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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Or precise and unwarrantable notion

sweet comforts of the one for

the uncertain profits of the other: and as he was earnest with God by frequent and fervent prayer, for light and stedfastness in the matters of his suffering and testimony, so it pleased the Lord so to determine his heart therein, as that all the endeavours and persuasions used both by friends and foes, to move him to a composition with the enemies for his estate, proved unsuccessful; yea, it is well known how that severals, both of his near relations and others, who used the most forcible and persuasive arguments, as the consideration of the ancient and honourable family he was descended from; the miserable case that he, his lady and children should be in, without his estate; the counsel and judgment of grave and godly ministers; the freedom and practice of other learned and knowing men; together also with the imputation of vain scrupulosity, simple and unwarrantable nicety and preciseness, &c. that yet even some of those who dealt most with him, were, by his defences and reasonings, convinced of the equity of his cause, and brought to commend his upright resolution, and to applaud his tenderness and faithfulness; and in particular his own father, who pleaded much that he would only consent, that he, with others of his friends, might compone in favours of his family, and that he himself should be no ways concerned in it further than to assent that the thing be done; but could not prevail, who afterwards blessed God that he did not; declaring, that he had much more satisfaction
and comfort in his son's honesty and stedfastness, than many such estates could ever have afforded him.

I shall here mention some considerations which prevailed with him to decline all composition directly or indirectly with the enemies in that matter. (1.) That he could never attain to freedom to use any such manifest dissimulation, as deliberately to assent to any thing that might import his acknowledging that to be a sin and fault, (yea such a sin and fault as rebellion) which he was convinced in his conscience to be unquestionable duty both before God and man, nor thereby dissembling to insinuate his undoubted right to his estate, to be in the person, or at the disposing of any other. (2.) Considering that there can be no new right procured upon a composition, and granted to any, but such as shall carry in the narrative thereof that he had forfeited that estate by rebellion, with a long preamble, condemning the cause of God, and dutiful endeavours of his people for reformation, and in defence of religion and liberty, all as sedition, rebellion and treason; whereupon he resolved rather to part with his estate, than be any way instrumental and occasional to the indignifying that holy and honourable cause, with such disdainful, reproachful and blaspemous epithets. And albeit such tenderness in principle and practice of this worthy gentleman, and of many others of the faithful sufferers in our day, be censured and condemned by the lukewarm and worldly-wise professors in this age, as an unprecedented novelty, or precise and unwarrantable notion; yet we find it the same with the faithful sufferers in former ages, and exactly agreeing with the doctrine and principles of the most orthodox and famous divines; for the reverend and learned Calvin having the same case of conscience proposed to him by the godly, persecuted in his age, to which his solid and faithful answer is extant in his 375 epistle, Article 3. thus proposed and answered: 'Whether the confiscation of goods can be fought back again from a prince, in the name and behalf of these who are forfeited for religion?' To which he answers, 'That it is certain it cannot be done without sin; for the new right, or the De Novodamus (as we call it) granted by the prince, doth really contain open blasphemies against the glory of God; because therein mention is made of errors, crimes, and divine lese majesty, whereof the condemned are found guilty; which new right must, in law, be exhibited by him who intendeth to use the same; and that as a certain kind of approbation, no ways to be tolerated. Wherefore, I see not that it is lawful for a godly man, rightly instructed in the gospel, to involve himself into such fictions.'

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