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Selections: Bible Politics

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Few persons, probably, are a ware how large a portion of the Bible is occtipied with politics - polttical history, political maxime, political institutions, directions for regulating political conduct, for conducting popular elections, enacting, executing, ojid repealhig lawp, directions for the ruler, directions for t!e rul- ed, political promises, political predictions. - We can but bastiiy clsssify and allude to a few specimen?. 1. IIistohy. - The origin and hisfory of ancient nntions. It is to the Bible that the student of politica] history mu?t look "or the most venerable political records of the mst. And everywhere the Snpreme Ruler of the nations is represented as iñterested in their affairs - as giving thern laws by which tlieir political conduct should be regulated - as rewarding ajconformity with these laws, and punishing violations of them; as raising up empires and casting them down - as moulding and wielding them for the promotion of lis providenlial designs; for the high purpoees of his mora! government, and the interest of his spiritual kingdom. One nation was selected, in n spccinl mnnner, and placed directly under his own legislative, ss wel! as p.'ovidental, supervisión. - What lessons of political wisdom are wrapped up in the hietory of that people! And the surrounding nations - all nations are represented as subject to the sume general laws. as risinr to glory, or sinking into infamy, according to their regard or disregard of those laws. 2. Political Maxims. How profu?ely and richly are these scattcred throughout the sacrad pages! In the writings of Moses, of David, of Solomon, of the propliet?, of the historians of the kings of Israel and Judah. - The careful student of the book of Proverbshas learned deeper and more comprehensive lessons of political economy than can be found in all íhe volumes of the Adam Smitlip, and Malthusee, and Jeremy Bentliams that have ever bloited clean paper, and darkened counsel by word without knowledge, The most sagacious statesmen of our own age, and of all age?, are, and have been, thoce who have most diligently stndied the Seripiuree. And the precise points wherein even these statesmen have failed of being wise and g'eat, are the same points wherein they have departed from the Scriptures. S. Political Lnstitutions. - Noiice the full statement of the Hebrcw historian and law giver. Among many things peculiar, local and transiení, observa mnch more that is comprehensive, universa), ever during. As long a.s man lives on the earth, and has a fo cial nature, it wil! hold true that all ihisScripture, given by inspiration of Geo, is profitable for instruction in rightenusnese, that men of God may be perfaeted in good works. 4. Political Directions. First. TIow to elect rulers: "Jiwges and officers slialt thou make Ahee, in all thy ga tes, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes, and théy shall judge the people'with just juds ment." (Deut. 16: 18.) Seco7id. Qnalifications of rulers: C!J7c that ruleth over men must be jnst, ruling in the fear of God." (2 Sam. L3: 8 ) Third. The proper province and business of civil rulers: "They shall judge ihe people witii jusl just judgment." [See above.] - ■ "Execute judgraent, betwren a man and his neighbor." (Jer. 7: 5.) "Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor." (Jer. 21 : 12. ) ( Rulers are a terror noi to good work?, but to the evil." "For he is the minister of God to thee, for good."- -(1k revenger, toexe cute wrath upon him that docthevil." "For they are God's mjnisters continually npon this ver}' thing.:' (Rom. IS: 3 - 6. In other words they are to guard innlienable human rights Th6 is iheir sole busines?, the extent of their authority, bevond and beside which they are not authorized to iutermeddle with human oñáirs. This accords with the langunge of Jefferson: "The true foundation of Reptiblican Government, is the equal righls of every citizen, in bisperson and property and in their manBgoment." The rightful power of all legislation is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duitcs, and fake nQ7ie oftkem from :s. - No man hasn natural right io commit aggression on the equal fighls of another. - And this is all. from which the law ovtght to restrain him . Every man is midér the natural dn1y of contributing tb the necessities of society, and this is all 'íhe law should enforco upon him. When the laws have declared and enforced this, tliey liave fuifillcdtheir function. The idea is quite unfounded, thnt on entering into society we "give vp any natural right." Fourth The duty ofïhe citizen: "Le! every soul be subject lo high powers."1 - (Rom. 13: 1.) That is, to such authorities a.?, in the same connection, aro describeü, authonties that are "uot a terror to gooi) works, but to the evil," &c. [See theforegoingr.J 5. Politica r, Puomisbs and tiikeatk.mngs. "The king that failhfiilly judgetli the pour, his throne shall be established forever' (Prov L9: 14.) "Riijhteousncss exalteth a nation, but fiin is a reproach to any people.5' (Prov. 13: 34.) "Dchver the spoiled out of the hand of the cppressor; lest my fury go out like fire, and burn, that there be none to quench it beca uso of the cv il of your doings. (Jerem. 21: 12.) "Seek jadgmenr, relieve the oppressed, juchje the fatherless, plead for the widow." "Í will restore 'thy judges as at the beginning. Afterward, thou shttlt be called the city of righteousness, the faithfal city.Zion slinli bc redeerned with judgment, nnd her converts wiih riglueousness." (Ibid. 2J, 27.) "Let the oppressed go free - break every yokr." "Then shall thy light break forth as the movnincr, nr.d thy henhli sha] spring furth epcodüy."' "And they thaf shall build the old waste places; tliou balt raise up the foundations of many -Êjjgierations, and thon shalt bc callcd tho ropuirrr of the b)each3 the restorer of paths to dweil in." (Isoiah, 58: G, 12.) "The nation nnd kingdom that will not serve me ehall perish; yen, those nations shall ulterly be wasted." (Isaiah, 60 :"]L.) Politicai, PiiEorcTioNs. To glve a fair specimen of these, would be to transcribe a oprent portion of all the prophetical writings. They are to be found copiotisly in Deuteronomy, in Daniel, in Isoiah, and in Revelations of John. Jesns Christ Uimsolf uttered them, in ïddition to his discharge and inculcalïon of politica! dulies. Ilear it, ye clerical pretenders to a holiness that cannot preach politics - thai cannot mingle with pn!it''c;! Are ye more Jioly than Moses? than Daniel1? than John? than Jesus Christ? . In these and many other portions of Scripture which might be quoted if we had room, the intelligent Bible reader will observe politica] ptayers, political praises. polii.icnl worslnp! And the political poetry of t'ie Scriptures- ■ - what shalj we say to that? The sonjj of Deborah, the sovg of Miriam, the songs of David - ay, and the song of Moses and the ünmb! Do Chrisiians expect to ping that? A song of praise for poliücal deliverances, political judgments. (Rev. 15:3. 4r) - Asimilar specimen miy be fonnd in the ISGth Ptnlni, which, to be fairly quoted, should be presnnted entire. The ofi-relurning chorus celebrates the everdurigg mercy of God to the human race, in the early nud signal overthrow of ancient poliücal tyrants; thu holding tlicm up as a warning beacon to dietant nátionsand coming ages, for the better proleclion and socurity of human rights, to the end of time Eternity, perhnp?, may reveal to us how lru - ly the civil and religious libertiefi vve now enjoy, came to ua through the moral nnd poIHical inlluences of that glorious song.


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