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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

The zeal against the English popish ceremonies


headless off his throne. The

zeal against the English popish ceremonies, obtruded on Edinburgh, did first inflame some feminine hearts to witness their detestation of them; but afterwards was followed out with more masculine fervor, accosting King and Council with petitions, remonstrances, protestations and testimonies against the innovations, and resolving upon a mutual conjunction, to defend religion, lives and liberties, against all that would innovate or invade them. To fortify which, and conciliate the favour both of God and man in the resolution, all the lovers of God, and friends to the liberty of the nation, did solemnly renew the national covenant, (wherein they were signally countenanced of the Lord,) which, though in itself obliging to the condemnation of prelatical Hierarchy, and clearly enough confirming presbyterial government, yet they engaged into it with an enlargement, to suspend the practice of novations already introduced, and the approbation of the corruptions of the present government, with the late places and power of church men, till they be tried in a free General Assembly. Which was obtained that same year, and indicted at Glasgow: and there, notwithstanding all the opposition that the King's commissioner could make, by protestations and proclamations to dissolve it, the six preceeding Assemblies establishing Prelacy were annulled, the service-book, and high commission were condemned; all the bishops were deposed, and their government declared to be abjured in that national covenant;
though many had, through the commissioners persuasions, subscribed it in another sense without that application: as also the five articles of Perth were there discovered to have been inconsistent with that covenant and confession, and the civil places and power of church men were disproved and rejected: on the other hand presbyterial government was justified and approved, and an act was passed for their keeping yearly General Assemblies. This was a bold beginning, into which they were animated with more than human resolution, against more than human opposition, hell as well as the powers of the earth being set against them. But when the Lord gave the call, they considered not their own deadness, nor were daunted with discouragements, nor staggered at the promise through unbelief, but gave glory to God, outbraving all difficulties. Which in the following year were much increased, by the prelates and their popish partakers rendezvousing their forces under the King's personal standard, and menacing nothing but misery to the zealous covenanters; yet when they found them prepared to resist, were forced to yield to a pacification, concluding that an Assembly and Parliament should be held, for healing all grievances of church and state.

In which Assembly at Edinburgh, the covenant is ratified and subscribed by the Earl of Traquair commissioner, and enjoined to be subscribed by the body of the whole land, with an explication, expressly condemning the five articles of Perth, the government of bishops, the civil places and power of churchmen: but the sons of Belial cannot be taken with hands, nor bound with bonds of faith, humanity, or honour, for in the year following, king and prelates, with their popish abettors, go to arms again; but were fain to accommodate the matter by a new pacification, whereby all civil and religious liberties were ratified. And in the following year 1641, by laws, oaths, promises, subscriptions of king and parliament,


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