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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

If they be scandalous brethren

an argument of hatred, when

we do not rebuke our neighbour, or when we suffer sin upon him, Lev. xix. 17. If we consider them then as neighbours and friends, we must use endeavours to take away their sin from them; if we consider them not as such, but as enemies, then we must avoid them, and not be mingled with them, as I could adduce many scriptures for that. But I suppose all that will oppose my thesis, would have them considered as friends. Well then, if they be scandalous brethren, this is the way prescribed by the apostle to deal with them, in order not to suffer sin upon them, that we should withdraw from them our company; and if we must withdraw our company, then also a fortiori, we must deny them our religious communion: for that must either be included there, or necessarily inferred. He writes, not to keep company: If any man that is called a brother (mark that especially) be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat, 1 Cor. v. 11. And I presume they that know them best will grant, that it would not be hard to prove, that all the curates in Scotland were chargeable with some of these, or at least partakers with them; and that if they were all impartially impannelled, they would be rare ones, whom an honest jury would not bring in guilty of this libel. Then we are expresly commanded 'in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the received tradition. And if any
man obey not the word, to note him, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed,' 2 Thess. iii. 6, 14. Sure neither their office nor their innocency can exempt them from these rules. For either they must be considered as our brethren; or not; if not, then we own no church communion with them; for that is only among brethren that are so in sympathy and affection, and affinity, having one father and one mother, if they be brethren, then all scandalous brethren are to be withdrawn from; but they are scandalous brethren: therefore they are to be withdrawn from. The minor will not be doubted by any, but such as are strangers to them, who both in their ministerial and personal capacity are so scandalous to the conviction of all, that profaneness hath gone forth from them into all the land, and they as much as ever the profane sons of Eli, have made men to abhor the offering of the Lord, 1 Sam. ii. 17. But even strangers, that are unacquaint with their personal profligateness and ignorance, &c. cannot be altogether ignorant of the scandal of prelacy and erastianism, in which they are involved, of the scandal of apostasy, perjury, and breach of covenant, which is their brand, and the nation's bane, that hath countenanced them. And none can doubt, but if our church were duly constitute, and invested with the orderly power of Christ, and in capacity to exercise and improve it, they would soon be censured every soul of them as scandalous, as they have been also previously sentenced as such, by the acts of our general assemblies. This argument levels also against all complying, indulged, addressing ministers, who by these courses have incurred the character of disorderly brethren.

XI. Our faithfulness to God, and to one another, engaged in our covenants, doth oblige us to turn away from them who have broken it, and so classed themselves among these truce breaking traitors, who make our times perilous, from whom we must turn away, 2 Tim. iii. 1,--5. It appears from the foregoing deduction, how solemnly these nations were engaged, both to keep out and put out this generation of prelatists, now prevailing; the obligation of which yet lies upon all the inhabitants

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