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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Both immediately and mediately


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himself and by the people.

Wherever then there is authority to be owned of men, there must be these two, constitution from God and constitution from the people. For the first, God hath a special interest in the constitution of authority, both immediately and mediately. Immediately, he declares such and such forms of government to be lawful and eligible, and does order whom, and who, and how people shall direct governors. And so, he confers royal graces, and endowments, and gifts for government on them, as on Joshua and Saul: so they become the Lord's anointed, placed and set on the throne of the Lord, 1 Chron. xxix. 23. and honoured with majesty, as his deputes and vicegerants, having their crown let on by God, Psal. xxi. 3. But in regard now he doth not by any special revelation determine, who shall be the governors in this or that place; therefore he makes this constitution by meditation of men, giving them rules how they shall proceed in setting them up. And seeing, by the law of nature, he hath enjoined government to be, but hath ordered no particular in it with application to singulars he hath committed it to the positive transaction of men, to be disposed according to certain general rules of justice. And it must needs be so; for first, without this constitution, either all or none would be magistrates: if he hath ordained civil power to be, and taken no order in whom it shall be, or how it shall be conveyed, any might pretend to it; and yet none would have it, more than another. If then he hath affixed
it to a peculiar having and holding, by virtue whereof this man is enstated and entitled to the office, and not that man, there must be a law for constituting him in authority, which will discover in whom it is. 2. If it were not so, then resisting of a particular magistrate would not be a resisting of the ordinance of God, if a particular magistrate were not constitute of God, as well as magistracy is institute of God: for still it would be undetermined, who were the owner; and so it would be left as free and lawful for the resister to take the place, as for the resisted to hold it; the institution would be satisfied if any possessed it: therefore there must be constitution to determine it. 3. No common law of nature can put in practice, without particular constitution regulating it. That wives and children own their superior relations, is the law of nature; but there must be such a relation first fixed by human transaction, before they can own them; there must be marriage authorized of God, there must be children begotten, and then the divine ordination of these relative duties take place. So the judges of Israel for four hundred and fifty years were given of God, Acts xiii. 20. not all by an immediate express designation, but a mediate call from God by men, as Jephthah; Judg. xi. 6, 11. Inferior judges also are magistrates appointed by God, yet they have their deputation from men. Our Saviour speaks of all magistrates, when he applies that of the 82 psalm to them, I said ye are gods; and shews how they were gods,


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