Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
Thes. 317. It is the Command of God the universal Soveraign, that every soul be subject to the higher Powers, and resist them not; and this not only for fear of punishment, but for conscience sake, Rom. 13.1 to 7; Tit. 3.1; 1; Pet. 2. 13,14,15.
Because the right understanding of these commands of God, is of great use for our guidance in these weighty points, I shall stay a while upon the search of that Rom. 13 which saith most; and if we understand that, it will be the easier to understand the rest.
Many occasions concurred to make this document of the Apostle necessary to the Romans. 1. There were Hereticks crept in among them that abused the doctrine of Christian Liberty, and perswaded them that subjection to the Rule of Magistrates was against their Liberty. 2. And the weaker Christians were the easier induced to entertain this doctrine in part, because they were Heathen Magistrates that they were under. And the Christians, being (justly) prohibited by the Apostles to go to Law about personal injuries, before Heathen Judges, but to agree them among themselves, they were the readyer to have low thoughts of such Judges as useless or burdensom, or not fit to be the Governors of Christians. 3. And especially because many of the Christians had been Jews, that were hardly brought to any but a forced submission unto Gentile Rulers; and were ever prone to rebell against them, thinking it an honourable vindication of their holy state and Church, which they thought no Heathen had right to Rule over.