Lex, Rex, or The Law and the Prince; a Dispute for the Just Prerogative of King and People

Author: Samuel Rutherford
Newly set type

Medium: Hi-fidelity Portable Document Format (PDF)
Last Updated: April 9, 2013 (built on March 30, 2013)
Download Size: 1.6 MB
Suggested Donation: US $2.00

Publisher's Commentary: This classic work summarizes the Scriptural basis for Christian self-government. It was profoundly influential on the British constitutional reforms in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and can justly be considered the founding document of the similar reforms that led to American independence. Among many important conclusions are the following: 1) God gives no moral power to the King to commit immoral acts. 2) Kings can and must be justly held to their constitutional oaths, no less so than the people. 3) God stamps no person with the imprint of king, leaving such a designation to the people. 4) All kings owe their offices and powers to Christ. 5) Obedience to kings in unlawful acts is rebellion against Christ.

Written and published during Rutherford's commission to the Westminster Assembly, this book was burned by the hangman upon the Restoration of Charles II, and is the chief reason Rutherford's life was sought. Yet Rutherford clearly prefers monarchy, even hereditary monarchy, over other forms of government. No Jacobin principles are found here, but rather a dispute for the just prerogative of king and people.

History:

  1. April 9, 2013: Corrections.
  2. October 4, 2014: Corrections.

Other Editions: