Samuel B. Wylie: The Duty of Christians Under Wicked Rule
|Samuel B. Wylie - Image source: RP Witness|
Posted at Purely Presbyterian:
Samuel B. Wylie, Two Sons of Oil, pp. 63-71
1. It is our duty to mourn before God over all the prevailing abominations. This is one of the characters of those who are marked with the broad seal of the Holy Ghost, Ezek, ix. 4. And the Lord said, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.” We ought, also, to confess and mourn over our own sins, which, no doubt, contribute their share to the procuring and continuance of those evils.
2. We ought to pray for their reformation with earnestness at a throne of grace. 1st Tim. ii. 1, we are commanded to make prayer and supplications for all men; and, Jer. xxix. 7, the captives in Babylon are commanded to “pray for the peace of the city, and cry to the Lord for it, that in its peace they might have peace.” This prayer, however, ought not to recognise them in their official capacity; for this would be saying, Amen, to the immorality of the constitution on which they stand. 2d John, 10th and 11th verses, we are commanded, “not to receive impostors into our houses, or bid them God speed, for he that biddeth them God speed, is partaker of their evil deeds.” This must respect them as deceivers, and not as men, for we are commanded to “pray for all men.” 2d Tim. ii. 1.
3. We ought to use every lawful endeavour to promote reformation, such as rational arguments, and decent remonstrances : thus, 1st Kings xii. 3, 4: “Jeroboam and all the congregation, came to Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous, now, therefore, make the grievous service of thy father, and the heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.” To reason, remonstrate, and expostulate with the generation, on this subject, as well as on others of truth or duty, we are bound, by the love we ought to exercise toward our fellow-brethren of men, in not suffering sin to lie upon them, without informing them of it by the obligation we are under to promote the interest of religion, and the advancement of Immanuel’s kingdom, and by the express command of God. Isai. Iviii. 1: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Israel their sins.” See, also, Ezek. xxxiii. 1, 9, where we are told that, if the watchman neglect to warn the people of the enemy’s approach, if they die in their sins, their blood shall be required at his hand; but, if he be faithful, and give warning, whether they hear or forbear, he shall deliver his own soul.