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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And confederacy with idolaters


of confederacy with the enemies of God, which we desire not to partake of, and know of no relaxation of persecution against such as continue to witness against them; so let what hath been said above in the third hypothesis, of the necessity of publicness in our meetings at such a time as this is, be considered; and let the scripture be consulted, and it will appear, not only that in preaching the gospel there must be a witness and testimony kept up, (as is proved above) and not only that ministers preach the word, and be instant in season and out of season, 2 Tim. iv. 2. But that such a time, as this, is the very season of a testimony. For, in the scripture, we find, that testimonies are to be given in these seasons especially, 1. When the enemies of God, beginning to relent from their stiffness and severity, would compound with his witnesses, and give them some liberty, but not total; as Pharaoh would let the children of Israel go, but stay their flocks; and now our Pharaoh will give some liberty to serve God, but with a reservation of that part of the matter of it, that nothing be said to alienate the hearts of the subjects from his arbitrary government. But Moses thought it then a season to testify (though the bondage of the people should be thereby continued) that there should not a hoof be left behind; for, says he, we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither, Exod. x. 24, 25, 26. So must we testify for every hoof of the interest of Christ this day. 2. When these is a toleration of idolatry, and confederacy with idolaters, and suspending the execution of penal laws against them, or pardoning of those that should be punished: in such a season as this, that messenger, that came from Gilgal, gave his testimony as Bochim against their toleration of idolatrous altars, and confederacy with the Canaanites, Judg. ii. 1, 2. He is called an angel indeed, but he was only such an one as ministers are, who are called so, Rev. ii. 1. for heavenly spirits have brought a heavenly message to particular persons, but never to the whole people; the Lord hath committed such a treasure to earthern vessels, 2 Cor. iv. 7. and this came from Gilgal, not from heaven: so the man of God testified against Eli, for his toleration of wicked priests, though they were his own sons, 1 Sam ii. 27, &c. So Samuel witnessed against Saul, for his toleration and indemnity granted to Agag, 1 Sam. xv. 23. So the prophet against Ahab, for sparing Benhadad, 1 Kings xx. 42. The angel of Ephesus is commended for this, and he of Pergamos, and he of Thyatira is condemned, for omitting this testimony, and allowing a toleration of the Nicolaitans and Jezebel, Rev. ii. 2, 14, 20. In such a case of universal compliance with these things, and the peoples indulging themselves under the shadow of the protection of such a confederacy, the servants of the Lord that fear him must not say a confederacy, though they should be accounted for signs and wonders in Israel, Isa. viii. 12, 13, 18. But now idolatrous mass-altars are set up, none thrown down, penal statutes against papists are stopt and disabled, and the generality of ministers are congratulating, and saying a confederacy in their addresses for the same. 3. When the universal apostasy is come to such a height, that error is prevailing, and few siding themselves in an avowed opposition against it; as Elijah chose that time, when the people were halting between two opinions, 1 Kings xviii. 21. And generally all the prophets and servants of Christ, consulted alway the peoples necessity for the timing

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