Monday, September 5, 2011

The Duties of all Rulers (by John Eliot)

John Eliot
The following is an excerpt from the Puritan missionary John Eliot's work, The Christian Commonwealth: or,The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ

The Office and Duty of all the Rulers, is to govern the people in the orderly and seasonable practice of all the Commandments of God, in actions liable to Political observation, whether of piety and love to God, or of justice, and love to man with peace.
Hence they are keepers of both Tables, and are so to look that all the Commandments of God be observed, as to compel men to their undoubted duty, and punish them for their undoubted sins, errours and transgressions.  
A Case, a Duty, a Sin, is said then to be undoubted, when either it is expresly, or by general approved consequence, commanded or forbidden in the Scriptures ; or when it hath passed the circuit of God's Polity, and received its final determination according to the Scriptures ; unto which not to submit, is capital presumption. 
Hence again, Rulers are eminently concerned to maintain the purity of Religion, with all care and power; holiness, truth, and peace being much concerned herein. 
Hence again, all Rulers must be skilful in the Scriptures ; they must read and meditate in the same all the daies of their life, that thereby they may be enabled to do their Office faithfully, and religiously so long as they live.
John Eliot, The Christian Commonwealth: or,The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Paul Royster, ed. (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1659), 19.

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