... for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?—Canticles 1.7.
Protestation, & Apologetick Admonitory Declaration,
Of the Contending & Suffering Remnant, of the true Preſbyterians of the Church of Scotland.
Against The Proclaiming James Duke of York, King of Scotland, England, France, & Ireland, The Lawfulness of the present pretended Parliament, And the apparent inlet of Popery, &c.
Published at Sanquhar.
IT hath pleased the holy & wise God, to exercise the Church of Scotland now of a long time, with wrestling & warfaring under the yoke of cruel oppressors, who have made it their whole work to extirpate the true worship & worshippers of God out of the Land, they make it highly criminal to own Christ as sole supreme over his own house, to mention any adherence to Scotland’s Reformation & Covenants, & to take the written word of God to be the only Rule of faith & manners, Decerning any to forfault right to estate, Life, & Liberty who are of Presbyterian Principles, who will not make a full surrender of conscience unto them, to be carried about as they please, Complying with all contradictions & contradictory impositions which their Diabolick Spirits may invent, who are clearly seen to be void of all Religion, Reason, & humanity; So that they proceed against all Recusants with the height of barbarity & hellish cruelty, refusing to hear them profess subjection to Rulers only in the Lord, & according to his word, yea, cutting them off in the fields without giving them any time to deliberate upon death, yea oftentimes without so much as to commit their Spirits unto the Lord, but butcherously slaying them without taking notice what they are, or what (according to their own Law) is to be Led against them: Moreover, these Arbitrarians have so raged, that they have now brought the Land to that (o poor miserable & Lamentable Slavery) that the freest subject & best Gentleman in the Kingdom, is by their Acts Laws & proceedings holden obliged to give an oath Super inquirendis before any single soldier or dragoon meeting them upon the way. Lo All this & much more, we have met with, as just upon the Lord’s part, though most unjust upon man’s, for our manifold sins & iniquities; And in a Special manner for our not purging our judicatories & Armies, when the power was in our hands, of men disaffected to the Cause & Interest of Christ; for our bringing in known Malignants to places of power & trust among us; And for inordinate affection unto, & Lusting after the deceast Tyrant, Charles the ſecond, & advancing him to the Regal throne, even while known by many palpable discoveries (as is to be seen in the causes of God’s wrath with the Church of Scotland) to retain his heart enmity at the Covenanted work of Reformation; which sins we desire to Confess & mourn for, before God, Angels & men; As also our sin in not timeously rejecting the foresaid Charles, when he brake Covenant & all parts of his Coronation oath: Howbeit, fearing the lying under such a sin any longer, when we were brought to a very small Remnant, We did by open declarations disclaim his pretended authority, upon many important grounds & reasons, as is to be seen elsewhere, particularly in our declaration published at Lanerk, January 12. 1682 years. All which Declarations we do hereby Ratify & Approve.
So now, the Lord in his goodness & wisdom having removed the foresaid Charles from his tyranny by death, And a few wicked & unprincipled men of this Kingdom having by open proclamation proclaimed James Duke of York, though a profest Papist & excommunicate person, & not yet received into the Church again, to be King of Scotland, England, France, & Ireland: We, the Contending & suffering Remnant of the true Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland, calling to mind the many bonds & obligations that Lie upon us from the Lord, And being desirous to be found faithful in this day of temptation, to avoid accession to the guilt in which many have involved themselves, to exoner our Consciences as in his sight, to testify our Resentment of the deed, And to make it appear unto the world that we are free thereof, whether by Concurrence or Connivance; Do here Deliberately, Jointly, & unanimously, Protest against the foresaid proclamation of James Duke of York, to be King as said is. In regard that it is the choosing a Murderer to be a Governour, who hath shed the blood of the saints of God; In regard that it is the height of Confederacy with an Idolater, which is forbidden by the Law of God; In regard that it is contrary to the Declaration of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, of the Date July 27. 1649. years; In regard that it is contrary to many wholesome & laudable Acts of Parliament, As Act 8, Parliament 1, repeated in the 99. Act, Parliament 7, Ratified in the 23. Act, Parliament 11. 114 Act, Parliament 12 of King James 6. For there is a continual obligation & stipulation between a king & people, as both of them are tied to God, so each of them are tied to other, for the performance of mutual & reciprocal Duties; And as contrare to Act 24, Parliament 11, King James 6. where Papists are decerned to be punished by manifold Civil & Ecclesiastick pains, as Adversaries to God’s true Religion, yea they are ordained to be punished as Common enemies to all Christian Government, Act 8, Parliament 16, King James 6. And in regard that it is inconsistent with the safety of the faith, Conscience & Christian Liberty of a Christian people, to chuse a subject of Anti-christ, to be their (especially supreme) Magistrate, And so it is that we understand that part of the 4 Sect. Chapter 23, of our Confession of Faith, in a General & abstract sense, where it is said (in opposition to sectarians, who assert that such are not Lawful Kings who either know not Christ, or believe not in him) That Infidelity or difference in Religion, doth not make void the Magistrate’s just & Legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: We acknowledge it to be true indeed, that Infidels & these of a different Religion are not (chiefly because such) presently to be declared no Magistrates, for Magistratus non est Magistratus qua Christianus sed qua homo, so it is that the Magistratical power considered Generaliter, given for the good of human societies, may be in the person of an Infidel, or one of a different Religion, but considered Specialiter, given for the good of the Church; it is only in the person of a professor of the true Religion. Hence, in travelling or trafficking in foreign Lands, be the persons in whom is the power Infidels or of a different Religion, we cannot refuse subjection to their Laws, so far as they are consistent with the written word of God, & our true Christian Liberty. Howbeit, our Covenants & Acts of Parliament have put a bar, upon the admission of any person, if either Infidel or of a different Religion, while such, to govern in Scotland, & the practice of our Church confirms it, in refusing the Crown to the Late deceast Tyrant Charles 2. until he subscribed such demands as were sent unto him; And especially upon the Admission of a known enemy to the true Religion, to govern: for it could not be but both highly sinful & irrational for us, to entrust an enemy to the work & people of God with the Interest of both.
Also conceiving that this pretended parliament is not a Lawful Parliament; In regard that the election of Commissioners is Limited & prejudged, in the due Liberty thereof, by their Acts & Laws; In regard that the members are convicted of avowed perjury, which according to the Scottish Law maketh a man incapable of being so much as a witness, In regard that they are men of blood, the chief being convicted of avowed murder, whereby they are under the lash of the Law; And in regard of their carrying on Apostacy & making way for the man of sin: We do in the like manner, upon these & many other important grounds & reasons, protest against the validity & constitution of this parliament, as not being free & Lawful; Against their assuming to themselves any authority, or exercising any power or jurisdiction, for making of acts or Laws, for judging of Causes, determining of controversies, or proceeding in any Parliamentary way. And in Particular we protest against their proceeding to any Approbation or Ratification of the foresaid Proclamation of James duke of York, to be King, as said is: And that they may not go on further, to set the Crown upon his head, they being incapable to give it, & he to receive it.
And further seeing bloody Papists, the subjects of Anti-christ, become so hopeful, bold, & confident under the perfidy of the said James Duke of York, & Popery itself so imminent, & (oh Lamentable) like to be intruded again (if God’s mercy & Power meeting together in a wonderful way prevent it not) upon these Covenanted Lands, an open door being made thereunto by its accursed & abjured harbinger Prelacy, which these three Kingdoms are equally sworn against: We do, in the like manner, protest against all Kind of Popery in General & Particular heads, the jurisdiction of the Pope, All the heretical & erroneous Doctrine of the Church of Rome, their Tyrannous Laws made against Christian Liberty, their erroneous & bloody decrees, their vain Ceremonies and superstitions, their Allegories, rites, signs, & traditions, their Laws, statues, acts, constitutions, canons, Civil or Municipal, with all other ordinances & practique penalties whatsoever made in prejudice of the true Religion & professors thereof, or of the true Church Discipline & jurisdiction or freedom thereof, & every other thing contrary to sound doctrine & the power of godliness, abjured most explicitly by our National Covenant, Abrogated, annulled, & rescinded by our Acts of Parliament, as Act 3. Act 31, Parl. 1. Act 23, Parl. 11. Act 114. Parl. 12. Act 5, Parl. 20, King James 6. We say, we do protest against all Kind of Popery whatsoever, Against its entering again into this Land, And against every thing that doth or may directly or indirectly make way for the same: Disclaiming likewise all Sectarianism, Malignancy, & any Confederacy therewith.
Moreover, taking to our serious consideration the low deplorable & obscured case of the Churches of England & Ireland, & that we are all bound in one Covenant & solemn League together, we (in the bowels of Christ) do in like manner hereby Admonish you our Brethren in these our neighbouring & Covenanted Lands, that ye remember how far ye have sadly failed in pursuing the ends of our Covenants (as we our selves also have done, which we desire to Confess, imploring God’s forgiveness to you & us both) how you have suffered your Lord’s enemies to rob you of all your privileges & pleasant things: how you have given up your selves to be seduced by complying lukewarm & court flattering brethren; And how you have passed by lightly looking upon our bleeding wounds, denying us help though we have been like to give up the ghost; & what great accession ye have to the giving Popery such an open door to enter upon our land again. Remember these things, & consider what the Lord is now calling for at our hand: Break off your sinful ways by repentance; And abandon all Lukewarmness & indifferency in the Lord’s matters; give up with your own things; Be tender of God’s Declarative glory, which is lying at the stake, quit yourselves like Christians & men; And stretch your hands to the helping, strengthening, encouraging, & comforting a poor wasted, wronged, wounded, reproached, despised, & bleeding Remnant (with whom you are in Covenant) setting your selves against all the injuries & affronts done to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, against the man of sin, the Kingdom of Antichrist, & all the Limbs & parts thereof. And here, with all sincerity of mind & unfeignedness of resolution, we promise to act unto you the part of Covenanted brethren in the Lord, to the utmost of our power. Likewise, we do hereby in like manner, Call unto you, All Protestant Reformed Churches, Kingdoms, & Commonwealths, that ye would take to your serious consideration the low & dangerous state of the Gospel Interest, And advert to the growth & increase of Popery in all places, bestirring yourselves timeously against it, lest ye be too late, & lose what much blood & contending may not recover again; considering the distressed Case where unto we are brought, as a share of the true protestant Interest; And refreshing us with your help: And withal, as ye tender the advantage of Christ’s Cause, which to own is the Christian’s glory, that ye engage not yourselves in any quarrel or with any person whatsomever, till you know that the quarrel be rightly stated, & that the persons in the judgment of charity are seeking the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, lest that ye join your selves to these who may lead you back to Egypt, and so you provoke the Lord to destroy you in the wilderness.
Finally, we being misrepresented to many by the wicked malice of our avowed enemies, & the sinful prejudice of others, who misrepresenting our late Declaration affixed at several parish Church doors (which we do hereby Ratify & Approve) perverting the true & obvious sense thereof, And through blind malice & prejudice mistaking our designs therein (else their Consciences give their tongue the lie) hold us forth as persons of murdering, & assassinating principles: All which principles & practices, we do hereby declare before God Angels & men, that we abhor, renounce, & detest; As also all manner of robbing of any, whether open enemies, or others, which we are most falsely aspersed with, either in their gold, their silver, their gear, or any household stuff. Their money perish with themselves [Acts 8.20]; the Lord knows that our eyes are not after these things. And in like manner, we do hereby disclaim all unwarrantable practices, committed by any few persons reputed to be of us, whereby the Lord hath been offended, his Cause wronged, & we all made to endure the scourge of tongues; for which things we have desired to make Conscience of mourning before the Lord, both in publick & private. As the unwarrantable manner of killing that Curate of Carsphairn (though he was a man of death, both by the Law of God & man, & the fact not materially Murder) it being gone about contrary to our Declaration, without Deliberation, common or competent consent (the conclusion & deed being known only to three or four persons) in a rash & not in a Christian manner, And also other offences being committed at the time; which miscarriages have proven a mean to stop & retard Lawful, Laudable, & warrantable proceedings, both as to matter and manner. But let not guilty persons think themselves indemnified. Howbeit, we require & hope, that all who soever in this our Land, our neighbour or foreign Lands, which have not taken a wilful prejudice at the Cause & way of God, will not give ear unto reports, which stated enemies or prejudiced pretended friends give of us, that they will not impute the miscarriages of one or more persons to us or all of us, who desire that nothing may be Looked on hereafter, as our deed, which wanteth common consent or Approbation; And that they will not receive a wrong impression of us & our proceedings. For we call the Living God the searcher of hearts to witness, that this only is our sincere desire & unfeigned resolution, to continue in the profession & obedience of the true Religion of Jesus Christ, according to his word, our Covenants, national & solemn League, To defend the same, And to resist all contrary errors, corruptions, & Innovations, according to our vocation, & the utmost of the power that God doth, or may put in our hands.
Now we hope none who have not made a full surrender of Conscience, & are not bent to welcome Popery into the Land, will be offended at what we have here done. For in the Lord’s sight, we durst do no less, whatever occasion of persecution our God’s enemies may take from the same: For we could not see at the time another way to discharge our duty before the Lord, to exoner our Consciences, & to free our selves of the connivance at Popery, which we pray the Lord may stop, & not lay the guilt of its increase to the charge of us & our posterity.
Therefore, we appoint & ordain, That incontinently ye our Emissaries pass upon the Twenty-eighth day of May 1685. years, unto the mercat Cross of Sanquhar, And there, by open Proclamation, make intimation of this our Declaration, Leaving copies of the same affixed upon the foresaid mercat Cross, & other patent places of the foresaid Burgh. Given at upon the 28. day of May 1685.
Let King Jesus Reign, & all his Enemies be scattered.
[ This text is presented above as it was published in the original 1687 Informatory Vindication; which may be considered the most authentic available, being published by those who adhered to the declaration. Minor corrections of errors and adjustments to the spelling of some words have been made. This and other Declarations were adhered to afterward by the United Societies, as they explain in their Informatory Vindication, "for the matter, substance, & scope of them, as accommodated to the times wherein they were exhibited, according as we explain them afterward, Head 2."—JTKer. ]