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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

According to the tenor of them

realm; and that both as to the

worship, discipline, and government, the reverend face of the first primitive and apostolic church should be reduced again to the eyes and knowledge of men. And in this they never fainted till the work was finished. To accomplish this, famous and faithful Mr. Knox, and other servants of the Lord, did preach diligently in private meetings. And for that, when they were summoned before the Queen, several zealous and bold men repaired to her, and plainly in the hearing of the Prelates, did charge them with the cruel device intended, and told her with a vow, 'They should make a day of it, because they oppressed them and their tenants for feeding their idle bellies, they troubled the preachers, and would murder all; should they suffer this any longer? No; it should not be.' Thereafter, the more effectually to prosecute the reformation begun, they entered into covenants, to maintain and advance that work of reformation, and to stand to the defence thereof; and of one another, against all wicked power, that might intend tyranny or trouble against them, and to resent any injury done to any of their brethren, upon the account of the common cause, as done to all. Of which covenants they entered into many very solemnly; one was at Edinburgh in the year 1557; another at Perth 1559; another at Stirling 1559, binding, that none should have any correspondence with the Queen, without notifying it to one another; and that nothing should proceed therein, without common consent of them all. Another
at Leith, in the year 1560; another at Ayr, in the year 1562, of the same tenor. By which covenants, as their conjunction was the more firm among themselves, so was it the more fearful to their adversaries: when, according to the tenor of them, they kept their conventions, and held counsels with such gravity and closeness, that the enemies trembled. I mention these things more particularly, because these same very things commended in our fathers, are now condemned in a poor handful, that would aim at imitating their example, in renewing and reiterating such covenants of the same nature and tenor, and binding to the same very duties, and prosecute in the same methods of keeping general meetings for correspondence, and consultation about common mutual duties in common danger; whereunto they have not only present necessity to urge them, but also preterite examples of these worthies to encourage them, and their experience of comfort and tranquillity they reaped, by these Christian assemblies and godly conferences, as oft as any danger appeared to any member or members of their body. These beginnings, the zealous covenanted reformers left no means unessayed to promote, by protestations to the parliament, and petitions, and many reiterated addresses to the Queen Dowager: from whom they received many renewed fair promises; which she had never mind to keep, and wanted not the impudence, when challenged for breaking them, to declare, 'It becomes not subjects to burden their princes with promises further than it pleased them to keep the same:' and, at another time, 'that she was bound to keep no faith to hereticks:' and again, 'that princes must not be strickly bound to keep their promises; and that herself would make little conscience to take from all that sort their lives and inheritance, if she might do it with an honest excuse.' Wherein she spoke not only the venom of her own heart, but the very soul and sense, principle and project of all popish princes: whereby we may see what security we have for religion

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