Hugh Latimer on Magistrates bound to obey God’s law

“There is no king, emperor, magistrate, and ruler, of what state soever they be, but are bound to obey this God, and to give credence unto his holy word, in directing their steps ordinately according to the same word. Yea, truly, they are not only bound to obey God’s book, but also the minister of the same, “for the word’s sake,” so far as he speaketh “sitting in Moses’ chair”: that is, if his doctrine be taken out of Moses’ law. For in this world God hath two swords, the one is a temporal sword, the other a spiritual. The temporal sword resteth in the hands of kings, magistrates, and rulers, under him; whereunto all subjects, as well the clergy as the laity, be subject, and punishable for any offence contrary to the same book.”

Hugh Latimer (1485-1555)

Hugh Latimer, Sermons, Parker Society edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1844), p. 85. The quotation is taken from a sermon preached before Edward VI on March 8, 1549

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