The tryal of Sir Henry Vane, Kt. at the Kings Bench, Westminster, June the 2d. and 6th, 1662 together with what he intended to have spoken the day of his sentence (June 11) for arrest of judgment (had he not been interrupted and over-ruled by the court) and his bill of exceptions : with other occasional speeches, &c. : also his speech and prayer, &c. on the scaffold.
Vane, Henry, Sir, 1612?-1662, defendant., England and Wales. Court of King's Bench.
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Concerning Government.

He that gives up his Will to the Rule and Government of ano∣ther, becomes subject to that other. Men that are born equal, come to be made subject two wayes; either, by the free giving up of themselves to others, or by others violent assuming and exercising power over them, because they are strangers, as Nimrod the mighty hunter of men, served his fellow mortals.

Government is either Royal, or Seignioral and Tyrannical, as the Turks. 'Tis then properly Royal, be it administred by one, by ma∣ny, or by all their Representatives, when he or they that have Sove∣raign Power, obey the Laws of Nature, preserve the natural Liber∣ty and propriety of the Goods and Persons of the Subjects, which no reasonable men, acted by sound judgement, will ever absolutely give away, but secure their right in, and power over, by fundamen∣tal Contracts and Agreements with their Governors.

Absolute Soveraignty is a perpetual power over all, without any restraint, limitations or conditions put upon the Soveraign. This consists in a power of giving Laws to all in general, and to every one in particular, without the consent or gift of any others, and requiring universal and undispensable obedience to all his Com∣mands, under just penalties. This Soveraignty is proper onely to the highest Being, not at all to Creatures, though where the Go∣vernment is Despotical and Seignioral, it is assumed and exer∣cised.

But Government Royal, is that which is consonant to the immu∣table Laws of Nature and Dictates of right Reason, which require a conservation of the Subjects Liberty, and Propriety in their goods and persons, as well as the preservation and upholding of Empire and Authority in the Prince, and find out the Medium, through the mutual Agreements of Soveraign and Subjects, for both to consist.

In Quarrels between Subjects and Soveraigns, about the Subjects Liberty and the Kings Prerogative, 'tis seldom seen, but the Error lies on the Soveraign's part, who is apt to be flattered into the pre∣sumptuous exercise of such an absolute Soveraignty and Legislative Dominion over them, as becomes no creature, and exceeds all the bounds of that Contract he made with them, at his Inauguration.

All just Power and Authority is from God, and by virtue of his Ordinance and Institution. He therefore that resisteth the Power, re∣sisteth Page  124 the Ordinance of God. But all contrarient actings against the Prince, are not to be accounted a resisting of the Power; especial∣ly, when the whole State is concerned, and the business is managed by publick Trustees, called and authorized by Law, as Conservers of the State, and Defenders of the publick Liberties and Lawes thereof. In such a publick capacity, to stand in the gap, when a Breach is made, and hinder any charge or attempt that would rui∣nate the State, is Duty. In such case, they ought to withstand and hinder the violent proceedings of any, either by way of Justice in a Legal tryal, or by force. For the Prince is not Master of the State, but onely a Guardian and Defender thereof, from injuries and evil. Yet these affaires, for redress of Grievances, in case of Princes failers, belong not to all, but to the Tutors and Maintainers of the State, or those that are interested therein; as Electors in Elective States, and in Hereditary States, the States General and Represen∣tative Body of the Kingdom, according to the tenor of their funda∣mental Laws. In this case it is generally acknowledged lawful, to resist a Tyrant.

Under the cross Accidents, issuing from such Contests, to which man is subject through others arbitrary Domination, he may carry himself well, two wayes.

1. By a strong and vigorous resistance thereof, to the last, for diverting or blunting the point of it, so as either to escape or force it.

2. The other way, and that perhaps the surest, is to take and re∣ceive these Accidents at the worst, let them prove what they will, though to the loss of Life and all that's dear to him in this World. To resolve within himself to bear them sweetly and patiently, and peaceably to attend whatever shall happen, without tormenting himself about it, or loosing the calmness and serenity of his mind in going about to hinder or prevent it. He that takes the first course, labours to escape; he that takes the latter is content rather to suf∣fer. This many times proves the better bargain. 'Tis possible to in∣cur greater inconveniency and loss in pleading and contending, than in loosing, or in flying for safety, than in suffering.