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"The Law and the Prince"

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

The following was written by David Moon and is used with permission. I was honored to be friends with his wife and him while we were missionaries in Moscow, Russia. Since his retirement, he seems to have taken up writing with a purpose. Please ponder these words of wisdom.


Lex Rex was a landmark book written in 1644 by the Scottish minister Samuel Rutherford. It was written during during the Scottish struggle against religious and political tyranny in the 1600s. Its subtitle is "The Law and the Prince."


The title Lex Rex is the Latin for the "Law is King," as opposed to the usual practice of Rex Lex - the king is law.


The book makes many able arguments for the limiting of governmental power and having government under the law and not just the common people. It has many lessons geared to godly and good governance.


This book had great influence on the Princeton educator John Witherspoon, who passed on its wisdom to several of his students who were later Founders of the United States.

I doubt any of our governing politicians have read this book or even heard of it. They're mostly operating only on the level of power and perks. Statesmen and statewomen are virtually non-existent today.


The ideas in the book, if adhered to, would go far in promoting true liberty and good government in this country.


* Limited government - even the king must be under the law. This restrains the abuse of power and restrains bad judgment. Any authority given by God to a civil official is necessarily limited and conditional.


* Constitutionalism - the form and function of government should be structured by set laws both people and government must submit to. This protects the rights of the people, the rights of the minority, creates order and prevents government by whim.


* The supremacy of God over the world and He is the One Who instituted human government. He ordains and places civil officials in power for the purpose of protecting the good and punishing the bad. Civil officials are responsible to God and will be held accountable to Him.


* The book defends the "Two Kingdoms" view of Church-State relations, which advocates for distinct realms and roles for church and state; a separation of church and state, but not a separation of God and state.


Our ruling politicians are not students of history and government. They ride roughshod over law and best practice. This has, and is, working to the great detriment of this country.


The current policies, trends and ideology of the deeply flawed ruling elites, are a disaster. A people who are uneducated in the lessons of history and the history of how our institutions developed have enabled the ruling elites and eased their way.


Just a month and a half of the new administration makes it clear that this country is committing suicide. We see the madness on all levels: national, state and local.


"An evil king is God's judgment on a nation." (John Calvin)

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