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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Whosoever killeth them deserves a reward


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should be exposed and torn

in pieces. Sometimes they ordered before hand to have it done; as when they condemned Didimus Julianus, they sent a tribune to slay him in the palace: nay, they have gone so far, as in some cases to appoint reward for such as should kill those tyrants that trampled upon their laws, and murdered virtuous and innocent people; as that sentence of the senate against the two Maximini doth witness, Whosoever killeth them deserves a reward. Buchanan as above, rehearsing many instances of this nature, gives reasons of their approveableness; and these I find here and there scattered, in his book, de jure Regni, 1. They that make a prey of the commonwealth, are not joined to us by any civil bond or tie of humanity, but should be accounted the most capital enemies of God and of all men. 2. They are not to be counted as within human society, but transgressors of the limits thereof; which whoso will not enter into, and contain himself within, should be taken and treated as wolves, or other kinds of noisome beasts, which whosoever spares, he preserves them to his own destruction, and of others; and whosoever killeth, doth not only good to himself, but to all others; and therefore doth merit rather reward than to be condemned for it. For if any man, divested of humanity, should degenerate into such cruelty, as he would not meet with other men but for their destruction (as the monsters I am speaking of, could meet with none of the party here treated on, but to this effect) he is not to be called
a man, no more than satyrs, apes or bears. 3. It is expressly commanded to cut off wickedness and wicked men, without any exception of rank or degree; and, if kings would abandon the counsels of wicked men, and measure their greatness rather by duties of virtue, than by the impunity of evil deeds, they would not be grieved for the punishment of tyrants, nor think that royal majesty is lessened by their destruction, but rather be glad that it is purged from such a stain of wickedness. 4. What is here to be reprehended? is it the cause of their punishment? That is palpable. Is it the law which adjudges them to punishment? All laws were desired as necessary for repressing tyrants; whosoever doth condemn this, must likewise condemn all the laws of nations. Is it the person executing the laws? Where will any other be found to do it in such circumstances? 5. A lawful war being once undertaken with an enemy for a just cause, it is lawful not only for the whole people to kill that enemy, but for every one of them: every one therefore may kill a tyrant, who is a public enemy, with whom all good men have a perpetual warfare; meaning, if he be habitually tyrannical, and destructive to the people, so that there is no living for good people for him; otherwise, though a man by force or fraud acquire sovereignty, no such violence is to be done to him, providing he use a moderate way in his government, such as Vespasian among the Romans, Hiero in Syracuse. 6. Treason cannot be committed against one who destroys all laws and liberties of the people, and is a pernicious plague to the commonwealth.


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