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Title: 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
Author: Presbytery, The Reformed
Language: English
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ACT, DECLARATION,

AND

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.

AS, ALSO,

AGAINST ALL THE STEPS OF DEFECTION FROM SAID REFORMATION, WHETHER IN
FORMER OR LATER TIMES, SINCE THE OVERTHROW OF THAT
GLORIOUS WORK, DOWN TO THIS PRESENT DAY:

BY THE REFORMED PRESBYTERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

PSALM IX, 4.--Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee: that it
may be displayed because of the truth.

ISAIAH VIII, 16.--Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my
disciples.

JUDE, verse 3.--That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was
once delivered to the saints.

REVELATION III, 11.--Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou
hast, that no man take thy crown.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO WHICH IS NOW ADDED,

A HISTORICAL AND DECLARATORY SUPPLEMENT.

1850.



INTRODUCTION.


The Presbytery, soon after their erection, being convinced of the
expediency and necessity of emitting a judicial testimony, to discover
to the world the principles upon which, as a judicatory of the Lord
Jesus Christ, they stood, in opposition to the different, so called,
judicatories in the land; together with the agreeableness of these
principles to the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice, and
to the covenanted constitution of the church of Scotland in her purest
periods; did therefore, after a proposal for said effect, agree in
appointing one of their number to prepare a draft of this kind to be
laid before them, who, after sundry delays, to their grief of mind, at
once cut off their hopes of all assistance from him, in that or any
other particular, by laying himself obnoxious to the censures of the
church; which the presbytery, in duty both to him, to God, and to his
people, were obliged to put in execution against him, while he, in
contempt of that ordinance, and other means used for his conviction and
recovery, obstinately persists in his impenitency and defection. And
although the presbytery, few in number, were thus diminished, yet, being
still resolved to prosecute their former design, they renewed their
appointment upon another brother, who, in consequence of his
undertaking, was allowed a cessation from his other public work, in
order to expedite the proposed draft: and now, when nothing was expected
that should retard the finishing of such a necessary work, the
lamentable fire of division, that had long been smothered, unhappily
broke forth into a violent flame, whereby the presbytery was rent
asunder, and that brother, on whom the appointment was formerly laid,
happening to be of the separating party, a second stop was not only put
to the publication of this testimony, but the presbytery, from the
absence of a brother removed to a distant part of the world, together
with the paucity of their number, were almost wholly discouraged from
attempting again what they had been oftener than once disappointed in.

But notwithstanding of the above, with many other difficulties which we
shall not at present take notice of, the presbytery, still considering,
that, even in their present circumstances, when their number is few and
despicable, their adversaries many, and such as are in repute in the
world, whereby the opposition made to them, and the conspiracy formed
against the covenanted testimony of the church of Scotland maintained by
them, must needs be strong; there is yet a gracious door of opportunity
left open for them to attempt, in their judicative capacity, the
prosecution and accomplishment of the necessary work formerly proposed;
and which they could not but judge the Lord still called them unto,
while after all the above-mentioned breaches made upon them, he still
continued to give them a nail in his holy place, and a wall in Judah and
Jerusalem, _Ezra_ ix, 8, 9, they therefore again laid their appointments
upon some others to prepare a draft of _An Act, Declaration, and
Testimony_, &c., and which, under the favor of Divine Providence, has at
length been finished and laid before the presbytery. We only need to
observe further with reference to this, that the long delay of what is
now agreed upon did not proceed from any design in the presbytery, of
depriving either the people of their particular inspection, or the
generation, of any benefit that might be obtained by a work of this
nature, but partly from the fewness of their number, and great extent of
their charge, and partly from the great distance of members' residence
from each other, whereby they can seldom have access to meet all
together, for expediting this or any other work of public concern they
have in hand.

It is, therefore, with an eye to the Wonderful Counselor (when Zion's
faithful counselors are so few) for light and direction in the
management of this great and important work, that the presbytery have
resolved upon the publication hereof at this time, for the reasons which
follow:

1. Because this duty of bearing witness for truth, and declaring against
all error, and defection from it, and transmitting the same uncorrupted
to posterity, is expressly enjoined on the church by the Spirit of God
in the Scriptures of truth. _Psal._ lxxviii, 5: "For he hath established
a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded
our fathers that they should make them known to their children."
_Isaiah_ xliii, 10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." _Matth._ x,
32: "Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I also
confess before my Father who is in heaven." _John_ xv. 27: "Ye also
shall bear witness." _Acts_ i, 8: "And ye shall be witnesses unto me."

2. Because, in agreeableness to the above scripture warrant, it has been
the constant practice of the church in all ages, when in such capacity,
judicially to assert, and declare their approbation of the truths of the
everlasting gospel, and attainments of the church, joined with the
condemnation of all contrary error, as appears from their harmonious
confessions: and particularly, this has been the honorable practice of
the once famous church of Scotland, witness her excellent confessions,
covenants, &c., whose posterity we are, and, therefore, in duty bound to
homologate, and approve her scriptural form and order, by a judicial
asserting of her attainments, as saith the apostle, _Philip._ iii, 16:
"Nevertheless whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the
same rule, let us mind the same thing." _Rev._ iii, 3: "Remember,
therefore, how thou has received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent."

3. That, notwithstanding many, both ministers and private Christians,
have been honored faithfully to publish their testimonies and
declarations, and to seal them with their blood, in opposition to the
growing defections in the land, being through the tyranny of the times
prevented from acting in any other capacity: yet never, since the
national overthrow of the glorious structure of reformation, has any
church judicatory; constituted purely on the footing of our covenanted
establishment, appeared in a judicial vindication of our Redeemer's
interest and injured rights.

4. The unspeakable loss sustained by the present generation, through the
want of a full and faithful declaration of the covenanted principles of
the church of Scotland, which they in the loins of their ancestors were
so solemnly engaged to maintain; whereby, as ignorance must be
increased, so prejudices are also gradually begotten in their winds
against the truth in the purity thereof. And this, through the many
mistaken notions at present prevailing among the different contending
parties of professors in these nations, concerning the distinct
ordinances of divine institution, viz., the ministry and magistracy, or
ecclesiastical and civil government; and, more especially, the
presbytery reckon themselves, and all professing their allegiance unto
Christ and his cause, obliged to maintain the testimony of our ancestors
for the divine institution and right constitution of civil government,
according to the law of God, as what they found to be, and still is,
indispensably necessary for the outward defense and preservation of
righteousness and true religion; and because the very foundation and
ends of this ordinance have been doctrinally subverted, and the
generation taught the most licentious principles concerning it, by a
body of professed witnesses among ourselves: and this they design to do,
without (as they are slanderously reported of by some) laying aside
themselves, or withdrawing others, from the study of internal and
habitual or practical holiness.

5. To wipe off the reproach of that odium cast upon the presbytery and
community belonging thereto, by some who invidiously call them a
headless mob, whose principles cannot be known, anti-government men, men
of bloody principles, &c., than which nothing can be more unjust:
seeing, as a body distinct from all others, they have still stood upon
the footing of the covenanted establishment, as has been frequently
declared to the world, and as the constitution of the presbytery bears;
so that they can no more be said ever to have wanted a proper testimony
exhibiting their principles to the world, than the reformed church of
Scotland, whereof they are a part.

6. The present broken and divided situation of the members of CHRIST'S
mystical body, together with the abounding of error, seems necessarily
to require it as a proper mean, under the divine blessing, for gathering
again the scattered flock of Christ, the chief shepherd, to the one
sheepfold, and putting a stop to the current of prevailing apostasy and
defection.

For these reasons (with more that might be adduced) the presbytery find
themselves in duty bound, to God, the present and succeeding
generations, to throw in their small mite of a testimony, against the
manifold avowed backslidings and defections of all degrees of men, both
in the former and present times, from the precious truths of Christ, and
purity of his ordinances; unto the maintenance whereof, not only they,
but all in these lands, are solemnly bound by covenant engagements.

And, to conclude, let none mistake the presbytery's aim and intention,
in the whole or any part of the following testimony, as if they minded
nothing else but magistracy, &c., and that to have civil government, and
governors established, according to the rule of God's word, was all the
religion they intended, without regarding or opposing any other of the
prevailing evils and iniquities of the present time. So some are pleased
to allege, as has been hinted above; but such might do well to consider,
that, as the sovereign and distinguishing goodness of God is clearly
evidenced in giving his statutes and judgments unto his Israel, in all
ages, while he has not dealt so with the other nations of the world,
wherein his will is manifestly revealed, determining his people's duty
in all their regulations; so his glory is equally concerned, that they
receive, observe, keep pure and entire, all the ordinances he hath
appointed in his word. The sinful prostitution of any of these, or
breaking over the boundaries which Jehovah hath set is an evident
contempt of his sovereign authority, and violation of the moral law. God
requires of his people an universal respect to all his ordinances and
commandments. Hence what is designed by them in this undertaking, is
equally to testify their adherence unto, and approbation of the
doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the house of God; and to
signify their opposition to, and dissatisfaction with, all the
apostatizing, backsliding courses in principle and practice, from that
reformation purity, both in church and state (which, as the attainment
of the nations of Britain and Ireland, was by them accounted their chief
ornament and glory), that have taken place, especially in this kingdom,
since our woful decline commenced: whereby the witnesses for Scotland's
covenanted reformation, have been deprived of any legal benefit, as
well, since as before the late revolution; in which the reformation,
neither in civil nor ecclesiastical constitutions, was adopted. The
intent, therefore, of this work is of very great importance; no less
being proposed, than the right stating of the testimony for the
covenanted interest of Christ in these lands, and judicial vindication
of all the heads thereof, after such a long and universal apostasy
therefrom: a work that must needs be attended with great difficulties,
and labor under manifold disadvantages, as in other respects, so
particularly from the consideration of the temper of this age, wherein
nothing almost is pleasing, but what is adapted to the taste, not of the
best, but of the greatest: and naked truth without the varnish of
flattery, and painting of carnal policy, is generally treated with
contempt, and exposed to ridicule. And therefore, to remove as much as
possible the prejudice of a critical age, who are ready to reject every
thing as new, which is in some respects singular, and not suited to
their favorite sentiments; the presbytery have endeavored, in this work,
to conform, as much as possible, to the faithful contendings of former
honest contenders for the truths and testimony of JESUS, and that, both
as to matter and manner: and as the grounds of this testimony are not
any needless scrupulosities, or strange novelties, but precious and
weighty truths, of the greatest value and importance, and of nearest
affinity unto the continued series and succession of the testimonies of
the church of Scotland, in former and more ancient periods; so it is the
presbytery's ambition, that nothing, as to the subject matter of what is
here contained, be looked upon as theirs, but may be regarded as an
ancient plea, wherein is nothing but what has been maintained and
confirmed by authors of the greatest fame and reputation in the church;
has been asserted by the greatest confessors, and sealed by the best
blood of the honored and faithful martyrs of Jesus: so that it may
appear, the cause and truths here judicially stated and vindicated, are
not of yesterday's date, but the same old paths and good way, that we
are commanded to ask for, and walk in, though paths that are not now
much trodden, a way that is not much paved by the multitude of
professors walking therein.



ACT, DECLARATION, AND TESTIMONY.

PART I.

Containing a brief historical narration of the several periods of the
Testimony of the Church of Scotland, and of the faithful contendings of
the witnesses for Christ, particularly from the commencement of the
Reformation in these lands, down to the late Revolution; with the
Presbytery's approbation thereof.


PLOUGHLANDHEAD, JUNE 6, 1761.

The which day and place, the Reformed Presbytery being met, and taking
into their most serious consideration, the deplorable situation of the
interest of Christ and religion at present, in these sinning lands
wherein so few are asking for the old path, saying, Where is the good
way, that we may walk therein? but, on the contrary, an avowed apostasy
and backsliding from the right ways of the Lord, is by the generality
carried on, with a secret undermining of reformation interests, by some,
under more specious pretenses; and, further, considering the general
deluge of error and heresy, that has overrun these lands, and the swarm
of erroneous heretics that has overspread the same, making very impious
attacks upon the most part of revealed religion, who, notwithstanding,
have found such shelter under the wings of a Laodicean church, and
almost boundless state toleration, that they walk on without fear in the
foresaid broad way of sin and error. And, moreover, all kinds of sin and
wickedness so universally abound and pass, without any suitable check,
that he who departs from iniquity maketh himself a prey; together with
the woful insensibility, and deep security of all, under our spiritual
plagues and impending temporal strokes. And yet, while the land so
evidently groans under its inhabitants, very few either acknowledge
themselves guilty, or turn from the evil of their ways, saying, What
have we done? Also, considering the horrid breach and contempt of sacred
vows unto the Most High, the great effusion of the saints' blood, shed
in our late persecution under prelacy (which is yet to be found in our
skirts), and the faithful testimony they therewith sealed, remains
buried under the gravestones, both of ecclesiastical and civil deeds of
constitution, unto this day. So that we may rather admire, that the Lord
hath not made such inquisition for blood, as to make our land an
aceldama, than that we are yet under a dispensation of divine
forbearance. All which is followed with a deep oblivion of most or all
of the memorable instances of the Lord's goodness, mercy and power,
manifested unto his church, in these lands; the remembrance whereof
ought still to be retained, and the same acknowledged with thankfulness,
by all the children of Zion, unto the latest ages.

Wherefore the presbytery, amidst their many difficulties, partly noticed
in the introduction, as a court of the true Presbyterian Covenanted
Church of CHRIST in Scotland, constituted in the name of the LORD JESUS
CHRIST, the alone KING and HEAD of his church, judicially to
commemorate: Likeas, they did, and hereby do acknowledge, with the
utmost gratitude, the great goodness and tender mercy of our God unto
our church and land; who, in consequence of that early new covenant
grant, made by JEHOVAH to his eternal SON, to give him the heathen for
his inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession,
caused the day spring from on high to visit us. Our glorious Redeemer,
that bright and morning Star, having, by his almighty power, shaken oft
the fetters of death, wherewith it was impossible that he could be held,
and, as a victorious conqueror, leading captivity captive, ascended into
the highest heavens, and there sat down on the right hand of God, did
very soon discover his cordial acceptance of, and superlative delight
in, possessing his Father's extensive grant, by stretching forth the
lines of his large and great dominion unto the distant nations of the
world, involved in the thickest darkness of stupidity and idolatry; and,
in a particular manner, did, as the glorious sun of righteousness,
graciously illuminate this remote and barbarous isle, causing the
refulgent beams of gospel light to dissipate the gross darkness that,
covered the people, which prevailed so far (according to very authentic
historical accounts), that, about the beginning of the third century,
those of the highest dignity in the nation, voluntarily enlisted
themselves under the displayed banner of CHRIST, the captain of
salvation, and became nursing fathers and nursing mothers to his church,
employing their power to root out Pagan idolatry, and bring their
subjects under the peaceful scepter of the SON of GOD. This plant of
Christianity having once taken root, did, under all the vicissitudes of
divine providence, grow up unto a spreading vine, which filled the land,
and continued to flourish, without being pressed down with the
intolerable burden of prelatical or popish superstition: the truths and
institutions of the gospel being faithfully propagated and maintained in
their native purity and simplicity by the Culdees some hundreds of years
before ever that man of sin and son of perdition, by the door of
prelacy, stepped into the temple of God in Scotland. Those early
witnesses for CHRIST, having no other ambition but that of advancing
piety and the doctrines which were according to godliness, were
therefore called _Culdees_, that is, _Cultores Dei_, or worshipers of
God. The doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the house of
GOD being thus established, continued for many years, taught and
exorcised, according to divine institution. But, in process of time, the
Church of CHRIST in this land came to be assaulted with the corruptions
of the see of Rome, by means of Palladius, the Pope's missionary to the
Britons, who made the first attempt to bring our fathers' necks under
the anti-christian yoke, which gradually increasing by little and
little, clouded the sunshine of prosperity the church then enjoyed, till
about the eleventh century, when the Romish fraternity fully established
themselves, by usurping a diocesan supremacy over the house of God;
after which a midnight darkness of popish error and idolatry overwhelmed
the nation, for near the space of five hundred years. Yet, even in this
very dark period, the LORD left not himself altogether without some to
bear witness for him, whose steadfastness in defense of the truth, even
unto death, vanquished the inhuman cruelty of their savage enemies. The
honor of the church's exalted Head being still engaged to maintain the
right of conquest he had obtained over this remote isle, and raise up
his work out of the ruins, under which it had lain so long buried; he,
about the beginning of the 15th century, animated some valiant champions
(Messrs. Hamilton, Wishart, and others) with a spirit of truth and
heroic courage, to contend against the abominations of the Babylonish
whore, whose labors, by the blessing of Heaven, were rendered
successful, to open the eyes of some to see, and engage many others to
inquire after, and espouse the truth as it is in JESUS. These, not
regarding the fear of man, nor the cruelty of their enemies, but as good
soldiers of JESUS CHRIST, enduring hardness, chose, rather than desert
their Master's cause, to offer their bodies to be devoured by the
tormenting flames, no more merciless than their hellish persecutors;
while in that fiery chariot, through the serial regions, their souls
ascended to the celestial country. And herein, also, did GOD frustrate
the expectation of that monster of iniquity, Cardinal Beaton (whose
memory let it for ever perish), and his wicked accomplices, and turned
their counsel into foolishness, who, by the death of a few zealous
contenders for the faith, intended the total suppression of CHRIST'S
truth for ever; but GOD having purposed the contrary, made the effusion
of their blood the occasion of rousing many from the deep sleep of gross
ignorance, by putting them to search into the truth of those doctrines,
which these martyrs sealed with their blood; so that JESUS CHRIST, the
only true light in the orb of the gospel, began again to shine forth
within this realm.

Upon this begun revival of reformation, the glory of the LORD went
remarkably before his people, and the GOD of Israel was their reward,
uniting the hearts, and strengthening the hands, both of noble and
ignoble, to a vigorous and active espousing of his gospel, and concerns
of his glory, in opposition to the tyranny of the lordly bishops,
persecuting rage, and masked treachery of the two bloody Marys, the
mother and daughter, who then successively governed, or rather
tyrannized, in Scotland. Their number, as well as their zealous spirit,
still increasing, they, for the more effectual management of this noble
enterprise, entered into covenants to advance that begun work of
reformation, and to defend the same and one another in the maintenance
thereof, against all opposition whatsoever. Several such covenants our
early reformers solemnly entered into at Edinburgh, Perth and Leith, in
the years 1557, '59, '60 and '62. In 1560, _the Confession of the Faith,
and doctrine believed and professed by the Protestants within, the realm
of Scotland_, was compiled and civilly ratified, or allowed of, in free
and open parliament, afterward sworn to in the National Covenant _annis_
1580, 1581 and 1590. At the same time, some other acts were passed, in
favor of reformation; one against the mass and abuse of the sacraments;
another, abolishing the Pope's jurisdiction and authority with this
realm, &c. In the above mentioned year 1560, the first book of policy
and discipline, containing the form and order of presbyterial church
government, was composed, approven and subscribed by the ministry, and a
great part of the nobility. Thus, by the wisdom and power of GOD, who
takes the wise in their own craftiness, by means, especially, of the
indefatigable labors of the renowned Mr. KNOX (whose memory is still
savory in the churches), was this surprising work of reformation
advanced, until it obtained the authority of a law; whereby, was not
only the presbyterian protestant interest ratified, but anti-christian
supremacy and superstition abolished.

The church, gradually increasing in beauty and perfection, did, with
much painfulness and faithful diligence, labor after a more full
establishment of the house of GOD, in all its privileges, until, by
perfecting the second book of discipline, they completed the exact model
of presbytery, which, though they had enjoyed national assemblies for a
considerable time, yet was not brought to such an entire conformity to
the divine pattern, nor so generally acquiesced in until now, that it
was unanimously approven by the assembly 1590, and particularly enjoined
to be subscribed by all who did bear office in the church; and, at last,
they prevailed to get it publicly voted and approven in parliament,
June, 1592; and also at the same time, obtained by act of parliament,
the ratification of all the privileges and liberties of the church, in
her assemblies, synods, presbyteries, &c.

And here we may observe, that while this church and nation contended for
the obtaining of a legal establishment of the ecclesiastical polity,
they were no less concerned to have that other distinct ordinance of
GOD, civil magistracy, unalterably settled, in agreeableness to the rule
of GOD'S word. This appears, not only by their earnest contendings
against the abuse of that ordinance among them; but also, by the public
acts of parliament, obliging prince and people to be of one perfect
religion, and wholly incapacitating all persons, for bearing any office,
supreme or subordinate, who refused, by their solemn oath, to approve
of, and, to the utmost of their power, engage to defend the true
religion, as contained in the word of GOD, and confession of faith
founded thereon, then believed, and publicly professed within the realm,
ratified and generally sworn to in the National Covenant, during the
whole course of their lives, in all their civil administrations. See
_Acts Parl. 1st_, James VI, 1567.

Thus the hand of GOD was remarkably seen, and his powerful arm evidently
revealed, in delivering this nation both from Pagan darkness and Popish
idolatry, the memory whereof ought not to be lost, but thankfully
acknowledged, to the honor of GOD'S great name, by all such as favor the
dust of Zion, for her sake, and long to see her breaches, now wide as
the sea, repaired.

But to proceed: The church's grand foe envying her growing prosperity,
did soon disturb her peace, by insinuating himself upon those of
superior dignity, who were intrusted with the administration of civil
affairs, both supreme and subordinate, blowing up into a flame that
inbred and rooted enmity, which they still retained, at the simplicity,
strictness and scriptural purity of the reformation in Scotland. The
then supreme civil ruler, king James VI, formed a scheme for ruining the
church of Scotland, and stripping her of those comely and beautiful
ornaments of reformation purity, in doctrine, worship, discipline and
government, which she had now put on, by introducing episcopacy, and
establishing bishops. "This he did for no other reason (says one), but
because he believed them to be useful and pliable instruments for
turning a limited monarchy into absolute dominion, and subjects into
slaves; that which of all other things he affected most:" and for this
purpose (after several subtle and cunningly devised steps, previously
taken, with design to do by degrees what could not be done at once) he
makes an open attack upon the general assembly, robbing them of their
power and liberty to meet, judge and determine, in all ecclesiastical
concerns (well knowing, that so long as assemblies might convene in
freedom, he would never get the estate of bishops established in
Scotland), and imprisoning and banishing many faithful ministers,
members of the general assembly, who opposed him, testified and
protested against his wicked invasion, and sacrilegious robbery of the
church's rights and privileges. And, having at last obtained the
supremacy and headship over the church, which was granted him by an
impious act of a pretended parliament, of his own stamp, called by him
for that purpose, proceeded with his design, until he had again
established Prelacy, and razed Presbytery almost to the very
foundations, notwithstanding all the opposition made to it by the
faithful in the land, both ministers and people.

Thus, after several former attempts to this effect, was Episcopacy again
established, and prelates lording over GOD'S heritage advanced, imposing
their popish ceremonies, which in that pretended assembly convened at
Perth, anno 1618, were enacted, and afterward ratified in a subsequent
parliament in the year 1621. And as the father had thus violated his
solemn professions, declarations and engagements, to maintain the
covenanted interest; so likewise, upon the accession of the son to the
throne, there was no amendment nor redress had: but he followed the same
iniquitous course, walking in the way of his father, and in the sin
wherewith he made Israel to sin. And further, obtruded upon the church a
service book, a book of popish and prelatical canons, which was followed
with a violent prosecution of the faithful contenders for the former
laudable constitutions of the church, carried on by that monstrous
Erastian high-commission court, patched up of statesmen and clergymen:
and hereby was the church again brought under the yoke of anti-christian
prelacy, and tyrannical supremacy; which lese-majesty to Zion's King was
also ratified with the sanction of civil authority. To this yoke,
oppressing CHRIST'S loyal subjects, many of his professed servants
submitted their necks, and, Issachar-like, became servants to tribute
for a considerable time.

But when the LORD'S set time to favor Zion came, he made the long
despised dust thereof again to be more pleasant and precious than ever
unto his servants and people, and the long night season and thick clouds
of adversity under which his church labored, amid some day-sky, and
sun-blinks of prosperity, she at times enjoyed, to issue in the dawning
of a day of clearer light wherein the glorious SUN of Righteousness
shone in his meridian splendor, with greater brightness both in this and
the neighboring nations, than at his first arising therein, in a gospel
dispensation; whose benign influences caused the small grain of good
seed, sown by the skill of the Great Husbandman, to grow up to a
fruitful plant, the tender twig to spread itself into a noble vine, and
the little cloud, like a man's hand, to cover the whole hemisphere of
the visible church of Scotland, which long ago, as a church and nation,
had enlisted themselves under the LORD JESUS CHRIST, as their Royal
Prince; whose peaceful and righteous scepter being now also extended to
England and Ireland, they soon submitted themselves thereto, in a
religious association and union with Scotland in covenant engagements,
for reformation from prelacy, as well as Popery, which they had never
hitherto yielded to.

Upon this gracious return of divine favor, and discovery of Almighty
power manifested against the mighty agents for prelatical superstition,
both in church and state, when, from the paucity of those who appeared
in favor of truth, in the year 1637, small opposition unto its enemies
could be expected; yet their magnanimity in witness-bearing was so
followed by manifestations of the divine countenance and favor, that
both their number and courage daily increased. The National Covenant was
again, after mature deliberation, anent both the lawfulness, expediency
and seasonableness thereof, with great solemnity renewed in _March_,
1638, with the general concurrence of the ministry, noblemen, gentlemen,
and others, humbling themselves before the LORD for their former
defections and breach of covenant; though, at the same time, the court
faction, and many temporising ministers, continued in their opposition,
but which was indeed too weak to make resistance unto the cause of GOD,
and force of truth carried home with suitable conviction upon the
conscience.

The covenant being first renewed at Edinburgh, they provided next, that
it should also be renewed through the kingdom; and for this purpose,
copies thereof were sent with all convenient speed to the several
presbyteries, together with suitable exhortations, and instructions for
renewing of the same in every parish of their bounds; and by this means
it came to pass, through the good hand of their GOD upon them, that in a
little time almost every parish through Scotland did, with much
solemnity, cheerfulness and alacrity, renew the same, and publicly with
uplifted hand avouch the LORD to be their GOD. And as this solemn action
was everywhere accompanied with remarkable evidences of divine power and
presence in a plentiful effusion of a spirit of grace and supplication;
so the joy of the LORD herein became their strength, and greatly
increased the faith and hopes of all the church's real friends, that as
the LORD had begun, so he would also make an end, and carry on his work
to perfection, amid the terrible threatenings both of king and court;
his majesty being highly displeased that his authority was contemned,
and no concurrence of his royal pleasure sought in the renovation of the
Covenant: but their righteousness in this particular was brought forth
as the light, when the legality of this and their other proceedings was
afterward attested to the king by the ablest lawyers in the kingdom.

The zealous contenders for the church's liberties, by supplications,
reasonings, and proposed articles, for enjoying what they much longed
for, at last obtained, before the foresaid year 1638 expired, a lawful
and free General Assembly (constituted in the name of the LORD JESUS
CHRIST, the alone King and Head of his church), consisting of able
members, both ministers and elders, who would not suffer an infringement
upon their regular manner of procedure, or right to act as unlimited
members of a free court of CHRIST, notwithstanding the constant attacks
made upon their freedom by the king's commissioner, and protestations by
him taken against their regular procedure, which issued in his Erastian
declaration of the king's prerogative, as supreme judge in all causes,
ecclesiastical as well as civil, and renewing all his former
protestations in his royal master's name; further protesting in his own
name, and in the name of the lords of the clergy, that no act passed by
them should imply his consent, or be accounted lawful, or of force to
bind any of the subjects; and, then in his majesty's name dissolving the
assembly, discharging their proceeding any further, and so went off. But
the assembly judging it better to obey GOD than man; and to incur the
displeasure of an earthly king, to be of far less consequence than to
offend the Prince of the kings of the earth, entered a protestation
against the lord commissioner's departure without any just cause, and in
behalf of the intrinsic power and liberty of the church; also assigning
the reasons why they could not dissolve the assembly until such time as
they had gone through that work depending upon them. This was given in
to the clerk by Lord Rothes, and part of it read before his grace left
the house, and instruments taken thereupon. Then, after several moving
and pathetic speeches delivered on that occasion, for the encouragement
of the brethren to abide by their duty, by the moderator, Mr. Alexander
Henderson, and others, ministers and elders, exhorting them to show
themselves as zealous for CHRIST their LORD and Master, in his
interests, as he had shewed himself zealous for his master; they
unanimously agreed that they should continue and abide by their work
until they had concluded all things needful, and that on all hazards.
And so they proceeded to the examination of that complaint against the
bishops, who, on account of their, tyranny, superstition, and teaching
of Popish, Arminian, and Pelagian errors, were all laid under the
sentence of deposition; and many of them, for their personal
profaneness, wickedness and debauchery proven against them, together
with their contumacy, were also excommunicated with the greater
excommunication, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might
be saved in the day of the LORD JESUS. They gave their approbation of
the National Covenant; and Prelacy, with the five articles of Perth,
were found and declared to be abjured by it, together with the civil
places and power of kirkmen, their sitting on the bench as justices of
the peace, sitting in council, and voting in parliament. Subscription of
the Confession of faith, or covenant, was also enjoined, presbyterian
church government justified and approven, and an act made for holding
yearly General Assemblies; with many other acts and constitutions
tending to the advancement of that begun reformation, and purging the
church of CHRIST of those sinful innovations, crept into it, which may
be seen more at large in the printed acts of that assembly. The lawful
and just freedom which the church now claimed and stood upon, so highly
incensed the court, because their Erastian encroachments were not
yielded to, that all warlike preparations were speedily made for having
them again reduced, by force of arms, to their former slavery. Yet, what
evil seemed intended against the church by the king, with his popish and
prelatical accomplices, was by her exalted King and Head happily
prevented, and they obliged, at least, to feign subjection, and yield to
a pacification. In which it was concluded, that an assembly be holden at
Edinburgh, _August 6th_, 1639, and the parliament the 20th of the same
month, that same year, for healing the wide breaches, and redressing the
grievances both of church and state; that what was determined by the
assembly, might be ratified by the parliament. In this assembly, the
covenant was ratified and subscribed by the commissioner, and an
injunction laid upon the body of the kingdom for subscribing the same,
with an explication, wherein the five articles of Perth, government of
bishops, the civil places and power of kirkmen were expressly condemned.
Hereby the hopes of the Prelates again being in a great measure lost,
and they receiving fresh assistance from the king (who seemed to have
little conscience in making laws, and found small difficulty in breaking
them), recruited themselves the year following, and took the field, but
with no better success than formerly, which obliged them to yield to
another pacification, wherein both religious and civil liberties were
ratified; and in 1641, these were further confirmed by the oaths,
promises, laws, and subscriptions of both king and parliament, whereat
the king was personally present, and gave the royal assent to all acts
made for the security of the same; while at the same time he was
concurring in the bloody tragedy acted upon the Protestants in the
kingdom of Ireland.

The gracious countenance and abundant evidence of divine approbation
wherewith the LORD vouchsafed to bless his contending, reforming and
covenanting church in Scotland, in a plentiful effusion of his Holy
Spirit on the judicatories and worshiping assemblies of his people,
proved a happy means to excite and provoke their neighbors in England
and Ireland, to go and do likewise. For in the year 1643, when the
beginning of a bloody war between the king and parliament of England
threatened the nation with a series of calamity and trouble; the
parliament having convocated an assembly of divines to sit at
Westminster for consulting about a reformation of religion in that
kingdom, sent commissioners, consisting of members of both houses and
assembly, to treat with the assembly of the church of Scotland, and
convention of estates about these things. In the month of _August_, they
presented their proposals to the convention of estates and assembly,
desiring, that because the popish prelatical faction is still pursuing
their design of corrupting and altering the religion through the whole
island, the two nations might be strictly united for their mutual
defense against them and their adherents, and not to lay down arms until
those, their implacable enemies, were disarmed, &c. Commissioners were
deputed from the estates, and assembly, to convene with those from
England, in order to consider their proposals. And, at the first
conferences, it was agreed that the best and speediest means for
accomplishing the union and assistance desired, was for both nations to
enter into a mutual league and covenant for reformation and defense of
religion and liberty against its enemies. Which being drawn up, and
affectionately embraced, was unanimously approved by the general
assembly and sent up to England by the hands of the ministers and
elders, sent commissioners from the church of Scotland to the synod at
Westminster, where (being proposed by the parliament to the
consideration of the synod), after the interpolation of an explanatory
note in the second article, it was approven, and with public
humiliation, and all other religious and answerable solemnity, taken and
subscribed by them (the synod), and by both honorable houses of
parliament and by their authority taken and subscribed by all ranks in
England and Ireland that same year, ratified by act of the parliament of
Scotland, _anno_ 1644, and afterward renewed in Scotland, with an
acknowledgment of sins, and engagement to duties by all ranks in the
year 1648, and by the parliament, 1649.

Thus, to the rejoicing of all true lovers of the prosperity and beauty
of the church, who longed for CHRIST the salvation of Israel, his coming
forth out of Zion, these three churches and nations combined and
embarked together in the same honorable and glorious cause of
reformation, and solemnly bound themselves by the oath of GOD, to
maintain and defend the same against all its enemies and opposers
whatever; thereby publicly professing their subjection to Christ, and
their preferring of pure and undefiled religion, the advancement of the
interest, kingdom and glory of JESUS CHRIST, to their nearest and
dearest interests in this world. And the Lord was with us while we were
with him, and steadfast in his covenant; but when we forsook him, and
broke his covenant, he also forsook us, and delivered his strength into
captivity, and his glory into the enemies' hand.

In the next place, the assembly at Westminster, with the assistance of
commissioners from the general assembly of the church of Scotland,
proceeded to conclude on what was needful for furthering and completing
this intended and covenanted uniformity in religion, that the Lord might
be one, and his name one in the three lands. And for this purpose, a
confession of faith was composed, and agreed upon by that venerable
assembly, together with catechisms larger and shorter, propositions
concerning church government, ordination of ministers, and directory for
worship; all which were received and approved by the General Assembly,
and convention of estates in Scotland.

The Lord thus prospering his work in the hands of his servants employed
in ecclesiastical affairs, gave no less countenance unto the parliament
of England, with the assistance they received from Scotland, in
defeating all the wicked attempts of the popish, prelatical and
malignant party in England, overthrowing their tyranny, and reducing the
supporters thereof. A like victory was at length obtained over Montrose
in Scotland, who commanded the royalist, or malignant party there, and
had for some time carried all before him. And so the King being worsted
at all hands, and despairing of overtaking his designs, his army having
been almost all cut to pieces, and himself obliged to fly, resigned
himself over to the Scots army at Newark, in the year 1646, and marched
along with them to Newcastle; and they, upon the frequent solicitations
of the English parliament, and their engaging for the King's honorable
treatment, delivered him over to them. Afterward, he falling into the
hands of Cromwell and the English army, a number in this nation violated
the oath of GOD, which they had lately come under, by engaging in an
unlawful war with England, commonly called the Duke's engagement, in
order to rescue the King from his captivity (notwithstanding that he
still persisted in his opposition to the just claims, both of the church
and nation, and after all that was come upon him, could not be
reconciled to the covenants and work of reformation); where they were in
_July_ 1648, totally routed by Oliver Cromwell; and Duke Hamilton, their
general, being made prisoner, was incarcerated, and afterward beheaded.
This engagement was remonstrated against, and judicially condemned by
the General Assembly of the church of Scotland; and the sinfulness of it
was publicly acknowledged as a breach of the covenant-union between the
two nations, by all ranks in Scotland that same year, at the renovation
of the Solemn League and Covenant therein. At last the king being seized
upon by Cromwell and his sectarian army, was, notwithstanding all the
remonstrances both of church and state, removed by a violent death. Upon
which the parliament of Scotland, on the _5th_ of _February_, 1649,
caused proclaim his son Charles II, king of Great Britain, France, and
Ireland (which title he had assumed himself at the Hague, as soon as the
report of his father's death came to his ears), promising their fidelity
and defence of his person and authority, according to the National
Covenant, and the Solemn League and Covenant. And at the same time
declaring, that before he be admitted to the exercise of the royal
power, he shall give security for the preservation and maintenance of
the true reformed religion, and unity of the kingdoms, now established,
by laws both civil and ecclesiastical, according to the covenants: which
security for religion and liberty, at the first proposed treaty at the
Hague, he deferred to grant, and afterward postponed the signing of the
treaty at Breda, when everything was agreed upon, from the great hopes
he entertained of accomplishing his design, without acquiescing with
their demand from Montrose's expedition, whom he had sent into Scotland
with an army, in order to prepare his way into that kingdom, by
devastation with fire and sword. But this intrigue not succeeding, he
found himself obliged to comply with all their proposals, and signed the
treaty. This treaty the king did in effect break, before he left Breda,
by communicating after the episcopal manner, contrary to the express
warning and remonstrance of the commissioners from the church of
Scotland, who went to him, and showed him his sin in so doing, and how
inconsistent it was with his own concessions in the present treaty; and
an evidence that he had no intention to perform what he had agreed to,
but dissembled with GOD and man; and he, on the other hand, put them off
with sham excuses and professions; and so, from their too much credulity
to his fraudulent professions and promises all along, they brought him
over to Scotland, and before his landing in this kingdom, he takes the
covenant at Spey, on the _23rd_ of _June_, 1649, by his oath subjoined
in allowance and approbation of the Covenants National, and Solemn
League, obliging himself faithfully to prosecute the ends thereof in his
station and calling; and for himself and successors, he shall agree to
all acts of parliament enjoining the same, and establishing presbyterial
church government the directory for worship, confession of faith and
catechisms, in the kingdom of Scotland, as approven by the General
Assemblies of this kirk, and parliament of this kingdom. And for their
further satisfaction, according to the act of the West Kirk, Edinburgh,
_August 13th_, 1650, approven the same day by the committee of estates,
he emitted a declaration at Dunfermline, by profession, fully and
heartily acquiescing with all their demands, all which afterward served
for nothing but as a lasting monument of his horrid perjury, wicked
dissimulation, and mockery of God and man. And even then, when this
declaration was published, he had formed a design for bringing in the
enemies of the covenant, and work of reformation, both into the army and
judicatories, and for dividing the Presbyterians among themselves. And
this he effectually managed for both foresaid ends, by the public
resolutions, on the _14th_ of _December_, that same year 1650. This
woful and prime step of defection, so contrary to the word, and
injurious to the work of God, was faithfully testified against by many,
both ministers, and whole presbyteries, who were sensible of the present
sinfulness and evil of it, and foresaw the bitter and dismal
consequences that followed upon it.

In the meantime, notwithstanding this, and other shrewd evidences, the
king gave of his double dealing and hypocrisy, he was crowned at Scoon,
on the first of _January_, 1651, and had the Covenants National and
Solemn League again administered unto him, by the reverend Mr. Douglas,
after a sermon from 2 _Kings_ xi, 12, 17, which he, in a most solemn
manner renewed, before the three estates of parliament, the
commissioners of the General Assembly, and a numerous congregation, in
the words of his former oath at Spey; with the coronation oath, as
contained in the 8th _Act, Parl._ 1st, James VI, to all which he engaged
before his coronation; and on these terms, and no other, were the oaths
of fidelity to him, as the lawful supreme magistrate, taken, at his
receipt of the royal authority. And consequently, these covenant
engagements became fundamental constitutions, both in church and state,
and the door of access into office-bearing in either, and formal ground
of the people's subjection. Then was the church's appearance "Beautiful
as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, and terrible as an army with banners."

From what is noticed above, the presbytery cannot but declare their
hearty approbation of the zeal, courage, and faithfulness of our honored
ancestors, in their valiant contendings for the valuable liberties and
privileges of the spiritual kingdom of the MESSIAH, until they got the
same established, and the nations brought under the most solemn, sacred,
and inviolable engagements, to maintain every branch of this glorious
reformation; a reformation, not only from the more gross errors, and
idolatries of Popery, but from the more refined superstition of Prelacy,
and all that Antichristian and Erastian supremacy, that in former times
had been exercised on the heritage of the LORD; a reformation of both
the divine ordinances of ministry and magistracy, from all the abuses
and corruptions thereof, by the inventions of men, joined with the above
mentioned establishment of them, in some measure of agreeableness unto
their scriptural institution.

Likeas, the presbytery did, and hereby do declare their approbation of,
and adherence unto foresaid reformation, in all the different parts and
branches thereof, attained from 1638 to 1650 inclusive, and sworn to in
the National and Solemn League and Covenant, not exclusive of such parts
of reformation as were attained unto prior to this, but as a further
advance on this foundation, and as being much more pure and agreeable to
the infallible standard of scripture, than any formerly arrived at in
these nations.

The daughter of Zion, thus going forth in the perfection of her beauty,
when all ranks and degrees voluntarily subjected themselves unto the
royal scepter of the SON of GOD, was most comely in the eyes of her
Beloved; But oh! how is the gold become dim, and the most fine gold
changed; the stones of the sanctuary are poured out on the top of every
street, so that the house that was called of all people the house of
prayer, is now become a den of thieves, being no less infamously
despicable for deformation, than formerly, for purity of reformation,
highly admired. This, at first, began with the public resolutions of the
commission of the General Assembly 1650, above noticed, for taking into
places of power and trust, in judicatories and armies, such persons as
were known malignants, and in heart disaffected to the work, and people
of GOD, putting it in their power to destroy and pull down the LORD'S
work at their pleasure; a practice manifestly inconsistent with their
covenant engagements, and the word of GOD, _Deut._ xxiii, 9, 2 _Chron._
xix, 2. Those that were then called protestors (from their opposing and
protesting against these resolutions), continued steadfastly to witness
against the same, as the first remarkable step, to make way for that
bloody catastrophe, that afterward befell the church. The Lord, then, in
his righteous displeasure and controversy with the nation, for betraying
of his cause and interest into the hands of his enemies, sold them into
the hand of that conquering usurper, Oliver Cromwell, who, having stript
them of their civil liberties, as the most effectual method to rob the
church of her spiritual privileges, and nullify the forcible obligation
of the sacred covenants (which, when preserved, serve as a strong
barrier against all such usurpations), framed a hellish and almost
unbounded toleration in Scotland, of heretical and sectarian errors, for
gratification of the abettors thereof, which was followed with a deluge
of irreligion and impiety, drowning the nation in a still deeper
apostasy.

In this hour of temptation, the witnesses for CHRIST, endeavoring to
keep the word of his patience, testified against these evils, as
contrary to the word and oath of God, and destructive of the church's
former glory. And Charles II, who had lately, by all the confirmations
of word, writ, and solemn oath, obliged himself for the maintenance and
defense of religion and liberty, having cast off the thing that was
good, the enemy did pursue him so, that he, instead of being able to
stand as a head of defense to the nations, narrowly escaped with life
from the enemies' hands, being obliged to abscond and fly before the
sectaries into France; where, and in other parts, he remained an exile
for the space of ten years, and there discovered, he had no regard to
the principles he had lately professed and sworn to maintain: but
breaking his professed wedlock with CHRIST, is said, at that juncture,
to have joined hands with the Romish whore, laying aside his cloak of
professed godliness, and again taking up with the mystery of iniquity.

During the ten years' usurpation of Cromwell, those who endeavored
faithfulness, had a fight of affliction to keep their ground; yet, after
this came to a period, they had a far more fierce encounter, and of
longer duration, to engage in, in the cruel and bloody tragedy acted
upon them, for the space of 28 years.

As, by the public resolutions, and foresaid unbounded toleration, the
bounds fixed by JEHOVAH, and homologated and sworn to, in our national
attainments and constitution, were greatly altered, so the parliament of
England prepared the tools, whereby the carved work of the sanctuary (as
far as human craft and cruelty could invent), was broken down, in
restoring Charles II, without any conditions required, or express
limitations set. And Sharp being sent from the church of Scotland, to
stand up for her rights and privileges, fraudulently sold her into the
hands of her enemies; upon which, many of the professed disciples of
CHRIST, who followed him in the sunshine of prosperity and reformation,
forsook him, and fled into the enemies' camp. Thus our decline began;
but, oh! to what a dreadful height Erastianism, tyranny, and bloodshed
arrived, before the Lord, in his providence, put a stop to it.

Although the Presbytery cannot be supposed, in a consistency with their
present design, to reckon up all, yet they would endeavor to take notice
of some of the most remarkable instances of backsliding, treachery and
oppression, bloodshed, &c, acted in those nations during the late
persecuting period, together with the faithful contendings, and patient
sufferings unto death of the saints and servants of CHRIST, in this hot
furnace of affliction into which they were cast. As, 1, The unhappy
restoration of Charles II, in manner before mentioned commencing. The
faithful declarations and testimonies given in favor of the covenanted
reformation and uniformity, were all on a sudden given up with; the
viper received into our bosom, and again advanced unto the regal
dignity, who soon discovered himself to be of the serpentine seed, and
by his wicked agency imped the dragon his master, by casting out of his
mouth a flood of persecution after the church, that he might cause her
to be destroyed therewith. To this effect the anti-christian yoke of
abjured Prelacy, with all its tyrannical laws, and canonical train of
observances, service book, ceremonies, &c., was speedily wreathed about
England's neck, and Scotland soon felt part of its weight. For, in the
month of _August_, 1660, when some of her most zealous and faithful
ministers met upon this emergency, in order to send an address to the
king, reminding him of his duty, and solemn obligations to perform the
same; the committee appointed by the parliament, _anno_ 1651, for
exercise of government, until another parliament should meet, who then
showed themselves zealous for the reformation, yet now acted a
counter-part, by incarcerating the foresaid ministers, and emitting a
proclamation, prohibiting all such meetings without the king's
authority, and all petitions and remonstrances, under pretense that they
were seditious. This was the first beginning of those sorrows and
calamities that ensued in the many sanguinary laws afterward made and
executed upon the true friends of Zion.

2. When the ministry, by means of the foresaid prohibitions, were much
dispirited from their duty, dreading such usage as they had lately met
with, the parliament which met in Scotland in _December_, 1661, falls
upon breaking down the carved work of the sanctuary effectually, and
robbing our church of that depositum committed unto her by her glorious
Head. Thus did they wickedly combine and gather themselves together to
plot against the Lord, and against his Anointed, that they might break
his bands, and cast his cords from them. For which intent, after
besmearing the consciences of most of the members with the guilt of that
abominable and wicked oath of allegiance and supremacy, that they might
be secured to the court and king's interest, and ready to swallow down
whatever might be afterward proposed, they passed an act rescissory,
declaring all the parliaments, and acts of parliament made in favor of
reformation, from the year 1640 to 1651, null and void. The king's
supremacy over all persons, and in all causes, is asserted. All
meetings, assemblies, leagues, and covenants, without the king's
authority, are declared unlawful and unwarrantable. The renewing of the
solemn league and covenant, or any other covenants or public oaths,
without the king's special warrant and approbation, is discharged.
Besides these, another heinous act was framed by the same parliament,
for observing every 29th of _May_ as an anniversary thanksgiving, in
commemoration of the unhappy restoration of this ruiner of religion and
reformation.

3. In the second session of the pretended parliament, _anno_ 1662
diocesan Erastian Prelacy is established, and the king solemnly invested
with the church's headship, by act of parliament; wherein it is
blasphemously declared, "That the ordering and disposal of the external
government and policy of the church, doth properly belong unto his
majesty as an inherent right of the crown, by virtue of his royal
prerogative and supremacy in all causes ecclesiastical." All such acts
of parliament or council are rescinded, which might be interpreted (as
their acts bear) to give any church power, jurisdiction, or government,
to the office-bearers of the church, other than that which acknowledges
a dependence upon, and subordination to, the sovereign power of the king
as supreme. And although the lordly prelates were hereby promoted to all
the privileges and dignities they possessed before the year 1638, yet
must they be all accountable to the king, in all their administrations,
and in subordination to him, as universal bishop of all England,
Scotland, and Ireland. By which the fountain of church power and
authority is lodged in the king's person, and CHRIST is exauctorated and
dethroned as King and Head in Zion. And further, by the second act of
that perfidious parliament, the covenanted reformation, and all that was
done in favor thereof, from 1638 to 1650, was declared treasonable, and
rebellious. Alike treasonable it was reckoned for subjects, on pretense
of reformation, or any other pretense whatsoever, to enter into any
federal association, or take up arms against the king. They also
declared, that the National Covenant, as sworn in the year 1638, and the
Solemn League and Covenant, were, and are in themselves unlawful oaths,
and that they were imposed upon, and taken by the subjects of this
kingdom, contrary to the fundamental laws and liberties thereof. And to
complete all, they repealed all acts, ecclesiastical and civil,
approving the covenants, particularly the acts of the venerable assembly
at Glasgow 1638, declaring it an unlawful and seditious meeting. And
thereafter, by a wicked act of the council of Glasgow, more than three
hundred ministers were illegally thrust from their charges, for their
non-conformity, in discountenancing a diocesan meeting, or synod,
appointed by the archbishop of Glasgow, and not observing the
anniversary thanksgiving, _May_ 29th, enjoined by the parliament. The
rest were violently ejected from the lawful exercise of their ministry
in their several parishes, and were afterward commanded by act of
parliament to remove themselves and their families twenty miles distant
from their respective flocks, and not to reside within six miles of any
of their (so called) Cathedrals, or three miles of a Burgh. By these
means, many of those poor persecuted ministers, with their families,
were brought into great hardships and wants, being so far removed from
their beloved and affectionate flocks, that they were deprived of that
help from them, that doubtless they would cheerfully have ministered,
for relieving them in their necessities and straits. All this was done
at the instigation of the prelates, who could not endure to have a godly
presbyterian minister near them, and were resolved to make them as
miserable as possible.

As the observation of that anniversary holy day, _May_ 29th, was again
enjoined by this parliament 1662, with certification, the non-observance
of which was one main cause of the sufferings of the ministers above
noticed, we cannot pass over without mentioning that most abhorred and
heaven-daring ignominy and contempt put upon our solemn and sacred
covenants, and upon GOD the great Party in them, at Linlithgow on that
day, by a theatrical exposing, and presumptuous committing them to the
flames, together with _The causes of GOD'S wrath, Lex Rex_, acts of
parliament, acts of committees of estates, and acts of assemblies made,
during what they called the twenty-two years' rebellion, that is, from
1638 to 1660, done by the authority of the pretended magistrates there;
one of which, and the minister Ramsay, were formerly zealous and active
covenanters, and consequently now publicly avowed and proclaimed their
perjury in the face of the sun, and left an indelible stain upon their
memory.

Hitherto, although many, both ministers, gentlemen and others, had
endured unexpressible hardships and severities, yet few or none suffered
to the death, save that noble peer, the Marquis of _Argyle_, who was
condemned by the parliament 1661, and beheaded _May_ 27th; and the
Reverend Mr. _James Guthrie_, who suffered five days thereafter. These
two were singled out--the one in the state, the other in the church--to
fall a victim to the resentment and fury of the enemies of that
covenanted work of reformation, which they had both, in an eminent
manner, been honored of GOD to support and advance; and also as a
specimen of what was afterward to be the fate of all that should adhere
to the same glorious cause, and stand up for God against these workers
of iniquity. And, as the foundation of that anti-christian and wicked
hierarchy in the church, and of arbitrary power and absolute tyranny in
the state, was laid in the blood of these two proto-martyrs for the
covenant and cause of GOD, so they now (_July_, 1663,) proceeded to
build it up with the blood of another noble and worthy patriot, the
eminently religious and learned Lord _Warriston_. He having before, in
1660, when _Argyle_ was apprehended, been ordered, together with several
others, to be secured and committed to prison, fled beyond sea, to
escape the fury of his enemies, and even there did their crafty malice
reach him; for, having sent out one of their blood-thirsty emissaries in
quest of him, he was apprehended by him at Roan, in France, brought over
to London, and sent thence to Edinburgh, where he was executed on a
former unjust sentence of forfeiture and death, passed upon him in his
absence. Thus they built up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with
iniquity. But all this was nothing to the cruelty that followed, and the
righteous blood afterward shed in that quarrel.

4. Although the faithful servants of CHRIST gave too silent submission
for a time to these encroachments made upon their sacred functions, yet,
as they received not their mission from men, so they resolved not to
become the servants of men, but to hazard the loss of every thing that
was dear to them in this world, that they might show themselves faithful
unto their Lord and Master, and valiant for his truth upon the earth, in
going forth without the camp, bearing his reproach. When they could no
longer, with a safe conscience, enjoy their benefices and churches, and
the Lord so expressly called for their service, in feeding the starving
souls of his people, they betook themselves to the open fields, setting
their faces to all the storms to which they were exposed by that high
commission court that was erected; wherein the bishops were chief
agents, being made therein necessary members for putting the former,
with what subsequent wicked laws were made against the servants of
CHRIST, in execution. And, by this time, that deceiving, cruel,
perjured, apostate bishop, _Sharp_, had obtained the presidency in this
and all other public courts in the kingdom. The proceedings of this
court were very unjust, cruel and arbitrary, similar to its preposterous
and illegal constitution. Persons were, without any accusation,
information, witness or accuser, arraigned before them, to answer _super
inquirendis_ to whatever interrogatories they were pleased to propose,
without license to make any lawful defense, or, upon their offering so
to do, were required to take the oath of supremacy, their refusal of
which was accounted cause sufficient for proceeding against them. And
although taking order with papists was first in their commission, yet
last, or rather not at all, in execution; while their infernal rage was
principally set on Presbyterians, in fining, confining and imprisoning
them, for the non-conformity of ministers, and their disregarding their
pretended sentences of deposition, and the people's refusing to
countenance the authority and ministry of these prelatic wolves, who
came in to scatter and tear the flock of CHRIST, but endeavoring to
cleave to their lawful pastors, have equal friends and foes with them,
and hear CHRIST'S law of kindness from their mouth. The idol of jealousy
was thus set up in the house of GOD, and our LORD JESUS CHRIST
sacreligiously robbed of his incommunicable supremacy and headship over
his church by the state; whereby the Pope's supremacy was well nigh
claimed, and Spanish inquisition cruelty almost acted, by this
abominable court; and all at the instigation and for the gratification
of these monsters of iniquity, the prelates, who still agitated the
court to exercise more cruelty than even of themselves they were
inclined to.

5. Upon the decline of this rigorous court, new measures were again
fallen upon for the oppression, suppression and extirpation, of the true
reformed religion, and the professors of it. The council being very
diligent and careful to deprive the LORD'S people of every thing which
might contribute to their establishment and confirmation in the
righteousness and equity of the cause and covenant of God for which they
suffered, and which tended to expose their tyranny and treason against
GOD, ordered the famous Mr. Brown's _Apologetical Relation_ to be burnt
in the high street of Edinburgh, on February 14th, 1666, by the hand of
the common hangman; and all persons who had copies of said book were
required to give them up, and such as concealed them to be fined 2000 £.
_Scots_, if discovered. Such was their hellish enmity and spite against
our covenanted reformation, and every thing written in defense thereof,
and in vindication of those that suffered for their adherence to it.
About the same time, _Sharp_, for the more effectual accomplishment of
his wicked designs (the high commission being now dissolved, and his
guilty conscience, it seems, suggesting fears of an insurrection of the
oppressed, to relieve themselves from their cruel oppressors), obtains
an order from the king for raising an additional number of forces, for
the security and establishment of himself and his associates in their
thrones of iniquity, by destroying all the faithful in the land,
oppressing and wearing out the saints of the Most High, and burning up
and dispersing all the synagogues of GOD in the nation. In consequence
of this, about three thousand foot, and eight troops of dragoons were
got together, and the command of them given to _Dalziel_ of _Binns_, a
wicked, fierce, cruel man. These were the instruments of that
unprecedented barbarity, cruelty and oppression, committed in the West,
after the defeat of Colonel Wallace and his little army of covenanters,
at Pentland Hills, _November_ 28th, 1666. The occasion and cause of
which rising was, in short, this: Sir _James Turner_ had been sent the
year before into the south-west shires of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright, in
order to suppress conventicles (so they called the assemblies of God's
people for public worship and other religious exercises), levy the fines
appointed by the parliament, and oblige the people to conform and submit
to the bishops and curates by force of arms. Turner, in pursuance of
these cruel orders, committed great severities, dreadfully oppressed,
robbed and spoiled the country. In the parish of Dalry, in Galloway,
three or four of his blackguard crew, seizing upon a poor countryman,
carried him to his own house, and were going to torture him in a cruel
manner, by setting him naked on a red-hot gridiron; which four of the
persecuted party hearing of, they repaired to the house, disarmed the
soldiers (upon their refusing to be entreated in behalf of the poor
man), and delivered their fellow sufferer. And lest the rest of the
soldiers quartered in the parish (to force people to keep their parish
church), should fall upon them, being joined with seven or eight more of
their friends, they attacked them early next morning, being about twelve
in number, and disarmed them, killing one that made resistance.
Whereupon, the country being alarmed, and being apprehensive, from sad
experience, of the revenge Sir James would take upon the whole country
for this affront, without distinction of age or sex, they determined to
stand in their own defense. And, getting together a good number of horse
and foot, they march to Dumfries, surprise Turner himself, take him
prisoner, and disarm his soldiers, without any further violence. Being
thus by Providence engaged, without any hope of retreat, and being
joined by many more of their brethren in the same condition with
themselves, some ministers, and Colonel Wallace (afterward chosen
general), they come to Lanerk, where they renew the covenant, _November_
26th, 1666, and thence to Pentland Hills, where, being attacked by
Dalziel and his blood-hounds, they were, notwithstanding their bravery
in repulsing the enemy twice, at last totally routed, many killed and
taken prisoners, most of the prisoners treacherously executed
(notwithstanding they were taken upon solemn promise to have their lives
spared), of whom the Lord was graciously pleased, not only to accept of
a testimony, by sufferings, but also countenanced them, even to
admiration, in sealing the same with their blood. After this, there were
severe edicts issued out against all who had any hand in this appearance
for GOD'S cause and covenant (called by them rebellion, a horrible
conspiracy, and what not); all the subjects were strictly charged not to
harbor, reset, supply, or in any manner of way correspond with any that
were concerned in this engagement, but that they pursue and deliver them
up to justice, or otherwise be esteemed and punished as favorers of it.
This appearance for religion and liberty became, for a time, the
principal crime of which those were indicted who were prosecuted by this
wicked council, and other merciless enemies, to whom they committed the
management of their affairs.

6. Although the cruelty of the court had hitherto been very great, yet
they had not wholly effectuated their wicked design of exterminating and
destroying true religion, and the professors thereof, both ministers and
people; but, like Israel under Pharaoh's yoke, the more they oppressed
them, and suppressed their meetings, the more numerous and frequent they
grew, so that their enemies were obliged to alter their course a little
from cruelty into craft. This appeared in the first indulgence, granted
_anno_ 1669, with design to divide Presbyterians among themselves, that
they might the more easily destroy them. Hereby a pretended liberty was
given to several ministers ejected by the act of Glasgow, 1662
(especially public resolutioners, who had formerly served the court
interest in that matter), under certain restrictions, destructive of
their ministerial freedom and faithfulness, to preach and exercise the
other functions of the ministry in vacant churches. In this fraudulent
snare many were taken; and even such of them as did accept of the
indulgence, but did not keep by the instructions given them by the
council, and observe the wicked anniversary, &c, were afterward
prosecuted, fined, and some turned out. And those who refused compliance
therewith, and testified against it, as flowing from that blasphemous
supremacy and absolute power, which the king had assumed, were most
severely handled, and their assemblies for public worship interdicted
under the highest pains. A second indulgence was framed in the year
1672, in which net they expected to inclose such as the first had not
caught. By this, liberty was granted to a number of non-conformed
ministers, named by the council, not yet indulged, to exercise their
ministry in such places as the council thought fit to ordain and appoint
them, conforming themselves to the rules given by the council to those
that were formerly indulged, besides other restrictions, wherewith this
new liberty was clogged. And, as one special design of the court, in
granting both the first and this second indulgence, was to put an
effectual stop to the meetings of the LORD'S people, ludicrously called
by them field conventicles, so they took occasion, on account of their
contempt of this their indulgence and liberty, to prosecute all such as
kept, or attended on, these meetings, in a more merciless and furious
manner. This indulgence was accepted by many ministers; and part
thereof, by others, represented as a grievance, and redress required.
But although nothing of this kind was obtained, yet it was fallen in
with and accepted by most of those who subscribed the remonstrance
against it; and those few who rejected it, and continued faithfully to
discharge their official trust in the open fields, without coming under
any of these sinful restrictions, became, more especially, the butt of
their enemies' malice and tyranny, were more vigorously prosecuted, and
such as were suspected or convicted of attending on their field
meetings, were fined in an exorbitant manner, and ministers imprisoned,
when they could be apprehended. And because these field meetings, the
great eye-sore of the prelates, still increased, they prevailed with the
council 1674, to take more special notice of the preachers at said
meetings, who appointed a committee for that effect, and ordered their
chancelor to send out parties to apprehend certain of them, according to
their direction. And the same year, a bond was imposed, binding and
obliging tenants, that if they, their wives, or any of their children,
cottars or servants, should keep or be present at any conventicles,
either in houses or fields, that every tenant laboring land be fined for
each house conventicle in 25£. _Scots_; each cottar in 12_£. Scots_;
each servant man in a fourth part of his year's fee, and husbands the
half of these fines for such of their wives and children as shall be at
house conventicles; and the double of these respective fines for each of
the said persons who shall be at any field conventicles, &c. And upon
refusal of said bond, they were to be put to the horn, and their escheat
or forfeiture given to their masters. They likewise, at the same time,
issued forth another proclamation, for apprehending the holders of, and
repairers to, field meetings, by them designed rebels, and whoever
should seize such should have the fines, so unjustly imposed, for their
reward; with a particular sum offered for apprehending any of the
conventicle preachers, and this sum doubled for some that were more
eminent among them, and diligent in working the work of him that sent
them, against whom their malice was more especially turned. These
rigorous measures they continued to prosecute; and in the year 1675,
letters of intercommuning were given out against several ministers and
private Christians, by name, both denouncing them rebels, and secluding
them from all society in the kingdom of Scotland; further requiring,
that no accommodation should be given, or communication any manner of
way held with them, under the pain of being (according to them)
accounted _socii criminis_, and pursued as guilty, with them, of the
same crimes. These inhuman and unprecedented methods reduced the
sufferers to many wanderings and great hardships. It is impossible to
recite the miseries these faithful confessors underwent--wandering about
in deserts, in mountains, in dens, and in caves of the earth, destitute,
afflicted, tormented; besides the other severe impositions upon the
country in general, the bonds imposed, and rage of the _Highland_ host
then raised, which, together with the soldiers, greatly spoiled and
robbed the west country especially, by which means, poor people were
brought to very low circumstances.

7. Notwithstanding of all the tyranny and treachery hitherto exercised,
the word of GOD grew, and converts unto CHRIST, and the obedience of the
gospel, were daily multiplied; ministers being forward and willing to
preach, and the people willing to hear and receive the law from their
mouth, on all hazards. And the LORD JESUS, following his word and
ordinances with his blessing, showed himself as mighty and powerful in
the open fields, whither they were driven, as ever he had done in their
churches, from whence they were driven, and which were now shut against
them, and filled with time-servers, and antichrist's vassals. But
against CHRIST'S standard and banner thus displayed, the tyrant Charles
II erected his opposite standard for the utter destruction of CHRIST'S
true servants and subjects. And having declared their lawful meetings
for the worship of GOD, according to his word, execrable rendezvouses of
rebellion; a convention of estates, _anno_ 1678, was called and met, by
which a large cess was imposed to maintain an additional army, for the
suppression of the true religion and liberty, and securing tyranny and
arbitrary government. On account of the imposition of this cess, and the
rigorous exaction of it, together with the cruelties and ravages of this
new army maintained by it (the soldiers having commission to dismiss and
disperse their meetings, disarm, imprison and kill preachers and people,
in case of resistance; and a price being put upon the heads of several
faithful ministers if brought to the council dead or alive), both
ministers and people were laid under the necessity of carrying arms for
their own defense when dispensing and attending upon gospel ordinances.
And it was no wonder that, finding themselves thus appointed as sheep
for the slaughter, they looked upon this as their duty, and accordingly
provided themselves with arms for their necessary defense against the
wicked violence of those who thirsted after their blood, and (which was
to them much more dear and precious) the ruin and destruction of the
cause, interest, and gospel of CHRIST in the land. Unto these severe and
hellish measures fallen upon at this time, for the more effectual
suppression and extirpation of the gospel of CHRIST, and professors of
it, the managers were principally instigated by that arch-apostate
_Sharp_; though a bad preparative for his exit out of this world, which
soon came to pass, _anno_ 1679, in the dispensation of adorable
providence and righteous judgment of God, executed upon such a notorious
traitor, who, having first betrayed the church, and all along deeply
imbrued his hands in the blood of GOD'S saints and servants; had blood
given him to drink because he was worthy.

8. That the land might be more deeply soaked with blood, and made more
heavily to groan under the inhabitants thereof, "Who had transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant;"
that the scene of cruel suffering might be more widely opened, and the
bloody tragedy more effectually acted; the primate's death must now be
added to the other pretended crimes of the sufferers. Many were terribly
harrassed on that account, who were no ways concerned in the action; and
some were cruelly tortured and butchered by them for the same cause,
though innocent thereof (for none of the actors did ever fall into their
hands). These enemies were hereby rendered more rude, barbarous and
hard-hearted to all the sufferers who afterward fell into their hands,
and breathed out threatenings and slaughter against the whole body of
the persecuted Presbyterians through the nation. All this, however, did
not dispirit these zealous witnesses, or discourage them from attending
to their work and duty; for we find them on the 29th of _May_, 1679,
publishing their testimony at _Rutherglen_, against the wicked
anniversary, on the same day appointed by the court for its celebration,
and against all that had been done publicly by these enemies of CHRIST
for the overthrow of his work and interest in the lands. They likewise
committed their acts rescissory, supremacy, act restoring abjured
Prelacy, act of _Glasgow_, 1662, the presumptuous act for appointing
_May_ 29th for an unholy anniversary, indulgences, &c., all to the
flames, their just desert, in retaliation of the impious treatment given
unto our solemn and sacred covenants, and other good and laudable acts
and laws for reformation, by their sacrilegious enemies in sundry cities
of these covenanted kingdoms. And so, after extinguishing the bonfires,
a part of the unholy solemnity of the enemies' anniversary day, and
concluding what they had done with prayer and praise, as they had begun
(Mr. _Douglas_, one of their ministers being along with them), they
withdrew. This Christian valor was followed with the LORD'S appearance
for them, in a remarkable manner, on the following _Sabbath_ at
_Drumclog_ near _Lowdonhill_, where being attacked by _Claverhouse_,
when attending on public worship, they completely routed him and his
troops, rescued Mr. _John King_, and a number of other prisoners, whom
_Claverhouse_ had seized that morning, from their hands. Afterward they
declared the grounds and causes of their present defensive posture, in
that short manifesto, or declaration, published at _Glasgow, June 6th_,
1679. But when their numbers multiplied, their divisions increased, and
lawful means for honestly defending the cause were by the majority
refused. Mr. _Welsh_ and that Erastian party with him, being by this
time come up, did in their declaration at _Hamilton_, take in the
tyrant's interest; against which, those who were honest and faithful to
the interest of Zion's king contended, and protested, that in conscience
they could not take in the interest of one into the state of the quarrel
who had manifestly stated himself in opposition to the interest of
CHRIST; that it was inconsistent with the covenant, which could not bind
them to espouse the interest of its destroyers, and the destroyers of
all that adhered to it; and also contrary to their testimony and
declaration for the covenants and work of reformation at _Rutherglen,
Glasgow, &c._, and against all defection from the same.

Thus, when the most part in a great measure forsook the LORD, he was
justly provoked to forsake them, and their great divisions landing them
in such confusion, they became an easy prey to the enemy, by whom they
were totally routed at _Bothwell, June. 22d_, 1679, where they felt the
dismal fruits and consequences of joining at all with that Erastian
faction, after they had openly declared and discovered what they were.
This was so far from proving any defense to them, notwithstanding the
numbers of that party, that it proved their destruction. And those whose
hearts were upright and honest in the cause of GOD, by their means, in
holy sovereignty, were made to fall a sacrifice to their enemies' wrath.
The slain on that day were many, and the after-cruelty to prisoners
great; they being carried into and kept for a long time in the
_Gray-friars_ church yard of _Edinburgh_, exposed, defenseless, night
and day, to tempests of all kinds. By this inhuman usage (with design to
wear out the saints of the Most High), together with the insinuations
and persuasions of some of the indulgence favorers, their faith failing
them in this hour of temptation, and fear prevailing, a number of these
prisoners were persuaded to take the insnaring bond of peace, whereby
they were engaged to own their rising at _Bothwell_ to be rebellion, and
to oblige themselves never to rise in arms against the king, and to live
peaceably, &c., while others of them were tortured, not accepting
deliverance.

9. Although this defeat and dispersion of the espousers of the truth and
cause of CHRIST, in opposition both to its avowed enemies and secret
betrayers, brought the remnant that were left into very melancholy
circumstances, their enemies having in a great measure extinguished the
light of the gospel, by apprehending and shedding the blood of their
faithful pastors, who used to hold forth the word of life unto them, as
a light whereby they might discern between sin and duty; and others who
had formerly been helpful unto them, in strengthening their hands, and
encouraging their hearts, in the way of their duty, were overtaken and
overborne with fainting and discouragement; so that, in respect of
public guides, they wore at this time as sheep without a shepherd. Yet,
in this disconsolate and scattered state and condition, CHRIST, the
chief shepherd, had compassion on them, and raised up those two faithful
ministers and zealous contenders for the faith once delivered to the
saints, Messrs. _Richard Cameron_ and _Donald Cargill_, to come forth
for the help of the LORD against the mighty, and to jeopard their lives
along with his people in the high places of the field, in bearing
faithful testimony for his noble truths and cause, and against all the
sins and defections of the time. The first of these, soon after he had
showed his activity and zeal in that banner displayed against the
church's enemies, in the declaration published at _Sanquhar, June 22d_,
1080, did honorably and bravely finish his course, among many others of
Zion's true friends, in the defeat they again sustained at _Airsmoss_,
where, in imitation of his princely Master, he valiantly fought his way
to the incorruptible crown. The latter afterward narrowly escaped his
enemies' hands (by means of Mr. _Henry Hall_, of _Haughhead_, that
honest sufferer for truth, who, to save his minister's life, lost his
own; on whom the _Queensferry_ paper, a draft of a covenant engagement
unto certain duties, was found), and was, by the power and providence of
GOD, preserved, until he accomplished that signal piece of generation
work in drawing forth the sword of excommunication against the tyrant
_Charles_ II, and some others of the chief actors in that bloody
tragedy. And that, because of their bloodshed, perjury, heaven-daring
profaneness, debauchery, inhuman and savage cruelty acted upon the
people of GOD. The which sentence stuck fast in the hearts of these
enemies of Zion's king unto the day of their death, and, by some of
their own acknowledgments, would through eternity. Shortly after this,
that faithful minister crowned his work with martyrdom, and entered into
his Master's joy.

This murdering period spared neither pastor nor people, age nor sex;
while gross transgressors, and deluded enthusiasts, as _Gib_ and his
faction, were screened from condign punishment, though some of them had
arrived at that prodigious length in wickedness as to commit the Holy
Scriptures and Confession of Faith to the flames.

10. So many of these once living and lively witnesses for CHRIST being,
now slain, and what was yet surviving of the scattered flock deprived of
their painful shepherds, and not being able to drink of the sanctuary
waters, so muddied by their former pastors, who had defiled the same by
sinful compliance with the time's defections, they resolved, under
divine direction, to gather themselves together into a general meeting,
for advising and informing one another anent their duty, in such
critical times of common danger, that so whatever concerned the whole,
might be done with due deliberation and common consent. The which
general meetings afterward afforded them both good comfort amidst their
discouragements, and also good counsel amidst their perplexities and
doubts, and proved an excellent expedient for preserving the remnant
from the destruction and contagion of the times, propagation of the
testimony, and keeping alive the public spirit of zeal and concern for
the cause and interest of CHRIST; and for these ends they have been kept
up ever since.

In the meantime, that evil instrument, _James_, duke of _York_,
receiving commission from his perjured brother to preside in the whole
administration of _Scots'_ affairs, upon his arrival for this effect,
held a parliament, which began _July_ 28th, 1681; wherein, besides other
of his wicked acts, that detestable, blasphemous, and self-contradictory
test was framed, which, in the first part thereof, contains the
swearer's solemn declaration, by oath, of his sincere profession of the
true Protestant religion, contained in the first confession of faith,
ratified by _Parl. 1st, James VI_, 1567 (which confession asserts, in
the strongest terms, CHRIST'S alone headship and supremacy as lawgiver
and king in his church, without copartner or competitor), and that he
shall adhere thereunto all the days of his life, and renounce all
doctrines, principles, or practices contrary thereto, and inconsistent
therewith; while, in manifest contradiction thereto, the blasphemous
supremacy, in the utmost extent thereof, is asserted--the Covenants
National and Solemn League, the chief barriers against Popery,
Erastianism, and arbitrary power, are renounced, and unlimited
allegiance unto the occupant is enjoined and sworn to, and the
prelatical government of the church confirmed.

This oath was at first administered to those in public trust only, and
thereby all were turned out of their places who had any principles of
common honesty remaining in them; but afterward it was imposed on all
persons of all ranks. Against which sinful encroachments on religion and
liberty, the witnessing persecuted remnant accounted themselves bound in
duty to emit their testimony, which they published at _Lanerk, January_
12th, 1682, adhering to, and confirming their former at _Sanquhar_, and
giving reasons at length for their disowning the unlawful authority of
_Charles II_. Upon intelligence hereof, this declaration, with those at
_Rutherglen_ and _Sanquhar_, were, by order of the council, with great
solemnity, burnt at the cross of _Edinburgh_, by the magistrates in
their robes, together with the Solemn League and Covenant, which had
been burnt formerly: but now they would give new demonstrations of their
rage against it, in conjunction with these declarations, which they saw
and acknowledged were evidently conformed to, and founded upon it. After
the publication of this testimony, the sufferings of that poor people
that owned it were sadder and sharper than ever before, by hunting,
pursuing, apprehending, imprisonment, banishment, death, and torture;
this increasing rage, oppression, cruelty, and bloodshed, being no more
than what they might look for, agreeable to the spirit and principles of
that popish incendiary, to whom such trust was committed.

11. The poor wrestling remnant, besides their other grievous calamities
and sufferings, being now obnoxious to much censure, in their
appearances for truth reproached, and invidiously misrepresented, both
at home and abroad, by those that were at ease in Zion, as having
forsaken the right way, and run into wild, extravagant, and unhappy
courses; and, withal, being at this time destitute and deprived of their
public standard bearers; their series of witnesses (since the death of
Messrs. _Cameron_ and _Cargill_) maintaining the testimony against the
public national defections being in all appearance interrupted, except
by martyrdom and sufferings; they were obliged to exert themselves, both
for their vindication from those calumnies and slanders, wherewith they
were loaded by their enemies, to foreign Protestant churches especially,
and for obtaining a supply of gospel ministers. Wherefore, sending some
of their number abroad, to represent the righteousness of their cause to
the churches there, and crave their sympathy, in helping them to a
supply of gospel ministers; the LORD was graciously pleased to
countenance and bless their endeavors so, that they obtained access for
the instruction and ordination of young men for the ministry, at a
university in the _United Provinces_; and, in process of time, gave them
a great reviving in their bondage, by sending forth his faithful
embassador, Mr. _James Renwick_, who, while he stood on Zion's
watch-tower, ceased not night and day to give faithful warning of the
danger approaching the city of GOD, evidently discovering his being
clothed with his Master's commission, in bearing faithful testimony and
witness, both against the avowed enemies of truth and backsliders from
it. And notwithstanding all the malicious rage of deadly foes, ranging
and keenly pursuing him, through open or more secret places, the
reproach of tongues and cruel mockings he endured, by the divine
blessing, on his painful labors, amidst his many hardships, the number
of Zion's friends were greatly increased, by the incoming and joining of
many to the fellowship of their settled societies, who resolutely chose
rather to suffer affliction with the people of GOD than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin, which are but for a season. Upon this further attack
upon Satan's interest, his emissaries issue forth fresh orders, and give
commission to soldiers, foot and dragoons, to hunt, search, and seek
them out of all their most secret dens, caves, and lurking places, where
they might hide themselves, in the most remote and wildest glens and
recesses in the mountains and deserts, allowing them to kill, slay,
destroy, and any way to make an end of them, wherever they might be
found; commanding the whole country, at their peril, to assist them, and
raise the hue and cry after the poor wanderers, and not to reset,
harbor, succor, or correspond with them any manner of way, under the
highest pains, but to do their utmost in informing against them. Thus,
without regard to any of their unlawful forms of legal procedure, they
defiled and besmeared the high places of the field with innocent blood.
These unprecedented methods and measures obliged the sufferers, for
their own preservation, stopping the deluge of blood, and to deter the
insolence of intelligencers and informers, to publish the apologetic
declaration, which they affixed on several market crosses, and parish
church doors, upon the 28th of _October_, 1684; wherein they declare
their firm resolution of constant adherence to their covenanted
engagements; and to the declaration disowning the authority of _Charles
Stuart_, warning all bloody Doegs and flattering Ziphites, to expect to
be dealt with as they deal with them; to be regarded as enemies to GOD,
and the covenanted reformation, and according to their power, and the
degree of their offense, punished as such, &c. After this declaration,
these enemies were still more enraged, and their fury flamed more than
ever formerly. They framed an oath, commonly called the oath of
abjuration, renouncing and abjuring the same, and by a venomous bloody
proclamation, enjoined this oath to be taken by all universally, from
sixteen years and upward, women as well as men, under pain of death; and
many prisoners who having the oath tendered them, refused or declined
it, were sentenced, and executed all in one day, according to the tenor
of their proclamation. And, moreover, they, on this occasion, renewed
their orders and commission to the soldiers, for pursuing and chasing
after the rebels (as they designed them) more vigorously and violently,
and to shoot, or otherwise put them to death wherever they did light
upon them. In the midst of this confusion of slaughter and bloodshed,
GOD cut off by death, _February_ 6th, 1685, that vile person, the author
and authorizer of all this mischief, _Charles II_, who, _Antiochus_
like, came in peaceably, and obtained the kingdom by flattery (_Dan._
xi), reigned treacherously and bloodily, and like that wicked king,
_Jehoram_ (2 _Chron._ xxi), died without being desired or lamented,
poisoned, as was thought, by his unnatural popish brother. And,
notwithstanding of all his bastards, begotten in adultery and
fornication, at home and abroad, he died without any to succeed him,
save him that was said to have murdered him. GOD pursued him with the
curse of _Hiel_ the _Bethelite_, for his rebuilding of that cursed
_Jericho_, prelacy; and of that impious and wicked tyrant, _Coniah_
(_Jer._ xxii), for his treachery and cruelty; "Thus saith the LORD,
Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days,
for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting any more upon the throne
of _Israel_."

12. Notwithstanding the abundant proof that the duke of _York_ had
given, in many instances, and in both kingdoms, of his being a vassal of
antichrist, and notwithstanding of his open and public profession of
papistry, upon his brother's death, fairly warning all what they might
expect, yet were not those, who sat at the helm of affairs, deterred
from committing the reins of government into his hands; but contrary to
the word of God, and fundamental laws of the lands, this professed and
excommunicate papist _James_, duke of _York_, was, _anno_ 1685,
proclaimed king of these once covenanted, but now treacherous and
apostate lands, whereby they appointed themselves a captain to return
into their anti-christian bondage. To this grievous yoke our infamous,
perjured, and apostate state and council in _Scotland_, heartily and
voluntarily subjected themselves and the nation, while others did it
with reluctancy, caressing and embracing with their dearest and best
affections, this enemy to GOD, and CHRIST, and his church, swearing
implicit and unlimited obedience unto him, and asserting his absolute
power and supremacy, indefeasible and hereditary right, without ever so
much as requiring him to take the coronation oath, or give the least
security for, any thing civil or religious (a depth of degeneracy,
parallel to that eminency in reformation purity, from which they were
fallen!) but laid the reins on his own neck, that he might have full
freedom for the satisfying of his lusts, and fulfilling his wicked
designs. This laid religion, liberty, and all, at the mercy of absolute
power and popish tyranny; and still more and more cut off the people of
God from having any hopes of mercy from their bloody enemies; on the
contrary, the duke of _York_, in his letter to his first parliament,
recommends and requires them to leave no means unattempted, for the
extirpation of the poor wandering sufferers, whom he brands with the
odious names of murderers and assassins, wild and inhuman traitors, &c.
And these his ready servants and bloody executioners, came nothing short
of his orders in the execution of them; so that there were more murdered
in cold blood in the open fields, without all shadow of law, trial or
sentence, more banished and sold as slaves, condemned and executed, &c.,
in the time of this usurper, than in all the time of the former tyrant.

As the honest sufferers, consistent with their testimony for truth, in
opposition both to the secret and open subvertors of the cause and state
of Zion's quarrel with her enemies, could not concur in _Argyle's_
declaration (although there were many things in it materially good, and
commend-worthy), nor join in a military association with him, on account
(among other things) of the too promiscuous admission of persons to
trust in that party, who were then, and afterward discovered themselves
to be, enemies to the cause. Yet, against this usurpation of a bloody
papist, advancing himself to the throne in such a manner, they published
another declaration at _Sanquhar, May_ 28, 1685; wherein, approving of,
and adhering to all their former, and considering that _James_, duke of
_York_, a professed and excommunicated papist, was proclaimed: they
protest against said proclamation, with reasons subjoined at length for
their so doing--against all kinds of popery, general and particular
heads, as abjured by the national covenant--against its entry again
into this land, and every thing that doth, or may directly or
indirectly, make way for the same, &c. After this, Mr. _Renwick_ and his
followers were exposed to the greater fury of their adversaries; more
cruel edicts were given forth against them, approving and ratifying of
former acts, for raising the hue and cry, &c., whereby their calamities
were very much increased, besides the slanders of professed friends, on
account of their not associating and joining with them in their
compliances, although, to the conviction of all unbiassed minds, they
fully vindicated themselves from all their injurious reflections.

The extirpation of the Presbyterian interest--nay, the suppression of
the Protestant religion in general, the reintroduction of popery, and
plunging the nations in anti-christian darkness and tyranny, being the
long concerted design of this popish bigot now got into the throne; he
resolves to lose no time, and leave no stone unturned, for the
prosecution and accomplishment thereof. And having made tolerable
progress in the execution of this his favorite scheme (although not
without opposition), in _England_, he turns himself to _Scotland_,
expecting an entire acquiescence in his pleasure there, having found the
first parliament, which began, 23d _May_, 1685, so much according to his
own heart, in their hearty and sincere offer of their lives and
fortunes, to assist, defend, and maintain him in his rights,
prerogatives, sacred, supreme, and absolute power and authority, &c.

Wherefore, the parliament being to meet again _April_ 29, 1686, in his
letter to them, "he heartily recommends to their care his innocent Roman
Catholic subjects, to the end, that as they have given good experience
of their true loyalty and peaceable behavior, they may have the
protection of his laws, without lying under obligations their religion
could not admit of; that all penal laws made against them might be
repealed, &c." But though many were for obliging their king in this
particular, yet it could not be carried without debates and strong
objections; so that, dissolving the parliament, what he could not obtain
there, with any show or face of law, he effectuates, by virtue of the
prerogative royal and absolute power, in a letter to his privy council,
and proclamation inclosed, bearing date _February_ 12, 1687, granting a
royal toleration to moderate Presbyterians, clogged with a number of
grievous Erastian conditions and restrictions, as usual. Secondly, to
Quakers and other enthusiasts. Thirdly, to Papists, abrogating all penal
statutes made against them, and making them in all respects free. And so
devoted were the privy council to his interests, that without demur they
published the proclamation, and wrote back to the king, "that his orders
were punctually obeyed, thanking him for this further proof of his
favors to all his subjects." Thus, this champion for Satan and
antichrist proceeded with his wicked design, and so far succeeded; all
kinds of papistry were publicly practiced, and many churches converted
to mass chapels. For, before this, by the king's letter to his privy
council, of _August_ 21st, 1686, Papists were allowed the free exercise
of their religion, the council required to support and maintain them
therein, and the royal chapel at _Holyrood-House_ ordered to be repaired
for popish service. By which means a door was opened for that swarm of
Jesuits and priests, ascending as locusts out of the bottomless pit,
which quickly overspread the lands. But notwithstanding of all this
indulgence and royal toleration granted to these three forementioned
parties, yet there is no favor nor mercy for the honest and faithful
sufferers, and honorable contenders for the interests and prerogatives
royal of JESUS CHRIST, against his sacrilegious and blasphemous
usurpation of the same. But while he thinks fit to give ease (as himself
says) by this means, to tender consciences, he at the same time
signifies his highest indignation against those enemies of Christianity
(he means Popery) as well as government, and human society, the
field-conventiclers, whom he recommends to the council to root out, with
all the severity of the laws, and the most rigorous persecution of the
forces, it being equally his, and his people's concern to get rid of
them. In consequence of this, all their artillery is directed against
the Rev. Mr. _James Renwick_ only, and that poor, afflicted, and
persecuted people that adhered to him (all others being comprehended in
the pretended liberty granted), so that they were prosecuted with fire
and sword, and according to the utmost severity of their wicked laws
made against them, and a reward of a hundred pounds _sterling_ offered
by the bloody council to any that should bring in Mr. _Renwick_ to them,
either dead or alive. But he having his generation work allotted and cut
out for him by GOD, was preserved and kept from falling into their
hands, until that he had finished the work his Master had given him to
do, notwithstanding all this hellish and anti-christian rage and fury
wherewith they did pursue him. About the beginning of the year 1686, he,
in conjunction with Mr. _Alexander Shields_, who had lately joined him,
wrote the Informatory Vindication, by way of reply to various
accusations in letters, informations and conferences, given forth
against them and their people, wherein they vindicate, clear and justify
themselves from the heavy and false charges, slanders and reproaches,
cast upon them by their enemies, as may be seen in said book. About this
time, also, Mr. _Shields_ set about writing his _Hind let loose_ (which
was published next year), or, A Historical Representation of the
Testimonies of the Church of _Scotland_ for the interest of CHRIST, with
the true state thereof in all its periods; wherein he also solidly,
soundly, and judiciously vindicates the present testimony, in all the
principles thereof, as stated, against the popish, prelatical, and
malignant enemies of that church, for the prerogatives of CHRIST,
privileges of the church and liberties of mankind, and sealed by the
sufferings of a reproached remnant of Presbyterians there, witnessing
against the corruptions of the time.

Whilst these two loving and faithful fellow-laborers were thus
industriously exerting themselves for the propagation and vindication of
the persecuted gospel, and cause of CHRIST; that fiery Jesuit, popish
tyrant, and enemy to GOD and man, the duke of _York_, and his popish
party, were equally industrious on the other hand, to promote their
grand design of utterly extinguishing the light of the gospel, and
bringing in Antichrist, with all his poisonous and hellish vermin, and
abominable idolatries; and that, with all the murdering violence,
diabolical subtilty and malignant rage that hell and _Rome_ could invent
and exert. He had formerly published a proclamation (as is noticed
above), granting a lawless liberty to several sorts of persons therein
specified, called his first indulgence; but breathing nothing but
threatenings and slaughter against the people of GOD, who stood firm to
his cause. But withal, this proclamation, enjoined an oath in the room
of all oaths formerly imposed, to be taken by all that minded to share
in his royal favor; wherein they swore, not only absolute subjection and
passive obedience, never to resist him, not only on any pretense, but
for any cause, let him do, or command to be done what he would; but
also, absolute, active obedience, without reserve: "That they shall, to
the utmost of their power, assist, defend, and maintain him, his heirs
and successors, in the exercise of their absolute power and authority,
against all deadly." This was so palpably gross and odious, that it was
disdained and abhorred by all that had common sense. Wherefore, finding
that this proposal did not take, nor answer his design, in a letter to
the council, bearing date about a month after the former, he endeavors
to mend the matter, and set it out in another dress, pretending that
they had mistaken his meaning in the former, and so lets them know, that
it is his pleasure now, that if the Presbyterian preachers do scruple to
take the oath (contained in the proclamation), or any other oath
whatsoever, they, notwithstanding, have the benefit of his indulgence
(without being obliged to take the oath), provided they observe the
conditions on which it was granted. But this not having the desired
effect neither, it is followed with the third indulgence or toleration,
emitted by proclamation, dated 28th _June_, 1687, excellently well
calculated for obtaining his end; wherein, after a solemn declaration of
his intention to maintain his archbishops and bishops, he does, by his
sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power, suspend,
stop and disable, all penal and sanguinary laws, made against any for
non-conformity to the religion established by law--granting liberty to
all the subjects to meet and serve GOD, after their own way, in private
houses or chapels, or places purposely hired or built for that use, with
an injunction to take care that nothing be preached or taught, that
might any way tend to alienate the hearts of the people from him and his
government: but, notwithstanding the premises, strictly prohibiting all
field meetings, against all which all his laws and acts of parliament
are left in full force and vigor; and all his judges, magistrates and
officers of forces, commanded to prosecute such as shall be guilty of
said field conventicles, with the utmost rigor; and all this under
pretense, that now, after this his royal grace and favor, there is not
the least shadow of excuse left for these meetings. Wherefore, he is
confident, that none will, after these liberties and freedoms given to
all, to serve God in their own way, further presume to meet in these
assemblies, except such as make a pretense of religion, to cover their
treasonable designs against his royal person, and peace of his
government.

The most of the Presbyterian ministers in _Scotland_ took the benefit of
this wicked and boundless toleration, chiefly designed in favor of
Papists. And a large number of them, being met at _Edinburgh_, agreed
upon, and, in name of all the rest, sent an address of thanks to the
tyrant for his toleration, stuffed with the most loathsome and
blasphemous flatteries, to the dishonor of GOD, the reproach of his
cause, and betraying of his church. For, in this address, dated _July_
21st, 1687, designating themselves the loyal subjects of this true
religion and liberty destroyer, they offer him their most humble and
hearty thanks for his favor bestowed, and bless the great GOD who put it
into his heart to grant them this liberty, which they term a great and
surprising favor, professing a fixed resolution still to maintain an
entire loyalty, both in their doctrine and practice (consonant to their
known, principles, which, according to the holy Scriptures, are
contained in the _Confession of Faith_); and they humbly beseech, that
any who promote disloyal principles and practices (as they disown them)
may not be looked upon as any of theirs, whatever name they may assume
to themselves; and that, as their address comes from the plainness and
sincerity of loyal and thankful hearts, so they were much engaged by his
royal favor, to continue their fervent prayer to the King of kings, for
divine illumination and conduct, and all other blessings, both spiritual
and temporal, ever to attend his person and government. Thus these men
made themselves naked to their shame, and declared to the world, that
they did only presumptuously arrogate to themselves the name of
Presbyterians; whereas, in reality, they were quite another kind of
creatures, acting diametrically opposite to Presbyterian principles, in
congratulating, extolling and justifying a tyrant, for assuming to
himself a blasphemous, absolute power, whereby he suspends and disables
all penal laws against idolators, and gives a toleration for all errors.

But while these pretended Presbyterians, who all along loved peace
better than truth, and preferred their own ease before the concerns of
their Master's glory, were thus sheltering themselves under this refuge
of lies; true Presbyterians, who kept by presbyterian principles, and
acted a faithful part for CHRIST, refusing to bow down to the idol of
supremacy, which the tyrant had set up, or pay any regard to his
blasphemous toleration, were pursued, persecuted, and slain, without
pity or compassion, all the engines of the court being leveled against
them for their destruction, because they would still reserve to
themselves the liberty wherewith CHRIST had made his people free, and
not exchange it for one from Antichrist, restricted with his reserves
and limitations; so that (as Mr. _Shields_ tells us in his account of
Mr. _James Renwick's_ life), in less than five months after the
toleration, there were fifteen most desperate searches particularly for
him, both of foot and horse: and, that all encouragement might be given
to any who would apprehend him, a proclamation was issued, dated
_October_ 18th, "Authorizing all officers, civil and military, to
apprehend and secure in firmance his person, with some others; and for
encouragement, insuring the sum of _100£ sterling_ for taking him, or
them, dead or alive." In the midst of all these hazards, this unwearied
and faithful laborer did notwithstanding continue at his work, in
preaching, catechising, &c., and the Lord still preserved him from
falling into the enemy's hand, until he had finished that piece of
generation work, in drawing up a full and faithful testimony against
_York's_ toleration, and for the covenants and work of reformation, &c.,
which he gave in to a meeting of Presbyterian ministers at _Edinburgh_,
on the 17th _January_, 1688; and going thence to _Fife_, whither he was
called to preach, in his return, was apprehended at _Edinburgh_, and
called to seal his above testimony, with all his other contendings
against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, and all defection from the land's
attainments in reformation, with his blood, which he did in the _Grass
market_ of _Edinburgh_, 17th of _February_, 1688, with a remarkable and
extraordinary measure of the Lord's gracious presence and spirit, not
only in this part of his sufferings, but all the time of his
imprisonment. The Lord hereby bearing witness, both to the truth of that
cause for which he suffered, and also testifying his gracious acceptance
of his sufferings, and of the free-will-offering of his life, which he
laid down for his sake. And as neither the violence nor flattery of
enemies could prevail with this faithful confessor and martyr himself,
to quit with one hair or hoof of what belonged to Christ, so he
recommended to the poor scattered remnant which he left, as part of his
dying counsel, to keep their ground, and not to quit nor forego one of
these despised truths, which he was assured the Lord, when he returned
to bind up the breach of his people, and heal them of their wound, would
make glorious in the earth. Thus that worthy minister, and now glorified
martyr of Jesus, through a chain of sufferings, and train of enemies,
fought his way unto an incorruptible and immortal crown of endless
glory. He was the last that sealed the testimony for religion and
liberty, and the covenanted work of reformation, against Popery,
Prelacy, Erastianism, and tyranny, in a public manner, on the scaffold,
with his blood. After the death of this renowned martyr, he was
succeeded by the eminent Mr. _Alexander Shields_, who carried on, and
maintained, the testimony, as it was stated, in all the heads and
clauses thereof, continuing to preach in the fields. On which account,
he, and the people who attended his ministry, were exposed for some time
longer to the fury and resentment of their enemies. But their power,
which they had so long perverted and abused, quickly came to a period.
For in a few months, God, in his righteous judgment and adorable
providence, overturned that throne of iniquity on which they depended,
and expelled that inhuman, cruel monster, from his tyrannical and
usurped power, upon the prince of Orange's coming over into _England_,
in the beginning of _November_ that same year. But, although the Lord at
this juncture, and by this means, rescued and delivered our natural and
civil rights and privileges in a national way from under the oppression
and bondage of anti-christian tyranny, arbitrary and absolute power, yet
the Revolution, at this time, brought no real deliverance to the church
of God. But Christ's rights,[1] formerly acquired for him by his
faithful servants, lay still buried under the rubbish of that
anti-christian building of Prelacy, erected on the ruins of his work in
this land; and the spiritual liberties and privileges of his house
remained, and do still remain under the bondage of Erastianism,
supremacy, toleration, &c. For it is well known, that although this man,
Jehu-like, "destroyed _Baal_ out of _Israel_, yet he departed not from
the sins of _Jeroboam_, wherewith he made _Israel_ to sin."

About this time, the united societies (having no actual minister since
Mr. _Renwick's_ death, Mr. _Shields_ being only preacher) sent over some
commissioners from their general meeting to _Embden_, one of the United
Provinces, to bring over Mr. _Thomas Linning_, a young man whom they had
sent thither some years before in Mr. _Renwick's_ time, to the
university there, and for ordination. In consequence hereof, the said
Mr. _Linning_ came home, with testimonials of his ordination to the
ministry by the classes at _Embden_; and in conjunction with Mr.
_Shields_ and Mr. _William Boyd_ (another of their ministers, who had
also come from Holland about this time), renewed the Covenants National
and Solemn League, and dispensed the sacrament of the Lord's supper near
Lesmahago, in Clydesdale, and continued to preach to the people for
about four months, until the first General Assembly (so called) met at
Edinburgh 1689-90. At which time, he, with his two brethren, in their
own name, and the name of their people, presented a paper to that
Assembly, bearing on what terms they and their people would join in
communion with them; only craving that they might all join in humbling
themselves before the Lord, and acknowledge and bewail their fathers',
their own, and the land's many and heinous iniquities, and breaches of
Covenant, before they proceeded to any other business, and so have their
public sins and scandalous compliances washed away by repentance, and
calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus. That they would purge out from
among them, all ignorant, insufficient, heterodox, and notoriously
scandalous ministers, such as, by information, accusation, or otherways,
were guilty of the blood of the saints, &c. But these proposals were
reckoned unseasonable and impracticable, tending rather to kindle
contention, than compose division, and so were thrown over their bar.
The generality of these men were so plunged and puddled in the ditch of
defection and apostasy, that they could not think of the drudgery of
cleansing themselves in God's way, by a particular and public confession
of, and humiliation for their own and the land's public sins, but chose
rather to sit down filthy and polluted as they were, and presume, in the
midst of their abominations unrepented of, to approach God's holy
things, which, how provoking to heaven, let God in his word be judge,
_Isa._ lii, 11; _Hag._ ii, 13, 14; 2 _Chr._ xxx, 3; _Ezek._ xliv, 10.
Nay, it is but too, too evident, that for this cause, God then laid them
under that awful sentence, _Rev._ xxii, 11: "Him that is filthy, let him
be filthy still;" or that, _Isa._ xxii, 14. For as their hearts were
then hardened against God's call by his word and providence to that
important and most necessary duty; so, ever since, they, have been so
much the more so, and have gone on from evil to worse.

But to return to our purpose: the two brethren, Messrs. _Linning_ and
_Boyd_, upon the rejection of the above said paper of proposals,
intending to unite with them at any rate, gave in another, importing
their submission to the assembly; which paper, Mr. _Shields_ also,
through their influences, insinuations, and persuasions, was drawn in to
subscribe and adhere to; which he had never done, had he not fallen by
the means of these false brethren, and which, it is said, he sadly
repented afterward. Thus, the poor people were again left destitute of
ministers, and public gospel ordinances, until the Rev. Mr. _John,
McMillan_ acceded to them, from the public judicatories of the
revolution church, in the year 1706. And their kind friend, Mr.
_Linning_, to make amends for all his misdemeanors, and in return for
the charges the societies were at about his education, at home and
abroad, did them that good office, to write, and load them with
calumnies and slanders, to the universities in the _Netherlands_,
whither they had recourse formerly in like cases; so that all access for
having their loss retrieved from that quarter, was blocked up.

What is thus briefly hinted above, may suffice to afford some cursory
view of the rise and progress of religion and reformation in these
lands, especially in _Scotland_; until, as a church and nation, our
kingdom became the Lord's, by the strictest and most intimate federal
alliance, and the name almost of every city, was, _the Lord is there_:
together with the general state and condition of the church and land,
from the fatal juncture of our woful decline, unto the end of the above
mentioned bloody period; the faithfulness of some, in this time of trial
and temptation: the defection and backsliding course of others; and the
great and avowed wickedness of the rest, extended unto an exhorbitant
hight of savage inhumanity, irreligion and impiety. Upon all which, the
presbytery, in duty to God, the present and succeeding generations find
themselves obliged to testify:

1, Their hearty approbation of the faithfulness of such ministers and
others, who opposed, and faithfully testified against the public
resolutions of church and state, framed in the year 1651, for receiving
into places of power and trust, malignant enemies to the work of
reformation, contrary to the word of God, _Exod._ xviii, 21; _Deut._ i,
13; _2 Chron._ xix, 2; and to all acts of assembly and parliament in the
reforming period; the assembly disclaiming the resolutions, as appears
from their act, _June 17th_, 1646, session 14th, entitled, _Act for
censuring the compilers with the public enemies of this church and
kingdom_: and their seasonable and necessary warning _June 27th_, 1640,
session 27th; where "they judge it a great and scandalous provocation,
and grievous defection from the public cause, to comply with, these
malignants, &c." As also, _Act 11th_, Triennial Parliament of, Charles
I, entitled, _Act for purging the army of disaffected persons to the
Covenant and work of Reformation_. And the faithful warnings, given by
general assemblies and parliament, even against the admission of Charles
II to the regal dignity, when so evidently discovering his disingenuity,
until once he should give more satisfying proof of hid sincerity; see
act of the commission at the _West Kirk, August_ 13th, 1650, where the
commission of the general assembly, considering, that there may be just
ground of stumbling, from the king's majesty's refusing to emit the
declaration offered him by the committee of estates, and the commission
of the General Assembly, concerning his former carriage, and resolution
for the future, in reference to the cause of God, and enemies and
friends thereof; doth therefore declare "That this kirk and kingdom do
not espouse any malignant party, quarrel, or interest, but that they
fight merely upon their former grounds and principles, and in the
defense of the cause of GOD, and of the kingdom, as they have done these
twelve years past: and therefore as they disclaim all the sin and guilt
of the king and of his house, so they will not own him nor his interest,
otherwise than with a subordination to GOD, and so far as he owns and
prosecutes the cause of GOD, and disclaims his, and his father's
opposition to the work of GOD and to the covenant," &c. The which
declaration being seen and considered by the committee of estates, was
the same day approven by them. Thus, both church and state exerted
themselves in the discharge of their duty, in order to obtain a
settlement, according to the word of God, and the covenants, which were
now become the _magna charta_ of the privileges and liberties of the
nations, both civil and religious; and therefore, were sworn to and
subscribed by Charles II, as was also the coronation oath, for the
security and preservation of the true religion, at his receipt of the
royal power.

2. The presbytery testify and declare their approbation of the conduct
of the faithful, before the restoration, who, adhering to the aforesaid
fundamental constitutions of the nations, both refused subjection unto,
and testified against, the usurpation of _Oliver Cromwell_ and his
accomplices, his invading the land, his anti-christian toleration of all
sectarian errors and heresies, threatening the ruin and destruction of
the true religion, as well as liberty. This was particularly testified
against by the synod of _Fife_, and others in conjunction with them, as
wicked and intolerable; as opposite unto, and condemned by, the
Scriptures of truth, _Job_ xxxiv, 17; _Deut._ xiii, 1-12; _Zech._ xiii,
3; contrary to acts of assembly and parliament, made against malignants,
their being received into places of power and trust, with whom these
sectarians were compliers, such as _Act_ 16th, of _Assemb._ 1646,
_Sess._ 13th; _Act_ 26th, _Sess._ 2d, parliament _Charles_ I, &c.

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
narrative.

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.



PART II.

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
pleasure.

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
Almighty.

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
government.

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 100£., 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
ecclesiastical.

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
_Ireland_.

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
students.

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
impugned.

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
upon.

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."

       *       *       *       *       *

SUPPLEMENT TO PART SECOND.

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.



PART III.

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
some form, as a moral duty, the obligation and benefit whereof no
wickedness in them can lose or forfeit.--_Page_ 74. Whatever magistrates
any civil state acknowledged, were to be subjected to throughout the
same.--_Page_ 50. Such a measure of these qualifications (viz.,
scriptural) and duties cannot be required for the being of the lawful
magistrate's office, either as essential to it, or a condition of it
_sine qua non_: I. It cannot be required as essential thereunto; for
then it would be the same thing with magistracy, which is grossly
absurd, and big with absurdities. In the _next_ place, it cannot be a
condition of it _sine qua non_, or, without which one is not really a
magistrate, however far sustained as such by civil society; for then no
person could be a magistrate, unless he were so faultlessly. The due
measure and performance of scriptural qualifications and duties belong
not to the being and validity of the magistrate's office, but to the
well-being and usefulness thereof.--_P._ 87. The precepts, already
explained, are a rule of duty toward any who are, and while they are
acknowledged as magistrates by the civil society. Nothing needs be added
for the clearing of this, but the overthrow of a distinction that has
been made of those that are acknowledged as magistrates by the civil
society, into such as are so by the preceptive will of God, and such as
are so by his providential will only; which distinction is altogether
groundless and absurd: All providential magistrates are also preceptive,
and that equally in the above respect (viz., as to the origin of their
office) the office and authority of them all, in itself considered, does
equally arise from, and agree unto the preceptive will of God.--_P._
88. The precepts already explained (_Prov._ xxiv, 21; _Eccl._ x, 4;
_Luke_ xx, 25; _Rom._ xiii, 1-8; _Tit._ iii, 1; _1 Pet._ ii, 13-18), are
a rule of duty equally toward any who are, and while they are
acknowledged as magistrates by the civil society; they are, and continue
to be a rule of duty in this matter, particularly, to all the Lord's
people, in all periods, places, and cases." These few passages,
containing the substance of Seceders' principles on the head of civil
government, may be reduced to the following particulars: 1. They
maintain the people to be the ultimate fountain of magistracy, and that
as they have a right to choose whomsoever they please to the exercise of
civil government over them; so their inclinations, whether good or bad,
constitute a lawful magistrate, without regard had to the divine law. 2.
That the law of God in the scriptures of truth, has no concern with the
institution of civil government, but only adds its precept in forcing
obedience upon the conscience of every individual, under the pain of
eternal damnation, to whomsoever the body politic shall invest with the
civil dignity; and that, without any regard to the qualifications of
person or office. 3. Whomsoever the _primores regni_, or representatives
of a nation, do set up, are lawful magistrates, and that not only
according to the providential, but according to the preceptive will of
God also, in regard that God, the supreme governor, has prescribed no
qualifications in his word, as essential to the being of a lawful
magistrate, nor told what sort of men they must be, that are invested
with that office over his professing people, though it is confessed
there are many that are necessary to the well-being and usefulness of
that office: and therefore, 4. That no act, or even habitual series of
the greatest wickedness and mal-administration can forfeit the person's
right to the people's subjection, for conscience sake, considered as
individuals, while the majority of a nation continue to recognize and
own his authority. The absurdity of this scheme of principles may
obviously appear at first view to every unbiassed mind that is blessed
with any competent measure of common sense and discretion, and tolerable
knowledge of divine revelation. That magistracy is a divine ordinance,
flowing originally from Jehovah, the supreme and universal Sovereign of
Heaven and earth, as the ultimate fountain thereof, cannot be denied.
Neither is it to be doubted, but that the Lord has lodged a power and
right in the people, of choosing and setting up those persons that shall
exercise civil government over them, and to whom they will submit
themselves. But then, while God has lodged this power in the people, of
conveying the right of civil authority to their magistrates, he has at
the same time given them positive and unalterable laws, according to
which they are to proceed, in setting up their magistrates; and, by the
sovereign authority of the Great Lawgiver, are they expressly bound to
act in agreeableness to these rules, without any variation, and that,
under the pain of rebellion against him, who is King of kings, and Lord
of lords. The Presbytery, therefore, testify against this scheme of
Seceding principles, calculated, in order to inculcate a stupid
subjection and obedience to every possessor of regal dignity, at the
expense of trampling upon all the laws of God, respecting the
institution, constitution, and administration of the divine ordinance of
magistracy. Particularly, this opinion is,

1. Contrary to the very nature of magistracy, as described in the
scriptures of truth, where we are taught, that all authority to be
acknowledged of men, must be of God, and ordained of God. The divine
ordination of magistracy is the alone formal reason of subjection
thereto, and that which makes it a damnable sin to resist. So the
apostle teacheth, _Rom._ xiii, 1, &c.: "There is no power but of God;
the powers that be, are ordained of God." Not only is it the current
sentiment of orthodox divines upon the place, but the text and context
make it undeniably evident, that by _power_ here, is understood, not a
natural, but a moral power, consisting not only in an ability, but in a
right to command. Which power is said to be ordained of God, as
importing, not merely the proceeding of the thing from God
providentially, but such a being from God, as carries in it his
instituting or appointing thereof, by the warrant of his word, law, or
precept. So that that power which is to be owned as of God, includes
these two particulars, without which, no authority can be acknowledged
as God's ordinance, viz., institution and constitution, so as to possess
him, who is God's minister, with a moral power. In the divine
institution of magistracy is contained, not only the appointment of it,
but the defining the office in its qualifications and form, in a moral
sense, prescribing what shall be the end, and what the measure of its
authority, and how the supreme power shall rule and be obeyed. Again,
the constitution of the power, or the determination of the form, and
investiture of the particular person with the government, is of God:
hence our Savior, _John_ x, 35, in his application of these words in the
_Psalms_, "I said, ye are gods," to magistrates, shows how they were
gods, "because unto them the word of God came;" that is, by his word and
warrant he authorized them; his constitution is passed upon them, who
are advanced by men, according to his law in his word. When therefore a
nation acts according to divine rule, in the molding of government, and
advancing of persons to the exercise of it; there the government and
governors may be said to be ordained of God. But that government that is
not consonant to the divine institution, and those governors, that are
not advanced to the place of supreme rule, in a Christian land, by the
people, regulating themselves by the divine law, cannot be said to be
the powers ordained of God. It is not merely the conveying the imperial
dignity by men unto any particular person, that constitutes the power to
be of God; but because, and in so far as this is done by virtue of a
warrant from God and in agreeableness to his law that the action has the
authority of God upon it.

Hence, if in this matter there is a substantial difference from, or
contrariety to the divine rule, then there is nothing but a
contradiction to God's ordinance: this must needs be granted, unless it
is maintained that God has wholly left the determination of this
ordinance to men, absolutely and unlimitedly, giving them an unbounded
liberty to act therein, according to their own pleasure, which is most
absurd. From the whole, it follows, that more is requisite than the
inclinations of any people, to constitute a lawful magistrate, such as
can be acknowledged God's ordinance. That power which in its institution
and constitution is of God, by his law, can alone challenge subjection,
not only for wrath, but for conscience sake.

2. The Presbytery testify against this scheme of principles, as being
anti-scriptural, and what, in its tendency, is destructive to the
authority of the sacred oracles. _Seceders_ maintain, that the people,
without regard to scriptural qualifications, have an essential right to
choose whom they please to the exercise of civil government, and that
whomsoever they choose are lawful magistrates; and thus make the great
ordinance of magistracy dependent on the uncertain and corrupt will of
man. But that this annarchical system is not of divine authority, but
owes its origin to their own invention, appears from the following texts
of holy writ, besides others, _Exod._ xviii. 21: "Moreover, thou shalt
provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God, men of truth,
hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers." This
counsel of Jethro, was God's counsel and command to Moses, in the choice
of magistrates, supreme and subordinate; and discovers, that people are
not left to their own will in this matter. It is God's direction, that
the person advanced to rule, must be _a man in whom is the spirit;
Numb._ xxvii, 18; which _Deut._ xxxiv, 9, interprets to be _the spirit
of wisdom_, (i.e.) the spirit of government, fitting and capacitating a
man to discharge the duties of the magistratical office, to the glory of
God and the good of his people; without this, he ought not to be chosen.
_Deut._ i, 13: "Take ye wise men and understanding, and known among your
tribes, and I will make them rulers over you." Here is a precept,
directing the people in their choice: they must not be children nor
fools; if so, they are plagues and punishments, instead of scriptural
magistrates, who are always a blessing. And they must be men of known
integrity and affection to the real welfare of _Israel_, not such as are
known to be haters of, and disaffected to the _Israel_ of God. Again,
the express law of the king, is, that he must be one of the Lord's
chosing; _Deut._ xvii. 14, 15: "When thou art come unto the land which
the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell
therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the
nations about me: thou shalt in anywise 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, who is not thy
brother." Here, though Christians have a right to set a king over them,
yet, it is evident, they are not left at liberty to choose whom they
please, but are, in the most express and positive terms, limited and
circumscribed in their choice to him, whom the Lord their God shall
choose: and this divine choice must certainly be understood (in a large
sense) of a person of such a character, temper of mind, and
qualifications, as God pointed out to them in his law, particularly in
the text before cited (for whatever God's word approves of and chooses,
that God himself chooses). And in the text before, as the person is
further described, both negatively and positively, he must be a brother;
which relation is not to be confined to that of kindred or nation, but
especially respects religion. He must not be a stranger and enemy to the
true religion, but a brother, in respect of a cordial embracing, and
sincere profession (so far as men can judge) of the same cause of
religion, and so one, of whom it may be expected that he will employ his
power and interest to advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ. This precept
respects the office, and points at the very deed of constitution, and in
the most positive manner, restricts not only the people of the _Jews_,
but every nation blessed with the light of divine revelation, in their
setting up of civil rulers, pointing forth on whom they may, and on whom
they may not confer this honorable office. The same truth is confirmed
by 2 _Sam._ xxiii, 2, 3, 4: "The spirit of the Lord spake by me--the God
of _Israel_ said,--he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the
fear of God."--So _Job_ xxxiv, 17, 18: "Shall even he that hateth right
govern?--Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye
are ungodly?" In which words, while _Elihu_ is charging _Job_ with
blasphemy, in accusing God of injustice, declaring that if he made God a
hater of right and impeached him of injustice, he did, in effect,
blasphemously deny his government, universal dominion and sovereignty in
the world. It is not only supposed, but strongly asserted and affirmed,
that he that hateth right should not govern. Again, 1 _Cor._ vi, 1, 4,
5: "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set
them to judge--Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not
one that is able to judge between his brethren?" All these texts, which
are plain, positive, moral precepts, whereby God hath set boundaries
about his own ordinance; that it be not corrupted by men, as they
demonstrate what magistrates ought to be, and prove that they cannot be
of God's ordaining who have not these qualifications: so they evince,
that scriptural qualifications are nothing less necessary and essential
to the being of a lawful scriptural magistrate, than the consent of the
people; and consequently, do sufficiently overturn this anti-scriptural
scheme. _Seceders_ indeed grant, that God hath declared his will,
concerning the choice of magistrates in the above, and such like
precepts; but, from their granting these scriptural qualifications to be
only advantageous to those that have them, and necessary to the
well-being and usefulness of lawful magistrates, and at the same time
denying them to be necessary to the being thereof; it necessarily
follows, as the consequence of their sentiments, that they allow civil
society a negative over the supreme Lawgiver in this matter; and in so
doing, exalt the will and inclination of the creature above the will of
the Creator, which is the very definition of sin. Say they in the
fore-quoted pamphlet, page 80th, "It is manifest, that the due measure
and performance of scriptural qualifications and duties, belong not to
the being and validity of the magistrate's office, but to the well-being
and usefulness thereof." How easy is it here to turn their own artillery
against themselves, and split their argument with a wedge of its own
timber? For if, as is granted, scriptural qualifications are essential
to the usefulness of the magistrate's office, they must also be
necessary to the being thereof, otherwise it is in itself quite useless.
And if in itself useless, with respect to the great ends thereof,
without the due measure of scriptural qualifications, it cannot then be
the ordinance of God, in regard it must not be supposed, that a God of
infinite wisdom and goodness, who does nothing in vain, has instituted
an ordinance for the good of his people, in subserviency to his glory,
which yet, in itself (as to its being and essence), is useless, and of
no profit nor advantage to them. And as for their comparison of the
magistrate's office to other common and ordinary places and relations
among men, the parallel will not hold, no not for illustration, far less
for a proof of their doctrine. Nor is there any comparison, unless they
can prove, that God in his word has as plainly and positively required
men to be so and so qualified, before it is lawful for them to enter
into, or for others to put them in such places and relations, as he has
done, with regard to magistracy. This is indeed the scope and end of
their whole scheme, to derogate from, degrade and lessen the dignity of
this great ordinance of magistracy, allowing it no more than what is
common to men in general, in other inferior states and ordinary business
of life, alleging, "That these qualifications (which they grant God has
prescribed in his word) are only advantageous to them that have them;"
and that at the hazard of evidently opposing and contradicting the
intention of the Spirit of God, in the above texts of scripture, which
imply a specialty, and particular appropriation to kings and rulers in
their office.

Again, this principle either, as above said, denies magistracy to be
God's ordinance instituted in his word; or then says, that he hath
instituted ordinances in his revealed will, without prescribing any
qualifications as essential to their being, but entirely left the
constitution of them to the will of man. But how absurd is this, and
derogatory to the glory of God, in all his perfections, who is a God of
order, once to imagine, that he hath set any of his ordinances, either
as to matter or manner, upon the precarious footing of the pure will of
wicked and ungodly men? The smallest acquaintance with divine revelation
will readily convince, that he hath not. It may as well, and with the
same parity of reason, be refused, that there are any qualifications
requisite, as essential to the being and validity of the office of the
ministry, but only necessary to its well-being and usefulness; and
therefore, is as lawful (in its exercise) in the want of these
qualifications, as the ordinance of magistracy is accounted to be. But
how contrary is this to scripture, _Tit._ i, 7, 8; 1 _Tim._ iii, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, 7, &c. Now, comparing these with the above-cited texts,
respecting the qualifications of magistrates, it appears, that the
qualifications of the magistrate are required in the same express and as
strong terms (if not also somewhat more clearly,) as the qualifications
of the minister; and seeing a holy God hath made no difference, as to
the essentiality of the qualifications pertaining to these distinct
ordinances, it is too much presumption for any creature to attempt doing
it. Both magistrate and minister are, in their different and distinct
spheres, clothed with an equal authority from the law of God,--have
subjection and obedience equally, under the same pains, required to them
respectively, (as _Deut_. xvii. 9 to 13; 2 _Chron_. xix, 5 to 11; _Heb_.
xiii, 17, &c.)--and the qualifications of both, as above, stated and
determined with equal peremptoriness, making them no less essential to
the being and validity of the one than the other. And this being the
case, it is not easy to understand how _Seceders_ will reconcile their
principles anent civil government, with their principle and practice, in
separating from an established church or ministry, whose constitution
they acknowledge to be good; and who being presbyterially ordained, are
also still countenanced by the body of the people. Sure, had they dealt
fairly, honestly and impartially in the matters of God, they would have
acted in this case agreeably to their declared principle, page 79th of
their pamphlet, viz.: "The passages holding forth these qualifications
and duties of magistrates, do not by the remotest hint imply, that, if
in any wise they be deficient in, or make defection from the same, their
authority and commands, even in matters lawful, must not be subjected
unto and obeyed," &c. Certainly, according to this, all the
deficiencies, defections, and mal-administrations in the church, could
never have been a warrantable ground (which yet they make the only
ground) of their separation from her. "But on the contrary," they should
still have continued in communion with her, and subjection to her in
matters lawful, in a way of testifying "against the same, and essaying
their reformation, by all means that were habile for them." _Seceders_
must either grant, that such was their duty, and so of themselves
condemn their separation as unwarrantable; or else deny, that the
qualifications of the magistrate and minister are required in the same
express terms in scripture; that both are clothed with an equal (though
distinct) authority; and that subjection and obedience are under the
same pains enjoined to both, and consequently say, that it is less
dangerous to cast off, contemn and disregard the authority of a church,
than that of the state; while yet (according to their scheme) civil
authority is entirely resolved into, and depends purely upon the
changeable will of civil society. But, it is presumed, they will allow,
that ecclesiastical authority is derived, and flows from, and depends
entirely upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone, the glorious Judge, Lawgiver,
and King of his church; so that (according to them) this being of a far
more noble extract and original, it must be of far more dangerous
consequence, to contemn and cast off it, than the other.

Again, as this doctrine gives unto men a negative over the Holy One of
Israel, it also opens a wide door for introducing and enforcing the
cause of deism, already too prevalent: for, if all who are set up by
civil society, however wicked, and void of the qualifications God has
required, while they are acknowledged and submitted to by their
constituents, must be equally regarded as God's ordinance, with those
who have those qualifications; then it will follow, that the corrupt
will of wicked men legitimates the magistrate's office and authority,
not only without, but in contradiction to the preceptive will of God;
and what is this (_absit blasphemia_), but to exalt man above God, in
giving unto the universal Sovereign and Supreme Lawgiver, only a
consultative power in the constitution of magistracy, while it ascribes
unto man an absolute and definitive power, whereby they have power to
receive or reject the law of God (at least respecting magistracy) at
pleasure, and their deed of constitution be equally valid, when
opposite, as when agreeable unto, and founded upon his righteous law.
And sure, by the same reason, that man may take a liberty to dispense
with the authority of God, in one point of his commanding will; he may
also in another, until at last every part of it is rejected. It is but a
contempt of the same authority, and he that offends in one point, is
guilty of all. Such are the absurdities that this their scheme leads to,
though it is hoped the authors do not intend so. It may here be only
necessary further to observe, that among the other desperate shifts
_Seceders_ are driven to in defense of their favorite notion, they say,
that scriptural qualifications cannot be essential to God's ordinance of
magistracy, or necessarily required as a condition of it _sine qua non_;
for then it would be the same thing with magistracy; nor can these
qualifications be the condition (_sine qua non_, or), without which one
could not be a magistrate; for then it would be necessary, that every
one were possessed of them faultlessly, before he could be owned as a
lawful magistrate; either of which they allege would be grossly absurd.
But this plausible and fair-set argument of theirs, if it prove any
thing, will prove more than it is supposed they themselves will grant,
and consequently proves nothing at all. For the same gross absurdity
may, with equal reason, be inferred from a maintaining, that a due
measure and performance of scripture qualifications and duties are
essential to any other of God's ordinances, and so that these are the
ordinance itself. For instance, they might as well reason (as some have
justly observed already), that scriptural qualifications are not
essential to a lawful gospel minister, for then it would be the same
thing with the ministry, itself; nor can it be a condition, without
which one is not really a minister, unless he were so faultlessly. And
thus they have at once stripped, not only all of the race of _Adam_,
that ever exercised that office, but themselves also, of any real
mission, as ministers, unless they have assumed the Pope's
infallibility, and are advanced to the _Moravian_ perfection. So,
although the scripture declares it essential to the true church, that
she hold the head, yet by their childish reasoning, this would infer a
conclusion big with absurdities, even that this qualification of a true
church, is the church itself. And, in like manner, it can no longer be
admitted, that faith in Christ, and holiness, are essential to the being
of a true Christian; for that would be to make faith the same thing with
a Christian, and would infer, that as in heaven only holiness is in
perfection, so there alone Christians are to be found. Upon the whole,
as the Lord has given an indispensable law, respecting the constitution
of kings, showing what conditions and qualifications are required of
them; it undeniably follows, as an established truth, that Christianized
nations must invest none with that office, but in a way agreeable to
that law, and those alone according to scripture, are magistrates of
God's institution, who are in some measure possessed of these
qualifications. It is therefore an anti-scriptural tenet, that nothing
is requisite to constitute a lawful magistrate, but the inclinations and
choice of the civil society.

3. The Presbytery testify against this system of principles, because it
has a direct tendency to destroy the just and necessary distinction that
ought to be maintained between the perceptive and providential will of
God, and necessarily jumbles and confounds these together, in such a
manner, as a man is left at an utter uncertainty to know when he is
accepted and approven of God in his conduct, and when not. That this is
the scope of their principles, is confessed, p. 87, of their book of
principles: "Nothing needs be added [say they] for the clearing of this,
but the overthrow of a distinction that has been made of those who are
acknowledged as magistrates by civil society, into such as are so by the
preceptive will of God, and such are so by his providential will only;
which distinction is altogether groundless and absurd. It will not be
refused, that all such preceptive magistrates are also providential.
But, moreover, all such providential magistrates are also preceptive.
The office and authority of them all, in itself considered, does equally
arise from, and agrees to the preceptive will of God." A doctrine most
shocking in itself! How strange! that Christians, from any
consideration, will obstinately maintain a favorite opinion, which is
confessedly built upon, and cannot be established but at the expense of
blending and confounding the preceptive and providential will of God,
while the distinction thereof is clearly and inviolably established in
the word of God! Although divine providence, which is an unsearchable
depth, does many times, and, in many cases, serve as a commentary to
open up the hidden mysteries of scripture revelation; yet, where the law
of God in the scriptures of truth is silent, there providence regulates
not, is neither institutive, nor declarative of God's will to be done by
us; and where the said divine law does ordain or deliver a rule to us in
any case, there providence gives no relaxation, allowance or countermand
to the contrary. (See _Gee_ on magistracy, in his excellent discourse on
providence.) That an overthrow of this necessary distinction, for the
sake of the above dangerous scheme, cannot be admitted of, in a
consistency with a due regard to the authority of revealed religion, and
that therefore the right and lawfulness of magistracy is not founded
upon the providential will of God, though they are countenanced and
supported by the majority of a nation, will partly appear from the
following considerations:

1. If there is no distinction to be made between the preceptive and
providential will of God, then is providence equally in all respects the
rule of duty, as much as the precept is, and so man should be left at an
utter uncertainty, what is duty, in regard of the opposition that is
many times between providential dispensations and the precept. Nay, then
it is impossible that man can be guilty of sin, in transgressing the
divine will, because God infallibly brings to pass, by his holy and
over-ruling providence, whatever he has decreed by his eternal purpose.
_Rom._ ix, 17. And thus the Jews, in murdering the Son of God, should be
acquitted from the charge of guilt, and could not be said to transgress
the divine will.

2. If no distinction is to be made between the preceptive and
providential will of God, but providence is declarative of the precept,
then is providence a complete rule without the written word. And this at
once supersedes the necessity of divine revelation, and derogates from
the sufficiency and perfection of the scriptures of truth. The written
word is affirmed to be _perfect_: _Psal._ xix, 7. Sinners are reproved
for doing that which the word gave no command for, _Jer._ vii, 31, and
xix, 5; and challenged for following the promising appearances: _Isa._
xxx. 1, 2, 3, 11. It is therefore daring presumption to set up
providence for a rule in opposition to the written law of God. Hence it
must be concluded, either that the preceptive will of God in the
scriptures is imperfect, or the laws therein repealable by providence;
or then that providence cannot be the rule of human actions.

3. If the distinction between the preceptive and providential will of
God is to be overthrown, then providence must be expressive of God's
approbative ordination, equally as his revealed will is. For, without
this (viz. the divine approbation), there can be no lawful title to what
is possessed. But this is what providence of itself cannot do; it cannot
without the precept discover either God's allowance or disallowance. If
then this distinction is denied, and the providential will of God
asserted to be declarative of his preceptive, and so of his approbative
will; it remains to be manifested, where and how it has been appointed
of God for such an end, an end that is by the Spirit of God denied unto
it: _Eccl._ ix, 1, 2, 4. If this distinction is to be overthrown, then
either the providential will of God, without any regard to the precept,
in every case, and in every sort of tenure, gives a just and lawful
right and title; or God has declared in his word that it shall be so in
the matter of civil government only, viz. that whosoever gains the
ascendancy in the inclinations of the people, by whatever sinful methods
this is obtained, it matters not, and so is by the hand of providence
raised up above all his rivals to the regal dignity, he is the lawful
magistrate, God's ordinance according to his precept. The first cannot
be said; it were impious to suppose it; for that would justify all
robberies and violences, and legitimate every fraud; not the latter, for
where is it to be found in all the book of divine revelation, that God
hath made such a law touching magistracy? But how big with absurdities,
to say, that a holy God has given to man a plain and positive law to be
his governing rule in every particular that concerns him, this of
magistracy only excepted. In this great ordinance he hath wholly left
him to be guided, or rather misled and bewildered by his own corrupt
inclinations: but the contrary of this has been in part discovered, and
may further. 5. If, in order to establish their anti-government scheme,
the foresaid distinction is to be destroyed, and all such as are
providential powers, and acknowledged by man, are also preceptive, and
therefore to be submitted to for conscience sake, then are the kingdoms
of men necessarily obliged to own and submit unto the dominion of the
devil. The devil not only claims to himself the possession of the power
of all the kingdoms of this world, but it is certain that of the most of
them he still retains an actual predominancy, hence styled the god of
this world. Now, it cannot be refused, but that the power he exercises
is providential (or a power of permission); and it is most certain, that
it is with the consent and good will of all the children of men, while
in a natural state. But are men therefore obliged to acknowledge his
authority, or submit to that providential power he maintains over them?
If every providential power is also preceptive, the answer must be given
in the affirmative. The like may be said of the Pope of _Rome_, the
devil's captain-general, to display his hellish banner against the King
of kings, and Lord of lords, with respect to those nations where he is
acknowledged in his diabolical pretensions. It can be to no purpose for
_Seceders_ to allege that the Pope claims a power unlawful in itself,
and therefore cannot be owned, in regard the person whom they make a
pretended acknowledgment of, as their lawful sovereign, is by the act of
his constitution invested with a similar power, a power both civil and
ecclesiastical, and declared to be head of the church, as well as the
state. Nothing, therefore, remains for them, but either to acknowledge
this clear distinction between the providential and preceptive will of
God, or then profess the lawfulness of both the above mentioned powers.
6. If the foresaid distinction is too big with absurdities to be
received, and if the authority of all providential magistrates does
equally arise from, and agree unto the precept, then it would be no sin
to resist the powers ordained of God, provided that providence proves
auspicious and favorable to the rebel, and advances him to the throne,
with the good will of his fellow rebellious subjects, by expelling the
lawful sovereign; at least such resistance could not be determined to be
sinful, until once the event declared, whether providence would
countenance the treasonable attempt or not. Thus what the apostle
declares a damnable sin, _Rom._ xiii, 2, must be justified and made the
foundation of subsequent duty, if patronized by a multitude. This they
evidently maintain, as appears from their declaration of principles,
page 82, where, pretending to obviate some difficulties anent their
principles, arising from the people of God's disowning anti-scriptural
magistrates: "The whole nature of any simple revolt [say they] lies in
breaking off immediately from the civil body, by withdrawing from, or
withdrawing part of their territories; and then it necessarily follows
at the same time, that these revolters break off from the head of the
civil body, without ever denying his authority over the members who
still cleave unto the same." This, in connection with their grand
foundation principle, and the scope of their discourse at the above
citation, discovers that they grant, that if the whole civil society
should reject the authority they had set up (however agreeable it should
have been to the preceptive will of God, and should again set up
another, though never so opposite thereto), their doing so would be
lawful; but it is not lawful for a few to disown any authority (however
wicked and anti-scriptural), unless they can at the same time withdraw
from, or withdraw part of his territories. Nothing can be more absurd
than to say, that a people are bound by the laws of God to give
subjection for conscience sake, and yet at the same time are at liberty
to cast off and reject the same authority at pleasure. If the magistrate
be lawful, it is utterly unlawful to reject him; an attempt to divest
him of his office, power and authority, though carried on by the
_primores regni_, is rebellion against God. It is most ridiculous to
allege, that a people considered as a body politic, are not under the
same obligation to their rightful sovereign, as when they are considered
as individuals, but may lawfully reject him, and set up another, if they
please; so that he who one day is God's minister, next day hath no title
to that office, but if he claim it, must be treated as a traitor,
whereby all security that can possibly be given to the most lawful
magistrate, is at once destroyed. Thus, if the Chevalier had succeeded
in his late attempt, had gained the favor of the _primores regni_, and
thereby mounted the _British_ throne; _Seceders_ must then, of
necessity, either have quit their present principles, or then have
subjected to his yoke for conscience sake, under the pain of eternal
damnation. His being a professed Papist, and enslaved vassal of _Rome_,
could not have warranted them to leave their place of subjection to him
while owned by the civil society, and so they must have treated the
present powers as usurpers and enemies to government, though they now
flatter them with the pretensions of an ill-grounded loyalty. Again, how
absurd and self contradictory to grant, that a minor part may not only
revolt, but also withdraw part of a prince's territories; and yet that
the same party may not, when residing in the nation, refuse to
acknowledge the lawfulness of an anti-scriptural power. This is to say,
that people are no longer obliged to submit to authority, than they are
in capacity to withdraw from, or withdraw part of their prince's
territories from him, and so to justify their rebellion, by that which
can only be a terrible aggravation of their sin. These, with a number of
other absurdities, natively flow from a denial of the distinction
between the providential and preceptive will of God, making the title of
the lawful magistrate depend solely upon the will of the people. Nothing
is more evident than this, that if the inclinations of the people,
exclusive of all other qualifications, constitute a lawful magistrate,
then (though he rules ever so agreeable to God's preceptive will), so
soon as this body (though in a most unjust and tyrannical manner) casts
him off, he that moment for ever loses all title and claim to the
office, and can no longer be regarded as a lawful magistrate. A
principle that in its nature and tendency is introductive of all anarchy
and confusion, and with the greatest propriety deserves the encomium of
the _anti-government scheme_.

7. This anarchical system of principles, which destroys the above just
and necessary distinction, is directly in opposition to the laudable and
almost universal practice of all nations, in ordaining and enacting
certain fundamental laws, constitutions and provisos, whereby the throne
is fenced, the way to it limited, and the property thereof predisposed.
The Scripture sufficiently discovers those restrictions and rules, which
God himself has prescribed and laid down, for directing and determining
of his people's procedure about the erection of magistrates. And profane
history abounds in discovering certain fundamental laws and conditions
to take place, almost in every nation, without conforming to which, none
can be admitted to that dignity over them. But to what purpose are any
such laws and constitutions, if this vague principle is once admitted,
which cancels and disannuls all such provisos and acts? Why should
_Moses_ have been so solicitous about his successor in the government of
_Israel, Numb._ xxvii, 15-17, if God had ordained the inclinations of
the people alone should determine? Or to what purpose did _Israel_,
after the death of _Joshua_, ask of God, who should be their leader, if
their own inclinations alone were sufficient to determine it? If God has
declared, that the corrupt will of the people is the alone basis of
civil power, then, not only are all state constitutions and fundamental
laws useless, because, on every vacancy of the throne, they not only
must all give place to the superior obligation, the incontrollable law,
of the uncertain inclinations of the body politic, but they are in their
nature unlawful; their proper use in every nation being to prevent all
invasion upon the government by unqualified persons, and to illegitimate
it, if at any time done. So that, if the consent of civil society is the
only essential condition of government which God has authorized, not
only are all scriptural conditions and qualifications useless and
unlawful, but also all human securities, either from intruders or for
lawful governors, are unlawful, in regard the very design of them all is
to oppose this grand foundation principle, the jure-divinity of which
_Seceders_ have found out, and do confidently maintain. And thus, by the
seceding scheme, is condemned, not only the practice of almost all other
nations, determining by law, some indispensable qualifications that
their rulers must have; but particularly the practice of these once
reformed lands, when reformation had the sanction, not only of
ecclesiastic, but also of civil, authority, is hereby condemned.
Scripture and covenant qualifications were then made essential to the
being of a lawful magistrate, by the fundamental laws and constitutions
of the nations; so that however the inclinations of the people might run
(as it soon appeared they were turned in opposition to these), yet, by
these laws, and in a consistency with that constitution, none could be
admitted to the place or places of civil authority, but such as
professed, and outwardly practiced, according to reformation principles.
See _Act_ 15th, _Sess._ 2d, _Parl._ 1649. And how happy we had been, if
we had constantly acted in conformity to these agreeable laws,
experience, both former and latter, will bear witness. How much better
had it been for us to have walked in God's statutes, and executed his
judgments, than by our abhorrence of them, and apostasy from them, to
provoke him to give us statutes that are not good, and judgments whereby
we cannot live (_Ezek._ xx, 25), or have any comfortable enjoyment and
possession of the blessings and privileges of his everlasting gospel, as
it is with us at this day. And yet, this is what _Seceders_ would have
us caressing, embracing and (with them) blessing God for, under the
notion of a present good; and so bless God for permitting his enemies
(in anger against an ungrateful and guilty people) to overturn his work
and interest, and establish themselves upon the ruins thereof; to bless
him for making our own iniquities to correct us, and our backslidings to
reprove us, until we know what an evil and bitter thing it is to depart
from the LORD GOD of our fathers; to bless him (for what is matter of
lamentation) that the adversaries of _Zion_ are the chief, and her
enemies prosper, _Lam._ i, 5: and all this abstractly, under the notion,
of good, which comes very near the borders of blasphemy.

But, moreover, the civil settlement at the revolution is also condemned
by this principle of theirs; not because of its opposition to a
covenanted reformation, but in regard it includes some essential
qualifications required in the supreme civil ruler. The nations are, by
that deed of constitution, bound up in their election of a magistrate;
and all Papists, such as marry with Papists, or do not publicly profess
the Protestant religion, are declared incapable of the throne. So that
we see the present law makes some other qualifications, besides the
consent of the body politic, essential to the constitution of a lawful
sovereign in _Britain_. From all which it is plain, that this principle
of _Seceders_ is neither a reformation nor a revolution principle; let
then the impartial world judge whence it came.

_Seceders_, in consequence of their contradictory and self-inconsistent
system of principles, declare they cannot swear allegiance to a lawful
government. They maintain the present to be lawful, yet (in Dec. of
their principles, _page_ 55th) they say, "The question is not whether it
be lawful for us to swear the present allegiance to the civil
government, which the Presbytery acknowledge they cannot do, seeing
there are no oaths to the government in being, but what exclude the oath
of our covenants, and homologate the united constitution." But seeing
they acknowledge that every constitution of government, that comprehends
the will and consent of civil society, were it as wicked and diabolical
as can be imagined, is lawful--yea, as lawful as any that is most
consonant to the preceptive will of God, having all the essentials of
his ordinance; and seeing, because of the will and consent of the
people, they own the present to be lawful, it is most surprising why
they cannot swear allegiance to it; their reasons cannot, in a
consistency with their principle, be sustained as valid. That the
present oaths of allegiance and the oath of the covenants are
inconsistent, is readily granted; but seeing the oaths of allegiance
bind to nothing more than what they confess they are bound to for
conscience sake, namely, to own the lawfulness of the government, and to
maintain it according to the constitution thereof (which is a duty owed
by subjects to every lawful sovereign); and seeing that whatever is in
the oaths of allegiance contrary to the covenants, does not flow from
them, abstractly considered, but from the constitution to which they
bind (which constitution is sanctified by the people's acknowledgement
of it). If, therefore, the covenants forbid a duty, to which they are
bound for conscience sake, their authority in that ought not to be
regarded.

But certainly _Seceders_, who have found it duty to alter and model the
covenants, according to the circumstances of the times they live in,
might have found it easy work to reconcile the oath of the covenants
with allegiance to a lawful government. The other part of their reason
is no less ridiculous and self-contradictory, viz., "They cannot swear
allegiance to the present government, because it homologates the united
constitution." But is not this constitution according to the will, and
by consent of, the body politic? and is it not ordained by the
providential will of God? therefore, according to them, has all the
essentials of a lawful constitution, which claims their protection,
under pain of damnation. How great the paradox! they cannot swear
allegiance, because they would bind them to acknowledge and defend a
lawful constitution. Is not active obedience, is not professed
subjection for conscience sake, an homologation of the constitution?
Certainly they are, and that not in word only, but in deed and in truth.
And what is the allegiance, but a promise to persevere in what they do
daily, and what they hold as their indispensable duty to do? To grant
the one, then, and refuse the other, is, in effect, to homologate or
acknowledge the constitution, and not to acknowledge it, at the same
time, which is a glaring absurdity.

But here, they would have people attend to their chimerical distinction
between the king's civil and ecclesiastical authority. They have made a
successless attempt (in order to establish their antigovernment scheme)
for the overthrow of a distinction, which Heaven has irreversibly fixed,
between the preceptive and providential will of God; and, for the same
purpose, they will impose this distinction on the generation--a mere
shift and artifice, which has no foundation nor subsistence any where
else, but in their imagination, and serves for no purpose but to cheat
their own and others' consciences, and betray the cause of God. It is
plain, that as a power, both civil and ecclesiastical, belongs to the
essence and constitution of an English diocesan bishop, so the same is
declared to belong now to the essence and constitution of an English
king, who is the head and chief prelate among them all; and it is their
manner to call themselves his bishops (not Christ's), as having their
power, both ecclesiastical and civil, immediately from him, as the
fountain of all power within his dominions So that there is no room for
this distinction of _Seceders_ here, unless they are such expert
logicians, as to distinguish a thing from that which is essential to it,
and so from itself; but this is a destruction, not a distinction.
_Seceders_ indeed presume and depend very much upon their abilities of
this kind; for they can distinguish between the magistrate's office and
its essential qualifications, which God has inseparably joined together
in his word. They can distinctly pray for the head, author, authorizer
and prime supporter, of abjured Prelacy and Prelates, that God would
bless him in his government, and yet not pray for the Prelates
themselves. They can pray very fervently and distinctly for the British
and Irish parliaments, and yet not at all pray for the bishops,
necessary and essential members there. And what is all this but to pray
for a nonentity, a mere creature of their own mind? They have neither
king nor parliament in their abstracted and imaginary sense, but do
clearly distinguish themselves out of both. We might refer them to that
famous and faithful embassador, and renowned martyr for the cause and
testimony of Jesus, Mr. _Donald Cargill_, in his last speech and
testimony, and let him determine the controversy (in this particular)
between us. They will not be so bold as to say, that this honorable
witness died with a lie in his right hand. His words are these: "As to
the cause of my suffering, the main is, not acknowledging the present
authority as it is now established. This is the magistracy I have
rejected, that was invested with Christ's power; and seeing that power
taken from Christ, which is his glory, and made the essential of the
crown, I thought it was as if I had seen one wearing my husband's
clothes, after he had killed him. And seeing it is made the essential of
the crown, there is no distinction we can make, that can free the
conscience of the acknowledger from being a partaker of this
sacrilegious robbing of God. And it is but to cheat our conscience, to
acknowledge the civil power, for it is not the civil power only, that is
made the essential of the crown. And seeing they are so express, we must
be plain; for otherwise, it is to deny our testimony, and consent to his
robbery." From these words it is evident, _first_, that Mr. Cargill was
no _Seceder_, or of their mind, in this particular; and _second_, that,
at the time, there were some who did cheat and impose upon their own
consciences, by distinguishing (where there was no room for distinction)
between the king's civil and ecclesiastical authority--which distinction
was condemned and testified against by all who were truly faithful to
Christ and their own consciences, and tender of his honor and glory, by
their unanimous rejection of that anti-christian and unlawful power; and
that when they had much more reason and temptation to fly to such a
subterfuge for their safety, than _Seceders_ now have. And, _third_,
from these words it is also clear, that Mr. _Cargill_ and that poor,
distressed and persecuted people that adhered to him, rejected and
disclaimed the then authority, not so much because of their tyranny and
mal-administrations, as on account of the unlawfulness and wickedness of
the constitution itself (which was the prime original and spring of all
the wickedness in the administration), namely, because the king
arrogantly and sacrilegiously assumed to himself that power, which was
the sole and glorious prerogative of Jesus Christ. And as to the
difference that _Seceders_ make between that and the present time (since
the revolution), it is certain, that whatever greater degree of absolute
supremacy was then assumed by _Charles_ II, it does not vary the kind of
that claimed, or rather conferred on and exercised, by the supreme
powers, since the revolution (for _majus et minus non variant speciem_),
nor acquit them of the guilt of robbing the Son of God, Jesus Christ, of
his incommunicable prerogative and supremacy in and over his church, as
the only king and head thereof. Nor will the difference of times, while
the constitution remains the same, while God remains the same, and truth
and duty remain the same, nor yet any distinction that can be made, free
the conscience of the acknowledger, more now than then, from being a
partaker (art and part) with the civil power, in this sacrilegious
robbery. _Psal._ l, 18: "When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst
with him," &c.

But passing this: seeing the above mentioned reasons, which _Seceders_
allege why they cannot swear allegiance to the present government, which
they assert is lawful and scriptural, cannot be sustained, some others
must be sought for them: and they may be either, because they judge
allegiance itself unlawful; or rather, because then they would be bound
by oath to continue faithful to this government in all changes that can
happen. Whereas now, they are free, and equally ready, in a full
consistency with their principles, to profess their subjection to
another, were it even a popish pretender. For according, to them, an
infidel or papist may have a just and lawful authority over us,
notwithstanding all, both the reformation and revolution laws, to the
contrary. If, therefore, the legislature would, in the oaths of
allegiance, insert this limitation, viz. so long as the body politic is
pleased to acknowledge the supreme magistrate, they would find it easier
to come over their other pretended and inconsistent difficulties. For
the truth is, they cannot, in a consistency with their anti-government
scheme, and with safe consciences, swear to any government, but with
such limitation, in regard they cannot be sure, but he that is now owned
by civil society may be rejected, and another set up, who must be
acknowledged. So they would be brought into an inextricable dilemma;
either they must own them both to be God's ordinance, which is absurd;
or then be perjured, by rejecting him to whom they had sworn; or then
incur damnation, by refusing obedience to him, who is set up by the body
politic. Such is the labyrinth of confusion and contradiction this
anarchical system leads into; a system that cancels all constitutions by
God and men anent civil government.

8. This anti-government Seceding principle, destructive of said
distinction between the providential and preceptive will of God, is both
contrary to, and confuted by many approven scriptural examples; in which
the Spirit of God testifies, that the actual possession of the throne,
under the favor of providence, and by the consent of a majority of a
nation, may be in one, while the moral power and right of government is
in another. The word of God acknowledges _David_ the rightful sovereign
over all _Israel_, for the space of forty years (1 Kings, ii, 11; 1
Chron. xxix, 26, 27); seven of these he is said to have reigned in
_Hebron_, and thirty-three in _Jerusalem_. During the first seven years
of his reign at _Hebron_, there is a positive confinement of his actual
rule to the tribe of _Judah_ only; 2 Sam. v, 5. And at the same time,
_Ishbosheth_ is said to be made king over all _Israel_, and to have
reigned two years. In agreeableness to Seceding principles, there is no
reconciling these different texts. According to their scheme _David_ can
with no propriety be said to have reigned forty years over all _Israel_,
seeing seven of the years were elapsed before he was actually
acknowledged by all _Israel_, before providence put him in the actual
possession of all that extensive power. There is another known example,
applicable to the present purpose, in the instance of _David_, during
the rebellion of his unnatural son _Absalom_. According to the sacred
story, 2 Sam. chap, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, it appears, that he was
wholly ejected, both out of the hearts and territories of _Israel_, and
not only the throne, but the will and consent of the people given up to
_Absalom_. But was _David_ therefore divested of his right and title?
Though it is most contrary to scripture to suppose it; yet, according to
_Seceders_, seeing _Absalom_ was king, by possession of the throne, and
had not only the power providentially put into his hand, but had it also
by the consent of the people; it necessarily follows that _Absalom_,
being a providential magistrate, his office and authority did equally
arise from, and agree to the preceptive will of God, and subjection and
obedience, for conscience sake, was equally due to him, as to _David_,
by the _Israelitish_ tribes. And so it was a damnable sin in _David_ to
fight against him, as it could be no less than a resisting the ordinance
of God. The same may be said with respect to that other revolt, by the
instigation, and under the conduct of _Sheba_; 2 Sam. chap. xx. But
although, according to _Seceders_, he must also have been their lawful
magistrate, the Spirit of God discovers the reverse, still acknowledging
the right of government in all these changes to be in _David_. Another
example is in the case of _Solomon_, who was ordained or designed by God
expressly for the kingdom of _Israel_. _Adonijah_ had obtained the
ascendancy, both in respect of actual possession, and the inclinations
and consent of the majority of the nation; the consent was general; 1
Kings, i, 5, 7, 9, 11, 18, 25, and ii, 15. He had all to plead for
himself, which _Seceders_ make essential to the constitution of a lawful
king. He had got to the throne by providence, and had full admission and
possession, by the inclinations of the people. If then there is no
distinction to be made of those who are acknowledged by civil society,
into such as are so by the preceptive will of God, and such as are so by
his providential will only--then _Solomon_ had no right nor title to the
crown; and the enterprise of _David_ and _Nathan_, &c., of setting him
on the throne, was utterly unlawful. Both they and _Solomon_ ought to
have acquiesced in the duty of subjection to _Adonijah_, as being the
ordinance of God. But this would have been opposite to the express
direction of the Lord, appointing the kingdom to _Solomon_, "It was his
from the Lord," as _Adonijah_ himself confessed. To the same purpose
might be adduced, the instance of _Joash_, the son of _Akaziah_, who was
king _de jure_, even when _Athaliah_ had not only the countenance of
providence, but the consent of the people, in the possession of the
kingdom; 2 Chron. xxii, 10, 12. Again, the practice of nations, in
owning those for their lawful sovereigns, who, by providence, were put
from the actual exercise of their rule and authority, contributes to
confute this absurd notion. Thus, the people of _Israel_, who had risen
up for _Absalom_, do even, when _David_ was out of the land, own him for
their king. So, during the _Babylonish_ captivity, there are several
persons noted as princes of _Judah_, whom the people owned, as having
the right of government over them. With a variety of other instances,
all discovering, in opposition to their anarchical system, that it is
not by the dispensations of providence, that the right and title of the
lawful magistrate is to be determined. Moreover, as the Associate
Presbytery have so barefacedly belied the scriptures of truth, as to
assert that there cannot be so much as an instance found in all the
history of the Old Testament, of any civil members refusing, either by
word or deed, an acknowledgment of, or subjection unto the authority of
any magistrate actually in office, by the will of the civil body:
besides what have been already adduced, take these few following
examples of many. After that _Saul_, by his disobedience to the
commandment of the Lord, had forfeited his title to the kingdom, he was
no more honored as king, by _Samuel_, the prophet; but, on the contrary,
he openly testified to his face, that the Lord had rejected him from
being king; 1 Sam. xv, 26-35. Though he mourned over him as one
rejected, yet he no more acknowledged him as clothed with the authority
as a lawful king; nay, the Lord having rejected him, reproves his
prophet for mourning for him, 1 Sam. xvi, 1. From which, and the command
he received to anoint _David_ in his stead, and that even while the
civil society did acknowledge, and was subject unto _Saul_, it appears,
that the throne of _Israel_ was then regarded, both by the Lord and his
prophet, as vacant, until _David_ was annointed; from which time, in the
eye of the divine law, he was the rightful king, and ought, in
consequence of the public intimation made by the prophet of _Saul's_
rejection, to have been acknowledged as the Lord's Anointed by the whole
kingdom of _Israel_. In agreeableness whereto, the scripture informs,
that not only _David_ in expectation of the Lord's promise, resisted
_Saul_ as an unjust usurper, but many among the tribes of _Israel_, whom
the Spirit of God honorably mentions, rejected the government of _Saul_,
and joined themselves to him that was really anointed of the Lord; 1
Chron. xii, 1-23. Now, if the Lord did command, under pain of damnation,
to give loyal obedience to all in the place of supreme authority,
however wicked, while acknowledged by the body politic, he would not
reject such, nor command to set up others in their room, nor approve of
those who disowned and resisted them. But all this is done in this
instance, which of itself, is sufficient to overthrow their scheme.
Another instance is in 2 Chron. xi, 13, 16, where the authority of
_Jeroboam_ is rejected and cast off, even when acknowledged and
submitted to by the nation of _Israel_, by the priests and _Levites_,
and after them, by all such as did set their hearts to seek the Lord God
of _Israel_, through all the ten tribes; and this, because of his
abominable wickedness. Whereby it appears a commendable duty to refuse
the lawfulness of the authority of wicked occupants, though acknowledged
by the majority of a nation. A similar example there is in the reign of
_Baasha_, who could not by all his vigilance prevent many from casting
off his government; 2 Chron. xv, 9. Again, there is an express example
of _Elisha's_ disowning the king of _Israel_, even when the civil
society owned him; 2 Kings, iii, 14, 15. He did not regulate his conduct
by providence, and the will of the people, but, in opposition to both,
refused him that honor that is due to all that are really kings. To
these may be added that notable example of _Libnah_, a city of the
priests, who could not but have knowledge by the law of their God what
was their duty; 2 Chron. xxi, 10. Here is an instance of a people's
casting off allegiance to a king, properly because of his apostasy and
intolerable wickedness, whereby they bore testimony against him, and
discovered what was the duty of the whole nation, on account of his
apostasy from the Lord. Their so doing was a most positive, actual and
express condemnation, both of _Jehoram_ for his wickedness, and of the
people for concurring, joining with him, and strengthening his hands in
it (even as _Noah_ by his faith and obedience is said to have condemned
the antediluvian world; Heb. ix, 7.) And this their conduct and
testimony the Spirit of God justifies, and records to their honor. These
few of many that might be adduced, declare the impudence, as well as
fallacy and imposture of _Seceders_ in this matter, and also justify the
principles which they maliciously nick-name the anti-government scheme;
and that for no other reason, but because it establishes the ordinance
of magistracy among a people favored by God with divine revelation, upon
his preceptive will, in opposition to their anarchical notions of
setting it wholly upon the tottering basis of the corrupt will of man.
And, to conclude this particular, how ridiculously absurd is it in them
to insinuate, that, in the examples above, or others to be found in
sacred history, those persons did, notwithstanding their own practice in
rejecting the authority of wicked rulers, still view it as the duty of
the rest of the nation, to acknowledge them? This is pure jargon and
nonsense, contrary both to reason and religion. By what law could the
opposite practices of those that disowned, and those that still
continued to own the authority of unlawful rulers, be justified? It
could not by the divine law, which never condemns that as sin in one,
which it approves as duty in others in the same circumstances. Seeing
therefore these, in the instances above, are justified, the practice of
those who continued to acknowledge the lawfulness of these wicked
rulers, must be regarded as condemned, both by the divine law, and also
by the practices of the above persons, which do all jointly concur in
witnessing, that they viewed it the duty of all the rest of the nation,
to have done as they did. And from the whole, it appears a commendable
duty for the Lord's people to disown the right and lawfulness of rulers
set up in contradiction to the divine law.

9. The iniquity of attempting to destroy the necessary distinction
between the providential and preceptive will of God in the matter of
magistracy, appears from God's express disallowance of some whom
providence had actually exalted to the supreme command over a people;
_Ezek._ xxi, 27: "I will overturn, &c." Although this may have an
ultimate respect to Christ, yet it has also a reference to the rightful
governors of _Judah_, when disposessed of their right by the
providential will of God. And here the Lord threatens the execution of
his judgments upon the unjust possessor. See also _Amos_ vi, 13; _Hab._
ii, 5, 6; _Nah._ iii, 4, 5; and _Matth._ xxvi, 52. By all which it
appears, that the supreme lawgiver states a real difference between
those who are only exalted by the providential will of GOD, and not
authorized by his preceptive will; and therefore it is impossible that
the office and authority of them both can equally arise from, and agree
to the precept. Again, in _Hos._ viii, 4, "They have set up kings, but
not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not," is this
distinction showed, as with the brightness of a sun-beam, so that he
that runs may read it. The LORD by his prophet here charges this people
with horrid apostasy, in changing both the ordinances of the magistracy
and the ministry, particularly, although the LORD commanded, if they
would set up kings, they should set up none but whom he chose; _Deut._
xvii, 15. Yet they had no regard to his law. This charge seems to have
respect to the civil constitution among the ten tribes after their
revolt from the house of David; not simply charging their revolt on
them, but that after their secession, they did not consult GOD, nor act
according to his precept, in their setting up of kings. As nothing can
happen in the world, but by the course of providence; and as all things
are known unto GOD, in respect of his omniscience, the text cannot
respect either of these. The true import of the charge then is, they
have set up kings, but not according to the law and preceptive will of
GOD; and therefore he neither did nor would approve either them or their
kings. Hence the prophet charges this as one cause of their national
destruction. Here then it is undeniably evident that GOD himself
establishes that distinction pleaded for; and it is therefore most
wicked to assert, as _Seceders_ do, that it is altogether groundless and
absurd. Again, this text discovers, that all kings that are set up and
acknowledged by civil society, are not agreeable to the preceptive will
of GOD, or, as such, approven by him, as they have falsely asserted: for
here the LORD declares, that _Israel_ had set up kings that were not
agreeable to his precept: and the charge respects their authority, the
very deed of constitution. To say then, that all providential
magistrates are also preceptive, is directly to give the GOD of truth
the lie. Moreover, this plainly intimates, that all such providential
magistrates as are not set up in agreeableness to the precept; are
disallowed and condemned by GOD, and therefore GOD commands to put away
the carcasses of such kings, as, because of the blind consent of civil
society, were little better than adored by the people, _Ezek_. xliii, 9,
"that he might dwell in the midst of them forever;" and therefore he
declares it the sin, and so the cause of the people's ruin, as in the
above text: and also in _Hos._ v, 11, "_Ephraim_ is oppressed;" because
he willingly walked after the commandment, deliberately and implicitly
followed every wicked ruler set up by civil society. It is but a
perverting and abusing the above text, to plead that it is only a
condemnation of _Israel_, for not consulting the LORD in making choice
of their kings, but no condemnation of them for setting them up, and
acknowledging them, in contradiction to the LORD'S choice, as plainly
laid before them in his preceptive will. And it is very contradictory,
to acknowledge it a sin, not to consult God, and yet to assert that it
is a matter of indifference as to the validity of their office, whether
his counsel be followed or not, which it must be, if, as their principle
bears, the being of the magistrate's office and authority is equally
good and valid, when contrary, as when agreeable to the commanding will
of God. But if, as is granted, it be a sin not to consult God in the
choice of magistrates, it must needs be a great aggravation thereof,
after consulting him, to reject and contemn his counsel, and openly
contradict his positive command, by constituting kings in opposition to
his declared will, which is evidently the sin charged upon _Israel_, and
the reason why he disclaims all such; and therefore, according to that
known and approven rule, that wherever any sin is forbidden and
condemned in scripture, there the contrary duty is commanded and
commended; it follows, that the setting up of rulers, in opposition to
the express command of God, being here condemned, the contrary duty is
commended, namely, a disowning of all such rulers; for, if it be a sin
to set up rulers, and not by God, it must also be a sin to acknowledge
them when so set up, in regard it is a continuing in, and approving of
the sin of that wicked erection; although such an acknowledgment may
indeed be agreeable to their principle, which gives to the creature a
prerogative above the Creator. From the whole it may already appear,
what reason the Presbytery have for testifying against _Seceders_, for
maintaining such a corrupt doctrine; a doctrine, which they very justly
acknowledge (p. 87) cannot be established, but by the overthrow of this
distinction between the providential and preceptive will of God; a
distinction, that as they shall never be able to overturn by all their
impotent and impious attacks: so it will to all ages stand as a strong
bulwark, inviolably defending the truth here contended for by the
Presbytery.

4. The Presbytery testify against this anti-government principle of the
_Secession_, as being contradictory to, and inconsistent with the
reformation principles, and covenanted obligations, whereby these
nations, in agreeableness to the law of God, bound themselves to
maintain all the ordinances of God in their purity, according to their
original institution in the scriptures of truth. The Seceding scheme (as
has been noticed formerly) is, that whomsoever the bulk of the nation,
or body politic, set up, and providence proves auspicious and favorable
to, is the lawful magistrate, to be owned and submitted to for
conscience sake. The inconsistency of which tenet with reformation
principles, may appear from viewing and comparing therewith the
coronation oath, _James VI, Parl._ 1, _cap._ 8, where it is ordained as
a condition _sine qua non_, that all kings, princes, and magistrates,
shall at their installment solemnly swear to maintain the true religion
of Jesus Christ, and oppose all false religions. So also _James VI,
Parl. 1, cap._ 9th, which ordains, that no person may be a judge or
member of any court that professes not the true religion. Also _Charles
I_, _Parl._ 2, _sess_ 2d, _Act._ 14, it is ordained, that before the
king be admitted to the exercise of his royal power, he shall give
satisfaction to the kingdom anent the security of religion: and so the
same parliament, _Act_ 15th, 1649, express themselves (referring to the
coronation oath above mentioned): "The estates of parliament judging it
necessary, that the prince and people be of one perfect religion,
appoint, that all kings and princes, who shall reign or bear rule within
this realm, shall at the receipt of their princely authority, solemnly
swear to observe in their own persons, and to preserve the religion, as
it is presently established and professed. And they ordain, that before
the king's majesty who now is, or any of his successors, shall be
admitted to the exercise of his royal power, he shall, by and attour the
foresaid oath, declare by his solemn oath, under his hand and seal, his
allowance of the National Covenant, and of the Solemn League and
Covenant, and obligation to prosecute the ends thereof in his station
and calling; and that he shall consent, and agree to acts of parliament,
enjoining the Solemn League and Covenant, and fully establishing
Presbyterian government, the Directory for worship, Confession of Faith,
and Catechisms approved by the General Assembly of this kirk, and
parliament of this kingdom--and that he shall observe these in his own
practice and family,--and shall never make opposition to any of these,
or endeavor any change thereof. Likeas, the estates of parliament
discharge all the lieges and subjects of this kingdom to procure or
receive from his majesty any commissions or gifts whatsoever, until his
majesty shall give satisfaction, as said is, under the pain of being
censured in their persons and estates, as the parliament shall judge
fitting. And if any such commissions or gifts be procured or received by
any of the subjects before such satisfaction, the parliament declares
and ordains all such and all that shall follow thereupon, to be void and
null." And the same session, _Act_ 26th, it is in short ordained, that
none shall bear any place of public trust in the nation, but such as
have the qualifications God requires in his word. Thus, in the prefatory
part of the act, they say, "The estates of parliament taking into
consideration, that the Lord our God requires that such as bear charge
among his people, should be able men, fearing God, hating covetousness,
and dealing truly: and that many of the evils of sin and punishment,
under which the land groans, have come to pass, because hitherto they
have not been sufficiently provided and cared for," &c. (And afterward
in the statutory part), "Do therefore ordain, that all such as shall be
employed in any place of power and trust in this kingdom, shall not only
be able men, but men of known affection unto, and of approved fidelity
and integrity in the cause of God, and of a blameless Christian
conversation," &c. To the same purpose, _Act_ 11th, _Parl._ 2d, _Sess._
3d, entitled _act for purging the army_. See also the coronation oath,
of _Scotland_, as subscribed by _Charles II_, at _Scoon_, 1650. All
which, and many other fundamental laws of the like nature, made in time
of reformation, show the principles of our reformers to have been quite
different from those of _Seceders_ anent civil government: and that to
constitute lawful magistrates, they must of necessity have scriptural
and covenant qualifications, besides the consent of the people. With
what face then can they pretend to have adopted a testimony for
reformation principles, and to be of the same principles with our late
reformers? The vanity of this pretense will further appear, by comparing
their principles with the Solemn League and Covenant, with every article
of which they are inconsistent. They profess the moral obligation of the
covenants, and yet at the same time maintain the lawfulness of every
providential government, whether popish or prelatic, if set up by the
body politic. But how opposite this to the _first_ article, obliging
constantly to endeavor the preservation of the reformed religion? Can it
be consistent therewith, to commit the government of the nations to a
sworn enemy to the reformation? or, with that sincerity which becomes
the professors of Christ, to plead the lawfulness of an authority raised
upon the overthrow of the reformed religion? No less opposite is it to
the _second_ article, which obliges, and that without respect of
persons, to endeavor the extirpation of popery, prelacy--to maintain and
plead for the lawfulness of that which establishes or supports prelacy
or popery in the nations. This appears rather like a sincere endeavor in
them to promote whatever is contrary to sound doctrine, and the power of
true godliness; and that, because an apostate people approves thereof,
contrary to _Exod._ xxiii, 2: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do
evil." Again, the _third_ article binds to preserve the rights of
parliaments, and the liberties of the kingdoms, and the king's authority
in the preservation and defense of the true religion. But how
inconsistent is it therewith, to own and defend an authority that in its
constitution and habitual series of administration, is destructive of
all these precious and valuable interests? It is full of contradiction,
and a mocking both of God and the world, to pretend to own and defend
the destroyers of the true religion, in the defense of religion, as
_Seceders_ do in their mock acknowledgment of such as are sworn to
maintain Prelacy, in opposition to the reformed religion. The
contradictoriness of this principle of theirs to the _fourth_ article,
needs no illustration. Again, the owning of an authority, which is
reared up and stands upon the footing of the destruction of the
covenanted union, and uniformity of the nations in religion can never be
consistent with the _fifth_, article, which binds, to an endeavoring,
that these kingdoms may remain conjoined in that firm covenanted union
to all posterity. In like manner, as the _sixth_ article obliges to a
defending of all that enter into that League and Covenant, and never to
suffer ourselves to be divided, and make defection to the contrary part;
it must be a manifest contradiction thereto, not only to defend such as
are enemies to that covenant, but even in their opposition thereto. And
it is a making defection to the contrary part, and from that cause and
covenant with a witness, to plead the lawfulness of the national
constitution, which is established upon the ruins of a covenanted work
of reformation, as _Seceders_ do; whose principle and practice, in
opposition to what is professed in the conclusion of the covenant, as
well as what was the very design of entering into it, is, instead of a
going before others, in the example of a real reformation, a corrupting
of the nations more and more, and going before them in the example of a
real apostasy and defection from the reformation, so solemnly sworn to
be maintained in this covenant; and a teaching of them to appoint
themselves a captain, to return to their anti-christian bondage.

Upon the whole, as the Presbytery ought to testify against this new
scheme of principles, respecting the ordinance of magistracy; they
therefore, upon all the grounds formerly laid down, did, and hereby do
declare, testify against, and condemn the same, as what is, indeed, a
new and dangerous principle, truly anti-government, introductory of
anarchy and confusion, of apostasy and defection from the covenanted
work of reformation, the principles by which it was carried on and
maintained, and acts and laws, by which it was fenced and established;
and what is flatly opposite to, and condemned by the word of divine
revelation, in many express and positive precepts, and approven
examples, agreeable thereto, as well as by our solemn national
covenants, founded upon, and agreeable to the said word of divine
revelation. And finally, let this be further observed, that as it was a
beautiful branch of our glorious reformation, that the civil government
of this nation was modeled agreeable to the word of God; and that the
right of regal government was constituted, bounded and fixed by an
unalterable law, consonant to the word of God, and sworn to be
inviolably preserved both by king and people: so the _Associate
Brethren_, by their doctrine on this head, which is inconsistent with
our uncontroverted establishment, and fundamental laws, excluding from
the throne all papists and prelatists, have counteracted a most
important point of the covenanted reformation, and opened a wide door to
_Jacobitism_. For, if every one is bound to acknowledge implicitly any
government, in fact, that prevails: then, if a party in these nations
should rise up, and set a _popish_ pretender on the throne, according to
their doctrine, all should be obliged to subject to him; and it would be
sinful to impugn the lawfulness of his authority, although that, by
being popish, he is destitute of the essential qualifications required
of a king, not only by the word of God, but by the national constitution
and laws, in order to make him a lawful sovereign to these nations.

2. The Presbytery testify against the Associate Presbytery, now called
Synod, for their wronging, perverting and misapplying the blessed
scriptures of truth in many texts, in order to support their erroneous
tenet: namely, that the word of God requires no qualifications as
essential to the being of a lawful Christian magistrate: but that
whosoever are set up, and while they continue to be acknowledged by
civil society, are lawful magistrates, though destitute of scripture
qualifications, and acting in a manifest opposition to the revealed will
and law of God.

The texts of scripture used by them, do prove this general proposition,
viz., That it is the duty of the people of God to obey and submit to
lawful rulers in their lawful commands: and that it is utterly unlawful
and sinful to oppose such lawful authority. But none of these texts
quoted by them, prove, that it is the duty of the people of God, blessed
with the knowledge of his revealed will, to submit to, and obey, for
conscience sake, an authority that is sinful, and opposite to the
revealed will of God, both in its constitution and general course of
administration. Nor do they prove, that a prelatical, Erastian or popish
government, is a lawful government, either expressly, or by right of
necessary consequence, over a people, who either do, collectively
considered as a church and nation, or are bound to profess all the parts
of the true religion, and to maintain all the divine ordinances in their
purity: nor do they prove, that any can be lawful rulers over these
Christian and covenanted nations, who want the essential qualifications
required by the word of God, the covenants, and fundamental laws of the
kingdoms: or that it is sinful in the people of God, to say so much, in
testifying against the joint and national apostasy from God and the
purity of religion. Particularly,

The first text they adduce is, _Prov._ xxvi, 21: "My son, fear, thou the
Lord and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change."
It is granted, that this scripture enjoins all those duties that, in a
consistency with the fear of the Lord, a people owe to their rightful
kings. But nothing can be more absurd, than to extend the command to all
that bear the name of kings, who are acknowledged by a nation as kings,
and while they do so own them, though their constitution should be most
anti-christian, and they justly chargeable with unparalleled evils not
only in their private character, but in their public conduct: be they
idolaters, adulterers, blasphemers, sabbath-breakers, murderers,
invaders, and avowed usurpers of the throne, crown and scepter, and
incommunicable prerogatives of Christ, the glorious King of Zion,
setting themselves in the temple of God, and exalting themselves above
all that is called God, by dispensing with his laws, and, in place
thereof, substituting their own wicked laws, whereby they establish
iniquity, and enjoin, under severe penalties, the profanation of the
name, day and ordinances of the Lord. This command must certainly be
understood in a consistency with the duty and character of one that is
resolved to be an inhabitant of the Lord's holy hill, _Psal._ xv, "In
whose eyes a vile person is contemned." It must be consistent with the
fear of the Lord, which can stand very well with a fearing and honoring
all who are really kings; but a flat contradiction thereto, to fear
every vile person, because it is the will of civil society to set him up
in the character of king. Till therefore Seceders prove, either that
kings are under no obligation to obey the law of God themselves, and so
not liable to its sanction and penalty, in case of disobedience; or
then, that the favor and approbation of civil society can justify a
dispensing with the law of God, they will never be able to prove from
this, nor any other text, that such as are guilty of any crime declared
capital in the word of truth have a right and title to that fear, honor
and obedience, that is due to lawful kings, even though they are
acknowledged by civil society. And so this text makes nothing for, but
against their darling tenet; and their explication thereof is evidently
a wresting of scripture, making it speak in their favor, contrary to the
scope and meaning of the Holy Spirit therein. And their inviduous
insinuation, that all who differ from their opinion, do likewise depart
from the fear of the Lord, is but a further evidence of their abuse of
scripture, while it is at the same time utterly false. See Mr. Knox's
history, p. 422, 1st _Book of Discipline, cap._ 10, 11.

A _second_ text abused, for supporting their forementioned principle, is
_Eccles._ x, 4: "If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave
not thy place, for yielding pacifieth great offenses." As formerly, so
here they assert, that this text refers to any rulers presently
acknowledged by the civil society, and that the rising of the ruler's
spirit must be understood as groundless, and so sinful, and necessarily
comprehends any wrath or wrong that a subject may meet with unjustly at
the ruler's hand, upon personal or religious accounts. That yet,
notwithstanding, the subject (in the use of lawful endeavors for his own
vindication) must continue in subjection and obedience to the ruler, in
lawful commands, while the civil state continues to acknowledge him; and
this, as the only habile mean of convincing the ruler of his error, and
preventing further evils.

But, as the reason which they there allege, does not necessarily
conclude and prove this rising of spirit in the ruler to be sinful; so
the whole of their application and gloss built upon it, is invalidated;
and, moreover, is a condemnation of the principles and practice of our
reformers, and sufferers for the cause and truths of Christ, in the late
times, when they left their place of subjection, and took up arms in
defense of their religion, liberties and lives.

Their explication is also self inconsistent; for, if this rising of
spirit necessarily comprehends any wrath or wrong, on personal or
religious accounts, then there must be a yielding, or keeping the place
of subjection, not only in lawful commands, but in all matters, whether
lawful or not; otherwise, this yielding cannot be supposed to answer the
end designed. For though a subject should yield in all other
particulars, yet, unless he also yield in that particular, on which the
rising of the ruler's spirit is grounded, his yielding cannot pacify the
ruler's wrath. So all the subjection, they contend, the sufferers gave,
particularly in the beginning of the late persecution, to the then
rulers, did not, nor could, pacify their wrath, because they would not
give up with their conscience and all religion, which was the very
foundation of the rising of his spirit against them; though, according
to their explication of the text, this was what they should have done,
and so have pacified the ruler's wrath. It is but a mere shift to tell
the world, that it is only in lawful matters they are to yield; the
yielding must surely correspond to the rising of the spirit spoken of.
But with such deceitful shifts are they forced to cover over a doctrine,
which, if presented in its native dress, would not meet with such ready
reception. But in opposition to their strained interpretation of the
text, the ruler must be understood a lawful ruler, who is the minister
of God for good--one who has not only moral abilities for government,
but also a right to govern. And as a subject may be keeping his place of
subjection to a righteous ruler, and yet be guilty, in his private or
public character, of what gives just offense, and occasions the ruler's
spirit justly, and so not sinfully, to rise against him--thus, one may
be guilty of many criminal mismanagements in the discharge of his public
trust, guilty of profaning the name of God or his day, or of riot,
excessive drinking, &c, without having any thought of casting off the
authority of his ruler--so, when a person has hereby provoked the spirit
of his ruler, this divine precept teaches the party offending not to
aggravate his offense, by attempting (though able) to make good his
part, or rebel against his sovereign, but to yield, acknowledge his
guilt and trespass, and submit to such punishments as the lawful ruler
shall justly inflict, according to the degree and quality of the
offense; whereby only, the ruler will be satisfied. Agreeable to this,
is that parallel text, _Eccles._ viii, 2, 3: "I counsel thee to keep the
king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God: Be not hasty
to go out of his sight; stand not in an evil thing." On the whole, it
must be a great abuse of Scripture, to wrest a divine precept, which
directs subjects to submit to such punishments as their lawful ruler
shall justly lay them under for their offenses, to the support of this
anti-scriptural notion, viz., that every wicked person, whom the
majority of a nation advances to the supreme rule, is the minister of
God, to whom obedience is due, under pain of eternal damnation, as is
done with this text.

A _third_ scripture, perverted to support the above principle, is _Luke_
xx, 25: "Render therefore to _Caesar_ the things which be _Caesar's_,
and unto God the things which be God's." From this, _Seceders_ imagine
strongly to fortify their cause. But, from a just view of the text, it
will appear, that the answer given by Christ contains no acknowledgment
of _Caesar's_ title to tribute, or of his authority as lawful. It is
beyond doubt, that the question was captious, and that the design of the
Scribes and Pharisees, in proposing it to Christ, was to have him
ensnared in his words. This they thought themselves sure of, whether he
should answer positively or negatively. For if positively, and so
recognize and acknowledge _Caesar's_ title, then they would have
occasion to accuse him to the people, as an enemy to the laws, liberty
and honor, of the _Jewish_ nation. This is evident from ver. 26: "And
they could not take hold of his words before the people." And then, if
he should deny that it was lawful, they would have an opportunity or
pretense of delating and delivering him to the _Roman_ governor, as an
enemy to _Caesar_. They seem, however, to have been confident, that he
who taught the way of God in truth, without regard to any, would never
inculcate it as a duty for them to give tribute to _Caesar_, subjection
to whom, as their lawful governor, for conscience sake, was so contrary
to the divine law given to the _Jews_, respecting their magistrates; and
if so, they would not miss of sufficient accusation against him. But
here infinite wisdom shone forth, in giving such an answer as declared
their wisdom to be but folly, and at once disappointed all their
malicious hopes; an answer which left _Caesar's_ claim unresolved, as to
any positive determination whether it belonged to him or not. The
question is in direct terms. Our Lord does not directly answer to the
question, in the terms proposed by the wicked spies. He neither
expressly says it is lawful or unlawful to pay it, but gave his answer
in such terms as they could not from it form an accusation against him,
either to the people or to the governor. He, in general, teaches to give
_Caesar_ all things that, by the law of God, were due to him; at the
same time enjoining them that, under pretense of giving to men their
demands, they rob not God of what was his due, namely, a conscientious
regard to all the laws he had given them, and universal obedience to all
his commands, without regard to persons of any station. And it is
certain, that _Caesar_ was a proud, aspiring, idolatrous and bloody
usurper (like the king of _Babylon_, Hab. ii, 5, for which causes the
Lord denounces fearful wrath and judgments against him, Hab. ii, 7-14),
having no other right to the most part of his dominions, than the Lord's
providential disposal, which sometimes makes "the tabernacles of robbers
prosper; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly;" Job xii, 6. "And for
their sins gives _Jacob_ to the spoil, and _Israel_ to the robbers;"
Isa. xiii, 24. "And giveth power to the beast, to continue forty and two
months, and to have power over all nations;" Rev. xiii, 5, 7. So that,
by looking into the divine law, which determines every one's due,
according to their just character, and of which they could not be
ignorant, they might see that he had a just title to all that was due to
an usurper, idolater and murderer. That the _Jewish_ coin did bear
_Caesar's_ image, could be no evidence of his being their lawful
sovereign, seeing it is most common for the greatest usurpers and
tyrants to stamp their image upon the coin of the nations they tyrannize
over. And though it be granted that the _Jews_ had, by this time,
consented to _Caesar's_ usurpation, yet that could not legitimate his
title, nor warrant their subjection to him for conscience sake, seeing
they could not consent to his authority, but in express contradiction to
the many plain and positive scripture precepts, given by God unto them,
as has been seen above. It is, therefore, violence done to the text (as
also opposite to the sentiments of some eminent divines on the place),
to say that it contains a command to pay tribute to _Caesar_; and it
would appear from Luke xxiii, 2, that the _Jews_ themselves did not
understand it so. It may be further observed, that this is not the only
instance where our Lord, in infinite wisdom, declined to give direct
answers to the ensnaring questions of his malicious enemies. See John
viii, 3-12; Matth. xxi, 23-28; John xviii, 19-21, where are questions of
a similar nature, proposed with the same hellish intention, and all
answered by him in like manner. In each of which, _Seceders_ might, on
as good ground as in the answer to the question anent tribute, say that
Christ did shift and dissemble the truth. But the least insinuation of
such a charge cannot be made from any of these answers, without the
greatest blasphemy.

A _fourth_ text used by them for maintaining their erroneous scheme, is
Rom. xiii, 1-8. Without animadverting upon every part of their
explication of this place of holy writ, it is sufficient to observe: 1.
That the power here spoken of by the apostle, is not a _physical_, but a
_moral_ power; a power that is lawful and warranted, in regard of
matter, person, title or investiture. A legitimacy in each of these must
go to the making of a moral power; and an illegitimacy in any of these
is an illegitimacy in the very being and constitution, and so a nullity
to the power as moral, a making it of no authority. As the text speaks
only of this moral power, so it excludes every unlawful power (see Mr.
_Gee_ on magistracy, on this text). 2. That the _being_ of God, or the
ordination God here spoke of, is not a being of God _providentially_
only, but such a _being of_ God as contains in it his institution and
appointment, by the warrant of his law and precept; so that the
magistrates to whom the apostle enjoins obedience, are such as are set
up according to the preceptive ordination and will of God, as is evinced
not only by the author referred to above, and other divines, but what
sufficiently appears from the context, where the subjection enjoined,
and resistance forbidden, with their respective reasons, are what can
only be spoken with respect to powers ordained by the preceptive will of
God. Again, by considering the office and duty of the powers, and the
end of their ordination, as described, ver. 3, 4, which by no means
agree to any but those moral powers ordained by the preceptive will of
God, it appears a manifest abuse of this text, to apply it to every one
advanced by providence to the place of supreme rule, not only without
any regard, but in direct opposition to the preceptive will of God. It
is most absurd and self-contradictory in professed testimony bearers for
a covenanted reformation, to apply this text in a way of pleading the
lawfulness of an Erastian, anti-christian constitution, that is
destitute of all those qualifications already mentioned (and always
included in the scriptural definition of a lawful magistrate), as
necessary to constitute a moral power, viz., in regard of matter,
person, title or investiture, &c. But of the power which they so
zealously plead for, the matter is unlawful, being Erastian, partly
civil, partly ecclesiastical, by the united constitution. The person
invested with this supreme power, is one who is declared incapable, by
the fundamental laws and covenanted constitution of the nations; the
manner of investiture, and terms on which the crown is held, sinful--the
constitution being in an immediate opposition to the unalterable
constitution of the kingdom of the _Messias_, and founded on the
destruction of the covenanted reformation. And it may be added, that it
is unlawful, as to the exercise and application of it, which has been
all along in opposition to all _true_ religion, and a grievous
oppression of the church, the kingdom of Christ, in the liberties
thereof. And it must be so; for the tree must be made good, before the
fruit can be such. By all which it appears, there is a nullity in the
power as moral, being so very opposite to the revealed will of God. And
from what is said, it is obvious that this scripture gives no
countenance to their corrupt scheme, but furnishes with strong arguments
against it.

A _fifth_ scripture adduced is, Titus iii, 1: "Put them in mind to be
subject to principalities and powers," &c. As _Seceders_ apply this text
to the same purpose, and explain it in the same manner, as they have
done those others above mentioned, so what is already said is sufficient
to discover the deceit of their use and explication thereof. The powers
and magistrates the apostle requires subjection to, are only such as are
so in a moral sense; none but such are accounted powers and magistrates
in the sense of the text. The apostle must mean the same powers here he
describes in Rom. xiii, 1-3, &c., otherwise he contradicts himself,
which must not be admitted; and the powers he there speaks of, are moral
powers, i.e., such as have not only proper abilities for government and
rule, but also a right of constitution, impowering them to use their
abilities for that purpose. How can one be expected or said to be the
_minister_ of God _for good_, or a _terror to evil doers, and a praise
to them that do well_, if he is so disposed and inclined, as to love
that which is evil, and hate that which is good, and so actually is a
praise to evil doers, and a terror to such as do well? To suppose any
such thing, is to overthrow the universally established connection
between cause and effect, the means and the end. And so much (namely,
that the powers there spoken of are moral powers), _Seceders_ are forced
to grant in their explication of Rom. xiii. Say they, "The text speaks
only of powers in a moral sense." And this concession at once destroys
their scheme, and confirms what the Presbytery plead for, namely, that
none are lawful powers but such as are so according to the preceptive
will of God in his word; which certainly, in the judgment of all _who
would deal reverently with the oracles of God_, is, in this case, a rule
far preferable "to the remainders of natural light, in the moral
dictates of right reason," from which _Seceders_ fetch the institution
of this divine ordinance of magistracy, and on which they settle it, as
on (what they call) "the natural and eternal law of God;" preferring
that to the plain, perfect and complete, revelation of God's will in his
word.

The _last_ text used by them, is, 1 Pet. ii, 13 to 17, the import of
which, they say, is, that all who have a constitution by consent of the
civil society, are to be subjected to for the Lord's sake, as having an
institution from him: and that, however seldom they were inclined or
employed in the discharge of the duties proper to their office. It may
suffice to observe, that while the apostle is here speaking, as in the
above texts, of moral powers, as above described, it is evident, that by
_every ordinance of man_, can only be meant the different kinds and
forms of civil government, and governors set up by men, to each of which
the apostle exhorts to a submission, providing, that in the setting up
of these, they acted agreeably to the general laws and rules appointed
by God in his word, both respecting the constitution of government, and
the qualifications of governors. Then, as they bear the stamp of divine
authority, they were to be submitted to for the Lord's sake. But what
manifest abuse of scripture is it, to allege with them that the inspired
apostle exhorts to submit to every monster of iniquity, if only set up
by the civil society, though perhaps guilty of a number of crimes that
by the law of God, and laws of men founded thereon, are punishable by a
severe death? Sure, such can never have a title to that obedience which
is due to the ordinance of God, who have not so much as a title to live
upon the earth. Moreover, let it be considered, that in the above cited
texts, the spirit of God enjoins either that obedience and subjection
that is due to lawful magistrates, or that subjection only which is for
a time, by an extraordinary and special command, such as Jer. xxix, 7,
given to conquerors and usurpers, having no right but what is
providential. If the first, then they cannot intend any but those moral
powers who are said to be of God, in respect of his approbative and
preceptive will. If the last, then these texts are not the rule of
obedience to lawful rulers, who are set up qualified, and govern
according to the law of God. But that these texts can only be understood
of the first, is evident from this, that in them not only is the office,
duty and end of the civil magistrate as particularly described, as the
obedience and subjection commanded; but the one is made the foundation,
ground, and reason of, and inseparably connected with the other. And
therefore it was, that the renowned witnesses for Christ and his
interest, contended so much for reformation in the civil magistracy and
magistrate, in an agreeableness to the original institution of that
ordinance, and endured so great opposition on that account.

To conclude this: as it is evident these texts give no countenance to
the corrupt scheme of _Seceders_, but always suppose the power, to which
subjection and obedience for conscience sake is enjoined to be lawful,
in regard of matter, person, title, &c. So the Presbytery cannot but
testify against them for perverting and wresting the scriptures of
truth, to a favoring of their anarchical and anti-scriptural tenet, and
for their so stiffly and tenaciously pleading for avowed apostasy and
defection (which is the whole scope and amount of their declared scheme
of politics), viz., that it is lawful for posterity to turn back to
where their forefathers were, giving up with many precious truths, and
further attainments in reformation, valuable and necessary, acquired at
the expense of much zeal, faithfulness and treasure, and handed down to
us, sealed by the spirit of God upon the souls of his people, as his
work and cause; and on public scaffolds and high places of the field,
with the dearest blood of multitudes of Christ's faithful witnesses, who
loved not their lives unto the death. And this, in express contradiction
to the land's solemn covenant engagements to the Lord, for maintaining
and holding fast that whereunto we had attained. For notwithstanding all
the regard and deference _Seceders_ profess to the covenants and
reformation principles, they are, all the while, directly pleading in
defense of the same cause, advancing the same arguments to support it,
and likewise giving the same corrupt and perverted explication of the
above texts of scripture, that the merciless and bloody murderers and
persecuters did, in the late tyrannous times, in their stated opposition
to the cause and interest of glorious Christ, together with the indulged
who took part with them, in opposing the kingdom and subjects of Zions
exalted King. And as [pity it is] _Seceders_ have pleaded the cause of
malignants, and, rubbing the rust from their antiquated arguments, have
presented them with a new lustre; so the Presbytery, in opposition
thereto, are satisfied to plead the same cause, with the same arguments
and to understand these scriptures in the same sense as was done by the
witnesses for reformation, whom the Lord honored to seal his truths with
their blood, as is sufficiently confirmed from the Cloud of Witnesses;
where their concurring testimonies are harmoniously stated, upon their
disowning the authority of the then anti-christian and Erastian
government, even when acknowledged by the bulk and body of the nation,
both civil and ecclesiastical. Whence also it is evident, that the
persecution was not the cause of their casting off that authority; but
that authority's assuming and usurping the royal prerogatives of Christ,
the church's Head, was the cause of their disowning it; and then their
refusing to acknowledge foresaid authority, was the cause of all their
persecution.

3. The Presbytery testify against foresaid Associates, on account of
their corruption in worship; particularly, in the duty of prayer, both
as practiced by their ministers, and by them enjoined upon their people.

Wherein, in an inconsistency with a faithful testimony against the
declared enemies of the church's head and king, they affect to express a
superlative loyalty unto the prelatic possessors of power, not much
differing from the forms imposed upon, and observed by the Erastian
church. The Presbytery acknowledge it duty to pray for all men, in the
various stations of life, as sinners lost, of the ruined family of Adam,
standing absolutely in need of a Savior, that they may be saved and come
to the knowledge of the truth; as is enjoined, _Tim._ ii, 1, 2. Which
yet must not be understood in an unlimited sense, but with submission to
the will of God, if they belong to the election of grace. Nay, they
acknowledge it indispensable duty, as to pray, that the church may
obtain such kings and queens, as shall he nursing fathers and mothers,
according to the Lord's gracious promise; so, when such are granted to
them, it is their duty to make prayers and supplications, in a
particular manner, for them. But it is no less than an abuse of
scripture, and flat contradiction to many promises and threatenings, to
extend foresaid command to every person without distinction whom
providence advances to the supreme rule over the people of God, in a way
of acknowledging their authority as lawful, and of praying for success
and prosperity to them (as Seceders do), to pray for success unto, and
the continuance of wicked rulers, that are enemies to the Lord, and
usurpers of his crown, and such whom the Lord in anger against a people
for their sins, may send as a special punishment upon them, and from
whom he has promised deliverance unto his people, as a peculiar
blessing, is no less than the slighting of the promises, and deriding of
threatenings, and in reality, is a taking part with God's enemies,
against him and his cause. As it is impossible, sincerely to pray for
the coming of Christ's kingdom, and advancement thereof, without also,
as a necessary mean conducive thereto, to pray for the downfall and
destruction of all his enemies, as such, whatever be their place and
station (which is not at all inconsistent with praying for their
salvation, as lost sinners); seeing Jesus Christ no less effectually
destroys his enemies, when he makes them to bow in a way of willing
subjection to the scepter of his law and grace, than when he breaks them
in pieces with his iron rod of wrath; so, how self-contradictory is it
in _Seceders_, to pray for the coming of Christ's mediatory kingdom;
and, at the same time to pray for the success and preservation of one,
in his kingly character, who themselves acknowledge, has, in that
character, made grievous encroachments upon the royal prerogatives of
the Lord Jesus Christ, is an usurper of his crown, and therefore, in
that view, must be considered as an enemy to his kingdom?

That the above is no false charge against _Seceders_, is witnessed by a
variety of their causes of fasting, concluding with such prayers, which
they have emitted, as well as by their daily practice: and particularly,
_Antiburgher Seceders_, have given a late recent proof of this; in what
they call, A solemn warning by the _Associate Synod_, &c. Which
unfaithful warning concludes with a self-contradictory form of prayer,
enjoined upon all under the inspection of said _Synod_. Among other
things, they "exhort all--the people under their inspection, to pour out
earnest and incessant supplications before the Lord, in a dependence
upon the merit and intercession of our great High-priest, that he
may--bring about a revival of our covenanted reformation,--removing all
the mountains which stand in the way; that he may abundantly bless our
sovereign king _George_, and the apparent heir of the crown,--blasting
all the plots or efforts of whatever enemies, open or secret,--against
the Protestant succession to the throne of these kingdoms in the family
of _Hanover_; that he may be gracious to the high courts of parliament,
in this and the neighboring island,--leading them to proper measures for
the honor of Christ; that he may hasten the enlargement of the
Mediator's kingdom," &c.

On all which, let it suffice to observe, 1. That as in no part of this
prayer they make any exceptions against, so they must be understood
therein, approving of the constitution of the king, the establishment,
and limitation of the throne of these kingdoms in the _Hanoverian_
family, as presently by law established: and also, approving of the
_British_ and _Irish_, parliaments, in their constitution as by law
established, though both of them grossly Erastian, and necessarily
connected with maintaining _English_ popish ceremonies, the whole
_English_ hierarchy, and civil places and power of churchmen; in
opposition to the word of God, reforming laws, and covenanted
constitutions of the nations. Hence, 2. This pattern of prayer must be
understood as containing earnest supplications to the Lord, that he may
continue and preserve an Erastian constitution, that he may perpetuate
the limited succession to the throne in the family of _Hanover_; and
that, in opposition to all attempts whatever, toward any change, however
much it might contribute to the glory of God, good of the church, and
revival of a covenanted reformation; and also, seems to include a desire
that, God may preserve and maintain a parliament in the nations, one of
the houses whereof, viz., the House of Peers, is composed partly of
_spiritual lords_, as essential members thereof,--an anti-christian
designation, a title and office, not to be found in the book of divine
revelation. So, 3. This prayer seems to suppose a consistency between
the preservation of all these, and the revival of a covenanted
reformation in these lands; and also that they, particularly a
parliament, thus anti-christian in its constitution, are proper
instruments for promoting the honor and declarative glory of Christ;
although the prelates, constituent members therein, are a generation of
men that were never yet known to have a vote for Christ's kingdom and
interest. And therefore, 4. This prayer consists of flat contradiction.
(1.) In regard the revival of a covenanted reformation, and the
flourishing of Christ's mediatory kingdom, nationally, must be attended
with the overthrow of all constitutions, civil and ecclesiastical, that
hinder and oppose the same; _Hag._ ii, 6, 7, and with the down bringing
of all the enemies thereof, from the height of their excellency. (2.) It
is a contradiction for them to pray, that the Lord would remove all the
mountains that stand in the way of the revival of our reformation; and
yet, at the same time, pray for the preservation and continuance of the
constitution, under which (as they themselves acknowledge, _Defense of
their Princ., page_ 51): "There is a mighty bar thrust into the way of
our covenanted reformation, both in church and state; yea, a gravestone
is laid, and established upon the same." (3.) It is a sinful and glaring
contradiction for _Seceders_ to rank an approbation of the _English_
hierarchy among our public national sins and steps of defection (as they
do, page 53 of their pamphlet); and yet themselves persist and continue
in the same sin and guilt, homologating and approving the anti-christian
constitution of the _British_ and _Irish_ parliaments, by praying (like
their forefathers, in their fulsome address to _James_ the Papist) for
divine illumination and conduct to the Prelates in their civil places
and power, as necessary members there, as they do in this prayer of
theirs. Can such be supposed to be either truly sensible of sin, or
humbled for it, who, notwithstanding all their confessions, still
continue in the love and practice of it? But with such mock
acknowledgements (of which a variety of other instances might be given)
have they hitherto imposed on the generation. And so, 5. It is a prayer,
that in several parts thereof, has no scripture warrant, no foundation
in the promises of God. Particularly, on what scriptural warrant, what
promise, can _Seceders_ build their prayers for, or expectation of the
Lord's answering them, by blessing an Erastian government to themselves
or others, which being, in its constitution, contrary to the word of
God,--is such, that under it (as they grant, _ibid_, page 46), a people
cannot truly prosper in their civil concerns, nor be enriched with the
blessings of the gospel? From what scriptural promise are they warranted
to pray, that God may perpetuate the succession to the throne in any one
family, and especially, when that succession is circumscribed and
limited, in a way opposite to the laws of God, and mediatory kingdom of
Christ? and therefore, a prayer that cannot be made in faith, and so
cannot be acceptable to God in its complex form. No person can have
faith in the merit and intercession of Christ, for obtaining anything in
prayer, but what Christ has priorly merited, and does actually intercede
for. But it would savor too much of blasphemy, to apply some of the
particulars already noticed in this form of prayer, to the merit and
intercession of our _great High-priest_. Sure it cannot be thought, that
he makes intercession for the prosperity and success of his enemies, in
their stated opposition to his kingdom and interest in this world;
neither can it be consistent with fidelity to Christ, as a King, for his
professed subjects to pray for it. What a fearful trifling with God in
the duty of prayer, is it to pray that the Lord may bring down Popery
and Prelacy; and next breath to pray that the Lord may continue,
prosper, and preserve the Erastian head, and great bulwark of Prelacy?

4. Again, the Presbytery testify against the Associate party for their
treachery in covenant. This is a sin that is in scripture, and even by
the common voice of mankind, declared very heinous; but which, by what
is already discovered anent said party, appears too, too justly
chargeable upon them. It is notorious, and what themselves boast much
of, that they professedly maintain the moral and perpetual obligation of
the covenants, both the National Covenant of _Scotland_, and the Solemn
League and Covenant of _Scotland, England_, and _Ireland_, entered into
for reformation and defense of religion, and bringing the churches of
God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in
religion, according to the word of God. They also do in the most public
manner profess, that they are the only true faithful witnesses for a
covenanted reformation. But the consistency of such a profession with
maintaining principles that are diametrically opposite to these
covenants, and the cause of truth, sworn to in them (as has been made
evident they do) is altogether unintelligible. Is it possible
strenuously to maintain the lawfulness of a prelatical government
abjured in the covenants, and yet at the same time sincerely and
honestly, according to the profession made by the church, _Psal._ xliv,
17, 18, to contend for the moral obligation of the covenants, and the
work of reformation sworn to in them? But further, the necessity of
lifting up a testimony against _Seceders_ for their treachery and
unfaithfulness in the matter of the covenants, will appear by
considering that they, after making a very solemn profession of renewing
the National Covenant of _Scotland_, and the Solemn League and Covenant
of the three lands, in place of practicing accordingly, have, in
reality, made a new and very different bond or covenant, both in form
and substance, which they have not only sworn themselves, but also
imposed upon many honest people: and this as a renewing, nay, as the
only right way of renewing said covenants according to the
circumstances, of the times. That this bond entered into by _Seceders_
(however good it may be, considered in an abstract sense) is not a
renovation of the national covenants, as they assert it to be, but a
treacherous and deceitful burying of these covenants, as to their sum
and substance, is abundantly evident from their industrious keeping out,
and omitting the most part of them out of their new and artificial bond.
Particularly, although they pretend to a renovation both of the National
and Solemn League and Covenant, yet they have almost entirely left out,
and passed over the National Covenant of _Scotland_; and satisfying
themselves with simply testifying against Popery, have omitted all the
particular errors, and branches thereof expressly contained in the
National Covenant. As to the Solemn League, of which they pretend their
bond is also a renovation, there is very little of it to be found
therein, as appears from a comparison of the one with the other. Thus
they have left out that remarkable and necessary clause in the first
Article, viz., "Against our common enemies:" and in place of endeavoring
to bring the churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest
conjunction and uniformity in religion, Confession of Faith, Form of
Church Government, Directory for Worship and Catechizing, as in said
article, there is an unintelligible clause or jumble of words brought
in, viz., to promote and advance our covenanted conjunction and
uniformity in religion, just as if that conjunction and uniformity had a
present existence (in its native and original state and form) in the
three lands; when, on the contrary, Presbytery is established in
_Scotland_, yet not on the footing of the word of God and the covenants,
and Episcopacy is established in _England_ and _Ireland_, in
contradiction to the word of God and the covenants. 2. They have kept
out that necessary clause in the 2d article, viz., "Without respect of
persons, endeavor the extirpation," &c, and instead thereof say,
"Testify against Popery and Prelacy;" where appears not only a
difference in expression, but a substantial difference. 3. They have
altogether omitted and kept out the 3d and 4th articles. 4. They have
kept out that material and necessary clause in the 5th article, viz.,
"That justice may be done on the willful opposers thereof," in manner
expressed in the preceding article. 5. They have left out all the 6th
article, excepting these words: "We shall not give ourselves up to a
detestable neutrality and indifference in the cause of God." And 6. They
have wholly omitted that material paragraph of the conclusion of the
Solemn League. It is therefore evident, that the model of the covenants
agreed to by _Seceders_, is different in substance, as well as form,
from our ancient covenants; so that, under pretense of renovation, they
have made a new bond.

But, again, that their pretended renovation is a real burying of the
covenanted reformation, appears from their overlooking, casting by, and
keeping out the National Covenant, as it was renewed in the year 1638,
and the Solemn League and Covenant, as renewed in the year 1648, and
going back to the years 1580 and 1581, as the pattern they propose to
follow in carrying on of their covenanted testimony. And what can be the
reason of this? Can it be, because Prelacy, and the civil places and
power of churchmen, were, by the explication and application of the
covenant, _anno_ 1638, expressly and explicitly condemned, while they
were formerly only implicitly, and by way of consequence? So they have
at least, by this step back, both tacitly condemned our reformers, of
giving themselves needless trouble in their explanation of the covenant,
as condemning and abjuring Episcopacy; and also, do overlook, despise,
and disgracefully bury the many advanced steps of reformation attained
to in these covenanted lands between 1638 and 1649 (particularly the
church of _Scotland's_ testimony against Prelacy) in which time
reformation arrived to a greater height of purity than ever was attained
in any foregoing period of this church and nation. However, whatever
their reasons were for so doing, that they have so done is clear, from
their act _Edinburgh, February_ 3d, 1743, where they conclude with a
_nota bene_, lest it should not otherwise have been observed that they
do so, and thereby declare their sin as _Sodom_, as if the publishing of
it would make an atonement for it. "N.B. Only the National Covenant, as
it was entered into, _annis_ 1580, 1581 (without the bond wherein it was
renewed _anno_ 1638) and the Solemn League and Covenant (without the
solemn acknowledgment of sins, and engagement to duties, _anno_ 1648),
are hereby prefixed unto the following act, agreeably unto the design of
said act": and for this they pretend the example of our reformers,
_anno_ 1638, who renewed the National Covenant by a new bond, in place
of that new bond wherewith it was renewed and sworn, 1590, which they
omitted--wherein their deceit and unfaithfulness is very obvious from
the following observations: 1. Hereby they have cast a most injurious
calumny and reproach upon our honored reformers, and in their pretending
to imitate their practice, in renovation of the covenants, are guilty of
a most dreadful and deceitful imposition on the generation; for though
our reformers did renew the covenants with a new bond, and perhaps very
seldom swear them without some additions, yet they never went back from
any part of reformation, espoused, and sworn to in the renovations that
were before them, under a pretense, that such points of reformation
formerly attained, were unsuitable, or not adapted to their
circumstances, as _Seceders_ have done. On the contrary, our reformers,
in all the different renovations of the covenants, not only included all
that was formerly attained to, binding themselves in strict adherence to
all the articles priorly in the oath and covenant of God (at the same
time solemnly acknowledging all former breaches thereof; and obliging
themselves, in the strength of grace to the performance of the contrary,
and consequential duties), but also, still went forward in explaining
and more explicitly applying the covenants against the sins of the day,
and more expressly binding themselves to the opposite duties, as is
clear from the bond wherewith our reformers renewed the covenants 1638,
and the solemn acknowledgment of sins, and engagement to duties, 1648;
both which the _Seceders_ have barefacedly cast by and exploded in their
alleged renovation of the covenants; whereby, as it is manifest that our
reformers always went forward to further degrees of reformation, so it
is no less manifest, that foresaid party acting contrary to them, have
gone backward. But 2d. They have not only rejected the renovations of
the covenants by our ancestors 1638 and 1640; but even when they
pretended to follow the renovation of the covenant, 1580 and 1581, they
have kept out and perverted almost the whole of the national covenants,
as was already observed; particularly in their new bond, they have cast
away the civil part of the covenants altogether. For what reason they do
so, is indeed hard to say. True, they allege it would be a blending of
civil and religious matters together; and that it is not proper (or
competent for them, as a church judicatory) to meddle in these matters
that are of a civil nature. But seeing infinite wisdom has not judged it
a (sinful) blending of civil and religious concerns together, to deliver
the duties both civil and religious in one and the same moral law unto
mankind; it is difficult to conceive, how the people of God their
binding themselves in a covenant of duties to the conscientious
performance of all the duties God required of them in his word, whether
civil or religious, according to their respective or immediate objects,
can be reputed a blending of them together; or that this has the
remotest tendency to destroy that distinction which God in his revealed
will has stated between what is immediately civil in its nature, and
what is properly religious. This, therefore, is a mere groundless
pretense and evasion; and if it has any force at all, as a reason, it
strikes against the reformers who compiled these covenants. They are the
proper objects at whom through the sides of others it thrusts; for they,
at the framing of sundry of their covenants, and afterward at the
renovation of their covenant, did it both without the ecclesiastical
authority, and also without, and contrary unto, yea, at the hazard of
suffering the greatest severities from the civil authority on that
account. And yet the ecclesiastical judicatories of the church of
_Scotland_ afterward found it competent for them, as such, to approve of
these covenants, both as to the matter and form of them, without
branding and exploding them as a blending of matters civil and religious
together, as _Seceders_ have done. Again, as the covenants require no
other than a lawful magistrate; and seeing _Seceders_ acknowledge the
present as lawful, and that it is their duty to be subject to, and
support them as such, it is impossible to conceive any reason, why they
have not honored the present rulers with a place in their new and
artificial bond: unless perhaps this, that they were aware that would
have been so glaring a contradiction to these covenants they were
pretending to renew, as would doubtless have startled and driven away
from them a good many honest people, whom they have allured and led
aside by their good words and fair-set speeches; and yet it is pretty
obvious they have included the present rulers in their bond, and taken
them in an oblique and clandestine way, by swearing to the relative
duties contained in the fifth commandment, seeing they acknowledge them
as their civil parents. Again, as their bond is supposed to reduplicate
upon the national covenants, and so to bind to every article in them, by
native consequence, they swear to a prelatical government: for seeing
they have made no exception in their bond, it must be applied to no
other, but the government, which presently exists; and this, in flat
contradiction to the covenants, by which such a government is abjured.
So that their new bond is no less opposite to the national covenants,
and is much mere deceitful, than if they had plainly and explicitly
sworn allegiance to the present government therein; only the generality
of their implicit followers do not so readily observe it. Upon the
whole, how strange is it, that they should have the assurance to father
their deceitful apostasy, and wretched burying of the covenants upon our
reformers, so injuriously to their character, and at the hazard of
imposing a heinous and base cheat upon the world, while, notwithstanding
all their vain pretensions, it is undeniably evident to those who will
impartially, and without prejudice, examine the method and order whereby
our ancestors renewed our covenants, that in this they have been so far
from following their example, that they have directly contradicted the
same, and, in reality, buried much of the covenants and work of
reformation sworn to in them. For though a people may very lawfully, by
a new bond, enlarge and add to their former obligations that they
brought themselves under; yet they can never, without involving
themselves in the guilt of perjury, relax or cancel former obligations
by any future bond. Accordingly, our worthy ancestors, by all the new
bonds they annexed to former obligations, were so far from attempting to
loose themselves from any covenanted duty that either they or their
fathers were priorly bound unto, that they thereby still brought
themselves under straighter bonds to perform all their former and new
obligations of duty to God. But, as has been discovered, _Seceders_, by
their artificial bond, have cast out the very substance and spirit of
the covenants, by their rumping and hewing them at pleasure, to reduce
them to the sinful circumstances of the time: and this, in opposition to
their own public profession, that these covenants are moral in their
nature and obligation upon these nations to the latest posterity. How
surprising it is then, that after such a profession, they dare cast out
of their bond the greatest parts of the covenants! This is not only to
break these obligations, but it is to make a public declaration, that
different times and circumstances do free men from their obligation to
keep their most solemn vows to the Most High. To this, as very
applicable, may be subjoined the words of Mr. _Case_, in a sermon
relative to the covenants: "Others have taken it (viz., the covenant)
with their own evasions, limitations and reservations: such a Jesuitical
spirit has got in among us, by which means it comes to pass, that by
that time that men have pared off and left out, and put what
interpretation they frame to themselves, there is little left worth the
name of a covenant." And, indeed, so many are the self-inconsistencies
and gross contradictions attending this new bond, that it would have
been much more for the honor both of the covenants, and of _Seceders_
themselves, rather never to have attempted such a work, than to have
done it in a way of tearing to pieces our solemn national vows.
Wherefore the Presbytery cannot but, in testifying against them for
their unfaithfulness, obtest all the lovers of truth, to beware of
joining in this course of treachery, and apostasy from God and his
covenanted cause.

5. The presbytery testify against foresaid party, for their
unfaithfulness and partiality in point of testimony-bearing to a
covenanted, work of reformation; while yet they not only profess to be
witnesses, but the only true and faithful contenders for the said work
and cause. The justness of this charge manifestly appears from the scope
of their Act and Testimony, which seems to be principally leveled
against the corruptions of the present church judicatories, and not
equally against the corruptions of both church and state, in
agreeableness to the faithful testimonies of the Lord's people in former
times, and in a consistency with the reformation that was jointly
carried on in both church and state, and solemnly sworn and engaged to
in the covenants. They appear never to have fully adopted the testimony
of the Church of _Scotland_ in her purest times, when the profession of
the true religion was by law made a necessary qualification of every one
that should be admitted to places of civil trust and power in the
nation. Nor are the faithful testimonies of the valiant sufferers and
contenders, even unto death, for the precious truths of God in the late
persecuting period, as stated against both church and state, fully
stated, and judicially approven by them; much less have they fully
adopted the testimony, as stated against the revolution constitution,
both civil and ecclesiastical, which they did not in their testimony
condemn as sinful; but, on the contrary, acknowledged the civil
constitution lawful, notwithstanding of their complaining of some
defects and omissions therein. Of which error in the foundation, it may
be said, in respect of all the mal-administrations since, it was _fons
et origo mali_. And seeing, in and by the revolution constitution, the
nation was involved in the guilt of apostasy and treachery, in
subverting and overturning the good and laudable laws for true religion
and right liberty, a faint declaring against some omissions cannot be
accounted sufficient; especially when what is thus partly complained of,
is at the same time complexly extolled, as a great and glorious
deliverance to the church and nation. Their testimony further appears to
be partial and unfaithful, considering that their secession was not from
the constitution of the Revolution Church, but in a partial and limited
way, from a prevailing corrupt party in the judicatories of the church:
upon which footing it was, that some of greatest note among them made
their accession after their first secession, expressly declaring so
much; whereby they have injured the true state of the testimony which
the Lord honored his covenanted Church of _Scotland_ to bear; which is
stated against all lukewarm and _Laodicean_ professors, as well as open
enemies, and against all Erastian usurpation, and sectarian invasion on
the cause of Christ. Moreover, their unfaithfulness in point of
testimony, convincingly appears from their bitter contentions, and
almost endless disputes among themselves, after their breach, upon the
religious clause of some burgess oaths, anent the true state of their
own testimony, whether lifted up against the revolution constitution of
the church, and settlement of religion, or not. Had necessary and real
faithfulness been studied, in stating their testimony clearly and
plainly, against all the defection, and apostasy of the day from a
covenanted reformation, there had been no occasion for such a dispute
among them. And now, when the one party have more openly avowed their
unfaithfulness, in receding from almost everything that had the least
appearance of faithfulness to the cause and covenant of God, in their
former testimony, and professedly adopted the revolution settlement, as
theirs, acknowledging the constitutions, both civil and ecclesiastical,
as lawful, in an open contradiction to any testimony for reformation
work: the other party, _to wit, Antiburghers_, have now indeed
professedly cast off the revolution constitution of the church (at the
same time continuing to make their partial Act and Testimony the basis
of their distinguished profession); but yet, in an inconsistency
therewith, and in contradiction to the covenanted testimony of the
church of _Scotland_, continue to adopt the constitution of the State,
as being, however defective, yet agreeable to the precept and so lawful.
Hence, they are still most partial in their testimony, of which they
have given a fresh and notable proof, in forementioned warning published
by them: wherein though there are a variety of evils condescended upon,
as just grounds of the Lord's controversy with the nations, yet there is
not that faithfulness used therein, in a particular charging home of the
several sins mentioned, upon every one in their different ranks, as, in
agreeableness to the word of God, is requisite to work a conviction in
every one, that they may turn from their sins, and as might correspond
to the title given that performance. Thus, passing other instances that
might also have been observed, they justly remark, _page_ 31st, "The
glorious sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the alone King and
Head of his church, is sadly encroached upon and opposed by the royal
supremacy, in causes ecclesiastical. The king is acknowledged as supreme
head, or governor on earth, of the churches of _England_ and _Ireland_.
The civil sovereign is thus declared to be the head or fountain of
church power, from whence all authority and ministrations in these
churches do spring, is vested with all powers of government and
discipline, and constituted the sole judge of controversies within the
same." "The established Church of _Scotland_ have also, by some
particular managements, subjected and subordinated their ecclesiastical
meetings to the civil power." But while they acknowledge this to be the
sin of the church, and an high provocation against the Lord; yet, as to
the particular sin of the civil power, in assuming and usurping this
Erastian supremacy unto itself, they are quite silent. They have not the
faithfulness to say, in their warning, to the robber of Christ, in this
matter, as once the prophet of the Lord said to the king of _Israel_, in
another case, _Thou art the man_. On the contrary (which cannot but have
a tendency to ward off any conviction of his sin that this warning,
should it come into his hands, might be expected to work), they are
guilty of the basest flattery, used by court parasites, stiling him,
"the best of kings, of the mildest administration," as in _page_ 13th;
and acknowledge it, as a particular effect of the Lord's goodness, that
we are privileged with such an one. But is he indeed deserving of such a
character? better than which could not be given to the most faithful
ruler, devoting all his power, as in duty bound, to the support and
advancement of the kingdom and interest of Jesus Christ, that over
reigned. Does he really merit such an encomium, who sacrilegiously
usurps and wears the crown, that alone can flourish on the head of
_Zion's_ king? And is this such a blessing to the church, that an enemy
to her Lord and Head rules over her? Oh! may not the Lord say? "I
hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright."

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

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

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

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

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

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

And further, the Presbytery testify against the adherents of foresaid
brethren, in strengthening their hands in their course of separation
from the Presbytery, rejecting both their judicial and ministerial
authority, and the ordinances of the gospel dispensed by them. And more
especially, the Presbytery condemn the conduct of such of them as,
professedly dissatisfied with the above said left-hand extremes, and
other defections of foresaid brethren, have therefore broken off from
their communion; yet, instead of returning to their duty in a way of
subjecting themselves to the courts of Christ, and ordinances instituted
by him in his church, have turned back again to their own right-hand
extremes of error, which once they professedly gave up, but now persist
in, an obstinate impugning the validity of their ministerial authority
and protestative mission, undervalue the pure ordinances of the gospel
dispensed by them, and live as if there were no church of Christ in the
land, where they might receive the seals of the covenant, either to
themselves or their children; and therefore, in the righteous judgment
of God, have been left to adopt such a dangerous and erroneous system of
principles, as is a disgrace to the profession of the covenanted
cause.[6]



ADVERTISEMENT.


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

_Cincinnati_, Nov. 12th, 1850.



SUPPLEMENT TO PART III,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



PART IV.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XVII. OF CORRUPTIONS IN THE TWO PRECEDING ORDINANCES.--But, with respect
to these two great ordinances of divine institution, the magistracy and
ministry, with the qualifications of the persons and duty of the people,
as before asserted, the Presbytery reject, like as they did, and hereby
do reject and condemn the following contrary errors, tenets and
opinions, whether of older or later date, vented either by open enemies
or professed friends to the reformation cause. And,

1. They reject and condemn that loose latitudinarian tenet and opinion
of opening the door of communion with the church in her judicative
capacity, or sealing ordinances, unto the grossly ignorant, loose,
careless, profane and scandalous: and to the anti-christian deist,
blasphemous heretic, or any who maintain doctrines, principles and
opinions contrary to, and eversive of the cardinal and fundamental
doctrines of Christianity, or such principles and practices as oppose,
obscure or darken the church's beauty and purity, and spoil her of her
power, and particularly that of the church of _Scotland_, in her
attainments in reformation; this being evidently destructive and ruinous
to truth and holiness, the only foundation and basis of external union
and concord in the church, and consequently of all durable, harmonious
and comfortable communion among the ministers and members of Christ's
mystical body: See Eph. v, 11; Isa. viii, 20; Amos iii, 3; 1 Cor. vi,
10; Heb. xii, 14; Rev. xxii, 14, 15; 2 Cor. vi, 17, 18; and conform to
the acts and practice of this church, in her best and purest times, in
excluding from her communion, and refusing to unite with any chargeable
as above.

Again, they hereby reject that false and ungodly principle and opinion,
That a God of infinite wisdom has left his professing people destitute
of any declaration of his will (which they are absolutely bound to
regard) concerning both the institution, administration and
qualifications of such persons as should administer these two distinct
ordinances, government, civil and ecclesiastical; or that these two
different species of government have not their foundation and
institution, as the ordinances of God, in his revealed will; but that
either (with the corrupt revolution church) he hath left the government
of his house a matter of indifference, and the pattern thereof to be
moulded by the discretion of the wise men of this world, and according
to the corrupt will and fluctuating inclination of the people; or, with
their public resolution-brethren, the _Seceders_, exchanging the clear
scriptural and covenanted basis of civil government, with the obscure
foundation of the law and light of nature, or the more dissolute basis
of mere election and acknowledgment of whomsoever the _primores regni_,
though never so wicked and licentious, choose and set up as magistrates.
Which notion contains an injurious and impious impeachment of divine
revelation, as a rule imperfect and insufficient to guide Christians
into the knowledge of the will of God, and their duty, as the peculiar
and professed subjects of the King of kings, and supreme lawgiver,
concerning all his ordinances; and is contrary to 2 Tim. iii, 16; Rom,
ii, 14; Ezek. xliii, 11; and xliv, 5; Lev. xviii, 2, 3, 4, 5; Matt,
xxviii, 20. Confess, chap. 23, § 3.

They in like manner reject and condemn the ecclesiastical headship of
the church, blasphemously arrogated by that man of sin, and son of
perdition the Pope of _Rome_; with all that superiority of dignity and
office in the house of God, claimed by anti-christian Prelates, together
with the whole of their hierarchical order, and the civil places and
power of churchmen, by both usurped; which is a most wicked attempt to
overturn God the Father's deed, constituting his Son Christ, sole King
and Head of his church, an exauctorating of Jesus Christ from his
throne, and headship in his church, an elevation of his ministers,
contrary to his will, and the nature and ends of their office; and an
anti-scriptural and confused blending together of different and distinct
ordinances. Psa. ii, 6; Isa. ix, 6, and xxii, 24; Col. i, 18; Mark x,
42, 43; Luke xxii, 25, 26; I Pet. v, 3; 2 Chron. xix, 12; 1 Cor. vii, 2.
Confess. chap. 25, § 6, and contrary to our solemn covenants, and many
acts and ordinances of both church and state, in times of reformation.

They likewise reject and condemn that gross Erastian principle, That the
civil magistrate is supreme head over all persons, and in all causes,
ecclesiastical as well as civil, whether in more ancient and later times
of tyranny and persecution, openly and blasphemously usurped, or at and
since the Revolution, more craftily yet too manifestly claimed; as
appears from the 37th article of the church of _England_, and king's
declaration prefixed to the said articles: and is further evident from
the many encroachments made upon the royal dignity and headship of
Christ, by the usurpers of his throne, practically vesting themselves
with power and authority to convene and adjourn at their pleasure, and
give laws and ordinances to the church, which is a daring attack on the
prerogative, sovereignty, wisdom and power of her absolute King and
Lord, on whom, as a nail fastened in a sure place, his Father has hung
all the glory of his house, and vested him with the sole supremacy over
the same, being filled abundantly with the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, with the spirit of counsel and of might, to direct and
preside in the management of all her concerns, and to preserve from and
overcome all her enemies; Isa. xxii, 24, and xi, 2, 3, and ix, 6; Col.
i, 18; Eph. i, 22; 2 Chr. xxvi, 18; Heb. v, 4; Confess. chap. 25, § 6.

They also reject and condemn that Erastian tenet and opinion, that the
whole or any part of the power, mission, qualifications, or
administration of ecclesiastical officers, or ministers of the church of
Christ, depends upon the authority and dictation of the civil
magistrate, because it is manifestly destructive of the church's power
and authority, under Christ her Head, and derived from him, and likewise
of the ministerial freedom and faithfulness of Christ's embassadors: and
particularly they reject and condemn, as gross Erastianism (whether
practiced before or since the Revolution, and especially since the
incorporating union with _England_ on terms diametrically opposite to
our covenant union), the civil magistrate's limiting the mission of
office-bearers in the church, according to his will; prescribing certain
qualifications, and restricting to certain limitations; such as the
test, indulgences, allegiance, assurance, and abjuration oaths, act
restoring patronages, and the act anent _Porteous_, together with the
threatened deprivation of office and benefice, upon non-compliance; 1
Cor. xii, 28; Matt, xviii, 17, 18; John xx, 23.

They further reject and condemn that Erastian opinion, that the external
government of Christ's house is left unto the precarious determination
of sinful men, or hath either its immediate or mediate dependence upon
the will and pleasure of the civil magistrate, according to the import
of the claim of right, the anti-scriptural basis of the revolution
settlement. This being evidently an impious reflection on the perfect
wisdom of the church's Head, subversive of the beauty of his house, and
fertile of disorder therein, laying the kingdom of Christ obnoxious to
spiritual tyranny and oppression, when strangers, enemies, or such as
have no call or warrant to build the house of the Lord, put to their
hand to model the form of her government as best suits their perverse
inclinations and secular views, in express contradiction to the will and
law of the God of heaven, Exod xxv, 40, and xxvi, 30; Ezek. xliii, 11; 1
Chron. xv, 12, 13; Neh. ii, 20, with many other texts above cited.

Again they reject and condemn that latitudinarian tenet, That the Lord
Jesus Christ, the alone Head of the church, hath left his house void of
any particular form of government, of divine institution exclusive of
all other, under the New Testament dispensation: which, is a manifest
reflection upon his fidelity to him who appointed him, and most absurd
to suppose of him who is true and faithful, as a Son over his own house,
and contrary to Isa. ix, 6, 7; 1 Tim. v, 17; Heb. iii, 2, 3, 5; 1 Cor.
xii, 28; Rom. xii 6, 7, 8; Acts xx, 17, 28; Matt, xxviii, 20. Confess.
chap. 30, § 1, and to the propositions for church government.

They further reject and condemn that sectarian principle and tenet,
whether in former or latter times maintained, that a kirk session, or
particular congregational eldership, is vested with equal ecclesiastical
power and authority, with any superior judicatory, and is neither
subordinate nor accountable to them (in the Lord) in their
determinations. They likewise reject as sectarian, That the community of
the faithful or professing Christians, in a private station hath any
scriptural warrant for public teaching, or judicative determination in
the church; both which opinions are not only expressly contrary to
scripture, Acts xv, throughout, and xvi, 4; I Cor. v, 4; 1 Tim: v, 17;
Heb. v, 4, and xiii, 17, &c, but also have been found hitherto most
hurtful and dangerous to the church of God, depriving her ministers and
members of just and necessary recourse to superior judgment and decision
in matters difficult, discrediting and prostituting the sacred office of
the ministry, and tending to overthrow a standing ministry in the church
of Christ, and subvert that comely and beautiful order he hath
prescribed therein.

In like manner they reject and condemn that gross invasion and
encroachment upon the church's liberties, by the intrusion of popish
patronages, whether imposed as a law by civil, or executed by
ecclesiastical powers. Of the latter of these, the ministers and
judicatories of the now corrupt, harlot Church of _Scotland_, cannot but
be more egregiously guilty. The nature of their sacred function and
trust obliges them to preserve inviolate the church's freedom and
liberties: but in place of this, their hands are _chief in the
trespass_, in an authoritative and active enforcement of this wicked
act--an act evidently destructive of the very nature and essence of that
mutual relation between pastor and people, and which has the native and
necessary tendency to schism in the church, spiritual leanness, and
starving of the flock, by thrusting in idle, idol shepherds upon them,
such as serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies; feed
themselves, but not the flock; and seek not them, but theirs, contrary
to John x, 2, 9; Heb. v, 4; 1 Tim. iii, 3; 1 Cor. xii, 14, with many
more; and to acts of both church and state, in times of reformation in
these covenanted lands.

But, on the other hand, that the Presbytery, when thus condescending on
particulars, pass not over in sinful silence, what stands opposite to
the word of God and their declared principles, as above concerning civil
authority, the administrators thereof, and subjection of the people
thereto: they reject, likeas they hereby reject and condemn that
anti-scriptural principle and opinion, that the divine scriptural
ordinance of magistracy has not its foundation in the moral preceptive
law of God (wherein alone his will is revealed and declared unto his
people, concerning the nature, use, and ends of all his ordinances), but
in the subjective light of nature (even as corrupted), so confused and
dark in its discoveries, so gross and selfish in its principles,
motives, and ends, that neither the true nature of this, nor any other
of the ordinances of Jehovah, as revealed in his word, can hereby be
known, or the true use and ends thereof sufficiently discovered or
obtained.

They likewise testify against, and reject that equally absurd opinion,
as a stream flowing from the foresaid corrupt fountain, that the office,
authority, and constitution of lawful magistrates, does not solely
belong to professing Christians, in a Christian reformed land, but that
the election and choice of any one whosoever, made by the civil body
(whether Pagan, Papist, Atheist, Deist, or other enemy to God, to man,
and to true religion), makes up the whole of what is essential to the
constitution of a lawful magistrate according to God's ordinance. A
tenet contrary to the light and dictates both of reason and scripture.

And they hereby also disclaim that corrupt notion, that all providential
magistrates, who are, and while they are acknowledged by any civil
society especially in an apostate backsliding land and people from the
scriptural standard (in respect of the origin of their office), are also
preceptive; and that the office and authority of all so constituted and
acknowledged, in itself considered, does equally arise from, and agree
unto the preceptive will of God, contrary to scriptural precepts, Deut.
xvii, 18; what falls under scriptural reproof, Hos. viii, 4; and what
greatly depreciates the valiant contendings of our honored ancestors for
civil reformation, and tends to invalidate their deeds of constitution
thereanent.

Again the Presbytery testifies against, and condemns that principle,
that the Christian people of God ought to give explicit acknowledgment
of, implicit subjection and obedience to, whatever civil authority
(though most wicked and unlawful) the Lord in his holy providence, may,
for the trial and punishment of his church, permit a backsliding people
to constitute and set up, without regard to the precept of his word. And
they hereby reject whatever in opposition to the covenanted principles
of the Church of _Scotland_, does justly, and in its own nature imply a
voluntary and real acknowledgment of the lawfulness of the title and
authority of an anti-scriptural, anti-covenanted, and Erastian
government, constituted upon the ruins of our scriptural covenanted
reformation. Particularly, they testify against praying for success and
prosperity to such, in their stated opposition to the Lord and his
Anointed, or in any form implying a homologation of their title as
lawful, swearing oaths of fidelity and allegiance to such, accepting any
office from such, and executing these in their name and authority under
them, military associations with such, by a voluntary enlisting under
their banner, and fighting for their support and establishment. And that
in regard these are actions, as they express a proper and explicit
owning of the lawfulness of that authority, which they immediately
respect, so they are such as cannot be obtained without the actual
consent of the party performing, and must therefore imply a deliberate
approbation of foresaid iniquitous authority.

Further, they testify against a direct and active, free and voluntary
paying of tribute and other dues, unto such, and that for conscience
sake, as unto the ordinance of God, according to his precept; and
particularly, when these dues are required as a tessera of loyalty to
such; or when required, as an evidence of a person's active contributing
to the accomplishment of some wicked action, expressly declared to be
the immediate end of the imposition. Thus the case was in the time of
persecution, when the declared end of the additional cess, was the
immediate suppression of the pure preaching of the gospel in the fields.
As also, not only against professed witnesses for reformation
principles, their prosecuting of their witnessing brethren at law before
the courts of anti-scriptural, unqualified judges; but generally,
against all law processes, in a way of direct counteracting any part of
reformation attainments, or express homologating the authority of an
unlawful judge. And, in fine, against all voluntary subjection, for
conscience sake, unto such powers as are not the ordinance of God,
according to his revealed preceptive will, as contrary to scripture; 2
Sam. ii, 10; 2 Kings xi, 4, 17; 2 Chron. xix, 2; Isa. viii, 12 and lxv,
11; Rom. xiii, 1 to 8; 1 Cor. vi, 1 to 8, contrary to the acts of this
church approving, and ordinances of the state, establishing the civil
authority upon its scriptural foundation, and thereby discovering the
proper object of a Christian people's voluntary and conscientious
subjection; and particularly, to the act of classes. While in the
meantime, it must be acknowledged, that the state and condition of
Presbyterian Covenanters in these lands, continuing, as a community, to
witness and contend for reformation of both church and state, that
obtained, and was established, between 1638 and 1650, cannot be regarded
as that of a free people enjoying their ancient privileges and
liberties, but as that of an oppressed people, brought under the power
of a conqueror, and no better than captives in their own land. As this
was evidently the state of the suffering remnant under the persecuting
period, when, by the force of the sword, they were robbed of their
former liberties, and reduced to the most deplorable condition. So,
however the Revolution did alter some circumstances in the condition of
Covenanters; yet, in regard it was established upon, and did homologate
the overthrow of the reformation, to which that people do still adhere,
it could make no substantial change in their condition, from what it
formerly was. And moreover, as it is necessarily requisite to the
constituting of the relation between magistrate and people, that there
be a mutual and voluntary consent; and as the community of presbyterian
Covenanters did never, at or since the Revolution, give such consent;
but, on the contrary, have, in the most public manner, protested against
the constitution and installment of rulers in agreeableness thereto, as
being contrary to the word of God, covenanted constitution, and
fundamental laws of the nations; as is evident from their printed
testimonies and declarations. It follows, that their state is that of an
oppressed people, in passive subjection to a conquering power, whose
duty is, to wait with patience upon _Israel's_ God for his return to
revive his work, and recall the bondage of his _Zion_. And while they
are to take care to do nothing that justly implies their consent to the
continued opposition made unto the covenanted reformation, yet they
ought to observe a proper difference between such actions and things as
are necessary, and in themselves just and lawful, by a moral obligation,
and those that are not so. As also, between that which cannot be had,
nor the value or equivalent of it, unless the person actually give it;
and that which may be obtained, whether he actually contribute to it or
not.[7] Most applicable to this our present condition, are the words of
the _Levites_, expressing the distressed state of _Israel_, which they
had brought themselves into by their sins, as recorded by Neh. ix, 36,
37: "Behold we are servants this day; and for the land thou gavest unto
our fathers, to eat the fruit thereof, and the good thereof, behold we
are servants in it: and it yieldeth much increase unto the kings which
thou hast set over us, because of our sins; also they have dominion over
our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great
distress."

Likewise the Presbytery testify against all ministerial or church
communion with such, who, though they may occupy the place of
office-bearers in the church of Christ, yet are destitute of those
qualifications indispensably required by the church's Head, or enter not
into their office by the door he has appointed in his word, own another
head than Christ, or apostatize and fall from the truth and cause of
Christ, formerly espoused and sworn to by them in a church capacity;
against all active owning and countenancing of such, by attending upon
any of their corrupt official ministrations, or receiving any ordinances
from such, to whom the Lord has denied his blessing. Against all
voluntary contracting with prelates, curates, or such officers of human
invention in the church, for paying tithes or other dues unto them, as
unto lawful, scriptural parish ministers. For besides that there is
nothing due unto them, their office having no divine authority; so there
being under the New Testament a change of the priesthood, there is also
a change of the law, respecting tithes; according to 2 Cor. vi, 17; Rev.
ii, 20, &c.

By all which it appears, from what is above asserted and declared
concerning these two divine distinct ordinances, the ministry and
magistracy, that the principles maintained thereanent by the Presbytery,
are nothing else than an endeavor, as a judicatory of the Lord Jesus
Christ, constituted in his name, to hold fast the church of _Scotland's_
testimony, agreeable to the scriptures of truth, for confession and
covenants, fundamental acts and constitutions both of church and state
and this, according to the command of the church's sole King and Head;
Rev. ii, 25, and iii, 11. And what is testified against, is, in the
nature of it, an homologation of the church's faithful opposition to
backsliders, in their course of defection, from the national,
attainments in religion and reformation, resisting even unto blood,
striving against sin.

XVIII. OF OATHS AND VOWS.--The Presbytery further assert and declare,
that oaths and vows are a part of religious worship, warranted in the
word of God, and under the New Testament dispensation, and may be
lawfully taken and entered into by the Lord's people. That such oaths
and vows only are warrantable, as are lawful both for the matter and the
manner of them; and those that are so, when once engaged in, must not be
violated on any consideration, and that, because of the authority of the
awful name of God interposed in them. And further, they declare, that
the right of administering oaths is competent only to those vested with
such authority as is agreeable to the word of truth. As also, that it is
the incumbent duty of Christians, by solemn oath to bind themselves to
maintain and defend the persons of righteous rulers, in the lawful
exercise of their authority; and to such only, it is lawful to swear
oaths of allegiance and fidelity. And hereby, they disapprove the
principle of refusing allegiance to lawful authority. At the same time,
the Presbytery testify against, as above, all the oaths of allegiance in
being, to an Erastian Prelatical government. And further, they reject
and detest that sinful, idolatrous and superstitious form of swearing,
in laying the hand upon, and kissing the gospels, practiced by the
Prelatical churches of _England_ and _Ireland_, and even introduced into
_Scotland_, as a gross profanation of that holy ordinance, and contrary
to the scripture examples thereof. Hereby they also testify against all
sinful swearing, whereby the name of God, his titles, perfections, or
graces of his Holy Spirit, are profaned in ordinary discourse. As also,
the unnecessary oaths of customhouse, trade, &c., as a reiterated and
fearful profanation of the name of God. And moreover, they testify
against, and condemn that ungodly and superstitious oath, practiced by
that unhallowed club, called _Free Masons_: according to Deut. x, 20;
Exod. xx, 7; Neh. xiii, 25; Ezra x, 5; Deut. vi, 13; Matth. iv, 35, 36;
Ezek. xvii, 16, 17, 18, 19; Rev. x, 5, 6; Jer. iv, 2. and v, 2; Confess.
chap. 22.

Again, they testify and declare, that the work of solemn covenanting
with a God in Christ, is a duty warranted in the scriptures of the Old
and New Testament, and by the examples of the godly, agreeable thereto;
and that not only to individuals in particular, but to churches and
nations in general. Which covenants once entered into, and being for the
matter of them lawful, are most sacred, and therefore inviolably
binding; and what cannot be broken or transgressed, without manifest
guilt, and incurring the dreadful resentment of a holy and jealous God,
who has severely threatened to punish covenant-breakers. And hence they
assert, that the National Covenant of _Scotland_, and the Solemn League
and Covenant entered into by the three nations, for reformation and
defense of religion, and for the maintainance and preservation of the
truths and ordinances of God in purity, and sworn by our honored
ancestors, not only for themselves, but including also their posterity,
are of divine authority, as having their foundation upon the word of
God; therefore moral, and so perpetually binding upon the nations, and
every individual of them, to the latest posterity. Wherefore, the
Presbytery testify against the principle of refusing the lawfulness of
national covenanting, particularly, under the New Testament
dispensation, and all principles and practices that strike against the
moral obligation of these covenants; see Deut. vi, 13, Isa. ix, 18, and
xliv, 5; Jer. 1, 5; Deut. xxix, 12 to 16, 24, 25; Lev. xxvi, 25, 26;
Josh, ix, 14, 15, 18, 19; 2 Sam. xxi, 1; Ezek. xvi, 59, and xvii, 15,
16, 18, 19; Hos. x, 4; Gal. iii, 15; 2 Cor. viii, 5. See also acts and
ordinances both of church and state in times of reformation, respecting
the taking, and binding obligation, of the covenants.

Again, the Presbytery hereby testify and declare their approbation of,
and adherence unto, all the different steps of reformation, that ever,
in any period, were attained unto in this church and land: particularly,
besides what has been mentioned above, they declare their adherence to
the Westminster Confession of Faith, as it was approven by act of the
General Assembly of the Church of _Scotland, anno_ 1647: Catechisms,
larger and shorter; Form of church government, Directory for worship,
and Books of Discipline, as agreeable to, and extracted from the sacred
oracles.

And with respect to the fourth article of the 23d chapter of our
Confession, the Presbytery hereby declare, that they reject that corrupt
sense and gloss which has been imposed upon it, whether by open enemies,
or false friends to our covenanted reformation in former or latter
times, viz., That a reformed Christian people, having generally
received, and publicly professing the true religion; and more
especially, having expressly and solemnly bound themselves by public
national vows to the Most High, for the preservation of it, may
warrantably set over them an infidel, or one of a religion differing
from the true religion, and thereupon acknowledge and submit themselves
unto him, as their lawful civil ruler for conscience sake. And moreover,
they declare that they understand said articles, as principally relating
to the condition of a people emerging out of the darkness and
superstition of Paganism or Popery, &c., before that religion has
obtained the sanction of civil authority; when, although the major part
or bulk of a people should embrace the true religion, yet that does not
dissolve or loose the relation subsisting between them and their civil
rulers, prior to their conversion, agreeable to, and founded upon the
just and reasonable laws of the realm. In this case only, it is granted,
that an infidel, or one of a different religion, may have authority just
and legal over a people partly converted to the knowledge and gospel of
Christ. Thus it was with the primitive Christians, and thus it was
particularly with our ancestors in _Scotland_, at the beginning of the
reformation; and this perfectly well agrees to the apostolic precept and
determination in a case similar to the above; 1 Cor. vii, 12, 13 and 39,
and 2 Cor. vi, 14.

As also, they further declare their approbation of, and adherence to all
the faithful testimonies, declarations and protestations, emitted by the
witnesses for the work of reformation, whether before or under the late
times of tyranny and persecution, in prisons, scaffolds, or in the
fields, by land or sea; or by such, as since that time have succeeded.
them in the self same testimony, as they are founded upon, and agreeable
to the word of truth, and as a just and proper vindication of foresaid
covenanted cause. And particularly with the above proviso and
limitation, they declare their adherence to the _Rutherglen, Sanquhar_
and _Lanerk_ declarations, _annis_ 1679, 1680, 1682; as also to the
declarations published at _Sanquhar_, 1683, 1684, 1692, and 1695, 1703,
1707; to the _informatory vindication_, and _cloud of witnesses_; to the
_covenants national_ and _solemn league_, sworn at _Auchensaugh_, near
_Douglas_, in the year 1712, at _Crawfurd-john_ 1745; with the
additional acknowledgments of sins, and engagements to duties at these
times; to the declarations published at _Sanquhar_, 1718, and at
_Montherrick_, 1740, 1741. And in like manner, they testify their
adherence to the _Act_ formerly emitted by this Presbytery, in
condemnation of the universal scheme. And they do hereby testify
against, and disapprove all partiality and unfaithfulness, whether in
respect of right or left hand extremes, in any testimonies, published in
a way of professed adherence to reformation principles; particularly,
they reject the testimony published by those designated the _Associate
Presbytery_, as no adequate testimony for truth, because of the
partiality and unfaithfulness, both to God and the generation,
discovered therein; being, instead of a faithful vindication, no better
than a burial of some of the most important attainments in reformation
of this church and land. And they likewise reject, detest and abhor that
spurious brat, stuffed with gross error, blasphemy and nonsense, most
falsely and unjustly designated, "A testimony for the word of Christ's
patience," by that sacrilegious usurper of the ministry, _William
Dunnet_, who, being once plunged into the depths of enthusiasm, such is
his madness, that under pretense of an immediate mission from heaven, he
not only daringly usurps the whole of the ministerial function, but also
wickedly claims an Erastian exercise of the office of the civil
magistrate, in a stupid unaccountable declaration of war, offensive and
defensive, against all mankind, himself, and his blind-folded
confederates only excepted; having probably had these anti-scriptural
notions instilled into him by the industry of some unstable heads, who,
after they had made a professed subjection to this Presbytery, in the
Lord, did, with some others of the same stamp, in a most unwarrantable
and schismatical manner, break off from their communion, without so much
as discovering any shadow of reason, in justification of their rash,
ungrounded and precipitate separation.

Upon the whole, the Presbytery, protesting that they have been
influenced to this necessary work of displaying a judicial banner for
the covenanted cause and interest of our exalted Redeemer, purely out of
a regard to the glory of God, a desire that Christ's kingdom may be
advanced, and his buried truths revived, as also a concern for the
welfare and happiness of the present and succeeding generations, do
earnestly, in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, beseech and obtest
all and every one, into whose hands this testimony may come, that,
without considering the insignificancy of the instruments, and laying
aside prejudice and carnal selfish considerations, they receive the
truth as it is in Jesus, not only in the notion, but in the love and
power of it; that they take with the many just and highly aggravated
grounds of the Lord's controversy, and causes of his wrath against us,
not only on account of private and personal wickedness come to a very
great height, but particularly on account of the general opposition to
the public concerns of his glory, in what respects the doctrine,
worship, government and discipline of his house. Alas! our public
abominations are both obstinately persisted in and publicly justified.
That they lay to heart the great and terrible wickedness of the day and
generation, with deep humiliation before the Lord, while he waits to, be
gracious, and is calling all ranks to humble themselves, and saying,
"Rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful;" Joel ii, 13. That, in the way of
flying under the covert of the atoning blood of the Son of God, by faith
in his name, for the remission of sins, and endeavoring after personal
reformation, as to all the impiety and irreligion, all the detestable
indifferency, lukewarmness and hypocrisy, in the matters of God, which
universally prevail; they also study and set about public reformation,
every one in their several stations, according to our solemn national
engagements, concurring to restore the Lord's ruined and buried work,
and rebuild his house, which is now lying as a desolate heap, covered
over with the rubbish of manifold errors, corruptions and human
inventions. If we still hold fast our abominations, and will not, by
repentance and reformation, return and give glory to the Lord our God
before he cause darkness, then, when he returns for the salvation of
_Zion_, "He will come treading down the people in his anger, and making
them drunk in his fury, and bringing down their strength to the earth;"
Isa. lxiii, 6. "But is there no hope in _Israel_ concerning this thing?
Is there no balm in _Gilead_? Is there not a physician there?" Is there
not virtue in Christ's blood for the most desperate cases, that
churches, as well as particular persons, can be in? Is there not ground
to hope, that the Lord will not altogether forsake these sinful lands,
which were given to him of old for an inheritance, and wherein he has so
long maintained his possession, but that he will yet build up our
_Zion_, and appear in his glory therein, will plead his own cause,
revive his own work, a covenanted work of reformation, and remove all
the contempt and ignominy which it presently lies under? Sure the
continuance of his gracious calls and invitations to return to him,
gives ground to hope, that our "_Israel_ hath not been forsaken, nor
_Judah_ of his God, of the Lord of Hosts, though their land was filled
with sin against the holy One of _Israel_;" Jer. li, 5. And though, while
so much of error, prejudice and carnal interest, lie as impassable
mountains in the way, there is little appearance of the nations taking
this course yet the Lord seems still to bespeak us in that endearing
language, Jer. iii, 12, "Go and proclaim these words towards the north,
and say, Return thou backsliding _Israel_, saith the Lord, and I will
not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the
Lord, and I will not keep anger forever." Though we have nationally torn
our marriage contract with heaven, and taken away our names, yet the
Lord has not. _Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am
married unto you._ Let all, then, _repent, and turn themselves from all
their transgressions, so iniquity shall not be their ruin_; but if not,
then let all the impenitent despisers of the repeated calls of mercy
know, that abused patience will at length turn into fury, and the Lord
Jehovah, who has already furbished his sword, and prepared the
instruments of death, will speedily give that dreadful commission to the
executioners of his wrath: "Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is
ripe; come, get you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow, for
their wickedness is great:" Joel iii, 13. "But because God will do this
to _Israel_, let us prepare to meet our God." Further, the Presbytery
invite and entreat all who tender the glory of God, the removal of the
causes of his wrath and indignation, and who desire the continuance of
his tabernacle and gracious presence among us, to come and join in a
harmonious, zealous and faithful testimony for the precious truths and
interest of _Zion's_ glorious King, and against every course that has a
tendency to heighten, and at last to lay on the copestone of our
defections. Consider it is the Lord's call and command to every one,
even in their most private station, _Contend earnestly for the faith
once delivered to the saints_. It is the burden he, at this day, lays on
his church and people: _Hold fast what thou hast till I come, that no
man take thy crown_; hold fast by our former attainments in reformation.
And finally, the Presbytery exhort all with whom they are more
particularly connected, _To stand fast in one spirit, with one mind,
striving together for the faith of the gospel, and in nothing terrified
by your adversaries_. Let the flame of fervent and true love to God, his
truths, and to one another, prevent and extinguish the wild fire of
unnecessary and hurtful mutual animosities; and _endeavoring to keep the
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace_, study oneness in promoting
the Lord's opposed work, and in walking in the good old way, without
turning aside to the right hand or to the left, because of the lion that
is therein, and without laying other foundations than what were laid.
Let none of Christ's true and faithful witnesses suffer their hearts to
sink into despondency; the cause is the Lord's, and assuredly he will
thoroughly plead that cause which is his own. It will outlive all its
enemies, and yet have a glorious resurrection; and this will be the
crown and comfort of all such as continue, amidst all trials and
sufferings, contending for him, in the blessed expectation of the
conqueror's everlasting reward. Therefore, _lift up the hands that hang
down, and strengthen the feeble knees_; greater afflictions have been
accomplished in those that are gone before, and are now inheriting the
promises, than any wherewith the Lord is presently trying his church.
And as the God of all grace, after they had suffered awhile, made them
perfect, and put them in possession of that eternal glory to which they
were called by Jesus Christ, so shall he establish, strengthen and keep
his people still from falling, and, after all their sorrows and
sufferings, present them faultless before the presence of his glory,
with exceeding joy. "Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts; look down
from heaven, and behold and visit this vine; and the vineyard which thy
right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for
thyself, it is burnt with fire, it is cut down, they perish at the
rebuke of thy countenance. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right
hand, upon the Son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself, so will
not we go back from thee; quicken us, and we will call upon thy name;
turn us again, O Lord of Hosts, cause thy face to shine, and we shall be
saved: Let God arise, let _Zion's_ immortal and omnipotent King Jesus
reign, and let all his enemies be scattered; but let them that love him
be as the sun, when he goeth forth in his might."

Extracted by JO. THORBURN, Pr. Clk.



ADDENDA.

In addition to what is said (from page 65 to 67 preceding, respecting
the establishment of Popery in Canada), the Presbytery deeply lament,
that, in the present edition of their Testimony, they are furnished with
fresh matter to animadvert upon the continued tendency of the British
administration in favor of the religion of Antichrist.

Not long after the civil establishment of Popery in Canada, new
privileges, civil and religious, were bestowed upon the professors of
that religion at home, both in England and Ireland, by which Catholics
have received toleration, under the sanction of law, openly to profess
and practice their idolatry, to open seminaries of learning for the
public instruction of youth in their own religion, and to purchase and
transfer estates to their Popish relations, in direct opposition to the
established laws of the land, framed by our Protestant ancestors, under
the sense of felt necessity, whereby Catholics were laid under
disabilities, as to the enjoyment of those privileges, which they saw to
be inconsistent with the peace of the state and safety of the Protestant
religion, on account of the barbarous massacres committed by Catholics
upon Protestants, and the numerous hostile attempts made to overturn, by
violence, the Protestant religion within these lands, as proceeding from
the sanguinary spirit of Popery. The modern plea set up in favor of
those privileges being conferred upon Popery, that the Catholics of this
day have candidly renounced the whole of their old principles which they
held, as inimical to a Protestant country, never can be admitted, while
they still retain the most dangerous of all their principles, viz.,
implicit faith in the doctrines of supreme councils, and the dispensing
authority of the Pope. Against this sinful indulgence granted to Popery,
the Presbytery testified at the time, in a separate piece, entitled, A
Testimony and Warning against the Blasphemies and Idolatries of Popery,
&c., to which they still refer the reader. An attempt also was made to
extend a similar indulgence to Catholics in Scotland, but which was
happily frustrated through the zealous exertions of the people, who,
pleading the established laws of the land, boldly reclaimed against the
measure, which produced the desired effect of compelling the government
to desist. But alas! no sooner, was the popular zeal cooled, than
government sowed tares by enlarging the privileges of Catholics with
regard to civil property. The deplorable fact now is, that Popery,
basking in the sunshine of legislative power, advanced to the legal
possession of new privileges, and shielded by a formal toleration in the
neighboring kingdoms, may be considered as enjoying the actual
protection of government in Scotland. In Ireland, privileges of a still
more exalted nature are bestowed upon Popery, while the Catholic is so
far enfranchised, that, in conjunction with the Protestant, he may give
his voice for members to serve in the legislature of the country. What
greatly adds to the evil is, the lamentable alteration of public
opinion, so lately displayed against the measures of government in
former indulgences bestowed upon the Catholic interest; but which has
now changed into an entire approbation thereof, both by the great body
of the people and the minority in the two houses of Parliament; and the
only complaint against government on that score is, that, stopping short
of meeting just claims of Catholics, they have not ingrafted them into
all the privileges of British subjects, and for ever done away the
odious distinction between Protestant and Catholic, as to privilege.

When we open our eyes to the measures of the present day, we behold
still more abominations. The government so far from remembering whence
they are fallen, repenting and doing their first works, have started
again in the cause of Antichrist, by leaguing themselves in a military
expedition with a group of Popish despots on the continent, who have
long given their power to the beast; of this expedition one object
evidently appears to be the re-establishment and support of Popery in
France, where under the administration of the omnipotent, and avenging
holy providence of God, in the pouring out of the vials of his wrath
upon the beast, that false religion has received a sore and bleeding
wound, and where the people, long crushed under the tyranny of a
despotic throne, and usurpation of an imposing priesthood, have risen to
extricate themselves from the accumulated oppression, and by their
astonishing efforts have shaken off the Papal yoke, by renouncing their
accustomed allegiance to the head of the Antichristian states at Rome,
have withdrawn their wonted supplies from his treasures, and completely
overthrown the temporal power of his religion in their own country,
which had for many ages kept them in fetters. If any doubt should be
entertained with regard to the support afforded to the sinking cause of
Popery in France by this expedition, the declaration published by the
brother of the late King of France, stiling himself Louis XVIII, at the
head of the emigrants in arms, exhibits the fact in the clearest point
of view, while he plainly and unequivocally says, in that declaration,
that their designs are the erection of the throne and altar, by which
are meant the civil government and the Catholic religion, as they
existed in France prior to the revolution. Britain, not satisfied with
sending forth numerous hosts to the field abroad, and lavishing her
treasures to supply the exhausted finances of the coalesced powers, has
opened her arms at home to receive flying emigrants, caressed by her, as
if they had been sufferers in the cause of genuine Christianity. By the
voice of Episcopal dignitaries the Popish clergy have been extolled, as
men of the most eminent piety, while places have been furnished by
government, to accommodate them in their mass service; and a branch of
the bloody house of Bourbon, whom divine vengeance has reduced to the
abject state of a wandering exile, is admitted among us, with all marks
of honor, and, with his train, provided for, as if he were a zealous
supporter of the Protestant cause, seeking an asylum from the rage of
Papal persecution in this reformed land. It cannot escape the notice of
the attentive observer, how closely the crown of Britain has become
allied to this false religion, in consequence of the conquest of the
island of Corsica, and the accession of the crown of that island to the
crown of Britain. According to the new constitution of Corsica, the king
of Great Britain, as represented by his viceroy, makes an essential
branch of the parliament, all the acts whereof must be assented to by
him, in order, to give them the force of law. Now, it is to be remarked,
that in this constitution Popery is expressly declared to be the only
established religion in the island; it is therefore agreed to be divided
into districts, to be filled up with ministers of the Catholic religion,
endowed with legal maintenance. So the king of Britain, as wearing the
Corsican crown, engages to unite this constitutional establishment of
the Catholic religion, the king of Great Britain, as the king of
Corsica, gives his firm assent. Moreover, to provide for the more
extensive propagation of Popery in Corsica, the legislature stipulate to
consult with the See of Rome; here, also, he engages to join the wisdom
of his counsels to those of the Pope, for the express purpose of giving
a wider spread to Popery. If the prophet Jehu accused Jehoshaphat,
though a good prince, when he was returning from a military expedition
with Ahab, king of Israel, in such cutting language; 2 Chron. xix, 2,
_Shouldst thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?
therefore, is wrath upon thee from the Lord_: in what words shall we
pronounce upon this conduct of Britain, in mixing with her politics and
wars, active measures to raise again the falling Dagon of Popery from
the threshold, and to help forward the interests of a religion which the
Lord has solemnly declared he will destroy with the judgments of his
hand and the brightness of his coming. Besides the iniquity of the thing
itself, in giving direct aid to this religion; our guilt derives great
aggravations from a view of the present dispensations of Providence in
visibly sending down terrible judgments (no matter through what rough
hands) upon that anti-christian power, that has long, sat upon many
waters; and the loud voice of Jehovah is uttering, on the awful crisis
of its downfall, to all the fearers of his name to escape a share in its
judgments, by flying away from all communion with its evils; Rev. xviii,
4, _Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,
and that ye receive not of her plagues._ But, blind to his avenging
hand, and deaf to this summons, Great Britain, once without, is now
again returning into a most unlawful communion to support this adjudged
power, by which she constitutes herself a partner in its sins, and
thereby exposes herself to a portion of its plagues. In vain will it be
urged as a plea of justification, that the authors of the revolution in
France, having overturned the constitution of their own country, and
spread desolation through the wide extent of it, menaced other nations,
and us also; and that, therefore, Britain, acting on the first principle
of nature's law, self-preservation, joined the allied powers for her own
defense. Though the Presbytery are by no means to be understood as
giving their suffrage for the lawfulness and justice of the war on our
side; yet, for the sake of argument, allowing the plea--what then? Will
this sanctify the measures adopted by Britain, in recovering, supporting
and propagating the cause of Popery, that the conquest of the enemy, and
her own safety are the ends ultimately to be gained by them? The
Christian maxim, that evil is not to be done that good may come, binds
as strongly nations as individuals. Popery is not a local evil; it is
still the mystery of iniquity, as much in France, and in Corsica, as it
is in Great Britain; it is everywhere the forbidden fruit, not to be
touched. If the security of a Protestant country is to be sought for, in
dependence upon, or in any state of connection with the co-existence and
maintenance of Antichrist, we have indeed a feeble pillar to rest upon,
for, as sure as God himself has spoken it, the Papal kingdoms are the
Babylon to fall and to rise no more again at all. Perhaps, our allies
would not be pleased with another mode of conduct; and shall we run the
hazard of displeasing the God of all our salvation, to gratify, in sin,
the friends of the man of sin? If the crown of Corsica cannot be worn,
but upon the condition of supporting Popery, and joining in councils
with the Church of Rome, to advance her interest there, we are afraid
the weight of it, like a millstone, will sink us deep in the gulf of
God's wrath. But Popery was the former religion of that island, and the
people wished no change. If the wretched inhabitants, loving darkness
rather than the light, refused to be reclaimed, leave them to
themselves, but why should we have fellowship with them in their
unfruitful works of darkness. The Presbytery would not wish to be
understood as if they meant that Protestants ought to raise a crusade,
in order to exterminate Catholics in foreign lands, as Catholics have
attempted to do against Protestants, for the weapons of our warfare, in
propagating religion are not carnal. But it certainly is the incumbent
duty of all Protestant nations to abstain from anything, that has a
tendency to uphold and propagate their religion; and as no positive
countenance should be given to it, so it is highly proper that Catholics
should be kept in such a state of restraint, as they may not again have
it in their power to repeat those bloody scenes, which Popery had acted
upon us. With a view to deliver themselves from the guilt of
participating in the evil, the Presbytery do lift up a judicial
testimony against the present anti-christian courses of administration;
as, also, against those state fasts, proceeding from an Erastian
supremacy, which have been appointed to be observed by all persons, in
order to engage by prayer the Almighty to crown their measures with
success. Likewise, the Presbytery do testify against the national
church, particularly her ministers, who from their station ought to act
as spiritual watchmen, and give pointed warning of sin and danger on the
present occasion; but, who, instead of faithfully discharging this duty,
sanction all these measures of government, which cannot fail to produce
a hardening effect upon the generation.

N.B. Since writing the above, by a reverse in the war, Britain has lost
possession of Corsica, but while this does not acquit her of the guilt
of her anti-christian administration there, neither will it supersede
the necessity of our testimony against it.

       *       *       *       *       *


ADVERTISEMENT.

The late Reformed Presbytery, June 2d, 1845, adopted the following
doctrinal and practical declarations. They have therefore a judicial
sanction; and having been in overture before the people prior to the
action of Presbytery, we subjoin them as a suitable supplement.
_Cincinnati, Nov. 12th_, 1850.


JUDICIAL DECLARATIONS.

1. Man is a free agent, unconscious of restraint in his volitions by the
execution of the immutable decree of God; and it is not possible for
him, in any instance, to avoid fulfilling that decree: yet the law of
God--not his decree--is the rule of man's conduct, and the standard of
final judgment.

2. It is the duty of a Christian to pray for the church of Christ--to
inquire diligently into her scriptural character, and to seek covenant
blessings in her communion.

3. If the majority should violate the terms upon which church members
were united, it is lawful for the minority to testify against the
defection, and to walk by the rule of their former attainments. And when
any community assuming to be the Church of Christ, imposes sinful terms
of communion--when the constitution is anti-scriptural--when the
administration is corrupt, and attempts at its reformation have proved
ineffectual--it is the duty of Christians to separate from it: "_Come
out of her, my people_," &c.; Rev. xviii, 4.

4. No member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church can, without
contracting guilt, in the present state of society, take the oath of
allegiance to the government of these United States, hold office,
exercise the elective franchise, act as a juror, or hold communion in
other ecclesiastical bodies, by what is commonly styled _occasional
hearing_; Rev. xi, 1-3.



TERMS

OF

MINISTERIAL AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNION

IN THE

REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. An acknowledgment of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God,
and the alone infallible rule of faith and practice.

2. An acknowledgement that the whole doctrine of the Westminster
Confession of Faith, and the Catechisms, larger and shorter, are
agreeable unto, and founded upon the Scriptures.

3. An acknowledgment that Presbyterian Church government is of divine
right, and unalterable: and that the most perfect model as yet attained,
is exhibited in the Form of Government and Directory for Worship, as
adopted by the Church of Scotland, in the Second Reformation.

4. An acknowledgment that public, social covenanting, is an ordinance of
God, and obligatory on churches and nations under the New Testament
dispensation: and that the National Covenant of Scotland, and the Solemn
League and Covenant of Scotland, England and Ireland, were an
exemplification of this divine institution: and that these solemn deeds
are of perpetual obligation upon the moral person, as continued by
representation and accession: and in consistency with this,
acknowledging the renovation of these covenants at Auchensaugh, 1712, to
be agreeable to the Word of God.

5. An approbation of the faithful contendings of the martyrs of Jesus,
against paganism, popery, prelacy, malignancy, and sectarianism; and
against immoral constitutions of civil government--Erastian tolerations
and persecutions which flow therefrom: the Judicial Act, Declaration and
Testimony, emitted by the Reformed Presbytery in North Britain, 1761,
together with the Historical and Declaratory Supplements adopted by the
Reformed Church in North America, 1850--as containing an noble example
for their posterity to follow, in contending for all divine truth, and
in testifying against all corruptions embodied in the constitutions of
either church or State.

6. Practically adorning the doctrine of God our Savior, by walking in
all his commandments and ordinances blamelessly.



FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: _Christ's rights, &c._ By these are not meant the rights of
Christ personal. It is not in the power of mortals, or any creature, to
acquire and secure these to him; but the rights of Christ mystical, that
is, of the church, or, of his truth, true worship, and religion, and
professors of it as such.]

[Footnote 2: Besides the above instances of that unholy, tyrannical, and
church-robbing policy, which has been exercised by the supreme civil
powers in these nations with reference to religion and the worship of
God, all of which existed when the presbytery first published their
testimony, there has, of late, a very singular instance of the same kind
occurred, in the course of administration, which the presbytery cannot
forbear to take notice of, but must embrace the present opportunity to
declare their sense of, and testify against; and especially, as it is
one that carries a more striking evidence than any of the former, of our
public national infidelity and licentiousness, and of our being
judicially infatuated in our national counsels, and given up of heaven
to proceed from evil to worse, in the course of apostasy from the cause
and principles of the reformation. We particularly mean the instance of
a late bill or act, which has been agreed upon by both houses of
parliament, and which also, June, 1774, was sanctioned with the royal
assent, entitled "An act for making more effectual provision for the
government of the province of Quebec in North America." By which act,
not only is French despotism, or arbitrary power, settled as the form of
civil government, but, which is still worse, Popery, the _Religion of
Antichrist_, with all its idolatries and blasphemies, has such security
and establishment granted it, as to be taken immediately under the legal
protection of the supreme civil authority of these nations in that vast
and extensive region of _Canada_, lately added to the British dominions
in North America--a province so large and fertile, that it is said to be
capable of containing, if fully peopled, not less than thirty millions
of souls. This infamous and injurious bill, before it passed into a law,
was publicly reprobated and declaimed against by sundry members of both
houses. It has been petitioned and remonstrated against by the most
respectable civil body corporated in Britain, or its dominions, the city
of London; by all the provinces of North America south of Quebec; and
even by the inhabitants of the city of Quebec itself. It has been, in
the most public manner, in open parliament, declared to be "a most
cruel, oppressive, and odious measure--a child of inordinate power," &c.
All which are sufficient indications how scandalous, offensive, and
obnoxious this act was. There was afterward, in the month of May, 1775,
a bill brought into the house of lords, in order to effectuate the
repeal of the foresaid disgraceful act, when, in the course of public
debate, it was represented by those few members of the house who
appeared in the opposition, as "one of the most destructive, most
despotic, most nefarious acts that ever passed the house of peers." But
all in vain--the repeal could not be effected.

And moreover, let it be further observed here, that the bench of bishops
in the house of peers, who assume the anti-christian title of _spiritual
lords_, and pretend to claim a seat in parliament for the care of
religion, during the whole course of this contest, instead of appearing
for the Protestant interest, have, to their lasting infamy, publicly
distinguished themselves in opposition to it, by--"Standing forth the
avowed supporters of Popery."

The presbytery, therefore, find themselves in duty obliged, in their
judicative capacity, principally in behalf of the rights and interests
of the great God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Redeemer--that is to
say, in behalf of the rights of truth, true religion, and righteousness
among men, which he ever owns as his, to add, as they hereby do, their
public testimony against this nefandous national deed, so manifestly
injurious to all these.

The presbytery do not, as some others, found their testimony against
this extravagant act establishing Popery, &c., in Canada, solely or
simply on its injuriousness to the private interests of men--their
bodily lives, goods, or outward privileges; nor do they declare against
and condemn it merely because _that_ religion which is sanctioned with
this national decree and engagement for its defense is a sanguinary one:
"Has deluged our island in blood, and dispersed impiety, persecution,
and murder, &c., through the world." (See an address from the general
congress to the people of Great Britain.) These are all indeed
incontestable proofs that it is not the religion of the divine Jesus,
but of antichrist. Nevertheless, the same have been known to be the
staple and constant fruits of Prelacy too, which, to the extent of its
reach and influence, has as much Christian blood wrapped up in its
skirts as Popery, if not more. Nor yet is it merely on account that it
is greatly injurious, as indeed it is, and a notorious breach of the
public faith to the British Protestant settlers in that province. The
presbytery's particular objections against this extraordinary measure
are of a different quality. They are briefly such as follow:

1. The _iniquity_ of it against God. It is certainly a deed highly
provoking and dishonoring to the God of heaven. For (1), it is a giving
that public protection and countenance to a _lie_, i.e. to idolatry and
false worship (and to anti-christian idolatry, the worst of all other),
which is only due to the truth of God. It is a devoting and giving our
national power to the preservation of the life of the Romish beast,
after the deadly wound given it by the Reformation. And therefore (2), a
most wretched prostitution of the ordinance of civil power, sacred by
its divine institution, to be _a terror_ and restraint _to evil doers,
and a praise to them that do well_, Rom. xiii,--to the quite contrary
purposes. What right have open idolaters and blasphemers to be protected
and supported by any ordinance of God in the public acts of their
idolatry? And how awful is it to think (3), that it is a setting
ourselves openly to fight against God, in a national engagement to
support and defend what God has declared and testified to us in his
word, he will have destroyed; and wherein he expressly forbids giving
the least countenance to idolatry. And shall we thus harden ourselves
against God and prosper? (4), As this last instance of our profane
national policy is a still more open discovery of our incorrigibleness
in our apostasy, so it is also the most striking of all the former of
that Erastianism and spiritual supremacy exercised by the civil powers
in these lands over the church and kingdom of Christ. Herein we have an
open and avowed justification of that anti-scriptural right and power
claimed by them to settle and establish whatever mode of religion they
please, or is most agreeable to the inclinations of the people, or which
best answers their worldly political purposes, although it should be the
religion of Satan in place of that of Christ. This has been the great
leading principle all along since the Revolution, but never more openly
discovered than in this instance. Upon all which it may appear how
sinful and provoking to the divine Majesty this act must be.

2. The _folly and shamefulness_ of it as to ourselves. How disgraceful
and dishonorable is this public act in favor of Popery, even to the
nation itself, and its representatives, who me the authors of it. How
palpably inconsistent is it with our national character and profession
as Protestant, and with our national establishments, civil and
ecclesiastical (both which are professedly built upon reformation from
Popery), to come to take that idolatrous religion under our national
protection, and become _defenders_ of the _anti-christian_ faith; nay,
were it competent for the presbytery as a spiritual court, and spiritual
watchmen, to view this act in a civil light, they might show at large,
that it is a violation of the fundamental national constitutions of the
kingdom, and reaches a blow to the credit of the legal security granted
to the Protestant religion at home. We need not here mention how
contrary this act is to the fundamental laws and constitutions of the
kingdom of Scotland, which are now set aside. But it is contrary to, and
a manifest violation of the Revolution and British constitution itself;
contrary to the Claim of Right, yea, to the oath solemnly sworn by every
English and British sovereign upon their accession to the throne, as
settled by an act of the English parliament in the first year of William
III. By which they are obliged to "profess, and to the utmost of their
power maintain, in all their dominions, the laws of God, the true
profession of the gospel, and the true reformed religion established by
law." But these things the presbytery leave to such whom it may more,
properly concern. Let it, however, be observed that the presbytery are
not here to be interpreted as approving of the abovesaid oath, as it
designedly obliges to the maintenance of the abjured English hierarchy
and popish ceremonies, which might better be called _a true reformed
lie_, than the true reformed religion. Nevertheless, this being the
British coronation oath, it clearly determines that all legal
establishments behoove to be Protestant, and that without a violation of
said oath, no other religion can be taken under protection of law but
what is called Protestant religion only.

The presbytery conclude the whole of this additional remark with
observing, That as in the former instances of the exercise of this
Erastian power above mentioned, the present church of Scotland never
gave evidence of her fidelity to Christ, so far as to testify against
them; so their assembly has, in a like supine, senseless manner,
conducted themselves with reference to this last and most alarming
instance. Notwithstanding all that has been remonstrated against it, and
in favor of the reformed religion, they have remained mute and silent,
which indeed evidences them not to be truly deserving of the character
of _venerable_ and _reverend_, which they assume to themselves, but
rather that of an association; or, in the words of the weeping prophet,
_an assembly of treacherous men_: Jer. ix, 2.]

[Footnote 3: See pages 68, 69, preceding.]

[Footnote 4: Mr. _Andrew Clarkson_ originally belonged to the community
of Old Dissenters under the pastoral inspection of the Rev. Mr. _John
McMillan_ senior; was educated and lived in communion with them, till
upwards of the age of thirty years; during which time he wrote and
published a book, entitled, _Plain Reasons, &c._, setting forth the
grounds why Presbyterian Dissenters refused to hold communion with the
revolution, church and state; but, having no prospect of obtaining
license and ordination among them, in regard they had then no ordained
minister belonging to them but old Mr. _McMillan_ alone, it appeared
that, from a passionate desire after these privileges, he left his old
friends, and made his application to the Associate Presbytery, who
treated him as above narrated.]

[Footnote 5: Mr. _John Cameron_, then a probationer and clerk to their
Presbytery.]

[Footnote 6: These people, referred to above, very unjustly designate
themselves such _who adhere to the testimony for the kingly prerogative
of Christ_. They did at first, before their agreement with the
Presbytery, and ever since their elopement, do still profess to appear
for what they call _An Active Testimony_, conform to the rude draft of a
paper commonly known by the name of the _Queensferry Paper_ or
_Covenant_ (see _Cloud of Witnesses_, Appendix, page 270). After their
_activity_ had carried them the length of avouching the most
inconsistent anti-predestinarian, Arminian schemes of universal
redemption, and not only to a total separation from the Presbytery, and
rejection of their judicial authority, but even to an open denial of the
protestative mission of the ministers therein, and of all others; the
most part of them were, in God's holy and righteous justice, left to
receive and submit to the pretended authority and ministrations of
_William Dunnet_, a deceiver, destitute of all mission and authority,
whom they were afterward obliged to abandon In 1771, they published a
pamphlet entitled, _A short Abstract of their Principles and Designs_.
In this they cunningly evade the acknowledgment of our Confession of
Faith and Catechisms, decline to own the doctrine of the holy Trinity in
_unity_, and do professedly adopt and avow the hypothesis of the famous
modern Socinian, Dr. _Taylor, of Norwich_, anent the person of Christ.
According to which he is no more than "a glorious being, truly created
by God before the world." This pre-existent creature they call a
_superangelic_ spirit; which spirit, coming in time to be united to a
human body, makes according to them, the person of Christ. A person
neither truly God nor truly man, but a sort of being different from
both. The absurdity and blasphemy of this hypothesis needs no
elucidation. Thus they idolatrously worship _another_ god than the
Scripture reveals, and blasphemously substitute and trust in _another_
savior than the gospel offers unto sinners. In the same pamphlet they
declare and publish their resolution to take some of their number under
formal trials, whom, upon being approved, they might appoint and send
forth to preach the gospel and administer the ordinances of it. And all
which they have accordingly done, to the great dishonor of God, reproach
of religion, and the profession of it.

And now, from the above principles and practices, the reader may justly
conclude how unworthily these Christians (if they may be called such)
profess to stand up for the royal prerogatives of Christ. What an
arrogant and presumptuous invasion upon, and usurpation of, the powers
and prerogatives of this glorious King, for any mortal to assume "to
appoint and call men," not to the _work_ (which yet is all that the
Church of Christ, according to the will of God, and her privileges from
Christ her head, ever claimed), but to the very _power_ and _office_ of
the holy ministry, "and to _install_ them in it." Besides, that their
doctrine as to Christ's person, which denies his divine nature and
sonship, saps the very foundations of _that_ and all his other offices.
We would, therefore, yet beseech them, by the mercies of God, "to repent
them of all their wickedness, and to pray God, if perhaps the thoughts
of their heart may be forgiven them."]

[Footnote 7: It has been complained by some, that the sense of both the
members of this particular paragraph is obscure, and not so intelligible
as it should be to many readers; but this complaint seems rather to
arise from the want of proper attention and consideration, than from any
other cause. As to the first branch of the sentence, Among--"Such
actions and things as are necessary, and in themselves just and lawful
by a moral obligation"--may be reckoned the payment of county tolls on
highways and bridges, for the benefit of an easy and commodious
passage--keeping watch in cities which have no settled or regular
guard, to prevent public damage by fire or otherwise. In like manner,
the payment of custom in public markets or fairs, or of town dues, all
of which, being intended for the benefit of public corporations, are
given or paid as the price of liberty and privilege of trade and
commerce. And to this may be added, such necessary instances of
_self-defense_ as a person may be obliged to, when maliciously and
villanously attacked in his character or goods, by persons perhaps
designedly taking advantage of his Christian temper, or profession. Or
when perhaps a person may be maliciously charged with, and prosecuted
for crimes not only peculiarly dishonorable to religion, but even
capital, as has been the case with some individuals. In all such cases,
self-defense at law becomes necessary before the ordinary courts and
judges of any nation, or place of the world whatever, when such defenses
are admitted without the formal and explicit acknowledgment of the
lawfulness of unjust or usurped authority (when such happens to be in
place, as in the instance of Paul's appeal to Caesar, Acts xxv), or
acting any otherwise contrary to justice and charity. And with regard to
the other branch of the sentence where it is observed--"That a
difference ought to made between those things that cannot be had, nor
yet the value and equivalent of them, unless the person actually give
it," &c.: This is sufficiently explained in a paragraph, page 163, near
the foot. Prayers for God's blessing on any government--enlisting and
bearing arms in their service--accepting offices and places of power
from them--swearing oaths of fidelity to them, &c.--are such things as
can by no means be got, nor yet the equivalent of them, unless the party
actually consents and grants them. These, therefore, and, such like, are
the only instances of action which, the Presbytery judge, do, in their
own nature, contain and express a proper and explicit acknowledgment of
the lawfulness of that authority which they immediately respect.]





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