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that of a Mr. James Farquhar, referred to the commission by the General Assembly that met in the month of April, that
yea, the contempt of all that is sacred and holy, gets liberty to predominate without check or challenge, so that joining with such people, cannot but expose us as well as them to the just judgment of God, while continuing in these sins.
And here we cannot pass by the unfaithfulness of the present ministers not that we judge all of them cast in the balance—who at the first beginning of this work seemed to be so zealously set against it, and both in their speeches, sermons, and discourses—which was duty-but yet in a very little after, flinched from, and became generally so dumb, silent, indifferent, or ambiguous, to the admiration of many, so that people knew not what to construct.
But from what cause or motive they were so influenced, they know best themselves. Sure their duty both to God and man, was to show and declare how shameful, hurtful, and highly sinful this course was so circumstantiate. And if ministers' faithfulness, and zeal to the concerns of Christ had led them to such freedom and plainness, as was duty in such a matter, and had discovered how contrary this Union was to the foundamental laws and swore (sworn] principles, by all probability they might have had such influence as to stop such an unballowed, unhappy project. But it seems their policy hath outwitted their piety, their pleasing of man in conniving at, if not complying with their design that was carried on, hath weighed more with them than the pleasing of God, in the witnessing and testifying against it.
But to say no more, by the negligence of ministers on the one hand, and the politics of statesmen on the other hand, this wicked and haughty business has been carried on and accomplished, to the provoking of God, easlaving the nation, and bringing the same under manifest perjury and breach of Covenant. But how to evite the judgments pronounced against such we know not, but by returning to their first love, taking up their first ground, and standing to sworn Covenants solemnly unto God, and adhering to the cause of God and the faithful Testimonies of this church, and seeking back unto the old path, abandoning and shaking off, and forsaking all these God-provoking, and land-ruining courses, we say we know, and are persuaded there can be no mean to retrieve us in this land, but by unfeigned repentance, and returning unto him from whom we have so deeply revolted. And among the politics of this age, it could not but be reckoned the wisdom of the nation, if ever they get themselves recovered out of the snare, to animadvert upon such as have had any hand in the contriving and managing it, as being enemies both to God and their country, which course, if it had been taken in former times with such who were enemies to religion and liberty, it would have deterred such from being so active in this fatal stroke.
Upon these and many more weighty considerations, plain and demonstrable evils in this complex mass of sin and misery, all the true lovers of Zion, who desire to be found faithful to God, to their vows and sworn principles, and who seek to be found faithful in their generation and duty of the day, and all
he might be dealt with for schismatical courses, Mr. MackInillan and Mr. Macneil gave in to that court, 'which met at Edinburgh the 29th day of September, 1708, a paper, which they entitled, Protestation, Declinature, and Appeal, &c. &c.*
such who desire, love, and respect, the honours, independency, liberty, and privilege of their native country, especially in such a juncture, when long threatened judgments are so imminent, and religion and liberty, as it were, in their last breathing, will easily find it to be their bound duty-as they would not conspice with adversaries to religion and libertyto show no favour or respect, and give no encouragement or assistance that may tend to the upholding or supporting this Union, but that it is their duty and concernmentas well as ours-to testify and declare against the same, and to concur with their utmost endeavours stop and hinder the same, and to deny their accession to, connivance at, or compliance with any thing that may tend to the continuing such an insupportable yoke upon themselves or their posterity.
And now, to draw this our Protestation to a conclusion, we shall heartily and in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, invite all in the both nations, who tender the glory of God, the removing the causes of his wrath, indignation, and imminent judgments upon us, and who desire the continuance of his tabernacle, gospel ordinances, and graeious presence among us, and seek and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and labour to follow the footsteps of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promise, the noble cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. We say, we heartily invite, and entreat such to consider their ways, and come and join in a harmonious, zealous, and faithful withstanding all and every thing that may be like a heightening or copestone of our defections, and particularly to join with us—according to our Reformation, Covenants, Confession of Faith, and testimonies of our church, as agreeable to the sacred and unerring rule of faith and manners, the Holy Scriptures—in this our Protestation and Testimony. And for these efforts, we desire, that this our Protestation may be a standing testimony to present and succeeding ages, against the sinfulness of this land-ruining, God-provoking, soul-destroying, and posterity-enslaving and ensnaring Union, and this ad futuram rei memoriam. And to evite the brand and odium of passing the bounds of our station, and that this our Protestation may be brought to the view of the world, we have thought fit to publish, and leave a copy of the same at Sanquhar, by a part of our number, having the unanimous consent of the whole so to do. Given at the 2d day of October, 1707. Informatory Vindication, pp. 255—277.
*“We, Mr. John Mackmillan, present minister of the Gospel at Balmaghie, and Mr. John Macneil, preacher of the Gospel, being most odiously and invidiously represented to the world, as schismatics, separatists, and teachers of unsound and divisive doctrines, tending to the detriment of Church and State, and especially by ministers with whom we were embodied while there remained any hope of getting grievances redressed—therefore, that both min
thus completing a direct and formal renunciation of the constituted authorities of the nation, civil and ecclesiastic. This paper was probably the sole composition of the subscribers, and is of inferior merit to that of the previous year, which, it may
isters and people may know the unaccountableness of such assertions, let it be considered, that this backsliding church-when we with others might have been big with expectation of advancement in Reformation-continued in their defections from time to time, still, as occasion was given, evidencing their readiness to comply with every new backsliding course, instance that of the Oath of Allegiance and Bond of Assurance to the present queen ; which additional step to the former, gave occasion and rise to our unhappy contentions and divisions. And now at this time, for the glory of God, the vindication of Truth and of ourselves—as conscience and reason obligeth us--to make evident to the world the groundlessness of these aspersions and calumnies, as renters and dividers, and particularly in the commission's late odious and malicious libel, wherein are contained many gross falsehoods, such as swearing persons not to pay cess, and travelling through the country with scandalous persons in arms, which, as they are odious calumnies in themselves, so they will never be proven by witnesses. And as to our judgment anent the case, we reckon it duty in the people of God to deny and withhold all support, succour, aid, or assistance, that may contribute to the upholding or strengthening the man of sin, or any of the adversaries of truth-as the word of God instructeth us—or for supporting any in such a way, as tending to the estab-, lishing the kingdom of Satan, and bringing down the kingdom of the Son of God, in a course tending this way, how deeply these nations are engagedcontrar to the word of God, and our indispensible oaths and covenants, whereby these lands were solemnly devoted to God-is too palpable and plain, especially in the infidel terms of the late God-provoking, religion-destroying, and land-ruining Union. We judge it most necessary to give to the world a brief and short account of our principles, in what we own or disown—referring for larger and more ample information, to several protestations and testimonies, given by some of the godly heretofore, at different times and places—And hereby, that truth may be vindicated, and our consciences exonored, we declare to the world our hearty desire to embrace and adhere to the written word of God, contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as the only and complete rule, and adequate umpire of faith and manners--and whatever is founded thereupon, and agreeable thereunto, such as our Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directory for Worship, Covenants, National and Solemn League, The Acknowledgement of Sins, and Engagement to Duties, Causes of God's wrath, and the ordinary and perpetual officers of Christ's appointment, as Pastors, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons, and the form of church government, commonly called Presbyterian.
“ Next, we declare our firm adherence to all the faithful contendings, whether of old or of late, by ministers and professors, and against whatever
be presumed, was the production of the leaders of the societies, rather than of the ministers, and these leaders, though they wanted the polish of polite scholarship, were certainly, many of them, men of great natural shrewdness, improved by much
sinful courses, whether more refined or more gross, and particularly the prelatic Resolutions, Cromwell's usurpations, the toleration of Sectarians and heresies in his time, and against the sacrilegious usurpations and tyranny of Charles II., the unfaithfulness of ministers and professors, in complying with him, and accepting his indulgence first and last, and in a word, to every thing agreeable to the matter of this our testimony, as it is declared in pages 25 and 26 of the Informatory Vindication, printed anno 1687.
“ Likewise, we declare our adherence unto the testimony against the abominable toleration granted by the duke of York, given into the ministers at Edinburgh, by that faithful minister, and now glorified martyr, Mr. James Renwick, January, 1688, and to whatever things or contendings have been made, or testimonies given against the endeavours of any in their subtile and sedulous striving to insinuate or engage us in a sinful confederacy with a malignant interest and cause, contrary to the word of God, our Solemn League and Covenant, and testimony of this church.
“ Next, we bear testimony against persons being vested with royal power and authority in thir Covenanted lands, without a declaration of their hearty compliance with, and approbation of the National Solemn League and Covenants, and engagement to prosecute the ends thereof, by consenting to, and ratifying all acts and laws made in defence of these Covenants, agreeable to the word of God and laudable acts and practice of this kirk and kingdom in our best times.
“ Moreover, we bear testimony against all confederacies with Popish prelates and malignants, contrary to the word of God and our solemn engagements-the magistrates' adjourning and dissolving of assemblies, and not allowing them time to consider and exped their affairs--their appointing them dyets and causes of fasts, particularly that in January the fourteenth, and the thanksgiving, August the twentieth, anno 1708, which is a manifest encroachment upon, and destructive to, the privileges of this church-their protecting of curates in the peaceable exercise of their ministry, some in kirks, others in meeting-houses, yea, even in the principal city of the kingdom, if qualified according to law, by swearing the oath of allegiance-their not bringing unto condign punishment, enemies to the Covenant and cause of God, but advancing such to places of power and trust, all which we here bear testimony against.
Next, we bear testimony against lukewarmness and unfaithfulness in ministers, anent the corruptions and defections the church was guilty of in the late times, pot yet purged and removed by censures and otherwise, as was duty—and their not leaving faithful and joint testimonies against all the encroachments made upon the church by the civil powers, since the year 1690. And we bear testimony against the settling the constitution of this church,
reading and deep reflection; and, though it should be granted, that they sometimes pushed conclusions somewhat farther than their premises could fairly warrant, it cannot be doubted but that they were men of God, honoured with much of his
according as it was established in the year 1602, and the ministers not testifying against this deed, seems to impart a disowning all that reformation attained to betwixt 1638 and 1649 inclusive; at least, cowardice in not daring to avouch the same, or their being ashamed to own it, because many famous and faithful acts of assemblies, especially about the year 1648, would have made them liable to censure, even to the length of silencing and deposition for their defection and unfaithfulness during the late times of the land's apostacy, particularly the weakening the hands and discouraging the hearts of the Lord's suffering people, by their bitter expressions and aspersions cast upon them for their zeal and tenderness, which would not allow them to comply with a wicked, arbitrary, and bloody council, as many of them did -their not renewing the covenants, buried for upwards of fifty years by the greatest part of the land, contrary to the former practice of this church, especially after some grosser steps of defection--their receiving of perjured curates into ministerial communion without covenant ties and obligations, and without evident signs of their repentance, contrary to the practice of this church-their receiving some lax, tested men, and curates' elders into kirk offices, without some apparent signs, at least, of their repentance in a public appearance, contrary to the former practice of this church in such like cases, evident by the acts of assemblies--their not protesting formally, faithfully, and explicitly, against the magistrates' adjourning and dissolving of assemblies, and recording the same, contrary to the former practice of this eburch in our reforming times. We are not concerned to notice the protestation of some few persons at particular times, seeing their precipitancy and rashness in this matter (as they accounted it) was afterwards apologized for, and that it was not the deed of the assembly—their not asserting, in any explicit and formal act, the divine right of presbytery, and the intrinsic power of the church, though often desired by private christians, and some several members--their not confirming and ratifying the acts of assemblies that were made in our best times, for strengthening and advancing the work of reformation, contrary to the former practice of this church-their admitting, in many places, ignorant and scandalous persons to the Lord's table, contrary to the acts of former assemblies--their not protesting against the present sinful confederacy with papists, malignants, and other enemies of re-, ligion and godliness, contrary to the Word of God, and former practice of this church-their offensive partiality in their respective judicatories as to some particular members, whereby the more lax and scandalous are overlooked apd passed by, and the more faithful and zealous are severely dealt with, and handled contrar the rule of equity and former practice of this church-their refusing and shifting to receive and redress the people's just and great grievances, and the little regard had to prevent the giving offence to the