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E. g. One law commandeth that all the needy poor be kept on the parish where they were born or last lived. Another law saith, that Nonconformable ministers of the Gospel, who take not the Oxford oath, shall not come within five miles of city or corporation (though they were born there) or any place where they have been preachers. In case of necessity what shall they do? Answ. Whither they shall go for relief, they must discern as well as they can: but whither they shall be carried or sent, the magistrate or constable must discern and judge.
Also whether he shall go with a constable that by one law bringeth him to a place, which by the other law he is forbid on pain of six months imprisonment in the common gaol to come to? Answ. If he be not voluntary in it, it is not his fault and if one bring him thither by force, and another imprison him for being there, he must patiently suffer it.
16. But out of such excepted cases, the laws of our rulers (as the commands of parents) do bind us as is afore explained; and it is a sin against God to violate them.
17. Yea, when the reason of the law reacheth not our particular case and person, yet when we have reason to judge, that it is the ruler's will that all be bound for the sake of some, and the common order and good will be hindered by our exemption, we must obey to our corporal detriment, to avoid the public detriment, and to promote the public good.
Directions to Lawyers about their Duty to God.
GENTLEMEN, you need not meet these Directions with the usual censures or suspicions, that divines are busying themselves with the matters of your calling, which belong not to them, and which they do not understand: you shall see that I will as much forbear such matters as you can well desire. If your calling be not to be sanctified by serving God in it, and regulating it by his law, it is then neither honourable
nor desirable. But if it be, permit me very briefly so far
to direct you.
Direct. 1. Take the whole frame of polity together, and study each part in its proper place, and know it in its due relation to the rest: that is, understand first the doctrine of polity and laws in genere,' and next the universal polity and laws of God in specie;' and then study human polity and laws, as they stand in their due subordination to the polity and laws of God, as the bye-laws of corporations do to the general laws of the land.'
He that understandeth not what polity and laws is 'in genere,' is unlike to understand what divine or human polity or law is in specie: he that knoweth not what government is, and what a community, and what a politic society is, will hardly know what a commonwealth or church is: and he that knoweth not what a commonwealth is in genere,' what is its end, and what its constitutive parts, and what the efficient causes, and what a law, and judgment, and execution is, will study but unhappily the constitution or laws of the kingdom which he liveth in.
2. And he that understandeth not the divine dominium et imperium,' as founded in creation, (and refounded in redemption,) and man's subjection to his absolute Lord, and the universal laws which he hath given in nature and Scripture to the world, can never have any true understanding of the polity or laws of any kingdom in particular; no more than he can well understand the true state of a corporation, or the power of a mayor, or justice, or constable, who knoweth nothing of the state of the kingdom, or of the king, or of his laws. What ridiculous discourses would such a man make of his local polity or laws! He knoweth nothing worth the knowing, who knoweth not that all kings and states have no power but what is derived from God, and subservient to him; and are all his officers, much more below him, than their justices and officers are to them; and that their laws are of no force against the laws of God, whether of natural or supernatural revelation. And therefore it is most easy to see, that he that will be a good lawyer must first
a Legum mihi placet autoritas; sed earum usus hominum nequitia depravatur : itaque piguit perdiscere, quo inhoneste uti nollem, et honeste vix possem, etsi vellem, Petrarch, in vita sua.
be a divine; and that the atheists that deride or slight divinity, do but play the fools in all their independent broken studies. A man may be a good divine, that is no lawyer, but he can be no good lawyer, that understandeth not theology. Therefore let the government and laws of God have the first and chiefest place in your studies, and in all your observation and regard.
1. Because it is the ground of human government, and the fountain of man's power and laws.
2. Because the Divine policy is also the end of human policy: man's laws being ultimately to promote our obedience to the laws of God, and the honour of his govern
3. Because God's laws are the measure and bound of human laws; against which no man can have power.
4. Because God's rewards and punishments are incomparably more regardable than man's; eternal joy or misery being so much more considerable than temporal peace or suffering; therefore though it be a dishonour to lawyers to be ignorant of languages, history, and other needful parts of learning, yet it is much more their dishonour to be ignorant of the universal government and laws of God".
Direct. 11. Be sure that you make not the getting of money to be your principal end in the exercise of your function; but the promoting of justice, for the righting of the just, and the public good; and therein the pleasing of the most righteous God. For your work can be to you no better than your end. A base end doth debase your work. I deny not, but your competent gain and maintenance may be your lower end, but the promoting of justice must be your higher end, and sought before it. The question is not, Whether you seek to live by your calling; for so may the best: nor yet, Whether you intend the promoting of justice; for so may the worst (in some degree). But the question is, Which of these you prefer? and which you first and
b Male se rectum putat, qui regulam summæ rectitudinis ignorat. Ambros. de Offic.
It was an ill time when Petr. Bles. said " Officium officialium est hodie jura confundere, lites suscitare, transactiones rescindere, dilationes innectere, supprimere veritatem, fovere mendacium, quæstum sequi, æquitatem vendere, inhiare actionibus, versutias concinnare.
principally intend? He that looketh chiefly at his worldly gain, must take that gain instead of God's reward, and look for no more than he chiefly intended; for that is formally no good work, which is not intended chiefly to please God, and God doth not reward the servants of the world; nor can any man rationally imagine, that he should reward a man with happiness hereafter, for seeking after riches here. And if you say that you look for no reward but riches, you must look for a punishment worse than poverty; for the neglecting of God and your ultimate end, is a sin that deserveth the privation of all which you neglect; and leaveth not your actions in a state of innocent indifferency.
Direct. 111. Be not counsellors or advocates against God, that is, against justice, truth, or innocency.' A bad cause would have no patrons, if there were no bad or ignorant lawyers. It is a dear bought fee, which is got by sinning; especially by such a wilful, aggravated sin, as the deliberate pleading for iniquity, or opposing of the truth a. Judas's gain and Ahithophel's counsel will be too hot at last for conscience, and sooner drive them to hang themselves in the review, than afford. them any true content: as St. James saith to them that he calleth to weep and howl for their approaching misery, "Your riches are corrupted, and your garments moth-eaten, your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire; ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.' Whatever you say or do against truth, and innocency, and justice, you do it against God himself. And is it not a sad case that among professed Christians, there is no cause so bad but can find an advocate for a fee? I speak not against just counsel to a man that hath a bad cause, (to tell him it is bad, and persuade him to disown it); nor do I speak against you for
d Bias fertur in causis orandis summus atque vehementissimus fuisse, bonam tamen in partem dicendi vim exercere solitum. Diog. Laert. p. 53. Justum est homines propter justitiam diligere; non autem justitiam propter homines postponere. Gregor. Reg. Justitia non novit patrem, vel matrem; veritatem novit; personam non novit; Deum imitatur.-- Cassian. Plutarch saith, that Callicratidas being offered a great sum of money, (of which he had great need to pay his seamen) if he would do an unjust act, refused to whom saith Cleander his counsellor, "Ego profecto hæc accepissem, si fuissem Callicratidas." He answered, Ego accepissem si fuissem Cleander."
pleading against excessive penalties or damages; for so far your cause is good, though the main cause of your client was bad; but he that speaketh or counselleth another for the defence of sin, or the wronging of the innocent, or the defrauding another of his right, and will open his mouth to the injury of the just, for a little money, or for a friend, must try whether that money or friend will save him from the vengeance of the universal judge, (unless faith and true repentance which will cause confession and restitution, do prevent it).
The Romans called them thieves, that by fraud, or plea, or judgment got unlawful gain, and deprived others of their right.
Lampridius saith of Alexander Severus, "Tanti eum stomachi fuisse in eos judices qui furtorum fama laborassent, etiamsi damnati non essent, ut si eos casu aliquo videret, commotione animi stomachi choleram evomeret, toto vultu inardescente, ita ut nihil posset loqui." And afterwards, "Severissimus judex contra fures, appellans eosdem quotidianorum scelerum reos, et solos hostes inimicosque reipublicæ." Adding this instance, "Eum notarium, qui falsum causæ brevem in consilio imperatorio retulisset, incisis digitorum nervis, ita ut nunquam posset scribere, deportavit." And that he caused Turinus one of his courtiers to be tied in the market-place to a stake, and choked to death with smoke, for taking men's money on pretence of furthering their suits with the Emperor; " Præcone dicente, Fumo punitur, qui vendidit fumum." He strictly prohibited buying of offices, saying, "Necesse est ut qui emit, vendat: Ego vero non patiar mercatores potestatum: quos si patiar, damnare non possum." The frowns or favour of man, or the love of money, will prove at last a poor defence against his justice whom by injustice you offend.
The poet could say,
Justum et tenacem propositi virum,
Hor. lib. iii. O. 3.
Facile est justitiam homini justissimo defendere. Cicero.