So magistrates should be very tender over the messengers of Christ, who are the best friends, if they be faithful, that princes have in the world. Magistracy and ministry, the word and the sword, should go together. The pulpit guards the throne; hence Nathan is called the friend of David, 1 Kings 4:5; king Joram calls Elijah his father, 2 Kings 6:21; and Jehoshaphat calls the Levites his sons, 2 Chron 29:11; and Hezekiah spake comfortable, delightful, pleasing words to the hearts of the Levites, 2 Chron 30:22. The magistrate must protect their persons from violence, and their maintenance from the encroachment of cruel cormorants, lest, by famishing them, he bring a famine of the word upon the people. He must plant the word where it is wanting, and continue it where it is planted. It was well observed by Queen Elizabeth, when the justices of peace in the county of Suffolk met her Majesty in progress, every one of them having a minister by him, I see the reason now, saith the queen, why the county of Suffolk is better governed than other counties; it is because the word and the sword go together. Then church and state are like to flourish when Moses and Aaron, Zerubbabel and Joshua, Zech 4:14, go hand in hand together. When the minister reproves sin, and the magistrate punisheth it; when the magistrate makes use of the minister's direction, and the minister enjoys the magistrate's protection; when Joshua joins with Eleazar, and David consults with Nathan and Gad, the prophets of the Lord; and Josiah with Huldah, and Uzziah with Zechariah the priest, then, and never till then, can we look to prosper, 2 Chron 26:5. It is Aaron's office to speak, but it is Moses's rod that works the wonders. Ministers must preach, and magistrates must punish offenders.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Ministry and Magistracy
Thomas Hall (d. 1665), The Works of George Swinnock, M.A., Vol. 4, The Beauty of Magistracy, pp. 221-222: