In answer to your question regarding the
Reformed Presbyterian Church Covenanted, I have had the opportunity to do
a great deal of study concerning the Covenanters. The Lord has enabled me
to study intensely and very carefully several thousand pages of historical
Covenanter materials over the last several years. I have been astounded
and awe-stricken at what I have learned. I am convinced that the
Covenanters are the remnant of the Biblical\historical\Confessional
Presbyterian Church. When one traces all the defections and divisions of
contemporary "presbyterianism," he finds himself back at three critical
points in history.
The first crucial juncture was when the majority of
ministers (i.e., the Resolutioners) forsook the Covenants that they had
solemnly vowed to uphold and, thus also, when they scornfully abandoned
the true Church of Scotland (i.e., the Protesters, who were led by Samuel
Rutherford, Patrick Gillespie, James Guthrie, Hugh Binning, James
Fergusson [N.B. the quote on the "Ye who love the Lord, hate evil"
booklet] and 21 other Covenanters). The covenant-breaking of the
Resolutioners, their tyrannical deposing of sound and godly Covenanter
(i.e., Protester) ministers, and also their hostile and vitriolic attacks
against the genuine Church of Scotland (again, the Protesters); led Samuel
Rutherford and the other Covenanters correctly to call the Resolutioners
"a pretended assembly." In addition, viewing the wicked compromise,
defection, and tolerationist policies of the Resolutioners; Samuel
Rutherford and the other Protesters tearfully prayed for the salvation of
the covenant-breaking Resolutioners.
The second decisive series of events
was the acceptance of the covenant (and Covenanter) forsaking indulgences
by the Resolutioners and numerous other covenant-breaking ministers. The
attendant events and resultant consequences of the Indulged ministers'
compliance with and countenancing of the Stuarts are so treacherous and
traitorous that I have often wept in reflecting upon them. My tears do
not compare to the sorrow of the dear, faithful Covenanters, who were
hotly pursued by the Stuarts and disdainfully deserted (and even
heartlessly and deliberately delivered over to the persecutors on numerous
occasions) by the Resolutioner\Indulged church (cf., Psalm 56:8; Matthew
23:34-39; Revelation 6:9-11).
The third tragic happening was the
acceptance of the Revolution settlement of outrageously Erastian (and
covenant-denying) William and Mary (see Plain Reasons for Presbyterians
Dissenting and the Act, Declaration, and Testimony of 1761).
I have been
writing an apologetic regarding these significant matters, because they
have opened my eyes to the enormity of the church's defections and also to
the reasons for the horrible divisions, false teaching, false worship, and
inadequate discipline in presbyterianism today. The Covenanters alerted
the church and the three nations to their covenant-breaking and also to
the inevitable, terrible consequences of covenant-breaking 300 years ago.
Covenanters have continued to sound the alarm in the succeeding Centuries.
I praise God that I have had the privilege to read Rutherford; Binning;
the Guthries; the Gillespies; portions of the Acts of General Assemblies
from 1638-1650; The Auchensaugh Renovation of the Covenants in 1712; the
Act, Declaration, and Testimony of 1761; A Cloud of Witnesses; The
Apologetical Relation by John Brown of Wamphray, Rutherford's faithful and
pious disciple (re: the Public Resolutions); Plain Reasons for
Presbyterians Dissenting by Clark (re: the Revolution Settlement); Howie's
Scot's Worthies; various other Histories, Apologetical works, Catechisms,
etc.; and, of course, the Holy Scriptures regarding covenants and the
ordinance of covenanting.
The aforementioned covenant-breaking events
laid the groundwork for presbyterianism for the last few Centuries. The
results have not been pretty. We are still experiencing the horrible
fruit. Educating people (and calling them to repentance) about these
matters is indispensable. That is why I have been working on these
Now, when I read these godly men of old, I really
understand what they were (and are) saying. Reading Rutherford's Treatise
on Pretended Liberty of Conscience, The Trial and Triumph of Faith, His
Letters, Lex Rex, Faith and Prayer, etc. is overwhelming to me now, since
I understand his unequivocal commitment to the Covenants National and
Solemn League and, thus, to the original intent of the original
Westminster Confession (as approved and adopted by the Church of Scotland
in 1647). What a blessing it has been reading William Guthrie's The
Christian's Great Interest, understanding his thoroughgoing dedication to
the Covenants and the original intent of the original Westminster
Standards. These dear Covenanters and the faithful Covenanters, who were
their contemporaries or successors, were all saying the same things.
These men of God understood that the Covenants were momentous, solemn and
morally binding transactions. Thousands of them gave up all their earthly
goods, submitted to horrific torture, sacrificed their physical
well-being, and even their very lives for the Covenants. "The Covenants,
the Covenants shall be Scotland's reviving." Tragically and very
grievously the Resolutioner\Indulged\Revolution settlement church, which
has forsaken and rejected the covenants and any moral obligation to them,
cannot possibly see what these beloved Covenanters were truly saying.
Furthermore, the covenant-breaking, historical
Resolutioner\Indulged\Revolution (and her spiritual offspring: the
contemporary Resolutioner\Indulged\Revolution Settlement Church [i.e., the
non-covenanter presbyterian church]) have denied their morally binding
Covenant obligations, have rejected the heart and soul (i.e., the
Covenants National and Solemn League) of the Original Westminster
Standards, have removed the teeth (again, the Covenants) from the Original
Westminster Standards, and have misunderstood and misapplied (and even
hated and rejected) the original intent of the original Westminster
Standards, as approved and adopted by the Church of Scotland in 1647.
Covenants are the context, the true essence, the veritable meaning, and
the foundation of the Westminster Standards. The Covenants are the basis
for unity. The Covenants were (and still are) Terms of ministerial and
Christian communion. This was the definite intent of the Covenants.
After the Resolutioners departed from the Covenanters, Rutherford would
not serve the Lord's Supper to Blair. In addition, Rutherford, as did the
Guthries and numerous Covenanters after them, called the Resolutioner
church "a pretended assembly" and "unfaithful watchmen." Rutherford and
other Covenanters were so saddened and alarmed at the horrible defection
of the Resolutions that they even prayed for their salvation. Thankfully,
some Resolutioners, like David Dickson, repented of their
covenant-breaking at the end of their lives. (What is so terrible is that
the departure from the faith once delivered to the saints led to even
worse compromise, treachery, and even the actual countenancing and
contributing to the murders of the faithful Covenanters!)
The unanimity of
these dear Covenanter brethren in the Covenants and the Confession,
Catechisms, and Directories is so consistent and overwhelming. The
Scriptures say that the Church of Christ is to be united: one God, one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one accord, one heart, one mind, one way,
one body, one man, the same rule, contending together for the faith once
delivered, etc.. (It is such an important testimony to the world...John
17:21.) Without repentance and an earnest embracing of the Covenants,
though, presbyterianism will tragically never see those days. Divisions
and more divisions will continue to abound. False teachings, idolatrous
worship, toleration of evil, compromise, etc. will increase more and more.
I do not say this with any malice or arrogance. I say this with deep
pain. I praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to read these
eye-opening, edifying, and life-changing documents. I praise my precious
Lord for those Covenants. My fervent prayer is that His true Sheep will
repent and will truly seek the old paths, hearken to the ancient
landmarks, and go by way of the footsteps of the flock (e.g., Psalms 44:1;
78:1-8; Proverbs 8:13; 15:10; 16:6,17; 19:27; 22:28; 23:10; Song 1:7,8;
Jeremiah 6:16; Philippians 3:16; Hebrews 6:12....via trita, via
tuta..."the tried paths are the safe paths!"). It will happen one day.
My prayer is that the Lord will see fit to use me in warning and helping
others to see their covenant obligations, the intended and blessed unity
in them, and the absolute impossibility of unity without repentance and
the embracing of the Covenants. Your fine tract-card on "OUR DUTY"
further convicted me to add this material to my letter to you.
first encountered these sober matters, I was dumfounded and deeply
convicted. Now, I am even more convinced, convicted, and committed to
these Biblical\historical\covenantal\confessional truths. I regularly
read aloud and have my children read personally some of these precious
I have also informed the Church, where I have been
preaching, that I am a Covenanter. I offered to resign, but they
sincerely requested me to continue to minister God's Word to them. Their
heart-warming earnest entreaties for me to stay were a source of real
encouragement and conviction to me. After much heart-searching into my
motives for staying and after much prayer, I was convinced that the Lord
wanted me to preach His Word to them. Now that they realize and recognize
that I am a Covenanter, I feel much more comfortable ministering among
them. My longing is that they will abandon their OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) distinctives, their
pluralism, their embracing of the American alteration of the Westminster
Standards, and their rejection of the Covenanted uniformity in religion
(i.e., the Covenants and, thus, also the original covenanted intent of the
original Westminster Standards, Catechisms, etc.). I have ministered as
pulpit supply (every other week) among them for almost six years. I do
love the people. It is a somewhat frustrating situation, because I know
that in good conscience I could never be their minister, nor ever be a
member of their church. I understood that even before I repented and
became a Covenanter about two years ago. (As my knowledge and
understanding have grown, my fervency for "Christ's Crown and Covenant"
and "the Cause of God and Truth" has also greatly intensified.)
Reformed Presbyterian Church Covenanted is an historical Church. She is
the remnant of the historic Reformed Presbyterian Church (i.e., the
genuine Covenanters). In 1840 the majority (now they call themselves the
RPCNA) of the Reformed Presbyterian Church departed from her historical
testimony, adopting a more contemporary testimony and also joining in
voluntary associations with political moral reform movements. (The new
testimony of the departed majority [again, the RPCNA] took a much softer
stand on evil and, thus also, on church discipline.) Due to this horrible
forsaking of Christ's Crown and Covenant by the majority of Reformed
Presbyterian congregations, two genuine Covenanter ministers (along with
their Elders and numerous other Covenanter brethren) separated from the
RPCNA. In reality, the RPCNA had left the dear Covenanters. The faithful
Covenanter remnant called themselves the Reformed Presbyterian Church
Covenanted. They attached the word Covenanted to the historical title
Reformed Presbyterian Church, in order to emphasize their fervent stand
for Christ's Crown and Covenant.
It is also important to note that in
1822 the Reformed Presbytery in Scotland also lessened her Terms of
Communion. (They removed the 1712 Auchensaugh Renovation from the Terms
of Christian and Ministerial Communion. As normally happens, the
backsliding of the majority became even more heinous. In 1838\39 the
defected majority also removed (and "replaced") the 1761 Act, Declaration
and Testimony from the Terms of Communion. Tragically, the replacement
Testimony of 1838\39 boldly denies major elements and actual phrases of
the Covenants [National and Solemn League] and actually exhibits a
tolerant attitude toward evil.) On account of this defection, James Reid,
the author of the Memoirs of the Westminster Divines, faithfully followed
the Lord's leading and departed from the Reformed Presbytery of Scotland.
Mr. Reid and another elderly Covenanter minister remained faithful to
Christ's Crown and Covenant to death. On his death bed Mr. Reid
proclaimed that he could have never laid his head upon his dying pillow in
peace, if he had not separated from the covenant forsaking majority.
returning to the Reformed Presbyterian Church Covenanted, we also see the
admonitions and fears of the two faithful Covenanter ministers, who were
compelled to separate from the departing, defected majority in 1840, being
realized in the additional and even more abysmal abandoning of the
Covenants and, thus, of the original intent of the Original Westminster
Standards by the aforementioned departing, defected majority (i.e.,
RPCNA). Just as the two true Covenanter ministers had anticipated and
proclaimed during their necessary separation; the departed, defected
majority, who had forsaken the Biblical\historical\Confessional cause of
Christ's Crown and Covenant, did persist in and worsen their abandonment
of and backsliding from the Covenants (National and Solemn League), and,
thus also, from the original intent of the Original Westminster Standards
(again, as approved and adopted by the Church of Scotland in 1647). The
Covenant-forsaking of the defected and departed majority became (and still
continues to become) worse and worse over the decades and centuries.
Tragically (and with grief), I must say that the contemporary RPCNA (i.e.,
the spiritual offspring of the defected and departed majority) bears No
resemblance to the Biblical\historical\confessional\orthodox Covenanters.
Over the last 50 years, the Reformed Presbyterian Church Covenanted has
dwindled in numbers. We are now only a small remnant, dwelling in a few
different states. There is a really great family in Tucson, Arizona. I
am sending them sermon tapes and plan to send them some other things that
I have written. We correspond regularly and occasionally talk on the
phone. We would love to be together and meet each Sabbath for worship.
But, in the Lord's perfect providence, finances do not presently permit
such a move for either family. There are also some brethren in various
locations in Pennsylvania, who have travelled and met together for worship
a few times.
Presently, these Covenanters are in the Society stage. They
read Covenanter sermons, sing the Psalms, and pray on the Lord's Day in
their separate and small meetings. We are all committed to the
Biblical\historical\Confessional Terms of Communion of the Covenanted
Reformed Presbyterian Church. Sadly, we are unable to meet together
regularly, especially the Covenanters in Arizona.
We are very prayerful
that a presbytery will be formed with others, who would be committed to
the Biblical\historical\Confessional Terms of Communion of the Reformed
Presbyterian Church Covenanted. This could bring about the instruction
and examination of Ruling Elder candidates, licensees, and a visible
church government, which, I believe, would facilitate and expedite a
coming together of the scattered Covenanters. Some were O.P.C. members,
the Arizona people are descendants of Covenanters, and I was a PCA
teaching elder years ago. (Oh yes, I am 45 years old, married, and my
wife [Mary] is expecting our tenth child.)
My longing is to be in a
pastoral ministry. It is very difficult having "silent Sabbaths" to quote
Samuel Rutherford. I long to be preaching, teaching, evangelizing (and
having a real congregation in which to nurture converts), counselling,
catechizing, visiting, etc.. It is very difficult to be without such
regular ministry. We have had some tempting offers over the last six or
seven years. But, by God's grace, we cannot, we MUST not compromise the
Lord's perfect truth. We cannot go back: "Therefore thus saith the Lord,
if thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before
me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my
mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them."
(Jeremiah 15:19) I cry out to the Lord regarding these important matters.
I appreciated the tract-cards you sent me (i.e., Another Gospel, and our
Duty). You are certainly correct about the verbal attacks one receives
for loving the truth and hating (and speaking out against) evil. Like
you, we have met with mocking, sarcasm, vicious slander, hate letters,
forced resignations, and even eviction from housing. Yet, we deserve all
the miseries of this life, death itself, and the pains of hell forever.
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered so much for us. So many brethren have died
for the truth. As the Lord informs us, we should expect and rejoice in
our sufferings for His precious truth. ONLY by His grace may we do so
(e.g., Matthew 5:10f.; 10:16ff.; John 15:18-20; 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews
12:1-4). What a great Lord we serve.
We continue to pray and seek the
Lord's guidance concerning His ministry purposes for our family. For the
last few years, it has certainly been in this area. We have learned a
great deal! Sometimes, it has been difficult to be patient and,
sometimes, grievously, I have not been patient enough. Prayerfully, I
will learn to wait upon the Lord, as He prescribes in His Word. The Lord
is good to His people (e.g., Isaiah 40). I praise Him for His loving care
for us (Pss.42; 43; 56; 119; 136).
We also miss the frequent fellowship
of the saints. But, as the godly Covenanter, Samuel Rutherford, remarked
As for myself, I know no more if there be a sound
Christian (setting aside some, yea, not a few learned, some zealous and
faithful ministers whom I have met with) at London (though I doubt not
there are many), than if I were in Spain [viz., a mecca of Papists and
also the ardent proponent of the Inquisition]; which maketh me bless God
that the communion of saints, how desirable soever, yet is not the thing,
even that great thing, Christ and the remission of sins."
the Lord Jesus Christ is a priceless gem (e.g., Song of Solomon). As
pious Covenanter Pastor, Alexander Peden, remarked:
"If you will resolve
to follow Him, pray fast. If there were but one of you, He will be the
second; if there were but two of you, our Lord will be the third. You
need not fear that you will want company; our Lord Himself will be your
As Peden also reminded the dear Covenanters, who were hotly
pursued by the tyrannical and bloodthirsty Stuarts and also utterly
forsaken and delivered over by the covenant-breaking resolutioner\indulged
church (i.e., the spiritual fathers, the progenitors, the ancestors of
"presbyterianism" today), as they (i.e., the Covenanters) were compelled
for Christ's Crown and Covenant and the Cause of God and Truth to meet in
the fields at great hazard to their lives:
"The temper of these
back-sliding times invites us to double our diligence in seeking of God;
for it seems God has a mind to search Jerusalem with lighted candles, and
to visit all your chambers; and there shall not be a pin in all your
graces, but God shall know whether it be crooked or even; He will never
halt till he be at the bottom of men's hearts. He has turned out some
folk's hearts already, and slit more...God has now raised a strong mighty
wind, and it is certain that Christ's corn cannot be driven away. He will
not want a hair of His people's head;
He knows them all by head-mark; if our hearts could blaze after Him, WE
WOULD RATHER CHOOSE TO DIE BELIEVING AND SUFFERING THAN SIN BY
We are thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, our Surety, our
Mediator, our Redeemer, and our Lord. Without Him, we can do nothing
(e.g., John 15). In Him, we have all things (e.g., 1 Corinthians 3).
praise the Lord for His goodness, tender mercies, comfort, and daily
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the
help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me:
therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the
Hermonites from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of
thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over. Yet the
Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his
song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say
unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because
of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies
reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why are thou
cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in
God; for I shall praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my
God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted
within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of
my countenance, and my God." Psalms 42:5-11; 43:5
As the Lord says
through the Apostle Paul, our love must be unfeigned, unhypocritical,
abhorring what is evil and cleaving to what is good (Romans 12:9; cf. Ps. 97:10; 119:104).
Please pray for us, as we shall for you. FOR CHRIST'S
CROWN AND COVENANT!
Fred T. DiLella (February, 1995)
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
DILELLA, FRED T.
Aletheia is the Greek word for TRUTH and this book is addressed specifically tois ekezetousi ten aletheian (i.e. to those who are diligently seeking the truth). It explains why the modern church is in such a mess, why it seems so powerless, and why there is little visible unity (or even a general consensus as to what the Scripture teaches) among Christians in our contemporary setting. It also demonstrates that this has not always been the case by tracing the "footsteps of the flock" in opposition to the group that led to the major defections from Reformation attainments (which almost all contemporary churches have followed). This defection is shown to have brought God's covenant curse not only upon the church, but upon the defecting nations also -- and this curse still hangs over our (corporate) heads today. DiLella explains the basis of covenanting and proves from Scripture that covenants entered into by our forefathers (such as the Solemn League and Covenant) on behalf of the moral person (i.e. the constituted and ongoing government, whether civil or ecclesiastical; cf. David Scott's rare bound photocopy Distinctive Principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, pp. 70, 195f., 285f.) continue in force to this day. Furthermore, he shows how the Protesters (Covenanters) and their battle in the seventeenth century with the Resolutioners, is still impacting both the church and the state because of the very bonds that were transacted (in that day) between the Covenanting churches or nations and God. This is used to prove why God has a controversy with the backslidden modern church and with contemporary Christ rejecting nations, who have not repented of these national sins of "truce-breaking." DiLella pays special attention to the United States (as a covenant breaking nation) and those churches which trace their roots to the Reformation. In one section it is shown how America's British roots morally obligate the USA (and Canada) to the Solemn League and Covenant. In fact, it is noted that "in Boston, in 1644, the colonists with uplifted hands en masse publicly and solemnly swore their oath of subscription to the Solemn League and Covenant." Moreover the colonist's ministers often preached of this obligation and even the USA congress, as late as 1744, "officially announced and laid claim to all their rights, privileges, and provisions as English citizens." Anyone familiar with Scripture will understand how covenants bind posterity, even if they are just transactions between man and man, much less man and God, as these British covenants were (which still bind both the USA and Canada by virtue of our British roots). "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto" (Gal. 3:15). This is further illustrated in the following quotation from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (by William Roberts, see the whole chapter "The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligation of Religious Covenants" for more proof), "Another instance in which posterity is recognized in covenant obligation is found in Joshua 9:15. This covenant was made between the children of Israel and the Gibeonites. Between four and five hundred years after that time, the children of Israel are visited with a very severe famine, in the days of David. 2 Sam. 21:1. And it is expressly declared by the Lord that, "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites." And at the same time, v. 2, that very covenant is recognized, and the breach of it is stated, as being the formal reason of the divine displeasure. Now, had it not been for this covenant, the extirpation of the Gibeonites would not have been imputed to Israel as a thing criminal; for they were comprehended in Canaanitish nations, which God had commanded them to root out" (pp. 139-140). The ongoing "moral personality" of the state (or church) is also illustrated throughout Scripture when national leaders (and prophets) confess the sins of their fathers and attribute these sins to the then present wrath of God upon the corporate entity [as with Judah's great Reforming king, Josiah, in 2 Chron. 34:21; see also Neh. 9:2, Dan. 9:16, etc.]). Of course the book deals with much more (including democracy vs. theocracy, tolerationism vs. the first commandment, unity vs. schism, establishments vs. voluntaryism, real subscription [to the WCF] vs. false and truncated subscription, pretended liberty of conscience vs. biblical liberty of conscience, the bride of Christ vs. the whore of Babylon, true worship vs. idolatry, Cromwell vs. the Covenanters, the revolution [of 1688] vs. covenanted uniformity, etc.). Originally written as a modern Covenanter's plea to a minister that was leaving the PCA, this is an easy reading, yet most valuable and practical, look at history and the truth of Christ as it comes to bear directly upon each one of us alive today. It is a one-of-a-kind, modern writing, overflowing with Scriptural and historic proof for each assertion, and we consider it one of the most important books written in this century!
(Rare bound photocopy) $14.95 - 67% = 4.93 (US funds)
Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution Church of Scotland. Also Their Principles Concerning Civil Government, and the Difference Betwixt the Reformation and Revolution Principles (1731)
An exceedingly rare and important book. The Contending Witness magazine (May, 1841) described Plain Reasons "as the single best volume penned defending the principles of the second Reformation." It sets forth "the grounds why Presbyterian Dissenters refused to hold communion with the revolution church and state," (Reformed Presbytery, Act Declaration and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation, p. 154n). These principles still apply today and this still remains one of the best books explaining why and when an individual (our church) should separate itself from those (in church or state) who do not hold fast to all the attainments of our covenanted forefathers. The Reformed Presbytery's Act, Declaration and Testimony (p. 47) further explains the context of the so-called "glorious revolution of 1688" and overthrow of the Royalist tyranny with these words, "for in a few months, God in his righteous judgement and adorable providence, overturned that (Royalist--RB) throne of iniquity on which they depended, and expelled that inhuman, cruel monster (the duke of York--RB), from his tyrannical and usurped power, upon the Prince of Orange's (William--RB) coming over into England, in the beginning of November that same year (1688--RB). But although the Lord at this juncture, and by this means, rescued and delivered our natural and civil rights and privileges in a national way, from under the oppression and bondage of anti-christian tyranny, arbitrary and absolute power; yet the revolution, at this time, brought no real deliverance to the church of God; but Christ's rights (by these [rights--RB] are not meant the rights of Christ personal. It is not in the power of mortals, or any creature, to acquire and secure these to him; but the rights of Christ mystical, that is, of the church, or of his truth, true worship, and religion, and professors of it as such.), formerly acquired for him by his faithful servants, lay still buried under the rubbish of that anti-christian building of prelacy, erected on the ruins of his work in this land; and the spiritual liberties and privileges of his house remained, and do still remain under the bondage of Erastianism, supremacy, toleration, etc. For it is well known, that although this man (William of Orange--RB), Jehu-like, 'destroyed Baal out of Israel, yet he departed not from the sins of Jereboam, wherewith he made Israel to sin.'" See pages 55 and following in the Act, Declaration and Testimony for more on "the grounds of the presbytery's testimony against the constitutions, both civil and ecclesiastical, at the late revolution, anno 1689; as also against the gross Erastianism and tyranny that has attended the administration both of church and state, since that memorable period; with various instances thereof, etc." The only drawback that needs to be noted, regarding Clarkson's Plain Reasons, is that a few of the pages (the book being as rare as it is) in the only copy that we have been able to obtain, are a little hard to read. Even so, most of the book is easily legible and contains the highest quality of Reformation thought regarding the subjects of which it deals.
(Rare bound photocopy) $99.95-90%=9.99
An Open Letter to an RPCNA Elder (1996)
A contemporary "first blast of the trumpet" against modern "Presbyterianism," by a covenanted Presbyterian. This is Dodson's testimony against the backsliding of the RPCNA. It summarizes the points of defection, documenting the steps taken from covenanted attainments, (directly from the RPCNA's own standards). This letter also implicates many of the other backslidden and compromised "Presbyterian" denominations [e.g. OPC, PCA, etc.], who continue their decline from Reformation attainments in many of the same areas as the RPCNA (though the RPCNA has remained more faithful than most in a few areas, one example being acappella exclusive Psalmody). In this context Dodson deals with church issues, schism and separation, worship, covenanting, civil government, Christian liberty, and much more. In short, this is one of the most powerful modern examples of true Christian scholarship that is available today, exhibiting once again that a faithful witness will not lie. To understand the covenanted Reformation it is also most helpful to read over the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant (found in the back of the Free Presbyterian edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith). All the Westminster Divines, the national Parliaments and many of the people of the three nations (Scotland, England, and Ireland in the mid 17th-century), covenanting (with each other and with the Lord) for national Reformation and uniformity, swore a solemn oath to uphold the truth of the Reformed religion found in these morally binding documents (and the Westminster Standards). These perpetually binding covenants, along with the Auchensaugh Renovation (1712), are an integral part of point four in the six points of the "Terms of Ministerial and Christian Communion in the Reformed Presbyterian Church," and are defended in the "Explanation and Defense of the Terms of Communion..." (by the Reformed Presbytery). All six points are also listed at the back of the "Act, Declaration, and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation" (by the Reformed Presbytery). These six points form a bedrock foundation of true Reformation, which Satan constantly assails, and many believe they (the truths contained in these points) will lead the way (by God's grace) to the coming world reformation prophesied in Scripture (Isa. 2:2-4, Ezek. 47:1-12, etc.).
(Rare bound photocopy) $9.95-30%=2.97
A Hind Let Loose; or An Historical Representation of the Testimonies of the Church of Scotland for the Interest of Christ with the True State thereof in all its Periods. Together with a Vindication of the Present Testimony Against Popish, Prelatical, and Malignant Enemies of that Church, as it is now Stated, for the Prerogatives of Christ, Privileges of the Church, and Liberties of Mankind; and Sealed by the Sufferings of a Reproached Remnant of Presbyterians there, Witnessing Against the Corruptions of the Time: Wherein Several Controversies of Greatest Consequence are Enquired into, and in Some Measure Cleared; Concerning Hearing of the Curates, Owning of the Present Tyranny, Taking of Ensnaring Oaths and Bonds, Frequenting of Field-Meetings, Defensive Resistance of Tyrannical Violence, with Several Other Subordinate Questions Useful for these Times (1687, 1797 edition)
First printed in 1687, we have used the 1797 edition for this rare bound photocopy because all of the Latin has been translated into English (an obvious improvement for English readers). This rare Covenanter classic, concerning Calvinistic political philosophy and tactics of civil resistance, is comparable to Samuel Rutherford's Lex, Rex; in fact it could rightly be referred to as "Lex Rex volume two." It is solidly in the line of John Knox's teachings on civil disobedience and addresses numerous topics that are relevant to today's Christian. "In A Hind Let Loose, Shields justified the Camerionian resistance to royal absolutism and the divine right of kings. He argued that government is divinely ordained, but the people are entitled to bring a king to judgement for wrongdoing. Parliament is commissioned by the people to oversee the nation's affairs, but the compact between the people and their rulers does not entail a forfeiture of the people's power to depose tyrants and confer authority on someone else. Government is by consent, and must justify itself to the consciences of the people. God has given men the right of self defence, and this extends to a a right not only passively to resist, but also to kill relentless persecutors" writes Isbell (in the Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, p. 773). Controversial chapter titles include: "Concerning Owning of Tyrants Authority;" "Defensive Arms Vindicated;" "Of Extraordinary Execution of Judgement by Private Men;" and "Refusing to Pay Wicked Taxation Vindicated." This book sets forth the Crown rights of King Jesus, against all usurpers in both church and state, giving a history of some of faithful sufferings endured by the elect, in maintaining this truth. It bears testimony against "the popish, prelatical and malignant enemies' of Christ and proclaims the only true basis of liberty for mankind. . "The matter is argued with a vast abundance of Biblical illustration, and with much reference to Reformation and Puritan divines. It should be consulted, if practicable, by all who wish fully to understand the inner spirit of the Covenanting Movement," writes Purves in Fair Sunshine (p. 202). Isbell interestingly notes that Shields was once "amanuensis to the English Puritan John Owen." Over 750 pages, this very rare item sells for from $250-$800 on the rare book market. Now you can have it for much less! This is the 1797 edition in which all the Latin has been translated into English.
AUTHOR: CUNNINGHAM, JOHN
TITLE: The Ordinance of Covenanting (1843)
FORMAT: (Rare bound photocopy)
PRICING: $49.95-70%=14.99 (US funds)
This book is considered by many as the classic work on covenanting. "The
theology of Covenanting is here unfolded with a richness of scriptural
research and a maturity of intellectual strength which would have made
the grey eye of Peden glisten with delight. The treatise is a valuable
addition to that solid theological literature of which the Reformed
Presbyterian Church has produced repeated and enduring specimens, and
stamps Mr. Cunningham as a distinguished disciple of the thoughtful and
scriptural school of Mason and the Symingtons" (Presby Rev., (1844)
as cited in The Treasury of the Scottish Covenant by Johnston). The
author himself notes that "Prayer and the offering of praise are universally
admitted to be duties of religion. The Scriptures announce a place among
these for the exercise of solemn Covenanting... What the word of God
unfolds concerning it, is addressed to the most resolute consideration of all,
and is capable of engaging the most extensive and prolonged investigation.
And yet, though none have found this subject, like all God's judgements,
else than a great deep, still in meditating upon it, the ignorant have been
brought to true knowledge, and the wise have increased in wisdom. 'The
secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his
covenant' (Ps. 25:14)... Mutual federal engagements, concerning things
religious and civil, whether entered into merely by simple promise, or
confirmed by the solemn oath, have been made from the highest antiquity
to the present. The hostility to some such engagements, and also the proud
disregard for their obligation, which have been evinced by some in all
ages, demand a most careful examination into their nature and design...
Furnished with the key of Scripture, approaching the subject, we are
enabled to open the mysteries in which ignorance and prejudice had shut
it up; and equipped with the armour of light shooting forth its heavenly
radiance, in safety to ourselves we assail the darkness thrown around it,
and behold the instant flight of the spirits of error which that darkness
contains. Standing alone in beauteous attractions descended from heaven
upon it, this service beckons us to approach it, and engages to connect
extensive good with a proper attention to its claims. The observance, under
various phases, is described in Scripture as an undisputed and indisputable
reality." In this book Cunningham exhaustively covers the subject of
covenanting in over 400 pages. He deals with the manner, duty and nature
of covenanting (including personal and social covenanting), the obligation
covenanting confers, how covenanting is provided for in the everlasting
covenant, how it is adapted to the moral constitution of man and how it is
according to the purposes of God. Numerous Divine examples are cited
from Scripture and covenanting is shown to be one of the great privileges
of the Christian life. An interesting chapter covers "Covenanting Enforced
By the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals;" which touches on circumcision,
baptism, the Sabbath, the Priesthood, the new heart and the person and
work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this book demonstrates how
God's approbation rested upon Covenanters in formers ages, how
covenanting is predicted in prophecy, how it is recommended by the
practice of the New Testament Church and at what seasons it is
appropriate. The appendices touch on the relationship of covenanting to
immoral and unscriptural civil governments, the Free Presbyterian Church
of Scotland, the British constitution and the apostasy of the Revolution
settlement. Additionally, Cunningham acknowledges that the true church is
"bound by the obligations of the Church of God is past times" and is still
obligated to pay what it has vowed to the Lord in those magnificent
attainments of the second Reformation (the epitome of these attainments
being embodied in the Solemn League and Covenant and the Westminster
Standards). If you are interested in the ordinance of covenanting this is the
most extensive treatment you will find in one book. It is a gold mine of
Scriptural references and should be read at least once by everyone who
calls upon the name of Christ.
ROBERTS, WILLIAM L.
The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligation of Religious Covenants (1853)
Excerpted from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism below, this book deals with an almost forgotten ordinance of God. It explains what covenants are, while contrasting them with oaths, vows and law. Furthermore, it distinguishes between civil and religious covenants and shows how the individual, family, church or nation can (and should) enter into covenants -- especially religious covenants. Explains why, when and how covenants are binding on posterity, citing abundant Scriptural proof for each assertion made. Here is a sample argument from this book, demonstrating how even covenants made between men are viewed as binding upon posterity by God himself: "Another instance in which posterity is recognized in covenant obligation is found in Joshua 9:15. This covenant was made between the children of Israel and the Gibeonites. Between four and five hundred years after that time, the children of Israel are visited with a very severe famine, in the days of David. 2 Sam. 21:1. And it is expressly declared by the Lord that, 'It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.' And at the same time, v. 2, that very covenant is recognized, and the breach of it is stated, as being the formal reason of the divine displeasure. Now, had it not been for this covenant, the extirpation of the Gibeonites would not have been imputed to Israel as a thing criminal; for they were comprehended in Canaanitish nations, which God had commanded them to root out" (pp. 139-140). Take the time to look these verses up. This subject has great bearing on the unity of the church, the Christian's response to godless covenant-breaking nations, hermeneutics, the family and general faithfulness to God (because many today -- individually, ecclesiastically, and nationally -- are breaking covenants which God still views as binding though they are oblivious to this obligation). Great price too!
(Rare bound photocopy) $5.95-70%=1.78
ROBERTS, WILLIAM L.
The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to Acknowledge and Support the True Religion (1853)
Excerpted from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism below, this book deals with the inescapable necessity, of the demand found in the Word of God, for the Civil establishment of Christ and King and Lawgiver over every nation on earth. If you are sick of the cease-fire with humanism, set forth by the syncretistic, Satanic and pragmatic pagan politicians of our day, (those who bargain with votaries of Antichrist [the Pope], publicly tolerate all manner of false religions (e.g. Islam) and idolatry, and compose their policy and draw their pretended authority from the beast [and not the Word of God], this book is for you! For all pagan politics is summed up in the words of the Cameronian (Covenanter) political philosopher Alexander Shields, as "rotting away under the destructive distempers of detestable neutrality, loathsome lukewarmness, declining, and decaying in corruptions, defections, divisions, distractions, confusions; and so judicially infatuated with darkness and delusions, that they forget and forego the necessary testimony of the day" (A HIND LET LOOSE, 1797 edition, p. 20). Pick up this book and begin the political walk in the "footsteps of the flock," traveling the covenanting road of Reformation and Scripture (with the magisterial Reformers of the past)!
(Rare bound photocopy) $5.95-70%=1.78
ROBERTS, WILLIAM L.
The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (1853)
A manual of instruction, drawing from such notable authors as William Symington and J.R. Willson, presenting "arguments and facts confirming and illustrating the 'Distinctive Principles'" of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapters deal with: "Christ's Mediatorial Dominion in general;" Christ's exclusive Headship over the Church;" "The Supreme and Ultimate Authority of the Word of God in the Church;" Civil Government, the Moral Ordinance of God;" Christ's Headship over the Nations;" "The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ;" The Word, or Revealed Will of God, the Supreme Law in the State;" "The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to acknowledge and support the True Religion:" "The Spiritual Independence of the Church of Christ:" "The Right and Duty of Dissent from an immoral Constitution of Civil Government;" "The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligations of Religious Covenants;" "The Application of these Principles to the Governments, where Reformed Presbyterians reside, in the form of a Practical Testimony;" and finally "Application of the Testimony to the British Empire." A most important book, as we approach (possibly) the end of the great apostasy and will be in need of preparing for the dawning of the glorious millennial blessings to come; the days prophesied in which the church "shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings" (Isa. 60:16).
(Rare bound photocopy) $29.95-70%=8.99
Distinctive Principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (1841)
This book is not designed to discuss "the (many-RB) doctrines which the Reformed Presbyterian church holds in common will others," but is written to set forth RP distinctives. It tackles its subject from three major heads: "Social Covenanting;" "The Dominion of Christ;" and "The Universal Application of Scripture (civil as well as religious)." It shows that while these doctrines "are held by many, as abstract doctrines of divine truth, they are not embodied in the testimony of any other Christian denomination: nor made necessary to ministerial or Christian fellowship. Although other individuals may hold these doctrine, it is a 'distinctive' feature of the RPC to embody them in her testimony; and to make them terms of communion." It also explains how these are the same distinctives that were maintained "at the era of the reformation, (when) the covenanted church of Scotland bore a distinguished testimony for all the offices of Christ, as prophet, priest and king: and for the pure doctrines, worship, discipline, and government of the house of God." The author states that "the great object aimed at is to help forward the glorious triumph of the Messiah, so beautifully described in the 72nd Psalm. When 'all Kings shall fall down before him; and all nations shall serve him.'"
(Rare bound photocopy) $49.95-80%=9.99
The Duty and Perpetual Obligation of Social Covenanting
The material found in this bound photocopy addresses a forgotten and neglected ordinance of God: social covenanting. God's people in times of repentance and thanksgiving, trial and blessing have been a covenanting people. In the most pure times of ecclesiastical and civil reformation throughout history, both church and state under the mediatorial rule of Christ have by the grace of God bound themselves together by covenant to promote and defend the true Christian religion. The first document adopted by the Westminster Assembly was in fact, the Solemn League and Covenant (1644). It united the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland in a covenanted reformation of both church and state in order to preserve, promote and defend the true Christian religion (as summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directory For Public Worship, and Form of Church Government), and in order to expose and uproot all false teaching contrary to the Scripture and these standards. Furthermore, it was not only the desire of the Westminster Assembly to unite in covenant the three British kingdoms, but rather to include in this covenanted reformation all of the Reformed Churches throughout Europe. Consider the goal of the Assembly as summarized by Hetherington: "There was one great, and even sublime idea, brought somewhat indefinitely before the Westminster Assembly, which has not yet been realized, the idea of a Protestant union throughout Christendom, not merely for the purpose of counterbalancing Popery, but in order to purify, strengthen, and unite all true Christian churches, so that with combined energy and zeal they might go forth, in glad compliance with the Redeemer's commands, teaching all nations, and preaching the everlasting gospel to every creature under heaven. This truly magnificent, and also truly Christian idea, seems to have originated in the mind of that distinguished man, Alexander Henderson. It was suggested by him to the Scottish commissioners, and by them partially brought before the English Parliament, requesting them to direct the Assembly to write letters to the Protestant Churches in France, Holland, Switzerland, and other Reformed Churches. . . . and along with these letters were sent copies of the Solemn League and Covenant, a document which might itself form the basis of such a Protestant union. The deep thinking divines of the Netherlands apprehended the idea, and in their answer, not only expressed their approbation of the Covenant, but also desired to join in it with the British kingdoms. Nor did they content themselves with the mere expression of approval and willingness to join. A letter was soon afterwards sent to the Assembly from the Hague, written by Duraeus (the celebrated John Dury), offering to come to the Assembly, and containing a copy of a vow which he had prepared and tendered to the distinguished Oxenstiern, chancellor of Sweden, wherein he bound himself 'to prosecute a reconciliation between Protestants in point of religion'. . . . [O]n one occasion Henderson procured a passport to go to Holland, most probably for the purpose of prosecuting this grand idea. But the intrigues of politicians, the delays caused by the conduct of the Independents, and the narrow-minded Erastianism of the English Parliament, all conspired to prevent the Assembly from entering farther into that truly glorious Christian enterprise. Days of trouble and darkness came; persecution wore out the great men of that remarkable period; pure and vital Christianity was stricken to the earth and trampled under foot. . ." (William Hetherington, History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines , [Edmonton, Alberta: Still Waters Revival Books], pp. 337-339). The material presented herein is commended to the reader with the sincere prayer and confidence that God will again restore the Church of Jesus Christ to a glorious covenanted reformation--one that will even surpass that one to which she had attained at the time of the Westminster Assembly. However, when the Lord brings that future covenanted reformation it will not be limited to only three kingdoms of the earth, but by the grace and power of Christ our King, it will be a covenanted reformation that will encompass all of the nations of the earth (Ps. 2:6-12; Is. 2:1-4; Mt. 28:1-20) and will bring to the church a visible unity and uniformity that (unlike pleas for unity today) is firmly grounded upon the truth" (Greg Price, Preface). The material contained in this compilation was gathered together by the session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton/Prince George. Its 210 pages contain the following items, as listed in this bibliography for social covenanting.
1. Samuel Rutherford, Due Right of Presbyteries , pp. 130-139
2. George Gillespie, The Works of George Gillespie, Vol. 2, pp. 71-88.
3. John Brown of Wamphray, An Apologetic Relation , pp. 167-175, 181-207.
4. David Scott, Distinctive Principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, pp. 14-90.
5. William Roberts, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism , pp. 134-152.
6. The Reformed Presbytery, An Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion , pp. 181-187.
7. The Reformed Presbytery, Act , Declaration and Testimony , pp. 11-23.
8. The Reformed Presbytery, The Auchensaugh Renovation , pp. 115-140.
9. The Church of Scotland (1639), The National Covenant of Scotland , pp. 345-354 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.
10. The Westminster Assembly (1644), The Solemn League and Covenant , pp. 355-360 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.
11. The Church of Scotland (1648), A Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant , pp. 361-368 in the Westminster Confession of Faith published by Free Presbyterian Publications.