Abbildungen der Seite

3. They are to pray with them, and for them; for player is to be made for all mer., as for superiors, for kings, and all in authority; so for inferiors, and for servants; which is a part of family worship, Jer. X. 25. Josh. xxiv. 15. - 4. Should allow time and leisure for religious services, to read and hear the word of God, to pray and praise, and to meditate, according to the provision made for rest and cessation from labour, in the fourth precept of the Decalogue; and they should be put upon as little service as may be on whatsoever day for worship is observed.

11. There are other duties, which relate to their temporal good. As, 1. They are lo teach them the business they are put apprentices to them for, and learn then the whole mystery of their art, so far as they are capable of receiving it; or otherwise they will not act the faithful part. — 2. To give then that which is just and equal, according to the laws of God and men, of justice and equity; food convenient for them, what is fit to be eaten, and a sufficiency of it; so in the house of the prodigal's father there was bread enough and to spare for the hired servants; raiment also is to be provided for them, if in the agreement, and what is suitable to their relation and circumstances; and when they are sick should take care of them, and be concerned for their health, and recovery of it; as the centurion was, who applied to Christ on the behalf of his servant, Matt. vii. 5.-10. A contrary behaviour in the Amelekite towards his servant, was barbarous and cruel, 1 Sam. XXX. 13. - 3. They should pay them their just wages, and that in due time, according as agreed upon ; the law of God directs to the payment of them immediately, and not let them abide all night, till the morning, Lev. xix. 13. Deut. xxiv. 15. if they are detained, and they cry unto the Lord, he will avenge them, James V. 4. 4. Obedient servants are to be encouraged, and used kindly, and with respect : according to the law of God, enjoined the Jews, when a servant had served out his time, he was not only to be lec go free, but he was not to be sent 'away empty; but to be liberally supplied from the flock, from the floor, and from the wine-press, Deut. xv. 12–14. Disobedient ones are to be corrected; and if they will not be corrected by words, then with stripes ; yet to be given with moderation"; servants are not to be used in a cruel and inhuman manner, as if they were beasts, and not men. Seneca o complains of some masters in his tine, who used them worse than beasts, and speaks of them as most proud, most cruel, and most contumelious; the apostle advises, to forbear threatening, Eph. vi.


that is, not to threaten too much and too often, and with too great severity ; nor should they be forward to carry it into execution ; and especially when they repent and amend, they should be forgiven.

Now the argument to enforce these duties on masters, is taken from their having a Master in heaven; who is no other than Christ, who is a good Master, and where he is his servants shall be; he grants them his presence now,

Servis imperare moderate, laus est. Seneca de Clementia, I. 1.c. 18. •Epist. 47 VOL. III.

3 H

[ocr errors]

and will enter them into his joy hereafter, and who is the Master of niasters; as well as of servants, and to whom they are accountable, and with hin is no sespect of persons, bond or free, Eph. vj. 8. 9. Col. iii. 25. and he is in hea. ven, from whence he looks down and beholds all that is done on earth, by mas. ters as well as servants, and who is able to plead the cause of the injured, and to avenge them. Happy it is when love and harmony, freedom and fa:niliari'y, subsist between misters and servants, so far as is consistent with the relation; an instance of which we have in Boaz, who went to his reapers in the field, and thus saluted them, The Lord be with you! To whom they replied, The Lord bless thee! Ruth ij. 4. a good master and good servants, mutually happy in each other.


AND SUBJECTS The duties of subjection and obedience to magistrates, supreme and subordi. naté, are frequently inculcated in the sacred writing; and the reason why the apostles so often and so strongly urge them, is because of the scandal to the christian religion, which was like to arise from a contrary behaviour, of which there was danger; since in the first churches were many Jews, who were impatient of the Roman yoke, and christians in general were called Jews by the heathens; and it was enough to fix the charge of sedition on any to say they were Jews, who were troublers of the state, Acts xvi. 20, 21. and of all the Jews the Galileans were rechoned the most turbulent, and factious, and the most averse to payment of taxes to the Roman governors, Acts v. 37. Luke xiij. 1. and Christ and his followers were commonly called Galileans, and so liable to the same imputation ; besides, the first christians might not be so willingly subject to heathen magistrates, because they were such, and many of them very wicked inen, called, spiritual wickednesses in high places; and Nero, the then reigning emperor, when the apostle Paul wrote many of his epistles, was a monster of wickedness; and they might also imagine, that subjection to men was inconsistent with christian liberty. To all which may be added, that there were many false teachers, men of bad principles and practices, who despised dominion, and spoke evil of dignities; wherefore the apostles thought it necessary to put in mind the saints they wrote to, of their duties of subjection and obedience to civil government, that the gospel, and the religion of Christ, might not be evil spoken of; and for the same reason we who are called Bape tists, and by way of reproach Anabaptists, should be careful to observe these duties ; since it seems there were some of the same name forinerly, in foreign countries, who held, if not misrepresented by many writers, that it was not lawful for a christian man to bear the office of a magistrate ; and from thence inferred, that the laws of such were not to be .obeyed: and nothing is more

Common with every puny writer against us, than to upbraid us with the riots and tumults at Munster in Germany; which though begun by Pædobaptists, yet because some called Anabaptists joined thein, men of bad principles and scandalous characters, the whole blame was laid upon thein. But be these things as they may, what is all this to us here in England, who disavow and declare against all such principles and practices ; as our general behaviour, our writings and public confessions of faith, printed at different tiines, manifestly shew? and

yet the calumny is continued; wherefore it becomes us to wipe off the foul asper sion, both by our declared abhorrence of it, and by our conduct and deportment towards our superiors; that those who falsely accuse our good conversation in things civil, may blush, and be ashamed.

Now as the respective duties before treated of, arise from relations of a different nature; those of husbands and wives from a relation founded in mare riage; and those of parents and children from a relation founded in nature; and those of masters and servants froin a relation founded in contract and compact; so those of magistrates and subjects arise from a relation founded in con, sent, agreement, and covenant: a coalition of

and bodies of men, in

4 political sense, whether it arose from mutual fear, as Hibbs ? says; or rather from a propensity in human nature to society, man being a sociable animal, as Aristotle 9, and other politicians think; yet it most certainly was by agreement and consent; and men being thus united together, agreed to choose soine from among themselves to preside over them, to keep the better decorum and order among them; with these they entered into covenant, on certain conditions and fundamental laws made ; when they agreed, the one to govern according to those laws, and to defend the lives, liberties, and properties of men from lawless, persons; and the other swore fidelity to them, and promised a cheerful subjection and obedience to their lawful commands, and to support their government: and this is the original of free and well-regulated states ; from whom certain respective duties, both of magistrates and subjects, arise ; now to be treated of.

1. It will be proper to consider, of whom the duties of subjection and obedience are required, and to whom they are to be yielded.

1. Of whom they are required : of every one that belongs to the common wealth; Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, Rom. xiii. 1. that is, every man; every man that has a soul, every rational man; and to be subject to and obey civil magistrates, is but his reasonable service; every vile of each sex, male and female, men and wonen; of every age, young and old ; and of every state and condition, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, ecclesiastics not excepted; the clergy of the church of Rome plead for an exemption of them but without any reason. The priests under the law were subject to civil government; as Abiathar to

De Cive, c. 1.6.2. 9 Politic. 1. 1. 6. 2.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Sclomon, 1 Kings ii. 26, 27. and so the ministers of Christ under the gospel; Christ and his apostles paid tribute to Cæsar, and even Peter, whose successor the pope pretends to be, Matt. xvii. 24–27. The apostle Paul appealed to Cæsar, owned his authority, and claimed his protection, Acts xxv. 10, 11. The same doctrine was inculcated by the successors of the apostles in the age following, who professed their subjection to the civil magistrate, and taught it; says Polycarp', we are commanded to honour magistrates, and the powers that are ordained of God; the same doctrine was taught by Ignatius • Irenæus', and Justin " ; and Pliny the heathen bears witness to the christians of the second century, that they did all things in conformity to the civil laws".

11. To whom these duties are to be performed. These are the higher powers; called powers because they are invested with the power of government, and have a right to exercise it; higher powers, because they are set in high places, and have a supereminence over others, Rom. xiii, 1. sometimes they are called principalities and powers, Tit. iii. 1. by whom are meant, not angels, to whom men are not put in subjection, on civil accounts; nor ecclesiastical officers, as elders and pastors of churches, whose government is not of a civil, but spiritual nature; they do not bear the temporal sword, nor are they to make any use of that; but civil magistrates, as the words are explained in the same verse, Obey magistrales; rulers or governors, and these include supreme and subordinate ones; Kings, and all that are in authority under them, and derive their authority from them, for whom prayer is to be made, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. Every ordinance of man, or every creature of man; this is, every magistrates who is of mans creating, is to be submitted to; Whether it be to the King, as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent and appointed by him, 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14. and as heathen magistrates werc to be submitted unto, for

were they designed in the above passages, then certainly christian magistrates; for it is no ways inconsistent with the grace of God, nor for a good man, to be a magistrate ; the better man, the better magistrate; such there were under the for. mer dispensation; as Moses, the Judges in Israel, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphal, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others. And under the gospel-dispensation, when the Roman empire became christian, there was a Constantine, the first christian einperor, thought to be a very good man; and there have been such in aftertimes; though it must be owned they have been rare and few; but there are prophecies of more, and there may be an expectation of more in the latter dayglory; when all kings shall fall down before Christ; when kings shall come to the brightness of Zion, or to the church's rising, and when her gates shall stand open continually for kings in enter in, and become church members ; and when kings shall be nursing-fathers, and qeens nursing-mothers: and these are most certainly to be submitted to, and their laws obeyed. I go on,

" Apud Euseb. l. 4. c. 15. • Eph. ad Philadelph. Adv. Heres. I. 5. 6. ag. • Apolog 1, p. 64.

Apud Euscbi; 1. 3. f. 33.


II. To consider the duties both of magistrates and subjects.

1. Of magistrates; for though the duties of subjection and obedience are incompetent to them; yet there are duties incumbent on them, arising from their relation to their people, and covenant with them.

1. They are to make and pass such laws as are for the good of their subjects, The government of the people of Israel was very peculiar; it was a Theocracy; God was their King in a civil sense, and inade laws for them, which he delivered to them by the hands of Moses; and their kings had no power to make any new ones; nor did they, not the best and wisest of them, as David, Solomon, &c. but governed according to the laws inade to their hands, Our kings have a concern in the making of laws; that is, they have a negative voice, and can put a check upon any laws, and refuse to sign them inade by the other branches of the legislature; and it is their duty to refuse to sign such laws as are not salutary to their subjects, or are contrary to the laws of God, and to the fundamental laws of the state. — 2. They are to govern according to such righteous and salutary laws, and to execute judgment and justice, as David did, and other good kings do; and then magistrates do their duty, when the king reigns in righteousness, and princes decree judgment, Isai. xxxii. 1, – 3. They are to discountenance and suppress impiety' and irreligion; and to countenance and encourage religion and virtue; even Aristotlet observes in his book of Politics, that the first care of government should be the care of divine things, or what relate to religion. Civil magistrates are appointed for the puñishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well; they are to discourage vice, and vicious persons; a king, by his eye, the sternness of his looks, and the frowns of his countenance, should scatter away evil, and evil men; and these being removed from hiin, his throne will be established in righteousness, Prov. xx. 8. and xxv. 5. Kings are the guardians of the laws of God and man; and christian kings have a peculiar concern with the laws of the two tables, that they are observed, and the violaters of them punished; as sins against the first table, idolatry, worshipping of more gods than one, and of graven images, blaspheming the name of God, perjury, and false-swearing, and profanation of the day of worship: and those against the second table; as disobedience to parents, murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, &c. most of which, under the former dispensation, were capital crimes, and punishable with death; and though the punishment of them, at least not all of them, may not be inflicted with that rigor now as then; yet they are punishable in some way or another; which it is the duty of magistrates to take care of. 4. The principal care and concern of a king is the welfare and safety of his people, that they are secured in their lives, liberties, and properties; that they live peaceable and quiet lives, unmolested by any; that they dwell safely, every man under his vine and fig-tree, as Israel did in the times of Solomon; the

[ocr errors]

2 Πρωτον, ,

η περι το θειον επιμέλειαν,

Baseny ospatuar, Aristot. Politic. do 7. C. .

« ZurückWeiter »