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“Like him, how many could we make the search,
Who, while they hate the gospel, love the Church 1”

So that we may argue, as Cicero did in the case of Clodius, and such enemies of his country, Those whom the laws of Rome condemn to banishment, are really exiles, though they do not stir one foot out of the country. So those ministers, whom the laws of Christianity remove out of the sacred office, are in truth destitute of all authority from Christ, how presuming soever they may be to act in his name. A person being in a place will not give him a right to be there, when in the due execution of established laws he ought to be elsewhere. Some may probably object, and say, Who was a worse man than Judas, whom yet the omniscient Jesus admitted into the ministry P Judas was indeed joined in commission with the rest of the apostles; but then, it is deserving of our particular attention, he continued no longer in this ministry than while his wickedness was speculative, and in his heart. As soon as his inward dispositions and sentiments became notorious in his outward actions, he was degraded from his office; he “fell from his ministry,” not by death, but “by his transgression.” As a minister of loose morals has no commission from Christ, so he is unworthy of any countenance from the church. It cannot be expected that he can be well affected to the cause of religion, that he will faithfully declare it to others, and press its important truths home on their conscience: no, for its doctrines being “according to godliness,” are decidedly against his conduct. Every argument for a holy and virtuous life, is a reproach to his own behaviour; and therefore, he will, as much as possible, avoid every thing of the kind. He who can flatter and deceive his own soul, who can palliate and excuse his own sins, will undoubtedly make no scruple to do the same by those of his hearers. Now in such circumstances as these, what people can make themselves easy P What must be the feelings of parents, who have a sincere wish for the preservation and welfare of their children? What must be the anxieties of those who have the care of youth, being in a great measure amenable to parents and guardians for the rectitude of their conduct while at school P. When vice is sanctioned by persons of learning, and high in office, the foundation of good morals seems to be destroyed. To whom are the people to look for practical religion, if not to their ministers, who by their character and work are bound to exhibit a fair example P If any of this order of men are regardless how they behave, they must be equally void of the fear of God, and all concern for the purity of religious worship. Christians ought also seriously to eonsider, that they cannot reasonably expect the Divine blessing to attend the labours of such ministers. In this point also, the Scriptures will be our guide. Under the Jewish dispensation, concerning wicked ministers, God says, “They shall not prosper;” which certainly intimates, that he will not use them as the instruments of his grace and blessing. Nay, he expressly says, “They shall not profit this people at all;” words too plain to require any comment. Under the Christian dispensation our Saviour is no less clear, when he cautions against false prophets, stating, that we may “judge of them by their fruits;” adding, that we may as well expect to gather “grapes of thorns,” and “figs of thistles,” as to receive spiritual benefit from a carnal ministry. Yet we are not to suppose, that the efficacy of religious ordinances depends solely on the sanctity of those who administer them; but that it will be suspended, as well for the personal fault of the people in countenancing and adhering to such enemies of the cross of Christ, as it would not comport with the rectitude and honour of the Supreme Being, to promote his gracious designs by such immoral instruments. Some objectors may press the direction given to them by our Saviour into their service, where he addresses the multitude, and his disciples, saying, “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; all, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not after their works, for they say and do not.” They may affirm, that here our Saviour authorises his disciples to attend on the ministry of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were bad men, and to observe their doctrine, but warns them not to imitate their base conduct. The best answer to this objection, will be giving the true sense of these words. Surely our Saviour's meaning cannot be, as if he had said, Mind what doctrines these wicked ministers preach, but not their actions how they live; for this sense would not be consistent with the frequent cautions he gives his disciples to guard them against the injurious effects produced by their doctrine. He says, “Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Then understood” his disciples, “that he bade them beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees.” Speaking of their doctrine to them, he says, “Ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” s

Hence it is evident, that he did not recommend the doctrine of the Pharisees to his disciples. Concerning the “seat of Moses,” it was the seat of justice, in which he acted as a civil magistrate. Moses was not an ecclesiastical person, and, on the supposition that he was so, by his “seat” cannot be meant the pulpit. The Jewish form of government was originally a theocracy, which might seem to infer, that their civil and ecclesiastical policy were one: but then we ought to consider, that this form ceased when the kingdom became hereditary, and then there ensued as remarkable a difference between civil and religious matters, as in other nations. Nay, while the theocracy subsisted, there was an obvious distinction of their civil courts, as will appear, whether we consider their origin, or the persons who presided in them. They were first instituted on the advice of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, in the wilderness; and, probably, the existence of the great Sanhedrim afterwards was the effect of this counsel; at least, the seventy who composed it, were of the number of the rulers and judges before instituted; so that here is an evident difference between these judges and the priesthood. The persons also, who sat in these courts were laymen; it is true, some priests sat on the bench of justice; yet, as Cuneus, and other writers on the Jewish republic, observe, they did not sit there in right of their priesthood, but by virtue of their election, 3S laymen did. Now, it being so, our Saviour must here be understood, to enjoin obedience to civil magistrates; as if he had said to his disciples, Though bad men happen to be in authority, yet if they give a true interpretation of the judicial laws, and impartially administer justice, do you obey them as magistrates, but do not imitate them as private men. Hence no apology

whatever can be derived from these words, for sanctioning immoral ministers. We might add the judgment of the primitive fathers of the Christian church, and the opinions of modern divines; but we shall only mention the sentiments of Bishop Bull, given in a visitation sermon. This able prelate says, “That presbyter who is not clothed with righteousness, though otherwise richly adorned with all the ornaments of human and divine literature, is yet but a naked, beggarly, despicable creature, of no authority, no interest, no use, or service in the church of God.” Ministers under the gospel dispensation, should endeavour to have their peculiar glory shining forth in their hearts and lives; what the high-priest under the law wore in his crown as his motto, mn-, wrip Kodesh Layhovah, HoliNEss To THE LoRD.” AUTHoRITY.—The sacred office has frequently been abused, by ministers assuming a power which never was delegated to them from heaven. Their authority is only ministerial and directive, not legislative and coercive; they have no dominion over the faith of their hearers. Nay, the apostles, those extraordinary ministers of Christ, disclaimed all pretensions of that kind. The people are under no obligation to receive with a blind submission whatever ministers may deliver to them, however august their appearance, or high and established their reputation; but, on the contrary, they have an inalienable right to try their doctrines by the infallible rule of the word of God. This right the noble Bereans claimed and exercised, even when St. Paul was their preacher, who brought with him credentials of apostolic authority. Directions to this purpose are given in the Holy Scriptures: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light

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