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Our Obligations to God and Men.

Our Obligations to God and Men.

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Published by glennpease
REV. EDWARD PAYSON, D. D.



Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.— Mark xil 17.
REV. EDWARD PAYSON, D. D.



Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.— Mark xil 17.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 13, 2013
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04/28/2014

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OUR OBLIGATIOS TO GOD AD ME.REV. EDWARD PAYSO, D. D.Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's; and to God, the thingsthat are God's.— Mark xil 17.At the period of our Saviour's residence on earth, the Jewswere greatly divided in opinion, respecting the lawfulness of paying tribute to the Roman emperors, under whose governmentthey were. The Pharisees, prompted by ambition, and a wishto obtain popularity, earnestly contended that, as the Jewishnation were the peculiar people of God, they ought not to sub-mit or pay tribute to a heathen power. The Herodians, as if generally supposed, maintained that, in their present circum-stances, it was not only necessary but lawful. In this dispute,the common people sided with the Pharisees, while all who wish-ed to secure the favor of the Roman government, took part withthe Herodians. In these circumstances, the enemies of ourLord flattered themselves that by proposing to him this muchdisputed question, they should infallibly draw him into a snare.Should he decide in favor of the lawfulness of paying tribute,they could represent him to the people as an enemy to their lib-erties, and thus excite against him their indignation. Shouldhe on the other hand, assert that to pay tribute was unlawful,they could accuse him to the Roman Governor, as a mover of sedition. The plot was artfully laid, and its execution artfullyconducted; but in vain did human craftiness attempt tocircum-OUR OBLIGATIOS, ETC. 441rent divine wisdom. Instead of directly replying to their ques-tion, our S.tvK.ur called for a piece of money, and asked, whoseimage and superscription it bore. They said Cesar's. Renderthen, said he, to Ceesar the things that are Cesar's, and to God,Ae things that are God's.
 
The spirit of this passage requires us to regard the rights of all beings as sacred, and to give them all what is theirs; or, as,it is elsewhere expressed, to render to all their dues; tribute towhom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whomfear, and honor to whom honor is due. This important practi-cal truth, we now propose to consider. I do not conceive thatit requires any proof. You will, I doubt not, readily acknowl-edge, that we are bound to render to every being, what is his just due. All that is necessary, then, is to show what is dueto the several beings with whom we are connected. In attempt-ing to do this, I shall show.I. What is due to God, andIL What is due to men from each of us.I. What is due to God ; or, what are the things, the propertyof God, which our Saviour here requires us to render him.The question may be answered very briefly; in one word;and that word is, all ; for it is very easy to show that all thingsare in the most perfect sense the property of God. o right of property can be more perfect than that which results from cre-ation, and surely no one present will deny that all things werecreated by him. Agreeably he claims them all. The earth isthe Lord's an I the fulness thereof; *e world and all that dwelltherein, for he founded and established it. The silver, he says,is mine; and the gold is mine; mine is every beast of the forest,and the cattle upon a thousand hills. Of course, we, and all ihatwe possess are God's property, more strictly so than any thingWhich we call our own is our property, and he claims it all. Butgeneral remarks do not affect us. It is therefore necessary to de-scend to particulars, and mention separately the things that areGod's and which he requires ns to render to him.1. Our souls with all their faculties, arc the property of God.He is tho Father of our spirits. Glorify God, says the voice of inspiration, in your spirits which are his. If any of you hesi-tate to ack'iowledge the justice of his claim to ycur souls, look 
 
at them for a moment. Contemplate their immortality, theirvol. ur. 56442 OUR OBLIOATIOHSwonderful faculties, the understanding, the will, the imagina-tion, the memory, and then say, whose image and superscrip-tion do they bear? Who gave you these faculties'. 1 Whoendowed them with immortality? Must it not be the kingimmortal, the only wise God, to whom it is owing that there is aspirit in man; who has given us more understanding than thebeasts of the field, and made us wiser than the fowls of heaven?Our souls then, with all their faculties, are his, and to him theyought to be given. Is it asked, what is implied in giving oarsouls to God? I answer, we give them to him when we employall their faculties in his service; in performing the work whichhe has assigned us. We give them to him when our under-standings are diligently employed in discovering his will; whenour memories retain it, our hearts love it, our wills submit to it,and the whole inner man obeys it. This is what is implied inthe first and great command, thou shalt love the Lord thy Godwith all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul,and with all thy strength.2. Our bodies are the property of God. As he is the Fatherof our spirits, so also is he the former of our bodies. Thineeyes, says the psalmist, did see my substauce, yet beiug imper-fect; and in thy book all my members were written, when asyet there were none of them. Thy hands, says Job, have mademe and fashioned me round about; thou hast clothed me withskin and flesh and fenced me with bones and sinews. Thesame work God has performed for each of us. Hence the Apos-tle exhorts us to glorify Go£ with our bodies which are his, and topresent them as living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptablein his sight, which is our reasonable service. Rendering to Godhis own, implies then the giving of our bodies to him. This isdone when we employ our members as instruments of righteous-

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