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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

He was no king before this covenant


There

is his work, for this cause pay you tribute also. There is his wages and maintainance. He is called so in that transaction with Rehoboam; the old men advised him to be a servant unto the people, then they should be his servants, 1 Kings xii. 7. There was a conditional bargain proposed: as to be a servant, or tutor, or guardian upon trust, always implies conditions and accountableness to them that entrust them. 3. It must needs be so, otherwise great absurdities would follow. Here would be a voluntary contracted relation, obliging us to relative duties, to a man that owed none correlative to us, and yet one whom we set over us. It were strange, if there were no condition here; and no other voluntarily suscepted relations can be without this, as between man and wife, master and servant, &c. This would give him the disposal of us and ours, as if both we and what we have were his own, as a man's goods are, against which he does not sin whatever he doth with them. So this would make a king that could not sin against us; being no ways obliged to us, for he can no otherwise be obliged to us, but upon covenant conditions; he may be obliged and bound in duty to God otherwise, but he cannot be bound to us otherwise: and if he be not bound, then he may do what he will, he can do no wrong to us to whom he is noways bound. This also is point blank against the law of God, which is the second way to prove it, by the light of revelation or scripture. 1. In the very directions about making
and setting up of kings, the Lord shews what conditions shall be required of them, Deut. xvii. 15. &c. and in all directions for obeying them, the qualifications they should have are rehearsed, as Rom. xii. 3, 4. Therefore none are to be set up but on these conditions, and none are to be obeyed but such as have these qualifications. 2. In his promises of the succession of kings, he secures their continuation only conditionally, to establish the kingdom, if they be constant to do his commandments and judgments, 1 Chron. xxviii. 7. There shall not fail a man to sit upon the throne, yet so that they take heed to their way to walk in God's law, as David did, 2 Chron. vi. 16.

Now he was not otherwise to perform these promises, but by the action and suffrage of the people setting him up, (which he had appointed to be the way of calling kings to thrones,) if therefore the Lord's promise be conditional, the people's actions also behoved to be suspended upon the same conditions. 3. We have many express covenants between rulers and subjects in scripture. Jephthah was fetched from the land of Tob, and made the head of the Gileadites by an explicit mutual stipulation, wherein the Lord was invocated as a witness, Judg. xi. 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. So all the elders of Israel came to make David king; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord, and then they anointed him over Israel, 2 Sam. v. 3. he made there a covenant with them before the Lord, 1 Chron. xi. 3.

He was no king before this covenant, and so it was a pactional oath between him and the kingdom, upon terms according to the law, Deut. xvii. He was only a king in fieri; one who was to be king, but now actually inaugurate a covenanted king upon terms that sanctified them. It is true, they came to recognosce Rehoboam's rights, and came to Shechem to make him king, 1 Kings xii. 1. and yet when he would not enter in covenant-terms with them, to satisfy their just demands, the people answered the king, saying, what portion have we in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, to your


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