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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

In repressing and restraining such wickedness


threatens, that they should

be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh for that which he did in Jerusalem, Jer. xv. 4. Certainly passages were recorded for our learning, Rom. xv. 4. and for our examples, to the intent we should not do as they did, 1 Cor. x. 6. and for our admonition, ver. 11. Whence we may be admonished, that it is not enough to keep ourselves free of public sins of rulers; many of those then punished, were free of all actual accession to them; but they became accessory to, and involved in the guilt of them, when they did not endeavour to hinder them, and bring them to condign punishment for them, according to the law of God, which respecteth not persons; or, at least, because they did not revolt from them, as Libnah did: there might be other provocations on the peoples part, no doubt, which the Lord did also punish by these judgments; but when the Lord specifies the sin of rulers as the particular procuring cause of the judgment; it were presumption to make it the occasion only of the Lord's punishing them: for plain it is, if these sins of rulers had not been committed, which was the ground of the threatening and execution, the judgment would have been prevented; and if the people had bestirred themselves as became them, in repressing and restraining such wickedness, they had not so smarted; and when that sin, so threatened and punished, was removed, then the judgment itself was removed or deterred. It is just and necessary, that the subjects, being jointly included
with their rulers in the same bond of fidelity to God, be liable to be punished for their rebellion and apostacy, when they continue under the bond of subjection to them. But how deplorable were our condition, if we should stand obnoxious to divine judgments, for the atheism, idolatry, murders, and adulteries of our rulers, and yet be neither authorized nor capacitated to hinder it, nor permitted to withdraw ourselves from subjection to them? But it is not so; for, the Lord's making us responsible for their debt, is an impowering us either to repress their wickedness when he gives us capacity, or at least to save ourselves harmless from their crimes, by disowning them; that being the only way of standing no longer accountable for their souls.

12. It remains to consider the ends for which government was institute by God, and constitute by men; from whence I argue, that government, that destroys the ends of government, is not to be owned; but tyranny, and especially this under which we howl, destroys all the ends of government; therefore it is not to be owned. The minor I prove thus, That government, that destroys all religion and safety, destroys all the ends of government; but this popish and arbitrary absolute power, destroys religion and safety; therefore--it is evident, both from the laws of nature and revelation, that the ends of government are the glory of God, and the good of mankind. The first is the glory of God, the ultimate end of all ordinances; to which whatever is opposite, is not


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