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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Extirpating and overthrowing all pieces of idolatry


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so circumstantiated, have

fellowship with devils, 1 Cor. x. 18, 19, 20, 21. And it is called idolatry, comp. verse 14. which provokes the Lord to jealousy, verse 22. Especially when an action is so circumstantiated, that it would infer an omission of our duty, and a declining from or denying of our testimony, then it is clearly sinful. For whosoever shall deny the Lord before men, him will he deny before his Father, Matth. x. 33. And we must 'hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering,' Heb. x. 23. and 'keep the word of his patience,' if we would be kept in the hour of temptation, and hold it fast that no man take our crown, Rev. iii. 10, 11. 'All truth must be avowed, and practically avowed, on the greatest hazard: and as this testimony must be full so must it be also constant. It was Demas's shame, that the afflictions of the gospel made him forsake the apostle, after great appearances for Christ: and therefore whatever truth or duty is opposed, that becomes the special object of this testimony.' Rectius instruend. confut. 3. Dial. Chap. 1. Pag. 18, 19. Hence, if hearing of the curates would infer and involve us under the guilt both of commission of sin, and omission of duty, then we cannot hear them without sin; but the former is true; therefore also the latter. I prove the minor by parts. First, That it would infer and involve us under the guilt of commission of sin, all that is said above doth evince it; and besides, palpable breach of covenant, hereafter to be charged and cleared: and
idolatry is a great sin of that nature; but the hearing of the curates doth infer this. Which may be made out thus; the breach of the second commandment is idolatry, (for to make the sins against that command odious, they are all comprehended under that odious name of worshipping images, as the sins against the seventh are called adultery, comprehending all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions); hearing of curates is a breach of the second command: Ergo----The minor I prove thus: Every worship, not according to Christ's appointment, is a breach of the second commandment; but hearing of curates is a worship not according to Christ's appointment. Which I prove thus: a worship enjoined by, and performed in obedience to a law, establishing a human ordinance in the church, besides and against the institution of Christ, is a worship not according to Christ's appointment; but the hearing of curates is a worship enjoined by, and performed in obedience to a law establishing a human ordinance, to wit Diocesan Erastian prelacy, with the curates their substitutes. Hence also the second doth follow by necessary consequence, that it would infer and involve us under the guilt of omission of duty. For, first, If reductively it may involve us under the guilt of idolatry and breach of the second commandment, then it will infer the guilt of omission of these necessary duties incumbent to the Lord's people with a reference to idolatry; to make no covenant with them nor with their gods, nor let them dwell in the land, lest they make us sin, Exod. xxiii. 32. 33. Exod. xxxiv. 14, 15. to overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and destroy the names of them out of the place, Deut. xii. 3. Judg. ii. 2. I do not adduce these precepts, to stretch them to the full measure of the demerit of the grossest of idolaters: for as there are degrees of breaches of the commandment, some grosser, some smaller, so there are also degrees of punishment, and as to the manner of destroying and extirpating all pieces of idolatry; but that the commands being founded upon a moral ground, lest they be sins and snares unto us, do oblige us to some endeavour of expelling, extirpating and overthrowing all pieces of idolatry, according to the word and our


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