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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And by heritors upon their tenants


IV.

Of affinity to this were many other bonds of regularity, frequently renewed and generally imposed, and that with unparalleled illegality and rigour; sometimes by hosts of savage Highlanders; sometimes by circuit courts, and by heritors upon their tenants, and with such unheard of involvments, that the master or heritor was obliged for himself, his wife, children, servants, tenants, and all under him, to live orderly; which in some was more bluntly expressed, in others more flatly explained, that they should keep the public ordinances, that is, hear the curates, and not go to any seditious conventicles, (so they called the persecuted meetings of the Lord's people for the worship of God) and in others yet more impudently exacted, that they should not harbour, entertain, or correspond with any that went to these meetings, but discover and assist to the apprehending of them. There were several forms of them from time to time, some longer, some shorter; but all of them, first and last, were to the same sense and scope. And the most favourably worded had much wickedness in them: for, 1. They are covenants of order, and coming under the same rule with themselves, which is nothing but their lusts and mischiefs framed into law, not according to the rule of the word of God, but the iniquitous laws of men. 2. They could not be taken in truth, judgment, and righteousness: for either they were ambiguous, or their plain sense obliged to manifest iniquities, to conform with all their enacted
corruptions. 3. They are clear breaches of covenant, which obliges to another kind of orderliness, and to follow other rulers, and take none from them in the matters of God. 4. They are impossible, and absurd; obliging masters to bind for all under them, that could neither lie in their power, nor in their duty, to restrain their liberty in these lawful things, and to constrain and compel their consciences to sin. 5. They are unnatural and cruel, obliging the takers to partake with them in their persecution of the godly. 6. They were engagements to hear curates, which is proved to be sin, head 1. throughout. 7. They were engagements to withdraw from the meetings of the Lord's people, proved to be duty, head 4. Yet the oath of abjuration is some way equivalent to this, in that it obliges the abjurers to renounce disorderliness in their sense, and to do no harm to the time-serving orderly clergy or laity, serving and prosecuting their wicked orders.

V. Some other bonds of that nature, and oaths frequently put to suffering people when taken prisoners, did require peaceableness and orderliness, in this stile, that they should either tacitly or expresly condemn some risings in arms, as at Pentland, Bothwel, &c. to be rebellion against the king, and a sin against God, and engage never to rise in arms against the king, or any commissionate by him, upon any pretence whatsoever. The iniquity whereof is manifest: For, 1. This is a covenant equivalent to a league offensive and defensive with them, obliging never to offend or oppose them, nor to defend nor rescue our brethren against and from their murdering violence. 2. This could not be taken in truth, judgment, and righteousness: for who can tell how far that may extend, upon any pretence whatsoever? This may oblige us to make a stupid surrender of our lives, when the king turns so tyrannical, as to send his cut-throats to demand them, or authorizes his bloody papists to massacre us, them we must not resist upon any pretence. 3. It is contrary to our covenants, that allow resistance in some cases, and oblige to assist and defend all that enter under


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