the body politic versus the individual citizen
- From Lex Rex: "The kingdom, by God, yea, and church, justice and religion, so
far as they concern the whole kingdom, are committed not to the keeping
of the king only, but to all the judges, elders, and princes of the
land: and they are rebuked as evening wolves, lions, oppressors, (Ezek.
xxii. 27; Zec. iii. 3; Isa. iii. 14, 15; Mic. iii. 1-3,) when they
oppress the people in judgment, so are they (Deut. i. 15-17; 2 Chron.
xix. 6, 7) made judges, and therefore they are no more to be restrained
not to convene by the king's power, (which is in this accumulative and
auxiliary, not privative,) than they can be restrained in judgment, and
in pronouncing such a sentence, as the king pleased, and not such a
sentence; because, as they are to answer to God for unjust sentences, so
also for no just sentences, and for not convening to judge, when
religion and justice, which are fallen in the streets, calleth for them."
The Parliament should be called upon to restrain the king, and even judge the
king, when he does wickedly. But it is not the right of mere individuals to
act the part of Parliament (ie, "the judges, elders, and princes of the
Individual citizens may not depose the king, nor may ministers of the gospel.
For this would erase the distinction between the body politic and the
- Parnell McCarter