We Ignore This Junction at Our Peril
"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set" (PROVERBS 22:28).
Security of Tenure is a very important and fundamental principle requiring the widest possible application. We usually associate it with land and property, but these are not in isolation. People are involved with them in their way of life and all its associated relationships and ramifications. Mr Chris Richards, of The Protestant Alliance, deals with some of the weightier matters alluded to, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to reproduce here his very fine article on the subject, which recently appeared in the September/October 1997 issue of The Reformer.
TWICE in the Law and twice in the Proverbs Israel was warned not to remove the landmarks. This referred to the stones that marked out portions of land. The direct command is against theft, yet a further principle can be applied from it, that of holding fast the faith, laws and institutions that have served well over many centuries.
In the United Kingdom we have national landmarks set up by our forebears. Magna Carta, The Petition of Right, The Bill of Rights and The Act of Settlement are the landmarks which maintain our civil and religious liberty.
1997 is a year of several notable anniversaries, one being the 350th Anniversary of the Meeting of Oliver Cromwell and the Officers of the Parliamentary Army at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Putney. This Army Debate resolved the system of government the parliamentarians desired: a constitutional monarchy. Charles I and subsequent Stuart monarchs as Romanists sought to be absolute rulers.
The Roman Dogma of the Divine Right of Kings taught that people were made for the benefit of the King. The idea of a Constitutional monarchy came from the Reformation - from the Bible. All countries supporting this view were places where the Reformation had been successful. Geneva, Holland, Scotland and the Puritans of England, all held that the prince was created for the people.
It was not until the Glorious Revolution that the resolutions of the Army Debate were put into law with the placing of the Bill of Rights and Act of Settlement in the Statute Book. These provisions served us well, yet they are gradually being eroded.
Landmark I - Control of the Army
While the constitutional provisions concerning the throne being Protestant are well known, other provisions placed into law at the same time are less well known. One such is the provision governing the Army. In theory the country was not to have a standing Army. In the opening paragraph of the Act of Settlement we read:
"Whereas it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist ..."
It was certainly the experience of life under the absolutist Romanist Stuart monarchs that motivated our forebears to place these acts into law.
Concerning the Army they had experienced the terror of an Army controlled by a dictatorial king. In Ireland, Protestants were disarmed and left without defence. London, renowned then for its Protestant zeal, was threatened by a large Army, which included mercenary soldiers, encamped on Hounslow Heath. This experience was the cause of the country denying a permanent or standing army to our rulers. Every year the maintenance of the Army for a further twelve months had to be put before Parliament for its approval.
The current thinking of the leading federalists of the European Union is for a "unified defence force". In other words they want a "single army" and this would be quite outside the control of a Westminster Parliament.
Perhaps sometime in the future this proposed single Defence Force could be used against the Protestants of the United Kingdom, to force a "United Ireland" on Ulster, or to prohibit meetings of churches that refuse to ordain women and to silence preachers who preach against Romanism, sodomy and other perversions, etcetera.
While the denial of a standing army does seem strange in the modern world, there is no denying that our forebears' landmark has served us well for three hundred years. We remove it at our peril.
Landmark 2 - Sovereign Parliament
Another provision of the Williamite Settlement is the sovereignty of Parliament. The democratic principle of a constitutional monarch and a sovereign parliament has been articulated in various ways since its inception.
Sir William Blackstone, a famous lawyer, summed up the provisions of the Bill of Rights in this way:
"... The rights, or as they are frequently termed, the liberties of Englishmen... consist, primarily, in the free enjoyment of personal security, personal liberty and of private property... and lastly to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and Parliament for the redress of grievances; and lastly to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence."
It the century following Blackstone's interpretation of the constitution, the 19th century political writer, John Stuart Mill, summed up the spirit behind the writing of the documents which brought about a constitutional monarch and sovereign Parliament in this way: "Settled government, even good government is no substitute for self-government."
The twentieth century added to this weight of thought by declaring in the courts of law the importance of the sovereignty of Parliament. In 1932 in the case of Vauxhall Estates v Liverpool Corporation the court articulated the point that no Parliament may bind its successor. What Parliament has done, that Parliament or some succeeding Parliament can undo.
This important landmark has been surrendered by signing the Maastricht Treaty. Under Article Q of this Treaty, it states that the Treaty is binding for an unlimited period and contains no right or mechanism of secession. In other words, Parliament has voted away its own sovereignty and gone beyond its own power. For in law,
"the courts recognize Parliament as being omnipotent in all save the power to destroy its omnipotence."
By removing the landmark of the sovereignty of Parliament we placed sovereignty into the hands of the Romanist sons of those who persecuted our forebears. We surrendered power to a Romanist superstate, the very situation that our forebears fought against to secure civil and religious liberty for us, their successors.
Landmark 3 - The Right to Bear Arms
Since the terrible tragedy that took place at Dunblane when 16 children and their teacher were murdered much debate has surrounded the private ownership of firearms. Restrictions on the possession of hand guns were put in place by the previous government. While in opposition at that time the present government spoke of extending the ban to cover all guns, eventually taking all privately owned firearms from their owners.
The right to possess arms was given to the British people by the Bill of Rights of 1688. Fear of insurrection by the supporters of the deposed Stuart kings led to restrictions on gun ownership only being placed on Roman Catholics. The 1715 and 1745 Jacobite rebellions proved the wisdom of this provision. In 1829 these restrictions were lifted and all were allowed to own firearms.
In Victorian and Edwardian times gun ownership was much higher than it is today, yet crime involving firearms was lower. In Victorian times fear of invasion from Europe led to an increase of interest in part-time soldiering and ownership of guns. In Edwardian times, a popular novel concerned invasion by France and the militarism of Germany stimulated interest in firearms. A particularly popular pistol was called the British Bulldog. It was cheap in price and thus affordable, and ownership of this type went into tens of thousands.
In 1911 some foreign anarchists were surrounded at a house in Sidney Street. They had already killed three policemen before they were traced. A further death took place at Sidney Street. When the unarmed police arrived at Sidney Street, local residents came out of their homes offering to loan the policemen their guns. Thus, in the most deprived part of London, many homes contained firearms yet crime involving guns was minimal. Even in London fifty years ago the entire number of crimes involving guns was just 46.
The tragedy that Dunblane highlighted is that we face a major problem, not of gun ownership, but of morals. Society, in allowing abortion, repealing the penalty for murder and now even discussing euthanasia has destroyed the Christian concept of the sanctity of life. Youth of several generations have been taught evolution, and much of religious teaching in schools has been liberal and is now multi-faith
Be Watchful and Strengthen the Things Which Remain
We are reaping what has been sown. The landmarks are being removed. The landmark of the Protestant nature of our country has gone - we were Christian of the Reformed tradition. Now other landmarks are going. Eventually as we, an-undefended people, are swallowed up by the Romanist State of the European Union the last and most well known landmark will be removed: our Protestant Throne.
If and when this comes about we will have placed ourselves again under the Roman yoke because we ignore the precepts of Scripture, twice commanded of God, twice contained in the divinely inspired writing of the wisest of men, Solomon:
"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set" (PROVERBS 22:28).
by Chris Richards
Source: 'Wake Up!', September/October 1997