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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

That only moderate presbyterians


10.

Considering the terms wherein it is offered, they cannot make such a shameful bargain. In the former proclamation it is granted expresly under several conditions, restrictions, and limitations: whereof indeed some are retracted in the latter, as the restriction of it to moderate presbyterians, which would seem to be taken off by extending to all without reserve to serve God in their own way; but being evidently exclusive of all that would serve God in Christ's way, and not after the mode prescribed, it is so modified and restricted that all that will accept of it must be moderate presbyterians indeed, which as it is taken in the court sense, must be an ignominy to all that have zeal against antichrist. The limitation also to private houses and not to out-houses, is further enlarged to chapels, or places purposely hired, but still it is stinted to these, which they must bargain for with counsellors, sheriffs, &c. So that none of these restrictions and limitations are altogether removed, but the condition of taking the oath only: yet it is very near to an equivalency homologated, by the accepters acknowledging in the granter a prerogative and absolute power over all laws, which is confirmed and maintained by their acceptance. As for the rest that are not so much as said to be removed, they must be interpreted to remain, as the terms, conditions, restrictions, and limitations, upon which they are to enjoy the benefit of this toleration. And what he says, that he thought fit by
this proclamation further to declare, does confirm it, that there are further explications, but no taking off of former restrictions. Hence it is yet clogged with such provisions and restrictions, as must make it very nauseous to all truly tender. (1.) The restriction as to the persons still remains, that only moderate presbyterians, and such as are willing to accept of this indulgence allenarly, and none other, and such only whose names must be signified to these sheriffs, stewards, bailiffs, &c. are to have the benefit of this indulgence: whereby all the zealous and faithful presbyterians are excluded, (for these they will not call them moderate) and all that would improve it without a formal acceptance, and all who for their former diligence in duty are under the lash of their wicked law, and dare not give up their names to those who are seeking their lives, must be deprived of it. (2.) It is restricted to certain places still, which must be made known to some one or more of the next privy counsellors, and whereby they are tied to a dependence on their warrant, and must have their lease and licence for preaching the word in any place, and field-meetings are severely interdicted, though signally countenanced of the Lord, whereby the word of the Lord is bound and bounded; and by this acceptance their bloody laws against preaching in the open fields, where people can have freest access with conveniency and safety, are justified. (3.) The manner of meeting is restricted, which must be in such a way as the peace and security of the government in the practice thereof may not be endangered, and again that their meetings be peaceably held, which is all one upon the matter with the bond of peace, and binding to the good behaviour so much formerly contended against by professors, and is really the same with the condition of the cautionary bond in the indulgence after Bothwel, of which see page ----. And further they must be openly and publicly held, and all persons freely admitted to them; which is for the


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