All of the Scottish Confessions, National Covenants and Declarations from the Reformation, Puritan and Covenanting Eras on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church Only


Order of Contents

The Scottish Reformation  1560-

The Scottish Confession of Faith  1560
The Second Book of Discipline  1578
The National Covenant  1581

The Second Scottish Reformation  1638-

The National Covenant  1638
The Solemn League and Covenant  1643
Westminster Confession of Faith  1646

The Covenanting Era  1660-1688

Rutherglen Declaration  1679
The Cameronian Declarations

Queensferry Paper  1680
Sanquhar Declaration  1680
Lanerk Declaration  1682
Apologetic Declaration  1684
Protestation and Apologetic Admonitory Declaration  1685
Informatory Declaration  1687

After the Glorious Revolution  1689-

The United Societies’ Declarations from 1692-1707

The First Declaration Asserting Christ’s Mediatorial Dominion to be Over all Things – Auchensaugh  1712





Introduction to the Scottish Confessions, Covenants and Declarations of the Reformation, Puritan and Covenanting Eras on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church Only




The Scottish Reformation  1560



The Scottish Confession of Faith  1560

The Scottish Confession of Faith served as the Church of Scotland’s official confession (as well as the civil parliament’s) until superseded by the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646).  For the original Biblical proof-texts (which have not been included here, see the link.

Chapter 16  ‘Of the Kirk’

“…we most constantly believe that from the beginning there has been, now is, and to the end of the world shall be, a Kirk: that is to say, a company and multitude of men chosen of God, who rightly worship and embrace Him, by true faith in Christ Jesus, who is the only Head of the same Kirk, which also is the body and spouse of Christ Jesus…”

Chapter 24  ‘

“We confess and acknowledge empires, kingdoms, dominions, and cities to be distinguished and ordained by God: the powers and authorities in the same (be it of emperors in their empires, of kings in their realms, dukes and princes in their dominions, or of other magistrates in free cities) to be God’s holy ordinance, ordained for manifestation of his own glory, and for the singular profit and commodity of mankind.  So that whosoever goes about to take away or to confound the whole state of civil policies, now long established; we affirm the same men not only to be enemies to mankind, but also wickedly to fight against God’s expressed will.

We further confess and acknowledge, that such persons as are placed in authority are to be loved, honoured, feared, and held in most reverent estimation because they are the lieutenants of God, in whose sessions God Himself does sit and judge (yea even the judges and princes themselves), to whom by God is given the sword, to the praise and defense of good men, and to revenge and punish all open malefactors.  Moreover, to kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates, we affirm that chiefly and most principally the conservation and purgation of the religion appertains; so that not only they are appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of the true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and superstition whatsoever: as in David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others, highly commended for their zeal in that case, may be espied.

And therefore we confess and avow, that such as resist the supreme power (doing that thing which appertains to his charge), do resist God’s ordinance, and therefore cannot be guiltless.  And further, we affirm that whosoever denies unto them their aid, counsel and comfort, while the princes and rulers vigilantly travail in the execution of their office, that the same men deny their help, support and counsel to God, who, by the presence of his lieutenant, craves it of them.”



The Second Book of Discipline  1578

The Second Book of Discipline is much more detailed than the First Book of Discipline (1560) and was foundational to the Scottish Church (and recognized by the civil magistrate) until it was superseded by the Westminster Form of Presbyterial Church Government (1646).  

Chapter 1  ‘Of the Kirk and Policy thereof in General, and wherein it is Different from the Civil Policy’

“For this power Ecclesiastical flows immediately from God, and the Mediator Jesus Christ, and is spiritual, not having a temporal head in the earth, but only Christ, the only spiritual king and governor of his Kirk…  The policy of the Kirk flowing from this power, is an order or form of spiritual government, which is exercised by the members appointed thereto by the Word of God: and therefore is given immediately to the office-bearers, by whom it is exercised to the weale [profit] of the whole body.”

Chapter 2  ‘Of the Parts of the Policy of the Kirk, and Persons or Office-Bearers to whom Administration is Committed’

“As in the civil policy the whole commonwealth consists in them that are governors, or magistrates, and them that are governed, or subjects.  So in the policy of the Kirk some are appointed to be rulers, and the rest of the members thereof to be ruled, and obey according to the Word of God, and inspiration of his Spirit, always under one Head and chief governor, Jesus Christ.”

Chapter 10

“1. Although all the members of the kirk are held, everyone in his vocation, and, according thereto, to advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ so far as lies in their power; yet, chiefly, Christian princes, and other magistrates, are held to do the same. For they are called in the scriptures nourishers of the kirk, for so much as by them it is, or at least ought to be, maintained, fostered, upheld, and defended against all that would procure the hurt thereof.

2. So it pertains to the office of a Christian magistrate to assist and fortify the godly proceedings of the kirk in all behalfs; and, namely, to see that the public estate and ministry thereof be maintained [financially] and sustained [by outward provision] as it appertains, according to God’s Word;

3. To see that the kirk be not invaded, nor hurt by false teachers and hirelings, nor the rooms thereof be occupied by dumb dogs or idle bellies;

4. To assist and maintain the discipline of the kirk, and punish them civilly that will not obey the censure of the same; always without confounding the one jurisdiction with the other;

7. To make the laws and constitutions agreeable to God’s Word, for advancement of the Kirk, and policy thereof; without usurping anything that pertains not to the civil sword, but belongs to the offices that are merely ecclesiastical, as are the ministry of the Word and sacraments, using of ecclesiastical discipline and the spiritual execution thereof, or any part of the power of the spiritual Keys, which our Master gave the apostles and their true successors.  And, although kings and princes that are godly, sometimes by their own authority, when the Kirk is corrupt, and all things out of order, place ministers and restore the true service of the Lord, after the example of some godly kings of Judah, and diverse godly emperors and kings also in the light of the New Testament; yet where the ministry of the Kirk is once lawfully constituted, and they that are placed do their office faithfully, all godly princes and magistrates ought to hear and obey their voice, and reverence the Majesty of the Son of God speaking by them.”

Chapter 13  ‘The Utility that Shall Flow from this Reformation to all Estates

“Seeing the end of this spiritual government and policy [of the Kirk], whereof we speak, is, that God may be glorified, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ advanced, and all who are of his mystical body, may live peaceable in conscience…

So to conclude, all being willing to apply themselves to this order… God shall be glorified, the Kirk edified, and the bounds thereof enlarged, Christ Jesus and his Kingdom set up…”



The National Covenant  1581

The National Covenant of 1581 was the first of the three national covenants of Scotland, forming the basis for the later National Covenant of 1638.  The Solemn League and Covenant (1643) between Scotland and England was the last of the three covenants binding all of Scotland.

We all and every one of us under-written, protest, That, after long and due examination of our own consciences in matters of true and false religion, we are now thoroughly resolved in the truth by the Word and Spirit of God: and therefore we believe with our hearts, confess with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm, before God and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion, pleasing God, and bringing salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel; and is received, believed, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and realms, but chiefly by the kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majesty, and three estates of this realm, as God’s eternal truth, and only ground of our salvation; as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, established and publicly confirmed by sundry acts of Parliaments, and now of a long time has been openly professed by the King’s Majesty, and whole body of this realm both in burgh and land.”

“…this true reformed Kirk; to the which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, faith, religion, discipline, and use of the holy sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our Head…” 

“…the Word of the Evangel received and approved as the heads of the Confession of Faith, professed in Parliament in the year of God 1560, specified also in the first Parliament of King James VI, and ratified in this present Parliament, more particularly do express…” 

“And therefore, for the preservation of the said true religion, laws, and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by the 8th Act, Parl. 1, repeated in the 99th Act, Parl. 7. ratified in the 23d Act, Parl. 11, and 114th Act, Parl. 12. of King James VI. and 4th Act, Parl. 1. of King Charles I.

That all Kings and Princes at their coronation, and reception of their princely authority, shall make their faithful promise by their solemn oath, in the presence of the eternal God, that, enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same eternal God, to the uttermost of their power, according as He has required in his most holy Word, contained in the Old and New Testament; and according to the same word, shall maintain the true religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy word, the due and right ministration of the sacraments now received and preached within this realm, (according to the Confession of Faith immediately preceding,) and shall abolish and gainstand all false religion contrary to the same; and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will and command of God revealed in his foresaid Word, and according to the laudable laws and constitutions received in this realm, nowise repugnant to the said will of the eternal God; and shall procure, to the uttermost of their power, to the kirk of God, and whole Christian people, true and perfect peace in all time coming: and that they shall be careful to root out of their empire all heretics and enemies to the true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true kirk of God of the foresaid crimes‘”

“And, that this our union and conjunction may be observed without violation, we call the LIVING GOD, THE SEARCHER OF OUR HEARTS, to witness, who knows this to be our sincere desire and unfeigned resolution, as we shall answer to JESUS CHRIST in the great day, and under the pain of God’s everlasting wrath, and of infamy and loss of all honor and respect in this world: most humbly beseeching the LORD to strengthen us by his HOLY SPIRIT for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with a happy success; that religion and righteousness may flourish in the land, to the glory of GOD, the honor of our King, and peace and comfort of us all.  In witness whereof, we have subscribed with our hands all the premises.”




The Second Scottish Reformation  1638


The National Covenant  1638

The National Covenant of 1638 contains three sections: (1) a repeating verbatim of the 1581 National Covenant, (2) an application to the current circumstances of that day, and (3) a conclusion.  Thus, all the material in the National Covenant of 1581 is included in this as well.  The following are relevant sections unique to this document:

We Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons under-subscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed religion, of the King’s honor, and of the public peace of the kingdom, by the manifold innovations and evils, generally contained, and particularly mentioned in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations; do hereby profess, and before God, his angels, and the world, solemnly declare, That with our whole heart we agree, and resolve all the days of our life constantly to adhere unto and to defend the foresaid true religion, and (forbearing the practice of all innovations already introduced in the matters of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the public government of the kirk, or civil places and power of kirkmen, till they be tried and allowed in free Assemblies and in Parliament) to labor, by all means lawful, to recover the purity and liberty of the Gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid [in]novations…

…wishing a further measure of the grace of God for this effect; we promise and swear, by the GREAT NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD, to continue in the profession and obedience of the foresaid religion; and that we shall defend the same, and resist all these contrary errors and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the days of our life.

“And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings, except with our profession and subscription we join such a life and conversation as beseems Christians who have renewed their covenant with God; we therefore faithfully promise for ourselves, our followers, and all others under us, both in public, and in our particular families, and personal carriage, to endeavour to keep ourselves within the bounds of Christian liberty, and to be good examples to others of all godliness, soberness, and righteousness, and of every duty we owe to God and man.

And, that this our union and conjunction may be observed without violation, we call the LIVING GOD, THE SEARCHER OF OUR HEARTS, to witness, who know this to be our sincere desire and unfeigned resolution, as we shall answer to JESUS CHRIST in the great day, and under the pain of God’s everlasting wrath, and of infamy and loss of all honor and respect in this world: most humbly beseeching the LORD to strengthen us by his HOLY SPIRIT for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with a happy success; that religion and righteousness may flourish in the land, to the glory of GOD, the honor of our King, and peace and comfort of us all.  In witness whereof, we have subscribed with our hands all the premises.”



The Solemn League and Covenant  1643

We, Noblemen, Barons, Knights, Gentlemen, Citizens, Burgesses, Ministers of the Gospel, and Commons of all sorts, in the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland, by the providence of GOD living under one King, and being of one reformed religion, having before our eyes the glory of GOD, and the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST, the honor and happiness of the King’s Majesty and his posterity, and the true public liberty, safety, and peace of the kingdoms, wherein every one’s private condition is included:

after mature deliberation, resolved and determined to enter into a mutual and solemn League and Covenant, wherein we all subscribe, and each one of us for himself, with our hands lifted up to the most High GOD, do swear,

I. That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the grace of GOD, endeavor, in our several places and callings, the preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies; the reformation of religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, according to the word of GOD, and the example of the best reformed Churches; and shall endeavor to bring the Churches of GOD in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, form of church-government, directory for worship and catechizing; that we, and our posterity after us, may, as brethren, live in faith and love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.

III. We shall, with the same sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our several vocations, endeavor, with our estates and lives, mutually to preserve the rights and privileges of the Parliaments, and the liberties of the kingdoms; and to preserve and defend the King’s Majesty’s person and authority, in the preservation and defense of the true religion, and liberties of the kingdoms; that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no other thoughts or intentions to diminish his Majesty’s just power and greatness.

VI. We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this common cause of religion, liberty, and peace of the kingdoms, assist and defend all those that enter into this League and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof… in this cause which so much concerns the glory of GOD, the good of the kingdom, and honor of the King; but shall, all the days of our lives, zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same, according to our power, against all lets and impediments whatsoever; and, what we are not able ourselves to suppress or overcome, we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or removed: All which we shall do as in the sight of God.

And, because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins and provocations against GOD, and his Son JESUS CHRIST, as is too manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof; we profess and declare, before GOD and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own sins, and for the sins of these kingdoms: especially, that we have not as we ought valued the inestimable benefit of the gospel; that we have not labored for the purity and power thereof; and the we have not endeavored to receive CHRIST in our hearts, not to walk worthy of him in our lives; which are the causes of other sins and transgressions so much abounding amongst us: and our true and unfeigned purpose, desire, and endeavor for ourselves, and all others under our power and charge, both in public and in private, in all duties we owe to GOD and man, to amend our lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a real reformation; that the Lord may turn away his wrath and heavy indignation, and establish these churches and kingdoms in truth and peace.  And this Covenant we make in the presence of ALMIGHTY GOD, the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; most humbly beseeching the LORD to strengthen us by his HOLY SPIRIT for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success, as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian churches, groaning under, or in danger of, the yoke of antichristian tyranny, to join in the same or like association and covenant, to the glory of GOD, the enlargement of the kingdom of JESUS CHRIST, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and commonwealths.”

[A kingdom that can be enlarged is a kingdom that is not over all.  Rather, Christ’s Kingdom is here that of spiritual power as brought along with the visible Church.]



The Westminster Standards

Fentiman, Travis – The Westminster Standards on the Extent of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom  (forthcoming)

Till the article is finished, suffice it to say that the Standards define Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom as the Church, go no farther than this, all of its teachings are consistent with the traditional view, and all of the relevant scripture texts are interpreted the same way that Gillespie interpreted them in defending the view that Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church only.  




The Covenanting Era  1660-1688


Rutherglen  1679

“As the Lord has been pleased to keep and preserve His Interest in this Land, by the Testimonies of some faithful witnesses from the beginning: So in our day, some have not been wanting, who through greatest hazards have added their Testimonies to these who have gone before them, by suffering death, banishment, torturings, forfaultries, Imprisonments, and what not, from a perfidious and cruel Adversary to the Church and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Land.”



The Queensferry Paper  1680

“Secondly. That we shall, to the utmost of our power, advance the kingdom of God (if at any time God shall give us power) by establishing throughout the lands, righteousness, and the true reformed religion, in the truth of its doctrine, in the purity and power its worship and ordinances, its right government and discipline, and that we shall free the Church of God from the tyranny and corruption of prelacy on the one hand, and the thraldom and encroachments of Erastianism upon the other hand; and that we shall, to the utmost of our power, relieve the church and our brethren, the subjects of this kingdom (God authorizing and calling us to this, by his raising up, and giving us power and success in removing those who by their transgression have forfeited their authority) of that oppression that has been exercised upon their consciences, civil rights, and liberties, that men may serve God holily without fear, and possess their civil rights peaceably without disturbance.”

“Fifthly.  Seriously considering, that the hand of our kings, and rulers with them, has been of a long time against the throne of the Lord, and that the Lord, upon this account, has declared that He will have war with them forever, and has commanded his people utterly to root them out; and considering that the line and succession of our king and rulers hath been against the power and purity of Religion, and godliness, and Christ’s reigning over his church, and its freedom, and so against God, and has degenerate from that virtue, moderation, sobriety, and good government…”


“Sixthly. It being the work of the ministers of the gospel to preach, propagate, and defend the kingdom of God, and to preserve the doctrine, worship, discipline, government, liberties and privileges of the same from all corruptions and encroachments of rulers and all others…”

“…so Calvin calls that supremacy of Henry VIII, upon which this prerogative is formed, and from which it is derived, and is no less, if not more injurious to Christ, and enslaving to his church) and sacrilegious prerogative, given to a king over the church of God, and against their other acts and encroachments upon his church, and hindered others also who were willing, and would have testified against them, and censured some that did it…”


Sanquhar  1680

“And withal, as ye tender the advantage of Christ’s Cause, which to own is the Christian’s glory, that ye engage not yourselves in any quarrel or with any person whatsomever, till you know that the quarrel be rightly stated, and that the persons in the judgment of charity are seeking the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ…”

“…this only is our sincere desire and unfeigned resolution, to continue in the profession and obedience of the true Religion of Jesus Christ, according to his Word, our Covenants, National and Solemn League, To defend the same…”

‘Let King Jesus Reign, & all his Enemies be scattered.’



Lanerk  1682

This declaration does not speak directly to the issue, but does uphold the previous covenanting declarations, speaks out against Erastian encroachments (along with the treading over of Scottish civil rights), and ends with:

‘Let King Jesus reign, & all his enemies be Scattered.’



Apologetic Declaration  1684

This declaration does not speak directly to the issue, but does speak out against Erastian encroachments (along with the treading over of Scottish civil rights), and ends with:

‘Let King Jesus reign, & all his enemies be Scattered.’



The Protestation and Apologetic Admonitory Declaration  1685

This declaration does not speak directly to the issue, but does speak out against Erastian encroachments (along with the treading over of Scottish civil rights), and ends with:

‘Let King Jesus Reign, & all his Enemies be scattered.’



Informatory Vindication  1687

“…unto all faithful protestations, testimonies, and declarations, that have been given in these latter times, for the work of the Reformation, and against all usurpations of and encroachments upon the prerogatives of Christ’s Crown and Privileges of his House, and anything else of whatsoever sort prejudicial to the Reformation:

“1. We judge these are not to be owned or countenanced, in their administration of ordinances, who either have subjected their ministry to the disposal of strange lords, by laying it aside in obedience to their mandates, or taking a new potestative mission from them; or if they pretend to keep their old one, which they had from Christ in his legal and appointed way, yet they have consented to take a new holding from and upon a new architectonic usurped power and headship in the exercise of it, by accepting a new grant, license, and warrant from the usurpers of their Master’s Crown.  We dare not homologate such an affront to the prerogative royal of our only Kingly Lawgiver, who sent them to negotiate a treaty of peace with us, in giving them the respect of His Ambassadors [see 2 Cor. 5:20], after they have so foully broken their instructions, and become servants of men, and subjects even in ministerial functions to another Head than Christ.”

“…but only that our Controversies with some of the complying party of our Church, concerning Christ’s Prerogatives as King, and what belongs to his Crown, was not asserted by them, we mean the necessary testimony against the [Erastian] Supremacy, Tyranny, and compliances with the same.”

“But only unto the ministers and officers, which Christ has appointed over His own Church (which is his Mediatory Kingdom) as the subject and receptacle of Church power…”

“Usurped the prerogatives of Christ, and set themselves down in his Mediatory chair, arrogating and claiming a preeminency or wicked supremacy, over his house…”

“…the great prerogatives of God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, in his Kingdom of power, usurped and encroached upon by tyranny, brought in and established in stead of His ordinance of magistracy; and also the royal prerogatives of Christ our Lord and mediator, in his Kingdom of Grace, invaded by the blasphemous [Erastian] Supremacy, overturning all the Church’s Liberties…”

Civil Government, which comes from God the supreme Lord and King of all the world, and is radically [in root] seated in the people, and from them derived unto and conferred upon their magistrates and civil governors; whereas ecclesiastic government comes from Christ the Mediator, and King of his own Church, and by Him immediately conferred upon the rulers and officers of his House, with whom He has promised his presence unto the end of the world…”




After the Glorious Revolution of 1689

The United Societies’ Declarations from 1692-1707

The following documents are productions of the United Societies who stayed out of the Church of Scotland after 1690.  They would later would develop into the Reformed Presbytery in 1743, the source of the Reformed Presbyterian family of denominations.  All of the United Societies’ declarations from 1692-1707 are consistent with the traditional Reformed view that Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church only:

Preface to the Following Declarations from 1692 to 1707

The Declaration of the True Presbyterian Church of Christ, in Scotland – 1692

The Protestation, Apologetic Declaration, & Admonitory Vindication – 1695

The Protestation, Apologetic Declaration, & Admonitory Vindication – 1703

The Protestation and Testimony against the Incorporating Union with England – 1707





The First Time in a Scottish Declaration that Christ’s Mediatorial Dominion is Asserted to be Over All Things

The following document is a production of the United Societies who stayed out of the Church of Scotland after 1690.  They would later would develop into the Reformed Presbytery in 1743, the source of the Reformed Presbyterian family of denominations. 

Auchensaugh  1712

“III.  Believing that the Son of God has been, as Mediator appointed heir of all things and invested with universal dominion; that He reigns and must reign till all his impenitent enemies be put under his feet: we pledge ourselves in reliance on divine grace to continue advocacy of his claims upon the homage and willing obedience of individual and social man, in the family, the church, and the civil commonwealth.  We will maintain and urge his exclusive right to prescribe the faith and order of the church by his royal authority.  We promise to inculcate and exemplify Presbyterian Church Government as alone of divine right and unalterable.”

Believing, moreover, that civil government, originating in the will of God as Creator, has been placed by the Father under the authority of the Mediator, and that the principal objects to be promoted by this divine ordinance are the glory of its Author, the welfare of mankind, and the prosperity of the church: we engage to endeavor the reformation of the nations by testifying against all neglect or contempt of Messiah’s claims, or impious invasion of his rights by either rulers or subjects.  In joyful anticipation of the universal reign of righteousness and peace on the earth, we will labor and pray for a gospel ministry and a Scriptural magistracy; testifying against all corruptions of these or substitutes for them…





Related Pages

The Extent of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom

The Westminster Divines on the Extent of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom

Gillespie on the Early Church and Reformation Origins of Christ’s Two Kingdoms

Against Separation from Impure Civil Governments

A Defense of the Majority Opinion in the Free Church of Scotland on Covenanting

The Covenant of Grace

Civil Government

The Church