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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And villainy of tyrants and usurpers


If we consider the scripture resemblances, importing the duty of magistrates, and the contrary comparisons, holding forth the sin, vileness, and villainy of tyrants and usurpers; we may infer, that we cannot own the last to be the first. First, From the benefit they bring to the commonwealth, magistrates are stiled, 1. Saviours, as Othniel the son of Kenaz is called, Judges iii. 9. and Jehoahaz in his younger years, 2 Kings xiii. 5. and all good judges and magistrates, Neh. ix. 27. But tyrants and usurpers cannot be such, for they are destroyers, whom the Lord promises to make go forth from his people, Isa. xlix. 17. The Chaldean tyrant is called the destroyer of the Gentiles, Jer. iv. 7. and the destroyer of the Lord's heritage, Jer. l. 11. where they can no more be owned to be magistrates, than Abaddon or Apollyon can be owned to be a saviour. 2. From their paternal love to the people, they are stiled fathers, and therefore to be honoured according to the fifth command. So Deborah was raised up a mother in Israel, Judges v. 7. Kings are nursing fathers by office, Isa. xlix. 23. But that tyrants cannot be such, I have proved already; for they can no more be accounted fathers, than he that abuseth or forceth our mother. 3. From the protection and shelter that people find under their conduct, they are called shields, Psal. xlvii. ult. The princes of the people, the shields of the earth, belong unto God. But tyrants cannot be such, because they are the subverters of the earth. 4.
From the comfort that attends them, they are resembled to the morning light, and fruitful showers of rain, 2 Sam. xxiii. 4. They waited for me, as for the rain, saith Job xxix. 23. But tyrants cannot be resembled to these, but rather to darkness, and to the blast of the terrible ones, Isa. xxv. 4. as a storm against the wall. If darkness cannot be owned to be light, then cannot tyrants be owned to be magistrates. 5. From their pastoral care and conduct and duty, they are feeders. The judges of Israel are commanded to feed the Lord's people, 1 Chron. xvii. 6. David was brought to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance, Psal. lxxvii. 71. But tyrants are wolves, not shepherds. 6. By office they are physicians, or healers, Isa. iii. 7. That tyrants cannot be such, is proven above. Secondly, On the other hand, the vileness, villainy, and violence of tyrants and usurpers, are held forth by fit resemblances, being compared to these unclean creatures. 1. Tyrants are wicked dogs, as they who compass about Christ, Psal. xxii. 16, 20. Saul is called Dog there, and in that golden psalm, Psal. lix. 6. Saul and his accomplices watching the house to kill David, make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 2. They are pushing bulls, Psal. xxii. 12. and crushing kine of Bashan, that oppress the poor, Amos iv. 1. They have need then to have their horns cut short. 3. They are roaring lions, that are wicked rulers over the poor people, Prov. xxviii. 15. Zeph. iii. 3. So Paul calls Nero the lion, out of whose mouth he was delivered, 2 Tim. iv. 17. 4. They are ranging bears, Prov. xxvii. 15. So the Persian monarch is emblemized Dan. vii. 5. 5. They are leviathan, the piercing serpent and dragon, Isa. xxvii. 1. and have great affinity in name and nature with the apocalyptick dragon. So also, Isaiah li. 9. the Egyptian tyrant is called dragon and Nebuchadnezzar swallowed up the church like a dragon, Jer. li. 34. See also Ezek. xxix. 3. 6. They are wolves, ravening for the prey, Ezek. xxii. 27. Evening wolves, that gnaw not the bones till the morrow, Zeph. iii. 3. 7. They are leopards; so the Grecian tyrants are called, Dan. vii. 6. and antichrist, Rev. xiii. 2. 8. They are foxes; so Christ calls Herod, Luke xiii. 32. 9. They are devils, who cast the Lord's people into prison, Rev. ii. 10, 13. Now, can we own all these abominable creatures to be magistrates? Can these be the fathers we are bound to honour in the fifth commandment? They must be esteemed sons of dogs and devils that believe so, and own themselves sons of such fathers.

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