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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

The takers of this oath must have formally


to wicked, truth deserting

and law perverting loyalty, and imposed as a test of compliance with them and coming off from that little flock whom they design to devour and destinate to destruction; must be in their own esteem, as well as of the generation of the righteous, to their satisfaction, and the others sorrow, a real incorporating with them, an owning of their usurped power as judges to administer oaths, giving them all obedience they required for the time to their authority, and all the security they demanded for the subscribers loyalty, an approving of all their proceedings in that matter, and transacting, tampering, and bargaining with these sons of Belial, out of fear, whereby a right is purchased to that common badge of their owned and professed friends, who (upon taking that oath) had from them a privilege and allowance to travel and traffic (where and how they will) through the country, denied to all other that wanted that badge; I mean the pass or testificate they got from them thereupon, which was the mark of that secular beast of tyranny, no less pernicious to the world than popery hath been to the church, and which was given to all the takers of the oath, as a mark or tessera, that they were no enemies to the government, as they call it. O base and unworthy livery! for the suffering sons of Zion to put on the signature of the society of her devourers. Hence, if covenants and confederacies, declaring we are on their side, cannot be made with the enemies of religion, then this oath could
not be taken lawfully; but the former is proved above: therefore the latter follows. This will yet more appear,

2. If we consider the party that set forth that declaration, whom the proclamation against it represents so odiously and invidiously, whom the oath imposed obliges us to condemn; being so represented, as if they were maintainers of murdering principles, and perpetrators of assassinating villanies, inconsistent with peace or any good government, and therefore to be exterminated and destroyed out of the land, whom therefore they prosecute and persecute so cruelly to the effusion of their blood, under colour of law. 1. The takers of this oath must have formally, under their unhappy hand, disowned and renounced them, and all part or interest in them, or society or sympathy with them; who yet are known to be the suffering people of God, more earnestly contending, witnessing, wrestling for the faith and word of Christ's patience, and have suffered more for their adherence to the covenanted reformation of the church of Scotland, and for their opposition to all its deformations and defections, than any party within the land: yet them have they rejected as their companions, though with some of them sometimes they have had sweet company and communion to the house of God, by abjuring and condemning their deed which duty and necessity have drove them to. 2. Hereby they have presumptuously taken upon them, to pass a judgment upon the deed of their brethren, before their murdering enemies?


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