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Covenanter Martyrs & God's Sovereignty (Free MP3s and Videos, Discounted Books, Great Quotes, etc.)


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Covenanter Martyrs & God's Sovereignty (Free MP3s and Videos, Discounted Books, Great Quotes, etc.)


"In the history of the church's sanctification I don't believe there has been a more valuable extra-biblical resource and tool than the Puritan Hard Drive." - Dr. C. Matthew McMahon, A Puritan's Mind


Covenanter Martyrs

& God's Sovereignty


"...he [Richard Cameron-GB] went over to Holland in the year of 1678, not knowing what work the Lord had for him there; where he conversed with Mr. M'Ward [Robert McWard-GB] and others of the banished Worthies. In his private conversation and exercise in families, but especially by his public sermon in the Scots Kirk at Rotterdam, he was most refreshing unto many souls. He dwelt mostly upon conversion work, from that text, Matt. 11:28: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;' which was most satisfying and agreeable to Mr. M'Ward and Mr. Brown [John Brown of Wamphray-GB], and others who had been informed by the Indulged, and those of their persuasion, that he could preach nothing but babble against the Indulgence, cess paying, etc. Here he touched upon none of these things, except in prayer when lamenting over the deplorable case of Scotland by means of defection and tyranny.


About this time Mr. M'Ward said to him, 'Richard the public standard has now fallen in Scotland; and, if I know anything of the mind of the Lord, ye are called to undergo your trials [ordination exam-GB] before us, to go home, and lift the fallen standard, and display it publicly before the whole world. But before you put your hand to it, ye shall go to as many field ministers as ye can find, and give them your hearty invitation to go with you; and if they will not go, go alone, and the Lord will go with you.' Accordingly he was ordained by Mr. M'Ward, Mr. Brown, and Roleman, a famous Dutch divine. When their hands were lifted up from his [Richard Cameron's-GB] head, Mr. M'Ward continued this still and cried out, 'Behold all ye beholders, here is the head of a faithful minister and servant of Jesus Christ, who shall lose the same for his master's interest, and it shall be set up before sun and moon, in the view of the world.'" (John Howie, Biographia Scoticana or The Scots Worthies, 1781, SWRB reprint, p. 423, emphases added).


On July 22, 1680, faithful Richard Cameron was martyred in Airsmoss. His head and hands cut off and taken to Edinburgh, just as Robert M'Ward had spoken. Before his murderers committed the barbarous act of publicly displaying his head and hands upon the Netherbow Port, they first had one further act of antichristian cruelty to enact.


"His father being in prison for the same cause, they carried them [Cameron's head and hands-GB] to him, to add grief unto his former sorrow, and inquired at him if he knew them. Taking his son's head and hands which were very fair - being a man of fair complexion like himself - he kissed them, and said, 'I know - I know them; they are my son's - my own dear son's. It is the Lord - good is the will of the Lord, who cannot wrong me nor mine, but hath made goodness and mercy to follow us all our days.' After which, by order of the Council, his head was fixed upon the Netherbow Port, and his hands beside it with the fingers upward" (John Howie, Biographia Scoticana or The Scots Worthies, 1781, SWRB reprint, 1997, pp. 428-429, emphases added).


- Greg Barrow, The Covenanted Reformation Defended, 1998, pp. 8-9 ($14.98 Cerlox Bound); or, FREE online at:


In the Bible posterity is recognized
as being included in lawful covenant obligations.

The Covenanters knew and practiced this truth.

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.


- Robert Williams, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (1853), pp. 139-140, on SWRB's Puritan Hard Drive.


Did you know it was the Solemn League and Covenant that led to the creation and publication of the Westminster Standards? For more information hear the free MP3,

History of the Assembly at Westminster, by Greg Price and the amazing 21 MP3 series of messages by Greg Price entitled, A Defense of Covenanting & The Solemn League and Covenant.


No Author Graphic - Books



More Free Covenanter Resources Online


Sketches of the Covenanters (1913) by J.C. McFeeters Sketches of the Covenanters (1913) by J. C. McFeeters 


Stirring accounts of sacrifice and martyrdom for the Reformed Faith that will bring tears to eyes of all but the most backslidden.


Follows the chain of events which gave Scotland two Reformations and a Revolution. John Knox, the National Covenant, The Solemn League and Covenant, the Westminster Assembly, the Field Meetings (conventicles) and the "Killing Times," and much more are all covered


The history of many great battles for Christ and His royal rights are accurately recounted in this moving chronicle of Reformation struggles and martyrdom. These accounts of men, women and children who were willing to die for the truth of Christ's Kingship over all things are as amazing and edifying as any you will ever read!


This book also sheds much light upon the warfare of Christ's bride (with the dragon) for true Scriptural liberty, while telling the moving story of some of the most prominent and/or faithful Christians (Samuel Rutherford, James Renwick, Richard Cameron, Donald Cargill, "the Society People," et al.) since the days of the Apostles.


This is one of our best history books, and is highly recommended! It is great for home schooling, history classes and various other learning situations, as it contains convenient review questions at the end of each chapter. Furthermore, it is written in an easy-to-read and engaging style, which makes it one of the best introductions to the Scottish Covenanters and the periods of the first and second Reformations in the British Isles that is available.


Table of Contents

  • Chapter I. The Land of the Covenants
  • Chapter II. The Battle-field of Presbyterianism 
  • Chapter III. Some Early Martyrs 
  • Chapter IV. Knox in the Field of Conflict 
  • Chapter V. Foundation Stones 
  • Chapter VI. The National Covenant 
  • Chapter VII. Contending with the King 
  • Chapter VIII. Men of Might 
  • Chapter IX. Darkness Brooding Over the Land
  • Chapter X. Approaching a Crisis
  • Chapter XI. The Advance Guards
  • Chapter XII. Gathering of the Hosts
  • Chapter XIII. Renewing the Covenant
  • Chapter XIV. The Covenanters at Work
  • Chapter XV. The King Wages War
  • Chapter XVI. The Solemn League and Covenant 
  • Chapter XVII. High Ideals by the Covenanted Fathers 
  • Chapter XVIII. The Westminster Assembly
  • Chapter XIX. Division in the Covenanted Ranks 
  • Chapter XX. Crowning the Prince
  • Chapter XXI. A Sifting Time 
  • Chapter XXII. An Illustrious Martyr 
  • Chapter XXIII. Resisting Unto Blood 
  • Chapter XXIV. Source of the Covenanters' Power 
  • Chapter XXV. Expelling the Ministers 
  • Chapter XXVI. The Field-meetings 
  • Chapter XXVII. The Covenanters' Communion
  • Chapter XXVIII. The Home Invaded
  • Chapter XXIX. The Battle of Rullion Green 
  • Chapter XXX. The Oppressor's Revenge 
  • Chapter XXXI. Indulgence, the Six-fold Snare 
  • Chapter XXXII. The Field Meetings Under Fire 
  • Chapter XXXIII. A Massacre 
  • Chapter XXXIV. The Covenanters' Prison 
  • Chapter XXXV. Declaration of Independence
  • Chapter XXXVI. Ayrsmoss
  • Chapter XXXVII. The Cameronians
  • Chapter XXXVIII. The Lone Star
  • Chapter XXXIX. An Extraordinary Service
  • Chapter XL. The Societies
  • Chapter XLI. The Daughters of the Covenant 
  • Chapter XLII. Young Life Under Persecution 
  • Chapter XLIII. The Covenanters' Bible 
  • Chapter XLIV. The Scottish Seer
  • Chapter XLV. Scotland's Maiden Martyr
  • Chapter XLVI. The Eldership--A Wall of Defence 
  • Chapter XLVII. A Home Desolated 
  • Chapter XLVIII. Last, But Not Least 
  • Chapter XLIX. The Shepherdless Flock 
  • Chapter L. The Voice of the Martyrs' Blood 
  • Chapter LI. The Old Blue Banner Yet
Searchable: Yes
PDF Index: Embedded, Appended
Pages: 428

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Biographia Scoticana or Scots Worthies by John Howie
Biographia Scoticana: or, A Brief Historical Account of the Lives, Characters, and Memorable Transactions of the Most Eminent Scots Worthies (Second edition, corrected and enlarged, 1781) by John Howie is most commonly known as "Scots Worthies," and this edition contains Howie's footnotes (defending the Covenanters) and Howie's appendix titled "The Judgment and Justice of God" (which chronicles God's judgments upon Reformation apostates and those who persecuted the Covenanters).

It is the only edition in print which contains both these sections intended for publication by the author (as later editors often removed either one or both of these parts of this book).

Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) covers the history of "noblemen, gentlemen, ministers and others from Mr. Patrick Hamilton, who was born about the year of our Lord 1503, and suffered martyrdom at St Andrews, Feb, 1527, to Mr. James Renwick, who was executed in the Grass-market of Edinburgh, Feb. 17, 1688. Together with a succinct account of the lives of other seven eminent divines, and Sir Robert Hamilton of Preston, who died about, or shortly after the Revolution."

This is also one of our best history books (over 700 pages), covering all of the major Scottish Reformers. Howie summarizes his book as follows:

The design of the following was to collect, from the best authorities, a summary account of the lives, characters, and contendings, of a certain number of our most renowned SCOTS WORTHIES, who, for their faithful services, ardent zeal, constancy in sufferings, and other Christian graces and virtues, deserve honourable memorial in the Church of Christ; and for which their names have been, and will be savoury to all the true lovers of our Zion, while Reformation principles are regarded.

Furthermore, the momentous nature of the struggles chronicled in this book are succinctly noted when Howie writes,

The primitive witnesses had the divinity of the Son of God, and an open confession of Him, for their testimony. Our reformers from Popery had Antichrist to struggle with, in asserting the doctrines of the Gospel, and the right way of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Again, in the reigns of James VI. and Charles I., Christ's REGALIA, and the divine right of Presbytery, became the subject matter of their testimony. Then, in the beginning of the reign of Charles II. (until he got the whole of our ancient and laudable constitution effaced and overturned), our Worthies only saw it their duty to hold and contend for what they had already attained unto.


But, in the end of this and the subsequent tyrant's reign, they found it their duty (a duty which they had too long neglected) to advance one step higher, by casting off their authority altogether, and that as well on account of their manifest usurpation of Christ's crown and dignity, as on account of their treachery, bloodshed, and tyranny... which may be summed up. The Primitive martyrs sealed the prophetic office of Christ in opposition to Pagan idolatry. The reforming martyrs sealed His priestly office with their blood, in opposition to Popish idolatry. And last of all, our late martyrs have sealed His kingly office with their best blood, in despite of supremacy and bold Erastianism. They indeed have cemented it upon His royal head, so that to the world's end it shall never drop off again.

Moreover, the importance of this book can be clearly seen when Johnston, in Treasury of the Scottish Covenant (only available on the Puritan Hard Drive), reports that, "Walter Scott refers to Howie as 'the fine old chronicler of the Cameronians' ...Howie's book has been for upwards of a century a household word, occupying a place on the shelf beside the Bible and the Pilgrim's Progress." Written for God, country, and the covenanted work of Reformation. Stirring history!

Below is a quote from this Covenanter classic, showing how "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."

Dear Friends, I die a Presbyterian Protestant; I own the Word of God as the rule of faith and manners; I own the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Sum of Saving Knowledge, Directory for Public and Family Worship, Covenants, National and Solemn League, Acts of General Assemblies, and all the faithful contendings that have been for the Covenanted Reformation. I leave my testimony approving the preaching in the field, and defending the same by arms. I adjoin my testimony against Popery, Prelacy, Erastianism, against all profanity, and everything contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness; particular against all usurpation and encroachments made upon Christ's right, the Prince of the kings of this earth, who alone must bear the glory of ruling his own kingdom the Church; and in particular against the absolute power affected by his usurper, that belongs to no mortal, but is the incommunicable prerogative of Jehovah, and against his Toleration flowing from his absolute power."

These were the last words of the faithful Scottish Presbyterian and Covenanter minister and martyr, James Renwick, upon the scaffold, from page 547 in this book.

Below is another short (and amazing!) sample from this most edifying book - and there are many others like it in Howie's classic: From "The Life of Mr. John Welch" in John Howie's Biographia Scoticana or Scots Worthies (1871 edition).

John Welch "married Elizabeth Knox, daughter to the famous Mr. John Knox minister at Edinburgh... If his diligence was great, so it may be doubted whether his sowing in painfulness, or his harvest in success was greatest; for if either his spiritual experiences in seeking the Lord, or his fruitfulness in converting souls be considered, they will be found unparalleled in Scotland: And many years after Mr. Welch's death, Mr. David Dickson... when people talked to him of the success of his ministry, that the grape-gleanings in Aye, in Mr. Welch's time, were far above the vintage of Irvine in his own... One of his hearers, who was afterward minister at Moor-kirk in Kyle, used to say, that no man could hear him and forbear weeping, his conveyance was so affecting

(p. 137 and 151).


He was sometime prisoner in Edinburgh castle before he went into exile, where one night sitting at supper with the Lord Ochiltry, who was uncle to Mr. Welch's wife, as his manner was, he entertained the company with godly and edifying discourse, which was well received by all the company, except a debauched popish young gentleman, who sometimes laughed, and sometimes mocked and made wry faces; whereupon Mr. Welch brake out into a sad abrupt charge upon all the company to be silent, and observe the work of the Lord upon that profane mocker, which they should presently behold; upon which the profane wretch sunk down and died beneath the table, to the great astonishment of all the company

(p. 143).


There was in his house, amongst many others who boarded with him for good education, a young gentleman of great quality, and suitable expectations, and this was the heir of Lord Ochiltry, captain of the castle of Edinburgh.


This young nobleman, after he had gained very much upon Mr. Welch's affections, fell ill of a grievous sickness, and after he had been long wasted with it, closed his eyes, and expired, to the apprehension of all spectators, and was therefore taken out of his bed, and laid on a pallet on the floor, that his body might be the more conveniently dressed. This was to Mr. Welch a very great grief, and therefore he stayed with the dead body full three hours, lamenting over him with great tenderness. After twelve hours, the friends brought in a coffin, whereinto they desired the corpse to be put, as the custom is; but Mr. Welch desired, that for the satisfaction of his affections, they would forbear it for a time, which they granted, and returned not till twenty-four hours after his death were expired; then they desired, with great importunity, that the corpse might be coffined, and speedily buried, the weather being extremely hot; yet he persisted in his request, earnestly begging them to excuse him once more; so they left the corpse upon the pallet for full thirty-six hours; but even after all that, though he was urged, not only with great earnestness, but displeasure, they were constrained to forbear for twelve hours more.


After forty-eight hours were passed, Mr. Welch still held out against them, and then his friends perceiving that he believed the young man was not really dead, but under some apoplectic fit, proposed to him, for his satisfaction, that trial should be made upon his body by doctors and chirurgeons, if possibly any spark of life might be found in him, and with this he was content. - So the physicians are set to work, who pinched him with pincers in the fleshy parts of his body, and twisted a bow-string about his head with great force, but no sign of life appearing in him, the physicians pronounced him stark dead, and then there was no more delay to be made; yet Mr. Welch begged of them once more, that they would but step into the next room for an hour or two, and leave him with the dead youth; and this they granted.


Then Mr. Welch fell down before the pallet, and cried to the Lord with all his might, and sometimes looked upon the dead body, continuing in wrestling with the Lord, till at length the dead youth opened his eyes, and cried out to Mr. Welch, whom he distinctly knew, O Sir, I am all whole, but my head and legs; and these were the places they had fore hurt with their pinching. When Mr. Welch perceived this, he called upon his friends, and shewed them the dead young man restored to life again, to their great astonishment.


And this young nobleman, though he lost the estate of Ochiltry, lived to acquire a great estate in Ireland, and was Lord Castle-Stuart, and a man of such excellent parts, that he was courted by the earl of Stafford to be a counsellor in Ireland; which he refused to be, until the godly silenced Scottish ministers, who suffered under the bishops in the north of Ireland, were restored to the exercise of their ministry, and then he engaged, and continued so for all his life, not only in honour and power, but in the profession and practice of godliness, to the great comfort of the country where he lived. This story the nobleman himself communicated to his friends in Ireland (pp. 146-147).

710 pages.


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Contains numerous accounts of suffering and martyrdom brought about by the Prelates and Royalists: who conspired together to destroy the people of God who refused to conform to Prelacy, adopt false worship or abjure the covenants.

Here is a sample of one historical account taken from this book:    


Upon the Eleventh day of May 1685, These two Women, Margaret M'Lachland, and Margaret Wilson, were brought forth to Execution. They did put the old Woman first into the water, and when the Water was overflowing her, they asked Margaret Wilson, what she thought of her in that case, She answered, 'What do I see but Christ wrestling there; think ye that we are the suffers? No, it is Christ in us, for he sends none a warfare on their own charges.'


Margaret Wilson sang Psalm 25, from the 7th verse, Read, the 8th Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and did pray, and then the water covered her. But before her breath was quite gone, they pulled her up and held her till she could speak, and then asked her if she would pray for the King; She answered, that she wished the salvation of all men, but the Damnation of none. Some of her relations being on the place, cried out she is willing to conform, being desirous to save her life at any rate. Upon which Major Winram offered the oath of abjuration to her, either to swear it or to return to the Water. She refused it, saying, 'I will not, I am one of Christ's children, let me go;' and then they returned her into the Water, where she finished her warfare, being a Virgin Martyr of Eighteen years of age, suffering death for her refusing to swear the oath of abjuration, and hear the Curates" (p. 11).

It is instructive to note, as Johnston points out (Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 123), that in the Oath of Abjuration "the (National-RB) Covenant, and Solemn League and Covenant were to be abjured as unlawful oaths."

Thus we see that these courageous woman died for Christ because they would not renounce His covenanted cause - by renouncing His covenants - or practice the sin of occasional hearing - by publicly hearing ministers that that had renounced the covenanted testimony.

There are many such lessons in this book for our day.
Searchable: Yes
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Pages: 18


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The Life and Letters of James Renwick the Last Scottish Martyr
"Mr. Carslaw has skillfully interweaved the martyr's letters with the details of his life, and produced a thrilling picture of bloody and bygone days" (Dumfries Courier).

"The most complete collection yet published of the correspondence of this noble and manly Scotchman" (Govan Press).

"The Letters reveal a singularly religious and devout spirit, and give us a striking insight into the sweetness and light that existed in the rugged depths of these stern and uncompromising pillars of the Covenant" (Scottish Weekly).

A major work to be consulted for the study of this period, as well as for insight into the life and death of the faithful martyr and covenanted Presbyterian minister James Renwick.

Contains a facsimile of one of Renwick's letters.
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Pages: 288
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Tales Of The Covenanters by Pollok

"(F)rom 1824-5 he wrote his oft-reprinted Tales of the Covenanters, consisting of Helen of the Glen, Ralph Gemmell and The Persecuted Family, originally published separately and anonymously. These celebrate the Covenanting heroes and martyrs of the Killing Times" (Needham cited in Cameron, ed., Dictionary of Scottish Church History & Theology, p. 662).
Searchable: Yes
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Pages: 252

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No Author Graphic - Books
Why God Sends Trials Upon His People by James Guthrie (From the book Sermons in Times of Persecution, which is available on the Puritan Hard Drive)
Bill Mencarow
James Renwick on the Scaffold

The Life of James Renwick: A Faithful Covenanter (Cameronian) Martyr for Christ by Thomas Houston 


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John Hendryx Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Justin Rawson Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Pastor Phil Gibson Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Pastor Joe Haynes Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Dr. David Hindle Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Michael Falconer Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Paul Blyth Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Dr. Kenny Rhodes Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive

Pastor James Wallace Recommends the Puritan Hard Drive