- This document is found in The Workes on page 601.
- The paragraphs can be long, we have therefore split up some of them for ease of reading.
- The marginal references are not here.
- Underlining is ours.
- Most of this treatise retains original spellings except for the portion(s) that I had to type in—I read and typed the way I spell words for quickness. Sound it out and you can get it easily, e.g., downe is down. "Wee" is "we". Also, the context of the sentence will tell you what the word is. King James wrote in modern English*.
- Definitions in brackets following the word [ ].
- Typography was different back then. Just remember a few rules and you'll have no problem.
U=w, u= v, I=J, v=u...
cvrteous=curteous* [For more information on when the modern English period began, see the breakdown in, "The words of the Authorized King James Bible are not archaic."]
Vpon the 27. 28. 29. Verses of the XXVII Chapter
of Saint MATTHEW.
A PATERNE FOR A KINGS
Written by the KINGS MAIESTIE. PSAL. 2. 10.
Bee wise now therefore, O yee Kings;
bee instructed yee Iudges of the earth.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE.
MY dearest and onely Sonne, in the beginning of this same yeere, I wrote a short Meditation vpon the Lords Prayer, and I told the reason, that now being growen in yeares, I was weary of Controuersies and to write of high questions, and therefore had chosen now a plaine and easie subiect to treat of: But of late it hath fallen out, that one day reading priuatly to my selfe the passion of CHRIST, in the end of S. Matthewes Gospell, I lighted vpon that part, where the Gouernors Souldiers mocked our Sauiour, with putting the ornaments of a King vpon him. Which appeared to me to be so punctually set doune, that my head hammered vpon it diuers times after, and specially the Croune of thornes went neuer out of my mind, remembring the thorny cares, which a King (if he haue a care of his office) must be subiect vnto, as (God knowes) I daily and nightly feele in mine owne person. Whereupon I apprehended that it would bee a good paterne to put inheritors to kingdomes in minde of their calling, by the forme of their inauguration; and so resolued to borrow some houres from my rest, to write a short Meditation vpon it. But on a time telling Buckingham this my intention, and that I thought you the fittest person to whom I could dedicate it, for diuers reasons following, hee humbly and earnestly desired mee, that hee might haue the honour to be my amanuensis in this worke. First, because it would free mee from the paine of writing, by sparing the labour both of mine eyes and hand; and next, that hee might doe you some peece of seruice thereby; protesting, that his natural obligation to you (next me) is redoubled by the many fauours that you daily heape upon him. And indeed, I must ingenuously confesse to my comfort, that in making your affections to follow and second thus your Fathers, you shew what reuerent loue you carry towards me in your heart; besides the worthy example you giue to all other Kings eldest Sonnes for imitation, beginning heereby to performe one of the rules set doune to my sonne HENRY, that is with God, in my BASILIKON DORON. And indeed my graunting of this request to Buckingham hath much eased my labour, considering the slownesse, ilnesse, and vncorrectnes of my hand.
As I dedicated therfore my Meditation upon the Lords Prayer to him, in regard aswell of the necessity that Courtiers haue to pray (considering that among great resort of people they cannot euer be in good company, besides the many allurements they haue to sinne) as also that short Prayers are fittest for them; for they haue seldome leisure to bestow long time upon praying, as I told him in my Preface: euen so I can dedicate this my Paterne of a Kings inauguration to none so fitly, as to you, my dearest Sonne, both for the subiect and the shortnesse of it: the shortnesse, since you spend so much time abroad, as you can bestow but little upon the Muses at home. And yet I will thus farre excuse you, that I would haue euery age be like it selfe: to see a young man old, and an old man young, is an ill-fauoured sight. Youth should bee actiue and 1aborious, or else (I feare) dulnesse wil come with age: Imberbis iuuenis, tandem custode remoto, Gaudet equis canibsque & aprici gramine campi, but yet upon the other part, est modus in rebus, and moderata durant. And as to the subiect, whom can a paterne for a Kings Inauguration so well fit as a Kings sonne and heire, beeing written by the King his Father, and the paterne taken from the King of all Kings ?
To your brother (now with GOD) I dedicated my BASILIKON DORON, wherein I gaue him my aduice anent [definition: concerning] the gouernement of Scotland in particular: this is but a short preparatiue for a Kings Inauguration, and a little forewarning of his great and heauie burthen. it is soone read and easily caried: make it therefore your vade mecum, to prepare you, and put you in a habit for that day, which (I dare sweare) you will neuer wish for, (as you gaue sufficient proofe by your carefull attendance in my late great sicknesse, out of which it pleased God to deliuer mee)-and I hope I shall neuer giue you cause. But it will bee a great reliefe to you in the bearing of your burthen, that you be not taken tarde; but that you foresee the weight of it before hand, and make your selfe able to support the same: nam leuius loedit quicquid praeuidimus ante; and it is a good old Scottish prouerbe, that a man warned is halfe armed. Looke not therefore to finde the softnesse of a doune-pillow in a Croune, but remember that it is a thornie piece of stuffe and full of continuall cares. And because examples mooue much, I will remember you, what some kings of olde thought of the weight of a Diademe.
Antigonus, one of Alexanders successors, told an olde wife, that was praising vnto him his happinesse in his raigne; shewing his Diademe, that, if shee knew how many euils that clout was stuffed with, shee would not take it vp, if shee found it lying on the ground. And Seleucus another of them spake many times to the like effect. And Dionysius, the first tyrant of Syracuse, though hee gouerned like a Tyrant all his life, and therefore onely cared for himselfe and not for his people; yet, when Damocles his flatterer recounted vnto him his great magnificence, wealth, power, and all his Kingly maiestie, affirming, that neuer any man was more happie, thinking therby to please his humour; the tyrant asked him (if he thought his life so pleasant) whether he would be contented to trie his fortune a little. And his flatterer answering him that hee was contented, hee made him to bee set in a golden bed, and in the middest of a rich and sumptuous feast, where no sort of princely magnificence was wanting; and while Damocles was in the middest of his happie estate (as hee thought) hee made a naked sword to bee hanged in a horse haire perpendicularly ouer his head with the point dounward. Vpon the sight whereof neither could his meate nor all his glorious royall attyre delight him any more; but all turned into his humble begging of the Tyrant, that hee might haue leaue to bee gone: for he was now resolued that he would be no more happie. And one of our owne predecessours, Henrie the fourth (called Henrie of Bullenbrooke) being in a traunce vpon his death-bed; his Sonne, Henrie the fift, thinking he had beene dead, a little too nimbly carried away the croune that stood by his Father: but the King recouering a little out of his fit missed his croune, and called for it; and when his sonne brought it backe againe, hee tolde him that, if hee had knowen what a croune was, hee would not haue beene so hastie: for hee protested that hee was neuer a day without trouble since it was first put vpon his head. It is true that hee was an vniust vsurper of the croune, but after hee gouerned both with iustice and valour. For you must remember that there been two sorts of tyrants, the one by vsurpation, the other by their forme of gouernment, or rather misgouernement. As for vsurpation you neede it not: you are like to succeede to a reasonable proportion: and certainely, Conquerours are but splendide robbers. And for tyrannous gouernement, I hope, you haue it not of kinde, nor shall euer learne it by me. All this I speake not to scarre you from cheerefull accepting of that place, when God shall bring you vnto it; but onely to forewarne you; that you deceiue not your selfe with vaine hopes. But as I wrote in my late Meditation, that a man should both examine himselfe, and then receiue the blessed Sacrament; but neither examine and not receiue, nor yet receiue and not examine: so I say to you, in this case prepare your selfe for the worst, and yet bee not discouraged for it, sed contra audentior ito. Remember that, difficilia quae pulchra, and that, via virtutis est ardua. And for my part I will pray the Lord of heauen and earth so to blesse you (that are the sonne and heire of a King) with this paterne of the inauguration of a King, written by a King; as you may in the owne time be worthy of a heauenly and permanent Kingdome. Amen.
[dated 29. Decemb. 1619.]
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER
CVrteous Reader, I know that in this extremely short discourse of mine of the Paterne of a Kings inauguration, thou wilt bee farre from finding the office of a King fully described therein. And therefore I haue thought good to informe thee hereby, that I onely write this as a ground, whereupon I meane (if God shall spare mee dayes and leisure) to set downe at large (as in the descant) the whole principall points belonging to the office of a King. And if my leisure cannot permit (whereof I despaire) I intend (God willing) to set some other more nimble pen on worke with my instructions. In the meane time, I haue made this as a short forewarning to my Son, that he may in time prepare himselfe for the bargaine, and study his craft; that if it shall please God by course of nature to bring him to it, (which I pray God he may) hee may not make his entry in it like a raw Spanish Bisogno, but rather like an olde souldier of a trained band, that needes no prompting nor direction to teach him how to vse his armes. So as mine end in this is rather a warning, then an instruction vnto him.
And so farewell.
FOR A KINGS
S. MATTHEW. Chap. 27. Vers. 27, 28, 29.
Then the souldiers of the Gouernour tooke Iesus into the Common Hall, and gathered vnto him the whole band of souldiers.
And they stripped him, and put on him a skarlet Robe. And when they had platted a crowne of thornes, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand, and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying, HAILE KING of the IEWES.
HEre haue wee in these three Verses, set downe the forme and paterne of the Inauguration of a King, together with a perfect description of the cares and crosses, that a King must prepare himselfe to indure in the due administration of his office. For the true understanding whereof, two things are to be respected and had in consideration, the Person and the Paterne: the qualities of the Person to bee applied to our comfort and salvation; the Paterne for our imitation or example. The Person was our SAVIOUR IESVS CHRIST, who was humbled for our exaltation, tortured for our comfort, despised for our glory, and suffered for our salvation.
What belongs therefore to his Person in his passion, I distinguish, in this my Meditation, from that which hee left as a paterne for imitation by all good Kings; the former serving for the generall soules health of all Christians, the later onely for the instruction of Kings. But since my chiefe end in this discourse is to speake of the paterne, as properly belonging to my calling; I will onely glaunce slightly at that which alanerly [defintion: only] concerns his Person, that part being already sufficiently handled by a whole armie of Divines. But heere it may bee obiected that this wrong and iniurie done by the Governours Souldiers to our SAVIOUR cannot fitly be drawne in example, and set foorth as a paterne for the Inauguration of Kings, because they did it but in mockerie of CHRIST; who having beene immediately before accused for usurping the title of King of the Iewes; they thought his person and presence so contemptible, as if it had beene worthy of no better Kingdome, then that scornefull reproach, which then they put upon him. To this I answere, that heere I consider not their wicked and scornefull actions, but what use it hath pleased the Almightie and All-mercifull God to draw out of their wickednesse, and turne it to his glorie. For it is ordinarie with God to bring light out of darkenesse, as hee did at the Creation, and to extract out of the worst of things good effects, as was expressed by Sampsons riddle. And therefore I observe and distinguish in this action betwixt the part of God, that wrang his glory out of their corruption without their knowledge; and their perverse inclination. For, though the nobler part of man, which is the soule, was utterly corrupted in them, yet God inforced their bodies (which is the vilest part of man) to that homage to his onely Sonne, vnwitting of their soules; which both their soules and their bodies ought to haue performed: euen as hee made Balaams Asse to instruct her master. And Balaam himselfe to blesse the people of Israel, when hee came of intent to curse them for filthy lucres sake, and as hee made Caiphas the high Priest to prophesie, though quite contrary to his owne meaning. It pleased therefore the Almighty to make those Souldiers worship Christ in their bodies with the reuerence due to a King, which their wretched soules neuer intended, thereby teaching vs, that we euer ought to worship him and his onely Sonne as well with our bodies (as they did) as with our soules, which no Christians denie; since he is the Creator and Redeemer of both. These therefore, that will refuse in any place or at any time to worship Christ aswell in body as in soule, are in that point inferiour to those prophane souldiers: which I wish were well obserued by our foolish superstitious Puritanes, that refuse to kneele at the receiuing of the blessed Sacrament. For, if euer at any time Christ is to bee worshipped, it is in time of prayer: and no time can be so fit for prayer and meditation, as is the time of our receiuing the Sacrament; and if any place can be more fit then other for worshipping of God and his Christ in, it is the Church, where is the ordinary assembly and meeting of his Saints. And now I returne to speake of the paterne.
Then the Souldiers of the Gouernour tooke IESVS into the common Hall (S. MARK. I5, 16. calleth it Praetorium, which was the common Hall, like our Westminster Hall, and serued for administration of Iustice, as the place of greatest resort) and gathered vnto him the whole band of Souldiers.
WEe see heere the Emperour of the whole world receauing the homage due vnto him, in that place, after that forme, and by that sort of persons, as it pleased him that many of the Romane Emperours (his shadowes and substitutes) should bee soone after his death inaugurated and inuested in the Empire, after that the gouernement of Rome was turned into a Monarchie, and ruled by Emperours. And it is worthy the obseruation (for proouing of the lawfulnesse of Monarchies and how farre that sort of gouernement is to bee preferred to any other) that as Christ himselfe was the Sonne and right heire by lineall descent of King Dauid; so was he borne vnder the first Romane Emperour, that euer established the Romane Empire.
For, though Iulius Caesar was in a manner the first Emperour, yet as he wan it by bloud, so ended hee in bloud: and therefore as God would not permit King Dauid to build him a materiall temple, because of his shedding of bloud; but made him leaue that worke to his sonne Salomon, who was a King of peace: so had it not beene fitting that the Sauiour of the World, the builder of his Church (whose body was likewise the true Temple represented by that of Salomon) should haue beene borne but vnder a King of peace, as was Augustus, and in a time of peace, when as the Temple of Ianus was shut, and when as all the World did pay him an vniuersall contribution, as is said in the second of Saint Lukes Gospel. Of which happy and peacefull time the Sibyls (though Ethnikes) made notable predictions, painting forth very viuely the blessed Child that then was to bee borne. Now as all publique solemnities haue a respect to these three circumstances, of forme, place, and person (whereof I haue already made mention) so in this action were all these three punctually obserued. First, the place, wherein this action was done, was the common Hall, the publique place for administration of Iustice. And although the Romanes did not precisely obserue anyone place for the inauguration of their Emperours, yet were all the places, where that action was performed, places of most publique resort of the people, as was this common Hall. For it is very fitting that he, that is to be acknowledged the head of all sorts of people, should be inuested in a place where all sorts of people may conueene and concurre to doe homage. And as to the qualities of the persons that performed this action, they were Romane Souldiers; and not a small number of them, but it was done by the whole band of the Gouernours Souldiers. And this was iust the forme of the election of a number of the Romane Emperours: for the Romane Emperours were neither elected by the Senate, nor by the people. For although the authoritie till the time of the Emperours was in the Senate and people of Rome, yet euer after the rising of the great factions in Rome, betweene Iulius Caesar and Pompey, things were brought to that confusion, that the Senate and people retained but the shadow of authority: but in very deede it was the armie that vsurped the power of electing of all the Emperours, beginning at Claudius, who next Caligula succeeded Tiberius, who reigned at the time of Christs death, and so continuing still till after Titus Vespasian; and after Commodus almost all were thus chosen for the space of many yeares, as all the best Writers of the Romane history make mention. Now the Praetorian cohorts (who were indeed the very flowre and greatest strength of the Roman armie), had the chiefe sway in the election of the Emperors. The resemblance whereof we may at this day see in the Turkish Empire. For the great Turks Ianisaries are his Praetorian cohorts; and although that Empire be hereditary, yet haue the Ianisaries so great power in it (as it was lately seene) that by them, after the death of Achmat this great Turkes father, this Princes Vncle was set vpon the throne and quickly after deposed by them againe, and this Prince Osman set vp in his fathers place. And euen so after the long troubles that were in Moscouia, after the death of their Duke or Emperour Iuan Vasiliwich (who was the last Prince that gouerned that land in peace) the Cosackes, which are the very Praetorian cohorts in that countrey, elected this Duke or Emperour, Michael Feodorwich, which now reignes. I know there was many sorts of Praetors in Rome, one was Praetor ciuilis, who iudged but in ciuill causes, and another was Praetor militaris, who was indeed the Captaine of the Emperours guards: and of them I now make mention, not that I meane hereby to exclude the power of the rest of the armie in that action; but the Praetorian cohorts being the strength and floure of them (as I said already) the rest of the armie commonly followed, where they led the ring. Now the kingdome of the Iewes being, in the time of Christ, subiect to the Emperour of Rome, the Emperours gouernours band of souldiers, which had a resemblance to the Emperours Praetorian cohorts (euen as a Viceroy represents the person of the Emperour or King his master) brought Iesvs to the common Hall or Praetorium, and there did inaugurate him as you shall hereafter heare. And as to the forme of his inauguration, the spirit of GOD, sets it downe very punctually: First, they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe; S. Marke and S. Iohn cals it a purple robe, which is one in substance; although they were of diuers ingredients. For the ancient purple was of a reddish colour, and both scarlet and purple were so rich and princely dyes of old, as they were onely worne by Kings and Princes, and that chiefely in their princely robes: but now these sorts of dyes are lost. This purple or scarlet dye may also admit a metaphoricall allusion to the blood of Christ, that was shed for vs. For the robes of his flesh were dyed in that true purple and scarlet dye of his bloud, whose bloud must wash our sinnes, that wee may appeare holy and vnspotted before him in our white robes, washed in the bloud of the Lambe. They first stripped him then, for it is thought (and not improbably) that his owne cloathes were after the auncient forme of a Prophets garment; onely his coate, without any seame in it, was to fulfill the prophecie of Dauid, that they should cast lots for it; and did also signifie the indiuisible vnitie of the Church, which I pray God the true Church of Christ would now well remember. Now therefore, when they were to declare him a King, they tooke off his Prophets garment and put a royall robe vpon him.
Kings euer vsed to weare robes when they sate in their throne of Maiestie, and euen purple robes: for robes or long gownes are fittest to sit withall, and sitting is the fittest posture for expressing of grauitie in iudgment; standing signifies too great precipitation, which is chiefly to bee auoyded in iudgement, for no man can stand long without wearying; walking betokens a wandring lightnesse and distraction of the senses; leaning portends weaknesse, and lying inability. And therefore God himselfe is (per [editor: unknown characters]) described in his word to sit in his Throne, and Christ to sit at his right hand; nay, the foure and twenty Elders haue Thrones set for them to sit in, for they are euen to be CHRISTS assistants in iudging of the world. Kings therefore, as GODS Deputie-iudges vpon earth, sit in thrones, clad with long robes, not as laikes and simply togati (as inferior secular Iudges are) but as mixtae personae (as I said in my BASIIIKON DORON) being bound to make a reckoning to GOD for their subiects soules as well as their bodies. Not that they ought to vsurpe any point of the Priestly office, no more then the Priest should the Kings, for these two offices were deuided in Aarons Priesthood; but it is the Kings office to ouersee and compell the Church to do her office, to purge all abuses in her, and by his sword (as vindex vtriusque tabulae ) to procure her due reuerence and obedience of all his temporall subiects. And that royall robes are of purple, it is to represent thereby as well the continuance and honor of their function, as that their iustice and equitie should be without staine or blemish. For the ancient purple, whereof we haue now but the counterfeit, was of extreame long lasting, and could not be stayned. And next,
When they had platted a croune of thornes, they set it vpon his head.
HEere is set doune what thing they set vpon his head, of what stuffe it was made, and in what manner it was wrought. The thing they set vpon his head was a croune, in the greeke text called (Greek characters). Anciently the Kings of the Gentiles wore diademes: it is a greeke compound word of (Greek characters) & (Greek characters), which is to binde about, for it went about the head: but in case one would stretch it to (Greek characters) & (Greek characters), which is the people (though the greeke language will no way beare it) it wil serue for a good remembrance to a King; for the diademe or croune must put him in mind how he raignes by the loue and acknowledgement of his people. I will not heere play the linguist to contest with a sort of popular tribunes, whether that (Greek characters) may in a greeke coniunction of wordes bee sometimes vsed as well for for as from: for I admit that sense, that it shall onely bee vnderstood from the people. For no question, though all successiue Kings receiue their crounes from GOD onely, yet the people at their inauguration giue a publike acknowledgement of their willing subiection to his person and authority, submitting themselues to the will of GOD, who is the onely giuer of it; which is signified by the putting of the diademe or croune vpon his head.
The diademe it selfe was a manner of garland which went about the head made like a wreath of silke ribban, or some such like thing; which signified, that as all such, as wan the prize in any match, had garlands put vpon their heads, in signe of the popular applause for their good deseruings; so Kings had diademes put vpon their heads, in signe of the peoples willing consent to bee subiect vnto them, that diademe or garland being a marke of their eminencie aboue all others: not that I meane that the forme of diademes was taken from the garlands (for I take the diademes to bee farre more ancient then the garland) but I onely speake heere of the resemblance betweene them in some cases. Neither will I denie that many Kings of the nations had their diademes or crounes giuen them by the people, who trans- lated and transferred by that act all their power into their Kings; but it followeth not that GOD therefore did not set those Kings vpon their thrones. For although those infidell nations knew not God, yet God, qui disponit omnia suauiter, put it in the peoples hearts to acknowledge them for their Kings, and willingly to submit themselues vnto them, euen that God, who is not onely the searcher and knower, but euen the rule of all hearts. But among the people of God, where God visibly ruled, the King of his people was immediately chosen by himselfe, and the people onely gaue obedience thereunto (as is more then plaine in the old Testament) so as the only difference was, that, what GOD did directly by his word and oracle among his owne people in the election of Kings, he did it onely by his secret working in the hearts of other nations, though themselues knew not from whence those motions came, which GOD by his finger wrought in their hearts. And the latine word corona signifies also the same thing that diadema did. For the croune is set vpon the Kings head and compasseth it to shew, that as the croune compasseth the Kings head, so is hee to sit in the middest of his people. His wakerif [wakeful, vigilant] care is euer to bee imployed for their good, their loue is his greatest safetie, and their prosperitie is his greatest honour and felicitie. For many times among the Romans, the word corona signified the people, as *Aliquid etiam coronae datum. And Saint Paul, I. Thess. 2. 19. calls them the Croune of his reioycing or glorying.
As to the stuffe wherof this Croune was made, it was made of thornes: and it is vulgarly well knowen that thornes signifie stinging and pricking cares. That King therefore, who will take his paterne from this heauenly King, must not thinke to weare a Croune of gold and precious stones only, but it must be lyned with Thornes, that is, thornie cares: for he must remember that hee weares not that croune for himselfe, but for others; that hee is ordayned for his people, and not his people for him. For he is a great watchman and shepheard, as well as Church-men are: and his eye must neuer slumber nor sleepe for the care of his flocke, euer remembring that his office, beeing duely executed, will prooue as much onus as honos vnto him. And as to the forme of making the croune of thomes, it is said, they platted thornes and made a croune of them. Now euery man knoweth, that where a number of long things, in forme of lines, shall bee platted through other, it makes a troublesome and intricate worke to finde out all the ends of them, and set them asunder againe, especially to set straight and eauen againe all the seuerall peeces that must be bowed in the platting: but aboue all, to set straight and asunder againe thomes that are platted, is a most vncomfortable worke. For though anyone peece of thome may be handled in someplace without hurt, yet no man can touch platted thomes without danger of pricking. As a croune of thornes then represents the stinging cares of Kings, so a croune of platted thornes doth more viuely represent the anxious and intricate cares of Kings, who must not onely looke to be troubled with a continuall care for the good gouemement of their people, but they must euen expect to meete with a number of crosse and intricate difficulties, which will appeare to bee so full of repugnances among themselues, as they can scantly be touched without smarting. And euen as a good and skilfull Physitian is most troubled with that sort of patient, that hath many implicate diseases vpon him (the fittest cure for some of them beeing directly noysome to others, and the antidote to one of his diseases proouing little better then poyson to another of them) so must Kings exercise their wisedome in handling so wisely these knotty difficulties, and with so great a moderation; that too great extremitie in one kinde may not prooue hurtfull in another, but, by a musicall skill, temper and turne all these discords into a sweet harmonie.
And they put a reede in his right hand.
THis reede represented the Kingly scepter, which is the pastorall rod of a King; and the straightnesse of the reed, his righteousnesse in the administration of iustice, without any partiality, as it is Psal. 45. 7. The scepter of thy kingdome is a right scepter. The scepter represents the Kings authority; for as the royall robes are first put on vpon a King, to shew the grauitie and dignitie of the person that is to bee inaugurated, and as the croune represents the loue and willing acknowledgement of his people, so the scepter is next put in his hand to declare his authoritie who is already found worthy to enioy the same by his coronation. The authoritie of God himselfe is expressed in the 2. Psal. By a rod of yron, wherewith he is to bruise the nations that rebel against him, which rod of yron signifies his scepter. But this scepter put in the hand of Christ was a reede. It is true that the reeds of those countreys, as those of India are, bee a great deale bigger, harder and more solid then ours; but though one may giue a great blow with them, yet are they much more brittle then solide timber is, and hard blowes giuen with them will easily make them breake: thereby teaching Christian Kings that their scepters (which represent their authority) should not be too much vsed nor stretched, but where necessity requires it. For many harde blowes giuen with a reede would make it quickly breake (as I haue sayd) and wise Kings would bee loth to put their prerogatiue vpon the tenter-hookes, except a great necessity should require it. For there is a great difference betweene the scepter (which represents the authority of a King toward all his subiects as well good as bad) and the sword, which is onely ordayned for the punishment of the euill. And therefore the scepter of a King should bee of a reede, that is, to correct gently: but the sword, which is ordayned for punishment of vice, and purging the land of haynous and crying sinnes, must bee a sharpe weapon. And also the scepter of a reede did not onely serue for a paterne to other Kings, but it fitted properly the person of Christ, who, being the true King of mercy, came to conuert sinners and bring them to repentance, but not to destroy them; for as himselfe sayth, his burthen is light and his yoke is easie. But although this scepter must bee put in the KINGS hand by some one of his subiects (for God will not come himselfe, nor by an Angel out of heauen deliuer it vnto him, for that were miraculous and is not to bee expected) yet I hope no Christian doubts but that the authority of a King, whereof the scepter is the representation, is onely giuen by God. Per me reges regnant & domini dominantur. Kings are anoynted of God sitting in his seate and therefore called Gods: and all superiour powers are of God; nay the Prophet Ieremie cals that Ethnike Emperour, Nebuchadnezar, the seruant of God, and S. Paul calls the tyrant Nero, in his time, the minister of God.
And that it was put in his right hand, it was because the right hand signifieth both honour and power: Honour, Christ sits at the right hand of God. Sit thou at my right hand, Psal. 110.993 Power, as the hand of action: And thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things, Psal. 45. and Psal. 118. 16. both are expressed, The right hand of the Lord hath the preeminence, the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to passe.
And they bowed the knee before him, and (as Saint Marke witnesseth) they worshipped him.
NOw though this kneeling and worship was in a mockery done by them; yet may wee learne heere that God thought it no Idolatry that his sonne should be kneeled vnto, euen in the time of his greatest humilitie, and entring in his passion. But I haue touched this point already. As for their worshipping him, it is true that both their kneeling and worship were intended as a ciuill homage done to a temporal King; and in that sence the old word of worship was wont to be vsed in English, and as yet it is vsed here in the celebration of marriage. This ciuill worship is easily distinguished by them that please from diuine worship: for to reuerence an earthly creature, and do him respect in regard of the eminencie of his place, yea euen to make a request or prayer vnto him, is quite different from a diuine and spirituall worship. For in the former we onely doe reuerence or make our request to these temporall Kings or persons that are subiect to our senses; but we can vse no spirituall worship or prayer that can be auaileable vnto vs without faith. Let the schoole distinctions of [editor: unknown Greek characters] a deceiue them that list to be deceiued with them: for all prayer in faith is due to God onely.
And after their kneeling and worshipping him,
They mocked him, saying, HAILE KING OF THE IEWEs.
AS for their mocking him, I haue largely declared that point already: but as to the words which they vsed in saluting him, they are also vsed in the ordinary forme of the Inauguration of Kings; that, after all the actions of ceremony are vsed vnto him, the people that are more remote & cannot with their eies see the performance of those actions, may know they are performed by the publike proclaiming of him. And because the rest of this inauguration of Christ, is set doune in other places of the new Testament, I must here supply it: for lonely set doune, in the beginning, the Text of S. Matthew, as being the only place of Scripture which makes the longest and most particular relation ofhis inauguration. For this action stayed not here, but Pilate (who was both iudge and gouemour, vnder the Romanes of that part of the country) made him to bee sent forth out of the common hall, and shewed to all the people in that kingly attire: and when as the bloudy and malitious Iewes cryed out to crucifice him, hee answered againe, shall I crucifie your King? And after that, he sent him to Herod (who was Tetrarch and Viceroy of the fourth part of Iewrie) who put other gorgeous robes vpon him: so as he was not onely inaugurated and proclaimed King of the Iewes by the Gouernours Roman Souldiers who represented the Praetorian cohorts; but hee was also so acknowledged by the iudge and gouernour Pilate, and by the Tetrarch Herod. But herein was the difference, that all this action performed by Herod and his Souldiers, was but a wicked mockery in their intention: whereas by the contrary, Pilate, being both iudge and gouemour, meant it not in mockery; but was in a great doubt and wist not what to make of it: as it appeares both by his questioning of Christ, and also that hee brought him forth of the common hall and shewed him to the whole multitude in his royall robes and his croune vpon his head, saying vnto them, Behold the Man; thereby as it were confirming publikely his inauguration done by the Souldiers before, and when the people cryed, Away with him, his answere was (as I said already) Shall I crucifie your King? Both which words he spake to strike a terrour into them, or at least to mooue them, to commiseration, seeming to mocke him as they did: for both Christs answere vnto him, and his Wiues message vpon a dreame she had, put him in a great perplexitie; till the feare he had of offending the Emperor in case CHRIST had prooued thereafter to haue beene the righteous King of the Iewes (which Herod the great also apprehended at his birth) enforced him to pronounce so iniust and detestable a sentence; so as, that in his owne heart he meant no iest in it, is clearely apparant in making his title to be written aboue his head vpon the Crosse, as an honorable inscription, euen set in that place aboue his head, and to the view of all the world. And to make it the more publike, it was written in three languages, Hebrew, Greeke and Latine: Hebrew, as the vulgar language of that people; and Greeke and Latine as the most common and publike languages of all Proselytes and strangers, that should come to see that spectacle: especially, these two were the languages of all prophane learning. Euen as in this kingdome it was the ancient custome and is still obserued to this day, that vpon S. Georges day, and at other high festiuall times, the chiefe Herald garter comes in the middest of the feast, and proclaimes my titles in three languages, Latine, French, and English: English, because it is the vulgar language of this kingdome; and Latine and French, as the two strange tongues that maniest here do vnderstand. Especially the time is to be obserued when the order of the Garter was first instituted by Edward the third who as hee was Sonne to the daughter of France, so at that time the French tongue was in a manner the vulgar language of this Nation: and therefore they are proclaimed in three languages heere, that it may bee vnderstood by the vulgar sort (as Pilates inscription was) and not concealed from them. Now what ground the Papists [definition: Roman Catholics] can haue heereby, to haue not onely their Masse and seruice in an vnknowne tongue, but euen that ignorant people shall bee taught their prayers in a strange tongue which they vnderstand not, I leaue it to the iudgement of the indifferent reader: for, besides that it is directly prohibited by Saint Paul, it is flatly contrary to Pilates action in this case. For one of the three languages wherein Christs title was written vpon the crosse, was Hebrew, which was the vulgar language of that Countrie: and the other two were these that were best vnderstood by the strangers and Proselytes there.
So as it is a flat contradiction betweene Pilates act (who by all meanes stroue to make Christs title so to be read and vnderstood by all men) and our Papists, that will haue their seruice and prayers to bee in an vnknowen tongue, that no ignorant countrey-man may vnderstand them. But it is illlucke for the Church of Rome, that the best warrant they can bring for this their forme of the worship of God, is grounded vpon the example of Pilate. But to returne to our purpose; though it was the common fashion that great offendors, so executed, had the nature and qualitie of their crimes written aboue their heads; yet in my opinion it is cleare enough (as I said already) that Pilate gaue the title to Christ in earnest. Not onely for that hee made it so solemnely to be written aboue his head vpon the crosse, but euen after that the high Priest had wittily and maliciously requested him to correct that writng, and in place of IESVS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE IEWES, to say, IESVS OF NAZARETH THAT CALLETH HIMSELFE KING OF THE IEWES, he absolutely refused it, in these words, quod scripsi scripsi, which was a constant refusall, worthy of a iudge in maintenance of a iust decree. Happy had Pilate beene, if base feare had not made him pronounce a worse sentence before. So as, if there were no more but this action of Pilate so constant and absolute, it were enough to prooue (according to my first ground in the beginning of this discourse) that though the wicked people (both lewes and Romanes) intended nothing in all this worke, but a malicious and blasphemous mockery, yet had God his worke to two ends heereiU. First, that his onely Sonne might thus be put to the height of derision, that his passion might be fully accomplished for our saluation: and next, that (as I said in the beginning) he, that brings light out of darkenes, might wring from this malitiously blinded people a bodily externall acknowledgement of his Sonnes true title to that kingdome, prophecied of old, that the scepter should not depart from Iuda, nor a law-giuer from betweene his feete till Shiloh came: prophecied likewise by Balaam,which prophecie (as some learned writers thinke) instructed the wise Kings of the East, who were guided by thestarre, to come and worship Christ. This title was likewise the occasion of great trouble to Herod the greats minde, whereupon came his murthering of the children, and is so carefully set doune in the genealogie of Christ, written by two Euangelists; and was not denied by Christ himselfe, when Pilate asked him the question. And so this forme of Christs inauguration was left for a paterne to all Christian Kings thereafter.
Yet amongst all these insignia regalia, the sword is amissing, the reason is, his first coming was to suffer for our salvation from the sword of divine iustice; and not to vse the sword, to take vengeance upon euill doers: at his second coming he will come as a iudge, and use his sword upon the wicked. And therefore he came in the flesh, as a lambe, not once opening his mouth when hee was led to the slaughter: suffering without repining the highest outrages to the minde, which is, mockery with contempt, a kinde of persecution; and the greatest tortures in the body that could bee deuised, that the prophecie of Ieremie might bee accomplished, non est dolor sicut dolor meus. HE was buffeted, and so made a slave, he was spit upon as a worme, and so, farre lesse then any humane creature; he was beaten with his owne rod, as the proverbe is: for after that they had put a reede in his right hand, they pulled it out againe and smote him with it: hee was mocked in the highest measure, both before and after his nayling to the crosse. And as to the torture of his body, hee was extreamly scourged: the crowne of platted thornes made innumerable bloudy wounds in his head: and he was nayled both through hands and feete to the infamous death of the crosse; that the extremity of his anguish in mind, and torture in body, might serve as a full ransome, to satisfie his fathers iustice for our redemption. He came then at this time as a titularie King of that kingdome, but not to exercise any worldly iurisdiction, regnum eius non erat huius mundi, and so he taught his Disciples to follow him, Reges gentium dominantur eis vos autem non sic. He had no use of a sword then, nay, he found fault with Saint Peters using it, telling him, Hee that striketh with the sword shall perish by the sword; leaving it belike to those that call themselves Peters successors [popes], who come in the spirit of Elias with fire, adding gun-powder and the sword unto it. But our Saviour knew not how to set both croune and mitre upon one head: nor yet was he acquainted with that distinction, that a Church-man may use the temporall sword, to procure bonum spirituale.
But to returne to our purpose of Christs humilitie; it may bee obiected that it is not likely, that our Saviour would in the very middest of his passion (which was the aciton of his greatest humility) give even then a glance of his title to a worldly kingdome: for suffering of iniuries, especially such base abuses, is directly contrary to the maiesty of a King and the honour of his inauguration. To this I answere two wayes, first, it was necessary that Christ in the time of his passion should approue himselfe to bee lineally descended from Dauid, yea euen next heire to the croune of the Iewes; that he might in the sight of the world, before his going out of it, fulfill these prophecies which I lately made mention of, thereby to prooue himselfe the true Messias that was promised. And next, as hee was both God and Man, so shall ye finde that euen from his conception till his very expiring vpon the crosse, he euer intermixed glances of his glory, in the midst of his greatest humilitie. Was it not a glorious thing that the Angel Gabriel should be the messenger to the blessed Virgin of his conception? When Ioseph thought to put away his wife, thinking shee had beene vnlawfully with childe by a man, hee was prohibited by an Angel in a dreame. When the blessed Virgin, beeing with child, went to the hill countrey to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Iohn the Baptist sprang in the belly of his mother, which was a miraculous kinde of worshipping and congratulating our Sauiour in the belly of his blessed mother. He was borne in a poore stable, in a beasts cribb, and amongst beasts, but the Angels sung a glorious hymne of gratulation at his birth. His parents fled to Egypt with him, when hee was yet in the cradle; but, immediatly before that, three Kings of the East brought presents to him, and worshipped him. Hee was obedient to his parents during his minority; but, being but twelue yeeres of age, hee disputed publikely in the Temple with the Doctors of their Law, to the admiration of all the hearers. Hee was baptized in Iordan by Iohn Baptist, as many of the common people were: but at his baptisme the Holy Ghost descended vpon his head in the likenesse of a doue, and a voice was heard from his Father, saying, This is my beloued SONNE, in whom I am well pleased. And hee auowed to the Scribes and Pharisees, that Abraham longed to see his day and did see it, giuing the title to himselfe which God vsed in the fiery bush to Moses, I am that I am; for hee sayd vnto them, before Abraham was, I am. Hee fled diuers times from the fury of the Iewes, nay, the sonne of man had not a hole to hide his head in: and yet hee purged the temple twice, and like a great temporall magistrate scourged and thrust out those that bought and sold in the temple: yea hee rebuked the windes and commanded the seas. And, at his transfiguration, he made his body appeare a glorified body, by dispensation at that time; halling (as the true God) the Law and the commentary and application thereof, which is the Prophets, to attend vpon him in the persons of Moses and Elias. He payed tribute, to shew, that neither Christ as man, nor S. Peter must bee exempted from giuing vnto Caesar that which is Caesars: but caused Peter to angle for it, and take it out of the mouth of a fish, to shew the power of his Godhead. Sometimes hee went vp priuately to the feast at Ierusalem for feare of the Iewes: but at his last Passeouer hee sent some of his Disciples, and by them commanded him, whom hee meant to make his host, to prepare his house for him, for the Lord meant to keepe his Passeouer there. He refused to be a King when the people would haue made him one: and yet hee commanded some of his Disciples to vntie an asse, telling her owner that the Master had neede of her. And then made a publike entrie vpon her through Ierusalem like a temporall King, euen with many solemnities belonging to a Kings riding in state. For his Disciples put their clothes vpon the asse and the colt, as it were to represent the garnishing with foot-clothes, as wel the horse he rode on as his led horse: the people also spread their garments in the way, and others cut downe branches and strawed them: all which is an vsuall forme that people vse to honour their King with, at such solemne times. He had also the acclamation of all the people crying Hosanna to the sonne of Dauid, etc. nay, euen hee himselfe tooke it vpon him as his due; for when the chiefe Priests and Scribes thinking that hee would not take such state vpon him, asked if hee heard what the people said, hee answered them out of that of the eight Psalme, Out of the mouthes of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected prayse. And as for his riding vpon an asse, it was not a contemptible thing for Kings and Princes in the East, especially among the Iewes, to ride vpon asses euen in the sight of the people. Hee washed his disciples feete, to teach them humility, immediatly before his last Supper: and yet a few dayes before that, he highly commended Mary Magdalen for breaking an alabaster boxe of oyntments vpon his feete, and suffered her to wipe them with the haire of her head. When the Iewes sent their officers with Iudas to apprehend him; though he suffered them at the last to carrie him away, yet at the first with a flash and cast of his eye (wherein, no question, the Diuinitie sparkled when he listed), he made them all fall backwards, so as they could not approch him againe till hee permitted them. The cast of his eye made likewise S. Peter goe forth and weepe when the cocke crew. And euen vpon the very crosse, though the death thereupon was accursed by the Law, he was exalted, as S. Paul saith; and there promised the penitent thiefe, he should be that day with him in Paradise, hauing that royall inscription (whereof I haue made mention already) written aboue his head in the three most publike tongues. Yea, euen after that his body was taken off the crosse, a principall man amongst the Iewes, Ioseph of Arimathea, begged his bodie of Pilate; and not onely imbaumed it (as kings and Princes bodies vse to bee) but put it in a new faire sepulchre, which had been prepared for himselfe. And thus you see, that, through all the course of our Sauiours life in this world he gaue vpon euery occasion some glances of his glory; for the conuersion or confirming of some of his elect, and for making the wicked and stubborne hearted inexcusable. For hee thought it no robberie to bee equall with God.
And now to conclude this paterne of a King, I will shortly summe vp these regall ornaments together with their signification, which before I handled. A King hath first great cause of contentment if the people of all sorts (especially those to whose place it belongs) doe willingly conueene and concurre to his publike inauguration. A King must looke to haue that action performed in publike, and in a publike place; that the loue of his people may appeare in that solemne action. Two things a King hath specially to 1ooke vnto at his inauguration; first, that his title to the croune be iust, and next that he may possesse it with the loue of his people. For although a Monarchie or hereditary kingdome cannot iustly be denied to the lawfull successor, what euer the affections of the people be; yet it is a great signe of the blessing of God, when he enters in it with the willing applause of his subiects. Now the first ornament, that is to be put vpon him, are his robes, to put him in memory that in his sitting in iudgment he is to vse grauitie, great patience in hearing all parties, & mature deliberation before he pronounce his sentence. And the purple dye of his robe, should put him in memory not to prooue vnworthy of so ancient a croune and dignitie: and to take great heed to his conscience, that his iudgement may be without blemish or staine of whatsoeuer corrupt affections. For iustice must be blinde, and it is she that establisheth the thrones of KINGS. The setting of the croune vpon his head must put him in mind, that he is euer to walke in the middest of his people, that their loue is his greatest safetie, and their prosperitie his greatest glory and worldly felicitie. But he must not expect a soft and easie croune, but a croune full of thornie cares, yea, of platted and intricate cares: and therefore hee ought to make it his principall studie (next the safetie of his soule) to learne, how to make himselfe able to rid and extricate those many knottie difficulties, that will occurre vnto him; according to my admonition to my sonne HENRY in the end of my BASILIKON DORON wherein I apply some verses of Virgil to that purpose. And therefore, in all other commendable things he may presse so farre to excell, as his inclination and leisure will permit him; but in the science of gouernment hee must presse to be an arts-master. And his Scepter made of a reede, must put him in minde to manage his authoritie boldly, and yet temperately, not stretching his royall Prerogatiue but where necessitie shall require it. Temporall Kings must not likewise be barred the sword, though it bee not in this paterne (as I told before) for it is to be drawne for the punishment of the wicked in defence of the good: for a King carries not his sword for naught. But it must neither bee blunt: for lawes without execution are without life; nor yet must it be euer drawne: for a King should neuer punish but with a weeping eye. In a word, a Christian King should neuer be without that continuall and euer wakeriffe care, of the account he is one day to giue to God, of the good gouernment of his people, & their prosperous estate both in soules and bodies; which is a part of the health of his owne soule. And then he shall neuer need to doubt of that happy and willing acclamation of his people, with an Aue Caesar, or haile King, (which was mentioned in this paterne) not onely to begin at his entry to the croune, but euen to accompany him all the daies of his life thereafter; and when they haue bedewed and washed his graue with their teares, his posteritie to bee well-commed by them, as a bright and sunne-shining morning after a darke and gloomie night.
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