the most valuable thing this world affords

I was recently encouraged to read the significance the Bible still has in the British Coronation ceremony. Today, when most politics seems removed from Christianity, it was reassuring to see that the head of the Commonwealth that Australia belongs to has taken a vow to proclaim the Gospel and maintain God’s Law.

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned “Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

 Below is a transcript of some of the coronation:

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury: “Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?”The Queen: “I solemnly promise so to do.”The Archbishop of Canterbury: “Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”The Queen: “I will.”The Archbishop of Canterbury: “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”The Queen: “All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God.”

 

Later, the Monarch is presented a Bible, and told: “We present you with this Book, the most valuable thing this world affords. Here is wisdom. This is the Royal Law. These are the lively oracles of God.”

It’s such a wonderfully true quote, not just applicable to a king or queen, but to us all. Perhaps if we thought of reading the Bible more as “reading the most valuable thing this world affords” we would be more willing to sit and spend time reading it. Queen Elizabeth needs the Bible for guidance, and so do we.

Knowing the Commonwealth is based on God’s Word given through the Bible is comforting. It’s a shame though that this ceremony is administered only once a lifetime. I would love to see Kevin Rudd being handed a Bible, and being read the above quote. I would love to see friends giving friends Bible’s with that quote. The more we are reminded we have been given the ‘lively oracles of God’, the better.

Although I am optimistic and thankful for the Christian foundation Britain and Australia both share, I am aware that this is not carried through into the general population. It all well and good having a monarch make that oath, but if both them and the people are not truly God-fearing, no difference will be made. The world has changed much since 1953, it has also fallen further away from God. It will be very interesting to see the reaction of the general public after the next coronation, when they realise the promise the new King would have made: to maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel. I can be sure some people, maybe most people, won’t be particularly pleased. Christianity is already becoming less prominent in society, but I pray that God’s Word will always be part of the foundations of the countries of the word for it is wisdom, it is the Royal Law, it is the lively oracles of God.

And I also encourage you to write the quote in your Bibles, to remind you of the preciousness of God’s Word, and how great blessing it is to not only possess it, but to have our nations founded on it.

 

“We present you with this Book, the most valuable thing this world affords. Here is wisdom. This is the Royal Law. These are the lively oracles of God.”

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