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James Dodson

Testimony bearing for Christ's Crown and Covenant has often led men to an early grave.

Testimony bearing for Christ's Crown and Covenant has often led men to an early grave.


“[I]t is surely the duty of the church of God still to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, without saying a confederacy with them, who have said a confederacy against Christ, his pure worship, and his public interest and glory, in the world, i.e., such as are guilty of popish idolatry, prelatic superstition, Erastian encroachments, patronage intrusions, and sectarian confusion, who have all united in a conspiracy, to rob Christ of some part of his mediatorial glory, in a way derogatory to some of his offices, as prophet, priest, or king, of his church.”—Thomas Henderson, Testimony-Bearing Exemplified. (1791).



A Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ, and to our Solemn League and Covenant;-1648-London Ministers (many of whom were Westminster Divines).-A somewhat lengthy testimony against the numerous heresies and errors which were circulating contrary to the doctrine of the Westminster Confession making these against the Solemn League and Covenant.

A Testimony of the Ministers in the Province of Salop, to the Truth of Jesus Christ and to the Solemn League and Covenant,-1648-Ministers of the Province of Salop.-One of many testimonies issued around this time in support of the Solemn League and Covenant, it was signed by many English ministers who opposed the toleration and heresies of the various Independents and Sectaries of their day.

A Solemn Testimony Against Toleration,-1649-Commissioners of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.-This is a testimony against the principles of toleration that were afoot in England at that time with arguments against it and a description of the divine doom such toleration incurs.

A Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ.-1659-Ministers of Perth and Fife.-A joint testimony against the various corruptions and defections plaguing the once reformed Church of Scotland by a group of Protester ministers.

An Informatory Vindication.-1687-James Renwick and Alexander Shields.-This is an extensive apologetic for the course of act taken by the United Societies during the latter end of the Killing Times. It explains their beliefs and their actions in the face of the prevailing currents of apostasy and the vicious persecution that ensued on the covenant keepers.

A Hind let loose; or An Historical Representation of the Testimonies of the Church of Scotland,-1687-Alexander Shields.-A thorough survey of the history of the Scottish church which contains many hints on church communion together with several chapters devoted to Covenanter controversies.

The Declaration of a Poor, wasted, misrepresented Remnant, of the suffering, Anti-popish, Anti-prelatic, Anti-erastian, Anti-sectarian, true Presbyterian church of Christ, in Scotland,-1692-The United Societies.-In this early declaration, the covenanting Societies lament the defection of the three ministers (Shields, Linning and Boyd) into the Revolution church but they pledge to maintain the cause of covenanted reformation to the best of their ability.

The Protestation & Apologetic Declaration, & Admonitory Vindication,-1695-The United Societies.-This paper decries the wicked confederacies and lamentable defections that had become wide spread in the Church of Scotland contrary to their covenant engagements.

The Protestation, Apologetic Declaration, & Admonitory Vindication.-1703-The United Societies.-A testimony issued against the unlawfulness of the present magistrate, the fruit of covenanting breaking, and a plea for a return to covenanted reformation.

A Protestation and Testimony Against the Incorporating Union with England.-1707-The United Societies.-A testimony against the prevailing evils of the day (1707) with a particular emphasis upon the wickedness of the political union of England and Scotland and its violation of the covenant engagements of both nations.

Faithful Witness-Bearing Exemplified.-1783-John Howie (1735-1793).-In this volume, Mr. Howie has collected several notable works that pertain to the issue of toleration and pretended liberty of conscience. It is notable how he draws these issues together with entering into unlawful voluntary associations.

Testimony-Bearing Exemplified.-1791-Thomas Henderson (1757-1823).-This volume consists of a number of valuable documents holding forth the doctrine and practice of testimony-bearing and its contrary practice of entering into unlawful voluntary associations.

Testimony and Warning Against Socinian and Unitarian Errors.-1793-Reformed Presbytery, of Scotland.-This is a testimony, largely the work of Archibald Mason, designed to refute the errors of Socinians and Unitarians while giving a full exposition to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in its several relations.

A Testimony and Warning Against Some Prevailing Sins and Immoralities: Addressed to Christians in General.-1805-Reformed Presbytery, of Scotland.-One of several occasional testimonies emitted by the Reformed Presbytery, this bears witness against the big three prevailing sins-theater attendance, dancing and dicing-as well as many other immoral practices which all Christians ought to shun.

A Short Account of the Old Presbyterian Dissenters.-1806-John Reid II.-This is a second work commissioned by the Reformed Presbytery, of Scotland, and intended to be introductory to the history and distinctive practice of Covenanters.

BIBLARIDION, OR THE APOCALYPTICAL LITTLE BOOK. LECTURE X.-1814-Alexander McLeod.-This lecture explores the nature of witness bearing, its relation to the witnessing church and a thorough description of who and what constitutes the church of the two witnesses. Hint: they are the two sons of oil.

A Plea for the Covenanted Reformation in Britain and Ireland.-1822-George Stevenson.-In this treatise, Stevenson defends the doctrine of religious social covenants. The discussion has interesting and useful comments on the use of creeds and the need for testimony bearing. However, its most important component is its explanation and defense of the descending obligations of covenants. Originally written in 1822, this is the third edition expanded by some twenty pages of material.

Remarks On A Letter Addressed to the Members of the Old Church of Scotland.-1823-John Dow.-An historical account of the disturbance in the Scottish RP church and the removal of the Auchensaugh Renovation from the fourth term of communion.

Truth. A Sermon on Steadfast Adherence to the Distinctive Doctrines of the Church.-1833-Samuel McConnell Willson.-This sermon, on what it means for the church to bear testimony to the truth, was delivered during the controversies which led to the Old Light/New Light division in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. It represents the view that it is not permissible for the church to decline from a more pointed testimony to one more loose and accommodating.

A Narrative of Recent Occurrences.-1834-Robert Gibson.-In this narrative, Gibson sets forth the course of events which led to the Old Light/New Light split. While demonstrating the duplicity of the New Light party, Gibson has reason to emphasize the need for historical testimony in maintaining the church’s witness faithfully.

Lectures on the Principles of the Second Reformation.-1841-The Reformed Presbyterian Church, of Scotland.-A course of lectures which seeks to take up every distinctive position maintained by the RP church. This volume represents a reasonable overview of doctrines related to the Mediatorial reign of Christ and public social covenanting.

Characteristics of the Witnessing Church.-1843-Robert Lusk.-In this extended essay, Lusk recounts the history of the witnessing church together with an account of its declining in numerous ways which made it necessary for the erection of a new presbytery concerned with keeping the principles of Covenanters alive.

Argumentative Testimony. According to the Resolution of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod. -1855-James McLeod Willson.-Two chapters for the proposed “Argumentative” portion of the RP Testimony; the first, discussing Testimony Bearing; the second, the Right of Dissent from Immoral Civil Constitutions.

Pastor Steele’s Printed Communications to the Editor of The Covenanter.-1855-1857-David Steele and James M. Willson.-A series of articles debating the so-called “Steelite” position on testimony bearing, history testimony and several other points of dispute. In this, David Steel represents the historic Covenanter position against the departures embodied in the preface of “Reformation Principles Exhibited.”

Historical Testimony.-1856-David Steele.-An article explaining what historical testimony is, how it is applicable to the church and why it needs to be part of the terms of communion of the Reformed Presbyterian, or Covenanter, church.

The Law and the Testimony.-1860-David Steele.-An article explaining why making a distinction between the law and the testimony is needful to avoid legalism and how this distinction affects the witnessing church.

Declaration and Testimony for the Present Truth.-1864-David Steele.-An explanation of the nature and purpose of judicial testimonies together with several animadversions upon the course and defects taken by the RP Synod in its mangled attempts at testimony bearing.

The Testimony and the Law.-1866-David Steele.-An article from the London Scottish Reformed Presbyterian magazine discussing the difference between the testimony and the law and why the former takes precedence over the latter.

A Question Answered. [in a letter to Dr. John Cunningham]-1869-David Steele.-A short reply on the nature of judicial testimonies and their use of history and argument.

The Social Position of Reformed Presbyterians or Cameronians.-1869-William Sommerville.-This account traces the lines of historical Covenanters and asserts that principles without practice is dead. Additionally, there is included a defense of the practice of close communion in order to maintain the identity of the Covenanter church.

Our Banners Set Up.-1872-James W. Shaw.-A sermon preached after the administration of the Lord’s supper designed to impress upon the communicants the desirability and necessity of persevering in the covenanted faith of their forefathers. This contains many observations on testimony bearing and the nature of ecclesiastical communion.

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.”

The Attainments of the Church of the Second Reformation.-1896-James Kerr.-An address before the First International Reformed Presbyterian Convention, in which the Reformed Church of Scotland, at the time of the Second Reformation, is presented as Biblical, Calvinistic, covenanting and established.