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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

By mere passive subjection we find in the scriptures


fortunes,--and resist all

contrary errors and corruptions according to their vocation: and the utmost of that power that God puts in their hands all the days of their lives; as also mutually to defend and assist one another, (as in the national covenant.) And sincerely, really, and constantly endeavour--the preservation of the reformed religion in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, the extirpation of popery, prelacy, &c.--and to assist and defend all those that enter into the same bond in the maintaining thereof,--(as in the solemn league;) then to defend and maintain that religion, and themselves professing it; when it is sought to be razed; this must be an interest as necessary to be defended, as that of our bodies which is far inferior, and as necessary a duty, as to defend our nation and civil liberties from perpetual slavery, and as preferable thereunto, as Christ's interest is to man's, and as the end of all self-preservation is to the means of it, the preservation of religion being the end of all self-preservation; but this duty cannot be discharged without resistance, in a mere passive subjection and submission: otherwise the same might be discharged in our universal submission to Turks coming to destroy our religion. Certainly this passive way cannot answer the duty of pleading for truth, Isa. lix. 4. seeking the truth, Jer v. 1. being valiant for it, Jer. ix. 3. making up the hedge, standing in the gap, &c. Ezek. xxii. 30. which yet are necessary incumbent duties according
to our capacity; therefore we cannot answer the duties we owe to religion in a mere passive way. 2. The duty we owe to our covenanted brethren, is to assist and defend them, and relieve them when oppressed, as we are bound by our covenants, and antecedently by the royal law of Christ, the foundation of all righteousness among men toward each other, Matth. vii. 12. 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.'--We would have them helping us when we are oppressed, so should we do to them when it is in the power of our hands to do it, and not forbear to deliver them for fear the Lord require their blood at our hand, Prov. xxiv. 11, 12. But this cannot be done by mere subjection without resistance. 3. There is no way to free ourselves of the sin and judgment of tyrants, by mere passive subjection: we find in the scriptures, people have been so involved and punished for the sins of tyrants; as the people of Judah for Manasseh, 2 Kings xxi. 11. &c. Jer. xv. 4. whose sins if they had not been committed, the judgment for them had been prevented, and if the people had hindered them they had not smarted; but being jointly included with their rulers in the same bond of fidelity to God, and made accountable as joint principals with their kings for that debt, by their mutual as well as several engagements to walk in his ways, they were liable to be punished for their rebellion and apostacy, because they did not hinder it. Hence somewhat must be done to free ourselves of their sin, and to escape their judgments: but this can be nothing else but opposition to them by resistance; or else if we make any other opposition, it will make us more a prey to their jury.

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