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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And hath still undoubted right


But though this be the scope, it is not the sum of what is intended in this discourse. The method I have proposed to prosecute it withal, will discover it; which is, 1. To give a brief and summary account of the series and succession, success and result of the several contendings of the witnesses of Christ, against his enemies in Scotland from time to time; that it may appear, whether or not the present sufferings, as now stated, can be condemned, if the former be approven. 2. To rehearse some of the chief means, methods and measures, that the popish, prelatical and malignant faction have managed, for the ruin of this witnessing remnant, and some of the most signal steps of sufferings sustained by and from these within these twenty-seven years; by which it will appear, that the persecution in Scotland hath been very remarkable (though little regarded) both in respect of the injustice, illegality, and inhumanity of the persecutors, and in respect of the innocency, zeal and ingenuity of the persecuted. 3. To clear the state, and vindicate the merit of the cause of their sufferings, as to the most material heads of it, that are most controverted at this time. In the first of these, I must study all compendious brevity, as may consist with the clearing of my scope; which is not to enlarge an historical deduction of the rise and result, progress and prosecution, occasion and continuation of every controversy the church hath had with her several adversaries in several periods; but only to hint at the chief heads of their contendings, with a design to make it appear, that the most material heads of sufferings that are now condemned as new and nice notions, have been transmitted from age to age, from the beginning even to this present time, through all the periods of this church.

PERIOD I.

_Comprehending the_ TESTIMONY _of the_ CULDEES.

It is not without reason reckoned among the peculiar prerogatives of the renowned church of Scotland, that Christ's conquest in the conversion of that nation, is one of the most eminent accomplishments of scripture-prophecies, of the propagation of his kingdom in the new testament dispensation; not only because it was, when called out of Gentile paganism, among the rudest of heathen nations, and in the acknowledgement of all, among "the uttermost parts of the earth," which were given to Christ for his inheritance and possession; whereunto he had, and hath still undoubted right, by his Father's grant, and by his own purchase; and took infeftment of it by a glorious conquest of that land, which the Roman arms could never subdue; and erected his victorious trophies there, whither their triumphs could never penetrate; obtaining and thereby accomplishing that predicted song of praise, "From the uttermost parts of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous." Which gives us ground to expect, that however Christ's interest there be now very low, and like to be lost as a prey in the dragon's mouth, yet Christ, having such undoubted and manifold right to it, will not so easily quit or forego his possession; but also, because he hath so constantly continued his possession, and maintained his title, by a long course of contendings, by the testimonies of his witnesses against the invaders thereof, through all the periods of the church, from the very infancy of this new dispensation; and because Scotland's conversion unto the Christian faith was among the first fruits of the Gentiles, of the oldest date, that any standing church holding the head Christ this day can deduct its original from. For it is clear from ancient records, the Christian


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