1 Question. What is the name of your Church?
Answer. The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
2 Q. Can you tell anything about its history?
A. The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland was formed in 1893 when the Revs D. Macfarlane, Raasay, and D. Macdonald, Shieldaig, left the Declaratory Act Free Church of Scotland.
3 Q. Why did they leave that Church?
A. The founders of the Free Presbyterian Church separated from the Free Church because an Act regarding the Westminster Confession of Faith, called the Declaratory Act, was passed in 1892 by its General Assembly.
4 Q. What was purpose of the Declaratory Act?
A. The stated purpose of the Act was ‘to remove difficulties and scruples’ which some office-bearers had in relation to the solemn vow they had taken to uphold the doctrines of the Confession of Faith.
5 Q. Why did they leave because of the passing of this Act?
A. The Declaratory Act changed the Free Church’s relation to the Confession of Faith. In practice it allowed men to state dishonestly that they believed the whole doctrine of the Confession although in fact they did not.
6 Q. How did the Act change the Free Church’s relation to the Confession of Faith?
A. The Church’s relation to the Confession of Faith changed from entire acceptance to modified acceptance; moreover the Act declared that the Church maintained and held doctrines which were subversive of the Confession while it also disclaimed certain crucial confessional doctrines.
7 Q. Why did Revs D. Macfarlane and D. Macdonald not separate from the Free Church before 1893?
A. The constitution of the Free Church had not been impaired until 1892, though innovations which grieved the Lord’s people had been introduced into the Free Church before then. Mr Macfarlane and Mr Macdonald remained a year in the Church after the passing of the Declaratory Act in the hope that it would be repealed by the General Assembly of 1893.
8 Q. How did the Declaratory Act become law in the Free Church?
A. The Declaratory Act was passed under the Barrier Act of 1697, which ensured that no proposal of the Assembly could be passed as a binding law and constitution of the Church without the consent of the majority of Presbyteries.
9 Q. How did the Act being passed under the Barrier Act change the constitution of the Free Church?
A. The Declaratory Act itself added to and took from the Confession, and these changes became a binding law and constitution by virtue of the Barrier Act; thus the constitution was changed.
10 Q. What did Mr Macfarlane state in his protest in the Assembly of the Free Church in 1893 against the passing of the Declaratory Act?
A. Mr Macfarlane stated in his protest that since the Act was now retained in the constitution of the Free Church, the Church ‘ceases to be the true representative of the Free Church of Scotland’ and therefore he could no longer be a minister of the Declaratory Act Church.
11 Q. Was Mr Macfarlane’s protest accepted?
A. No, it was described by Principal Rainy as ‘an express repudiation of the authority and validity of the final act of the General Assembly in the matter’ and so was not received, showing that no individual was free from the operation of the Declaratory Act.
12 Q. Did Mr Macfarlane and Mr Macdonald publish any document setting forth their position?
A. Yes, the Church’s position is to be found in the Deed of Separation.
13 Q. What does the Deed of Separation say about the Declaratory Act?
A. The Deed of Separation affirms that the Declaratory Act destroyed the integrity of the Confession of Faith (see Deed of Separation sect. 4).
 For the Deed of Separation, see Appendix I on page 39.
 For the Declaratory Act, see Appendix II on page 43. Rev J.S. Sinclair’s criticisms of the Declaratory Act were published in the Free Presbyterian Magazine, vol. 1 (1896) pp. 121-5, 161-7, and are available on the Free Presbyterian website. A fuller version is in History of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 1893-1970, Appendix IV pp. 385-427 [available here]. See also the Free Presbyterian Synod Resolution on Current Misrepresentations of Doctrine, Appendix III.3 on page 47.