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its public honours and emoluments, merely for what they deem a purer faith or worship; however impolitic or illiberal such an exclusion might be, it would lie upon them in a peculiar manner to be studious of a just deference and submission to the powers that are; to show that good christians are of all men least disposed to clog the measures of government, only because they are not admitted to share its favours; that provided they can enjoy liberty of conscience, with a reasonable security for their persons and property, they will not eagerly contend for other advantages; and that when, upon some pressing exigency, they step forth on the public stage, it is at the clear call of duty and of their country, and not from any low inducements of honour or profit.
There are few things to be inet with more odious, than a busy meddler in politics pretending to religion; nor is the difference much, whether he list himself under the banner of Whig or Tory. Above all, this is odious in a teacher of christianity; especially if he suffer it to appear in his public
ministrations. To make the pulpit an en. gine of court flattery, or a drum ecclesiastic to beat up for patriotic recruits, is a conduct deserving the severest reprehension. A true minister of the Prince of Peace, whose kingdom is not of this world, directs his attention to higher objects, and shuns the strifes' and entanglements of secular affairs. i'.
It is an old charge against those who have made a profession of true religion, that they were movers of sedition, hurtful 10 kings and provinces, paying neither toll, tribute, nor custom ; and this charge, it must be acknowledged, has not always been groundless. The Jews are known to have been a seditious people, and sometimes to have proceeded to actual rebellion; nor have there been wanting men bearing the ch.istian name, who have followed their example; men, as described by an apostle, presumptuous, self-willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities; who have said, with our tongues will we prevail, who is lord over us? Nay, such monsters have sprung up
in the christian church, who, instead of yielding due obedience to the existing powers, have attempted to seize the government into their own hands, from a fanatical conceit, that dominion is founded in grace: as if the design of the gospel was to dissolve all our civil obligations, to reverse the order and state of the world, to set servants on horses, and bring down princes to walk like servants upon the earth. The primitive christians knew nothing of this frenzy; and their passive conduct under the most barbarous tyrants, is a standing reproach to such modern christians, who, if every thing does not come up to their mind, and tally with their code of rights, can think of nothing less than binding their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron.
Let me then press upon the reader, if he be one (as I hope he is) who is jealous for the honour of the christian name; to manifest to the world in his temper and conduct, that christianity, so far from superseding the duties arising from our natural or civil relations, binds them more strongly upon us, and in forming good men, forms good subjects; that by enforcing a supreme regard to God, it most effectually promotes a quiet and cheerful submission to the ordinances of men; and that it is only by a prudent and peaceable deportment, that good christians are ambitious to vindicate their profession, and to put to silence the calumnies of their enemies.