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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

There is an affirmative precept


vassal) his rage and resolution

in prosecuting a war against Christ and his followers, is such, that if we may make comparisons, our faith will have little more ground to pray for James, than Christians of old could find for Julian the apostate. Nor as a king, for that we cannot do, because he is none with God's approbation, and may not do, for a very heathen could teach us to pray, that God would destroy all kings that put to their hand to alter and destroy the house of God, Ezra vi. 12. And besides, in the second place, with respect to the matter of the duty in general; that cannot be, in faith, which wants a warrant in the word, either by precept, promise, or practice; but to pray for wicked tyrants and enemies of God, wants a warrant in the word, either by precept, promise, or practice: there is no precept for it, either general or particular, neither express, nor any to which this is reducible: and who dare add without a precept in the worship of God, either for matter, manner, or end, what he hath not commanded? For such presumption Nadab and Abihu were destroyed, Levit. x. 1, 2. because they did that which the Lord had not commanded. What command can there be for praying for that, which is against the preceptive will of God? But it is against the preceptive will of God that there should be tyrants: therefore to pray that these may be preserved in the world, cannot fall under a command of God. There is no promise for it, which is the foment and foundation of prayer: we can pray for nothing that we have
not a promise for, either general or particular; but we have none, nor can have any, for the preservation of a plague to us, as tyrants are.

There is no practice for it in scripture, to pray for kings that put to their hand to destroy the house of God. Samuel did indeed mourn for Saul, but the Lord reproved him for it, how long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? 1 Sam. xvi. i. belike this reproof was for his praying for Saul's preservation as king, for otherwise we may mourn for wicked wretches, for their sin and misery both. But hence, if the Lord reprove his servant, for mourning for a king whom he disowned, then we may not pray for such a king whom the Lord disowns, as he disowns all tyrants, for they are set up and not by him; but the antecedent is true in that example of Samuel; therefore also the consequent, that we may not pray for them as kings, whom the Lord disowns.

4. Moreover, to confirm this yet further; that prayer is not of faith, and so sin, which is contrary to the precepts of God, and his promises, and the practices of the saints; but praying for wicked kings, their preservation, is contrary to these precepts, promises, and practices, &c. Ergo----. It is contrary to some divine precepts, both affirmative and negative. There is an affirmative precept, prescribing what prayer should be used under the domination of tyrants, that they should weep and say, Spare thy people, O Lord, give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them, wherefore should they say among the people, where is their God? Joel ii. 17. If it be a reproach to be under heathen rulers, and if we should pray that they may not rule, but that our God may shew himself where he is, and who he is, in delivering his people from their domination; then it is contrary to this, to pray for the preservation of tyrants, that do rule over them to their destruction and reproach; for it is contradictory to pray, that they may not rule, and that they may be preserved in ruling. There is a negative precept, prohibiting the salutation of heretics and enemies of the gospel, which will condemn this salutation of heretical


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