I Die the King’s Good Servant, but God’s First.
Saint Thomas More
Perhaps the finest lawyer, certainly the holiest, that England ever produced. After his trial, knowing he was a dead man, Saint Thomas More made an eloquent speech and uttered words that have a renewed meaning for us today in a time and place that is becoming ever more hostile to the Truth of Christ:
Forasmuch, my lord, as this indictment is grounded upon an act of Parliament directly oppugnant to the laws of God and his holy church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him, as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Savior himself, personally present upon the earth, to Saint Peter and his successors, bishops of the same see, by special prerogative granted; it is therefore in law amongst Christian men, insufficient to charge any Christian man.
Evil frequently gains power in this Fallen World, but it never becomes right no matter how much power it gains.
More probably said I die the King’s Good Servant and God’s First based upon a Paris Newsletter’s account of his execution, but I have always preferred the variant which is well known due to the ending scene in A Man For All Seasons: