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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
LYMAN BEECHER, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD DESIRABLE.
“ Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
MATTHEW 6 : 10.
In this passage we are instructed to pray that the world may be governed, and not abandoned to the miseries of unrestrained sin; that God himself would govern, and not another; and that God would administer the government of the world, in all respects, according to his own pleasure. The passage is a formal surrender to God of power and dominion over the earth, as entire as his dominion is in heaven. The petition, therefore, " Thy will be done,” contains the doctrine
THAT IT IS GREATLY TO BE DESIRED THAT GOD SHOULD GOVERN THE WORLD, AND DISPOSE OF MEN, IN ALL RESPECTS, ENTIRELY ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PLEASURE.
The truth of this doctrine is so manifest, that it would seem to rank itself in the number of self-evident propositions, incapable of proof clearer than its own light, had not experience taught that, of all truths, it is the most universally and bitterly controverted. Plain as it is, it has occasioned more argument than any other doctrine, and, by argument merely, has gained fewer proselytes ; for, it is one of those controversies in which the heart decides wholly, and argument, strong or feeble, is alike ineffectual.
This consideration would present, in the threshold, a hopeVOL. II.