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Taking that court complexly, in the characters and fuperior abilities of the judges, the extent of their privileges, the greatness of their power, the length of their attendance, the order, decorum, and folemnity of their forms, the number and erudition of their barristers, together with the weight and influence of their decisions, it will, in Europe itself, be equalled by few courts of judicature, scarce excelled by any. While, therefore, Christians fhould exercise a holy gratitude to God, for such an effectual security from the caprice and oppreffion of their fellow-subjects, they are indispensibly bound to make intercessions for such as have the honour to fill those eminent places, that the spirit of their station may be given them; and that, in the faithful and judicious discharge of their office, they may, under God, be for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praife of them that do
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The end, to themselves, that Christians may pro. pole by fuch concern " for kings, and all that are " in authority,” should next fall under our view; Damely, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable “ life, in all godliness and honesty.” The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of peace, and the end of it is quietness for ever; godliness, as Christians, and honesty, as men, are cqually the ambition and endeavour of all its subjects : every lawful mean, toward the enjoyment of such quietness and peace, so as to have freedom to exercise godliness and honesty, is incumbent on them : that prescribed in our text, is not only "lawful, but laudable; not only fo, but vastly conducive to the end in view; wherefore, without excluding motives of the generous and disipterested kind, it is evidently the interest, as well as the duty, of Christians, to make " supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving
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" thanks for all men,” in general, “ for kings and " eminent perions” in particular.
If the making, the interpreting, and carrying into execucion the laws, belong to them, does it not, at once, appear, how much is in their power, to render the Christian's life quiet and peaceable; to give him no temptation to ungodliness, by perfecution; nor to dishonesty, by oppression ? Whence, the propriety of the mean recommended in our text, for reaching the end mentioned by the apostle, is so obvious, that he who runs may read.
But, on this part of the subject, we will not now enlarge. From what observations have been made, the following conclusions will appear to be natural and easy.
That, when men ly under no temptations from the severity of laws, or rigour in those who carry them into execution, to the practice of ungodliness or dishonesty, their giving indulgence to the one or the other, must be a heinous aggravation of the crime. Aggravation of it, we say, because such a practice would be criminal in any, whatever situatia on; but if so, where godliness cannot be professed, unless at the peril of life and liberty ; nor honesty cultivated, unless at the risque of poverty and want; what must be the crimson hue, and what the scarlet dye of these offences, where no such temptations, from the government, or our governors, fall in our way?
Temptations, did I say, from the government, or our governors, to the pratice of ungoodlinessor dishonesty? The reverse, my bretheren, of this, is the delightful truth; for, toward the suppresfion of wickedness and immorality of all kinds, we have many falutary laws; though it must be confessed, to whose ignominy every one must see, that in the execution of them there has been a last
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ing, perhaps, an universal defect. That reproach, however, bids fair to be soon wiped away, firice, by a recent proclamation from the throne, the carrying of those laws into immediate execution,, against all-offenders without distinction, is expressly commanded; and commanded, as the executors of the law shall be answerable to their royal master.
In place, therefore, of our lying under any temptation to such ignoble and dissolute practices, the temptation is happily thrown, by our sovereign, into the opposite (cale.
That under the present government, distinguish: -ed for mildaess and forbearance, if men lead not a quiet and peaceable life, it must be accounted for from another cause; their own turbulent spirits, namely, with a stupid ingratitude for liberties and privileges, the acquiring whereof cost our fathers so much blood and treasure. And if the cause arises from themselves, it is their own faults, and they alone shall bear it, if timeous reformation intervene
That our dear young king should have a constant and particular share in our concern before God. Tho', as to fome, the indispenable nature of this duty may have never occurred before, as it appears now, to demonstration, from our text, let none be so hardy, none so disobedient, as continue in the neglect, or practical contempt of it. Imagine it not enough to join in the public prayers for him, and those in authority ; but carry the petitions and supplications with you, in your family and personal approaches to God. With what confidence can you expect he will be made a blessing to you, if you are not, thongh expressly enjoined, at the pains to ask it? Shall be take the weight of the government upon his shoulders, and will you, in the exercise of prayer and supplication, bear no part with
him? Would there, let the prayerless say, in the event of our great hopes becoming abortive, bę the least propriety in your murmurings and complaints ? Let the exhortation, my brethren, on all the accounts fuggested, be chearfully and immediately complied with. And may the Lord give us understanding in all things.
els far, is:
TROUBLERS OF THE CHURCH CHARACTER:
IZED AND CUT OFF *.
GALAT. V. 12.
THIS letter was wrote by the apostle of the
Gentiles, and addressed to the churches of Galatia. The date of it is uncertain ; and, therefore, the opinions of the learned, concerning that circumstance, are various. Paul, here, had two ends, particularly, in view : one, the reproof of the Galatians, for receiving doctrines subversive of the gospel which he had preached amongst them ; the other, the vindication of his own character and authority, as an apostle of Christ, which the Ju. daising teachers had endeavoured to undermine. Having discussed both these, our apostle warmly exhorted his correspondents, to stedfastness and perseverance in the persuasion of gospel truths; the
enjoyment * This sernion was preached on the 8th of April, 1762; at the admission of the Rev. Mr. Alexander Moodie, to the parish of Riccarton.