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despise, and paying them by promises which they know they shall never be able to keep.
Saint Paul's love of order is an additional proof of the soundness of his political character. He uses his influence with the vulgar, only to lead them to obedience. Nor did he content himself with verbal instructions to obey; he seconded them by a method the most practically efficient. Together with order itself, he enjoined on the people those industrious habits which are the very soul of order. He was a most rigorous punisher of idleness, that powerful cherisher of insubordination in the lower orders. Not to eat was the penalty he inflicted on those who would not work. He commands his Thessalonian converts to "correct the disorderly" — again enjoining, that "with quietness they work, "and eat their own bread."" Stirrers up of the people" never command
them to work and though they promise them bread, knowing they shall never be able to give it to them, yet they do not, like Paul, command them to eat it in peace. By thus encouraging peaceable and laborious habits, he was at once ensuring the comforts of the people, and the security of the state. Are these exhortations, is this conduct, any proof of that tendency to faction, which has been so often charged on the religion of Jesus?
In his political discretion, as well as in all other points, Paul imitates his Lord. Jesus in the earlier part of his ministry was extremely cautious of declaring who he was, never but once owning himself to be the Messiah; when at last, knowing" that his hour was come," he scrupled not to express his resentment publicly against the Sanhedrim, by almost the only strong expression of indignation which Infinite Wisdom, cloathed
in Infinite Meekness, ever thought fit to Even then he said nothing against
the civil governor.
But while Paul thus proved himself a firm supporter of established authorities, as such, he would not connive at any formal act of injustice; while he resigned himself to the Roman powers, his lawful judges, he would not submit to be condemned illegally by the Jews. When he appealed to Cæsar, he declared, with a dignified firmness becoming his character, that though he refused not to die, he would be tried by the rightful judicature.
If it be objected, that, in a single instance, he sharply rebuked Ananias for violating the law, by commanding him to be punished unjustly; he immediately cleared himself from the charge of contumacy, by declaring " he knew not that "it was the High Priest ;" and instantly took
took occasion to extract a maxim of obedience from his own error; and, to render it more impressive, sanctioned it by Scriptural authority, " It is written "thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler "of thy people."
It must have been obvious to his Pagan judges, that he never interfered with their rights, or even animadverted on their corruptions. His real crime in their eyes, was, not his intermeddling with government, but his converting the people. It was by exposing the impositions of their mercenary priests, by declaring their idols ought not to be wor shipped, that he inflamed the magistrates; and they were irritated, not so much as civil governors, as guardians of their religion. He knew the consequences of his persevering fidelity, and like a true servant of the true God, never shrunk from them.
To complete the character of his respect to authorities, he sanctifies loyalty, by connecting it with piety. He expressly exhorts the new Bishop of the Ephesians*, that throughout his epis copal jurisdiction" prayers, intercession, "and giving of thanks be made for kings " and all in authority;"—and adds, as a natural consequence of the obligation arising from the reciprocal connection, "that subjects may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and
honesty." There could not have been devised a more probable method of insuring allegiance; for would it not be preposterous to injure or vilify those, for whom we make it a conscience to pray?
Yet even this important duty may be over-estimated, when men's submission to kings is considered as paramount to