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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

But an arbitrary imposition of true allegiance and defence


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nor owned by any man of reason, as is proven, Head 2. Arg. 6. It cannot be lawful in any sense, to swear such an oath to any mortal, nay, not to a David nor Hezekiah: because to swear unrestricted and unlimited allegiance to any man, were a manifest mancipating of mankind, not only to an ass-like subjection, but to a servile obligation to maintain and uphold the persons and government of mutual men, be what they will, turn to what they will; it is known the best of men may degenerate: and by this no remedy is left to redress ourselves, but our heads, hearts, and hands all tied up under an engagement to defend, assist, and maintain whosoever doth hold the government, manage it as he pleases. This reason will also conclude against the English oath of allegiance, though it be a great deal more smoothly worded, and seems only to require a rejection of the Pope, and legal subjection to the king; yet, that comprehensive clause makes it border upon absoluteness, I will bear faith and true allegiance to his majesty's heirs and successors, and him and them will defend to the uttermost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatsoever. There are no conditions here at all, limiting the allegiance, or qualifying the object; but an arbitrary imposition of true allegiance and defence, in all cases, against all attempts, (even that of repressing their tyranny not excepted), not only of their persons, but of their dignities, if this be not an illimited allegiance to an absolute power, I know not what is. 5. Here is an acknowledgment of the ecclesiastical supremacy resident in the king: which is the most blasphemous usurpation on the prerogatives of Christ, and privileges of his church that ever the greatest monster among men durst arrogate: yea, the Roman beast never claimed more; and, in effect, it is nothing else but one of his name of blasphemy twisted out of the Pope's hands by king Henry the VIII. and handed down to queen Elizabeth, and wafted over to James the VI. for that was the original and conveyance of it. The iniquity whereof is discovered above, Head 1. Arg. 3. But further, may be aggravated in these particulars, (1.) It is only a change of the Pope, but not of the popedom; and nothing else but a shaking off the ecclesiastical pope, and submitting to a civil pope, by whom Christ's hardship is as much wronged as by the other: and hereby a door is opened for bringing in popery (as indeed by this stratagem it is brought now to our very doors) for by the act of supremacy he hath power to settle all things concerning doctrine, worship, discipline or government, by his clerks the bishops, having all the architectonic power of disposing, ordering, and ordaining these, as he in his royal wisdom thinks fit. (2.) By this church and state are confounded (whereof the distinction is demonstrate above) making the magistrate a proper and competent judge in church matters, not to be declined; whereby also he hath power to erect new courts, mongrel judicatories; half civil, half ecclesiastic, which have no warrant in the word. (3.) By this, many palpable and intolerable encroachments made upon the liberties and privileges of the church of Christ are yielded unto; as that there must be no church-judicatories


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