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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

That Elisha was an extraordinary man


5.

Another example of the like nature we have in the reign of Baasha, who succeeded to Nadab, Jeroboam's son, whom he slew, and reigned in his stead, (the same way that the duke came to the throne) for he could not keep his subjects within his kingdom, but behoved to build Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa, king of Judah, a good prince, 1 Kings xv. 17. yet that could not hinder them, but many strangers out of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and Simeon, fell to him in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him, 2 Chron. xv. 9. Hence, if people may choose another king, when they see the Lord is with him, then they may disown their country king, when they see the devil is with him.

9. When Jeroboam, the son of Ahab, reigned over Israel, we have an express example of Elisha's disowning him, 2 Kings iii. 14, 15. And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, what have I to do with thee?----As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look towards thee, nor see thee. Here he declares so much contempt of him, and so little regard, that he disdains him a look.

And if he would not regard him, nor give him honour, then he did not own him as king; for all kings are to be honoured, that are owned to be kings really. It may be alledged by some, that Elisha was an extraordinary man, and this was an

extraordinary action, and therefore not imitable. I shall grant it so far extraordinary, that it is not usual to carry so to persons of that figure, and that indeed there are few Elishas now, not only for his prophetic spirit which now is ceased, but even in respect of his gracious spirit of zeal, which in a great measure is now extinguished: he was indeed an extraordinary man, and this action did demonstrate much of the spirit of Elias to have been abiding with him. But that this was was inimitable, these reasons induce me to deny, (1.) Prophets were subjects to kings, as well as others, as Nathan was to David (1 Kings i 32, 33.) every soul must be subject to the higher powers that are of God. (2.) All the actions of prophets were not extraordinary, nor did they every thing by extraordinary inspiration; that was peculiar to Christ, that he could prophesy, and do extraordinary acts when he pleased, because he received the spirit not by measure, and it rested upon him. (3.) This particular action and carriage was before he called for the minstrel, and before the hand of the Lord came upon him, ver. 15. Ergo, this was not by inspiration. (4.) The ground of this was moral and ordinary, for hereby he only shewed himself to be a person fit to abide in the Lord's tabernacle, and an upright walker, in whose eyes a vile person is contemned, Psal. xv. 4. And a just man, to whom the unjust is an abomination, Prov. xxix. 29. What further can be alledged against this instance, I see not. And I need draw no argument by consequence, it is so plain.

7. This same Jehoram, after many signal demonstrations of the power of God exerted in the ministry of his servant Elisha, which sometimes did extort his acknowledgement, and made him call the prophet his father, 2 Kings vi. 21. yet, when in the strait siege of Samaria, he was plagued with famine for his idolatry, insomuch that the pitiful mothers were made to eat their own tender children; became so insolent a tyrant, that being incensed into a madness of outragious malice against the prophet Elisha, that he sware, God do so to him, and more also, if the head of Elisha, the son of Shaphat, should stand on him that day, accordingly he sent a messenger to execute it. But the prophet, from a principle of nature, and reason, and law, as well as grace, and by the spirit of a man as well as of a prophet, stood upon his defence and encouraged those that were with him to keep out the house against him, saying, see ye how this son of a murderer (a proper stile for such a monster of a king) hath sent to take away mine head--2 Kings vi. 32. This is a strong argument for self defence; but I improve it thus; if tyrants may be opposed as sons of murderers, and murderers themselves, and no otherwise to be accounted than under such a vile character, then can they not be owned as kings; but here is an example for the first: Ergo.--


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