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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Whom he calls Cush the Benjamite in the title of Psal

saints prayers against the

enemies of God. Deborah prayed upon the destruction of a tyrant, so let all thine enemies perish, O Lord, Judg. v. ult. Jotham prayed against the bastard king, Let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem, and--let fire come out from the men of Shechem and devour Abimelech, Judg. ix. 20. David prays against Saul, whom he calls Cush the Benjamite in the title of Psal. vii. alluding to Kish his father, or because he was no better than an Ethiopian, a Cushite, Amos ix. 7. and could no more change his manners than an Ethiopian can change his skin, Jer. xiii. 23. See Pool's synops. critic. in locum. Where it is proven, that this was Saul; against him he prays, that the Lord would awake to judgment, Psal. vii. 6. and that he would break the arm of the wicked and the evil man, Psal. x. 15. that he would not slay them, (to wit, suddenly, or in a common way) lest the people forget, but scatter, and bring them down, and consume them in wrath, that they may not be, that it may be known God ruleth in Jacob to the ends of the earth, Psal. lix. 11, 13. This is a psalm against dogs, ver. 9. what dogs?--Saul and his men watching David. See the title. As also it is against Saul that he prays, that the Lord would not grant his desires, nor further his devices, and as for the head of them that compassed him about, (which was Saul.) Let the mischief of their own lips cover them, Psal. cxl. 8, 9. There is also a prayer, that the saints may execute vengeance, and the judgment written
upon tyrants, and bind them with chains, Psal. cxlix. 6, 8, 9. The church is brought in praying for vengeance against the Babylonian tyrant, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me,--the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon shall the inhabitants of Zion say, Jer. li. 34, 35. Paul imprecates any man that does not love the Lord Jesus, let him be Anathema Maranatha, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. and sure no tyrant, persecutor, subverter of Christ's kingdom, can be a lover of Christ. The martyrs, under the fifth seal slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held, are brought in crying against the tyrants that murdered them, How long! O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood, Revel. vi. 9, 10. Which though it be to be understood of a moral cry of blood, as Abel's blood cried against Cain: yet ought to be a pattern of our prayers against such bloody enemies, imbruing their hands in the blood of our brethren, for which we ought to pray that the Lord would haste to make inquisition. Durham observes from this place, that God's people, in a holy way, may pray for vengeance upon persecutors.

5. Let us consider the person and matter, for whom and for what this prayer is extorted. Either it is for the personal salvation of James the papist, or the royal preservation of James the tyrant. It will not satisfy to pray, that if it be possible, and if it were the Lord's will, he might be taken to heaven, that so we might be quit of him. Neither were it lawful to pray, that, except we prayed first, that he might repent of this his wickedness, if perhaps it might be forgiven him, as Peter directed Simon Magus to pray for himself, Acts viii. 22. for it is unlawful to pray for the salvation of a papist, except upon supposition of his repentance and relinquishing popery. We must pray nothing but according to the will of God; and it is not the will of God, that they that have and keep, and will not part with the mark of the beast, should be saved, for he is adjudged of God to drink of the wine of his wrath, Revel. xiv. 9, 10. So we cannot pray for him as a Christian, which he is not; nor as a papist, except that he may get repentance. Nor can we pray for him as a king, which he is not; nor as a tyrant, except that he may repent of and relinquish his tyranny and usurpation: for tyrants as such cannot be saved, no more than papists as such; for Tophet is ordained of old, yea for the king it is prepared,----Isa. xxx. 33. We cannot then pray for his salvation, except we pray for his repentance, and relinquishing all his sins, and so we must pray for him relinquishing his kingship, and that he may cease to be king; for that is his sin, that he hath made himself king without God, and against the laws of the land.

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