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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Were and are in themselves unlawful oaths

of the council at Glasgow, above

300 ministers were put from their charges; and afterwards, for their non-conformity in not countenancing their diocesan meeting, and not keeping the anniversary day, May 29, the rest were violently thrust from their labours in the Lord's vineyard, and banished from their parishes, and adjudged unto a nice and strange confinement, twenty miles from their own parishes, six miles from a cathedral church, as they called it, and three miles from a burgh; whereby they were reduced into many inconveniencies. Yet in this fatal convulsion of the church, generally all were struck with blindness and baseness, that a paper proclamation made them all run from their posts, and obey the king's orders for their ejection. Thus were they given up, because of their forbearing to sound an alarm, charging the people of God, in point of loyalty to Christ, and under the pain of the curse of the covenant, to awake and aquit themselves like men, and not to suffer the enemy to rob them of that treasure of reformation, which they were put in possession of, by the tears, prayers, and blood of such as went before them; instead of those prudential fumblings and firstlings then and since so much followed. Wherefore the Lord in his holy righteousness, left that enemy (against whom they should have cried and contended, and to whose eye they should have held the curse of the covenant, as having held it first to their own, in case of unfaithful silence in not holding it to his) to call them out of the house of
the Lord, and dissolve their assemblies, and deprive them of their privileges, because of their not being so valiant for the truth, as that a full and faithful testimony against that encroachment might be found upon record. Nevertheless some were found faithful in that hour and power of darkness, who kept the word of the Lord's patience, and who were therefore kept in and from that temptation (which carried many away into sad and shameful defections) though not from suffering hard things from the hands of men; and only these who felt most of their violence, found grace helping them to acquit themselves suitably to that day's testimony, being thereby prevented from an active yielding to their impositions, when they were made passively to suffer force. However that season of a public testimony was lost, and as to the most part never recovered to this day. The prelates being settled, and re-admitted to voice in parliament, they procure an act, dogmatically condemning several material parts and points of our covenanted reformation, to wit, these positions, 'That it was lawful for subjects, for reformation or necessary self-defence, to enter into leagues, or take up arms against the king: And particularly declaring, that the national covenant, as explained in the year 1638, and the solemn league and covenant, were and are in themselves unlawful oaths, and were taken by and imposed upon the subjects of this kingdom against the fundamental laws and liberties thereof, that all such gatherings and petitions that were used in the beginning of the late troubles, were unlawful and seditious:

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