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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

It is turned inept for answering the ends of its erection


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magistracy itself. For this is that power which is of God; but monarchy, &c. is only a human creature, about the creation whereof men take a liberty, according to what suits them best in their present circumstances. And as to this species of monarchy; men are never left at liberty to clothe therewith any inept or impious person. And they are perfectly loosed from it. 1. When that species of government becomes opposite to the ends of government, and is turned tyranny, especially when a legal establishment is pretended, then it affects with its contagion the very species itself: the house is to be pulled down, when the leprosy is got into the walls and foundation. 2. When it is exercised, it is turned inept for answering the ends of its erection, and prejudicial to the main thing for which government is given, to wit, the gospel and the coming of Christ's kingdom: hence it is promised to the church, Isa. xlix. 23. 'Kings shall be nursing fathers to the church:'----And Isa. lii. 15. It is promised to the Mediator that 'Kings shall shut their mouths,'----_i.e._ never a word in their head, but out of reverence and respect to his absolute sovereignty, they shall take the law from him, without daring to contract, far less to take upon them to prescribe in the house of God, as they in their wisdom think fit. 3. When providence, without any sinful hand, makes that species impossible to be kept up, without the ruin of that for which it was erected: when things comes to this push, whosoever are clothed with the power, are then under an obligation to comply with that alteration of providence, for the safety of the people; else they declare themselves unworthy of rule, and such who would sacrifice the interest of their people to their particular interest; in which case the people may make their public servant sensible, he is at his highest elevation but a servant. Hence now, when this species named in the covenant, viz. monarchy, is by law so vitiate, as it becomes the mean and instrument of the destruction of all the ends of that covenant, and now by law transmitted to all successors as a hereditary, pure, perfect and perpetual opposition to the coming of Christ's kingdom, so that as long as there is one to wear that crown, (but Jehovah will in righteousness execute Coniah's doom upon the race, Jer. xxii. _ult._ 'Write this man childless'----) and enter heir to the government as now establishment, he must be an enemy to Christ; there is no other way left, but to think on a new model moulded according to the true pattern. As to the second, we are far less obliged to own and acknowledge the interest of any of the two monarchs, that we have been mourning under these many years, from these sacred covenants. For, as to the first of them, Charles II. Those considerations did cassate his interest, as to any covenant obligation to own him. 1. In these covenants we are not sworn absolutely to maintain the king's person and authority, but only conditionally, in the preservation and defence of religion and liberties. Now, when this condition was not performed, but, on the contrary, professedly resolved never to be fulfilled; and when he laid out himself to the full of his power and authority, for the destruction of that reformed religion and liberties of the kingdom, which he solemnly swore to defend when he received the crown, only in the terms that he should be a loyal subject to Christ, and a true and faithful servant to the people, in order to which a magistrate is chosen, and all his worth, excellency, and valuableness, consists in his answering that purpose; for the excellency of a mean, as such, is to be measured from the end, and its answerableness thereunto: we were not then obliged, to maintain such an enemy to these precious interests. 2. Because, as the people were bound to him, so he was bound to them by the same covenant, being only on these terms entrusted with the government, all which conditions he perfidiously broke, whereupon only his authority and our allegiance were founded; and thereby we were loosed from all reciprocal obligation to him by virtue of that covenant. 3. Though he and we stood equally engaged to the duties of that covenant, only with this difference, that the king's capacity being greater, he was the more obliged to have laid out that power, in causing all to stand to their covenant engagements, as Josiah did, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 31, 32, 33. (but alas! there was never a Josiah in the race,) yet he rose up to the height of rebellion against God and the people, in heaven daring insolency, and not only brake, but burnt that covenant, and made laws to cass and rescind it, and made a not-concurring in this conspiracy, a note of incapacity for any trust in church or state.


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