CONCERNING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NECCESSARY FOR OUR ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
1. IT was ever granted, that all authority in secular matters derived from him who had the sovereign power, whether he were one man or an assembly of men. That the same in spiritual matters depended on the authority of the Church, is manifest by the lastly foregoing proofs; and besides by this, that all Christian cities are Churches endued with this kind of authority. From whence a man, though but dull of apprehension, may collect, that in a Christian city (that is to say, in a city whose sovereignty belongs to a Christian prince or council) all power, as well spiritual as secular, is united under Christ, and therefore it is to be obeyed in all things. But on the other side, because we must rather obey God than men, there is a difficulty risen, how obedience may safely be yielded to them, if at any time somewhat should be commanded by them to be done which Christ hath prohibited. The reason of this difficulty is, that seeing God no longer speaks to us by Christ and his prophets in open voice, but by the holy Scriptures, which by divers men are diversely understood, they know indeed what princes and a congregated Church do command, but whether that which they do command, be contrary to the word of God or not, this they know not; but with a wavering obedience between the punishments of temporal and spiritual death, as it were sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, they often run themselves upon both. But they who rightly distinguish between the things necessary to salvation, and those which are
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Publication information: Book title: De Cive; Or, the Citizen. Contributors: Thomas Hobbes - Author, Sterling P. Lamprecht - Editor. Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1949. Page number: 194.
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