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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Compliance and incorporation with them


Secondly,

These things being premitted, I shall offer reasons why it was necessary, in point of conscience, to refuse all the oaths hitherto tendered; and consequently conscientious sufferers upon this account will be vindicated. And first, some general reasons against all of them together, and then a word to each sort of them.

1. There is one general argument, that will condemn coming in any terms of oaths or bonds with that party, that have broken the covenant, overturned the reformation, and destroyed the people of the Lord: because such transactions with them (as hinted above) are a sort of confederacy with the known enemies of truth and godliness, importing a voluntary subjection to them, compliance and incorporation with them, as members of the same community, whereof they are acknowledged to be the head. Now all such sort of confederacy with such malignant enemies of God and of the church, is unlawful, as Mr. Gillespie demonstrates in his useful case of conscience, concerning associations and confederacies with idolaters, or any known enemies of truth and godliness. Though civil compacts for common commerce may be allowed, as Abraham was confederate with Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, Gen. xiv. 13. Jacob covenanted with Laban by way of lawborrows, Gen xxxi. 14. But sacred confederations of this sort are unlawful from these arguments, 1. The law of God condemns them, Exod. xxiii. 32. "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods, they shall

not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me,"----Where not only religious covenants are discharged in a toleration of the idolatry, but familiar conversation also, they shall not dwell in thy land. If then we must not suffer them, if in capacity, sure we must far less be imposed upon by them; if we are not to be familiar with heathens, far less with apostates, that call themselves Christians; for the apostle lays much more restraint from communion with them, than with Pagans, 1 Cor. v. 10, 11. The reason of the law, lest they make thee sin: as long therefore as there is that hazard of sinning, the law obliges to that caution. So Exod. xxxiv. 12,--16. "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land--lest it be a snare--but ye shall destroy their altars--lest thou make a covenant with them--and they go a whoring after their gods, and thou take of their daughters unto thy sons"--Here again all sacred transactions are discharged, upon a moral and perpetually binding ground, and all toleration is prohibited, and conjugal affinity. Such compliance brought on the first desolating judgment, the flood on the old world (Gen. vi. 1, 2, 3.) when the godly conformed and incorporated themselves, and joined in affinity with that ungodly crew, from whom they should have separated themselves. Likewise Deut. vii. 2, 3, 4, 5.--"Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them, neither shalt thou make marriages with them--for they will turn away thy son from following me--so shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you--but thus shall ye deal with them, ye shall destroy their altars." Where all transactions with a people devoted to destruction are discharged, even that of toleration of malignant enemies, according to which precept, "David resolved to destroy early all the wicked of the land, and cut off all wicked doers, from the city of the Lord," Psal. ci. 8. Mark this, all, of what degree or quality soever, without respect of persons. And lest it should be thought this is meant only of these seven nations there enumerate, the law is interpreted by the spirit of God or many other nations; where Solomon is condemned for joining in affinity with other wicked people, besides these, 1 Kings, xi. 1, 2. So that it is to be understood generally, against confederacies


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