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The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, online

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Online LibraryThe Reformed PresbyteryThe Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, → online text (page 12 of 13)
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obedience to God's commandment; and shall willingly support and defend
them, with our estates and lives, in their persevering and defending the
true reformed Protestant religion, in doctrine, worship, discipline and
government, and suppressing all kinds of false religion in their
dominions, and in the administration of justice and punishment of
iniquity; but while the Lord, in his just displeasure for our sins,
withholds such from us, we intend to wait till he turn away his anger,
and not to stretch forth our hands to iniquity, in owning and
countenancing such as are not duly qualified; as, particularly, those
that are Popish or Prelatical in their professed principle and practice,
and by oaths engage themselves to maintain, and accordingly to defend,
the Prelatical form of church government, who oppose and encroach upon
the true government of Christ's house by their supremacy, and tolerate
Sectarian errors in their dominions, and that every one of them supreme
and subordinate; and shall not corroborate their unjust authority, by
pacing them cess and supply, for upholding their corrupt courts and
armies, employed in an unjust and antichristian quarrel; or, by
compearing before their judicatories, either to defend or pursue
lawsuits, or upon any other account.

Because we are not in a case to bring to due trial and punishment,
condign, according to the merit of their offences, malignants and evil
instruments, according to the fourth Article; therefore, we shall
endeavour to keep ourselves, as far as possible, from any compliance
with, or approbation of their cause and courses, opposite to the cause
and work of God; and shall endeavour to keep at a distance from
everything that may anyways import a unitive conjunction, association,
or confederacy with them, or strengthening them in their opposition to
the cause of God - the covenanted interest. We shall, through grace,
endeavour to represent before the throne of justice their wicked
courses; and pray that God would defeat their inventions, though we
shall always, as becomes Christians, implore the throne of grace for
mercy to their souls, so far as it may be consistent with God's eternal
purpose of electing love. Moreover, we shall always endeavour to guard
against all unwarrantable and irregular ways, not approven in God's
Word, of punishing malignants and incendiaries, for their opposition to
reformation.

Whereas, in the fifth Article, we are bound to endeavour, that the
kingdoms may remain united in a most firm peace and union to all
posterity; which union did consist in a uniformity in doctrine, worship,
discipline and government, though, as was said, it is now laid aside,
and a union entered into which establishes multiformity therein, and so
is the opposite of this Covenanted Union. We shall, therefore, deny our
consent unto, and approbation of this union, and shall, as we have in
weakness been witnessing against it formerly, so continue to do for the
future, and shall not corroborate or strengthen the same; but upon the
contrary, if the Lord afford opportunity, shall do our utmost to have
the _union of the kingdoms settled_ upon the true covenanted basis; and
shall lay out ourselves, as far as possible, to entertain correspondence
and sympathy with every one in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, who
do, or shall, to our knowledge, adhere to this League and Covenant.

According to the sixth Article, considering what danger we and all our
brethren, under the bond and owning the obligation of these covenants,
are in, and may be exposed unto, from the Popish and Prelatical
malignant faction still prevailing, and from this backslidden church;
and being sensible of the many defects which have been amongst us, in
the duty of defending and assisting one another in maintaining the
common cause of religion and liberty, we do here solemnly enter into a
bond of association with all that do now renew these covenants, "with
the Acknowledgement of the Public Sins and Breeches, and the Engagement
of Duties thereof, and concert and assert the old covenanted cause and
quarrel," as our fathers stated and contended for it, from the year 1638
to the year 1650. Which cause of the covenanted reformation in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government, and all interests, or rights,
religious or civil, contended for during the foresaid space of years,
conducing to promote the same, we faithfully promise to prosecute,
propagate, preserve and maintain, to the utmost of our power, with our
lives and all that we have; and to adhere to all the faithful
testimonies, protestations and declarations, in the defence of the
foresaid covenanted reformation, agreeable to, and founded on God's
Word, ever since the foresaid year 1650, not regarding the foul
aspersions of rebellion, combination or schism, or what else our
adversaries, from their craft and malice, would put upon us; seeing what
we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfeigned desire to
maintain the true religion, to obtain the protection and preserve the
honour of righteous government, and promote the peace and happiness of
the kingdoms.

And for the better performance of what we here engage to, we shall
sympathize, bear all burdens, embark our interest with, assist and
defend all those, who enter into, or join this association and Covenant,
and shall reckon whatsoever is done to the least of us, for this cause,
as done to us all in general and to every one of us in particular: and
shall account it a breach of Covenant, if seeing our brethren pursued
for this very cause, and having sufficient means to comfort and assist
them, any of us shall either make peace with the persecutors, bind up
their hands by oaths and bonds from resisting them, refuse to hide,
harbor, or supply their brethren, decline to venture, in lawful and
necessary attempts for their relief, or withdraw from their dutiful
support; and being thus united and associated in this cause, as we
resolve and oblige ourselves to abide in this firm conjunction, and
neither consent nor concede to any combination or counsel, suggestion,
persuasion, allurement or terror, that may have any known tendency or
influence, whether direct or indirect, to seduce us either to a division
amongst ourselves, or defection to our adversaries, or a base
indifferency and neutrality between the two; but shall, with all zeal,
fidelity and constancy, communicate our best help, counsel and
concurrence, for promoting all resolutions, which by common consent
shall be found to conduce to the good of the cause, and shall endeavor
to discover, oppose and suppress, all contrivances or counsels, that may
cast in any let or impediment, that may be obstructive or prejudicial to
the same. So we shall likewise desire, design and endeavor, (whenever
the Lord in his providence shall offer opportunity) to get the
defections, unworthy neutralities, and unhappy divisions, which have
long and lamentably wounded, and wrecked this church, removed and
remedied. And shall be willing, with all tender sympathy and compassion,
to embrace and welcome with the utmost bowels of kindness and respect
that we can, all who shall confess and forsake these defections, and
according to their stations, as ministers or private Christians, shall,
by all proper means, labor to satisfy the conscience of the godly, that
are through these defections and scandals justly offended, and that
according to the rules of Christ, delivered in his word, and received in
this church, in her Reforming times, and join cordially with us in the
prosecution of this cause; and we shall be willing also, at their
desire, to acknowledge and forsake, for peace and unity, whatever we can
rationally be convinced to be bad in our conduct and management, as we
must acknowledge, that in all things we fail, and come exceedingly short
of that perfection, which we should and would be at.

And because there be many who heretofore have not made conscience of the
oath of God - but some, through fear, others by persuasion, and upon base
ends, and human interests, have entered thereinto, who have afterwards
discovered themselves to have dealt deceitfully with the Lord, in
swearing falsely by his name; therefore, we, who do now renew our
covenants with reference to these duties, and all other duties contained
therein, do, in the sight of him who is the searcher of hearts, solemnly
profess, that it is not upon any politic advantage, or private interest,
or by-end, or because of any terror or persuasion from men, or
hypocritically or deceitfully, that we do again take upon us the oath of
God; but honestly and sincerely, and from the sense of our duty. And
that, therefore, denying ourselves and our own things, and, laying aside
all-self interests and ends, we shall, above all things, seek the honour
of God, the good of his cause, and the wealth of his people; and that,
forsaking the counsels of flesh and blood, and not leaning upon carnal
confidences, we shall depend upon the Lord, walk by the rule of his
Word, and hearken to the voice of his servants. In all which, professing
our own weakness, we do earnestly pray to God who is the Father of
mercies, through his Son JESUS CHRIST, to be merciful unto us, and to
enable us, by the power of his might, that we may do our duty, unto the
praise of his grace in the churches. Amen.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 4: In the Preface to this edition, the reader may perceive the
same spirit in 1880. | ED.]

[Footnote 5: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 6: The persons and authority of such, when God of his mercy
shall grant them to us.]

[Footnote 7: King Charles the First.]

[Footnote 8: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies of old, and of
late.]

[Footnote 9: Or any other corruptions thereof, Prelatic or Erastian,
either tried or to be tried; such as indulgence, the toleration, the
magistrates appointing fasts without advice and consent of the church,
dissolving assemblies, &c.]

[Footnote 10: Remonstrances, declarations and testimonies.]

[Footnote 11: To righteous governors, (when obtained), and to our
country.]

[Footnote 12: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 13: The person and authority of sovereigns having the
qualifications which the Scriptures require.]

[Footnote 14: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 15: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 16: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

[Footnote 17: Anno 1638.]

[Footnote 18: Lawful supreme Magistrates.]

[Footnote 19: After all supplications, remonstrances protestations and
sufferings of our fathers, and our own grievous sufferings and
contendings both before and since the late Revolution.]

[Footnote 20: When restored, according to their ancient foundation.]

[Footnote 21: The lawful supreme Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 22: The lawful Magistrate's.]

[Footnote 23: The lawful Magistrate, when obtained.]

[Footnote 24: Our Reformers.]

[Footnote 25: As they were then.]

[Footnote 26: The lawful supreme Magistrate.]

[Footnote 27: Such as the Curate of Carsphairn, and some others. But it
is to be noted, that this sentence is not meant of those who either
designed or actually executed that act of extraordinary justice upon the
Archbishop of St. Andrews, who being an arch-traitor, and public
incendiary, and implacable enemy to the work of God, and all the godly
in the kingdom, was therefore justly put to death; though (because of
the defect of justice in those that had authority,) the act, in respect
of the persons executing, was singular and extraordinary. See the same
vindicated, _Hind Let Loose_, head vi., page 633, &c.]

[Footnote 28: Ezek. vii. 16. But they that escape of them shall escape,
and shall be on the mountains like doves of the vallies, all of them
mourning, every one for his iniquity.]

[Footnote 29: Ezek. ix. 4. - - Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the
midst thereof.]

[Footnote 30: Matt. xxii. 5. But they made light of it, and went their
ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.]

[Footnote 31: 1 Tim. vi. 14. That thou keep this commandment without
spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.]

[Footnote 32: 2 Tim. lii. 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof.]

[Footnote 33: Eph. in. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by
faith. - - Col. ii. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in him.]

[Footnote 34: Col. i. 10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing.]

[Footnote 35: 2 Thes. ii. 10, 11, 12. Because they received not the love
of the truth - - For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that
they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned, who believed
not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.]

[Footnote 36: Josh. xxiv. 15. - - But as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord. Gen. xviii. 19. For I know him, that he will command his
children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the
Lord, to do justice and judgment.]

[Footnote 37: 1 Tim. iii. 15 - - That thou mayest know how thou oughtest
to behave thyself in the house of God. - - ]

[Footnote 38: Psal. ci 2. I will walk within my house with a perfect
heart. Jer. vii. 3. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;
amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this
place. Isa. I. 16, 17; _Cease to_ do evil. Learn to do well. - - ]

[Footnote 39: Jer. 1. 8. Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go
forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be ye as the he goats before
the flocks.]

[Footnote 40: Zech. i 3. Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I
will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. Psal. lxxxv. 3. Thou hast
taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness
of thine anger. Verse 4th. Turn us, O God of our salvation and cause
thine anger towards us to cease]

[Footnote 41: Psal. lxxxv. 9, 10. Surely his salvation is nigh them that
fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met
together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Isa. xxxii. 17. And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

Zech. viii. 19 - - Therefore love the truth and peace.]

[Footnote 42: Note. The Confession of Faith is here adhered to, as it
was received and approven by the General Assembly of this church, by
their Act of the 27th of Aug. 1647, Sess. 23, the 2d Article of the 31st
Chap, being understood, as explained in that Act, and the 4th Sect, of
the 23d Chap, being understood, as it is explained in our Informatory
Vindication, page 196, 2d Edition.]

[Typographical errors excepted, and _Historical Introduction_
substituted for _Preface_, this edition agrees with those of Paisley,
1820, and Belfast, 1835. - ED.]




ACT OF COVENANT RENOVATION,

AGREED UPON AT PHILADELPHIA, OCTOBER 8, 1880,

BY THE

REFORMED PRESBYTERY,

AFTER THE APPROVED EXAMPLE OF OUR FATHERS, AT

AUCHENSAUGH, 1712, AND ACCOMMODATED

TO THE PRESENT TIME.

* * * * *

"I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous
judgments." - _Psalms_ cxix: 106.

"They (Egyptians) shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it." - _Is_.
xix: 21.

The Corinthians "first gave their own selves to the Lord." - _2 Cor_.
viii: 5.




COVENANT RENOVATION.

Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God. - _Ps_. lxxvi: II.


PREFACE.


Having in prospect a united, public and solemn approach to our covenant
God, some important principles should be understood, that we may proceed
with intelligence and have sure ground for our faith.

"God is love;" and reciprocal love constitutes "the bond of perfectness"
between God and rational creatures. Communion with God is the supreme
felicity and highest honor of which angels and men are capable. The
first emanation of divine love revealed to us was displayed in the
covenant of works; although not called a covenant, the narrative
contains all the elements essential to a federal deed, comprising a
summary of the whole moral law. Thus the sovereign love of God was
manifested through the medium of law and covenant inseparably combined;
and this is the Lord's manner of dealing with mankind till the present
time.

That covenant was made with us in Adam as our common father and public
representative. By the breach of it we are born in Adam's image and
"children of wrath;" for the principle of representative identification
pervades the moral universe. Our rational and social nature fits us both
for personal and federal responsibility.

When we had "destroyed ourselves" by apostasy from God, then did God
"show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus." The gift of his Son to be a covenant head to
sinners is God's highest, and most glorious demonstration of his
ineffable love. The breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the
love of Christ passeth knowledge; and the displays of this love through
the covenant of grace will doubtless furnish matter of admiration to
holy angels, and of adoring gratitude to redeemed sinners throughout
eternity. Rev. i: 5, 6.

Ever since our fall in Adam God has dealt with our sinful race by
covenant. This covenant was made with Christ as Mediator between God and
man, and as the representative of all whom the Father gave him to be
redeemed and brought to glory. John xvii: 2. Accordingly, the Lord
Jesus, immediately on the fall of our first parents, entered upon his
work of mediation. To them first he announced his commission, declaring
his purpose to "bruise the serpent's head - to destroy the works of the
devil." Gen. iii: 15; 1 John iii: 8. Christ is given "for a witness to
the people; a leader and commander to the people; to have power over all
flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath
given him."

Throughout the whole of the mediatorial administration the law and the
covenant are distinct, though inseparably connected: and although many
covenants are mentioned in the Scriptures, and even distinguished as
_old_ and _new_. Jer. xxxi: 31; Heb. viii: 8; yet we must understand
these as only different and successive modes of administering one and
the same Covenant of Grace. This covenant was proclaimed before the
deluge by prophets, as Enoch and Noah; after the flood by patriarchs;
then by the ministry of Moses and other prophets, when John the Baptist
and the Messiah in person proclaimed it; and from the day of Pentecost
till the end of the world is the last dispensation - still, the covenant
is immutably the same. The most solemn and memorable act of covenanting
with God was at Horeb, otherwise called Sinai, when the Israelites were
first and formally organized in ecclesiastical and civil relations. Then
"Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion." Ps. cxiv: 2.

Besides circumcision and the passover, both of which involved covenant
obligation, God instituted the additional ordinance of public and social
federal transaction, that the whole body might glorify him by a united
act of solemn dedication as his special property separated visibly from
the world. Is. lxiii: 19. And that this is a moral ordinance, and of
perpetual obligation, is evident from the practice of God's people, both
under the Old and New Testament, and the language of prophecy. Deut.
xxix: 10-12; 2 Cor. viii: 5; Is. xliv: 5.

Again, when we renew our covenant, we do not mean that the obligation
has ceased, or that we can increase its obligation, for this is infinite
and permanent; we intend by our personal act to deepen and render more
durable our sense of preexisting obligation. This is, indeed, the
immediate object of all renovations, by Moses, Joshua, kings of Judah
and Nehemiah. And as we have seen, this ordinance was observed by
Christians in the time of the apostles, so their practice may be traced
through history afterwards, however obscure, until the time of the
Reformation from Popery; when in Europe, both continental and insular,
this ordinance was revived and exemplified. Among all nations in
Christendom Scotland stands preeminent since first emancipated from
bondage in mystical Babylon, for the frequency and fidelity of her
ecclesiastical and national vows to the Most High. After many struggles
with Popery and Prelacy, during which Christ's witnesses in that land
derived strength and courage from vows renewed to withstand these
organized oppressors; at length by their example and influence the
kingdoms of England and Ireland were brought into a confederation by
that famous and grand document, the Solemn League and Covenant. Taken in
connection with the National Covenant of Scotland, those three nations
and the churches in them were voluntarily bound to God and to each other
by all the solemnity of cords and bands made in heaven. Yet, through the
corruption of human nature and the restless malice of the Dragon and his
angels, these bands were treacherously broken and the cords cast away.
Although those symbols of the public faith were Scriptural documents,
yet the reformation as truly described by the late Mr. Robert Lusk, was
to the majority "a reformation only on paper." Like Israel of old the
hearts of most of the people were not right with God, neither were they
steadfast in his covenant. Ps. lxxviii: 37. This was soon made manifest
by the Public Resolutions, accepting Indulgences, and the subsequent
twenty-eight years of persecution inflicted upon those who "stood to the
covenant." Then followed, in 1689, what the apostates called, and their
successors still fondly hail, as the "glorious Revolution
settlement!" - a settlement which, by forms of law, consigned the
nations' solemn vows to oblivion, with all possible expressions of
detestation by the infamous "Act Rescissory." In the year 1707, the "Act
of Incorporation" brought the church and kingdom of Scotland under
degrading bondage to the anti-Christian, Prelatic and Erastian throne of
Britain.

While these steps of apostasy were in progress, the Lord preserved a
"wasted remnant" of witnesses, who "resisted unto blood striving against
sin." These valiant Christian patriots - "the Society People" - kept
themselves and their garments clean, and kept also the word of Christ's
patience. They never were _dissenters_, nor properly called the "Old
Dissenters." During this hour of temptation they were destitute of the
help and guidance of a public ministry. At length, in the year 1706, Mr.
John M'Millan, wearing the honorable badges of suspension and
deposition, imposed by his apostate brethren for advocating in their
Assembly the continued obligation of the Covenants. National and Solemn
League, (Is. lxvi: 5,) was joyfully received as their minister by the
voice of the Society people. In the year 1712, at Auchensaugh, Mr.
M'Millan, with the assistance of Mr. John M'Neil, licentiate, "resolved
to set about this solemn and tremendous duty of renewing their national
covenants with God." Their mode of procedure was Scriptural, following
the examples of Moses and others to Nehemiah - "the footsteps of the
flock." They framed three papers, History, Confession and Engagement.
The text of the Covenants of our fathers was left entire, only some
explanatory words and phrases being placed in the margin. These
explanations were then necessary to clear that question of
questions - "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee?" - a
question to be finally settled only at the sounding of the last
Apocalyptic trumpet. Rev. xi: 15. That transaction was ever after
incorporated with the Terms of Communion.

Some years after this transaction another renovation took place in
Scotland, at a locality called Crawford-John; but no attainments were
then made, nor has any authentic record of the proceedings been
transmitted to posterity. Also the Seceders, soon after their erection
as a distinct organization in Scotland, and repeatedly since in Britain
and America, by public covenanting have contributed to the preservation
of sound doctrine and Christian practice. We cannot, however, accord to
them the honor of being the successors of the covenanted witnesses,
which they unwarrantably claim, seeing that they disowned the "civil
part" of the public Covenants, and thus unwittingly, we charitably
believe, passed an implied censure on the One Lawgiver for having given
us a second table in the moral law!

We merely refer to the Octoraro transaction, (1743,) conducted by that


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Online LibraryThe Reformed PresbyteryThe Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant With the Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, as They Were Renewed at Auchensaugh, Near Douglas, July 24, → online text (page 12 of 13)