Monday, October 8, 2012

Rule Against Tyranny

There is a causal connection, and not merely a coincidence, between the spread of God's word and the security of men's rights in a land. This may be demonstrated either by examining the contents of the Book, or by reading its history. I know of no country really free in which the Bible is laid under restraint, and no country enslaved where the Bible is free. Some have zealously advocated the rights of man, and striven at the same time to throw discredit on the Scriptures. The double labour was labour lost. To undermine the foundation does not contribute to the stability of the superstructure: to blot out the first table of the Decalogue is not the best way of enforcing the second. If you teach that a man may have no god, or any god, or all gods, you cannot thereafter so effectually bring home the commandments, "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet."

Living creatures, the most noxious and loathsome, have instincts ever true to guide them in their effort to preserve their own life. Such are systems of despotism: while they know not and do not good, they know unerringly what will destroy or preserve themselves: deceitful in all else, they may be trusted for one thing - for knowing surely, and warding off vigorously, whatever would endanger their own existence. With the true instinct of self-preservation, tyrants, great and small, cast or keep out bibles from their territory. The operation of this principle has embodied in the history and jurisprudence of nations the most convincing evidence that the word of God is the true palladium of popular liberty: the Truth's chief enemies become the unwilling witnesses of the Truth. One obvious method of proving that the Bible favours spiritual, political, and social liberty, is to show that tyranny, spiritual, political, and social, sets itself with all the steadfastness of an instinct against the Bible. 


In proportion as the fear of the Lord pervades a community, the legislation will be wise and the executive impartial. If we accept the greater, we shall secure also the less: if a people seek first the kingdom of God, they will get it, and a kingdom on earth besides. A people religiously right, will not long remain politically wrong. As worship rises to heaven, justice radiates on earth. If faith go foremost, charity will follow.

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