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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Resisteth the ordinance of God


that we must own are ordained

of God, do reign, and are set up by God, Prov. viii, 15. (for that and this place are parallel) but tyrants do not reign, nor are set up by God, Hos. viii. 4. They are set up (saith the Lord) but not by me: Ergo, we cannot own them to be ordained of God. 3. Whosoever resisteth this power ordained of God, resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation, verse 2. This cannot be owned of a tyrant, that it is a damnable sin to resist him, for it is duty to resist, and also repress him, as is proven already, and shall be afterwards. Hence, whatsoever authority we own subjection to, we must not resist it; but we cannot own that we must not resist this authority: therefore we cannot own it at all. Again, That cannot be the power not to be resisted, which is acquired and improved by resisting the ordinance or God; but the power of usurpers and tyrants is acquired and improved by resisting the ordinance of God: Ergo, their power cannot be the power not to be resisted. The major is manifest; for when the apostle says, The resisting of the power brings damnation to the resister, certainly that resistance cannot purchase dominion instead of damnation: and if he that resists in a lesser degree, be under the doom of damnation; then certainly he that does it in a greater degree, so as to complete it, in putting himself in place of that power which he resisted, cannot be free. The minor is also undeniable; for, if usurpers acquire their power without
resistance forcible and sensible, it is because they that defend the power invaded, are wanting in their duty; but however morally the tyrant or usurper is always, or in contrary order to a lawful power. 4. Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil, and they that do that which is good, shall have praise of the same, verse 3. This is the character and duty of righteous magistrates, though it be not always their administration; but an usurper and tyrant is not capable or susceptible of this character; but, on the contrary, is, and must be a terror to good works, and a praise to the evil: for he must be a terror to them that would secure their rights and liberties in opposition to his encroachments, which is a good work; and he must be a tutor, patron, and protector of such, as encourage and maintain him in his usurpation and tyranny, which is an evil work: and if he were a terror to the evil, then he would be a terror to himself and all his accomplices, which he cannot be. Therefore, that power which is not capable of the duties of magistrates, cannot be owned; but the power of tyrants and usurpers is such: Ergo--We find in scripture the best commentary on this character, where the duties of a magistrate are described; they must justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked, Deut. xxvii. 1. They must, as Job did, deliver the poor that cry, and put on righteousness as a clothing,----and be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, and a father to the poor----and break the jaws of the wicked, Job xxix. 12, 17. Their throne must be established by righteousness, Prov. xvi. 12. A king sitting on the throne of judgment must scatter away all evil with his eyes----then mercy and truth will preserve him, and his throne is upholden by mercy, Prov. xx. 8, 28. But tyrants have a quite contrary character; the throne of iniquity frames mischief by a law, and condemns the innocent blood, Psal. xciv. 20, 21. They judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them, Isa. i. 23. They build their house by unrighteousness, and their chambers by wrong, and use their neighbours service without wages, Jer. xxii. 13. They oppress the poor, and crush the needy, Amos iv. 1. They turn judgment to gall, and the fruit of righteousness to hemlock, and say, have we not taken horns to us by our own strength, Amos vi. 12, 13. These contrary characters cannot consist together. 5. He is the minister of God for good, verse 4. not by providential commission, as Nebuchadnezzar was, and tyrants may be eventually, by the Lord making all things turn about for the good of the church; but he hath a moral commission from God, and is entrusted by the people, to procure their public and political good at least.

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