EDINBƲRGH, Printed by a Society of Stationers, Anno Dom. 1660.

The Nationall Covenant, Or The Confession of Faith, subscribed at first by the Kings Majesty and his Houshold, in the year of God, 1580. Thereafter by all sorts of ranks in the year 1581. By ordinance of the Lords of the Secret Coun­sel, and Acts of the Generall Assembly, Subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590. by a new Ordinance of Counsel, at the desire of the Ge­nerall Assembly: with a generall Band for mainte­nance of the true Religion, and the Kings person. And subscribed in the year 1638. By us, Noble­men, Barrons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons, then undersubscribing. Together, with our resolution and promises for the causes after specified, To maintain the said true Religion, and the Kings Majesty, according to the Confession foresaid, and Acts of Parliament. And now, upon the supplica­tion of the Generall Assembly to his Majesties high Commissioner, and the Lords of his Majesties ho­nourable Privy Counsell, subscribed again in the year 1639. by Ordinance of counsel, and Act of the Ge­nerall Assembly.

WE all, and every one of Us underwrit­ten, protest, that, after long and due Examination of our own Consciences, in matters of true and false Religion, We are now throughly resolved of the Truth, by the Word and Spirit of God; and therefore [Page]We believe with our hearts, confesse with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm before God, and the whole World, that this only is the true Christian Faith and Religion pleasing God, and bringing Salvation to man, which now is by the mercy of God revealed to the world, by the preaching of the blessed Evangell, and received, believed, and defended, by many and sundry notable Kirks and Realms, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, the Kings Majesty, and the three Estates of this Realm, as Gods eternall Truth, and only ground of our Salvation, as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, established; and publikely confirm­ed by sundry Acts of Parliament, and now of a long time hath been openly professed by the Kings Majesty, and whole body of this Realm, both in Burgh and Land. To the which Confes­sion and form of Religion, we willingly agree in our consciences in all points, as unto Gods un­doubted Truth and verity, grounded only upon His written Word. And therefore, we abhor and detest all contrary Religion, and Doctrine: But chiefly, all kind of Papistry, in general and particular heads, even as they are now damned, and confuted by the Word of God, and Kirk of Scotland: But in speciall, we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Romane Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the Kirk, the Civil Magistrate, and consciences of men; all his [Page]tyrannous lawes made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty: His erroneous Do­ctrine, against the sufficiency of the written Word, the perfection of the Law, the Office of Christ, and His blessed Evangell: His corrupted Doctrine concerning original sin, our natural in­ability and rebellion to Gods Law, our Justifi­cation by Faith only, our imperfect Sanctificati­on and obedience to the Law, the nature, num­ber and use of the Holy Sacraments, His five ba­stard Sacraments, With all his Rites, Ceremo­nies, and false Doctrine, added to the ministra­tion of the true Sacraments without the Word of God: His cruell judgement against Infants, departing without the Sacrament: His absolute necessity of Baptism, His blasphemous opinion of Transubstantiation, or reall presence of Christs Body in the Elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men, his dispensa­tion with solemn Oaths, Perjuries; and degrees of Marriage forbidden in the Word: His cruelty against the innocent divorced: His devilish Masse: His blasphemous Priest-hood: His profane Sacri­fice for the sins of the dead and the quick: His Canonization of men, calling upon Angels or Saints departed, worshipping of Imagery, Re­licts, and Crosses, dedicating of Kirks; Altars, Dayes, Vowes to creatures; His Purgatory, Prayers for the dead; praying, or speaking in a strange language, with his Processions, blasphe­mous [Page]Leteny, and multitude of Advocates or Mediators: His manifold Orders, Auricular Con­fession: His desperate and uncertain Repentance; His generall and doubtsome Faith; His satisfacti­ons of men for their sins: His Justifications by works, opus operatum, works of Supererogation, Merits, Pardons, Peregrinations, and Stations; His holy-water, baptising of Bells, conjuring of Spirits, crossing, saning, anointing, conjuring, hal­lowing of Gods good creatures, with the super­stitious opinion joyned therewith: His worldly Monarchy, and wicked Hierarchie: His three so­lemn vowes, with all his shavellings of sundry sorts: His erroneous and bloudy decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruel and bloudy Band, conjured against the Kirk of God: And finally, We detest all his vain Allegories, Rites, Signes and Traditions, brought in the Kirk, without, or against the Word of God, and Doctrine of this true reformed Kirk: To the which we joyn our selves willingly, in Doctrine, Faith, Religion, Discipline, and use of the holy Sacraments, as lively members of the same, in Christ our Head: Promising and swearing by the Great Name of the Lord our God, that we shall continue in the Obedience of the Do­ctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and shall de­fend the same according to our vocation and power, all the dayes of our lives, under the pains contained in the Law, and danger both of [Page]Body and Soul, in the day of Gods fearful judge­ment. And seeing that many are stirred up by Satan, and that Romane Antichrist, to promise, swear, subscribe, and for a time use the holy Sa­craments in the Kirk deceitfully, against their own consciences, minding thereby, first, under the externall cloak of Religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly Gods true Religion within the Kirk, and afterward, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vain hopes of the Popes dispensa­tion, devised against the Word of God, to his greater confusion, and their double condemna­tion in the day of the Lord Jesus: We there­fore, willing to take away all suspition of hypo­crisie, and of such double dealing with God and his Kirk, Protest, and call The Searcher of all hearts for witnesse that our mindes and hearts doe fully agree with this our Confession, Promise, Oath, and Subscription, so that We are not moved for any worldly respect, but are perswaded only in our consciences, through the knowledge and love of Gods true Religion, printed in our hearts, by the holy Spirit, as we shall answer to him in the day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclo­sed. And because we perceive, that the quiet­nesse and stability of our Religion and Kirk, doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of the Kings Majesty, as upon a comfortable instrument of Gods mercy, granted to this Countrey, for [Page]the maintaining of this Kirk, and ministration of Justice amongst us, we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same Oath, hand-writ, and pains, that we shall defend his person and Autho­rity, with our goods, bodies, and lives, in the defence of Christ his Evangell, Liberties of our Countrey, ministration of Justice, and punishment of Iniquity, against all enemies within this Re­alm, or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and mercifull defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all honour and Glory eternally.

LIke as many Acts of Parliament not only in generall do abrogate, annull, and rescind all Laws, Statutes, Acts, Constitutions, Canons, ci­vil or municipal, with all other Ordinances and practique penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true Religion and Professors thereof: or, of the true Kirk discipline, jurisdiction and free­dom thereof: Or in favours of Idolatry and Su­perstition: Or of the Papisticall Kirk: As Act. 3. Act. 31. Parl. 1. Act. 23. Parl. 11. Act. 114. Parl. 12. of King James the sixt, That Papistry and Superstition may be utterly suppressed according to the intention of the Acts of Parliament re­peated in the 5 Act. Parl. 20. King James 6. And to that end they ordain all Papists and Priests to be punished by manifold Civil and Ecclesiasti­call [Page]pains, as adversaries to Gods true Religion, preached, and by Law established within this Re­alme, Act. 24. Parl. 11. King James 6. as com­mon enemies to all Christian government, Act. 18. Parl. 16. King James 6. as rebellers and gain­standers of our Soveraign Lords Authority, Act. 47. Parl. 3. King James 6. and as Idolaters, Act. 104. Parl. 7. King James 6. But also in parti­cular (by and attour the Confession of Faith) do abolish and condemn the Popes Authority and Jurisdiction out of this Land, and ordain the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act. 2. Parl. 1. Act. 51. Parl. 3. Act. 106. Parl. 7. Act. 114. Parl. 12. King James 6. do condemn the Popes erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous do­ctrine repugnant to any of the Articles of the true and Christian Religion publikely preached, and by Law established in this Realm: And or­dain the spreaders and makers of Books or Libels, or Letters, or Writes of that nature to be pu­nished, Act. 46. Parl. 3. Act. 106. Parl. 7. Act. 24. Parl. 11. K. James 6. do condemn all Bap­tisme conform to the Popes Kirk and the Idolatry of the Masse, and ordain all sayers, willfull hearers, and concealers of the Masse, the main­tainers and resetters of the Priests, Jesuits, traf­fiquing Papists, to be punished without any ex­ception or restriction, Act. 5. Parl. 1. Act. 120. Parl. 2. Act. 164. Parl. 13. Act. 193. Parl. 14. Act. 1. Parl. 19. Act. 5. Parl. 20. K. James 6. do condemn [Page]all erroneous books and writes containing erro­neous doctrine against the Religion presently pro­fessed, or containing superstitious Rites and Ce­remonies Papisticall, whereby the people are great­ly abused, and ordain the home bringers of them to be punished, Act. 25. Parl. 11. K. James 6. do condemn the monuments and dregs of bygane Idolatry, as going to the Crosses, observing the Feastival dayes of Saints, and such other supersti­tious and Papistical Rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true Religion, and fostering of great error among the people, and ordain the users of them to be punished for the second fault as Idolaters, Act. 104. Parl. 7. K. James 6.

LIKE AS many Acts of Parliament are con­ceived For maintenance of Gods true and Christi­an Religion, and the purity thereof in Doctrine and Sacraments of the true Church of God, the liberty and freedome thereof, in her National and Synodal Assemblies, Presbyteries, Sessions, Policy, Discipline, and Jurisdiction thereof, as that puri­ty of Religion and liberty of the Church was used, professed, exercised, preached and confessed accor­ding to the Reformation of Religion in this Re­alm; As for instance the 99 Act. Parl. 7. Act. 23. Parl. 11. Act. 114. Parl. 12. Act. 160. Parl. 13. of King James 6. ratified by the 4 Act. of King Charles. So that the 6 Act. Parl. 1. and 68. Act. Parl. 6. of King James 6. in the year of God 1579. declare the Ministers of the blessed Evangel, whom [Page]God of his mercy had raised up, or hereafter should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in Doctrine, and Administration of the Sacraments, and the people that professed Christ, as he was then offered in the Evangel, and doth communi­cate with the holy Sacraments, (as in the reform­ed Kirks of this Realm they were publikely admi­nistrate) according to the Confession of Faith, to be the true and holy Kirk of Christ Jesus within this Realm. And decern and declare all and sun­dry, who either gainsay the Word of the Evangel, received and approved as the heads of the Con­fession of Faith, professed in Parliament, in the year of God, 1560. specified also in the first Parliament of King James 6. and ratified in this present Par­liament, more particularly do specifie, or that re­fuses the administration of the holy Sacraments, as they were then ministrated, to be no members of the said Kirk within this Realm, and true Reli­gion, presently professed, so long as they keep themselves so divided from the society of Christs Body: And the subsequent Act 69. Parl. 6. of King James 6. declares, that there is none other Face of Kirk, nor other Face of Religion, then was pre­sently at that time, by the favour of God establish­ed within this Realm, which therefore is ever stiled, Gods true Religion, Christs true Religion, the true and Christian Religion, and a perfect Religion, Which, by manifold Acts of Parliament, all within this Realm, are bound to professe to subscribe the [Page]articles thereof, the Confession of Faith, to recant all doctrine and errours, repugnant to any of the said Articles, Act 4. and 9. Parl. 1. Act. 45, 46, 47. Parl. 3. Act. 71. Parl. 6. Act. 106. Parl. 7. Act. 24 Parl. 11. Act. 123. Parl. 12. Act. 194. and 197. Parl. 14. of King James 6. And all Magistrates, She­rifs, &c. on the one part are ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveeners, For in­stance, Act 5. Parl. 1. Act. 104. Parl. 7. Act. 25. Parl. 11. K. James 6. And that notwithstanding of the Kings Majesties licences on the contrary which are discharged and declared to be of no force in so far as they tend in any wayes to the prejudice and hin­der of the execution of the Acts of Parliament against Papists and adversaries of true Religion, Act. 106. Parl. 7. K. James 6. On the other part in the 47. Act. Parl. 3. K. James 6. It is declared and ordained, seeing the cause of Gods true Reli­gion and his Highnesse authority are so joyned, as the hurt of the one is common to both, and that none shall be reputed as loyall and faithfull Sub­jects to our Soveraign Lord, or his authority, but be punishable as rebellers and gainstanders of the same, who shall not give their Confession, and make their Profession of the said true Religion, and that they who after defection shall give the Confession of their Faith of new, they shall promise to conti­nue therein in time coming, to maintain our So­veraign Lords Authority, and at the uttermost of their power to fortifie, assist and maintain the true [Page]Preachers and Professors of Christs Evangel against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same: and namely, against all such (of whatsoever nati­on, estate or degree they be of) that have joyned and bound themselves; or have assisted, or assist to set forward and execute the cruel decrees of the Counsel of Trent, contrary to the true Preachers and Professors of the Word of God, which is re­peated word by word in the Articles of Pacificati­on at Perth the 23 of February, 1572. approved by Parliament the last of April 1573. Ratified in par­liament 1587. and related, Act. 123. parl. 12. of King James 6. with this addition, that they are bound to resist all treasonable uproars and hostili­ties, raised against the true Religion, the Kings Majesty, and the true Professors. LIKE AS all Liedges are bound to maintain the Kings Maje­sties Royall Person, and Authority, the Authority of Parliament, without the which neither any Laws or lawfull Judicatories can be established, Act. 130. Act. 131. parl. 8. King James 6. and the Subjects liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the Kings laws, the common laws of this Re­alm allanerly, Act. 48. parl. 3. King James the 1. Act. 79. parl. 6. King James the 4. repeated in the Act. 131. parl. 8. King James 6. Which if they be innovated or prejudged the Commission anent the Union of the two Kingdomes of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17. Parl. of King James 6. declares such confusion would [Page]ensue, as this Realm could be no more a free Mo­narchy, because by the fundamentall laws, ancient priviledges, offices, and liberties of this Kingdom, not only the Princely Authority of his Majesties Royall discent hath been these many ages main­tained, but also the peoples security of their Land, livings, rights, offices, liberties, and dignities pre­served. And therefore for the preservation of the said true Religion, Lawes, and Liberties of this Kingdome, it is statute by the 8 Act. Parl. 1. re­peated in the 99. Act. Parl. 7. Ratified in the 23. Act. Parl. 11. and 114. Act. parl. 12. of K. James 6. and 4. Act of K. Charles, that all Kings and princes at their Coronation and reception of their Princely authority, shall make their faithfull pro­mise by their solemn Oath in the presence of the Eternal God, that enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same Eternal God to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath re­quired in his most holy Word, contained in the Old and New Testament: And according to the same Word, shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy Word, the due and right ministration of the Sacraments now received and preached within this Realm (accor­ding to the Confession of Faith immediately pre­ceeding) and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the people, committed to their charge, according to the will and command of God, revealed in his [Page]foresaid Word, and according to the laudable Lawes and Constitutions received in this Realm, no wayes repugnant to the said will of the Eter­nall GOD, and shall procure to the uttermost of their power, to the Kirk of God, and whole Christian People, true and perfect peace in all time coming, and that they shall be carefull to root out of their Empire all Hereticks and ene­mies to the true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God, of the fore­said crimes, which was also observed by his Ma­jesty at his Coronation at Edinburgh, 1633. as may be seen in the order of the Coronation.

IN OBEDIENCE to the Commande­ment of God, conform to the practise of the godly in former times, and according to the laud­able example of our Worthy and Religious Pro­genitors, and of many yet living amongst us, which was warranted also by Act of Councel, com­manding a general Band to be made and subscrib­ed by his Majesties Subjects of all ranks, for two causes: One was, for defending the true Religi­on, as it was then Reformed, and is expressed in the Confession of Faith, above written, and a for­mer large Confession established by sundry Acts of lawfull General Assemblies, and of Parliament, unto which it hath relation set down in publick Catechisms, and which had been for many years with a blessing from Heaven preached and profes­sed in this Kirk and Kingdom, as Gods undoubted [Page]Truth, grounded only upon his written Word. The other cause was, for maintaining the Kings Majesty his Person and Estate: the true Worship of God, and the Kings Authority being so strait­ly joyned, as that they had the same friends, and common enemies, and did stand and fall together. And finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our mouths that the present and succeeding generations in this Land, are bound to keep the foresaid National Oath and Subscripti­on inviolable. We Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons underscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed Religi­on, of the Kings honour, and of the publick peace of the Kingdom, by the manifold innovations and evils, generally contained, and particularly men­tioned in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations, Do hereby professe, and before God, his Angels, and the world, solemnly declare, that with our whole hearts we agree and resolve all the dayes of our life constantly to adhere unto, and to defend the foresaid true Religion, and (forbearing the practise of all novations, already introduced in the matter of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the pub­lick Governments of the Kirk or civil places and power of Kirk-men, till they be tryed and allowed in free Assemblies, and in Parliaments) to la­bour by all means lawfull to recover the purity [Page]and liberty of the Gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid novations. And because after due examination we plainly perceive, and undoubtedly believe, that the innovations and evils contained in our Supplications, Com­plaints, and Protestations have no warrant of the Word of God, are contrary to the articles of the foresaid Confessions, to the intention and meaning of the blessed reformers of Religion in this Land, to the above written Acts of Parlia­ment, and do sensibly tend to the re-establishing of the Popish Religion and tyranny, and to the subversion and ruine of the true reformed Religi­on, and of our liberties, lawes, and estates; We also declare, that the foresaid Confessions are to be interpreted, and ought to be understood of the forsaid novations and evils no lesse than if eve­ry one of them had been expressed in the fore­said Confessions, and that we are oblieged to de­test and abhorre them amongst other particular heads of Papistry abjured therein. And there­fore from the knowledge and consciences of our duty to God, to our King and Countrey, with­out any worldly respect or inducement, so far as humane infirmity will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace of God for this effect; We promise, and swear by the great Name of the Lord our GOD, to continue in the Profession and obedience of the foresaid Religion, That we shall defend the same and resist all these contra­ry [Page]errours and corruptions, according to our vo­cation, and to the uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the dayes of our life. And in like manner, with the same heart we declare before God and Men, that we have no intention nor desire to attempt any thing that may turn to the dishonour of God, or to the diminution of the Kings greatnesse and authority: but on the contrary, we promise and swear, that we shall to the uttermost of our power, with our means and lives, stand to the defence of our dread Soveraign the Kings Majesty, his Person, and Authority, in the defence and preservation of the foresaid true Religion, Liberties and Lawes of the Kingdom: As also, to the mutual defence and assistance every one of us of another, in the same cause of maintaining the true Religion, and his Majesties Authority, with our best counsel, our bodies, means, and whole power against all sorts of persons whatsoever; So that whatsoever shal be done to the least of us for that cause, shall be taken as done to us all in general, and to every one of us in particular: And that we shall nei­ther directly nor indirectly suffer our selves to be divided or withdrawn by whatsoever suggestion, or allurement, or terrour from this blessed and loyall Conjunction, nor shall cast in any let or im­pediment, that may stay or hinder any such re­solution as by common consent shall be found to conduce for so good ends. But on the contrary, [Page]shall by all lawfull means labour to further and promove the same. And if any such dangerous and divisive motion should be made to us by word or writ; we, and every one of us, shall either suppresse it, or if need be, shall incontinent make the same known; that it may be timously ob­viated: Neither do we fear the foul aspersions of rebellion, combinations, or what else our ad­versaries from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfained desire to maintain the true worship of God, the Majesty of our King, and peace of the Kingdom, for the com­mon happinesse of our selves and posterity. And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings, except with our profes­sion and subscription we joyn such a life and con­versation, as beseemeth Christians, who have re­newed their Covenant with God; We therefore faithfully promise, for our selves, our followers, and all others under us, both in publick, in our particular Familes, and personal carriage, to en­deavour to keep our selves within the bounds of Christian liberty, and to be good examples of all godlinesse, sobernesse, and righteousnesse, and of every duty we owe to God and Man. And that this our Union and Conjunction may be observed without violation, We call the living GOD, the Searcher of our hearts, to witnesse, who knoweth this to be our sincere Desire and unfained Reso­lution, [Page]as we shal answer to JESUS CHRIST in the great Day, and under the pain of Gods everlasting wrath, and of infamy, and losse of all honour and respect in this World, most hum­bly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by His holy Spirit for this end; and to blesse our desires and proceedings with a happy successe, that Re­ligion and Righteousnesse may flourish in the Land, to the glory of God, the honour of our King, and peace and comfort of us all, In wit­nesse whereof, we have subscribed with our hands all the premisses.

The article of this Covenant, which was at the first subscription referred to the determination of the General Assembly being determined. And thereby the Five Articles of Perth, The govern­ment of the Kirk by Bishops, The civil places and power of Kirkmen upon the reasons and grounds contained in the Acts of the General As­sembly declared to be unlawfull within this Kirk, We subscribe according to the determination foresaid.


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