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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And the word of their testimony


and the disingenuous prudence

of some, who suffer themselves to be imposed upon by the patrons of defection, is embezzled and suppressed. I mean that excellent and faithful history of defection, the posthumous work of the famous Mr. M'Ward, whose praise is in the churches; which if they that have it in keeping would do themselves the honour, and the world the happiness, of publishing it, there would be no more need to discover from whence, to what, and how, that church hath fallen and degenerate; nor so great difficulty in that indisputable and indispensible duty that such a day calls for, in searching and trying our ways, to the end we may turn again to the Lord; nor any necessity for my poor essay to invite and incite the people of the Lord to take cognizance and compassion on poor perishing Scotland. I wish that they who have it, may consult more their own duty and credit, and what they owe to the memory of the dead, the church's edification, the day's testimony, and the honour of Christ, than to continue robbing the world of such a treasure; which I doubt not to call treason against Christ, and sacrilege against the church, and stick not to tell them, if they will not publish it, the world must know there was such a thing done. But it not being my design now, to detect or reflect upon all the defections of that declining, and by declensions divided, and by divisions almost (only not) destroyed church; I shall meddle with them no further, than what is necessary to clear the cause, referring the knowledge
and account of them, either to the notoriety of the grossest of them, or to the more particular ennaration of them, to be found in papers emitted and published by the contenders against them: of which one is of this same year's edition, entitled, 'The Informatory Vindication of a 'poor, wasted, misrepresented Remnant,' &c. In which may be evident, that notwithstanding of all this darkness and distress, defection and division, under which the church of Scotland hath been so long, and is still labouring, there is yet a poor wasted, wounded, rent, and almost ruined, but still wrestling and witnessing remnant of professors and confessors of Christ there, who though they have not only had their souls exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud; but their bodies also killed all day long, and counted as sheep for the slaughter, have yet through grace endeavoured to overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and have not loved their lives dear unto the death, and have continued to this day contending both against professed enemies, and also declining friends, sustaining from both the utmost of rage and reproach. And since that little book gives an account, what their contendings have been against their backdrawing brethren on the right and left hand, I shall spare labour to offer a discussion of them, only endeavour to make it not difficult to decide and determine, on whose side truth lies, by what is here hinted.

I shall conclude with advertising the reader of one thing further, that, as this reproached people, for testimony I


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