Good government and providential delivery. Representations of the 1672 and 1688/89 Orangist revolutions in Dutch sermons

M.H. Wieldraaijer

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Abstract

This article focuses on the justifications of the Orangist revolutions of 1672
and 1688/89 in Dutch sermons. It argues that the representations of these
revolutions were very similar. Both providential discourse and the notion of
good government were significant themes in the accounts of the changes
of government that occurred in the Dutch Republic and England. William III
of Orange was seen as a good ruler: a shepherd to his flock, who guided
them, preserved them, and was even prepared to give his life for his people.
He defended and maintained the laws, liberties, and religion of two Protestant
nations and was therefore considered a righteous king and a capable
stadholder. In the eyes of Dutch clergymen he was clearly a Protestant hero:
an instrument in God’s hands whose purpose of being born was to rescue
the Dutch and English from popery and slavery. As will be shown, in the
descriptions of the 1672 and 1688/89 revolution Orange charisma was
linked with William’s endeavours and virtues. His rule reminded Dutch
ministers of his great-grandfather, William I, who, according to them, also
defended the religion and freedom of an oppressed nation, and in the end
gave his life for his people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-58
Number of pages17
JournalDutch Crossing
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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