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cause, I examined, with particular attention, the writings of the apostles, and of many pious
us and learned men, who had flourished in the three first centuries, I was so far from finding any thing that seemed the least to countenance such a doctrine, that on the contrary, it appeared evident beyond dispute, that during the above mentioned time, it had been utterly unknown to the christian world. I was very unwilling to give up a point, upon which, I had been taught by Bellarmine, that the whole of christianity depended; but great is the power of truth, and at last it prevailed. I became a proselyte to the opinion which I had proposed to confute, and sincerely abjured in my mind, that which I had undertaken to defend.»*
* See a most excellent Treatise, on the church, &c. By E. Barwick, M. A. of Trinity College, Dublin.
ON DEPOSING PRINCES, UNDER COLOUR
“Who can stretch forth his hand, against the Lord's
anointed, and be guiltless ?” I Sam. xxvi. 9.
The relation of kings and subjects, are so obviously analagous, to those of parents and children, that kings have often been styled, the fathers of their people, and the people often called their children. No language of commendation is with more frequency or emphasis, applied to a prince, distinguished for his wisdom, justice, and benevolence, than that he was a father to his subjects.
In this manner, mankind have acknowledged the similarity of these relations, and from a similarity of relations, must arise a similarity of duties. The end of parental
government, is the good of children : the end of civil government, is the good of the governed.
Every human being comes into the world in a state of want, weakness, and ignorance. It is the prerogative, as well as the duty of a parent, to supply this want, succour this weakness, and instruct this ignorance. These are all acts of government; and the receiving of protection, help, and counsel, are acts of subjection, and necessarily imply authority, in him who dispenses, and dependence on him who receives. Experience in the dispenser, shews how benefits may be communicated, so as fully to accomplish the end of their communication, hence he gives what he knows to be necessary, in that way in which his wisdom tells him, it will be most useful.
From this principle arise conditions by which the recipient is bound,—and the fulfilment of these conditions constitutes that obedience which is due to the authority of his benefactor.
In a religious sense, individuals and nations are under the government of God. The image of princes stamped on their coin, denotes that temporal things belong to their jurisdiction. The image of God originally stamped on the soul, denotes that all its qualities, and powers, belong to the Most High, and should be employed in his service. Where he has granted a revelation of his will, mankind are to be regulated by its dictates. Over body and soul, his dominion is absolute and unlimited, because he is their creator and preserver. From God alone, in religion and morality, men derive their laws, and by revelation, his rights in and over them, the doctrines of his truth, and the ordinances of his religion, are determined. These are, as our Saviour states them, the rights of God.*
* Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar or not? The answer of Christ to this question of the insiduous Pharisees, (who wished to entangle him in his talk,) was full of consummate wisdom. You profess to be attached to your religion, and to be loyal to government, therefore render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsars, and to God, the things that are Gods. You acknowledge Cæsar to be your sovereign in all civil matters, and he demands his denarious by way of tribute. A small sum sum for the protection you enjoy. You acknowledge Jehovah for your sovereign, in religious matters, and he demands for the support of his temple service, a half shekel. Exod. xxx, 13, 14. A portion equally small for the spiritual advantages you reap, from the Almighty's word and ordinances,
The rights of Cæsar, or civil government, are different from those of God. Governments have their geographical limits, and their political relations and dependencies. Their jurisdiction refers to territory, and to those who dwell in it, and their rights are such as are assigned, defined, and regulated by just laws, and prudent enactments. Every country must have a government-every government has three grand duties to perform, in behalf of the governed, -1 to maintain internal order-2 to distribute impartial justice—3 to protect from foreign enemies
As God is the origin of power and the supreme governor of the universe, he delegates authority, to whomsoever he will. In ancient times, God in a particular manner, on many occasions, appointed the individual who was to govern, and he accor