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For the duties of the people towards the magis-
Even towards unjust magistrates. Matt. xvii. 26,
1 Sam. xiv. 45. " so the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.' xx. 1, &c. " he said unto him, God forbid, thou shalt not die.' xxii. 17. “ the servants of the king would not put forth their hand.' 2 Chron. xxi. 10. Libnah revolted from under his hand, because he had forsaken Jehovah God of his fathers.' xxvi. 18. they withstood Uzziah the king.' Esth. iii. 2, 4. “Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.' Dan. iii. 16. we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.' v. 18. • if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods. vi. 10. when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house,' &c. Acts iv. 19. • whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.' Heb. xi. 23. by faith Moses when he was born was hid three months of his parents ..... and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.'
Opposed to this are, first, rebellion. Nurnb. xvi. 1. now Korah ..... took men—, 2 Sam. xx. 1. 6 and there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba,' &c.
Secondly, obedience in things unlawful. 1 Sam. xxii. 18. • Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests,' &c.
The opinion maintained by some, that obedience is due to the commands not only of an upright magistrate, but of an usurper, and that in matters contrary to justice, has no foundation in Scripture.* For
*Neither God nor nature put civil power into the hands of any whomsoever, but to a lawful end, and commands our obedience to the authority of law only, not to the tyrannical force of any person.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, III. 52. Quæ autem potestas, qui magistratus, contraria his facit, neque illa, neque bic, a Deo proprie ordinatus est. Unde neque tali vel potestati vel magistratui subjectio debetur aut præcipitur, neque nos prudenter obsistere probibemur.' Pro Populo An. glicano Defensio. V. 88.
with regard to 1 Pet. ii. 13. submit yourselves to every ordinance of man,' it is evident from v. 14. that although this passage comprehends all human ordinances, all forms of government indiscriminately, it applies to them only so far as they are legitimately constituted. The eighteenth verse, which is alleged to the same purpose, relates to servants exclusively, and affords no rule for the conduct of free nations, whose rights are of a kind altogether distinct from those of purchased or hired servants. As for the obedience of the Israelites to Pharaoh, we have no means of ascertaining whether it was voluntary or compulsory, or whether in obeying they acted rightly or otherwise, inasmuch as we are no where told, either that they were enjoined to obey him, or that their obedience was made matter of commendation. The conduct of Daniel in captivity is equally foreign to the purpose, as under his circumstances it was impossible for him to act otherwise. Besides, it is written, Psalm 1x. 4. thou hast given a banner to them that feared thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. That it may be the part of prudence to obey the commands even of a tyrant in lawful things, or, more properly, to comply with the necessity of the times for the sake of public peace, as well as of personal safety,* I am far from denying.
* This is a remarkable passage, considering the prominent part taken by the author not only against the monarchy, but against the monarch himself. It is evident that his experience of the miseries caused by the civil disturbances of those evil times had taught him that a regard to the general good might sometimes render a temporary sacrifice of abstract rights not inconsistent with the sincerest love of political or religious liberty,
The duties of the magistrate and people towards their neighbours regard the transactions of peace and war.
Under the head of peace are included international treaties. In order to ascertain whether, in particular cases, these may be lawfully contracted with the wicked, we ought to consider the purposes for which treaties are concluded, whether simply for the sake of peace, or of mutual defence and closer intimacy.
Of the former class are the confederacy of Abraham with the men of Mamre, Gen. xiv. 13. and with Abimelech, xxi. 27. that of Isaac with Abimelech, xxvi. 29–31. that of Solomon with Hiram, 1 Kings v. 12. from which examples the lawfulness of such alliances appears evident.
Of the latter class are the treaties of Asa with Benhadad, 1 Kings xv. 19. of Jehoshaphat with the house of Ahab, 2 Chron. xviii. 1. compared with xix. 2. of Amaziah with the Israelites, xxv. 6—8. of Ahaz with the Assyrians, 2 Kings xvi. 7. and that which the Jews sought to contract with the Egyptians, Isai. xxx. 2, &c. These were unlawful, and led to calamitous results. Exod. xxiii. 32. thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.' xxxiv. 12. • take heed to thyself lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.' See also v. 15. Deut. vii. 4. they will turn away thy son from following me. Ezek. xvi. 26. thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh.' 2 Cor. vi. 14. be not ye unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness ??
* Asa, 2 Chron. xvi. 3. and Zedekiah, xxxvi. 13. Ezek. xvii. are examples of the violation of treaties.
On the subject of asylums see Num. xxxv. 6—15. Deut. xxiii. 15.
With regard to the duties of war, it is enjoined, first, that it be not undertaken without mature deliberation. Prov. xx. 18. xxiv. 6. Luke xiv. 31. what king going to make war against another king sitteth not down first and consulteth-?? Secondly, that it be carried on wisely and skilfully. 1 Sam. xiv. 28. • thy father straitly charged the people with an oath,' &c. xxiii. 22. it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly.' Prov. xxi. 22. 6a wise man scaleth the city of the mighty. Thirdly, that it be prosecuted with moderation. Deut. xx. 19. thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof,' &c. Fourthly, that it be waged in a spirit of godliness. Deut. xxiii. 9, &c.
when the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.' xxxii. 29, 30. “O that they were wise ..... how should one chase a thousand—!! 1 Sam. vii. 10. “as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering ...... Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines.' Isai. xxxi. 6. “turn ye unto him ..... then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword.' Amos i. 13. "because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border. Fifthly, that no mercy be shown to a merciless enemy. 1 Sam. xv. 33. as thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.' Psal. VOL. II.