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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

There are many threatnings against illimited loyalty


and the covenants. Then I note

these words, ver. 15. "Shalt thou reign because thou closest thyself in cedar, &c." It is certainly not fit for us to say, He shall reign, of whom the Lord says, He shall not reign; but when we own the authority of those whom the Lord threatens they shall not reign, we say, they shall reign; for we say, they have a right to reign, and own ourselves obliged to do all that is required in our capacity to perpetuate their reign. There is a terrible threatning against Zedekiah, Ezek xx. 25,--27. "Thou profane," or as some translate it, "thou worthy to be killed," (Pool. synops. crit. in locum.) "wicked prince of Israel--Thus saith the Lord God, remove the diadem, take off the crown, this shall not be the same, exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high; I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him." Than which nothing can be more applicable to our princes, who are profane, and the patterns and patrons of it, whose diadem the Lord will remove; and if he threaten it, wo to them that contribute to hold it on. We see here a profane and wicked prince threatned to be overturned must not be owned, because he hath no right; but our excommunicate tyrant is a profane and wicked prince, threatned to be overturned: Ergo--There is another dreadful threatning against tyrants, Amos iv. 1, 2. "Hear this word ye kine of Bashan, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy--The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness,
that lo the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks." Shall we own these, against whom the Lord hath engaged his holiness by oath so solemnly, that he will fish them with hooks? we may fear if there be such a tie as allegiance between them and us, that that same hook which fishes them may also catch us; as it is said of Pharaoh and his subjects, when he is hooked, then his fish stick unto his scales, and he and they are left in the wilderness, Ezek. xxix. 4, 5. that is, as Grotius expounds it, whoever are of his community shall be consorts in his calamity, Pool. Critic. in locum. If we then own them, we must be of their community, and so partake of their judgments.

2. There are many threatnings against illimited loyalty, and those who had more of that than religion: for this Ephraim was broken in judgment, because he walked willingly after the commandment, Hos. v. 11. And because the statutes of Omri were kept, and the works of the house of Ahab, therefore the Lord threatens to make them a desolation, Mic. vi. ult. And among other threatnings against the men of such universal loyalty, that is notable, Hos. x. 3. "Now ye shall say, we have no king, because we feared not the Lord, what then should a king do to us?" It is the just punishment of wicked loyalty, that prefers the fear and favour of kings to the fear and favour of God, that at length they are brought to that pass, that either they have no kings at all to look to, or else they have such of whom it may be said, they are no kings in effect; for they cannot act the part of kings to them that trust in them. Hence, 1. If to have really no kings be a punishment. 2. If those that have the name of kings, that can do no good, be no kings; then tyrants that can do no good, but a great deal of hurt, must be reckoned no kings also; but here it is threatned, people that had kings, that had the name, but could do no good, should reckon they had no kings: therefore much more may tyrants be reckoned to be no kings, who can do no good, but a great deal of hurt.


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