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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And their bringing Amaziah unto condign punishment


We have also precepts, from whence we may consequentially conclude the approven duty of defensive arms against oppressing rulers.

1. The children of Israel are commanded to vex the Midianites, and smite them, for saith the Lord, they vex you with their wiles, Numb. xxv. 17, 18. And to avenge themselves, Numb. xxx. 2. Which did not only oblige the people, when they had Moses for their magistrate to lead them forth; but in the days of Gideon, when they were under their rule whom they were to avenge themselves upon. Hence, if people must vex their enemies, and avenge themselves of them, by war offensive, when ensnared by their craftiness; much more may they resist them by a war defensive, when invaded by their cruelty.

2. There is a command to punish every city or party making apostacy unto idolatry, Deut. xiii. 12, 15. Upon this moral ground was Israel's war against Benjamin, Judg. xx. And their bringing Amaziah unto condign punishment; which is vindicated by Mr. Knox, See above Per. 3. pag. 52, 53. Hence, if people are to bring to condign punishment idolatrous apostates seeking to entice them; then much more ought they to resist such tyrants seeking to enforce them to such apostacy.

3. There is a precept, not only to defend, but also to rescue and deliver our brethren when in hazard, Prov. xxiv. 11, 12. We must not forbear to deliver them, when drawn to death: which will at

least infer the duty of assisting them when forced to defend themselves; for, if it be a duty to rescue them from any prevailing power that would take their lives unjustly, much more is it duty to defend them and ourselves both against their murdering violence; but it is duty to rescue them, &c.

4. All that would learn to do well, are commanded, Isa. i. 17. to relieve the oppressed; which is not spoken to magistrates only, many of whom were the oppressors, the princes were rebellious, and companions of thieves, ver. 23, So also, Isa. lviii. 6. It is required of a people that would be accepted of God in their humiliations; to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. Hence, if it be duty to relieve the oppressed by breaking the yoke of them that oppress them; then it is duty to defend them and ourselves, both against them that would oppress us more; but the former is here commanded: Therefore, &c.

5. There is a command for a spoiled oppressed people, when the Lord is reconciled to them, and sympathizes with them, to deliver themselves from their rulers servitude, Zech. ii. 7. 'Deliver thyself O Zion, which dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.' Which comprehends all the ordinary active means of people's delivering themselves, from oppressing powers that rule over them: and consequently defensive resistance; for it cannot only be restricted to flight included (ver. 6.) the promise annexed (ver. 9.) imports more, when they that spoiled them shall be a spoil to their servants: whereby it insinuated, they were so to deliver themselves, as not only to free themselves from their servitude, but to bring their masters under subjection. Hence, if the Lord's people, being subject to tyrants ruling over them for the time, may deliver themselves from their oppressing masters, then may they resist them, and defend themselves: The antecedent is express here in the command.

6. There is a command given by Christ

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