Page:Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission.djvu/44

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in the ſervice of the public; it becomes you to pay them tribute and cuſtom; and to reverence, honor, and ſubmit to, them in the execution of their reſpective offices.” This is apparently good reaſoning. But does this argument conclude for the duty of paying tribute, cuſtom, reverence, honor and obedience, to ſuch perſons as (although they bear the title of rulerſ) uſe all their power to hurt and injure the public? ſuch as are not God's miniſters, but ſatan'ſ? ſuch as do not take care of, and attend upon, the public intereſt, but their own, to the ruin of the public? that is, in ſhort, to ſuch as have no natural and juſt claim at all to tribute, cuſtom, reverence, honor and obedience? It is to be hoped that thoſe who have any regard to the apoſtle's character as an inſpired writer, or even as a man of common underſtanding, will not repreſent him as reaſoning in ſuch a looſe incoherent manner; and drawing concluſions which have not the leaſt relation to his premiſes. For what can be more abſurd than an argument thus framed? “Rulers are, by their office, bound to conſult the public welfare and the good of ſociety: therefore you are bound to pay them tribute, to honor, and to ſubmit to them, even when they deſtroy the public welfare, and are a common peſt to ſociety, by acting in direct contradiction to the nature and end of their office.”

Thus, upon a careful review of the apoſtle's reaſoning in this paſſage, it appears that his arguments to enforce ſubmiſſion, are of ſuch a nature, as to conclude only in favor of ſubmiſſion to ſuch rulers as he himſelf deſcribes;