Exhibitit to the Estaitis of the same in Parliament, and be their publick Votis authorisit, as a Doctrine groundit upon the infallibil Worde of God, Aug. 1560. And afterwards stablished and publicklie confirmed be sundrie Acts of Parliaments, and of lawful General Assemblies.
The Estaitis of Scotland with the Inhabitants of the same professand Christ Jesus his haly Evangel, to their natural Countrymen, and unto all uther realmes professand the same Lord Jesus with them, wish Grace, Mercie and Peace fra god the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Spirit of richteous Judgement, for Salvatioun.
Lang have we thristed, dear Brethren, to have notified to the Warld the Sum of that Doctrine quhilk we professe, and for the quhilk we have susteined Infamie and Danger: Bot sik hes bene the Rage of Sathan againis us, and againis Christ Jesus his eternal Veritie latlie now againe born amangst us, that to this daie na Time hes been graunted unto us to cleir our Consciences, as maist gladlie we wald have done. For how we have been tossit heirtofoir, the maist part Europe, as we suppose, dois understand.
But seing that of the infinit Gudnes of our God (quha never sufferis his afflickit utterlie to be confoundit) above Expectation we have obteined sum Rest and Libertie, we culd not bot set furth this brefe and plaine Confessioun of sik Doctrine as is proponed unto us, and as we beleeve and professe; partlie for Satisfactioun of our Brethren quhaishartis, we nathing doubt, have been and zit ar woundit be the despichtful rayling of sik as zit have not learned to speke well: And partlie for stapping the mouthis of impudent blasphemers, quha bauldlie damne that quhilk they have nouther heard nor zit understude.
Not that we judge that the cankred malice of sik is abill to be cured be this our simple confession; na, we knaw that the sweet savoure of the evangel is and sal be deathe unto the sonnes of perditioun. Bot we have chief respect to our weak and infirme brethren, to quham we wald communicate the bottom of our hartes, leist that they be troubiled or carried awaie be diversity of rumoris, quhilk Sathan spredis againist us to the defeating of this our maist godlie interprize: Protestand that gif onie man will note in this our confessioun onie Artickle or sentence repugnand to Gods halie word, that it wald pleis him of his gentleness and for christian charities sake to admonish us of the same in writing; and we upon our honoures and fidelitie, be Gods grace do promise unto him satisfactioun fra the mouth of God, that is, fra his haly scriptures, or else reformation of that quhilk he sal prove to be amisse. For God we take to recorde in our consciences, that fra our heartis we abhorre all sectis of heresie and all teachers of erronious doctrine: and that with all humilitie we imbrace the purity of Christs Gospell, quhilk is the onelie fude of our sauls, and therefoir sa precious unto us, that we ar determined to suffer the extremest of wardlie daunger, rather than that we will suffer our selves to be defraudit of the sam. For heirof we ar maist certainlie perswadit, that quhasumever denieis Christ Jesus, or is aschamit of him in the presence of men, sal be denyit befoir the Father, and befoir his haly Angels. And therefoir be the assistance of the michtie Spirit of the same our Lord Jesus Christ, we firmelie purpose to abide to the end in the confessioun of this our faith, as be Artickles followis.
ART. I OF GOD
We confesse and acknawledge ane onelie God, to whom only we must cleave, whom onelie we must serve, whom onelie we must serve, whom onelie we must worship, and in whom onelie we must put our trust. Who is Eternall, Infinit, Unmeasurable, Incomprehensible, Omnipotent, Invisible: ane in substance, and zit distinct in thre personnis, the Father, the Sone, and the holie Gost. Be whom we confesse and beleve all thingis in hevin and eirth, aswel Visible as Invisible, to have been created, to be reteined in their being, and to be ruled and guyded be his inscrntable Providence, to sik end, as his Eternall Wisdome, Gudnes, and Justice hes appoynted them, to the manifestatioun of his awin glorie.
ART. II OF THE CREATIOUN OF MAN
We confesse and acknawledge this our GOD to have created man, to wit, our first father Adam, to his awin image and similitude, to whome he gave wisdome, lordship, justice, free-wil, and cleir knawledge of himselfe, sa that in the haill nature of man there culd be noted no imperfectioun. Fra quhilk honour and perfectioun, man and woman did bothe fal: the woman being deceived be the Serpent, and man obeying the voyce of the woman, both conspyring against the Soveraigne Majestie of GOD, who in expressed words had before threatned deith, gif they presumed to eit of the forbidden tre.
ART. III OF ORIGINAL SINNE
Be quhilk transgressioun, commonlie called Original sinne, wes the Image of GOD utterlie defaced in man, and he and his posteritie of nature become enimies to GOD, slaves to Sathan, and servandis unto sin. In samekle that deith everlasting hes had, and sall have power and dominioun over all that have not been, ar not, or sal not be regenerate from above: quhilk regeneratioun is wrocht be the power of the holie Gost, working in the hartes of the elect of GOD, ane assured faith in the promise of GOD, reveiled to us in his word, be quhilk faith we apprehend Christ Jesus, with the graces and benefites promised in him.
ART. IV OF THE REVELATION OF THE PROMISE
For this we constantlie beleeve, that GOD, after the feirfull and horrible defectioun of man fra his obedience, did seek Adam againe, call upon him, rebuke his sinne, convict him of the same, and in the end made unto him ane most joyful promise, to wit, That the seed of the woman suld break down the serpents head, that is, he suld destroy the works of the Devill. Quhilk promise, as it was repeated, and made mair cleare from time to time; so was it imbraced with joy, and maist constantlie received of al the faithfull, from Adam to Noe, from Noe to Abraham, from Abraham to David, and so furth to the incarnatioun of Christ Jesus, all (we meane the faithfull Fathers under the Law) did see the joyfull daie of Christ Jesus, and did rejoyce.
ART. V OF THE CONTINUANCE, INCREASE, AND PRESERVATIOUN OF THE KIRK
We maist constantly beleeve, that God preserved, instructed, multiplied, honoured, decored, and from death called to life, his Kirk in all ages. fra Adam, till the cumming of Christ Jesus in the flesh. For Abraham he called from his Fathers cuntry, him he instructed, his seede he multiplied; the same he marveilouslie preserved, and mair marveilouslie delivered from the bondage and tyrannie of Pharaoh; to them he gave his lawes, constitutions and ceremonies; them he possessed in the land of Canaan; to them after Judges, and after Saul, he gave David to be king, to whome hee made promise, that of the fruite of his loynes suld ane sit for ever upon his regall seat. To this same people from time to time he sent prophets, to reduce them to the right way of their God: from the quhilk oftentimes they declined be idolatry. And albeit that for their stubborne contempt of Justice, he was compelled to give them in the hands of their enimies, as befoir was threatned be the mouth of Moses, in sa meikle that the haly cittie was destroyed, the temple burnt with fire, and the haill land left desolate the space of lxx years: zit of mercy did he reduce them againe to Jerusalem, where the cittie and temple were reedified, and they against all temptations and assaultes of Sathan did abide, till the Messias come, according to the promise.
ART. VI OF THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST JESUS
Quhen the fulnes of time came, God sent his Sonne, his eternall Wisdome, the substance of his awin glory in this warld, quha tuke the nature of man-head of the substance of woman, to wit, of a virgine, and that be operatioun of the holie Ghost: and so was borne the just seede of David, the Angell of the great counsell of God, the very Messias promised, whome we confesse and acknawledge Emmanuel, very God and very man, two perfit natures united, and joyned in one persoun. Be quhilk our Confessioun we condemne the damnable and pestilent heresies of Arius, Marcion, Eutyches, Nestorius, and sik uthers, as either did denie the eternitie of his God-head, or the veritie of his humaine nature, or confounded them, or zit devided them.
ART. VII WHY IT BEHOOVED THE MEDIATOR TO BE VERY GOD AND VERY MAN
We acknawledge and confesse, that this maist wonderous conjunction betwixt the God-head and the man-head in Christ Jesus, did proceed from the eternall and immutable decree of God, from quhilk al our salvatioun springs and depends.
ART. VIII OF ELECTION
For that same eternall God and Father, who of meere grace elected us in Christ Jesus his Sonne, befoir the foundatioun of the warld was laide, appointed him to be our Head, our Brother, our Pastor, and great Bischop of our sauls. Bot because that the enimitie betwixt the justice of God and our sins was sik, that na flesh be it selfe culd or might have attained unto God: It behooved that the Sonne of God suld descend unto us, and tak himselfe a bodie of our bodie, flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones, and so become the Mediator betwixt God and man, giving power to so many as beleeve in him, to be the sonnes of God; as himselfe dois witnesse, I passe up to my Father, and unto zour Father, to my God, and unto zour God. Be quhilk maist holie fraternitie, quhatsaever wee have tynt in Adam, is restored unto us agayne. And for this cause, ar we not affrayed to cal God our Father, not sa meikle because he hes created us, quhilk we have common with the reprobate; as for that, that he hes given to us his onely Sonne, to be our brother, and given unto us grace, to acknawledge and imbrace him for our onlie Mediatour, as before is said. It behooved farther the Messias and Redemer to be very God and very man, because he was to underlie the punischment due for our transgressiouns, and to present himselfe in the presence of his Fathers Judgment, as in our persone, to suffer for our transgression and inobedience, be death to overcome him that was author of death. Bot because the onelie God-head culd not suffer death, neither zit culd the onlie man-head overcome the samin, he joyned both togither in one persone, that the imbecillitie of the ane, suld suffer and be subject to death, quhilk we had deserved: And the infinit and invincible power of the uther, to wit, of the God-head, suld triumph and purchesse to us life, libertie, and perpetuall victory: And so we confesse, and maist undoubtedly beleeve
ART. IX OF CHRIST’S DEATH, PASSION, AND BURIAL
That our Lord Jesus offered himselfe a voluntary Sacrifice unto his Father for us, that he suffered contradiction of sinners, that he was wounded and plagued for our transgressiouns, that hee being the cleane innocent Lambe of God, was damned in the presence of an earthlie Judge, that we suld be absolved befoir the tribunal seat of oar God. That hee suffered not onlie the cruell death of the Crosse, quhilk was accursed be the sentence of God; bot also that he suffered for a season the wrath of his Father, quhilk sinners had deserved. Bot zit we avow that he remained the only welbeloved and blessed Sonne of his Father, even in the middest of his anguish and torment, quhilk hee suffered in bodie and saule, to mak the full satisfaction for the sinnes of the people. After the quhilk we confesse and avow, that there remaines na uther Sacrifice for sinne, quhilk gif ony affirme, we nathing dout to avow, that they ar blasphemous against Christs death, and the everlasting purgatioun and satisfactioun purchased to us be the same
ART. X OF THE RESURRECTION
We undoubtedly beleeve, that in sa mekle as it wes impossible, that the dolours of death sulde reteine in bondage the Author of life, that our LORD JESUS crucified, dead and buryed, quha descended into hell, did ryse agayne for our Justificatioun, and destroying of him quha wes the Author of death, brocht life againe to us, that wer subject to death, and to the bondage of the same. We knaw that his Resurrectioun wes confirmed be the testimonie of his verie Enemies, be the resurrectioun of the dead, quhais Sepultures did oppen, and they did ryse, and appeared to mony, within the Cittie of Jerusalem. It wes also confirmed be the testimonie of his Angels, and be the senses and judgements of his Apostles, and of uthers, quha had conversatioun, and did eate and drink with him, after his Resurrection.
ART. XI OF THE ASCENSION
We nathing doubt, bot the self same bodie, quhilk was borne of the Virgine, was crucified, dead, and buried, and quhilk did rise againe, did ascend into the heavens, for the accomplishment of all thinges: Quhere in our names, and for our comfort, he hes received all power in heaven and eirth, quhere he sittes at the richt hand of the Father, inaugurate in his kingdome, Advocate and onlie Mediator for us. Quhilk glorie, honour, and prerogative, he alone amonges the brethren sal posses, till that all his Enimies be made his futestule, as that we undoubtedlie beleeve they sall be in the finall Judgment: To the Execution whereof we certainelie beleve, that the same our Lord Jesus sail visiblie returne, as that hee was sene to ascend. And then we firmely beleve, that the time of refreshing and restitutioun of all things sall cum, in samekle that thir, that fra the beginning have suffered violence, injurie, and wrang, for richteousnes sake, sal inherit that blessed immortalitie promised fra the beginning.
Bot contrariwise the stubburne, inobedient, cruell oppressours, filthie personis, idolaters, and all such sortes of unfaithfull, sal be cast in the dungeoun of utter darkenesse, where their worme sall not die, nether zit their fyre sall bee extinguished. The remembrance of quhilk day, and of the Judgement to be executed in the same, is not onelie to us ane brydle, whereby our carnal lustes are refrained, bot alswa sik inestimable comfort, that nether may the threatning of worldly Princes, nether zit the feare of temporal death and present danger, move us to renounce and forsake that blessed societie, quhilk we the members have with our Head and onelie Mediator CHRIST JESUS: Whom we confesse and avow to be the Messias promised, the onlie Head of his Kirk, our just Lawgiver, our onlie hie Priest, Advocate, and Mediator. In quhilk honoures and offices, gif man or Angell presume to intruse themself, we utterlie detest and abhorre them, as blasphemous to our Soveraigne and supreme Governour CHRIST JESUS.
ART. XII OF FAITH IN THE HOLY GOSTE
This our Faith and the assurance of the same, proceeds not fra flesh and blude, that is to say, fra na natural poweris within us, bot is the inspiration of the holy Gost: Whome we confesse God equall with the Father and with his Sonne, quha sanctifyis us, and bringis us in al veritie be his awin operation, without whome we sulde remaine for ever enimies to God, and ignorant of his Sonne Christ Jesus; for of nature we are so dead, so blind, and so perverse, that nether can we feill when we ar pricked, see the licht when it shines, nor assent to the will of God when it is reveiled, unles the Spirit of the Lord Jesus quicken that quhilk is dead, remove the darknesse from our myndes, and bowe our stubburne hearts to the obedience of his blessed will. And so as we confesse, that God the Father created us, when we were not, as his Sonne our Lord Jesus redeemed us, when wee were enimies to him; so also do we confesse that the holy Gost doth sanctifie and regenerat us, without all respect of ony merite proceeding from us, be it before, or be it after our Regeneration. To speak this ane thing zit in mair plaine words: As we willingly spoyle our selves of all honour and gloir of our awin Creation and Redemption, so do we also of our Regeneration and Sanctification, for of our selves we ar not sufficient to think one 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 undeserved grace.
ART. XIII OF THE CAUSE OF GUDE WARKIS
Sa that the cause of gude warkis, we confesse to be not our free wil, bot the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, who dwelling in our hearts be trewe faith, bringis furth sik warkis, as God hes prepared for us to walke in. For this wee maist boldelie affirme, that blasphemy it is to say, that Christ abydes in the heartes of sik, as in whome there is no spirite of sanctification. And therefore we feir not to affirme, that murtherers, oppressers, cruell persecutors, adulterers, huremongers, filthy persouns, Idolaters, drunkards, thieves, and al workers of iniquity, have nether trew faith, nether ony portion of the Spirit of the Lord JESUS, so long as obstinatlie they continew in their wickednes. For how soone that ever the Spirit of the Lord JESUS, quhilk Gods elect children receive be trew faith, taks possession in the heart of ony man, so soone dois he regenerate and renew the same man. So that he beginnis to hait that quhilk before he loved, and begins to love that quhilk befoir he hated; and fra thine cummis that continuall battell, quhilk is betwixt the flesh and the Spirit in Gods children, till the flesh and natural man, according to the awin corruption, lustes for things pleisand and delectable unto the self, and grudges in adversity, is lyfted up in prosperity, and at every moment is prone and reddie to offend the majestie of God. Bot the spirite of God, quhilk gives witnessing to our spirite, that we are the sonnes of God, makis us to resist filthie plesures, and to groane in Gods presence, for deliverance fra this bondage of corruption; and finally to triumph over sin, that it reygne not in our mortal bodyis. This battell hes not the carnal men, being destitute of Gods Spirite, bot dois followe and obey sinne with greedines, and without repentance, even as the Devill, and their corrupt lustes do prick them. Bot the sonnes of God, as before wes said, dois fecht against sinne; dois sob and murne, when they perceive themselves tempted in iniquitie; and gif they fal, they rise againe with earnest and unfained repentance: And thir thingis they do not be their awin power, bot be the power of the Lord Jesus, without whom they were able to do nothing.
ART. XIV WHAT WARKIS ARE REPUTIT GUDE BEFOIR GOD
We confesse and acknawledge, that God hes given to man his holy Law, in quhilk not only ar forbidden all sik warkes as displeis and offend his godly Majestie, but alswa ar commanded al sik as pleis him, and as he hes promised to rewaird. And thir warkes be of twa sortes. The ane are done to the honour of God, the uther to the profite of our Nichtbouris; and both have the reveiled will of God for their assurance. To have ane God, to worschip and honour him, to call upon him in all our troubles, reverence his holy name, to heare his word, to beleve the same, to communicate with his holy Sacraments, are the warkes of the first Tabill. To honour Father, Mother, Princes, Rulers, and superiour powers; to love them, to support them, zea to obey their charges (not repugning to the commaundment of God), to save the lives of innocents, to represse tyrannie, to defend the oppressed, to keepe our bodies cleane and halie, to live in sobernes and temperance, to deall justlie with all men both in word and deed; and finally, to represse all appetite of our Nichtbouris hurt, are the gude warkes of the secund Tabill, quhilk are maist pleising and acceptabill unto God, as thir warkes that are commanded be himselfe. The contrary quhairof is sinne maist odious, quhilk alwayes displeisis him, and provokes him to anger: As not to call upon him alone, when we have need; not to hear his word with reverence, to contemne and despise it; to have or worschip idols, to maintene and defend Idolatrie; lichtlie to esteeme the reverend name of God; to prophane, abuse, or contemne the Sacraments of Christ Jesus; to disobey or resist ony that God hes placed in authoritie (quhil they passe not over the bounds of their office); to murther, or to consent thereto, to beare hatred, or to let innocent blude bee sched, gif wee may withstand it. And finally, the transgression of ony uther commandement in the first or secund Tabill, we confesse and affirme to be sinne, by the quhilk Gods anger and displesure is kindled against the proud unthankfull warld. So that gude warkes we affirme to be thir onlie, that are done in faith, and at Gods commandment, quha in his Lawe hes expressed what the thingis be that pleis him. And evill I warkis we affirme not only thir that expressedly ar done against Gods commaundement: bot thir alswa that in matteris of Religioun, and worschipping of God, hes na uther assurance bot the inventioun and opinioun of man: quhilk God fra the beginning hes ever rejected, as be the Prophet Esay, and be our Maister CHRIST JESUS we ar taught in thir words, In vaine do they worschip me, teaching the doctrines the precepts of men.
ART. XV OF THE PERFECTIOUN OF THE LAW, AND THE IMPERFECTIOUN OF MAN
The Law of God we confesse and acknawledge maist just, maist equall, maist halie, and maist perfite, commaunding thir thingis, quhilk being wrocht in perfectioun, were abill to give life, and abill to bring man to eternall felicitie. Bot our nature is sa corrupt, sa weake, and sa unperfite, that we ar never abill to fulfill the warkes of the Law in perfectioun. Zea, gif we say we have na sinne, evin after we ar regenerate, we deceive our selves, and the veritie of God is not in us. And therfore, it behovis us to apprehend Christ Jesus with his justice and satisfaction, quha is the end and accomplishment of the Law, be quhome we ar set at this liberty, that the curse and malediction of God fall not upon us, albeit we fulfill not the same in al pointes. For God the Father beholding us, in the body of his Sonne Christ Jesus, acceptis our imperfite obedience, as it were perfite, and covers our warks, quhilk ar defyled with mony spots, with the justice of his Sonne. We do not meane that we ar so set at liberty, that we awe na obedience to the Law (for that before wee have plainly confessed), bot this we affirme, that na man in eird (Christ Jesus onlie except) hes given, gives, or sall give in worke, that obedience to the Law, quhilk the Law requiris. Bot when we have done all things, we must falle down and unfeinedly confesse, that we are unprofitable servands. And therefore, quhosoever boastis themselves of the merits of their awin works, or put their trust in the works of Supererogation, boast themselves in that quhilk is nocht, and put their trust in damnable Idolatry.
ART. XVI OF THE KIRK
As we beleve in ane God, Father, Sonne, and haly Ghaist; sa do we maist constantly beleeve, that from the beginning there hes bene, and now is, and to the end of the warld sall be, ane Kirk, that is to say, ane company and multitude of men chosen of God, who richtly worship and imbrace him be trew faith in Christ Jesus, quha is the only head of the same Kirk, quhilk alswa is the bodie and spouse of Christ Jesus quhilk Kirk is catholike, that is, universal, because it conteinis the Elect of all ages, of all realmes, nations, and tongues, be they of the Jewes, or be they of the Gentiles, quha have communion and societie with God the Father, and with his Son Christ Jesus, throw the sanctificatioun of his haly Spirit: and therefore it is called the communioun, not of prophane persounes, bot of Saincts, quha as citizenis of the heavenly Jerusalem, have the fruitioun of the maist inestimable benefites, to wit, of ane God, ane Lord Jesus, ane faith, and ane baptisme: Out of the quhilk Kirk, there is nouther lyfe, nor eternall felicitie. And therefore we utterly abhorre the blasphemie of them that affirme, that men quhilk live according to equitie and justice, sal be saved, quhat Religioun that ever they have professed. For as without Christ Jesus there is nouther life nor salvation; so sal there nane be participant therof, bot sik as the Father hes given unto his Sonne Christ Jesus, and they that in time cum unto him, avowe his doctrine, and beleeve into him, we comprehend the children with the faithfull parentes. This Kirk is invisible, knawen onelie to God, quha alane knawis whome he hes chosen; and comprehends as weill (as said is) the Elect that be departed, commonlic called the Kirk Triumphant, and they that zit live and fecht against sinne and Sathan as sail live hereafter.
ART. XVII OF THE IMMORTALITIE OF THE SAULES
The Elect departed are in peace and rest fra their labours: Not that they sleep, and come to a certaine oblivion, as some Phantastickes do affirme; bot that they are delivered fra all feare and torment, and all temptatioun, to quhilk we and all Goddis Elect are subject in this life, and therfore do beare the name of the Kirk Militant: As contrariwise, the reprobate and unfaithfull departed have anguish, torment, and paine, that cannot be expressed. Sa that nouther are the ane nor the uther in sik sleepe that they feele not joy or torment, as the Parable of Christ Jesus in the 16th of Luke, his words to the thiefe, and thir wordes of the saules crying under the Altar, O Lord, thou that art righteous and Just, How lang sall thou not revenge our blude upon thir that dwellis in the Eird? dois testifie.
ART. XVIII OF THE NOTIS, BE THE QUHILK THE TREWE KIRK IS DECERNIT FRA THE FALSE, AND QUHA SALL BE JUDGE OF THE DOCTRINE
Because that Sathan from the beginning hes laboured to deck his pestilent Synagoge with the title of the Kirk of God, and hes inflamed the hertes of cruell murtherers to persecute, trouble, and molest the trewe Kirk and members thereof, as Cain did Abell, Ismael Isaac, Esau Jacob, and the haill Priesthead of the Jewes Christ Jesus himselfe, and his Apostles after him. It is ane thing maist requisite, that the true Kirk be decerned fra the filthie Synagogues, be cleare and perfite notes, least we being deceived, receive and imbrace, to our awin condemnationn, the ane for the uther. The notes, signes, and assured takens whereby the immaculate Spouse of Christ Jesus is knawen fra the horrible harlot, the Kirk malignant, we affirme, are nouther Antiquitie, Title usurpit, lineal Descence, Place appointed, nor multitude of men approving ane error. For Cain, in age and title, was preferred to Abel and Seth: Jerusalem had prerogative above all places of the eird, where alswa were the Priests lineally descended fra Aaron, and greater number followed the Scribes, Pharisies, and Priestes, then unfainedly beleeved and approved Christ Jesus and his doctrine: And zit, as we suppose, no man of sound judgment will grant, that ony of the forenamed were the Kirk of God. The notes therefore of the trew Kirk of God we beleeve, confesse, and avow to be, first, the trew preaching of the Worde of God, into the quhilk God hes revealed himselfe unto us, as the writings of the Prophets and Apostles dois declair. Secundly, the right administration of the Sacraments of Christ Jesus, quhilk man be annexed unto the word and promise of God, to seale and confirme the same in our hearts. Last, Ecclesiastical discipline uprightlie ministred, as Goddis Worde prescribes, whereby vice is repressed, and vertew nurished. Wheresoever then thir former notes are seene, and of ony time continue (be the number never so fewe, about two or three), there, without all doubt, is the trew Kirk of Christ: Who, according unto his promise, is in the middis of them. Not that universall, of quhilk we have before spoken, bot particular, sik as wes in Corinthus, Galatia, Ephesus, and uther places, in quhilk the ministrie wes planted be Paull, and were of himselfe named the kirks of God. And sik kirks, we the inhabitantis of the Realme of Scotland, professoris of Christ Jesus, professis our selfis to have in our citties, townes, and places reformed, for the doctrine taucht in our Kirkis, conteined in the writen Worde of God, to wit, in the buiks of the Auld and New Testamentis, in those buikis we meane quhilk of the ancient have been reputed canonicall. In the quhilk we affirme, that all thingis necessary to be beleeved for the salvation of mankinde is sufficiently expressed. The interpretation qnhairof, we confesse, neither appertaines to private nor publick persone, nether zit to ony Kirk, for ony preheminence or prerogative, personallie or locallie, quhilk ane hes above ane uther, bot apperteines to the Spirite of God, be the quhilk also the Scripture was written. When controversie then happines, for the right understanding of ony place or sentence of Scripture, or for the reformation of ony abuse within the Kirk of God, we ought not sa meikle to luke what men before us have said or done, as unto that quhilk the haly Ghaist uniformelie speakes within the body of the Scriptures, and unto that quhilk Christ Jesus himselfe did, and commanded to be done. For this is ane thing universallie granted, that the Spirite of God, quhilk is the Spirite of unitie, is in nathing contrarious unto himselfe. Gif then the interpretation, determination, or sentence of ony Doctor, Kirk, or Councell, repugne to the plaine Worde of God, written in ony uther place of the Scripture, it is a thing maist certaine, that there is not the true understanding and meaning of the haly Ghaist, although that Councels, Realmes, and Nations have approved and received the same. For we dare non receive or admit ony interpretation quhilk repugnes to ony principall point of our faith, or to ony uther plaine text of Scripture, or zit unto the rule of charitie.
ART. XIX OF THE AUTHORITIE OF THE SCRIPTURES
As we beleeve and confesse the Scriptures of God sufficient to instruct and make the man of God perfite, so do we affirme and avow the authoritie of the same to be of God, and nether to depend on men nor angelis. We affirme, therefore, that sik as allege the Scripture to have na uther authoritie bot that quhilk it hes received from the Kirk, to be blasphemous against God, and injurious to the trew Kirk, quhilk alwaies heares and obeyis the voice of her awin Spouse and Pastor; bot takis not upon her to be maistres over the samin.
ART. XX OF GENERALL COUNCELLIS, OF THEIR POWER, AUTHORITIE, AND CAUSE OF THEIR CONVENTION
As we do not rashlie damne that quhilk godly men, assembled togither in generall Councel lawfully gathered, have proponed unto us; so without just examination dare we not receive quhatsoever is obtruded unto men under the name of generall Councellis: For plaine it is, as they wer men, so have some of them manifestlie erred, and that in matters of great weight and importance. So farre then as the councell previs the determination and commandement that it gives bee the plaine Worde of God, so soone do we reverence and imbrace the same. Bot gif men, under the name of a councel, pretend to forge unto us new artickles of our faith, or to make constitutionis repugning to the Word of God; then utterlie we must refuse the same as the doctrine of Devils, quhilk drawis our saules from the voyce of our onlie God to follow the doctrines and constitutiones of men. The cause then quhy that generall Councellis convened, was nether to make ony perpetual Law, quhilk God before had not maid, nether zit to forge new Artickles of our beleife, nor to give the Word of God authoritie; meikle les to make that to be his Word, or zit the trew interpretation of the same, quhilk was not before be his haly will expressed in his Word: Bot the cause of Councellis (we meane of sik as merite the name of Councellis) wes partlie for confutation of heresies, and for giving publick confession of their faith to the posteritie following, quhilk baith they did by the authoritie of Goddis written Word, and not by ony opinion or prerogative that they culd not erre, be reasson of their generall assemblie: And this we judge to have bene the chiefe cause of general Councellis. The uther wes for gude policie, and ordour to be constitute and observed in the Kirk, quhilk, as in the house of God, it becummis al things to be done decently and in ordour. Not that We think that any policie and an ordour in ceremonies can be appoynted for al ages, times, and places: For as ceremonies, sik as men have devised, ar bot temporall; so may and aucht they to be changed, when they rather foster superstition then that they edifie the Kirk using the same.
ART. XXI OF THE SACRAMENTIS
As the Fatheris under the Law, besides the veritie of the Sacrifices, had twa chiefe Sacramentes, to wit, Circumcision and the Passeover, the despisers and contemners whereof were not reputed for Gods people; sa do we acknawledge and confesse that we now in the time of the Evangell have twa chiefe Sacramentes, onelie instituted be the Lord Jesus, and commanded to be used of all they that will be reputed members of his body, to wit, Baptisme and the Supper or Table of the Lord Jesus, called the Communion of his Body and his Blude. And thir Sacramentes, as weil of Auld as of New Testament, now instituted of God, not onelie to make ane visible difference betwixt his people and they that wes without his league: Bot also to exerce the faith of his Children, and, be participation of the same Sacramentes, to seill in their hearts the assurance of his promise, and of that most blessed conjunction, union and societie, quhilk the elect have with their head Christ Jesus. And this we utterlie damne the vanitie of thay that affirme Sacramentes to be nathing ellis bot naked and baire signes. No, wee assuredlie beleeve that be Baptisme we ar ingrafted in Christ Jesus, to be made partakeres of his justice, be quhilk our sinnes ar covered and remitted. And alswa, that in the Supper richtlie used, Christ Jesus is so joined with us, that hee bocummis very nurishment and fude of our saules. Not that we imagine anie transubstantiation of bread into Christes body, and of wine into his naturall blude, as the Papistes have perniciouslie taucht and damnablie beleeved; bot this unioun and conjunction, quhilk we have with the body and blude of Christ Jesus in the richt use of the Sacraments, wrocht be operatioun of the haly Ghaist, who by trew faith carryis us above al things that are visible, carnal, and earthly, and makes us to feede upon the body and blude of Christ Jesus, quhilk wes anes broken and shed for us, quhilk now is in heaven, and appearis in the presence of his Father for us: And zit notwithstanding the far distance of place quhilk is betwixt his body now glorified in heaven and us now mortal in this eird, zit we man assuredly beleve that the bread quhilk wee break, is the communion of Christes bodie, and the cupe quhilk we blesse, is the communion of his blude. So that we confesse, and undoubtedlie beleeve, that the faithfull, in the richt use of the Lords Table, do so eat the bodie and drinke the blude of the Lord Jesus, that he remaines in them, and they in him: Zea, they are so maid flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones; that as the eternall God-head hes given to the flesh of Christ Jesus (quhilk of the awin conditioun and nature wes mortal and corruptible) life and immortalitie; so dois Christ Jesus his flesh and blude eattin and drunkin be us, give unto us the same prerogatives. Quhilk, albeit we confesse are nether given unto us at that time onelie, nether zit be the proper power and vertue of the Sacrament onelie; zit we affirme that the faithfull, in the richt use of the Lords Table, hes conjunctioun with Christ Jesus, as the naturall man can not apprehend: Zea, and farther we affirme, that albeit the faithfull, oppressed be negligence and manlie infirmitie, dois not profite sameikle as they wald, in the verie instant action of the Supper; zit sall it after bring frute furth, as livelie seid sawin in gude ground. For the haly Spirite, quhilk can never be divided fra the richt institution of the Lord Jesus, wil not frustrat the faithfull of the fruit of that mysticall action: Bot all thir, we say, cummis of trew faith, quhilk apprehendis Christ Jesus, who only makis this Sacrament effectuall unto us. And therefore, whosoever sclanders us, as that we affirme or beleeve Sacraments to be naked and bair Signes, do injurie unto us, and speaks against the manifest trueth. Bot this liberallie and franklie we confesse, that we make ane distinctioun betwixt Christ Jesus in his eternall substance, and betwixt the Elements of the Sacramentall Signes. So that wee will nether worship the Signes, in place of that quhilk is signified be them, nether zit doe we dispise, and interpret them as unprofitable and vaine, bot do use them with all reverence, examining our selves diligentlie before that so we do; because we are assured be the mouth of the Apostle, That sik as eat of that bread, and drink of that coup unworthelie, are guiltie of the bodie and blude of Christ Jesus.
ART. XXII OF THE RIGHT ADMINISTRATIOUN OF THE SACRAMENTIS
That Sacramentis be richtlie ministrat, we judge twa things requisite: The ane, that they be ministrat be lauchful Ministers, whom we affirme to be only they that ar appoynted to the preaching of the word, into quhais monthes God hes put sum Sermon of exhortation, they being men lauchfullie chosen thereto be sum Kirk. The uther, that they be ministrat in sik elements, and in sik sort, as God hes appoynted; else, we affirme, that they cease to be the richt Sacraments of Christ Jesus. And therfore it is that we flee the doctrine of the Papistical Kirk, in participatioun of their sacraments; first, because their Ministers are na Ministers of Christ Jesus; zea (quhilk is mair horrible) they suffer wemen, whome the haly Ghaist will not suffer to teache in the Congregatioun, to baptize: And secundly, because they have so adulterate both the one Sacrament and the uther with their awin inventions, that no part of Christs action abydes in the originall puritie: For Oyle, Salt, Spittill, and sik lyke in Baptisme, ar bot mennis inventiounis. Adoration, Veneration, bearing throw streitis and townes, and keiping of bread in boxis or buistis, ar prophanatioun of Christs Sacramentis, and na use of the same: For Christ Jesus saide, Take, eat, &c., do ze this in remembrance of me. Be quhilk words and charge he sanctifyed bread and wine, to the Sacrament of his halie bodie and blude, to the end that the ane suld be eaten, and that all suld drinke of the uther, and not that thay suld be keiped to be worshipped and honoured as God, as the Papistes have done heirtofore. Who also committed Sacrilege, steilling from the people the ane parte of the Sacrament, to wit, the blessed coupe. Moreover, that the Sacramentis be richtly used, it is required, that the end and cause why the Sacramentis were institute, be understanded and observed, asweil of the minister as of the receiveris: For gif the opinion be changed in the receiver, the richt use ceassis; quhilk is maist evident be the rejection of the sacrifices: As also gif the teacher planely teache fals doctrine, quhilk were odious and abhominable before God (albeit they were his awin ordinance) because that wicked men use them to an uther end than God hes ordaned. The same affirme we of the Sacraments in the Papistical kirk; in quhilk, we affirme, the haill action of the Lord Jesus to be adulterated, asweill in the external forme, as in the end and opinion. Quhat Christ Jesus did, and commanded to be done, is evident be the Evangelistes and be Saint Paull: quhat the Preist dois at his altar we neid not to rehearse. The end and cause of Christs institution, and why the selfesame suld be used, is expressed in thir words, Doe ze this in remembrance of me, als oft as ze sall eit of this bread, and drinke of this coupe, ze sall shaw furth, that is, extoll, preach, magnifie and praise the Lords death, till he cum. Bot to quhat end, and in what opinioun the Preistes say their Messe, let the wordes of the same, their awin Doctouris and wrytings witnes: To wit, that they, as Mediatoris betwix Christ and his Kirk, do offer unto God the Father, a Sacrifice propitiatorie for the sinnes of the quick and the dead. Quhilk doctrine, as blasphemous to Christ Jesus, and making derogation to the sufficiencie of his only Sacrifice, once offered for purgatioun of all they that sall be sanctifyed, we utterly abhorre, detest and renounce.
ART. XXIII TO WHOME SACRAMENTIS APPERTEINE
We confesse & acknawledge that Baptisme apperteinis asweil to the infants of the faithfull, as unto them that be of age and discretion: And so we damne the error of the Anabaptists, who denies baptisme to apperteine to Children, before that they have faith and understanding. Bot the Supper of the Lord, we confesse to apperteine to sik onely as be of the houshald of Faith, and can trie and examine themselves, asweil in their faith, as in their dewtie towards their Nichtbouris; sik as eite and drink at that haly Table without faith, or being at dissension and division with their brethren, do eat unworthelie: And therefore it is, that in our Kirk our Ministers tak publick & particular examination, of the knawledge and conversation of sik as are to be admitted to the Table of the Lord Jesus.
ART. XXIV OF THE CIVILE MAGISTRATE
We confesse and acknawledge Empyres, Kingdomes, Dominiounis, and Citties to be distincted and ordained be God; the powers and authoritie in the same, be it of Emperours in their Empyres, of Kingis in their Realmes, Dukes and Princes in their Dominionis, and of utheris Magistrates in the Citties, to be Gods haly ordinance, ordained for manifestatioun of his awin glory, and for the singular profite and commoditie of mankind: So that whosoever goeth about to take away, or to confound the haill state of Civile policies, now long established; we affirme the same men not onely to be enimies to mankinde, but also wickedly to fecht against Goddis expressed will. Wee farther confesse and acknawledge, that sik persouns as are placed in authoritie ar to be loved, honoured, feared, and halden in most reverent estimatioun; because that they are the Lieu-tennents of God, in whose Sessiouns God himself dois sit and judge: Zea, even the Judges & Princes themselves, to whome be God is given the sword, to the praise and defence of gude men, and to revenge and punish all open malefactors. Mairover, to Kings, Princes, Rulers and Magistrates, wee affirme that chieflie and most principallie the conservation and purgation of the Religioun apperteinis; so that not onlie they are appointed for Civill policie, bot also for maintenance of the trew Religioun, and for suppressing of Idolatrie and Superstitioun whatsoever: As in David, Josaphat, Ezechias, Josias, and utheris highlie commended for their zeale in that caise, may be espyed.
And therefore wee confesse and avow, that sik as resist the supreme power, doing that thing quhilk appertains to his charge, do resist Goddis ordinance; and therefore cannot be guiltles. And farther we affirme, that whosoever denies unto them ayde, their counsell and comfort, quhiles the Princes and Rulers vigilantly travell in execution of their office, that the same men deny their helpe, support and counsell to God, quha, be the presence of his Lieu-tennent, dois crave it of them.
ART. XXV OF THE GUIFTES FREELY GIVEN TO THE KIRK
Albeit that the Worde of God trewly preached, and the Sacraments richtlie ministred, and Discipline executed according to the Worde of God, be the certaine and infallible Signes of the trew Kirk, we meane not that everie particular persoun joyned with sik company, be ane elect member of Christ Jesus: For we acknawledge and confesse, that Dornell, Cockell, and Caffe may be sawen, grow, and in great aboundance lie in the middis of the Wheit, that is, the Reprobate may be joyned in the societie of the Elect, and may externally use with them the benefites of the worde and Sacraments: Bot sik being bot temporall professoures in mouth, but not in heart, do fall backe, and continew not to the end. And therefore have they na fruite of Christs death, Resurrection nor Ascension. Bot sik as with heart unfainedly beleeve, and with mouth bauldly confesse the Lord Jesus, as before we have said, sail most assuredly receive their guiftes: First, in this life, remission of sinnes, and that be only faith in Christs blude; in samekle, that albeit sinne remaine and continuallie abyde in thir our mortall bodies, zit it is not imputed unto us, bot is remitted, and covered with Christs Justice. Secundly, in the general Judgement, there sall be given to every man and woman resurrection of the flesh: For the Sea sall give her dead; the Earth, they that therin be inclosed; zea, the Eternall our God sall stretche out his hand on the dust, and the dead sall arise uncorruptible, and that in the substance of the selfe same flesh that every man now beiris, to receive according to their warkis, glory or punishment: For sik as now delyte in vanity, cruelty, filthynes, superstition or Idolatry, sal be adjudged to the fire unquencheable: In quhilk they sall be tormented for ever, asweill in their awin bodyes, as in their saules, quhilk now they give to serve the Devill in all abhomination. Bot sik as continew in weil doing to the end, bauldely professing the Lord Jesus, we constantly beleve, that they sall receive glorie, honor, and immortality, to reigne for ever in life everlasting with Christ Jesus, to whose glorified body all his Elect sall be made lyke, when he sall appeir againe in judgement, and sall rander up the kingdome to God his Father, who then sall bee, and ever sall remaine all in all things God blessed for ever: To whome, with the Sonne and with the haly Ghaist, be all honour and glorie, now and ever. So be it.
Arise (O Lord) and let thy enimies be confounded; let them flee from thy presence that hate thy godlie Name. Give thy servands strenth to speake thy word in bauldnesse, and let all Natiouns cleave to thy trew knawledge. Amen.
Chir Acts and Artickles ar red in the face of Parliament, and ratifyed be the thre Estatis, at Edinburgh the 17 day of August, the Zeir of GOD 1560 Zeiris.
Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom…The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 437–79.