John Brown of Haddington of exercising a charitable judgment towards rulers

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Although John Brown of Haddington acknowledged that perpetually despotic rulers could be overthrown, he nonetheless pointed out that not every mistake on the magistrate's part constituted an act of high-handed tyranny. Moreover, he also highlighted the fact that rulers often find themselves in difficult circumstances and thus subjects must strive to put the best construction upon their actions. In these days of unfounded conspiracy theories which are propagated over the internet, the quotation below might be of some use in assisting us in keeping the fifth and ninth commandments:

Nevertheless, as princes are exposed to many and uncommon difficulties, and are apt to be imposed on by their confidents:- and as their real designs are not easily penetrated, and often not to be pryed into by their subjects; - and as resistance ordinarily occasions much bloodshed and misery, - subjects ought to put the best construction upon the conduct of their governors that it can justly admit, - and never proceed to violent measures but where it is absolutely necessary, and where there is an hopeful prospect of success.

John Brown of Haddington, A compendious view of natural and revealed religion (1782; Grand Rapids, 2002), p. 24.
 
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