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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Let be determination of the species or kind of magistracy


10.

As tyranny is a destructive plague to all the interests of men and Christians; to anarchy, the usual product of it, is no less pernicious, bringing a community into a paroxysm as deadly and dangerous. We must own government to be absolutely necessary, for the constitution and conservation of all societies. I shall not enter into a disquisition, let be determination of the species or kind of magistracy, whether monarchy aristocracy or democracy, be preferable. My dispute, at present, is not levelled against monarchy, but the present monarch: not against the institution of the species (though I believe, except we betake ourselves to the divine allowance and permission; we shall be as puzzled to find out the divine original of it, as cosmographers are in their search of the spring of Nilus, or theologues of the Father of Melchizedeck) but the constitution of this individual monarchy established among us, which, in its root and branch, spring and streams, in its original, nature, ends and effects, is diametrically opposite to religion and liberty; and because its contagion, universally converting and corrupting all the ends and orders of magistracy, doth affect and infect all the subordinate officers, deriving their power from such a filthy fountain; we must also subtract and deny their demanded acknowledgments as any way due, so long as they serve the pride and projects of such a wicked power: and do not reckon ourselves obliged by covenant, or any otherwise (though, in the third
article of the solemn league, we are bound to preserve the rights and privileges of our parliaments, and consequently the honour and deference that's due to our peers, or other parliament-men, acting according to the trust committed to them, but not when they turn traitors engaged in a conspiracy with the tyrant) to own or defend a soulless shadow of a court cabal, made up of persons who have sold themselves to work wickedness, in conspiring with this throne of iniquity against the Lord, which is all we have for a parliament, whom we can in no ways own as our representatives, but must look upon them as perjured and perfidious traitors to God and their country, which they have betrayed into the hands of a tyrant; and therefore divested of that power and authority, which they had of the people as their representatives, which now is returned to the fountain. And therefore we must act as we can against them, and also what is necessary for securing of ourselves, religion and liberty, without them. We would think nobles, ennobled with virtue, a great mercy and encouragement; and if they would concur in the testimony for religion and liberty, we would be glad that they should lead the van, and prove themselves to be powers appointed by God, in acting for him in his interest. But for the want of their conduct, we must not surcease from that duty that they abandon, nor think that the concurrence of peers is so necessary to legitimate our actions, as that without that formality our resolutions to maintain the truth of God on all hazards, in a private capacity, were unlawful in the court of God and nature: but, on the contrary, must judge that their relinquishing


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