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recommended to us by the churches, or by our brethren in the faith.
Injury or oppression of guests or strangers was forbidden by various
Opposed to this is inhospitality. Deut. xxvii. 19 cursed be he
PUBLIC DUTIEs TowARDs our NEIGHBOUR.
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Hrthento we have treated of the private duties of man towards his
Under political duties are comprehended the obligations of the
THE DUTIEs of THE MAGISTRATE To THE PEOPLE are described
jor Jehovah, who is with you in the judgement. Psal. lxxii. 2. he shall
judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgement. lxxv.2.
when I shall receive the congregation, I will judge uprightly. lxxxii. 3.
In the matter of reward and punishment. Psal. ci. 4, &c. a fro-
The right of the magistrate as regards the sword. Gen. ix. 6.
whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Job xii. 18.
he looseth the bond of kings. Psal. lxxv. 6. promotion cometh neither
jrom the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. Prov. viii. 15, 16.
by me kings reign. Dan. ii. 21. he changeth the times and the seasons. iv. 17. that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men. v. 18–20. the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, &c....... but when his heart was lifted up...... he was deposed from his kingly throne. Rom. xiii. 1, &c. let every soul be subject unto the higher powers ...... Jor he beareth not the sword in vain ; if therefore not in vain, much less for the injury of the good.” I Pet. ii. 13, 14. as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers.
Of the election of magistrates, see Exod. xviii. 21. thou shalt pro
wide out of all the people able men, ...... and place such over them. Numb. xi. 16, 17, 25. gather unto me seventy men—. Deut. i. 13, &c. take you wise men and understanding—. 1 Sam. xi. 15. compared with
xii. 1. all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king...... behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. 2 Sam. ii. 4. the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
The following texts show what is contrary to the duties of the magistrate. Psal. xxvi. 10, their right hand is full of bribes. xciv. 20. shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee ? Prov. xvii. 23. a wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgement. xxi. 7. they refuse to do judgement. xxviii. 15, 16. as a roaring lion and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. xxix. 4. he that receiveth gifts overthroweth the land. v. 12. if a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. Eccles. iv. 13. better is a poor and wise child, than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished. x. 5, 6. there is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error, which proceedeth from the ruler; folly is set in great dignity—. v. 16, 17. woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning. Isai. i. 23, thy princes are rebellious and companions of thieves, every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards, they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. iii. 4. I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. v. 12. as for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. v. 14. Jehovah will enter into judgement with the ancients of his people—. v. 23. which justify the wicked for reward. x. 12. I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria. Ezek. xxix. 3. behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, &c. Amos v. 7. ye who turn judgement to wormwood—. See also vi. 12. Micah iii. 11. the heads thereof judge for reward—. vii. 3. the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward.
* “Definiendo enim explicat, nequis errare et opiniones hinc stolidas aucupari possit, qui sint magistratus potestatis hujus ministri, et quam ob causam subjectos esse nos hortetur; ‘Magistratus non sunt timori bonis operibus, sed malis; boni a potestate hac laudem adipiscentur; magistratus minister est Dei nostro bono datus; non frustra gladium gerit, vindex ad iram ei qui malum facit.” Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. Prose Works, V. 87.
The licentiousness of courts is exposed, Gen. xii. 15, the princes
also of Pharaoh saw her and commended her before Pharaoh. Prov. xxv. 5. take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. 2 Chron. xxiv. 17. after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, &c. Isai. xxii. 15, 16. get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, &c. 1 Kings xxi. 7. Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel?. Esth. iii. 6. he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone—. v. 9. if it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed. Dan. vi. 7. all the presidents of the kingdom ...... have consulted together to make a royal decree—.
It is especially the duty of the magistrate to encourage religion and the service of God (public worship in particular), and to reverence the church. Isai. xlix. 23. kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet. That the church, however, does not stand in need of the superintendence of the magistrate, but that, if left in peace, she is fully qualified, in the exercise