Wednesday, September 1, 2010

John Knox on Theonomy and Women Civil Rulers: Part 2

Knox confronts Mary, Queen  of
Scots.  "[T]he erecting of a woman
to that honour [of civil ruler] is not
only toinvert the order which God
has established,but also it is to defile,
pollute, and profane(so far as
in man lies) the throne and
seat of God ..."--John Knox

(posts in this series: part 1, part 2

"No man denies, but that the sword is committed to the magistrate, to the end that he should punish vice and maintain virtue. To punish vice, I say: not only that which troubles the tranquillity and quiet estate of the commonwealth (by adultery, theft, or murder committed), but also such vices as openly impugn the glory of God, as idolatry, blasphemy, and manifest heresy, taught and obstinately maintained, as the histories and notable acts of Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat, and Josiah do plainly teach us; whose study and care was not only to glorify God in their own life and conversation, but also they unfeignedly did travail to bring their subjects to the true worshipping and honouring of God; and did destroy all monuments of idolatry, did punish to death the teachers of it, and removed from office and honours such as were maintainers of those abominations. Whereby, I suppose, that it is evident, that the office of the king, or supreme magistrate, has respect to the moral law, and to the conservation of both the tables.

"Now, if the moral law is the constant and unchangeable will of God, to which the Gentile is no less bound than was the Jew; and if God wills, that amongst the Gentiles the ministers and executors of his law be now appointed, as sometimes they were appointed amongst the Jews; further, if the execution of justice is no less requisite in the policy of the Gentiles, than ever it was amongst the Jews; what man can be so foolish to suppose or believe, that God will now admit those persons to sit in judgment, or to reign over men in the commonwealth of the Gentiles, whom he by his expressed word and ordinance did before debar and exclude from the same? And that women were excluded from the royal seat, the which ought to be the sanctuary to all poor afflicted, and therefore is justly called the seat of God (besides the place before recited of the election of a king, and besides the places of the New Testament, which are most evident), the order and election which were kept in Judah and Israel do manifestly declare. For when the males of the kingly stock failed, as oft as it chanced in Israel, and sometimes in Judah, it never entered into the hearts of the people to choose and promote to honours any of the king's daughters (had he never so many); but knowing God's vengeance to be poured forth upon the father by the taking away of his sons, they had no further respect to his stock, but elected such one man or other as they judged most apt for that honour and authority. Of which premises, I conclude (as before) that to promote a woman head over men is repugnant to nature, and a thing most contrary to that order which God has approved in that commonwealth which he did institute and rule by his word."

John Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558).  Extracted from Kevin Reed, ed., The Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559 (Dallas, TX: Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1995).  Cited in swrb.  Retrieved September 1, 2010.

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