Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

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

Part 4 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

therewith, and in contradiction to the covenanted testimony of the
church of _Scotland_, continue to adopt the constitution of the State,
as being, however defective, yet agreeable to the precept and so lawful.
Hence, they are still most partial in their testimony, of which they
have given a fresh and notable proof, in forementioned warning published
by them: wherein though there are a variety of evils condescended upon,
as just grounds of the Lord's controversy with the nations, yet there is
not that faithfulness used therein, in a particular charging home of the
several sins mentioned, upon every one in their different ranks, as, in
agreeableness to the word of God, is requisite to work a conviction in
every one, that they may turn from their sins, and as might correspond
to the title given that performance. Thus, passing other instances that
might also have been observed, they justly remark, _page_ 31st, "The
glorious sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the alone King and
Head of his church, is sadly encroached upon and opposed by the royal
supremacy, in causes ecclesiastical. The king is acknowledged as supreme
head, or governor on earth, of the churches of _England_ and _Ireland_.
The civil sovereign is thus declared to be the head or fountain of
church power, from whence all authority and ministrations in these
churches do spring, is vested with all powers of government and
discipline, and constituted the sole judge of controversies within the
same." "The established Church of _Scotland_ have also, by some
particular managements, subjected and subordinated their ecclesiastical
meetings to the civil power." But while they acknowledge this to be the
sin of the church, and an high provocation against the Lord; yet, as to
the particular sin of the civil power, in assuming and usurping this
Erastian supremacy unto itself, they are quite silent. They have not the
faithfulness to say, in their warning, to the robber of Christ, in this
matter, as once the prophet of the Lord said to the king of _Israel_, in
another case, _Thou art the man_. On the contrary (which cannot but have
a tendency to ward off any conviction of his sin that this warning,
should it come into his hands, might be expected to work), they are
guilty of the basest flattery, used by court parasites, stiling him,
"the best of kings, of the mildest administration," as in _page_ 13th;
and acknowledge it, as a particular effect of the Lord's goodness, that
we are privileged with such an one. But is he indeed deserving of such a
character? better than which could not be given to the most faithful
ruler, devoting all his power, as in duty bound, to the support and
advancement of the kingdom and interest of Jesus Christ, that over
reigned. Does he really merit such an encomium, who sacrilegiously
usurps and wears the crown, that alone can flourish on the head of
_Zion's_ king? And is this such a blessing to the church, that an enemy
to her Lord and Head rules over her? Oh! may not the Lord say? "I
hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright."

6. The Presbytery testify against said Seceding party, because of the
sinfulness of their terms of ministerial and Christian communion, as
being partly destructive of that liberty wherewith Christ has made his
people free. By which they have both imposed upon themselves, and shut
the door of access unto the privileges of the church, upon all such, as,
in a consistency with their adherence to truth and duty, cannot accept
of their unwarrantable restrictions. Of this, they gave early
discoveries, as appears from the known instance of that notable,
backslider, Mr. _Andrew Clarkson_, whom they obliged, before license, to
make a public and solemn renunciation of his former principles and
profession, respecting the covenanted reformation.[4] As also, their
rejecting all accessions from his _Laodicean_ brethren, wherein was
contained an explicit adherence to the same, until they did drop their
former testimony. This blind zeal in _Seceders_, against a testimony for
truth in its purity, did gradually increase, until it hurried them on to
a more particular and formal stating of their terms of communion,
whereby were totally excluded all the free and faithful of the land from
their communion, who could not approve of, nor swear the bond, whereby
they pretended to renew the covenants: as in their act at _Edinburgh_,
1744; wherein they did resolve and determine, "That the renovation of
the National Covenant of _Scotland_, and the Solemn League and Covenant
of the three nations, in the manner now agreed upon, and proposed by the
Presbytery, shall be the terms of ministerial communion with this
Presbytery, and likewise of Christian communion, in admission of people
to sealing ordinances; secluding therefrom all opposers, contemners, and
slighters of the said renovation of our solemn covenants." By this act,
_Seceders_ have obliged their adherents to consent to their infamous
burial of our national covenants with the Lord, and reformation therein
sworn to, particularly as they were renewed, both 1638 and 1648. And
that they might further evince their resolution to bear down the
foresaid work, they afterward proceeded to subjoin unto their _formula_
of questions to be put to candidates before license, and to probationers
before ordination, the following questions, viz., "Are you satisfied
with, and do you propose to adhere unto, and maintain the principles
about the present civil government, which are declared and maintained in
the _Associate Presbytery's_ answers to Mr. _Nairn_, with their defense
thereunto subjoined?" Whereby, in opposition to the professed endeavors
for the revival of a covenanted reformation in the lands, they expressly
bind down all their intrants into the office of the ministry, to an
explicit acknowledgement of their anti-government scheme of principles
anent the ordinance of magistracy; and thereby to an acknowledging of
the lawfulness of a government, which themselves confess has not only
departed from, and neglected their duty of espousing and supporting the
covenanted principles of this church, but also opposed, contradicted and
overthrown the glorious reformation once established in these nations. A
government, under which, as they profess, the nations cannot be enriched
by the blessings of the gospel; and that, because it does not, in all
the appurtenances of its constitution and administration, run in
agreeableness to the word of God. By all which it appears that although
they refuse formally to swear any oaths of allegiance to the powers in
being; yet they do materially, and with great solemnity, engage
themselves to be true and faithful to a government, under which, and
while it stands, they are certain, if their concessions hold true, that
they shall never see the nations flourish, either in their temporal or
spiritual interests. It is only needful further to observe, that
_Seceders_ in the terms of their communion, by debarring from the table
of the Lord, all who impugn the lawfulness of a prelatic, Erastian
government (as is notourly known they do), make subjection and loyalty
to such an authority, a necessary, and, to them, commendatory
qualification of worthy receivers of the Lord's supper, although none of
those qualifications--required by God in his word. While (as has been
already observed) they, with the most violent passion, refuse to admit
the professing and practicing the true religion, a necessary
qualification of lawful civil rulers over a people possessed of and
professing the true religion, which is in effect to deny the necessity
of religion altogether as to civil rulers, than which nothing can be
more absurd.

_Lastly_, not to multiply more particulars, the Presbytery testify
against the scandalous abuse, and sinful prostitution of church
discipline, and tyranny in government, whereby the forementioned party
have remarkably signalized themselves; and which, in a most precipitant
and arbitrary manner, they have pretended to execute against such as
have discovered the smallest degree of faithfulness, in endeavoring to
maintain the principles of our reformation, in agreeableness to the true
state of the covenanted testimony of the Church of _Scotland_; which has
not only appeared in the case of _David Leslie_, and some others, on
account of a paper of grievances given in to said Associates; against
whom they proceeded to the sentence of excommunication, without using
those formalities and means of conviction required and warranted by the
church's Head, even in the case of just offenses done by any of the
professed members of his mystical body; or so much as allowing that
common justice to the sentenced party, that might be expected from any
judicatory, bearing the name of Presbyterian. (Though the Presbytery are
not hereby to be understood as approving every expression contained in
foresaid paper.) But particularly, they have given notable proof of
their fixed resolution, to bear down all just appearances in favor of
_Zion's_ King and cause, in the case of Mr. _Nairn_, once of their
number, because of his espousing the principles of this Presbytery,
especially, respecting God's ordinance of magistracy, against whom they
proceeded to the highest censures of the church, upon the footing of a
pretended libel; in which libel, they did not so much as pretend any
immorality in practice, or yet error in principle, as the ground of
their arbitrary procedure, further than his espousing the received
principles of this church in her best times, and what stood in necessary
connection with such a profession: although, in adorable providence, he
has since been left to fall into the practice of such immorality, as has
justly rendered him the object of church censure by this Presbytery. As
also in the case of Messrs. _Alexander Marshall_, and _John
Cuthbertson_, with some others, elders and private Christians, against
whom they proceeded in a most unaccountable, anti-scriptural, and
unprecedented manner, and upon no better foundation, than that noticed
in the case above, pretended to depose and cast such out of the
communion of their church, as never had subjected to their authority,
nor formerly stood in any established connection with them.

And further, besides these instances condescended upon, they habitually
aggravate their abuse of the ordinances of Christ's house, in pretending
to debar and excommunicate from the holy sacrament of the supper, many
of the friends and followers of the Lamb, only because they cannot
conscientiously, and in a consistency with their fidelity to their Head
and Savior, acknowledge the authority of the usurpers of his crown as
lawful. From all which, and every other instance of their continued
prostitution of the discipline instituted by Christ in his church, and
of that authority, which he, as a Son over his own house, has given unto
faithful gospel ministers, to the contempt and scorn of an ungodly
generation; the Presbytery cannot but testify against them, as guilty of
exercising a tyrannical power over the heritage of the Lord; and to whom
may too justly be applied, the word of the Lord, spoken by his prophet,
_Isa._ lxvi, 5: "Your brethren that bated you, that cast you out for my
name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to
your joy, and they shall be ashamed." Wherefore, and for all the
foresaid grounds, the Presbytery find and declare, that the pretended
_Associate Presbytery_, now called _Synod_, whether before or since, in
their separate capacity, claiming a parity of power, neither were, nor
are lawful and rightly constituted courts of the Lord Jesus Christ,
according to his word, and to the testimony of the true Presbyterian
Covenanted Church of Christ in _Scotland_: and therefore ought not, nay
cannot, in a consistency with bearing a faithful testimony for the
covenanted truths, and cause of our glorious Redeemer, be countenanced
or submitted to in their authority by his people.

Again, the Presbytery find themselves in duty obliged to testify against
these brethren who some time ago have broken off from their communion,
for their unwarrantable separation, and continued opposition to the
truth and testimony, in the hands of this Presbytery, even to the extent
of presuming, in a judicial capacity, to threaten church censure against
the Presbytery, without alleging so much as any other reason for this
strange procedure, than their refusing to approve as truth, a point of
doctrine, that stands condemned by the standards of the Reformed Church
of _Scotland_, founded on the authority of divine revelation. But, as
the Presbytery have formerly published a vindication of the truth
maintained by them, and of their conduct, respecting the subject matter
of difference with their _quondam_ brethren, they refer to said
vindication, for a more particular discovery of the error of their
principle, and extravagance of their conduct in this matter. And
particularly, they testify against the more avowed apostasy of some of
these brethren, who are not ashamed to declare their backslidings in the
streets, and publish them upon the house tops; as especially appears
from a sermon entitled, _Bigotry Disclaimed_--together with the
vindication of said sermon; wherein is vented such a loose and
latitudinarian scheme of principles, on the point of church communion,
as had a native tendency to destroy the scriptural boundaries thereof,
adopted by this church in her most advanced purity; and which is also
inconsistent with the ordination vows, whereby the author was solemnly
engaged. This, with other differences, best known to themselves,
occasioned a rupture in that pretended Presbytery, which for some years
subsisted: but this breach being some considerable time ago again
cemented, they constituted themselves in their former capacity, upon
terms (as appears from a printed account of their agreement and
constitution, which they have never yet disclaimed as unjust) not very
honorable nor consistent with their former principles and professed zeal
for maintaining the same. Which agreement was made up, without any
evidence of the above author's retracting his lax principles, contained
in the foresaid sermon. Whatever was the cause, whether from the
influence of others (as was said by the publisher of their agreement),
or from a consciousness of dropping part of formerly received
principles, is not certain; but one of these brethren, for a time, gave
up with further practical communion with the other, namely, Mr. _Hugh
Innes_, late of the _Calton, Glasgow_; while yet it was observed, that
both used a freedom, not formerly common to them, anent the present
authority, in their public immediate addresses to the object of worship;
which, together with their apparent resiling from part of their former
testimony occasioned stumbling to some of their people, and terminated
in the separation of others. Foresaid latitudinarianism and falling
away, is also sadly verified, in the conduct of another principal member
of their pretended Presbytery, who has professedly deserted all
testimony bearing for the reformation principles of the Covenanted
Church of _Scotland_.[5]

At last, after their declared interviews for that purpose, these
brethren have patched up a mank agreement, which they have published, in
a paper entitled _Abstract of the covenanted principles of the Church of
Scotland, &c._, with a prefixed advertisement in some copies, asserting
the removal of their differences, which arose from a sermon on _Psal._
cxxii, 3, published at _Glasgow_,--by a disapprobation of what is
implied in some expressions hereof, viz., "That all the members of
Christ's mystical body may, and ought to unite in visible church

Here is, indeed, a smooth closing of the wound that should have been
more thoroughly searched, that, by probing into the practical
application of said sermon, the corrupt matter of communion with the
Revolution Church, in the gospel and sealing ordinance thereof, might
have been found out; but not one word of this in all that abstract,
which contains their grounds of union, and terms of communion. Nothing
of the above author's recanting his former latitudinarian practices of
hearing, and thereby practically encouraging, that vagrant Episcopalian,
_Whitefield_; his communicating, which natively implies union, with the
Revolution Church, in one of the seals of the covenant; nor his public
praying for an Erastian government, in a way, and for a reason, that
must needs be understood as an homologation of their authority. On which
accounts, the Presbytery testify against said union, as being
inconsistent with faithfulness in the cause of Christ; and against said
abstract, as, however containing a variety of particulars very just and
good, yet bearing no positive adherence to, nor particular mention of,
faithful wrestlings and testimonies of the martyrs and witnesses for
_Scotland's_ covenanted cause. As also, they testify against the
notorious disingenuity of their probationer, who, after a professed
dissatisfaction on sundry occasions, with the declining steps of said
brethren, particularly with the declaimer against bigotry, has
overlooked more weighty matters, and embraced a probability of enjoying
the long grasped for privilege of ordination, though it should be
observed at a greater expense than that of disappointing the expectation
of a few dissatisfied persons, who depended upon his honesty, after they
had broken up communion with those he continues still to profess his
subjection unto.

And further, the Presbytery testify against the adherents of foresaid
brethren, in strengthening their hands in their course of separation
from the Presbytery, rejecting both their judicial and ministerial
authority, and the ordinances of the gospel dispensed by them. And more
especially, the Presbytery condemn the conduct of such of them as,
professedly dissatisfied with the above said left-hand extremes, and
other defections of foresaid brethren, have therefore broken off from
their communion; yet, instead of returning to their duty in a way of
subjecting themselves to the courts of Christ, and ordinances instituted
by him in his church, have turned back again to their own right-hand
extremes of error, which once they professedly gave up, but now persist
in, an obstinate impugning the validity of their ministerial authority
and protestative mission, undervalue the pure ordinances of the gospel
dispensed by them, and live as if there were no church of Christ in the
land, where they might receive the seals of the covenant, either to
themselves or their children; and therefore, in the righteous judgment
of God, have been left to adopt such a dangerous and erroneous system of
principles, as is a disgrace to the profession of the covenanted


The following supplement, having been a competent length of time before
the church in _overture_, was adopted in Logan county, Ohio, May, 1850.
And, although without the formality of a judicial sanction, we trust it
will not be found destitute of divine authority. The design of it is to
show the application of the principles of our Testimony to society, as
organized in the United States. For although conventional regulations,
civil and ecclesiastical, in this land, are very different from the
condition of society in Great Britain, where our Testimony was first
emitted, yet the corruptions of human nature, embodied in the
combinations of society, are not less visible in this than in other
lands, nor less hostile to the supreme authority of the Lord and his
Anointed. "The beast and the false prophet" continue to be the objects
of popular devotion: Rev. xix, 20.

_Cincinnati_, Nov. 12th, 1850.


Containing an application of the principles of our Covenanted Testimony
to the existing condition of society in these United States.

The controversy which arose between the Associate and Reformed churches,
on the doctrine of civil magistracy, was the occasion of greater
divergency between them, on collateral subjects. From false principles,
consistent reasoning must produce erroneous conclusions. Assuming that
the Son of God, as Mediator, has nothing to do with the concerns of
God's moral government beyond the precincts of the visible church, it
would follow, that church members, as citizens of the "kingdoms of this
world," neither owe him allegiance nor are bound to thank him for
"common benefits." The assumption is, however, obviously erroneous,
because, as Mediator, he is "head over all things to the church," Eph.
i, 22, consequently, all people, nations and languages, are bound to
obey and serve him, in this office capacity, and to thank him for his

While this controversy was keenly managed by the respective parties in
the British isles, the Lord Christ interposed between the disputants, as
it were, to decide the chief point in debate. By the rise of the British
colonies west of the Atlantic, against the parent country, and their
successful struggle to gain a national independence, a clear commentary
was furnished on the long-contested principle, that, in some cases, it
is lawful to resist existing civil powers. Seceders, forgetting, for the
time, their favorite theory, joined their fellow colonists in casting
off the yoke of British rule. Those who vehemently opposed Reformed
Presbyterians, for disowning the British government, joined cheerfully
in its overthrow. How fickle and inconsistent is man! During
the revolutionary struggle might be witnessed the singular
spectacle--humbling to the pride of human reason, revolting to the
sensibilities of the exercised Christian--brethren of the same
communion, on opposite sides of the Atlantic, pleading with the God of
justice to give success to the respective armies! East of the ocean the
petition would be, "Lord, prosper the British arms;" on the west, "Lord,
favor the patriots of these oppressed colonies!" Such are the
consequences natively resulting from a theory alike unscriptural and
absurd--a principle deep-laid in that system of opposition to the Lord
and his Anointed, emphatically styled "The Antichrist."

Great national revolutions are special trials of the faith and patience
of the saints. No firmness of character will be proof against popular
opinion and example at such a time, without special aid from on high.
Reformed Presbyterians in the colonies rejoiced in the success of the
revolution, issuing in the independence of the United States. Their
expectation of immediate advantage to the reformation cause was too
sanguine. A new frame of civil polity was to be devised by the colonies,
now that they were independent of the British crown. This state of
things called forth the exercise of human intellect, in more than
ordinary measure, to meet the emergency. Frames of national policy are
apt to warp the judgment of good men. Even Christian ministers are prone
to substitute the maxims of human prudence for the precepts of
inspiration. Many divines conceived the idea of conforming the visible
church to the model of the American republic. The plan was projected and
advocated, of bringing all evangelical denominations into one
confederated unity, while the integral parts should continue independent
of each other. This plan would have defeated its own object, the unity
of the visible church, and subverted that form of government established
by Zion's King. Upon trial by some of the New England Independents and
Presbyterians, the plan has proved utterly abortive.

Prior to the Revolutionary war, a Presbytery had been constituted in
America, upon the footing of the covenanted reformation. The exciting
scenes and active sympathies, attendant on the Revolutionary war, added
to a hereditary love of liberty, carried many covenanters away from
their distinctive principles. The Reformed Presbytery was dissolved, and
three ministers who belonged to it, joining some ministers of the
Associate Church, formed that society, since known by the name of the
Associate Reformed Church. The union was completed in the year 1782,
after having been five years in agitation.

These ministers professed, as the basis of union, the Westminster
standards; but the abstract of principles, which they adopted as the
more immediate bond of coalescence, discovered, to discerning
spectators, that the individuals forming the combination, were by no
means unanimous in their views of the doctrines taught in those
standards. Indeed, there were certain sections of the Confession
_reserved_ for future discussion, which, in process of time, were wholly
rejected. This attack upon a document, venerable not so much for its age
as its scriptural character, gave rise to zealous opposition by some in
the body, and ultimately resulted in a rupture. Two ministers dissented
from the majority, left their communion, and proceeded to erect a new
organization, styled "The Reformed Dissenting Presbytery." This was in
the year 1801. At this date, there were four denominations, in the
United States, claiming to be the legitimate successors of the British
reformers, viz., the Associate, Reformed, Associate Reformed, and
Reformed Dissenting Presbyterians. Three of these professedly appear
under the banner of a standing judicial testimony, which they severally
emitted to the public. The Associate Reformed Church, by judicial
declaration and uniform practice, is opposed to this method of

The Reformed Presbytery, which had been dissolved by the defection of
the ministry, during the Revolutionary war, was reorganized toward the
close of the eighteenth century. The troubles in Ireland, when the
inhabitants united for the purpose of gaining independence of the
British crown, were the occasion of bringing strength to the church in
America. Reformed Presbyterians, feeling sensibly with others the arm of
British tyranny, joined interests hastily with Papists and others, in
one sworn association, for the purpose of overturning the existing
government by force of arms. The enterprise, as might have been
expected, was unsuccessful; Isa. viii, 11, 12; Obadiah 7; 2 Cor. vi, 17.
Many fled to the asylum which God had provided, shortly before, in
America. Among the refugees were some of the Covenanters, by which the
church was strengthened in her ministry and membership.

Early in the nineteenth century, measures were taken by the Reformed
Presbytery, in the United States, for re-exhibiting the principles of a
covenanted reformation, in a judicial way. Accordingly, in the year
1806, the Presbytery published, as adopted, a work entitled "Reformation
Principles Exhibited"--a book which has ever since been popularly called
the American Testimony. The familiar designation, _Testimony_, the
general complexion of the book, the orthodox aspect of terms, and even
most of the leading sentiments of the work, gave it currency, and
rendered it generally acceptable to pious and intelligent Covenanters.
And however it seemed to the unsuspecting to sustain, it eventually and
effectually supplanted the Scottish Testimony. The men who had the
principal hand in giving shape and direction to the principles and
practice of Covenanters in the United States, at that time, were located
in some of the most populous and commercial cities on the Atlantic
coast, where temptations to conform to this world were many and
pressing. A disposition to temporize was manifested in these localities,
soon after their principles had been judicially exhibited. The last war
between the United States and England, subjected Covenanters to new
trials in America. As aliens, they were deemed unsafe residents at the
seaboard, and were ordered, by the government, to retire a certain
distance to the interior (much like the course pursued by Claudius
Caesar toward the Jews, Acts xviii, 2). To meet the exigency, a
deputation of the church was appointed to repair to Washington, in 1812,
and offer a pledge that they would defend the integrity of the country
against all enemies. This measure was, however, never carried out.

The church increased in numbers and influence, and began to be noticed
with respect and professions of esteem among surrounding denominations.
Some of her members had ventured to act in the capacity of citizens of
the United States, by serving on juries. This was of course managed for
a time clandestinely. At length, waxing confident by success, they began
to act more openly. This gave rise to a petition addressed to the
supreme judicatory of the church. The petitioners were answered by
instructing them to apply for direction to the inferior
judicatories--thus shunning the duty of applying their own acknowledged
principles. This was in the year 1823. This course did not satisfy the
petitioners, and application was again made to Synod in 1825, to explain
the import of their former Act. The reply was--"This Synod never
understood any act of theirs, relative to their members sitting on
juries, or contravening the old common law of the church on that
subject;" a response obviously as equivocal as the preceding. As early
as 1823, a motion was made in the Synod to open a correspondence with
the judicatories of other denominations. This motion was resisted, and
for the time proved abortive. At next meeting of Synod, however, the
measure was brought before that body, by a proposal from the General
Assembly to correspond by delegation. This proposal found many, and some
of them able, advocates in the Reformed. P. Synod. The measure was,
however, again defeated; but immediately after the failure, a number of
ministers forsook the Reformation ranks and consorted with the General
Assembly. In the year 1828, the Synod gave its sanction and lent its
patronage to the Colonization Society, which was continued till the year
1836, when its patronage was transferred to the cause of Abolition. The
spirit of declension became manifest at the session of Synod in 1831,
when some of the most prominent and practical principles of the Reformed
Church were openly thrown into debate, in the pages of a monthly
periodical, under the head of "Free Discussion." Through the pernicious
influence of that perfidious journal, sustained by the patronage of
ministers of eminent standing in the church, a large proportion--neatly
one-half--of the ministry were prepared, by the next meeting of Synod in
1833, to renounce the peculiar principles and long known usages of the
Reformed Covenanted Church. Organizing themselves as a separate body,
yet claiming their former ecclesiastical name, they deliberately
incorporated with the government of the United States, and some of the
senior ministers, more fully to testify their loyalty, in their old age,
took the oath of naturalization!--thus breaking down the carved work
which they had for many years assiduously labored to erect.

It was hoped that the severe trial to which the professing witnesses of
Christ were subjected at that time, would have taught them a lesson not
soon to be forgotten. It was thought by many that the church was now
purged from the leaven which had almost leavened the whole lump. The
Synod met in 1834, when a perverse spirit was evident in the midst of
its members. The Colonization and Abolition Societies, with other
associations--the exfoliations of Antichrist--had evidently gained an
ascendency in the affections of many of the members. The altercation and
bitterness with which the claims of these societies were discussed,
evidenced to such as were free from their infection, that some of those
present viewed these popular movements as transcending in importance,
the covenanted testimony of the church. As the practice of occasional
hearing was on the increase in some sections of the church, Synod was
memorialized on that subject, but refused to declare the law of the
church. The old spirit of conformity to the world was still more
manifest in 1836, when Synod was importuned by her children, from the
eastern and western extremes of the church, by petition, memorial,
protest and appeal--growing out of the practice then generally prevalent
of incorporating with the voluntary associations of the age. The
response of the supreme judicatory was in this case as ambiguous as on
any former occasion. The backsliding course of the factious majority was
but feebly counteracted by dissent from only two members of Synod; a
respectable minority having been outwitted by the carnal wisdom of those
who were prompt in applying the technicalities of law. Hope was,
however, cherished, that this check so publicly given, together with the
practical workings of the system of moral amalgamation, would induce
even reckless innovators to pause--to consider their ways and their
doings. This hope, however rational and sanguine, was totally
disappointed in 1838, when the table of the supreme judicatory might be
said to be crowded with petitions, letters, remonstrances, memorials,
protests and appeals. The just grievances of the children of witnessing
and martyred fathers, were treated with contempt--"laid on the table,"
"returned," with the cry "let them be kicked under the table," &c. And
when some attempted to urge their right to be heard, they were called to
order, treated with personal insult, or subjected to open violence. A
few of these, having thus experienced the tyranny and abuse of the
ruling faction, declined the authority and communion of Synod, and
established a separate fellowship.

When the Synod again met in 1840, the same measures which had been
carried by mob violence at the preceding meeting, were pressed as
before; but with less tumult--leaders having learned caution from the
consequences following their former outrageous conduct. Matters had now
come to a crisis, when a reclaiming minority were reduced to this
dilemma--either to acquiesce in the almost total subversion of the
covenanted constitution of the church; or, by separating from an
irreclaimable majority, attempt, by an independent organization, to make
up the breach. It is easy to see which alternative was duty, not only
from the nature of the case, but from the well defined footsteps of the
flock. Reformation has been effected in the church of God in all ages,
by the protestation and separation of a virtuous Minority. At this
juncture a paper was laid upon the table of Synod, of which the
following is a true copy:


"Whereas, It is the province and indispensable duty of this Synod, when
society is in a state of agitation as at present, to know the signs of
the times and what Israel ought to do: and whereas it is also the duty
of this Synod, to testify in behalf of truth, to condemn sin and testify
against those who commit it; to acquaint our people with their danger,
and search into the causes of God's controversy with them and with us:
and whereas it is the duty of Synod further, to point out to the people
of God the course to be pursued, that divine judgments may be averted or

"1. _Resolved_, That uniting with, or inducing to fellowship, by the
members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, in the voluntary and
irresponsible associations of the day--composed of persons of all
religious professions and of no profession--be condemned, as unwarranted
by the word of God, the subordinate Standards of the church, and the
practice of our covenant fathers.

"2. That an inquiry be instituted, in order to ascertain the grounds of
God's controversy with us, in the sins of omission and commission,
wherewith we are chargeable in our ecclesiastical relations.

"3. That the sins thus ascertained, be confessed, mourned over and
forsaken, and our engagement to the contrary duties renewed; that the
Lord may return, be entreated of his people and leave a blessing behind

This paper was instantly "laid on the table;" and when, at a subsequent
session of the court, it was regularly called up for action, it was
again and finally "laid on the table!" Ever since that transaction, this
paper has been diligently misrepresented, as consisting only of _one_
resolution, and that the _first_, contrary to its own evidence.

After the final adjournment of Synod, those individuals who, as a
minority, had opposed the innovations and backslidings of their
brethren, embraced an opportunity for consultation. It appeared that
without preconcert, they were unanimous that all legal means having
failed to reclaim their backsliding brethren, who constituted a large
majority of Synod; both duty and necessity required them to assume a
position independent _of_ former organizations, that they might,
untrammeled, carry out practically their testimony. Accordingly two
ministers and three ruling elders proceeded to constitute a Presbytery
on constitutional ground, declaring in the deed of constitution,
adherence to all reformation attainments. This transaction took place in
the city of Alleghany, June 24th, 1840. The declining majority continued
their course of backsliding, following those who had relinquished their
fellowship with slanderous imputations and pretended censure, as is
usual in such cases. Since that time, there are no evidences given by
them either of repentance or reformation.

The Synod of Scotland has for many years been in a; course of
declension, in many respects very similar to that of America. As early
as the year 1815, some ministers of that body began to betray a
disposition to accommodate their profession to the taste of the world.
The judicial testimony emitted by their fathers was represented as too
elaborate and learned to be read and understood by the common reader,
and too severe in its strictures upon the principles and practice of
other Christian denominations. The abstract of terms of communion was
viewed as too strict and uncharitable, especially the Auchensaugh
Covenant became particularly obnoxious. By a persevering importunity for
a series of years this degenerating party prevailed so far in the Synod
as to have the Auchensaugh Deed expunged from the symbols of their
profession. This was accomplished in 1822; and, taken in connection with
other movements indicating a prevailing spirit of worldly conformity,
this outrage upon the constitution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church,
gave rise to a secession from the body, by the oldest minister in the
connection, and a considerable number of others, elders and members. At
the above date, the Rev. James Reed declined the fellowship of the
Scottish Synod; and he maintained the integrity of the covenanted
standards in a separate communion till his death: declaring at his
latter end, that "he could not have laid his head upon a dying pillow in
peace, if he had not acted as he did in that matter."

Deaf to the remonstrances of this aged and faithful minister, his former
brethren pursued their perverse and downward course, until their new
position became apparent by the adoption of a Testimony and Terms of
Communion adapted to their taste. Their Testimony was adopted in 1837.
This document ostensibly consists of two parts, historical and
doctrinal; but really only of the latter as _authoritative_. This will
appear from the preface to the history, as also that it is without the
_formal_ sanction of the Synod, which appears prefixed to the doctrinal
part of the book. A considerable time before they ventured to obtrude
this new Testimony on the church; they had prepared the way for its
introduction, by supplanting the authoritative "Rules of Society,"
framed and adopted by their fathers. This was done by issuing what they
called a "Guide to Social Worship," which the Scottish Synod sent forth
under an ambiguous _recommendation_, and the spurious production was
republished by order of Synod, in America, 1836, with the like equivocal
expression of approbation.

What has been just related of the Ref. Pres. Church in Scotland, will
apply substantially to that section of the same body in Ireland. On the
doctrine of the magistrate's power _circa sacra_, however, there was a
controversy of several years' continuance and managed with much
asperity, in which Rev. Messrs. John Paul, D.D., and Thomas Houston were
the most distinguished disputants. Their contendings issued in breach of
organic fellowship in 1840. Indeed the sister-hood which had subsisted
for many years among the Synods east and west of the Atlantic ocean, was
violated in 1833; when the rupture took place in the Synod of America,
by the elopement of the declining party, who are since known by alliance
with the civil institutions of the United States. Among these five
Synods, the principle called _elective affinity_ has been strikingly
exemplified; while what the Scripture denominates _schism_, has been as
visibly rampant as perhaps at any period under the Christian

This brief historical sketch may serve to show the outlines of the
courses respectively pursued by the several parties in the British Isles
and America, who have made professions of attachment to that work in the
kingdom of Scotland especially, which has been called the Second
Reformation. But the duty of fidelity to Zion's King, and even the duty
of charity to these backsliding brethren; together with the informing of
the present and succeeding generations, require, that we notice more
formally some of the more prominent measures of these ecclesiastical
bodies and so manifest more fully our relation to them. It is not to be
expected however, that we are about to condescend upon _all_ the
erroneous sentiments or steps of defection, supplied by the history of
these communities. To direct the honest inquiries of the Lord's people,
and assist them in that process of reasoning by which facts are compared
with acknowledged Standards, supreme and subordinate, that their
moral character may be tested, is all that is proposed in the following

SECTION I. The Secession from the Revolution Church of Scotland in that
country assumed a position in relation to the civil institutions of
Great Britain, which their posterity continue too occupy until the
present time in the United States without material alteration.

1. They cooperate practically with all classes in the civil community,
in maintaining national rebellion against the Lord and his Anointed.
They give their suffrages toward the elevation of vile persons to the
highest places of civil dignity in the American confederacy--knowing the
candidates to be strangers or enemies to Immanuel. And although they
have recently lifted a testimony against that system of robbery called
slavery, which is so far right; yet this fact only goes to render their
professed loyalty to an unscriptural frame of civil government, as
manifestly inconsistent as it is impious.

2. The have all along in the United States renounced the civil part of
the British Covenants, declaring that they "neither have nor ever had
anything to do with them." Truth is not local, nor does the obligation
of the second table of the moral law, on which that part of our
covenants is plainly founded, depend on the permanency of our residence
in a particular portion of the world. "The earth is the Lord's and the
fullness thereof." It follows, that however solemnly or frequently they
profess to renew their fathers' covenants; the whole transaction
displays their unfaithfulness to the Lord, who is a party in the
covenants; and is calculated to mislead the unwary.

3. Their unsteadfastness is further evidenced, by conforming to other
ecclesiastical communities in the loose practice of occasional or
indiscriminate hearing; and even in some instances of ministerial
intercommunion--the law of their church on that matter having become
obsolete. Against these courses, in some of which that body has
obstinately persevered for more than a hundred years, we deem it
incumbent on us to continue an uncompromising testimony. Many comments
the Moral Governor of the nations has furnished in his providence within
the last century, making still more intelligible the righteous claims of
his word: but Seceders seem to have their moral vision obscured by a
vail of hereditary prejudice. We trust the Lord is on his way to destroy
the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is
spread over all nations; Is. xxv, 7.

SEC. II. Our testimony against the unfaithfulness of the Associate
Reformed Church, continues also without material change since the rise
of that body. The following among others may here be noticed, as
constituting just grounds of opposition in a way of testimony-bearing,
by all who would be found faithful to the Lord, and their covenant

1. Their very origin was unwarranted by scripture. All the scriptural
attainments to which they profess to adhere, were already incorporated
in the standards of the organic bodies, from whose fellowship they
seceded. They did therefore make a breach without a definite object, and
multiply divisions in the visible body of Christ without necessity. Thus
they did violence to the royal law of love; for while under a profession
of charity they invited to their new fellowship their former brethren;
the nature of the case evinces a disposition to unmitigated tyranny.
This state of things we think has not been generally understood. We
shall here endeavor to render it intelligible. The fact of organizing
that church (the Associate Reformed) said to both Covenanters and
Seceders "It is your duty to dissolve your respective organizations, and
join us." This is undeniable. The Covenanter or Seceder replies by
asking--"What iniquity have you or your fathers found in us, that you
forsook our communion?" &c. "Not any," replies the Associate Reformed
Church; "only some trifling opinions peculiar to you severally which we
deem unworthy of contending about. Only join our church, and we will
never quarrel with you, relative to your singularities." "Ah," replies
the other party, "the matters about which we differ, are trifling in
your account; how then could they be of such magnitude as to warrant
your breaking fellowship with us? What you call _trifles,
peculiarities_, &c, we cannot but still judge important principles,
sealed by the precious blood of martyrs: must we deny these or bury them
in silence, to gain membership in your new church? Is this the nature
and amount of your professed charity? This is not that heaven-born
principle 'that rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.'
You break fellowship for what you esteem mere trifles--you propose to us
a new term of communion, with which it is morally impossible that we
should comply, without doing violence to our consciences. Is this
charity or tyranny?"

2. Although covenanting was declared by this body at their origin, to be
an "important duty," they never recognized the solemn deeds of their
fathers as binding on them; nor have they ever attempted the
acknowledged duty in a way supposed to be competent to themselves. Nay,
the obligation of the British covenants has been denied both openly and
frequently from the pulpit and the press; and even attempts have been
made, not seldom, by profane ridicule, to bring them into contempt. The
very duty of public, social covenanting, either in a National or
ecclesiastical capacity, has been often opposed in the polemic writings
of the ministers of this body, however often inculcated and exemplified
in the word of God. The moral nature of the duty taken in connection
with prophetic declarations, to be fulfilled only under the Christian
dispensation, demonstrates the permanency of this divine ordinance until
the end of the world.

3. This church set out with unsound views of church fellowship, as has
been already in part made appear. But when their position came to be
more pointedly defined, they made the novel distinction between _fixed_
and _occasional_ communion. The practical tendency of this unscriptural
experiment was necessarily to _catholic_ communion, which theory was
soon advocated by some of the most prominent of the ministry; and
accordingly eventuated in the merging of a large number of her ministry
and membership, in the communion of the General Assembly.

4. On the doctrine of the divine ordinance of civil government, this
church has all along been unsound; as is fully evidenced in the practice
of her members, which has been similar to that of Seceders. Our
testimony against the latter is, in this particular, equally directed
against the former.

5. This church has appeared as the advocate of a boundless toleration,
conforming her views and policy in a most servile manner to the infidel
model presented in the civil constitutions of republican America. It
would seem, indeed, that this body aimed at conforming their
ecclesiastical polity to that standard, from the fact that the very
symbol of their profession as a corporate body, is designated the
"Constitution of the Associate Reformed Church"--a designation which
might be considered as militating against the supremacy of the Holy
Scriptures. In this Constitution a sphere is assigned to conscience,
which is incompatible with due subjection to the Supreme Lawgiver. As
well might the _will_, or any other faculty of the soul of man, be
invested with this impious supremacy, and immunity from control, by any
authority instituted on earth by the only Lord of conscience. Jehovah
will rule the _consciences_ of his creatures, as well as their
_judgments_ and _wills_, by his holy law, in the civil commonwealth, in
the church and in the family.

6. The unfaithfulness of this body appears further, in shunning to
declare the _divine right_ and unalterableness of Presbyterial Church
Government, she testifies not against Prelacy or Independency. If this
church is Presbyterial in practice, it is on no better footing than that
of the Revolution Church of Scotland.

7. The purity of divine worship is not guarded by the terms of
fellowship in this church. It is true, "No Hymns merely of human
composure, are allowed in her churches." But what mean these guarded
terms and phrases, "merely;" "churches?" The best interpretation of
these cunningly contrived expressions is supplied by the practice of
those ministers of the body, who scruple not to offer unto God "hymns
merely of human composure" when occupying pulpits of other
denominations, or sojourning for a night in families where these hymns
are statedly used. It is known that this part of the order of public
worship has been submitted in some instances, to the voice of the
congregation by their pastor; thus manifesting in the same act,
latitudinarianism in regard both to the government and worship of the
house of God.

Lastly, to specify no further--Laxity of discipline is observable in
this church. She has always admitted to her fellowship, and to a
participation in her special privileges (the seals of the covenants),
persons who openly deny the divine warrant for a fast in connection with
the celebration of the Lord's Supper; yea, who ridicule that part of the
solemnity as _superstitious_! The same privileges are granted in this
church to such as habitually neglect the worship of God in the family.
Nor does this church inculcate or enjoin, as a part of Christian
practice, fellowship meetings for prayer and conference. We must, as
witnesses for the cause of Christ, solemnly protest against these
sentiments and correspondent practices, as inconsistent with the
scripture and the reformation attainments of our covenant fathers.

SEC. III. The Reformed Dissenting Church embraced more of the peculiar
principles of the covenanted reformation than either of the two
preceding. On the doctrines of magistracy and toleration, abstractly
considered, they have manifested commendable fidelity. Nevertheless, in
the practical application of these doctrines and in other respects, we
are constrained to continue a testimony against them.

1. What has been remarked of the origin of the Associate Reformed body,
is partly true also of the party which dissented from them: their
organization was uncalled for, there being no scriptural attainment
embraced by them, which was not already exhibited under a judicial
banner. Those who erected the Reformed Dissenting Presbytery may have
been harshly treated by ministers of the Reformed Presbytery, when
attempting negotiations for union, as public fame has often rumored: yet
supposing this to have been the case, multiplying separate fellowships
was not a happy expedient for effecting union in the truth.

2. This body of Christians have been all along unfaithful in applying
their own avowed principles relative to magistracy. Their innovation in
this respect would seem to have been a carnal expedient to reach a
two-fold object: the one, to retaliate on the Reformed Church for
supposed indignities offered; the other, to render themselves more
popular in the eyes of other communities. They admit that a constitution
of civil government may be so immoral, that it cannot be considered as
God's ordinance; that in such a case "no Christian can, without sinning
against God, accept any office supreme or subordinate, where an oath to
support such a constitution is made essential to his office." These
admissions are equally just and important; yet these concessions are
wholly neutralized in practice by these people, for they claim it as
their privilege to choose others to fill those offices, which they say,
they themselves cannot fill "without sinning against God." We must
continue our earnest testimony against this attempt to separate in law,
between the representative and his constituents, involving as it does,
if consistently carried out, the total overthrow of the covenants of
works and grace, and ultimately of God's moral government by his
annotated Son! The effort made to sustain their practice in this matter,
from the examples of the Marquis of Argyle and Lord Warriston, is very
disingenuous; simply because the church of Scotland had not at the date
referred to, reached the measure of her attainments on that head.
Indeed, the whole drift of their argument goes to justify the position,
that in some cases, it is expedient to do evil that good may come.

3. On the doctrine of faith this church has, we think, darkened counsel,
by words without knowledge. Their distinctions and caveats relative to
_assurance_, are calculated rather to bewilder than enlighten the mind
of the general reader. "Receiving and resting on Christ as offered in
the gospel," amounts to "appropriation, certainty, assurance," &c. There
is evidence of a tendency to "vain jangling" here, against which, even
suppose there be no error couched in the terms, we ought to testify.

4. This church evinces a disposition to intercommunion, in the practice
both of ministers and members, wholly inconsistent with steadfastness,
and at war with her own declared views of toleration. Occupying pulpits
in common with more corrupt communities, doing this in connection with
the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and attendance and co-operation
with others in conventional proceedings among those who style themselves
"Reformed Churches," are practices among these people, on which we feel
constrained to animadvert with decided disapprobation. As also their
violation of the form of Presbyterian church government by one minister
with ruling elders presuming to set apart candidates to the office of
the holy ministry.

SEC. IV. To speak thus publicly against those who may be the precious
sons of Zion, is a painful duty. That charity, however, which rejoiceth
in the truth, requires of Christ's witnesses that they censure and
rebuke, in a way competent to them, those of the household of faith whom
they see and know to be in a course of error or of sin; _Isa._ lviii, 1;
_Tit._ i, 13.

Many of those with whom we were wont to take pleasure in displaying a
banner jointly, and in a judicial capacity, are now, alas! arrayed
against us. To the real friend of Jesus, and the truth as it is in
Jesus, there cannot be a more lamentable spectacle than the _professed
witnesses_ of the Lamb disposed in rank under hostile colors as the
company--not of two, but of many armies, ready to engage in mutual
destruction! And indeed those who bite and devour one another, are in
danger of being consumed one of another. The Lord is righteous in all
that is come upon us; for we have sinned against him--both we and our
fathers. We know not how to avert more wrath from the Lord, reclaim
backsliders, confirm the wavering, direct sincere inquirers, apprise the
unsuspecting of their danger, and exonerate our own consciences,
otherwise than by giving open, candid and honest testimony for Christ
and truth, against those, even once brethren by covenant bonds, who have
dishonored him, and caused the way of truth to be evil spoken of.

Against those who separated from us in Philadelphia, 1833, erecting a
rival judicatory, and dishonestly claiming the name Reformed
Presbyterian Church, we bear our feeble testimony for the following
among other reasons:

1. They did then openly enter on a course subversive of our whole
covenanted system of doctrine and order, by withdrawing their dissent
from the civil institutions of the United States, and incorporating with
the National Society--knowing the same to be, by the terms of the
national compact, opposed in many respects, both to godliness and

2. This party had, in a clandestine way, exerted their influence to
seduce and draw away disciples after them for a series of years. This is
evident from the petitions addressed to Synod on the jury law, issuing
from those who are known to have been in correspondence with some of the
leaders in that defection.

3. This party are chargeable with mutilating the Judicial Testimony
emitted in Scotland, 1761; and also with changing the terms of
communion, and obtruding a mutilated formula upon an unsuspecting
people, contrary to due order.

_History_ and _argument_ are excluded from the terms of Church
Fellowship, on the very face of "Reformation Principles Exhibited;" and
the Auchensaugh Covenant expunged from the formula of terms of
communion, without submitting them in overture to the people for
inspection. We say these steps of defection and apostasy are chargeable
to the account of those who made the breach in 1833: _First_, Because
the senior and leading ministers in that separation were the men who
framed the American Testimony and Terms of Communion; and so had many
years before laid the platform and projected the course on which they
violently entered at that date. _Second_, These separatists, in the
edition of these symbols of their profession lately published, have
consistently left out of the volume, the Historical Part, and also
remodeled the formula of Terms of Communion.

4. This body continues to wax worse and worse, against all remonstrance
from their former connections and others, as also in the face of
providential rebukes;--losing, because forfeiting, the confidence of
conscientious and honorable men, exemplified in the frequent meetings,
and to them, disastrous results, of the Convention of, so called,
Reformed Churches.

SEC. V. With the foregoing party may be classed those different and
conflicting fellowships in Scotland and Ireland, whose recent Terms of
Communion and Judicial Testimony, substantially identify with those
mentioned in the preceding section.

1. Public fame charges the Eastern Synod of Ireland, and the Synod of
Scotland, with connivance at the members and officers under their
inspection, in co-operating with the immoral and anti-christian
government of Great Britain. They are therefore guilty of giving their
power and strength to that powerful and blood-thirsty horn of the beast.
We are inclined to give more credit to public fame in this than we would
in many other cases, because:

2. These Synods have opened a door in their new Testimony for such
sinful confederacies. "What!" will the simple and uninitiated reader of
the Testimony ask, "does not that Testimony declare, often and often,
that the British constitution is anti-christian?" We answer, the _book_
declares so; but we caution the reader to be on his guard, lest he judge
and take for granted, without a careful examination, that the book and
the Testimony are the same thing. Let the honest inquirer consult the
_preface_ to the _Historical_ part of the book, and then the preface to
the Doctrinal part: the latter, he will find, on due examination, to
constitute the Testimony. True, in page 8 of the preface to the volume,
it is said, "the Testimony, as now published, consists of two parts, the
one _Historical_ and the other _Doctrinal_." This sounds orthodox; but,
in the same page, when these two parts come to be defined, it is said,
"when the church requires of those admitted into her fellowship, an
acknowledgement of a work like the present, the approbation expressed
has a reference to the _principles_ embodied in it, and _the proper
application_ of them," &c. "So they wrap it up"--better than our fathers
succeeded in a similar enterprise in America. The truth is what they
call the _historical_ part is largely _argumentative_; and both these
parts are carefully and covertly excluded from the _terms of
fellowship_! We shall have occasion to recur to this subject, as there
are many others likeminded with these innovators.

3. These people are also deeply involved in the popular, so called,
benevolent associations of the world, Sunday Schools, Bible Societies,
Temperance Reforms, Missionary Enterprise, &c, evidencing a wide
departure from our covenanted uniformity, based upon our covenanted

SEC. VI. Those who in 1838, on account of sensible tyranny, growing out
of defection on the part of the majority, declined the authority of
Synod, have shared all along in our sympathies; and it has been our
desire that they and we could see eye to eye in the doctrines and order
of the house of God.

Although this party promised fair for a time, and apparently contended
for "all the attainments of a covenanted reformation," in process of
time it became apparent that they possessed not intelligence sufficient
to manage a consistent testimony for that cause. They seem to have been
under the influence of temporary impulse, arising from the experience of
_mal-administration_; rather than to have discovered any
_constitutional_ defection in the body from which they separated. This
is apparent indeed if we have access to any credible source of
information relative to the principles they profess, and their Christian
practice. More particularly,

1. Although that paper which they designate "Safety League," has the
sound of orthodoxy; yet, as originated, and since interpreted by them,
there is a lamentable falling off from the attainments and footsteps of
the flock. _First_, so far as we can ascertain, that instrument had
clandestine origin being framed and subscribed by those _who were yet in
fellowship with the Synod_! This might be earnest, but, we think, not
honorable contending for the truth. _Second_, when this paper comes to
be interpreted by its framers and signers, it seems to cover only the
American Testimony and Terms, as remodeled by breach of presbyterial
order. At other times, it will conveniently extend to the Scottish
Testimony, 1761, and the Auchensaugh Deed, 1712! From which we infer
that these people have no settled standards.

2. We testify against these people for unwarrantable separation from us.
One of their elders co-operated in organizing the Reformed Presbytery in
1840; this in official, and, as then distinctly understood,
representative capacity. Yet, some time afterward, he and his brethren
withdrew from said Presbytery, without assigning justifiable reasons.

3. Efforts are known to have been made, by some then in their
fellowship, to have social corresponding meetings established among
them, but without success; in opposition to the well-defined example of
our witnessing fathers, whose example they affect to imitate.

Lastly, these quondam brethren are not, to this day, distinguishable, in
the symbols of their profession, from any party who have more evidently
and practically abandoned the distinctive principles and order of a
covenanted ancestry. There is no constitutional barrier in the way of
their coalescence with any party, whom interest or caprice may select.

SEC. VII. Against that party usually, but improperly, styled the Old
Lights, are we obliged to testify more pointedly than against any other
party now claiming to be Reformed Presbyterians. _First_, because we
believe there are among them still, real Covenanters; and, in proportion
to the whole body, a greater number of such than in any other
fellowship. These we would undeceive, if the Lord will; for we earnestly
desire renewed fellowship with all such on original ground. _Second_,
because the leaders among these make the fairest show in the flesh, and,
calculating on spiritual sloth and the force of confirmed habit, hope to
lead honest people insensibly after them back into Egypt. _Third_,
because they are more numerous, and, from habit, more exemplary than
other parties; and therefore more likely to influence honest Christians
unwittingly to dishonor Christ, and gainsay his precious truth.

1. These former brethren acted, in 1833, very similar to the policy of
the Revolution Church of Scotland in 1689. Instead of repairing the
breaches made, and going on to fortify our New Testament Jerusalem,
against the assaults of enemies in future, they rested in their present
position, providing only for a new edition of Reformation Principles
Exhibited, with a continuance of the history to that date. It was urged,
at the time, that the argumentative part of our Testimony should be
hastened to completion, but without effect. As the apostate Assembly of
Scotland, 1689, admitted unsound ministers, curates, &c., to seats in
court; so, with the like politic design, members were admitted to seats
in Synod, 1833, who claimed "a right to withdraw to another party, if
they should see cause"--yea, one of these was called to the moderator's

2. At next meeting, 1834, when the continuation of the historical part
of the Testimony was read, and referred to a committee for publication
in the forthcoming edition of Reformation Principles Exhibited, it was
directed that the terms of communion should be inserted, supplying the
deficiency in the first term, in these words: "and the alone infallible
rule of faith and manners." In the new edition these important words
were omitted, as before! Several ministers seemed to be influenced in
social relations, at that time, more by public opinion, than by the
infallible rule. No further progress was made with the argumentative
part of the Testimony, and a petition from Greenfield, to have Synod's
mind relative to occasional hearing, was returned. Against these steps
of unfaithfulness we lift our protest.

3. Against the tyranny manifested at the next meeting, there were some
to stand up at the time; but the spirit of the world prevailed in all
the important transactions. We testify against those who refused to
permit petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to that court,
to be read. Especially do we protest against that satanical spirit
evidenced in misrepresenting certain respectful and argumentative
papers, as being "abusive," "insulting," &c.: also the unrighteous
attempt, by some guilty members of that court, to stop the mouth of
petitioners; and we condemn the reason assigned for so doing, viz.,
"They had no right to petition, because they were under suspension"!
This reason is worthy of double condemnation, as coming from the mouth
of him who, in this instance, acted the ecclesiastical tyrant, and who
would come down from Zion's walls to the plains of Ono, mingle in
political strife, that he might open his mouth for the dumb; and because
a brother in covenant bonds would demur, censure him, and then make the
fact of censure a reason why he should not be heard when petitioning for
relief from such tyranny! "Revolters are profound to make slaughter."

4. As papers were numerous on the table of Synod in 1838, so they
furnished occasion for displays of character and conduct, humiliating to
all lovers of Zion, who witnessed the transactions of that meeting of
the supreme judicatory.

This was the first time, so far as we know, when that body was called
upon formally to review and rectify, in a way competent to them, some
parts, both of the constitutional law and administration of the Reformed
Presbyterian Synod and Church in America. For a series of years, and
chiefly through the influence of leaders in that faction which separated
from the body in 1833, high-handed measures of tyranny had transpired:
and some of the subjects of that tyranny were yet writhing under a sense
of accumulated wrongs; others had, by death, been released from this
species of persecution. Some thought it dutiful to call Synod's
attention to these matters, and a _petition_ was laid before them, from
Rev. Robert Lusk, requesting that certain cases of discipline, which the
petitioner specified, be reviewed; and especially asking, that "the term
_testimony_ be restored to its former ecclesiastical use." As this was,
in our deliberate opinion, the most important measure brought under the
cognizance of the church representative in America, during the current
of the nineteenth century, it was thought the court would take the
matter under deliberate consideration. Whether through ignorance of the
matter proposed, or that sectional interests engrossed the attention of
parties, or that the prevailing majority desired to be untrammeled in
their future course, the petition was smuggled through and shuffled by,
under the cognomen of a "letter," which a member of Synod answered on
behalf of the court, as though it were a matter of the smallest
importance imaginable! We solemnly testify against this manner of
disposing of a weighty matter at that time, whether through inattention
or design. We protest also against the violent conduct of those
ministers, and others on the same occasion, who made the place of solemn
worship and judicial deliberation, a scene of confusion, by
vociferations, gesticulations and physical force, in violation of God's
law, ordination vows, and the first principle of Presbyterian church

5. Here we can advert only to a tithe of the fruits of darkness, which
had been increasing in quantity and bitterness, since the meeting of
Synod in New York, 1838. To carry out measures of worldly policy, in
1840, diligent electioneering was carried on during the intermediate
time, that the court might be what is technically called a _packed
Synod_. That court was chiefly composed of such ministers and elders as
were known to favor innovations; and some who were known to be disposed
to resist defection, were excluded from seats in court. Against this
dishonest, partial and unjust measure, we protest. And here we lift our
testimony against this course, as having greatly retarded the Lord's
work for many years before, and as having facilitated the introduction
of error, disorder and open tyranny, in manifold instances, during the
same period.

6. We testify against the tyranny exercised upon James McKinney, of
Coldenham, who was not allowed to read his vindication and
justification, when he asked permission to do so, from the published
sentiments of some of those who condemned him!!! Also the cruelty
practiced toward Miss King, an absent member, whose representation of
her case to the Synod, could not so much as be heard. We bear testimony
against those who in that Synod would interrupt, call to order--in
violation of order--those members who were appearing in defense of
injured truth, and who were often silenced by tumult, or the call of
order by an obsequious moderator. Especially do we testify against the
dishonesty and unfaithfulness of that body, displayed by them in
disposing of the paper inserted (see p. 132), calling Synod's attention
to what we firmly believe to be the source of all the error, guilt and
distractions incident or attending to that body for many years.

On the practice of confederating with the enemies of God, we testify
against this party, not only for the _fact_ of so confederating, but
also, and chiefly, for resisting the evidence of God's word, often
adduced in condemnation of the practice--refusing to hear the
testimonies, experience, and reasoning of Christ's witnesses and
martyr's when cited from the Cloud of Witnesses, Informatory
Vindication, Gillespie on Confederacies, &c; and for obstinately going
on in this trespass, in the face of manifold convictions from living
witnesses and providential rebukes.

As it respects ecclesiastical relations, we testify against these former
brethren for having wittingly, perseveringly, and presumptuously
fostered _schism_ in the visible church, manifestly for carnal ends,
during many years. It is notorious that five Synods are in organic
fellowship, while hardly two of them will hold ministerial or
sacramental communion! What a picture does this state of things in the
professing church of Christ present to the infidel; how hardening to the
self-righteous and the openly profane! And although conventional
regulations be lightly looked upon by many, not being based upon express
words of scripture; yet when framed and engaged to, according to the
general rules of scripture, much sin is the result of violating them,
and trampling them under foot, as has often been done by this body of
people. This has been the case in Presbyteries, subordinate Synods, and
especially in the general Synod. Subordinate Synods have been dissolved
by the action of the general Synod after they had ceased to be; and
without consulting the Presbyteries, who alone were competent to decree
or dissolve the delegation form of the general Synod, that court
dissolved itself, after having many years trampled upon the law of
Presbyteries fixing the ratio of delegation. Against such reckless,
disorderly procedure we testify as being the cause or occasion of much
sin against Zion's King, and much suffering to his precious people.

Finally--We solemnly enter our protestation against this church, as
having taken the lead of most others in razing the very foundation stone
of the covenanted structure. All the evils that have befallen the
professed friends of a work of reformation on both sides of the Atlantic
are traceable to a _setting aside_ the _footsteps_ of the flock from
being terms of ecclesiastical communion. It is now more than ten years
since this important matter was expressly submitted to the Old Light
Synod's consideration, and during the subsequent period, in various
forms, the same has been pressed, but without effect; except as
manifesting more fully their obduracy. They refuse still to return,
Ephraim-like, going on frowardly in the way of their own heart.

That uninspired history ought to be incorporated among the terms of
communion in the Church of Christ, is a proposition which we firmly
believe, on the evidence both of reason and Scripture, although denied,
condemned, and rejected by all pretenders to reformation attainments.
That _history_ and _argument_ are so rejected by all parties affecting
to be _reformed_ churches, will appear from the following citations from
their own authoritative judicial declarations: "Authentic history and
sound argument are always to be highly valued; but they should not be
incorporated with the confession of the Church's faith." "The
Declaratory part is, the Church's _standing Testimony_."--Ref. Prin.
Exhibited, preface--edition, 1835. Here history and argument are both
excluded, not only from the Church's _testimony_ but also from her
confession! This is the declared sentiment of Old and New Light
Covenants, together with the Safety League people--evidencing to all who
are free from party influence, that however they differ in practice, on
this all important point they perfectly harmonize in principle. East of
the Atlantic, among the three Synods professing to follow the footsteps
of the flock, the declared sentiment is the same, but then they differ
from their brethren in practice--mingling with the heathen and learning
their works without scruple. In this respect they are more consistent
than the other parties, though more visibly corrupt.

The Reformed Dissenters "prefix a _Narrative_ to their testimony," thus
rejecting _history_ from _testimony_. Some advocates for union in
conventions of reformed churches, have plead for a historical
introduction to their proposed _testimony_; but they have carefully
assured the public that this introduction shall constitute no _term_ of
union or communion. Thus, it is evident, that all the professed
followers of the British Reformers around us, have cast off this
reformation attainment from the standards of their professions
severally. We condemn this church-rending and soul-ruining sentiment,
and testify against all who maintain it, for the following reasons:

_First_, on their part it is inconsistent and self-contradictory. They
all say they are following the footsteps and holding the attainments of
the Scottish Reformers. But how do they discover these footsteps, or how
ascertain these attainments? Are they recorded in the Bible? No. Are
they to be found elsewhere but in _uninspired history_? Certainly no
where else. Yet all these parties absurdly reject uninspired history
from their bonds of fellowship! and still venture to tell the world,
they are holding fast these attainments!! This is solemn trifling,
profane mockery. _Second_. This position is unsound and false in the
light of reason. All civilized nations, as well as the Jews, have it
written in their laws, "That the testimony of two men is true." The
witnesses do not need to be inspired to be credible. "We receive the
witness of men," although a "false witness will utter lies." No society
can exist without practical recognition of the credibility of human
testimony; and this is especially true of the "Church of the living God,
which is the pillar and ground of the truth;" for, _Third_. In the light
of Scripture, her members cannot perform some of their most important
duties, either to God or to one another if they irrationally and
wickedly relinquish this principle. God's people are charged "not to
forget his mighty works;" Psa. lxxviii. 7. Are these works all written
in the Bible? They are required to confess their fathers' sins, as well
as their own. Since the divine canon was closed, many sins have been,
and now are chargeable against professing Christians. Are these recorded
in the Scriptures? And thus the reader may ask himself of sin and duty
to any extent, in relation to God as a party.

And the same is true of the second table of the moral law. For example:
in reference to "the first commandment with promise," should the
Christian minor be asked as the Jew did his Lord, "Who is your father?"
How shall he answer? Is he warranted to appeal to God to manifest his
earthly sonship? No; but he is required by God's law to "honor his
father;" and his obedience to this command is grounded on human
testimony as to the object to whom this honor is due. Thus consistency,
reason and scripture combine, to accuse and fasten guilt--the guilt of
apostasy upon all who have renounced that fundamental principle of our
glorious covenanted reformation--_that history and argument belong to
the bond of ecclesiastical fellowship_. With any who hold the theory
here condemned, however exemplary or even conscientious in morals and
religion they may appear, we can have no ecclesiastical fellowship; for,
however ardent their attachment or strong their expressions of affection
to Confession, Catechisms, Covenants, &c.; they give no guarantee of
competent intelligence or probable stability; as alas! we see in the
present declining course of many in our day.

We would earnestly and affectionably beseech all well wishers to a
covenanted work of reformation: that they would take into their serious
consideration whether these things are, or are not connected inseparably
with the wellfare of Zion. Especially would we expostulate with such as
have any regard for the Judicial Testimony adopted at Ploughlandhead,
Scotland, in 1761: that they conscientiously compare it with the book
called Reformation Principles Exhibited, and also with the new Scottish
Testimony, where it is practicable, and all these with the supreme
standard, the holy scriptures. They will find on examination, that these
are wholly irreconcilable in the very form of testimony-bearing.
Particularly, let the reader notice that our fathers in 1761, considered
_history_ and _argument_ as constituting their testimony: and did not
look upon _doctrinal declaration_ as formal testimony at all. Look at
the very title page of their Testimony; where you read, "Act,
Declaration and Testimony," plainly distinguishing between _declaration_
and _Testimony_. Now, all innovators make doctrinal declaration their
testimony, reversing our fathers' order; yea, we would add God's order,
for he distinguishes between his law and testimony; Ps. lxxviii, 5-7;
cv, 42-45. God's special providences toward his covenanted people
constitute his testimony by way of eminence; Exod. xx, 1, &c., and their
conduct under his providences constitute their testimony, which must
consist of history; and by this and the blood of the Lamb, Christ's
witnesses are destined to overcome all anti-christian combinations.

In attempting thus to follow the approved example of our covenant
fathers, whose practice it was to testify not only against the
corruptions of ecclesiastical, but also of civil constitutions, where
their lot was cast, we deem it incumbent on us to continue our testimony
first published in 1806, against the immoralities incorporated with the
government of these United States.

Believing that a nation as such, is a proper subject of God's
government, and that those nations favored with his law as revealed in
the holy scriptures, are peculiarly required to regard the authority of
the Lord and his Anointed, therein made fully known: it is with deep
regret that we feel constrained to designate and testify against evils
in the Constitution of this nation. Notwithstanding numerous
excellencies embodied in this instrument, there are moral evils
contained in it also, of such magnitude, that no Christian can
consistently give allegiance to the system. There is not contained in it
any acknowledgment of the Christian religion, or professed submission to
the kingdom of Messiah. It gives support to the enemies of the Redeemer,
and admits to its honors and emoluments Jews, Mohammedans, Deists and
Atheists--it establishes that system of robbery by which men are held in
slavery, despoiled of liberty, and property, and protection. It violates
the principles of representation, by bestowing upon the domestic tyrant
who holds hundreds of his fellow creatures in bondage, an influence in
making laws for freemen proportioned to the number of his own slaves.
This constitution is, in many instances, inconsistent, oppressive and

Much guilt, and of long standing, is chargeable against this nation, for
its cruel treatment of the colored race, in subjecting them ever since
1789 to hopeless bondage; its unjust transactions with the Indian race,
and more recently waging an unjust war with a neighboring republic, as
would appear, for the wicked purpose of extending the iniquitous system
of slavery.

"Arise O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."


A brief declaration or summary of the principles maintained by the
Presbytery, as to doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, in
agreeableness to the word of God, our Confession of Faith and
Catechisms, and whole covenanted testimony of the Church of
Scotland.--The contrary doctrines condemned.

Unto what has been more generally laid down in the preceding pages, with
respect to the principles and practice of this church and nation, both
in former and present times; the Presbytery proceed to subjoin a
positive and explicit declaration of their principles anent the truths
of our holy religion, whether by the generality agreed unto, or by some

I. OF GOD.--The Presbytery did, and hereby do acknowledge and declare,
that there is one infinite, eternal, self-existent, and independent
Being; and that this only true and living God, absolutely
all-sufficient, having all being, perfection, glory, and blessedness, in
and of himself, subsists in three distinct, divine persons, the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit (in one and the same undivided essence and
godhead), all equally the same in substance, power, and glory, although
distinguished by their personal properties; according to Deut. vi, 4; 1
Cor. viii, 6; 1 Tim. i, 17; Acts xvii, 24, 25; 1 John v, 7; Matth.
xxviii, 19; Confession of Faith, chap. 2; larger catechism, quest.
7--11; shorter catechism, quest. 4--6.

II. OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.--Again, they confess and declare, that
although the light of nature discovers unto us that there is a God, yet
of itself it is absolutely insufficient to teach us the saving knowledge
of the invisible Being and his will; and therefore God of his infinite
condescension has given us a most perfect revelation of himself and of
his will in the scriptures of truth, contained in the sacred books of
the Old and New Testament; which scriptures the Presbytery assert to be
of divine authority, and not to be believed and received because of any
other testimony, than that of God their author, who is truth itself.
Which word of God is the alone perfect and complete rule, both of faith
and practice, containing a full and ample revelation of the whole
counsel of God, both respecting his own glory and the salvation of men;
by which all spirits are to be tried, and to which all doctrines and
controversies in religion are to be brought, as to the supreme judge, in
whose sentence alone we are to acquiesce; according to Rom. i, 19, 20; 1
Cor. ii, 13, 14; Heb. i, 1; 2 Tim. iii, 16; 2 Pet. i, 19, 21; 2 Tim.
iii, 15; Gal. i. 8, 9; Eph. ii, 20, and our standards, Confess. chap. 1;
larger Cat. quest. 2-5; shorter Cat. quest. 2, 3.

III. OF THE DECREES OF GOD.--Again, they assert and maintain, that
Jehovah, according to his own most wise counsel, and for his own glory,
has, by one immanent act of his will from eternity, purposed and decreed
all events in time; and particularly, that by his absolute sovereignty,
he has unchangeably determined the final state of all intelligent
beings, visible and invisible. That God of his mere good pleasure,
abstracting from all other causes whatever, for the praise of his
glorious grace to be manifested in time, has from all eternity
predestinated a certain definite number of mankind sinners, in and
through Jesus Christ, to eternal life, together with all the means
leading thereunto. And also, by the same sovereign will, has passed by,
and left others in their sins, foreordaining them to bear the just
punishment of their own iniquities; as is evident from Rom. ix, 11, 13,
15, 16, 18; Eph. i, 4, 6, 9, 11; Jude verse 4; and according to Confess,
chap. 3; larger Cat. quest. 12, 13; shorter Catechism quest. 7.

IV. OF CREATION.--In like manner they acknowledge and declare, that as
God, from the infinity of his being and goodness, has communicated a
finite created existence to all other beings, framing them with natures
wisely suited and adapted to the different ends of their creation; so by
the same all-powerful word whereby they were at first created, he
preserves and upholds all his creatures in their beings, and by the
incessant care and invariable conduct of his divine providence, does
constantly direct and overrule them and all their actions unto his own
glory; according to divine revelation, Gen. i, throughout; Col i, 16;
Rom. xi, 36; Psal, cxlv, 17, and xxxiii, 9; and cxix, 91; Heb. i, 2, 3;
Confess, chap. 4, 5; larger Cat. quest. 14; short. Cat. quest. 8.

Likewise they profess and declare, that God, as the last and finishing
part of his workmanship in this lower world, created man an intelligent
being, endued with a living, reasonable and immortal soul, whose
greatest glory consisted in his having the gracious image of his God and
Creator drawn upon his soul, chiefly consisting in that knowledge,
righteousness and inherent holiness wherewith he was created. And
further, that God, in his favor and condescension to man, was pleased to
enter into a covenant with him, as the public head and representative of
all his posterity, wherein God promised unto him eternal life and
blessedness with himself in glory, upon condition of personal, perfect
and perpetual obedience; to the performance whereof, he furnished him
with full power and ability, and threatened death upon the violation of
his law and covenant, as is evident from the sacred text; Gen. i, 26,
27; Eccl. vii, 29; Gen. ii, 17; Rom. x, 5, and according to our Confess,
chap. 4, Sec. 2; chap, 7, Sec. 1, 2; chap. 19, Sec. 1; larger Cat. quest. 20;
short. Cat. quest. 10, 12.

V. OF THE FALL OF MAN.--They again assert and maintain, that the first
and common parents of mankind, being seduced by the subtilty of Satan,
transgressed the covenant of innocency, in eating the forbidden fruit;
whereby they lost the original rectitude of their nature, were cut off
from all gracious intercourse with God, and became both legally and
spiritually dead; and therefore they being the natural root of all
mankind, and the covenant being made with _Adam_, not as a private, but
a public person, all his descendants by ordinary generation, are born
under the guilt of that first sin, destitute of original righteousness,
and having their nature wholly depraved and corrupted; so that they are
by nature children of wrath, subjected unto all the penal evils
contained in the curse of a broken law, both in this life, and in that
which is to come; Gen. iii, 6, 13; Eccl. vii. 20; Rom. v, from 12 to 20;
Rom. iii, 10-19; Eph. ii, 3; Confess, chap. 6: larger Cat. quest. 21,
22, short. Cat. question 13 to 20.

In like manner they assert and declare, that all mankind, by their
original apostasy from God, are not only become altogether filthy and
abominable in the eyes of God's holiness; but also, are hereby utterly
indisposed, disabled, and entirely opposite to all good, the
understanding become darkness, and the will enmity and rebellion itself
against God; so that man, by his fall, having lost all ability of will
to what is spiritually good, cannot in his natural state, and by his own
strength, convert himself (being dead in trespasses and sins), nor can
he in less or more contribute to his own salvation, or in the least
prepare himself thereunto; neither is there any natural, necessary or
moral connection between the most diligent and serious use of the means,
and obtaining salvation thereby. Although the Presbytery maintain, that
as a God of grace has promised the converting influences of his Spirit
to be showered down upon dead souls, in the use of means of his own
appointment; they are therefore to be attended to with the utmost care
and diligence; as appears from Rom. v, 6; John vi, 44, 65; Tit. iii,
3-5; Job xiv, 4; Confess. chap. 9, Sec. 3; larger Cat. quest. 25.

VI. OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE.--Likewise they assert and declare, that
Jehovah, in the person of the Father, having purposed to save a certain
number of the ruined family of _Adam_, did from all eternity enter into
a covenant transaction with Jesus Christ, his eternal and only begotten
Son, who contracted as the second _Adam_, in the name of all his
spiritual seed. In which covenant, the Father promising to confer
eternal life upon a select number given unto Christ, upon condition of
his fulfilling all righteousness for them; the Lord Jesus Christ did
again stipulate and engage, as the condition of the covenant by him to
be fulfilled, that in the fullness of time, assuming the human nature
into a personal union with the divine, he would therein, and in the
elect's name fulfill, not only the preceptive part of the law, but also
bear the whole punishment contained in the threatening thereof: which
covenant, that it might be absolutely free to sinners, and that the
salvation therein provided for them, might not be of debt, but of grace,
was unto Jesus Christ a covenant of redemption, nothing being therein
promised to him, but upon his paying a full price, adequate to the most
extensive demands of law and justice; according to Psal. lxxxix, 2, 3,
28, 34, 35; Tit. i, 2; Isa. liii, 10, 11; Matth. v, 17; Confess. chap.
7, Sec. 3; Larg. Cat. quest. 30, 31; Short. Cat. quest. 20.

VII. OF THE MEDIATOR.--In like manner they profess, assert, and declare,
that the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person in the glorious and
adorable Trinity, being by the Father's appointment constituted mediator
and surety of the new covenant, did, in the fullness of time, assume the
human nature, consisting of a true body and reasonable soul, into a
personal union with his divine; which two natures, in the one person of
our Immanuel, God-man, remain distinct, without conversion, composition,
or confusion. And being every way completely qualified and furnished for
executing his mediatory offices of prophet, priest, and king, was called
to the exercise thereof, by God the Father, who put all power and
judgment into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same;
Prov. viii, 23; Heb. ii, 14; 1 Tim. ii, 5; John vi, 27, and v, 27;
Confess. chap. 8 throughout; Larg. Cat. quest. 21-23; short. Cat. quest,
21, 22.

Again, they acknowledge and declare, that the Lord Jesus Christ our
REDEEMER, the only begotten Son of God, by eternal and ineffable
generation, is most properly a divine person, true and very God, one in
essence, equal and the same in power, eternity, glory, and all divine
perfections with the Father and Holy Ghost: and that therefore it is
most blasphemous to assert, that the terms, _necessary existence_, and
_supreme deity_, and the title of _the only true God_, do not belong to
the Son equally with the Father, as the same in substance, being
expressly contrary to these texts of sacred writ which assert the
opposite truth; John i, 1-4; Phil, ii, 6; John x, 30; 1 John v, 20, and
to our standards, Confess. chap. 8, Sec. 2; Larg. Cat. quest. 36; Short.
Cat. 6.

They likewise further acknowledge, assert, and declare, that the Lord
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, and only Mediator between God and
man, being designed from everlasting the REDEEMER of his people, and
having all fullness, power, and authority lodged in him for the
execution of his mediatory trust, has, ever since the fall of mankind,
as the great and good shepherd of _Israel_, undertaken the care,
government, protection, and instruction of the Church of God, in
agreeableness to the above said trust: which he did all along under the
Old Testament, and still continues faithfully to discharge in all the
parts thereof; so that whatever revelation God made unto his church
since the fall, was by Jesus Christ as the great prophet and preacher of
righteousness. Particularly, it was he that first appeared unto lapsed
man, and as the great revealer of the council of peace, called upon him
in the voice of mercy, saying, "_Adam_, where art thou?" It was he that,
pleasing himself in the forethoughts of his future incarnation, and as a
prelude thereto, condescended at different times to appear in a human
form, and speak unto the fathers. By him, as the messenger of the
covenant, were the lively oracles delivered to the Israelitish church;
and by his Spirit in the prophets, successively raised up to instruct
his church in the knowledge of the divine will, was signified and
foretold the grace that should come, until the fullness of the time
appointed in the council of Heaven, when it was promised he should come,
and by his personal presence fill his house with glory. Then did God in
these last days speak unto men by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of
all things; who, not only by himself, but also, after his ascension, by
his evangelists and apostles filled with the Spirit, has made known all
things that he heard of his Father. And now, after the canon of
scripture is completed, and no new revelation to be expected to the end
of time, continues by his word and spirit to instruct sinners in the
knowledge of all things necessary for their sanctification and
salvation; according to Acts x, 38, and iii, 22; Luke iv, 18, 21; John
i, 18; 1 Pet. i, 10-12; Heb. i, 1, 2; Eph. iv, 11-13; Confess. chap. 8,
Sec. 1; Larg. Cat. quest. 43; Short. Cat. quest. 24.

In like manner, they profess and declare, that the Lord Jesus Christ,
being called of him that said unto him, "Thou art my Son, this day have
I begotten thee," unto the honorable office of High Priest over the
house of God, and confirmed therein by all the solemnities of the oath
of God, he did most willingly undertake this work, saying, _Lo, I come
to do thy will, O God!_ And that he might finish and fulfill the same,
in agreeableness to his eternal engagements to the Father, to the Old
Testament types and sacrifices, promises and prophecies, wherein he was
foresigned and revealed to be the seed of the woman, that should bruise
the serpent's head, did, in the fullness of time, humble himself to be
made of a woman, made under the law, in the form of a bond servant to
Jehovah. In which character, he not only fulfilled the preceptive part
of the law, but also, with the most unparalleled meekness, patience and
resignation, submitted to the most grievous and dreadful sufferings,
both in body and soul, even all that divine wrath, indignation and
punishment, wrapped up in the terrible curse of a broken covenant of
works. By which obedience of his unto the death, through the eternal
Spirit offering himself without spot unto God, a proper, real and
expiatory sacrifice for sin, he has fully satisfied divine justice, made
reconciliation for the iniquities of his people, and purchased an
eternal inheritance for them in the kingdom of glory. The saving
benefits of which redemption, by the Spirit's effectual application
thereof, he does, by his intercession at the Father's right hand, as an
arisen, living, and now glorified Savior, constantly and certainly
communicate unto all those whom the Father has given him. Further, the
Presbytery declare, that however they acknowledge the standing of the
world, as a theater to display the riches of divine grace, the preaching
of the gospel indefinitely to mankind sinners, and all the common favors
of life indifferently enjoyed by them, do all result, as native,
necessary and determined consequences, from the interposition of Christ
in behalf of his spiritual seed, and have their ultimate foundation in
the infinite sufficiency, fullness and perfection, of the blood and
sacrifice of Christ, God-man: yet they affirm, that, as a certain elect
and select number were given unto Christ, to be redeemed from among men,
so, for their sakes alone, he engaged his heart to approach unto God.
For their sakes, he sanctified himself; in their name, i.e., in their
law-room and stead, and for their good, as the surety of the better
covenant, he became obedient unto death, and endured the whole of that
punishment threatened by the law, and incurred by the transgression of
it. He subjected himself to that very curse, bore that wrath and died
that death, which they themselves should have undergone. And hereby, by
his doing and dying, he made a proper, real, full and expiatory
satisfaction to the justice of God for their sins. Wherefore it is
impossible but that to all those for whom Christ has purchased this
complete redemption, and for whose sins he has given this full
satisfaction accepted of God, he will certainly and effectually apply
and communicate the same in the saving benefits thereof; seeing that it
is his will who has merited it, that all those who are the Father's
choice by election, and his purchase by redemption, should be _ever with
him where he is, that they may behold his glory_; and since, as he is
thus willing, he is also able, to save them to the uttermost that come
to God by him. So that all for whom Christ died, all that are redeemed
by his blood, are, in consequence hereof; effectually called, justified,
sanctified and glorified; according to Psal. xl, 7, 8; Heb. x, 5-11;
Phil. ii, 8; Gal. iv, 4, 5; Heb. ix, 14, 28; Dan. ix, 24; Psal. lxxv, 3;
Isa. xlix, 8; John vi, 37, 39, chap. x, 15, 16; Eph. i, 7; Rom. viii,
34, and ver. 29, 30; John xvii throughout; John xi, 52; Confess, chap.
vii, Sec. 4, 5, 8; Larg. Cat. quest. 44; Sh. Cat. quest. 25.

They also acknowledge, assert and declare, that the Lord Jesus Christ
is, by the appointment of God the Father, set as King upon his holy hill
of Zion; over which, as his special kingdom, he is invested with an
absolute power and supremacy, as the sole and only head thereof, to
appoint offices, officers, laws and ordinances. And that accordingly, by
virtue of this solemn investiture, the same Lord Jesus Christ has, in
all ages, called out of the world, and maintained therein, a church unto
himself, which he visibly governs by a complete system of laws, officers
and censures, instituted in his word, and has not left the affairs of
his church, in which (as a Son over his own house) he peculiarly
presides, to be regulated and modeled by the carnal policy and invention
of men. Also, that, as King in _Zion_, he powerfully and irresistibly,
in a day of efficacious grace, subdues the perverse hearts and wills of
sinners unto his obedience, persuading and enabling as many as were
appointed to obtain salvation through him, to believe in his name, in
order thereunto. All whom he either preserves from, or supports under,
the various temptations, trials and afflictions, they are liable to in
this mortal life; till at last, completing a work of grace in their
souls, he advances them to a state of perfection and glory.

Further, the Presbytery declare and maintain, that, in subserviency to
this his special mediatory kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ has a supreme
and sovereign power given unto him, in heaven and in earth, and over the
infernal powers of darkness--angels, authorities and powers being put in
subjection to him; that he has the management of all the wheels of
providence put into his hand, whereby he restrains, disappoints, and at
last totally destroys, all the enemies of his interest and glory; and by
which he orders and overrules all the events that fall out in time, for
the accomplishment of the great and glorious ends of his incarnation,
and lasting good of those that love him: according to Psal. ii, 6; Isa.
ix, 6, 7; Isa. xxxiii, 22; Matth. xxi, 5; Isa. lv, 4, 5; Gen. xlix, 10;
Heb. iii, 6; Psal. cx, 1, 2; Matth. xxviii, 18; John vii, 2; 1 Pet. iii,
22; Phil, ii, 9-11; Confess, chap, viii Sec. 3; Larg. Cat. quest. 45; Sh.
Cat. quest. 26.

They again declare and assert, that as the light of nature is absolutely
insufficient to give a just discovery, either of the grievous malady of
sin, or the blessed remedy provided for sinners, so none, however
diligent they may be to frame their lives according to the dictates of
nature's light, can possibly attain to salvation, while they remain
without any objective revelation of Jesus Christ, as the great
propitiation and peace-maker, who has abolished death, and brought life
and immortality to light, by the gospel. And further, that there is no
other name, doctrine or religion, whereby any can be saved, but in the
name, doctrine and religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, of which he is the
great author and institutor; in the profession and faith whereof, he
leads his people through this world into the possession of endless
felicity and glory in the world to come.

VIII. OF THE GOSPEL OFFER.--They further declare, that, as God the
Father, out of his unbounded love, has, on the footing of the infinite
sufficiency of the death and sacrifice of Christ, made a free and
unhampered gift and grant of him, as an all-sufficient Savior, unto
sinners of mankind lost, as such, in the word: so the ministers and
embassadors of Christ (according as they are expressly authorized and
commanded by him) are to publish this gospel, these glad tidings of
great joy to all the world, wherever they may be called or cast, in the
providence of God, and make a full, free and unhampered offer of Christ
and his whole salvation to sinners, without distinction, assuring them
of God's mercy and grace, through Christ, in whom he proclaims himself
well pleased; of Christ's omnipotent power and ability to save to the
uttermost all that come unto God by him; and that there are no
impediments, bars or hinderances, _ab extra_, between Jesus Christ, as
held forth in the offer of the gospel, and sinners lost, why they, even
every one of them, may not receive and appropriate him, as the Lord
their righteousness. And the above said frank and unhampered gift of
Christ, and him crucified, by God the Father, as a full and
all-sufficient Savior unto lost and ruined sinners, the Presbytery view
as the great and prime foundation, both of the ministerial offer, and
of, faith in the Lord Jesus, for life and salvation: as is clear from
Rom. x, 14; 1 Cor. i, 21-25; Isa. lv, 1; Mark xvi, 15; John iii, 16;
Confess, chap, vii, Sec. 3; Larg. Cat. ques. 67; Sh. Cat. ques. 31, &c.

IX. OF JUSTIFICATION.--Again, they profess and declare, that the active
and passive obedience, or the complete mediatory righteousness, of the
Lord Jesus Christ, is the only meritorious cause of a sinner's
justification, pardon of sin, and acceptance of his person and services
with a holy God; and that true and saving faith, which is also the gift
of God, is the alone instrumental cause of the sinner's justification in
his sight; or that evangelical condition, or internal mean, in and by
which the soul is interested in Christ, and the whole of his
righteousness and salvation. Which righteousness, received and rested on
by faith, is the only foundation of a sinner's title to eternal life and
glory; as appears evident from Rom. iii, 22-29; Rom. v, 17-20; Jer.
xxiii, 6; Gal. ii, 16; Acts x, 43; Col. i, 27; Acts viii, 37; Rom. x, 9;
Mark v, 36; Eph. ii, 8; Confess, chap. 11, 14; Larg. Cat. ques. 70, 73;
Sh. Cat. ques. 3.

They likewise profess and maintain, that believers, by the righteousness
of Christ being justified from all things, from which they could not be
justified by the law of Moses, are by Jesus Christ perfectly delivered
from the law, as a covenant of works, both as commanding and condemning;
so as that thereby they are neither justified nor condemned, it being
dead to them, and they to it, by the body of Christ, to whom they are
married. However, notwithstanding of this freedom, they are still
servants unto God; still under the moral law, as a rule of life in the
hand of their glorious Mediator and new covenant Head, directing them
how they are to walk, so as to please God; the obligation whereof, as
such, remains perpetual and indissoluble; and that this privilege is
peculiar to believers only, all others being still under the old
covenant obligation, both as to the debt of obedience and punishment;
according to Rom. vi, 14, and vii, 4, 6; Gal. iv, 4, 5, and ii, 16; Rom.
viii, 1; Gal. iii, 10; Confess, chap, xix, Sec. 5, 6; Larg. Cat. ques. 97;
Sh. Cat. ques. 43, 44.

X. OF GOOD WORKS.--Again, they assert and declare, that as no works
are truly and spiritually good, but those that are performed by a person
united to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and under the influence of his
Holy Spirit; and consequently, that none of the actions of the
unregenerate, however in themselves materially agreeable unto the letter
of the law, are either pleasing or acceptable to God; nor can they
dispose or prepare their souls for receiving his grace, though their
omission and neglect of these is still more displeasing unto God, and
destructive unto themselves. So likewise they declare, that even the
best works of obedience performed by the regenerate, can neither merit
the pardon of any one sin, nor procure them the smallest measure or
God's grace or favor, because of the manifold sins and imperfections
they are still attended with, and because of the infinite distance
between God and them, with respect to whom, when they have done all that
they can, they are but unprofitable servants. Neither is their ability
to do them at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit dwelling in
them. And further, that the spring and principle motive of true love to
God, and acceptable obedience to him, is not self-interest or love to
our own felicity, nor yet a slavish fear of punishment; but the glorious
perfections and transcendent excellencies of the Deity, manifested in
the face of Jesus Christ, who is the brightness of the Father's glory,
and express image of his person, are the prime and chief motives both of
love, fear and obedience unto God; all who really love God loving him
principally for himself. As also, that all acceptable service to God,
performed by believers, is principally influenced by the authority of a
God of grace, stamped upon his word, springs from faith in Jesus Christ,
as an animating and active principle in their souls, and is ultimately
directed to the glory of God in Christ, as the great end thereof. Hence,
therefore, although God has graciously connected his own glory and his
people's felicity inseparably together, that yet no actions, however
good in themselves or beneficial to others, which arise only from a
principle of self-interest, love to one's own bliss, or fear of hell,
are evidential of saving grace in the soul, or any more than what one in
a state of nature may perform; according to Gen. iv, 5; Heb. xi, 4, 6;
Matth. vi, 2, 5, 16; Hag. ii, 14; Amos, v, 21, 22; Tit. i, 15, and iii,
5; Rom. iii, 20, and iv, 2, 4, 6; Job xxii, 2, 3; Eph. i, 6; 1 Pet. ii,
5; Exod. xxviii, 38; Confess, chap. 16 throughout; Larg. Cat. ques. 73,
101; Sh. Cat. ques. 44.

XI. OF ASSURANCE OF GRACE.--In like manner they declare and assert, that
although there may be much darkness, and manifold doubts and fears,
seated in the same soul where true and saving faith is: and although
true believers may wait long before they know themselves to be
believers, and be assured that they are really in a state of grace; and
even, after they have arrived at a subjective assurance of their
salvation, may have it much shaken, clouded and intermitted; that yet
there is no doubting, no darkness, in the saving acts of a true and
lively faith: but in all the appropriating acts of saving faith, there
is an objective assurance, an assured confidence and trust in Jesus
Christ, and the promise of life in which he is revealed to the soul;
according to Isa. 1, 10; Mark ix, 24; 1 John v, 13; Psal. lxxvii, 1 to
11; Psal. lxxxviii, throughout; Gal. ii, 20; Mark xi, 24; Confess, chap.
18 throughout; Larg. Cat. ques. 72, 80, 81; Short. Cat. question 86.

XII. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS.--They further assert and
declare, that whosoever, of any of the children of men, in all ages,
have attained salvation, did believe in, and receive the Lord Jesus
Christ, the promised Messiah, and only Savior from sin, to whom all the
prophets bear witness, in whom all the promises and lines of salvation
do center; and particularly, that however much the faith of the
disciples and apostles of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in him, as
their only Redeemer, might be at any time overclouded, yet it was never
totally subverted; and that the noble grace of faith in the souls of
believers cannot be totally lost; but that such is the immutability of
God's decrees, and his unchangeable love; such the efficacy of their
Redeemer's merit, and constant abiding of the spirit of holiness in
them; and such the nature of the new covenant, that, notwithstanding of
various temptations and afflictions, the prevailing of remaining
corruption in them, they must all and every one of them, certainly and
infallibly persevere in a state of grace unto the end, and be at last
saved with an everlasting salvation; as appears from Heb. xi, 13; John
iv, 42; Phil. i, 6; John x, 28, 29; 1 Pet. ii, 9; Jer. xxxiv, 4;
Confess, chap. 8, Sec. 1, chap. 14, Sec. 2, and chap. 17 throughout.

XIII. OF LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.--They further assert and declare, that
the noble faculty of conscience, God's deputy in the soul of man, over
which he alone is absolute Lord and Sovereign, is not subjected unto the
authority of man; neither are any human commands further binding upon
the consciences of men, than they are agreeable unto, and founded upon
the revealed will of God, whether in matters of faith or practice. And
although the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased a glorious liberty unto
believers from sin, and all the bitter fruits thereof, and of access to
a throne of grace with boldness; and has procured unto his church
freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, with a more abundant
communication of gospel influences: yet, inasmuch as conscience is the
rule ruled, not the rule, ruling, none can, without manifest sin, upon
pretense of conscience or Christian liberty, cherish any forbidden lust
in their souls, nor are left at freedom to reject any of the divine
ordinances instituted in the word, to change or corrupt their scriptural
institution, by immixing human inventions therewith, or in the least
deviating from the punity thereof. And that therefore, all who vent or
maintain tenets or opinions, contrary to the established principles of
Christianity, whether in the matter of doctrine, divine worship, or
practice in life, which are contrary to, and inconsistent with the
analogy of faith, and power of true godliness, or destructive to that
pure peace and good order established by Christ in his church, are
accountable unto the church; and upon conviction, ought to be proceeded
against, by inflicting ecclesiastical censures or civil pains, in a way
agreeable unto the divine determination in the word concerning such

And further, they declare, that it is most wicked, and what manifestly
strikes against the sovereign authority of God, for any power on earth
to pretend to tolerate, and, by sanction of civil law, to give license
to men to publish and propagate with impunity, whatever errors,
heresies, and damnable doctrines, Satan, and their own corrupt and
blinded understandings, may prompt them to believe and embrace;
toleration being destructive of all true religion, and of that liberty
wherewith Christ has made his people free; and the great end thereof,
which is, "That being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we may
serve the Lord--in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our
lives." Agreeable to James iv, 12; Rom. xiv, 4; Acts iv, 19, and v, 29;
1 Cor. vii, 23; Matth. xxiii, 9; 2 John 10, 11; 2 Cor. i, 24; Matth. xv,
9; Col. ii, 20, 22, 23; Gal. ii, 4, 5, and v, 1, 13; Isa. viii, 20; Acts
xvii, 11; Hosea v, 11; 1 Cor. v, 1,5, 11, 13; Tit. i. 10, 11, 13, and
iii, 20; Matth. xviii, 15-17; Deut. xiii, 6-12; Ezek. vii, 23, 25, 26;
Zech. xiii, 2, 3; Rev. ii, 2, 14, 15, 20; Confess, chap. 20; Larg. Cat.
quest. 100, 103; Sh. Cat. quest. 49, 50.

XIV. OF TESTIMONY-BEARING.--Again, they declare and assert, that all
true believers, members of the church invisible, are by the indissoluble
bond of the Spirit, and true faith in Christ, their Head, savingly
united unto, and have communion with him in grace and in glory, in this
life and the life to come. In all their afflictions he is afflicted, and
shares with them in their sufferings and trials, is with them in and
through death, exalteth them at last over all their enemies, receiving
them into glory and blessedness with himself, that they may behold and
share in his glory with him through eternity: and that all of them being
knit and joined together in holy love and affection, do participate
mutually of each others gifts and graces; and are indispensably bound to
exercise themselves in the practice of all commanded duties, for
preserving the love of God, and life of grace, in their own, and one
another's souls. And further, they declare that the visible church, and
the members thereof, are externally in covenant with Christ their Head,
have one and the same Lord, profess the same faith in doctrine and
worship, receive the same seals of God's covenant, baptism, and the
Lord's Supper: and are thereby bound to hold fast the Head, to be
subject to his authority, keep the faith they have received, and
maintain an holy communion and fellowship in the worship of God; closely
abiding by the standard of Christ, their captain and leader, and lifting
up the banner of divine truth, in opposition unto, and holy contempt of
all their enemies of every kind. And further, they affirm, that as the
visible church in general, is bound to be faithful to Christ, their Head
and Lord, and to preserve inviolate, the whole of that sacred
_depositum_ of truth wherewith she is intrusted by him, not quitting
with, nor willfully apostatizing from the same, in profession or
practise: so no particular subject of this spiritual kingdom of Christ
can recede from any part of divine truth, which they have received, and
whereof they have made profession, without lese-majesty unto the Son of
God, and violation of their obligations they have come under, at
receiving the seals of the covenant, with whatever other lawful vows
they have made unto the Most High; according to 1 John i, 2, 3; Eph.
iii, 16-19; John i, 16; Heb. x, 24, 25; Acts ii, 42, 46; Eph. iv, 4-6;
Phil. iii, 16; Rev. ii, 25, and iii, 3; Confess, chap. 2, 6; Larg. Cat.
quest. 63; Short. Cat. quest. 50.

XV. OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.--They likewise affirm and declare, that the
Lord Jesus Christ, our exalted Immanuel, the sole and supreme Head,
Lawgiver and King of his church, which is his spiritual and absolutely
free and independent kingdom, has herein warranted, instituted and
appointed certain office-bearers (who derive their mission and authority
from him alone) to regulate, administer, judge and determine in all the
affairs of his house, to whom alone the keys of the kingdom of heaven
are by him committed. Particularly, they are intrusted with the key of
doctrine, to discover the mind of God, and preach Christ crucified unto
sinners; the key of government for preserving that beauty of order,
purity and power in the house of God, which he has enjoined should take
place therein; the key of discipline, to inflict ecclesiastical censures
upon such as turn aside after their _crooked ways_, or continue
obstinate in their offenses; the key of ordination and mediate mission,
in ordinary circumstances of the church, solemnly to set apart and send
forth church officers unto that sacred function and official trust in
the house of God, on the regular trial of the suitableness of their
gifts and qualifications for that spiritual service and ministration;
according to 1 Cor. xii, 28; Eph. iv, 11; Matth. xviii, 19; John xx, 23;
Matth. xviii, 18; Acts xv, throughout, and xvi, 4; Matth. xxviii, 19,
20; Mark xvi, 15; Acts vi, 6; 1 Tim. iv, 14, and iii, 10; Confess, chap
30, Sec. 2, 3 and 31; Sec. 3. Form of church government, books of discipline,
and the several laudable acts and constitutions of this church;
particularly, _Act_ of _Assem._ at _Edinburgh, August_ 4th, 1649,
_Sess._ 4, entitled, _Directory for electing of ministers_.

They likewise assert and maintain, that the Lord Jesus Christ, the
church's glorious Head, hath appointed a certain form of government
therein, distinct from civil government, and not at all subordinate to
civil rulers. And that the only ecclesiastical government warranted by
Christ is his word, and to continue in his church unalterable, is
Presbyterial church government, exclusive of all superior dignity above
a teaching presbyter, and consisting in her judicative capacity of
kirk-sessions, in subordination to presbyteries; of presbyteries, in
subordination to provincial synods; of provincial synods, in
subordination to national; and national to ecumenical assemblies, or
general councils.

And further, they assert, that the office-bearers of the Lord's house,
are, according to the command, and in the name and authority of the Lord
Jesus Christ, the only Lawgiver and King of his church, and by virtue of
the church's intrinsic power derived from Christ, to assemble,
constitute and adjourn these several courts of his house, nominate the
fixed or occasional times of their subsequent meetings, as the church's
condition or exigencies require; although they grant that the Christian
magistrate may, in extraordinary cases, or otherwise, call together a
synod of ministers, and ether fit persons, for consultation and advice
in religious matters: but in which they have no power to judge or
determine in matters of faith; but only discretively to examine, whether
the synod's determinations and decisions be consonant and agreeable to
scripture, and accordingly to acquiesce therein; Isa. ix, 6, 7; Ezek.
xliii, 10, 11; Acts xv, 2, 4, 6; 1 Tim. v, 17; Heb. xiii, 17; 2 Chron.
xix, 8-11; Acts xvii, 11; Confess, chap. 30, Sec. 1 and chap. 31, Sec. 1, 2,
and conform to act of assembly, anno 1647; Sec. 2,3; 2d book of discipline,
and propositions for church government.

They likewise assert and maintain, that the office-bearers in the church
of Christ, according to their different places and stations therein,
must give evidence of their being possessed in some suitable measure of
the qualifications which God in his word requires to be in any that are
to be placed in such stations or offices, particularly that of
devotedness to the cause and honor of Christ. And they further assert,
that ministers of the gospel, and other church officers, must enter into
the exercise of their office, at the door of Christ's appointment, by
the call and choice of the Christian people, who are capable with
judgment to give their consent; 1 Tim. iii, from verse 2 to 12; Tit. i,
5, 6, 7; Acts vi, 2 to 6; Chap, xiv, 23; John x, 4, 5, and agreeable to
the laudable acts and ordinances of this church and state, in favor of
reformation principles, books of discipline, &c.

XVI. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.--In like manner they assert and maintain, that
God Almighty, the Sovereign Lord of all things, and special protector
and preserver of his professed subjects in this lower world, hath for
his own glory and the public good, authorized and instituted in his word
the office and ordinance of civil government and governors, for the
preservation of external peace and concord, administration of justice,
defense and encouragement of such as are, and do good, and punishment of
evil doers, who transgress either table of the law. For all which ends,
subordinate unto that of his own glory, God, the alone supreme fountain
of all power, has instituted and appointed this ordinance. And further
they maintain, that a due measure of those qualifications which God, the
great lawgiver requires in his word, together with what other
stipulations according to the same unerring rule, a Christian people,
who are blessed with the light of divine revelation, have made the
fundamental conditions of civil government among them, are essentially
necessary to the constitution and investiture of lawful authority over
such a people. No other but such a constitution and investiture, can
either be approven of by God, or answer the ends, ultimate or
subordinate, of this ordinance, unto the honor of the great institutor,
as appears from Prov. viii, 15, 16; Psa. cxlvii, 19, 20, and cxlix, G,
7, 8, 9; Isa. xlix, 23; Rom. xiii, 1, 2, 3, 4; Deut. xvii, 14, 15; 2
Sam. xxiii, 2, 3, 4; Exod. xviii, 21. Confess, chap. 23, Sec. 1. Seasonable
warning by the general assembly, July 27, 1649. Act 15, Sess. 2, Parl.
1, 1640.

They further assert and maintain, that the constituting of the relation
betwixt rulers and ruled, is voluntary and mutual; and that the lawful
constitution of civil magistrates, is, by the mutual election of the
people (in whom is the radical right, or intermediate voice of God, of
choosing and appointing such as are to sway the scepter of government
over them) and consent of those who are elected and chosen for the
exercise of that office, with certain stipulations according to
scripture and right reason, obliging each other unto the duty of their
different stations and relations. And further they affirm that when
magistrates are so constituted, Christians are bound by the law of God
to pray for the divine blessing upon their persons and government,
reverence and highly esteem them, yield a conscientious subjection and
obedience to their lawful commands, defend and support them in the due
exercise of their power; which power magistrates are especially to exert
for the outward defense of the church of God, against all her external
enemies, restraining or otherwise punishing, as the case may require,
all open blasphemers, idolaters, false-worshipers, heretics, with all
avowed contemners of the worship and discipline of the house of God; and
by his civil sanction to corroborate all the laws and ordinances of
Christ's house, providing and enjoining that every thing in the house of
the God of heaven, be done according to the law of the God of heaven;
Deut. xvii, 14; 2 Kings xi, 17; 1 Sam. xi, 15; 1 Tim. ii, 1,2; 1 Peter
ii, 17; Rom xiii, 2 to 8; 2 Kings xviii, 4, and xxiii, 1 to 26; 2 Chron.
xxix, and xxx, chapters throughout; Ezra vii, 23. Confess. chap. 23, Sec.
3, coronation oath of Scotland, sworn and subscribed by Charles II. at
Scone, January 1st, 1651, and oath of fidelity by the people.

to these two great ordinances of divine institution, the magistracy and
ministry, with the qualifications of the persons and duty of the people,
as before asserted, the Presbytery reject, like as they did, and hereby

Book of the day: