This Present Darkness

I heard a wag remark that Mr. Trump is being remarkably un-presidential about the upcoming inauguration. He should have just spied on the incoming administration like a normal president.

Perhaps this is a good time to remind ourselves of what the Good Book says about good government. From 1 Samuel.

And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.

22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

My comment: the thought crept upon me silently at night that Samuel’s warning is like a curse, of which the people, envious of their neighbors, were heedless.

The American experiment in non-monarchical government, returning the sovereignty to the people in general, and local judges and generals who arise at need, a decentralized form of power, was a bold attempt to escape from the curse of Samuel.

The leader selected by the elite who form the modern equivalent of the barons and archbishops no longer call him by the word “king” but if the election is successfully reduced to a meaningless form, as it is in totalitarian nations, it is an election no longer.

In all but name, it is a coronation.

The common people are not needed nor invited to the ceremony. Only the military is needed, for on their loyalty alone the sovereign power rests.

The worldly power of the worldly powers shall avail nothing, if God takes a hand. Let Christian men, servants of the Prince of Peace, ready our firearms only as shields, to defend homes from midnight raids.

Our sword is the word of the Lord, which issues from the mouth of Christ, as seen in the vision of St. John. Our weapon is prayer and fasting.

Spend no hate on the smug and blind puppets of the Dark Lord. Their eyes are held. The snare they set waits for them. Pity them. Pray for your enemies, and forgive your brothers, because they are one and the same.

We struggle not against men, but against the powers and principalities of this present darkness, and the prince of this world.