John Fortescue.

The works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief Justice of England and Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth (Volume 1) online

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fefs, and as well in writing as by word and deed approve him for his true chief and fupremt
lord and his king. ,

Cap. XIV.

I
Argument proving that by abjuration he was excluded from his rights if he could have had anw

'^'y\ vF^J LSO, Richard, father of Edward the ufurper, oftentimes fwore on the holy Gofpels
I'^AiJ^Xt^ of God and upon the Lord's Body feen and taken, that he would always beia
S^^^^<^^ faithflil liegeman of Henry VI., King of England, and that always to the beft of
his ability he would aid him in all things which pertain to the honour and glory of the dig-
nity and right and name royal ; in which oath is contained an exprels abjuration o*- the con-
trary, and an exclufion of the pretended right to the crown. A like oath tlu intruder
Edward took in the prefence of the Archbifhop of Canterbury, and of the clergy then con-
voked to the church of S. Paul London. For he took a corporal oath, touching tfie crofs
of Canterbury, that he would honour our moft Chriftian King Henry as his king, and would
obey him as his true chief, liege, and fupreme lord during the life of the aforefaid King
Henry and his own, and would defend him as his true king againft all men living: and in
the parliament held at Wel^minfter he promifed to obferve the fame, and bound himfelf



■4A



.(.'ii
^ ,1



De tltulo Eclwarcli Coinitis Marchiie. 89"^

of liis own accorJ, hefidcs oaths at fcveral times taken on the occafions of his creation
as knight and aJtcrwards as Earl of March, on which occafions, as is the cul1:om, he
fworc conccriiiiig the keeping of fealty to our king Henry, and defending him againft all
op|H)fcd to him.

Uy thcfc arguments and reafons infoluble as the earth, militating chiefly againft the pre-
tcnfuxi of the iifurper Edward, as well as by the removal of objedions, it is inferred that our
mofl dread King Henry VI. by a juft, clear, and undoubted title, is the true and right K'ng
of England, and ought to reign over the Englilli by every right natural, divine, and human '■<
and that to the fuid ufurper Edward or his progenitors no right to the crown of England has
belonged or ought to belong; to the wider declaring whereof, and chiefly to the mod: efpecial
declaring of the undoubted title ot our King Henry to the crown of England, ther; are not
wanting reafons moft ftrongly grounded upon right divine and human, which, ihe Lord
willing, at the beft hour in which all the adverfaries of our king will not be able to refill: him
will iHTComc clearly known; with the true letter apoftolic fpeaking more fully of the afore-
faid fcnt by the prefent Pope Pius into Scotland to our moil: Chriftian King Henry; and with
a true copy or tranfcript of the bulls fent to Lewis the king's coufin in PVance lately
inointcd, in which he exhorts him, under the blelhng of Almighty God, by papal autho-
rity to the help of the moft Chriftian King Henry, to the overthrow and final confufion
of hii enemies, and to the Lifting continuance of himfelf on the throne of his father, to
the honour of our l-ord Jefus Chrift, to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever.
Atnrn.

If U to Ik rcmcml>crcd that I icnry I\'. was the neareft male heir on his father's fide to
licnry Hi. fumctimc King ot Ivngland; that is to fiy, he was the (on of John, fon of King
Fxi*4rd, fon of F^lward, Ton of Edward fon of the atorefaid King Henry 111. And the fame
Hcnr)' I\'. WJ», on hil mother's fide, neareft of block! to the fime Henry III,, that is to fay,
he *»ii fon of BUnchc, daughter of \ Icnry, fon of Ivlmund vulgarly called Edmund Cruok-
S»ck, fiimof li)C »fo<T-nimcJ 1 lenr)- III. ; fo by that line the aforefaid Henry IV. could by
no n>«ft» hivc bctn King of England, In-caufe that kingdom is heritable by m.ile heirs,
tidcxnding through male*, as is alx)vc noted, and was inherited by fuch heirs from all time,
Aful ftot by othcn; and, moreover, the fame Henry IV. fometime King of England .vas
ncircil male heir to Richard II. fometime King of England, and the neareft to him in line
of confinguJnity among all men then living; for he was the fon of the uncle of King
Kiciurd, that is, fon of John brother of Edward father of the aforefaid King Richard. For
although it fo l>c, that before tliefe times there were taken for kings of Scotland cer am of
the royal ftock of Scotland, defcending therefrom through a woman or through women ; for
example, when the line of the males defcending lineally from Malcolm was determined,
Balliol, who dcfcended from the elder daughter of David (o\\ ot Henry fon of David
Canmor once King of Scotland, was taken and crowned King of Scotland; and in like



-{ V



'>'i. Lfl.,






90* De titulo Rdwm'di Comitis Marchice.

manner after him another, namely, Stewart, who defcended from the aforefaid Bruce by a
woman daughter of the faid Bruce, when to him in like manner failed male heir defcending
lineally from him, obtained the fupreme kingdom of the Scots; yet never, whilll; any male
whatfoever was alive defcending lineally from the flock of the king by the male fcx, has any
one defcending by a woman been taken for king, reigning peaceably ; nor would it have been
fitting to be fo; for if it were fo, any perfon, vile by race,and of the loweft degree in virtue,
ignoble on the father's fide might be [raifed] to be king whilil: there was living a male heir
defcending from that noble royal origin who had preferved in himfelf the noble precedence
of kings, their blood and name together, which would appear abfurd and far alien from right
reafon. In chronicles therefore it is very feldom found that the noble fucceflion of male
heirs lineally defcending through the male fex being contemned, a fucceflion o " women has
reigned. Moreover, although it be fo according to the civil laws which hold that the
inheritance of a dead father fhould be divided among his fons according to equal portions:
neverthelefs, according to the fame laws, the right ot the kingdom (or) its royalties belong
to the elder fon ; whence it appears that the rights are not fimilar in the cafe of the royr.lt}
and private pofleirion, &c.



THE END.






j(':;i



K.






OPUSCULUM

DE NATURA LEG IS NATURAE, ;

ET ;

DK EJUS CENSURA IN SUCCP:SSIONE REGNORUM SUPREMA.

■ ; BY

^'' SIR JOHN E R T E S C U E, KNIGHT,

'; ■ l/IHl) (in.SCH.l.llH ru KINC, lU M:V niK SIXTH.

KDIVKI), AM) TUANSl ATF.I) INTO I'.XGI.ISH,

BV TIIK RUiHr HONOURAHI.F. CHK-IIISTKR FORTFSCUE, M.P.
t^m tnl'iti or 0111137 ciahcn.



■iNip




^^^^t l x^^ Y HIS work is referred to by Sir John l-ortefcue in his later treatife, " De



Laudibus Legum AngH:e," where the reader learns that it was drawn up

for the life oi tlie Prince of Wales, in addrelling whom the author calls

ijJT it " Opufculum quod Tui contemplatione de Natura Legis Naturaj exaravi."

Thefe expreflions cannot mean more than that he put the treatife into its

prefent fliape for his Royal pupil, for there is no doubt that much of it, at all events, was

written in Scotland, and formed part of thofe " writings fent out of Scotland againfl: King

Edward's title," which he was afterwards forced to retracT:. Fortefcue prefented it to the

young Prince during their exile together in France for his perufal and ihidy. Although much

efleemed by its author, there is fo much pedantry in the ftyle, and fo little general intereft in

the fubjed, that it has never before been printed, and, with a very different fate from that of

his famous Trad on the Laws of England, has been long fince forgotten. There is a copy

of the firfl: part among the Laud MSS. in the Bodleian Library, and a copy of the whole in

the Lambeth Library, from which this printed text is taken. The handwriting and the

ftyle of the ornamental initials in the Lambeth MS. are not earlier than the beginning of the

fixteenth century. Bale, in a lift of the Chancellor's works, dated 1557, calls it "De Vigore

Lcgis Nituralls," and mentions one Book only ; in which he is followed by Pitts, in i6ig.

Tlic Lambcih volume alone contains both Books or Parts, k may have been that, after the

fill of I Icnry, the jxifTcrtion of a writing to prove that the crown of England could not

dciccnti (i)rough a female was attended with lome danger to a fubjecT: of Edward the Fourth,

axul that th«i5 moft of the copies were deftroyed. The Englifh tranflation by the Right

Ifonourahlc Chichcftcr Fortefcue is a valuable contribution to this edition of the writings

of hi» inceftor, and will enable all who defire it to make themfclves acquainted witli his

fiylc and manner of argument. We muft remember, however, what he has himfelf told us,

llwl, in the Second Part at leaft, he writes not as a "Judge, but as a partial Man," pleading

for the caiifc of I-Ienry the Sixth, " in whofe favour he made the arguments." [C]



• » , r,,.. -i^



HIC SEQUITUR MEMORATIVUM QUODDAM DE CONTENTIS
IN SUBSEQUENTI LIBELLO/



§;^^I^^§S>IBELLUS ifte dividitur in Partes duas, in quarum Prima proponitur
'"0^^^ queftio de jure fuccedendi in fuppremis regnis : et ortenditur quuiVicnem
'^^^'l£3/ illam non aiia lege pofle oliiolvi humana, quam fbluin Lege Natura:.



Wfi






ISC irque
iipitul im



polle oDlolvi numana, qi
Deinde qua; fit Lex ilia Natura; I'raiftans fcrutatur, et comperit eain
nedum ex facris Canonibus, fed et in Evangelio demonftratam.

Invenit etiam temporis longivitatem quo m temporalibus fokim lege i-jg
ilia mundus recrebatur, legibus confuetudinis et conftitutionis nondum partis, neque lei^e
Moyfaicii ad hue promulgata.

Et dicit quod facri Canones dicunt Legem Naturse legem efic Divinam-, et quod ilia ab
exordio humans natura; originem fi.mipfit, et immutabilis perfeverat, et quod legi illi omnes
alix leses famulantur humauA", ac quod fub iplaet per ipfam primo erupit Dignitas Regia per
eandem Temper reguhua. '

Et tunc oftendit quis tuerat Rex primus : queni et alios quamplures reges, quod ipfe
recitat, quorum aliqui \u[\\ eraiit, aliqui injulli, ipfe probat fub lege et per legem natura;
rcgnafil-.

Tunc Tradaiis opponit crga Legis Naturx- prcftanciam per Jus Regis quod propheta ' [
Samuel Dei mandate predixit populo Ilraeli : et contra liegia; Dignitatis bonitatem ipfe
objicit populi illiiis pcniteiitiam, cum ipfi dixerint, *' addidimus univerfis peccatis noftris I

malum, pctcndo fupcr nos rcgem."

Et in difcntiendo objcdiones has, ipfe incidenter traiftat de priiicipatu politico et regali, '

ac dc prii\cipatu tantuni regali.

In quo tra(flatu ipfe probat eorum neutrum effe altero potenciorem, fed licet ipfi fub Haix deinde
bonis principibus fint equales, dicit tamen lub iniquis principibus principatum politicurr et ^^'"'^ ?
rcgalcm minus poire Icdcre fubditos fuos : et in hoc confli(ftu inter cetera ipfe probat legem tricefimum.
nature- formafTc contradus hominum et regna ftatuifi'e in terra, diu antequam Jus Gentium
inccpit : ct probat quod licet hominis itatus tuerat per peccatum mutatus, Lex tamen ipfa
Naturx* fc-mpcr cadem perfeveravit, et adhuc perfeverat, licet alterius gracia, et cetera.



' niblioth. Lamb. MS. 262, ('.



■i-iv:



iUv-.



tiuartuni.



64 ^ De Natui'd Legis Naturcc.

Dcinde ipfe ponit differctici.irn inter _/«j et legem: et tunc diffiiiit Legem Naturrc : et non

modico proceflu oftendit quandoque qualiter ipfa funipfit origineni et nomen fuum. Ac

poftea dicit quod lex natura.' et julVicia naturalis lunt unius cflentia-, licet accidentalis, et

inter cetera quod lex ilia eft a jufticia, ut fplendor a lumine, ardor ab igne, et plures tales

ponit finiilitudines : et oftendit quoniodo jufticia remanfit in hoinine poftquani homo eam

deferuit.

Tunc ha't Et tieinde oftendit qualiter hire jufticia differt ajulVicia originali, ac dicit quod non erant

u que capi- _^^_^^ jufticia:,' creat.r, fed folum inia.
tiilum iiuiiu- -'

limuin F,t time oftendit quare Lex Natura; dicitur Divina, etiam quare ipfa dicitur filia legis

Divina' : et inter alia dicit quod lex ilia fe habet ad legem eternam, ut luna ad folem, qua;

non nifi ab eo habct lumen fuum. Et preterea dicit, quod qui a mundo legem tollit humanam

quafi ccekun privat ornatu luna; et fiderum ; alia quoque quamplurima i on minus hiit.

nebulola ipfe detegit, qua- legenti relinquimus.

Demum oilendit qui funt fines legis Divinae, et legis humanir, et quali fubjeiftio.ie lex
humana legi Divin;t fubditur, et probat audloritate facra, quod onine ambiguum in curiis
t ex tunc hominum referri debet ad judicium Summi Pontificis. Et finaliter dicit quod lex i ati ra;
deftituta originalis jufticiif prefidio nunquam lufficiebat, nee jam fine gi-atia fufficit, juftific ire
homineni aut ai!:l:us ejus, ut meritis legis illius ipfe mereri pofiit vitain eternam. /' lia
quoque quamplurima in hac Parte Prima panduntiu', qua: legis natura; revelant facraineiita
et Partem hanc perlegenti ilia patebunt ; quare Tratli^ans hanc Partem nominari volnit,
Tra^atum de naturd Legis Natinw.

In Secunda Parte hujus libelli Tracflans primo conftituit Judicem in c.uifa pronof ts
queftionis, coram quo queftio ilia per competitores tres de regno quodam ftiperius neljiente
contendentes difputatur ratioinbus a legis natura.' finu prefluentibus, licet tantum ipias rccftas
Summa efie Traftans nonnullis audoritatibus aliis oftenderit quibus rationibus probatur quod mblier

P^'"^ non eft capax regni quod petitur, aut cujufvis confimilis. Et tunc probat Traftans coiiclu-

fionem iitam elTe redtam, nedum lege Divina fed et Canonica et Civili; confimiliter quoquc
probat prolem regno tali potirl non pofle matris titulo aut ratione defcenlus per eam. Quare
I'iiia regis qui de regno predicT:o obiit feifitus, fimiliter et Nepos ex ea, duo de contendentibus
prediftis, per judicium Judicis fi.ipradi(fti a petito regno excluduntur, et regnum illud F'atri
Regis illius diffinitiva fententia judicatur.

Demum oftenditur quare contra hujus fententia; efix-c-tum conluetudo aut prclcriptio vim
feu locum habere non pofiunt.

Hanc Partem Secundam vult idem Traftans, TraLiatum de jure Juccedendi 11 ^iippremis
Regnis nominari : in qua Parte reperiet ledor, fi morofe eam pcrlegerit, non pavica qux ante
ejus editionem pluribus tenebrofa quadam calignie celabantur.



ifta uli|u
finem



OPUSCULUM DE NATURA LEGIS NATUR/R ET DE EJUS
CENSURA IN SUCCESSIONE REGNORUM SUPPREMA.



Pars Prima,



VIDELICET DE NATURA LEGIS NATUR.^.



<^^^^ ^l^-;;^



lA~;'iU EX Superioreni in temporalibi



recognofcens, Eiliam hal et et QiR-ftio.



,11] yriA^hi , ,. . . . . . , ..

:wAc5iw^» Kratrem : Filia filium peperit : Rex moritur orhatus filiis : Queritar an

?v?v\VS^''i'\ ^^ iMliam, filiii; ve Kilium, feu ad Regis Fratrem defcendct regnuni regis

fic defuniMi.

Cap. I.
HIc ojloiilit TratJans caiijamjiii operis.

|i\yj^/EC queftio, licet verbis paucis proponatur, fermone non minimo creditur polTe
H^ 3 abfolvi : cum de jure interroget funimi culminis, fumma: potencix, et rei quani
i§4=ft>i, maxime in terris defiderat mens humana, dicente Philofopho, " Omnia amamus,
fed principari magis." Celfitudinem concupivit Angelas, concupivit et hominum protho-
plailus, quo Ipfe dominandi libidinem Ita in omnem ejus progeniem diffudit, ut vix reperiri
poterit quern dignitatis ambitio non infecit. O quam pium igitur et quam fanftum foret
veritatem qua; jam queritur, ab omni erroris velamine exutam nudam et nitidam revelare,
cum fub ejus ignorantias nebulis tot guerrarum difcrimina, tot bella civilia, toti mundo per-
vulgata, nedum in nobilillimis Francia; et Anglia,' regnis invaluere, kA et in quam plurimis
aliis regionibus cruentus gladius, hujus folum veritatis jufticia comitatus, milia milium
hominum devoravit ! Veritas igitur hax, fi indubitata diffinitione reveletur, guerras Deo dure
non paucas fedabit jam inceptas, et materiam fubtrajiet ad confimiles deinceps inehoandas,
quo pax fiet firmior inter regna, et robur Flcclefiffi, guerrarum hujufmodi adione diutillime
tenuatum, folito plus convalefcens, ejufdem inimicos fortius propugnabit. (^are licet 1 ujus
veritatis indagatio menfurari non valeat fcientia quellionem pntlibatam proponentis, ipie t; men
tanti boni defiderio accenlus recolens moralilfuni Seneca; fententiam inquientis, " nichd in
mundo vidi mirabile pra^ter animum cui magno nichil magnum," Dei adjutorio confiius,
cujus gratia in necedariis nulli defuit humiliter implorata, opus hoc licet grande turma aggre-
ditur fubfequenti.



66



De Naturd Legls Naturcv.



PARS PRIMA.



Cap. II.

Licet jtir'ts fit quod qiieritur Tratlans non recnjat Juhjidia aliariuii facnltatnm.

'TV^I^UM juris tantum fit quod fupra queritur, folutio ejus pluriuin difficilium ve
\ (V^^^CTw icientiarum fententias non exigit ; folif leo;es funt qua^ earn poterunt diffinire. Quis
f5£5l;iS3-^W egrotus tnedelam querens niatheniaticos confulit, cum j^liifica tantum fit quit
novit curare langores ? aut yconomus quiipiam terram lerere cupiens, philofophorum judicium
expeftat ? mechanica enim eum fatis inJe novit erudire. Tametfi naturalis piiilofophia feniinis
et colenda; terra; naturam lubtilius invefligat quam ars coloni, et altronomus certius novit
medico planetarum CLirfus iub quibus eger !edi poterit aut curari : horum igitu- ope eger et
mechanicus certius, fi conlulant, perficere poterunt ea qux inrendunt. Sic et leges quibus
folis cafus noltri cura relinquitur, fi aliarum Icientiarum auxiliis fuerint fuffiilta', certius lianc
litem difcutere et ampliore ausfioritate poterunt ; cum nulht facultates lint qua- non dii .
artibus alicubi fufFragentur. Et ideo legum in luic difputatione fic qucramus cenfuram, u
in eadem aliarum non recuiemus amminicula tacultatum : et qua lex cam ilifficiat dirimen
primitus perfcrutemur.

Cap. III.
UujiiS quejlionh Johitio legem aliam quam Canonicani aut Civilem e:.igit . i

W^^^Np UAMQUAM leges imperi.iles qua Imperatorum i'ubditos tortillime ligant caufa
i^&asil liujus merita claris ac pcrpulcris rationibus detegere valeant et iiluftrarej eancem
^^Tg,^^ tamen ablolute iiia non videntur polTe audoritate diffinire : cum de reeno partes
contendant quod Caiai'is ditioni minime i'ubjugatur. Sacri quoque Canones quamvis llp-
tentiis qua caufa hujus merita reil-rare poterint uberrime lint refcrti, quia tanien Chriii
Sponfa Ecclefia ad celeftia refj^iciens circa ea qua altioris indaginis hnit, fpiritualibus \'idelicoL,
intenta, matriffamilias more domellica curantis forinfecis ie non afl'ulet implicare, hujus
terrellris negotii diicullioni non huculque inludavit : alterius igitm- legis decretum in hac k-
percuni5tari compellimur : ad quod taciendum hunc qui fequitur eligimus procedendi modum.



Cap. IV.

Lex Natures fold rexit orbem ufque legem datam per manum Aloyfis.

[Jv^pUMANUM genus a tempore quo a Paradifo migravit ufque duni populus Ifraei
n^ fe ad montem Synay legem fcriptam a Domino per manum Moyfis recepit, Lege
('^^,^37" Natura regebatur : quo tempore plufquam tria miliia fexcenti et quadraginta
quatuor anni elapfi funt: ut ex fcriptis Sanifti Augultini (L.ibro 15 et 16 De Civitate Dei)



r [



iV.,.



PARS PRIMA.] De Natiird Levis Naturae. 67

colligi potefl:, et confiniiliter fere numerat Jofephus in libro fiio De Antiquitatum Iliftoriis,
cujus pretextu totum tenipus illud tempus legis natiira; appellatur'. Et licet fuccedens tenipus
ufqiie ad Chrifti adventuni tenipus legis datie et totum abinde tempus ufque modo tempus
gratia: nomincntur, Lex tamen ipfa Natura' iilis fuccedentibus temporibus deleta non hiit, fed
totis temporibus illis permanfit, et adhuc permanet in fuo robore et effe6lu. Earn quoque
confirmavit Domiiius et obfervari precepit dicens, "omnia quscumque vultis ut faciant vobis
homines et vos eadem tacite illis, hitc ell enim lex et propheta-," (Mathei vij. C°.) Et legem
qu.im (ic declaravit Doniiniis et cuftodire precepit legem ^{'i^ natura- exprelle declarant
Canones (i Di. C. i) (ic dicentes, "Jus naturale eft, quod in lege et Evangelio coiitmetur,
quo quifque jubetur alio racere quod libi vult fieri, et prohibctur inferre quod fibi nolit fieri."
Nam licet ha-c verba prohibitionis exprelTe in Evangelio non dicantur, ilia tamen ibidem
tacite comprehenduntur, cum jullo uno contrariorum altcrum prohiberi necefle fit : nee r firum
fi hsc lex licet civiliter mundum regere potuit, tarn paucis verbis in Evangelio explicetur,
cum in duobus mandatis maximis paucis etiam verbis recitatis dicat Dominus pendere legem
totam et proplietas : et pacicioribus verbis omnia hac cumplcftens Apoftolus dicat, dileftionem
efTe plenitudinem legis.

Cap, V.
hex Naturae excellit onmes alias le^es hiinianas.

fi| ANC nature legem omnes leges Veteris et Novi I'eiLimenti approbaverunt cam in
?] Is nullo minuentes, dicente de ea Domino, ut de reliqua lege lua, " non \'cni
'^^ folvere legem fed adimplere." Et fi qua leges alia fint qua humana dicuntur
eas hac lex flatuit aut ejus autoritate ilia iubfifl:unt eidem fubrogata. Nam leges ab homine
edita aut confuetudines omnes lunt vel ftatuta, uti tuta ilia legum turbaqua- in Imperatorum
legibus diverfis tot nominibus recitantur ; ut funt, principum placita, fenatus confulta, plebi-
fcita, et confimiles leges Qiuritum, militum, navalium, et commerciorum et hujufmodi : cum
omnia jura hac confuetudo peperit vel liominis conltitutio, de quarum prefiantia et de legis
hujus dignitate iantrti Canones nos erudiunt fub hns verbis : " Dignitate vero jus natura
prevalet confuetudini et conftitutioni. Qiiacumque enim vel moribus fcripta iunt, vel fcriptis
comprehenfa, fi natural! juri fuerint adverla, vana ct irrita lunt habenda" (viii. ])i. L". i^^i;j
Jure, in fine) Et eidem fententia militant nedum tota ilia Dift-indiio, fed et tota fubfequeiis
Difiinclio, videlicet Difiiinclio nona. De hac etiam lege fie habetur (v. Di. C°. primo). '• Nunc
ad differentiam naturalis juris et ceteroruni revertamur. Naturale jus inter omnia prima unr
optinet tempore et dignitate. Cepit enim :ib exordio rationalis creatura, nee variatur tempore
fed immutabile permanet," cui textui applaudens Glola inipiir; " fi quid juri naturah contrarium
fuerit, iniquum illud eft, cum contra jus natura nulla fit difpenfatio," fubjungens quod jus illud
naturalis equitas eft. Huicjuri natura ancillant cunc^a leges imperiales qua vulgato nomine




68



De Natio'd Legis Natiirce.



[pars PR



IMA.



civiles appcllantur, et omnia jura rcgum quoque, ii ultra conrtitutiones ct confuetudines, qua;
ut oftenditur luiic juri fubJuntur, aliquid coniprclicndaut, liuc iion a [iriucipiy audoritatc, fed
hujus legis tautuin vigore qu:r fc omnibus mundi potcltatiiius exhibct commuiiL-m, quali ex
mutuo receperunt. O quam magna et omni laude extollenda eft ilia Lex Natun^; cui obediunt
alia; humana' leges unlverHc, quam et Canones nedum ut predicitur extollentes dicunt etiam
legem effe divinam (Di. I. Cap. i. Oinnes) \ Et vere divina ipfa elT: : nam (ut dicit SanClus
Thomas in Prima Secund. Qiieltione Ixxxxvi. Articulo ij".) ipla nichil aliud elt quam
participatio legis eterna; in rationali creatura ; iub ea poteftas regia fumplit exordium, ejus
quoque audoritate et vigore regnaverunt et regnant omncs reges julH. Tamen ne Scriptor
fentiatur verliis ll;erilem kcundare velle, quis jullorum regum Tub Ibla lege natura; regnavit,
etiam quis primo regale talligium potitus eil expedit explicarc ; cum fidem non minimam
experientia preheat argumentis, dicente Varrone, " excellens ell quoddam doc :ndi genus rei
quam didurus es exemplorum fubditio." Si unum namque genuerit lex natuni; regem julhmi,
etiam plm-es ipiam generare potuilTc non ambigitm-, et non potell arbcjr mala frui5]:us bonos
facere ; quare ex fru6libus legis hujus eam plenius agnolcemus, dicente Domino, " ex fVuiftibus
eorum cognofcetis eos." Etiam fi primogenitus regum {cic filium legis hujus ell'e fatrati r,
poftnatos tratres fuos reges hujus legis ellc filios ipfe tunc ollcndet, aut refte dicet ecs iibi
veros non efle germanos ; quare quid de his doceat SLriptura Sacra aut dodtores fancft jam
consruit ut fcrutemur.



Cap. VI. , '

Alehhifddech Jub /ula Lege Is'atura JatJus eft Rex.

\(tj\ Vi KM PORE Abraha; patriarcha' quo tertia mundi atas extitit inchoata Pliaraoncm
e^wj "e^ regem tuifle Egipti, Abimileth regem Gerans in Palellina, alios etiam quam-
^ j /^ ' »^ ^ plures reges fuille habentes dillincla regna, ut nioderni habcnt reges, Geiiefis
liber copiofe nos intoiniat ; ubi quartodecnno ejuldem C'. legiiui- quod pultquam fipfe
Abraham a confli(ftu quo ipfe quatuor reges viLcrat, qui aiuea quinque reges Sodomorimi et
aliorum locorum vicerunt, regreflus eft uique in vallem Salem qu;e ell; vallis regis, occijrrit
ei rex Salem de quo ibidem fic Icriliitur. " At vero Melchiledech rex Salem protcrens panem



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