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8 - Of the best form of Government, and Happyest Common-wealth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

William Lamont
Affiliation:
University of Sussex
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Summary

At his first Creation man was subjected to none but God: though it was provided in Nature, that there should have been Government and Subjection though man had continued innocent: but that would have been only a Paternal assisting Government for our good, having nothing in it that is penal, or any way evil. When God immediately Ruled, and man obeyed, all went right: Had this continued, the world had not felt those fractures and wounds, nor been troubled with rapine, wars or confusion, as it is. God being most perfectly Wise and Just, could not err in Commanding: Man was innocent and able to obey, but free and mutable: and so was tempted from his Obedience. Satan by disobedience having overthrown himself, did know it was the way to overthrow man. God could not be corrupted, nor tempted to unwise or unrighteous Government: And if neither King nor subject were corrupted, the Kingdom could not have decayed. But Satan knew which was the weakest link in the chain: Man was frail, though holy; and not confirmed yet, though upright: and therefore defectable. The attempt of breaking his rank, and forsaking his due subjection, was the Devils fall: and by the same way he assaulted man, inciting in him a desire to be as God, and then provoking him to seek it by disobeying God: A foolish means to an impossible or impious end.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1994

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