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


of a poor waſted, deſolate, reproached, miſ-repreſented Remnant of the ſuffering Anti-popish, Anti-lutherian, Anti-prelatick, Anti-eraſtian, Anti-Sectarian, true Pres­biterian Church of CHRIST in Scotland, publiſhed againſt the Proclamation, Acceſſion and Eſtabliſhment of that Man called George, Prince of Wales, to be King of theſe three covenanted Nations, Scotland, England and Ireland, and all his Abettors and Supporters in November, 1727.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

The following Declaration is not to be confused with those published by the United Societies of Reformed Presbyterians in the late 1600s and early 1700s.  It is rather by a party which held very similar convictions, but took their convictions to divisive extremes, and set in uncharitable terms.  They were not the most infamous for such conduct, yet did thereby make themselves adversaries to Mr. John McMillan and the United Societies, adhering to his ministry.  With them, they had sworn the Covenants, as they were renewed at Auchensaugh, 1712.  But their falling out occurred shortly thereafter.

Three reasons for presenting the document to public view are (1) to let the evidence be public knowledge, which shows the difficulties experienced by Covenanters in these early days, to maintain a proper Christian harmony and peace; (2) to keep Covenanters of the present day self-aware, in light of the deviations into which others fell who, professing a due value for the ministry of the Gospel, deprived themselves of its benefits by pretending greater strictness in their testimony-bearing and too-readily taking up reports against Christ’s servants in an exaggerated view of their sins; and (3) to bring to light the fact that some of the Testimonies adhered to in the Declaration associated with the Renewal of the Covenants at Middle Octorara, Pennsylvania, 1743, are not those which pertain to the United Societies and Reformed Presbyterian Church, but to others, of a different character, and professedly different cause.

And so, on the other hand, the document is not presented as an example to be imitated at the present day, but as a useful tool by which one may judge what spirit directs others of our day to behave and speak in a similar fashion, and a clue about where it will lead them, and leave them, so long as they are more particularly careful to be Covenanters, than to be Christians.


SUrely there is nothing more lamentable among a People professing the true Religion of CHRIST JESUS, especially in an once well reformed Church and Nation, where the bright Sun-shine of the Gospel hath shined in its Meridian; where Doctrine hath been pure and uncorrupt, and faithfully and freely dispensed, Worship altogether free from any Mixture of Man’s Invention, a Hedge of Government agreeable to the Pattern of holy Scripture, and Ecclesiastick Discipline impartially exercised upon great and small without Respect of Persons; and all this sworn unto, and confirmed by solemn Vows and Engagements made to the most high GOD, ratified and approven by the standing Acts and Laws of both Church and State, and practised by Persons of all Ranks, under Pain of being reputed Enemies to GOD, Religion, King, and Country, and the LORD signally countenancing the same by the visible Signs of his Presence amongst his People, and Conversion of many Thousands to Himself.  As we were happy while we were in such a Case as this, so we say, there is nothing more sad, and should be for a Lamentation, than this, That a People thus privileged should not only upon a sudden fall from their first Love into Defection and Backsliding, but also willingly to abide in their Breaches, refuse to be reclaimed, and instead of repenting and returning to the LORD, to proceed from Evil to worse, by despising their former solemn Engagements, and willingly walking after the unrighteous Commandments of Men; and that this is applicable to these three covenanted Nations, and especially to Scotland none can deny who know any Thing of the great and wonderful Works of the LORD which he wrought for us in these Lands, whilst above all Kingdoms of the World we might have justly been called Hephzibah and Beulah married to the LORD.  And on {2} the other Hand considers the woeful Defection and departing from the LORD that we are plunged in, and that ever since we brake the Act of Classes, and took Malignants into Places of Power and Trust in Judicatories and Armies, that was the Source of all our Defection, and ever since we have been a People bent to backsliding, who have multiplied our Whoredoms, and refused to put away our Adulteries from betwixt our Breasts; and are still become more and more the degenerate Plant of a strange Vine unto the LORD, [Ezek. 23.19, Hos. 2.2, Jer. 2.21]; and yet altho’ our Provocations be very great, we neither blush nor are ashamed for the Evil of our Doings, but are still waxing worse and worse, by taking Strength to our selves from our own Wickedness, [Psalm 52.7,] so that these Nations are in a Combination this Day against GOD, and his Son JESUS CHRIST the ANOINTED KING OF ZION.  Papists, Prelatists, Malignants, Erastians, and Sectarians, in Imitation of Edom, Ishmael, Moab, Gebal, Amon and Amaleck, &c. are confederate together, and consulting with their crafty Counsels to cut off the very Name and Remembrance of the covenanted Work of Reformation, which wicked Devices they have gotten almost accomplished, and few to oppose them therein.  For now, many who once counted it their Duty, and esteemed it as their Honour to Witness against these Heaven-daring Courses, and jeoparded their Lives upon the high Places of the Fields, are turned in, into the Enemies Camps, for a short Time of ill purchased Peace and Ease to themselves, and are countenancing and encouraging CHRIST’s avowed Enemies, forbearing to give any Testimony against them, and opening the Mouth wide in Derision, and dipping their Pen in Gall and Wormwood against any Thing of an honest Testimony carried on by others, so that their Tongues and their Doings are against the LORD.  And alas!  (tell it not in Gath, &c.) How lamentable is it, that the Hands of the Priests, (pretended Presbyterian Ministers) are chief in the Trespass! for instead of going up to the Gaps, and making up the Hedge for the House of Israel, they by seeking the Pleasure and esteeming the Favour of Man more than of GOD, have basely betrayed their Trust for Peace, Ease, and Prosperity to themselves, have sacrilegiously sold away the Privileges of the Church, which Christ purchased with the Price of his own Blood, into the Hands of her Enemies. By which base Bargain they have willingly consented to the taking away of our ancient Hedge of Government and Discipline, agreeable to the holy Scripture, which was a Terror to the Boar and the wild Beasts, and a {3} Defence to the Church against all her Enemies.  And now a Flood of Error and Profanity have for a long Time overspread these Nations, so that all Passengers, (even the most vicious in their Conversation and vilest of Hereticks) are mocking at, and making a Prey of us this Day.  We are also brought low, and that for long Time, by setting up such for Kings and Queens, as are not of the LORD’s Appointment, (Hos. 8.4) nor can have his Approbation, which instead of being mourned over, is rejoiced in, and that by the Generality of all Ranks.  The Consideration of these Things, and the many Vows and Engagements that we are lying under to Witness in our Station against every Thing, that is provoking the LORD to pour forth his Indignation upon us, moves us at this Time, a small Handful of these who hitherto have contended for the Prerogatives Royal of the Prince of the Kings of the Earth, in Imitation of the noble Cloud of Witnesses who have gone before us, thus to appear in Publick, to let the World know what we own, and where we stand.

As for our Principles, we declare our hearty Adherence to the whole of our Testimony, as it is stated, declared, and vindicated in our Informatory Vindication, and that in Respect to both Magistrates and Ministers, &c.  And in Particular, we sincerely, unanimously, and constantly with all our Heart, own the written Word of GOD contained in the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments, as the only alone Rule of Faith and Manners, and whatsoever is founded thereupon, and consonant thereunto, such as our Westminster Confession of Faith, Catechisms larger and shorter, Sum of saving Knowledge and practical Use thereof, Directories for Worship, Covenants, National and solemn League, Acknowledgement of Sins, and Engagement to Duties, Causes of GOD’s Wrath.  Christ’s alone Headship in and over his Church.  And the ordinary and perpetual Officers of the Church, of CHRIST’s own Appointment, such as Pastors, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons, and the Form of Church Government, which is commonly called, Presbyterial, either in congregational, presbyterial, or synodical Assemblies, whether provincial, national or œcumenical, together with the Coronation Oath of Scotland, and all the faithful Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of this Church and Parliaments of this Kingdom, especially these from the Year 1638 to 1650.  And all the faithful Contendings for Promoveal and Defence of Reformation that have been at any Time in these covenanted Nations, especially these since the Work of Reformation was overturned to this Day.  And to all the Testimonies given {4} by Martyrdom on Fields, Scaffolds or Seas, or otherwise by Banishment, Imprisonment, Stigmatisings, Tortures, or Sufferings any otherwise, for their honest Adherence to the Covenanted Work of Reformation, and Non-compliance with the GOD-provoking Courses of these Times.  Also we declare our firm Adherence to the Declarations published at Rutherglen, May 29th, 1679.  At Sanquhair, June 22d, 1680.  May 28th, 1685.  August 10th, 1692.  November 5th, 1695.  May 23d, 1703.  At Lanerk January 12th, 1682.  The apologetical Declaration, October 28th, 1684.  The Testimony given against the Duke of York’s abominable Toleration, by the famous faithful Mr. James Renwick, January 17th, 1688.  And all other faithful Testimonies and Declarations, that are in nothing inconsistent with these, as to Matter, Scope, and Design.

We likewise declare our hearty Abhorrence, and rejecting of every Thing that is contrary to, or inconsistent with the written Word of God, such as Popery, Lutheranism, Prelacy, Malignancy, Erastianism, and Sectarianism of every Sort; all unsoundness and unsteadfulness in Principle, untenderness and unholiness in Practice; and abounding Profanity, Debauchery, Lightness and Looseness, that is raging and reigning amongst the wanton Professors (as well as others) of this Generation, in their Ballings, Dancings, Stage-Plays; and other abominable Excesses of sinful Madness and Folly, all unwarrantable Schisms and Divisions; and every other Thing that is prejudicial to the Glory of God, his covenanted cause, Interest, or People any manner of Way: And in particular, we look upon it as our Duty at this Time, to shew our Dissatisfaction at, and dissent from, the present Emergent of setting up the so-called George Prince of Wales, as King over these three covenanted Kingdoms; and this we dare not omit, lest our Silence should be interpreted a consenting thereunto, and we thereby become guilty of other Mens Sins; and at last be made partaker of their Plagues and Judgments: And therefore we do hereby declare, That we utterly disown him to be our King, he having no due Right to reign or bear Rule in these covenanted Lands, as is very evident from these Grounds and Reasons.  1. Because according to the Word of God, no Man ought or should be admitted King over any People, professing the true Religion of Christ Jesus, but such only as are of their Brethren, Deut. 17.15, professing and practising the same true Religion with them; but this Man now advanced, is a Stranger, of a strange Religion; as is notourly known, from the Engagements which he is come under at his {5} Coronation, being deeply sworn and engaged upon his Knees before the Altar, to the utmost of his Power, to preserve to the Bishops and Clergy of England, and Churches committed to their Charge, all such Rites and Privileges, as do, or shall appertain to them, or any of them; and himself personally to be of that Antichristian Religion, which we by Covenant are sworn to extirpate.

2. Because in lieu of swearing our ancient Scots Coronation Oath, Covenants, National and solemn League, and giving his Approbation of true Presbyterial Church Government, according to the Pattern of holy Scripture, and best Reformation, without which no Man hath any Right to reign here, as is evident from Act 8, Parl. 1. Act 99, Parl. 7. Act 23, Parl 11. Act 114, Parl. 12. K. James VI. Act 4. K. Ch. I. and Act 15, Parl. 2. Ch. II. &c. he is only sworn to maintain and preserve this erastian Church in Scotland, in this her present deplorable adulterate Constitution.

3. That whereas according to the Obligation of the Coronation Oath of Scotland, all Kings having Right to reign here are solemnly bound and obliged to root out all Hereticks out of their Empire; but on the very contrary, he, by continuing the black, and almost boundless Toleration, is become not only a Tolerater, but also a Protector of many Hereticks.

4. Because he is in Leagues and Confederacies, Peace and Friendship with France and other Papists, thereby giving his Power to the Beast; helping the ungodly, loving them that hate the Lord, and upholding Satan’s Kingdom, by which he is bringing Wrath from the Lord upon himself, and these three Kingdoms, for their Accession in his Guilt, such Confederacies being expressly contrary to the holy Scriptures of Truth, see Exod. 23.32,33. Exod. 34.12. v. 15. Deut. 23.9. Judges 2.2.  2 Chr. 19.2. Ezra 9.14. Isa. 8.12. &c.

5. Because, all the pretended Right and Title that he hath to the Imperial Crown and Dignity of Scotland, is founded upon the late sinful, unhappy, unhallowed, incorporating Union with England, and confirmed to him and his Heirs by the Oath of Abjuration, which all good Men should utterly detest and abhor, these being two of Our Lands great Defections; by which we have as Men and Christians, lost all our ancient Privileges sacred and civil; and are brought into a perpetual Bondage and Slavery (so far as wicked Men can bring us) to the Will and Lust of the Prelates of England. {6}

6. Because, according to the wicked Laws of England, he hath assumed the most blasphemous Style and Title of Head of the Church, and supreme Judge over all Persons, and in all Causes, as well ecclesiastick as civil, which Supremacy is a divesting of Jesus Christ of all his Crown Rights and Royal Prerogatives, as he is the only and alone King and Head of his Church.

7. Because he hath served himself Heir to all the Bloodshed, Perjury, Perfidy, Treachery, Uncleanness, and other Wickedness of this Throne of Iniquity, which hath so long framed Mischief by a Law, suppressed and opposed the flourishing of Christ’s visible Kingdom in these covenanted Lands, by ratifying the Statutes of Omri, and Wickedness of the House of Ahab, Micah 6.16.

8. Because such only are his Counsellors, and employed in his pretended Parliaments, and all other Places of power and Trust in Judicatories and Armies, as are known to be malignant and disaffected to the Cause of GOD, and covenanted Work of Reformation.

9. And also (which is very considerable) these pretended Representatives by whom he is chosen and set up, have long since forfeited their Right of the true representative Power, by their Perjury, Perfidy, Treachery, and Unfaithfulness; and therefore sincere they have no due Right to represent these covenanted Nations (being destitute of Covenant Qualifications) their Choice tho’ enacted by a pretended Law, cannot, nor is not binding upon us, who are still owning our ancient reforming Laws, Liberties, and Privileges as sworn to in our holy Covenants.

Upon these, and many other weighty Grounds and Reasons that might be adduced, we do by these Presents, for Our selves and all such as shall adhere to us, hereby protest, testify, and declare against the Proclamation, Accession, Coronation, and Establishment of him the so called George Prince of Wales, to be King over these covenanted Kingdoms, and against all the Evils that have or may follow the same.  Also we protest, testify, and declare against all such of every Station, as have owned, or shall own him as a lawful King, any Manner of Way, by taking any Post, Office, Honour, or Preferments from, or under him; swearing or subscribing any of his unlawful Oaths or Bonds; paying him Cess or other Subsidies, of old or of late imposed; compearing before any of his pretended Courts, fenced in his Name upon any Account whatsoever; supplicating or addressing him for his Favour; fighting in any Expedition of War concerted {7} in his Name, and for maintaining of his Interest; furnishing Militia Men or Militia Money for that Effect; rejoicing at or after his unlawful Coronation; upon the Account of his unhappy Instalment; keeping an Anniversary Day for his Birth (who was born for Our further Scourge) praying for his Prosperity and Success, while carrying on a Course of Malignancy and Antichristian Confederacy, &c. protesting likewise, that whatever pretended Acts, Laws, or Proclamations shall pass in his Name, to the Prejudice of Religion or civil Liberty, shall not be looked upon nor interpreted as binding upon us.

Here we cannot pass in Silence, but must protest, testify, and declare against these poor Court-qualified erastian Ministers, who now occupy the Places which properly belong to faithful Ministers of Jesus Christ; particularly for settling their most corrupt Constitution upon the Act of Parliament 1592, thereby burying in shameful Oblivion all Our glorious Attainments of Reformation betwixt 1638, and 1650 inclusive; their not condemning, confessing, nor forsaking at that their first pretended General Assembly, nor no Time since, their former woful Compliance of joining with the publick Resolutions; accepting of Charles his Indulgency and Indemnity, and York’s Toleration by which they homologate these Tyrants arrogated Supremacy, owning them as Head of the Church, by taking a new Holding and Prescriptions from them; helping them thereby what they could to rob Jesus Christ of all his Crown Rights and Royal Prerogatives, condemning and disowning these who were faithful unto the Death, and would not redeem their Life, by accepting such Church-renting and Soul-ruining Favours; yea, which is more lamentable, instead of resenting these their evil Deeds, and asserting Christ’s alone Headship in and over his Church, they have ever since to this very Day, evidenced themselves to be Servants of Men, as is undeniably clear from the Oaths which they have sworn, and wicked Acts enacting the same; their willing yielding to all the erastian Encroachments of these pretended supreme Magistrates, upon the Freedom and Liberty of the Church, in Calling, adjourning, and dissolving their pretended General Assemblies, to which they have stupidly submitted; and appointed Causes and Dyets of Fasting and Thanksgiving, to which they have willingly subscribed in an Act of their pretended General Assembly 1710; their homologating the civil Places and Powers of Kirk Men (tho’ long since exploded by Our Covenants) by observing such set Forms of Prayer, and other Prescriptions as are enjoined them by their {8} profane, Prelatick, pretended Kings and Queens, with the Advice and Consent of these called the Lords Spiritual and Temporal; their approving of Popish Patronage, by concurring with Patrons to settle and instal these intruding Hirelings, who climb the Wall without the Call; and contrary to the Mind, Will, and Consent of the People, whose Right it is (by Divine Law) to call their own Pastors; their owning and pressing others to own the former and present Usurpers, who have builded up themselves upon the Ruins of the Work of God in thir [these] Lands.

And as for their Laxness and Partiality in the Exercise of Discipline, it is so Notour, that none who are acquainted with their Ways can justly deny it; and that not only by passing by without Rebuke, scandalous Sins of Omission, and practically admitting unto the LORD’s Table the Ignorant and Profane, and such as occasionally Communicate with the prelatick Church of England: But also by receiving into ministerial Communion, many perjur’d Curates, and advancing into Elderships, Persons who were guilty one Way or other of shedding the Blood of the Saints (in the late Time of Persecution) Test-takers, &c. without requiring any outward Signs or Evidences of their Repentance, for these and other heinous Iniquities which they were, and yet are guilty of.  Their passing by many other gross Immoralities without censure, especially if in any of themselves, or Persons of Note in the World, their conniving at many Heresies and Hereticks, by suffering Popery, Quakerism, &c. to overspread and defile the Land without Molestation, and the great Lenity which they have so long shewed to Mr. John Symson in Glasgow, notwithstanding of all the fundamental Errors that he hath taught and maintained, &c.  As we have for these and many other Sins and Defections which they are chargeable with hitherto disowned them; so we purpose, and resolve thro’ the Grace of GOD never to own, countenance, or encourage them any Manner of Way, as faithful Ministers of JESUS CHRIST, while they continue in these backslidden Courses.  Yet altho’ we cannot own them, nor no other, who at this Time bear the Name of Ministers or Preachers in Scotland, whatever Designation they are of; we declare before the Searcher of Hearts, that it is not out of any Disrespect that we have to the precious and sweet Gospel, and Gospel Ordinances of Jesus Christ, which we esteem, (when dispensed in Purity and with Power, by his faithful sent Servants) to be the chiefest Mean of convincing and converting Sinners, and building up Believers in Holiness, and Comfort thro’ Faith unto Salvation, [WSC 89]: {9} Neither is it for any personal Prejudice that we have at any Man, but only for their Defection, Backsliding, and Apostacy from the covenanted Work of Reformation, persisting in, and defending the Evil of their Doings, and refusing to be reclaimed.  For we are always for a Gospel Ministry in the orderly Way of CHRIST’s own Appointment, and therefore when the LORD in his Mercy shall be pleased to bestow such Ministers upon us, as are true Presbyterians in Principle and Practice, walking worthy of their Vocation, and faithfully declaring the whole Counsel of GOD unto his People, we purpose and resolve thro’ the Grace of GOD, to call hear, own, Countenance, encourage, and highly esteem them for their Works’ sake, and do every other Thing to, and for them, (while they continue faithful) that we are obliged to do by the Word of GOD, and our Covenant Engagements, according to our Station and Circumstance.

Also, we protest, testify, and declare against such who call themselves Presbyterian Dissenters, who notwithstanding of their many fair Pretences of Love and Respect to the covenanted Cause, and withdrawing from the Ministers of this Erastian Church, yet have they still strengthened their Hands, and hardened them in their Iniquity, by casting in their Lot amongst them in owning their corrupt Establishment, and Constitution of their pretended Ecclesiastick Judicatories, by supplicating and addressing them; also, answering their Summonds and Citations, and submitting to their Censures; paying them Stipends, and pleading for the Lawfulness of the same, using the same unsound Arguments which they use against Truth and in Defence of Defection, to the weakening of the Hands, and saddening of the Hearts of such as desires to be found faithful in witnessing Impartially against the whole of the Land’s Sins: And as fully (according to their Station) owning the present pretended civil Powers, as any in all the Land.  And despising, contemning, yea condemning the Practice of such, who dare not approve of their Ways, nor follow them in such Excesses of Defection, accounting their honest Contendings, and witnessing for the Faith once delivered to, and embraced by all the true Presbyterians of the one famous covenanted Church and State of Scotland, as Heights, Stretches, and unwarrantable Extremes, so that they differ little from the rest of the Erastians, except it be only in the Name.  Neither dare we be silent (lest we should be reckon’d Partial) tho’ with Grief and Lamentation we desire to make mention of the same:  But must protest, testify, and declare, against all the Wrongs and Injuries done to the Cause and Testimony of our Lord {10} JESUS CHRIST in the House, and by the Hands of professed Friends, such as Mr. John M’Millan, Mr. John M’Neil, and their Complices, who are gone and left us, and many Ways confederate themselves with those who are carrying on the complex Courses of our national Defections, by owning such to bare Rule, (as Ruling Elders) in the House of GOD, contrary to the Word of GOD, and Constitutions of this Church in her best and purest Times, which plainly excludes such from that Office who are not of a blameless Conversation.  Admitting such scandalous Compliers to both Sacraments of Baptism (to their Children) and the LORD’s Supper, without any due Acknowledgment of the Evil of their Ways, or Engagement to forbear such Practices in Time coming, marrying with the [officiating of the] present Erastian Ministers, contrary to the Orders prescribed by the Westminster General Assembly [sic], who think it expedient that Marriage be solemnized by a lawful Minister of the Word, which they are not; and to our solemn Engagements (at Douglas) wherein we are bound and obliged to keep our selves free from all Participation with such as are carrying on a Combination in opposition to our covenanted Work of Reformation,[1] Supplicating and addressing the late deceased Usurper of Royal Dignities for his Favour, as if he had been a lawful King, defending these Courses by Word and Writ.  Quarrelling and condemning the most material Heads of our Testimony, particularly in the scandalous Libel sent to the G. M. at Crawford-john, May 7th, 1715, by Mr. John M’Millan falsely called his Grievance, in which there was more proud Contempt and disdain cast upon the Cause and Owners thereof, than formerly had been by the Tongues or Pens of the worst of our Enemies.[2]  Unfreeness in Doctrine as to the Sins and Duties of the present Times, and unaccountable Laxness in the very outward Discharge of their Duty of preaching to, catechising of, and visiting these People whom they have the particular Charge of with several other Things, which are directly contrary to our Testimony, (which they profess to own) that are accompanied with several Aggravations in them, which others cannot be charged with.[3]

We likewise protest, testify, and declare against all unwarrantable Extremes, and doting Delusions on the right Hand, as well as against Defection and Backsliding upon the left Hand, especially these who are commonly called Cote-muir-Folk, and all that have any Consortship with them, whether the Publishers of the late Manifesto[4] or otherwise, who are for usurping the Office of either Magistracy or Ministry without being duly qualified for {11} the same, or lawfully called thereunto, or who maintain bloody murdering Principles to cut off all those who are not of their wild unwarrantable Sentiments.

In like Manner we protest, testify, and declare against all the Gallios of our Day, of which Sort there are many at this Time in Scotland who have given themselves over to a base detestable Indifferency, and Neutrality in the Cause of GOD, and Concerns of Religion, having no Zeal, Care nor Concern for any Interest but their own; many of whom to hide the open Shame of their Naughtiness, pretend Dissatisfaction at the present Courses of Defection, and Love to the covenanted Cause, while in the mean Time they are found to be in Principle nothing, in Practice much worse than many who are going on avowedly with all the present Courses of Defection, so that they are a Reproach and Scandal to Religion, and makes the Way of Truth and serious Owners thereof to be evil spoken of, and the openly Profane further hardened in the Evil of their Way.

Having thus declared our Minds concerning others, we declare, That what we have said against the present Courses, proceeds from no imaginable Affection that we have to the Popish Pretender, whose Principle and Practice we utterly detest and abhor.  And therefore we protest, testify, and declare, against him the said Pretender, and against all such as have, are, or shall be found to contribute in less or in more, to his Aid, Assistance, or Encouragement any Manner of Way, either directly or indirectly.

And we hereby protest for all Time coming, against all such as are either Popish, Lutherian, Prelatick, Malignant, Erastian, or Sectarian of any Sort, or any, but a true Presbyterian only in Principle and Practice, either to be King, or employed in any publick trust, in any of these three covenanted Nations.

Here we are necessitate to declare, That in Case it should please the LORD in his holy Providence, for our Sins, and the Sins of these guilty Lands, to permit the Popish Pretender, or any other Popish Emissary to invade these Kingdoms, to be the Rod of his Wrath, to punish us for our Iniquities, and the present Usurper, with his Prelatick, Malignant, Erastian, and Sectarian Crew, should for his and their Interest War against such Invaders, that then, and in that Case, (we being equally sworn in our holy Covenants against Popery, and Prelacy, and every other Thing that is contrary to sound Doctrine, and the Power of Godliness) we shall not, thro’ the Grace of GOD assisting us, join Issue or Interest either with the one Sort or the other, by giving them any Aid, Countenance, or Encouragement, But shall according to what Power and Ability the LORD is pleased to bestow upon us, stand to our own innocent Self-defence, Defence of the covenanted Work of Reformation, and one another against all, whoever they may be, that shall oppose us in the Prosecution of our Duty.

We disclaim all anarchical Principles and Practices, and declares, That we are both for Magistracy and Magistrates, such only as shall have Scripture and Covenant Qualifications, being true Presbyterians in Principle and Practice, shall employ their Power for the Glory of GOD, and good of their Subjects, being a terror to evil Doers, and a Praise to them that do well, administrating Justice unto, and punishing Iniquity upon every Person impartially, without Respect of Persons, according as they shall deserve.  And we firmly purpose and resolve, That when ever the LORD is pleased to bestow such upon us against whom there shall be no just Exception, nor Cause of Jealousy, that we shall own, and to the outmost of our Power assist and defend them in their Person and Authority, with our Goods, Bodies, and Lives, while they continue faithful in the Prosecution of their Duty, to GOD and their Subjects. {12}

And therefore we protest, That it shall be lawful for us when God in his Mercy shall be pleased to break the Rod of our Oppressors, and put Opportunity in our Hands, according to our Station, to give our Consent to the Election and Instalment of such Magistrates supreme and subordinate, as shall be qualified according to the Word of God, our Covenants National and solemn League, and Ancient reforming Laws.  And we hereby heartily invite, and earnestly desire Persons of all Ranks and Degrees, within these three covenanted Kingdoms, who have made Defection from the Ways of God, seriously to consider the Evil of their Doings, abandon their former and present Courses of Defection, and give Glory to God, and Satisfaction to offended Consciences, by confessing and forsaking whatever in them have been grieving to the Lord, and stumbling to his People, as publickly as they have offended: Renew our Covenants made with the most high God, and one another, and engage to all the Duties therein contained, and walk answerably thereunto in Time coming.  Upon this Condition we are most willing for the Glory of God, and Satisfaction of all concerned, to acknowledge likewise in the same publick Manner above specified, whatever Sin or Defection can justly be charged upon us, and to join with them in the renewing of our Covenants, Engagement to Duties, and prosecuting the Ends thereof, and carrying on the Testimony in Conjunction with them in all Time coming, in such a Way as shall be agreeable to the Rule of holy Scripture, and Practice of this Church in her best and purest Times agreeable thereunto, that so as Brethren we may live in such a firm Peace and Union for the future, as shall be for the Glory of GOD, Edification of his Church, and Comfort of his People.

Therefore we appoint and ordain, That incontinent ye our Emissaries pass upon the 7th Day of November, 1727, to the Market Cross of Lanerk, and other patent Places necessary, and there publish and leave Copies of the same.      Given at         upon the 7th Day of November, 1727.

Let King JESUS reign, and let all his Enemies be ſcattered.



1. Such seems to be a reference to the third paragraph of the Engagement to Duties as used in the renewing of the Covenants at Auchensaugh, 1712.  Whether Mr. McMillan was more guilty of sinful communion and participation with corrupters, or more diligent to testify against these corruptions and perversions... by all competent means, seems easily resolve in his favour.  On the other hand, these protesters, also engaged at Auchensaugh, near Douglas, do not seem to have carried well in relation to the engagements for maintaining unity and opposing schism, a few paragraphs later.  See page 119 of the 1880 Philadelphia edition, or pages 63 & 64 of the original edition.—JTKer.

2. The correct date appears to be May 9th, 1715.  There is a copy extant in at least one manuscript, though not the easiest reading.  From the answer of the General Meeting, however, it does not appear that this was a “scandalous libel,” though it may have been a libel of scandal. A copy of “The Committees Answer to Mr. McMillans Grievances. Crawford-John April 1716,” is also recorded in manuscript copies of the records of the Societies.  The first Grievance concerned the Societies’ procedure relating to the Grievances formerly prepared to be given to the Elector of Brunswick, before he assumed the throne. Some of the history relating to this may be seen in declarations published in 1715 and 1718, and the United Societies’ committee determined to resolve matters by converse rather than writing. McMillan’s second grievance, complains that some amongst us are so far for unsainting and unchristianing all those that are not of our persuasion, so as no communion is to be had with such in a conjugal way.  His third grievance complains that in some of the societies, persons were excluded from society whose parents or masters were of the established church, if such children or servants attended family worship as conducted by their parents or masters.  McMillan pointed out that such strictness was not used when the said persons, (presumably the parents or masters,) were scandalous.  The Committee’s response was not to charge McMillan with “libel” but to condemn such conduct, as tending to overthrow the duties of Religion in families and loose the bonds of mutual & relative duties enjoined in God’s word.  Additional grievances followed, tending to demonstrate the extremes of some, and the lack of uniformity among even this very strictly defined company of brethren witnessing for our Covenanted Reformation.  As events followed, some took divisive courses, while others persevered in fellowship with their pastor for many years to come.—JTKer.

3. Such are a sample of the accusations loaded on Mr. McMillan and those who adhered to him.  One of his adversaries, circulating such complaints, also added the claim that McMillan had effectively given up his ministerial calling, which at a later time was rehashed by the Associate Presbyterians in an attempt to call in question the validity of the ministry of the Reformed Presbytery.  A succinct but general vindication or defence of Mr. McMillan of Balmaghie, and his labours, was written by his son, and published in 1773.  Those who desire further satisfaction about the above particulars are referred to the Conclusions of the United Societies, where they may find record of the facts which secured the contentment of the General Meeting of the Societies as well as their peace with their only pastor at that time.—JTKer.

4. Although the authors here seem to suggest there was little zeal or concern for witness-bearing on the part of that company described in the previous paragraph, it is notable that the latter published a Confutation of a Scandalous Pamphlet, entitled, A Manifesto, &c. three years previous to the publishing of the above Declaration.—JTKer.