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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And under this invincible disadvantage also


essay does expect no entertainment

from any, but such who resolve to harbour truth, be the hazard what will, even when the world raises the _Hue_ and _Cry_ after it, and from such who are really groaning, either by suffering or sympathy, under the same grievances here represented. There is a third, which makes it not a little difficult, the quality, quantity, and intricacy of the matter, here to be confined to such a compend. All which, together considered, do infer a fourth difficulty, that hardly can it get a pass through the press; which is blocked up against all such books that may offer a manifestation of the innocency of that people, and the injustice and inhumanity of their enemies; which is their only hope of preventing the world's knowledge and condemnation of their actings. Yea, there is a fifth, that wants not its own difficulty; that though the Press were patent, yet an empty purse, from a poor impoverished people, will as readily preclude all access to it, as if it were locked up by law; but both together make it hard. But there is a sixth disadvantage yet more discouraging, that the man as well as the money, is wanting to manage the business: and this needs no other proof; than the necessity of my poor pen to undertake it, instead of a better. It must needs be very low with that people, that stand in need of such a pitiful patrociny as mine is. Our persecuted brethren, elsewhere, have this advantage of us, that they have champions to espouse their quarrel, which we have not; but only such, who as
they are reputed in the world, so, in their own sense, own themselves to be very unaccomplished for such work; and under this invincible disadvantage also, that, being forced to a wandering and unsettled life, they have no conveniency, nor can be accommodated with time, nor helps to perform it; and so circumstantiated, that either it must be done at this time, and in this manner, or not at all. In the seventh place, we are at a greater loss than any suffering people; in that, among all other bitter ingredients, we have this gall also in our cup, that they that suffer most among us, have not the comfort and benefit of the sympathy of others, that sufferers use to have from good people. The reason of this makes an eighth discouragement, besides what is said above; that not only is the case and cause of that poor persecuted and wasted witnessing remnant, obscure in itself, and not known in the world, nay, not so much as in the very neighbouring churches of England and Ireland, but also more obscured by the malice of enemies, traducing, calumniating, and reproaching that righteous remnant whom they intend to ruin; not indeed as hereticks (which is the case of other suffering churches, wherein they have the advantage of us also; that though the name be more odious, yet it makes the notion of their cause, and the nature of their enemies, notour, and is more effectual to conciliate sympathy from all that know that Protestants are persecuted by Papists under the notion of hereticks: but we are at a loss in this, that our persecutors, at least the most part of the executioners of the persecution, will not as yet avouch that Protestantism is heresy though we want not this nick name likewise from the chief of them that are professed Papists) but as Scismaticks, Seditious, Rebels, Traitors, Murderers, Holding principles inconsistent with Government, (to wit, their tyranny), and the peace of human society, (to wit, their association against religion and liberty), and therefore to be exterminated out of the world. And this imposture, covering all their mischiefs, hath prevailed so far with the blinded world, that under this brand the consideration of their case and cause is buried, without


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