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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Perceiving the sin and snare thereof


How

worthy Mr. Knox argueth for withholding emoluments from the false bishops and clergy, may be seen before, Part 1. Per. 3.

The general assembly, in their declaration, dated July ult. 1648. concerning the then unlawful engagement in a war against England, plainly and positively dehorteth all members of the kirk of Scotland from contributing any assistance thereunto, expressed as followeth, 'That they do not concur in, nor any way assist this present engagement, as they would not partake in other men's sins, and so receive of their plagues; but that by the grace and assistance of Christ, they stedfastly resolve to suffer the rod of the wicked, and the utmost which wicked men's malice can afflict them with, rather than to put forth their hands to iniquity.' In which declaration may be seen at large that candour, faithfulness and freedom which becometh the ministers of the gospel, and dignity of watchmen, in their seasonable warning and dissuading all from assisting any way to that unlawful engagement, perceiving the sin and snare thereof, so obviously tending to the involving the land in guilt, and exposing to wrath; yea, and that notwithstanding of the fair and plausible pretexts of the engagers and joiners therein, who pretended and professed their undertaking to be for the furthering reformation, establishing and securing the covenanted religion from the plottings and endeavours of the popish, prelatic, and malignant enemies thereof, and prosecuting

the ends of the covenants; pretences which no doubt our silent and time-serving ministers (if they had any such now to plead) would strenuously improve, in vindication of their prudent silence, sinful and shameful compliances. Alas, how sad and lamentable is the condition of the church and nation now! that even when the case is so far altered, that not only all such pretences are laid aside, reformation deserted and disdained, the established religion razed and ruined, the covenant broken and burned, and the owning the obligation thereof declared treason, but also an absolute power pleaded and exercised, to the suspending, stopping and disabling all penal laws against popery and prelacy, a gap opened by an antichristian toleration to the letting in all the heresies, idolatries and blasphemies of the mother of harlots, and the land openly defiled therewith, unjust and wicked taxations arbitrarily imposed and levied, for the most dreadful, sacrilegious and hellish ends that ever was published to the world, far exceeding in wickedness these testified against by the assembly 1648, or any formerly. While the watchmen have so far abandoned their duty of setting the trumpet to their mouth, and giving due warning of the sin and danger of those dreadful and judgment procuring courses, that they are caught in the snare, and found complimenting and encouraging the principal instruments of all these evils, by their scandalous flattering addresses.

How faithful and tender some have been even in our day, their sufferings and losses in a measure above others makes manifest, amongst whom the worthy laird of Kersland is not to be forgotten, whose estate, heritable and moveable, was declared forfeited and seized, for his appearing in arms to join with that faithful party, who by horrid oppression, were forced to betake themselves to defensive resistance in the year 1666; who, considering the equity of the cause he appeared for, the indispensibleness of the obligations binding him to that duty, and how much a good conscience is to be preferred to an estate, durst not part with the


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