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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

That enjoins kings 'to destroy and extirpate 'hereticks


I.

Considering the granter in his personal capacity, as to his morals, they look upon him as a person with whom they cannot in prudence communicate, in any transaction of that nature. First, because being in his principles and practice professedly treacherous, yea, obliged to be both perfidious and cruel by that religion whereunto he is addicted, he cannot be trusted in the least concerns, let be those of such momentous consequence as this, without a stupid abandoning of conscience, reason and experience. Since both that known principle, that 'no faith is to be kept to 'hereticks,' which is espoused by all papists, does to them justify all their lying dissimulations, equivocations, and treacheries imaginable; and that lateran canon, that enjoins kings 'to destroy and extirpate 'hereticks, under pain of excommunication,' does oblige them to be cruel; besides what deep engagements he is known to be under by oaths and promises to the pope, both in his exile, and while a subject, and since he came to the crown; which make him, to all considering persons, to be a person of that character, whose deceitful dainties are not to be desired, and that when he speaketh fair is not to be believed, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Of which open and affronted lies we have a sufficient swatch, both in his proclamation for Scotland, and declaration for England; where he speaks of his constant resolves of 'uniting the hearts of subjects to God in religion, and to their neighbours in christian
love, and that it never was his principle to offer violence to any man's conscience, or use invincible necessity against any man on the account of his persuasion;' and that their property was never in any case invaded since his coming to the crown; and that it hath been his constant sense and opinion, that 'conscience ought not to be constrained, nor people forced to matters of mere religion.' To which his uninterrupted endeavours to divide us from God, and from one another, that he might the more easily destroy us, and his constant encroachments upon laws, liberties, and properties, and all interests of men and christians for conscience sake, do give the lie manifestly. And it must be great blindness not to see, and great baseness willingly to wink at that double-faced equivocation, in matters of mere religion; by which he may elude all these flattering promises of tenderness, by excepting at the most necessary and indispensible duties, if either they be such wherein any other interest is concerned, beside mere religion, or if their troubles sustained thereupon be not altogether invincible necessities. Hence the plain falsehood and doubleness of his assertions as to what is past, may give ground to conclude his intended perfidy in the promises of what is future. Next, it is known what his practice and plots have been for the destruction of all honest and precious interests; what a deep hand he had in the burning of London, in the popish plot discovered in 1678, in the murder of the earl of Essex, yea in the parricide committed upon his own brother. By all which it appears, nothing is so abominable and barbarous which he hath not a conscience that will swallow and digest without a scruple; and what he hath done of this kind must be but preparatory to what he intends, as meritorious to atone for these villanies. And in his esteem and persuasion of papists, nothing is thought more meritorious than to extirpate the protestant religion, and destroy the professors thereof. Therefore being such a person with whom in reason no honest man could transact, for a tenure of the least piece of land or house, or any holding whatsoever, they dare not accept of his security or protection for so great an interest, as the freedom and exercise of their religion under the shadow of such a bramble. If it was the Shechemites sin and shame to strengthen a naughty Abimelech, and strengthen themselves under the shadow of his protection, much more must it be to take protection for religion, as well as peace, from such a monster of cruelty and treachery. This were against their testimony, and contrary to the laudable constitutions of the church of Scotland, to take no protections from malignant enemies, as was shewed above in Montrose's case. See page 107 above.


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