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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

But formally and explicitly to contend for this very head


and to the twelve tribes had

distributed the land of Canaan: was not the whole and every member addebted to confess the benefits of God, and to study to keep the possession received? which they could not do, except they kept the religion established, and put out iniquity from amongst them. To the carnal man this may seem to be a rigorous and severe judgment, that even the infants there should be appointed to the cruel death; and as concerning the city and spoil of the same, man's reason cannot think but that it might have been better bestowed, than to be consumed. But in such cases, let all creatures stoop, and desist from reasoning, when commandment is given to execute his judgment. I will search no other reasons than the Holy Ghost hath assigned; first, That all Israel should fear to commit the like abomination; and, secondly, That the Lord might turn from the fury of his anger: which plainly doth signify, that, by the defection and idolatry of a few, God's wrath is kindled against the whole, which is never quenched, till such punishment be taken upon the offenders, that whatsoever served them in their idolatry be brought to destruction,' &c. I have enlarged so far upon this period, that it may appear, there is nothing now in controversy, between the suffering and reproached party now in Scotland, and either their friends or enemies, which could fall under our reformers inquiry; but they have declared themselves of the same sentiments that are now so much opposed; and therefore none can condemn the
present heads of suffering, except also they condemn the reformers judgment; and consequently the imputation of novelty must fall.

PERIOD IV.

_Containing the Testimony of the first Contenders against Prelacy and Supremacy, from the Year 1570, to 1638._

Hitherto the conflict was for the concerns of Christ's prophetical and priestly office, against paganism and popery. But from the year 1570, and downward, the testimony is stated, and gradually prosecuted for the rights, privileges and prerogatives of Christ's kingly office; which hath been the peculiar glory of the church of Scotland, above all the churches in the earth, that this hath been given to her as the word of her testimony; and not only consequentially and reductively, as all other churches may challenge a part of this dignity, but formally and explicitly to contend for this very head, the headship and kingship of Jesus Christ, the prince of the kings of the earth, and his mediatory supremacy over his own kingdom of grace, both visible and invisible. This is Christ's supremacy, a special radiant jewel of his imperial crown, which as it hath been as explicitly encroached upon in Scotland, by his insolent enemies, as ever by any that entered in opposition to him, so it hath been more expressly witnessed and wrestled for by his suffering servants in that land than in any place of the world. This was in a particular manner the testimony of that period, during the reign of King James the 6th; as it hath been in a great measure in our day, since the year 1660. Which, as it is the most important cause, of the greatest consequence that mortals can contend for; so it hath this peculiar glory in it, that it is not only for the truth of Christ, of greater value than the standing of heaven and earth, but also it is the very truth for which Christ himself died, considered as a martyr; and which concerns him to vindicate and maintain as a monarch. The witnesses of that day made such an high account of it, that they encouraged one another to suffer for it, as the greatest concern; 'being a witness for Christ's glorious and free monarchy, which, as it is the end of the other two offices, so the testimony is more glorious to God, more honourable to his Son, and more


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