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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Knox had not learned that then

profits, which your false bishops

and clergy most unjustly received of you: upon which he subjoins the preceeding arguments.' Yet now a-days these have no weight, but such as refuse either to pay oppressors exactions, or curates stipends, are condemned for giddy fools. Again we find, that when they were challenged for duty, they would never decline a declaration of its righteousness, nor do any thing directly or indirectly, which might seem a condemning of it. And therefore they would receive no pardons for these things which they could not confess to be offences. John Knox, challenged for offending the Queen, had her promise, that if he would confess an offence his greatest punishment should be, but to go within the castle of Edinburgh, and immediately to return to his own house; he refused absolutely. But now, if our pardon-mongers, and prudent men had been so circumstantiate, surely they could have helped themselves with their distinctions, they might confess and be pardoned for offending the Queen, though not confess it to be a fault in their conscience: but Mr. Knox had not learned that then. When they were pursuing the murderer of King Henry of Darnly, the queen finding herself not strong enough, offers to forgive and pardon that insurrection: the Earl of Morton, in name of all the rest, did not only refuse a cessation, but told her they would not ask a pardon. But now sufferers, for refusing of these base and unmanly, as well as unchristian compliances, are much condemned. Finally, because this strictness,
especially in their severity against their enemies, may be accused of Jewish rigidity, inconsistent with a gospel spirit of lenity, which also is imputed to the much condemned sufferers of Scotland at this time, for their testimonies against toleration and liberty of conscience: let us hear what Knox says, 'whatsoever God required of the civil magistrate in Israel or Judah, concerning the observation of true religion during the time of the law, the same doth he require of lawful magistrates, professing Christ Jesus, in the time of the gospel: and cites a large testimony out of Augustine to this purpose.' And afterward objecting to himself the practice of the apostles, who did not punish the idolatrous Gentiles; he answers, 'That the Gentiles, being never avowed to be God's people before, had never received his law, and therefore were not to be punished according to the rigour of it, to which they were never subject, being strangers from the common-wealth of Israel; but if any think, after the Gentiles were received in the number of Abraham's children, and so made one people with the Jews believing; then they were not bound to the same obedience of Israel's covenant, the same seems to make Christ inferior to Moses, and contrary to the law of his heavenly Father; for if the contempt and transgression of Moses' law was worthy of death, what judge we the contempt of Christ's ordinance to be? And if Christ be not come to dissolve, but to fulfil the law of his heavenly Father, shall the liberty of his gospel be an occasion that the special glory of his Father be trodden under foot, and regarded of no man? God forbid: and therefore I fear not to affirm, that the Gentiles be bound by the same covenant that God made with his people Israel, in these words--"Beware that thou make not any covenant with the inhabitants of the land, but thou shalt destroy their altars," &c. When, therefore, the Lord putteth the sword in the hand of a people, they are no less bound to purge their cities and countries from idolatry, than were the Israelites, what time they received the possession of the land of Canaan.'

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