The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant - Part 2

Part 2

5th, You must be careful that you do not forget the covenant; forgetting (as you heard before) is a step towards forsaking, and, therefore, you must endeavour to have the covenant nearer to you than the Israelites had it--they had it written upon the posts of their doors, you must have it written upon the tables of your hearts.

6th, You must evidence a great deal of cheerfulness and patience under your crosses, which may occur to you for your adherence to this your covenant; you must neither weaken your own hands in the discharge of covenanted duties, by drooping and discouragement under these crosses, nor stumble others, by repining at these losses, or by any carriage and deportment under them that may import your repenting of what you have now done. And because you are impotent and weak in yourselves, therefore,

7th, You must see that faith be in exercise in all your performances of covenanted duties. If this be wanting you will perform nothing to purpose, "for without faith it is impossible to please G.o.d." By this grace you must keep up acquaintance with Christ, and have frequent recourse to him, both for cleansing you from your defilements, when you break the covenant, and for strength to perform what you are obliged to by covenant; both for recovering grace, to raise you up when fallen, and for preventing grace, to preserve you from falling or relapsing again.

8th, That you may be the more active and vigilant in keeping covenant, you must labor to maintain a constant fear of breaking it, and have a fixed impression of the tremendous threatening denounced against covenant-breakers; and you must know that all are such in G.o.d's account, who satisfy themselves with the form of G.o.dliness, denying the power thereof. For this end read and ponder these and the like scriptures.

Lev. xxvi. 25, "And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant, and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you: and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy." Neh. v. 13--"So G.o.d shall shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise; even thus be he shaken out and emptied." Jer. xi. 3, "Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth from the iron furnace." Ezek. xvii. 15, "Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doth such things? or shall he break the covenant and be delivered?" Verse 18, "Seeing he hath despised the oath, by breaking the covenant, when lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape." Verse 19th, "Therefore, thus saith the Lord G.o.d, as I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head."

The minister having given these exhortations, closed the day's work with prayer, and singing a part of the ciii. Psalm from the 17th to the 19th verse. And having intimated the time of meeting for more immediate preparation for the _holy communion_, putting the people in mind to be preparing for the work, by fervent prayer and supplication, joined with serious and upright self-examination, he dismissed the congregation after the usual form.

This true and unbia.s.sed account of the work in its design, progress and issue we have given, not to pre-occupy false reports only, which we cannot rationally suppose an entire freedom from, unless we fall in with the opposers of our covenanted reformation, and to purchase the good opinion and commendation of men at the rate of losing the favor of G.o.d.

The main end of relating some of the more material heads, scope and argument of the _sermons_ is because there are some things handled in them which behoved to have been inserted in this _preface_, to clear up our motives and call to the work, which could not be better done than as the same was cleared then to the people. And this brief relation, though falling short of the matter then delivered, may serve to bring things to the memories of those that found sweet satisfaction in hearing them in the public. As for what may be the observations of censorious critics, either _of the sermons_ in particular, or of the _work_ in general, we are perfectly unconcerned about them, seeing we equally value their approbation or disapprobation; providing true matter of fact be not misrepresented, and so truth injuriously wronged. Nor are we willing here to make any observation of our own concerning the issue and on-carrying of the work, though all the G.o.dly there present ought to observe the Lord's gracious a.s.sistance and favor (so far as they found the same afforded to themselves, or displayed in others), lest we may either be in danger to diminish the grace of G.o.d by complaining, or incur the suspicion of self-flatterers by commending, but shall leave it to the judgment of such as were then present, and the candid interpretation of others that may read this preceding account thereof.

There have been many objections made against the _design, matter_ and _form_ of the _covenants_: more against subjects covenanting to defend the purity and promote the reformation of religion, without the royal concurrence of their sovereign princes; most of all against private persons entering into covenant, or renewing thereof, for the said end without the general concurrence of the representative body of the church and state. Those which concern the former two, have been fully answered by the greatest of our reformers, whose piety and learning set them sufficiently above the snarling censures of whatsoever cavilling pens or tongues: As for what are made against the last, they are also answered better than we can pretend to, in the a.n.a.lysis upon the 19th chapter of Deuteronomy, prefixed to the National and Solemn League and Covenant renewed at Lesmahago, whereunto we refer the reader. Only because that book may not be at hand to every one that would desire these objections solved, we shall here transcribe the answers to two or three of the most material of these objections, making but small, if any, variation from the author's words.

_Object_. 1. "In all the national covenants whereof we read in scripture, there was still the concurrence of either the sovereign authority then in being, or at least of the Captains, Elders, Officers, and Heads of the tribes; And, therefore, it cannot be done by private subjects, without either royal or parliamentary authority."

_Ans_. Certainly the obligations of the Covenant, held forth Deut. xxix.

10, 11, 12, being so extensive as to reach all the members of church and commonwealth, of all qualities, ranks, vocations, ages, s.e.xes; is to be understood _positively_, that all these are obliged to enter into covenant, but not _negatively_, that without any of these the covenant should not be entered into. The motives mentioned are to the small as well as to the great; and without them as well as with them; the articles of it, and the keeping and doing them, are common to both alike: The relation that the small and meaner sort of people have to G.o.d (the other contracting party) is the same that the n.o.bles and great ones have, and the privileges of it, to be established as a people unto himself and to have him for their G.o.d, do no more belong to the one than the other; And consequently the small may renew it, as well as the great; but not nationally to bind the whole nation formally, to which indeed the concurrence of the representatives is necessary. As for precedents of this practice, see them above, in the narrative of the sermons, [p. 9].

_Object_. 2. "This covenant having been disclaimed by the political father, and made void by law, never again revived by authority of parliament, nor the law rescinded by which it was declared not obligatory; is therefore of no binding force upon us, who have never personally sworn it; and to renew it, and bring ourselves under the bond of it, when we are free, without the concurring or imposing authority of our rulers, is high presumption in private subjects."

_Ans_. If any engagements can be supposed binding to posterity, certainly national covenants to keep the commandments of G.o.d, and to adhere to his inst.i.tutions, must be of that nature. It cannot be denied, that several obligations do bind to posterity; such as public promises with annexation of curses to breakers, Neh. v. 12, 13. Thus Joshua's adjuration did oblige all posterity never to build Jericho, Josh. vi.

26. And the breach of it did bring the curse upon Hiel the Bethelite, in the days of Ahab. 2dly, Public vows: Jacob's vow, Gen. xxviii. 21, did oblige all his posterity, virtually comprehended in him, Hos. xii. 4.

The Rechabites found themselves obliged to observe the vow of their forefather Jonadab, Jer. x.x.xv. 6, 14, for which they were rewarded and commended. Public oaths do oblige posterity: Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, to carry up his bones to Canaan, Gen. i. 25, which did oblige posterity some hundred years after. Exod. xiii 19. Josh.

xxiv. 32. National covenants with men before G.o.d, do oblige posterity, as Israel's covenant with the Gibeonites, Josh. ix. 15, 19. The breach whereof was punished in the days of David, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Especially National Covenants with G.o.d, before men, about things moral and objectively obliging, are perpetual; and yet more especially (as Grotius observes) when they are of an hereditary nature, i.e. when the subject is permanent, the matter moral, the end good, and in the _form_ there is a clause expressing their perpetuity.

All which ingredients of perpetual obligations are clear in Scotland's Covenants, which are _national promises_, adjuring all ranks of persons, under a curse, to preserve and promote reformation according to the word of G.o.d, and extirpate the opposite thereof. _National vows_, devoting the then engaging, and succeeding generations to be the Lord's people, and walk in his ways. _National oaths_, solemnly sworn by all ranks, never to admit of innovations, or submit to usurpations, contradictory to the word of G.o.d. _National covenants_, wherein the king, parliament and people did covenant with each other, to perform their respective duties, in their several places and stations, inviolably to preserve religion and liberty: Yea, more, _national laws_, solemnly ratified by the king and parliament, and made the foundation of the people's compact with the king, at his inauguration: And, finally, they are _national covenants with G.o.d_, as party contracting, to keep all the words of his covenant. The subject or parties contracting are permanent, to wit, the unchangeable G.o.d and the kingdom of Scotland, (the same may be said of England and Ireland,) which, whilst it remains a kingdom, is still under the obligation of these covenants. The _matter_ is _moral_, antecedently and eternally binding, albeit there had been no formal covenant: the _ends_ of them perpetually good, to wit, _the defence of the true reformed religion, and the maintenance of the King's Majesty's person and estate_, (as is expressed in the National Covenant,) _the glory of G.o.d, the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; the honor and happiness of the King's Majesty and his posterity, and the public liberty, safety, and peace of the kingdoms_, as it is expressed in the Solemn League. And in the _form_ of them there are clauses expressing their perpetuity. In the National covenant it is said, _that the present and succeeding generations in this land are bound to keep the foresaid National Oath and Subscription inviolable_. And in the Solemn League, Article 1, _That we and our posterity after us, may, as brethren, live in faith and love_. And Art. 5, _That they may remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all posterity_.

We may add also the sanctions of rewards and punishments descending to posterity, prove the obligation perpetual: Which is, alas! too visible in our case as to the punishments inflicted for the breach of our covenants, and like to be further inflicted, if repentance prevent not; so that as we have been a taunting proverb, and an hissing, for the guilt, we may look to be made a curse and an execration for the punishment of it. The distinction which some make use of to elude this obligation, "That suppose they be materially bound, yet seeing they have not sworn the covenants personally, they are not formally bound," is both false and frivolous; for our father's oath having all the aforesaid qualifications, binds us formally as an oath, though we have but virtually sworn it; and whether the obligation be material or formal, implicit or explicit, it is all one in G.o.d's sight, if it be real, seeing even virtual obligations have frequently brought rewards and punishments upon the head of the observers or breakers of them, as well as formal. Seeing, then, the obligation of the covenant upon us is evident to a demonstration, it cannot, in justness, be called a rebellious action against lawful authority, to declare in our station that we believe so much and resolve to practice accordingly. It is indeed too true that the wicked laws enacting the perpetual breaches of these covenants have never been rescinded; but seeing they are wicked and opposite to the commandment and covenant of the Lord, the supreme legislator, they are naturally void and null, and have been still so esteemed by us.

_Object_. 3. "Albeit the National Covenant should be granted to be binding upon us the people of Scotland, and, therefore, may be renewed: yet, to renew the Solemn League with England and Ireland, as matters now stand, is ridiculous and impossible."

_Ans_. This objection is partly answered before in the Sermons, [page 14,] and may be further cleared, if we consider, that the Solemn League and Covenant may be taken under different respects, _either as a league amongst men_ or _a covenant between G.o.d and men_: in the former sense, as it notes a _league offensive and defensive_ made betwixt the collective bodies of these kingdoms, it is certain it cannot be taken by us, who are but a poor insignificant handful of people, far from any authority, or influence in church or commonwealth; the collective and representative body of the three kingdoms having basely abandoned their covenant with G.o.d, and united in a sinful compact opposite thereto, so that to make a league with England or Ireland in this sense, were to enter into a sinful confederacy with apostate covenant breakers; but in the latter acceptation, as it is a covenant with G.o.d, not as a witness only, but also as a party contracting, there is no absurdity or impossibility why Scotland, or any part thereof, may not renew it, obliging themselves by a solemn vow to perform what they are bound to antecedently by the law of G.o.d. And if it be considered as an a.s.sociation, it respects those only who now do, or hereafter shall, adhere unto it, whether here or in the other two kingdoms. Hence, the words in the preamble of the Solemn League and Covenant, expressing the several ranks and the extent of the Covenanters, were not read at the renewing of it at Dougla.s.s, because we own ourselves to be under a league with none but such as own the covenanted Reformation; these, and these only, we heartily embrace as our colleagues, into the nearest and dearest bonds of Christian union and fellowship, according to this League and Covenant.

As the revolt of the ten tribes from the true religion and covenant of the Lord their G.o.d, hindered not the G.o.dly of Judah, nor the small party that joined in the sincere worship of G.o.d, out of Ephraim and Mana.s.seh, to renew their covenant under the auspicious reigns of Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah; Nor did the horrid apostacy of the Sectarian party in England impede our ancestors to renew this Solemn League and Covenant in Scotland, Anno, 1649. So neither can the defection of the generality of the three kingdoms, which is to be bewailed, if possible, with tears of blood, hinder us from testifying our adherence to the covenant, or invalidate what we have done therein.

_Object_. 4. "Albeit the action should be granted to be for the main, lawful and right, yet it was most unseasonable to undertake it at such a time, when the parliament and ministry is composed of a set of men that evidence no good affection to the present established church in Scotland, who will be ready to interpret the action of a few immoderately and unseasonably zealous people, as the deed of the whole Presbyterians in Scotland, and to make a handle thereof against them, to impose upon them some new burdens; or to take such measures as will effectually put a stop to the more general renovation thereof throughout the land."

In answer to this objection, we shall only desire the gentlemen that made it to remember, That now for the s.p.a.ce of 24 years they have been crying, the time is not come wherein we should set about covenant-renewing; one while they have pretended that the time was not seasonable, because such as were in authority were friends to the church; and it would look like a suspecting of their integrity, to enter into covenant for defence and reformation of religion, as if they would not show themselves active enough for these ends, and prove an irritation to them to turn enemies to Presbyterian government; it would cause them to think the Presbyterians to be a people of indiscreet and ungovernable zeal, and so disgust them at the establishment. Another, while they excuse themselves from this duty, because these in authority are unfriendly to the Presbyterian establishment, they must walk cautiously now and manage prudently, lest they give any umbrage to Jacobites and Episcopalians to represent them ill at court, and so occasion the overthrow of the great security founded in the Union Treaty. Formerly they needed not renew the covenant, because religion was not in danger; now they dare not attempt to do it because it is; they must wait till a well-affected parliament and good counsellors set it out of danger again, and then they will not need to covenant for its safety. These shifts are too shrewd discoveries of neutrality in this cause. It is to be feared that the G.o.dly have too long been hoodwinked with such frivolous pretexts; and it is high time for every one that has the low case of the work of G.o.d in the land at heart, to be awakened to renew their covenant with G.o.d and keep the same. The motives and calls to the work above mentioned will sufficiently, we hope, demonstrate the seasonableness of it. But if there was a defect as to the seasonableness, it was not because it was so soon set about, but because it was no sooner.

We shall not dwell any longer upon these and the like objections; there will not want mountains of difficulties in the way till such time as the Lord, coming by his Spirit in a day of his power, shall be pleased to level them and say, "Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubabel thou shalt become a plain." In that day (we doubt not) there shall be a willing people to enter covenant with the Lord, even a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten; but, in the mean time, they would do well to consider the hazard they bring themselves into who wilfully raise objections against the covenant, because they are unwilling to enter into it, or be bound by it.

It may be some will desiderate an account of the other _solemn holy action_ that followed upon the back of this, in regard there were some circ.u.mstances in it not so ordinary in this church in former times, because of the paucity of public instruments; but neither do we think it needful to give any large account of it, nor will it fall so properly into this preface, which concerneth only national covenanting, and, it is likely the reader's patience is too far transgressed upon already; nor was there any _substantial or formal_ difference betwixt it and the comely order of the Church of Scotland observed in our purest times of reformation in the celebration of that sacred ordinance, except what in the form arose from the circ.u.mstances we were in, and the reason now mentioned. The work was awful and great, the persons employed about it few, insignificant in their own eyes, as well as mean in the eyes of others; and hence the Lord's power and grace was the more conspicuous, who (we must not dissemble it) was present to the sensible experience of many, sealing instruction upon the hearts of some, and granting, strengthening, and confirming grace to others, for which he ought to have all the glory.

But because there has been, as we are informed, no small clamor raised anent some expressions used in debarring the ignorant and scandalous from the holy table of the Lord; _That the Minister should have unreasonably and presumptuously excommunicated the Queen and Parliament, and the whole Ministers of the established church of Scotland_; Therefore, we shall here insert the very words relating to that affair, as they were uttered by him without any alteration. In warning the ignorant, scandalous and profane to beware of presuming to approach to the holy table of the Lord, the minister observed (as the manner is) the order of the decalogue, where, in the sins forbidden in the second commandment, as they are enumerated by the very Reverend the a.s.sembly of Divines sitting at Westminster, in their humble advice concerning a Larger Catechism, we find these amongst others--"All devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any ways approving any religious worship not inst.i.tuted by G.o.d himself, tolerating a false religion.---- All superst.i.tious devices, corrupting the worship of G.o.d, adding to it, taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the t.i.tle of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever." Hence, he expressed himself in these words--"I excommunicate and debar from this holy table of the Lord, all devisers, commanders, users, or approvers of any religious worship not inst.i.tuted by G.o.d in his Word, all tolerators and countenancers thereof; and by consequence I debar and excommunicate from this holy table of the Lord, Queen and Parliament, and all under them, who spread and propagate or tolerate a false superst.i.tious worship, ay and until they repent," And in relation to the opposing of the covenants and work of reformation, he had these words--"I excommunicate and debar all who are opposers of our covenants and covenanted Reformation, and all that have taken oaths contrary to our covenants, and such particularly as are takers of the Oath of Abjuration, whether Ministers or others, until they repent."

That this was no presumptuous and rebellious arrogance is evident, because the sins for which he debarred Queen and Parliament, and all others guilty of them, are proven from Scripture to be gross breaches of G.o.d's law, and every violation thereof persisted in without repentance, is a sufficient cause (in the opinion of Protestant Divines) to debar and exclude from the Lord's table. Now, it is certain that even those ministers of the established church who make such obloquy against the work for this particular, do the same thing in effect every time that they administrate this ordinance, for (as can be proved if they please to require it, or do deny it,) they excommunicate from the table all guilty of such sins as are forbidden in the second commandment, according as they are specified in the forsaid Catechism; and so, by an infallible consequence, they excommunicate the Queen and Parliament, who are grossly guilty of the most of them, only they have not the courage ingenuously and freely to own and express the consequence, but that it follows natively and necessarily from the premises, even according to their own principles, they will never be able to disprove.

Now, Reader, thou hast a just and true account as far as was necessary, of our poor and weak endeavours in this matter, which we hope will, at least, stand as a witness and testimony (without arrogance we desire to speak it) against the apostacy of some and indifferency of others, who should have been to us as the _he-goats before the flock_ in paving our way to Zion, but are rather _making to themselves captains_ to carry us back to Babylon, and pollute our land with idolatry and superst.i.tion; and, as a pledge to posterity that the Lord has not yet utterly deserted the land, though we rather wish,(if so it may consist with his holy purpose, _who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working_) that it might tend to excite, some to bethink "whence they have fallen, and repent, and to do their first works, lest the Lord come quickly, and utterly remove his candlestick from us:" and engage them to renew these covenants in a more public way, and prosecute the ends of them with more zeal, fidelity, and constancy, "that the Lord may yet delight to dwell amongst us, make our judges peace, and our exactors righteousness," and make us to be called _Hephzibah_, and our land _Beulah_.

The reader may please to cast his eye upon the following pa.s.sages, quoted from the writings of some of the ablest divines, wherewith these kingdoms have been blessed, since the first reformation from Popery; wherein he will see, how far different an opinion they have entertained of the Covenant, from what are the thoughts of the learned Lat.i.tudinarians of our age.

_A Testimony to the truth of_ JESUS CHRIST _and to our Solemn League and Covenant, &c., subscribed by the Ministers of Christ, within the province of London, December_ 14, 1649 Head IV.

"In order unto reformation and defence of religion within these three kingdoms, we shall never forget, how solemnly and cheerfully the Solemn League and Covenant was sworn with hands lifted up to the most high G.o.d.--We were, and are abundantly satisfied, that our Solemn League and Covenant of September 27, 1643, is not only warrantable for the matter of it and manner of entering into it, but also of such excellency and importance,--That it will be very hard in all points to parallel it; and, therefore, as we did sincerely swear this covenant with G.o.d, with all our heart, and with all our soul, much rejoicing at the oath with a true intention to perform it, and not for promoting any politic design; so we do believe and profess to the world that we still stand as firmly engaged to the real performance of it, and that it is not in the power of any person or persons on earth to dispense with it or absolve from it."

_The harmonious consent of the Ministers of the county Palatine Lancaster with their Reverend Brethren the Ministers of the province of London._ Head V.

"We shall never forget how solemn it (the Solemn League and Covenant) was sworn, and what rejoicing there was at the oath, sundry at the taking of it weeping for joy; and when the Covenant was thus taken, we thought with ourselves, that surely now the crown is set upon England's head: We judged the day of entering into this Covenant to be England's coronation-day, as it was the day of the gladness of our hearts."

_Mr. Philip Nye's Exhortation at the taking of the Covenant, September 29th, 1649, p. 2._

"This Oath is such, and in the matter and consequence of it of such concernment, as I can truly say, it is worthy of us, yea, of all the kingdoms of the world; for it is swearing fealty and allegiance to Christ the King of kings, and giving up of all these kingdoms which are his inheritance, to be subdued more to his throne, and ruled more by his sceptre, upon whose shoulders the government is laid."


Subscribed at first by the King's Majesty and his Household, in the year of G.o.d 1580; Thereafter, by persons of all ranks, in the year 1581; By Ordinance of the Lords of the Secret Council, and Acts of the General a.s.sembly. Subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590, by a new Ordinance of Council, at the desire of the General a.s.sembly, with a Band for the maintenance of the true religion, and the King's person: And subscribed in the year 1638, by the n.o.blemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers and Commons, then under-subscribing; together with their resolution and promises for the causes after specified, to maintain the True Religion, and the King's Majesty, according to the Confession aforesaid and Acts of Parliament; And upon the supplication of the General a.s.sembly to his Majesty's High Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesty's honorable Privy Council. Subscribed again in the year 1639, by Ordinance of Council, and Acts of General a.s.sembly, &c., &c. The Tenor whereof here followeth.

We all, and every one of us underwritten, protest, that after long and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now thoroughly resolved in the truth by the Word and Spirit of G.o.d: And, therefore, we believe with our hearts, confess with our mouths, subscribe with our hands and constantly affirm before G.o.d and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion pleasing G.o.d, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel; and is received, believed, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and realms, but chiefly by the _Kirk of Scotland, and sometimes by the King's Majesty, and the three estates of this realm_, as G.o.d's eternal truth and only ground of our salvation, as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, established and publickly confirmed by sundry Acts of Parliaments, and now of a long time have been openly professed by the King's Majesty, and whole body of this realm, both in burgh and land. To the which Confession and form of religion, we willingly agree in our own consciences, in all points, as unto G.o.d's undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written word. And, therefore, we abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine; but chiefly all kind of Papistry in general, and particular heads, even as they are now d.a.m.ned and confuted by the word of G.o.d, and Kirk of Scotland. But in special we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of G.o.d, upon the Kirk, the civil Magistrate, and consciences of men: All his tyrranous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty: His erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the perfection of the law, the offices of Christ, and his blessed evangel: His corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability and rebellion to G.o.d's law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law; the nature, number, and use of the holy sacraments: His five b.a.s.t.a.r.d sacraments; with all his rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true sacraments, without the Word of G.o.d: His cruel judgment against infants departing without the sacrament: His absolute necessity of baptism: His blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men: His dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of marriage forbidden in the Word; His cruelty against the innocent divorced: His devilish ma.s.s: His blasphemous priesthood: His profane sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick: His canonization of men; calling upon angels or saints departed; worshipping of imagery, relics and crosses; dedicating of kirks, altars, days; Vows to creatures: His purgatory, prayers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language; with his processions and blasphemous litany, and mult.i.tude of advocates or mediators: His manifold orders, auricular confession: His desperate and uncertain repentance; His general and doubtsome faith: His satisfactions of men for their sins: His justification by works, _opus operatum_, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations and stations: His holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, earning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of G.o.d's good creatures, with the superst.i.tious opinion joined therewith: His worldly monarchy, and wicked hierarchy: His three solemn vows, with all his shavellings of sundry sorts: His erroneous and b.l.o.o.d.y decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruel and b.l.o.o.d.y bond, conjured against the Kirk of G.o.d.

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

We, therefore, willing to take away all suspicion of hypocrisy, and of such double dealing with G.o.d and his Kirk, protest, and call _the Searcher of all hearts for witness_, that our minds and hearts do fully agree with this our _Confession, Promise, Oath_, and _Subscription_, so that we are not moved with any worldly respect, but are persuaded only in our own consciences, through the knowledge and love of G.o.d's true religion, imprinted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall answer to him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.

And because we perceive that the quietness and stability of our religion and kirk, doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of [the[5]

King's Majesty,] as upon a comfortable instrument of G.o.d's mercy, granted to this country, for the maintaining of this kirk, and ministration of justice amongst us, we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same oath, hand-write, and pains, that we shall defend [his[6] person and authority,] with our goods, bodies, and lives, in the defence of Christ's evangel, liberties of our country, ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this realm, or without, we desire our G.o.d to be a strong and merciful defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To whom with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory eternally. Amen.

Likeas, many Acts of Parliament not only in general do abrogate, annul, and rescind all laws, statutes, acts, const.i.tutions; canons, civil or, with all other ordinances and practique penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true religion and professors thereof; or of the true kirk-discipline, jurisdiction and freedom thereof; or in favor of idolatry and superst.i.tion; or of the Papistical kirk; as Act. 3, Act.

31, Parl. 1; Act. 23, Parl. 11; Act. 114, Parl. 12, of King James VI.

that Papistry and superst.i.tion may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parliament, repeated in the 5th Act, Parl.

20, King James VI. And to that end they ordain all Papists and priests to be punished with manifold civil and ecclesiastical pains, as adversaries to G.o.d's true religion, preached, and by law established within this realm, Act 24, Parl. 11, King James VI.; as common enemies to all Christian government, Act 18 Parl. 16, King James VI.; as rebellers and gainstanders of our sovereign Lord's authority, Act 47 Parl. 8, King James VI.; and as idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, King James VI. But also in particular, by and attour the Confession of Faith, do abolish and condemn the Pope's authority and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordain the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2, Parl. 1; Act 51 Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 114, Parl. 12, King James VI., do condemn the Pope's erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian religion, publickly preached, and by law established in this realm; and ordain the spreaders and makers of books, or libels, or letters, or writs of that nature, to be punished, Acts 46, Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 24, Par.

11, K. James VI. do condemn all baptism conform to the Pope's kirk, and the idolatry of the ma.s.s; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers, concealers of the ma.s.s, the maintainers and resetters of the priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction, Act 5, Parl. 1; Act 120, Parl. 12; Act 134, Parl. 13; Act 139, Parl. Act 1, Parl. 19; Act 5, Parl. 20, King James VI., do condemn all erroneous books and writs, containing erroneous doctrine against the religion presently professed or containing superst.i.tious rites and ceremonies Papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused; and ordains the home-bringers of them to be punished, Act 25, Parl. 11, King James VI., do condemn the monuments and dregs of the bygone idolatry, as going to crosses, observing the festival days of Saints and other superst.i.tious and Papistical rites, to the dishonour of G.o.d, contempt of true religion, and fostering of great error among the people; and ordains the users of them to be punished for the second fault as idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, King James VI.

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

Likeas all lieges are bound to maintain the King's Majesty's royal person, and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without the which neither any laws, or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130, Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. and the subjects' liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King's laws, the common laws of this realm allenarly, Act 48, Parl. 3, K. James I. Act 79, Parl. 6, K. James IV. repeated in the Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. Which, if they be innovated or prejudged, the commission anent the union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17 Parl.

of K. James VI. declares such confusion would ensue, as this realm could be no more a free monarchy, because by the fundamental laws, ancient privileges, offices and liberties of this kingdom, not only the princely authority of his Majesty's royal descent hath been these many ages maintained, but also the people's security of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties, and dignities preserved, and therefore for the preservation of the said true religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by the 8 Act, Parl. 1, repeated in the 99 Act, Parl. 7, ratified in the 23 Act, Parl. 11, and 114 Act, Parl. 12, of K.

James VI. and 4 Act K. Charles I. That all kings and princes at their coronation and reception of their princely authority, shall make their faithful promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the eternal G.o.d, that enduring the whole time of their lives; they shall serve the same eternal G.o.d to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath required in his most holy word, contained in the Old and New Testaments.

And according to the same word, shall maintain the true religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy word, the due and right ministration of the sacraments now received and preached within this realm (according to the Confession of Faith) and shall abolish and gainstand all false religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will and command of G.o.d, revealed in his foresaid word, and according to the laudable laws and const.i.tutions received in this realm, no ways repugnant to the said will of the eternal G.o.d; and shall procure, to the uttermost of their power, to the kirk of G.o.d and whole Christian people, true and perfect peace in all time coming; and that they shall be careful to root out of their empire all heretics, and enemies to the true worship of G.o.d, who shall be convicted by the true kirk of G.o.d, for the foresaid crimes, which was also observed by his Majesty[7] at his coronation in Edinburgh, 1633, as may be seen in the order of the coronation.

In obedience to the commandment of G.o.d, conform to the practice of the G.o.dly in former times, and according to the laudable example of our worthy and religious progenitors,----which was warranted also by Act of Council, commanding a general bond to be made and subscribed by his Majesty's subjects of all ranks, for two causes: one was, for defending the true religion as it was then reformed, and is expressed in the Confession of faith above-mentioned, and a former large Confession established by sundry acts of lawful General a.s.semblies, and of Parliament, unto which it hath relation, set down in public Catechisms, and which had been for many years (with a blessing from heaven) preached and professed in this kirk and kingdom as G.o.d's undoubted truth, grounded only upon his written Word. The other cause was, for maintaining the King's Majesty, his person, and estate; the true worship of G.o.d and the King's authority being so straitly joined as that they had the same friends and common enemies and did stand and fall together; and finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our mouths, that the present and succeeding generations in this land are bound to keep the foresaid national oath and subscription inviolable.

We,------------under subscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed religion --------, and of the public peace of the kingdom; by the manifold innovations and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned, [in supplications, complaints, and protestations,[8]] do hereby profess, and before G.o.d, his angels, and the world, solemnly declare, that with our whole hearts we agree and resolve, all the days of our life, constantly to adhere unto and defend the foresaid true religion; and (forbearing the practice of all novations already introduced in the matters of the worship of G.o.d, or approbation of the corruptions of the public government of the kirk, or civil places and power of kirkmen,[9]

till they be tried and allowed in free a.s.semblies and in Parliaments,) to labor by all means lawful to recover the purity and liberty of the gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid novations; and because, after due examination, we plainly perceive, and undoubtedly believe, that the evils contained in our [supplications, complaints, and protestations,[10]] have no warrant of the Word of G.o.d; are contrary to the articles of the foresaid Confessions, to the intention and meaning of the blessed reformers of religion in this land, to the above-written Acts of Parliament, and do sensibly tend to the re-establishing of the Popish religion and tyranny, and to the subversion and ruin of the true reformed religion, and of our liberties, laws and estates. We also declare, that the foresaid confessions are to be interpreted, and ought to be understood of the foresaid novations and evils, no less than if every one of them had been expressed in the foresaid Confessions, and that we are obliged to detest and abhor them, amongst other particular heads of Papistry abjured therein; and, therefore, from the knowledge and conscience of our duty to G.o.d, [to our King and country,[11]] without any worldly respect or inducement, so far as human infirmity will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace of G.o.d for this effect, we promise and swear by the _great name of the Lord our G.o.d_, to continue in the profession and obedience of the foresaid religion; that we shall defend the same, and resist all these contrary errors and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of that power that G.o.d hath put in our hands, all the days of our life; and, in like manner, with the same heart, we declare before G.o.d and men, that we have no intention nor desire to attempt any thing that may turn to the dishonour of G.o.d, or to the diminution of [the King's[12]] greatness and authority; but on the contrary, we promise and swear, that we shall, to the uttermost of our power, with our means and lives, and to the defence of [our dread sovereign, the King's Majesty, his person and authority[13]] in the defence and preservation of the foresaid true religion, liberties, and laws of the kingdom; as also, to the mutual defence and a.s.sistance every one of us of another, in the same cause of maintaining the true religion [his Majesty's[14]]

authority, with our best counsel, our bodies, means, and whole power, against all sorts of persons whatsoever. So that whatsoever shall be done to the least of us for that cause, shall be taken as done to us all in general, and to every one of us in particular; that we shall, neither directly nor indirectly, suffer ourselves to be divided or withdrawn, by whatsoever suggestion, allurement, or terror, from this blessed and loyal conjunction; nor shall cast in any let or impediment that may stay or hinder any such resolution, as by common consent shall be found to conduce for so good ends;--but, on the contrary, shall, by all lawful means labour to further and promote the same, and if any such dangerous and divisive motions be made to us by word or write, we, and every one of us, shall either suppress it, or if need be, shall incontinent make the same known that it may be timeously obviated; neither do we fear the foul aspersions of rebellion, combination, or what else our adversaries from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfeigned desire to maintain the true worship of G.o.d, the majesty of [[15] our King,] and peace of the kingdom, for the common happiness of ourselves and the posterity.