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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And not to hear papists and schismatics


of the land, with a binding

force, both in regard of their form, and object and end. Hence, if the curates be covenant-breakers, and we also in owning them, then we cannot own them without sin; but the curates are covenant-breakers, and we also in owning them: Ergo----The minor may be manifest by an induction of all the articles of the solemn league and covenant, broken by them, and all that own them. 1. That doctrine, worship, discipline and government in the 1st article, sworn to be preserved and propagated, was the presbyterian then established, which our church was in possession of, which they have opposed, and their owners refiled from, and have not maintained. 2. We are engaged in the 2d article, to endeavour the extirpation of prelacy, and its dependents; which is diametrically opposite to owning of curates: can we own them whom we are bound to abhor? and submit to them whom we are bound to extirpate? Surely this were to rebuild what we have destroyed, see Napht. p. 104. and since in relation to popery, heresy and schism, this article obliges us to disown, and not to hear papists and schismatics, why not also in relation to prelatists, who are greatest schismatics? 3. They have established and homologated an erastian supremacy, to the prejudice of true religion, and the liberties of the church and kingdom; and their owners have abetted and countenanced the same, and not preserved either the liberties of church or kingdom, contrary to the 3d article. 4. They have not only concealed and countenanced
malignant enemies to this church and kingdom, but have themselves been real incendiaries, hindering the reformation of religion, making factions and parties among them contrary to this league and covenant: and their hearers are so far from bringing them to condign punishment, that they have strengthened their hands in their avowed opposition to the covenants, contrary to the 4th article. 5. They have broken our conjunction in firm peace and union, and yet their hearers have not marked and avoided these causers of divisions, contrary to scripture, and the 5th article. 6. Instead of assisting and defending all these that entered into this league and covenant, &c. they have been the greatest persecutors of all them that adhered to it; and their owners have suffered themselves, by combination, or persuasion, or terror, to be divided and withdrawn from their suffering brethren, and have made defection to the contrary part, and given themselves to a detestable indifferency in this cause, contrary to the 6th article. 7. Instead of humbling themselves for their sins, and going before others in the example of a real reformation, they have obstinately defended their breach of covenant, and have been patrons and patterns of all deformations; and their owners and hearers have not repented of that neither, when they countenance such covenant-breakers and profane persons, nor of their not labouring for the purity and power of the gospel when they seek it from such impure hands: neither do they go before others in reformation, when they are such bad examples of defection, contrary to the conclusion of the covenant. This argument will also strike against hearing of such ministers, that have made themselves guilty of the same, or equivalent breaches of covenant.

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