Sermon – Election – 1812, Vermont

 

sermon-election-1812-vermontIsaac Beall was born in 1751. In 1801, he rose
to the pastorship of the First Baptist Church in Pawlet, Vermont, after serving
for ten years as an elder. Beall pastored the church for thirty years until
its dissolution in 1831 – he died in 1833. In this election sermon preached
before the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Legislature, Pastor Beall uses Proverbs 29:2 as his principle text. He emphasizes
the critical importance of selecting righteous rulers with which to entrust
the power of civil government; and defines “righteous” in this context as men
of natural ability, sound judgment, good hearts, well-instructed minds, integrity
and prudence. He adds that laws must be righteous, mild, and few, and there
must be a “sacred regard to the original principles” the government was founded
upon. Beall also mentions that not only must rulers be virtuous but so must
the great body of the people because “a virtuous people cannot be enslaved.”
He concludes by directly addressing Vermont’s elected officials,
challenging them to “make righteousness the basis” of their public service.


A
Sermon
Delivered Before
His Excellency Jonas Galusha, Esq.
Governor;
His Honor Paul Brigham, Esq.
Lieut. Governor,
The Honorable Council,
and
The House of Representatives,
of the
State of Vermont,
at
Montpelier,
on the
Day of General Election,
Oct. 8,1812

By Isaac Beall, Pastor of the Baptist Church of Christ in Pawlet.

Proverbs 29:2
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked
beareth rule, the people mourn.

Civil government is one of those blessing which a kind of God has seen fit to
bestow upon the lapsed family of Adam. In this present imperfect state, a people
could not long remain happy, without a civil government: to remain in such a
state of anarchy would be to remain in a state of perpetual war. To prevent
such a dire calamity, God instituted this ordinance. Rom. 13.

But as important as civil government is to the happiness of man; yet, like all
other gifts of providence its blessing can never be enjoyed, but through a just
and wise administration. God has ordained summer and winter, seedtime and harvest;
but should we neglect our relative duties, we should neither be fed nor clothed.

Though God has ordained civil government for the good of man, he has not instituted
any particular mode or form of government; but this he has left to human wisdom,
according to the different circumstances, customs and habits of different nations.

A good and well-adapted constitution is to be preferred; nevertheless, a defective
constitution, wisely administered, would be productive of greater good to the
community, than a good constitution in the hands of unrighteous administrators.

There may be such ignorance, neglect of injustice in the rulers on the one hand;
and such want of attention and submission (not to say opposition) among the
ruled on the other hand, as to render civil government rather a curse than a
blessing.

That civil power and authority might be vested in such men, under whose administration
the people might be rendered happy, seems to be the leading idea in the passage
read for consideration.

In adverting to this subject, I shall endeavor to give a short description of
those rulers, under whose administration the people rejoice. Secondly, reverse
the subject. Thirdly, a short improvement of the whole. Then close with customary
addresses.

Agreeably to the proposed method, our attention is called,

I. To the character of those rulers, under whose administration will rejoice.

Righteousness is the only qualification of a civil ruler mentioned by the inspired
penman in our text. There are some who strenuously contend that a person must
be made righteous by the imputation of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ;
or which is the same thing, he must be possessed of Christianity, or he is not
suitably qualified for civil office. Should this be granted, in order to be
confident, another thing must be granted (viz.) that is the only necessary qualification:
for when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. That religion
would be of great utility to a civil ruler will be granted; but that this is
the only, or even an essential qualification, cannot be so easily admitted.
For according to this sentiment, any man giving good evidence that he is a Christian,
however weak his intellect, might with safety be elected governor of the state
or president of the nation. A sentiment so weak and glaringly inconsistent as
to need no refutation.

It remains therefore, to be ascertained what that righteousness is which is
a characteristic of a good ruler.

As civil government is alluded to in the text, it is just and reasonable to
conclude that the righteousness there spoken of is a political righteousness,
that is, a righteous administration of the government with which they are entrusted.
To which several things are necessary. As

1. They must be men of good natural abilities, men of penetrating mind and sound
judgment. For should there be a defect in their intellect (however otherwise
qualified) they would never be able to look through the intricate affairs of
state; or attain to a consistent scheme of administration, which the good and
safety of the public calls for. Therefore, men of weak minds should never be
chosen into office by the freemen; and in case of election, they ought not to
accept: for though they may be men who possess honest dispositions of mind,
yet the great affairs of state, exceeding their natural abilities, renders it
utterly impossible for them to administer the government in righteousness. In
such a case, it would be more honorable in a man to decline, than to accept
of a place in civil government.

2. In order to a righteous administration of government, rulers must not only
have good heads, but they must have good hearts. They should possess a large
portion of philanthropy, an ardent love for their people. Love is the mainspring
of every interchange of kind offices among men. In no case has this divine principle
a more efficacious operation than when a ruler’s heart is inspired with a paternal
affection towards his subjects. To be the father of his people is the magistrate’s
dignity. This constitutes his nearest conformity to our universal Parent. This
will stimulate rulers to pursue the common happiness under the greatest difficulties
and most pressing trials. It was this that animated a Moses, inspired a David,
and fortified a Nehemiah under the most alarming trials, perplexities, and dangers,
while managing the great affairs of state. And this will give energy to the
exertions of our rulers for the prosperity and happiness of their brethren;
and make them esteem the most assiduous painful labors but reasonable and pleasant
services for the public good. That they may administer in righteousness, civil
rulers must possess a kind and benevolent affection for their people.

3. In order to a righteous administration, rulers must be men of knowledge.
Ignorant and uninformed statesmen, however strong their heads or affectionate
their hearts, can do but very little for the good and happiness of the community.
Their limited views will create local prejudices and subject them to the artifices
of interested politicians. While part of the community take undue advantages
of their ignorant mismanagement of the affairs of state, the body languished
and dwindles away for want of counsel and energy in their administration. It
is a matter of great importance that rulers become acquainted with the tempers,
capacities, views and interests of the citizens in every part of the government
by confining their labors to a small circle; and by losing the services of the
best qualified men in the state. What is more preposterous than for rulers to
exert their authority and influence for the partial interest of the territory
in their own vicinity and to make the interest of one party in the community
give way to the avarice and ambition of another party. Rulers should have enlarged
hearts and well instructed minds, capable of comprehending the characters and
interests of the citizens; and with a generous impartiality to seek the good
of the whole.

But this is not all the knowledge which is necessary and essential to a righteous
and faithful ruler.

But, 4thly they must be well instructed in the political maxims and laws of
the state in which they are to govern. The safety of a republic depends much
upon a sacred regard to the original principles of their government. When those
principles are disregarded, every right and privilege is endangered; and the
administration degenerates into tyranny and oppression. It was a peculiar qualification
in Solomon for civil government that God gave him a wise and understanding heart.
Rulers should understand the system of laws and those forms of administration
to which the people are accustomed; and conform themselves to the original principles
of their government: this will form such a line of conduct in their administration,
that the people may know what to expect from them. Thus, by wisdom and understanding
the government is established, the expectations of this community answered,
and their hearts made to rejoice.

5thly in order to a good administration of government, rulers must be controlled
in all their measures, by truth and integrity. For wisdom without integrity
will soon degenerate into cunning and artifice; by which the interest of the
community will fall to prey to those who should be their protectors. A magistrate
devoid of truth and sincerity is the snare and perdition of his subjects. All
power, therefore, should be founded in truth, both in the attainment and exercise
of it. The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue
is but for a moment. Excellent speech becometh not a fool, much less do lying
lips a prince
.

An administration founded in truth and righteousness will bear the test of scrutiny
and prove advantageous in the end: while the duplicity of deceitful politicians
will involve both rulers and ruled in perplexity and general ruin. All leading
men ought to adopt righteous measures and prosecute them with simple uniformity
and honest sincerity. It should be the first object of them who rule over
men, to be just
, to be true in their administration; not having a mysterious
system of delusion, to deceive others into their fraudulent intentions.

In order to gain the confidence of the people and cause them to rejoice in their
administration, rulers must be men upon whom they may safely depend. Without
this confidence, subjects can derive very little happiness or advantage from
civil government.

6thly Prudence is another trait in the character of a righteous ruler: necessary
at all times; but of infinite importance in our present circumstances. Knowing
that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, their councils will
be pacific and their measures conciliatory, being the most likely way to preserve
and cement the general union. The advice of Joseph to his brethren, is very
suitable at this time, and claims the particular attention of those who are
at the head of our public affairs: see that ye fall not out by the way.
Happy would it be for the community should their rulers, supreme and subordinate,
be directed by the maxims of prudence and discretion in the things of our political
peace.

The light of nature and scripture condemn such a confidence in God, and hinders
the prudent and industrious use of means for safety. At the same time, the success
of the most opposite means and best-concerted measures always supposes the divine
concurrence. Jehovah has all times and all hearts in his hand, and can so influence
our public councils as to strengthen and perpetuate the union, even as he bowed
the hearts of all the men of Judah to David, as the heart of one man
.

As in a good constitution of government there is no absolute power but that
of the laws, a reverential regard to the divine approbation will have a mighty
influence in making and execution such as are prudent and salutary. The great
ruler of the universe has not imposed his laws upon men, merely as a test of
their obedience; but as lessons to prevent their ruin and teach them how to
be happy. A model which eternalizes the benignity of those human laws which
are suggested by preventive prudence: a standard of benevolence from which subordinate
legislators should never deviate. Acting in character as the ministers of
God, for good to the people
, they will esteem it more eligible to prevent
crimes than to punish them.

It being the great end of government to secure the civil happiness of the community,
it is necessary and proper that the laws by which they consent to be governed
should be as few, clear, and easy in their application as possible. For laws
when needlessly multiplied become a vexatious and intolerable burden

The laws of Jehovah being a transcript of perfect rectitude, there can be no
reasonable objection raised against their being executed. In like manner, human
laws ought to be as righteous and mild as to interest the community in their
punctual execution, and in no instance fail of being enforced. It is necessary
to civil happiness that government be supported and respected. But this will
not be the case if good laws are evaded with impunity. What has a greater tendency
to weaken the authority of a state than to continue laws in existence, which
the powers that be cannot or care not to execute? The scripture character
of rulers is that they are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Power is grossly abused and perverted when wicked citizens are fostered and
protected by authority. God has ordained rulers to avenge the wrongs of injustice
and oppression, and the violation of sedition and rebellion. No favor or friendship,
no relation or connection with men in power, should secure the wicked from punishment.
Righteous magistrates will, by the sword of justice, suppress immorality and
every transgression of relative justice. God commands it, and faithful subjects
have a claim upon their rulers to be protected from fraud and oppression: to
have the laws executed, their persons their liberty, and their property protected
from the depredations of lawless and unprincipled men.

Such an administration as this would afford abundant matter of rejoicing among
the citizens, as it would protect their persons and property, secure their rights
and privileges; and would render them formidable to the nations of the earth.

Having thus described those righteous rulers, both as it respects their qualifications
and administrations, which are calculated to lead the community to happiness;
I proceed

II. To contrast the subject.

If people have reason to rejoice when they receive a just, righteous, and prudent
administration from the hands of their rulers, by which their independence,
rights, persons, property and character and secured; they cannot forbear to
mourn and weep when they observe in their rulers a reverse of this excellent
character.

Nothing occasions more grief to a people than to find their rulers so devoid
of all sense of justice, equity and prudence, as to frame the most pernicious
laws, which in their operation have been productive of infinite mischiefs and
the people enjoined under severe penalties to enforce them; and which, with
tolerable discernment, might have been easily foreseen. Should, therefore, a
people have the extreme misfortune to have rulers of such a description, they
could expect nothing from them but such an administration as would be the occasion
of perpetual sorrow and mourning as long as it should continue.

And hence originates that dishonor and contempt in which the rulers of a people
are sometimes holden by their subjects. When a people despise their magistrates,
contemn their government, profane the ordinance of God, and insult the ministers
of state, we are ready to consider that sometimes such conduct may be the effect
ignorance or unrighteousness in the administrators. That rulers should frame
laws notoriously unjust, deprive good citizens of their just rights, and subject
them to severe penalties, for no cause but to gratify their own evil passions,
is such a direct violation of the law of God and rights of men as must fill
every sensible heart with grief and horror.

The people have equal cause to mourn when ignorant and unrighteous men are preferred
by their rulers and distinguished by their special favors. In times of such
degeneracy, wicked and designing men obtain promotion; and sometimes such persons
are entrusted with the more important concerns of the public who never possessed
ability and economy enough to manage their own. Hence the public are deprived
of the abilities of such who are persons of the best understanding and judgment.
When the wicked are exalted, the righteous are hidden. Flatterers and
parasites are the men who find favor with a wicked administration; but such
as are just and honest, are slighted and rejected. Those who are lost to all
sense of virtue, duty or moral obligation, will use their power to the worst
of purposes, and thereby debase their characters in the estimation of the people
who feel themselves truly miserable under their oppressive administration. They
cannot but mourn when they anticipate the event of such unrighteous measures,
and the sad consequences which must be produced.

But why need I consume time in attempting to prove that which is self-evident?

I have finished my doctrinal observations: and hasten to some practical reflection.
As I have in the former, so in this part of the discourse, I wish to speak with
that unfettered freedom, which becomes a servant of God.

From our subject collectively, we learn first that the rights and privileges,
the liberty and happiness; yea, and the lives also, of the great body of the
people, are, under God, entrusted in the hands of their rulers. A weighty charge!

As a stimulus to the important, I had almost said, infinite trust reposed in
them, rulers should constantly call to mind their own mortality and accountability
to that God whose ministers they are.

I have said ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High. But
ye shall die like men
. Like all other men, they shall descend to the grave,
the house appointed for all the living. To death, succeeds their solemn account
at the tribunal of Jesus Christ, who is appointed the decisive judge of all
men: before his impartial judgment seat, the rulers and judges of the earth
will stand upon a level with their meanest subjects. In that solemn moment,
when the opinions of men will be lighter than vanity, the flattering tongue
shall be put to everlasting silence, when judgment shall be administered without
respect of persons, the inquiry will not be whether they have been rulers and
judges in the earth and exercised authority over the sons of the dust; but whether
they have filled their stations, kept in view their last account, and prepared
matters for their acquittal in that solemn trial: in order to this, it will
not be sufficient merely to plead that they have been righteous in their administration
of civil government; but that they also, by faith, have become interested in
the justifying righteousness of the Son of God.

Were this day of retribution, which will soon commence, duly considered by magistrates,
how could they fail to discharge with diligence and care, their sacred trust;
and to be in earnest to become ministers of God, for good to the people?
And how could they be willing to remain ignorant of the religion of Jesus Christ;
which could afford them so much assistance in the faithful discharging the duties
of their office; and the only thing by which they can be acquitted when they
stand before their final judge?

2. That as a faithful discharge of that trust which is reposed in civil rulers
is the just due of the citizens; even so all good fidelity and reasonable subjection
is due from the people to their rulers. This is the requirement of God, let
every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for the powers that be are ordained
of God. Whoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of
God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Put them in
mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates. Submit
yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; whether it be to the
king as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them who are sent by him for the
punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them who do well. For so is
the will of God, that with well doing, ye may put to silence the ignorance of
foolish men
. If such submission is required to a kingly government, how
much to a republican government?

The obedience we owe to magistrates essentially differs from the obedience we
owe to God. Our obedience to God ought to be free and implicit; resulting from
a sense of the rectitude of his precepts. But such obedience to human laws is
not always required; for sometimes we may doubt of the fitness, yea, of the
equity of them. For considering civil rulers as imperfect, and liable to err,
though it be highly proper and necessary, considering ourselves members of society,
that we conform our actions to their laws; yet it is not always our duty to
believe that their laws are most salutary, because human laws may sometimes
be otherwise. But our social obligations require us to be subject to laws, which
we think very inconvenient, provided they are not sinful in themselves. It were
happy if subjects would not employ themselves too much in disputing the policy
and prudence of their rulers and the propriety of their laws: He who is ever
ready on all occasions to impeach the conduct of rulers, and reproach their
administration, and dispute the wisdom and propriety of their laws, obstructs
their usefulness, weakens their influence, and doeth all in his power to bring
government into contempt and to plunge the state into confusion and disorder:
and thereby expose himself to the just resentment of that God, whose ministers
they are.

Civil government is of divine institution: and our minds are impressed at first
view with the necessity of it. Every one must feel and acknowledge the propriety
and utility of that subordination in society which is required in the divine
constitution.

Subjection to laws being the first duty of every citizen, it ought and will
be cheerfully yielded by every good subject, though in some cases it may be
thought that the laws are not the best calculated for the interest of the community.
Every individual cannot be thought to be able to determine with certainty on
a subject of such importance. But it must be his duty to preserve in his obedience
till either the rulers are convinced that their measures ought to be changed;
or the citizens in a constitutional way shall change the administrators. May
I be indulged here just to observe that it is possible for the people to have
such an undue influence even upon righteous rulers as to procure such measures
as would prove very mischievous in their operation. But this ought not to be
palmed upon our rulers; but we ought in such cases to act the part of honest
men, reprobate our own conduct, and in future keep within our own province.
There is not a greater evil which can befall a community than to be divided
into sects and parties respecting their civil policy. The consequences (if continued
in) are fatal to our civil rights and privileges, our peace and independence;
and it is this which causes our present situation to wear such a gloomy and
threatening aspect!

May I be indulged in intruding on your patience just to add that virtue and
integrity in the great body of the people are as necessary to our political
happiness and prosperity as it is in those in authority. Whenever we are tempted
to complain and to entertain jealousies, lest our rulers should enslave us,
destroy our liberties and happiness, let us console ourselves with this idea
that a virtuous people cannot be enslaved; and that it would be utterly impossible
for rulers to involve the community in any great difficulty should there not
be a large portion on unrighteous and evil men to aid them in their base and
evil designs: and should a people be so lost to all sense of virtue and interest,
and so regardless of their obligations to God, and each other, as to willfully
expose themselves to such fatal evils, the folly would be their own.

That our rulers may be ministers of God to us for good, it is our duty to implore
the presence of God with them, his spirit to aid and assist them; and his blessing
to crown their administration with success: and on our part to demean ourselves
as good subjects; and remove all the embarrassments which may render it very
difficult, it not totally impossible, for them to manage the great affairs of
government in equal justice.

Happy America. If those who govern are inspired with wisdom and benevolence,
prudence and integrity for the public safety: and the governed, with worthy
and good affections, for the civil and religious institutions of their country:
we shall then unite in pursuing the things of our peace: society will be improved,
our understandings will be enlarged, our morals refined, and the interests of
time, will not interfere with those of eternity. Happy is that people that
is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord
.

It is time that I hasten to a conclusion in suitable addresses. Our first attention
is due to our worthy chief magistrate, called of God and the people to the chair
of government.

May it please your Excellency, — God in his wise providence hath conferred
a signal honor upon you, in repeatedly placing you in the highest seat of government,
and entrusting you with so important a part of the management of our public
concerns. It cannot, honored sir, but excite in your breast the most pleasing
emotion of mind to find your character thus revered and your person holden in
such a high estimation by so numerous and respectable a people as compose this
state; and to see the evidence which it exhibits that your former administration
has been, in some measure, agreeable to that mentioned on our text, which is
a source of general joy.

With pleasing anticipation, we behold your excellency, God’s minister for
good
, bearing the sword of the state, not as a terror to good works,
but to the evil
. Our eye with delight marks your path, while you lead us
your children into the duties of relative and Christian life: and by your example
teach us that self-denial, frugality and industry so essential to the happiness
of a free people. And however gloomy and difficult the day in which you preside,
your administration, being of the description above, you may look for and expect
all needed aid from him by whom kings reign and princes decree justice.
An uncommon degree of knowledge, prudence and wisdom in a governor is necessary
in such an important critical day as the present; to steer the helm of government
with discretion, reconcile contending parties, and protecting the rights and
privileges of the people, and giving satisfaction to the citizens. Our expectations
from your excellency are that liberty shall be maintained by law and all citizens
be secure in their possessions: that public faith and dignity be preserved.
May the institutions of literature flourish under your friendly patronage; especially
may the illustrious university of Vermont be the object of your peculiar care
and by your salutary influence be protected in all it’s important rights and
immunities.

As your excellency’s character stands high in the estimation of this people,
it gives you a great advantage and should be no less a motive with you to study
and invariably pursue their best interest. In seeking the common good and welfare
of your people, you will secure your interest in their affections and live in
their hearts: which must afford the highest satisfaction to a righteous magistrate.
We hope in the goodness of the universal Parent, that by affording you his presence
and grace, he will show that because he loved this people He hath therefore
appointed you to rule over them.

May the angel of divine presence enlighten and beautify the paths of your administration.
In your days, religion, truth and peace dwell on the earth: and when filled
with days, and replete with grace, you shall be discharged from further services
here, that you may share the glories of the heavenly world will be the unceasing
prayers of the righteous and the good.

Our respects are now due to his honor the lieutenant governor, the honorable
council and house of representatives.

Fathers of our state and elders of our tribes, –The sovereign powers of this
state vested in you by the united voice of the freemen, give high importance
to your character and entitle you to their respect and confidence. And that
you may not disappoint their most sanguine expectations, you will make righteousness
the basis of your administration and rule of all your proceedings.

We do not ask you to assign us articles of Christian faith, to establish religion
by law, enact statutes for the collection of our salaries, or to become the
bulwark of the religion we profess; but that you maintain the laws of the state
and the sacred principles of our excellent constitution: a constitution which
will prove a bulwark of our independence and sovereignty, a sure protection
of all good citizens; the security of freedom, property and life; and a defense
against the rude encroachments of anarchy and despotism. May a kind God influence
you in to a system of administration which shall defend our constitution, render
venerable our laws, protect from violence the seats of justice, and the thrones
of judgment.

Our national concerns as a confederated republic are serious concerns. Unless
some speedy and effectual measures are invented and pursued, ICHABOD will be
written upon our nation. Be entreated, venerable fathers, to lay aside limited
views and local prejudices and encompass the Union in the exertions of your
patriotism. A considerable advantage may be obtained toward answering the end
of you appointment,by electing such men into office (which comes within your
province) as are men fearing God, men of virtuous minds, superior to intrigues,
whose circumstances are not embarrassed, and who love the people and will perseveringly
seek their happiness.

A legislature thus constituted, and what a large number of such worthy characters
do I now behold! Such a legislature will rejoice the hearts of their citizens,
and shall, in the issue, enjoy the blessings of their country while wicked politicians
shall sink into their deserved ignominy.

However, respected fathers, it is not my province to dictate to you any measure
of a civil or political nature; your wisdom and good sense do not require this
of me. We being sensible that your work is difficult, and that you have an arduous
task, to cure all the disorders of the political body, restore harmony and peace,
and to unite the jarring interests of parties, and fix them to one common center,
do heartily commend you to God who is able to furnish you with all needed wisdom
and prudence.

Respected rulers, you cannot be insensible that He who has dignified you above
your brethren, has limited your powers by his holy word. You are not authorized
to obey the dictates of an arbitrary will; but to act agreeably to the revealed
will of God. Look then on the copy which is before you: and as God’s vicegerents
on earth, take you directions from his work and imbibe his spirit: acknowledge
him in all your ways, and he will direct your paths
. And as a reward for
your services, may you be honored as the political saviors of this people, and
meet their cordial approbation; And from the faithful discharge of an earthly
trust, may you in due time be received into the joy of your Lord, with a well
done good and faithful servants
. Such is the reward, which we pray, every
member of our public administration may now deserve and in future obtain from
the Judge of all.

Will this grave and venerable audience indulge me a few words in a general address,–

Respected brethren and fellow citizens, — Distinguishing have been the favors
of Divine Providence, by which we have become a great and established nation:
but little inferior to those by which Israel of old were brought from bondage
in Egypt and planted in the fat land of Palestine. Surprising, I had almost
said miraculous, has been the chain of events which has marked our emancipation
from the iron yoke of bondage and oppression, and raised us to the important
rank of power and independence among the nations of the earth: established us
under a federal constitution and republican form of government: we sit in the
assemblies of our rulers; rulers of our own election, and judges appointed from
among our brethren. Under such a government, we enjoy all necessary freedom
and liberty, rights and privileges, both civil and religious.

But though civil liberty and freedom are so desirable blessings; and though
it is our duty in all lawful ways to strive to support and maintain them, yet
it is of infinitely greater importance that we should be delivered, by God’s
special grace, from the bondage of guilt and the slavery of sin and satan, and
called effectually to the spiritual freedom of the children of God. Little reason
shall we have to boast of liberty and freedom, or to bless ourselves on the
account of our external privileges, if we are the ignominious servants of corruption.
This spiritual liberty Christ hath obtained for all his true disciples; and
it can no otherwise be enjoyed by any of us, than by taking his yoke upon
us, and learning of him; and continuing in his word. Then shall we know the
truth, and the truth shall make us free indeed
. It is the true Christian
alone who is the Lord’s freeman and a citizen of the New-Jerusalem. An honor
and privilege to which we cannot maintain our claim unless we realize our profession
of Christianity by serving the Lord Christ with all good fidelity and serve
one another in love. Be this the object of our greatest care and attention:
we may then with hope and earnest expectation wait for the day of our complete
redemption. At length the grand jubilee will be proclaimed by the archangel’s
trumpet, which will call the heirs of God to the perfect liberty of his everlasting
kingdom and glory, and to that inheritance which is incorruptible and that fadeth
not away.

To this exalted felicity, God grant, that we may all be brought in due time,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

By | 2017-03-17T14:13:57+00:00 December 26th, 2016|Categories: Historical Sermons|0 Comments