the difficult problems with which Ward's crotchety lucubrations mainly concern themselves.
Authority must have power to make and keep people honest; People, honesty to obey Authority; both, a joynt-Councell to keep both safe. Moral Lawes, Royall Prerogatives, Popular Liberties, are not of Mans making or giving, but Gods: Man is but to measure them out by Gods Rule: which if mans wisdome cannot reach, Mans experience must mend: And these Essentials, must not be Ephorized or Tribuned by one or a few Mens discretion, but lineally sanctioned by Supreame Councels. In pro-re-nascent occurrences, which cannot be foreseen; Diets, Parliaments, Senates, or accountable Commissions, must have power to consult and execute against intersilient dangers and flagitious crimes prohibited by the light of Nature: Yet it were good if States would let People know so much beforehand, by some safe woven manifesto, that grosse Delinquents may tell no tales of Anchors and Buoyes, nor palliate their presumptions with pretense of ignorance. I know no difference in these Essentials, between Monarchies, Aristocracies, or Democracies ..
He is a good King that undoes not his Subjects by any one of his unlimited Prerogatives: and they are a good People, that undoe not their Prince, by any one of their unbounded Liberties, be they the very least. I am sure either may, and I am sure neither would be trusted, how good soever. Stories tell us in effect, though not in termes, that over-risen Kings, have been the next evills to the world, unto fallen Angels; and that over-franchised people, are devills with smooth snaffles in their mouthes . . . I have a long while thought it very possible, in a time of Peace . . . for disert Statesmen, to cut an exquisite thred between Kings Prerogatives, and Subjects Liberties of all sorts, so as Caesar might have his due and People their share, without such sharpe disputes. Good Casuists would case it, and case it, part it, and part it; now it, and then it, punctually.Nathaniel Ward was no democrat and therefore no Congregationalist. “For Church work, I am neither Presbyterian, nor prebsbyterian, but an Interpendent,” he said of himself. But his Interpendency was only an individualistic twist of Presbyterianism. For the new radicals who were rising out of the turmoil of revolution, he had only contempt; and for their new-fangled notion of toleration, and talk of popular liberties,