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those ferpents, 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 confume us, until there be no remnant nor escaping in the land.
And albeit the peace and union betwixt the kingdoms be a great blessing of God unto both, and a bond which we are obliged to preserve unviolated, and to endeavour that justice may be done upon the opposers thereof : Yet some in this land, who have come under the bond of the Covenant, have made it their great study how to diffolve this union ; and few or no endeavours have been used by any of us for punishing of such.
We have suffered many of our brethren, in several parts of the land, to be oppressed by the common enemy, without compassion or relief. There hath been great murmuring and repining, because of expence of means, and pains in doing of our duty. Many, by persuasion or terror, have fuffered themselves to be divided and withdrawn, to make defection to the contrary part. Many have 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 have made it their study to walk fo, as they might comply with all times, and all the revolutions thereof. It hath not been our care to countenance, encourage, intrust, and employ such only, as from their hearts did affect and mind God's work, but the hearts of such many times have been discouraged, and their hands weakened, their sufferings neglected, and themselves flighted; and many, who were 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 has fet marks of desperate malignancy, falsehood and deceit, were brought in, as fit to manage public affairs ; many have been the lets and impediments that have been cast in the way, to retard and obstruct the Lord's work ; and some have kept secret, what of themselves they were not able to surpress and overcome.
Besides these, and many'other breaches of the articles of the Covenant in the matter thereof, which it concerneth every one of us to fearch out and acknowledge before the Lord, as we would with his wrath to be turned a way from us ; so have many of us failed exceedingly, in the manner of our following and pursuing the duties contained therein; not only seeking great things for ourselves, and mixing of our 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 along 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 difappointment therein, and stained the pride of all our glory, by blasting every
carnal confidence unto us ; we have followed for the moft part the counsels of flesh and blood, and walked more by the rules of
licy than piety, and have hearkened more unto men than unto God.
Albeit we made folemn public profeffion before the world, of our unfeigned defires to be humbled before the Lord for our own fins, and the fins of these kingdoms, efpecially for our undervaluing of the inestimable benefit of the gospel, and that we have not laboured for the power thereof, and received Christ into our hearts, and walked worthy of him in our lives; and of our true and unfeigned purpose, desire, and endeavour, for ourselves, and all others under our power and charge, both in public and private, in all the duties which 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 might turn away his wrath and heavy indignation, and establish thefe kirks and kingdoms in truth and peace : yet we have refused to be reformed, and have walked proudly and obftinately against the Lord, not valuing his gospel, nor submitting ourselves unto the obedience thereof ; not seeking after Chrift, nor studying to honour him in the excellency of his person, nor employ him in the yirtue of his offices ; nor making confcience of public ordinances, nor private nor fecret duties; nor studying to edify one another in love. Ignorance of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, prevails exceedingly in the land ; the greatest part of masters of families, amongst Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses and Commons, neglect to seek God in their families, and to endeavour the reformation thereof; and albeit it hath been much presled, yet few of our Nobles and great ones, ever to this day, could be perfuaded to perform family-duties themselves, and in their own persons; which makes so necessary and useful a duty to be misregarded by others of inferior rank: Nay, many of the Nobility, Gentry, and Burrows, who should have been examples of godliness and fober walking unto others, have been ringleaders of excess and rioting. Albeit
we be the Lord's people, engaged to him in a folemn way: yet to this day, we have not made it our study, that judicatories and armies should consist of, and places of power and trust be filled with, men of a blameless and Christian converfation, and of known integrity, and approven fidelity, affection, and zeal, unto the cause of God; but not only those who have been neutral and indifferent, but disaffected and malignant, and others who have been profane and scandalous, have been intrusted: by which it hath come to pass, that judicatories have been the seats of injustice and iniquity; and many in our armies, by their miscarriages, have become our plague, unto the great prejudice of the cause of God, the great fcandal of the gospel, and the great increase of looseness and profanity throughout all the land. It were impoffible to 'reckon up all the ahominations that are in the land ; but the blafpheming of the name of God, swearing by the creatures, profanation of the Lord's day, uncleanness, drunkenness, excess and rioting, vanity of apparel, lying and deceit, railing and cursing, arbitrary and uncon. trouled oppreffion, and grinding of the faces of the poor by landlords, and others in place and power, are become ordinary and common
fins ; and besides all these things, there be many other tranfgressions whereof the lands wherein we live are guilty. All which we desire to acknowledge and to be humbled for, that the world may bear witnels with us, that righteoufness belongeth unto God, and shame and confufion of face unto uș, as appears this day.
And becaufe it is needful for thofe who find mercy, not only to confels, but also to forsake their fin; therefore, that the reality and fincerity of our repentance may appear, we do resolve and folemnly engage ourselves, before the Lord, carefully to avoid for the time to come all these offences, whereof we have now made folemn public acknowledginent, and all the snares and temptations which tend thereunto ; and to testify the integrity of our resolution herein, and that we may be the better enabled in the power of the Lord's strength to perform the fame, we do again renew our folemn League and Covenant; promising hereafter to make conscience of all the duties, whereunto we are obliged, in all the heads and articles thereof, par. ticularly of these that follow.
1. Becaņse reļigion is of all things the most excellent and precious, the advancing and promoting the power thereof against all ungodliness and profanity, the securing
and preferving the purity thereof against all error, herefy, and fchifm, and namely, Independency, Anabaptism, Antinomianism, Arininianism, and Socinianifm, Fainilism, Libertinifm, Scepticism, and Eraftianism, and the carrying on the work of uniformity, mall be studied and endeavoured by us before all wordly interefts, whether concerning the King, ourselves, or any other whatsomever. 2. Because many have of late laboured to supplant the liberties of the kirk, we shall maintain and defend the kirk of Scotland, in all her liberties and privileges, against all who shall oppose or undermine the fame, or encroach thereupon, under any pretext whatsomever. 3. We shall vindicate and maintain the liberties of the subjects, in all these things which concern their consciences, perfons, and estates. 4. We shall carefully maintain and defend the union betwixt the kingdoms, and avoid every thing that may
weaken the fame, or involve us in any measure of acceífion unto the guilt of those who have invaded the kingdom of England. 5. As we have been always loyal to our king, so we ihall still endeavour to give unto God that which is God's, and to Cefar the things which are Cefar’s. 6. We shall be so far from conniving at, complying with, or countenancing of malignancy, injustice, iniquity, profanity, and impiety, that we fhall not only avoid and discountenance those things, and cherish and encourage these persons who are zealous for the cause of God, and walk according to the gospel : but also fhall take a more effectual course than heretofore, in our respective places and callings, for punishing and suppressing these evils; and faithfully endeavour, that the best and fittest remedies may be applied for taking away the causes thereof, and advancing the knowledge of God, and holiness and righteoufness in the land. And therefore, in the last place, as shall carnestiy pray unto God, that he would give us able men, fearing God, men of fruib, and hating covetousness, to judge and bear charge among his people; so we shall, according to
our places and callings, endeavour that judicatories, and all places of power and trust, both in kirk and state, may consist of, and be filled with such men as are of known good affection to the cause of God, and of blameless and Christian conversation.
And, because there is many, who heretofore have not made conscience of the oath of God, but fome through fear, others by persuafion, 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 Covenant, in reference to these duties, and all other duties contained therein, do, in the fight of him who is the Searcher of hearts, folemnly 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 and 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 felf-interest 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 u. pon 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.
C O M M I S S I O N E R S
A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt
the Churches of Christ in the Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland.
W I TH
An Act of the General Assembly, and A&t of Parliament, both in anno
1645, approving and establishing the said DIRECTORY,
1 Cor. xiv. 40. Let all things be done decently, and in order,