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by the wayward perversion of those desolation of suspended nature or who administer them, they cease to the play of maddened elements, be just this, or become antagonist and, since the flood at least, in the thereto, the scourge of the Highest existence and action of civil govor the bolts that dash them like a ernment as a present avenger of potter's vessel are their portion. slain or injured innocence, the world
Now the divine government in its has had God's earthly Ministry of relations to this world, and to all Justice. And there was
a time worlds where sin is and is not hope when, in the service and the sacri. lessly doomed, has, of necessity, fices of a consecrated Priesthood, three general departments—that of it also had an earthly Ministry of Instruction, to enlighten and guide its Sacrifice. But that ministry has subjects; that of Sacrifice or Atone. done its work. In the coming of inent, to recover and save them; the great High Priest, the offering and that of Justice, to maintain its of himself once for all, his entrance own existence, authority, and use into the holy of holies in heaven, fulness, in the protection of the in- and his exaltation upon the media. nocent and the punishment of the torial throne as a Prince and Savior, guilty.
and ever-living Intercessor, all earth. In each of these departments, ly priesthood and sacrifice are at an God, the Supreme Administrator, is end; and now, the Department of competent, if he think best, to car. Sacrifice in the divine government ry out all, even the minutest and lives only in Christ's administration most temporary details of the ad. of it on bigh, in those memorials of it ministration in his own person, and he has left on earth in legacy for his by his own immediate and visible people, and those lessons of instrucagency; or, if he think otherwise, tion respecting it which he has comis equally competent to call in varie missioned them, as his Ministry of Inous intermediate agencies, whether struction, to bear to every creature. of men or things, and commit such Now, as in the divine government of the details as he chooses to them, itself, the Department of Instruction he only maintaining such a super- must be, in the order of nature, anvision, support, and direction of the tecedent to and independent of, as whole, as the particular cases and well as distinct from that of justice, the general exigencies of his gov. God has ever kept his earthly repernment may from time to time de- resentative of it equally so. For, mand. This last we suppose to be how can justice make out either inthe divine arrangement for this nocence or guilt where instruction world. Accordingly, God ever has has not gone before freely and fully had, and with a single exception to make known obligation and duty ? still has, a ministry of intermediate Accordingly, in every age and disagencies on earth corresponding to pensation the ministry of instruction each of the departments named. In in the divine arrangement has been all ages,-in the works of his hand kept free and independent of all —the green earth and the shining other ministries, knowing no supreheavens; in the events of his prov. macy in its utterance of truth but idence—now speaking in mercy,
that of God himself. Even under and now in judgment; in the teach- old economies, it was never compeings of chosen men-prophetic, in- tent for the sacrificial nor for the structive, encouraging and admoni- civil power to exercise supremacy tory, there is no land or people but in the way of direction over the inhas heard the voice and seen the structive. Neither was at liberty to shape of God's earthly Ministry of say to it what, or when, or how, it Instruction. In like manner, in the should teach, or to put any restricVol. III.
tions, or hang up any penalties over now, as ever, God's earthly minis. it, so long as it kept strictly to its try of justice. As such its whole work of instruction. In the simple work is the protection of innocence utterance of religious truth, God set and the avenging of wrong—“a it free and high above them all, and praise to them that do (not teach) bid it speak for him. In the simple well; a terror to them that do (not garb of prophet or other teacher it teach) ill.” It is no part of its righiful did so. It gave instruction touching and appropriate work to be the inthe character, conduct, and choice structor of its subjects—least of all of rulers. descended to all the to assume the direction of their rewalks and business of ordinary life, ligious instruction. This is devolved and spoke God's claims and God's on another ministry-God's ministruth freely and fully there. No try of instruction. As such, that earthly power was at liberty in re holds its commission from the Lord spect to any thing to strike it dumb. Jesus. Its direction and work are As occasion called, it walked calm to propagate his religion in the sim. ly to the temple, exposed the cor- plicity of its worship and the fullruptions of a degenerate priesthood, ness of its instructions, to the ends and told it that according to its ini. of the earth; and, in so doing, to quities God had made it contempti. maintain every where and in respect ble and base before all the people; to all beings and things the entire or, it stepped into the halls of legis. supremacy of Christ; to insist on lation, declaring that God would the devotion of all hearts, the obehave no fellowship with him which dience of all lives, the subjection of frameth mischief by a law; or it all relations, employments, and incame into the presence of the judi- terests—that every knee shall bow, ciary, pronouncing woes on those and every tongue confess "that He that justified the wicked for a re is LORD, to the glory of God the ward, and took away the judgment Father." No subject, man, officer, of the righteous; or it drew near authority, relation, employment, or to proud and oppressing nobles, and interest is to be exempt. Wherever exclaimed against them as wolves Christ's authority extends, there is ravening the prey; or it carried re- the gospel of his instruction and buke to the people, assuring them of worship to go. No man or comthe divine indignation, because they bination of men is to draw a charmhad used oppression, and exercised ed circle here, and another there, robbery, and vexed the poor and the and say, hitherto shalt thou come, needy; or it stood in king's palaces, and no farther ; least of all are they and in the name of the Most High to draw that circle around men in said to kingly offenders, “Thou art their civil relations, whether acting the man.” In a word, wherever, as rulers or the ruled. No-the and to whatever, and to whomsoev. gospel of Christ, beginning with the er, God's authority extended, his individual, lays his individual will, ministry of instruction went with life, and interest, at Christ's feet; his lessons of instruction. Prophets, and, going thence to the social and priests, legislators, judges, princes, the civil man, demands the equal people, kings, in all the relations submission and obedience of the enand acts of their respective lives, tire social and civil heart, life, and were the subjects of its attention interest. While to the one it comes and address.
with the mandate, “ Whether ye eat Now Christianity recognizes and or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do perpeluates this same function of all to the glory of God," it says to the instructive power, and its same the other with like authority, "Be relation to the civil. The civil is your conduct in civil relations (10
6. Yield you
Auteleof) worthy of the gospel of all ages and lands, by the most natChrist."
ural and spontaneous affinities, deAll this is the appropriate work generate and false religions have and sacred duty of Christ's ministry been and now are in alliance with of instruction, of whatever sort it or subserviency to the state. The be, but peculiarly of all such as are terms of that alliance or subservi. officially set for the propagation and ency are evermore, defense of the truth. Now, reli- supremacy and subserviency to me, gious freedom in the true idea of it, and I will give support and defense is the right of that ministry (include to you; be you my prop and tool, ing in it, according to their various and I will be your bread and sword.” gifts, all of Christ's people) thus Accordingly the great conflict which to give utterance to the whole of the friends of the true religion have Christ's claims and the whole of his had to maintain in all the past has instructions, and the equal right of been the conflict with degenerate or all concerned to hear, receive, and false religions entrenched behind obey the same, without let or license the civil power, and summoning it from any civil power on earth. It at the approach of danger with fet. is, that in the utterance and recep. ter, fire, and sword, to their defense. tion of all religious doctrine and it was just here that a large portion obligation, in all the forms and or of the long line of martyrs, named dinances of their worship, and all in the epistle to the Hebrews, of the applications and fullness of their whom the world was not worthy, instructions, there be an entire free. periled and laid down their lives. dom from all prescriptions, and an It was this that was the conflict of entire exemption from all penalties Egypt. A false religion entrenchof all civil powers. Such, in the ed behind the civil power outlawed only true import of it, is religious the true, wrung from its volaries freedom ; and the struggle for this the right to worship in the land; has been, is, and is to be,
flung their petition to go elsewhere THE CONFLICT OF THE AGES. to worship into their face with the
In all time the civil power has contemptuous reply, “Who is Je. sought to control the religion of its hovah, that I should obey bis voice subjects. As a pure and spiritual to let Israel go? I know not Jeho. faith could never intelligently sub- vah, nor will I let Israel go;" and mit to such direction, the result has finally unclenched its grasp of its been its' persecution to banishment victims only after its own gods had or death, or its gradual seduction, been abased before the power of in the proffer of temporal advanta- the true, and a baptism of blood ges into alliance with or subservien- and wail of death had gone up into cy to the state. “All these things all the dwellings of the civil power will I give thee, if thou wilt fall that had sworn and assayed to de. down and worship," has ever been fend it—"Yea (Ex. xii, 12) against the proffer and the price ; and too all the gods of Egypt I will execute often, unlike her great Master, slow judgment; I AM THE LORD.” It to detect the wiles of the arch ene was the same conflict with the same my, and still slower to resist them elements that gave Hebrew fidelity unto death, even a true and com. in Babylon to hungry lions and hot paratively pure faith has yielded 10 flames. It was the like conflict of the adulterous embrace, with tem. a degenerate faith, in like depend. porary gratification and glory, it ence on the civil arm, that stoned may be, but with the sad and cer. them that were sent to it, and killed tain loss of all virgin strength, life the prophets, and in its mad thirst and beauty at the last. Hence, in for righteous blood, filled up the
measure of the fathers at the last, right in the sight of God to hearken by the murder of its own true hope unto you more than unto God, judge and real Lord. “I adjure thee,” ye; for we can not but speak the said the high priest, “ by the living things which we have seen and God, that thou tell us whether thou heard." And when the angel of be the Christ, the Son of God. Je- the Lord came and sanctioned their sus saith unto him, thou hast said — proceeding, and by miracle brought I am. Verily, I say unto you, here. them out of prison, and gave them after ye shall see the Son of man fresh charge to speak to the people, on the right hand of power, and and they were again arrested, their coming in the clouds of heaven”. calm and manly answer was, “We I am the Christ, and you shall yet ought to obey God rather than men;" see me, the Christ in humiliation, and straightway they preached Christ coming in the kingly estate of the in his supremacy to the court itself; Christ in glory. On that confession and though not released till they they condemned him, and hurried were beaten and re-commanded not him to the civil power, and clamor to speak in his name, they went ed for his death—“his blood be on thence rejoicing that they were us and on our children," and stimu- counted worthy to suffer for him; lated the hesitating step of execu and daily in the temple and in evetive authority with the cry, “If ry house they ceased not 10 teach thou let this man go, thou art not and preach Jesus as the Christ; and Cesar's friend : whoever maketh hot persecution, scattering the disci. himself a king, speaketh against ples abroad, and going to distant Cesar.” The whole proceeding was cities with letters to seize men and Christ in conflict with a degenerate women and drag them to prison, faith summoning the civil power to was the result. And what this conits aid, and obedient as the Son of flict was in these at the beginning, man unto death, in the assertion and it was in all the apostles and disci. maintenance of his own supremacy ples in its continuance—in its naas Son of God over all.
ture always the same; in its meas. And this conflict, in all its parts, ure it was often more. Paul, in his Christ lest in legacy for his disci. maintenance of it, was in stripes ples, when he sent them to all the above measure, in prisons frequent, world with his Gospel, giving them in deaths oft; and go where he assurance not of his presence only, might, the Holy Ghost witnessed in but that they should be as sheep every city that bonds and afflictions among wolves, and should be deliv. awaited him; and finally, he, and ered up to councils, and scourged all but one of the other apostles, as in synagogues, and brought before is supposed, laid down their lives governors and kings for his sake, for the faith-all being made confor a testimony against them and formable in their deaih, as in the the nations. Accordingly the com- sufferings of their life, to their Lord. mencement of their propagation of Of the manner in which they dethe Gospel was equally the com. meaned themselves in the maintemencement of this conflict in their nance of this conflict from time to persons. At once they were brought time, we have on record many before councils and senates, and touching and sublime illustrations. hurried to prisons. In the presence One of these, as a specimen of othof all, they boldly questioned the ers, was on this wise. Paul and prescriptions of the ecclesiastical Silas, having been commended by and equally of the civil powers the brethren to the grace of God, which forbade their speaking in the took a circuit through Syria and Ciname of Christ" Whether it be licia for the purpose of confirming
the churches. On their way, they through them; and the belief of came to Troas. There, Paul had a this was very general in all parts of vision of a man of Macedonia, say the Roman empire, and rich and ing, “Come over and help us." splendid temples were every where The result was a conviction that the erected for their service and in honor Lord had called them to preach the of the god. The Apollo worship Gospel there, and their early arri. and the Apollo priestesses were, val at Philippi, the chief city of the of all others, popular favorites—the province. Being a Roman colony, admired and cherished of Grecian it was under the Roman civil law. and Roman refinement, luxury and By that law, while many and vari pride. To call such a worship and ous religions were allowed and es such priestesses in question, theretablished, no new religion could be fore, and to take the crown from introduced except by express con such a god, as well as all gods like sent of the civil authority. Ter- him, and put it on the head of Jesus, tullian says, that no god could be the Nazarene, as Paul surely did, consecrated-set up as an authori. was just to fly in the face of the zed deity, unless approved by the strongest popular hate, and the in. senate ; and Cicero adds, that no tensest popular contempt. And person could have or privately wor who so likely to give the most inship any new or separate gods, ex. sulting and annoying expressions of cept they were thus publicly allow. it, as a priestess herself? Accorded. The result was, that the Ro- ingly she dogged them from street man civil power, though very libe to street, to the place of prayer, cry. ral in regard to the number and kind ing after them, with the keenest and of religions it was ready to allow bitterest significancy, “ These men and authorize, as is the French at are the servants of the HIGHEST this day, claimed, nevertheless, the God, (tou Jeov toù dylotov)! which right, in all cases, to control the re- show unto US the way of salvation !" ligion, and by consequence the reli- -as if our religion, with its splendid gious instruction and worship of its temples,and exalted god, and inspired subjects. To propagate any new priestesses, and innumerable and refaith, therefore, without its consent, fined worshipers, and state recogniwas so far to deny its supremacy tion were all nothing, and theirs, the and set up another-it was to preach religion of the crucified, alone were another king than Cesar.
true!—a complete laughing to scorn, While at Philippi, Paul and Silas of course, of the apostles and of were assailed and annoyed in their their religion and its author. And labors by a certain maid, having this she did many days, till Paul's the spirit of divination, or as the spirit was stirred within him, and original is, the spirit of Python. he saw the time and the occasion This Python or Pythios was one of had come for testing the truth of the the names of Apollo, the Grecian two religions, by testing the supremgod of the fine arts, supposed to be acy of their alleged authors or gods, their inventor. He was also one of when, turning to the maid, whose the gods, regularly recognized and claim was that her god resided in authorized by the Roman law. He and spoke through her, he said to had an oracle at Delphi, which was the spirit, “ I command thee in the probably in higher repute and more name (by the authority) of Jesus generally resorted to than any other Christ to come out of her: and he at that time in the world. His came out the same hour." priestesses, of whom the maid spoken Just what happened to the maid, of was one, claimed that the god it is not important here to decide. himself, in spirit, dwelt in and spoke It is enough to know that that hap