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´╗┐Title: The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and - Solemn League and Covenant - With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They - Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, 1712. (Compared - With the Editions of Paisley, 1820, and Belfast, 1835.) Also, The - Renovation of These Public Federal Deeds Ordained at Philadelphia, - October 8, 1880, by the Reformed Presbytery, with Accommodation of - the Original Covenants, in Both Transactions, to Their Times and - Positions Respectively
Author: Presbytery, The Reformed
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and - Solemn League and Covenant - With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They - Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, 1712. (Compared - With the Editions of Paisley, 1820, and Belfast, 1835.) Also, The - Renovation of These Public Federal Deeds Ordained at Philadelphia, - October 8, 1880, by the Reformed Presbytery, with Accommodation of - the Original Covenants, in Both Transactions, to Their Times and - Positions Respectively" ***

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THE AUCHENSAUGH RENOVATION
OF THE
NATIONAL COVENANT AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT;
WITH THE
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SINS AND ENGAGEMENT TO DUTIES,
AS THEY WERE
RENEWED AT AUCHENSAUGH, NEAR DOUGLAS,
JULY 24, 1712.
(COMPARED WITH THE EDITIONS OF PAISLEY, 1820, AND BELFAST, 1835.)
ALSO,
THE RENOVATION
OF THESE
PUBLIC FEDERAL DEEDS
ORDAINED AT PHILADELPHIA, OCTOBER 8, 1880,
BY THE
REFORMED PRESBYTERY,
WITH ACCOMMODATION OF THE ORIGINAL COVENANTS, IN BOTH TRANSACTIONS,
TO THEIR TIMES AND POSITIONS RESPECTIVELY.

       *       *       *       *       *

PHILADELPHIA 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

PREFACE.

The Reformed Presbytery, at a meeting in Philadelphia, October 6th 1880,
"_Resolved_, That another edition of the Auchensaugh Deed be published,"
and appointed the undersigned a committee "to attend to this business
with all convenient speed."

This Presbytery, after forty years' experience, during which
opportunities have been afforded for examining the opinions and
practices of all parties, professing any regard for the Covenanted
Reformation, is still deeply impressed with the conviction that the
transaction at Auchensaugh 1712, is the only faithful renovation of our
Covenants, National and Solemn League. The fidelity of our fathers in
that hazardous and heroic transaction, it is believed, has ever since
been the _occasion_ (not the _cause_) of all opponents manifesting their
hostility to the whole covenanted cause, by first assaults upon that
detested Bond. And that this is the real state of the case we proceed to
prove by the following historical facts. _First._--In connection with
remodeling the Testimony; or rather by supplanting it in 1806, the Terms
of Communion, without submitting an overture, were also changed to
harmonize with _Reformation Principles Exhibited_, by excluding the
Auchensaugh Renovation from the fourth Term, where it had stood for
nearly a century. The same party have for years excluded from their
abstract of Terms the _Covenants themselves_. _Second._--In Scotland
this faithful document was expunged in 1822, obviously to prepare the
way for the adoption of a _"New Testimony"(!)_, which appeared 1837-9.
The majority of the actors in that work who survive, are now in the Free
Church! _Third._--At the time when defection was progressing in the R.P.
Synod of Scotland, the sister Synod of Ireland strenuously resisted an
attempt to remove the foresaid Bond from its place in the Terms. The
Rev. Messrs. Dick, Smith and Houston in 1837, were faithful and
successful for the time in resisting that attempt. Mr. Houston "_would
ever resist any alteration_ in respect of the Auchensaugh Bond,
regarding the objection laid against it as in reality aimed at the
Covenants themselves." Yet as a sequel to their Renovation of the
Covenants at Dervock 1853, the Auchensaugh Bond was subsequently "shown
to the porch"--removed from the Terms! _Fourth._--At what was called
covenant-renovation at Pittsburgh 1871, we believe no one spoke in
behalf of their fathers' noble achievement in 1712. Indeed this could
not be rationally expected in a body who could tolerate members
vilifying the very Covenants which they pretended to renew.
_Fifth._--Other parties farther removed from the position of their
reforming progenitors; but who still claim ecclesiastical affinity with
John Knox, and commonly prefix to the symbols of their faith the
historical word _Westminster_, give very strong expression to their
feelings of hostility--not to the Auchensaugh Bond, of which probably
they never heard, but to the British Covenants expressly; yea, to the
very ordinance of public social covenanting itself. But we shall let
them speak for themselves. One Doctor of divinity is reported as
saying--"I am opposed to the whole matter of covenanting. Covenants do
an immense sight more harm than good. Those Scotch Covenanters brought
persecution upon themselves by their covenants."[1]

Another Dr. said, "I have always been opposed to covenanting. One
generation of God's people have no right to enter into bonds that entail
obligations upon future generations."[2] A third Dr. said, "I hold it is
a sin for men to go into the august presence of God and enter into
covenant with him. It is base presumption."[3] A fourth Dr. said, "I
hold that the church as an organization is not a responsible moral
agent. Neither is the nation!" These sentiments may well excite
astonishment and alarm, when proclaimed by accredited teachers of
morality and religion. _Sixth._--Seceders have all along their history
claimed to be the sole heirs of the Scottish covenanted inheritance.
They are not ignorant of the Auchensaugh Renovation. How they view that
transaction may be best ascertained from their own language. The
_Original Secession Magazine_ for November 1880, p. 861, speaks thus,
"The distinction drawn between 'Covenanters' and 'Seceders,' we have
shown to be groundless. Are Reformed Presbyterians covenanters at all?
There is not an _actual_ Covenanter among them. They renewed the
Covenants after a fashion in 1712. In our view the Covenants were not
renewed, they were only mangled," &c. These sentiments are sufficiently
strong and explicit to be intelligible. The writer's feelings evidently
interfered with judicial discrimination, while openly expressing that
hostility to the Auchensaugh Bond which is concealed by others. The Rev.
John McMillan, whom the Lord honored to take the lead at Auchensaugh, is
especially branded by this writer who asserts,--"he did not secede and
retire, he was expelled; nor was the position of his early associates in
the ministry of the purest water." Moreover, this writer asserts "that
they (Seceders) have actually renewed the Covenants, from time to time,
during the whole period of their existence." How could this be, since
Seceders have all along rejected "the civil part of the Covenants?" But
these documents bear on their face a direct aim at personal, domestic,
ecclesiastical, and civil reformation. No party can intelligently and
honestly renew the National Covenant and Solemn League, while eulogizing
the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, while in allegiance to the British
throne--that "bloody horn of the beast;" or whose political principles
will identify them with any other horn which may have power to scatter
"Judah." Zech. i: 21.

We have thus attempted by an induction of particulars, as concisely as
we could, to point out existing opposition to our Covenanted
Reformation, by various parties who assail the British Covenants
directly, or by a first assault upon the Auchensaugh Bond, would reach a
fatal stroke at the Covenants themselves. We believe with our
predecessors that those who reject the Auchensaugh Renovation, by
logical necessity will relinquish the Covenants themselves.

The reader may be assured that neither we nor the Reformed Presbytery,
whose committee we are, claim Papal infallibility or Christian
perfection; nor do we ask implicit faith in any uninspired documents.
But we sincerely believe ourselves that the Auchensaugh Renovation and
the Bond, to which the foregoing statements are prefixed, will be found
on examination to be sound, faithful, and "in nothing contrary to the
word of God."

DAVID STEELE,
ROBERT ALEXANDER,
JOHN CLYDE.
_Committee_

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: This gentleman does not seem to know that infidels use
similar argument against Christianity. Or, did he never read--"I came
not to send peace on the earth, but a sword." His logic also is as
faulty as his theology--_non causa pro causa_.]

[Footnote 2: On what principle does this minister dispense the ordinance
of baptism to subjects in their minority? Is baptism a mere ceremony,
involving no obligation upon the children of believers? Gen. xvii: 14.]

[Footnote 3: No _presumption_, when graciously invited to do so. Is.
lvi: 4, 6, 11. This teaching tends to the subversion of social
order--the moral order of the universe. 2 Pet. ii: 10.]

       *       *       *       *       *



THE AUCHENSAUGH RENOVATION.

THE NATIONAL COVENANT AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT, WITH THE
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SINS AND ENGAGEMENT TO DUTIES: AS THEY WERE RENEWED AT
AUCHENSAUGH, NEAR DOUGLAS, 24th JULY, 1712, WITH ACCOMMODATION TO THE
(THEN) PRESENT TIMES.


PSALM lxxvi: 11. Vow and pay unto the Lord your God.

ISAIAH xxiv: 5. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof:
because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken
the everlasting covenant.

EZEK. xvii: 18. Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant
(when, lo, he had given his hand), and hath done all these _things_, he
shall not escape.

2 TIM. iii: 3. Truce-breakers--or Covenant-breakers.



HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.


It is the ineffable product of eternal love, and infinite condescension
in God toward his rational creatures, that ever he was pleased to make a
covenant with them, and not to command and require obedience to his holy
and just will, by virtue of his most absolute supremacy and rightful
dominion only; but even to superadd sweet and precious promises, as a
reward of that obedience, which he might of right have required, without
giving any such incitements or pursuasives to it. And as no tongue of
men or angels is sufficient to express, no strength of imagination to
conceive, no sublimity of intellectual faculties to comprehend the depth
of that spring, and breadth of that ocean of unbounded love, which hath
exerted itself in God's covenanting with man; yea, with sinful man, by
means of a Mediator: so shall it always afford matter of wonder and
admiration to all finite and intelligent beings, to the ages of
eternity, and shall never be comprehended by any, but by him whose
understanding is infinite; wherefore He, who is all-sufficient and
self-sufficient, should invite, yea, press and entreat unworthy indigent
nothings, the sinful children of men to such an incomparable degree of
honor, dignity and advancement, as that is, to enter into a covenant
relation, and come into a solemn treaty of peace and conjunction with
Him, who is infinitely removed beyond all blessing and all praise. To
have this invitation, is indeed the honor and privilege of all within
the visible church, to whose ears the joyful sound of the glorious
gospel of Jesus Christ hath come; but few are so wise as to accept and
approve it. Many, too many, account themselves unworthy of this honor,
and by despising this privilege, and rejecting this dignity, deprive
themselves of the greatest happiness; but as all nations, upon whom the
day-star of the gospel hath arisen, have had the invitation to this
duty, and all sound and real believers have actually participated of
this honor, to have God making a covenant with them, and they striking
hands with Him through a Mediator (which covenant is commonly termed the
_Covenant of Grace_,) so these three kingdoms of Scotland, England and
Ireland conjunctly, and Scotland by itself, as an independent nation,
had in an eminent way and manner the honor, above most nations in the
world, to dedicate and surrender themselves to the Lord, by a most
voluntary, free and deliberate choice, and to come under the bond of a
most solemn oath, in a most religious manner, devoting their all to
Christ, his interest and honor, the flourishing and thriving of his
kingdom, the success of his gospel, and reformation of his churches; and
openly avouching him for their Lord and Master, to the honor of his
name, and confusion of his enemies; which _Covenants National_ and
_Solemn League_, though we look not upon them to be the same with the
covenant of grace, yet we conceive of them as a solemn superadded and
new obligation, tying us to all the duties, as well of a particular
Christian conversation, as these which tend to the public and national
advancement of reformation in religion, whereof the covenant of grace is
the spring and foundation.

These covenants, as they were the effects and consequents of many
remarkable and signal expressions of divine love and goodness, many
singular mercies and deliverances vouchsafed to these nations, as the
return of many earnest prayers and wrestlings of the Lord's people with
him; so they were the occasions of many blessings, and great indications
of God's favor and loving-kindness. Then the Lord delighted to dwell in
the nations; then did he beautify the place of his sanctuary; then did
he fill his people's hearts with joy and gladness, by the familiar
intimations of his special love and down pourings of his Spirit's
gracious influences, as our land can afford many instances. Then did he
enlarge his people's affections, and animate their spirits with zeal and
courage, attended with knowledge, prudence and discretion to act for
him, and advance his kingdom. Then did he illustrate his churches in
these kingdoms, as bright and sparkling stars arising out of the thick
clouds of antichristian darkness, and getting out from under Prelatic
and Erastian yokes of bondage and slavery, and made them go forth as the
meridian sun glorious and excellent; _terrible as an army with banners_.
Hence it came to pass that these nations sent out a savory report to all
the neighboring reformed churches, a report which comforted, revived,
strengthened, animated and encouraged all the true and loyal subjects of
Christ's kingdom; which struck terror and amazement to the hearts of his
enemies; which shook and caused to tremble the pillars of Antichrist's
kingdom, and disquieted the very foundations of the _seat of that
beast_; which made malignants at home and abroad to be ashamed and
confounded, and even forced the haters of the Lord to _feign submission
to him_. Numberless were the advantages and privileges which did redound
to these nations by, and were the lovely attendants and sweet
consequents of, these covenants; whereby God did set to his seal of
approbation, and gave clear evidence and demonstration of his acceptance
of his people's cheerful and willing adventures in this duty of
covenanting with him: and as these blessings and mercies, which, as the
dew of Hermon, were distilled upon his people's heads and hearts, while
they abode steadfast with him, and faithful in his covenant were so many
irrefragable proofs of his acquiescence in their first and laudable
undertakings; so the many sad and fearful plagues, distractions,
confusions and miseries, which have attended and followed the many gross
breaches and violations of these covenants and departures from God, are
no less evident discoveries, undeniable signs and pregnant convictions
of the Lord's most just displeasure and indignation with the bypast and
present courses of revolting and backsliding from him; which courses of
declension and grievous apostatizing from God and his covenant, all the
three kingdoms and in special this nation, and every individual therein
capable of such a work, are, without all controversy, called to bewail
and confess before God, and by speedy amendment to turn from them, in
order to avert judgments, and turn away justly impendent wrath and long
threatened strokes.

The consideration of these blessings and benefits, on the one hand,
which followed the zealous entering into, and sincere performing of
these sacred oaths; and upon the other hand the sense we desire to
retain of the plagues and curses, threatened by God in his word against
covenant-breaking inflicted upon covenant-breakers in former ages, and
foreign nations, and visibly impending upon us in these nations, for our
perfidious dealing in God's covenant; hath moved us a _poor
insignificant handful of people_, unworthy indeed to be called the
posterity of our zealous reforming ancestors, though heartily desirous
to be found adhering to the same standard of doctrine, worship,
discipline and government to which they adhered, to attempt this solemn
and weighty duty of renewing (in our capacities and stations) these
covenant obligations, that we might at least give some discovery of our
respect to the cause of God, for the advancement and preservation
whereof these covenants were first entered into, and afterwards again
and again renewed by our religious progenitors, and by the whole
representative body of the three kingdoms, who had any zeal for the
interest of religion. And that we might, for our parts, be in some
measure instrumental to transmit a testimony for the work of God in our
land to the succeeding generation. Neither do we want, besides these
general motives, some special inducements to this undertaking. As 1.
Because these national covenants, having been nationally broken, and
their funeral piles erected by wicked and perfidious rulers in the
capital cities of the kingdom, with all imaginable ignominy and
contempt, have long lien buried and (almost) quite forgotten under these
ashes; most people either hating the very name and remembrance of them,
or at least being ashamed honorably to avouch their adherence to them,
and afraid to endeavor a vigorous and constant prosecution of the duties
contained in them: So that it is high time that every one should do his
utmost towards a reviving of them. 2. Because many openly declare their
sorrow and grief that ever these covenants should have been entered
into: malignants calling them a conspiracy, attributing every
miscarriage of the persons engaged in them to the covenants themselves
as their native effects; and others, who would take it ill to be called
malignants, making them the causes of all the tyranny, rapine, bloodshed
and persecution of the late reigns, as having raised the spleen of the
enemies of religion, and accounting it safer that they should lie still
in their graves, than that they should irritate malignants any more by
their resurrection.[4] Therefore we judge it our duty to renew them,
that we might evidence, that notwithstanding all these malicious
calumnies and false consequences cast upon them, we are still of the
same judgment with our reformers, that they are the most sovereign
means, under the blessing of God, for the reviving and preserving the
work of God in the land. 3. Because of the courses that are carried on
in direct opposition to these covenants; the nations, formerly cemented
in peace and love in conjunction with truth and righteousness, having
broken these bonds, and united themselves upon another footing, by the
late sinful incorporating union: and imposing new oaths in opposition to
the covenant; such as abjuration, &c. granting license, protection and
toleration to all the evils abjured in the covenant; as heresies and
errors in doctrine, superstition in worship, Prelacy and Erastianism in
government, and overthrowing all good discipline. 4. Because of our own
sinful miscarriages in, and woful declinings from our covenanted duties,
our proneness to break covenant with God, and to be indifferent, lax,
negligent and unsteadfast in the cause and work of God, and to be led
away with the error of the wicked, and to fall from our steadfastness;
wherefore we thought it necessary to bind ourselves by a new tie to the
Lord, and one to another in a zealous prosecution of covenanted duties,
that the covenant might be as a hedge to keep us from running out into
the paths of destroyers. 5. We being sincerely desirous and having an
earnest longing to celebrate the sacred ordinance of the Lord's Supper,
whereof many had unjustly called us despisers and contemners, and
finding it to have been the laudable practice of the church of Scotland
formerly, that all such as were admitted to that holy table should swear
and subscribe the covenant before their coming thereunto; we judged it a
fit preparation for our receiving a sacramental confirmation of God's
covenanted love and favor to us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that we
should avouch Him for our God, and testify our adherence to His cause
and truth, by our renewing our national covenants with Him.

Upon these and the like weighty considerations we resolved to set about
this solemn and tremendous duty; and being assured that we have no
sufficiency in ourselves for any such undertaking, after frequently
imploring the Lord for light and direction, strength and assistance, and
seeking for ourselves a right way in the performance of the duty, upon
days of humiliation, both in our private societies and publicly in the
fields, we did condescend upon the following _acknowledgment of sins_,
the more to enable us to remember our own and the land's breaches of
covenant, in our solemn public confession thereof; and did draw up the
following _engagement to duties_, not to superadd any new oath and
obligation to the covenants, but only to adjust the articles of the
covenant to the circumstances of the time, and to explain in what sense
the covenant binds us against the present evils that are now prevalent
in the land, and to the contrary duties. As for the covenants
themselves, we made no material alteration in them, as judging it a work
more proper for an assembly of divines, or representative body of church
and state (had they been upright and faithful in this cause) than for
us, who, as we are called by others in contempt, must own ourselves in
truth to be, _but a handful of weak and most illiterate people_, and but
as babes in comparison of the first framers of our covenants; only that
we might make them in some measure accomodable to the present lamentable
circumstances, whereinto we are involved by our iniquities, we have
annotated some few necessary alterations upon the margin, wherein the
judicious will find that we have in nothing receded from the scope and
substance of the covenant, but only in the phrase; for instance, where
the covenant binds to _the defence and preservation of the king's
majesty and government_, in regard we have no king nor supreme civil
magistrate so qualified, as God's law and the laudable laws of this
realm require, to whom we might, for conscience sake, subject ourselves,
in a consistency with our defending the true reformed religion in all
its parts and privileges: Therefore, we can only bind ourselves to
_defend and preserve the honor, authority and majesty of lawful
sovereigns, or supreme magistrates, having the qualifications aforesaid,
when God shall be pleased to grant them to us_. Where no judicious
person will say that there is any substantial alteration as to the
_matter of the duty_, but only as to the object to whom the duty is to
be performed; there being none such in being as can justly claim, or to
whom we may with a good conscience pay such an allegiance.

Having mutually agreed concerning these prerequisites to this sacred
action, that the same might be orderly gone about, and might not be
performed in a clandestine way, so as to preclude any upright-hearted
friends to the covenanted reformation from joining with us in that so
necessary a duty, there was public intimation made of the design a
competent space of time before, upon a day of humiliation, and likewise
upon the Lord's day immediately preceding the work.

As for the particular way and manner, method and circumstances of the
work, we had not given any narrative of them; but that some, who came
with an evil eye, to spy out our liberty, for criticizing, not for
joining or profiting, have in part misrepresented the same, and may
further do so; therefore, to obviate all such misreports, we have
thought fit to make this brief relation thereof.

Upon Wednesday, July 23d, those who had the work in design being met
together, the minister began the day's work with prayer for special
assistance to attain due preparation, and a suitable frame, throughout
the whole solemnity: and thereafter had a prefatory discourse to the
people, showing the nature of the work in general, its lawfulness,
expediency, and necessity, from scripture precedents and approven
examples of the people of God, adducing the 9th chapter of Ezra, Neh.
Ezek. Dan. and Neh. x. 28, 29, for proof thereof; and of the day in
particular, that it was a day of fasting and supplication, with
preaching of the word, in order to preparation for the solemnities
intended, both of renewing the covenants and celebrating the sacrament
of the Lord's, Supper. After which a part of the lxxviii. Psalm, from
the 5th to the 12th verse being sung, Mr. John M'Neil, preacher of the
gospel, had a sermon upon Jer. 1. 4, and 5. "In those days, and in that
time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the
children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go and seek
the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces
thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord, in a
perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten." From which text he
raised and prosecuted largely, and particularly the two following
observations, as most pertinent for the work of the day; the first
implicitly supposed, the other more explicitly asserted in the words;
viz. 1. That, _a people in covenant with God may be forgetful of and
deal falsely in their covenant_; or that _covenant-takers may be
covenant-breakers_. 2. That, _it is the duty of a people who have broken
covenant with God to engage themselves again to the Lord by the
renovation of their covenant_. Where in prosecuting the former, he
showed by what gradual steps of declension a people usually come to deal
falsely in God's covenant, such as, (1.) By forgetfulness, Deut. iv. 23.
There being a connexion between forgetting and forsaking, or dealing
falsely in God's covenant, so the church intimates, Psal. xliv. 17, 18.
"All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have
we dealt falsely in thy covenant; our heart is not turned back, neither
have our steps declined from thy way." And the returning remnant of
Israel being sensible of this connexion, resolve to bind themselves to
the Lord _in a perpetual covenant that may not be forgotten_. (2.) By
seeking shifts and arguments to elude and evade the obligation of the
covenant and to defend the breaches thereof; which is after vows to make
inquiry. (3.) By despising the bond of it; Ezek. xvi. 59. "Which hast
despised the oath in breaking the covenant." (4.) By defection to the
iniquities which are sworn and engaged against in the covenant, Jer. xi.
10. "They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which
refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them;
the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant,
which I made with their fathers." (5.) By changing the government, laws,
and ordinances sworn to be maintained in the covenant; either the
government of the state, without consulting divine direction, and due
inspection into the qualification of the persons set up, Hos. viii.,
compare the 1st and 4th verses. "They have transgressed my covenant, &c.
They have set up kings, but not by me, princes and I knew it not;" that
is, without consulting me to know my will, and without my approbation
and consent; or the government of the church, without regard to the
revealed will of God. Thus, Abijah justly chargeth Jeroboam that he had
"cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites,"
and that he had "made priests after the manner of the nations of other
lands;" but encourages himself that he and Judah had the Lord for their
God, because they had not forsaken him; "and the priests which
ministered unto the Lord were the sons of Aaron." 2 Chron. xiii. 6, 10.
(6.) By an entire forsaking and disowning the obligation of the
covenant, Dan. xi. 30. "He------shall have intelligence with them that
forsake the holy covenant." (7.) By a stated opposition to the covenant,
and persecuting of these who adhere thereunto. Thus Elijah justly
charges Israel, 1 Kings xix. 10, that they had forsaken God's covenant,
because they had thrown down his altars, slain his prophets, and sought
after Elijah's life. And in a use of lamentation deduced from the
foresaid doctrine, he showed, that all ranks in the land had reason to
mourn over their breach of covenant, in regard that some of all ranks,
from the throne to the dunghill, in church and state, are, or have been
guilty of dealing falsely in God's covenant, in all and every one of
these diverse ways, and of declining from it: and in regard that there
has been so much ignominy and contempt cast upon these sacred covenants,
not only by breaking them openly, but also avowedly disowning and
disdaining their obligation, and making the adherence to them criminal;
and, which is above all, burning them by the hand of the hangman, and
burying them so long in forgetfulness. This guiltiness he applied not to
great persons only, but also to professors, to ministers, and
particularly to ourselves, who are called dissenters from the present
establishment; pressing upon us no less than others, the absolute and
indispensable necessity of being convinced of, and mourning over these,
not as the sins of others only, but also as our own--we having a chief
hand in the trespass; pressing upon all present concerned in the work
the duty of self-examination, and putting themselves to the trial,
concerning their knowledge of the covenant obligations, both as to their
nature and extent, as well as their sense of the breaches of these
obligations.

In the second head of doctrine, viz., _That it is the duty of a people
who have broken covenant with God, to engage themselves again to him by
renovation of their covenant_; after proving the proposition by several
heads of arguments deduced--1st, From the lawfulness of entering into
covenant with God, whether personal, as Jacob, Gen. xxviii. 20, 21, or
economical, as Joshua and his family, Josh. xxiv. 15, or national, as
God brought his people Israel under a covenant with himself, Exod. xix
5. The consequence holding undeniably, that if it be lawful and
necessary, in any of these respects, to enter into covenant with God, it
must needs be also lawful and a duty to renew the same after the breach
thereof. 2dly, From Scripture precedents of the people of God, who,
after breaking off and declining from God's covenant, renewed the same.
As for instance, the covenant made with Israel at Horeb, was renewed at
the plains of Moab, Deut. xxxix;--by Joshua, chap, xxiv.;--by Asa, 2
Chron. xv. 13, 14;--by Jehoiada, 2 Kings xi. 17;--by Hezekiah, 2 Chron.
xxix. 10;--by Josiah, 2 Kings, xxiii. 2;--by Ezra and Nehemiah, Ezra, x.
3;--Neh. ix ult. and x. 28, 29. 3dly, From Scripture precepts, Deut.
xxix. 1--"These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded
Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside
the covenant which he made with them in Horeb." Psalm, lxxvi. 11--"Vow,
and pay unto the Lord your God." 4thly, From Scripture promises, wherein
the Lord promiseth as a blessing and mercy to his church and people,
that they should renew their covenant with him, Isaiah xix. 21, 23--25;
Zech. ii. 11. For further opening of the proposition, these two
questions were proposed and solved--_First_, Whether all persons who
have broken covenant with God may be admitted to renew the same?
_Answer_, All sorts of persons in the three kingdoms are under the
obligation of the covenant, and consequently, bound to renew and keep it
inviolable; but all are not in present capacity, and therefore have no
actual right to enter into covenant: such as are obstinately wicked,
living in error, profanity, or malignancy, have not God's call and right
from him, as such, to renew a covenant with him; for, Psal. 1. 16,
17--"God says to the wicked, What hast thou to do to take my covenant in
thy mouth?" But all such as are reformed, or reforming from all
iniquity, and namely from the defections and compliances of the time;
who have some suitable sense of the breaches, and competent knowledge
and understanding of the duties engaged unto in the covenant, Neh. x.
28, have a right and an immediate call to the duty of renewing the
covenant. 2dly, If any number of people may renew a national oath and
covenant without the consent and concurrence of royal authority, or at
least, without the concurrence of some chief and principal men in church
and state? _Answer_, Without the concurrence of church and state, a
covenant cannot be taken or renewed nationally, speaking strictly; yet a
few may publicly declare their adherence to their covenant-engagements
by renewing them, not only without the consent and concurrence of
authority, but against it; and there are several precedents for so
doing, both before and since the established reformation. As for
instance, that covenant at Edinburgh, Anno 1557; at Perth, 1559; at
Stirling, the same year; another at Leith, Anno 1560; another at Ayr,
1562. And at Lanark, a small handful of the Lord's people renewed it in
direct opposition to, and at Lesmahago, without the consent or
concurrence of authority; which instances may be both an inducement and
encouragement to us to renew, and in our mean capacity, to testify to
the nation our approbation of, and adherence to these covenants.

In the prosecution of this doctrine, he had occasion also to insist upon
the _reasons_, or _motives_, and _manner_ of entering into covenant. The
scope and argument of the reasons adduced as motives to the duty of
covenanting was to this effect:--

1. The turning away of the Lord's wrath and anger from a land, or
people, which covenant-breaking hath deserved, may be a motive to
renewing covenant with God; this was the motive that prompted the good
reforming King Hezekiah to make a covenant with the Lord, 2 Chron. xxix.
10--"Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of
Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us." And Nehemiah, with
the returned captives, Neh. ix. 38--"And because of all this, we make a
sure covenant."

2. Reviving and advancement in reformation, being the ordinary
consequent and effect of upright covenanting with the Lord, may be
another motive and inducement thereunto; this appears both in personal
and national covenanting--In personal, Psal. cxix. 106--"I have sworn,
and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments." The
Psalmist's having sworn, was a very quickening consideration to excite
him to the performance of his duty. In national covenanting, we always
find, after the people of Israel and Judah had covenanted with the Lord,
they made progress in reformation, and the land was purged of
abominations and idols. Thus it was in Asa's covenant, 2 Chron. xv. 12
to 19; for there, the people have entered into a covenant with the Lord,
"and sworn with all their soul, and with all their heart," the Lord was
found of them; and Asa removed his mother, Maachah, from her royal
dignity, and stamped the idol which she had made, and burnt it at the
brook Kidron; and he brought into the house of the Lord the things that
his father and himself had dedicated. Thus it was also in Jehoiada's
covenant, which he made "between the Lord, and the king, and the people,
that they should be the Lord's people," 2 Kings xi. 17, 18, 20; for,
immediately after the making of his covenant, "all the people of the
land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down--his altars, and his
images brake they in pieces thoroughly; and the priest appointed
officers over the house of the Lord;" and they slew Athaliah with the
sword. The like is evident in Hezekiah's covenanting, 2 Chron. xxxiv.,
xxxv. chapters.

3. This upright renewing of covenant with the Lord is a way and mean to
procure many mercies, both spiritual and temporal, from the hand of the
Lord; which should be a strong inducement and motive to engage us
thereunto. Spiritual mercies are entailed upon it, Deut. xxix. 12, 13.
"That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into
his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: that he may
establish thee to-day for a people to himself, and that he may be unto
thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy
fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." Temporal mercies are also
promised to this upright renewing and keeping covenant, Deut. xxix.
9--"Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may
prosper in all that ye do." And, it is remarked, 2 Chron. xv. 15, that
after Asa's covenant, "the Lord gave them rest round about."

4. The malice and opposition of the Popish, Prelatical, and malignant
party against the covenants, and their doing what in them lies, to make
their obligation void and null, may be a motive and argument for the
people of God so much the more to avouch their respect to them by a
public adherence, especially after long continued breaches.

5. Upright entering into, or renewing covenant with God, is a most
sovereign medicine for healing a people's breaches, as well as their
backslidings, the covenant being a cement, as well to join and unite the
people of God one to another, as all of them in their duty to God; and,
as it flows from the nature of the covenant to unite the friends of
reformation, so it is observable as one of the peculiar fruits of
covenant-renewing, that union in the Lord has followed thereupon: thus
it was with Israel and Judah in the text, who united together in making
a covenant with the Lord. Whence all the people of God, who are called
to be united and "perfectly joined together in the same spirit, and in
the same mind;" and especially they who have been lamentably divided one
from another, by their manifold defections from God, and from their
covenant-engagements, ought to be strongly inclined, moved, and engaged
to this duty; from this consideration, the upright covenant-renewing is
a usual mean of land-uniting and church-uniting dispositions amongst the
people of God.

As for the manner of renewing covenant with God, and how the duty ought
to be gone about, he propounded and opened it in the following
particulars, to this effect:--

1. That it must be done with understanding and judgment, both in
relation to the nature of the duties we engage to perform in the
covenant: grossly ignorant persons being justly deprived of the
privilege of engaging in covenant, though bound to inform themselves of
its nature and obligation; and also in relation to the breaches, such as
would engage into it being called to have some suitable sense and
understanding, both how it has been violated, and by what means persons
come to be guilty of the breach thereof. So, Neh. x. 28, 29--"Every one
that had knowledge and understanding entered into the covenant."

2. This duty must be gone about with sincerity and uprightness of heart;
thus Joshua, when making a covenant with the people, that they should
serve the Lord, exhorts them--"Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve
him in sincerity and truth," Joshua, xxiv., compare the 25th verse with
the 14th. The want of which qualification in covenant-renewing, causes
unsteadfastness and perfidy in covenant-performing--Psal. lxxviii. 36,
37.

3. This duty of covenant-renewing requires, as a qualification towards
the right performing of it, that there be a due consideration, and some
suitable impression of the solemnity and weightiness of the work: which
ariseth, partly from the _object_ or _party covenanted with_, the holy
and jealous God, Joshua xxiv. 19--"He is a holy God, he is a jealous
God, he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins," and partly
from the _subject matter covenanted, or engaged to_. The articles of the
covenant of grace, which we have professedly, at last, yielded to in our
baptism, are weighty; for therein, as God engages to give us himself,
his Son Christ Jesus, and in him all temporal and eternal blessings; so
we engaged to be obedient children, and faithful subjects to him all the
days of our lives. And the articles of these national covenants are
weighty, for therein we engage to great things relating to the glory of
God, and the good of our own and other's souls. And, partly, this
weightiness ariseth from the great _danger and dreadful punishment of
breaking the covenant_; which is threatened in many places of Scripture.
The same is also intimated to us in the customs both of the Jews and
Heathens, in entering into covenant; particularly, we find that the Jews
used to cut a calf, or some other clean beast, in twain, and pass
between the parts of it--using this, or the like form of speech, as the
Jewish doctors relate--"So God divide or separate me, if I keep not this
covenant." Jer. xxxiv. 18, compared with verse 20--"I will give the men
into the hands of their enemies who have transgressed my covenant, which
they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed
between the parts thereof." Nehemiah also, chap. v. 12, 13, when he took
an oath of the priests, shook his lap and said--"So God shake out every
man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this
promise," &c. And all the covenanters said--"Amen."

4. Much tenderness and heart-melting is requisite to the right
performing of this duty. So it was with covenant-renewing Israel and
Judah, who were "weeping as they went to seek the Lord their God, and to
make a covenant never to be forgotten." This brokenness of heart, and
tender-melting frame may arise, both from the consideration of the many
sins and iniquities whereby persons have provoked the Lord their God to
anger, whence they come "to be like doves of the valley, every one
mourning for his iniquity:" and likewise from the consideration of the
grace and mercy of God, manifested in Christ Jesus, his condescension to
enter into a covenant with sinful men, and readiness, upon his people's
repentance, to pardon their former breaches; from the consideration of
this transcendently free grace, an humble and sincere covenanter will be
transported into an ecstacy of wonder and admiration; as the church is,
Mic. vii. 18, 19, 20--"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth
iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his
heritage?" &c.

5. Dependency and recumbency upon the Lord by faith, for strength to
perform covenant engagements, is requisite to right covenanting, Isa.
xxvii. 5--"Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with
me; and he shall make peace with me." This is to "take hold of" God's
covenant, Isa. lvi. 4.

6. Affection to God and the duties whereunto we engage, is requisite to
right covenanting, and that in its flower and vigour, height and
supremacy. Thus, 2 Chron. xv. 12, 15, Asa and the people "entered into a
covenant, to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart,
and with all their soul:--And all Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they
had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire."
They had an affection to the work, and did it with complacency, not in
dissimulation, so as not to design to perform it: nor through
compulsion, with an eye to secular profit or preferment, as many in
these lands did.

7. It is necessary, in order to right covenanting, that the work be
gone about with a firm purpose and resolution (through grace enabling
us) to adhere to our covenant engagements, notwithstanding whatever
opposition and persecution we may meet with from the world for so doing,
and whatever difficulties and discouragements may arise from the
multitude of those, who prove unsteadfast in, or foully forsake their
covenant. We must stand to our covenant, as it is said of Josiah, 2
Chron. xxxiv. 32, that "he caused all that were present in Judah and
Benjamin, to stand to" the covenant, which implies as well a firm
resolution to perform, as consent to engage, as in the latter part of
the verse, it is remarked, that "the inhabitants of Jerusalem did
according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers;" where
_doing according to the covenant_ is exegetical of _standing to it._
David also joins the resolution of performance with swearing; Psal.
cxix. 106. "I have sworn, and I will perform, that I will keep thy
righteous judgments."

From the doctrine thus confirmed and explained, he drew this inference,
by way of information, that seeing it is a people's duty, who have
broken covenant with the Lord, to engage themselves again to him, by
renewing their covenant, that it is not arbitrary for us (as many are
apt to think) to renew, or not to renew our covenant; but that there is
a plain and positive necessity for our repenting and returning again to
the Lord, by entering anew into covenant with him, whether personal made
in baptism, or at the Lord's table, or under affliction and trouble, or
national vows and covenants entered into by ourselves or our fathers.
And in a use of lamentation, he bewailed the backwardness of these
lands, and particularly of this nation, to this duty; in that, now after
sixty years and upwards of great defections from, and grievous breaches
of our covenants by people of all ranks; yet there appears so little
sense of either the obligations or breaches of them, and of a
disposition to reviving them, even amongst those who not only profess
some love to the reformation of religion, but even some belief of their
perpetual binding obligation; and that notwithstanding, as the Prophet
Isaiah saith, concerning Judah, chap. xxiv. 5, "The earth (or the land)
is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant;" our
land having been denied with Popery and Prelacy, and with a flood of
abomination and profanity, the natural consequent of perfidy, the
ordinances having been changed, perverted and corrupted, and the
covenant not only broken, but burnt ignominiously, and the adherence to
it made criminal; yet, for all this, there has not been a time found for
renewing them these twenty-three years; and that ministers, at whose
door it chiefly lay to stir up the land to this work, have many of them
been as careless as others, waiving and putting off a stumbled and
offended people, expressing some concernedness for this duty, with these
and the like pretexts, that it was not a fit time, nor the land in a
case for it (too sad a truth), but not laboring to get the land brought
to be in a case and disposition for it, by pressing the obligation, and
plainly discovering the violations thereof; so that, instead of being
brought to a fitter condition for this duty, the covenants are almost
forgotten and quite out of mind, so that the succeeding generation is
scarce like to know that ever there was a covenant sworn in Scotland.
And more particularly, that the godly, who are dissatisfied with, and
dissent from the defections and corruptions of the times, have
discovered so little concern about the work of reformation, and cause of
God, which the covenants oblige us to own, defend, and promote. All
which laxness and remissness is for a lamentation, and ought to be
lamented and mourned over by the people of God.

In the exhortation, he pressed upon us who are embodied together to
renew our _covenant-engagements_, by giving an open and public testimony
of our adherence to the _covenants, national_ and _solemn league_, that
we should labor to attain a suitable frame, and serious consideration of
the weightiness, solemnity, and awfulness of the work we were then
undertaking: enforcing the same by several cogent motives, as namely,
because in renewing these covenants we are called to remember our
baptismal and personal vows, whereby we had renounced the devil, the
world and the flesh, and devoted ourselves to the Lord to be his people;
which if they were slighted and forgotten, there could be no right,
acceptable, and comfortable entering into _national covenants._ And
likewise because of the weightiness of the duties engaged to in our
_national covenant_, and in the _solemn league_ and _covenant_, which
he proved to be a covenant that ought to be renewed by us in this nation
no less than our _national covenant_, in regard it was a religious,
just, and holy covenant made betwixt God and the three kingdoms, though
it cannot now be taken in the same consideration and extent, as at the
first framing it was, viz.: As a league betwixt us and the
representative body of the kingdoms of England and Ireland: where he
took occasion to go over the several articles of the covenant, showing
the nature and weightiness of the duties.

Beside these two more general doctrines which were chiefly insisted
upon, he observed several others pertinently deducible from the words,
as first, _That unfaithful dealing in God's covenant will breed distance
and estrangement from God._ This is implied in the children of Israel
and Judah seeking the Lord, asking the way to Zion, &c.; their asking
the way to Zion, importing that they had forgotten the right way of
worshipping God, and that their sins had made a sad separation between
them and their God. Secondly, That it is necessary that persons become
sensible of their sin against God, and of his anger against them, and
lay these things to heart, that they may be concerned about
reconciliation with God, and reform their lives. Thirdly, That the
kindly exercise of repentance in a backsliding people lamenting after
the Lord, and setting about to renew their covenant with him, hath an
effectual influence to unite and cement the divided people of God: thus
in the text the children of Israel and Judah, whom their iniquities had
long and sadly divided, are uniting together in this desirable frame of
weeping and seeking the Lord their God, and making a perpetual covenant
with him. This doctrine he proved and applied briefly as the time would
permit, both because of its native result from the text, and because of
his own, and our sincere desire to see a holy union and communion, in
the way of truth and duty effected by returning to the Lord, and
renewing the covenant with him, as among all the godly, so especially
among those that profess their dissent from, and dislike of the corrupt
courses of the times.

Sermon being ended, after prayer, the covenants were first read
according to the _Directory for renewing the solemn league and
covenant_, prescribed by the Act of the General Assembly at Edinburgh,
6th October, 1648, post meridiem, entitled, _Act for renewing of the
Solemn League and Covenant;_ and, thereafter, the following
Acknowledgment of Sins was also read: after which, prayer was made,
containing a comprehensive confession of the more general heads of the
foresaid Acknowledgement of Sins; and a part of the 78th Psalm,
beginning at the 36th verse, was sung; and the minister dismissed the
congregation with a short reprehension and advice, reproving them for
their unconcerned carriage and behaviour during the reading of the
acknowledgment of the breaches of these covenants, which had been first
entered into at the expense of so much blood and treasure, and confirmed
and sealed with the blood of many honourable martyrs of all ranks in the
land; withal, exhorting all present to labour after a heart-melting
frame for the right performance of the work in hand.

Upon Thursday, July 24th, after singing a part of the 105th Psalm, from
the 6th to the 12th verse, and prayer--Mr. John M'Millan preached upon
Isaiah, xliv. 5--"One shall say I am the Lord's: and another shall call
himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall subscribe with his hand
unto the Lord, and sirname himself by the name of Israel." Whereupon,
after the unfolding of the context, and explication of the words,
showing that they clearly contain an intimation of a covenant relation
betwixt God and a people, and their avouching of the same upon their
part; the words seeming to have a reference to the state of the New
Testament Church, and conversion of the Gentiles, who, being allured by
the great gospel blessings and mercies bestowed by God upon the Jews, to
join themselves to the church, should avouch their interest in the
Messiah and covenant of grace, by taking the Lord for their God, and
owning themselves to be his people. So that the words may be taken up as
an answer to such a presupposed question as this, _Whose are you?_ _and
what is your name?_ To which question, one shall answer, _I am the
Lord's;_ another, _I am one of old Jacob's family and offspring_;
another, if you desiderate my name, look the covenant subscriptions and
you will find it there; another shall say, whatever my name was before,
_my sirname now is an Israelite_. So sweetly should a shower of gospel
grace engage the hearts of the New Testament converts to avow their
covenant relation to the Lord, and glory in their union with his church
and covenanted people. Having taking up the sense of the words to this
effect, he deduced from them these two observations:

_1. That the Lord is graciously pleased sometimes to privilege his
people with very remarkable tokens of his gracious presence._ This
doctrine is clear from the context, verses 3d and 4th--"For I will pour
water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will
pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. And
they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the
watercourses."

Under this head of doctrine, he gave the following marks to evidence
whether the present time of renewing our covenant with God was indeed to
us a time of the Lord's privileging us with his gracious presence--1st,
That a time of God's privileging his people with his gracious presence,
and with a shower of gospel grace, is a very inviting and alluring time;
wherein, as the Lord invites his people to their duty, by engaging their
hearts and souls, through his Spirit's gracious influences, to fall in
love with him and his commandments, so they mutually invite one another
to covenant with God. 2d, That such a time proves a soul-engaging and
taking time, wherein souls are engaged to fall in love with the
covenant, and with Christ the Mediator of the covenant, and are taken in
the net of the gospel. 3d, That a time of the letting out of God's
gracious presence is ordinarily a time of many sweet and excellent
resolutions, the people of God resolving to walk more accurately and
circumspectly in the ways of new obedience. 4th, That this usually is a
time of ridding marches, and clearing of evidences. 5th, That it is a
time of many and special confirmations of God's love to the soul. 6th,
That this time of God's letting out much of his gracious presence to his
people, is a very uniting and healing time to them amongst themselves.
Having given these marks, to show whether the Lord were, at the
occasion, letting out his gracious presence, he added, by way of
caution, that seeing (no doubt) the people of God would be expecting
something of all these, upon the undertaking of so great a work; if so
be that they found it not, they should not thence be induced to have
hard thoughts of the Lord, and to conclude that he keeps not his usual
method with his people, or is not so good to them as formerly he hath
been: for whatever defects there are upon his people's part, there is
none upon the Lord's, for he remains the same to them, providing they do
so to him; the change of his dispensations towards his people being from
the change of his people's deportment towards him.

The Second Doctrine, resulting more directly from the words, was, _That
the Lord's Spirit poured out in plenty upon his people will quickly
bring them to an embracing of him, and to a public acknowledgment and
avouching of the same._ Thus it was with the people of God in the
text--no sooner does the Lord "pour water upon the thirsty, and floods
upon the dry ground," even his Spirit upon the spiritual seed of Israel,
but presently they are at covenanting work and subscribing work; "One
shall say, I am the Lord's," etc. In prosecuting this doctrine he shewed
first negatively that he was not for that occasion largely to treat of
the several ways that the Spirit useth to manage this work of engaging
the hearts of his people to embrace Christ, and so to make a public
avouchment of the same; whether he doth it by representing to their
views the sweet and precious promises made in the covenant of grace,
thereby sweetly alluring and drawing them with the cords of love to
himself, or by holding forth to their consciences the terrors and
threatenings of the law, and thereby powerfully constraining them to fly
to him as to the city of refuge from the face of Divine Justice pursuing
them: for seeing the Spirit is a free agent and blows both how and where
he listeth, he may engage a soul to close with Christ by either of these
ways, though most usually he doth it by a conjunction and concurrence of
both. Only this ought to satisfy us, that what way soever the Spirit
taketh in bringing a soul to embrace Christ upon the gospel terms, he so
manageth the work as that the end is effectually and infallibly
attained.

Nor Secondly, Was he to enquire into the measure of the outpouring of
the Spirit's graces and operations, which is effectual for attaining the
end, this being one of the deep things of God which the Spirit alone
searcheth, and therefore is not necessary for us further to know, save
only that we understand so much to be needful as may serve to empty the
creature of all confidence in or dependence upon itself, or any other
creature-helps whatsoever, and bring it to rely upon Christ alone, for
acceptance with God; so much is necessary, and less cannot be
sufficient.

Nor Thirdly, Was he to handle the material differences between those who
are brought really and sincerely to accept, embrace and acknowledge the
Lord for their Lord, and to avouch the same publicly, which presupposeth
a mighty power of the Spirit manifested in the sweet impressions which
he maketh upon the soul, moving them sweetly and readily to comply with
and yield to Christ without any longer resistance, and these who only in
semblance and shew profess to avouch Christ to be their Lord, and feign
submission to him, not from the Spirit's effectual and saving
operations, but either from carnal and external considerations, or at
most from the Spirit's common motions and convictions; which differences
commonly arise from the different natures, motives, manner or ends of
this their acknowledging and avouching Christ for their Lord, and
covenanting with Him.

These things, as not so immediately proper for the work in hand, though
natively involved in the doctrine, being only cleared in transition; he
came in the second place more positively to insist upon and handle the
following heads. First, More generally to propose some considerations
which make such a great work as renewing covenant with the Lord a
weighty, hard and difficult work. And upon the other hand, to lay down
some counterbalancing considerations which render such a work more easy
and light, and may afford matter of encouragement toward the undertaking
of it. Secondly, More particularly in application to ourselves and the
work in hand, to lay before those who were resolved to enter into
covenant with the Lord, what were the things that seemed to speak
against us in the work, and might prove matter of discouragement in the
undertaking of it. And what, upon the other side, might speak for us,
and be ground of encouragement to us to go forward in humble and sincere
endeavors to renew our covenant with the Lord. Thirdly, To give some
advices and directions to such as were resolved upon the work. As for
the first: The considerations which make covenanting work weighty and
difficult. The _first_ consideration was drawn from the greatness of the
party to be covenanted with, the great and glorious Jehovah, the
Creator of the ends of the earth, who is a holy and jealous God, and who
will not forgive the iniquity of such as are false hearted and
perfidious in his covenant, obstinately persisting in their false
dealing; so Joshua premonisheth a people making very fair resolutions
and promises to serve the Lord, that it was a harder work than at the
first sight they apprehended; "That they could not serve the Lord, in
regard he is an holy God, he is a jealous God, and would not forgive
their transgressions nor their sins; and that if they should forsake the
Lord, and serve strange gods, then he would turn and do them hurt and
consume them, after he had done them good," Josh. xxiv. 19, 20. 'Tis a
part of his name, Exod. xxxiv. 7. _That he will by no means clear the
(obstinately and impenitently) guilty_.

A _second_ consideration that makes the work of covenanting with God to
appear a hard and difficult work, was taken from the nature of the work
itself, which is to serve the Lord in a covenant way, and in the
capacity of covenanted children, this covenant relation involving in it
a walk and conversation in all things like the chosen of the Lord; and
'tis no small matter, so to walk, and so to behave as to be accounted
worthy of a covenanted union with the Lord and interest in him, this
covenant relation being confirmed with such awful sanctions, as in
scripture we find, Neh. x. 29. "They------entered into a curse and into
an oath, to walk in God's law," &c. This consideration, that covenanting
work is weighty in its own nature, was further illustrated and amplified
from the difficulty both of the things to be engaged against, and of the
things to be engaged unto. As for the former, the things to be engaged
against, which is sin in all its kinds and degrees, and in all the
inducements to it, both with reference to ourselves, and also as to
participation in the sins of others. This must first be put away, if one
would be a right covenanter. Well did old Jacob understand the necessity
of this, who being resolved to go up to Bethel, to renew his covenant
with God, that answered him in the day of his strait, advises his family
first "to put away the strange gods that were amongst them, and to be
clean." Gen. xxxv. 2. So David assures us, Psal. xxxiv. 14, that
departing from evil must precede doing of good. A man that would lift up
his face without spot in renewing covenant with God, must first "put
iniquity far away, and not suffer wickedness to dwell in his
tabernacles," as Zophar advises Job, chap. xi. 14, 15. They that would
take on with a new master must be fairly parted from the old, there is
no way of pleasing both Christ and mammon, and therefore no possibility
of serving both; whence the nature of covenanting work requires, that
there be an upright putting away of all sin; for if the soul have any
secret reserves in favor of a beloved sin, it has no ground to think
that Christ will accept it, as his covenanted spouse and bride. Nor is
this all, but 2dly, it must be mourned over and truly bewailed,
especially upon the account of the offence done to a gracious God
thereby; which sorrow must not be of an ordinary sort, but an
extraordinary and most intense sorrow, for it cannot be an ordinary kind
of sorrow, provided it be in any suitable measure proportioned to the
offence. And 3dly, which follows upon the former, there must be a
"loathing of the person's self because of these its ways and doings that
have not been good in his sight," Ezek. vi. 9, even to that degree as to
fill the soul with wonder and astonishment, that ever it should have an
occasion of renewing covenant with God again. 4thly, There must be a
sincere and hearty resolving against all sins, consequent upon this
loathing; the soul saying with a steady purpose, "if I have done
iniquity I will do so no more," Job xxxiv. 32.

2dly, As to the latter, the things engaged unto render the nature of
covenanting work difficult and weighty, which are duties of various
kinds, such as, 1st, Holiness towards God, which is one special and
chief part of the covenant, and that not for a time only, but for ever;
both in regard that God, the party covenanted with, is holy and
unchangeably so, and calls his people to imitate him in this attribute
especially; and also in regard that the covenant itself is for its
nature holy, all the articles being morally good and consonant to the
royal law, the scriptures of truth; and for the extent of its duration,
of perpetual force and obligation. This duty of holiness towards God,
engaged to in the covenant, comprehends in it a zealous endeavor to
maintain the purity of the doctrine, worship, discipline and government
of his institution, in opposition to all those who would corrupt it, or
decline from it. 2d, Righteousness towards our neighbor, and more
especially to our covenanted brother; which righteousness should
discover itself both in reference to sin and duty, by reproving him for
sin; or upon his rejecting reproof, by withdrawing from him, that he may
be ashamed, and so come to be reclaimed from his evil course; and by
affording him all that help and assistance to covenanted duties, that
may be warrantably called for, and generally by uprightness towards him
in all our transactions and dealings of any kind. 3d, Faithfulness
towards our nation, which comprehends a constant endeavor to advance and
promote in our station the common good thereof; and a stedfast
opposition to the courses that tend to take away the privilege of the
same. 4th, Uprightness towards ourselves, in everything relating to the
real good of our own souls and bodies; by walking in all the duties of
soberness, temperance, and moderation; for as others are to have their
due, so ourselves are not to be neglected.

A _third_ consideration, whereby the duty of renewing covenant with God
appears to be difficult and weighty, was deduced from _the manner and
way of engaging_; whereunto several things of great difficulty to be
attained were showed to be absolutely necessary, as, 1st, _Judgment_, to
know, and in some measure comprehend, the nature of the duties to be
engaged to, and the advantages flowing from the right entering into, and
keeping of the covenant, and the losses redounding to the breakers
thereof. 2d, _Seriousness_, which, if ever it be in exercise, will
certainly then be most lively, when the soul is entering upon a work of
so high import, as making a covenant with God; for then the creature has
one of two things to look for, either covenant blessings, or covenant
curses, according as it performs or not performs the tenor of the
covenant. 3d, _Deliberation_; rashness in covenanting is of dangerous
consequence: 'tis not the example of others only, nor raw flashes of
conviction or love, nor external considerations, as gain, honor, men's
approbation, &c., that must induce to this duty; but a fixed permanent
purpose of heart and soul, rationally and deliberately entered into.
4th, _Heart-integrity_, That it be done with all the heart, 2 Chron. xv.
15, for the man brings himself under a curse, that "having a male in his
flock, sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing." Mal. i. 14.

A _fourth_ consideration, from whence the work of covenanting comes to
be a difficult and hard work, was deduced from the _way and manner of
performing_ the duties engaged to; which is (as 'tis expressed in the
covenant) with sincerity, reality, and constancy; the difficulty of
attaining to these qualifications in the performance of covenant-duties,
arising partly from the strength of corruption within, the law of sin
and death, which opposes the law of God; and partly from the strength of
snares and temptations from without; which requires, that (as becomes
covenanted children) there be a daily recourse to Jesus Christ, for
light to discover, and strength to overcome these corruptions and
temptations; and life, that the soul turn not dead and insensible under
them.

A _fifth_ consideration, from whence the difficulty of covenanting with
God is sometimes heightened, was taken from _the meanness of such as
attempt the work_. When the great ones, the nobles that are called _the
shields of the earth_, do not afford their authority and patrociny, as
an encouragement to the undertaking; and when the wise and learned will
not employ their learning, parts, and abilities for the facilitating
thereof; but the mean and weakest are left to do the work alone. This
was no small difficulty and discouragement to the Tekoites, in their
building and repairing the wall of Jerusalem, "That their nobles put not
their necks to the work of their Lord." Neh. iii. 5.

A _sixth_ consideration, which may sometimes render such a work hard and
difficult, was drawn from _the want of the concurrence of civil
authority; and the opposition made thereunto by the laws of the land_;
which, when it happens to be the case of a people designing to renew
national engagements cannot but be a very difficult and discouraging
ingredient amongst others in their cup.

On the other hand, these counterbalancing considerations were adduced,
which are as so many props and pillars to support his people, and to
allay the difficulties of the duty of entering into covenant with God,
and to make it the more light and easy. 1st, _That the work is the
Lord's_, and he is greatly concerned in it; and, therefore, his people
may safely lean to him for help, he having enacted no law against it, as
men have. 2d, That _he looks not upon his people in such undertakings,
as in themselves_, for then it were impossible for creatures, having
the least sinful imperfection in them, to covenant with their spotless
Creator, and come so near a jealous God, who is a consuming fire to the
workers of iniquity; _but he considers his people in their covenanting
with him, as in their head, Christ, his eternal Son_; whence we may
safely say, That our national covenant wants not a Mediator more than
the covenant of grace, in this sense, as it is through him we have
access to make this covenant with God. 3d, That _the Lord has promised
his presence to his own work_; thus we find through the whole of the
covenants made, and renewed by the people of Israel and Judah, that the
Lord discovered his gracious presence with them, by some remarkable
effect of his goodness. Thus it is remarked of Hezekiah, that after he
had entered into covenant, "That the Lord was with him, and he prospered
whithersoever he went forth," 2 Kings xviii. 7, compared with 2 Chron.
xxix. 10. 4th, That _the Lord puts none of his people to any piece of
his work upon their own proper expense and charges, but upon his own_;
and whatever complaints his people may have of want of necessary
charges, he both has wherewith to supply them, and has undertaken to
make it actually forthcoming for them, having commanded his people to
open their mouths wide, and he has promised to fill them. 5th, That the
covenant has a greater entail of blessings, than what will sufficiently
compensate whatever expense and pains a people may be at, in undertaking
and performing it. In regard, that though a Christian should lose all,
yea, even life itself, upon the account of it, yet the covenant will
bring in all with advantage to a hundred fold, and glory to the
overplus, when it is duly observed. 6th, That _the undertakers have
God's call and commandment to set about it_; this is that which, above
all other considerations, inspires a Christian with undaunted courage
and alacrity in the undertaking of a duty, when it is made clear that
the person has God's call and command for a warrant; otherwise the want
of this may make the duty to be heartlessly and doubtingly entered upon,
and lamely performed.

Seeing, therefore, that sometimes a work may be the Lord's, and yet the
Lord's call to such a particular person, or people to undertake it, may
be wanting; he came necessarily (which was the _second_ head proposed)
to enquire, what were the several things that might seem to speak
against us, as not having this call from the Lord, and what were the
things that spake for us, and might give us matter of encouragement in
undertaking the work before us.--In solution of which the following
considerations were proposed.

1st, As to the things that might seem to speak against us: 1st, _Our
darkness_, not whether covenanting be a duty, but in regard of the want
of right apprehensions of the nature and greatness of the duty, which
cannot be a sufficient ground to neglect the duty, unless there were
some duties from which a Christian is exeemed and that this is one of
them, which indeed will not be found in the whole Bible. 2d, _Our want
of a frame suitable for the greatness and weightiness of the work_,
which speaks sadly against us, but is not to be a ground to neglect the
duty, we being commanded to look to the God of the covenant for it.

Upon the other hand, the things which seemed to speak for us, and yield
matter of encouragement, that not only the work was the Lord's, but also
that we had his call to the same, were, 1st, The many, palpable, plain,
and open breaches of these covenants, are a loud call to renew them. 2d,
The undervaluing account that the nations have made of them, is a call
to all such as have any respect to the sacred name of the Lord invocated
in these covenants, to do their utmost to vindicate them from that
disgrace, by showing how high a price and value they put upon them. 3d,
The lands enacting the perpetual banishment of these covenants, and
imposing oaths contrary and opposite to them; which brings double
perjury upon the nation, both by disregarding and omitting the
performance of this just, lawful, and commendable covenant, and by
making unjust, sinful and hateful covenants, for opposing the growth and
success of Christ's kingdom, even the reformation of these many abuses
that have corrupted the holy religion of his institution: And perjury
drawing wrath after it, as a native and necessary fruit consequent; they
that would stand in the gap, to turn away national wrath, cannot
otherwise make up the hedge, that the land should not be destroyed, but
by renewing and keeping national covenants. 4th, That so many are
speaking against them everywhere, accounting them a conspiracy against
royal authority, a popular combination for advancing private ends and
interests under the cloak of religion, or at least unnecessary and
unprofitable for the end intended by them, binding to things of such a
heterogeneous nature, as renders the keeping of them, and keeping within
the sphere of our own activity and station, inconsistent and impossible,
and such things as whereof we now have no occasion, and the like; which
is a loud call to us, or any that retain other thoughts of their nature
and ends, than the generality do, to speak for them; which cannot be
done more fitly, honorably, nor conspicuously any other way, than by
renewing and observing them. 5th, The practice of the godly in such a
juncture of time, as what ours appears to be, is a call and encouraging
consideration to set us upon this work: the godly usually in times of
great defection from the purity and power of religion, and corruption of
the ordinances of God's worship, set about renewing their covenant,
thereby to prevent covenant curses, and procure covenant blessings; as
we find both in scripture record, 2 Chron. xv. 12, 13; xxix. 10; xxxiv.
30, 31; Ezra x. 3, and in our own ecclesiastic history. And the practice
was justified by the success, for the most part terminating in some
reviving and reformation. 6th, The time being come to such a crisis,
that such as would keep the word of Christ's patience cannot any longer
do it in a distinguishing way from those that are covenant-breakers, but
by renewing covenant, and thereby making a test and trial of the
well-wishers to the covenanted interest in the land, is a call to set
about this work: in former times the godly held fast this their
profession, by suffering for their adherence to covenanted duties,
resisting unto blood, striving against the sin of covenant-breaking;
whereas now our call seems to be more clear to do it, by renewing those
covenant-obligations. 7th, The covenants themselves have, as it were, a
loud voice to call us, and all who own their obligation, to set about
renewing of them; they call by the justness and intrinsic goodness of
the matter, which is of binding force by virtue of the law of God, prior
to any covenant-tie, and by the holiness and excellency of the end, to
wit, the reformation and preservation of religion. Yea, the covenant
seems to say to us, and to every true hearted son of the church of
Scotland, as Job said in another case, "Have pity upon me, O my
friends," &c. So says the covenant: Have pity upon me, all ye that have
any respect for me, for church and state have forsaken me.

The _third_ thing proposed was to give some advices and directions for
right managing the duty intended. The scope and substance whereof
briefly follows:

1st, Such as would make a covenant with God aright, so as the same may
never be broken nor yet forgotten, must labor to know if they be in good
terms with the God of the covenant, and with the Mediator of the
covenant; if they sincerely closed with the terms, and acquiesced to the
proposals of the covenant of grace; this personal and particular
acceptance of Christ in the new covenant being the only fountain of
acceptable entering into national covenants. Hence it concerns all that
would be right Covenanters, to search and see how it may be betwixt God
and them, because 'tis but a profanation of the covenant to have the
hand and tongue at it, and the heart from it: a well informed head
without a reformed heart is not sufficient: a good opinion and liking of
the covenant without a heart and affection to the covenant avails
nothing in God's sight.

2d, Such as would rightly renew covenant with God, must be well resolved
concerning the motives leading them to covenant; which motives must
neither arise wholly from without, nor yet wholly from within, for if
these motives arise wholly from without, it discovers a great deal of
treachery in the persons covenanting, as not beginning at the heart, not
duly considering the inward case of the soul, but being moved from some
external considerations, as a name amongst men, or affectation of zeal
for public concerns, or such like; if they arise wholly from within it
betrays much weakness and lowness of spirit, as not being able at the
same time both to have a concern about the inward frame of the heart,
and eternal state and condition of the soul, and likewise a zeal for the
public good of the nation, and thriving of the work of God and kingdom
of Christ. Both which interests ought to be in their due proportion
before the eyes of a sound and real Covenanter; a right engager in
covenant must be moved thereto, both from a due sense of the strength
and power of corruption within, and also from the consideration of the
lowness of God's work through defection without.

3d, A right covenanter must be well resolved concerning the terms of
the covenant; that it excludes all coming and going, according to the
revolutions of the times, and the ebbing and flowing of worldly
interests: One that has given up his name to the Lord in covenant, and
called himself by the name of Israel, must not, like the Samaritans, be
an Israelite only in the time of Israel's prosperity, but he must be one
in adversity too: The things engaged to in the covenant being of an
everlasting and permanent duration, in their nature, must be lasting
also in their observation.

4th, A right renewer of covenant must be well resolved anent the cost
and expense of steadfast keeping of covenant. This should be first
counted and deliberately resolved upon before engaging, lest after
persons have engaged they want sufficiency to finish and fulfil the
undertaking; and the Wise man assures us, it is better not to vow, than
to vow and not pay. The covenant may come to require the cost both of
doing and suffering to finish it: there must, therefore, be a resolving
upon both, before engaging.

5th, A right covenanter must be well resolved concerning the separating
nature, and the uniting tie and bond of the covenant, for as it
distinguished between friends and foes, so it unites covenanters amongst
themselves in duties, interests, and concerns. So that they become one
society, having an identity of common duties and privileges, common
crosses and rejoicings; and must rejoice together and weep together.

He closed the Sermon with a two-fold advice or exhortation, to two sorts
of persons.

1st, To those who had some good opinion of, and some love for the
covenant, but yet were not resolved to join in covenant with us, because
of many entanglements in a world; some estate, farm, or place of
employment would be forfeited thereby; and hence, though the covenant
be, in their opinion, a lawful and commendable engagement, yet not for
them; they are in a course inconsistent with it, and could not be
otherwise without foregoing some worldly accommodation. Those he advised
to consider the matter duly; not to engage without a resolution to
forsake all interests that might interfere with covenanted duties; for
to engage in the covenant, and yet to walk in a course opposite to it,
would be exceedingly sinful; but to labour rather after old Jacob's
spirit and disposition, who looked to and trusted in the God of the
covenant when he had nothing else to look to--no outward encouragement,
Gen. xxxii. 10--He had but his staff in his hand when he passed over
Jordan, and the Lord made him to return with two bands. For, if a person
could attain Jacob's spirit, name and sirname would be lovely in their
eyes, covenant and covenanting.

2dly, To those who had put their hands to many sinful covenants in
opposition to this covenant, and such as being in a natural and
unrenewed state, in league with sin and Satan, and in covenant with hell
and death. Those he advised and earnestly obtested to break all their
sinful covenants, to loathe and abhor them, and be humbled for them: and
to come and fall in with this covenant, to say in sincerity that whereas
other lords have had too long dominion over them, henceforth they would
make mention only of the name of the Lord as their Lord; and that their
name should henceforth be _Jacob_, and their sirname _Israel_, and to
sign and seal the same with their oath and subscription. This
exhortation he enforced by the several calls to the work mentioned
before, and by the two following motives: 1st, Because right entering
into, and steadfast keeping of this covenant is the way to a holy life,
and a holy life tends to make a holy nation; for, if we would observe
this covenant sincerely, uniformly, and constantly, we could never be an
unholy, and consequently, never an unhappy people; but it should be
written as a motto upon our walls and gates, JEHOVAH SHAMMAI, _the Lord
is there._ 2d, Because the entering rightly into and due observance of
this covenant would be our strength in the midst of all perplexing
thoughts, whether arising from inward corruptions, or from outward
temptations or dangers; the covenant yielded more satisfaction to David
when dying than a royal diadem, a melodious harp, a puissant army,
strong cities, a numerous offspring, or any earthly comforts could do,
when, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5, he supports himself with this, That "though his
house was not so with God," yet He had made with him "an everlasting
covenant, well-ordered in all things, and sure." The keeping of this
covenant had been to our nation a Samson's lock, whereby we should have
been able to oppose all our enemies; whereas the breach of it hath
opened a door to all sorts of enemies to creep in amongst us, and hence
is verified that which the Lord has threatened his people with for
their breach of covenant, Deut. xxviii. 44, that the enemy shall be the
head, and his people the tail.

Sermon being closed by prayer, the Acknowledgment of Sins was again
read, as preparative to the engaging part; and the minister, in the
first place, admonished all such as were guilty of such public steps of
defection as are confessed in the Acknowledgment, to make full and free
confession thereof before the congregation, with such a due sense of,
and sorrow for these public sins, as might evidence a hearty design of
abandoning them and of adhering more closely to covenanted duties, which
accordingly many did, both with respect to the perjurious oaths of the
late times and defections of the present.

Because many have made a handle of this, above any other part of the
action, to reproach and render the whole of the work contemptible,
calling it Jesuitic superstition, enthusiasm, advancing our own
confessions into the room of Christ's satisfaction, and expecting pardon
upon the score of superficial public acknowledgments:--therefore, to
vindicate this part of the work from such groundless calumny, we desire
it may be adverted. 1st, That this is a commanded duty, that such as
have violated the law and commandments of God, and being guilty of false
and unfaithful dealing in his covenant, should unfeignedly confess their
iniquity, which, if they do, God is faithful and just to forgive. 2d,
That according to the nature of the offence, as the same has been acted
secretly or publickly, and is of a secret or public nature and concern,
so it ought to be confessed. If the offence be in its nature and way of
perpetration a secret sin, known only to God and the person's own
conscience, secret repentance sufficeth: nor can the church require any
thing else, in regard such sins come not within the sphere of her
cognizance;--but if the sin be public and national, or only personal,
but publickly acted, so as the same has been stumbling, scandalous, and
offensive to others; then it is requisite, for the glory of God and good
of offended brethren, that the acknowledgment be equally public as the
offence. These are _first principles_ that will not need to be proved,
but may be taken for granted. But, 3dly, To make it appear that it is
consonant to the practice of the godly to make public confession of
national backsliding, we will advance two or three Scripture instances.
Joshua, chap. vii. 19, compared with verse 11, commands Achan, who had
broken God's covenant which he commanded Israel, and so brought upon the
whole nation the Lord's anger, that he would give glory to God, by
making confession to him. Whence it appears, that such sins as are
national in their consequences, and bring national judgments upon a
people, ought to be publickly confessed for turning away these
judgments, and vindicating the honour of the Supreme Lawgiver, Ezra x.
1,2--"Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping, and
casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him
out of Israel a very great congregation of men, women, and children: for
the people wept very sore." Verse 2d, And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel,
one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed
against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land.
Verse 3d, Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God, to put away
all the wives, and such as are born of them. Verse 10, And Ezra the
priest stood up and said unto them, Ye have transgressed and taken
strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Verse 11, Now
therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his
pleasure. Verse 12, Then all the congregation answered, and said with a
loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do." Neh. ix. 1--"Now, in the
twenty and fourth day of this month, the children of Israel were
assembled with fasting and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. Verse
2d, And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and
stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
Verse 3d, And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the
law of the Lord their God, one fourth part of the day, and another
fourth part they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God." Acts xix.
18--"And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their
deeds."

These Scripture examples, as we conceive, do sufficiently evince, that
such public confession, for the substance of it, is not only expedient,
but also necessary for such as would renew their covenant with God. As
for some circumstances of the manner thereof, neither are we to
vindicate them, nor can they justly be charged upon the whole of those
who made those confessions; far less upon the minister, who, though he
exhorted such as were guilty of scandalous defection, to glorify God by
a public confession, yet obliged none thereunto _authoritatively_: and
such as confessed the sin of their thoughts, or any other sins not
scandalous or offensive to others; he exhorted to be serious in mourning
over these things secretly before the Lord; but withal told them that
these things are not the subject matter of such a public acknowledgment.
Such as were unconcerned in their confessions, and seemed rather to do
it from the examples of others, than from a real and deep sense of their
guiltiness before God (as it must not be dissembled, there were too
many,) he exhorted to attain a sense of the things confessed, and posed
their consciences, whether they were convinced of what they pretended to
confess. If any was so ignorant and weak in their apprehensions of the
nature of right repentance and justification, as to put their
acknowledgment of sin in the room of Christ's satisfaction, and to rely
thereupon for peace and acceptance with God, as it is alleged they did,
it must be owned that they wofully erred in a matter of the highest
consequence: but to affix this either upon all in general, or upon any
particular person by name, is against the law of charity, and a judging
of the heart, which is not obvious to man, but only to God, and so an
usurping of God's prerogative; wherefore it appears, that the objecting
of these and other such like things against this duty, is the effect of
an impotent malice, and passion against the whole design of the work,
which is too shrewd an evidence of a malignant spirit.

Whereas, some have taken occasion to pass injurious reflections upon the
minister, because he made confession and acknowledgment of his own
personal miscarriage; as though he did it with design to please the
people, and to excite them to make confession of the things whereof they
had no due sense, and that he should have proposed himself, as an
example to the people; therefore, to discover the falsehood of such
reports, we must declare plain matter of fact upon this head. The
minister did indeed acknowledge his own iniquities in general, with
others, and also particularly at the entry of the work; but without any
design to please party or person; but only for the glory of God as
himself declared, which if any shall say was but hypocritical
self-seeking, we must remit them to the apostle's interrogation, to
prepare an answer, _Who art thou, O man, that judgest?_ Neither did he
say that he did it to be an example to others, though, even in that
case, he had not been to be blamed, seeing the best of God's saints, in
public employment in church and state, have done the like in public
assemblies, as Josiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, in sacred record, and in our
church history, the Rev. John Davidson, who, at the renewing of the
covenant, March 30th, 1596, not only exhorted the brethren of the
ministry to a serious confession of their sins, but did also make
confession of his own, and excited the rest by his example, as is
related by Mr. Calderwood in his history of the church of Scotland, page
317. Wherefore, seeing he has the command of God, and the most eminent
of his saints for his warrant and precedent, he may be perfectly
unconcerned, what are the constructions that such persons as are
indifferent either about national sins or judgments do put upon this
action,

The Acknowledgment of Sins being read, the minister prayed, confessing
therein the sins which had been publicly confessed in the said
Acknowledgment, and begging assistance to know and do the duties engaged
unto, then the Engagement to Duties was likewise read in the audience of
the congregation; where he showed that the design of these engagements
was to accommodate the covenants to our case and circumstances. And
advised the mixed multitude to beware of entering into the covenant,
unless they were duly resolved concerning the performing of the same,
according as our fathers understood it, as the same was explained and
applied to the present condition of things in these engagements. After
which the minister having prayed for the gracious presence and
assistance of the divine Spirit, to enable us both to engage and
perform; commanding those who were to renew their covenant to stand
upright, and hold up their right hands, he proceeded to the
administration of the oath, causing the people to elevate their hands at
the end of each article. The covenants being renewed, the minister
addressed himself to those that had entered into covenant to this
purpose. Now, you who have renewed your covenant with God must not
imagine that you may sit down upon your performance and rest yourselves
as though your work was perfected and finished; nay, but you must
consider with yourselves that now it is but beginning; your race is
before you, the greatest, part of the work is before your hand:
covenanting is relative to performing; you must, therefore, meditate
upon, and ponder your engagements more now than before; for now you have
put a new bond upon your souls, to walk with God in all the ways of new
obedience. In order therefore to your performing, as you have
undertaken, I would put you in mind of several particulars, which you
must have much and frequently upon your hearts, and before your eyes.

1st, You must know that a holy life is what becomes Covenanters; it is
not holiness in name, show and appearance, but holiness in reality, in
truth and substance, that must be interwoven with all your actions and
duties; though others should not look to conscience, yet you must;
though others slight and neglect religion, you must by no means do it;
you must put on a Joshua's generous and holy resolution, "That whatever
others do, you and your house will serve the Lord." You must consider
upon it, that well-set speeches concerning the covenant, is not what you
are principally to study, but well-set hearts; you must shake off
laziness as well as hypocrisy.

2d. You must be very regular in your walk; an uniform conversation in
the way of holiness is that which greatly adorns a Christian, and
consequently, a Covenanter. And if you endeavor such a regular course of
life, you will not shape yourselves according to the company you fall
into. As some have a religion for every company, so they have one for
man and another for God, and will be more careful and afraid lest their
hypocrisy be discovered by men, than they are afraid to be made manifest
to the Lord. But so it must not be with you who have renewed your
covenant with the Lord: you must be the same in the closet as in the
public assembly, and have a greater regard to the eye of Jehovah, and
the answer of a good conscience, than the approbation of fellow
creatures.

3d, You mast be careful to perform all things which you have engaged to,
within your sphere and station, but must not go without it: God is _a
God of order_, and as he hath placed the stars in their proper orbs for
the order and ornament of the universe, so hath he assigned to
Christians their diverse stations, for the beauty, order, and union of
the Church; Christ, the Captain of salvation, hath marshalled his
soldiers into rank and file, and it were a disordering of his army if
any should break their ranks.

4th, You must slight no opportunity of pursuing the ends of your
covenant; whatever it may cost you when the occasion offers, suffering
must not deter you from it; and if the times be such now as spare both
your persons and purses, yet you must not be sparing in your prayers for
the reviving of the work of God in the land, which is the very end of
covenanting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This true and unbiassed account of the work in its design, progress and
issue we have given, not to pre-occupy false reports only, which we
cannot rationally suppose an entire freedom from, unless we fall in with
the opposers of our covenanted reformation, and to purchase the good
opinion and commendation of men at the rate of losing the favor of God.
The main end of relating some of the more material heads, scope and
argument of the _sermons_ is because there are some things handled in
them which behoved to have been inserted in this _preface_, to clear up
our motives and call to the work, which could not be better done than as
the same was cleared then to the people. And this brief relation,
though falling short of the matter then delivered, may serve to bring
things to the memories of those that found sweet satisfaction in hearing
them in the public. As for what may be the observations of censorious
critics, either _of the sermons_ in particular, or of the _work_ in
general, we are perfectly unconcerned about them, seeing we equally
value their approbation or disapprobation; providing true matter of fact
be not misrepresented, and so truth injuriously wronged. Nor are we
willing here to make any observation of our own concerning the issue and
on-carrying of the work, though all the godly there present ought to
observe the Lord's gracious assistance and favor (so far as they found
the same afforded to themselves, or displayed in others), lest we may
either be in danger to diminish the grace of God by complaining, or
incur the suspicion of self-flatterers by commending, but shall leave it
to the judgment of such as were then present, and the candid
interpretation of others that may read this preceding account thereof.

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

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

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

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

_Ans_. If any engagements can be supposed binding to posterity,
certainly national covenants to keep the commandments of God, and to
adhere to his institutions, must be of that nature. It cannot be denied,
that several obligations do bind to posterity; such as public promises
with annexation of curses to breakers, Neh. v. 12, 13. Thus Joshua's
adjuration did oblige all posterity never to build Jericho, Josh. vi.
26. And the breach of it did bring the curse upon Hiel the Bethelite, in
the days of Ahab. 2dly, Public vows: Jacob's vow, Gen. xxviii. 21, did
oblige all his posterity, virtually comprehended in him, Hos. xii. 4.
The Rechabites found themselves obliged to observe the vow of their
forefather Jonadab, Jer. xxxv. 6, 14, for which they were rewarded and
commended. Public oaths do oblige posterity: Joseph took an oath of the
children of Israel, to carry up his bones to Canaan, Gen. i. 25, which
did oblige posterity some hundred years after. Exod. xiii 19. Josh.
xxiv. 32. National covenants with men before God, do oblige posterity,
as Israel's covenant with the Gibeonites, Josh. ix. 15, 19. The breach
whereof was punished in the days of David, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Especially
National Covenants with God, before men, about things moral and
objectively obliging, are perpetual; and yet more especially (as Grotius
observes) when they are of an hereditary nature, i.e. when the subject
is permanent, the matter moral, the end good, and in the _form_ there is
a clause expressing their perpetuity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_THE NATIONAL COVENANT, OR THE CONFESSION OF FAITH OF THE KIRK OF
SCOTLAND_;


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_THE SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT, FOR REFORMATION AND DEFENCE OF
RELIGION, ETC_.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_A SOLEMN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PUBLIC SINS, AND BREACHES OF THE NATIONAL
COVENANT AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT_.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exod. xxiii. 32, 33. "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with
their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin
against me: for if thou serve their gods, it surely will be a snare unto
thee." Exod. xxxiv. 12, 13. "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a
covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be
for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars,
break their images, and cut down their groves." Deut. xiii. chapter
throughout. Judges ii. 2. "And ye shall make no league with the
inhabitants of this land; you shall throw down their altars," &c. Zech.
xiii. 2, 3. "And it shall come to pass in that day saith the Lord of
Hosts, that I will cut off the names of idols out of the land, and also
I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirits to pass out of the
land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then
his father and his mother that begat him, shall say unto him, Thou shalt
not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his
father, and his mother, that begat him, shall thrust him through, when
he prophesieth." I Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,
that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed
to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils: Speaking lies in hypocrisy,
having their conscience seared with a hot iron: Forbidding to marry, and
commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received
with thanksgiving of them which believe, and know the truth." Rev. xvii.
5. "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE
GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Verse 16.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the
whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh,
and burn her with fire." Compared with Rev. xviii. 4, 5, 6. "A I heard
another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye
be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues:
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her
iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her
double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to
her double."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And besides all these things, there may be many other transgressions
whereof the lands wherein we live are guilty, and these attended with
many heinous aggravating circumstances beyond what they were in our
fathers, which we have not been humbled for to this day; but, instead of
mourning for them, confessing and forsaking them, we have been rather
defending or daubing, covering or coloring, excusing or extenuating
them. All which we now desire to acknowledge and be humbled for, that
the world may bear witness with us, that righteousness belongeth unto
God, and shame and confusion of face to us, as appears this day.

       *       *       *       *       *

_A SOLEMN ENGAGEMENT TO THE DUTIES CONTAINED IN OUR NATIONAL AND SOLEMN
LEAGUE AND COVENANT._

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOOTNOTES:

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

[Footnote 5: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

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

[Footnote 7: King Charles the First.]

[Footnote 8: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies of old, and of
late.]

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

[Footnote 10: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies.]

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 15: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 16: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

[Footnote 17: Anno 1638.]

[Footnote 18: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 22: The lawful Magistrate's.]

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

[Footnote 24: Our Reformers.]

[Footnote 25: As they were then.]

[Footnote 26: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



ACT OF COVENANT RENOVATION,

AGREED UPON AT PHILADELPHIA, OCTOBER 8, 1880,

BY THE

REFORMED PRESBYTERY,

AFTER THE APPROVED EXAMPLE OF OUR FATHERS, AT

AUCHENSAUGH, 1712, AND ACCOMMODATED

TO THE PRESENT TIME.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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



COVENANT RENOVATION.

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


PREFACE.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

CONFESSION OF PUBLIC SINS.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT OF ADHERENCE TO OUR COVENANTS. NATIONAL AND SOLEMN LEAGUE; AS
ADAPTED TO THE PRESENT TIME.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And in testimony of our desires, and assurance to be heard, we
say--Amen.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and - Solemn League and Covenant - With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They - Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, 1712. (Compared - With the Editions of Paisley, 1820, and Belfast, 1835.) Also, The - Renovation of These Public Federal Deeds Ordained at Philadelphia, - October 8, 1880, by the Reformed Presbytery, with Accommodation of - the Original Covenants, in Both Transactions, to Their Times and - Positions Respectively" ***

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