Page images
PDF
EPUB

of transubstantiation or real presence of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the same 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 sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick ; his canonization of men, calling upon angels or saints departed, worshipping of imagery, relics, and crosses, dedicating of kirks, altars, days, vows to 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 satisfaction of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations and stations ; his holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, saning, 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 shavelings of sundry sorts ; his erroneous and bloody decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and 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 which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, religion, faith, discipline, and life 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 obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this Kirk, and shall defend the same according 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 by Satan and that Roman Antichrist, to promise, swear, subscribe, and for a time use the holy sacraments in the Kirk, deceitfully against their own consciences, minding thereby, first under the external cloak of religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God's true religion within the Kirk; and afterwards, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vain hope of the Pope's dispensation, devised against the Word of God, to his great confusion, 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 for any worldly respect, but are persuaded only in our consciences, through the knowledge and love of God's true religion printed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall 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 maintenance of His Kirk, and ministration of justice among 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, ministration 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.

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 practick penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true religion, and professors thereof, or of the true Kirk discipline, jurisdiction, and freedom thereof; or in favours of idolatry and superstition; or of the papistical kirk (as Act 3. Act 31. Parl. 1. Act 23. Parl. 11. Act 114. Parl. 12, of K. James VI), that papistry and superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parliament reported in Act 5. Parl. 20. K. James VI. And to that end they ordained all papists and priests to be punished by manifold civil and ecclesiastical pains, as adversaries to God's true religion preached, and by law established within this realm (Act 24. Parl. 11. K. James VI) as common enemies to all Christian government (Act 18. Parl. 16. K, James VI), as rebellers and gainstanders of our Sovereign Lord's authority (Act 47. Parl. 3. K. James VI, and as idolaters, Act 104. Parl. 7. K. James 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 (Act 2. Parl. 1. Act 51. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 114. Parl. 12. of K. James 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 publicly preached, and by law established in this realm ; and ordains the spreaders or makers of books or libels, or letters or writs of that nature, to be punished (Act 46. Parl. 3. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 24. Parl. II. K. James 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, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without exception or restriction (Act 5. Parl. 1. Act 120. Parl. 12. Act 164. Parl. 13. Act 193. Parl. 14. Act 1. Parl. 19. Act 5. Parl. 20. K. James VI); do condemn all erroneous books and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the religion presently professed, or containing superstitious rights and ceremonies papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused ; and ordains the home-bringers of them to be punished (Act 25. Parl. 11. K. James VI); do condemn the monuments and dregs of bygone idolatry, as going to crosses, observing the festival days of saints, and such other superstitious and papistical rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true religion, and fostering of great errors among the people, and ordains the users of them to be punished for the second fault as idolaters (Act 104. Parl. 7. K. James VI).

Like as many Acts of Parliament are conceived for main. tenance of God's true and Christian religion, and the purity thereof in doctrine and sacraments of the true Church of God, the liberty and freedom thereof in her national synodal assemblies, presbyteries, sessions, policy, discipline, and jurisdiction thereof, as that purity of religion and liberty of the Church was used, professed, exercised, preached, and confessed according to the reformation of religion in this realm. (As for instance: Act 99. Parl. 7. Act 23. Parl, 11. Act 114. Parl. 12. Act 160. Parl. 13. K. James VI, ratified by Act 4. K. Charles.) So that Act 6. Parl. 1. and Act 68. Parl. 6. of K. James VI, in the year of God 1579, declare the ministers of the blessed evangel, whom God of His mercy had raised up or hereafter should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in doctrine and administration of the sacraments, and the people that professed Christ, as He was then offered in the evangel, and doth communicate with the holy sacraments (as in the reformed Kirks of this realm they were presently administered) according to the confession of faith to be the true and holy Kirk of Christ Jesus within this realm, and discerns and declares all and sundry, who either gainsays the word of the evangel, received and approved as the heads of the confession of faith, professed in Parliament in the year of God 1560, specified also in the first Parliament of K. James VI, and ratified in this present Parliament, more particularly do specify; or that refuses the administration of the holy sacraments as they were then ministrated, to be no members of the said Kirk within this realm and true religion presently professed, so long as they keep themselves so divided from the society of Christ's body. And the subsequent Act 69. Parl. 6. K. James VI, declares that there is no other face of Kirk, nor other face of religion than was presently at that time by the favour of God established within this realm, which therefore is ever styled God's true religion, Christ's true religion, the true and Christian religion, and a perfect religion, which by manifold Acts of Parliament all within this realm are bound to profess to subscribe the Articles thereof, the confession of faith, to recant all doctrine and errors repugnant to any of the said Articles (Act 4 and 9. Parl. 1. Act 45. 46. 47. Parl

. 3. Act 71. Parl. 6. Act 106. Parl. 7. Act 24. Parl. 11. Act 123. Parl. 12. Act 194 and 197. Parl. 14 of K. James VI). And all magistrates, sheriffs, &c., on the one part, are ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveners (for instance, Act 5. Parl. 1. Act 104. Parl. 7. Act 25. Parl. 11. K. James VI), and that, notwithstanding of the King's Majesty's licences on the contrary, which are discharged and declared to be of no force, in so far as they tend in any ways to the prejudice and hindrance of the execution of the Acts of Parliament against Papists and adversaries of the true religion (Act 106. Parl. 7. K.

On the other part, in Act 47. Parl. 3. K. James VI, it is declared and ordained, seeing the cause of God's true religion and His Highness's authority are so joined as the hurt of the one is common to both; and that none shall be reputed as loyal and faithful subjects to our Sovereign Lord or his authority, but be punishable as rebellers and

James VI).

gainstanders of the same, who shall not give their confession and make profession of the said true religion; and that they, who after defection shall give the confession of their faith of new, they shall promise to continue therein in time coming to maintain our Sovereign Lord's authority, and at the uttermost of their power to fortify, assist, and maintain the true preachers and professors of Christ's religion, against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same; and namely, against all such of whatsoever nation, estate, or degree they be of, that have joined or bound themselves, or have assisted or assists to set forward and execute the cruel decrees of Trent, contrary to the preachers and true professors of the Word of God, which is repeated word by word in the Articles of Pacification at Perth, the 23rd Feb., 1572, approved by Parliament the last of April 1573, ratified in Parliament 1578, and related Act 123. Parl. 12. of K. James VI, with this addition, that they are bound to resist all treasonable uproars and hostilities raised against the true religion, the King's Majesty and the true professors.

Like as all lieges are bound to maintain the King's Majesty's royal person and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without which neither any laws or lawful judicatories can be established (Act 130. Act 131. Parl. 8. K. James VI), and the subject's liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King's laws, the common laws of this realm allanerly (Act 48. Parl. 3. K. James I, Act 79. Parl. 6. K. James VI, repeated in Act 131. Parl. 8. K. James VI), which if they be innovated or prejudged the commission anent the union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of 17 Parl. James VI, declares such confusion would ensue as this realm could be no more a free monarchy, because by the fundamental laws, ancient privileges, offices, and liberties of this kingdom, not only the princely authority of His Majesty's royal descent hath been these many ages maintained ; also the people's security of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties and dignities preserved ; and therefore for the preservation of the said true religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by Act 8. Parl. 1. repeated in Act 99. Parl. 7. ratified in Act 23. Parl. 11 and 14. Act of K. James VI and 4 Act of K. Charles, that all Kings and Princes at their coronation and reception of their princely authority, shall make their faithful promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the Eternal God, that during the whole time of

« PreviousContinue »