How To Achieve
Historical Justice

By: Stephen A. Coston, Sr.


	I want to speak to you today about the interrelationship 
of Justice and history, or more poignantly "How To Achieve 
Historical Justice."  Specifically I want to call your attention 
to the notable example of an unjust history with respect to 
His Majesty King James.  
	Nothing is more foundational to our culture than the 
concept of Justice.  It has been the driving force of every 
great nation since the dawn of time, and the lack or abuse of 
it has preceded the fall of every civilized nation since 
recorded history.  It has been eloquently embodied in the 
maxims "There is not a right way to do a wrong thing." Or 
"Two wrongs don't make a right."  Today we speak to 
justice, historical justice.  I will make a plea for equity in 
perhaps one of the most renown cases of historical Injustice 
we've witnessed in recent times, that of the case of His 
Majesty, King James.  Though his case is one of the most 
famous historical injustices of record, it regrettably is by no 
means the only one.  
	We must all start somewhere in our quest for truth and 
justice, and I choose to take a stand here.  As King David 
once said "Is there not a cause?"  [I Sam 17:29].
	Justice has well been defined as "Truth in action."  That 
is a good definition for it illustrates not only the definition of 
the word, but the application of the expression in our every 
day lives.  Truth without action, or History without Truth is 
like a ship without an ocean, or a car without wheels - 
useless!  History void of Justice is an Unjust History, and 
justice robbed of True History is an Injustice.  In the case of 
His Majesty King James we have both.  
	The Bible has much to say on the topic of Justice.  Any 
concordant study of the Biblical doctrine of Justice will 
establish the premise I make here today.  It seems only fitting 
then to make reference to this precept here at a Christian 
	Philippians 4:8 says "FINALLY, brethren, whatsoever 
things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever 
things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever 
things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if 
there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, think on 
these things."  Truth, Honesty & Justice are the first three 
concepts the verse begins with that the word of God begs us 
tenderly to meditate upon.

	No doubt many of you here today have been told some 
bit of gossip or rumor about His Majesty King James.  The 
most notable example of such gossip is the rumored 
homosexuality of King James.  The natural question we must 
ask then in response to the allegation is "Is this true?"  The 
only way to answer the question and discover the truth is to 
do "Justice" to the question.  

	The only way to do Justice to the question is to uncover 
the facts.  This is precisely how "Justice" and "History" 
connect with each other.  If "History" is simply put as 
"Telling what happened" then to be honest you must TELL 
THE TRUTH if you want a true history.  Telling the truth, or 
BEING HONEST, is a basic foundational principal of "Justice."  

	Just as lying is a sin, so lying or perjury is a criminal 
offense, or a felony.  When you testify you take an oath to tell 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  
Consequently, when you relate history you should tell the 
truth, and the only way to do this is to stick with the known 
facts.  Regrettably, this is where the historical process has 
broken down with respect to James.

	Let me say this, there is no shortage of professional 
historians who are advocates of the critical theory, there are 
many.  They each have varying levels of conviction with 
respect to James' allegedly engaging in sodomy.  But one 
thing lacking in all of their claims is the actual proof behind 
their contentions.  It is all circumstantial and opinionated 

	Many secular historians now make the claim with great 
caution.  On the other hand many zealous advocates of the 
theory are fond of making reference to the fact that there is 
such a great number of historians who call King James a 
"homosexual."  In response to this assertion I like what 
Abraham Lincoln used to say in court as a young lawyer to 
his colleagues.  When Lincoln was faced with an opponent 
who presented opinions to the court as if they were 
established facts he would illustrate the fallacy by simply 
asking one question:  "If a man were to call the tail of a dog 
a leg, how many legs would the dog have?"  "Five" was the 
usual reply.  "Wrong" Lincoln would say with a wide smile, 
"The dog still has four legs, CALLING THE TAIL A LEG 

	Similarly, simply because some historians CALL King 
James a "homosexual," doesn't make him one.  The question 
must be decided on the facts.
	The charge of homosexuality then as commonly leveled 
at King James cannot be sustained either by the principles of 
Justice, Biblical or secular, or historically.  Not only this but 
the claim also fails the tests of logic and morality.  Let us first 
briefly look at...
Biblical Justice.

	BIBLICALLY:  The Bible demands eyewitness 
verification of any allegation made against a brother by two 
or three witnesses.  

	Much to the consternation and utter dismay of James' 
critics King James without a doubt professed to be a 
Christian.  To date not one single eyewitness account has 
been uncovered that claims to have witnessed first hand 
James engaging in sodomy.  If we are to condemn James 
based on the circumstantial information presented thus far, 
then why not accept the original Pharisees' allegations and 
criticisms made against Jesus Christ as recorded all 
throughout the Gospels?   Both secular and Ecclesiastical law 
required evidence and/or witnesses, both of which have not 
been provided outside of unsubstantiated opinion, and thus 
the claim fails both tests.  
	I Timothy 5:19 states:  "Against an elder receive not an 
accusation, but before two or three witness."  This was also 
the requirement of secular British law.  James was head of the 
Anglican church and thus qualifies as an "elder."  
	Under British law during the reign of James "sodomy" 
was a capital crime punishable by death and 

	Biblically speaking under Old Testament law it was 
required that the testimony of two or more witnesses be 
found before a defendant in a capital case could be convicted 
(The primary Biblical references are Numbers 35:30; Deut. 
19:15; I Ki. 21:10,13).  

	It is worthy to note that our Lord Christ confirmed and 
expanded this in Matthew 18:16.  Under Old Testament law 
anyone who witnessed a serious crime was required to come 
forward with his information and act as a prosecutor (Lev. 
24:11; Num. 15:33; Deut. 13:6-11).  

	Interestingly, according to Old Testament law false 
witnesses or those espousing wrongful accusations were to 
pay the penalty that would have been inflicted on the 
defendant.  One clear example of this judicial principle can 
be found in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 19, Verses 
16-21.  And with respect to verbal crimes we must not forget 
the injunctions of I Tim. 4:7, which is our command to refuse 
profane fables.  

	It has been well said that the tongue can sometimes be 
sharper than the sword, no doubt this is why God Almighty 
Himself set down clear prohibitions against the sin of 
talebearing as pronounced in, to name but a few Scriptures:  
[Leviticus. 19:16; Proverbs. 11:13, 18:8 20:19, 26:20, 26:22; 
II Thess. 3:11, & I Tim. 5:13; ]  It makes little difference 
whether one originates the gossip, or spreads or passes it on, 
the crime is committed in both instances.  
	Moreover, verses in Scripture which speak to the office 
of a King, which James held, prohibit the dialogue James' 
critics engage in: "Curse Not the king," as found in Ecc. 
	"Thou shalt not curse the ruler of thy people" as 
stated in Ex. 22:28.
	" Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people 
Acts 23:5."
	"But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of 
uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are 
they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of 
dignities." 2 Peter 2:10
	Passing on gossip makes you an accomplice to the crime 
of libel or slander, and thus quoting any number of books by 
others cannot relieve you from the obligations and demerits 
of such conduct.  This brings us now to:
Secular Justice.
	The law, and I speak specifically of Florida law, which 
by the way is in the main representative of most other State 
and Federal law on this matter, requires proof beyond a 
reasonable doubt, not to mention proper evidence to establish 
a claim in any capital criminal case.  Merely believing the 
truth of one's assertions does not make them right as the law 
demands that such allegations must be proven to be true 
beyond a reasonable doubt.  
	Florida law states that "If the only 'proof' of the guilt of 
an accused is circumstantial, a conviction cannot be 
sustained, no matter how strongly the evidence may suggest 
guilt.  Circumstantial evidence must be of a conclusive 
character, pointing directly and unerringly to the guilt of the 
accused beyond a reasonable doubt; mere suspicion, 
probabilities, or suppositions are insufficient."  
	The evidence acceptance criteria are equally important.  
Many mistakenly believe that the sheer number of persons or 
sources advocating a fact alleged lend greater support to an 
individual case.  Not so, either by Biblical standards, or those 
of secular weights and sufficiency of evidence.  

	Biblically the gift of salvation though available to all 
men is regrettably only accepted by the minority of human 
kind.  Furthermore, only eight people were on the Ark, the 
majority perished in the flood.  Lastly, more people even in 
Christ's own time disbelieved His claim of being the Messiah 
or God incarnate.  In these three Scriptural examples we can 
clearly see that the majority is not always right, indeed, more 
often than not they are wrong.
	With regard to law we are not void of either precedent 
or example of the error of the majority when it comes to the 
probative nature of evidence.  
	For example, Florida law addresses this point directly by 
stating in Section 490 that "Evidence should be measured by 
its probative force and effect, not merely by its quantity.  
Witnesses are not to be counted; rather, their testimony is to 
be weighed.  Measured by this standard, evidence coming 
from one witness may preponderate over contradictory 
evidence given by half a dozen witnesses."  This is why 
Section 1030 of the Florida Code states "in assessing the 
credibility of a witness, evidence may be considered that 
would impeach the witnesses' testimony."  The witnesses' 
apparent fairness or want of fairness, the reasonableness of 
their testimony; the means of their observation and 
knowledge are all to be weighed.  

	Concurrently, Section 1030 of the Florida Code states 
"The interest, motive, bias, or prejudice of a witness may 
affect credibility and justify disbelieving their testimony."
	This data is important because our present judicial 
system outlines three main degrees of persuasion.  The level 
and severity of the crime basically determines the degree of 
proof to be offered.  These three degrees or standards of 
persuasion are outlined as follows:  1).  A Preponderance of 
evidence; 2).  Clear and Convincing evidence; and, 3).  Proof 
beyond a reasonable doubt.

	What a Preponderance Of The Evidence standard 
means basically is that in civil cases the probative (having the 
effect of proof) weight, influence, force, or power of the 
evidence must be extant.  Simply put, the greater weight of 
the evidence, not number of witness, is what decides the 

	The Clear And Convincing standard is a greater burden 
of persuasion, and is an intermediate standard of proof, 
requiring more than a preponderance of the evidence, and 
less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  This basically 
means the evidence must be found to be credible, the facts 
which the witnesses testify to must be distinctly remembered; 
the testimony must be precise and explicit, and there must be 
no confusion on the matter.

	In criminal prosecutions the degree of proof is the most 
stringent.  In this instance the degree of persuasion is decreed 
to be Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.  This standard 
must be met no matter what type of evidence is offered.  If 
this standard is not met then the prosecution fails to make its 
	The presumption of innocence must be clearly 
overcome.  Every essential element of the crime charged must 
be established against the accused beyond a reasonable 
doubt.  If any fact essential to a conviction is not legally 
established to a moral certainty, the evidence is inconclusive 
and cannot be said to be sufficient in law to satisfy the mind 
and conscience to secure conviction.

	I have just outlined to you from both Biblical and 
secular law facts sufficient to prove this observation true 
regarding injustices suffered by victims of gossip and rumor.  
The standards of evidence in law be it secular, Biblical, or 
even international law simply are not met by James's critics 
who allege that he was a homosexual.  
	I stated earlier that the charge of homosexuality 
commonly leveled at King James cannot be sustained either 
by the principles of Justice, be they Biblical or secular.  
However, I also mentioned that history itself is against the 
critical interpretation.
	This brings me to the question of whether or not the 
alleged "sodomy" of King James is historical.  History is 
defined by The Random House College Dictionary as "The 
branch of knowledge dealing with past events."  And 
"Historical" is defined by the same volume as "Pertaining 
to, or of the nature of history, as opposed to legend or fiction 
or as distinguished from religious belief."  
	None of the critical sources offered thus far prove that 
alleged homosexuality of King James was an actual past or 
historical event.  Rather, it is assumed or believed the act(s) 
took place based on nothing more than guesswork, 
assumption, conjecture, hypothesis, rumor, gossip, etc.  

	Consequently, this position is not historical at all, and in 
fact specifically is "History-Less."

	Concomitant with any accurate history are the principles 
of logic and morality.  These two precepts must be addressed 
in any matter considered historical.  The question that 
naturally arises is whether or not the alleged "sodomy" of 
King James can be advanced logically or upon moral 

	From the standpoint of logic the critical case also fails 
the tests of reason.  Those who affirm James was guilty of 
sodomy logically must meet the burden of proof incumbent 
upon the affirmative.  

	The affirmative always has the burden of proof, and this 
can only be met by first making a prima facie case based on 
probative objective credible evidence.  The presumption of 
innocence must be overturned.  Mere opinion alone cannot 
take the place of "evidence." Furthermore, any critical case 
must balance the positive and negative testimony in the 
matter.  A series of facts must be established which would 
render the alleged conduct a likely reality rather than a 
remote possibility. In addition, "begging the question" is yet 
another logical fallacy to be avoided which simply means that 
one of the premises from which the conclusion is deduced is 
the conclusion itself, somewhat disguised in form.  

	The critical case against James is unfortunately rife with 
such fallacies which is a fact rarely recognized by those 
trapped within the confines of this thinking.

	I have also declared that the accusations of sodomy 
against James could not be sustained upon moral grounds.  
Here is why.  So far in my experience none of James' 
accusers or critics has ever declared that they would allow 
themselves to be convicted of any crime based on the type of 
thin subjective evidence and methodology with which they so 
easily condemn King James.  
	I find this most curious; and when I point out this 
glaring double standard to His Majesty's accusers the typical 
response is one of sheer silence.  The inequity of the 
argument is so stark that one can scarcely imagine how 
James' critics can overlook it, but they somehow manage to 
find a way.  Furthermore, the age old "Golden Rule" which 
my mother was so fond of repeating "Do unto others as you 
would have done unto you," doesn't seem to connect with 
James' critics.   Rather, the phrase as commonly perverted 
today seems more applicable "Do unto others before or as 
they have done unto you."  This is a question of ethics and 
morality.  I say to you that it is immoral to subject James to 
an arbitrarily different standard than that which we would 
demand be applied to ourselves if under similar 

	The Lord Jesus Christ said of the scribes and Pharisees 
in Matthew 23:3b and verse 4  "but do not ye after their 
works:  for they say, and do not For they bind heavy 
burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's 
shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one 
of their fingers."  It is the height of hypocrisy to demand that 
James be found guilty based on evidence which we would 
reject if brought against ourselves.  If evidence is unjust to us 
it is unjust to James- ergo the case is immoral.  Remember the 
old proverb "What is good for the goose is good for the 
gander"?  Well I am here to tell you that it applies here!  
	Unless James' critics are willing to admit that gossip, 
hearsay, rumor and talebearing are acceptable forms of 
evidence with which to secure a conviction, and that they 
would submit to being found guilty of a crime based upon 
same, then the charges against King James are immoral from 
the standpoint of consistency.  
	Will Rogers said it best "The only time people dislike 
gossip is when you gossip about them."  
	I covered a lot of information in a short space of time.  
We've seen that the principles of justice and the discipline of 
history are inseparable in terms of truth and fairness.  

	I used His Majesty, King James, as an example of how 
the study of history can go terribly wrong when the principles 
of justice are removed from the equation.  James was not only 
a King, but a husband and a father.  He knew the love of a 
wife, and the pain of loosing a child.  He had a life, and we 
should not allow small men to murder his memory so 
unjustly.  After all, our memory of the departed is the only 
real tombstone, as long as we remember our loved ones they 
are never truly gone.  Therefore, to allow the memory of 
anyone to wrongly fall into ill repute is a crime against not 
only truth but decency and honesty.  James is but one 
example of a person unjustly accused.  Which among us is 
next if our critics need not facts to assassinate our character?  
This is the real dilemma each of us faces practically every 

	The choice is yours, will you practice and apply the 
principles of true justice to your relationships, friends, and 
acquaintances?  Will you reject gossip, or embrace it?  
	What is your individual moral code?  I trust that when 
you leave here today you will have discovered what the 
medieval knights knew long ago, namely that living by a 
Biblical moral code is the compass by which you navigate 
successfully through the moral dilemmas of life.  We can't 
make up the rules as we go along, and we are not our own 
final authority.  We all have to answer to someone if not our 
own conscience, and in the end Christians know that one day 
we will stand before our Heavenly Father.
	Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by too 
much confidence in what you think you would do in any 
particular situation.  To revise a famous saying "Eternal 
vigilance is the price of justice."  The Bible warns us 
similarly in military terms "Let not him that girdeth on his 
harness boast himself as he that putteth it off".  
(I Kings 20:11).

	I've spoken to you of truth, and exposed the philosophy 
of lies and deceit.  The only thing worse than releasing a 
guilty man is condemning an innocent man to death.  This is 
why we have laws, to protect the innocent!  Kings are in need 
of justice just as the common man.  
	I plead in this case for justice for King James in 
particular, and trust that you will exercise justice not only in 
other historical matters but in your own personal lives as 

	James was not perfect, he made mistakes.  He held to his 
beliefs even when the political cost was dear.  Consequently 
he has his critics who sit on the sidelines and ridicule him.  In 
other ways James failed while striving to accomplish the 
seemingly impossible as in the proposed union between 
England and Scotland.  He failed in his lifetime in these and 
other tasks.  Hatred and enmity are powerful foes.  But true 
failure lies not in the falling down, but in the refusal to get 
up.  While James failed, he never quit.  As Theodore 
Roosevelt well said,

	"It is not the critic who counts, or how the strong man 
stumbled and fell, or where the doer of deeds could have 
done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is 
actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and 
sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes 
short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the 
great devotion, and spends himself in a worthy cause:  And if 
he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that he'll 
never be with those cold and timid souls who know nether 
victory nor defeat."  

	Eventually each of you here today will be faced with 
one of the most difficult questions man has encountered, both 
in large and small matters, perhaps on a daily basis.  

	Will you press on despite the odds, and fight the good 
fight?  In great attempts it is even glorious to fail.  Are we 
willing to fail and sacrifice all in pursuit of Justice?  Allow 
me to conclude by quoting advise from His Majesty King 
James with respect to his myriad critics:

		"And principally exercise true wisdom in 
discerning wisely between true and false reports.  First 
concerning the nature of the person reporter; next, what 
effect he can have in the well or evil of him whom of he 
maketh the report; thirdly, the likelihood of the purpose 
itself, and the last the nature and past life of the delated 
person ... "

	I said at the beginning that justice could be defined as 
"Truth in action."  I leave you with one tangible sterling 
example.  I pay tribute to the memory a man of 
unquestionable moral character, a true champion of justice, a 
lover of history, my mentor and guide, His Grace 
George Iain Murray, Chief of the Clan Murray, and 10th 
Duke Of Atholl.  I pay homage to him because of the 
example he set for me.  He taught me to value and cherish 
truth, for in the end, it is all that we have that lasts.  

	May God guard your hearts with the strength of his 
love, and may you judge wisely on all matters in this life.  
Thank you and God Save The King!

© 1996 Stephen A. Coston, SR. All rights reserved . No part of this shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission from the Author and Publisher. KonigsWort Inc. 7245 34th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL. 33710

Note: More questions about this great King? Let's get the facts straight! We highly suggest, "King James, Unjustly Accused?" by Stephen A. Coston, Sr. You can get it from A.V. Publications Corp., P.O. Box 280, Ararat, VA 24053, 1-800-435-4535 OR call 1-800-659-1478. You can write Mr. Coston at 7245 34th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33710.

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King James, homosexual, How to Achieve Historical Justice