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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And disables all penal laws against papists


4.

Considering the fountain whence it flows, they cannot defile themselves with it. In the English declaration, it flows from the royal will and pleasure which speaks a domination despotical and arbitrary enough, but more gently expressed than in the Scots proclamation; when it is refounded on sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power: proclaiming by sound of trumpet a power paramount to all law, reason, and religion, and outvying the height of Ottoman tyranny: a power which all are to obey without reserve: a power to tolerate or restrain the protestant religion, according to his royal will or pleasure: an absolute power which cannot be limited by laws, nor most sacred obligations, but only regulated by the royal lust; whereby indeed he may suffer the protestant religion, but only precariously so long as he pleases, and until his royal pleasure shall be to command the establishment of popery, which then must be complied with without controul. Whereby all the tenure that protestants have for their religion, is only the arbitrary word of an absolute monarch, whose principles oblige him to break it, and his ambition to disdain to be a slave to it. Now the acceptance of this grant, would imply the recognizance of this power that the granter claims in granting it; which utterly dissolves all government, and all security for religion and liberty, and all the precious interests of men and Christians: Which to acknowledge, were contrary to scripture, contrary to reason,
and contrary to the principles of the church of Scotland, particularly the declaration of the general assembly, July 27, 1649. See page 117, &c. and contrary to the covenant.

5. Considering the channel in which it is conveyed, they cannot comply with it. Because it comes through such a conveyance, as suspends, stops, and disables all penal laws against papists, and thereby averts all the securities and legal bulwarks that protestants can have for the establishment of their religion; yea in effect leaves no laws in force against any that shall attempt the utter subversion of it, but ratifies and leaves in full vigour all wicked laws and acts of parliament, against such as would most avowedly assert it; and stops and disables none of the most cruel and bloody laws against protestants: for the most cruel are such as have been made against field-meetings, which are hereby left in full force and vigour. Hence as he hath formally by absolute power suspended all laws made for the protection of our religion, so he may when he will dispense with all the laws made for its establishment; and those who approve the one by such an acceptance, cannot disallow the other, but must recognosce a power in the king to subvert all laws, rights, and liberties, which is contrary to reason as well as religion, and a clear breach of the national and solemn league and covenants.

6. Considering the ends of its contrivance, they dare not have any accession to accomplish such wicked projects, to which this acceptance would be so natively subservient. The expressed ends of this grant are, to unite the hearts of his subjects to him in loyalty and to their neighbours in love, as in the former proclamation; and that by the liberty granted the peace and security of his government in the practice thereof may not be endangered, as in the latter proclamation; and to unite the subjects to him by inclination as well as duty, which he thinks can be done by no means so effectually as by granting the free exercise of religion, as in the English declaration. Whence we may gather not obscurely, what is the proper tendency of it, both as to the work and worker, to wit, to incline and induce us by flattery to a lawless loyalty, and a stupid contented slavery when he cannot compel us by force, and make us actively co-operate in setting and settling his tyranny, in the


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