Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33



From the

General Meeting of the United Societies

To beware of Mr. John Adamson,

Unsent Preacher in the Fields.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

Preachers of no proper calling are not new in our day; neither is it new that even Reformed Presbyterians should have to exercise their judgment about those who pretend to be zealous preachers for Christ’s cause while they simultaneously fight against it by running unsent.  Happy for the Reformed Presbyterian Church, her early constituents guarded very carefully against these deviant courses.  Conferring with one another, and carefully examining facts—in the capacity in which they were called to that work—these sheep gave one another warning, and submitted to the wisdom of the multitude of their counsellors.

A public warning, or public testimony, of such a sort, against a man by name, from the hands of private individuals, should not be offensive to anyone who considers himself a Reformed Presbyterian.  It is hard to guess what this church would have been without such measures.

As for Mr. Adamson, mentioned below, he is said to have been licensed to preach by the erastianized Church of Scotland, but came to opposition with her in the length of mutual excommunications.  Though never more than licensed to preach, he officiated marriages and pretended to dispense the Holy Sacrament of Baptism.  There is no direct succession of disciples one could trace from his ministry, yet he still has followers to this day, which generally attempt to enhance their credibility by appropriating to themselves the names and histories of more admirable ministers and churches.


A Warning from the G. Meeting at Crawford-John October 27. 1713. to beware of Mr. Adamson.

The General Meeting taking into their serious consideration the guilt, hurt, and danger that may arise to the Interest of Christ in the Land, and to the souls of the people, from the Influences & Insinuations of false teachers, and especially such as under a pretext[1] of Zeal to the cause of God, may be more ready, with good words and fair speeches, to deceive the hearts of the simple: and particularly, being informed of one Mr. John Adamson taking upon him to preach the Gospel in the fields, professing zeal against the corruptions of the time, may therefore be a greater snare to the people of God than others; in regard that he ceaseth not, both in private converse & also in publick sermons, to traduce, & speak reproachfully of some of the material points of our Testimony, particularly in his exhorting people to a cordial owning of the present corrupt Rulers for Magistrates, accounting it Covenant-keeping so to do, and condemning all who bear Testimony against them for their usurpation & Tyranny; and also, in regard, that he is not known in the bounds, nor has sufficient credentials, as to his being of Christian conversation, or of sufficient ability for the holy office of the Ministry; and in respect, that he has not shown himself inclined to Join in communion with any of the Godly in the Land for a Joint carrying on of a Testimony for Christ: and therefore seems to have some by-respects, to make himself the head of a party, rather than to advance the true Interest of Religion and our covenanted work of Reformation: as also that he seems much to want the Ministerial gravity, that the word {19} of God requires in Preachers of his Evangel.  Upon all which weighty considerations the G[eneral] M[eeting] do, in the fear of God, warn, beseech & obtest all such as are members of Societies to abstain from hearing his Sermons, or giving countenance or approbation to his courses, as they would be found to adhere to their covenant Engagements, by him openly & publicly condemned, which they are particularly & lately, in a solemn manner, bound to adhere unto, by the late Renovation thereof, and as they would not stumble or Scandalize others of the professors of Religion, by their lightness & unstagedness[2] in the cause of God, & by their breach of the comely order of the Church of Scotland, and would not overthrow the necessary conclusion of not doing anything of so great moment, but by common & general consent, for the preserving of a Joint harmony among us in prosecuting the ends of our Testimony.  And this warning & admonition the G[eneral] M[eeting] allows to be intimated to all the members of the several Societies, that none through Ignorance or Inadvertency may fall into so dangerous & hurtful a Snare.


1. The text of this Warning, as transcribed by John Cunningham, appears to read “pretence” rather than “pretext.”—JTKer.

2. The text transcribed by John Cunningham, reads “instabilitie” rather than “unstagedness.”—JTKer.