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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

In terms abjuring all war against the king


the bond thereof. 4. This infers

an owning of the present authority, as the irresistible ordinance of God, and an obligation of living peaceably in subjection under it; disproved above. To which I shall add a part of that forecited letter of Mr. Rutherford's, the 63d in number of the third part of his printed letters, which are a clear vindication of the principles and practice of our conscientious sufferers on this point: 'There is a promise and real purpose, (saith he) to live peaceably, under the king's authority; but (1.) You do not so answer candidly and ingeniously the mind of the rulers, who to your knowledge, mean a far other thing by authority than you do: for you mean his just authority, his authority in the Lord----in the maintainance of true religion, as in the covenant, and confession of faith----is expressed from the word of God; they mean his supreme authority, and absolute prerogative about laws, as their acts clear, and as their practice is; for they refused to such as were unwilling to subscribe their bond to add, authority in the Lord, or just and lawful authority, or authority as it is expressed in the covenant; but this draught of a petition yields the sense and meaning to them which they crave. (2.) That authority for which they contend, is exclusive of the sworn covenant; so that except ye had said, Ye shall be subject to the king's authority in the Lord, or according to the sworn covenant, you say nothing to the point in hand, and that sure is not your meaning. (3.) Whoever promises so
much of peaceable living under his majesty's authority, leaving out the exposition of the fifth command,--may, upon the very same ground subscribe the bond refused by the godly, and so you pass from the covenant, and make all these bypast actings of this kirk and state these years bypast to be horrid rebellion, and how deep this guilt draws, consider.' 5. This would infer, though the king should send and kill us, we must not resist, nor defend our own lives: yet, being an oath against the sixth command, which enjoineth natural self-preservation, it should be intrinsically sinful; and 'tis all one to swear to non-preservation of self, as to swear to self-murder. 6. I hope to make it appear in the fifth head, that this is against the practice of nations, the law of nature, and the word of God. Yet all this complex iniquity is clearly comprehended in the oath of abjuration, in terms abjuring all war against the king.

VI. There were some other oaths, frequently obtruded upon people, for refusing which they have suffered great cruelties, that can hardly be described by any name; nor can their imposition have a parallel in any age or place, for illegality, inhumanity, arbitrariness, and odiousness. These were the oaths of inquisition, or things beyond all enquiry: whereby people were pressed to answer the inquisitors, according to all their knowledge of things they were interrogate upon, and delate and discover intercommuned persons in their wanderings, or such whole names were in their Porteous rolls, &c. And power was given to single soldiers, to press these oaths upon whom they pleased. The iniquity of which is monstrous: For, 1. This was the worst kind of combination with these blood hounds, to abet and assist them in their pursuing after the Lord's people: which is worse than to be bare consenters to such wickedness, or to be onlookers to their affliction in the day of their calamity; but like that sin charged upon Edom, that they delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress, Obad. ver. 13, 14. for these that took oaths, obliged themselves to do all they could to deliver up the remnant that escaped; and if they did not, no thanks to them; if they


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