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8704Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Uncomprimising Christians

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  • thebishopsdoom
    Jul 2, 2003
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      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
      <pjgray@s...> wrote:
      > I'm sorry for being unclear. If its any excuse it was very late for
      > me when I posted that message. But, my intentions were praise not
      > mockery. "hardliners" was supposed to be an term of affection.
      That's fine. I had expected based on the content of what you wrote
      that this was the intended case, though I also know that people often
      reserve the term for those who tend towards harshness and strict
      views simply for the sake of being strict. Not that this is
      inherently implied in the term, but I think it tends easily to
      conjure up such images.

      > Excuse me, I confused the covenanters with the leaguers.

      Historically, they are the same, but the term "covenanter" became
      reserved for >those
      > known also as Reformed Presbyterians, who rejected the settlement
      > the Church of Scotland under the authority of William
      > of Orange at the time of the "Glorious Revolution" as it was
      > regarded
      > as establishing the church on new, unwarranted (and partly
      > footing and violated the covenants to God that had been previously
      > taken by church and state.
      Those I mentioned previously who broke off from synod of the RPCNA in
      1840 to maintain the original RP positions I think have all either
      died out or merged with the RPCNA since some point after 1994 (but
      don't quote me on that; I only know that I recall having heard
      before - may or may not be true - that at some point after Ethel
      White's death in 1994 things supposedly were pretty well fizzling out
      among the old North Union congregation by either deaths or people
      just going ahead and joining the RPCNA; the church building no longer
      houses a covenanter congregation and I think was sold - as to the
      other members in two other locations in Pennsylvania in the late
      1800s, they appear to have stopped correspondence early in the 20th
      century so far as I can recall and most everyone presumes have long
      since died out; I believe the Ohio schism from the late 19th century
      pretty well died out or ended up in other churches early in the 20th
      century, I am only aware of one posible member who died in the 1940s,
      and I am not absolutely certain whether he was affiliated with the
      Ohio schism or not; I just assume he may have been because he lived
      in Ohio and the North Union people had no apparent recollection of
      the name). To the best of my understanding, in the early 1990s, some
      individuals were moving in the general direction of what that group
      professed (though disagreeing with a move the group had made some
      time before; while testifying against defection in the RPCNA the
      congregation had yet allowed RPCNA elders to come to preach to them,
      one of which elders is said - from what I have heard - to have
      proclaimed to others either that he would see to it that he would use
      this opportunity to "nail the coffin" on this congregation or else he
      may have actually proclaimed that he had nailed the coffin on the
      congregation); some of these foresaid individuals began contacts with
      some past and some then present members of the dying congregation,
      holding some contacts with them, and apparently receiving some
      records, books, and old sermon manuscripts from them, etc. with hopes
      to help keep the testimony alive and press its claims to the present
      and future generations, and the North Union group seemed favourable
      to this possibilty as well. Some lectures and other meetings with
      interested persons were had in western Pennsylvania, I think they
      were held at the North Union church, which at that time was still
      in the possession of the North Union congregation, but my
      recollection could err there. It might be just that there happened to
      be some North Union members at the meetings. Please excuse that my
      scatterbrained mind has forgotten some of these details as they had
      been relayed to me some time ago and I don't have any notes written
      down anywhere. Whatever the case, out of these contacts, the private
      publishing of a magazine for a few years back in the 1990s, at least
      one bookseller, and several websites since the late 1990s, a movement
      began to spawn into the late 1990s which led to what has become the
      formation of a few groups and also probably several dozen
      unaffiliated individuals all of whom would identify themselves with
      the old covenanters.

      >I thought that the Scots would be friendly
      > with King Billy because the Jacobins were papists?
      It is true that the Jacobites favoured the papacy. The fact that
      James was kicked out, laws enacted against anyone coming to the
      throne who would acknowledge the civil authority of the pope (though
      they were required to uphold the ecclesiastical authority of the
      king!), and the general persecution against presbyterians in Scotland
      ended are generally emphasized today, and were in his own day. It
      became habit to sweep several other very crucial matters under the
      carpet and led to continued compromises on the part of the Church of
      Scotland, not as overt or persecuting as they had done under James
      II, but compromises nonetheless.
      William of Orange was held to be the monarchical head of the church
      by virtue of his office as king over the British Isles. This of
      course was more especially felt in England and Ireland where the
      episcopal church was established. Scotland didn't have to use the
      title "head of the church, but the authority to some degree was still
      exercised; William held (and used) the prerogative, for instance, to
      call or dispense with assemblies, as his kingly right, and to kick
      ministers out of office and declare their pastorates vacant. William
      also retained on the law books the act recissory of 1662. This act
      nullified the acts of parliament that were passed during the
      covenanted reformation in fulfillment of the solemn league and
      covenant (including the adoption of the solemn league and covenant,
      which was by this act declared nullified, though William no longer
      had an oath of renunciation of the covenant as under James II). One
      could seemingly go on and on.
      I happened also to have found on the internet the following seemingly
      astounding claim:

      "We must ask why did William, a Dutchman, come to England, and why
      did James seek political asylum in France? Louis XIV, autocrat of
      France and supreme representative of feudalism in Europe, was busily
      engaged at the time in spreading French dominance in the western
      world. In the struggle to achieve control Louis required allies, and
      to upset the balance of power he needed England on his side. James'
      flight to France was thus mutually beneficial for both the French
      monarch and the deposed English monarch. James saw his alliance with
      Louis as a means whereby he could re-establish his dominance at home
      whereas Louis saw the potential of a re-installed James in terms of
      his own efforts to dominate Europe.
      William of Orange, on the other hand, was fighting for the
      independence of Holland against Louis and as such was very interested
      in having England on his side. Thus William's view of the throne of
      England was its usefulness in defending the national independence of
      In fact Catholic Spain was one of William's main allies in the fight
      against the spread of French dominance. And - wait for it - the Pope -
      as temporal monarch of Italy - was a fervent supporter of William's
      claim to the English throne and a military ally in the fight against
      Louis and France. When William and his army arrived on English soil,
      he brought with him a Papal blessing and a banner proclaiming the
      support of Italy and the Pope!!" (found in an essay on the internet.)

      Now, it is easy to dismiss this as so much hocus pocus conspiratorial
      gibberish from a raving lunatic, but the fact is that William of
      Orange did declare a fast that the churches in Scotland were required
      to uphold,

      "for the success of the war against Lewis XIV (of which above), and
      in favor of the Pope, which king William was bound to prosecute by
      virtue of a covenant made with the allies at the Hague, February,
      1691, to be seen in the declaration of war then made against France,
      wherein it is expressly said, "That no peace is to be made with Lewis
      XIV, till he has made reparation to the Holy See for whatsoever he
      has acted against it, and till he make void all these infamous
      proceedings (viz: of the parliament of Paris) against the holy
      father, Innocent XI." Behold here the acknowledgment of the
      supremacy, and his power and dignity, both as a secular and
      ecclesiastical prince; and in the observation of these fasts, the
      church did mediately (tell it not in Gath—) pray for success to
      man of sin" (from the Act, Declaration, and Testimony).

      While the fast was not in itself directly stated to be for papal
      claims, but rather the success of William's army's endeavors, William
      had leagued himself with the Spanish and Italians in this war which
      the people were praying for, and the terms of the war as they had
      been declared to France were that Louis would make reparation to the
      pope. So the presbyterians were ultimately praying for the success of
      a war which had as its declared end the claims of the papacy. FWIW,
      the pope did not support James II on the English throne at this time
      because James had fled to France and allied himself with Louis.
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