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From the Informatory Vindication

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  • gmw
    Some assertions regarding civil magistracy from the Informatory Vindication touching some of the points currently under discussion: (1.) As we distinguish
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2004
      Some assertions regarding civil magistracy from the Informatory
      Vindication touching some of the points currently under discussion:

      "(1.) As we distinguish between Magistracy, or the Office (in the
      abstract) & the Persons invested with the Office; so of Magistracy in
      itself considered, we say, that as it is not subjectively founded
      upon grace, so it is a holy & Divine institution, for the good of
      human Society, the encouragement of Virtue & Piety, & curbing of Vice
      & Impiety, competent unto & honourable amongst both Christians &
      Heathens. (2.) As for such Magistrates as, being rightly and Lawfully
      constitute over us, do act as the Ministers of God, in a direct line
      of subordination to God, in the defence of our Covenanted
      Reformation, & the subjects' Liberties; We declare, whensoever we can
      obtain & enjoy such rulers, we will own, embrace, obey, & defend them
      to the utmost of our power, & prove encouraging, subject, & obedient
      to them in our places & stations. (3.) In things Civil, though we do
      not say that every Tyrannical act or action doth make a Tyrant, yet
      we hold, that habitual, obstinate, & declared opposition to, &
      overturning of Religion, Laws & Liberties, & making void all
      contracts with the Subjects, or when he usurps a power without any
      compact, or giving any security for Religion & Liberties, or when he
      is such as the Laws of the Land do make incapable of Government;
      These do sufficiently invalidate his Right & Relation of Magistracy,
      & warrant subjects, especially in Covenanted Lands, to revolt from
      under & disown allegiance unto such a power. In such a case, when the
      body of a Land collectively considered, or the more faithful & better
      part of that Land, in the time of National & universal Apostacy, &
      complete & habitual Tyranny, adhering closely to the fundamental
      constitutions & Laudable practices of that Covenanted Land (when the
      fundamental Laws of the Kingdom are directly overturned, & the
      essential conditions of the mutual Compacts are broken, & such as
      cleave closely to the Reformation & Liberties of the Kingdom are
      accounted Rebels, & prosecuted as such) may reject and refuse the
      Magistratical Relation between the Tyrant & them: yet, before the
      erection of formal Magistracy, they may not Lawfully arrogate to
      themselves that Authority which the Tyrant hath forfeited, or claim
      to themselves the Authority of Judges; though radically they have the
      Authority of the Law, by their Natural right, & fundamental power,
      which God allows & is Nature's attendant; & the Municipal privilege
      of these subjects; but they cannot act judicially, in either Civil or
      Criminal Courts, only in the interim they may Lawfully do that which
      may most conduce to the securing of themselves, Religion, & Liberty."

      The Informatory Vindication can be read in full here:

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