Thursday, January 5, 2012

King William of Orange and Blasphemy (Theonomy Applied)

King William III and II, or William of Orange
The following law against blasphemy was passed in 1698 by the English Parliament during King William of Orange's (or William III and II, 1650-1702) reign over England, Scotland, and Ireland (he reigned from 1689-1702):

Whereas many Persons have of late Years openly avowed and published many blasphemous and impious Opinions, contrary to the Doctrines and Principles of the Christian Religion, greatly tending to the Dishonor of Almighty God, and may prove destructive to the Peace and Welfare of this Kingdom:

"Wherefore for the more effectual suppressing of the said detestable Crimes, be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent  of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That if any Person or Persons, having been educated in, or at any Time having made Profession of the Christian Religion within this Realm, shall by Writing, Printing, Teaching, or advised Speaking deny any one of the Persons in the Holy Trinity to be God, or shall assert or maintain there are more Gods than one, or shall deny the Christian Religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of Divine Authority, and shall upon Indictment or Information in any of his Majesty's Courts at Westminister, or at the Assizes, be thereof lawfully convicted by the Oath of two or more credible Witnesses ; such Person or Persons for the first Offence shall be adjudged incapable and disabled in Law, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, to have or enjoy any Office or Offices, Employment or Employments, Ecclesiastical, Civil or Military, or any Part in them, or any Profit or Advantage appertaining to them, or any of them : 

"And if any Person or Persons so convicted as aforesaid, shall at the Time of his or their Conviction, enjoy or possess any Office, Place or Employment, such Office, Place or Employment shall be void, and is hereby declared void : And if such Person or Persons shall be a second time lawfully convicted as aforesaid, of all or any the aforesaid Crime or Crimes, that then he or they shall from thenceforth be disabled to sue, prosecute, plead or use any Action or Information in any Court of Law or Equity, or to be Guardian of any Child, or Executor or Administrator of any Person, or capable of any Legacy or Deed of Gift, or to bear any Office, Civil or Military, or Benefice Ecclesiastical for ever within this Realm, and shall also suffer Imprisonment for the Space of three Years, without Bail or Mainprize, from the Time of such Conviction."

The Ninth and Tenth of William, "An act for the more effectual suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness," 1698

For more details about this law, click here

Note about the Theonomy Applied Series: In quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily endorse every aspect of that law as biblical, whether it be the prohibition, sanction, court procedure, etc. Rather, we are merely showing the more or less attempt to apply biblical law in history, whether or not that application was fully biblical. Moreover, in quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily consider those who passed and/or enforced such a law as being fully orthodox in their Christian theology. Professing Christian rulers in history have ranged in their theology from being orthodox (that is, Reformed Protestants) to heretical (for example, Roman Catholics). 

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