Declaration & Testimony
True Presbyterian, Anti-Prelatick, Anti-Erastian, persecuted party in Scotland.
Sanquhar, June 22, 1680.
IT is not amongst the smallest of the Lord’s mercies to this poor Land, that there hath always been some, who have given their Testimony against every course of defection we were guilty of; which is a token for good, that He doth not intend to cast us off altogether, but that He will leave a Remnant in whom He will be gracious, if they through His grace keep themselves clean, & walk in his ways & methods, as they have been walked in & owned by predecessors of truly worthy memory, in their carrying on of our noble work of Reformation, in the several steps thereof, both from Popery & Prelacy, & likewise from Erastian Supremacy, so much usurped by him, who, it is true, (so far as we know) is descended from the race of our Kings, yet he hath so far deboarded from what he ought to have been, by his perjury, & usurping in Church matters, & Tyranny in matters Civil, as is known by the whole Land; that we have just reason to account it amongst the Lord’s great controversies against us, that we have not disowned him, & the men of his practices, whether inferior Magistrates or any other, as Enemies to our Lord Jesus His Crown & the true Protestant & presbyterian Interest in these Lands, our Lord’s espoused Bride & Church. Therefore, although we be for Government & Governours, such as the word of God, & our Covenants allows; yet, we for our selves & all that will adhere to us, the Representatives of the true Presbyterian Church & Covenanted Nation of Scotland, considering the great hazard of lying under Sin any longer, Do, by thir [these] presents, Disown Charles Stewart who hath been reigning these years bygone (or rather we may say Tyrannizing) on the throne of Britain, as having any right, title, or interest to or in the said Crown of Scotland or Government; as forfaulted several years since, by his perjury & breach of Covenant with God & His Church, & usurpation of His Crown & Royal Prerogatives, & many other breaches in matters Ecclesiastick, & by his tyranny & breaches of the very Leges Regnandi in matters Civil. For which reasons, we Declare that several years since he should have been denuded of being King, Ruler, or Magistrate, or having any power, or to be obeyed as such. As also, we under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of Salvation, do Declare a war with such a Tyrant, & usurper, & all the men of these practices, as Enemies to our Lord Jesus Christ & his Cause & Covenant, And against all such as have any way strengthened him, sided with, or acknowledged him, in his usurpation & Tyranny Civil & Ecclesiastick, yea & against all such as shall any way strengthen, side with, or acknowledge him, or any other, in the like usurpation & tyranny; far more against such, as would betray or deliver up our free Reformed Church into the bondage of Anti christ, the Pope of Rome. By this we homologate our Testimony at Rutherglen, the 29 of May, 1679. & all the faithful Testimonies of these that have gone before us, as also of these who have suffered of late. Also we Do disclaim that Declaration published at Hamiltoun, the 13 day of June, 1679. chiefly because it takes in the king’s Interest, which we are several years since loosed from; as also because of the foresaid reasons, & others that we may after this (if the Lord will) publish. As also we Disown & Resent the Reception of the Duke of York a professed Papist, as repugnant to our principles & vows to the most high God, & as that which is the great though (alas) the just reproach of our Church. We also, by this protest against his succeeding to the Crown, as against what ever hath been done, or any are essaying to do, in this Land given to the Lord, in prejudice to our work of Reformation. And to Conclude, we hope after this, none will blame us or offend at our rewarding of these that are against us as they have done to us, as the Lord gives the opportunity. This is not to exclude any who hath declined, if they be willing to give satisfaction, according to the degree of offence.
[ This text is presented above as it was published in the original 1687 Informatory Vindication; which may be considered the most authentic available, being published by those who adhered to the declaration. There are, however, a number of variations in other printed editions, such as what may be found in Mr. Wodrow’s History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, J.C. Thomson’s Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, and Robert Simpson’s Traditions of the Covenanters. As in the edition of 1687, Italicized phrases represent expressions which were excepted against by those who criticized the Declaration, which are either explained or disowned in Head 2 of the Informatory Vindication.—JTKer. ]