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And this is to be expressed in a respectful behaviour towards them in word and deed.
The grounds of this are specially two. (1.) The ore dinance of God, whereby they are set above us in the way of
power and authority, Rom. xiii. and subjects ought to walk in a conscientious regard to the fuperiority that God has given their rulers over them. (2.) The image of God that shines in their dominion and eminency above their subjects, Pfal. lxxxii. 6. They are God's vicegerents on earth, whose office bears a representation of God's dominion.
2. Subjects owe them the charity to construct the best of their actions that they will bear, and to beware of passing a rash judgement of their administrations. Notable is the instance of it in David, 1 Sam. xxvi. 19. Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant : If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering : but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the Lord; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go serve other gods. The liberty that many take in speak. ing of magiftrates, and wresting their actions still to the worst lide, is what proceeds not from the spirit of the gospel, but is contrary to the word, an effect of their own pride and presumption, Exod. xxij. 28. Eccl. x. 20. 2 Pet. ii. 10. Jude 8. This is also highly reasonable, and hath these grounds. (1.) That candour and charity we owe to all men, but in a special manner to our superiors, requires it, 1 Cor. xiii. 5. 7. (2.) Our unacquaintedness with the springs of public butiness, secrets of government, and reasons of state, Prov. xxv. 3. And natural modesty as well as religion teaches men not to answer a matter before they hear it, Prov. xviii. 13. This dutiful children will allow to their parents, wives to their husbands, fervants to their masters, and inferiors to their superiors; and why should not inagiftrates have it too?
3. Subjection, loyalty, and obedience to their juft
laws and commands. It is bad religion where loyalty to the magistrate must stand in place of all religion towarūs God; but it is also bad religion where people's pretended religion towards God justles out their loyalty to the magistrate, Rom. xiii. 5. This duty Papists exeem churchmen from ; and no wonder, for it is a part of the character of Antichrift, 2 Theff. ii. 4.; but the scripture subjects ministers to the magifirates, as having fouls as well as others, Rom. xiii. Let every foul be subject to the higher powers.
4. The payment of their tribute, Rom. xiii. 6. 7. This is a debt of thankfulness, and justice too, for. the benefits of government which the subjects enjoy, without which the government cannot be fupported, but all would go into confusion.
5. Defending of them in danger, each one accord, ing to his station, 2 Sam. xviii. 3. 1 Sam. xxvi. 15.
6. Lally, Prayer to God for them ; fupplications for supply of wants, prayers for good things to them, intercefsions for turning away of evil from them, and thanksgivings for mercies bestowed on them, i Tim, .. 1. 2. There is a reason for it too; for the welfare of subjects is wrapt up in theirs, ib. Much depends on their management, God's honour, our own good, and their high place has many dangers, difficulties, suares, and temptations.
Use. Let me therefore exhort you in the words of the apostle, 1 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 for the praise of them that do well. Let us honour and dutifully subject ourselves, according to the will of God, to our gracious Sovereign King George, our rightful and lawful King by virtue of the laws of Scotland, pointed at in the claim of right, and upon which was founded the late happy révolution. Let us adore that bountiful providence, by which his grandfather (Frederick Elector Palatine of the Rhine]
having lost one kingdom (that of Bohemia], besides his private estate, in the cause of the Protestant religion, three kingdoms are now conferred on the grandfon. Let us thank our God, who did so feafonably bring him to the throne, and that in peace, to the surprise of all parties, so as we were like men that dreamed. Let us suppose that the Popish pretender had effectuated his purpose, what a cafe had we been in this day! Yet rejoice with trembling ; it is hard to say that heaven and these fìnful nations are become friends yet. Let us be dutiful to subordinate magistrates under him, and honour those whom God has honoured by their office, faying to them, Ye are gods. Let us not stumble Atheists, Jacobites, and malignants against our holy religion, by contempt of the magistrate. We read the Bible, where subjection is commanded to subjects oft and again, even to magiflrates that were enemies to Christianity. We are the followers of that Jesus who paid his tribute, and taught the people of the Jews, who were more folemnly covenanted with God, and more strictly bound up in the choice of their kings, than any nation under heaven, yet not to deny their tribute to Cæfar the Heathen Roman emperor, who then was their chief magiftrate, Matth. xxii. 19.-21.
Secondly, I shall shew the duty of magistrates to their subjects, which I shall only name.
1. They ought to establish good laws among their subjects, and to see them duly executed, Zech. viii. 16. 2 Chron. xix. 5. 6. 7.
2. To govern them with wisdom, justice, and clemency, 2 Chron. i. 10.
3. To punish evil-doers, and encourage them that do well, Rom. xiii. 3.
4. To protect them, and provide for their common safety, i Tini. ij. 2. to see to their prosperity, and not to oppress them, Prov. xxviii. 16.
5. Lastly, They ought to promote true religion, and advance the interest of Christ's kingdom among
their fubjects, Il. xlix. 23. Some will have the magistrate to be the fountain of church-power. Others leave him nothing to do in religion but to defend the church, and execute her acts. Thus
Thus go the Papists. Truth goes the middle way, allowing the magistrate a cumulative, though not a privative power in churchmatters; and though he ought not to exercise a fpiritual function, yet he can command and oblige ministers and other church-officers to do their duty, au. thoritatively call them to do it. And this is no more to usurp church-power, than a minister's charging magiftrates from the word, is to usurp civil power. See Confeflion of faith.
There are other relations that import a mere prefer rence; as, betwixt the aged and the younger, the weaker in gifts and the stronger, and between equals.
First, As to the relation betwixt the aged and the
1. I shall consider very briefly the duties of the younger to the aged, for thefe are fathers and inothers in scripture-language, 1 Tim. v. 1.
(1.) They ought to submit to them, so as to follow their wise advice, and not to stand upon the points with them, but to be ready to yield to them, where lawfully it may be done, 1 Pet. v. 5."
(2.) They ought to honour them, and carry respectfully to them. The Ancient of days commands us to honour old age, Lev. xix.
32. 2. The aged ought, (1.). To be ready to profit the younger fort by their good advice, to tutor them, as Eli did young Samuel, 1 Sam: iii. 9; (2.) To give them the example of a virtuous and holy life, Tit. it.
Secondly, The duties of the weaker in gifts to the stronger are,
(1.) To reverence and respect them for the gifts of God in them, Gen. xlv. 8. (2.) To be willing and ready to learn of them. (3.) To beware of judging harhly of them in things wherein they have a greater Liberty than them, Rev. xiv, 3.
The duties of the stronger in gifts are, (1.) To communicate chearfully to them what God has given them, and so to help them by their gifts. (2.) To encourage them, and bear with their in Ermities, Rorn.
Lastly, The duties of equals are, (1.) To regard the dignity and worth of each other, and carry respectfully to them, 1 Pet. ii. 17. (2.) To carry modestly towards one another, preferring in honour each other, Rom. xii. 10. (3.) To endeavour after and rejoice in one another's welfare as their own, ver. 15. 16.
II. I proceed now to fhew what is forbidden in the fifth commandment. According to our catechism, it forbids “ the neglecting of, or doing any thing a“ gainst the honour and duty which belongeth to
every one in their several places and relations." This question is a field as large, or rather larger than the former, in so far as to one duty several fins are opposed: but fearing that ye cannot bear enlargement, having heard so much already on these relations, I shall contract my discourse on this into a very narrow compass.
This command is broken, (1.) By neglect of the duties we owe to our relations, which ye have heard. (2.) By doing any thing against and contrary to these duties.
First, Husbands and wives break this command, and lin against one another, many ways. As particularly,
1. Against that tender conjugal love they owe to one another is all unkindness, whereby, laying aside and divesting themselves of natural affection, they are [urly to, careless of, and unconcerned for their relatives, or their comfort. Of this fort are their bitter speeches, reproaching and reviling one another. That selfith ness whereby they are at no pains to please one ano- ; ther in lawtul things, and void of sympathy in one another's joys and griefs ; unreasonable suspicions and jealousies, whatever be done to please them; blazing Vol. III,