Thursday, November 5, 2009

All for the Kirk and Something Less for the State

One of the "world's most famous orations" is that by John Hamilton, Lord Belhaven, who, in 1706, gave a speech against the impending 1707 Union of Scotland and England, which gave birth to Great Britain. Daniel Defoe, a supporter of said Union, reprinted the text in his History of the Union. In Lord Belhaven's speech, he said:

Whig, in Scotland, is a true blue Presbyterian, who, without considering time or power, will venture his all for the Kirk, but something less for the State.

Both magistrate and ministry are servants of the Lord, in their respective, connected but distinct, spheres. However, Great Britain's tendency has been towards Erastianism, though this maxim is equally important to heed in a time and place where statism runs rampant.

George Smeaton carried the phrase forward in his The Scottish Theory of Ecclesiastical Establishments, and How Far the Theory is Realised, p. 3:

"All for the Kirk and something less for the State," is an old Scottish watchword with which I have much in common.

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