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his appointment, by our meeting together, full in view. f our apostle is allowed to have wrote chis letter to Timothy, under the inquence of inipira. tion, then '“ fupplications, prayers, intercellions, “ and giving of thanks,” for others, mult be claff:d amongst the ordinances of heaven ; consequently, must be performed by us with faithfulnels and concern, as we would not be found chargeable with neglecting to observe any one of the “ all " thiags whatsoever he hath commanded us." These duties, in our church capacity, are not to be performed as so many words of course, which has 100 much, and long been our reproach'; but with a particular carneitness and fervour, according to the obligation, importance, and necessity of
THOSE for whom the apostle would have
Christians, so particularly, to interest themfelves, are “ kings, and all that are in authority.”
The exhortation having a respect to Christians in general, plainly in sinuates, that without exclud. ing their generous concern for others, elsewhere intrusted with the regal power, “ supplications, * prayers, interceflions, and giving of thanks,” are especially to be made, for the royal person who lways the sceptre over themselves.
It was easy for the apostle to see, that Christians would, by their birth, stations, and places of residence, be scattered through the dominions of diferent potentates; and therefore, when he mene
tions the privilege of “ leading a quiet and peace“ able life, in all godliness and honesty," and men. tions it, as one and they should have in view, by complying with the 'cxhortation in our text;-it needs no argument to prove, that the particular fo. vereign, under whose administration that end can only be reached, has a first claim to the exercise here recommended.
For foreign princes, the concern of Christians should be regulated, according as circumstances do, or may, direct. All of them have a title from this apostolical warrant, to the “ fupplications, “ prayers, intercellions, and thanksgivings,” of Christians, in as far as their fpiritual and eternal good require : if unconverted, their conversion to God, through Jesus Christ, hould be the burden of the exercise under view ; and if the fruits of
conversion are brought forth by ihem, then “ giv.“ ing of thanks” is the Christian's province and
duty. If they are joined in a friendly alliance with the sovereign, under whom Christians “ lead “ a quiet and peaceable life," the exercise of this concern may, with greater safety, be extended to the temporal, as well as fpiritual interests of such princes. But if upon the opposite side, or merely Deutral in the public controversy, the Christian's concern, for their outward prosperity, must not be inconsistent with what is due to their own sovereign, and the community of which they make a part.
With these limitations, it is highly worthy the · Christian character, and particularly expressive of
the Christian temper, to extend the concern, here recomended by our apostle, to kings in general, and all in authority under them.
Perhaps this view of the matter maydiffer, -widely differ, from what even Christians themselves have been accustomed to think and practise ; but if it has a foundation in the New Testament, as a part of the counsel of God, it should be honestly declar. ed, and suitable compliance with it universally ob. tained. If it is the will of God, that “all men “ should be saved, and come to the knowlege of the “ truth,” how do Christians instruct their conformity to that will, if they have no concern for the falvation of others, whatever their station or character, whatever their connections or political system? Such an unbounded compassion, can, with no degree of justice, be constructed as, any how, subversive of the special interest in their concern, to which their immediate superiors have an indisputable right; nor is it, in the least, inconsistent with that interest, unless it could be alledged, that none of opposite nations and alliances from them, can have a place in the better world, wliercmentire, · univej sal, everlasting concord, harmony and friend
Thip, invariably reign; which is so ablurd in itself, and fo contrary to the very genius of the gospel, that, to the most superficial student of the scriptures, it must, at first sight, appear.
The influence of kings over their subjects, and of those in authority over the inferior tribes of men, at once accounts for the apostle's recoinmeading them, so explicitly, to the concern of the churches of Christ; for though no natural nor political parents, can transfer grace to others, their authority and example may have incredible influence on an external reformation, if not on men's seeking after the like precious grace with themselves. Hence, an inspired politician assures is, that'" when the “righteous are in authority, the people rejoice : " but when the wicked bear rule, the people inourn," Prov. xxix. 1. According to this view, when Christians exercise a proper concern for the reformation of kings, and those in authority, their concern, in effect, reaches to all, without distinction, whose principles and practices may be bettered by it.
With regard to ourselves; though, as men, all pations; as Christians, the whole Christian world; and, as Protestants, every country and kingdom distinguished by that name, should ly upon our hearts, and have a share in our concern at the thron of grace; yet, my brethren, as Britons, joined to those other relations, our British sovereign has a peculiar title to the concern expressed in this exhortation.
It is impossible to think of his juvenile-years, his high station, his important office, the variety and weight of business laid upon him, the critical con. juncture of affairs at his accession to the throne, the tumptations with which he must be surrounded, the common enemies of liberty and true religion, against whom he is our royal guardian, and to think of the very acclamations of loyalty and pleasure, lo universally heard amongit his loving subjects; it is impossible to think of these things, without difcovering the propriety of “ supplications, prayers, “ and interceffions,” in his behalf. If exposed to evils, not only in common with others, as men, but, peculiar to the pinnacle of dignity and eminence, upon which, as an imperial monarch, he stands,-can the neceflity of deprecation bear the smallest difpute? And if he not only needs gifts and graces, with the exercile and improvement of them, as the man and the Chrisian; but, as the king and the Supreme magifirate; are not prayers for him e. qually needful, and, by his subjects, a tribute pro. portionally due ? Interceflions, therefore, in both thcle view's, become the duty of the subjects, as
they are, by ap tu.icai authority, the right and privilege of the love in.
Nor is thanksgiving, upon the occasion, to be neglected, or perio med without the warmelt fintiments of love and gra irude to God. Many circonstances, my brethren, in this noticeable pro. vidence, confpire to enforce that duty, to excite that exercile, and to ob'ain an universal compiiance with this part of our apostle's exhortation,
Can we rtit on the pit fervation of our late fovereign, until the years of his rojal successor's majority were more than numrered? Can we think of the British throne being now filled with a mative of our happy ille? Can we hear of such regards to true Christianity appearing in him, as are not common to his years, far less to his exalted Itation? Can we understand his royal purpose to lay out himselt, and make it the business of his life, to preserve our invaluable privileges, and transmit then entire to pofterity? Can we learn from his own mouth, that, in discharge of the trust reposed in him, he resolves to depend on the advice and assistance, not of his coincil alone, but of every honeft min? In a word, can we, of this part of the united kingdom, be certainly informed of his undertaking, by ogih, to secure us in the free exercise of the Presbyterian reli sion, according to our constitutional laws ? Can we advert to the le things, without, at once, seeing cause, feeling and expreffing sentiments, of in nifold gratitude to God our Saviour, for all his benefi's ?
There is fome thing, my brethren, in our very constitutioa itfelf, that, on every unprejudiced mind, must have a constraining influence, toward the end of the exhoi ration being reached. Instead of an abfolute mona:ch, whole will is the only law, and whose lubjects are hereditary flaves, our august fo