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

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3. The presbytery do hereby heartily approve and homologate the
testimony borne unto the truths and royal prerogatives of Christ, as
King of Zion, by the witnesses and martyrs for the same, from the
restoration, _anno_ 1660, to the late revolution, by protestations,
declarations, confiscation of goods, bonds, imprisonment, banishment,
all kinds of cruelty and suffering, even unto the death (as noticed
above), by the impious revolters from the righteous laws of God, and
overturners of the just and equitable laws of men, both sacred and
civil; to the maintenance whereof, the greatest part of these
transgressors had bound themselves by the most sacred and inviolable
obligations, which made their wickedness the more daring and aggravated,
and the testimony of the saints against such as had made themselves so
vile in the sight of God and all good men, the more justifiable. _Psalm_
cxix, 139: "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have
forgotten thy words." And as the doers of the law have the promise of
justification by the great Legislator, _Rom._ ii, 13, so they ought to
have the approbation of his people for doing his will.

And as the Spirit discovers the church's duty not to consist only in
bearing witness unto the truth, and justifying Christ's confessors and
martyrs, in their faithful adherence unto it, but also in testifying
against sin, and condemning the wicked for their wickedness; for which,
also, we have the precedent of the reformed and covenanted church of
_Scotland_, both before and during the defection and wickedness of the
forementioned period. Likeas, the presbytery did, and hereby do declare
and testify particularly:

1. Against that prime and leading step of defection, the public
resolutions, a scheme projected by that arch hypocrite and traitor to
God, Charles II, for the reintroduction of men of the same wicked and
malignant spirit with himself, into places of public trust in the
nation--men, the most of whom had been formerly excommunicated by the
church, and excluded from all office-bearing in the commonwealth, by the
states, in their act of classes, as being avowed and obstinate enemies
to God and to their country. Which scheme, approven of and put in
execution, with the consent of a corrupt part of the ministry of the
church, called afterward resolutioners, made way for that sad and bloody
catastrophe, which after befel the poor church of Christ in this land.

2. They declare and testify against the usurpation of _Oliver Cromwell_,
with those who subjected themselves unto, and owned, his authority;
against his treacherous invasion of this land, contrary to the public
oaths and vows, and covenant union of the nations; together with his
sectarian principles, and wicked toleration, then obtruded upon them.

3. They declare and testify against the restoration of _Charles_ II,
1660, unto the government of these covenanted lands, after he had so
plainly discovered his spirit and designs, in the matter of the public
resolutions. On account of which treacherous and double dealing with God
and man, he was, in the Lord's holy and adorable providence, justly
secluded from the government, and lived an exile for the space of ten
years; but, by means of his malignant public resolution friends, he was
again, by might, though not of right, restored, without so much as his
adherence sought to those oaths, which he had formerly so solemnly
sworn. Add to this the church's sinful silence, through the influence of
the backslidden resolution party therein, so that, at the convention of
the pretended parliament, _anno_ 1661, consisting mostly of persons of
known disaffection to the true religion, elected of purpose to serve the
king's traitorous designs, there was not so much as a protestation for
civil or religious liberties and privileges offered thereunto; but the
vile person (as be afterward fully declared himself) was peaceably,
though illegally, exalted.

4. As the presbytery find themselves in duty bound to testify against
this most unhappy restoration of _Charles_ II, so, of necessary and just
consequence, they declare against the whole of his usurped and
tyrannical administration--particularly against his blasphemous and
heaven-daring ecclesiastical supremacy; against the act rescissory,
declaring null and void the covenants, presbyterian church government,
and all the laws made in favor of the true religion since the year 1638;
the wicked anniversary thanksgiving day, in memory of the restoration;
the re-establishment of diocesan and Erastian Prelacy; his publicly and
ignominiously burning of our solemn covenants, after pretending to
nullify their obligation; with all his cruelty, tyranny, oppression and
bloodshed, under color, and without form, of law, exercised upon the
Lord's people, during the whole of his reign.

5. They again testify against the treachery of these covenanted lands,
in their advancing (contrary to our solemn covenants and all law and
reason) _James_, duke of _York_, a professed Papist, and avowed
malignant to the throne of these realms. As also, they testify against
his Christ-dethroning supremacy, and anti-christian indulgences and
toleration, flowing from that wicked fountain; his horrid and cruel
massacreing and murdering of the saints and servants of the Most High;
with all his other wickedness briefly specified in the foregoing

Upon the whole, the presbytery declare and testify against all the
affronts done unto the Son of God, and open attacks made upon his crown
and kingdom; all the different steps of apostasy from a work of
reformation, and all the hellish rage and cruelty exercised against the
people of God during the foresaid period of persecution, carried on by
these two impious brothers.


Containing the grounds of the Presbytery's testimony against the
constitutions both civil and ecclesiastical at the late Revolution, anno
1689: as also, against the gross Erastianism and tyranny that has
attended the administration both of church and state, since that
memorable period: with various instances thereof, &c.

After the Lord, for the forementioned space of twenty-eight years, had,
because of their manifold sins, sorely plagued this church and nation
with the grievous yoke of prelatical tyranny, bloodshed, oppression and
fiery persecution, and thereby had covered the daughter of Zion with a
cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty
of Israel, and had thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the
daughter of Judah, yea, brought them down even to the ground; he was
pleased, in his holy sovereignty, to put a stop to that barbarous
cruelty that was exercised upon his people, at the last national
Revolution, by the instrumentality of the prince and princess of
_Orange_; which is the more remarkable, in that those whom the Lord
employed as the rod of his anger, to strike off that monstrous tyrant
_James_ duke of _York_ from the _British_ throne, were natural branches
sprung up from the same stock: and this at a juncture when not only the
church of Christ was in the greatest danger of being totally extirpated,
but the whole land in hazard of being again overwhelmed with popish
darkness and idolatry. But although a very fit opportunity was then
offered the nations for reviving the long buried work of a covenanted
reformation both in church and state, and re-establishing all the
ordinances of God in purity, according to their scriptural institution:
yet, alas! how deeply is it to be lamented, that, instead thereof, the
multitude of his tender mercies being forgotten, there was a returning,
but not to the Most High; yea, a turning aside like a deceitful bow; so
that, in many respects, our national guilt is now increased above what
it was in former times: wherefore, as the presbytery desire with the
utmost gratitude to acknowledge the divine goodness, in giving a respite
from the hot furnace of persecution; so they likewise find themselves,
in duty to their princely Master and his people, obliged to testify and
declare against foresaid revolution settlement, in a variety of
particulars, with the many defections and backslidings flowing
therefrom. Likeas they hereby do testify against the constitutions, both
civil and ecclesiastic, at the Revolution, _anno_ 1689, in those
respects, and for these reasons:

1. Because that in the civil constitution, these nations once united
together in a scriptural and covenanted uniformity, unmindful of their
former establishment upon a divine footing, wherein king and people were
to be of one perfect religion, and the supreme magistrate obliged by
solemn oath to maintain and preserve the same inviolable, did call and
invite _William_ and _Mary_, prince and princess of _Orange_, unto the
possession of the royal power in these lands, in a way contrary to the
word of God, as _Deut._ xvii, 15: "Thou shalt in any wise set him king
over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy
brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger
over thee, which is not thy brother." _2 Sam._ xxiii, 3: "The God of
Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men,
must be just, ruling in the fear of God."

In opposition to these clear precepts, the nations did choose the
foresaid persons to sway the civil scepter over them, who were neither
brethren by birth, nor religious profession, being educated in a church
where Erastianism prevails, as appears from their ascribing such an
extensive power to the civil magistrate, as is inconsistent with the
intrinsic power of the church. Accordingly, by these principles, said
prince of _Orange_ did regulate his conduct, in the assumption of his
regal authority, consenting to swear two distinct oaths, whereby he
obliged himself to preserve and maintain the two distinct and contrary
religions (or modes of religions worship), Presbytery and Prelacy, and
so betrayed both to God and man his politic, worldly views, and
proclaimed himself destitute of that truth and religious fear, which is
the essential character of every person who may warrantably be invested
with supreme authority over the Israel of God. And as they wanted
scriptural, so likewise covenant qualifications, namely, known
integrity, approven fidelity, constant affection, and zeal to the cause
and true church of God; and therefore could not in a consistency with
the covenanted constitution, and fundamental laws of the crown, be set
up as king and queen of these covenanted lands.

Again, as during the persecuting period the nations generally were
involved in the guilt of perjury and deep apostasy, by the many sinful
contradictory tests, oaths and bonds then imposed; so, in a particular
manner, those who, by virtue of their birth and dignity, ought to have
been the defenders of the nation's privileges, both sacred and civil, on
the contrary, as privy councilors to the two impious brothers in their
rage against the Lord and his Anointed, and as members of their
iniquitous parliaments (where perverting equity and justice, they framed
the most heaven-daring and abominable mischiefs into a law, and then
with the utmost cruelty prosecuted the same), had many of them brought
themselves under the fearful guilt of these atrocious crimes of murder,
perjury, tyranny and oppression, and thereby, according to the law both
of God and man, not only forfeited their lives, had the same been duly
executed; but also divested themselves of all just right and title to
act the part of the nations' representatives, in choosing and installing
any in the office of supreme civil governor, until at least they had
given suitable evidence of their repentance. Yet such were the
constituent members of that committee of estates, and first parliament,
employed in the Revolution settlement, without so much as making any
suitable public acknowledgment of their wickedness in the active hand
the generality of them had in the former bloody persecution, as appears
from a comparative view of the lists of the members of parliament, and
particularly the duke of _York's_ last parliament, with act second of
the acts and orders of the meeting of estates, _anno_ 1689. Yea, by
viewing the lists of _James_ VII, his privy council, annexed by _Wodrow_
to the second volume of his history, it is evident, that a great number
of the nobility alone, members of that bloody council, were also members
of foresaid convention of estates, the members of which convention
(seven bishops excepted) were exactly the same with the members of the
first parliament at the Revolution. For this, compare second act of the
meeting of estates, with act first, parliament first, of _William_ and
_Mary_. By all which it is evident, that from princes who had thus
removed the bound, and discovered no just remorse for their sins, there
was little ground left to expect a happy establishment of religion, in
restoring the flock of Christ to the full possession of those valuable
privileges and liberties wherewith he had made them free.

The character of the constituent members being considered, the
constitution itself, and wherein it is inconsistent with our covenanted
establishment, and is therefore hereby testified against, comes next to
be considered. Although the declaration of the meeting of estates in
this kingdom, containing their claim of right, comprehended much more of
their civil liberties, and formal rights of government, than was enjoyed
under the former monstrous tyranny, yet by no means sufficiently
provided for the legal establishment of our former happy reformed
constitution, which necessarily obliged the civil rulers to employ their
power to maintain and defend, not only the doctrine, but also the
Presbyterian worship, discipline and government, as the only and
unalterable form instituted by Christ in his house. Whereas this craves
the abolition of prelacy, and the superiority of any office in the
church above presbyters in _Scotland_, simply as it hath been a great
and insupportable grievance and trouble to this nation, and contrary to
the inclinations of the generality of the people ever since the
reformation from Popery, without regarding the divine right of
Presbytery, and the contrariety of Prelacy to scripture revelation. In
agreeableness to which demand, when the first parliament met in
_Scotland_ immediately after the Revolution, which began the ____ day of
_April_, 1689, in _Act_ 3d, _Sess._ 1st, entitled _Act abolishing
Prelacy_, they abolished Prelacy for the foresaid reason, and further
declare, that they will settle by law that church government in this
kingdom, which is most agreeable to the inclinations of the people.
Accordingly, in the second session of the same parliament, _Act_ 5th,
_June_ 7th, 1690, the parliament establishing the Presbyterian church
government and discipline, as it had been ratified and established by
the 14th _Act, James_ VI, _Parl._ 12th, _anno_ 1592, reviving, renewing
and confirming the foresaid act of parliament, in the whole heads
thereof, except that part of it relating to patronages, afterward to be
considered of. Likewise, in the above mentioned act at the Revolution,
the thirty-three chapters of the _Westminster_ Confession of Faith
(exclusive of the catechisms, directory for worship, and form of church
government formerly publicly authorized, and Covenants National and
Solemn League) were ratified and established by the parliament. And the
said Confession being read in their presence, was voted and approven by
them, as the public and avowed Confession of this church, without taking
any notice of its scriptural authority. And further, in the same session
of parliament, by the royal power allenarly, the first meeting of the
general assembly of this church, as above established, was appointed to
be held at _Edinburgh_, the third _Thursday_ of _October_ following, the
same year, 1690. And by the same civil authority and foresaid act, many
of the churches in _Scotland_ were declared vacant.

2. The presbytery testify against the ecclesiastical constitution at the
Revolution; particularly, in regard, 1st--That the members composing the
same were no less, if not much more exceptionable, than those of whom
the state consisted; the whole of them one way or other being justly
chargeable with unfaithfulness to CHRIST, and his covenanted cause, by
sinful and scandalous compliance with the public defections of the
former times, or actively countenancing the malignant apostasy of the
lands, which will appear evident, by considering, that the Revolution
Church consisted of such office-bearers, as had, in contradiction to
their most solemn covenant engagements, fallen in with, and approven of
the public resolutions. And these public resolutioners, who had betrayed
the LORD'S cause, which they had in the most solemn manner sworn to
maintain, were, without any public acknowledgement demanded or offered,
or adequate censure inflicted (even, after that the LORD had remarkably
testified his displeasure against that leading step of defection, by
suffering these vipers, which we thus took into our bosom, to sting us
almost to death) for this their scandalous defection and perjury,
admitted and sustained members of the Revolution Church. Again, the
Revolution assembly consisted of such ministers as had shamefully
changed their holding of CHRIST, and sinfully submitted, in the exercise
of their ministry, to an exotic head, _Charles_ II, who had, by virtue
of his blasphemous supremacy, and absolute power, taken the power of the
keys from Christ's ministers, and afterward returning only one of them
(viz.: the key of doctrine) to such as accepted his anti-christian,
church-destroying, and Christ-dethroning indulgences, attended with such
sinful limitations and restrictions, as were utterly inconsistent with
ministerial freedom and faithfulness, declaring the acceptors to be
men-pleasers, and so not the servants of Christ (of which above). Of
this stamp were the most of them, who, without any public acknowledgment
of that horrid affront they had put upon the church's true Head, dared
to constitute and act as the supreme judicatory of the church of Christ,
_anno_ 1690. Again, the foresaid assembly was almost wholly formed of
such as had petitioned for, accepted of, and pretended to return a
God-mocking letter of thanks for that blasphemous unbounded toleration,
which that popish tyrant, the duke of _York_ (as is noticed formerly),
granted, with a special view to reintroduce abjured popery; and
therefore while it extended its protection to every heresy, did exclude
the pure preaching of the gospel in the fields; which toleration
(according to _Wodrow_) was joyfully embraced by all the Presbyterian
ministers in Scotland, the honored Mr. Renwick only excepted, who
faithfully protested against the same.

But further, the Revolution assembly did partly consist of such members
as, contrary to our solemn covenants, had their consciences dreadfully
polluted, by consenting unto, subscribing, and swearing some one or
other of the sinful wicked oaths, tests and bonds, tyrannically imposed
in the persecuting period, or by persuading others to take them, and
declining to give warning of the danger of them, or by approving the
warrantableness of giving security to the bloody council, not to
exercise their ministry, but according to their pleasure. Moreover, they
were all, generally, manifestly guilty of the sin of carrying on and
maintaining schism and defection from the covenanted church of CHRIST in
_Scotland_. As also (which from the history of these times is evident),
the ruling elders in that assembly, being generally noblemen, gentlemen,
and burgesses, were mostly such as had an active hand in the tyranny and
persecution that preceded, and in one respect or other, were stained
with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Thus, that assembly was packed
up, chiefly, of such blacked compilers, as, one way or other, were
deeply involved in the apostasy, bloodshed and cruelty of the preceding
period, yet had not broke off their iniquities, by a public confession
of these crying sins, before that meeting; nor can it be found, that any
adequate censure was inflicted on any of them for the same. Therefore,
the presbytery testify against the Revolution church, as consisting
mostly of such scandalous schismatical members, as could not, in a
consistency with the scriptural rule, and laudable acts of this reformed
church, have been admitted to church privileges, far less to bear office
in the house of God; until, at least, they had been duly purged from
their aggravated scandals, and given evident signs of a real repentance,
according to the Word of God, 2 _Chron._ xxx, 3: "For they could not
keep the passover at that time, because the priests had not sanctified
themselves sufficiently." And _Ezek._ xliv, 10: "And the Levites that
are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray
away from me after their idols, they shall even bear their iniquity;" v.
13: "And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest
unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy
place; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which
they have committed."

Next, the presbytery declare and testify against the Revolution church,
because plainly Erastian, and utterly inconsistent with the covenanted
constitution of the reformed church of _Scotland, anno_ 1648: the truth
of which charge will appear obvious, from considering the act of
parliament, on which the civil power settled the constitution of the
Revolution church, viz., _Act_ 114, _James_ VI, _Parl._ 12th; where,
_inter alia_, it is expressly declared, "That it shall be lawful to the
kirk ministers, every year at least, and oftener, _pro re nata_, as
occasion and necessity sall require, to hald and keepe general
assemblies, providing that the king's majesty, or his commissioner with
them, to be appointed be his highness to be present at ilk general
assembly, before the dissolving thereof, nominate and appoynt time and
place, quhen and quhair the next general assemblie sall be halden: and
in case neither his majesty nor his said commissioner beis present for
the time, in that town, quhair the said general assemblie beis halden,
then, and in that case, it shall be lesum for the said general assembly
be themselves, to nominate and appoint time and place, quhair the next
general assembly of the kirk sall be keeped and halden, as they have
been in use to do these times by-past." Here, in this act, a manifest
invasion and traitorous attack is made upon the headship and supremacy
of Christ, as a Son in, and over his own house. He who is God's
annotated King in Zion, and sits on the throne of his holiness, is
hereby robbed of his crown rights; the intrinsic power, the spiritual
liberty and freedom, granted by Christ to his church, is encroached
upon. It is a received opinion among all true Presbyterians, that the
church hath an intrinsic power to meet in the courts of Christ's house,
from the lowest to the highest, by virtue of the power committed to her
by the Lord Jesus Christ, without dependence on the civil power. This is
agreeable to scripture, _Matth._ xvi, 19, and xviii, 18, 19, where the
apostles receive the keys immediately from the hands of Christ their
Lord and Master. And as one principal part of that trust Christ has
committed to his church, this has been the constant plea of the
reforming and reformed Presbyterian church of _Scotland_. Let us hear
what that renowned and faithful minister, and venerable confessor for
Christ, the Rev. Mr. John Welsh, says to this particular, in his letter
to the Countess of _Wigton_ from _Blackness_, 1606, when a prisoner for
this same truth. Having asserted the independence of the church, the
spiritual kingdom of Christ, upon any earthly monarch, and her freedom
to meet and judge of all her affairs; he adds, "These two points, 1st,
that Christ is Head of his church; 2d, that she is free in her
government from all other jurisdictions, except Christ's. These two
points, I say, are the special causes of our imprisonment, being now
convicted as traitors for maintaining thereof. We have been ever waiting
with joyfulness to give the last testimony of our blood in confirmation
thereof, if it should please our God to be so favorable as to honor us
with that dignity. Yea, I do affirm, that these two points above
written, and all other things that do belong to Christ's crown, scepter
and kingdom, are not subject, nor cannot be, to any other authority, but
to his own altogether: so that I would be glad to be offered up as a
sacrifice for so glorious a truth." So far he. But now this assembly of
_treacherous_ men, by settling themselves upon such a constitution have
openly given up this scriptural truth and Presbyterian principle handed
down to us, sealed with the sufferings and dearest blood of the faithful
Confessors and Martyrs of Christ, and have consented that it is unlawful
for the office-bearers in the Lord's house to exert their proper power
in calling and appointing general assemblies, however loudly the
necessity of the church may call for them, unless the king authorize
their diet of meeting, which he may, or may not do, according to his

Again, it is evident, that the revolution church is constituted in the
same Erastian manner with the late Prelacy in _Scotland_. For proof of
which, observe, that as Prelacy was never ecclesiastically asserted to
be of divine authority, neither has Presbytery, by any explicit and
formal act of Assembly, at or since the revolution. As the prelates'
high ecclesiastical court was called, adjourned and dissolved, in the
king's name, so likewise are the assemblies of the Revolution Church. As
the Episcopalians owned the king, in the exercise of his Erastian
supremacy over them, so the Revolution Church, instead of opposing, did
take up her standing under the covert of that anti-christian supremacy,
and has never since declined the exercise thereof. And, as the civil
power prescribed limits unto, and at pleasure altered, the prelatic
church, so this church has accepted of a formula, prescribed by the
civil power, requiring that all the ordinances within the same be
performed by the ministers thereof, as they were then allowed them, or
should thereafter be declared by their authority, as _Act_ 23d, _Sess._
4th, _Parl._ 1st, 1693, expressly bears. By what is said above, it may
appear, that this church is Erastian in her constitution. But it is
further to be observed, that the present constitution is no less
inconsistent with the scriptural and covenanted constitution of the
church of _Scotland_, in regard that the retrograde constitution, to
which the church fled back, and on which she was settled at the
revolution, was but an infant state of the church, lately after her
first reformation from Popery, far inferior to her advanced state
betwixt 1638 and 1649 inclusive. It was before the church had shaken off
the intolerable yokes of Erastian supremacy and patronages; before she
had ecclesiastically asserted, and practically maintained, her spiritual
and scriptural claim of right, namely, the divine right of presbytery,
and intrinsic power of the church, the two special gems of Christ's
crown, as King on his holy hill of Zion; before the explanation of the
national covenant, as condemning episcopacy, the five articles of
_Perth_, the civil power of churchmen; before the Solemn League and
Covenant was entered into; before the _Westminster_ Confession of Faith,
the Catechisms, larger and shorter, the Directory for worship, Form of
Presbyterian church government and ordination of ministers, were
composed; and before the acts of church and state, for purging
judicatories, ecclesiastical and civil, and armies from persons
disaffected to the cause and work of God, were made; and all these
valuable pieces of reformation ratified with the full and ample sanction
of the supreme civil authority, by the king's majesty and honorable
estates of parliament, as parts of the covenanted uniformity in
religion, betwixt the churches of Christ in _Scotland, England_ and
_Ireland_. And therefore, this revolution constitution amounts to a
shameful disregarding--yea, disclaiming and burying--much (if not all)
of the reformation attained to in that memorable period, and is a
virtual homologation and allowance of the iniquitous laws at the
restoration, _anno_ 1661, condemning our glorious reformation and sacred
covenants as rebellion; and is such an aggravated step of defection and
apostasy, as too clearly discovers this church to be fixed upon a
different footing, and to be called by another name, than the genuine
offspring of the true covenanted church of Christ in _Scotland_.

Besides what has been already noticed, respecting the sinfulness both of
the members constituent, and the constitutions at the revolution, it is
to be further observed, as just matter of lamentation, that, at this
period, when such a noble opportunity was offered, no suitable endeavors
were made for reviving the covenanted cause and interest of our
REDEEMER; no care taken that the city of the Lord should be built upon
her own heap, and the palace remain after the manner thereof; but, on
the contrary, a religion was then established, not only exceedingly far
short of, but in many particulars very inconsistent with, and
destructive of, that blessed uniformity in religion, once the glory of
these now degenerate isles. The presbytery, therefore, in the next
place, do testify against the settlement of religion made at the
revolution, and that in these particulars following:

1. Instead of abolishing Prelacy in _England_ and _Ireland_, as it had
been abjured in the Solemn League and Covenant, and stands condemned by
the word of God, and fundamental laws of the nations, conform to the
divine law, it was then, with all its popish ceremonies, anew secured,
confirmed and established, in both these kingdoms, as the true religion,
according to the word of God, to be publicly professed by all the
people; and the supreme civil magistrate solemnly sworn, at his
inauguration, both that he himself shall be of the Episcopal communion,
and that he shall maintain inviolably the settlement of the church of
_England_, in the kingdoms of _England_ and _Ireland_, and territories
thereunto belonging. Thus the revolution has ratified the impious
overthrow, and ignominious burial, of the covenanted reformation in
these two kingdoms, that was made in the persecuting period, and has
fixed a legal bar in the way of their reformation, in agreeableness to
the sacred oath the three nations brought themselves under to God

2. As to the settlement of religion in _Scotland_, the presbytery
testify against it: because it was a settlement, which, instead of
homologating and reviving the covenanted reformation between 1638 and
1650, in profession and principle, left the same buried under the
infamous act rescissory, which did, at one blow, rescind and annul the
whole of the reformation, and authority establishing the same, by making
a retrograde motion, as far back as 1592, without ever coming one step
forward since that time, and herein acted most contrary to the practice
of our honored reformers, who always used to begin where former
reformations stopped, and after having removed what obstructed the work
of reformation, went forward in building and beautifying the house of
the Lord.

That this backward settlement at the revolution, was a glaring
relinquishment of many of our valuable and happy attainments, in the
second and most advanced reformation (as said is), and consequently, an
open apostasy and revolt from the covenanted constitution of the church
of _Scotland_, is sufficiently evident, from the foresaid act of
settlement 1690; where (after having allowed of the _Westminster_
confession) they further add, "That they do establish, ratify and
confirm, the Presbyterian church government and discipline, ratified and
established by the 114th _Act, James_ VI, _Parl._ 12th, _anno_ 1592." So
that this settlement includes nothing more of the covenanted uniformity
in these lands, than only the thirty-three articles of the Confession of
Faith, wanting the scripture proofs. Again, that the Revolution
settlement of religion did not abolish the act rescissory, nor ratify
and revive any act, between 1638 and 1650, authorizing and establishing
the work of reformation, is clear from the same act: wherein, after
abolishing some acts anent the late prelacy in _Scotland_, they declare:
"that these acts are abolished, so far allenarly, as the said acts, and
others, generally and particularly above mentioned, are contrary or
prejudicial to, inconsistent with, or derogatory from, the Protestant
religion, or Presbyterian church government, now established." Where
observe, that this general clause is restricted to acts and laws, in so
far only, as they were contrary to the religion settled in this act; and
therefore, as this act includes no part of the covenanted reformation
between 1638 and 1649, so this rescissory clause abolishes laws, not as
against foresaid reformation, but only in so far as they strike against
the revolution settlement, which the act rescissory could not do. Again,
in another clause of the same act, it is added: "Therefore, their
majesties do hereby revive and ratify, and perpetually confirm, all
laws, statutes and acts of parliament, made against Popery and Papists."
The only reason that can be given for the revival of laws, not against
Prelacy, but Popery, when abolishing Prelacy, is, that the parliament,
excluding the covenanted reformation from this settlement of religion,
resolved to let the whole of it lie buried under the act rescissory. For
as, in reality, there were no laws made expressly against Prelacy before
1592, but against Popery and Papists; so, had they said, laws against
prelacy and prelates, they thereby would have revived some of the laws
made by the reforming parliaments, between 1640 and 1650; wherein
bishops and all other prelates, the civil places and power of kirkmen,
&c., are expressly condemned. Again, in the foresaid act, they confirm
all the article of the 114th _Act_, 1592, except the part of it anent
patronages, which is to be afterward considered. Now, had the revolution
parliament regarded the reforming laws to have been revived, and so the
act rescissory to be rescinded, by their _Act_ 5th, 1690, they would not
have left this particular to be again considered of, seeing patronages
were entirely abolished by an act of parliament 1649; but, having the
ball at their foot, they now acted as would best suit with their
political and worldly views. Once more observe, that when the revolution
parliament ratified the act 1592, they take no notice of its having been
done before, by a preceding parliament in 1649. All which plainly says,
that the reforming laws and authority of the parliaments by which they
were made, are not regarded as now in force. To conclude this
particular, if the settlement of religion, made in 1690, had revived and
ratified the authority of our reforming parliaments, and laws made by
them; then, as these obliged the king to swear the covenants before his
coronation, and all ranks to swear them, and obliged to root out
malignancy, sectarianism, &c., and to promote uniformity in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government, in the three nations, so the
revolution settlement would have obliged all to the practice of the same
duties, and that, before ever king, or any under him, could have been
admitted to any trust; while all that would not comply therewith, would
have been held as enemies, not only to religion, but to their king and
country also, as was the case when reformation flourished. But, as the
very reverse of this was authorized and practised at the revolution, it
convincingly discovers, that the settlement of religion, made in 1690,
left the whole of the reformation attained to, ratified and established
by solemn oaths and civil laws between 1640 and 1649, buried under that
scandalous and wicked act rescissory, framed by that tyrant, _Charles_
II, after his restoration. Nor is there to be found, in all the acts,
petitions, supplications and addresses, made by the assemblies at or
since the revolution, any thing importing a desire to have that
blasphemous act rescinded, which stands in full force, to the perpetual
infamy and disgrace of the revolution settlement of religion, so much
gloried in, by the greatest part, as happily established.

2. The presbytery testify against the Revolution settlement of religion,
not only as including avowed apostasy from the covenanted constitution
of the reformed church of _Scotland_, and a traitorous giving up of the
interests and rights of Christ, our Lord and REDEEMER, in these, and
especially in this land; but also, as it is an Erastian settlement,
which will appear, by considering 1_st_. The scriptural method then
taken, in establishing religion: instead of setting the church foremost
in the work of the Lord, and the state coming after, and ratifying by
their civil sanction what the church had done; the Revolution parliament
inverted this beautiful order, both in abolishing Prelacy, settling
Presbytery, and ratifying the Confession of Faith, as the standard of
doctrine to this church; 2_d_, In abolishing Prelacy, as it was not at
the desire of the church, but of the estates of _Scotland_, so the
parliament did it in an Erastian manner, without consulting the church,
or regarding that it had been abolished by the church, _anno_ 1638, and
by the state, 1640, in confirmation of what the church had done. Thus,
_Act_ 3d, 1689, 'tis said, "The king and queen's majesties with the
estates of parliament, do hereby abolish Prelacy." Again, when
establishing presbytery, _Act_ 5th, 1690, they act in the same Erastian
manner, whereby the order of the house of God was inverted in the matter
of government; in regard that the settlement of the government of the
church in the first instance, properly belongs to an ecclesiastical
judicatory, met and constituted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ;
and it is afterward the duty of the state to give the sanction of their
authority to the same. This Erastianism further appears in the
parliament's conduct with respect unto the Confession of Faith: see
_Act_ 5th, _Sess._ 2d, _Parl._ 1st, wherein thus they express
themselves: "Likeas they, by these presents, ratify and establish the
Confession of Faith, now read in their presence, and voted and approven
by them, as the public and avowed confession of this church." Hence it
is obvious, that the parliament, by sustaining themselves proper judges
of doctrine, encroached upon the intrinsic power of the church: they
read, voted, and approved the Confession of Faith, without ever
referring to, or regarding the act of the general assembly 1647, or any
other act of reforming assemblies, whereby that confession was formerly
made ours, or even so much as calling an assembly to vote and approve
that confession of new. That the above conduct of the state, without
regarding the church in her assemblies, either past or future, is gross
Erastianism, and what does not belong, at first instance, to the civil
magistrate, but to the church representative, to whom the Lord has
committed the management of the affairs of his spiritual kingdom, may
appear from these few sacred texts, besides many others, namely, _Numb._
i, 50, 51: "But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of
testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all the things
that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle and all the vessels
thereof, and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about
the tabernacle; and when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites
shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the
Levites shall set it up, and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put
to death." See also chapters iii, and iv, throughout; also _Deut._
xxxiii, 8, 10; 1 _Chron._ xv, 2; 2 _Chron._ xix, 11; _Ezra_ x, 4. So
_David_, when he had felt the anger of the Lord, for not observing his
commandments in this particular, says, 1 _Chron._ xv, 12, 13, to the
_Levites_, "Sanctify yourselves that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord
God of Israel. For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God
made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order."
Likewise Hezekiah, a reforming king, did not himself, at first instance,
set about reforming and purging the house of God; but having called
together the priests and Levites, says to them, 2 _Chron._ xxix, 5:
"Sanctify yourselves and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your
fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place;" compared
with _ver._ 11; _Mal._ ii, 7; _Matth._ xvi, 19. "I will give unto thee
the keys of the kingdom of heaven." And xxviii, 18, 19, 20: "All power
is given unto me, go ye therefore and teach all nations, teaching them
to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." From all which
it may safely be inferred, that as the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and
Lawgiver of his church, has committed all the power of church matters,
whether respecting the doctrine or government thereof, to church
officers, as the first, proper receptacles thereof; so, for civil
rulers, at first instance, by their own authority, to make alterations
in the government of the church, and to settle and emit a standard of
doctrine to the church, is a manifest usurpation of ecclesiastical
authority, and tyrannical encroachment upon the ministerial office. It
needs only to be added, that this Revolution conduct stands condemned by
the Confession of Faith itself, in express terms (as well as in the holy
scriptures), _chap._ xxiii, _sect._ 3, "The civil magistrate may not
assume to himself the administration of the word or the keys." And also,
by the beautiful practice of our reformers, betwixt 1638 and 1649, who
observed the scriptural order, the church always going foremost, in all
the several pieces of reformation attained to, and then the state coming
after, by exerting their authority, in ratification and defense of the
church's acts and deeds, in behalf of reformation.

3. The Erastianism of this settlement of religion, appears plain from
the act of parliament 1592, noticed above, upon which the Revolution
parliament did found it, as in _Act_ 5th, _Sess._ 2, 1690, by which the
forementioned act 1592, is ratified, revived, renewed and confirmed, in
all the heads thereof, patronage excepted. Now, in regard that act 1592
contains an invasion upon the headship of Christ, and intrinsic power of
the church, and ascribes an Erastian power to the civil magistrate over
the church, making it unlawful for the church to convocate her superior
judicatories, but in dependence upon the king for his licence and
authority; and in regard the Revolution parliament did revive and renew
this clause in foresaid act 1592, as well as other heads thereof, it
must needs follow, that this settlement of religion cannot be freed of
the charge of Erastianism. Nor is it very strange that statesmen, who
had been educated in the principles of Erastianism, should be fond of
reviving an act that robbed Christ of his crown rights, and the church
of her spiritual liberty; but most surprising, that professed
Presbyterian ministers should so greedily embrace and approve of
Erastianism, as a valuable and glorious deliverance to the church of
Christ! In agreeableness to this Erastian article of the above act the
parliament, in their act 1690, indicted and appointed the first general
assembly, as a specimen of their Erastian power over their newly
constituted church; and it has ever since been the practice of the
sovereign, to call, dissolve and adjourn her assemblies at his pleasure,
and sometimes to an indefinite time. It is further observable, that the
king's commission to his representative in assembly, runs in a style
that evidently discovers, that he looks upon the assembly's power and
right of constitution as subordinate to him. Thus it begins, "_Seeing by
our decree that an assembly is to meet_," &c. Yet notwithstanding of
this, the assembly 1690 (nor any after them, so far as was ever known to
the world) did not by any one formal act and statue expressly condemn
Erastianism, and explicitly assert the alone headship of Christ, and the
intrinsic, independent power of the church, in opposition to these
encroachments made thereupon, and therefore may be justly construed
consenters thereto. To conclude this particular, of the Erastianism of
the present settlement of religion, it may be observed that although the
Revolution parliament, from political views, did by _Act_ 1st, _Sess._
2d, rescind the first act of the second parliament of Charles II.
entitled _Act asserting his majesty's supremacy over all persons and in
all causes ecclesiastical_; yet, from what is above hinted, it may be
inferred, that the Revolution state has still preserved the very soul
and substance of that blasphemous supremacy (though possibly they may
have transferred it from the person of the king, abstractly considered,
and lodged it in the hand of the king and parliament conjunctly, as the
more proper subject thereof): for, in the words of Mr. John Burnet, in
his testimony against the indulgence, quoted by Mr. Brown in his history
of the indulgence, "To settle, enact and emit constitutions, acts and
orders, concerning matters, meetings and persons ecclesiastical,
according to royal pleasure (and parliamentary is much the same), is the
very substance and definition of his majesty's supremacy, as it is
explained by his estates of parliament." But the Revolution act of
parliament settling religion, is just to settle, enact and emit such
constitutions, acts and orders concerning matters, meetings and persons
ecclesiastical, according to parliamentary, instead of mere royal
pleasure: and therefore the act authorizing the Revolution settlement of
religion, is the very substance and definition of a royal parliamentary
supremacy. The truth of this will further appear by the sequel.

4. The presbytery testify against the Revolution constitution and
settlement of religion, as it is not a religious, but a mere civil and
political one; "not built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" but upon
the fluctuating inclinations of the people, as the formal foundation
thereof. For proof of which, consider the acts of parliament relative to
the abolition of Prelacy, and the establishment of presbytery. In
consequence of an article of the claim of right made by the estates of
Scotland, the _Act_ 3d, _Sess._ 1st, _Parl._ 1689, declares, "That
whereas the estates of this kingdom, in their claim of right, declared
that Prelacy, and the superiority of any office in the church above
presbyters, is and hath been a great and insupportable grievance to this
nation, and contrary to the inclinations of the generality of the people
ever since the reformation, they having been reformed from Popery by
presbyters, and therefore to be abolished: our sovereign lord and lady,
with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, do hereby abolish
Prelacy, and all superiority of any office in the church in this kingdom
above presbyters; and do declare, that they, with advice aforesaid, will
settle by law that church government in this kingdom, which is most
agreeable to the inclinations of the people." Agreeable to this, one of
king William's instructions to the parliament 1690, is, "You are to pass
an act establishing that church government which is most agreeable to
the inclinations of the people." Accordingly we have the _Act_ 5th,
_Sess._ 2d, 1690, settling Presbyterian church-government in the same
form, and on the same footing. And so much king William, who, doubtless,
was perfectly acquainted with the true intent and meaning of that act,
declares in his letter to the assembly indicted by him that same year.
From all which (without noticing the Erastian form of these acts, &c.)
it may be observed, that there is somewhat done that is materially good;
but then there is nothing importing the contrariety of Prelacy to the
scriptures of truth, nor the divine right of Presbyterian church
government, so that the whole of this settlement is purely political,
done for the pleasure of the good subjects of Scotland: for, 1st, the
only reason why Prelacy is complained of and abolished, is, because it
was grievous and contrary to the inclinations of the generality of the
people. It is not so much as declared contrary to law, though well known
that it was condemned by many of the reforming laws; far less is it
declared contrary to the word of God, and reformation principles founded
thereupon. Neither is it said to be a grievance to the nations, though
it is manifest, by the nations entering into a solemn covenant to
extirpate it, that it was an insupportable burden to all the three. And
the great reason assigned for the people's dissatisfaction to Prelacy,
is _antiquity_, "they having been reformed from Popery by presbyters,"
as if our reformers had only contended for a church government merely
human; whereas they strenuously maintained the divine right of
presbytery, and condemned Prelacy as contrary to the word of God. This
reason would be equally strong against presbytery, on supposition that
prelates had got the start of presbyters in the reformation from Popery.
Again, 2d, upon the same, and no better ground, was Presbytery
established, namely, because it was more agreeable to the inclinations
of the people, and as it was of a more ancient standing in Scotland than
Prelacy. Further, that the divine right of presbytery is not
acknowledged in this settlement, appears from the express words of the
act itself, wherein it is designated, "the only government of Christ's
church in the nation;" not the only government of Christ's church laid
down in the word of God, received and sworn to by all the three nations,
ratified by both civil and ecclesiastical authority. A clear evidence,
that church government was regarded as ambulatory only, and what might
be altered at pleasure. Hence, while the king was settling presbytery in
Scotland, he was also maintaining, as bound by oath, Prelacy in England,
&c. And so Presbytery, for peace's sake, as most agreeable to the
inclinations of the people, was settled in Scotland as the government of
Christ's church there. Thus, there is a settlement of religion, and yet
not one line of scripture authority, or reformation principles legible
therein: and, as one said (though a strenuous defender of the
settlement), "The glory of that church is at a low pass, which hangs
upon the nail of legal securities by kings and parliaments, instead of
the nail which God has fastened in a sure place;" which, alas! is the
case with the church of Scotland at this day. It is true, that the
parliament call their settlement, "Agreeable to God's word;" but it is
as true, that, from their conduct toward both (abolishing Prelacy, and
establishing Presbytery, from these political motives above mentioned),
it is abundantly plain, that they believed neither of them to be
formally and specifically agreeable to, and founded upon the word of
God; but that they regarded all forms of church government as
indifferent, and thought themselves at liberty to pick and choose such a
particular form as best suited the humors and inclinations of the
people, and their own worldly advantage. Accordingly, we find the
parliament 1689, appointing a committee to receive all the forms of
government that should be brought before them, to examine them for this
purpose, and then report their opinions of them to the house.

That the parliament at this time, or the king and parliament conjunctly,
acted from the above latitudinarian principle, is further evident, from
their establishing and consenting to the establishment of these two
different and opposite forms of church government, Presbytery in
_Scotland_, and Prelacy in _England_ and _Ireland_, and both of them
considered as agreeable to the word of God, and the only government of
Christ's church in the several kingdoms, where they were espoused;
which, as it is self-contradictory and absurd, so it is impossible they
could ever have done this, if they had believed the divine right of
either of them. And finally, by this conduct of theirs, the state
declared their approbation thereof, and resolution to copy after the
16th _Act, Sess._ 2d _Parl._ 1st of _Charles_ II (yet in force), which
ascribes an Erastian power to the king, of settling church government as
he shall think proper. By all which it appears quite inconsistent with
the Revolution settlement, to consider church power in any other light,
than as subordinate to the power of the state. And yet with this
political and Erastian settlement of religion, the Revolution Church
have declared themselves satisfied; they have not condemned Episcopacy,
as contrary to the word of God, nor positively asserted the divine right
of Presbytery, and disclaimed the claim of right and act of settlement,
as their right of constitution; but, on the contrary, approved of both,
as appears from the commission's act, 1709, and their address to the
parliament, 1711, both homologated by the succeeding assemblies. Whereby
they declare, that they have dropped a most material part of the
testimony of the reformed church of _Scotland_, and are not faithful to
the Lord Jesus Christ, in maintaining the rights of his crown and
kingdom. From the whole, it may too justly be concluded concerning the
Revolution settlement of religion, what the prophet _Hosea_ declares of
the calf of _Samaria, Hos._ viii, 6: "For from Israel was it also, the
workman made it, therefore it is not God; the calf of _Samaria_ shall be
broken in pieces." It is not a divine institution founded upon the word
of God, and regulated by his revealed law; but a human invention, owing
its original in both kingdoms to the inclinations of the people, and
governed by laws opposite to the laws of Christ in the word.

Hence we have the idolatrous institutions of Prelacy, established in the
one nation, and Erastianism, under the specious pretext of Presbytery,
in the other; and both under an exotic head of ecclesiastical

From what is said above, respecting the Revolution constitutions, and
settlement of religion in the nations, it will appear, that the same are
opposite to the word of God, and covenanted constitutions of both church
and state, and to the reforming laws, between 1638 and 1650, ratifying
and securing the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the
church, and all divine ordinances, sacred and civil, according to
scripture revelation; and therefore cannot be acknowledged as lawful, by
any that make the law of God their rule, and desire to go out by the
footsteps of the flock of Christ.

The Presbytery proceed now to consider the administration since the late
Revolution, as standing in immediate connection with the forementioned
constitutions and settlement: only, in the entry, it may be observed,
that as the mal-administrations, civil and ecclesiastical, are increased
to almost an innumerable multitude, so that it would be next to an
impossibility to reckon them all; the Presbytery propose only to observe
so many of the most remarkable instances, as shall be sufficient to
justify a condemnation of the present course of the nations, although
the constitutions could not, be excepted against as sinful. And,

1. The Presbytery declare and testify against the gross Erastianism that
has attended the administrations of both church and state, since the
Revolution. As the constitutions of both (above noticed) were Erastian
and anti-scriptural, so their conduct ever since has been agreeable
thereto, tending evidently to discover that, while the state is robbing
out Redeemer of his crown, and his church of her liberties, this church,
instead of testifying against, gives consent to these impieties.

Particularly, 1, as at the forementioned period, so ever since, the king
has continued, by his own authority, to call, dissolve, and adjourn the
national assemblies of this church. The first Revolution Assembly was
held, by virtue of an Erastian indictment, and by the same power
dissolved. The nest was, by royal authority, appointed to be at
_Edinburgh_ 1691, but by the same power, adjourned to 1692, and then
dissolved, without passing any act; and though again indicted to meet
1693, yet was not allowed to sit until _March_ 1694, near a year after
the parliament had made an humble address to the sovereign for granting
that privilege. But it would be endless to attempt an enumeration of all
the instances of the exercise of Erastianism in this particular, which
is annually renewed. How often, alas! have the assemblies been
prorogued, raised, and dissolved, by magistratical authority, and
sometimes without nomination of another diet? How frequently also, have
they been restricted in their proceedings, and prelimited as to members,
and matters to be treated of, and discussed therein; depriving some
members of their liberty to sit and act as members, though regularly
chosen, merely, because such had not taken the oaths appointed by law?
All which exercise of Erastian supremacy natively results from the
parliamentary settlement 1690. And when no adequate testimony was ever
given by the church against such Erastian usurpations, but they are
still crouched under and complied with, it may justly be constructed a
tame subjection and woful consent to this supremacy. That this is no
forced inference from the continued practice of this church, appears
from this (besides other evidences that might be adduced), viz., That as
the Revolution parliament, when ratifying the Confession of Faith,
entirely left out the act of Assembly 1647, approving and partly
explaining the same (wherein these remarkable words are, "It is further
declared, that the Assembly understands some parts of the second article
of the 31st chapter, only of kirks not settled or constituted in point
of government") as being inconsistent with the Erastian impositions of
the magistrate. So this church, when they cause intrants into the
ministry subscribe the Confession, do not oblige them to subscribe it
with this explanatory act (which does by no means admit of a privative
power in the magistrate, destructive of the church's intrinsic power),
but they only do it as the parliament ratified it.

2. Another instance of Erastianism practiced by both church and state,
is, that when the king and parliament did bind down episcopal curates
upon congregations, forbidding church judicatories the exercise of
discipline upon the impenitent, and enjoining the Assembly to admit
such, without any evidence of grief or sorrow for their former apostasy,
upon their swearing the oath of allegiance, and subscribing a _formula_,
homologating the Revolution settlement, substituted in the room of the
covenants; the church approved of this settlement, and protection
granted by the civil powers to such curates all their lifetime in their
churches and benefices, who yet were not brought under any obligation to
subject themselves to the government and discipline of the church. The
truth of this is manifest, from sundry of king _William's_ letters to
the Assemblies, together with after acts of parliament, relative
thereto. In his letter, dated _February_ 13th, 1690, to the commission
of the Assembly, he says, "Whereas there has been humble application
made to us by several ministers, for themselves and others, who lately
served under episcopacy; we have thought good to signify our pleasure to
you, that you make no distinction of men, otherwise well qualified for
the ministry, though they have formerly conformed to the law,
introducing Episcopacy, and that ye give them no disturbance or vexation
for that cause, or for that head: and it is our pleasure, that, until we
give our further directions, you proceed to no more process, or any
other business." In another letter, dated _June_ 15th, 1691, he says,
"We are well pleased with what you write, to unite with such of the
clergy, who have served under Episcopacy; and that you are sufficiently
instructed by the General Assembly to receive them; from all which, we
do expect a speedy and happy success, that there shall be so great a
progress made in this union betwixt you, before our return to _Britain_,
that we shall then find no cause to continue that stop, which at present
we see necessary; and that neither you, nor any commission or church
meeting, do meddle in any process or business, that may concern the
purging out of the episcopal ministers." And in a letter to the
episcopal clergy, he says, "We doubt not of your applying to, and
concurring with, your brethren the Presbyterian ministers, in the terms
which we have been of pains to adjust for you; the _formula_ will be
communicated to you by our commissioners," &c. See also the 27th _Act,
Parl._ 1695, where it is declared, "That all such as shall duly come in
and qualify themselves, shall have and enjoy his majesty's protection,
as to their respective kirks and benefices, they always containing
themselves within the limits of their pastoral charge, within their said
parishes, without offering to exercise any part of government, unless
they be first duly assumed by a competent church judicatory; providing,
nevertheless, that as the said ministers are left free to apply, or not,
to the foresaid church judicatories," &c. To which agree, _Act_ 2d,
_Parl._ 1700; _Act_ 3d, _Parl._ 1702; _Act_ 2d, _Parl._ 1703, &c. Behold
here the civil magistrate, exercising the supremacy in matters
ecclesiastical, in that he both establishes the old _Scots_ curates in
their respective parishes, upon their former footing, limits them in the
exorcise of their function, discharging them from exercising any part of
ecclesiastical polity, but upon their uniting with the Presbyterians, on
the terms he had adjusted for them. And further, by his authority stops
the exercise of church discipline against these curates (though the most
of them were notoriously scandalous); nay, even discharges the Assembly
from proceeding to any other business, until they received other
directions from the throne. Which palpable instance of Erastianism in
the state, was not only peaceably submitted to, but heartily acquiesced
in by the church: for as they had declared they would censure no
prelatical incumbent for his principles anent church government, however
much disaffected to a covenanted reformation, and had given frequent
discoveries of their readiness to receive into communion the episcopal
curates, according to the terms prescribed by the parliament (as appears
from the Assembly records); so the Assembly 1694, _Act_ 11th, having
framed a sham _formula_, for receiving in the curates, containing no
such thing as any renunciation of abjured prelacy, the abominable test,
and other sinful oaths these creatures had taken, but only an
acknowledgment of the Revolution settlement of religion, as established
by law, by the foresaid act, appointed their commission to receive all
the episcopal clergy who applied, and being qualified according to law,
would also subscribe their _formula_, and that without requiring the
least show of repentance for their scandalous public sins, and their
deep guilt of the effusion of the blood of God's faithful saints and
witnesses during the tyranny of the two brothers. These instructions to
the commission and other judicatories (as appears by their acts), were
successively renewed by the Assembly upward of twenty times, from 1694
to 1716, and were indeed attended with good success, as is evident from
their address to the queen, recorded _Act_ 10th, 1712; where they
declare, as an instance of their moderation, "That since the Revolution,
there had been taken in, and continued, hundreds of the episcopal
curates upon the easiest terms," viz., such as were by the royal
prerogative adjusted to them. Which practice, as it declares this church
homologators of Erastianism, so is directly opposite to Presbyterian
principles, the discipline and practice of our reformed church of
_Scotland_, and to the laws of Christ, the supreme lawgiver, _Ezek._
xliv, 10-15; _2 Cor._ vi, 17, 18, &c.

3. A _third_ instance of the Erastianism practiced since the revolution,
is, that the king and parliament have taken upon them to prescribe and
lay down, by magistratical authority, conditions and qualifications,
_sine qua non_, of ministers and preachers. For proof of which, see
_Act_ 6th, _Sess._ 4th, _Parl._ 1st, 1693, where it is enacted, "That
the said oath of allegiance be sworn the same with the foresaid
assurance, be subscribed by all preachers and ministers of the gospel
whatever--certifying such of the foresaid persons as are, or shall be,
in any public office, and shall own and exercise the same without taking
the said oath and assurance in manner foresaid,--ministers provided to
kirks shall be deprived of their benefices or stipends, and preachers
shall be punished with banishment, or otherwise, as the council shall
think fit." Also, _Act_ 23d, 1693, it is ordained, "That no person be
admitted or continued to be a minister, or preach within this church,
unless that he have first taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance,
and subscribed the oath of assurance in manner appointed. And further
statute and ordain, that uniformity of worship be observed by all the
said ministers and preachers, as the same are at present performed and
allowed therein, or shall hereafter be declared by the authority of the
same: and that no minister or preacher be continued and admitted
hereafter, unless that he subscribe to observe, and do actually observe,
the foresaid uniformity." The Erastianism in these acts seems screwed up
yet a little higher, by _Act_ 7th, _Sess._ 5th, _Parl._ 1st, 1695;
where, after appointing a new day to such ministers as had not formerly
obeyed, it is ordained: "With certification that such of the said
ministers as shall not come in between and said day, are hereby, and by
the force of this present act, _ipso facto_, deprived of their
respective kirks and stipends, and the same declared vacant, without any
further sentence." The Erastianism in these acts is so manifest at first
sight, that it is needless to illustrate the same; only it may be
remarked, that, by these acts, the civil magistrate prescribes new
ministerial qualifications, viz., the oaths of allegiance and assurance;
and these imposed instead of an oath of allegiance to Zion's King, viz.,
the oaths of the covenants. As also, that ministers are hereby
restricted from advancing reformation, being bound down to observe that
uniformity at present allowed, or that shall hereafter be declared by
authority of parliament. And further, Erastianism is here advanced to
the degree of wresting the keys of government out of the hands of the
church altogether--taking to themselves the power of deposing all such
ministers as shall not submit to their anti-christian impositions, and
of declaring and ascertaining, by their own authority, what mode of
worship or government shall take place in the church hereafter. This
Erastian appointment of ministerial qualifications, &c., is evidently
injurious, both to the headship of Christ in his church, and to the
church's intrinsic power. It pertains to the royal prerogative of
Christ, to appoint all the qualifications of his officers, which he has
done in the Word. And it pertains to the church representative, by
applying the laws of Christ in his Word, to declare who are qualified
for the ministry, and who are not. But here the civil power, without any
regard to church judicatories, by a magisterial authority, judges and
determines, the qualifications that gospel ministers must have,
otherwise they cannot be acknowledged ministers of this church. At the
same time, it must be regretted, that the church, instead of faithfully
discovering the sinfulness of foresaid conduct, and testifying against
it, as an anti-christian usurpation, have declared their approbation
thereof, by taking the above named illimited oaths, according to the
parliament's order; and also by the assembly's enjoining their
commission to act conform to the parliament's directions respecting
ministerial qualifications, in their admission of those that had
formerly conformed to Episcopacy, and refusing to admit any into their
communion without having these new ministerial qualifications.

4. A fourth piece of Erastianism exercised since the commencement of the
revolution settlement, against which the presbytery testify, is, the
civil magistrate, by himself and his own authority, without consulting
the church, or any but his parliament, privy council, and diocesan
bishops, his appointing diets and causes of public fasting and
thanksgiving. A number of instances might here be condescended on. So an
act of the states, _anno_ 1689, for public thanksgiving. An act of
parliament 1693, appointing a monthly fast, declares, "That their
majesties, with advice and consent of the said estates of parliament, do
hereby command and appoint, that a day of solemn fasting and humiliation
be religiously and strictly observed, by all persons within this
kingdom, both in church and meeting-houses, upon the third _Thursday_ of
the month of _May_, and, the third _Thursday_ of every month thereafter,
until intimation of forbearance be made by the lords of their majesties'
privy council; and ordains all ministers to read these presents a
_Sunday_ before each of these fast days, nominated, by authority; and
ordains all disobeyers to be fined in a sum not exceeding 100L., and
every minister who shall not obey, to be processed before the lords of
their majesties' privy council; and requiring sheriffs to make report of
the ministers who shall fail of their duty herein, to the privy
council." But it is to no purpose to multiply instances of this kind,
seeing it has been the common practice of every sovereign since the
revolution, to appoint and authorize national diets of fasting, with
civil pains annexed. And as the state has made these encroachments upon
the royalties of Christ, so this church, instead of bearing faithful
testimony against the same, have finally submitted thereto. In
agreeableness to the royal appointment, they observed the monthly fast
for the success of the war against _Lewis_ XIV (of which above), and in
favor of the Pope, which king _William_ was bound to prosecute by virtue
of a covenant made with the allies at the _Hague, February_, 1691, to be
seen in the declaration of war then made against _France_, wherein it is
expressly said, "That no peace is to be made with _Lewis_ XIV, till he
has made reparation to the Holy See for whatsoever he has acted against
it, and till he make void all these infamous proceedings (viz., of the
parliament of _Paris_) against the holy father, _Innocent_ XI." Behold
here the acknowledgment of the Pope's supremacy, and his power and
dignity, both as a secular and ecclesiastical prince; and in the
observation of these fasts, the church did mediately (_tell it not in
Gath_--) pray for success to the _man of sin_--a practice utterly
repugnant to Protestant, much more to Presbyterian, principles, and
which will be a lasting stain upon both church and state. As this church
did then submit, so since she has made a resignation and surrender of
that part of the church's intrinsic right to the civil power, see _Act_
7th, _Assem._ 1710: "All ministers and members are appointed religiously
to observe all fasts and thanksgivings whatever, appointed by the church
or supreme magistrate; and the respective judicatories are appointed to
take particular notice of the due observation of this, and _Act_ 4th,
1722, _Act_ 5th, 1725." From which acts it is manifest, that the
Revolution Church has not only declared the power and right of
authoritative indicting public fasts and thanksgivings for ordinary,
even in a constituted settled national church, to belong, at least
equally, to the civil magistrate, as to the church; but, by their
constant practice, have undeniably given up the power of the same to the
civil power altogether--it being fact, that she never, by her own power,
appoints a national diet of fasting, but still applies to the king for
the nomination thereof. And further, as a confirmation of this
surrender, it appears from their public records, that when some members
have protested against the observation of such diets, the assembly would
neither receive nor record such protest. Now, the sinfulness of this
Erastian practice still persisted in, is evident from the Scriptures of
truth, where the glorious king of Zion assigns the power of appointing
fasts, not to the civil magistrate, but to the spiritual office-bearers
in his house. _Jer._ xiii, 18: "Say unto the king and queen, Humble
yourselves." Here it is the office of the prophets of the Lord, to
enjoin humiliation work upon those that are in civil authority, contrary
to the present practice, when kings and queens, usurping the sacred
office, by their authority, say to ministers, "Humble yourselves." See
also, _Joel_ i, 13, 14, and ii, 15, 16, compared with _Numb._ x, 8-10.
Here whatever pertains to these solemnities, is entrusted to, and
required of, the ministers of the Lord, without the intervention of
civil authority. The same is imported in _Matth._ xvi, 19, and xviii,
18; _John_ xx, 23--it being manifestly contained in the power of the
keys committed, by the church's head, to ecclesiastical officers.
Moreover, this Erastianism, flowing from a spiritual supremacy exercised
over the church, is peculiarly aggravated by these particulars:

1. That commonly these fasts have been appointed on account of wars, in
which the nations were engaged, in conjunction with gross anti-christian
idolaters, who have been most active in their endeavors to root out
Protestantism. Now, it cannot but be most provoking to the Majesty of
Heaven for professed Presbyterians to observe fasts, the professed
design of which, includes success to the interest of the avowed enemies
of our glorious REDEEMER. Again, the above practice is aggravated, from
this consideration, that these diets of fasting, with civil pains
annexed to them, are sent by public proclamation, directed to their
sheriffs and other subordinate civil officers, who are authorized to
dispatch them to the ministers, and inspect their observation thereof.
And while professed ministers of Christ tamely comply with all this, it
amounts to no less, than a base subjection of the worship of God, in the
solemnity of fasting in a national way, to the arbitrament of the civil
powers, when whatever time and causes they appoint, must be observed.

From all which, in the words of the ministers of _Perth_ and _Fife_, in
their testimony to the truth, &c., 1758, the presbytery testify against
the above Erastian conduct, as being, in its own nature, introductory to
greater encroachments, and putting into the hands of the civil powers,
the modeling of the worship of God, and things most properly

5. Another piece of Erastianism, respecting the present administration,
which the Presbytery testify against, is the king and parliament their
arbitrarily imposing several of their acts and statutes upon ministers
and preachers, under ecclesiastical pains and censures; while this
Revolution Church, by their silent submission and compliance therewith,
have, at least, interpretatively given their consent thereto. Thus, as
the oaths of allegiance and assurance were enjoined upon all in
ecclesiastical office, under the pain of church censure (of which
above), so likewise, _Act_ 6th, 1706, ordains, "That no professors and
principals, bearing office in any university, be capable, or be admitted
to continue in the exercise of their said functions, but such as shall
own the civil government, in manner prescribed, or to be prescribed by
acts of parliament." In consequence of which, there is an _Act_ 1707, an
act in the first year of king _George_ I, and another in the fifth year
of his reign; by all which statutes, ecclesiastical persons are enjoined
to take the oath of abjuration, with the other oaths, under pain of
having ecclesiastical censures inflicted upon them. And they ordain,
"That no person be admitted to trials, or licensed to preach, until they
have taken the public oaths, on pain of being disabled." The foresaid
act, in the fifth year of _George_ I, ordains, "all ministers and
preachers to pray in express words for his majesty and the royal family,
as in former acts." The king and parliament at their own hand prescribe
a set form of prayer for the Church of _Scotland_, and that under
Erastian penalties, upon the disobeyers. Again, by an act of 1737,
framed for the more effectual bringing to justice the murderers of
Captain _Porteous_, it is enacted, "That this act shall be read in every
parish church throughout _Scotland_, on the first Lord's day of every
month, for one whole year, from the first day of _August_, 1737, by the
minister of the parish, in the morning, immediately before the sermon;
and, in case such ministers shall neglect to read this act, as is here
directed, he shall, for the first offense, be declared incapable of
sitting or voting in any church judicatory; and for the second offense,
be declared incapable of taking, holding or enjoying any ecclesiastical
benefice in that part of _Great Britain_ called _Scotland_." The
Erastianism of this act is very plain, the penalties thereof are
ecclesiastical, and infer a kind of deposition; seeing the disobeyers
are hereby disabled from exercising and enjoying what is essential to
their office. Moreover, the wickedness of this act appears, in that it
was appointed to be read on the Sabbath day, and in time of divine
service; whereby ministers being constituted the magistrates' heralds to
proclaim this act, were obliged to profane the Lord's day, and corrupt
his worship, by immixing human inventions therewith, which was directly
a framing mischief into a law. Yet, with all these impositions above
noticed, this church has generally complied; and thereby declared that
they are more studious of pleasing and obeying men, than God, seeing
their practice therein infers no less, than a taking instructions in the
ministerial function, and matters of divine worship, from another head
than Christ.

6. The last piece of Erastian administration in church and state, the
presbytery take notice of, and testify against, is that of patronages.
When the parliament 1690, had changed the form of patronages, by taking
the power of presentations from patrons, and lodging it in the hands of
such heritors and elders as were qualified by law, excluding the people
from a vote in calling their ministers, this Erastian act, spoiling the
people of their just privilege, was immediately embraced by the church,
as is evident from their overtures for church discipline, 1696, where
they declare that only heritors and elders have a proper right to vote
in the nomination of a minister. Also their overtures, 1705 and 1719, do
lodge the sole power of nomination of ministers in the hands of the
majority of heritors, by giving them a negative over the eldership and
congregation. But, as if this had not been a sufficient usurpation of
the people's right, purchased to them by the blood of Christ, by an act
of parliament, 1712, the above act, 1690, is repealed, and patrons fully
restored to all their former anti-christian powers over the heritage of
the Lord; which yoke still continues to oppress the people of God. While
again, this church, as if more careful to please the court, and court
parasites, than Christ and his people, have not only peaceably fallen in
with this change, daily practicing it in planting vacant congregations,
but, as fond of this child of _Rome_, have further established and
confirmed the power of patrons, by the sanction of their authority, as
appears from several acts of assembly, thereby declaring their
resolutions to have this epidemic evil continued, though it should
terminate in the utter ruin of the church. Patronage was always by the
Church of _Scotland_ since the reformation, accounted an intolerable
yoke; and therefore she never ceased contending against it until it was
at last utterly abolished by acts both of reforming assemblies and
parliaments; and that as one of the inventions of the whore of _Rome_.

As this anti-christian practice was unknown to the church in her
primitive and purest times, until gradually introduced with other popish
corruptions, so it has not the least vestige of any warrant in the word
of truth: nay, is directly opposite thereto, and to the apostolical
practice: Acts i, 15-24; chap. vi, 2-7: as also, xiv, 23, and xvi, 9,
with other passages therein;--a book, intended to give us the
apostolical practice and pattern, in the settlement of the Christian
church: and 2 Cor. iii, 19, &c. Wherefore the presbytery testify against
this Erastian usurpation, as most sinful in itself, most injurious to
the church of Christ, and inconsistent with the great ends of the
ministry; and against this church, for not only submitting unto, but
even promoting this wickedness; which is evident, from her deposing some
of her members, for no other reason but because they could not approve
of this pernicious scheme. Witness Mr. _Gallespie_, minister at Carnock,
who was deposed May, 1752: and against all violent intruders, who, not
entering by the door, can be regarded only as thieves and robbers; John
x, 1.

These are a few of the many instances of the Erastian usurpations of the
headship of Christ, as a Son, in and over his own house, and of the
church's intrinsic power assumed by the state, and consented to by this
church since the Revolution.[2] And without condescending upon any more,
the presbytery concludes this part, with observing upon the whole, that
when Henry VIII of England did cast off the authority of the see of
Rome, and refused to give that subjection to the pope formerly paid by
him and his predecessors; he did, at the same time, assume to himself
all that power in his dominions, which the pope formerly claimed; and
soon afterward procured to have himself acknowledged and declared, by
act of parliament, to be head of the church--head over all persons, and
in all causes, civil and ecclesiastical. And which anti-christian
supremacy has, ever since, continued an essential part of the English
constitution, and inherent right of the crown; so that all the crowned
heads there, have ever since been as little popes over that realm: and
that all such still appropriate unto themselves that blasphemous
anti-christian title of the head of the church, and supreme judge in all
causes, is undeniably evident from the known laws and canons of England:
and further appears from a declaration made by King George I, June 13th,
1715, where he styles himself _Defender of the faith, and supreme
Governor of the church in his dominions_; declaring, that before the
clergy can order or settle any differences about the external policy of
the church, they must first obtain leave under his broad seal so to do.
Which title or authority for man, or angel, to assume, is a downright
dethroning and exauctorating of Christ, the only and alone Head and
Supreme Governor of his church. From this spiritual anti-christian
supremacy, granted by English laws to the king of England, confirmed and
established, by virtue of the incorporating union, in British kings, by
acts of British parliament, do flow all the forementioned acts imposed
upon the Revolution Church of Scotland. And as these acts and laws
declare, that the British monarch confines not his spiritual supremacy
to the church of England, but it extends it also over the church of
Scotland: so this Revolution Church, having never either judicially or
practically lifted up the standard of a public, free and faithful
testimony, against these sinful usurpations, flowing from the fountain
of said supremacy, and clothed with the authority of an anti-christian
parliament, where abjured bishops sit constituent members, but, on the
contrary, has submitted to every one of them; therefore, this church may
justly be constructed, as approvers and maintainers of Erastian
supremacy. And hereby, indeed, the revolt of these degenerate lands from
their sworn subjection and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, as
supreme in his own house, is completed, when they have these many years
substituted another in his place, and framed supremacy into a standing
law, to be the rule, according to which their kings must lord it over
the house and heritage of the Living God. Again:

The presbytery testify against the manifold, and almost uninterrupted
opposition to the ancient glorious uniformity in religion between the
nations, that has appeared in the administrations of both church and
state, since the last Revolution. The revolution constitution and
settlement of religion, as has been already observed, laid our solemn
covenants and work of reformation, sworn to therein, in a grave, and
many stones have since been brought and cast upon them: many ways and
measures have both church and state taken to make sure the revolution
sepulcher of a covenanted work of reformation, and prevent, if possible,
its future resurrection: against all which, the presbytery judge
themselves bound to lift up their testimony. Particularly,

1. The presbytery testify against the incorporating union of this nation
with _England_; and as being an union founded upon an open violation of
all the articles of the Solemn League and Covenant, still binding upon
the nations; and consequently, destructive of that uniformity in
religion, once happily attained to by them: which will at first view
appear, by comparing the articles of the union with those of the Solemn
League. All associations and confederacies with the enemies of true
religion and godliness, are expressly condemned in scripture, and
represented as dangerous to the true _Israel_ of God: _Isa._ viii, 12;
_Jer._ ii, 28; _Psal._ cvi, 35; _Hos._ v, 13, and vii, 8, 11; 2 _Cor._
vi, 14, 15. And if simple confederacies with malignants and enemies to
the cause of Christ are condemned, much more is an incorporation with
them, which is an embodying of two into one, and, therefore, a straiter
conjunction. And taking the definition of malignants, given by the
declaration of both kingdoms joined in arms, _anno_ 1643, to be just,
which says, "such as would not take the covenant, were declared to be
public enemies to their religion and country, and that they are to be
censured and punished, as professed adversaries and malignants;" it
cannot be refused, but that the prelatical party in _England_, now
joined with, are such. Further, by this incorporating union, this nation
is obliged to support the idolatrous Church of _England_; agreeable
whereto, the _Scottish_ parliament, in their act of security, relative
to the treaty of union, declares, "that the parliament of _England_ may
provide for the security of the Church of _England_, as they think
expedient." Accordingly, the _English_ parliament, before entering upon
the treaty of union with _Scotland_, framed an act for securing the
Church of _England's_ hierarchy and worship, as by law established.
Which act, they declare, "Shall be inserted, in express terms, in any
act of parliament which shall be made for settling and ratifying any
treaty of union, and shall be declared to be an essential fundamental
part thereof." Hence, the act of the _English_ parliament for the union
of the two kingdoms, contains the above act for securing the Church of
_England_. Which act being sent down to _Scotland_, stands recorded
among the acts of the last _Scottish_ parliament. Moreover, the last
article of said union contains, that all laws and statutes in either
kingdom, so far as they are contrary to, or inconsistent with the terms
of these articles, or any of them, shall, from and after the union,
cease and become void; which, as in the act of exemplification, was
declared to be, by the parliaments of both kingdoms. Thus, this nation,
by engrossing the _English_ act, establishing Prelacy, and all the
superstitious ceremonies, in the act of the union parliament, and by
annulling all acts contrary to the united settlement, have sealed, as
far as men can do, the gravestones formerly laid upon the covenanted
uniformity of the nations. To all which the revolution church, by
consenting, and practically approving this unhallowed union, have said
Amen; though, at first, some of the members opposed and preached against
it, yet afterward changed, and (if some historians may be credited) by
the influence of gold, were swayed to an approbation. This church's
consent to the union is evident, from their accepting of the act of
security, enacted by the _Scots_ parliament, as the legal establishment
and security of the Church of _Scotland_; and from the assembly 1715,
utterly rejecting a proposal to make a representation to the king, that
the incorporating union was a grievance to the Church of _Scotland_;
though it ought still to be regarded as such, by all the lovers of
reformation principles, because it is a disclaiming of our sworn duty,
to endeavor the reformation of _England_ and _Ireland_. It is a
consenting to the legal and unalterable establishment of abjured Prelacy
in them, obliges the sovereigns of _Great Britain_ to swear to the
preservation of the prelatical constitution, and idolatrous ceremonies
of the episcopal church, and join in communion therewith; and,
therefore, for ever secludes all true Presbyterians from the supreme
rule. This union establishes the civil, lordly power of bishops,
obliging the Church of _Scotland_ to acknowledge them as their lawful
magistrates and ministers, to pray for a blessing upon them in the
exercise of their civil power, and is therefore a solemn ratification of
anti-christian Erastianism. It has formally rescinded, and for ever made
void any act or acts, in favor of a covenanted uniformity in religion,
that might be supposed to be in force before this union: and therefore,
while it stands, it is impossible there can be a revival of that blessed
work, which was once the glory of the nations of _Scotland, England_ and

2. The presbytery testify against the sinful practice of imposing oaths
upon the subjects, contradictory to presbyterian principles in general,
and the oath of the covenants in particular, as the allegiance, and
particularly the abjuration; all which oaths, imposed by a _British_
parliament, exclude our covenanted uniformity, and homologate the united
constitution. But, to prevent mistakes, let it be here observed, that
the presbytery do not testify against any of these oaths, out of the
remotest regard to the spurious pretended right of a popish pretender to
the throne and crown of these kingdoms; for they judge and declare,
that, by the word of God, and fundamental laws of the nations, he can
have no right, title or claim, to be king of these covenanted
kingdoms--seeing, by our covenants and laws, establishing the covenanted
reformation, which are well founded on the divine law, all Papists, as
well as Prelatists, are forever excluded from the throne of these, and
especially of this land. So that it is utterly inconsistent with the
principles maintained by this presbytery, constituted upon the footing
of the covenanted church of _Scotland_, and the oath of God they, with
the nations, are under, ever to acknowledge and own the popish
pretender, or any of that cursed race, as their king; but they testify
against these oaths, because they bind to the acknowledgment of the
lawfulness of a prelatic Erastian constitution of civil government, and
homologate the incorporating union, in one article whereof, it is
declared, that these words, "This realm, and the crown of this realm,
&c," mentioned in the oaths, shall be understood of the crown and realm
of _Great Britain_, &c.; and that in that sense the said oaths shall be
taken and subscribed, and particularly the oath of abjuration, which
whosoever takes, swears to maintain Erastian supremacy, Prelacy, and
_English_ popish ceremonies; and so, at least, by native and necessary
consequence, the swearing thereof is an abjuring of our sacred
covenants. But that which puts it beyond all dispute, that the oath of
abjuration, in the literal sense thereof, obliges to maintain the
prelatic constitution of _England_, both in church and state, as by law
established, and secured by the union act, is the express words of that
act of parliament, by which this oath was imposed, and to which it
expressly refers, viz., the act of further limitation, where it is said:
"On which said acts (viz., of limitation, and further limitation), the
preservation of your majesty's royal person and government, and the
maintaining of the church of _England_, as by law established, do, under
God, entirely depend. To the intent therefore, that these acts may be
forever inviolably preserved, it is hereby enacted, that magistrates and
ministers shall take the following oath," namely, of abjuration. The
above act, then, declaring that said oath was directly intended for the
support and establishment of the prelatic church of _England_, it
follows, that this oath is a solemn abjuration of the covenanted
reformation, as it is also expressly repugnant to Presbyterian
principles. But though the above oath is so manifestly sinful, yet the
ministers of this church did neither faithfully warn others of the sin
and danger thereof, nor faithfully oppose it when imposed on themselves;
but, agreeing that every one should act therein as he thought proper,
they who refused it may be reputed _socii criminis_ with the generality,
who, contrary to their professed principles, did take and subscribe the
same, and that (as says the oath) heartily and willingly; whereby they
not only engaged to maintain a prelatic government, Prelacy, with all
its popish ceremonies, but to maintain _only_ a prelatic government, and
to oppose all others, even though Presbyterian, in their accession to
the throne; and this by virtue of the sinful limitations and conditions,
wherewith the oath is clogged. And hereby, these nominal Presbyterians
discover that they are not possessed of a zeal for the advancement of
the true Presbyterian cause and principles, proportionable to that which
the _English_ discover for their will worship and superstition.

3. The presbytery testify against a sinful and almost boundless
toleration, granted _anno_ 1712, a woful fruit of the union; by which
toleration act, not only those of the Episcopal communion in _Scotland_
have the protection of authority, but a wide door is cast open, and
ample pass given to all sects and heretics (popish recusants and
antitrinitarians some way excepted, who yet are numerous in the nation),
to make whatever attacks they please upon the kingdom and interest of
our glorious Redeemer, in order to the advancement of their own and the
devil's, and all with impunity. The foresaid act warrants the Episcopal
clergy publicly to administer all ordinances, and perform their worship
after their own manner, with all the popish canons and ceremonies
thereof, and obliges all magistrates to protect and assist them, while
it destroys the hedge of church discipline against the scandalous and
profane, and is, therefore, a settling and establishing of Prelacy in
_Scotland_, giving it a security, little, if anything, inferior to that
which the established church has. Again, by a clause in the toleration
bill, the security given by former laws to Presbyterian church
government and discipline, is undermined and taken away, at least
rendered ineffectual, and made the subject of ridicule to the openly
profane, by the civil magistrate's withdrawing his concurrence, in as
much as it declares the civil pain of excommunication to be taken away,
and that none are to be compelled to appear before church judicatories.
There is nothing in religion of an indifferent nature; "For whosoever
[saith Christ] shall break one of the least of these commandments, and
shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven." It
must, then, be the most daring wickedness, and an affronting of the
Majesty of Heaven in the highest manner, for an earthly monarch to
pretend to enact a toleration of religions, and thereby give a liberty
where the divine law has laid a restraint; it implies an exalting of
himself, not only to an equality with, but to a state of superiority
above, the God of glory. Whatever principles are of divine authority
require no toleration from man; it is wickedness to pretend to do it,
seeing whatever comes under the necessity of a toleration, properly so
called, falls, at the same time, under the notion of a crime. And no
less wicked is it for a magistrate to protect, by a promiscuous
toleration, all heretics, heresies and errors; yea, it is a manifest
breach of trust, and plain perverting the end of his office, seeing he
is appointed to be _custos et vindex utriusque tabulae_, intrusted with
the concerns of God's glory, as well as the interests of men. Experience
has, in every age, taught, that a toleration of all religions is the
cut-throat and ruin of all true religion. It is the most effectual
method that ever the policy of hell hatched, to banish all true
godliness out of the world. But however manifold the evils be that
toleration is big with, this church, instead of opposing, seems to have
complied therewith, and to be of toleration principles; which is
evident, not only from their receiving into communion the _Scots_
curates, of which above; but from their joining in communion with Mr.
_Whitefield (an English_ curate and member of that church, and
ring-leader of the Methodists there), when he is in _Scotland_. Again,
it is known, that when the _Scots_ gentlemen are sent to attend the
_British_ parliament, or at any time in _England_, they do, many of
them, join in communion with the prelatic church--nay, are guilty of
taking the sacramental test (that is, taking the sacrament after their
superstitious manner, to qualify them for any public post); yet this
church receives them into the closest communion, without requiring any
satisfaction for these evils; whereby they act contrary to Christ's
example, in purging and keeping his house pure, and contrary to the
Scripture; _Rev._ ii, 14, 15, 20.

4. In like manner, the presbytery testify against the tyranny that has
frequently appeared in the administration since the revolution, both in
church and state. The civil powers have discovered not a little of
tyrannical and arbitrary power, in imposing their laws, statutes and
injunctions, upon the church, as in the instances of the particulars
formerly noticed. But further, it has appeared in their fining and
imprisoning persons, because (though endeavoring to live peaceably, as
far as possible, with all men) they could not, in conscience, and in a
due regard to the covenanted cause, own the lawfulness of their
authority, by swearing fidelity to the present constitution. Again, in
their dispensing with, and counteracting, the law of God in a variety of
instances. Thus, while, without any divine warrant, the crime of theft
is capitally punished, yet the grossest adulterers, who are capitally
punishable by the divine law, pass with impunity. And frequently
reprieves, and sometimes pardons (as in the case of _Porteous_), have
been granted to murderers, expressly contrary to the law of God, which
declares that "Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be
shed." Another astonishing and full evidence of the above charge, is in
the act repealing the penal statutes against witches, &c., 1735, where
it is enacted, "That no prosecution, suit or proceeding, shall be
carried on against any person or persons, for witchcraft, sorcery,
enchantment or conjuration," &c. This act, in plain terms, flatly
contradicts and opposes the law of God, in the very letter thereof. See
_Levit._ xx, 6, 27; _Deut._ xviii, 10-12; _Exod._ xxii, 18. Not only has
the state, in these and other instances (as the imposing almost
intolerable taxations upon the impoverished subjects, for supporting the
grandeur of useless and wicked pensioners, and for carrying on wars,
often not only sinful in respect of their rise and causes, but in their
nature and tendency unprofitable to the nations), been guilty of this
evil, but also the Revolution Church has exercised a most tyrannical
government. As many of the constituent members of the Revolution Church
had shown a persecuting, tyrannizing spirit, against the faithful
contenders for the truth, in the matter of the public resolutions, so
the same spirit has still continued since the revolution, and frequently
exerted itself in a most arbitrary manner, against all who have made any
appearance for a covenanted work of reformation. Accordingly, soon after
the revolution, this church raised some processes against Mr. _John
Hepburn_, minister at _Orr_, under pretense of some irregularities, but
in reality, for his making some appearance against their abounding
defection, and for a covenanted work of reformation, and continued their
prosecution to suspension and deposition; and further, applied to the
civil magistrate, to apprehend said Mr. _Hepburn_, who accordingly was
imprisoned in _Edinburgh_, and then, because of his preaching to the
people out of a window, was carried to _Stirling_ castle, and kept close
prisoner there for a considerable time, as a book, entitled _Humble
Pleadings_, fully discovers. They likewise exercised their tyranny
against Messrs. _Gilchrist_ in _Dunscore_, and _Taylor_ in _Wamphray_,
whom they prosecuted, not only to deposition, but even excommunication,
for no reason but their bearing testimony against that ensnaring oath of
abjuration, and a number of other defections. Again, this church, still
fond of suppressing the good old cause and owners thereof, framed and
prosecuted a libel, most unjustly (some even of themselves being
judges), against Mr. _John McMillan_, minister in _Balmaghie_, for
presenting, in a regular manner, a paper of real and acknowledged
grievances; and, because he would not resile from it, but continued to
plead for a redress, was at last deposed. As also Mr. _John McNeil_,
preacher, for the same reason, had his license taken from him; and, by
the authority of the assembly, both of them were prosecuted and
censured, not for scandal, insufficiency or negligence, error in
doctrine, &c., but only on account of their pleading for the covenanted
reformation of the Church of _Scotland_, and maintaining a necessary
testimony against the prevailing corruptions and defections of former
and present times, as appears from their paper of grievances and joint
declinature, printed 1708. Nay, such was their mad zeal against
reformation principles, that, by the _Act_ 15th of _Assem._ 1715, the
commission was not only empowered to censure all the forementioned
persons, but also enjoined to apply to the civil magistrate for
suppressing and punishing them; and accordingly sundry of them were
proclaimed rebels over public market crosses, only for their continued
adherence to reformation. And besides other instances, their magisterial
and lordly power exercised over the flock of Christ, in the violent
intrusion of ministers into vacant churches over the belly of the
people, and then excommunicating from sealing ordinances such as cannot
in conscience submit to the ministry of these intruders, is a most
glaring one; while at the same time, severe censures are inflicted upon
such ministers as have the honesty to oppose these anti-christian
measures. Loud complaints have likewise been made against their
arbitrary and tyrannical conduct, with reference to Mr. _Ebenezer
Erskine_, and others with him, designated by the name of the _Associate
Presbytery_, because of their remonstrating against, and endeavoring to
rectify, some of the forementioned evils in the church; the justness of
which grievances and complaints may be instructed from their own
writings on that head.

It must not be here omitted to remark, that as this church is justly
charged with tyranny in government, so she is equally guilty of
partiality in discipline. Though all that discover any measure of
faithfulness in the concerns of Christ's glory, are sure to meet with
most severe treatment, yet the loose, profane and erroneous, have seldom
any church censures put in execution against them. This church never
made any suitable inquiry into the sinful compliances, and sad
defections of her members and office-bearers, during the persecuting
period: and that unfaithfulness in the exercise of church discipline is
still copied after. How few, guilty of the most gross scandals, are
censured, such as notorious drunkenness, blasphemy, cursing, swearing,
sabbath-breaking, uncleanness, especially among the rich, who are
capable to give pecuniary mulcts to free them from church censure?
(Thus, in conformity to the prelatical and anti-christian example,
setting to sale the censures of the church, and dispensing with the laws
of Christ for money.) Nay, not only are such overlooked, but many guilty
of these gross sins, together with oppression, neglecters of family
worship, and the grossly ignorant, are without any public
acknowledgement of these sins, admitted to the highest and most solemn
ordinances, viz., both sacraments. And this may be thought the less
strange, when persons chargeable with most of these sins, are admitted,
and continued to be office-bearers in the house of God. Persons, and
even teachers maintaining most dreadful blasphemous errors connived at,
patronized, or but slightly censured, and still kept in communion,
without any open renunciation of these heresies. Play-houses, the
seminaries of vice and impiety, erected in the principal cities of the
nation, and stage players, commonly among the most abandoned of mankind,
escape with impunity. Yea, this pagan entertainment of the stage is
countenanced by the members and office-bearers of this church, and that
to such a degree, that one of the ministers thereof has commenced author
of a most profane play, called _The Tragedy of Douglas_, wherein
immorality is promoted, and what is sacred exposed to ridicule. Oh! how
astonishing! that a minister in the once famous church of Scotland
should be guilty of such abominations, and yet not immediately sentenced
to bear the highest of all church censure!

5. The Presbytery testify against this established church, for
unfaithfulness of doctrine; which will appear by a few instances:
although before the Revolution, the Lord Jesus was openly, as far as
human laws could do, divested of his headship and sovereignty in and
over his church; although the divine right of presbytery had been
publicly and nationally exploded, derided and denied, yet this church
has never by any formal act, declared that our Lord Jesus Christ is sole
king, the alone supreme head of his church--nor in the same manner
declared that the presbyterian form of church government is of divine
right, and condemned all other forms as contrary to the word. Such a
testimony was the more necessary, when the civil powers have arrogated
Christ's power to themselves, and continue to exercise it over his
church; and the want of it is an evidence of the church's unsoundness in
the doctrine of government, and of Christ's kingly office. This church's
error in doctrine further appears from their condemnation of a book
entitled _The marrow of modern divinity_, as containing gross antinomian
errors; whereby they condemned many great gospel truths as errors,
particularly, that believers are altogether set free from the law, as a
covenant of works, both from its commanding and condemning power,
together with others; whereby they have made way for, and encouraged
that legal, moral way of harranguing, exclusive of Christ and his most
perfect righteousness (which is so common and frequent in all parts of
the land), and opened a door for introducing _Baxterian_ principles,
which, in consequence hereof, have since very much prevailed. Another
evidence of this church's unsoundness and unfaithfulness in doctrine, is
their excessive, sinful lenity toward the most gross heretics.
Notwithstanding _Arminian_ and _Pelagian_ heresies, and _Arian_
blasphemies, have been publicly taught; and although true godliness, and
the effectual working of the Spirit on the souls of men have been
publicly exposed as enthusiasm, and many other damnable heresies vented,
yet this church has never lifted up the faithful standard of a judicial
testimony, in condemnation of these heresies, and in vindication of the
precious truths of Christ thereby impugned. And when the ministers and
members of this church have been processed before her assemblies, and
convicted of maintaining many gross errors, no adequate censure has been
inflicted. This particularly appears in the case of Mr. Simpson,
professor of divinity in the college of Glasgow, when processed before
the judicatories of this church, in the years 1715 and 1716, for several
gross errors; such as, "That regard to our own happiness, in the
enjoyment of God, ought to be our chief motive in serving him, and that
our glorifying of God is subordinate to it: that Adam was not our
federal head;" and other _Arminian, Socinian_ and _Pelagian_ heresies,
all to be found in his answers to Mr. Webster's libel given in against
him, and clearly proven: yet was he dismissed with a very gentle
admonition. Which sinful lenity encouraged him, not only to persist in
the same errors, but also to the venting of _Arian_ heresies among his

Accordingly, he was again arraigned before the assembly's bar in the
years 1727-28-29, when it was found clearly proven that he had denied
the necessary existence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the numerical
Oneness of the Three Persons of the Trinity in substance and essence,
with other damnable tenets. Yet when these articles, whereby he had
attempted to depose the Son of God from his supreme deity, were proven,
and when (as one of the members of this church, in his protest against
the assembly's sentence, said) the Son of God was, as it were, appearing
at the bar of that assembly, craving justice against one who had
derogated from his essential glory, and blasphemed his name, at which
every knee should bow. Yet such was the corruption and unfaithfulness of
this church, that the blasphemer was dismissed without any adequate
censure passed upon him, and still continued in the character of a
minister and member of this church.

Again, when Mr. Campbell, professor of church history at St. Andrews,
was processed before the judicatories of this church, for maintaining a
scheme of dangerous and most pernicious principles, which he published
to the world, having a manifest tendency to subvert revealed religion,
and expose the exercise of serious godliness, under the notion of
enthusiasm; to advance self-love, as the leading, principle and motive
in all human actions whatever, and to destroy the self-sufficiency of
God, making him a debtor to his creatures: yet though these, with a
number of God-dishonoring, creature-exalting, and soul-ruining errors,
were notorious from his books, and were defended by him; the heretic,
instead of being duly censured, was countenanced and carressed: whereby
this church has given a most deep wound to some of the most important
truths of the Christian religion, and becomes chargeable with the guilt
of all the errors maintained by that erroneous professor.

A third instance of this church's unfaithfulness, appears in the case of
Mr. Glas, and others, who openly vented, by preaching and printing,
independent schemes of church government, with some new improvements;
attacked our Confession of faith and Covenants, unhinging all order and
government in the church, pulled up the hedge of discipline, to
introduce all errors in doctrine, and corruption in worship; and, at
last, openly renounced presbytery, name and thing (denying that there is
any warrant for national churches under the New Testament), and
asserted, that our martyrs, who suffered for adhering to the covenanted
reformation, were so far in a delusion, with many other sectarian
tenets: for which, the church at first suspended, and then deposed some
of them. But afterward, as if this church repented of doing so much in
favor of presbytery, they were reponed, to the great danger of the
church: for having discovered no remorse for their errors, they
immediately employed all their parts to shake presbytery, by setting up
independent churches and ordaining several mechanics to be their
ministers; and nothing done by the church for putting a stop to these
errors, and for reviving and vindicating the precious truths they had

Likewise, when Mr. Wishart was staged for error vented by him in some of
his sermons, with respect to the influence of arguments taken from the
awe of future rewards and punishments, and other erroneous notions; he
was dismissed without any renunciation of his heterodox principles, and
assoilzied by the judicatories of this church: and, as easy absolutions
encourage error, so no sooner was he assoilzied, but he had the
assurance to recommend erroneous books, such as Doctor Whitchcot's
sermons, to his students. It is indeed no small evidence of the
unsoundness of this church, when the heads of colleges are suffered,
_impune_, to recommend such books for students and probationers to form

Again, when professor Leechman was quarreled with for his deistical
sermon on prayer, by the presbytery of _Glasgow_, and afterward carried
before the assembly; yet although in all his sermons, he presents God as
the object of prayer, merely as our Creator, without any relation to
Christ, as Mediator; but recommends to his hearers, as the only
acceptable disposition of mind, an assured confidence in the goodness
and mercy of their Creator: not only has that Christless sermon been
very much extolled, but the author dismissed from the assembly's bar in
such a manner, as if thereby he had merited their applause. From all
which it sufficiently appears, that this church is unsound and
unfaithful, in point of doctrine; especially, if it is considered, that
she has been frequently addressed by representations, declaring the
necessity of an assertory net, affirming and ascertaining the precious
truths injured and impuned, and that publicly, by the above mentioned
errors; and that a solemn warning should be emitted, discovering the
evil and danger of them: yet that necessary duty has still been
contemned and disregarded.

The great truths of God, have, for many years, lain wounded and bleeding
in our streets, trampled upon by their open and daring enemies; while
this church has entirely forgotten and slighted the divine command, to
contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. And though
the _Westminster_ Confession of Faith continues to be subscribed by
intrants into the ministry (the covenants owned by the Reformed Church
of _Scotland_, as a part of her confession, being abstracted from the
confession of this present church), yet how little of that system and
order of doctrine is now taught? the generality having just as much of
Christ, and the doctrines of his cross, in most of their discourses, as
is to be found in the writings of _Plato, Epictetus_ and _Seneca_, and
the rest of the Pagan moralists. So that this church appears orthodox,
in little (or no) other sense than the church of _England_ is so, viz.,
by subscribing the thirty-nine articles, which are _Calvinistical_ in
the doctrinal parts; while yet the _Arminian_ system of doctrine is
generally received and taught by her clergy. Add to what is above, that
this church maintains no suitable testimony against sins of all sorts,
in persons of all stations; neither emits faithful warnings anent the
snares and dangers of the nation, nor full and free declarations of
present duty, as church judicatories, like faithful watchmen did in
former times. But such faithfulness in God's matters is not now, alas!
to be expected; seeing this church has made a formal concert, or mutual
paction, binding up one another from preaching against, and applying
their doctrines to the sins, corruptions and scandals of the times: see
_Acts of Assem._ 16th, 17th, _anno_ 1712; _Act_ 6th, 1713; _Act_ 8th,
1714; _Act_ 6th, 1715. The Presbytery cannot also here omit observing,
and that with deep regret, that although the most damnable principles,
which have a direct tendency to deny the being of God, and so to
propagate opinionative atheism, to subvert all religion, to extol the
power of corrupt nature, and exalt Popery, as the best form of religion,
to deny the subjection of the world to the providence of God, to destroy
all distinction between virtue and vice, and consequently affirm, that
there is no moral evil in the world, and to ridicule Christianity, as
destitute of divine authority, have been lately vented by _David Hume_,
Esq.; and another designated by the name of _Sopho_: yet this church has
passed no suitable censure upon the authors of these impious and
blasphemous principles, though they justly deserve the very highest: nor
have they done anything to testify their dislike, or put an effectual
stop to the spreading of these abominable tenets. The presbytery
therefore, as they declare their abhorrence of these, and the other
errors formerly mentioned, so testify against the church's notorious
unfaithfulness, in suffering these wretches to pass with impunity; and
as being, on all these accounts noticed, unsound and corrupt, in the
matter of doctrine, &c. It may also be here remarked, as an undoubted
evidence of the corruptness of the state, that, although there are civil
laws presently in being, which declare the maintaining of
antitrinitarian, atheistical principles, to be not only criminal, but
capital; yet the civil powers in the nation have not so much regard to
God, and the Son of God, as to punish treason openly acted against them.

6. The presbytery testify against both church and state, for their
sinful associations with malignants: as declared enemies to the
covenanted interest have engrossed the civil power wholly to their
hands, since the public resolutions, that a door was opened for their
admission; so such is the nature of the laws presently extant and in
force, that one cannot be admitted to any office, civil or military, but
by swearing away all friendship to a covenanted reformation. And,
moreover, all along since the late Revolution, the nations have been the
most earnest pursuing after friendship with the grossest idolators; and,
in express contradiction to the word of God, have confederated in the
closest alliance with God's declared enemies abroad; nay, have exhausted
their strength and substance, in maintaining the quarrel of such as have
been remarkable for their hatred at, and persecution of the protestant
interest. The Revolution Church has also said a confederacy with such as
have, on all occasions, shewed a rooted enmity and hatred at reformation
principles: which appears from their admitting such (noticed above) to
be office-bearers in the church: from their observing fasts, and praying
for success to the allied armies, though almost wholly composed of such,
and many of them oftentimes gross Popish idolaters: from their going in
with, and approving of the sinful incorporating union with _England_:
from their acknowledging the civil power of church men as lawful: from
their joining in religious communion with Mr. _Whitefield_; and in many
other instances. Not to insist further in enumerating particulars, the
Presbytery finally testify against church and state, for their
negligence to suppress impiety, vice, and superstitious observance of
holy days, &c. The civil powers herein acting directly contrary to the
nature and perverting the very ends of the magistrate's office, which is
to be _custos et vindex utriusque tabulae_; the minister of God, a
revenger, to execute wrath on him that doeth evil. Transgressors of the
first table of the law may now sin openly with impunity; and, while the
religious observation of the sabbath is not regarded, the superstitious
observation of holy-days, even in _Scotland_, is so much authorized,
that on some of them the most considerable courts of justice are
discharged to sit. Stage-plays, masquerades, balls, assemblies, and
promiscuous dancings, the very nurseries of impiety and wickedness, are
not only tolerated, but even countenanced by law. And as these, with
other evils, are permitted by the civil powers; so this church seems to
have lost all zeal against sin. No suitable endeavors are used to
prevent the growth of atheism, idolatry and superstition: and though
Prelacy, as well as Popery, is growing apace in the lands, and organs
publicly used in that superstitious worship; yet no testimony is given
against them, but new modes introduced into the worship of God, for
carnal ends, as a gradual advance toward that superstition. Yea, so
unconcerned about suppressing vice and extravagant vanity, &c, that not
only are the forementioned nurseries of sin frequented by ministers'
children, but ministers themselves have countenanced them by their
presence, to the great scandal of their office, and manifest
encouragement of these seminaries of immorality. And notwithstanding
that by the late proclamation, the penal laws against vice and profanity
seem to be revived (which is in itself so far good), yet this cannot
supersede or remove the ground of the Presbytery's testimony against
church and state complexly, on the above account, or even against the
thing itself, in the manner that it is gone about. For besides that,
notwithstanding of all former endeavors of this kind, since the
overthrow of our scriptural and covenanted reformation, immorality and
wickedness have still increased and overflowed all these banks; partly,
because, after all their pretenses, the laws were not vigorously put in
execution (and as good, no law nor penalty, as no execution), and
partly, because these law-makers, being also themselves the
law-breakers, have entrusted the execution to such as are generally
ringleaders in a variety of gross immoralities; it is not likely, that
ever God will countenance and bless such attempts, whereby (contrary to
scripture and all good order) the ecclesiastical power is subjected to
the civil, and ministers made the bare inspectors of men's manners, and
informers to inferior judges, without having it in their power to oblige
such transgressors (if obstinate) to compear before church judicatories,
and conform and submit to the laws of Christ's house. Nay, so far will
God be from approving such Erastian methods of reformation, that he will
certainly visit for this, among all our other iniquities, and in his own
due time make a breach upon us, because we sought him not in the due
order. Wherefore, and for all these grounds, the Presbytery testify
against both church and state, as in their constitutions Erastian and
anti-scriptural, including the substitution and acknowledgement of
another head and governor over the church than Christ, as may be
sufficiently evident from proofs above adduced. And particularly,
because the British united constitution is such as involves the whole
land, and all ranks therein, in the dreadful guilt of idolatry,
communicating with idolators, apostasy, perjury, &c.[3] They declare
they can have no communion therewith; but that it is such an association
as that God's call to his people, concerning it, is, "Come out from
among them. Be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will
receive you, saith the Lord."

* * * * *


For as much as a good number of people in the north of _Ireland_ have
acceded, and submitted themselves to the Presbytery, and one of their
number is fixed among them as their proper pastor; the Presbytery
intended to have subjoined something by way of appendix to the above
Testimony, with relation to the state of religion in that kingdom,
especially with regard to the settlement of the presbyterian religion
there. But as diocesan Episcopacy is the religion there established by
law, against which the Presbytery has declared and testified (as above)
as an anti-scriptural, anti-covenanted and merely a human and political
settlement (whether considered abstractly or complexly with that in the
kingdom of _Scotland_), there needs nothing be further said anent it.
And as those called Presbyterians in _Ireland_, are equally enemies to
the true covenanted Presbyterian cause with those of the Revolution
Church of _Scotland_; so the above testimony equally strikes against
them with the other. There seems, however, to be this considerable
difference betwixt the Presbyterians in _Scotland_ and _Ireland, viz._,
That although the settlements the same as to the matter of it, yet so it
is not as to the form or manner of it, the Presbyterians in _Ireland_
neither having, nor claiming any other security or foundation for their
different mode of religious worship than the royal indulgence, or
toleration Act. And therefore, as the Presbytery did and do testify
against toleration, and toleration principles, disclaiming such an
anti-scriptural shelter; they therein, of consequence, bear witness and
testimony against all such as do in these lands (where God has given his
people a claim of another kind) professedly dwell under such a shadow.
But besides, the Presbytery view them (complexly considered) as unworthy
of their regard or notice in these papers, as to engaging in any
particular or explicit testimony against them, in as much as they have
denuded themselves of almost any pretense to the Presbyterian name, by
not only disclaiming and opposing the true Presbyterian cause, but
having also fallen from the belief and profession of the most important
and fundamental truths of Christianity; thereby plainly discovering
themselves to be creatures of quite another species and spirit, than the
ministers of Jesus Christ, and friends to the blessed spiritual
Bridegroom; deserving rather to be termed a synagogue of _Libertines_, a
club of _Socinians, Arians, Pelagians_ &c., banded together against
Christ, and the doctrines of his cross than a synod of the ministers of
the gospel. Therefore, as the presbytery testify and remonstrate against
them, their toleration, or indulgence footing, on which they professedly
stand, together with their poisonous jumble and medley of errors,
commonly called _Newlight_, adopted, and with the greatest warmth and
diligence, spread and propagated by most of them, and connived at and
tolerated by the rest and all their books or prints written by them, or
others of the like spirit with them in defense of these dangerous and
damnable tenets so they do hereby judicially warn and exhort all the
people under their inspection there, to beware of such men, and such
books, however they may varnish over the doctrines they bring, with fine
words fair speeches and pretenses, in order to deceive the hearts of the
simple; and this, as they would not incur the displeasure of a holy and
jealous God, and have their souls defiled and destroyed by these
error's. On the contrary to endeavor to have their minds and
understandings enlightened with the knowledge of the truths of Christ,
and mysteries of his gospel, and their hearts warmed with the love of
them; so that being through grace established in the belief of the
truth, they may not "be as children tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" _Eph._ iv, 14, 15.
"But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things unto him,
which is the Head even Christ;" and striving to refrain and keep
themselves from every wicked, offensive and backsliding course, and to
live soberly, righteously and godly, blameless and harmless as the sons
of God, without rebuke, adorning the gospel of Christ with a
conversation becoming the same; so shall they thereby glorify God, and
transmit a faithful testimony for the despised truths of Christ to
posterity, that so there may be a seed to do service unto him in these
lands, and make his name to be remembered through all generations.


The principles of some parties, who have made the most specious
appearances for the Reformation, considered.--Particular grounds of
testimony against that body of ministers and people known by the name of
the Secession, wherein their partiality and unfaithfulness in their
profession of the covenanted testimony of the Church of Scotland is
discovered in various instances,--their loose and immoral doctrine about
civil society and government--their corruption in worship, sinful terms
of communion, &c., &c.

The Presbytery having in the preceding pages exhibited their testimony
against both church and state, as now established in these isles of the
sea, and therein discovered the reasons, why they are obliged to
disapprove of both, proceed, next, to take notice of some of the parties
that have made the most specious appearances for reformation in this
land since the Revolution, of which that party commonly known by the
name of the _Secession_, are not the least remarkable. It is vast pity,
and it is with grief and lamentation, that the Presbytery find
themselves, in point of duty, obliged to lift up a testimony against the
forementioned party; considering, that they have made a professed
appearance under a judicial banner displayed for truth, and a covenanted
work of reformation, and have, in reality, showed much zeal in opposing
a variety of errors in doctrine, corruption in discipline and
government, most prevalent in the national Church of _Scotland_; have
contributed to vindicate some of the most important truths and doctrines
of the Christian faith, that have been openly impugned in this day of
blasphemy, and may have been instrumental in turning many to
righteousness, and reviving the exercise of practical godliness among
not a few. But as _Paul_ withstood _Peter_ to the face, and testified
against his dissimulation, though both of them apostles of our common
Lord and Savior; so it still remains duty to testify against the most
godly, and such as may have been very useful to the church in many
respects, in so far as they have not showed themselves _earnest
contenders for the faith once delivered to the saints_, but have dealt
treacherously with God in the concerns of his glory. It is therefore
with just regret they proceed to observe, that they are obliged, to
testify against this party designated, first, by the title of _The
Associate Presbytery_ (and then that of _The Associate Synod_)--and that
particularly, for their error in doctrine, treachery in covenant,
partiality and tyranny in discipline and government. It may at first
seem strange, to see a charge of error advanced against those who made
the countenancing of error in the judicatories of the established
church, one principal ground of their secession therefrom. But by taking
a narrower view of the principles and doctrines which they have roundly
and plainly asserted, and endeavored to justify in their printed
pamphlets anent civil government, the reception and belief of which they
zealously inculcate upon their followers, it will appear, that their
scheme is so far from tending to promote the declarative glory of God,
and the real good of human and religious society, or the church of God,
which are the very ends of the divine ordinance of magistracy, that it
is not only unscriptural, but anti-scriptural, contrary to the common
sentiments of mankind, and introductive of anarchy and confusion in
every nation, should it be thoroughly adopted, and therefore ought to be
testified against. The sum of their principles anent civil magistracy,
may be collected from these few passages, to be found in a print
entitled, _Answers by the Associate Presbytery to reasons of dissent,
&c.--Page_ 70. "This divine law, not only endows men in their present
state with a natural inclination to civil society and government, but it
presents unto them an indispensable necessity of erecting the same into

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