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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

By right he falleth from his sovereignty and pag


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tents, O Israel, vers. 16.

They refused to acknowledge such an usurper, and we find no prophets ever condemning them for it. So when Jehoash or Joash was crowned, Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, between the king also and the people, 2 Kings xi. 17. 2 Chron. xxiii. 11, 16. From all these reasons and scriptures, it is clear, there must be a mutual compact between the subjects and every sovereign they own subjection to, which if he refuse, and usurp the sword, they are under an anterior obligation to subtract their allegiance, and to make use of their sword, if they be in capacity to pull it out of his hands, and use it against him. And of this we are put in mind by the motto of our old coronation pieces, which have these words about the sword, 'for me, but, if I deserve, against me:' and surely to him that hath it now in his hands, it may be said, thou hast deserved, and as yet deserves. We see then, the allegiance that this usurper alledges is his due, wants a bottom, to wit, a compact with the people. Whence I argue, if there must of necessity be a compact between the king and the people, when he is advanced to the government: then he that advances himself, without and against this compact, is an usurper not to be owned; but the former is true: therefore he that advances himself without and against this compact, is an usurper not to be owned. And who more notoriously deserving such a signature, than James VII. and II. who hath made horns of his own strength, or the
Pope's bulls, to push his brother out and himself into the throne, upon no terms at all, or any security for religion and liberty. One objection is to be removed here: can the customs of the Jews be binding to all nations? The kings of Judah made such covenants, shall therefore all kings do so? _Answ._ Why not this custom, as well as crowning, which they used likewise? These rules are not typical or ceremonial, nor only so judicial as to be peculiarly judicial, but are matters of moral equity, bearing a standing reason founded upon that law, Deut. xvii. 15. &c. limiting the prince to stand to conditions. If we cast at divine laws for rules of government where will we find better laws? It is recorded of the first of the British kings who was Christian, that writing to Eleutherius bishop of Rome, (before Antichrist took that seat) for the Roman laws, he received this answer: 'By divine clemency ye have received the law and faith of Christ, you have the Old and New Testaments, out of them in God's name by counsel of your states take laws, and govern your kingdom.' And of another, that he began his laws thus. God spake all these words, &c. And so repeated the laws of God. The second thing I undertook to prove, is that assertion of Buchanan ubi supra, de Jure Regni. 'There being a paction between the king and subjects, he who first recedes from what is covenanted, and doth counteract what he hath covenanted, he looses the contract; and the bond being loosed which did hold fast the king with the people, whatever right did belong to him by virtue of that compact, he looses it, and the people are as free as before the stipulation.' Which is also asserted by the author of Jus populi, chap. 6. pag. 112. 'It is no less clear, that when the sovereign doth not perform the principal, main, and most necessary conditions, condescended and agreed upon, by right he falleth from his sovereignty: and pag. 117. when the prince doth violate his compact, as to all its conditions, or as to its chief, main, and most necessary condition, the subjects are by right free from subjection to him, and at liberty to make choice of another.' This is so clear that it needs no labour to prove it, that, upon this head, we were loosed from all allegiance to the former tyrant, who was admitted upon terms of an explicit covenant, the conditions whereof he did as explicitly break.


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