free ebooks

A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And avenge themselves against them


and David, before they were

magistrates, did avenge themselves and the Lord upon them, as is before cleared. It is also true, that there was some holy severity then to be extended against particular nations as such, peculiar to that dispensation, which is not pleaded as imitable; but the ground was moral, and the right of a people's saving themselves by the destruction of their enemies; when there is no other way for it, is natural. And this is all we plead for here. If people may vex their enemies, and avenge themselves against them, even without public authority, when ensnared by their craftiness; much more may they put a stop to their insolency, by cutting off their principle and most pernicious instruments, in case of necessity, when invaded by their cruelty; but here a people is commanded to vex their enemies, and avenge themselves on them, and accordingly Gideon and David did so, without public authority, and that upon a ground which is moral and natural: Ergo--(2.) The execution of the punishment of murderers is committed to the people: 'The revenger of blood, himself shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him, he shall slay him,' Numb. xxxv. 19, 21. So that if he met him before he got into any city of refuge, he might lawfully slay him, and if he did flee to any, he was to be rendered up to the avengers hands, Deut. xix. 12. that the guilt of innocent blood may be put away from Israel, ver. 23. This revenger of blood was not the magistrate: for he was the party pursuing, Numb. xxxv. 24. Between
whom and the murderer the congregation was to judge: he was only the next in blood or kindred. In the original he is called Goel, the redeemer, or he to whom the right of redemption belongs, and very properly so called, both because he seeks redemption and compensation for the blood of his brother, and because he redeems the land from blood guiltiness, in which otherwise it would be involved. I do not plead that this is always to be imitated, as neither it was always practised in Israel; but if a private man, in a hot pursuit of his brother's murderer, might be his avenger, before he could be brought to judgment, then much more may this power be assumed, in a case of necessity, when there is no judgment to be expected by law, and when not only our brethren have been murdered by them that profess a trade of it, but others also and ourselves are daily in hazard of it, which may be prevented in cutting them off. I do not see what is here merely judicial, so as to be rejected as Judaical: for sure murderers must be slain now as well as then, and there is the same hazard of their escaping now as then: murder involves the land in guilt, now as well as then, and in this case of necessity especially, that law that gives a man right to preserve himself, gives him also right to be his own avenger, if he cannot otherwise defend himself. (3.) Not only the execution, the decision of matters of life and death, is committed to them; as in the case of blasphemy and cursing,

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us