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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Althusius in the place above quoted


Where was there ever such

an arbitrary and absolute power arrogated by any mortal, as hath been claimed by our rulers these years past? especially by the present usurper, who, in this liberty of conscience now granted to Scotland, assumes to himself an absolute power, which all are to obey without reserve, which carries the subjects slavery many stages beyond whatever the grand Signior did attempt. 7. For by a tyrant strangers are employed to oppress the subjects: 'they place the establishment of their authority in the people's weakness, and think that a kingdom is not a procuration concredited to them by God, but rather a prey fallen into their hands; such are not joined to us by any civil bond, or any bond of humanity, but should be accounted the most capital enemies of God, and of all men.' King James, as above says, he is a tyrant that imposes unlawful taxes, raises forces, makes war upon his subjects, to pillage, plunder, waste, and spoil his kingdoms. Althusius as above, makes a tyrant, who by immoderate exactions, and the like, exhausts the subjects, and cites scripture, Jer. xxii. 13, 14. Ezek. xxxiv. 1. Kings xii. 19. Psal. xiv. 4.' It is a famous saying of Bracton, he is no longer king, than while he rules well, but a tyrant whensoever he oppresseth the people that are trusted to his care and government. And Cicero says, he loseth all legal power in and over an army or empire, who by that government and army does obstruct the welfare of that republic. What oppressions and exactions by armed force
our nation hath been wasted with, in part is discovered above. 8. Althusius in the place above quoted, makes this another mark, 'When he keepeth not his faith and promise, but despiseth his very oath made unto the people.' What shall we say of him then, who not only brake, but burnt, and made it criminal to assert the obligation of the most solemnly transacted covenant with God and with the people, that ever was entered into, who yet upon these terms of keeping that covenant only was admitted to the government? And what shall we say of his brother succeeding, who disdains all bonds, whose professed principle is, as a papist, to keep no faith to heretics? 9. In the same place he makes this one character: 'A tyrant is he, who takes away from one or more members of the commonwealth the free exercise of the orthodox religion.' And the grave author of the impartial enquiry into the administration of affairs in England, doth assert, p. 3. 4. 'Whensoever a prince becomes depraved to that degree of wickedness, as to apply and employ his power and interest, to debauch and withdraw his subjects from their fealty and obedience to God, or sets himself to extirpate that religion which the Lord hath revealed and appointed to be the rule of our living, and the means of our happiness, he doth by that very deed depose himself; and instead of being owned any longer for a king, ought to be treated as a rebel and traitor against the supreme and universal sovereign.' This is the perfect portracture of our princes; the former of which declared an open war against religion, and all that professed it: and the latter did begin to prosecute it with the same cruelty of persecution, and yet continues without relenting

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