The Final Question For Life

P.T. Forsyth comments on Authority:

“A constitutional question is so great because it raises in a political form what appears also in other forms as the final question of life. For the constitutional question is the question of authority, which, in its religious form, is the first and last issue of life. It is indeed a question of Lordship. As soon as the problem of authority really lifts its head, all others fall to the rear. 

The question of the spiritual authority is very closely bound up with that of the public authority. Our views about the Church must affect our views about the Throne. It is not always accidental, and not artificial, and not merely perverse, when certain modes of religious authority are found conjoined with certain modes of political. There are views of the Church which make it not only tactical in men to espouse one party, but impossible (in the spiritual logic which rules great movements) to do otherwise. There is something more in it than corporate self–seeking, patty blindness, class interests, or social push. Our idea of authority lies so near the heart of life that it colours our whole circulation. Men and societies are totally different according as their ruling idea is to serve an authority or to escape it, or according to the authority they do serve”. 

(The Principle of Authority, by P.T. Forsyth).


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