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interest of Christ, and be comfort-may make you perfect in every good ed, and not stumble at your ways. work to do his will, working in you So, expecting your answer, we that which is well-pleasing in his shall pray that the God of peace sight, through Jesus Christ, and that brought again from the dead shall remain our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the

Your affectionate brother in the Lord, blood of the everlasting covenant, St. Andrews.

S. R.

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TO THE

COVENANTED WORK OF REFORMATION,

From 1638 to 1649.

Though the Lord needeth not a Testimony from such a man as I, if I, and all the world should be silent, the very stones would cry: It is more than debt, that I should confess Christ before men and angels. It would satisfy me not a little, that the throne of my Lord Jesus were exalted above the clouds, and on both sides of the sun: and that all possible praise and glory were ascribed to him; that, by his grace, I might put my seal, such as it is, unto that song, even the new song of these, who, with a loud voice, sing, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation: and hast made us, unto our God, kings and priests; and we shall reign on earth,” Rev. v. 9, 10. And blessed were i, could I, in faith, say Amen to that Psalm of the angels around the throne, and the beasts and elders: “ whose number is ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying, with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." And if I heard "every creature, which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea; and all tbat are in them; saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” I mean not a visible reign of Christ on earth, as the Millenaries fancy; I believe the doctrine of the holy prophets, and the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, contained in the Scriptures, to be the undoubted truth of God; and a perfect rule of faith, and the only way of salvation. And I acknowledge the sum of the Christian religion, ex. hibited in the Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformed Protestant churches: and in the National Covenant, divers times sworn by the king's majesty, the State, and Church of Scotland; and sealed by the testimony and subscription of professors of all ranks. As also in the Solemn League and Covenant of the three Kingdoms. And I judge, and in conscience believe, that no power on earth can absolve, and liberate the people of God from the sacred ties of the oath of God. I am per. suaded that Asa acted warrantably, in making a law, that the people should stand to the covenant; in receiving into the covenant such as were not of his kingdom, 2 Chron. Xv. 9, 10. As did also Hezekiah, in sending a proclamation through all the tribes, That they should come and keep the passover unto the Lord at Jerusalem, 2 Chron. XXX. 6. 7. though their own princes did not go along with them, yea, and it is nature's law, warranted by the word, that nations should encourage and stir up one another to seek the true God. It is also prophesied, that divers nations should excite one another in this way, Isa. ii. 3. “Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways. Zech. viii. 21, 22. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.”. There is also a clear prophecy to be accomplished under the New Testament, Jer. I. 4, 5. “That Israel and Judah shall go together, and seek the Lord. They shall ask the

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way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant, that shall not be forgotten.” It is also foretold, that different nations shall confederate with the Lord, and with one another, Isa. xix. 23, 24, 25. In that day there shall be an high way out of Egypt into Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come to Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt. and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land; whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."

The Church of Scotland had once as much of the presence of Christ, as to the power and purity of doctrine, worship, discipline, and gove ernment, as any we read of, since the Lord took his ancient people to be his covenanted church. The Lord stirred up our nobles to attempt a reformation in the last age, through many difficulties, and against much opposition from those in supreme authority: he made bare his holy arm, and carried on the work gloriously; his right hand getting him the victory, until the idolatries of Rome, were dashed: a hopful reformation was in some measure settled, and a sound Confession of Faith was agreed upon by the Lords of the Congregation. The people of God, according to the laudable custom of the Protestants in France and Holland, and the renowned princes in Germany, carried on the work in an innocent, selfdefensive war, which the Lord did abundantly bless. When our land and church were thus contending for that begun reformation, these in authority did still oppose the work; and there were not then wanting men from among ourselves, who with some other time-serving courtiers, did not a little undermine the building; and we, doating too much on sound parliaments, and lawful general assemblies, fell from our first love to self-seeking, secret banding, and little fearing the oath of God.

Afterwards, our work in public was too much in sequestration of estates, fining and imprisoning, more than in a compassionate mournful. ness of spirit toward those whom we saw to oppose the work. assemblies, we were more to set up a state opposite to a state; more upon forms, citations, leading of witnesses, suspensions from benifices, than spiritually to persuade and work upon the conscience, with the meekness and gentleness of Christ. The glory and royalty of our princely Redeemer and King was trampled on, in our assemblies. What way the army and the sword, and the countenance of nobles and officers seemed to sway, that way were the censures carried. It had been better, had' there been more days of humiliation and fasting in assemblies, synods, presbytèries, congregations,' families: and 'far less adjourning commissions, new peremptory summons, and new drawn up processes. And if the meekness and gentleness of our Master had got so much place in our hearts, that we might have waited on gainsayers, and parties contrary ininded; and driven gently, as our Master Christ, who loves not to over-drive, but carries the lambs in his bosom.

If the word of truth, in the Scriptures be a sufficient rule, holding forth what is a Christian army, whether offensive or defensive, whether clean or sinfully mixed, then must we leave the question betwixt our public brethren and us, to be determined by that rule, but if there be no such rule in the word, then the confederacies of the people of God, with the idolatrous Israelites, and with their heathen neighbours, are not to be condemned. But they are often reproved and condemned in

In our

of

Scripture. To deny the Scripture to be a sufficient rule in this case, were to accuse it of being imperfect and defective. An high and unjust reflection on the Holy Word of God. Beyond all question, the written word doth teach what is a right constituted court, and what not, Psalm x. What is a right constituted house, and what not, Josh. xxiv. 15. What is a true church, and what is a synagogue of Satan, Rev. ii. 'We are not for an army of saints, and free of all mixture of ill affected men; but it seems a high prevarication for churchmen to counsel and teach, that the weight of the affairs of Christ should be laid

upon
the whole

party

of such as have been enemies to our cause, contrary to the word of God, and the declarations, remonstrances, and solemn warnings of his church, whose public protestations the Lord did admirably bless, to the encoure agement of the godly, and the terror of all the opposers of the work,

Since we are very shortly to appear before our dreadful Sovereign, we cannot pass from our protestation, trustiog we are therein accepted of him; though we should lie under the imputation of dividing spirits and unpeaceable men. We acknowledge all due obedience in the Lord, to the king's majesty; but we disown that ecclesiastical supremacy in, and over, the church, which some ascribe to him: that

power commanding external worship, not appointed in the word; and laying bonds upon the copsciences of men, where Christ has made them free. We disown antichristian prelacy, bowing at the name of Jesus, saints' days, canonizing of the dead, and other such corrupt inventions of men, and look upon them as the high way to popery.-Alas! now there is no need of a spirit of prophecy, to declare what shall be the woeful condition of a land that hath broken covenant, first practically, and then legally; and what shall be the day of the dumb watchmen of Scotland? Where will we leave our glory, and what if Christ depart out of our land? We verily judge they are most loyal to the king's majesty, who desire the dross may be separated from the silver, and the throne established in right. eousness and judgment. We are not (our witness is in heaven) against his majesty's title by birth to the kingdom, and the right of the royal family: but that the controversy of wrath against the royal family may be remove ed; that the huge guilt of the throne may be mourned for befyre the Lord: and that his majesty may stand constantly, all the days of his life, to the covenant of God, by oath, seal and subscription, known to the world; that so peace, and the blessings of heaven, may follow his government; that the Lord

may be his rock and shield, that the just may flourish in his time, that men fearing God, hating covetousness, and of known integrity and godliness, may be judges and rulers under his majesty. And they are not really loyal and faithful to the supreme magistrate, who wish not such qualifications in him; we are not, in this particular, contending, that a prince who is not a convert, or a sound believer, falls from his royal dominion: the Scriptures warrant us to pray for, and obey in the Lord, prioces and supreme magistrates, that are otherwise wicked: and to render all due obedience to them, Rom. xiii. 2, 5. 2 Tim. ii. 12, 13. 1 Pet. ü. 18. Our souls should be afflicted before the Lord for the burning of the causes of God's wrath : ä sad practice, too like the burn. ing of the roll by Jehoiakim, Jer. xxxvi. 23. In these controversies, we should take special heed to this, that Christ is a free independent Sovereign, King, and Lawgiver. The Father hath appointed him his own King in Mount Zion; and he cannot endure that the powers of the world should encroach upon his royal prerogative, and prescribe laws to

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