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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

When Zebulon and Naphthali jeoparded their lives


2dly,

We have in the scripture both tacit and express reproofs, for lying by from this duty in the season thereof,

1. In Jacob's swan song or prophetical testament, wherein he foretels what should be the fate and future condition of each of the tribes, and what should be remarked in their carriage influencing their after lot in their generations, for which they should be commended or discommended, approved or reproved; coming to Issachar, he prophetically exprobates his future ass like stupidity, that indulging himself in his lazy ease, and lukewarm security, he should be mancipate himself and his interests into a servile subjection unto his oppressors impositions, even when he should be in a capacity to shake them off, and free himself, by resistance, Gen. xlix. 14, 15. "Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens." This is set down by the Holy Ghost, as the brand and bane, not of the person of Issachar, Jacob's son, but of the tribe, to be inured upon them, when they should be in such a condition by their own silliness: Hence I argue, If the Holy Ghost exprobrate a people for their stupid subjection to prevailing tyranny, when they do not improve their ability, capacity, and right to maintain and defend their liberties and privileges, from all unjust invasion; but the former is true here: therefore also the later.

2. In Deborah's song after their victorious resistance, the people are severely upbraided

for not concurring in that expedition, Jud. v. 16, 17, 23. and Meroz is particularly cursed for not coming to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. This is recorded as a resting reproof, against all that will with draw their helping hand from the Lord's people, when necessitate to appear in defensive arms for the preservation of their lives and liberties. On the other hand, Zebulon and Naphthali are commended for jeoparding their lives in the high places of the fields, and are approved in that practice of fighting against the king of Canaan, that then ruled over them, ver. 18, 19. Hence, if people be reproved and cursed for staying at home to look to their own interests, when others jeopard their lives for their countries defence and freedom from tyranny and oppression; then this implies it is a duty to concur in so venturing; but here, Reuben, Dan, Asher, and Meroz, are reproved and cursed for staying at home, when Zebulon and Naphthali jeoparded their lives, &c. Ergo.

3dly, We have in the scriptures many promises of the Lord's approving and countenancing the duty of defensive arms, even against their oppressing rulers.

1. In that forecited testament of the patriarch Jacob, in that part of it which concerns God, he prophesies that tribe shall have a lot in the world answering his name, and be engaged in many conflicts with oppressing dominators, who at first should prevail over him, but at length God should so bless his endeavours, to free himself from their oppressions, that he should overcome. There is an excellent elegancy in the original, answering to the etymology of the name of Gad, which signifies a troop, reading thus in the Hebrew, Gad, a troop shall overtroop him, but he shall overtroop them at the last, Gen. xlix. 19. And Moses homologating the same testimony, in his blessing the tribes before his death, shows, that he should make a very forcible and successful resistance, and should execute the justice of the Lord over his oppressors, Deut. xxxiii. 20, 21, Wherein is implied a promise of resistance to be made against oppressing conquerors, who should acquire the supreme rule over them for a time: and the success of that resistance for overcoming, necessarily supposes resistance. Hence, where there is a promise of success at last to a people's conflicts against prevailing tyranny, there is implied an approbation of the duty, and also a promise of its performance wrapped up in that promise; but here is a promise, &c. Ergo--


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