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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

It were a manifest breach of covenant

to the exercise of his royal

power, upon any terms whatsoever: the assembly declares first; that a boundless and unlimited power is to be acknowledged in no king nor magistrate; neither is our king to be admitted to the exercise of his power, as long as he refuses to walk in the administration of the same, according to this rule. Secondly, that there is a mutual stipulation and obligation between the king and the people, as both of them are tied to God, so each of them are tied to one another, for the performance of mutual and reciprocal duties; accordingly kings are to take the oath of coronation, to abolish popery and maintain the protestant religion: As long therefore as the king refuses to engage and oblige himself for security of religion and safety of his people, it is consonant to scripture and reason and laws of the kingdom, that he should be refused. Thirdly, in the league and covenant the duty of defending and preserving the king, is subordinate to the duty of preserving religion and liberty: And therefore, he standing in opposition to the public desires of the people for their security, it were a manifest breach of covenant, and a preferring the king's interest to the interest of Jesus Christ, to bring him to the exercise of his power. Fourthly, That it was for restraint of arbitrary government, and for their just defence against tyranny, that the Lord's people did join in covenant, and have been at the expence of so much blood these years past; and if he should be admitted to the government before
satisfaction, it were to put in his hand that arbitrary power, and so to abandon their former principles, and betray the cause. Fifthly, That he, being admitted before satisfaction, would soon endeavour an overturning of the things which God hath wrought, and labour to draw public administrations, concerning religion and liberty, into that course and channel in which they did run under prelacy, and before the work of reformation. Whence they warn that every one take heed of such a snare, that they be not accessory to any such design, as they would not bring upon themselves and their families, the guilt of all the detriment that will undoubtedly follow thereupon, of all the miseries it will bring upon the kingdoms--And therefore whosoever attempt the same, oppose themselves to the cause of God, and will at last dash against the rock of the Lord's power, which hath broken in pieces many high and lofty ones, since the beginning of the work in the kingdoms.' 2. I shall here insert the act of the West-kirk, declaring their mind very manifestly.

'_West Kirk, August 13, 1650._ The commission of the general assembly, considering that there may be just ground of stumbling, from the king's majesty refusing to subscribe and emit the declaration, offered to him by the committee of estates and the commission of the general assembly, concerning his former carriage and resolutions for the future, in reference to the cause of God and the enemies and friends thereof; doth therefore declare, That this kirk and kingdom doth not own or espouse any malignant party, or quarrel, or interest, but that they fight merely upon their former grounds and principles, and in the defence of the cause of God and of the kingdom, as they have done these twelve years past: And therefore, as they disclaim all the sin and guilt of the king and of his house, so they will not own him nor his interest, otherwise than with a subordination to God, and so far as he owns and prosecutes the cause of God, and disclaims his and his father's opposition to the work of God, and to the covenant, and likewise all the enemies thereof; and that they will with convenient speed take unto consideration the papers, lately sent unto them by Oliliver Cromwel, and vindicate themselves from all the falshoods contained therein; especially in these things wherein the quarrel betwixt us and that party is mistated, as we owned the late king's proceedings, and were resolved to prosecute and maintain his present majesty's interest, before and without acknowledgement of the sin of his house and former ways, and satisfaction to God's people in both kingdoms.'

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