Friday, August 15, 2008

Rebellion -

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
John Bradshaw (1602-59), English lawyer, regicide. Inscription at Bradshaw's final burial place near Martha Bay. See Henry S. Randall "Life of Thomas Jefferson" (1865) vol. 3, appendix 4, p.585. He presided at the trial of Charles I. Buried in Westminster abbey, his body was exhumed at the Restoration and hanged in public, like that of Cromwell.

However these deeds of men are judged in themselves, still the Lord accomplished his work through them alike when he broke the bloody scepters of arrogant kings and when he overturned intolerable governments. Let the princes hear and be afraid. But we must, in the meantime, be very careful not to despise or violate that authority of magistrates, full of venerable majesty, which God has established by the weightiest decrees, even though it may reside with the most unworthy men, who defile it as much as they can with their own wickedness. For, if the correction of unbridled despotism is the Lord's to avenge, let us not at once think that it is entrusted to us, to whom no command has been given except to obey and suffer.
John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion [1559]

He that has once concluded it lawful to resist power, when it wants merit, will soon find a want of merit, to justify his resistance to power.- Samuel Johnson, Sermon 23

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