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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

A tyrant who oppresses his people

am pleading, is now the only party that is persecuted in Scotland, (some few excepted, who are exempted from the pretended favour of the current indemnities) and their persecution still continues, notwithstanding of the impudent, as well as insnaring declarations of universal liberty to all dissenters, which they look upon as their honour and happiness, to be thought incapable of tyrannical and antichristian favours; so their past and present oppressions and sufferings are only here in general aggregated, described as to their kinds, and vindicated as to their causes: the particular deduction of their number, weight, and measure, of their names that have been martyred and murdered, both by formality of law, and without all formality of law, by sea and land, city and country, on scaffolds, and in the fields; of the manner of their sufferings; and of the form of their trials and testimonies, being intended shortly (if the Lord will) to be emitted and published in a book by itself; which will discover to the world as rare instances of the injustice, illegality, and inhumanity of the Scottish inquisition, and of the innocency, zeal, ingenuity, and patience of the witnesses of Christ, as readily can be instanced in these latter ages. Only here is a taste till more come; which if the Lord bless for its designed end, the glory of God, the vindication of truth, the information and satisfaction of all serious sympathisers with Zion's sorrows, and the conviction or confutation of reproachers, so far, at least, as to make them surcease from their invidious charge of things whereof the innocency is here vindicated, I have obtained all my design, and shall desire to give the Lord the praise.

_It will not be unprofitable for the Reader to cast his eye upon these sentences of great Authors, which relate to some heads of the following discourse._

(Translated from their Originals.)

_Erasmus._ As a woodcock, otherwise loud, being taken, becomes dumb; so slavery renders some men speechless, who, if they were free, would tell their minds freely.

_Nazianzen._ Discord is better for the advantage of piety, than dissembled concord.

_Bernard._ But if scandal arise for the truth, it is better to suffer scandal than relinquish the truth.

_Bracton._ He is a king who rightly governs, a tyrant who oppresses his people.

_Cicero._ He loses all right to government, who, by that government, overturns the common-weal.

_Aristotle._ He who obeys the law, obeys both God and the law; who obeys the king, a man and a beast.

_Sueton._ They are not bound to be loyal to a wicked king, under the pains of perjury.

_Ambrose._ He that does not keep off injury from his neighbour, if he can do it, is as much in the fault as he who does it.

_Chamier._ But all subjects have right of resisting tyrants, who by open force acquire dominion.

_Barclay. Against contenders for Monarchy._ All antiquity agrees, that tyrants can, most justly, be attacked and slain as public enemies, not only by the public, but also by individual persons.



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