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Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation, as Attained to, and Established in Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt the Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive by The Reformed Presbytery

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ACT, DECLARATION,

AND

TESTIMONY,

FOR THE

WHOLE OF OUR COVENANTED REFORMATION, AS ATTAINED
TO, AND ESTABLISHED IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND;
PARTICULARLY BETWIXT THE YEARS 1638
AND 1649, INCLUSIVE.

AS, ALSO,

AGAINST ALL THE STEPS OF DEFECTION FROM SAID REFORMATION, WHETHER IN
FORMER OR LATER TIMES, SINCE THE OVERTHROW OF THAT
GLORIOUS WORK, DOWN TO THIS PRESENT DAY:

BY THE REFORMED PRESBYTERY.

* * * * *

PSALM IX, 4.--Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee: that it
may be displayed because of the truth.

ISAIAH VIII, 16.--Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my
disciples.

JUDE, verse 3.--That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was
once delivered to the saints.

REVELATION III, 11.--Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou
hast, that no man take thy crown.

* * * * *

TO WHICH IS NOW ADDED,

A HISTORICAL AND DECLARATORY SUPPLEMENT.

1850.

INTRODUCTION.

The Presbytery, soon after their erection, being convinced of the
expediency and necessity of emitting a judicial testimony, to discover
to the world the principles upon which, as a judicatory of the Lord
Jesus Christ, they stood, in opposition to the different, so called,
judicatories in the land; together with the agreeableness of these
principles to the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice, and
to the covenanted constitution of the church of Scotland in her purest
periods; did therefore, after a proposal for said effect, agree in
appointing one of their number to prepare a draft of this kind to be
laid before them, who, after sundry delays, to their grief of mind, at
once cut off their hopes of all assistance from him, in that or any
other particular, by laying himself obnoxious to the censures of the
church; which the presbytery, in duty both to him, to God, and to his
people, were obliged to put in execution against him, while he, in
contempt of that ordinance, and other means used for his conviction and
recovery, obstinately persists in his impenitency and defection. And
although the presbytery, few in number, were thus diminished, yet, being
still resolved to prosecute their former design, they renewed their
appointment upon another brother, who, in consequence of his
undertaking, was allowed a cessation from his other public work, in
order to expedite the proposed draft: and now, when nothing was expected
that should retard the finishing of such a necessary work, the
lamentable fire of division, that had long been smothered, unhappily
broke forth into a violent flame, whereby the presbytery was rent
asunder, and that brother, on whom the appointment was formerly laid,
happening to be of the separating party, a second stop was not only put
to the publication of this testimony, but the presbytery, from the
absence of a brother removed to a distant part of the world, together
with the paucity of their number, were almost wholly discouraged from
attempting again what they had been oftener than once disappointed in.

But notwithstanding of the above, with many other difficulties which we
shall not at present take notice of, the presbytery, still considering,
that, even in their present circumstances, when their number is few and
despicable, their adversaries many, and such as are in repute in the
world, whereby the opposition made to them, and the conspiracy formed
against the covenanted testimony of the church of Scotland maintained by
them, must needs be strong; there is yet a gracious door of opportunity
left open for them to attempt, in their judicative capacity, the
prosecution and accomplishment of the necessary work formerly proposed;
and which they could not but judge the Lord still called them unto,
while after all the above-mentioned breaches made upon them, he still
continued to give them a nail in his holy place, and a wall in Judah and
Jerusalem, _Ezra_ ix, 8, 9, they therefore again laid their appointments
upon some others to prepare a draft of _An Act, Declaration, and
Testimony_, &c., and which, under the favor of Divine Providence, has at
length been finished and laid before the presbytery. We only need to
observe further with reference to this, that the long delay of what is
now agreed upon did not proceed from any design in the presbytery, of
depriving either the people of their particular inspection, or the
generation, of any benefit that might be obtained by a work of this
nature, but partly from the fewness of their number, and great extent of
their charge, and partly from the great distance of members' residence
from each other, whereby they can seldom have access to meet all
together, for expediting this or any other work of public concern they
have in hand.

It is, therefore, with an eye to the Wonderful Counselor (when Zion's
faithful counselors are so few) for light and direction in the
management of this great and important work, that the presbytery have
resolved upon the publication hereof at this time, for the reasons which
follow:

1. Because this duty of bearing witness for truth, and declaring against
all error, and defection from it, and transmitting the same uncorrupted
to posterity, is expressly enjoined on the church by the Spirit of God
in the Scriptures of truth. _Psal._ lxxviii, 5: "For he hath established
a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded
our fathers that they should make them known to their children."
_Isaiah_ xliii, 10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." _Matth._ x,
32: "Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I also
confess before my Father who is in heaven." _John_ xv. 27: "Ye also
shall bear witness." _Acts_ i, 8: "And ye shall be witnesses unto me."

2. Because, in agreeableness to the above scripture warrant, it has been
the constant practice of the church in all ages, when in such capacity,
judicially to assert, and declare their approbation of the truths of the
everlasting gospel, and attainments of the church, joined with the
condemnation of all contrary error, as appears from their harmonious
confessions: and particularly, this has been the honorable practice of
the once famous church of Scotland, witness her excellent confessions,
covenants, &c., whose posterity we are, and, therefore, in duty bound to
homologate, and approve her scriptural form and order, by a judicial
asserting of her attainments, as saith the apostle, _Philip._ iii, 16:
"Nevertheless whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the
same rule, let us mind the same thing." _Rev._ iii, 3: "Remember,
therefore, how thou has received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent."

3. That, notwithstanding many, both ministers and private Christians,
have been honored faithfully to publish their testimonies and
declarations, and to seal them with their blood, in opposition to the
growing defections in the land, being through the tyranny of the times
prevented from acting in any other capacity: yet never, since the
national overthrow of the glorious structure of reformation, has any
church judicatory; constituted purely on the footing of our covenanted
establishment, appeared in a judicial vindication of our Redeemer's
interest and injured rights.

4. The unspeakable loss sustained by the present generation, through the
want of a full and faithful declaration of the covenanted principles of
the church of Scotland, which they in the loins of their ancestors were
so solemnly engaged to maintain; whereby, as ignorance must be
increased, so prejudices are also gradually begotten in their winds
against the truth in the purity thereof. And this, through the many
mistaken notions at present prevailing among the different contending
parties of professors in these nations, concerning the distinct
ordinances of divine institution, viz., the ministry and magistracy, or
ecclesiastical and civil government; and, more especially, the
presbytery reckon themselves, and all professing their allegiance unto
Christ and his cause, obliged to maintain the testimony of our ancestors
for the divine institution and right constitution of civil government,
according to the law of God, as what they found to be, and still is,
indispensably necessary for the outward defense and preservation of
righteousness and true religion; and because the very foundation and
ends of this ordinance have been doctrinally subverted, and the
generation taught the most licentious principles concerning it, by a
body of professed witnesses among ourselves: and this they design to do,
without (as they are slanderously reported of by some) laying aside
themselves, or withdrawing others, from the study of internal and
habitual or practical holiness.

5. To wipe off the reproach of that odium cast upon the presbytery and
community belonging thereto, by some who invidiously call them a
headless mob, whose principles cannot be known, anti-government men, men
of bloody principles, &c., than which nothing can be more unjust:
seeing, as a body distinct from all others, they have still stood upon
the footing of the covenanted establishment, as has been frequently
declared to the world, and as the constitution of the presbytery bears;
so that they can no more be said ever to have wanted a proper testimony
exhibiting their principles to the world, than the reformed church of
Scotland, whereof they are a part.

6. The present broken and divided situation of the members of CHRIST'S
mystical body, together with the abounding of error, seems necessarily
to require it as a proper mean, under the divine blessing, for gathering
again the scattered flock of Christ, the chief shepherd, to the one
sheepfold, and putting a stop to the current of prevailing apostasy and
defection.

For these reasons (with more that might be adduced) the presbytery find
themselves in duty bound, to God, the present and succeeding
generations, to throw in their small mite of a testimony, against the
manifold avowed backslidings and defections of all degrees of men, both
in the former and present times, from the precious truths of Christ, and
purity of his ordinances; unto the maintenance whereof, not only they,
but all in these lands, are solemnly bound by covenant engagements.

And, to conclude, let none mistake the presbytery's aim and intention,
in the whole or any part of the following testimony, as if they minded
nothing else but magistracy, &c., and that to have civil government, and
governors established, according to the rule of God's word, was all the
religion they intended, without regarding or opposing any other of the
prevailing evils and iniquities of the present time. So some are pleased
to allege, as has been hinted above; but such might do well to consider,
that, as the sovereign and distinguishing goodness of God is clearly
evidenced in giving his statutes and judgments unto his Israel, in all
ages, while he has not dealt so with the other nations of the world,
wherein his will is manifestly revealed, determining his people's duty
in all their regulations; so his glory is equally concerned, that they
receive, observe, keep pure and entire, all the ordinances he hath
appointed in his word. The sinful prostitution of any of these, or
breaking over the boundaries which Jehovah hath set is an evident
contempt of his sovereign authority, and violation of the moral law. God
requires of his people an universal respect to all his ordinances and
commandments. Hence what is designed by them in this undertaking, is
equally to testify their adherence unto, and approbation of the
doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the house of God; and to
signify their opposition to, and dissatisfaction with, all the
apostatizing, backsliding courses in principle and practice, from that
reformation purity, both in church and state (which, as the attainment
of the nations of Britain and Ireland, was by them accounted their chief
ornament and glory), that have taken place, especially in this kingdom,
since our woful decline commenced: whereby the witnesses for Scotland's
covenanted reformation, have been deprived of any legal benefit, as
well, since as before the late revolution; in which the reformation,
neither in civil nor ecclesiastical constitutions, was adopted. The
intent, therefore, of this work is of very great importance; no less
being proposed, than the right stating of the testimony for the
covenanted interest of Christ in these lands, and judicial vindication
of all the heads thereof, after such a long and universal apostasy
therefrom: a work that must needs be attended with great difficulties,
and labor under manifold disadvantages, as in other respects, so
particularly from the consideration of the temper of this age, wherein
nothing almost is pleasing, but what is adapted to the taste, not of the
best, but of the greatest: and naked truth without the varnish of
flattery, and painting of carnal policy, is generally treated with
contempt, and exposed to ridicule. And therefore, to remove as much as
possible the prejudice of a critical age, who are ready to reject every
thing as new, which is in some respects singular, and not suited to
their favorite sentiments; the presbytery have endeavored, in this work,
to conform, as much as possible, to the faithful contendings of former
honest contenders for the truths and testimony of JESUS, and that, both
as to matter and manner: and as the grounds of this testimony are not
any needless scrupulosities, or strange novelties, but precious and
weighty truths, of the greatest value and importance, and of nearest
affinity unto the continued series and succession of the testimonies of
the church of Scotland, in former and more ancient periods; so it is the
presbytery's ambition, that nothing, as to the subject matter of what is
here contained, be looked upon as theirs, but may be regarded as an
ancient plea, wherein is nothing but what has been maintained and
confirmed by authors of the greatest fame and reputation in the church;
has been asserted by the greatest confessors, and sealed by the best
blood of the honored and faithful martyrs of Jesus: so that it may
appear, the cause and truths here judicially stated and vindicated, are
not of yesterday's date, but the same old paths and good way, that we
are commanded to ask for, and walk in, though paths that are not now
much trodden, a way that is not much paved by the multitude of
professors walking therein.

ACT, DECLARATION, AND TESTIMONY.

PART I.

Containing a brief historical narration of the several periods of the
Testimony of the Church of Scotland, and of the faithful contendings of
the witnesses for Christ, particularly from the commencement of the
Reformation in these lands, down to the late Revolution; with the
Presbytery's approbation thereof.

PLOUGHLANDHEAD, JUNE 6, 1761.

The which day and place, the Reformed Presbytery being met, and taking
into their most serious consideration, the deplorable situation of the
interest of Christ and religion at present, in these sinning lands
wherein so few are asking for the old path, saying, Where is the good
way, that we may walk therein? but, on the contrary, an avowed apostasy
and backsliding from the right ways of the Lord, is by the generality
carried on, with a secret undermining of reformation interests, by some,
under more specious pretenses; and, further, considering the general
deluge of error and heresy, that has overrun these lands, and the swarm
of erroneous heretics that has overspread the same, making very impious
attacks upon the most part of revealed religion, who, notwithstanding,
have found such shelter under the wings of a Laodicean church, and
almost boundless state toleration, that they walk on without fear in the
foresaid broad way of sin and error. And, moreover, all kinds of sin and
wickedness so universally abound and pass, without any suitable check,
that he who departs from iniquity maketh himself a prey; together with
the woful insensibility, and deep security of all, under our spiritual
plagues and impending temporal strokes. And yet, while the land so
evidently groans under its inhabitants, very few either acknowledge
themselves guilty, or turn from the evil of their ways, saying, What
have we done? Also, considering the horrid breach and contempt of sacred
vows unto the Most High, the great effusion of the saints' blood, shed
in our late persecution under prelacy (which is yet to be found in our
skirts), and the faithful testimony they therewith sealed, remains
buried under the gravestones, both of ecclesiastical and civil deeds of
constitution, unto this day. So that we may rather admire, that the Lord
hath not made such inquisition for blood, as to make our land an
aceldama, than that we are yet under a dispensation of divine
forbearance. All which is followed with a deep oblivion of most or all
of the memorable instances of the Lord's goodness, mercy and power,
manifested unto his church, in these lands; the remembrance whereof
ought still to be retained, and the same acknowledged with thankfulness,
by all the children of Zion, unto the latest ages.

Wherefore the presbytery, amidst their many difficulties, partly noticed
in the introduction, as a court of the true Presbyterian Covenanted
Church of CHRIST in Scotland, constituted in the name of the LORD JESUS
CHRIST, the alone KING and HEAD of his church, judicially to
commemorate: Likeas, they did, and hereby do acknowledge, with the
utmost gratitude, the great goodness and tender mercy of our God unto
our church and land; who, in consequence of that early new covenant
grant, made by JEHOVAH to his eternal SON, to give him the heathen for
his inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession,
caused the day spring from on high to visit us. Our glorious Redeemer,
that bright and morning Star, having, by his almighty power, shaken oft
the fetters of death, wherewith it was impossible that he could be held,
and, as a victorious conqueror, leading captivity captive, ascended into
the highest heavens, and there sat down on the right hand of God, did
very soon discover his cordial acceptance of, and superlative delight
in, possessing his Father's extensive grant, by stretching forth the
lines of his large and great dominion unto the distant nations of the
world, involved in the thickest darkness of stupidity and idolatry; and,
in a particular manner, did, as the glorious sun of righteousness,
graciously illuminate this remote and barbarous isle, causing the
refulgent beams of gospel light to dissipate the gross darkness that,
covered the people, which prevailed so far (according to very authentic
historical accounts), that, about the beginning of the third century,
those of the highest dignity in the nation, voluntarily enlisted
themselves under the displayed banner of CHRIST, the captain of
salvation, and became nursing fathers and nursing mothers to his church,
employing their power to root out Pagan idolatry, and bring their
subjects under the peaceful scepter of the SON of GOD. This plant of
Christianity having once taken root, did, under all the vicissitudes of
divine providence, grow up unto a spreading vine, which filled the land,
and continued to flourish, without being pressed down with the
intolerable burden of prelatical or popish superstition: the truths and
institutions of the gospel being faithfully propagated and maintained in
their native purity and simplicity by the Culdees some hundreds of years
before ever that man of sin and son of perdition, by the door of
prelacy, stepped into the temple of God in Scotland. Those early
witnesses for CHRIST, having no other ambition but that of advancing
piety and the doctrines which were according to godliness, were
therefore called _Culdees_, that is, _Cultores Dei_, or worshipers of
God. The doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the house of
GOD being thus established, continued for many years, taught and
exorcised, according to divine institution. But, in process of time, the
Church of CHRIST in this land came to be assaulted with the corruptions
of the see of Rome, by means of Palladius, the Pope's missionary to the
Britons, who made the first attempt to bring our fathers' necks under
the anti-christian yoke, which gradually increasing by little and
little, clouded the sunshine of prosperity the church then enjoyed, till
about the eleventh century, when the Romish fraternity fully established
themselves, by usurping a diocesan supremacy over the house of God;
after which a midnight darkness of popish error and idolatry overwhelmed
the nation, for near the space of five hundred years. Yet, even in this
very dark period, the LORD left not himself altogether without some to
bear witness for him, whose steadfastness in defense of the truth, even
unto death, vanquished the inhuman cruelty of their savage enemies. The
honor of the church's exalted Head being still engaged to maintain the
right of conquest he had obtained over this remote isle, and raise up
his work out of the ruins, under which it had lain so long buried; he,
about the beginning of the 15th century, animated some valiant champions
(Messrs. Hamilton, Wishart, and others) with a spirit of truth and
heroic courage, to contend against the abominations of the Babylonish
whore, whose labors, by the blessing of Heaven, were rendered
successful, to open the eyes of some to see, and engage many others to
inquire after, and espouse the truth as it is in JESUS. These, not
regarding the fear of man, nor the cruelty of their enemies, but as good
soldiers of JESUS CHRIST, enduring hardness, chose, rather than desert
their Master's cause, to offer their bodies to be devoured by the
tormenting flames, no more merciless than their hellish persecutors;
while in that fiery chariot, through the serial regions, their souls
ascended to the celestial country. And herein, also, did GOD frustrate
the expectation of that monster of iniquity, Cardinal Beaton (whose
memory let it for ever perish), and his wicked accomplices, and turned
their counsel into foolishness, who, by the death of a few zealous
contenders for the faith, intended the total suppression of CHRIST'S
truth for ever; but GOD having purposed the contrary, made the effusion
of their blood the occasion of rousing many from the deep sleep of gross
ignorance, by putting them to search into the truth of those doctrines,
which these martyrs sealed with their blood; so that JESUS CHRIST, the
only true light in the orb of the gospel, began again to shine forth
within this realm.

Upon this begun revival of reformation, the glory of the LORD went
remarkably before his people, and the GOD of Israel was their reward,
uniting the hearts, and strengthening the hands, both of noble and
ignoble, to a vigorous and active espousing of his gospel, and concerns
of his glory, in opposition to the tyranny of the lordly bishops,
persecuting rage, and masked treachery of the two bloody Marys, the
mother and daughter, who then successively governed, or rather
tyrannized, in Scotland. Their number, as well as their zealous spirit,
still increasing, they, for the more effectual management of this noble
enterprise, entered into covenants to advance that begun work of
reformation, and to defend the same and one another in the maintenance
thereof, against all opposition whatsoever. Several such covenants our
early reformers solemnly entered into at Edinburgh, Perth and Leith, in
the years 1557, '59, '60 and '62. In 1560, _the Confession of the Faith,
and doctrine believed and professed by the Protestants within, the realm
of Scotland_, was compiled and civilly ratified, or allowed of, in free
and open parliament, afterward sworn to in the National Covenant _annis_
1580, 1581 and 1590. At the same time, some other acts were passed, in
favor of reformation; one against the mass and abuse of the sacraments;
another, abolishing the Pope's jurisdiction and authority with this
realm, &c. In the above mentioned year 1560, the first book of policy
and discipline, containing the form and order of presbyterial church
government, was composed, approven and subscribed by the ministry, and a
great part of the nobility. Thus, by the wisdom and power of GOD, who
takes the wise in their own craftiness, by means, especially, of the
indefatigable labors of the renowned Mr. KNOX (whose memory is still
savory in the churches), was this surprising work of reformation
advanced, until it obtained the authority of a law; whereby, was not
only the presbyterian protestant interest ratified, but anti-christian
supremacy and superstition abolished.

The church, gradually increasing in beauty and perfection, did, with
much painfulness and faithful diligence, labor after a more full
establishment of the house of GOD, in all its privileges, until, by
perfecting the second book of discipline, they completed the exact model
of presbytery, which, though they had enjoyed national assemblies for a
considerable time, yet was not brought to such an entire conformity to
the divine pattern, nor so generally acquiesced in until now, that it
was unanimously approven by the assembly 1590, and particularly enjoined
to be subscribed by all who did bear office in the church; and, at last,
they prevailed to get it publicly voted and approven in parliament,
June, 1592; and also at the same time, obtained by act of parliament,
the ratification of all the privileges and liberties of the church, in
her assemblies, synods, presbyteries, &c.

And here we may observe, that while this church and nation contended for
the obtaining of a legal establishment of the ecclesiastical polity,
they were no less concerned to have that other distinct ordinance of
GOD, civil magistracy, unalterably settled, in agreeableness to the rule
of GOD'S word. This appears, not only by their earnest contendings
against the abuse of that ordinance among them; but also, by the public
acts of parliament, obliging prince and people to be of one perfect
religion, and wholly incapacitating all persons, for bearing any office,
supreme or subordinate, who refused, by their solemn oath, to approve
of, and, to the utmost of their power, engage to defend the true
religion, as contained in the word of GOD, and confession of faith
founded thereon, then believed, and publicly professed within the realm,
ratified and generally sworn to in the National Covenant, during the
whole course of their lives, in all their civil administrations. See
_Acts Parl. 1st_, James VI, 1567.

Thus the hand of GOD was remarkably seen, and his powerful arm evidently
revealed, in delivering this nation both from Pagan darkness and Popish
idolatry, the memory whereof ought not to be lost, but thankfully
acknowledged, to the honor of GOD'S great name, by all such as favor the
dust of Zion, for her sake, and long to see her breaches, now wide as
the sea, repaired.

But to proceed: The church's grand foe envying her growing prosperity,
did soon disturb her peace, by insinuating himself upon those of
superior dignity, who were intrusted with the administration of civil
affairs, both supreme and subordinate, blowing up into a flame that
inbred and rooted enmity, which they still retained, at the simplicity,
strictness and scriptural purity of the reformation in Scotland. The
then supreme civil ruler, king James VI, formed a scheme for ruining the
church of Scotland, and stripping her of those comely and beautiful
ornaments of reformation purity, in doctrine, worship, discipline and
government, which she had now put on, by introducing episcopacy, and
establishing bishops. "This he did for no other reason (says one), but
because he believed them to be useful and pliable instruments for
turning a limited monarchy into absolute dominion, and subjects into
slaves; that which of all other things he affected most:" and for this
purpose (after several subtle and cunningly devised steps, previously
taken, with design to do by degrees what could not be done at once) he
makes an open attack upon the general assembly, robbing them of their
power and liberty to meet, judge and determine, in all ecclesiastical
concerns (well knowing, that so long as assemblies might convene in
freedom, he would never get the estate of bishops established in
Scotland), and imprisoning and banishing many faithful ministers,
members of the general assembly, who opposed him, testified and
protested against his wicked invasion, and sacrilegious robbery of the
church's rights and privileges. And, having at last obtained the
supremacy and headship over the church, which was granted him by an
impious act of a pretended parliament, of his own stamp, called by him
for that purpose, proceeded with his design, until he had again
established Prelacy, and razed Presbytery almost to the very
foundations, notwithstanding all the opposition made to it by the
faithful in the land, both ministers and people.

Thus, after several former attempts to this effect, was Episcopacy again
established, and prelates lording over GOD'S heritage advanced, imposing
their popish ceremonies, which in that pretended assembly convened at
Perth, anno 1618, were enacted, and afterward ratified in a subsequent
parliament in the year 1621. And as the father had thus violated his
solemn professions, declarations and engagements, to maintain the
covenanted interest; so likewise, upon the accession of the son to the
throne, there was no amendment nor redress had: but he followed the same
iniquitous course, walking in the way of his father, and in the sin
wherewith he made Israel to sin. And further, obtruded upon the church a
service book, a book of popish and prelatical canons, which was followed
with a violent prosecution of the faithful contenders for the former
laudable constitutions of the church, carried on by that monstrous
Erastian high-commission court, patched up of statesmen and clergymen:
and hereby was the church again brought under the yoke of anti-christian
prelacy, and tyrannical supremacy; which lese-majesty to Zion's King was
also ratified with the sanction of civil authority. To this yoke,
oppressing CHRIST'S loyal subjects, many of his professed servants
submitted their necks, and, Issachar-like, became servants to tribute
for a considerable time.

But when the LORD'S set time to favor Zion came, he made the long
despised dust thereof again to be more pleasant and precious than ever
unto his servants and people, and the long night season and thick clouds
of adversity under which his church labored, amid some day-sky, and
sun-blinks of prosperity, she at times enjoyed, to issue in the dawning
of a day of clearer light wherein the glorious SUN of Righteousness
shone in his meridian splendor, with greater brightness both in this and
the neighboring nations, than at his first arising therein, in a gospel
dispensation; whose benign influences caused the small grain of good
seed, sown by the skill of the Great Husbandman, to grow up to a
fruitful plant, the tender twig to spread itself into a noble vine, and
the little cloud, like a man's hand, to cover the whole hemisphere of
the visible church of Scotland, which long ago, as a church and nation,
had enlisted themselves under the LORD JESUS CHRIST, as their Royal
Prince; whose peaceful and righteous scepter being now also extended to
England and Ireland, they soon submitted themselves thereto, in a
religious association and union with Scotland in covenant engagements,
for reformation from prelacy, as well as Popery, which they had never
hitherto yielded to.

Upon this gracious return of divine favor, and discovery of Almighty
power manifested against the mighty agents for prelatical superstition,
both in church and state, when, from the paucity of those who appeared
in favor of truth, in the year 1637, small opposition unto its enemies
could be expected; yet their magnanimity in witness-bearing was so
followed by manifestations of the divine countenance and favor, that
both their number and courage daily increased. The National Covenant was
again, after mature deliberation, anent both the lawfulness, expediency
and seasonableness thereof, with great solemnity renewed in _March_,
1638, with the general concurrence of the ministry, noblemen, gentlemen,
and others, humbling themselves before the LORD for their former
defections and breach of covenant; though, at the same time, the court
faction, and many temporising ministers, continued in their opposition,
but which was indeed too weak to make resistance unto the cause of GOD,
and force of truth carried home with suitable conviction upon the
conscience.

The covenant being first renewed at Edinburgh, they provided next, that
it should also be renewed through the kingdom; and for this purpose,
copies thereof were sent with all convenient speed to the several
presbyteries, together with suitable exhortations, and instructions for
renewing of the same in every parish of their bounds; and by this means
it came to pass, through the good hand of their GOD upon them, that in a
little time almost every parish through Scotland did, with much
solemnity, cheerfulness and alacrity, renew the same, and publicly with
uplifted hand avouch the LORD to be their GOD. And as this solemn action
was everywhere accompanied with remarkable evidences of divine power and
presence in a plentiful effusion of a spirit of grace and supplication;
so the joy of the LORD herein became their strength, and greatly
increased the faith and hopes of all the church's real friends, that as
the LORD had begun, so he would also make an end, and carry on his work
to perfection, amid the terrible threatenings both of king and court;
his majesty being highly displeased that his authority was contemned,
and no concurrence of his royal pleasure sought in the renovation of the
Covenant: but their righteousness in this particular was brought forth
as the light, when the legality of this and their other proceedings was
afterward attested to the king by the ablest lawyers in the kingdom.

The zealous contenders for the church's liberties, by supplications,
reasonings, and proposed articles, for enjoying what they much longed
for, at last obtained, before the foresaid year 1638 expired, a lawful
and free General Assembly (constituted in the name of the LORD JESUS
CHRIST, the alone King and Head of his church), consisting of able
members, both ministers and elders, who would not suffer an infringement
upon their regular manner of procedure, or right to act as unlimited
members of a free court of CHRIST, notwithstanding the constant attacks
made upon their freedom by the king's commissioner, and protestations by
him taken against their regular procedure, which issued in his Erastian
declaration of the king's prerogative, as supreme judge in all causes,
ecclesiastical as well as civil, and renewing all his former
protestations in his royal master's name; further protesting in his own
name, and in the name of the lords of the clergy, that no act passed by
them should imply his consent, or be accounted lawful, or of force to
bind any of the subjects; and, then in his majesty's name dissolving the
assembly, discharging their proceeding any further, and so went off. But
the assembly judging it better to obey GOD than man; and to incur the
displeasure of an earthly king, to be of far less consequence than to
offend the Prince of the kings of the earth, entered a protestation
against the lord commissioner's departure without any just cause, and in
behalf of the intrinsic power and liberty of the church; also assigning
the reasons why they could not dissolve the assembly until such time as
they had gone through that work depending upon them. This was given in
to the clerk by Lord Rothes, and part of it read before his grace left
the house, and instruments taken thereupon. Then, after several moving
and pathetic speeches delivered on that occasion, for the encouragement
of the brethren to abide by their duty, by the moderator, Mr. Alexander
Henderson, and others, ministers and elders, exhorting them to show
themselves as zealous for CHRIST their LORD and Master, in his
interests, as he had shewed himself zealous for his master; they
unanimously agreed that they should continue and abide by their work
until they had concluded all things needful, and that on all hazards.
And so they proceeded to the examination of that complaint against the
bishops, who, on account of their, tyranny, superstition, and teaching
of Popish, Arminian, and Pelagian errors, were all laid under the
sentence of deposition; and many of them, for their personal
profaneness, wickedness and debauchery proven against them, together
with their contumacy, were also excommunicated with the greater
excommunication, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might
be saved in the day of the LORD JESUS. They gave their approbation of
the National Covenant; and Prelacy, with the five articles of Perth,
were found and declared to be abjured by it, together with the civil
places and power of kirkmen, their sitting on the bench as justices of
the peace, sitting in council, and voting in parliament. Subscription of
the Confession of faith, or covenant, was also enjoined, presbyterian
church government justified and approven, and an act made for holding
yearly General Assemblies; with many other acts and constitutions
tending to the advancement of that begun reformation, and purging the
church of CHRIST of those sinful innovations, crept into it, which may
be seen more at large in the printed acts of that assembly. The lawful
and just freedom which the church now claimed and stood upon, so highly
incensed the court, because their Erastian encroachments were not
yielded to, that all warlike preparations were speedily made for having
them again reduced, by force of arms, to their former slavery. Yet, what
evil seemed intended against the church by the king, with his popish and
prelatical accomplices, was by her exalted King and Head happily
prevented, and they obliged, at least, to feign subjection, and yield to
a pacification. In which it was concluded, that an assembly be holden at
Edinburgh, _August 6th_, 1639, and the parliament the 20th of the same
month, that same year, for healing the wide breaches, and redressing the
grievances both of church and state; that what was determined by the
assembly, might be ratified by the parliament. In this assembly, the
covenant was ratified and subscribed by the commissioner, and an
injunction laid upon the body of the kingdom for subscribing the same,
with an explication, wherein the five articles of Perth, government of
bishops, the civil places and power of kirkmen were expressly condemned.
Hereby the hopes of the Prelates again being in a great measure lost,
and they receiving fresh assistance from the king (who seemed to have
little conscience in making laws, and found small difficulty in breaking
them), recruited themselves the year following, and took the field, but
with no better success than formerly, which obliged them to yield to
another pacification, wherein both religious and civil liberties were
ratified; and in 1641, these were further confirmed by the oaths,
promises, laws, and subscriptions of both king and parliament, whereat
the king was personally present, and gave the royal assent to all acts
made for the security of the same; while at the same time he was
concurring in the bloody tragedy acted upon the Protestants in the
kingdom of Ireland.

The gracious countenance and abundant evidence of divine approbation
wherewith the LORD vouchsafed to bless his contending, reforming and
covenanting church in Scotland, in a plentiful effusion of his Holy
Spirit on the judicatories and worshiping assemblies of his people,
proved a happy means to excite and provoke their neighbors in England
and Ireland, to go and do likewise. For in the year 1643, when the
beginning of a bloody war between the king and parliament of England
threatened the nation with a series of calamity and trouble; the
parliament having convocated an assembly of divines to sit at
Westminster for consulting about a reformation of religion in that
kingdom, sent commissioners, consisting of members of both houses and
assembly, to treat with the assembly of the church of Scotland, and
convention of estates about these things. In the month of _August_, they
presented their proposals to the convention of estates and assembly,
desiring, that because the popish prelatical faction is still pursuing
their design of corrupting and altering the religion through the whole
island, the two nations might be strictly united for their mutual
defense against them and their adherents, and not to lay down arms until
those, their implacable enemies, were disarmed, &c. Commissioners were
deputed from the estates, and assembly, to convene with those from
England, in order to consider their proposals. And, at the first
conferences, it was agreed that the best and speediest means for
accomplishing the union and assistance desired, was for both nations to
enter into a mutual league and covenant for reformation and defense of
religion and liberty against its enemies. Which being drawn up, and
affectionately embraced, was unanimously approved by the general
assembly and sent up to England by the hands of the ministers and
elders, sent commissioners from the church of Scotland to the synod at
Westminster, where (being proposed by the parliament to the
consideration of the synod), after the interpolation of an explanatory
note in the second article, it was approven, and with public
humiliation, and all other religious and answerable solemnity, taken and
subscribed by them (the synod), and by both honorable houses of
parliament and by their authority taken and subscribed by all ranks in
England and Ireland that same year, ratified by act of the parliament of
Scotland, _anno_ 1644, and afterward renewed in Scotland, with an
acknowledgment of sins, and engagement to duties by all ranks in the
year 1648, and by the parliament, 1649.

Thus, to the rejoicing of all true lovers of the prosperity and beauty
of the church, who longed for CHRIST the salvation of Israel, his coming
forth out of Zion, these three churches and nations combined and
embarked together in the same honorable and glorious cause of
reformation, and solemnly bound themselves by the oath of GOD, to
maintain and defend the same against all its enemies and opposers
whatever; thereby publicly professing their subjection to Christ, and
their preferring of pure and undefiled religion, the advancement of the
interest, kingdom and glory of JESUS CHRIST, to their nearest and
dearest interests in this world. And the Lord was with us while we were
with him, and steadfast in his covenant; but when we forsook him, and
broke his covenant, he also forsook us, and delivered his strength into
captivity, and his glory into the enemies' hand.

In the next place, the assembly at Westminster, with the assistance of
commissioners from the general assembly of the church of Scotland,
proceeded to conclude on what was needful for furthering and completing
this intended and covenanted uniformity in religion, that the Lord might
be one, and his name one in the three lands. And for this purpose, a
confession of faith was composed, and agreed upon by that venerable
assembly, together with catechisms larger and shorter, propositions
concerning church government, ordination of ministers, and directory for
worship; all which were received and approved by the General Assembly,
and convention of estates in Scotland.

The Lord thus prospering his work in the hands of his servants employed
in ecclesiastical affairs, gave no less countenance unto the parliament
of England, with the assistance they received from Scotland, in
defeating all the wicked attempts of the popish, prelatical and
malignant party in England, overthrowing their tyranny, and reducing the
supporters thereof. A like victory was at length obtained over Montrose
in Scotland, who commanded the royalist, or malignant party there, and
had for some time carried all before him. And so the King being worsted
at all hands, and despairing of overtaking his designs, his army having
been almost all cut to pieces, and himself obliged to fly, resigned
himself over to the Scots army at Newark, in the year 1646, and marched
along with them to Newcastle; and they, upon the frequent solicitations
of the English parliament, and their engaging for the King's honorable
treatment, delivered him over to them. Afterward, he falling into the
hands of Cromwell and the English army, a number in this nation violated
the oath of GOD, which they had lately come under, by engaging in an
unlawful war with England, commonly called the Duke's engagement, in
order to rescue the King from his captivity (notwithstanding that he
still persisted in his opposition to the just claims, both of the church
and nation, and after all that was come upon him, could not be
reconciled to the covenants and work of reformation); where they were in
_July_ 1648, totally routed by Oliver Cromwell; and Duke Hamilton, their
general, being made prisoner, was incarcerated, and afterward beheaded.
This engagement was remonstrated against, and judicially condemned by
the General Assembly of the church of Scotland; and the sinfulness of it
was publicly acknowledged as a breach of the covenant-union between the
two nations, by all ranks in Scotland that same year, at the renovation
of the Solemn League and Covenant therein. At last the king being seized
upon by Cromwell and his sectarian army, was, notwithstanding all the
remonstrances both of church and state, removed by a violent death. Upon
which the parliament of Scotland, on the _5th_ of _February_, 1649,
caused proclaim his son Charles II, king of Great Britain, France, and
Ireland (which title he had assumed himself at the Hague, as soon as the
report of his father's death came to his ears), promising their fidelity
and defence of his person and authority, according to the National
Covenant, and the Solemn League and Covenant. And at the same time
declaring, that before he be admitted to the exercise of the royal
power, he shall give security for the preservation and maintenance of
the true reformed religion, and unity of the kingdoms, now established,
by laws both civil and ecclesiastical, according to the covenants: which
security for religion and liberty, at the first proposed treaty at the
Hague, he deferred to grant, and afterward postponed the signing of the
treaty at Breda, when everything was agreed upon, from the great hopes
he entertained of accomplishing his design, without acquiescing with
their demand from Montrose's expedition, whom he had sent into Scotland
with an army, in order to prepare his way into that kingdom, by
devastation with fire and sword. But this intrigue not succeeding, he
found himself obliged to comply with all their proposals, and signed the
treaty. This treaty the king did in effect break, before he left Breda,
by communicating after the episcopal manner, contrary to the express
warning and remonstrance of the commissioners from the church of
Scotland, who went to him, and showed him his sin in so doing, and how
inconsistent it was with his own concessions in the present treaty; and
an evidence that he had no intention to perform what he had agreed to,
but dissembled with GOD and man; and he, on the other hand, put them off
with sham excuses and professions; and so, from their too much credulity
to his fraudulent professions and promises all along, they brought him
over to Scotland, and before his landing in this kingdom, he takes the
covenant at Spey, on the _23rd_ of _June_, 1649, by his oath subjoined
in allowance and approbation of the Covenants National, and Solemn
League, obliging himself faithfully to prosecute the ends thereof in his
station and calling; and for himself and successors, he shall agree to
all acts of parliament enjoining the same, and establishing presbyterial
church government the directory for worship, confession of faith and
catechisms, in the kingdom of Scotland, as approven by the General
Assemblies of this kirk, and parliament of this kingdom. And for their
further satisfaction, according to the act of the West Kirk, Edinburgh,
_August 13th_, 1650, approven the same day by the committee of estates,
he emitted a declaration at Dunfermline, by profession, fully and
heartily acquiescing with all their demands, all which afterward served
for nothing but as a lasting monument of his horrid perjury, wicked
dissimulation, and mockery of God and man. And even then, when this
declaration was published, he had formed a design for bringing in the
enemies of the covenant, and work of reformation, both into the army and
judicatories, and for dividing the Presbyterians among themselves. And
this he effectually managed for both foresaid ends, by the public
resolutions, on the _14th_ of _December_, that same year 1650. This
woful and prime step of defection, so contrary to the word, and
injurious to the work of God, was faithfully testified against by many,
both ministers, and whole presbyteries, who were sensible of the present
sinfulness and evil of it, and foresaw the bitter and dismal
consequences that followed upon it.

In the meantime, notwithstanding this, and other shrewd evidences, the
king gave of his double dealing and hypocrisy, he was crowned at Scoon,
on the first of _January_, 1651, and had the Covenants National and
Solemn League again administered unto him, by the reverend Mr. Douglas,
after a sermon from 2 _Kings_ xi, 12, 17, which he, in a most solemn
manner renewed, before the three estates of parliament, the
commissioners of the General Assembly, and a numerous congregation, in
the words of his former oath at Spey; with the coronation oath, as
contained in the 8th _Act, Parl._ 1st, James VI, to all which he engaged
before his coronation; and on these terms, and no other, were the oaths
of fidelity to him, as the lawful supreme magistrate, taken, at his
receipt of the royal authority. And consequently, these covenant
engagements became fundamental constitutions, both in church and state,
and the door of access into office-bearing in either, and formal ground
of the people's subjection. Then was the church's appearance "Beautiful
as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, and terrible as an army with banners."

From what is noticed above, the presbytery cannot but declare their
hearty approbation of the zeal, courage, and faithfulness of our honored
ancestors, in their valiant contendings for the valuable liberties and
privileges of the spiritual kingdom of the MESSIAH, until they got the
same established, and the nations brought under the most solemn, sacred,
and inviolable engagements, to maintain every branch of this glorious
reformation; a reformation, not only from the more gross errors, and
idolatries of Popery, but from the more refined superstition of Prelacy,
and all that Antichristian and Erastian supremacy, that in former times
had been exercised on the heritage of the LORD; a reformation of both
the divine ordinances of ministry and magistracy, from all the abuses
and corruptions thereof, by the inventions of men, joined with the above
mentioned establishment of them, in some measure of agreeableness unto
their scriptural institution.

Likeas, the presbytery did, and hereby do declare their approbation of,
and adherence unto foresaid reformation, in all the different parts and
branches thereof, attained from 1638 to 1650 inclusive, and sworn to in
the National and Solemn League and Covenant, not exclusive of such parts
of reformation as were attained unto prior to this, but as a further
advance on this foundation, and as being much more pure and agreeable to
the infallible standard of scripture, than any formerly arrived at in
these nations.

The daughter of Zion, thus going forth in the perfection of her beauty,
when all ranks and degrees voluntarily subjected themselves unto the
royal scepter of the SON of GOD, was most comely in the eyes of her
Beloved; But oh! how is the gold become dim, and the most fine gold
changed; the stones of the sanctuary are poured out on the top of every
street, so that the house that was called of all people the house of
prayer, is now become a den of thieves, being no less infamously
despicable for deformation, than formerly, for purity of reformation,
highly admired. This, at first, began with the public resolutions of the
commission of the General Assembly 1650, above noticed, for taking into
places of power and trust, in judicatories and armies, such persons as
were known malignants, and in heart disaffected to the work, and people
of GOD, putting it in their power to destroy and pull down the LORD'S
work at their pleasure; a practice manifestly inconsistent with their
covenant engagements, and the word of GOD, _Deut._ xxiii, 9, 2 _Chron._
xix, 2. Those that were then called protestors (from their opposing and
protesting against these resolutions), continued steadfastly to witness
against the same, as the first remarkable step, to make way for that
bloody catastrophe, that afterward befell the church. The Lord, then, in
his righteous displeasure and controversy with the nation, for betraying
of his cause and interest into the hands of his enemies, sold them into
the hand of that conquering usurper, Oliver Cromwell, who, having stript
them of their civil liberties, as the most effectual method to rob the
church of her spiritual privileges, and nullify the forcible obligation
of the sacred covenants (which, when preserved, serve as a strong
barrier against all such usurpations), framed a hellish and almost
unbounded toleration in Scotland, of heretical and sectarian errors, for
gratification of the abettors thereof, which was followed with a deluge
of irreligion and impiety, drowning the nation in a still deeper
apostasy.

In this hour of temptation, the witnesses for CHRIST, endeavoring to
keep the word of his patience, testified against these evils, as
contrary to the word and oath of God, and destructive of the church's
former glory. And Charles II, who had lately, by all the confirmations
of word, writ, and solemn oath, obliged himself for the maintenance and
defense of religion and liberty, having cast off the thing that was
good, the enemy did pursue him so, that he, instead of being able to
stand as a head of defense to the nations, narrowly escaped with life
from the enemies' hands, being obliged to abscond and fly before the
sectaries into France; where, and in other parts, he remained an exile
for the space of ten years, and there discovered, he had no regard to
the principles he had lately professed and sworn to maintain: but
breaking his professed wedlock with CHRIST, is said, at that juncture,
to have joined hands with the Romish whore, laying aside his cloak of
professed godliness, and again taking up with the mystery of iniquity.

During the ten years' usurpation of Cromwell, those who endeavored
faithfulness, had a fight of affliction to keep their ground; yet, after
this came to a period, they had a far more fierce encounter, and of
longer duration, to engage in, in the cruel and bloody tragedy acted
upon them, for the space of 28 years.

As, by the public resolutions, and foresaid unbounded toleration, the
bounds fixed by JEHOVAH, and homologated and sworn to, in our national
attainments and constitution, were greatly altered, so the parliament of
England prepared the tools, whereby the carved work of the sanctuary (as
far as human craft and cruelty could invent), was broken down, in
restoring Charles II, without any conditions required, or express
limitations set. And Sharp being sent from the church of Scotland, to
stand up for her rights and privileges, fraudulently sold her into the
hands of her enemies; upon which, many of the professed disciples of
CHRIST, who followed him in the sunshine of prosperity and reformation,
forsook him, and fled into the enemies' camp. Thus our decline began;
but, oh! to what a dreadful height Erastianism, tyranny, and bloodshed
arrived, before the Lord, in his providence, put a stop to it.

Although the Presbytery cannot be supposed, in a consistency with their
present design, to reckon up all, yet they would endeavor to take notice
of some of the most remarkable instances of backsliding, treachery and
oppression, bloodshed, &c, acted in those nations during the late
persecuting period, together with the faithful contendings, and patient
sufferings unto death of the saints and servants of CHRIST, in this hot
furnace of affliction into which they were cast. As, 1, The unhappy
restoration of Charles II, in manner before mentioned commencing. The
faithful declarations and testimonies given in favor of the covenanted
reformation and uniformity, were all on a sudden given up with; the
viper received into our bosom, and again advanced unto the regal
dignity, who soon discovered himself to be of the serpentine seed, and
by his wicked agency imped the dragon his master, by casting out of his
mouth a flood of persecution after the church, that he might cause her
to be destroyed therewith. To this effect the anti-christian yoke of
abjured Prelacy, with all its tyrannical laws, and canonical train of
observances, service book, ceremonies, &c., was speedily wreathed about
England's neck, and Scotland soon felt part of its weight. For, in the
month of _August_, 1660, when some of her most zealous and faithful
ministers met upon this emergency, in order to send an address to the
king, reminding him of his duty, and solemn obligations to perform the
same; the committee appointed by the parliament, _anno_ 1651, for
exercise of government, until another parliament should meet, who then
showed themselves zealous for the reformation, yet now acted a
counter-part, by incarcerating the foresaid ministers, and emitting a
proclamation, prohibiting all such meetings without the king's
authority, and all petitions and remonstrances, under pretense that they
were seditious. This was the first beginning of those sorrows and
calamities that ensued in the many sanguinary laws afterward made and
executed upon the true friends of Zion.

2. When the ministry, by means of the foresaid prohibitions, were much
dispirited from their duty, dreading such usage as they had lately met
with, the parliament which met in Scotland in _December_, 1661, falls
upon breaking down the carved work of the sanctuary effectually, and
robbing our church of that depositum committed unto her by her glorious
Head. Thus did they wickedly combine and gather themselves together to
plot against the Lord, and against his Anointed, that they might break
his bands, and cast his cords from them. For which intent, after
besmearing the consciences of most of the members with the guilt of that
abominable and wicked oath of allegiance and supremacy, that they might
be secured to the court and king's interest, and ready to swallow down
whatever might be afterward proposed, they passed an act rescissory,
declaring all the parliaments, and acts of parliament made in favor of
reformation, from the year 1640 to 1651, null and void. The king's
supremacy over all persons, and in all causes, is asserted. All
meetings, assemblies, leagues, and covenants, without the king's
authority, are declared unlawful and unwarrantable. The renewing of the
solemn league and covenant, or any other covenants or public oaths,
without the king's special warrant and approbation, is discharged.
Besides these, another heinous act was framed by the same parliament,
for observing every 29th of _May_ as an anniversary thanksgiving, in
commemoration of the unhappy restoration of this ruiner of religion and
reformation.

3. In the second session of the pretended parliament, _anno_ 1662
diocesan Erastian Prelacy is established, and the king solemnly invested
with the church's headship, by act of parliament; wherein it is
blasphemously declared, "That the ordering and disposal of the external
government and policy of the church, doth properly belong unto his
majesty as an inherent right of the crown, by virtue of his royal
prerogative and supremacy in all causes ecclesiastical." All such acts
of parliament or council are rescinded, which might be interpreted (as
their acts bear) to give any church power, jurisdiction, or government,
to the office-bearers of the church, other than that which acknowledges
a dependence upon, and subordination to, the sovereign power of the king
as supreme. And although the lordly prelates were hereby promoted to all
the privileges and dignities they possessed before the year 1638, yet
must they be all accountable to the king, in all their administrations,
and in subordination to him, as universal bishop of all England,
Scotland, and Ireland. By which the fountain of church power and
authority is lodged in the king's person, and CHRIST is exauctorated and
dethroned as King and Head in Zion. And further, by the second act of
that perfidious parliament, the covenanted reformation, and all that was
done in favor thereof, from 1638 to 1650, was declared treasonable, and
rebellious. Alike treasonable it was reckoned for subjects, on pretense
of reformation, or any other pretense whatsoever, to enter into any
federal association, or take up arms against the king. They also
declared, that the National Covenant, as sworn in the year 1638, and the
Solemn League and Covenant, were, and are in themselves unlawful oaths,
and that they were imposed upon, and taken by the subjects of this
kingdom, contrary to the fundamental laws and liberties thereof. And to
complete all, they repealed all acts, ecclesiastical and civil,
approving the covenants, particularly the acts of the venerable assembly
at Glasgow 1638, declaring it an unlawful and seditious meeting. And
thereafter, by a wicked act of the council of Glasgow, more than three
hundred ministers were illegally thrust from their charges, for their
non-conformity, in discountenancing a diocesan meeting, or synod,
appointed by the archbishop of Glasgow, and not observing the
anniversary thanksgiving, _May_ 29th, enjoined by the parliament. The
rest were violently ejected from the lawful exercise of their ministry
in their several parishes, and were afterward commanded by act of
parliament to remove themselves and their families twenty miles distant
from their respective flocks, and not to reside within six miles of any
of their (so called) Cathedrals, or three miles of a Burgh. By these
means, many of those poor persecuted ministers, with their families,
were brought into great hardships and wants, being so far removed from
their beloved and affectionate flocks, that they were deprived of that
help from them, that doubtless they would cheerfully have ministered,
for relieving them in their necessities and straits. All this was done
at the instigation of the prelates, who could not endure to have a godly
presbyterian minister near them, and were resolved to make them as
miserable as possible.

As the observation of that anniversary holy day, _May_ 29th, was again
enjoined by this parliament 1662, with certification, the non-observance
of which was one main cause of the sufferings of the ministers above
noticed, we cannot pass over without mentioning that most abhorred and
heaven-daring ignominy and contempt put upon our solemn and sacred
covenants, and upon GOD the great Party in them, at Linlithgow on that
day, by a theatrical exposing, and presumptuous committing them to the
flames, together with _The causes of GOD'S wrath, Lex Rex_, acts of
parliament, acts of committees of estates, and acts of assemblies made,
during what they called the twenty-two years' rebellion, that is, from
1638 to 1660, done by the authority of the pretended magistrates there;
one of which, and the minister Ramsay, were formerly zealous and active
covenanters, and consequently now publicly avowed and proclaimed their
perjury in the face of the sun, and left an indelible stain upon their
memory.

Hitherto, although many, both ministers, gentlemen and others, had
endured unexpressible hardships and severities, yet few or none suffered
to the death, save that noble peer, the Marquis of _Argyle_, who was
condemned by the parliament 1661, and beheaded _May_ 27th; and the
Reverend Mr. _James Guthrie_, who suffered five days thereafter. These
two were singled out--the one in the state, the other in the church--to
fall a victim to the resentment and fury of the enemies of that
covenanted work of reformation, which they had both, in an eminent
manner, been honored of GOD to support and advance; and also as a
specimen of what was afterward to be the fate of all that should adhere
to the same glorious cause, and stand up for God against these workers
of iniquity. And, as the foundation of that anti-christian and wicked
hierarchy in the church, and of arbitrary power and absolute tyranny in
the state, was laid in the blood of these two proto-martyrs for the
covenant and cause of GOD, so they now (_July_, 1663,) proceeded to
build it up with the blood of another noble and worthy patriot, the
eminently religious and learned Lord _Warriston_. He having before, in
1660, when _Argyle_ was apprehended, been ordered, together with several
others, to be secured and committed to prison, fled beyond sea, to
escape the fury of his enemies, and even there did their crafty malice
reach him; for, having sent out one of their blood-thirsty emissaries in
quest of him, he was apprehended by him at Roan, in France, brought over
to London, and sent thence to Edinburgh, where he was executed on a
former unjust sentence of forfeiture and death, passed upon him in his
absence. Thus they built up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with
iniquity. But all this was nothing to the cruelty that followed, and the
righteous blood afterward shed in that quarrel.

4. Although the faithful servants of CHRIST gave too silent submission
for a time to these encroachments made upon their sacred functions, yet,
as they received not their mission from men, so they resolved not to
become the servants of men, but to hazard the loss of every thing that
was dear to them in this world, that they might show themselves faithful
unto their Lord and Master, and valiant for his truth upon the earth, in
going forth without the camp, bearing his reproach. When they could no
longer, with a safe conscience, enjoy their benefices and churches, and
the Lord so expressly called for their service, in feeding the starving
souls of his people, they betook themselves to the open fields, setting
their faces to all the storms to which they were exposed by that high
commission court that was erected; wherein the bishops were chief
agents, being made therein necessary members for putting the former,
with what subsequent wicked laws were made against the servants of
CHRIST, in execution. And, by this time, that deceiving, cruel,
perjured, apostate bishop, _Sharp_, had obtained the presidency in this
and all other public courts in the kingdom. The proceedings of this
court were very unjust, cruel and arbitrary, similar to its preposterous
and illegal constitution. Persons were, without any accusation,
information, witness or accuser, arraigned before them, to answer _super
inquirendis_ to whatever interrogatories they were pleased to propose,
without license to make any lawful defense, or, upon their offering so
to do, were required to take the oath of supremacy, their refusal of
which was accounted cause sufficient for proceeding against them. And
although taking order with papists was first in their commission, yet
last, or rather not at all, in execution; while their infernal rage was
principally set on Presbyterians, in fining, confining and imprisoning
them, for the non-conformity of ministers, and their disregarding their
pretended sentences of deposition, and the people's refusing to
countenance the authority and ministry of these prelatic wolves, who
came in to scatter and tear the flock of CHRIST, but endeavoring to
cleave to their lawful pastors, have equal friends and foes with them,
and hear CHRIST'S law of kindness from their mouth. The idol of jealousy
was thus set up in the house of GOD, and our LORD JESUS CHRIST
sacreligiously robbed of his incommunicable supremacy and headship over
his church by the state; whereby the Pope's supremacy was well nigh
claimed, and Spanish inquisition cruelty almost acted, by this
abominable court; and all at the instigation and for the gratification
of these monsters of iniquity, the prelates, who still agitated the
court to exercise more cruelty than even of themselves they were
inclined to.

5. Upon the decline of this rigorous court, new measures were again
fallen upon for the oppression, suppression and extirpation, of the true
reformed religion, and the professors of it. The council being very
diligent and careful to deprive the LORD'S people of every thing which
might contribute to their establishment and confirmation in the
righteousness and equity of the cause and covenant of God for which they
suffered, and which tended to expose their tyranny and treason against
GOD, ordered the famous Mr. Brown's _Apologetical Relation_ to be burnt
in the high street of Edinburgh, on February 14th, 1666, by the hand of
the common hangman; and all persons who had copies of said book were
required to give them up, and such as concealed them to be fined 2000 L.
_Scots_, if discovered. Such was their hellish enmity and spite against
our covenanted reformation, and every thing written in defense thereof,
and in vindication of those that suffered for their adherence to it.
About the same time, _Sharp_, for the more effectual accomplishment of
his wicked designs (the high commission being now dissolved, and his
guilty conscience, it seems, suggesting fears of an insurrection of the
oppressed, to relieve themselves from their cruel oppressors), obtains
an order from the king for raising an additional number of forces, for
the security and establishment of himself and his associates in their
thrones of iniquity, by destroying all the faithful in the land,
oppressing and wearing out the saints of the Most High, and burning up
and dispersing all the synagogues of GOD in the nation. In consequence
of this, about three thousand foot, and eight troops of dragoons were
got together, and the command of them given to _Dalziel_ of _Binns_, a
wicked, fierce, cruel man. These were the instruments of that
unprecedented barbarity, cruelty and oppression, committed in the West,
after the defeat of Colonel Wallace and his little army of covenanters,
at Pentland Hills, _November_ 28th, 1666. The occasion and cause of
which rising was, in short, this: Sir _James Turner_ had been sent the
year before into the south-west shires of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright, in
order to suppress conventicles (so they called the assemblies of God's
people for public worship and other religious exercises), levy the fines
appointed by the parliament, and oblige the people to conform and submit
to the bishops and curates by force of arms. Turner, in pursuance of
these cruel orders, committed great severities, dreadfully oppressed,
robbed and spoiled the country. In the parish of Dalry, in Galloway,
three or four of his blackguard crew, seizing upon a poor countryman,
carried him to his own house, and were going to torture him in a cruel
manner, by setting him naked on a red-hot gridiron; which four of the
persecuted party hearing of, they repaired to the house, disarmed the
soldiers (upon their refusing to be entreated in behalf of the poor
man), and delivered their fellow sufferer. And lest the rest of the
soldiers quartered in the parish (to force people to keep their parish
church), should fall upon them, being joined with seven or eight more of
their friends, they attacked them early next morning, being about twelve
in number, and disarmed them, killing one that made resistance.
Whereupon, the country being alarmed, and being apprehensive, from sad
experience, of the revenge Sir James would take upon the whole country
for this affront, without distinction of age or sex, they determined to
stand in their own defense. And, getting together a good number of horse
and foot, they march to Dumfries, surprise Turner himself, take him
prisoner, and disarm his soldiers, without any further violence. Being
thus by Providence engaged, without any hope of retreat, and being
joined by many more of their brethren in the same condition with
themselves, some ministers, and Colonel Wallace (afterward chosen
general), they come to Lanerk, where they renew the covenant, _November_
26th, 1666, and thence to Pentland Hills, where, being attacked by
Dalziel and his blood-hounds, they were, notwithstanding their bravery
in repulsing the enemy twice, at last totally routed, many killed and
taken prisoners, most of the prisoners treacherously executed
(notwithstanding they were taken upon solemn promise to have their lives
spared), of whom the Lord was graciously pleased, not only to accept of
a testimony, by sufferings, but also countenanced them, even to
admiration, in sealing the same with their blood. After this, there were
severe edicts issued out against all who had any hand in this appearance
for GOD'S cause and covenant (called by them rebellion, a horrible
conspiracy, and what not); all the subjects were strictly charged not to
harbor, reset, supply, or in any manner of way correspond with any that
were concerned in this engagement, but that they pursue and deliver them
up to justice, or otherwise be esteemed and punished as favorers of it.
This appearance for religion and liberty became, for a time, the
principal crime of which those were indicted who were prosecuted by this
wicked council, and other merciless enemies, to whom they committed the
management of their affairs.

6. Although the cruelty of the court had hitherto been very great, yet
they had not wholly effectuated their wicked design of exterminating and
destroying true religion, and the professors thereof, both ministers and
people; but, like Israel under Pharaoh's yoke, the more they oppressed
them, and suppressed their meetings, the more numerous and frequent they
grew, so that their enemies were obliged to alter their course a little
from cruelty into craft. This appeared in the first indulgence, granted
_anno_ 1669, with design to divide Presbyterians among themselves, that
they might the more easily destroy them. Hereby a pretended liberty was
given to several ministers ejected by the act of Glasgow, 1662
(especially public resolutioners, who had formerly served the court
interest in that matter), under certain restrictions, destructive of
their ministerial freedom and faithfulness, to preach and exercise the
other functions of the ministry in vacant churches. In this fraudulent
snare many were taken; and even such of them as did accept of the
indulgence, but did not keep by the instructions given them by the
council, and observe the wicked anniversary, &c, were afterward
prosecuted, fined, and some turned out. And those who refused compliance
therewith, and testified against it, as flowing from that blasphemous
supremacy and absolute power, which the king had assumed, were most
severely handled, and their assemblies for public worship interdicted
under the highest pains. A second indulgence was framed in the year
1672, in which net they expected to inclose such as the first had not
caught. By this, liberty was granted to a number of non-conformed
ministers, named by the council, not yet indulged, to exercise their
ministry in such places as the council thought fit to ordain and appoint
them, conforming themselves to the rules given by the council to those
that were formerly indulged, besides other restrictions, wherewith this
new liberty was clogged. And, as one special design of the court, in
granting both the first and this second indulgence, was to put an
effectual stop to the meetings of the LORD'S people, ludicrously called
by them field conventicles, so they took occasion, on account of their
contempt of this their indulgence and liberty, to prosecute all such as
kept, or attended on, these meetings, in a more merciless and furious
manner. This indulgence was accepted by many ministers; and part
thereof, by others, represented as a grievance, and redress required.
But although nothing of this kind was obtained, yet it was fallen in
with and accepted by most of those who subscribed the remonstrance
against it; and those few who rejected it, and continued faithfully to
discharge their official trust in the open fields, without coming under
any of these sinful restrictions, became, more especially, the butt of
their enemies' malice and tyranny, were more vigorously prosecuted, and
such as were suspected or convicted of attending on their field
meetings, were fined in an exorbitant manner, and ministers imprisoned,
when they could be apprehended. And because these field meetings, the
great eye-sore of the prelates, still increased, they prevailed with the
council 1674, to take more special notice of the preachers at said
meetings, who appointed a committee for that effect, and ordered their
chancelor to send out parties to apprehend certain of them, according to
their direction. And the same year, a bond was imposed, binding and
obliging tenants, that if they, their wives, or any of their children,
cottars or servants, should keep or be present at any conventicles,
either in houses or fields, that every tenant laboring land be fined for
each house conventicle in 25L. _Scots_; each cottar in 12_L. Scots_;
each servant man in a fourth part of his year's fee, and husbands the
half of these fines for such of their wives and children as shall be at
house conventicles; and the double of these respective fines for each of
the said persons who shall be at any field conventicles, &c. And upon
refusal of said bond, they were to be put to the horn, and their escheat
or forfeiture given to their masters. They likewise, at the same time,
issued forth another proclamation, for apprehending the holders of, and
repairers to, field meetings, by them designed rebels, and whoever
should seize such should have the fines, so unjustly imposed, for their
reward; with a particular sum offered for apprehending any of the
conventicle preachers, and this sum doubled for some that were more
eminent among them, and diligent in working the work of him that sent
them, against whom their malice was more especially turned. These
rigorous measures they continued to prosecute; and in the year 1675,
letters of intercommuning were given out against several ministers and
private Christians, by name, both denouncing them rebels, and secluding
them from all society in the kingdom of Scotland; further requiring,
that no accommodation should be given, or communication any manner of
way held with them, under the pain of being (according to them)
accounted _socii criminis_, and pursued as guilty, with them, of the
same crimes. These inhuman and unprecedented methods reduced the
sufferers to many wanderings and great hardships. It is impossible to
recite the miseries these faithful confessors underwent--wandering about
in deserts, in mountains, in dens, and in caves of the earth, destitute,
afflicted, tormented; besides the other severe impositions upon the
country in general, the bonds imposed, and rage of the _Highland_ host
then raised, which, together with the soldiers, greatly spoiled and
robbed the west country especially, by which means, poor people were
brought to very low circumstances.

7. Notwithstanding of all the tyranny and treachery hitherto exercised,
the word of GOD grew, and converts unto CHRIST, and the obedience of the
gospel, were daily multiplied; ministers being forward and willing to
preach, and the people willing to hear and receive the law from their
mouth, on all hazards. And the LORD JESUS, following his word and
ordinances with his blessing, showed himself as mighty and powerful in
the open fields, whither they were driven, as ever he had done in their
churches, from whence they were driven, and which were now shut against
them, and filled with time-servers, and antichrist's vassals. But
against CHRIST'S standard and banner thus displayed, the tyrant Charles
II erected his opposite standard for the utter destruction of CHRIST'S
true servants and subjects. And having declared their lawful meetings
for the worship of GOD, according to his word, execrable rendezvouses of
rebellion; a convention of estates, _anno_ 1678, was called and met, by
which a large cess was imposed to maintain an additional army, for the
suppression of the true religion and liberty, and securing tyranny and
arbitrary government. On account of the imposition of this cess, and the
rigorous exaction of it, together with the cruelties and ravages of this
new army maintained by it (the soldiers having commission to dismiss and
disperse their meetings, disarm, imprison and kill preachers and people,
in case of resistance; and a price being put upon the heads of several
faithful ministers if brought to the council dead or alive), both
ministers and people were laid under the necessity of carrying arms for
their own defense when dispensing and attending upon gospel ordinances.
And it was no wonder that, finding themselves thus appointed as sheep
for the slaughter, they looked upon this as their duty, and accordingly
provided themselves with arms for their necessary defense against the
wicked violence of those who thirsted after their blood, and (which was
to them much more dear and precious) the ruin and destruction of the
cause, interest, and gospel of CHRIST in the land. Unto these severe and
hellish measures fallen upon at this time, for the more effectual
suppression and extirpation of the gospel of CHRIST, and professors of
it, the managers were principally instigated by that arch-apostate
_Sharp_; though a bad preparative for his exit out of this world, which
soon came to pass, _anno_ 1679, in the dispensation of adorable
providence and righteous judgment of God, executed upon such a notorious
traitor, who, having first betrayed the church, and all along deeply
imbrued his hands in the blood of GOD'S saints and servants; had blood
given him to drink because he was worthy.

8. That the land might be more deeply soaked with blood, and made more
heavily to groan under the inhabitants thereof, "Who had transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant;"
that the scene of cruel suffering might be more widely opened, and the
bloody tragedy more effectually acted; the primate's death must now be
added to the other pretended crimes of the sufferers. Many were terribly
harrassed on that account, who were no ways concerned in the action; and
some were cruelly tortured and butchered by them for the same cause,
though innocent thereof (for none of the actors did ever fall into their
hands). These enemies were hereby rendered more rude, barbarous and
hard-hearted to all the sufferers who afterward fell into their hands,
and breathed out threatenings and slaughter against the whole body of
the persecuted Presbyterians through the nation. All this, however, did
not dispirit these zealous witnesses, or discourage them from attending
to their work and duty; for we find them on the 29th of _May_, 1679,
publishing their testimony at _Rutherglen_, against the wicked
anniversary, on the same day appointed by the court for its celebration,
and against all that had been done publicly by these enemies of CHRIST
for the overthrow of his work and interest in the lands. They likewise
committed their acts rescissory, supremacy, act restoring abjured
Prelacy, act of _Glasgow_, 1662, the presumptuous act for appointing
_May_ 29th for an unholy anniversary, indulgences, &c., all to the
flames, their just desert, in retaliation of the impious treatment given
unto our solemn and sacred covenants, and other good and laudable acts
and laws for reformation, by their sacrilegious enemies in sundry cities
of these covenanted kingdoms. And so, after extinguishing the bonfires,
a part of the unholy solemnity of the enemies' anniversary day, and
concluding what they had done with prayer and praise, as they had begun
(Mr. _Douglas_, one of their ministers being along with them), they
withdrew. This Christian valor was followed with the LORD'S appearance
for them, in a remarkable manner, on the following _Sabbath_ at
_Drumclog_ near _Lowdonhill_, where being attacked by _Claverhouse_,
when attending on public worship, they completely routed him and his
troops, rescued Mr. _John King_, and a number of other prisoners, whom
_Claverhouse_ had seized that morning, from their hands. Afterward they
declared the grounds and causes of their present defensive posture, in
that short manifesto, or declaration, published at _Glasgow, June 6th_,
1679. But when their numbers multiplied, their divisions increased, and
lawful means for honestly defending the cause were by the majority
refused. Mr. _Welsh_ and that Erastian party with him, being by this
time come up, did in their declaration at _Hamilton_, take in the
tyrant's interest; against which, those who were honest and faithful to
the interest of Zion's king contended, and protested, that in conscience
they could not take in the interest of one into the state of the quarrel
who had manifestly stated himself in opposition to the interest of
CHRIST; that it was inconsistent with the covenant, which could not bind
them to espouse the interest of its destroyers, and the destroyers of
all that adhered to it; and also contrary to their testimony and
declaration for the covenants and work of reformation at _Rutherglen,
Glasgow, &c._, and against all defection from the same.

Thus, when the most part in a great measure forsook the LORD, he was
justly provoked to forsake them, and their great divisions landing them
in such confusion, they became an easy prey to the enemy, by whom they
were totally routed at _Bothwell, June. 22d_, 1679, where they felt the
dismal fruits and consequences of joining at all with that Erastian
faction, after they had openly declared and discovered what they were.
This was so far from proving any defense to them, notwithstanding the
numbers of that party, that it proved their destruction. And those whose
hearts were upright and honest in the cause of GOD, by their means, in
holy sovereignty, were made to fall a sacrifice to their enemies' wrath.
The slain on that day were many, and the after-cruelty to prisoners
great; they being carried into and kept for a long time in the
_Gray-friars_ church yard of _Edinburgh_, exposed, defenseless, night
and day, to tempests of all kinds. By this inhuman usage (with design to
wear out the saints of the Most High), together with the insinuations
and persuasions of some of the indulgence favorers, their faith failing
them in this hour of temptation, and fear prevailing, a number of these
prisoners were persuaded to take the insnaring bond of peace, whereby
they were engaged to own their rising at _Bothwell_ to be rebellion, and
to oblige themselves never to rise in arms against the king, and to live
peaceably, &c., while others of them were tortured, not accepting
deliverance.

9. Although this defeat and dispersion of the espousers of the truth and
cause of CHRIST, in opposition both to its avowed enemies and secret
betrayers, brought the remnant that were left into very melancholy
circumstances, their enemies having in a great measure extinguished the
light of the gospel, by apprehending and shedding the blood of their
faithful pastors, who used to hold forth the word of life unto them, as
a light whereby they might discern between sin and duty; and others who
had formerly been helpful unto them, in strengthening their hands, and
encouraging their hearts, in the way of their duty, were overtaken and
overborne with fainting and discouragement; so that, in respect of
public guides, they wore at this time as sheep without a shepherd. Yet,
in this disconsolate and scattered state and condition, CHRIST, the
chief shepherd, had compassion on them, and raised up those two faithful
ministers and zealous contenders for the faith once delivered to the
saints, Messrs. _Richard Cameron_ and _Donald Cargill_, to come forth
for the help of the LORD against the mighty, and to jeopard their lives
along with his people in the high places of the field, in bearing
faithful testimony for his noble truths and cause, and against all the
sins and defections of the time. The first of these, soon after he had
showed his activity and zeal in that banner displayed against the
church's enemies, in the declaration published at _Sanquhar, June 22d_,
1080, did honorably and bravely finish his course, among many others of
Zion's true friends, in the defeat they again sustained at _Airsmoss_,
where, in imitation of his princely Master, he valiantly fought his way
to the incorruptible crown. The latter afterward narrowly escaped his
enemies' hands (by means of Mr. _Henry Hall_, of _Haughhead_, that
honest sufferer for truth, who, to save his minister's life, lost his
own; on whom the _Queensferry_ paper, a draft of a covenant engagement
unto certain duties, was found), and was, by the power and providence of
GOD, preserved, until he accomplished that signal piece of generation
work in drawing forth the sword of excommunication against the tyrant
_Charles_ II, and some others of the chief actors in that bloody
tragedy. And that, because of their bloodshed, perjury, heaven-daring
profaneness, debauchery, inhuman and savage cruelty acted upon the
people of GOD. The which sentence stuck fast in the hearts of these
enemies of Zion's king unto the day of their death, and, by some of
their own acknowledgments, would through eternity. Shortly after this,
that faithful minister crowned his work with martyrdom, and entered into
his Master's joy.

This murdering period spared neither pastor nor people, age nor sex;
while gross transgressors, and deluded enthusiasts, as _Gib_ and his
faction, were screened from condign punishment, though some of them had
arrived at that prodigious length in wickedness as to commit the Holy
Scriptures and Confession of Faith to the flames.

10. So many of these once living and lively witnesses for CHRIST being,
now slain, and what was yet surviving of the scattered flock deprived of
their painful shepherds, and not being able to drink of the sanctuary
waters, so muddied by their former pastors, who had defiled the same by
sinful compliance with the time's defections, they resolved, under
divine direction, to gather themselves together into a general meeting,
for advising and informing one another anent their duty, in such
critical times of common danger, that so whatever concerned the whole,
might be done with due deliberation and common consent. The which
general meetings afterward afforded them both good comfort amidst their
discouragements, and also good counsel amidst their perplexities and
doubts, and proved an excellent expedient for preserving the remnant
from the destruction and contagion of the times, propagation of the
testimony, and keeping alive the public spirit of zeal and concern for
the cause and interest of CHRIST; and for these ends they have been kept
up ever since.

In the meantime, that evil instrument, _James_, duke of _York_,
receiving commission from his perjured brother to preside in the whole
administration of _Scots'_ affairs, upon his arrival for this effect,
held a parliament, which began _July_ 28th, 1681; wherein, besides other
of his wicked acts, that detestable, blasphemous, and self-contradictory
test was framed, which, in the first part thereof, contains the
swearer's solemn declaration, by oath, of his sincere profession of the
true Protestant religion, contained in the first confession of faith,
ratified by _Parl. 1st, James VI_, 1567 (which confession asserts, in
the strongest terms, CHRIST'S alone headship and supremacy as lawgiver
and king in his church, without copartner or competitor), and that he
shall adhere thereunto all the days of his life, and renounce all
doctrines, principles, or practices contrary thereto, and inconsistent
therewith; while, in manifest contradiction thereto, the blasphemous
supremacy, in the utmost extent thereof, is asserted--the Covenants
National and Solemn League, the chief barriers against Popery,
Erastianism, and arbitrary power, are renounced, and unlimited
allegiance unto the occupant is enjoined and sworn to, and the
prelatical government of the church confirmed.

This oath was at first administered to those in public trust only, and
thereby all were turned out of their places who had any principles of
common honesty remaining in them; but afterward it was imposed on all
persons of all ranks. Against which sinful encroachments on religion and
liberty, the witnessing persecuted remnant accounted themselves bound in
duty to emit their testimony, which they published at _Lanerk, January_
12th, 1682, adhering to, and confirming their former at _Sanquhar_, and
giving reasons at length for their disowning the unlawful authority of
_Charles II_. Upon intelligence hereof, this declaration, with those at
_Rutherglen_ and _Sanquhar_, were, by order of the council, with great
solemnity, burnt at the cross of _Edinburgh_, by the magistrates in
their robes, together with the Solemn League and Covenant, which had
been burnt formerly: but now they would give new demonstrations of their
rage against it, in conjunction with these declarations, which they saw
and acknowledged were evidently conformed to, and founded upon it. After
the publication of this testimony, the sufferings of that poor people
that owned it were sadder and sharper than ever before, by hunting,
pursuing, apprehending, imprisonment, banishment, death, and torture;
this increasing rage, oppression, cruelty, and bloodshed, being no more
than what they might look for, agreeable to the spirit and principles of
that popish incendiary, to whom such trust was committed.

11. The poor wrestling remnant, besides their other grievous calamities
and sufferings, being now obnoxious to much censure, in their
appearances for truth reproached, and invidiously misrepresented, both
at home and abroad, by those that were at ease in Zion, as having
forsaken the right way, and run into wild, extravagant, and unhappy
courses; and, withal, being at this time destitute and deprived of their
public standard bearers; their series of witnesses (since the death of
Messrs. _Cameron_ and _Cargill_) maintaining the testimony against the
public national defections being in all appearance interrupted, except
by martyrdom and sufferings; they were obliged to exert themselves, both
for their vindication from those calumnies and slanders, wherewith they
were loaded by their enemies, to foreign Protestant churches especially,
and for obtaining a supply of gospel ministers. Wherefore, sending some
of their number abroad, to represent the righteousness of their cause to
the churches there, and crave their sympathy, in helping them to a
supply of gospel ministers; the LORD was graciously pleased to
countenance and bless their endeavors so, that they obtained access for
the instruction and ordination of young men for the ministry, at a
university in the _United Provinces_; and, in process of time, gave them
a great reviving in their bondage, by sending forth his faithful
embassador, Mr. _James Renwick_, who, while he stood on Zion's
watch-tower, ceased not night and day to give faithful warning of the
danger approaching the city of GOD, evidently discovering his being
clothed with his Master's commission, in bearing faithful testimony and
witness, both against the avowed enemies of truth and backsliders from
it. And notwithstanding all the malicious rage of deadly foes, ranging
and keenly pursuing him, through open or more secret places, the
reproach of tongues and cruel mockings he endured, by the divine
blessing, on his painful labors, amidst his many hardships, the number
of Zion's friends were greatly increased, by the incoming and joining of
many to the fellowship of their settled societies, who resolutely chose
rather to suffer affliction with the people of GOD than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin, which are but for a season. Upon this further attack
upon Satan's interest, his emissaries issue forth fresh orders, and give
commission to soldiers, foot and dragoons, to hunt, search, and seek
them out of all their most secret dens, caves, and lurking places, where
they might hide themselves, in the most remote and wildest glens and
recesses in the mountains and deserts, allowing them to kill, slay,
destroy, and any way to make an end of them, wherever they might be
found; commanding the whole country, at their peril, to assist them, and
raise the hue and cry after the poor wanderers, and not to reset,
harbor, succor, or correspond with them any manner of way, under the
highest pains, but to do their utmost in informing against them. Thus,
without regard to any of their unlawful forms of legal procedure, they
defiled and besmeared the high places of the field with innocent blood.
These unprecedented methods and measures obliged the sufferers, for
their own preservation, stopping the deluge of blood, and to deter the
insolence of intelligencers and informers, to publish the apologetic
declaration, which they affixed on several market crosses, and parish
church doors, upon the 28th of _October_, 1684; wherein they declare
their firm resolution of constant adherence to their covenanted
engagements; and to the declaration disowning the authority of _Charles
Stuart_, warning all bloody Doegs and flattering Ziphites, to expect to
be dealt with as they deal with them; to be regarded as enemies to GOD,
and the covenanted reformation, and according to their power, and the
degree of their offense, punished as such, &c. After this declaration,
these enemies were still more enraged, and their fury flamed more than
ever formerly. They framed an oath, commonly called the oath of
abjuration, renouncing and abjuring the same, and by a venomous bloody
proclamation, enjoined this oath to be taken by all universally, from
sixteen years and upward, women as well as men, under pain of death; and
many prisoners who having the oath tendered them, refused or declined
it, were sentenced, and executed all in one day, according to the tenor
of their proclamation. And, moreover, they, on this occasion, renewed
their orders and commission to the soldiers, for pursuing and chasing
after the rebels (as they designed them) more vigorously and violently,
and to shoot, or otherwise put them to death wherever they did light
upon them. In the midst of this confusion of slaughter and bloodshed,
GOD cut off by death, _February_ 6th, 1685, that vile person, the author
and authorizer of all this mischief, _Charles II_, who, _Antiochus_
like, came in peaceably, and obtained the kingdom by flattery (_Dan._
xi), reigned treacherously and bloodily, and like that wicked king,
_Jehoram_ (2 _Chron._ xxi), died without being desired or lamented,
poisoned, as was thought, by his unnatural popish brother. And,
notwithstanding of all his bastards, begotten in adultery and
fornication, at home and abroad, he died without any to succeed him,
save him that was said to have murdered him. GOD pursued him with the
curse of _Hiel_ the _Bethelite_, for his rebuilding of that cursed
_Jericho_, prelacy; and of that impious and wicked tyrant, _Coniah_
(_Jer._ xxii), for his treachery and cruelty; "Thus saith the LORD,
Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days,
for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting any more upon the throne
of _Israel_."

12. Notwithstanding the abundant proof that the duke of _York_ had
given, in many instances, and in both kingdoms, of his being a vassal of
antichrist, and notwithstanding of his open and public profession of
papistry, upon his brother's death, fairly warning all what they might
expect, yet were not those, who sat at the helm of affairs, deterred
from committing the reins of government into his hands; but contrary to
the word of God, and fundamental laws of the lands, this professed and
excommunicate papist _James_, duke of _York_, was, _anno_ 1685,
proclaimed king of these once covenanted, but now treacherous and
apostate lands, whereby they appointed themselves a captain to return
into their anti-christian bondage. To this grievous yoke our infamous,
perjured, and apostate state and council in _Scotland_, heartily and
voluntarily subjected themselves and the nation, while others did it
with reluctancy, caressing and embracing with their dearest and best
affections, this enemy to GOD, and CHRIST, and his church, swearing
implicit and unlimited obedience unto him, and asserting his absolute
power and supremacy, indefeasible and hereditary right, without ever so
much as requiring him to take the coronation oath, or give the least
security for, any thing civil or religious (a depth of degeneracy,
parallel to that eminency in reformation purity, from which they were
fallen!) but laid the reins on his own neck, that he might have full
freedom for the satisfying of his lusts, and fulfilling his wicked
designs. This laid religion, liberty, and all, at the mercy of absolute
power and popish tyranny; and still more and more cut off the people of
God from having any hopes of mercy from their bloody enemies; on the
contrary, the duke of _York_, in his letter to his first parliament,
recommends and requires them to leave no means unattempted, for the
extirpation of the poor wandering sufferers, whom he brands with the
odious names of murderers and assassins, wild and inhuman traitors, &c.
And these his ready servants and bloody executioners, came nothing short
of his orders in the execution of them; so that there were more murdered
in cold blood in the open fields, without all shadow of law, trial or
sentence, more banished and sold as slaves, condemned and executed, &c.,
in the time of this usurper, than in all the time of the former tyrant.

As the honest sufferers, consistent with their testimony for truth, in
opposition both to the secret and open subvertors of the cause and state
of Zion's quarrel with her enemies, could not concur in _Argyle's_
declaration (although there were many things in it materially good, and
commend-worthy), nor join in a military association with him, on account
(among other things) of the too promiscuous admission of persons to
trust in that party, who were then, and afterward discovered themselves
to be, enemies to the cause. Yet, against this usurpation of a bloody
papist, advancing himself to the throne in such a manner, they published
another declaration at _Sanquhar, May_ 28, 1685; wherein, approving of,
and adhering to all their former, and considering that _James_, duke of
_York_, a professed and excommunicated papist, was proclaimed: they
protest against said proclamation, with reasons subjoined at length for
their so doing--against all kinds of popery, general and particular
heads, as abjured by the national covenant--against its entry again
into this land, and every thing that doth, or may directly or
indirectly, make way for the same, &c. After this, Mr. _Renwick_ and his
followers were exposed to the greater fury of their adversaries; more
cruel edicts were given forth against them, approving and ratifying of
former acts, for raising the hue and cry, &c., whereby their calamities
were very much increased, besides the slanders of professed friends, on
account of their not associating and joining with them in their
compliances, although, to the conviction of all unbiassed minds, they
fully vindicated themselves from all their injurious reflections.

The extirpation of the Presbyterian interest--nay, the suppression of
the Protestant religion in general, the reintroduction of popery, and
plunging the nations in anti-christian darkness and tyranny, being the
long concerted design of this popish bigot now got into the throne; he
resolves to lose no time, and leave no stone unturned, for the
prosecution and accomplishment thereof. And having made tolerable
progress in the execution of this his favorite scheme (although not
without opposition), in _England_, he turns himself to _Scotland_,
expecting an entire acquiescence in his pleasure there, having found the
first parliament, which began, 23d _May_, 1685, so much according to his
own heart, in their hearty and sincere offer of their lives and
fortunes, to assist, defend, and maintain him in his rights,
prerogatives, sacred, supreme, and absolute power and authority, &c.

Wherefore, the parliament being to meet again _April_ 29, 1686, in his
letter to them, "he heartily recommends to their care his innocent Roman
Catholic subjects, to the end, that as they have given good experience
of their true loyalty and peaceable behavior, they may have the
protection of his laws, without lying under obligations their religion
could not admit of; that all penal laws made against them might be
repealed, &c." But though many were for obliging their king in this
particular, yet it could not be carried without debates and strong
objections; so that, dissolving the parliament, what he could not obtain
there, with any show or face of law, he effectuates, by virtue of the
prerogative royal and absolute power, in a letter to his privy council,
and proclamation inclosed, bearing date _February_ 12, 1687, granting a
royal toleration to moderate Presbyterians, clogged with a number of
grievous Erastian conditions and restrictions, as usual. Secondly, to
Quakers and other enthusiasts. Thirdly, to Papists, abrogating all penal
statutes made against them, and making them in all respects free. And so
devoted were the privy council to his interests, that without demur they
published the proclamation, and wrote back to the king, "that his orders
were punctually obeyed, thanking him for this further proof of his
favors to all his subjects." Thus, this champion for Satan and
antichrist proceeded with his wicked design, and so far succeeded; all
kinds of papistry were publicly practiced, and many churches converted
to mass chapels. For, before this, by the king's letter to his privy
council, of _August_ 21st, 1686, Papists were allowed the free exercise
of their religion, the council required to support and maintain them
therein, and the royal chapel at _Holyrood-House_ ordered to be repaired
for popish service. By which means a door was opened for that swarm of
Jesuits and priests, ascending as locusts out of the bottomless pit,
which quickly overspread the lands. But notwithstanding of all this
indulgence and royal toleration granted to these three forementioned
parties, yet there is no favor nor mercy for the honest and faithful
sufferers, and honorable contenders for the interests and prerogatives
royal of JESUS CHRIST, against his sacrilegious and blasphemous
usurpation of the same. But while he thinks fit to give ease (as himself
says) by this means, to tender consciences, he at the same time
signifies his highest indignation against those enemies of Christianity
(he means Popery) as well as government, and human society, the
field-conventiclers, whom he recommends to the council to root out, with
all the severity of the laws, and the most rigorous persecution of the
forces, it being equally his, and his people's concern to get rid of
them. In consequence of this, all their artillery is directed against
the Rev. Mr. _James Renwick_ only, and that poor, afflicted, and
persecuted people that adhered to him (all others being comprehended in
the pretended liberty granted), so that they were prosecuted with fire
and sword, and according to the utmost severity of their wicked laws
made against them, and a reward of a hundred pounds _sterling_ offered
by the bloody council to any that should bring in Mr. _Renwick_ to them,
either dead or alive. But he having his generation work allotted and cut
out for him by GOD, was preserved and kept from falling into their
hands, until that he had finished the work his Master had given him to
do, notwithstanding all this hellish and anti-christian rage and fury
wherewith they did pursue him. About the beginning of the year 1686, he,
in conjunction with Mr. _Alexander Shields_, who had lately joined him,
wrote the Informatory Vindication, by way of reply to various
accusations in letters, informations and conferences, given forth
against them and their people, wherein they vindicate, clear and justify
themselves from the heavy and false charges, slanders and reproaches,
cast upon them by their enemies, as may be seen in said book. About this
time, also, Mr. _Shields_ set about writing his _Hind let loose_ (which
was published next year), or, A Historical Representation of the
Testimonies of the Church of _Scotland_ for the interest of CHRIST, with
the true state thereof in all its periods; wherein he also solidly,
soundly, and judiciously vindicates the present testimony, in all the
principles thereof, as stated, against the popish, prelatical, and
malignant enemies of that church, for the prerogatives of CHRIST,
privileges of the church and liberties of mankind, and sealed by the
sufferings of a reproached remnant of Presbyterians there, witnessing
against the corruptions of the time.

Whilst these two loving and faithful fellow-laborers were thus
industriously exerting themselves for the propagation and vindication of
the persecuted gospel, and cause of CHRIST; that fiery Jesuit, popish
tyrant, and enemy to GOD and man, the duke of _York_, and his popish
party, were equally industrious on the other hand, to promote their
grand design of utterly extinguishing the light of the gospel, and
bringing in Antichrist, with all his poisonous and hellish vermin, and
abominable idolatries; and that, with all the murdering violence,
diabolical subtilty and malignant rage that hell and _Rome_ could invent
and exert. He had formerly published a proclamation (as is noticed
above), granting a lawless liberty to several sorts of persons therein
specified, called his first indulgence; but breathing nothing but
threatenings and slaughter against the people of GOD, who stood firm to
his cause. But withal, this proclamation, enjoined an oath in the room
of all oaths formerly imposed, to be taken by all that minded to share
in his royal favor; wherein they swore, not only absolute subjection and
passive obedience, never to resist him, not only on any pretense, but
for any cause, let him do, or command to be done what he would; but
also, absolute, active obedience, without reserve: "That they shall, to
the utmost of their power, assist, defend, and maintain him, his heirs
and successors, in the exercise of their absolute power and authority,
against all deadly." This was so palpably gross and odious, that it was
disdained and abhorred by all that had common sense. Wherefore, finding
that this proposal did not take, nor answer his design, in a letter to
the council, bearing date about a month after the former, he endeavors
to mend the matter, and set it out in another dress, pretending that
they had mistaken his meaning in the former, and so lets them know, that
it is his pleasure now, that if the Presbyterian preachers do scruple to
take the oath (contained in the proclamation), or any other oath
whatsoever, they, notwithstanding, have the benefit of his indulgence
(without being obliged to take the oath), provided they observe the
conditions on which it was granted. But this not having the desired
effect neither, it is followed with the third indulgence or toleration,
emitted by proclamation, dated 28th _June_, 1687, excellently well
calculated for obtaining his end; wherein, after a solemn declaration of
his intention to maintain his archbishops and bishops, he does, by his
sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power, suspend,
stop and disable, all penal and sanguinary laws, made against any for
non-conformity to the religion established by law--granting liberty to
all the subjects to meet and serve GOD, after their own way, in private
houses or chapels, or places purposely hired or built for that use, with
an injunction to take care that nothing be preached or taught, that
might any way tend to alienate the hearts of the people from him and his
government: but, notwithstanding the premises, strictly prohibiting all
field meetings, against all which all his laws and acts of parliament
are left in full force and vigor; and all his judges, magistrates and
officers of forces, commanded to prosecute such as shall be guilty of
said field conventicles, with the utmost rigor; and all this under
pretense, that now, after this his royal grace and favor, there is not
the least shadow of excuse left for these meetings. Wherefore, he is
confident, that none will, after these liberties and freedoms given to
all, to serve God in their own way, further presume to meet in these
assemblies, except such as make a pretense of religion, to cover their
treasonable designs against his royal person, and peace of his
government.

The most of the Presbyterian ministers in _Scotland_ took the benefit of
this wicked and boundless toleration, chiefly designed in favor of
Papists. And a large number of them, being met at _Edinburgh_, agreed
upon, and, in name of all the rest, sent an address of thanks to the
tyrant for his toleration, stuffed with the most loathsome and
blasphemous flatteries, to the dishonor of GOD, the reproach of his
cause, and betraying of his church. For, in this address, dated _July_
21st, 1687, designating themselves the loyal subjects of this true
religion and liberty destroyer, they offer him their most humble and
hearty thanks for his favor bestowed, and bless the great GOD who put it
into his heart to grant them this liberty, which they term a great and
surprising favor, professing a fixed resolution still to maintain an
entire loyalty, both in their doctrine and practice (consonant to their
known, principles, which, according to the holy Scriptures, are
contained in the _Confession of Faith_); and they humbly beseech, that
any who promote disloyal principles and practices (as they disown them)
may not be looked upon as any of theirs, whatever name they may assume
to themselves; and that, as their address comes from the plainness and
sincerity of loyal and thankful hearts, so they were much engaged by his
royal favor, to continue their fervent prayer to the King of kings, for
divine illumination and conduct, and all other blessings, both spiritual
and temporal, ever to attend his person and government. Thus these men
made themselves naked to their shame, and declared to the world, that
they did only presumptuously arrogate to themselves the name of
Presbyterians; whereas, in reality, they were quite another kind of
creatures, acting diametrically opposite to Presbyterian principles, in
congratulating, extolling and justifying a tyrant, for assuming to
himself a blasphemous, absolute power, whereby he suspends and disables
all penal laws against idolators, and gives a toleration for all errors.

But while these pretended Presbyterians, who all along loved peace
better than truth, and preferred their own ease before the concerns of
their Master's glory, were thus sheltering themselves under this refuge
of lies; true Presbyterians, who kept by presbyterian principles, and
acted a faithful part for CHRIST, refusing to bow down to the idol of
supremacy, which the tyrant had set up, or pay any regard to his
blasphemous toleration, were pursued, persecuted, and slain, without
pity or compassion, all the engines of the court being leveled against
them for their destruction, because they would still reserve to
themselves the liberty wherewith CHRIST had made his people free, and
not exchange it for one from Antichrist, restricted with his reserves
and limitations; so that (as Mr. _Shields_ tells us in his account of
Mr. _James Renwick's_ life), in less than five months after the
toleration, there were fifteen most desperate searches particularly for
him, both of foot and horse: and, that all encouragement might be given
to any who would apprehend him, a proclamation was issued, dated
_October_ 18th, "Authorizing all officers, civil and military, to
apprehend and secure in firmance his person, with some others; and for
encouragement, insuring the sum of _100L sterling_ for taking him, or
them, dead or alive." In the midst of all these hazards, this unwearied
and faithful laborer did notwithstanding continue at his work, in
preaching, catechising, &c., and the Lord still preserved him from
falling into the enemy's hand, until he had finished that piece of
generation work, in drawing up a full and faithful testimony against
_York's_ toleration, and for the covenants and work of reformation, &c.,
which he gave in to a meeting of Presbyterian ministers at _Edinburgh_,
on the 17th _January_, 1688; and going thence to _Fife_, whither he was
called to preach, in his return, was apprehended at _Edinburgh_, and
called to seal his above testimony, with all his other contendings
against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and all defection from the land's
attainments in reformation, with his blood, which he did in the _Grass
market_ of _Edinburgh_, 17th of _February_, 1688, with a remarkable and
extraordinary measure of the Lord's gracious presence and spirit, not
only in this part of his sufferings, but all the time of his
imprisonment. The Lord hereby bearing witness, both to the truth of that
cause for which he suffered, and also testifying his gracious acceptance
of his sufferings, and of the free-will-offering of his life, which he
laid down for his sake. And as neither the violence nor flattery of
enemies could prevail with this faithful confessor and martyr himself,
to quit with one hair or hoof of what belonged to Christ, so he
recommended to the poor scattered remnant which he left, as part of his
dying counsel, to keep their ground, and not to quit nor forego one of
these despised truths, which he was assured the Lord, when he returned
to bind up the breach of his people, and heal them of their wound, would
make glorious in the earth. Thus that worthy minister, and now glorified
martyr of Jesus, through a chain of sufferings, and train of enemies,
fought his way unto an incorruptible and immortal crown of endless
glory. He was the last that sealed the testimony for religion and
liberty, and the covenanted work of reformation, against Popery,
Prelacy, Erastianism, and tyranny, in a public manner, on the scaffold,
with his blood. After the death of this renowned martyr, he was
succeeded by the eminent Mr. _Alexander Shields_, who carried on, and
maintained, the testimony, as it was stated, in all the heads and
clauses thereof, continuing to preach in the fields. On which account,
he, and the people who attended his ministry, were exposed for some time
longer to the fury and resentment of their enemies. But their power,
which they had so long perverted and abused, quickly came to a period.
For in a few months, God, in his righteous judgment and adorable
providence, overturned that throne of iniquity on which they depended,
and expelled that inhuman, cruel monster, from his tyrannical and
usurped power, upon the prince of Orange's coming over into _England_,
in the beginning of _November_ that same year. But, although the Lord at
this juncture, and by this means, rescued and delivered our natural and
civil rights and privileges in a national way from under the oppression
and bondage of anti-christian tyranny, arbitrary and absolute power, yet
the Revolution, at this time, brought no real deliverance to the church
of God. But Christ's rights,[1] formerly acquired for him by his
faithful servants, lay still buried under the rubbish of that
anti-christian building of Prelacy, erected on the ruins of his work in
this land; and the spiritual liberties and privileges of his house
remained, and do still remain under the bondage of Erastianism,
supremacy, toleration, &c. For it is well known, that although this man,
Jehu-like, "destroyed _Baal_ out of _Israel_, yet he departed not from
the sins of _Jeroboam_, wherewith he made _Israel_ to sin."

About this time, the united societies (having no actual minister since
Mr. _Renwick's_ death, Mr. _Shields_ being only preacher) sent over some
commissioners from their general meeting to _Embden_, one of the United
Provinces, to bring over Mr. _Thomas Linning_, a young man whom they had
sent thither some years before in Mr. _Renwick's_ time, to the
university there, and for ordination. In consequence hereof, the said
Mr. _Linning_ came home, with testimonials of his ordination to the
ministry by the classes at _Embden_; and in conjunction with Mr.
_Shields_ and Mr. _William Boyd_ (another of their ministers, who had
also come from Holland about this time), renewed the Covenants National
and Solemn League, and dispensed the sacrament of the Lord's supper near
Lesmahago, in Clydesdale, and continued to preach to the people for
about four months, until the first General Assembly (so called) met at
Edinburgh 1689-90. At which time, he, with his two brethren, in their
own name, and the name of their people, presented a paper to that
Assembly, bearing on what terms they and their people would join in
communion with them; only craving that they might all join in humbling
themselves before the Lord, and acknowledge and bewail their fathers',
their own, and the land's many and heinous iniquities, and breaches of
Covenant, before they proceeded to any other business, and so have their
public sins and scandalous compliances washed away by repentance, and
calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus. That they would purge out from
among them, all ignorant, insufficient, heterodox, and notoriously
scandalous ministers, such as, by information, accusation, or otherways,
were guilty of the blood of the saints, &c. But these proposals were
reckoned unseasonable and impracticable, tending rather to kindle
contention, than compose division, and so were thrown over their bar.
The generality of these men were so plunged and puddled in the ditch of
defection and apostasy, that they could not think of the drudgery of
cleansing themselves in God's way, by a particular and public confession
of, and humiliation for their own and the land's public sins, but chose
rather to sit down filthy and polluted as they were, and presume, in the
midst of their abominations unrepented of, to approach God's holy
things, which, how provoking to heaven, let God in his word be judge,
_Isa._ lii, 11; _Hag._ ii, 13, 14; 2 _Chr._ xxx, 3; _Ezek._ xliv, 10.
Nay, it is but too, too evident, that for this cause, God then laid them
under that awful sentence, _Rev._ xxii, 11: "Him that is filthy, let him
be filthy still;" or that, _Isa._ xxii, 14. For as their hearts were
then hardened against God's call by his word and providence to that
important and most necessary duty; so, ever since, they, have been so
much the more so, and have gone on from evil to worse.

But to return to our purpose: the two brethren, Messrs. _Linning_ and
_Boyd_, upon the rejection of the above said paper of proposals,
intending to unite with them at any rate, gave in another, importing
their submission to the assembly; which paper, Mr. _Shields_ also,
through their influences, insinuations, and persuasions, was drawn in to
subscribe and adhere to; which he had never done, had he not fallen by
the means of these false brethren, and which, it is said, he sadly
repented afterward. Thus, the poor people were again left destitute of
ministers, and public gospel ordinances, until the Rev. Mr. _John,
McMillan_ acceded to them, from the public judicatories of the
revolution church, in the year 1706. And their kind friend, Mr.
_Linning_, to make amends for all his misdemeanors, and in return for
the charges the societies were at about his education, at home and
abroad, did them that good office, to write, and load them with
calumnies and slanders, to the universities in the _Netherlands_,
whither they had recourse formerly in like cases; so that all access for
having their loss retrieved from that quarter, was blocked up.

What is thus briefly hinted above, may suffice to afford some cursory
view of the rise and progress of religion and reformation in these
lands, especially in _Scotland_; until, as a church and nation, our
kingdom became the Lord's, by the strictest and most intimate federal
alliance, and the name almost of every city, was, _the Lord is there_:
together with the general state and condition of the church and land,
from the fatal juncture of our woful decline, unto the end of the above
mentioned bloody period; the faithfulness of some, in this time of trial
and temptation: the defection and backsliding course of others; and the
great and avowed wickedness of the rest, extended unto an exhorbitant
hight of savage inhumanity, irreligion and impiety. Upon all which, the
presbytery, in duty to God, the present and succeeding generations find
themselves obliged to testify:

1, Their hearty approbation of the faithfulness of such ministers and
others, who opposed, and faithfully testified against the public
resolutions of church and state, framed in the year 1651, for receiving
into places of power and trust, malignant enemies to the work of
reformation, contrary to the word of God, _Exod._ xviii, 21; _Deut._ i,
13; _2 Chron._ xix, 2; and to all acts of assembly and parliament in the
reforming period; the assembly disclaiming the resolutions, as appears
from their act, _June 17th_, 1646, session 14th, entitled, _Act for
censuring the compilers with the public enemies of this church and
kingdom_: and their seasonable and necessary warning _June 27th_, 1640,
session 27th; where "they judge it a great and scandalous provocation,
and grievous defection from the public cause, to comply with, these
malignants, &c." As also, _Act 11th_, Triennial Parliament of, Charles
I, entitled, _Act for purging the army of disaffected persons to the
Covenant and work of Reformation_. And the faithful warnings, given by
general assemblies and parliament, even against the admission of Charles
II to the regal dignity, when so evidently discovering his disingenuity,
until once he should give more satisfying proof of hid sincerity; see
act of the commission at the _West Kirk, August_ 13th, 1650, where the
commission of the general assembly, considering, that there may be just
ground of stumbling, from the king's majesty's refusing to emit the
declaration offered him by the committee of estates, and the commission
of the General Assembly, concerning his former carriage, and resolution
for the future, in reference to the cause of God, and enemies and
friends thereof; doth therefore declare "That this kirk and kingdom do
not espouse any malignant party, quarrel, or interest, but that they
fight merely upon their former grounds and principles, and in the
defense of the cause of GOD, and of the kingdom, as they have done these
twelve years past: and therefore as they disclaim all the sin and guilt
of the king and of his house, so they will not own him nor his interest,
otherwise than with a subordination to GOD, and so far as he owns and
prosecutes the cause of GOD, and disclaims his, and his father's
opposition to the work of GOD and to the covenant," &c. The which
declaration being seen and considered by the committee of estates, was
the same day approven by them. Thus, both church and state exerted
themselves in the discharge of their duty, in order to obtain a
settlement, according to the word of God, and the covenants, which were
now become the _magna charta_ of the privileges and liberties of the
nations, both civil and religious; and therefore, were sworn to and
subscribed by Charles II, as was also the coronation oath, for the
security and preservation of the true religion, at his receipt of the
royal power.

2. The presbytery testify and declare their approbation of the conduct
of the faithful, before the restoration, who, adhering to the aforesaid
fundamental constitutions of the nations, both refused subjection unto,
and testified against, the usurpation of _Oliver Cromwell_ and his
accomplices, his invading the land, his anti-christian toleration of all
sectarian errors and heresies, threatening the ruin and destruction of
the true religion, as well as liberty. This was particularly testified
against by the synod of _Fife_, and others in conjunction with them, as
wicked and intolerable; as opposite unto, and condemned by, the
Scriptures of truth, _Job_ xxxiv, 17; _Deut._ xiii, 1-12; _Zech._ xiii,
3; contrary to acts of assembly and parliament, made against malignants,
their being received into places of power and trust, with whom these
sectarians were compliers, such as _Act_ 16th, of _Assemb._ 1646,
_Sess._ 13th; _Act_ 26th, _Sess._ 2d, parliament _Charles_ I, &c.

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