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THE

NATIONAL

COVENANT;

OR, THE

CONFESSION OF

OF FAITH

Subscribed at first by the King's Majesty and his housbold in the year

1580; thereafter by persons of all ranks in the year 1581, by ordinance of the lords of secret council, and acts of the general assembly: Subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590, by a new ordinance of council, at the desire of the general assembly; with a general bond for the maintaining of the true Christian religion, and the king's perfon; and, together with a resolution and promise, for the causes after-expressed, to maintain the true religion, and the king's majesty, according to the forefaid Confession and acts of parliament, fubfcribed by barons, nobles, gentlemen, burgesses, ministers and commons, in the year 1638: Approven by the general assembly 1638 and 1 639; and subscribed again by persons of all ranks and qualities in the year 1639, by an ordinance of council, upon the fupplication of the general assembly, and act of the general assembly : ratifed by an act of parliament 1640; and subscribed by king Charles II, at Spey, June 23d 1650, and Scoon, January is 1651,

W

E all and every one of us underwritten, proteít, That,

after long and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now throughly resolved in the truth by the word and spirit of God: and therefore we believe with our hearts, confefs with our mouths, subscribe with qur hands, and constantly affirm before God and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion, pleasing God, and bringing salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel; and is received, beļieved, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and

realms,

realms, but chiefly by the kirk of Scotland, the king's majefty

and three estates of this realm, as God's eternal truth, and only ground of our falvation; as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, established and publickly. confirmed by sundry acts of parliaments, and now of a long time have been openly professed by the king's majesty, and whole body of this realm both in burgh and land. To the which confession and form of religion we willingly agree in our conscience in all points, as unto God's undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written word. And therefore we abhor and deteft all contrary religion and doctrine; but chiefly all kind of papistry in general and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the word of God and kirk of Scotland. But in special we detest and refuse the ufurped authority of that Roman antichrist upon the scriptures of God, upon the kirk, the civil magiftrate, and consciences of men: all his tyrannous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty: his erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the perfection of the law, the office of Christ, and his blessed evangel: his corrupted doctrine concerning original fin, our natural inability and rebellion to God's law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect fantification and obedience to the law; the nature, number, and use of the holy sacraments: his five bastard facraments; with all his rites, ceremonies and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true facraments without the word of God: his cruel judgment against infants departing without the facrament: his absolute necessity of baptism: his blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the fame by the wicked, or bodies of men: his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of marriage forbidden in the word: his cruelty against the innocent divorced : his devilish mass: his blasphemous priesthood: his profane facrifice for fins of the dead and the quick: his canonization of men;

cal

ling upon angels or faints departed; worshipping of imagery, relicks and crosses; dedicating of kirks, altars, days; vows 10 creatures :- his purgatory, prayers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language; with his processions and blasphemous litany, and multitude of advocates or mediators: his manifold orders, auricular confession: his desperate and uncertain repentance: his general and doubtsome faith; his fatisfactions of men for their fins; his justification by works, Opus operatum, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations, and stations: his holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, fayning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God's good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith: his worldly monarchy, and wicked hierarchy: his three solemn vows, with all his shavellings of sundry forts: his erroneous and bloody decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers or approvers of that cruel and bloody band, conjured against the kirk of God. And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions brought in the kirk, without or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed kirk; to the which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, faith, religion, discipline, and use of the holy sacraments, as lively 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 obcdience of the doc. trine and discipline of this kirk t, and shall defend the same, ac cording to our vocation and power, all the days of our lives; under the pains contained in the law, and danger both of body and soul in the day of God's fearful judgment.

And seeing that many are stirred up of Satan and that Row man antichrist, to promise, swear, subscribe, and for a time use the holy facraments in the kirk deceitfully, against their

+ The Confeflion which was subscribed at Halyrud-house, the 25th of February 1587-8. by the King, Lennox, Huntly, the Chancellor, and about 95 other Persons, hath here added, agreeing to the Word. Sir John Maxwell of Pollock hath the original Parchment,

OWN

owu conscience; minding hereby, first, under the external cloke of religion, to corrupt and subverç fecretly God's true religion within the kirk; and afterward, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under yain hope of the pope's dispensation, devised against the word of God, to his greater confufion, and their double condemnation in the day of the Lord Jesus: we therefore, willing to take away all suspicion of hypocrisy, and of such double dealing with God and his kirk, protest, and call the Searcher of all hearts for witness, That our minds and hearts do fully agree with this our confession, promise, oath, and subscription; so that we are not moved with any worldly respect, but are persuaded only in our conscience, through the knowledge and love of God's true religion imprinted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we fall answer to him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.

And because we perceive, that the quietness and stability of our religion and kirk doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of the king's majesty, as upon a comfortable instrument of God's mercy granted to this country, for the maintaining of his kirk, and ministration of justice amongst us: we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same oath, hand-writ, and pains, that we shall defend his person and authority with our goods, bodies and lives, in the defence of Christ his evangel, liberties of our country, miniitration of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this realm or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and merciful defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory eternally. Amen.

LIKE AS many acts of parliament, not only in general do abrogate, annul, and rescind all laws, statutes, acts, constitutions, canons civil or municipal, with all other ordinances, and practique penalties whatsoever made in prejudice of the

true

1 1. A& 114.

true religion and profeffors thereof; or of the true kirk, disa cipline, jurisdiction and freedom thereof; or in favours of icon latry and superstition, or of the papistical kirk: As, A&

3. Act 31. Parl. 1. A& 23.

Parl. I

Parl. 1 2.of king James VI. That papistry and superstition may be utterly fuppressed, according to the intention of the acts of parliament, repeated in the 5. A&, Parl. 20. king James VI. And to that end they ordain all papists and priests to be punished with manifold civil and ecclefiaftical pains, as adversaries to God's true religion, preached, and by law established within this realm, A& 24. Parl. 11. king Ja. VI. as common enemies to all Christian government, A&t 1 8. Parl. 16. king Ja. VI. as rebellers and gainstanders of oyr sovereign lord's authority, A& 47. Parl. 3. king Ja. VI. and as idolaters, Act 104. Parl. 9. king Ja. VI. But also in particular, by and attour the confession of faith, do abolish and condemn the pope's authority and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordains the maintainers thereof to be punished, A& 2. Parl. 1. Ac 5 1. Parl. 3. A& 10 6. Parl. 7. Act 114. Parl. 1 2. king Ja. VI. do condemn the pope's erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian religion, publickly preached, and by law established in this realm; and ordains the spreaders and makers of books or libels, or letters or writs of that nature, to be punished, A&t 46. Parl. 3.

Act 106. Parl. 7. A&t 24. Parl. 11. K. Ja. VI. do condemn all baptism conform to the pope's kirk, and the idolatry of the mass; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers, and concealers of the mass, the maintainers and resetters of the priests, jesuites, trafficking papists, to be punished without any exception of restriction, Act 5. Parl. 1. A& 120. Parl. 1 2. Ac 164. Part, 13. Act Parl.

14 A& 1. Parl. 19. A& 5. Parl, 20, K. Ja. VI. do condemn all erroneous books and writs, containing erroneous doctrine against the religion presently professed, of containing superstitious rites and ceremonies papistical, where: by the people are greatly abused; and ordains the home-bring:

EFS

193

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