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us sensible that we are answerable for all the sins which it is in our power to prevent, and that we have more souls besides our own to answer for.

Now to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.

SERMON LI.

Before the COURT of TINWALD, 1736.

THE DUTY OF MAGISTRATES.

DEUT. i. 17.

YE SHALL NOT BE AFRAID OF THE FACE OF MAN, FOR
THE JUDGMENT IS GOD's.*

HIS

THI is part of that solemn charge which Moses gave to the judges of Israel.-The same in effect did good king Jehosaphat give. to his judges;t Take heed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment; wherefore let the fear of the Lord be upon you.

If this charge were necessary then, it certainly is so now, and will ever be so, as long as men are subject to weakness, to negligence, to corruption, or to passion; that is, as long as this world lasts.

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The words of the text suppose this: Ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; and propose the only effectual antidote against such an evil, for the judgment is God's.

The words are few, but imply a great deal of instruction.

1st. THE JUDGMENT IS GOD's. Why then the. magistrate's power and authority is from God.

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See Exod. xviii. 21; xxiii. 3. Deut. i. 16. Prov. vi. 12; xviii; xxix. 4, 12, 14, 25; xxi. 30; xxx. 4, 5. Isaiah xxix. 21; xxx. 1. Amos v. ið. Feel. vii. 6. Rom. xiii. 1, 2, 6. Gal. i. 10. 1 Tim, li. 2.

+ 2 Chron. xix. 6.

OF MAN.

2dly. YE SHALL NOT BE AFRAID of the face This teaches the magistrate his duty; namely, that he is not to pervert justice for any worldly consideration; no, not for the fear of death. 3dly. The subject may here see the sin and danger of opposing, of disobeying, of vilifying the magistrate in the due execution of his office. He is God's minister; his judgment, if just, is the very judgment which God would give; God is with him in the judgment, and will certainly avenge him if he be despised.

And these are the things that I would, at this. time, recommend to your consideration, in as few words as I can possibly express my meaning.

And first, for the authority of the magistrate, St. Paul tells us plainly,* The powers that be are ordained of God. They are, it is true, men of like passions with ourselves; but that does not, hinder them from being God's representatives. They are expressly called in holy scripture, God's MINISTERS. By me, saith Solomon,‡ by me. kings reign, and all the judges of the earth; that is, from God they have their power. He therefore that resisteth, resisteth not man, but God.

And this is the magistrate's great security, especially among Christians, who all know, or should know, that disobedience to the lawful commands of a lawful magistrate will be attended with the severest punishment. For they, that resist, saith the apostle,§ shall receive to themselves damnation...

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In short; God, the author of life and death, the great proprietor of all things, has given to

Rom. xiii. 1. + Rom. xiii. 6. Prov. viii. 15.

Rom. xiii. 2.

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certain persons power over the bodies, goods, estates, and even lives, of their fellow-creatures; but then lest these magistrates, finding themselves vested with so much power, should be tempted to abuse it, all nations, after the example of God's people, and by his will, have agreed upon laws to restrain and direct them.

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And most nations, particularly this of ours, have made the law of God, by Moses to the Israelites, their pattern.

Now, if the magistrate judge and govern ac cording to these laws, that is God's will and judgment; so that both the magistrate and people are answerable to God; the one, if he make not the law his rule; and the other, if they live not in all dutiful obedience to those whom the providence of God has set over them.

And therefore the apostle adds, that we must obey authority-not only for wrath, that is, for fear of temporal punishment; but also for conscience sake; that is, out of regard to the law and will of God.

And happy it is both for the magistrate and the people, that there are such laws in every society, that both the one and the other may have a rule to go by, a rule which does or should always speak the same language-to the poor and to the rich; to friends and enemies; to those that are wise, and to them that are simple and see not their interest.

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It was for this reason, that the heathens represented Justice with a veil over her face, intimating that a righteous judge ought never

to consider the person, but the cause, that is before him.

And certainly there is no better way for a magistrate to secure the obedience and regard of the people, than to let them see, that they who are appointed to give the law, are themselves governed by law, and not by their own inclinations or wills. For the laws of all nations do suppose, that magistrates may be mistaken in their judgment, either through fear or favour, or negligence, or ignorance, or through weakness or corruption; and therefore all laws have, as far as it is in the power of man, provided a remedy against such evils, by allowing an appeal from every inferior to a superior court.

St. Paul himself, than whom no inspired writer ever pressed obedience to government more earnestly, when he was most unjustly prosecuted for a faithful discharge of his duty to God, he appealed unto Cæsar, as to the last power, and next under God, from whom he might expect a more equitable sentence.

Let us now consider the ends for which magistrates have this great power given them by God. And these are, in short, the glory of God, and the good of their fellow-creatures.

It is for this reason, that in our daily prayers we beseech God, so to dispose and govern the hearts of such as are in authority, that they,. knowing whose ministers they are, may above all things, and in the first place, seek God's honour and glory; and in the next place, study to preserve the people under them in wealth, peace, and godliness. And every ma

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