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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Fetters their choice to one destructive to these


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his voluntary assignment,

to whom, and in what proportion, he pleased; then the universal monarchy died with himself, and so could not be conveyed at all: for, either he behoved to give each son a share, to be conveyed downwards to their children in that proportion; or whole and solid to one: so also the former dilemma recurs, for if the first be said, it will make as many little kingdoms as there have been sons of Adam; if the second, the world should be but still one kingdom. But however it be, this could never be the way that God appointed, either for raising a magistratical power where it is wanting, or deriving a right to any in being; considering the multiplication, division, confusion, and extinction of families that have been. If it be from Fergus the first of his line; then either it comes from him as a king, or as a father: not the first, for the reason above hinted: nor as a father; for a father may defraud his son of the heritage, a king cannot divide the kingdom among his sons; it must then be length refounded on the peoples consent. 3. If even where lineal succession is constituted by law, for eviting the inconveniencies of frequent elections, people are not tied to admit every first born of that line; then that birth-right, where there is no more, cannot make a king; but the former is true; for they are tied only conditionally, so he be qualified, and have a head to sit at the helm, and not a fool or monster; neither are they free to admit murderers or idolaters by the laws of God, and of
the land: it is not birth then, but their admission being so qualified, that makes kings. Hence, 4. That which takes away the peoples birth-right, given them of God to provide for their liberties in the fittest government, and that is not to be owned; but to make birth alone a title to the crown, takes away the peoples birth-right given them of God of providing for their liberties in the fittest government, fetters their choice to one destructive to these. Certainly where God hath not bound the conscience, men may not bind themselves nor their posterity; but God hath never fettered men to a choice of a government or governing line; which, contrary to the intention of the oath, may prove destructive to the ends thereof. Nor can the fathers leave in legacy, by oath, any chains to fetter the after wits of posterity to a choice destructive to religion and liberty. Israel was bound, by covenant, not to destroy the Gibeonites; but if they had risen to cut off Israel, Who can doubt but they were loosed from that obligation? For to preserve cut-throats was contrary to the intention of the oath: so when either monarchy, or the succeeding monarch, proves destructive to the ends of government, the choice, law, or oath of our fathers, cannot bind us. 5. If we are tied to the hereditary succession, not for the right the successor hath by birth, but for our covenanted allegiance to them whose successor he is; then cannot his birth-right be the ground of our allegiance, and consequently hereditary succession cannot make a king; but the former is true; for in hereditary crowns, the first family being chosen by the suffrages of the people, for that cause the hereditary successor hath no privilege or prerogative, but from him who was chosen king: therefore the obligation to the son, being no greater than the obligation to the father, which is the ground of that, if the father then was owned only because he was chosen, and qualified for government, the son cannot be owned for any other cause, but as chosen in him, and also qualified and admitted with


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