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Voluntary Associations and Unlawful Confederacies

James Dodson

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.-Deut. 22:10.

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.-Deut. 22:10.


“I recommend to them that fear God, sadly and seriously to consider that the holy Scripture doth plainly hold forth. 1. That the helping of the enemies of God, or joyning and mingling with wicked men, is a sin highly displeasing. 2. That this sin hath ordinaryly ensnared Gods People into diverse other sins. 3. That it hath been punished of God with grievous judgements. 4. That utter destruction is to be feared, when a people after great mercies and judgements relapse into this sin, Ezra 9.13,14.”—George Gillespie, The Testimony of Mr. George Gillespie against Association and Complyance with malignant enemies of the Truth and Godlinesse: Written two dayes before his death.(1648).

Works Against Voluntary Associations and Unlawful Confederacies:


Another Most Useful Case of Conscience Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness.-1648-George Gillespie.-A very careful exposition of what does and does not constitute lawful confederations and associations for those who would walk circumspectly in accordance with that covenanted work of Reformation wrought in the Church of Scotland or are simply concerned to act as consistent Christians.

The Testimony of Mr. George Gillespie.-1648-George Gillespie.-Two days before he died, Gillespie was concerned to leave a dying testimony against voluntary associations with malignants and other opposers of the covenanted Reformation.

An Useful Case of Conscience, Learnedly and Accurately Discussed and Resolved.-1651-Hugh Binning.-This is Binning's work against unlawful voluntary associations, confederacies with the wicked, and any other religious or quasi-religious covenant making with infidels and enemies of true religion.

The Great Danger of Backsliding and Defection From Covenanted-Reformation Principles.-1651-James Guthrie.-An important sermon which discusses the fruit of the Engagement in anticipation of the Protestor/Resolutioner split. The subject matter concerns that of voluntary associations and unlawful alliances with the ungodly together with numerous observations on the wickedness of toleration.

The Testimony of Rev. William Gibson Against Voluntary Associations.-1838-Willam Gibson.-This is the dying testimony of the last Reformed Presbyterian minister who participated in re-erecting the Reformed Presbytery, in America, in 1798.

The Primary Reform.-ca. 1840s.-Anonymous.-An examination of why social reform movements and their voluntary associations are not the proper approach for Christians, if one understands where true reform must be made.

The Testimony of the Church Respecting Military Associations, &c., With the Wicked and Profane.-ca. 1864-William Milroy.-A paper written in opposition to Reformed Presbyterians joining with Union forces during the American Civil War which cites many past testimonies against voluntary associations of this sort.

Voluntary Associations.-1875-Anonymous.-A succinct explanation of why voluntary associations are unbiblical and to be shunned by all faithful Christians.

Voluntary Associations.-1875-Anonymous.-Another article examining the unlawfulness and corruption wrought in the church through voluntary associations.

The Duty of Separation.-1877-John McAuley.-This article explains why unity is not always the best course, if we would be faithful to the Lord and his church.