Government and Rebellion eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 28 pages of information about Government and Rebellion.
every other course fails—­“resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!” Man was not made for tyranny.  He was not made for any form of government that crushes out his intellect and his religious capabilities.  He was made to be governed morally; to be under righteous law; law which, while it restrains passion, selfishness and crime, gives a man all the freedom that he is able and willing to use safely for himself, and for the commonwealth; all that is consistent with individual development and the national good.

I am not one of those who believe that the voice of the people is, without exception, the voice of God.  It was not so at the Deluge, but quite the reverse.  It was not so when Israel clamored for a king—­not in mercy but in anger, God gave them their request.  It was not so when Absalom stole the hearts of the people, and stirred up rebellion against his father.  And yet, when a nation, independent of party, free from the excitements of momentary interest, without the influence of ambitious leaders, under the calm guidance of reason, history, and the spirit of the age,—­rises spontaneously against oppression, against iniquity, and demands just laws; rights for all; free thought, free speech, free labor, free worship; when compacts are not violated; when moderation is maintained; when the spirit of humanity is preserved,—­then, I believe, “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”  I have no question that, in the great principle, Cromwell and his puritan hosts were right in their revolutionary action.  I could never doubt that our fathers did a noble, glorious, and Christian deed in throwing off the yoke of Britain, and proclaiming a new government for themselves and their posterity.  It was right to contend and bleed for equal representation, for freedom of conscience, and for an independent nationality in which these high ends could be secured.

The first government of which we have account was a Theocracy—­that is, “the government of God.” He was the only King.  He revealed the law, appointed leaders, gave rules for worship, instruction and warfare.  Thus in the outset did he set up his claims among men.  He established the great precedent, which men ought to have followed, which the world has ignored; but to which the thoughts and the will of the race shall ultimately return.  It is true now that government, as such, is ordained of God.  All government, in its elemental authority, is a theocracy.  All power is of God; he ordains law.  He originates the idea of civil compact.  While, therefore, the principles of governments among men may be defective, and the administration wrong and hurtful, the great fact of government is a Divine fact.  Good government is emphatically God’s government—­intended to suppress evil, to promote holiness and happiness.  “The powers that be are ordained of God.”  “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance

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Government and Rebellion from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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