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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

As well as sectaries upon the other

from them, or to have invited

them to their houses, or to have drunk James Graham's health, or to be guilty of any other such gross degrees of compliance; censured to be suspended from the communions, ay and while they acknowledge their offence.' And yet now, for refusing these degrees of compliance, for not having the protection of a pass from the wicked courts of malignant enemies, by taking a wicked oath, and for refusing to drink the king's health, a greater enemy then ever James Graham was, some poor conscientious people have not only been murdered by enemies, but mocked and condemned by professors. There is an act likewise, and declaration against all new oaths or bonds in the common cause imposed without consent of the church general assembly, Edinburgh July 28. 1648. sess. 18. 'Enjoining all the members of the church to fearbear the swearing or subscribing any new oaths, or bonds, in this cause without advice and concurrence of the church, especially any negative oaths or bonds, which may any way limit or restrain them in the duties whereunto they are obliged, by national or solemn league or covenant.' Yet now, for refusing oaths, not only limiting in covenanted duties, but contradicting and condemning many material principles of the covenanted reformation, many have not only lost their lives, but also have been condemned, by them that are at ease, having a wider conscience to swallow such baits. It is known how pertinacious the most faithful in those days were, in their contendings against associations,
in any undertaking for the cause, with persons disaffected to the true state thereof. I need not give any account of this, were it not that now that principle is quite inverted; and poor adherers to it, for their abstracting and substracting their concurrence with such promiscuous associations, are much hated and flouted; therefore I shall give some hints of their sentiments of them. In their answer to the committee of estates, July 25, 1648, sess. 14. the general assembly says, 'It was represented to the parliament, that for securing of religion it was necessary, that the popish, prelatical, and malignant party, be declared enemies to the cause upon the one hand, as well as sectaries upon the other, and that all associations either in forces or counsels, with the former as well as with the latter, be avoided.' And in their declaration concerning the present dangers of religion, especially the unlawful engagement in war, July ult. 1648. sess. 21. they say, 'Suppose the ends of that engagement be good (as they are not) yet the means and ways of prosecution are unlawful; because there is not an equal avoiding of rocks on both hands, but a joining with malignants to suppress sectaries, a joining hands with a black devil to beat a white devil; they are bad physicians who would so cure one disease, as to breed another as evil or worse--we find in the scriptures condemned, all confederacies and associations with the enemies of true religion, whether Canaanites, Exod. xxiii. 32 and 24. xii. 15. Deut. vii. 2. or other heathens, 1 Kings xi. 1, 2.' More arguments against associations may be seen in that excellent discussion of this useful case, concerning associations and confederacies with idolaters, infidels, hereticks, or any other known enemy of truth or godliness, by famous Mr. G. Gillespie, published at that same time: whereunto is appended his letter to the commission of the general assembly, having these golden words in it, words fitly spoken

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