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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And hellish projects and practices

on by misinformations, will

be so far from that unchristian temper towards them, as to be easily biassed with all reports and reproaches to their disadvantage, that if they weigh what is in this treatise offered, and truly I may say candidly represented, without any design of prevarication, or painting or daubing, to make the matter either better or worse than it will seem to any impartial observer; they will admit and entertain a more charitable construction of them, and not deny them brotherly sympathy and Christian compassion, nor be wanting in the duty of prayer and supplication for them; at length the Lord would turn his hand upon the little ones, and bring at least a third part, a remnant of mourners, through the fire. So, to that little flock, the poor of the flock, that wait upon the Lord, and desire to keep his way, I shall only say, though I judged necessity was laid upon me, instead of a better, to essay this vindication of your cause, as stated betwixt you and your Lord's enemies, the men that now ride over your heads, that say to your soul, Bow down that we may go over you, I desire not that you should, yea I obtest that you may not lay any stress on the strength of what I have said; but let its weight ly where it must be laid, on that firm foundation that will bear you and it both, that stone, that tried stone, that precious corner-stone, that sure foundation Christ Jesus; and search the scriptures of truth to see whether these things be so or not: and I doubt not, but by that touchstone if
these precious truths be tried, they will be found neither hay nor stubble, that cannot abide the fire, but as silver tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times. Be not offended, that they are contemned as small, and contradicted as odious, but look to the importance of his glory, whose truths and concerns they are, and from whom they are seeking to draw or drive you, who oppose and oppugn these truths. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and hold fast every word of his patience, that you may be kept in this hour of tentation. Let no man take your crown, or pull you down from your excellency, which is always the design of your wicked enemies, in all their several shapes nd shews, both of force and fraud, craft and cruelty. Beware of their snares, and of their tender mercies, for they are cruel; and when they speak fair, believe them not, for there are seven abominations in their hearts. "Say ye not a confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say a confederacy, neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid; sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread, and he shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Wait upon the Lord who hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and look for him among his children," though now you be reputed for signs and wonders in Israel, from the Lord of hosts which dwelleth in mount Zion. "Who knows, but therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you, for the Lord is a God of judgment, blessed are all they that wait for him." To whom be all the glory, Amen.

* * * * *

Having come to a conclusion of the six heads proposed to be treated of, I judged it conducing, by way of a postscript, to subjoin a seventh, in vindication of these conscientious and truly tender sufferers, who, in the dread and awe of the holy, sovereign, and supreme law-giver, who commandeth his subjects and followers, to abstain from all appearance of evil, did in obedience to him and his royal law, choose rather to suffer the rage, robberies, and violence of cruel and bloody enemies, together with censures, reproaches, obloquies, and contempt of apostatising professors, than to give any aid or encouragement to the avowed and declared enemies of Christ, that might contribute to the promoving their sacrilegious, tyrannical, and hellish projects and practices, calculate and prosecute against the gospel and kingdom of Christ, the covenanted reformed religion of the church, the rights, laws, and liberties of the people, and to the introducing of antichristian idolatry, tyranny and slavery, by paying any of their wicked and wickedly imposed exactions, raised for furthering their hellish designs, of which none that pays them can be innocent.

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