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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

As a pretence and trouble unlawful and seditious


the second place, by a particular induction of the several kinds of these oaths and bonds, the iniquity of each of them will appear; and the complex iniquity of the smoothest of them, the oath of abjuration compared with every one of them, will be manifest. And consequently the honesty and innocency of sufferers for refusing them will be discovered.

1. The first in order, which was a copy to all the rest, was the declaration, ordained to be subscribed by all in public charge, office, or trust, within the kingdom: 'Wherein they do affirm and declare, they judge it unlawful to subjects, upon pretence of reformation, or any other pretence whatsoever, to enter into leagues and covenants, or take up arms against the king,----and that all these gatherings,----petitions, protestations----that were used----for carrying on of the late troubles, were unlawful and seditious; and particularly that these oaths,----the national covenant,----and the solemn league and covenant, were and are in themselves unlawful oaths.' Here is a confederacy required against the Lord, at which the heavens might stand astonished; an unparalelled breach of the third command. Which could no more be taken in truth and righteousness, than an oath renouncing the bible; but it hath this advantage of the rest; that it is somewhat plain, and the iniquity legible on its front. 1. That it is a renouncing of solemn and sacred covenants, perpetually binding to moral and indispensible duties,

the wickedness whereof is evident from what is said above. 2. It makes perjury of the deepest dye, the absolute necessary qualification of all in public office, who cannot be presumed capable of administrating justice, when they have avowed themselves perjured and perfidious, and not to be admitted among heathens, let be Christians, nor trusted in a matter of ten shillings money, according to the laws of Scotland. 3. It renounces the whole work of reformation, and the way of carrying it on, as a pretence and trouble unlawful and seditious, which if it be a trouble, then the peace they have taken in renouncing it, must be such a peace as is the plague of God upon the heart, filling it with senselesness and stupidity in his last judgment, because of the palpable breach of covenant; or such a peace, as is very confident with the curse and vengeance of God, pursuing the quarrel of a broken covenant. 4. It condemns the taking up arms against the king, which shall be proven to be duty. Head 5. Besides, that hereby the most innocent means of seeking the redress of grievances, that religion, risings, law, and practice of all nations allows, is condemned. Yet, in effect, for as monstrous as this oath is, the complex of its iniquity is touched in the oath of abjuration; in which many of these methods of combinations, risings and declarations of war against the king, and protestations against his tyranny, which were used in the late troubles for carrying on the reformation, are abjured; in that a declaration is renounced, in so far as it declares war against the king, and asserts it lawful to kill them that serve him: which yet, in many cases in the covenanted reformation here renounced, were acknowledged and practised as lawful, besides that it hath many other breaches of covenant in it, as will be shewed.

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