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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Seeing then faithful ministers must preach


the obligation of his commands

lying upon them, must preach, and the people must hear them, notwithstanding of all laws to the contrary. Divines grant that the magistrate can no more suspend from the exercise, than he can depose from the office of the ministry; for the one is a degree unto the other. See Apollon. de jure Magist. circa Sacra, Part 1. p. 334, &c. Rutherford's Due right of Presbyterians, p. 430, &c. For whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto men more than unto God, the consciences of the greatest enemies may be appealed unto, Acts iv. 19. They must not cease, wherever they have a call and occasion, to teach and preach Jesus Christ, Acts v. last verse. Necessity is laid upon them; yea, wo unto them, if they preach not the gospel, 1 Cor. xi. 16. In all things they must approve themselves, as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, &c. by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report, as deceivers, and yet true, as unknown, and yet well known,----2 Cor. vi. 4. 8. 9. They must preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine, 2 Tim. iv. 2. Dare any say then, that a magistrate's or tyrant's laws can exauctorate a minister? or silence him by his own proper elicite acts, as king or tyrant, or formally and immediately? Will mischiefs framed into a law warrant such iniquity? or an act of a king of clay rescind the mandates of the King of kings? or exempt people from
obedience due thereunto? or will the bishops canons, who have no power from Christ, or the censures of them, that stand condemned themselves by the constitutions of the church, and acts of the general assemblies, have any weight in the case? And yet these are all that can be alledged, except odious and invidious calumnies, the ordinary lot of the most faithful, against the present preachers in the fields, which are sufficiently confuted in their late informatory vindication, and need not here be touched. Seeing therefore they have given up themselves unto Christ as his servants they must resolve to be employed for him to the uttermost of their power, and must not think of laying up their talent in a napkin; especially now when there is so great necessity, when defection is yet growing, covered, countenanced more and more, division nothing abated, but new oil cast daily into the flames of devouring contentions; the people generally drowned in the deluge of the times, snares and sins, and like to be overwhelmed in the inundation of black popery, now coming in at the opened sluice of this wicked toleration, with the congratulations of addressing ministers, when now the harvest is great, and the labourers are few; great then is the necessity, and double must the woe be that abideth such ministers, as are silent at such a time: and great and inexcusable is the sin of the people, if they do not come out, and countenance faithful ministers, the messengers of the Lord of hosts, from whom they should seek the law, Mal. ii. 7. especially when there are so many, that have so palpably betrayed their trust, and so few that are faithful in the necessary testimony of the day. Seeing then faithful ministers must preach, and people must hear, where can they meet with conveniency, and safety and freedom, except either under the shelter of this wicked toleration, which they dare not do, or else go to the fields?

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