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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

That popery and prelacy came in by Palladius


with antichristianism: for that

mystery of iniquity that had been long working, till he who letted was taken out of the way, found Scotland ripe for it when he came; which, while the dragon did persecute the woman in the wilderness, did valiantly repel his assaults; but when the beast did arise, to whom he gave his power, he prevailed more by his subtilty, than his rampant predecessor could do by his rage. Scotland could resist the Roman legions while heathenish, but not the Roman locusts when antichristian. At his very first appearance in the world, under the character of antichrist, his harbinger Palladius brought in prelacy to Scotland, and by that conveyance the contagion of popery, which hath always been, as every where, so especially in Scotland, both the mother and daughter, cause and effect, occasion and consequence of popery. These rose, stood and lived together, and sometimes did also fall together; and we have ground to hope that they shall fall again; and their final and fatal fall is not far off. Whatever difficulty authors do make, in calculating the epocha of the forty-two months of antichrist's duration in the world, because of the obscurity of his first rise; yet there needs not be much perplexity in finding out that epocha in Scotland, nor so much discouragement from the fancied permanency of that kingdom of wickedness. For if it be certain, as it will not be much disputed, that popery and prelacy came in by Palladius, sent legate by Pope Celestine, about the year 450; then if we add forty-two
months, or 1260 prophetical days, that is, years, we may have a comfortable prospect of their tragical conclusion. And though both clashings and combinations, oppositions and conjunctions, this day may seem to have a terrible aspect, portending a darker hour before the dawning; yet all these reelings and revolutions, though they be symptoms of wrath incumbent upon us for our sins, they may be looked upon, through a prospect of faith, as presages and prognostics of mercy impendent for his name's sake, encouraging us, when we see these dreadful things come to pass in our day, to lift up our heads, for the day of our redemption draweth nigh. This dark period continued nigh about 1100 years, in which, though Christ's witnesses were very few, yet he had some witnessing and prophesying in sackcloth all the while. Their testimony was the same with that of the Waldenses and Albigenses, stated upon the grounds of their secession, or rather abstraction from that mystery Babylon, mother of harlots, popery and prelacy, for their corruption in doctrine, worship, discipline and government. And did more particularly relate to the concerns of Christ's priestly office, which was transmitted from the Culdees to the Lollards, and by them handed down to the instruments of reformation in the following period. Their testimony indeed was not active, by way of forcible resistance against the sovereign powers; but passive, by way of confession and martyrdom, and sufferings and verbal contendings, and witnessings against the prevailing corruptions of the time. And no wonder it should be so, and in this someway different from ours, because that was a dispensation of suffering, when antichrist was on the ascendant, and they had no call or capacity to oppose him any other way, and were new spirited for this passive testimony, in which circumstances they are an excellent pattern for imitation, but not an example for confutation of that principle of defensive resistance, which they never contradicted, and had never occasion to confirm by their practice. But, as in their managing their testimony, their manner was someway different from ours on this respect; so they had by far the advantage of us, that their cause was so clearly stated upon the greatest heads of sufferings, having the clearest connexion with the fundamentals of religion; yet we shall find in this period our heads of suffering someway homologated, if we consider,


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