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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Resisteth the ordinance of God


4.

But now when tyrants go for magistrates, lest my plea against owning tyranny, should be mistaken, as if it were a pleading for anarchy, I must assert, that I and all those I am vindicating, are for magistracy, as being of divine original, institute for the common good of human and Christian societies, whereunto every soul must be subject, of whatsoever quality or character, and not only for wrath but also for conscience sake (though as to our soul and conscience, we are not subject) which whosoever resisteth, resisteth the ordinance of God, and against which rebellion is a damnable sin, whereunto (according to the fifth commandment, and the many reiterated exhortations of the apostles) we must be subject, and obey magistrates, and submit ourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, whether it be unto the king as supreme, &c. And we account it a hateful brand of them that walk after the flesh, to despise government, to be presumptuous, self-willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities: and that they are filthy dreamers, who despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities: and of those things which they know not. We allow the magistrate, in whatsoever form of government, all the power the scripture, laws of nature and nations, or municipal do allow him; asserting, that he is the keeper and avenger of both the tables of the law, having a power over the church, as well as the state, suited to his capacity, that is, not formally ecclesiastical, but objectively,
for the church's good; an external power, of providing for the church, and protecting her from outward violence, or inward disorder, an imperate power, of commanding all to do their respective duties; a civil power of punishing all, even church-officers, for crimes; a secondary power of judicial approbation or condemnation; or discretive, in order to give his sanction to synodical results; a cumulative power, assisting and strengthening the church in all her privileges, subservient, though not servile, co-ordinate with church-power, not subordinate (though as a christian he is subject) in his own affairs, viz. civil; not to be declined as judge, but to be obeyed in all things lawful, and honoured and strengthened with all his dues. We would give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's; but to tyrants, that usurp and pervert both the things of God and of Caesar, and of the peoples liberties, we can render none of them, neither God's, nor Caesar's, nor our own: nor can we from conscience give him any other deference, but as an enemy to all, even to God, to Caesar, and the people. And in this, though it doth not sound now with court-parasites, nor with others, that are infected with royal indulgencies and indemnities, we bring forth but the transumpt of old principles, according to which our fathers walked when they still contended for religion and liberty, against the attemptings and aggressions of tyranny, against both.

5. It must be conceded, it is not an easy thing to make a man in the place of magistracy a tyrant: for as every escape, error, or act of unfaithfulness, even known and continued in, whether in a minister's entry to the ministry, or in his doctrine, doth not unminister him, nor give sufficient ground to withdraw from him, or reject him as a minister of Christ: so neither does every enormity, misdemeanor, or act of tyranny, injustice, perfidy, or profanity in the civil magistrate, whether as to his way of entry to that office, or in the execution of it, or in


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