Upon the Twenty Fourth Day of July, 1718.
Isaiah 1.26. And I will restore thy Judges, as at the first, and thy Counsellors as at the Beginning: Afterward thou shalt be called, The City of Righteousness, The faithful City.
BUCHANANUS in Psal. XII.
Pestifera de Gente Hominum nos optime Custos
Nam late Impietas grassatur libera, passim
Omnia plena malis
Quum penes in justos Jus est, & jussa Malorum
Sunt metuenda bonis.
Printed in the Year MDCCXIX.
THE Wise Solomon hath observed in his Divine Proverbs, That every Thing is beautiful in its Season. And hence it is not to be doubted, but many when they shall see the following Print, will be ready to say, That it hath not this Requisite Piece of Beauty, as being so long after the just and proper Season. We cannot but own, That the true Season of making these our Sentiments known to the World was, either in the Interreign [the House of the Prince of Orange, William and Mary, then Anne] before the present Occupant [George I., of the House of Hanover] entered upon the Government, or at least at some convenient Time after: But some of us apprehending, That such a Declaration of our Principles as this, was materially made before, both by our Testimony against the Incorporating Union of Scotland and England, in its sinful Nature and Tendency, wherein there is contained an express Clause against the Succession in the Family of Hanover, not indeed as against a Presbyterian Protestant Succession; for it would be the Joy of our Hearts to see a right Protestant Succession of Princes established in these Kingdoms; but, as was there hinted, upon Account of the sinful Terms upon which that Succession was to be established. And likewise, we had declared the Sense of our Hearts about the same Matter, in that Explanatory Acknowledgement of Public Sins, and Engagement to Duties, which was publicly read at our Renewing of our National and Solemn League and Covenants, near Douglas, Anno 1712. Both which being so recent and full Declarations of our Minds in that Matter, some were of Opinion, it was but actum agere [i.e., to do what has already been done], and so superfluous.
Another Thing there was likewise, which had more Influence to retard this Declaration than the former; namely, That some apprehending it to have been our Duty, in Imitation of our worthy Ancestors, first, To make a Representation of our principal Grievances, and of the Conditions upon which we could own Subjection to Magistrates, Supreme and subordinate, in these Covenanted Lands, before there should be a total Rejection of their Government, and Refusal of Obedience to them: did thereupon in Pursuance of this View, in an occasional Meeting, form a Representation of Greivances, to be laid before the Elector of Brunswick, e're he should actually enter into the Government of these Kingdoms, wherein they designed, both to warn him of the Sin and Danger of entering into those sinful Oaths, that the Laws of England required, and of accepting the Government under such unlawful Limitations, as that Prelatical Parliament thought fit to impose: And also to exonerate their Consciences in the Sight of the World, and render him the more inexcusable, if he should notwithstanding, undertake the Administration of public Affairs, on that sinful Footing.
This Design however plausible it did then appear, to some of us, not only was of no real Advantage to the Cause, by Reason of several Mismanagements; but also in its very Nature and Tendency afforded Ground of stumbling, to such as came to the Knowledge of it, while they judged thereby, That we had relinquished the former Faithful Testimony we held: And we cannot mention this without Regret, that we should any Way have given Umbrage, and Occasion to the World, to entertain such Thoughts of us, at a Time when a general Defection, and profound Satisfaction therein, called for more than ordinary Zeal, Faithfulness, and explicit Boldness, at the Hands of Truth's professed Witnesses. And finally, which is the principal Reason of Mentioning it on this Occasion, This Representation of Grievances having been rashly hurried on, without that common Consent, which in such weighty and momentous Cases, hath always been judged necessary amongst the Societies of the faithful Remnant, it proved such a Bone of Contention amongst ourselves, that the beautiful Season of a Testimony was almost utterly lost, before we could attain to that Harmony, Unanimity and mutual Confidence, that seemed necessary to such a Declaration.
At last being pressed in Mind, with a Sense of our Deficiency in such a necessary called for Duty, the Omission, or Delay whereof we looked upon, to be prejudicial to the Glory of GOD, the Peace of our own Consciences, Warning of others, and Information of Posterity, we resolved to publish this our Testimony to the World, as a Witness of our Adherence unto former Principles, Covenanted and sworn unto, which Publication, tho' it was not in that Martial Posture, at a public Market Cross, as had been suitable in the proper Season of the Duty, and was the usual Form of making such Testimonies public to the World; yet was it done in such a public Manner, as was then judged sufficient to make it publicly known, being audibly read in Presence of a very numerous Congregation; after Sermons upon a Day of solemn Humiliation, not far from Douglas, nigh the Place where the Covenant had been renewed by us, six Years before; that at the same Time we might both bewail our Failures in, and Breaches of those our solemn Engagements, and testify our unfeigned Resolution, to abide more steadfast and Faithful in our Testimony for the Future.
It may possibly be that some ill-disposed Malicious Persons will calumniate that the appearing hereof in Print at this Time of threatened Invasion by a Popish Pretender [i.e., James Francis Edward Stuart], and his Complices, is with a Design to blacken the Government of a Protestant King, and make Way for favourable Thoughts of a Papist amongst the People: But as there was no Appearance of any such Invasion, but a most profound Security, when this was published; so we are persuaded, That if our Explicit Declaring against the Popish Pretender, contained in this ensuing Print, be duly weighed, then Malice itself shall find no Colour for this Calumny: And we judged it so much the more necessary, to have this in Print at this Time, that not only we might make all Jacobites sensible, how much we abhor their Bloody and Barbarous Methods, of bringing in Foreigners into their Native Country, to root out any Face of Protestantism, that remains in the Land, and murder the Innocent in Favours of that Idol of their's: But also, that all such as Adhere to, and support a Prelatic King and Parliament may be sensible, That it is their manifest Breach of Covenant, and Defection from our Ancient Laudable Constitutions in Church and State, that is the Hinderance, why we dare not join ourselves into any Corporations with them, in Cities and Armies, for mutual Defence of our Religion, Lives, and Liberties against Bloody Papists and Prelatists; which is no small Affliction to us, whose Conscience bear us Witness, that we would be as cheerfully ready, as any Men in the Nation, to adventure our Lives and Fortunes, in so just and necessary a Cause, and to cast in our Mite with others, who profess a Love for the true Reformed Protestant Religion, if they would but be persuaded to return to their Covenanted Duty, confess their Sin and Backslidings, and state the Cause and Quarrel aright against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, Superstition, Heresy, and whatsoever is contrary to sound Doctrine, and the Power of Godliness, as our worthy Progenitors stated it, and were triumphant and successful, so long as they abode steadfast in GOD's Covenant. That the following Testimony, which speaks forth nothing but the Words of Truth and Soberness, may have this blessed Effect upon all the Fearers of GOD within the Land, to awaken and incline them to this Duty, is and shall be our hearty Prayer; Or, if nothing, that such a poor despised and insignificant Handful can say, may have such a blessed and desirable Effect, We earnestly beg, That the LORD himself would, by the Voice of his threatened Rod, open the Ears of many, and incline their Hearts to this Duty; that so no Flesh may glory in his Sight, as Instruments thereof, but that the LORD alone may be exalted in Judgment, while he purges and reforms his Land by the Spirit of Judgment, and by the Spirit of Burning, Restoring unto us Judges as at the first, and Counsellors as at the Beginning: That our Zion may again be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City, and that the Work of Righteousness may be Peace, and the Effect of Righteousness, Quietness, and Assurance forever.
The DECLARATION, TESTIMONY and PROTESTATION of the Witnessing Remnant of the Anti-Popish, Anti-Lutheran, Anti-Prelatic, Anti-Erastian, Anti-Sectarian, True Presbyterian Church of CHRIST in Scotland, united together in a General Correspondence.
Published at Auchensaugh—nigh Douglass 1718.
WE, being look'd upon as a small and despised Remnant of the true, Reformed, Covenanted, Presbyterian Church of CHRIST in Scotland, lying under many Ties and Obligations to adhere to the Cause of our lovely LORD & Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from Death, and purchase us a peculiar People to himself, zealous of good Works; being desirous in some Measure, tho' weakly, to adhere to him and maintain his Cause and Interest, as the same has been transmitted down to us, by our worthy and zealous Ancestors, who entered into Covenant for themselves, and us their Posterity, to walk in his Ways, keep his Statutes and Judgments, cleave to his Ordinances, maintain the Purity of the true Religion, in this, and the neighbouring Kingdoms, in all its essential Parts of Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government, and transmit it down uncorrupt to latest Posterity; Do, for several Reasons, look upon ourselves as bound, at this Juncture, to publish to the World a Testimony of our Adherence thereunto, and sincere Dislike and Abhorrence of the present Courses of public Defection, which tend to overturn the same: And, if in his holy and wise Providence, we shall be called thereunto, to assert and defend this our Testimony, with the Hazard of whatsoever is dear to us, even of Life itself.
We are sensible, That this will be look'd upon, by a great Deal of People, as a Thing both unnecessary and unreasonable, as our former just Endeavours of like Nature have been; but 'tis not so much the Approbation of Men, as the Command and Warrant of GOD, the Testimony of a good Conscience, and a solid Peace in the Day of the LORD Jesus, that we have been in some Measure of Sincerity, tho' with much Weakness, labouring to be found in the Exercise of our Duty, that must influence us in this Matter.
It has been by this Way, of public Protestation and Testimony against National Corruptions and Defections, that the LORD has helped his Followers, Servants, and Witnesses in Scotland, to approve themselves to him, in the Maintaining his Cause and Interest, When other more humble and submissive Ways of proceeding proved ineffectual, or were by unjust Laws become inaccessible, or improper and impracticable. Neither do we see any other Means for us, considering our mean Circumstances as to the Outward, to bear our Testimony to the Cause and Interest of our LORD and Master, whose Prerogative is this Day invaded, and his Cause despised, and trampled upon by Men, but this of public Protestation against those, who do so, and Declaration of our Adherence thereto, in Opposition unto them; And this we judge the most cleanly, safe, and honourable Footing, to state our Sufferings for him upon, in Case of our being in his holy Wisdom called thereto, and dignified therewith.
It is true, we have formerly declared against the Accession of Persons of unsound and heterodox Principles, to bear Charge over the LORD's Covenanted People, in and about, and since the late Revolution, by our Protestations publicly emitted at the Cross of Sanquhar, and more lately by our solemn Renovation of the Covenants at Douglas, July 24th. 1712. To all which we still adhere: Wherein we did expressly mention, as a Cause of Humiliation, and public Step of Defection, the Settlement of the Succession upon a Family of the Lutheran Persuasion, and that upon such Terms, and under such Limitations, as oblige them to be of the Communion of the Church of England, as at present by Law established.
But yet, we think, The Obligation we are under, to assert the Cause and Quarrel of the Covenanted Interest reaches further, and makes it necessary; now after Hanover's actual Accession, to repeat and renew our Testimony; that all may perceive we are still the same, and that our Thoughts are not altered, concerning our Duty of testifying against such as unjustly invade, and overturn the fundamental Constitutions of our Church and Nation.
Therefore we do in the First Place, PROTEST, DECLARE, and ENTER our Testimony against the Estates of Parliament & Representatives of the Nation, Viz. Noblemen, Barons, and Borrows, their so grossly betraying that Trust committed to them by Divine Providence, by Virtue of their Birth, Place, and Station to be the Guardians and Defenders of the true Reformed Religion, and Liberty, Peace, and Welfare of these Kingdoms; which they have been so far from doing, that on the contrary, they have under the Notion of Laws and Parliamentary Statutes enacted many Things having a direct Tendency against the true Reformed Religion, which they are bound by the Covenants of their Ancestors to maintain; against the Sovereignty, Liberty, and Honour of their Native Country; against the Privileges and Property of their fellow Subjects; and in short, against every Thing, that is valuable in the Eyes of Men and Christians, as cannot be doubted of by any, who seriously reflects upon the late woeful Treaty of incorporating Union with England, wherein, besides the many other unhappy Effects thereof, we already feel, and do further justly fear, the Succession to our Crown and Regal Government was placed upon the Lutheran Family of Hanover: Which Choice is clearly contrary to our Covenants, and our many ancient fundamental Laws and Acts of Parliament, enjoining (in a plain Conformity with the holy Scriptures) that such only shall be chosen, to be entrusted in that high Dignity and Authority, as being educate in the sound Orthodox Principles of the Christian Religion, as reformed from Popery, and opposed to all Sects and Heresies, had signalized themselves for their Integrity, Zeal, and Affection to the Cause of GOD, and blameless Christian Conversation, fearing GOD, hating Covetousness, and dealing truly, against whom there could be no just Exception, or Cause of Jealousy; And, which is worse, besides their consenting to the Choice England had made of a Person, by our Law incapable, by Reason of his Education in the Lutheran Persuasion, as at present professed and maintained, have moreover consented to the English Regulations and Limitations of Government, which, morally speaking, cuts off all Hope from us for the Future, of obtaining our Sovereigns to be of the same true Religion with our selves, which the Preamble to our Coronation Oath ratified by many subsequent Acts of Parliaments, expressly declares to be necessary, for the Increase and Preservation of Piety and true Religion. How sad is it! after we have had so much woeful Experience of the Hurt, done to the Work of GOD by Charles first, and second; proceeding from their malignant Disaffection to the Cause of CHRIST, and their Affection to Prelacy, that our Reformed Covenanted Nation, should not only have at the Revolution, accepted the Prince of Orange to be King, while he joined with and sware to support Prelacy, and after him Princess Anne of Denmark, treading the same Steps; but that now they should have explicitly, and formally consented to the English Limitations, obliging them forever so to continue; And that not only Members of Parliament in ratifying the Treaty of Union; but likewise the Generality of these, who are in any public Office, in Church and State, by swearing and subscribing the English Oath of Abjuration, wherein these Limitations are evidently contained: If this be not a visible abandoning our Covenanted Interest, and a plain corroborating of Prelacy, and its appendant Ceremonies, we know not what can be called so.
Upon the Account of which, and other the like Betrayings of their Trust, we do judge the Persons chiefly active in these Courses, have by the Laws of GOD, and this Realm, Forfeited all just Right, to enact Laws, binding upon us, or any of the true Subjects of this Kingdom; And protest, That we Resolve through Grace, not to conform with any of these their sinful Acts, or Ordinances, they have enacted, or may further enact and issue forth.
Next, we judge it our Duty, to renew our Testimony against the Unfaithfulness of the Bulk of Body of the Ministers of this Church, as for their many former unworthy, and unbecoming Compliances with, and Yieldings to, the Enemies of our LORD's Work, Crown, and Dignity, (some whereof we have testify'd against in our former Declarations, and bewailed in our late Public Acknowledgement of Sins;) so particularly for the Hand they have had in the Choice, Admission, Proclamation, and Coronation of the Elector of Brunswick, to be King over these Nations; Many of them (we doubt not) did Counsel and Advise the Nobles, and others in Power and Authority to comply with England, in making Choice of him; without warning them of their Duty, that they ought to make Choice of such an one, as the Law of GOD, and Constitution of this Reformed Covenanted Nation doth require, namely a true Presbyterian: Others were silent, and if they did not actively advise them to this Choice, did at least consent by Connivance, not declaring plainly to Persons concerned, how dangerous a Thing it is to entrust the most valuable Concerns of Religion, to such as were by Education, and would be by Obligation and Practice, engaged in a contrary Course. The specious Pretence that's offered to palliate this Neglect of so indispensible a Duty, and doing quite opposite, will not bear out the Ministers of this Church guiltless. They say, it was the only Course, which in any tolerable Probability, could be subservient to prevent the Inundation of Popery and Arbitrary Government, with a Popish Pretender [i.e., James Francis Edward Stuart]: And accordingly they glory, and rejoice in the success thereof, as a Design visibly owned of GOD, with such a happy Event, and a Mercy not of the ordinary Rank. And we do indeed own, That such a View, might influence many of them to that Politick, and that in so far their Design was very good, had they not taken unlawful Means of accomplishing it; and advanced Prelacy to bear down Popery. We do likewise, with all Gratitude, acknowledge the good Hand of our gracious and merciful GOD, in breaking hitherto the Attempts and Designs of a Popish and Malignant Faction at Home and Abroad, who were, and are gaping for the utter Overthrow of our holy Religion, and thirsting for our Blood, and not ours only, but that of all true Protestants through Europe: And if we be not suitably affected with this Mercy, that the LORD has frustrate the Advancement of a Popish Pretender, to tyrannize over these Kingdoms, We own we may justly be reputed the most Unthankful Wretches imaginable. But yet we dare not ascribe this Deliverance, or rather Suspension of deserved Judgments, to the Policy and Prudence of Man, or think that such a sinful Combination with Prelatists, and other Enemies of the Truth, is the procuring Cause thereof: For however the LORD in sovereign Wisdom, who many Times makes the Sins of Men subservient to his good and holy Ends, may order it so for the Good of his People; yet he gives no Dispensation to his, to do evil that good may come of it: For Prelacy has a real Tendency to introduce Popery, and is engaged against in the Covenant equally with Popery; and so a Joining therewith, and doing what has a proper and direct Influence to corroborate and perpetuate it, must needs be sinful, and provoking in the Sight of the LORD.
And as Ministers are (alas!) too chargeable with the Choice itself, so with the Contributing to the Means of its being carried on and established, which, (if not worse) were at least no better than the Choice itself; We mean the late sinful and hurtful Union with England, for in this is founded Hanover's Title to the Crown of Scotland: This was the Plan laid by the Court, for establishing and securing the Succession, in the Family of Hanover; And what a Part Ministers acted therein, partly by actual Consent and Advice, partly by Silence, or a faint Opposition, is abundantly known, and has been witnessed against; tho' we blame not those who shewed themselves heartily against it to their utmost Power, save only for their joining with others, after they knew their Treachery in that Matter.
In this also Ministers are justly chargeable, That in Prosecution of this Plan for maintaining the Succession in the Family of Hanover, and to exclude the Saint Germans Pretender, they did not use that Freedom and Plainness that became them, when Persons in Civil Trust, were laid obnoxious to that Snare of the English Oath of Abjuration, nor warned them of the dangerous Clauses therein contained; And all because it was calculate for the Support of the foresaid Succession: Yea, many of them, to discover their Firmness thereto, did swear and subscribe the said Oath, tho' evidently against their own acknowledged Principles, as involving therein a Security to the Church of England, as firm as Laws and Oaths can make it; which they did, notwithstanding of the plain Prospect of the sad Consequences it was like to produce, both among themselves and their Hearers. Had that Oath been only a swearing against a Papist as such, or to support a Succession in a Person, or Family rightly qualified, it had been very agreeable to our Covenants; But being loaded with such shocking Clauses, as the Reference to the English Settlement lays on it, it directly ruins the Interest of CHRIST, and supports that of a false Superstitious Worship, and Lordly Government, hateful to him.
Nor is this all they have done, to express their firm and steady Adherence to that Succession, but they have all along, since its Settlement, twisted that Interest into their most solemn Devotions, both of Prayer and Thanksgiving; and that even in Conformity to the express Act of Parliament enjoining it, under considerable Penalties, in Case they should neglect it, and to shew their Cheerfulness herein, have enacted the same in their Assemblies: and have made it their Business, both in Preaching and Conversation, to persuade the People, that the supporting of the Succession was the only Mean, for preserving the true Religion in Britain, thereby leading the People into the same Guilt of concurring with Prelacy and strengthening it. This also was the Design and Tendency of that Paper of the Commission of their General Assembly, entitled, A seasonable Warning of the Danger of Popery, &c. All to support the Interest of Hanover among the People: Whereas it was their Duty to have warned the People, not only of the Danger of Popery, in the Advancement of the Pretender [i.e., James Francis Edward Stuart], but also of Prelacy and other Errors, in the Advancement of the Hanover. In the Time when GOD blessed this Land with Faithful Watchmen, our Assemblies and Commissions warned the Nation, as well of the Dangers like to flow from Prelacy, as from Popery; But such is not the present Practice. The Regard that Ministers had to promote Hanover's Interest, made them silent as to the Danger of Prelacy, because they knew he behoved to be of that Communion, if ever he should come to reign in Britain.
Further Instances hereof did appear, from their excessive Demonstrations of Joy at his Proclamation, and Coronation-Solemnities, putting on Bonfires, drinking Healths, and the like, and assisting and encouraging the People thereto, The Commission likewise, to express their Loyalty, Complementing him with their flattering Addresses, and Congratulatory Speeches, wherein never one Word of the heavy Grievances of the Church of CHRIST, nor of the Hurt and Hazard, that would arise thereunto from his Countenancing, Encouraging, and Supporting Prelacy, and other Heresies; And tho' the Assembly has of late drawn up a Memorial of some few Grievances to be laid before him, yet how exceedingly faint and lame is it, as to the most Material Grievances, which ought to have been represented. Their keeping a Day of public and solemn Thanksgiving for his peaceable Accession to the Throne, and that in an Erastian Compliance with his Command, enjoining it by his sole Authority, thereby encouraging him to exercise the like Encroachments through the whole Course of his Reign.
Their admitting to the LORD's Table, and employing in Ecclesiastical Offices to sit, as Ruling Elders, in Assemblies and Commissions, such Noblemen, Gentlemen, and others as have taken the Sacramental Test, and do occasionally communicate with the Church of England; whereby they practically declare, That they look not upon that as any Scandal or Offence: As also their Complying with Patronage, that Popish Encroachment upon the Liberties of the Christian People, and that in many Places not only in a violent Manner, over the Bellies of the whole, or best affected Part of the People, but even in Opposition to the Contendings of several of their Brethren. And also as another sad Consequence of these above specified Evils, a great many Ministers and Elders have so far favoured the spreading of many pernicious Doctrinal Errors, taught by Mr. [John] Simson, a Public Professor of Divinity [in the University of Glasgow], that notwithstanding of his being libeled therefore, and his Tenets opposed by several more Zealous for Purity of Doctrine, yet he is suffered to teach, without any Promise of relinquishing these Errors. And how faint and ambiguous the pretended Condemnation of them was, is evident to everyone who reads that Act, wherein they are not so much as stigmatized with the Name of Errors.
From all which, and many other the like Instances of their Conduct, it evidently appears, they have contributed as much as any Set of Men in the Nation, to the carrying on this present Course of Defection, and Apostasy from the sworn Principles of the Church of Scotland, to the Overthrow of our Ancient Glorious Fabric, of a lovely Civil and Ecclesiastic Constitution: For all which we do bear Testimony against them, and their Unfaithful Betrayings of the LORD's Cause and Concerns.
In the next Place (that none may think it is partiality or Hatred against the Persons of any, or against the Ordinances of Magistracy and Ministry, that influences us, to bear Witness against the Sins, and Backslidings of those, who this Day occupy these Places) We do also bear Testimony against the Bulk and Body of Professors in these Lands, and chiefly in this covenanted Kingdom, for their active Concurrence in these sinful Ways, whereby they have, to their Power, contributed to the Burying of the LORD's Work, and betraying his Interest, willingly walking after the Commandment of the great Ones, submitting to their Laws and Ordinances; tho' they cannot but see that these are plainly contrary to our Ancient Fundamental Constitutions, which are the People's great Charter for securing both Religion and Liberty; their implicit believing of their Teachers, and following of them in this Course of Defection, and sitting down in a profound Security, and rejoicing in a present outward Peace, as if all were made right by the Accession of this Man to the Government: Whereas not one of our Grievances is removed thereby, but rather more perpetuated and corroborated; So that instead of such Demonstrations of Joy, as were everywhere shown at his Accession, there was rather great Cause of Humiliation and Sorrow to see these Plagues continued and wreathed about our Necks, under which we seemed formerly to groan.
We cannot but be sorry, that our fellow Christians, bound in the Obligations of the same Covenant, should be so regardless and unmindful of these sacred Bonds, as wholly to neglect, forget, and forsake the Prosecution of the Ends thereof; and therefore, we do not only bear Witness against these their Backslidings, Faintings, Forsakings of their first Love, Compliances with Prelatists and Malignants, Concurring with, strengthening the Hands of, and helping the Ungodly and them that hate the LORD; But likewise in the Bowels of our common LORD and SAVIOUR, we beseech, Warn, Obtest, and entreat them of all Ranks, who have any Tenderness for GOD's Glory, Love to JESUS CHRIST, Concern for their own Souls, or Care for the Good of Posterity to bethink themselves of the Hazard and Danger they are in, while continuing in such a Course, and to return to the LORD by Repentance, and labour to revive in their Breasts that Zeal and Concern for the LORD's buried and broken down Work and Interest, that becomes Persons professing an Adherence to Scotland's covenanted Reformation, and to labour after such Rulers Supreme and Subordinate, to bear Charge over us, as the Word of GOD, and our laudable Laws do require.
In the last Place, We do for the Glory of GOD, Exoneration of our Consciences, and Preservation of Truth, and that we may transmit a Testimony to Posterity, Remonstrate and declare our Dislike of the Investiture of the Elector of Brunswick, with the Royal Dignity and Supreme Authority of these Realms; And that for many (as we conceive) valid and sufficient Grounds and Reasons; But for Brevity we shall reduce them to three principal Heads. First, His Personal Qualifications. Secondly, The Limitations under which he hath accepted the Crown of England. Thirdly, The Unjustice and Invalidity of his Claim and Pretensions to our Crown.
First, In Reference to his Personal Qualifications, they are such, as cannot consist with our Laws and Covenants, with the Safety of our Religion, Liberty, and Property. Our Laws made in our best and happiest Times of Reformation are express and clear, that we should, in any ways, set such over us, as are nourished up in the Doctrine which is according to Godliness, in the Orthodox Principles of the true Reformed Christian Religion, and such as are of Ability for Government, Fearers of GOD, Lovers of good Men, Encouragers of Virtue and Piety, and Discouragers of the Wicked and Ungodly, Punishers of Vice, Immorality, Heresy, and false Religions. Our Covenants both National and Solemn League, are clear to this Purpose (tho' basely distorted into a contrary meaning by Men of corrupt Minds.) The National contains the Coronation Oath, wherein for the Security, Advancement and Propagation of the true Religion, the Supreme Magistrate is bound, To serve the Eternal GOD, according to his most Holy Word, and according to the Confession of Faith, or National Covenant, to maintain the true Religion, as then truly professed, embraced, and established in this Realm, and to root out all Heresies contrary thereunto, and punish the Spreaders of the same. The Solemn League also is clear, in qualifying our Duty, of preserving and defending the Person and Government of the Supreme Magistrate, with the Condition of defending, maintaining, and preserving the true Religion; And that this Condition is to be extended, not only to their defending of it in some Part of their Dominions, but in the whole, and setting it up in their own Practice and Family, is clear from the Oath of Coronation tendered to, and taken by Charles 2d at Scoon, where he Promises and swears, for himself, and Successors, to conform his own Practice and Family to the true Reformed Religion exprest in the Covenant, as well as to maintain and defend it in his Dominions. And as these Laws and Covenants clearly prove, that such ought to be the Qualifications of our Sovereigns, so the Reason thereof is evident to every considering Person: What more reasonable, than that he, who has most Influence upon the Thriving and Security of the true Religion, be thereof himself? What more congruous, than that a People in Covenant with GOD, choose a King so too? What more just, than that he, to whose Care the valuable Concernments of Religion and Liberty are entrusted, be a cordial Friend thereunto? Now it cannot be denied, that the Elector of Brunswick is not such, he being by Education and public Profession of the Lutheran Persuasion, while in his own Principality, having given no Documents of his relinquishing thereof, and embracing Orthodox Sentiments; but on the contrary, upon his coming over, joining himself to the Church of England in her present corrupt Establishment: From whence it appears, that he is not only a Stranger to our Reformation, but one that has not a due Regard thereto, as to the true Religion instituted by CHRIST and his Apostles, and embraced, professed, practiced, and sworn unto in these Nations, but that he practiseth contrary thereunto: And tho' for State Reasons, he bears with any Thing that remains of the Form of Presbyterian Government in these Kingdoms, yet he gives no Instance of his Approbation thereof, in his Practice and Family, as our Kings ought to do. And besides his false Principles and corrupt Practice in Reference to Religion (which is the main Thing in his Personal Qualifications we insist upon, as the Ground of our Protest, not excluding any other Immoralities, that may be justly charged upon him) It is also Matter of Grievance, that being a Stranger to our Nation, he cannot be so acquainted with our Laws and Constitutions, upon which the Security of our Civil Liberty and Property depends, as is requisite in one, to whom so great and comprehensive a Trust and Office is committed. His being confederate with Popish Princes and States abroad, is another very material Consideration of his personal Circumstances, which incapacitates him for our Government: For seeing we, who are a Covenanted People, devoted to GOD to serve him, trust in him, and walk before him in a separate Course from all these, that give their Power to the Beast, and are joined with Antichrist, are bound not to make any League and Confederacy with the People of these Abominations, it is likewise unlawful for us to set one up over us, who is in League and Confederacy with them, lest that derive to us also Wrath from the LORD, if we hereby contribute to the Help of the Ungodly, and Support of the Kingdom of Satan; and this we cannot avoid, if joined to him in the strictest Relation of Subjects, while he by our Aid and Assistance, performs such Engagements to them as these Confederacies bring him under.
Secondly, The Limitations and Conditions, upon which he hath embraced the Crown and Imperial Dignity of England, are such as do incapacitate him for being our King: For (to omit the Hurt done to our Civil Affairs, by his being confined, as it were, among them, so as that he cannot administer Justice to, or rule us here in Person) his being engaged, to be of the Communion of that Church in his own Practice and Family, and his swearing To maintain to the Bishops, and Clergy thereof, all such Privileges, as by their (unjust) Law doth, or shall appertain to them: And thereby to encourage, countenance, defend and maintain that abjured Hierarchy, and uninstituted Ceremonies, is just Ground for us, to call in Question the Lawfulness of his Investiture, seeing we are bound by the Oath of GOD (the Justice whereof we do not, nor dare we question) to do our utmost Endeavour to extirpate Prelacy and Superstition, and that without Respect of Persons (Kings not excepted) we think our owning him as our King, and carrying towards him as such, while he is declaredly complying with, and upholding both these, together with many other Heresies and Errors, is a Thing altogether irreconcilable with such an Endeavour as is there solemnly covenanted; and therefore without Breach of Covenant, we cannot acknowledge him for our rightful and lawful Sovereign.
Thirdly, The Injustice and Invalidity of any Pretensions he hath to the Crown and Imperial Dignity of Scotland, is another main Cause of our disowning him from being our King. It is well known, That his only Elective Right he can claim to the Government of Scotland, is founded in the late Incorporating Union with England, the Sinfulness and Mischiefs whereof we have largely discovered and protested against in our last Declaration, published at Sanquhar, October 2d. 1707, to which we refer. And seeing that Union was such an illegal and unjust Overthrowing all our National and sacred Privileges, we can never admit of any of the Parts, Articles, or Clauses thereof, as just and legal, far less of that Act of Settlement, devolving the Crown upon the Family of Hanover, which was not only a chief Part: but, for what we can understand, the principal procuring Cause, that moved the Actors, to consent to the Treaty. And as the Choice, tho' it were of the whole People, can never make a just Title to the Government, if it be of a Person not qualified, according to the good and just Laws of the Kingdom; So, far less, is that a just Claim, which did not arise from the Consent of the People, but was done by a few Persons, who by counteracting their Trust and Commission, had no Right to represent the People in Parliament. And seeing his only Right flows from that Union, we judge, That should we upon that Footing own him, for our Lawful King, we should interpretatively and consequently approve the Treaty itself, which, through Grace, we resolve not to do.
It is also a very material and weighty Ground of Objection, That we have not that ancient Security for Religion and Liberty, that our Laws did provide for us, at the Coronation of our Sovereigns, namely, their Declaring and assuring, by solemn Oath, at the Reception of their Princely Authority, that they shall serve the Eternal GOD according to his most holy Word, maintain the true Religion, as professed in this Realm, and the due and right Administration of the Sacraments, and root out all Heretics, and Heresies that shall be convict by the true Kirk of GOD, according to the Tenor of our excellent Coronation Oath; and that they shall testify their Approbation of the National Covenant, and Solemn League and Covenant, and whole Work of Reformation, and Uniformity in the three Kingdoms, and maintain the same in their Practice and Family, and defend it in their Dominions; According to the Coronation Oath administered to Charles 2d, Instead of all which Ties and Obligations, so excellently contrived for the Defense of our Religion, & so necessary for its Security, all that he has done, or has been required of him, is, Inviolably to maintain and preserve the Settlement of the Church of Scotland, as established by the Claim of Right and Treaty of Union; which, how far it falls short of our former Coronation Oaths, may easily appear to every unbiased Person.
Besides these principal Reasons already assigned, we might add the Consideration of his corrupt Counsellors and Ministers of State, with whom he is surrounded and served, who, being Malignants and Enemies to our Reformation, ought to be employed in no public Trust, Place, or Office. His early invading our LORD's Crown & Prerogative, and by the evil Counsels of these wicked Counsellors, arrogating, conform to the Laws of England, the Title of Head of the Church; and imposing by his sole Authority a Day of Public Thanksgiving, which in a constitute Church, was proper only to Church Officers to have done; and in all his Managements, tracing the Steps of these that went before him, against whom we have justly protested and testified. Upon all which Causes, we declare as we cannot in a Consistency with Faithfulness to GOD, in his Covenanted Interest, own and acknowledge him, the said Elector of Brunswick, for our Lawful King; So we protest against his demanding of us any Tests of Loyalty or Obedience, as of his rightful Subjects; and resolve, through the LORD's Assistance, not to strengthen his Hands, by associating with such, either Popish, Prelatic, or Malignant, with whom he may be embarked, or any of these Persuasions whatsoever, whether for him or against him, nor yet by Paying him such Taxations, Subsidies, and Supplies, as are imposed upon the Nation for that Effect.
And to prevent a Necessity of further protesting against his Son, in Case of his succeeding on the like Footing, We do upon the same Account, and for the same Causes, protest against the Succession of any others after him, in the Way and Manner that he has come to the Crown, viz. Under the like Incapacities and Limitations, and having the like Claim thereto, whether they be of his Posterity, or any other Branch of the Royal Family near or remote: and more especially against all such as are of Popish Education or Profession; particularly, the present Popish Pretender[i.e., James Francis Edward Stuart], and all others of that Stamp; so that none have Reason to say, when they consider the Grounds of this our Declaration, That it is from any Affection to him, or to gratify any of his Faction that we have protested against the Elector of Brunswick; but entirely from Conscience of Duty, with a Design of testifying our Adherence to our Covenanted Reformation, which is proportionally opposite to both Popery and Prelacy. Yea, it is not amongst the smallest of our Grounds, at this Time, that we appear in this Manner, to vindicate ourselves from the Calumnies and Reproaches cast upon us, of our being for a Popish Pretender; which Calumnies are fomented and industriously spread by several Ministers and their Complices, which we can conceive, for no other End, than that their Wickedness may not be discovered, and their Treachery made manifest, in this declining Age, and that we may be reputed such Abandoners of Principles with themselves, as might deservedly bring us under the Punishment of the Law both of GOD and Man.
To conclude, Seeing it is such a King, and such inferior Magistrates, Judges and Officers, to rule over us, as are described in GOD's Word, and prescribed by our ancient laudable Laws, who would by their Example, Practice, and Authority, advance, maintain, and defend the true Reformed Protestant Doctrine and Presbyterian Church Government, Worship, and Discipline, and suppress all contrary Errors and Heresies, that we are longing for, and cheerfully ready to perform all the Duties of Lawful Obedience unto; none has Cause, from this our Protest, to brand us with Faction, Sedition, or Rebellion, or to reckon us a People of ungovernable Principles, and Capricious, wild Dispositions; Our Testimony having no such Design or Tendency; but only in the Words of Truth and Soberness, to give an Account of the true Causes of our Declining the present Government and Governours, as now stated, in Opposition to the Thriving and Prosperity of our once glorious Covenanted Reformation.
Let KING JESUS reign, and let all his Enemies be scattered.