The Queensferry Paper.

 The Queensferry Paper was so called  because it was discovered in the pocket of a Covenanter, Henry Hall of Haughshead, when he was seized at South Queensferry on 4 June 1680. Hall was in the company of Donald Cargill when they were discovered and an attempt made to arrest them. Cargill made good his escape but Hall subsequently died from his wounds. The document is thought to have been a manifesto intended to be taken by Hall to Holland where dissident Scots  could consider a new Presbyterian system for Scotland.

 Smellie in Men of the Covenant calls the paper “the most advanced of all the Covenanting manifestos “. It was a bond strong in its affirmations and denials; made a solemn confession of faith and frankly disavowed sinful rulers. It further made a declaration in favour of a republic. The document was the first formal statement of the dissident group that became known known as the Cameronians, MacMillanites and Reformed Presbyterians. A document of some 6,000 words it is much longer and definitive than the Declaration at Sanquhar which was made shortly after on 22 June 1680.

 The substance of the document given in Hewisons The Covenanters, ( the lengthy full text is in Johnson`s Treasury)  was :

 1. To covenant with and swear acknowledgement of the Trinity and to own the Old and New Testaments to be the rule of faith.

2. To advance God`s kingdom, free the church from Prelacy and Erastianism, and remove those who had forfeited authority.

3. To uphold the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, with her standards, polity, and worship, as an independent government.

4. To overthrow the kingdom of darkness, ie Popery, Prelacy and Erastianism.

5. To discard the royal family and set up a republic.

6. To decline hearing the indulged clergy.

7. To refuse the ministerial function unless duly called and ordained.

8. To defend their worship and liberties, to view assailants as declarers of war, to destroy those assaulting, and not to injure any `but those that have injured us`.[i]

 The fifth article recites the reasons for rejecting rule by a single person (the monarchy) and declares:

We do declare that we shall set up over ourselves, and over what the Lord shall give us power of, government and governors according to the Word of God, and especially that Word, Exodus xviii.21:`Moreover, though shalt  provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God , men of truth, hating covetousness, and place such over them; to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundred, rulers of fifties , and rulers of tens.`  That we shall no more commit the government of  ourselves, and the making of laws for us, to any one single person, or lineal successor, we not being by God, as the Jews were, bound to one single family; and this kind of government by a single person being most liable to inconveniences, and aptest to degenerate into tyranny, as sad and long experience hath taught us.

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