Calvin on a father passing his kingdom to his son...

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It is a matter of such great importance for noble and wise princes to be set over the world by God. ...But so that such an extraordinary blessing of God might not be lost through the death of one man, as usually often happens, the succession of his son was added to preserve the situation for a long time, for he would continue and establish the order admirably set up under the father’s auspices.

Sometimes it does indeed happen that sons are not only unlike their fathers, but that when they have gained power...they allow themselves just as much freedom to violate the father’s laws, as if they were eagerly attacking the greatest of enemies. But God has generously provided for the kingdom of Denmark in this respect, that you are a most outstanding king, with the heroic stamp of your father’s nature, educated in his most virtuous discipline, having embraced the way of life delivered by him from hand to hand, as the saying goes, and think of nothing else but following in his footsteps.

However you have not only been chosen to be his successor to assume the office left vacant by his death, but also both adopted by his living and distinguished judgment, and given by the providence of God as an aide, on whose shoulders part of the burden may lie.

And I do not doubt that among the principle gifts of God...

with which he is splendidly adorned, he justifiably counted this, that a son was given to him, not only one to whose fidelity he may safely entrust his kingdom, but one from whose services he may now receive other fruits in very great abundance, as well as feeling a certain alleviation. Although one can imagine nothing more suited to the general well-being of the people than this holy agreement, there also falls to your Majesty’s lot as an individual, a welcome chance to bear witness to your godliness, because, by playing a secondary role to a very good king without envy, by showing yourself obedient and deferential to him, as is right, you draw from all the godly, because of your modesty, praise that is just as valuable as the glory of bearing rule is commonly regarded.

- John Calvin in his dedication of the second part of his commentary on the book of Acts, “For the most serene King-Elect of Denmark and Norway, Frederick, the most excellent son of King Christian.” (In 1542 the father, King Christian III, had caused his son to be elected to share the royal authority with him when he was still a boy of eight. He succeeded his father to the throne on his father’s death in 1559.)