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“ promise) that we should believe on the Name of “ his Son Jesus Christ ;” John iii. 23. because the Lord, in the free tender of mercy, declares his willingness to fulfil the promise, in your experience ; because all other methods for acquiring the exercises represented, than by virtue of the free promise, will be vain ; and, because your not believing will issue in your ruin, and leave your blood upon your own heads.
I TIM. Ü. 1, 2. I exhort therefore, that first of all, fupplications, prayers, interceffions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men ; For kings and all that are in autbority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
HE acceslion of GEORGE III. to the British
throne, is the reason why we have pitched on these words, as a proper subject of your prefent attention. The relation between kings and fub. jects being mutual, the duties of that relation must be no less so. Those incumbent on the fovereigna will possibly be recomended by such public teachers as are more immediately introsted the care of his soul. These binding upon the subjects, should,
by their respective pastors, be no less reprefented and inforced. As, therefore, your instruction becomes more immediately our province, it is hoped we will be forgiven, in the present Essay, through giace, to point out the new duties, which, to us, arise from this new relation. Nor, in doing so, can the servants of Christ be said to Ride from their proper sphere, since the apostle of the Gentiles, in this letter to an eminent minister of the gospel, gave it so particularly in charge. And if it was the duty of pastors fo to teach, and of Christians to practise, when kings and thofe in authority were mostly Heathens, what a forcible argument to it must necefíarily arise from the important confideration of our king, and those now in authority, being, by profeffion at least, Christians.
Though the letter is addrest to Timothy alone, you'll easily fee, that the duties in our text were not recommended as incumbent exclusively on him ; but as equally and indispensibly binding upon all to whom the knowlege of this Epistle should come. Without any critical remark upon the words at all, this conclusion might be justly formed; but it will appear with greater evidence, if it's observed, that the huper pantoon may be rendered of ali men, as well as for them. In that point of light, the aniversal obligation of those duties will bear no dispute, Paul being, thereby, represented as exhorting all men, to make fupplication, prayers, intereessions, and giving of thanks, for kings, and for all that are in authority.
Besides, if the benefits arifing from a well constituted government, are diffufed through all the different orders of men, it muít follow, by a most natural consequence, that the proper returns of duty, should, from all quarters, terminate in such governors.
If this appears to be the cafe, from the light of nature itself, can the consequence, with any tolerable grace, be denied, -when the authority of a divine revelation is put into the scale? There, as a duty to the Prince of the kings of the earth, Christians are enjoined to comply with the design of this text..
The nature and importance of the duties under view, are vastly miltaken, if men confider them as appendages only to the Christian practice, what may be neglected with impunity, or Nightly dif charged with approbation ; for our inspired author, in his exhortation to Timothy, fets them on the very front, makes them lead the van, and, by, calling for the performance of them first of all, insinuates, that, in the estimate of heaven, they are duties of the highest consequence, and cannot be neglected, nor performed with indifference, but at the peril, the highest peril, of the unhapy delinquent,
The different terms used, by our apostle, in expressing this comprehensive duty, ferve to showthe great extent, as well as necessity of it,
Supplications may imply the deprecation of evil, penal, moral, and natural. Deprecatiog penal evils respects deliverance from the guilt of fin, and from all the wrath incurred by it, due to it, and confequent upon it, whether as to soul or body, as to time or eternity. Moral evil consists in the discon. formity of the heart and practice to the image and law of God, in the pollution and dominion of fin, in what renders men unlike God, unmeet for enjoying, incapable of serving him; and deprecation, in that view, has the removal of that evil as its proper subject. Natural evil, again, which may only be deprecated, in as far, as to infinite wisdom and goodness seems beft, takes in all the afflictions and disasters of life, all that is paining to the body, a that is perplexing to the mind, all that is diftrefling
in a personal or relational regard, and, in one word, ic takes in adversity in its whole breadth and length, under whatever colour, of whatever kind, to whatever degree, for whatever duration, and with whatever circumstances, common or peculiar, known or unknown, it may be attended.
Prayers may imply the more direct exercise of, imploring or petitioning ;--which is fo extenfive, according to their circumstances whom it respects, that we cannot possibly candescend on all the particulars of it.---- All special and spiritual blessings; all purchased and promised good; all common and distinguishing favour; all outward and inward profperity; all personal, stational, and relational mercies; grace here, glory hereafter, and every good. thing ;-all these are comprehended in the fubject of prayer. Without excluding those for temporal benefits, petitions for benefits of a faving kind, feem, from the following context, to have been more especially in the apostle's eye ; where we are told, as an argument for inforcing this exhortation, that God “will have all men," i. e. men of all forts, kings, and those in authority not excepted, “ be saved, and to come to the knowlege of the " truth,” verf. 4. If we take up the matter ią this point of light, then, prayer is to be made, more particularly, for converting, renewing, persevering grace ; for light and life ; love and liberty; peace and pardon ; access and acceptance; spiritual riches and righteousness; furniture for work and warfare ; ftrength and comfort; sealing and establishing influences; with whatever else may be wrapped up in the bosom of the gospel-salvation, as enjoyed or expected by the heirs of promise.
Inter ceffions may be applied, with equal justice, to deprecation or petition, that term signifying pro. perly the interpofition of one person for another.