... Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.—Revelation 15.3.
Ane Shorte and Generall Con-
fesſion of the trewe Chriſtiane Fayth and Religion, according to Godis word
and actis of our Parliamentis, Subſcriued be the Kingis Maieſtie and his houſholde, with ſundrie vtheries, To
the glorye of God and good exemple of all men. At Edinburgh the Twentie eyght day of
Januarie, The yere of God. Ane Thouſand, Fyue Hundreth, Foureſcore yeirs,
And the fourtene yeir of his Maieſteis Regne.
WE all and euerie one of vs vnderwritten proteſt, that after long and dewe examination of our owne Conſciencis, in maters of trewe and fals Religion, are now throughly reſolued in the trueth, by the worde and ſpirit of God. And therefore we beleue with our heartis, confeſſe with our mouthes, Subſcryue with our hands, and conſtantly affirme before God and the whole worlde. That this onely is the true Chriſtian Faith and Religion, pleaſing God, and bringing Saluation to man, quhilk is now by the mercy of God reueled to the world, by the preaching of the bleſſed Euangell. And is receaued, beleued, and defended by many and ſindrie notable Kirkis and Realmes, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, The Kings Maieſtie & thre Eſtates of this Realme, As Gods eternall trueth, and onely grounde of our Saluation, as more particularly is expreſſed in the confeſſion of our Faith, ſtabliſhed and publictly confirmed by ſindrie acties of Parliamentis, and now of a long time hath bene opinly profeſſed by the Kings Maieſtie, and whole body of this Realme, both in burgh and land. To the quhilk confeſſion and forme of Religion, we willingly agree in our conſciencis in al poynts, as unto Gods undoubted trueth and veritie, grounded onely vpon his written worde. And therefore we abhorre and deteſt all contrarie religion and doctrine, but chiefly all kinde of Papiſtrie in generall and particuler headis, euen as they are nowe damned and confuted by the worde of God and kirk of Scotlande, but inſpeciall we deteſt and refuſe the vſurped authoritie of that Romane Antichriſt vpon the Scriptures of God. vpon the Kirk the ciuile magiſtrate and conſcience of men. All his tyrannous Lawes made vpon indifferent thinges, agaynſt our Chriſtiane libertie. His erroneous doctrine agaynſt the ſufficiencie of the written worde, the perfection of the lawe, the office of Chriſt, and his bleſſed Euangell. His corrupted doctrine concerning originall ſinne, our naturall inabilitie and rebellion to Gods lawe. Our iuſtification by Fayth onely. Our imperfect ſanctification and obedience to the lawe, the nature, number and vse of the holie Sacraments. His fyue baſtard Sacraments, with all his rytis, ceremoneis, and fals doctrine added to the miniſtration of the trew Sacraments without the word of God. His cruel Iudgement againſt Infants departing without the Sacrament, his abſolute neceſſitie of Baptiſme, his blaſphemous opinion of tranſſubſtantiation, or reall preſence of Chriſtis body in the elements, and receauing of the ſame by the wicked, or bodeis of mē. His diſpenſations with ſolemnet othes, Periureis, and degrees of mariage forbidden in the worde, his crueltie againſt the Innocent deuorced, His diuiliſhe Meſſe, his blaſphemous Priſtheid, his prophane ſacrifice for the ſinnes of the dead and the quick. His Canoniʒation of men, calling vpon Angels, or Sainctis departed, worſhipping of Imagrie, relicks, and croces, dedicating of Kirks, Altars, Dayis, Uowes to creatures. His Purgatorie, prayers for the deid, praying or ſpeaking in a ſtrange language, with his proceſſiones and blaſphemous letanie, and multitude of Aduocats or Mediatouris. His manifold ordouris, Auriculare confeſſion, his deſpered and vncertaine repentance, his generall and doutſome faith, his ſatiſfactiones of men for their ſynnes, his Iuſtification by workes, Opus Operatum, workes of ſupererogation, meritis, pardones, peregrinationis and ſtationis, his holy watter, Baptiſſing of Bellis, Coniuring of ſpiritis, Croſſing, Saning, Anointing, Coniuring, Hallowing of godis good Creatures, with the ſuperſtitious opinion ioyned therewith, his warldly Monarchie, and wicked hierarchie, his thre solemned vowes, with all his ſhawellingis of ſindrie ſorts. His erroneous and bloodie decreis maid at Trent, with al the ſubſcryuers and approuers of that cruell and bloody band, coniured againſt the Kirk of God. And finally we deteſt all his vaine allegoreis, Ritis, ſignes, and traditiones broght in the kirk without, or againſt the word of God and doctrine of this trewe reformed Kirk. To the quhilk we ioyne our ſelues willingly, in doctrine, Faith, Religion, Diſcipline and vſe of the holie Sacraments, as lyuelie members of the ſame in Chriſt our head, promiſing 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 dayes of our lyues, vnder the panes contened in the law, and danger both of body, and ſoule, in the day of Gods fearefull Iudgement. And ſeeing that many are ſtyrred vp by Satan, and that Romane Antichriſt, to promes, ſweare, ſubſcryue, and for a time vſe the holie Sacraments in the Kirk deceatfully againſt their owne conſcience, minding hereby, First vnder the externall Cloke of Religion, to corrupt and ſubuert ſecretely Gods trew Religion within the Kirk, and afterward when tyme may ſerue, to become open enemyes and perſecuters of the ſame, vnder vaine hope of the Popes diſpenſation deuiſed againſt the worde of God, to his greater confuſion, and their dowble condemnation in the day of the Lord Ieſus, We therefore willing to take away all ſuſpition of hypocriſie, and of ſic dowble dealing with God and his Kirk, proteſt and call the ſearcher of all hearts for witnes, that our minds and heartis doe fully agree with this our confeſſion, promiſe, othe, and Subſcription. So that we are not moued for any worldlye reſpect, but are perſwaded onely in our conſcience, through the knowledge and loue of Gods trew Religion, prented in our hearts by the holie Spirite, as we ſhall anſwer to him in the day when the ſecretes of all heartis ſhalbe diſcloſed. And becauſe we perceaue, that the quietnes and ſtabilitie of our Religion and Kirk doeth depend vpon the ſauetie and good behauiour of the Kings Maieſtie, as vpon ane comfortable Inſtrument of Godis mercy, graunted to this Countrey, for the maintening of his kirk, & miniſtration of Iuſtice amongs vs. We proteſt & promes with our heartis, vnder the ſame othe, hand writ, and panes, that we ſal defend his perſone and authoritie, with our geir, bodeis, and lyues, in the defence of Chriſtis Euangel, Libertie of our Countrey, miniſtration of Iuſtice, and puniſhment of Iniquitie againſt al enemies within this Realme or without, as we deſyre our God to be a ſtrong and mercifull defender to vs, in the day of our death, and cumming of our Lord Ieſus Chriſt. To whome with the Father and the holie Spirite, be all honour and glorie eternally. Amen.
The Kinges Maiesties charge to all Commiſsioners and Miniſters
within this Realme.
SEing, that we and our Houſhold haue ſubſcriued and geuen this publict confeſſion of our Faith, to the good exemple of our Subiectis. We command and charge all Commiſſioners and Miniſters, to craue the ſame confeſſion of their parochinars, and procead againſt the refuſers, according to our Lawes and order of the Kirk, delyuering theire names and lawful proceſſe to the Miniſters of our houſe, with all haſte and diligence, vnder the payne of xl. pound, to be taken from theire ſtipend, that we with the adwiſe of our Counſel may take ordour with ſic proud contemners of God and our lawes. Subſcryued with our hand. At Holyrudhous, (1580) the 2 day of March, the 14 yeir of our regne.
§ Imprented at Edinburgh be Robert Lekprewike.