There are many promises that in gospel times rulers of the State shall exercise their power and exert their authority for the furtherance and preservation of the true worship of God, the profession of the faith, the worshippers and professors thereof, and therein the whole interest of Zion, the Church (Isa. 1:26, 49:22,23). All the promises relating to God’s providential rule in the world, with reference to the interest of his church and people, do center in this, that the rulers in and of the world shall exert and exercise their power in subservience to the interest of Christ, which lies in his truth and his worship; which cannot be done if the ruler’s power to do this be denied (Isa. 60:11-17; Rev. 11:15). To say, then, that the supreme head of State, in a commonwealth of men professing the true Christian religion, ought not to exert his legislative and executive power in the defense and for the furtherance of the truth and worship of God, and for the restraint of the things that are destructive thereto, is to say that “the promise of God is of no effect” [Rom. 9:6].
- John Owen, Two questions concerning the power of the supreme magistrate about religion and the worship of God, with one about tithes, proposed and resolved (Oxford, 1659) in The works of John Owen, ed. W. H. Goold (16 vols, Edinburgh, 1967), xiii,511-12.
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