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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And the plainest concurring in a counteracting thereof


of wickedness, the curse of

God (to which in the covenant the nation in case of breach, is liable by their own consent) and the Mediator's malediction shall follow, pursue, overtake, and fall upon the head of these, who have made the decrees, and upon all who concur in the execution, and carry on this course: Oh! it is impossible to keep them company, and not fall with them into the hands of the living God. Well then, seeing every one for whom these exactions are required, is under an anterior obligation to God and the brethren, to preserve these precious interests, which the imposers have been long essaying to root out and ruin, and his people whom they have been destroying, with the loss of all he hath, life not accepted. (For I suppose none, who acknowledged his soul is still under the bond of the covenant and it is likely to cost him his soul who denies it) but he will own this to be duty; nay, none who hath any sense of religion; but abstracting from the subjective obligation of a sworn covenant, he will own an objective obligation from the law of the great superior, that doth immediately bind the conscience to witness against this course, and to lay down, if it should come to that, his life for his brethren. Then for a man to give his goods to destroy these things and persons, which he is obliged to defend and preserve with the loss of all, is so clear a making himself a transgressor, in paying his proportion, and being at the expense of destroying what he built, and building what he destroyed, that
it seems inexplicable how he can dream to be innocent; especially when more lies upon it than the souls of the compliers are worth even the interest of Christ in the land. And to close this, I would put home the question, and pose the confidence of any that took that covenant, if in that day the question had been asked at him, whether he would have judged the paying of a cess for the ends narrated, to suppress a testimony for that covenanted reformation, the paying of fines and fees, (for owning it) to the overturners, breakers and burners of it, to be a plain perjury and palpable counteracting of the ends thereof? And let him speak his soul, and it is beyond debate with me, he will not dare to say he took it in a sense which can subsist with these compliances. Nay, I doubt not, if to any morally serious it had been then said, You will pay money, &c. for destroying this covenant and its ends, and deleting the remnant that shall be found to adhere to it he would have given Hazael's answer. It concerns every man, that would be free of the curse of it, to consider how he is brought to make enquiry after vows; or to dream of consistencies betwixt the performing those engagements, and the plainest concurring in a counteracting thereof.

10. If then these impositions be so wicked, and for such wicked ends and causes; then, in order to my being free of this heinous guilt, there is a necessity of my giving a testimony, and such an one, which when brought to the touchstone, will get God's approbation, and be my acquittance from a concurrence. Now, it is not imaginable that my testimony can be the exact obedience to the law, against the wickedness whereof it is witnessed; but


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