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to the different modes by which, in different DISC. constitutions, rulers become invested with their power— so far government is, what St. Peter styles it, “ an ordinance of man,” regulated by human laws. But when, by rulers becoming so invested, government commences and is in force, it must be submitted to “ for the Lord's fake;" not only through fear of punishment, but because God, who is the great king over all the earth, has commanded us, for the peace of the world, and the comfort of society, to confider our governors as armed with his authority, and to be subject to them as to himself. Resistance to them will be accounted as resistance to him.
.. These are the plain and simple politics of the Bible; eafily understood, but, like many other duties, when we are aggrieved, or fancy ourselves to be aggrieved, not so easily practised. The bias of human nature, in it's present state, does not draw towards obedience. A late historian, who believed equally in the Bible and the Alcoran, has observed, that no harm can arise from the
DISC. circumstance of this doctrine being preached
whenever the proper time for rebellion, in
II. Other reasons will offer themselves DISC.
VI. respecting rulers, and the situation in which they are placed.
If we are to make interceffion, we are to make it chiefly for those who stand most in need of it'; for those, who in this life have the largest share of temptations and of troubles.
Now, who upon earth is exposed to so many and powerful temptations as a king ? Has he a propensity to the pleasures of sense? They are all at his command: they stand around him, only waiting for his call, to return answer, “ Here we are.” Has avarice taken possession of his breast? It may be gratified by amassing treasures, instead of expending them in generous and noble donations. Is he disposed to pride ? He has every thing the world can furnish to puff him up
Does ambition fire him to aggrandize himself at the expence of his neighbours; to seize that to which he has no right; to desolate whole countries, and de
DISC. luge them with the blood of the inhabi
tants? The instruments of destruction are prepared ; fleets and armies move when the word is given. In short, does either appetite or passion at any time excite him to do that which he ought not to do? The means are at hand, and there are always those who will flatter and encourage him in following his inclinations,
But suppose him manfully to resist these temptations ; and now let us view that sea of troubles, which threatens to overwhelm him in the discharge of his office. He must feel, day and night, the weight of that office, the various duties to be performed, and the difficulty, nay, almost impossibility, of performing them all, in
tolerable manner. Deceived by others in matters concerning which he cannot inform himself, or see them with his own eyes, he finds he has done wrong,
when his whole intention was to do right ; and perhaps bestowed his favours on worthlessness and profligacy, when he designed to reward virtue and merit. Exposed
continually to the shock of parties contend- DISC. ing, ostensibly, for the public good, but, in VI. reality, for places of honour and emolument, he knows not, at length, whom to trust or employ; nor must he trust and employ those whom he would wish to trust and employ; but is often under the necessity of discarding men whom he loves, and taking to his bosom men whom he cannot love. In the mean time, a set of libertine, unprincipled writers in profe and verse are ready to exhibit him to his people as a monster, to misrepresent and traduce his best actions, to aggravate his errors, and treat him in a manner in which he himself would disdain to treat the beggar at his gate. - Is a person thus circumstanced an object of envy? No; --if there be any bowels of love and mercy, pity and pray for him, that God would grant him patience in fuffering evil, and perseverance in doing good, to the end of his days.
This all of us may do ; and this is all that most of us can do. By intercession