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from that glorious person who is represented as having this name written on his vesture and on his thigh, KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS ^ ; and whom God hath appointed to be head over all things, and the head of all principality and power for the good of his church 6. You are a dignified minister in the kingdom of his providence, and a nursing father to his church. To whom, therefore, could I more properly.address a defence of the glorious golpel:af: the Bheit:: Jesus against its enemies'than fo:a: Christian magistrate, who is both the natural and sworn protectoriand.prwinoter of the Christian cause and interest among men ?
Nor ought it to be a small encouragement to you, Sir, in the discharge
a Rev. xix. 16.
of this important part of the duty of
of Christianity. A cause which will endure the severest scrutiny of reason and philosophical disquisition, and like gold, will still appear the brighter and purer, the more it is tried.
I MIGHT also add, what will be extremely obvious to your own penetration, that the firm basis on which' (as I hope will appear by the following discourses) Christianity is built, lays a high and indefeasible obligation on every Christian magistrate to exert himself for promoting, both by his
example and authority, that pure morality which the gospel teaches, and for suppressing every species of public vice and disorder, which is so great and just a reproach to any Christian people.
As Christianity has a most friendly aspect upon all the true interests of human society, so it smiles with disa tinguished favour
all lawful, civil authority. It gives a kind of divine right to the powers of this world, lawfully established, and acting according to the true design of their institution. It makes them a kind of ministers and vice-gerents of the Deity, bearing fomething of his image in majesty and authority, and representing his power and justice among
It crowns them with a diltinguished honour, and entitles them not only to tribute, but also to reverence, regard and an almost unlimited obedience from their subjects, and that not only from fear, but also for conscience fake
An institution therefore fo favourable to the civil magistracy should certainly engage every gentleman, who sustains the honour, and bears the commission of a Christian magistrate, from a principle of gratitude as well as of justice and duty, to watch with cordial affection and unwearied afli. duity, over its best interests. To use every endeavour in his power to render that name and religion honourable which puts such a distinguished ho
himself. And this may be the more reasonably expected from the Christian in strate, when it is confidered, that the Christian revelation declareth this to be one very impor
• Rom. xiii. 1-7.
tant end and design of his office, and that God hath furnished him with dignity and authority, exprelly for this purpose, when it is considered that he beareth not the sword of civil
in vain, but is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that doeth evil, and that governors are sent by God for the punishment of evil. doers, and for the praise of them that do well .
I must confess, I have a sensible pleasure in reflecting, that while I am using this freedom of speech, in an epistle dedicatory to a magistrate of distinction, I am using it to a Christian magistrate. To one who is, in many respects, a friend to the religion he professes ; and to one on whose probity and humanity I might have filled many pages with just panegyric; but I imagined that
d Rom. xiii. 1-7. 1 Pet. ii. 14.