Outline Thomas Aquinas Treatise on Law



Question 90: Of the essence of law

  1. law is a rule and measure of acts
  2. The principal and object in practical matters is the last end, beatitude.

Question 91: Of the various kinds of law

  1. There is an eternal law. It is the divine Reason.
  2. Natural law, as a rule and measure, partakes in a greater rule and measure, the Eternal Law.
  3. Human law is practical reason.  Man has natural law by creation, but he does not have the particular determinations of individual cases
  4. The divine law is twofold, Old Law and New Law.

Question 92: Of the effects of Law

  1. Law does not make men good absolutely, but relatively.

Question 93: Of the eternal law

  1. The eternal law is the type of Divine wisdom.
  2. All laws, insofar as they partake of right reason, are derived from the eternal law.

Question 94: Of the natural law

  1. There is an analogy between the precepts of natural law and the first principles of demonstrations of speculative reason.
  2. The natural law is unchangeable in its first principles, but changeable in its secondary principles, which are proximate conclusions.
  3. Sin blots out the law of nature in particular cases, but not universally.

Question 95: Of Human Law

  1. A thing is said to be just from being right according to the rule of reason.

Question 96: Of the power of human law:

  1. human laws should be proportionate to the common good.
  2. Human law isn’t intened to represes all vices.
  3. On unjust laws
    1. a law is unjust when it is contrary to the human good
      1. with respect to an end
      2. with respect to an author of the law
    2. contrary to the divine good.

Question 97: Of change in laws

  1. Even though human law participates in natural law (which is unchangeing), human law is still subject to change, because the mind of man is imperfect.
  2. Can custom be as strong as law? Well….kind of.  When a thing is done again and again, it proceeds from rational deliberation.
    1. Further, custom can act as a temporary check when human law fails.

Question 98: The Old Law

  1. The Old Law was good because it was in accordance with Divine reason
    1. It repressed concupiscience
    2. And other sins that were contrary to reason.
  2. The Old Law was given by angels
    1. All good things were given by angels.
    2. The Old Law represents an order, and angels mediate in that hierarchy.

Question 99: Of the precepts of the Old Law

  1. A precept implies a relation to an end. The OT law is one in respect of relation to the End, but many in respect in how things are ordered to that end.

Question 100: Of the precepts of the Moral Law

  1. all moral precepts belong to the law of nature.
  2. all moral precepts of the old law are reducible to the Decalogue.
    1. knowledge of which man has immediately from God.
    2. Aquinas is excluding general principles that are self-evident.
  3. No man can act virtuously unless he has the habit of virtue, thus the mode of virtue does not fall among the precepts.
  4. Aquinas allows for other moral precepts besides those in the Decalogue.
    1. Moral precepts derive their efficacy from reason.
    2. In this section Aquinas also explains the reasons why Catholics enumerate the Decalogue differently.
  5. Justification is the causing of justice (ST I-II, q.100. art.12)
    1. It exists in the habit and/or the act.
    2. Man is made just by becoming possessed of the habit of justice
      1. This is both acquired virtue and infused virtue.
      2. The latter is caused by God through his grace.  

Question 101–103: Of the Ceremonial Precepts in themselves

  1. Thomas spends an inordinate amount of time on ceremonial ordinances, showing once again that his Treatise on Law has little to do with natural law.
  2. Ceremonial precepts were instituted with a dual purpose: the proper worship of God and the foreshadowing of Christ.

Question 104: The Judicial Precepts

  1. In every law some precept derives its binding force from the dictate of reason itself.
  2. Judicial precepts do not merely concern actions at law, but also are directed towards the ordering of actions of one man to another.
  3. Aquinas approaches profound and even “modern” exegesis at points, noting that the “entire state of that people had to be prophetic and figurative” (ST I-II, q. 104. Art. 2)

Question 105: The reason for the judicial precepts (Thomas is addressing the charge that the OT law is faulty because it didn’t prescribe a monarchy).

  1. The best form of government is one where one is given power to preside over all, while others under him have governing power.
  2. Right ordering of a state: all should take some share in the government.
  3. Loans: the difference between is that a loan is in respect of goods transferred for the use of the person to whom they are transferred, while a deposit is for the benefit of the depositor (art. 2).

Question 106: Of the New Law, the Gospel

  1. The New Law is both written and unwritten.
  2. It contains things to dispose us to receive grace, and things actually pertaining to the use of that grace.

Question 107: The New Law Compared with the Old

  1. It is different from the Old in that it is ordered towards a different end.

Question 108: Of the things contained in the New Law

  1. Some things in the New Law prompt us to receive grace
  2. The grace of the Holy Ghost is an interior habit.  It inclines us to do rightly and those we do freely those things in keeping with that grace.
  3. Difference between commands and counsels
    1. Commands are word of God status
    2. Counsels is left open to us.

 

Outline Althusius Politica

Thesis 1: The rights of sovereignty are proper to the realm, not the magistrate (7).

  1. The general elements of politics
    1. Polity
      1. Politics is the art of associating men for the purpose of establishing, cultivating, and conserving social life. Althusius calls this phenomenon “symbiotics.”
      2. A polity consists of:
        1. A communication of right (jus)
        2. The manner of administering the commonwealth
        3. The form of the commonwealth
    2. Mutual communication (a sharing; a making common)
      1. Things
      2. Services
      3. Common rights
    3. God willed that each need the service and aid of others in order that friendship would bind all together and no one would consider another to be valueless (23).
  2. The Family
  3. The kinship association
  4. The collegium: civil association
    1. Three of more men of the same trade/guild uniting together
    2. A communication among colleagues (see 1.2.1-3).
  5. The City
    1. Althusius holds to the idea of a Corporate Person: the community is called a representational person, as it is a coming together of men to speak collectively (40).
    2. A city may be free, municipal, mixed, or metropolitan
      1. Free city: its immediate superior is the magistrate and is free from external control, save perhaps the Emperor.
      2. Municipal: subject to a territorial lord
      3. Mixed: combination of 1 and 2.
      4. Metropolis: mother of other cities.
    3. “The rights of the city…are also communicated by the citizens” (48).
  6. The province
    1. The members of the province are its orders and estates, as they are called, or larger collegia (54).
    2. Althusius doesn’t fully develop this point, but this will be the point on which Rutherford argues for resisting tyrants: it is never the individual who resists the king.  It is the collegia and estates. In fact, this isn’t really a theological argument at all, so the claim that “Jesus and the Apostles didn’t do this” is irrelevant.
  7. Political Sovereignty and Ecclesiastical Communication
    1. Ownership of a realm belongs to the estates and administration of it belongs to the king (66).
      1. The members of the realm are the collegia, not individuals.
      2. The bond of the realm: tacit or expressed promise to communicate things, mutual services, aid, counsel, and common laws to the extent that the utility of social life shall require (67).
    2. Sovereignty: supreme right of universal jurisdiction
    3. Right of the realm: twofold
      1. Welfare of the soul
      2. Care of the body
  8. Secular Communication
  9. The Ephors and their Duties
    1. An Ephor is something a little stronger than a Senator, but not quite a hereditary prince.
      1. They are the representatives of the commonwealth, by whom kings are constituted.
      2. They are the “protectors of the covenant.”
  10. The Constituting of the Supreme Magistrate
    1. He exercises as much authority as has been conceded to him.
    2. The people are prior in time to the magistrate and more worthy in nature.
    3. Since no one can renounce the right of defense against violence and injury, so the people have the power to resist an erring kng.
    4. Fundamental law of a realm: certain covenants by which many cities and pacts come together and agree to defend and establish the same commonwealth (128).
  11. Political Prudence in the Administration of the Commonwealth
    1. The rule of living, obeying, administering is the will of God alone
      1. This law is twofold: common or proper
        1. Common: naturally implanted by God in all men
        2. More on common law: also called the moral law (139).
      2. Knowledge and inclination: different degrees of this knowledge and inclination.
    2. Althusius then gives a short commentary on the Decalogue (141).
    3. Natural law and biblical law:
      1. Positive law today can’t simply repeat the Decalouge, not can it constitute a new specie.
      2. It must agree with common law/decalogue in thos ematters common to each law.  
        1. It differs from its accommodation to particular and special circumstances.
        2. Common law commands in general; proper law in particular.
  12. Ecclesiastical Administration
  13. Concluding thoughts
    1. Althusius discusses to what degree a magistrate can harass heretics.
    2. Allows that Jews may live in the commonwealth (remarkably progressive view at the time)
    3. Under which circumstances one may resist tyrants

Outline Owen Mortification of Sin

https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/SpiritualFormation/Texts/Owen_MortificationOfSin.pdf

Foundation of the Discourse

The relationship between justification and mortification is cause and effect (Owen 6).

Our duty: The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin (7).

The efficient cause of this duty: The Holy Spirit (“if by the Spirit”).  Mortification must be done by the Spirit. Every other way is vain.

What are the deeds of the body?

The body is the seat and instrument of the corruption of our nature (7).  It is the same as “the old man” and the “body of sin.”  The power of our spiritual life depends on how much we mortify the deeds of the flesh (9).

The Necessity of Mortification

We are obligated by the ferocity of the battle to be killing sin at all times.

  1. Indwelling sin is always with us even if judicial sin is negated.
  2. This sin is still active.
  3. If left alone, it will turn into greater sins (“scandalous and soul-destroying sins”).
  4. Our new nature and the Spirit is the principle by which we oppose sin.
    1. Gal. 5.17
    2. 2 Pet. 1.4-5
    3. Our participation in the divine nature gives us an escape from the pollutions of the world.
  5. If we neglect this duty, our soul is cast into a contrary condition.
    1. “Exercise and success are the two main cherishers of grace in the heart.”
  6. It is our duty to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Conclusion: notwithstanding our judicial freedom from sin, indwelling sin remains in the best of believers.

False Asceticism: Vanity of Popish Mortification

  1. The Holy Spirit is sufficient for mortification
  2. Popish Mortification
    1. The ways and ends of their mortification were never insisted on by God.
    2. The means that are appointed by God, and which they do use, are not used properly.  Fasting is important, but it should flow from the Spirit’s work of mortification.  Fasting and watching are streams, not fountains.
  3. The Work of the Spirit
    1. The Spirit will take away the stony heart (Ezek. 11.19; 36.26).
    2. This is a gift of Christ, and Christ, as the head, communicates his gifts to us.
    3. How does the Holy Spirit mortify sin?
      1. He causes our hearts to abound in graces and fruits that are contrary to the flesh (Gal. 5.19-21).
      2. The Holy Spirit, as our efficient, hits sin at the root.
      3. He brings us into communion with the cross of Christ.

Chapter 4: The Usefulness of Mortification

  1. The vigor of our spiritual life depends on mortification.
    1. Success in mortification won’t always lead to happiness, though.  A godly saint can mortify sin yet still face assaults (Psalm 88).
    2. Mortification shouldn’t be confused with the privileges that flow from adoption.
    3. Unmortified sin weakens the soul (Ps. 38.3).
    4. As sin weakens, so it darkens the soul.
  2. Mortification prunes all the graces of God.

Chapter 5-6

  1. What it is to mortify a sin.
    1. A habitual weakening of it.
    2. Constant fighting and contending against it.

Chapter 7: General Rules, and Rome’s false view, again

  1. Unless a man is a believer, truly ingrafted into Christ, this isn’t possible.
  2. It is the work of faith (Acts 15.9).

Chapter 8: Universal Sincerity for mortifcation

  1. Without sincerity and an aim at universal mortification, no lust will be mortified.
    1. 2 Cor. 7.1
    2. God sometimes suffers one lust to chasten our other negligences.

Chapters 9-11

  1. A lust that isn’t “loud” is often more dangerous.  It could be a sign of inveterateness.
  2. The heart often engages in self-deception.
  3. Guilt of the Sin
    1. The power of sin is weakened by grace, but not always the guilt is weakened.
    2. Load your conscience with the guilt of sin, so that you can let the Spirit work through you.
      1. Don’t fight guilt by your own righteousness.
      2. Let the law do what it is supposed to do.
      3. And then cry to God.

Chapter 12

I am going to call this one “Study as a mode of sanctification.”

  1. Let our meditations fill us with our low estate and God’s high estate
    1. It reminds us how weak in prayer we are.
    2. Even at our best we have feeble notions of God.
  2. The being of God.
    1. We have words and notions about the “things of God,” but not the things themselves.
    2. “We know him rather but what he does than what he is.”
  3. But what of the difference between believers’ and unbelievers’ knowledge of God?
    1. Their manner of knowing is different, not the content.

Chapter 13

  1. If you are upset by sin, don’t speak peace to your heart until God speaks.
  2. If we look for healing and peace, we must look to the blood of the covenant.
  3. How shall we know that God has spoken peace to us?
    1. We’ll know.  When God gives peace, he doesn’t go halfway.
    2. But he doesn’t necessarily do it right away.
    3. There is a “secret instinct in faith.”

Chapter 14

  1. Have faith that Christ is at work killing our sin.
  2. Expect in faith for a relief from Christ.
  3. Our old man is crucified with Christ, not in respect of time but of causality. If we act on faith in the death of Christ, then we can expect
    1. Power
    2. Conformity
  4. The Spirit alone:
    1. Convinces the heart of guilt
    2. Reveals unto us the fullness of Christ for relief.
    3. Establishes the heart in expectation of relief.
    4. Brings the cross of Christ into our hearts with its sin-killing power.
    5. Is the author and finisher of our sanctification.
    6. Supports our addresses to God.

 

Rutherford’s Scotist Ethics

“Samuel Rutherford’s Euthyphro Dilemma” in Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland by Simon J. G. Burton

Cameron’s Thesis:

  1. Things that are good in themselves have a much stronger binding authority than adiaphora.

Rutherford’s Rejoinder:

  1. Constitution of the divine image is dependent on the divine will (130).
  2. Categories of simple and complex acts.
    1. The act of worshiping God is a simple act (for Rutherford, there is no object/intention in this act)
    2. The act of worshiping God in accord with the divine law is a complex act.
  3. Only complex acts have moral status (130).
    1. A created object is not the measure or rule of the divine will (131).
    2. When God creates rational creatures, he at once creates the common principles of the natural law (132).

Advancing the Position

  1. Love of God is the cornerstone of the natural law
    1. The question now becomes, per God’s command to kill Isaac, is whether a particular act should be considered obedience to God or not (132).
    2. This duty is not necessarily and immutably founded in God’s own nature before every decree of his will (133).
  2. Bradwardine
    1. Distinction between things reasonable naturally prior to the divine will
      1. Such as God’s being and goodness.
      2. They are able to move the divine will.
    2. AND things which are reasonable naturally posterior to the divine will;
      1. Depend on God’s will for their reasonable status.
      2. Caused by the divine will and cannot move it.
    3. and things which are said to be mixed.

Rutherford’s Scotist Ethics

  1. Both Rutherford and Bradwardine attempted to identify different logical moments within the eternal and indivisible divine act.
    1. Grounds contingency not in the possibility of future action but in the present moment of existence itself (135).
    2. This allows Scotus to make a distinction between the single instant of time and the single instant of divine eternity in terms of a series of logically connected instants (135).
    3. Logically successive, but temporally synchronic structural instants.
  2. Highest principle of morality:  God is to be loved
    1. Every moral action is defined in relation to this.
    2. Except for those acts with an intrinsic and necessary relation to the divine nature–those acts with God as the immediate object–the moral status of every action is determined solely by the divine will (136).
    3. Aquinas:  God didn’t actually command Abraham to murder; rather, God was calling due on Isaac early (since Isaac was supposed to die because he was mortal).

Bottom line application:  God is not bound by his creation.

Outline of Beeke’s Puritan Spirituality

This isn’t an outline of the whole book, but of what I found most helpful.

The book is vintage Beeke. While not a collection of independent essays, most of them can be read independently, although the essays on the Erskines build on each other.  In this book the reader gets an outstanding (if sometimes limited) perspective on Reformed and Puritan spirituality.  Aside from some editorial hiccups, this book is a treasure.

Content

The Holy Spirit is the bond that unites us to Christ. Excellent opening by Beeke. Places the internum testimonium Spiritus within the larger working of salvation, and not just as it relates to Scripture.

Calvin and Piety

  1. Piety is rooted in the mystical union (3).
  2. Communion and Participation
  3. Piety’s Double-bond: The Spirit and Faith
    1. The Holy Spirit is the channel through which Christ is communicated to his people.
    2. “Engrafting.”  “Secret energy” (Calvin, quoted in Beeke 5).

Assurance

Calvin’s Paradoxes on Assurance of Faith

  1. Faith is assent, trust, knowledge.
  2. Assurance of the essence of faith
    1. “Sure and secure possession of those things which God promised us” (quoted in Beeke 37).
    2. Assurance can be quenched at times
  3. Antinomies
    1. Calvin set the ought/is dichotomy against the backdrop of spirit/flesh.
    2. The germ of faith is not necessarily the same thing as the consciousness of faith.
  4. Trinitarian framework
    1. Movement of the grace of faith from the Father in the Son through the Spirit.
  5. Election and Missionary spirit:

Anthony Burgess on Assurance

  1. The possibility of assurance (Beeke 174).
    1. False Assurance
    2. True Assurance
    3. Lacking consciousness of true assurance
  2. The foundations of assurance
    1. Primary objective ground: divine promises in Christ.
    2. Secondary, internal grounds: testimony of the Holy Spirit.
    3. Syllogisms
      1. Practical syllogism:
      2. Mystical syllogism: only those who possess saving faith will receive the Spirit’s testimony.  Second premise: I cannot deny that I possess the Spirit’s testimony.  Conclusion: I have saving faith.
  3. Cultivation of Assurance:  God uses conflicts, doubts, and trials to strengthen a believer’s faith.
    1. Privilege of assurance usually doesn’t come right away.
  4. Assurance lost and renewed:

Puritans and Nadere Reformatie

  1. The Puritans stressed the grounds of assurance
    1. They warned against elevating secondary grounds of assurance
    2. Assurance understood in a Trinitarian framework.
    3. Assurance is a gift of God involving the whole man.
    4. Stressed the act of faith.
  2. The Dutch emphasized the “steps of grace.”
    1. Stressed the Spirit’s immediate witness.
    2. Stressed the habitus of faith.

John Brown of Haddington

Brown’s Compendius View

  1. Federal theologian
    1. Covenant: “an agreement between different persons on certain terms” (quoted in Beeke, 216).
    2. “Brown rejects the idea of a covenant of redemption separate from a covenant of grace” (216).
      1. Distinguishes between contracting and administering.
      2. CoG conditional in nature but Christ fulfills all conditions.

Life and Theology of Thomas Boston

  1. Federal Theologian
    1. Covenant of Works.
    2. Covenant of Grace
      1. Says CoG and CoR are two sides of the same covenant (231).
      2. CoG established in eternity.

 

Puritan Practice of Meditation

  1. Clear your heart from things of the world.
  2. Have your heart cleansed from guilt and pollution.
  3. Begin with Scripture reading
  4. Memorize the selected verses.

 

Ames and the Marrow of Theology

  1. Moderate Voluntarism: Ames held to the primacy of volition
  2. Maccovius held to primacy of intellect

Puritan Evangelism

  1. Puritan Preaching was Biblical
  2. Puritan preaching was doctrinal
  3. Practical
  4. Evangelistic
  5. Symmetrical

Herman Witsius

  1. God’s starting point in eternity did not demean his activit in time.
    1. Witsius was formally a Cocceian and materially a Voetian.
  2. Economy of the Covenants
    1. Covenants between God and man are monopleuric.
    2. All covenants are dipleuric in administration.
  3. Election is the backdrop of the covenant

 

Review and Outline of Lex, Rex

This is Samuel Rutherford’s response to the prelate Maxwell who advocated absolute obedience to monarchs in all respects. This book is a point by point refutation (and reads like it). Rutherford’s Key argument: “I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance” (Rutherford 1).

We can say it another way: We can reorder the scholastic causes (formal, efficient, material, final) to forms of limitation: what is the purpose of govt? Who or what brings govt into existence? Who or what constitutes govt? If these distinctions aren’t kept in mind, Rutherford’s argument doesn’t make sense. In fact, constitutional govt wouldn’t make sense, either.

Rutherford explains government is natural in its root but voluntary in its mode. Further, The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6). Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king? No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves. You cannot cede what you do not have (81). The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115). This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).

Can we resist the government? Well, individually no. As a member of an estate and body politic, yes. Resistance and patient suffering are not contraries when considered as virtues (153ff). If resistance can fall under the virtue of self-preservation, then it is not an evil. Were the entire Parliament and city of London to lay down their arms and go meekly to their deaths at the hand of Irish rebels? In lighter situations, such as taxes and tribute, we may not use acts of re-offending. Did Paul meekly submit to the king of Damascus or did he engage in self-preservation and escape (159)?

The book is somewhat difficult to read because Rutherford is engaging in a point-by-point refutation of Maxwell, so it isn’t always clear which point is under discussion.

Analytical Outline

I found Rev David Field’s analyses of Rutherford very helpful and invaluable.

http://davidpfield.com/other/rutherfordccs.pdf

http://www.davidpfield.com/published-articles/Rutherford-resistance.pdf

Rev Field’s key point, taken from Rutherford:

A woman or a young man may violently oppose a king, if he force the one to adultery and incest, and the other to sodomy (162 [331]).

If it be natural to one man to defend himself against the personal invasion of a prince, then is it natural and warrantable to ten thousand, and to a whole kingdom ; and what reason to defraud a kingdom of the benefit of self-defence more than one man? (158 [324])?

Key argument: I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance (Rutherford 1).

Field neatly rephrases Rutherford’s argument: If we reorder the causes (to final, efficient, formal and material) and take “cases of  resistance” to be “forms of limitation” we may rephrase the conclusions of Lex, rex as a series of questions: What is the purpose or goal of government? Who or what brings government into being? What is it that makes government government, or what is the essence of government? What is government made out of? What are the due limitations of civil government (Field 5)?

Rutherford gives a book-length response to “P. Prelate.”

C1: “All civil power is immediately from God in its root” (Rutherford 1).

  1. Civil society is natural in radice but voluntary in modo.
  2. The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6).
    1. Judges 9.6; 1 Sam. 11.15
    2. A choice is made to choose this man and not that man.
  3. Is God’s call to not resist ordained authorities always absolute?  Rutherford gives a number of reductios to prove otherwise:
    1. A pastor is ordained of God; if a pastor becomes a robber, is it a sin to resist him?
    2. If a king brings in foreign invaders, such as “Irish cutthroats,” it is lawful to resist (15).

C2: Where obligation exists by contract, violation of the faith plighted in the contract, cannot in proper terms be called disobedience or contempt of authority (24).

  1. Government and power-making: the community, not the Pope, doth put forth this act (making a king) as a free, voluntary power (29).
  2. The community keeps to itself a power to resist tyranny (35).
  3. The previous laws of a community or nation give people the right to resist invaders who try to overthrow that order (36).

C3: Idolatry and Prior Laws

  1. If a nation is Christian (or theistic), the people do not have to aid a ruler in making it idolatrous (40).
  2. Rutherford’s hypotheticals are quite interesting:  if a king invites Papists to invade and subdue the Protestants, must the Protestants merely accept this?
  3. Covenants limit the power of kings (57).
  4. The Western legal heritage at this time had already limited the power of kings: if a king negates the conditions which made him king (e.g., the people’s investiture), then he may be negated since he violated them “from his own consent” (63).

C4: Nature and Destruction

  1. Law is rooted in nature and nature can’t be destroyed.  Therefore, a king doesn’t have the power to destruction (66).
  2. What if a people are conquered?
    1. This is why there really can’t be a “blank check to Nero” type interpretation, otherwise it gets really silly.
      1. This means “might makes right.”
      2. So, the new conqueror is automatically “the powers that be”?
      3. Does that mean the old–indeed, legitimate–ruler is now illegitimate?
      4. At what point does he become illegitimate–when the new conqueror conquers 50.01% of the land?
    2. Presumably, given the analysis in 2.1.1-2.1.4, a people would be sinning in resisting.   Yet, let’s say they “reconquered” the conquerors.  Does that automatically make them “in the right?”

C5: Kingmakers

  1. The Holy Spirit invests the people (Dt. 17.15-16) with kingmaking power.
    1. But that’s the Old Testament!
    2. Fair enough–it is also Western (and Russian) legal tradition.
  2. Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king?
    1. No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves.
    2. You cannot cede what you do not have (81).
  3. They give the king political power to their own safety, but reserve natural power to themselves.  Here Rutherford buttresses his argument with natural law reasoning and the 6th Commandment.
  4. Inferior magistrates are also “powers from God” (else, if Paul were just talking about the king, why didn’t he simply say “power”?).
    1. They also bear God’s sword (90).
  5. Scripture notes the people make the king, never the king the people (113).
    1. The people united to make David king at Hebron.
    2. The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115).  This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book.

C6: Parliament and the People

  1. “The princes of the house of Israel could not be rebuked for oppression in judgment (Mic. 3.1-3) if they had not the power of judgment” (95).
  2. Historical reductio:  Did Parliament sin by not giving Charles I the tax legislation he wanted?  
  3. The Parliament can resist the king, for it, too, his of God, even “a congregation of gods” (111, quoting Psalm 82.6).

C7: Is the King absolute?

  1. God does not give absolute power, because: (101ff)
    1. The king has his power from the people, as already established.
    2. The king is commonly known as a living law, but if he is a law then he is not absolute.
    3. Is the power to do evil from God?
      1. Depends on what kind of distinctions we make.  If “power” means “approval from God,” then did David have the power to kill Uriah and deflower Bathsheba (103)?
      2. Obviously, that is not a positive power but a mere permission.
      3. In either case, the king doesn’t have absolute power.
    4. The power to work contrary to the Good cannot be a lawful power, since the king is a minister of God for Good.
    5. The prophets rebuked the kings of Israel; hence, the power was not absolute.

C8: The Goal of Civil Govt.

  1. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).
  2. Therefore, God must have appointed means to this end.
    1. The obstruction of Good and justice works contrary to this end.

C9: The Health of the People

  1. If the people are the cause of the king, then their own safety must be principally sought (119).
  2. What is the end or purpose of the king?  The king isn’t the king simply so he can be the king.  Therefore, the prelate’s argument is reduced thus:
    1. The king is a lame king unless given the power to waste and destroy.
    2. The king cannot be happy unless he has the power to lay waste the Lord’s inheritance.

C10: Royalty mediately

  1. The king has royalty mediately by the people’s free consent (123).
  2. Power is not an immediate inheritance from heaven but is always mediated in situations.

C11: Judges and the Laws

  1. If judges exist, then the king is not the sole interpreter of the law (137).

C12: War

  1. Private subjects, Rutherford carefully argues, may not officially rise against the king.  Estates, however, may (139).
  2. There is a distinction between the king in concreto and the king in abstracto (office of the king).

C13: Venerable authority

  1. The person of the king is not venerable in its authority.
  2. If the contrary hold true, then Manasseh did not shed innocent blood or engage in sorcery (150).

C14: Resistance and patient suffering are not contraries when considered as virtues (153ff).

  1. If resistance can fall under the virtue of self-preservation, then it is not an evil.
  2. Were the entire Parliament and city of London to lay down their arms and go meekly to their deaths at the hand of Irish rebels?
  3. In lighter situations, such as taxes and tribute, we may not use acts of re-offending.
  4. Did Paul meekly submit to the king of Damascus or did he engage in self-preservation and escape (159)?

C15: Self-Defense as Rational and Natural

  1. We must first engage in supplications.
  2. Flight is not always possible or natural, as in the case of the aged and infants.
  3. Rutherford makes an interesting assertion:  “No man in the 3 kingdoms sought to harm the king’s person” (162).  It does not seem that Rutherford would agree with Charles’ execution.
  4. Humorous reductio on the Irish rebel and natural law (165).

C16: More on Just War Theory and Defensive Wars (166ff)

  1. As the priests executed a ceremonial law on King Uzziah, so may the three estates of Scotland execute the  moral law of God upon the king (171).

C17: But what about martyrs? (182ff)

  1. Can Christians defend themselves against murderers?

Working outline of Lex, Rex

I still have 100 pages to go in my outline.  Most of my critical help has come from Rev. David Field.

I found Rev David Field’s analyses of Rutherford very helpful and invaluable.

http://davidpfield.com/other/rutherfordccs.pdf

http://www.davidpfield.com/published-articles/Rutherford-resistance.pdf

Rev Field’s key point, taken from Rutherford:

A woman or a young man may violently oppose a king, if he force the one to adultery and incest, and the other to sodomy (162 [331]).

If it be natural to one man to defend himself against the personal invasion of a prince, then is it natural and warrantable to ten thousand, and to a whole kingdom ; and what reason to defraud a kingdom of the benefit of self-defence more than one man? (158 [324])?

Key argument: I reduce all that I am to speak of the power of kings, to the author or efficient, -the matter or subject, – the form or power, – the end and fruit of their government, – and to some cases of resistance (Rutherford 1).

Field neatly rephrases Rutherford’s argument: If we reorder the causes (to final, efficient, formal and material) and take “cases of

resistance” to be “forms of limitation” we may rephrase the conclusions of Lex, rex as a series of questions: What is the purpose or goal of government? Who or what brings government into being? What is it that makes government government, or what is the essence of government? What is government made out of? What are the due limitations of civil government (Field 5)?

Rutherford gives a book-length response to “P. Prelate.”

C1: “All civil power is immediately from God in its root” (Rutherford 1).

  1. Civil society is natural in radice but voluntary in modo.
  2. The power of creating a man a king is from the people (6).
    1. Judges 9.6; 1 Sam. 11.15
    2. A choice is made to choose this man and not that man.
  3. Is God’s call to not resist ordained authorities always absolute?  Rutherford gives a number of reductios to prove otherwise:
    1. A pastor is ordained of God; if a pastor becomes a robber, is it a sin to resist him?
    2. If a king brings in foreign invaders, such as “Irish cutthroats,” it is lawful to resist (15).

C2: Where obligation exists by contract, violation of the faith plighted in the contract, cannot in proper terms be called disobedience or contempt of authority (24).

  1. Government and power-making: the community, not the Pope, doth put forth this act (making a king) as a free, voluntary power (29).
  2. The community keeps to itself a power to resist tyranny (35).
  3. The previous laws of a community or nation give people the right to resist invaders who try to overthrow that order (36).

C3: Idolatry and Prior Laws

  1. If a nation is Christian (or theistic), the people do not have to aid a ruler in making it idolatrous (40).
  2. Rutherford’s hypotheticals are quite interesting:  if a king invites Papists to invade and subdue the Protestants, must the Protestants merely accept this?
  3. Covenants limit the power of kings (57).
  4. The Western legal heritage at this time had already limited the power of kings: if a king negates the conditions which made him king (e.g., the people’s investiture), then he may be negated since he violated them “from his own consent” (63).

C4: Nature and Destruction

  1. Law is rooted in nature and nature can’t be destroyed.  Therefore, a king doesn’t have the power to destruction (66).
  2. What if a people are conquered?
    1. This is why there really can’t be a “blank check to Nero” type interpretation, otherwise it gets really silly.
      1. This means “might makes right.”
      2. So, the new conqueror is automatically “the powers that be”?
      3. Does that mean the old–indeed, legitimate–ruler is now illegitimate?
      4. At what point does he become illegitimate–when the new conqueror conquers 50.01% of the land?
    2. Presumably, given the analysis in 2.1.1-2.1.4, a people would be sinning in resisting.   Yet, let’s say they “reconquered” the conquerors.  Does that automatically make them “in the right?”

C5: Kingmakers

  1. The Holy Spirit invests the people (Dt. 17.15-16) with kingmaking power.
    1. But that’s the Old Testament!
    2. Fair enough–it is also Western (and Russian) legal tradition.
  2. Can the people cede all of their liberty to the king?
    1. No, for the people do not have absolute power over themselves.
    2. You cannot cede what you do not have (81).
  3. They give the king political power to their own safety, but reserve natural power to themselves.  Here Rutherford buttresses his argument with natural law reasoning and the 6th Commandment.
  4. Inferior magistrates are also “powers from God” (else, if Paul were just talking about the king, why didn’t he simply say “power”?).
    1. They also bear God’s sword (90).
  5. Scripture notes the people make the king, never the king the people (113).
    1. The people united to make David king at Hebron.
    2. The king is above the people by eminence of derived authority as watchman, but he is inferior to them in fountain-power, as the effect to the cause (115).  This is Rutherford’s key, and in my opinion, strongest, argument in the book.

C6: Parliament and the People

  1. “The princes of the house of Israel could not be rebuked for oppression in judgment (Mic. 3.1-3) if they had not the power of judgment” (95).
  2. Historical reductio:  Did Parliament sin by not giving Charles I the tax legislation he wanted?  
  3. The Parliament can resist the king, for it, too, his of God, even “a congregation of gods” (111, quoting Psalm 82.6).

C7: Is the King absolute?

  1. God does not give absolute power, because: (101ff)
    1. The king has his power from the people, as already established.
    2. The king is commonly known as a living law, but if he is a law then he is not absolute.
    3. Is the power to do evil from God?
      1. Depends on what kind of distinctions we make.  If “power” means “approval from God,” then did David have the power to kill Uriah and deflower Bathsheba (103)?
      2. Obviously, that is not a positive power but a mere permission.
      3. In either case, the king doesn’t have absolute power.
    4. The power to work contrary to the Good cannot be a lawful power, since the king is a minister of God for Good.
    5. The prophets rebuked the kings of Israel; hence, the power was not absolute.

C8: The Goal of Civil Govt.

  1. God’s intention per civil govt is “external peace, and quiet life, and godliness of his church and people, and that all judges, according to their places, be nurse-fathers to the church (Isa. 40.23)” (105).
  2. Therefore, God must have appointed means to this end.
    1. The obstruction of Good and justice works contrary to this end.

C9: The Health of the People

  1. If the people are the cause of the king, then their own safety must be principally sought (119).
  2. What is the end or purpose of the king?  The king isn’t the king simply so he can be the king.  Therefore, the prelate’s argument is reduced thus:
    1. The king is a lame king unless given the power to waste and destroy.
    2. The king cannot be happy unless he has the power to lay waste the Lord’s inheritance.

C10: Royalty mediately

  1. The king has royalty mediately by the people’s free consent (123).
  2. Power is not an immediate inheritance from heaven but is always mediated in situations.

C11: Judges and the Laws

  1. If judges exist, then the king is not the sole interpreter of the law (137).

C12: War

  1. Private subjects, Rutherford carefully argues, may not officially rise against the king.  Estates, however, may (139).
  2. There is a distinction between the king in concreto and the king in abstracto (office of the king).