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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Speaketh it of his own he hath not done it this long time


the monkey-tricks, and montebank

shows, and foperies of English popish ceremonies and liturgical services: What would they be at! Is it not better to yield to this, than to fall into the hand of the Scottish-Spanish inquisition, that will rack the purse, the body, and conscience and all? This is one complex head of suffering, and thought a very small one by many. But now, finding this would not do his business yet, it looked too like religion still: he hath therefore invented a new machine; he will not now persecute, nor force the conscience at all (so good-natured is the devil and his lieutenant grown in their old age) for matters of mere religion. Nay, (if we may believe him, who, when he speaketh a lie, speaketh it of his own) he hath not done it this long time, but only, in all the violent courses exercised against these sufferers, he hath been magistratically chastising the disobedence and rebellion of a few turbulent traitors, who would not own the government. And thus, under the notion of rebellion and disowning authority, he hath had access and success to destroy almost an innumerable number of honest and innocent, faithful and fruitful lovers of Christ, who, though indeed they have had their sufferings stated upon those points, yet I doubt not shall be found among the followers of the Lamb, and confessors and martyrs of Christ, who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, not loving their lives unto the death, whose blood is crying for vengeance against the shedders thereof:
and he will make inquisition for it, when he comes to overturn, overturn, and take his own right, for which they have been contending. Nevertheless this is a prejudice too prevalent with many, to misregard the case and cause of these contenders, or any thing that can be said to represent them favourably. And all these disadvantages, difficulties, and discouragements, together considered, would soon cool my courage, and, at first blush, make me leave off before I begin, were I not persuaded, that it is the cause of Christ these reproached people are still suffering for: and that their great sufferings and reproaches are both alike unjust: from both which the Lord will vindicate them, and bring forth their righteousness as the light, and their judgment as the noon-day, in his own time. In confidence of which, depending on his conduct, I shall undertake, as briefly as possible for me, to represent their case, and clear the cause, so far at least as concerns their contest with their persecuting enemies, with whom I only deal at present: it not being my purpose to descend particularly in their necessitated contendings with complying brethren: partly because they would make the volume to excresce unto too great a bulk, and because they are to be seen elsewhere: yet, in effect: these also are not only here narratively deduced, but whatever is odious in them is vindicated, and what is difficult in some measure enodated.

But it may be expected and desiderated, that I should give a distinct deduction of all the steps of this woful defection, against which a great part of the testimony hath been stated; but I would have the reader advertised, I touch only that part of the testimony which hath been sealed by severe sufferings from enemies. It were a task transcending my capacity, and a theme wherein I have no pleasure, besides that it is inconsistent with my leisure, to enlarge upon such a sad and shameful subject: though the world indeed is at a loss, that they that would do it, cannot, and they that would and should do it, will not; and it is a greater loss, not only to Scotland, but also to the whole Christian world, that what hath been done in this kind already cannot see the light, or rather that the church of Christ is deprived of its light, which through the injury of the times,


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