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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: The James Begg Society

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  • S.P.Padbury
    Dear Jerry,
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 1, 2002
      Dear Jerry,

      <<<"We observe that the majority of "Protestant" church-goers in
      our day scoff at and reject much of the faith of their precesessors.
      Many express a heart-felt regret for the work of God in the
      Reformation, and seek to undo it....">>>

      --Did you not recognise my own inimitable style?

      BTW, I surfed around abit on the www.jbeggsoc.org.uk version of
      the JBS site, and foind that the "break out of frames" javascripts
      don't work for some reason. The only way out of the frameset it to
      keep hitting the "back" button on the internet browser.

      These same scripts work on the "easyweb" version of the site.
      Something crazy is going on!

      Best regards, Simon.
    • thebishopsdoom
      ... office ... Men ... Just to further clarify the issues involved in the Protester / Resolutioner struggle... The public resolutions declared that for the
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 1, 2002
        --- In covenantedreformationclub@y..., "Jerry" <ragingcalvinist@c...>
        >The Resolutioners agreed with the Resolutions which
        > were passed that allowed "malignants" (open enemies of the
        > Reformation, covenant-refusers, and covenant-breakers) to hold
        > in Church and State.
        > The Protestors took the contrary view, which was that the Covenants
        > sworn by both Church and State did NOT allow such a resolution.
        > like Patrick Gillespie, Samuel Rutherford, and James Guthrie were
        > some notable Protestors.

        Just to further clarify the issues involved in the Protester /
        Resolutioner struggle...

        The public resolutions declared that for the raising of the army, men
        could be put into public trust and in the army provided they are not
        forfeited (forget what that meant offhand), notoriously profane,
        excommunicated, nor at the present time declared enemies to the
        covenants and the cause of God. I think that taking of the covenant
        was still a requirement as well.
        However, despite these qualifications, the resolutions represented a
        change from the previous acts of Scottish General Assembly, and the
        evidence of actual repentance was also apparently frequently not
        there before such were put into public trust or in the army, and yet
        those who questioned what was going on faced the threat of censure.
        Hugh Binning:

        "SECTION II.
        IN the next place, upon supposal and proof, that there is a malignant
        party and faction still in the land, it is needful to examine,
        whether the exceptions contained in the answer of the Commission to
        the Parliament's Query, and inserted into the Act of Levy, be so
        comprehensive as to include all that party. The exceptions be four.
        1. Such as are excommunicated.
        2. Such as are forfaulted.
        3. Such as are notoriously profane or flagitious. And,
        4. Such as have been from the beginning, and continue still, or at
        this time are, obstinate enemies and opposers of the covenant and
        cause of God.
        That these are not comprehensive of the whole malignant party in the
        land, appears. First, The rules of the General Assembly framed for
        the exclusion of all such as ought not to be employed in our armies,
        are far more comprehensive. The rule is for employing of such only as
        are of a Christian and blameless conversation, which is turned over
        by their commissioners into a negative, all that are not notoriously
        profane or flagitious.
        Another is, for intrusting only these who have been of known
        integrity and constant friends to the cause of God from the
        beginning, which is also turned over into a negative, all that have
        not been constant enemies. All such, by the Answer, are capable of
        some trust and employment. The rules agreed upon by the assembly, and
        ratified by act of parliament, anno 1649, and renewed upon occasion
        of this invasion, were that no officer nor soldier that followed
        James Graham should be permitted in the army, nor any officer that
        was in the Engagement, except such as, upon real evidence of
        repentance, were particularly recommended by the church, nor any
        common soldier, but upon sufficient testimony of his repentance.
        Now, since it is proved that the most part of all such continue still
        malignants, and retain their old principles, and that the bulk and
        body of the people are called forth by the public resolution, without
        such exceptions as were conceived before necessary, for the exclusion
        of that party, it follows clearly, that the malignant party is not
        excepted in the present resolutions."


        "Objection 2. The most part of these who were formerly malignant,
        have now repented of that sin, and make profession of their
        resolution to adhere to the covenant and cause of God, and to bestow
        their lives and estates in defence thereof. Therefore they are not
        now to be esteemed malignants.
        Answer. We would wish from our hearts that we had no answer to this
        argument; then should we yield the point in hand, and yield it
        cheerfully, that there is no malignant party now in Scotland. But,
        alas! that we have so much evidence convincing our consciences and
        persuading them to deny what is objected. We acknowledge some have
        indeed repented, and such we desire to embrace and receive with all
        tenderness and love, as godly Christians, worthy to be intrusted. But
        yet the most part of them do still bring forth the same malignant
        fruits. Their ungodly and wicked practices testify to their face that
        they have nothing to do to take his covenant in their mouth, seeing
        they hate to be reformed. The late rising in arms, contrary to their
        solemn and particular engagements, their bearing down and reproaching
        the godly, and such as are of known integrity, their studying to fill
        places of trust with men formerly enemies or underminers, their
        continuing in their profane and loose walking, - all these are more
        convincing evidences of their retaining their old principles than any
        extorted confessions or professions; for sinister respects and ends
        can be no probable signs of their repentance and change."

        David Lachman (preface to Durham on Scandal in the Naphtali edition)
        mentions about further controversy that had erupted in the
        Protester / Resolutioner controversy:

        "The Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
        (which met and acted for the General Assembly between meetings, in
        much the same way as did the Committee of Estates for Parliament)
        acknowledged the Remonstrance contained some sadd trueths, but, in
        view of the great and evident necessity occasioned by the presence of
        enemy troops in the kingdom, could not oppose the raising of all but
        the excommunicated, the notoriously profane and those who
        continuously have opposed and still oppose the Covenant and cause of
        God. In the ensuing months the Commission urged the church not to
        give comfort to the enemy by speaking disrespectfullie of the public,
        just, and necessarie Resolutions and justified their support of
        allowing all but a few to join in the defense of the kingdom by
        various arguments from Scripture and sanctified prudence.
        In December Parliament asked the General Assembly's Commission what
        persons were to be admitted to join in the defense of the kingdom and
        in March sent the Commission a letter inquiring if the Act of
        Classes, which obstructed unanimity in defense of the kingdom, might
        not be rescinded. The Commission answered that they could not be
        against raising all fencible persons and agreed the Act of Classes
        might be repealed. Their approval of these `Public Resolutions' of
        the Estates of Parliament led them to advise the presbyteries to
        censure any who persuade or preach contrary to them and to summon any
        such to appear before the next General Assembly.
        "Acknowledging the need for caution against the malignants, they
        believed the Sectaries the main threat. That some who joined in the
        cause were malignants did not, they urged, make them sinful in doing
        their duty.
        "The General Assembly met in July at St. Andrews, adjourned hastily
        after two days, met again briefly in the relative safety of Dundee
        (north of the Tay) and then dispersed lest all be captured by the
        advancing English army (as some, including the moderator and the
        clerk, in fact were). It was a badly attended meeting from the start;
        the English occupied considerable portions of the country and travel
        to the General Assembly was difficult for many and impossible for
        some. From the start of the Assembly there were disagreements,
        particularly about contested elections, about the approval of the
        Commission's actions and even about the legality of the Assembly
        itself, granted the instructions of the Commission to presbyteries
        that any who opposed the Public Resolutions should not be elected,
        but rather censured.
        "These differences issued in a Protestation handed in shortly before
        the Assembly left St. Andrews. Signed at first by twenty-two
        ministers, including James Guthrie and Samuel Rutherford, it
        complained against the validity and constitution of this Assembly, as
        not being free and lawful, of the allowing and carrying on of a
        conjunction with the Malignant Party contrary to the Word of God and
        the Covenant, and protested that any actions taken by such an
        Assembly were void and null.
        "When the Assembly reconstituted itself at Dundee more than half did
        not appear, including all of those who had signed the Protestation.
        Although the Protestation was at first committed, lest unripe
        thoughts should be vented concerning it, the decision was to cite
        five of the signers to appear and to commend highly the actions of
        the preceding Commission. The Assembly further called on presbyteries
        and synods to censure them [the signers] according to the degree of
        their offense and obstinacie to the Acts of this Assembly and to
        remove all privileges from such candidates for the ministry as
        opposed the Public Resolutions and declined the authority of the

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