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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Whereby they found this advantage


and zealous followers of Christ

in taking away their lives, but endeavoured to murder their names, and to murder the cause for which they suffered; loading it with all reproaches, as sedition, rebellion, &c. which was their peculiar policy, to bring the heads of sufferings to points that are most obnoxious to men's censure, and accounted most extrinsic to religion, whereby they levelled their designs against religion, not directly under that notion, but obliquely in the destruction of its professors, under the odium and reproach of enemies to government. 25. But chiefly they labour to murder the soul, defile the conscience, and only consult to cast a man down from his excellency, which is his integrity; that is a christian's crown, and that they would rather rob him of as any thing, either by hectoring or flattering him from the testimony: which they endeavour, by proposing many offers, with many threatnings in subtile terms; and pretend a great deal of tenderness, protesting they will be as tender of their blood as of their own soul (which in some sense is true, for they have none at all of their own souls) and purging themselves as Pilate did, and charging it upon their own heads. 26. They will be very easy in their accommodations, where they find the poor man beginning to faint, and hearken to their overtures, wherein they will grant him his life, yielding to him as cunning anglers do with fishes: and to persuade him to complying, they will offer conference sometimes or reasoning upon the point, to satisfy
and inform his conscience, as they pretend, but really to catch him with their busked hook. 27. Sometimes they used to stage several together, whereof they knew some would comply, to tantalize the rest with the sight of the others liberty, and make them bite the more eagerly at their bait, to catch the conscience. But when they had done all they could, Christ had many witnesses, who did retain the crown of their testimony in the smallest points, till they obtained the crown of martyrdom, and attained boldly to them without fear or shame, and disdaining their flattering proposals, but looking on them under a right notion, as stated there in opposition to Christ; whereby they found this advantage, that hence they were restrained from all sinful tampering with them, or entertaining any discourse with them, but what was suitable to speak to Christ's enemies, or doing any thing to save their life, but what became Christ's witnesses, who loved not their lives unto the death. Of whom universally this was observed, that to the admiration of all, the conviction of many enemies, the confirmation of many friends, the establishment of the cause, and the glory of their Redeemer, they went off the stage with so much of the Lord's countenance, so much assurance of pardon and eternal peace, so much hope of the Lord's returning to revive his work, and plead his cause again in these lands, that never any suffered with more meekness humility and composure of spirit, and with more faithfulness, stedfastness and resolution, than these worthies did for these despised and reproached truths; for which their surviving brethren are now contending and suffering, while others are at ease.

PART III.

_The Present testimony stated and vindicated in its principal heads._

By what is above premitted, the reader may see the series and succession of the testimony of Christ's witnesses in Scotland from time to time, in all the periods of that church; how it hath been transmitted from one generation to another down to our hands; how far it hath been extended, and what increasements it hath received in every period; how it hath been opposed by


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