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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And be ground of disowning him as such


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his private or personal behaviour,

denominate him a tyrant or an usurper, or give sufficient ground to divest him of magistratical power, and reject him as the lawful magistrate. It is not any one or two acts contrary to the royal covenant or office, that doth denude a man of the royal dignity, that God and the people gave him. David committed two acts of tyranny, murder and adultery; yet the people were to acknowledge him as their king (and so it may be said of some others, owned still as kings in scripture) the reason is, because though he sinned against a man or some particular persons, yet he did not sin against the state, and the catholic good of the kingdom, subverting law; for then he would have turned tyrant, and ceased to have been lawful king. There is a great difference between a tyrant in act, and a tyrant in habit; the first does not cease to be a king. But on the other hand, as every thing will not make a magistrate to be a tyrant; so nothing will make a tyrant by habit a magistrate. And as every fault will not unminister a minister; so some will oblige the people to reject his ministry, as if he turn heretical, and preach atheism, Mahometanism, or the like, the people, though they could not formally depose him, or through the corruption of the times could not get him deposed; yet they might reject and disown his ministry: so it will be granted, that a people have more power in creating a magistrate, than in making a minister; and consequently they have more right, and may have more light in disowning
a king, as being unkinged; than in disowning a minister, as being unministred. It will be necessary therefore, for clearing our way, to fix upon some ordinary characters of a tyrant, which may discrimate him from a magistrate, and be ground of disowning him as such. I shall rehearse some, from very much approved authors; the application of which will be as apposite to the two brothers, that we have been burdened with, as if they had intended a particular and exact description of them. Buchanan de jure regni apud Scotos, shews, 'That the word tyrant was at first honourable, being attributed to them that had the full power in their hands, which power was not astricted by any bonds of laws, nor obnoxious to the cognition of judges; and that it was the usual denomination of heroes, and thought at first so honourable, that it was attributed to the gods: but as Nero and Judas were sometimes among the Romans and Jews names of greatest account, but afterwards by the faults of two men of these names, it came to pass, that the most flagitious would not have these names given to their children, so in process of time, rulers made this name so infamous by their wicked deeds, that all men abhorred it, as contagious and pestilentious, and thought it a more light reproach to be called hangman than a tyrant.' Thereafter he condescends upon several characters of a tyrant. 1. 'He that doth not receive a government by the will of the people, but by force invadeth it, or intercepteth it by fraud, is a tyrant; and who domineers even over the unwilling (for a king rules by consent,


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