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that all things should be done decently, and according to order.

All kinds of authority then, providing they de facto exist, are not to be regarded by us as merely chance effusions of human nature, but as determined, constituted, and ordained by none other than God; and this brings me to the great point which I wish to impress upon you to-day.

There are few in this church who, if asked whether my office and the authority belonging to it were ordained of God, but would answer “Yes ;” and, indeed, we clergy could not support the burden laid upon us unless we did recognise it as a work set us by God, and for which God enables us with His Spirit. But St. Paul says plainly that the authority of the members of a municipal Corporation, for the lawful and honest purposes for which such Corporation exists, is also ordained of God: you are among the powers that be, the authorities that exist ; and the powers that be are ordained of God. Do I mention this to awe the townspeople ? Do I mention this to swell any pride of office which any of you may feel? Certainly not. I name it in order that you may recognise the dignity of the work to which God calls you in this borough, in order that you may do that work as a work for God—in order that you may put self on one side and party, and seek to do your duty by us, the citizens under you, as yourselves in this matter the stewards of God.

The grand old Greek philosopher, centuries ago, pointed out that in states magistrates exist not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of those whom they govern. This sounds a truism from the pulpit; pray God it may ever be a household word with you, and ever be as true in your practice. The author of all authority is God : and all true authority exercised in this world is a copy-more or less like-of God's rule over mankind. A ruler, then, who would copy the rule which God bears over us, must not be selfish. I cannot picture my God as selfish; as ruling the world to get out of it what He can. He says, “I will not reprove thee because of thy sacrifices or for thy burnt offerings : because they were not always before Me. · I will take no bullock out of thine house ; nor he-goat out of thy folds ” (Ps. 1. 8, 9). This is not selfishness. Nay, when He enjoins our giving Him praise, and honour, and worship, it is not as flatterers that we are to pay court to a selfish autocrat, who loves the tinsel compliment of fawning adulation ; but we are to honour Him, because our moral nature answers to His, and we see something in Him which merits honour;

as the Psalmist says, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised” (Ps. xviii. 2). “The works of the Lord are great : sought out of them that have pleasure therein. His work is worthy to be praised and had in honour : and His righteousness endureth for ever” (Ps. cxi. 2, 3). Let no man then aspire to municipal honours for anything it will bring him-incidental emolument, custom in trade, an increased business. Let no man aspire to municipal honours merely for the honour's sake; but let every man be indeed, and in fact, “worshipful”—not idly borrowing from the honours which an elder generation may have twined round the office of councillor, or alderman, or mayor, to decorate himself withal ; but himself by his own character, industry, attention to civic duties, adding to the dignity of the office he fills, and leaving it when he vacates it more wreathed with honour and worship than before. Your authority is ordained of God : use it as in God's sight-a talent about which He will inquire one other day.

Upon the many duties which devolve upon youthe protection of our lives and properties from violence and robbery; the maintenance of our streets as public highways by night and day for man, and horse, and vehicle; the superintendence of our markets; the care of the new park, the baths, the free library, I shall not touch. But there is one duty forced, and justly forced into more prominence now than ever, to which I may be permitted to advert—the public health.

It has been said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Now whatever responsibility may attach to us clergy above our fellows in the matter of godliness, it is quite certain that a very large share of responsibility rests upon municipal corporations in promoting the cleanliness of their towns. To them is intrusted the supply of water, the drainage, the inspection of tenements unfit for human dwelling, and by the beneficent action of the Artisans' Dwelling Act, the rendering of whole quarters of the area they govern more salubrious. This is a most important function. Bad water will produce typhoid fever ; bad air and foul tenements, a low type of physique among a population; and where the conditions of life are thus forbidding, School Boards may labour to elevate the mind; Temperance Societies to regulate the appetites; the Church to regenerate the spirits of the men about them ; but the original sin, so to speak, of uncleanliness in air, in water, in home, in person, will, to a great extent, nullify all these united efforts. You will notice that no amount of personal care in me or in any other individual, will make up for the absence of municipal

The authorities close my well and make me drink their water supply: they allow patches of their town to exist, which are the very nest and hatching-place of fever. Clean in my own person, I am compelled to drink such water as they provide, and to breathe such air as they allow to circulate in their streets; and if fever germs be in these, I am forced by them to drink or breathe them in. The corporation of this town was, I believe, one of the first to adopt the Artisans Dwelling Act: all honour to them : shall I be wandering too far from my legitimate office, if I beseech you in the name of dying children, and stunted youth, and families of low .vitality and poor health, to make haste and bring the full provisions of that Act into practical operation at once and without delay? I am not one of those religionists who preach ever about the soul, and put the poor body out of sight. Christ was a man; a man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; and Christ's religion, if it is to do its full work, must lift the body no less than the soul to the highest point of perfection to which it is capable of attaining. The soul and body together make up man :


an ill-regulated soul preys upon the body: and conversely, a body, left by a municipal corporation to languish in the foul air and contracted streets of the slums of our large towns, drags down and takes the heart out of the finest soul that God ever breathed His life into. Christ came to save man; not the soul or ghost of a man

only; but the man himself, soul and body in one. Hence, if we clergy try specially, through our corporation, the church, to reform men's souis chiefly, it is because we rely upon such corporations as I see before me to-day, to ameliorate the conditions under which the bodies of our fellow-townsmen have to perform their vital functions. Church and State thus acting together, men's souls and bodies, men themselves may advance towards perfection.

The powers that be are ordained of God. God is ever widening our knowledge, and with it our responsibilities. Years back it would have been impossible to have said what I have just ventured to say ; people would not have understood it, and could not have tolerated the words. God widens our view of our duties. He prompts the question in your conscience as you hear the bell toll, or see the funeral cortége pass down the street, “Have I, by any neglect of my municipal duties, had a hand in the premature death of that citizen who is going to his grave to-day ?” “Might I not have seen to the draining,

" the cleansing, the ventilation of the courts and tenements I am appointed to look over, somewhat more carefully? and thus prolonged his life?” A drunken case is brought before a magistrate, it behoves that magistrate to ask himself, “ Have I, by my lachesse, by my neglect to improve the conditions of health, under which this poor wretch has to live, been instrumental in promoting his craving for stimulants, and so bringing him into disgrace?” The powers that be are ordained of God. What for? to see to the well-being of those over whom God places them. You are, in the matter

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