Contra Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc.

“Thou shalt not steal…  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house…  nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

Ex. 20:15,17

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Order of Contents

Articles
Quotes
On the Grounds & Extent of Civil Rights & Restrictions
On the Limits of Exercising the Fullness of Civil Power unto Public Good
Good Works are Not to be Coerced

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Articles

1600’s

Rutherford, Samuel – Question 16: “Whether or Not a Despotical & Masterly Dominion of Men & Things Agree to the King Because He is the King”  in Lex Rex  1646

Replace the word ‘king’ with ‘civil magistrate’ and this chapter is a masterly delineation of how Socialism (and many political ideas close thereto, rampant in the modern political scene) is contrary to natural law and the Word of God.  More importantly, read to learn what the various positive relations are by Creation between individuals, property, the State, the family, Scripture, etc.

Rutherford’s original context was arguing against the divine-right of kings, which held that kings implicitly owned all of their subjects and all of their property.  Rutherford demonstrates otherwise and sets forth the grounds of natural and Biblical political theory.

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1800’s

Hodge, Charles – Systematic Theology  (Eerdmans, 1872-3), vol. 3, pt. 3, ch. 19, ‘The Law’, section 12, ‘The 8th Commandment’, pp. 428-434

‘Community of Goods’

‘Communism & Socialism’

‘International Society’

Dabney, Robert – The Practical Philosophy…  (Mexico, MO: 1897), Ch. 4, ‘Civic Ethics’, pp. 385-390

‘All Men by Nature Equal–In What Sense?’

‘The Pretended Equality Works Unjust Inequalities’

‘Its Dangerous Corollaries’

‘Particular Rights Common to All’

Dabney refers throughout these sections to the Jacobin theory.  This referred to the views of an American, socialist, political group.  The name went back to the dominant political society in the French Revolution of 1789.

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Quotes

Samuel Rutherford

A Free Disputation  (1649), ch. 4, p. 50

“We hold with Lactantius that religion cannot be compelled, nor can mercy and justice and love to our neighbor commanded in the Second Table [of the Law], be more compelled than faith in Christ.”

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A Peaceable and Temperate Plea (1642), ch. 19, p. 307

“4. …In the art of painting, ye may abstract that which is moral from that which is artificial; but in a King as a King, there is nothing artificial, or which is to be abstracted from justice and piety; for all the acts of kingly authority as kingly, are moral acts of justice, and of piety in preserving both the Tables of the Law (if a King command a stratagem of war, that which is merely artificial is not from the King as King, but from a principle of military art in him, as an expert soldier)…”

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On the Grounds & Extent of Civil Rights & Restrictions

Robert L. Dabney

The Practical Philosophy  (Mexico, MO, 1897), p. 383

“Man’s natural liberty is this: privilege of having and doing those things only to which the individual has a moral right. Consequently, the natural liberty of two men in the same commonwealth may be different, because under Providence, their natural endowments and relations may differ. Were it possible to frame a government thoroughly equitable, each person’s civic liberty would be identical with his natural: the privilege of having and doing all those things, and those only, to which each has a moral right.”

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On the Limits of Exercising the Fullness of Civil Power unto the Public Good

Samuel Rutherford

Lex Rex…  (1644), p. 197

“5. [Henning] Arnisaeus [d. 1636, a German, Lutheran political writer] desires that kings may use sparingly the plenitude of their power for public good; there must be, says he, necessity to make it lawful to use the plenitude of their power justly; therefore Ahab sinned, in that he unjustly possessed Naboth’s vineyard…

but this plenitude of power may be justly put forth in act, says he, if the public good may be regarded.”

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Good Works are Not to be Coerced

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good.”

Rom. 13:3-4

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Samuel Rutherford

A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience  (1649), p. 50

“We hold with Lactantius [d. c. 325] that religion cannot be compelled, nor can mercy and justice and love to our neighbor commanded in the Second Table be more compelled than faith in Christ.”

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Related Pages

Contra Libertarianism