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PAGE 206

they shall never dye for want, then I will give them their hazard; and so he testifies love to his Master, and to the flock he hath charge of.

But what say ye of the civill magistrate? A great common place, by the grace of God it shall be ours as well as their's.1 The magistrate will have such things done in such a way and time.2 Now truely I may say, in behalf of all the servants of Jesus Christ, we shall be ready, when occasion offers, to lay down our heads under his feet, and doe all the honour and respect that is possible and requisite. But then, why in such a particular may ye not acknowledge the magistrate? Take another parable. There is ane ambassador sent a message to such a State on thir terms: You shall be subject to the State in all your deportment, and carry yourself uprightly and honestly, and you are to negotiat there according to the instructions given you.3 The Prince comes to propound somewhat. The man saith, With your leave and tollerance, I will advise with my instructions I have from my Master, I shall not wrong you at all. He advises with his instructions, and finds he may by no means doe it.4 Then, sayes the Prince, You shall be used so and soe. He answers, At your pleasure. But may you not doe soe and so? I may not, sayes he, and you shall see my commission; it is not privat, but publick things known and written, and may be read by all. You shall acknowledge such an office in the house of God. I cannot find it in all his word. 1 find in the 20th of Matthew a word in answer to that question: "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion, but it shall not be so among you." I find in Titus i. 5, the Apostle writes of elders to be appointed, and in the very next verse save one, I find him call them by the word called Bishops. I cannot


1    It shall be our common place as well as others.

2    In such a way at such a time.

3    And ye have such instructions from the Prince that sent zow to negotiate there.

4    And advyse with his commissioun that sent mo, and he finds out his instructiouns he may not nor dar not do it.

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goe beyond that. I find no lordly dominion appointed in the house of God. I find a place, 1 Cor. viii., he speaks of "lords many, and gods many," but to us there is but one Lord. We cannot have more lords in the house of God. Kings and princes Ave shall give their due. We acknowledge they have a power civill over all men anent ecclesiasticall things, but it is not a spiritual power; it is a limited power: and the word is clear that Jesus Christ hath appointed the officers and governors of his house. Would any prince take it well if another would come and say, You have such officers as chamberlains and constables, but I will have such and such other officers to be in your house? Now truely a master of a privat family would not take it well that another should come and appoint him servants.2 Some think that it is a great strengthening of civill powers. Truely dominion in kirkmen hath been the greatest enemy ever the civil power had. And they will call it a maintaining of a band of union. Nay, if you will goe upon these terms you cannot avoid a Pope. I could never, for my own part, find ane argunent in publick or privat for such dominion, but the same argument shall make as great strength to sett up the Pope.

But you will say, May not a man be silent at least, and what need him go hazard himself and his ministrie, let be his family and all things else, by speaking some things that he had better forbear? What needs him doe soe? Faith and repentance, let him preach these. Truely, we think that weell; faith and repentance we think very comprehensive duties; and I confess, I never delight to hear a man that the most part of all his preaching is that we call on the publick,3 and to meddle with State matters. But there are times and seasons wherin a man's silence may bring a curse upon his


1    "Should."

2    Chamberlands, and constables, and so. Now, sayes he, I will have such another officer that the king never named. Now truely, even a magistrate of a privat famillie would not suffer that. I would have such ane officer, sayes he; I will do to my mynd as I sall desyre myself.

3    The most part of all his preaching to be that what ye call publick bussinesses.


Rev. John Livingston,
great-great grandfather of Henry Livingston

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