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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

The rest of the Cantons joined


In Spain, we find the people of Arragon contesting with Alphonsus III. and associating themselves together against him. And they tell Pedro III. their king, that if he would not contain himself within the limits of the laws, they would pursue him by arms, about the year 1283. As also other Spaniards, who rose in arms several times against Pedro the first king of Castile.

7. It was this which brought the Cantons of Helvetia into this state of freedom, wherein they have continued many years: for, about the year 1260, they levied war against their oppressing nobles. And in the year 1308, they joined in covenant to defend themselves against the house of Austria; and in the year 1315, they renewed it at Brunna, in which, at length, the rest of the Cantons joined, and formed themselves into a commonwealth.

8. If we take a glance of the Germans, we will find at the very commencement of the reformation, as soon as they got the name of protestants, they resisted the emperor Charles V. The duke of Saxon, the land grave of Hesse, and the city of Magedburgh, with advice of lawyers, concluded. 'That the laws of the empire permitted resistance of the emperor in some cases, that the times were then so dangerous, that the very force of conscience did leave them to arms, and to make a league to defend themselves though Cesar or any in his name should make war against them--for since he attempteth to root out religion, and subvert

our liberties, he giveth us cause enough to resist him with a good conscience: The matter standing as it doth, we may (say they) resist'--as may be shewed both by sacred and profane histories.--And so they undertook and stated the war upon the account of religion and liberty.

9. If we but cast an eye over to the Hollanders, we will find how much they stand obliged to this practice of defensive arms; having thereby recovered both religion and liberty, and established themselves into a flourishing state. We find even in the time of D. de Alva's persecution, they began to defend Haerlem and Valenciennes in Hainault, and went on till under the conduct of William of Nassau prince of Orange, they declared the king of Spain to have fallen from the government of those countries; and so effectually shook off the yoke of Spanish tyranny.

10. If we go to the French Hugonets, we will find many instances among them, and many brave heroes raised up, to maintain the principle, and prosecute the practice thereof, of older and later date. The history of the civil wars of France is stored with their trophies; and the memories of Conde and Coligni will ever be fragrant. There were many resistances there, both before and since the Parisian massacre. It is sad, that the present protestants there are so far degenerate from the spirit of their ancestors.

11. The many practices of the Hungarians, resisting the encroachments of the house of Austria, prove the same. And when Matthias denied the free exercise of religion unto the protestants of Austria, they took up arms in their own defence, and sent a protestation unto the states of Hungary, requiring their assistance, conform to their league. And now this present war there founded upon this plea.

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