He [a king] must have a special care of five things, if he would not have his crown to be but to him unhappy felicity: First, that pretended holiness be not in the church; for that is twofold iniquity: secondly, that useless equity sit not in the chancery; for that is foolish pity: third, that useless iniquity keep not the exchequer; for that is a cruel robbery: fourthly, that faithful rashness be not his general; for that will bring, but too late, repentance: fifthly, that faithless prudence be not his secretary; for that is a snake beneath the green grass.
To conclude: as he is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all. He then that honoureth him not is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart.
If God, by his revealed declaration, first gave rule to any man, he that will claim by that title must have the same positive grant of God for his succession; for, if it has not directed the course of its descent and conveyance, no body can succeed to this title of the first ruler.
James [I. and VI.] was always boasting of his skill in what he called kingcraft; and yet it is hardly possible even to imagine a course more directly opposed to all the rules of kingcraft than that which he followed. The policy of wise rulers has always been to disguise strong acts under popular forms. It was thus that Augustus and Napoleon established absolute monarchies, while the public regarded them merely as eminent citizens invested with temporary magistracies. The policy of James was the direct reverse of theirs. He enraged and alarmed his parliament by constantly telling them that they held their privileges merely during his pleasure, and that they had no more business to inquire what he might lawfully do than what the Deity might lawfully do. Yet he quailed before them, abandoned minister after minister to their vengeance, and suffered them to tease him into acts directly opposed to his strongest inclinations. Thus the indignation excited by his claims and the scorn excited by his concessions went on growing together.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: History of England, ch. i.
A prince who loves and fears religion is a lion who stoops to the hand that strokes, or to the voice that appeases him. He who fears and hates religion is like the savage beast that growls and bites the chain which prevents his flying on the passenger. He who has no religion at all is that terrible animal who perceives his liberty only when he tears to pieces and when he devours.
A king is a thing men have made for their own sakes, for quietness sake; just as if in a family one man is appointed to buy the meat: if every man should buy, or if there were many buyers, they would never agree: one would buy what the other liked not, or what the other bought before; so there would be a confusion. But that charge being committed to one, he, according to his discretion, pleases all. If they have not what they would have one day, they shall have it the next, or something as good.