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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

As he inveighs against it in the Assembly 1582


For resistance of superior powers,

we have in this period, first the practice of some noblemen at Ruthven, in the [year] 1582. who took the King, and seized on that arrant traitor, enemy to the church and country the Earl of Arran; declaring to the world the causes of it, the King's correspondence with papists, his usurping the supremacy over the church, and oppressing the ministers, all by means of his wicked counsellers, whom therefore they removed from him. The King himself emitted a declaration allowing this deed. The General Assembly approved of it, and persuaded to a concurrence with it, and nothing was wanting to ratify it, as a most lawful and laudable action. At length the fox escapes, and changes all, and retracts his former declaration. The lords again rally, and interprise the taking of the castle of Stirling, and gain it; but afterward surrender it: after which the Earl of Gowrie was executed, and ministers are commanded to retract the approbation of Ruthven business, but they refused; and many were forced to flee to England, and the lords were banished. But, in the year 1585, they return with more success, and take the castle of Stirling. The cowardly king does again acknowledge and justify their enterprise, 'that they needed no apology of words, weapons had spoken well enough, and gotten them audience to clear their own cause:' but his after carriage declared him as crafty and false, as he was cowardly and fearful. Again, we have the advice of the General Assembly, for resisting, when the ministers
were troubled upon Mr. Black's business, and there was an intention to pull them out of their pulpits; they advised them to stand to the discharge of their calling, if their flocks would save them from violence, and yet this violence was expected from the King and his emissaries. As to that point then there can be no dispute.

IV. There was little occasion for the question about the King's authority in this period, but generally all acknowledged it; because they were not sensible of his usurpation, and his cowardice made him incapable of attempting any thing that might raise commotions in civil things. Yet we remark, that whatsoever authority he usurped beyond his sphere, that was disowned and declined by all the faithful, as the supremacy. Next that they resented, and represented very harshly, any aspiring to absoluteness; as Mr. Andrew Melvin could give it no better name, nor entertain no better notion of it, than to term it, the bloody gully, as he inveighs against it in the Assembly 1582. And next, in this same period, we have a very good description of that authority, which the King himself allows not to be owned, which out of a King's mouth abundantly justifies the disowning of the present tyranny: this same King James, in a speech to the parliament, in the year 1609, saith, 'A king degenerateth into a tyrant, when he leaveth to rule by law, much more when he beginneth to invade his subjects persons, rights and liberties, to set up an arbitrary power, impose unlawful taxes, raise forces, make war upon his subjects, to pillage, plunder, waste, and spoil his kingdoms.'

PERIOD V.

_Containing the Testimony for the last Reformation from Prelacy, in all its steps, from the year 1638. to 1660._


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