Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/172

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till things were ready for his trial. The Parliament in the meantime (to avoid perjury) by an ordinance declared void the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, and presently after made another to bring the King to his trial.

B. This is a piece of law I understood not before, that when many swear singly, they may, when they are assembled, if they please, absolve themselves.

A. The ordinance being drawn up was brought into the House, where after three several readings it was voted, “that the Lords and Commons of England, assembled in Parliament, do declare, that by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is treason in the King of England to levy war against the Parliament.” And this vote was sent up to the Lords; and they denying their consent, the Commons in anger made another vote: “That all members of committees should proceed and act in any ordinance, whether the Lords concurred or no; and that the people, under God, are the original of all just power; and that the House of Commons have the supreme power of the nation; and that whatsoever the House of Commons enacteth, is law.” All this passed nemine contradicente.

B. These propositions fight not only against the King of England, but against all the kings of the world. It were good they thought on it. But yet, I believe that under God the original of all laws was in the people.

A. But the people, for them and their heirs, by consent and oaths, have long ago put the supreme power of the nation into the hands of their kings, for them and their heirs; and consequently into the hands of this King, their known and lawful sovereign.[1]

B. But does not the Parliament represent the people?

A. Yes, to some purposes; as to put up petitions to the King, when they have leave, and are grieved; but not to make a grievance with the King’s power. Besides, the Parliament never represents the people but when the King calls them; nor is it to be imagined that he calls a Parlia-

  1. lawful heir—corr. H.