Samuel Rutherford

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Samuel Rutherford (1601-1661) was a Scottish Puritan minister who defended the doctrine of grace, a key tenet of Calvinism. He was an advocate of limited government at a time when there was a struggle between the British Parliament and the king for power.

He published "Lex, Rex" ("The Law, the King") to argue for limitations on a divine right of kings.[1] The title was a play on the phrase—and a refutation of it—known as "Rex Lex," which was the accepted view that the king is the law.

Rutherford's idea became a foundation for Rule of Law in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

After the English Restoration of 1660, which returned Charles II to the throne, Rutherford was charged with treason, which is punishable by death. He refused to respond to a summons and died of natural causes soon afterward.