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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

For the fancied character of royalty


low and mean condition of them to whom belongs the power of judgment, does not diminish its dignity; when the king then is judged by the people, the judgment is of as great dignity as if it were done by a superior king; for the judgment is the sentence of the law. 2. They are superior in power: because every constituent cause is superior to the effect, the people is the constituent cause, the king is the effect, and hath all its royalty from them, by the conveyance God hath appointed; so that they need not fetch it from heaven, God gives it by the people, by whom also his power is limited, and, if need be, diminished from what they gave his ancestors: hence, if the people constitute and limit the power they give the king, then they may call him to an account, and judge him for the abuse of it; but the first is true, as is proven above: ergo.----The major is undeniable, for sure they may judge their own creature, and call him to an account for the power they gave him, when he abuses it, though there be no tribunal formally regal above him, yet, in the case of tyranny, and violating his trust, there is a tribunal virtual eminently above him, in them that made him, and reposed that trust upon him, as is said. 3. The fountain power is superior to the power derived: the people, though they constitute a king above them, yet retain the fountain power, he only hath the derived power: certainly the people must retain more power eminently, than they could give to the king, for they gave
it, and he receives it with limitations; if he turn mad or incapable, they may put curators or tutors over him; if he be taken captive, they may appoint another to exercise the power; if he die, then they may constitute another, with more or less power; so then if they give away all their power, as a slave selleth his liberty, and retain no fountain power or radical right, they could not make use of it to produce any of these acts: they set a king above them only with an executive power for their good, but the radical power remains in the people, as in an immortal spring, which they communicate by succession to this or that mortal man, in the manner and measure they think expedient; for otherwise, if they gave all their power away, what shall they reserve to make a new king, if this man die? What if the royal line surcease, there be no prophets now sent to make kings; and if they have power in these cases, why not in the case of tyranny? 4. If the king be accountable by law, for any act of tyranny done against one man, then much more is he accountable for many against the whole state: but the former is true; a private man may go to law before the ordinary judges, for wronging his inheritance, and the king is made accountable for the wrong done by him. Now, shall the laws be like spiders webs, which hold flies, but let bigger beasts pass through? Shall sentence be past for petty wrongs against a man, and none for tyrannizing over religion, laws, and liberties of the kingdom? Shall none be past against parricide or fratricide, for killing his brother, murdering the nobles, and burning cities? Shall petty thieves be hanged for stealing a sheep; and does the laws of God or man give impunity for robbing a whole country of the nearest and dearest interests they have, to crowned heads, for the fancied character of royalty, which thereby is forfeited? 5. If there be judges appointed of God independently, to give out and execute the judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of the highest; then the king also must be subject to that judgment; but there are judges appointed of God independently, to give out and execute the judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of the highest. Two things must be here proved; first, that in giving judgment they do not depend on the king, but are the immediate vicars of God. Secondly, that the king is not excepted from, but subject to their judgment, in case he be criminal.

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