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measure. Their duties are more difficult; their temptations more numerous; and their conduct is of more consequence.
And, that they may be qualified for the functions of their high and important stations, we further request on their behalf, that God would endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts.' All the graces of the Christian character are gifts from heaven; and such, in an especial manner, are those important endowments of the mind, which are essential to the character of a wise and good governor. We pray for a continuance of their lives, health, and prosperity. And surely, if we duly consider our present circumstances, we shall clearly perceive the indespensable obligations, which lie on us, arising both from our interest and our duty, heartily to join in these petitions.
Finally we pray that after this life' our Rulers may attain everlasting joy and felicity.' For, though we consider their lives as a signal favor from God, we know that the time must come, when they must submit to the common lot of humanity, and appear before their Lord and our's. Therefore if we love their persons, and are thankful for their government; we shall pray for their final happiness, that they may exchange their authority for a crown of glory, and the scep
*Pallida mors equo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
tre of temporal dominion for the palin of everlasting joy and triumph; that they who govern, and we who obey, may finally rejoice together in the kingdom of God. And, as there is but one way of salvation either for Rulers or people, we supplicate these mercies through Jesus Christ our • Lord.' Reader, this is your only plea before the throne of God. Go, use it for yourself, your Executive and your country: and may the King of kings and Lord of lords hear and answer from heaven his dwelling place! Amen.
ON THE PRAYER FOR THE CLERGY AND
THE wisdom of God appears in every circumstance that is connected with the redemption of fallen man. The structure of universal nature, and of every minute part of its system, discovers the glory of this Divine perfection. It is written in legible characters on every blade of grass, and on every individual atom of matter. But, if this world were erected on purpose to be a theatre, on which the wonders of redeeming love might be displayed if it were created only as a scaffold to a building of far greater magnificence: if, when the more important fabric is completed, the scaffold is to be demolished, as of no farther use; we may reasonably expect to find greater wisdom manifested in the spiritual than in the natural creation.
Among a thousand other wonders, which crowd
on the spiritualized imagination, the selection of Ambassadors for the work of the ministry of reconciliation is not the least. As it was the design of the ETERNAL THREE, in the whole economy of grace, to secure the glory to Him, to whom alone it is due ; the wisdom of God in the appointment of the instruments, by which his designs are carried into effect, is very apparent. Had angels been employed, as ordinary preachers of the Gospel, their eloquence might have been considered as meriting a share of the honor, derived from the success of the ministry. Therefore the rich, the heavenly treasure is deposited in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.'* On the same account our Lord chose twelve illiterate fishermen to be the first messengers of His love to man; that the astonishing revolution to be produced in the human heart, and in the world at large, by the preached Gospel, in turning it from sin and Satan to the service of God, might evidently appear to be accomplished, not by the wisdom of man, but by the power of God; not by moral suasion, but by the energy of the Holy Ghost. It is allowed that one, who was afterwards admitted to the fellowship of the Apostolic office, was a man endowed with extensive erudition, having been instructed in the academy of
* 2 Cor. iv. 7.
the celebrated Gamaliel, and favored with every advantage which can arise from a learned education. But it is pleasing to remark with what an holy anxiety this person endeavours in all his writings, which are transmitted to us, to evince. that the effects of his preaching were entirely owing to the dew of God's blessing, which attended his word. He every where speaks of himself in the most disparaging terms, lays all his learning at the foot of the cross; and avows his total unfitness, independent of help from God, for the discharge of the ministerial office. Writing to the Corinthians, among whom he had labored with great success, he says, When I came to 6 you, I came not with excellency of speech or of • wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of • God; for I determined not to know any thing 6 among you, save Jesus Christ and Him cruci'fied. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech • and my preaching was not with enticing words ' of man's wisdom; but in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power: that your faith should not • stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power
of God.'* In the same spirit of humble dependence on the strength of God, when writing to the Thessalonians, he requests the prayers of the faithful for himself and his fellow-laborers; that
* 1 Cor. ii. 1---5.