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"Behind every great movement of God stands a few generous men and women called Gospel Patrons. Their role of resourcing, partnering, and strategizing with those who proclaim the gospel fueled amazing works of God. This book tells three stories from history that invite us to believe God, step out, and serve the purposes of God in our generation too." - Gospel Patrons: People Whose Generosity Changed the World https://www.gospelpatrons.org/ -- You can get a free PDF and audio (MP3) version of this stirring book at https://www.gospelpatrons.org/. Just sign up to their email list (at the bottom of of the page at https://www.gospelpatrons.org/), and confirm the email they send to you, to confirm your email subscription, and they will email you the links to the free versions of the book, Gospel Patrons: People Whose Generosity Changed the World, when they respond to your email list confirmation email. This book demonstrates the indisputable importance of the people God calls to help fund the ministries that He has chosen to play large rolls in some of the biggest Reformations and revivals in history. It uses the examples of William Tyndale, George Whitefield and John Newton. As with all links we provide we only agree with that which is in agreement with the Bible at the sites where the URLs point.



The National (1638) and Solemn League and Covenant (1643) by Alexander Henderson

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Resource Details

Full Title:
The National (1638) and Solemn League and Covenant (1643)
Author:
Alexander Henderson
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
76
File Size:
3.15 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

The National Covenant, a Scottish Presbyterian document, primarily composed by Alexander Henderson and Archibald Johnstone of Wariston. It was composed in opposition to the "policies of Charles I. Written in the context of the riots resulting from the imposition of 'Laud's Liturgy' in 1637 and the King's refusal to receive the petitions of supplicants for redress, the National Covenant was an appeal... to defend the true Reformed religion, and to decline the recent innovations in worship decreed by the King." (Dictionary of Scottish Church History, 620).

Furthermore, it was "an assertion by the Kirk of freedom from royal or state control, a personal oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ, the only Head of the Church, the King of kings, and a dedication of life to him. It stemmed directly from God's covenant of grace, was in the succession of those earlier bonds the Scots had made with God for his people's defence and deliverance, and represented a call in the Pauline sense to 'conduct themselves a citizens.'" (Idem.)

This covenant (and the Solemn League and Covenant described below) are still binding on all true Presbyterians and the hearty and steadfast renewal of these faithful documents would constitute a mighty means toward modern reformation, seeing that much of the contemporary church and all modern states have set themselves "against the Lord, and against his anointed" (Ps. 2:2); excepting, maybe, the African state of Zambia, which seems to be presently reforming, but not yet covenanted to the Lord.

The Solemn League and Covenant was first of all a religious covenant and secondly a civil league. "After noting that they had one king and one Reformed religion and expressing their concern about the estate of both the Church and kingdom of England and Scotland, the signatories swear to preserve 'the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland' and the Reformation of religion in England and to bring the churches to the 'nearest Conjunction and Uniformity in Religion', confession, government, and worship.

They also bound themselves to extirpate popery and prelacy as well as superstition, heresy and whatever is contrary to sound doctrine... to bring to trial all who hinder such reformation of religion or divide the king from his people and to continue such 'to all Posterity" and not suffer themselves to be withdrawn from 'this blessed Union and Conjunction" (Ibid, pp. 786-789).

This covenant gave teeth to the work of the Westminster Assembly and united three nations under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It was publicly taken by the Westminster Divines and the English parliament on September 25th. "On the 9th of October the king issued a proclamation from Oxford, denouncing this document as 'in truth nothing else but a traitorous and seditious combination against us and the established religion of this kingdom;' straitly charging and commanding all his loving subjects, upon their allegiance, 'that they presume not to take the said seditious and traitorous Covenant.' And at last an order was issued by the Parliament, in February 1644, commanding the Covenant to be taken throughout the kingdom of England by all persons above the age of 18 years; which order was accompanied by an exhortation prepared by the Assembly of Divines.

In Scotland, as soon as information was received of what had taken place in London, the Committee of Estates ordered the Covenant to be subscribed by all ranks and conditions of people, on penalty of the confiscation of property, or such other punishment as his Majesty and the parliament might resolve to inflict" (Hetherington, History of the Westminster Assembly, pp. 127-128).

Furthermore, Hetherington goes on to call this bond "the wisest, the sublimest, and the most sacred document ever framed by uninspired men" (p. 134). If you want to understand Presbyterianism these two covenant documents offer as much light as any others we know of. They are inextricably linked to the Westminster standards, historical testimony and the covenanted reformation.

Some still believe that they will once again be renewed on an international basis near the beginning of the millennium, in preparation for the days when the "earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9).

With this sentiment we wholeheartedly concur!


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