The Confessioun of the Faith and doctrine belevit and professit be the Protestantis of the realme of Scotland exhibitit to the estatis of the same in parliament, and by thair public votis authorisit as a doctrine groundit upon the infallibill word of God

Of God, cap. 1

We confes and acknawlege ane onlie God, to quhome onlie we man cleif, quhome onlie we man serve, quhome onlie we man wirschip, and in quhome onlie we man put our traist, quha is eternall, infinite, unmesurabill, incomprehensibil, omnipotent, invisibill, ane in substance and yit distinct in thre personis, the Father, the Sone and the Haly Gaist, be quhome we confes and beleif all thingis in hevin and eird, asweill visibill as invisibill, to have bene creatit, to be retenit in thair being and to be rewlit and gydit be his inscrutabil providence to sic end as his eternall wisdome, guidnes and justice hes appointit them, to the manifestatioun of his awin glorie.

Of the creatioun of man, cap. 2

We confes and acknawlege this our God to have creatit man, to wit, our first father Adame, to his awin image and similitude, to quhome he gaif wisdome, lordschip, justice, fre will and cleir knawlege of himself sa that in the haill nature of man thair culd be notit na imperfectioun; fra quhilk honour and perfectioun man and woman did baith fall, the woman being dissavit be the serpent, and man obeying the voice of the woman, baith conspyring aganis the soverane majestie of God, quha in expressit wordis had befoir threitnit deid gif thay presumit to eit of the forbodin tre.

Of originall sin, cap. 3

Be quhilk transgressioun, commounlie callit originall sin, was the image of God utterly defacit in man, and he and his posteritie of nature become enemeis to God, slaifis to Sathan and servandis to sin, in sa mekle that deid everlasting hes had, and sall have, power and dominion over all that have not bene, ar not or sal not be regenerate fra above; quhilk regeneratioun is wrocht be the power of the Halie Gaist wirking in the hartis of the elect of God, ane assurit faith in the promeis of God revelit to us in his worde, be quhilk faith we apprehend Christ Jesus with the gracis and benefitis promisit in him.

Of the revelatioun of the promise, cap. 4

For this we constantlie beleif that God, efter the feirfull and horribill defectioun of man fra his obedience, did seik Adame againe, call upon him, rebuke his sin, convict him of the same and, in the end, maid unto him ane maist joyfull promise, to wit, that the seid of the woman sould brek downe the serpentis heid, that is, he sould distroy the warkis of the sevill, quhilk promeis, as it was repetit and maid mair cleir fra tyme to tyme, sa was it imbracit with joy and maist constantlie ressavit of all the faithfull, from Adam to Noe, fra Noe to Abraham, fra Abraham to David, and sa furth to the incarnatioun of Christ Jesus; all (we mene the faithfull fatheris under the law) did se the joyfull dayis of Christ Jesus and did rejoyce.

The continuance, incres and preservatioun of the kirk, cap. 5

We maist constantlie beleif that God preservit, instructit, multiplyit, honourit, decorit and, fra deid, callit to lyfe his kirk in all agis, fra Adam till the cuming of Christ Jesus in the flesche; for Abraham he callit fra his fatheris cuntrie, him he instructit, his seid he multiplyit, the same he mervelously preservit and mair mervelously deliverit fra the bondage and tyrannie of Pharao; to them he gaif his lawis, constitutiounis and ceremoneis, them he possessit in the land of Canaan; to them efter Jugeis and efter Saull he gaif David to be king, to quhome he maid promeis that of the frute of his loynis sould ane sit for ever upon his regall sait; to this same peple, fra tyme to tyme, he send prophetis to reduce them to the rycht way of thair God, fra the quhilk oftin tymes they declynit be idolatrie. And albeit that for their stubburne contempt of justice he was compellit to gif them in the handis of thair enemies, as befoir was threitnit be the mouth of Moyses in sa mekle that the haly cietie was distroyit, the temple brunt with fyre and the haill land left desolate the space of 70 yeiris, yit of mercie did he reduce thame againe to Jerusalem, quhair the cietie and tempill wer reedifyit, and thay, aganis all temptatiounis and assaultis of Sathan, did abyde, till the Messias came according to the promeis.

Of the incarnatioun of Christ Jesus, cap. 6

Quhan the fulnes of tyme came, God send his sone, his eternall wisdome, the substance of his awin glorie in this warlde, quha tuik the nature of manheid of the substance of a woman, to wit, of a virgine, and that be operatioun of the Halie Gaist. And sa was borne the just seid of David, the angell of the greit counsell of God, the verray Messias promysit, quhome we acknawlege and confes Emanuell, verray God and verray man, twa perfyte naturis unitit and joynit in ane person. Be quhilk our confessioun we condempne the dampnabill and pestilent heresyis of Arrius, Marcion, Eutiches, Nestorius and sic utheris as outher did deny the eternite of his God heid, or the veritie of his humaine nature, or confoundit thame, or yit devydit thame.

Quhy it behuifit the mediator to be verray God and verray man, cap. 7

We acknawlege and confes that this maist wonderous conjunctioun betuix the God heid and the manheid in Christ Jesus, did proceid fra the eternall and immutabill decre of God, fra quhilk all our salvatioun springis and dependis.

Electioun, cap. 8

For that same eternal God and father, quha of meir grace electit us in Christ Jesus, his sone, befoir the fundatioun of the warld was laid, appointit him to be our heid, our brother, our pastor and greit bischop of our saulis; bot because that the enimitie betuix the justice of God and our sins was sic that na flesche be it self culd, or mycht have, attenit unto God, it behuifit that the sone of God sould discend unto us and tak him self a body of our body, flesche of our flesche, and bane of our banis, and sa become the perfyte mediator betuix God and man, geving power to sa mony as beleif in him to be the sonis of God, as him self dois witnes, 'I pas up to my father, and unto your father, to my God, and unto your God', be quhilk maist haly fraternitie quhatsaever we have tint in Adam is restorit to us againe. And for this cause ar we not affrayit to call God our father, not sa mekle because he hes creatit us (quhilk we have commoun with the reprobat), as for that that he her gevin to us his onlie sone to be our brother and gevin unto us grace to acknawlege and embrace him for our onlie mediator, as befoir is said. It behuifit farther the Messyas and redemer to be verray God and verray man, because he was to underly the punischement dew for our transgressiounis, and to present him self in the presence of his fatheris jugement, as in our person, to suffer for our transgressioun and inobedience, be deith to overcum him that was author of deith. Bot because the onlie Godheid culd not suffer deith, nouther yit culd the onlie manheid overcum the same, he joynit baith togidder in ane person, that the imbecilitie of the ane soulde suffer and be subject to deith (quhilk we had deservit), and the infinite and invincibill power of the uther, to wit, of the Godheid, sould triumphe and purches till us lyfe, libertie and perpetuall victorie and sa we confesse and maist undoutitlie beleif.

Christis deith, passioun, buriall, cap. 9

That our Lord Jesus offerit him self a voluntarie sacrifice unto his father for us; that he sufferit contradictioun of sinneris; that he was woundit and plaguit for our transgressiounis; that he, being the cleine innocent lamb of God, was dampnit in the presence of ane eirdly juge, that we sould be absolvit befoir the tribunall sait of our God; that he sufferit not onlie the cruell deith of the croce (quhilk was accursit be the sentence of God), bot alswa that he sufferit for a sesoun the wraith of his father, quhilk sinneris had deservit. Bot yit we awow that he remanit the onlie weilbelovit and blissit sone of his father, evin in the middis of his anguische and torment quhilk he sufferit in body and saul, to mak the full satisfactioun for the sinnis of the peple. Efter the quhilk, we confes and awow that thair remanis na uther sacrifice for sin, quhilk gif ony affirme, we na thing dout to awow that thay ar blasphemous against Christis deith and the everlasting purgatioun and satisfactioun purchaist to us be the same.

Resurrectioun, cap. 10

We undoutitlie beleif that, in sa mekle as it was impossibill that the dolouris of deith sould reteine in bondage the author of lyfe, that our Lord Jesus crucifyit, deid and buryit, quha discendit into hell, did ryse againe for our justificatioun and distroying of him quha was the author of deith, brocht lyfe againe to us that wer subject to deith and to the bondage of the same. We knaw that his resurectioun was confirmit be the testimonie of his verray enemeis be the resurrectioun of the deid, quhais sepulcuris did oppin and thay did ryse and apperit to mony within the cietie of Jerusalem. It was alswa confirmit be the testimonie of his angellis and be the sensis and jugementis of his apostillis and of utheris quha had conversatioun, and did eit and drink with him efter his resurrectioun.

Ascensioun, cap. 11

We na thing dout bot the self same body quhilk was borne of the Virgine, was crucifyit, deid and buryit, and quhilk did ryse againe, did ascend into the hevinnis for the accomplischement of all thingis, quhairin our namis, and for our confort, he hes ressaifit all power in hevin and eird, quhair he sittis at the rycht hand of the father, inaugurate in his kingdome, advocate and onlie mediator for us; quhilk glorie, honour and prerogative he allaine amangis the brethren sall posses till that all his enemeis be maid his fuitstuill, as that we undoutitlie beleif thay salbe in the finall jugement; to the executioun quhairof, we certanlie beleif that the same our Lord Jesus sall visiblie returne as that he was sene to ascend. And than we firmlie beleif that the tyme of refrescheing and restitutioun of all thingis sall cum in sa mekle that thir that fra the beginning have sufferit violence, injurie and wrang, for rychteousnes saik, sal inherite that blisiit immortalitie promysit fra the beginning, bot contrarywise the stubburne, inobedient, cruell oppressouris, fylthie personis, adulteraris and all sortis of unfaithfull salbe cast in the dungeoun of utter darknes, quhair thair worme sall not die, nouther yit thair fyre salbe extinguischeit. The remembrance of quhilk day, and of the jugement to be executit in the same, is not only to us ane brydill quhairby our carnall lustis ar refraynit, bot alswa sic inestimabill contort that nouther may the threitning of warldly princes, nouther yit the feir of temporall deith and present danger, move us to renunce and forsaik that blissit societie, quhilk we, the memberis, have with our heid and onlie mediator Christ Jesus, quhome we confes and awow to be the Messyas promysit, the onlie heid of his kirk, our just lawgevar, our onlie hie preist, advocat and mediator. In quhilk honouris and offices, gif man or angell presume to intruse thame self, we utterly detest and abhor thame as blasphemous to our soverane and supreme gournour Christ Jesus.

Faith in the Haly Gaist, cap. 12

This our faith, and assurance of the same, proceidis not fra flesche and blude, that is to say, fra na naturall poweris within us, bot is the inspiratioun of the Haly Gaist, quhome we confes God, equall with the father and with the sone, quha sanctifyis us and bringis us in all veritie be his awin operatioun, without quhome we sould remaine for ever enemeis to God and ignorant of his sone, Christ Jesus, for of nature we ar sa deid, sa blind and sa perverst, that nouther can we feill quhan we ar prickit, se the lycht quhan it schynis, nor assent to the will of God quhan it is revelit unles the spirite of the Lord Jesus quickin that quhilk is deid, remove the darknes fra our myndis and bow our stubburne hartis to the obedience of his blissit will. And sa as we confes that God the father creatit us quhan we war not, as his sone our Lord Jesus redemit us quhan we war enemeis to him, sa alswa do we confes that the Haly Gaist dois sanctifie and regenerat us, without all respect of ony merite proceding fra us, be it befoir or be it efter our regeneratioun. To speik this ane thing yit in mair plaine wordis, as we willinglie spoyle our selfis of all honour and gloir of our awin creatioun and redemptioun, sa do we alswa of our regeneratioun and sanctificatioun; for of our selfis we ar not sufficient to think ane gude thocht, bot he quha hes begun the wark in us is onlie he that continewis us in the same, to the praise and glorie of his undeservit grace.

The cause of gude warkis, cap. 14

Sa that the cause of gude warkis we confes to be not our fre will, bot the spirite of the Lord Jesus, quha, dwelling in our hartis be trew faith, bringis furthe sic gude warkis as God hes preparit for us to walk in. For this we maist bauldlie affirme that blasphemie it is to say that Christ abydis in the hartis of sic as in quhome thair is na spirite of sanctificatioun; and thairfoir we feir not to affirme that murthereris, oppresseris, cruell persecuteris, adultereris, huremungeris, fylthie personis, idolateris, drunkardis, thevis and all wirkeris of iniquitie have nouther trew faith, nouther ony portioun of the spirite of sanctification quhilk proceideth fra the Lord Jesus sa lang as obstinatlie thay continew in thair wickitnes. For how sone that ever the spirite of the Lord Jesus (quhilk Goddis elect children ressaif be trew faith) takis possessioun in the hart of ony man, sa sone dois he regenerate and renew the same man sa that he beginnis to hait that quhilk befoir he luifit, and beginnis to luif that quhilk befoir he hatit. And fra thine cumis that continuall battell, quhilk is betuix the flesche and the spirite in Goddis children, quhill the flesche and naturall man, according to the awin corruptioun, lustis for thingis plesing and delectabill unto the self, and grudgeis in adversitie, is liftit up in prosperitie and at everie moment is prone and reddy to offend the majestie of God. Bot the spirite of God, quhilk gevis witnessing to our spirite that we are the sonis of God, makis us to resist the dewill, to abhorr fylthie plesouris and to graine in Goddis presence for deliverance fra this bondage of corruptioun, and finallie, sa triumphe over sin that it regne not in our mortall bodyis. This battell hes not the carnall men, being destitute of Goddis spirite, bot dois follow and obey sin with gredines and without repentance, evin as the devill and thair corrupt lustis do prick thame. Bot the sonis of God, as befoir was said, dois fecht aganis sin, dois sob and murne, quhan thay persaif thame selfis temptit to iniquitie, and gif thay fall, thay ryse againe with ernist and unfenyeit repentance; and thir thingis thay do not be thair awin power bot be the power of the Lord Jesus, without quhome thay wer habill to do nathing.

Quhat warkis ar reputit gude befoir God, cap. 15

We confes and acknawlege that God hes gevin to man his haly law, in quhilk not onlie ar forbiddin all sic warkis as displeis and offend his godlie majestie, bot alswa ar commandit all sic as pleis him, and as he hes promysit to rewaird. And thir warkis be of twa sortis: the ane ar done to the honour of God, the uther to the profite of our nichtbouris, and baith have the revelit will of God for thair assurance. To have ane God, to wirschip and honour him, to call upon him in all our troublis, reverence his haly name, to heir his word, to beleif the same, to communicate with his haly sacramentis ar the warkis of the first tabill. To honour father, mother, princes, rewlaris and superiour poweris, to luif thame, to supporte thame, ye, to obey thair chargeis (not repugning to the commandement of God); to saif the lives of innocentis, to repres tyrannie, to defend the oppressit, to keip our bodyis cleine and haly, to live in sobernes and temperance, to deill justlie with all men baith in worde and deid and, fynallie, to repres all appetyte of our nichtbouris hurt ar the gude warkis of the secund tabill, quhilk are maist plesing and acceptabill unto God, as thir warkis that ar commandit be himself. The contrarie quhairof is sin maist odious, quhilk alwayis displesis him and provokis him to anger; as, not to call upon him allaine, quhan we have neid; not to heir his word with reverence; to contempne and dispyse it; to have or wirschip idolis; to manteine and defend idolatrie; lychtlie to esteime the reverend name of God; to prophaine, abuse or contempne the sacramentis of Christ Jesus; to disobey or resist ony that God hes placit in authoritie (quhill thay pas not over the boundis of thair office); to murther or to consent thairto; to beir hatrent or to suffer innocent bluid to be sched gif we may withstand it; and, fynallie, the transgressioun of ony uther commandement in the first or secund tabill, we confes and affirme to be sin, by the quhilk Goddis hait and displesoure is kendlit aganis the proude, unthankful warld. Sa that gude warkis we affirme to be thir onlie that ar done in faith and at Goddis commandement, quha, in his law, hes expressit quhat the thingis be that pleis him. And evill warkis we affirme not onlie thir that expressitlie ar done aganis Goddis commandement, bot thir alswa that in materis of religioun and wirschipping of God, hes na uther assurance bot the inventioun and opinioun of man, quhilk God fra the beginning hes ever rejectit, as be the Propheit Esay, and be our maister, Christ Jesus, we ar taucht in thir wordis, 'In vaine do thay wirschip me, teicheing the doctrinis the preceptis of men'.

The perfectioun of the law and imperfectioun of man, cap. 16

The law of God we confes and acknawlege maist just, maist equall, maist haly and maist perfyte, commanding thir thingis quhilk, being wrocht in perfectioun, wer habill to gif lyfe and habill to bring man to eternall felicitie. Bot our nature is sa corrupt, sa waik and sa unperfyte that we ar never habill to fulfill the warkis of the law in perfectioun. Yea, gif we say we have na sin evin efter we ar regeneratit, we dissaif our selfis, and the veritie of God is not in us; and thairfoir it behufit us to apprehend Christ Jesus with his justice and satisfactioun, quha is the end and accomplischement of the law to all that beleve, be quhome we ar set at this libertie, that the cursse and malediccioun of God fall not upon us, albeit we fulfill not the same in all pointis, for God the father behalding us in the body of his sone Christ Jesus acceptis our imperfyte obedience as it wer perfyte, and coveris our warkis, quhilk ar defylit with mony spottis with the justice of his sone. We do not mene that we ar so set at libertie that we aw na obedience to the law (for that befoir we have plainly confessit), but this we affirme, that na man in eird (Christ Jesus onlie except) hes gevin, gevis or sall give in work that obedience to the law quhilk the law requyreth. Bot quhan we have done all thingis, we man fall downe and unfenyeitlie confes that we ar improfitabil servundis, and thairfoir, quhasaever bostis thame selfis of the meritis of thair awin warkis, or put thair traist in the warkis of supererogatioun, boist them selfis of that quhilk is nocht and put thair traist in dampnabill idolatrie.

Of the kirk, cap. 17

As we beleif in ane God, Father, Sone and Haly Gaist, sa do we maist constantly beleif that fra the beginning thair hes bene, and now is, and to the end of the warld salbe, ane kirk; that is to say, ane cumpany and multitude of men chosin of God, quha rychtly wirschip and embrace him be trew faith in Christ Jesus, quha is the onlie heid of the same kirk, quhilk alswa is the body and spous of Christ Jesus, quhilk kirk is catholick, that is, universal, because it contenis the elect of all agis, of all realmis, natiounis and toungis be thay of the Jewis, or be thay of the gentilis, quha have communioun and societie with God the father and with his sone Christ Jesus, throuch the sanctificatioun of his holy spirite; and thairfoir is it callit the communioun, not of prophaine persounis, bot of sainctis, quha as citizenis of the hevinlie Jerusalem, have the fruitioun of the maist inestimabill benefitis, to wit, of ane God, ane Lord Jesus, ane faith and of ane baptisme, out of the quhilk kirk thair is nouther lyfe nor eternall felicitie. And, thairfoir, we utterlie abhor the blasphemie of thame that affirme that men quhilk live according to equitie and justice salbe savit, quhat religioun that ever thay have professit; for as without Christ Jesus thair is nouther lyfe nor salvatioun, sa sall thair nane be participant thairof, bot sic as the father hes gevin unto his sone, Christ Jesus, and thay that in time cum unto him, avow his doctrine and beleif into him (we apprehend the children with the faithful parentis). This kirk is invisibill, knawin onlie to God, quha allaine knawis quhom he hes chosin and comprehendis asweill (as said is) the elect that be departit, commounlie callit the kirk triumphant, and thay that yit live and fecht aganis sin and Sathan as sall live heirefter.

The immortalitie of the saulis, cap. 18

The elect departit ar in peice and rest fra thair laubouris, not that thay sleip and cum to a certaine oblivion (as sum fantastickes do affirme), bot that thay ar deliverit fra all feir and torment, and all temptatioun, to quhilk we and all Goddis elect ar subject in this lyfe and, thairfoir, do beir the name of the kirk militant. As contrarywise, the reprobate and unfaithfull departit have anguische, torment and paine that can not be expressit, sa that nouther ar the ane nor the uther in sic sleip that thay feill not joy or torment as the parabill of Christ Jesus in the 16 of Luik, his wordis to the theif, and thir wordis of the saulis crying under the alter, 'O Lord, thow that art rychteous and just, how lang sall thow not revenge our bluid upon thir that dwellis in the eird?' dois testifie.

Of the notis by the quilk the trew kirk is decernit fra the fals and quha salbe juge of the doctrine, cap. 19

Because that Sathan fra the beginning hes laubourit to deck his pestilent synagog with the tytle of the kirk of God, and has inflamit the hartis of cruell murtheraris to persecute, troubill and molest the trew kirk and membris thairof, as Cain did Abell, Ismaell Isaak, Esau Jacob, and the haill preistheid of the Jewis, Christ Jesus him self and his apostillis efter him, it is ane thing maist requysite that the trew kirk be decernit fra the fylthie synagogis, be cleir and perfyte notis, leist we, being dissavit, ressaif and embrace to our awin condempnatioun the ane for the uther. The notis, signis and assurit takinis quhairby the immaculate spous of Christ Jesus is knawin fra the horribill harlat, the kirk malignant, we affirme ar nouther antiquitie, tytle usurpit, lineall discente, place appointit nor multitude of men approving ane errour, for Cain in age and tytle was preferrit to Abel and Seth, Jerusalem had prerogative abone all places of the eird, quhair alswa wer the preistis liniallie discendit fra Aaron, and greiter number followit the scribis, Phariseis and preistis than unfenyeitlie belevit and approvit Christ Jesus and his doctrine. And yit, as we suppose na man of sound jugement will grant that ony of the foirnamit wer the kirk of God. The notis, thairfoir, of the trew kirk of God, we beleif, confes and avow to be: first, the trew preicheing of the worde of God, into the quhilk God hes revelit him self unto us, as the wrychtingis of the prophetis and apostillis dois declair; secundly, the rycht administratioun of the sacramentis of Christ Jesus, quhilk man be annexit unto the worde and promeis of God, to seill and confirme the same in our hartis; last, ecclesiasticall discipline uprichtlie ministerit, as Goddis worde prescribis, quhairby vice is repressit and vertew nurischit. Quhairsaever that thir former notis ar sene and of ony tyme continew (be the number never sa few, about twa or thre) thair, without all dout, is the trew kirk of Christ, quha, according to his promeis, is in the middis of thame; not that universall, of quhilk we have befoir spokin, bot particular, sic as was in Corinthus, Galatia, Ephesus and uther placis, in quhilk the ministerie was plantit be Paull and wer of him self namit the kirkis of God. And sic kirkis, we the inhabitantis of the realme of Scotland, professouris of Christ Jesus, professis our selfis to have in our cieteis, townis and placis reformit; for the doctrine taucht in our kirkis is contenit in the writtin worde of God, to wit, in the buikis of the Auld and New Testamentis; in thay buikis we mene quhilk of the ancient have bene reputit canonicall; in the quhilk we affirme that all thingis necessarie to be belevit for the salvatioun of mankynde is sufficientlie expressit, the interpretatioun quhairof we confesse nouther appertenis to private nor publict persoun, nouther yit to ony kirk for ony preeminence or prerogative, personallie or locallie, quhilk ane hes abone ane uther, bot appertenis to the spirite of God, by the quhilk alswa the scripture was writtin. Quhan contraversie than happinnis, for the rycht understanding of ony place or sentence of scripture, or for the reformatioun of ony abuse within the kirk of God, we aucht not sa mekle to luik quhat men befoir us have said or done, as unto that quhilk the Haly Gaist uniformly speikis within the body of the scripturis, and unto that quhilk Christ Jesus him self did and commandit to be done, for this is ane thing universallie grantit, that the spirite of God, quhilk is the spirite of unitie, is in nathing contrarious unto him self. Gif than the interpretatioun, determinatioun or sentence of ony doctoure, kirk or counsall repugne to the plaine worde of God writtin in ony uther place of the scripture, it is a thing maist certaine that thair is not the trew understanding and mening of the Haly Gaist, althocht that counsallis, realmes and natiounis have approved and ressavit the same; for we dar not ressave nor admit ony interpretatioun quhilk repugnis to ony principall point of our faith, or to ony uther plaine text of scripture, or yit unto the reule of cheritie.

The authoritie of the scripturus, cap. 20

As we beleve and confes the scripturis of God sufficient to instruct and mak the man of God perfyte, so do we affirme and awow the authoritie of the same to be of God, and nouther to depend on men nor angellis. We affirme, thairfoir, that sic as allege the scripture to have na uther authoritie bot that quhilk it hes ressavit from the kirk, to be blasphemous aganis God and injurous to the trew kirk, quhilk alwayis heiris and obeyis the voice of hir awin spous and pastour, bot takis not upon hir to be maistres over the samin.

Of generall counsellis, of thair power, authoritie and cause of thair convention, cap. 21

As we do not raschely dampne that quhilk godlie men, assemblit togidder in generall counsell, lauchfullie gadderit, have proponit unto us, sa without just examinatioun dar we not ressave quhatsaever is obtrudit unto men under the name of generall counsellis. For plaine it is, as thay wer men, sa have sum of thame manifestlie errit, and that in materis of greit wecht and importance. Sa far than as the counsell previs the determinatioun and commandement that it gevis be the plaine worde of God, sa far do we reverence and embrace the same. Bot gif men under the name of a counsell pretend to forge unto us new articlis of our faith, or to mak constitutionis repugning to the worde of God, than utterlie we man refuse the same as the doctrine of devillis, quhilk drawis our saulis fra the voice of our onlie God to follow the doctrinis and constitutiounis of men. The cause, than, quhy that generall counsellis convenit, was nouther to mak ony perpetuall law quhilk God befoir had not maid, nouther yit to forge new articklis of our beleif, nor to gif the word of God authoritie, mekle les to mak that to be his word, or yit the trew interpretatioun of the same, quhilk was not befoir his haly will expressit in his worde; bot the cause of counsellis (we mene of sic as merite the name of counsellis) was partlie for confutation of heresies and for geving publict confessioun of thair faith to the posteritie following, quhilk baith thay did be the authoritie of Goddis writtin worde and not be ony opinioun or prerogative that thay culd not erre, be ressoun of thair generall assemblie. And this we juge to have bene the cheif cause of generall counsellis. The uther was for gude policie and ordour to be constitute and observit in the kirk, in quhilk (as in the hous of God) it becumis all thingis to be done decentlie and into ordour. Not that we think that ane policie and ane ordour in ceremonies can be appointit for all agis, tymes and placis, for as ceremonies sic as men have devysit ar bot temporall, so may and aucht thay to be changeit quhan thay rather foster superstitioun than that thay edifie the kirk using the same.

Of the sacramentis, cap. 22

As the fatheris under the law, besydis the veritie of the sacrificis, had twa cheif sacramentis, to wit, circumcisioun and the Pasover, the dispyseris and contempneris quhairof war not reputit for Goddis peple, sa do we acknawlege and confes that we, now in the tyme of the evangill, have twa cheif sacramentis onlie institutit be the Lord Jesus and commandit to be usit of all thay that will be reputit membris of his body, to wit, baptisme and the supper or table of the Lord Jesus, callit the communion of his body and his blude. And thir sacramentis, asweill of the Auld as of the New Testament, now institutit of God not onlie to mak ane visibill difference betuix his peple and thay that war without his leigue, bot alswa to exerce the faith of his children and, be participatioun of the same sacramentis, to seill in thair hartis the assurance of his promise and of that maist blissit coniunctioun, unioun and societie, quhilk the elect have with their heid Christ Jesus. And thus we utterlie dampne the vanitie of thay that affirme sacramentis to be nathing ellis bot nakit and bair signis. Na, we assuritlie beleif that be baptisme we ar ingraftit in Christ Jesus, to be maid partakeris of his justice, be quhilk our sinnis ar coverit and remittit, and alswa that in the supper rychtlie usit, Christ Jesus is sa joynit with us that he becumis verray nurischement and fude of our saulis. Not that we imagine any transubstantiatioun of breid in Christis naturall body and of wyne in his naturall blude, as the papistis have perniciously taucht and dampnablie belevit, bot this unioun and conjunctioun, quhilk we have with the body and blude of Christ Jesus in the rycht use of the sacramentis, is wrocht be operatioun of the Haly Gaist, quha, by trew faith, caryis us above all thingis that ar visibill, carnall and eirdly, and makis us to feid upon the body and blude of Christ Jesus, quhilk was anis brokin and sched for us, quhilk now is in the hevin and appeiris in the presence of his father for us. And yit, notwithstanding the far distance of place quhilk is betuix his bodie now glorifyit in the hevin and us now mortall in this eird, yit we man assuritlie beleif that the breid quhilk we brek is the communion of Christis body, and the coup quhilk we blis is the communion of his blude, sa that we confes and undoutitlie beleif that the faithfull in the rycht use of the Lordis tabill do sa eit the body and drinke the blude of the Lord Jesus that he remanis in thame and thay in him. Ye, thay ar sa maid flesche of his flesche and bane of his banis, that as the eternall Godheid hes gevin to the flesche of Christ Jesus (quhilk of the awin conditioun and nature was mortall and corruptibill) lyfe and immortalitie, sa dois Christ Jesus, his flesche and blude eitin and drunkin be us gif unto us the same prerogativis, quhilk albeit we confes ar nouther gevin unto us at that tyme onlie, nouther yit be the proper power and vertew of the sacramentis onlie, yit we affirme that the faithfull in the rycht use of the Lordis table hes conjunctioun with Christ Jesus as the naturall man can not apprehend. Ye, and farther, we affirme that albeit the faithfull, oppressit be negligence and manlie infirmitie dois not profite sa mekle as thay wald in the verray instant actioun of the supper, yit sall it efter bring frute furth as lively seid sawin in gude ground. For the Haly Spirite, quhilk can never be devydit fra the rycht institutioun of the Lord Jesus, will not frustrate the faithfull of the frute of that mystical actioun, bot all this, we say, cumis of trew faith, quhilk apprehendis Christ Jesus, quha onlie makis his sacramentis effectuall unto us. And, thairfoir, quhasaever sclanderis us as that we affirmit or belevit sacramentis to be nakit and bair signis, do injurie unto us and speikis aganis the manifest treuth. Bot this liberallie and franklie we confes, that we mak ane distinctioun betuix Christ Jesus in his eternall substance and betuix the elementis in the sacramentall signis sa that we will nouther wirschip the signis in place of that quhilk is signifyit be thame; nouther yit do we dispyse and interpreit thame as unprofitabill and vaine, bot do use thame with all reverence, examining our selfis diligentlie befoir that sa we do, becaus we ar assurit be the mouth of the apostill that sic as eit of that breid and drink of that coup unworthely ar giltie of the body and of the blude of Christ Jesus.

Of the rycht administratioun of the sacramentis, cap. 23

That sacramentis be rychtlie ministrat, we juge twa thingis requysite: the ane that thay be ministrat be lauchfull minsteris, quhome we affirme to be onlie thai that ar appointit to the preiching of the worde, into quhais mouthis God hes put sum sermon of exhortatioun, thay being men lauchfully chosin thairto be sum kirk; the uther, that thay be ministrat in sic elementis and in sic sorte as God hes appointit, ellis we affirme that thay ceis to be rycht sacramentis of Christ Jesus. And thairfoir it is that we flee the societe with the papisticall kirk in participatioun of their sacramentis: first, because thair ministeris ar na ministeris of Christ Jesus, ye (quhilk is mair horrible) thay suffer wemen, quhome the Haly Gaist will not suffer to teiche in the congregatioun, to baptise; and, secundlie, because thay have sa adulterat baith the ane sacrament and the uther with their awin inventiounis, that na pairt of Christis actioun abydis in the originall puritie, for oyle, salt, spattill and sic lyke in baptisme ar bot mennis inventiounis; adoratioun, veneratioun, beiring throuch streitis and townis, and keiping of breid in boxis or buistis ar prophanatioun of Christis sacramentis and na use of the same. For Christ Jesus said, 'Tak, eit etc. Do ye this in remembrance of me', be quhilk wordis and charge he sanctifyit breid and wyne to be the sacrament of his halie body and blude to the end that the ane salbe eitin and that all sould drink of the uther, and not that they sould be keipit to be wirschippit and honourit as God, as the papistis have done heirtofoir, quha alswa have committit sacrilege, steilling fra the peple the ane pairt of the sacrament, to wit, the blissit coupe. Mairover, that the sacramentis be rychtlie usit, it is requyrit that the end and cause quhy the sacramentis war institute be understand and observit, asweill of the minister as of the ressaveris. For gif the opinioun be changit in the ressaver, the rycht use ceissis, quhilk is maist evident be the rejectioun of the sacrifices; as alswa gif the teicher plainly teiche fals doctrine, quhilk war odious and abhominabill befoir God (albeit thay war his awin ordinance), because that wickit men use thame to ane uther end than God hes ordenit. The same affirme we of the sacramentis in the papisticall kirk, in quhilk we affirme the haill actioun of the Lord Jesus to be adulteratit, asweill in the externall forme as in the end and opinioun. Quhat Christ Jesus did and commandit to be done is evident be the evangelistis and be Sainct Paull. Quhat the preist dois at his alter, we neid not to reheirs. The end and cause of Christis institutioune, and quhy the self same sould be usit, is expressit in thir wordis: 'Do ye this in remembrance of me. Als oft as ye sall eit of this breid and drink of this coup, ye sall schaw furth', that is, extol, preiche, magnifie and praise, 'the Lordis deith till he cum'. Bot to quhat end, and in quhat opinioune, the preistis say thair mes; lat the wordis of the same, thair awin doctouris and wrychtingis, witnes, to wit, that thay, as mediatoris betuix Christ and his kirk, do offer unto God the father a sacrifice propiciatorie for the sinnis of the quick and the deid. Quhilk doctrine, as blasphemous to Christ Jesus and making derogatioun to the sufficiencie of his onlie sacrifice, anis offerit for purgatioun of all thay that salbe sanctifyit, we utterlie abhor, detest and renunce.

To quhome sacramentis apperteine, cap. 24

We confes and acknawlege that baptisme appertenis asweill to the infantis of the faithfull as unto thame that be of age and discretioun. And sa we dampne the error of the Anabaptistis, quha denyis baptisme to appertene to children befoir that thay have faith and understanding. Bot the supper of the lord we confes to appertene to sic onlie as be of the houshald of faith and can try and examin thameselfis, asweill in thair faith as in thair dewithie towardis thair nichtbouris. Sic as eit and drink at that haly table without faith, or being at discentioune and divisioun with thair brethren do eit unworthely, and thairfoir it is that in our kirk our ministeris tak publict and particulare examinatioun of the knawlege and conversatioun of sic as ar to be admittit to the table of the Lord Jesus.

Of the civile magistrat, cap. 25

We confes and acknawlege empyris, kingdomis, dominiounis and cieteis to be distinctit and ordenit be God; the poweris and authoritie in the same, be it of emperouris in thair empyris, of kingis in thair realmis, dukis and princes in thair dominiounis and of utheris magistratis in fre cieteis, to be Goddis haly ordinance, ordenit for manifestatioun of his awin glorie and for the singular profite and commoditie of mankynde, sa that quhasaever gangis about to tak away or to confound the haill state of civile policeis, now lang establischit, we affirme the same men not onlie to be enemeis to mankynde, bot alswa wickitlie to fecht aganis Goddis expressit will. We forther confes and acknawlege thay sic personis as ar placit in authoritie ar to be luifit, honourit, feirit and haldin in maist reverend estimatioun because that thay ar the lieutennentis of God, in quhais sessiounis God him self dois sit and juge; ye, evin the jugeis and princes thame selfis to quhome be God is gevin the sworde, to the praise and defence of gude men and to revenge and punische all oppin malefactouris. Mairover, to kingis, princes, rewleris and magistratis, we affirme that cheiflie and maist principallie the conservatioun and purgatioun of the religioun appertenis sa that not onlie thay ar appointit for civile policie, bot alswa for mantenance of the trew religioun and for suppressing of idolatrie and superstitioun quhatsaever, as in David, Josaphat, Ezechias, Josias and utheris, heichly commendit for thair zeill in that caise, may be espyit; and thairfoir we confes and awow that sic as resist the supreme power, doing that thing quhilk appertenis to his charge, do resist Goddis ordinance and, thairfoir, can not be giltles. And farther, we affirme thay quhasaever denyis unto thame thair ayde, counsell and confort quhylis the princes and rewleris vigilantlie travell in executioun of thair office, that the same men deny thair help, supporte and counsell to God quha, be the presence of his lieutennent, dois craif it of thame.

The giftis frelie gevin to the kirk, cap. 26

Albeit that the worde of God trewlie preicheit and the sacramentis rychtlie ministerit and discipline executit according to the worde of God be the certaine and infallibill signis of the trew kirk, we mene not that everie particulare person joynit with sic cumpany be ane elect member of Christ Jesus; for we acknawlege and confes that dornell, cockell and caffe may be sawin, grow and in greit aboundance ly in the middis of the quheit, that is, the reprobat may be joynit in the societie of the elect and may externallie use with thame the benefitis of the word and sacramentis bot sic being bot temporall professouris in mouth, bot not in hart, do fall back and continew not to the end and, thairfoir, have thay na frute of Christis deith, resurrectioun nor ascensioun. Bot sic as with hart unfenyeitly beleif and with mouth bauldlie confes the Lord Jesus, as befoir we have said, sall maist assuritlie ressaif thir giftis: first in this lyfe, remissioun of sinnis, and that by onlie faith in Christis blude in sa mekle that albeit sin remane and continuallie abyde in thir our mortall bodyis, yit it is not imputit unto us, but is remittit and coverit with Christis justice; secundlie, in the generall jugement, thair salbe gevin to everie man and woman resurrectioun of the flesche; for the sey sall gif hir deid, the eird thay that thairin be inclosit; ye, the eternal, our God, sall streiche out his hand on the dust and the deid sall aryse uncorruptible and that in the subtance of the self same flesche that everie man now beiris to ressaif according to thair warkis glorie or punischement. For sic as now delyte in vanitie, crueltie, fylthines, superstitioun or idolatrie salbe adjugeit to the fyre unstancheabill, in quhilk thay salbe tormentit for ever, asweill in thair awin bodyis as in their saulis, quhilk now thay gif to serve the devill in all abhominatioun. Bot sic as continew in well doing to the end, bauldlie professing the Lord Jesus, we constantlie beleif that thay sall ressaif glorie, honour and immortalitie, to regne for ever in lyfe everlasting with Christ Jesus, to quhais glorifyit body all his elect salbe maid lyke quhan he sall appeir againe in jugement, and sall rander up the kingdome to God his father, quha than salbe, and ever sall remaine all in all thingis God, blissit for ever, to quhome, with the Sone and with the Haly Gaist be all honour and glorie, now and ever. So be it.

Aryse, O Lord, and lat thy enemies be confoundit. Lat thame flee fra thy presence, thay hait thy godly name. Give thy servandis strenth to speik thy worde in bauldnes, and lat all natiounis cleif to thy trew knawlege. Amen.

Thir actis and articklis ar red in the face of parliament and ratifyit be the thre estatis at Edinburgh, the sevintene day of August, the yeir of God jM vC and thre scoir yeiris.

  1. The Actis of King James the Sext, printed by R. Lekprevick (Edinburgh, 1568), ff.5v-10v. Bound with earlier parliamentary material at NLS, Black Acts, 1566-94, H.33.c.21, Scots Acts of Parliament, H.33.c.23 or Scots Acts, H.33.c.25. Back
  2. In margin: 'Deut. 6. Esai. 44. Deut 4. Mat. 28. Gen 1. Prov. 16. Gen. 1, 2'. Back
  3. In margin: 'Ephes. 3. Rom. 5. Joh. 2. Rom. 5, 8'. Back
  4. In margin: 'Gen. 5. Gen. 12, 15. Esay. 7, 8'. Back
  5. In margin: 'Ezec. 16. Gen. 12. Exo. 1, 2. Exo. 20. Josu. 1, 2, 3. 1 Sam. 16. 1 Reg. 17. 2 Reg. 24, 25. Deut. 28. Jere. 28. Ezra. 1. Agg. 1, 2. Zach. 3'. Back
  6. In margin: 'Gal. 4. Luc. 1, 2'. Back
  7. In margin: 'Joh. 1. Heb. 2. Joh. 1. Jeh. 20. Esay. 53'. Back
  8. In margin: 'Heb. 10. Esay. 53. Deut. 21. Gal. 3. Heb. 10'. Back
  9. In margin: 'Act. 2, 3. Rom. 6. Mat. 28. Mat. 27. Job. 20, 21'. Back
  10. In margin: 'Act. 1. Mat. 28. 1 Joh. 2. 1 Tim. 2. Psal. 110. Apoc. 20. Esay. 7. Collo. 1. Heb. 9, 10'. Back
  11. In margin: 'Mat. 16. Joh. 14, 15, 16. Rom. 5. 2 Cor. 3'. Back
  12. Sic. Back
  13. In margin: 'Joh. 15. Ephas. 2. Gal. 5. Rom. 8. Joh. 15'. Back
  14. In margin: 'Exod. 20. Deut. 4. Ephas. 6. Ezec. 22. Jere. 22. Esay. 50. 1 Thas. 4. Luc. 2. Ezec. 22. Esay. 29. Mat. 15'. Back
  15. In margin: 'Rom. 7. Psal. 19. Deut. 5. Rom. 10. Rom. 10. Gal. 3. Deut. 26. Ephas. 1. Rom. 4. Luc. 10'. Back
  16. In margin: 'Mat. 28. Ephes. 1. Collo. 1. Ephe. 5. Apoc. 7. Ephe. 2. Joh. 5'. Back
  17. In margin: 'Apoc. 14. Apoc. 7. Luc. 16. Apoc. 6'. Back
  18. In margin: 'Gen. 4, 21, 27. Mat. 23. Joh. 11. Act. 3. Jo. 1, 10. Rom. 4. 1 Cor. 5. Act. 16, 18. Cor. 11'. Back
  19. In margin: '1 Tim. 3. Joh. 10'. Back
  20. In margin: '1 Tim. 4'. Back
  21. Marginal notes give out in printed edition. Back