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The Duty and Perpetual Obligation of Social Covenanting by Samuel Rutherford, et. al

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Resource Details

Full Title:
The Duty and Perpetual Obligation of Social Covenanting
Author:
Samuel Rutherford, George Gillespie, et al
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
266
File Size:
10.67 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

The Duty and Perpetual Obligation of Social Covenanting by Greg Price, Samuel Rutherford, George Gillespie, John Brown of Wamphray, The Reformed Presbytery, the Church of Scotland (1639), the Westminster Assembly (1644), William Roberts, and David Scott.

"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. Its 266 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 for the Whole of the Covenanted Reformation, pp. 11-23.
  • 8. The Reformed Presbytery, The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National and Solemn League and Covenant, 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.

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