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in an organized manner, under a government, whether domestic, social, civil, or sacred; all, when carefully considered, present that relation of intimate resemblance which the Scriptures disclose—and that relation of creation and dependence of the second, and of ordination of the third, which the Scriptures declare. This seems to us a most remarkable concatenation; a singular and most intimate proof-lying in the nature of God, of man, and of society, that the primary relations of the whole subject we are discussing are essentially moral and . religious; a clear and complete explanation why the sacred Scriptures should treat so expressly and in such various ways, of those civil and political duties and relations, which are so often treated by men as if they were merely fortuitous, or depended wholly on human caprice. Remove from the sphere of human affairs, the notion of these divine attributes of which we have spoken, and what rational basis is left for human society or government — what support for them in human nature—what origin of their enormous powers—even unto life and death, and what authority for the exercise of them? On the other hand, what hope is there for personal freedom, if we give up the notion that magistrates are responsible to an infinite power for the exercise of their office; what hope of public security, where no divine will is recognized as paramount in the affairs of states and nations; what hope of the progress of society, where the light of divine intelligence is excluded? And where liberty, security, and progress are theoretically excluded, and practically impossible, we have that horrible consummation of organized wickedness and wretchedness, which it is a mockery to call human societyand impious to treat as the ordinance of God.
It is easy to understand, therefore, how, what was once a true church of God, may, by desperate and persistent apostacy, become a synagogue of Satan; and the sacred Scriptures declare to us, not only the terrible fact, but the manner in which it occurs. It is equally easy to understand, how states, once highly blessed of God, may forfeit his favor and protection, and be utterly destroyed; and, in effect, the wreck of subverted kingdoms lie thickly along the whole course of the past, and the word of God explains with great clearness the causes of all this ruin—and the particular circumstances of a
very large part of it. And the sum of all is the most thorough and absolute confutation of every notion, every principle, every allegation that tends to the exclusion of God, and morality, and religion, from the idea of the nature, the existence, and the organic action of human society and government; or that tends to exclude the idea of duty to God, to ourselves, and to each other, in its highest moral and religious sense, in the whole conduct of the citizen, considered as such. It is, of course, impossible even for the most elaborate treatises, to discuss and settle, in advance, all the possible contingencies incident to human actions, and all the difficulties that may arise under any line of duty: but to do so would be useless, even if it were possible, as soon as we perceive that all our actions—including those we perform as citizens, come under the idea of duty,—and perceive, further, that we have, in the sacred Scriptures, a rule of all duty at once divine and infallible. And, moreover, in proportion as our duties, from their very nature, become such, that their performance can not be adequately enforced by any outward authority—as, for example, love to God, gratitude to parents, loyalty to the commonwealth, and the like; as soon as we repudiate the only rule of their complete performance which can reach and control the conscience, we, in fact, repudiate the duty itself, and render its adequate performance by us impossible. When we consider how low is the average intelligence of mankind in their natural state, how weak are their moral sensibilities, how erroneous their moral judgments are apt to be, it is easy to see what we are to expect from them as citizens, when they are made to believe that their natural reason and impulses are their only guide in all their conduct as citizens; and easy also to see, how terrible is the responsibility of those religious teachers, who having first betrayed the interests committed to their hands as ministers of God, eagerly urge forward the ruin of their country. If the professed followers of Christ throughout the United States, had been carefully taught, and had well understood and faithfully performed, their duties, as citizens, we suppose it is perfectly certain that the long continued mutual insults and injuries of the extreme sections and factions against each other, and the opposite preposterous claims they set up, could never have become more serious than as merely local fanaticisms; and that this nation, instead of being drenched in blood, would be now running the glorious career which God had set before it. If the professed ministers of God throughout the United States, had, as a body, proved faithful to their sacred obligations, and had firmly resisted the origin and growth and explosion of the godless fanaticisms, North and South, which are now rioting on the vitals of the nation; no one, we think, can doubt that a moral influence, so great, so pure, and so widely diffused, would have been owned and blessed of God-to the effectual curbing of those frantic impulses, under whose frightful power so large a portion of the American people seem to have lost all just conception of their responsibility to God for their conduct to each other, or to their common country, or to those glorious institutions which they all once professed to revere. And what can be said that will enable posterity to estimate, justly, the race of party leaders, and professional politicians, and self-seeking heads of factions who, during a long course of years, have habitually trified with the destiny of this great nation, and sedulously nourished every popular misconception that promoted them, and carefully exasperated every dangerous impulse of the people that gave them notoriety? The whirlwind is upon us in all its fury, and who is competent to save us now? This, at least, is a stern consolation—that they who raised it, will perish in it. And this is a solace more becoming to men worthy to save their country, that the time is not yet passed wherein they may settle and proclaim the true and eternal principles on which alone they may look for the divine favor; and, planting themselves there, commit to other ages their justification if they fail; and if they succeed, restore with sublime faith and truth-not another, but the same Union and Constitution. It is by such men alone that we hope for deliverance. It is one set of those everlasting principles that we are now striving to make plain.
God does not leave any of his great designs concerning us, which he desires us to understand, in any obscurity. Purposing to use our race for the accomplishment of objects which exceed the individual powers of man; he creates those subtile and apparently imperishable bonds of race-whereby the whole human family lies under his providence, in a few enormous masses, each mass capable of a distinct and separate use; and he explains, in his blessed Word, the origin and career of each grand division, and of most of the important subdivisions. Then he ordains and establishes and uses, in the course of his providence, that organization which we call state, kingdom, empire, commonwealth; narrating in his Word the career of the chief of them, that existed from the beginning of time to the close of the sacred canon; and recording, in the most explicit terms, his relation to all authorized human government, its relations and duties to its citizens, and their duties toward it. To adduce direct proof of these last statements, we will take some of those made by the Apostle Paul to those whom he calls the beloved of God, called to be saints, in Rome-nay in the very palace, and of the housebold of Cæsar, as we learn from another of his epistles, certain of them were. Nothing could give greater emphasis to the doctrine taught, than the circumstances of this utterance of it. It is a Jew of the highest standing, of the strictest secta Hebrew of the Hebrews, who speaks; one of the most enlightened of that wonderful race, whose nationality has survived all that has destroyed every other—and which alone of all the races of the Old World-had, from its origin, the knowledge of the true God and of eternal life. But he was, moreover, in the fallen estate of his own people, by birthright, as he declares, a Roman citizen, and that of no mean city-at the period of the highest grandeur of Rome, when the shadow of her glory and the weight of her power covered the whole earth. And more than all, he was a servant and an apostle of the Divine Redeemer, invested with power, authority and fitness, to take down the outward fabric of the church of God in its Jewish form, and to put it up in its Christian form; and to make known to it, and through it, to all generations, the will of God for the guidance of mankind. God condescends to our weakness and perversity in thus conditioning the plain and authoritative declaration of his will concerning us, in a matter so vital at once to our interests and our duties. And bis inspired servant, gathering up the very essence of all past atterances of God on the subject; and deciding of necessity what were then the law of God and the duty of the creature throughout the Roman world, that is throughout the earth,
when he decided what they were at Rome; proclaimed, in the words we are about to quote—with which all Scripture agreesthe rule by which God requires human actions to be regulated, and human belief to be guided, to the end of time:
Rom. xiii : .1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be, are ordained of God. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. 8. Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to wake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
This doctrine and these commandments come to us with absolute certainty, and with infinite authority: and they determine with the utmost precision the relation of God to society and government, and the mutual duties of the magistrate and the citizen. Besides the one sacred kingdom of Messiah, of which God is, in a most special sense, the author—there are and have been other kingdoms, nearly without number, in this world. These kingdoms, by means of which human society, which is an ordinance of God, has been manifested under a great variety of aspects, are themselves all ordained of God. This is declared to be true both in the abstract and in the concrete. There is no power but of God: the foundations of human society and government-are the boundless intelligence, the infinite will, and the almighty power of God. Moreover, the possible functions of society, put forth