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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Beginning the first terms payment at Martinmass


were too universally at first complied with; but afterwards upon more mature consideration, and after clearer discoveries of the imposers projects and practices, they were scrupled and refused by the more tender. And their sufferings, upon the account of that recusancy, have been very great and grievous, to the utter impoverishment and depopulation of many families, besides the personal sufferings of many in long imprisonments, which some choose rather to sustain with patience, than pay the least of those exactions. Yea, some when ordered to be legally liberate, and set forth out of prison, choosed rather to be detained still in bondage, than to pay the jaylor's fees, their keepers demanded of them. Many other wicked impositions have been pressed and prosecuted with great rigour and rage, as militia money, and locality, for furnishing soldiers, listed under a banner displayed against religion and liberty, with necessary provision, in and for their wicked service; which of late years have been contended against by the sufferings of many, and daily growing a trial to more. But the most impudently insolent of all these impositions, and that which plainly paraphrases, openly expresses and explains all the rest, calculate for the same ends, was by that wicked act of convention, enacted in the 1678, declaring very plainly its ends, to levy and maintain forces for suppressing meetings, and to shew unanimous affection for maintaining the king's supremacy established by law. Or as they represent it in their act, for continuation of it, Act 3. Parl. 3. Char. II. August 20, 1681. 'Seeing the convention of estates held at Edinburgh in the month of July, 1678, upon weighty considerations therein specified, and particularly the great danger the kingdom was under, by seditious and rebellious conventicles, and the necessity which then appeared, to increase the forces, for securing the government, and suppressing these rebellious commotions, which were fomented by seditious principles and practices, did therefore humbly and dutifully offer a chearful and unanimous supply of 800,000 pound Scots,--in the space of five years,--And the estates of parliament now conveened, having taken to consideration, how the dangers from the foresaid causes do much encrease, in so far as such as are seditiously and rebelliously inclined, do still propagate their pernicious principles, and go on from one degree of rebellion to another, till now at last the horrid villanies of murder, assassination, and avowed rebellion, are owned, not only as things lawful, but as obligations from their religion,--do therefore, in a due sense of their duty to God, to their sacred sovereign, and the preservation of themselves, and their posterity, of new make an humble, unanimous, chearful, and hearty offer, for themselves, and in name of, and as representing this his majesty's ancient kingdom, of a continuation of the foresaid supply, granted by the convention or estates; and that for the space of five years, or ten terms successive, beginning the first terms payment at Martinmass, 1684, which yet is to be continued until Martinmass, 1688.' Here is a sample of their wicked demands, shewing the nature, quality, and tendency of all of them; wherein we may note, 1. That they continue it upon the same considerations, upon which it was first granted. 2. That these were, and yet remain to be, the danger of the meetings of the Lord's people for gospel ordinances, by them forced into the fields, which they call rebellious conventicles; and the necessity of securing their usurpation upon the prerogatives of Christ, liberties of his church and privileges of mankind, (which they call their government) and suppressing the testimonies for the interest of Christ (called by them rebellious commotions.) 3. That their motive of continuing it, was their considerations of some weak remainders of former zeal for God, in prosecuting the testimony for the interests of Christ, and principles of the covenanted reformation, (which they call propagating pernicions principles) and some weak attempts to oppose and resist their rebellion against God, and vindicate the work, and defend the people of God, from the destruction they intended against them, and their lawful and obliged endeavours to bring these destroyers and murderers to condign punishment (which they, call horrid villanies of murder, assassinations, and avowed rebellion.)

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