Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/138

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was it not as great a breach of promise to scatter them by force, as to dissolve them by proclamation? Besides, I cannot conceive that the passing of that act was otherwise intended than conditionally; so long as they should not ordain anything contrary to the sovereign right of the King; which condition they had already by many of their ordinances broken. And I think that even by the law of equity, which is the unalterable law of nature, a man that has the sovereign power, cannot, if he would, give away the right of anything which is necessary for him to retain for the good government of his subjects, unless he do it in express words, saying, that he will have the sovereign power no longer. For the giving away that, which by consequence only, draws the sovereignty along with it, is not (I think) a giving away of the sovereignty; but an error, such as works nothing but an invalidity in the grant itself. And such was the King’s passing of this bill for the continuing of the Parliament as long as the two Houses pleased. But now that the war was resolved on, on both sides, what needed any more dispute in writing?

A. I know not what need they had. But on both sides they thought it needful to hinder one another, as much as they could, from levying of soldiers; and, therefore, the King did set forth declarations in print, to make the people know that they ought not to obey the officers of the new militia set up by ordinance of Parliament, and also to let them see the legality of his own commissions of array. And the Parliament on their part did the like, to justify to the people the said ordinance, and to make the commission of array appear unlawful.

B. When the Parliament were levying of soldiers, was it not lawful for the King to levy soldiers to defend himself and his right, though there had been no other title for it but his own preservation, and that the name of commission of array had never before been heard of?

A. For my part, I think there cannot be a better title for war, than the defence of a man’s own right. But the people,