Paul wrote this in a letter to the church in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire: a church that was vulnerable as any persecution of Christians was likely to impact the Roman church before it reached any of the others: hence Paul’s recommendation that everything should be done to recommend church members as loyal citizens. Occasionally persecution would erupt if Christians felt unable in good conscious to do as they were told, but Paul was offering the sensible advice that nothing should be done that would unnecessarily provoke an official reaction.
The City of London Corporation is the oldest government in the country, predating parliament: and at the heart of that government is the Lord Mayor, who with the Sheriffs, Aldermen and Common Councillors continues to govern the square mile. When the Lord Mayor visits a church in the City, they place their sword of office in a sword rest. St Mary Abchurch has two that have evolved as Lord Mayors have attached their coats of arms to them. While not everyone in Wren’s England would have approved of the restoration of the monarchy, there was little appetite for violent conflict. A Lord Mayor’s visit would have been welcomed as both effect and cause of social stability.
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