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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

To reduce our kingdoms to antichrist


his government is hateful

to us, his yoke heavy, his sayings are hard, his laws are contrary to our lusts; therefore we will not let this man reign over us, we will break his bonds, and cast away his cords from us; and advance and exercise our sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power, which all our subjects are to obey without reserve. 'And as by virtue of our supremacy, whereby we are above all, but such as we are pleased to subject ourselves to, settled by law, and lineally derived to us as an inherent right to the crown, we have power to order all matters of church as well as state, as we in our royal wisdom shall think fit, all laws and acts of Christ to the contrary notwithstanding; and accordingly in our royal wisdom have overturned the platform of that government which Christ hath instituted, razed all courts fenced in his name, and severely interdicted all meetings of his subjects, and entertainment of his ambassadors: many of whom, in contempt of him that sent them, we have punished according to law, for negotiating his affairs in our kingdoms without our pleasure, and requiring allegiance and obedience to him, after we had exauctorated him; we have also established our right trusty, and well beloved clerks in ecclestiastic affairs, and their underlings, by our authority to have the administration of the business of religion and impowered our right trusty and well beloved
cousins and counsellors, to compel all to submit to them, by finings, confinings, imprisonment, banishment, oaths, and bonds, and all legal means: so now having prosecuted this war against Christ to this length, that we have no fears of a rally of his forces again so often beaten, we are now engaged with other antichristian princes to give our power to our holy father antichrist, so far as may serve his purpose to oppose Christ in his way; but we reserve so much to ourselves, as may encroach upon him in our capacity. And therefore we have thought fit to restore to antichrist our ecclesiastical supremacy, from whom we borrowed it, and for which we have no use at present: but we resolve to maintain and prosecute our sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power foresaid, against Christ, and without subordination to him, from whom, as we sought none, so we received no power by his warrant and grant, and against whom we mind to manage it to the uttermost of our power. Yet reflecting upon the conduct of the four last reigns, how, after all the frequent and pressing endeavours that were used in each of them, to reduce our kingdoms to antichrist, the subjects of Christ were so stubborn, that the success hath not answered the design: we must now change our methods a little, and tolerate that profession of Christ which we cannot yet get overturned, his subjects being so numerous, but always upon these terms, that they take a special care that nothing be preached or taught among them, which may be a testimony for Christ's prerogatives, in opposition to our usurpation, or may any way tend to alienate the hearts of our people from us, or our government, or preach his truths which we have condemned as seditious and treasonable, under the highest pains these crimes will import. Hereby we shall establish our government on such a foundation, on the ruin of Christ's, as may make our subjects happy, and unite them to us by inclination as well as duty, in a belief that we will not restrain conscience in matters of mere religion: for which we have a dispensation from our holy father, and also from our own absoluteness, to be slaves to this promise no longer than consists with our own interest; and which we have power to interpret as we please:

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