By Reformed Presbytery of North America
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Extra info for Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation
The gracious countenance and abundant evidence of divine approbation wherewith the LORD vouchsafed to bless his contending, reforming and covenanting church in Scotland, in a plentiful effusion of his Holy Spirit on the judicatories and worshiping assemblies of his people, proved a happy means to excite and provoke their neighbors in England and Ireland, to go and do likewise. For in the year 1643, when the beginning of a bloody war between the king and parliament of England threatened the nation with a series of calamity and trouble; the parliament having convocated an assembly of divines to sit at Westminster for consulting about a reformation of religion in that kingdom, sent commissioners, consisting of members of both houses and assembly, to treat with the assembly of the church of Scotland, and convention of estates about these things.
5. , than which nothing can be more unjust: seeing, as a body distinct from all others, they have still stood upon the footing of the covenanted establishment, as has been frequently declared to the world, and as the constitution of the presbytery bears; so that they can no more be said ever to have wanted a proper testimony exhibiting their principles to the world, than the reformed church of Scotland, whereof they are a part. 6. The present broken and divided situation of the members of CHRIST'S mystical body, together with the abounding of error, seems necessarily to require it as a proper mean, under the divine blessing, for gathering again the scattered flock of Christ, the chief shepherd, to the one sheepfold, and putting a stop to the current of prevailing apostasy and defection.
Hitherto, although many, both ministers, gentlemen and others, had endured unexpressible hardships and severities, yet few or none suffered to the death, save that noble peer, the Marquis of _Argyle_, who was condemned by the parliament 1661, and beheaded May 27th; and the Reverend Mr. _James Guthrie_, who suffered five days thereafter. These two were singled out--the one in the state, the other in the church--to fall a victim to the resentment and fury of the enemies of that covenanted work of reformation, which they had both, in an eminent manner, been honored of GOD to support and advance; and also as a specimen of what was afterward to be the fate of all that should adhere to the same glorious cause, and stand up for God against these workers of iniquity.