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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Wilful and deliberate apostasy


throne, without any security

to the covenanted cause, or for our civil or religious interests, and by meal, at their own ease, leisure and pleasure, to overturn all the work of God, and reintroduce the old antichristian yoke of absurd prelacy, and blasphemous sacreligious, supremacy, and absolute arbitrary tyranny with all their abominations: which he, and with him the generality of our nobility, gentry, clergy, and commonality by him corrupted, without regard to faith, or fear of God or man, did promote and propogate, the nation was involved in the greatest revolt from, and rebellion against God, that ever could be recorded in any age or generation; nay attended with greater and grosser aggravations, than ever any could be capable of before us, who have had the greatest privileges that ever any church had, since the national church of the Jews, the greatest light, the greatest effects of matchless magnified love, the greatest convictions of sin, the greatest resolutions and solemn engagements against it, and the greatest reformation from it, that ever any had to abuse and affront. O heavens be astonished at this, and horribly afraid! for Scotland hath changed her glory, and the crown hath fallen from off her head, by an unparalelled apostasy, a free and voluntary, wilful and deliberate apostasy, an avowed and declared and authorized apostasy, tyrannically carried on by military violence and cruelty, a most universal and every way unprecedented apostasy! I must a little change my method, in deducing the narration
of this catastrophe, and subdistinguish this unhappy period into several steps; shewing how the enemies opposition to Christ advanced, and the testimony of his witnesses did gradually ascend, to the pitch it is now arrived at.

I. These enemies of God, having once got footing again, with the favour and the fawnings of the foolish nation, went on fervently to further and promote their wicked design: and meeting with no opposition at first, did encourage themselves to begin boldly. Wherefore, hearing of some ministers peaceably assembled, to draw up a monitory letter to the king, minding him of his covenant engagements and promises (which was though weak, yet the first witness and warning against that heaven-daring wickedness then begun) they cruelly incarcerate them. Having hereby much daunted the ministry from their duty in that day, for fear of the like unusual and outrageous usage. The parliament convenes January 1, 1661, without so much as a protestation for religion and liberty given in to them. And there, in the first place, they frame and take the oath of supremacy, exauctorating Christ, and investing his usurping enemy with the spoils of his robbed prerogative, acknowledging the king 'only supreme governor over all persons and in all causes, and that his power and jurisdiction must not be declined.' Whereby under all persons and all causes, all church officers, in their most properly ecclesiastic affairs and concerns of Christ, are comprehended: And if the king shall take upon him to judge their doctrine, worship, discipline, or government, he must not be declined as an incompetent judge.


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