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 20, 2024.



THis Section is spent in the argument of meanes of safety to a Kingdome in case the King should tyrannize; if they might not resist, it seemes God hath left them destitute of all helpe, they must needs perish.

To this he first answers, That is the same argument that is used for the Popes cur∣bing of, or deposing Princes in case of Heresie, otherwise the Church hath no meanes to preserve it selfe.

The good of a Church is spirituall, and God hath given it spirituall means enough to preserve its spirituall good, although there be no such power of the Pope over Princes, and we know the Church was preserved and flourished in spirituall beautie when there was neither Pope nor Prince to preserve it.

But the good of a Kingdom is civill and naturall, therefore it must have civill and naturall meanes to preserve it selfe by in case of danger. Hence then although it be no argument that Popes may by power of Armes curb Kings, and because else the good of the Church cannot be preserved, yet it may be a good argument the people may in some case take up Arms to defend themselves against violence, although the King gives not his consent, because otherwise the civill and naturall good of men in a Kingdome cannot be preserved.

The second thing he sayes is, What meanes of safety had the Christians in and after the Apostles times?

God called them then to suffer; for they were not the State; though many parti∣cular men that are not a State, may easily be brought into such a condition as they have no meanes for safety, but they must needs suffer; and so many States, when the externall violence is too strong for them; but when God and nature gives them meanes of deliverance, there is no necessitie they should perish. When the Doctor dis∣proves resistance better, wee will either fly or suffer.

As for the Christians why they could not resist, the Dr. speakes of a reason that he seemes to be satisfied in, because things were so enacted by Law, therefore they could not resist: therefore he leaves their example, as invalid in our case, and so it were well that every one else would leave off urging, that we may never heare of the example of the Christians in the primitive times applyed to our case more: For though it seems to be something at first view, yet it is nothing when it is examined.

But then he sayes, The Edicts that concerned others were Arbitrary.

To this the Answer hath been already, either the people then gave up their whole right to their Emperours, which we have not done to our Kings, or otherwise they were not bound to their Arbitrary government, but might have resisted for their own preservations.

But if Parliaments should degenerate and grow tyrannicall, what meanes of safe∣ty could there be for a State?

I confesse the condition of such a State would be very dangerous and like to come to confusion; particular men could not help themselves, and the whole State ought to suffer much before it should helpe it selfe by any wayes of resisting: but if you can

Page 10

suppose a Parliament so far to degenerate, as they should all conspire together with the King to destroy the Kingdome, and to possesse the lands and riches of the Kingdome themselves, in this case whether a Law of Nature would not allow of standing up to defend our selves, yea to re-assume the power given to them, to discharge them of that power they had, and set up some other, I leave to the light of nature to judge.

You will say, this cannot be, because the higher powers must not be resisted by any.

This is not properly to resist the power, but to discharge the power, to set the power elsewhere. The servant doth not resist the power of his master, when he upon just grounds leaves him, and goes to another, if he be such a master, as is his master by his owne choice, for such and such ends and purposes, and had his power limited by agreement.

I know this will be cryed out of as of dangerous consequence, wherefore God deliver us (as I hope he will) for ever making use of such a principle.

It is hard to conceive it possible that a Parliament can so degenerate, as to make our condition more grievous by unjust acts, then it would be if the power in a Kingdom should returne to the law of nature, from whence at first it rose.

Divers lines together ofter the objection from want of safety in case of degenera∣ting of Parliament he spends in commending the temper of our government in the three Estates, with complaints of some distemper for the present.

In the one I joyn with him: but for the other, I undertake not to satisfie all his apprehensions of distractions in the Parliament. The man I beleeve lives at a distance from Parliament, and so looks at it through multitudes of reports which usually (and especially in these times) are exceeding false mediums to looke through: Straight things will seeme crooked, when the object is seen through water that is too thick a medium: Reports doe so gather soile before they come to him, that when they come, they are an exceeding thick medium to see Parliament proceedings by.

Whereas it is said, that many see more then one, and there is more safety in the judgement of many then one: He answers, Why should an hundred in the House of Commons see more then three hundred? and twenty in the Lords House see more then sixty that are of a contrary judgement?

If there were so many of a contrarie judgement more then the others, why do they not come and out-vote them in what things are amisse?

2. This addes much validitie in common reason to what they determine, that they are alwaies a competent number, allowable by Law to be Houses of Parliament, and they debate and determine things in such an Assembly that is open for so many, which all the Countreys and Cities in the Kingdom have chosen, to come to debate or con∣tradict as they think fit. Such determinations, although I do not say they should be accounted infallible, yet they carry with them more likely reason, then those who are carried by a few in some secret way.

Further, why should such an Objection be made against the Houses of Parliament, that no Court of Iustice, no Societie that carries things by Vote, will admit, if it be once set? that in such Assemblies there shall be so many at the least, there may be three times more, yet so many makes up the Assembly, so as to enable it to such and such purposes. How can this Obiection, without wrangling, be admitted? Oh but many were of another mind, or some belonging to the Assembly were not present.

After this the Doctor proceeds to the commending of Monarchy above Aristocrasie, and the Kings Negative voice.

This is nothing to our businesse. What though Monarchie be the best? and what though the King should have power of a negative voice in the passing all Bils? this is granted.

Page 11

Then he comes again to his 13. to the Rom.

The argument from this place is worn exceeding bare by this time.

If it were lawfull to resist power abused, it would open a way to people to over∣threw powers duely administred.

1. We do not say that power abused should be resisted; but Will, where there is no Power, may be resisted.

2. True, there is danger in the peoples abusing their liberties, and danger in Ma∣gistrates abusing their power.

He sayes he intends not to lay the least blemish upon the Parliament.

Yet in the Page before he sayes, The Temper of the Parliament is dissolved: and upon that saies, the distractions in the Common-wealth, shew the distempers, and the danger of dissolution, and what is the cause of it. It would fill much paper to gather together the blemishes that this man casts upon the Parliament, especially in his last page. But that is not my work, I would gladly have consciences resolved.

He proceeds to shew the difference between the Low-Countreys and us, which no question is something, but not so as can make what they have done lawfull, and yet the Doctors tents right, nor what we have done unlawfull.

He farther enlarges himself in discourse about the evils that accompany resisting of power.

Still we say power should not be resisted, and where it is resisted sinfully, yea where men in power are resisted, any way, there are like to follow sad consequences of af∣fliction. But what is all this for the satisfaction to conscience about the Lawfulnesse or unlawfulnesse of resisting men that have power in any case?

Then be comes to the oath of Supremacy and the Protestation.

The Answer to this depends upon what hath been said, we swear onely to the Legall power, we protest no further then the maintenance of that.

He saies, conscience will look at that power he hath as the ordinance of God.

True, what power he hath, that is, what the Laws give him, we say is an ordinance of God.

But his abuse of power is a iudgement of God, that we must cry to God against, and a true informed conscience in that case will rather suffer then resist.

He still takes abuse of his power to be the doing whatsoever he please: we denie that to be abuse of his power. We say in that he doth not exercise his authorative power at all, therefore he doth not abuse it. If indeed some uniust Law should give him any power to do wrong, the execution of this would be the abuse of his power, and therein it is granted a true informed conscience would rather suffer then resist. But in the other case, when he doth what Law inables not to do, all the arguments of the Doctor cannot so inform our consciences, as to beleeve the State must rather suffer then resist.

Now the Doctor casts up his reckoning, and thinks he finds it comes to thus much, that he hath found Scripture and reason, speak plainly against resisting.

He cries victorie to himself, he tels himself what the issue of his own thoughts come to; but he reckons without his Host, his conquest is too hastie, we are not of his mind.

I will onely observe one thing more in the conclusion of his Section.

If any shall be carried away with the name of a Parliament, as Papists are with the name of the Church, &c.

If the Church could do as much in matters of Religion, as the Parliament can do in matters of the State, the Papists were not so much to be blamed for being taken

Page [unnumbered]

so much with the name of the Church, as we are not for being taken so much with the name of the Parliament.

For 1. The Church cannot make new Articles of Faith, or nullifie the old; but the Parliament can make new Maximes to be accounted Law, that were not before, and undo what were before.

2. The Church hath not a iudiciall power of interpreting the Law of God, but the Parliament hath a iudiciall power of interpreting the Law of the State, so as that is to be accounted Law, which they interpret to be so. I do not say that we are bound to beleeve, that whatsoever interpretation they make was the scope and intention of that Law when it was first made: But this I say, that their interpretation must be accounted as much binding to us for obedience, as the scope and intention of that Parliament that first made that Law.

Thus I have done with his Scriptures, and the rationall part of his Book; and I hope others will have done with it too.

If mens consciences be satisfied in the lawfulnesse of the thing it self, Subiects ta∣king up Arms against the will of the King: His other part, every one who understands how things are with us, that is willing to be satisfied, will be soon able to satisfie himself. The substance of all that follows is, suppose that Subiects may take up Arms? yet whether there be sufficient cause for us to do it.

Toward the conclusion of the book the Dr. begins to be hot, and somewhat bitter, but I shall not here follow him in particulars, but in the generall thus

What the condition of our Kingdom is, whether in danger or not? What the con∣dition of our Houses of Parliament, whether they be safe or not? whether their pri∣viledges be broke or not? Iudge you whether Doctor Ferne or all the Remonstrances and Declarations we have had from both Houses be able best to certifie us: we have received information enough, and seen and felt enough to make us beleeve that our Kingdom is in great danger: but it may be the Doctor sits in his study like another Archimedis drawing his lines, and the Swords must be about his eares before he will see or beleeve any danger to wards us.

The Doctor puts the case thus, whether the conscience can be so perswaded, that the King is such and so minded, as that there may be sufficient cause to take up Arms against him; in this he is as miserably mistaken, as in all his other grounds from Scripture, and his reasons, if he thinks this be the controversie.

For 1. we take up no Arms against the King,

2. Whatsoever the Kings mind be, there is sufficient cause to take up Arms to de∣fend our selves against others that seek our ruins We know of the plots of bringing the Armies in the North upon Parliament and City: We know of the great prepara∣tions of Arms in forreign parts to send over hither, and time hath discovered their further attempts, although it hath indeed withall discovered they could not bring their attempts to their desired issue. We know of many Delinquents that are fled from the Iustice of the Parliament, which cannot be attached without force; and if they may so scape as they do, to what purpose doth a Parliament sit? it will soon be made ridiculous in the eyes of the world. We know what is done in the execution of the Commission of Array, and that by force of Arms, and all these things by those who are under the authority of the Houses of Parliament: wherefore if they cannot pre∣vent these evils imminent, nor rectifie these disorders extant, but by power added to their authoritie, although there be no such horrible things as the Doctor speaks of, namely, the Kings intentions to subvert Religion, and our Laws and liberties, if the King do but denie to assist in the delivering us from those dangers, not upon ground∣lesse

Page 13

jealousies feared, but upon certain proofs we know we are in, and in the deliver∣ing up of such delinquents as justice must not, our safety cannot suffer to escape, there is cause enough to satisfie our consciences in the lawfulnesse of our taking up Arms. Yea, our protestation and duty, though we had never so protested, binds us to main∣tain by all our strength the Parliament in this; and in maintaining them, we do not at all prejudice the King in any lawfull power of his.

This generall is enough to satisfie in what is said in the two last Sections: As for particulars mentioned there, many of them are answered alreadie in the former dis∣course; others being matters of fact, it is more easie for any one to answer that hath a mind to examine what passages have falne out. To go through them particularly I shall leave to some who have more time to spare then I, they are far more easie to an∣swer then what was before, but not so profitable, and yet the answer would exasperate more, they are Subjects more suteable for Lawyers and Statists to treat about then for Divines.

Wherefore where as in the conclusion of all, the Doctor defires those who will run the Hazard of this resistance; first to set their consciences before the tribunall of God, and confider whether they will excuse them there when they have shed blood, to say, we supposed our Prince would change Religion, overthrow liberties.

No Doctor, We can comfortably, and will freely and really set our conscience be∣fore Gods tribunall in this case, but we will not make that our plea, but we will stand thus before the Lord.

Lord thou who art the searcher of our hearts, and our Iudge, thou knowest we aim∣ed at no hurt to our King, we desired to live in peace, we according to our solemne vow and Protestation, have only endeavoured to deliver our Kingdom & Parliament from the rage of ungodly, and violent bloody men, to bring forth the wicked unto ju∣stice, to preserve what thy Maiestie, what the law of nature, and the Law of the Land hath made our own. If thou wilt please to call us to suffer for thy Name, we hope we shall be readie; but because thou tellest us that it is not the part of a Christian but of an Infidell, not to provide for his family, therefore we have not submitted our selves, wives and children to the rage of these bloody men: for the substance of what we have done, it hath been in thy Name, that we may be faithfull to the King, Kingdom, Parliament, and to posteritie. What failings thou hast seen in the mana∣ging of it, Lord pardon to us for Christ his sake.

Thus we are willing to meet the Doctor at Gods Tribunall, but he shall not lay our plea for us, we fear he will have enough to do to answer for himself, yea to an∣swer for that Book he hath put forth in such a time as this.


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