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kingdoms in truth and peace.--In 1648 they covenant ed, for advancing the knowledge of God, and holiness and righteoufness in the land.
9. There is nothing in these covenants, or in the seasons of taking them, which doth not perfectly harmonize with a taking hold of God's covenant of grace.
Men's belief, profession and practice of the true Protestant religion, and labouring to promote the welfare of their king and country, agree well to it, Tit. ii. 11, 12, 14. & iii. 1, 8, 14. Prov. xxii. 23. i Pet. ii. 13, 17. Rom. xiii. 1,--8, 11,--14.Their voluntary joining themselves to the church of God as lively members in Chriit, --and agreeing with their whole heart to his true religion and ordinances, agree exactly to it, Pfal."xxii. 27,-31. &cx. 3. 2 Cor. viii. 5. Having before their eyes the glory of God, and advancement of the kingdom of Christ, and their earnest and conitant endeavours, in their ftations, that they and their posterity might live in faith and love, delightfully agree with it, Mat. vi. 9, 10. I Cor. x. 31. Eph. iii. 14,--19. 2 Theff. ii. 1. Pfal. Ixxviii. 4,--9. Isa: xxxvii. 19. An unfeigned desire to be humbled for their fin in not duly receiving Christ, and walking worthy of him, and for their unworthy use of the sacraments;-a real and fincere repentance, felf-denial, and resolution to lean upon the Lord alone, accord excellently with it, Ezek. xvi. 62, 63. & xxxvi. 25,--32. Phil. iii. 3, 8. --14. The covenanting seasons being remarkable for trouble or danger,--the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost,--and deep convictions of sin, are precisely those marked out for that work in fcripture, Joel ii. 12, 13.
Pfal. 1. 14, 15. & lxvi. 13, 14. Ezek. xx. 36, 37. Hof. ii. 7, 14. & v. 15: & iii. 4. 5. Isa. xliv. 3, -5. Aets ii. 2 Cor. viii 5. Jer. I. 4, 5.
These covenants indeed connect fulfilment with gracious rewards, and violation with fearful judg
ments t. But this annexed sanction no more renders them covenants of works, than fo help ine God, in the conclusion of oaths, renders every oath a covenant of works. Notwithstanding this fanction annexed to the Israelites' covenants of duty with God, they might well stand stedfast in the covenant of grace, Lev. xxvi. Deut. xxvii.--xxx. 1 Kings ix. In this world, the Law, as a rule of life, hath an annexed sanction of gracious rewards and fearful chastisements, as well as it hath as a covenant, one of legal rewards and punishments, Psal. i. Isa iii. 10, 11. Exod. xx. 6, 12. Rom. ii. 75--10. & viii. 13. Heb. xi. 6. Gal. vi. 7,-10. Cor. xv. 58. With. out Neonomianism, the Holy Ghost calls that which is annexed to believers' obedience, a reward, and that which is connected with their disobedience, a punishment, Psal. xix. 11. & lviii. 11. Prov. xi. 18. & xxiii. 18. Mat. v. 12. & x. 41. Gen. xv. 1. Ezra ix. 13. Amos iii. 2. 2 Cor. ii. 6. Lam. iii. 39. Psalm xcix. 8. “ The threatenings of God's law shew believers what even their fins deferve, and what af. flictions in this world they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof, threatened by the law. The promises of it shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace."
10. The remarkable effufion of the Spirit of God, which attended the swearing of these covenants, for the conviction, conversion, and confirmation of multitudes, fixing in their hearts such a deep sense
* See Covenant-Bonds of 1581, 1638, 1643, 1648. $ Confell. XIX.6,7. Marrow, Part ad P. 14, 144-----147. of religion, as all the profaneness and persecution of twenty-eight years could not eradicate,--is no contemptible evidence that He looked upon them as religious, not merely State-covenants. It is at our infinite hazard, if we call that common and unclean, which God hath fo fingularly honoured.
OBJECT. I. “ Our Covenanters' characterizing themselves Noblemen, Barons, Burgefles and Cominons, proves their covenants to be mere civil covenants."
ANSW. 1. Will then others characterizing themfelves ministers render them, at the same time, Church-covenants? Hath Solomon's denominating him-self King of Israel, in his Proverbs and Ecclefiaftes, rendered these two books merely civil, not religious? If, in a Bond or Bill, I denominate myself minister of the gospel, Will that tender the Bond or Bill religious and ecclefiaftical?
2. As they never used such chara&ters in their bonds, but when they covenanted contrary to their King's will, they probably intended no more bý them, than merely to mark the great harmony of all ranks, for the encouragement of their freinds, and the terror of their malicious enemies.
3. There was no irreligion, in subjecting them felves and all their honours to the service of Jesus Christ, as made of God Head over all things to his Church, Rev. xxi. 24.
OBJECT. II. “ In 1638, and 1643, they framed their covenants to admit Episcopalians and Independents, whom they would not have admitted to the facraments.”
Answ. 1. As in taking these covenants, men bound themselves to the regular reformation of every thing found finful, when tried by the word of God, our ancestors agreeable to Rom. xiv. 1. Ifaiah xxxv. 3, 4. were willing to help forward the weak, and adinit to their covenant and church-fellowihip, every
person, who appeared willing to receive more light, even though they were not in every respect, equally enlightened and reformed as themselves. But, I defy you to prove, that they excluded one upright covenanter from their religious communion.
2. The covenants of 1638 and 1643, were not framed to admit any who resolved obstinately to adhere to Episcopacy or Independency. In the bond "1638, men bound themselves to forbear the practice of Episcopalian government, and of the articles of Perth, till they should be tried and allowed in a free General Affembly. The covenanters declare, that their intention in that bond, was against all innovations and corruptions f. In the covenant of 1643, that paragraph, which peculiarly respected the Protestants in England and Ireland was prudently suited to the weakness of many of them. But there is nothing in it, which favours either Episcopacy or Independency. The preservation of the reformation attained in Scotland sworn to, excluded them both. If then Erastians or Independents, and others difsembled with God, and their brethren, in taking it, they, not the covenant, are blameable. Men's hypocritical reception of the facraments will not render them civil ordinances.
3. You can never prove, that the covenant of 1538, was tendered to the Doctors of Aberdeen, af'ter they had shown their obftinate attachment to Prelacy. Or that Philip Nye, or any others, after manifesting their obstinate attachment to Independency, had the covenant of 1643, tendered to them by any truly zealous covenanter. Baillie affirms, that the Scots were peremptory against keeping open a door to Independency in England g.
Stevenson's Hift P. 351. Ś Commitee of Westminister Aff. answers to Independents, P. 406.-112. Wilson's Defence, p. 304. Bail. Let. Vol. 1. p. 301.
OBJECT. III. “ The impofition of these covenants under civil penalties, proves them to have been merely State-covenants."
Answ. 1. No more than the requirement of men under civil penalties, to partake, at least once a year, of the Lord's Supper, rendered it a merely civil ordinance. An ordinance may remain religious, though a civil sanction should be finfully annexed to it.
2. If, which I do not, you believe, that Asa and Josiah, by penal laws, compelled men to take their covenants, you can scarce condemn our covenanters' annexing civil penalties to the refusal of their bonds, especially as they knew, it would scarce come from any, but such as were malignant enemies to the civil as well as religious liberties of the nation.
3. In 1596, 1638, 1648, and 1649, these covenants had no penalty either civil or ecclefiaftical an. nexed to the not fwearing of them, without any hint from the covenanters, that this altered the nature of the engagement.
Objecr. IV. “Our ancestors gave up with their covenanting work, whenever they got the State of the nation settled by means of it; and having got their civil liberties otherwise secured at the Revolu. tion, they never covenanted at all.”
Answ. 1. Did ten years of murderous invasion and outrageous contention, and twenty-eight years of horrible profaneness and persecution make our nation fo happy, that covenanting with God our deliverer was no more necessary? Or, Have the fearful profanation of the name of God by unneceffary and wicked oaths, or the shocking bribery and perjury, too common in the election of our Representatives in Parliament, and our other out. rageous abominations, rendered Britain fo holy, that these covenants need no more be regarded?