And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor?—Jeremiah 2.18.

[The Declaration and Testimony Published at Mount-Herick, near Crawfurd-John, 1741.]

The True COPY of the

Declaration and Testimony

PUBLISHED at

MOUNT-HERICK,

Near Crawfurd-John,

Upon the seventh Day of May, 1741.


ISAIAH i. 26. And I will restore thy Judges, as at the first, and thy Counsellors as at the Beginning: Afterward thou shalt be called, the City of Righteousness, the faithful City.

JUDE 3. Contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered to the Saints.


BUCHAN. PSALM xlviii. 12, 13.

Ite, & Sionem ambulate, mœnia

Spectate, turres arduas

Numerate, fossam & aggerem intuemini,

Molesque celsas ædium.

Narrate natis, posterorum ut audiant

Et obstupescant secula.


Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.


Printed in the YEAR MDCCXLI.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Introduction.

Christian Reader,

The following Declaration and Testimony, published by the United Societies in the year 1741, is the last of the various declarations composed by that body prior to the organization and establishment of the Reformed Presbytery in 1743. As such, it is no "judicial testimony", but may yet be regarded as the most "authoritative" representation of the principles and practices of the faithful adherents to the Covenanted Reformation in that early and formative period of history during which they laboured to keep up the true worship of God in their societies, and preserve amongst themselves what remained of the true Presbyterian Church of Christ in Scotland, as it was constituted 1638-1649.

Among the causes which occasioned the publishing of a new Testimony, perhaps the most notable was the organization of the "Associate Presbytery" in 1733. When several ministers came forward to oppose some of the corruptions of the day in a public way, hope was conceived among the Covenanters, that then some progress in Reformation was to be made. But they soon found themselves disappointed, when these "Seceders" refused to take up as part of their testimony the principles and practices of the Reformers with regard to Civil Government. This disappointment was followed by others, and by the time this document was published, the duty of the Covenanters with respect to the "Associate Presbytery" had become quite clear. Thus, they entered their testimony against those who pretended to be the faithful "Testimony-bearers" of the day. But they counted it no pleasure to do so, and declared their resentment of the manner in which those who had formerly separated from the united societies spoke so very uncharitably towards these would-be witnesses for the cause of the Reformation.

Besides those who had formerly separated from these worthies, there is mentioned herein others who had turned aside to Independency. Their defection is also witnessed against; and yet, as with the Seceders, we find these Covenanters both judging and speaking charitably with respect to those who may yet be real saints, but have stumbled in the way of duty, and not yet recovered from their fall.

The authors likewise declared their adherence to their former Testimonies, and again asserted their disowning of the pretended magistrates who had intruded into the offices of authority within Covenanted Scotland. Further, new forms of mal-administration are testified against, which mal-administrations made it so clear that these "rulers" were not the ordinance of God for good to them who do well.

It is expected that all Covenanters will find the following document informative, instructive, and agreeable. Those who have found the Act, Declaration, and Testimony of 1761 to seem burdensome in its length, or difficult on account of names and places which are both remote & foreign, may find this Testimony as a helpful summary of the same principles which are held forth in the Testimony adopted by the Reformed Presbytery in 1761. As such, it may make the latter easier to read & understand. It will be found comforting at the present day, to have one more record from our fathers, testifying to us the path we should follow, in the footsteps of the flock, while we strive to uphold that same cause in a day when it is yet still despised and ridiculed. For many years the following document has been known to readers mostly through the representation of it given by Mr. Matthew Hutchison in his History. It is sad that such a good Testimony, by a faithful remnant of the Lord's Saints, as well as their own history, had to be recorded by a man whose heart was so addicted to the false principles of the world, that he could declare his dissent from their testimony in things which both gave it importance, and adorned it with the character of faithfulness and godly zeal. The reader may judge for himself whether their testifying against the repealing of the penal statutes against witchcraft, or Mr. Hutchison's resenting their testimony thereanent, exhibits more of the Spirit of Christianity, and a higher regard for the holy Law of God.




THE

PUBLISHER

TO THE

Christian READER.

AS all Believers, so soon as they become such, by the Seed of Faith and other saving Graces being wrought in their Souls, enter into, and engage in a spiritual Warfare against the Flesh, the Motions and Affections of Sin and a Body of Death, that still dwell in them; They having now received (as it were) Press or Inlisting-money from JESUS CHRIST, the Captain of their Salvation, in whom they are now come to trust, and under whose Banner they are now come to fight; so also they are bound unto, and engaged in a Warfare without, against this present evil World, and Sin abounding therein, by all proper Means and Ways, in the Station and Relation wherein they stand, opposing, testifying, and bearing Witness against the Sins and Evils of the Day wherein they live, and the Generation among whom they dwell; besides the Temptations and Tribulations arising therefrom, which {iv} they have also to grapple with: yet some of the LORD's People have been helped, both in this and other Lands, that none of these Things moved them, neither counted they their Lives dear unto themselves, that they might finish their Course with Joy and Approbation. [Acts 20.24.] And as these two Ways of Grace and Zeal expressing themselves against Sin both within and without, in mourning for and testifying against it, are lovely in their Lives, so in the Reward of Mercy they are not divided. Nor is this Duty of mourning for sin, and Testifying against it in others, so indifferent a Thing, as many take it to be, that either the Paucity or Smallness of the Number so doing, or the Want of Success therein, the common Objections made against it, will exeem or excuse from the Duty, as evidently appears in the Case of Lot, who was alone in that Duty, and for Success we read of none that he had, except that of Self-exoneration and saving himself from that untoward Generation [Acts 2.40]; and yet he is recorded in the New Testament, and that with Approbation, That in seeing and hearing, he vexed his righteous Soul from Day to Day with their unlawful Deeds [2 Pet. 2.8], as well as that he was vexed with the filthy Conversation of the Wicked [verse 7]: Upon which it surely follows, that he was no indifferent Spectator, or unconcerned Beholder, but was active in his Duty thereanent, as well as passive in what he suffered by their filthy Conversation; as also Unus Athanasius contra {v} totum orbem. Now as to the Expediency and Necessity of the following Declaration and Testimony at this Time, it is to be considered, That this Party having long held their Peace this Way, waiting for the Assistance and Concurrence of others, who ought to have joined in this Duty; and having dealt with the Associate Presbytery both by Word and Writ, that they would lend a Helping-hand to the carrying on of that Part of the Testimony of the Church of Scotland, anent Reformation in the Civil Magistrate, a Truth so long kept in Captivity and Bondage in this Land; and they shifting and refusing it, and not at all asserting and affirming it in any of their publick Papers, as a Thing at present to be contended for, and the Want of it witnessed against, obliged those concerned in this Testimony to declare their Adherence thereto, lest their Silence any longer, should become a sinful Silence, and might be, not without Cause, interpreted a Relinquishing of their former Ground and Testimony; and seeing that neither they nor others would do any Thing therein, they found it their Duty to do what they could, tho' in a weak and small Measure. Likewise the many Evils abounding now and since the last Declaration of this Sort published, called for a Testimony and Witness-bearing against them, and that in Conjunction with the Truths therein asserted. Likewise, the Papers published by others, not expressing the Mind and Judgment of {vi} this Party fully, as to the Sin and Duty of this Day, called them to express their Thoughts therein themselves; such as the Act and Testimony of the Associate Presbytery, which differs, in several Things anent the late Martyrs, as well as that anent the Civil Magistrate, from the Mind and Sentiments of those herein concerned. And that Paper, called a Declaration of the true Presbyterians within the Kingdom of Scotland, dated December 18th. 1740. and said to be published that same Day at the Market Cross of Linlithgow, in which these concerned here had neither Hand nor Consent, nor so much as the Knowledge of, till it was sold through the Country and publick to all; and therefore it was without Ground, alledged by some, to be the Deed of this Community, who, for many Reasons (particularly it being done in a vain and uncharitable Strain) do hereby disclaim the same: The Difference betwixt it, and our Sentiments contained in the following Paper, being obvious to the Reader, it is needless to give the Reasons further, why it is not here espoused and owned: Only, it made it the more needful that this Community should speak for themselves what they take to be Truth and Duty in this Day; and these Things considered and laid together, the Expediency and Necessity hereof appears, and that no less could be done, tho' under many Disadvantages and Discouragements. Also some others, writing and printing Papers in and about Edinburgh, in a most unchristian {vii} Manner, which we likewise disown, and hereby desires the World to impute no such Extremes to us, but to give Credit only to what we expressly declare and own in this and our former Declarations and Testimonys.

AND it having been the Practice of the LORD's People in this Land, ever since the Reformation from Popery, to lengthen and draw out their Testimony and Witness-bearing, in Proportion to and Opposition against the Sin, Backsliding and Defection of the Time wherein they lived, when they could neither get it stopt nor hindred; The following of whose Footsteps therein, is still judged an incumbent Duty by this Remnant.

IT is needful here also, to advertise the Reader, that altho' the Difference with the Associate Presbytery be only mention'd as to that anent the Civil Magistrate, their Terms of Communion, and Conduct anent the two late Erastian Fasts; yet there are several other Things in their Conduct, not mentioned, about which it is demurr'd; as the contented Building of considerable Meeting Houses and their Superlative Loyalty in Praying for, the present Possessors of Power, not very much differing from the Forms thereof imposed upon, observed, and obeyed by this Erastian Church: Albeit the Indulged and Tolerated Ministers and People went in to these Measures, under the Indulgence and Toleration. Yet, both then and since, it was judged a sinful Compliance by the {viii} suffering Party; and the then Possessors were, at least by Profession and Oath Prelatick, and erastian, (except the Duke of York, who was popish) and in Communion of the Church of England, as the present are. And the Difference stands in that of bloody Persecution, which is not now as then, (because of Compliances) yet, still the Bearing-down and Discountenancing the Covenanted Cause continues, and the taking all Encouragement from it, and such as own it. Also the Adapting of the very Causes prescribed by the Government in the last Fast together with their own, has its own Difficulty, when the Day and Manner of Appointment were refused.

IT remains to say something for preventing some Objections; It being now a Time that scarce any Thing can be said or done, tho' plain, and with a good Design, but Objections are made against it, and Misconstructions put upon it, by such who savour and relish it not, having imbib'd Prejudices to the Contrary. Then as to that Article in the Confession of Faith, That Difference in Religion, or Infidelity, doth not make void the Magistrate's just and legal Authority, &c. from which some think, at least say, all Scruple and Difficulty evanisheth anent the Civil Magistrate, and any Limitations therein. But such would do well to consider, that the Assembly are there speaking of Magistracy abstractly considered, without Respect had, or Accommodation to a reformed Land and People, {ix} more than any other. And that in Opposition to Anabaptists and other Sectaries then abounding in Germany, and some in England, who had strange Notions about the Civil Magistrate; some alledging their Christian Liberty freed them from all Civil Magistrates; and others, that Dominion was founded in Grace, requiring in the Civil Magistrate, positive Signs of real Grace, as a Qualification, even as the Independents do, in Order to Church Communion; But in the Confession, they intended no Retraction of what they had both said, and sworn in the Solemn League not long before, concerning the Civil Magistrate, and Allegiance to him, in this Land in particular; which appears plainly by the After-Conduct of the Church of Scotland with CHA. II. at Scoon: And if there had been any such Thing as a Retraction intended in the Confession without all Doubt, an Assembly of such eminent and godly Divines, would not only have been plain and full therein, but also confessed their Sin in the Vow and Oath they had made with so great Solemnity; yet the least Vestige or Hint thereof doth not appear. And altho', Persecutors in the late bloody Reigns, did twit and vex the Martyrs and other Sufferers, with such Questions and Objections on that Matter, yet 'tis strange and unaccountable that any of a Presbyterian Denomination, Ministers or People, should insist thereupon, for such a Purpose; seeing it was a Lesson that was first taught by the late Persecutors, and as would appear, is not yet out of {x} Fashion with many, and some of whom better Things were expected. However, before now, good Things and well Design'd, have been made a Stumbling-stone of, when Hearts and Views are to another Point in the Compass; But assuredly the Obligation of the Covenants cannot consist with what is too often objected by some, upon the above-said Article of the Confession of Faith.

THE Reader is also to know, that in the Places of Scripture cited out of the New Testament, and the Arguments and Reasonings therefrom; there is no Comparison stated or intended betwixt the present Government, and the then bloody and Heathen Roman Emperors. But only as some of the present Ministers and others sometimes, when they are pinched and straitned as to Qualifications in the Civil Magistrate, and told, that Prelacy in such is no tolerable Qualification, frequently advance the forcited Place in the Confession, and cite these Places from the New Testament for Support thereof, in such a Way, alledging they mean the then Heathen Emperors, which at once puts an end to all Qualifications, Limitations, or Restrictions whatsoever, in the Civil Magistrate; because there can scarce any be worse than many of them were, which must certainly be a bad Way of Reasoning as it flies in the Face of the Practice of all Nations, and by Consequence, of the very Light of Nature; It being the Practice of the most, if not of all Nations, a Suitableness betwixt the Prince and his Subjects, and particularly in the {xi} Religion they profess. It was therefore needful to give some Answer thereto, and to endeavour to shew, that there is no such Thing as Obedience and Subjection commanded there to every Occupant, or who ever should have providentially the Ascendant. And Mr. Buchanan, who was no mean Divine as appears by his Paraphrase on the Book of Psalms, is of this Mind in his due Priviledges of the Scots Government, which the Reader may consult.

BUT to detain the Reader no longer; Our Saviour was a suffering Saviour in this World; and they who have felt the Power of Religion upon their Souls, will not quit a suffering Religion, knowing that through many Tribulations they must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and all that will live Godly must suffer Persecution in this World one Way or other [Acts 14.22; 2 Tim. 3.12]: They who will not have a suffering Religion, for ordinary, lose the true Religion, which leads to the Kingdom of Heaven: Yet when Men have done all they can to shun the Cross and Suffering, they must either take a suffering Religion, or let it go, because of the Cross, as many do at all Times. And ah! what sinful Compliance and shunning of the Cross and Suffering has been in this Land, since the Revolution, both with Ministers and People? But see how the LORD has met Men in such Ways; The Power of Preaching is much away, the Life and Exercise of Religion sadly decayed; and as Men would have Religion without suffering, so they have got it without that {xii} Comfort, Life, and Power which the LORD's People have often found with, and in it; and they may see if worldly Comforts, so much run upon, will ballance the Loss of the other, or be of that Support in the Day of Straits, that the Answer and Witness of a good Conscience would have been: It is also certain, that the Kirk's Cross externally has often come from Crown'd Heads and corrupt Courts. And that it is rare that the Church and People of God, when faithful in their Duty, have the Friendship of this World, and the Favour of Princes, of long continuance; as appears plainly in the Times both under the Old and New Testament, and in the History of the Times since; Yet notwithstanding of the many and often Discouragements that Way, and the hard and difficult Recovery of those who have gone out of the LORD's Way; For all People will walk, every one in the Name of his God, much more have the People of the Living and True GOD Cause to say, and continue to do so, And we will walk in the Name of the LORD our GOD for ever and ever, Mic. iv. 5. Even in the Way Name and Strength of the LORD our GOD; which was seriously pressed and exhorted unto in a Sermon preached upon these Words, by our Reverend Minister, before the Publication of this Declaration and Testimony.




DECLARATION and TESTIMONY of the Witnessing Remnant of the true Presbyterian Church of Christ in Scotland, united together in a General Correspondence; In Opposition to Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, Sectarianism, Lutheranism and the continued in Time-serving Courses, since the late Revolution.

WE a small Remnant much wasted and discouraged by a long dark Day, and sore trying Time; yet having heard with our Ears, and our Fathers have told us, what wondrous Works the Lord did in their Day; and being persuaded in our Consciences, by the Word and Spirit of God, that the Work of Reformation carried on in this Land from the Year 1638 to 1649, was of God and agreeable to his Word, and accompanied with the Conversion and Joy of many Souls, and with a signal and plentiful Down-pouring of the Spirit of God; and that the Persecuted Party, for their Adhering thereto in the Time of the late Persecution, were the Lord's Witnesses, and his handful of Corn, tho' tossed on the Mountains, yet made to shake with prosperous Fruit, like Trees in Lebanon [Psalm 72.16], the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ being exceeding abundant towards them with {14} Faith and Love, whereby they were enabled to out-brave Men and out-face Death, with the undaunted Courage and holy Boldness of the primitive Martyrs, having something like the Joys of Heaven meeting and trysting with them in Prisons and on Scaffolds, not counting their Lives dear unto them, so as they might finish their Days and Testimony with Joy, [Acts 20.24,] whereby it was evident (and sometimes to the Conviction of their bloody Enemies and Adversaries) that they were owned of God, and the Testimony they bore, approved of Him: Tho' few have owned that Cause since, and they who have, in some small weak Measure, have met with much Discouragement and Opposition from all Ranks of this Generation, and even of these of whom better Things might have been expected: We say, being persuaded of these things, we judge it present Duty to publish this our present Testimony to the Truths of God, and against the Errors and Corruptions of the Day, without Feud or Favour to the Persons therein concerned. And herein, we may lay our Account with the Contempt and Scorn of some, the Malice and Reproach of others, the Disdain and Huffing of the most; and this not only from open and profest Adversaries to these Reformation and Covenant-Principles, but also from these who, loving their Ease, couch under every Burden Issachar like [Gen. 49.14,15], and Succumb to every Imposition and Yoke, and cry out against any, or every Thing, that may disturb or endanger their Ease: Or at the least we {15} may expect to be branded with unseasonable Superfluity, or Arrogance, in arrogating that to our selves, to be the only true Witnesses and Remnant; or Superfluity, in that we have shewed so much to the World already, and only love to make new Appearances. Yet notwithstanding of these obvious, and many other Discouragements, we think it our Duty, as to witness for these old and honest Truths, so to undeceive the World, as if our long Silence this Way, might be repute a Relinquishing our former Principles, or a Deserting that noble Cause.

IN the first Place, and according to our former Testimonys, We declare and own our Belief of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to be the very Word of God, the only Infallible Rule of Truth and Life, in which we hope, and according to which we desire and endeavour to live, altho' with much Weakness and many Infirmities, which we desire humbly to confess and lament, and to bewail our many short-comings in all our Dutys and Performances, and our not walking suitably to personal and national Engagements, either in Heart or Life, and not duely affected either with our own or the Land's Sins. Also we declare our Adherence to the Covenants National and Solemn League, at which our Fathers rejoiced, and counted it their great Mercy to be brought into a Covenant Relation with God in a national Capacity: And to the Confession of Faith, Catechisms larger and shorter, Sum of saving Knowledge, Directory {16} for Worship, Church Government and Ordination of Ministers, and the whole attained-to Work of Reformation, and to the Testimonys of the faithful Witnesses and Martyrs to and for the same, before the Revolution in the Year 1688. As those Testimonys in these Times were stated, sealed, and summed up in the Informatory Vindication, as adapted to the Circumstances of that Time before the said Revolution: Also we declare our Adherence to our former Testimonys and Declarations since the Revolution, as that in the Year, 1692, 1695, 1703, and 1707, together with our publick and Solemn Covenanting with God at Auchensaugh with Confession of Sins and Engagement to Duties, suitable to the then present Day, Anno 1712, and likewise to the Declaration Anno, 1718.

NEXT, we declare and testifie against all practical Atheists and Deists now very much abounding in the Land, who call not upon God, nor believe his Word, but set their Mouths against the Heavens in their blasphemous Talk [Psalm 73.9, ed. 1650], in their Rediculing and Reviling the Practice of Godliness and Exercise of Religion, calling it Enthusiasm, whose Judgment, we are sure, lingereth not, and their Damnation Slumbereth not, except Repentance prevent it. And Pity it is that such a vile Set of Men should get such a lawless Liberty to speak and write as they do, and not called to Account and punished as they deserve, by these who pretend to have Power, and by their Office {17} are bound to do so, and who, one Day, will be called to Reckoning for the same.

LIKEWISE, we declare and testify against a Jacobite Party in the Land, whether these of a Popish or Episcopal Profession and Denomination; for we look upon such as the Remnant of the Canaanites whom the Lord left in the Land; Those of a Popish Principle at the Reformation from Popery, and these of an Episcopal at the Reformation from Prelacy to prove and try his Israel in this Land. [Judges 3.1-4.] And accordingly we find that they have often been, Thorns in the Sides, and Pricks in the Eyes of the Lord's People [Num. 33.55,] in this Land, always waiting for their Halting, and an Opportunity against them; so far are we from having any View or Hope that Way; notwithstanding of the malicious and invidious Imputations, of this sort, cast upon the Lord's Saints and Servants before and at the Revolution, and upon us since, by these who were at Ease in Zion, bruiking [enjoying] all the Advantages that Compliance could give them.

NEXT, (notwithstanding of the Objection made and used against that Article and Passage in the Confession of Faith anent Difference in Religion, Infidelity, &c. which we think is consistent with the Confession and Covenants, being mean'd of a Land not reformed, where some that profess the true Religion may have their Lot and Residence for a Time) We declare and testify against the Way and Manner of the Investiture of the Civil Magistrates, whether Supreme {18} or Subordinate, into their several Offices, ever since these Lands publickly and avowedly apostatized from GOD, and cast off the Work of Reformation, there being no Regard had therein, either to Scriptural Qualifications or Covenant Qualifications: And so far from that, their Admission is on Terms subversive of them, particularly the Coronation Oath of England, whereby the Sovereign Prince of these Lands is bound and obliged to defend, and to be in Person and Family, of the Communion of the superstitious Church of England, as at present by Law established; as if there had never been any further Reformation, either there or here in this Land; which wicked Course, long continued in, if we may allude to the Time under the Old Testament, we look upon it as a Walking in the Way of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin [1 Kings 16.2], and at Length the Ten Tribes were carried Captive with a desolating Stroke, and have ceased to be a Nation to this Day. And hereby we declare and bear Testimony against such Settlements as being repugnant to the Divine Rule, in a Land once nationally reformed and embracing the true Doctrine; and so the Law of GOD to be the Rule to Rulers and Ruled; these Qualifications being contained in the blessed and unerring Rule of the Holy Scripture: And accordingly, in blessed and reforming Times, thir [these] Lands had the Happiness to have Scripture Qualifications for these; and these Lands bound by sacred Oaths to the Most HIGH, for promoting and preserving {19} the received Doctrine and Laws, and the Truths of GOD; and these solemn Ties made the Qualifications of supreme or subordinate Civil Judges, and the Limitation of true Christian Loyalty and Obedience, in Preservation and Defence of the true Reformed Covenanted Religion; as is evident by several Acts of Parliament, cited in our former Testimonys; and to recede from these is a Departing from, or Denying the Goodness of GOD in granting a Reformation according to his Word, and an involving ourselves in the Guilt of a most gross National Perjury, in breaking our solemn Oaths to the Most HIGH, and to one another. And in Consequence of a Covenant-Burying or Betraying Settlement, we declare against the unjust Acts and iniquous Laws proceeding from the same, whereby the Cause of CHRIST and Work of Reformation is born down, and the Church enslaved. And at this Time, to go no further Back than the sinful Union, (against which we gave open Testimony Anno 1707. which we hereby homologate and adhere to.) The Oath of Abjuration in all its various Shapes, in which the Wit of Man cannot free the Ministers and others of the Church of Scotland, from swearing Satisfaction and Acquiescence in a Sovereign of the Communion of the Church of England, and the Continuance thereof, if they but come under the large Acceptation of the Word Protestant. Likewise the Toleration-Act, whereby Prelacy is allowed all Liberty in Scotland, except the {20} Legal Maintainance, altho' abjured both in Scotland, England, and Ireland. So likewise, we testify and declare against the burdensome Taxes and Impositions on the Land, (as being much the natural Consequences of the Union, and our Conjunction with others in learning of their evil Ways) with the unwarrantable and sinful Citations before their pretended Courts, and heavy Prosecutions for the same, together with many Soul-ensnaring Oaths and unwarrantable Modes thereof, and multiplying the same to the Prophanation of the Name of GOD, endangering Souls either by rash or sinful swearing, or losing the Sense of an Oath. Stopping the free Use and Exercise of lawful Traffique, or warrantable Trading, by Impositions on Candle, Leather, &c. and all for the Support of an Unhallowed Establishment, together with their iniquous Servants and Officers for these Exactions, regarding neither Conscience of Duty to GOD, nor the Good of Mankind; by demanding or obliging People to swear for four or five Years back, or lay themselves open to their Fury. And this attended with the Increase of Errors and Enormities, and daily Growth of Immoralities, such as, Swearing, Sabbath-breaking, either by neglecting the Duties of the Day, or using a sinful Liberty in Discoursing and Riding unnecessarily, vain and worldly speaking, Entertainments and Visits, Idleness, unnecessary Diversions and Works on the Holy Sabbath, Oppressions, Deceits, Lies, Murders, {21} Uncleanness, Gamings, Revellings, Comedies, and frequent Ballings, which are greater Nurseries of Pride and Idleness than of Virtue and Piety. All which we desire to testify against. And likewise the Patronage-Act, making the Minister the Patron's Property, and giving him full Power to nominate and present, thereby robbing the People of their free Vote, Consent, or Relation to their Minister, unless the Patron's Choice please them; the Evils whereof are convincingly shewed and needless here to insert. The Headship of CHRIST, and the Privileges of his House Erastianly encroached on: To name a few of many of these Sins; The Act anent infamous Porteous, whereby CHRIST's Headship was wounded and struck at, his Sanctuary and Sabbath profaned; Ministers commanded, in the very Time of Publick Worship, to be Court-Heraulds. Likewise the repeated and continued Remitting or Repriving of Criminals, and that after they are justly and legally condemned. Also the Repealing the penal Statutes against Witches, contrair to the express Letter of the Law of God, Exod 22.18; Deut. 18.10,11,12. All which, and many more, we might mention, are fallen upon these poor Lands for Breach of Covenant and Revolt from GOD. As also, Inferior Magistrates in this Land, not entering into their Office on Covenant Terms, and so not prosecuting the Ends thereof in their Administration, do, at least interpretatively, approve the present Constitution, and corroborate the {22} same, and whatever natively flows from the same; and hereby we have been, in Conscience of Duty, obliged to witness against these superior or inferior Magistrates, because standing on such a Footing, and not qualified according to Scripture-Qualifications and Covenant-Engagements; and also by their Engagements to this Establishment. And tho' we do own that Dominion is not founded in Grace, but in the Law of Nature, and is essential to all Mankind, to Heathens as well as Christians; our Controversy with and Testimony against Rulers established in these Lands is, their not entering by and observing the Coronation-Oath as contained in our National-Covenant, which all are obliged to swear, ere they receive the Instruments of Government in these Nations; and their not ruling these Nations as reformed from Popery, Prelacy, &c. according to our Covenanted Reformation: So we judge, that if Persons, being once invested with Power and Authority according to the Word of GOD, and the laudable Constitution and Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom, and according to our National and Solemn Engagements; yet tho' afterward, they be found to differ in some Things in their Sentiments, that do not destroy the Foundation; we, in this Case, would not be rash, and presently judge it sufficient Ground to decline his or their Authority, if they ruled and acted according to our Covenanted established Laws of Kirk and State. And we cannot see how we {23} can maintain our Oath to GOD and own these who establish and maintain a Government diametrically opposite to what these Lands are solemnly engaged by Oath against: For we think, Magistrates in a Reformed Land ought at least to be of Orthodox Principles and a Christian Conversation, and to defend all such, and suppress the contrary.

LIKEWISE we testify and declare against the many and continued Time-serving Courses of the present Ministers in their Obedience and Subjection to the many unjust and unlawful Impositions upon this Church and Nation before, but especially since the late unhallowed Union; such as their tamely Yielding and Submitting to every Successor to the Crown imposed or ordered by a British Parliament, wherein the Bishops of England are constituent Members; and that without either their Complaining of such a Constitution as a Grievance, or at all moving for the Recovery of a Work of Reformation so long buried and neglected; which must either proceed from the want of that Heart and Love to it, or they think the Time to build the House of the LORD is not yet come [Haggai 1.2], when it has been so long broken down in its Laws and Ordinances. Next, their swearing to the said Government in the Person of every Successor, and that in such an Oath as the Oath of Abjuration; the Evils whereof, and Inconsistencies with Presbyterian Principles, have been evidently proven and acknowledged by some of {24} themselves; yet this Church has never found it a Sin for which the Land mourns; but on the Contrary, they who have taken it, do endeavour to get all Intrants into the Ministry to swear it also, lest they should be holden in Disesteem for their taking of it. Also the Patronage-Act, which tho' complained of as a Grievance, and some faint Endeavours made for Redress, yet no Act made against it by the present Church, but still submitted to, and acknowledged in the settlement of Ministers, to the great Oppression of the People in their Spiritual Rights and Privileges, the unspeakable Hindrance of the Gospel in its Success, the Bearing-down of the Godly, Hardening and Emboldening the Wicked; yet as if the Command of Superiors would make that lawful which is sinful, or free the Obeyers from Guilt, it is still most unaccountably persisted in, against which we testify and declare. As also against the present Ministers in their promiscuous Admitting Persons to the holy Sacraments, their Encouraging and Countenancing these of a more lax Principle and Practice, and Discouraging such who endeavour to have a better Taste of Principle and a more tender Practice, and who shew a better Inclination and Desire after a Covenanted Work of Reformation, and sound Presbyterian Principles agreeable thereto; and upon this do shew their Dislike against many of the sinful Courses and Defections of the Time; and when complaining of, or remonstrating the same, or {25} offering and presenting Grievances, are discouraged and discountenanced, yea, rendered obnoxious thereby to their Frowns, shutting Access for Redress of Grievances, pushing with Side and Shoulder [Ezek. 34.21], such who do the same; yea, bringing under their Censure these who testifie against such Courses of Defection, which is plain in the Case of the Seceeding Ministers and People. Likewise the stupid and sinful Obedience to the Act anent Porteus we look upon it as a lasting Shame upon the Ministers of Scotland, scarce to be parallel'd even in the Time of Prelacy, or in this Land, since the Reformation from Popery; which we desire to mourn for as one of the gross Abominations of the Land, neither testified against, nor acknowledged by this Church; tho' many of the Ministers were convinced of the Sin, and did not obey. And the Appointing of Diets and Causes of Fasting by the Civil Magistrate, we account Erastianism, and not Competent to the Civil Magistrate, as such: Which Things above said are Sins both in the Powers commanding, and in the Ministers and People obeying. It being always a sure Rule, we ought to obey God rather than Man [Acts 5.29]; and for no Man or Power to break the Commandments of God.

WE likewise testify against the Errors and Corruptions in the Church, (not commanded by the Civil Magistrate so far as we know,) as first, That ever the Divinity and supreme God-head of our LORD JESUS CHRIST was {26} allowed to come in Doubt or Debate in any Judicatory in this Land, where His Name was once well known, and great in our Zion; and when such a Thing was moved, that there was so much Favour and Lenity shown to any Man, who durst, by his false and foolish Notions, occasion any Question to the Dishonour of His Glorious Name. The Management and Conduct of this Church, with the deceast Mr. Simpson, in that Affair, certainly spoke out the Want of that Zeal, that sometimes shined in this Church and Land, for the Truths and Glory of GOD. So likewise their Conduct concerning Mr. Campbell, who has vented a Scheme of most pernicious and dangerous Principles, in his printed Books and Pamphlets, to the wounding of the Vitals of our Christian Religion, and to the Overthrow of real Virtue, more becoming a Heathen Philosopher than one professing Christianity. Also the Moral Harrangues of many of the young Preachers, as if they were Teachers of Morality from Heathen Authors, rather than Preachers of the Gospel of CHRIST from the Scripture: And their Lightness and Unconcernedness, not at all suitable for a Minister of the Gospel, who ought to reprove and rebuke, with all Authority, these Evils in others. And many of them have dangerous Hints towards the Doctrine of Free-will, and the Ability of the Creature to do Good of itself: By which it appears that they are little acquainted with their own Hearts, and have small Understanding {27} of a lapsed State, and the Power of Sin; Yet there is no Instance of this Church's Zeal against such. We also testify against the great Neglect of the Doctrine of Mortification, and taking up the Cross and following JESUS CHRIST, and being denyed to the World, and all Things in it, yea, to natural Life itself; which we may say, without Breach of Charity; is a Doctrine little either preached or practised by many in this Church: On which Doctrine our Reformers copiously insisted, and inculcated with great Seriousness, as a great Duty and Evidence of Sincerity, and a Heart engaged to God, being loosed from all other Things, having tasted that God is good, and that they who trust in him are blest [Psalm 34.8, ed. 1650], tho' very destitute of all worldly Comforts; even as our LORD hath shewed us in many Places of the New Testament. And having mentioned our Reformers, we cannot but take Notice of Mr. Currie and his late Performances, wherein, for what Reason he knows best himself, he has ventured to say that, of eminent Reforming Judicatories, and Men signally honoured of GOD, to carry on his Work in this Land, which no Presbyterian, or serious Professor of Religion had said before him: Tho' many after him have followed his Steps, in traducing our Reformers and that reforming Period. So that it seems, it will not satisfy him to turn to the Side of these who are carrying on Defection in this Land; but he must also speak with the Breath and in the Stile {28} of the old Malignants. But when he has said all that he pleases, and made himself a great Transgressor thereby, and when silent in the Dust, his Memory being of an ill Savour, by Reason of his Performances, the Remembrance of the Judicatories of that Reforming Period (as he in Scorn seems to call them) will be very savoury to the Godly, and will be accounted, as they really were, eminent Reformers, whether he will or not. Mean Time, one Thing appears by his Performances, that the present Constitution cannot be defended, without condemning the best times, and Men that have been in the Land; which Mr. Currie seems to be sensible of, and therefore endeavours to make the Ark fall before his Dagon; but at last Dagon will not be able to stand before the Ark. As to the false and contemptuous Reflections he makes on us, this being not a fit Place to answer him, we only tell him, if he be a good Divine, he will find it an Aggravation in the Crime, to persecute these whom the Lord has smitten before with Affliction [Psalm 69.26], and to offend the Generation of the Righteous [Psalm 14]; and so we leave him on the Side he has turned to, but cannot bid him GOD speed, in the Cause he has put his Hand to; and that with the Approbation of this Church, as would appear by their Diligence in vending and recommending his Pamphlets.

LIKEWISE, we testify against these, whether Ministers or People, who have cast off all Form {29} of Presbyterian Church Government Name and Thing, and turned into Independency, denying National Churches and Covenants as not agreeable to the Word of God: In which we are sure, they grievously mistake; and that there is another way of getting the Corruptions of this Church reformed, than by falling into Independent Principles and Practices, as our Fore-fathers found, who, by the Blessing of God, and his good Hand upon them, got the Reformation of this Land and Church, so far carried on, and that in a National Capacity, being most effectual for putting in Execution the Laws, Censure, and Discipline of a Church rightly constitute. And altho' these Men may be pious and godly, yet Error is to be testified against, even in the most Pious and Godly. The Apostle Paul withstood and contended against the Apostle Peter to his Face, because he was to be blamed, [Gal. 2.11], As the worthy and famous Mr. Rutherford said, That sometimes Saints had Saints to witness against, which is no desirable Work. But Truth is to be cleaved to, and contended for, altho' we have both Saints and Sinners against us. We are sorry for the Occasion of Stumbling and Hardning given, by this their Revolt from Presbyterian Principles, to the Ring-leaders of the Corruptions and Defections of this Day: And that they both seem to be mutual Stumbling-Blocks to each other. And how much the true Lovers of Zion are thereby discouraged and disheartned, that they who not {30} long ago, were complaining of, and contending against National Defections, are now come to cast off, and deny National Churches and Covenants, the Breaches whereof they have sometimes heavily lamented. We heartily wish they would seriously consider their Ways, and that their Eyes may be opened to see how dangerous it is, after Vows to make Enquiry [Prov. 20.25], and cast off that which is so well grounded in Scripture, owned of God in this Land, by many signal Mercies and Blessings accompanying it, solemnly sworn to again and again, sealed by the Blood of so many Martyrs, and adhered to by the Lord's People with great Constancy, Faithfulness, and Cheerfulness.

WE are likewise sorry, that we are obliged in Duty to testifie against the Act and Testimony of the Associate Presbyterie, as mainly, if not only levelled against the Corruptions of the present Church Judicatories, and not equally against the Corruptions both of Church and State, as former faithful Testimonys of the Lord's People in this Land used to be, in which, Reformation both of Church and State was jointly carried on, and solemnly engaged to in the Covenants, that both should be the Lord's, and for Him: And the Allegiance and Concurrence of the People, expressly limited on these Conditions, The Defence of the true Religion in the Sovereign, and the Carrying on the blessed Work of Reformation among themselves, being the very Terms wherein they were bound to the King and one {31} to another. We say, we are sorry, that they, who of all this Church, since the Revolution, have made the greatest Appearances against the Corruptions thereof, and, who in a Judicative Capacity had affirmed and asserted many valuable Truths, which this Church has long neglected, or rather buried, such as, Our Lord's Head-ship over his Church, the divine Right of Presbyterie, The perpetual Obligation of the Covenants, &c. And had taken their Hazard of what they might suffer for such a Testimony, and lending an Helping-hand to many oppressed Congregations in this Land, from the Judicatories of this Church, by Processes, and what might follow thereupon. And yet to neglect, pass over, and not take up this, as one of the principle Heads of the Testimony of the Church of Scotland anent the Civil Magistrate, his being qualified according to the Word of God, and the Covenants (which they do acknowledge) in Order to his being rightful and lawful King of these Realms. This we were much surprised at, and discouraged thereby; and therefore find our selves obliged in Duty to testifie against the same and that for these Reasons:

1. WE find the Word of GOD speaks Wo to them that decree unrighteous Decrees, as well as to them that obey and walk willingly after the same [Isa. 10.1; Hos. 5.11]; and therefore we think Magistrates making bad Laws, are to be witnessed against, as well as Ministers or People who obey and follow the same.

{32}

2. WE find the Kings of Israel, who were all wicked from the Revolt from the House of David, largely testified against, and their Doom read by the Prophets in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, and of the Prophets larger and lesser; together with all the wicked Kings of Judah, and that in the whole Tenor of their Lives and Reign; which we think was far from owning of them: And not only so, but the unjust Acts and Deeds of good Kings, such as David, Solomon, Asa, Jehosaphat, and Hezekiah, are declared and testified against by the Prophets. We therefore know no Reason why Kings, who go on in the Neglect of, and Opposition to the Cause of GOD are not yet also to be testified against. Nor do we think it is for nought, that the Spirit of GOD is so particular in giving an Account of all the Kings of Israel and Judah, what Ways they walked in, and whether they were good or bad, but that the Duty and Carriage of the People towards such, is thereby pointed out, what it ought to be under such and such Rulers, as well as a Beacon set up to give Warning what will befall all such in the End, who walk in wicked Ways; notwithstanding of their worldly Greatness and Grandeur.

3. WE find, that these wicked Kings of Israel were not only threatned with Wrath, and testified against, as abovesaid, but also disowned of GOD, Hosea 8.4, They have set up Kings, but not by me, they have made Princes, and I knew it not. We therefore think, all such {33} should be disowned by the LORD's People, lest they get the same Rebuke, as Israel did, when their Captivity was near approaching upon them; tho' they had long continued in that sinful Way of making Kings, and had lost both Sight and Sense of their Sin therein, even when the Prophets were testifying against them: Yet whatever may be among Men, Length of Time will make no Prescription in the Matter of Sin before GOD; but it still lieth upon the Guilty and Impenitent's Account, were it never so long, till GOD come and reckon with them about it. For tho' they stood and prospered long in that Defection, yet the Guilt remained, and is laid to their Charge now when they were nigh going into Captivity.

4. Because we find, the Word of GOD gives an express and particular Rule and Direction anent the Election and Duty of Kings, Exod. 18.21, and Deut. 17.14, to the End, which we look upon as a Moral Precept, and therefore binding upon Christians under the New Testament, as well as upon Israel under the Old. And we have no doubt, but the Breach of this Divine Command, as well as the rest of the Commands, helped to the filling up of the Cup of their Iniquity, because of which their Desolation came. And therefore, when this sacred Rule is not observed, we think the Breach thereof ought to be testified against; and these who will not be reclaimed ought to be disowned.

5. BECAUSE we find in the New Testament when the then Civil Magistrate was Heathen, and not {34} within the Church, and therefore the Church the less concerned with the Qualifications of such, they being without, and whom GOD would judge; yet the Apostle sharply reproves the Corinthians for Brother going to Law with Brother, and that before Unbelievers or Infidels [1 Cor. 6.6], that being an Aggravation of the Fault, to go before such Judges; which implies that the Apostle did not own the Heathen Magistrate as lawful for Christians to own, and come before. We therefore think, the Primitive Christians bore Testimony and witnessed against Heathen Magistrates, altho' without the Church; and that more is required anent Christian Magistrates, who by Profession, are within the Church, if they walk not answerably thereunto.

As to the Arguments used by some, from these Words in Matth. 22.21, Render to Cesar the Things that are Cesars; We refer them to Mr. Shields in his Hind-let-loose, Page 299, &c. anent the Meaning thereof. As for such who plead for Obedience, Subjection, and owning of all Kings, without Regard to Qualifications, from Rom. 13.1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 1 Pet. 2.13,14,17, alledging that the Apostles speak there of the then Heathen Magistrates, Nero not excepted; we refer them to Mr. Gee on the Place; and say, first, Then our Reformers mistook the Apostle's Meaning, when they insisted and contended so much for Reformation in the Civil Magistrate, and suffered great Opposition on that same Account. And likewise all other Nations who have express {35} Laws to have their Sovereigns and other Magistrates of the same Religion with themselves, and on no other Terms will allow any to rule over them.

2. Either in the above Texts the Obedience and Subjection that is due to lawful Magistrates, is commanded; or that Subjection only, which is given to Conquerors, having no Right but that which is Providential, and the Length of their Sword. If the former, then it was not mean'd of Nero, or of any of the Heathen bloody Roman Emperors, who could have no Right but that of Conquerors, being mostly set up by the Army. If the latter is mean'd, then these Texts are not the Rule of Obedience to lawful Magistrates, who rule in the Fear of GOD, and according to his Word.

3. WE find, in the above cited Places of Scripture, the Office, Duty, and End of the Civil Magistrate, as particularly described, as the Obedience and Subjection commanded to such; and therefore we think, the one is founded upon and tied to the other. And we humbly judge it is not mean'd of the Heathen Emperors, who were mostly, not a Terror to Evil-doers, but to those that did well: Whatever may be said, of some of the Deputies, who were converted to the Christian Religion, and became true Christians, notwithstanding that they held their Commission from such as were Conquerors; even as Daniel and the three Children did from Nebuhadnezzar; and afterwards Daniel from Darius.

4. Seeing the Office, Duty, and End of the {36} Civil Magistrate is so expressly joined to the Obedience and Subjection there commanded; we wish that the one were as much pled for as the other; there being the same Ground for both, even the Word of GOD. And when it is wanting, that it may be witnessed against; For what GOD hath joined together, let no Man put asunder. Likewise we find, Rev. 17.14, speaking of Kings who give their Power and Strength to the Beast, These shall make War with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is LORD of Lords, and KING of Kings, and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful: Where we think it is very plain, that they who are with CHRIST, are not on the same Side with these Kings that oppose his Interest and Kingdom; And by Proportion, Kings who oppose or hinder his Work and Interest are to be witnessed against.

MOREOVER, we find our Reforming Forefathers carying on the Reformation of the Civil Magistrate with that of the Church. Mr. Knox would not consent that Queen MARY should be allowed the Liberty of a private Mass for herself and Family; tho' she was brought up in the Popish Religion. They brought JAMES VI. to engage, by Covenanting with God, to defend, maintain, and continue in that Work of Reformation. They lifted Arms against CHARLES I. for Opposing and oppressing that Work. They declare against CROMWEL's Usurpation, Toleration, and Sectaries; and never acknowledged him as a lawful Magistrate, but resisted {37} him as long as they were able, till the Strength of the Army was cut off at Dunbar; and then they only submitted to him as a Conqueror. They would treat and engage with CHAR. II. on no other Terms but these of the Covenants, and Scots Coronation-Oath: And the same is engaged unto by the People in the limited Allegiance, there promised to the King in these Words, In the Defence of the true Religion. All which we think, was as lawful for our Forefathers to do, as for Jehoiadah to bring Joash into Covenant with God, when he was but a Child of 7 Years old, which he shamefully broke, even as the above named did in this Land who gave just such a Reward to our Reformers as Joash gave to Jehoiadah's Son. And whatever Men of corrupt Minds may, or do say against these Instances and Endeavours of Reformation as to the civil Magistrate; we look upon the same as lawful and Good, and know no Fault therein except these of human Infirmity, and the giving of too much Credit to perfidious Men, if shreud Signs and Tokens of their Hypocrisie and Deceit did then appear.

WE might also here, give Instances of the sad Effects of the want of Reformation in the Civil Magistrate, and not Contending for the same in other Lands. We see the Protestant Interest sunk, if not altogether extirpate in France and Spain; and very low in Germany, even where there are some inferior Princes and Provinces that are not Popish. And in Holland, Swedland, and Denmark, where they are Protestant; {38} yet what Profanation of the holy Sabbath and other Iniquitys are there tolerate, and do pass unpunished? All which may be said to proceed from that sad Source, the want of Reformation in the Civil Magistrate, and that both in Principle and Practice. And to return to thir [these] Lands of Britain and Ireland, and the Isles-Men therein, to whom our Lord spoke, in Isaiah's Days, Listen O Isles! [49.1,] And of whom he spoke, The Isles shall wait for me, [60.9.] Where Reformation of the Civil Magistrate was once seriously endeavoured, contended for, and in a great Measure attained to: But since it was laid aside, and no Concern had for it, we may see how much Religion is decayed, and Iniquity almost every where opening its Mouth unashamed; And what doth Reformation from Popery in the Civil Magistrate avail, if Impiety, Irreligion, and Immorality prevail at Court, in their Family, and thro' the Land unpunished, like an overflowing Flood? So, that if it long continue, the Return of Paganism and Unchurching [Rev. 2.5] is to be feared. Upon all which, we bespeak [address] the Associate Presbytery in the Words of Mordecai's second Message to Esther, with small Variation, Not to think that they shall escape without Rebuke, for if they altogether hold their Peace, at this Time (in this Matter) then shall there Enlargement and Deliverance arise from another Place: And who knoweth whether they are raised up for such a Time as this? And to espouse an entire Testimony both against Church and State; and not that only against the Corruptions of the present {39} Church Judicatories. And we beseech and intreat them seriously to consider this Matter, and no longer to look away from, and as it were with Dislike to this Part of the Testimony of the Church of Scotland, which was carried on in this Land, together with the same Truths they assert in their Act and Testimony, by the Lord's worthy Servants whom we believe they have a Regard to.

AND we likewise desire to express our Grief that the Associate Presbytery have made Subjection and Loyalty, to the present Possessors of Civil Power, a necessary Term of Communion with them. So that none of these, who formerly did endeavour to witness against the Evils of the State in Conjunction with the Backslidings of the Church, shall be admitted to Preach the Gospel, or taken under their Ministerial Inspection: As was done in the Case of Mr. Andrew Clarkson, who behoved to make an open Renunciation of his former Principles, on that Point, before they would license him: And refused the Accession of his Brethren, the same Day, because containing an Adherence to former maintained and sworn-to Principles. And the cold and discouraging Reception they gave to others, as well as their own People, when applying to them on that Head. Also we were sorry and much grieved at the Associate Presbytery's going in to the Observation of that Erastian Fast appointed by the present Powers, Jan. 9th. 1740. and that by an Act of their own Presbytery, appointing the said Day to be observed {40} by all the People under their Charge. And altho' we were glad to see an Act of their Presbytery, acknowledging the Sin thereof, and appointing another Day than what was appointed by the present Powers of that Sort, for this present Year 1741, yet considering the Way some of them took in observing the Day of their own Appointment, by not reading their own Causes, and observing that, and the Government's Day likewise; we are afraid, they are not yet determined in that Point: Whereas a full, free, and faithful Witnessing on this Head, might have been expected from these whose professed Principle it is, to own the Headship and Sovereignty of our LORD JESUS CHRIST over his Church, as his free and independent Kingdom: The Neglect of which had a Tendency to harden this poor Erastian Church, in her giving up with CHRIST's Headship, and their Submission to the Erastian Power; as also to deaden the Zeal, and grieve the Hearts of many of the Godly through the Land.

To conclude, we declare our Esteem of, and Love to all the Godly in these Lands, who have the Root of the Matter in them [Job 19.28], and Love our LORD JESUS CHRIST in Sincerity [Eph. 6.24], who are studying Godliness, and have sad Hearts for the Tokens of God's Displeasure, and the Sins and Abominations procuring the same; notwithstanding of their not being of the same Sentiments and Mind with us, as to some Part of our Testimony and Practice thereanent: And to all such as feel a paining Want, and longing in their Souls for the LORD's Return to the Hearts and Souls of his People, in his manifested Presence, with Light and Life, as in Times past, when he had his Dwelling in this Zion-hill [Psalm 74.2, ed. 1650]: And who, thro' the Temptations of Wealth or Want in the World, and Discouragements of a long evil Time, have slidden back and fallen from their Stedfastness; yet have no Pleasure therein; but would be glad in their Hearts to see the Day dawn, and the Shadows flee away [Canticles 2.17; 4.6], of the long Desolations and Night that hath been long upon the Land. And we intreat all such in Britain and Ireland, to be stirred up to seek the LORD, who hides his Face at this Day from the House of Jacob [Isa. 8.17], to return to Covenanted Principles and Practice, and to look for him, believing that his Word will not fail: The Vision will not tarry; They that have waited for GOD, and sought and served him, shall be glad and rejoice in him. The Rod of the Wicked, tho' it may light shall not always ly on the Lot of the Righteous, lest the Righteous put forth their Hands to Iniquity. Judgment shall return to Righteousness, and all that are right in Heart shall follow it. It shall be well with the Righteous in the End, and ill with the Wicked. [Hab. 2.3; Isa. 25.9; Psalm 125.3; Psalm 94.15; Eccl. 8.12,13; Isa. 3.10,11.]


Let GOD arise, and let his Enemies

be scattered.