure to think on other things, as Pharaoh did the Jews, and Policrates the Samians; therefore he always prepares for, or threatens war, or, at least, seems so to do, and so still rather draws mischief on, than puts it further off. A king never makes war, but compelled unto it, and for the preservation of the public, he never desires to purchase advantage by treason; he never enters into any war that exposes the commonwealth to more danger than it affords probable hope of commodity.

A tyrant leaves no design unattempted by which he may fleece his subjects of their substance, and turn it to his proper benefit, that being continually troubled in gaining means to live, they may have no leisure, no hope, how to regain their liberty. On the contrary, the king knows that every good subject's purse will be ready to supply the commonwealth occasion, and therefore believes he is possessed of no small treasure, whilst through his good government his subjects flow in all abundance.

A tyrant extorts unjustly from many to cast prodigally upon two or three minions, and those unworthy; he imposes on all, and exacts from all, to furnish their superfluous and riotous expenses: he builds his own, and followers' fortunes on the ruins of the public: he draws out the people's blood by the veins of their means, and gives it presently to carouse to his court-leeches. But a king cuts off from his ordinary expenses to ease the people's necessities, neglects his private state, and furnishes with all magnificence the public occasions; briefly is prodigal of his own blood, to defend and maintain the people committed to his care.

If a tyrant, as heretofore Tiberius, Nero, Commodus and others, did suffer his subjects to have some breathing time from unreasonable exactions, and like sponges to gather some moisture' it is but to squeeze them out afterwards to his own use: on the contrary, if a king do sometimes open a vein, and draw some blood, it is for the people's good, and not to be expended at his own pleasure in any dissolute courses. And therefore, as the Holy Scripture compares the one to a shepherd, so does it also resemble the other to a roaring lion, to whom, notwithstanding, the fox is oftentimes coupled. For a tyrant, as says Cicero, "is culpable in effect of the greatest injustice that may be imagined, and yet he carries it so cunningly, that when he most deceives, it is then that he makes greatest appearance to deal sincerely." And therefore does he artificially counterfeit religion and devotion, wherein saith Aristotle, "he expresses one of the most absolute subtleties that tyrants can possibly practice: he does so compose his countenance to piety, by that means to terrify the people from conspiring against him; who they may well imagine to be especially favoured of God, expressing in all appearance so reverently to serve Him." He feigns also to be exceedingly affected to the public good; not so much for the love of it, as for fear of his own safety.

Furthermore, he desires much to be esteemed just and loyal in some affairs, purposely to deceive and betray more easily in matters of greater consequence: much like those thieves who maintain themselves by thefts and robberies, yet cannot long subsist in their trade without exercising some parcel of justice in their proceedings. He also counterfeits the merciful, but it is in pardoning of such malefactors, in punishing whereof he might more truly gain the reputation of a pitiful prince.

To speak in a word, that which the true king is, the tyrant would seem to be, and knowing that men are wonderfully attracted with, and enamoured of virtue, he endeavours with much subtlety to make his vices appear yet masked with some shadow of virtue: but let him counterfeit never so cunningly, still the fox will be known by his tail: and although he fawn and flatter like a spaniel, yet his snarling and grinning will ever betray his currish kind.

Furthermore, as a well-ordered monarchy partakes of the principal commodities of all other governments, so, on the contrary, where tyranny prevails, there all the discommodities of confusion are frequent.

A monarchy has in this conformity with an aristocracy, that the most able and discreet are called to consultations. Tyranny and oligarchy accord in this, that their councils are composed of the worst and most corrupted. And as in the council royal, there may in a sort seem many kings to have interests in the government, so, in the other, on the contrary, a multitude of tyrants always domineers.

The monarchy borrows of the popular government the assemblies of the estates, whither are sent for deputies the most sufficient of cities and provinces, to deliberate on, and determine matters of state: the tyranny takes this of the ochlocracy, that if she be not able to hinder the convocation of the estates, yet will she endeavour by factious subtleties and pernicious practices, that the greatest enemies of order and reformation of the state be sent to those assemblies, the which we have known practiced in our times. In this manner assumes the tyrant the countenance of a king, and tyranny the semblance of a kingdom, and the continuance succeeds commonly according to the dexterity wherewith it is managed; yet, as Aristotle says, "we shall hardly read of any tyranny that has outlasted a hundred years": briefly, the king principally regards the public utility, and a tyrant's chiefest care is for his private commodity.

But, seeing the condition of men is such, that a king is with much difficulty to be found, that in all his actions he only agrees at the public good, and yet cannot long subsist without expression of some special care thereof, we will conclude that where the commonwealth's advantage is most preferred, there is both a lawful king and kingdom; and where particular designs and private ends prevail against the public profit, there questionless is a tyrant and tyranny.

Thus much concerning tyrants by practice, in the examining whereof we have not altogether fixed our discourse on the loose disorders of their wicked and licentious lives, which some say is the character of a bad man, but not always of a bad prince. If therefore, the reader be not satisfied with this description, besides the more exact representations of tyrants which he shall find in histories, he may in these our days behold an absolute model of many living and breathing tyrants whereof Aristotle in his time did much complain. Now, at the last we are come as it were by degrees to the chief and principal point of the question. We have seen how that kings have been chosen by God, either with relation to their families or their persons only, and after installed by the people. In like manner what is the duty of the king, and of the officers of the kingdom, how far the authority, power, and duty both of the one and the other extends, and what and how sacred are the covenants and contracts which are made at the inauguration of kings, and what conditions are intermixed, both tacit and expressed; finally, who is a tyrant without title, and who by practice, seeing it is a thing unquestionable that we are bound to obey a lawful king, which both to God and people carries himself according to those covenants whereunto he stands obliged, as it were to God Himself, seeing in a sort he represents his divine Majesty? It now follows that we treat, how, and by whom a tyrant may be lawfully resisted, and who are the persons who ought to be chiefly actors therein, and what course is to be held, that the action may be managed according to right and reason. We must first speak of him who is commonly called a tyrant without title. Let us suppose then that some Ninus, having neither received outrage nor offence, invades a people over whom he has no colour of pretension: that Caesar seeks to oppress his country, and the Roman commonwealth: that Popiclus endeavours by murders and treasons to make the elective kingdom of Polonia to become hereditary to him and his posterity: or some Bruniehilde draws to herself and her Protadius the absolute government of France, or Ebronius, taking advantage of Theoderick's weakness and idleness, gains the entire administration of the state, and oppresses the people, what shall be our lawful refuge herein?

First, the law of nature teaches and commands us to maintain and defend our lives and liberties, without which life is scant worth the enjoying, against all injury and violence. Nature has imprinted this by instinct in dogs against wolves, in bulls against lions, betwixt pigeons and sparrowhawks, betwixt pullen and kites, and yet much more in man against man himself, if man become a beast: and therefore he who questions the lawfulness of defending oneself, does, as much as in him lies, question the law of nature. To this must be added the law of nations, which distinguishes possessions and dominions, fixes limits, and makes out confines, which every man is bound to defend against all invaders. And, therefore, it is no less lawful to resist Alexander the Great, if without any right or being justly provoked, he invades a country with a mighty navy, as well as Diomedes the pirate who scours the seas in a small vessel. For in this case Alexander's right is no more than Diomedes' but only he has more power to do wrong, and not so easily to be compelled to reason as the other. Briefly, one may as well Oppose Alexander in pillaging a country, as a thief in purloining a cloak; as well him when he seeks to batter down the walls of a city, as a robber who offers to break into a private house.

There is, besides this, the civil law, or municipal laws of several countries which governs the societies of men, by certain rules, some in one manner, some in another; some submit themselves to the government of one man, some to more; others are ruled by a whole commonalty, some absolutely exclude women from the royal throne, others admit them; these here choose their king descended of such a family, those there make election of whom they please, besides other customs practiced amongst several nations. If, therefore, any offer either by fraud or force to violate this law, we are all bound to resist him, because he wrongs that society to which we owe all that we have, and would ruin our country, to the preservation whereof all men by nature, by law and by solemn oath, are strictly obliged: insomuch that fear or negligence, or bad purposes, make us omit this duty, we may justly be accounted breakers of the laws, betrayers of our country, and contemners of religion. Now as the laws of nature, of nations, and the Civil commands us to take arms against such tyrants; so, is there not any manner of reason that should persuade us to the contrary; neither is there any oath, covenant, or obligation, public or private, of power justly to restrain us; therefore the meanest private man may resist and lawfully oppose such an intruding tyrant. The law Julia, which condemns to death those who raise rebellion against their country or prince, has here no place; for he is no prince, who, without any lawful title invades the commonwealth or confines of another; nor he a rebel, who by arms defends his country; but rather to this had relation the oath which all the youth of Athens were accustomed to take in the temple of Aglaura, "I will fight for religion, for the laws, for the altars, and for our possessions, either alone, or with others; and will do the utmost of my endeavour to leave to posterity our country, at the least, in as good estate as I found it." To as little purpose can the laws made against seditious persons be alleged here; for he is seditious who undertakes to defend the people, in opposition of order and public discipline; but he is no raiser, but a suppressor of sedition, who restrains within the limits of reason the subverter of his country's welfare, and public discipline.

On the contrary, to this has proper relation the law of tyrannicide, which honours the living with great and memorable recompenses, and the dead with worthy epitaphs, and glorious statues, that have been their country's liberators from tyrants; as Harmodius and Aristogitor. at Athens, Brutus and Cassius in Rome, and Aratus of Sycione. To these by a public decree were erected statues, because they delivered their countries from the tyrannies of Pisistratus, of Caesar, and of Nicocles. The which was of such respect amongst the ancients, that Xerxes having made himself master of the city of Athens, caused to be transported into Persia the statues of Harmodius and Aristogiton; afterwards Seleucus caused them to be returned into their former place: and as in their passage they came by Rhodes, those famous citizens entertained them with public and stupendous solemnities, and during their abode there, they placed them in the choicest sacresties of their gods. But the law made against forsakers and traitors, takes absolutely hold on those who are negligent and careless to deliver their country oppressed with tyranny, and condemns them to the same punishment as those cowardly soldiers, who, when they should fight, either counterfeit sickness, or cast off their arms and run away. Every one, therefore, both in general and particular, ought to yield their best assistance unto this: as in a public fire, to bring both hooks, and buckets, and water; we must not ceremoniously expect that the captain of the watch be first called, nor till the governor of the town be come into the streets; but let every man draw water and climb to the house-top; it is necessary for all men that the fire be quenched. For if whilst the Gaules with much silence and vigilancy seek to scale and surprise the capital, the soldiers be drowsy with their former pains, the watch buried in sleep, the dogs fail to bark, then must the geese play the sentinels, and with their cackling noise, give an alarm. And the soldiers and watch shall be degraded, yea, and put to death. The geese for perpetual remembrance of this deliverance, shall be always fed in the capital, and much esteemed.

This, of which we have spoken, is to be understood of a tyranny not yet firmly rooted, to wit, whilst a tyrant conspires, machinates, and lays his plots and practices. But if he be once so possessed of the state, and that the people, being subdued, promise and swear obedience; the commonwealth being oppressed, resign their authority into their hands; and that the kingdom in some formal manner consent to the changing of their laws; for so much certainty as then, he has gained a title which before he wanted and seems to be as well a legal as actual possessor thereof, although this yoke were laid on the people's neck by compulsion, yet must they quietly and peaceably rest in the will of the Almighty, who, at His pleasure transfers kingdoms from one nation to another; otherways there should be no kingdom, whose jurisdiction might not be disputed. And it may well chance, that he who before was a tyrant without title, having obtained the title of a king, may free himself from any tyrannous imputation, by governing those under him with equity and moderation. Therefore then, as the people of Jurie, under the authority of King Ezechias, did lawfully resist the invasion of Senacherib the Assyrian; so, on the contrary was Zedechias and all his subjects worthily punished, because that without any just occasion, after they had done homage and sworn fealty to Nebuchadnezar, they rose in rebellion against him. For, after promise of performance, it is too late to repent. And, as in battles every one ought to give testimony of his velour, but, being taken prisoner, must faithfully observe covenants, so it is requisite, that the people maintain their rights by all possible means; but, if it chance that they be brought into the subjection of another's will, they must then patiently support the dominion of the victor. So did Pompey, Cato, and Cicero and others, perform the parts of good patriots then when they took arms against Caesar, seeking to alter the government of the state; neither can those be justly excused, whose base fear hindered the happy success of Pompey and his partakers' noble designs. Augustus himself is said to have reproved one who railed on Cato, affirming that he carried himself worthily and exceedingly affected to the greatness of his country, in courageously opposing the alteration which his contraries sought to introduce in the government of the state, seeing all innovations of that nature are ever authors of much trouble and confusion.

Furthermore, no man can justly reprehend Brutus, Cassius, and the rest who killed Caesar before his tyrannical authority had taken any firm rooting. And so there were statues of brass erected in honour of them by public decree at Athens, and placed by those of Harmodius and Aristogiton, then when, after the despatching of Caesar, they retired from Rome, to avoid Marc Antonie and Augustus their revenge. But Cinna was certainly guilty of sedition, who, after a legal transferring of the people's power into the hands of Augustus, is said to have conspired against him. Likewise, when the Pepins sought to take the crown of France from the Merovingians; as also when those of the line of Capet endeavoured to supplant the Pepins, any might lawfully resist them without incurring the crime of sedition. But when, by public counsel and the authority of the estates, the kingdom was transferred from one family to another, it was then unlawful to oppose it. The same may be said, if a woman possess herself of the kingdom, which the Salic law absolutely prohibits, or if one seek to make a kingdom merely elective, hereditary to his offspring, while those laws stand in force, and are unrepealed by the authority of the general estates, who represent the body of the people. Neither is it necessary in this respect, to have regard whether faction is the greater, more powerful or more illustrious. Always those are the greater number who are led by passion, than those who are ruled by reason, and therefore tyranny has more servants than the commonwealth. But Rome is there, according to the saying of Pompey, where the senate is, and the senate is where there is obedience to the laws, love of liberty, and studious carefulness for the country's preservation. And therefore, though Brennus may seem to be master of Rome, yet, notwithstanding, is Rome at Veii with Camillus, who prepares to deliver Rome from bondage. It behoves, therefore, all true Romans to repair to Camillus, and assist his enterprise with the utmost of their power and endeavours. Although Themistocles, and all his able and worthiest companions leave Athens, and put to sea with a navy of two hundred galleys, notwithstanding, it cannot be said that any of these men are banished Athens, but rather, as Themistocles answered, "These two hundred galleys are more useful for us, than the greatest city of all Greece; for that they are armed, and prepared for the defence of those who endeavour to maintain and uphold the public state."

But to come to other examples: it follows not that the church of God must needs be always in that place where the ark of the covenant is; for the Philistines may carry the ark into the temples of their idols. It is no good argument, that because we see the Roman eagles waving in ensigns, and hear their legions named, that therefore presently we conclude that the army of the Roman commonwealth is there present; for there is only and properly the power of the state where they are assembled to maintain the liberty of the country against the ravenous oppression of tyrants, to enfranchise the people from servitude, and to suppress the impudency of insulting flatterers, who abuse the prince's weakness by oppressing his subjects for the advantage of their own fortunes, and contain ambitious minds from enlarging their desires beyond the limits of equity and moderation. Thus much concerning tyrants without title.

But for tyrants by practice, whether they at first gained their authority by the sword, or were legally invested therewith by a general consent, it behoves us to examine this point with much wary circumspection. In the first place we must remember that all princes are born men, and therefore reason and passion are as hardly to be separated in them, as the soul is from the body whilst the man lives. We must not then expect princes absolute in perfection, but rather repute ourselves happy if those who govern us be indifferently good. And therefore, although the prince observe not exact mediocrity in state affairs; if sometimes passion overrule his reason, if some careless omission make him neglect the public utility; or if he do not always carefully execute justice with equality, or repulse not with ready velour an invading enemy; he must not therefore be presently declared a tyrant. And certainly, seeing he rules not as a god over men, nor as men over beasts, but is a man composed of the same matter, and of the same nature with the rest: as we would questionless judge that prince unreasonably insolent, who should insult over and abuse his subjects, as if they were brute beasts; so those people are doubtless as much void of reason, who imagine a prince should be complete in perfection, or expect divine abilities in a nature so frail and subject to imperfections. But if a prince purposely ruin the commonwealth, if he presumptuously pervert and resist legal proceedings or lawful rights, if he make no reckoning of faith, covenants, justice nor piety, if he prosecute his subjects as enemies; briefly, if he express all or the chiefest of those wicked practices we have formerly spoken of; then we may certainly declare him a tyrant, who is as much an enemy both to God and men. We do not therefore speak of a prince less good, but of one absolutely bad; not of one less wise, but of one malicious and treacherous; not of one less able judiciously to discuss legal differences, but of one perversely bent to pervert justice and equity; not of an unwarlike, but of one furiously disposed to ruin the people, and ransack the state.

For the wisdom of a senate, the integrity of a judge, the velour of a captain, may peradventure enable a weak prince to govern well. But a tyrant could be content that all the nobility, the counsellors of state, the commanders for the wars, had but one head that he might take it off at one blow: those being the proper objects of his distrust and fear, and by consequence the principal subjects on whom he desires to execute his malice and cruelty. A foolish prince, although (to speak according to right and equity) he ought to be deposed, yet may he perhaps in some sort be borne withal. But a tyrant the more he is tolerated, the more he becomes intolerable.

Furthermore, as the princes pleasure is not always law, so many times it is not expedient that the people do all that which may lawfully be done; for it may oftentimes chance that the medicine proves more dangerous than the disease. Therefore it becomes wise men to try all ways before they come to blows, to use all other remedies before they suffer the sword to decide the controversy. If then, those who represent the body of the people, foresee any innovation or machination against the state, or that it be already embarked into a course of perdition; their duty is, first to admonish the prince, and not to attend, that the disease by accession of time and accidents becomes unrecoverable. For tyranny may be properly resembled unto a fever hectic, the which at the first is easy to be cured, but with much difficulty to be known; but after it is sufficiently known, it becomes incurable. Therefore small beginnings are to be carefully observed, and by those whom it concerns diligently prevented.

If the prince therefore persist in his violent courses, and contemn frequent admonitions, addressing his designs only to that end, that he may oppress at his pleasure, and effect his own desires without fear or restraint; he then doubtless makes himself liable to that detested crime of tyranny: and whatsoever either the law, or lawful authority permits against a tyrant, may be lawfully practiced against him. Tyranny is not only a will, but the chief, and as it were the complement and abstract of vices. A tyrant subverts the state, pillages the people, lays stratagems to entrap their lives, breaks promise with all, scoffs at the sacred obligations of a solemn oath, and therefore is he so much more vile than the vilest of usual malefactors. By how much offences committed against a generality, are worthy of greater punishment than those which concern only particular and private persons. If thieves and those who commit sacrilege be declared infamous; nay, if they justly suffer corporal punishment by death, can we invent any that may be worthily equivalent for so outrageous a crime?

Furthermore, we have already proved, that all kings receive their royal authority from the people, that the whole people considered in one body is above and greater than the king; and that the king and emperor are only the prime and supreme governors and ministers of the kingdom and empire, but the people the absolute lord and owner thereof. It therefore necessarily follows, that a tyrant is in the same manner guilty of rebellion against the majesty of the people, as the lord of a fee, who feloniously transgresses the conditions of his investitures, and is liable to the same punishment, yea, and certainly deserves much more greater than the equity of those laws inflicts on the delinquents. Therefore as Bartolus says, "He may either be deposed by those who are lords in sovereignty over him, or else justly punished according to the law Julia, which condemns those who offer violence to the public." The body of the people must needs be the sovereign of those who represent it, which in some places are the electors, palatines, peers; in other, the assembly of the general estates. And, if the tyranny have gotten such sure footing, as there is no other means but force to remove him, then it is lawful for them to call the people to arms, to enroll and raise forces, and to employ the utmost of their power, and use against him all advantages and stratagems of war, as against the enemy of the commonwealth, and the disturber of the public peace. Briefly, the same sentence may be justly pronounced against him, as was against Manlius Capitolinus at Rome. "Thou west to me, Manlius, when thou didst tumble down the Gaules that scaled the capital: but since thou art now become an enemy, like one of them, thou shalt be precipitated down from the same place from whence thou formerly tumbled those enemies."

The officers of the kingdom cannot for this be rightly taxed of sedition; for in a sedition there must necessarily concur but two parts, or sides, the which peremptorily contest together, so that it is necessary that the one be in the right, and the other in the wrong. That part undoubtedly has the right on their side, which defends the laws, and strives to advance the public profit of the kingdom. And those, on the contrary, are questionless in the wrong, who break the laws, and protect those who violate justice, and oppress the commonwealth. Those are certainly in the right way, as said Bartolus, "who endeavour to suppress tyrannical government, and those in the wrong, who oppose lawful authority." And that must ever be accounted just, which is intended only for the public benefit, and that unjust, which aims chiefly at private commodity. Therefore Thomas Aquinas says, "That a tyrannical rule, having no proper address for the public welfare, but only to satisfy a private will, with increase of particular profit to the ruler, cannot in any reasonable construction be accounted lawful, and therefore the disturbance of such a government cannot be esteemed seditious, much less traitorous"; for that offence has proper relation only to a lawful prince, who, indeed, is an inanimated or speaking law; therefore, seeing that he who employs the utmost of his means and power to annihilate the laws, and quell their virtue and vigour, can no ways be justly intituled therewith. So neither, likewise, can those who oppose and take arms against him, be branded with so notorious a crime. Also this offence is committed against the commonwealth; but for so much as the commonwealth is there only where the laws are in force, and not where a tyrant devours the state at his own pleasure and liking, he certainly is quit of that crime which ruins the majesty of the public state, and those questionless are worthily protectors and preservers of the commonwealth, who, confident in the lawfulness of their authority, and summoned hereunto by their duty, do courageously resist the unjust proceedings of the tyrant.

And in this their action, we must not esteem them as private men and subjects, but as the representative body of the people, yea, and as the sovereignty itself, which demands of his minister an account of his administration. Neither can we in any good reason account the officers of the kingdom disloyal, who in this manner acquit themselves of their charge.

There is ever, and in all places, a mutual and reciprocal obligation between the people and the prince; the one promises to be a good and wise prince, the other to obey faithfully, provided he govern justly. The people therefore are obliged to the prince under condition, the prince to the people simply and purely. Therefore, if the prince fail in his promise, the people are exempt from obedience, the contract is made void, the right of obligation of no force. Then the king if he govern unjustly is perjured, and the people likewise forsworn if they obey not his lawful commands. But that people are truly acquit from all perfidiousness, who publicly renounce the unjust dominion of a tyrant, or he, striving unjustly by strong hand to continue the possession, do constantly endeavour to expulse him by force of arms.

It is therefore permitted the officers of a kingdom, either all, or some good number of them, to suppress a tyrant; and it is not only lawful for them to do it, but their duty expressly requires it; and, if they do it not, they can by no excuse colour their baseness. For the electors, palatines, peers, and other officers of state, must not think they were established only to make pompous paradoes and shows, when they are at the coronation of the king, habited in their robes of state, as if there were some masque or interlude to be represented; or as if they were that day to act the parts of Roland, Oliver, or Renaldo, and such other personages on a stage, or to counterfeit and revive the memory of the knights of the round table; and after the dismissing of that day's assembly, to suppose they have sufficiently acquitted themselves of their duty, until a recess of the like solemnity Those solemn rites and ceremonies were not instituted for vain ostentation, nor to pass, as in a dumb show, to please the spectators, nor in children's sports, as it is with Horace, to create a king in jest; but those grandees must know, that as well for office and duty, as for honour, they are called to the performance of those rites, and that in them, the commonwealth is committed and recommended to the king, as to her supreme and principal tutor and protector, and to them as co-adjutors and assistants to him: and therefore, as the tutors or guardians (yea, even those who are appointed by way of honour) are chosen to have care of and observe the actions and importments of him who holds the principal rank in the tutorship, and to look how he carries himself in the administration of the goods of his pupil. So likewise are the former ordained to have an eye to the courses of the king, for, with an equivalent authority, as the others for the pupil, so are they to hinder and prevent the damage and detriment of the people, the king being properly reputed as the prime guardian, and they his co-adjutors.

In like manner, as the faults of the principal tutor who manages the affairs are justly imputed to the co-adjoints in the tutorship, if when they ought and might, they did not discover his errors, and cause him to be despoiled, especially failing in the main points of his charge, to wit, in not communicating unto them the affairs of his administration, in dealing unfaithfully in his place, in doing anything to the dishonour or detriment of his pupil, in embezzling of his goods or estate, or if he bean enemy to his pupil: briefly, if either in regard of the worthlessness of his person, or weakness of his judgment, he be unable well to discharge so weighty a charge, so also, are the peers and principal officers of the kingdom accountable for the government thereof, and must both prevent, and if occasion require, suppress the tyranny of the prince, as also supply with their care and diligence, his inability and weakness.

Finally, if a tutor omitting or neglecting to do all that for his pupil, which a discreet father of a family would and might conveniently perform, cannot well be excused, and the better acquitting himself of his charge, has others as concealers and associates, joined with him to oversee his actions; with much more reason may and ought the officers of the crown to restrain the violent irruptions of that prince, who, instead of a father, becomes an enemy to his people; seeing, to speak properly, they are as well accountable for his actions wherein the public has interests, as for their own.

Those officers must also remember, that the king holds truly the first place in the administration of the state, but they the second, and so following according to their ranks; not that they should follow his courses, if he transgress the laws of equity and justice; not that if he oppress the commonwealth, they should connive to his wickedness. For the commonwealth was as well committed to their care as to his, so that it is not sufficient for them to discharge their own duty in particular, but it behoves them also to contain the prince within the limits of reason; briefly, they have both jointly and severally promised with solemn oaths, to advance and procure the profit of a commonwealth, although then that he forswore himself; yet may not they imagine that they are quit of their promise, no more than the bishops and patriarchs, if they suffer an heretical pope to ruin the church; yea, they should esteem themselves so much the more obliged to the observing their oath, by how much they find him wilfully disposed to rush on in his perfidious courses. But, if there be collusion betwixt him and them, they are prevaricators; if they dissemble, they may justly be called forsakers and traitors; if they deliver not the commonwealth from tyranny, they may be truly ranked in the number of tyrants; as on the contrary they are protectors, tutors, and in a sort kings, if they keep and maintain the state safe and entire, which is also recommended to their care and custody.

Although these things are sufficiently certain of them selves, yet may they be in some sort confirmed by examples. The kings of Canaan who pressed the people of Israel with a hard, both corporal and spiritual, servitude (prohibiting them all meetings and use of arms) were certainly tyrants by practice, although they had some pretext of title. For Eglon and Jabin had peaceably reigned almost the space of twenty years. God stirred up extraordinarily Ehud, who, by a politic stratagem killed Eglon, and Deborah who overthrew the army of Jabin, and by his service delivered the people from the servitude of tyrants, not that it was unlawful for the ordinary magistrates, the princes of the tribes, and such other officers to have performed it, for Deborah does reprove the sluggish idleness of some, and flatly detests the disloyalty of others, for that they failed to perform their duty herein.

But it pleased God, taking commiseration of the distress of his people, in this manner to supply the defects of the ordinary magistrates.

Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, refused to disburden the people of some unnecessary imposts and burdens; and being petitioned by the people in the general assembly of the states, he grew insolent, and relying on the counsel of his minions, arrogantly threatens to lay heavier burdens on them hereafter. No man can doubt, but that according to the tenure of the contract, first passed between the king and the people, the prime and principal officers of the kingdom had authority to repress such insolence. They were only blameable in this, that they did that by faction and division, which should more properly have been done in the general assembly of the states; in like manner, in that they transferred the sceptre from Judah (which was by God only confined to that tribe) into another lineage; and also (as it chances in other affairs) for that they did ill and disorderly manage a just and lawful cause. Profane histories are full of such examples in other kingdoms.

Brutus, general of the soldiers, and Lucretius, governor of the city of Rome, assembled the people against Tarquinius Superbus, and by their authority thrust him from the royal throne: nay, which is more, his goods were confiscated; whereby it appears that if Tarquinius had been apprehended, undoubtedly he should have been according to the public laws, corporally punished.

The true causes why Tarquinius was deposed, were because he altered the custom, whereby the king was obliged to advise with the senate on all weighty affairs, that he made war and peace according to his own fancy; that he treated confederacies without demanding counsel and consent from the people or senate; that he violated the laws whereof he was made guardian; briefly that he made no reckoning to observe the contracts agreed between the former kings, and the nobility and people of Rome. For the Roman emperors, I am sure you remember the sentence pronounced by the senate against Nero, wherein he was judged an enemy to the commonwealth, and his body condemned to be ignominiously cast on the dung hill. And that other pronounced against Vitellius, which adjudged him to be shamefully dismembered, and in that miserable estate trailed through the city, and at last put to death. Another against Maximinius, who was despoiled of the empire; and Maximus and Albinus established in his place by the senate. There might also be added many others drawn from unquestionable historians.

The Emperor Trajan held not himself exempt from laws, neither desired he to be spared if he became a tyrant; for in delivering the sword unto the great provost of the empire, he says unto him: "If I command as I should, use this sword for me: but if I do otherways, unsheathe it against me." In like manner the French by the authority of the states, and solicited "hereunto by the officers of the kingdom, deposed Childerick the First, Sigisbert, Theodorick, and Childerick the Third for their tyrannies, and chose others of another family to sit on the royal throne. Yea, they deposed some because of their idleness and want of judgment, who exposed the state in prey to panders, courtesans, flatterers, and such other unworthy mushrooms of the court, who governed all things at their pleasure; taking from such rash phaetons the bridle of government, lest the whole body of the state and people should be consumed through their unadvised folly.

Amongst others, Theodoret was degraded because of Ebroinus, Dagobert for Plectude and Thibaud his pander, with some others: the estates esteeming the command of an effeminate prince, as insupportable as that of a woman, and as unwillingly supporting the yoke of tyrannous ministers managing affairs in the name of a loose and unworthy prince, as the burden of a tyrant alone. To be brief, no more suffering themselves to be governed by one possessed by a devil, than they would by the devil himself. It is not very long since the estates compelled Lewis the Eleventh (a prince as subtle and it may be as wilful as any) to receive thirty-six overseers, by whose advice he was bound to govern the affairs of state. The descendants from Charlemagne substituted in the place of the Merovingians for the government of the kingdom, or those of Capet, supplanting the Charlemains by order of the estates, and reigning at this day, have no other nor better right to the crown, than what we have formerly described; and it has ever been according to law permitted the whole body of the people, represented by the council of the kingdom, which are commonly called the assembly of the states, to depose and establish princes, according to the necessities of the commonwealth. According to the same rule we read that Adolph was removed from the Empire of Germany A.D. 1296, because for covetousness without any just occasion, he invaded the kingdom of France, in favour of the English, and Wenceslaus was also deposed in the year of our Lord 1400 Yet were not these princes exceeding bad ones, but of the number of those who are accounted less ill. Isabella, the wife of Edward the Second, King of England, assembled the Parliament against her husband, who was there deposed, both because he tyrannized in general over his subjects; as also for that he cut off the heads of many noble men, without any just or legal proceeding. It is not long since Christian lost the crown of Denmark, Henry that of Sweden, Mary Stuart that of Scotland, for the same or near resembling occasions. And the most worthy histories relate divers alterations and changes which have happened in like manner, in the kingdoms of Polonia, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, and others.

But what shall we say of the pope himself? It is generally held that the cardinals, because they do elect him, or if they fail in their duty, the patriarchs who are next in rank to them, may upon certain occasions maugre the pope, call a council, yea, and in it judge him; as when by some notorious offence he scandalizes the universal church. If he be incorrigible, if reformation be as necessary in the head as the members, if contrary to his oath he refuse to call a general council. And we read for certain, that divers popes have been deposed by general councils. But if they obstinately abuse their authority, there must (saith Baldus) first be used verbal admonitions; secondly, herbal medicaments or remedies; thirdly, stones or compulsion; for where virtue and fair means have not power to persuade, there force and terror must be put in use to compel. Now, if according to the opinions of most of the learned, by decrees of councils, and by custom in like occasions, it plainly appears, that the council may depose the pope, who, notwithstanding, vaunts himself to be the king of kings, and as much in dignity above the emperor, as the sun is above the moon, assuming to himself power to depose kings and emperors when he pleases: who will make any doubt or question, that the general assembly of the estates of any kingdom, who are the representative body thereof, may not only degrade and disthronize a tyrant; but also, even disauthorize and depose a king, whose weakness or folly is hurtful or pernicious to the state.

But let us suppose, that in this our ship of state, the pilot is drunk, the most of his associates are asleep, or after large and unreasonable tippling together, they regard their eminent danger in approaching a rock with idle and negligent jollity; the ship in the mean season instead of following her right course, that might serve for the best advantage of the owners' profit, is ready rather to split herself. What should then a master's mate, or some other under officer do, who is vigilant and careful to perform his duty? Shall it be thought sufficient for him to pinch or punch them who are asleep, without daring in the meantime to put his helping hand to preserve the vessel which runs on a course to destruction, lest he should be thought to intermeddle with that which he has no authority nor warrant to do? What mad discretion, nay, rather notorious impiety were this? Seeing then that tyranny, as Plato says, "is a drunken frenzy or frantic drunkenness," if the prince endeavour to ruin the commonwealth, and the principal officers concur with him in his bad purposes, or at the least are lulled in a dull and drowsy dream of security and the people (being indeed the true and absolute owner and lord of the state) be, through the pernicious negligence and fraudulent connivancy of those officers, brought to the very brim of danger and destruction, and that there be, notwithstanding, amongst those unworthy ministers of state, some one who does studiously observe the deceitful and dangerous encroachments of tyranny, and from his soul detests it, what opposition do we suppose best befits such a one to make against it? Shall he consent himself to admonish his associates of their duty, who to their utmost ability endeavour the contrary? Besides, that such an advertisement is commonly accompanied with too much danger, and the condition of the times considered, the very soliciting of reformation will be held as a capital crime: so that in so doing he may be not unfitly resembled to one, who, being in the midst of a desert, environed with thieves, should neglect all means of defence, and after he had cast away his arms, in an eloquent and learned discourse commend justice, and extol the worth and dignity of the laws This would be truly according to the proverb, "To run mad with reason." What then? Shall he be dull and deaf to the groans and cries of the people? Shall he stand still and be silent when he sees the thieves enter? Shall he only hold his hands in his bosom, and with a demure countenance, idly bewail the miserable condition of the times? If the laws worthily condemn a soldier, who, for fear of the enemies, counterfeits sickness, because in so doing he expresses both disloyalty and treachery, what punishment can we invent sufficient for him, who either maliciously or basely betrays those whose protection and defence he has absolutely undertaken and sworn? Nay, rather than let such a one cheerfully call one and command the mariners to the performance of their duty: let him carefully and constantly take order that the commonwealth be not endamaged, and if need so require, even in despite of the king, preserve the kingdom, without which the kingly title were idle and frivolous, and if by no other means it can be affected, let him take the king and bind him hand and foot, that so he may be more conveniently cured of his frenzy and madness.

For as we have already said, all the administration of the kingdom is not by the people absolutely resigned into the hands of the king; as neither the bishopric nor care of the universal church, is totally committed to the pope: but also to the care and custody of all the principal officers of the kingdom. Now, for the preserving of peace and concord amongst those who govern, and for the preventing of jealousies, factions, and distrusts amongst men of equal rank and dignity, the king was created prime and principal superintendent in the government of the commonwealth. The king swears that his most special care shall be for the welfare of the kingdom; and the officers of the crown take all the same oath. If then the king, or divers of them falsifying their faith, ruin the commonwealth, or abandon her in her greatest necessity, must the rest also fashion themselves to their base courses, and quit all care of the state's safety; as if the bad example of their companions absolved them from their oath of fidelity? Nay, rather on the contrary, in seeing them neglect their promise, they shall best advantage the commonwealth in carefully observing theirs: chiefly because for this reason they were instituted, as in the steads of ephori, or public controllers, and for that every thing gains the better estimation of just and right in that it is mainly and principally addressed to that end for which it was first ordained.

Furthermore, if divers have jointly vowed one and the same thing, is the obligation of the one annihilated by the perjury of the other? If many become bound for one and the same sum, can the bankrupting of one of the obligees quit the rest of their engagement? If divers tutors administer ill the goods of their pupil, and that there be one amongst them who makes conscience of his actions, can the bad dealing of his companions acquit him? Nay, rather on the contrary, he cannot free himself from the infamy of perjury, if to the utmost of his power he do not truly discharge his trust, and perform his promise: neither can the others' deficiency be excused, in the bad managing of the tutorship, if they likewise accuse not the rest who were joined with them in the administration, for it is not only the principal tutor who may call to an account those who are suspected to have unjustly or indiscreetly ordered the affairs of their pupil, but even those who were formerly removed may also upon just occasion discharge and remove the delinquents therein. Therefore those who are obliged to serve a whole empire and kingdom, as the constables, marshals, peers and others, or those who have particular obligations to some provinces or cities, which make a part or portion of the kingdom, as dukes, marquises, earls, sheriffs, mayors, and the rest, are bound by the duty of their place, to succour the commonwealth, and to free it from the burden of tyrants, according to the rank and place which they hold of the people next after the king. The first ought to deliver the whole kingdom from tyrannous oppression; the other, as tutors, that part of the kingdom whose protection they have undertaken; the duty of the former is to suppress the tyrant, that of the latter, to drive him from their confines. Wherefore Mattathias, being a principal man in the state, when some basely connived, others perniciously consorted with Antiochus, the tyrannous oppressor of the Jewish kingdom, he courageously opposing the manifest oppression both of church and state, encourages the people to the taking of arms, with these words, "Let us restore the decayed estate of our people, and let us fight for our people, and for the sanctuary." Whereby it plainly appears, that not for religion only, but even for our country and our possessions, we may fight and take arms against a tyrant, as this Antiochus was. For the Machabites are not by any questioned, or reprehended for conquering the kingdom, and expelling the tyrant, but in that they attributed to themselves the royal dignity, which only belongs by God's special appointment, to the tribe of Judah.

Humane histories are frequently stored with examples of this kind. Arbactus, governor of the Medes, killed effeminate Sardanapalus, spinning amongst women, and sportingly distributing all the treasures of the kingdom amongst those his loose companions. Vindex and Galba quit the party of Nero, yea, though the senate connived, and in a sort supported his tyranny, and drew with them Gallia and Spain, being the provinces whereof they were governors.

But amongst all, the decree of the senate of Sparta is most notable, and ought to pass as an undeniable maxim amongst all nations. The Spartans being lords of the city Byzantium, sent Olearchus thither for governor and commander for the wars; who took corn from the citizens, and distributed it to his soldiers. In the meantime the families of the citizens died for hunger, Anaxilaus, a principal man of the city, disdaining that tyrannous usage, entered into treaty with Alcibiades to deliver up the town, who shortly after was received into it. Anaxilaus, being accused at Sparta for the delivery of Byzantium, pleaded his cause himself, and was there acquit by the judges; for (said they) "Wars are to be made with families, and not with nature, nothing being more repugnant to nature, than that those who are bound to defend a city, should be more cruel to the inhabitants, than their enemies who besiege them."

This was the opinion of the Lacedemonians, certainly just rulers. Neither can he be accounted a just king, who approves not this sentence of absolution; for those who desire to govern according to the due proportion of equity and reason, take into consideration, as well what the law inflicts on tyrants, as also, what are the proper rights and bounds, both of the patrician and plebeian orders. But we must yet proceed a little further. There is not so mean a mariner, but must be ready to prevent the shipwreck of the vessel, when either the negligence or wilfulness of the pilot casts it into danger. Every magistrate is bound to relieve, and as much as in him lies, to redress the miseries of the commonwealth, if he shall see the prince, or the principal officers of state, his associates, by their weakness or wickedness, to hazard the ruin thereof; briefly, he must either free the whole kingdom, or at least that portion especially recommended to his care, from their imminent and encroaching tyranny. But has this duty proper relation to every one? Shall it be permitted to Hendonius Sabinus, to Ennus Suranus, or to the fencer Spartanus; or to be brief, to a mere private person to present the bonnet to slaves, put arms into the hands of subjects, or to join battle with the prince, although he oppress the people with tyranny? No, certainly, the commonwealth was not given in charge to particular persons, considered one by one; but, on the contrary, particulars even as papists are recommended to the care of the principal officers and magistrates; and therefore they are not bound to defend the commonwealth, which cannot defend themselves. God nor the people have not put the sword into the hands of particular persons; therefore, if without commandment they draw the sword, they are seditious, although the cause seem never so just.

Furthermore, the prince is not established by private and particular persons, but by all in general considered in one entire body; whereupon it follows, that they are bound to attend the commandment of all, to wit, of those who are the representative body of a kingdom, or of a province, or of a city, or at the least of some one of them, before they undertake anything against the prince.

For, as a pupil cannot bring an action, but, being avowed in the name of his tutor, although the pupil be indeed the true proprietor of the estate, and the tutor only owner with reference to the charge committed unto him; so likewise the people may not enterprise actions of such nature, but by the command of those into whose hands they have resigned their power and authority, whether they be ordinary magistrates, or extraordinary, created in the assembly of the estates; whom, if I may so say, for that purpose, they have girded with their sword, and invested with authority, both to govern and defend them, established in the same kind as the pretor at Rome, who determined all differences between masters and their servants, to the end that if any controversy happened between the king and the subjects, they should be judges and preservers of the right, lest the subjects should assume power to themselves to be judges in their own causes. And therefore if they were oppressed with tributes and unreasonable imposts; if anything were attempted contrary to covenant and oath, and no magistrate opposed those unjust proceedings; they must rest quiet, and suppose that many times the best physicians, both to prevent and cure some grievous disease, do appoint both letting blood, evacuation of humours, and lancing of the flesh; and that the affairs of this world are of that nature, that with much difficulty, one evil cannot be remedied without the adventuring, if not the suffering of another; nor any good be achieved without great pains.

They have the example of the people of Israel, who, during the reign of Solomon, refused not to pay those excessive taxes imposed on them, both for the building of the temple, and fortifying of the kingdom, because by a general consent they were granted for the promulgation of the glory of God, and for an ornament and defence of the public state.

They have also the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who, though he were King of Kings, notwithstanding, because he conversed in this world in another quality, to wit, of a private and particular man, paid willingly tribute. If the magistrates themselves manifestly favour the tyranny, or at the least do not formally oppose it; let private men remember the saying of Job, "That for the sins of the people God permits hypocrites to reign," whom it is impossible either to convert or subvert, if men repent not of their ways, to walk in obedience to God's commandments; so that there are no other weapons to be used, but bended knees and humble hearts. Briefly, let them bear with bad princes, and pray for better, persuading themselves that an outragious tyranny is to be supported as patiently, as some exceeding damage done by the violence of tempests, or some excessive overflowing waters, or some such natural accidents unto the fruits of the earth, if they like not better to change their habitations, by retiring themselves into some other countries. So David fled into the mountains, and attempted nothing against the tyrant Saul, because the people had not declared him any public magistrate of the kingdom.

Jesus Christ, whose kingdom was not of this world, fled into Egypt, and so freed himself from the paws of the tyrant. Saint Paul, teaching of the duty of particular Christian men, and not of magistrates, teaches that Nero must be obeyed. But if all the principal officers of state, or divers of them, or but one, endeavour to suppress a manifest tyranny, or if a magistrate seek to free that province, or portion of the kingdom from oppression, which is committed to his care and custody, provided under colour of freedom he bring not in a new tyranny, then must all men with joint courage and alacrity run to arms, and take part with him or them, and assist with body and goods, as if God Himself from heaven had proclaimed wars, and meant to join battle against tyrants, and by all ways and means endeavour to deliver their country and commonwealth from their tyrannous oppression. For as God does oftentimes chastise a people by the cruelty of tyrants, so also does He many times punish tyrants by the hands of the people. It being a most true saying, verified in all ages: "For the iniquities, violences, and wickedness of princes, kingdoms are translated from one nation to another; but tyranny was never of any durable continuance."

The centurions and men at arms did freely and courageously execute the commandments of the high priest Jehoiada, in suppressing the tyranny of Athalia. In like manner all the faithful and generous Israelites took part and joined with the Machabites, as well to re-establish the true service of God, as also to free and deliver the state from the wicked and unjust oppression of Antiochus, and God blessed with happy success their just and commendable enterprise. What then, cannot God when He pleases stir up particular and private persons, to ruin a mighty and powerful tyranny? He that gives power and ability to some even out of the dust, without any title or colourable pretext of lawful authority, to rise to the height of rule and dominion, and in it tyrannize and afflict the people for their transgressions; cannot He also even from the meanest multitude raise a liberator? He who enthralled and subjected the people of Israel to Jabin, and to Eglon, did he not deliver and enfranchise them by the hand of Ehud, Barack and Deborah, whilst the magistrates and officers were dead in a dull and negligent ecstasy of security? What then shall hinder? You may say the same God, who in these days sends us tyrants to correct us, that he may not also extraordinarily send correctors of tyrants to deliver us ? What if Ahab cut off good men, if Jezebel suborn false witnesses against Naboth, may not a Jehu be raised to exterminate the whole line of Ahab, to revenge the death of Naboth, and to cast the body of Jezebel to be torn and devoured of dogs? Certainly, as I have formerly answered, the Almighty is ever mindful of His justice, and maintains it as inviolably as His mercy.

But for as much as in these latter times, those miraculous testimonies by which God was wont to confirm the extraordinary vocation of those famous worthies, are now wanting for the most part: let the people be advised, that in seeking to cross the sea dry foot, they take not some impostor for their guide, who may lead them headlong to destruction (as we may read happened to the Jews); and that in seeking freedom from tyranny, he who was the principal instrument to disenthral them, become not himself a more insupportable tyrant than the former. Briefly, lest endeavouring to advantage the commonwealth, they introduce not a common misery upon all the undertakers participating therein with divers States of Italy, who, seeking to suppress the present evil, added an accession of greater and more intolerable servitude.

Finally, that we may come to some period of this third question; princes are chosen by God, and established by the people. As all particulars considered one by one, are inferior to the prince; so the whole body of the people and officers of state, who represent that body, are the princes' superiors. In the receiving and inauguration of a prince, there are covenants and contracts passed between him and the people, which are tacit and expressed, natural or civil; to wit, to obey him faithfully whilst he commands justly, that he serving the commonwealth, all men shall serve him, that whilst he governs according to law, all shall be submitted to his government, etc. The officers of the kingdom are the guardians and protectors of these covenants and contracts. He who maliciously or wilfully violates these conditions, is questionless a tyrant by practice. And therefore the officers of state may judge him according to the laws. And if he support his tyranny by strong hands, their duty binds them, when by no other means it can be effected by force of arms to suppress him.

Of these officers there be two kinds, those who have generally undertaken the protection of the kingdom; as the constable, marshals, peers, palatines, and the rest, every one of whom, although all the rest do either connive or consort with the tyranny, are bound to oppose and repress the tyrant; and those who have undertaken the government of any province, city, or part of the kingdom, as dukes, marquesses, earls, consuls, mayors, sheriffs, etc., they may according to right, expel and drive tyranny and tyrants from their cities, confines, and governments.

But particular and private persons may not unsheathe the sword against tyrants by practice, because they were not established by particulars, but by the whole body of the people. But for tyrants, who, without title intrude themselves for so much as there is no contract or agreement between them and the people, it is indifferently permitted all to oppose and depose them; and in this rank of tyrants may those be ranged, who, abusing the weakness and sloth of a lawful prince, tyrannously insult over his subjects. Thus much for this, to which for a more full resolution may be added that which has been formerly discoursed in the second question.