Happy Birthday, Ma'am
Her Majesty the Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, celebrates her 88th birthday today, in commemoration of which this new portrait has been published.
It is undeniable that our Queen is admired and respected all over the world, and very much loved by her loyal subjects throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Where there is disapproval or antipathy, she is dignified in the presence of contention and gracious to her opponents. And she endures as our greatest national asset: While here-today-gone-tomorrow politicians win and lose, rise and fall, and come and go, Her Majesty provides a reassuring spiritual continuity and political stability in a world of frequent unthinking change and paralysing uncertainty.
And she is acutely involved in leading her people to salvation. As Richard Hooker explained in The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, church and society are one: "A gross error it is, to think that regal power ought to serve for the good of the body, and not of the soul; for men’s temporal peace, and not for their eternal safety." If the state were concerned solely with economics and the material, it would cease to be concerned with people’s welfare in respect of a right relationship with God. Hooker’s articulation of the prerogative of the Crown over its subjects’ religious welfare is the same as that which underlies the role of the Monarch in relation to the Church of England today.
From Article XXXVII
The Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other her Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.There are two distinct spheres of authority: i) the political, in which the Queen as Head of State has supreme and God-given authority under the law over every sector of society, including the Church. In the words of Canon A7: "We acknowledge the Queen’s excellent Majesty, acting according to the laws of the realm, is the highest power under God in his kingdom, and has supreme authority over all persons in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil." And ii) the spiritual, in which authority belongs to the Church and to its appointed ministers, and not to the Queen. But as she is responsible for the welfare of her subjects, she is tasked with ensuring that the Church as an institution is in a state to perform its spiritual tasks properly so that right relationship with God may be possible for all.
Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not to our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.
The Royal Supremacy in regard to the Church is in its essence the right supervision over the administration of the Church, vested in the Queen as the champion of the Church, in order that the religious welfare of the people may be duly provided for. We are truly blessed in having a Supreme Governor who submits to the headship of Christ, and proclaims His Lordship daily in her dutiful and dedicated service.
Happy Birthday, Ma'am.
God Save The Queen!