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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

May also unmake him by the same law


if he may do acts of grace by prerogative above law, then may he also do acts of justice (so pretended) by the same prerogative; and so may murder innocents, as well as pardon murderers; he may condemn the just, as well as justify the wicked; both which are alike abomination to the Lord, Prov. xvii. 15. This power cannot be owned in any man. 11. To own absolute power, were to recognosce the king as the proper and sole interpreter of the law. This Buchanan shews to be very absurd, 'When you grant the interpretation of laws to a king, you give him such a license, that the law should not speak what the lawgiver meaneth, but what is for the interpreter's interest; so that he may turn it to all actions, as a Lesbian rule, for his own advantage; and so what he pleases the law shall speak, and what he will not, it shall not speak.' Now the king's absolute pleasure can no more be the sense of the law, than it can be the law itself: he is king by law, but he is not king of law; no mortal can make a sense to a law, contrary to the law; for it involves a contradiction: the true meaning is only the law. This also would take away the use of all laws; for they could not declare what were just and unjust, but as the king pleased: their genuine sense could not be the rule. 12. If we own the law to be above the king, then we cannot own the king to be absolute; but the former is true; for he must be under it several ways: (1.) Under its directive power; that will not be denied. (2.) Under its constitutive
power; he is not a king by nature, but by constitution and law: therefore the law is above the king; because it is only from the law that there is a king, and that such a man and not another is king, and that the king must be so and so qualified, and they that made him a king, may also unmake him by the same law. (3.) Under its limiting and restrictive power, as a man he cannot be absolute, nor as a king by law. (4.) Under its co-active power. A lawmaker, said king James the VI. should not be a law-breaker: but if he turn an overturner of the fundamental laws, that law or covenant that made him king, doth oblige to unmake him. Whatever power he hath, it is only borrowed fiduciary power, as the nation's public servant: and that which was lent him in pledge or pawn may be reclaimed, when abused by him.

Especially if he turn parricide, kill his brother, murder his nobles, burn cities, then he may and ought to be punished by law. Otherwise God should have provided better for the safety of the part than of the whole, though that part be but a mean for the safety of the whole: for if he turn a tyrant in his absoluteness, the people must be destroyed, if they may not repress him: thus he is secured, and the whole exposed to ruin. Yea, if he be a man, as well as a king, he must be under rule of law; and when he transgresses, either his transgressions are punishable by men, or they are not transgessions with men. See many arguments to this purpose in Lex Rex, quest. 14, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27. But secondly, I prove it by scripture, 1. Even as a king he is regulated by law, not to multiply horses, nor wives, nor money, but to keep the words of the law, and not lift up himself

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