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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Ahaz may be an instance of that


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At first they were only enacted and exacted, as helps to capacitate this popish, prelatical and malignant faction, to prosecute the war they had undertaken and declared against Christ: but now, having thereby been enabled to carry it through this length, that they have almost got all visible appearances for Christ, in owning his gospel, and propagating his testimony, quite suppressed by means of these impositions, and having got the fields cleared or those that formerly opposed their course and career, and all obstacles removed that might stand in the way of the reception they have prepared for their mistress the Babylonish lady, the mother of harlots; they now demand these payments, as their wages and hire for their labour; which to pay now, is more than a justifying, seeing it is a rewarding them for their work. And to pay these pimps, and to purchase their peace thereby, is worse than to bring the hire of a whore into the house of the Lord, (Deut. xxiii. 18.) since it is a hiring them to bring the whore into the house of the Lord. O how hath Scotland played the harlot with many lovers! is this the zeal we should have had to our covenanted husband, and the honour of his house, that we have not only suffered his enemies to come in and take possession of it, but consented to their invasion; and not only consented, but invited them to come in; and not only invited them, but prostitute our estates and consciences also to their arbitrary lusts; and not only played the harlot with them, but hired them also when they had done! and for this the Lord may say to Scotland, as he said to his people of old, 'They give gifts to all whores, but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side, for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms--in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee; therefore thou art contrary,' Ezek xvi. 33, 34. There Israel is taxed for hiring the Assyrians: but let it be considered and enquired into in the history, how this was. What evidence can be given of this in their transactions with them? Was it only that they were enticed, or did entice them into a communion with their idolatry, It is true, Ahaz may be an instance of that, in his sending the pattern of the altar he saw at Damascus, 2 Kings xvi. 10. And it cannot be denied, but in several respects they did partake with the Assyrians in their idolatry, which was their adultery. But what could be their hire they gave them for it, if it was not their taxations they paid, and money they sent unto them? as Ahaz did, verse 8. and Hezekiah also, though a good man, 2 Kings xviii. 14, 15. which can no more be justified, than Asa's paying to Benhadad. It was then their confederacies, and the hire of them the Lord calls the hire they gave unto their lovers. With this also Ephraim is charged, that he hired lovers, Hos. viii. 9, 10. of this we have instances, in Menahem's giving to Pul a thousand tatalents of silver, and exacting it of the people, 2 Kings xv. 19, 20. And in Hoshea's becoming servant to Shalmanesar king of Assyria, and giving him presents, 2 Kings xvii. 3. If then hiring wicked men in confederacies to help the Lord's people, be a hiring of lovers so much condemned in scripture, what must a hiring of them to hurt them, and rewarding them after they have done, and when they formally seek it for such work, be? but a giving the reward, they seek to slay the innocent (Deut. xxvii. 25.) and a voluntary yielding that which they take, (Ezek. xxii. 12.) which if it be sin in the takers, cannot be justified in the givers, but will render both obnoxious to the indignation of a provoked God, in the day when he shall begin to contend for the wrongs he hath got, both by the work and the wages. Now let all the acts for the cess


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