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those ferpents, which had formerly stung us almoft unto death; this, as it would argue great madnefs and folly upon our part, so no doubt, if it be not avoided will provoke the Lord against us, to confume us, until there be no remnant nor escaping in the land.
And albeit the peace and union betwixt the kingdoms be a great bleffing of God unto both, and a bond which we are obliged to preferve unviolated, and to endeavour that juftice may be done upon the oppofers thereof: Yet fome in this land, who have come under the bond of the Covenant, have made it their great study how to diffolve this union; and few or no endeavours have been used by any of us for punishing of fuch.
We have fuffered many of our brethren, in feveral parts of the land, to be oppreffed by the common enemy, without compaffion or relief. There hath been great murmuring and repining, because of expence of means, and pains in doing of our duty. Many, by perfuasion or terror, have fuffered themselves to be divided and withdrawn, to make defection to the contrary part. Many have turned off to a deteftable indifferency and neutrality in this caufe, which fo much concerneth the glory of God, and the good of thefe kingdoms; nay, many have made it their study to walk fo, as they might comply with all times, and all the revolutions thereof. It hath not been our care to countenance, encourage, intruft, and employ fuch only, as from their hearts did affect and mind God's work; but the hearts of fuch many times have been discouraged, and their hands weakened, their fufferings neglected, and themselves flighted; and many, who were once open enemies, and always fecret underminers, countenanced and employed. Nay, even those who had been looked upon as incendiaries, and upon whom the Lord has fet marks of desperate malignancy, falfehood and deceit, were brought in, as fit to manage public affairs; many have been the lets and impediments that have been caft in the way, to retard and obftruct the Lord's work; and fomé have kept fecret, what of themselves they were not able to furprefs and overcome.
Befides thefe, and many other breaches of the articles of the Covenant in the matter thereof, which it concerneth every one of us to fearch out and acknowledge before the Lord, as we would wish his wrath to be turned a way from us; so have many of us failed exceedingly, in the manner of our following and pursuing the duties contained therein; not only feeking great things for ourselves, and mixing of our private interefts and ends concerning ourselves, and friends, and followers, with thofe things which concern the public good; but many times preferring fuch to the honour of God, and good of his caufe, and retarding God's work, until we might carry along with us our own interefts and defigns. It hath been our way to truft in the means, and to rely upon the arm of flesh for fuccefs, albeit the Lord hath many times made us meet with difappointment therein, and stained the pride of all our glory, by blafting every carnal confidence unto us; we have followed for the most part the counfels of flesh and blood, and walked more by the rules of po
licy than piety, and have hearkened more unto men than unto God.
Albeit we made folemn public profeffion before the world, of our unfeigned defires to be humbled before the Lord for our own fins, and the fins of these kingdoms, efpecially for our undervaluing of the inestimable benefit of the gofpel, and that we have not laboured for the power thereof, and received Chrift into our hearts, and walked worthy of him in our lives; and of our true and unfeigned purpose, defire, and endeavour, for ourselves, and all others under our power and charge, both in public and private, in all the duties which we owe to God and man, to amend our lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a real reformation, that the Lord might turn away his wrath and heavy indignation, and establish thefe kirks and kingdoms in truth and peace: yet we have refufed to be reformed, and have walked proudly and obftinately against the Lord, not valuing his gofpel, nor fubmitting ourselves unto the obedience thereof; not feeking after Chrift, nor ftudying to honour him in the excellency of his perfon, nor employ him in the virtue of his offices; nor making confcience of public ordinances, nor private nor fecret duties; nor ftudying to edify one another in love. Ignorance of God, and of his Son Jefus Chrift, prevails exceedingly in the land ; the greatest part of mafters of families, amongst Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgeffes and Commons, neglect to feek God in their families, and to endeavour the reformation thereof; and albeit it hath been much preffed, yet few of our Nobles and great ones, ever to this day, could be perfuaded to perform family-duties themselves, and in their own perfons; which makes fo neceflary and useful a duty to be mifregarded by others of inferior rank: Nay, many of the Nobility, Gentry, and Burrows, who fhould have been examples of godlinefs and fober walking unto others, have been ringleaders of excefs and rioting. Albeit we be the Lord's people, engaged to him in a folemn way: yet to this day, we have not made it our study, that judicatories and armies fhould confift of, and places of power and truft be filled with, men of a blameless and Christian converfation, and of known integrity, and approven fidelity, affection, and zeal, unto the cause of God; but not only thofe who have been neutral and indifferent, but difaffected and malignant, and others who have been profane and fcandalous, have been intrusted: by which it hath come to país, that judicatories have been the feats of injuftice and iniquity; and many in our armies, by their miscarriages, have become our plague, unto the great prejudice of the caufe of God, the great feandal of the gofpel, and the great increase of loosenefs and profanity throughout all the land. It were impoffible to reckon up all the abominations that are in the land; but the blafpheming of the name of God, fwearing by the creatures, profanation of the Lord's day, uncleanness, drunkennefs, excefs and rioting, vanity of apparel, lying and deceit, railing and curfing, arbitrary and uncon trouled oppreffion, and grinding of the faces of the poor by landlords, and others in place and power, are become ordinary and common
fins; and befides all these things, there be many other tranfgreffions whereof the lands wherein we live are guilty. All which we defire to acknowledge and to be humbled for, that the world may bear witnefs with us, that righteoufnefs belongeth unto God, and fhame and confufion of face unto us, as appears this day.
And because it is needful for thofe who find mercy, not only to confefs, but also to forfake their fin; therefore, that the reality and fincerity of our repentance may appear, we do refolve and folemnly engage ourselves, before the Lord, carefully to avoid for the time to come all thefe offences, whereof we have now made folemn public acknowledgment, and all the fnares and temptations which tend thereunto; and to testify the integrity of our refolution herein, and that we may be the better enabled in the power of the Lord's strength to perform the fame, we do again renew our folemn League and Covenant; promifing hereafter to make confcience of all the duties, whereunto we are obliged, in all the heads and articles thereof, par ticularly of these that follow.
1. Because religion is of all things the most excellent and precious, the advancing and promoting the power thereof against all ungodlinefs and profanity, the fecuring and preferving the purity thereof against all error, herefy, and fchifm, and namely, Independency, Anabaptifm, Antinomianifm, Arminianifm, and Socinianifm, Familifm, Libertinifm, Scepticism, and Eraftianifm, and the carrying on the work of uniformity, fhall be ftudied and endeavoured by us before all wordly interefts, whether concerning the King, ourfelves, or any other whatfomever. 2. Because many have of late laboured to fupplant the liberties of the kirk, we fhall maintain and defend the kirk of Scotland, in all her liberties and privileges, against all who shall oppofe or undermine the fame, or encroach thereupon, under any pretext whatfomever. 3. We shall vindicate and maintain the liberties of the fubjects, in all these things which concern their confciences, perfons, and eftates. 4. We fhall carefully maintain and defend the union betwixt the kingdoms, and avoid every thing that may weaken the fame, or involve us in any meafure of acceffion unto the guilt of thofe who have invaded the kingdom of England. 5. As we have been always loyal to our king, fo we shall still endeavour to give unto God that which is God's, and to Cefar the things which are Cefar's. 6. We fhall be fo far from conniving at, complying with, or countenancing of malignancy, injuftice, iniquity, profanity, and impiety, that we fhall not only avoid and difcountenance thofe things, and cherish and encourage thefe perfons who are zealous for the caufe of God, and walk according to the gofpel: but alfo fhall take a more effectual courfe than heretofore, in our refpective places and callings, for punishing and fuppreffing thefe evils; and faithfully endeavour, that the beft and fitteft remedies may be applied for taking away the caufes thereof, and advancing the knowledge of God, and holiness and righteoufnefs in the land. And therefore, in the last place, as we shall earnestly pray unto God, that he would give us able men, fearing God, men of truth, and hating covetousness, to judge and bear charge among his people; fo we fhall, according to
our places and callings, endeavour that judicatories, and all places of power and truft, both in kirk and ftate, may confist of, and be filled with fuch men as are of known good affection to the cause of God, and of blameless and Christian conversation.
And, because there is many, who heretofore have not made confcience of the oath of God, but fome through fear, others by perfuafion, and upon base ends and human interefts, have entered thereinto, who have afterwards discovered themselves to have dealt deceitfully with the Lord, in fwearing falfely by his name: Therefore we, who do now renew our Covenant, in reference to these duties, and all other duties contained therein, do, in the fight of him who is the Searcher of hearts, folemnly profefs, that it is not upon any politic advan tage, or private intereft or by end, or because of any terror or perfuafion from men, or hypocritically and deceitfully, that we do again take upon us the oath of God, but honeftly and fincerely, and from the fenfe of our duty; and that therefore, denying ourselves, and our own things, and laying afide all felf-intereft and ends, we shall above all things feek the honour of God, the good of his caufe, and the wealth of his people; and that forfaking the counfels of flesh and blood, and not leaning upon carnal confidences, we fhall depend u pon the Lord, walk by the rule of his word, and hearken to the voice of his fervants. In all which, profeffing our own weakness, we do earnestly pray to God, who is the Father of mercies, through his Son Jefus Chrift, to be merciful unto us, and to enable us, by the power of his might, that we may do our duty, unto the praise of his grace. in the churches. Amen.
A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt the Churches of CHRIST in the Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland.
An Act of the General Affembly, and Act of Parliament, both in anne 1645, approving and establishing the said DIRECTORY.
I Cor. xiv. 40. Let all things be done decently, and in order,