To the spiritual-minded Christian, with his eyes open to the sad state in which we find Christianity at the present day, it will probably be evident that the Reformation of the Church should be the personal agenda of every Christian, with priority over the Reformation of the State: however much we earnestly long for both.
But suppose we alter the question a little from the subject of personal agenda, to the subject of magistrates' duties? Is it the duty of magistrates, as such, to endeavour the reformation of the Church even more than they endeavour the reformation of civil society?
At the time of the Second Reformation in England, (following the good example of Scottish Presbyterians,) an answer was given to this question which may make many modern Christians, especially in the United States, rather anxious, or hesitant to agree. But the answer of Presbyterians and Puritans in that time of Covenanting, Reforming, and Unifying, will be found to stand on rather firm ground. For any interested to see how these Christians warranted their position, and their practice, the following Sermon from 1645 is now available online at www.truecovenanter.com The Reformation of the Church to be Endeavoured more than that of the Commonwealth
, by Anthony Burgess.