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the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a detestable indifference and neutrality, in this cause, which so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the kingdom, and honor of the king; but shall, all the days of our lives, zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power, against all acts and impediments whatsoever; and what we are not able ourselves to suppress or overcome, we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or removed. All which we shall do as in the sight of God. And because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins and provocations against God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, as is too manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof; we profess and declare before God and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own sins, and for the sins of these kingdoms: especially, that we have not, as we ought, valued the inestimable benefit of the Gospel; that we have not labored for the purity and power thereof; and that we have not endeavored to receive Christ in our hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in our lives, which are the causes of other sins and transgressions so much abounding amongst us and our true and unfeigned purpose, desire and endeavor, for ourselves and all others under our power and charge, both in public and in private, in all duties we owe to God and man, to amend our lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a real reformation, that the Lord may turn away his wrath and heavy indignation, and establish these churches and kingdoms in truth and peace. And this Covenant we make in the presence of ALMIGHTY GOD, the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his HoLY SPIRIT, for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian churches groaning under, or in danger of, the yoke of anti-christian tyranny, to join in the same or like association and covenant, to the glory of GOD,
the enlargement of the kingdom of JESUS CHRIST, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and commonwealths. A third distinctive feature of Covenantters, is that every member is required to attend a social fellowship meeting, for prayer and christian conference. Many Christians of other denominations consider this both a duty and a privilege, yet but few attend to it. Covenanters view it in the light of a divine ordinance not to be neglected for which they have a warrant in the following scriptures: Mal. iii. 16; Matt. xviii. 20; John xx. 19; Col. iii. 16; Heb. x. 25, and Song viii. 13.
A fourth distinctive feature of Covenanters is, that while they recognize the validity of ordinances administered by other denominations of Christians, and acknowledge those denoninations as brethren, yet they cannot join, either statedly or occasionally, in the communion of any other Church, by waiting on its ministry, either in word or sacraments, while they continue opposed to their declared senti. ments.
80 139 96 103 180 319 301 94
70 165 90 35
meet in one Synod; the subordinate | be the word of God, and the only rule of synods were abolished in 1840. There faith and manners. are five Presbyteries, designated as fol. 2. An acknowledgment that the whole lows, New York presbytery, Rochester, doctrine of the Westminster Confession of presbytery, Pittsburgh presbytery, Lakes Faith and the Catechisms, larger and presbytery and Illinois presbytery. In shorter, are agreeable to, and founded on 1845, the Synod consisted of 58 members the Scriptures. -ministers and elders. Had all the min. 3. An acknowledgment of the divine isters been present and a full delegation right of one unalterable form of Church of elders, the number would have been 74. government and manner of worship-and
The following is the statistical table of that these are for substance justly exhithree Presbyteries in 1845. The largest bited in that form of Church government Presbytery and the smallest having made and the Directory for worship, agreed on no returns.
by the assembly of Divines at WestminNEW YORK PRESBYTERY. ster, as they were received by the Church
of Scotland. Congregations. Ministers,
4. An acknowledgment that public
Covenanting is an ordinance of God, to be Craftsburg, VL. S, M, Wilson, Byogate and Barnet, Jas. M. Beattie,
observed by churches and nations, under Coldenham. Jax. W. Shaw,
the New Testament dispensation and Newburgh,
M. Roney, lst. Cong. N. York, Jas, Chrystie,
that those vows, namely, that which was 2nd. Cong. N. York, Cherry St., Philada. J.M. Wilson,
entered into by the church and kingdom 2nd, Cong. Philada. S.O. Wylie,
of Scotland, called the NATIONAL COVEVacant congregations, some of which NANT, and that which was afterwards en. have since obtained pastors :-Topsham, tered into by the three kingdoms of Scot. Argyle, Albany, Kortwright, Bovina, land, England and Ireland, and by the Baltimore, White Lake, Conococheague. Reformed Churches in those kingdoms, LAKES PRESBYTERY.
usually called the SOLEMN LEAGUE AND
COVENANT, were entered into in the true Congregations. Ministers. Families.
spirit of that institution—and that the obMiami, J. B. Johnson,
ligation of these covenants extends to A. McFarland,
those who were represented in the taking Brushcreek, R. Hutcheson, Southfield, Jas. Niell,
of them, although removed to this or any Vacant congregations, some of which other part of the world, in so far as they have since obtained pastors :
- Beech- bind to duties not peculiar to the British woods and Garrison, Cincinnati, Jona- isles, but applicable in all lands. than's Creek, Sandusky, Cedar Lake. 5. An approbation of the faithful conILLINOIS PRESBYTERY.
tendings of the martyrs of Jesus, and of
the present Reformed Covenanted churches Congregations, Ministers, Families.
Communi: in Britain and Ireland, against Paganism, Elkhorn, W. Sloane,
Popery and Prelacy, and against immoral Old Bethel, Jas. Wallace,
constitutions of civil government, together Bethel, H. Stevenson,
with all Erastian* tolerations and perseBloomington, Jas, Faris,
cutions which flow therefrom; as contain. Walnut Ridge, P. J. McClurkin.
ing a noble example for us and our pos. Vacant congregation : St. Louis. terity to follow, in contending for all di
Missionary Stations :-Edwardsville, vine truth, and in testifying against all Staunton, Springfield, Hennipen, Chili, Jacksonville, Virginia Grove, Iowa City,
• Erastian : from Thomas Erastus, a German Prairieville.
divine, born 1523, died professor at Basil, 1583, The following are the TERMS OF Com- who denied the authority of the church to abMUNION in the Reformed Presbyterian solve and discipline its members. The pasChurch, in North America.
toral office, according to him, was only per1. An acknowledgment of the scrip- students, without any power of the keys an
suasion, like a professor of science over his tures of the Old and New Testaments to nexed.
I. D. R. Editor.
51 47 41 21
55 53 52 33
contrary evils which may exist in the cor. These together with due subordination rupt constitutions of either church or state. in the Lord, to the authority of the Synod
6. An approbation of the doctrines con- of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in tained in the Testimony of the Reformed North America, and a regular life and Presbyterian Church in North America, conversation form the bonds of our eccle. in defence of truth and opposition to error. siastical union.
THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,
BY THE REV. JOHN N. M'LEOD, D. D., NEW YORK.
The Reformed Presbyterian Church in it through his native land, and her nobles, the United States of America derives her her people, and many even of the priests origin from the old Reformation Church of Rome, were enlightened in the truths of Scotland. Her history, therefore, down of the gospel. In the year 1560 Popery to the period of her organization in this was abolished ; the Bible was declared free country, is necessarily involved in that of to all; a Confession of Faith, containing the parent church herself. It deserves re- an admirable summary of divine truth, membrance to her honor, that Scotland was prepared ; a book of discipline, de was among the last of the nations to sub- claring the government of the church to mit to the usurpation of the Church of be presbyterial, was adopted; and all ranks Rome. Until the beginning of the eleventh of men in the nation bound themselves century, she possessed a Christian church to each other and to God, in a solemn cowhich maintained her spiritual independ. venant engagement, to maintain and perence, and refused to bow to the Papal su-petuate the Reformation which had been premacy. But Antichrist at length pre-established. This is what is usually devailed, and substituted his ruinous formal. nominated in Scottish history the “first ism for the ancient Christianity. From reformation,” or reformation from Popery. the beginning of the eleventh to that of And thus arose the Reformed Presbyterian the sixteenth century, “ darkness covered Church. For more than thirty years after the earth, and gross darkness the people" this period, the church enjoyed great temof insular as well as continental Europe. poral and spiritual prosperity. But from
With the sixteenth century, however, the year 1592 to 1688, her history, with commenced that glorious revival of evan- the exception of a twelve years' interval gelical religion, the Protestant Reforma- of rest and triumph, is one of warfare and tion. Scotland felt its influence, and awoke suffering. Her most powerful enemies from her slumber. John Knox of famous were unprincipled civilians. They sought memory, had lighted his torch at the can- to make her a mere engine of state policy, dle of God's word, which had just been an instrument of their own despotism; and rescued from under the bushel where Anti- when she would not submit, they attempt. christ had hidden it for ages. He carried ed to coerce her by the sword. During
the greater part of the reigns of James / was, as usual, to make the church a tool VI., and his son and grandson, the first of the State. Into an establishment of this and second Charles, the Reformed Presby, description the old consistent Covenanters terian Church was struggling for existence could not go. They stood aloof and disagainst the power of the state, which as- sented from it as imperfect, Erastian, and sumed an antichristian supremacy over immoral. The principal objections which her, and proceeded to dictate to her the they urged against incorporation with the doctrine, worship, and order she should revolution settlement, were : 1st. That the receive and observe under pain of impri. Solemn League and Covenant, which they sonment, banishment, and death.
considered the constitution of the empire, Adversity tests the character of systems was entirely disregarded in its arrangeas well as of men; and never was the ments,-and 2d. That the civil rulers worth of the Reformed Presbyterian sys. usurped an authority over the church, tem more signally manifested, than during which virtually destroyed her spiritual in. the period the church was in the furnace dependence, and was at variance with the of affliction. Thousands maintained her sole headship of the Redeemer himself, principles in the face of the persecutor. The world has just witnessed the spectacle The life and power of godliness was most of the large majority of the Scottish esremarkably displayed, and multitudes of tablishment becoming " dissenters” on this holy martyrs sealed with their blood the very ground : a testimony that the old testimony which they held.
Reformed Presbyterians were right. For Of the interval of relief to which re. more than sixteen years they remained ference has already been had, it is suffi. without a ministry; but they were not cient to say, that it was the period between discouraged. Though a small minority, 1638 and 1650 : the era of the Solemn they organized themselves into praying League and Covenant ; of the Westminster societies, in which they statedly met for Assembly of divines; of the revolution religious worship. They exercised a watchwhich dethroned the first Charles, and as. ful care over the moral and religious de. serted those principles of civil and reli- portment of each other. They fostered gious liberty which all enlightened Chris. the spirit of attachment to Reformation tians and statesmen now regard as axiom. principles, and waited until God would atic and undeniable. This is the period send them pastors. And at length they of what is usually styled the “ second re- were gratified. In the year 1706, the formation,” and it was for a strict adher. Rev. John McMillan acceded to them ence to its principles that Cameron and from the established church. In 1743 he Renwick, and their valiant coadjutors, was joined by the Rev. Mr. Nairne, from were called to pour out their blood on the the Secession Church, which had been high places of the field. To these princi- recently organized, and they with ruling ples, as of universal importance and ap- elders constituted the “Reformed Presbyplicability, Reformed Presbyterians still tery." Through this, as the line of their avow their attachment.
connection with the ancient church, the In the year 1688, William of Nassau Reformed Presbyterians in this country was called to the throne of the three king. received their present ministry. They doms. He proceeded, among the first acts had, however, a ministry as well as a of his reign, to give a civil establishment people in the North American colonies, to religion in his dominions. Episcopacy before the Reformed Presbytery in Scot. was established in England and Ireland, land was organized by the Rev. Mr. and Presbytery in Scotland, by the sole McMillan and his coadjutors. authority of the king and parliament, even
en In the same series of persecutions which before the assembly of the church was drove the Huguenots of France and the permitted to meet. And thus the old prin. Puritans of England to these shores, many ciple of the royal supremacy over the of the Scottish and Irish Reformed Pres. church was retained, and incorporated byterians, were banished from their native with the very vitals of the revolution lands, and scattered among the American settlement. The object of the civil rulers colonies. In crossing the ocean and chang.
ing their habitation, they had not changed, they contributed largely to the success of their religious attachments. And when the Revolution. They took an active part first visited by the ministers who came to in the war. Some of them were members their aid, they were found with their chil. of the conventions which established the dren collected into praying societies, and States' constitutions, and subsequently of fostering with care the principles of civil their legislatures ; and although they saw and religious freedom, for which they and defects in the new government, they cortheir ancestors had suffered. Though the dially recognised it as legitimate, and de. name Covenanter, like that of Puritan, serving of their conscientious support. was given them by way of reproach, they The visible unity of the Church of God did not refuse it. Esteeming it their is a fundamental principle of the Presby. honor to be in covenant with God and with terian system. The revolutionary and one another, to do their whole duty, they transition state of society for some time accepted the designation, and even at before the establishment of American in. templed in a public manner, to practise dependence, occasioned a neglect of this the thing which it indicates. In the year principle, and kept the church in a divided 1743, aided by the Rev. Mr. Craighead, and inefficient condition. But on the set. who had acceded to them from a synod of tlement of a stable civil government by Presbyterians organized a few years be the American people, the minds of many forc, the Covenanters in the colony of in the different churches were turned to Pennsylvania, proceeded to enter into a the subject of union. A union of the solemn public engagement to abide by and whole Presbyterian family on a basis of maintain their principles. This transac- truth and order adapted to the age, coun. tion served to promote union among them- try, and circumstances of the church in selves, and to keep them distinct from the the American republic, was very extenother religious societies which were form. sively desired, and various attempts were ing around them.
made to secure it. The time, however, The Reformed Presbyterian has ever for this did not seem to have arrived. The been a missionary church. The presby- results of the overtures for union in some teries of that name in Scotland and Ire instances were plans of correspondence land saw the promising field beyond the and co-operation more or less extensive, ocean, and hearkening to the Macedonian and the nearest approach to the great obcry that came from their brethren there, ject sought, was that union of formerly they sent them the aid they desired. In distinct bodies which gave origin to the 1752, the Rev. Mr. Cuthbertson arrived Associate Reformed Church. This took in America from the Reformed Presbytery place in the year 1782, between the pres. of Scotland. He served the church alone byteries of the Associate and Reformed for nearly twenty years, and was greatly Churches. The united body took the instrumental both in promoting the piety names of its two constituent parts, and of those among whom he labored, and hence arose the “ Associate Reformed fostering the spirit of opposition to British Church in the United States." tyranny, which ultimately demanded and A portion of the Associate Church, how. secured the independence of these United ever, and one minister, with a large num. States. Being joined by Messrs. Linn and ber of the people of the Reformed PresbyDobbin, from the Reformed Presbytery of terian Church, did not approve of the Ireland, in 1774, a presbytery was con union, or enter into it when consummated. stituted, and the church took her stand as And thus both these bodies, though dimina distinct visible community in the North ished in numbers, retained their distinctive American colonies.
standings. In the year 1776, the declaration of Within ten years after this event, four American independence took place. It ministers emigrated from Europe, to aid was hailed with joy by. Reformed Presby, in maintaining the Reformed Presbyterian teríans. They were opponents of the Bri- cause. They were the Rev. James Reid, tish government from both principle and from Scotland, who returned to his own feeling, and in proportion to their numbers I country when his missionary tour was