Verse 16

Two things are here intimated to be the causes of the mal-administration of princes:—1. The love of money, that root of all evil; for hating covetousness here stands opposed to oppression, according to Moses’s character of good magistrates, men fearing God and hating covetousness (Exod. 18:21), not only not being covetous, but hating it, and shaking the hands from the holding of bribes. A ruler that is covetous will neither do justly nor love mercy, but the people under him shall be bought and sold. 2. Want of consideration: He that hates covetousness shall prolong his government and peace, shall be happy in the affections of his people and the blessing of his God. It is as much the interest as the duty of princes to reign in righteousness. Oppressors therefore and tyrants are the greatest fools in the world; they want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety, but sacrifice all to their ambition of an absolute and arbitrary power. They might be much happier in the hearts of their subjects than in their necks or estates.