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Having again “ prayed for the gracious presence and assistance of the Divine Spirit, the minister proceeded to the administration of the oath, causing the people to stand up, and to elevate their hands at the end of each article.” After suitable exhortations, the congregation was dismissed in the usual form.
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 alone object of religious worship, doth require; and shall endeavour 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) endeavour to recover, and labour to preserve the purity thereof, from all corruptions, mixtures, innovations, and inventions of men, popish, prelatical, or any others; 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 labour (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. 5dly, We shall likewise, by all lawful means, endeavour, 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 consci. entiously endeavour 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 subject thereunto as becomes the flock of Christ, but shall always testify our dislike of all encroachments, made and yielded to, prejudicial 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 crastianism, prelacy, and sectarianism, now so prevalent, and confirmed by this late Union with England.
According to the 2nd Article, we shall do our utmost endeavour to have
This transaction, as might naturally have been expected, excited much speculation at the time, and has been the subject of no little controversy, even among the friends of covenanting, since. It seems, however, to have been followed up by the
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, bowsoever 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 bath 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 menibers 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 bis word, together with all heresy and false doctrine, and all profaneness and immoralities 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 partaking in other men's sins, by consenting unto, association, incorporation, combination, compliance with, or conniving at their sins, and upon the other, to guard against all schism, and sinful separation, or unjust, razh, 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
societies with great zeal; for, at a general meeting, held at Crawfordjohn in the succeeding November, we find the following conclusions agreed to:— Ist, That such, in each correspondence, as have not subscribed the covenants, do appoint, in
acts and constitutions of this church, consonant thereunto, as 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 separated 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 in. structed to be condemned by the word of God, and constitutions 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, forborne, or forgiven, but shall study to maintain union and christian communion with all, and every one, whether minister or private christian, who adheres 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' en. croachments, and shall join in the way of truth and duty, with all who do, and in so far as they do adhere to the institutions of Christ. And because many have laboured to supplant the liberties of the true kirk, and have, in a great measure, of late, by indulgencies 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 usurpations, and shall neither hear their sermons, nor pay them stipends, while they continue unfaithful; and shall, whenever God gives us opportunity, endeavour to recover, and when recovered, to maintain and defend the liberties and privileges of the church of Scotland, against all who shall oppose and undermine the same, or encroach thereupon, under any pretext whatsoever.
With reference to the 3d 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 nation 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 interests of religion, and this
their bounds, a day for prayer, and thereafter, to write down their names on paper, and send them to their respective correspondences, that they may bring them to the next general meeting, with warrant granted by them to the clerk to subscribe dation 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 endeavours to promote, to our power, the recovery of that liberty and freedom which we have lost, and to have these acts and oaths, which impede reformation, rescinded; and that all the righteous laws inade in favour 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 bating 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 commandinent, and shall willingly support and defend them, with our estates and lives, in their preserving 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 froin 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 these 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 or subordinate; and shall not corroborate their unjust authority, by paying 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 law-suits, 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 4th article, therefore we shall endeavour to keep ourselves,
This part of the engagement has, we believe, judging from what has come under our own
observation, becore e obsolete.
in their name. 2nd, That the covenants, as they were renewed at Douglas, be benceforth made the formal terms of our communion; and that every correspondence have a bound copy, with four sheets of clean paper, for the subscriptions of all, who
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 every thing that may any ways import an 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 shah 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 5th 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 an uniformity in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, though (as was said) it is now laid aside; and an union entered iato which establishes multiformity therein, and so is the opposite of this covenanted Union. We shall, therefore, Jeny 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 6th 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 acknowledgment of the public sins and breaches, and the engagement to the 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 de