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lar office, and has also chosen the mode by which they shall be appointed to that office, and the necessary power and authority be conveyed to them, this appointment shall not be vitiated, or rendered null, in the case of that small number of persons who shall not in all respects come up to their requirements.
In tracing the origin of that power and authority with which God invests men for the setting forth his glory, and for the good of others, we have gradually ascended from the case of the parent or master of a small household, to that of the lawgiver of a mighty people, delegating the authority, when no longer able to execute the whole himself, to other and subordinate officers. In each case, the power and authority have the same origin; the same object; the same end. The power is of God; and to whomsoever that power is entrusted, whether to a parent, a master, a magistrate, or a king, it will be only legally and beneficially exercised when it is acknowledged to come from God; when it is used as a sacred trust; a high responsibility ; and when the main object kept in view in the exercise of it is God's glory, and the good of our fellow.creatures. Let the opinion be once admitted that the power is of man, and not of God, and then will the exercise of it be a curse, and not a blessing
It is from the principles which I have thus feebly and imperfectly endeavoured to state to you, that we believe it to be the duty of the Christian magistrate to care for those things which are of God. It is from these principles that we believe it to be the duty of a king not to leave his people to their own discretion, whether they will have a religious establishment or not; but on the contrary, to provide for the fit and proper maintenance of religious worship, according to that mode which the majority of his people shall deem to be most accordant with the Word of God. And it is in the exercise of this power that we believe we see the fulfilment of the prophecy of God concerning his Church, that “Kings should be its nursing fathers, and Queens its nursing mothers 1.' We do not advocate the divine right of kings ; but we advocate the divine right of power. We attempt to show from the Scriptures, and we believe that we do show, that that power
is not of the people, but of God; and that therefore it is a sacred trust to be used in God's service. We believe, therefore, that it is the duty of every one to whom any kind or degree of power is entrusted, to use it in the fear of God, and to his service; and especially that it is the duty of the magistrate to uphold the maintenance of religion, and not to be as Gallio, who “cared for none of those things.”
Let me then call upon you to join with me, on the present occasion, in rendering our humble and hearty thanks to the Almighty God for the many
1 Is. xlix. 23.
blessings which, under his providence, have hitherto attended this great and powerful nation. Surely the shield of the Almighty has been thrown over us, and the arm of the Most High has fought
And whilst we have an established religion, united with the fullest and freest toleration of those who conscientiously dissent from it, I humbly trust that the blessing of God will still rest upon us, and that we shall go on and prosper. But let us not, , my beloved brethren, rest in outward forms. An established religion is a blessing to a nation, as a powerful mean of promoting amongst its people the knowledge and the practice of religion. But let us never forget that it is only a mean. The strength of a nation is in the personal character of the individuals of whom it consists; and it is only when they have in their hearts“ the power of godliness," and not the mere form of it, that they can safely look up for the blessing of the Almighty, and rejoice in the God of their salvation.
May the grace of God, then, be with you, and rule and direct your hearts, and sanctify all your actions to his glory. Let it be your prayer, that you may be enabled in all that you are called upon to do, to make the glory of God your first object. Pray for yourselves, and pray for your country, that God would make her walls salvation, and her gates praise ; and
that your conduct in every station may be that which becomes the followers of the Lord Jesus. Whatever
rank; whatever authority you may be invested with, it still will be your highest praise that you serve the Lord, and “ adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour in all things.”
Gilbert & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London.