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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

The Cardinal Prelate of Scotland


III.

That they stood aloof from every appearance of a base compliance with them; not so much as to give them an interpretative sign of it; which, in their meaning, might be thought a recantation, though, abstractly considered, it might be capable of a more favourable construction; as the required burning of their bill was; which might have been thought a condemning of their accusations; but because that was not their adversaries sense of it, they durst not do it. Not like many now a-days, who will not be solicitous to consult that. Neither would they take any of their oaths, nor pay any of their ecclesiastical exactions, as we find in the articles brought in against the Lollards of Kyle, Knox's History of Reformation. These things are easily complied with now: and such as will suffer upon such things are condemned.

IV. That while the love of God and his blessed truth, and the precepts, promise, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, did enable them unto all patience with joy, in a passive testimony, being by the call of a clear and necessary providence sent and set forth to be his witnesses; they did not indeed endeavour any resistance: yet we find they never resigned nor abandoned that first and most just privilege of resistance; nay, nor bringing public beasts of prey to condign punishment, in an extraordinary way of vindictive justice, for the murder of the saints. As, upon the murder of Mr. George Wishart, was done with Cardinal Beaton, who was

slain in the tower of St. Andrew's by James Melvin: who, perceiving his consorts in the enterprize moved with passion, withdrew them, and said, 'This work and judgment of God, although it be secret, ought to be done with greater gravity.' And, presenting the point of the sword to the Cardinal, said, 'Repent thee of thy former wicked life, but especially of the shedding of the blood of that notable instrument of God, Mr. George Wishart, which albeit the flame of fire consumed before men, yet it cries for vengeance upon thee, and we from God are sent to revenge it; for here, before my God, I protest, that neither the hatred of thy person, the love of thy riches, nor the fear of any trouble thou couldst have done me in particular, moved or moveth me to strike thee, but only because thou hast been and remainest an obstinate enemy against Christ Jesus, and his holy gospel.' Of which fact, the famous and faithful historian Mr. Knox speaks very honourably, and was so far from condemning it, that while, after the slaughter, they kept out the castle, he, with other godly men, went to them, and stayed with them, till they were together carried captives to France. Yet now such a fact, committed upon such another bloody and treacherous beast, the Cardinal Prelate of Scotland, eight years ago, is generally condemned as horrid murder.

V. However, though in this dark period there be no noted instances of these witnesses resisting the superior powers, for reasons above hinted: yet, in this period, we find many instances of noble and virtuous patriots, their not only resisting, but also revenging to the utmost of severity, rigorous and raging tyrants, as may be seen in histories. For, before the corruption of antichrist came to its height, we find Ferchardus 1st, the 52d King, was drawn to judgment against his will, great crimes were laid to his charge, and among others the Pelagian heresy, and contempt of baptism, for which he was cast into prison, where he killed himself in the year 636; Eugenius 8th, the 62d King, degenerating into wickedness, and rejecting the admonitions of his friends, and especially of the ministers, was killed in a convention of his nobles, with the consent of all, in the year 765; Donaldus 7th was imprisoned, where he killed himself, in the


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