« PreviousContinue »
Reformation and defence of Religion, the bonour and happiness of the
King, and the peace and safety of the three kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland: agreed upon by Commisioners from the Parliament and Affembly of Divines in England, with Commissioners of the Con ention of Estates, and General Asembly in Scotiand; approved by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and by both Houses of Parliament and Asembly of Divines in England, and taken and subscribed by them, anno 1643; and thereafter by the said authority, taken and subscribed by all ranks in Scotland and England the same year; and ratified by one of the Parliament of Scotland, anno 1644: And again renewed in Scotland, with an Acknowledgment of Sins, and engagement to Duties, by all ranks anno 1648, and by Parliament 1649 ; and taken and subscribed by King Charles II. at Spey, June 23. 1650; and at Scoon, January 1. 1651.
ses, Ministers of the Gospel, and Commons of all sorts, in the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland, by the providence of GOD, living under one King, and being of one reformed religion, having before our eyes the glory of GOD, and the advancement of the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus CHRIST, the honour and happiness of the King's Majesty and his posterity, and the true public liberty, fafety, and peace of the kingdoms, wherein every one's private condition is included: And calling to mind the treach. crous and bloody plots, conspiracies, attempts, and practices of the · enemies of GOD, against the true religion and profesors thereof in all places, especially in these three kingdoms, ever since the reformation of religion; and how much their rage, power, and prefump. tion are of late, and at this time, increased and exercised, whereof the deplorable state of the Church and kingdom of Ireland, the distreffed eftate of the Church and kingdom of England, and the dangerous eftate of the Church and kingdom of Scotland, are prefent and public teftiinonies: We have now at last (after other means of
fupplication, remonftrance, protestation, and fufferings) for the preservation of ourselves and our religion from utter ruin and destruction, according to the commendable practice of these kingdoms in former times, and the example of GOD's people in other nations; after mature deliberation, resolved and determined to enter into a mutual and Solemn League and Covenant, wherein we all fubfcribe, and each one of us for himself, with our hands lifted up to the Most High GOD, do swear,
I. THAT we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the
I grace of GOD, endeavour, in our several places and callings, the preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies; the reformation of religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, according to the word of GOD, and the example of the best reformed Churches : And shall endeavour to bring the Churches of GOD in the three kingdoms, to the ncareft conjunction and uniformity in religion, confestion of Faith, form of Church-government, directory for worship and catechifing; that we, and our pofterity after us, may, ás brethren, live in faith and love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.
II. That we shall in like manner, without respect of perfons, endeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, (that is, Church-government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors, and Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other Ecclesiasti cal Officers depending on that hierarchy), fuperftition, herefy, schism profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to found doctrine and the power of godliness ; left we partake in other mens fins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues: And that the Lord may be one, and his name one in the three kingdoms.
III. We shall, with the fame sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our several vocations, endeavour, with our estates and lives, mutu·ally to preserve the rights and privileges of the Parliaments, and the liberties of the kingdoms; and to preserve and defend the King's Majesty's person and authority, in the preservation and defence of the true religion, and liberties of the kingdoms; that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no thoughts nor intentions to diminish his Majesty's just power and greatness.
IV. We shall also, with all faithfulness, endeavour the discovery of all such as have been or shall be incendiaries, malignants, or evil instruments, by hindering the reformation of religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the kingdoms from another, or making any faction or parties amongst the people, contrary to this League and Covenant; that they may be brought to public trial, and
receive condign punishment, as the degree of their offences shall re puire or deserve, or the fupreme judicatories of both kingdoms refpectively, or others having power from them for that effect, shall judge convenient.
V. And whereas the happiness of a blessed peace between these kingdoms, denied in former times to our progenitors, is by the good providence of GOD, granted unto us, and hath been lately concluded and settled by both parliaments; we shall each one of us, according to our place and interest, endeavour that they may remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all pofterity; and that justice may be done upon the wilful opposers thereof, in manner exprefied in the precedent article.
VI. We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this common cause of religion, liberty, and peace of the kingdoms, affift and defend all those that enter into this League and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof; and shall not fuffer ourselves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terror, to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a detestable indifferency or neutrality in this cause which so much concerneth the glory of GOD, the good of the kingdon, and honour of the King; but shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the fame according to our power, against all lets and impediments whatsoever ; and, what we are not able ourselves to suppress or overcome, we shall reveal and make known, that it may
be timely prevented or removed: All which we shall do as in the fight of GOD.
And, because these kingdoms are guilty of many fins and provocations against GOD, and his Son JESUS CHRIST, as is too manifest by our present diitresses and dangers, the fruits thereof; we profess and declare, before GOD and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own fins, and for the fins of these kingdoms;, ef. pecially, that we have not as we ought valued the inestimable beneit of the gospel, that we have not laboured for the purity and power hereof, and that we have not endeavoured to receive Christ in ur hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in our lives; which are the auses of other fins and transgressions so much abounding amongst S: And our true and unfeigned purpose, desire, and endeavour for urselves, and all others under our power and charge, both in pubc and in private, in all duties we owe to GOD and man, to amend ur lives, and each one to go before another in the example f a real reformation; that the Lord may turn away his wrath nd heavy indignation, and establish thefe Churches and kingdoms
truth and peace. And this Covenant we make in the presence of LMIGHTY GOD, the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention perform the fame, as we shall answer at that great day, when the
fecrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; most humbly beseeching the LORD to strengthen us by his HOLY SPIRIT for this end, and to bless our defires and proceedings with such fuccefs, as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian Churches, groaning under, or in danger of the yoke of antichristian tyranny, to join in the same, or like association and covenant, to the glory of GOD, the enlargement of the kingdom of Jesus CHRIST, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and common. wealths.