Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

/1 Sermon Preach'd Jan. 3 1. I 6 99· is that fhc had the Sovereign.ty in po1Teffion, arid ftOOd feiz'd of it alJ:oVe .fix Years~ Y~t none (I hope) will affirm, that 1ehoiada reftftedGod's Ordina_nce, or mcurted Dam:. 11arion by dej)ofirl.g her, and refi:oring his rightful Prince• • Agau~, . · 3· stn·ce the only Title that an Vfurper hath to Sovereignty', IS Ius r~fif!ing and dC.l. ftroying the lawful Power, it will follow, that a damnable Ac.t; as thts ts, may of it felfconfcr a lawful Power, iflnyafion or Poffeffion alone:_ can, ~akc it ~u,eh, which is an Opinion fo wild, that ?obnety and Reafon abhor It. T IS t!~e tl'l:de~, many have been rightful SoV'eretgns, who afcended the T_hrone by ft~gtttous Cnmcs, and the Murther of their Predeceffours: but yet the Tttle could never be devolved upon them by their Wickednefs, but either by cleaive or hereditary Succe~o~: T~e~ have refifl:ed and deftroyed the lawful Powers, only to make way forthe trown Tttle to rake place; but never can it be conceived that Rebellion Ihould give a Title; or that God Jlwuld giv~ a Man fuch a for~ of. Deputation as dot_h at once confir'!' his ..Authotit)', and feal hts Damnation. It IS ev1de~t therefore, th~t lawful Sovereignty is not founded upon a8:ual Pofleffion, but a fix d and fettled R1ght; and confequent· !y whcre·cvcr an ufi.1rping Power is advanc'd, neither God, nor Confcience, require Submiflion to it. And yet to givC the contrary Opinion fome plaufibleco1onr, it is here objeCted, that tbofe very Per(om which the Apoftle fpeaks of, and which the believing Romans ought not to refirf upon pain of Damnation, were but Vfurpers; the Ctfar; intruding by Force and Violence, and the Ruin of the Common.wealth, into the Suprcam Authority. . . To this m1y be anfwered ; That not to difpute their right in firlt feifing of the ·Roman Empire, which poffibly (as I think in moft, .if not all other Governments) might be unjufl: enough ; yet it is as cChain, and as clear as Hiftory can make any thing, that they were by the free Votes,bdth of Smate and People, and all the Autho"'- rity of that Stare fetled and acknowledged for their rightful Magiftrates, and enjoyed the Title and Power for fome Succeffion of Emperonrs, before the A poftle wrote this Epiftle. And therefore Obedience was due to them, upon the account of Gmfcicncc, and for God'.s fake. But it no way follows, that becaufe the Porper.s that thm were, were God's. Ordinance, that therefore every Power that is at any time Exiftent, muft riCcds be io too. That's the firft Pofition. . &condty, Upon prudentidl and felf-preferving Principles, Submiffion may fometimes n. be yielded to the lawful Commandt ofan unlawful and ufurping Power. Lawful OJrnmandt I call them, not as though fuch had any right to command, but becaufe they may command that which is right and lawftil -to be done. Now, though it be every Man's Duty, by all likely and probable means, · tO crideavonr the fhppreffion of a1i 11fi.1rping Power; yet Prudence, and that Sovereign Law of Sel(-prefervation, n~uft die.. tJtc to him the Wa'j'and Manner how it may be accomplifh'd; which tiJI it be found fea{i.ble, it is but precipitatenefs for any Man to oppofe himfelf naked and de{tncelef; a.:. gainft ai-med Violence. This rafunefs cloth but throro away a Life, which ifpreferved till fairer Opportunity prefents its felf, might become greatly fetviceable to the rightful Prince; and inftead of dcpofing, doth bnt (ecute the Cfurper, alarming him againft the future Attempts of others., to Which, Confldence and Security might elfe cxpofe him. And therefore ']ehoiada did not declare a~ainfl: Athaliah, till he had enga~cd the Officers of the Army,- and laid his Combination fa, as Reafon migh t vote it wonld prove fuccefsful. But enough, and too much already of Vfurped Power.f· Therefore, Thirdly, We ought to obey the Commands of t_hc Lawful Magiftrate,in thofe thingS 111. which are in thcmfelvesn.eoef[ary to be done, cind our iudefpmftble Duty; and that not on ly ont of C.mfcience to God, but alfo out of C:mfcience to men. Such are all.the Duties of the Law of Nature, and of the written LaW of God, whic~ the Magiftratc ought to inforce upon us by his AuthoritY; forheisCujfos utriufqueTabultt,tbe Guardi, an of both Tablet of the Law. And· though the Duties therein prefcribed, do beforehand bind the Confcience to the pratl:ice of them; yet alfo is the guilt of ttanfgrefi;. ing them aggravated by the addition oftheMagiftrate's Comman.d. ; and it is no con.. temptible Security added to the Laws ofGod, when they have a Guard of Humane Laws fct about them~ and none can violate the Laws ofGOO, b"ut he muftalfowrong and viole~:te the Authority of his Prince. As for inftance, We ought to worfhip God after a nght and due manner; we ought to honour our Parmts, to ab.ftain from_ Theft, Murther, and .Adultery, though there were no humane Laws to require it from us-. N But