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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Have no other ordination of God impowering them to be rulers


may be of God, either of his hand working, or bringing them about, ordaining and ordering them to be to his glory, either by a holy over-ruling providence, as Samson's desire of a wife was of God, Judg. xiv. 4. and Amaziah's insolent and foolish rejection of Joash's peaceable overture, 2 Chron. xxv. 20. or by a powerful effective providence; so Rom. xi. 36. Of him and through him are all things, 1 Cor. viii. 6. One God, of whom are all things. Or things be of God, of his word warranting and authorizing. So we are commanded to try the spirits; whether they be of God (1 John iv. i.) So in this sense, sin, tentation, lust, corruptions of the world are not of God, Jam. i. 13, 1 John ii. 16.

Again, things are ordained of God, ether by the order of his counsel or providential will; either effectively, by way of production, or direction; or permissively, by way of non-impedition: or they are ordained by the order of his word and preceptive will. The former is God's rule, the latter is ours: the former is always accomplished, the latter is often contradicted: the former orders all actions, even sinful; the latter only that which is good and acceptable in the sight of God: by the former Israel rejected Samuel, by the latter they should have continued Samuel's government, and not sought a king: by the former Athaliah usurped the government, by the latter she should have yielded obedience, and resigned the government to the posterity of Ahaziah: by the

former, all have a physical subordination to God at creatures, subject to his all disposing will; by the latter, those whom he approves have a moral subordination to God, as obedient subjects to his commanding will. Now magistrates are of God, and ordained by him both these ways, tyrants but one of them. I say, magistrates, the higher powers, to whom we owe and must own subjection, are of God both these ways; both by his purpose and providence; and that not merely eventual, but effective and executive of his word, disposing both of the title and right, and possession of the power, to them whom he approves, and bringing the people under a conscientious subjection, and by his word and warrant. So Adonijah the usurper (though he had the pretence of hereditary right, and also possession by providence) was forced to own king Solomon in these terms, upon which only a magistrate may be owned: 'the kingdom' says he, 'was mine, and all Israel set their faces on me that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and become my brother's, for it was his from the Lord,' 1 Kings ii. 15. He had both providence turning about the kingdom to him, and also the warrant of the Lord's approbative and preceptive will. But tyrants and usurpers are only of God, and ordained of God, by his over-ruling purpose and permissive providence, either for performing his holy purpose towards themselves, as Rehoboam's professing he would be a tyrant, and refusing the lawful desires of the people was of God, 2 Chron. x. 15. or for a judgement and vengeance upon them that are subject to them, Zech. xi. 6. whereby they get a power in their hand, which is the rod of the Lord's indignation, and a charge and commission against a hypocritical nation, Isa. x. 5, 6. This is all the power they have from God, who 'gives Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers, when they sin against him,' Isa. xlii. 24. This doth not give these robbers any right, no more than they whose 'tabernacle prosper, into whose hand God bringeth abundantly,' Job xii. 6. Thus all robbers, and the great legal robbers, tyrants and their authorized murderers, may be of God, viz. by his providence. Hence those that are not ordained of God's preceptive will, but merely by his providential will; their authority is not to be owned; but tyrants and usurpers are not ordained of God's preceptive, but merely by his providential will. The minor needs no proof, yet will be cleared by many following arguments, the major will be afterwards more demonstrated. Here I shall only say, they that have no other ordination of God impowering them to be rulers, than the devil hath, must not be owned; but they that have no other than the ordination of providence, have no other ordination of God impowering them to be rulers, than the devil hath: therefore they that have no other than the ordination of providence, must not be owned.

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