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Ordinance of Covenanting

James Dodson

Greyfriars Church.

Greyfriars Church.



"I pray you peruse the particulars to be opposed by vertue of your Covenant, Popery, Prelacy, Profanenesse, Schisme, Heresie; and do not dare to indulge any abomination, which you have vowed to oppose: Take heed that no sinfull biasse of near relations, or any self-advantages, take you off from your faithfullnesse in this kinde.  The Holy Ghost makes this a character of an heir of Heaven, Psal. 15:4. He sweares and keeps it, though to his own hinderance: Therefore let not fear of losing a customer, a friend, an office, a good bargain, or any other outward advantage, hinder you in keeping your Covenant."—Simeon Ashe, Religious Covenanting Directed, and Covenant-keeping perswaded (1646).


Works on the Ordinance of Covenanting:


The Solemn League And Covenant.-1643-The Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.-This is both a political league and a religious covenant between the three nations for establishing a covenanted uniformity of religion together with providing a mutual defense.

An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, enjoining the taking of the late Solemn League and Covenant, throughout the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales.-1643-The Parliament.-An Act designed to see that the Solemn League and Covenant was subscribed throughout England and Wales including instructions for how to subscribe.

The Great Danger of Covenant-refusing, and Covenant-breaking.-1645-Edmund Calamy (1600-1666).-Westminster divine Edmund Calamy's sermon on the ordinance of covenanting wherein he describes the use of covenanting together with warnings against refusing to covenant or, what it worse, to break covenant.

A Declaration Of The Commissioners Of The General Assembly, Concerning Present Dangers, And Duties Relating To The Covenant And Religion.-1648-The National Church of Scotland.-The assembly issues a warning to a careful keeping of the Solemn League and explains why it is dangerous to recede from this.

Whether it be Lawful, Just, & Expedient, that there be an Ordinance of Parliament for the Taking of the Solemn League & Covenant, By All Persons in the Kingdom, Under a Considerable Penalty.-1649-George Gillespie.-An essay designed to explain both the necessity of enforcing the Solemn League and the duty of requiring all persons who are capable in the kingdom to take this as their own vow under threat of civil penalties.

A Sermon Preach'd Upon Breach of Covenant.-1663-John Guthrie (ca. 1632-1669).-A sermon on the binding nature of covenants and the consequences that fall to those who break them.

The Distinguishing Practice of our Reforming Ancestors.-1771-John Brown of Haddington.-Excerpted from a larger work on the history of the church, this contains his observations and comments on the covenanting practiced by older Presbyterians.

The Obligation of Covenants.-1803-Samuel Brown Wylie.-A sermon that demonstrates the Scriptural basis for the doctrine of covenanting which also explains how and why social covenanting can bind descending generations.

The Duty of Nations.-1810-Gilbert McMaster.-A sermon on national covenanting together with the duty of nations that are favored with the light of the Gospel to engage in this ordinance.

The Duty of Social Covenanting illustrated and enforced.-1841-Thomas Sproull.-A sermon on the doctrine of social covenanting together with how covenant keeping holds the key for  Presbyterian reunion.

Covenant Renovation.-1849-James Renwick Willson.-A short article calling for covenant renovation with special reference to the relation of the Solemn League and Covenant to the United States.

Public Covenanting.-1849-James Renwick Willson.-A terse defense of the binding obligation of the Solemn League and Covenant upon the United States.

Seasons of Covenanting.-1850-James Renwick Willson.-A short article pressing for covenant renewal, including the Solemn League and Covenant, because the signs of the times warrant such practice.

The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism.-1853-William L. Roberts.-An excellent overview of Reformed Presbyterian principles set in a catechetical form. Roberts covers many forgotten and neglected topics which are of important to the life and identity of the Covenanter church.

Social Religious Covenanting.-1856-James M. Willson.-A survey of the doctrine of social covenanting with both an exposition and application designed as an apologetic for the Reformed Presbyterian position.

Hephzibah Beulah. Our Covenants the National and Solemn League; and Covenanting by the Reformed Presbyterian Synod in America: Considered.-1872-James W. Shaw.-An engaging and often trenchant critique of the 1871 Covenant sworn at Pittsburgh by a minister who remained in the communion of the RPCNA after they had abandoned their covenant bonds.

A Short Vindication of our Covenanted Reformation.-1879-David Steele.-A second edition of the principles of the Scottish Second Reformation against the "American" RP "Covenant of 1871."