Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Cambridge Synod on the Civil Magistrate's Duty to Enforce the First Table

At Last! The full Disputation translated from the English of then to the English of now...

The Results of the Disputations of the Synod or Assembly
at Cambridge, New-England
Regarding The Power of the Civil Magistrate in Matters of the First Table

On July 1, 1646 a Synod met at Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss the question:

Does the Civil Magistrate have power to 1. Command or forbid things respecting the outward man in matters of religion, or the first table, which are clearly commanded and forbidden in the word, and to 2. Inflict suitable punishments according to the nature of the transgression against the same [the first table transgressions], and all this with reference to godly peace?

Their answer and the arguments behind it are found here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lilliputians on Atheist Civil Magistrates

Lemuel Gulliver on the Lilliputian views regarding the civil magistrate:

In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Providence renders a man incapable of holding any public station; for, since kings avow themselves to be the deputies of Providence, the Lilliputians think nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such men as disown the authority under which he acts. [Swift, 1726]

It's pretty hard to disagree with those Lilliputians.