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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

That these impositions under consideration


From the fountain and conveyance whence they proceed, the iniquity of these payments might be concluded; which is nothing else than the arbitrary power domineering over us, and oppressing and overpressing the kingdoms with intolerable exactions which to pay is all the consent and concurrence required of us to entail slavery on the posterity. I mean, to pay it out of submission only to the moral force of its imposition, which is all the justification required of that absolute tyranny imposing it. For we have the testimony of a king for it, (King James' speech to the parliament, in 1609.) That a king degenerateth into a tyrant, when he leaveth to rule by law, much more when he begins--to set up an arbitrary power, impose unlawful taxes, &c. It can be denied by none, that know either religion or liberty, and are not enemies to both, that these impositions under consideration, upon such accounts, for such ends, are as unlawful taxes, and as illegally and arbitrarily imposed, as ever could demonstrate the most despotical absoluteness, paramount to all law, or precedent, but that of Benhadad, of a very tyrannical strain. Thus saith Benhadad, "thy silver and thy gold is mine--yet I will send my servants, and they shall search thine house, and it shall be that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put in their hand, and take it away," 1 Kings, xx. 3. 6. which even as Ahab and his elders would not hearken to nor consent. But from an extoic dominator this were not so intolerable,
as from such as pretend an hereditary right to govern, who should remove violence and spoil, and take away their exactions from the Lord's people, as the Lord saith, Ezek. xlv. 9. But instead of that, That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward: and the great man uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up, Mic. vii 3, the easy compliance with which, makes Zion as the grape gleanings of the vintage. If those exactions be wicked, then compliance with them must be iniquity: for it justifies the court that enacts and exacts them, a packed juncto of a prevalent faction, made up of perjured traitors, in a course of enmity against God and the country, who, to prosecute the war against the Almighty, and root out all his people out of the land, condescend upon these cesses, fines, &c. as a fit and adapted medium thereunto. Wherefore, of necessity, all that would not own that conclusion, as their own deed, in these representatives, and own them as their representatives in that deed, must bear witness against the same, by a refusal to own the debt, or pay the same. But I shall conclude this, with observing. (1.) The holy and remarkable righteousness of the Lord, that we, who would not contend earnestly for the liberty of the gospel, who would not acquit ourselves like men, in witnessing our loyalty to Christ, were not fixed in our engagements, nor steadfast in holding the liberties wherewith Christ hath made us free, did not reclaim nor reluctate, when we saw our royal master's prerogative invaded; should be trod upon in all civils, and treated as slaves, even by these, whom we had gratified with a base and sinful forbearance to plead for God, and preserve from their violence these things, these precious and valuable things, which we should have kept more tenderly than the apple of our eye. O the relucency of this righteousness, in making the gods whom we have served smite us, and in making them whose interest we minded, with a misregard and

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