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God, had an Aversion to all Governors but what were
, as of the Jewish. That Christianity meddled not with any Civil Powers; and that Chris tians of all sorts ought to be obedient to the Constitutions of the several Countries they liv'd in, out of a Principle of Duty and Conscience. Then he returns to his Exhortations to Christian Charity, and mutual Love; to Purity, Peaceableness, and Sobriety, as the
essential Duties of the Gospel Religion. A. D. 57: "LET every soul Must give the Jewish Con
be subject unto verts a necessary and partithe higher powers. cular Caution against a Prejudice For there is no power they [many of them, at least, but of God: the may] labour under with respect powers that be, are ordained of God.
to the civil Government in which they live. Thoy are still apt to
be possessed with the Jewish Notion, * That God alone A. D. 57. is their Lord and Governor, as his peculiar People ; are loth to acknowledge any heathen Power, or own any Prince that is not of their own Nation, and of God's Special Appointment. But let them know, that God confines himself to no such Measures, even with his own Church and People. Government, or the supreme legislative Power, is the Ordinance of God, in every Country as well as in the Jewish Land; and as it was the Hand of Providence that subjected you to the Roman Power, neither your Jewish nor Christian + Privilege exempts any of you in the least from a due Obedience to it.
2. Whosoever there- 2. Heatben Governments, I say, fore refifteth the pow- 'are as much the Ordinance of er, resisteth the ordi- God, for the Peace and Order of nance of God: and their several Kingdoms or States, they that refift, thall
as ever the Jewis one was. The receive to themselves Christian Religion meddles with damnation.
none of their Powers; and whatever Christian opposes the supreme Authority of the Country he lives in, opposes the Authority of God, the Fountain and Original of all Order and Government, and must expect the Punishment due to so capital a Crime.
3. For rulers are 3. And 'tis very fit he should, not a terror to good because all civil Governments works, but to the evil. whatever are intended of God Wilt
Any READER that does but look on Mattb. xxii. 17. or could read the Jewis Talmud, or even the innumerable Passages in Jofepbus's Hiftory, and compares them with the main Scope of the Apostle in this Epistle, can, I think, have no Doubt remaining, that this Paraphrase includes all that St. Paul intended with relation to Obedience to civil Government. See Josephus Antiq. Lib. XVIII. Cap. 1, 2. And De Bel. Jud. Lib. II. Cap. 12. XX. Antiq. Cap. 6, 7. De Bel. Jud. Lib. II. Cap. 23. IV. 10, 11, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 30, 35. and VII. 30, 34, 35, 37. Whence 'tis plain, the Rise of this wicked Principle was from Judas of Galilee, who by his Insurrection had so highly provoked the Roman Government.
+ Ver. 1. não fugen, Every Soul, emphatically Jewis as well as Gentile Convert.
A. D. 57. Wilt thou then not for one and the same good End, w be afraid of the pow. viz. Defending the Community
er? Do that which is in their Rights and Properties,
good, and thou shalt and preserving the publick Peace, have praise of the by proper Laws of Restraint and same.
Penalty upon Offenders againft it. Do you therefore but live according to the Laws of Justice, and the Constitution * of the Country you inhabit, and you shall have so little Reason to have an Aversion to any Kind of Government, that you will see the very Nature of it to tend to your Encouragement and Protection. 4. For he is the mi.
4. For all Persons in whom the nister of God to thee supreme Authority is lodged, whefor good. But if thou ther they be one or many, whether do that which is evil, Jews, Gentiles, or Chriftians, are be afraid; for he bear- the Ministers and Vice-gerents of eth not the sword
in God, for the Good and Peace of vain: for he is the mi- the Communities they govern. If nister of God, a re
indeed you break the Laws, and wrath upon him that affront the Authority that made doth evil.
them, you may well fear, and
have an Aversion to their Power ; for their very Office, and the Interest of their Government, require they should take off such Offenders.
5. Wherefore ye must 5. Wherefore as God is equalneeds be subject, not ly the Fountain of all Sorts of only for wrath, but al- Governments, and your Christian so for conscience sake. Religion leaves them all in every Part of the World as it found them, you ought all to live peaceably under those Constitutions you are at any Time subject to, not barely out of fear of present Púnishment, (which is mere civil Obedience] but from a Principle of Conscience, and of Christian Duty (which is truly religious Obedience.]
6. For, for this cause 6. You may, perhaps, think it pay you tribute also: degrading t to God's People, to pay for
Taxes * Ver. 3. Tdayandy moin, Do that wbicb is good, i.e. obey the Laws in the lame Sense with eyatorocillas, Well-doing, in i Pet. ii
. 15. + See Josepb. Antig. Lib. XVIII. Cap. 1. and of the Jewist Wars, Lib. VII. Cap. 28.
for they are Gods mi- Taxes to Cæfar; but I tell you, A. D. 57: nifters, attending con- he has the fame Right to it that tinually upon this vé- any Jewish Governor can have,
as he is the publick Preserver of our common Rights, and by divine Providence made the Guardian of the Empire'; to the Maintenance whereof, every Subject ought to contribute his Share, as a Member of it *. 7. Render therefore 7. Do not therefore look
upon to all their dues : tri- Tribute as a Reproach upon your bute to whom tribute Nation, but pay it chearfully as à is due,custom to whom juft and legal Due; honour and cuftom, fear to whom respect the Government you live fear, honour to whoín under, and pay to every Magihonou:
strate and Officer employed in its his proper Reverence and Regard.
8. Owe no man a- 8. To return now to the Duay thing, but to love ties of mutual Love and Charity, one another : for he I was before exhorting you to that loveth another, (Chap. xii.) be just in discharging hath fulfilled the law: all Debts and Dues to each other as far as poffibly you can. Only remember, Love is a Debt that will last you your whole Lives, a Bond that will remain in force to your Dying-day, as being a Duty that includes all the Commands of the second Table of the Law.
9. For this, Thou 9. For those Prohibitions against fhalt not commit a. Uncleanness, Killing, Stealing, Dedultery, Thou shalt famation, and false Evidence, and not kill, Thou shalt 'all Precepts whatever, relating to not feal, Thou shalt the Rights of our Neighbour, are not bear false witness, all included in that of loving, or Thou shalt not covet ; and if there be any o
doing to others as we would be ther commandment, it done by. is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10. Love Note, Thele Jewish Zealots also might have convinced themselves of the Error of their Opinion in this Matter, even out of their own Writings, as Prov. viii. 15. Dan. ii. 22. Ecclef. xvii. 17. Deus. xxxii. 8. Wild, vi 1, 2, 3, 4, Ifai. xliv. 28.
A. D. 57. 10. Love worketh no 10. For as this Duty restrains
ill to his neighb ur: a Man from every Injury, and therefore love is the obliges him to all good Offices fulfilliag of the law.
to others, that fairly lie in his Power; it is the Sum total of all the Laws that respect our Neighbour.
II. And that, know. 11. Which are such essential ing the time, that now Duties of your Christian Profesit is high time to a- fion, as ought to be your first and wake out of fleep: for immediate Care, especially when now is our Glvation nearer than when we of your first Conversion, every
consider that from the Time
Day will lefsen and diminish the Obstacles you meet withal, and bring you nearer to your expected Happiness and Salvation.
12. The night is 12. You Gentile Converts ought far spent, the day is at particularly to reflect on yourhand: let us therefore felves, as delivered from the dark caft off the works of Estate of Ignorance and Idolatry; darkness, and let us brought into the happy Light of put on the armour of
true Religion, and so immediatelight.
ly and indispensably obliged to renounce all your former shameful and heathenith Practic ces, and live up to the pure and excellent Rules of your holy Profession. 13. Let us walk ho
13. To behave yourselves in nestly as in the day; such a sober, decent, and prudent not in rioting and Manner, as that your Actions may drunkenness, not in be seen by any Body without Ofchambering and wan
fence or Reproach ; no longer intonness, not in ftrife and envying.
dulging any intemperate, lewd,
or wanton Conversation among your former heathen Acquaintances, nor any Strife or Envy against any of your Christian Brethren.
14. But put ye on 14. But as Men are commonly the Lord Jesus Christ, known by the Garments they and make not provisi wear, so do you endeavour to dion for the flesh, to ftinguish yourselves as the true fulfil the lufts tbererf. Disciples of Jesus Christ, no longer striving after the unnecessary Riches and Goods of the present Life, which serve only as so much fewei to our bodily Lufts and sinful Passions,