Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Terms of Christian and Ministerial Communion

Expand Messages
  • timmopussycat
    Hi Gerry I could read your original post (posted in Opera) without any trouble but I use IE 5.0 Maybe Opera just can t read the posts correctly? I pray you are
    Message 1 of 5 , May 28, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Gerry

      I could read your original post (posted in Opera) without any trouble
      but I use IE 5.0
      Maybe Opera just can't read the posts correctly?
      I pray you are finding the Lord's grace in your troubles.

      Tp

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "weeping_calvinist"
      <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
      >
      > I'm sorry if this comes out all screwy. This is the second time I
      > forgot that I can't post here using the Opera Browser.
      >
      > When I have some time, I'll clean it up and repost so it's more
      > readable.
      >
      > gmw.
      >
      > --- In
      covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "weeping_calvinist"
      > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
      > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, seamrog1935
      > <no_reply@y..=
      > > .> wrote:
      > > > Is there any commentary on the 3rd and 4th terms? I am having
      > > > difficutly understanding them especially "divine right and
      > > > unalterable". Regarding covenanting, I see many examples of
      > publick
      > > > covenanting in the OT but not in the NT. What are some
      examples
      > of
      > > > covenanting in the NT? The other 4 terms I understand and
      agree
      > with
      > > > them. Thanks.
      > >
      > > Hey Whit,
      > >
      > > Here are the related comments from the Explanation and Defense of
      > the Terms=
      > > of Communion book recommended by Bander:
      > >
      > > ---
      > >
      > > ON ARTICLE III.
      > >
      > > THIS article requires our assent to the divine right and original
      of
      > > Presbyterian church government.
      > >
      > > As the great body of the inhabitants of Scotland profess
      themselves
      > > Presbyterians; the propriety of this article, it is hoped, will
      not
      > be much=
      > > disputed; but though it should, it doth not comport with our
      > > present design to enlarge on the subject.
      > > That the power of church discipline and government is not lodged
      in
      > > the community of the faithful at large, but is entrusted to the
      > officebeare=
      > > rs, or public and regularly installed ministry of the church,
      > appears perfec=
      > > tly obvious from the distinction which is constantly made,
      through
      > the whole=
      > > of the New Testament, between the spiritual rulers, called to
      > labour in Wor=
      > > d and doctrine, or to rule with diligence, and those who are to
      be
      > subject t=
      > > o them in the Lord, obeying them, and esteeming them highly in
      > love, for the=
      > > ir works' sake. It is no less evident from our Lord's words,
      > addressed to th=
      > > e apostle Peter, and his fellow disciples, now solemnly called
      and
      > set apart=
      > > to the work of the ministry, by himself, as King upon the holy
      > hill of Zion=
      > > . "Upon this rock," says he, "I will build my church, and the
      gates
      > of hell =
      > > shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys
      of
      > the king=
      > > dom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be
      > bound in hea=
      > > ven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in
      > heaven." Th=
      > > e same thing is also manifest from those inspired epistles,
      > addressed to the=
      > > angels or ministry of the churches in Asia.
      > >
      > > The ministry in one of these churches is sharply reproved for
      > retaining in =
      > > communion persons who were erroneous and openly scandalous; while
      > the minist=
      > > ry of another is much commended for casting them out: —Plainly
      > importing, th=
      > > at the power of ministerially binding, and loosing, in the name,
      > and accordi=
      > > ng to the laws of Christ, was lodged with them. That lesser
      > ecclesiastical c=
      > > ourts, of more limited inspection and jurisdiction, should
      consider
      > themselv=
      > > es as subordinated unto greater courts, where there are more
      > counsellors, an=
      > > d, consequently, the higher probability of safety, in passing
      such
      > decisions=
      > > as are of general concern, is sufficiently obvious from the
      sacred
      > descript=
      > > ion of that venerable synod which met at Jerusalem in the days of
      > the Apostl=
      > > es. While it perfectly harmonizes with the nature, and comely
      order
      > of all s=
      > > ociety in general. And, That the church's adored Head allows no
      > superiority =
      > > to any one individual minister of he Gospel above another, but
      > considers the=
      > > m all as brethren of equal authority, is clear as noonday, from
      his
      > own expr=
      > > ess and very pointed language. "Ye know," says he, "that the
      > princes of the =
      > > Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great
      > exercise autho=
      > > rity upon them. But it shall not be so among you. One is your
      > Master, even C=
      > > hrist; and all ye are brethren. Neither as being lords over God's
      > heritage, =
      > > but being ensamples to the flock." The indiscriminate use of the
      > words bisho=
      > > p and
      > > PRESBYTER, in the New Testament, to signify one and the same
      > > official character, and the granting to a judicial meeting of
      > presbyters th=
      > > e power of ordination, which is the highest power claimed in the
      > church, als=
      > > o proclaim the equality of Gospel ministers.
      > >
      > > The Presbyterian form of church government, therefore, agreeably
      to
      > > our subordinate standards, seems to be the only form which can
      > properly cla=
      > > im a divine original. It makes a distinguished part of the faith
      > once delive=
      > > red to the saints in these covenanted isles of the sea. In the
      > support and d=
      > > efence of it, our pious and venerable ancestors made a noble
      stand,
      > many of =
      > > them resisting unto blood, striving against sin, and not
      reckoning
      > their liv=
      > > es dear unto themselves; if so be they might transmit it, in its
      > original si=
      > > mplicity and purity, to the rising race, as the divinely
      appointed
      > and comel=
      > > y order of Christ's house.
      > >
      > > We, accordingly, consider it as still deserving a place in our
      > terms of adm=
      > > ission to the privileges of the church. Those who wish to see its
      > claim to a=
      > > divine original fully demonstrated by strong and conclusive
      > arguments, may =
      > > consult, among others, [The Grand Debate; The Divine Right of
      > Church Governm=
      > > ent, by the London Ministers; The Due Right of Presbyteries, by
      > Mr.Rutherfor=
      > > d: Letters on the Constitution, Government, and Discipline of the
      > Christian =
      > > Church, by Mr. Brown; A Short Vindication of Presbyterial Church-
      > Government,=
      > > by Mr. Whytock.]
      > >
      > > [end of quote]
      > > ---
      > >
      > > And here is the section of the said book dealing with the issue
      of
      > public s=
      > > ocial covenanting. I will mention in regard to your question on
      > covenanting=
      > > in the New Testament that 1). some of the mentions of
      covenanting
      > in the O=
      > > ld Testament are prophecies of New Testament times, such as the
      > Jeremiah quo=
      > > te which appears on the Covenanted Reformation Club's homepage.
      > 2). Paul sa=
      > > ys that the Churches in Macedonia "gave themselves to the Lord,"
      > which can o=
      > > nly be understood as some form of covenanting to be the Lord's,
      > because, hav=
      > > ing been purchased by His blood, the Churches of Macedonia
      ALREADY
      > belonged =
      > > to the Lord. 3). Covenant-breaking is still considered a sin in
      > the New Te=
      > > stament, as it is a violation of the Third Commandment. Covenant
      > keeping, t=
      > > herefore, is clearly implied. And so regardless of whether you
      > believe that=
      > > churches and states are obligated to enter into covenant, you
      must
      > acknowle=
      > > dge that once they did, they are not permitted to break that
      > covenant withou=
      > > t the expectation of divine wrath from Him Who will not have His
      > Name taken =
      > > upon our lips in vain.
      > >
      > > This being my humble contribution to the discussion, let's move
      on
      > to the f=
      > > ollowing from the same Explanation and Defense of the Terms of
      > Communion:
      > >
      > > ---
      > > ON ARTICLE IV.
      > >
      > > THE fourth article respects the perpetual obligation of our solemn
      > > Covenants, and the propriety of the Renovation at Auchensaugh,
      1712.
      > > The great and important duty of public covenanting, even in New
      > > Testament times, hath been so fully illustrated, and clearly
      > defended in ma=
      > > ny publications, both ancient and modern, that we reckon it quite
      > superfluou=
      > > s to enter into a discussion of the subject here.
      > > While we firmly believe that the public covenants of ancient
      Israel
      > > comprehended great and important moral duties, equally incumbent
      > > upon men, in all periods of the church; while we find that the
      first
      > > commandment of the moral law, in the true scope of it, requires
      us
      > to
      > > avouch the Lord to be our God, and to persevere in his worship and
      > > service, the very substance of all proper religious covenanting;
      > while we c=
      > > annot refuse, that the third commandment, rightly understood,
      > plainly teache=
      > > s us to fear the Lord our God, and, when lawfully called unto it,
      > to swear b=
      > > y his name; while we read many precious predictions in the Old
      > Testament, fo=
      > > retelling that, in the days of the Messias, men should subscribe
      > with their =
      > > hand unto the Lord, vow a vow unto him and perform it, and should
      > say, Come,=
      > > and let us join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant,
      > never to b=
      > > e forgotten; and while we find, that every baptized Christian,
      > taking the Bi=
      > > ble into his hand as the rule of his faith and practice, sitting
      > down at the=
      > > holy table of the Lord, and opening his mouth in a public
      > profession of the=
      > > Christian religion, evidently doth what is to all intents and
      > purposes subs=
      > > tantially the same with solemn covenanting; though we had no
      other
      > arguments=
      > > for it, we cannot withhold our consent to the propriety of our
      > ancestors' c=
      > > onduct, in taking the burden upon them for themselves and their
      > posterity, t=
      > > hat they would be for God, and not for another: in the believing
      > improvement=
      > > of his gracious promise, "I will establish my covenant between
      me
      > and thee,=
      > > and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an
      everlasting
      > covenant,=
      > > to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."
      > >
      > > A very slight attention to our solemn covenants will serve to
      show
      > that the=
      > > matter of them is Scriptural, and that, therefore, they may be
      > safely sworn=
      > > .
      > >
      > > As to the National Covenant of Scotland, its great object is,
      > evidently, th=
      > > e renouncement of Popery, together with all superstitions of the
      > same descri=
      > > ption. But if the church of Rome be the mystical Babylon of the
      New
      > Testamen=
      > > t, if the Romish church indeed be false, blasphemous, idolatrous,
      > bloody, so=
      > > ul-ruining, and deceitful, as hath often been abundantly proved,
      > and as the =
      > > Presbytery have shown in their "Testimony and Warning against
      > Popery," then =
      > > the divine injunction applies, in its full force, "Come out of
      her,
      > my peopl=
      > > e, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not
      of
      > her plag=
      > > ues." Our obedience to this sovereign command is very properly
      > testified, by=
      > > seriously swearing, in the name and strength of the Lord, never
      to
      > touch th=
      > > e unclean thing.
      > > A great many acts of parliament are introduced into this National
      > > Covenant. The reason is sufficiently obvious. Our reformers, at
      that
      > > time, were considered by many as taking too much upon them, acting
      > > beyond their commission, and laying themselves open to the charge
      of
      > > seditious conduct. In their own vindication, they quoted these
      > > numerous acts, to prove that they were doing nothing but what was
      > > authorized by the fundamental laws of the kingdom, as well as by
      the
      > > Word of God. If those who approve of the Covenant have an
      > > opportunity of seeing and reading these acts, for their own
      > satisfaction, i=
      > > t is well, they should certainly embrace the opportunity. At the
      > same time, =
      > > though they should never have it in their power to see one of
      them,
      > yet it i=
      > > s practicable for them to swear the covenant itself, in truth, in
      > righteousn=
      > > ess, and in judgment. They have the body of the solemn deed, and
      > may, at all=
      > > times, compare it with the infallible standard of right and
      wrong.
      > > It is also observable, that, in describing the various
      abominations
      > of Pope=
      > > ry, the National Covenant employs many terms, which, though
      > > familiar to the church of Rome, that mystery of iniquity, yet
      cannot
      > > well be supposed to be fully understood by every Protestant
      reader,
      > > who may consent unto the covenant. This much, however, he may see
      > > at once, that these strange and antiscriptural terms must be
      > descriptive of=
      > > such human inventions as are entirely beside the Word of God,
      > being added t=
      > > o the things contained in that sacred book; and, therefore, ought
      > to be reje=
      > > cted. An instance or two will serve to illustrate this.
      > >
      > > We renounce "His five bastard sacraments." Every one probably does
      > > not know that these are "marriage, ordination, confirmation,
      > penance,
      > > and extreme unction;" but Christians, in general, can very easily
      > know that=
      > > the only sacraments in the New Testament are Baptism and the
      > Lord's Supper;=
      > > and, consequently, that no institution besides can ever
      > consistently be adm=
      > > itted as a proper sacrament. Mention is made of the
      > Pope's "shavellings." Th=
      > > ere may, possibly, be many sincere believers in the Protestant
      > churches who =
      > > cannot tell that these mean his "monks or friars, of different
      > orders, who h=
      > > ave their heads shaven in different forms, to mark their
      > distinguished prete=
      > > nded holiness;" but all may know that no such orders were ever
      > appointed by =
      > > Christ, and, therefore, the doctrine respecting them can make no
      > part of the=
      > > faith delivered to the saints. The same may be said of all the
      > other Antich=
      > > ristian abominations. Meanwhile, it is not intended to
      discourage,
      > but rathe=
      > > r to recommend such proper researches after the knowledge of
      these
      > things as=
      > > may enable us to oppose them with judgment and precision.
      > >
      > > Turning our attention to the Solemn League of the three nations,
      we
      > > find that in the first article we engage to preserve the true
      > reformed reli=
      > > gion where it is already established, and to carry forward the
      > reformation w=
      > > here it is not yet completed. Say not the Scriptures that this is
      > our duty? =
      > > "Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,
      > let us mind=
      > > the same thing. Remember how thou hast received and heard, and
      > hold fast. L=
      > > eaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to
      > perfection.=
      > > For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in
      > order the th=
      > > ings that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had
      > appointed t=
      > > hee."
      > >
      > > In the second article, we profess to use our best endeavours,
      > without
      > > partiality, for the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, superstition,
      > heresy, s=
      > > chism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to
      sound
      > doctrine=
      > > and the power of godliness. All these have, oftentimes, been
      > clearly proved=
      > > to be gross corruptions of Jehovah's worship, and open
      violations
      > of his ho=
      > > ly law; concerning which his express language is, "Thou shalt not
      > do so unto=
      > > the Lord thy God. What thing soever I command you, observe to do
      > it: thou s=
      > > halt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Purge out, therefore,
      > the old le=
      > > aven, that ye may be a new lump. Every plant which my heavenly
      > Father hath n=
      > > ot planted shall be rooted up."
      > >
      > > In the third article, we undertake to preserve the rights and
      > privileges of=
      > > the civil authorities, in the preservation and defence of true
      > religion, an=
      > > d liberties of the kingdoms. Nothing can be more consonant to the
      > divine inj=
      > > unctions, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the
      > Lord's sake; =
      > > whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto
      > them that a=
      > > re sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the
      praise
      > of them =
      > > that do well. He is the minister of God to thee for good. But if
      > thou do tha=
      > > t which is evil, be afraid, for he is a revenger to execute wrath
      > upon him t=
      > > hat doth evil. Pay ye tribute also, for they are God s ministers,
      > attending =
      > > continually upon this very thing." In these passages the lawful
      > authority, o=
      > > fficial character, and important duty of the magistrate, are
      > inseparably con=
      > > nected with the people's obedience and support.
      > >
      > > In article fourth, we solemnly resolve to employ our endeavours
      for
      > > discovering, and bringing seasonably to condign punishment, all
      such
      > > incendiaries and malignants as wickedly hinder the reformation,
      and
      > > foment divisions in the kingdoms. Which is nothing more than what
      > > the Lord himself requires, when he says, "Execute judgment in the
      > > morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the
      > > oppressor. Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the
      vines.
      > > Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."
      > In articl=
      > > e fifth, we swear to do what we can in our respective places,
      > > for preserving, to all posterity, the settled peace and union of
      the
      > > kingdoms. The union principally intended respects the common
      faith,
      > > delivered to the saints, in all its branches; and, therefore, the
      > > endeavouring to keep it exactly corresponds to the inspired
      > > recommendation, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in
      > the
      > > bond of peace."
      > >
      > > In the last article of this League, we bind ourselves to assist
      and
      > > defend each other, and jointly to persevere in prosecuting the
      great
      > > ends of the covenant, without giving place to indifference or
      > defection. G=
      > > od himself certainly commands so much. "Bear ye one another's
      > burdens, and s=
      > > o fulfil the law of Christ. Stand fast in one spirit, with one
      mind
      > striving=
      > > together for the faith of the Gospel. Be ye steadfast,
      unmovable,
      > always ab=
      > > ounding in the work of the Lord."
      > >
      > > To covenants, the matter of which is so evidently agreeable to the
      > > unalterable precepts of the moral law, we may safely apply the
      > > inspired Apostle's language, "Though it be but a man's covenant,
      yet
      > > if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth thereto."[51]
      > Indeed, if =
      > > it can once be proved, as it has often been, in the most
      convincing
      > manner, =
      > > that the church, as such, as well as men in other capacities, may
      > warrantabl=
      > > y enter into public scriptural covenants at all, their obligation
      > must neces=
      > > sarily be perpetual; inasmuch as the church, collectively
      > considered, is sti=
      > > ll the same permanent society, which can never die; though the
      > individuals, =
      > > of whom she may have been composed, in any given period, should
      be
      > no more. =
      > > And, if even civil deeds amongst men, when they are legally
      > executed, bind n=
      > > ot only the persons presently entering into them, but them, their
      > heirs, and=
      > > successors to all generations; much more must we consider these
      > > religious covenants, which are executed according to the revealed
      > will of o=
      > > ur heavenly Lawgiver, to be binding not only upon the generation
      of
      > the chur=
      > > ch, more immediately entering into them, but also on their heirs
      > and success=
      > > ors to the end of the world.
      > > Concerning these covenants, some have proposed the query, "In what
      > > sense can they be said, as they are in our Testimony, to be of
      > divine
      > > authority or obligation?" We reply, The divine authority of
      heaven's
      > > great Sovereign is, evidently, interposed, in requiring us to
      enter
      > into su=
      > > ch covenants, "Vow unto the Lord your God." And when once we
      > > have entered into them, the same divine authority binds us to
      > > performance, "Pay that which thou hast vowed." Add to these, that
      > the
      > > great and dreadful name, THE LORD OUR GOD is invoked in the solemn
      > > transaction, while his declarative glory among men is deeply
      > > concerned in the faithful fulfilment of our engagements. So that,
      > > besides the intrinsic obligation of the covenants, viewed simply
      as
      > > human deeds, whereby men bind their souls, there is, in all such
      > > covenants, an obligation of divine authority, requiring first to
      > make, and =
      > > then to perform our covenants; from the invocation of the divine
      > name, consi=
      > > dering JEHOVAH as witness and avenger, and from the
      > > interfering with the divine glory, in the keeping or violating of
      > our
      > > oath. Hence, in the Scripture, the same oath is, in one respect
      > > considered as the covenant of the man giving his hand; and, in
      > another resp=
      > > ect, as the Lord's covenant, whose glory is concerned in it. Our
      > Testimony, =
      > > if properly attended to, explains itself; telling us, the
      > covenants "are of =
      > > divine authority, obligation, AS having THEIR FOUNDATION UPON THE
      > WORD OF GO=
      > > D."
      > >
      > > Some have also questioned, "Whether or not the covenants can
      > > properly lay us under any additional obligations to duty, besides
      > what we a=
      > > re already under, from the divine law?" In all disputes, the
      > > explaining of our terms is highly requisite, If by additional or
      > > superadded obligation be meant something introduced to supply a
      > > defect, or to bind where we were at liberty, it is plain that no
      > human cove=
      > > nants can, in this sense, impose a superadded obligation; for
      God's
      > law is a=
      > > bsolutely perfect, and necessarily binds to every
      > > possible duty, both as to matter and manner, according to the
      > station
      > > which we fill. But if by superadded obligation be meant a further
      > and
      > > very awful consideration, which also should have a strong
      influence
      > in prom=
      > > pting us to the faithful discharge of his duty; in this sense the
      > covenants =
      > > undoubtedly contain an additional obligation; for, besides the
      > authority of =
      > > the divine law obliging us, we, by our own voluntary deed,
      likewise
      > bind our=
      > > selves to the conscientious performance of the same things.
      > >
      > > Those who approve of the original covenants themselves, cannot
      > > consistently deny the propriety of the Auchensaugh renovation,
      which
      > > is also mentioned in this article of our Terms; seeing it must be
      > > obvious to every one who hath properly perused that deed that
      there
      > is not =
      > > the least substantial alteration. After omitting, the
      designations,
      > Noblemen=
      > > , Gentlemen, &c. which could not apply to them, being only a few
      > private Chr=
      > > istians, with one minister and a probationer, and after adding a
      > few margina=
      > > l notes, accommodating them to the real circumstances in which
      the
      > swearers =
      > > then were, the old covenants remain as they were. There are,
      > indeed, accompa=
      > > nying that renovation, an enlarged Acknowledgment of sins, and an
      > Engagement=
      > > to duties. These, also, were necessary, in order, to accommodate
      > the solemn=
      > > transaction unto the existing circumstances of the nation in
      which
      > the swea=
      > > rers lived, as well as unto their own condition.
      > >
      > > It will not be refused, that in the Engagement to duties
      connected
      > with the=
      > > Auchensaugh renovation, our zealous forefathers use some
      > > remarkably strong, and perhaps rather incautious expressions, in
      > > declaring their resolution not to submit unto some of the public
      > > burdens which they particularly specify. But they evidently
      > considered thei=
      > > r submission unto these as necessarily implying a homologation of
      > the presen=
      > > t constitutions, civil and ecclesiastic and on that footing,
      > refused to yiel=
      > > d. In the leading and general principle, then, that it is
      > inconsistent for D=
      > > issenters to submit unto such things, as, strictly speaking,
      imply
      > an approb=
      > > ation of the present constitutions, or a proper recognizing of
      the
      > constitut=
      > > ed authorities, they and we are perfectly agreed. But, as it is
      > difficult to=
      > > draw the exact line of distinction between these things which,
      in
      > the very =
      > > nature of them, abstracting from any question for conscience'
      sake,
      > properly=
      > > imply the recognizing of the existing power under which they are
      > done, and =
      > > those things which do not, we need not be surprised though there
      be
      > some div=
      > > ersity, both in opinion and practice, concerning the yielding or
      > not yieldin=
      > > g to some particular specified national burdens.
      > >
      > > It is abundantly obvious that all the taxations in general which
      our
      > > noble martyrs, in the late persecution, positively refused to
      pay,
      > were imp=
      > > osed avowedly for the purpose of suppressing the very cause
      > > which these martyrs were endeavouring, at the hazard of their
      > lives, to, ma=
      > > intain; and not simply for the general and undefined support of
      the
      > existing=
      > > government. This brought the matter closely home to their
      > conscience, as fa=
      > > ithful witnesses for Christ and his persecuted cause. But as no
      > taxations in=
      > > our time are, as yet, imposed for a similar purpose, it is
      surely
      > pushing t=
      > > he matter too far to consider the bare yielding unto them, for
      > wrath's sake,=
      > > as necessarily involving a contradiction to the martyrs'
      > testimony. Even th=
      > > ese martyrs themselves, as far as we can learn, yielded to the
      > general burde=
      > > ns which were not of the description above specified; and yet
      they
      > openly di=
      > > sowned the powers which then were. Swearing oaths of allegiance
      to
      > the exist=
      > > ing authorities; holding places of public trust under them;
      > praying, in the =
      > > formal and unqualified manner, for a blessing, prosperity, and
      > success unto =
      > > them, in their official capacity as our rulers; and formally
      > recognizing the=
      > > ir several courts of judgment, are the principal things which our
      > Testimony =
      > > specifies, as necessarily implying approbation of the united
      > constitution, a=
      > > nd a direct acknowledgment of the existing power. But it does not
      > view any t=
      > > hing else in the same light as matters stand at present. So long,
      > therefore,=
      > > as we are enabled to keep ourselves free of these, and while we
      do
      > not find=
      > > the general national burdens demanded as any proof of our
      loyalty,
      > nor for =
      > > the purpose of suppressing the cause which, we are endeavouring,
      > through gra=
      > > ce, to maintain, we cannot consider ourselves as convicted of
      > inconsistency,=
      > > though we be obliged to allow that those who are set over
      us "have
      > dominion=
      > > over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure; and we
      > are in grea=
      > > t distress." What we chiefly intend by introducing the
      Auchensaugh
      > Bond into=
      > > our Terms, is the approbation of renewing the covenants, as it
      was
      > then don=
      > > e, at that place, without overlooking any of the reformation
      > attainments, ei=
      > > ther in church or state; and by giving a faithful testimony
      against
      > all the =
      > > defections and prevailing sins in both. But we do not reckon
      > ourselves respo=
      > > nsible for every unwary expression which our forefathers have
      used.
      > >
      > > [end of quote]
      > >
      > > ---
      > >
      > > I hope this is helpful. Perhaps you should print it out so you
      can
      > read it=
      > > without your eyes going buggy!
      > >
      > > Did you catch that, Jasper? BUGGY. As in, Horse and Buggy.
      > >
      > > gmw.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.