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in favour of our Solemn Covenants, at that time, was reserved for Mr John Hepburn, miniter at Orr. It is not pretended that every step of management taken by him, and fuch as joined with hiin, was unexceptionable; but it is certain, that his labours, by the blessing of God, fowed the seeds of sound principles among many, so far as they extended; and multitudes, as far as we can judge, of gracious persons, yea lively Christians, formed the focieties which he superintended. As many ministers and people were disfatisfied with many

things in the constitution of the Revolution · Church; so the judicatories added new grounds

of offence in the steps of administration. These are enumerated in the Judicial Act and Testimony, and the Acknowledgment of Sins prefixed to the bond which is now in use among covenanters.

Prior to the year 1732, various testimonies had been given, by protest and otherways, against these steps of mal-administration : But, after that period, the lighelt ecclesiastic auihority was in terposed to put a period unto thein. Upon this, Mr Ebenezer Erskine, in a fermon delivered before the Synod of Perth, turned the edge of his doctrine against the growing evil. This was highly resented by the courts.

He maintained what he was perfuaded to be the cause of Truth, with undaunted courage. Three other ministers took

part

part with him in framing various papers respecting the grievances of the Church and her members, one of which bore the delignation of a TESTIMONY. In the year 1737, the ministers who befriended a Covenanted Reformation, and maintained a testimony for it in connection with Mr Erskine, having previously constituted themselves into a Preibytery, entered more minutely into a consideration of the national apostacy from a Covenanted Reformation : They recount the most capital steps of it, and condemn them: They avow their attachment unto every former attainment; and their resolution to prosecute the ends of their testimony in connection with every one who thould choose to join them. This testimony was received with avidity by many. It was peculiarly tormenting to the leaders of the National Church: They drew the ecclesiastic sword against its authors : They did not spare their treasures in hiring a servile writer to confute it. These things contributed their part to increase its number and respect. The blessing of God succeeded the labours of his servants; and their number was increased both by ordinations and new accessions froni the Establishi meut. The ministers and people were unanimous in the advancement of a Covenanted Reformation. As errors were still upon

the increase in the land, they proceeded to publislı an Act, entitled THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE, for their more explicit condemnation: And,con

fidering fidering the calls of both Word and Providenice; they proceeded to frame an Acknowledgment of Sins, consisting of an enumeration of those things which were a violation of former covenant engagements; and, at the fame time, made out a bond, the tenor of which follows:

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“ WE, ALL AND EVERY ONE OF US, though fenfible of the deceitfulness and unbelief of our own hearts, and however frequently perplexed with doubts and fears anent our actual believing, yet defiring to eslay, in the Lord's STRENGTII, and in obedience to his command, to glorify God, by believing his word of grace, contained in his covenant of promise, to devote ourselves unto the Lord in a covenant' of duty ; We do, with our hands lifted up to the MOST HIGH GOD, hereby profefs, and, before God, angels, and men, folemnly declare, That, through the grace of God, and according to the measure of his grace given unto us, we do, with our whole hearts, take hold of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, as the only propitiation for our fins; his RIGHTEOUSNESS, as the only foundation of our access to, and acceptance with God; his CoveNANT of free and rich promises, as our only charter for the heavenly inheritance; his Word, for our perfect and only rule of faith and practice; his SPIRIT, for our alone guide, to lead us into all truth revealed in his holy Word, unto which nothing, at any time, is to

be

.

be added, wheiler liy new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. We avouch the LORD to be our COD; and, in the strength of his promised grace, we

PROMİSE and SWEAR, by the GREAT NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD, That we shall walk in his way, keep his judgments and commandments, and hearken to his voice: And, particularly, that we shall, by the Lord's grace, continue and abide in the profeflion, faith, and obedience of the forefaid true Reformed religion, in doctrine, worship, Prelbyterial Church-government and discipline; and that we thalt, according to our several stations, places, and callings, contend and testify against all contrary evils, errors, and corruptions, particularly, Popery, Prelacy, Deilm, Arianism, Arminianism, and every error subversive to the Doctrine of Grace; as allo; Independency, Latitudinarian tenets, and the other evils named in the above confeflion of fins.

In like manner, WE PROMISE AND SWEAR, That, by all means, which are lawful and warrantable for us, according to the Word of God, the approven and received standards of this Church, and our known principles, we fall, in our several ftations and callings, endeavour the Reformation of religion in England and Ireland, in doctrine, worlip, discipline, and government, according to the Word of God; and to promote and advance our covenanted conjunction and uniformity in religion, confefPPPP

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sion of faith and catechisms, form of Church government, and directory for worship, as these were received by this Church.

AND, in regard we are taught by the Word of God, and bound by our covenants, National and Solemn League, to live together in the fear of God, and in love one to another, and to encourage one another in the work and cause of the Lord; and that, denying all ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live foberly, righteously, and godly in this present world: Therefore, in a dependence on the Lord's grace and strength, we, in the same manner, do PROMISE AND SWEAR, That we Thiall, in our several places and callings, encourage and strengthen one another's hands, in pursuing our end and delign of this our solemn oath and covenant; and that we shall endeavour a life and conversation becoming the Gospel of Christ: And that, in our personal callings and particular families, we shall study to be good examples to one another of godliness and righteousness, and of every doty that we owe to God and man; and that we Mall not give up ourselves to a detestable indifference and neutrality in the cause of God; but, denying ourselves, and our own things, we Mull, above all things, seek the honour of God, and the good of his cause and people ; and that, through grace, forlaking the counsels of Hen and blood, and not leaning upon confidences, we shall endeavour to depend up

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