Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XI.: OF CIVIL MAGISTRATES. - The Works of John Robinson, vol. 3
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CHAPTER XI.: OF CIVIL MAGISTRATES. - John Robinson, The Works of John Robinson, vol. 3 
The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols (London: John Snow, 1851). Vol. 3.
Part of: The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols.
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OF CIVIL MAGISTRATES.
We believe the very same, touching the civil magistrate, with the Belgic reformed churches, and willingly subscribe to their confession; and the more, because what is by many restrained to the Christian magistrate, they extend indefinitely and absolutely to the magistrate whomsoever. And that surely upon good ground: seeing the magistracy is one, and the power the same, whether the person be Christian or heathen; neither is there wanting in an heathen magistrate, that he might rule as he ought, authority of order, but will of person: neither is his power increased by the accession of Christianity, but only sanctified, as is first his person. The prince rules over his subjects as he is a prince, and they subjects simply, not as faithful or Christian, he or they. Only Christ, the Lord of our faith, hath the faithful, as faithful, for his subjects: “neither are the subjects of kings, as subjects, any part of the church, but of the kingdom.”*
Besides, there is one and the same Christian faith of the prince and subject, and all things common unto both, which spring from the same; seeing that in Christ Jesus there is neither servant nor freeman: I add, neither magistrate nor subject, but all are one in him. As therefore none, no, not the least power of public administration comes to the subjects by their Christianity, so neither is the prince's thereby at all increased. And, indeed, how can it? The magistrate, though a heathen, hath power as the minister of God for the good of his subjects, Rom. xiii. 4, to command and procure in and by good and lawful manner and means, whatsoever appertains either to their natural or spiritual life, so the same be not contrary to God's Word: upon which Word of God if it beat, God forbid that the Christian magistrate should take liberty to use, or rather abuse, his authority for the same; which yet if he do either the one or the other, whether by commanding what God forbids, or by forbidding what God commands, seeing it comes by the fault of the person, not of the office, the subject is not freed from the bond of allegiance, but is still tied to obedience as active for the doing of the thing commanded, if it be lawful; so passive, if unlawful, by suffering patiently the punishment, though unjustly inflicted.
Lastly, If any civil and coactive power in things, whether civil or ecclesiastical, come to the magistrate by his Christianity, then if it so fall out that he make defection from the same, whether by idolatry, or heresy, or profaneness, it must follow that thereupon his kingly power is diminished and abridged; whereby how wide a window, or gate rather, would be opened to seditious subjects, under pretext of (specially catholic) religion, to raise tumults in kingdoms, no man can be ignorant.
Episc. Cicen, ad Tort. p. 35.