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"for kings and

"thanks for all men," in general, eminent perfons" in particular.

If the making, the interpreting, and carrying into execution the laws, belong to them, does it not, at once, appear, how much is in their power, to render the Chriftian's life quiet and peaceable; to give him no temptation to ungodlinefs, by perfecution; nor to dishonesty, by oppreffion? Whence, the propriety of the mean recommended in our text, for reaching the end mentioned by the apoftle, is fo obvious, that he who runs may read.

But, on this part of the fubject, we will not now enlarge. From what obfervations have been made, the following conclufions will appear to be natural and easy.

That, when men ly under no temptations from the feverity of laws, or rigour in thofe who carry them into execution, to the practice of ungodliness or dishonesty, their giving indulgence to the one or the other, must be a heinous aggravation of the crime. Aggravation of it, we fay, because fuch a practice would be criminal in any, whatever fituation; but if fo,-where godlinefs cannot be profeffed, unless at the peril of life and liberty; nor honesty cultivated, unlefs at the rifque of poverty and want; what must be the crimson hue, and what the scarlet dye of thefe offences, where no fuch temptations, from the government, or our governors, fall in our way?

Temptations, did I fay, from the government, or our governors, to the practice of ungoodlinefs or difhonefty? The reverse, my bretheren, of this, is the delightful truth; for, toward the fuppreffion of wickednefs and immorality of all kinds, we have many falutary laws; though it must be confeffed, to whofe ignominy every one must fee, that in the execution of them there has been a last

ing, perhaps, an univerfal,defect. That reproach, however, bids fair to be foon wiped away, fince, by a recent proclamation from the throne, the carrying of thofe laws into immediate execution, against all-offenders without diftinction, is exprefsly commanded; and commanded, as the executors of the law fhall be answerable to their royal master.


In place, therefore, of our lying under any temptation to such ignoble and diffolute practices, the temptation is happily thrown, by our sovereign, into the oppofite fcale.

That under the prefent government, diftinguished for mildaefs and forbearance, if men lead not a quiet and peaceable life, it must be accounted for from another caufe; their own turbulent fpirits, namely, with a ftupid ingratitude for liberties and privileges, the acquiring whereof coft our fathers fo much blood and treasure. And if the caufe arifes from themselves, it is their own faults, and they alone fhall bear it, if timeous reformation intervene not.

That our dear young king should have a conftant and particular fhare in our concern before God. Tho', as to fome, the indifpenfible nature of this duty may have never occurred before, as it appears now, to demonftration, from our text, let none be fo hardy, none fo difobedient, as continue in the neglect, or practical contempt of it. Imagine it not enough to join in the public prayers for him, and thofe in authority; but carry the petitions and fupplications with you, in your family and perfonal ap proaches to God. With what confidence can you expect he will be made a bleffing to you, if you are not, though exprefsly enjoined, at the pains to afk it? Shall he take the weight of the government upon his shoulders, and will you, in the exercife of prayer and fupplication, bear no part with


him? Would there, let the prayerlefs fay, in the event of our great hopes becoming abortive, be the least propriety in your murmurings and complaints? Let the exhortation, my brethren, on all the accounts fuggefted, be chearfully and immedi ately complied with. And may the Lord give us understanding in all things.





O R,


GALAT. V. 12.

I would they were even cut off which trouble you.


HIS letter was wrote by the apostle of the Gentiles, and addressed to the churches of Galatia. The date of it is uncertain; and, therefore, the opinions of the learned, concerning that circumftance, are various. Paul, here, had two ends, particularly, in view: one, the reproof of the Galatians, for receiving doctrines fubver five of the gospel which he had preached amongst them; the other, the vindication of his own character and authority, as an apoftle of Chrift, which the Judaifing teachers had endeavoured to undermine. Having difcuffed both these, our apostle warmly exhorted his correfpondents, to ftedfaftnefs and perfeverance in the perfuafion of gospel truths; the enjoyment

* This fermon was preached on the 8th of April, 1762; at the admiffion of the Rev. Mr. Alexander Moodie, to the parish of Riccarton.

enjoyment of gospel privileges; and the perfor mance of every fcriptural duty.

Though the apoftle faw caufe for adminiftering the sharpeft rebukes to thefe churches, for giving heed to falfe, anti christian teachers; he, by no means, thought the teachers themselves inculpable, nor meant that they fhould be unpunished: on the contrary, he found fault with them once, again, and again, chap, i. 7. and v. 10, 12.-With regard to the reproofs fuch teachers had exposed themselves to, Paul wrote, probably, as a prophet in the tenth verfe; "He that troubleth you shall "bear his judgment, whofoever he be :" and, in the words of our text, expreffed his wifb towards the accomplishment of that prediction or threatening. From that verfe, fome imagine the apoftle had one particular heretic in his eye: but, as they are spoke of in the plural every where else through the epiftle, we apprehend it is much more probable, that the churches of Galatia were peftered with many fuch blind, or defigning, guides.

The grand error, into which they drew the Chriftian converts, will appear in the fequel; and, therefore, we shall only row obferve, that it was, in the apostle's eflimate, ruining to fouls; and fo mif. chievous to the interefts of the gospel, as extorted, from his holy foul, a wifh, which, at first fight, would feem inconfiftent with the Chriftian gentlenefs and forbearance, fo eminently examplified in Paul's whole character at firft fight, we faid; because, in profecution of this fubject, we hope to make it appear, in how many refpects the with, under confideration, may, confiftently with a gospel meekness and benevolence, be both adopted and juftified.

Our method, through divine affiftance, fhall be,

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