James I (Stuart) of England
Selections From King James'
The Trew Law of Free Monarchies
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I haue chosen then onely to set downe in this short Treatise, the trew grounds of the mutuall duetie, and
alleageance betwixt a free and absolute Monarche, and his people;
not to trouble your patience with answering the
contrary propositions, which some haue not bene ashamed to set downe in writ, to the poysoning of infinite number of
simple soules, and their owne perpetuall, and well deserued infamie: For by answering them, I could not haue eschewed
whiles to pick, and byte wel saltly their persons; which would rather haue bred contentiousnesse among the readers (as
they had liked or misliked) then sound instruction of the trewth: Which I protest to him that is the searcher of all hearts,
is the onely marke that I shoot at herein.
First then, I will set downe the trew grounds, whereupon I am to build, out of the Scriptures, since Monarchie is the trew
of Diuinitie, as I haue already said: next, from the fundamental Lawes of our owne Kingdome, which nearest
must concerne vs: thirdly, from the law of Nature, by diuers similitudes drawne out of the same: and will conclude syne
by answering the most weighty and appearing incommodities that can be obiected.
The Princes duetie to his Subiects is so clearely set downe in many places of the Scriptures, and so openly confessed by
all the good Princes, according to their
oath in their Coronation
, as not needing to be long therein, I shall as shortly as I
can runne through it.
Kings are called Gods by the prophetical King Dauid, because they sit vpon GOD his Throne in the earth, and
haue the count of their administration to giue vnto him. Their office is, To minister Iustice and Iudgement to the
people, as the same Dauid saith: To aduance thegood, and punish the euill, as he likewise saith: To establish
good Lawes to his people, and procure obedience to the same as diuers good Kings of Iudah did: To procure the
peace of the people, as the same Dauid saith: To decide all controuersies that can arise among them, as Salomon
did: To be the Minister of God for the weale of them that doe well, and as the minister of God, to take vengeance
vpon them that doe evill, as S. Paul saith. And finally, As a good Pastour, to goe out and in before his people as is
said in the first of Samuel: That through the Princes prosperitie, the peoples peace may be procured, as Ieremie
And therefore in the Coronation of our owne Kings, as well as of euery Christian Monarche, they giue their Oath, first to
maintaine the Religion presently professed within their countrie, according to their lawes, whereby it is established, and
to punish all those that should presse to alter, or disturbe the profession thereof; And next to maintaine all the lowable
and good Lawes made by their predecessours: to see them put in execution, and the breakers and violaters thereof, to be