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

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defending or daubing, covering or coloring, excusing or extenuating
them. All which we now desire to acknowledge and be humbled for, that
the world may bear witness with us, that righteousness belongeth unto
God, and shame and confusion of face to us, as appears this day.

* * * * *


_Particularly adjusted to the Circumstances of these Times, Anno 1712_

Because it is requisite, in order to obtain mercy, not only to confess,
but also to forsake our sins, and to do the contrary duties; therefore,
that the sincerity and reality of our repentance may appear, we resolve,
and solemnly engage before God, in the strength and through the
assistance of Christ, that we shall carefully endeavour, in all time
coming, to avoid all these offences, whereof we have now made solemn
public acknowledgment, and all the snares and temptations tending
thereunto; and to testify this sincerity of our resolution, and that we
may be better enabled in the power of the Lord's might, to perform the
same, we do again renew our Covenants, both National and Solemn League,
promising to make conscience of a more exact performance of all the
duties therein contained, so far as we, in our stations, and present
deplorable circumstances, are capable; particularly such as follow.

Because religion is of all things the most excellent and precious in its
own nature, and therefore most to be desired by the children of men,
and the knowledge of the great truths of the gospel, so generally
decreased in this land, is so absolutely necessary to salvation;
therefore in order to attain it, we shall labor to be better acquainted
with the _written word of God_, the only infallible rule of faith and
manners; and shall (according to our capacity) study more than formerly
the doctrine of the reformed church of Scotland, summed up in our[42]
Confession of Faith, Catechisms Larger and Shorter, Sum of Christian
Doctrine and practical Use of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Worship
(as the same was received and observed by this church in her purest
times, viz. in the year 1649,) Propositions concerning Church
Government, and Ordination of Ministers, annexed to the Confession of
Faith, and other writings clearing and confirming these truths, approven
by this church, and agreeable to the word of God.

We shall likewise endeavor the advancing and promoting the power of this
true Reformed Religion, against all ungodliness and profanity, the
securing and preserving the purity thereof, against all kinds of errors,
heresy and schism, as namely, Independency, Brownism, Anabaptism,
Antinomianism, Arminianism, Socinianism, Libertinism, Familism.
Scepticism, Quakerism, Deism, Burignonism and Erastianism; and as we
declare, that we willingly agree in our consciences unto the doctrine of
the church of Scotland in all points, as unto God's undoubted truth and
verity, grounded only upon his written word, so we resolve constantly to
adhere unto, maintain and defend, profess and confess, and (when called
of God) to yield ourselves sufferers for the said doctrine, as we shall
desire to be approven and confessed by Jesus Christ, before God and his
holy angels. _2dly_, We shall also study more sincerity, uprightness and
heart-integrity in the worship of God, and shall not satisfy ourselves
with the form of it, without the power and spirituality, which God the
only object of religious worship, doth require: and shall endeavor the
due performance of all the duties of religious worship, which God hath
in his most holy word required. And shall (if Providence offer
occasion) endeavor to recover, and labor to preserve the purity thereof
from all corruptions, mixtures, innovations and inventions of men,
Popish, Prelatical, or any other; and while we are not able, by reason
of the prevailing power of the abettors and maintainers of them, to get
them removed, we shall labor (through grace) to keep ourselves free from
all sinful communion and participation with them, and shall, in our
stations, testify against these corruptions and perversions of God's
worship, by all competent means. _3dly_, We shall likewise by all lawful
means endeavor, that Presbyterian church government in kirk-sessions,
presbyteries, synods and general assemblies, may be recovered in its
former purity, established upon its proper basis and foundation, the
word of God; and that it may be freed from all encroachments and
invasions made thereupon by the powers of the earth; and that the
discipline of the church may be impartially exercised against all
scandalous offenders, great or small; and when the ministers of this
church, or any of them, shall sincerely and conscientiously endeavor the
restoration of the government in all its privileges, and freedom from
all Erastian encroachments, and to have the discipline duly and
impartially exercised, then we promise to be obedient, and be subject
thereunto, as becomes the flock of Christ; but shall always testify our
dislike of all encroachments made and yielded to, prejudical to the
privileges which Christ hath bestowed upon his church.

_4thly_, We shall always desire and pray for the reviving of the work of
uniformity in the three kingdoms, and (if the Lord in his providence
shall offer opportunity) shall seek and endeavour it by other means
possible, lawful, expedient, and competent to us in our capacities; and
shall never cordially consent unto, nor cease to testify against,
whatsoever doth obstruct and hinder that work of uniformity, and shall
detest and abhor all multiformity, introduced by Erastianism, Prelacy,
and Sectarianism, now so prevalent, and confirmed by this late union
with England.

According to the second Article, we shall do our utmost endeavour to
have the land purged of Popish idolatry, and the monuments thereof
destroyed, particularly the abomination of the mass; and, so far as lies
in our power, shall never suffer the same to be re-introduced or erected
again, nor favour any attempts tending thereunto. We shall never make
any conjunction with these abominable Popish idolaters, at home or
abroad, in armies or otherwise; and shall, according to our National
Covenant, detest and abhor all their wicked superstitious rites and
ceremonies. We shall never consent, for any reason whatsoever, that the
Penal Statutes made against Papists should be annulled; but shall, when
opportunity offers, be ready to concur in putting them to a due and
vigorous execution. _2dly_, We shall, by all approven means, in our
stations and vocations, endeavour the extirpation of Prelacy; and shall
never submit to that wicked hierarchy of Bishops, Archbishops, &c.,
having superiority of order and jurisdiction above preaching Presbyters,
whether Erastian or only Diocesan, in any form or degree, howsoever
reformed, accommodated, limited, or restricted by cautions and
provisions of men; seeing that all such superiority is flatly condemned
in the Word of God, and hath proven many times fatal to the church of
Christ. We shall detest and abhor, and in our stations witness against
whatsoever courses, tending to the establishment of that abominable
hierarchy; and particularly, the oaths of allegiance, with the
assurance, and oath of abjuration, lately imposed on the persons of
public trust in these realms, in regard they may justly be interpreted
to strengthen that hierarchy, by upholding the persons that maintain the
same. We shall not submit to any orders issued forth by Bishops, nor own
them as our lawgivers, nor acknowledge any title they have to be members
of parliament or council. _3dly_, We shall in like manner detest, and
abhor, and labour, to extirpate all kinds of superstition--all rites and
ceremonies superadded by human invention to the worship of God, not
enjoined and required in his Word; together with all heresy and false
doctrine, and all profaneness and immortalities of every kind, and
whatsoever is contrary to sound religion; and shall in the strength, and
through the help of Christ, endeavour to deny all ungodliness and
worldly lusts, and from henceforth to live righteously towards our
neighbour, soberly in ourselves, and to walk humbly with our God.

We shall upon the one hand, endeavour to keep ourselves, as far as we
can, from all partakings in other men's sins, by consenting unto
associations, incorporations, combinations, compliance with, or
conniving at, their sins. And upon the other, to guard against all
schism, and sinful separation, or unjust, rash, and disorderly
withdrawing from societies, congregations or families, or any part of
the communion of the true reformed church of Scotland, holding purely
and entirely the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the
same, in principle and exercise, according to the rules of Christ, and
standing acts and constitutions of this church, consonant thereunto, so
far as the Lord gives light therein. And as we look not upon our
practice in withdrawing from the backslidden ministers of the present
Erastian church, for reasons valid and sufficient, to be a gathering and
setting up formed separate churches under other ordinances and ministry,
distinct from the Presbyterian church of Scotland, (although we be
falsely aspersed as doing it) so we purpose and resolve always to adhere
to that standard of doctrine, discipline, and government, and that
purity and form of worship, which during our reforming times were
established, and to embrace such ordinances, and such a ministry as are
of divine appointment; and that we shall not presume to withdraw from
minister or member of that body for any offence, in any case, where
either the offence may be legally removed without withdrawing, or cannot
be instructed to be condemned by the word of God, and constitution of
this church, or is in itself an insufficient ground of withdrawing, or
where it is not defended, or obstinately persisted in, or is a thing to
be condescended upon, forborn, or forgiven; but shall study to maintain
union and Christian communion, with all and every one, whether ministers
or private Christians, who adhere unto the purity of the doctrine,
worship, discipline and government of the church of Scotland, and to the
whole word of Christ's patience, in the sufferings and contendings of
his people, in opposition to his enemies' encroachments; and shall join,
in the way of truth and duty, with all who do, and in so for as they do,
adhere to the institutions of Christ. And because many have labored to
supplant the liberties of the true kirk, and have in a great measure, of
late by indulgences and toleration, and now by oaths of allegiance and
abjuration, and encroaching on the freedom of Christ's courts, obtained
their design: we shall therefore, to our power withstand and witness
against all these encroachments made upon the liberties of Christ's
church in our land, and when we can do no more, shall withdraw our
countenance and concurrence from such as hold their freedom from, and
are modified by such usurpation; and shall neither hear their sermons,
nor pay them stipends, while they continue unfaithful; and shall,
whenever God gives us opportunity, endeavor to recover, and when
recovered, to maintain and defend the liberties and privileges of the
church of Scotland, against all who shall oppose or undermine the same,
or encroach thereupon, under any pretext whatsoever.

With reference to the third Article, wherein we are bound to defend the
privileges of the Parliament, liberties of the kingdoms, and the King's
Majesty's person and authority, in the defence of the true Reformed
religion: albeit God, in his righteous judgment, hath left the nations
so far to the counsels of their own hearts, as to suffer them to set up
Magistrates, wanting the qualifications requisite, and to fill places of
power and trust with insufficient and disaffected persons, who have no
respect to the interest of religion, and this nation in particular to
give up the rights and privileges of Parliament, and kingdom, to the
will and lust of the English, and so to betray the interest both of
religion and civil liberty for unworthy by-ends; yet we purpose and
promise, that we shall always in our capacities bear witness against
these courses, and shall not by any means corroborate them, or encourage
and countenance the maintainers and abettors of them. And if ever the
Lord in his mercy shall be pleased to open a door of relief, and break
the cords of the ungodly, we shall not be wanting in all lawful and
suitable endeavors to promote, to our power, the recovery of that
liberty and freedom which we have lost, and to have those acts and
oaths, which impede Reformation, rescinded: and that all the righteous
laws, made in favor of the Covenanted Reformation, may be put in full
force, and duly executed.

We shall earnestly pray to God that he would give us able men, men of
truth, fearing God and hating covetousness, to bear charge over his
people, and that all places of power and trust in church, state, or
army, may consist of, and be filled with men of known good affection to
the cause of God, and of a Christian and blameless conversation; and
when it shall please the Lord to give us such magistrates and judges
supreme and subordinate, then we will, in the terms of the covenant,
yield allegiance to them, and loyally subject to their good government,
not from any by-end or sinistrous principle, but out of sincere
obedience to God's commandment; and shall willingly support and defend
them, with our estates and lives, in their persevering and defending the
true reformed Protestant religion, in doctrine, worship, discipline and
government, and suppressing all kinds of false religion in their
dominions, and in the administration of justice and punishment of
iniquity; but while the Lord, in his just displeasure for our sins,
withholds such from us, we intend to wait till he turn away his anger,
and not to stretch forth our hands to iniquity, in owning and
countenancing such as are not duly qualified; as, particularly, those
that are Popish or Prelatical in their professed principle and practice,
and by oaths engage themselves to maintain, and accordingly to defend,
the Prelatical form of church government, who oppose and encroach upon
the true government of Christ's house by their supremacy, and tolerate
Sectarian errors in their dominions, and that every one of them supreme
and subordinate; and shall not corroborate their unjust authority, by
pacing them cess and supply, for upholding their corrupt courts and
armies, employed in an unjust and antichristian quarrel; or, by
compearing before their judicatories, either to defend or pursue
lawsuits, or upon any other account.

Because we are not in a case to bring to due trial and punishment,
condign, according to the merit of their offences, malignants and evil
instruments, according to the fourth Article; therefore, we shall
endeavour to keep ourselves, as far as possible, from any compliance
with, or approbation of their cause and courses, opposite to the cause
and work of God; and shall endeavour to keep at a distance from
everything that may anyways import a unitive conjunction, association,
or confederacy with them, or strengthening them in their opposition to
the cause of God--the covenanted interest. We shall, through grace,
endeavour to represent before the throne of justice their wicked
courses; and pray that God would defeat their inventions, though we
shall always, as becomes Christians, implore the throne of grace for
mercy to their souls, so far as it may be consistent with God's eternal
purpose of electing love. Moreover, we shall always endeavour to guard
against all unwarrantable and irregular ways, not approven in God's
Word, of punishing malignants and incendiaries, for their opposition to

Whereas, in the fifth Article, we are bound to endeavour, that the
kingdoms may remain united in a most firm peace and union to all
posterity; which union did consist in a uniformity in doctrine, worship,
discipline and government, though, as was said, it is now laid aside,
and a union entered into which establishes multiformity therein, and so
is the opposite of this Covenanted Union. We shall, therefore, deny our
consent unto, and approbation of this union, and shall, as we have in
weakness been witnessing against it formerly, so continue to do for the
future, and shall not corroborate or strengthen the same; but upon the
contrary, if the Lord afford opportunity, shall do our utmost to have
the _union of the kingdoms settled_ upon the true covenanted basis; and
shall lay out ourselves, as far as possible, to entertain correspondence
and sympathy with every one in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, who
do, or shall, to our knowledge, adhere to this League and Covenant.

According to the sixth Article, considering what danger we and all our
brethren, under the bond and owning the obligation of these covenants,
are in, and may be exposed unto, from the Popish and Prelatical
malignant faction still prevailing, and from this backslidden church;
and being sensible of the many defects which have been amongst us, in
the duty of defending and assisting one another in maintaining the
common cause of religion and liberty, we do here solemnly enter into a
bond of association with all that do now renew these covenants, "with
the Acknowledgement of the Public Sins and Breeches, and the Engagement
of Duties thereof, and concert and assert the old covenanted cause and
quarrel," as our fathers stated and contended for it, from the year 1638
to the year 1650. Which cause of the covenanted reformation in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government, and all interests, or rights,
religious or civil, contended for during the foresaid space of years,
conducing to promote the same, we faithfully promise to prosecute,
propagate, preserve and maintain, to the utmost of our power, with our
lives and all that we have; and to adhere to all the faithful
testimonies, protestations and declarations, in the defence of the
foresaid covenanted reformation, agreeable to, and founded on God's
Word, ever since the foresaid year 1650, not regarding the foul
aspersions of rebellion, combination or schism, 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 religion, to obtain the protection and preserve the
honour of righteous government, and promote the peace and happiness of
the kingdoms.

And for the better performance of what we here engage to, we shall
sympathize, bear all burdens, embark our interest with, assist and
defend all those, who enter into, or join this association and Covenant,
and shall reckon whatsoever is done to the least of us, for this cause,
as done to us all in general and to every one of us in particular: and
shall account it a breach of Covenant, if seeing our brethren pursued
for this very cause, and having sufficient means to comfort and assist
them, any of us shall either make peace with the persecutors, bind up
their hands by oaths and bonds from resisting them, refuse to hide,
harbor, or supply their brethren, decline to venture, in lawful and
necessary attempts for their relief, or withdraw from their dutiful
support; and being thus united and associated in this cause, as we
resolve and oblige ourselves to abide in this firm conjunction, and
neither consent nor concede to any combination or counsel, suggestion,
persuasion, allurement or terror, that may have any known tendency or
influence, whether direct or indirect, to seduce us either to a division
amongst ourselves, or defection to our adversaries, or a base
indifferency and neutrality between the two; but shall, with all zeal,
fidelity and constancy, communicate our best help, counsel and
concurrence, for promoting all resolutions, which by common consent
shall be found to conduce to the good of the cause, and shall endeavor
to discover, oppose and suppress, all contrivances or counsels, that may
cast in any let or impediment, that may be obstructive or prejudicial to
the same. So we shall likewise desire, design and endeavor, (whenever
the Lord in his providence shall offer opportunity) to get the
defections, unworthy neutralities, and unhappy divisions, which have
long and lamentably wounded, and wrecked this church, removed and
remedied. And shall be willing, with all tender sympathy and compassion,
to embrace and welcome with the utmost bowels of kindness and respect
that we can, all who shall confess and forsake these defections, and
according to their stations, as ministers or private Christians, shall,
by all proper means, labor to satisfy the conscience of the godly, that
are through these defections and scandals justly offended, and that
according to the rules of Christ, delivered in his word, and received in
this church, in her Reforming times, and join cordially with us in the
prosecution of this cause; and we shall be willing also, at their
desire, to acknowledge and forsake, for peace and unity, whatever we can
rationally be convinced to be bad in our conduct and management, as we
must acknowledge, that in all things we fail, and come exceedingly short
of that perfection, which we should and would be at.

And because there be many who heretofore have not made conscience of the
oath of God--but some, through fear, others by persuasion, and upon base
ends, and human interests, have entered thereinto, who have afterwards
discovered themselves to have dealt deceitfully with the Lord, in
swearing falsely by his name; therefore, we, who do now renew our
covenants with reference to these duties, and all other duties contained
therein, do, in the sight of him who is the searcher of hearts, solemnly
profess, that it is not upon any politic advantage, or private interest,
or by-end, or because of any terror or persuasion from men, or
hypocritically or deceitfully, that we do again take upon us the oath of
God; but honestly and sincerely, and from the sense of our duty. And
that, therefore, denying ourselves and our own things, and, laying aside
all-self interests and ends, we shall, above all things, seek the honour
of God, the good of his cause, and the wealth of his people; and that,
forsaking the counsels of flesh and blood, and not leaning upon carnal
confidences, we shall depend upon the Lord, walk by the rule of his
Word, and hearken to the voice of his servants. In all which, professing
our own weakness, we do earnestly pray to God who is the Father of
mercies, through his Son JESUS CHRIST, to be merciful unto us, and to
enable us, by the power of his might, that we may do our duty, unto the
praise of his grace in the churches. Amen.


[Footnote 4: In the Preface to this edition, the reader may perceive the
same spirit in 1880. | ED.]

[Footnote 5: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 6: The persons and authority of such, when God of his mercy
shall grant them to us.]

[Footnote 7: King Charles the First.]

[Footnote 8: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies of old, and of

[Footnote 9: Or any other corruptions thereof, Prelatic or Erastian,
either tried or to be tried; such as indulgence, the toleration, the
magistrates appointing fasts without advice and consent of the church,
dissolving assemblies, &c.]

[Footnote 10: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies.]

[Footnote 11: To righteous governors, (when obtained), and to our

[Footnote 12: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 13: The person and authority of sovereigns having the
qualifications which the Scriptures require.]

[Footnote 14: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 15: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 16: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

[Footnote 17: Anno 1638.]

[Footnote 18: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

[Footnote 19: After all supplications, remonstrances protestations and
sufferings of our fathers, and our own grievous sufferings and
contendings both before and since the late Revolution.]

[Footnote 20: When restored, according to their ancient foundation.]

[Footnote 21: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 22: The lawful Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 23: The lawful Magistrate, when obtained.]

[Footnote 24: Our Reformers.]

[Footnote 25: As they were then.]

[Footnote 26: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 27: Such as the Curate of Carsphairn, and some others. But it
is to be noted, that this sentence is not meant of those who either
designed or actually executed that act of extraordinary justice upon the
Archbishop of St. Andrews, who being an arch-traitor, and public
incendiary, and implacable enemy to the work of God, and all the godly
in the kingdom, was therefore justly put to death; though (because of
the defect of justice in those that had authority,) the act, in respect
of the persons executing, was singular and extraordinary. See the same
vindicated, _Hind Let Loose_, head vi., page 633, &c.]

[Footnote 28: Ezek. vii. 16. But they that escape of them shall escape,
and shall be on the mountains like doves of the vallies, all of them
mourning, every one for his iniquity.]

[Footnote 29: Ezek. ix. 4.----Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the
midst thereof.]

[Footnote 30: Matt. xxii. 5. But they made light of it, and went their
ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.]

[Footnote 31: 1 Tim. vi. 14. That thou keep this commandment without
spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.]

[Footnote 32: 2 Tim. lii. 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof.]

[Footnote 33: Eph. in. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by
faith.----Col. ii. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in him.]

[Footnote 34: Col. i. 10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all

[Footnote 35: 2 Thes. ii. 10, 11, 12. Because they received not the love
of the truth----For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that
they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned, who believed
not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.]

[Footnote 36: Josh. xxiv. 15.----But as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord. Gen. xviii. 19. For I know him, that he will command his
children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the
Lord, to do justice and judgment.]

[Footnote 37: 1 Tim. iii. 15----That thou mayest know how thou oughtest
to behave thyself in the house of God.----]

[Footnote 38: Psal. ci 2. I will walk within my house with a perfect
heart. Jer. vii. 3. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;
amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this
place. Isa. I. 16, 17; _Cease to_ do evil. Learn to do well.----]

[Footnote 39: Jer. 1. 8. Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go
forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be ye as the he goats before
the flocks.]

[Footnote 40: Zech. i 3. Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I
will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. Psal. lxxxv. 3. Thou hast
taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness
of thine anger. Verse 4th. Turn us, O God of our salvation and cause
thine anger towards us to cease]

[Footnote 41: Psal. lxxxv. 9, 10. Surely his salvation is nigh them that
fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met
together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Isa. xxxii. 17. And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

Zech. viii. 19----Therefore love the truth and peace.]

[Footnote 42: Note. The Confession of Faith is here adhered to, as it
was received and approven by the General Assembly of this church, by
their Act of the 27th of Aug. 1647, Sess. 23, the 2d Article of the 31st
Chap, being understood, as explained in that Act, and the 4th Sect, of
the 23d Chap, being understood, as it is explained in our Informatory
Vindication, page 196, 2d Edition.]

[Typographical errors excepted, and _Historical Introduction_
substituted for _Preface_, this edition agrees with those of Paisley,
1820, and Belfast, 1835.--ED.]








* * * * *

"I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous
judgments."--_Psalms_ cxix: 106.

"They (Egyptians) shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it."--_Is_.
xix: 21.

The Corinthians "first gave their own selves to the Lord."--_2 Cor_.
viii: 5.


Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God.--_Ps_. lxxvi: II.


Having in prospect a united, public and solemn approach to our covenant
God, some important principles should be understood, that we may proceed
with intelligence and have sure ground for our faith.

"God is love;" and reciprocal love constitutes "the bond of perfectness"
between God and rational creatures. Communion with God is the supreme
felicity and highest honor of which angels and men are capable. The
first emanation of divine love revealed to us was displayed in the
covenant of works; although not called a covenant, the narrative
contains all the elements essential to a federal deed, comprising a
summary of the whole moral law. Thus the sovereign love of God was
manifested through the medium of law and covenant inseparably combined;
and this is the Lord's manner of dealing with mankind till the present

That covenant was made with us in Adam as our common father and public
representative. By the breach of it we are born in Adam's image and
"children of wrath;" for the principle of representative identification
pervades the moral universe. Our rational and social nature fits us both
for personal and federal responsibility.

When we had "destroyed ourselves" by apostasy from God, then did God
"show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus." The gift of his Son to be a covenant head to
sinners is God's highest, and most glorious demonstration of his
ineffable love. The breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the
love of Christ passeth knowledge; and the displays of this love through
the covenant of grace will doubtless furnish matter of admiration to
holy angels, and of adoring gratitude to redeemed sinners throughout
eternity. Rev. i: 5, 6.

Ever since our fall in Adam God has dealt with our sinful race by
covenant. This covenant was made with Christ as Mediator between God and
man, and as the representative of all whom the Father gave him to be
redeemed and brought to glory. John xvii: 2. Accordingly, the Lord
Jesus, immediately on the fall of our first parents, entered upon his
work of mediation. To them first he announced his commission, declaring
his purpose to "bruise the serpent's head--to destroy the works of the
devil." Gen. iii: 15; 1 John iii: 8. Christ is given "for a witness to
the people; a leader and commander to the people; to have power over all
flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath
given him."

Throughout the whole of the mediatorial administration the law and the
covenant are distinct, though inseparably connected: and although many
covenants are mentioned in the Scriptures, and even distinguished as
_old_ and _new_. Jer. xxxi: 31; Heb. viii: 8; yet we must understand
these as only different and successive modes of administering one and
the same Covenant of Grace. This covenant was proclaimed before the
deluge by prophets, as Enoch and Noah; after the flood by patriarchs;
then by the ministry of Moses and other prophets, when John the Baptist
and the Messiah in person proclaimed it; and from the day of Pentecost
till the end of the world is the last dispensation--still, the covenant
is immutably the same. The most solemn and memorable act of covenanting
with God was at Horeb, otherwise called Sinai, when the Israelites were
first and formally organized in ecclesiastical and civil relations. Then
"Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion." Ps. cxiv: 2.

Besides circumcision and the passover, both of which involved covenant
obligation, God instituted the additional ordinance of public and social
federal transaction, that the whole body might glorify him by a united
act of solemn dedication as his special property separated visibly from
the world. Is. lxiii: 19. And that this is a moral ordinance, and of
perpetual obligation, is evident from the practice of God's people, both
under the Old and New Testament, and the language of prophecy. Deut.
xxix: 10-12; 2 Cor. viii: 5; Is. xliv: 5.

Again, when we renew our covenant, we do not mean that the obligation
has ceased, or that we can increase its obligation, for this is infinite
and permanent; we intend by our personal act to deepen and render more
durable our sense of preexisting obligation. This is, indeed, the
immediate object of all renovations, by Moses, Joshua, kings of Judah
and Nehemiah. And as we have seen, this ordinance was observed by
Christians in the time of the apostles, so their practice may be traced
through history afterwards, however obscure, until the time of the
Reformation from Popery; when in Europe, both continental and insular,
this ordinance was revived and exemplified. Among all nations in
Christendom Scotland stands preeminent since first emancipated from
bondage in mystical Babylon, for the frequency and fidelity of her
ecclesiastical and national vows to the Most High. After many struggles
with Popery and Prelacy, during which Christ's witnesses in that land
derived strength and courage from vows renewed to withstand these
organized oppressors; at length by their example and influence the
kingdoms of England and Ireland were brought into a confederation by
that famous and grand document, the Solemn League and Covenant. Taken in
connection with the National Covenant of Scotland, those three nations
and the churches in them were voluntarily bound to God and to each other
by all the solemnity of cords and bands made in heaven. Yet, through the
corruption of human nature and the restless malice of the Dragon and his
angels, these bands were treacherously broken and the cords cast away.
Although those symbols of the public faith were Scriptural documents,
yet the reformation as truly described by the late Mr. Robert Lusk, was
to the majority "a reformation only on paper." Like Israel of old the
hearts of most of the people were not right with God, neither were they
steadfast in his covenant. Ps. lxxviii: 37. This was soon made manifest
by the Public Resolutions, accepting Indulgences, and the subsequent
twenty-eight years of persecution inflicted upon those who "stood to the
covenant." Then followed, in 1689, what the apostates called, and their
successors still fondly hail, as the "glorious Revolution
settlement!"--a settlement which, by forms of law, consigned the
nations' solemn vows to oblivion, with all possible expressions of
detestation by the infamous "Act Rescissory." In the year 1707, the "Act
of Incorporation" brought the church and kingdom of Scotland under
degrading bondage to the anti-Christian, Prelatic and Erastian throne of

While these steps of apostasy were in progress, the Lord preserved a
"wasted remnant" of witnesses, who "resisted unto blood striving against
sin." These valiant Christian patriots--"the Society People"--kept
themselves and their garments clean, and kept also the word of Christ's
patience. They never were _dissenters_, nor properly called the "Old
Dissenters." During this hour of temptation they were destitute of the
help and guidance of a public ministry. At length, in the year 1706, Mr.
John M'Millan, wearing the honorable badges of suspension and
deposition, imposed by his apostate brethren for advocating in their
Assembly the continued obligation of the Covenants. National and Solemn
League, (Is. lxvi: 5,) was joyfully received as their minister by the
voice of the Society people. In the year 1712, at Auchensaugh, Mr.
M'Millan, with the assistance of Mr. John M'Neil, licentiate, "resolved
to set about this solemn and tremendous duty of renewing their national
covenants with God." Their mode of procedure was Scriptural, following
the examples of Moses and others to Nehemiah--"the footsteps of the
flock." They framed three papers, History, Confession and Engagement.
The text of the Covenants of our fathers was left entire, only some
explanatory words and phrases being placed in the margin. These
explanations were then necessary to clear that question of
questions--"Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee?"--a
question to be finally settled only at the sounding of the last
Apocalyptic trumpet. Rev. xi: 15. That transaction was ever after
incorporated with the Terms of Communion.

Some years after this transaction another renovation took place in
Scotland, at a locality called Crawford-John; but no attainments were
then made, nor has any authentic record of the proceedings been
transmitted to posterity. Also the Seceders, soon after their erection
as a distinct organization in Scotland, and repeatedly since in Britain
and America, by public covenanting have contributed to the preservation
of sound doctrine and Christian practice. We cannot, however, accord to
them the honor of being the successors of the covenanted witnesses,
which they unwarrantably claim, seeing that they disowned the "civil
part" of the public Covenants, and thus unwittingly, we charitably
believe, passed an implied censure on the One Lawgiver for having given
us a second table in the moral law!

We merely refer to the Octoraro transaction, (1743,) conducted by that
unstable minister, Mr. Craighead, as being unworthy of anything more
than historical notice.

The two most noteworthy instances of avowed covenant-renovation within
the present century are those at Dervock, Ireland, in 1853, and in
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1871; and we class them together, because
however the respective documents differ in their provisions, and in our
judgment some of these are irreconcilable, yet the parties have ever
since agreed to coalesce. Reference is here made only to a sample of
_essential_ discrepancies. In the Dervock bond the British Covenants are
expressly mentioned and owned; in the Pittsburg bond they are neither
owned nor mentioned, although both were urged at the time, while they
were openly vilified without rebuke. In the former Prelacy is abjured,
in the latter it is not so much as named. The fourth article of the
former is irreconcilable with the fourth article of the latter. The
former is limited by _recognized truth_; the latter substitutes for
truth _supposed piety_. But since these two parties, in the face of such
antagonistic fundamental principles, do actually harmonize in practice,
coming down to treat with opposing parties in the plain of Ono, their
example of treachery in covenant can be regarded only as a beacon of

Strictly speaking, no new obligation has been imposed or assumed since
the law was given at Sinai. We are to "keep the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments." This is just what Christ still enjoins upon his
disciples--"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you." The footsteps of Christ's flock differ nothing now from
what they were in the days of Solomon. Some turn back into Egypt, while
others turn aside with the "flocks of the companions to right-hand
extremes or left-hand defections"; for the harlot's "ways are moveable
that thou canst not know them," and we are warned--"Come not near the
door of her house."

The federal deeds which we propose to renew are, of course, those of our
witnessing fathers, the National Covenant of Scotland and the Solemn
League of Scotland, England and Ireland, adapting these public deeds to
our time, and comprising all preceding and subsequent attainments, as
was done by our predecessors at Auchensaugh. Our condition and
surroundings are in many respects similar to theirs. "Their soul was
exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that were at ease, and
with the contempt of the proud"; but they were also exposed to many
perils from the existing ecclesiastical and civil authorities which they
publicly disowned.

All inspired records of public vows to God by his united people, from
the time of Moses to Nehemiah, contained a synopsis of special
providence towards themselves and others, of sins, mercies and
judgments; and these were motives to this special duty, though not a
rule--"And because of all this we make a sure covenant and write it."

After these examples, which we judge "written for our learning," we
renew our own and our ancestors' covenants, neither ecclesiastically nor
nationally as representatives of either church or state, as they are now
confederated against the Lord and his Anointed: but we appear publicly
as a "despised remnant," avowing allegiance to Zion's only King and
"Prince of the kings of the earth," pledging adherence to those public
deeds of our progenitors, in which the divine ordinances of Church and
State are exhibited; and in which they are exemplified as co-ordinate,
mutually independent, friendly, and helpful to the family and to each
other. Thus acted the people of God under the covenant of grace in all
ages; and so acted his servants at Auchensaugh, whose more immediate
example we propose to follow.

* * * * *


All authentic history confirms the declaration of the Sacred Scriptures,
That by one man sin entered into the world, and that there is not a just
man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not. Yet there is mercy with
God that he may be feared, and plenteous redemption to redeem Israel
from all his trespasses. But we are assured that "he that covereth his
sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall
have mercy."

Believing these teachings of God's word, and in view of renewing solemn
vows to him, we now give glory to the Lord God of Israel by making
confession of our own and our fathers' sins in violating our solemn
covenants. We acknowledge the heinous sins of repeated violation of our
covenanted unity--_First_, By joining in a military confederacy with the
American Colonies in the revolutionary war of 1776. _Second_, Joining in
a similar confederacy with Irish Papists and others to cast off the
British government in 1798. _Third_, In a similar confederacy in the war
between the United States and England in 1812. _Fourth_, By the like
military association in the recent civil war: and these sins were
aggravated by framing oaths of allegiance or fidelity in the years 1812
and 1863.

Some of those who had violated their covenants by military association
with the United Irishmen fled for refuge to the United States; and
without undergoing censure became active agents in constituting a
presbytery without authority had from the parent body in Scotland, 1798;
and proceeded in 1806 to frame and publish _Reformation Principles
Exhibited_, a work which removed landmarks which the fathers had set;
and which with an abstract of Terms of Communion unpresbyterially
introduced, unsettled the foundations and issued in the lamentable
disruption of 1833.

In Scotland the leaders of the people caused them to err by changing the
Terms of Communion in the year 1822, and the Testimony in 1837. While
these changes were made in the Covenanted Church's organic law some of
the most popular and influential ministers--theological professors, were
publicly transgressing our covenants by joining in affinity with divers
confederacies for moral reform. Doctor Andrew Symington, the most
influential minister in the Synod did actually and publicly co-operate
with the Evangelical Alliance; and in 1841 the same professor was among
the foremost in projecting a plan for a "concert of prayer," by diverse
sorts of professors, those of the Established Church of Scotland being
expressly mentioned. No wonder the hesitating _Covenanter_ ventured at
least to express preferance for "more generally small meetings for
prayer, to a large number of Christians of different names." This kind
of amalgamation being contrary to Scripture was a breach also of the
Solemn League, the sixth article of which was evidently designed by our
fathers to prevent such social sins under the name of religion. The
Theological Seminary in Scotland, as a corrupt fountain, polluted all
the streams, the ministers taking the lead in the defection, as is now
manifested to the world.

All along our history in Scotland, Ireland and America, the sin of the
antediluvians and of Israel after the flesh has been imitated by
us--joining with the known enemies of truth and righteousness, in the
face of many fearful judgments for such breaches of solemn vows.

The ministers took the lead in joining and inducing others to join the
Colonization Society, a scheme for the removal of colored freedmen from
among the bondmen, that slavery might be more secure and more certainly
perpetuated by removing the disturbing element; and all this under the
guise of evangelizing Africa! The General Synod which had unanimously
patronized that scheme in 1828, discovering the deception, did in 1836,
by a majority transfer its patronage to the rival cause of Abolition,
thus continuing and persevering in the same transgression, from which
they are not reclaimed to this day.

About the same time when we were ensnared in these unscriptural
confederacies, occasional hearing naturally became developed in a
sabbath-school, which for a short time was conducted jointly by three
denominations in Pittsburgh--Covenanters, Seceders and Associate
Reformed, violating our covenanted unity and erecting an unauthorized
agency for spiritual instruction. The General Synod did, in 1840,
abolish its own deligation form and the Subordinate Synods in violation
of conventional law and Presbyterial order, and still continues to
adhere to this two-fold breach of the brotherly covenant. That body,
carrying on defection, joined in military association as noticed above,
during the late civil war between the Union and Confederate armies,
framing an "oath of fidelity," and thus profaning a divine ordinance by
pledging themselves to enforce an atheistical constitution and execute
the laws: and some of them glory in their shame and boast of this
flagrant and complicated breach of solemn vows to the contrary.

While recognizing many precious principles embodied in the Dorvock bond,
we cannot give it our approbation as an adequate renovation of our
National Covenant and Solemn League, because it not only omits but
obviously excludes the Form of Presbyterial Church Government and the
Directory for Public Worship, and seems to substitute for these the
Testimony which is incompatible with that of 1761; although the two
documents above named were received by our General Assembly of Scotland
as "part of the uniformity" to which we are bound in the Solemn League.
And besides, all their symbols of faith mentioned in the Dervock
transaction as subordinate, are owned only as "_Doctrinal_ Standards,"
thus leaving at loose ends individual and social Christian _practice_.
This document is therefore a defective, evasive, and consequently
inadequate renovation of our Covenants.

The sound principles comprised in the Pittsburgh bond are still more
palpably rendered nugatory by contradictions, manifold evasions and
ambiguous phrases; such as "accepted manuals, our fathers' covenants,"
etc.; while the solemn pledge to "maintain Christian friendship with
pious men of every name, and to feel and act as one with all in every
land who pursue this grand end "--an _undefined_ end--would overthrow,
if this were possible, the whole scriptural fabric of our Presbyterial
Covenanted Reformation. Treachery and perfidy, not to say perjury, are
bound up in the Pittsburgh bond, especially in pledging themselves to
the performance of civil duties "not forbidden in the law of God." Some
of the native fruits of this transaction, tending still more to corrupt
themselves and others are the continual practice of occasional hearing,
exchange of pulpits and correspondence by delegation.

This body has placed itself under the authority of the Pennsylvania
Legislature, having petitioned for and obtained an act of incorporation,
and having voluntarily submitted to the Erastian civil jurisdiction of
the state of Pennsylvania and of the United States. The civil Charter
expressly institutes and appoints its trustees to be regulated and
limited in the exercise of the functions of their respective offices by
the constitutions of Pennsylvania and of the nation. Their bond prepared
the way for this more gross and practical surrender of all that is
distinctive in our covenanted position. And finally, so far as we know
all parties in the three lands claiming to be Reformed Presbyterians,
have for years renounced those provisions of our Directory which require
the lines to be read in public praise to God, and the banns to be
proclaimed before marriage.

The nations throughout Christendom, continue in league with Antichrist
and give their strength to the beast. They still refuse to profess and
defend the true religion in doctrine, worship, government and
discipline, contrary to the example of the kingdoms of Scotland, England
and Ireland in the seventeenth century. Some of them have waged wars of
conquest, under pretence of opening a way for the spread of the gospel;
and disregarding international law, have violated solemn treaties among
themselves, and all of them practically disregard divine authority;
habitually profaning the Christian Sabbath, by carrying the mail, by
commercial traffic, and parties of pleasure on land and water.

Acknowledging the righteousness of divine judgment upon ourselves and
others for manifold violations of God's law and breaches of our own and
our fathers' solemn vows in our domestic, ecclesiastical and civil
relations; we desire to humble ourselves before God for these sins, and
for others not contained in this enumeration. Seeing that God hath
punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hath left us a small
remnant in his sovereign mercy, our prayer to him is that he may enable
us by his grace to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, to the glory
of his great and holy name, and the commendation of his pardoning mercy.

* * * * *


We, office-bearers and members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church,
convinced by the Word and Spirit of God of our guilt and depravity by
our breach of covenant in Adam; of utter inability to save ourselves
from the ruins of the falls or its just penal consequences; desiring
moreover to bless, the Lord, that when we were yet without strength
Christ died for the ungodly; that a door of faith has been opened to the
Gentiles, and repentance unto life granted to such; taking our warrant
and encouragement from God alone, with our hands lifted up toward
him:--do swear by his great and fearful name as the Lord our God,

I. We accept God in Christ for ourselves and our children as offered to
us in the gospel, to be our everlasting portion; and we joyfully
surrender ourselves and our all to him as his rightful and exclusive
property. We cordially approve the Covenant of Grace, and embrace it as
all our salvation and all our desire. Dead to the law as a covenant of
works, we cheerfully receive it from Christ's hand as our perfect rule
of life, to direct our personal and social conduct. Aiming to glorify
God as our chief end, and to do good unto all men as we have
opportunity--especially to the household of faith--we promise in the
strength of divine grace to search the Scriptures, conforming heart and
life to this standard, in constant opposition to the course of this
world, exemplifying godliness and honesty before men all our days.

II. Set for the defence of the gospel, and under manifold obligations to
contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints,
we acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and new Testament to be the
Word of God and the alone infallible rule of faith and manners,
rejecting any and all additions or subtractions, false translations,
perverting or wresting them to men's destruction.

We own also, as subordinate standards of faith and practice of doctrine
and order, the National Covenant and Solemn League: as also the
Westminster formularies, well known by their names--viz., the Confession
of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Form of Church Government,
and Directory of Public Worship; as these were received respectively by
the Church of Scotland in the years 1645, '47, and '48, not merely as
"_Doctrinal_ Standards," but as symbols, all of them, of Christian
practice also, and as a part of the uniformity sworn to in the Solemn
League. We adhere to the Renovation of the National Covenants at
Auchensaugh, 1712, as comprising the same grand Scriptural principles
with the original deeds, and preserving the identity of the moral
person, which became more visible in 1761 by a Judicial Testimony,
re-exhibited in 1858 and 1876.

We repudiate the Renovation at Dervock, 1853, as being inadequate,
defective, and unfaithful--part of the document couched in abstract,
evasive, and equivocal language. Also, we condemn and reject the
Pittsburgh Bond, as ambiguous, self-contradictory and treacherous--"a
snare on Mizpah." We abjure and testify against Popery, as delineated by
our ancestors in the National Covenant, together with the fictitious
dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and the blasphemous assumption by
the Pope of Jehovah's incommunicable prerogative of Infallibility. In
like manner we reject Prelacy, whether Erastian or Diocesan, as abjured
in the National Covenant and more explicitly in the Solemn League; while
in pity for the persons involved in these despotic systems, we will pray
and labor for the extirpation of these poisonous plants, and the
emancipation of their deluded admirers. We condemn and disown all
existing systems which involve the infidel element called Voluntaryism,
representing the divine ordinances of Church and State as mutually
inimical or in any way antagonistic, thus impeaching the wisdom of the

III. Believing that the Son of God has been, as Mediator appointed heir
of all things, and invested with universal dominion; that he reigns and
must reign till all his impenitent enemies be put under his feet: we
pledge ourselves in reliance on divine grace to continue our advocacy of
his claims upon the homage and willing obedience of individual and
social man, in the family, the church and the civil commonwealth. We
will maintain and urge his exclusive right to prescribe the faith and
order of the church by his royal authority. We promise to inculcate and
exemplify Presbyterian Church Government as alone of divine right and

Believing, moreover, that civil government, originating in the will of
God as Creator, has been placed by the Father under the authority of the
Mediator, and that the principal objects to be promoted by this divine
ordinance are the glory of its Author, the welfare of mankind, and the
prosperity of the church; we engage to endeavor the reformation of the
nations by testifying against all neglect or contempt of Messiah's
claims, or impious invasion of his rights by either rulers or subjects.
In joyful anticipation of the universal reign of righteousness and peace
on the earth, we will labor and pray for a gospel ministry and a
Scriptural magistracy; testifying against all corruptions of these or
substitutes for them. Persuaded of the adaptation and sufficiency of
divine ordinances to effect reformation, we will refuse to identify or
incorporate with any substitutes for these, or to co-operate with
voluntary associations for moral reform, whether secret and sworn, or
open and pledged, as these imply want of faith in divine ordinances, and
in the wisdom and beneficence of our covenant God.

IV. Believing that the Christian Church is one by her divine
constitution, and lamenting existing divisions among the children of
God; recognizing the obligation upon us to love the brotherhood, we will
endeavor to cultivate charity in private intercourse towards all who
reflect the divine image; and help to elevate them to the platform of
the Covenanted Reformation as our only recognized bond of organic and
ministerial church-fellowship. Nor will we, in reliance upon the
promised and continued supplies of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, permit
ourselves to be divided from this our covenanted unity and uniformity by
the promises, threats, or solicitations of surrounding communities.
Through divine grace we will endeavor, by practical manifestation of the
truth, to commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of
God, as the most effectual means of healing Zion's breaches, that are
great like the sea.

V. Having learned from God's Word that all who live godly in Christ
Jesus shall suffer persecution, in their character, in their substance,
or in their persons; and knowing from the recorded history of those who
nobly stood to their covenant that they were subjected to all these
kinds of suffering; and since our Sovereign Lord in his holy providence
for the trial of the patience and faith of his saints permits Antichrist
to practice and prosper, the kings of the earth still giving their
strength unto the beast: we therefore, anticipating like treatment from
an opposing world wherever we may sojourn, resolve in his strength to
follow the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth, as our leader, endeavoring so
to diffuse the sweet savor of his name, that in due time and in every
land men shall be blessed in him, and all nations shall call him

VI. Finally, this solemn renewal of our federal obligations we confirm
by oath in the presence of the omniscient God, who searcheth our hearts,
uninfluenced by any selfish, worldly, politic, or carnal motives or
ends; but singly with a view to the glory of God and the temporal and
eternal welfare of our fellow-men; beseeching our Father in heaven for
Christ's sake so to furnish us with the gifts and graces of his Holy
Spirit, that we may prove faithful unto death, and joyfully welcome, the
glorious appearing of our final and chosen Judge.

And in testimony of our desires, and assurance to be heard, we

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