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(1.) We are the subjects of his kingdom. And as such we are bound,
(1.) To yield a faithful obedience to the laws of his kingdom:
- And the advantages by which these come recommended to us, above all human laws, are many. - They are calculated for the private interest of every one, as well as that of the public; and are designed to promote our present, as well as our future happiness. --- They are plainly and explicitly. published ; easily understood; and in fair and legible characters written in every man's heart; and the wisdom, reason and necessity of them are readily discerned. --- They are urged with the most mighty motives that can possibly affect the human heart.---And if any of them are difficult; the most effectual
grace is freely offered to encourage and assist our obedience; advantages which no human laws have to enforce the observance of them.--(2.) As his fubjects we nust readily pay him the homage due to his fovereignty. And this is no less than the homage of the heart ; humbly acknowledging that we hold every thing of him, and have every thing from him. Earthly princes are forced to be content with verbal acknowledgments, or
mere formal homage. For they can command nothing but what is external. But God, who knows and looks at the hearts of all his creatures,
will accept of nothing but what comes from thence. He demands the adoration of our whole souls, which is most justly due to Him who formed them, and gave them the very capacities to know and adore Him.---(3.) As faithful subjects, we must cheerfully pay him the tribute He requires of us. This is not like the tribute which earthly kings exact ; who as much depend upon their subjects for the support of their power, as their subjects
them for the protection of their property. But the tribute Gon requires of us, is a tribute of praise and honour, which he ftands in no need of from us. For his Power is independent, and his Glory immutable ; and he is infinitely able of himself to support the dignity of his universal government. But it is the most natural duty we owe to Him as creatures. For to praise Him, is only to shew forth his praise ; to glorify Him, to celebrate his glory; and to honour Him, is to render Him and his Ways honourable in the eyes and esteem of others. And as this is the most natural duty that creatures owe to their Creator, so it is a tribute he requires of every one of them in proportion to their respective talents and abilities to pay it. --- (4.) As dutiful subjects, we must contentedly and quietly submit to the methods and administrations of his
government, however dark, involved, or intricate. All governments have their arcana imperii, or secrets of state ; which common subjects cannot penetrate ; and therefore they cannot judge of the wisdom and rectitude of certain public measures; because they are ignorant either of the springs, or the ends of them, or the expediency of the means arising from the particular situation of things in the present juncture. And how much truer is îhis with relation to God's government of the world ? whose wisdom is far above our reach, and whose ways are not as our's. Whatever then may be the present aspect and appearance of things, as dutiful subjects we are bound to acquiesce; to ascribe Wisdom and Righteoufnefs to our Maker, in confidence that the King and Fudge of all the earth will do right ---Again, (5.) as good subjects of God's kingdom, we are bound to pay a due regard and reverence to his ministers ; especially if they discover an uncorrupted fidelity to his cause, and a pure, unaffected zeal for his honour; if they do not seek their own interest, more than that of their divine Mafter. The ministers of earthly princes too often do this, and it would be happy if all the ministers and ambassadors of the heavenly King were entirely clear of the imputation.--- It is no uncommon thing for the honour of an earth
ly monarch to be wounded through the sides
But, (2.) as the creatures of God, we are not only the subjects of his kingdom, but the children of his family. And to this relation, and the obligations of it, muft we carefully attend, if we would attain the true knowledge of ourselves. --- We are his children by creation; in which respect he is truly our faD2
ther : * But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter ; and we all the work of thine hands. And in a more special sense we are his children by adoption : + For je are all the children of God by faith in Christ Fejus. And therefore, (1.) we are under the highest obligations to love Him as our father. The love of children to parents is founded on gratitude for benefits received, which can never be requited ; and ought in reason to be proportioned to those benefits. And what duty more natural than to love our benefactors ? What love and gratitude then is due to Him, from whom we have received the greatest benefit, even that of our being, and every thing that contributes to the comsort of it?---(2.) As his children we must honour Him; that is, muft speak honourably of Him, and for Him; and carefully avoid every thing that may tend to dishonour his holy name and ways.-I A fon honoureth his father :--- if then I be a Father, where is mine honour ? ---As our Father, we are to apply to him for what we want. Whither should children go, but to their father, for protection, help and relief in every danger, difficulty and distress ? --- And (4.) we must trust his Power and Wisdom, and paternal
Goodness, * Ifai, lxiv. 8.
+ Gal. iii, 26. Mal, i. 6.