The history of words sometimes tells us much about the history of man. The word “seizure” is a good example. Originally, the word “seizure” was a legal term for ownership. “Seize” meant legal possession, and “seizing” or “seisin” meant in early English law possession with quiet enjoyment. In common law “seizen in deed” means actual possession, and “seizing in law” means the right of present possession.
Now, of course, “seize” means to confiscate, to take possession by force. The word has thus come to mean its exact opposite, changing from the ownership of property to the confiscation by force of something or anything.
The history of the change in the meaning of this English word is a complex one, but basically it tells us this: the law, which should have confirmed a man in his “seizing,” began to rob a man of his property. The lords and kings of England worked too often to dispossess by law a man from his property, and the law of “seizing” became a law of seizure in the modern sense. The change in the meaning of the word thus tells us of a change in the life of the kingdom.
Behind that change was a spiritual change. The Renaissance and its humanism destroyed the old sense of Christian responsibility and law, so that, in terms of Judges 21:25, because Christ was not King in the hearts of men, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” The result was a rapid decline of honesty and godliness in every area of life and, lacking moral restraints, men began to exploit one another. Those who had the power to use the courts to do so began to confiscate the property of other men, so that the very legal term for ownership came to mean confiscation.R. J. Rushdoony, from A Word in Season. volume 3
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To understand the world that the Christian must work to restore, he must first understand what was lost.
And replacing “the Power of the King” with “the Power of the People” doesn’t help.
If anything, the democracies of today demand even more extensive powers than the kings of old did. Even more than the Absolute Monarchies of the Renaissance/Early Modern period, careful as they were to imitate the Roman government in all things.
(Well, except for replacing the God-Emperors of Rome with the more modest Divine Right of Kings (originally drafted to restrict royal power, and then rewritten to expand royal power), and then finally returning to either the God-Emperors (Stalin, Mao, Kim, etc) or moving on to simple political expedience: ‘power justifies all things’, as Critical Theory teaches, and as the vast majority of the intellectual elite believes.
“Much better than all that babble about appealing to God, I’d say!”)
This lawless, arbitrary nonsense of sheer expedient power-worship isn’t going to change, until Christians decide to change it. And to do so, he must appeal to the Law of God… and obey it himself.
I expect to grow old, pounding the table, pushing Christians to uphold the Law, and honour it in their own lives and thinking.
Nothing changes, until we change.