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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Are abjured and renounced in that oath of abjuration


cannot be taken with any equivocating

evasion, that can escape either the stigma of nonsense and self contradiction, or the censure of atheism and irreligion, or the sentence of divine vengeance against such baffling the name of God. The best sense that can be put upon it, is that which a poor sot expressed, when it was tendered to him, prefacing thus before he took it, Lord have mercy upon my soul. For, 1. It is not consistent with itself, there being such contradictions between that confession of faith and the following part, that no man can reconcile, some whereof may be instanced as follows; (1.) In the 11th art. of that confession, intituled, of Christ's ascension, it is said, 'That Christ is the only head of the church, and just lawgiver, in which honours and offices, if men or angels presume to intrude themselves, we utterly detest and abhor them, as blasphemous to our sovereign and supreme governor Christ Jesus.' And a little before in that same article, it is said, 'This glory, honour and prerogative he alone among the brethren shall possess.' And in the 16th Art. of the kirk, 'Christ is the only head of the same kirk.' And yet in the test, the king is affirmed to be the only supreme in all causes ecclesiastical. (2.) In the 14th Art. among good works are reckoned these: 'To obey superior powers and their charges (not repugning to the commandment of God) to save the lives of innocents, to repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed.' And among evil works these are qualified, 'To resist any that God hath placed
in authority (while they pass not over the bounds of their office.') And Art. 24th, it is confessed, 'That such as resist the supreme power, doing that which pertains to his charge, do resist God's ordinance,----while the princes and rulers vigilantly travel in the execution of their office.' And yet in the test, true allegiance is engaged into without any such limitations; and it is affirmed to be unlawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to convocate, &c. or to take up arms against the king. (3.) In the 14th Art. 'Evil works are affirmed to be, not only those that expresly are done against God's commandment, but those also that, in matters of religion, and worshipping of God, have no other assurance but the invention and opinion of men.' And Art. 18th, among the notes of the true church, 'ecclesiastical discipline, uprightly ministred, as God's word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed, and virtue nourished, is one.' In Art. 20th. 'The voice of God and constitution of men are opposed.' And yet in the test, they swear never to endeavour any change or alteration in the government of the church----as it is now established; whereof many things must be altered, yea, the whole form and frame of it, if these propositions be true, as they are. (4.) In the test, they swear never to consent to any change or alteration, contrary to that confession, and that all principles and practices contrary thereto are popish and fanatical (for so they divide them into one of these disjunctively) then must all the following principles in their test be renounced as such, seeing they are contrary to that confession in some propositions or articles; and that the government established by that confession was presbyterian, and this established by the test is episcopal. 2. It comprehends all the former oaths and bonds, which are cleared above to be sinful. Yet for as wicked as it is, it must be some way homologated by the oath of abjuration, excepting the contradiction that is in it; seeing all these oppositions against the king, sworn against in the test, are abjured and renounced in that oath of abjuration, in renouncing all declarations of war against the king; for if any war can be undertaken against him, all these kinds of opposition must be allowed, that are in the test sworn against.

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