The faithful presbyterian ministers and Christians of the Second Reformation period are known as Covenanters. Their name comes from the National Covenant (1638) and the Solemn League and Covenant (1643). These covenants bound them to maintain the doctrine, worship and government of the Scottish Church and to promote it in the whole British Isles. The Covenants and presbyterian church government were overturned by Charles II in 1662. The Covenanters continued to adhere to them and refused to submit their consciences to anything contrary to Scripture. They were removed from their pulpits. Persecution followed in which they suffered things such as imprisonment, fines and execution.
It’s often the easier option to submit our conscience blindly to others rather than the Word of God. Sometimes we don’t realise we’ve done it. We need to know how to nurture rather than outsource our conscience.
When one trial after another descends it can seem difficult to bear. Indeed we cannot bear it on our own. But there is hope and comfort amid many trials as we will discover.
Concise wisdom can be an invaluable guide for Christian living and experience. Here are some specific directions offered by William Traill.
Love for Christ is how He Himself measures spiritual growth. So how do we grow in this area? Robert Traill points us to the way that Christ Himself kindles our love into a greater flame.
This seems an almost ludicrous question. But it depends on what you mean by forgetting God. It’s possible to do much for God and speak much about God without engaging much with Him. Let’s consider this question positively and indirectly by asking another one. What does it mean to set God always before us?
Spiritual depression has spiritual causes and is in relation to spiritual things. The soul is in extreme heaviness and lacks comfort and peace. What can cause this and how can we address it?
It is true that God is love and He is good but God is also holy. He is a God of both mercy and justice. He is described as a consuming fire in the New Testament as well as the Old.
What we see in Chinese now is what we saw in Scotland then.
Without wasting words Vos covers the important personalities, events, and issues necessary for understanding the importance and place of the Covenanters in the history of the church.
Optimism ignores negative circumstances but hope takes full account of it. Hope has a reason to depend on God working out the future, that reason is His promise.
It’s also not difficult to become discouraged due to things within, especially our spiritual state and progress. How do we get out of being sucked into the spiral of despair? The only all-sufficient source of help is in divine grace.
How can we assure ourselves that we are those who are only satisfied in Christ? These eleven observations are worth pondering further and comparing with Scripture and our own experience.
Overhearing the prayers of the Covenanters for the Jews ought to inspire and encourage us.
There are four blessings that the followers of Christ enjoy even in the most severe trials. Hugh Mackail describes them in an attractive way.
When we turn to Scripture, it is in fact clear that all Christians should expect persecution to some degree. Here is some valuable wisdom for situations of suffering for Christ.
Would it not be natural to think of the Covenanters as Scottish Puritans? The short answer is: no, this would not be accurate. There are various reasons for this.
What privilege could be greater than to have constant access to the throne room of heaven? What will help us to express ourselves in true holy boldness?
Why doesn’t God answer certain prayers? It seems so obvious to us that they should be. But we must also recognise that there may be a purpose of mercy when our desires are not fulfilled.
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