THE UNITED STATES, THE COVENANTERS AND THE SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT
by Fred T. DiLella (February, 1996)
Before I tell you about some of the
exciting things happening here recently, I briefly wanted to answer some
of your questions in your last note. Most of your "unclear issues" are
Lawful, and thus obligatory, covenants contain the
following critical elements:
1. a solemn, public acknowledgement that the
Lord is the only God, and our God;
2. a public profession that we are the
people of the Lord God;
3. a sober, public recognition and pronouncement
that we, His people, are morally obligated to vow to keep the Lord's
commandments and, thus also, are further bound to keep all His
4. a serious, devoted, public avowal that we are bound not
only to put on that which is good, but also to put off that which is evil.
(That is, we are to love the truth and also to abhor, stand against, and
strive to extirpate all evil.); and
5. an earnest, sober, grave,
prayerful, public binding of our posterity to our lawful covenant vows.
The Covenants (National and Solemn League) clearly contain and are deeply
rooted in all these elements. Therefore, the Covenants (National and
Solemn League) are binding on the church today as all lawful covenants are
morally obligatory on the oath-takers and their posterity. Call to mind
the covenants with David and Jonathan (Remember David's care for
Mephibosheth.) Recall also the covenant of Joshua with the Gibeonites.
When Saul violated the covenant centuries later, the Lord demanded the
punishment of Saul's posterity.
We must never lose sight of the fact that the church is a moral person before the Lord God. Therefore, the
church's posterity are morally bound to the lawful covenants of their
spiritual ancestors. At the very least, then, this would mean that all
professing Presbyterians, as the spiritual offspring of the original
subscribers of the covenants (National and Solemn League), are morally
obligated to the covenants.
Surely, as Christians, we are already morally
obliged to the five indispensable elements of a lawful covenant, which are
mentioned above. But, our duty to acknowledge that the Lord is the only
God, and our God; that we are His people; that we have a moral
requirement to vow to keep, and actually to obey His commands; and that we
have an obligation to love and cleave to the truth and also to hate and
stand against all evil is heightened by making a covenant with God (e.g.,
Exodus 19 and 20). In this regard, it would be very helpful for you to
take note of the powerful rebuke of Israel's Covenant-breaking in Jeremiah
42. Yes, the children of Israel were already responsible to obey God's
commandments, but their public covenant oaths to obey the Lord made them
doubly responsible to keep the Lord's commands.
It is also critical to
understand that God commands us to covenant with Him (e.g., 2 Kings 23; 2 Chronicles 15). "Seek the Lord" was God's charge to King Asa. King Asa immediately recognized the substance of the Lord's directive and obediently responded by making a national covenant with the Lord God.
Throughout the Scripture, we see direct accounts and allusions to covenanting (e.g., Psalm 76:11).
Take note of Joshua's national covenant with the Lord in Joshua 24. Look
at Jehoida's national covenant with Joash and the people. Study the reign
of Jehoshophat. One can also learn a great deal about covenanting by the
Bible's accounts of godly Kings Hezekiah and Josiah. The Scriptures
render a very descriptive report of the national covenant during Josiah's
In a few paragraphs it is impossible to explain our continual
obligations to the Covenants (National and Solemn League). Therefore, I
would urge you to read the "Act, Declaration, and Testimony of 1761," the
Auchensaugh Renovation of the Covenants in 1712, National Covenant
Obligation by Rev. James Clarke, "The Obligation of Covenants" by Rev.
Samuel B. Wylie, and Plain Reasons (for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution Church of Scotland)regarding this critical matter. If you
do not have the 1712 and 1761 documents, please let me know. I have all
the above and could get them photocopied for you. I would also urge you
to read my book, Aletheia, which I sent you recently. It covers these
topics in much more detail.
Regarding the U.S.A. government and "our
duty" to it, the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith
declare that "we are to obey all the lawful commands of lawful civil
magistrates." Since the Confession of Faith makes this qualifying
statement, it is evident that the Westminster Divines believed that there
were unlawful governments. Even cursory readings of the above suggested
readings and also of Lex Rex by the Westminster Divine, Samuel Rutherford,
readily reveal that the Westminster Confession was teaching that there are
lawful, legitimate governments and unlawful, illegitimate governments.
Therefore, we are to submit to the lawful commands of lawful governments,
but we are not to submit to, nor obey unlawful authorities. This would
take plenty of time to explain. I refer you to a few excellent Covenanter
works: Symington Messiah the Prince, Macleod Governor of the Nations,
Wilson The Subjection of Kings and Nations to Messiah, Wylie The Two Sons
of Oil, and Rutherford Lex Rex. I also have these works.
The U.S.A. is
an unlawful and illegitimate government. The United States Constitution
is an immoral document. It does not acknowledge God as the fountain of
civil government. It does not recognize Jesus as the Christ. It does not
accept, nor assent or submit to the Mediatorial reign of the Lord Jesus
Christ. It does not embrace the law of God as the law of the land. The
U.S.A. constitution does not adhere to, set forth, or evidence any of the
Biblical criteria for a lawful government.
The U.S.A. constitution also
formally rejects the establishment principle and, thus, jure divino
Since the U.S.A. government repudiates jure divino
Presbyterianism, it also denies its responsibility to be a nursing father
and mother to the church. Because the U.S.A. constitution scorns the
establishment principle, it also endorses the toleration of, rather
than the extirpation of, all types of false religions and sects.
addition, the U.S.A. constitution spurns any religious test for any public
official. The Scriptures, on the other hand, mandate such a religious
test for all leaders.
The U.S.A. constitution even arrogates to itself
the royal right of being the supreme law of the land. Therefore, the
U.S.A. government utterly declines and rebuffs its obligation to be a
keeper of both tables of God's law. Such arrogant, antichristian
assertions and actions readily make manifest the U.S.A.'s disdain for God,
His mediator, and His law.
As the Lord Jesus declared: "He who is not
with Me is against Me.'
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ
with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of
the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out
from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you." ...2 Corinthians 6:14-17
and jury duty are acknowledgements of the lawfulness and legitimacy of the
U.S.A. constitution and government. Voting and jury duty comprise:
the vicarious and sinful taking of an oath to the immoral, anti-christian
U.S.A. Constitution through elected officials;
2. an actual participation
in the governing process of the U.S.A. (Jury duty, especially, is a form
of officially functioning as a government official.);
3. a visible
testimony of trusting in the workings of an anti-christian government as a
solution to man's moral problems; and
4. a denial of the Lord's clear
statement; "Without me, ye can do nothing."
Without the Lord Jesus
Christ; His gospel; His Word, as a whole; and His grace, we can not
possibly affect moral change. Trusting in antichristian means to
accomplish the moral improvement of society is a repudiation of Christ's
person, offices, and claims.
"Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and
maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."
...Jeremiah 17:5 (See also Psalm 20 and Isaiah 31:1.)
Christians must not
allow themselves to fall into the trap of voting and jury duty. Voting
and jury duty are full-fledged, public acceptances of and assents to the
lawfulness and legitimacy of the antichristian U.S.A. government.
addition, Christians must never allow themselves to fall prey to the
intimidating and insinuating chidings of the desperate and unfaithful:
"Are you just going to give up? How will you ever bring about those
important changes that you desire to see if you do not vote? How are you
going to stop abortions without voting? What about your children? Don't
you care about the welfare of your children? How will you protect them
from big government, if you don't vote against it?"
We must never lose
sight of the Lord Jesus' words: "Without me, ye can do nothing." ...John
15:5. How can we possibly expect to purify the world, if we leave Christ
out of it? It would be sin for us even to attempt such moral
rectification and cleansing apart from Christ. We must not and shall
never correct moral evils through participation in an immoral, unlawful,
illegitimate government. "...Without me ye can do nothing."
When we vote
or serve on a jury, we are conniving at, participating in, and even
espousing America's spurning and forsaking of the Lord and His biblical
mandate for rulers. Voting and jury duty are definitely Christ-forsaking
activities. Voting and jury duty entail very sinful ways of thinking and
practices. Voting and jury duty have also been contributing factors and
even catalysts to numerous grave consequences for the church and society
as a whole:
1. a plethora of false religions;
2. rampant idolatry
vast number of false teachers, counsellors, spokesmen, and other
blasphemers of the Lord God;
4. commonplace Sabbath breaking, a very very
rare Sabbath observance and keeping;
5. the breakdown of biblical
authority: unsubmissive wives and disobedient children are the norm (The
U.S.A. government is daily denying and nullifying parental rights and also
promoting feminism by its worsening "legal" codes.);
6. the low view of
human life (e.g., abortions, euthanasia, soaring murder rates);
prevalence, legalization, and acceptance of all kinds of sexual immorality
(e.g., suggestive speech, immodest attire and behavior, Jezebelish
face-painting [i.e., cosmetics], abundant fornication and adultery, the
acceptance and even flaunting of abominable homosexuality, a flourishing
8. ever-increasing crime, rather than the
faithful, bold, continuous, and indefatigable proclamation of the only
true religion, which, of course, includes the 1st-10th Commandments;
economic pitfalls, instead of promoting obedience to the 8th and 10th
10. an overall condoning of the abominable American policy
of toleration of wicked false religions, false worship; heretical
teaching; and public, antichristian speech (Again, see the 1st amendment
of the U.S.A. constitution, and also the constitution's denial of any
religious test being a qualification for an elected official. Who has not
also heard the bizarre and evil slogans: "In diversity is our strength."
11. a recognition that the constitution (and not
the law of God) is the "supreme law" of the land;
12. a taking part in
the Christ-denying and Christ-dethroning crimes of the United States
13. and also an actual entering into, a veritable
participation in the governing of the Christless United States government.
Therefore, we must not vote, nor serve as a juror. Again, this is very
concisely stated. As you can see, though, it is of no small moment to
vote or serve on a jury.
It is also critical to realize that America as a
nation is bound to the Solemn League and Covenant. America has not only
broken God's commandments, but she is also a covenant-breaking nation.
Thus, the U.S.A. is doubly guilty for her transgressions of God's perfect
and holy law.
As a colony of Britain, America was included in the 3
kingdoms' vows to the Solemn League and Covenant. In the colonists'
disputes with England concerning taxation without representation, they
reminded England of America's right to have elected representatives. What
reason did the American colonists give Britain: "We are citizens of
England. We are members of Britain. Therefore, we have rights as
It is also plain that the New England colonists fully
recognized their British citizenship and, thus, their responsibility to
the Solemn League and Covenant. In 1644 in Boston the colonists vowed en
masse to the Solemn League and Covenant.
We should further recall that
multitudes of faithful Covenanters were also exiled to the American
colonies during the tyrannical and bloody reigns of the Stuarts.
addition, many Covenanter ministers preached CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT
throughout the American countryside during the 17th and 18th Centuries.
These ministers were passionately calling the colonists to repentance and
the embracing of the Covenants.
After the Revolutionary war, Thomas
Jefferson, who despised Christianity, continued to complain that the
Presbyterian ministers were stubbornly and relentlessly proclaiming the
biblical mandate for an established Presbyterian church throughout
Tragically, though, in spite of all this faithful preaching and
in spite of her former professions of loyalty to Christ's Crown and
Covenant, America wretchedly renounced Christ's kingship.
submitting, adhering, and holding fast to Jesus Christ as her King and to
His law as her rule; America chose the rule of man..."by the people and
for the people."
Grievously, the words of the author of the book of
Judges are so readily applicable to the U.S.A.: in these days there is no
King in America, every man does that which is right in his own eyes.
covenant-breaking of America multiplies her sin versus the Lord. At the
same time, the covenant obligations of America increase our personal duty
to the Covenants, since we live within her covenant-breaking boundaries.
After all, America is also a moral person. Therefore, all the people and
states that have joined her since the formulation and adoption of her
Christ-dethroning and covenant-breaking Constitution are also morally
obliged to the Covenants. Thus, contemporary Americans are bound to the
Covenants, whether they live in the original 13 states or in Arizona,
California, Texas, Utah, or Washington.
The covenant-breaking of America
also intensifies our duty to separate from her covenant-breaking,
Christ-denying, and Christ-dethroning constitution, government, and entire
We must always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is
the Desire of the Ages, the only Savior, the only Mediator between God and
man, the only Redeemer of God's elect, and the only hope for mankind.
must never forget that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Governor of the
nations, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
We must constantly
recognize that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given the
Lord Jesus Christ.
We must ever keep in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ
is the Prince of peace. "There is no peace for the wicked!"
always recall that the nations are commanded to submit to and serve the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Christians must be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.
They must be loyal to their King. How can a Christian be in allegiance
with a Christ-denying, Christ-dethroning, covenant-breaking, immoral
government? A Christian cannot submit to two supreme laws of the land. A
Christian is not able to serve two antithetical rulers. We cannot, we
must not serve (nor participate in) a Christless government. ..."Ye
cannot serve two masters."
FOR CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT!
I hope these
brief responses help. If you have specific concerns in these areas,
please ask. I do think, though, that you will receive great benefit from
reading the works which I reference in this letter.
As I have mentioned
in another letter (Excerpt of a Covenanter's Plea to an Inquirer ) and in some cases also above, please see Rutherford's
Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience; George Gillespie's Miscellany Questions
and Wholesome Severity; James Guthrie's The Causes of the God's Wrath;
John Brown's (i.e., of Wamphray) Apologetical Relation; The Covenants
(National and Solemn League); Cornelius Burgess; sermon on the necessity
of covenanting; James Wilson's and Samuel Wylie's works on covenanting and
civil government; Hugh Binning's Works; and Clarkson's Plain Reasons for
Presbyterians Dissenting. Please also study "the Auchensaugh Renovation
of the Covenants in 1712"; "The Renewal of the Covenants" in America in
1743; The Reformed Presbytery's "The Act, Declaration, and Testimony of
1761"; and other Covenanter materials for thorough and
biblical/historical treatments of these absolutely indispensable matters.
FOR CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT!
For Christ's Crown and Covenant,
Your Servant in Christ,
Rev. Fred T. DiLella
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)
WILLSON, JAMES M.
Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7 (1853)
A very controversial publication based on the idea that "unholy republics refuse to acknowledge Him (Christ) as Lord of all." This failure to covenant with Christ, as nations, exposes the fact that these national governments are the enemies of Christ (as with the individual or church who will not covenant with Christ). They are thus in violation of the first commandment and therefore treasonous usurpers who will not have the one true king to rule over them. Their laws and actions bare this out, as they refuse to rule by the law of God, but rather, as dupes of Satan, rule by their own autonomous standards. And, though it is their duty to be a terror to evil and promote the good, they, in the main, do the opposite. They protect and support murders (e.g. abortionists), continence and permit perversity (e.g. homosexuality, pornography, etc.) and take no action to establish the Reformed faith (but rather extend constitution rights to all manner of cults, sectarians, satanists and Roman Catholics) -- to name but a few of the more obvious areas of government rebellion against King Jesus. Willson's father's application of the principles put forth in this book are found just below as they related to the United States government specifically.
WILLSON, JAMES R.
Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments: and the Disregard of His Authority by the United States in the Federal Constitution (1832)
The reality of Christ’s kingship explored and vindicated from Scripture, with application to the United States constitution. The author’s conclusions have far-reaching consequences and should be looked at seriously by all Christians, whether they reside in the United States or not (for the biblical principles enumerated here also apply to other nations). We, today, are seeing the desolation of kingdoms worldwide (through wars, famines, disease, unjust taxation, immorality, etc.) by the wrath of the Lamb, much of which can be attributed to national ignorance of this doctrine. “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath be kindled but a little” (Psalm 2:12). This book will go a long way to exposing the fact, as Willson writes, that "ungodly men have occupied, and do now occupy, many of the official stations, in the government," and that "Tyrants are yet on their thrones, and unholy republics refuse to acknowledge Him (Christ--RB) as Lord of all."
A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1649 edition.)
Rutherford's Free Disputation, though scarce, is still one of his most important works — with maybe only a few copies of the actual book left in existence. Though Rutherford is affectionately remembered in our day for his Letters, or for laying the foundations of constitutional government (against the divine right of kings) in his unsurpassed Lex Rex, his Free Disputation should not be overlooked — for it contains the same searing insights as Lex Rex. In fact, this book should probably be known as Rutherford's "politically incorrect" companion volume to Lex Rex. A sort of sequel aimed at driving pluralists and antinomians insane. Written against "the Belgick Arminians, Socinians, and other Authors contending for lawlesse liberty, or licentious Tolerations of Sects and Heresies," Rutherford explains the undiluted Biblical solution to moral relativism, especially as it is expressed in ecclesiastical and civil pluralism! (Corporate pluralism being a violation of the first commandment and an affront to the holy God of Scripture). He also deals with conscience, toleration, penology (punishment), and the judicial laws, as related to both the civil and ecclesiastical realms. Excellent sections are also included which address questions related to determining the fundamentals of religion, how covenants bind us, the perpetual obligation of social covenants (with direct application to the Solemn League and Covenant and the covenant-breaking of Cromwell and his sectarian supporters), whether the punishing of seducing teachers be persecution of conscience, and much more. Walker adds these comments and context regarding Rutherford's Free Disputation, "The principle of toleration was beginning to be broached in England, and in a modified shape to find acceptance there. Samuel Rutherford was alarmed, or rather, I should say, he was horrified, for he neither feared the face of man or argument. He rushed to the rescue of the good old view... It is not so easy to find a theoretical ground for toleration; and Rutherford has many plausible things to say against it. With the most perfect confidence, he argues that it is alike against Scripture and common sense that you should have two religions side by side. It is outrageous ecclesiastically, it is sinful civilly. He does not, however, take what I call the essentially persecuting ground. He does not hold that the magistrate is to punish religion as religion. Nay, he strongly maintains that the civil magistrate never aims at the conscience. The magistrate, he urges, does not send anyone, whether a heretic (who is a soul murderer--RB) or a murderer, to the scaffold with the idea of producing conversion or other spiritual result, but to strengthen the foundations of civil order. But if he gives so much power to the king, he is no lover of despotism withal: the king himself must be under law. To vindicate this great doctrine is the object of another book, the celebrated Lex Rex; of which it has been said by one competent to judge, that it first clearly developed the constitutionalism which all men now accept" (Theology and Theologians..., pp. 11-12). In our day Francis Schaeffer, and numerous others, have critiqued many of the problems found in modern society, but most have spent little time developing explicitly Biblical solutions — especially regarding the theoretical foundations that Rutherford addresses here. Rutherford's Free Disputation provides a detailed blueprint for laying the foundations that must be laid before any lasting, God-honoring solutions will be found. Furthermore, Rutherford and his writings were the enemies of all governments not covenanted with Christ. This book will give you a very clear picture as to why "the beast" (civil and ecclesiastical) has reserved his special hatred for such teaching. As Samuel Wylie noted “[t]he dispute, then, will not turn upon the point whether religion should be civilly established... but it is concerning what religion ought to be civilly established and protected, -- whether the religion of Jesus alone should be countenanced by civil authority, or every blasphemous, heretical, and idolatrous abomination which the subtle malignity of the old serpent and a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, can frame and devise, should be put on an equal footing therewith” (Two Sons of Oil: or, The Faithful Witness For Magistracy and Ministry Upon a Scriptural Basis, softcover). Can our generation swallow Rutherford’s hard, anti-pluralistic, Covenanter medicine, poured forth from the bottle of the first commandment, without choking on their carnal dreams of a free and righteous society divorced from God (and His absolute claims upon everyone and everything)? Not without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit -- that is for sure! In summary, this book answers all the hardest questions theonomists (and their wisest and best opponents) have been asking for the last 20-30 years (and these answers are much more in depth than any we have seen in the last couple of millennia [less about a century to account for the apostles]). As the reader will discover, Rutherford was a wealthy man when it came to wisdom (and much advanced theologically), and those who take the time to gaze into the King's treasure house, as exhibited in this book, will find that they are greatly rewarded. Furthermore, because of its uncompromising stand upon the Word of God, this book is sure to be unpopular among a wicked and adulterous generation. However, on the other hand, it is sure to be popular among the covenanted servants of King Jesus! This is one of the best books (in the top five anyway) for advanced study of the Christian faith. We have now obtained an easy-to-read, amazingly clear copy of this very rare, old treasure. Great price too, considering that a copy of the 1649 edition, containing this quality of print, would likely cost upwards of $1000 on the rare book market -- though it is unlikely you would ever see a copy for sale! $199.95-90%=19.99
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 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
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
Wholesome Severity Reconciled With Christian Liberty, or, The True Resolution of a Present Controversy Concerning Liberty of Conscience (1644)
One of our most rare and valuable resources. A masterpiece! Wholesome Severity was written during the sitting of the Westminster Assembly and demonstrates why Gillespie is considered one of the most influential Divines of the seventeenth century. Here we have the question stated (regarding liberty of conscience), the middle (or biblical) way between Popish tyranny and Schismatizing liberty approved, and also confirmed from Scripture, with the testimonies of Divines, yea of whole churches added to vindicate Christ's kingship (over the idolatry of the rule of an ill-informed, sinful conscience sitting in judgement upon the truth of the Word of God). The chief arguments of exception used in (Roger Williams) The Bloudy Tenet, The Compassionate Samaritane, M.S. to A.S. etc. are examined herein and Gillespie also deals with many of the thorny questions related to the abiding validity of the Old Testament judicial laws. Eight distinctions are added for qualifying and clearing the whole matter. In conclusion, a moving brotherly appeal is addressed to the five Apologists (Independents at the Assembly) for choosing accommodation rather then toleration. This is classic Scottish (covenanted) Presbyterianism at its best, a work that can be read over and over with increasing profit! This exceedingly rare essay is not found in Gillespie's Works or The Presbyterian Armoury, however it is also available on two cassettes for $4.77.
(Rare Bound Photocopy) $49.95-85%=7.49
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.
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 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.