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The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and by The Reformed Presbytery

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realm_, as God's eternal truth and only ground of our salvation, as more
particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, established
and publickly confirmed by sundry Acts of Parliaments, and now of a long
time have been openly professed by the King's Majesty, and whole body of
this realm, both in burgh and land. To the which Confession and form of
religion, we willingly agree in our own consciences, in all points, as
unto God's undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written
word. And, therefore, we abhor and detest all contrary religion and
doctrine; but chiefly all kind of Papistry in general, and particular
heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the word of God, and
Kirk of Scotland. But in special we detest and refuse the usurped
authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the
Kirk, the civil Magistrate, and consciences of men: All his tyrranous
laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty: His
erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the
perfection of the law, the offices of Christ, and his blessed evangel:
His corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability
and rebellion to God's law, our justification by faith only, our
imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law; the nature, number,
and use of the holy sacraments: His five bastard sacraments; with all
his rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of
the true sacraments, without the Word of God: His cruel judgment against
infants departing without the sacrament: His absolute necessity of
baptism: His blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation, or real presence
of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the same by the
wicked, or bodies of men: His dispensations with solemn oaths,
perjuries, and degrees of marriage forbidden in the Word; His cruelty
against the innocent divorced: His devilish mass: His blasphemous
priesthood: His profane sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the
quick: His canonization of men; calling upon angels or saints departed;
worshipping of imagery, relics and crosses; dedicating of kirks, altars,
days; Vows to creatures: His purgatory, prayers for the dead; praying or
speaking in a strange language; with his processions and blasphemous
litany, and multitude of advocates or mediators: His manifold orders,
auricular confession: His desperate and uncertain repentance; His
general and doubtsome faith: His satisfactions of men for their sins:
His justification by works, _opus operatum_, works of supererogation,
merits, pardons, peregrinations and stations: His holy water, baptizing
of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, earning, anointing, conjuring,
hallowing of God's good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined
therewith: His worldly monarchy, and wicked hierarchy: His three solemn
vows, with all his shavellings of sundry sorts: His erroneous and bloody
decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that
cruel and bloody bond, conjured against the Kirk of God.

And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and
traditions brought into the Kirk, without or against the Word of God and
doctrine of this true reformed Kirk; to the which we join ourselves
willingly, in doctrine, faith, religion, discipline, and use of the holy
sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our head: Promising
and swearing by the _Great Name of the Lord our God_, that we shall
continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this kirk,
and shall defend the same according to our vocation and power, all the
days of our lives, under the pains continued in the law and danger both
of body and soul, in the day of God's fearful judgment. And, seeing that
many are stirred up by Satan and that Roman Antichrist, to promise,
swear, subscribe, and for a time use the holy sacraments in the Kirk
deceitfully against their own consciences, minding thereby, first, under
the external cloak of religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God's
true religion within the Kirk, and afterwards, when the time may serve,
to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vain hope of
the Pope's dispensation devised against the Word of God, to his greater
confusion, and their double condemnation in the day of the Lord Jesus.

We, therefore, willing to take away all suspicion of hypocrisy, and of
such double dealing with God and his Kirk, protest, and call _the
Searcher of all hearts for witness_, that our minds and hearts do fully
agree with this our _Confession, Promise, Oath_, and _Subscription_, so
that we are not moved with any worldly respect, but are persuaded only
in our own consciences, through the knowledge and love of God's true
religion, imprinted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall answer
to him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.
And because we perceive that the quietness and stability of our religion
and kirk, doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of [the[5]
King's Majesty,] as upon a comfortable instrument of God's mercy,
granted to this country, for the maintaining of this kirk, and
ministration of justice amongst us, we protest and promise with our
hearts, under the same oath, hand-write, and pains, that we shall defend
[his[6] person and authority,] with our goods, bodies, and lives, in
the defence of Christ's evangel, liberties of our country, ministration
of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this
realm, or without, we desire our God to be a strong and merciful
defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ. To whom with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and
glory eternally. Amen.

Likeas, many Acts of Parliament not only in general do abrogate, annul,
and rescind all laws, statutes, acts, constitutions; canons, civil or
municipal, with all other ordinances and practique penalties whatsoever,
made in prejudice of the true religion and professors thereof; or of the
true kirk-discipline, jurisdiction and freedom thereof; or in favor of
idolatry and superstition; or of the Papistical kirk; as Act. 3, Act.
31, Parl. 1; Act. 23, Parl. 11; Act. 114, Parl. 12, of King James VI.
that Papistry and superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to
the intention of the Acts of Parliament, repeated in the 5th Act, Parl.
20, King James VI. And to that end they ordain all Papists and priests
to be punished with manifold civil and ecclesiastical pains, as
adversaries to God's true religion, preached, and by law established
within this realm, Act 24, Parl. 11, King James VI.; as common enemies
to all Christian government, Act 18 Parl. 16, King James VI.; as
rebellers and gainstanders of our sovereign Lord's authority, Act 47
Parl. 8, King James VI.; and as idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, King James
VI. But also in particular, by and attour the Confession of Faith, do
abolish and condemn the Pope's authority and jurisdiction out of this
land, and ordain the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2, Parl. 1;
Act 51 Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 114, Parl. 12, King James VI., do
condemn the Pope's erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine
repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian religion,
publickly preached, and by law established in this realm; and ordain the
spreaders and makers of books, or libels, or letters, or writs of that
nature, to be punished, Acts 46, Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 24, Par.
11, K. James VI. do condemn all baptism conform to the Pope's kirk, and
the idolatry of the mass; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers,
concealers of the mass, the maintainers and resetters of the priests,
Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without any exception or
restriction, Act 5, Parl. 1; Act 120, Parl. 12; Act 134, Parl. 13; Act
139, Parl. Act 1, Parl. 19; Act 5, Parl. 20, King James VI., do condemn
all erroneous books and writs, containing erroneous doctrine against the
religion presently professed or containing superstitious rites and
ceremonies Papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused; and
ordains the home-bringers of them to be punished, Act 25, Parl. 11, King
James VI., do condemn the monuments and dregs of the bygone idolatry, as
going to crosses, observing the festival days of Saints and other
superstitious and Papistical rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of
true religion, and fostering of great error among the people; and
ordains the users of them to be punished for the second fault as
idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, King James VI.

Likeas, many acts of parliament are conceived for maintenance of God's
true Christian religion, and the purity thereof in doctrine and
sacraments of the true church of God, the liberty and freedom thereof in
her national synodical assemblies, Presbyteries, sessions, policy,
discipline, and jurisdiction thereof, as that purity of religion and
liberty of the church was used, professed, exercised, preached, and
confessed according to the reformation of religion in this realm. As for
instance, the 99th Act, Parl. 7, Act 23, Parl. 11; Act 114, Parl. 12;
Act 160, Parl. 13, King James VI., ratified by the 4th Act of King
Charles. So that the 6th Act, Parl. 1, and 68th Act, Parl. 6, of King
James VI., in the year of God 1579, declares the ministers of the
blessed evangel, whom God of his mercy had raised up, or hereafter
should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in doctrine and
administration of the sacraments, and the people that professed Christ
as he was then offered in the evangel and doth communicate with the holy
sacraments, (as in the reformed kirks of this realm they were publickly
administrate) according to the Confession of Faith, to be the true and
holy kirk of Christ Jesus within this realm, and decerns and declares
all and sundry who either gainsay the word of the evangel, received and
approved as the heads of the Confession of Faith, professed in
parliament in the year of God 1560, specified also in the first
Parliament of King James VI, and ratified in this present parliament;
more particularly do specify, or that refuse the administration of the
holy sacraments as they were then administered, to be no members of the
said kirk within this realm, and true religion presently professed, so
long as they keep themselves so divided from the society of Christ's
body; and the subsequent Act 69, Parl. 6. of King James VI. declares,
that there is none other face of kirk, nor other face of religion, than
was presently at that time by the favour of God established within this
realm, which therefore is ever styled, _God's true religion--Christ's
true religion--the true and Christian religion--and a perfect religion_;
which, by manifold acts of parliament, all within this realm are bound
to subscribe the articles thereof, the Confession of Faith, to recant
all doctrine and errors repugnant to any of the said articles, Act 4 and
9, Parl. 1; Act 45, 46, 47, Parl. 3; Act 71, Parl. 6; Act 106, Parl. 7;
Act 24, Parl. 11; Act 123, Parl. 12; Act 194 and 197, Parl. 14, of King
James VI. And all magistrates, sheriffs, &c. on the one part, are
ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveners; for
instance, Act 5, Parl. 1; Act 104, Parl. 7; Act 25, Parl. 11, King James
VI.; and that notwithstanding of the King's Majesty's licence to the
contrary, which are discharged and declared to be of no force, in so far
as they tend in any ways to the prejudice and hinder of the execution of
the acts of parliament against Papists and adversaries of true religion,
Act 106, Parl. 7, King James VI. On the other part, in the 47th Act,
Parl. 3, of King James VI. it is declared and ordained, seeing the cause
of God's true religion and his highness' authority are so joined, as the
hurt of the one is common to both; and that none shall be reputed as
loyal and faithful subjects to our sovereign lord or his authority, but
be punishable as rebellers and gainstanders of the same, who shall not
give their confession, and make their profession of the said true
religion, and that they who, after defection, shall give the confession
of their faith of new, they shall promise to continue therein in time
coming, to maintain our sovereign lord's authority, and at the uttermost
of their power to fortify, assist, and maintain the true preachers and
professors of Christ's evangel against whatsoever enemies and
gainstanders of the same; and namely, against all such (of whatsoever
nation, estate, or degree they be,) that have joined and bound
themselves, or have assisted, or assist to set forward, and execute the
cruel decrees of Trent, contrary to the preachers and true professors of
the Word of God, which is repeated, word by word, in the articles of
pacification at Perth, the 23rd of February, 1572; approved by
Parliament, the last of April, 1573; ratified in Parliament, 1587; and
related, Act 123, Parl. 12, of King James VI., with this addition, that
they are bound to resist all treasonable uproars and hostilities that
are raised against the true religion, the King's Majesty, and the true

Likeas all lieges are bound to maintain the King's Majesty's royal
person, and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without the which
neither any laws, or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130,
Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. and the subjects' liberties, who ought
only to live and be governed by the King's laws, the common laws of this
realm allenarly, Act 48, Parl. 3, K. James I. Act 79, Parl. 6, K. James
IV. repeated in the Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. Which, if they be
innovated or prejudged, the commission anent the union of the two
kingdoms of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17 Parl.
of K. James VI. declares such confusion would ensue, as this realm could
be no more a free monarchy, because by the fundamental laws, ancient
privileges, offices and liberties of this kingdom, not only the princely
authority of his Majesty's royal descent hath been these many ages
maintained, but also the people's security of their lands, livings,
rights, offices, liberties, and dignities preserved, and therefore for
the preservation of the said true religion, laws and liberties of this
kingdom, it is statute by the 8 Act, Parl. 1, repeated in the 99 Act,
Parl. 7, ratified in the 23 Act, Parl. 11, and 114 Act, Parl. 12, of K.
James VI. and 4 Act K. Charles I. That all kings and princes at their
coronation and reception of their princely authority, shall make their
faithful promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the eternal
God, that enduring the whole time of their lives; they shall serve the
same eternal God to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath
required in his most holy word, contained in the Old and New Testaments.
And according to the same word, shall maintain the true religion of
Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy word, the due and right
ministration of the sacraments now received and preached within this
realm (according to the Confession of Faith) and shall abolish and
gainstand all false religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the
people committed to their charge, according to the will and command of
God, revealed in his foresaid word, and according to the laudable laws
and constitutions received in this realm, no ways repugnant to the said
will of the eternal God; and shall procure, to the uttermost of their
power, to the kirk of God and whole Christian people, true and perfect
peace in all time coming; and that they shall be careful to root out of
their empire all heretics, and enemies to the true worship of God, who
shall be convicted by the true kirk of God, for the foresaid crimes,
which was also observed by his Majesty[7] at his coronation in
Edinburgh, 1633, as may be seen in the order of the coronation.

In obedience to the commandment of God, conform to the practice of the
godly in former times, and according to the laudable example of our
worthy and religious progenitors,----which was warranted also by Act of
Council, commanding a general bond to be made and subscribed by his
Majesty's subjects of all ranks, for two causes: one was, for defending
the true religion as it was then reformed, and is expressed in the
Confession of faith above-mentioned, and a former large Confession
established by sundry acts of lawful General Assemblies, and of
Parliament, unto which it hath relation, set down in public Catechisms,
and which had been for many years (with a blessing from heaven) preached
and professed in this kirk and kingdom as God's undoubted truth,
grounded only upon his written Word. The other cause was, for
maintaining the King's Majesty, his person, and estate; the true worship
of God and the King's authority being so straitly joined as that they
had the same friends and common enemies and did stand and fall together;
and finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our
mouths, that the present and succeeding generations in this land are
bound to keep the foresaid national oath and subscription inviolable.
We,------------under subscribing, considering divers times before, and
especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed religion
--------, and of the public peace of the kingdom; by the manifold
innovations and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned,
[in supplications, complaints, and protestations,[8]] do hereby
profess, and before God, his angels, and the world, solemnly declare,
that with our whole hearts we agree and resolve, all the days of our
life, constantly to adhere unto and defend the foresaid true religion;
and (forbearing the practice of all novations already introduced in the
matters of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the
public government of the kirk, or civil places and power of kirkmen,[9]
till they be tried and allowed in free assemblies and in Parliaments,)
to labor by all means lawful to recover the purity and liberty of the
gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid
novations; and because, after due examination, we plainly perceive, and
undoubtedly believe, that the evils contained in our [supplications,
complaints, and protestations,[10]] have no warrant of the Word of God;
are contrary to the articles of the foresaid Confessions, to the
intention and meaning of the blessed reformers of religion in this land,
to the above-written Acts of Parliament, and do sensibly tend to the
re-establishing of the Popish religion and tyranny, and to the
subversion and ruin of the true reformed religion, and of our liberties,
laws and estates. We also declare, that the foresaid confessions are to
be interpreted, and ought to be understood of the foresaid novations and
evils, no less than if every one of them had been expressed in the
foresaid Confessions, and that we are obliged to detest and abhor them,
amongst other particular heads of Papistry abjured therein; and,
therefore, from the knowledge and conscience of our duty to God, [to our
King and country,[11]] without any worldly respect or inducement, so far
as human infirmity will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace
of God for this effect, we promise and swear by the _great name of the
Lord our God_, to continue in the profession and obedience of the
foresaid religion; that we shall defend the same, and resist all these
contrary errors and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the
uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the days of
our life; and, in like manner, with the same heart, we declare before
God and men, that we have no intention nor desire to attempt any thing
that may turn to the dishonour of God, or to the diminution of [the
King's[12]] greatness and authority; but on the contrary, we promise and
swear, that we shall, to the uttermost of our power, with our means and
lives, and to the defence of [our dread sovereign, the King's Majesty,
his person and authority[13]] in the defence and preservation of the
foresaid true religion, liberties, and laws of the kingdom; as also, to
the mutual defence and assistance every one of us of another, in the
same cause of maintaining the true religion [his Majesty's[14]]
authority, with our best counsel, our bodies, means, and whole power,
against all sorts of persons whatsoever. So that whatsoever shall be
done to the least of us for that cause, shall be taken as done to us all
in general, and to every one of us in particular; that we shall, neither
directly nor indirectly, suffer ourselves to be divided or withdrawn, by
whatsoever suggestion, allurement, or terror, from this blessed and
loyal conjunction; nor shall cast in any let or impediment that may stay
or hinder any such resolution, as by common consent shall be found to
conduce for so good ends;--but, on the contrary, shall, by all lawful
means labour to further and promote the same, and if any such dangerous
and divisive motions be made to us by word or write, we, and every one
of us, shall either suppress it, or if need be, shall incontinent make
the same known that it may be timeously obviated; neither do we fear the
foul aspersions of rebellion, combination, or what else our adversaries
from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so
well warranted, and ariseth from an unfeigned desire to maintain the
true worship of God, the majesty of [[15] our King,] and peace of the
kingdom, for the common happiness of ourselves and the posterity.

And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings,
except with our profession and subscription, we join such a life and
conversation as beseemeth Christians who have renewed their covenant
with God: We, therefore, faithfully promise, for ourselves, our
followers, and all other under us, both in public, in our particular
families and personal carriage, to endeavor to keep ourselves within the
bounds of Christian liberty, and to be good examples to others of all
godliness, soberness and righteousness, and of every duty we owe to God
and man. And that this our union and conjunction may be observed without
violation, we call the living God, the searcher of our hearts, to
witness, who knoweth this to be our sincere desire and unfeigned
resolution, as we shall answer to Jesus Christ, in the great day, and
under the pain of God's everlasting wrath and of infamy, and loss of all
honour and respect in this world: Most humbly beseeching the Lord to
strengthen us by his Holy Spirit for this end, and to bless our desires
and proceedings with a happy success, that religion and righteousness
may nourish in the land, to the glory of God, the honour of [our
King[16]] and peace and comfort of us all. In witness whereof we have
subscribed with our hands all the premises, &c.

The article of this covenant, which was at first subscription
referred[17] to the determination of the General Assembly, being now
determined, and thereby the five articles of Perth, the government of
the Kirk by Bishops, the civil places and power of kirkmen upon the
reasons and grounds contained in the Acts of the General Assembly,
declared to be unlawful within this kirk, we subscribe according to the
determination foresaid.

* * * * *


We, having before our eyes the glory of God, and the advancement of the
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happiness
of [the[18] King's Majesty and his posterity] and the true public
liberty, safety, and peace of the kingdoms, wherein every one's private
condition is included; and calling to mind the treacherous and bloody
plots, conspiracies, attempts and practices of the enemies of God
against the true religion and professors thereof in all places,
especially in these three kingdoms, ever since the reformation of
religion; and how much their rage, power, and presumption are of late,
and at this time increased and exercised, whereof the deplorable estate
of the church and kingdom of Ireland, the distressed estate of the
church and kingdom of England, and the dangerous estate of the church
and kingdom of Scotland, are present and public testimonies. We have now
at last [[19] after other means of supplication, remonstrance,
protestation and suffering] for the preservation of ourselves and our
religion from utter ruin and destruction, according to the commendable
practice of these kingdoms in former times, and the example of God's
people in other nations, after mature deliberation, resolved and
determined to enter into a mutual and Solemn League and Covenant:
Wherein we all subscribe, and each one of us for himself, with our hands
lifted up to the Most High God, do swear--

1. That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the grace of
God, endeavour in our several places and callings, the preservation of
the reformed religion in the church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship,
discipline, and government, against our common enemies; the reformation
of religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government, according to the Word of God, and
the example of the best reformed churches; and shall endeavour to bring
the churches of God in the three kingdoms, to the nearest conjunction
and uniformity in religion, Confession of Faith, Form of
Church-government, Directory for Worship and Catechizing; that we and
our posterity after us, may, as brethren, live in faith and love, and
the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.

2. That we shall, in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavor
the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy (that is, church government by
arch-bishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, deans, deans
and chapters, archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers
depending on that hierarchy), superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness,
and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the
power of godliness; lest we partake in other men's sins, and thereby be
in danger to receive of their plagues; and that the Lord may be one,
and his name one in the three kingdoms.

3. We shall, with the same sincerity, reality and constancy, in our
several vocations, endeavor with our estates and lives mutually to
preserve the rights and privileges of the parliaments[20] and the
liberties of the kingdoms; and to preserve and defend [the King's[21]
Majesty's] person and authority, in the preservation and defence of the
true religion and liberties of the kingdoms; that the world may bear
witness with our consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no
thoughts or intentions to diminish [his[22] Majesty's] just power and

4. We shall also with all faithfulness endeavor the discovery of all
such as have been, or shall be, incendiaries, malignants, or evil
instruments, by hindering the reformation of religion, dividing [the[23]
King] from his people, or one of the kingdoms from another, or making
any faction or parties amongst the people, contrary to this League and
Covenant, that they may be brought to public trial, and receive condign
punishment, as the degree of their offences shall require or deserve, or
the supreme judicatories of both kingdoms respectively, or others having
power from them for that effect, shall judge convenient.

5. And whereas the happiness of a blessed peace between these kingdoms,
denied in former times to our progenitors, was by the good providence of
God granted unto [[24]us] and--concluded, and settled by both
parliaments, We shall, each one of us, according to our place and
interest, endeavor that they may be and remain conjoined[25] in a firm
peace and union to all posterity, and that justice may be done upon the
wilful opposers thereof, in manner expressed in the precedent article.

6. We shall also according to our places and callings this common cause
of religion, liberty and peace of the kingdoms, assist and defend all
those that enter into this league and covenant, in the maintaining and
pursuing thereof; and shall not suffer ourselves, directly or
indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion or terror, to be
divided and withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether
to make defection to the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a
detestable indifferency or neutrality in this cause which so much
concerneth the glory of God, the good of the kingdoms, and honor of
[the[26] King;] but shall all the days of our lives zealously and
constantly continue therein, against all opposition, and promote the
same according to our power, against all lets and impediments
whatsoever; and what we are not able ourselves to suppress or overcome,
we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or
removed; all of which we shall do as in the sight of God.

And because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins, and provocations
against God and his Son Jesus Christ, as is too manifest by our present
distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof; we profess and declare
before God and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own
sins, and for the sins of these kingdoms, especially that we have not,
as we ought, valued the inestimable benefit of the gospel, that we have
not labored for the purity and power thereof, and that we have not
endeavored to receive Christ in our hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in
our lives, which are the causes of other sins and transgressions so much
abounding amongst us; and our true and unfeigned purpose, desire and
endeavor for ourselves, and all others under our power and charge, both
in public and private, in all duties we owe to God and man, to amend our
lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a real
reformation; that the Lord may turn away his wrath, and heavy
indignation, and establish these churches and kingdoms in truth and
peace. And this Covenant we make in the presence of Almighty God, the
searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we
shall answer at the great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be
disclosed; most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his Holy
Spirit for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such
success as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and
encouragement to other Christian churches that may be groaning under, or
in danger of, the yoke of Antichristian tyranny, to join in the same,
or like association and Covenant to the glory of God, the enlargement of
the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the peace and tranquility of Christian
kingdoms and commonwealths.

N.B.--These Covenants above-written, formerly nationally taken and
renewed, and still nationally binding, We, in our private station only,
swear and subscribe in their genuine sense, conform to the Explication
and Application thereof, in our present Acknowledgment of the public
Sins and Breaches of the same, and Engagement to the Duties contained
therein, which do in a special way relate to the present times, and are
proper for our capacities therein.

* * * * *


We all and every one of us--being _by the good hand of our God upon us_,
now, after a long and due deliberation, determined to testify to the
world, for the glory of God, and the exoneration of our consciences, in
the matter of our duty, our adherance to the whole of our attained
Reformation, by renewing these our vows and Covenant-engagements with
God, and knowing that it is a necessary preparative for the right
performance of that so great and solemn a duty, that we be duly sensible
of, and deeply humbled for the many heinous breaches thereof, which
these nations, and we ourselves in particular are guilty of; do
therefore, with that measure of sorrow and repentance which God of his
mercy shall be pleased to grant us, desire to acknowledge and confess
our own sins and violations of these vows, and the sins and
transgressions of our fathers; to which we have also an example left us
by the _Cloud of witnesses, which through faith and patience have
inherited the promises_, ever since the Lord had a visible national
church upon earth, and more especially by our progenitors in this
nation; as, for instance, in the year 1596, "Wherein the General
Assembly, and all the kirk judicatories, with the concurrence of many of
the nobility, gentry and burgesses, did with many tears acknowledge the
breach of the National Covenant, and engaged themselves into a
reformation, even as our predecessors, and theirs, had done in the
General Assembly and Convention of Estates in the year 1567." As also
the more recent practice of the godly renewing the National Covenant,
and acknowledging the breaches of it, both before they obtained the
concurrence of civil authority, in the year 1638, and again, by
authority, in the year 1639. And that noble precedent of that _National
Solemn acknowledgment of Public Sins and Breaches of the Solemn League
and Covenant, and Solemn Engagement to all the duties contained
therein_, (which we are here taking for our pattern, and enlarging the
same as the sad sins and transgressions since that time committed, and
the circumstances of time give occasion) condescended upon, "by the
Commission of the General Assembly, and approven by the Committee of
Estates, and publickly owned in all the churches, at the renewing of the
Solemn League, Anno 1648, and 1649, together with that solemn renovation
thereof accompanied with such confession of sins as did best suit that
time, by that small company of the Lord's people at Lanark, before their
discomfiture at Pentland hills. And perceiving by the foresaid
instances, that this duty, when gone about out of conscience, hath very
often been attended with a reviving out of troubles--or at least out of
deadness, security, and formality, under which we and the land are at
present sinking, and with a blessing and success from heaven;--'We do
humbly and sincerely, as in His sight who is the searcher of hearts,
acknowledge the many sins and great transgressions of the land; we have
done wickedly, our kings, our princes, our nobles, our judges, our
officers, our teachers, and our people. Albeit the Lord hath long and
clearly spoken unto us, we have not hearkened to his voice. Albeit he
hath followed us with tender mercies, we have not been allured to wait
upon him and walk in his way. And though he hath sticken us, yet we have
not grieved: nay, though he hath consumed us, we have refused to receive
correction. We have not remembered to render unto the Lord according to
his goodness, and according to our vows and promises; but have gone away
backward, by a perpetual backsliding, and have most sinfully and
shamefully broken the National Covenant, and all the articles of the
Solemn League and Covenant, which our fathers sware before God, angels
and men.'" Albeit there has been in the land, ever since the reformation
of religion, some of all ranks who have been for a testimony unto the
truth, and for a name of joy and praise unto the Lord, by living godly,
studying to keep their garments pure, and being steadfast in the
covenant and cause of God; and there yet continues to be some, though
reduced to a very small number, destitute of outward power and ability,
and other helps fit for the right managing of a testimony, wanting the
countenance of civil authority, and having few to feed or lead them; who
are, notwithstanding all these difficulties, labouring in the strength
of Christ to keep the good old way of these faithful witnesses who are
gone before, in bearing testimony to the truths of Christ. "Yet we have
reason to acknowledge, that most of us in this land have not endeavoured
with that reality, sincerity, and constancy that did become us, to
preserve the work of reformation in the Kirk of Scotland, as we are
obliged by the first article of the Solemn League, and by the National
Covenant; wherein we promise and swear by the great name of the Lord our
God, that we shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and
discipline of this kirk, and shall defend the same according to our
vocation and power all the days of our lives, under the pains contained
in the law, and danger both of body and soul in the day of God's fearful
judgment, and resist all contrary error and corruptions, according to
our vocations, and the utmost of that power God hath put in our hands
all the days of our life--according to these Scriptures."

Ezra ix. 10, 11, "And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for
we have forsaken thy commandments. Verse 11. Which thou hast commanded
by thy servants the prophets, &c." Isaiah xxiv. 5, "The earth also is
defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant."
Jeremiah ix. 13, "And the Lord saith, because they have forsaken my law,
which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked
therein. Verse 15. Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of
Israel, behold I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and
give them water of gall to drink." Daniel vii. 25, "And he shall speak
great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the
Most High, and think to change times and laws." Galatians v. 1, "Stand
fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be
not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." I Timothy iv. 16, "Take
heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine: continue in them: for in doing
this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 2 Timothy
i. 13, "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me,
in faith, and love, which is in Christ Jesus." Revelation in. 10, 11,
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee
from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try
them that dwell upon the earth. Behold I come quickly; hold fast that
which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

"But we have been so far from such endeavours, that there hath been a
stupid submission to our rulers and great ones, breaking down and
ruining the whole work of reformation, razing the bulwarks thereof,
rescinding the laws in favour of the same, and not only breaking but
burning the covenants for preserving it, enacting the breaches thereof,
and declaring the obligation thereof void and criminal to be, owned;
and, upon the ruins thereof, setting up abjured Diocesan Erastian
Prelacy, with its concomitant bondage of patronages--a blasphemous and
sacrilegious supremacy and arbitrary power in magistrate over church and
state. There was little conscience made of constant endeavours to
preserve the reformation, when there was not a seasonable testimony
exhibited against these audacious and heaven-daring attempts; when our
ministers were by a wicked edict ejected from their charges, both they
and the people too easily complied with it. Albeit, in the National
Covenant, the land is obliged to defend the reformation, and to labour
by all means lawful to recover the purity and liberty of the gospel, by
forbearing the practice of all novations introduced in the worship of
God, or approbation of the corruptions of the public government of the
kirk: yet was there given all the approbation required by law of the
novation and corruption of Prelacy by hearing the Prelatic curates. Both
ministers and people, in a great measure complied with, submitted unto,
and connived at the encroachments of the supremacy and absolute power,
both in accepting and countenancing the former indulgences and later
toleration; the generalty took and subscribed oaths and bonds imposed
during the reigns of these tyrants, Charles II. and James Duke of York,
pressing conformity with the then establishments of church and state,
most contrary to the reformation which the nation had sworn to preserve;
some of these oaths and bonds restraining the takers from all endeavours
to preserve it, as those that renounced the privilege of defensive arms;
some of them abjuring the covenants expressly, and condemning the
prosecution of the ends of them as rebellion, viz., the declaration and
test; the most part did, Issachar like, crouch beneath all the burthens
of maintaining and defending an arbitrary power and absolute tyranny,
wholly employed and applied for the destruction of reformation, and paid
such subsidies and supplies as were declaredly imposed for upholding the
tyrant's usurpations, and suppressing all endeavours to preserve the

And after the Lord was pleased in mercy to break the rod of oppression,
and burst the bands of that horrid tyranny from off his people's necks,
and to allow us a time of peace and ease; yet have we not made
conscience of keeping this our oath; but instead of all lawful means to
preserve the discipline and government of this church, there have been
frequent invasions made thereupon by the civil powers, exercising an
Erastian supremacy over her assemblies, by indicting, prorogueing, and
dissolving them at their pleasure, and in their name and authority;
whereby Christ's supremacy and kingly dignity was highly injured. And as
the state for their part have, contrary to this article, made these
usurpations upon the government of the church, so have backslidden
ministers in their stations shamefully succumbed to, been silent at, and
pleaded in defence of these usurpations, and have not zealously and
faithfully asserted their Master's prerogatives, and the privileges of
his church, sacrilegiously encroached upon by the magistrate. And people
likewise have, in their stations, been unconcerned about these wrongs
and injuries done to Christ, and have not used all lawful endeavour with
their superiors (which they own as such,) whether of church or state, in
order to reformation thereof, nor made faithful protestations against
them, when they could not obtain redress--and as the government of the
church has not been duly preserved; so there has been a want of constant
endeavours to preserve pure the doctrine of this reformed church; and
that ever since that fatal distraction of _public resolution principles_
began to creep into the church, which corrupted people in that doctrine
of abstaining from association with malignants and enemies to truth and
godliness, and so far prevailed that the avowed enemies of religion were
brought into places of greatest trust and authority. And these
associations have not been made only with the haters of religion at
home, but are also entered into with the enemies to the Protestant
religion abroad; and many backsliding ministers in the late times of
tyranny were very faulty in this point of not labouring to preserve the
purity of doctrine, either by express condemning of some important
truths then persecuted, or at least in being silent and not asserting
them, nor applying their doctrine to the time's corruptions; whereby
many of the people were left to be overcome by snares--"And so laid open
to seek out other principles to justify their practices of compliance,
or extravagances on the right or left hand, not consistent with the
doctrine and rules of the Church of Scotland, others were not constant
in confessing those doctrines before men when called to suffer for, and
avouch them." Neither are there at this day, nor has there been all
along during these years of peace and quiet, suitable endeavours for
suppressing all sorts of unsound doctrine, or purging the land of the
leaven of erroneous principles. Although there have been many laws made
against Popery, yet how have they been put to execution, when Papists
are so rife and Popery prevalent?--the idolatrous mass being set up in
several places of the kingdom; the maintainers and promoters of
Quakerism, Bourignianism, Arminianism, &c, are not punished, but
protected by the state, and connived at by the church. And whereas, the
right endeavouring of maintaining sound doctrine, doth require
uprightness and sincerity in the profession and belief thereof, and a
suitable practice accompanying that belief; we have it to lament that
the most part of us in this land are but hypocritical in the professing
of the doctrines of the gospel, and want a suitable practice and
conversation becoming the gospel, cause, and cross of Christ. Many are
grossly ignorant of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, or study
the circumstantial and controverted more than the fundamental truths.
There has also been great short coming of _real, sincere and constant
endeavors to preserve the worship of God_, public and private. "In times
of hazard, many ministers left off preaching, and the people hearing. We
have been negligent and remiss in family worship; and, instead of
preserving, many have done much to discourage and hinder it: And in
secret we have been formal and careless: Many have satisfied themselves
with the purity of the ordinances, neglecting the power thereof, yea,
some have turned aside to crooked ways destructive to both." Neither
have we been careful to preserve the discipline, church censures being
laid aside, and not impartially exercised against scandals, personal and
public. Scandalous persons being admitted to hold up their children to
baptism, and to partake of the Lord's table and other privileges of the
church, without respect to the rules of Christ. The discipline of the
church hath also been circumscribed, limited, and bounded by Acts of
Parliament, and is now rendered ineffectual by the late Act of the
British Parliament, entitled, _Act for preventing the Disturbing of
those of the Episcopal Communion in that part of Great Britain called
Scotland_. So that ministers could not without transgressing these Acts
(which they too punctually observe) draw out the sword of discipline
against many covenant-breakers; perjured hireling-curates being allowed
to enjoy churches and benefices without censure or molestation, if
subject to the civil government, as is evident from the 27th Act of the
fifth Session of William's first Parliament, entitled, _Act concerning
the Church_. Ministers have neglected to draw out the sword of
discipline, duly and impartially against scandalous persons of every
rank and quality; so that many gross offenders have been passed over
without censure, as, namely, such as shed the blood of the Lord's
people, complied with the tyrants and usurpers in the times of
persecution, by testing, bonding, hearing of curates, paying of cess and
other taxations, intelligencers, and informers against the people of
God, accepters of indulgences and toleration, and such as preached under
the covert of remissions and indemnities bought by sums of money from
the council, such as had been lack and negligent in testifying against
the corruptions of the times, were not brought to an acknowledgment of
it; but, upon the contrary, encouraged as well-doers, and advanced to
office and public employment in the church without evident signs of
repentance. And many other scandalous persons are daily connived at and
superficially past, without sufficient discoveries of their repentance
and amendment: Many also have been overlooked because of their eminency
in the world, or past over for pecuniary mulcts. And, whereas, in the
same first Article of the Solemn League, we are bound "to endeavor the
promoting and propagating of the Reformation and uniformity of religion,
Confession of Faith, Form of Church-government (which as it was
primarily understood, so still we own to be only Presbyterial) Directory
for Worship and Catechising. According to the Scriptures."

Isa. xix. 18. "In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak
the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of Hosts." Jer. xxxii. 39.
"And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for
ever, for the good of them and of their children after them." Zech. xiv.
9. "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day there
shall be one Lord, and his name one." Acts ii. 46. "And they continuing
daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread, from house to
house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." Acts
iv. 32. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and
one soul." I Cor. vii. 17. "But as God hath distributed to every man, as
the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk; and so ordain I in all
churches." Gal. vi. 16. "And as many as walk according to this rule,
peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." Phil. iii. 16.
"Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained; let us walk by the same
rule; let us mind the same thing."

Yet as our fathers had reason to complain, "that the profane, loose, and
insolent carriage of many in their armies, who went to the assistance of
their brethren in England, and the tampering and unstraight dealings of
some commissioners and others of our nation, in London, the Isle of
Wight, and other places, had proved great lets to the work of
reformation and settling of kirk government there, whereby error and
schism in the land had been greatly increased, and sectaries hardened in
their way;" so much more during the time of the late persecution, the
offensive carriage of many who went to England is to be bewailed, who
proved very stumbling to the Sectarians there.

There hath been little zeal or endeavour for such a uniformity, little
praying for it, or mourning over the obstructions of it; but, upon the
contrary, a toleration was embraced, introductive of a sectarian
multiformity of religion without a testimony against the toleration even
of Popery itself, under the usurper James, Duke of York; and since the
Revolution the land hath done exceeding much to harden them. 1st, By
accepting such persons to the royal dignity over this realm as had sworn
to maintain the Antichristian hierarchy of Prelacy, with all the
superstitions and ceremonies of the Church of England, and who
countenance a multiformity in the worship of God and government of the
church, and do not suppress such as are unsound and heterodox in the
fundamental articles of the Christian faith. And, next, to put a full
stop to all endeavours of uniformity and union in the Lord's way, and to
bring the nation under an indespensible necessity of covenant breaking,
this nation hath entered into an _incorporating union_ with England in
such terms, and upon such conditions as formally and explicitly
established Prelacy as the Church-government there to all succeeding
generations; and that while, in the meantime, all manner of Sectarian
errors are there encouraged, maintained, and supported by means of a
toleration. By the concluding of which union, this land hath said upon
the matter that there is no obligation upon us to tender the advancement
of religion in that nation, or to study such means and methods as might
tend to bring them to a sense of their breach of covenant, or reduce
them to a performance of the duties whereunto they are engaged; and thus
this land hath hardened them in their sinful ways and courses, contrary
to this Solemn League, and given them ground to think that we look upon
the obligation thereof to be loosed. This land hath been wanting in
compassion to them as brethren, in not labouring to show them their sin
and danger, while persisting in a professed violation of their vows, and
refusing them help in their need, when supplication was made by some of
them to the first Assembly after the Revolution for ministers to preach
the gospel. And though this land hath sought out methods how to
entertain amity and friendship with them, yet have they not endeavoured
to have it such as that the Lord should, upon that account, delight to
dwell amongst us: nay, upon the contrary, unless these methods be
repented of and forsaken, it is impossible that reformation should ever
amount to that degree of perfection in these kingdoms, to which, through
the mercy of God, it once arrived; so that instead of _living together
in peace and love, we and our posterity after us_, are like to live in a
joint defection from our covenant engagements made to the Most High God.

In the second Article of the Solemn League and Covenant, we swear, "That
we shall, without respect of persons, endeavour the extirpation of
Popery, Prelacy, Superstition, Heresy, Schism, Profaneness, and
whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power
of godliness. And in the National Covenant to abhor and detest the
Antichristian wicked Hierarchy," &c. According to the Scriptures.

Exod. xxiii. 32, 33. "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with
their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin
against me: for if thou serve their gods, it surely will be a snare unto
thee." Exod. xxxiv. 12, 13. "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a
covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be
for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars,
break their images, and cut down their groves." Deut. xiii. chapter
throughout. Judges ii. 2. "And ye shall make no league with the
inhabitants of this land; you shall throw down their altars," &c. Zech.
xiii. 2, 3. "And it shall come to pass in that day saith the Lord of
Hosts, that I will cut off the names of idols out of the land, and also
I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirits to pass out of the
land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then
his father and his mother that begat him, shall say unto him, Thou shalt
not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his
father, and his mother, that begat him, shall thrust him through, when
he prophesieth." I Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,
that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed
to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils: Speaking lies in hypocrisy,
having their conscience seared with a hot iron: Forbidding to marry, and
commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received
with thanksgiving of them which believe, and know the truth." Rev. xvii.
5. "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the
whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh,
and burn her with fire." Compared with Rev. xviii. 4, 5, 6. "A I heard
another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye
be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues:
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her
iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her
double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to
her double."

Yet, alas! so far has the land been defective in this, that upon the
contrary, it hath been polluted with idolatrous masses; altars, and
other monuments of idolatry were suffered again to be erected; the penal
statutes were disabled, stopped, and suspended by an absolute arbitrary
power by means of a toleration in its own nature tending, and in its
design intending to introduce Popery and slavery, which yet was accepted
and addressed for by many backslidden ministers, who to this day have
made no public acknowledgement of the sin of so doing, notwithstanding
all the reformation which is bragged of, and was countenanced, complied,
and concurred with by many people without a testimony or endeavour to
withstand it. Yea, the administration of the government and the greatest
offices of power and trust were committed into, and permitted to abide
in the hands of Papists; and the head of them and great pillar and
promoter of Popery, James the VII, was owned as King, contrary to the
laws of God and man and covenant obligations, without respect of persons
to extirpate Popery and Papists; and few during that time evinced any
just zeal or indignation against, or fear of the manifest appearances of
the coming in of Popery and intended establishment of it in the land.
And not only then, but even to this day, there is too much conniving at
Papists; the laws are not put in execution against them in their full
extent and latitude: And albeit this land, yea, whole Britain and
Ireland, were purged of Popery, yet cannot we be said to have made
conscience of performing this part of the oath of God, while there is a
confederating with Papists abroad and fighting in their quarrel, and
that, whilst in the meantime they are persecuting, with the height of
rigour and severity, all such as profess any thing of the reformed
religion in their dominions. And as there hath been great failures in
respect of extirpating Popery, so especially in the performance of that
part of the covenant which binds us to the extirpation of
Prelacy--"_i.e._ Church government by arch-bishops, bishops, their
chancellors and commissaries, deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons,
and all other officers depending upon that hierarchy:" there hath been a
most wilful and palpable violation of the oath of God, though it be most
clearly our duty prescribed in his word.

Matt. xx. 25, 26. "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, ye know
that the Princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they
that are great exercise authority upon them: But it shall not be so
among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your
minister." Luke xxii. 25, 26. "And he said unto them the Kings of the
Gentiles exercise lordship over them," &c. Acts xx: 17. "And from
Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church."
Compared with verse 28. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all
the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you observers (bishops)
to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
I Peter v. 3. "Neither as being lords over God's heritage: but being
ensamples to the flock." 3 John verse 9. "I wrote unto the church; but
Diotrepehes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth
us not."

And these breaches of it were not only made during the tunes of
persecution, when Charles the II. by an arbitrary power, granted him by
a parasitical Parliament, did overturn Presbyterian government, and
introduce Prelacy, to which change the greatest part of the ministry did
perfidiously yield, and became vassals to the bishops; such as were not
willing to conform, were pressed to it by confinement, banishment,
imprisonment, confiscation of goods, all manner of tortures, and,
finally, death itself.

During which hour and power of darkness, many complied with the enemy,
by taking oaths and bonds, indulgencies and toleration, and because so
remiss in this matter, that it was all one to them which government had
the ascendant, so they might enjoy their worldly accommodations. And
not only then, while Satan was let loose in his members and emissaries
to persecute and waste the Church of Christ, but since peace and
quietness are obtained, this duty continues to be greatly slighted; yea,
in place of extirpating Prelacy, have there not been courses taken
effectually to establish it? To instance a few--the accepting of William
and Mary, and after them the present possessor of the Crown, to be
supreme Magistrates, while they are knownly and professedly Prelatical
in their judgment, and engaged by oath at their coronation to maintain
the same; the swearing oaths of allegiance to them without security for
their preserving of the true reformed religion--yea, without any
limitation or qualification whatsoever; as also, the taking an oath of
adjuration, wherein, by consequence, the takers engaged to do to the
utmost of their power to procure that the Kings or Queens of these
kingdoms shall be of the communion of the Prelatical Church, and so that
they shall contribute to the support of Prelacy.

Again, the Episcopal clergy who subjected to it during the time of its
legal establishment, have not been therefore prosecuted by the
discipline of the church; but such as did, and yet do profess it as
their principle, are allowed equal encouragement with the Presbyterians,
only providing they evidence good affection to the civil government. And
now, since the late _incorporating union_ with England, we of this
nation have consented that Prelacy shall be established there to all
succeeding generations, (as was observed in the first article); and,
moreover, have given into the hands of the Prelatics in England, the
power of making laws which must become binding upon this land, they
being members of the British Parliament and council; which power has
been already improved, to establish a liberty and protection for the
whole rabble of the Episcopal Clergy in the free exercise of the Popish
ceremonies of the Church of England, without any provision against the
grossest heretical opinions that they please to broach, excepting only
the denying of the doctrine of the blessed Trinity. Where, then, are our
endeavours for the extirpation of the wicked hierarchy?--where is the
abhorrence and detestation of it, sworn and engaged to in these
Covenants?--Do not many who profess themselves to be Presbyterians show
themselves so indifferent in this point, that they can join with
either, as may suit their interest?--instance the Sacramental Testers.
Few mourn over and pray earnestly for the subversion of that hierarchy.
Few doctrinally discover the evils of such a government, and how
contrary it is to God's Word--or labour to bring their hearers into a
dislike and detestation of it, and the sad fruits which result from it.
Few study to convince others of the evil of such a principle, and
following such a course by the Apostle's rule, avoiding all unnecessary
company with them, that they may be ashamed; but, upon the contrary,
many Presbyterians too familiar and unnecessary converse with them,
encourage and harden them; and, particularly, ministers are to be blamed
herein, who preach one half of the Lord's day in the church, and allow
the curate the other half. Few impartially reprove and warn them of
their sin and danger; but, upon the other hand, many professed
Presbyterians, by their untender and unchristian walk and conversation,
or by their lukewarmness and indifferency in Christ's matters, now
called _moderation_, and by their walking contrary to covenant
engagements, do exceedingly harden them in their evil way, and
scandalize them at their duty. Instead of endeavours to extirpate
superstition and heresy, as we are bound by the same article of the
Solemn League, and by the "National Covenant to detest all superstition
and heresy, without or against the Word of God, and doctrine of this
reformed kirk, according to the Scripture."

Duet. xii. 30, 31, 32--"Take heed to thyself, that thou be not snared by
following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee, and that
thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve
their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the
Lord thy God; for every abomination to the Lord which he hateth, have
they done unto their gods: for even their sons and their daughters they
have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you,
observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it." Acts
xvii. 22--"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mar's-hill, and said--Ye men
of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious." Gal.
iv. 10--"Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." Gal. v.
20--"Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies." Col. ii. 20--"Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ
from the rudiments of the world; why as though living in the world, are
ye subject to ordinances? verse 21, Touch not, taste not, handle not:
verse 23, Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and
humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the
satisfying of the flesh." Tit. iii. 10--"A man that is an heretic, after
the first and second admonition, reject."

Yet, in the darkness of the times of persecution, many dregs of Popish
superstition were observed, many omens and freets too much looked to;
Popish festival days--as Pasche, Yule, Fastings-even, &c, have been kept
by many; and Prelatical anniversary days, and festivities devised of
their own heart, appointed for commemorating the King's and Queen's
birthdays, (as May 29th, October 13th, February 6th,) who were born as a
scourge to this realm, were complied with by many. Yes, some have
superstitiously made use of the Scriptures as a fortune book, looking to
that which first cast up to them, or to impressions borne in upon their
minds from such and such places of Scripture as Divine responses,
without a due search of them as the Lord hath commanded. And many
wavering and unstable souls have been seduced unto damnable and
pernicious heresies, as Quakers, and delirious delusions, as those that
followed John Gib. All which have been breaches of Covenant, as well as
of Divine commands. Yea, even to this very day, the same superstitions
are observed and practised, as abstaining from labouring upon the
foresaid festivities, and observing presages of good or tad fortune (as
it is called,) upon them and other times; as likewise, many practisers
of enchantments and users of charms--yea, such as are in actual compact
with the devil, are not carefully sought out, nor accurately tried, in
order to be brought to punishment, but overlooked and protected.

There has been also since the revolution, as well as before, a great
deluge of errors through these covenanted lands, which, to this day,
continue and increase: that might be sufficient to convince us that
there have not been proper measures taken to suppress them, as this
article obliges us to do;--nay, instead thereof, they are tolerated,
maintained, and protected by authority, as appears both from the late
Act of Parliament, and from the liberty allowed to that pestilent
generation of Quakers, who keep their general meetings yearly in
Edinburgh, being guarded by a company of the town guards. And as the
state do not prosecute the promoters and abettors of these heresies with
civil pains, as is the duty of such as call themselves God's
vicegerents, and own themselves to be intrusted with keeping of both
tables of the law; so the church is nothing speedier or more active in
drawing out their ecclesiastical sword to cut off these luxurant
branches, and to take _the little foxes which spoil the wines_. Many
whose duty, by virtue of their office, is to give warning from Zion's
walls, as watchmen entrusted with the city of God, neglect to discover,
and from the scriptures to confute these errors, or to show their flocks
by doctrine or writing the danger of being tainted with them. And as
suitable endeavours have been wanting effectually to extirpate heresy
and error, so schism, its inseparable companion, and necessary
consequent, has exceedingly grown and increased, to the great damage of
the church of Christ in these kingdoms, and utter subversion of that
most pleasant fabric of uniformity in religion, which the League and
Covenant binds us to endeavour. The word of God makes schism a very
great sin, as is evident from Rom. xvi. 17; 1 Cor. xi. 18, xii. 25; Heb.
x. 25; Jude 19.

And all the nation are to be reputed guilty of it who depart from the
doctrine and laudable constitutions delivered by Christ and his
apostles, and adhered unto by the church of Scotland in her purest times
of Reformation. And if we consider schism under this notion, as we ought
to do, then will we find that the greatest part of the land is guilty of
it. Few are firmly and constantly adhering to the attained Reformation;
but many upon the left hand, have turned aside to compliance with
Prelacy and Erastianism, and so have by their defection broken the
church's _beauty_ and _bands_, order and union, in making a faction
repugnant to her established order, and, censurable by all her standing
acts, in bringing innovations in the government, and making a rent in
the bowels of the church; by causing divisions and offences contrary to
the doctrine of the church; whereby they have made themselves guilty of
schism; and some have fallen into delusions and dotages upon the right
hand, who, in seeking to be religious above what is commanded, have come
short of the truth of religion, and made a faction repugnant to this
covenant. Some, being private persons, have pretended an immediate
commission to preach the word, and administer the sacraments. Others,
being stumbled with the defection of the time, have turned aside to
independency. "Some upon slender and insufficient grounds, have and do
separate both from faithful ministers and Christian societies and
families, because of difference in judgment and incident debates,
wherein the testimony of Christ is not much concerned; or because of
personal offences easily removed, not observing the rules of Christ for
removing of them, not having respect to his great commands of charity,
forbearance, forgiving one another, or condescendency. And among divided
parties, which in our day have been long biting and devouring one
another, there hath been too much both of sinful union and confederacy
in terms prejudicial to truth; as our joinings in the _Angus regiment_,
at the _Revolution_, and our guarding and supplicating that corrupt
_Convention of Estates_, which consisted mostly of such as had been
directly or indirectly guilty of the murder of the Lord's people; and
upon the other hand, there hath been too much of sinful heats,
animosities, and jealousies, pride, passion, and prejudice, grieving the
Spirit of the Lord, and eating out the power and life, and much
hindering the holy practice and spiritual exercise of religion."

_We have been so far from endeavouring to extirpate profaneness, another
evil engaged against in the covenant, and condemned in the Word of God_.
Deut. xxix. 19; Job xxi. 14; Jer. xxiii. 15; Ezek. xxii. 26; Hos. iv.
1-3; Heb. vii. 15.

"That profanity hath been much winked at, and profane persons much
countenanced, and many times employed, till iniquity and ungodliness
have gone over the land as a flood; and profanity, beginning at the
court, hath spread itself through every rank and quality in the land: so
that immoralities and sins against every precept of both tables are
greatly abounding." As, namely, great contempt of God and godliness,
ignorance, atheism and irreligion, unsuitable walking to the knowledge
of him and his perfections which we have, and not labouring in the use
of means to attain more. Much neglect of pressing after peace and
reconciliation with him, through a Mediator, and of living up to the
profession which we make of him. Despising of his holy ordinances and
means of worship; deafness and stupidity under the calls of his Word.
Profanation of his holy sacraments, neglect of secret prayer (wherein
much of the life of religion lies), and of prayer in families, or a
negligent, careless and superficial performance thereof; many using a
formality of words and expressions learned by custom. Some using our
blessed Lord's prayer as a set form, which ought to be used as a rule of
direction in all our prayers, and not as a dead form of words: many
seeking more to be seen of men in this and all other duties, than to
approve themselves to God, and more careful to come by apposite words
and expressions, when praying with others, than to attain and entertain
the breathings and influences of the Spirit of God. Much neglect of
propagating Christian knowledge in congregations and families; ministers
and masters of families not making diligent search into the knowledge of
the flocks and families under their charge, and instructing them
suitably. Much swearing and profanation of God's name, by loose and vain
oaths in common discourse: yea, swearing by the creatures--as, soul,
faith, conscience, and the like, thereby sacrilegiously attributing to
them divine honour; as also, by imposing upon all persons in any public
trust the unlimited and unlawful oath of allegiance, together with the
bond of assurance, and the oath of abjuration, contrary to the oath of
the covenant, thereby debauching people's consciences, and involving
them in the guilt of perjury. Great profanation of the holy Sabbath, and
neglect or careless performance of the duties therein required; breaking
it by unnecessary feasting, walking, idle, vain and impertinent
discourse, and such like recreations; yea, by hunting, hawking, riding
and going of journeys, sounding trumpets before their lords of
Justiciary when going to church, reading of proclamations wholly
irrelative to religion, and making publications not necessary nor
expedient to be made upon that day. Much disobedience to parents, and
undue carriage of persons of all ranks and relations towards each other.
Great murder and bloodshed, so that the land is defiled with blood, and
that not only the blood of the Lord's people, who, in the times of
persecution, were led forth like sheep to the slaughter, because of
their adherence to their duty, and refusing conformity with wicked
courses and subjection to wicked laws, eversive of their covenant
engagements, not yet mourned over, nor purged away by the blood of those
that shed it; but likewise many through the land are murdered
frequently, and the murderers are not prosecuted with due severity: nay,
such are the methods that are now taken to embolden the wicked in that
and all other crimes, that whatever presumptions of guilt may be had, or
how ample confession soever be made, if it be extrajudicial, and the
very fact not proved by witnesses, the delinquent is passed over and
absolved as a well-doer, and many actually convicted of murder are
indemnified and let pass unpunished.

Much uncleanness and filthiness, adultery, fornication, incest,
bestiality, sodomy, lasciviousness, promiscuous dancing, stage plays,
excessive drinking, vanity in apparel, and the like abominable
unchastity and incentives to it. Much stealing, robbery and oppression,
grinding the faces of the poor by unjust taxations and heavy
impositions, and by hindering the poor from begging, for the support of
their lives in times of scarcity, by a wicked edict. Perverting of
justice in law suits; lawyers and advocates finding means, for their own
gain and worldly advantage, to obtain decisive sentences in favor of the
rich, contrary to justice and equity; much cheating and deceiving in
bargaining; forestalling of markets in times of scarcity; depriving the
poor of their habitations and livelihoods by building of parks and
in-closures; tenants taking leases over their neighbor's head, and the
like. It is, moreover, to be bewailed that many ministers, who should be
examples of charity and good works, are ringleaders in this sin of
oppression. Much lying and bearing of false witness, defaming one
another's good name, reproaching persons for their adherence to the
truths and cause of Christ, or for discovering any piece of zeal and
affection that way. Much covetousness and worldly-mindedness, repining,
murmuring and discontentment with God's dispensations; revenge, wrath,
malice, envy, bitterness and innumerable sins, both against the precepts
of the moral law, and the offers of Christ in the Gospel, which plainly
says that we have not used the endeavours which in this Article we
promise, for "Rooting up profaneness and whatsoever is found contrary to
sound doctrine and the power of godliness, lest we partake of other
men's sins, and so be in danger to receive of their plagues." Nay, hath
not much unsound doctrine been maintained in the arguments which have
been used for defending the lawfulness of the courses of compliance with
Prelacy and Erastianism? and these, amongst other unsound notions, have
been entertained amongst us--"That lesser and circumstantial truths are
not to be suffered for; that confession of these truths hath not been
called for in our day; that people are not in hazard of the sins of
others, especially of magistrates and ministers, if they do not directly
act the same sins themselves; that sins of bypast times (if they be not
presently practiced) are not to be confessed, nor the persons guilty to
be stood at a distance from, till they give evident documents of their
repentance;" contrary to express and plain Scripture.

2 Sam. xxi. 1; 2 Sam. xxiv. 17; 2 Kings xxi. 11, 12; Isa. xliii. 27, 28;
Jer. xiv. 15,16; Mic. iii. 11, 12.

Whence both ministers and people have been involved in the sins of
Prelacy, Indulgence, Toleration, Erastianism, subjecting the government
of the church to the secular and civil authority; while they thought
these only to be the sins of Prelates, or of wicked and usurping rulers;
they in the meantime yielding all the conformity with, submission unto,
and approbation of them, that was by wicked laws required. On the other
hand, many of us have rested too much in a non-compliance with these,
and "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

In the third Article, whereas we are bound, "in our several vocations,
mutually to preserve the rights and privileges of Parliaments, and
liberties of the kingdoms;" meaning the true, real and righteous
privileges and liberties--consonant to the Word of God.

Deut. i. 13; Deut. xvi. 18; Isa. i. 26.

Likeas, all lieges are bound by the laws of the land inserted in the
National Covenant, to "maintain the authority of Parliaments, without
which neither any laws nor lawful judicatories can be established." Yet
as our fathers had reason to complain "that neither had the privileges
of the Parliament nor liberties of the subject been duly tendered; but
some amongst them had laboured to put into the hands of the king an
arbitrary and unlimited power destructive to both; and many of them had
been accessory to those means and ways whereby the freedom and
privileges of Parliaments had been encroached upon, and the subjects
oppressed in their consciences, persons and estates;" so afterwards, all
alongst the tract of tyranny and persecution, they had rather the name
and show than the real power and privileges of lawfully constituted
Parliaments; having advanced the royal prerogative to such a boundless
pitch of arbitrariness, and being so corrupted, that faithful men and
honest and honourable patriots were excluded, and those admitted who by
the law of God and man should have been debarred; and so prelimited that
the members behoved to take such oaths (for instance, the declaration
and test, abjuring and condemning the Covenants) as engaged them to be
perjured and conjured enemies both to our religion and liberty, which
both the electors of Members of Parliament and the elected did sinfully
comply with; neither did the body of the land make conscience of
recovering these rights and privileges thus perverted and polluted; but
in stupid subjection did own those for representatives who betrayed
their liberties, and made laws to enslave the nation and entail slavery
upon, posterity. On the other hand, they that disowned them did not make
conscience of preserving those rights and privileges of supreme
judicatories, when inadvertently and unadvisedly they put in such
expressions and styles in some of their declarations as do not belong to
private persons, but only to such judicatories. And not only then, but
since the Revolution, have there been many ways taken for corrupting and
depriving the Members of Parliament; as that all members and electors of
members have been obliged to take the oath of allegiance, with the
assurance to such as did, and do, in their dominions, support Prelacy
and exercise an Erastian supremacy over the church of Christ.

And now, last of all, by the means of this fatal Union with England, in
terms and upon conditions inconsistent with our covenanted Union,
engaged to in the League and Covenant; the nation's sovereignty and
independency are given up, the rights of Parliament entirely lost, or
vanished into a shadow, little preferable to no Parliament; so few
being to represent this nation in the Parliament of Great Britain, as
can never be able to prevent, by their number of voices, any act which
it shall please the English to make, how destructive soever the same be
to our sacred or civil concerns. Which treaty of Union was concluded in
a Parliament as manifestly prelimited, as any which ever was seen in
Scotland; the members were corrupted with bribes and preferment, and so
engaged to act contrary to the will and mind of those whome they did
represent, and to comply with that stratagem hatched by the English, for
enslaving this poor nation, and denuded it of its privileges, as well
sacred as civil. And alas! how insignificant were the endeavours then
used to prevent that course, and preserve the privileges of the
Parliament and liberties of this kingdom? only some faint addresses, all
other attempts being laid aside at their Queen's command, by her
proclamation, as _treasonable convocation of the lieges_.

Again, the subject's liberties, both as men and as Christian, which the
scriptures allow, we should preserve,

I Sam. xiv. 25; Acts xxii. 25,28; xxv. 11,16,27; Gal. v. 1.

Have been miserably encroached upon by arbitrary government, whereby the
subjects have been oppressed in their consciences, persons and estates,
by all the oaths and bonds pressing conformity with the corruptions,
novations, and usurpations the government of church and state, and
persecutions for recusancy, and by impositions of the freedom of secret
thoughts, which no law of men can reach, which yet in the time of the
late persecution were extorted, by threatening of death and manifold
tortures; the church's liberties have also been invaded by the
ecclesiastical supremacy, declared by a blasphemous law inherent to the
crown, which law, though it be not now in force, is yet still kept up in
practice by the indiction, prorogation, and dissolution of Assemblies,
and prescribing diets and causes of fasting and thanksgiving in the
magistrate's name and authority, to which ecclesiastical supremacy,
usurped by the magistrate, this backslidden church hath always
subjected, and now to discover to the world that they are not ashamed of
this surrendering of our Lord's prerogative to his enemies they have, in
their Assembly, holden at Edinburgh, Anno 1710, most explicitly and
fully subscribed to this ecclesiastical supremacy, in their Act for
observation of fasts, wherein they affirm, "that it is much for the
honor of God that fasts whether appointed' by the church, or the civil
magistrate, be duly observed."

In that same third Article, we are likewise bound to defend "The supreme
magistrate's person and authority, in the preservation and defence of
the true religion and liberties of the kingdom:" as in the National
Covenant is expressed: likewise, "to defend his person and authority, in
the defence of Christ his evangel, liberties of our country,
ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquity; and to stand to his
defence, in the defence of the true religion, liberties and laws of the
kingdom;" as the duty is qualified in scripture.

II Sam. v. 3.; II Kings xi. 17; II Chron. xxvi. 16, 17, 18, 21; Rom.
xiii. 3, 4, 6; I Pet. ii. 13, 14.

As our fathers in their acknowledgments had reason to say, "Neither hath
it been our care to avoid these things which might harden the king in
his evil way; but, upon the contrary he hath not only been permitted,
but many of us have been instrumental to make him exercise his power in
many things tending to the prejudice of religion, and of the Covenant,
and of the peace and safety of these kingdoms; which is so far from the
right way of preserving his Majesty's person and authority that it
cannot but provoke the Lord against him unto the hazard of both. Nay,
under a pretence of relieving and doing for the king, whilst he refuses
to do what was necessary for the house of God, some have ranversed and
violated most of all the Articles of the Covenant."

So, during the unhappy days of the late tyranny, it was the land's sin
and shame, and ought to be our sorrow, that men were mounted upon a
throne of iniquity whose main design and practice was to subvert
religion and persecute it, to introduce Popery itself and slavery, to
destroy the nation's liberties, suppress the evangel, and oppress its
professors; who enacted and executed manifest injustice, stopped the
ministration of justice against idolaters, adulterers, murderers, and
other malefactors, and punished equity and duty, instead of iniquity;
arrogated and obtained a monstrous prerogative above all rights and
privileges of Parliaments, all laws, all liberties; a power to tyrannize
as they pleased without control. But, as it was their sin who
inaugurated Charles II. after such discoveries of his hypocritical
enmity to religion and liberty, upon his subscription to the Covenants,
so when he burned and buried that Covenant, and degenerated into
manifest tyranny, and had razed the very foundation upon which both his
right to govern, and the people's allegiance were founded, and remitted
the subjects' allegiance by annulling the bond of it: it was the land's
sin that they continued still to own his authority when opposite to, and
destructive of religion and liberty; and of those who appeared in arms
at Pentland and Bothwell Bridge, that they put in his interest (with
application of the words of the Covenant to him, though stated in
opposition to it) into _the state of the quarrel_, in their _declaration
of war_, for which (so far as the godly could discern) the Lord put them
to shame, and went not forth with their armies. It was likewise the sin
of the land, and a great breach of Covenant, when the Duke of York was
admitted to the exercise of the royal office against the laws of God and
man; being incapable of the Covenant qualifications of a magistrate, and
being a Papist, and so incapable of taking the "oath of coronation to
maintain the true Protestant religion, and gainstand and abolish
Popery;" which, for the preservation of the true religion, laws, and
liberties of this kingdom, is stated by the 8th Act of Parliament, I
King James VI, "That all kings, at the reception of their princely
authority, shall take and swear;" yet this authority, though
inconsistent with, and declaredly opposite to religion and liberty, was
owned and upheld, by paying cess and supplies, expressly exacted for
upholding tyranny in the destruction of religion and liberty; and though
the Lord did, for a long time, by the tyranny of Charles II. and James
VII., chastise these covenanted lands, yet there has not been a turning
to him that smiteth: but these lands have again transgressed the Lord's
commandments, and broken this part of the Covenant of the Lord, by
receiving, admitting, supporting and subjecting to such, for Kings and
Queens over these realms as want the qualifications required in God's
word, and enacted by the righteous and laudable laws of the land to be
in magistrates, superior and inferior: which were not brought under
Covenant ties and obligations, to be for God and religion in their own
persons and families, and to advance and preserve the same allenarly in
their dominions; but in place thereof have come under oath and
obligation to countenance, protect end advance the Romish superstitions
and innovations in the worship of God and government of the Church,
which the Covenant binds these kingdoms to suppress and extirpate, and
in consequence of, and in conformity to, these obligations, do maintain
and defend, or tolerate and allow Prelacy and Sectarian errors in their
dominions, contrary to the true religion and sound doctrine, contrary to
justice and equity; yea, contrary to that trust especially committed to
the hands of Christian Magistrates, who for that end have the sword
given them, _that they may be a terror to evil doers_, preserve and
defend the true religion and professors thereof, and punish and
extirpate false religion and heresies, and bring the wheel over the
broachers, maintainers and abettors thereof; which did, and do exercise
an Erastian supremacy over the church, in proroguing, and dissolving
General Assemblies, appointing diets and causes of fasts and
thanksgivings; and by their civil authority causing them to be kept and
observed; which do not impartially execute justice upon all offenders,
witness the frequent indemnities and remissions granted to murderers; as
particularly, the passing without punishment the persons which
perpetrated the inhuman, barbarous and lawless action of the massacre of
Glencoe. Which waste and destroy the kingdom, by levying men and raising
money for maintaining a long and expensive war, undertaken neither for
the advancement of the true religion, nor for the advantage and safety
of the nation; but in favour of the house of Austria, which hath been,
and yet continues to be, one of the strong pillars of Antichrist's
kingdom, and inplacable enemies to the true reformed religion, as
appears by the persecution of the Protestants in Silesia, Hungary, &c.
And yet notwithstanding of all this, many in the land of all ranks have
sworn to bear true and faithful allegiance to them, without any
conditional restriction or limitation; so that it is not possible for
them, in a consistency with their oath, to disown their authority, and
deny them subjection, or refuse to defend their persons and government,
albeit they should proceed to the greatest pitch of arbitrariness; which
is very far from the defence promised to Magistrates in the Covenant:
the whole land (almost) hath complied with them in all the
forementioned particulars so diametrically opposite to the Covenants,
and supported, strengthened and encouraged them in these evil courses,
by paying them cess and other subsidies; and ministers have minded so
much to be loyal to their government, that they have forgotten to be
faithful to their souls, in that they have not discovered to them the
sin and danger of patronising Prelacy, and exercising Erastianism over
the church; but in order to obtain their favor, have clapped their hands
in these sins, which certainly is most opposite to that loyalty which we
ought to maintain towards Princes, and tends rather to diminish their
just power and greatness, than to increase and preserve it; and, instead
of being a proper way of defending their persons and authority, is
rather a mean to bring the wrath of a just and jealous God upon them,
and those who defend or connive at them in these unlawful courses.

"Our own consciences within, and God's judgment upon us without, do
convince us of the manifold, wilful, renewed breaches of the fourth
Article, which concerneth the discovery of malignants, consonant to the

2 Sam. xxiii. 6; Esther vii. 5. 6; Psalm xxvi. 5; Psalm ci. 8; Prov.
xxv. 5.

"For their crimes have not only been connived at, but dispensed with and
pardoned, and themselves received into intimate fellowship, intrusted
with counsels, admitted into parliaments, and put in places of power and
authority for managing the public affairs of the kingdom; whereby, in
God's justice, they got at last into their hands the whole power and
strength of the kingdom, both in judicatories and armies, and did employ
the same unto the enacting and prosecuting an unlawful engagement in war
against the kingdom of England, notwithstanding the dissent of many
considerable members of parliament, who had given constant proof of
their integrity in the cause from the beginning; of many faithful
testimonies and free warnings of the servants of God; of the
supplications of many synods, presbyteries, and shires; and the
declaration of the General Assembly and their Commissioners to the
contrary; which engagement, as it was the cause of much sin, so also of
much misery and calamity unto this land, and held forth the grievousness
of our sin, in complying with malignants in the greatness of our
judgment, that we may be taught never to split again upon the same rock,
upon which the Lord hath set so remarkable a beacon. And, after all that
is come to pass unto us, because of this our trespass, and after that
grace hath been showed unto _our fathers and us once and again_ from the
Lord our God, by breaking these men's yoke from off _their and our
necks, and sometimes_ delivering our fathers _so far from their
insultings_, that he put them in a capacity to act for the good of
religion, their own safety, and the peace and safety of the kingdoms,
should they and we again break the commandment and covenant of the Lord,
by joining once more with the people of these abominations, and taking
unto our bosom these serpents which had formerly stung us almost unto
death; this, as it would argue great madness and folly upon our part, so
no doubt, if it be not avoided, will provoke the Lord against us, to
consume us until there is no remnant nor escaping in the land? many
times have we been warned of the sin of complying with malignants, both
by faithful ministers, and fatherly corrections from the Lord;"--yet,
after all these punishments, we have again joined with the people of
these abominations; the Lord is righteous, for we remain yet escaped as
it is this day; behold, we are before him in our trespass, we cannot
stand before him because of this.

These incendiaries, malignants, and evil instruments, made many grievous
encroachments, and prevailed much in the days of our fathers--yet not
without dissent, testimonies, warnings, and declarations; but more
especially in the dismal days of persecution and tyranny, they were
suffered, yea, encouraged, without any significant joint testimony, not
only to hinder the reformation of religion, but to overturn the whole
work of reformation, to burn and bury the covenants for it, to
re-establish abjured Prelacy, erect a monstrous Christ-exauctorating and
church-enslaving supremacy, attempt the introduction of Popery and
slavery at the gate of an anti-Christian toleration, and to persecute
and destroy the godly, who durst not in conscience comply with them; and
not only to divide the _King from his people, or one of the kingdoms
from another_--but first, to divide the bulk and body of both kingdoms,
and make them pursue divided interests from the interest and cause of
Christ, and then to divide the remnant of such as adhered to it amongst
themselves, by indulgences and other bonds of contention, in order to
get them more easily destroyed; and at length to engage the King into
such a division from the people, as to make him, instead of their
protector, their declared destroyer; and not only to _make parties among
the people contrary to his league and covenant_, but to draw and divide
the whole people into a party with perjuries. The generality,
notwithstanding, did own allegiance to the head of these incendiaries
and malignants, yea, a Popish incendiary, because he wore a crown on his
head; and did pay the cess imposed for the maintenance and encouragement
of malignants; many did associate with them in expeditions of war,
drawing up with them in their musters and rendezvouses, thereby
countenancing a malignant cause, and listing themselves under a
malignant--yea, Popish banner; many subscribed and sware themselves
contrary to the covenant by taking tests, oaths, and bonds, obliging
them to surcease from covenanted duties, and to keep the peace and good
behaviour with them, whom they were obliged by covenant to seek to bring
to punishment; yea, some, and not a few, were inveigled in the snare of
the oath of delation, to delate the persecuted people of God to their
courts, and thereby made them (instead of discovering malignants
according to the covenant,) to discover their brethren to malignants.
And very many, almost the universality of the land, were involved in the
snare of the oath of abjuration, renouncing the principle of declaring
war against a malignant King, and of asserting the lawfulness of
bringing his murthering accomplices and incendiaries to condign
punishment; but, on the other hand, some of the suffering party did
sometimes exceed the bounds of moderation in this matter, in usurping
the sword without God's call, without respect to the rule, and against
the scope of their own declarations, to take vengeance on them at their
own hand; yea, even to that degree, of taking the lives of some of them
in an extravagant manner;[27] for which, they were sadly rebuked of God,
an occasion was given and taken to reproach and blaspheme the way of God
upon that account. But to descend to our own time, we have it to
bewail, that whatever alteration there is in the face of affairs since
the yoke of tyranny was taken off our neck, yet there is no alteration
in this matter to the better, but rather to the worse; malignants are so
far from being brought to condign punishment, that they are the whole
administrators of the affairs of the kingdom; whence it is come to pass,
that the supreme judicatories which should take trial of such and bring
them to punishment, and to whom they should be delated, are wholly, or
mostly composed of such; yea, none may now be reputed malignant unless
he be disaffected to the civil government; so that malignancy is not now
disaffection to the cause and work of God, but disaffection to the
present establishment, and so far are they that are truly disaffected to
Christ and his interest this day advanced and strengthened in their
designs, that they have (so far as in them lies) put a final stop to all
further progress in reformation in these covenanted kingdoms; so that
instead of discovering and bringing to punishment them who make parties
and factions against the League and Covenant, and reformation therein
concerted, the most part of Britain and Ireland are nought else but a
party and faction against it, who have cast it out of doors, and, for
what is apparent, are never minded to receive it again; and, upon the
contrary, such as are labouring to adhere most closely (though in
weakness) to these engagements, and prosecute the ends of these
covenants, are unjustly looked upon as a party and faction, and
prosecuted as offenders by such as, according to the genuine sense of
this Article, ought to be brought to condign punishment. It is likewise
promised in this Article, that such _shall be brought to trial as shall
divide the King from his people, or one of the kingdoms from another_,
which clause hath been broken, by using endeavours to have King and
people and the kingdoms all conjoined in a _union_ and conjunction
contrary to, and eversive of this Solemn League and Covenant; and these
that go under the character of ministers, from whom it might in all
reason be expected that they should interpose for having malignants duly
punished, are so far from doing so, that they make it their endeavour
to please them; and upon the contrary, they spare no pains to incense
the persons in the government against those whose design it is, in the
Lord's strength, to adhere to their covenant engagements, and keep
themselves unspotted from the abominations of the times. We acknowledge
also ourselves guilty of the breach of this Article, in so far as we
have not more frequently and fervently, from a real respect and zeal to
the glory of God, after we saw no means of getting such evil instruments
and opposers of reformation punished and suppressed by human
judicatories, applied by prayer and supplication to God, that he would
either of his infinite mercy convince them of, and reclaim them from, or
in justice reprove and punish them for their opposition to his cause and
interest. As also, that we have not duly searched into our own sins, and
especially the malignancy of our own hearts: by means whereof, the Lord
is highly provoked to permit such evil instruments not only to afflict
and oppress us, but also to retard the success of his own work; and that
we have not impartially or sincerely mourned over these sins in our own
hearts and lives, which hinder our own personal, and so have influence
to impede national reformation, and have not forsaken and abandoned

In the fifth Article, we are bound, "according to our place and station,
to endeavor, that the kingdoms may remain conjoined in a most firm peace
and union to all posterity; and that justice may be done upon the wilful
opposers thereof;" according to Isa. ii. 2, 3, xiv. 23, 24; Jer. 1, 4,
5; Ezek. xxxvii. 16, 17; Zech. ii. 11. viii. 21, 22; Gal. v. 12.

"But through the peace and union of the kingdoms (while duly subordinate
to the interest of religion) was a great blessing of God unto both, and
a bond which we are bound to preserve inviolated, and to endeavor that
justice may be done upon the wilful opposers thereof; yet some in this
land, who have come under the bond of the Covenant, have made it their
great study how to dissolve this union, and few or no endeavors have
been used by any of us for punishing of such;" yea, very little, or none
at all, have the most of us been concerned about this Article; whether
there be peace with, or holiness and truth in, the other kingdoms; or
what sort of peace, or on what foundation it be settled: both kingdoms
are mutually guilty of dissolving this Covenant Union, in invading each
other, at several times, contrary to the Covenant, the English nation
in subjecting us to their conquest, and forcing us to a submission to
their Sectarian usurpations on church and state; and this nation, in
giving such provocations to them, by the unlawful engagement in the year
1648, by treating with, setting up and entertaining, the head of the
malignant party, their enemy and ours both, as our King in the year
1650, and invading them upon his quarrel, at the Worcester expedition,
Anno 1651; since which time, after that kingdom and this both united in
that unhappy course of restoring the King, without respect to the
Covenant, and re-establishing the Prelacy, which broke our Covenanted
Union and Conjunction, that nation hath sometimes sent aid to our
persecutors, for suppressing our attempts to recover our religion and
liberties; and this nation hath sent forces to help their destroyers,
and to suppress their endeavors for the recovery of their privileges.
And in the mean time, we have been very little solicitous for
correspondence to settle union with such of them as owned the Covenant,
or for giving to, or receiving from them, mutual informations of our
respective cases and conditions, under all our calamities and calumnies
cast upon us: nor have we studied to keep sympathy or communion of
saints, or mutual bearing of one another's burdens, as became covenanted

On the other hand instead of union in truth and duty according to the
bond of the Covenant, a confederacy hath been studied in defection from
the Covenant, and an union and peace which wanted the foundation laid
down in the foregoing Articles of the Covenant, viz., "uniformity in
doctrine, worship, discipline and government, against Popery, Prelacy,
Schism, Sectarianism, for our religion, laws and liberties, and
discovering, suppressing and punishing the enemies of these interests."
Such an Union has not been studied nor sought, but on the contrary an
Union against the Reformation and Uniformity, for Prelacy and
Sectarianism multiformity, by maintaining tyranny and strengthening
malignancy. Yea, by the means of this incorporating Union now of late
established, Prelacy is not only strengthened and confirmed, but so
settled as to continue to all succeeding generations, and this nation's
slavery as well as their sin perpetuated. And persons of all ranks have
had a deep hand in this trespass: the nobility and gentry who
represented the nation, in surrendering their own and the nation's
rights and privileges; ministers in not warning them faithfully to
beware of that covenant-breaking course, which could not but provoke God
to anger against this poor island, but showing more concern in that
juncture for settling their own, then for securing and advancing
Christ's interest; and the body of the land, in that they did not bestir
themselves, for the defence of their own liberties in a lawful way.

In the sixth Article we are bound, "according to our places and
callings, in this common cause of religion, liberty and peace, to assist
and defend all those that enter into this League and Covenant, in the
maintaining thereof. And in the National Covenant, in like manner, we
are bound to stand to the mutual defence and assistance, every one of us
of another, in the same cause, with our best counsel, our bodies, means,
and whole power, against all sorts of persons whatsoever; so that
whatsoever shall be done to the least of us for that cause, should be
taken as done to all of us in general, and to every one of us in
particular." A duty very clear in the scriptures; Judges v. 23; 1 Chron.
xii. 1, 18; Neh. iv. 14; Prov. xxiv. 11, 12.

But alas! how little conscience hath been made of this duty? "We have
suffered many of our brethren in many parts of the land to be oppressed
of the common enemy, without compassion or relief. There hath been great
murmuring and repining because of expenses of means and pains in doing
of our duty;" and not only so, but many did swear and subscribe oaths
and bonds expressly against such assistances, and to condemn all such
endeavors, to assist, defend and rescue them, as rebellion and sedition,
and obliging them to assist their murdering malignant enemies, by such
occurrences as they required. Yea, many instead of coming out to _help
the Lord against the mighty_, and defending their brethren, did come out
to the help of the mighty against the Lord, his cause, Covenant, and
oppressed people; concurring in arms against them at all the appearances
that were made and essayed for the cause of Christ; compearing at
courts, held for informing against and condemning their brethren, that
were present at, or concerned in such appearances for the Covenanted
cause, and coming in as witnesses against them; sitting in assizes for
condemning them, and guarding them to their executions, when martyred
for their duty, and the interest of truth. Many likewise denied to
reset, harbor or entertain their brethren, persecuted for maintaining
the Covenanted Reformation; some raised the hue and cry after them,
thereby occasioning, and assisting in, the murder of several faithful
brethren; the most part owned the great murderer who authorized all the
rest, and enacted all these murders, and assisted him and his
accomplices, and executioners of his murdering mandates, with their
persons and estates, in paying the supplies professedly demanded, and
declaredly imposed, for enabling them to accomplish these mischiefs.
Yea, many were so far from assisting, that they added afflictions to
their afflicted brethren, their reproaches, and persecuting by the
tongue those whom the Lord had smitten, and talking to the grief of
those he had wounded. And all sorts of us have been wanting in our
sympathy with, and endeavoring succor to, our suffering brethren, let be
to deliver them from their enemies' hands according to our capacity. So
also, it is for matter of lamentation, that many ministers all alongst
discovered great unconcernedness with, and contempt of, poor despised
and reproached sufferers, condemned the heads of their suffering, forgot
or refused to pray for them publicly. And as this Article was all
alongst through the persecuting times, most grossly violated, so to this
day it continues to be. Any that would appear in the least active in
this cause, are so far from being assisted that they are borne down,
derided, sentenced, and sometimes imprisoned; whatever motions are made
in private discourses, or public sermons, which may import a respect to,
or liking of, this noble cause of religion, or a dislike of, and
displacency with the courses opposite unto it, are so far from being
countenanced, that the movers are hated, vilipended, contemned or
censured, as raisers of dust, formenters of division, pragmatic,
turbulent and fractious spirits, and loaded with many other defamatory
epithets and calumnies. Many instances of which may be given since the
Revolution. For example, when in the year 1690, there was a paper of
grievances presented to the Assembly by some of those who had been
keeping up a witness against the iniquitous courses of the times, and
were now expecting that as the fruit of a merciful delivery from
tyrannical usurpations, and antichristian persecutions, Reformation
should be revived, grievances redressed, judicatories rightly
constituted, and duly purged, it was far from receiving a kind and
friendly reception and they who presented it left without assistance and
help, contrary to the tenor of the Covenant, so that that paper could
not be allowed a hearing, let be a redress, and the persons who offered
it to their consideration were, to their great sorrow and grief of
heart, dismissed without a satisfying answer. As also when Messrs.
Linning, Shields and Boyd, who had been carrying on a Testimony against
the time's defection, and were now minded to join with the Assembly,
after the exhibition of their Testimony, whatever acceptance it might
meet with at their hands, had in prosecution of this their design,
exhibited their proposals to the Committee of Overtures, these
proposals, though both worthy of consideration and necessary to be
redressed, were not allowed a hearing in open Assembly, but rejected as
being "made up of mistakes, reflections, unseasonable and impracticable
overtures," and the said persons, so far from being assisted, in order
to a removal of the evils therein complained of, as destructive to the
cause of God, that upon the contrary the four named persons stand in the
fifth Act of that pretended Assembly characterized with the name and
epithet of persons who had followed courses contrary to the order of the
church, and in their Moderator's exhortation, _to walk orderly in time
coming, in opposition to all schism and division_, their former practice
of testifying against the corruptions of the times was implicitly
condemned as disorderly, schismatic and divisive. Another instance of
this appeared not long after; when in the year 1692, some of the godly
of the land published their declaration disowning William and Mary's
government, because not qualified as God's word, and our Covenants do
require, as it is specified at large in the narrative of that
declaration; some of them were apprehended and imprisoned, for that
piece of adherence to the Covenanted Reformation, and opposing or at
least witnessing against the courses which they found to be contrary to
it. Yet who at that juncture appeared to assist them in their laudable
undertakings? And all alongst since, whosoever has offered grievances,
or any way witnessed against the bypast and present defections, have
been and are prosecuted with church censure, or persecuted with bitter
and malicious invectives and reproaches, falling from the tongues and
pens of those that are obliged by Covenant to have assisted, defended
and encouraged them. And especially ministers, who by virtue of their
office, as well as Covenant engagements, are obliged to excite persons
to, and assist them in their duty, have been active to do the quite
contrary; for instance, when some persons offered to give public
satisfaction for their compliance with Christ's enemies, they refused to
admit them. But to what purpose do we repeat these instances? It is too
certain and evident, that there is more assistance and encouragement
afforded to the enemies of this cause and Covenant, by persons of all
ranks than to the friends and well wishers of it. Love to, and zeal for
this cause are greatly decayed, and therefore mutual sympathy and
affection amongst the people of God in the prosecution and maintenance
of it are much a wanting.

In the same Article we are bound, "not to suffer ourselves directly or
indirectly, by whatsoever combination or terror, to be divided or
withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make
defection to the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a detestable
indifferency or neutrality in this cause; and in the National Covenant,
that we shall neither directly nor indirectly suffer ourselves to be
divided, or withdrawn, by whatsoever suggestion, allurement or terror,
from this blessed and loyal conjunction. According to scripture

Gen. xiii. 8; Psal. cxxxiii. throughout; Zech. viii. 19; I Cor. i. 10;
Eph. iv. 3; Phil. i. 27, ii. 2; Heb. xxi. 14; Jer. ix. 3; Ezek. xxii.
25; Hag. i. 2; Phil. ii. 21; II Tim. iv. 10; Rev. iii. 15.

But, alas! it is long since our fathers had reason to complain and
confess, "That many in their day through persuasion or terror, suffered
themselves to be divided and withdrawn to make defection to the contrary
part. Many had turned off to a detestable indifferency and neutrality in
this cause, which so much concerneth the glory of God, and the good of
these kingdoms. Nay, many had made it their study to walk so, as they
might comply with all times, and all the revolutions thereof. That it
was not their care to countenance, encourage, entrust, and employ, such
only as from their hearts did affect and mind God's work; but the hearts
of such, many times had been discouraged, and their hands weakened,
their sufferings neglected, and themselves slighted, and many who had
been once open enemies, and always secret underminers, countenanced and
employed. Nay, even those who had been looked upon as incendiaries, and
upon whom the Lord had set marks of desperate malignancy, falsehood and
deceit, were brought in as fit to manage public affairs."

All which sins and breaches of covenant have now increased to a great
height of heinousness; for, in our day, these incendiaries, desperate
and engrained malignants have only been employed in, and admitted to the
management of the affairs of the kingdom, and none but they accounted
habile by law; and such divisions from the Covenanted-conjunction, and
defections to the contrary part have been, and are enacted and
established by law; yea, all the unhappy divisions that have been from
the _public resolutions_, and downward, have been the woful consequents
and effects of defections to the contrary part. At the first erection of
Prelacy, many, both ministers and professors, partly by terror, partly
by persuasions, did withdraw from this covenanted conjunction, and make
defection unto Prelacy, with which they combined, conforming with, and
submitting to the ministry of the conforming curates; and afterward, by
the terror of the fear of men, and the persuasions of their counsel and
example, many of the land were seduced into a combination with
malignants, in taking oaths and bonds contrary to the covenant, thereby
dividing themselves from the recusants, and making defection to the
party imposing them, and opposing the covenants. By combination of those
that preferred peace to truth, and ease to duty--by the terror of
threatened continuance of persecution, and the persuasion of a promised
relaxation and immunity from troubles; many ministers have been divided
from the testimony of the Church of Scotland, against the enroaching
supremacy and absolute power, and one from another, and have made
defection to that part and party that were advancing these encroachments
and usurpations on the prerogatives of Christ and privileges of his
church; by receiving indulgences and tolerations from them, in their own
nature destructive unto, and given and received on terms inconsistent
with the duties of the covenants, which were contrived and conferred on
purpose to divide them from this cause, and from their brethren that
more tenaciously adhered to it; and did effectuate that design in a
great measure--and others gave themselves to a detestable indifferency
in complying with, conniving at, and not witnessing against these
defections, but passing them over in a secure submissive silence. And
as, in the times of persecuting violence, these breaches of this Article
were made by reason of the snares of that sinful time; so much more has
there been a manifest violation of it since, when at this day there is
such a universal combination of interests in opposition to the
covenanted reformation. Are not the most of the three kingdoms in one
great combination against it, by this cope-stone of defection, this
incorporating union? How have we made conscience of performing that part
of the covenant anent _resisting the persuasion of men to make defection
to the contrary part_, when the whole land is so deeply involved into
it? There has been, alas! too much way given to carnal arguments and
persuasives--such as worldly gain, ease, profit, and preferment, and too
much slavish fear and terror of men, whose breath is in their nostrils,
has been entertained, without a due reliance and dependance upon
Omnipotency; which has greatly carried men off their feet, and wheedled
them into a compliance with, and defection to the contrary part, or into
a neutrality and indifferency in this cause; so that few are found
valiant for the truth upon the earth. What strange laxness and Laodicean
indifference has there appeared in this cause, through the whole conduct
of affairs in church and state, since the revolution; whereby many
discover to every observant eye that they are satisfied if they obtain a
peaceful enjoyment of their own things, and liberty to dwell in their
ceiled houses--albeit the Lord's house (in a great measure) lies waste?
Where are there any acts of Assemblies, or proceedings of the church,
which discover any due concern or zeal for the covenanted interests?
Nay, the contrary has too frequently appeared; as for instance, when by
the 5th act of the 2d session of William and Mary's 1st Parl., the
establishment of the church was calculated for the meridian of
state-policy, according to act 114, Parl. 12, King James VI. Anno 1592.
On purpose to pass over in shameful oblivion the church's choicest
attainments in reformation betwixt 1638 and 1649; and particularly, to
make void the League and Covenant, with the Assembly's explanatory
declaration affixed to the National, the malignants' grand eye-sore,
there was no faithful protestation and testimony exhibited against this
by the Assembly, then indicted, and convened the 16th of October
following; which, if duly pondered in all its circumstances, without the
mask and pretexts industriously drawn over it, will appear to be,
perhaps one of the greatest sins of this nation, and to be little
inferior in nature and aggravations to the burning of the covenants,
which is granted by all Presbyterians to be a most atrocious act of
contempt done to the eternal God, and to his Son Jesus Christ, and
cannot be called to mind by any of the godly without great abhorrence
and detestation of it; in so far as the passing over and not ratifying
these acts of Parliament and Assembly by the respective judicatories,
which were made during that time of reformation, was a practical and
interpretative condemning of them as unprofitable, and did greatly
corroborate the acts whereby Charles II. had declared them null and not
obligatory; and did likewise import a vilifying and despising of what
God had wrought for his people in these lands, during that time; and,
lastly, was a manifest indication of disregard to the oath of God, which
these lands had come under. Neither did that, nor any succeeding
Assembly, impartially and explicitly enumerate the land's sins in their
national fasts; namely, the indulgence and toleration, with the
addresses and thanksgiving for it, and the burning of the covenant, &c.;
neither have they, in any of their addresses to their King or Queen, by
letters, or other means, declared unto them the indispensable duty of
renewing the covenants, nor applied to the Parliament for that effect;
neither have they, by their Assembly-acts, asserted the intrinsic power
of the church; neither did they in any of their acts, or public papers,
make honourable mention of those who had laid down their lives for their
adherence to Christ's truths during the times of persecution, nor
testified their approbation of what was done that way; and yet many of
us have been wanting in testifying our dislike of these backsliding
courses, by discountenancing, withdrawing from, and keeping ourselves
free of all participation with them; but have received the sacraments
of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and the privilege of marriage at their
hands, and paid tithes and stipends. By all which, it is apparent now
much indifferency there has been in this cause of covenanted interest,
which so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the kingdoms, and
the honour of the civil Magistrate.

Moreover in the same Article we are sworn, "All the days of our lives,
zealously and constantly to continue in this cause, against all lets and
impediments whatsoever, and what we are not able ourselves to suppress
and overcome, to reveal and make known the same that it may be timeously
prevented. And in the National Covenant, never to cast in any let, that
may stop or hinder any such resolution, as by common consent shall be
found to conduce for so good ends; but on the contrary, by all lawful
means, to labor to further and promote the same; and if any such
dangerous or divisive motion be made to us by word or writ, that we and
every one of us shall either suppress it, or if need be, incontinent
make the same known, that it may be timeously obviated. Agreeing very
well with the scriptures." Numb. xiv. 9, 10; Neh. vi. 3, 6, 8, 9, 10,
11; Isa. viii. 12, 13, 14; Acts iv. 19, 20, 24, xxi. 13; Gal. ii. 5;
Phil. i. 28.

Nevertheless, _many have been the lets and impediments, that have been
cast in the way, to retard and obstruct the Lord's work_, by Prelacy,
supremacy, indulgences, toleration, and absolute tyranny and compliance
therewith, enacted by law, and all the mischiefs established by a throne
of iniquity since the unhappy restoration of Charles II. to this day.
Yet few have ever zealously contended and fewer have constantly
continued in contending, against these obstructions, so obstructive to
the cause, many have kept secret the first motions and appearances of
these things, while they might have been suppressed and overcome, and
the generality have passed them over in silence, and not made known, nor
advertised unto evil of these things when declared, by witnessing
against these things, when, they could not be otherwise removed or
overcome. Yea, many of us have ourselves cast in lets and impediments,
obstructive to the cause, by our defections divisions and disorders
against common consent, and precipitances, without common consent even
of our brethren adhering to the testimony. Many a divisive motion hath
not been counted dangerous, of those which tended to divide us from the
Covenanted cause. And many a good and necessary motion hath been
accounted divisive, namely, such as proposed the necessity of confessing
and forsaking sin.

"Besides these and many other breaches of the Articles of the Covenant,
in the matter thereof, which concerneth every one of us, to search out
and acknowledge before the Lord, as we could wish his wrath to be turned
away from us, so have many of us failed exceedingly in the manner of
following and pursuing the duties contained therein, not only seeking
great things for ourselves, and mixing private interests, and ends
concerning ourselves, and friends, and followers, with those things
which concern the public good; but many times preferring such to the
honour of God and good of his cause; and retarding God's work until we
might carry alongst with us our own interests and designs: it hath been
our way to trust in the means, and to rely upon the arm of flesh for
success, albeit the Lord hath many times made us meet with
disappointments, and stained the pride of all our glory, by blasting
every carnal confidence unto us. We have followed for the most part the
counsels of flesh and blood, and walked more by the rules of policy than
piety, and have hearkened more unto men than unto God."

In the conclusion of the Solemn League and Covenant there is a
profession and declaration "before God and the world of our unfeigned
desires to be humbled[28] for our own sins and for the sins of these
kingdoms[29]; especially that we have not valued, as we ought, the
inestimable benefit of the gospel[30], that we have not laboured for the
purity[31] and power thereof[32], and that we have not endeavoured to
receive Christ into our hearts[33], nor to walk worthy of him in our
lives[34], which are the causes of other sins and transgressions so much
abounding amongst us[35]: all which we are under many obligations to
confess and mourn over from the word; and, of our true and unfeigned
purpose and desire, to endeavour for ourselves and all others under our
power and charge[36] both in public and in private, in all dutie[37] we
owe to God and man, to amend our lives[38] and each one to go before
another[39] in the example of a real reformation, that the Lord might
turn away his wrath and heavy indignation,[40] and establish these
kingdoms in truth and peace.[41] Yet we have refused to be reformed and
have walked proudly and obstinately before the Lord, not valuing his
gospel, nor submitting ourselves unto the obedience thereof; not seeking
after Christ, nor studying to honour him in the excellency of his
person, nor to employ him in the virtue of his offices; not making
conscience of the public ordinances, nor studying to edify one another
in love. The ignorance of God and his Son Jesus Christ prevails
exceedingly in the land." Even our fathers in their purest times
confessed, in their acknowledgement of sins, "That the greatest part of
masters of families among noblemen, barons, gentlemen, burgesses, and
commons, neglected to seek God in their families, and to endeavour the
reformation thereof. And albeit it had been much pressed, yet few of the
nobles and great ones could be persuaded to perform family duties
themselves in their own persons, which made so necessary a duty to be
disregarded by persons of inferior rank."

We may add, in our degenerate times, not only the great ones generally
profess the neglect and contempt of so necessary a duty, both in their
own persons and in the use of chaplains; but the great part of the
commons are altogether strangers to it; many performing no part of the
family worship at all, others only singing a psalm and reading a chapter
without praying, and others making a fashion of all, but very
perfunctoriously, formally, and indifferently, and scarcely once in a
day. And ministers also making little conscience of visiting families to
see how this duty is performed, not pressing it upon the negligent, nor
stirring up the formal to a more spiritual way of performing it, nay,
some giving bad examples to their flocks, by neglecting it themselves in
their own families. _The nobility, gentry, and barons, who should be
examples of sober walking unto others, are very generally ringleaders of
excess and rioting_. We have been far from amending our lives and
promoting a personal reformation, and going before one another in the
example of a real reformation, when we have been examples of deformation
in our personal practices and public transactions, and being
too-familiar and too far united with the patrons and patterns of the
land's deformations. "Our fathers also acknowledged, albeit they were
the Lord's people engaged unto him in a solemn way; yet they had not
made it their study that judicatories and armies should consist of, and
places of power and trust be filled with men of blameless and Christian
conversation, and of known integrity and approved fidelity, affection,
and zeal unto the cause of God. And not only those who were neutral and
indifferent, but disaffected and malignant, and others who were profane
and scandalous were intrusted. By which it came to pass that
judicatories, EVEN THEN, were the seats of injustice and iniquity. And
many in their armies, by miscarriages, became their plague unto the
great prejudice of the cause of God, the great scandal of the gospel,
and the great increase of looseness and profanity throughout all the
land." But, since the time of that acknowledgment there has still been
more and more degeneracy, so that judicatories have consisted of, and
been filled with perjured traitors to God and their country. And armies
made up of these plagues marshalled under a displayed banner against
Christ and his interest, not only to the scandal, but for the
suppression of the gospel, and forcing people to profanity throughout
the land; and now are, to the disgrace of the Protestant religion, made
up of the refuse of the lands, and employed in the support of an
Antichristian interest abroad. Yet have we not sighed and cried for
these abominations, nor have we been concerned, as we ought, with the
abounding of them through the land. As also, with blushing, we must
confess our pride and presumptuous boasting of external privileges of
the gospel and outward reformation, and of a testimony which we bragged
of, as if that had made us better than others, while we made no
conscience of personal reformation, which, no doubt, amongst other
sinful miscarriages, was a main cause of the Lord's depriving us so long
a time of the comfortable and soul-enriching mercy of a faithfully
dispensed gospel.

And, in like manner, the conceitedness of some in suffering and
contending for truth, rather for keeping up the contention abetting a
party, and many times under too lofty names of the suffering party, and
remnant, and the like, than to keep and hold fast the word of the Lord's
patience to his glory as our crown; and many other evidences of pride
hateful to God, such as boasting in the strength of armies in the
suffering times in an ostentatious way, vaunting of, and being too much
taken up with them, though then necessary for the defence of our lives;
rejoicing in our numerousness or worldly abilities, or in the number of
them that frequent the public ordinances in the fields; or that they,
who are owners of the testimony, are for the most, part kept free from
the gross out-breakings into which others are left to fall; which
things, though very good and desirable in themselves, may yet be, and
have been, occasions of sin when boasted in, more than humbly and
thankfully acknowledged to be from the hand of God. As also, revengeful
resenting of affronts, passionate and disdainful refusing to take
reproof for faults, or for the excess in any duty, as to the manner of
it, when we thought the matter was right.

And, it is likewise matter of regret, that both in the time of greatest
suffering and afterwards, idleness of both kinds did too much prevail
amongst us; both that when we were in a manner driven from the world,
and shut up from all employment but the exercise of godliness, many did
not improve that opportunity of the cross to promote acquaintance and
communion with God, being slothful in prayer, reading and other duties;
and some again, even when they might have had access to lawful
employments, continued idle and out of work, to the opening of the
mouths of many against the cause; albeit they were not called to, or
employed in any public business for the same.

And besides all these things, there may be many other transgressions
whereof the lands wherein we live are guilty, and these attended with
many heinous aggravating circumstances beyond what they were in our
fathers, which we have not been humbled for to this day; but, instead of
mourning for them, confessing and forsaking them, we have been rather

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