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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Whether it belonged to Cesar or not


by the representatives, except

such as represented the enslavement of the nation, and betrayed the country, religion, liberty, property, and all precious interests, and declaredly imposed to further the destruction of all. Nor can any with reason say, that this case is but like the case of the people of Israel under the feet of enemies, paying to them of the fruits of their ground, as was regretted and lamented by Nehemia, chap. ix. 36, 37. for so they must say, the exactions now in debate are their redemption-money, and by these they purchase their liberty of life and lands, and own themselves to be a people under conquest. And yet they cannot deny, but they are both exacted and paid as tests of their allegiance as subjects, and badges of their loyalty and obedience. But this is answered before, Head 2. Conces. 7. Sect. 2. If any should object the practice of Christ, though otherwise free, yet paying custom, lest he should offend: it is fully solved ibid. Head 2. Conces. 9. Here it is sufficient to hint (1.) That which made them to marvel at his wise answer was, that he left the title unstated, and the claim unresolved, whether it belonged to Cesar or not, and taught them in the general to give nothing to Cesar with prejudice to what was God's; which condemns all the payments we speak of, which are all for carrying on the war against God. (2.) Cesar was no tyrant nor usurper at this time; because they had legally submitted themselves unto several Cesars successively before. (3.) It was, lest he should offend:
but here it will be evident, that the offence and scandal lieth on the other hand, of paying the exaction: and it is against all religion to say, that both the doing and refusing to do the same act, can give offence. But (4.) make the case like our's, and I doubt not to call it blasphemy to say, that Christ would have paid, or permitted to pay a taxation professedly imposed for levying a war against him, or banishing him and his disciples out of the land; or to fill the mouth of the greedy Pharisees, devouring widows houses, for their pretence of long prayers; or that he would have paid, or suffered to pay their extortions, if any had been exacted of him, or his disciples, for his preaching, or working miracles; or if help or hire had been demanded, for encouraging those that rose to stone him for his good deeds.

4. It is lawful to pay a part to preserve the whole, when it is extorted by force and threatenings, and not exacted by law; when it is a yielding only to a lesser suffering, and not a consenting to a sin to shift suffering. The objection of a man being seized by a robber, transacting with him to give him the one half or more to save the rest and his life, commonly made use of to justify the paying of these impositions, while under the power and at the reverence of such public robbers, cannot satisfy in this case. It is thus far satisfying, that there is a manifest concession in it, that instead of righteous rulers, we are under the power, and fallen into the hand of robbers, from whom we are not able to rise up. But there is no paritie. For to bring it home without halting, and make it speak sense, we must suppose that the robber not only requires a part for himself, and a part for his underling shavers, horse-rubbers, &c. but a part upon this declared account, that he may by that supply be enabled and furnished with all things necessary, for murdering my father, mother, wife, children, kinsmen, and friends, (all whom he hath now in his power) yea, and for doing that besides, which is worse than all these put together: Whether then shall I, by giving the robber that part which he seeks, enable him to do all these mischiefs? Or by refusing, expose myself to the hazard of being robbed or slain? Let the conscience of any man answer this (for nothing can be here alledged against the paritie as now propounded) and then I fear not but the objection shall be found a blaze of empty words, blown away by any breath. But alas! will this tattle of a robber be found relevant in that day, when the public robbers shall be proceeded against by the just Judge? Let them who think so, think also, they see the court fenced, and the judge set, and hear these words sounding in their ears, "ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation;" and then they are like to lay as little weight on the objection, for fear of falling under the weight of the curse, as I do.


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