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The Five Articles of Perth (1618)

The Five Articles of Perth were five episcopal and Roman Catholic worship practices that were forced on the church by king James VI in 1618. The articles were accepted by Parliament in 1621 and became the law of the land, but many of the people were very unhappy with them.

The five articles were:

  1. Kneeling rather than sitting at the Lord’s Supper.
  2. Private Communion.
  3. Baptism not withheld longer than one Lord’s Day and administered privately where necessary (ie if the baby was about to die).
  4. Confirmation by bishops.
  5. The observance of holy days such as Christmas and Easter.

In opposition to this, the Reformed church believed that kneeling at communion made it like the Roman Catholic mass, baptism wasn’t needed for salvation, there was no need for bishops or confirmation by them and that the only holy day that the New Testament church was meant to observe was the weekly Lord’s Day.

Some of the ministers who refused to accept the Five Articles, such as David Dickson, were removed from their churches. Others were put in prison.

The Five Articles were condemned and repealed by the Glasgow Assembly of 1638.

Read more:
J. G. Vos,
The Scottish Covenanters (Edinburgh, 1998 [1940]), pp 38-9.
DSCHT: Perth, Five Articles of
George Gillespie,
Dispute against the English popish ceremonies (Leiden, 1637).


James VI
James VI

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