The glorious name of God, The Lord of Hosts opened in two sermons, at Michaels Cornhill, London, vindicating the Commission from this Lord of Hosts, to subjects, in some case, to take up arms : with a post-script, briefly answering a late treatise by Henry Ferne, D.D. / by Jer. Burroughes.

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The glorious name of God, The Lord of Hosts opened in two sermons, at Michaels Cornhill, London, vindicating the Commission from this Lord of Hosts, to subjects, in some case, to take up arms : with a post-script, briefly answering a late treatise by Henry Ferne, D.D. / by Jer. Burroughes.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.
London :: Printed for R. Dawlman,

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Subject terms
Ferne, H. -- (Henry), 1602-1662. -- Resolving of conscience.
God -- Early works to 1800.
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"The glorious name of God, The Lord of Hosts opened in two sermons, at Michaels Cornhill, London, vindicating the Commission from this Lord of Hosts, to subjects, in some case, to take up arms : with a post-script, briefly answering a late treatise by Henry Ferne, D.D. / by Jer. Burroughes." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 19, 2024.



THe strength of this Section, and almost all the book, is in that place of Rom. 13. and in this place I beleeve the D. will see, or if he doth not, others will, that he is utterly mistaken in the sense of that place.

The Apostle sayes expresly, Whosoever resists, shall receive damnation.

But he doth not say expresly, whosoever resists the highest men shall receive damnation, but whosoever shall resist the power: Let every one be subject not to the wills of the highest men, but to the higher power: there is a great deale

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of difference betweene these two: The higher power, that is, that authority that God, & man hath put upon such a man, it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that must be subjected to, & not resisted. We professe against resisting power, authority, though abused: If those who have power to make Laws, shall make sinfull Laws, and so give authority to any to force obedience; we say here there must either be flying or passive obedience; but if one that is in authority command out of his own will, and not by Law, I resist no power, no authority at all, if I neither actively nor passively obey, no I do not so much as resist abused authority. This may seeme strange at the first; but if you thinke of it, you will beleeve it. The D. thinkes the answer to this place is onely from the limitation of the person, or the cause of resisting, as if we held that no particular men upon any cause, but States may resist upon such and such causes; whereas we doe not answer so, but we distinguish betweene the man that hath the power, and the power of that man, and say, although the power must not be resisted according to the letter, and the sense of the Text, yet the illegall will and wayes of the man may be resisted, without the least offending against the Text. But we shall meete with this Scripture again and again, and shall fellow it with answers accordingly.

He comes to examples, as first, the peoples rescuing of Jonathan from Saul. He sayes, the people were in Arms already, and did but use a loving violence.

This example is onely brought to prove that Subjects may withstand illegal com∣mands of Kings, and no further, and that it plainly proves; onely, he sayes, it is a lo¦ving violence. Well then, it is a violence; they resolve that the Kings command shall not be fulfilled, yea though hee adds an oath to it. It was indeede a loving violence to Jonathan; so is all the violence that the Parliament offers, a loving violence to the Kingdome, yea and there is true love to the King too in it. The King hath not yet sworn that he will have such things as the Parl. will not suffer, so as to come to our cogni∣since; but Saul swore that he would have such a thing done, and yet the people would not suffer it to be done, and yet you dare not blame them for this, nay you commend them for it.

The second example is, David resisting Saul, the D. sayes, It was to save his per∣son from Cut-throats.

And is not our Army to save Parl & people from Cut-throats?

2. He sayes, David did no act of hostility, but only defended himselfe.

David had no authority over any that followed Saul, for he was then a private man; but our Parl. hath authority over Delinquents that follow the King.

2. David was loath indeede to venture upon a pitcht battail, or to exasperate Saul or his Subjects, because his strength was weake, 600. to a King, therefore he flies up and downe and takes not every advantage, that if it were possible he might gaine fa∣our in the eyes of Saul and his Subjects: but if they had falne upon him, and his power had beene equall to theirs, who knowes what he would have done? but we are sure as it is, it is defensive, and that is all it is to prove that Subjects may take up Arms o defend themselves against the injustice of their Kings.

For that example of David at Keilah, all the answer to that is, that it is an uncer¦tain supposition.

But examine the place, you shall finde it as certain as a supposition can be; It ap∣peares plainly that David had some expectation that the men of Keilah would have stood to him and kept oft Saul comming against him, and if they would, it is appa∣rent by the Text, that David would have stood to it though Saul had come against him. In the Text it is as plain, as this: Suppose the King were neere Hull going a∣against

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Sir J. Hotham, and Sir J. Hotham should seek to make sure of the men of Hul, and enquire whether they would deliver him or not if the King came, and he should come to know that certainly they would, and upon that very ground slies away, is this now an uncertaine supposition that Sir John Hotham would willingly have the Town stand to him, and if they would stand to him he would stay there and defend himselfe against the Kings forces?

Hi, last answer to Davids example is, that his example was extraordinary because he was anointed to be King after Saul.

But yet for the present he was a private man, although God had bestowed somthing extraordinary upon him more then upon other men; but it follows not therefore that in this case he had an extraordinary power to resist the Prince: Prince Charls hath no more power to resist his Father then the Parliament hath.

For the example of Elisha using the Kings messenger rough'y, that came to take away his head, he sayes it sayes little to the question in hand.

Yet he grants as much as it is brought for, that defence is lawful against sudden and illegall assaults of Messengers sent by the King; if against sudden, why not against deliberate and plotted? for, they are worse: This is one end of the raising of the Ar∣my, to prevent such assaults: If it be lawful to be done by violence by 2. or 3. when the messenger is but one, then it may be done by 2. or 3000. when the messengers are 1000.

For the example of the Priests thrusting out the leprous King.

That which this is brought to prove, is thus much, That there may be such unclean∣nesse in a King, that may cause Subjects lawfully to resist him, when he would doe a wicked act.

The Doctor sayes, First Gods hand was upon him.

So when God shall leave a King to some horrible way of evil, certainly Gods hand is upon him then.

He answers, But he hasted to goe out himselfe.

But the Scripture tels us, the Priests likewise thrust him out; they would not suffer him to be in the Temple.

The next thing in the Sect. is, a similitude from the naturall body: Though a member may defend it selfe against outward violence, yet no member must be set against the head, for that tends to the dissolution of the whole.

If the similitude may be followed, we say, that some members are as necessary to the life of the head, as the head is necessary to the life of those members.

2. A Kingdome may sometimes have one head, sometimes another, but so cannot a naturall body.

Further, he grants, Personall defence doth not strike at the order and power that is over us, but generall resistance by Arms (he saith) doth.

No, it may maintain and regulate order, and there may be as little injustice on the one side as the other.

But the case is not as Elishaes, for the King professeth he will use no violence, and we cannot know his heart.

But that example of Elisha is brought to prove the lawfulnes of using force against Kings in using violence: and what violence hath been already used, the world knows.

Page 10. He comes to Scriptures, denying resistance: let us see what full Scriptures these are.

The first is, Num. 16. 1. &c. The conspiracie of Corah and his company against Moses and Aaron.

It is strange that this example must be paralleld with our Parl. taking up Arms: Was

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it not a most unjust and vile conspiracie, meerly out of the pride of malicious spirits? Can the D. or any man think, that in justifying Arms in some case, we justifie all villa∣nous conspiracies and out-rages?

Besides, this place condemns rising up against the Priest, as well as the King. Yea cer∣tainly, if they had risen against the meanest officer that God had appointed in Church or Common-wealth, as here they did against Moses & Aaron, it would have bin a very hainous offence; Yea if Moses himself should have thus risen against any Officer ap∣pointed by God, it had bin a vile sin in him; therefore this proves no more against sub∣jects resisting Princes, then Princes resisting subjects, or one subject resisting another.

Further, we do not rise against His Majesty, as they rose up against Moses & Aaron; we desire not that he should have lesse power then God & the Laws have given him, but we would preserve this in him, and keep off the stroke of any further power, so that we need not for this thing so much as examine the cause upon which they rose, whether it were supposed or not, for the case is far differing in the end of the rising.

But Corah and his company supposed the cause sufficient.

Supposed causes for any thing is not enough; now we are not examining the truth of the cause of taking up Arms, but whether they may not be taken up by the Subject against the mind of the King for any cause.

Wel, our consciences need not be much scrupled from this Scripture: Let us examine the rest he brings.

The second is, 1 Sam. 8. 11, 18. where the oppression of the King is mentioned, and no means of help mentioned but crying to the Lord.

Is the bare relation of the oppression of a King without mention in that place of any means of help, but crying to God, a sufficient proof that though Kings oppresse never so much, yet there is no help? Suppose I bring a place of Scripture, where there is a re∣lation of Subjects rising up in a wicked way against their Prince, & in that place there is no other help mentioned, but only the Prince committed this to God, & God reven∣ged it, can there be drawn from thence an argument, that when Subjects rise against Princes that they have no other help against them, but committing the cause to God? We need not go far for a Scripture in this kind, the very place the D. brought before wil do it; Num. 15. when Corah and his company rose against Moses, we there read of no other help that Moses used, but he committed the thing to God, & God revenged it.

But you wil say, yet there are other places that shew that Princes may make use of o∣ther help.

So there is for Subjects to make use of other helps against the oppression of their Princes, many Scriptures have been mentioned formerly and cleered.

Further, besides this, we answer, that the power of all Kings is not alike, it is no argu∣ment because one King hath such and such power, therefore all must needs have. The power of Kings is limited or enlarged by the severall Laws of severall Countries.

Let us see what the third Scripture sayes, for yet our consciences are not scrupled, it is Numb. 10. That the people might not go to war but by order from him that had the power of the Trumpet.

Because there was a positive order there that Moses must make trumpets and thus use them; Doth it follow that this must be so every where? you may by as true a con∣sequence urge the necessity of silver trumpets, and that the Priests should blow them, as well as the former: The consequence would be full as good. No King can use Trum∣pets in war but by the blowing of the Priests, for it is commanded there, as that no people can go to war till the Magistrates use the Trumpets, because it is so ordered there; we know the Law is judiciall, and for those judiciall Laws the equity binds no

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further then according to rules of prudence and justice, every countrey shall see be∣hoofefull for their conditions. Besides if this did binde, then it were a sinne for an Act to passe to put the Militia for any time into any other hands, for certainly it might not then be done, no, not with Moses and Aarons consent.

The next Scripture is, 1 Sam. 26. 9. who can stretch out his hand against the Lords Anointed and be guiltlesse?

Why doth the D. speake of stretching forth the hand against the Lords Anointed? who endeavours it? doth not the Parliament professe the defence of the Kings Persons 2. Doctor willet upon this place gives you this Answer, That indeed it is not lawfull for a private man to lay hands, no not upon a tyrant; for it is not lawfull for a private man to kill a thiefe of a murderer, much lesse a Magistrate, a Prince. But secondly, he tels us of some that have laid hands upon a King, and yet have been guiltlesse, as Ehud upon Eglon King of Moab: therefore from that Scripture there can∣not be a generall Proposition drawn, that no man in any case may stretch forth his hand against a King. Yea Doctor willet answers in the third place, that yet Tyrants and wicked Governours may be removed by the whole State. He indeed limits this, and sayes, it must be understood of such Kingdomes as goe by election, as in Polonia, and gives this reason, From whom Kings receive their authority, by them may they be con∣strained to keep within bounds. This it seems was good Divinity in those dayes. This distinction he used, to deliver the opinion from opposition in England; but if the di∣stinction be examined, there will appeare little strength in it: We doe not find that D. willet was ever reproved, or his writings censured for this thing.

Concerning that restriction of his to Kingdomes by election, we shall, when wee come to shew from whence all Kings have their power, see, that if it proves true of them, it will prove true of others; for the foundation of all power that such and such men have over others, will be found either from election or covenant, which will come to all one.

D. Ferne proceeds thus, If the King had come into the battel, his person might have been hurt as well as any.

This had been but accidentally; If a father should voluntarily goe into the Army of the common enemy, against whom the childe is in service, and the child in dischar∣ging upon the enemy should slay his father being there, especially he being desired & beseeched by any meanes not to be there, but to withdraw himselfe; doth the child con∣tract guilt in such a case?

His next Argument from Scripture is, That the Prophet reprechending the Kings of Israel and Judah for Idolatry and oppression, none ever called upon the people for this duty of resistance.

First, There is much difference betweene Kings now, and those Kings: The people then did neither give them their power, nor limit their power; They doe both now when first they are set up.

Secondly, if this be a good argument, that because when Kings oppressed, the pro∣phet did not cal upon people for resistance, therefore all resistance in any case is unlawful; then, if when people have resisted, & cast oft the Government of their King, & the Pro∣phets have not reproved them for it; then it is lawfull for people in some case to re∣sist. He that will harken to his own reason, must acknowledge there is par ratio. If the Prophets exhorted not to resistance, then there may be no resistance, sayes the Do∣ctor? Then if when there is resistance, the Prophets rebuke not that resistance, then there may with as good reason be resistance, say I.

When the ten Tribes cast off the Government of Rehoboam for his oppression, and

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hearkning to his young Cavalliers about him, rather then to his ancient grave counsel; the Prophets did not rebuke the ten Tribes for what they did, but rather seemed to take their parts. 1 Kings 12. 24. eturn every man to his house, for this thing is from mee.

Now the D. comes to his great place again, Rom. 13. which he sayes be will free from all exceptions.

Nay, bare me an Ace of that. The truth is, he vever so much as mentions, nor thinks of the great exception, which duly considered, will clear the Text to be nothing to his purpose.

First he supposes that the King is the supream, as Peter calls him, or the higher pow∣er, as here.

1. It is true, Peter cals the King Supreame, but in the same place he is made an or∣dinance of man, and therefore to be limited by man. He may be the chiefe man in au∣thority, and yet limited in that authority; he is supreame, but not absolute; We grant that the Houses of Parliament, and we all, are his Subjects, but not Subjects to his will, but to that power of his that Law gives him.

2. He takes for granted the King is the higher power. Here observe his mistake. Let it be granted that the King hath the highest power, yet what propriety of speech is it to say that he is the highest power? It is proper to God to say that he is Power in the abstract.

Well, The King hath the highest power, and we must be subject to this power of his, and not resist it. Who denies all this? When all this is granted, the D. hath got nothing at all; for if we resist not that power which Law hath given him, we do not resist the higher power, although we do not do nor suffer what hee would have us to do or suffer.

Then he reasons from the person, whosoever, every soule. There was then sayes he, the Senate, &c.

But what power the Senate had for the present upon agreement, or how much of their power was now given up to the Emperour by agreement, he shews not; and if he shews not this, he sayes nothing.

Then he tels us of the cause Christians had to resist, because their Emperours were e∣nemies to Religion, and had over thrown Laws and liberties.

To the first we acknowledge we must not resist for Religion; if the Laws of the Land be against it, we must either suffer, or seek to enjoy our Religion in the uttermost arts of the earth, rather then resist.

For the Emperors subverting Laws and Liberties, he must prove that the people & enate had not given absolute power to them for the present, for the preventing further wils they feared, or else it reacheth not our case, for we know our people and Senate ave not given any such absolute power. We must not be put to prove, they had, for it 〈◊〉〈◊〉 his argument; therefore if he wil make it good, he must prove they had not. And yet ppose they had not, if we should gratifie the D. in that thing, yet the Argument would e but weak: for the Apostle requires them not to resist their power, their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: hee oth not charge them not to resist their tyrannie. Certainly they could have no power at that which was given them by some agreement; if they challenged further, it was no uthority at all: such kind of tyrannie as they would assume to themselves, the Apostle ••••rbids not the resistance of in that place.

As for that he sayes, that some affirm that prohibition was temporary, let them main∣••••in it that affirm it: I am ful of the D. mind in that, this prohibition is a standing rule.

As for that distinction which he sayes, some make that they resist not the power, but e abuse of the power.

We answer, it is not resisting abused power, for it is resisting no power at all. Abused

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power is the ill use of what is given to men; but the ill use of what was never given to them more then to any other, is abuse of their wils, but not abuse of their power. By Power I do not mean Strength, but Authority.

Further, he sayes, These Emperours ruled absolutely, therefore upon that ground men might resist, if for any thing.

1. Although the Emperors might use some force to bring themselves to an absolute power, yet whether the people were not brought to consent to prevent farther danger, that must be disproved, when our case ever fals, so as we shall be brought to consent to an absolute power, although it be out of feare (which God forbid) then this argument will concerne us, but not before.

2. What they got and held meerly by force, without any consent and agreement, was no power, no authority at all but might be resisted, no withstanding that prohibition.

The last thing in that Sect. is, whereas we say that our Religion is established by Law, theirs was not: He answers 2. things. 1. Shall the prohibition be good against Christians under Emperors persecuting Religion, & not against Subjects enjoying their Religion?

If those who have power to make Laws should prove so wicked as to make wicked Laws against Religion, yet I am rather bound to passive obedience in that case, then if men never so good should command according to their own will, and not according to Law; for there is an authority in the one, though abused, but none at all in the other.

His second answer is, This prohibition did not concern Christians only, but all people under the Emperour.

As before, 1. we know not but these people had given up their right. 2. If they had not that prohibition doth not reach them in those things wherein they had not.

Thus his Scriptures are answered, and I professe I have not answered from a hu∣mour of seeking to overcome in a dispute, to put glosses upon the one side, or to seek evasions from the strength of the other, but as in the presence of God to find out truth and to satisfie Conscience that hath to doe with God in a speciall manner.


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