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have ventured to espouse such wild opinions, as do, in ettect, subvert and deny it.
The benefits of a just and good government to those who are fo happy as to be under it, like health to vigorous bodies, or fruitful Seasons in temperate climes, are such common and familiar bleflings, that they are feldom either valued or relihed, as they ought to be. We sleep over our happiness, great as it is, and want to be rouzed into a quick and thankful fense of it, either by an actual change of circumstances, or by a comparison of our own case with that of other men.
Few of us confider, how much we are indebted to government itself, because few of us can, or do, represent to ourselves in lively colours, how wretched the condition of mankind would and must be without it ; how to that we owe, not only the safety of our persons, and the propriety of our poffeffions, but our improvement in the feveral ai ts and advantages of civil life, and in all knowledge, both human and divine ; even in the knowledge of the bleffed nature and will of God himself, and of the best ways of serving, honouring, and adoring him. We, who are used to see men ading under the awe of civil justice, cannot readily conceive, what wild and savage creatures they would be, without it; and how much beholden, therefore, we are to that wise contrivance, which makes use of our fear to quell our other passions and lusts, as beasts and birds of prey are employed to hunt down those of their kind. The inconveniencies attending all, even the best of governments, we quickly fee and feel, and are nicely sensible of the thare that we bear
in them; and, though thefe be little in compari. son of those mighty advantages that vedound to us froin thence, yet we mufe fo much on the one, that we are apt altogether to overlook and forget the other.
Our ingratitude in this refpect gocs further: for some there have been, who have difpured even againit magistracy itfelf, as an unchristian institution; or denied at lealt, that the power of the sivord could, on any account, be lawfully exercised by the followers of a meek and fuffering Jefüs. And this hath been maintained, not only by warm Enthufiaft, but by cooler and more discerning heads, even by foine of those who style themselves Uniturians, and would be thought to reason better, and fee further into the fense of thië fcripture, than any men. I think, they have given no good proof of either, in aferring this extravagant and pernicious principle; for which, after all, they ha' e no ground or colour, but a passage or two of scripture, miferably perverted; in'opposition to many express texts, and indeed to the whole tenor of divine writ. Strange it is, that they, who, in matters of faith, reject the plainest fenio of fcripture, because it feems to disagree with wliat they call reason; should, in this case, reject the plainest reason in the world, because of a text or two in fcripture, that may be thought to claih with it. But the true reason of their flying to this strange doctrine was, to be even with the inagistrate ; who, they found, was against them; and they resolved therefore at any rate to be aa painst him. However, this opinion (like some others, that have been since taken up by other
sectaries) was 10 laft no longer than they were undermost. For fo the event actually proved, in relation to the German anabap ifts: who no sooner got the reins into their own hands, than thcy altered their minds in this point; and tho’ they held the power of the civil iword to be aitogether unlawfu!, whilst they were to be governed by it, yet they esteemed it very lawful and very convenient, when it came to their turn to govern : The earth, now, and the fulness thereof were tre Lord's, and the meek were to inherit it. The Unit iriin in. deed never had, any of them, such an opportunity of explaining themselves; should they have found one, it is very probable they would have made the same use of it. Let us leave there absurd fcnets, whenever they revive, to be confuted by that power which they thus affront and deny: and let us proceed to the consideration of what I observed from the text, in the
Second place, concerning those outward marks of diftinétion and fplendor which are alloted to the magistrate, and which the Robe and ti him, exprefly here mentioned by Job, may be supporo ed to comprehend. .
The practice of all ages and all countries (whea ther Christian or heathen, polite or barbarous) hath been, in this manner to do honour to those, • who are invested with public authority. The reafons are obvious; I shall mention some of them. It was intended by this means,
Fift, to excite the magistrate to a due degree of vigilance and concern for the public good: that
he, being conscious of the true end for which these encouragements were given, might study by all possible ways to deserve them; and to excel the reit of mankind as much in worthy deeds and atchievements, as he out-thines them in all other advantages. The honours, and the burthens, of great posts and employs, as they were joined together at the first, so were they designed never to be separated. The magistrate was not made great, in order to afford him opportunities of indulging himself in foth and vice; but in order to inlpire him with resolutions of living suitably to his high profession and calling; that, “ whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and it there be any praise,” he might be induced to “ think on these things,” Phil. iv. 8. and to abound in the practise of them. A
Second reason of these marks of state and dignity, which are annexed to magistracy, is, for the security of the magistrate's person, in which the public tranquility and safety are always involvą ed. "He, who will faithfully perform his duty in a station of great trust and power, must needs incur the utter emnity of many, and the high difpleasure of inore; he must sometimes struggle with the passions and interests, resist the applications, and even punilh the vices, of men potent in the common-wealth, who will employ their ill-gotten influence towards procuring impunity, or extorting undue favours, for themselves, or their dependents. He mult conquer all these dif,
ficulties, ficulties, and remove all these hindrances out of the way that leads to justice ; mult dare even to “ break the jaws of the wicked, and to pluck the spoil out of his teeth ;" Job xxix. 17. i. e. to ra. vith the prey from any mighty oppressor, when he hath seized, and is just ready to devour it. He is the guardian of the public quiet ; appointed to restrain violence, to quell seditions and tu. mults, and to preserve that order and peace which preferves the world. It is apparent, on these and many other accounts, what hazards a good magistrate runs ; and therefore the retinue of state which belongs to him, is such, as may at the same time be his ornament and defence: the public juftly screening him from the dangers which he is to incur for the sake of it. A
Third plain reason of the public honours done to the magistrate is, that he may not only be fecure, but had also in due estimation and reverence by all those who are subject to him. Tis by respect and distance that authority is upheld; and 'tis by the outward marks and ensigns of honour that respect is secured, especially from vulgar minds, which do not enter into the true reason of things, but are governed by appearances. 'Tis in the civil government, as in the offices of religion ; which, were they stript of all the external decencies of worship, would not make a due impression on the minds of those who affift at them. But a discreet use of proper and becoming ceremonies renders the public service of thç church solemn and affecting; awes the unbelieve er inspirits the sluggish, and enflames even the devout worshipper. In like manner, the solem