IOHN KNOXE TO THE READER.
Because many are offended at the first blast of the trompett, in whiche I affirme, that to promote a woman to beare rule, or empire aboue any realme, nation or citie, is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, and a thing moste contrariouse to his reuealed and approued ordenance: and because also, that somme hath promised (as I vnderstand) a confutation of the same, I haue delayed the second blast, till such tyme as their reasons appere, by the which I either may be reformed in opinion, or els shall haue further occasion more simply and plainly to vtter my iudgement. Yet in the meane tyme for the discharge of my conscience; and for auoyding suspition, whiche might be ingendred by reason of my silence, I could not cease to notifie these subsequent propositions, which by Gods grace I purpose to entreate in the second blast promised.
1 It is not birth onely nor propinquitie of blood, that maketh a kinge lawfully to reign aboue a people professing Christe Iesus, and his eternall veritie, but in his election must the ordenance, which God hath established, in the election of inferiour iudges be obserued.
2 No manifest idolater nor notoriouse transgressor of gods holie preceptes o[u]ght to be promoted to any publike regiment, honour or dignitie in any realme, prouince or citie, that hath subiected the[m] self to Christe lesus and to his blessed Euangil.
3 Neither can othe nor promesse bynd any such people to obey and maintein tyrantes against God and against his trueth knowen.
4 But if either rashely they haue promoted any manifest wicked personne, or yet ignorantly haue chosen suche a one, as after declareth him self vnworthie of regiment abouc the people of God (and suche be all idolaters and cruel persecuters) moste iustely may the same men depose and punishe him, that vnaduysedly before they did nominate, appoint and electe.
If the eye be single, the whole body shalbe clere.
[Underlying these Propositions is the great truth that the Rulers exist for the people, and not the people for the Rulers.]