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NATIONAL COVENANT;

OR, THE

CONFESSION OF FAITH :

Subscribed at first by the King's Majesty, and his Household, in the Year 1580; there.

after by persons of all ranks in the year 1581, by ordinance of the Lords of 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 general bond for the maintaining of the true Christian religion, and the King's person ; and, together with a resolution and promise, for the causes after expressed, to maintain the true religion, and the King's Majesty, according to the foresaid Confession and acts of Parliament, subscribed by Barons, Nobles, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons, in the year 1638: approven by the General Assembly 1638 and 1639; and subscribed again by persons of all ranks and qualities in the year 1639, by an ordinance of council, upon the supplication of the General Assembly, and act of the General Assembly, ratified by an act of Parliament 1640; and subscribed by King Charles II. at Spey, June 23. 1650, and Scoon, January 1. 1651.

W E all and every one of us under-written, protest, That, after long

Y and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now throughly 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, and bringing salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of 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, the King's Majesty, and 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 hath been openly professed by į the King's Majesty, and whole body of this realm both in burgh and i land. To the which Confession and Form of Religion we willingly i agree in our conscience in all points, as unto God's undoubted truth í 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 tyrannous 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 office 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 sacrainents 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 ; liis 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 sins of the dead and the quick ; his canonization of men; calling upon angels or saints departed, worshipping of imagery, relicks, 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, sayning, 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 or approvers of that cruel and bloody band, conjured against the kirk of God. And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions brought in 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 : proinising 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 contained 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 conscience; minding hereby, first, under the external cloak of religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God's true religion within the kirk; and afterward, when 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

* The Confession wbich was subscribed at Halyrud-house the 25th of February 1587-8, by the King, Lennox, Huntly, the Chancellor, and about ninety-five other persons, hath here added, “Agreeing to the word." Sir John Maxwell of Pollock hath the- nal parchment.

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 conscience, 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 King's Majesty, as upon a comfortable instrument of God's mercy granted to this country, for the maintaining of his kirk, and ministration of justice amongst us; we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same oath, hand-writ, and pains, that we shall defend his person and authority with our good the defence of Christ, his evangel, liberties of our country, ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all eneinies within this realm or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and merciful defender to us in the day of our deathi, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father, and the Iloly 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 inunicipal, 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 favours of idolatry and superstition, or of the Papisti. cal kirk : As Act 3. Act 31. Parl. 1. Act 23. Par).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 fifth 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. 3. King James VI.; and as idolaters, Act 104. Parl. 7. King James VI. But also in par. ticular, by and attour the Confession of Faith, do abolish and condemn the Pope's authority and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordains the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2. Parl. 1. Act 51. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act ]14. 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 ordains the spreaders and maker's of books or libels. or letters or writs of that nature to be punished, Act 46. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 24. Parl. 11. King James VI. do condeinn all baptism conform to the Pope's kirk, and the idolatry of the mass; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers, and concealers of the mass, the maintainers and resetters of the priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction, Act o. Parl. 1. Act 120. Parl. 12 Act 164. Parl. 13. Act 193. Parl. 14. 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, on 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 bygone idolatry, as going to crosses, observing the festival days of saints, and such 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 and Christian religion, and the purity thereof, in doctrine and sacraments of the true church of God, the liberty and freedom thereof, in her national, synodal 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 25. Parl. 11. Act 114. Parl. 12. Act 160. Parl. 13. of 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, declare 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 presently 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 express; or that refuse the administration of the holy sacraments, as they were then ministrated ; 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 no 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 profess, 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. Acts 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. .' 104. Parl. 7. Act 26. Parl. 11. King James VI.; and that notwithstanding of the King's Majesty's licences on the contrary, which are discharged, and declared to be of no force, in so far as they tend in any wise 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 17th Act, Parl. 3. King James VI. it is declared and ordained, Seeing the cause of God's true religion and his Highness's authority are so joined, as the hurt of the one is common to both; 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 detection, 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 religion, against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same ; and namely, against all such, of whatsoever nation, estate, or degree they be of, that have joined or bound themselves, or have assisted or assist, to set forward and execute the cruel decrees of the counci. of Trent, contrary to the true preachers and professors of the word of God; which is repeated, word by word, in the articles of pacification at Perth, the 23d 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 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 roval person and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without the which neither any laws or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130. and 131. Parl. 8. King 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. King James I. Act 79. Parl. 6. King James IV. ; repeated in the Act 131. Parl. 8. King James VI.; which if they be innovated and prejudged, “ the com“mission anent the union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and “ England, which is the sole act of the 17th Parl. of King 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 8th Act, Parl. 1. repeated in the 99th Act. Parl. 7. ratified in the 23d Act, Parl. 11. and 114th Act, Parl. 12. of King James VI. and 4th Act, Parl. 1. of King 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 Testament; and accord

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