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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

But the kingdom is not weaker than the king


4. In the next place, they cannot be owned as masters or proprietors over the goods of the subjects; though in the case of necessity, the king may make use of all goods in common, for the good of the kingdom; for, 1. The introduction of kings cannot overturn nature's foundation; by the law of nature property was given to man, kings cannot rescind that. 2. A man had goods ere ever there was a king; a king was made only to preserve property, therefore he cannot take it away. 3. It cannot be supposed that rational people would choose a king at all, if he had power to turn a great robber to preserve them from lesser robberies and oppressions; would rational men give up themselves for a prey to one, that they might be safe from becoming a prey to others? 4. Then their case should be worse, by erecting of government, if the prince were proprietor of their goods, for they had the property themselves before. 5. Then government should not be a blessing, but a curse, and the magistrate could not be a minister for good. 6. Kingdoms then should be among the goods of fortune, which the king might sell and dispone as he pleased. 7. His place then should not be a function, but a possession. 8. People could not then, by their removes, or otherwise, change their sovereigns. 9. Then no man might dispose of his own goods without the king's consent, by buying or selling, or giving alms; nay, nor pay tribute, for they cannot do these things except they have of their own. 10. This is the very character of a tyrant, as described, 1 Sam. viii. 11. "He will take your sons," Zeph. iii. 3. "Her princes are roaring lions, her judges are evening wolves." 11. All the threatnings and rebukes of oppression condemn this, Isa. iii. 14, 15, Ezek. xlv. 9. Mic. iii. 2, 3. Ahab condemned for taking Naboth's vineyard. 12. Pharaoh had not all the land of Egypt, till he bought it, Gen. xlii. 20. So the land became Pharaoh's not otherwise. Yet giving, and not granting that he were really a master in all these respects; notwithstanding if he turn to pursue me for my life, because of my fidelity to my master and his both, and will withdraw me from the service of the supreme universal master, I may lawfully withdraw myself from his, and disown him for one, when I cannot serve two masters. Sure he cannot be master of the conscience. Thirdly, they cannot come under the conjugal relation, though there may be some proportion between that and subjection to a lawful ruler, because of the mutual covenant transacted betwixt them; but the tyrant and usurper cannot pretend to this, who refuse all covenants.

Yet hence it cannot be inferred, that because the wife may not put away her husband, or renounce him, as he may do her in the case of adultery; therefore the people cannot disown the king in the case of the violation of the royal covenant. For the king's power is not at all properly a husband's power, 1. The wife, by nature, is the weaker vessel, but the kingdom is not weaker than the king. 2. The wife is given as an help to the man; but here the man is given as an help to the common-wealth. 3. The wife cannot limit the husband's power; as subjects may limit their sovereigns. 4. The wife cannot prescribe the time of her continuing under him; as subjects may do with their sovereigns. 5. The wife cannot change her husband; as a kingdom can do their government. 6. The husband hath not power of life and death; but the


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