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though neither infallible nor always upright, they are nevertheless much more a good than an evil.

“ When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice; but when the wicked bear rule the people mourn.” Nevertheless, whether the

or the other be appointed rulers, the duties of the people remain unchanged ; loyalty is still due from them; and to rebel against their prince is to rebel against their God. The wicked ruler is of divine appointment as well as the good; the former may be intended as a scourge, the latter as a blessing ;-in either case our duties are the same.

Let me not however be understood to extend the doctrine of obedience to rulers so far, as that we are bound to submit to any unlawful command; for we can clearly never be justified in obeying, and consequently can be under no moral obligation to obey, the commands of any King upon earth, where they stand directly opposed to the commands of the King of heaven. On the contrary, we are morally bound to resist them : this resistance may nevertheless be made without open violence; and it becomes positively criminal when so made as to encourage rebellion, or aggravate popular excitement.

We are to remember that in no instance whatever can the natural right, which belongs to every man to refuse to do wrong, justify a breach of the national laws. If however the Sovereign should usurp an authority with which the laws of the constitution, over which he presides, do not invest him, we should certainly be absolved from our obedience to him in whatever is a violation of that constitution, and in this case disobedience could be no rebellion, since any assumption of unauthorized authority can neither be “ ordained of God” nor sanctioned by Him; and we could not, under any circumstances, be religiously bound to submit to the mere arbitrary requisitions of man. We might refuse obedience to the man, though we could not do so to the King; for where he commands us to act contrary to the laws, it is no longer the King that commands us, but the man, his sovereign jurisdiction not extending beyond the sanctions of the laws; and where there is no rightful jurisdcition there can be no rightful dominion. So that no ruler can oblige us to do wrong, neither can we possibly err by offering implicit submission to all legal supremacy.

The natural liberty of all God's reasonable creatures, the liberty of choosing between right and wrong, is universally secured to them. Laws are every where framed as well to direct the Prince as to govern the subject, and therefore even to obey a King in opposition to the laws of the land, would be to violate the ordinances of God, since these are among the

powers, as expressed by the Apostle, which are ordained of God."

Having dwelt so long upon the moral and religious obligation of submission to rulers, I may now be permitted to say a few words


their duties towards those over whom they are appointed to preside. In proportion as the authority of the Sovereign is great will be the guilt of violating it. The trust reposed in him is one of the most sacred responsibility, and he is answerable to the great Governor of the universe for the manner in which that trust is exercised. He has no more right to be arbitrary than the subject has to rebel; and if by an undue exercise of power he has been the cause of exciting rebellion, he will justly share the guilt of those whom he has provoked to transgress. His high station does not exempt him from the moral obligations which exist between man and man.

Besides, let us a moment consider where lies the greatest debt of obligation in the King towards his subjects, or in his subjects towards their King? It is the people that give authority to the Sovereign. If they deserted him, where were his power? If they refused him homage, where were his regality ? His duty then to the subject is as paramount as the duty of the subject towards him. He is no more exempt from performing the duties of his station with integrity than the meanest beggar in his dominions.

His integrity is his people's right. If he withhold it, he is a public robber. The civil obligations of the King are, politically considered, in an inverse ratio to the civil obligations of the subject. His apply to the whole multitude, theirs to the individual. His obligations are consequently the more important, and in proportion to their importance will be his guilt in neglecting or refusing to perform them.

If the scriptures inculcate submission from citizens, they also inculcate justice from Princes. If God demands that the people should be obedient, he also demands that the monarch should be just. The right of sovereignty does not include the right of tyranny. The people have a common property in their sovereign's justice. They have as strong a claim to his love as he has to theirs. The claims of King and subject are strictly reciprocal. “In the multitude of people,” says Solomon, “is the King's honour, but in the want of people is the destruction of the Prince ;" it must then clearly be his duty to unite them in the bond of peace and love, rather than disperse them by severity and injustice. “He who made a law for the rain, and

gave his decree to the sea, that the water should not pass his commandment,” has also sanctioned those laws which human prudence has devised for the better regulation of society, and for the general welfare of mankind. As therefore the importance of those laws is great, so also is the responsibility of such as are appointed guardians over them. They are the representatives of the monarch, and as such he is responsible to the people for their integrity, so that it behoves him to be careful whom he appoints to offices of trust in the state over which he presides. Magistrates are elected for the good of the people, these have, consequently, as great a right to abroad the impartial administration of justice at their hands, as the magistrate has to demand obedience. The right is mutual ; still, as I have before said, where this right is infringed, either on the part of the ruler or his delegate, it does not justify a breach of the law on the part of the subject.

Every magistrate should remember that he is entrusted with a sacred commission, and that the conscientious discharge of the duties which belong to him is a holy and imperative obligation. As he is endued with very extensive power, he has the means of being either greatly beneficial or greatly detrimental to those over whom he is appointed to preside. All the official good he can do, they have an absolute claim upon him for; all the official evil he does is a positive injustice to them. He is the servant of the state, that is, of the community which compose the state, and although, therefore, he

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