By Reformed Presbytery of North America
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Additional resources for Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation
Hence what is designed by them in this undertaking, is equally to testify their adherence unto, and approbation of the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the house of God; and to signify their opposition to, and dissatisfaction with, all the apostatizing, backsliding courses in principle and practice, from that reformation purity, both in church and state (which, as the attainment of the nations of Britain and Ireland, was by them accounted their chief ornament and glory), that have taken place, especially in this kingdom, since our woful decline commenced: whereby the witnesses for Scotland's covenanted reformation, have been deprived of any legal benefit, as well, since as before the late revolution; in which the reformation, neither in civil nor ecclesiastical constitutions, was adopted.
The then supreme civil ruler, king James VI, formed a scheme for ruining the church of Scotland, and stripping her of those comely and beautiful ornaments of reformation purity, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, which she had now put on, by introducing episcopacy, and establishing bishops. "This he did for no other reason (says one), but because he believed them to be useful and pliable instruments for turning a limited monarchy into absolute dominion, and subjects into slaves; that which of all other things he affected most:" and for this purpose (after several subtle and cunningly devised steps, previously taken, with design to do by degrees what could not be done at once) he makes an open attack upon the general assembly, robbing them of their power and liberty to meet, judge and determine, in all ecclesiastical concerns (well knowing, that so long as assemblies might convene in freedom, he would never get the estate of bishops established in Scotland), and imprisoning and banishing many faithful ministers, members of the general assembly, who opposed him, testified and protested against his wicked invasion, and sacrilegious robbery of the church's rights and privileges.
This treaty the king did in effect break, before he left Breda, by communicating after the episcopal manner, contrary to the express warning and remonstrance of the commissioners from the church of Scotland, who went to him, and showed him his sin in so doing, and how inconsistent it was with his own concessions in the present treaty; and an evidence that he had no intention to perform what he had agreed to, but dissembled with GOD and man; and he, on the other hand, put them off with sham excuses and professions; and so, from their too much credulity to his fraudulent professions and promises all along, they brought him over to Scotland, and before his landing in this kingdom, he takes the covenant at Spey, on the _23rd_ of _June_, 1649, by his oath subjoined in allowance and approbation of the Covenants National, and Solemn League, obliging himself faithfully to prosecute the ends thereof in his station and calling; and for himself and successors, he shall agree to all acts of parliament enjoining the same, and establishing presbyterial church government the directory for worship, confession of faith and catechisms, in the kingdom of Scotland, as approven by the General Assemblies of this kirk, and parliament of this kingdom.
Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation by Reformed Presbytery of North America