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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Which rage itself could hardly outdo


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these forces and public officers

for? What are they employed about, but to promote the dragon's designs, and serve his drudgery? Shall these guard the nation, who, together with religion, tread upon the poor remaining shadow of liberty? Do they indeed fear a foreign invasion? No; it doth not hold us here: these called rulers hide not their designs, but hold them to our eye that we may not pretend ignorance. They will do the greatest haste first: Christ and his interest is their great eye-sore. This one Jesus, who calls himself a king, (yea, and he will be so to their cost,) and his subjects as the most dangerous party, are to be discussed in the first place: and thereafter, when they are liberate from that fear of returning to his throne, whom they have exauctorate, (for, if ever he do, they are ruined, make haste, O Lord!) and have eaten the flesh and drunk the blood of his people, then they will be in a better case to defend the land, by shewing the enemy those teeth and tusks wherewith they have killed the people of the Lord. But will men put out their own eyes, that they may be taken with the more tameness to grind in their mill, and make them merry at our madness? Have we lost our senses, that we may with confidence jeopard our souls? Have they not invaded the Mediator's kingdom, and taken to themselves his house in possession? And because reavers may not be ruers, they will destroy all in the land, who seem faithful to Christ, and resolute to follow the captain of the host of Israel. But it is not enough
that they menace heaven? Will they mock us into the same rebellion with themselves? He will not be mocked, but turn their jest into earnest. I cannot here shift the transcribing some of the very words of that author, whose reasonings I am but gleaning on this subject. 'Oh Britain! O Scotland! bent into, and bold in backsliding, the wrath of God and thy wo seems to be upon the wing. And alas! I am afraid, that by this crowning and crimson wickedness, the Lord God Almighty is making a way to his anger, and preparing the nation for a sacrifice, to expiate in the sight of the world our perjury, defection and heaven daring provocations. Alas! I am afraid, that the sword of the Lord, which shall avenge the quarrel of his covenant, is near to be drawn,--that the contributers, as well as the stated party of contrivers, decreers and cruel executioners of these decrees, may fall under the blow of the furbished sword of the Lord God: and that the land of such abominations may be swept of its inhabitants with the besom of destruction, and soaked with the blood of those, who instead of contending for Christ, have by this payment associate with his stated, his declared, and implacable enemies, whose rage is come up before him, and will bring him down to take revenge. Alas! my fears, my fears are multiplied upon me, that the war shall not only at last land in Britain: but that he hath been all this while training up a militia abroad, breeding them in blood, and teaching them how to destroy, against the time he gave them order to march, and put the flaming sword in their hand, to be bathed in the blood of backsliding Britain! Oh, if our turning unto him, that he might turn away from the fierceness of his anger, might prevent this woful day! But since, instead of any turning unto him, we surpass the deeds of the heathen, and outdo in wickedness all that went before us, and proceed, with a petulancy reaching heaven, from evil to worse; I am afraid, that all the blood shed since the sword was drawn in the nations about, all the sacked cities, all the burnt crops and villages, all the wasted countries, all the slain of the Lord by sea or land, all the pillagings, rapes, murders, outrages, (which rage itself could hardly outdo,) all the horrid and inhuman cruelties, that hath been committed during this bloody war (wherein the sea hath been dyed,


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