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The ACT of the Commiffion of the General Assembly, for renewing the Solemn
Edinburgh, October 6. 1648.
HE commiffion of the General Affembly confidering, that a great part of this land have involved themselves in many and grofs breaches of the Solemn League and Covenant; and that the hands of many are grown flack in following and pursuing the duties contained therein; and that many, who not being come to fufficient age when it was first sworn and subscribed, have not hitherto been received into the fame; Do, upon these, and other grave and important confiderations, appoint and ordain the Soleinn League and Covenant to be renewed throughout all the congregations of this kingdom. And, because it is a duty of great weight and confequence, minifters, after the fight hereof, would be careful to take pains, in their doctrine and otherwife, that their people may be made fenfible of these things wherein they have broken the Covenant, and be prepared for the renewing thereof with fuitable affections and difpofitions: And, that these things may be the better performed, we have thought it neceffary to condefcend upon a folemn acknowledgment of public fins and breaches of the covenant, and a folemn engagement to all the duties contained therein, namely, those which do in a more special way relate unto the dangers of thefe times: And this folemn acknowledgment and engagement, fent herewith, fhall be made use of, and the League and Covenant fhall be renewed in fuch manner as follows: Firft, There fhall be an intimation of a folemn public humiliation and fast the second Sabbath of December, to be kept upon the next Thursday, and the Lord's day thereafter; at which intimation, the League and Covenant, and the public acknow ledgement of Sins, and engagement unto duties, are to be publicly read by the minister, in the audience of all the people; and they are to be exhorted to get copies thereof, that they may be made acquainted therewith; and the humiliation and faft is to be kept the next Thurf day thereafter, in reference to the breaches of the Covenant, contained in the folemn public acknowledgment, as the caufes thereof; and the next Lord's day thereafter, which is alfo to be spent in public humiliation and fasting, immediately after the fermon, which is to be applied to the bufinefs of that day, the public acknowledgments and engagement is again to be publicly read; and thereafter prayer is to be made, containing the confeffion of the breaches mentioned therein, and begging mercy for thefe fins, and ftrength of God for renewing the Covenant in fincerity and truth; after which prayer the Solemn League and Covenant is to be read by the minister, and then to be fworn by him and all the people, who are to engage felves for performance of all the duties contained therein; namely, thefe which are mentioned in the public acknowledgment and engagement, and are oppofite unto the funs therein confefled: And the
action is to be clofed with prayer to God, that his people may be enabled in the power of his ftrength, to do their duty, according to their oath, now renewed in fo folemn a way. It is alfo hereby provided, That all those who renew the League and Covenant, fhall again fubscribe the fame; and that none be admitted to the renewing or fubfcribing thereof, who are excluded by the other act and direction fent herewith.
The ACT of the Committee of Eftates of Parliament, for renewing the Solemn League and Covenant.
Edinburgh, October 14. 1648.
HE Committee of Eftates, being very fenfible of the grievous lemn League and Covenant, made and fworn to the most high God; do therefore unanimously and heartily approve the seasonable and pious refolution of the commiffion of the General Assembly, for a folemn acknowledgement of public fins and provocations, especially the breaches of the Covenant, and a folemn engagement to a more confcionable performance of the duties therein contained, and for renewing the Solemn League and Covenant; and do require and ordain, That the directions of the faid commiffion of Affembly, in their act of the 6th of this month, for a public acknowledgement of fins, and engagement to duties, be carefully followed; that the faft and humiliation, appointed by them, be religiously observed; and that the Solemn League and Covenant be fincerely and cordially renewed and fubfcribed, in the manner they have prescribed in their faid act. Extractum,
Mr THO. HENDERSON.
Solemn ACKNOWLEDGMENT of PUBLIC SINS, and Breaches of the COVENANT;
Solemn ENGAGEMENT to all the DUTIES contained therein, namely thofe which do in a more fpecial Way relate unto the DANGERS of these Times.
WE Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgeffes, Minifters of the Gofpel, and Commons of all forts within this kingdom, by the good hand of God upon us, taking into ferious confideration the many fad afflictions and deep diftrefies wherewith we have been exercised for a long time paft, and that the land, after it hath been fore wafted with the fword and the peftilence, and threatened with famine; and that fhame and contempt hath been poured out from the Lord againft many thousands of our nation, who did in a finful way make war upon the kingdom of England, contrary to the teftimony of his fervants, and defires of his people; and that the remnants of that army, returning to this land, have fpoiled and oppreffed many of our brethren; and that the malignant party is still nu merous, and, retaining their former principles, wait for an opportunity to raise a new and dangerous war, not only unto the rending of the bowels of this kingdom, but unto the dividing us from England, and overturning of the work of God in all the three kingdoms: And confidering alfo, that a cloud of calamities doth ftill hang over our heads, and threaten us with fad things to come, we cannot but look upon thefe things as from the Lord, who is righteous in all his ways, feeding us with the bread of tears, and making us to drink the waters of afflictions, until we be taught to know how evil and bitter a thing it is to depart away from him, by breaking the Oath and Covenant which we have made with him; and that we may be humbled before him, by confeffing our fin, and forfaking the evil of our
Therefore being preffed with fo great neceffities and ftraits, and warranted by the word of God, and having the example of God's people of old, who, in the time of their troubles, and when they
were to feek delivery, and a right way for themfelves, that the Lord might be with them to profper them, did humble themselves before him, and make a free and particular confeffion of the fins of their Princes, their rulers, their captains, their priests, and their people; and did engage themselves to do no more fo, but to reform their ways, and be ftedfast in this covenant: And remembering the practice of our predeceffors in the year 1596, wherein the General Aflembly, and all the kirk-judicatories, with the concurrence of many of the nobility, gentry, and burgefles, did, with many tears, acknowledge before God the breach of the National Covenant, and engaged themselves to a reformation; even as our predeceffors and theirs had before done, in the General Affembly and Convention of Estates, in the year 1567: And perceiving that this duty, when gone about out of confcience and in fincerity, hath always been attended with a reviving out of troubles, and with a bleffing and fuccefs from Heaven; We do humbly and fincerely, as in his fight, who is the Searcher of hearts, acknowledge the many fins and great tranfgreffions of the land: We have done wickedly, our Kings, our Princes, our Nobles, our Judges, our Officers, our Teachers, and our People. Albeit the Lord hath long and clearly spoken unto us, we have not hearkened to his voice; albeit he hath followed us with tender mercies, we have not been allured to wait upon him, and walk in his way; and though he hath ftricken us, yet we have not grieved; nay, though he hath confumed us, we have refufed to receive correction: We have not remembered to render unto the Lord according to his goodnefs, and according to our own vows and promises, but have gone away backward by a continued courfe of backfliding, and have broken all the articles of that Solemn League and Covenant, which we fwore before God, Angels and Men.
Albeit there be in the land many of all ranks, who be for a teftimony unto the truth, and for a name of joy and praise unto the Lord, by living godly, ftudying to keep their garments pure, and being ftedfaft in the covenant and cause of God; yet we have reason to acknowledge, that most of us have not endeavoured, with that reality, fincerity, and constancy that did become us, to preserve the work of réformation in the kirk of Scotland: Many have fatisfied themselves with the purity of the ordinances, neglecting the power thereof; yea, fome have turned afide to crooked ways, deftructive to both. The profane, loofe, and infolent carriage of many in our armies, who went to the affiftance of our brethren in England, and the tamperings and unftraight dealing of fome of our Commiffioners, and others of our nation, in London, the ifle of Wight, and other places of that kingdom, have proved great lets to the work of reformation and fettling of kirk-government there, whereby error and fchifm in that land have been encreafed, and fectaries hardened in their way. We have been fo far from endeavouring the extirpation of profanenefs, and what is contrary to the power of godliness, that profanity hath been much winked at, and profane perfons much countenanced, and many times employed, until iniquity and ungodliness gone over the face of the land as a flood; nay, fufficient care
hath not been had to separate betwixt the precious and the vile, by debarring from the facraments all ignorant and fcandalous perfons, ac 'cording to the ordinances of this kirk.
Neither have the privileges of the Parliaments and liberties of the fubject been duly tendered; but fome amongst ourselves have laboured to put into the hands of our King an arbitrary and unlimited power, deftructive to both; and many of us have been acceflory of late to thofe means and ways, whereby the freedom and privileges of parliaments have been encroached upon, and the fubjects oppreffed in their confciences, perfons, and eftates; neither hath it been our care to avoid these things which might harden the King in his evil way; but, upon the contrary, he hath not only been permitted, but many of us have been inftrumental to make him exercise his power, in many things tending to the prejudice of religion, and of the Covenant, and of the peace and fafety of thefe kingdoms; which is fo far from the right way of preferving his Majefty's perfon and authority, that it cannot but provoke the Lord against him, unto the hazard of both: Nay, under a pretence of relieving and doing for the King, whilst he refuses to do what was neceflary for the the Houfe of God, fome have ranverfed and violated most of all the articles of the Covenant.
Our own confcience within, and God's judgments upon us without, do convince us of the manifold wilful renewed breaches of that article which concerneth the difcovery and punishment of malignants, whose crimes have not only been connived at, but difpenfed with and pardoned, and themselves received into intimate fellowship with ourfelves, and intrufted with our counfels, admitted unto our Parliaments, and put in places of power and authority, for managing the public affairs of the kingdom; whereby, in God's juftice, they got at laft into their hands the whole power and ftrength of the kingdom, both in judicatories and armies; and did employ the fame unto the enacting and profecuting an unlawful engagement in war against the kingdom of England, notwithstanding of the diffent of many confiderable Members of Parliament, who had given conftant proof of their integrity in the caufe from the beginning; of many faithful teftimonies, and free warnings of the fervants of God; of the fupplications of many fynods, prefbyteries, and fhires; and of the declarations of the General Affembly, and their Commiffioners to the contrary; which engagement, as it hath been the cause of much fin, fo alfo of much mifery and calamity unto this land; and holds farth to us the grievoufnefs of our fin, of complying with malignants in the greatness of our judgment, that we may be taught never to fplit again upon the fame rock, upon which the Lord hath set so remarkable a beacon. And after all that is come to pafs unto us, because of this our trefpafs; and after that grace hath been fhewed unto us from the Lord our God, by breaking these mens yoke from off our necks, and putting us again into a capacity to act for the good of religion, our own fafety, and the peace and the fafety of this kingdom, fhould we again break this commandment and covenant, by joining once more with the people of thefe abominations, and taking into our bofom