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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Therefore they are the schismatics to be withdrawn from


XII.

Finally, for union's sake, and to avoid schism in the body, we must withdraw from them. This may seem another paradox; but it is apparent, if we consider, 'That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another,' 1 Cor. xii. 25. And that for to prevent and remeid this, the apostle 'beseeches us to mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which we have learned, and avoid them,' Rom. xvi. 17. Now then, if the prelates and their curates be schismatics and separatists, and dividers, then we must avoid and withdraw from them, but so it is, that the prelates and their curates are schismatics and separatists, and dividers: therefore we must avoid and withdraw from them. The minor I prove from all the constituents of a formed schism, separation and sinful division. 1. They that start out from under due relations to a church, and from her ministry, are schismatics, separatists and dividers; but the prelates and their curates have started out from under due relations to the covenanted church of Scotland, and from her ministry, in being so unnatural rebellious children, as have broken their mother's beauty and bands, order and union, and razed her covenanted reformation in doctrine, worship, discipline and government. 2. These who withdraw from the communion of a true church, and therefore are censurable by all her standing acts, are schismatical separatists; but the prelates and their curates have withdrawn
from the communion of the true church of Scotland, and therefore are censureable by all her standing acts, in that they have made a faction and combination repugnant to the communion of this church, and all her established order. 3. Those who separate from a church, whose principles and practices are subservient to that church's true union and communion, and right establishment, are properly schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have separated from this church, whose principles and practices are subservient to its true union and communion, and right establishment: for they could never yet impeach or challenge any principle or practice, contrary to the word of God, or not subservient to true union and order, but their principles and practices are stated in opposition to her purity and reformation. Those who innovate the worship and government, owned and established in a true church, are schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have innovated the worship and government of the true church of Scotland, in bringing a doctrine new and odd, and not the voice of this church; and their worship, over and above the corruption adhering to it, is the worshipping of an innovating party, contrary to our church's established order. 5. They that make a rent in the bowels of the true and genuine church, are the schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have made a rent in the bowels of this church, and have caused all the divisions in this church. 6. Those that divide themselves from the fellowship of a pure church, either in her ministry, lawful courts and ordinances, are the schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have divided themselves from the fellowship of this pure church, in her ministry, lawful courts and ordinances, in that they have caused the ejection of her ministry, dissipation of her assemblies, and subversion of her pure ordinances. 7. Those that break union with such, to whom they were under obligations to adhere, are schismatical dividers; but the prelates and their curates have broken union with such to whom they were under obligations to adhere, both from the antecedent morally obliging duty, and from the superadded obligation of the covenants, neither could they ever pretend any thing that might loose the obligation. 8. That party in a reformed church, which having overturned her reformation, hath shut out, laid aside, and persecute away sound adherers thereunto, both ministers and professors, and will not admit ministers to officiate, but upon the sinful terms of compliance with their way, are schismatics; but the prelates and their curates are that party in this reformed church, which having overturned her reformation, hath shut out, laid aside, and persecute away sound adherers thereunto, &c. therefore they are the schismatics to be withdrawn from, and their way is the schism, which we are bound to extirpate in the covenant.


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