Containing a brief historical narration of the several periods of the Testimony of the Church of Scotland, and of the faithful contendings of the witnesses for Christ, particularly from the commencement of the Reformation in these lands, down to the late Revolution; with the Presbytery’s approbation thereof.
The which day and place, the Reformed Presbytery being met, and taking into their most serious consideration, the deplorable situation of the interest of Christ and religion at present, in these sinning lands wherein so few are asking for the old path, saying, Where is the good way, that we may walk therein? but, on the contrary, an avowed apostasy and backsliding from the right ways of the Lord, is by the generality carried on, with a secret undermining of reformation interests, by some, under more specious pretenses; and, further, considering the general deluge of error and heresy, that has overrun these lands, and the swarm of erroneous heretics that has overspread the same, making very impious attacks upon the most part of revealed religion, who, notwithstanding, have found such shelter under the wings of a Laodicean church, and almost boundless state toleration, that they walk on without fear in the foresaid broad way of sin and error. And, moreover, all kinds of sin and wickedness so universally abound and pass, without any suitable check, that he who departs from iniquity maketh himself a prey; together with the woful insensibility, and deep security of all, under our spiritual plagues and impending temporal strokes. And yet, while the land so evidently groans under its inhabitants, very few either acknowledge themselves guilty, or turn from the evil of their ways, saying, What have we done? Also, considering the horrid breach and contempt of sacred vows unto the Most High, the great effusion of the saints’ blood, shed in our late persecution under prelacy (which is yet to be found in our skirts), and the faithful testimony they therewith sealed, remains buried under the gravestones, both of ecclesiastical and civil deeds of constitution, unto this day. So that we may rather admire, that the Lord hath not made such inquisition for blood, as to make our land an aceldama, than that we are yet under a dispensation of divine forbearance. All which is followed with a deep oblivion of most or all of the memorable instances of the Lord’s goodness, mercy and power, manifested unto his church, in these lands; the remembrance whereof ought still to be retained, and the same acknowledged with thankfulness, by all the children of Zion, unto the latest ages.