Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/200

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Parliament House, and dissolved them, turning them out, and locked up the doors. And for this action he was more applauded by the people than for any of his victories in the war, and the Parliament men as much scorned and derided.

B. Now that there was no Parliament, who had the supreme power?

A. If by power you mean the right to govern, nobody *here* had it. If you mean the supreme strength, it was clearly in Cromwell, who was obeyed as general of all the forces in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

B. Did he pretend that for title?

A. No: but presently after he invented a title, which was this: that he was necessitated for the defence of the cause, for which at first the Parliament had taken up arms (that is to say, rebelled), to have recourse to extraordinary actions. You know the pretence of the Long Parliament’s rebellion was salus populi, the safety of the nation against a dangerous conspiracy of Papists and a malignant party at home; and that every man is bound, as far as his power extends, to procure the safety of the whole nation (which none but the army were able to do, and the Parliament had hitherto neglected); was it not then the general’s duty to do it? Had he not therefore right? For that law of salus populi is directed only to those that have power enough to defend the people; that is, to them that have the supreme power.

B. Yes, certainly, he had as good a title as the Long Parliament. But the Long Parliament did represent the people; and it seems to me that the sovereign power is essentially annexed to the representative of the people.

A. Yes, if he that makes a representative, that is (in the present case) the King, do call them together to receive the sovereign power, and he divest himself thereof; otherwise not. Nor was ever the Lower House of Parliament the representative of the whole nation, but of the commons only; nor had that House the power to oblige, by their acts or ordinances, any lord or any priest.