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our true and unfeigned purpose, desire, and endeavour for ourselves, and all others under our power and charge, both in publick and in private, in all duties 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 may turn away his wrath and heavy indignation, and establish these churches and kingdoms in truth and peace. And this Covenant we make in the presence of ALMIGHTY GOD, the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed ; most humbly beseeching the LORD to strengthen us by his HOLY SPIRIT for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success, as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian churches, groaning under, or in danger of, the yoke of antichristian tyranny, to join in the same or like association and covenant, to the glory of GOD, the enlargement of the kingdom of JESUS Christ, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and commonwealths.
A SOLEMN ACKNOWLEDGMENT
PUBLICK SINS AND BREACHES OF THE COVENANT;
A SOLEMN ENGAGEMENT TO ALL THE DUTIES
CONTAINED THEREIN ;
NAMELY, THOSE WHICH DO IN A MORE SPECIAL WAY RELATE UNTO THE
DANGERS OF THESE TIMES:
THE ACT OF THE COMMISSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 1648, AND ACT OF
PARLIAMENT 1649, FOR RENEWING THE LEAGUE AND COVENANT.
The Act of the COMMISSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY for renewing the SOLEMN LEAGUE
EDINBURGH, October 6, 1648.
involved themselves in many and gross breaches of the Solemn League and Covenant; and that the hands of many are grown slack in following and pursuing the duties contained therein; and that many, who not being come to sufficient age when it was first sworn and subscribed, have not hitherto been received into the same;
do, upon these, and other grave and important considerations, appoint and ordain the Solemn League and Covenant to be renewed throughout all the congregations of this kingdom And, because it is a duty of great weight and consequence, ministers, after the sight hereof, would be careful to take pains, in their doctrine and otherwise, that their people may be made sensible of these things, wherein
they have broken the Covenant, and be prepared for the renewing thereof with suitable affections and dispositions. And, that these things may be the better performed, we have thought it necessary to condescend upon a Solemn Acknow. ledgment of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant, and a Solemn Engagement to all the Duties contained therein, namely, those which do in a more special way relate unto the dangers of these times : And this Solemn Acknowledgment and Engagement, sent herewith, shall be made use of, and the League and Covenant shall be renewed in such manner as follows: First, There shall be an intimation of a solemn publick 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 Publick Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement unto Duties, are to be publickly 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 iast is to be kept the next Thursday thereafter, in reference to the breaches of the Covenant, contained in the solemn publick acknowledgment, as the causes thereof; and the next Lord's day thereafter, which is also to be spent in publick humiliation and fasting, immediately after the sermon, which is to be applied to the business of that day, the Publick Acknowledgment and Engagement is again to be publickly read; and thereafter prayer is to be made, containing the confession of the breaches mentioned therein, and begging mercy for these sins, and strength of God for renewing the Covenant in sincerity and truth; after which prayer the Solemn League and Covenant is to be read by the minister, and then to be sworn by him and all the people, who are to engage themselves for performance of all the duties contained therein; namely, these which are mentioned in the Publick Acknowledgment and Engagement, and are opposite unto the sins therein confessed: and the action is to be closed with prayer to God, that his people may be enabled, in the power of his strength, to do their duty, accord. ing to their oath, now renewed in so solemn a way. It is also hereby provided, That all those who renew the League and Covenant, shall again subscribe the same; and that none he admitted to the renewing or subscribing thereof, who are excluded by the other act and direction sent herewith.
The Act of the COMMITTEE OF ESTATES OF PARLIAMENT for renewing the SOLEMN LEAGUE
, in the manifold breaches of the Solemn League and Covenant, made and sworn to the most high God; do therefore unanimously and heartily approve the seasonable and pious resolution of the Commission of the General Assembly for a solemn Acknowledgment of Publick Sins and Provocations, especially the breaches of the Covenant, and a solemn engagement to a more conscionable performance of the duties therein contained, and for renewing the Solemn League and Covenant; and do require and ordain, That the Directions of the said Commission of Assembly, in their act of the 6th of this month, for a publick Acknowledgment of Sins, and Engagement to Duties, be carefully followed; that the fast and humiliation, appointed by them, be religiously observed; and that the Solemn League and Covenant be sincerely and cordially renewed and subscribed, in the manner they have prescribed in their said Act. Extractum,
MR THO. HENDERSON.
A SOLEMN ACKNOWLEDGMENT
PUBLICK SINS, AND BREACHES OF THE COVENANT;
A SOLEMN ENGAGEMENT TO ALL THE DUTIES CONTAINED THEREIN, NAMELY, THOSE WHICH DO IN A MORE SPECIAL WAY RELATE UNTO THE DANGERS
OF THESE TIMES.
E Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers of the Gospel, and upon us, taking into serious consideration the many sad afflictions and deep distresses wherewith we have been exercised for a long time past; and that the land, after it hath been sore wasted with the sword and the pestilence, and threatened with famine; and that shame and contempt hath been poured out from the Lord against many thousands of our nation, who did in a sinful way make war upon the kingdom of England, contrary to the testimony of his servants, and desires of his people; and that the remnants of that army, returning to this land, have spoiled and oppressed many of our brethren; and that the malignant party is still numerous, 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 considering also, that a cloud of calamities doth still hang over our heads, and threaten us with sad things to come, we cannot but look upon these 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 confessing our sin, and forsaking the evil of our way.
Therefore being pressed with so great necessities and straits, 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 seek delivery, and a right way for themselves, that the Lord might be with them to prosper them, did humble themselves before him, and make a free and particular confession of the sins of their princes, their rulers, their captains, their priests, and their people; and did engage themselves to do no more so, but to reform their ways, and be stedfast in this covenant; and remembering the practice of our predecessors in the year 1596, wherein the General Assembly, and all the kirk-judicatories, with the concurrence of many of the nobility, gentry, and burgesses, did, with many tears, acknowledge before God the breach of the National Covenant, and engaged themselves to a reformation; even as our predecessors and theirs had before done, in the General Assembly and Convention of Estates, in the year 1567; and perceiving that this duty, when gone about out of conscience and in sincerity, hath always been attended with a reviving out of troubles, and with a blessing and success from Heaven; we do humbly and sincerely, as in his sight, who is the Searcher of hearts, acknowledge the many sins and great transgressions 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 stricken us, yet we have not grieved ; nay, though he hath consumed us, we have refused to receive correction : we have not remembered to render unto the Lord according to his goodness, and according to our own vows and promises, but have gone away backward by a continued course of backsliding, and have broken all the articles of that Solemn League and Covenant, which we swore before God, angels, and men.
Albeit there be in the land many of all ranks, who be for a testimony unto the truth, and for a name of joy and praise unto the Lord, by living godly, studying to keep their garments pure, and being stedfast in the covenant and cause of God; yet we have reason to acknowledge, that most of us have not endeavoured, with that reality, sincerity, and constancy that did become us, to preserve the work of reformation in the kirk of Scotland : many have satisfied themselves with the purity of the ordinances, neglecting the power thereof; yea, some have turned aside to crooked ways, destructive to both. The profane, loose, and insolent carriage of many in our armies, who went to the assistance of our brethren in England, and the tamperings and unstraight dealing of some of our Commissioners, and others of our nation, in London, the Isle of Wight, and other places of that kingdom, have proved great lets to the work of reformation and settling of kirk.government there, whereby error and schism in that land have been increased, and sectaries hardened in their way. We have been so far from endeavouring the extirpation of profaneness, and what is contrary to the power of godliness, that profanity hath been much winked at, and profane persons much countenanced, and many times employed, until iniquity and ungodliness hath gone over the face of the land as a flood; nay, sufficient care hath not been had to separate betwixt the precious and the vile, by debarring from the sacrament all ignorant and scandalous persons, according to the ordinances of this kirk.
Neither have the privileges of the Parliaments and liberties of the subject been duly tendered; but some amongst ourselves have laboured to put into the hands of our King an arbitrary and unlimited power, destructive to both; and many of us have been accessory of late to those means and ways, whereby the freedom and privileges of Parliaments have been encroached upon, and the subjects oppressed in their consciences, persons, and estates; 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 instrumental to make him exercise his power, in many things tending to the prejudice of religion, and of the Covenant, and of the peace and safety of these kingdoms; which is so far from the right way of preserving his Majesty's person and authority, that it cannot but provoke the Lord against himn, unto the hazard of both; nay, under a pretence of relieving and doing for the King, whilst he refuses to do what was necessary for the house of God, some have ranversed and violated most of all the articles of the Covenant.
Our own conscience within, and God's judgments upon us without, do convince us of the manifold wilful renewed breaches of that article which concerneth the discovery and punishment of malignants, whose crimes have not only been connived at, but dispensed with and pardoned, and themselves received into intimate fellowship with ourselves, and intrusted with our counsels, admitted into our Parliaments, and put in places of power and authority, for managing the publick affairs of the kingdom; whereby, in God's justice, they got at last into their hands the whole power and strength of the kingdom, both in jųdicatories and armies ; and did employ the same unto the enacting and prosecuting an unlawful engagement in war against the kingdom of England, notwithstanding of the dissent of many considerable members of Parliament, who had given constant proof of their integrity in the cause from the beginning; of many faithful testimonies, and free warnings of the servants of God; of the supplications of many synods, presbyteries, and shires; and of the declarations of the General Assembly and their Commissioners to the contrary: which engagement, as it hath been the