PROV. cap. 28. vers. 2.
THe Queen of the South, (saith our Sa∣viour, meaning the Queen of Sheba) came from the uttermost parts of the Earth, to hear the VVisdome of Solomon, Luk. 11.31. And we reade in the fourth of the first Book of the Kings, that not onely the Queen of the South, but some of all sorts of People were sent from all the Kings of the Earth that had heard of him, upon the Same Er∣rand, namely, to Hear his VVisdome, and to Learn of him, how to Govern Themselves and their Sub∣jects as he did, that they might be as Happy in Them∣selves and their Government as he was. And to this end may I say of Solomon (as the Scripture saith of Abel, Heb. 11.4.) that being dead He yet speaketh.
For though it hath pleased God to suffer all that this great King and Wise Philosopher hath written of natural Speculation (from the Cedar to the Hy∣sope, and from the greatest of beasts and fishes, to the least of creeping things, 1 King. 4.33.) to be utterly Page 2 lost; as being a kind of knowledge that was more likely to puff up, then to edifie, and to make men by too much poreing upon the creature, to for∣get or neglect to look up to the Creator: Yet as for that practical kind of knowledge, whereby men be∣come better as well as wiser (whether it concern us in relation unto God, as Divinity; or in relation to our selves, as morality; or in those relations which one man hath unto another, as the Politicks and Oe∣conomicks) in order to the making of us honest Men, good subjects, good neighbors, and good Christians, whatsoever I say was written by Solomon to any of these ends, is all of it, or most of it, or at least as much of it, as is sufficient for our use and pra∣ctice, yet extant in the Books of the Canticles, the Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes; of which the First and the Last are almost wholly Theological: the Book of the Canticles being an Holy charm, as it were, to draw us unto Christ, and to make us in love with him, by an Allegorical, but most Em∣phatical discription of Christs Loveliness in Him∣self, and of the excellency of His Love unto us; And the other of Ecclesiastes being an holy Satyre a∣gainst the world and worldly things, written on purpose to wean us from them, by shewing us the vanity and vexation of them. But this book of the Proverbs is a Divine Miscellany or mixture of Theological, Moral, Political and Oeconomical Aphorisms or Observations: and those not like Page 3links of the same chain, having a natural depen∣dance one upon another; but rather like Pearls upon the same string, which though they are all of them equally useful and precious in their several kinds, yet few of them have so necessary a conne∣ction with one another, but that we may take most of them asunder, and consider them apart by themselves, without any prejudice at all either to the Text or Context.
And thus we are now to consider the words I have read unto you, which are an Aphorism, or Observation partly Political, and partly Theologi∣cal; for as it observes many Princes in a Land to be a National Calamity, so it is Political; but as it observes, That Calamity to be a National Judge∣ment, or a Judgement of God upon the Land, for the sins of the people of that Land, so it is Theo∣logical.
Again, as it observes, That by a man of under∣standing and knowledge the state of a Land is prolon∣ged, so it is Political; but as by a man of under∣standing and knowledge, it means (as you shall see it does) a man that understands and knows what God would have him to do and does it, so it is The∣ological; and seems to be the Observation, not of Solomon the King, or of Solomon the Statesman one∣ly, but of Solomon the Divine, or of Solomon the Preacher also. And therefore as it deserves a much better Preacher then I am, to Discourse upon it: Page 4 so it may become the Greatest of Kings, and Wi∣sest of Statesmen to Hearken to it. Neither can there be a more Seasonable Occasion then this for the consideration of it: and therefore, if it have not somewhat more then ordinary influence upon our affections for the present, and upon our acti∣ons for the future, it must be, and I am afraid it will be my want of skill and ability, either to o∣pen it clearly, or to apply it pertinently, or to en∣force it powerfully; which I hope, notwithstand∣ing all my infirmities, God will give me grace to do in some measure. Howsoever being by command of my Superiours to speak before a great King at such a solemn time, and upon such an extraordinary occasi∣on as This, I would not presume to do it, but in the words of a King, and of such a King as was both the wisest of Kings, and the wisest of men, and that not of his own time onely, but of all that ever was before him, or ever shall be after him. And there∣fore as he was most fit to prescribe to Princes, how they are to govern, and to Subjects▪ how they are to obey; so was he most able to foresee and judge how and by what means a State and Kingdom might ei∣ther be ruin'd or preserv'd, and the date thereof ei∣ther shortned or prolonged. For as the body Natu∣ral, so the body Politick is either shorter or longer liv'd, according to the good or bad constitution of it, or according to the more or less skil or care of Him that governs it, or lastly, as there is more Page 5 or less of the fear of God in the Subjects of it. For though the constitution of a State be never so sound and healthful, and though He that sits at the Helm be never so skilful and careful, yet if the generality of the People be wicked and willful, God doth usually punish the madness and folly of such a People, with permitting them to be instruments of their own misery, by changing the best form of Go∣vernment under one lawful Hereditary Prince, into the worst kind of Tyranny, under many lawless V∣surpers and Oppressors. For it is for the transgression of a land, saith the Wiseman in my Text, that the Princes thereof are many: But by a man of understand∣ing and knowledge, shall the state thereof be prolonged. Where from the word [But] which stands in the middle of my Text, and divides the Latter Clause of it from the Former, we may collect that what follows this dividing Particle is to be understood in opposition to that which is before it.
And therefore by a man of understanding and know∣ledge, as there must needs be meant a single person in opposition unto many: so the single person, that is here meant, must needs be a Prince, because he is op∣pos'd not to many simply and indefinitely; but to many Princes: And then from this Aphorisme, thus understood, we may conclude;
1. That plurality of Princes, or the government of a Nation or Land by many Princes, is a National Judgement, or a Great judgement of God upon a Nation.
Page 62. That Monarchy, or the government of a peo∣ple by one Soveraign Prince onely, (especially if he be a Man of Understanding and knowledge,) is a great National blessing, or a great blessing of God upon a Nation.
And as we have found the one of these Conclusi∣ons to be true by our own woful experience already; so I hope we shall find the other of them to be as true, by our own joyful experience hereafter. And that this Nation of ours, which was so neer perish∣ing under the Conduct of many, shall by one man of understanding and knowledge not onely be recovered from its former distempers and dangers for the pre∣sent, (as thanks be to God for it, it is in a great measure) but setled and established, and the state thereof prolonged (if it be not our own fault) for the future.
But as the Passover, the greatest of the Jewish Fe∣stivals, was not to be celebrated without eating of soure herbs, to put them in mind of their former slavery, and thereby to make them the more thank∣fully sensible of their present liberty; so at this great Festival of ours, to make us relish the better our present Happiness, and to prepare us the better for our future Hopes, it will not be amiss to make a reflexion upon our past Sufferings, and the Causes of them, to the end that God being first justified in his late great judgements deservedly inflicted upon us, may afterwards be the more heartily magnified for Page 7 his present great mercies undeservedly vouchsafed unto us.
We shall begin therefore with the former of these conclusions, namely,
That plurality of Princes in a State is a great judge∣ment of God upon a Nation.
Which may be proved, first à priore, from the cause; and secondly, à posteriore, from the effects of it.
And first for the proof of it à priore, or from the cause, we need go no further then my Text, which makes good this Conclusion in all the parts of it.
For first, it proves it to be a judgement, because it is for transgression, or because transgression is the me∣ritorious Cause of it; from whence by the way we may observe likewise, That if plurality of Princes be for transgression, then if there had been no trans∣gression, there would not have been a government by plurality of Princes; and consequently, that such a government is originally neither from God, nor from Nature, nor from the Dictates of Right rea∣son, but from sin, which is alwayes the Meritorious, and sometimes the Efficient cause of it.
Secondly, it appears from the Text, that plura∣lity of Princes is not onely a judgement because it is for transgression, but a National judgement, because it is for the Transgression of a Land, that is, of a Nation, or the Inhabitants of a Land, or because Page 8national provocations are the Causes of it.
Thirdly, it may be proved from my Text like∣wise, that, as it is a national Judgement, so it is a great national judgement, or a great judgement of God upon a Nation, because it is not for any ordi∣nary or common national sin, but for the greatest pro∣vocation that a nation can be guilty of. For though 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the word in the Original which we translate transgression, do indeed signifie a transgression; be∣cause the greatest sin aswel as the least may be cal∣led a transgression; yet the transgression which is here meant is such a transgression as transgresseth or exceeds all other transgressions; for it is prevarication, which is the literal, proper and most emphatical significati∣on of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 And prevarication (as the Civi∣lians tell us) is a betraying of the cause and interest we would seem to maintain. As when Divines pre∣tending to guide men in the way that leadeth unto Heaven, do perswade them to do such things as will bring them unto Hell; or when Lawyers, whose office is to be guardians of liberty and property, do by false glosses upon the Law justifie or excuse those that invade, and oppress, and destroy both; or lastly, when any Man, Sect, or party of men, pretending to serve God, and the King, do indeed serve themselves and their own wicked designs a∣gainst God and the King. This is prevarication, and for such prevarication as this, doth God punish a Land (saith my Text) with many Princes; which Page 9 must therefore be one of the greatest National judge∣ments, because it is the punishment of one of the greatest National sins; for so is prevarication. And thus much briefly for the proof of my first Conclusi∣on à priore, or from its Cause.
I proceed to the proof of it à posteriore, or from its effects. For as great national sins are the cause, so great national miseries are the effects of many Princes; as will appear first from the consideration of Poli∣cracy, or of a government by plurality of Princes, in its own nature, or in the general: and, Secondly from the experience we our selves have had of it in our own Particular.
And first, it is true in it self and in the general, That where there are many Princes in a Land, there the People must needs be exposed to many and great miseries.
But then by Princes we are not to understand such Princes as the hundred twenty seven were, that were feasted by Ahashuerus, under whom they were the Governours of so many several Provinces, nor such Princes as are now in France, Poland, Naples and other Kingdomes, who are but Princes in name onely; and though some of them greater then o∣thers, yet all of them subject and subordinate to their own Soveraign princes. For of such princes there may and perhaps ought to be many, that is, more or fewer according to the Grandeur of the Mo∣narch they live under. And yet there may be too manyPage 10 even of this kind of princes also; as when the Sun of Soveraign Majesty, from whence they borrow and derive their light, is either Eclipsed by their Magni∣tude, (as it was in England in the time of the Ba∣rons wars) or clouded by their multitude; or when the Title and dignity it self is embased and propha∣ned by admitting too many, and too mean persons to be pertakers of it. But of this the Soveraign prince is the onely and best judge, neither are these the princes my Text speaks of.
For by many princes in my Text, are meant such as are, or take upon them to be Soveraigns in the same Land or State; and that not successively; for then, how could they be oppos'd to a single person, seeing in that sense they would all of them be but so many single persons succeeding one another? And be∣sides, I cannot see, why many princes in succession should be said to be a judgement or a punishment in∣flicted by God upon a nation for their sins; and therefore by many princes in my Text must needs be meant many pretending to soveraignty in the same countrey at the same time.
And this may be either when the Country is Can∣toned into many several Independent principalities, by setting up many petty Soveraignties instead of one, or when the Soveraign power over a whole Nation is shared and exercised by many; whether they be more, as in a Republick or Democracy; or fewer, as in a State or an Aristocracy.
Page 11And first for the former way of Polycracy, or having many Princes, by Cantoning the Countrey, and ma∣king several distinct bodies of the several members of the same body Politick, it is that which was attem∣pted by Korah, Dathan and Abiram, when they told Moses he took too much upon him, because he alone did govern in chief all the twelve Tribes of Israel. And you know what the issue of that attempt was, name∣ly, the sudden death of almost fifteen thousand men, besides the swallowing up quick of some, and the burning alive of others of the Conspirators, toge∣ther with their wives and children, and all that be∣longed unto them; as you may read in the fifteenth Chapter of the Book of Numbers. The same was af∣terwards attempted by Abner upon a pretence of zeal for his Masters House, but indeed by dividing Israel from Judah, to govern Israel himself; as he did du∣ring the War betwixt the house of David and the house of Saul, which was a long and a bloody one, saith the Text; as such wars use to be, when a whole Nation is engaged to fight against it self, and to cut one anothers throats to gratifie the malice or ambition of a few. But that which was but attem∣pted by Dathan and Abner, was shortly after effected by Jeroboam, who divided Israel from Judah, be∣ginning a War, which neither he nor his successors could ever see an end of; till Israel and Judah being weakned, and wasted, and consumed by one ano∣ther, became a prey to the Assyrian, who at length Page 12 swallowed them up both. And thus (to say nothing of other Nations, which of old and of late have been thus Cantoned) our own Country of England, of a Monarchy became an Heptarchy, by setting up of seven several Soveraignties in the time of the Sax∣ons, which never left encroaching and warring up∣on one another, till all of them were reduced again under one. By all which Instances it is evident enough, that there cannot be many Soveraign prin∣ces over several parts or provinces of the same coun∣trey, without much effusion of blood in the erect∣ing, and great oppression of the people for the maintaining of them. And consequently that the having of many Princes in this sense must needs be a great Judgement upon the people.
And yet secondly it is as bad or worse for the people; when the Soveraignty over the whole, which ought to be vested in one, is usurped and shared, and exercised by many; who, whether they be more, or fewer, do alwayes under a pretence of Law and Li∣berty assume unto themselves an Illegal, Arbitrary and tyrannical power, and that as really in a Se∣nate or Aristocracy; though not so grossly and visi∣bly, as in a popular State or a Democracy.
For even in a Senate, (where many govern in chief with equal Authority) supposing them (as we must needs suppose them to be) men subject to the same passions, appetites, and infirmities as all men are, there will alwayes be jealousies, envyings, and Page 13 emulations amongst them; and where there are jea∣lousies and emulations, and no superiour authority to check and over-rule them, there must needs be fa∣ctions and divisions also; and where there are facti∣ons and divisions among those that govern, there the government it self must needs be obnoxious to many dangers and difficulties, both in administration of Justice at home, and in defending themselves against enemies abroad; there being nothing more natural or more usual in such kind of States, then the sacri∣ficing of the publick Interest to private and particu∣lar concernments; whilst every man is apt to grati∣fie himself, and his own covetousness, ambition, or animosity, by becoming a pensioner to any other State that will give most for him; and to gratifie his own party at home, by thwarting and crossing and crying down whatsoever is said or done by the con∣trary faction, though the State it self be often en∣dangered, and sometimes ruin'd by it. As we see it hapned in the State of Carthage, where Hanno and the rest of his faction, to comply with their own en∣vie and Malice against Hannibal, they forced that great Captain to quit Italy, and the prosecution of his Victories for want of supplies, though by draw∣ing Hannibal out of Italy, they drew the Romanes into Africk, and saw Carthage and themselves made slaves to Rome, rather then they would endure Rome should be subdued by Hannibal. So powerful, and so mischievous are the passions of Covetousness, Am∣bition, Page 14 Envy, Malice, and Revenge, where there is no Authority to prevent or restrain the dangerous malignity, and effects of them, as there is not, where the Soveraignty is equally shared amongst many. And yet though they differ in all things els, they will al∣wayes agree in this, to enrich their own private fa∣milies as much as they can, by drawing, not as much as is needful, or can be spared, but as much as is to be had, or can be extorted from their poor Subjects. And yet such is the simplicity, and folly of some de∣luded people, that they could be content to beggar themselves and to become slaves indeed, to pur∣chase the empty name of a free State, or a free born People; as some of us would have done, and some of our neighbours have done, who are as arbitrari∣ly governed, and as heavily taxed, as the vassalls of the Grand Seignior himself: whereas if they were wise, they would consider, that supposing a Sove∣raign Prince were indeed a Tyrant, yet the Tyran∣ny of a State or Senate would be much more grie∣vous and insupportable then any one soveraign Prince can be; and that not onely because it is ea∣sier, and safer, and cheaper to satisfie the lust, the covetousness, the cruelty, or any other inordinate or immoderate passion of any one man, then of many▪ but likewise▪ because the Tyranny of one man is, as himself is, mutable and mortal; for a bad Prince may, and many times does mend; and whether he mend, or no, he must end, and a better Page 15 may succeed him; but the tyranny of a State is, as the State it self is, immutable and immortal. A ty∣rannical State being nothing else but a standing ty∣ranny, or a succession of several men in the same ty∣ranni•al form of government. Whereunto may be added, that a Soveraign Prince knowing himself, and none but himself lyable both to the blame and shame of whatsoever is amiss in matter of Govern∣ment, as having no partner or sharer in it, upon whom for excusing himself, he may transferr the blame of it, he will alwayes have the re∣straint of shame (if he have not the restraint of conscience) upon him; and consequently supposing he feared not God, nor what he could do unto him, yet he will care for men, and what they are likely to say of him. But where the Soveraignty is in ma∣ny, and all of them for all things they do equally accountable in the general, none of them thinks himself accountable either to God or man, for any thing in his own particular; and therefore cares not how the one is provoked, or the other injured, as long as he thinks it is the State, and not he, that is to answer for it. And States, being bodies with∣out souls, have neither Conscience to awe them, nor shame to restrain them from doing any thing. So that it seems to be a judgement of God upon a Na∣tion when it hath many Princes at once even in this sense. I mean when the Nobility or some of the better sort of the people do share betwixt them the Soveraignty over all the rest.
Page 16And yet this is the best kind of Polycracy, or the best kind of Government under more Princes then one. Because it is better to be subject to fewer then to more, and to some of the best and noblest, as it is in a Senate of Aristocracy, then to a multitude of the worst and basest of the people, as it is in a De∣mocracy, or that which is commonly called a Re∣publick, which notwithstanding all its vain pre∣tences to freedome, Equity and Equality, is abso∣lutely the worst of all kind of Government what∣soever.
1. Because it is most unnatural; for though it be monstrous enough for one body Politick to have more heads then one, yet it is much more monstrous and unnatural, when that which should be the body is the head, or when the body and the head are but one confus'd, undistinguish'd mass or lump; there being in a popular State no difference be∣twixt those that Govern, and those that are go∣verned, unless it be this, that those that seem to govern, are indeed subjects; and those that seem to be governed, are indeed Soveraigns, the Magi∣strates in a Common-wealth being servants and vassals unto the people, as being created by them, and accomptable to them, and consequently al∣wayes in danger and fear of them.
2. As this kind of Government is most unna∣tural, so it is most unreasonable; for what can be more unreasonable then that the wisest, the justest, Page 17 the most valiant and most virtuous persons (which are alwayes the fewest) should be governed by such as are fools, or knaves, or cowards, or vitious and vile persons? which are alwayes the major part, and consequently must needs domineere and give Law to all the rest, where all things are carryed by plurality of voyces, as they are, where the so∣veraign authority resides in the body of the People; which are most of them such, as were intended by God and nature (saith Aristotle) to be servants, as being of low and servile dispositions, and such as have not wit enough to govern themselves, and much less to govern others.
As this kind of Government is most unnatural and unreasonable in its frame and constitution, so it is most insolent, injurious and tyrannical in its mana∣gery and administration. And that first in regard of the peoples folly and credulity, which makes them apt to be abused and deceived by false infor∣mations and misrepresentations of Things and Per∣sons; and apt to be perswaded by those that flat∣ter them most, against those that counsel them best, mistaking their friends for their enemies, and ene∣mies for their friends; and from thence apt to ma∣gnifie and exalt the one, and to disgrace and un∣do the other. Secondly, in regard of their levity and inconstancy, which makes them rash and in∣considerate in their deliberations, sudden and pre∣cipitate in their Resolutions, and consequently Irre∣solute Page 18 and variable in their affections, and in their actions, crying up that to day, which they will cry down to morrow, and oftentimes condemning and executing as Traitors and Malefactors those whom they had a little before applauded and ado∣red as their Tutelary gods and saviours. Thirdly, in regard of their Fears and jealousies, which as weak men, so weak States are alwayes most subject unto. And these fears and jealousies make them suspect whatsoever is above their capacities for plots and conspiracies; and make them look jealously upon men that are eminent, as if because they may do harm, they cannot be innocent, so that the more wise, or virtuous, or valiant any man is in a popular State, or the more he hath deserved of his Countrey by no∣ble and Heroical actions, the less safe he is, because when any man seems to excel and out-grow others, he presently becomes the fear and envie of all. And then whatsoever any of his enemies, or any mean or base companion will accuse him of, is greedily heard, and easily believed; and whatsoever can be said for him by himself or by his friends, doth but hasten his condemnation; because it is his merit that is his crime, and that which ought to make him be∣loved and honoured, is that which makes him to be feared and hated. Thus were Themistocles, Aristi∣des and Alcibiades rewarded by the people of A∣thens; thus were Corialanus, Camillus and Scipio the African rewarded by the People of Rome after all Page 19 their meritorious services. And thus should Julius Caesar (after he had added Gaul, Germany and Britta∣ny to the Romane Empire) have been rewarded by the same People of Rome, if he had not prevented it, by taking that power, they would have used a∣gainst him, away from them. And now consider I beseech you, whether there can be a worse form of Government, then where either the State it self, or the worthiest and best deserving men in a State must needs be ruin'd; and where the State hath no other way, but by ingratitude and cruelty, to secure it self against the best of its own subjects; and when the best subjects, after they have done the best ser∣vice, have no way, but by Rebellion and Parricide, to secure themselves, against their own Country. Whereunto may be added in the last place the apt∣ness of the Common People in any State, and much more in a Popular State, where they are under no restraint, to be suddenly incensed and transported by the violence of their own Passions beyond all rules and bounds of Religion, of Reason, of Mo∣desty, of common Honesty, nay of Humanity it self, to do the most absurd, extravagant and outrage∣ous actions, without considering, or careing, or fearing what may be the issue of them. Espe•ially when those that are so apt to kindle of themselves, are set on fire and inflamed by their seditious Dema∣gogues, I mean their Orators and Preachers, who be∣ing men of turbulent and unquiet spirits, are never Page 20 pleased themselves, nor will ever suffer the people to be content with their present condition, but are alwayes either secretly whispering false fears and dangers into their heads, or openly complaining and inveighing against things and persons, as prejudiciall to the publick good, till at length they so poyson, and enrage their foolish Auditors, that there is no∣thing so difficult or dangerous, but they will attempt it, nor nothing so injurious or impious, that they will stick at it; neither is there any remedy for their Rage, or cure for their madness, till these Fiends that possess'd them, are cast out of them; which I am afraid will hardly be done by fasting and prayer onely. Such were Corath, Dathan, and Abiram, who stirred up the people against Moses and Aaron; such was Sheba the son of Bichri, who blew a Trum∣pet and said, VVe have no part in David, neither have we any portion in the son of Jesse, Every man to his Tents O Israel: such were the Scribes and Phari∣sees, who made the people cry out, Crucifie him, Crucifie him, meaning their King, and their Saviour, and to chuse Barabbas rather then Jesus. Such was Demetrius the Silver-smith, who with one Sediti∣ous Oration filled with uproar the whole City of Ephe∣sus. To conclude, such were Cleon the Tanner of A∣thens, the Gracchi at Rome, and many other seditious Orators in both those Common-wealths; And such are now adayes many of the Preachers amongst Christians: who are by so much the more wicked, Page 21 and execrable in themselves, and dangerously per∣nicious to a State, then any of those Heathen Ora∣tors were, by how much more damnable a sin it is to make use of Scripture then of Sophistry to wicked and ungodly ends, and by how much more dange∣rous it is, for men to be misguided by their consci∣ences, then by their passions, the one being but a fit of frenzie, which will soon over, and the other being a settled and a sober madness which is hardly cured. And in this respect a popular State is much worse amongst Christians then ever it was or could be among Heathens. And yet even amongst Heathens, it was by the wisest of them accounted the worst of all Goverments, as Thucydides and Aristotle confess, though both of them were born and bred in a popu∣lar State, and were as able as any to judge of it.
And yet the Evils I have hitherto spoken of, are but such as every popular State is subject unto, even when it is orderly and regular (I mean as orderly and regular as a Popular State can be) and that is when the body of the People governs it self by Lawes, and Civil Magistrates of its own making; but there is a kind of popular Government, when a part of the people being got into Arms, Governs by the sword and military Officers of their own choosing, and this is a Stratocracy, or military kind of Democracy; which must needs be a much more ter∣rible and insupportable yoak then the former; be∣cause besides its being subject to all the evils and Page 22 inconveniences before spoken of, it is alwayes able to do all the mischiefs it hath a mind to do, with∣out opposition in the doing of it, and without fear of being punished for it. And this is indeed to rule with a rod of iron, and break the people in pieces like a Potters vessel.
And now there is but one way more of having many Princes, or more Soveraigns then one in the same kingdome, and that is as dangerous and as inconsi∣stent with the Publick peace, as any of the former: namely, the setting up of two Scepters, two Lavv-givers, or tvvo Supream Judicatories, the one Civil, and the other Ecclesiastical in one and the same State; vvhich two Supream Judicatories must needs have two Supream Judges vvithout subordination of the one to the other, and vvithout Appeal unto the one from the other; And consequently when they differ (as they must needs do often) about the rights and extent of their several Jurisdictions, the People will not know which of them to obey, being threatned by the material sword, if they o∣bey the one, and with the spiritual sword, if they o∣bey the other; so that such a State must needs be divided within and against it self; and then Christ himself will tell you it cannot stand.
So that it must needs be ill for the people in what sense soever they have many Princes; whether it be by Cantoning the Countrey into parts, or by sharing the Soveraignty of the whole, either a∣mongst Page 23many, as in Aristocracy, or amongst all, as in a Democracy, or amongst the Sword-men onely, as in a Stratocracy; or lastly by dividing the soul of the State from the Body, the Church from the Common∣wealth, and by making two Soveraigns, one in cau∣ses Civil, and the other in causes Ecclesiastical over the same subjects, whether the Conclave, or the Consistory be the Cause of it. In all which cases I say it is a Judgement of God upon a Nation to have more Princes then one, as I hope I have made it ap∣pear both from the causes and effects of it.
But notwithstanding all the Evidence can be gi∣ven of this truth, either from Scripture or Reason, from the Cause, or the Effects of it, we would not believe it till we felt it. And therefore in the third place it hath pleased God, because we vvere like beasts without understanding, to teach us, as he doth Beasts, by our senses, and to visit us of late, as much or perhaps more then ever he did any nation vvith this very Judgement, I mean plurality of Princes in all its kinds and degrees, and vvith almost all the effects of it.
For after vve had said in our hearts Nolumus hunc regnare super nos; I mean, assoon as vve had rejected that EXCELLENT PRINCE, who onely had right by all Lavves Humane and Divine to reign over us, presently many of our fellovv subjects took upon them to be our Princes, and to govern us arbitrarily at their ovvn pleasure, in order to their own avariti∣ous Page 24 and ambitious ends. And that first in an Aristo∣cratical way, as a Senate or Council of State, where∣in nothing could be done without consent of some of the Nobility and Gentry. But it was not long (af∣ter Royalty was gone,) but Nobility followed, and was excluded also. And then came in Democracy or the Government of the Common People by their own Representatives onely; which encreased the number of our Princes, and the vileness of our slave∣ry by the meanness of our Masters. But these their own Mercenaries did quickly deprive of the power they had Usurped and Abused; And then came in Stratocracy or the Government by the Sword, and thereby we had as many Princes as there were Ba∣shaws or Major Generals, who perhaps, if they had out-liv'd their great Sultan, they would have Can∣ton'd the Kingdome, and erected their several Pro∣vinces into so many several Principalities. But by this means the very name of Liberty and property, which were before pretended, were quite taken a∣way. Onely there was liberty enough and too much, indeed a Lawless, boundless licence in matter of Religion; all wayes of worshipping God being allowed, but the true one; and all admitted to the Sacred Function, but such as were lawfully cal∣led unto it; In the mean time every Sect, had its head, and every one that was head of a Sect was Prince of a Party; so that we have seen what it is to have many Princes, nay we have felt it to be a Page 25 sore Judgement by the terrible effects of it; which did spread themselves over the face, and through the Veins, and into the Bowels of the three King∣domes; at once embracing, involving, and con∣founding all places, all persons, and all conditi∣ons, publick and private, high and low, sacred and prophane; For from the King in his Throne, to the Beggar in the dust, no thing, place, or per∣son almost hath been without feeling some or other the terrible effects of this Judgement. How many have lost their Limbs, their Liberty, their Coun∣try, their estates, their friends, and have been re∣duced to extream poverty, both at home and a∣broad? How many noble and Ancient Families have been ruin'd? How many goodly buildings and Churches (the glorious evidences and Monu∣ments of our Ancestors Piety and charity) have been prophaned and defaced? How many poor innocent persons of both sexes, all ages, and all conditions, have been either murther'd or banish'd, or, imprison'd or oppress'd with extortion of all kinds, and of all Degrees without possibility of help, or hope of remedy? Lastly, how many poor souls, for which Christ dyed, have been be∣trayed into Rebellion and Sacriledge, Schism and Heresie, Uncharitableness and Cruelty, by the horrible abuse of Preaching, Praying, Fasting, Vow∣ing, and all other the sacred ordinances of God?
Page 26And now if our poor Country, (when she felt these painfull strugglings and Convulsions within her bowels) should have ask'd, as Rebecca did (when she felt Esau and Jacob striving within her womb) If it be so, why am I thus? There could no other reason be given her for it, but this in my Text, It was for her Transgression, it was for the Transgression of the Land, it was for our National sins of Atheism, of Profaneness, of Sa∣criledge, of Hypocrisie, of Idleness, of Glutto∣ny, or Drunkenness, of uncleanness, of Pride, of Heresie, together with our prevarication against God, or▪ our treacherous dealing with God, in pretending to serve him best, when we disho∣nour'd him most; nay in pretending to serve him, when we intended to serve our selves of him, by making use of his Name, his Word, and his Or∣dinances, in order to the pal•iating, promoting, and effecting our own ungodly and unrighteous designs. These I say were our National sins, and by these or some of these we have all of us con∣tributed to the provocation of this Judgement. So that they were not the sins of the Court one∣ly, nor of the City onely, nor of the Countrey one∣ly, nor of any one particular order of men (whe∣ther Clergy or Laity) and much less of any one particular man or party of men, that we can say were singly and abstractedly the cause of our Ca∣lamities; no it was too great, too universal, to be Page 27 the effect of little or few Provocations; they were therefore the sins of the whole Nation, the sins of All and every One of us, which rising up as a Cloud from us, fell down again in a showre of Judgements upon us; so that there is not one of us, to whom it may not truly be said, Perditio tua ex te, Thou hast deserved whatsoever thou hast suffer'd: For if the best of us had been as good as we might, and ought to have been, it would not have been in the power of the worst of us, to have made us so miserable as we were. Indeed if all of us had not rebelled against God, none of us would have Rebelled against the King; at least their Rebellion would not have prospered as it did; and consequently the Soveraignty would never have been shared amongst so many, as it was. Which as at first it was the effect of our sins, so it hath been ever since the cause of our Miseries. And as the Consideration of the for∣mer, namely, that our having of many Princes was an effect of the sins of us all, or of our Na∣tional sins, will make us instead of judging, con∣demning, upbraiding, and hating one another, to judge, condemn and abhorre our selves, and con∣sequently to justifie God in his Judgements upon us all; so the consideration of the later, namely, that the having of many Princes hath been the cause of all our late many and great miseries, will First Convince us of our former folly, in believing, so ea∣silyPage 28 as we did, those, that upon false pretences of bettering our condition by a change, did perswade us (as the Serpent did Eve) out of the Paradise we were in, because something or other, which perhaps we had a mind to, was wanting to us. Se∣condl•, it will arm us against the like Temptation for the future with a resolution never to meddle any more with those that are given to change. And Lastly, it will make us the more thankfully sensi∣ble of Gods infinite goodness and mercy, in De∣livering us from the slavery we were in under the Tyranny of many (which is, as we have found it to be, the greatest of National Judgements,) and Restoring us again to our former freedome and happiness under one Lawful Hereditary Soveraign Prince, which is (and I hope we shall find to be so) the greatest of National blessings.
ANd this was my second Conclusion, dedu∣ced from these words in my Text. But by a man of understanding and knowledge the State thereof shall be prolonged: where (as I told you be∣fore) by a man of understanding and knowledge as there must needs be meant one single Person in oppo∣sition to those Many which the former Clause of My Text speaks of; so by That one single Person must needs be meant such an one as is a Prince, a So∣veraign Prince, because the man here spoken of is Page 29 opposed not to many simply and indefinitely, but to many Princes.
And indeed no private person, though a man of never so much understanding, and knowledge is able to prolong a State, because that is a work which requires not onely Wisdome and Prudence to conduct it, but Soveraign Power and authority to Perform it.
And yet I will not deny, but that it may be sometimes in the power even of a private man to do much towards the recovery, and preservation, and consequently the prolonging of a State; as we read Epaminondas the Thebane did, when being but a Private man, he rescued his Country from the bondage of the Lacedemonians: The like did Thrasibulus a private man also, when he delive∣red his Country of Athens from the Thirty Ty∣rants: And so did Camillus, who was not one∣ly a Private but a Banished man, when he recovered Rome from the Gauls.
But what need we Instances out of Foreign An∣tiquity? when we have a Modern example of our own (to the honour of our Nation be it spo∣ken) which equals, and exceeds all I have named, or can name, in deserving from his Prince and from his Country, by his Courage in attempting, his Pru∣dence in conducting, and his Felicity in effecting, that generous, glorious and Heroicall design, where∣by he hath at once redeemed his Country both from Page 30 slavery and infamy, by restoring the King to His People, and the People to their King; and withall, hath purchased unto himself Honour without En∣vie, Greatness with Safety, and (which is the best reward of virtue in this world) a perpetual satisfacti∣on and complacency in himself, for having so nobly performed his duty. And this was indeed to be a man of understanding: Whereas others, who being private men, would needs be Princes, though they thought themselves men of understand∣ing, have proved themselves fools; their heads being lifted up indeed, but so as they little thought they would be, and themselves, after they had blazed and blustered for a while, going out like a snuff, and have left nothing but a stink behinde them.
But to return to what we have in hand; though it be true (as I have said before) that any private man may do something (at least by his prayers) and some private men may do much towards the pre∣serving and prolonging of a State, if they be men of understanding and knowledge, that is, if they understand and know how to serve their Countrey, by serving of their Prince, either in Peace by their Counsels, or in War by their Courages; yet it is the Prince himself, who understanding and knowing how to serve himself of several mens abi∣lities in their several professions, doth indeed pre∣serve and prolong the State of his Countrey. And Page 31such a Prince, say I, is the greatest blessing of God upon a Nation: because the state or flourishing con∣dition of a Nation, saith Solomon, is preserved and prolonged by Him.
So that according to the judgement of Solomon, (that is) according to the judgement of the wisest Statesman that ever was, or will be in the world. In order to the prolonging of a State, there must,
1. Be one Soveraign Prince.
2. That Soveraign Prince must be a man of under∣standing and knowledge.
And then 3ly He must so make use of that under∣standing and knowledge, as that his own and his peoples happiness may be procured, and preserved, and prolonged by him.
And first, in order to the procuring and prolonging the happiness of a Nation, it must have one Sove∣raign Prince (that is) the Government of it must be Monarchical: And of this there needs little more to be said for the proof of it, then what hath been said already for proof of my former conclusion, and what we our selves have felt already by the late tryal we have made of all other formes of Go∣vernment; together with the uneasiness we found under them, and the miseries we have drawn upon our selves by them; from whence we may un∣doubtingly conclude, that at least, for us of this Nati∣on, there is no other form of Government but Monarchy, under which we ever were, or ever can be happy.
Page 32Whether all other forms of Government be Always, and Absolutely Unlawful, I will not take upon me to determine; Stent aut cadant Domino suo, Let them stand or fall to their own master: But as Christ (when he was ask'd, whether it were lawful for a man to put away his wife) answer'd, A principio non fuit sic; so may I say of all other forms of Government except Monarchy, A Principio non fuit sic, from the beginning there was no such Go∣vernment: For as God made man upright at first, because he made him after his own Image; so he made the Government of mankind upright at first also, because he made it after the Image of his own Government; which surely is Monarchical. And no doubt it was Gods intention, it should always con∣tinue to be so; because, as we find no example of any other Government of his approving, so we finde no rule of direction for any other Government; nor no precept of subjection to any other Government, of his prescribing: Those we are commanded to sub∣mit to by Gods word, being either, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Kings as Supream; or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, such as are sent and set over us by Kings, as is e∣vident from the whole Book of God in general, and from 1 Pet. 2. v. 13, 14. in particular.
And indeed till the world was above 3000. years old, there was no other Government in it but Mo∣narchy only. For in Homers time all Greece had Kings, and they were the Graecians from whom the Page 33〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Aristocracy and Demo∣cracy had their beginning. For the Greeks being men of subtle wits and unquiet spirits, finding Mo∣narchy to be a curb to their Ambition, they devised such forms of Government, wherein the Soveraign∣ty being not Confin'd unto one, but Shar'd amongst many, Every man might hope to have his turn and his part in it: From the Grecians by their Colo∣nies were these Heresies and Innovations in Govern∣ment derived to some few other Nations; but as they spread not farr, so they continued not long; for at the coming of Christ there was nothing but Monarchy in the World; so that Monarchy as it was Instituted by God at the Creation, so it seems to be re∣stored by Christ at the Redemption of Mankind, and to be recommended both by the Father and the Son as the best and onely form of Government for all Na∣tions. And indeed nature it self doth seem to re∣commend it, and that not onely because every Spe∣cies of all Creatures whatsoever seems to have a sub∣ordination to some one of the same kind; but likewise because amongst men also, those that have no other Rule but the light of nature to live by, I mean, those of America, and other lately discovered Nations, as there be none of them without some Government, so none of them have any other form of Government, but Monarchy.
Now as Monarchy is more natural and more accor∣ding to Divine Institution, and consequently a betterPage 34 form of government then any other; so of Monarchies, that which is by Succession is much more natural and much more according to Divine Institution, then any other kind of Monarchy. I mean, then that which ei∣ther is by Vsurpation, or by Election.
And first it is better then Monarchy by Vsurpation; for as no man can take to himself the honour or office of a Priest; so much less can any man take to himself the honour or office of a King; but he must have it from God himself, either by Gods own Immediate designation, as Moses and the Judges had (for the Judges were Kings) and as Saul and David had; or by Gods Ordinary way of Dispensation, which was by succession of Children unto their Fathers: Ac∣cording unto which Method, as Families grew into Nations, so Paternal government grew into Regal, and consequently an Vsurper, as he hath no claim to Divine Institution, so he hath no title to Divine be∣nediction or protection. And besides, because what is Gotten by the sword, must be Maintained by the sword, an Vsurper must be a Tyrant, whether he will, or no. Lastly, a Monarchy by Vsurpation is Res sine titulo, a Possession without a Title; which seldome lasts Long, or ends Well, for he that takes the sword shall perish by the sword, saith our Saviour. Mat. 26.52.
Again, as Monarchy by Vsurpation is Res sine ti∣tulo, so Monarchy by Election is titulus sine re, a Ti∣tle without the Thing; for Elective Kings are but Conditional Kings; and Conditional Kings are noPage 35 Kings. Besides, a King is to have the Power of Life and Death, which none, that have it not themselves, can give unto Him; And therefore, how He that is Elected by those that have not the power of Life and Death, comes to have the power of life and death, and consequently how he comes to be a King, is, as I conceive, not easie to imagine. But supposing an Elective King, to be indeed a King; yet considering first, the Dangers and Inconveniences of Inter-reg∣num's or Cessations of Government betwixt the Death of one King and the Election of another; Se∣condly, the Factiousness and partiality of the Ele∣ctors, together with the envie and emulation of the Competitors; Thirdly, the necessity of Him that is cho∣sen, to gratifie those that Chose him, with the pre∣judice of those that were against him; And lastly, considering that every Elective King hath a Parti∣cular Interest of his own; divided from that of the Publick, and consequently, that it is more then pro∣bable, that he will have more respect to the interest of his Family, wherein he is to be Succeeded by his Children, then to that of the Kingdome, wherein he may be Succeeded by a Stranger; Considering all these things, I say, we may well conclude, that as Monarchy is the best form of Government, so successive, hereditary Monarchy is the best form of Monarchy; be∣cause where there is an undoubted right, there is no Need of Tyranny to support it, as there is in an Vsurpation; and because, where the Princes and the Page 36 Publick Interest is the same (as it is in Hereditary Monarchy) there is no need of Defrauding the one, to Provide for the other, as there is in Elective King∣domes.
But yet even of Hereditary Monarchies one may be more desirable then another, as a Political ra∣ther then a Despotical; for a Despotical Monarch governs his Subjects as a Master doth his Servants, arbitrarily according to his own will and pleasure, whether it be Right or Wrong; But a Political Monarch governs his Subjects as a Father doth his Children, by Equal and Just Lawes, made with their own consent to them, The former is the Go∣vernment of the Turk and Muscovite; the later is, or ought to be the Government of all Christian Kings; I am sure it is of Ours; and therefore such a kind of Monarchy as Ours, is not onely the most just and reasonable, but the most plausi∣ble and popular Government of all others. Especi∣ally, if the Supream Governour be so Qualifi∣ed, as he ought to be, and that is (saith So∣lomon) if he be a man of understanding and know∣ledge.
And first, he would have him to be a Man; for Woe unto thee, O Land, (saith the same Wiseman) when thy King is a child, Ecclesiastes 10.16. But blessed art thou, O Land, (saith he in the very next words) when thy King is the son of Nobles; so that it seems Solomon would have his Prince, neither to Page 37 be a Child, nor an Vpstart, or a Man meanely born; not a Child; because even then his Autho∣rity, though it may be Abused, is to be Obeyed; not an Vpstart or a man of mean birth, because such a One being to govern better men then himself, he thinks there is no way to •revent their Contempt of him, but by making himself by his Cruelty to be feared by them; And hence it is that Asperius nihil est humili cùm surgit in altum, Mean persons, when they are mightily Exalted, become Cruel and Insolent, and Imperious in their Own Defence; whereas Those▪ that are born great, need not ven∣ture the being hated, for fear of not being Reve∣renc'd by their Subjects, who have alwayes an in∣bred reverence to the Royal Blood and Family (if they be not Debauch'd from it); even whilst the Prince is but a Child; And much more if he be a Man, and a Man before he is a King; A man at his full Growth of Mind as well as of Body, and of Body as well as of Mind; even just such an one, as we may imagine Adam to have been, when he was newly made Monarch of the VVorld; But till a King be a Man, we know not what kind of Man he will be, either for his Person or for his Parts; whereas when we see him a Man, and such a Man as we would wish to be our King, though he had not been born to be so, we are very unworthy of him, if we be not very Thankful to God for him. We know, that the Comeliness and Gracefulness Page 38 of a private mans person, and much more of a Princes, doth exceedingly either excuse the defects, or set off the excellency of his parts, and wonderfully indears him. And whatsoever he does or says un∣to his people; for, Gratior est pulchro veniens de cor∣pore virtus; the same things said or done by a comely or uncomely, by a graceful or ungraceful person, have very different operations and effects in the minds of men. Philip de Comines tells us, that our Edward the fourth (who, as he saith, was the goodliest Gentleman that ever he saw) got twice possession of London and the Crown, by the fa∣vour of the people, whom the beauty and excellen∣lency of his shape had gain'd unto him: So that it is a great felicity in a Soveraign Prince, when it can∣not be said of him, as it was of Galba, Galbae ingeni∣um malê habitat; but rather, that he hath formam Principe dignam, a shape worthy of a Prince; such an one as Saul had, then whom, (saith the Text) there was not a goodlier person among all the children of Isra∣el; as well for the symmetry of his Limbs, as the tall∣ness of his Stature; or such an one as Absalom was, in whom (besides his goodly Head of Hair) from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head (saith the Text) there was no blemish: And no doubt it was by this silent Rhetorick (I mean, the comeliness and grace∣fulness of his person) as well as by his courteous and fair language, that he stole away the hearts of the people, which though it ill became a Subject,Page 39 yet nothing can more become a Soveraign Prince, then to have it in his power to Captivate by his Looks and by his Words the hearts of his People at his pleasure, without being at any Charge at all for it.
But if besides Comeliness and Gracefulness of shape; Courtesie, and Affability of Speech and behaviour, together with Gravity, and yet Se∣renity, and Benigness of Aspect, there be a Vigo∣rous Manliness in his Mind, and a promise of Long Life in the Healthfulness of his Constitution, I know not what is to be wished for more, but that he may have Mentem sanam in corpore sano, that the Beauty of his Mind may be answerable to the beau∣ty of his Body; as it will be, if he be a man of under∣standing and knowledge, or such an one, as understands and knows how to make Himself and his People happy.
And First, he must be a man of Vnderstanding, and then of Knowledge: because, if a man have not some Measure of Vnderstanding, he is not ca∣pable of Knowledge; as we see Natural fools and Madmen are not. Again, though a man have un∣derstanding to such a Degree, as to make him Ca∣pable of the Knowledge of many things that are well worth the Knowing, yet if he have not judge∣ment and discretion to make use of that Knowledge, or if that Knowledge make him never a whit the wiser, it were as good for Himself, and the World Page 40 too, that he knew nothing: For, though a man have Read never so many Books, and Seen never so many Countries, and Search'd never so many Languages, and Gone through never so many Arts and Sciences; yet if he be not naturally a man of judgement and understanding, he may be a Fool for all this; nay he may be a much more in∣curable Fool, then he would be otherwise; be∣cause his knowing so much makes him think him∣self wise, when indeed he is not: and this is such a Fool, as Solomon saith, Though you bray him in a Morter, yet will not his foolishness depart from him; Prov. 27.22. which makes good our English Pro∣verb, that the greatest Clerks, are not alwayes the wi∣sest men; or as it is more sharply express'd in the Scotch Dialect, an ounce of Mother wit is worth a pound of Clergy.
Again, because there may be a bad as well as a good use made of a mans natural understanding and of his knowledge too; therefore if a man have not such an understanding, as to make a right use of his wit and of his knowledge, in or∣der to his Own, and the Publick good, it were better for such a man and the world too, that he had no understanding nor knowledge at all; for these are the men, whose understanding and know∣ledge the Devil makes use of, as he doth of his own Serpentine subtilty for the disturbing, di∣stracting, and confounding of States and King∣domes. Page 41 But the understanding my Text speaks of, preserves and prolongs States and Kingdomes. And therefore by a man of understanding in my Text, is meant one that may be truly so called; not in a Natural sense onely, but in a Moral and The∣ological sense also; One that hath good Morals, as well as good Intellectuals; one that is not Bias∣sed by his own passions, nor swayed by the flatte∣ry of others; one that can, and doth conform his will and affections unto his reason, and his reason it self to Gods will revealed in his word; as know∣ing, his own reason may deceive him, but Gods word rightly understood (which is Gods Reason) cannot.
To conclude, by a man of understanding in my Text, is meant one that hath an understanding heart, as well as an understanding head, Vir cordatus, as the old Latines called a wise man. And indeed generally through the whole Scripture, wisdome is ascribed to the heart, or seated in the heart; thereby implying, that True wisdome consisteth ra∣ther in practice then speculation, and in doing our Duty, rather then in knowing of it; so that a man may be a very wise man in the sense of the world (as all crafty men are) though never so false and wicked, and a very fool in the sense of the Scri∣pture, which calls every good man a wiseman, and every wicked man a fool, according to that of DA∣VID, The fool hath said in his heart there is no God,Page 42 Psalm 14. and according to that of Job, To fear the Lord, That is wisdome, and to depart from Evil That is understanding. Job 28.28. And thats in∣deed the understanding a Soveraign Prince ought to have in order to the making himself and his people happy; but not exclusively to a good natu∣ral understanding, for he must have that too; Because otherwise, He that is to see with other mens Eyes, and to hear with other mens Ears, and to execute his Commands by other mens hands (as Princes do,) may easily, and will frequent∣ly be impos'd upon, unless he be able to Discern clearly, and to Judge rightly of Men, as well as Things, and of their Moralls, as well as their Intellectuals: for an understanding Prince will take heed how he trusts or employes a vitious or an im∣pious pe•son in any Charge of importance; be∣cause where he sees neither Piety nor Honesty, he can never be secure of such a mans fidelity any lon∣ger, then such a mans own interest and the Princes is the same.
Besides, a Prince that hath not a sound and so∣lid Judgement of his own, though he have never so wise a Counsel, yet he can never be sure that he is well advised by them. Because the wisest and best men are but men, that is, such as may have an Eye to themselves, and their own particular inte∣rest, more then to the Publick: but the Kings, and the Publick interest being alwayes the same, Page 43 if he be a man of understanding, he will easily dis∣cern, whether the Counsel, that is given him, be in order to the Publick interest, or no; and ac∣cordingly, either admit it, or reject it. And therefore the Question,
Besides, I cannot see how a Prince can be said to be a man of understanding, if he do not masterPage 44 his passions by his reason, and if he do so he must needs be vertuous in Deed, and not in Appea∣rance onely; Neither do I see, how a Prince, especially a Christian Prince, that believes there is a Providence here, and a Judgement hereafter, can be a man of understanding, if he do not seek the Protection, and assistance of the One, and Endea∣vour to Secure himself from the danger of the Other; and if he do so, he must of necessity be Religi∣ous in Deed, and not (as Machiavel would have him) onely seem to be so.
But it is Solomons, not Machiavel's PRINCE we speak of; and therefore he must be a man of understanding, not in Machiavels sense (which is to be a man of Falshood and Dissimulation) but in Solomon's sense, which is to be a man of Virtue and Religion. And then He will be wise for the Present, and wise for the Future, wise for Himself, and wise for his People also.
Especially if he be a man not of understanding only, but of knowledge also; And indeed if he be a man of Understanding, he will be a man of Knowledge; for he will Understand that his Understanding it self must be perfected by Knowledge. For though the Understanding be Naturally, Morally, and Religi∣ously never so well disposed; yet seeing of it self it is but a meer Capacity, it can inform the Soul of no more, then what it self is inform'd of by the senses, Page 45 because Nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuit in sensu; this kind of knowledge is neither Innate, nor infus'd, but acquir'd: so that as a man must have a good understanding to make him capable of knowledge, and to enable him to make a good use of that know∣ledge; so he must have knowledge likewise, to fur∣nish, improve and perfect his understanding. And therefore a SOVERAIGNE PRINCE, especially a great Monarch, who hath many millions of bodies and souls too, under his conduct; as he ought to have a clear, a sound, a solid and a capacious under∣standing; so ought that capacity to be filled, and beautified and adorned with the best, the choicest, the most necessary and most excellent notions, maxims and habits, that humane nature is capable of, or moral industry can attain unto. For, seeing no humane capacity is comprehensive enough to ex∣cell in all things; therefore the most Excellent P•rsons will apply themselves to the knowledge of the most excellent things, that is, such as best become them, and such as most concern them. I remember I have read that Philip of Macedon finding his Son Alexander playing skilfully upon the Lute, Art thou not asham'd my Son (said he) to be so skilful a Musician? There∣by implying, that to lose their precious time in learning little and low arts doth not become Prin∣ces.
The truth is, that all knowledge worthy of a Prince is reducible to these two heads, the Art and Page 46 Science of governing himself, and the Art and Sci∣ence of Governing his people.
In order to the governing of himself, he is to consider himself either as he is a man, and as he stands in relation to God only; or as he is a Prince, and stands in relation to God and men also.
In the First of these considerations, he is to de∣vest himself of all his Majesty, and to look upon himself as made of the same Clay, and of the same brittle Constitution that other men are; that he came into the world as other men did, and must go out of the world as other men do; for though Princes are called GODS, yet they shall dye like men, saith one that was a Prince himself, Psal. 82.7. and though they be accomptable to no Tribunal here, yet they are to be Judged hereafter, and Judged by One, who is no respecter of persons, and from whom no secrets can be hid. And for this reason a Prince is to consider how careful he is to be of Governing him∣self, not according to that Licence, which his Ex∣emption from the penalty of humane Laws may prompt him to, but according to that stricktness which the severity of the Divine justice doth re∣quire of him,
Page 47And therefore the best way for a Soveraigne Prince, who is not subject to the Judgement of Men, to secure himself from the Judgement of God, is to Judge himself, and to exercise his Kingly authority, First within and upon himself.
First, by curbing, Restraining, and Regulating the inordinateness and immoderateness of his own passions.
Secondly, by keeping a strict Guard and Watch over his own Senses, that his Eyes may not look after Vanity, nor his Ears hearken unto Flat∣tery.
And Thirdly, by carefully fortifying himself a∣gainst all Temptations; especially such, as are most agreeable unto him, and therefore most likely to Prevail with him. Alwayes remembring, that Fortior est qui se, quam qui fortissima vincit Maenia, that Conquest is the glory of Princes, and that no Conquest is so glorious as that over a mans own Self;
But this Consideration is Common to Princes with other men;
And therefore, Secondly, he is to consider him∣self as he is a Prince, and as he stands in relati∣on to his People and to God too; I mean, as he is Gods Representative unto the People, and to Go∣vern the People in Gods stead. Now as in the for∣mer Consideration he could not be too humble, so Page 48 in this Consideration, he cannot be too Ma∣jesticall, nor too careful of keeping up the Dignity of his Quality, nor in exacting that Reverence which is due to Gods Vicegerent from the Greatest as well as from the meanest of his Subjects; For tan∣ti eris aliis, quanti tibi fueris, is a Truth, which all men in authority, especially Soveraign Princes, ought to consider, and to behave themselves accor∣dingly; doing nothing unworthy of their Great∣ness, or that may lessen them in the Eyes of their People. For there be many things that are not onely excusable, but commendable in private men that are not so in Princes. And even of things that are lawfull in themselves, all are not expedi∣ent for all persons of all Conditions. And here the Rule is,
By this means, one good Prince will do more good towards a publick Reformation both in Church and State, then never so many or never so good Preachers (without such a Prince) will do, or can do. As appears by the many Reformations that were made in the Kingdom and Church of Judah, whereas none at all were made in the Kingdome and Church of Is∣rael; the reason whereof was, not because there were not as good Preachers, and as great Prophets, but because there were not as good Kings in Israel as there were in Judah: For Israel had its Elijahs and Page 51Elisha's, the greatest of Prophets; but it had not its HEZEKIAH'S and JOSIAH'S, the most pious of Kings; and they are pious and good Kings that must make a pious and good People, by providing such subor∣dinate Governours under themselves both in Church and State, I mean such Magistrates and Judges for the one, and such BISHOPS and Ministers for the other, as may give a good account of the great Trust which by God and the King is committed to their ca••▪
And now when a Soveraign Prince knows how to govern himself both in relation to God and to his People, he will the better know how to govern his People in relation to Himself, and in order to His own and their Happiness.
And this indeed is the knowledge which is Proper and Peculiar to Princes as they are Princes. Excu∣dant alii spirantia mollius aera, &c. Let others excel in other Arts; but in Arte benè imperandi, in the Art of governing well, (which is Ars〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Mistris of all Arts,) Princes ought to excel all men.
But no man can excel in any Art that doth not stu∣dy it, and with intension of mind apply himself to it, by making use of those Means that are Necessa∣ry for the acquiring of it, and for the making of himself perfect in it. I remember Xenophon in his Page 52〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 observing that all kind of Cattel are ordina∣rily and easily govern'd by those that have the charge of them, without Rebelling against them, or Re∣volting from them; and yet that Societies of men, who are reasonable Creatures (and for that Reason one would think much more Governable) are rarely and difficultly kept in order by their Princes seems very much to wonder at it: But then considering likewise, that Cyrus (of whom he writ) did govern infinite multitudes of men of several Nations, Lan∣guages, and Manners, as easily and quietly as ever any Herd of Cattel was govern'd by their Herdsman, he concludes it is neither impossible nor very difficult to do as he did, if Princes would study the Art of Governing, and apply themselves to it, and were as well qualified for it as He was▪
So that in order to Governing well, a Prince must First be qualified for it, and Secondly he must mind it, and make it his business by applying himself to it.
To Qualifie him for it, many things are necessary, especially these two: First, the knowledge of Humane Nature in General, how it works, and how it is wrought upon; and Secondly, the knowledge of the particular Genius and Disposition of the People he is to govern.
In order to the former, it is a great felicity when a Prince, before he begins to govern at home, hath seen much of the World abroad, especially those parts of the World with which he is likely to have most to Page 53 do; when he hath learn'd their Languages, ob∣serv'd their Manners, by conversing with them in their Camps, and in their Courts, and hath considered▪ their Interests, both as they relate to his own, and to other Nations. This is a great advantage, I say, in order to his future Government, when a Prince hap∣pens to have such an Education. And hence it is that both Homer and Virgil (the one in his Ulysses, and the other in his Aeneas) meaning to give us the pat∣tern or Idea of a perfect Prince, they make them both to be long abroad amongst foreign Nations, before they settle at home; and so was our HENRY the seventh, one of our ablest Princes.
Neither is it amiss for a Prince, in order to the fe∣licity of his future Government, to be for a time under a Cloud, and to be Hardned both in his Body and his Mind by suffering Affliction, and thereby to know his Friends from his Enemies, both at home and abroad; an important advantage, which no Prince that never was in Adversity, can have, or make use of. Besides, Princes that are bred up in that School of Affliction, are commonly much more prudent, and pat•ent, and wary, and thrifty, and more inclinable to Piety, to Charity, to Clemency, to Modesty, and Moderation in time of Prosperity, and to all other Moral and Religious Vertues, then they would be otherwise. And therefore we see that God thought fit to breed up the man after his own heart in this School of Affliction; and perhaps it was his breeding in this School that made him to be so: However, it is evi∣dent, Page 54 that even after he was King, God would not admit him to the Exercise of his Kingly Power, till he had spent some years under this Discipline; which is the very case of our present SOVERAIGN, as well as it was Davids; and therefore I doubt not but God had the same Design in the breeding of them both; namely, to make them as Glorious afterwards by their Actions, as they had been formerly by their Sufferings: Neither do I doubt, but our David will do, as that other David tells us He did, He will rule us prudently with all his power. Psal. 78.71.
But Ars longa, vita brevis; No one Princes own ex∣perience is sufficient to make him a Master of this Art: He must take in therefore the experience of for∣mer Ages, as well as of his own, and consequently he must spend some time in Books as well as in business; especially in Histories, whereby he shall be truly and impartially inform'd, how, and by what means some Princes in all Ages have made themselves happy and glorious, and others have made themselves▪ mise∣rable and infamous: And (considering that ordinari∣ly the same Causes produce the same Effects) a wise Prince will imitate them in his Actions, to whom he desires to be most like in his Fortune and Reputation.
More especially he ought to acquaint himself with the Histories of his own Nation, that he may not be a stranger at home, but may know the particular tem∣per and humour of his own People, and how he is to apply himself to them, to make himself honour'd▪ and obeyed, and beloved by them; carefully obser∣ving Page 55 which of his Predecessors were so, and which of them were not so, and what difference it was in their Actions, which produced that difference in their Sub∣jects Affections, and in their own Fortunes·
But of all other Books, let him especially acquaint himself with the BOOK of God; which David (though no Prince had less time to spare from Action) made his daily study, nay he studied it night and day, as himself tels us: And good reason had he to do so; for by reading this Book he came to have more understand∣ing then all his Teachers, as he tels us in one place;* nay to have more wisdome then all the Ancients,* when he was yet Young, as he tels us in another place; and to be wiser then all his Enemies, (not excepting Achitophel him∣self) as he tels us in a third place.*
But though all that is written in Gods Book was written for our Instruction, yet because all of it was not written for the Instruction of Kings, as they are Kings, I wish Kings would find leisure to read so much of it at least, as was written of Kings, or by Kings; I mean the Books of the Kings and Chronicles, where∣in they will find the Best Direction they can have in point of Government by way of example; together with the Psalms of David, and the Proverbs of Solomon, wherein they will find the best Instruction that can be given them in order to the same end, by way of Precept and Counsel. Or if this be still too much, that they would but read once a week the Votum Davidis, that Vow of David, (as I may so call it) I mean the 101. Psalm, which though it be but a very short one, Page 59 yet, as I conceive, what most concerns a King, in order to the governing of Himself, his Family, and his Kingdomes, is either expresly or virtually conteined in it.
And now when a lawfull Hereditary Soveraign Prince is thus Qualified, when he is of as Ancient and as Royal an Extraction as any Prince can be (as having all the Royal Bloud of Europe concentred in his Veins) when he is Comely in his •erson, Health∣full and Vigorous in his Constitution, Graceful and Obliging in his Behaviour, of a Clear, sound and and solid Understanding, Improved by an Extraor∣dinary Education, Seasoned by Affliction, Confirm∣ed and •erfected by the Knowledge of Men, Books, and Business; when a Prince, I say, Is thus Qualifi∣ed, and withal intends the Work he hath to do, by an actual application of his mind to it, and by a careful and constant prosecution of it, have we not reason to believe that such a Prince is mark'd out by the Divine Providence for some Great and Glorious Work, or other? And what can be a greater, or more glorious Work, then the setling and prolong∣ing the State of a great Empire, after it hath been so much, and so long shaken and shatter'd, as This of ours hath been? And what more Evident Progno∣sticks can we have, that this, and none but this is the Man mark'd out by Heaven for the effecting of this great and glorious work, then those, which the Star at his Birth did point to, and which we our selves have since seen come to pass with our own Eyes? Page 57 especially in the two most Memorable and most Re∣markable Particulars; I mean, First, His almost miraculous Preservation from many and great Dangers, especially in, and after the Battel of Worcester; And Secondly, His as much if not more miraculous Restitu∣tion to his Crown, after his second Exile. The imme∣diate hand of God indeed was visible in them both; but (as I think) more signally and more remarkably in the latter, then in the former; For many Princes perhaps have in as wonderful a manner escaped as great dangers; but was it ever heard of in the World before, that a King, after having been so long ex∣cluded, and after the Government it self of his Kingdome had been so often changed, and after a new generation of men, that knew not Joseph, was sprung up in it; Nay, that even when the most vi∣olent men against him, and most irreconcileable men to him were in possession of the Present Power, and were Enacting a final Abjuration of him, that then, even then, I say, so beyond and above the hopes of his Friends, so contrary to the desires and ex∣pectations of his Enemies, and so much to the amazement of the whole World, he should be so solemnly Invited, so magnificently Conducted, so tri∣umphantly Received▪ and so joyfully and universal∣ly Acknowledged and Welcomed by all the Subjects; And all this, without blood, without blows, without bargain, and without any obligation▪ at all to any Fo∣reign Prince or State for it? And is not this as much as if God should have said to us in plain Page 58 terms, Behold the Man; behold your King; Behold Charles the Sufferer, the Son of Charles the Martyr; the Grand-Child of James the Wise on the one side, and of Henry the Great on the other, and Heir to the several Excellencies of them both: Behold the Man, that must build up the Walls of Jerusalem, and make up the breaches in Sion, by Restoring and Set∣ling whatsoever is yet wanting, either in regard of our Civil concernments, or our Spiritual: Behold the Man, that must Cure all our Jealousies, Banish all our Fears, Confirm all our Hopes, and Settle all our Distractions? Lastly, Behold the Man, that was Design'd by the Divine Providence, that hath been Preserved by the Divine Power, that is Quali∣fied by the Divine Wisdome, and Brought home again to us by the Divine Goodnesse and Mer∣cy, to settle and prolong the State of the three King∣domes.
The State, I say; and that First, as it signifies the Government it self in the Essential and Legal Frame and Constitution of it; And Secondly, as it signifies the Outward splendour of that Government, arising from Peace, Plenty, Wealth, Strength, Security, Repu∣tation, and whatsoever other ingredients there are, to make a Nation happy.
But first the State must be setled in the former of these Notions, as it signifies its Ancient Legal and Essential Constitution, before it can be setled in the latter; I mean, in its outward splendour and prosperi∣ty. All we have suffered under so▪ Many Changes Page 59 hitherto, hath been to no purpose, if we do not yet believe This Truth, if we are not yet grown so much wiser then we were, as to be convinc'd, That our Old Government, without any alteration at all in the Fundamentals of it, is best for us. And by the old Government, I mean the thing, as well as the name of Monarchy; and that in all its parts, as well as in some of them; You cannot have the Old Govern∣ment in the Civil part of the State, if you have it not in the Ecclesiastical; neither can the King be supreme in one, unlesse he be supreme in both: For, where there are two Supremes, there can be no Monar∣chy. Now we know, that Monarchy is from God, and therefore we may know, that whatsoever is De∣structive to Monarchy, or Inconsistent with Mo∣narchy, is not from God, because Gods Ordinances cannot destroy or clash one against another. But Thanks be to God and the King for it, our Old Go∣vernment is already Restored in both the parts of it; and yet it cannot properly be said to be restored, un∣til it be setled, as it was before; and setled as it was before, I am afraid, it is not yet, I hope it will be; And when our Good Old Government Civil and Ecclesiastical is once setled; then, but not till then, we may expect, that the Ancient Splendour and Honour, together with the Peace, Prosperity and Security of the English Nation will be Restored and Setled also. And as the Restoring and Setling of the latter, d〈…〉 depend upon the Restoring and Set∣ling of the former; so it is the preserving of the for∣mer,Page 60 that must be the prolonging of the latter; for a• long as our Old Government is Preserved, so long and no longer will our Peace and Prosperity be Prolong∣ed; And therefore let all those that Desire and Hope for the continuance of the one, Endeavour and Pray for the continuance of the other,
In the mean time, Blessed be the great and good God, for all those great and good things which he hath already done for us. For which of us would have Believed a little above a year agoe, that ever he should have lived to have seen this Day? Nay, who is there amongst us, that upon condition he might have liv'd to see this Day, would not have been content to have Dy'd the next Day after? And now we do see it, do we not almost doubt, whether we see it indeed or no? or do we not seem unto our selves to be like unto those that Dream? May we not say of this so great, so sudden, so wonder∣full a Change from what we were of late, to what we are now, as Saint Paul saith of the calling of the Jews, that it is like the Resurrection from the Dead? Cer∣tainly, no Joy on Earth can exceed it, and I do ve∣rily believe, that the Angels in Heaven have their share in it. For if there be so great Joy in Heaven (as our Saviour tels us there is) at the Conversion of any one Sinner; how much greater Joy is it then, that is now there, at the Conversion of three so great, so sinfull Nations? Nay, if the Saints above know any thing of what is done here below, either by Intuition of Page 61 God, or Revelation from God, certainly that great and blessed Saint, that happy and glorious Martyr, the Fa∣ther of our present Soveraign, was never so much Grie∣ved with the Injuries and Indignitities that were done unto himself, as he is now well-pleased with this Dayes Solemnity, and with the Due Rights and Honours which are now, with so universal a Chearfulness paid unto his Son. And therefore with Angels▪ and Archangels, and all the Hoast of Heav•n, let us Laud and Magnifie the glorious Name of God, and joyn with the Heavenly Quire in that Heavenly Anthem, which was first sung at the Birth of our Saviour, and may most seasonably be sung over again at the Inauguration of our King, Glory be to God in the high∣est, on Earth Peace, Good will towards men. And may this Day be Annually and for ever repeated with the same Joy and Exultation wherewith it is now Ce∣lebrated. Let the King have alwayes more and more cause to bless God for his People, and let the People have alwayes more and more cause to bless God for their King; and let the prolonging of dayes to the one, be the prolonging of happiness to the other. And to this End, may he live to see his Subjects, as well as his Children, to the third and fourth Generation. And when he hath setled Gods House, and his own, the Church and the State, and seen them both flourish, and like to continue in a flourishing condition; when he is full of dayes and Honour, and when God hath no more work Page 62 for him to do here; then, and not till then, may he exchange the Crown of cares he is to put on now, for a Crown of Glory which he shall wear for ever; And let all that Love God and the King, their Countrey, and themselves, say, Amen.