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and do require and ordain, That the Directions of the said Commission of Assembly, in their act of the 6th of this month, for a publick Acknowledgment of Sins, and Engagement to Duties, be carefully followed; that the fast and humiliation, appointed by them, be religiously observed; and that the Solemn League and Covenant be sincerely and cordially renewed and subscribed, in the manner they have prescribed in their said Act.

Extractum,

Mr. THO. HENDERSON.

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A Solemn

A

Solemn Acknowledgment of PUBLIck Sins, and Breaches of the COVENANT ;

AND

A Solemn Engagement to all the DUTIES contained therein, namely, those which do in a more special Way relate unto the DANGERS of these Times.

WE

E Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers of the Gospel, and Commons of all sorts within this kingdom, by the good hand of God upon us, taking into serious consideration the many sad afflictions and deep distresses wherewith we have been exercised for a long time past; and that the land, after it hath been sore wasted with the sword and the pestilence, and threatened with famine; and that shame and contempt hath been poured out from the Lord against many thousands of our nation, who did in a sinful way make war upon the kingdom of England, contrary to the testimony of his servants, and desires of his people; and that the remnants of that army, returning to this land, have spoiled and oppressed many of our brethren; and that the malignant party is still numerous, and, retaining their former principles, wait for an opportunity to raise a new and dangerous war, not only unto the rending of the bowels of this kingdom, but unto the dividing us from England, and overturning of the work of God in all the three kingdoms; and considering also, that a cloud of calamities doth still hang over our heads, and threaten us with sad things to come, we cannot but look upon these things as from the Lord, who is righteous in all his ways, feeding us with the bread of tears, and making us to drink the waters of afflictions, until we be taught to know how evil and bitter a thing it is to depart away from him, by breaking the Oath and Covenant which we have made with him; and that we may be humbled before him, by confessing our sin, and forsaking the evil of our way.

Therefore

Therefore being pressed with so great necessities and straits, and warranted by the word of God, and having the example of God's people of old, who in the time of their troubles, and when they were to seek delivery, and a right way for themselves, that the Lord might be with them to prosper them, did humble themselves before him, and make a free and particular confession of the sins of their princes, their rulers, their captains, their priests, and their people; and did engage themselves to do no more so, but to reform their ways, and be stedfast in this covenant; and remembering the practice of our predecessors in the year 1596, wherein the General Assembly, and all the kirk-judicatories, with the concurrence of many of the nobility, gentry, and burgesses, did, with many tears, acknowledge before God the breach of the National Covenant, and engaged themselves to a reformation; even as our predecessors and theirs had before done, in the General Assembly and Convention of Estates, in the year 1567; and perceiving that this duty, when gone about out of conscience and in sincerity, hath always been attended with a reviving out of troubles, and with a blessing and success from Heaven; we do humbly and sincerely, as in his sight, who is the Searcher of hearts, acknowledge the many sins and great transgressions of the land: we have done wickedly, our kings, our princes, our nobles, our judges, our officers, our teachers, and our people. Albeit the Lord hath long and clearly spoken unto us, we have not hearkened to his voice; albeit he hath followed us with tender mercies, we have not been allured to wait upon him, and walk in his way; and though he hath stricken us, yet we have not grieved; nay, though he hath consumed us, we have refused to receive correction: we have not remembered to render unto the Lord according to his goodness, and according to our own vows and promises, but have gone away backward by a continued course of backsliding, and have broken all the articles of that Solemn League and Covenant, which we swore before God, angels, and men.

Albeit there be in the land many of all ranks, who be for a testimony unto the truth, and for a name of joy and praise unto the Lord, by living godly, studying to keep their garments pure, and being stedfast in the covenant and cause of

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God;

God; yet we have reason to acknowledge, that most of us have not endeavoured, with that reality, sincerity, and constancy that did become us, to preserve the work of reformation in the kirk of Scotland: many have satisfied themselves with the purity of the ordinances, neglecting the power thereof; yea, some have turned aside to crooked ways, destructive to both. The profane, loose, and insolent carriage of many in our armies, who went to the assistance of our brethren in England, and the tamperings and unstraight dealing of some of our commissioners, and others of our nation, in London, the Isle of Wight, and other places of that kingdom, have proved great lets to the work of reformation and settling of kirk-government there, whereby error and schism in that land have been increased, and sectaries hardened in their way. We have been so far from endeavouring the extirpation of profaneness, and what is contrary to the power of godliness, that profanity hath been much winked at, and profane persons much countenanced, and many times employed, until iniquity and ungodliness hath gone over the face of the land as a flood; nay, sufficient care hath not been had to separate betwixt the precious and the vile, by debarring from the sacrament all ignorant and scandalous persons, according to the ordinances of this kirk.

Neither have the privileges of the Parliaments and liberties of the subject been duly tendered; but some amongst ourselves have laboured to put into the hands of our King an arbitrary and unlimited power, destructive toboth; and many of us have been accessory of late to those means and ways, whereby the freedom and privileges of Parliaments have been encroached upon, and the subjects oppressed in their consciences, persons, and estates; neither hath it been our care to avoid these things which might harden the King in his evil way; but, upon the contrary, he hath not only been permitted, but many of us have been instrumental to make him exercise his power, in many things tending to the prejudice of religion, and of the Covenant, and of the peace and safety of these kingdoms; which is so far from the right way of preserving his Majesty's person and authority, that it cannot but provoke the Lord against him, unto the hazard of both; nay, under a pretence of relieving and

doing for the King, whilst he refuses to do what was neeessary for the house of God, some have ranversed and violated most of all the articles of the Covenant.

Our own conscience within, and God's judgments upon us without, do convince us of the manifold wilful renewed breaches of that article which concerneth the discovery and punishment of malignants, whose crimes have not only been connived at, but dispensed with and pardoned, and themselves received into intimate fellowship with ourselves, and intrusted with our counsels, admitted into our Parliaments, and put in places of power and authority, for managing the publick affairs of the kingdom; whereby, in God's justice, they got at last into their hands the whole power and strength of the kingdom, both in judicatories and armies; and did employ the same unto the enacting and prosecuting an unlawful engagement in war against the kingdom of England, notwithstanding of the dissent of many considerable members of Parliament, who had given constant proof of their integrity in the cause from the beginning; of many faithful testimonies, and free warnings of the servants of God; of the supplications of many synods, presbyteries, and shires; and of the declarations of the General Assembly and their Commissioners to the contrary; which engagement, as it hath been the cause of much sin, so also of much misery and calamity unto this land; and holds forth to us the grievousness of our sin, of complying with malignants in the greatness of our judgment, that we may be taught never to split again upon the same rock, upon which the Lord hath set so remarkable a beacon. And after all that is coine to pass unto us because of this our trespass; and after that grace hath been shewed unto us from the Lord our God, by breaking these men's yoke from off our necks, and putting us again into a capacity to act for the good of religion, our own safety, and the peace and the safety of this kingdom, should we again break this commandment and covenant, by joining once more with the people of these abominations, and taking into our bosom those serpents, which had formerly stung us almost unto death; this, as it would argue great madness and folly upon our part, so, no doubt, if it be not avoided, will provoke the

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Lord

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