Luther and the Reformation: eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Luther and the Reformation:.

ENACTMENTS ON THE SUBJECT.

All the articles of government and regulation ordained by the first General Assembly, held at Upland (Chester) from the seventh to the tenth day of December, 1682, were fundamentally grounded on this express “Whereas, the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and end of government, and therefore government itself is a valuable ordinance of God; and forasmuch as it is principally desired to make and establish such laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, whereby God may have his due, Caesar his due, and the people their due, from tyranny and oppression on the one side, and insolence and licentiousness on the other; so that the best and firmest foundation may be laid for the present and future happiness of both the governor and the people of this province and their posterity;” for it was deemed and believed on all hands that neither permanence nor happiness, enduring order nor prosperity, could come from any other principle than that of the recognition of the supremacy and laws of Him from whom all things proceed and on whom all creatures depend.

On this wise also ran the very first of the sixty-one laws ordained by that Assembly:  “Almighty God being the Lord of conscience, Father of lights, and the Author as well as Object of all divine knowledge, faith, and worship, who alone can enlighten the mind and convince the understanding of people in due reverence to his sovereignty over the souls of mankind,” the rights of citizenship, protection, and liberty should be to every person, then or thereafter residing in this province, “who shall confess one Almighty God to be the Creator, Upholder, and Ruler of the world, and profess himself obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly under the civil government;” provided, further, that no person antagonizing this confession, or refusing to profess the same, or convicted of unsober or dishonest conversation, should ever hold office in this commonwealth.

And so entirely did this, and what else was then and there enacted and ordained, fall in with the teachings, feelings, and beliefs of the hardy and devoted Swedish Lutherans, who had here been professing and fulfilling the same for two scores of years preceding, that they not only joined in the making of these enactments, but sent a special deputation to the governor formally to assure him that, on these principles and the faithful administration of them, they would love, serve, and obey him with all they possessed.

IMPORTANCE OF THIS PRINCIPLE.

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Luther and the Reformation: from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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