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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Whereupon they are to have a testificate


larger dilatation of their

meaning, than their pretended, restriction, (in so far as, &c.) and gives a further discovery of the intent of the oath, that gives a covert stroke to all the principles of our reformation, which are reductively specified in that declaration) 'or whosoever shall refuse to disown the same----shall be execute to the death; and commanding all subjects to concur, and do their utmost endeavour to seek, search, delate, and apprehend all such, under the severest penalties of the laws; and to difference the good from the bad, (meaning their own associates and friends, from Christ's followers) by discriminating signs, declaring it their pleasure, and requiring all past the age of 16 years not to presume to travel without testificates of their loyalty and good principles, by taking the oath of abjuration; whereupon they are to have a testificate, which is to serve for a free pass, with certification to all that shall adventure to travel without such a testificate, shall be holden and used as concurrers with the said rebels; commanding all heritors, &c. to give up the lists, of the names of all under them, before the curate; declaring, if any shall refuse to concur in such service, they shall be holden as guilty of the foresaid crimes, and punished accordingly; and strictly prohibiting all to harbour, lodge, or entertain any, unless they have such certificates, under the same pain: and for encouragement to any that shall discover or apprehend any to be found guilty as above said,
ensuring to them the sum of 500 merks Scots for each of them.' This is that hell hatched proclamation, so grievous for its effects, so dreadful for its designs, so monstrous for its absurdities, that the like hath not been seen: whereby not only the country's interest and trade hath been prejudged, by compelling all to have a pass in time of peace, and these to be procured at exorbitant rates, oppressing poor people; not only common hostlers and innkeepers are made judges, impowered to impose oaths upon passengers for their passes, that they be not forged; but many consciences couzened, cheated, wounded and insnared, and the whole land involved in sin. But they that took this oath have approved and justified this detestable, execrable, bloody proclamation, the spurious spawn of the devil's venom against Christ's followers: for they gave all the obedience to it that was required of them in their capacity, and obedience justifies the law enjoining it; they have done all was required, or could be done by them, to answer the design of it in their circumstances; and consequently, by doing the thing prescribed, they have justified the grounds upon which the rescript was founded, and the methods by which it was prosecuted, which hath a dreadful medly of iniquity in it. Hence, (1.) They have subscribed to all these odious characters wherewith they branded that poor persecuted party, and condemned them as insolent, desperate rebels, murderers, bloody assassins, &c. (2.) In disowning that declaration, they have disowned the principles therein specified, and consequently all the testimony against this usurping faction of overturners of the work of reformation, active and passive, that have been given and sealed by the eminent servants of God, since this catastrophe, the principle of defensive arms, and our covenants, and several others which are therein specified. (3.) They have given their consent to all the concurrence therein required, for seeking, searching, delating, and apprehending of these people, and to all the cruel villainies committed against them. (4.) They have taken on their prescribed discriminating sign of loyalty, and of being repute by them men of good principles, that is, their friends, men for the times: which is so sinful and scandalous, that it is shameful to hint at them, and yet shameful to hide them.

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