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to prevent which surmises the Apostle purposely adds, “The powers which be,' ai dè où oal é čovolaı, the powers which now be,' are ordained of God. From these positions he draws the consequence in direct opposition to the principles and practices of those who were despisers of government: Whosoever there: fore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God.' To resist the ordinance of God was certainly inconsistent with their profession who pretended to dedicate themselves to the obedience of God; and so intirely, that for that reason they would own no obedience to any one else, lest they should seem to set up another to share with God in his right to their service. The Apostle so far allows their principle as to argue from it, and shows them that they cannot resist the civil power consistently with their resolutions of obeying God; because submitting to our earthly princes is part of the obedience which God requires from us. If we inquire in what particular sense the rulers of the world may be said to be the ordinance of God, and to derive their power and authority from him ; we shall find that the state of the world requires that there should be some to rule, invested with power to protect the innocent, and to defend the weak from the violence of the oppressor : and therefore government is agreeable to the will of God; and to pretend an exemption from it would be acting in opposition to his will, and the order of his establishment.
As some pretended to withdraw their obedience from the prince, because they had been made partakers of the freedom of the gospel ; so others, who were in a state of servitude, thought they had a right to throw off their bondage, supposing a state of slavery to be inconsistent with the liberty of the gospel of Christ : they went on the same reason which the others did, and pleaded their relation to God and Christ as a full release from the condition of slaves. The Apostle therefore uses the same way of arguing to them, and exhorts them to yield obedience to their masters as unto the Lord, as unto God; showing theṁ that their masters, with respect to temporal affairs, stood in the place of God; and they were therefore to submit unto them as unto God. Thus in the seventh chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle lays down this general rule, · Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called ;' that is, as he explains himself, whether he be servant, or whether he be free, let him not think that his condition is repugnant to his religion : if he be servant, let him so continue. • Servants,' says he, in the sixth of the Ephesians, ' be obedient unto them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.' The same is repeated, with some small variety of expression, in the third of the Colossians: and in 1 Tim. vi. he treats of this matter with some warmth, and affirms that this doctrine of obedience is the law of God, and that whoever denies it consents not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; but is proud, knowing nothing, doting about questions and strife of words-supposing gain to be godliness.” In all which it is plain he refers to the opinion of such as taught that the gospel had introduced a perfect state of freedon, dissolving all the ancient ties between masters and servants : in opposition to which he teaches them that their being Christians should make them better, not worse servants; for that they ought to obey from the heart, as serving God, and not men.
St. Peter likewise uses the same argument with the same yiew : Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake.' Hence then it is plain that the Apostle's argument is directed against those principally who were for dissolving all the obligations between the prince and the subject; who were for making religion the cloak of disloyalty, and for throwing down all power and authority of earthly princes, on the specious pretence of setting up the Lord Jesus, And therefore, as to the original of the prince's power, we may, on the Apostle's word, assert it to be divine, as being derived immediately from God, and used and exercised in his name, and by his authority.
To proceed: the Apostle uses a second argument to inforce his doctrine laid down at first in the words of the text, · Let every soul be subject to the higher powers.' And here the first doubt is, where the argument begins; for the words immediately following those last treated of may either be taken as the first of the second argument, or as a farther conclusion drawn from the first : 'And they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.' If they who resist the power do resist the ordinance of God, it may certainly be affirmed by evident consequence, that they who resist shall receive to themselves damnation : so evident a consequence, that it can lose nothing of its force, though these words should not be understood to contain it, but should be taken as introducing a new argument, as on the whole I incline to think they ought to be taken. For the words immediately following contain à reason of something going before ; · For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil ;' but this will not prove that all who resist shall be dained; for rulers are not the judges in the case of damnation : but if we understand the Apostle in these words, ' All who resist shall receive to themselves damnation,' as entering on a new topic, and setting forth the certain evil consequences which even in this life should attend the seditious, who would render themselves justly obnoxious to the powers of the world, and be liable to their censure, it then very properly follows, For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.'
To show that the language in the original admits of this sense, or that the present division of verses is no authority on one side or the other, is a labor I may well save myself in this audience. Let us go on then to consider the argument: it is drawn from the common topic of hope and fear, and represents to us the danger of disobeying our governors, by setting before us not only their power, but their right and their duty to punish, when we refuse to acknowlege their authority: and by showing the prince's duty to punish such offenders, in consequence of the commission given him by God, it tacitly warns us to expect no protection from God against the just anger and indignation of our princes; since in punishing the stubborn offenders they do but execute the will and command of God: in which case it is absurd to depend on any assistance or protection from him, in opposition to his own authority delegated to earthly powers.
The gospel does, in every page, encourage its disciples to bear up against the afflictions of the world, to rejoice when they
are persecuted and evil intreated, and to be exceeding glad, because their reward shall be great in heaven : but lest those who suffered as seditious subjects should entertain themselves with these hopes, the Apostle takes care to represent the prince as acting by the will and power of God, in punishing such offenders. What fruit then could those sufferings yield, which were not only the effect of man's wrath, but also of the justice of God ? St. Peter, on the same subject, has evidently the same view before him : • If ye be reproached,' says he, for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth on you : but let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or an evil doer :' for, as he had before observed, • What glory is it if, when ye shall be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently ?'
St. Paul's second argument therefore is not a mere prudential motive to obedience, showing us what may probably be expected from an angry governor; but goes farther, and teaches that we shall not only suffer, but also deserve to suffer : which every Christian ought rather to fear than the evil itself. The particular steps of the argument are as follow : “ They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation,' that is, punishment, or judgment. The reason follows: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.' It is plain here, from the force of the inference, that by 'good works,' obedience is especially meant; and by evil works,' resistance ; for otherwise the Apostle's reason will not contain the proof of his doctrine: for it is not certain that those who resist shall be punished, because rulers are a terror to evil works, unless resistance be meant or included in evil works : and yet the Apostle is now disputing with those who thought the gospel justified them in not submitting to their governors, and who could not therefore think the resistance here spoken of an evil work. Does he then beg this point, of all others in this controversy the most material ? No: but he builds on the strength of his first argument, where he had shown that whoever resists the power resisteth the ordinance of God; which is enough to prove resistance an evil work: which being proved, he goes on to show the prince's power over such workers of iniquity : * Wilt thou then,' says he, 'not be afraid of the power? Do
that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.' This was a strange assertion, if understood of good works in general: St. Paul knew surely that to obey the gospel, to reject idolatry, to renounce the polluted feasts of the Gentiles, was to do good : yet he knew that those who did so, far from having the praise of the rulers, were daily punished and tormented by them : he knew that to preach the gospel was a good work; and yet he knew that he for so doing had been in perils often, in bonds and imprisonments, and in danger of his life. How then could be assure his converts that if they did that which was good they should have praise of their rulers, when they felt the contrary every day? But this difficulty vanishes, if we take 'good' in that limited sense in which the A postles use it: 'Rulers,' says he, are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.' It naturally follows, ' Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. It is evident, by the course of reasoning, that the 'good' in the latter part of the verse must mean the same thing with good works' in the first part : and I observed before that the Apostle's argument necessarily required that, by good works,' we should'especially understand the work of obedience :' consequently, when the Apostle says, “Do that which is good,' his meaning is, . Pay due obedience. And then his proposition is universally true; for obedience is a good work; and let princes be what they will, they will always praise and encourage obedience : which is one good reason for obeying, in all cases, as far as we can; for we are sure to get this by it, a quiet life at least.
Besides, this exposition suits with St. Paul's main design ; which was to inculcate obedience to the higher power. What other good then could he properly recommend on this subject ? Temperance, chastity, charity, and all other virtues, were out of this question : obedience was the thing doubted of. If the Apostle then keeps to his point, the good thing he recommends must needs be the good of obedience; and the word in the original, which is rendered by the word 'good' in our translation, is appropriated both by St. Paul and St. Peter to denote the good of obedience, in opposition to the evil spirit which set a government at nought. The promise made to obedience is in these words, • Thou shalt have praise of the same. What is