Rutherford On The Mediatorial Kingship Of Christ

Christ is the head and only head of the Church, for by what title Christ is before all things, he in whom all things consist, and is the beginning, the first borne from the dead, and hath the preeminence in all things; and he is onely, solely and absolutely all these, by the same title he is the Head of the body the Church, Col. 1:17, 18.

…The Magistrate as a Magistrate is not the Vicar nor Deputie of Jesus Christ as Mediator.

This doctrine…is described by Rutherford as ‘the heart and soul of Popery.’

Samuel Rutherford | Divine right of Church-Government, 13–14, 601, as cited in David McKay, “From Popery to Principle: Covenanters and the Kingship of Christ” in Anthony T. Selvaggio, ed. The Faith Once Delivered, 140–41.


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One comment

  1. There seems to be some disagreement (whether actual or not) between Rutherford/Gillespie and later Covenanters (like William Symington as an example) as to whether or not the civil kingdom’s relation to God is a “natural” one or a “mediated” one. In other words Rutherford would say that the civil magistrate owed his obedience to God through the created order whereas Symington writes something similar (“True, civil society is founded in nature, and not in grace, but its subjection to Christ is not the least inconsistent with this.”, from “Messiah the Prince”, pg.211) but takes it a bit further to make it in many ways a “both/and”.

    Though both would agree on what the Civil Magistrate’s responsibilities are (in keeping with the clear separation of Church and State of the 1646 WCF 23) in this “natural” relation between the governing authorities and God.

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