The Short Declaration from the West-Kirk, 1650,
Stating the Quarrel, and Grounds on which they did Fight,
And the Conditions on which they would own the King.
By the Commission of the G.A. of the Church of Scotland.
TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.
As the conflict between Oliver Cromwell and the Christian Nation of Scotland continued in the mid-1600’s, efforts were used to persuade Charles II, to embrace the Covenanted Reformation and lead the nation in its defence against Cromwell as a Covenanted nation. A Declaration against his former sins, and the sins of his father and mother, being proposed for his usage, that he might declare his repentance and purge himself from former offences, he delayed to sign the same. Accusations against the Scots, as a people willing to own such an ungodly man for their king, drove the Commission of the General Assembly to adopt the Declaration below as a means to clear themselves, and provide direction to the nation in their duty to stand by the former Reformation constitutions of Church, State, and Army.
The following excerpt from the Diary of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston, will be found an interesting preface to the document itself, which is here reproduced according to the very printing which Warriston mentions in his Diary.
This Declaration, accordingly, forms a very significant part of the context in which the conflict between the Protesters and Resolutioners took place, and is made reference to in defence of the principles and actions of both Protesters and Dissenters of later times.
Weſt-kirk, the 13 of August, 1650.
THe Commission of the General Assembly, considering there may be just ground of stumbling, from the Kings Majesties refusing to subscribe and emit the declaration offered to him by the Committee of Estates, and the Commissioners of the General Assembly concerning his former carriage, and resolutions for the future, in reference to the Cause of God and the enemies and friends thereof; Doth therefore declare, that this Kirk and Kingdom doe not own nor espouse any Malignant party or quarrel or interest, But that they fight meerly upon their former grounds and principles, and in defence of the Cause of God and of the Kingdom, as they have done these twelve years past: And therefore as they do disclaim all the sin and the guilt of the King and of his house, So they will not own him, nor his interest, otherwise then with a subordination to God, and so farre as he ownes and prosecutes the Cause of God, and disclaimes his and his Fathers opposition to the Work of God and to the Covenant, and likewise all the enemies thereof; And that they will with convenient speed take in consideration the papers lately sent unto them from OLIVER CROMWEL, and vindicate themselves from all the falsehoods contained therein, especially in those things, wherein the quarrel betwixt us and that party is mis-stated, as if we owned the late Kings proceedings, and were resolved to prosecute and maintain his present Majesties interest, before and without acknowledgement of the sins of his house and former wayes, and satisfaction to Gods people in both Kingdomes.
13. of Auguſt, 1650.
THe Committee of Estates having seen and considered a Declaration of the Commission of the General Assembly anent the stating of the quarrel whereon the Army is to fight, Do Approve the same, and heartily concur therein.
Printed by Evan Tyler, Printer to the Kings moſt
Excellent Majeſtie, 1650.