Back to swrb home page

Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution-Church of Scotland

As Also Their Principles concerning Civil Government, and the Difference betwixt the Reformation and Revolution Principles.

Published for confirming the Weak, and informing of the Misinformed in those Matters.

by Andrew Clarkson

Jer. 6:16. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the Ways and see and ask for the old Paths, where is the good Way, and walk therein, and ye shall find Rest for your Souls.

Jude 3. Ye should earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints.

Lev. 19:17. Thou shalt not hate thy Brother in thine Heart. Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy Neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Illa quater denis mihi natio restitit annis:
Et mea securas transmittit dicta per aures.
Buch. Psalm 95

Printed in the Year M. DCC. XXXI (1731), reprinted 1996

Still Waters Revival Books

4710-37A Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 3T5
Contact us today for your FREE mail-order catalogue!
(Reformation resources at great discounts!) E-mail:
Home page at: (FREE BOOKS here too!)

Table of Contents

The Preface

There are only these six warrantable and justifiable Grounds of Separation:

I. Heresy in Doctrine, p. XIII

II. Idolatry in Worship, p. XIII

III. Sinful Terms of Communion Imposed, p. XIV

IV. Usurpation or Intrusion into the Ministry, p. XV

V. Intolerable Persecution is Reckoned a Just Ground of Separation, p. XV

VI. Withdrawing from Ordinances is just, when Offences and Scandals are so grievous and notour; As also, all Access towards removing them in a regular Way, is rendered impossible, in such a Manner, as the great End of Edification cannot be reached, &c. All I intend (says he) in this, is, That Persons manifestly insufficient, erroneous, or scandalous, may be withdrawn from, tho' not censured, through the Iniquities of the Times, or the like, p. XVI

Reason I.

Presbyterian Dissenters seem to have just Ground to dissent from this present Revolution-Church, because she was made up, for most Part, of such Office-bearers as, by their disorderly and divisive Courses, had left the true covenanted Principles of the reformed Church of Christ in Scotland, as by Law established 1649, and complied with the heinous Corruptions and Evils of these Times, after-mentioned. p. 1

Objection Seeing Ezra, Nehemiah, &c. addressed for, and accepted of a Toleration or Liberty from Heathen Magistrates, to rebuild the Temple and the Walls of Jerusalem, &c. why might not Ministers of the Gospel address for, and accept of a Liberty, Indulgence, or Toleration to preach Christ from Christian Magistrates? viz. Charles II. and Duke of York his Brother. p. 8

Reason II.

Another Reason why Presbyterian Dissenters make Secession from or decline Communion with this Revolution-Church, viz. Because she hath changed her Constitution and Form of Government, from the Constitution and Form of Government of the church as by Law established Anno 1649. into the Inclinations of the People, and the Act of Parliament 1592. The former Reason respected the Members constituent, this the Constitution. p. 11

Objection 1. Perhaps some, thru Ignorance or otherwise, may be inclinable to object against these Things above-narrated, and say, The 5th Act of Parliament 1690, and several other Acts since that Time settling the Revolution-Church, call the Government of this Church Presbyterian, and agreeable to the Word of God, &c. p. 19

Objection 2. The 6th Act of Parliament June 11th, 1640, settled and established Presbyterian Church-Government upon the Act of Parliament 1592, intituled, Ratification of the Liberty of the true Kirk, &c. as did the Parliament at the Revolution 1690. p. 20

Reason III.

Presbyterian Dissenters seem to have just Ground to dissent from this Revolution Church, because she is apparently Erastian in her Principles and Practice, by ordinarily complying with Erastianism. p. 21

Objection The Assembly at Glasgow 1638 was called by the Civil Magistrate's Authority; The Assembly at Westminster 1643 was called by the Authority of the Parliament of England; And the 3d Section of the 23d, and the 2d Section of the 31st Chapters of the Westminster Confession of Faith, allow the civil Magistrate a Power to call Synods, and be present at them. p. 28

Reason IV.

Presbyterian Dissenters may have just Ground of Dissent from this Revolution-Church because she inclines to, and complies with Prelacy in Principle and Practice. p. 7

Objection There were Curates taken into the Ministerial Communion of the Church, Anno 1638 and 1639, as were at the Revolution 1690, and afterwards. p. 43

Reason V.

Another Reason may be given, why Presbyterian Dissenters refuse Communion with this Revolution-Church, namely, Because she is Tyrannical in her government, and has often shown herself to be of a persecuting Spirit; as will be evident by several Acts of Tyranny, in the Instances following. p. 44

Objection Presbyterian dissenting Ministers, &c. are not prosecuted or persecuted for owning the Covenants and Reformation-Principles, but for their divisive and seditious Courses from the present Establishment, and so they may blame themselves. p. 56

Reason VI.

I'm of the Mind Presbyterian-Dissenters may, or do see just Ground to dissent from this Revolution-Church, because she has gone into, and practically approved of the incorporating Union with the Prelatic Constitution of England. p. 58

Reason VII.

I cannot see how Presbyterian Dissenters should join with this Revolution-Church seeing she is of, and improves Toleration Principles. p. 66

Objection 1. Presbyterian-Dissenters in Scotland have the Benefit of the Toleration, as well as others; why then should they cry out against it? p. 71

Objection 2. Should not Episcopalians have the Benefit of a Toleration in Scotland (as was pleaded in Assembly by Members 1724) as well as Presbyterian-Dissenters in England? Should not every Man live according to the Light of his own Conscience, &c. p. 72

Reason VIII.

Presbyterian Dissenters seem to have just Ground to refuse Communion with this present Church, in regard she hath taken the illimited Oaths to the Government, put in Place of the Covenants, National and solemn League. p. 77

Reason IX.

Presbyterians dissent from this Revolution-Church, in my Opinion, because she hath slighted, violated, and neglected our Covenants, National and Solemn; and makes not honourable Mention of them, maintains not their inviolable Obligation, holds not forth the Breaches of them, nor duly endeavours the Renovation of the said covenants. p. 83

Objection People were pressed to take the Covenants, under Civil Penalties, contrair their Consciences; hence they are not binding, &c. p. 87

Reason X.

I presume Presbyterian-Dissenters cannot join with this Church, Because she is unfaithful in her Doctrine; and the Unsound are to numerous, that the Erroneous escape just censure. p. 91

Objection This Church has a Standard of Doctrine without Error, viz. the Westminster Confession of Faith, which they own as the Confession of their faith, and both subscribe it, and preach the Doctrine therein- contain'd, and so cannot be unsound in their Doctrine. p. 108

Reason XI.

Presbyterian Dissenters cannot join with this Revolution-Church, because she is unsound, or is guilty of Temporizing and Men-pleasing in her publick Worship. p. 110

Objection The Civil Powers under the Old Testament Economy, appointed Fasts, &c. Instance Jehoshaphat and others; and why not under the New Testament? p. 119

Reason XII.

Presbyterian Dissenters cannot join with this Revolution-Church, because she is negligent and partial in her Discipline. p. 122

Reason XIII.

Presbyterian Dissenters cannot join with the Church, because she is unsound and restricted, unfaithful and defective in her Government. p. 128

Reason XIV.

Presbyterian dissenters decline the Communion of this Church; because she is unsound and sinful in the Terms of her Communion. p. 138

Reason XV.

Presbyterian Dissenters dissent from this Revolution-Church, because she is obstinate in her Defection, and refuseth to be reclaimed. p. 148

Now, upon the Whole of the preceding Heads, or Reasons of Dissent, these following (seven-RB) Conclusions seem somewhat to justify the Grounds, and Continuance of Secession from the Revolution-Church.

Conclusion 1. Tolerating ministerial communion with backslidden, wicked and false preachers and teachers. p. 170

Conclusion 2. When a Church neglects to prosecute, perverts or corrupts their Commission, either by preaching false Doctrine, making false Application to true Doctrine, or formally binds up her own Hands by Sinful Oaths, from following and pursuing her undoubted sworn unto Duty, practically condemning the Generation of the Righteous, perverting People from the right Ways of the Lord, as once attained, maintained and practised in this Land; denying, declining and disowning Duty, leading into Snares, defending and pleading for Defection; as is the Case in Hand with reference to this Church, as above instructed. p. 171

Conclusion 3. When a Church actually caused Divisions and Offences , contrary to the Doctrine we have learned... Or when the Church does promote and abet downright Schism. p. 172

Conclusion 4. When a Church doth in Judgment and Practice, so far fall from the Truth, that her Ministers maintain, patronize, strengthen, and harden one another, in a backsliding sinful course... P. 172

Conclusion 5. When such scandalous Defection continue, and are carried on in a Church, as necessarily infer a manifold Offence in countenancing them, we are by the Apostle, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, commanded to withdraw from such disorderly Walkers, 2 Thes. 3:6, 14. p. 173

Conclusion 6. That the Kind of Church-Government that may be most probable, wherein men ought to unit (i.e. Presbyterianism), is corrupted or ignored. p. 173

Conclusion 7. ...the Scripture pressing Unity, till they make it appear, that the Unity they plead for is duly qualified according to those Scriptures, to wit, in the Lord, and in the Way of Truth and Duty; for all those Scriptures speak directly against this present Church, that has broken, and continues to violate our Covenants, the Conditions and Bonds of Unity. p. 176

On Schism

Great Noise this Church has made, and still does, about that little great Word SCHISM. But, as the Proverb runs, they give both the great Blow, and the loud Cry; they blame others for their own fault: That Presbyterian Dissenters are not, nor can be guilty of Schism, in peaceably separating from this Revolution-Church; but that this Church, in separating from the Principles, Acts and Constitutions of the true reformed genuine Covenanted Church of Christ in Scotland (to which the foresaid Dissenters adhere and contend for) is guilty of SCHISM, may be clearly documented in few Words. p. 177

Objections, ordinarily adduced by Ministers... against Presbyterian Dissenters

I come now to answer some Objections, ordinarily adduced by Ministers, and others of this Church, against Presbyterian Dissenters: Such as,

Objection 1. England and Ireland have formally broken the solemn League and covenant, by the Re-establishment of Prelacy, &c. Therefore it is not binding on Scotland: When two Parties are carrying a Barrow, if the one throw down the one End of it, the other is not bound to bear up the other; & so the present Case. p. 185

Objection 2. Some Presbyterian Dissenters were born in, joined with, and yet have left the Communion of this Church, which is established by Law (whereas that Church, Dissenters contend for, is not established, her Laws of Establishment being rescinded, &c.) these being joined with others, are all Schismaticks. p. 186

Objection 3. Do you the Dissenters think you are in the Right, and all the great and learned Ministers in this present Church in the Wrong? Sure we have both the greatest Men, and the greatest Number on our Side; you have only a few, and these of the weakest Sort, and your People are ignorant, &c. p. 188

Objection 4. But Dissenters are a poor, insignificant, contemptible Party. p. 189

Objection 5. Presbyterian Dissenters do not all agree among themselves, they are of so many opinions, that there is no End of them. p. 190

Objection 6. This present Church abounds in Charity, Presbyterian Dissenters are very uncharitable, &c. p. 191

Objection 7. Presbyterian Dissenters should carry on a Testimony with others, in a Way of Church-Communion; protest against the Corruptions of, and yet join with the church: Seeing there are a better Part in the church, and Christ present with them; it ill becomes any to go out of the House, so long as Christ continues in it, &c. p. 193

Objection 8. There were Corruptions in the Church of Scotland, betwixt 1638 and 1649, as there are in this Revolution Church. p. 200

Objection 9. Are Dissenters the only Representatives of the Church of Scotland? Do they not set up a Church within a Church? p. 201

Objection 10. There are no sinful Terms of Communion required of Laicks, or the vulgar Sort of Presbyterian-Dissenters by this present National Church; Therefore they are Schismaticks and Separatists. p. 203

Testimonies of some learned divines, plainly testifying what is Schism, what are justifiable Grounds of Separation from a backsliding Church, and who deserve justly to be reputed Schismaticks.

Now, to set the whole of this Business in a more clear Light, confirm Dissenters, and perswade others of the Justness and Validity of their Cause, and to show that they are not singular in their Opinion; I shall adduce a few concurring Testimonies of some learned divines, plainly testifying what is Schism, what are justifiable Grounds of Separation from a backsliding Church, and who deserve justly to be reputed Schismaticks. Such as,

I. Beza, on the Song of Solomon, printed 1587, page 88, p. 208 (in this book)

II. Mr. Rutherford, in Due Right of Presbytery, page 255, as cited in Apologetical Relation, page 293, p. 208 (in this book)

III. Mr. George Gillespie, in his Miscellany Questions Printed 1649, page 28, 156, 126 to 134. p. 208 (in this book)

IV. Mr. David Dickson, in his Therapeutica Sacra, page 578, p. 209 (in this book)

V. Mr. Durham, in his Treatise on Scandal, p. 210 printed 1682, p. 210 (in this book)

VI. Mr. Robert McWard, in his Earnest Contendings against Mr. Fleming, page 259, p. 211 (in this book)

VII. Mr. Walter Marshal Gospel Mystery of Sanctification printed 1692 from page 310 to 314, p. 212 (in this book)

VIII. Mr. Thomas Watson's Christian's Charter, page 146, p. 213 (in this book)

IX. Mr. John Cotton, in Exposition on John I Epistle, printed 1658, page 385 p. 214 (in this book)

X. Mr. John Owen, in his Inquiry into the Nature and Communion of Evangelick Churches, printed 1681, page 180, p. 214 (in this book)

XI. Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs, in his Irenicum, printed 1646, page 173, Also, on Hosea 2:2, p. 215, 216

XII. Mr. James Fraser, in his Sermon, intituled, Prelacy an Idol, printed 1713, p. 15, p. 217 (in this book)

XIII. It will appear further who are Schismaticks, from Mr. Forester in his Rectius instruendum, Consut. 3. dialogue p.7. p. 217 (in this book)

XIV. Mr. Thomas Case, Mount Pisgah, p. 217 (in this book)

Upon the Whole, some general Observation seems necessary. And as the great Dr. Owen observes, That the Withdrawing from Ordinances is just, when Offences are so grievous and notour as also all Access towards Removing them in a regular Way, rendered impossible (the very Case with Presbyterian Dissenters, in my Judgment ) in such a Manner, that the great End of Edification cannot be reached. p. 218

Principles concerning Civil Government, and the Difference betwixt the Reformation and Revolution Principles.

The Presbyterian Dissenters having in most of their Prints, such as the Informatory Vindication, and Declarations successively, and in many others, publickly asserted the Lawfulness of MAGISTRACY, and that it was ordained of God for his own glory, and the good of human Society, and as publickly declared their Judgment about the past and present Possessors of the Government, very little remains for me to say upon this Subject. p. 221

It seems somewhat necessary, in order to give Light about their Practice and Principles, that a succinct Account of the Principles and Practice of our Reformers in this Matter, should be suitably adverted to, pondered, and withal remembered (as appears from Knox's History, and other Accounts of that Time.) That in the very Morning of our Reformation, when our renowned Ancestors were religiously, zealously, vigorously and resolutely wrestling to shake themselves loose of that Antichristian Yoke of Popery, and briskly contended to have our sacred and civil Liberties, and Privileges set, established and secured upon a firm and scriptural Basis; who, tho' they met with exceeding great Opposition, in promoving this glorious Work from the Civil Powers, being of different or contrary Principles; yet rightly judged, that as they were a free and independent Nation, they had undoubtedly an intrinsick Power to limit Sovereigns, and require, yea oblige them, as an Act of Equity, to establish, maintain and profess the same true Religion with the Subjects. p. 221

Common Objections Concerning Civil Magistracy Answered

I come now to answer some Objections, that are commonly flung in to vilify this Cause, and the Owners thereof;

Objection 1. The 23 Chap.4 Sect. of the Confession of Faith, says, Infidelity, or Difference in Religion, doth not make void the Magistrate's just and legal Authority, nor free the People from their due Obedience to him; therefore Magistrates of a Religion different from the People, or Subjects, may be set up, bear Rule over this Realm, and warrantably subjected to, as such. p. 251

Objection 2. The Apostles commanded and paid Subjection to Heathen Magistrates, some of which were Tyrants, and void of all Religion and why may not Dissenters pay Subjection and Obedience to such as are professed Protestants? p. 256

Objection 3. But the Saints prayed for Heathen Magistrates, and honoured them, according to Scripture-Instances, &c. p. 261

Objection 4. But the Saints made their Adresses to them, Paul appealed unto Caesar. p. 262

Objection 5. But Christ paid, and commanded Tribute to be paid, and accordingly the Saints did pay Tribute to the Power then in Being according to many Scripture Instances. To this the Mystery of Magistracy says, p. 40. p. 263

Objection 6. But tis said, Rom 13:1 Let every Soul be subject to the higher Powers; the reason is added, For there is no Power but of God; and the Powers that be, are ordained of God: Where the tyrannical Roman Caesars, the Powers in Possession, are owned to be the Ordinance of God; and that Because of their said Possession, to whom therefore all are required to subject for conscience sake. p. 264

Objection 7. But they do much good, however unlawful in their Entrance; yet they answer much the End of Magistracy, in punishing many evil Doers, &c. p. 266

Objection 8. It is still Duty for all in these Lands, to subject unto, and obey the lawful Commands of all that are in Possession of the Government, whether lawfully or unlawfully invested therewith. p. 266

Objection 9. In Regard every subsequent Parliament has Power to rescind any Act or Constitution, which has been made by a former Parliament; these fundamental Laws and Covenants being abrogate, and rescinded, are no more the Laws of Scotland, and so can neither limit Princes, in their Admission to the Imperial Crown, nor regulate them in their Government. p. 272

Objection 10. But Presbyterian Dissenters are suspected of Jacobitisin, and particularly charged with it, in Kersland's Memoirs, and Patrick Walker's Passages. p. 274

Publisher's note:

The full book, Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting, is available as a bound photocopy from SWRB for $9.99 US funds (plus postage and handling) at:

4710-37A Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 3T5


Home page at:

Contact us today for your FREE mail-order catalogue!

Voice: (780) 450-3730

The Preface and Chapter one which follow have not been proofread -- but are provided anyway, because of the importance of the information. Also, a further study section appears at the end of this file.

Back to swrb home page

			The Preface.

	Christian Reader,

	Our lot seems to be fallen in the last Days wherein tis foretold, perillous 
Times should come:  For Men are become Lovers of their own selves, and 
infected with all the concomitant and consequent enormities, that natively 
attend and flow from the inordinate Principle of Self-love, 2 Tim. 3:2,3,4,5. 
insomuch, that it is very difficult to observe the Divine Precept subjoined, 
From such turn away; when so little is to be heard, or can be said of all the 
sometime reformed Churches, but what may cause Mourning, Lamentation 
and Woe; because of Defection from Truth, Decay of true Religion, declining 
from the right Way of the Lord; the prevailing of Errors, abounding of 
Impiety, Profanity and all Wickedness.  These and such other Evils in these 
degenerate Covenant-breaking Lands, are imboldened, strengthened and 
protected by the Unfaithfulness and Connivance of these, who should 
detect and suppress them, and by an almost boundless Toleration.  Have 
they not set up their Abominations in the House, called by His Name, to 
pollute it ?  Are not the very Vitals and Fundamentals of pure Religion, 
and true Christianity struck at, and wounded ?  Is not the Reason of Man, 
in his lapsed corrupt Estate, made the Rule or Touch-Stone of Religion?  
Whereby the Authority of god, speaking in his holy Word, is sighted.  Yea, 
is not Idol Self-love obtruded, as the principal Spring and chief End of 
Peoples Profession and religious Performances?  Are there not many 
Preachers and Hearers, who no less admire, affect and cry up, instead of 
the Evangel of Christ crucified, their lifeless and graceless Harangues of 
Moral Virtues, than the Ephesians did their great Diana?  Do not both 
Pulpit and Press sound and send forth such Things?  Have not People, even 
Professors, Cause to fear the devouring and deswolating Curse, who thus 
have transgressed the Laws, changed the Ordinances, and broken the 
everlasting Covenant?  Isa. 24:5,6.

	The Church of Scotland (as the great Gillespie writes in Epistle to the 
English Popish Ceremonies,) was blessed with a more glorious and perfect 
Reformation, than any of her Neighbour Churches:  The Doctrine, Worship, 
Regiment and Policy, established here by Ecclesiastic and Civil Laws, and 
sworn and subscribed unto by the King's Majesty, the several Presbyteries 
and Parish-Churches of the Land; as it had the Applause of foreign Divines, 
so was it in all Points agreeable to the Word:  Neither could the most rigid 
Aristarchus of these Times challenge any Irregularity in the same.  But 
now, alas! even this Church, which was once so great a Praise in the Earth, 
is deeply corrupted, and hath turned aside quickly out of the Way, Exod. 
32:8.  So that this is the Lord's Controversy against Scotland: I had planted 
thee a noble Vine, wholly a right Seed:  How then are thou turned into the 
degenerate Plant of a strange vine unto me?  Jer. 2:21.  Oh transformed 
Virgin!  whither is thy Beauty gone from thee?  Oh forlorn Prince's 
Daughter! how art thou not ashamed to look thy Lord in the Face?  O thou 
best beloved among Women!  what hast thou to do with the inveighing 
Appurtenances and Habiliments of Babylon, of Prelacy and Erastianism?

	If after all that's mentioned and referred to in the following Reasons, it 
be asked; What Principles of Religion, these Dissenters from the present 
established church hold?  It is answered, The Presbyterian Dissenters 
profess sincerely to own, and adhere to the true reformed Protestant 
Religion, in doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government, as it is contained 
at large in the Word of God, the Old and New Testament, and briefly 
summed up in our Confessions of faith, Catechisms Larger and Shorter, 
Sum of saving Knowledge, Directories for Worship, Propositions of Church 
Government; and to our Covenants, National and Solemn League:  As also, 
to the Acts and Declarations of the Church of Scotland, agreeable to the 
above said Confessions of faith and Covenants; and especially the Acts and 
Declarations of General Assemblies, in purest Times of the church, namely, 
between the Year 1638, and 1649 inclusive:  Also, all Protestations and 
Declarations, before or after that Time, agreeable to these above said, that 
were made by those, who opposed the Defections from, and overthrowing 
of our Covenanted Reformation.  And to all the faithful Contendings for, 
and Testimonies to the Truth, Interests and Prerogatives of Jesus Christ, of 
old and late, by Ministers and Professers, in opposition to all Error, Popery, 
Prelacy, superstition, Heresy, Schism, Sectarianism, Erastianism, Profanity, 
and whatever is contrary to sound Doctrine and the Power of Godliness.  
The Maintenance of which noble Cause, our renowned Ancestors and 
faithful Martyrs judged worthy of their dearest Lives and precious Blood, 
to seal and confirm the same to Posterity.

	To the cordial Espousing of, stedfast Adhering to, valiant and faithful 
Contending for which most honourable Cause (belong the Cause of Christ) 
are hereby earnestly invited, all Ranks, high or low, of Church or State, in 
these covenanted Lands (as these Dissenters have done formerly by their 
Declarations) in the Words  of the learned Mr. George Gillespie, in his 
Epistle (above-cited) saying, I am in this Place to beseech you all by the 
Mercies of god, that remembering the Word of the Lord, (1 Sam. 2:30.) 
Them that honour me, I will honour, and they that despise me, shall be 
lightly esteemed; remembering also the Curse and Condemnation of Meroz 
(Judg. 5:23.) which came not to help the Lord against the Mighty; of the 
Nobles of Tekoa, who put not their Necks to the Work of the Lord (Neh. 
3:5.) and shortly, of all such as have no Courage for the Truth (Jer. 9:3.) but 
seek their own Things, not the Things which are Jesus Christ's (Phil. 2:21) 
And finally, taking to Heart, how the Lord Jesus, when he cometh, in the 
Glory of his Father, with his Holy Angels, will be ashamed of every one, 
who hath been ashamed of him and his Words, in the midst of a sinful and 
crooked Generation (Mark 8:38.)  You would with a holy Zeal and invincible 
Courage against all contrary Error, Superstition, and abuse whatsoever, let 
yourselves both to speak and do, and likewise (having a Call) to suffer for 
the Truth of Christ, and for the Purity of his Worship, being nothing 
terrified by your Adversaries, Phil. 1:28.  1 Pet. 3:14.

	The Author expects not, that the following Reasons will escape the 
severe Censures of many.  Some may exclaim against them as 
unseasonable.  True, tis commendable in Words and Writings, that they be 
seasonable; and in Readers and Hearers, that they have Wisdom to discern 
Time and Judgment; yet, in a Time of Defection, few of the Decliners do 
ever grant any Thing opposite to their Course, to be seasonable:  But these, 
or such Reasons, have been to long desiderate, and are now produce,

	1. Because the true Nature, Tendency and Quality of the present Course 
of growing Defection, seems to call for a standing Testimony  against the 
infectious Evil thereof.  

	2. That the heinous Guilt of this Course, may be in 
some Measure discovered to People, who, at this Time, are beginning to 
make an Outcry against some of the Affronts and grievous Indignities 
offered to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to desiderate a more ample Discovery 
of the same, that they may lament them before the Lord.  

	3.  It is 
presumed, such Reasons will be accounted unnecessary and unseasonable, 
only by such, as either being involved in do plead for and defend this 
Course of declining and backsliding, or do connive at the fame, as not to be 
regarded, or incurable:  It is heartily wished, the one Sort may be cured of 
their audacious Confidence, and the other of their Indifferency and 
detestable Neutrality.  

	4.  Because the Ministers embracing Oaths, 
Toleration, Patronages, and encroaching Errors and exotick Impositions, 
have been of late more hot and high than formerly, not only teaching 
Compliance by their Doctrine and Example, but even the threatening 
People into a Silence at their Defection, and robbing the Lord's People of 
their Rights, and yet boasting in their Power and Purity, as if all were right 
in doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government.  

	5.  Because of late some, 
who, seeing many Errors and Evils in the present Course, had embraced, 
professed and pretended a Fixedness in true Reformation Principles, have 
returned to their Compliance with this Erastian Church, whereby they are 
encouraged to continue in their Breaches, to walk on in their crooked 
Paths, and made confident in their Course:  Therefore it appears now 
necessary, and high Time to detect and testify against the sin and Danger 
of their Way.  

	6.  That such as insult over the poor Remnant (who dare 
neither forbear to witness against, nor dissemble their Abhorrence of their 
sinful Declinings) may be convinced how little Ground the one sort has to 
insult so over their poor Brethren, and how little Cause the other has to be 
ashamed of witnessing their Dislike.  

	7.  Because it hath often been, and yet 
is objected, That Dissenters do make great Noise against the present Course 
of Defection, but that they neither would nor could render a Reason for 
their Practice, nor evince that the Course witnessed against was contrary to 
the covenanted Reformation:  Therefore the Cause and Interest of Truth, 
constrained the Author, now at length, to give such a plain and publick 
Account of some Reasons of their Practice and just Dissatisfaction.

	As it is not pretended, that these following are all the Grounds and 
Reasons, for Matter or Manner of producing and evincing them, which 
Presbyterian Dissenters have or may advance for their withdrawing from, 
or forbearing Communion with this Church; So tis not alledged, that every 
one of these separately taken is a valid and sufficient Ground of Separation 
or Withdrawing, which several of them, taken conjunctly or altogether, 
may be.  But, if publishing of these prove a Means to instigate and excite 
Dissenters to produce all their solid and weighty Reasons for their Practice, 
in what Dress or Form they shall judge fittest; the Author (who is but a 
private Christian) has in so far gained his Purpose.

	Hence he is hopeful, whatever Mistakes, Escapes, or exceptionable 
Expressions the Candid Reader shall find in the ensuing Sheets, will neither 
be imputed to the Cause, which, however weakly or ill managed, is 
valuable and honourable, nor to the Persons owning that good Cause, once 
so signally countenanced of the Lord, and transmitted by his Jedidiahs, to 
us their degenerate Offspring, at so much Expence of blood and Treasure, 
but only to the Publisher. 

	If any, upon Perusal of this Book, think the Names, Terms or Epithets 
given to this Church, her Ministers, Members, Course and Practice are 
harsh, bitter and irritating; all the Apology the Author makes is, he has 
endeavoured to avoid Bitterness and Irritation, using Terms and Epithets 
applicable to the Persons and Things spoken of:  Not imitating Mr. Wodrow, 
who attributes such severe Names and Titles to the faithful Witnesses and 
zealous Contenders for Truth in the late Times, as might more fitly be 
applied to Backsliders and Defenders of the Defections in our Days; yea, nor 
such as this Church in her Acts ascribe to Persons, who oppose, and for 
opposing their evil Ways:  Nay, nor yet such Names and Epithets as may 
warrantably be given; and the Holy Spirit doth give, to Persons pursuing 
corrupt Courses; as in Tit. 1:10,11.  1 Tim. 6:4,5.  2 Tim. 3:8.  2 Pet. 2:2  Phil. 
3:2.  Song. 2:15.  John. 10: 8,9.  Acts 20:29,30.  Isa. 1:10, &c.

	A fine Stile, adorned with Flowers of Rhetorick, was not studied by the 
Author, who, being mostly versant with Country-People, labours to speak 
and write in the Vulgar Dialect.  But some may quarrel the Stile, as not of 
so mild, charitable and dolorous a Strain, as such a grievous and 
gravaminous subject did require.  He answers, Although, all, and every one 
of the following Reasons may afford Matter of Mourning and Lamentation; 
yet to have insisted in that Strain, upon each of them, and the Instances, 
might been esteemed Pharisaical Ostentation, and would have swelled the 
Book to a Volume, too tedious, and less beneficial to country-People:  And 
Souls suitably affected, being afflicted with the Afflictions of Joseph, who 
take Pleasure in the Stones of Zion, and favour the Dust thereof, and are 
truly mourning for all the Abominations to be found in poor backsliding 
Scotland, will find no great Difficulty to improve each of these Heads after 
that Manner; While the Neutral, the Gallio, the lukewarm Laodicean, and 
Libertine, the Atheistical Nullisidian, the sensual Epicure, the cynical 
Critick, the scenical fester, the avaricious Worlding, the aspiring Diotrephes, 
the Subdolous Machiavelian, the Gnathonick Parasite, would either tush  at 
all these Things, or scarce think them worth while to look them over; or if 
they do, will it not be with an Air of Prejudice and disdain?

	As for what is said, anent the Principles of Presbyterian Dissenters, 
concerning Civil authority, lest any should mistake or misrepresent them, 
let it be said, once for all, That the Author knows non People more loyally 
disposed than they are, and none more ready to discover it, in all duties 
enjoined in the Holy Scriptures, in our confessions and Covenants.  What 
they plead for is, that Persons in publick Trust and Office, be duly qualified 
according to God's Word, and our antient laudable Laws,  and sacred 
Covenants and that they be invested with, and exercise their Government, 
according to these Laws and covenants, for the great Ends of promoting 
and protecting true Religion and Virtue, and suppressing Error and vice.  
They are not disaffected to well-qualified Regal Government and just 
Authority; but account it Matter of Grief and Trouble to them, that the 
present is not such, as have these Qualifications, walk by those Rules, or 
prosecute these Ends; and so, not such as they may lawfully own, obey, or 
defend, without being guilty of receding from the antient Principles and 
Covenants of this Church, and Laws of this Kingdom.

	It may be observed, that all the Ministers of this church are not looked 
upon by Dissenters, as equally chargeable with the Defections, Corruptions, 
and offensive Courses after-mentioned. Some (altho they be indirectly 
involved, and interpretatively chargeable with the same, in that they do 
not more valiantly contend and oppose, and more faithfully testify against 
these Evils) are less infected with publick illimited Oaths, are more 
Evangelick in Doctrine, more tender and circumspect in their Conversation 
and ministerial  Deportment, and profess a greater Warmth of affection for 
the Covenanted Cause and owners thereof, and greater Displeasure with 
the prevailing Evils, than many others, who, like dead Fish, swim down the 
Stream, without Stay, Struggle or Scruple.  But, as their continuing in 
Communion with a far greater infected and infectious Part, is their own 
Snare, and a strengthening the Hands of Evil-doers; so tis as the dead flies, 
which cause their Ointment send forth a stinking Savour.  And Dissenters 
have not only one or two, but more of the following Grounds and Reasons 
of their dissent from all, that they refuse to join and concur with, in the 
present Course and circumstances.  Hence,

	Its to be adverted, that when the church is mentioned in these reasons, 
every particular Minister and Member is not meant; but the church 
complexly considered, as to the Bulk and consociate Body of Ministers and 
Members, whereby all embodied are indirectly included, till they come out 
from among the rest, and so distinguish themselves.

	They have not so fixed a stated Withdrawing from all the Ministers, 
upon these and such Grounds, as that they will never concur with them 
anymore, even tho they should confess and forsake their offensive Courses, 
and give due Satisfaction to the Consciences of the Offended; but only a 
conditional Withdrawing, viz as they chuse to stand still in this case, and 
refuse to concur, until offensive and backsliding Courses be turned from, as 
tis prescribed to Jeremiah, Chap. 15:19. so, whenever the Causes of 
Distance shall be rightly removed, Offences and defections acknowledged 
and forsaken; they promise with all Readiness to concur; yea, they would 
account it a day of their Joy and Hope in Israel, if the Lord would give 
them Occasion to evidence the same: For they reckon it not so much the 
giving Offence, as the defending and continuing in it, that doth warrant 
their dissent and Withdrawing.

	To fill these blank Pages, here may be subjoined, some Concessions 
granted by the Ministers of this Church, to be just grounds of Separation, in 
a Pamphlet intituled, The Oath of Abjuration no Ground of Separation, Pag. 

	There are only these six warrantable and justifiable Grounds of 

	I.  Heresy in Doctrine, by which (saith he) I understand Errors, contrary 
to, and destructive of the Fundamentals of Faith and Religion:  When Errors 
are taught and maintained, that are inconsistent with Salvation: then, and 
in that Case, there ought to be a Separation.  Thus the Jews denying Jesus 
of Nazareth to be the Messiah:  The Socinians denying the godhead of 
Christ (add Profes. Simson, Campbell, etc.) these, and such like are to be 
separated from, because these Errors are altogether inconsistent with 

	II.  Idolatry in Worship, when the Worship we are to join in, is 
corrupted, we are to separate from it:  As in Popery, their worshipping of  
Saints and Angels, their bowing to Images, and their Idolatrous Mass:  
These Things make Communion with them simply unlawful, as is clear 
from 2 Cor. 6:7.  Rev. 18:4,6. 

	III.  Sinful Terms of communion imposed, warrant Separation; we are 
not to stay in that Church, where we are necessitated to sin by joining with 
it.  Now, this is done several Ways; As, 1st, When Rites and Ceremonies of 
Mens Invention are urged, as necessary in the worship of god:  Thus, in the 
Church of England, Separation from it is necessary, because of this, they 
require of us what god has not required of us in his word, as the Cross in 
Baptism, Kneeling at the Lord's Table, with several other Things which we 
judge sinful, because they want the Stamp of divine Authority, and are 
required, as necessary Parts of Worship.  2dly,  As the worthy Mr. Durham 
says, When a person is put to condemn any Thing he thinketh lawful, 
either in his own former Practice, or that of other; or, if required to 
condemn any Point of Doctrine he thinketh to be true, e.g.  If the Church 
should require of her Members this Condition of Communion with her, that 
they should expressly condemn our Covenants, or the Contendings of the 
Godly in this Land, against Prelacy and Erastianism, or any Point of Truth 
held by them, this would warrant Separation.  3dly, When a Person is 
required to approve the Deed or Practice of some other, which he 
accounteth sinful, or to affirm that as a Truth, which he thinketh an Error; 
e.g.  If we require any to approve of the Oath of Abjuration, and Ministers 
taking of it, this would warrant Separation also.  4thly, When some 
Engagement is required for Time to come, which doth refrain from any 
Duty called for, or that may be called for; e.g.  If People should be required 
to engage, never to separate from the Church of Scotland, be the 
Corruptions never so great; or to bear any Testimony against Ministers, 
whatever they do this were a sinful Condition.

	IV.  Usurpation or Intrusion into the Ministry, I (saith he) reckon a 
sufficient Ground of Separation.  There is a Threefold Intrusion into the 
Ministry.  1st, An intruding into it, without either a Call from the People, or 
Ordination by Ministers.  2dly, An intruding into it, merely upon the Call of 
People, without Ordination, or Potestative Mission; both these usurp the 
Office, and are by all acknowledged to be sufficient Grounds of Separation 
from them.  3rdly, When a Person has Ordination, but takes the Charge of a 
particular Flock, wholly without their Consent, and against their Will, 
entring (it may be) merely by the Presentation of a Patron, and Collation of 
a Bishop. --- When a People have their own faithful Ministers violently, 
and for their Faithfulness, thrust out, and others intruded in their Place; in 
this Case there is just ground, yea, it is positive duty to adhere to our 
faithful Ministers, who suffer for Righteousness, and defers these 

	V.  Intolerable Persecution is reckoned a just Ground of Separation.  Our 
blessed Lord bids us, when thrust out of one City, flee into another; and 
under this Head (says he) I reckon unjust and sinful Excommunication, 
John 3:34. and 16:2. but this coinciding some way with the Third, I (says 
he) shall not enlarge upon it.

	VI.  I shall (saith he) add one Particulor more, and that from and in the 
Words of the Reverend Mr. Hog, whose Principles are not lax, upon this 
Head, viz.  Withdrawing from Ordinances is just, when Offences and 
Scandals are so grievous and notour;  As also, all Access towards removing 
them in a regular Way, is rendered impossible, in such a Manner, as the 
great End of Edification cannot be reached, &c. 

	All I intend (says he) in this, is, That Persons manifestly insufficient, 
erroneous, or scandalous, may be withdrawn from, tho' not censured, 
through the Iniquities of the Times, or the like.  Thus he, with all his 

	The Dissenters Concessions, of what they grant insufficient grounds, and 
these they hold sufficient in Point of withdrawing, may be seen in their 
Informatory Vindication,  Head IV.

				E R R A T A 
Page 6. Line 21. dele unto. l. 32:  Read they were. p. 28. l. 9. add Act 23. p. 
45. l. 22 exercise r. exerce. p. 54. l. 9. Mr r Masters, p. 99. l. 33. r. and new. 
p. 106. l. 3. a r as. p. 113. l. 16. whatever r. whether. p. 136.7.23.r. and is. p. 
150. l. 6. r. is. l. 24. or r. of. p. 151. l. 5. r. odious. p. 198 l. 29. r. farewel.  p. 
204.l. 20. ater. is. p. 209. l. 26. r. to l. 30. r. Isa. 5. p. 215, l. 9. dele it. p. 255.  
l. 2. r. on their. smaller escapes will not mar the Sense.

				from the 

				REASON 1.

Presbyterian Dissenters seem to have just Ground to dissent from this 
present Revolution-Church, because she was made up, for most Part, of 
such Office-bearers as, by their disorderly and divisive Courses, had left 
the true covenanted Principles of the reformed church of Christ in 
Scotland, as by Law established 1649, and complied with the heinous 
Corruptions and Evils of these Times, after-mentioned.
Instance 1. She was made up of such as, contrary to their former 
covenanted Principles, had gone into the PUBLICK RESOLUTIONS, 1consent 
to, and approved of the State's taking such malignant Enemies into places 
of Power and Truth in Church, State and Army, Anno 1651, as had been 
justly, by the reforming assemblies and Parliaments, purged from the 
same Offices of Power formerly, by Reason of their Disaffection to the 
covenanted Work of Reformation.  Now, in the by, this Conduct of those 
publick Resolutioners was so much the more offensive and scandalous, that 
they were the very Men, who, by this Fact, did so very so very foully 
apostatize from the Truths and Principles which they formerly professed 
themselves fixed in, and had solemnly sworn to maintain with Hands lifted 
up to the most high God, and had likewise caused their respective 
Congregations do the same in a very solemn Manner Anno 1648, which sin, 
or, if you will, Perjury had this fatal Consequence, that these very 
malignant Enemies, after this friendly and kindly Reception in the Year 
1661, overturned the whole Work of Reformation, and violently 
persecuted the Church of Christ in Scotland for the Space of Twenty eight 

	2.  This Church foresaid was blended with such as had embraced 
Diocesan abjured Prelacy 2 Anno 1662, contrary to the Holy Word, our 
confessions of Faith, Covenants, and the legal established Government of 
Christ's Church in the Land, founded on, and agreeable to the Word.

	3.  She was compounded of such Office-bearers, as had quit their 
Holding of Christ, and submitted most sinfully unto an Exotick Head, 
receiving a new Mission and Holding of the then King, and that in 
subjection to his blasphemous absolute Power, by accepting these hateful, 
Cause-destroying, Church-ruining, Remnant-dividing, Anti-christian 
Indulgences 3; together with the sinful Restrictions and Limitations 
attending them, directing and appointing such Accepters, where, and to 
whom they were to preach, and administer sealing Ordinances, without the 
Concurrence and Authority of any Ecclesiastick Judicatory, &c.  The first of 
these Indulgences is dated July 27, 1669; the second has its Date 
September 3, 1672.  See the History of the Indulgence, and Mr M Ward's 
Earnest Contendings against the Indulged.

	4.  This Church was form'd of such Ministers at the Revolution, as in a 
Meeting at Edinburgh about the Year 1679 (calling themselves an 
Assembly, &c.) did formally, by Vote, allow the People respectively, in 
Compliance with the Tyrant's Proclamation for that effect, to give their B O 
N D  of Security to the bloody Council, that their Ministers should live 
peaceably, and present them to the Council foresaid, when called for, under 
the Penalty of 6000 Merks; the Sinfulness of which Vote, Bond and 
Limitation is clearly decyphered in a Book, intituled, The Banders 
Disbanded, printed 1679. which says, p.4. "Seeing the Thing was both 
publickly Voted by a Meeting  of Ministers, assuming to themselves the 
Name of a General Assembly, yea, and of the Representative of the Church 
of Scotland; as also, no publick Dissent or Protestation entred against the 
same, &c."  Only, in the By, 'tis plain to every Body, that this peaceable 
Way of living, here engaged to, did muzzle up all such Ministers from 
preaching one Word against the Sinfulness of that bloody Court, in their 
cruel Persecuting of the People of God, and wicked Laws authorizing the 

	5.  The Church at the Revolution was crowded with such Ministers as 
had addressed for, and accepted of the Duke of York's boundless, 
blasphemous, Popish Toleration; the woful Fruit of his usurped, sinful 
Supremacy and absolute Power, designedly contrived for the Re-
introduction of abjured Popery, and consequentially the Advancement of 
Satan's Kingdom.  This promiscous and unlimited Toleration of the 
different Schemes and Modes of Religion, did extend itself to the Patrociny 
of all Sectaries, Hereticks, and Heresies and Errors, even Quakers and 
bloody Papists not excepted; which yet at the same Time behoved to bend 
with all the Force and Malice of its Authors and Vouchers, against all such 
as had any due Regard to the Cause of Christ, &c.  That it was clogg'd with a 
great many sinful Restrictions, and Limitations, and further Limitations, 
ordering and directing Ministers, the foresaid Accepters, how and what to 
preach, namely, to preach nothing that might alienate the Hearts of the 
People from the T Y R A N T, in the Execution of his horrid Cruelty and 
Tyranny, &c. is notour enough from the Proclamations establishing the 
same, one of which Tolerations is dated February 12, 1687, another June 
28. the same Year.  The first of these flattering Letters of Thanksgiving 
was dated at Edinburgh, July 21, 1687, the other a little after that, both in 
Print.  Such Ministers, in sending Letters of Thanksgiving for these 
iniquitous Tolerations, unto that profane Prince, did thereby not only 
approve of these Religion-undermining, Reformation-overturning, Liberty-
perverting, Law-subverting, Truth-inslaving Tolerations, established by a 
Throne of Iniquity; but also did mock a holy God, and declared themselves 
Servants of that wicked Prince, and not the Servants of Christ.  See Mr. 
James Renwick's Testimony against the said Toleration, printed Anno 1688, 
and reprinted 17?? (last two numbers in date obscured).
	6. This Church forsaid was at the Revolution framed of such complying 
Ministers and Ruling Elders, as had for most Part their Consciences sadly 
stain'd with sinful Oaths (at least with one or more of them) such as, (1.) 
The National Declaration.  (2.) The Oath of Allegiance, and Supremacy.  (3.) 
The Bond of Peace, to live peaceably.  (4.) The Bond of Regularity.  (5.) 
Some Bonds and Oaths for Peaceableness and Orderlyness.  (6.) The Oath of 
Inquisition, or Super-inquirendis.  (7.) The abominable Test.  (8.) The Oath 
of Abjuration.  All which did formally overturn, abjure, and run directly 
cross to the whole of our covenanted Reformation, being contrived and 
imposed for that Effect; as seems sufficiently proved in the Hind Let Loose, 
where the Hainousness of the forementioned Oaths is clearly detected, 
from p. 468. to 544.

	Now, altho' all these unbecoming, sinful, disorderly, and, I may add, 
divisive Courses, just cross unto, and destructive of the attained 
Reformation in this Island, were publickly, zealously and faithfully 
testified against by the Lord's valiant and eminent Ambassadors and 
People, in their stedfast Adherence to, and Contendings for the reformed 
and established Principles of the covenanted Church of Christ (unto all 
which Testimonies, and faithful Witnessings, &c. the Presbyterian 
Dissenters desire, and endeavour in the Strength of the glorious Head of 
the Church to own, and contend for both in Principle and Practice)  Yet, N.B. 
All such Ministers, and Ruling Elders, thus blacked and insnared with the 
foresaid Defections and Corruptions, that were alive were embraced and 
admitted in as Members of the first Assembly at the Revolution Anno 
1690.  Or let it run thus, That Assembly foresaid consisted chiefly of such 
blacked Compliers, and were received in into ministerial Communion, 
without any Acknowledgment of these schismatical and disorderly Courses; 
neither were they in any Manner of way censured for the same, according 
to the Rules of Justice.  See Ezek. 44 Chap. from the 5th to the 14th v. and 
the laudible Acts and Proceedings of the Church betwixt the Year 1638, 
and 1649, particularly, Assem. 1638. Sess. 14. Sentences of Deposition and 
Excommunication against the pretended Bishops.  Sess. 23,24.  Act anent 
Corruptions in the Office and Lives of Ministers.  Assem. 1639.  Sess 8.  Act 
containing the Causes and Remedies of the bygone Evils of this Kirk.  Sess. 
20.  Act anent receiving of deposed Ministers.  Assem 1643.  Sess 6.  Act 
for subscribing the Covenant.  Assem. 1646.  Sess. 14.  Act for censuring 
the Compliers with the publick Enemies of this Kirk and Kingdom.  Assem. 
1647.  Sess 26.  Act for debarring Compliers from Ecclesiasticle Office.  
Commiss. of G. Ass. 1648.  October 6.  Act debarring Persons accessory to 
the unlawful Engagement in War from Ecclesiastick Offices, &c.  Assem. 
1649. Sess 19.  Act concerning the receiving of the Engagers in the 
unlawful War, to publick Satisfaction, &c.  From all which acts, 'tis evident, 
if any just Regard had been made unto them, none guilty of the foresaid 
Crimes and compliances could have been admitted to bear Office in the 
Church, or even receive Church-Privileges, without due Acknowledgment, 
and evident Symptoms of Repentance;  Through which unaccountable 
supine Neglect of exercising Discipline at that Time, these forsaid Compliers 
have been dead Weights upon  the working Hand of this Revolution-Church 
to this very Day, with Reference to the Retriving of their lost Ground, or 
reviving of Reformation Principles.  Against hearing of, or joining with any 
of that Stamp the Dissenters had just exceptions, long before the 
Revolution-Establishment commenced.  See Inform. Vind. Head 4th.

	Furthermore, as this Revolution-Church was in her Constitution, 
compounded of such a confused Misture of schismatical and disorderly 
Walkers, as above; so they have been special and active Instruments in 
maintaining and propagating conjunctly that same Schism from the 
covenanted Reformation ever since, as perhaps will appear in the Sequel:  
Only with this Difference, viz. these foresaid Compliers carried on Schism 
and Defection in a broken State of the Church; but the Revolutioners have, 
and yet do carry on the same Schism, etc. in a State settled, and 
established by Law, which does not a Whit mend the Matter but rather 
aggravate it.  Now, in regard of these lamentable Changings and Turnings 
from our blessed Reformation, and if not all, yet the prime vital and 
essential Parts thereof, I humbly conceive, Dissenters foresaid have 
sufficient Warrant in the holy Word to bottom their Conscience upon, in 
dissenting from all such; they being expressly forbidden to join or meddle 
with such as are given to Changes, Prov. 24:21.  The Reason of this 
Prohibition is in the following Verse, Viz.  For their Calamity shall rise 
suddenly, and who knoweth the Ruin of them both?  Hence it must be their 
bound duty to beware of taking such Courses, as in Regard of 
Circumstances may be construed a Compliance with the Men who have 
made themselves and the Nation guilty before God of this high 
Transgression, viz. of destroying what once they built, and building again 
what they destroyed.

	Objection  Seeing Ezra, Nehemiah, &c. addressed for, and accepted of a 
Toleration or Liberty from Heathen Magistrates, to rebuild the Temple and 
the Walls of Jerusalem, &c.  why might not Ministers of the Gospel address 
for, and accept of a Liberty, Indulgence, or Toleration to preach Christ from 
Christian Magistrates? viz.  Charles II. and Duke of York his Brother.

	Answ.  The Disparity is so great, that no Man of Candor and Conscience 
will insist on this Objection, for the following Reasons, 

(1.)  One of these Persian Kings, viz. Cyrus, mentioned, Ezra, Chap. 1. etc. 
was prophesied of, by Isaiah (Chap. 44:28.) as a Deliverer, and Helper of 
the Lord's People, long before the Accomplishment thereof; and 
Artaxerxes, not only tolerated, but helped the Jews in that honourable 
Work, as did Cyrus; Which none can say of these two Tyrants, Charles and 

(2.)  The End of these Persian Kings, their giving their Allowance and 
Concurrence forsaid to the Jews, was to Help, deliver, upbuild, and comfort 
the Lord's People; But the End of these Tyrants Indulgences and 
Tolerations was the very reverse, namely, to divide, ensnare, and inslave 
the Lord's People, and to restore Popery and Arbitrary Power, together 
with their miserable Concomitants.  

(3.)  The Jews had been peel'd oppressed and captivated by foreign 
Enemies; and these Persian Monarchs were Instruments of their 
Restoration and Consolation:  But the more Pious and Zealous in this Nation 
were plundered, oppressed, spoiled and persecuted by these Tyrants, and 
Underlings, all Domestick Enemies, notwithstanding of these sinful 
Indulgences and Tolerations.  

(4.)  These Persian Monarchs commanded every Thing, commanded by the 
God of Heaven, to be done diligently for the Good of the House of the God of 
Heaven, Ezra. 7:23.  But these Tyrants Edicts (and even Indulgences and 
Tolerations) were mostly for the Prejudice and Overthrow of the House of 
the God of Heaven.  

(5.) These Persian Kings did not restrict or limit the Jews in the 
Administrations of their Worship, Ezra 7:12, - 27.  But these Tyrants 
brought the Accepters of their Indulgences and Tolerations under many 
sinful Restrictions and Limitations:  As to the Indulged, they were, 1. 
Imposed upon the People without their Election or Call. 2.  Confined in 
their Administrations, so as they might not marry or baptize any, not 
belonging to that Parish.  3.  All obliged to celebrate the Communion upon 
one and the same Lord's Day in that Diocess, and admit none to their 
Communions belonging to other Parishes, without the Curates Certificates.  

4.  To preach only in these Kirks not in the Kirk-yards, nor any Place else.  

5.  To remain within, and not depart out of the Parish to which they were 
confined, without the Bishop's Licence.  6.  Limited in the Exercise of 
Discipline to the Prelates Presbytery.  &.  Obliged to pay the ordinary Dues 
to Clerks of such Presbyteries and Synods Bursers, &c.  The Tolerated were 
also clog'd with such Limitations as did exceedingly hamper the Freedom 
of the Ministry; that Toleration being offered and accepted with 
Restrictions,  (1.)  To Persons, Who might preach, allowing some moderate 
Presbyterians, and discharging others more zealous and faithful, who had 
as good Authority as they, to exercise their Ministry.  (2.)  To Places where 
they should preach viz. only where Intimation was given of the Name of 
the Place, and of the Preacher, to some of the Lords of council, &c.  (3.)  To 
the Matter what, or at least, what they might not preach, viz. as is said 
above, nothing that might have any Tendency to alienate the Hearts of the 
People, from a Popish and Tyrannical Government:  And consequently, 
nothing against the Wickedness, or of the Misery of Tyranny; nothing 
against the sinful Toleration, and wicked ends designed thereby; nothing 
against disabling the penal Statutes, or for the Obligation of them, and Ties 
of National Covenants strengthning them, against Popery and Papists, all 
Idolatry, Blasphemy and Heresy.  (6.)  Lastly, These Heathen Magistrates 
objected did not arrogate any Erastian Supremacy over the church of god:  
Whereas Charles II. and James his Brother, did usurp and arrogate an 
Erastian and Antichristian Supremacy, incroaching upon the perogative of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, His incommunicable Headship and Kingship as 
Mediator; whereby these Usurpers did alter and innovate, authorize and 
exauctorate, allow, restrain and dispose of the Government and Governors 
of the Church, according to their Pleasure; invading the Liberties of the 
Gospel Church, introducing a Civil Dominion upon her Government, 
contrary to its Nature.  Hence the Disparity being so obvious, there is 
nought in the Objection that can support the Practice of the Indulgence and 
Toleration Accepters. pg. 11    


1  See Wodrow's Hist. Vol. I. Append. No. 37.  A List of the Ministers  outed 
by the Act of Council at glasgow the 1st of October 1662, who had entred 
the Ministry in or after the Year 1649, without a Patron's Presentation and 
Bishop's Collation; whereof many were found alive at the Revolution, 
marked with Letter R. most of them publick Resolutioners; who, tho' all 
Members of this Revolution Church; and admitted, without exception, to 
ministerial Communion, without any Acknowledgment of, or Censure for 
their sinful and scandalous Defection; yet, in that first Assembly 1690, 
wherein they were Members their Sentences against their Brethren from 
the Year 1650, are but nullified in general, act 13, in these Words, "The G. 
Assembly does thereby declare all Sentences past against any Ministers,  
??? Page 2. by any  Church-judcatory, upon the Account of  the late 
Differences among Presbyterians, from the Year 1659 till the Re-
introduction of Prelacy, to be of themselves void and null to all  Effects, 

2  Such as Mr. Menzies, Mr. Hugh Nisbet, and many others ; of whom see in 
Reason 4th. 

3  In comparing the Names of Ministers appointed to attend the 
Commission by the Assembly, 1690, Act  16 with the History of the 
Indulgence, where the Indulged are insert, I find the following Ministers to 
have been indulged, viz.  Mrs. James Kirkton, William Weir, George 
Campbell, &c. to the Number of 17, all Members of the Commission, and, of 
Necessity, there behov'd to be many more, who were Members of the 


Publisher's note:

The full book, Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting, is available as a bound photocopy from SWRB for $9.99 US funds (plus postage and handling) at:

4710-37A Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 3T5


Home page at:

Contact us today for your FREE mail-order catalogue!

Voice: (780) 450-3730



Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution Church of Scotland. Also, Their Principles Concerning Civil Government, and the Difference Betwixt the Reformation and Revolution Principles (1731)
An exceedingly rare and important book now back in print after 265 years! The Contending Witness magazine (May, 1841) described Plain Reasons "as the single best volume penned defending the principles of the second Reformation." It sets forth "the grounds why Presbyterian Dissenters refused to hold communion with the revolution church and state," (Reformed Presbytery, Act Declaration and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation, p. 154n). The biblical principles contained in this book still apply today and thus Plain Reasons remains one of the best books explaining why (and when) an individual (church or citizen) should separate himself (or itself) from those (in church or state) who do not hold fast to all the attainments of our covenanted Reformation forefathers. In this regard the session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton calls this the one book that best explains why faithful Covenanted Presbyterians must, for conscience sake, remain ecclesiastically separate from all Presbyterian denominations that have backslidden from second Reformation attainments. (This being the classic corporate Calvinistic application of such commands as "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing" [Phil. 3:16, emphasis added]. It is also the acknowledgement that the Lord has clearly stated in his Word that he "requireth that which is past" [Eccl. 3:15]).

Furthermore, the session of the PRC of Edmonton has noted that this book "clearly spells out the reasons why to unite with the Revolution Church (1689) or any of its descendants (The Free Church of Scotland, The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and American Presbyterian Churches) is to undermine and subvert the work of the Second Reformation. The argumentation is cogent (with an abundant supply of documentation). The reading can be divided up into 5-10 pages at a time. Reasons 8 and 9 (pp. 77-91) which speak to the issue of the covenants are very helpful, as is Reason 14 (pp. 138-140) which covers the matter of terms of communion. We might also highlight Clarkson's treatment of ecclesiastical dissent (pp. 172-221 wherein he discusses schism) and political dissent (pp. 221-280). This is the best apologetic we have read defending the necessity of Presbyterians to faithfully maintain the attainments of the Second Reformation" (emphasis added). Moreover, Clarkson's section on schism, separation and the nature of the visible church (constitutionally considered) contains over 10 pages of notes and quotes taken from numerous Reformers including: Beza, Rutherford, Gillespie, Dickson, Durham, M'Ward (Rutherford's disciple), Marshall, Watson, Cotton, Owen, Burroughs, Fraser, and Case -- demonstrating that his ideas regarding dissent from corrupt and backsliding civil or ecclesiastical governments are not new, but merely classic Reformation doctrine. The book also answers a multitude of pertinent and realistic objections in sections conveniently located directly after each reason for dissent.

Moreover, the days of the revolution settlement were a time of civil and ecclesiastical confusion not unlike our own day -- the beast (civil and ecclesiastical) was attempting to devour the "woman in the wilderness" by a cunning mixture of half-truths that were designed to beguile an exhausted and persecution-weary remnant. The consequences of the actions taken in these days, by both church and state "officials," have been amplified by time and apply directly to our contemporary civil and ecclesiastical situation ("That which hath been is now" [Eccl. 3:15]).

The Reformed Presbytery's Act, Declaration and Testimony (p. 47) further explains the original historical context -- so germane to the thesis of this book -- regarding those deceptively trying days which followed the "killing times" and final martyrs' death of that period of persecution (being the death of the covenanted Presbyterian minister James Renwick, who sealed his testimony with his blood February 17, 1688).

Of the so-called "glorious revolution of 1688" and the overthrow of the Royalist tyranny the Reformed Presbytery's measured and discerning comments read, "for in a few months, God in his righteous judgement and adorable providence, overturned that (Royalist--RB) throne of iniquity on which they (the persecuting popish, prelatical, Erastian, antichristian [civil and ecclesiastical] "authorities" which were then wondering after the beast--RB) depended, and expelled that inhuman, cruel monster (the duke of York--RB), from his tyrannical and usurped power, upon the Prince of Orange's (William of Orange--RB) coming over into England, in the beginning of November that same year (1688--RB). But although the Lord at this juncture, and by this means, rescued and delivered our natural and civil rights and privileges in a national way, from under the oppression and bondage of anti-christian tyranny, arbitrary and absolute power; yet the revolution, at this time, brought no real deliverance to the church of God; but Christ's rights (by these [rights--RB] are not meant the rights of Christ personal. It is not in the power of mortals, or any creature, to acquire and secure these to him; but the rights of Christ mystical, that is, of the church, or of his truth, true worship, and religion, and professors of it as such.), formerly acquired for him by his faithful servants, lay still buried under the rubbish of that anti-christian building of prelacy, erected on the ruins of his work in this land; and the spiritual liberties and privileges of his house remained, and do still remain under the bondage of Erastianism, supremacy, toleration, etc. For it is well known, that although this man (William of Orange--RB), Jehu-like, 'destroyed Baal out of Israel, yet he departed not from the sins of Jereboam, wherewith he made Israel to sin.'"

As a second witness to the testimony also given throughout Clarkson's Plain Reasons see pages 55 and following in the Act, Declaration and Testimony for more on "the grounds of the presbytery's testimony against the constitutions, both civil and ecclesiastical, at the late revolution, anno 1689; as also against the gross Erastianism and tyranny that has attended the administration both of church and state, since that memorable period; with various instances thereof, etc."

Since these momentous days Antichrist and his minions have sought to bury the covenanted Reformation and its attainments (upholding Christ's Kingship over both church and state) under the rubbish of democratic, humanistic, atheistic, tolerationism and a "detestable neutrality" in the cause of God and truth -- the same "detestable neutrality" so strongly inveighed against in the Solemn league and Covenant. Commenting on this defection from within professing Christendom, Clarkson writes, "It is also evident from this, that Schism from our covenanted Church consists in this, to wit, When the Members of the Church make Defection to the contrary part, that is in plain Terms, when they associate or incorporate with, assist and defend the Parties against whom the Covenant (Solemn League and Covenant--RB) was made and sworn, viz. Papists, Prelatist and their Underlings, Hereticks, &c. the common Enemies of Reformation; and fall from the Duties of Preserving and propagating the Reformation of the three Kingdoms; and refuse to join with, assist and defend those, who adhere to the Covenants, in the necessary Work of Renewing them, for Extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, Superstition, Heresy, Error and Profaneness, and whatsoever is contrary to sound Doctrine and the Power of Godliness; and for re-establishing, preserving, and propagating the covenanted Reformation, once happily established in these Lands, and sworn unto by our Covenants. Furthermore, Schism from our covenanted Church consists in this, viz, When Members, Ministers or others, give themselves to a detestable Indifferency and Neutrality, in the Cause of God, namely, in the preserving and propagating the covenanted Reformation of these three Kingdoms; that is to say, When Men are like so many Gallio's in the Cause of God, preferring worldly Ease, Honour and Wealth, their own Interest to the Interest of Christ, become easy, whether the covenanted Reformation in these Lands sink or swim; and, from a cowardly Disposition in some, and a malignant, perfidious Temper in others, coalesce and accord in apostatizing from the Articles of Covenant foresaid, the Cause of God, and its honest- hearted Friends; and frighted from both, as if they thought it both Sin and Shame to have it said, that they carried any warm Side to either the one or the other. I say, All Members of this National Church, who, on Account of any Combination, Persuasion, or Terror and Fear of worldly Loss, of Sufferings of whatsoever Kind, are guilty in any of these two Cases, are also guilty of making SCHISM from the covenanted Church, as is clearly manifest by the 6th Article of our Solemn Covenant" (pp. 182-184, , emphasis added).

Commenting on the common charge of schism leveled against those who would maintain the attainments of the covenanted Reformation, Clarkson writes: "Now, upon the whole of this Objection, as 'tis plain, Presbyterian Dissenters are not Schismatics, nor deserve to be so called; so 'tis a most groundless and shameless Reflection, to call them Separatists, tho' 'tis the ordinary Name of Epithet given them, especially in Print; yet to me, and I judge to many others, it is a Wonder with what Audacity, Men of Sobriety and Conscience should have the confidence to speak at such a Rate, unless they intend, in a desperate Humour, to render their Authority every where, amongst all sober persons, contemptible: For, if two Persons, walking upon a high Path-Road, on the Brink of a Puddle, the one of them by a Blast of Wind tumbling headlong into the Gulf; when weltering amidst the Glare and miery Clay, cries up to his Neighbor upon the Brink, Sir, unless you tumble over after me, I will look upon you as a Separatist: Which of the two are to be judged most insnared into the Course of Separation, whether the Person keeping the High-way, or the poor Man wallowing in the polluted Mire, Crying upon his Neighbour to unite with him in that his miserable Estate? Est solatium miseris habere socios doloris, ('Tis Comfort to Persons in Misery to have Companions.) Have not this present Church thrown themselves over into the Ditch of Pollution, in complying with these dreadful Apostates of this and the former times? And, shall these be judged Separatists, who dare not, who cannot, and may not in Conscience follow their Example? Can such as join with, and strengthen them, be able to purge themselves from the Guilt and Judgements, which accompany this shameful Defection? For an Union here (so much cried up) without Debate, is the Brotherhood of Simeon and Levi: It is an Union in the Course of Sin and Wrath, and not in Truth and Duty" (pp. 206-207, emphasis added).

For more of this strong tonic get the whole book -- it is one of the strongest and clearest calls that we have ever seen for the church to repent of its covenant-breaking and backsliding and return to its first love at the corporate level (covenantal and constitutional).

The only drawback that needs to be noted, regarding Clarkson's Plain Reasons, is that a few of the pages (the book being as rare as it is) in the only copy that we have been able to obtain for use as a master, are a little hard to read. Even so, most of the book is easily legible and contains the highest quality of Reformation thought regarding the subjects of which it deals. It is undoubtedly a major Reformation classic and should be studied by all those who are serious about seeing the destruction of the present tyranny (which is expressed in the modern civil and ecclesiastical Babylon erected by those that oppose the covenanted Reformation and the implementation of the Crown rights of King Jesus over the whole Earth!).

(Rare bound photocopy) $99.95-90%=9.99

TITLE: The Ordinance of Covenanting (1843)
FORMAT: (Rare bound photocopy)
PRICING: $49.95-70%=14.99 (US funds)

This book is considered by many as the classic work on covenanting. "The theology of Covenanting is here unfolded with a richness of scriptural research and a maturity of intellectual strength which would have made the grey eye of Peden glisten with delight. The treatise is a valuable addition to that solid theological literature of which the Reformed Presbyterian Church has produced repeated and enduring specimens, and stamps Mr. Cunningham as a distinguished disciple of the thoughtful and scriptural school of Mason and the Symingtons" (Presby Rev., (1844) as cited in The Treasury of the Scottish Covenant by Johnston). The author himself notes that "Prayer and the offering of praise are universally admitted to be duties of religion. The Scriptures announce a place among these for the exercise of solemn Covenanting... What the word of God unfolds concerning it, is addressed to the most resolute consideration of all, and is capable of engaging the most extensive and prolonged investigation. And yet, though none have found this subject, like all God's judgements, else than a great deep, still in meditating upon it, the ignorant have been brought to true knowledge, and the wise have increased in wisdom. 'The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant' (Ps. 25:14)... Mutual federal engagements, concerning things religious and civil, whether entered into merely by simple promise, or confirmed by the solemn oath, have been made from the highest antiquity to the present. The hostility to some such engagements, and also the proud disregard for their obligation, which have been evinced by some in all ages, demand a most careful examination into their nature and design... Furnished with the key of Scripture, approaching the subject, we are enabled to open the mysteries in which ignorance and prejudice had shut it up; and equipped with the armour of light shooting forth its heavenly radiance, in safety to ourselves we assail the darkness thrown around it, and behold the instant flight of the spirits of error which that darkness contains. Standing alone in beauteous attractions descended from heaven upon it, this service beckons us to approach it, and engages to connect extensive good with a proper attention to its claims. The observance, under various phases, is described in Scripture as an undisputed and indisputable reality." In this book Cunningham exhaustively covers the subject of covenanting in over 400 pages. He deals with the manner, duty and nature of covenanting (including personal and social covenanting), the obligation covenanting confers, how covenanting is provided for in the everlasting covenant, how it is adapted to the moral constitution of man and how it is according to the purposes of God. Numerous Divine examples are cited from Scripture and covenanting is shown to be one of the great privileges of the Christian life. An interesting chapter covers "Covenanting Enforced By the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals;" which touches on circumcision, baptism, the Sabbath, the Priesthood, the new heart and the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this book demonstrates how God's approbation rested upon Covenanters in formers ages, how covenanting is predicted in prophecy, how it is recommended by the practice of the New Testament Church and at what seasons it is appropriate. The appendices touch on the relationship of covenanting to immoral and unscriptural civil governments, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the British constitution and the apostasy of the Revolution settlement. Additionally, Cunningham acknowledges that the true church is "bound by the obligations of the Church of God is past times" and is still obligated to pay what it has vowed to the Lord in those magnificent attainments of the second Reformation (the epitome of these attainments being embodied in the Solemn League and Covenant and the Westminster Standards). If you are interested in the ordinance of covenanting this is the most extensive treatment you will find in one book. It is a gold mine of Scriptural references and should be read at least once by everyone who calls upon the name of Christ.


The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligation of Religious Covenants (1853)
Excerpted from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism below, this book deals with an almost forgotten ordinance of God. It explains what covenants are, while contrasting them with oaths, vows and law. Furthermore, it distinguishes between civil and religious covenants and shows how the individual, family, church or nation can (and should) enter into covenants -- especially religious covenants. Explains why, when and how covenants are binding on posterity, citing abundant Scriptural proof for each assertion made. Here is a sample argument from this book, demonstrating how even covenants made between men are viewed as binding upon posterity by God himself: "Another instance in which posterity is recognized in covenant obligation is found in Joshua 9:15. This covenant was made between the children of Israel and the Gibeonites. Between four and five hundred years after that time, the children of Israel are visited with a very severe famine, in the days of David. 2 Sam. 21:1. And it is expressly declared by the Lord that, 'It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.' And at the same time, v. 2, that very covenant is recognized, and the breach of it is stated, as being the formal reason of the divine displeasure. Now, had it not been for this covenant, the extirpation of the Gibeonites would not have been imputed to Israel as a thing criminal; for they were comprehended in Canaanitish nations, which God had commanded them to root out" (pp. 139-140). Take the time to look these verses up. This subject has great bearing on the unity of the church, the Christian's response to godless covenant-breaking nations, hermeneutics, the family and general faithfulness to God (because many today -- individually, ecclesiastically, and nationally -- are breaking covenants which God still views as binding though they are oblivious to this obligation). Great price too!
(Rare bound photocopy) $5.95-70%=1.78


The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to Acknowledge and Support the True Religion (1853)
Excerpted from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism below, this book deals with the inescapable necessity, of the demand found in the Word of God, for the Civil establishment of Christ and King and Lawgiver over every nation on earth. If you are sick of the cease-fire with humanism, set forth by the syncretistic, Satanic and pragmatic pagan politicians of our day, (those who bargain with votaries of Antichrist [the Pope], publicly tolerate all manner of false religions (e.g. Islam) and idolatry, and compose their policy and draw their pretended authority from the beast [and not the Word of God], this book is for you! For all pagan politics is summed up in the words of the Cameronian (Covenanter) political philosopher Alexander Shields, as "rotting away under the destructive distempers of detestable neutrality, loathsome lukewarmness, declining, and decaying in corruptions, defections, divisions, distractions, confusions; and so judicially infatuated with darkness and delusions, that they forget and forego the necessary testimony of the day" (A HIND LET LOOSE, 1797 edition, p. 20). Pick up this book and begin the political walk in the "footsteps of the flock," traveling the covenanting road of Reformation and Scripture (with the magisterial Reformers of the past)!
(Rare bound photocopy) $5.95-70%=1.78


The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (1853)
A manual of instruction, drawing from such notable authors as William Symington and J.R. Willson, presenting "arguments and facts confirming and illustrating the 'Distinctive Principles'" of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapters deal with: "Christ's Mediatorial Dominion in general;" Christ's exclusive Headship over the Church;" "The Supreme and Ultimate Authority of the Word of God in the Church;" Civil Government, the Moral Ordinance of God;" Christ's Headship over the Nations;" "The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ;" The Word, or Revealed Will of God, the Supreme Law in the State;" "The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to acknowledge and support the True Religion:" "The Spiritual Independence of the Church of Christ:" "The Right and Duty of Dissent from an immoral Constitution of Civil Government;" "The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligations of Religious Covenants;" "The Application of these Principles to the Governments, where Reformed Presbyterians reside, in the form of a Practical Testimony;" and finally "Application of the Testimony to the British Empire." A most important book, as we approach (possibly) the end of the great apostasy and will be in need of preparing for the dawning of the glorious millennial blessings to come; the days prophesied in which the church "shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings" (Isa. 60:16).
(Rare bound photocopy) $29.95-70%=8.99


Distinctive Principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (1841)
This book is not designed to discuss "the (many-RB) doctrines which the Reformed Presbyterian church holds in common will others," but is written to set forth RP distinctives. It tackles its subject from three major heads: "Social Covenanting;" "The Dominion of Christ;" and "The Universal Application of Scripture (civil as well as religious)." It shows that while these doctrines "are held by many, as abstract doctrines of divine truth, they are not embodied in the testimony of any other Christian denomination: nor made necessary to ministerial or Christian fellowship. Although other individuals may hold these doctrine, it is a 'distinctive' feature of the RPC to embody them in her testimony; and to make them terms of communion." It also explains how these are the same distinctives that were maintained "at the era of the reformation, (when) the covenanted church of Scotland bore a distinguished testimony for all the offices of Christ, as prophet, priest and king: and for the pure doctrines, worship, discipline, and government of the house of God." The author states that "the great object aimed at is to help forward the glorious triumph of the Messiah, so beautifully described in the 72nd Psalm. When 'all Kings shall fall down before him; and all nations shall serve him.'"
(Rare bound photocopy) $49.95-80%=9.99


The Duty and Perpetual Obligation of Social Covenanting
The material found in this bound photocopy addresses a forgotten and neglected ordinance of God: social covenanting. God's people in times of repentance and thanksgiving, trial and blessing have been a covenanting people. In the most pure times of ecclesiastical and civil reformation throughout history, both church and state under the mediatorial rule of Christ have by the grace of God bound themselves together by covenant to promote and defend the true Christian religion. The first document adopted by the Westminster Assembly was in fact, the Solemn League and Covenant (1644). It united the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland in a covenanted reformation of both church and state in order to preserve, promote and defend the true Christian religion (as summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directory For Public Worship, and Form of Church Government), and in order to expose and uproot all false teaching contrary to the Scripture and these standards. Furthermore, it was not only the desire of the Westminster Assembly to unite in covenant the three British kingdoms, but rather to include in this covenanted reformation all of the Reformed Churches throughout Europe. Consider the goal of the Assembly as summarized by Hetherington: "There was one great, and even sublime idea, brought somewhat indefinitely before the Westminster Assembly, which has not yet been realized, the idea of a Protestant union throughout Christendom, not merely for the purpose of counterbalancing Popery, but in order to purify, strengthen, and unite all true Christian churches, so that with combined energy and zeal they might go forth, in glad compliance with the Redeemer's commands, teaching all nations, and preaching the everlasting gospel to every creature under heaven. This truly magnificent, and also truly Christian idea, seems to have originated in the mind of that distinguished man, Alexander Henderson. It was suggested by him to the Scottish commissioners, and by them partially brought before the English Parliament, requesting them to direct the Assembly to write letters to the Protestant Churches in France, Holland, Switzerland, and other Reformed Churches. . . . and along with these letters were sent copies of the Solemn League and Covenant, a document which might itself form the basis of such a Protestant union. The deep thinking divines of the Netherlands apprehended the idea, and in their answer, not only expressed their approbation of the Covenant, but also desired to join in it with the British kingdoms. Nor did they content themselves with the mere expression of approval and willingness to join. A letter was soon afterwards sent to the Assembly from the Hague, written by Duraeus (the celebrated John Dury), offering to come to the Assembly, and containing a copy of a vow which he had prepared and tendered to the distinguished Oxenstiern, chancellor of Sweden, wherein he bound himself 'to prosecute a reconciliation between Protestants in point of religion'. . . . [O]n one occasion Henderson procured a passport to go to Holland, most probably for the purpose of prosecuting this grand idea. But the intrigues of politicians, the delays caused by the conduct of the Independents, and the narrow-minded Erastianism of the English Parliament, all conspired to prevent the Assembly from entering farther into that truly glorious Christian enterprise. Days of trouble and darkness came; persecution wore out the great men of that remarkable period; pure and vital Christianity was stricken to the earth and trampled under foot. . ." (William Hetherington, History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines , [Edmonton, Alberta: Still Waters Revival Books], pp. 337-339). The material presented herein is commended to the reader with the sincere prayer and confidence that God will again restore the Church of Jesus Christ to a glorious covenanted reformation--one that will even surpass that one to which she had attained at the time of the Westminster Assembly. However, when the Lord brings that future covenanted reformation it will not be limited to only three kingdoms of the earth, but by the grace and power of Christ our King, it will be a covenanted reformation that will encompass all of the nations of the earth (Ps. 2:6-12; Is. 2:1-4; Mt. 28:1-20) and will bring to the church a visible unity and uniformity that (unlike pleas for unity today) is firmly grounded upon the truth" (Greg Price, Preface). The material contained in this compilation was gathered together by the session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton/Prince George. Its 210 pages contain the following items, as listed in this bibliography for social covenanting.
1. Samuel Rutherford, Due Right of Presbyteries , pp. 130-139
2. George Gillespie, The Works of George Gillespie, Vol. 2, pp. 71-88.
3. John Brown of Wamphray, An Apologetic Relation , pp. 167-175, 181- 207.
4. David Scott, Distinctive Principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, pp. 14-90.
5. William Roberts, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism , pp. 134- 152.
6. The Reformed Presbytery, An Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion , pp. 181-187.
7. The Reformed Presbytery, Act , Declaration and Testimony , pp. 11- 23.
8. The Reformed Presbytery, The Auchensaugh Renovation , pp. 115- 140.
9. The Church of Scotland (1639), The National Covenant of Scotland , pp. 345-354 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.
10. The Westminster Assembly (1644), The Solemn League and Covenant , pp. 355-360 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.
11. The Church of Scotland (1648), A Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant , pp. 361-368 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.

(Rare bound photocopy) $22.95-70%=6.89


Biblical Worship by Kevin Reed

Concerning Close Communion by W.J. McKnight

Shunning the Unlawful Rights of the Ungodly by John Calvin

Reformation Worship and Separation from Idolatry by Reg Barrow

Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church by J.L. Girardeau

Making Shipwreck of the Faith: Evangelicals and Catholics Together by K. Reed

The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody by M. Bushell

Foundation for Reformation: The Regulative Principle of Worship by Greg Price

The Badge of Popery: Musical Instruments in Public Worship by R.J. George

Paleopresbyterianism Versus Neopresbyterianism by Michael Wagner

A Dispute Against English Popish Ceremonies by George Gillespie

Westminster Confession of Faith by the Westminster Divines

Selected Writings of John Knox by John Knox

Close Communion by R.J. George

The book, The Canterbury Tales: An Extended Review and Commentary Based upon the Geneva Papers, can be purchased from Still Waters Revival Books at the address listed above. This book deals with aberrant Reconstructionist views concerning worship.

An electronic version is also available FREE of charge on our web page at: The Canterbury Tales: An Extended Review and Commentary Based upon the Geneva Papers

Back to swrb home page