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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

'Seeing edification is God's gift


as to give no warning against,

but justify the sins of the times. To be short, the minor of both these foregoing arguments is evident from the experience of all that go to the curates, who wrong thereby their own souls, mar their edification; and run to cisterns without water. What blessing can be expected upon the labours of such, who having perjured themselves in taking on with the prelates, are prosecuting that course of defection, and making themselves captains to lead the people back to Egypt, encouraging profanity and wickedness, being themselves patterns and patrons of the times corruptions? And seeing a blessing cannot be expected upon their labours, but rather a curse, as daily experience maketh good, when instead of any work of conversion or conviction among people, there is nothing seen but a fearful hardening in profanity, ignorance and atheism: so that many that seemed to have somewhat like religion before, through hearing of them, are turned loose and lax in all duties: yea never can it be instanced these twenty-seven years, that they have brought one soul to Christ, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God: but many instances might be given of their murdering souls, as indeed they cannot be free of it, who cannot warn nor declare the whole counsel of God. Hence these who cannot but be soul-murderers, may not be heard nor entertained as soul-physicians; but the curates cannot but be soul-murderers. Again, we can expect no good from them, but a great deal of hurt; seeing their
ministry is not the Lord's ordinance, which he will approve, and no performances can be acceptable unto the Lord which are not, in manner as well as in matter, agreeable to his will: hence the wickedness even of the Lord's lawful priests, not only caused the people to abhor the offerings of the Lord, but even the Lord himself to abhor his sanctuary, and to account their incense an abomination, so that he could not away with the calling of their assemblies, which yet upon the matter were duties. Should not we then hate that which the Lord hates, and withdraw from that which he hath forsaken? But the meetings of the curates for administration of ordinances in their way, the Lord hates, and hath signally forsaken: therefore we should hate and forsake them. This is confirmed by what Mr. Durham says in that digression about hearing, Rev. 1. page 55. in quarto, 'Seeing edification is God's gift, can it be expected but in his way, or can that be accounted his way which he hath not warranted.'

VII. As we would not partake of their judgment in countenancing of their administration of ordinances, so we would keep ourselves free from all participation of their sin; for we must not be partakers with any in sin, nor have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that we must reprove, and that we find the Lord reproves and condemns, Eph. v. 7, 11. and not only ministers in ordaining, but people in hearing, may be in hazard of partaking of some mens sins, who enter into the ministry, 1 Tim. v. 22. we must keep at the greatest distance from sin: hence if we hear the curates without partaking of their sin, then we must not hear them; but we cannot hear the curates without partaking of their sin: therefore we must not hear them. The minor I prove. If hearing of them be a tessera of our incorporation with them, a test of our submission to them, a badge of our compliance with them, and sign of our approbation of them, then we cannot hear them without partaking of their sin; but hearing of them is such: the major cannot


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