Page images

vectives with which, even in its earlier career, it was too generally assailed.

swear to oppose all malignants and hinderers of Reformation and religion, and yet by this union, the prelates, who themselves are the very malignants and enemies to all further Reformation in religion, are hereby settled and secured in all their places of power and dignity, without the least appearance, or ground of expectation of any alteration for ever.

How offensive and displeasing to God this accursed Union is, may be farther evident by its involving this land in a sinful conjunction and associalion with prelatic malignants, and many other enemies to God and godliness, and stated adversaries to our Reformation of religion, and sworn to principles in our Covenants, National and Solemn League. And particularly, as this Union embodies and unites us in this land in the strictest conjunction and association with England, a land so deeply already involved in the breach of covenant, and pestered with so many sectaries, errors, and abominable practices, and joins us in issue and interest,' with those that are tolerators, maintainers, and defenders of these errors, which the word of God prohibits, 2 Chron. xix. 2. Isa. viii. 12, &c. and our sacred Covenants plainly and expressly abjures. And farther, how far and deeply it engages this land in a confederacy and association with God's enemies at home and abroad, in their expeditions and councils, a course so often prohibited by God in his word, and visibly plagued in many remarkable instances of providence, as may be seen both in sacred and historical records, and the unlawfulness thereof, on just and Scriptural grounds, demonstrate by many famous divines even of our own church and nation, and set down as a cause of God's wrath against this church and kingdom. And how detestable must such an Union be, whose native tendency leads to wear off from the dissenting party in England, all sight, sense, consideration, and belief of the indispensibility of the Solemn League, and hardening enemies in their opposition to it, and those of all ranks in the habitual breach of it. Yea, also, how shamefully it leads to the obliteration and extinguishing all the acts of parliament and assemblies made in favour of this Covenant and Reformation, especially between 1638 and 1649, inclusive. And not only so, but to a trampling on all the blood of martyrs, during the late tyrannical reigns, and a plain burying of all the testimonies of the suffering and contending party in this land, in the firm, faithful, and constant adherence to the Covenanted work of Reformation, and their declarations, protestations, and wrestlings against all the indignities done unto, and usurpations made upon, the royal crown and prerogative of the Mediator, and all the privileges and intrinsic rights of his church. We say, not only burying these in perpetual oblivion, by this copestone of the land's sins and defections, but also opposing and condemning these as matters of the least concern, and trivial, as not being worthy of the concern and suffering for, whereby those who ventured their lives and their all, may be reported to have died as fools, and suffered justly.

« We cannot omit also to declare and testify against the constitution of the British parliament, not only upon the consideration of the foresaid

But Mr. Mackmillan and Mr. Macnei), it appears, did not think the above paper, bold and specific as the language

grounds and reasons, but also upon the account of the sinful mixture and unlawful admission of bishops and churchmen, to have a share in the legislative power, or in place of civil courts or affairs, and there to act or vote forensically in civil matters, a thing expressly forbidden and discharged by Christ, the only head and Lord of his own house, whose kingdom as Mediator, is not of this world, but purely spiritual, and so the officers in his house, must be spiritual ; so that the civil power of churchmen, is a thing inconsistent and incompatible with that sacred and spiritual function. Upon which consideration, how palpable a sin will it be, to subject to, or accept of any oath that may be imposed by the said British parliament, for the maintenance and support of such an Union, or for recognoscing, owning, and acknowledging the authority of the said parliament? And that because of our swearing, and promising subjection to the said parliament, we do thereby homologate the foresaid sinful constitution, and swear and promise subjection to the bishops of England, wło are a considerable part of that parliament, and so we shall be bound and obliged to maintain and uphold them in their places, dignities and offices, which is contrary to the word of God, and our Covenants, while the very first article of the Solemn League, obliges us to endeavour the Reformation of religion in the kingdom of England, in doctrine, worship, discipline and governo ment, according to the word of God, as well as in Scotland. And it is very well known, that the government of bishops is not according to the word of God, but contrary to it, i Pet. v. 3. Mat. XX. 25, 26. and, likewise contrary to the second article of the Solemn League, whereby we are obliged to the extirpation of prelacy, that is, church government, by archbishops, bishops, fc. which we will be obliged by such an oath, to maintain and defend; besides, from the consideration of the person, that by the patrons and establishers of this Union, and by the second article of the Union itself, is nominated and designed to succeed, after the decease of the present queen Anne, in the government of these nations, viz. the prince' of Hanover, who has been bred and brought up in the Lutheran religion, which is not only different from, but in many things contrary unto that purity in doctrine, Reformation and religion, we in these nations, had attained unto, as is very well known. Now the admitting such a person to reign over us, is not only contrary to our Solemn League and Covenant, but to the very word of God itself, Deut. xvii. requiring and commanding one from among their brethren, and not a stranger, who is not a brother, to be set over then, whereby undoubtedly is understood, not only such who were of consanguinity with the people of the land, but even such as served and worshipped the God of Israel, and not any other, and that in the true and perfect way of worshipping and serving him, which he himself bath appointed, as they then did, to which this intended succession is quite contrary. And besides this, he is to be solemnly engaged and sworn to the prelates of England, to maintain, protect, and defend them in all their

thereof was, sufficient for their exoneration, and accordingly next year, the case of Mr. Macneil having been, along with

dignities, and revenues, to the preventing and excluding all Reformation out of these nations for ever..

And upon the like and other weighty reasons and considerations—as popish education, conversation, &c.--we protest against, and disown the pretended prince of Wales, from having any just right to rule or govern these nations, or to be admitted to the government thereof, and when-as is reported-we are maliciously aspersed, by those who profess themselves of the Presbyterian persuasion, especially the Laodicean preachers, that we should be accessory to the advancement of him whom they call the pretended prince of Wales, to the throne of Britain. Therefore, to let all concerned be fully assured of the contrary, We protest and testify against all such so principled to rule in thir lands, because we look upon all such to be standing in a stated opposition to GOD and our Covenanted Reformation. Not that we contemn, deny, or reject civil government and governors—as our former declared principles to the world make evident--but are willing to maintain, own, defend, and sub ject to all such governors as shall be admitted according to our Covenants and laws of the nation, and act in defence of our Covenanted work of Reformation, and in defence of the nation's ancient liberties and privileges, according to the laudable laws and practique of this kingdom.

And further, we cannot but detest, abominate, and abhor, and likewise protest against the vast, unlimited toleration of error in sectaries, which, as a necessary and native consequence of this Union, will inevitably follow thereupon, and which will certainly have a bad influence upon all the parts, pieces, and branches of the Reformation, both in doctrine, worship, discipline, and governinent, yea, even upon the most momentous and foundamental articles of the Christian faith, for hereby Anabaptists, Erastians, Socinians, Arminians, Quakers, Theists, Atheists, and libertines of all kinds, with many others— which abound and swarm in that land-will come crowding and thronging in among us, venting and vomiting up their damnable and hellish tenets and errors, to the destruction of souls, and great dishonour of God in many respects, and that without any check or controul by civil authority, as is evident from the present practice of England, as having gotten full and free liberty for all this, by means of this accursed Union. How then ought not every one to be afraid, when incorporating themselves with such a people, so exposed to the fearful and tremendous judgments of GOD, because of such gross im. pieties and immoralities, not that our land is free of such heinous wickedness as may draw down a judgment, but there these evils are to a degree, for what unparalleled universal national perjury is that land guilty of, both toward God and man, though there were no more, by the breach of the Solemn League and Covenant that they made with this nation, for the defence and Reformation of religion, but also what abominable lasciviousness, licentiousness, luxury, arrogancy, impiety, pride and insolence, together with the vilest of whoredoms, avowed breach of the Sabbath, and most dreadful blasphemies,

that of a Mr. James Farquhar, referred to the commission by the General Assembly that met in the month of April, that

yea, the contempt of all that is sacred and holy, gets liberty to predominate without check or challenge, so that joining with such people, cannot but expose us as well as them to the just judgment of God, while continuing in. these sins.

And here we cannot pass by the unfaithfulness of the present ministers not that we judge all of them cast in the balance-who at the first beginning of this work seemed to be so zealously set against it, and both in their speeches, sermons, and discourses—which was duty—but yet in a very little after, flinched from, and became generally so dumb, silent, indifferent, or ambiguous, to the admiration of many, so that people knew not what to construct.

But from what cause or motive they were so influenced, they know best themselves. Sure their duty both to God and man, was to show and declare how shameful, hurtful, and highly sinful this course was so circumstantiate. And if ministers' faithfulness, and zeal to the concerns of Christ had led them to such freedom and plainness, as was duty in such a matter, and had discovered how contrary this Union was to the foundamental laws and swore (sworn) principles, by all probability they might have had such influence as to stop such an unhallowed, unhappy project. But it seems their policy hath outwitted their piety, their pleasing of man in conniving at, if not complying with their design that was carried on, hath weighed more with them than the pleasing of God, in the witnessing and testifying against it.

But to say no more, by the negligence of ministers on the one hand, and the politics of statesmen on the other hand, this wicked and haughty business has been carried on and accomplished, to the provoking of God, enslaving the nation, and bringing the same under manifest perjury and breach of Covenant. But how to evite the judgments pronounced against such we know not, but by returning to their first love, taking up their first ground, and standing to sworn Covenants solemnly unto God, and adhering to the cause of God and the faithful Testimonies of this church, and seeking back unto the old path, abandoning and shaking off, and forsaking all these God-provoking, and land-ruining courses, we say we know, and are persuaded there can be no mean to retrieve us in this land, but by unfeigned repentance, and returning unto him from whom we have so deeply revolted. And among the politics of this age, it could not but be reckoned the wisdom of the nation, if ever they get themselves recovered out of the snare, to animadvert upon such as have had any hand in the contriving and managing it, as being enemies both to God and their country, which course, if it had been taken io former times with such who were enemies to religion and liberty, it would have deterred such from being so active in this fatal stroke.

Upon these and many more weighty considerations, plain and demonstrable evils in this complex mass of sin and misery, all the true lovers of Zion, who desire to be found faithful to God, to their vows and sworn principles, and who seek to be found faithful in their generation and duty of the day, and all he might be dealt with for schismatical courses, Mr. MackInillan and Mr. Macneil gave in to that court, which met at Edinburgh the 29th day of September, 1708, a paper, which they entitled, Protestation, Declinature, and Appeal, &c. &c.*

such who desire, love, and respect, the honours, independency, liberty, and privilege of their native country, especially in such a juncture, when long threatened judgments are so imminent, and religion and liberty, as it were, in their last breathing, will easily find it to be their bound duty-as they would not conspire with adversaries to religion and liberty—to show no favour or respect, and give no encouragement or assistance that may tend to the upholding or supporting this Union, but that it is their duty and concernmentas well as ours-to testify and declare against the same, and to concur with their utmost endeavours to stop and hinder the same, and to deny their accession to, connivance at, or compliance with any thing that may tend to the continuing such an insupportable yoke upon themselves or their posterity.

And now, to draw this our Protestation to a conclusion, we shall heartily and in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, invite all in the both nations, who tender the glory of God, the removing the causes of his wrath, indignation, and imminent judgments upon us, and who desire the continuance of his tabernacle, gospel ordinances, and graeious presence among us, and seek and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and labour to follow the footsteps of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promise, the noble cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. We say, we heartily invite, and entreat such to consider their ways, and come and join in a harmonious, zealous, and faithful withstanding all and every thing that may be like a heightening or copestone of our defections, and particularly to join with us-according to our Reformation, Covenants, Confession of Faith, and testimonies of our church, as agreeable to the sacred and unerring rule of faith and manners, the Holy Scriptures-in this our Protestation and Testimony. And for these efforts, we desire, that this our Protestation may be a standing testimony to present and succeeding ages, against the sinfulness of this land-ruining, God-provoking, soul-destroying, and posterity-enslaving and ensnaring Union, and this ad futuram rei memoriam. And to evite the brand and odium of passing the bounds of our station, and that this our Protestation may be brought to the view of the world, we have thought fit to publish, and leave a copy of the same at Sanquhar, by a part of our number, having the unanimous consent of the whole so to do. Given at the 2d day of October, 1707. Informatory Vindication, pp. 255—277.

* “We, Mr. John Mackmillan, present minister of the Gospel at Balmaghie, and Mr. John Macneil, preacher of the Gospel, being most odiously and invidiously represented to the world, as schismatics, separatists, and teachers of unsound and divisive doctrines, tending to the detriment of Church and State, and especially by ministers with whom we were embodied while there remained any hope of getting grievances redressed--therefore, that both min

« PreviousContinue »