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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And cast themselves into many tentations unavoidably


or falling from it, or of

their wearying of the cross of Christ, of which they are very glad; and an offending and making sad the hearts, and condemning the practice, of some truly tender and zealous confessors of Christ, who have had strong tentations to make such transactions, and durst not yield so far for a world; yea it is certainly an argument of faithless fear, and impatient wearying of the cross, because of the fury of the oppressor, which the Lord taxeth, when the captive hastneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail; which is a dishonour to him who hath promised to bear their charges, and hath given them many encouragements to trust, that he will open a door in his own time and way. See Isa. li. 13, 14. Of this Rutherford addeth in that forecited letter: 'Silence of the cause of God which adversaries persecute, seems a tacit deserting of the cause, when the state of the question is known to beholders, and I know the brethren intend not to leave the cause. And a little after, says he, the draught of that petition which you sent me, speaks not one word of the covenant of God, for the adhering to which you now suffer, and which is the object of men's hatred, and the destruction whereof is the great work of the times; and your silence, in this nick of time, appears to be a not confessing of Christ before men, and you want nothing to beget an uncleanly deliverance, but the profession of silence:' which is professed by all that petition for such
a bond, when their address and transaction speaks no more in favours of the cause, than if they denied it. It is plainly a coming out of prison without a testimony, which cannot consist with faithful and zealous suffering for Christ, and is far from the choice of Christ's witnesses, who overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, recorded, Heb. xi. 35.----Who were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 5. As it is a scandalous, so it is very inconvenient and unsuitable for the confessors of Christ. In that not only they may be ignorant, and much troubled to know what underhand dealings their friends may use sometimes to procure that liberty, without acquainting them, and how odiously their act of deliverance may be worded and registred to the prejudice of the cause, which they dare not testify against afterwards when they do know it, for fear of many inconveniences. But also it cannot be vindicated from being a dishonourable shifting, and putting off, or casting off the call of a testimony; and confessing either an inconstancy, or impatience, or unreadiness, or want of resolution, to confess or profess the testimony for Christ, without some respite to gather new defences for it: whereas Christ's witnesses should be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them, 1 Pet. iii. 15. And besides, they involve themselves into the incumbrances of a doubtful suspence about the event, whereas if they keep their first resolution and condition with cheerfulness, aloof from such bargains, they know the utmost they have to fear or hope from men. But now, as it is hard for them to come off without some sinful engagement, and to continue any measure of faithfulness when they are out, for fear of being soon called again; so they bring themselves into many sad difficulties how to behave, and cast themselves into many tentations unavoidably. However, except of late, a precedent of this practice can hardly be instanced among the sufferers of Christ in former times, but, on the contrary, many have refused

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