Contra Libertarianism

“And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people… all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.  

And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.  Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart…”

Ezra 7:26

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Subsection

On the Civil Magistrate’s Just Authority for Restraining the Congregating of Citizens, even the Church, and Quarantining, with Sufficient Natural Warrant

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Order of Contents

Articles
Property Rights are not Ultimate
Free Speech?
On Private Crimes
On Positive Authority for Social Institutions
On Prostitution
On Prohibiting Drugs
On Restricting Travel with Natural Warrant
Magistrate’s Power with Regard to Trades
On Forced Labor with Natural Warrant
On Public, Civilly Supported Schools
On the Breadth of Civil Power unto Good Ends
On Promoting the Good
On One’s Moral Obligation to the Whole Commonwealth
On International Relations Between Nations

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Articles

Ritchie, Daniel

‘Libertarianism and the Reformed Confessions: The First Helvetic Confession (1536)’  2012  5 paragraphs

‘Francis Turretin, Social Theocrat’  2012  5 paragraphs

‘Libertarian Theology and the Covenanted Reformation: towards a Reformed Political Theology’  Quotes the Scottish Second Book of Discipline against Libertarianism

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Property Rights are Not Ultimate

Samuel Rutherford

About the Following Quote

While the natural instinct of persons necessarily distinguishes between ‘mine and yours’, yet the specific laws of property-holding stem not from the fundamental law of nature, but from the secondary law of nations and civil society by positive, specific, enactment (which is based on, and flows from the instincts and law of nature).  At creation, the creation was given generally to mankind without nature determining what property is whose (Gen. 1:26-30).

Thus, in extreme circumstances, where the strongest instincts of nature come prominently to the fore, these natural forces legitimately override secondary laws of civil society, and all things, in some respects, are fundamentally shared in common.  Property laws are not an absolute.

However, property rights are still more basic than kingship (see the sections immediately before and after this quote) and hence the civil magistracy does not own all the goods of the subjects (which Rutherford’s opponents had argued was a divine-right of the king).

However, by natural instinct and law, extreme circumstances legitimately call for extreme measures.  Rutherford delineates the exceptions where the king does have a qualified right, in some respect, to all of his citizens property insofar as these exceptions are consistent with the God-prescribed design of the civil office to enforce God’s natural and moral law in order to promote the health of community, as elucidated in Rom. 13:1-5.

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Lex Rex, Question 16, p. 67  ‘All the Goods of the Subjects are the King’s in a Fourfold Sense’

“Assertion 2:  All the goods of the subjects belong not to the king.  

I presuppose that the division of goods does not necessarily flow from the law of nature [which is more fundamental than the positive laws of society and kings], for God made man, before the Fall, lord of the creatures indefinitely [Gen. 1:26-30]; but what goods be Peter’s, and not Paul’s, we know not [from nature’s law].

But supposing man’s sin, though the light of the sun and air be common to all, and religious places [such as buildings for public worship] be proper to none [as they were provided in his day out of the public funds, by and for all], yet it is morally impossible that there should not be a distinction of meum et tuum, ‘mine and thine’; and the Decalogue forbidding theft, and coveting the wife of another man (yet is she the wife of Peter, not of Thomas, by free election, not by an act of nature’s law) does evidence to us, that the division of things is so far forth (men now being in the state of sin) of the law of nature, that it has evident ground in the law of nations [which is more specific and positive, being built upon the law of nature, but less fundamental than it]; and thus far natural, that the heat that I have from my own coat and cloak, and the nourishment from my own meat are physically incommunicable to any.  

But I hasten to prove the proposition:  If I have leave to permit that, in time of necessity [which is more fundamental than positive, societal laws], all things are common by God’s law [as at Creation], [then] a man travelling might eat grapes in his neighbor’s vineyard, though he was not licensed to carry any [a]way.  I doubt if David, wanting [lacking] money, was necessitated to pay money for the showbread, or for Goliath’s sword, supposing these to be the very goods of private men and ordinarily to be bought and sold.

Nature’s law in extremity, for self-preservation, has rather a prerogative royal above all laws of nations and all civil laws than any moral king.  In this meaning:

1.  Any one man is obliged to give all he has for the good of the commonwealth, and so far the good of the king, inasfar as he is head and father of the commonwealth.

2.  All things are the king’s, in regard of his public power to defend all men and their goods from unjust violence.

3.  All are the king’s, in regard of his act of conservation of goods, for the use of the just owner.

4.  All are the king’s in regard of a legal limitation, in case of a damage offered to the commonwealth.  Justice requires confiscation of goods for a fault; but confiscated goods are to help the interested commonwealth, and the king, not as a man (to bestow them on his children) but as a king.  To this we may refer these called bona caduca et inventa [goods fallen and found], things lost by shipwreck or any other providences…”

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Free Speech?

Samuel Rutherford

A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience  (1649), ch. 4, pp. 46-47

“All the question is concerning the imperated [commanded] acts and these external, that is not touching opinions and acts of the mind, but that which is visible and audible in these opinions, to wit, the speaking, professed holding of them, publishing, teaching, printing, and known external persuading of others to be of our mind.

So that the question will come to this, whether the Magistrate’s sword be to regulate our words that concerns our neighbor, as that we lie not, we forswear not, to the hurt of the life and credit of our neighbor, that we slander not, rail upon no man, far less against the prince and ruler of the people, but whether the words we utter or publish of God though never such blasphemies, and lies, because they come from the conscience (as is truths or words we speak for or against our neighbor did not flow from a conscience either good or ill) be above or beyond all swords or coercive power of men.”

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James Durham

The Dying Man’s Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal...  (1659), pt. 3, ch. 14, p. 255-6

“4.  They [civil magistrates] may and ought to destroy such books as they [spiritual seducers] use to spread for the infecting of others, and inhibit and stop printing of them, or actual selling, spreading or transporting of them, as they may stop carrying of suspected or forbidden goods.

6.  They may and ought to restrain and censure all blasphemous and irreverent expressions and speeches against the majesty of God and His ordinances, and all calumnies and bitterness against faithful ministers or professors that adhere to truth: for, these are moral sins; and blasphemy, calumny, and such like, are no more to be passed over without censure in such, than in others who are not professedly tainted with error:

And the pretext of following light and conscience, cannot make these sins tolerable, more than the Nicolaitans [Rev. 2] pretending the same for their committing adultery and other filthiness: And this is not to punish men’s opinions, or force their consciences, but to punish their vices, even such as have been hateful unto and punished by, many natural and heathen men.”

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On Private Crimes

Samuel Rutherford

A Survey of the Survey of that Sum of Church-Discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker (London, 1658), bk. 4, ch. 12, ‘Of the Magistrate’s Power in Convocating Synods’, pp. 487-8

“Mr. Hooker: ‘They [Christian persons] may, as Christians, maintain private communion one with another; and as they be Churches, use that Christian privilege to further their own good, and promote the work by counsel: for what I do qua ethicus, qua oeconomicus, qua Christianus [as an ethical person, as a domestic person, as a Christian] in private, appertains not to the Magistrate, except it entrench upon his policy.’

Answer:  …

2.  It’s strange to say the Magistrate hath nothing to do with what a man doth as a moral man, as a member of a family, or as a Christian, so [as long as] they do these things in private, which they do; which is to say [that] the magistrate hath nothing to do with the villanies, patricides, adulteries and robberies that men commit in private.

And Mr. Hooker saves not the matter by saying, ‘The magistrate hath nothing to do with the man to punish him, I judge, in these capacities, except he entrench upon his policy, that is, except he [the criminal] break his [the magistrate’s] laws.’

But sure, he can punish no man in any imaginable capacity, private or public, except he [the criminal] break his [the magistrate’s] laws.

Beside[s] that, it’s neither law nor divinity, to say, that a man intrencheth upon the magistrate’s policy and violates his laws as ethicus, a moral man, or a member of a family, either in private or public; for more abominable it is to say [that] he violates laws, and whores, murders, [and] robs as a Christian: for Christianity teacheth men to deny all ungodliness, Tit. 1:11; [rather] for he must do all these as malus civis, as a wicked member of the commonwealth.

3.  I wonder more in what capacity the magistrate can have to do with commanding and governing men, if not as they converse morally with men and in their families, as fathers and sons, as masters and servants, and as Christians who both in private and public may perform duties to one another or oppress one another; else the judge could not punish the rebellious son, the wicked servant, or the murdering father and the oppressing master.

Yea, the more secret that wicked acts are, a godly magistate doth the more resemble God, who can say, as Job 29:16, ‘I was a father to the poor, and the cause that I knew not I searched out.’  Nor do men, except extremely flagitious, commit villanies, robberies, murders, parricides, adulteries, but in private: and it appertains to the ruler the more to search them out, the more privately that they be acted.

But if Mr. Hooker mean that private actings of citizens, of members of families, of Christians that are good and indifferent, do not appertain to the magistrate, who is an adversary to him in this?  Though all good actions done in private or public deserve praise, reward and protection from the magistrate, except Mr. Hooker expound that [place,] Rom. 13:3, ‘Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same,’ so thou do good in public only, as hypocrites: but thou shalt have no praise of the ruler if thou do good within doors.  Is this good moral philosophy of Mr. Hooker?

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On Positive Authority for Social Institutions

Samuel Rutherford

A Survey of the Survey of that Sum of Church-Discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker (London, 1658), bk. 4, ch. 12, ‘Of the Magistrate’s Power in Convocating Synods’, pp. 487, 489

“Mr. [Thomas] Hooker [an Independent]: ‘They [Christian persons] may, as Christians, maintain private communion one with another; and as they be Churches, use that Christian privilege to further their own good, and promote the work by counsel: for what I do qua ethicus, qua oeconomicus, qua Christianus [as an ethical person, as a domestic person, as a Christian] in private, appertains not to the Magistrate, except it entrench upon his policy.’

[Rutherford’s] Answer: 1.  Mr. Hooker makes all that Christians do as Christians and as Churches, that is, gathering of Churches, hearing, partaking of seals and censures, to be private actings not belonging to the Magistrate.  Strange it is that the convening of the ten thousand subjects in the same place (as our [congregationalist] Brethren say) belongs nothing to the Magistrate; [yet] sure it sides with peace or war.  And yet Mr. Hooker saith, ‘The Magistrate may compel men to attend the mind of Christ, and solemnly to humble themselves by fasting and prayer.’  See how these two consist.

Mr. Hooker: ‘Commission and just permission are all one: A Ruler permits a Finder to set up a school, he needs no commission.’

Answer:  If fencing be useful, the Ruler must give him positive protection, as others that do well; else if one kill him when he teaches his scholars, the Ruler ought not to revenge that murder, though most treacherously committed, and say he promised to the Fencer only permission; and yet it’s worse to say [that] the Christian Ruler owes to assemblies, pastors, schools only permission.  Paul saith, he owes praise, Rom. 13:3, which, with good ground, famous interpreters expound to be countenancing, favor, protection, reward, stipends.

And if the Christian magistrate do but permit assemblies to convene, as a very episcopal man, D. Bilson said, permissio est à magistratu, commissio à Christo [‘Permission is from the magistrate, a commission from Christ’]: What more influence (if permission and commission be all one) hath the godly magistrate in the public worship of God, and assemblies of the Church, than heathen magistrates, Ahasuerus, the Kings of Chaldea, who permitted the people of God to worship the true God, Esth. 4:16-17; Dan. 6:7-8, or the Church of Rome have, who by public order establish stews [whore-houses] and permit fornication?  See Emmanuel Sa, who says, bishops and priests are by law permitted to have whores.”

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On Prostitution

Introduction

During the Reformation and puritan eras, whore-houses were known as ‘stews’.  These were appropriately so named, as the continual warming, mixing and changing of bodily fluids which takes place in such a facility is not unlike the stirring of a stew.

Westminster Larger Catechism #139, under the sins of the 7th Commandment, forbids as a moral transgression not only ‘resorting to’ stews (by private individuals), nor only the ‘keeping of’ stews (by stew owners and managers), but it also forbids the ‘tolerating’ of stews.  The tolerating of stews refers to the toleration of them by persons that have the authority and capacity to do something about them, namely the civil magistrate, who, as the vice-gerent of God, is to curb all public violations of God’s moral law in society, according to God’s righteousness and glory.

The civil toleration of stews was a significant issue brought to the fore by the Reformation.  Romanist countries often civilly allowed whore-houses (and related things) under the pretext that it was a utilitarian good for the whole society as it prevented worse transgressions.  The Reformers and puritans often argued (against a significant share of modern Libertarianism) that it was the moral obligation of the civil magistrate to forbid such institutions with civil penalties, by God’s authority.

Below you will find documentation to this effect.  See also the Rutherford quote above under Positive Authority for Social Institutions.

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Articles

Gouge, William – Ch. 13, ‘§. 42. Of the unlawfulness of Brothel houses or Stews’  in Commentary on Hebrews  1655  Westminster divine

Ridpath de Souligné, George – Article 17, pp. 74-84  of The Political Mischiefs of Popery, or, Arguments Demonstrating I. That the Romish Religion Ruins all those countries where ’tis established  1698

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Quotes

Featley, Daniel

The Romish Fisher Caught and Held in his Own Net (1638), ‘Dr. Featly’s Reply’, p. 83  Westminster divine

“Thirdly, that Prophesy, 2 Pet. 2:18, ‘They allure by the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness,’ etc. is fulfilled in the Papacy, which permits pub∣ic stews, I might say, allows, because who keep those houses, do therefore pay a pension to the Pope.”

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Hall, Thomas

The Beauty of Holiness (1655), 10th Objection, p. 141  Hall was a reformed puritan

“The principles of our religion give no toleration of stews, no profanation of the Sabbath by gaming, dancing, etc. but teach all men to live soberly, godlily, and righteously…”

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Durham, James

Commentary on Revelation (1658) ch. 17, Lecture 6, p. 675

“Lastly, they say, ‘Rome cannot be the whore [in Rev. 17], because (forsooth) of her holiness,’ and what is that?  There are so many abbacies, mortifications, holy Churchmen, relics and temples of saints, many masses and such like there, etc.  All which serve not to prove this conclusion, that she is so.

And it is not unobserveable that immediately after this answer, Cornelius à Lapide, professor at Rome, does justify the toleration of stews and brothel-houses in it, as a thing tending to prevent much sin and becoming a well-ordered commonwealth; And when this is mentioned by them as a piece of Rome’s holiness, we may the more easily judge of the rest.”

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Downame, George

As quoted in, Richard Baxter, The Safe Religion, or, Three Disputations for the Reformed Catholic Religion against Popery (1657), Appendix, ‘A Translation of Bishop Downame’s Catalogue of Popish Errors, Book 3, De Antichristo, ch. 7′, section 21, Of the Law’, p. 543

“64. They suffer stews, and stoutly defend their toleration.”

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Prynne, William

An Exact Chronological History and full display of popes’ intollerable usurpations upon the ancient just rights, liberties, of the kings, kingdoms, clergy, nobility, commons of England and Ireland (1666), Book 1, ch. 5, p. 289

“So on the other hand Pope Hildebrand‘s [d. 1085] violent decrees and edicts against married priests’ wives and masses introduced all manner of uncleanness, whoredom, adultery and sodomy itself amongst unmarried Popes, prelates, cardinals, clergymen, votaries of the Roman Church; yea and avowed toleration, patronage of whoredom, public stews, whores in Rome itself, together with an annual tribute to Popes and their officers both from whores and priests.

Hence Johannis Andreat, Johannis de Aton and other canononists in their Gloss on Othos Constitutions, are not ashamed to publish:

Videtur quod crimen Meretricii sub dissimulatione transire debet Ecciesia; Nam et Mareschal∣lus Papae de facto exigit Tributum a Meretricibus, et hoc forte, ad mao malum evtandum non est culpandum.

These public harlots, constituted Popes themselves before Hildebrand’s time, and in most ages since priests’ wives prohibited, they have been highly courted like princes and ladies even in Rome itself at noon-day, as well as in the night by disguised cardinals and clergymen; as Paul the 3rd, his own Cardinals thus informed him:

In hac etiam urbe Meretrices, ut Matronae, incedunt per urbem, seu Mula vehuntur; quas affectantur de media die Nobiles, familiares Cardinalium, praesertim noctu: nulla in urbe videmus hanc corruptionem praeterquam in hac omnium exemplari: Habitant etiam insignes aedes;

Yea Peter Martyr [Vermigli] adds:

Vehuntur per publicum habitu Principum; Sedent in equis gradiariis, etc. Habent secum Torquatos & Larvatos Comites, interdum etiam Cardinalium, praesertim noctu, & ancilarum sumptuosissimam gregem. Nunc, O Deus bone, quomodo Romae coercentur Meretrices?

Yea, to prevent the emperors and other kings punishing and reformation of these abuses, they exempted all clergymen from their tribunals, and the accusations of laymen, decreeing, that no cardinal should be convicted, condemned of adultery, whoredom, etc. but by 72 witnesses, no cardinal priest but by 64, no cardinal deacon or bishop but by 24, nor subdeacon or cardinal of inferior degree, nor bishop but by 7 witnesses at least.  And those would be more than impudent, who durst commit whoredom, adultery, or sodomy in the open view of so many priests or clergymen; or yet of laymen, though disabled to accuse them by their canons.”

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On Civilly Prohibiting Drugs

James Durham

The Dying Man’s Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal...  (1659), pt. 3, ch. 14, p. 255

“4.  They [civil magistrates] may and ought to destroy such books as they [spiritual seducers] use to spread for the infecting of others, and inhibit and stop printing of them, or actual selling, spreading or transporting of them, as they may stop carrying of suspected or forbidden goods.”

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On Restricting Travel with Natural Warrant

James Durham

The Dying Man’s Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal...  (1659), pt. 3, ch. 14, p. 255

“5.  They may and ought to restrain idle and vagabound travelling of such suspected persons [spiritual seducers], without representing of their necessary businesse to some, appointed for that effect, in which case their doing hurt by such a voyage, might be prevented, and they have a pass.”

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The Magistrate’s Power with Regard to Trades

Samuel Rutherford

The Divine Right of Church Government...  (1646), p. 536

“…though the Magistrate take care that physicians, painters, shoe-makers, professors in academies and universities do their duty in their calling, and punish them if they therein do amiss, yet he limits not the painter to draw this way, not this way; nor has he a negative voice [veto power] in acts of art [such as these trades]…”

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On Forced Labor with Natural Warrant

Note that the government fining persons for crimes is little different than forced labor, in that it necessitates persons to work in order to pay the government.  This principle is also manifest in the government forcing persons to pay child-support.

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James Durham

The Dying Man’s Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal...  (1659), pt. 3, ch. 14, p. 255

“Also, they [civil magistrates] might constrain them [spiritual seducers] to follow some lawful occupation, and to be diligent therein; both these are well consistent with ordering of a State, and yet it is such busy bodies (as the apostle speaks) and vagabonds, that go without their station, that often prove most hurtful to the Church, and instrumental to the Devil, as being apostles to him in such a business.”

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On Public, Civilly Supported & Governed Schools

George Gillespie

Aaron’s Rod, Part 2, ch. 8, p. 122

“The magistrate ought also to take care of the maintenance of the ministry, schools, poor, and of good works for necessary uses, that religion and learning may not want [lack] their necessary adminicles [helps].

Finally, he ought to take care that all churches be provided with an able, orthodox and godly ministry, and schools with learned and well-qualified teachers, such as shall be best approved by those to whom it belongs to examine and judge of their qualifications and parts…”

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William Gurnall

The Christian in Compleat Armour…  (London, 1655), p. 246

“Indeed, where the means is not, God has extraordi­nary ways, as a father, if no school in town, will teach his child at home, but if there be a public school, thither he sends him:”

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On the Breadth of Civil Power unto Good Ends

Robert Baillie

A Dissuasive From the Errours of the Time  (1645), p. 31

“They spoil kings and parliaments of their legislative power.

But their great tenet about the magistracy is this, that no prince nor state on the earth has any legislative power; that neither king nor parliament can make any law in anything that concerns either church or state; that God alone is the Lawgiver; that the greatest magistrate has no other power, but to execute the Laws of God set down in Scripture; that the judicial Law of Moses binds at this day all the nations of the world as well as ever it did the Jews: They tell us that whatever God in Scripture has left free, it may not be bound by any human law, whether civil or ecclesiastic; and what God has bound by any law in Scripture, they will not have it loosed by the hand of any man.”

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Samuel Rutherford

The Divine Right of Church Government…  (London, 1646), pp. 558-9

“9th Assertion….  1.  As the object of that high [civil] office is merely and purely civil and positive, relating only to a civil end, of peace: as in importing or exporting of goods, of wool, wax, moneys for the good of the commonwealth, the crying up or crying down of the value of coined gold or silver, the making of laws merely civil; as not to carry armor in the night [which is threatening] in such a city: so in war, commanders, captains and colonels are magistrates to order the battle, lay stratagems…  the parliaments’ power in disposing of fowling, fishing, hunting, eating of flesh, or not eating at such a time: all these, as the Word of God does not particularly warrant the one side more than the other, are merely civil and positive.

It is sure the magistrate has a supremacy, and an independency above the Church or ministers of the Gospel in all these; and as these prescind [are detached] from all morality of the First and Second Table [in that they are not inherently moral or immoral of themselves]…

In this consideration that learned and grave divine Dr. Andrew Rivet says well (in Decalog., ch. 5, p. 204) that as we believe a man well skilled in his own art, so that his judgement is a supreme rule; so the supreme authority of the magistrate to us in things positive is a rule; for indeed it cannot be denied but there be arcana imperis, secrets of State that are not to be communicated to pastors or to any, in which the [civil] rulers have a supremacy.”

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On Promoting the Good  Rom. 13:3-4

James Durham

The Dying Man’s Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal…  (1659), Pt. 3, ch. 14, p. 251

“4. They [civil magistrates] may and ought to employ and make use of some fit instruments for the preventing of seduction, and may provide such as may be set apart for studying such controversies, and confuting of such errours, that the truth may be the more clear.”

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On One’s Moral Obligation to the Whole Commonwealth

Samuel Rutherford

Lex Rex...  (1646), p. 124

“…every member is, by nature’s indictment, to care for the whole.”

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On International Relations Between Nations

Articles

1600’s

Rutherford, Samuel – Question 37, ‘Whether or no it be Lawful that the Estates of Scotland Help their Oppressed Brethren, the Parliament and Protestants in England, against Papists and Prelates now in Arms Against them, and Killing them, and Endeavoring the Establishment of Popery, though the King of Scotland should Inhibit them?’  in Lex Rex  (1644), pp. 187-190

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1700’s

Stoddard, Solomon – Question 8, ‘Did we any Wrong to the Indians in Buying Their land at a Small Price?’  [No]  in An Answer to Some Cases of Conscience Respecting the Country  (d. 1729; rep. N.Y., 1917)  20 pp.

Stoddard was a New England puritan.  The footnotes of the more modern editors give some helpful, corrective, ethical considerations to Stoddard’s discussion. 

“Answer 1.  There was some part of the land that was not purchased, neither was there need that it should [be]; it was vacuum domicilium [a vacant abode], and so might be possessed by virtue of God’s grant to mankind, Gen. 1:28:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'”

The Indians made no use of it, but for hunting. By God’s first grant men were to subdue the earth.  When Abraham came into the land of Canaan, he made use of vacant land as he pleased: so did Isaac and Jacob.” – p. 14

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Quote

Samuel Rutherford

Lex Rex  (1644), Question 40, p. 198

“1.  Now, amongst politic duties betwixt equal and equal, superior and inferior, that is not, de facto, required co-action [coercion] for the performance thereof, but, de jure, there is; for two neighbour kings and two neighbour nations, both being equal and independent the one toward the the other, the one owes a duty to the other; and if the Ammonites do a wrong to David and Israel, as they are equal, de facto, the one cannot punish the other, though the Ammonites do a disgrace to David’s messengers;

yet, de jure, David and Israel may compel them to politic duties of politic consociation (for betwixt independent kingdoms there must be some politic government, and some politic and civil laws, for two or three making a society cannot dwell together without some policy); and David and Israel, as by the law of nature, they may repel violence with violence;

so, if the laws of neighbourhood and nations be broken, the one may punish the other, though there be no relation of superiority and inferiority betwixt them.

1.  By the law of nations, if one nation break covenant to another, though both be independent, yet has the wronged nation a co-active power, de jure (by accident, because they are weaker they want strength to compel, yet they have right to compel them), to force the other to keep covenant, or then to punish them, because nature teaches to repel violence by violence, so it be done without desire of revenge and malice.

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Books

1600’s

Grotius, Hugo – The Rights of War & Peace, including the Law of Nature & of Nations...  ed. A.C. Campbell  (Dunne, 1901)

“It is historically accurate to say, that, until formulated by Grotius, Europe possessed no system of international law.  Others had preceded him in touching upon certain aspects of the rights and duties of nations, but none had produced a system comparable to his.”  – Intro, p. 3

“The great writers of all ages are cited with a superfluous lavishness…  as to give a historic catholicity to his doctrine by showing that the laws he is endeavoring to formulate have, in fact, been accepted in all times and by all men.” – Intro, p. 10

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1900’s

North, Gary – The Healer of the Nations:  Biblical Blueprints for International Relations  (Dominion Press, 1987)

North, a Reconstructionist, surprisingly for his normal libertarian tendencies, lays out a paradigm for a certain trans-national government based on presbyterian principles.  As very little has been written by Christians on the philosophy of international policy, this book gives much fodder to consider in this under-developed field.

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“If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined or the moon walking in brightness and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Job 31:24-25,28

“But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be in danger of the council…”

Mt. 5:22

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…  But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Rom. 13:1,4

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