And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
The orthodox churches believe also, and do willingly acknowledge, that every lawful magistrate, being by God himself constituted the keeper and defender of both tables of the law, may and ought first and chiefly to take care of God's glory, and (according to his place, or in his manner and way) to preserve religion when pure, and to restore it when decayed and corrupted: and also to provide a learned and godly ministry, schools also and synods, as likewise to restrain and punish as well atheists, blasphemers, heretics and schismatics, as the violators of justice and civil peace.
Moreover, to kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates, we affirm that chiefly and most principally the conservation and purgation of the religion appertains; so that not only they are appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of the true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and superstition whatsoever: as in David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others, highly commended for their zeal in that case, may be espied.
Yet civil government has as its appointed end, so long as we live among men, to cherish and protect the outward worship of God, to defend sound doctrine of piety and the position of the church, to adjust our life to the society of men, to form our social behavior to civil righteousness, to reconcile us with one another, and to promote general peace and tranquility.
Reformation is desperately needed in our languishing nations. In the past, not only did biblical reformation sweep the church in doctrine, worship, and government, but also reformation of biblical Christianity was promoted and accelerated by Christian magistrates who wholeheartedly supported and defended the ministry of the reformed churches. Reformation is never easy. The truth is no more fashionable today than it was at the time of our reformed and covenanted forefathers. If we would see reformation we must return to the old paths of our God and of our forefathers.
Civil magistracy is a blessed ordinance of the living God, given to the human family in order that it might reflect the order in which God so much delights ("For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace" 1 Cor. 14:33). This ordinance should be so cherished by God's people that when the ruling civil magistrate cannot be owned as "the ordinance of God" within a nation, the hearts of God's people both sadly bemoan that fact and earnestly pray that God would in His mercy remove His righteous anger from the land and grant nursing fathers to the church. May God be pleased to open the eyes of His people to the need for reformation in the divine ordinance of civil magistracy.
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