תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

1

St. David also teacheth us a good lesson in this 1 Sam. xvii, behalf: who was many times most cruelly and

xix, and xx. wrongfully persecuted of king Saul, and many times also put in jeopardy and danger of his life by king Saul and his people; yet he never withstood, neither used any force or violence against, king Saul, his mortal (or deadly) enemy, but did ever to his liege lord and master king Saul most true, most diligent, and most faithful service. Insomuch that, when the Lord God had given king Saul into David's hands in his own cave, he 1 Sam. xxiv. would not hurt him, when he might, without all bodily peril, easily have slain him; no, he would not suffer any of his servants once to lay their hands upon king Saul, but prayed to God in this wise : Lord, keep me from doing that thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed; keep me that I lay not my hand upon him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. For, as truly as the Lord lireth, except the Lord smite him, or except his day come, or that he go down to war, and in battle perish, the Lord be merciful unto me, that I lay not my hand upon the Lord's anointed. And that David might have killed his enemy king Saul it is evidently proved in the first Book of the Kings, both by the cutting off the lap of Saul's garment, and also by the plain confession of king Saul. Also another time, as it is mentioned in the same Book, when the most unmerci- 1 Sarn. sxvi. ful and most unkind king Saul did persecute poor David, God did again give king Saul into David's hands by casting of king Saul and his whole army into a dead sleep; so that David and one Abisai with him came in the night into Saul's host, where Saul lay sleeping, and his spear stack in the ground at his head. Then said Abisai unto David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thy hands at this time: nou therefore let me smite him once with my spear to the earth, and I will not smite him again the second time; meaning thereby to have killed him with one stroke, and to have made him sure for ever. And Darid answered and said to Abisai, Destroy him not :

7-12.

a

Answer.

for who can lay his hands on the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless ? And David said furthermore, As sure as the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall descend (or go down) into battle and there perish. The Lord keep me from laying my hands upon the Lord's anointed : but take thou now the spear that is at his head, and the cruse of water, and let us go: and so he did. Here is evidently proved that we may not withstand nor in any ways hurt an anointed king; which is God's lieutenant, vicegerent, and highest

minister in that country where he is king. Objection. But peradventure some here would say that

David in his own defence might have killed king Saul lawfully and with a safe conscience. But holy David did know that he might in no wise withstand, hurt, or kill his sovereign lord and king: he did know that he was but king Saul's subject, though he were in great favour with God, and his enemy king Saul out of God's favour. Therefore, though he were never so much provoked, yet he refused utterly to hurt the Lord's anointed. He durst not, for offending God and his own conscience, (although he had occasion and opportunity,) once lay his hands upon God's high officer the king, whom he did know to be a person reserved and kept for his office sake only to God's punishment and judgment. Therefore he prayeth so oft and so earnestly, that he lay not his hands

upon the Lord's anointed. And by these two Ps. Ixxxix. 3, examples St. David, being named in Scripture a man after God's

's own heart, giveth a general rule and lesson to all subjects in the world not to withstand their liege lord and king, not to take a sword by their private authority against their king, God's anointed; who only beareth the sword by God's authority, for the maintenance of the good and for the punishment of the evil; who only by God's law hath the use of the sword at his commandment, and also hath all power, jurisdiction, regiment, coercion, and punishment, as su

, 20-26: 1 Sam. xiii. 14: Acts xiii. 22.

preme governor of all his realms and dominions, and that even by the authority of God and by God's ordinances.

Yet another notable story and doctrine is in the second Book of the Kings, that maketh also for a Sam. 1.2-16. this purpose.

When an Amalechite, by king Saul's own consent and commandment, had killed king Saul, he went to David, supposing to have had great thank for his message that he had killed David's deadly enemy; and therefore he made great haste to tell to David the chance, bringing with him king Saul's crown that was upon his head, and his bracelet that was upon his arm, to persuade his tidings to be true. But godly David was so far from rejoicing at these news, that im. mediately and forthwith he rent his clothes off his back, he mourned and wept, and said to the messenger, How is it that thou wast not afraid to lay thy hand on the Lord's anointed to destroy him? And by and by David made one of his servants to kill the messenger, saying, Thy blood be on thy own head; for thy own mouth hath testified and witnessed against thee, granting that thou hast slain the Lord's anointed.

These examples being so manifest and evident, it is an intolerable ignorance, madness, and wickedness for subjects to make any murmuring, rebel. lion, resistance (or withstanding), commotion, or insurrection against their most dear and most dread Sovereign Lord and King, ordained and appointed of God's goodness for their commodity, peace, and quietness.

Yet let us believe undoubtedly, good Christian people, that we may not obey kings, magistrates, or any other, though they be our own fathers, if they would command us to do any thing contrary to God's commandments. In such a case we ought to say with the Apostles, We must rather obey God Acts v. 29. than man. But nevertheless in that case we may not in any wise withstand violently or rebel against rulers, or make any insurrection, sedition, or tu

1-33

mults, either by force of arms or other ways, against the anointed of the Lord or any of his appointed officers ; but we must in such case patiently suffer all wrongs and injuries, referring the judgment of our cause only to God. Let us fear the terrible punishment of Almighty God

against traitors or rebellious persons by the exNumb. xvi. ample of Core, Dathan, and Abiron, which re

pugned and grudged against God's magistrates and officers, and therefore the earth opened and

swallowed them up alive. Other, for their wicked Numb. xi. 1. murmuring and rebellion, were by a sudden fire,

sent of God, utterly consumed. Other, for their froward behaviour to their rulers and governors,

God's ministers, were suddenly stricken with a Ibid. xii.1-10. foul leprosy. Other were stinged to death with Ibid. xxi. 5, 6. wonderful strange fiery serpents. Other were sore

plagued, so that there was killed in one day the number of fourteen thousand and seven hundred,

for rebellion against them whom God had ap2 Sam. xviii. pointed to be in authority. Absalon also, rebelling

against his father King David, was punished with a strange and notable death.

,

Ibid. xvi. 41-49

9, 1o.

THE THIRD PART OF THE SERMON OF

OBEDIENCE.

Ye have heard before, in this Sermon of good Order and Obedience, manifestly proved both by Scriptures and examples, that all subjects are bounden to obey their magistrates, and for no cause to resist (or withstand), rebel, or make any sedition against them, yea, although they be wicked men.

And let no man think that he can escape unpunished that committeth treason, conspiracy, or rebellion against his Sovereign Lord the King, though he commit the same never so secretly, either in thought, word, or deed, never so privily in his privy chamber by himself, or openly communicating and consulting with other. For treason will not be hid ; treason will out at the length. God will have that most detestable vice both opened and punished; for that it is so directly against his ordinance and against his high principal judge and anointed in earth.

The violence and injury that is committed against authority is committed against God, the common weal, and the whole realm; which God will have known, and condignly (or worthily) punished one way or other. For it is notably written of the Wise Man in Scripture, in the book called Ecclesiastes, Wish the king no evil in thy thought, nor Eccles. x. 20. speak no hurt of him in thy priry chamber; for a bird of the air shall betray thy roice, and with her feathers shall she bewray thy words.

These lessons and examples are written for our learning. Let us all therefore fear the most detestable vice of rebellion, ever knowing and remembering that he that resisteth (or withstandeth) common authority resisteth (or withstandeth) God and his ordinance, as it may be proved by many other mo places of holy Scripture.

And here let us take heed that we understand not these or such other like places, which so straitly command obedience to superiors, and so straitly punisheth rebellion and disobedience to the same, to be meant in any condition of the pretensed (or coloured) power of the bishop of Rome. For truly the Scripture of God alloweth no such usurped power, full of enormities, abusions, and blasphemies: but the true meaning of these and such places be to extol and set forth God's true ordinance, and the authority of God's anointed kings, and of their officers appointed under them. And concerning the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, which he most wrongfully challengeth as the successor of Christ and Peter, we may easily perceive how false, feigned, and forged it is, not only in that it hath no sufficient ground in holy Scripture, but also by the fruits

:

« הקודםהמשך »