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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Or any other he thinks fit to commissionate


intended or prepared against papists should light upon others: whereby we may understand what measures we may expect, when his designs are ripe. And to all the cruel acts then and before made against the people of God, there was one superadded regulating the execution of all the rest, whereby at one dash all civil and criminal justice was overthrown, and a foundation laid for popish tyranny, that the right of jurisdiction both in civil and criminal matters is so inherent in the crown, that his majesty may judge all causes by himself, or any other he thinks fit to commissionate. Here was law for commissionating soldiers to take away the lives of innocents, as was frequently exemplified afterwards, and may serve hereafter for erecting the Spanish inquisition to murder protestants when he thinks fit to commissionate them. Against which wicked encroachments on religion and liberty, the faithful thought themselves obliged to emit a testimony: and therefore published a declaration at Lanark, January 12. 1682. Confirming the preceeding at Sanquhar, and adding reasons of their revolt from the government of Charles the second. 1. 'For cutting off the neck at one blow of the noble constitution of church and state, and involving all officers in the kingdom in the same perjury with himself. 2. For exalting himself into a sphere exceeding all measures divine and human, tyrannically obtruding his will for a law in his arbitrary letters, so that we are made the reproach of nations, who say, we have only the law of letters instead of the letter of the law. 3. For his constant adjourning and dissolving parliaments at his pleasure. 4. For his arrogantly arrogated supremacy in all causes civil and ecclesiastic, and oppressing the godly for conscience and duty. 5. For his exorbitant taxings, cessings, and grinding the faces of the poor, dilapidating the rights and revenues of the crown, for no other end but to employ them for keeping up a brothel rather than a court. 6. For installing a successor, such an one (if not worse) as himself, contrary to all law, reason, and religion, and framing the test, &c. And in end offer to prove, they have done nothing in this against our ancient laws, civil or ecclesiastic--but only endeavoured to extricate themselves from under a tyrannous yoke, and to reduce church and state to what they were in the year 1648 and 1649.' After which declaration, they were more condemned by them that were at ease than ever, and very untenderly dealt with; being without any previous admonition reproached, accused, and informed against, both at home and abroad, as if they had turned to some wild and unhappy course. For which cause, in the next general meeting, they resolved to delegate some of their number to foreign churches, on purpose to vindicate themselves from these calumnies, and to represent the justness of their cause, and the sadness of their case, and provoke them to some sympathy abroad, which was then denied at home: and withal to provide for a succession of witnesses, who might maintain the testimony, which was then in appearance interrupted, except by martyrdom and sufferings. Therefore by that means having obtained access for the instruction of some young men, at an university in the united provinces, in process of time, Mr. James Renwick received ordination there, and came home to take up the standard of his master, upon the ground where


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