And the same is true of the second table of the moral law. For example: in reference to “the first commandment with promise,” should the Christian minor be asked as the Jew did his Lord, “Who is your father?” How shall he answer? Is he warranted to appeal to God to manifest his earthly sonship? No; but he is required by God’s law to “honor his father;” and his obedience to this command is grounded on human testimony as to the object to whom this honor is due. Thus consistency, reason and scripture combine, to accuse and fasten guilt—the guilt of apostasy upon all who have renounced that fundamental principle of our glorious covenanted reformation—that history and argument belong to the bond of ecclesiastical fellowship. With any who hold the theory here condemned, however exemplary or even conscientious in morals and religion they may appear, we can have no ecclesiastical fellowship; for, however ardent their attachment or strong their expressions of affection to Confession, Catechisms, Covenants, &c.; they give no guarantee of competent intelligence or probable stability; as alas! we see in the present declining course of many in our day.
We would earnestly and affectionably beseech all well wishers to a covenanted work of reformation: that they would take into their serious consideration whether these things are, or are not connected inseparably with the wellfare of Zion. Especially would we expostulate with such as have any regard for the Judicial Testimony adopted at Ploughlandhead, Scotland, in 1761: that they conscientiously compare it with the book called Reformation Principles Exhibited, and also with the new Scottish Testimony, where it is practicable, and all these with the supreme standard, the holy scriptures. They will find on examination, that these are wholly irreconcilable in the very form of testimony-bearing. Particularly, let the reader notice that our fathers in 1761, considered history and argument as constituting their testimony: and did not look upon doctrinal declaration as formal testimony at all. Look at the very title page of their Testimony; where you read, “Act, Declaration and Testimony,” plainly distinguishing between declaration and Testimony. Now, all innovators make doctrinal declaration their testimony, reversing our fathers’ order; yea, we would add God’s order, for he distinguishes between his law and testimony; Ps. lxxviii, 5-7; cv, 42-45. God’s special providences toward his covenanted people constitute his testimony by way of eminence; Exod. xx, 1, &c., and their conduct under his providences constitute their testimony, which must consist of history; and by this and the blood of the Lamb, Christ’s witnesses are destined to overcome all anti-christian combinations.
In attempting thus to follow the approved example of our covenant fathers, whose practice it was to testify not only against the corruptions of ecclesiastical, but also of civil constitutions, where their lot was cast, we deem it incumbent on us to continue our testimony first published in 1806, against the immoralities incorporated with the government of these United States.