Mandeville, LA – For myself, I am satisfied and persuaded that loyal shoulders should uphold the power of the ruler ; and not only do I submit to his power patiently, but with pleasure, so long as it is exercised in subjection to God and follows His ordinances. But on the other hand if it resists and opposes the divine commandments, and wishes to make me share in its war against God ; then with unrestrained voice I answer back that God must be preferred before any man on earth. Therefore inferiors should cleave and cohere to their superiors, and all the limbs should be in subjection to the head; but always and only on condition that religion is kept inviolate. We read that Socrates framed a polity for a commonwealth and laid down precepts therefor which are said to flow from the purity of wisdom as from a natural fountain. And this one thing he emphasized above all else, that the more humble elements of the commonwealth should receive proportionately greater care and attention from those in higher station – as part of their public duty. Read diligently again the “Instruction of Trajan,” of which mention has been made above, and you will find these things discussed there at large.
Let it suffice at present to have said so much concerning the unity of head and members, adding only what we have already premised, namely that an injury to the head, as we have said above, is brought home to all the members, and that a wound unjustly inflicted on any member tends to the injury of the head. Furthermore whatsoever is attempted foully and with malice against the head, or corporate community, of the members, is a crime of the greatest gravity and nearest to sacrilege ; for as the latter is an attempt against God, so the former is an attack upon the prince, who is admitted to be as it were the likeness of deity upon earth. And therefore it is called the crime of Lèse-majesté, for the reason that it is aimed against the likeness of Him who alone, as the famous Count Robert of Leicester, a man who modestly discharged the office of proconsul in the British lands, was wont to say, wears the truth of true and native majesty, — to wit if any one undertakes aught against the security of the prince or of the people, either directly or through another. – John of Salisbury, Politcraticus