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10682Re: Covenanter position on The Civil Magistrate

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    Aug 2, 2004
      GMW, did you see my earlier post responding to Parnell? I
      cited "Two Sons of Oil" and "Informatory Vindication" that uphold
      the Biblical position that the Covenanters believe re: the Civil
      Magistrate against the unbiblical position held by most neo-Presbies.

      I will offer up many more soon...

      Yours in Christ,

      Edgar

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
      <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Fraas"
      > <fraasrd@y...> wrote:
      >
      > > So now ministers may not even declare that a usurper who takes
      > > power in violation of standing law is illegitimate? Does that
      hold
      > > for such usurpers as Absalom and Cromwell too? Did the prophets
      > > and ministers of God have to keep silent on their take-overs?
      >
      > To the contrary, is it not required of a faithful preacher to cry
      > down public sin wherever the infection may be? And did not
      Jehoiada
      > the priest orchestrate the slaughter of the usurper Athaliah,
      > notwithstanding her cries of "Treason!"?
      >
      > My understanding is that Charles II was installed with the
      > understanding that he would do what he indeed swore to do:
      >
      > "I CHARLES, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, do assure
      and
      > declare, by my solemn oath, in the presence of Almighty God, the
      > searcher of hearts, my allowance and approbation of the National
      > Covenant, and of the Solemn League and Covenant above written, and
      > faithfully oblige myself to prosecute the ends thereof in my
      station
      > and calling; and that I for myself and successors, shall consent
      and
      > agree to all acts of parliament enjoining the national covenant
      and
      > the solemn league and covenant, and fully establishing
      presbyterial
      > government, the directory for worship, confession of faith, and
      > catechisms, in the kingdom of Scotland, as they are approven by
      the
      > General Assemblies of this Kirk, and Parliament of this kingdom'
      and
      > that I shall give my royal assent, to acts and ordinances of
      > parliament passed, or to be passed, enjoining the same in my other
      > domnions: and that I shall observe these in my own practice and
      > family, and shall never make opposition to any of these, or
      endeavour
      > to any change thereof."
      >
      > But instead, he had the Solemn League and Covenant burned by the
      > hangman, unlawfully struck down the civil laws establishing the
      > Reformation in the land, and actively persecuted the Church
      refusing
      > to acknowledge his lawful right to do these things. In such a
      case,
      > I see no way that a minister is under obligation to remain silent
      > about the matter. That's my understanding, anyway.
      >
      > I would be interested in some material on how the Covenanters
      > specifically addressed the WCF article concerning the authority of
      > the civil magistrate. If anyone has some good stuff, please post!
      >
      > Here's some stuff from the Cloud of Witnesses, from various
      martyrs
      > who were tortured and killed, accused of treason and of violating
      the
      > very Confession they died testifying to:
      >
      > ---
      > David Hackston's testimony before the privy council:
      >
      > "The authority that disowns the interest of God, and states itself
      in
      > opposition to Jesus Christ, is no more to be owned; but so it is,
      the
      > King's authority is now such, therefore it ought not to be owned."
      > [snip]
      >
      > Then, being interrogated by the Bishop of Edinburgh, what he would
      > answer to that article of the Confession of Faith, that difference
      of
      > religion doth not make void the Magistrate's right and authority?
      He
      > answered, that he would not answer any perjured Prelate. The
      Bishop
      > replied, he was in the wrong to him, because he never took the
      > Covenant, therefore he was not perjured, and so deserved not that
      > name. But some of them asking him how he would answer that
      question,
      > he answered, "That question was answered long ago, by the Solemn
      > League and Covenant, which binds us only to maintain and defend
      the
      > King in the defense of the true religion: but now the king having
      > stated himself an enemy to religion, and all that will live
      > religiously, therefore it is high time to shake off all obligation
      of
      > allegiance to his authority."
      > ---
      >
      > The testimony of James Skene:
      >
      > "I adhere to Presbyterian Government, and the whole work of
      > Reformation of the Church of Scotland; the Confession of Faith,
      and
      > Larger and Shorter Catechisms, consulted well, and written by the
      > Assembly of Divines; except that article about Magistracy, when
      ill
      > expounded, in the 23d chapter; because our magistracy is but pure
      > tyranny, exercised by the lustful rage of men, yea, rather devils
      in
      > shape of men, whom God has permitted, in His holy and spotless
      > wisdom, for a trial to His people, and a snare to some others, to
      > oppress, tyrannize, and blasphemously tread under foot His truth,
      > interest, and people; yea, that article is expounded in the
      National
      > Covenant, where we have vowed to the Almighty God, not to maintain
      > the king's interest, when he disowns the Covenant, and well-
      settled
      > Church-government by Presbyteries, Synods, and General Assemblies
      of
      > the Church of Scotland.[* Note from the compiler of the 1st
      edition
      > of the Cloud of Witnesses: "Let none mistake this sentence as if
      > this worthy gentleman thereby disowned that unshaken principle of
      the
      > Protestant religion; viz., that infidelity or difference in
      religion
      > does not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority; for
      it
      > is plain, he rejects only the false sense that was then put upon
      it,
      > to make it an argument for defense of tyranny and arbitrary
      power."]
      > ---
      >
      > The testimony of Isabel Alison before the Privy Council:
      >
      > They asked, If I could read the Bible? I answered, Yes. They
      asked,
      > If I knew the duty we owe to the civil magistrate? I answered,
      When
      > the magistrate carrieth the sword for God, according to what the
      > Scripture calls for, we owe him all due reverence but when they
      > overturn the work of God, and set themselves in opposition to Him,
      it
      > is the duty of His servants to execute His laws and ordinances on
      > them.
      >
      > [snip]
      >
      > They asked, What think you of that in the Confession of Faith,
      that
      > magistrates should be owned, though they were heathens? I
      answered,
      > It was another matter, than when these, who seemed to own the
      truth,
      > have now overturned it, and made themselves avowed enemies to it.
      > They asked, Who should be judge of these things? I answered, The
      > Scriptures of truth, and the Spirit of God and not men that have
      > overturned the work themselves.
      > The testimony of James Robertson before the Council:
      > Question 1. "Is the king your lawful prince, yea, or not?
      > Answer "Since ye have made your questions matters of life and
      death,
      > ye ought to give time to deliberate upon them; but seeing I am put
      to
      > it, I answer, As he is a terror to evil doers, and a praise to
      them
      > that do well, he is; or he is not.
      > Question 2. "Were Pentland and Bothwell acts of traitory?
      > Answer "They being in their own defense, and the defense of the
      > Gospel, they are not acts of traitory or rebellion, self-defense
      > being always lawful; which I prove by the Confession of Faith, in
      > that article whereon you ground yourselves, which is, that
      subjects
      > may resist unjust violence and tyranny.
      > Question 3. "But wherein lies his tyranny?
      > Answer. "If robbing the privileges of the Church be not an act of
      > tyranny, I refer it to be judged.
      > Question 4. "Is the king a tyrant?
      > Answer "I refer it to his obligation in the Coronation Oath, and
      his
      > present actings and practices in robbing the privileges of the
      > Gospel, with the usurpation of the Church's liberties, and the
      > prerogatives royal of Jesus Christ, the anointed of the Father, in
      > making himself supreme; and I refer it to persons at home, and
      > nations abroad.
      > ---
      >
      > The last testimony of John Main:
      >
      > "I testify my adherence to the Confession of Faith (saying nothing
      to
      > that fourth article of the twenty-third chapter, but only that it
      is
      > misconstructed, and made use of for another end than ever the
      honest
      > and faithful ministers of Christ had before them, when they gave
      > their approbation of the same), and Catechisms Larger and Shorter,
      > our Covenants National and Solemn League, Acknowledgment of Sins
      and
      > Engagement to Duties, the Sum and Practical Use of Saving
      Knowledge."
      > ---
      >
      > Like I said, I'd love to see some more Covenanter stuff posted
      > addressing specifically the 23rd article of the Confession in
      > question.
      >
      > gmw.
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