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THE foregoing Covenants were renewed

1 in 1648: And the Confession of Sins, and Engagement to Duties are to be found usually bound up with our Confession of Faith. From the violation of these engagements, by what is called the PUBLIC RESOLUTIONS, until the Revolution, there followed a scene of covenant-violation altogether unexampled in the annals of mankind. If the violation was less flagrant at, and after the Revolution; yet, the proper season of covenant-renovation was utterly neglected. There were a handful of Oooo 2

sufferers

sufferers who had kept themselves, in a great measure, from the pollutions of the world, who survived the Persecution. These were shame. fully deserted by their ininisters; and left in great confufion, as to both their political and religious principles. The judicatories of the Revolution Church were a very heterogeneous compofition: They were composed of members who had failed with the wind for thirty years bygone, for one portion ; another was made up of the indulged; and a third of such as had been refugees in other countries. The iron and clay were tempered together by the force of civil authority. Various overtures and proposals were made, for putting hand to a Covenanted Reformation ; but the diversity of opinion and practice among the clergy prevented the wishes of the few from any renovation of our Solemn Covenants at that memorable deliverance. Never had a church a faircr opportunity, or a louder call to it, than at that time : They had been delivered from slavery and absolute government in the State, and a long period (twenty-eight years) of hot persecution for conscience fake.. Never did a church and pation fo shamefully neglect the golden season 'which God put into their hand. Those who polluted their consciences by swearing the covenants, and the oaths of canonical obedience, as well as all oaths by which the Covenants were abjured, could not well be expected to be honoured by God as instruments in such a

noble

vena

noble work. Thiese, or such as had been ordained by them, formed the greater put, by much, of the ministers of the Church of Scotland. The indulged seem to have been a rump of the ancient resolutioners; of consequence, political maxims, which 100 frequently governed their conduct, prevailed with them, at this time, to fuperfede that work. The few who returned from their lurking places were out-voted, and borne down by the persuasion and address of others. The Synod of Galloway was the only one, if I mistake not, which took any steps for the renovation of thcir sacred engagements ; but as much Court-water was procured as extinguished their desires. The perpetual obligation of our Covenants, however, was maintained by the grearer part of Presbyterians; and ministers, wlien laying the baptismal vows on parents, mentioned both the National Covenant and Solemn League, in express terms. Individual ministers likeways made fome appearance in behalf of our national vows: Mr Hog appcared their steady fi:iend on the north side of the Forth; Mr Boston's sermons, which he deliverecl in this country, New his sentiments on that subjeft; and to him were joined Meffrs Wilson and Davidson, as well as various other ininisters of inferior reputation; prior unto these, Nir Gabriel Scniple, who came out of the furnace of persecution, had patronized the same cause : But the most vigorous and cxplicit testimony, in favour of our Solemn Covenants, at that time, was reserved for Mr John Hepburn, minister at Orr. It is not pretended that every step of management taken by him, and such as joined with him, was unexceptionable; but it is certain, that his labours, by the blessing of God, fowed the seeds of found principles among many, so far as they extended; and multitudes, as far as we can judge, of gracious persons, yea lively Christians, formed the fo cieties which he superintended. As many-ministers and people were disfatisfied with many

things in the constitution of the Revolution • Church; so the judicatories added new grounds

of offence in the steps of administration. These are enumerated in the Judicial Act and Testimony, and the Acknowledgment of Sins prefixed to the bond which is now in use among covenanters.

PRIOR to the year 1732, various teftimonies had been yiven, by protest and otherways, against these steps of mal-administration : But, after that period, the ļighelt ecclesiastic authority was in terposed to put a period unto them. Upon this, Mr Ebenezer Erskine, in a fermon delivered before the Synod of Perth, turned the edge of his doctrine against the growing evil. This was highly resented by the courts. He maintained what he was perfuaded to be the cause of Truth, with undaunted courage. Three other ministers took

part

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part with him in framing various papers respecting the grievances of the Church and her members, one of which bore the delignation of a TESTIMONY. In the year 1737, the ministers who befriended a Covenanted Reformation, and maintained a testimony for it in connection with Mr Erskine, having previously constituted themselves into a Presbytery, entered more minutely into a consideration of the national apostacy from a Covenanted Reformation: They recount the most capital steps of it, and condemn them: They avow their attachment into every former attainment; and their resolution to profecute the ends of their testimiony in connection with every one who thould choose to join them. This testimony was received with avidity by many. It was peculiarly tormenting to the leaders of the National Church: They drew the eccleliastic sword against its authors: They did not spare their treasures in hiring a servile writer to confute it. These things contributed their part to increase its number and respect. The blessing of God succeeded the labours of his servants; and their number was increased both by ordinations and new accessions from the Establislıment. The ministers and people were unanimous in the advancement of a Covenanted Reformation. As errors were still upon the increase in the land, they proceeded to publishi an Act, entitled THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE, for their more explicit condemnation: And, con

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