Distinguishing between the covenant and the Covenanters (William White)

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
William White of Haddington, who was an Original Secession (later Free Church) minister, made the below crucial distinction between adhering to the National Covenant and owning the conduct of the Covenanters themselves. To paraphrase Gandhi, "I like your covenants; I don't like your Covenanters." ;) Okay, that last sentence is hyperbolic, but the distinction between the covenants and the men who signed them is an important one to remember:

The matter of the national covenant [of 1638] must be admitted by all Presbyterians to be agreeable to the word of God. A world of difficulty would be removed by keeping in mind that objections brought against the conduct of the covenanters, are not objections against the covenants. Though it could be proved that the covenanters acted wrong, this would not prove that the covenant is wrong.

William White, Christ's Covenant the best Defence of Christ's crown; or our National Covenants Scriptural, Catholic, and of Permanent Obligation (Edinburgh: W. P. Kennedy, 1844), p. 11.
 
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