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pect not altogether satisfactory to our conscience, let us not lose one single moment, let us hasten to repair the fault in the next. Let us begin the new year with holy resolutions, with increased energies, with faithful prayer for the continual renewing of the Spirit, with the hope, with the determination, by God's assistance, to end it with better prospects, and with a retrospect, which may enable us to apply the words of St. Paul, "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."
Death, we all know, must sooner, or later overtake us. Let us take care, we be not surprised, engrossed in nothing but " eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” Let us rather be found, "watching," with "our loins girt," and "our lights burning." Let us live as men, who "know that their Redeemer liveth," and who" wait the coming of their Lord.”
ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE KING'S
I PET. II. 13, 14.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's
sake : whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and the praise of them that do well.
Loyalty and submission to the government are duties, of which the clergy seem, in some instances, to shrink from the enforcement, with a culpable and almost morbid sensibility: Formerly, discourses upon this subject were frequently addressed by them to their
respective flocks; but now, intimidated by audacious and unjust imputations of time-serving, fawning for promotion, and upholding despotism, many a clergyman has feared to promulgate manfully the honest sentiments of his heart,
and to preach principles which he conscientiously believes to be vitally essential to the general welfare, and to have their foundation in the Word of God. Loyalty is a religious duty; and, as faithful ministers of God's word, we are bound not only to practise, but also to recommend it. If in the discharge of this duty we draw down upon ourselves the appellations of time-servers, and tools of despotism; we do it by following the example of the blessed author of our religion, and by treading in the footsteps of his Apostles. With Christ himself we exhort our fellowsubjects, to "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's." With the Apostles we assure men, that the "powers that be, are ordained of God";" and in the language of St. Peter himself, we enjoin submission as a
Titus iii. 1. St. Paul has here, very decisively, pointed out this branch of our ministerial duty. "Put them in mind,” he says, " to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work."
Those who are influenced by apprehensions of incurring the character of time-servers, would do well to remember that this odious appellation designates not only him, who aims to flatter those in power; but also him, who, to court popular favour or to escape popular vituperation, flinches from the declaration of what he conscientiously believes to be the doctrine of Scripture.
↑ Matt. xxii. 21. Romans xiii. 1.
duty, claimed by, and acceptable to the Lord Jesus. “ Şubmit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
In the present discourse upon the duty thus recommended, I shall adopt the following divisions of the subject.
I. I shall endeavour to point out the immediate occasion and the scope of the exhortation in the text.
II. I shall discuss the nature of the obedience due to government, and the benefits which result from it.
III. And thirdly, shall suggest some maxims and considerations, which may tend to cause our obedience to be rendered not only dutifully, but also cheerfully.
I. . First, then, we are to point out the immediate occasion to which the Apostle's remarks appear to have been directed.
It is well known to every person at all conversant with the history of those times, that many of the Jews entertained notions
upon the subject of submission to their rulers, wholly incompatible with the existence of the then established governments'. These opinions frequently led wild and enthusiastic men to acts of outrage and violence, which usually ended in disturbing the peace of society, and in their own destruction.
It might be reasonably expected, that some of the Jewish converts to Christianity, still retaining the taint of these opinions, would wrest some of the exhortations of their teachers; such, for instance, as, “ Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free";' to the encouragement and support of their favourite prejudice. Something of this kind
. appears to have taken place, and probably to have been accompanied by corresponding deeds of insurrection and disturbance. The Apostle seems to be apprehensive, lest the mischievous opinions of these agitators should be attributed to the whole body of converts, and operate as an obstacle to the reception of Christ's religion among the Gentiles". He
• Both our Apostle and St. Paul, particularly in the 13th chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, appear to have had in view the doctrines of Judas the Gaulonite, as he was termed. See Josephus' Jewish Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 1. It appears to me that, by considering this to be one immediate object of St. Paul's
argument, it may easily be reconciled with the doctrine of St. Peter in the text. 1.; see also ver. 13.
u Verse 12.
+ Gal. v.