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Causes of the Lord's Wrath Against Scotland, Manifested in His Sad Late Dispensations (1653, 1844 edition) By James Guthrie

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Resource Details

Full Title:
Causes of the Lord's Wrath Against Scotland, Manifested in His Sad Late Dispensations (1653, 1844 edition)
Author:
James Guthrie
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
64
File Size:
2.37 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

"In 1653 his (i.e. James Guthrie's--RB) Causes of the Lord's Wrath against Scotland spurned any suggestion of compromises and hailed as pre-eminent 'the duty of preserving and defending the true religion'... the book was condemned and burnt with Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex" (Douglas in Cameron, ed., Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, p. 381).

Johnston also notes that "this was the pamphlet which furnished the main pretext for James Guthrie's condemnation and execution" (Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 322).

David Scott, in his Introductory Essay to Testimony-bearing Exemplified expands on these comments when he writes, "The 'Causes of the Lord's Wrath' is an official paper, 'agreed upon by the commission of the General Assembly, 1650.'

It was written by one of the most distinguished men of that period -- the Rev. James Guthrie, who eleven years afterwards suffered martyrdom because of his steadfast adherence to a covenanted reformation. It is a remarkable fact, worthy of being particularly noticed, that when Mr. Guthrie was brought to trial, the second count in his indictment was the writing of this paper. -- 'His contriving, writing and publishing that abominable pamphlet called the 'Causes of the Lord's Wrath.'

For the writing of this and other papers, Mr. Guthrie was brought to the scaffold; it was this sealed with the blood of an eminent martyr of Jesus, whom we find on the day of his execution solemnly acknowledging its contents." Scott, after noting that "the depravity of the human heart is the same in all ages and places," further adds: "The 'Causes of the Lord's Wrath,' with some mere external and incidental variations, will then be found nearly the same in the present, as in any former period in the church's history. And the acknowledgement of sins is as imperatively a duty now, as when they were originally confessed and mourned over by the Covenanters of 1650."

In this book Guthrie lays out ten major steps of defection from covenanted Reformation attainments (which are still causing the Lord's anger to burn toward us, our churches and our nations today), pointing to numerous sins under each of these ten headings as the primary causes of bringing the wrath of God upon the land.

The ten major headings, under which we find a great number of specific transgression enumerated, are:

  • 1. Gross Atheism and ignorance of God
  • 2. Horrible looseness and profanity of conversation (i.e. practice or way of life--RB) in all sorts, against the commandments, both of the first and second table;
  • 3. The despising and slighting of Jesus Christ offered in the Gospel (which we look on as the chief and mother sin of this nation) and the not valuing and improving the gospel and precious ordinances of Christ... or else resting upon and idolizing outward and bare forms... the sacrament of the Lord's Supper fearfully polluted by the promiscuous admitting of many ignorant and scandalous persons thereunto...;
  • 4. The exercise of godliness in the family and family worship being slighted or neglected;
  • 5. The base love of the world, and covetousness, so that many mind their own things, rather than the things of Jesus Christ... the abuse of power by those in authority, especially against the poor;
  • 6. The abusing and prostituting the Public Faith of the Kingdom in the way of borrowing of money and otherwise; unto the dishonouring of God;
  • 7. In pursuing of necessary duties of renewing the National Covenant, and entering into and renewing the Solemn League and Covenant, the way of many mens taking these Covenants was without the knowledge of the necessary things contained therein, and without reality and sincerity of heart;
  • 8. The following the work of God, and pursuing the ends of the Covenant not in a spiritual way, setting the Lord always before our eyes, and acknowledging him in all our paths, but in a carnal political way... which made us walk more in the counsels of our own hearts then in the counsel of God, and to trust more in the arm of the flesh, than in the Arm of the Lord;
  • 9. Backsliding and defection from the Covenant, and from our solemn vows and engagements; the guilt whereof is exceedingly heightened by the aggravating circumstances of our renewed oaths (nine additional major steps of defection follow upon this head);
  • 10. Deep security, impenitency, obstinacy, and incorrigibleness under all these, and under all the dreadful strokes of God, and tokens of his indignation against us, because of the same, so that while he continues to smite, we are so far from humbling ourselves, and turning to Him, that we wax worse and worse and sin more and more. "Whereunto is added a paper, particularly holding forth the sins of the ministry."

This book will benefit greatly all who pursue it, but will be found to be especially helpful to ministers. "And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass" (2 Chr. 24:18).

"Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us" (2Chr. 29:10).

"Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you" (2 Chr. 30:8).

"But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy" (2 Chr. 36:16).
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6).

This item can also be found in volume two of George Gillespie's Works.


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