O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.—Psalm 95.6.

[The First Indulgence, 1669.]
 
THE FIRST INDULGENCE,
By Charles II, 1669.
Excerpted from
Wodrow's History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland.
 
TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Note
Please note: The following historical document is provided to satisfy the interest of readers by making available the actual text of a Declaration often mentioned in the writings of the Covenanters. The reader will find this blasphemous Declaration faithfully testified against, and the acceptance thereof proven sinful, in such works as Alexander Shields' Hind Let Loose, the United Societies' Informatory Vindication, and the Sermons of Messrs. Richard Cameron and Donald Cargill.
CHARLES R.
Right trusty, and right well beloved cousins and counsellors, &c. Whereas by the act of council and proclamation at Glasgow, in the year 1662, a considerable number of ministers were at once turned out, and so debarred from preaching of the gospel, and exercise of the ministry; we are graciously pleased to authorize you and our privy council, to appoint so many of the outed ministers, as have lived peaceably and orderly in the places where they have resided, to return and preach, and exercise other functions of their ministry in the parish churches where they formerly resided and served, (provided they be vacant) and to allow patrons to present to other vacant churches, such others of them as you shall approve of; and that such ministers as shall take collation from the bishop of the diocese, and keep presbyteries and synods, may be warranted to lift their stipends as other ministers of the kingdom: but for such as {II:130:B} are not, or shall not be collated by the bishop, that they have no warrant to meddle with the local stipend, but only to possess the manse and glebe; and that you appoint a collector for those and all other vacant stipends, who shall issue the same, and pay a yearly maintenance to the said not collated ministers, as you shall see fit to appoint.

That all who are restored and allowed to exercise the ministry, be, in our name, and by our authority, enjoined to constitute and keep kirk-sessions, and to keep presbyteries and synods, as was done by all ministers before the year 1638, and that such of them as shall not obey our command in keeping presbyteries, be confined within the bounds of the parishes where they preach, ay, and while they give assurance to keep presbyteries for the future.

That all who are allowed to preach, be strictly enjoined not to admit any of their neighbour or any other parishes unto their communions, nor baptize their children, nor marry any of them, without the allowance of the minister of the parish to which they belong, unless it be vacant for the time. And if it be found, upon complaint made by any presbytery unto you our privy council, that the people of the neighbouring or other parishes resort to their preachings, and desert their own parish churches, that according to the degree of the offence or disorder, you silence the minister who countenances the same, for shorter or longer time; and upon a second complaint verified, that you silence again for a longer time or altogether turn out, as you see cause; and upon complaint made and verified, of any seditious discourse or expressions in the pulpit, or elsewhere, uttered by any of these ministers, you are immediately to turn them out, and further punish them according to law and the degree of the offence.

That such of the outed ministers who have behaved peaceably and orderly, and are not re-entered, or presented as aforesaid, have allowed to them four hundred merks Scots yearly, out of the vacant churches, for their maintenance till they be provided of churches; and that even such who shall {II:131:A} give assurance to live so for the future, be allowed the same yearly maintenance.

And seeing by these orders we have taken away all pretences for conventicles, and provided for the wants of such as are, and will be peaceable; if any shall hereafter be found to preach without authority, or keep conventicles, our express pleasure is, that you proceed with all severity against the preachers and hearers as seditious persons, and contemners of our authority. So leaving the management of those orders to your prudence, and recommending them to your care, we bid you farewell. By his majesty's command.

LAUDERDALE.
Given at our court at Whitehall,
June 7th, 1669.