by Samuel Rutherford
Rutherford was chosen as one of the four main Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines in London taking part in formulating the Westminster Confession of Faith completed in 1647. Rutherford's political book Lex, Rex, or The Law and the Prince (1644) was written in response to John Maxwell's Sacro-Sanctum Regus Majestas and presented a theory of limited government and constitutionalism. It raised Rutherford to eminence as a philosophical thinker. After the Restoration, the authorities burned Lex, Rex and cited Rutherford for high treason, but his death intervened before the charge could be tried. It is considered one of the greatest books on political philosophy ever written. Samuel Rutherford's teaching, taken from Scripture, argued against the doctrine of the "divine right of kings, while promoting equality under law, (including kings), inalienable rights, government by consent, separation of powers and the right to resist and revolt againt lawful authority. He argued that Scripture was the standard by which to judge the actions, beliefs and constitutions of civil government. a charter of liberty against all forms of civil tyranny -- vindicating the Scriptural duty to resist tyrants as an act of loyalty to God.
Subtitled: "A dispute for the just prerogative of King and people: containing the reason and causes of the most necessary defensive wars of the kingdom of Scotland, and their expedition for the aid and help of their dear brethren of England; in which their innocency is asserted, and a full answer is given to a seditious pamphlet, entitled, ... The Sacred and Royal Prerogative of Christian Kings..." Murray, in his Life of Samuel Rutherford (1827) notes,
"The work caused great sensation on its appearance. Bishop Guthrie mentions, that every member of the Westminster assembly 'had in his hand that book lately published by Mr. Samuel Rutherford, which is so idolized, that whereas Buchanan's treatise (de jure Regni apud Scotos) was looked upon as an oracle, this coming forth, it was slighted as not anti-monarchical enough, and Rutherford's Lex Rex only thought authentic...'
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF RUTHERFORD
QUESTION I: Whether government be by a divine law
How government is from God.—Civil power, in the root, immediately from God.
QUESTION II: Whether or no government be warranted by the law of nature
Civil society natural in radice, in the root, voluntary in modo, in the manner.—Power of government, and power of government by such and such magistrates, different.—Civil subjection not formally from nature's laws.—Our consent to laws penal, not antecedently natural.—Government by such rulers, a secondary law of nature.—Family government and politic different.—Government by rulers a secondary law of nature; family government and civil different.—Civil government, by consequent, natural.
QUESTION III: Whether royal power and definite forms of government be from God
That kings are from God, understood in a fourfold sense.—The royal power hath warrant from divine institution.—The three forms of government not different in specie and nature.—How every form is from God.—How government is an ordinance of man, 1 Pet. 2:13.
QUESTION IV: Whether or no the king be only and immediately from God, and not from the people
How the king is from God, how from the people.—Royal power three ways in the people.—How royal power is radically in the people.—The people maketh the king.—How any form of government is from God.—How government is a human ordinance, 1 Pet. 2:3.—The people create the king.—Making a king, and choosing a king, not to be distinguished.—David not a king formally, because anointed by God.
QUESTION V: Whether or no the P. Prelate proveth that sovereignty is immediately from God, not from, the people
Kings made by the people, though the office, in abstracto, were immediately from God.—The people have a real action, more than approbation, in making a king.—Kinging of a person ascribed to the people.—Kings in a special manner are from God, but it followeth not; therefore, not from the people.—The place, Prov. 8:15, proveth not but kings are made by the people.—Nebuchadnezzar, and other heathen kings, had no just title before God to the kingdom of Judah, and divers other subdued kingdoms.
QUESTION VI: Whether or no the king be so allenarly from both, in regard of sovereignty and designation of his person, as he is noway from the people, but only by mere approbation
The forms of government not from God by an act of naked providence, but by his approving will.—Sovereignty not from the people by sole approbation.—Though God have peculiar acts of providence in creating kings, it followeth not hence that the people maketh not kings.—The P. Prelate exponeth prophecies true only of David, Solomon, and Jesus Christ, as true of profane heathen kings.—The P. Prelate maketh all the heathen kings to be princes, anointed with the holy oil of saving grace.
QUESTION VII: Whether the P. Prelate conclude that neither constitution nor designation of kings is from the people
The excellency of kings maketh them not of God's only constitution and designation.—How sovereignty is in the people, how not.—A community doth not surrender their right and liberty to their rulers, so much as their power active to do, and passive to suffer, violence.—God's loosing of the bonds of kings, by the mediation of the people's despising him, proveth against the P. Prelate that the Lord taketh away, and giveth royal majesty mediately, not immediately.—The subordination of people to kings and rulers, both natural and voluntary; the subordination of beasts and creatures to man merely natural.—The place, Gen. 9:5, "He that sheddeth man's blood," &c. discussed.
QUESTION VIII: Whether or no the P. Prelate proveth, by force of reason, that the people cannot be capable of any power of government
In any community there is an active and passive power to government.—Popular government is not that wherein the whole people are governors.—People by nature are equally indifferent to all the three governments, and are not under any one by nature.—The P. Prelate denieth the Pope his father to be the antichrist.—The bad success of kings chosen by people proveth nothing against us, because kings chosen by God had bad success through their own wickedness.—The P. Prelate condemneth king Charles' ratifying (Parl. 2, an. 1641) the whole proceedings of Scotland in this present reformation.—That there be any supreme judges is an eminent act of divine providence, which hindereth not but that the king is made by the people.—The people not patients in making a king, as is water in the sacrament of baptism, in the act of production of grace.
QUESTION IX: Whether or no sovereignty is so in and from the people, that they may resume their power in time of extreme necessity
How the people is the subject of sovereignty.—No tyrannical power is from God.—People cannot alienate the natural power of self-defence.—The power of parliaments.—The Parliament hath more power than the king.—Judges and kings differ.—People may resume their power, not because they are infallible, but because they cannot so readily destroy themselves as one man may do.—That the sanhedrim punished not David, Bathsheba, Joab, is but a fact, not a law.—There is a subordination of creatures natural, government must be natural; and yet this or that form is voluntary.
QUESTION X: Whether or not royal birth be equivalent to divine unction
Impunged by eight arguments.—Royalty not transmitted from father to son.—A family may be chosen to a crown as a single person is chosen, but the tie is conditional in both.—The throne, by special promise, made to David and his seed, by God, (Psal. 89,) no ground to make birth, in foro Dei, a just title to the crown.—A title by conquest to a throne must be unlawful, if birth be God's lawful title.—Royalists who hold conquest to be a just title to the crown, teach manifest treason against king Charles and his royal heirs.—Only, bona fortunæ, not honour or royalty, properly transmitable from father to son.—Violent conquest cannot regulate the consciences of people to submit to a conqueror as their lawful king.—Naked birth is inferior to that very divine unction, that made no man a king without the people's election.—If a kingdom were by birth the king might sell it.—The crown is the patrimony of the kingdom, not of him who is king, or of his father.—Birth a typical designment to the crown in Israel.—The choice of a family to the crown, resolveth upon the free election of the people as on the fountain cause.—Election of a family to the crown lawful.
QUESTION XI: Whether or no he be more principally a king who is a king by birth, or he who is a king by the free election of the people
The elective king cometh nearer to the first king. (Deut. 17)—If the people may limit the king, they give him the power.—A community have not power formally to punish themselves.—The hereditary and the elective prince in divers considerations, better or worse, each one than another.
QUESTION XII: Whether or no a kingdom may lawfully be purchased by the sole title of conquest
A Twofold right of conquest.—Conquest turned in an after-consent of the people, becometh a just title.—Conquest not a signification to us of God's approving will.—Mere violent domineering contrary to the acts of governing.—Violence hath nothing in it of a king.—A bloody conqueror not a blessing, per se, as a king is.—Strength as prevailing is not law or reason.—Fathers cannot dispose of the liberty of posterity not born.—A father, as a father, hath not power of life and death. Israel and David's conquests of the Canaanites, Edomites, Ammonites not lawful, because conquest, but upon a divine title of God's promise.
QUESTION XIII: Whether or no royal dignity have its spring from nature, and how it is true "Every man is born free," and how servitude is contrary to nature
Seven sorts of superiority and inferiority.—Power of life and death from a positive law.—A dominion antecedent and consequent.—Kings and subjects no natural order.—A man is born, consequenter, in politic relation.—Slavery not natural from four reasons.—Every man born free in regard of civil subjection (not in regard of natural, such as of children and wife, to parents and husband) proved by seven arguments.—Politic government how necessary, how natural.—That parents should enslave their children not natural.
QUESTION XIV: Whether or no the people make a person their king conditionally or absolutely; and whether the king be tyed by any such covenant
The king under a natural, but no civil obligation to the people, as royalists teach.—The covenant civilly tyeth the king proved by Scriptures and reasons, by eight arguments.—If the condition, without which one of the parties would never have entered into covenant, be not performed, that party is loosed from the covenant.—The people and princes are obliged in their places for justice and religion, no less than the king.—In so far as the king presseth a false religion on the people, eatenus, in so far they are understood not to have a king.—The covenant giveth a mutual co-active power to king and people to compel each other, though there be not one on earth higher than both to compel each of them.—The covenant bindeth the king as king, not as he is a man only.—One or two tyrannous acts deprive not the king of his royal right.—Though there were no positive written covenant (which yet we grant not) yet there is a natural, tacit, implicit covenant tying the king, by the nature of his office.—If the king be made king absolutely, it is contrary to Scripture and the nature of his office.—The people given to the king as a pledge, not as if they became his own to dispose of at his absolute will.—The king could not buy, sell, borrow, if no covenant should tie him to men.—The covenant sworn by Judah (2 Chron. 15) tyed the king.
QUESTION XV: Whether the king be univocally, or only analogically and by proportion, a father
Adam not king of the whole earth because a father.—The king a father metaphorically and improperly, proved by eight arguments.
QUESTION XVI: Whether or no a despotical or masterly dominion agree to the king, because he is king
The king hath no masterly dominion over the subjects as if they were his servants, proved by four arguments.—The king not over men as reasonable creatures to domineer.—The king cannot give away his kingdom or his people as if they were his proper goods.—A violent surrender of liberty tyeth not.—A surrender of ignorance is in so far involuntarily as it oblige not.—The goods of the subjects not the king's, proved by eight arguments.—All the goods of the subjects are the king's in a fourfold sense.
QUESTION XVII: Whether or no the prince have properly the fiduciary or ministerial power of a tutor, husband, patron, minister, head, master of a family, not of a lord or dominator
The king a tutor rather than a father as these are distinguished.—A free community not properly and in all respects a minor and pupil.—The king's power not properly marital and husbandly.—The king a patron and servant.—The royal power only from God, immediatione simplicis constitutionis, et solum solitudine causæ primæ, but not immediatione applicationis dignitatis ad personam.—The king the servant of the people both objectively and subjectively.—The Lord and the people by one and the same act according to the physical relation maketh the king.—The king head of the people metaphorically only, not essentially, not univocally, by six arguments.—His power fiduciary only.
QUESTION XVIII: What is the law or manner of the king (1 Sam. 8:9, 11) discussed fully
The power and the office badly differenced by Barclay.—What is משפת חּמלּךָ the manner of the king, by the harmony of interpreters, ancient and modern, protestants and papists.—Crying out (1 Sam. 8) not necessarily a remedy of tyranny, nor a praying with faith and patience.—Resisting of kings that are tyrannous, and patience, not inconsistent.—The law of the king not a permissive law, as was the law of divorcement.—The law of the king (1 Sam. 12:23, 24) not a law of tyranny.
QUESTION XIX: Whether or no the king be in dignity and power above the people
In what consideration the king is above the people, and the people above the king.—A mean, as a mean, inferior to the end, how it is true.—The king inferior to the people.—The church, because the church, is of more excellency than the king, because king.—The people being those to whom the king is given, worthier than the gift.—And the people immortal, the king mortal.—The king a mean only, not both the efficient, or author of the kingdom, and a mean; two necessary distinctions of a mean.—If sin had never been, there should have been no king.—The king is to give his life for his people.—The consistent cause more excellent than the effect.—The people than the king.—Impossible people can limit royal power, but they must give royal power also.—The people have an action in making a king, proved by four arguments.—Though it were granted that God immediately made kings, yet it is no consequent, God only, and not the people, can unmake him.—The people appointing a king over themselves, retain the fountain-power of making a king.—The mean inferior to the end, and the king, as a king, is a mean.—The king, as a mean, and also as a man, inferior to the people.—To swear non-self-preservation, and to swear self-murder, all one.—The people cannot make away their power, 1. Their whole power, nor 2. Irrevocably to the king.—The people may resume the power they give to the commissioners of parliament, when it is abused.—The tables in Scotland lawful, when the ordinary judicatures are corrupt.—Quod efficit tale id ipsum magis tale discussed, the fountain-power in the people derived only in the king.—The king is a fiduciary, a life-renter, not a lord or heritor.—How sovereignty is in the people.—Power of life and death, how in a community.—A community void of rulers, is yet, and may be a politic body.—Judges gods analogically.
QUESTION XX: Whether inferior judges be essentially the immediate vicegerents of God, as Kings, not differing in essence and nature from kings
Inferior judges the immediate vicars of God, no less than the king.—The consciences of inferior judges, immediately subordinate to God, not to the king, either mediately or immediately.—How the inferior judge is the deputy of the king.—He may put to death murderers, as having God's sword committed to him, no less than the king, even though the king command the contrary; for he is not to execute judgment, and to relieve the oppressed conditionally, if a mortal king give him leave; but whether the king will or no, he is to obey the King of kings.—Inferior judges are ministri regni, non ministri regis.—The king doth not make judges as he is a man, by an act of private good-will; but as he is a king by an act of royal justice, and by a power that he hath from the people, who made himself a supreme judge.—The king's making inferior judges hindereth not, but they are as essentially judges as the king who maketh them, not by fountain-power, but power borrowed from the people.—The judges in Israel and the kings differ not essentially. Aristocracy as natural as monarchy, and as warrantable.—Inferior judges depend some way on the king in fieri, but not in facto esse.—The parliament not judges by derivation from the king.—The king cannot make or unmake judges.—No heritable judges.—Inferior judges more necessary than a king.
QUESTION XXI: What power the people and states of parliament hath over the king and in the state
The elders appointed by God to be judges.—Parliaments may convene and judge without the king.—Parliaments are essentially judges, and so their consciences neither dependeth on the king, quoad specificationem, that is, that they should give out this sentence, not that, nec quoad exercitium, that they should not in the morning execute judgment.—Unjust judging, and no judging at all, are sins in the states.—The parliament co-ordinate judges with the king, not advisers only; by eleven arguments.—Inferior judges not the king's messengers or legates, but public governors.—The Jews' monarchy mixed.—A power executive of laws more in the king, a power legislative more in the parliament.
QUESTION XXII: Whether the power of the king, as king, be absolute, or dependent and limited by God's
first mould and pattern of a king
The royalists make the king as absolute as the great Turk.—The king not absolute in his power, proved by nine arguments.—Why the king is a living law.—Power to do ill not from God.—Royalists say power to do ill is not from God, but power to do ill, as punishable by man, is from God.—A king, actu primo, is a plague, and the people slaves, if the king, by God's institution, be absolute.—Absoluteness of royalty against justice, peace, reason, and law.—Against the king's relation of a brother.—A damsel forced may resist the king.—The goodness of an absolute prince hindereth not but he is actu primo a tyrant.
QUESTION XXIII: Whether the king hath a prerogative royal above law
Prerogative taken two ways.—Prerogative above laws a garland proper to infinite majesty.—A threefold dispensation, 1. Of power; 2. Of justice; 3. Of grace.—Acts of mere grace may be acts of blood.—An oath to the king of Babylon tyed not the people of Judah to all that absolute power could command.—The absolute prince is as absolute in acts of cruelty, as in acts of grace.—Servants are not (1 Pet. 2:18, 19) interdicted of self-defence.—The parliament materially only, not formally, hath the king for their lord.—Reason not a sufficient restraint to keep a prince from acts of tyranny.—Princes have sufficient power to do good, though they have not absolute to do evil.—A power to shed innocent blood can be no part of any royal power given of God.—The king, because he is a public person, wanteth many privileges that subjects have.
QUESTION XXIV: What relation the king hath to the law
Human laws considered as reasonable, or as penal.—The king alone hath not a nemothetic power.—Whether the king be above parliaments as their judge.—Subordination of the king to the parliament and co-ordination both consistent.—Each one of the three governments hath somewhat from each other, and they cannot any one of them be in its prevalency conveniently without the mixture of the other two.—The king as a king cannot err, as he erreth in so far, he is not the remedy of oppression intended by God and nature.—In the court of necessity the people may judge the king.—Human laws not so obscure as tyranny is visible and discernible.—It is more requisite that the whole people, church, and religion be secured than one man.—If there be any restraint by law on the king it must be physical, for a moral restraint is upon all men.—To swear to an absolute prince as absolute, is an oath eatenus, in so far unlawful, and not obligatory.
QUESTION XXV: Whether the supreme law, the safety of the people, be above the king
The safety of the people to be preferred to the king, for the king is not to seek himself, but the good of the people.—Royalists make no kings but tyrants.—How the safety of the king is the safety of the people.—A king, for the safety of the people, may break through the letter and paper of the law.—The king's prerogative above law and reason, not comparable to the blood that has been shed in Ireland and England.—The power of dictators prove not a prerogative above law.
QUESTION XXVI: Whether the king be above the law
The law above the king in four things, 1. in constitution; 2. direction; 3. limitation; 4. co-action.—In what sense the king may do all things.—The king under the morality of laws; under fundamental laws, not under punishment to be inflicted by himself, nor because of the eminency of his place, but for the physical incongruity thereof.—If, and how, the king may punish himself.—That the king transgressing in a heinous manner, is under the co-action of law, proved by seven arguments.—The coronation of a king, who is supposed to be a just prince, yet proveth after a tyrant, is conditional and from ignorance, and so involuntary, and in so far not obligatory in law.—Royalists confess a tyrant in exercise may be dethroned.—How the people is the seat of the power of sovereignty.—The place, Psal. 51, "Against thee only have I sinned," &c. discussed.—Israel's not rising in arms against Pharaoh examined.—And Judah's not working their own deliverance under Cyrus.—A covenant without the king's concurrence lawful.
QUESTION XXVII: Whether or no the king be the sole, supreme, and final interpreter of the law
He is not the supreme and peremptory interpreter.—Nor is his will the sense of the law.—Nor is he the sole and only judicial interpreter of the law.
QUESTION XXVIII: Whether or no wars raised by the estates and subjects for their own just defence against the king's bloody emissaries be lawful
The state of the question.—If kings be absolute, a superior judge may punish an inferior judge, not as a judge but an erring man.—By divine institution all covenants to restrain their power must be unlawful.—Resistance in some cases lawful.—Six arguments for the lawfulness of defensive wars.—Many others follow.
QUESTION XXIX: Whether, in the case of defensive wars, the distinction of the person of the king as a man, who may and can commit hostile acts of tyranny against his subjects, and of the office and royal power that he hath from God and the people, can have place
The king's person in concreto, and his office in abstracto, or, which is all one, the king using his power lawfully to be distinguished (Rom. 13).—To command unjustly maketh not a higher power.—The person may be resisted and yet the office cannot be resisted, proved by fourteen arguments.—Contrary objections of royalists and of the P. Prelate answered.—What we mean by the person and office in abstracto in this dispute; we do not exclude the person in concreto altogether, but only the person as abusing his power; we may kill a person as a man, and love him as a son, father, wife, according to Scripture.—We obey the king for the law, and not the law for the king.—The losing of habitual and actual royalty different.—John 19:10, Pilate's power of crucifying Christ no law-power given to him of God, is proved against royalists, by six arguments.
QUESTION XXX: Whether or no passive obedience be a mean to which we are subjected in conscience by virtue of a divine commandment; and what a mean resistance is. That flying is resistance
The place, 1 Pet. 2:18, discussed.—Patient bearing of injuries and resistance of injuries compatible in one and the same subject.—Christ's non-resistance hath many things rare and extraordinary, and is no leading rule to us.—Suffering is either commanded to us comparatively only, that we rather choose to suffer than deny the truth; or the manner only is commanded, that we suffer with patience.—The physical act of taking away the life, or of offending when commanded by the law of self-defence, is no murder.—We have a greater dominion over goods and members, (except in case of mutilation, which is a little death,) than over our life.—To kill is non of the nature of self-defence, but accidental thereunto.—Defensive war cannot be without offending.—The nature of defensive and offensive wars.—Flying is resistance.
QUESTION XXXI: Whether self-defence, by opposing violence to unjust violence, be lawful, by the law of God and nature
Self-defence in man natural, but modus, the way, must be rational and just.—The method of self-defence.—Violent re-offending in self-defence the last remedy.—It is physically impossible for a nation to fly in the case of persecution for religion, and so they may resist in their own self-defence.—Tutela vitæ proxima and remota.—In a remote posture of self-defence, we are not to take us to re-offending, as David was not to kill Saul when he was sleeping, or in the cave, for the same cause.—David would not kill Saul because he was the Lord's anointed.—The king not lord of chastity, name, conscience, and so may be resisted.—By universal and particular nature, self-defence lawful, proved by divers arguments.—And made good by the testimony of jurists.—The love of ourselves, the measure of the love of our neighbours, and enforceth self-defence.—Nature maketh a private man his own judge and magistrate, when the magistrate is absent, and violence is offered to his life, as the law saith.—Self-defence, how lawful it is.—What presumption is from the king's carriage to the two kingdoms, are in law sufficient grounds of defensive wars.—Offensive and defensive wars differ in the event and intentions of men, but not in nature and specie, nor physically.—David's case in not killing Saul nor his men, no rule to us, not in our lawful defence, to kill the king's emissaries, the cases far different.
QUESTION XXXII: Whether or no the lawfulness of defensive wars can be proved from the Scripture, from the examples of David, the people's rescuing Jonathan, Elisha, and the eighty valiant priests who resisted Uzziah
David warrantably raised an army of men to defend himself against the unjust violence of his prince Saul.—David's not invading Saul and his men, who did not aim at arbitrary government, at sub-version of laws, religion, and extirpation of those that worshipped the God of Israel and opposed idolatry, but only pursuing one single person, far unlike to our case in Scotland and England now.—David's example not extraordinary.—Elisha's resistance proveth defensive wars to be warrantable.—Resistance made to king Uzziah by eighty valiant priests proveth the same.—The people's rescuing Jonathan proveth the same.—Libnah's revolt proveth this.—The city of Abel defended themselves against Joab, king David's general, when he came to destroy a city for one wicked conspirator, Sheba's sake.
QUESTION XXXIII: Whether or no Rom. 13:1 make any thing against the lawfulness of defensive wars
The king not only understood, Rom. 13.—And the place, Rom. 13, discussed.
QUESTION XXXIV: Whether royalists prove, by cogent reasons, the unlawfulness of defensive wars
Objections of royalists answered.—The place, Exod. 22:28, "Thou shalt not revile the gods," &c. answered.—And Eccles. 10:20.—The place, Eccles. 8:3, 4, "Where the word of a king is," &c. answered.—The place, Job. 34:18, answered.—And Acts 23:3, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall," &c.—The emperors in Paul's time not absolute by their law.—That objection, that we have no practice for defensive resistance, and that the prophets never complain of the omission of the resistance of princes, answered.—The prophets cry against the sin of non-resistance, when they cry against the judges, because they execute not judgment for the oppressed—Judah's subjection to Nebuchadnezzar, a conquering tyrant, no warrant to us to subject ourselves to tyrannous acts.—Christ's subjection to Cæsar nothing against defensive wars.
QUESTION XXXV: Whether the sufferings of the martyrs in the primitive church militant be against the lawfulness of defensive wars
Tertullian neither ours nor theirs in the question of defensive wars.
QUESTION XXXVI: Whether the king have the power of war only
Inferior judges have the power of the sword no less than the king.—The people tyed to acts of charity, and to defend themselves, the church, and their posterity against a foreign enemy, though the king forbid.—Flying unlawful to the states of Scotland and England now, God's law tying them to defend their country.—Parliamentary power a fountain-power above the king.
QUESTION XXXVII: Whether the estates of Scotland are to help their brethren, the protestants of England, against cavaliers, proved by argument 13
Helping of neighbour nations lawful, divers opinions concerning the point.—The law of Egypt against those that helped not the oppressed.
QUESTION XXXVIII: Whether monarchy be the best of governments
Whether monarchy be the best of governments hath divers considerations, in which each one may be less or more convenient.—Absolute monarchy is the worst of governments. Better want power to do ill as have it.—A mixture sweetest of all governments—Neither king nor parliament have a voice against law and reason.
QUESTION XXXIX: Whether or no any prerogative at all above the law be due to the king. Or if jura majestatis be any such prerogative
A threefold supreme power.—What be jura regalia.—Kings confer not honours from their plenitude of absolute power, but according to the strait line and rule of law, justice, and good observing.—The law of the king, 1 Sam. 8:9, 11.—Difference of kings and judges.—The law of the king, (1 Sam. 8:9, 11,) no permissive law, such as the law of divorce.—What dominion the king hath over the goods of the subjects.
QUESTION XL: Whether or no the people have any power over the king, either by his oath, covenant, or any other way
The people have power over the king by reason of his covenant and promise.—Covenants and promises violated, infer co-action, de jure, by law, though not de facto.—Mutual punishments may be where there is no relation of superiority and inferiority.—Three covenants made by Arnisæus.—The king not king while he swear the oath and be accepted as king by the people.—The oath of the kings of France.—Hugo Grotius setteth down seven cases in which the people may accuse, punish, or dethrone the king.—The prince a noble vassal of the kingdom upon four grounds.—The covenant had an oath annexed to it.—The prince is but a private man in a contract.—How the royal power is immediately from God, and yet conferred upon the king by the people.
QUESTION XLI: Whether doth the P. Prelate with reason ascribe to us doctrine of Jesuits in the question of lawful defence
The sovereignty is originally and radically in the people, as in the fountain, was taught by fathers, ancient doctors, sound divines, lawyers, before there was a Jesuit or a prelate whelped, in rerum natura.—The P. Prelate holdeth the Pope to be the vicar of Christ.—Jesuits' tenets concerning kings.—The king not the people's deputy by our doctrine, it is only the calumny of the P. Prelate.—The P. Prelate will have power to act the bloodiest tyrannies on earth upon the church of Christ, the essential power of a king.
QUESTION XLII: Whether all Christian kings are dependent from Christ, and may be called his vicegerents
Why God, as God, hath a man a vicegerent under him, but not as mediator.—The king not head of the church.—The king a sub-mediator, and an under-redeemer, and a sub-priest to offer sacrifices to God for us if he be a vicegerent.—The king no mixed person.—Prelates deny kings to be subject to the gospel.—By no prerogative royal may the king prescribe religious observances and human ceremonies in God's worship.—The P. Prelate giveth to the king a power arbitrary, supreme, and independent, to govern the church.—Reciprocation of subjections of the king to the church, and of the church to the king, in divers kinds, to wit, of ecclesiastical and civil subjection, are no more absurd than for Aaron's priest to teach, instruct and rebuke Moses, if he turn a tyrannous Achab, and Moses to punish Aaron if he turn an obstinate idolator.
QUESTION XLIII: Whether the king of Scotland be an absolute prince, having a prerogative above laws and parliaments
The king of Scotland subject to parliaments by the fundamental laws, acts, and constant practices of parliaments, ancient and late in Scotland.—The king of Scotland's oath at his coronation.—A pretended absolute power given to James VI. upon respect of personal endowments, no ground of absoluteness to the king of Scotland.—By laws and constant practices the kings of Scotland subject to laws and parliaments, proved by the fundamental law of elective princes, and out of the most partial historians, and our acts of parliament of Scotland.—Coronation oath.—And again at the coronation of James VI. that oath sworn; and again, 1 Parl. James VI. ibid and seq.—How the king is supreme judge in all causes.—The power of the parliaments of Scotland.—The Confession of the faith of the church of Scotland, authorised by divers acts of parliament, doth evidently hold forth to all the reformed churches the lawfulness of defensive wars, when the supreme magistrate is misled by wicked counsel.—The same proved from the confessions of faith in other reformed churches.—The place, Rom. 13, exponed in our Confession of faith.—The confession, not only Saxonic, exhibited to the Council of Trent, but also of Helvetia, France, England, Bohemia, prove the same.—William Laud and other prelates, enemies to parliaments, to states, and to the fundamental laws of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.—The parliament of Scotland doth regulate, limit, and set bounds to the king's power.—Fergus the first king not a conqueror.—The king of Scotland below parliaments, considerable by them, hath no negative voice.
QUESTION XLIV: General results of the former doctrine in some few corollaries, in twenty-two questions
Concerning monarchy, compared with other forms—How royalty is an issue of nature.—And how magistrates, as magistrates, be natural.—How absoluteness is not a ray of God's majesty.—And resistance not unlawful, because Christ and his apostles used it not in some cases.—Coronation is no ceremony.—Men may limit the power that they gave not.—The commonwealth not a pupil or minor properly.—Subjects not more obnoxious to a king than clients, vassals, children, to their superiors.—If subjection passive be natural.—Whether king Uzziah was dethroned.—Idiots and children not complete kings, children are kings in destination only.—Denial of passive subjection in things unlawful, not dishonourable to the king, more than denial of active obedience in the same things.—The king may not make away or sell any part of his dominions.—People may in some cases convene without the king.—How, and in what meaning subjects are to pay the king's debts.—Subsidies the kingdom's due, rather than the king's.—How the seas, ports, forts, castles, militia, magazine, are the king's, and how they are the kingdom's.