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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

But whosoever shall deny me before men

on the contrary, it must be

at least a plain and positive refusing to yield obedience to that law, when I am in no other case to counteract these commands; for I must either obey and be guilty, or refuse and be innocent. I shall not here plunge into the labyrinth of these debates and difficulties, wherewith this matter of testimonies hath been perplexed, and mostly by those who have had no great mind to the thing. I shall only propound these few queries. (1.) Whether any thing less than a testimony can free me of this guilt, whereby the nation involved in it is made a curse? (2.) Whether, we believe that the testimony of every one shall be called for, in the day when God shall seek out this wickedness? (3.) Whether, if ever it be necessary, it be not then when Christ is openly opposed, and every one is called either to concur or to testify? (4.) Whether a testimony against a wicked law must not be notour for my testimony must make it evident that the law is not obeyed by me, else it is no testimony. (5.) Whether it be not necessary also, that it be with that plainness and boldness, as it may keep some proportion with the prodigiousness of that wickedness testified against? (6.) Whether to the making it a testimony indeed, it is not only required, that an opposition be made at first, but that this be so persisted in, as by no subsequent deed it be weakened? (7.) Whether we do not take it for granted, that according as a man hath testified, the sentence of the righteous Judge shall pass! For he who hath not
purged himself thereby from the guilt of this conspiracy, shall be led forth and punished with these workers of iniquity. It is a saying which would sink in the soul of every one who would be saved, especially in such a day. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny, &c. Oh that men would now judge of things and courses, as in that hour they desire to be judged! and then there would be little difficulty what to determine in that case.

11. From what is said it appears, that there is no other way of testifying against it, or shunning the sin of this wickedness, imposing and enjoining these compliances, but by refusing them; which as it is clear duty, so it hath many advantages to countervail all the supposed loss that can be sustained thereby. It is a shameful subterfuge to say, I strengthen them more by doing thus, which will make them take all, and so put themselves in better case to do the mischief decreed. For as it is then my suffering, not my sin, so it is simply false that I do hereby strengthen their hands: for hereby I do more certainly weaken their hands, and wound their cause, by my counteracting, testifying and suffering. For, 1. I do really, to the uttermost of the sphere of my activity, counteract their design; and hence, besides my own upmaking peace of conscience, (which is my hundredfold in this life) I glorify God in the day of visitation, behaving as the subject and soldier of the prince Michael; and though I lose my life in the conflict, yet the victory over the dragon, and his lieutenant and trustees,

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