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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Remitted and would not have that allegiance


There are two cases wherein subjects are loosed from covenanted allegiance to their princes. 1. When the prince remits the obligation of the subjects, and refuses allegiance upon that basis; then he can no more demand it by virtue of that compact. He that remits, and will not have that allegiance, that the subjects covenanted upon such and such conditions to him, these subjects should not give it that they so covenanted, for they should not prostitute it to a refuser and remitter: but Charles the II. remitted and would not have that allegiance, which we covenanted upon such and such conditions, viz. upon the terms of the covenant, which he cassed and annulled and made criminal to own: therefore to him we should not have given it, which we so covenanted. 2. When the prince doth enter into a mutual covenant with the people upon mutual conditions, and does not only cease to perform the conditions, but simply denies all obligation to do it, and makes it a quarrel to insinuate so much, yea persecutes all who dare assert the obligation of that covenant; and yet demands allegiance, not upon the obligation of that covenant which he hath remitted, but absolutely upon the grounds of his prerogative: in this case it will be evident also, the subjects are not bound either to own their formerly covenanted allegiance to him, or that which he demands on other grounds. Grotius de Jure belli, is clear as to this, lib. 1. cap. 4. num. 12. 'If there be such a clause or condition in the very devolution of the government upon a prince, as if he do so and so, the subjects shall be loosed from all bonds of obedience, then, when he does so, he becomes a mere private person.' Grotius there supposes the power is transferred upon a resolutive condition; that is, if he transgress the condition, the power shall be resolved into its first fountain: much more if it be transferred expresly also upon a suspensive condition, that he shall continue to maintain the ends of the covenant, defend religion and the liberties of the subjects, in the defence whereof we shall own allegiance to him, otherwise not. In that case, if he do not maintain these ends, plain it is, our obligation ceases; for how can it stand upon a conditional obligation, when his performance of the condition sists? But whatever be the conditions mutual, it flows natively from the nature of a mutual compact, 'That he who doth not perform the conditions agreed upon, hath no right to the benefit granted upon condition of performance of these conditions; especially if he perform not, or violate these conditions upon supposition whereof he would not have gotten the benefit: it were very absurd to say in a mutual conditional compact, one party shall still be found to perform his conditions, though the other perform none, but break all. Were it the act of rational creatures to set up a sovereign, upon conditions he shall not play the tyrant, and yet be bound to him though he tyrannize never so much? We have the name of mutual compacts in the spies covenant with Rahab, Josh. ii. 20. "If thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath, which thou hast made us to swear:" if she should break, condition, then the obligation on their part should cease. But next, all the stress will ly in proving that the covenant, on such and


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