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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Coniah with a life without prosperity


There are many promises of breaking the yoke of tyrants, Isa. x. 27. "His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck." And in that promise of the church's deliverance and enlargement, wherein they are prophetically urged and stirred up to some activity in co-operating with the providence, Isa. lii. 1, 2. "They are called to awake, and put on strength and their beautiful garments--and to shake themselves from the dust--and to rise and to loose themselves from the bands of their neck," that were captives. Here is not only a promise of deliverance or a ground of encouragement what the church may expect, but a promise of, and direction for their being active in delivering themselves, as men, from the encroachments that were made on their human liberties, that they should loose themselves from these bands. Whose bands? from their bands that ruled over them, and made them to howl, and the Lord's name to be blasphemed, (ver. 5) Here is a promise of breaking the bands of rulers, by them who howled under their subjection. And it also includes a precept, that people should not stay any longer under these yokes, than they can shake them off, or slip from under them. Hence we see we are not to ly stupidly sleeping, or sinking in the ditch, expecting the accomplishment of the promise of deliverance; but are to endeavour actively, in dependence upon the Lord's assistance, to deliver ourselves. Hence we may argue, 1. A promise by way of command, that a people
under bands of oppressing rulers shall rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them, implies and infers a promise and a duty of disowning those rulers (for otherwise they cannot be loosed from their subjection.) But here is a promise by way of command, that a people under bands of oppressing rulers shall rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them: Ergo----2. If the removal of tyranny and usurpation be promised as a blessing, then those can never be owned to be the ordinance of God; for the removal of that can never be a blessing; but in these promises we see the removal of those is promised as a blessing: therefore they can never be owned.

Sixthly, To the same purpose we may cite some threatnings, that will confirm the same truth.

1. There are many threatnings against tyrants themselves. There are two mentioned, Jer. xxii. that seem partly to quadrate, and near of a piece with our misrulers; both because of the demerit of the threatning, and the likeness of the judgment threatned. The ground of it was "building their house by unrighteousness, and their chambers by wrong," ver. 13. And severally threatned: "Jehoiakim with the burial of an ass unlamented," ver. 18, 19. Coniah with a life without prosperity, and a death without issue to succeed, ver. 30. The first of these is verified in the elder of our royal brothers, the last is like to be of both. But that which I take notice of is, first, the demerit, building their house by unrighteousness, on which Whitehall is built with a witness: and particularly it is noted of Jehoiakim, as his crimson sin (to which his son Jehoiachin or Coniah served himself heir) that he burnt Jeremiah's roll, or causes of wrath; so did our dominators burn the causes of wrath (a book written by the commission of the general assembly)

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