The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant - Part 7

Part 7

The sound principles comprised in the Pittsburgh bond are still more palpably rendered nugatory by contradictions, manifold evasions and ambiguous phrases; such as "accepted manuals, our fathers' covenants,"

etc.; while the solemn pledge to "maintain Christian friendship with pious men of every name, and to feel and act as one with all in every land who pursue this grand end "--an _undefined_ end--would overthrow, if this were possible, the whole scriptural fabric of our Presbyterial Covenanted Reformation. Treachery and perfidy, not to say perjury, are bound up in the Pittsburgh bond, especially in pledging themselves to the performance of civil duties "not forbidden in the law of G.o.d." Some of the native fruits of this transaction, tending still more to corrupt themselves and others are the continual practice of occasional hearing, exchange of pulpits and correspondence by delegation.

This body has placed itself under the authority of the Pennsylvania Legislature, having pet.i.tioned for and obtained an act of incorporation, and having voluntarily submitted to the Erastian civil jurisdiction of the state of Pennsylvania and of the United States. The civil Charter expressly inst.i.tutes and appoints its trustees to be regulated and limited in the exercise of the functions of their respective offices by the const.i.tutions of Pennsylvania and of the nation. Their bond prepared the way for this more gross and practical surrender of all that is distinctive in our covenanted position. And finally, so far as we know all parties in the three lands claiming to be Reformed Presbyterians, have for years renounced those provisions of our Directory which require the lines to be read in public praise to G.o.d, and the banns to be proclaimed before marriage.

The nations throughout Christendom, continue in league with Antichrist and give their strength to the beast. They still refuse to profess and defend the true religion in doctrine, worship, government and discipline, contrary to the example of the kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland in the seventeenth century. Some of them have waged wars of conquest, under pretence of opening a way for the spread of the gospel; and disregarding international law, have violated solemn treaties among themselves, and all of them practically disregard divine authority; habitually profaning the Christian Sabbath, by carrying the mail, by commercial traffic, and parties of pleasure on land and water.

Acknowledging the righteousness of divine judgment upon ourselves and others for manifold violations of G.o.d's law and breaches of our own and our fathers' solemn vows in our domestic, ecclesiastical and civil relations; we desire to humble ourselves before G.o.d for these sins, and for others not contained in this enumeration. Seeing that G.o.d hath punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hath left us a small remnant in his sovereign mercy, our prayer to him is that he may enable us by his grace to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, to the glory of his great and holy name, and the commendation of his pardoning mercy.


We, office-bearers and members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, convinced by the Word and Spirit of G.o.d of our guilt and depravity by our breach of covenant in Adam; of utter inability to save ourselves from the ruins of the falls or its just penal consequences; desiring moreover to bless, the Lord, that when we were yet without strength Christ died for the unG.o.dly; that a door of faith has been opened to the Gentiles, and repentance unto life granted to such; taking our warrant and encouragement from G.o.d alone, with our hands lifted up toward him:--do swear by his great and fearful name as the Lord our G.o.d, that--

I. We accept G.o.d in Christ for ourselves and our children as offered to us in the gospel, to be our everlasting portion; and we joyfully surrender ourselves and our all to him as his rightful and exclusive property. We cordially approve the Covenant of Grace, and embrace it as all our salvation and all our desire. Dead to the law as a covenant of works, we cheerfully receive it from Christ's hand as our perfect rule of life, to direct our personal and social conduct. Aiming to glorify G.o.d as our chief end, and to do good unto all men as we have opportunity--especially to the household of faith--we promise in the strength of divine grace to search the Scriptures, conforming heart and life to this standard, in constant opposition to the course of this world, exemplifying G.o.dliness and honesty before men all our days.

II. Set for the defence of the gospel, and under manifold obligations to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints, we acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and new Testament to be the Word of G.o.d and the alone infallible rule of faith and manners, rejecting any and all additions or subtractions, false translations, perverting or wresting them to men's destruction.

We own also, as subordinate standards of faith and practice of doctrine and order, the National Covenant and Solemn League: as also the Westminster formularies, well known by their names--viz., the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Form of Church Government, and Directory of Public Worship; as these were received respectively by the Church of Scotland in the years 1645, '47, and '48, not merely as "_Doctrinal_ Standards," but as symbols, all of them, of Christian practice also, and as a part of the uniformity sworn to in the Solemn League. We adhere to the Renovation of the National Covenants at Auchensaugh, 1712, as comprising the same grand Scriptural principles with the original deeds, and preserving the ident.i.ty of the moral person, which became more visible in 1761 by a Judicial Testimony, re-exhibited in 1858 and 1876.

We repudiate the Renovation at Dervock, 1853, as being inadequate, defective, and unfaithful--part of the doc.u.ment couched in abstract, evasive, and equivocal language. Also, we condemn and reject the Pittsburgh Bond, as ambiguous, self-contradictory and treacherous--"a snare on Mizpah." We abjure and testify against Popery, as delineated by our ancestors in the National Covenant, together with the fict.i.tious dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and the blasphemous a.s.sumption by the Pope of Jehovah's incommunicable prerogative of Infallibility. In like manner we reject Prelacy, whether Erastian or Diocesan, as abjured in the National Covenant and more explicitly in the Solemn League; while in pity for the persons involved in these despotic systems, we will pray and labor for the extirpation of these poisonous plants, and the emanc.i.p.ation of their deluded admirers. We condemn and disown all existing systems which involve the infidel element called Voluntaryism, representing the divine ordinances of Church and State as mutually inimical or in any way antagonistic, thus impeaching the wisdom of the Almighty.

III. Believing that the Son of G.o.d has been, as Mediator appointed heir of all things, and invested with universal dominion; that he reigns and must reign till all his impenitent enemies be put under his feet: we pledge ourselves in reliance on divine grace to continue our advocacy of his claims upon the homage and willing obedience of individual and social man, in the family, the church and the civil commonwealth. We will maintain and urge his exclusive right to prescribe the faith and order of the church by his royal authority. We promise to inculcate and exemplify Presbyterian Church Government as alone of divine right and unalterable.

Believing, moreover, that civil government, originating in the will of G.o.d as Creator, has been placed by the Father under the authority of the Mediator, and that the objects to be promoted by this divine ordinance are the glory of its Author, the welfare of mankind, and the prosperity of the church; we engage to endeavor the reformation of the nations by testifying against all neglect or contempt of Messiah's claims, or impious invasion of his rights by either rulers or subjects.

In joyful antic.i.p.ation of the universal reign of righteousness and peace on the earth, we will labor and pray for a gospel ministry and a Scriptural magistracy; testifying against all corruptions of these or subst.i.tutes for them. Persuaded of the adaptation and sufficiency of divine ordinances to effect reformation, we will refuse to identify or incorporate with any subst.i.tutes for these, or to co-operate with voluntary a.s.sociations for moral reform, whether secret and sworn, or open and pledged, as these imply want of faith in divine ordinances, and in the wisdom and beneficence of our covenant G.o.d.

IV. Believing that the Christian Church is one by her divine const.i.tution, and lamenting existing divisions among the children of G.o.d; recognizing the obligation upon us to love the brotherhood, we will endeavor to cultivate charity in private intercourse towards all who reflect the divine image; and help to elevate them to the platform of the Covenanted Reformation as our only recognized bond of organic and ministerial church-fellowship. Nor will we, in reliance upon the promised and continued supplies of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, permit ourselves to be divided from this our covenanted unity and uniformity by the promises, threats, or solicitations of surrounding communities.

Through divine grace we will endeavor, by practical manifestation of the truth, to commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of G.o.d, as the most effectual means of healing Zion's breaches, that are great like the sea.

V. Having learned from G.o.d's Word that all who live G.o.dly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, in their character, in their substance, or in their persons; and knowing from the recorded history of those who n.o.bly stood to their covenant that they were subjected to all these kinds of suffering; and since our Sovereign Lord in his holy providence for the trial of the patience and faith of his saints permits Antichrist to practice and prosper, the kings of the earth still giving their strength unto the beast: we therefore, antic.i.p.ating like treatment from an opposing world wherever we may sojourn, resolve in his strength to follow the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth, as our leader, endeavoring so to diffuse the sweet savor of his name, that in due time and in every land men shall be blessed in him, and all nations shall call him blessed.

VI. Finally, this solemn renewal of our federal obligations we confirm by oath in the presence of the omniscient G.o.d, who searcheth our hearts, uninfluenced by any selfish, worldly, politic, or carnal motives or ends; but singly with a view to the glory of G.o.d and the temporal and eternal welfare of our fellow-men; beseeching our Father in heaven for Christ's sake so to furnish us with the gifts and graces of his Holy Spirit, that we may prove faithful unto death, and joyfully welcome, the glorious appearing of our final and chosen Judge.

And in testimony of our desires, and a.s.surance to be heard, we say--Amen.