Believing that a nation as such, is a proper subject of God’s government, and that those nations favored with his law as revealed in the holy scriptures, are peculiarly required to regard the authority of the Lord and his Anointed, therein made fully known: it is with deep regret that we feel constrained to designate and testify against evils in the Constitution of this nation. Notwithstanding numerous excellencies embodied in this instrument, there are moral evils contained in it also, of such magnitude, that no Christian can consistently give allegiance to the system. There is not contained in it any acknowledgment of the Christian religion, or professed submission to the kingdom of Messiah. It gives support to the enemies of the Redeemer, and admits to its honors and emoluments Jews, Mohammedans, Deists and Atheists—it establishes that system of robbery by which men are held in slavery, despoiled of liberty, and property, and protection. It violates the principles of representation, by bestowing upon the domestic tyrant who holds hundreds of his fellow creatures in bondage, an influence in making laws for freemen proportioned to the number of his own slaves. This constitution is, in many instances, inconsistent, oppressive and impious.
Much guilt, and of long standing, is chargeable against this nation, for its cruel treatment of the colored race, in subjecting them ever since 1789 to hopeless bondage; its unjust transactions with the Indian race, and more recently waging an unjust war with a neighboring republic, as would appear, for the wicked purpose of extending the iniquitous system of slavery.
“Arise O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.”
A brief declaration or summary of the principles maintained by the Presbytery, as to doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, in agreeableness to the word of God, our Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and whole covenanted testimony of the Church of Scotland.—The contrary doctrines condemned.
Unto what has been more generally laid down in the preceding pages, with respect to the principles and practice of this church and nation, both in former and present times; the Presbytery proceed to subjoin a positive and explicit declaration of their principles anent the truths of our holy religion, whether by the generality agreed unto, or by some controverted.
I. OF GOD.—The Presbytery did, and hereby do acknowledge and declare, that there is one infinite, eternal, self-existent, and independent Being; and that this only true and living God, absolutely all-sufficient, having all being, perfection, glory, and blessedness, in and of himself, subsists in three distinct, divine persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (in one and the same undivided essence and godhead), all equally the same in substance, power, and glory, although distinguished by their personal properties; according to Deut. vi, 4; 1 Cor. viii, 6; 1 Tim. i, 17; Acts xvii, 24, 25; 1 John v, 7; Matth. xxviii, 19; Confession of Faith, chap. 2; larger catechism, quest. 7—11; shorter catechism, quest. 4—6.