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ted themselves to the sceptre of Christ, have yet, together with Christianity, espoused the interest of sundry antichristian principles, in pursuance of which they have been as inveterate enemies and persecutors of the truth as it is in Jesus, as any of the heathen kings or emperors; yet these also, notwithstanding their maleadministration, are the subjects and ministers of our Saviour; and it is by his authority and commission that they reign, and by his omnipotent providence that all their wicked designs and actions are overruled to gracious ends and purposes; so that all the sovereign powers of the earth are subjected by God to the dominion of our Saviour; and in their respective kingdoms and empires are only his substitutes and vicegerents : for so we are told, not only that all judgment is committed to him, and that all power is committed to him in heaven and earth; and that he is heir of all things, and hath power over all flesh; but also that he is King of kings, and Lord of lords, the only Potentate, the Head of all principality and

power, and the Prince of all the kings of the earth; and so the fathers of the council of Ariminum tell Constantius the Arian emperor, that it was by Christ's donation that he held his empire, δι' ου [Χριστου] σοι και το βασιλεύειν ούτως υπήρξεν, ως και της καθ' ημάς οικουμένης κρατεϊν: By him, i. e. Christ, thou art appointed to reign over all the world. Upon which account Liberius advises him, MÀ páxou προς τον δεδωκότα σοι την αρχήν ταύτην, μη αντ' ευχαριστίας, doeßhons eis aŭtov, Do not fight against Christ, who hath bestowed his empire upon thee; do not render him impiety instead of gratitude. And to the same purpose Athanasius tells us, Λαμβάνων ούν ο Χριστός τον

θρόνον, μετέστησεν αυτόν και έδωκε τοις αγίοις χριστιανών βασιλεύσιν επαναστρέψαι τούτους επί τον οίκον Ιακώβ: i. e. That Christ having received the throne, hath translated it from heathen to holy Christian kings, to return them back to the house of Jacob. So that both from scripture and the current doctrine of the primitive church, it is evident that all the sovereign powers upon earth are subjected to our Saviour, and are only the ministers and viceroys of his universal kingdom.

But for the farther prosecution of this argument, I shall shew, in the first place, that by this their subjection to Christ they are not deprived of any natural right of their sovereignty; and secondly, that they are obliged by it to certain ministries in the kingdom of Christ.

First, That by their subjection they are not deprived of any natural right of their sovereignty; for when our Saviour pronounced the sentence, Give unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, he thereby renewed the patent of sovereign powers, and reinvested them in all the natural rights of their sovereignty, which doubtless are included in the thing's that are Cæsar's: for upon the Pharisees asking him that captious question, Is it lawful to pay tribute to Cesar ? he doth not answer, Yes, it is lawful; which yet had been a sufficient reply to their question ; but calls for a tribute penny, and having asked them whose image and superscription that was upon it, and being answered, Cæsar's; he returns them an answer much larger than their question, Give unto Cæsar the things that are Cesar's : i. e. It is certain that you are obliged, not only to pay tribute to Cæsar, but also to render him whatever

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else is due to him by virtue of his sovereign power ; for sovereign power being immediately founded on the dominion of God hath from thence these two unalienable rights derived to it, to which all the essential rights of sovereignty are reducible: first, to command in all things as it judges most convenient for the public good, where God hath not countermanded; for the power of sovereigns descending from God can only be limited by God or themselves; for if they are limitable by any other power, they are subjects to that power, and so can no longer be sovereigns; and if they are limitable only by God or themselves, then where they are not limitable either by God or themselves, they must necessarily have a right to command. Secondly, the other unalienable right that is derived to them from God is, to be accountable only to God : for by deriving to them sovereign power, God hath exalted them above all powers but his own: and therefore, since no power can be accountable but to a superior power, and since sovereigns have no superior power but God, it is to God only, from whom they received their power, that they are accountable for the administration of it. These therefore are the natural rights of sovereign powers, and these rights remain entire and inviolate in them, notwithstanding their subjection to the mediatorial sceptre of our Saviour; as I shall endeavour to shew in the particulars.

First, Therefore by this their subjection to Christ they are not deprived of their natural right of commanding in all cases as they shall judge most convenient for the public good, where God hath not countermanded them: for the Christian religion is so far from any way retrenching the power of princes, that

it abundantly confirms and enforces it, by requiring us to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; to be subject to the higher powers, and that not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; to submit to principalities and powers, and to obey magistrates; to render tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour ; i. e. to submit to all the lawful impositions of our princes, whether it be of taxes or of any other matter whatsoever; and in all the New Testament there is only one limitation made of our obedience, which is a natural and eternal one, and that is, that we ought to obey God rather than man; that is, when man's command and God's do apparently clash and interfere with each other : for in this case the magistrate hath no right to be obeyed, because his will is countermanded by a superior authority : by which exception this general rule is confirmed, that in all cases whatsoever, whether temporal or spiritual, civil or ecclesiastical, sovereign powers have an unalienable right to be obeyed. For if their right to be obeyed in the kingdom of Christ extended only to civil and temporal causes, their authority would be very much lessened and retrenched by their subjection to our Saviour; since before their subjection to him it undoubtedly extended to all causes whatsoever; because being sovereign under God, it could have no other bounds or limits but what God had set to it; and therefore, since before their subjection to Christ God had bounded their authority by no other law but that of nature, it must either be made appear that the law of nature did then limit their authority only to civil causes, (which I am sure is impossible;)

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or it will necessarily follow, that it extended also to spiritual and ecclesiastical; and if it did so then, it must do so still, unless it be made appear that Christianity hath retrenched and lessened it. It is true, Christ hath erected a standing form of spiritual government in his church; and it is as true, that all government, whether spiritual or temporal, includes a legislative power in it, or a power of commanding its subjects: but this is no limitation of the commanding power of sovereign princes, who must still be obeyed in all things where Christ hath not countermanded, though the church should command the contrary; for Christ never authorized the governors of his church to control the commanding power of princes, but hath left all matters of indifference as absolutely to their disposal and determination as ever they were before his spiritual government was erected; and matters of indifference are the sole matter both of purely civil and purely ecclesiastical laws; and therefore, after the church by its legislative power hath restrained any matter of indifference, the civil sovereign, in whose disposal all matters of indifference are, may, if he see good occasion, release and free it again, and impose the contrary matter of indifference; and if he doth so, all Christian people are obliged, by the express commands of scripture, to obey him; for the scripture commands of obedience to the temporal sovereignty have no such exception as this annexed to them, Except the church command the contrary. And in matters of duty what have we to do to make exception where God hath made none? And indeed where there are two legislative powers, the one must necessarily be subject to the other, or it will be impossible for the subject, in

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